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52 Baroque Encounter Starts

Go on then, have another.

This one is not quite so teeming as the previous, more practical, but such is the nature of the rules page it was spawned from. It's divided up into a number of smaller dice tables that still add up to 52 options. I think these eight categories pretty much cover anything you might throw at your players.

Click to enlarge.

red vs the tentacle beast !:D

another sketch of red , the courageous paladin oc of my friend pumpmongerhttp://pumpmonger.deviantart.com/ , she has been thrown into a dungeon to be tormented by a vile tentacle beast. but could the tentacle beast actually be a good creature? his mom was a flumph :w00t:…:D

red the paladin … and the tentacle beast !

Filed under: concept art, fan art, fantasy, role playing game Tagged: character, creature, dungeons and dragons, fantasy, monster, paladin, pathfinder, pumpmonger, red, rpg, tentacle

RPG Mechanics: Don't fight the system

This post has been a long time coming; I first mentioned it back when I interviewed +Kenneth Hite maybe. It's not that important, but it's an idea that has been growing on me for a while, and I think my discussion with Ken crystalized something.

Frankly, it's why I want to play a game of Night's Black Agents, since my mind was jarred like Hawkeye's in the Avengers when Ken told me that your point totals were only peripherally related to your ability with a given skill in Night's Black Agents.

No, what the points measure is how many times you can be awesome in any given scene. They were related to skill, obviously, since if you can be awesome a lot, you're probably good at something.

But ultimately, NBA is about screen time, as in "movie or TV." It's a narrative-based game.

And that's OK.

Don't Fight the System

Each game is going to be tailored to a particular style of play. The games I've been playing lately couldn't really be more different on the cover. +Matt Finch's Swords and Wizardry Complete, GM'd by +Erik Tenkar, and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, by either +Nathan Joy or Emily Smirle. Both of those, by the way, are converted D&D modules.

I have tons of fun in both games, but they're different. Very different. Not "better" or "worse," but very different.

Swords and Wizardry

To me, the thing about S&W (and based on the free version, D&D5 as well) [...]

Dungeon World: Soloing the Cinder Queen

  • Ivan (human invoker of some god of the ocean)
  • Brana (dwarf warrior hireling)
  • Clotilda (human protector hireling)

SPOILER WARNING: If you are going to be playing this adventure any time soon, I'd stop here.

I got my physical copy of Servants of the Cinder Queen a few days ago (a Kickstarter project on time? GASP!), and since Melissa and I still have no meaningful internet and haven't played a roleplaying proper game in over a month now, I figured I'd run her through it.

Dungeon World isn't exactly conducive to solo play, so I gave her a pair of hirelings that turned out [...]

Planning a Series of OSR Posts for the Lapsed Gamer

I've gotten a number of emails recently from folks "coming back to the hobby" after 20 or 30 years and looking to reignite the fires. Say what you will about 5e, but it is certainly bringing attention back to the hobby of RPGs. I can't say it's going to grow the hobby as a whole (but it should, at least initially), but I have noticed an uptick in lapsed gamers looking to find their old love. 5e might have stirred the spark, but the OSR is where they feel at home.

The problem with the OSR is the sheer number of choices and flavors one can find. Heck, it's not just systems themselves, but subsystems, as both Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry both [...]

Review -- Street Grimoire (for Shadowrun)

Shadowrun: Street Grimoire is all about magic in the Sixth World, from both from a roleplaying and mechanic side. It is a useful book, almost required if you intend to highlight the magical side of a Shadowrun campaign, but it could be more tightly organized and better edited, a few parts being confusing to read. That being said, it does have a lot of useful material allowing for magic to be used in much more interesting ways and it should spark a host of ideas for any Shadowrun GM even though it lacks any explicit GM direction in the book.

Shadowrun: [...]

Chop! Turn to Stone

[continuation from long post here]

Turning someone to stone just by looking at 'em is a rare gift indeed. So rare that, prior to the advent of Dungeons & Dragons, I know of only one creature in mythology or folklore that had petrification as a natural ability: the three gorgon sisters, of which Medusa was one.

No, basilisks do not turn people to stone, unless you mean in the Old English sense of "dead as stones." The cockatrice doesn't either, despite its Wikipedia entry (it cites page 186 of a poorly reviewed eBook fantasy novel as its "source" [...]

Arcana Talents (All Eight Arcane Schools)

I admit, I’m procrastinating a little on theEchelon Reference Series today. I let myself get distracted by thearcana talents I started working on yesterday in converting arcane schools to common talents. I wanted to see what the rest looked like, so I took some time today to finish the first pass.

The conversion is pretty mechanical and notdifficult, but it is evident to me that the resource management strategy needs to change. I really don’t like “3/day” features, and it’s worsewhen they scale with level, especially when they are adjusted by ability scores — I don’t evenhave ability scores right now. I reallyneed to look into the token mechanism again, or using magic points, or something.

The token mechanism might be what brings back ability scores, to be honest, though I suspect the scores will be derived from talents rather than rolled or chosen (point buy or array). I can see them replacing saving throws and being expanded slightly… but I digress, and I don’t need that on top of a procrastination.

I think replacing the resourcemanagement mechanism used here willsolve most of my issues with the talent descriptions. Standardizing the resource cost of each ability will simplify the talent summary tables.

Later, later. [...]

I Like Kobolds

Just take a look at those ridiculous little lizard dogs. You just know their language is full of yelps and snarls. They sort of seem like slapstick incarnate, and in some ways I guess they kind of are. They yelp and run and essentially throw marbles and banana peels in your way. They're weak and cowardly but, by necessity, clever.

For instance, their traps take on some damn interesting, innovative, and ill conceived components from time to time. Those are the ones that get remembered (these faulty, Rube-Goldbergian machinations), because somebody walked away from them. Just as often kobold [...]

Fantasy fuel / The power of 5th edition.

Fantasy fuel:
The  ancient fortress of the  dwarfs lies deep under Flokirst-Summit. Lost to the fore fathers, half flooded, and partially collapsed, the ancient dwarf-holme stands silent. Guarding it's secrets fiercely, and  holds it's treasures in a grasp of stone. The Lurker watches all.

Drawn quickly on cheap paper with an even cheaper ball point pen, while watching the Chicago Bulls vs the Lakers in the  1991 NBA playoffs.
 The Power of  D&D 5th ed:Love it or not  here's something that I think only AD&D 5th edition could have made possible.
I was in a local art supply store [...]

Gategully Episode 13

Migrants, an overview of the Fortress, and a desperate attempt to find out what the everloving hell that possessed clothier wants.

Playlist here!

Sidequest Saturday (Banlan Backlash!): Nyamo's Sunken Grotto

The ongoing smuggling operations conducted by the Banlan Brotherhood has left the Order of the Staff with an air of disdain. Weary of these brigands, the Order has hired the PCs---at a high price in apology for their duplicitous gift the week before---to lead an investigation into the secretive catacombs beneath the city and to […]

The post Sidequest Saturday (Banlan Backlash!): Nyamo’s Sunken Grotto appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Narcosa: The Glory that is DIY OSR

This is product that epitomizes all that is cool and good about the whole DIY OSR gang. A simple thread on Google+ that leads to [...]

psylocke ! escapes ! :D

a sketch of psylocke … she has just escaped from a prison underneath avengers mansion -she will have revenge on captain america :w00t:

psylocke escapes !

Filed under: comic book, fan art, superhero Tagged: comic book, fan art, hero, heroine, marvel, psylocke, superhero, x men, xmen

Demon Hunters RPG Kickstarter: Link & Update

A quick update on the Demon Hunters RPG Kickstarter given I wasn’t able to get online while I was away. First off the link for the Lickstarter is: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deadgentlemen/demon-hunters-rpg-a-comedy-of-terrors (or you can click the banner above). Go take a look, watch the video and please consider contributing. The project is already over 2/3 of the way to being funded after only 4 days, given there are a further 26 days to go it’s pretty safe at this point to assume it will fund and that it’ll hit at least a few of the stretch goals.

So what’s on offer through the [...]

Commentary On The Free Comicbook Old School Resource Sword & Sorcery Download - Warren Presents 013 - Sword & Sorcery Comix 1981 On The Dark Corner Blog

Wind the clock back to 1981 with this free Sword and Sorcery comic book magazine on the Dark Corner Blog right over HERE

Is the OSR anti-miniature?

The always-excellent Chirine has a post up today about miniatures. One of the things he mentions, based on his experience in OSR message boards (he doesn't mention which ones), is that the OSR in general feels miniatures are a Bad Thing in RPGs.

With all due respect, I don't think it's the case that we OSR types are invariably anti-miniature. Although I don't go on gaming message boards at all now, except for Canonfire!, and the subject never seems to come up there, it being Greyhawk-specific. Perhaps the attitude is different on message boards than it is on the [...]

Oath of the Fallen- Paladin Sacred Oath for 5e

Yesterday I posted the Blood Magic bloodline for Sorcerous Origin for Dungeons and Dragons 5e. I thought it would be fun to do the same with some of the other classes. I don’t know how many I will do. I have two more (at least) planned… we’ll see what my use says. Anyways- enjoy.


Paladin Sacred Oath: Oath of the Fallen

Paladins take up the mantel of their faith to met out justice to evildoers and bring hope to the downtrodden and oppressed. This constant struggle exposes paladins to some of the worst experiences and evils on the planet. While many find [...]

Faction Friday: Keepers of Balance, the Grim Vow

This is a repost from an old blog I used to have. I am proposing a new weekly segment where I create system neutral factions for Game/Dungeons Masters to drop into their games.

I have been playing quite a bit of Diablo 3. The class that I am playing the most is the Monk class. Monks have been a very decisive class in D&D/Pathfinder. When anyone plays a monk, they want to play a Shaolin or Wire-Fu monk which may not be cohesive to the setting . But with some re-flavoring you can make a monk that better fits the medieval [...]

Review -- Hoard of the Dragon Queen


The primary arc of Hoard of the Dragon Queen is disappointingly linear. Disappointing because the concept is so delightfully ripe for a non-linear approach: The Cult of the Dragon has abandoned its previous plans of turning dragons into dracoliches and has allied itself with a variety of living dragons and their half-breed offspring to free Tiamat from her infernal prison. In order to do this, feuding factions within the cult are seeking out five powerful artifacts which take the form of dragon masks (one for each of Tiamat's chromatic heads).

Five masks lost in disparate locations. Multiple cult factions simultaneously pursuing [...]

1/3000 US Pre-Dreadnoughts (plus small 40k Imperial Navy update)

Blimey, it's been a while hasn't it. I never intentionally intended to take a break from blogging, but one month became two, two became four. And so on. Thanks to everyone that's checked that all is well, much appreciated indeed, and I'm glad to report all certainly is. 

Anyhoo, I thought I'd share the (not so) Great White Fleet - my 1/3000 pre-Dreadnought ships from the WTJ Store for our games of Battlefleet 1900 (you may have seen some of these on the Palladian Guard blog). These are absolutely lovely miniatures, and a joy to painted - although they frosted a [...]

The Wandering Podcast with Random DMG

  We're trying a new format for our podcasts here at Don't Split the Party.
  We start with Random DMG - one of us opens the DMG to a random page and then we
  Wander wherever the discussion of the page takes us.
  The result?
  The Wandering Podcast
  Today's podcast is about invisibility, gnomes, illusionists, and why 1e 'feels different'.
  We hope you enjoy it.


"No Matter the Odds or the Consequences", Part 3: Captain America: Resistance Fighter

In both the Cold War and Post-9/11 worlds, Captain America has stood as an object of American dissent. He represents a sense of distrust of government and a rejection of consensus despite his war-hero status and wearing an American flag for a costume. There are few heroes who appear to embody the spirit of American patriotism more than Steve Rogers, Captain America. However, Captain America serves not as a voice for American politicians, but represents [...]

Against the Giants: Session 126

Probably should amend the name of the campaign to something likeAgainst the Drow.

The Spider in the Woods

As the party of five (Phildor has been left behind) hike along the overgrown trail, they cannot fail to notice that the treetops are strewn with cobwebs; webs that grow thicker, spreading outwards, the further they follow the path. Sidni is sent ahead,invisible as is often the case, and she reaches the edge of a clearing and looks out: in the centre is a huge spider-like object, reminiscent of a ship, its legs broken, the hull pierced, lying in a crater. Webs litter the [...]

Kickstarter - Slumbering Ursine Dunes (Hill Cantons Mini Sandbox)

Remember last night's post where I mentioned the "elevator pitch?" Well, I find this to be an effective elevator pitch:
Straight from the Hill Cantons, comes a mini-sandbox played the hell out of by six play groups and over 40 players. Run, play or splice up 50-plus pages of mayhem and weirdness in this Slavic mythic-inspired (with an acid fantasy-twist) adventure for Labyrinth Lord or a well-aged fantasy rpg of your druthers.Evocative and exciting. Tells you exactly what is in the tin. Short. (not +Tim Shorts , but there can be only one ;)

Looks like Slumbering Ursine Dunes is going to be yet another Kickstarter that I'm backing. And look, it's already hit a stretch goal. Go figure ;)

The great thing [...]

September RPG Blog Carnival: RPG Blogger Community

  My previous contribution to the RPGBA Blog Carnival was a Dungeon Table post for the Devious Dungeons August Carnival hosted by James Eck at Mind Weave RPG.     This month, the Carnival is hosted by Mark Meredith at Dice Monkey. Mark describes the theme for the latest Carnival as follows:     This …

Continue reading »

Designing a Boffer LARP System (Part 11)

One of the important things about anything in life is to have balance and variety. I think this is the case whether it comes to diet, hobbies, experiences, or anything else. If you do the same thing time and again, it gets boring. You might get a good feeling for what to expect, and you might even like it the first couple of times, but eventually it gets stale.
That's one of the reasons why I want this game to have a variety of story types that it can tell. It's always going to be focused around combat with rubber swords [...]

NaNoPrepMo '14: Five Writing Resource Sites

It’s not quite October yet, but the internet is already gearing up for another awesome year of NaNoWriMo! Here are a handful of sites chock full of writing resources to get your creative juices flowing or help you along the journey:

#1. StoryToolz.com

This simple and clean site has a number of tools that are eminently useful to WriMo’s, including random generators, word counters, and prose analyzers.

#2. Writer’s Digest Writing Articles

Writer’s Digest is ultimately a company specializing in selling you writing advice and help, but they have an extensive backlist of free articles. They’re organized by genre, writing goal, and writer level, so there’s something for everyone.

#3. Superhero Nation

Although primarily targeted at writers in the superhero genre, there are a number of genre-generic posts that should be useful for any aspiring author, including many commonly made mistakes.

#4. Allusions and Dreams

This author has spent a lot of time writing up advice and gathering resources on everything from worldbuilding and setting research to choosing names and writing fight scenes.

#5. Texas A&M’s Writing Center Handouts & Guides

As a former writing advisor at my alma mater, I have to plug other writing centers when they do a good job. Texas A&M not only has some amazing [...]

Saturday Enchantment-Stone Panther Totem

“The switch is just across this courtyard.”

“But archers are just waiting for us to step out.”

“I’ll use the panther. It can make it there and back in time, and the archer’s won’t be able to hurt it.”

If you don’t know the Mind Weave enchanting rules, this resource will help you keep up:Enchanter’s Almanack.

One of my new-to-table-top playtesters bought a small carving of a panther, just because. He’s tried hard to make it useful, but it’s just a wooden panther carving I made up on the spot. What matters now, though, is he’s looking to get an enchanter to enchant it [...]

Judith C. Vogt ber Eis und Dampf -- Das Rollenspiel & Das Schwarze Auge

Eis und Dampf von Christian Vogt, Judith Vogt, Eevie Demirtel, u.a. (Image: Feder & Schwert)

Judith C. Vogt. Die bekannte Mehr-als-nur-Das Schwarze Auge (DSA)-Autorin (Friedlos, etc.) stellt im nachfolgenden Interview vorrangig Eis und Dampf – Das Rollenspiel (Arbeitstitel) vor. Sie, Christian Vogt – ihr Mann und Mitverfasser der initialen Romanvorlage Die Zerbrochene Puppe – sowie einige andere arbeiten gegenwrtig an diesem Hobbyprojekt. Doch keine Sorge, der Deutschen liebstes Rollenspiel wird nicht unerwhnt bleiben.

Der Verlag Feder & Schwert verffentlichte neben dem gleichnamigen und preisgekrnten Steampunk-Roman Die Zerbrochene Puppe auch die daran anknpfende Anthologie Eis und Dampf. Die Autorin geht zurzeit jedoch davon [...]

What Happens in the Different Editing Stages

This post originally appeared on a writing forum I frequent called LegendFire. If you’re looking for a place to exchange feedback or get inspired or talk poetry and prose more generally, you should check it out!

"Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear." Patricia Fuller

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started writing was to equate the word "editing" with merely correcting grammar and spelling. Although that is certainly an integral part of the writing process, it is by no means the exclusive one. It wasn't until I became a professional fiction editor that I realized there were names for the multiple stages of editing that a published work of writing undergoes and a recommended order of doing them. In the fanfiction community especially (where I got my start as a writer), "beta readers" will often edit multiple levels at the same time, but for writers who are considering selling their work, it can make sense to go through the more formal editorial process.

In the following article, I discuss the three levels of editing: first comes developmental editing, then copyediting, and finally---just before the piece is published---proofreading.

Aspiring [...]

All in the cards

Tim Shorts over at Gothridge Manor has a short but interesting article up about using Tarot cards as game props.  And you know how I love cards!  Here, take a look.  Of particular interest is a link to an expansion he did some years back on the Deck of Many Things.

In the blog maintenance department, I've added a tag for Cards.  Take a look and see if you've missed any Rambles on gaming with cards.  Also, on the practical side, if you need boxes to store your cards in, try Hobby Lobby.

Chop! Paralysis and Turn to Stone

[this is Part 3 in a series of getting rid of saving throws in my new fantasy heartbreaker...though you could certainly apply these ideas to your B/X campaign. You can see my formative thoughts on this concept here and here. Part 1 can be found here; Part 2 is here]

Okay...which problematic concept to deal with first?

Guess we'll start with paralysis. As originally explained, the idea of paralysis (being unable to move or act...at least temporarily) first comes about in Chainmail with regard to the Wight fantasy creature. Here's the full entry (per my 3rd edition copy):

Calidar General Sales Are On!

At long last Calidar's hardcover book, its PDF files, and the poster maps are now available for general sales. If you missed the original Kickstarter, now is the time to jump in! 

Click here to locate the links

Asterians for Dead zone from Mantic Games

Deadzone: Asterians Faction Starter




Asterion Commander

3 Cyphers w/ Rifles

3 Cyphers w/Charge Gloves

1 Cypher w/ Fission Beamer

1 Black Talon

2 Weapons Platforms

Miniatures are supplied unpainted and assembly may be required.



Forge Father Starter

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup - Tabletop Towns Hab Cubes, Halloween Haiku II, & Girl Scouts

Julian Hicks has a new Kickstarter project called "Tabletop Towns - Hab Cubes" which you can check out here.

Lester Smith has a new Kickstarter project titled "Halloween Haiku II and other hauntings" which you can view here.

The Delavan WI Girl Scout Troop are looking for a little help funding their year on GoFundMe here.

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup on CreativeMountainGames.com Keeping an eye on those Kickstarter & IndieGoGo
projects plus other crowdfunding efforts.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Zatannurday: Saturday Evening Post Supers

Ruiz Burgos is a fantastic artist.  He recently made internet fame this past week with his versions of the Saturday Evening Post with Superheroes done in the style of Norman Rockwell.

You can find him on the web here:

Here are his covers:

Up first is Zatanna!

ZATANNA 1964 by OnlyMilo on deviantART

He talks about his Zatanna cover here: http://ruizburgos.blogspot.com/2014/09/zatanna-1964.html

WONDER WOMAN 1945 by OnlyMilo on deviantART

He also talks about his Wonder Woman here: http://ruizburgos.blogspot.com/2012/11/wonder-woman-1945
And his muse is Other Side favorite Alisa Kiss:


When I run Servants of Gaius I often use the Horror Show monster creation rules in Chapter Seven to create new threats for my players. Sometimes I just use existing monsters from the Horror Show monster chapter as well. An example of this is when I brought werewolves into my campaign in Germania. 

When we designed Horror Show, we had a sense that the monster section might be useful for our other games. At one point I was planning a Crime Network campaign that turned into a horror campaign midway through (but I didn't have the heart to make that kind of [...]

The G.H.O.S.T. Arena Manual

Michael P. Owen, the great curator of all things Car Wars, has sent me this fantastic underground supplement from the later days of the game: The G.H.O.S.T. Arena Manual. This was put together by Brian Morrison and Todd MacDermid back in 1992, with each contributing about half of the material. If you dig up your old ADQ’s from the period, you can read about these guys’ exploits from back in the day; they really shook things up by being an extremely active AADA chapter.

If you liked The Arena Book or L’Outrance supplements, then this will be right up your alley. [...]

For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes...

New Appendix N series installment for you:

RETROSPECTIVE: Nine Princes in Amber, by Roger Zelazny

Accolades continue to roll in for this series, with Board Gamers Anonymous providing the latest: “No matter what kind of blog reader you are -- Meta or Mini -- Jeffro has a great post for you. His specialty is writing 2,000-word essays on groundbreaking Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. So he can speak authoritatively about the literary origins of our most beloved RPGs. Yet Jeffro can also zoom in on specific aspects of adventure gaming and show us how we can become better role-players.”

My jaw is literally dropping. One of [...]

The Most Influential Writer in the Entire History of the World

Another installment in the Appendix N series is here:

RETROSPECTIVE: Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs

It’s funny, but my son is at this point more familiar with the literature that inspired D&D than he is with the games themselves. As a consequence, he immediately notices connections that would not as quickly occur to me. Flipping through my trusty Moldvay basic the other day, he pointed out to me that this otherwise underwhelming monster was an homage to A Princess of Mars! How many kids that bought this set would have known that this creature is not only fundamentally awesome, but [...]


Quick Note - A symbol for the Future

The conversion of Assault on the Southern Horn is nearly complete! To celebrate here is a new logo to be used for all 5e/Next adventures I may do in the future!
As for the 5e/Next version of Assault I am let with the tables for the new background to go along with the tale!

Review - One Trillion Dollars by Andreas Eschbach

Translated by Frank KeithPublished as an eBook by Bastei Entertainment
I have only ever read one other book by Andreas Eschbach and that was his incredible science fiction epic 'The Carpet Makers'. That book has a special meaning for me as it came along at a special time in my life. My son had just been born and during his first two weeks in this world I needed something to do between the regular feeding and cleaning. I had purchased The Carpet Makers many moons beforehand and now was the time to read it. While my son slept and [...]

The roots of ROLF!

NUELOW's ROLF! game began its life as a parody of RPGs. One of the first battle scenarios (which has since been lost to time) that was played using a draft of the game that was little more than three paragraphs, involved two male models beating each other up during a fashion show, and the winner then having to face off against a child model (which may or may not have been skinny little Milla Jovovich--neither L.L. Hundal nor I remember for certain if that was the case... but our Jovovich obsession does go way, WAY back).

But we both [...]

Fear Of Girls: The Party Bus Of Elemental Evil...

The Keys to the Kingdom Of Literacy: Stylish Narrative Part 6

This entry is part 6 in the series The Secrets Of Stylish Narrative So here we are on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Spring (at least in my neck of the woods, YMMV). What on earth am I doing posting something on a day like this, when I am usually Gaming (or catching up on […]

UD171: Spirit of '77

This week we talk to David and Bob from MonkeyFun Studios about their upcoming game Spirit of ’77, as well as all things 70’s (and Flash villains). Check out their Kickstarter!

Find them on both Facebook and Twitter.

UD162: Interview with Clem of Devil Pig Games

This week we talk to Clem of Devil Pig Games about the Kickstarter for Shadows over Normandie.

UD161: Reimagining Respectfully

This week the UnderDiscussion crew gets a special assignment from Hollywood…

[Please don't hate us]

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