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Hattie For Cal...

Calvin's Canadian Cave Of Cool is usually where you'll find the latest snapshots of the delightful Hattie Watson, so I thought I'd say "thank you" with a pic I found on her Tumblr feed that I don't think Cal has published yet.

Image Thursday

There are many awesome and inspirational images on the web these days. Here’s a few that were found that you may enjoy and draw ideas from.

Clicking on each image will open it in a new window.




This image feed will show the last 12 images that have been pinned and may change if you return to this post later.

Review 07/30/2014

The plan: Scry on Voluntatis, teleport to his location and promptly overwhelm him with our red fury; however, the divination failed. Spelled up and ready for bronze dragon blood Jaren teleported to the Waterworks as seen in a previous Legend Lore. Appearing in a complex of tubes, pipes, and tanks we first notice the extreme cold temperature and an obscuring fog that permeated the Waterworks; furthermore we arrived somewhat scattered 10'-15' in different locations by a truename effect. 
Combat began with Sorosh controlling winds to dispatch the cold fog allowing us to see. Jaren, spotting an elf, targets her with a orb of force. Auge hides and begins to look for Voluntatis. Misoak attempts to feeblemind Jaren. Versel, momentarily trapped in a icy-cold tank, strikes the tank wall with a 'feeler punch' to gauge the integrity of his prison. After assessing the effect Versel lets the rest of his attacks off the leash creating a hole. Voluntatis suppresses our auras, some of us are shaken for various durations. Auge spots the bronze dragon and relays the information. The hunter does stuff. The celestial targets Auge with a spell that causes Dexterity damage and caused Auge to be staggered on top of [...]

A Dark Corner Blog Exclusive : The OSR Module For OSRIC 'The Hanging Coffins Of The Vampire Queen' By Mark Taormino

Today on the Dark Corner Blog I take an exclusive look at the OSRIC module, 'The Hanging Coffins of The Vampire Queen' and talk a bit with the adventure's author Mark Taormino.
Grab some stakes, some holy water, and your party because its time to enter the dungeons of the Vampire Queen right over


Readers of this blog will know that I'm into heavily homebrewing my campaign. If I were running games right now, I'd be running a weird cross between S&W and ACKS with some LotFP and DCC RPG thrown in for good measure, along with plenty of stuff I've taken from the OSR blogosphere and some of my own contributions.

Homebrewing is fun, and, especially when I do it in consultation with my players, results in a game that is more fun to play for us than running a game straight would usually be. Over time the game is shaped to [...]

From Imajica

It was the pivotal teaching of Pluthero Quixos, the most celebrated dramatist of the Second Dominion, that in any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players. Between warring kings, a peacemaker; between adoring spouses, a seducer of a child. Between twins, the spirit of the womb. Greater numbers might drift through the drama, of course–thousands in fact–but they could only ever be phantoms, agents, or, on rare occasions, reflections of the three real and self-willed beings who stood at the center. And even this essential trio would not [...]

Fragments from the Rim -- Thalassian Slavers

Ji’em Fil has some nasty customers to deal with on the station.

They come with the territory, but that doesn’t mean you have to like them.

And it doesn’t mean you have to do things the way they’ve always been done.

No matter how hard they lean, the right man shouldn’t be afraid to lean right back and twice as hard.

And Thalassians are among the worst. The new management doesn’t like them at all.

Not. One. Bit.

More episodes of Fragments form the Rim can be found atwww.madadventurers.com

You can findGM Phil on Facebookand now Twitter@DarthGM


Direct Download:http://archive.org/download/FragmentsForEdgeEp16/Fragments%20for%20Edge%20%20Ep%2016.mp3


Gateway Games in Cincinnati

Well, that was unexpected. The Sun Sword post exploded. I shared it on a few G+ groups and it quickly become my most viewed, and most commented on entry.  I'm even getting traffic from reddit somehow.  I'm rewriting it into a less "copyright infringing" form and adding some more content to it for submission to CUaBM.   Here's hoping it will get published!  If it doesn't I'll post the new write-up here later.

I'm up in Cincinnati this week for work, so while I was here I stopped in to check out Gateway games. I'd heard +Jim Wampler talk [...]

DungeonMorph Dice Version 2 Coming to GenCon

DungeonMorph DIce v2. (Click for larger view.)

We’ve been working on these with the manufacturer off-and-on for most of the past year: waiting for new, better machinery to come in; revising designs; waiting for raw material; etc. But we’re finally able to announce we should have some in time for GenCon! (Inkwell Ideas will be at booth 3019 along the far right wall, as you’re looking from the entrance.)

If you’re not familiar with DungeonMorphs, they are mini dungeon or cave maps that represent 10 square x 10 square areas. On each side are two corridors that lead off from that mini-map. [...]

Events & Play Wednesday - Upcoming Conventions, Gamedays. and Misc Gaming, August & Onward

Looking mostly at August, but more sparsely on through the Fall, there is a lot of gaming that can be had if one has a mind to leave the comfort of their home.  Let's get started to get in some gaming!

First up, despite it being toward the middle of the month, I hope everyone has heard about Gen Con Indy.  It takes place from August 14th through 17th.  Tons of Pathfinder and D&D 5E events will be in the offing and more than 50,000 people will probably be in attendance.  I won't be able to make it this year, [...]

Why I am a Tabletop RPG Cheerleader

This evening and yesterday evening, I spent quite a bit of time preparing an informational website to help GenCon attendees engage with Games on Demand.

At this point, there is more work to do. Mostof workisin other peoples hands.

I still have to write some procedures. And complete a few technical chores (eg Cross-referencing games and times). So of course I’m writing thisblog post.

I doall of thisbecause I am passionate about gaming.

Gaming has strengthened and enriched many of my friendships and created an opening formany more.

Tabletop gamingis a powerful social activity with a dose of mental calisthenics. Powerful in that Iam sitting [...]

Birthday's aint what they used to be....

Just checking my stats, it has been reveled to me that here on wordpress.com the Grinning Skull Blog has reached the ripe old age of two years. That in itself to me should be a sign of celebration, but presently I don’t have the will to woop and cheer at this news. Some of those […]

Part 35: "A Potent Weapon in the Hands of a Dwarf"

Part 35 of a comparison of Holmes' manuscript with the published Basic Set rulebook. Turn to page 34 of your 'Blue Book' and follow along... (page 33 for a 1st edition rulebook)

Magic Items Die Roll

Immediately after the section on "Maps and Magic Item Categories", the manuscript has a series of tables for magic items. As published these are all on page 36 (page 35 for a 1st edition rulebook). As I go through these, I'll skip ahead to the relevant descriptions for each. 

The first table is "Magic Items Die Roll", which [...]

Birthday's aint what they used to be....

Just checking my stats, it has been reveled to me that here on wordpress.com the Grinning Skull Blog has reached the ripe old age of two years. That in itself to me should be a sign of celebration, but presently I don’t have the will to woop and cheer at this news. Some of those […]

White Plume Mountain - D&D 5th Edition

The new season of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters starts in one month. The last season ended last week. So what should we do for a month? Sit at home?

Of course not! We run White Plume Mountain converted for 5th edition!

White Plume Mountain is one of the classic AD&D adventures from the early days of the game. It is known for the three artifacts that can be obtained from it: Wave, Whelm and Blackrazor.

In this article I am going to use pieces of art from this epic walkthrough map. This whole entry obviously is [...]

Ring Side Report- DUAL RPG REVIEW of 13 True Ways and 13th Age Bestiary

I haven’t gotten any new 13th Age products in a while, and now I get two! Let’s go through these starting with….


Product- 13 True Ways

Producer- Pelgrane Press

Price- ~$40 here http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=12292

System- 13th Age

TL; DR- Love 13th Age? BUY THIS NOW! 98%


Basics- MORE 13th AGE! This book is the first player focused book for the 13th Age system. This book covers several areas including new classes, items, monsters, living dungeons, and much more. As always, the systems assumes you make up whatever you want and gives enough to get you started, but suggests you dump anything you want to make the story [...]

Hump-day Hildebrandt: Do You Actually Pay Attention To These?

Today, I bring a question.  Would it make a difference to you if I were to randomly use Hildebrandt art rather than posting (roughly) every Wednesday?  I am debating on posting Hildebrandt images occasionally along with other posts rather than weekly.  Let me know.

[Fight Class] More Artwork!

Fight Class manuscript is still undergoing review, but just to show a little more progress on this project, here’s a sketch of some students from another artist I was able to commission for this project, Gerry de los Reyes. Her Legend of Korra-inspired art style seems to fit very well with regards to the look and feel that I was hoping to score for the game. Enjoy!

Demon: Lore of the Realms

Sense the BarrierYour experiences crafting the pocket realities that formed the Realms (or alternatively exploring the ones made by others) means that you can automatically tell the strength of any barriers between this world and any other.  You can sense such dimensional rifts so long as they are within Faith x yards of your current position for the next hour.  You can automatically identify any Avernian Gates to the underworld, unwarded Realms bastion entrances or haunted locations for what they are.  While you can sense other dimensional doors / rifts (i.e. closed hedge gates, realms-based bastion doors, verges and Abyssal rifts) you will [...]

How to Roleplay

This has just hit my radar, and touches on many points I've made over the years.
I don't usually like to point people toward other blogs, I try to provide new content of my own, but this just says a lot of things really well.

I've encountered a few of these problem players (particularly in many LARP events).

[Let's Study Achtung! Cthulhu Keeper's Guide] Part 5: Into the Fray & Rules of Savage Engagement

We’re looking at two chapters today, each of which deals with specific rules for Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds for handling special cases that go beyond the standard combat.

Given that this is a World War 2 game, Achtung! Cthulhu has a lot of special cases to consider, all of which have been given coverage in these two chapters.

These chapters start off with the Aerial Dogfight mechanics, including rules for handling combat against flying creatures, as well as bombing and strafing runs.

Tanks are also detailed here, with coverage on tank vs tank combat, and the matter of combat involving a [...]

Another Fun Roll 20 Game

I like this technology, Roll 20 has it right for us gamers that have to travel for a living, or have gaming friends that at one time all gathered and gamed around the table, but now years later, have scattered to the far ends of the real world chasing careers; we now game virtually and have a blast doing it. The group I game with are from Texas, the Carolinas and Florida. I, myself played five games and was in Gainesville (twice), Orlando, Jupiter and Pensacola for each game, but still we met up and gamed with the same group [...]

Art commission

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend of mine (Dji) whom I hadn't really spoken with in a number of years. Though both of us had gone to College together, he was back in school, getting himself trained to become an artist. Knowing that, I asked him if he'd be willing to do some work for me.

He declined, but said he would put me in touch with someone who could work for me.

Thus I met Roxann-S. We got to talk about what I needed and what she would like to draw and one thing led [...]

Latest Roll for Initiative Podcast Looks at G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

The latest episode of the Roll for Initiative podcast went up today, and the main topic of discussion was G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. It really does hit some old memories for me.

I'm not sure what my first module purchase was. Either G1-3 or A1 of the Slavers series (actually, A1 was the only part I had of that series for the longest time). I do remember that all of my initial AD&D module purchases were originally tournament modules.

Tournament modules require a whole different thought process on the player side than a regular campaign adventure, and I believe this is where the whole old school "save or die" or don't even try, comes from. I had [...]

New Weapon - The Chain Sword

Art by Wayne ReynoldsSometimes, you just have to throw the concept of reality out the window so you can embrace things that are simply badass.

This is one of those times.

Ever since I laid eyes on a Warhammer 40k miniature for the first time, I've been fascinated by the concept of the chainsaw sword. Don't get me wrong, I know the idea is silly and a little stupid. Chainsaws are not pratical weapons, but the idea of wielding a sword that works like one seems utterly metal to me. Its a concept so ludicrous that it somehow [...]

About Done

There was stuff still left out of the Thrice Slain King that shouldn’t be left out, so I’ve put it in. Bit odd trying to reshape a non-sequential blog/ Facebook narrative into a relatively direct narrative. Anyway, it’s written and a run through the pages added at the end, a touch of layout [...]

Art From the New Player's Handbook and a Peek at the Warlock Class

So, I sawthis yesterday. I think the art looks goodbut – and maybe I’m biased or blinded by nostalgia – …

Continue reading →

Dragonriders of Pern Movie Coming Soon

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern was one of my all time favorite series as a teen. The series spanned over 20 books and stretched my imagination. I often used the series as inspiration for my various role playing games and have always wondered if they would ever make a movie. Now a movie appears to be in the stars.

Warner Bros. has bought the rights and options to all 22 books. This means we may finally get the movie we have been waiting for. Deadline reports the Dragonriders deal, saying that exec Drew Crevello, who worked on the X-Files and X-Men series, is behind the deal.

These fantastic novels should have been transitioned to film a long time ago but with current FX technology, I suspect the film will be incredible. I am hopeful that they will use the success of the Marvel Comics franchise as a model and create a series of film and television shows. This way they could truly explore the magnificent world that Anne McCaffrey gave us.

If you are unfortunate enough to have never read the Dragonriders of Pern then I strongly suggest that you check it out. It is one of the most incredible adventures that touches on politics, intrigue, adventure, romance, scifi, fantasy, and war. I fell in love reading these books and I am sure that you will too. You can get the books here:

Hoping to get back in the swing of things

I’m not even making excuses anymore. At this point I need to finish the new Player’s Handbook, I need to finish the Imbalance of Power sourcebook, not forgetting to put into it a lot of the new stuff I posted here for the Chezbah. I know, I’ve been slacking.

The Player’s Handbook needs a decent amount of editing. That will take a while, but it’s fairly straightforward.

The Imbalance of Power, or as we like to call it, the five year sourcebook (because it updates the initial setting by five years) STILL has problems with the feel of the tech introduced. I [...]

Dungeon World: Witches & Warriors

  • Augustine (5th-level human paladin)
  • Jaya (5th-level human bard)
  • Mouse (5th-level gnome thief)

Augustine could not see the soldiers, but thanks to the burning brazier he could at least see their shadows. They were trying to hedge him in so as to keep him away from Shorna, who had shuffled back inside her magic circle and continued chanting.

He was still backing away and considering his options when Mark returned to the deck, followed by one of his men and, more importantly, a pair of trolls that were casually rampaging their way through the floor as they pursued them. They
made it inside [...]

GM Kit : NPC Generator

Here are all the necessaries for random npc's

Human Name
Elven Name
Dwarven Name
Half-elf Name
Half-orc Name
Halfling Name
Gnome Name
Tiefling Name
Dragonborn Name


i'll add some stat/combat related stuff at some stage also.

The Book of Terniel Game Recap (7/29/30)

Week 8 picks up with the PCs deep in Morrow Home having just finished a battle with sentient mushrooms and their goblin overlord. The goblin has slipped away and is fleeing down the hall shouting, “To arms! To arms!”

The Players

Our group has settled in at 9 players and everyone was in attendance last night.

  • Dwarnin, dwarf fighter and lover of brawls and ale, brother to Thoric
  • Kazu, human summoner from a distant land
  • Kiryn, elf wizard and student of history
  • Rayne, human rogue
  • Rundell, human rogue and retired barkeep withgraying hair and a potbelly
  • Samaiel, sahuagin wizard seeking revenge against the giants
  • Terrorwin, human antipaladin born to [...]

Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate: Weapons of Ogre Gate

We've been working on the weapon list and descriptions for Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate slowly, trying to make each one distinct. We want each weapon to have a different feel that gives it a uniqueness fitting to the genre. These are the entries we have so far. There will be more as we work more on the system. 

We also have been trying to fit the weapons to the Kung Fu techniques in the book. After the weapon list, is a sample technique called Lash of the Fly Whisk that shows how this works. 
Butterfly Swords: Used in pairs, [...]

A Simple Timeline Graph

Here’s a rough overview of the history of local space so as far as we’ve defined it:

I don’t really have much to add to this right now, just thought it is a great way to structure history. I could potentially shave a century off the Imperial history; 376 years is equivalent to 1638 to now. It’s a lot of time considering Empire has not greatly expanded, but on the other hand I feel that Empire should have a sense of history and tradition.

Stompers (Heroes and Other Worlds)

Stompers (Territorial)
#1d4; ST20  DX12 MV6; AR-1; DM 1d6; TR (Pouch, Lair X2)

Strange, mostly-reptilian beings, the Stompers appeared suddenly from seemingly nowhere and laid waste to fiefdom after fiefdom as they descended upon the fertile fields of  isolated farmsteads and baronies like a plague of locusts. What they could not immediately consume, they carried off or burned. Then winter came. The Stompers seemed to be completely unfamiliar with notion that the seasons might change, that a cold winter might follow the warmth of summer. Wherever they came from, they did not have such changeable seasons.

Unfortunately, the [...]

The Glide Frog a Creature for Any Setting

A new creature for use in Swords & Wizardry (and most other OSR systems) and the Next Edition.

Glide FrogThe croak came from above them as they raced through the marsh lands. Looking up El saw the large dark green form of a frog gliding above them, long tongue lolling from its mouth.Type: Mortal, MonstrousHit Dice: 2+2Armor Class: 6[13]Attacks: Bite (1d4 + Poison (Save Negates)), Tongue (1d6 + Swallow)Saving Throw: 16 Special: Gliding, Swallow Whole, Water BreathingMove: 12 [36']/36 [110'] GlidingAlignment: NeutralChallenge Level/XP: 6/400 Special AbilitiesSwallow Whole -- 35% chance of catching target with tongue during attack and swallowing [...]

Progress Report: July 2014

A Few of this week's SketchesThis month I managed to get a short-short story published over at 365 Tomorrows, posted another flash fiction piece inspired by a prompt from Ganymeder, and finally got all the links fixed and updated for Zeelia Episodes 1-20, as well as posting the Datadex/Appendix, and the entry for the Jarpha.

I'm going to be writing a slew of new eight-sentence-episodes for Series Two of Zeelia in the next couple of days, depending on how things go with a couple of other very time-consuming projects. The goal is to get back to posting weekly eight-sentence installments of Zeelia's continuing adventures [...]

Classic Literature and Anime with Brent Newhall Part 1

This is the first in a series with Brent Newhall about pairing anime with classic literature for enrichment of the classroom.

Brent’s Website:http://brentnewhall.com/

Thanks to the following Ruthless Sponsors:

Knights of the Knight Actual Play Podcast:http://kotnpodcast.blogspot.com/
Back That Elf Up Publishing:http://www.backthatelfup.com/

And, thanks to the following Patrons athttp://www.patreon.com/pfigtree:

Adam Gutshenritter
Andrew White

Music from the Following Artists Used by Permission:

Brennen Reece:http://www.patreon.com/brennenreece
Marshall Burns:http://www.patreon.com/dreamandshadow

The post Classic Literature and Anime with Brent Newhall Part 1 [...]

Comic-Con spending

This blog post is in response to an article in the paper.  For those with limited time, it's about Comic-Con attendees spending as little money as possible or, at least, much less than the national average of convention attendees... which annoys corporations wanting to capitalize on all those potential wallets with legs.

My gut reaction is this: corporate america can't have it both ways.  They can't subjugate their employees with depressed wages, fewer benefits, and laying off workers while, at the same time, complaining that young adults aren't spending enough money on their expensive products.

Maybe there's a larger [...]

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #4 May 1975

Owl & Weasel #4 takes us to 1975.
Still 8 pages and still 10p.

The feel of this is still very, very local.  But I did enjoy the front page story on Go (a game I have always wanted to learn).
Outside of that the zine is still focused mostly on Wargaming.  Which is interesting comparing it more modern White Dwarfs.  I feel less and less like White Dwarf turned it's back on RPGs and instead just went back to its focus.

There is another Monopoly variant published here.  If you have three or more undeveloped properties then [...]

Dunwich Horror Brochette

   Two of my friends have zero Sanity Points left. Last time we had a barbecue, they created this amazingly freaky seafood brochette with various squid tentacles. Here's a pic. I'm quite proud to say I ended up eating a chunk of that after it went on the grill. Only problem is, since that fateful day, I wake up every night in a cold sweat, yelling: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

Random Orc & Goblin Tribe Names Table

Realized I had never made up a table for generating tribal names for orcs or goblins. I always gave them bland names like “The Orcs of the Western Hills” or something.

This table should give them some more flavor.

Orc & Goblin Tribe Name Generator (PDF)

Filed under: D&D, game mechanics, Gaming, Labyrinth Lord, RPG Tagged: D&D, DnD, gaming, Labyrinth Lord, monster, RPG

Weird Wednesday (Wonders of NaeraCull): Spirits of the Sentinel

Shoutof the Sentinels CR 2 XP 600 CN haunt (all Stone Sentinels) Caster Level 5th Notice obvious (no check required) Trigger removal of the earthbound gem from the Stone Sentinel at Grimstark Stoneturner's excavation site. Reset never (though it repeats for each of the sentinels if their "hearts" are ever removed). When Grimstark's […]

The post Weird Wednesday (Wonders of NaeraCull): Spirits of the Sentinel appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.


Perfect World Entertainment Inc., a leader and publisher of widely-acclaimed free-to-play MMORPGs, announced today that […]

New additions to the collection -- July 2014

Again I made the mistake of thinking that this month was going to be a quieter one, especially for my wallet. But oh no! There was only going to be one item for this month, as I had only picked up one thing for most of the duration of this month. Right up until the…

The Escape

I hear the wood POP! and crackle and steel pipes squealing. Without removing his dress he takes his hand and pushes it into a wound on left side of his torso, southern of chest. I blink and his face is in front of mine blocking most of my view. Black pits instead of eyes reveal nothing but despair. My breathing is shallow and my heart races. Sweat pours down my face and my muscles clench. He takes this object covered in gut and blood and hands it to me. My hand trembles and jaw shakes.

"Trinity!" he yells in a vaguely [...]

Magic Item: Juggernaut Plate

Juggernaut Plate
Heavy Armor

It is said that nothing can stop a juggernaut. This armor was created for shock troopers to plow their way to the opposing forces leader.

Unstoppable: Cannot be slowed.
1/day Fortify: The armor becomes more rigid with arcane weave.

Lights of Eru

Eru’s lights travelled. In circles, Eru’s lights moved, floating through the Darkness. They were echoes of the moment of creation, and served no purpose but their own. Above gods and God, above man and elf and dwarf, above all life.

Eru’s lights flickered. There was movement between them which was not their own. The Darkness shimmered beneath the lights and above the lights and they saw that they could never leave this place.

Eru’s lights wavered. They wanted to leave the Darkness and Darkness would have them do so. The lights did not then know the law of opposites. Eru’s lights shone, [...]

Venom's guild

Mote is clear. Poison’s a woman’s weapon, and truly no assault is more reviled nor feared. Yet what is the difference? Difference of hiring a sword to slipping poison? Murder is murder, and murder begets fear. At least that was always the rhetoric of the guild, Fraternitas Sancti Nicolai, the poison brewers guild.

Why would wise and kind Borna, dux Dalmatiae accept them to the lands, noone knows.

Their creed is fairness in availability of murder – as if a maid could not hold a blade. Gold. It is gold they seek. And plenty of it means power untold in times as [...]

Dragonmeet Early Bird Tickets now on sale

Phoenix-like, Dragonmeet has been reborn. No longer is “the UK’s friendliest games convention” being held at Kensington Town Hall. The new venue is the Ilec Convention Centre in Earl’s Court.   Along with the new venue, Dragonmeet 2014 has a new management team and a new date of Saturday 6th December. So much has changed, …

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