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Top 5 things of 2012: The Nicole Kline Edition!

We here at Perpetual Geek Machine think life as a nerd has been pretty spectacular in 2012. Great movies, games, tv shows and more. We’ve made friends with Nicole Kline, and then put her to work writing here! Rich got engaged, Dan bought a house. There’s a good chance Ryan and/or Bryan did something adorably [...]

Top 5 Things of 2012: The Kevin Alexander Edition!

We here at Perpetual Geek Machine think life as a nerd has been pretty spectacular in 2012. Great movies, games, tv shows and more. We’ve made friends with Nicole Kline, and then put her to work writing here! Rich got engaged, Dan bought a house. There’s a good chance Ryan and/or Bryan did something adorably [...]

Chainmail bikini statted

Chainmail bikini is one kind of armor that possibly cannot protect you that much. Here's stats for the chainmail bikini and what it actually does.

AC: No change.
Price: 50 gold (silver for LotFP)

If the opponent doesn't hit you roll d20 against your Charisma. If the roll result is below your Charism the opponent is awed and cannot attack you for your Charisma modifier + 1d3 turns (minimum 1 turns).

Every 1000 gold (silver for LotFP) extra you invest in your chainmail bikini you get +1 to your Charisma modifier when wearing it.

Dead of Winter Edition Released!

I tried to get a new version done for February, to mark a year since the supposedly temporary "FFS edition" was released. I tried for may for my birthday, 200th post, the 250th post, Halloween... Still nothing.

Well screw it, I'm not going to say I couldn't release a version until 2013 or 2014. It might be the eleventh hour and not quite a milestone post (295 published if you're counting, so 300 is next month...) but here you go - a rough draft of the Fourth Version of the rules.

Dead of Winter, Release [...]

Ep #00080 -- Perpetual Geek Machine Podcast

Another Friday, another Perpetual Geek Machine podcast! It’s Part 2 of our bigYear-End Spectacular! If you listened to last week’s podcast you know that we introduced all of our individual Top 5 Things Of 2012 and then widdled that huge list down to 10 different things that we’re going to cull into our site-wide Top [...]

Psionic thief/mage ??

i have been palying rouge thieves for many years now and am wanting to know if i can and if so how i would go about making/playing a psionic mage/thief and would i be limited in what settings it could be played in. To really make thingsw interesting i was hoping to make it a female toon that is half elven/dwarf.any help would be great.

Adventure Quarterly #2

Hej everybody, I’m going to take a look at the second issue of Rite Publishing’s quarterly magazine,   Adventure Quarterly...

Adventure Quarterly #1

Adventure Quarterly #1 This new magazine is 76, one page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1...

Soon to Enter The Fabled Lands - Cities of Gold and Glory

So, after checking out the Fabled Lands RPG (I still have much to read but like what I see so far) I quickly picked up the six reissued solos from the late 90's on Amazon. Endless quest books these are not.

Regretfully, of the six books, the first in the series is of course the one delayed, but Cities of Gold and Glory seems to be a decent one to start with (and is the one that was used for the Fabled Lands iPad app). You start at Rank 2, which is fairly low level. I just hope the rest of the adventure remains mostly low and survivable ;)

So far I've just briefly checked out a keep and found some armor [...]

Urizen, the Bleak Lord and the Genius Guide to the Death Knight

Today I’m taking a look at TPK Games‘ latest offering in their Infamous Adversary-line, Urizen the Bleak Lord. However, since...

The Breaking of Forstor Nagar

I’m going to take a look at one of the first fully VTT-compatible modules out there, not to mention that...

Avengers for Fictive Hack: Mostly There

All it’s really missing is a little more unpacking for sample gadgets, equipment lists, etc. and my rules for robots and big power armor. Plus some other stuff to hit. So yeah, the PLAYER end is here, and now it just needs the DM end.

I’m worn out. This thing is over 50 pages, and I gathered or built most of it today. Enjoy!

Avengers for Fictive Hack draft 12.27.12

World Without End A Post Apocalyptic Time Travel Movie For Your Old School Science Fantasy Games

 For the past 2 weeks I've been looking into a post apocalyptic movie that really doesn't get a lot of air time these days .  World Without End came out in 1955 and had a pretty solid cast to it. We've got time travel, retro future rocket ships, mutants, shiny underground survivors, science councils,etc. All of the fixings for a post apocalyptic buffet. 

 The real plot is very similar to  HG Wells Time Machine. Wiki had this to say: "In 1957, Commander Dr. Eldon Galbraithe (Nelson Leigh), engineer Henry Jaffee (Christopher Dark), radioman Herbert Ellis (Rod Taylor) and scientist John Borden [...]

Shadowrun 5E -- Speculation

Early in 2012 I suggested that Cataylst needed to capitalize on the end of the Mayan calendar and the significance this has in Shadowrun. In particular I felt that Catalyst needed to release a new edition to grow the SR community and as the internet often does it appears Catalyst listened. Next year Catalyst will be releasing SR branded card games (Spring), 5th edition RPG (Summer), tactical miniatures (Fall-Winter), and a boardgame (Spring 2014). On top of all of this there will also be Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun Online making 2013 the year of Shadowrun. With everything but the RPG [...]

Saving Old Modules From Themselves

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you're aware of the Keep on Kickassistan project I've been slowly working on for my Game of Taps DCC crew. The Game of Taps is the DCC campaign I run every other Monday night at the Taproom in downtown Ypsilanti, Michigan and the Keep on Kickassistan is the conversion of module B2: Keep on the Borderlands that I started running when we had some noteworthy absences from our gaming table. The Keep on Kickassistan has taken over our gaming group, primarily since it really supports the episodic "let's clear out this part [...]

The Tale of Bartobras Hedgewarden, Part 10

Chapter 23: Battle Royale at the Wizards's TowerThe Dugeon Master (Marco) sets the scene. Fithrandil (Dirk)  sits left.With Madern hog-tied, we make our way to the Barrows and camp off the trail for the night. By morning and with the help of Athlan's most delicious brew of herbs and hot water, I no longer have the cough and hack of the tomb rot we picked up underground. Fithrandil is not so lucky. Every now and then his is wracked by a coughing fit. He looks weaker.

"Its your infusion," says Fithrandril, "Not only does the stuff taste awful. I [...]

Stars Without Number Meat Funnel

It the Redshirts Stars Without Number game, I've been dropping hints and foreshadowing an ancient, hidden menace upon a blacked planet blasted by three novas and bathed in the radiation of their rapidly spinning pulsar remnants.

The players have, understandably, been somewhat reluctant to go take a visit.

I'm not sure who came up with the idea.  Perhaps it was Merwyn.  Perhaps it was me.  But whoever had the idea - it was awesome.  Simply turn the adventure into a Stars Without Number/DCCRPG Funnel Mashup.

Ca-Ching!  Done!

Welcome to the universe of zero level Stars Without [...]

What RPG games do you want on deserted island?

If you were stranded on a desert island, what five RPG games would you want with you?

The RPG Circus podcast posed this question at the beginning of December and it got me thinking. For the purposes of the question, it was assumed you would be able to choose the systems you were stranded with and that you could have all the dice, supplements, paper, pencils, etc. that you needed. It also assumes that there would be other people stranded with you, so you’d have players.

Here’s my list of five:

  1. Classic World of Darkness – Yeah, okay, I’m kind of cheating with [...]

Tome of Missing Magic for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

The Missing Magic series has now been reformatted and assembled into one easy-to-use document! 96 pages, hundreds of magic items, dozens of artifacts, armor and weapon templates, new item creation feats. one book, one great price!

Buy Tome of Missing Magic for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game at RPGNow


I just signed on to LEGO CUUSOO, which is an amazing page where fans build their own LEGO projects and you get to vote on your favorites. If the project gets 10,000 votes, you can BUY A SET. Do you realize what this means?!

When this baby its 88mph ... you're going to see some serious shit.Having just unwrapped a metric craptonne  of LEGO Monster Fighters (the wife found a sale) and the official 'LEGO BOOK' , you could say I was something of a LEGOholic. Or at least I would be except for the fact that I'm also very, [...]

Follow Up: The Gygax Contest, the Blog, Me, and the New Year

So +Jason Paul McCartan received a very special package today.

As you may recall, Jason was one of the 1st prize winners of the Gygax Contest I hosted on my website over the summer.

It's actually the last thing I blogged about here on this website, although I have been busy elsewhere, as well as working on a new SF project, which should get itself off the ground in January.

(I'll be talking more about Across the Stars here on this blog over the coming weeks, but for the latest news, in addition to the link above, there's also [...]

Dyson's Delves --- Limited Print Volume

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

I was stretched out on the couch, down with the Christmas Crud.
Somewhere amid my nap, there was a knock and thud.

The dear USPS lady brought me a wish direct from Lulu — Dyson’s Delves in hard copy. The book, nay tome, is a collection of Dyson Logo’s maps in both stocked and un-stocked variants. Now, I’ve seen many of his works previously so was expecting exactly what I received. With one exception. For the non-populated maps, [...]

Concerns of ancient commoners

While too much anachronism takes away from a game, in small amounts it can add a splash of flavor and aid in suspension of disbelief. It's easy to think about basic survival needs as being the most important to an ancient commoner, but if we assume they had food, water, and shelter, what would be next on the list? What does the commoner NPC have concern over?
Maslow's hierarchy tells us that after physiological needs, next comes safety, then love (or belonging), then esteem, and finally self-actualization.
That's great but it doesn't help a lot in practical gaming exercise.
So instead of [...]

Got to Play in My First Session of Stars Without Number Last Night

There are many good things about having a week of vacation, and one of them is squeezing in a little extra gaming, especially as a player. Last night I got to play in a session of +James Aulds semi-irregular Stars Without Numbers game. It was good. (Did I mention the rules are free in PDF?)

I came in to the second session of what basically was a two part story arc, so it took me a little bit to get my feet grounded, but once I did things went pretty well. My Expert couldn't shoot for shit (if I didn't know any better, I could have sworn I was doing my best +Joe D impression) but in truth, that didn't matter much. The game was about exploration and [...]

Lobster award

First of all, I would like to thank Dreamer from SoloRPGgamer and M.C. Monkey - Dew from his MCMDGames for nominating this blog for Lobster Award. 
Unfortunately since all the blogs I read received this award recently, or have more then 200 followers and there fore are not applicable, or publicly reject this kind of inter-blog awarding, I will have to stop the chain.
Once again, thanks to all who read my blog, hope that you will be visiting in the future also.
And look at my blog list on the right of the main page, there are some really [...]

Barney's First Christmas!

Barney came with Rachel and I when we went to visit her parents' for Christmas as they had prepared a holiday home for him (pictured above) in their conservatory.

It took him a couple of days to acclimatise to his new surroundings - the bumpy car journey certainly hadn't helped (especially as we had to turn back half-way as I'd forgot to pack the box containing Rachel's Christmas presents!). The poor thing didn't eat - or poop - anything for over 24 hours and was just getting back into the swing of things when it was time to come home.

Naturally, of course, Barney was very spoilt during his stay - even to the extent of having a larger sack of Christmas presents than anyone else (admittedly this was down to the large size of the hay bales, which provide his bedding).

Santa brought him enough food [...]

Design Game Theory

I blundered into a discussion on the 3-fold model/ RPG design theory a couple of days ago. Most of those I was talking to appear to take the view that, though the 3-fold model isn't scientific or modern, it is necessary to apply it in the absence of any other model or theory [...]

Bujilli: Episode 57

Bujilli and Leeja are in the Arena. They have already dealt with a Fantomist and his pet Molg. Now they were confronted with a muscular hunchback wielding a two-handed sword...
Bujilli fell. His heart raced. The sword streaked forwards. It was unavoidable. A deathstroke.

Leeja lunged. Interposed herself between Bujilli and the blade.

Instinct drove him to reach out. Do something. Anything. Make It Go Away.

He landed hard. Breathless and desperate he rolled to the side. Pushed himself back up to his feet.

Leeja lay sprawled in the grit.

There was no sign [...]

The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice CVIII -- The Tomes Of Doom

Not bad for a broom closet, even in Yu-Shan!

Shaping a pocket dimension had required that Charles come in person to do the shaping – but it had been easy enough to swap back out for his construct after it was done… Twenty-Two Warp hadn't even noticed – although, to be fair, he'd had plenty of distractions to deal with.

Charles (because this WAS a side-trip after all) and Twenty-Two Warp (because he – however reluctantly – had other things to do) headed back into Yu-Shan, and into the sub-basements of the "Saigoth" building (currently serving as squatters’ accommodations for unemployed technology [...]

Spears of Mawdryn Space Marine Druid (Librarian)

Hope everyone has had a good Christmas and whatnot, I'm still feeling the turkey in my lungs...

I've been staying with the missus and her family over the holidays, and whilst everyone's been at work today I've been house-sitting and miniature building / converting.

I brought a chunk of my bitz delivery with me, along with a couple of the smaller bitz boxes I have. This presented the challenge of using what was available to me, which I think often leads to better results as you have to be more creative.

So, first I decided to work [...]

Novices with Followers and Other Sundry Perks: Some Miscellaneous Edges

I am thoroughly enjoying the vacation days I took to extend my holiday from work until 2013 (a year that sounds very much like the FUTURE) and had an excellent Christmas with the family. On the gaming front, one of my brothers-in-law got me the Savage Worlds Horror Companion and my in-laws got me the Legend of Drizzt, which I wanted mostly for the minis. The Horror Companion should prove very useful for the darker fantasy vibe of the Age of Ruins.

In the spirit of taking it easy this week, I’m just codifying a few Edges that have been kicking [...]

Top 5 things of 2012: The Nicole Kline Edition

We here at Perpetual Geek Machine think life as a nerd has been pretty spectacular in 2012. Great movies, games, tv shows and more. We’ve made friends with Nicole Kline, and then put her to work writing here! Rich got engaged, Dan bought a house. There’s a good chance Ryan and/or Bryan did something adorably [...]

Happy Holidays - A Psi-punk Present

Happy Holidays everybody! Yes, I am a little late on the holiday wishes but I was out of town with family and not spending time at the computer. Hopefully this will be worth the wait though!
First, I would like to give a special thanks to Franck Florentin for backing Psi-punk using PayPal. There is still time for you to get in on the action and get your name listed as a Backer in the upcoming book, so click the "Support" link on the top of the page if you're interested.
Finally, Melissa Gay sent me a few more pictures, [...]

Changeling Lost Vegas: Orientation (Part Two)

The second half of my interlude post for the players of our G+ Changeling the Lost Campaign. First Half Here. 

KAPPACHANI TALKS ABOUT THE WHY OF IT"Me, I just lucked into being a part of the Winter Court. Each one has a few people considered Courtiers- who handle the business and ritual parts of the Court. In my case, that's primarily business shit. Simon, Questions-So-Loud, and sometimes Mrs. Pang wrangle weird things. We only have six Courtiers in Winter, but the two bigger ones have something like a dozen, plus various hanger-ons. But they have to handle a lot [...]

Small Publisher Struggles: Bad Art or No Art?

When I first started Asparagus Jumpsuit, I was faced with a decision. Given that the company has little or no budget for any given product, would it be better to have bad art, or no art? Ultimately I decided that no art was better, for one very huge reason: value. When I play a roleplaying … Continue reading »

Review of James Herbert's Ash

Available at Amazon.com

James Herbert is a horror writer who hails from the U.K. He’s been compared to Steven King and, for the first time, his work is available stateside. The novel I read, ASH, is a reprint through Tor Books.

Herbert is a multi-novelist with almost two dozen books out in the wild. (Sadly, the author does not have an official website, or I’d link to it for you so you could see his bibliography of published works.) This is the first time I’ve read Herbert’s work; this type of story is more my fare than a continual stream [...]

Cassette Cover Art

Since the 2000 Coppers promo is out, I wanted to share the cover art for The Delvers’ Podcast. If you’re wondering why it is so large, iTunes now recommends a scale of 1400×1400. Which is cool, I guess, but pixel art does not scale well at random sizes.

You may see what I am referring to below. The cover art is scaled to fit this post, so the top and bottom portions appear blurred, but the central cassette does not.

The blurring effect does not occur on most mobile devices, but, fair warning: do not click on the image if you’re on a mobile device. It will enlarge to 1400×1400.

I left out the hidden rooms, halls and secret passages related to the dungeon puzzles in the top header.

As an aside, I recently added a “2000 Coppers” claim to the hidden treasure list. The clue is appropriately found in a journal entitledExpedition to [...]

The Deep Rich Past

I know I haven't been as active as I'd like. Constant work, the holidays, preparing adventures for a party of people who've never played before, preparing adventures for the Hounds, reading books, and watching Dexter have pretty much eaten into my blog-writing time. Oh, not to mention working on the boxed set which is actually what precipitated this post. For all of this, I apologize. Worlds

RPG Crucible: Square Pegs in Trapezoidal Holes

I was recently reminded of the challenges involved in helping a player craft a character who doesn’t necessarily fit very well into a functional group. In my experience, most players like having a specific niche for their character, which naturally begs the consideration that the niche will be valuable to the party. A character who [...]

Darkest Hour

So, we have the Dying Earth. Now try to think about making similar setting / some world inspired by it. Or even try to push it little further.
This is my rather chaotic list of things that may be the most interesting and / or challenging parts of designing worlds during their Darkest Hours:
  • World is Incredibly Old. It means that its moon probably flew away or was ripped apart by planet's gravity, which can cause dramatic and unpredictable climate changes, planet's tectonic activity has stopped and thus world is generally much, much flatter than now - mountains were [...]

Romans Versus Rebels...

Time to pick a side - Spartacus: War of the Damned premieres in the States on January 25.

Top 5 Things of 2012: The Kevin Alexander Edition

We here at Perpetual Geek Machine think life as a nerd has been pretty spectacular in 2012. Great movies, games, tv shows and more. We’ve made friends with Nicole Kline, and then put her to work writing here! Rich got engaged, Dan bought a house. There’s a good chance Ryan and/or Bryan did something adorably [...]


WARNING! – Contains adult language. Tribe 8 -- RPG/TRPG Session Run by Chris (alcoholandaphorism) Tribe Members; Lady Quinn – Me Brhyannon – Jason (jymmijamz) ABSENT Aulderush – Will CHAPTER ELEVEN A Keeper Among Us Aulderush and Lady Quinn had been blindfolded and lead from where the Keepers were, back to the other side of the [...]

Now With Pathfinding

Pathfinding is finally working on the map. After spending some time with a recursive function that just didn’t want to return, I have a functioning shortest-path algorithm implemented. Surprising, I had the most difficulty with moving the miniature off the grid. You’ll notice in the video that not only is it successfully finding its way around the hole in the floor, but you can also drag the miniature over the hole and it solves the path as soon as it’s on the other side.

I’ve spent some time considering different methods of movement, in particular, setting waypoints and evaluating movement at [...]

A Gamey Christmas

The holiday rush has ended and we now move into the great decompression and what is known in gaming parlance as inventorying of the loots.

The fiancee and I, nerds as we are, love to give and receive games as gifts. This Christmas was certainly no exception. Here is a list of our games given and received.Read more


The Uldra are a race of short Fey creatures common in colder climates. Although fierce by necessity in a harsh environment, the Uldra are highly concerned by ecology and the wildlife with whom their share their territory. The other notable trait of the Uldra is their love of decorative hats - with an especially high regard for height and pointiness. Since the Uldra are naturally resistant to the cold, their clothing is primitive (and in Summer is rarely worn at all), but it is rare indeed to see one not wearing a hat.

Hope y'all are having a splendid [...]

How Important Are Balanced Encounters in Your Game Sessions?

How Important Are Balanced Encounters in Your Game Sessions? I ask this, because as someone that runs older / OSR styled games, I generally guestimate or handwave encounter balance. I go by feel, which often means I'm a bit under or a bit over where I want to be. It's an imperfect science with the earlier editions.

3x and 4x have their tables / balance charts so you can balance things out for your party's level - but how accurate are they really? If your party isn't balanced across the four main compass directions of D&D tropes (Fighter / Wizard / Cleric / Thief) you are skewing away from the baseline that the formulas expect.  Don't even ask about mixed level parties.

So, is it more important for [...]

Cinematic NOT-Rerun: Scaramouche

One of the hazards of YouTube is linking to someone else's video and having them take it down. My first "Cinematic" featured the final duel from the 1952 version of Scaramouche, starring Stewart Granger, but now the clip is gone, unfortunately.

This one is pretty good, though.

Top 5 Things of 2012: The Adam Dickson Edition

We here at Perpetual Geek Machine think life as a nerd has been pretty spectacular in 2012. Great movies, games, tv shows and more. We’ve made friends with Nicole Kline, and then put her to work writing here! Rich got engaged, Dan bought a house. There’s a good chance Ryan and/or Bryan did something adorably [...]

Star Trek RPGs

I was chatting a little bit with my buddy Greg on Star Trek RPGs.  He had mentioned while he love Trek he has yet to find an RPG that really captures that proper Trek feel.

I give Greg the benefit of the doubt on this one, he has played all the Trek RPGs out there and playtested a few more.  He has also played more SciFi games than I have.

Now I will admit that so far Starships & Spacemen 2e seems to fit the bill rather nicely, it's not perfect. In fact in my mind it even [...]
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