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Grupo Martes 27 January: Castles of Burgundy

Michael starts upper right. We took the opportunity to prepare for the qualifier again, by playing Die Burgen von Burgund (The Castles of Burgundy). This time I started upper right. My game paid off. I scored a knowledge tile early that made it easier to place ships and herd animals. From there I scored the large city. Although we are practiced players now, it was a long long round. After our last round, we felt that luck does not play that big a role in this game, because you typically have so many options. This time we saw what can happen [...]

Less Known Hexographer/Dungeonographer Features: Fog of War/GM-Only

How to set GM Only (Fog of War) in Hexographer

Sometimes in a hex crawl/exploration game or of course when exploring a dungeon you want to reveal the area in small sections. Perhaps a single hex or a few in a wilderness map; or a room or corridor at a time in a dungeon or interior map.

Hexographer has a concept of “GM Only” to accommodate fog-of-war functionality. Initially, everything you create has GM-Only off. However, you can easily switch everything to only be viewable in the GM’s version of the map through a toggle menu item. Here are the steps (they [...]

Rise of the Drow Kickstarter

The Rise of the Drow Trilogy Kickstarter by Adventureaweek.com just went live. So, what’s all the fuss about? Here’s...

The G*M*S Magazine Podcast Episode 79--Dark Harvest: The Legacy of Frankenstein

At last, after too long of waiting, and not without some host coordination issues, we are back to bring you more RPG goodness and more interviews. Huzzah! In this episode Dale and I talk about the recently reprint of the AD&D games by Wizards of the Coast. Together with the release of old modules and material in PDF through DriveThruRPG.com, there are also a small number of physical books you can get your hands on if you so wish. But is there a point to that, or are you better off buying the books in the second hand market?

The Devil's Mirror stats defined

“I stand here atop my mage’s tower, I am master of all that see. I have bent the will of men to serve me and used my power to warp the forces of nature and time. I hereby declare that today and all Mondays that have yet to pass to be: Magic and Monster Monday.”

In an effort to post on a more regular basis I am going to pick a few days a week to post about certain topics.

I have been thinking about a list of powers, costs, and how to feed the mirror.

The possessor must spend an [...]

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess

So I mentioned awhile ago I had a secret project in the works,  that was "Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess" an adventure for the LotFP 2013 Free RPG Day Kickstarter.

If you've liked any other adventure I have ever run or released, you want to back this and get a copy of Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess.

The LotFP 2013 Free RPG Day Adventure Kickstarter is Live

James Raggi is attempting to Kickstart funding for a Free RPG Day product. You are NOT getting the Free RPG Day release by funding this Kickstart, you are instead getting PDF and possibly print copies of new LotFP adventures (depending on your pledge level), and the funding of this project will find a PDF release (@ $2,500) or a Print & PDF release (@ $15,000).

The funding period is only 16 days, so it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

I'm not even going to try to explain the different funding levels and their rewards as I'd lose my sanity check. You'll need to read them for yourself ;)

Zombicide review

By Paco Garcia Jaen 

Zombies are getting a hard time of recent. People have decided that too many games, comic books, TV series and all sorts of paraphernalia are coming out at the moment and the theme is "overdone".…

Witch: Mother

Witch: Mother
Medium Humanoid (Human)

Armor Class 13Hit Points 18 (4d8) 
Speed 35 ft.Senses lowlight vision 50 ft.

Str 12 (+1)     Dex 14 (+2)    Con 11 (+0)Int  17 (+3)     Wis 14 (+2)    Cha  13  (+1)
Alignment chaotic evil Languages common, infernal, witch's cant

TRAITS______________________________________Keen Senses: The witch gains +5 to all checks to detect hidden creatures.

Daughter of the Moon: As long as it is after nightfall, but before dawn, the witch has advantage on saving throws against magical effects.

ACTIONS_____________________________________Melee Attack---Broomstick: +4 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 4 (1d6+1) bludgeoning damage.
Ranged Attack---Evil Eye: +5 to hit (range 50 ft./100 ft.; one creature). Hit: 9 (2d6+3) psychic damage.

Wizard [...]

When Heroes Fail...

Call me naive, ridiculous or pathetic, but I have set certain folks in the OSR community up on a pedestal. It's hero worship pure and simple, and these folks attain a certain amount of celebrity in my eyes. Even the @$$hat bloggers and forum trolls have attained a certain amount of respect in my eyes.

So when one of my heroes stumbles, I'm quick to defend or even want to help out. But I think that's where I have to draw a line. I know we are all human and we pretty much screw up on a daily basis, Hell's Nine Bells, [...]

Shark Farts Tiny Monster Box Magnet

For sale at the Asparagus Jumpsuit Etsy store

Legends & Lore: A Change in Format

It looks like Legends & Lore is switching focus from the overall bigger picture to a weekly progress update, so we will see what that entails next week. Hopefully this includes flavor and crunch previews.

While we did not get the exploration rules that were supposed to be in the latest packet--which, I was not aware we were supposed to get--Mearls states that they will be in the next one. The brief overview he does provide sounds similar to how it works in Dungeon World: when you are traveling, each character gets a job, either trailblazer, scout, or quartermaster. You then [...]

Ugh...Here We Go Again.

Just when I was beginning to forget about Jim Shipman we get another one.

This time I am not going to post any of this guy's "art" since he is sending out DMCA notices to all sites doing this.  Effectively silencing all his critics.

Who is this guy?  Mykal Lakim of Dark Phoenix Publishing.
What is the charge?  Stealing art is the big one, but he is also accused of blatantly ripping of White Wolf's games.

First the art.
Matt McElroy of Flames Rising has been collecting all of these.
You can see all the art and the comparisons on his [...]

The fine art of RPG selling - Part 1

Corey Reid, of Dino Pirates of Ninja Island fame, wrote up a blog postabout selling at the convention floor. He's got some good thoughts about how to consider a convention a success. Things to think about like metrics and key indicators which is always a good thing to have. We can discuss them at a later time, because what I want to talk about is the fine art of selling RPGs ... which is really

The White Apes of the Congo: a Hollow Earth Expedition RPG Adventure

I recently ran aHollow Earth Expedition one shot for the local Meetup group here in Albuquerque. I found the initial ideas a bit difficult to work up, as I’m used to trying to do lengthier campaigns…a five hour one-shot is not my usual fare. Key to it, I realized, was keep it simple and make sure the game highlighted the rules of the game.

The White Apes of the Congo!

The adventure was designed for six players, but could be easily expanded to handle more. We wound up with five players, so one of the pregenerated NPCs was not used. The main [...]

I haven't done one of these in a while

In conclusion,  continue boycotting NCSoft.  We're making the bastards hurt, but we won't stop unless they release the IP or go bankrupt. 


Though the official religion of the Cirsovan Empire is a loosely organized veneration of the current and past emperors, there are a handful of old Cirsovan gods and goddesses which are still worshiped. One of the most prominent in Gatlia is Goash, a harvest deity who appears in the form of a man with an ox’s head.

In Altier, the first harvest of straw is often saved to construct a 10 to 15 foot woven effigy of Goash. A wooden barn is constructed to protect the Goash from the elements throughout the growing season. At harvest, the Goash is taken to [...]

Legend4ry Bazaar: Magic Items! Get yer Magic Items here!

My gaming life and normal life have been busy lately. My normal life is boring because I don't get to kill Elves with a sword, so we will ignore that and instead focus on my gaming life.
I recently finished my on-going Heroic Tier only game with my crew of noobs. In reality however, they are from from being noobs. Since I first taught them the ways of 4e D&D (and D&D in general) last August, they have all created and played countless characters, they've developed a mastery of the system, and most importantly, they have all taken a turn [...]

Another mom update

Things have settled down since the weekend.  Whatever happy juice the ER staff gave mom (she thinks it was laudanum-based) knocked her loopy for most of the day. When she wasn't sleeping, she was basically a zombie, which to me was an improvement over her being in constant pain and crying out every time she moved.

Since then, she has slowly gotten better.  I've been at her to keep eating, even when she doesn't want to, and while she mostly eats soft foods like yogurt and applesauce, today she was able to enjoy a cup of chicken noodle soup.

The Week That Was Games and Iron Reviewer

So I'm not under much illusion anyone pays enough attention to this blog to notice the posting frequency and such. I expect like most blogs readers check it out when a title catches their eye. That being said, I'll explain the weirdness of January which saw nearly daily posts. Most of those dedicated to Legend of the Five Rings reviews...
Since the beginning of 2011, I've been part of the Iron Reviewer contest over on RPG Geek. Thirty some of us, each writing RPG reviews within a deadline. For the first year, the reviews were due once every two [...]

Make-it Monday: Map, Lastholt Mines

Significant locations around the Lastholt mines
We were back at the gaming table last week, and my players were running through another interrogation encounter. They like to take prisoners, so what can ya' do? This time, it was a hobgoblin slaver and they were trying to extract information about the mining operation that was taking place in the caves beneath the ruins of Lastholt.

Well, when the cleric and monk's usual good cop/bad cop routine started to backfire*, the sorcerer decided to use her wand of charm person on him. Well, that turned things right around, and the party [...]

OSR 2.0 and the ACKS Player's Companion

The Player’s Companion for the Adventurer Conqueror King System is now available in PDF and as a hardcover + PDF bundle. If this is a thing you’ve been waiting for, go order it now. When you get back I want to talk about what it means for the current phase of the OSR.

At Gen Con last year I gave a seminar on the Old-School Renaissance in which I said the OSR was dead. This wasn’t a point I expected to make, and it depends on the idea that the OSR is or was an entity like the Roman Empire, where [...]

Rulebook Ruminations: 6th Edition Marine Codeci

Well, we've been in 6th Edition for about 7 months now.  We've only had our head in the actual game for about a month now with the campaign grinding on, but today I want to talk about the two newest Warhammer 40,000 codeci:  the "flagship" marines for 6th Edition!

Almost every release, we get Chaos Space Marines near the front end of the release schedule.  If it's not the first one to be released, a Space Marine codex is.  Obviously, that's because these are flagships for the brand:  that is, they move the most units.  We can reasonably expect [...]

Nyssian Imp (Long-Tailed Imp)

When stating out a creature, I will often begin by writing it up as a class. The other fun thing is I can pick how powerful a version of the creature depending upon the situation or need. These things are not intended as a PC or even NPC class, but as a variable power beast.

This is one of evolved or adjusted creatures I use instead of what`s in the books. It is a combination of the Imp and Mephit in terms of abilities but the background makes it a whole lot more interesting I think. Instead of a [...]

[Rant] Fantasy Fiction and the Fiction-Writing Bug

For the past week or so, I have been bitten by the fiction bug. Something I never really felt before. At least not seriously... I mean I do have a novel or two partially written but never anything like this. During this time, I wrote a few fiction pieces, most of them not gaming related at all. I received some great comments about it from readers and might lead me to write some more. I have a few ideas I have been floating around I might just get into a Word doc.

I don't mind fiction or fantasy at [...]

The Queen's Cavaliers: An Interview with Caoimhe Ora Snow

A Really Bad Eggs Exclusive!

In a recent post on Big Purple, designer of Wandering Monsters High School, proprietor of Bold Pueblo Games, and gaming blogger Caoimhe Ora Snow mentioned that she is writing and playtesting a new swashbuckling roleplaying game, The Queen's Cavaliers. Caoimhe generously agreed to answer a few questions about herself and TQC.

Really Bad Mike: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions, Caoimhe. How did you become a tabletop gamer? What games - roleplaying, board, card - did you play, and what were your favorites?

Caoimhe Ora Snow: I've been gaming [...]

All You Need is LOVE Matchbox Valentine

For sale at the Asparagus Jumpsuit Etsy store

Haste! Kobold Worldbuilding Guide, Roll20 Acquires Tabletop Forge, Dragon Age on Wil Wheaton's "Tabletop"

|Episode 70 |


None. It’s showtime!

Topics Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding

There’s a new “Kobold Guide to…” in town, and rest assured it’s of the same quality andcaliberas the rest of the Kobold Guides. The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding is a great tool for anyone who’s creating their own worlds, whether for public or private consumption. Check it out because it’s a really useful tool for GM’s and writers everywhere.

Roll20 Acquires Tabletop Forge

The team over at Roll20.net has teamed up with Tabletop Forge in bringing all of its users over and consolidating into one all encompassing online solution for gaming online. They [...]

Minor Noble's Entouage

Claytonianon said: Members of the noble's entourage. Interesting and dangerous characters that attend to the noble and protect him while doing in vogue things too.

This request is from the Mundane Request Thread.

Minor nobles will allow almost anyone into their entourage for the sake of having an entourage, which is of course a sign of great importance.


Firstly, there is the body man or handmaid---the servant who knows the noble most intimately as They also know what wig powder to use, which eau de toilette to use as the most recent bath fades further into memory and gernally deal with the soiled [...]

Savage Worlds Combat: How Swingy Is Too Swingy?

With Savage Worlds being one of my three purported "go-to" systems of the moment, I've been endeavoring to run more of it. Previous experience with the system had been limited to one-shots, and I wanted to take the system for a longer spin, something I was able to do over the holidays with a brief fantasy campaign set in S. John Ross's Uresia: Grave of Heaven setting.

Now, I've read about the "swingy-ness" of the SW combat system--that combats can and do either end really quickly or drag on for a long time. It wasn't until the third session [...]

RPG Review: Ploys and Plots: A Skill and Feat Collection

For those familiar with Pathfinder (and its close cousin, D&D) you can find combat can feel a little dry. Sometimes it can just be "I swing, power attack, hit, damage". That can get boring. Of course having a great play group who try to add some life to the situation helps, but sometimes you need that extra kick.

It can also be frustrating to have, say, a rogue with an amazing bluff skill, who only gets to use it once every few encounters. Wouldn't be amazing if somehow you could also incorporate that into your fighting style as well?

I can also [...]

Final Tomb of Kings

Several weeks ago I started this map. It went through several iterations to get to the final version. First was the rectilinear version. Then after playing around with different templates I could use for guides I did the dungeon waves hello version.

Then my old blog host died - which was bad, but it got me off my ass and I completed my transition to Ram Node - which was good. And I completed my transition off WordPress to Punch - also good.

And I got the final version done. I flipped the layout to avoid the dungeon waving at people. I was rushed a bit with the colorization but I am still very happy with how it turned out.

I've also decided to post the hi-res raw scans again. So the raw tiff version is also available.

As usual feedback is more than welcome - please tell me how I can get better. I'm still learning how to apply effects in pixelmator so advice and critique is always a good thing.

The new blog doesn't support comments (yet) but you can always comment on the G+ post that accompanies this post.

Released under CC 25 BY NC Canada.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes

Due to my catastrophic laziness the ficititous entry blog was lost. I was slowly moving from another host to Ram Node. As I procratinated the old host failed and what could have been a seemless transfer became a panicked download of the site.

I'd like to single out Nick at Ram Node. I've dealt with him for a while and he has always given me nothing short of spectacular customer support.

I've decided to do away with WordPress and move to a simpler engine. I am going to try using Punch. It is almost everything I dreamed of, flat file - check, node based - check, open source - check, multimarkdown - well markdown is still pretty damn good.

This is just the boilerplate look that you get when you use the Punch blog boilerplate I'll be adding my own style and in particular I want to get the tiled front page look back as soon as I can.

In the mean time I'll get back to my semi regular posting.

Analyzing Last Week - Game Summit and the Big Sale

I am the Warden!!

It was a busy week that finally came to an eventual end as a big online sale through OneBookShelf and my first convention as an exhibitor/publisher were rolled into a big week of sales (pointing out Killshot is now six months old). When it's all said and done, I pulled in $100 after commissions and expenses for all of the above with the majority of it coming from online sales. At the moment, I'm still in the red at close to $240. Helpful as the sale was, it's not something that's wise to repeat over and [...]

Have Neurosis Will Travel: Final Post.

Chapter 2

When he came too he still couldn't move his body. His head was released though. It also felt like something was trying to claw its way out through his eyes. He opened the offending organs as soon as he could, and almost wished he hadn't. He found himself suspended in a cavern that seemed carved from solid ice. The walls gleamed faintly like blue glass and strange balls of shimmering light hung at various points upon the ceiling. He tilted his head enough to look down and saw that he was encased in the same blue ice. The [...]

Sadie and the Student Council

Last Thursday, cookiemonger wrote a summary for an imaginary book in her post, “What Happens When I Book Shop.” It was a Take That aimed at the generally-poor quality of free ebooks found on the Amazon store online. She found an ebook titled Threads That Bind, whose summary pegged the protagonist as a Mary Sue.

Inspired somewhat by a comment I made about how much more interesting the story might have been if the protagonist wasn’t excised of her flaws immediately upon receiving her super powers, CM wrote this:

Quoted from Post
Sadie Yang wears a lot of hats. She’s the president [...]

"Shall We Begin?"

Orpheus Chapter 12: Flames Of The Frozen Street

Written by alcoholandaphorism The air is sharp with the cold, gas spilling to the air and taken with the crackle of flame that does nothing to break the frost on most of the street. Terraced buildings caught with the flames of a gas fire, trapped inhabitants mewling in fear inside. If they are lucky the [...]

Black Cat Bases release Penguins & Seals. Pingu wargaming anyone?

Black cat bases Spotted this on TMP, Black cat bases are releasing packs of Penguins and seals, great for dioramas or inuit eskimo wargaming scenarios, either that or you could run some seal clubbing games, or Pingu related madness. Whatever you use them for, they are unique to say the least! Now all we [...]

Butt Kicking For Goodness! Slip Sliding Away...

The projects that were long in the tooth? Generally speaking, little progress is being made in many of them.

Far West - 2 Backers Portraits were completed over the course of the last 4 updates. 4 chapters of the book still aren't completed, which means layout isn't done and incidental art is still needed. 13 months past estimated delivery date.

Dwimmermount - currently dead in the water. Backers were encouraged to put their own stamp on the current pre-release PDF of Dwimmermount and exchange such with other backers in the Dwimmermount Community. Each week that goes by without hearing directly from James makes it less likely that this project will actually get completed in my opinion. Silence certainly is not golden.

King for a Day - The PDF was finally [...]

Gotta Love Videogames

I’ve spent my entire life playing videogames That sounds rather bad but I’m pretty sure every person I’ve known can say that or at least that a huge chunk of their lives did involve video games. Those around my age grew up in the days of Sega vs Nintendo and fondly remember when video game [...]

10 Books & Descriptions

The Association of the Cobblers, by of Pithin (Fiction)
By Anniora
* A thick work, in terrible condition, with covers of scales stretched over thin wood.
* Written in Common.
* The book is ancient (2500 years).
* The parchment pages are unbound, but wrapped with a leather cord.
* There is a bookmark near the end.
* An excellent introduction to the subject.
Value: 250 gp


The War of Jamiria, by Pallo Vienica and II
By Thorric of Boleft
* A thick work, in average condition, with covers of leather.
* Written in Common.
* The parchment pages [...]

Coming Soon, 2000AD Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game Kickstarter

2000AD: Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game by Matthew Sprange --- Kickstarter. Fans of 2000AD comics will be stoked to discover a new kickstarter coming your way soon. Based on the comics iconic blue trooper, Mongoose are preparing for their campaign, complete with free miniature rules to go with the figures (Just follow the links to get [...]

Elric: Transition Complete

Well, that’s done. There are still bits and pieces to go over, and some more things to add here and there, but I’ve finished moving over the lion’s share of Elric’s play-by-post history. After the characters had a fight with a “gray render zombie,” they fell through the floor into a cavern where they took refuge from a zombie horde.

I’m thinking it would be fun to include the bits where I was the game master. While I continued to run Elric in the background, I tried to keep the focus on the other player characters (for what I hope is [...]

Pulp Magazine Covers from beyond Tomorrow

THIS is a brilliant-but-evil (in a time wasting sense) thing. You must go play with it NOW

. . . . . .

What Makes An RPG Popular?

I was thinking about this the other day and I came up with a few conclusions. Now understand, this isn’t based on any hard data. [...]

Miniature Mayhem

Next month, thousands of people around the world will be shipped their super deluxe Reaper Miniature kits from their massively successful Kickstarter of the “BONES” line of unpainted plastic miniatures. It was a phenomenal success for such a project, generating over $3.4 million for the company located in Denton, Texas.

I had the pleasure of attending the very first ReaperCon in 2004, where I got to tour the factory, meet the employees and take some classes with some masters of the craft including Marike Reimer, Jen Haley and Anne Foerster. A highlight of that weekend was getting some help with sculpting [...]

Interview Time SPECIAL: Auction Hunter Allen Haff

Greetings readers!

One thing that never ceases to bring a smile to my face is to find out that someone I like or admire happens to be a tabletop gamer, and never more so when that person speaks out in favor of my favorite hobby and pastime: roleplaying games.

Allen Haff and Ton Jones are... the AUCTION HUNTERS!
I happen to be a big fan of a television show on Spike TV called Auction Hunters. In this show, Allen Haff and his partner Ton Jones bid on storage locker auctions, investigating the contents for cool and unusual [...]

Roleplaying: Just Like That

These were my last contributions as a character in the campaign before I took over for the duration of a dungeon. The game master took up the role of a psychopathic dwarf barbarian while on break. It’d be a while before Elric was a PC again.

When Luemus gives Elric the signal, he’ll move closer to the window and direct his turn undead ability out the window (by shoving his holy symbol out the window if necessary). Since turn undead requires “line of effect” but not “line of sight,” he should be able to hit anything near the window first.

Turn [...]

Breaking Down the 20

Thanks for subscribing to TPK! For more posts, check out TPK - Theory, Planning, Knowledge

Breaking Down the 20, apart from being an awesome name for a band, is something that people have been asking me to do. Last year I outlined the 20 questions I use to help players write character backgrounds. I also answered them when I started playing in an Essentials game, mostly because I didn’t want to write a post the week that I finished my Master’s degree because I was busy agonizing about my future and playing video games like it was a full-time job. One [...]

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