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Recovering Cliches in Risus

In Risus, regaining lost Cliche Dice is left entirely to common sense. The guidance suggests that it depends on the nature of the conflict where the dice were lost.

I like this, but I think there could be another method that looks more to the Cliche itself for direction.

Feeding a Cliche
To recover lost dice, you must Feed the Cliche.

Consider what fuels this part of your character. If it's a physical Cliche, such as Star Athlete, or Bare-Knuckle Brawler, it may simply require some rest and a bandage. However, the former may be [...]

Rules Shifting -- Part 1

I love my Underground campaign. Its been one of the best things I have run in some time, and it has done wonders for breaking me out of my slump. The game has been rolling along well, until we came to a small bump in the road...the rules. After some debate, we decided to pull a rules shift, and swap out one set of rules for another. This is the first of two articles about Rules Shifting. In this article I will talk about the fundamentals of shifting rules under your campaign, and in the followup article I will break down [...]

'dem Bones

With Reaper's latest updates on their kickstarter, I think it's safe to say that I probably won't be seeing my minis until the end of June/early July. This isn't terrible, though a bit disappointing, especially for the paints and cases. While I have both paints and cases already, the paints are old and drying out, and the cases are pretty much full. But, I still have enough paint and more than enough unpainted minis that I really don't have anything to complain about.

Of course I still keep checking for more updates, hoping for good news on that [...]

The Right Stuff

I thought I'd post a short update on the progress of the latest EPOCH scenario collection.  EPOCH: War Stories will see a diverse range of scenarios which feature war -- either taking place in wartime, or with war as a backdrop.

A couple of weeks ago I ran a playtest of the scenario by Mike Sands (of Monster of the Week fame) called Coldest Winter set during the Winter War (Finland and the USSR, 1939-1940).  We enjoyed the epic scale of this scenario, ad had some great characters.  With a little polish I think it'll make a really [...]

Enders Game Movie Trailer & Movie Images

I've been waiting a long time for this to make its debut. It looks very promising in some respects but odd in others. I'm going to have a wait and see attitude with this one.  The book has always been a favorite among the wargame crowd at War And Pieces where I gamed in the 90's. I've been very reluctant to even blog about it. I don't share the author's views about life, the universe, or anything but I did want to bring it to my readers attention none the less.  According to Wiki:
"Since Ender's Game's publication in 1985, [...]

"I'm Not Left-Handed"- Lessons from The Princess Bride

I've again today the swordfight scene from The Princess Bride. A great movie and this scene is a good example that a round by round fight can still be awesome if dealt with properly. So here are five lessons from this scene about how to improve our fights:
  1.  "You are using Bonetti's defence against me, uh?" Using famous names and techniques while fighting makes the fighters seem more professional, like they know what they are doing, and helps them look totally badass when they do that. Note how Inigo looks as though he knows what his rival will do.
  2. "Cliffs of Insanity". [...]

RPG Blog Carnival - What Campaign do I want to Play Next?

This month's RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Age of Ravens is entitled "Campaigns I'd Like to Run".  The short answer to which is always "my next one".
The Lands of DualIt's been over 2 years since I last ran my Castles & Crusades campaign world, The Lands of Dual, and high time that I revisit it.  Of course I can't go into much detail about what will be happening as some of my players may inadvertently read this blog and that would most definitely let the cat out of the bag.
Geography The Lands of Dual (interactive map availiable via [...]

Fleamarket Friday: Last Chance...

The last episode of the first season of crowdfunded audio drama The Minister Of Chance is now available for free download.

The unofficial Doctor Who spin-off, starring Julian Wadham, Jenny Agutter, Lauren Crace, Paul Darrow, Beth Goddard, Tamsin Greig, Peter Guinness, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann - and joined for the finale by The Hobbit's Jed Brophy, and Life on Mars' Philip Glenister - concludes with its fifth episode, In a Bark on the River Hex.

To find out more visit www.ministerchance.simplesite.com for executive producer Clare Eden's blog, which charts the making of the series including video interviews with Jed Brophy and Julian Wadham and which profiles all the cast and crew on their careers and why they love working on Minister of Chance.

The serial is a sequel to the five-part 2002 BBC Doctor Who radio drama Death Comes To Time, where the [...]

Tales from Year's End (Tower of Luck)

Captain Arina rallied the Horselord's men from the unseen fright generated by the draconic terrors. Their frightful presence was laughable compared to her childhood that hardened her into the soldier today. Nonetheless she had seen the 'great' squire Fallon cower and run with his weapon sheathed. How Tauron rewards that level of service from Fallon she could hardly fathom.
Arina's earliest orders were to the protection of Heilean and the Tower of Luck, although that had changed Arina had made a personal promise to the Luck Rider to come to her aid if required. Arina looked out from the gates to the Tower of Luck and commanded Alegan to organized fresh guards at all posts, and when Alegan suggested counter clockwise advance and cover patrols of Ivory, Diamond, and the Street of the Singing Dolphin Arina agreed- even approving his choices from the Horselord's ranks.
Even Alegan would be a better choice than Fallon.  
Then darkness, as deep as a void, black- the unknown color, seized the afternoon light blinding everyone. A rush of forward moving air and then time seemed to stretch into unreality. The air took on a density and made it difficult to [...]

Thousands of free RPGs, sales and updates at DriveThru RPG

It's a busy time at DriveThru RPG.

I flashed past a banner on the site that suggested something about having lots of free products. A few days later, I decided to check it out. They do; 2940 free products according to their advanced search today.

That's great news for gamers. Go download stuff. I can see why it's hard for publishers, though.

A publisher that's doing well is White Wolf (perhaps due to Oynx Path). We've had Mummy dominate the charts for a while and now Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition is fresh out and the current hottest item.

There's also [...]

Dash and Glory

A recent thread on theRPGsite asks the question, "Karma, action points, extra dice/points are they a sign of a weak system[?].

I first ran into what John Kim calls "Hero Points" - "a type of mechanic where the player can spend from a limited supply of abstract points to gain successes on actions, cause background events, or perhaps manipulate the plot in other ways" - with Top Secret's Fame and Fortune points, which can be used to turn a fatal wound into a miss, a nice feature in a game with such a high potential for lethality as TS. Later [...]

Deadly Dungeons 21: Firebelly Statue

Built into the wall is a huge iron statue of a man’s torso. The man’s pot-belly starts at the floor, and the man’s head meets the ceiling at eye level. His massive hands grip tightly to the floor, which is indented and twisted to fit around his clasping fingers.

There is a large opening in the belly of the statue, with a fireplace inside of it. Preferably this statue would be used in an inhabited area, so that the players can first encounter it with a fire blazing. This isn’t necessary, however the puzzle will probably be more difficult to figure out if there’s not an active fire.

At the base of the iron statue is an engraving, apparently an epitaph for whomever the statue depicts.

May the world never forget the name of Elric Warmaker. So skilled in war that he came to be called the man of the iron skin, for no wound would scar his body. He fought with a fire in his belly, and united all the peoples of the Uklik.

The gods had given him more than a warriors gifts, for in peace he spoke with a silver tongue. He won twice as many wars with his words as he ever did with stone and steel.

Though the mouth of the statue does not appear unusual upon viewing, it in fact is on very discrete hinges. Having been undisturbed for centuries, though, these hinges are quite stuck. The only way to open the mouth would be with a crowbar, or other lever instrument. Within the mouth is a silver tongue the size of a grown man’s torso. The value is not high as a piece of art, but such a large amount of silver is worth plenty on its own!

Lifting it might be difficult though.

Paizo release Pathfinder: Dark Waters Rising graphic novel

The large hardback collects the firstin a single compilation. As the comic book series has been including Pathfinder RPG goodies this means Dark Waters Rising has, characters, and world detail which includes a map of the region the adventure takes place in.

The hardback features a new front cover by Matteo Scalera and a 10-page exclusive called "The Last Mosswood Goblin," by Jim Zub and Ivan Anaya.

I’ve read the comics and learning more about the quirky rhyming goblins is certainly a temptation.

Paizo Publisher Erik Mona said;

“The complete Dark Waters Rising collection is a beautiful sight to behold,” [...]

Campaigns I'd Like To Run: In The Shadow of the Black Giant

When I say this month's RPG Blog Carnival topic, I knew I'd have something to write. I needed to spend some time with the thought before writing anything, though, so I took my time milling over just what I thought needed to be said about some of the different campaign ideas I've kicked around here that I haven't said already. The result is this, In The Shadow of the Black Giant. Originally, I called it (jokingly) BLAUHEIM, since it draws heavily from what I (apparently correctly) supposed to be the implied setting of Blueholme. Blend in a little LotFP flavor [...]

Weird Beard [Mystery Men!]

Professor Bartholomew Vandyke was working on the regeneration of human tissue when he accidentally created a strange, living filament. While working with a large number of these filaments, he discovered to his chagrin that they had a mind of their own. The parasitic filaments attached themselves to his face, something in the manner of a beard. This intrigued Vandyke, as he found he could communicate with the filaments and control them. They could grow, stretch and manipulate objects.

While pleased with his new-found powers, and convinced he had made an important discovery, Professor Vandyke was annoyed at the new [...]

Episode 26 -- Happy Birthday to Us!

Hosts-Dan, Mack, Bryan, Steve Topic -Its our birthday! In this, our one year anniversary episode, we walk down memory lane and wax nostalgic about the show, where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and where we’d like to go from here. All the while, swallowing our pride and making fun of ourselves mercilessly….Enjoy!     [...]

FUBAR physical copy

I tick ever closer to 4000 downloads for my game FUBAR (many on RPGNow, plenty on 1km1kt, a decent number through my own website when it was active).

With that many ephemeral copies of the game floating around, I would have expected more responses from players across the world. I've had a few, but not many. I can only imagine that a lot of people have looked at it and have said "Nice, but this is a monster to print out". So it's sat on their computers, maybe used as inspiration for ideas to integrate into other games.

Designing for RPGs - Accepting Decisions

If you're going to do freelance for RPGs, you need to be able to do several things, be creative, hit deadlines, and probably most importantly, Accept the decisions of those in charge; no matter what your feelings are in the matter. You might think your ideas are the best ideas EVER, but the person employing you, or the developer, might have different ideas. You need put your personal ego aside

Baby Steps

Getting back into the swing of things.

- Ark

Falling Ishtar e01 : Dungeon World

Falling Ishtar
Episode One

"The Clever Three"

Dungeon World

Steel clashes against scales as the scene opens with three adventurers fight against a gathering of lizard men.  As the three battle on the cliff, the clouds above part long enough to show the slowly darkening sun in the sky.  An eclipse is coming, and the three know they have to end the battle soon or lose more precious time. 
This was my first time to try running Dungeon World as I definitely had a fantastic time with the game.   (The enthusiasm I experienced can easily [...]

May Monster Maddness: Monster Books

Monster Books

I can't beleive I almost forgot this today.  It is still Thursday where I am sitting.

So I am presently working three books with monsters.

Eldritch Witchery, which you all know about which includes all the demons and devils I have been talking about since February for the Spellcraft & Swordplay game.

Here There Be Dragons, is the book I am working on with my son.  It has all sorts of dragons, dragon like creatures and some new classes for Advanced Era Old School Games or OSRIC.

Lastly, and the one that [...]

Ep #00093 -- Perpetual Geek Machine Podcast

Another Friday, another Perpetual Geek Machine podcast! Say you could try out any job for just one week. What would it be? Anything at all. Don’t say office drone, that job sucks.. I can attest to that. On this week’s show we run down our Top 5 choices. Other topics are also discussed as we [...]

Five for Friday 21: Mash-ups

"You got chocolate in my peanut butter!" "You got peanut butter in my chocolate!" Who doesn't like peanut butter and chocolate together (actually, I don't, but that is a Sheldon Cooper kind of sensory thing for me, a matter for professional help, and beside the point).

I like RPG mash-ups but I am not particularly creative with them myself, so I thought I would take a crack at coming up with five mash-ups. To be honest, I am more interested in what other people come up with, but here are some things that have occurred to me:

Constantinople [...]

Awesome Most Complicated Board Game (RPG?) Ever?

The Mythical Show proudly presents: Most Complicated Board Game Ever! I think they are playing at the same time the most complicated roleplaying game ever.

Now, take a closer look at the absolutely funtastic:

Risky Settlers Knights and Allies of the Lords of Dominion of Earth: Pandemic Edition

Check out the complete show: The Mythical Show Ep 3 (YO MAMA & Wipeout Host Jill Wagner)!
(via the incredible Chris N.)

Take the Fun Seriously

I am still diligently working away on the tremulus materials. I’m enjoying developing it immensely, but am saddened by the delays. The bomb ticks. The guilt rises. This is likely something I shouldn’t be sharing with you. However, I am. As much as I want to move swiftly through the materials (to better get them into your hands), there is a certain amount of thought and research necessary to pull some of this stuff together. I don’t want to shortchange anyone with my efforts, just want to give you a heads up.

If there are moments when I talk about non-game [...]

Discussion: What Makes You Geek Out?

Gamers are generally decently excitable, especially when it comes to our games. The stereotype that a gamer will talk your head off about their favorite character does have some grounding in truth, after all. So, my question for you today is what makes you geek out about your games? What gets you so excited that you'll find yourself telling people who maybe don't even game about it?

For me, it is generally when I manage to pull something clever off as a GM. Things like the Shuten Doji fight in Shadowrun that I posted about yesterday. I love it [...]

Playing a Module Solo : Faces Without Screams Session Summary

Since this is a module that's freely available, I'm going to do my best to withhold spoilers and refer to rooms/encounters by their number in the module. You can download it and follow along if you like.

That said, if you think your GM is going to run this [...]

Storm Over Neverwinter: Session Four

Storm Over Neverwinter: Session Four

Interlude: The Rivals

In a previous post I introduced a magical item, the Bloody Banner; it was adapted from a Pathfinder-compatible project of mine for a high-fantasy setting. Building on it, I present here a group of pirates who could serve as foils for PC's who are not as wicked as they could be.

Interlude 43: The RivalsA lot of swashbuckling fiction tends to portray pirates as Robin Hood-like characters, ones who break the law but tend to do so for good reasons; that is the assumption in the Come Hell and [...]

Agents of SHIELD Trailer

This is looking really, really good...

Game Chef 2013 begins

Game Chef Site

Well, it looks like the site is having trouble loading...maybe there's a whole heap of designers ready to start the ten day frenzy. Maybe it's just my slow Internet connection.

(Nope, tried again, it works fine...must have just been my connection. I'm halfway through day 1 of the contest and no theme or ingredients yet. I'm glad I get almost a full day extra at the end due to my position respective the the international date line.)

It's Away!

The first comics collection, MTDAA Volume 1: Tour of Duty, has now been shared in pdf with all backers who had that reward as part of their pledge level. I did this as a link to the Google Docs upload. If you have a problem with this for any reason, let me know and I'll look into it. The file was too big to simply attach to an e-mail, and I wanted to avoid making you download it through DriveThruComics, so I went with this route.

The second volume (another 228 pages) [...]

The Ghost Road becomes the Road to Arcadia

I've been reading Alma Alexander's novel, "The Secrets of Jin-Shei," and it gave me a neat idea to use if ever my characters journey to Arcadia.  You see, I've heard it described as a rustic road with a series of paths veering off of it and if you look down there you can see an entrance to each Arcadian realm.  I've heard of people using them more like a fantasy map of kingdoms with a wide highway down the middle where you might need to walk for miles and days to pass one realm to the next.  But the Ghost [...]

Raining Arrows

When I posted my DCC character sheet, I mentioned that the boxes for abstract ammo tracking would probably be implemented in manner similar to Brendan’s suggestion in this post: After combat, every character using a ranged weapon rolls 1d6; on a 1 they lose a quiver/level of ammo. I prefer this sort of simplified ammo tracking because it eases bookkeeping and ties in well with the “Significant Item” encumbrance system. Plus ammo in the DCC rulebook is priced as bundles anyway (i.e. 20 arrows for 5 gp), so the math for buying one level of ammo is already done for [...]

Win a PDF Copy of the Razor Coast PDF for Swords & Wizardry

As I mentioned earlier this week, the Frog Gods were generous and have placed a PDF copy of the Razor Coast for Swords & Wizardry (PDF) into my hands so that one of my readers could land a copy.

How sweet is that?

So, what do you have to do to win the prize?

Name a pirate ship, it's captain and tell us a bit about the captain (and the ship if you would like). You can stat him out or not, but if you do stat him out, it should be via the S&W rules. Bonus points if you also write a small sea ditty. Extra bonus points if you sing the sea ditty and post it to Youtube [...]

Pergamino Barocco -- Alternative Binding

The Pergamini Barocchi have been printed. If all goes well I should be able to ship the first batch next week.

Tonight I found some binding leatherette and, well, I wanted to know if the Pergamino would do well with an alternative binding. So instead of the two split hardcovers I’d make a normal book case and attach one of the end of the concertina to it, leaving the other free.

Thing is, leatherette hates me. With a passion. It’s a stubborn hateful piece of scorn and I can’t seem to glue it even with a plasma torch.

But tonight, kind reader, tonight [...]

Evil Hat Fate Dice Kickstarter In Its Last 5 Days

Just a friendly reminder in case you didn't know or haven't back it. Evil Hat's Fate/Fudge Dice Kickstarter is in it's final 5 days. It is on it's way to unlocking a set of sweet Eldritch Dice.

DeviantArt, Pinterest, 404s, Charmed, Aqueduct, Villainy Inc, Atomic Knights, Giganta, Creeper, etc.

As a side note we have a tiny DeviantArt presence. That account was originally created to contact people to get authorisation to use their work, but I figured I might as well post some of the modelling and detouring we do. People who are on DA and like this stuff can thus find writeups.org, and though it’s tiny it has had surprisingly good feedback.

As always, and as with our small Pinterest board feel free to favourite, tag, repost, whatever the pieces you like — to spread the word. For convenience’s sake I’ve listed our social-media-thingies presence on the Links page [...]

What A week....

    School has wrapped up, today I took my MTA certification test, thats a Microsoft entry level test for thoses that care, and it seems I had a really good job interview  I have a an extreme amount of "work" on my plate of late and I am ready for the next move in my life. God willing I will receive a call from the company I interviewed with.

I am ready to move, to get stuff going, school was a blast but the next stage in my life is at my doorstep.

All this is the reason since my Contest [...]

Press Release: Fantasy Legend Ed Greenwood joins the Red Aegis project team

Ed Greenwood, the beloved father of the Forgotten Realms and highly successful fantasy author, has agreed to work with Vorpal Games on an undisclosed project for the upcoming Red Aegis RPG.

Ed Greenwood (born 1959) is a Canadian writer and editor who created the Forgotten Realms. He invented the Forgotten Realms as a child, as a fantasy world in which to set the stories he imagined, and later used this world as a campaign setting for his own personal Dungeons & Dragons playing group. He began writing articles about the Forgotten Realms for Dragon magazine beginning in 1979, [...]

Car Commercials and Game Design

My first car was a 1972 Dodge Dart. It was a shade of green that I’m not sure how to even describe. It was a monster. My high school girlfriend called it, “the Monster.” It’s also safe to say that I really miss that car. I had the 2 door Swinger. It was beautiful. (Note: […]

Why Facts Don't Have Time for Traditional Print

I am the Warden!!

In my previous life, I worked in print media, an industry that has been struggling to sustain itself in the face of growing technology. While I'm of the belief that traditional print will always exist to one degree or another, it's very hard to make my case when the industry itself is constantly shooting itself in the foot. Having worked on the inside, I've seen the panicked reaction of employers and managers determined that if they simply hold on for a while until this "trend" blows over and it's the wrong reaction.

However, that's [...]

Character Sheet Editor Alpha

The character sheet editor is finally at alpha. Most of the time was split between trying to maintain the “look and feel” of a physical character sheet and struggling with Unity’s UI system. I’ll talk more about Unity in a future post where I’ll discuss the things that have and haven’t work well with Unity. For now, let’s take a look at the editor.

Click to enlarge.

Beginning with a blank page of any size (there are defaults for letter, legal, A4, and A5), you can add several different types of elements: text, whole numbers, decimal numbers, checkboxes, and images. Each of [...]

Jade Regent -- The Empty Throne, Session Four

Fourth Session(12 page pdf) – We go on a hostage rescue raid and kill a good bit of the palace’s defenders in the bargain. And then the propaganda war begins! Plus, we set up V’lk in a deadly one-on-one with the Raven Prince, the Regent’s pet ninja master.

This was a lively time. First, we went to rescue the captured women of Kasai from the Imperial Palace. Our usual scry, teleport, kill strategy is tried and true, but we sure get some resistance this time. The three spider woman wardens in there with them are tough, and then a mess of [...]

New Pacific Rim Trailer

Here ya go guys!

Against the Giants: Session Fifty-Eight

After Ungrid bashes in the wall, the party find another vault with yet another bronze statue of the dwarf god, surrounded by six locked iron chests inscribed with runes; and in an alcove rests another warhammer, fancy but not as ornate and clunky as the one Ungrid picked up. Expecting the statue to animate if the chests are tampered with, Halmary attempts to tie the statues arms with rope, but that actually triggers the statue’s animation and it wades in to attack: everyone retaliates, getting scorched by spraying molten rock as the bronze is cut, but even with that hazard, [...]

Comic: Mordenhatin'

Here's a funny comic that was brought to my attention about Mordenkainen and Elminster. I've jabbed at these two in comic form more than once before, so this one from d20monkey brings back good memories. And it also has Bigby to boot!

Thanks to Stone Kobold for finding this.

Rasoob, Petty God of Bronze

Picture courtesy of Eden Photos. 

Name:  Rasoob
Symbol: a Statue, often broken or neglected
(formerly a sword)
Alignment: Neutral

Pity the fallen god Rasoob.

For centuries, he reigned supreme as a god of warfare, as everything -- weapons, shields, armor, even chariots -- was made from bronze. From the lowliest knife to the finest sword, if you wanted a metal tool, it was made from bronze.

Bronze meant war. Bronze meant agriculture. Bronze meant tools. Bronze even meant health, for not only were its users able to feed and [...]

Tic Toc ~ time is running out for Robotech Kickstarter



If you haven’t looked at the Robot Tactics RPG kickstarter, I need to ask you, “WHY?” Check out the image above and tell me you don’t drool at the sight of it. It is the most important kickstarter we have seen since, well, since kickstarter has been around. Sure it might not be the biggest money maker. Sure it is only a game. I don’t care about all of that. What I care about is this kickstarter is allowing thousands of Robotech fans the chance to dive back into the awesome world of Rick Hunter and Max Sterling.

Financially the kickstarter had some hurdles to overcome. The most economical and generally affordable reward level is $140. When I say affordable, I mean for me. $140 is alot of fraking money for most gamers. It is a funny thing, money. When we are young and have the time to game we tend to be broke. When we are older and have money, we don’t have the time to game. This kickstarter is lucky for us older guys. We have the fund to afford the $140 pledge and we are doing so in droves.

Now you may ask why I say this is the [...]

Witch Hunter 2e: A kickstarter by PCI

You know me by now. I am a consumate and avid devoted of history. Most books I read have a strong historical tint to them. I define anything in my game worlds. I am particularly interested in the 16th through 19th century European history. As a French descendant, I have a strong penchant towards history of France.

However, history is something that does not exist in a vaccuum. To understand what France does, you need to know what was happening in England, Spain and Italy. To watch the repercussions of a decision, of a victory, one cannot simply look [...]

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