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Vacation Getaway

I disappeared from here for a bit to spend a week in St. Augustine, Florida. Amidst surf and sun and playing on the beach, we took in the Castillo de San Marcos and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum (the 1st one of the now 80-strong chain) - both [...]

I'm Not a Kickstarter Expert, But I Play One on the Internet - 5 Rules Inquiring Minds Need to Know

I'm averaging 2 to 3 inquiries to look at pre-release Kickstarters per week at this point, and this doesn't include the heads up I get from my readers to point out some of the winners (and losers) that are out there.

It can be a bit overwhelming at times, and there are ones that I'd like to highlight here at The Tavern, but I've fallen a bit behind. Trust me, I'm working on it, but my days of five, four or even three posts a day seem to be far behind me.

In any case, to help me maintain what little sanity I currently retain, I'm going to throw a few helpful guidelines out there to my readers and others that send me [...]

Con on the Cob All Set

They didn't kick me out last year so I'm going back to Con on the Cob.  In fact, I'm going there for all four days.  From Thursday the 16th thru Sunday the 19th.  I really enjoyed myself last year.  This year the Monday night group is going to be there in force.  +Rob Conley will be there, he's going to run three games.  +Daniel McEntee will be there probably playing a short character who runs ahead of the party.  +Chris C. is hoping that I don't get sick again.  It wasn't a pretty picture.  By Saturday night I could [...]

Extra Lives -- Ep. 4: Hurt Me Plenty

Humble Bundles, Final Fantasy IX, Brutal Doom, Half-Life, Warcraft and more this week. Plus we discuss Mircosoft’s purchase of Mojang and for the millionth time, yes, I know SURGE is back.   Theme Music: “RetroFuture Dirty” by Kevin MacLeod Additional Music: “At Doom’s Gate” from the “Brutal Doom” Original Soundtrack

Savage September Sale

Drive Thru RPG is running a massive sale on everything Savage Worlds. Check out their Savage September Sale to grab some great discounts. And hurry, there isn’t much time left.  

Bolt Action: D-Day Firefight Starter Set

Bolt Action: D-Day Firefight Starter Set



Bolt Action: D-Day Firefight is Warlord's new starter set for Bolt Action. It is designed to help both new and experienced gamers get the best start possible into collecting and playing Bolt Action.


The box contains:

-A handy A5 Bolt Action softback rulebook with US and German army lists

-Introduction booklet

-20x US Infantry

-10x German Infantry

-German Halftrack

-Ruined Farmhouse

-8x Order Dice

-10x 6-sided dice


Players will find everything they need to start playing apart from glue and paint! Miniatures are supplied unpainted and assembly may be required.

Conquest of Speros from Grey Fox Games

Conquest of Speros



Speros. A rich and beautiful land, embroiled in a 20 year war: a dispute for territory and control of its valuable resources. Four competing races work to exercise their dominance over the landscape and to control the export of iron, crystal, and gold reserves to different parts of the kingdom. Can you conquer the landscape in order to defeat your enemies?


Conquest of Speros is a quick-playing game of area control and resource domination. You play as one of four competing races working to establish their dominance over the landscape and control of the powerful Ancient Artifacts buried long [...]

Bolt Action: Tank War

Bolt Action: Tank War



Tank War, the new supplement for Bolt Action, gives players the option to expand their games to a whole new level -- armored warfare. Recreate such great engagements as the battle of Kursk with the scenarios, army options and special rules found in this book. Whether you want to add more armor to your existing armies or build an entirely armored force, Tank War has you covered.


Author: Warlord Games

Illustrator: Peter Dennis

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #5

In which I haz a bukkit.

You can listen to the podcast here, and the show notes may be found here.

Zine-O-Morph is live!

Check out the first issue of Zine-O-Morph at RPGNow!

Thank you to all who encouraged me, and those who helped make it happen.

Back to work at full speed

I’m back from Arizona and back up to working at full speed again. It’s good to be working with a reasonable amount of screen real estate. Progress is continuing on arbitrary walls. Today I managed to implement a stubbed solution for stitching together walls that are not at 90 degrees. Given that the wall pieces are of a fixed size---once they are moved off the grid---they don’t line up and will have gaps between the sections. The fix this, the end points of a line representing a section of wall are snapped to a grid and the wall sections are [...]

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut now out!

Press release Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut now out! By JHARDY | Published: SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

It's a fine day to playShadowrun! But then, I always think that. Today's an especially good day, though, because you can get theShadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut. What's that, you ask? Well, it's a standalone version of an expansion to Harebrained Schemes'critically acclaimedShadowrun Returnscomputer game that was even more critically acclaimed than the original. How critically acclaimed? Well, people said things like this:



You can read the full article at Catalys Game Labs.

red the paladin ! captured ! :D

a pic of red the paladin , the oc of my friend pumpmonger on deviant arthttp://pumpmonger.deviantart.com/

red the paladin captured !

Filed under: concept art, fan art, fantasy Tagged: character, class, fantasy, paladin, red, selkirk

Brainstorm Podcast #2 is Live - Let's Talk about Balance in the Game

Join +Vincent Florio , +Glen Hallstrom and myself in the 2nd episode of the Brainstorm Podcast, where we talk about balance in the game - encounters, classes - all of the good stuff.

We had a lot of fun doing this episode and it shows :)

SHTFriday: Making Your Own Faraday Cage

More like SHTFaraday, am I right?


Frightful Fridays! Delay Devil (no monster until Monday)

This week ended up being interesting and left me no time to work on a new monster for today (or even my fallback, tomorrow). However, I will have a monster out on Monday. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

In the meantime, I'll allow this bunny to sum up my feelings about this week.


Posted with Blogsy


DuBois Area Fantasy Photoshoot is a group of people from DuBois and surrounding areas who gather together for costumed photoshoots and lots of fun!

Designing a Boffer LARP System (Part 10)

I met my wife Leah through LARP, but over the past few years she has become less able to engage the more physical aspects of the hobby. She broke her back quite some time ago, and now one of her vertebrae is degrading at an alarming rate (it lost 1/3 of it's structure over the course of a year), this means she is in constant pain and runs the risk of paralysis if she does anything too strenuous. Despite this, she wants to engage at some level in a new LARP. I joined a Boffer LARP group last year, and [...]

Review: Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (5E)

Today was the early release date for the new Monster Manual for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, available at Wizards Play Network stores. I picked one up, because I don't mind paying full price for an early copy ($49.95 MSRP, $29.97 at Amazon, available in a couple of weeks).

Physically, it's a nice looking book, 352 pages (compare with 316 pages for the Player's Handbook). It's got the same glossy cover and half-glossy back (which is a little annoying because every time I pick it up I have to check to make sure I haven't grabbed a [...]

Mapping PRD Class Abilities to Echelon Talents

Progress on theEchelon Reference Series continues, and is becoming coherent enough that I can start to see how pieces may fit together in Echelon. Looking over the class features, there are many options and often several ways to model them.

Talents by Likely Type

I’ll group the class feature bythe type of talent they are likely to end up as.

Common Talents

Common talents are readily available. The don’t have prerequisites but may interact quite happily with cornerstone talents (suchas theattack bonus from a martial tradition stacking with a combat style’s training bonus). In PRD terms many class features, even fairly iconic ones, might be common talentsifmore than one class has the feature or a feature may be taken more than once.

Other abilities might also be common talents, butthis post focuses mostly on class abilities.

  • Animal Companion is probably a common talent, likely one per companion (which scales by level; a Legendary Animal Companion should be a truly frightful thing, not just a brown bear + a bunch of Hit Dice). A character with a mob of similar companions probably has a ‘packmaster’ capstone talent.
  • Domains are likely to be common talents. In PRD, each provides access to nine spells (one per level) and two abilities [...]

5e Musings: Ability Checks & Effort

I've been re-reading Numenera recently, preparing myself to run it at an upcoming convention. While looking through the book, I found myself really thinking about one specific mechanic: effort.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Numenera, I'll elaborate. Each character possesses three stats (Speed, Intellect, & Might) with a pool of points associated with it. Players can choose to apply effort when making a stat check, expending a point from the appropriate pool to reduce the difficulty of the check.

I really like this mechanic. Its relatively simple and represents the growing fatigue of a character rather [...]

My Little Pony

The wonderful and magical friendship of these six beautiful little ponies is the epic limit of goodness to me. The way the show can capture my interest a busy 30 something mom buzzing around with a million things on my mind and things to do but when I see My little pony on TV I just sit down with my kids and soon get hooked on the story. These cute little ponies are lovable and addictively entertaining. Now I know that everyone has their own taste and I don’t often talk about my cartoon obsession with other adults but as I have noticed at conventions and Facebook groups there is grown adult people totally in love with the ponies too. Guy pony fans call themselves ‘Bronies’!! Okay so now I feel totally okay with divulgingmy clearly obsessive behavior on this subject. I may be the person that gets obsessed with things from time to time but this one is holding strong.


Why do we cling to TV shows and characters in the first place? Well for me it’s all about the love Just like how we choose our favorite colour it just hits you. There is one colour that beyond all others can invoke a feeling of pure joy. I compare this to how we choose our favorite shows, games and characters. Personally I see my journey very clearly. I loved baby blue and the Power puff girls when I was 14 years old. I think the Power Puff’s were my first cartoon Obsession. I loved Inspector Gadget and My pet Monster but The Power Puff girls was the first poster I just had to have on my wall. In a way I think My little Pony is an evolution of that first cartoon infatuation. Anything that has a similar look [...]

Neoclassical Geek Revival now available as P.O.D

For those of you looking for a physical copy but who weren't sure about one of the magnificent hard covers,  you can now sate your plebeian palette with a P.o.D offering from RPGNow of satisfactory quality.

I Advance the Master Plan (by a Few Inches)

Today marked my fifth Adventure Games middle school enrichment class and, bearing in mind that I'm one of the few humans on the planet fortunate enough to be getting paid to teach kids to play games in public school, I'm moving forward in small, deliberate steps.

As badly as I want to, rather than toss the kids right at "5th Edition", Pathfinder, or some other similarly complex system, right now I'm building a low, solid base of activity by teaching the kids to play Risk ...

Understand me here, we aren't just learning the rules of [...]

Cleric Domains as Common Talents

Yesterday I described how I might convert sorcerer bloodlines to cornerstone talents. Cleric domains are a defining feature of the cleric class, but are not such a fundamental element of a character’s makeup: a cleric has more than one while a sorcerer has only a single bloodline, other classes that use domains, and each domain offers somewhat less to the character than a sorcerer bloodline. As such, they are better suited to be common talents.

Cleric Domains in PRD

Cleric domains offer several things to clerics.

  • Domain spells (one per spell level; a cleric gets an extra spell slot per spell level that can only have a domain spell prepared in it, but this is not a function of the domain itself).
  • Two domain powers (one at first level, one at a higher level — usually 6th or 8th, but sometimes a different level).
  • Some domains add a skill as a class skill, such as the Animal domain granting Knowledge (nature) as a class skill

This is rather less to work with than a sorcerer bloodline, but it is after all a common talent.

Cleric Domains in Echelon

Clearly domains do not offer nearly enough to be comparable to cornerstone talents. Each one is something a cleric [...]

The Castles & Crusades Black Box

I love getting mail. Really, who doesn't? I particularly love getting mail when it contains some cool gaming stuff like this little boxed set from the fine people at Troll Lord Games. I saw this box while I was at Gen Con, but I was more focused on other releases from the company (as well as talking about their then-upcoming Amazing AdventuresKickstarter with them) to give this a look. I wish

Crafting Series -- Mounts

I picked one of these up at Party City a few weeks back and never really did anything with it.

This past weekend I got a bit creative with some craft paint, some cardboard and some paper towels to make some mounts for my D6 Fantasy game. Horses for the humans and elves, and a wolf (made from the dog model in the pack) for some goblin and halfling NPCs.

Some horses and a dog mount for my D6 Fantasy game.

Gategully Episode 12

Episdode 12!


Playlist here!

My Dracula Headcanon

I am totally revved up for Halloween already.   So, as my previous post about our untitled Victorian adventure campaign (starring the adventurous archaeologist Lady Atalanta Scarborough!) indicated, our current duet game takes place in a world where Dracula happened.  In keeping with the many, many other authors and gamers who have continued the story of Bram Stoker's characters, I have my own ideas about what the cast has been up to since the novel ended. DRACULADracula himself is now a globe-trotting supervillain, because of course he is.  Dracula  constantly seeks new information on the origins of vampires and the means to [...]


Operation Hydra, the original Terror Network investigation module, is once again available in PDF. 

The clock ticks away as an Al Mahara terrorist cell plots a deadly attack on Dallas Texas in this exciting investigation. Agents scour Dallas for leads in an effort to confront the terrorists before it is too late.

Designed for 2-6 players, Operation Hydra is an investigation module for the Terror Network game system. It comes complete with a map of Dallas, detailed locations, and an array of suspects. It also includes [...]

[Friday Map] Cooper's Hole

We don’t know why the ancientsbuilt so may underground structures (perhaps to remain out of the sight of the elves who ruled the lands)–and something about how they built them enabled them to survive for ages beyond what you would expect for stone structures in unstable land.

Regardless, over the ages since the end of their civilization, their ruins have been discovered by countless miners, diggers, spelunkers and treasure hunters.

Cooper’s Hole

This particular set of ruins is partially collapsed and now links to a cave that is home to far too many bats for entry to be a sanitary or safe choice. But behind all that guano there’s a fairly intact set of ancient ruins, along with the odd artifacts that usually come with such. Occasionally a small artifact makes it’s way to the front of the cave with all the comings and goings of the bats, and maybe it will be enough to get the attention of some adventurers with the right equipment or magic to get past all that crap and the gasses it produces to find the ruins beyond.

. . .

Like the map posted on Tuesday, I too a series of shots of this map as I drew it.

Humble [...]

Success with a Cost

Another week, another session. We finished the first story arc. None of us really know if the problem was solved or not, but as it seems, we won't tackle laughing books anymore. They came back in time and defeated the villains before the problems really begun, winning the "fight" against them before most of the books left the library. So it is a win.But you know, winning wasn't the goal in the first place. I mean, maybe some of them wanted to succeed, but I'm not even sure of that. Looking at their favorite scenes' list from the arc, most [...]

Fiction Friday: The Veranthea Codex (with new add-ons!)

The Veranthea Codex is a Pathfinder compatible campaign setting, player resource, and GM tool by Mike Myler and Rogue Genius Games. The Kickstarter has funded almost 50% in its first week, and there are new add-ons (like NPC Cards, VTT maps, Face Cards, and more) revealed to celebrate their success thus far! Check out the […]

The post Fiction Friday: The Veranthea Codex (with new add-ons!) appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

[Review] Lamentations Of The Flame Princess (hc Rules & Magic + Grindhouse Edition)

Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a retro clone of basic and expert rules of the original fantasy roleplaying game. It is not 100% faithful in cloning the original (as Labyrinth Lord tries to be as far as it legally can) as it has some house-rules embedded. These house rules make game more simple, but add some neat options.

The premise of Lamentations of the Flame Princess is weird fantasy. Weird fantasy means (in LotFP) that magic is chaotic and most of the people are unaware of it or afraid of it. Monsters are unique beings instead of everyday [...]

[map] A mine and a Tomb

A band of unusually earnest halflings have shown up and purchased a claim half up Phish Creek. They’ve repurposed the old mine and started a frantic excavation. What could drive these usually sedate folks to such an effort? The villagers of Thriceborough have been asking themselves, and the halflings every time they come into town […]


My dad and I have started playing board games again, supplanting movie night with game night. Our re-entry point into war gaming has been the old Avalon Hill board game 1776. Of course we weren’t content to play the basic game; we’ve gone headlong into the full campaign with all of the highly complex and sometimes confounding advanced rules.

The first time we played this together, I played as the British and got pretty soundly beat. Now that I’m playing as the Americans, I’m still getting beat, but more due to extreme bad luck than any real failed strategy (other than [...]

Solo Play - Castle of the Mad Archmage - I

Myrphines MapHaving determined how to handle NPC conversations, I'm ready to start my solo play campaign in the Castle of the Mad Archmage.  I'm editing the dungeon to fit my Epirus Nova campaign setting.  The names will be changed to something Greek-ish or Latin-ish.  I'll try to provide the canonical names from the booklet as well, just in case anyone bothers to follow along.

Result of the first play test
Write up is below the jump, but there was only one survivor.  I liked the results from my Background Events table and NPC Conversation Model.  Using Mythic for generating [...]

Game Ideas: Snakes Monastery

   When you read Dante, you get a lot of footnotes, and one of these copious notes mentions the existence of a small fourteenth century monastery just outside Vada (Tuscany), that had to be completely abandoned because of a massive snake infestation. The note says nothing else. Just that. But it's enough. You can imagine the rest, and a wicked series of games inside that doomed monastery. The PCs play some of the last remaining monks, shortly before the final "evacuation". It can be both dreadful and hilarious, if it's done just the right way.
   First game: Guests. A [...]

Frugal GM Review: Pirates of Hagrost

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day I had to review one of the few Pirate(y) RPG products in my library: The Pirates of Hagrost.

This old Judges Guild setting goes way back to 1982. It isn't a refreshed product restored for the modern gamer, but a scan of an original printed product.

This brings back some nostalgia, but also makes the supplement a bit difficult to read. The formatting is a bit of a bear and unless you are used to running the "Judges Guild Universal Roleplaying Adventure" system, you'll probably be a bit slack-jawed at [...]

Blood Magic- Sorcerous Origin for Dungeons and Dragons 5e

I love blood magic. I dug it in Avatar… love it in Dragon Age… and dug the Blood Mage prestige class in the 3.5 days. I even drew inspiration from the class formy Hubris game. I decided to take some of the same concepts and ideas and port them over to a sorcerous origin for 5e.

Blood Magic

Your innate magical comes from the vital component of nearly all living creatures: blood. No one is sure what has given this rare and terrifying power, but you use it to fuel your abilities and spells. Did this power come from your mother [...]

Given the prevalence of pirates off the Somali coast

I wonder if I could get my free donut down at the Krispy Kreme if I put on a ski mask and shouted Allahu Akbar* .

*Allahu Akbarrr… get it?

Blood Magic- Sorcerous Origin for Dungeons and Dragons 5e

I love blood magic. I dug it in Avatar… love it in Dragon Age… and dug the Blood Mage prestige class in the 3.5 days. I even drew inspiration from the class formy Hubris game. I decided to take some of the same concepts and ideas and port them over to a sorcerous origin for 5e.

Blood Magic

Your innate magical comes from the vital component of nearly all living creatures: blood. No one is sure what has given this rare and terrifying power, but you use it to fuel your abilities and spells. Did this power come from your mother [...]

Busy, Busy, Busy, Busy

I wish I had some kind of grand excuse like trauma or something.

I have just been super busy lately.

Production of the comic came to an abrupt standstill halfway through Chapter Seven, which is coincidentally halfway through the story. As I said I want to spin some grand excuse but I don’t have time for that. Here’s a list instead:

– The comic itself isn’t a lot of work but the story is at a delicate point.
– My job. Omigosh, my job. The place where most of my week goes.
– My son is fifteen months old and extremely active (and [...]

5e Session 1 Recap- Into the River Kingdoms

I mentioned the other day that I was about to kick off my mini-campaign using the new D&D 5e rules. I am also play-testing the hackability of my Hubris campaign book. I am using the Bogwood Swamp territory info of the Lay of the Land and Encounters and see how well they fit in a campaign that isn’t Hubris. So far, so good.

The River Kingdoms

The River Kingdoms


Background- I’m going super-lite on the fluff because I’m not sure how long we’ll play this. I told my players that if they want a longer break from Hubris, I totally understand and we [...]

A Review: Grandpappy Cromdar's Whizbang Zoo Monster Manual and Adventure!

First off I was given the book by Dave to review. Second I am partial to Dave. He's done excellent artwork for myHubriscampaign setting, and he's from Mon-fucking-tana!

Not this kind of Montanan

But this kind of HAPPY Montanan!

Anyways- I digress… I’m not here to explain or examine how sexy Dave is…

We’re here to talk about Dave’s recent release of Grandpappy Cromdar’s Whizbang Zoo! Summary- I recommend this book. A) It’s only $5! B) It’s a happy addition to the DIY RPG community! C) It’s chock-full of tasty and fun monsters! D) There’s an awesome adventure at the end of the book!

First [...]

Tarrasque Takedown -- Malachi Moonriver

Earlier this morning,I introduced you to Crisdale the Unworthy.Now, I’d like you to meet the next character in our party of adventurers forThe Tome Show Presents The Round Table’s Tarrasque Takedow 2014: Mike Shea Out For Blood. Meet Malachi Moonriver, Human Circle of the Moon Druid, played by cool guyJoe Lastowski.

Malachi Moonriver Pregen

More cool stuff to come! For those who need the details of the event, check it out below!

Mike Shea, Topher Kohan, Joe Lastowski, Christopher Dudley and I discovered during a recent episode of The Round Table podcast that we had no idea how high-level play would shake out [...]

October Horror Movie Challenge - Tentative List

Here's a tentative list of the movies I'll be discussing for the October Horror Movie Challenge. I tried to keep the list limited to films I own, can get through the library I work at (or its consortium partners), or can watch via Netflix instant view. Also, some of these movies would be considered supernatural thrillers, rather than horror flicks, but I think that's close enough. I think I have a descent mix of styles (and even put Elvira and a rock opera in the mix). Movies in red are ones I've not seen. For each flick I'm going to [...]

The Legacy of 4e

I never played 4e.  I never bought 4e.  I never even really properly read a 4e book (although I did flip through some of them and read bits and pieces of some of them.  And talked a fair bit with gamers who did.)

In general, I say that the legacy of 4e was the Great D&D Schism, wherein D&D players, who were already bleeding severely away from 3.5 as it was near the end of that particular era, were split into various groups that seem to be pretty much irreconcilable.  Enough moved to 4e to make that a significant [...]

RPG.NET reviews The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence

It never rains but it pours.  And on the islands, that downpour is purple, slimy, and polarizing!

I was fortunate enough to discover two reviews on rpg.net this morning.  The positive one is here.  The negative one is there.  I found them both enjoyable in their own way.

The divergence of opinion shouldn't surprise anyone.  People have wildly opposed views about almost everything.  Thankfully, more people "get it" than don't.


p.s.  I'm going on a family vacation starting tomorrow.  Probably won't blog again until October 1st.  Have a great gaming week, everyone!


Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate is coming along very well and I just received a glimpse of the cover art. This image was created by Jackie Musto and is a preliminary draft of the line art. It will be inked and given some vibrant colors for the final version. There are also going to be some minor changes to details like the weapons. 

The logo in the background is Chinese Calligraphy by Mak So Ji of Chi in Nature. It reads:   and this literally translates to "The Mystic Realms-Wandering-Hero-Chronicle". This was arrived at when I explained the [...]
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