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Looking Back: Aleena

As I look forward to 2015, there's one thing left from 2014 that I feel the need to write about. Back when I was getting a bunch of hate directed at me over the summer, leading to the "What happens when you engage" series of posts, Stuart Robertson, who had a disagreement with me in the past, decided to not only drag up the old disagreement, but misrepresent my positions. This led not only to more attacks and harassment along the same type discussed in the engage series, but as recently as a month ago I had two different people [...]

Adventure Game Publishers Team-up to Form the Game Publishers' Guild

SHAKOPEE, MN December 29, 2014 -- A group of independent tabletop RPG publishers have formed a strategic alliance called the Game Publishers' Guild to extend their reach into the industry.

The Game Publishers' Guild (the Guild) has officially been chartered by founding publishers Arcanum Syndicate, Cakebread & Walton, DramaScape, Imaginary Empire, Mystical Throne Entertainment, Rogue Games, and Scrying Eye Games. The Guild, spearheaded by Mystical Throne Entertainment's president Aaron T. Huss, have been in discussions for several months, developing a strategic alliance.

"This is a great opportunity for print-on-demand publishers to further their reach throughout the industry when the cost of doing [...]

There's Something About Christmas

One last twist in the tale… This month’s Blog Carnival, hosted by Campaign Mastery, is almost finished yet – but there are still a few days left for those who want to contribute!. The subject is “With A Twist” and it covers anything about Surprises, the Unexpected, etc. I started with an article on the […]

Complexity [Quote]

Complexity is the enemy of execution Tony Robbins

The Women Of Black Sails...

Movie Trailer ~ Kill Me Three Times

Armor Up (Pawnee Warrior)

First off, I love the word Pawnee, its too awesome. Secondly, the early Americans looked beyond cool!

Sergey Popovichenko

A Most Interesting Headline

In fact, this might be the most interesting headline I've read all year. "NASA plans floating cloud city above Venus?" Its just an idea floating around NASA right now, whereby we put a giant blimp in the atmosphere above Venus, one that people can occupy and live in. The blimp would turn into even more blimps, a floating cloud city above the turbulent landscape that is Venus.

Now that's thinking out of the box. Once we prove its doable we can expand into our neighboring planet...of course we'll have to figure out how to harvest H2O from the atmosphere....but [...]

Gods of the Great Caldera Pt. 5

The Gods of Meryath
Citizens of Meryath venerate Istra's pantheon as well as Calderan Faiths, including Teos (see Pt. 1 about Calderan Faiths). Followers of the sun god do not condone the other cults but have learned to live with the reality of their "misguided compatriots."  Tribal fellfolk populate mountain and rain-forest sectors, and therefore the prevailing cults there are shamanistic and unrelated to Meryath's native pantheon.  The eastern side of Kamearea Island is predominantly of Soltan's faith, which is relevant to Narwan.
Miniature Gods: As with many other native human faiths, old gods vanished or went dormant during [...]

Kajak's Kave for Labyrinth Lord

With a little time off for the holidays I decided to try an experiment for Iron Tavern Press. Several months ago I released a Labyrinth Lord conversion sheet for Kajak's Kave, the initial release in the Pocket-Sized Encounter line. The sheet was relatively well received.

I have been playing more Labyrinth Lord over the past several months as well. Since I've been having a lot of fun with the system, I decided to do a Labyrinth Lord conversion proper of Kajak's Kave.

The Labyrinth Lord compatible Kajak's Kave is now live at RPGNow. As is usual for Iron Tavern Press I am [...]

Team Milestones: Spider-Verse

It’s the last Milestone Monday of 2014! The big “Spider-Verse” event going on now is a massive, mind-bending tale pulling in every single Spider-Man that’s ever appeared. Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Jessica Drew, Miguel O’Hara, and dozens ofdimensional alternates are in the fight for their very existence against the vampire-like, immortalInheritors. Can they survive?

That fight and the weirdness of meeting other versions of yourself are the focus of today’s Spider-Verse team milestones. And we’ll have new, never-before-seen Spider datafiles up throughout the week!


Filed under: Milestones

Play Report: Car Wars Amateur Night

  This Christmas I received a copy of Car Wars (the nice retro-looking box set). Now, the last time I played Car Wars was in the Spring of 1985 and the last time I saw a game was in the Summer of 1990, so I was pretty rusty. My third son and I did a quick 3 sessions of amateur night for great fun. Last night we ran the following:

The Setup
  Killer Karts, the arena, no skills for the drivers as a 'get to know the rules' game.

The Players
  Son #1 (17 years [...]

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow GM/Player Interludes

Maximillian Morningglory, Halfling Vampire Hunter
Udrin Sor-Valdir - High Elf Wizard
Ludovic Hasselhoff - Human Entertainer/Boat Captain
Durak Braksson - Dwarf
Tegort - Ogre bodyguard
Abelhardt Mullberger - Journeyman Apprentice
Mordrin Skorkinson, Giant Slayer.
Fickuld - Young Camp Follower

Maximillian was deep in thought over the violence and chaos of Grimdold Und, yet hiding his feelings by tending the Brettonian captives. This chaos, this evil in the land was huge, while the halfling was...not. How long could he stare evil in the face? How long could he hide behind an ogre who seemed determined to get himself killed? (Not to mention [...]

Media News Monday - Retro Star Trek TNG, Mad Max: Fury Road, & Westworld (and More!)

About a year ago, poster deadfraggle added some images to the Imgur website of Star Trek: The Next Generation lead characters in Star Trek (The Original Series) garb.  See more here.

Also, over on the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel there is a teaser trailer from earlier this month for Mad Max: Fury Road.  Enjoy.

Finally, The Nerdist recently posted an article titled "Let's Freak Out About this 2015 Footage for Game of Thrones, Westworld, and VEEP."  Check it out here.

Media News Monday on CreativeMountainGames.com News for Movies, Television, and more
of gamer-relevant Media.Please Like, Share, [...]

Dice logic: It's going to be one heck of a week

It’s the last week of the year. There’s just a few days for gaming. Now’s the time to tally up dice rolls and work out whether the chaos cubes owe you any critical hits.

The average gamer rolls 128 critical hits in a year.
It’s going to be one heck of a week!

Image credit: A creative commons release by James Bowe, modified by Geek Native.

Round Table 49 -- Tiamat Takedown Wrap-Up

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s site. I sitdown with Mike Shea, Topher Kohan, Joe Lastowski, Christopher Dudley, and Liz Theis to talk about ourrecent Tiamat Takedown live event which Mike DMed and the rest of the usbuilt level 20 fifth edition character to take on the Queen of Chromatics. Wefaired… poorly. Hear us discuss high level combat in the new edition of D&D. This podcast was recorded on December 14, 2014.

Tiamat Takedown Podcast

Links: The Tome Show on Facebook worldbuilderblog.me The Eric Michaels – Composer slyflourish.com rulezeropodcast.com actsofgeek.com Topher’s Google+ If you like what you're reading please follow me on [...]

Kickstarter End-of-Year report

A little status check on the kickstarters I am backing. Awesome kudos to Revelry in Torth from kickstarter to .pdf in two months. Slumbering Ursine Dunes was also impressive, but a few stretch add-in still remain. 50 sHAdes of VORpal worries me as $5 I'll never see again as I have had only one update since the campaigns end. However, it is not overdue like  Arcanis, Lusus Naturae, or even The Lost Lands: Swords of Air. I am glad I made this list, because it actually send me searching for the missing World of Calidar Drivethrurpg link, which has been hiding in my junk [...]

On Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Episode 8

Guido Kuip
More of Guido's Evocative Artwork!This (final) section is made up of two distinct parts, with a bit of a rough transition between them. First, there's the village of Parnast and then the final confrontation in the cloud castle.

Episode 8 is the big, cinematic finish. We couldn't close the adventure without high drama and life-or-death combat against major foes in a setting that players will remember for years. Some people will be surprised to hear that it isn't a foray into a dragon's lair. In fact, it's about as far from that setting as it's possible to [...]

Numenera: Bin ich denn Doktor Sommer?

Nearly 30 years of Techno / Science Fantasy: Skyrealms of Jorune (SkyRealms Publishing, 1985 & Chessex, 1992), Numenera (Monte Cook Games, 2013) (Image: obskures.de)

Vor dem folgenden bravoursen Doktor Sommer-Moment zum angesagten Rollenspiel Numenera noch einige generelle Klarstellungen fr argusugige Moralwchter und Doppelplusgut-Apologeten:

… Dies hier war und ist meine persnliche Spielwiese und reines Privatvergngen, also kein antiseptischer News-Service, der kostenlos und objektiv(?) das Neueste vom Neuen verbreitet. Wer das will, mache sich bitte selbst die Arbeit. Danke.

… because I know there is always an alternative viewpoint.
– Consolidated – Industrial Music is Fascism

… Mitunter beschleicht einen das Gefhl, dass Akzeptanz und [...]

Gaming Advice: The Surprising Habit that Makes Me a Better Gamer, Publisher and Designer

I've a surprising habit that makes me a better gamer, publisher and designer. It's not illegal or deviant and almost anyone can do it.

By William McAusland


A couple of years ago, I discovered running.

My sister had been bugging me to have a go for a year or so, but it was when my then 8-year-old ran away from me during a game of chase and I only just caught him that I realised I had to get fit.

Previously, I thought I didn't have time for running. I was a busy chap, after all. However, I'm not a big fan of that [...]

New Year Ideas

There have been a few good series of posts this year on the blog. Focusing on a wide range of topics, including maps, figure painting, LARP, terrain building, worldbuilding, and all sort of other game related topics between.

I've got a few more topics that I'd love to explore over the next year, including topics about how to take existing source material and bend it to your needs, expanding on existing world-building, developing character ideas within an established world, and maybe some more practical tutorials such as resin moulding and costume design.

I might even get a bit [...]

Building my B/X Black Box

There’s this super-secret Black Book edition of the B/X Rules out there. They are printed up using Lulu or LSI by various gamers using the very very clean PDFs of the 1981 Basic and Expert rulebooks sold by Wizards of the Coast via DNDClassics.com / OneBookShelf. I had mine printed up during the latest 50% off sale at Lulu and they look GORGEOUS (except of course that my name is printed on the lower left side of every page, but beggars can’t be choosers and all that).

But I figured this Black Book deserved a boxed set just like my red and blue book editions have. It took a bit of shopping around, but I finally settled on the RISSLA boxes from Ikea for the final production. The boxes are nice, feel almost like they are made of leather, and close using a magnetic clip on the cover/side. Also cool, the box comes with two smaller boxes inside – a tad too small to use to hold digest-sized stuff unfortunately, but I’m already planning on how to make specialized character sheets designed to fit inside them along with equipment cards, dice, and so on.

When opened, the box looks pretty, with the [...]

Choices, Choices, Choices! Free Comic Book Day Titles For 2015...

Fifty titles will be available at your friendly, local comic book store on May 2 as part of the annual Free Comic Book Day celebrations. From kid-friendly comics to Fight Club, dinosaurs to Doctor Who, sci-fi to Spongebob, there's something for everyone on offer at the next Free Comic Book Day. You can see the full list here.

Random Monday Map 2

Another offering to the Random Monday Maps.  I drew this one for my Patreon, micro-adventures, but haven't got around to using it yet. 

In my first offering I shared a region size map.  This is the other size map I do, which I call an area map.  These can include geographical locations like the confluence above, could be a homestead, section of a village or a chunk of a tiny dungeon.  These are my most common size maps I draw.  I don't use a grid of any sort usually on these.  Not sure why.  Unlike my area maps [...]

Monday Moodsetter 61

Guyaju Caves, ChinaRPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

Going Big

The Golden Lands Supplement for Into the Odd is going to deal with how to handle large scale expeditions in your game. Naturally, a part of this will be handing large scale combat. This can mean both mass battles involving thousands of men on either side, and individual entities so large as to require special attention. 
I'm currently brainstorming the latter. 
The core book already has a couple of big monsters in there as examples. Like this guy:
Colossal Shell BeastSTR 19, DEX 6, WIL 6, 20hp, Armour 3. Pincers (d12)Driven to feed in monthly gorges. Attacks causing less than [...]

Musical Monday: Lord Flashheart - Flash By Name, Flash By Nature...

A wonderful remix by GuruMediator, in memory of Rik Mayall.

Round Table 49 - Tiamat Takedown Wrap-Up

James Introcasosits down withMike Shea,Topher Kohan,Joe Lastowski,Christopher Dudley, andLiz Theisto talk about their recent Tiamat Takedown live event which Mike DMed and the rest of the crew built level 20 fifth edition character to take on the Queen of Chromatics. They faired... poorly. Hear them discuss high level combat in the new edition of D&D. This podcast was recorded on December 14, 2014.
Tiamat Takedown Full Video on YouTube Tiamat Takedown Edited Video on YouTube
Links: The Tome Show on Facebook worldbuilderblog.me The Eric Michaels - Composer slyflourish.com rulezeropodcast.com actsofgeek.com Topher's Google+
Support the show, shop below...

Download [...]

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

Monster Mondays: Doom FowlThe full moon shines down on the ruined farm. Bodies lie scattered across the barnyard in pools of congealed black blood. The first sign is dry rattling cracks from all around you, and then hundreds of little avian skeletons emerge from the surrounding area and move toward you, empty eye [...]Mon, Dec 29, 2014
Source: Open DesignMy Top Five Posts: 2014The end of the year is a suitable time for [...]

New Year's Reflections

New Year’s Day is usually seen as a time of resolutions, where we promise to do some things differently than we have in the past. As gamers, it’s also an opportunity for resolutions. Maybe we’ll finally try the FATE system for the first time, maybe we’ll play more and GM less (or vice versa), or maybe we’ll run and conclude that epic campaign that’s been in the back of our heads.

The New Year is also a time for reflection. What went really well in our sessions over the past year? What was lacking? What didn’t we get a chance to [...]

Naval Combat Rules for D&D 5th Edition -- Part 1

I just started running a new campaign set in Vodari, a homebrew world where an entire continent sunk nearly 1000 years ago. Today, my players find themselves in a world where civilization has risen again on the scattered islands that remain. Adventurers in Vodari need to travel by sea and sometimes they run into other ships or monsters.

I needed to create a way to run these battles for the 5th edition rules of D&D. For ideas I looked at Pathfinder’s Skull & Shackles, D&D’s 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms: Pirates of the Fallen Stars, D&D’s excellent Stormwrack book, Furry Pirates and [...]

Naval Combat Rules for D&D 5th Edition -- Part 1

I just started running a new campaign set in Vodari, a homebrew world where an entire continent sunk nearly 1000 years ago. Today, my players find themselves in a world where civilization has risen again on the scattered islands that remain. Adventurers in Vodari need to travel by sea and sometimes they run into other ships or monsters.

I needed to create a way to run these battles for the 5th edition rules of D&D. For ideas I looked at Pathfinder’s Skull & Shackles, D&D’s 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms: Pirates of the Fallen Stars, D&D’s excellent Stormwrack book, Furry Pirates and [...]

Castle Greyhawk: Spells and Spears

Merry Needfest fellow Greyhawk fans! After a week lull I'm again set to promote the third chapter of our ongoing Castle Greyhawk graphic novel. Check out page eight and read some dynamic exposition by seasoned author Scott Casper. On our site you can also check the archives and follow the entire Castle Greyhawk story from the very beginning.

Artist's Commentary: This page was a lot of fun to draw. Little touches were fun here like the subtle glow of a magic sword or billowing phantasms reacting to a spear. In the previous installment Murlynd used a scroll to summon a noxious cloud and now Tenser uses a beefed up version of a [...]

1d10 Random Space Finds & Encounters On An Asteroid Table For Your Old School Space Based Campaigns

Attribution: ESA/Hubble

Glittering among the stars are billions of asteroids that provide adventurers and space scum alike with plenty of opportunity for profit or moments to lose both life and limb easily. Who knows what might be found or encountered in the black depths of space upon these silent wanderers among the stars. 
Here then is a handy table of random asteroid space finds for your old school campaigns. 
Here then is a handy table of treasures, weirdness, and loot just waiting to be discovered by your band of spacers! 
1d10 Random Space Finds From An Asteroid Table

  1. A single [...]

Fantasy Politics - What's The Point?

Everyone has their own motivations.  Knowing them is half
the battle.  (Dragon Age: Inquisition)There are many competing motivations you can throw into the ring to make things a tangle of intrigue.  Remember, too, that they needn't be very big motives.  Not everyone needs to want to be prince but the gathering itself must be beset by petty insecurities, grudges and genuine concerns unless the soiree is meant to be a breather and a rest stop where the characters can rest and relax for a bit.  Without difficulty, there is no obstacles to overcome and outside of very particular social scenes there [...]

The Temple of Irrelevance [Mini-Map Monday]

"Hey, you're back. How was the Temple of Irrelevance?""I don't really want to talk about it.""What happened? Were there a lot of monsters?" "No. Not really. Just one orc with a pointy stick. He took a couple pokes at us then wandered back to his room. I don't think his heart was in it." "Oh. Well, were there any traps?""Kind of. No. I mean the door to the treasure room had an old joy buzzer tied


Dungeon Master Screen & Master Index

This package contains two three-panel screens and a 32-page index book. The index contains references for the following books:

- Player's Handbook
- Dungeon Master Guide
- Tome of Magic
- Book of Artifacts
- Player's Option: Combat & Tactics
- Player's Option: Skills & Powers
- Dungeon Master Option: High-Level Campaigns

The Great Debate Review

There are a lot of people in this world, and sometimes they see things differently. Whether you’re the kind of person who enjoys discussing ideas and ideals or you’re the type of person who sees the world in shades of “people who are right” and “people who disagree with me”, Castle Productions has a game you will probably love. It’s called “The Great Debate”, and it’s the type of game that will definitely start conversations at your next cocktail party. My group played this in place of Cards Against Humanity and it found a place with us.

The game play is [...]

DND 5th Edition Analysis

I got the new 5th edition because one of our players complained about 4th edition and wanting to go to a different system with faster combats. I can agree 4th edition has long combats about as long as Pathfinder and DnD 3.5 at the 11th level we are currently running.

The problem I had with the playtest is the monster math was not done during the playtest so we were testing characters based on false numbers of monsters. In my world of QA that would mean completely invalid tests. I picked up the 5th edition players handbook and have been going [...]

DC VS. Marvel Legendary

I've been playing a lot of board games the past year. It has been really a lot of fun learning about this whole genre of gaming and bringing new people into it as well. I had to learn a lot of concepts that for the different types of games out there such as area control, deck builder, worker placement. One of my past times is comic books and when I heard there was a Marvel and a DC deck building game I had to check them out. I've been playing the Marvel game since it was released and have quite [...]

Carnagecast 59: One-Shots and Campaigns Colon Showdown of Destiny

In episode 59 of Carnagecast, it’s that slow time between Christmas and New Year’s when we are all sluggish with egg nog. Ray and Tyler discuss two of the most common modes of role-playing games: the long form campaign and the short form one-shot. Each mode has its relative strengths and weaknesses, so we discuss them for anyone who’s yet to try one or the other. Turns out that the two complement each other pretty well, and it’s not so surprising they’re possibly the two most common and well-known of role-playing modes.

If you have suggestions for topics or games you’d [...]

Nosphryc Azurecoat - 5th Level D&D5 Fighter

Figured I'd post the character I wound up making before my second session, tomorrow.

I went with "simple." That being said, given the rolls I got, I think a Monk or Paladin would be a fun second character. Granted, can't expect the same thing a second time, but those two seem to benefit a lot from lots of good scores in the 14-16 range.

Anyway, to Nosphryc. Mostly I'm going to put up screen captures from the wonderful character sheet in Roll20, which is darn handy.

Core Stats

As noted in the previous character post, the dice treated me well, and choosing a human fighter focusing on STR for his attribute boost pushed him into pretty rarefied air in terms of overall attributes. Sure, I probably could have selected Dwarf or something to push my STR to 19, or played other games for 20, but the +1 to everything you get for being human took both my 15s and both my 13s to the next level that gives a bonus, and even my "dump" stat - an INT of 13, is respectable. 

I could have sacrificed the extra STR (+2) for a Feat - Heavy Armor Mastery, still giving me STR 17 and three points of damage absorption or whatever you call it. But I chose the raw STR for now, and my next ability score improvement is only just shy of 7,000 XP away. This last session was basically one fight, and we got [...]

Meet 1, Adv B2, 12/28/14 - Youth Group

Due to the Christmas break and vacation, I had given the go ahead to my daughter and her friend to sit down and try out D&D if they wanted to. My daughter had participated over the last 2-3 years on and off here and there for a half dozen of so sit ins. But this was her first time as a "real campaign" so to speak. Normally I run B4 - The Lost City as my go to welcome to D&D adventure (knowing it cold and having run it countless times), but I went back to the real beginning and [...]

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #19

http://tinyurl.com/nmwoenxThis week, in the final Gun Blog Variety Cast of 2014:
  • I talk about fitness for preppers.
  • Nicki Kenyon discusses Cuba.
  • Miguel Gonzalez gives you his pick for the best Christmas movie of all time.
  • Barron B. explains when security updates aren't enough.
  • and Weer'd breaks down some audio anti-gun hate.

Thanks for downloading, listening, and subscribing. And don't forget to share this with a friend!

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

Tales From the Hydian Way: Episode 17 -- Taking the Next Step

So you have a session 0 under your belt, why it’s under a belt we’ll never know, but now the players keep wanting to do things. How do you start getting an idea of where to take them and what to do with them.

We talk about moving forward with campaigns and we start to deal with parties and not just players.

You can find us on Twitter at @DeuteriumIce and @Xphile101361

You can get in contact with us at TalesfromtheHydianWay@gmail.com

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

The show can be found on iTunes

If you like what [...]

Doing FFTA Jobs (Classes) Old School Hack Style

Okay, so having done the White Mage I'm ready to jump in and OSH-erize more job classes and races from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.  I liked the game well enough to play (albeit rather repetitive after a while), but as an RPG GM I really liked the non-D&D races and the jobs/classes.  I actually ran a game using the Big Eyes, Small Mouth rules for a while with race and class templates built based on FFTA.

In that game I had the races and classes separate so the players could mix and match.  But FFTA has most of its [...]

The Gungame

I would never have predicted I'd be playing the Ungame with one of my inlaw families over Christmas break. But that, plus a viewing of Fargo, leads to this.

Get a Fiasco ruleset. Assign characters, relationships, etc.

Then, instead of playing Fiasco, play a game within a game. Your lowlife Fiasco characters are trapped in a community rehab house, playing an hour's worth of the Ungame . Answer the questions from their point of view. The challenge is to tell a story through the playing of the game. Good luck!

Wayward Kickstarter - Creatures CG (I'm Having a WTF Moment)

Lets see, what can we say about the Creatures CG?

It's "an RPG style Card Game for 2-4 players"

That's it.

No sample art, sample text or hints at game play.

No rough layout of the cards.

A whole lot of nothing.

Even better, the rewards allow you to name creatures to be included in the set but doesn't include a level where the actual game is a reward.

I'm guessing 75 creatures or so for the deck, but that is only based on backer levels

Even better, Chris H's previous failed Kickstarter? A Chocolate Cookbook where you could submit an ingredient with a 5 dollar pledge. His goal? 2k - he raised 5 [...]

An Exciting Game of Super-Human Role Playing

cover art by Alvin J. Belflower
Villains hold a certain allure; they appeal to our baser desires.  A game where players assume the roles of evil-doers would seem to have a great deal of potential.  Supervillains was an attempt to capitalize on the 'bad boy' mystique in terms of the comic book super-being genre.  According to the back of the box:
SUPERVILLAINS includes scenarios which may be played as board games, and complete rules for setting up and running a role playing campaign game.  The game contains a strategic map, a tactical map, die cut playing pieces, and all the [...]
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