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Death from Above

UFO Files

Now this is interesting. A military combat instructor (personal combat) has reported a UFO sighting in North Carolina. He claims to have video . . . well that's not a claim, he HAS video . . . of the UFO. He describes it as a triangular shaped craft, flying silently but that he was able to "see through" the UFO.

Indeed when you look at the video it creates an interesting view of being invisible, other than the flashing lights. He reports that as he was looking at the UFO he could see stars "through" it. Furthermore he could [...]

Richard III Would Kick Your Teeth In

The more I read about this guy the more I like him. I know little (at the moment) about his reign, wether he was a good king or poor king, but it does seem as if he was one tough son of a gun.

To catch you up on the news . . . in case you haven't been following . . . back in the 1600 Henry VIII ordered all the monasteries in England seized. Their property was despoiled and sold. It so happens that Richard III was buried at one of these monasteries. Fast forward 400 years [...]

Armor Up (Roman)

Sergey popovichenko

[RPGBA Blog Carnival] The RPG Blogging Community

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival, hosted by Mark over at Dice Monkey, looks at the RPG blogging community:

What does the RPG Blogging Community mean to you? What are some blogs you read that you think should gain more recognition? What are your tips for being part of the community? These are all topics you can look at on your own blog as part of the carnival. Make sure to link your articles here on this post.

To me, the blogging community is a fairly nebulous idea. When I first got the notion to start Held Action, I was a passive reader [...]

Kickstarter: Strange Magic

I'm always up for interesting new Pathfinder material, and this looks pretty sweet... Check out the Kickstarter by clicking here.

RPG Location: The Dark Mansion

RPG Location: The Dark Mansion I created the Dark Mansion to use as a location to inject a bit of horror into a fantasy campaign. The nice thing about it is that it involves no combat and a is a … Continue reading →

The post RPG Location: The Dark Mansion appeared first on Hamell.net.

More Slinger stuff!

In between angry rants about cultural marxists and social degeneration, Sargon found the time to do a cool video about slingers.

That looks like a lot more than 1d4 damage when looking at those pallets.

Also, Ayla’s mastery of the double-shot in Clan of the Cave Bear gives some pretty decent justification for allowing multiple attacks per round with a sling without having to take feats.

The Deep Darkness-Waste Disposal

I left a few loose ends in my hurry to get the main body of the Deep Darkness finished. Today I’ll tie up those loose ends in four posts. I’ll start with loose end Q5.

This chamber is the final resting place of waste produced in the Deep Darkness. Since this area is occupied by a few Churners, waste put there is reduced much more quickly than sitting somewhere else. The refuse deposited at G is periodically transferred to this chamber. This is in order to prevent the danger of frequently dumping near the churners. The denizens at G are fairly [...]

[Top Secret] Agent 006 -- Miyokan Andropov

In case you haven’t been following my blog since 2009, you might not be aware of my love for the classic TSR “Top Secret” RPG. To put it in a modern light, after reading through Gygax magazine issue 1, I decided I wouldn’t be buying it since it seemed to mostly be editorials about how I play games wrong. Then issue 4 came out with a Top Secret adventure. BAM. Sold.


When talking about Top Secret recently, I pulled out my boxed set that I had bought second-hand(and was boggled at the fact that I seem to be up to five copies of Operation:Sprechenhaltestelle) and grabbed the main book. While flipping through it I noticed that the character sheet in the back had been filled in by the previous owner. Definitely not one of my gamers, since we all use the sheets from the Agent Dossier pack (which has more stats).

So, I now have the big bad-guy for my next espionage campaign – Agent 006 – Miyokan Andropov. Dude’s only level 16.

Miyokan Andropov “006”

Now, there’s a few glitches on this character, like the fact that he only has enough XP to be level 14 instead of 16. On the up-side, his [...]

Interview: The Wizard of Oz (AUS) -- Joe Sweeney from StoryWeaver Games, Part 1

It’s been a long while since I’ve had an opportunity for an interview! Thankfully, Joe Sweeney of StoryWeaver Games was kind enough to subject himself to a few questions about his gaming career, StoryWeaver, and more…

So let’s get started! (Note that this interview was SO HUGE I had to break it up into twochunks, so bear with me…

This is how we Sweeneys roll!

Q: When the world was young, what brought you to the world of RPGs?

I can remember this very well. I was about 10 years old at the time (yes, dinosaurs had just died off) and was invited next [...]


Average Joes is available once again in PDF. 

There is a new threat facing America and its name is MOM.
When eco-terrorists interrupt a day of shopping at Bellpoint Mall, a group of ordinary citizens rise to the occasion and kick butt.

Average Joes is a combination source book and game module for Terror Network that presents a different way to play the original game. It comes complete with the mall scenario, special rules for playing Average Joes, and [...]

5e Weird New World

Friday 9/12, seven intrepid outcasts took to the sea, leaving all they knew behind to reach a newly discovered land and find fame and fortune on it's alien shores.

The party consisted of the following:
Max, Human Bard 1 (Yann)
Embara, Wood Elf Fighter 1 (Erica)
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 1 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 1 (Nikki)
Riia, Human Ranger 1 (Hanna)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 1 (Erik)

For a variety of reasons, these seven characters found themselves on a small cog, sailing toward this new land. Their ultimate destination is the city [...]

More Than Set Dressing: Concerning Halflings (And Elves, And Dwarves...)

When it comes down to it, a lot of RPG characters are almost entirely defined by one of two things: what race they are, or what class they choose. “Oh I run a Halfling Rogue,” or “I’m rolling up an Elf Decker,” aren’t uncommon-sounding ways of referencing a character. Race in particular is a choice which leads to personality stereotyping. The Dwarf is going to drink a lot and probably have a Scottish accent. The Half-Orc will be surly and stupid and hit things. The Human is really the only race who by default seems to be treated with the [...]

Knife Ears

Daily Punch 9-15-14 Quick Spell Ring for DnD Next

Well the last thing I designed was a helm, how about an item that is a bit more serious for DnD Next?


Quick Spell Ring

Ring, rare (requires attunment)

This simple white gold ring is marked with an etching of a spellbook.

When you prepare spells, you my spend two spell slots. One of these spellslots much be higher then or equal to the other. As a free action, once per day, you may cast a spell with a level equal to the lower of the two spell slots.




Revisiting the Power/Aggression Control Mechanic in Dungeon World

A while back, in June, I posted a mechanic for a character powering up and trying to maintain control in Dungeon World. I’m revisiting and revising it in this post. I’ll also be revising the Fate version in my next post.

While I still like the overall idea of how the old versions worked, neither really captured the true feel of how something like that is done in their respective game systems. The biggest problem, though, was the fact you needed to roll a second time in order to determine the results of losing or maintaining control. Rolling twice can slow [...]

My take on the 2.5D dungeon system...

If you're not familiar with the 2.5D dungeon method, then I'd recommend you take a look at some of the videos on The DM's Craft or TheDMGinfo's youtube channels first.

As you'll see (if you watched any of the aforementioned videos), the idea is to give a bit more depth to regular two-dimensional dungeon tiles by including a slightly raised area around the edge of each tile to represent the walls.

Well, I've been meaning to have a go at something like that for a while now - but instead of painting the cardboard (like the above you-tuber's [...]

Of Simulacra, Emulations, and Transmogrifiers (Guest post by Richard J. LeBlanc, Jr)

(This morning we have a guest post by +Richard LeBlanc , he of New Big Dragon Games and the D30 Sandbox Companion fame. I'm honored that Rich decided to post this here at The Tavern. You can read more of Rich's thoughts over at his blog - Save vs. Dragon)

Of Simulacra, Emulations, and Transmogrifiers.

I've long held that Apple products were superior because... well.. they were Apple products. If you've ever read the book "Insanely Great," you know what I'm talking about. Steve Jobs hired graphic designers and typography experts, in addition to others in various and diverse fields, and it was these things that helped make the Macintosh the truly brilliant product it was. (Granted, we really have yet to see if Apple [...]

GM Advice: The 4 Types of Unfair Encounters

“Suddenly, the ceiling collapses without warning and you all die.”

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Sometimes things go wrong and the party all die horrible deaths. That ever present risk is anintrinsicpart of the gaming experience. While no one likes a TPK (total party kill) sometimes through bad luck or shockinglydisastroustactics they happen. Other times, a GM wipes out a party or kills a PC in a horribly unfair encounter. To me, being English, that’s just not cricket.

There are four basic types of unfair encounters:

  • No Hope: Sometimes a GM puts a monster into a dungeon which the PCs have no realistic chance [...]

We'll cut the narrative off at the pass and leg it

We were half the team down last Wednesday, so those who were left played the Shadowrun card game in what we later discovered was the hardest mode possible, because we drew opponents from the wrong deck. Oops. Anyway, this is why this week's post instead is going to be a trip to Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and what happens when a group of Jurisfiction agents are told to go on a team-building exercise inside its pages.

The agents were told to strictly stay out of the narrative ... and while roleplayers would normally decide to completely ignore this, they didn't, so I never got to inflict my specially prepared Vogon poetry on them. I are still disappoints, two years later.

Here's the crew:
  • Arthur Hastings, senior agent and a former military man and now occasional assistant to Agatha Christie's Belgian super-sleuth Hercule Poirot.
  • Captain Haddock, an [...]

Swedish Name Generator added

A new generator has gone live – Swedish Names

Some example names you can get:

Female Male Meta Rystr m Rurik Rundstrom Andrietta Hedner Kre Pettersson Ingerd Kalling Inge Runas Dordi Ottosson Sren Jnsson Camilla Hallman Jnn Griendstrom

A Helpful list PDF along with some more examples will be published on friday

In other news, Campaign Chunks will be returning next week

Wonder Woman Wednesday...

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Rain Check

Instead of GMing Shadowrun, I'm sitting in bed, smelling like an eucalyptus tree and drinking copious amounts of tea in the hope that my cold doesn't turn into something worse. I was lookong forward to today's session. The players have made it out of the NAN and are planning on visiting an amusement park. Well, the two youngest characters want it and the others roll their eyes and go along.

If you happen to be a player in this campaign, I'd rather you not read on, please.

How often do you get the chance for an amusement park [...]

Secret of the Seven-Serpent Slash

This is a two-handed Kampilan technique developed by the monster-slaying hero Lantawan, who once had to face an evil seven-headed Naga that would die only if all its heads were severed at once.

The technique can only be practiced with a Kampilan, and as it uses both hands, precludes the use of a shield during the round in which it is performed.

If performed against any creature or character who does not also know the technique, you gain Advantage Dice; moreover, you may distribute any Victory Points gained to all targets in front [...]

Feeding Nazis To Dinosaurs

In a recent blog I wrote about buying Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) and Leagues Of Adventureboth of which use the …

Continue reading →

The Pit of Swords and Sorcery: The Adventures of Bob... Oops, I mean Conan... The Barbarian (slightly NSFW)

The first couple of decades of the new millennium has been pretty kind for usfantasy fanatics. Opening with the triumphant arrival of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, the 2000s have seen a slew of tales of dragons, sorcery, swords and mayhem on both the big and the small screen. The Harry Potter series, for example, brought a classic fantasy series to life and made it enjoyable for both young and old viewers. Movies like Hellboy, John Carter, Constantine,Underworld, the Golden Compass, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and others brought more fantasy to movie houses and video, [...]

Dawnforge: Path of Legend

Path of Legend is an exciting new adventure sourcebook for the Dawnforge campaign setting. The adventure leads new heroes from 1st to 5th level, and also offers them a chance to earn their first legend point. The adventure provides a compelling mix of location and event-based encounters, and rewards roleplaying and puzzle-solving as well as combat.

1d10 Random Deep Wasteland 1970's Science Fiction Television Inspired Artifact Table For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Deep within the wastes one never knows what sorts of treasures one my run across, here's another random list of classic television inspired treasures and artifacts that your mutant adventurers might find in the deeper parts of the wastelands. 
1d10 Random Deep Wasteland 1970's
Science Fiction Television Inspired  Artifact Table 
  1. Wreckage of a Roamer science exploration vehicle solar powered, the drive train needs extensive work and a new electrical system. 
  2. One 1970's Ford camper with a full array of rocking Seventies cloths and a hidden storage compartment full of automatic weapons. There are several human skeletons scattered throughout. 
  3. One jet pack fully charged but [...]

Dungeon World: A Better Bard

You might have heard that outside 4th Edition I'm not much of a bard fan. You also might have heard that one of my complaints about Dungeon World is that it relies on the tropes of Dungeons & Dragons (not sure if I put that in a blog post yet).

Granted in some cases it manages to improve on things, like the wizard (it's much more Vancian); unfortunately other classes like the cleric and bard still suffer. But rather than just bitch about it I decided to make my own bard, with blackjack and hookers.
It draws a bit more from its historical roots [...]

Random Animal Table - 1E DMG

I recently rediscovered these random tables found in the 1E AD&D DMG on page 138,  presumably by Gygax. They are meant for the Bag of Tricks, so are often overlooked in the magic item section but could be used in any situation calling for a random animal. They are nicely ordered by HD and have the most important stats right there. Most of the animals are found in the Monster Manual, and having stats matching that source, but about a third of them are not, including weasel, skunk, owl, goat, ram, eagle and ostrich (several of these are found [...]

More on Yafir and Yiraf

Certain correspondences suggest to me thatYafir and Yiraf may be aleph-null and aleph-one, the ‘countable infinity’ and ‘uncountable infinity’ discovered in our world by Georg Cantor.

Relic Knight: Doctrine Delphyne

Over two years ago, I backed a Kickstarter for a new game called Relic Knight. The project was almost two years late. Late enough for me to declare it a loss. However, as I was at Gencon this year, I received this package with my miniatures! FINALLY!

I quickly opened the package, built up the minis and placed them on my painting table.

And... that's where the love I had kinda died. These models are such a different painting style to my own that I have difficulty figuring out how to do them right... The models are nice, but I [...]

potelbat Ep. 63 "It Takes Some Convincing"

I’ve got a ton of RPG books sitting on my shelves, but do you think I can get anyone to play most of them?


And that is the central problem for this episode, how do you convince people to try playing RPGs?

Or to switch systems from the current game into something new?

Or to switch genres or settings?

What tactics can you employ and what are some of the biggest points of resistance to overcome?

And once we’ve tackled THAT problem, what about @watanabe2k’s wide ranging letter that covers everything from constantly changing game system to people who don’t actually seem to want to [...]

Season 6 Episode 18 - Timeless RPG

Welcome to Season 6 Episode 18 of RPG Circus
Episode Topics

  • Interview with Caleb about Timeless RPG
  • Our view on the problems with Kickstarters


  • Jeff
  • Ben

Show Links

  • Fifth Edition Dungeon Master's Guide delayed
  • KS: Demon Hunters RPG: A Comedy of Terrors
  • KS: minichip
  • KS: Southlands: New Fantasy Options for Pathfinder RPG
  • KS: The Essential Guide to Potions and Oils
  • KS: Revelry in Torth
  • KS: Z-Clipz:Outbreak - 28mm Zombie and Survivor Miniatures
  • KS: Time of the Dying Stars: Book One
  • KS: 12mm & 18mm Upcycled Precision Polyhedral Metal Dice
  • 10 things that bug me about tabletop gaming Kickstarters
  • twitter: Reid Wiseman @astro_reid


Mapping Pathfinder 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 Pathfinder 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 Pathfinder, each provides access to nine spells (one per level) and two abilities [...]

Tuesday Magic Item -- Brand of Exile

“You are sentenced to transportation to the penal colony of Rastonia, where you will serve at the Crown’s convenience building a better land for all,” announced the black robed judge followed by the striking of his gavel.

“But me Lord,,” protested the prisoner, “it was only a pie.”

“No matter, the law is clear,” said the judge. “See that the prisoner is bound over for transportation and branded a criminal and exile in the eyes of the law and his countrymen.”

“Please no,” wailed the prisoner as they were dragged away by the bailiff’s thugs.

Brand of Exile

A solidly built iron brand with a [...]

Skeleton Crew Beta Events

To help promote the Skeleton Crew Open Beta, We’re going to be hosting a handful of games in October. They’ll be coming at you in two different ways:

Local – At one or more local Northern Virginia hobby stores.

Online – Through one or another online gaming site / program.

Details and dates to come, but if you have any preferences for online game sites, or would like to see us at your local game store, leave a comment, and we’ll look into it like Shylock Fox. Stay tuned!

Savage Eberron: Weapons of Khorvaire

As some of you recall, I posted a poll asking what Eberron things I should next adapt to Savage Worlds. Overwhelmingly, equipment topped the list (followed by vehicles and then the Warforged Titan).

I've been hard at work culling together equipment from across the v3.5 Eberron books and slowly but surely adapting and formatting them. This post is the first bits and pieces of that work featuring some items from Magic of Eberron.

Special thanks goes to +Ron Blessing for helping sort through some of the finer points.
Melee Weapons Alchemy Blade Appearing much like a short sword, an alchemy blade has [...]

Game Props Part 3: Coins

Nearly every fantasy game uses a gold, silver, copper monetary system.  And we talk about them some more.  I only did this once, but it seemed to have a significant effect on the players and that was to throw a money pouch onto the table as the offered reward.  It's one thing to say, "And if you do this heroic thing the lord will pay you 250sp as a reward."


But!  Try this.  Find an old Crown Royal bag (you know you have one somewhere) or a regular old dice bag, fill it with pennies (more on [...]

Box Breaking 135 All Quiet on the Martian Front

Matt picked up the two player starter for All Quiet on the Matrian Front. In this video we bust it open and take a look inside. Matt is a huge fan of aliens especially if the make him reminisce on his childhood.



If you want to learn more visit Alien Dungeon.

Related articles
  • Countdown to Gen Con 12 (part 2) All Things Alien

Caius (Weird Wars Rome: Dux Bellorum)

Colin Firth in The Last Legion
(Fun fact: Firth loves playing jerks and laments he doesn't get those roles.)Caius
Heroic Wild Card
Caius Artorius Caecina is the cousin and foster-brother of Artorius.  It is hard to imagine that two men could be so different yet be so close; Artorius is professional and thoughtful, while Caius is boorish and rowdy.  Despite his pride in his Roman heritage, Caius is almost more a barbarian Celt by demeanor.  He acts as as a "drill sergeant" and unit commander for Artorius' warband.

Stitches: Where There Are Bees -- Cruising Along

(Sorry for the slightly magenta cast; CFL night shots, you know.)

I thought I was going to be finished with the dark olive color… and then my skein ran out. :P That unfinished row on the bottom is the last of that color, outside of what’s going in the three empty frames.

I took some time today to modify the leftmost two frames in PC Stitch. I thought about switching to red or blue to start working on those frames, but I decided to move to yellow to get the colored words, the bear frame, the central bee, and the lower hive [...]

Do You Use "Big Bad Evil Guys" in Your Campaigns?

This topic came up in a recently recorded Brainstorm Podcast episode - Do you use BBEGs and if so, how do you go about designing them?

For me, I rarely go into a campaign with a BBEG fleshed out, let alone thought out. I always figure my players will designate some NPC their nemesis and I'll go from there, but then again, my parties are like herds of cats, you never know where they are going to go.

Then again, I've played in some campaigns that have very effectively utilized BBEGs, so maybe it's a deficit in my DMing skills that leads to the leaving out of bBEGs in my games.

So, where do you stand with BBEGs? Yay or nay? Power [...]

Box Breaking 134 Apocalypse Survivors the Men

Matt busts open the Apocalypse survivors from Wargames Factory. This is a great set to create a “Walking Dead” kind of feel on your tabletop.





You can pick them up at Wargames Factory.

Box Breaking 133 Apocalypse Survivors The Women

In this Box Breaking Matt looks at the surviving women of the Apocalypse from Wargames Factory. This is actually one of the cooler zombie kits I have seen.



I always find something good at the Wargames Factory.

Designing a Boffer LARP System (Part 7)

I've basically been hedging around the actual mechanisms of the game with explanations and references to other games. I've decided that I don't want dice to be used at all, but that still leaves lots of options open...card draw, tokens, rock-scissors-paper, other?

The other catch is trying to maintain consistency in skill levels (basic, intermediate, expert) when some effects are based on physicality, while others might be based on more abstract concepts. I don't want the idea I've seen in some games where different skills have different cost progressions. This whole project is aiming to create a system that's [...]

Baby's First Dragon

My Homeguard B/X campaigners have been chopping away all summer at the classic (and deeply flawed) Horror on the Hill. After pounding hobgoblins (and a couple trolls) over and over, rescuing a dwarf from the clutches of a goblin king pretty clearly inspired by The Hobbit, and discovering the location of the mystical fountain, the kids became restless and decided that if the rumors they had heard back at the fort of a dragon sleeping under the hill were true, then a critter that size would need a pretty big hole ... In fact, it meant that there must be [...]

One For The Road

For me by far the key decision many Scots will take this week is not about sticking a cross in a box for Yes or No. Instead the vote comes across as presenting each voter with a personal watershed. One where each of us takes a decision to either commit to constructive civic [...]

Galens Gamble update

hola! Tonight i spent some time working on a few photos i had lying around that i thought would be suitable for illustrations/artwork for the Galens Gamble adventure. Thought i’d share them with you. Gallery

The post Galens Gamble update appeared first on Tiny Gork's Tinker Room.

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