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Reading Around: Play Dirty by John Wick

  A pdf of the original Play Dirty was part of the rewards for the kickstarter for the sequel book by John Wick.     See here for my overview of the Play Dirty 2 kickstarter.     As part of my efforts to read through my backlog of pdfs, I am now enjoying the …

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Apocalypse World Update

So my play by post is still going strong. Here’s an update on what’s happening. Eden (Hocus) had a talk with Sin (Brainer) about what to do with Kristal (son of the town leader). Kristal has been after Sin and a few others in the group after an ass kicking that went the wrong way...

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The post Apocalypse World Update appeared first on Ramblings of Jacob and Delos.

Session LXVI: What You Can't See Will Kill You

A note from the Warlock
Still catching up on our session recaps.  Making progress, nearly done now.

Current Player Characters:Edan (Atlantean)Minimus (Cleric)Su (Cleric)Thenus (Ranger)Wang Du (Monk)and a variety of NPCsWith the Big'uy slain and the Gnolls packing up to leave, the party debated on how to get a hold  of the suspected Beholder's treasure hidden down a deep dark tunnel and guarded by some unseen horror as reported by a surviving mercenary Biggs.

After much debate it was decided to face this mysterious foe.

Sneaking down the narrow passage, the party entered into a small cavern [...]

The Flame Princess Cometh Again!

Way back in August 2010 I obtained a copy of the Deluxe Edition box set of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I loved that little box, the first version of the game to hit the streets, and all its contents. But, it was a tumultuous time for me that year, [...]

Daily Punch 12-16-14 Blood Sorcerer Sorcerous Origin for DnD 5e

How about a completely different way to cast spells as a Sorcerer in 5e?


Blood Sorcerer

Magic is in your blood….., and in blood in general. Life is power, and you know how to extract power from your own life.


Power in the blood

You no longer have a Sorcery Points pool, but you add any point you would gain as hit points. When you cast a spell of any level, lose double the spell level in hit points. You can cast spells as long you still have positive, non-zero hit points, but you must take the damage.


Spilled blood, released power

Starting at 6th level, [...]

The 5E Dungeon Master's Guide: The Trilogy is Complete

The Fifth Edition DMG is out and the trilogy of core books is on the street. To be pretty honest, Fifth Edition is looking pretty [...]

Game Stories: Dungeon World

Surprise! I'm not just talking about board games in this series! As I write up these posts, I know that I don't want to stray from my RPG roots, and those roots are what this post is about. So welcome to Dungeon World, a game about something that I call "pulp fantasy", filled with larger-than-life heroes and villains in a fantastical setting. It's the Powered by the Apocalypse game which is the most widely-known in the RPG community, for good reason--it's a really fun game that riffs off of familiar fantasy adventuring with style.

Dungeon World is all [...]

Hitting the Reset Button - Current Tavern Plans for Christmas Week

The events of this past weekend really took the wind out of my sails. Time to hit the reset button and see where we are at.

OSR Christmas Day 6 should get posted tonight. Perhaps his afternoon. We'll see what state I'm in after I share some adult beverages with my bartender who is an NYPD vet from the 70's and 80's, when police across the US were being ambushed and killed. Knowing history is always the best way to avoid repeating it.

I'll finish off forwarding the gift receivers info from Days 4 and 5 later today.

As for the rest of the week?

Gaming posts, pure and simple.

More OSR for the Lapsed Gamer, more reviews, more thoughts [...]

Into the Unknown

Even without monsters, the world is full of challenges. Exploring jungles, deserts, land near the North/South Poles can be trying even for the most prepared parties. Reading about the early explorers of Antarctica and how they fared is a great example. There are even TV shows dedicated to people trying to survive in the wilderness. In gaming, though, we tend to not stop there — our adventurers try to survive underwater or in caverns for extended periods of time. Because of this, game settings have done their best to demonstrate how to incorporate the environment as a challenge to add [...]

Until next year

This site will resume with all new material after January first. In the meantime please enjoy reading through the material all ready here. Have a great holiday season and thanks for reading!

Filed under: Uncategorized

LARP Advice: How to Be a Great NPC

This post is directed toward players in LARPs that have NPCs who are not full-time members of Staff. That includes both folks who are volunteering for the whole event and never play a PC, and folks who are doing just a few hours' shift backstage. There's probably a lot of regional variation in terminology here as communities develop their own jargon, and as newer games decide that changing their predecessors' jargon is the hill they're going to die on. Just to make sure we're all on the same page here, I'll brave the shoals of tedium and explain a bit [...]

Designers & Dragons

Last August I backed a successful Kickstarter for a series of books called Designers & Dragons, a four volume set detailing the history of the tabletop gaming industry. So why am I bothering to mention a four month old completed Kicstarter? Because I was able to furnish the author with scans of books he was […]

Fading Suns: The Human Concordat

Symbols by Gail Frazer (Design) and Seth Bacon (Digital Finish)
Jumpweb Map by Keith Johnson

This article was originally published in Pyramid Magazine on January 6th, 2001.


It was a golden age, humanity's finest hour, and it was coming to an end. During the time of the Second Republic all of humanity had been joined into a whole across the vastness of interstellar space, but now, under the petty manipulations and power mongering of the noble families, humanity's cohesion and greatness was pushed to its limits and then broken. The Second Republic fell.

And as the Chaos of the Fall began [...]

Daily Punch 12-15-14 Dueling Masters quality for Shadowrun 5e

I see lots of different masters, but what about people who are chosen by different spirits in Shadowrun 5e? Maybe those spirits don’t like each other.


Dueling Masters

Cost: 5 karma

You’re a hot commodity. You’ve literallygot a devil on your left shoulder offing you power while the angel on your right is still extolling some bull drek virtues you might not care about. Gain a second mentor spirit. You now get the benefits of one spirit at a time, but have to take the negatives of both. As a free action, you can change which mentor spirit’s benefits you use at any [...]

Gods of the Great Caldera Pt. 4

The Gods of Caldwen
Though the magiocracy is a secular nation, its people still bear strong feelings about their spiritual faiths. In their view, magic is divine, or rather, the divine grew from magic. During the age of colonialism (CAL1, pg.78), many of the ancient Gandarian gods, who had become dormant (or near so) on Munaan, were revived in Caldwen. The old forbidden Maghia sect believed that magic was a separate entity from the sun (Teos), the fiery god being a reflection of a greater power, which infuriated the Nicarean potentates preaching exactly the opposite. Caldweners [...]

Steal These Caves

Over the weekend I brushed up my reading on sinkholes, cisterns, and aquifers — and I usually meander through pages on natural caverns for some time.

This time I found a page about a cave system in Croatia, the Velebit caves. It has a neat little cross-section image you could totally steal for a megadungeon.

And because I don’t just stop reading when I start writing a blog post — usually I’m looking for accompanying links and pictures and whatnot — the Wikipedia page for the Cave of Swallows also has a handy-looking cross-section.

There are bigger caves, and prettier caves, and deeper [...]

Pulp-tastic News For UK Gamers!

From January, North Star Military Figures will be UK distributors for Bob Murch's incredible range of Pulp Figures. They will also be manufacturing the figures over here, meaning we will no longer have to pay the increasing insane shipping costs, import duty, and extra taxes - which is what eventually put me off buying these miniatures regularly, direct from Bob in Canada. Suitable for

A Gamer's Prayer for this holiday season!

Oh, Konami!
Up-up, down-down, left-right, left-right, B, A.
Up-up, down-down, left-right, left-right, B, A!
Up-up, Down-down! Left-right! Left-right! B! A!

My Nine-Year Old Daughter's Five Level Dungeon

Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol by Alexander Gray
'Twas a cauld, cauld nicht i' the back o' the year; The snaw lay deep, and the starns shone clear; And Mary kent that her time was near, As she cam to Bethlehem. When Joseph saw the toon sae thrang, Quo' he: 'I houp I be na wrang, But I'm thinkin' we'll find a place ere lang;' But there wasna nae room for them.She quo', quo' she: 'O Joseph loon, Rale tired am I, and wad fain lie doon. Is there no a bed in the hail o' the toon? For farrer I canna gae.' At the ale-hoose door she keekit ben, But there was sic a steer o' [...]

Angry Rants: Role-Playing

Why the f$&% doesn't anyone seem to know what role-playing is? I mean, our hobby is called "role-playing gaming," right? You'd think someone – ANYONE – could get this right. Other than me, I mean. It really pisses me off.

Let me explain. I was listening to Episode 359 of the Fear the Boot Podcast this morning, and they were talking about ret-conning (changing something in the game after it has already happened), and they kept talking about role-playing. "We had this good role-play going." "It was a good role-play scene." "We were role-playing back and forth." And on and on [...]

Pieces of Ordinary Randomness: Random Techniques Of Chance

The Twists haven’t stopped yet! This month’s Blog Carnival, hosted by Campaign Mastery, isn’t finished yet!. The subject is still “With A Twist” and it covers anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, etc. I started with an article on the rules interpretation of Surprise, and followed that with a two-part article looking at types of Plot […]

Episode 148: Actual Play - You Didn't Know Enough

This Episode:  When the group finds out the extent of Shai's secret orders, they begin a full on investigation of the Association.  Meanwhile, Ro'Dash makes a deal with a hobgoblin and...

A group of friends who ramble and shamble while dice rumble and tumble. Call us casually-hardcore role players of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.

Media News Monday - X-Men and Fantastic Four, Agent Carter, & Mark Hamill

According to comicbook.com, an "X-Men And Fantastic Four Team-Up Movie [is] Apparently Confirmed" here.

Meanwhile, on the Marvel Entertainment YouTube channel, "Agent Carter Gets Ready for Work" a clip from "Marvel's Agent Carter Season 1, Ep. 1 -- Clip 1." Enjoy.

Finally, there is a recent article on Entertainment Weekly titled "'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Mark Hamill on his emotional -- and scruffy -- return as Luke Skywalker" here.

Media News Monday on CreativeMountainGames.com News for Movies, Television, and more
of gamer-relevant Media.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Magic Item: The Crown of Candles

Allianora stood over the dusty skeleton in the rotted robe.  Rathgar, Nimble, and Feris stood off to the side and looked around at the various murals that adorned the wall.  "She made this a haven against the darkness" she siad softly.

"Who did?" Feris asked.

"The priestess, for her followers.  They trusted her."  Allianora knelt down next to the body, gently lifting her skull and looking into it's empty eyes.  "She did the best she could for them, but they were overwhelmed.  The last of them barricaded themselves in here... they were safe, but trapped."

Go Ahead...Scratch That Itch!

Hey everyone and welcome back.  This week at Recounting Encounters, Derek, Craig and I talk about some of the ways players can scratch the itch for D&D during the holiday season.  

Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


Listen HERE, or click the link below to hear the podcast.

If you like this article, head over to the site for more great articles, or just keep reading the feed. Cheers Alton

[WFPR] Doomstones Session 4

There's another Crystal nearby!
On the way to town, the party spotted a long-forgotten cache of orc trinkets buried in a mount. There was some jewelry, a dwarven plate with a map on it, and a couple notes from the Bloodaxe alliance detailing the existence of another crystal nearby. The party kept this information and headed to town.
In town they sold their hostage for some coin, replenished their travelling stores, and recruited a new Wizard after the previous one left the group. The new Wizard attuned himself to the Crystal of Fire and found one of it's powers: the [...]

Edo's Guest Reviews: CUBIST -- Episode 27 (Jason Hancock)

CUBIST Game Review

CUBIST by Steven Poelzing and Alf Seegert is a game that let's you aspire to creating grand, modern art by building a series of cube installations made of marbled dice. It is a great gateway game for 2-4 players that's easy to learn and play. The cool dice and neat angle on the theme makes for a memorable experience.

Please like, subscribe, and share with your friends! Want to do a guest review? Shoot me a note.

Team Milestones: The Legion of Monsters

Now that you have last week’s datafiles for many monstrous heroes, these milestones will help you put those characters to work as a a team. Whether you want to run a campaign with the Legion of Monsters, the Midnight Sons, or the new Howling Commandos (as in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon), these goals will enableyour heroes to stake a claim (or a vampire) in the Marvel Heroic landscape.

Filed under: Milestones

Bastion is Full of Lies: A Review of Into The Odd

Into the Odd

The business of roleplaying can be a tough sell to people who have been exposed to the experience previously in an uncontrolled or raw form. Speaking from experience, I have seen people enthused by the prospect turned sour when they saw the size of the average core rule book. The Player Handbook for 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons is not the sort of thing I would happily hand a player – despite the name – for fear of the repercussions.

I have found the beginner games the best way to introduce a novice player, but they often-times become a [...]

Merry Christmas! Have an adventure

Happy Holidays everyone.   Linked below is a PWYW mini-adventure for both Neoclassical Geek Revival as well as OSR games.

The Trail of Tears and Sorrow features art, cartography, and layout by the talented Alex Mayo.

Mistborn Allomancy dice roll up success

A few people got their hands on the 2012 Mistborn Allomancy dice. Created for Crafty Games’ Mistborn RPG, based on Brandon Sanderson’s novel of the same name, the custom dice use symbols from Allomancy. For more details check out the Kickstarter.

[Back this Campaign]

This campaign is going well. Crafty Games are asking for $4,000 and at the time of blogging they’ve got 33 days to raise that. The pledge amount so far is over $10,000 from nearly 400 backers. That’s more than twice the asking price.

A $20 pledge gets you one dice set. That’s for US folk only. $100 [...]

ReCast: 1775 the Boardgame Wargaming Recon #115

Thanks to Daniel Thurot on BoardGameGeek for this photo. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


Hope you enjoy the first of two “Best of” 2014 episodes. This one focuses on the board game 1775: Rebellion. Originally released on June 9, 2014 the episode discussed the game, how to play, and why you should want to play it.

This ReCast sheds further light on why I LOVE 1775 and why you should too. In fact I will be playing this today to celebrate my 33rd birthday! If you’re listening to this on Dec 22nd, I hope you’ll send positive birthday thoughts my way.

Don’t worry! We’ll be back with [...]

Random Map Monday 1

I thought I would start participating in Random Map Mondays.  I draw enough maps.  When I watch Netflix or even while I am gaming, I'll draw an outline of a map or some idea of one.  I'm one of those folks that likes sensory overload so I can focus.  Yeah, I know, sounds like complete bullshit.  Probably is.

Anyway, I usually do three different levels of maps.  I don't tend to do world maps.  My largest map type is above.  A region map.  I always draw those using a hex grid.  I draw the maps on 3" x [...]

Against the Giants: 139

5th Readying, 594 CY

Following the directions given to them by Malachi, the heroes head off to the bank of the White Oyt river, where the gate to the next vault lies. According to Malachi this vault contains theSeal of Water, and the gateway is under the surface of the river. To aid them he gives them each apotion of water breathing.

Sidni is sent to scout: imbued withwater breathing cast by Xellos, and armed with alight coin supplied by Halmary, theinvisiblewoman half-swims and half-wades along the bottom of the river, weighed down by rocks with a rope tied around her waist. [...]

Grupo Martes Dec 9: Machi Koro and Russian Railroads

We had a long game and a quick game this night. The quick game was Machi Koro. Machi is probably from , which means city in Japanese. Yup you are trying to build a city with this dice and card game. We played the simple variant. We turned over cards until we had 10 different types of buildings. This is the draw deck. Everyone starts with a wheat field and a bakery and four cards that you need to build to win: a theme park, a broadcasting tower, a shopping center, and a train station. You start with some money to [...]

Monday Moodsetter 60

"The Lost Temple" by IBreslavRPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

Musical Monday: I Like Chinese...

RPG Round Up

What’s been going on in the world of RPGs and gaming this week. Covers the latest posts from my favourite other rpg related blogs, comics and more

Troy's Crock Pot: Make Those Monsters Legendary, AgainVeteran game masters might fall into the trap of viewing every monster in terms of its hit dice and combat capabilities. It's too easy to just plug in a monster that matches the requisite challenge rating, call for initiative, and play on. Resist that urge. Freshen up those monsters. Every time your [...]Mon, Dec 22, 2014
Source: Gnome StewMore timed board game deals on Amazon todayToday's deals on [...]

Musical Monday: I LIke Chinese...

GM Advice: 6 Common GMing Mistakes

No GM is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Some mistakes, however, seem to crop up again and again.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Over the past 30 years I've seen GMs make loads of mistakes. Sadly over the last 30 years I've also made all the same mistakes myself. I'm not talking about rules-based mistakes; that would be a crushingly boring subject. Rather, I'm talking about even more basic errors that every GM is guilty of from time to time.

I’ve previously posted about the 5 characteristics of terrible GMs and the 8 characteristics of great GMs, but inmy mind [...]

Troy's Crock Pot: Make Those Monsters Legendary, Again

Veteran game masters might fall into the trap of viewing every monster in terms of its hit dice and combat capabilities. It's too easy to just plug in a monster that matches the requisite challenge rating, call for initiative, and play on.

Resist that urge. Freshen up those monsters.

Every time your group rolls up new player characters or you start a new campaign, you have a chance to make those familiar entries in the Monster Manual new again --- legendary even.

The key is in the set up. A little planning --- and A LOT of foreshadowing ---can pay off.

  • Who rules the [...]

Deadlands - Cardstock Cowboys: Horrors of the Wasted West

From the Packaging:

Dig in to our savory dish of toxic torment! We've carefully blended only the best beasties in Muties, Monsters, and Misfits to add to your gruesome collection of Wasted West woes! We guarantee that it will add zip to your Hell on Earth roleplaying game, or use with our free miniatures rules -- High Noon -- available on our Weird Website (www.deadlands.com).

Hero Datafile: Winter Soldier

It’s the first day of Winter, so what better day to post a highly requested datafile: The Winter Soldier!

This datafile is based on the current “Man on the Wall” version of Bucky, but could be tweaked easily for any other era. Just change up Milestones and Distinctions. As an added bonus, I worked up an item powerset for the Kazurr Sniper Rifle that Bucky (and Daisy Johnson) use as a part of their new mission to guard the Earth against cosmic and extra-dimensional threats.

Filed under: Datafiles

Hill Giant #2 (scratch-build)

How do you like my new hill giant?

I sculpted him over a Reaper Bones ogre. I got it to test the material and I have to say I was less than impressed. I have a bunch of prepaints I've collected over the years mainly to use for parts, and they tend to be much sturdier and with a material that takes paint a better. From sturdiest to most bendy the progression goes Pathfinder > Heroclix > D&D prepaints > Reaper Bones (though I only have 1 pathfinder figure to go by). You could easily put [...]

The 12 Geek Days of Christmas -- Day 11

The 12 Geek Days of Christmas is a 12 part series. Read the rest of it by clicking on a date below. 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th This Post 12th   And here we are, at the penultimate day of our song. Kind of hard to think that it will […]

I'm pretty sure this entire video constitutes "incitement to commit a crime"

But hey, you know what the anti-gun cultists say:  1st Amendment good*, 2nd Amendment bad!

And no, just for fun, let's play "Count the Crimes Committed":
  • 0:15 - Burglary (kid entered his mom's bedroom with the intent to commit theft).
  • 0:23 - Robbery AND minor in possession of a firearm AND, depending on the state and the value of the firearm, grand theft.
  • 0:40 - Clearly, the kid has time to think about what he's doing -- it's not a spur of the moment thing -- so there's probably some premeditation going on.
  • 0:46 - Bringing a firearm [...]

Green Gestures

A Change In Venue, A Change In Rules

Going into Friday I had a problem: one of my PCs couldn't make the game. Now, this normally wouldn't be a problem but we'd left off in a huge fight and that PC was a key part of the strength of the party when it came to combat and what was going on in the game. I needed a plan, and luckily for me I had an option available to me.

Using one of the NPCs present in the fight I zapped the PCs into a different realm, one that resided in the minds very similar to the realm [...]

Tales from the Hydian Way: Episode 16 -- The Underside of the Galaxy

This time we look at criminal organizations, how to use them, one of many ways to use law enforcement with them. Even how to use the “Big Galaxy” approach when dealing with planetary Criminal organizations.

Falleen all over himself to be taken seriously.

You can find us on Twitter at @DeuteriumIce and @Xphile101361

You can get in contact with us at TalesfromtheHydianWay@gmail.com

And you can find us as well as many other gaming articles at MadAdventurers.com

The show can be found on iTunes

If you like what we do and would like to support our little podcast, please head over to the Patreon page for the [...]

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