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Hit Dice: 2+1
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Attacks: 1 Weapon (1d6)
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Surprise opponents on a 1-3.
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60

Sneaky humanoids who live deep within woodland regions, the Aztil are notorious for setting all manner of traps to scare, injure or kill intruders. There is a base 30% chance that any encounter with the Aztil will instead be with one or more of their traps. Snares, pits filled with spikes, and springy tree-limbs fitted with stakes seem to be the most common traps they are likely to use, but there is no end [...]

Charity and Hopes

One of my oldest original creatures, that I have used in my games for a long time. Unlike many others, their appearance of a happy woman never really grabbed attention, she was just there usually in towns acting as a conduit, often leading players to another quest or to shield them from the evil-doers in town. I often use them as a source of connectionss...they are the ones indirectly who help good-aligned adventurers find employment or a contact.

Charity                                               [...]

The Letter That Gave Us "Whisper"

Dr. Arthur Twitchell, 1883 [1]25 September 1883
Red Building, Pembroke College, Cambridge

To: Arthur Twitchell PhD, Research Fellow
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA, USA

Dear Sir:

With the commencement of the academic year, it has come to my attention that you have published a letter pertaining to the supposed source of Etheric Power in the 03 August edition of the fledgling journal Science. Your assertion that we "capture the souls of the dead and press them into the equivalent of postmortem slavery" to fuel the current industrial revolution in both our countries is not only wildly inaccurate, [...]

Local Nerd Quoted In Campus Newspaper

A few months ago I was contacted by a Ryerson journalism student to contribute to a feature storyaboutLARPing, and the stigmas attached to the oft-maligned hobby. Admittedly, I don’t quite remember all thetopics we covered, but I do recallchattingabout LARP’s relationship with role-playing and table-top games, as well as some general “nerd culture” issues.


While compulsively searching my name in Google last week, I noticed that the story had gone live on the Ryerson Eyeopener’s websitesometime in March. I am only featured for the briefest of moments, uttering some generalities about LARP and nerd culture, but it was still nice to [...]

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right!

Before I start in on my review today I went through my normal routine of perusing a list of websites and interweb hangouts. Most of these are online comics, a couple of "news" sites, and only two social media feeds.

I'm deeply disturbed by a public G+ post by Dyson Logos. We've shared some emails and words of encouragement and never have I seen anything to indicate he is less than a stand up guy, and his post only reinforces my point. I usually save rants for my other blog, but this soap-box moment belongs here.

While I [...]

Swords & Wizardry Goldenrod Guide 1 - RELEASED!

So, many of you are aware of my labors on the various Goldenrod booklets for Swords & Wizardry Complete.  Well, my first has been released over at the Open Gaming Store!  That's right.  You can now be the proud owner of  Goldenrod Guides: a Guide to Combat for Swords & Wizardry. If you buy it today with the current sale, you can get it for less than $2.00!  So, show some support, go get me thing. BUY IT HERE!    

Choice of the Petal Throne

There is a gamebook set in the Empire of the Petal Throne! It's called Choice of the Petal Throne and it is available here.

The reviews I've seen have been largely positive, most siting the density of Tekumel's setting, history and language as the only drawbacks.

Free OSR Adventure Resource - Adventure Module BL1-2: The Ruined Hamlet/Terror in the Gloaming From Barrataria Games

The Ruined Hamlet/Terror in the Gloaming is an excellent free adventure resource that features the art of William McAuslandand author and designerBarrataria. The module is a solid low level crawl and features some other solid adventure resources that can be used with any number of other old school campaigns. The author and designers have done an excellent job of creating an adventure that

Fleamarket Friday: H Is For Headquarters...

The latest installment of Steve Kenson's year-long A to Z of new material for ICONS, his rules-lite supers game, has been released. The $1.50, six-page PDF of H Is For Headquarters looks at three different options for the treatment of bases, hideouts and HQs, to suit your own game style: bases as qualities, activated for advantage ... or to cause trouble; bases as devices, with a level and

Skin Taker

Skin Taker
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 8 [11]
Attacks: 1 Touch (1d4+Con drain)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Drains 1 Con with hit, can only be hurt by spells or magic weapons, takes over corpses.
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 4/120

Completely intact skins of sacrificed cultists that prowl through back-alleys and dismal passages in search of victims. They are not undead; these things did not die in the course of being removed from their original owners and if they continue to prey upon others, they might even be immortal.

The wet, sloppy touch of a Skin Taker [...]

Abusing D&D 5th edition

There was a bit of debate about what to play after my gaming group finished The Lost Mines of Fandelver (or whatever it's called) a couple of weeks ago. One guy wanted to play Burning Wheel, but refused to play GURPS. I would have preferred to continue the Rise and Fall of Hydra or start some GURPS game, but I wasn't prepared for the first and there was too much resistance for the second. More or less by default, we ended up playing D&D 5e with the "Princes of the Apocalypse" adventure and new characters.

Lucky Rolls and What [...]

"I'm not a hundred percent comfortable right now (with the Digital Tools)" - Nathan Stewart, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast

Yep, another quote from the Forbes article.Are you comfortable with where you are in terms of digital tools and accessories for the tabletop game? I'm not a hundred percent comfortable right now, because I felt like we took a great step backwards. We had a partner who seemed like they were on track to bring out some digital aids that were gonna be good for players, but now we're looking for different people to bring that forward. We've got some opportunities, but I don't think we have anything concrete right now that serves the main purpose of actually making the tabletop play better. One of the missing components that we still need to deliver is technology actually aiding the tabletop play in a way that [...]

SWGMH S07E13: Setting Series III -- Cyber Runner Playtest 3

The gang gets together for the third session of the Cyber Runner actual playtest.

The post SWGMH S07E13: Setting Series III – Cyber Runner Playtest 3 appeared first on Sin City Savages.

Savage Insider Vol. 3, Issue 1 released!

Hey! A thing I got paid for writing is available again! "An Abundance of Gods" -- my article in the latest Savage Insider -- is a weird experiment for me. Basically, it's an examination of the Shinto religion from a gameplay perspective, statting up Shinto archetypes and extrapolating ways to use the religion and its philosophies in RPGs. I would like it to be the first in a trilogy of articles examining Japanese religion (the others would concentrate on Buddhism and syncretism), but I realize it's a bit of an oddball angle for gaming articles. Let me know what you think of it and whether [...]

Kickstarter Watch -- Mythica 2: The Darkspore Movie

Q: Holy crap, where have I been?
A: Under a rock, apparently!

Just in,a link to a Kickstarter for a fantasy themed movie. I was blown away by the trailer; no shit, I really was! I know it is not game related, but I see some gaming potential with this storyline.The trailer for episode 2 is amazing and the fantasy theme is right up my alley.

For the ladies or the guys, do you like Kevin Sorbo? This movie series prominently features him as the wizard mentor of the main character Marek.

I introduce to you,Mythica 2: The Darkspore, part 2 of a [...]

Legacies to rock Lexicon

This weekend is Lexicon in Lexington KY. I will be there all day saturday to run some Legacies. The first two parts of the Battle for Gytha series: Plains of Sametia and Knee Deep.

But also Ablaze went the swamp, the first battle interactive of the series. I have most of my boxed text written down and have some of the unique certs to give out.

Having run the first two parts a number of times, I feel confident in their quality. They build up to where I want to go with it. The next part of the series [...]

Friday Favourite: Should the DM Use a Screen?

On Friday we comb through our extensive archives to find an older article that we feel deserves another look. From June 19, 2013, Dungeon's Master once again presents:Should the DM Use a Screen?

Picture by Mike Shea of Slyflourish.com

The DM's screen -- thegreat barrier that separates the DM from the players. Behind the screen the DM can do whatever he pleases. Personally I detest the DM's screen. It forms a literal barrier that divides the table and cuts the DM off from the rest of the group. I feel that the screen only serves to perpetuate the incorrect belief that it's [...]

O is for Ogre

Most of the other creatures in my bestiary A-Z run have been infrequently used. The ogre, on the other hand, is becoming very frequently used in my games.

It doesn't take too long for characters to stop fearing an orc or two. If a character has a couple pieces of armor and Dodge Blow, an orc fight probably won't last too long. Ogres step up the challenge for those who like to attack instead of parlay.

Ogres are strong, tough, and have a lot more wounds that your generic greenskin adversary. Ogre have interesting conversation styles, calling characters [...]

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day 2015!

 2015 Index
 Happy Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day!  As a quick note, not all links will be working when this is first posted. Updates will be made a couple times throughout the day. Some folks will be working through the day to get several posts up.  Also, remember to tune in to the Livecasts tonight!

Appreciate Free Rulesets! Download All Three Swords & Wizardry Games Free!

Download Swords & Wizardry: Whitebox

Download Swords & Wizardry: Core

Download Swords & Wizardry: Complete

Appreciate Sales and Products:

Frog God Games is running a [...]

D&D Hacks: Aiming & Called Shots

After reading the latest Behind the Screens article aboutD20 ModernI've been thinking about a new mechanic they presented there, aiming. The basics of the mechanic is that when using firearms a character needs to spend a bonus action to aim in order to add their proficiency bonus. While this is definitely more realistic to me it's not to the level of heroic I prefer to play at. That said

All Fantasy Safari posts in one index

I’ve started to combine all the Fantasy Safari posts of each book in a single page and put them on an index page, which you find here and in the menu bar above. This is probably easier than searching for all the original posts separately.

The Friday Grab Bag - S&W App Day, AAW Job, & News Against Humanity

I hope everyone got in on Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day 2015.  Check out the doings as they come to a head later today here.

Also, on adventureaweek.com, they have details on some jobs available here.

Finally, from boardgamegeek.com news, the top story is about "Legal Trouble for Cards Against Humanity" here.

The Friday Grab Bag on CreativeMountainGames.com Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics not covered
elsewhere or needing a particular focus.Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

33% Off Swords & Wizardry for S&W Appreciation Day!

Frog God is having a 33% off Swords & Wizardry products at their online store - today only!
It's April 17th! In Honor of  Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day we are having a sale on EVERYTHING in the Swords & Wizardry format!  Use the following coupon code at checkout to get 33% off of everything in the Swords & Wizardry format:  S&W-33%OFF Shop Now!
(offer expires Midnight on April 17, 2015)

The Future of Virtual Tabletops: Fantasy Grounds and 5e

Virtual tabletops---applications designed to replicate the in-person roleplaying experience for remote players---are a big deal for the future of the gaming industry. For players, it's a way to play more games more often, as there's no longer a need to be physically present in order to play. For publishers, it's a chance to increase exposure to their games and further monetize their products. Some companies, like Evil Hat and Pinnacle Entertainment Group---publishers of FATE and Savage Worlds, respectively---have fully embraced digital content and make their core materials readily available on popular platforms like Fantasy Grounds. Other companies, like Dungeons & [...]

Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre This module clocks in at 90 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 86 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Now the first thing, before anything else, you should know that this literally is the only book you need to run the module – no switching to thousands of different books, not a full bag of supplemental material – this module provides more supplemental material than you can shake a stick at: First, we get all spells used in the book; then, there would be [...]


I don't have anything to offer for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day since my writing time has been devoted largely to Mythic Space these days. However, I do want to thank Matt and the folks at Frog God Games for giving us a great framework for fantasy gaming that is both nostalgic and modern at the same time. If you're looking for a fantasy game that gives you a great framework to build

The Statue of Honey and Bread and Cheese and Milk

This week: how we handled our first session with RpgGamerBoy as Dungeon Master. He was four and couldn’t read so I helped him with the rules but he came up with the story based on the visual cue of a D&D dungeon playmat. I am proud of what he achieved but also confident that any child could do them same. I have read elsewhere on the internet many people suggesting that you can’t play roleplaying games with kids until they are 8 or 9 – and I just don’t think that’s true. Certainly not in our experience anyway.

Most of this [...]

Underworld Races: Ddelig

Underworld Races: Ddelig This installment of the Underworld Races-series clocks in at 21 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We begin, as always for the series, with the epic stories of the cataclysms that have shaped Aventyr’s underworld, before delving into the race-specific history of the ddelig. So, what are they? Well, the short answer would be that they are the vessels and creation, the last-ditch gambit, of Aventyr’s first lich – cornered by [...]

[Friday Map] Chambers & Constructions of Castle Gargantua

I’m working with Kabuki Kaiser of the excellent Mad Monks of Kwantoom and Ruins of the Undercity on his latest piece – Castle Gargantua. The theme of this is a castle in the scale of giants. But not the giants of classical D&D that can be up to 21-24 feet tall. No, these are the giants of legend – the giants of Jack and Beanstalk, giants that will carry a sack of cows.

Giants that build things using a 60 foot grid instead of a 10 foot grid.

Structures of Castle Gargantua (with grid)

The castle is of course enormous – these are just three of the locations in the sprawling complex of towers, chambers, outbuildings, curtain walls, keeps and so on. The hardest part of working at the presented scale is drawing the human-sized things in them because of course the giants have long ago moved on and left this massive structure to be explored by those foolhardy enough to try to loot the lairs of creatures that would kill them by stepping on them.

And of course, there’s still some giant-scaled furniture in these areas. Massive beds, chests, ovens and tables make appearances in these maps alongside much smaller human-scaled furnishings.

Structures of [...]

Strange Stars Races- Savage Worlds Style, Baby- Voidgliders

Week three in the journey ofSavage Worlding the awesomeness of Strange Stars.


Voidgliders are vacuum-adapted humanoids who were considered a nuisance by the Vokun until their natural ability to detect hyperspace nodes was discovered. The Vokun continue to let the voidgliders live in their clan groups, but they have confined all they could find to a reservation within the asteroid belt of one system. They take volunteers to serve as scouts for their star navy. (SS, pg 17). Trey’s kick ass post on the Voidgliders.


Voidglider names are not translatable in any language and often times are given nicknames as a form [...]

Mythic Monsters: Mythos, Too

Mythic Monsters: Mythos, Too This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let's take a look!   As always, we kick off this installment of the Mythic Monsters-series with a supplemental piece of content -- this time with what can be considered a definition of creatures of the farthest realms beyond – if you’re smelling 3.X’s excellent Kaorti, wystes [...]

Flame Snails

Originally published in Silver Griffin, Issue No.10, circa 1989Flame Snails
Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Attacks: 1 Flaming Acid Spittle (1d6+4), Burning Crush (4d4)
Saving Throw: 10
Special: Surrounded by fire.
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

Huge, lumbering molluscs wreathed in otherworldly fire, Flame Snails tend to wander about aimlessly, setting everything they touch on fire and generally being a nuisance. They are believed to have been summoned from a distant alien world to serve in place of an ancient emperor's war elephants that were decimated by a magical plague. The Flame Snails may or may not [...]

Thoroughly Modern Armour

This blogpost is supported by generous Patreon backers. 
Infantry armour is generally rather binary in Into the Odd. Either you're armoured, and reduce all damage against you by 1, or you're not. If you want to get to Armour 2 you'll need to mount up as cavalry or find something very special indeed. Armour 3 isn't for you.

Well-made, Modern Armour protects you with a few high quality pieces and leaves both arms free. A good breastplate and helm should do it. It isn't cheap, though. 
Crappy outdated Shield Armour occupies your off-hand in some way. Anyone using [...]

Daredevil: The Path Of The Righteous

Matters have spun out of control for both Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk, and both strive to regain control of their situations in this episode.Wilson is at Vanessa's bedside for the majority of The Path Of The Righteous, while Leland and Wesley investigate the poisoning at the fundraiser.Meanwhile, both Matt and Ben - and eventually Foggy - tell Karen that the confession she, and Ben, heard

White Box House Rules

Two years ago I'd posted a set of house rules for Swords & Wizardry in a very rough form. It proved a fairly popular post and I've had a chance to give it some more thought - along with possibly having a White Box game in my future.

What I've been learning about the White Box rules is I don't quite like them as they are.  I think there's a place for a thief class. I think magic-users have gotten the shaft at low levels. But I've also discovered they are super-easy to customize. It's very different from my [...]

White Box Thief

ConceptFor Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day I thought I'd revisit something I'd thought about two years ago. One of my frustration with older versions of D&D is the fact that some classes, like thieves, just aren't very good at what they are supposed to do at low levels. A 1st level cleric is decent at combat and can turn undead. A 1st level thief has limited armor, low hit points, and thief abilities which have very high chances of failure along with some pretty nasty consequences.

What I'd like to do is realize a version of the thief that [...]

All Fantasy Safari post in one index

I’ve started to combine all the Fantasy Safari posts of each book in a single page and put them on an index page, which you find here and in the menu bar above. This is probably easier than searching for all the original posts separately.

"The Day the World Turned Upside Down" by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

There are many things that are just painfully wrong with this, but I’m just going to focus on the protagonist. One: you generally need to make the protagonist likable enough that you wouldn’t mind seeing him reproduce at some point. Two: it gets even better if he’s got a love interest that is actually a bit of a catch. You could go on from there to talk about what makes romantic tension work in general, but this is really the point where the author goes off the rails.

We have a main character here that is in tears in every other [...]

Infinity: The Role Playing Game In May

Infinity: The Role Playing Game



Based on the best-selling Infinity tabletop miniatures game by Corvus Belli, the story follows the battles of the Human Sphere against the alien Combined Army, a collection of conquered alien races led by an aggressively resourceful AI. A recent encounter with the enigmatic Tohaa, who want to ally with the Human Sphere against the common enemy, sets the stage for a vast story of conspiracy, war and adventure.



Now, the gaming world is poised to discover the truth behind Infinity as players will have the freedom to adventure in the Human Sphere and beyond, learning a myriad [...]

An Apology to Some Min-Maxers

One of the side-effects of playing a large number of games, and starting to design your own, is that you start to see what the mechanics of a specific game are doing or not doing. As my understanding of game mechanics has begun to grow, I came to a few realizations about games, especially d20 games, which made me realize that I have been too hard on my fellow gamers who have been min-maxing those games.

I feel like an apology may be in order...

What is Min-Maxing?

Let's get some terms set, starting with Min-Maxing. This term has a range of definitions [...]

Six Questions with Paul Mitchener

As you are hopefully aware, I am currently running a giveaway for two digital copies of The Age of Arthur. Remember, you still have a few days to enter!

I decided to shoot author Paul Mitchener a few questions and he decided to shoot me a few answers, and I decided to share them with you.

I hope you enjoy.

How did you break into writing RPGs?A while back I had the idea of running a game of the Reign RPG set in Ancient Greece. Then I picked up Wild Talents, and had the idea to [...]

O: Ooze, Soap Bubble

"Ok, what's that?" Allianora pointed down the corridor. Glistening in the lantern light, a large cluster of bubbles bobbed along bouncing off the walls and floor.

"New one on me." Feris answered. "Looks like soap bubbles."

"I knew this bag of endless rats would come in handy." Nimble smiled, reaching into the sack. He tossed the squeaking rodent at the bubbles. It passed easily through them, landing easily on the dungeon floor. It squeaked again, and shook its now glistening fur. It then sat up to wash its face and began flailing about in obvious pain. Moments [...]

Foul Beast: Bunny

Foul Beast: Bunny
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Attacks: 1 bite (1d4+2)
Saving Throw: 15
Special: Triple Damage on natural '20'.
Move: 16
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 4/120

Nasty, mangy undead bunnies that solemnly hop about desolate moors and other isolated and unpleasant locales in eternal pursuit of fresh meat and living prey.

If reduced to zero hit points, this foul beast will go dormant for 1d6 Turns after which it will rise again, often in a mangled or disheveled state which may or may not hamper its movement, as determined by the DM in their [...]

Dragon #149

Relationships at the DnD Table (Tome 247)

In this episode Jeff and Tracy sit down with Chris and Sharon Dudley to discuss relationships and gaming.

Support the show, shop below... Noble Knight Games Pick of the Episode

Daily Build v0.27 -- Editing wall segments

Fixes and additions

  • NEW: Wall segments in wall edit mode are highlightable and clickable.
  • NEW: Delete wall segment.
  • NEW: Update wall segment variation.

Tabletop Connect – Feature Preview – Editing Wall Segments

In the latest build, wall segments can be deleted and the variations can be updated. To enter wall editing mode, press the ‘w’ key. Moving the mouse over a wall segment will show the segment highlighted in yellow. Clicking on the segment will reveal the pop-up menu.

Selecting “Update variation” will change all of the walls of the segment tothe active wall type in the map edit UI. Any decor that is attached to [...]

On Wandering Monsters and Random Encounters

While working with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document (PRD) monster information I’ve noticed that thereare very few wandering monster or random encounter tables. There used to be pages of them in each of the monster manuals of previous editions (at least, up to 3.5; I can’t comment on 4e).

So I went looking through some of the Adventure Path modules and found — or rather, didn’t find — muchat all about random encounters. Again, back in the day you could pretty reliably count on finding at least one wandering monster table per level or region of an adventure, and now [...]

Fleamarket Friday: Don't Forget About Oubliette...

Old school British gaming fanzine Oubliette has risen from the grave for a ninth issue. Although its contents are written with Labyrinth Lord in mind, they are easily convertible to most OSR fantasy game systems. Even in my freakishly child-like hands you can see this compact issue is only about four inches by six inches This pocket-sized issue contains: Tales from Hell (a cartoon)


Hit Dice: 4+1
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Attacks: 2 Claws (1d6), 1 bite (3d4)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Amphibious, Regenerate but only Underwater.
Move: 12
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

The living remnants of a long forgotten wizard's experiments with troll's blood and various flora and fauna, in this case soft-shelled mud-turtles.

A Shellback will regain 1 hit point for every ten minutes it remains submerged under water. If a portion of their body is cut off and dropped in a swampy or otherwise wet area, it will slowly regrow into another individual over the course of [...]

Borderland of Adventure: Interim Preparations

At the end of last session, we left the party as they regrouped in Ratikhill after defeating the lurking threat below the ruined Tumbledown Manor.


Hemgor had left the party to take up his noble responsibilities and to begin rebuilding Tumbledown. The remainder of the party rested and recuperated for a couple of months; several had been badly injured during the exploration of Tumbledown and the weather was not yet good enough for extended overland journeys--particularly through the wilderness. For such a journey was in their future!

During their exploration of Xul Jarak last year the party had discovered certain clues that [...]

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