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Frightful Fridays! Kitteye Tyrant

Hello, and welcome back to a new Frightful Fridays! I had a marvelous vacation the past week, and it was a little tough to get back into things, so that might explain today's entry, whose illustration comes courtesy of my friend Flash. Rather than go with the obvious spider-kitten mashup, I decided to do an odd little (so to speak) take on the . The next time your characters go up against a solitary sorcerer with the strange kitten familiar who can only muster a single magic missile, that pushover fight will become terrifying when the familiar starts flinging prismatic [...]

Frightful Fridays! Kitteye Tyrant

Hello, and welcome back to a new Frightful Fridays! I had a marvelous vacation the past week, and it was a little tough to get back into things, so that might explain today's entry, whose illustration comes courtesy of my friend Flash. Rather than go with the obvious spider-kitten mashup, I decided to do an odd little (so to speak) take on the . The next time your characters go up against a solitary sorcerer with the strange kitten familiar who can only muster a single magic missile, that pushover fight will become terrifying when the familiar starts flinging prismatic [...]

Gam3rCon continues Day 2

Gam3rCon proper may be going on right now, but every month this year, there's been a Gam3day as well. Usually just a 9-hour event (noon-9) on a Sunday (YEAH! Free Parking!!!!) Gam3rCon.com for location and costs. (Dress for heat, as the building is OLD, and it gets HOT.) Join the Gam3rCon meetup to watch for those days. ($5 if you're just there to play, but FREE if you're running a game)

Castle Greyhawk: Surrender

Welcome back Greyhawkers! Let's get back to my all important promoting of page twenty-nine in the second chapter of our ongoing Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Follow the links above to get bonus words from dedicated scribe Scott Casper. Alternatively you can view the pages HERE, courtesy of Maldin's Greyhawk.

Artist's Commentary: Well we saw the defeat of Drake last episode, so now we focus on Gronan. The surly mercenary is more shrewd than the temperamental captain however. The story begins to curve back toward Castle Greyhawk. I can't wait to see how this turns out!

The Glacial Forge

I had a few minutes listening to a conference call at work today, so I sketched out another quick map. It's a true 5-minute effort, so no bells and whistles. I call it the Glacial Forge.

The Glacial ForgeDrawn with a cheap "Gel Mini" pen from Staples - I picked up a box of a dozen for a buck - on the back of a meeting agenda. I scanned it in through the copy center at work and cropped it in Paint. Unlovely, but functional.

The icy passage widens into a chamber with stone and wood barricades. [...]

DVD Of The Week: Rigor Mortis (2013)

A suicidal film actor (Chin Siu-Ho), separated from his family for reasons that are never explained, moves into a run-down tower block with the aim of taking his life. However, just as he is about to hang himself he is saved by the block's resident chef - and out-of-work vampire hunter - Yau (Anthony Chan). Meanwhile the elderly husband of another resident dies in a fall and his widow

Shamosk, Alien Swamps and Lifeforms, Facing the Soul of the Splinter

(For a description of the Crystal Villa, click HERE. Also, I know that fungi are not plants, but belong to their own kingdom. However, for the purposes of magic, they are considered plants - I'm fairly sure I'm the only one that cares about this lol)
(2/9/1472) 20:20 -- 21:40: His name is Shamosk, and he is a Chattur -- a humanoid raccoon like creature. He speaks in a high-pitched, rapid fire manner, communicating using the Gorgoth language (the closest thing to a universal language there is due to its immortal source). Although there are many merchants in the vast [...]

Daily Punch 7-24-14 Elemental Focus feat for DnD Next

I want to be a wizard that focuses on fire wizard…let’s make it happen!




You’ve studied the elements and found yourself drawn into one in particular

Benefit: gain the following

  • Gain a +1 to wisdom, intelligence, or charisma to a maximum of 20
  • Pick an element damage type (acid, force, sonic, cold, fire, necrotic, radiant). When you cast a spell that does that damage type, add double the spell’s level to damage or double the duration of the spell. Cantrips add +1 to damage.




Zaza the Mystic ala d6xd6 CORE

One of the characters that we have tapped for the NUELOW Games comics/rpg hybrid treatment is Zaza the Mystic. We haven't quite scheduled her yet, but we will be making the decision as to when one of these days. We find her interesting, because she has all the skills of a con-artist spiritualist, but she uses her "powers for good" by busting phony mystics and exposing other crimes.

While we decide how and when to present some of her best adventures, here she is as seen through the lense of Lester Smith's d6xd6 CORE RPG.


Dungeon Mastery-Romps

Several months ago at a conference, Robert Defendi, maker of Echoes of Heaven, introduced me to the idea of “romps” in table top RPGmodules and games. I’m not sure if this is a new idea, but it was new to me and a recent experience made me decide it was definitely worth sharing.

The concept of a romp is to give the players a scenario, usually an encounter, where they can win pretty easily and feel awesome doing it. This has a number of positive effects when used properly and is really important to the pacing of the game or module.

Let [...]

The Friday Grab Bag - My 5E D&D Starter Set Playthrough Keeps Going (and Going!)

Our playthrough coverage continues from here!.

Before we jump back into the adventure, I have some added information to share.  One of the things I wanted to try and work out before our next game are inserts for a customized GM screen.  To that end, I discovered a thread on EN World where user ren1999 was building one for himself to use with 5E Basic D&D.  While I hope to make mine with more group-specific and Starter Set specific info, I'm keeping an eye on that thread for ideas for content and how to prioritize the layout.  See more here.

Daily Cosplay

Daily Punch 7-23-14 Improved Parry feat for DnD Next

Martial characters don’t get a ton of love, how about we give them some


Improved Parry

You know how to move a blade out of the way and how to strike lightning fast after the dodge

Benefits:Gain the following

  • You gain a +1 to dexterity or strength to a maximum of 20.
  • When you perform a parry on a melee attack, the disadvantage dice both receive a -1 to their rolls.
  • If your parry results in the attack missing, you may make a basic melee attack as a free action.




Halls of Nowl

The Mammoth Scrolls speak of a nameless forge master who dwelt in the city of Norgorad-Kam, who learned to create magical gates in rings of brass. Skilled beyond his peers this forge master had learned snippets of the Language of Creation, what in after years men called the Winter Runes. He used these to open gaps in the Wall of Worlds, to tear the fabric of the All Father's creation and see into strange realms, long tunnels with cryptic writings on them. But the gaps would not remain open and they were very small. He returned to his forge. He [...]

Imaginarium ~ Castle Hohenzollern

Mystery Incorporated

So, I recently watched the new(ish) Scooby-Doo series, Scooby-Doo: Mystery, Inc. with my girlfriend.

It was… bizarre. (Disclaimer: I hated Scooby-Doo growing up, didn’t like the original series, didn’t like the late 70s team-ups, didn’t like A Pup Named Scooby Doo, 13 ghosts, really anything, until the the late 90s Scooby movies. And I would begrudgingly admit that despite its awful opening theme song, What’s New Scooby Doo was watchable.) Very bizarre. It was both the most ridiculous Scooby-Doo I’ve seen but often had a penchant for taking itself very seriously, especially in the second half, which was kind of jarring.

On [...]

Boardgame Review -- Wrong Chemistry

By Michael Chamberlain Published in 2012 by MAGE Company, Wrong Chemistry by Tony Cimino is a game of scientist trying to create new elements using an action point system to move the molecule you share with your opponents towards your next score card. The game plays two to four players and plays in around half [...]

The post Boardgame Review – Wrong Chemistry appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Dungeon World - Sapphire Island mini-campaign - Player write-up session 3

Watching the last White Ship sailing away was the most heart wrenching thing I have ever done. I forced myself not to look away, if I could not look my Elders in the eye as they departed I would not give them the satisfaction of turning away now. Bile boiled in my stomach with anger at their desertion of both my people and the younger races who's needed us now more than ever. Part of me expecting them to return and face the chaos the Elders had let happen but as the river fog began to close over the swans [...]

Boardgame Review -- Firefly

Joss Whedon's Ultimate Misbehavior Is Lifting Ideas From Other Games By Peter Ruth II The world of the TV show Firefly, and the fiction surrounding it, is quite a far cry from your average Sci-Fi, with an odd, kind-of-mystic, pseudo Western/Chinese vibe. As I'm sure you know, the show was incredibly popular, but apparently not [...]

The post Boardgame Review – Firefly appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

$10,000 Poo!

Well now I've heard it all, well some of all of it at any rate. Back in 2012 a fellow in Washington State (up in the North West corner of the United States) a fellow was mucking around on his property and found a bit of excrement. As he carefully dug it up he realized it was 40 inches long. Its the longest known poo in history.

Its now up for sale, the auction house hopes to bring in 10K for the poo, remarking that the amount of money ancient poo brings in always surprises him.

And that [...]

A look inside: Symbaroum

Symbaroum is a Swedish tabletop RPG from Jrnringen. The game’s graphic designer took to Reddit to share images from the full colour hardback. I don’t blame them. It looks gorgeous!

Symbaroum cover

The RPG is some 240 pages long.


The book begins by introducing people to the hobby, the types of dice and about character sheets.

Symbaroum – book 1: Kampanjbok

Symbaroum is divided into three separate parts. This is the opening spread for the first of the internal books; all about the world. The other two Symbaroum books are the Player’s Guide and Gamemaster’s Guide.

The Symbaroum world

The game is named after the long-dead civiliszation [...]

Castle Terrain

This appeared at Gencon 2013. Somehow I missed it.

Primeval Us

In 1725 the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico made a solid pitch for primeval man. The savage who emerged from history in a world fraught with strange happenings cast his own vision upon it. He was a natural poet, who created a mythos with ever more complex stories and legends, to explain the seeming chaos of the world. From chaos came order. It was the expression of the natural poet with the savage.

Civilization has marred that, dampened that and stifled the natural drive toward the primeval. Civilization requires a cyclic renewal to purge the overburdening weight of modernity.

Magic Video Series 10: Detect Metal

Alright, recording from some treeson the back side of Y Mountain, a spell forfinding an ironclad ally, or foe, by detecting metal. At the time, I thought I might be on the wrong path, I was also very tired.

So, this spell clearly fails the way I cast it in the video. This is why resignation checks are made during spell casting to determine if they fail due to fatigue. I was tired, and I completely screwed up the arcs; I don’t even know what I thought I was doing.

Writing this spell with a clearer head, I’d exit through the Ra [...]

RPG Review -- Dungeon Dressing: Goblin's Pockets

By Endzeitgeist This Dungeon Dressing installment clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look! The first page is taken up by a short explanation of how to use this pdf [...]

The post RPG Review – Dungeon Dressing: Goblin’s Pockets appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Contemplating Grudges in Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate

I have been working out the encounter tables in Ogre Gate and adjusting the relevant rules from Sertorius to better fit the setting and genre. Yesterday I started toying with the idea of a Grudge table to make part of regular encounter rolls. Basically it would be a potential result on any standard encounter table, causing you to roll on a new sub-table. These sorts of encounters would involve characters with personal vendettas against the party and the GM would need to weave them in on the fly as smoothly as possible. 

Here is what I have so far. Going [...]

RPG Review -- Journey to Cathreay

By Endzeitgeist Journey to Cathreay clocks in at a massive 115 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 112 pages of content, so let’s take a look! The module begins with a massive explanation of the module for the DM – essentially, the module provides [...]

The post RPG Review – Journey to Cathreay appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Play Your Old Modules in 5e Today!

I’ve been scouring the interwebs for you, dear readers. 5th Edition is a fantastic system, and you know you want to play your old Dragons of Despair or Temple of Elemental Evil modules with the new system, but how? All of the monsters aren’t available yet, and who knows if they’ll all be in the Monster Manual?

Fear not! I first stumbled upon this handy 1e converter on Youtube.

You can see the PDF here, and read [...]

Movie Round Up!

You can't go wrong with Denzel Washington. Really you can't. Go watch Man on Fire and you'll see what I  mean. Now the Equalizer.

Halo Nighfall.

Lots of names in this one, Kill the Messenger.

Time Machine Hot Tub 2. Need I say more...well, probably, but the first one was a tub of fun!

And then there is Aftermath...looking good!

Review: Saga of Old City

(Caution: Spoilers)

At last I come to the series of novels and stories written by Gary Gygax, featuring his hero Gord. The first in the series is Saga of Old City (1985), which was released as part of the last gasp of products written by Gygax right before his ouster from TSR.

Saga of Old City charts the early life of Gord, a beggar, thief, acrobat, and adventurer from the slums of Greyhawk's Old City (hence the title). Interestingly, though, only the first part of the novel actually takes place in Old City, although there is a satisfying [...]

Kratos: Animate Remains

Well, Now. That's Just Rude

I've long thought the Octopus will be the next species to dominate the planet, equal to that of homo sapiens . . . its either the octopus or the raccoon, not sure which (and probably way too much Jack Kirby's Kamandi comic book as a kid). The octopus is rather intelligent, able to open jars and use tools and it has 8 arms with the ability to manipulate objects much like we do with our thumbs (the raccoon is right behind us, just feed some of your locals and see what they are able to do, clever little fellows). So [...]

Bleeding Gen Con In Less Than A Month

So, it is less than a month until Gen Connow. I will be attending as media, both for the blog here, and for the Bleeding Coolwebsite. Coverage will be split between here and there. Also attending will be Helen, another of the bloggers here, and Josh will be manning the Dorkland! offices and handling anything that doesn't require being at the convention. If you have a Kickstarter going on

Frugal GM Review: The Manor, Issues #1 & #5

The Manor is a quarterly zine put together by Tim Shorts, currently under the GM Games banner. Somewhere I had gotten a copy of issue #5 and filed it away forgotten. With DriveThruRPG's Xmas in July sale going on for just under four more days I thought I'd pick up issue #1 for review.

Honestly, when reading through issue #1 I was pretty "meh" and didn't want to review it. When I went to file it away I discovered the #5 issue and decided to look at both for a review. I'm glad I came back to it, because [...]

Friday Review: Laying Waste by TPK Games, A Critical Hit to the Awesome Center of

Massing a huge 162 pages, Laying Waste is an enormous revamp of rules for critical hits in Pathfinder. The books starts with the new rules which essentially replace the confirmation roll and normal, boring damage multiplication with a severity roll and a host of potential effects based on the severity and damage type of your weapon.

All the possible crits have a save to reduce or eliminate the status effect. The save gets harder as your severity worsens as does, obviously, the effect. A light braining staggers for d2 rounds unless you make a DC20 Fortitude save. A moderate [...]

My D&D 5th Edition "House Rules" V1.0

I haven’t played D&D 5th Edition yet, but I have the Basic PDF and have read blogs and forum extensively to see what others think of it.

I’m certainly willing to give it a chance, but there are a few things that don’t mesh with my playstyle. (I skipped 3rd & 4th Editions entirely.)

So here are my “house rules” that gelled in my brain as I was just waking up a while ago, and I just had to write them down before I forgot.

“D&D 5th Edition “House Rules”

version 1.0

July 25, 1014

1) Resting & Healing: A “short rest” is a minimum of [...]

Setting Riff: Holothom -- The Short Version

OK so I doubt any of you care to slog through my old writings just for kicks, you are looking for something inspiring or useful that you might apply to your own game or world somehow.

So the original “setting riff” I suppose you could call it for Holothom boiled down to:

1) A bunch of primitive humans (“barbarians”) flee some war-zone and cross some big mountains into some apparently uninhabited lands.

2) The “uninhabited lands” are actually the ancient homelands of the demi-humans (who are either unknown or mythical in the rest of the world). Also full of humanoids and other monsters.

3) [...]

Transcript: Holothom -- TWB Page 3

Here is the typed up version of the scan of page 3 of “Holothom – The World Base.”

This finishes off the introduction to the setting.

“Holothom – The World Base
Page 3 Transcript

were the homes of the four demi-human races: Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, and Halflings; as well as their racial enemies: Kobolds, Goblins, Orcs, and Gnolls.

The Dwarves inhabit the Makahd Mountains, called the Tlantiem Mountains by the humans. The Elves live in the forests of Gyol and Dunland. The Gnomes inhabit the hilly regions near the Makahd and Hylona Mountains. The Halflings live on the sloping plains of Dunland, near the [...]

Armor Up (Viking Mounted)

Andrea Miniatures

Have Gun Will Travel

There is quite a discussion going on in the spaced out community about who will have property rights on the moon. If company X crosses the Darkling Sea to get to the Moon and extracts a bunch of ore, and brings it back to earth. Can they legally sell it or claim ownership

Well its pretty simple. If the western nations or any nations attempt to seize it they'll just find a friendly port . . . any number of islands would be more than happy I'm sure to set up operations and not tax the company. So you'd [...]

Word of the Day -- Icebox

An icebox (also called a cold closet) is a compact non-mechanical refrigerator which was a common kitchen appliance before the development of safe powered refrigeration devices.

Iceboxes had hollow walls that were lined with tin or zinc and packed with various insulating materials such as cork, sawdust, straw or seaweed. A large block of ice was held in a tray or compartment near the top of the box. Cold air circulated down and around storage compartments in the lower section. Some finer models had spigots for draining ice water from a catch pan or holding tank. In [...]

Friday Link Dump 7/25/2014

In case you missed the memo, Marvel Comics is giving access to their online archives for just 99 cents. Definitely worth a look, I'd say. If you've ever taken a Myers-Briggs test and want to know the truth - not just the nice things they say about you to make you feel better about yourself - you should probably check this out. Apparently, I'm similar to a babbling old woman at an

The Book of Terniel Game Recap (7/22/14)

Week 7 of theBook of Terniel playtest opens with the PCs finally discovering Morrow Home, the hidden thawn giant lair. They’ve been tromping through the Fetid Bog for days searching for Morrow Home as they believe the giants are in possession of the Book of Terniel.

The Players

A new player joined us tonight bringing our count to nine players and me. It’s been a while since we had such a big group.

  • Dwarnin, dwarf fighter and lover of brawls and ale, brother to Thoric
  • Kazu, human summoner from a distant land
  • Kiryn, elf wizard and student of history
  • Rayne, human rogue
  • Rundell, human rogue and retired [...]

Fleamarket Friday: Oh, Yes, They Will Be Mine... (Part Two)

Due out in October from POP! vinyl people Funko is a new addition to their Fabrikations line: Rocket Raccoon. The six inch tall Fabrikations follow the same design aesthetic as the POP! vinyl figures, only they are described as "soft scultptures" as their bodies are made of fabric.

End-of-Week Elmore (7/25/14)

"Ha HA! My green dragon will defeat your...er...what the heck is THAT?! Is that a beak? And check out those feet! I've heard of a bird dog, but this is ridiculous!"

An Article Worth Reading.... and my own comments

  The RPGer known on Google+ as Jeffro (Jeff Johnson) has written a review of the book High Crusade that is (typical for Jeff) very good and delves into a lot more than just a great book by a great author. Other great writers have already chimed in on the piece and I am going to exploi-, uh, also comment.
  Jeff touches on some if the issues with thieves and clerics held by some gamers. I have previously touched on both of these classes, so my opinions should be clear. What I want to focus on in Jeff's insight [...]

The Online GM: Bringing It All Back Home

All good things come to an end. Campaigns end. Gaming groups disband. Even online gaming groups come to a close. After two and a half years of GMing my online 4e group, our campaign ended. We disbanded for several reasons. First, the story had come to a close. It had many twists and turns. It had a deeper and more complicated mythology than any campaign should have. But most importantly, the characters reached a point of resolution and redemption. And that really was the goal of our story. My primary reason for disbanding the group was that online GMing was [...]

Ship of Fools -- "Ghult: The Treasure Fleet"

The finale of our middle school Adventure Games Enrichment Camp tournament took us outside of the classroom and down to the school cafeteria, where the students piloted their treasure-laden sailing ships across the floor, unleashing barrages of marshmallow cannonballs at one another.Bosch of course!Before jumping into the action, however, there were ample opportunities for kids to use their brains and flex their strategic muscles.
Throughout the prior week, each of our four-student teams had earned up to 6000 points through victories in the roughly sixty individual game sessions run by myself and my high school volunteers.  Between each event, the teams would huddle and decide [...]

A Look At 5e So Far...

Perhaps the only thing on the net to rival all the talk of Johnny Football is conversations on 5e D&D. They have a lot in common with people speculating on if they are good or bad without a game being played. At least in the case of Johnny Football we have tape of him in college. With 5e we just have previous editions. But with the new game of D&D just like the NFL the rules are changed in ways that make it tough to judge them before the first snap or die is rolled.

When looking at 5e D&D I [...]

My D&D 5th Edition "House Rules" V1.0

I haven’t played D&D 5th Edition yet, but I have the Basic PDF and have read blogs and forum extensively to see what others think of it.

I’m certainly willing to give it a chance, but there are a few things that don’t mesh with my playstyle. (I skipped 3rd & 4th Editions entirely.)

So here are my “house rules” that gelled in my brain as I was just waking up a while ago, and I just had to write them down before I forgot.

“D&D 5th Edition “House Rules”

version 1.0

July 25, 1014

1) Resting & Healing: A “short rest” is a minimum of [...]

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