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The Mad Cleric: My Confession

I have a confession to make. I think clerics suck. Seriously. I've only played a cleric one time and he was the whipping boy of the party. He was unconscious about 65% of every battle. Could that have been because I equipped him with only melee weapons and cloth armor? Perhaps... The jury is still out on that one. But I still haven't played a cleric again, because I'm convinced it must be some flaw in the class.

Ironically, in real life I play a cleric. When my gaming buddies learned that I was a member of the religious clergy, they [...]

Haste! On Adventure Writing Hacks, Signature Monsters, and Depression

|Episode 120|

  • Vanguard wrap up, huge thanks to all who participated and congrats to Wolfhound on winning the huge prize pack. Bits and pieceswill be on their way soon!
  • New Backgrounds are up, more soon!
  • Having just recovered fromcon crud, we will be judging the Summer of Flames contest soon.

Topics Chatty’s Adventure Writing Hacks

Over on Critical Hits, we explore Phil’s idea of constructing adventures on the fly from a series of note cards, it sounds great, but would it work for you? A nice low-tech solution for jotting down thoughts as they come to you. What do you guys think?

Signature Monsters

As part [...]

[Repost] List of random tables for Perilous Ages

With some help (thanks, guys!) I managed to expand the list of random tables that will appear in the Perilous Ages rulebook. The list is not final - actually, I hope that I'll be able to add even more tables. In alphabetical order:
  • Assassination attempts
  • Bandits
  • Bizarre deaths
  • Bribery complications
  • Brothel "adventures" and mishaps
  • Carousing (will try to not steal ideas from Jeff's version!)
  • City scum
  • Effects of the "magical" potions and elixirs
  • Embezzlement complications
  • Epidemics, plagues and disasters
  • Execution methods
  • Execution mishaps
  • Heretical thoughts
  • Mercenary complications
  • Mutilations
  • Peddlers
  • Prisons
  • Relics
  • Relics - their nature
  • Religious visions
  • Strange ideas
  • Veterans
  • Why they abandoned it?
Plus - of course - several tables of rumors and random encounters (I love making them so [...]

Prep in Progress: Chapter 24, Part 1

  Improvised narrative, Dungeon World& minimal prep.   The Prep in Progress entries are short summaries of my prep for my ongoing campaignThe Tales of the Hero Wars.   Saturday’s game was another awesome one, but for a different reason than normal. On reflection, it seems that the expanded narrative outcomes table has introduced a …

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Gaming in the Wild: Forward Recon, Part 2

So now that we have laid out the things for you to look for, and a roundabout way of determining what you are going to charge, what types of buildings should you be researching? Here is what we looked at in our own small town:

Location, Location, Location?

Community Centers

For us at least, this was a no go. In a small town, the community centers are huge, to accommodate a wide range of events and attendees. They often times have smaller conference rooms, but these are often not open to the public, being reserved for meetings of committees. I understand that in [...]

Eloy's Kickstarter Spotlight #2: Bulldogs and Designers and Dragons

Where I wear my “Be Awesome” shirt and talk about Bulldogs, by Brennan Taylor, and Designers and Dragons, from Evil Hat Studios. Good stuff.

Show Notes:

Original Bulldogs Kickstarter


Designers and Dragons Kickstarter


On the Economy in 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

I've seen numerous comments on the new economy of Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition.

Some examples:

"Can I buy magic items?"

"Is a healing potion the only magic item in the equipment list?"

"Why don't these magic items have prices?"

"What are we supposed to spend this gold on?"

These people haven't read the rulebook.

Reading the RulebookI've seen many suggestions. Buy hirelings. Save for a castle. Good, old school type things. But that still doesn't address what the rules say about spending money. Let's look, shall we?
First the logistics, then the [...]

Backgrounds Back All Right!

They’re baaaaaaaack. I’ve already shown you the demolitions expert and harvester from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Now it’s time to show off a twomore backgrounds I designed for my players to use at my table that will also be in the book – the farmer and the tinkerer.


Bonus points if you can ID the mini of which this reminds me.

You have worked the land and hand-raised livestock from birth to feed the mouths of many. As a farmer, you woke up before the sun and came in from working the fields after it set. You have left behind a [...]

Tech Tuesday - 3D-Printed Castle, Custom Flash Drives, & GS Dice

Over on ibtimes.co.uk, a recent article heralds "Man 3D-Prints Castle In Back Garden Using Concrete Printer He Invented."  See more here.

Over on silverleafrenfaire.org, there is an article on customing flash drives.  Read more here.

The new website for Game Science Dice is now up and running with the high tech dice they've been featuring since 1974.  See more here.

Tech Tuesday on CreativeMountainGames.com News focused on Technology
as it might interest gamers.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Amazing Adventures: Plays Well With Others

The best thing, or at least one of the best things, about Amazing Adventures is the fact that it is based all around Castles & Crusades.  So not only is everything for C&C compatible with it, everything that works great with C&C also works for Amazing Adventures.

This means a lot of classic AD&D adventures can be played with little conversions needed.


I spent some time this past weekend going through the original I6 Ravenloft Module.  Pretty much everything in the adventure is covered in the Amazing Adventure Rules.  In fact things might work out [...]

[Tuesday Map] The Ruined Necropolis

Further from the Burren Estate, along the same path as the three hillside tombs posted last week, is the small family necropolis that was used by the now-dead fell wyrm as a nest for a pair portion of his time at the estate.

The Ruined Necropolis

Ruined by the wyrms mass and claws as he sought out comfortable nesting space among the black rocks in this sunny little mountain valley, the crypts of the necropolis may still hide treasures of the Burren family that the dragon didn’t loot.

Figures #1

Santicore Has Returned!!!


Go here!! Read the rules!! Submit your request!!! Do it!!!

Long live the Santicore!!

Secret Santicore 2014 Is Underway!

I've missed out on this in previous years, but not this year, buddy-boy! Secret Santicore 2014 is now underway, accepting requests for your deepest role-playing desires. Want a new monster? A new race? An adventure hook? A random table? Climb up on Ol' Santi's lap and let him know what you want. Then, in a twist on the classic gift exchange, YOU'LL be given a request from another requester. You fulfill a gift request by creating what that person asked for and, come December, everyone gets a newly created RPG element for the holidays! (And all of this [...]

Tech Tuesday - 3D-Printed Castle, Custom Flash Drives, &

Over on ibtimes.co.uk, a recent article heralds "Man 3D-Prints Castle In Back Garden Using Concrete Printer He Invented."  See more here.

Over on silverleafrenfaire.org, there is an article on customing flash drives.  Read more here.

The new website for Game Science Dice is now up and running with the high tech dice they've been featuring since 1974.  See more here.

Tech Tuesday on CreativeMountainGames.com News focused on Technology
as it might interest gamers.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

RIP Bryan Dean

Yesterday at 7:44pm I lost my hero and my best friend. My father passed away from pneumonia after suffering a stoke. He opted to go with dignity and now he is in peace. I ask that you keep my mother (pictured above) who was the love of his life for over 50 years in your prayers. RIP Bryan Dean (Dad) 1937 - 2014

Re-design and upgrade incoming

Just to let everyone know, over the next few days I’ll be doing an overhaul and re-design of the site – So don’t be surprised if things go missing, or you can’t find the sections or gens you are looking for. It will be sorted , just bear with me as i do things and sort it all out

This does means that this week CC and Image Thursda won’t be going on, so in the mean time, why not check out the result of Sci-Fi Ideas Alien August comp


The Evil GM - How much gold is too much gold in your games?

A lot of people complain they don't get enough gold from their adventure, but what is not enough gold to one person maybe too much gold for another. From the standpoint of someone running the game, you might not really care, and just throw gold at the party, while another DM might just hold off on gold, giving it out sparingly.
Of those two methods, I tend to lean towards sparingly because I feel that if you flood players with gold here and there, that it will not feel "great" or "special" as a reward when they kill a [...]

Cruisin' for Gamers -- Ep177

Being the new person can be a very intimidating thing, especially for someone coming into an established game group. But, it can also be a [...]

DVD Of The Week: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The kindest thing you can say about the mess that is Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that it is better than the first entry into this franchise. But then that really isn't saying much. The special effects - particularly Spider-man swinging through New York - are undeniably spectacular and there are a couple of stand-out scenes - the reunion between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and childhood chum

Apocalypse World: Dark Age -- First Playtest

AW:Dark Age First Playtest (Image: obskures.de)

Lumpley Games. Meguey und Vincent Baker verffentlichten gestern den AW:Dark Age First Playtest. Zuvor gab es lediglich einzelne Previews. Die Autoren gehen davon aus, dass die Spieletester Apocalypse World kennen. Ohne Systemkenntnis knnte es recht schwierig werden, etwas mit dem neuen Material anzufangen. Ich denke jedoch, mit etwas Mitdenken erschliet sich vieles.

Der erste Spieltest umfasst vier Dateien.

Die Instructions (8 Seiten) beinhalten ein paar Hinweise zum Playtest, die Basis Rules und das Setting. Das Spiel setzt nach dem Fall eines – fiktiven – Roms an. Dies ist im brigen keine Lektion in Geschichte, sondern Geschichten, d. [...]

Toon Tuesday: Big Ted the Larmac Saloon Bum (Rifts)

Ah, Larmac, the “lazy lizards”! I do so love the reptilian races. Anyway, I’ve swapped out the O.C.C. skills Dance and Sing for Gambling and Gambling: Dirty Tricks as the skills make more sense that way, also, the text has … Continue reading →

Borderland of Adventure #26 (continued): Call to War

At theend of my last session recap, we left the heroes travelling toward Ratikhill to meet with the Council of Iron and its leader Sword Lord Woarsen Nanter.


The party's journey to the city was uneventful and five days later they rode through Ratikhill's gate and made their way to their townhouse to wash the dust of the trail from their bodies before making their way to the citadel and the Council of Iron.

There the Council of Iron was in session and the party pledged to aid the Sword Lords in any way they could. Lord Nanter explained his spies and [...]

5E Stonehell TPK

On Sunday 8/31 I ran D&D 5th edition at Titan Games. Last week I started the Lost Mines from the starter set, but I spent the week thinking about it, and decided that an open table, which is how I want to run it, doesn't work so well with such a structured adventure. I need something more... open. I only came to this conclusion a couple of hours before the game, even though it had been niggling at me all week.

A megadungeon campaign offers the ability for players to make forays into the dungeon, and return to town at [...]

#RPGaDAY Day 11: Weirdest RPG owned

That would have to be Maid, a game that was originally written in Japanese and translated to English. I got my copy as part of a Bundle of Holding offer. In hindsight it may not be weird but it is to say the least very odd.

A Cat out Of Hell & The Secrets Of Cats

Not long ago I really enjoyed reading “Cat Out Of Hell”by Lynne Truss, published by Hammer – (Working in association with Hammer Films, Hammer publishes compelling and intelligent horror in the form of film tie-ins, backlist classics re-imagined to bring them to a whole new market with a modern and sophisticated twist, and new novellas […]

Create a One Page System Today

As a GM, we often want to run a different genre or try out a new mechanic. However, learning an entirely new system can be overwhelming. Believe it or not, creating a one-page system can be quicker. Think of it this way: if you can read 50 pages an hour, it will take you 6 hours to read a 300 page rulebook. Using the tips in this article, you can probably create a one-page system in about an hour.

Now, we are not trying to write a new system from scratch. Rather, we are taking another system and adapting or condensing [...]

D&D: Hoard of the Dragon Queen Character Creation

I'm...really blogging about my next campaign, a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It's been about a decade since I ran D&D in any incarnation, and longer since I've done it with any enthusiasm...but I am genuinely looking forward to Saturday and giving this a go.

Warning...some spoilers below.
My friend Tommy has some experience with AD&D2e, D&D 3.5, the D&D Adventure System Board Games and D&D fiction (specifically the Drizzt books).

My friend Russ played in a one off D&D game with his girlfriend in between his first game (Dragon Age) and our Deadlands campaign.
Chrystal, Russ' girlfriend, has [...]

Unearthed Update: Patch Notes v2.6

There were quite a few complications over the last couple of weeks, but it looks like things are finally on track! Mostly extensions on what was covered a couple of weeks ago, but progress is progress.

Patch Notes
  • Implemented roughly 75% of all enemy animations and flavour text.
  • Fixed a few incorrectly assigned abilities.
  • Upgraded my computer, software, and switched to SNES9x for bug testing.
  • Created redundant back-ups of all Unearthed files.
General Notes

Not a whole lot of exciting information this week, but game development marches on. I'm still aiming for end-of-September for completion of the game's abilities, and shortly after that I'll be putting enemies [...]

Kick The Box September 1st 2014 Edition

Kick The Box Sept. 1st Edition

I hope everyone that celebrates Labor or Labour Day had a great gaming one! Also, hope everyone else had an amazing Monday as well. This week’s Kick The Box features a war between France and Britain, another war between the Creation and Death, some high altitude steam punk heisting, and music to go along with it.

Kickstarter News: I,Spyis very close to funding. At the time of writing, they only need a little over $1,000 to hit their funding goal with two days left in their campaign.New Salemis also almost funded. They still have a couple weeks [...]

Blades Against Death - Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

Before I jump into tonight's Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure, I just want to recommend that you check out Bryce Lynch's scathing review of Hoard of the Dragon Queen for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. While I do not agree with everything he says, I like his reviews because he just puts it right out there and is pretty insightful. The poor guy is suffering through each of those wordy 2e Dungeon Magazines, and it's not like he gets paid. I'd be crabby too.

Last week I was able to inject life into my mighty World Tour Dungeon Crawl Classics [...]

And I'm back!

I’ve returned from my business trip to Singapore last Saturday night, but with a few social obligations and my Wedding Anniversary yesterday I’m only really beginning to settle in to the old routine just now. Apologies for those left waiting for the rest of the Let’s Study series for The Strange, but I’ll get back to that shortly once I have all my ducks in a row.

In other good news, I was able to get a copy of the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook courtesy of my brother, who flew in from Australia on vacation. He was able to find [...]

#RPGaDAY -- Catch Up (Days 25-31)

And here's the last of it.  There's a reason why I've avoided monthly challenges and it's largely to do with that fact that I don't have the time and energy to blog every day.  Or rather, if I did, I would need to learn to be a LOT more concise in my posts.  Thanks for reading and following nonetheless.  ;)

25. Favorite RPG no one else wants to play
26. Coolest Character Sheet
27. Game you'd like to see a new / improved edition of
28. Scariest game you've played
29. Most memorable encounter
30. Rarest RPG owned

Phandelver, Session #1.5 -- In Which I Try But Fail to Resist the Urge to Use the Title "Delving Phandelver"

Well, it’s at least a month and a half after the first posts about people’s first experiences with this adventurestarted …

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Request for Assistance -- Dropbox Referrals

This is just a naked plea for assistance: I need additional space in my Dropbox account and I can get it if 30 people who don’t currently use Dropbox to follow this referral link, set up a Dropbox account, and install their app:


Once you’ve done that, you can delete the app if you’d like.

Dropbox accounts are pretty nifty, though, if you use multiple devices. I use mine to maintain a library of RPG reference material and prep material so that I can access the rulebooks and scenario materials for my current campaign regardless of whether I’m on my computer, my [...]

We Just Finished Recording Episode 2 of the Tenkar & The Badger Podcast with Harley Stroh - Holy Sh!t

About an hour ago we ( +Jason Paul McCartan and myself) just finished recording the latest episode of the Tenkar & The Badger with +Harley Stroh .

Holy shit doesn't come close to covering it.

We stayed on topic and totally off any format we had intended to stay upon. Basically, it was a sandboxed podcast.

Personally, I can't thank +Harley Stroh enough for joining us tonight and yes, we will definitely have him back.

I'm still drinking some black & tans to bring myself down to a comfortable state after the highs we legally hit with Harley ;)

Daily Punch 8-29-14 Nimble feat for DnD Next

How about some extra for those characters who only wear light armor?




You are built for speed, so you are built to get out of the way of an attack! Gain the following benefits:

  • Gain +1 to dexterity, to a maximum of 20.
  • Add your proficiency bonus to your AC while you are wearing light or no armor. This stacks with any other effect that adds to your AC.



Pathfinder Human Ethnicities

A friend sent out a note on human ethnicities for Pathfinder to figure out and flesh out our characters. I tend to play Cheliax or Taldane humans and now I know which is which for role play and background. I Alidor games, humans are mainly American meaning they are North Africans, Arabs, Germanic Barbarians, Southern Africans, Native Americans Asians, Roamny gypsies, Indians, Nords, British and Roman mostly from NY or in my home game from the great city of Alidor; ethnicities in Alidor are whatever the player wants and I build story line with the players input on how the [...]

Daily Punch 8-28-14 Armor Specialization feat for DnD Next

How about some love for armor in DnD Next/5e?


Armor Specialization

You’re just better at the armor you wear. Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your strength, dexterity, or constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Increase the bonus you get from any worn armor by 2.




Free download of the second RPG ever made.

Apparently it wasn’t Empire of the Petal Throne or Tunnels & Trolls.

You get children by killing enough monsters, and daughters are a punishment, but I suppose it could have been worse.


The Sound of Carnage--Ambient Music for Role-Playing Games

A couple of companies at Gencon had sound effect software/music on offer specifically for role-playing games. Sound effects are something I never tried on my RPG table, so I thought I should check out two Gencon offerings and one source that I found independently. These offerings range from mixing board applications, standard MP3 sound effects and themed music.


Eclipse Game Lab

EGL wins the “most realistic” prize with their “Caverns and Dungeon” MP3 set. This group of sound engineers took a pile of expensive sound equipment into some active caves and spent hours recording the ambient noise.

This set of six [...]

Map: The Hotflats

This map is meant for the stories from my homebrew setting and for my upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG campaign. No scale is given. This is intentional. The character who "made" the map would only have a vague notion of locations and landmarks that he has never visited, since he lives in a pseudo-medieval setting.

Even along Mohrdeo's Way, where distances should be easily measured, the many of the milestones from the Golden Age of the Empire have gone missing.

The map actually less vague than I would have liked. Neither readers nor players shouldn't know the [...]

Cryx Monday: The Necrotech

Another goodies from the Cincycon mega-lot. This necrotech is an interesting figure. The sculpt is good and it paints up real nice.


Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition
The new edition of dungeons and dragons is making its way to gaming tables everywhere. As with many, I was skeptical but optimistic that the game I cut my gaming teeth on would once again be played at my table.
I started with the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I was the GM for my group through the second edition (after a while we just mixed and matched books of both 1st and 2nd) and into the very early stages of the 3rd edition of the game, but stopped playing it well [...]

Webcomic for the Week of 9/1/14

What's black and white and red (and a little yellow) all over? This week's Army Ants webcomic, of course!

Crime & Punishment -- D&D/13th Age

In my first session DMing Encounters, I had a relatively new RPG player pick-pocket a major NPC. The NPC was the mayor of a large town and as I prepared to deal with that resultant dice rolls, I found myself quickly wondering, “How am I going to punish this guy if he gets caught?!” Committing a crime (and getting caught) is a situation that many a player will do with little thought to the repercussions. Here’s a short guideline of how to handle your criminal PCs.

Crime Punishment Arson Heavy Fine + Imprisonment, Hard Labor Assault Imprisonment + Hard Labor Breaking and Entering Imprisonment + Potential Flogging Corruption Imprisonment + [...]

Happy Labor Day!

What game should you play on Labor Day? One where you
herd sheep, chop down wood, & build settlements of course!Labor Day is a strange holiday. Held on the first Monday of September in the United States, Labor Day is supposed to be a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. However, most use it as an opportunity to have one last hoorah before the school year really kicks into full gear and the summer season ends.

With that in mind, I'd like to wish everyone a happy Labor [...]

"Reynard's Cave" (Aug 201 RPG Blog Carnival)

Well, it's the evening of the 31st, and I told myself that I'd post up an entry for this month's RPGBA Blog Carnival theme, 'Devious Dungeons.' So I worked up, and revised, a mini-dungeon I had been noodling around with...

Grymvald Gazetteer always has a good find regarding history and archaeology.  His recent blog entry on a discovery of a small cache of Roman and Iron Age coins in a cave in north-central England is good imagination fuel.  Although the cache is 'only' 26 coins, it has potential for being a good lead-in or adventure seed.

I'm all about [...]

Classic D&D Walkthrough Prints Now Available For Pre-Order

I'm sure many of you have seen and enjoyed the classic D&D module walkthrough maps posted over at Wizards of the Coast. Well now pre-orders for prints of those amazing works are now being taken over at Mockman Press!

The prints cover many of the classic module maps, all drawn up in an amusing cartoon-like manner. All of the major encounters are noted, and the detail is amazing on each one. The adventures illustrated include:

  • Tomb of Horrors
  • White Plume Mountain
  • Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
  • Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
  • Slave Pits of the Undercity
  • The Isle of Dread
  • Ravenloft

The smallest of the [...]

#RPGADAY: Most Memorable Encounter

The most memorable campaign I ever ran was A Sundered World, which was also my last full-on 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign (though, I'd like to change that). Overall I'd say that the campaign had a lot of high points, but I managed to whittle them down to two choices. I'll let you be the judge.
The first encounter would be when the party actually fought Autocthon (what I have since renamed as Antikythera). The players had traveled to Moradin's Forge looking for a weapon to use against the fomorians on the Feywild, and ideally something that would help them fight off [...]
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