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Kratos: Shout Help

End-of-Week...Elmore? (8/1/14)

Welcome to August, fellow gamers! Ah, the Internet. It holds such potential, and such treasures! And yet, our fickle virtual collective consciousness often spits up some deception, does it not? Case in point: on my weekly search for End-of-Week Elmore fodder, I was given the image above as part of [...]

Rough and Ready

I want to live here . . . in the past. Back in 1850 the mining town of Rough and Ready was booming. Filled with folks from Wisconsin it was a riotous place, lawless and resentful of any and all taxation and control. The U.S. Post Office demanded they change their name to Rough or Ready, either one. Nevada County went dry (no booze) and the US Government was demanding more money in taxes on mining claims.

So much so that the town father's called an assembly and the whole town voted to secede from the Union.

Lock. [...]

What happens when you engage

Much digital ink has been spilled over the D&D consultants controversy. There have been a lot of demands for proof, but what proof would actually entail seems to be rather vague and mostly defined by the fans of the two people involved. I don't care about that, what I do want to explain is what happens if you engage one of these two people in an ongoing discussion in which there is a fundamental disagreement.

The Fail Forward blog had a post about the controversy, How Dungeons and Dragons is endorsing the darkest parts of the RPG community. I shared it [...]

[Timemaster] Historical Figure: Thomas Jefferson

While poking around the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine, I discovered that one or two pages from Time Corps HQ -- my old defunct Timemaster RPG blog  -- had been saved and archived. Sadly, most of the useful material I posted there has been lost (stats for H.G. Wells, St. George, and Edger Allan Poe as well as several "Time Window" adventure seeds). But one historical figure I statted up was archived.

Thomas Jefferson
(1743 -- 1826)
Significance Rating: 500

STR: 51 --- DEX: 68 --- AGL: 55
WPR: 36 --- PER: 49 --- PCN: 75
STA: 58 [...]

Spellslingers of Gor aka How the Frak Does Magic Work in 5e?

I've had quite a few experienced D&D players ask me about how magic works in the newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons - especially after reading the explanation in the Basic book.  Complete newbies seem to get it right off the bat.  I think the problem is that the new system doesn't, on the surface of things, appear much different than many of the ways magic once worked, but the few differences turn everything on its head.  So I'll try to make it simple.

There are some terms to define.  I'm making up some of these terms, btw, for [...]

Armor Up

Asier Aranzabal

Hateful Eight

A poster has leaked for the Tarantino movie that Tarantino vowed never to make. As you may recall someone leaked the script last year and he raised a cuss over it and vowed never to make the movie and tried to sue the internets. Nothing ever came of any of it, and he's making the film anyway, which makes one wonder if it wasn't a publicity stunt.

I do wish he'd dig into his roots and give us some really good, compelling stories. He's a good film maker, but he's not hit his mark like he did with penning [...]

Word of the Day -- Numismatics

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods. Early money used by people is referred to as "Odd and Curious", but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency (e.g., cigarettes in prison). The Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins; the [...]

[Mummy's Mask] The House of Pentheru Is a Real Fixer-Upper

“Let’s make a vargouille-zela!”
— Akhil, oracle of Pharasma

We cleaned out the remainder of the house of Pentheru this week. Smarting from the encounter with the house’s off-kilter genius loci, the wealth extraction concern PlunderCats, Ltd., dba some more reputable name, were alarmed by the indication of vargouilles[1] on the second floor of the house and suitably cautious in the exploration thereof. After dealing with the foreshadowed vargouilles — deprotagonization via paralysis is never not a poor choice to put in a monster’s list of ways to screw with characters — and wondering why Akhil was bro-tight with a disembodied [...]

Guest Post: Stumbling at the First Hurdle

  In Something for the Weekend this week, I have another Guest Post for you. As before,this post is from Kenny "the Cabbage" Norris. Kenny blogs regularly at The Lone Cabbage, where he focuses on solo roleplaying.   Kenny's previous Guest Post wasHow to Score a Goal.   This week, Kenny returns to talk about …

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Road Kill - Mutant Epoch Rpg Friday Game! Actual Play

Further down the Global high way in my Mutant Epoch campaign, I've got several massive encounters coming up to move the plot along but I'm basically letting the party easy into it and get the feel of the game as well.
 The PC's have been selling some of the loot that they've acquired, gotten provisions, and done a bit of repair work for several other NPC's groups but their entering some really dangerous territories at the moment.
 There is a tribe of mutant ogre cannibals and a group of road pirates which has a mad on for the PC's as it is. The [...]

Setup for Success: How to Conduct a Round-robin Campaign

So, you’ve decided to run a round-robin campaign. You’re tired of being the only GM, or of another GM hogging the head of the table, and you’re ready to tell a cooperative story with your friends. Where do you start? How do you handle the story? How do you maintain some mystique when everyone is crowded behind the screen with you? Here’s how to set up a round-robin campaign.

Pick the right people

This is the sort of situation that can lead to tremendous conflict if the wrong personalities are involved. Make sure to pick friends who can compromise. Select people who [...]

Factions of Greyhawk - The Scarlet Brotherhood

The HarpersOne of the new elements in the upcoming 5th Edition D&D rules are factions. Specifically, there are rules for factions in the Forgotten Realms as part of the D&D Adventurers League, which is the new organized play thing (is it replacing the RPGA? I've not seen anything one way or the other). They are, quite coincidentally, much like I had envisioned factions in my own Adventures Great and Glorious; player characters can belong to a faction and gain levels within that faction, and there are certain benefits from doing so. Basically, each time you do something that benefits your faction, [...]

Launching Guard The Galaxy 2.0...

Guard The Galaxy, megafan Cameron Logan's one-stop shop for news and opinions on all things Guardians Of The Galaxy-related is getting a galaxy-sized makeover for its relaunch in October. This is to capitalise on the continued growing interest in the Guardians and Marvel's recent announcement of a sequel in 2017.

Chariots of Fire Amber Zone Revies # 29

Amber Zone Review #29 
Amber Zone: Chariots of Fire, by  Anders Blixt

To the Rescue!
Location: Gatina (C-765876-7) in the nations of Castica & Handor.

Patron:  An officer of Castica's Military Intelligence brach

Mission: Castica wants to stage a propaganda coup on their neighbor Handor by stealing two specialty fire engines. These vehicles were purchased jointly by the two nations (under a previous government in Handor) and housed in [...]

Daily Punch 7-31-14 Fading Fade quality for Shadowrun 5e

I’ve heard Technomancers feel left out, and that complex forms are not very good. Its powerfull, but the backlash is too much for it to be usefull. So, how about a quality that will help them?



Fading Fade

Cost: 7 karma per rating (Max rating 3 )

You are a master of your mind and the matrix. The inner math that makes the wireless world go round is something that you don’t even think about anymore. When you use a complex form, reduce the fading value by an amount equal to the level of this quality.





Dungeons of Red Tide - Ooloolg's adventure part 2

Continuation from the previous post.

From here, starts what Scarlet Heroes rules does the best - old school dungeon crawling.

Upon entering into the Dungeons of Red Tea Tide, Oolong found herself surrounded by complete darkens. She lit her lantern, and started exploring the dungeon entry chamber. It was a cave that prehistoric people used as a settlement, which she could detect by a crude drawings on the wall, representing a hunt scene.
The cave was otherwise empty. Lone staircase leading deeper into the depths of the earth seemed to be the only other exit.
Oolong carefully [...]

Creating Things

I haven't created a map yet this week, but I plan to this weekend. Work has been flat out with a data migration that got pushed from yesterday to sometime next week. It's taking a while to conclusively figure out why some money is being left on the migration room floor, and there's plenty of work yet to be done. So yeah, it's been a little busy in WombatWorkLand lately. Whee!

If only incubating ideas were this simple.In the meanwhile, I've been floating an idea for a game product past a few friends. It's gotten generally positive feedback so [...]

Friday Favourite: Should PCs Charge Other PCs for Services?

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From June 13, 2011, Dungeon's Master once again presents: Should PCs Charge Other PCs for Services?

What if, during the heat of combat, when you're down to your last few hit points and in desperate need of healing, the Cleric only agrees to use Healing Word if you promise to pay him 500 gp? What about a Rogue who won't disarm and open a locked treasure chest unless he gets half of whatever's inside it? Should characters be able to charge party [...]

Mobile Cosplay Photo Studio


Please welcome our newest writer, Krystal Simons, by checking out her Kickstarter Campaign. Her photography is excellent and this could be your chance to help create a truly wonderful cosplay experience for many novice as well as professional cosplayers. Here is what its all about in her own words:

My name is Krystal Simons and I run a small Photography Business north of Toronto. My company is called Krystal Clear Photography and I have been taking photos at FanExpo for a few years now. At our first convention I realized that there is thousands of amazingly creative people that make the most impeccable and realistic costumes! It’s like movie quality! These hard core fans put blood, sweat and tears into their projects.

Unfortunately most of them can barely get one good photo in their creation. Even though they stand and pose all day long for countless fans most photos turn out below par. They scour the internet for weeks after the convention to see if anyone got a good photo. They are usually disappointed. Crowed aisles make for squished people in a hurry to move along. Very bad florescent lighting makes every shot yellowish. What backdrop? A vendor stand or extremely funky carpeting. It’s always busy and messy, just not ideal.

With my Mobile Studio the Cosplayers have the opportunity to schedule an appointment and step into a private area to have the freedom to pose and move around to get their best shot. I will have a variety of Backdrops, green screen and perfect studio lighting set up for the best photo possible for all my fellow Cosplayers.

In the end we plan to shoot as many cosplayers over the course of 4 days and make them all ecstatically happy. Then once there is enough photos in our collection we can publish [...]

Countdown to Numenera

Tomorrow I'll run my first game of Numenera. In addition to being the first time I run this game it will be the first time that I run a game for such a large group. When everyone shows up as planned, I'll have a group of six player, including [...]

Behind the DM Screen (May 2014)

Mike, Sam, and Jeff get together once more to talk about their games in May of 2014.
Support the show, shop below...

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#RPGaDAY Day 1, First RPG Played

#RPGaDAY Day 1, First RPG Played

That one is pretty easy.  It was an odd ball combination of Holmes Basic with the AD&D Monster Manual back in 1979.

It was typical of the time with 1st level characters with enough magic to take on Dragons.  It was crazy, broken and we didn't care. We had a blast.  It was not till the Moldvay set came out that I really started paying attention to the rules.

[Friday Map] Howling Orc Bridge

The ravine known as Helver’s Cut presents a major obstacle to traffic between the Amber Woods and the port town of Seever’s Mill. The ravine was cut into the landscape by waters from the Black Mire running towards the ocean. Fortunately, few have need to cross the ravine, but for those that do the options are to circumnavigate it, or to cross at the Howling Orc Bridge.

Howling Orc Bridge

The Howling Orc Bridge is the last visible remnant of a fortress that was built here and then razed during the great war. The surface ruins of the fortress are near the massive stone span that crosses the ravine. The bridge gets it’s name from the wind that whips along the hidden bottom of the ravine along the river, creating eerie echoes and strange whooping howls depending on the strength of the current.

A second bridge can be seen below the Howling Orc Bridge, a hundred feet further down into the ravine. Occasionally massive spiders can be seen on the lower bridge, setting webs for the birds and other animals foolish enough to fly through the ravine. The lower bridge also serves as a reminder that the old fortress was more than just [...]

The Good Folk

The Fair Folk, the Kindly Ones, the Robin Goodfellows and Pucks often get short shrift in AD&D. There are few representations of the capricious and dangerous faerie for us to use. One of the primary engines behind this lack is the designation of elves as a player race. Elves are the primary folkloric inhabitants of this space: almost-men who dwell in Annwn or some equally removed-but-present

Pacing 3 - The Three Act Structure and the Hero's Journey

This post is part of a series on pacing.  See the other articles below.

  • Pacing 1 - What can Pacing do for You?
  • Pacing 2 - The Elements of Pace
  • This post: Pacing 3 - The Three Act Structure and the Hero Cycle
  • Coming Soon: Pacing part 4

In Pacing 1, I said why you need pacing.  In Pacing 2, I defined the elements of pacing:  scene types, agency, stakes, story scope, and unresolved tension.  In Pacing 3, I'l going to look at the bigger picture to talk about pacing the entire story.  If you pace the story correctly, it [...]

Business Succubus

On 5e: Perception and Investigation

Let's take a look at these skills and try to determine what the actual rules say about how they are used with examples from the Basic Rulebook.

Ok. First with the skill text. If you're interested in the use of these skills in Phandelver or the analysis, skip down past the skill text. It is provided first as reference.

Perception. Wisdom (Perception) check lets you spot, hear, or otherwise detect the presence of something. It measures your general awareness of your surroundings and the keenness of your senses. For example, you might try to hear a conversation through [...]

"Ain't No Thing Like Me, 'Cept Me!"

Friday in Freeport - Merfolk

The Magical Alphabet!!- R- Reign

Reign- This halberd was once the trusted weapon of the great King Thallus, and aided him in his fight against the undead hordes that descended from tall mountains in the frozen north.

This weapon is believed to have been created by the goddess of life and healing to aid mankind in their struggle with undeath.


The holder of this weapon is immune to the dreaded level drain effects of many undead. It does 1d10 damage to normal creatures, but to undead Reign deals 2d8 damage.


The weapon also has two other abilities:


  • Daylight (Wizard, lvl 3) 3x/day.
  • Sunburst (Wizard, lvl 8) 1x/day.

Reign is an intelligent [...]

A L.A.R.P. by any other name -- ABC's The Quest

ABC’s The Quest – Reality LARPing
Copyright: American Broadcasting Company*

Quite by accident the other night I found myself staring at a television set tuned to a channel of which I did not know and was presented with the opening scenes to a show of which I was not familiar with.

As the scenes unfolded, with contestants introducing themselves, their names in flowery almost Celtic-like patterns on the bottom telling personal stories of their earlier years, at first I thought this had to be a History channel snippet about Medieval times. Researchers perhaps? Historians or even, dare-I-say-it, Mythologists?

But as the scenes [...]

#RPGaDay: Day One "First RPG Played"

RPGaDAY August

I do like wagons with bands. The music is really quite soothing.

So, it’s August. The months are flying by and I seem to busier than ever. And as it is August, and as it has been (and always will be) #AwesoemGamerDay, time to blog about something other thanAgainst the Giants play reports.

Day One: First RPG Played

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1E) was my first game. Started when I was 7 or 8 (I usually say 8) when my dad finally allowed me to play in the weekly game he played in with my Uncles and Aunty. I think I played [...]

What a hike!

I'm back!
Did you miss me?
Presuming that I manage to avoid or overcome any random encounters, I either got home last night, or will be home later today. Either way, my feet hurt.

I'll be checking out all the entries to my Free RPG Day Module Random Table Contest, and the winners will be rolled for and announced tomorrow! 

If you haven't entered yet, there's still time! You've got till midnight to send me your random table! The clocks ticking...

Video Unboxing -- D&D Starter Set 2014

D&D has been reborn and the first thing we can see is this D&D Starter Set box. After a long time of playtest, conversation, speculation, hopes and fears, D&D is reborn. And it comes in a box! Whoohoo!!! (I like boxes!) Of course this is just the start, a little taster of what's to come [...]

The post Video Unboxing – D&D Starter Set 2014 appeared first on G*M*S Magazine.

Stumbling at the 1st Hurdle

I got too close to the first hurdle, hit it, and trying to come back from that is difficult. I hit the second one and that was it.
Andy Turner

He sat down on the track with his head in his hands. Who knew what was going on in his head. His dreams, and England’s, of him gaining another medal was at an end. It was not even the finals, it was a heat, something which he should’ve easily been able to do. It was not to be. Andy Turner’s dreams of another Commonwealth medal had ended.

We all stumble from time [...]

RPGaDAY in August

Will you join the fun?

Follow my blog for daily updates for this challenge.

Share your participating blog in comments.

Ennie Award for Best Cavern Map goes to... Fire Ants.

One of the staple RPG tropes is the "Bug Hunt", we've all done them.  There are some pretty cool bug hunt tunnel maps out there, but even the best human cartographers can't come close in complexity to these real world Fire Ant Colonies.  These stunning aluminium casts are the work of anthillart.com

Fire Ant Colony #45 - 18.5"x12.5"x13" (HxWxL)Carpenter Ant Colony #31 - 16.5"x4.5"x8" (HxWxL)The artists YouTube channel has some interesting videos showing the whole casting process which inevitably causes the destruction of the colony.  I'm rooting for Hicks and Hudson on this one and prefer to immortalize the [...]

August RPG Blog Carnival: Devious Dungeons

The RPG Blog Carnival this month is Dungeon themed, and hosted right here on the Mind Weave blog. I was surprised to see this topic had not been broached directly in the Blog Carnival since to me it is so central to the Table Top RPG genre. I love wilderness campaigns and open encounters, but as player, I always longed for the next dungeon delve. As a GM, I find my players do the same. No matter how I work on the wilderness and towns, they just want to get to the next dungeon.

So, let’s talk about dungeons. Dungeons are [...]

Shadowed Keep on the Borderland Backstory Case Study

Last time, I talkeda little bit about the initial concepts of theShadowed Keep of the Borderland'svarious “adventure zones." Coming up with the basic themes for each area was relatively simple. What was a bit tricky was designing a backstory that both made sense and that the PCs would be able to discover during the course of the adventure.

By Marc Radle


One of my bugbears about some adventures I've run is that the adventure (or sometimes even a specific encounter) has loads of cool backstory, but essentially there is no way for the PCs to discover that story. Sure, it's a great [...]

Artist Appreciation: Alex Ross...

A selection of amazing Alex Ross covers (sourced from Brian Michael Bendis's Tumblr feed) for Marvel's 75th Anniversary.

Random List -- Old English female names

Need an old English name for your female characters? Roll a d20 and check below to see what you get!

[table caption="" width="500" colwidth="20|100|50" colalign="left|left"]

1 , Afton Richmond
2 , Amberjill Bradley
3 , Arden Roscoe
4 , Audrey Hallewell
5 , Bailey Benson
6 , Blaine Hale
7 , Buffy Bradley
8 , Buffy Law
9 , Daralis Roscoe
10 , Demelza Hayley
11 , Eartha Beverly
12 , Farrah Wedgwood
13 , Fiona Snape
14 , Jocelyn Prescott
15 , Kimberley Haley
16 , Lindsay Ramsay
17 , Tavia Lancaster
18 , Thistle Bradly
19 , Wilona Cumberbatch

Brainstorming for 5E: Tiamat

So in a week, I'll have the 5th Edition Player's Handbook in my greedy little hands and I'm trying to figure out what setting and adventure I'm going to run.
I won't run the adventure from the Starter Set because I'm playing through it currently.
Hoard of the Dragon Queen looks really promising.  As a fan of the DnD Cartoon, anything involving Tiamat is as cool as anything involving Warduke.  And the Adventurer's League Support material is really cool (I run a WPN store, I have the kits already).
BUT, part of me doesn't want to roll back to [...]

#RPGaDAY Blogfest Day 1

I'm joining in this Blogfest, created by David F. Chapman and alerted to me by the great Timothy Brannan.

First RPG Played:  Complex answer here.  It could be TSR's Marvel Super Heroes Basic game, except my buddy Barry and I had no idea what we were doing.  It could be Battletech, because when I got to play it, we each only played a single pilot in a single Mech.  But technically, it's probably Champions 4th Edition.  First RPG I bought, made a character and then actually played.  My first PC was Captain Midknight, who was very loosely based on [...]

Bujilli: Series Four Index

A Quick Introduction to Series Four
Bujilli and Leeja finally having gotten some rest, leave Idvard's Keep and go running through the rain to visit Schroedinger & Cave's shop. They receive grudging payment for returning stolen property and over hear something that they probably weren't supposed to on the way out. They go find a place to wait out the rain and Bujilli starts putting the pieces together. Bujilli's introspection is interrupted by more shooting and a gang of Feral Children. Leeja gets bitten. Bujilli carries her back to the Academy, with a little help from Hedrard. Then they [...]

Heads Up! A Stars Without Number Bundle Of Holding Including A Brand New SWN Book - Engines Of Babylon -

Go Right Over
For The Bundle Of Holding 
Oh shiny, just when I restarted my Stars Without Number Tuesday night game, Kevin Crawford comes out with another Bundle of Holding so that you can get the entire run of SWN in one shot! But wait for it, he's got a brand new book hot off the presses for his old school sand box science fiction game set. 

Engines of Babylon is a book that I've been waiting a long time for. The Engines of Babylon -- an all-new SWN equipment book, debuting in this offer, for creating vehicles and low-tech [...]

Three Covers

That's the cover for our Blue Grimoire. Volume One will round-up all the spells from our blog, add-in a few more, and give you some additional resources based on spell-casting in Wermspittle.

This is the raw cover for one of Bujilli's Little Brown Journals...which is coming together pretty well actually...

...and here is the working cover for The Toxic Tomb of Gadra, an adventure we should have ready to go within a few days.

July 2014 RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-Up

It's nearly Midnight, but instead of turning into a pumpkin or whatever, here's the Wrap-Up Post for the July 2014 RPG Blog Carnival.

The theme this month was Invasive Species. We had nine excellent entries, not counting our own contributions; two of which were by Leicester. Thanks to all of you who participated in this month's RPG Blog Carnival. It was quite a lot of fun to read all the very well written and thought provoking entries.

Leicester's Ramble gave us four minor amphibious horrors that have shown up in the kingdom recently. The Rage Salamander, [...]


Alien species that predate mankind – and usually meddle in human affairs or guide our evolution and development – are one of the big, big tropes of science fiction. There is probably no really good way of telling how this got started or even what source influenced Traveller directly – though von Dniken’s Chariots of the Gods was published in 1968 and, from what I understand, quite popular in its heydays. And then there’s 2001.

In a science fiction context there is nothing wrong with using ancient astronauts, of course. Quite the contrary, they are one of the great ways to [...]

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