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The Gassy Gnoll: Returning to the Fold... (Or "What I did on my holiday break...")

Here we are at January 14th and I am still attempting to gather my wits as I go back to work after a long overdue break. Suffice it to say, I don’t have an article today.

So instead of apologizing for what was a fantastic vacation, let me focus on a few of the things I’m pondering for the new year.

First, I caught up on a ton of reading. I picked up and devoured all four of Richard Kadrey‘s Sandman Slim novels (Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell, and Devil Said Bang) over my break along with a few [...]

A Modest Proposal Regarding Hijinks and Income Therefrom

In our current ACKS game, we've had something of a recurring problem with hijink income.  When Garwyn the Bard took control of the town of Opportunity, he also inherited a thieves' guild from his successor, and he ran this guild with great success, generating many XP and filling his coffers.  When he died, his guild was inherited by Tualla the Assassin, as was his town.  She has continued to make a killing, generating very large sums of money via spying on her own populace.  Noticing their success, the wizard Leo set out to emulate their example, hiring spies and henchthieves [...]

Growing Geeks Episode 0 -- An Introduction

In this episode of Growing Geeks, Tristan and Ben introduce themselves, the podcast and their rational to the world! Come on in and say hello. We’re using this episode primarily to say hello and to establish our RSS feed for iTunes and Stitcher. Growing Geeks Episode 1 will air in exactly 1 week, on January 21st!

We would love to get your feedback about our show!Contact me with comments: growinggeeks@trollitc.com.Check us out on iTunes and you can even catch us on Stitcher.

Growing Geeks is brought to you by Noble Knight Games. Since 1997 Noble Knight Gameshasbeenservingtheneedsofthousandsofgamersworldwide.Theyspecializeinbothnewandout-of-printRPG’s,BoardGames,WarGamesCollectibleCardGames,Miniaturesand all things game related!

Problem Players. A Solution to the 'No Bad Fun' Problem.

I spend a wee bit of time on the RPG sub/Reddit these days, and I love a lot of what gets posted on there.Somethingthatturns up every couple of days though – usually after the last one drops from thefront page and into the ether- is someone talking about a problem player in their group. What I’m offering may not work for everyone, but sums up a good 95% of the problems that seem to affect people around a table. Simply put, player ‘A’ is not playingthesame as players B through F, and this is causing problems in the group. Are [...]

Greetings, Salutations, and Resolutions!

We're back! After taking a well-deserved break Stargazer's World is back in business. I want to start the new year by wishing you all a happy new year 2013. I also want to greet all our old and new readers. You guys are still the #1 reason for the [...]

Paper Forge BMP1 tank at Wargame Vault

BMP-1 Paper Model (Enhanced LoD) – Paper Forge | Modern Vehicles | Wargame Vault. I love papermodels, they are the cheap and cheerful cousins of plastic kits, with the added bonus of the ability to keep churning them out just for the cost of card & ink. There are plenty of useful ones around with [...]

Map-A-Monday: World Of Mortal Engines...

Click to embiggenThis week's map comes from the Fever Crumb cycle of books by Philip Reeve, the prequels to his awesome Mortal Engines quartet, and depicts western Europe in the far distant future.

Warlord Games expands to America, teams up with Warhammer 40K creator

Warlord Games, founded by gamers made redundant from Games Workshop, have entered into a partnership with Rick Priestley and are expanded to Arizona in the USA.

Based in the Lenton Business Centre, just a mile from their old employees, Warlord Games is run and was founded by John Stallard and Paul Sawyer.

The company does war games and as the website shows differs from Games Workshop in that they've had the emphasis on historic wargaming rather than sci-fi or fantasy.

With the expansion into the USA and the partnership with Rick Priestley's Dark Space Corp that may change. The two companies are looking [...]

The Second Annual New Year, New Game Contest: A Challenge to GMs

Welcome to the second annual New Year, New Game challenge! New Year, New Game (NYNG for short) is a Gnome Stew venture that began in 2012 -- an annual challenge to GMs all over the world: Run a new game this year. NYNG runs from January 14 to January 28 this year. Last year's NYNG contest resulted in 57 game ideas for 39 RPGs and 15 blog posts about running new games. I'd love to top both of those numbers this year. We hope NYNG will catch on with gamers all over the world, much like GM's Day did (it's celebrated on March [...]

Not Just What They Look Like

Remember when we were kids, and they’d introduce us to professions with the little Platonic Member of Said Profession? The doctors in their mint-green scrubs and their hats (often red-crossed), with stethoscopes about their necks and bandages in their hands, the police officers in uniform with badges and whistles?

We remember that. So most of us, when we build our worlds, have the professions in mind, and have the images that come with them. The jeweler carries these tools; the geomancer has those tools. Different guilds and different organizations have different badges, uniforms, dress codes. We know the sumptuary standards---or at [...]

Our Second Annual New Year, New Game Blog Carnival

As part of our first annual New Year, New Game challenge, we're also running our first-ever blog carnival! This is separate from the 2013 NYNG contest, although the timeframe is the same and folks are welcome to both enter the contest and take part in the blog carnival. A blog carnival is an event that features multiple blogs contributing posts on the same broad topic, in this case posts about running a new game. We'll be linking to NYNG posts throughout the challenge, and then the day after it ends we'll post a wrap-up that links to all of them. How to Take [...]

FATE Mindjammer 2nd edition

Sarah Newton previews the 2nd edition Mindjammer on her blog. Here's what she starts off with... Hey folks,I'm deep down in the New Commonality of Humankind this month, doing the final write-through of the upcoming Mindjammer 2nd edition RPG, due out spring 2013 and using the new Fate Core rules. I mentioned late last year I'd try to post updates and peeks -- so here's a look at the

Time Heroes - Fate Adaptation - Franchise Consequences and Improvement

In yesterday's blog I stated I would be continuing today with an example of character creation. In the intervening time, I've changed my mind. I'm not seeing anything immediately that needs to be added or changed from basic Fate Core character creation.  If I put together a final product I probably will include such an example, but for the purposes of this blog I'm not sure that it's necessary. With all of that being said, if my assumption is incorrect, please let me know and I can write a post.
Instead, I've opted to write a post about [...]

GottaCon Event Update


After a bit of polite prodding on the event organizers, my session of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire has finally been added to the con schedule and is now available for gamers to sign up, register, and play!

On a related note, this Tuesday I'm planning on getting some practice in teaching the SW:EotE Beginner Game by running it for a group of players who've yet to be exposed to this system. And who knows, one of them might even be someone who's never played an RPG before! I'm looking forward to what hopefully should [...]

[L5R Hearts and Souls] Dramatis Personae

Last weekend was the Character Creation and Discussion session for the All-Crane Hearts & Souls campaign that I’ve been planning. When all was said and done, I was looking at a large-ish group of players, most of which I’ve run for already in my previous L5R campaign. This is a good thing as at least I’m already comfortable with my players and nearly all of them are more than familiar with the way I run games.

Today we’ll take a look at the character concepts and the players behind them.

Doji Ai (played by Silver Countess)

Ai is a shy and retiring young [...]

ICFBTS faction painting

     On Friday 1/04/13 Robert tasked me with demoing his game It Came From Beyond the Still at the various game stores around town. I finally got a chance to prime 3 of the factions and start painting today, a little later than I wanted to start but life does not always work as we plan.
     Tomorrow I'm stopping by the FLGS to arrange a day and time to demo my first game. My goal is to get at least two factions painted and sealed 3 would be better. I will have the blobs finished tomorrow evening [...]

The Fateful Decision

One of the games I am lucky enough to be in is a bi-monthly Dresden Files game where I am playing a changeling of the Winter Court variety. The game has been going well and I've rather enjoyed the character, who they are, and how things have been playing out. At present though, the character seems to quickly coming up on a fateful decision and I wanted to take today to talk about that.

The Decision
Changelings in the Dresden Universe are caught between two worlds. On the one hand is the mortal world, normal humanity and all the [...]

Savage Eberron Plot Point Campaign

One of the reasons I had chosen to take a break from Savage Eberron was because I was struggling with finding a focal point for the campaign I was running for my players. It seemed some were interested in specific aspects while disinterested in others, and there was only a small amount of common ground among those aspects of interest. Eberron offers a lot of diversity in subject matter, themes, and adventure styles. In hindsight, perhaps my mistake was to make the campaign more like a sandbox rather than a Plot Point Campaign.

I've been running Necessary Evil, and [...]

Episode 048: Actual Play - Lights in the Darkness

This Episode:  Deep into the tunnels through the mountains now, the party deals with the turmoil of being stuck together hundreds of feet beneath the earth. Cast: Jesse (Game Master), Dave... A group of friends who ramble and shamble while dice rumble and tumble. Call us casually-hardcore role players of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.

Do Encounters

The D&D Encounters programis a fun and short regular program. I’ve been participating since the first season with either DMing or lending a hand in the logistical organization. Fandom IIsponsors us and we play at the University of Ottawa Jock Turcot University Centre room 215on Wednesdays from 6PM until 9PM. The University of Ottawa Gaming Club provides the room for us.

Currently, there is a large break between seasons for the month of January. In order to maintain the momentum, I brought some quick and easy games. On Wednesday, January 9th, we played Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Templeby Daniel Solis. [...]

Space Force Webcomic #4

Mike has posted the latest of his Gamerstable Approved Webcomic – Space Force. Click the Space Force logo if you dare. So say we all…

35 Tabletop RPG Related SubReddits (Discussion Sites)

I find myself using the forum-like Reddit site more and more. The built-in crowd-sourced moderation is particularly valuable. Here are a bunch of gaming subReddits. First the usual suspects:

  • RPG
  • ADnD
  • DnD
  • Pathfinder
  • Savage Worlds
  • Shadowrun
  • Star Wars RPG (New)
  • Warhammer 40K RPG
  • Warhammer Fantasy RPG
  • White Wolf
  • Looking for Group

(There are some for other specific games, but they had less traffic. However, it is completely possible I missed others.)

Now let’s branch out more to gaming related topics:

  • Heraldry
  • Map-porn: Not porn at all, just very interesting maps worth ogling over!
  • Old Maps
  • Geography
  • Mapmaking
  • Constructed Lanugages
  • Worldbuilding
  • Tabletop Game Design
  • Character Drawing: Artists generally freely draw characters.
  • Imaginary Landscapes
  • Imaginary Monsters
  • Imaginary Technology
  • Imaginary Characters
  • Mini Painting
  • History
  • World History
  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • Medieval History
  • Chinese History
  • Mythology

In short [...]

Release date for Jurassic Park 4 confirmed

BBC – Newsbeat – Release date for Jurassic Park 4 confirmed by Universal. Fans of Jurassic park should be stoked at this news, as another film is in the works. Its about time they finally got off their butts and got around to it after years of faffing about. No real details of cast or [...]

Apocalypse Diaries

Another of my White Whales...it's a single player game.
During the first phase of the game, the character's life is good. They start with a sizeable pool of resources at their disposal but minimal character depth. During the course of the first phase, it is easy for a character to convert their resources to character depth; but for every degree of depth the character gains, the fewer the resources they have at their disposal and the harder it will be for them to continue to operate in the shallow and superficial world of socialites and glamour.  
At any time, [...]

The OSR of Computers

I am of the age that my involvement in RPGs began at the same time as my involvement in the burgeoning home computer market.

Indeed, my games were from TSR and my computers are from TRS. As in the old TRS 80 and Tandy Color Computer.

Most of my first attempts at programming were ways to help, improve or other wise supplement my D&D experience.  This went on for a number years. In fact I upgraded past (ie got rid of) my CoCo3 right around the same time I moved to 2nd Ed AD&D.

It should then [...]

Reviews -- Cats and Angels for Pathfinder

If you like your catfolk stalking the plains in dangerous prides, Racial Ecology: Guide to Catfolk will provide a good set of tools to realize that.

Racial Ecology: Guide to Catfolk is just that giving a society background, ideas for appearance and names, and a cultural framework. These catfolk are a nomadic tribal people fiercely independent and proud. This is backed by new mechanics for two weapons, two magic items, alternate racial traits (four), traits (six) and feats (three) to round out the catfolk. Lastly a short adventure, complete with a new monster and an example catfolk ranger complete the package.

This [...]

Motivation is awesome....

So, I have worked more on the game in the last week or so than I have in almost a year.

It is a nice feeling.

I cannot deny that when Fate Core came out, it allowed me to look at the system again and everything just went from there. I feel great about the direction the game is going in my head and each day bring something new to what I am trying to accomplish. Now there is still a lot to be done and I am excited to take that next step with my [...]

Matthias the Sorcerer

One of the things I bought myself for Christmas was Microscope by Ben Robbins. It’s my first foray into the realm of story-based RPGs. My son Christopher and I sat down and played for about an hour and a half, trying to get a handle on the rules and concepts behind the game. It was interesting and entertaining, albeit a bit confusing here and there. Still, I don’t regret the purchase. With more play time, I’m sure it’ll click, which is good since I want to use Microscope to establish character backstories before I start my next Man Day Adventures [...]

Tuathanas & Nathair-Sgiathach

(rough draft)

Age of Myth
In the Mythic Age, two great peoples came to great power. The first, Nathair-Sgiathach (dragons) were masters of the elements. They inhabited places of great height or within rooms large enough for their massive bodies. The second, the Tuathanas (elves), were masters of the magical arts. Their love of nature led to the creation of living masterplaces to serve as their homes.

After the two great peoples, came their slaves and then the diplomats. The first group of slaves were the dwarves, servants to dragonkind. The dwarves were charged with carving the [...]

Mythweaver and the creative commons license

Skathros has asked about expanding previous editions of Mythweaver or giving permission to the community to do so ... I've actually published five different games under the "Mythweaver" name (starting with a game simply called 'Mythweaver' in 2002). I hereby officially apply the Creative Commons License (to the left) to all games I have released under the Mythweaver moniker (including Mythweaver, Mythweaver: The Splintered Realm 1E and 2E, and Mythweaver: Reckoning).

Have a Happy Apocalypse!

So today is the end of the world (apparently) though I’m fairly certain the correct interpretation of the tonalpohualli was supposed to be the end of one cycle and the start of a new one. Some people seem to believe Armageddon will begin or a zombie outbreak or even World War 3. I was kind [...]

Game Dev, Crowdsourcing & Crowd Funding

Global Landscape, Global Community, Local Feeling Some recent events, posts from friends and articles I’ve read got me to thinking (a dangerous habit, I know). It’s almost as though the evolution of game development (PC, Console, Tabletop, etc.) needed to take a step back in some areas in order to move forward. But that step [...]

Halloween Gaming Time!

Halloween parties are almost here. With Halloween on way, it’s that time of year for everyone and their dog to start posting “Best Halloween Games” or “Halloween Party Games” or so other blog title featuring similar terms. I figured I might as well write up and post mine now before the internets is full of [...]

Adding Life to Monsters in Tunnels & Trolls

If you haven't noticed, I've recently gotten into a "Tunnels & Trolls Monster Creation Kick" on this blog over the past week or so. Sure, you can blame it on the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter that recently "kicked off" (and is doing amazingly well), but that's only part of the reason. In truth, I do it because it's fun and because monsters are pretty sparse in 5 / 5.5e T&T (which just happens to be the baseline T&T that I tend to gravitate to).

How sparse? The sample short list of monsters takes up one page in the Corgi Edition of the T&T 5e rules. That's sparse. It's also simple, as the one number, MR or Monster Rating tells you all [...]

[L5R Clan Analysis: Scorpion] The Bayushi Family

The Bayushi Family is the premier family of the Scorpion Clan. Descended from the Kami, the family is perhaps the most publicly known (and feared) family of the of the Clan.

The family serves as the Clan’s Bushi and Courtiers, and are largely responsible for the Clan’s reputation. They are the ones who carefully cultivate the Clan’s sinister and seductive appeal, and are perhaps some of the most manipulative (and beautiful) individuals in the Empire.

Given their two roles, it isn’t difficult to believe that most Bayushi samurai have more than a little bit of training on how to conduct themselves in [...]

Dungeon Infinate

Messing around with the art program and I accidentally did this. Same map, infinite possibilities. Multiple universes with countless dimensions all traveling along different timelines. Meet Dungeon Infinite.

This is what it looks like normally before I start messing with it.

Then I thought I would like the old style solid background.  I was going to go with that pale ass blue from the early ages, but I went for a real blue.

Then I started playing with art programs.  This one I drew in Paint then [...]

Link of Fame: Live Action Toy Story

I like the Toy Story series.

However, I obviously don’t like it the way the folks that did this like it. 80 minutes of Toy Story played through with the actual toys.

Is There a MMORPG That Effectively Mimics a True RPG Experience? Because the Pathfinder MMO Certainly Isn't It

Is there a MMORPG that is currently out or currently being worked on that replicates the actual experience of tabletop roleplaying?

I can't think of any.

The Pathfinder MMO won't even be replicating the the Pathfinder RPG rules, as the OGL won't allow it. So, it's Pathfinder in name (and possibly setting) only.

Heck, I'll lower the bar. Is the are multiplayer computer RPG that effectively simulates tabletop play?

Inquiring minds want to know ;)

Episode 79

With your hosts, Mike and Liz! Not much in the way of Geeky Week, alas, but Mike tells us what the thought of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Liz talks about her new obsession with Mount and Blade, and we both discuss the perils and pitfalls of setting up your own gaming group.

  • Website: www.nearlyenoughdice.com
  • iTunes! Leave us a review! Rate us! Subscribe!
  • General Podcasty stuff, including feedback: podcast@nearlyenoughdice.com

Thanks to Rebecca for sending us in the coolest looking pictures of a Lego Firefly class starship!

Thanks to Jesse for his feedback regarding gaming around the world!

  • XCOM DLC is out! [...]

Thinking about gaming while away from the dice

It’s been a very slow period in tabletop gaming around my house. With the dnd regulars pausing while we have lives, families, and wonderful distractions – the gaming posts here have dried up proportionally too. It is hard to write about something when the creativity button is not getting pressed.

The dice are a great source of direct inspiration.

It got me thinking … that perhaps a side project is needed to tinker with. Create something odd, off side, or some such, so that I can keep my hand in as a tabletop gamer,a nd also to keep the creative part of [...]

It's nice to get a pair of good reviews

One of the products I developed a while back hasn't seen a lot of love.

It's called the Hold 'Em Scene generator, it uses the game Texas Hold 'Em to develop random story seed ideas that could be inserted into a regular tale, or strung together to form complete stories.

I thought it was clever when I first developed it and I've been meaning to do more with it. But it generally got ignored, with only a few downloads, so I moved on to other things.

Yesterday I saw that the product had a positive [...]

Game Idea: Adventure Time Advanced

Adventure Time
The Advanced Table Top RPG system*
by Tobie Abad

Here are the more advanced rules for those who want to play an Adventure Time inspired Role-playing Game system!  I'm certain there will be those who might feel the game isn't that system crunchy still, but I personally feel this game should accomplish the goals I set out when making this game:  to be fun and easy to learn,  and to have a mechanic that supports the internal insanity that Adventure Time is infamous for having!

Adventure Time!  is fun for the wacky characters, the insane concepts, [...]

Flashpoint Preparation

For those who are curious, my Flashpoint preparation today has been a few images (an armoured figure on a wall), the gatehouse, the gardens before the fortified manor, a few low level traps from the GM's Guide and a handful of monsters that I've sourced from the Bestiaries (undead, naturally).  There's a few other things I could have done for preparation but at this stage I feel like it's enough.  Throwing traps at them will be a bit interesting because they have no rogue but I'm not planning on putting any big, bad traps in their way.  For starters, it's [...]

Sunday Funnies: The Power of the Force

Henching for Fun and Profit

Here's something to add to your "henchman generator" folder.

The other day Christopher (of Carapace King) said of playing in Wampus Country:

"My dude will almost certainly be eaten by an animate dutch oven or something and I need to know what kind of dog-faced washerwoman I'll be taking to glory in his place."

Naturally this triggered some calls for a Wampus-specific henchman table of some sort. And, on top of that, I still owed William (of A Wizard's Kiss) some sort of table with NPC quirks. Hopefully this table covers both of those things...

Review: A Memory of Light, Final Book of the Wheel of Time (Spoiler Free...Mostly)

Please indulge me for a moment before this review begins....Woohoo! I did it! I finished “The Wheel of Time” series! I slogged through 14 books, endless sub-plots, 500 page books that advanced the plot by four days, Nynaeve’s hair pulling, Egwene’s whining and a growing belief that Robert Jordan got paid by the word. It is over.

Whew. I waited 15 years to write that paragraph and it was as satisfying as I had hoped. Now that I am purged of all my WOT demons, I will move on to my (mostly) spoiler-free review of “A Memory of Light.”

Brandon Sanderson is [...]

Rappan Athuk - Modified Lineup - Unmodified Results

Nope, the party hasn't come across this - yet...

Last night was the weekly AD&D / OSRIC session that is delving into the depths of Rappan Athuk. We were down one of out usual six, so +Gus L joined the party for the night.

Last week I remarked about how the party actually parlayed with the bandits that surrendered, and even let them leave Rappan Athuk with their daggers. Alive I may add.

Last night? The party encountered a group of gnolls, and when the encounter went quickly south, the two surviving gnolls threw down their weapons and surrendered. +gus l 's character apparently doesn't take well to prisoners, and quickly gutted the injured gnoll with his trident and cleaved the other prisoner. The party's [...]

Campaign Fanfic

All Traveller nobles shop for clothes in Austria, circa 1854.In the past, I've written a lot of what I call Interludes - short little fiction pieces that showed events between gaming sessions.  I like to get inside the PCs' imaginary little heads and have them talk and act exactly the way their players would have them act.  It takes time to understand the characters, and portray them properly.
The high body count style of play we've been going with over the past two years is rather counter-productive to writing in-depth, character-based fiction.  Characters tend to be archetypal, and even if [...]

The Pagodas at the Edge of the World

Okay, so I've always liked fantasy landscapes showing islands floating in the air.  And so I decided that I wanted floating big things (islands, castles, cities, etc.) in my new campaign world.  But how to account for lots of big floating things?  Well, one part of my campaign's Epic History is where the cryptic gods of the Yin and Yang emerged from obscurity to bring the world back into balance after it was ravaged by the warring Angels and Demons.  However, they went too far and actually fell in to fighting each other and actually damaged the balance further.  The [...]

Habitat Hijinks I

  I've been struggling with coding habitats for the Hex Crawl Encounter Generator, which explains my lack of productivity this weekend.  I started with the 1e DMG Random Encounter and Random Terrain tables, quickly realized that they are not internally consistent, mixing vegetation, terrain inhabitants and age of the world with gleeful abandon.  I then moved on into defining habitat in terms of distance from coast, terrain, climate and vegetation; which gave me about 140 combinations.  Researching that led me to an old post on ; which is fascinating but didn't move the code.  Now I'm deep into the Koppen [...]
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