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July of Adventure - El Fin

Babbling at the Counter #52 - Blog

July of Adventure - El Fin

Ok, so today, we are closing up our second event, July of Adventure. Hope you all have found it fun, and check out the event page to make sure you didn't miss any post! Until the next event!

- The Storeman

Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition - Introduction (video)

Introducing my forthcoming series of Advanced Fighting Fantasy reviews with a brief talk about my history with AFF.

Why I Hate Traveller 5 In One Easy Concept

It's the return of Traveller Tuesday!

Most of you know that I and several confederates savaged the Traveller5 rules last year. Perhaps some of you (I'm looking at you, Faoladh) felt I was being unfair in my assessment of it.  At this point, I believe I wasn't harsh enough, and will explain how I came to this conclusion.

T5 introduces the concept of Extensions for planetary systems. Those Extensions are listed as Importance, Economic, and Cultural.  A picture is included for the Kinorb system from The Traveller Map as an example of how they are [...]

Mad Max 4 - Fury Road Comic-Con Trailer

There's only one word for it...


Another Jeffro Retrospective

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it needs to be said again and attention drawn to it. Some of the most important Appendix N analysis going on today is being done by Jeffro over at Castalia House publishing.

With a new edition out and the game some 40 years out from its humble origins, this work is almost that of a literary archaeologist. So removed we are from the game’s textual origins, we may have forgotten why the game is the way it is.

Whether you’re curious about the books that shaped gaming or looking to step your game up when [...]

Never Just A Cave

If you’re going to use a natural cave as a dungeon setting, don’t let it be “just another cave.” Don’t make yet another featureless, gray-stone cavern. Do some research! Make it exciting! Make it memorable! Work those set pieces!

Original Link
Izi Travel: 15 Most Beautiful Caves

There are some great photos here, and more are just a Google Image Search away. And if you want to more information about the individual caves, I’ve gone ahead and linked relevant Wikipedia (or other) articles where I found them.

Georgia – Deepest cave in the world
Wikipedia: Krubera Cave

Wikipedia: Melissani Cave

France – caves [...]

The "notes" from our first Dungeon World Game

I think I need to go see somebody.
I'm not sure this is what the designers attended.Shrug
Thanks for stopping in!

Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons is Weird

The new D&D is weird.  It's this Frankenstein's monster of old games.  When you peer into it, there bits and pieces from past D&Ds scattered around.
I'm sitting here with rulebooks piled up on my desk - everything from Moldvay to Pathfinder, trying to figure out what makes 5e tick, and why it ticks in the way it does.
For anyone who's played a bit of D&D over the past 40 years, the archaeology can be confusing.  Some things are so similar to our favorite versions of D&D, and some things are not.  It can look broken and strange at [...]

The End of a Personal D&D era.

I have pretty pristine copies of AD&D second edition considering  their age and amount of use. The day I bought them I made cardboard book sleeves for them and to this day they rest in those sleeves. Sure the  PHB has a few bent corners and a bit of  yellow here and there, and perhaps the  Monster manual was dropped a few times, but all in all I have seen worse on store shelves.
I treated them better than I treated my  poor old Basic rules cyclopedia, and the hardcovers have held up better than the red or blue [...]

Trap Tuesday (Wonders of NaeraCull): Wrath of the Effigy

Wrath of the Effigy CR 2 The Stone Sentinels of NaeraCull are mounted upon the southwest side of a steeply inclined mountain face. There are several natural outcroppings and ledges that dot the landscape as well as piles of eroded debris and large boulders; trap takes place on that mountain face. Type magical; […]

The post Trap Tuesday (Wonders of NaeraCull): Wrath of the Effigy appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.


Bops are a magical creation similar to golemns or homunculi that were created by an ancient twisted sorcerer to serve as guards and watchmen over his lair and treasures.

After his death, a team of delvers sacked the lair and with heavy looses, finally defeated the guardians and then proceeded to loot the place clean.

That would have been the end of it, but during the looting, the party's mage found the sorcerer's spellbook. It contained instructions on how to create more of the insidious fiends.
The mage then made copies and sold the spell to other [...]

Unearthed Errata: The Akashic

by Tim Wallace and Tarnah Wright

The akashic first appeared in Arcana Unearthed, Monte Cook's variant D&D 3.0 system, and then was updated to 3.5 in Arcana Evolved (where I was introduced to it). I don't know whether it was its versatility or its mystic background, the class clicked with me; despite my never getting a chance to play it. When I decided to start converting bits of Arcana Evolved to Pathfinder on this blog, I knew that the akashic needed to be near the top of that list. --T. W.

AkashicSome call it the Astral Plane. But others know it [...]

D&D Next, My First Session

Last night Rob Conley ran a 5e session.  It's the first time we played the system since its 'release'.  We played two or three sessions in various stages of the playtest.

We used Roll20 and Google Hangouts.  They had 5e character sheets for Roll20.  There were very cool, some of the buttons didn't work, but over all it helped.  The only problem I had was the sheet covered the map.  So I had to keep closing/shrinking then reopen it.  It would be great if Roll20 could get to where we could use two screens.

The game itself, was [...]

D&D 5e: The Bard is Back!

... and you're going to be in trouble.

Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast leaked details of the Bard. which has gotten a bit of an upgrade since the play test. Bard love is back in D&D.


DnD 5e: The Bard is Back!

... and you're going to be in trouble.

Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast leaked details of the Bard. which has gotten a bit of an upgrade since the play test. Bard love is back in D&D.

Souce: Paizo PublishingThis class is now one of the most versatile of all the classes listed in the Player's Handbook. The Bard now gets 4 Spells and 2 Cantrips right at level 1. She can choose any 3 skills.  The College of Lore allows a broad ranges of skill proficiency while the College of Valor adds additional melee options. Add a high [...]

Interviews -- Ep 13 -- Erik Carl

Special Guest -Erik Carl Topic:I had the great pleasure of sitting down with my good friend, host and Executive Producer of Metagamers Anonymous, and patriarch of the Prismatic Tsunami community, Erik Carl. We discussed gaming with kids and his latest venture, TsunamiCon! Support! Support! Support!     Media -   Be sure to check out [...]

Star Wars Is Back Where It Belongs...

No disrespect to Dark Horse - they've done an amazing job with the Star Wars license for decades - but I grew up with the Marvel Star Wars comics, that came out with the original movies, and so am squeeing nostalgicly that come January we'll be getting Marvel Star Wars comics again. I'm hoping for a return to the childlike innocence of the old comics - without being childish (which

Relationships, Friends, Enemies

I enjoy Burn Notice for a variety of reasons.

First and foremost, I like spies. James Bond is pretty cool, but the James Bond films have to sacrifice a lot to fit within a two-hour time slot. As a television series, Burn Notice builds a fantastic Myth Arc over multiple seasons.

Spy stories often have an enormous scope while much of the action happens on a personal level — individuals wield enormous social, economic, and political powers. The fates of millions come to rest in the hands of a few.

A greedy villain loses everything in a high-stakes gamble.

It’s almost fantastic how much [...]


I talk a lot about believability and immersion. In particular I like to comment on the things that disrupt my suspension of disbelief in games, so I know how to maximize my enjoyment. But sometimes I feel I ignore the issue of flexibility here and how really, believability is a spectrum...it isn't meant to be a rigid, binary notion. 

Concepts that are rigid are weaker than ones that have flexibility. If you look at a tree for example, even the strongest one, if it doesn't bend to the wind, will crack. In the same way, approaching believability in an [...]

My thoughts on Experience

Over the past few years, I have seen a lot of debate and discussion about experience in D&D, particularly about what earns a character points.

One of the main traditional thoughts has always been that you get XP based on the monster you kill. There are various methodologies applied to that principle (like having the party split the XP, versus each member getting that set amount), but the basic notion remains the same. This is how I have always played, and until recently, I would never have even considered second-guessing that.

However, there are large swaths [...]

Mary Poppins: Witch or Time Lord, Part 2

Mary as a Time Lord

So I explored how Mary could be a witch.  How can she be a Time Lord?

Well in addition to all that we know she speaks a lot of languages including Baby.  Her carpet bag could be a bag of holding or it could be Time Lord science.   She acts both young and wise, much like the Doctor and spends a lot of time with younger companions.  The 11th Doctor even made references to her in "A Christmas Carol" and in the book "Magic of the Angels".  In MotA the [...]

Grand Duchy 24

Grand Duchy of AdventureSession 24
July 18-29, 2014

Seeking the Fairy King of HorsesNytdain 1 of Flaurmont, 1001ACA Night in SusikynThe members of the Grey Company are relieved to be back in the warm, dry comfort of the homestead. Much has been learned and accomplished during the recent two week trek into the wilderness, though their main objective continues to elude them. Fortunately, there is still hope that Stephan may be recovered. The old Traladaran woman, Babaka, said that he had been taken by some Goblins to "the old ruins of Xitaqa" and the other rescued prisoner, Iris, said she [...]

Don't Be A Control Freak

"During most of a D&D game, the Dungeon Master leaves the decisions to the players. The DM presents the setting---describing what the characters see, offering choices of actions, and so forth. But the course of the game is determined by the actions of the party as decided by the players." ---Dungeons & Dragons Dungeons Masters Rulebook, Revised by Frank Mentzer

As I prepared this week for a nostalgic run through a classic Labyrinth Lord megadungeon, I thought it would be a good Idea to brush up on the classic rules. I not only brought out the Labyrinth Lord rules, but [...]

Teens vs B4 The Lost City

pic accessed at Rexque Futurus
For the second week of Adventure Games Camp, I was scheduled to run 20 more hours of tabletop role-playing for a fresh batch of a dozen rising 6th-8th graders.  I knew I wanted to continue exploring the ruined city of Bawal Bayan in its pulp jungle setting, but wanted to keep things fresh and interesting too ... it couldn't all be frolicking with white apes ...

So I flipped around in B1-9 In Search of Adventure, that often disappointing 1987 digest of Basic-series D&D modules, and realized that [...]

Article -- D&Diversity. A pinch of genius!

By Paco Garcia Jaen I think Wizards of the Coast had a pinch of genius moment when they included the diversity paragraph in the new edition of D&D. Pure genius! I don't know if it was accidental or if it was a calculated risk, but my goodness it's paying off! Why do I say this? [...]

The post Article – D&Diversity. A pinch of genius! appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Daily Cosplay

Imaginarium ~ Dark Clouds

The Wall of Worlds

The Wall of Worlds is not a plane in and of itself, but rather a magical barrier that lies between the Void and the Inner Planes. It is crafted of pure magic and its nature reflects this. It was created by the All Father, but Unklar devoured it and cast it back out again as the Shroud of Darkness. After the Horned God's fall, some of the wall remained and Corthain refashioned it and placed within it the Runelords to guard creation from the Void and to keep those who Void from crossing into the Inner Planes.

Even in [...]

D&Diversity. A pinch of genius!

By Paco Garcia Jaen I think Wizards of the Coast had a genius moment when they included the diversity paragraph in the new edition of D&D. Pure genius! I don't know if it was accidental or if it was a calculated risk, but my goodness it's paying off! Why do I say this? Because everyone [...]

The post D&Diversity. A pinch of genius! appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Session 133 We are joined by Alphastream to talk DnD and Gaming News

Hey Guys, Welcome to session 133, we chat with Teos this week about all sorts of Dungeons and Dragons, and even more types of gaming news. Thanks again for joining us, and here are the show notes!   Teos Interview Excellent analysis by Rob Donaghue Shawn Merwin wrote Defiance in Phlan, series of adventures running […]

Session 133 We are joined by Alphastream to talk DnD and Gaming News

Movie Trailer ~ The Hobbit

Who Killed the Cliff Dwellers

Historians and archeologists have long debated the whys and wherefores that caused the collapse of the Pueblo or Chacoan culture. These peoples dwelt in the American South West, in and around what is today northern New Mexico and Colorado. They built impressive buildings, farmsteads, villages and what not throughout the region. They eventually moved out of the low lying valleys and up and onto the walls of valleys and steep canyons. The society lasted about 3-500 years. It originated in the broader region where the Chacoans had dwelt for a much longer time, farming and building (their ruins litter the [...]

Marrakesh: City of Magic

There’s a fantastic article over at CNN about Marrakesh, which talks about the amazing marketplaces. Here’s the article. One part in particular stood out to me:

Wiry, wizened and dressed in a tattered old jelaba robe, Abdul-Hakim lives in a world in which fact and fantasy are blurred together through an ancient alchemy.
He stands there, knitted cap pulled down tight over a balding scalp, fingers gnarled and black with dirt, a face conjured from a [...]

Yet Another Library Sale

The recent Library sale has once again lengthened my seemingly endless list of books to read.

I picked up several books by Jane Yolen, including Sister Light, Sister Dark (whose dust jacket I tossled away in anticipation of grumblings from my significant other; same with a John Varley book I grabbed, that would’ve easily found its way to Goodshowsir with plenty of sheep) which I’d read*, but did not own.

One of the books I grabbed was “To Prove a Villain”, an old academic book that collects a number of works, from Shakespeare (Richard III is presented in its entirety) & Thomas [...]

Armor Up (Ramses)

Andreas Miniatures

The Language of Creation

As anyone who reads the Aihrde mythologies (TLG's and C&C World), they know that the building block of all and sundry things lies in the Language of Creation. Understanding this language allows one to do all manner things, one of those things, as noted in the book Rune Lore, is to bend light to protect oneself, hide oneself etc.

Well it seems scientists have done just that. In a laboratory in Cambridge England, they have begun to assemble material out of parts that are less than a few billionth meters wide and the size of these building blocks allows [...]

D&D Never Even Came Close to Vancian Magic

Okay y’all, this week’s reading is a real doozy. Jack Vance is of course the common denominator between (at a minimum) Dungeons & Dragons, Tunnels & Trolls, and Infocom’s Enchanter series. I suppose it’s “obvious” now that I bring it up… but seriously, this is something that could stand to be noised abroad a little more forcefully. Add to that the fact that not only is the Dying Earth magic system inherently apocalyptic and almost inevitably going to destroy any setting where it emerges, but it also incorporates skill checks and critical failures that are more in line with some [...]

Movie Poster Legend

Gesture-Based Nanite Magic

After the apocalypse, when the nanite swarm blankets the world, only a few of the gestures capable of activating its various functions survive, passed down as jealously guarded secrets in mystery cults and esoteric orders. They are not dissimilar to mudras as Mage: the Awakening used the word.

Depending on the mudras one knows, experimentation could be the equivalent of issuing all sorts of system-rending commands, without necessarily knowing if the manipulator has authorized themselves as a super-user yet. The nanite equivalent of rm -rf could be utterly catastrophic, depending on what it considers files and directories.

Tagged: magic, plot [...]

"The Dwarves reveal themselves..."

Here is a scan of page 5 of Holothom – The World Base. It continues with the list of historical events.

Filed under: campaign world, D&D, Gaming, Holothom, retro, RPG Tagged: campaign, D&D, DnD, gaming, Old School, RPG, scans

How Much is "By the Book"

Last week, I read the description of an NPC's death straight from the module. It was the first time I had read anything straight from a module in quite some time, and it was noticeable. I probably should have just summarized it from memory instead of disrupting the "flow" of the game. In any case, someone asked later on in the session how long I had been running a published adventure. The answer

DVD Of The Week: Noah (2014)

Although I'm not a religious person, I've always had a soft spot for film's based on Biblical stories for some reason, but Noah is the closest yet to crossing over into my usual playground of epic fantasy or science-fiction. While I haven't really studied the Great Flood myth, I'm pretty sure I'd have remembered rock giants (fallen angels bound to the Earth by rock and mud, resembling

Classic RPG Art

This is one of the best pieces of art ever put on an RPG cover. Simple, yet it conveys everything you want to know about the story. . . hard won gold calls for a celebration. And the treasure horde is just awesome! I love that guy sitting on top of the gold as well.

Oolong, the Scarlet Hero

And so I decided to start a Scarlet Heroes campaign....
First thing, I had to roll a hero.
Applying statistics as rolled, I got: Str 8 (-1), Dex 17 (+2), Con 10 (0), Int 12 (0), Wis 13 (+1) and Cha 12 (0).
With low strength, I decided to make my hero a female. She has high dexterity, so I will make her a thief (or better to say rogue). I want her to be a little exotic, so Shou blooded she is.
I would also like to make her some kind of Lara Croft, so her specialty will be [...]

Traveller Skills and Setting Part 5

In a game called Traveller, you know there will be VEHICLESThe other posts in this series are here, here, here, and here.
Who needs contra-gravity when you've got one of these?           The Vehicle skills were there to enable the PCs to travel around while on a world. They are:
  • Air/raft (the basic contragravity car)
  • ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) 
  • Ship's Boat 
  • Aircraft, of several types 
  • Tracked vehicles 
  • Wheeled vehicles
  • Watercraft, of several types
  • There was also a Vehicle [...]


I had the pleasure of meeting Chang Yaoyuan through wuxia fan pages online. He is from China, well versed in Chinese literature and is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of wuxia with English-speakers. In this video he explains the concept of wuxia, getting into the literal and metaphorical meaning of the original chinese characters. 

If you are interested in learning more, here are some handy online resources: 

An Introduction to the Wuxia Genre


Wuxia Edge

Wuxia Pan

Ability Tuesday-Soften Fall

The orcs thought they had him trapped. And why not? With nothing but a sheer drop behind him, anyone would suppose Ryex to be out of options. But Ryex had led the orcs here on purpose. It was time to ditch them for good. He jumped.

Soften fall is pretty straight-forward. It reduces damage taken from falls by reducing the effective distance fallen. At first, the character can use trees, cliff faces, or buildings to reduce effective fall distance. Next, the character can use body shape to get additional reduction or reduction without something to grab nearby. At higher levels, the [...]

Trials of Everrun -- The Vampire in the Catacombs

Hired by the local Mine owner / Fat Cat, Avery Diazo to clear out his mines and put an end to the killings surrounding the place, the Long Shots’ time of rest and healing is interrupted by a murder investigation in the small down to Telgam. The events that unfolded over the next few hours did little to abate their uneasiness of the world below the city, and have solidified Jerrede’s hostility toward the humans in town. But what’s really going on in Telgam? And what did the city’s long-entombed Vampire teach them about the city sleeping above their heads?

The [...]

[Tuesday Map] The Stony Recesses & Tower of Verrul

I’m putting together another set of printed maps for myincredibly generous Patreon patrons. To do so means going through my scanned maps folders, throwing them on a USB stick, and heading out to the print shop. Except this time as I was going through my scanned maps folders, I came across a few maps that I had scanned in 2011 but didn’t make it onto the site – they had been scanned to be included in Dyson’s Delves and some of them made it into the book but never made it into the public eye through the blog. So it’s time to return to “The Lost Maps” – my series of maps that I drew in 2010 on plain white paper using pencil instead of ink. It turns out this set of maps is fairly extensive.

The Stony Recesses – Upper Level

The Stony Recesses were one of three elemental-themed dungeons used in a campaign I ran in 2010. The other two were posted ages ago –Ember Crag (Fire) and The Roots of the World (Water). The Stony Recesses is a series of caves and shrinesto the Elemental Lords of Earth.

The Stony Recesses is a two-level dungeon environment with multiple entrances / [...]

What a Deva

On Thursday last week I wrote a post about the nature and game mechanics of aasimar in Exploration Age. In that post I hinted briefly that deva PCs would be available to my players as well. This was not the first time I mentioned deva – they also made an appearance in a post I wroteabout the multiverse in Exploration Age. So now, let’s get a little more in-depth with the deva as a PC race in Exploration Age.

The Eternal War

Reborn and ready for war.

No one is sure which came first – the demonic rakshasa or the angelic deva. Both [...]

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