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Dwarfs on the roll

One of my projects at the moment is to play solo some scenarios form One-Hour Wargames book by Neil Thomas, using different rules and armies.

For my first try, I opted for Scenario 5: Bridgeahead, using orcs as players army (blue side) and dwarfs as system driven army (red side). Ruleset of choice was Song of Blades and Heroes, and since the red army have clear objective, I played using Dogui's simple rules for enemy activation.

The game was fun, although it was mostly decided by dice. It was the worst dice rolling I have ever seen, as [...]

5 Tips to Pick the Right Games to Play at a Con -- Wargaming Recon #132

Have you ever wanted to go to a gaming convention but didn’t know what to play? This episode shares 5 tips to help you choose the right games for you to play.

Support Jonathan through PATREON

  1. What time is the game?
  2. Who is the GM?
  3. What rules are used/Have you played this before?
  4. How many people can play/Who else is playing?
  5. How involved do you need to be to play?

Via our Facebook page:

  1. Listener pbeccas commented about episode 131 on Youtube saying”I always imagined Jasper looking like a viking.”
  2. Listener Josh sent a Facebook message saying “I am a former radio presenter from Australia and long [...]

The Toolkit: Magic Items

I’m getting pretty tired of rolling up potions or scrolls for my home group’s loot. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a potion of healing or a scroll of magic missile, they’re useful items but not particularly interesting ones. Let’s see what we can do to fix that!

I drafted out a few ideas for this week’s table, abandoning several of them just for the sheer amount of pettifogging work involved. There were shades of colour and scales of material, at one point the table became a non-euclidean nightmare of geometry, where the dice fell through the lines on the page because [...]

Strange Stars Races- Savage Worlds Style, Baby- Smaragdines

Here’s some more fun from the Savage Worlding of Strange Stars.


The Smaragdines are the visionaries of the Alliance, known for their psi abilities. All citizens are required to have at least rudimentary skills because the crystalline megapolis of Smaragdoz is ruled by a group-mind Consensus: The captured thoughts and desires of the citizens form an entity of pure thought that makes laws by decree. All Smaragdine children are tested for psi abilities, and the most promising are sent to one of a number of academies (SS, pg 11). Here’s a post by Trey on the Smaragdines.


Consensus: The great group-mind bestows [...]

Angry Rants: Encumbrance

You know what's a s$&% ton of fun? Math. Everyone loves math. And charts. And spreadsheets. And little columns of numbers. And that's why no one ever hated encumbrance and carrying capacity in D&D and why there's no point in even writing about it. So, instead of writing this column this week, I can just go jump on my winged unicorn and fly to the land of Elyisum where chocolate-covered topless men and women deliver infinite supplies of zero calorie, zero hangover beer that even diabetics can drink. Because I am obviously living in the World of Dreams.

Everyone hates encumbrance. [...]

Revised history chapter from Earthdawn 4th Edition

While we're still waiting for the Earthdawn 4th Edition Gamemaster's Guide, one part of it fans were really asking about was shared by FASA Games. The part explaining the events leading to the...

Round Table 62 -- Acquisitions Inc. and Elemental Evil Player's Companion

A new episodeof my podcast,The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show's website. I sitdown with Topher Kohan, Andrew Timmes, and Wade Kemper to discuss the latest installment of the Acquisitions Inc. live showsat PAX East 2015 and the free D&D Elemental Evil Player’s Companion PDF. Pleaserate and reviewus on iTunes, it helps a boat load! Links: The Tome Show on Facebook Battlesystem Brawl worldbuilderblog.me TopheronGoogle+ Topheron Facebook Titan Games and Comics The Adventure Zone podcast Elemental Evil Spell Cards If you like what you're reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, Bonus ActionandGamer to Gamer, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me [...]

Paizo's "The Emerald Spire" for 5th edition, Part 3

Late last year, Paizo Kickstarteda superdungeon called "The Emerald Spire". Along with the characteristicly beautiful production value and stunning art, each of the 16 levels of this detailed module has its own fold-out map in the style of Paizo's other excellent flip-maps, making it a very easy crawl to run. I recently decide to host...

Paizo's "The Emerald Spire" for 5th edition, Part 3

Late last year, Paizo Kickstarteda superdungeon called "The Emerald Spire". Along with the characteristicly beautiful production value and stunning art, each of the 16 levels of this detailed module has its own fold-out map in the style of Paizo's other excellent flip-maps, making it a very easy crawl to run. I recently decide to host...

Next Tavern Header - Work in Progress by Jim Magnusson

As I've mentioned previously, the goal here at The Tavern is to have a series of blog headers / banners from different artists in rotation. It keeps things fresh as well as highlights some of the work of my favorite OSR artists.

Currently, +Jim Magnusson is working on the next Tavern banner. Somehow, I think he's caught the proprietor of Tenkar's Tavern in an awkward moment...

Reading Around: 10 Influential SF books

  The site io9 has returned to the topic of SF books with an article titled ’10 Science Fiction Books that Changed the Course of History”. I have previously used io9 as a source of images, but today I want to consider their reading recommendations.   Art from io9 in GM on Pinterest.   The …

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Strife: Legacy of the Eternals from New Vision 3 Games

Strife: Legacy of the Eternals



Once more, conflict rages across the world of Aerim. You are one of the Eternals, a group of immortals forever waging war from the shadows. Call forth your champions to battle against those of your timeless foes. Harness the legacy of each champion's deeds as they echo across time to empower the next. For the Champions of Aerim, this cycle continues, as it always has and always will. For the Eternals, there is only…strife.

Strife, a two-player strategy card game that plays in around an hour, is a game where you always know your opponent's options. Aside [...]

Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: March Reviews

Here are the reviews for February for the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge. First up this month is a continuation of last month. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Ok this is the book where everything changes. The saga of Harry Potter stops being a "boy's adventure" and becomes something deadly serious. We are treated to generous helpings of lies, betrayal, pain and death. Time to

I have been working on new Rogue Games branding the past few...

I have been working on new Rogue Games branding the past few weeks. It was time to do a little clean up on the look, as well as get ready for convention season. Above is the new color scheme, as well as new logo.

New Philip Reeve Novel Cover Reveal...

Come with me, Zen Starling, she had said. The girl in the red coat. But how did she know his name? The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, maintenance spiders and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat. Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City. So when mysterious stranger Raven sends

Random Map Monday 13

A little hamlet in the middle of here and there.  A small creek runs through that floods on the north side.  A few flood walls were built to redirect the water during the heavy spring rains.  There are a few travelers that visit.  To the north there are two pitch camps located in the forest.  Workers from the camps come to visit Chancey's Pub (the largest building on the map).  And once a month, a tinker named Brisco comes through with his cart and a pony named Cheddar.  He fixes things for a few coppers and sells random items. 

Shackled City Adventure Path

After a brief hiatus I’m once more back in the saddle as gm and starting to run the Shackled City Adventure Path for my group. I’ve debated with other gms the pros and cons of such large scale adventures before and this is going to be my first real attempt at a long term D&D […]

The Weekend Past: Gaming in Cape Town and Stellenbosch

This weekend, we popped by the inaugural QuantumCon, ran a Pathfinder Society demonstration at Stellenbosch University, and even got to re-explore PC gaming a bit (after a near decade as a console gamer). A busy weekend indeed.


Cow won the coveted King of Wynberg title.

After years of living just down the road from the Wynberg Sports Centre, I hadn’t realised that it made for a great gaming venue. QuantumCon took place in one of the Centre’s halls, while a big band and vocalists rehearsed in another. The soundtrack provided a unique ambiance to the venue as Capetonians played a variety of [...]

Meme Monday: 3/30/2015

A little hint to what this month's upcoming poll will be.

The Difference between Conan d20 and Barbarians of Lemuria

Yesterday someone had been asking me why I consider the descision to base the Conan d20 roleplayinggame on the d20 system to be the biggest mistake the developers had made. I think the d20 system is not suited for any game based on fantasy literature, movies, or videogames and only gets in the way of everything that defines the Sword & Sorcery genre in particular. It’s all about fast action and outrageous stunts and is deeply set in a mindset that is all about emotion and not rational consideration. It’s not the smart and calculating guys who win, but the [...]

Leading from the Front

Mass Combat in Into the Odd uses a dead simple detachment system. A detachment is the rough equivalent to 50 decent infantrymen, and acts as an individual in all ways other than the following:
- Individual attacks cannot harm detachments unless they're something big like a cannon, bomb, or giant creature.- Detachment attacks are Enhanced against individuals. - When they would take Critical Damage, a Detachment is Broken and useless until rallied. 

But there's no mention of what individuals do here. My intention was that individuals would typically be leading from the back, directing their detachments in battle and handling [...]

Round Table 62 - Acquisitions Inc. and Elemental Evil Player's Companion

James Introcasosits down withTopher Kohan, Andrew Timmes, and Wade Kemper to discuss thelatest installment of the Acquisitions Inc. live showsatPAX East 2015and thefreeD&D Elemental Evil Player's CompanionPDF.
Pleaserate and reviewus on iTunes, it helps a boat load!

Links: The Tome Show on Facebook
Battlesystem Brawl worldbuilderblog.me TopheronGoogle+ Topheron Facebook Titan Games and Comics The Adventure Zone podcast Elemental Evil Spell Cards
Support the show, shop below...

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RPG Research Speaking at ZoeCon II - Video

Youtube Video available here: http://youtu.be/TRzPz_y3Wl4

I was asked to speak at ZoeCon II, the creators of The Gamers, Journey, and other great shows. They had trouble getting their Audio/Video/Broadcast equipment working, so they asked me at the last minute, with less than 5 minutes warning, to go ahead and present regarding using role-playing games for therapy and education, while they tried to get everything online. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to speak with the slowly gathering audience (though it was a rather laid-back atmosphere). Due to the situation, I went with a more interactive discussion and less formal presentation, especially for the audience. I have a much more formal presentation lined up for the Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association 16th annual conference this April 11th in Seattle.

Since their A/V equipment was down, I was without a microphone, and I just sat my laptop off to the side [...]

Musical Monday: Lord Of The Rings/Let It Go...

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

Steely Gaze and Lethal Blows: Pulp Combat“The Cimmerian laid his hand on his sword hilt, and the gesture was as fraught with menace as the lifting of a tiger's lip to bare his fangs.” — Robert E. Howard, “The God In The Bowl” When it comes to the art of swordplay in literature, none have captured [...]Mon, Mar 30, 2015
Source: Open DesignHow Inconvenience Shaped My StyleRecently my wife posted an article on [...]

d20x3 Genre Tables: Water

Slowly creaking back into blogging. Here's #28 in the ongoing series. There's another one coming up for salt water; this one digs a little more obscurely than the others into mythology and lore for its mixture of obvious cliches and recondite weirdness. It seems that worldwide there's an amazing effort put into creating alluring maidens, nefarious bogeymen,and dire beastsall to explain why people who can't swim drown in pools and rivers.

As usual, roll d20 on the columns jointly, separately,or have this do it for you.

How Inconvenience Shaped My Style

Recently my wife posted an article on Facebook about how different parenting was when we were kids and now. I’ve seen several similar articles and sentiments in the past, most of which boiled down to “our parents made us play outside more often.” Such articles reminded me of my early days of gaming, where a group of friends and I would want to play only to find that we had no place to play. Our parents wanted us all out of the house.

I began roleplaying in the early 1980s, just when the appearance of console games, home computers, VCRs, and [...]

Skyless City - Session 9 - Men are felled not by the sword but what they...

Session 9 of our Jadepunk game, Ba Tu and Yoshida attempt to rescue a prisoner with important information from a Jade rail transport.

Review and Commentary on Vacant Ritual Assembly #2 From Red Moon Medicine Show For The Lamentations of The Flame Princess Rpg System or Any Old School Campaign On The Dark Corner Blog

There's already a second issue of one of the best OSR horror magazines to hit the market in a very long time. Vacant Ritual Assembly is like a kick to the head and its for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg system. This issue is vicious, fun, and utterly weird. Find out why right over HERE

Interview: Nolan T. Jones from Roll20

At Tribality, we’ve been interviewing some of the people who are behind all the awesome stuff that is being created for tabletop gamers – such as virtual tabletops. I’ve been using Roll20.net heavily for over a year now and I was really excited to talk to Nolan when he agreed to an interview to talk...

Interview: Nolan T. Jones from Roll20

At Tribality, we’ve been interviewing some of the people who are behind all the awesome stuff that is being created for tabletop gamers – such as virtual tabletops. I’ve been using Roll20.net heavily for over a year now and I was really excited to talk to Nolan when he agreed to an interview to talk...

I'm Home Muggles!

So last week I had the ole blog here on auto-post while the family and I spent some quality time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. All I can say is wow. If you haven't been it is located at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. It is split up into two parks Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. The attention to detail was amazing. We spent maybe half our time in just these two parks. More or

Blades in the Dark: First Look

I found Blades in the Dark through a friend and decided to drop a dollar on it to check out the quick play rules. I heard a lot of good things from the G+ community and the author also wrote Lady Blackbird, which I’m a fan of. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised. (Quick...

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The post Blades in the Dark: First Look appeared first on Ramblings of Jacob and Delos.

Dragon #132


Ki'Rok found Vesper and Huntsman in the Ruins of Skyreach Castle.

HJRP1415 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 14 Episode 15

Your hosts: Stu, Aya, Twin and Mowi

Show Notes! Wil L asks us about a situation where his party might become overly wealthy and asks for advice. Dancing Owlbear has a playing bringing the wrong kind of drama. Jimto checks in with some tips and a bit of an update. And a gaming nightmare from Nerdarchist Ryan


Champions -- Hel, the Hidden One, Avatar of Death

Hel, the Hidden One, Queen of the Underworld, Guide and Guardian of the Dead, Goddess of Death, Arbiter of the World’s End.

Ages past, when three tribes of the North sought refuge among the Limbs of Yggdrasil, the powerful among them took on aspects of Ymir – and so gained some control over the forces which governed existence upon the World Tree. The Aesir aligned themselves with the powers of will and magic, the Vanir with fertility and the local powers of individual biome-realms, and the Jotun with the forces of the elements.

But one of the great powers, the entropic force [...]

Champions -- Jormungand-Aegir, the Midgard Serpent

Jormungund-Aegir, the World-Serpent

It was the nature of the realm.
Energies flowed between the twin points of Creation and Destruction.
A cascade of matter, and energy, and mana – the stuff of life.
A vortex of potentiality, that created and destroyed without end.
Between the dipoles of Muspelheim and Niffelheim, the Ginnungagap.

And life stirred.
Where the chill of destruction brought order to the chaos, Ymir woke.
A vast and formless being, a consciousness within the vortex of chaos.
Woden, Vili, and Ve – Knowledge, Will, and Power – arose in Ymir.
And there was growth. Matter was bound to life and [...]

Gaming Paper Review

I bought a roll of hex Gaming Paper a couple weekends ago. Here is a quick review and some ideas I have for using it. I had heard of Gaming Paper a few years ago, and I like the idea. One can use it for instant terrain maps for use with miniatures. It is also […]

Managing Expectations Of Theme and Content

This may be more high level than some people like to consider when they're talking about their hobby, but as a GM it is something important to keep in mind - especially when planning encounters and campaigns. Every game has expectations, and beyond that every group and every player also has expectations. Manage those well and your content will stay on point to the enjoyment of all. Betray those expectations though, and even though nothing has changed about how you run your game, your players may suddenly not be having the same level of fun that they were previously. Today I [...]

Tales From the Hydian Way: Episode 30 -- The Tale of Shiny Things

Ben had no idea about equipment and was starting to worry he was doing it very wrong. Cam had some ideas so they started talking about it. Thankfully someone had the recorder going so all of you can benefit from the discussion on equipment and how to get it to mean something to the players while not being too giving or to miserly with it.

You can find us on Twitter @DeuteriumIce and @Xphile101361

You can get in contact with us at

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

The show can be found on iTunes. [...]


Part of the fun of waiting for the release of the next big comic book movie is speculating on the casting and portrayal of key characters. Certain properties and characters are so iconic that seemingly everyone has an opinion and idealized version of what the character should be and how best to portray them. This is especially true of Zach Snyder’s next installment in the Man of Steel franchise and the announcement of several prominent heroes.

I am of course talking about Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, and particularly of a new cinematic depiction of the titular character of Batman. More important than the actor cast, and I am in favor of Ben Affleck by the way, is the visual style and story line that the version is sourced from. The initial images released look very promising and I am optimistic as it looks to be based on Frank Miller’s popular Dark Knight. This is my Batman, and if it works the way I hope it does it will be the best depiction yet.

Few characters in comics have so consistently captured the mainstream imagination as Batman. Over his 75 years of history he has been depicted in film, TV, animation, and video games probably more than any other costumed hero. You don’t have to be a geek to be familiar with the broad strokes of the character. Even casual fans know the origin and basic elements of Bruce Wayne’s vigilante war on the criminals of Gotham.

There have been many cinematic interpretations of Batman over the years, from campy to traditional, to the more recent dark and gritty. But the movies have always seemed to focus on certain elements such as the gadgets and technology, at the expense of one simple fact:

Batman is a ninja.

Or more specifically, Bruce Wayne is a [...]

FMAD Humanoid Age Table

Last year I was reading the entry in the Monster Manual on ogres and saw what it said about their age. I realized that I had not seen a table on the ages of the various humanoids like for the player character races, so I built my own chart in June, 2014 about the same […]

FMAD Name Generator

I made my own name generator back in June, 2014, and thought I had posted it to my blog, but I can’t find it. So, I am postingthis article and will link to the PDF here. This table uses a couple each of d6’s, d10’s, and d20’s. If you have multiple dice of different colors, […]

Sasquatch Sightings!

I'm pleased to announce that in last several days I've received all of my Kickstarter books for Primeval Thule AND my copy of Princes of the Apocalypse from Sasquatch Games.

I'm very happy with the work they're doing and I hope at some point they will be able to do a conversion of Thule to DnD 5E, however until that happens I've done quite a bit of work on that settings takes on backgrounds and races.

Playing at the World

I'm reading Playing at the World, by Jon Peterson, a history of fantastic gaming, currently pointed pretty hard at D&D, the force that animated (and still animates) the industry, and could easily be said to have created the industry to begin with. 
I'm on page 96 right now, and this thing is 632 pages of, like, 5-point font.
Going to be a while to finish it, I think.  I'm finding some of it fascinating and very (ahem) interesting. I had no idea that D&D took root here in the Twin Cities in the form of Arneson, though of course I was aware of the Wisconsin origins of Gygax.
It does read like a history book, which of course it is. The exhaustive footnotes can be quite informative. I find it fascinating, for reasons that will start to be obvious on April 5, at the strong influence and mark military wargaming left on our hobby, a genealogy that will only be pried from cold, dead hands, as it were.
But if my posting velocity is a bit sparse (though I will have a bit of something starting up next week), you know why.
Note: Jon Peterson has a blog, unsurprisingly titled Playing at the World. Plenty to read there.
Hmm. I wonder if he'd be interested in an interview on The Firing Squad . . .


THARIVOL managed to recover two artifacts from the Ruins of Skyreach Castle.

Daily Punch 3-24-15 Speed of Thought positive Quality for Shadowrun 5e

You can get lighting reflexes and stay mondain and not cybered. Let’s build on that!

Speed of Thought

Cost: 30 Karma

Prerequisite: Lightning Reflexes

You’re faster than fast. You’ve either trained for it, or you were born with it. Gain +1 to initiative rating and a bonus dice. This stacks with lightning reflexes and nothing else. Also, increase the bonus on defense tests by +1.


Few words about D&D Next and choosing the first system to play

Some may say that I overgeneralise, but for me RPGs can be devided into two groups: those focused on story, plot, intrigues and actual role playing, and those which are filled with much more numbers and statistics, what basically means that fights are on the spot, but, certainly, all RPGs are the mixture of that all. Generally speaking, I prefer the first group from the aforementioned two and that is why I consider Call of Cthulhu my favourite RPG, in which numbers on a character sheet are rarely needed and I have run a lot of sessions when my players [...]

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Calidar: In Strange Skies

Product- Calidar: In Strange Skies

System- Pathfinder

Producer- Calidar Publishing

Price- $10 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/133973/Calidar-In-Stranger-Skies

TL; DR- How about some Spelljammer in Pathfinder? 90%

Basics- Set sail for the first star on the right! Calidar is a setting for a universe focusing on flying sky ships that sail between planets with most of the focus on the world of Calidar. While the book goes small enough to detail the kingdom of Meryath on Calidar, the book also has enough universe detail to give any game master enough ideas for how to run the universe. Let’s break this book down into its parts.

Mechanics or Crunch- This is [...]

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