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Announcing Magic Pig Media

That’s right I’m throwing my hat into the publisher ring. You can read the whole announcement over here. Now, this will have some effect on [...]

Rebuilding Settlers of Catan: An interview with Bill Trammel

A few days ago Geek Native covered the Kickstarter project to produce carefully designed Settlers of Catan gaming boards. In that time the project has raised many more thousands of dollars and hundreds of backers. At the time of writing Bill and Nate's project is worth more than $150,000.

We're very pleased to say that Bill Trammel has kindly agreed to make some time during this whirlwind of gaming glory to take part in a Q&A style interview. Thanks Bill! You can support the project here and join in while you can.

Your Kickstarter page includes a video message from Pete Fenlon, [...]

Why I still love Tunnels and Trolls

When I played my first RPG, Wide World of Sports was still on television and Return of the Jedi had not yet made it to the big screen. Dungeons and Dragons was popular; as with many of you, it was the system that welcomed me into the fold. I was not, however, allowed to play it.

My neighbors, brothers my age, had an early edition. Andy, the older brother, guided the rest of us on our initial adventure. He made it up, in the sense that he took The Hobbit and changed a few names. But we didn't care, [...]

Monday's Game & Fate Points

I played my regular game of Dark Heresy last night.  Er, excuse me, I meant Rogue Trader.  We continue with the adventure, The Light of Reason, in which we continue deeper into a developed asteroid in which a group of people are creating psuedo-navigators.  At least, I think so.  We encountered a few more of the wolf-like beasts I mentioned last week, in addition to a few nurgles and flying demons.  I'm a big fan of nurgles, by the way.

One of the mechanics of Dark Heresy is something called a fate point.  Basically, it gives me a re-roll [...]

On the Confusion of Role

There are some old saws in the gaming community that break down when you take a closer look at them.
What is "Roll Playing versus Role Playing?"It is a term used derisively against those who are focused on the mechanical aspects of Dungeons & Dragons, or less frequently gaming.

This is non-trivial for at least two bizarre reasons that spring to mind.

First, the current, yet canceled, line of Dungeons and Dragons is explicitly focused on character skill and mathematical representations of combat.

Second, it commits the common error of mistaking "role-play" to mean 'taking on the [...]

The Starro My Destination: Superheroes: Year One

Last week should have been the last session of the G+ Superhero Game, but the group didn't make it to the final scenes so we'll play that out tomorrow with a big finish. Below is the post-session summary for Session Eleven as well as some of the background material I gave the players before the campaign started. 

THE STARRO MY DESTINATION 
WEEK TWELVE SUMMARY
With Mister Miracle's revelation in hand, Firstwave regrouped in an attempt to bring figure out a strategy. They considered the several images from Miracle's vision- the weird world, the campus, the docks, the [...]

Daily Cosplay

Iron Man 3 - The First Trailers...

Pathfinder Tops D&D Again

According to the latest estimates released by ICV2.com, Pathfinder was once again the sales leader in the RPG field this summer, beating out the "genre-defining title" Dungeons & Dragons. Rounding out the field are Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader by FFG, Dragon Age, and Dungeon Crawl Classics.

I've got to say that last one surprises me a bit, but I'm pleased as anything that something that is deliberately being aimed at the old-school market is doing so well when stacked up against all the other RPGs that are out there. Even if I don't personally care for it, it's helping my [...]

Session 41: Tsar -- The Dust Coven

For backgrounds on the characters played in this campaign, look here~

With destinations winnowing and the arrival of the citadel nearing, the adventurers next sought a showdown with the Dust Coven–the drow assassins, having been indicated by the gnolls and long lurked among Tsar’s temple-city streets, were decided to be a significant threat; by Pandora’s reckoning, the lot were liable to also have a considerable collection of valuables to help with the party’s endeavors against Orcus as well, added incentive to draw their rivals out for direct confrontation.

As best as the party had managed to deduce, however, the Dust Coven were [...]

IF: A Play-by-Post Role Playing Game

IF: A Play-by-Post Role Playing Game
So I've written a game.
Kind of.
It's a very rough, very early stage, very preliminary skeleton of a thing that could potentially grow into a game.
It's designed for play-by-post role playing, and is built around epistolary writing, which is a form of writing involving a stream of letters, journal/diary entries, newspaper articles, etc. that move a story forward, building tension by revealing details about the setting, plot, and characters through personal reflections, insights, and eye-witness accounts.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is probably the most popular version of this style of writing.
This all started [...]

Monsters of the Shattered World #5: Revelations

In this episode ofMonsters of the Shattered World, Andreas recounts his final battle in the lich’s laboratory, and the surprises he uncovered.

And that’s the end of season 1! Thanks for listening. Depending on the feedback we get from this episode–hint, hint–we’ll produce another season soon. Please let us know if you’d like to hear about Andreas’s further adventures.

For those of you new to this show,Monsters of the Shattered Worldis astorytelling podcast. It’s about a young scholar out on his own in the world, encountering strange monsters and writing about them. Each episode is 5 to 10 minutes long, so it [...]

Crowbill or Military Pick

One of my favorite characters was William Crowbill. He was a rather large gnome, with a huge beer gut who wore a chain shirt, leather breeches, high hard boots, spit tobacco so regularly that it stayed in  his beard and stained his lips and right cheek (where he spit backwards). He carried a crowbill in battle, hence his name, William Crowbill.

A crowbill is little more than a military pick as noted in the picture below. But the name crowbill is so much better than military pick.

Armor Up

Every time I see things like this my desire to play anything other than a fighter wanes. This is just cool...
Of course my characters almost always die. Maybe i should play something different.

Ares Mythologic.

Some Things are Just Cool

Delving Deeper from Brave Halfling and Immersive Ink is now available for free download!

The Delving Deeper free pdf version has been released and is available for download at RPGNOW.

The free version is split into three volumes, each of which features a cover illustration by the awesome Mark Allen!

Delving Deeper is a retro-clone of 0e, designed to hew more closely to the LBB's than previously released OSR RPG's.

While Brave Halfling Publishing initiated Delving Deeper, and will be fulfilling the box set pre-order shipments, support and publishing of the game is now under the aegis of Immersive Ink.

More info and discussion of Delving Deeper can be found [...]

Speaking of Space

Curiosity found a piece of its self:


Apparently that is a piece of the landing craft, or shoot apparatus, damaged as it made entry. Is it just me or does it seem odd that in all those many acres of land that the landing took place on that Curiosity finds a piece of the craft the size of a pebble? What would Mulder and Scully have to say about that?

Here's another shot of a tiny mineral:


I'm pretty sure that is a gold tooth, probably dropped by a Thark...whose spent bullet is in the [...]

Xray Novas, Neutron Streams & the Black

What in the sam hill is going on out there?

Astronomers watched a short X-Ray nova, produced when a massive jet of gas is ejected from a star or a black hole rips something to pieces, lighten the night skies at our galaxy's center. The burst of light intense which makes astronomers believe that its source was a black hole.

This type of event creates a binary system where a black hole feeding on a star pulls the star apart, its gas pools in a large disk hurtling around the black hole, slowing being drawn in. At times [...]

Iron Man 3 Trailer

Well, the trailer for Iron Man 3 hit the web today (not that trailer-of-a-trailer nonsense from a couple of days ago):



Two things strike me about this. First, the "I'm not a terrorist, I'm a teacher" line sounds like something Bane could have said in Dark Knight Rises. Second, the scene of the Iron Man armor blowing up reminded me of the Riddler doing the same thing in Batman Forever. Still, I've got to see this-- I especially like the notion that Tony Stark is actually having to deal with the emotional aftermath of the events in [...]

Are these the best horror RPGs of all time?

Halloween is sneaking ever closer and around the world gamers will be wondering what to do. Some gaming groups will have especially spooky encounters and others will play one off horror games. It’s little surprise that horror RPGs have a spike of sales around about now.

Geek Native asked the kindly souls at OneBookShelf (RPGNow and DriveThruRPG) what they’re all time top ten best selling RPGs are. Here’s the list… but do you agree? You can rate each horror RPG yourself. Does it deserve to be in the top ten?

#1: Vampire: The Masquerade


[Discover more] Mark Rein*Hagen’s classic has gone through [...]

Links for the Week of October 22

via Wikipedia

Welcome back to our weekly rundown of some of the Internet’s interesting posts from the previous week. In this edition, we’ve got the end of the world, cities of the dead, sign posts, and diagrams. Let’s get cracking!

Pretty Pictures

From the moment light hits our retinas we process color, intensity, and contrast, and it only gets better from there. Probably because of all our crazy visual hardware, we’ve developed lots of tools to our strong suit by displaying information visually. If you love diagrams and charts, what better use could you put them to than RPGs?

In this case, we have [...]

Monster Stock Art & Minis II Kickstarter: One-Third to the Goal!

This project has made 1/3 of its funding goal! Kickstarter has a statistic that most projects that reach this point do get funded. But we’re also about 1/3 of the way through the pledging period, so it will take some work and promotion to get it to the finish line.

For those of you interested in the PDF & Cardstock minis, I’ve put together a sample PDF of the minis based on the sample creatures from this project. You can download it free from DriveThru/RPGNow.

We also made one of the stock art pieces from our prior project into a free sample. [...]

20% off to Buy My Books

Lulu has another 20% discount. Why not use it to buy a book that I wrote? Click on the banner to head to the store.

Why not buy a book to read?

Fantasy Map (.net)

This is one I found yesterday through cartographersguild . What a fantastic resource! Maps of about anything you can imagine. I quite like the Floor Plans for the classic graph paper and the Oceanus Ultimus is probably my favorite for its layout and awesome border.

http://www.fantasy-map.net/

Look and enjoy! 

D&D Next - Negotiating with Ghouls

Session 3 continued from here

Cast

Aha - high elf sorcerer
Darrien - human cleric of Pelor
Erevan - high elf rogue
Rajabu - dwarf fighter

Erevan awoke in a bare bones stone chamber.  With his low light vision he was able to discern that he was not alone in the room.  An unconscious orc lay against the opposite wall, badly wounded.  As Erevan rose, he realized that he still possessed all of his gear.  He moved to the door and saw the silhouette of a humanoid head through the small, square, barred window.  He spoke to [...]

Where does a Maelstrom go?

Hereticwerks recently looked at the Maelstrom in gaming, with ideas for treating it as a monster or hazard to navigation, a basis for a terrain piece.
They also suggested it could be a gateway, maybe to a strange sea, or even a Weak Point between the worlds, possibly one of the more final Ends.
I'll definitely add this take on it to the Ends list, but it would be good to explore the idea and get some options, maybe a table to roll on for each descent.
That could be used in roleplaying for an encounter, or in [...]

GenCon Report 3: Playing New Games

One of the things I always want to do at conventions is to try games that I’ve never played before. This doesn’t always happen, though,as I do love GMing andteaching games (and I’m prone to volunteer for such things – see GenCon Report 2). However, at GenCon I managed to pull this off even with my excessive Marvel Heroic running.

Dread

Thanks to the fabulous D20 Blonde, I got to play in an incredible game of Dread. For those not following the latest story in D20 Monkey, Dread is a horror game with no dice. Whenever you want to do something [...]

D&D Next - At the Mercy of the Monsters

Session 3 continued from here

Cast

Aha - high elf sorcerer
Darrien - human cleric of Pelor
Erevan - high elf rogue
Rajabu - dwarf fighter

Aha, Darrien, and Rajabu woke up in a cold cell carved out of the unforgiving stone, a set of earthen steps leading up to a stout wooden door the only feature in their prison cell.  All of their gear and armor was gone.  With them were three other unfortunates, a young girl, an emaciated looking wretch with long braided hair, and a very short, old dwarf.

The PCs were here on a [...]

D&D Next - Aftermath of the TPK

The previous session resulted in a "soft TPK".

Cast

Aha: high elf sorcerer
Darrien: human cleric of Pelor
Erevan: high elf rogue
Rajabu: dwarf fighter

Session 3

Darrien, the cleric of Pelor, was able to open his eyes, barely.  He realized that he was on the ground, wounded badly.  He saw his companions were in a similar strait.  He also saw the lumbering orc survivors, bandaging the wounds of the fallen orcs, and bandaging the wounds of his friends!  He then witnessed a hulking figure descend the stairs.  This fearsome orc stood a head taller than [...]

SND-02: DOME OF INTERROGATION

The following is intended for the play-by-post delve ofSND-02: Fane of the Heresiarch.
Vitals+Rumors+Crusaders+ScoreRead more

5 Ways to Make Mindless Undead More Interesting

A lot of DMs have a love/hate relationship with undead; I know I do. Whenever I need a monster to round out an encounter I know that some kind of undead will always fill the gap. With so many different kinds of undead to choose from they can easily become the go-to monsters. However, as the party gets tougher I find that I'm less likely to use undead staples like skeletons and zombies. Sure I can adjust their scores to make them level-appropriate for tougher parties but these undead are really one-trick ponies. By the time the party reaches upper [...]

Birthday Freebies List

I recently came across a list of freebies one can sign up to receive on ones birthday.  And don't forget, this is but the first day of eight in the holiday of Marktoberfest which lasts through Halloween.  See more here!

Underworld Day - Bear Cave (Sudety Mountains, Poland) PART TWO

Second and last part of my own photos, taken in the Bear Cave during my second trip to the wilderness. Enjoy!







Beware of this Post, It Will Eat Your Wallet

Rob Conley from Bat in the Attic Blog and Bat in the Attic Games has unleashed his adventure set in the Majestic Wilderlands, Scourge of the Demon Wolf.  This book is jam packed.  Don't be fooled that this is just and adventure, it is also a companion to his The Majestic Wilderlands. 


Scourge of the Demon Wolf is a non-linear adventure.  It is a true sandbox adventure.  The players could solve the mystery in several ways.  Rob has playtested this adventure several times and has included some of his own experiences of the playtests within the adventure.  [...]

Modern Day Pickpocket

Recently I was thinking about what "normal" people carry in our modern-day. Suppose someone "rolled" a person or picked their pocket, what can they find? 1) Aspirin 2) Backpack 3) Book (fiction) 4) Book (non-fiction) 5) Bottle opener 6) Camera 7) Candy 8) Cellphone 9) Change 10) Comb 11) Compact mirror 12) E-reader 13) Gun 14) Handkerchief 15) Headphones 16) Jewelry 17) Keys

Legends and Lore: Agstowe

This here's another one of them Grognard excerpts, meant to accompany the old Grognard Gazeteer on the Dragonfall Uplands! Legends and Lore The Three Kingdoms, Agstowe Ileena Dogwood Introduction In my travels, there have been few lands that have charmed me as much as those of the Three Kingdoms. Miles is big and noisy, so I suppose that's something in its favor. Weyland is

Monster Monday Round-up #4

Last Round-up of the Monstrous Mondays!
Next week follow the bloghop links to see all the monsters.


  • The Wesker, http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-monster-wesker.html
  • Dreams of the Lich House has a Gaki, http://dreamsinthelichhouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/monstrous-monday-gaki-hungry-ghost.html
  • Two great tastes! Scarecrow Ninjas, http://madavid13.blogspot.com/2012/10/monster-monday-scarecrow-ninjas-for.html
  • Christian has Giant Rats, http://unknownzine.blogspot.com/2012/10/giant-rat.html
  • Hit Adjacent Ally has Black Hornets, http://hitadjacentally.blogspot.com/2012/10/monstrous-monday-black-hornet-of-green.html
  • Bessie, The Hellcow! http://punverse.blogspot.com/2012/10/mastermind-monday-marvels-hellcow.html
  • Drowned Sorceress, http://talesofthegrotesqueanddungeonesque.blogspot.com/2012/10/monster-monday-drowned-sorceress-of-far.html
  • Savage Menagerie: Bro'ding, http://www.savageafterworld.com/2012/10/mutated-monday-savage-menagerie-broding.html
  • The Lorf of the Stickmen, The HORRIBLE Mr. Sticks, http://gothridgemanor.blogspot.com/2012/10/monstrous-mondays-horrible-mr-sticks.html
  • Pyre wraiths, http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2012/10/13-days-of-halloween-day-four.html
  • A Field Guide to Doomsday has a ton of monsters! Not just on Monday, but most days, http://afieldguidetodoomsday.blogspot.com/


I am sure there are some I have missed. If so, just let me know.


Shae Isle

Jack Shear's post on the Shae Isle is here. This is one of the country descriptions for my upcoming book on the World Between. This is a draft.

Basic Description

This magical island has deep ties with supernatural creatures, so it has never been conquered by outsiders. The land is both profoundly primal and otherworldly, thick with nature spirits and the eldritch fey. The people of this island embrace its powers, rather than struggling to dominate them or destroy them. While this alliance makes a potent national defense, it also seems to make the people alien to their own kind.

Stylistic Feel

Not-Ireland. The [...]

Supplement Review: 100 Useless Summonings and Conjurations by Scott Lee from Lee's Lists

Of late I’ve noticed many different products appearing from a new publishing output called Lee’s Lists in the DriveThruRPG/RPGNow space. And when I say many, I’m talking 60+ different collections on a wide range of topics. Some are 100 long. Some are 1000 long. But they all seem to be a single page and not cater to any particular system or genre. I’ve seen everything from historical and fantasy to science fiction and martial arts.

I’ve been diving into thick gaming tomes of late (hundreds of pages) and have been looking for short palate-cleansers, so these one-page laundry lists of items, [...]

Historical Settings: WWII -- Ep80

I don’t have to run faster than Jerry’s panzerfaust, Private Sonofabitch. I just have to run faster than you!

We have recently begun a Mutants and [...]

Grey Styptics - New Monsters and Items

"Grey Styptics are common monstrous spiders found in most temperate regions. Tending to prefer thick forests, caverns, or the stillness of deep dungeons, they occasionally turn up in cellars, abandoned buildings or attics, often causing panic to those that find them."
Up for some new beasties and alchemical items for your 4e game? Of course you are. 
Download The Whole Article Here

The Final Test

Heavy Gear -- RPG/TRPG Session Run by Jason (jymmijamz) Players; Me -- Robin Boyden Will -- Dillon Percival PART ONE Orders It is a cool blustery morning, as the two new members of the 51st Recon Division, Gear pilots Boyden and Percival, have been called in to see the commanding officer. The Adjutant greets them [...]

An Experiment in Horror Gaming



Today I published EPOCH on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.  I thought I'd pause for a moment to reflect on the journey that led to this point (imagine some wavy lines on either side of the screen). 
It all began in February 2010 when I dived into a discussion on horror games on the venerable Gametime website.  In my righteous passion I said:
"My own philosophy is that if it is to be done successfully, we must take a page from horror movies, and try and employ similar techniques. Without going into too much detail I break these [...]

Unboxing: Dr Who Card Game

When a company does games well, jumping into a parallel side of the business with a different type of game is a risky strategy. Even though a well known license will attract people to the product, the reputation of both the product and the license puts a lot of pressure on the company to come up with a great game.

10 weapon names

  1. Moonbringer
  2. Riverbane
  3. Elysian Destroyer
  4. Malefic Hammer
  5. Great Slasher
  6. Goblinlance
  7. Abyssal Smasher
  8. Shadowhaunter
  9. Serpenthew
  10. Acidblade

Created by using : Tablesmith

Review: All We Have Forgotten

A lot of people – including me -- are using video game or movie soundtracks as background music for our roleplaying sessions. Alas these soundtracks are often not a perfect fit. Some tracks may be too distracting when played in the background or are too iconic. You can't [...]

A Status Update

I really, really wish I didn’t write so many short little posts that end up as "Here’s this week’s complication, here’s why the posts are a little different"; it’s slightly embarrassing having to admit to weakness, and sometimes feels like I’m being lazy while trying to pretend to keep a schedule. On the other hand, I’m going out of state tomorrow, I have the prelims for a paper due on Saturday, and I think the situation justifies it.

So here’s the scoop. For a week, starting this Wednesday, I’m on vacation. Instead of my usual riffs, we will have a sequence [...]

Next! The D&D Playtest

Do you still know how it was in May? When the first playtest package was announced? All the excitement what the new edition will be like. That time has long passed now. Today I feel more like I'm designing half of a game in my free time. A game that does not excite my any more at all. "At least in Germany it's 80ies revival time, so why not play a system that is just as boring as ADD?"

First when it was announced, I thought the module concept was a cool idea. Now during testing it proves to be the [...]

The Grey Elf Exegetes AD&D

I recently ran across another blogger reading through AD&D (all of it, though he's starting with the DMG and hasn't finished it yet) and posting about it, over on The Wasted Lands. If you'd like to see another take on the DMG (and one that's significantly further along than I am), give it a look. Reading up through where I am myself, it's been interesting seeing similarities and differences in what we find interesting and worth the most attention, as well as where we do or don't disagree with Gary, all still from an Old School perspective. At first glance, [...]

Class Acts: Witches

This pdf from Abandoned Artsis 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages of content for 3 new witch archetypes, so let's check them out!
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