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Is It Time To See Guardians Of The Galaxy Yet?

No Soul Left Behind, No Goal Unreached

Imagine you are a simple educator, working in a struggling charter school. Further, imagine you are unexpectedly possessed by a demon from Hell. This psychic invader grants you amazing powers — impossible beauty, transmutation of matter, laser eyes, any number of possibilities — but at the same time, demands that you commit all kinds of evil with those powers. So naturally, being a mostly decent person, you appease the demon as best as possible by concocting ridiculously grandiose acts of largely hollow villainy that also happen to benefit the struggling school in which you are deeply invested.

Congratulations! You’ve just devised [...]

Computer Magic

I don't talk about music much on my blog anymore, but I just discovered this gem of three year old electronica (thank you Lexus commercial!) that I think it absolutely fantastic.

Maybe a touch too long, but I'm not complaining.

Confessions of a Newb GM: Communicating Trust

I've just started a group in my Lepskin campaign. I trust that they'll be playing to have fun and to try totell a good story whileworking to bring what is cool to them to the table. They trust that I am making adventures that have direction to them, but also that I'll let them go and explore the sector I have made up a frameworkfor. I've advertised that the players are able to make a sizeable contribution to this campaign setting and, at the moment, I'm trusted to follow through.

There is an unspoken contract between the players andI as a [...]

The Communication Barrier a.k.a The Game Master's Screen

If they are used properly, storyteller’s screens are a valuable tool in running and managing your game. Used improperly, these paper wallscan be an imposing barrier between the players and the storyteller, a physical manifestation of the subconscious castle that inexperienced (or just plain bad) game masters take shelter behind to avoid player conflict. By reducing the height of this castle wall and placing it strategically on the table we can reduce communication barriers and create a game that is more interactive, productive and enjoyable for everyone involved.

A pile of typical screens. These screens are from our time playing the [...]

Image Thursday

There are many awesome and inspirational images on the web these days. Here’s a few that were found that you may enjoy and draw ideas from.

Clicking on each image will open it in a new window.




This image feed will show the last 12 images that have been pinned and may change if you return to this post later.

GE48: 5 Great Weird Al Music Videos

Weird Al Yankovic has parodied hit songs for more than three decades. His newest album, Mandatory Fun, is #1 on the Billboard charts. We celebrate this by recommending five of his great music videos.

  • 5) Perform This Way
  • 4) Smells Like Nirvana
  • 3) White & Nerdy
  • 2) Amish Paradise
  • 1) Word Crimes


WhatWeird Al music videos do you like best?

Review Us…Please!

If you like what you hear and you use iTunes to get our content we ask a favor of you. Please consider rating us on iTunes.

iTunes is one of the most popular ways for listeners to find podcasts. Help potential listeners find a show you [...]

City of Aasimar

Last week, I wrote about stealing races from other settings and bringing them into your world. Along those lines, I want to give you a peek at my way of bringing one of my favorite races into the game – the aasimar.

I know there areloads of tiefling fans out there. Who could blame you? Tieflingshave a very compelling story. I do find it strange, however that tieflings are going to be in the core of fifth edition in the Player’s Handbook, while the aasimar is overlooked. Here’s some proof via Wizards of the Coast tweet.

See? There is a tiefling entry [...]

Thoughts on Fear and Courage for GMs

Over on The Gamesmaster Academy (on Roll20 Forum) a new GM posted his Campaign concept (you do need to join the GMA to read the post, sorry) which I thought was a great and ambitious idea. After describing his concept he asked "How do I make the helpless powerful again? What is perfect? What is beyond magic? how do I instill fear and courage at the same time?" This is what I wrote... I see

Dungeon Design: Designing the Dungeon

Dungeons that are nothing more than a series of rooms containing a random assortment of monsters and treasures that have no real reason for existing are the result of sloppy, lazy design.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


To create memorable dungeons, a GM should consider many more factors than simply what to stick in its rooms. When designing a dungeon, consider the following factors:

  • Original Purpose of the Dungeon: A dungeon designed as a gigantic tomb is going to look and feel completely different to one that was once a grand temple. In either case, the builders construct different kinds of rooms, chambers [...]

Coming soon...

"Guess what happens when the lights go out."

D&D Encounters: Dead in Thay (Week 11)

During the last session the PCs learned that a group of Red Wizards were trying to reset all the black gates and undo everything the heroes had accomplished so far. With consequences so dire, three tables (16 PCs) came together to face off against these foes. It was a bit of a grind but in the end two parties of 8 stormed the Masters' Domain and stopped these Red Wizards from succeeding. The PCs levelled up and most used the Seclusion Crypt to gain the benefits of a long rest before heading into the final fight.

This week we began part [...]

Fan Created Gamma World Adventures

Did you know that a bunch of Gamma World fans got together and finished the old TSR gamma world module line?   I didn't until I was reading the Wikipedia page for Gamma World one day and it referenced the fan produced adventures GW5 and GW11.  I immediately scoured the internet for these hopping they were still hosted somewhere.  They are.  Wayne's Books hosts them on this page.  Here's the direct links if you want to jump right to the good stuff:

GW5 Rapture of the Deep 
 GW11 Omega Project

Why Should You Vote for the Other Side?

The Other Side is up for an ENnie Award for "Best Blog" this year and I could not be more thrilled.
You can see the list of nominees here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2014-ennie-awards-nominees/ and can vote here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/

As you can see I am in some really great company.  But there are some reasons I think that my blog deserves this award.

- I am going to be at Gen Con this year with my kids.  I like to take my kids to Gen Con. They love it and they have been talking about it for WEEKS now.  What would really be [...]

Five Headed Halfling

On a Deep Carbon Observatory

I guess this is the week where I read things and tell you about them. AM I DOING A GOOD JOB?

Well, up till now, probably. I think it's probably a terrible idea to read Deep Carbon Observatory and then go back to Phandelver. It's just not fair to Phandelver. It's not like they have anyone on team "Official Publisher" as brilliant as +Patrick Stuart.

What is it?
A module about finding lost treasure.

(It's a nightmare, run, run away)

The beginning. You are immediately presented with three terrible situations as you enter town. You can possibly [...]

Dinner & Gaming & Playtesting

I decided to start hosting Dinner & Gaming nights again, doing so once a month. I like to game. I like to cook. (I even considered going to a culinary arts school until I figured out I have anosmia.) So, I fixed taco salad, got a couple bottles of sangria, and broke out the Swords & Wizardry, In Search of the Unknown, and a couple copies of my WIP Optional Skill Resolution Rules.

With only two players in attendance, I was flexible with class and race combinations. Alex made up Brother Zaphod, an Elf Cleric/Magic-User who had been raised by weasels [...]

Computer Misfortunes

Sorry for the lack of regular posts, my home pc decided to die on me lately and getting time to blog in the office isn’t easy. Rest assured that I’ll do my best to get my blog back on track.

Will try to get my pc fixed as soon as possible so that I can get back to my Let’s Study series!

The Magical Item Alphabet!! L- Lover's Scorn

Lover Scorned- This jagged blade has a long history of manifesting in the hands of lovers, men or women, who have been abused or abandoned by their lovers. This blade seethes with malicious intent and hungers for blood.

The blade does 2d4 damage and causes 1 point of bleeding damage. Each successful attack with the blade grants a +1 to attack and causes the wielder to become lost in a blind frenzy of blood and elation as they hack their victim to pieces.


Once per day the user can point the blade at their target who must succeed a DC 20 Will [...]

Prep in Progress: Chapter 21, Part 2

  The Prep in Progress entries are short summaries of my prep for my ongoing campaignThe Tales of the Hero Wars.   The game prep went well yesterday. For once, I managed a good amount of work on the Wiki. I added at least another seven pages, so that was a good chunk of the …

Continue reading »

Episodic Play

I was thinking about one shots / convention play, and how it plays out differently than campaign play. But then I thought a bit about campaign play, and even with campaign play there are different methods.

Episodic play is much like the average TV series - each episode is self contained and has little direct effect on the following episode (there are obvious exceptions like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and such).

I see the DCC RPG as written defaulting to episodic play. Start each session (or story arc - which is a whole 'nother post) with the party ready to jump in and go. Wrap up at the end of the episode, hand have weeks or months in between and [...]

more Lost Pages reviews

Three reviews in one day!

Chthonic Codex – Cryptic Creatures at Giant Dragons

Chthonic Codex – Mysteries and Mystagogues at Hack & Slash

Pergamino Barocco at Richard’s Dystopian Pokeverse

This Room Contains #3

"A richly appointed man garbed in traditional tattoos and robes of state, wearing an ornate badge of office, revealing him to be a diplomat representing the Boy King of Eocene - stands in the centre of the room. He seems to be in fervent conversation with a floating mote of energy that appears to be a visitant soul, beneath which is the dessicated husk of its former body."
Quick dungeon room ideas, all created using -  this method. (2 - 2 - 3) #thisroomcontains

The Book of Faces

I have a bad habit of spontaneously starting new projects, but that’s okay, because the wheel of progress is always turning and things do, eventually, get finished. My latest project is a little bit of an experiment in game book design. Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, or the green backed “Fighting […]

Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Rules - More thoughts on Aspects

Thinking about Aspects and chatting with my wife (who is a big fan of that old-school D&D (but simpler) feel that Dungeon World provides, less so of Fate) last night; it occurred to me that one of the problems I have had people mention to me when talking about Aspects is that it can often be difficult to know what to pick since the choices are almost limitless, certainly newcomers to the game can find it a little bewildering at first. It occurs to me that perhaps combining Aspects with the Bonds system of Dungeon World might work well.
* [...]

Last Days To Win A Role In Episode VII...

A Tangential Experience, Part 2

Our dog sleeping on my chair in our office.

In June I wrote an update that said I was getting Mrs. Cabbage into roleplaying.

Well it never happened. This post is to tell you why.

Soon after I posted that we discovered that Mrs. Cabbage was pregnant. Those who have had (or have, or are) pregnant partners know how lazy they can be. She puts our dog to shame some days!

No, seriously, she gets very tired very easy. Especially with the twins inside her.

Yes, that’s right, there are two Seedlings on the way.

So though Mrs. Cabbage carrying two Seedlings is tangential to this [...]

A Master Class on Dungeon Design

If you don’t follow him regularly, you might not have noticed that Chris Chinn is on fire these days. He’s long been writing great articles to help you diagnose your group and provide awesome tools, like the Same Page tool, or the super quick one sentence character motivator.

Some of the more interesting ideas for 4th edition plots and stories came from his site, including The Five Blades of Bahamut– a game I’d still happily play.

Now that Fifth Edition is out, he’s got a great seven part [so far] series on dungeon design. Even better---the advice is applicable to dungeon [...]

Review 07/23/14

Flying onward toward the stone edifice the foliage begins to move and successfully, albeit briefly, separated us. The magical effect slowed us down enough for the guardians of the edifice to prepare. They brought on bandersnatches/ 'Tane' (magical beast) and holy warriors to protect the elven pantheon temple. 
Seeing our folly in our headlong assault Jaren (using a wish) then teleports us to Spraggle Tower. Appearing in a rainstorm in the training yard we find that it is four months since our departure from Stormhaven. 
Meeting with Ambassador Katchlack we learn and Versel correctly intuits what is causing a sickness to befall the crops that supply Spraggle Tower. It is here we decide to read messages, replace items, gather legends, and attempt to communicate with a spirit tree. 
Messages from Anan assure us that she is furthering her/our endeavors; her last message from two weeks ago indicated she would travel to the coast near Nimbus. Jaren spent most of the time with a legend lore spell attempting to learn of our bronze enemy. 
* Bronze is a water-based dragon. * The name of the bronze dragon has different translations from the truespeech: inclination; to speak of will or a willful person; and lastly wish. * The [...]

Cradle of Sin: Classes and Hulaszi PCs

My previous post on Hulasz-Arat was meant to give the players in my Tuesday night DCC game a general sense of what I was envisioning for the backdrop of the world. Before we got to the point where folks were making traditional medieval assumptions about how the world worked, I thought I'd nip any of that boring stuff in the bud. Leave your tree-huggin', elf-clogged prancetasy at home, friends, it's time to journey into the Cradle of Sin. 

So the mini-setting has a name: The Cradle of Sin. I wanted something that got close to "Cradle of Civilization," didn't [...]

YALP Ep. 14 "D&D Basic -- Kings and Demons"

The final episode in the YALP D&D Basic series is upon you, but what lays in store for our heroes?

There’s a possessed King and his guards.

A strangely helpful advisor to the King named Ptolemy.

A bunch of chanting monks.

The Arch of Truth.

And that guy at the stables.

How will the party ever deal with it all?

You never can tell with these guys.

Join us for the final episode:

"D&D Basic -- Kings and Demons"

Featuring the gaming talents of:

Sam Bigum as The DM

Ben Yendall as UlfgarRumnaheimthe Dwarven Wizard

Cameron Calka as Kai Swordhand the Human Fighter

Brent Brown as Gladice Gladdenstone the Halfling Cleric


Brian Casey as Anether [...]

drow cleric ! ceremony ! :D

a drow cleric … at one of the seasonal ceremonies celebrating lolth

drow cleric !

Filed under: concept art, fantasy, role playing game Tagged: ceremony, character, cleric, creature, drow, dungeons and dragons, elf, fantasy, lolth, pathfinder, race

Another Petty God is Born

And his name is +Jason Zavoda.  Zavoda does sound like good Petty God name.  Zavoda is the Petty God of Used Gaming Goods.  In my pantheon he would rate higher than a petty god, it is gaming after all.  Here's why Zavoda earned his deity status....

Jason asked if I wanted a couple of adventure modules that were in well-used.  I never turn down adventure modules.  I said sure.  I though maybe he'd send a couple in a manilla envelope.  Holy crap no he did not.  The package weighted about five pounds or more.

Now the amazing [...]

Assassin's Creed Unity Meets Parkour

This has to be one of the most bad ass videos I have seen this year. It combines cosplay with some crazy ass action. The stuntmen in this video are not only crazy, they are skilled beyond belief. Watch it and see for yourself.

If you dig this video as much as me, check out devinsupertramp’s other videos.

Dead in Thay: Save or Die

The Dead in Thay season of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters is over! We wrapped it up tonight with a sweet poster map printed out at Office Depot for a cool 3 bucks.

Players are on vacation, so I had a mere 4 heroes for the big finale. I was disappointed in the turnout. I was pretty excited about this one, and I wanted them all to get to experience it. Also, this thing is deadly. The more players, the better.

I don't want to harp on this too much, but I feel that I must include a [...]

halfling barbarian ! trouble at the tavern !

a halfling barbarian is snoozing at a local inn (sleeping off a bit of a binger) .. when a gang of toughs starts terrorizing the patrons ! she enters the fray :w00t:

halfling barbarian ! leaps into battle !

Filed under: concept art, fantasy, role playing game Tagged: barbarian, character, concept art, dungeons and dragons, fantasy, fighter, halfling, pathfinder, race

drow priestess ! and the ritual ! :D

sketch of a drow priestess … about to perform a ritual

drow priestess … about to perform some sort of ritual ^^;…

Filed under: concept art, fantasy, role playing game Tagged: character, cleric, creature, drow, dungeons and dragons, fantasy, pathfinder, priestess

The King is Dead: Progress!

I've finished the expanded information for the secret societies and am now working on new Edges!

Bundle of Holding - ORE: One-Roll Engine

I've heard only good things about the One-Roll Engine, especially Wild Talents, on the Happy Jacks Podcast. I also received Godlike in some bundle or other, and I really like the setting (although to be honest, I didn't look at the rules themselves, as supers is generally not a genre that I readily embrace).

This is a very tempting bundle, as I suspect if I did play a supers game, it would probably use the rules / setting of Godlike.

Ah well, I have a week to decide...

The Sun Sword for Dungeon Crawl Classics

For my Crawling Under a Broken Moon game I'm  creating both a one-shot adventure as well material for an ongoing campaign.   The one shot adventure will use the characters from Post Apoclypse archetypes.  One of those characters is Thundarr, of course, and what's Thundarr without his Sun Sword!

One of the many unique objects in Thundarr is the Sun Sword.  The shows creators were, well let's just say inspired by, Star Wars.  The Sun Sword is pretty much a lightsaber. In the show  Thundarr uses it to do all kinds of things, except actually cutting people up. I [...]

European Women in Games

The fourth annual European Women in Games Conference is to take place on Wednesday 10th September at London South Bank University. The program will feature a range of current topics including setting up your own games company, games industry career advice to how to encourage more school children to consider a career in the games industry.

Announcing the details of the conference organizer David Smith said, "The European Women in Games Conference has steadily grown over the past four years. The 2014 event will help all industry professionals' progress their careers and we are making it accessible to everyone. I'd like to thank London South Bank University for hosting the conference and making it possible for us to offer attractive ticket prices for a first rate and pertinent program both for existing industry professionals as well as those hoping to join our industry."

As in previous years the day's conference will comprise a mix of keynote speeches, panel discussions and the European Women in Games Hall of Fame Awards. The line-up of speakers and panellists will reflect the diverse talent that exists in the games industry. Key note speakers will include Emma Mulqueeny, the founder of Rewired State and Young Rewired State and a Commissioner for the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy and Andrew Webber, Marketing Director – Audience Acquisition at Microsoft. More speakers and panellists will be announced over the coming weeks.

"We are fortunate to have welcomed some inspiring key note speakers over the last 3 years including Fiona Sperry, Siobhan Reddy and Caroline Norbury." said David Smith. “

The conference has steadily grown in popularity since its inaugural event in 2011. This year's event is expected to have the greatest attendance yet helped by the early bird ticket price of 20 per person. This makes the conference much more accessible to [...]

Elements & Alignments brought to bear: The Rod of Law

Ephesians 2 
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (KJV)or a queen?A prince?

New Custom Card For Your Monty Python Fluxx Game: The Black Knight

Been playing a bit of Monty Python Fluxx in my home games recently. Even have the Castle Expansion and "Sir Not Appearing in This Game" promo card. But the omission of one card was driving me nuts, as it's such an obvious addition, I'm surprised it doesn't exist.

Doesn't exist until NOW, anyway!

I've created a new Creeper card for your Monty Python Fluxx games: The Black Knight! Like most Creeper cards, he's brought out and played upon drawing. You cannot win the game if he's on the table in front of you unless the current Goal says [...]

Running Pathfinder for Smaller Groups

Pathfinder, like its close cousin Dungeons & Dragons, is a fantasy roleplaying game where a group of players gather around a table to have numerous adventures within an imaginary fantasy world of either the Game Master's creation or a publish setting created by someone else. Ideally, this group contains four to five players who fill the four, classic roles (Arcane Spellcaster, Divine Spellcaster, Expert, & Martial). 
Occasionally, this idea is not met and the group only has two or three players. At first glance, this might make running the game a little harder. However, its relatively easy to adapt the [...]

Dangerous Space Jail by Phil Vecchione

On Google+, Phil Vecchione was asking for people to review his Dungeon World adventureDangerous Space Jail. I jumped.

I love Phil’s Never Unpreparedfrom Engine Publishing. It’s a guide for getting things done, with a focus on bringing awesome adventures to your gaming table.

Encoded Design’s tagline is “Weaponizing Games for Busy GMs.”It is important to keep in mind that this adventure is for Busy GMs.


Dangerous Space Jail devotes five pagesto the preamble.

One page for an introduction toEncoded Design‘s first publication as well ashow the adventure came about.

Twopagesofadventure background.Astral prison forancient foes.

Twopages explaininghow to use this adventure. There is good advice, especially those [...]

Kickstarter - Non-Player Cards: An Artful & Inspirational Generation Tool (NPC Character Generator)

I like inspirational tools when I'm brainstorming some adventure creation. It's why blogs like The Dungeon Dozen and resources like the D30 Sandbox Companion are so popular. They don't give you a finished product - but they give you inspiration for use in limitless adventures.
Non-Player Cards: An Artful & Inspirational Generation Tool is something similar, but it's for use in generating memorable NPCs (although I expect players could use it to add depth to their PCs) and includes something that most other products of the sort don't really stress - inspirational art. That is the whole point to putting this on cards, it is not?
In many cases, NPCs are one of the trickiest aspects of GMing. Questions about: What should I [...]

judge anderson !

judge anderson (from judge dredd comics )… after a brawl with some fascists ! she won of course :w00t:

judge anderson !

Filed under: role playing game Tagged: character, comic book, judge anderson, judge dredd, role playing game, sci fi, selkirk

Quick Adventure Hook "The Scarmaw Orcs"

The  king has been clear about  the mission. Locate the Scarmaw Orcs, negotiate a treaty of trade and nonaggression with the green skinned bastards, and if possible see if we could turn the tribal chiefs attention towards the dwarves in Iron Pass. Simple? No not simple. So here we are the chief refused to speak to us unless we passed the orc warrior trial, what ever that is, and  now this big brute Thagnar and his smashed up  smelly tooth is shouting in my face.
Thagnar One Tusk looked over the new recruits. Not a single one of them would [...]

Role Playing with YOU as the character part 5

One year in and the campaign is still going strong. A year of playing myself has taught me many things. For one, the trials of warfare have hardened my character. He no longer suffers from a reluctance to kill. He is unforgiving and has become the sort of person you never want to threaten for he will strike without warning the moment he thinks you are a danger.

The party has changed a lot over the past year of gaming, actually several years in game. They are a violent bunch who does not respect the laws of any place they travel. They do as they wish and to hell with the consequences. I have learned whom I can trust and whom is never to be trusted. Who is smart and who is stupid. I have learned that I am not as bright as I would tend to think I am and my penchant for patience is nonexistent.

When you play yourself as a character you begin to imagine life differently than it really exists. You begin to draw attachments that you might have never noticed before. You discover the things in life that matter and you discover that most of the day to day drama of the real world is just that, drama. The drama in the game gives you a release of emotions, a release of inner violence, and best of all, a chance to be something more than you really are.

For better or worse, playing yourself as a character is an experience all role players should try at least once in their career. Otherwise they may be missing some of the best gaming of their lives.

San Diego Comic Con/Gam3rCon starts TODAY

In about 2:15 minutes the wave of geekery descends upon San Diego. If you're going to Comic Con...enjoy, and be safe out there, feel free to drop by Gam3rCon as well. While not a HUGE event, it is part of the overall SDCC experience. I will be running Judge Dredd daily at Gam3rCon using my new (though not 100% complete) Karl Urban block. (So if you see Karl Urban at Comic Con, let him know...
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