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D&D Encounters: Against the Cult of Chaos (Week 3)

Last week the party faced the bandits in the Moat House, this week they ventured to the Caves of Chaos. One of the things that I'm really enjoying about this season of D&D Encounters is that the players decide the order of events.

Despite some inclement weather in the GTA we still had a remarkably good turnout. We ran three solid tables with only two regulars absent. However, we had one new player show up so that was a plus. I think it really speaks to the quality of this season's adventure that the players aren't finding excuses to miss weeks. [...]

Armor Up





Romeo Models

Auntie And The Undead...



In The Flesh is a new mini-series from BBC that appears to have more in common with Warm Bodies than The Walking Dead in its approach to zombies.

The first I learned of it was a trail after the most recent episode of Being Human and it's clearly aiming for the same demographic.


Tales From The Move of RPG Girl Thursday

I'm in the middle of moving. I've moved a total of 17 times before this, with varying degrees of success. There are four things I fret about when I'm moving.

  • My cat.
  • My tech devices.
  • My important papers/tax records/vital ID.
  • My gaming books.

That's a sort of roughly honest approximation, though everything after my cat occupies a similar tier of terror at the thought of any harm, damage or other form of loss happening to those things. The gaming books and associated gaming ephemera is a big deal to me because a massive amount of it has been out of print for years. Thanks to [...]

Character Checklist: Sam Porter

Checklist by Alan Cleaver via Wikipedia

We recently had one of our regular cabin trips, which gave me the chance to make a character. Upon reflection, however, I realized that something was missing. I ended up completely scrapping that character, and going back to the drawing board. Today, I’ll tell you how I used My Character Checklist to improve the second version.

First Try

My first attempt was something of a loner. However, he had a cool hook. In a human dominated world, he’d married an elf, and kept his growing family a secret.

I loved the concept. It would have been my first [...]

Equipment Labs: Exploring the Galactic Fringe -- Nove-Drive 3-Z Light Freighter

Let's be honest for a moment. The selection of vehicles provided in the Edge of the Empire Beta is pretty sparse, particularly where suitable ships for a group of PCs are concerned. Understandable, since the Beta was intended more to get people to stress-test the new system that Jay Little (aka Agent Y14) developed for Fantasy Flight Games' new Star Wars RPG line. But while we wait for the final version of the Edge of the Empire rulebook to come out, I thought we here at the GSA might offer up some interesting alternatives for a party's ride as they [...]

AT Mobile Support Vehicle





Zombie Ants

Some months ago I wrote about the zombie ants. As it would seem, a certain fungus releases spoors that attach themselves to insects. The spoors settle in the brains of the insects and take control. The zombie becomes a host for the spoors to fruit and grow.

Ants in particular are susceptible as they live in giant communes; when one is infected the contagion can spread rapidly and kill an entire colony.

Tim showed me this video the other, the infected ant losing control and the spoor fruiting from his head:

Picture Thursday 17: Titan of Braavos by Zippo514

I have a great love for ‘wonders of the world,’ as interpreted by the creators of fantasy realms. Monoliths constructed in ages past, which survive long after the death of the empire which begat them. I’m not a huge fan of the Song of Ice and Fire books, but that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying this marvelous depiction of the Titan of Braavos, illustrated by Zippo514 on DeviantArt. I think it was a particularly good choice to use the low angle for the piece, emphasizing the scale of the statue much better than other depictions I’ve seen.

Zippo514 is a marvelous artist. His art is the kind which I just can’t get enough of. They’re varied and filled with motion and grandeur, with very few pieces I’d call ‘simple.’ He also has a lot of messy splashes of color in his art, rather than well defined lines. I can’t get enough of that. It looks gorgeous, and lets my imagination really delve into the piece.

I strongly suggest you take a look at Zippo514′s gallery. In particular some of these pieces:

Skeleton King

An Autumn War

The Red Viper

Young Wolf

Pyke

Night Watcher

Which Rule Was Your "Most Misunderstood Rule" in Your Early Days of Roleplaying?

For me, the most misunderstood rule in my early days of roleplaying was Hit Dice or HD in AD&D. Here's why:

When my parents got me my AD&D books for my birthday way back when, I was given the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and a set of dice. Notice something missing? Yep, the Monster Manual.

Not having the Monster Manual wasn't that big a deal - you had monster sumaries in the back of the DMG. Everything was listed, including HD. Not knowing what HD actually was, I assumed it meant Hit Points for Denizens or something. So, Orcs had 1 HD or 1 Hit Point. Ogres had 4+1, which was a silly way to saw 5 Hit Points, but who was I to argue.

To Mars

Dennis Tito, a billionaire who made his money in investments, has announced he's putting together the first commercial craft to travel to Mars. The craft will be small and hold only two people. His plan is to have an older married couple take the journey.

I'm not sure if this is a publicity stunt or not, it doesn't sound like it, but one can never tell; however, it is music to the ears, taking the first leap toward colonization of the planets. We should have begun this journey 20 years ago; the planet clearly has enough water to support [...]

Epic Level Artistry: Khairul Hisham

Another end of the month, another Epic Level Artistry! Today’s installment is Epic indeed, as the talented and hilarious Khairul Hisham was willing to sit down and answer questions about his love for RPGs, Star Wars and admit he is maybe a little fixated on capybaras. Let’s see what he has to say and check out some of his work!

******************************************************

Barebones RPG Adventure cover cover by Khairul Hisham

So, tell us a little bit about yourself and your history with art in games and RPGs.
Hi, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having this interview with me. I’ve always been [...]

Raging Swan Press releases 100% Crunch: Zombie Lords

This week, Raging Swan Press is proud to announce the release of 100% Crunch: Zombie Lords a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible GM's RESOURCE by Julian Neale

Got bored with the normal version of a monster and fancy spicing things up …

GM Games Sales Report

It's hitting the end of the month and I try to post my sales for GM Games when I have any to report.  Why do I do it?  I believe I do it because I like when companies let me peek behind the curtain.  To have concrete numbers that go with sales and gaming.  When I started, I had no clue how many I would sell.  I still don't.  But my guessing is a lot better.

In February I released the third issue of The Manor and participated in Jim Raggi's Free RPG Day Kickstarter.  The Kickstarter alone gave [...]

Could Drinking Quest 3 offer the best gamer insults of all time?

Do you engage in a bit of banter with your gamer pals? For C$20 you can have a personalised insult built into the next version of the popular drink based RPG Drinking Quest.

[Back this Campaign]

This is an Indiegogo fund raiser (probably because the creator isn't in either the US or the UK) and is on the flexible funding rules. That means whether the goal of C$11,500 is met or not -- your pledge will be collected.

Drinking Quest has become part of lore for many of the RPG conventions I know. It makes sense; drinkers, gamers and those hours between day [...]

Random Table: Ring Descriptions

This week’s random table is ring descriptions. Rings of magical and decorative variety are quite popular in fantasy role-playing games. Use the table below to liven up the description of the next magical ring your adventurer’s find in that treasure trove.

The table is general enough to allow most of the descriptions to match up with any type of magical ring. In a future installment I might take a single magical ring type and do themed table around that type of ring. For today though, this more generic table should cover a multitude of situations.

And remember, if you have suggestions for [...]

Launch of a Reconstruction of a Bronze Age Ship

This weekend, weather permitting, scientists and engineers will launch a reconstruction of a 4,000 year old Bronze Age ship.  Read more here!


thursday: Product Release!!!!

It’s thursday here at Silver Gryphon Games, and we have a special one today: We’ve released our very first Adventure in a Con! This first one was run at Vermillion, South Dakota’s own Vermincon on January 25th and we’re releasing it today! Designed at the con, run at the con, written at the con, and using art provided by an artist at the con…it’s an adventure, in a con!

This first one takes place in the early days of the Byzantine Empire. The party is on the trail of a cursed supernatural creature who must feast upon [...]

The Role of Contacts and Useful NPCs

Since I've been thinking about this a lot lately, it seems useful to at least set these thoughts to paper. There seem to be a number of nondiscreet, overlapping roles that various NPC information sources can play for a party. In some games (like Shadowrun) these are explicitly spelled out and are part of the setup when starting the game. However, unlike those games, D&D allows you to take

HARP SF Xtreme available now in harcover and softcover color


Iron Crown Enterprises are proud to announce the release of HARP SF Xtreme in hardcover and softcover color via print-on-demand from RPGNow.com

HARP SF Xtreme is one giant leap for your HARP SF gaming!

Buy it now!

The Next Doctor: Candidate Number Seven...

Candidate Number Seven: Colin Morgan

Like a great many of my chosen 'potentials' for the role of The Twelfth Doctor, 27-year-old Colin Morgan has already appeared on Doctor Who - he was Jethro in Midnight.

He is, of course, best known for his lead role in the BBC's recent Arthurian fantasy serial Merlin.

Fans might be discouraged by the fact that he has already been asked about becoming The Doctor and dismissed the idea.

However, as we all know in this age of social media and Internet scoopage, there's a great deal of obfuscation around these decisions.

The very fact that he has said he wouldn't play the role is the best indication that he might already be in line for the part. 

Magazine Review: Gygax Magazine #1

Before I get to the wonderments of Gygax Magazine #1, I have to set the stage a bit…

When Kobold Quarterly announced it was closing its doors on the magazine, I was crushed. Years before I struggled with the decision whether to subscribe to the classic Dragon or Dungeon magazines of our youth. But other than a few single issues I picked up on rare occasions, I never pulled the trigger. Most of the time it was simply because I couldn’t afford to, truth be told.

So when I finally had the disposable income to finally jump on a KQ subscription, I [...]

Shadows of Esteren: Part 2- The Game System

This article is long overdue. I had intentions of playing SoE before I wrote the article about the game mechanics, but alas the Autumn is a very busy time for me at work, and quickly my time to organize a game and test drive SoE evaporated. As not to delay things too long, I will review the game mechanics as someone who has 30 years of gaming, and hundreds of systems under my belt. So let's take a tour of the mechanics of Shadows of Esteren.Disclaimer- I was provided a copy of Shadows of Esteren by the Esteren team.Previously on [...]

Generic Fantasy Skirmish: Necromancy Spell List

"Death is only the beginning... I died three-hundred and seventy-three years ago. I've never felt better."
    -Rhas a' Khemeri, Tomb-Prince of The Sevenfold Khemerite Empires

So, my adaptation of In The Emperor's Name continues, and here's the next part - the Necromancy Spell List. This one focuses on debuffing enemies, and useful little utility spells as well.

This Spell List will most likely be in the hands of usually Evil Warbands, like the Undead and possibly the Dark Elves. However, one might imagine an Order of Necromancers not unlike those in the Diablo setting - neither Good nor [...]

Laughing Moon: The Ragged Man Adventure via Kickstarter

Laughing Moon: The Ragged Man Adventure, Todd van Hooser bietet gegenwrtig ein Abenteuer ber Kickstarter an. Das Szenario fr sein eherunbekanntesLaughing Moon-Rollenspiel ordnet er dem Genre Fantasy-Horror zu.

The Ragged Man (Scott Alan Gregory, Laughing Moon)

Das voraussichtlich 50-seite Werk wird vollfarbig von Scott Alan Gregory illustriert. Die gezeigten Vorschaubilder sehen schon mal sehr vielversprechend aus.

The Ragged Man (Scott Alan Gregory, Laughing Moon)

“This project is a story-based RPG "adventure" infusing elements of fantasy and horror. Interior features full-color art. 

The Ragged Man adventure opens with the player characters trapped in a gypsy camp, surrounded by a mysterious bank of fog. During the night [...]

Kobold-A-Looza! It's the Birthday Sale you don't want to miss!

There’s a big sale going on at the Kobold Press store today in honor the Kobold-in-Chiefs birthday. We can’t reveal his age for legal and health reasons but you should get over there and celebrate regardless. On Thursday, February 28th only you’ll save in following ways in the Kobold Store only:

  • Free Shipping within the continental U.S. only on orders of $50 or more with codeUSONLYFREESHIP
  • 40% off all PDFs using code BIRTHD4YS4LE

Here are my picks on how you should spend your hard earned money:

#1 My Book!

The Midgard Bestiary for 4e is available in Print as well as PDF. It’s chock full [...]

5 Adventure seeds

  1. trap a stranger in the mountains, and must contend with a merchant .
  2. journey to a secret in a city, and must contend with a puzzle while being confronted by language difficulties.
  3. battle a demon in a foreign kingdom, and must contend with a war .
  4. escort a gem in a citadel, and must contend with a conspiracy .
  5. meet a bard in the desert, and must contend with a humanoid .
Related articles
  • 10 adventure names and plots/seeds (enneadgames.com)
  • 10 basic plots/adventure seeds (enneadgames.com)

 

Random dungeon content generator

So, you have a map? Let's make stuff in there! (There are many of these in basic sets of rules in different games, but this is for fun).

Roll d10

1. It's empty. Or is it? Roll again. If the result is "1" again, it really is empty! If the result is something else, the room looks like empty, but there's [the result] hidden from sight.

2-5. Some wandering monsters. Roll d6:  "1" those are weaker than normal (-1d4 HD).  "2-5" they are as written.  "6" they are stronger (+1d4) HD.

6-7. Trap or traps! 15 [...]

Cambrian Explosion

If you are in need of a monster or two for your next adventure, you really should take a look at this slideshow of animals from the Cambrian Period. There's nothing quite like animals from the Burgess Shale who manage to be hilarious and terrifying at the same time


It's not called Hallucigenia for nothing... source

Zombies: The Next Generation...



How can you go wrong with a zombie movie starring The Next Generation's LeVar Burton, movie hard-man Danny Trejo, Mariel Hemingway, French Stewart and that guy from My Name Is Earl who isn't Jason Lee or Eddie Steeples?

This looks like an above-average offering from The Asylum and a decent follow-up to their last zombie flick, which I rather enjoyed.

Wednesday Night Writing Exercise: Boom!

This one wasn’t inspired by any of my previous exercises, but by a simple question: how would certain of my characters respond to the sound of an unexpected explosion somewhere out of sight?

Ruby investigates immediately. If it does turn into a fight, she can handle it, and if it doesn’t, it’s a Cool Thing to tell everyone else about.
Tuyet probably was the mysterious boom. If she wasn’t, she’s likely to be off to have Words with whatever was.
Amaya sneaks up on the boom. Nobody can tell she’s investigating it until she’s finished–whether that means sharing her conclusions or [...]

Shadowrun: 10 Mercs & Showcase released

Shadowrun:10 Mercs & Showcase, zwei neue Rollenspielerweiterungen fr dieShadowrun – Twentieth Anniversary Edition stehen jetzt zum Download bereit.

Einerseits stehen Sldner im Mittelpunkt der Betrachtung.

“10 Mercs profiles ten different mercenary outfits, including Ryan Mercury's New Assets, the unconventional skill of Bravo Company, and the deadly magic of Task Force Magus. These groups present an array of threats or a bounty of opportunities---depending on which end of the barrel you're at.

 

Along with the unit profiles, 10 Mercs provides NPC stats for each unit along with information on vehicles used by many of the units. If mercenaries are going to play a role [...]

The Yoyo Dyne Propulsions Faction For Stars Without Number


The Yoyo Dyne Propulsions Faction For SWN 

A star spanning consortium of mercantile defense and interstellar star ship system the company has been on the bleeding edge of space drive systems for more then four hundred years.
History 
"a giant of the aerospace industry", Yoyodyne was founded by World War II veteran Clayton "Bloody" Chiclitz. The company has a large manufacturing plant in the fictional town of San Narciso, California. Starting back in the early 80's, this company produced such successful projects such as the ion drive systems used in the Hunter probes back in 1985. They have been working on building a large spacecraft under the guise [...]

I Want Some New Gods: GreyKnight thoughts

I like having GreyKnight around. He’s good at making sense of weird ideas (including one time devising a god for whom afternoon tea is a sacred ritualwhen I commented that the idea of a steam domain didn’t do much for me). After I split the new gods into eight groups, he spammed in in IRC with some ideas.

IRC Conversation

I’ll break these down by groups he discusses, in the order he presented them. I’ve embedded some commentary outside the conversation (indented).

Group 2NameAlignmentPrimary DomainSecondary DomainsTNEarthWeather, Darkness, Destruction

<GreyKnight> Oh, I also have a vague sort of idea of the Group 2 cultists worshipping [...]

Clerics: What You Get


So let's start this off with a good hard look at why you need a cleric in your game. Actually, "why" is not really the right question...I mean, you don't need any particular class really (you could have a classless RPG and just pick a number of "add-ons" or "skills" for your character, right?). What I mean is, let's discuss what it is that the cleric provides to the game.
Now, there're a couple things we need to throw out, right off the bat. First off, we need to throw any thought that the [...]

More Weird Thrift Store Finds: Odd, Goofy Stuff

Some more interesting thrift-store...things. Not as terrifying, but certainly not always the product of a sound mind.



...I have no idea.

This elf appears to be throwing up gang signs...


This is a space-hippy returning to its home planet


International TableTop Day! Event!

So Felicia Day announced International TableTop Day on March 30th!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3m0PIWqkfQ http://tabletopday.com/ I will keep the blog informed as to which stores are running events! I will try to run an event at one of our local gamestores as well.... Perhaps Judge Dredd, Paranoia or Traveller. (I want to run one of the Mongoose games cuz its the last chance to get

GE31: 5 Highlights from TotalCon 2013

TotalCon is New England’s largest game convention. 2013 marks Jonathan’s 3rd year in attendance. He recounts his top 5 highlights from the con.

 

Top 5 Highlights from TotalCon 2013

  • 5 – Getting my press badge courtesy of Angelia Parenteau, TC‘s Promotional Director
  • 4 – Being on Cube of Death hosted by industry guest Peter “Blix” Bryant (listen to our review in GE13: Cube of Death Review)
  • 3 – Running the Battle of Freeman’s Farm with listeners Adrian and Cort
  • 2 – Networking with Industry Guests & Vendors like Jay Libby co-owner of Dilly Green Bean Games, Brenden and Jeremy of Crossroad Games, and Chad Ellis [...]

The Group Vehicle

Whether you're running a game set in space, the high seas, or just one where the players will regularly need to travel large distances a lot of the time the concept of the group vehicle tends to come into games. Now, for Space Opera games - like many Star Wars campaigns - or high sea adventures this can be a somewhat unique situation because it actually is one vehicle, and because of the kind of vehicle it is and the type of stories those games lend themselves to the vehicle becomes more than just a means of conveyance. It becomes a [...]

d6 Shooters: Dead or Alive -- day 1.

Today I begin a game of d6 Shooters: Dead or Alive(the link is to a free pdf). Thanks to Cirsovafor finding this for me, because it isn’t on Board Game Geek.

Thestory is that you are the head of the d6 Shooters, a posse of bounty hunters who have been framed for a crime.Youhave to find evidence to clearyour name, and get to Capital City to present it, in 30 days.

I’d definitely recommend downloading a copy of the game, becauseit will make a lot more sense if you have it to refer to.

1 6 3 3 3 6 2 3 - - - - - 5 6 5 - - - - - 6 2 1 1 6 3 3 3 6 2 1

Rolling for the 6s: 1 6 (1 loss)

February 28, [...]

It's been the ruin of me! Scratch built 15mm modern ruins scenery!

So, I thought I’d also share my latest additions to my scratch built scenery, my post apoc blasted modern ruins. I intended these for use in modern to zombie, post apoc and sci-fi. I try and make stuff that will fit a wide range of use due to real lack of storage, otherwise I would [...]

Game Review - Mythic Part I




Well half of a review.  I'm going to look at Mythic as a tool for solo play.  I really hadn't heard about Mythic as a system until I ran into an intriguing post over at Tabletop Diversions.  Where he his playing out a solo game.  My interest in solo gaming is based on my once a month or less group's schedule (I'll be the one missing this month, so no Alesmiter Expedition writeup) and as I'm scheduled to take over as DM, I wanted to try solo questing as a means to flesh out the NPCs and [...]

EN World Review -- Advanced Encounters: Alternative Objectives

Once again, Fellow Gamers, I must offer my warmest greetings this week to offset another winter storm rolling across half the country! But despite Winter Storm Rocky (who makes up these names?) dumping piles of snow and freezing rain everywhere it reaches, hopefully for most of us, it provides an easy excuse to stay indoors, hang with friends, and get some good gaming done.

Personally, all I care about right now is that this blasted weather clears up enough by this weekend for me to head down to Toledo and run my 4E Doombringer Campaign! I've had an encounter planned for [...]

Survivors ahoy! Pendraken 10mm sci-fi civilians

I thought I’d share with you my last entry to the Pendraken painting comp 2013. This lot are from their sci-fi range, Male sci-fi civilians and female civilians. They turned out ok and don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of winning I don’t think, but regardless of the comp the reason I got them [...]

Flashpoint: Siren Academy Performance

And a very belated Actual Play to you guys....  I've had to rest my wrists lately due to neck tension equals strange nerve issues.  Nothing to worry about.  It just means that I have to do loads of stretches interspersed across the day to keep my neck from getting so tight to alleviate pressure off my nerves.  This has meant less spare time at the keyboard because, well, typing isn't great for that.

So anyway, onto the last session.

Firstly, they watched the performance which was broken into three Acts with an intermission between each one.  They were:

Ladybug's Picnic

Since I expect to hit the $3K stretch goal, I decided it was time to start on the campaign guide section of the rules. One of the locations I've been wanting to fully create for some time (we've only seen glimpses of it in the comics) is the Ladybug's Picnic. This is a watering hole operated by Ladybugs that also acts as a field station for their spy network Intellicect. Above ground you have the humble restaurant - below, you have a small intelligence hub, a hangar and workstation, and some other super-secret spy stuff...


[Let's Study Mummy: the Curse] *SPOILER WARNING* Endgame

Right, so today we’re taking a look at one of the possible endgame goals for Mummy: the Curse. While not all stories should revolve around this, it makes for an interesting thing to aim for. I won’t talk about this too much outside of the jump for the sake of those who don’t want to be spoiled so I’ll see you guys in a bit.


If you guys were led here directly from another link, and don’t want spoilers, feel free to check out the rest of the Let’s Study articles on Mummy or any other game I’ve had the [...]

The G*M*S Magazine Podcast Episode 82--Reviews with Dr Mike Reddy

There are a few announcements to make, starting with the X-Wing UK National championship that will take place at the UK Games Expo in May, as well as a couple of very interesting projects and releases that we've heard of. And you'll like to hear of too!

Which RPG Do You Wish You Owned But Never Have?



We've discussed the 2nd RPG you've ever owned and the RPG you own but have never played (and truly wish you did) and now we have the next question: Which RPG do you wish you owned but never have?

For me, that's Space Opera (it would have been tied with Empire of the Petal Throne, but I snagged a copy on eBay recently).

See, back in my early days of gaming, complicated systems never upset me (I avoid them like the plague these days tho'). I always wanted to get and play Space Opera. Heck, I'm not even sure why - it just seemed to be that really great game (based upon reviews from people in my extended gaming circle in my High School [...]

More Reinforcements, Irregular Miniatures 15mm & 6mm Treemen!

Ok, next up I’m continuing with my latest idea, my Treeman/ent warband for fantasy skirmishing. I’m trying to be as scale free as I can when it comes to bringing it all together, that way I can use these for both 15mm and 25/28mm if I fancy it. First up are the two 15mm Irregular [...]
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