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Angry Rants: Orphans

You know what really pisses me off? Orphans. I can't stand orphans. When I see an orphan, I just want them to die horribly in some terrible accident... you know what? That didn't come out right.

You know what really pisses me off? Orphan player-characters. Characters with no family, no friends, no attachments, no anything. You know what I mean, the characters who don’t have anything or anyone in the world that they give a crap about. Now, you might think I'm the mean-spirited sort of DM who just wants some NPCs in the world I can paint big red bulls-eyes [...]

Adventure Maximus! : Reviewed and a Basic Idea for Solo Play

Adventure Maximus! got its first outing last week (it's part of my 10 games, 10x challenge). If you're not familiar with the game, it's a card based RPG, designed for kids. I backed the Kickstarter awhile back and only recently gave the rules the once over before deciding to bring [...]

The 50000 Foot View, Part 2

Last week in part 1 we talked about a few of the broad brush strokes of the campaign. Let’s keep going on that front…

  • The Far East — the Jade Empire and its Rainbow Court. This was the least fleshed out by me for my original campaigns, but it was envisioned to bring classic Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian themes to the fore. I envisioned they had similar problems that the “Roman” Empire did with their own twists. They had diplomatic relations to the other Nations and Free Cities, but were largely at peace with them all. (Aided by the fact [...]

Monster Monday-Glass Dragon

“The passage continues here,” Tarik called to the others.

“Still no sign of the treasure,” Alek muttered.

“Or of the beast,” Zahir added.

“Well, if one’s a mere rumor, then the other is too. Stay sharp.”

Tarik started as a rushing sound like wind filled the cave ahead. A ghostly form, with eyes like pricks of sunlight, had appeared before them. The beast!He could scarcely brace himself before a flash of light blinded him.

The wind rushed toward him and bit like knives in the darkness. He flailed his club but met nothing.

Mind Weave Dragons are greedy [...]

Round Table 35 - Dungeon Master's Guide Release and Monster Mash

Round Table 35 - Dungeon Master's Guide Release and Monster Mash
James Introcasosits down with Alex Basso and Round Table newbieJohn Fischerto talk about theDungeon Master's Guide'srelease being pushed backand a whole bunch of previews from the upcomingMonster Manual. This podcast was recorded on September 18, 2014.
Links: worldbuilderblog.me Intellect Devourer Kobold Golems Umber Hulk Bone Devil Sphinx Rust Monster Manticore Thri-Kreen
Support the show, shop below...

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Bounded Accuracy in MyM20 doc

I am not updating the MyM20.pdf file at this time.  However... if I do at some point decide to do so, it will roll from 1.1.6 to 1.2 due to this change, which although somewhat small in nature would also be fundamental in impact.  So for today, all I'm doing is noodling with the concept of how I might implement it, rather than actually doing so.

The biggest single change I have to make--or at least by far the most work to implement--is reworking the monster list so that it is geared towards a bounded accuracy paradigm.

You may [...]

Game Props Part 5: Files & Photos

I've been working on a modern Esoterrorists game for when I meet up with the guys at Con on the Cob.  Some under the table gaming.  Last night when I was working on the adventure, I thought about how many more props you can use in a modern setting. 

First off, since my adventure is more of procedural there will be several folks to speak with and places to investigate.  One of the first things I needed to do was after figuring out the adventure was to develop a file.  It's easy enough to grab forms off the internet [...]

Media News Monday - Pratt on SNL, Frost on Doctor Who, & Gaiman Goings-On

This Saturday, on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Chris Pratt will host, so expect some Guardians of the Galaxy bits and a Parks and Recreation sketch.  I wonder if SNL alum Amy Poehler to make an appearance.  Read more here on the Nerdist website.

Meanwhile, Nick Frost is set to show up on the Doctor Who Christmas special this year, reportedly among many other guests.  Read more here.

Finally, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and "Weird Al" Yankovic make sure that folks know that they "Read Banned Comics."  Read more about that here.  But also let [...]

On a Limited Chance

Just a heads up, the chance to get the Hack & Slash Compendium I for Pay What You Want ends next Monday. The print price will also increase then from 4.99 to 6.99. In addition I've put On the Non-Player Character on sale till then, at over 50% off!
50% off in Print at Lulu.
50% off in .pdf at Lulu.
50% off in .pdf at RPGnow. 

That's not all, I've updated a reference card with instructions on using On the Non-Player Character with 5th edition!

So if you're curious about a method of resolving social situations via [...]


The Evil GM - Handing Out Favor Points.

Giving out favor by the GM/DM, has been a common thing since gaming was invented. It started as just a thing around the table, where the DM would award a player a special "favor" in the game for their character. 
The favor could be a +1 on their next to hit roll, or even something like you get a free re-roll on a d20 roll in any situation, but it's nothing more then a "one shot deal" favor given to a player. 
Far as I know this rule has never been written into a book, its always been just a [...]

Named NPCs in Tyranny of Dragons: Hoard of the Dragon Queen

This past week we recorded The Tome Show review of Tyranny of Dragons: Hoard of the Dragon Queen. During that review, we talked about how information dense the book can be and I know in preparing for it, I wished that there was an index of named NPCs. So, I decided to spend some time this afternoon creating one. (By the way, I was fortunate enough to get a free copy from Wizards of the Coast for review.)

Hoard of the Dragon Queen

Alphabetical Index NPC Pages Achreny Ulyeltin 32 Ackyn Selebon 30 Aldor Urnpoleshurst 32 Angrath Woodwise 67 Ardred Briferhew 40 Arietta Innevar 36 Arlaenga 67 Azbara Jos 31, 37, 38, 39, 48, 54, 62, 77, 80 Beyd Sechepol 32 Blagothkus 75, [...]

Revisiting the Power/Aggression Control Mechanic in Fate

Last week, I did a post that revisited this mechanic in Dungeon World. Today, I revise the one for Fate that was written back in May. Just like the revision for Dungeon World, this removes the extra roll that was involved with resolving the control effects.

The Revised Mechanic

When a character has an aspect that reflects their ability to power up an action, but possibly lose control with it, they gain a new Control stress track. The amount of stress available is calculated just like the Physical and Mental stress tracks, but using the lower of Will and Athletics as the [...]

Kickstarter - Broken World - A Post-Apocalypse Tabletop RPG

Let me see if I have the lineage correct: Apocalypse World, the game without failure, just complications, begat Dungeon World, and there was much rejoicing as the hordes of fantasy role players could now play a game without failure, just complications.

And so it was that Dungeon World begat an offspring, one that would climb the no longer so high gates of the land of Kickstarter, and the offspring it left unto the Worlds was a broken one. A Broken World to be exact.

This Broken World was to be a post-apoc RPG.

Say what?

Didn't this all start with Apocalypse World, which is by it's very name "an apocalypse world?" Did we come full circle so soon? No one [...]

Lost Children - Weird New World: Session 2

Session 2 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 9/19

The party consisted of the following:
Max, Human Bard 1 (Yann)
Embara, Wood Elf Fighter 1 (Erica)
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 1 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 1 (Nikki)
Riia, Human Ranger 1 (Hanna)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 1 (Erik)

With the cog repaired enough to limp to the next town that had a proper dock, the companions again boarded the ship and left the abandoned village behind.

The voyage to the town of Salt Bay was uneventful, though the [...]

Publisher Advice: 3 Fundamental Questions You Should Ask About a Book

Before a publisher commissions a new book, he must be able to answer three absolutely fundamentalquestions about the project. If he can’t, the project is likely doom to failure.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


As a publisher, particularly a new publisher, there is often a temptation to commission loads of books. More books mean more revenue (but sadly more cost) as well as greater exposure in a crowded marketplace and the likelihood of new customers finding your company.

However, before you charge like a crazed berserk into a new book there are three very basic questions you need to answer:

  1. What is the Point [...]

Episode 135: Actual Play - Battle In the Birch

This Episode:  The group takes on a small band of hobgoblins in the middle of the woods.  That's about it. Jesse (Game Master), Dave (Ro'Dash), Kelli (Falltu), Gabby (Shai), Besse (Rusk),...

A group of friends who ramble and shamble while dice rumble and tumble. Call us casually-hardcore role players of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.

Musical Monday: Fantastic Four Song (Ray Wall Band)

Thanks, Simon!

RPG Round Up

What’s been going on in the world of RPGs and gaming this week. Covers the latest posts from my favourite other rpg related blogs, comics and more

Starting Point: The Third Machine AgeIt was the third machine age that finally destroyed us. We should have seen it coming; there were so many signs. If only the robots had warned us. I wrote this after reading this article about the “third machine age”, the first apparently started in the 19th century with machines taking [...]Sun, Sep 21, 2014
Source: Sci-Fi IdeasSeptember RPG Blog Carnival: RPG Blogger CommunityMy previous contribution to the RPGBA [...]

GM Spotlight: What Dungeons & Dragons (2014) Brings to the Table

In ages past, when all-in-one boxed sets were common and character sheets were bought in packs, it’s safe to assume that some flavor of Dungeons & Dragons was the gateway into an imaginary world of fantasy roleplaying adventure for most gamers. It’s where we learned that a character was more than a piece to be pushed around a board (although there was still plenty of that), to think critically lest a random trap send us back to the books for a new character. It’s also where we learned the language of gaming. Indeed, I still use the phrase “roll up [...]

Numenera Session 1 - Echoes of the War

"And with the Dawning of the Ninth Age..."
First session in our G+ Numenera game, very much enjoyed running it and am looking forward to the next session :)

Designing a Boffer LARP System (Part 13)

I'm thinking of card draw effects. Mostly because most gamers have easy access to a deck of cards, but I'm also thinking of tarot cards to add a degree of "mystery" and mysticism.

I started thinking about these when I read through Peter Woodworth's post on finite and infinite character death, then cross referenced it to the way heroes are taken out of a campaign in the miniatures game "Confrontation".

Basically, Peter's post posits that there are two extremes, those in which characters live only once and when they are taken out of action in conflict they are never seen again, and [...]

Review And Commentary On Dungeon of the Unknown By Geoffrey McKinney From Lamentations of the Flame Princess For The LoFP Rpg System and Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right

 Dungeon of the Unknown By Geoffrey McKinney From the Lamentations of The Flame Princess Rpg system is one of those dungeons that's been out for quite while but doesn't seem to ever get mentioned on the blogsphere.
 To bad because its a damned decent dungeon crawl that acts both as adventure and tool box for the Lamentation of the Flame Princess rpg system but has a completely different style then other efforts in that line. This dungeon links up with the Isle Of The Unknown campaign setting and in fact links with the Minoan [...]

DCC#4: Bloody Jack's Gold

In this all-new adventure, the characters acquire a treasure map showing the location of Bloody Jack's last haul, where hundreds of thousands of gold coins lie waiting to be taken. But Bloody Jack didn't leave his treasure unguarded -- and the best way to keep the undead legions well-stocked is to lure treasure-hunters to their death...

An adventure for character levels 10-12

Khenarthi's Roost Adventure - Part 1 (Retaking the Viper)

Please check the basic adventure overview here if you haven't already.  I ran this adventure with the players gaining dots on their sheet depending on their actions, choices, beliefs, etc. for a total of 24 points.  Since I've been using the God Machine System where all skills have the same cost regardless of dot level, this worked really well so long as you ensure that you hand out skill dots at around the same time so that all the players end up with the same number of dots.  I gave them 7, 5, 4 attribute dots that they could spend [...]

Elder Scrolls Adventure: Khenarthi's Roost

The first Elder Scrolls Adventure will take place after the events of Khenarthi's Roost in Elder Scrolls Online.  The Silvenar has been assassinated using Daedric poison by the Maomer to ensure that they can finalise their Tempest mission to summon a hurricane to destroy more Dominion ships in order to maintain their control over the seas and Khenarthi's Roost (an island belonging to the Khaijit).  The Green Lady was persuaded to spare Ulondil, the ambassador and mer responsible for the assassination, and he was instead imprisoned and interrogated.  However this didn't stop the mighty Tempest ritual from being undertaken where the Maomer fed storm [...]

Khenarthi's Roost Adventure - Part 2 (Mistral)

This is part two of the Khenarthi's Roost Adventure (overview here and Part 1 here).  So the PCs have either been handed over to or escaped into the hands of the Dominion Navy, the Gold Fleet, who are heading to Port Mistral in the northeast of Khenarthi's Roost.  Vicereeve Pelidil demands to be returned home to Auridon but is flatly ignored in favour of the more pressing mission mentioned by Gathwen - to prevent Uldor's reawakening.  Harrani just wishes to go home and feels rather ashamed and humiliated by the whole ordeal.  If, by some chance, the Maomer captain and ambassador are alive after attempting to take the PCs [...]

Zombies of Greyhawk

Time for an offbeat Greyhawk topic. I recently finished reading the collected works of the Walking Dead graphic novel and I must say it's amazingly good. Then it got me thinking how zombies in D&D aren't as scary as in pop culture. Sure D&D zombies don't die instantly when hit on a called shot to the head but there is no viral zombie outbreaks in the World of Greyhawk (yet) or any other setting for that matter (not sure about Ravenloft). That's because nobody wants to see their 10th level fighter get bit on a lucky "20" and then have to [...]

Khenarthi's Roost Adventure - Part 1 (Retaking the Viper)

Please check the basic adventure overview here if you haven't already.  I ran this adventure with the players gaining dots on their sheet depending on their actions, choices, beliefs, etc. for a total of 24 points.  Since I've been using the God Machine System where all skills have the same cost regardless of dot level, this worked really well so long as you ensure that you hand out skill dots at around the same time so that all the players end up with the same number of dots.  I gave them 7, 5, 4 attribute dots that they could spend [...]

PCs With Rank Over Other PCs

In a lot of types of games you can end up with a PC having rank over another PC. In L5R this could be because someone bought status. In a military game it's almost par for the course. The same happens with many "ship" based games, whether on sea or in space, because someone has to be the captain and often times that person should be a PC for interests of agency if nothing else.

However, this is still something to handle delicately, especially when you have new players joining the game or a player who bristles at another [...]

Tales from the Hydian Way: Episode 3 -- On the Horizon

We decided to take a step back from the Force and Destiny Beta and talk about a book that struck both our fancies.

Far Horizon seems to have just squeaked out there between the different Core book releases, but it has quite a few things to talk about. From the new specializations to a whole new starting style. We dive deep into these things and more.

You can find us on Twitter at @DeuteriumIce and @Xphile101361

You can find the podcast and a whole host of other great gaming advice at MadAdventurers.com

Our iTunes page can be found at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mad-adventurers-society-tales/id914541856?mt=2

Please drop by and rate [...]

briella rall ... dwarven master sergeant ! :D

amongst each society there are heroes … and then there are the legends ! briella rall is one of the legends . she defended fort bricker gol against a force of elves (the dwarves were outnumbered at least 6 to 1 ). the siege lasted 4 months before being broken by dwarven reinforcements. briella is celebrated for her tactical genius and leadership as much as for her skill and ferocity with an axe (of course she is also celebrated for this as well ).

legends swirl around briella … she once grappled gruumsh to a standstill (false :D). after her axe [...]

Another Great 5e Weekend

It is the the first weekend of Fall (more or less) and that means a lot of yard work for me including cleaning up my wife's garden.  I don't mind. I love getting all the fresh veggies.

But this weekend was also a great 5th Edition D&D weekend.

Began our time picking up a couple copies of the newest Monster Manual.

The new Monster Manual is a damn attractive book.  Like so much of D&D5 it reads like a "greatest hits" of D&D.  Yest there is still plenty of room for [...]

Progress Update-More Playtest and Getting Back

I’ll be brief, this week the new-to-tabletop players made it into Mhyrinport and that storyline is well underway with them breaking a political prisoner (at random) out of the dungeons under the tower. They are now faced with the prospect of getting him out of the city and could make a lot of money that way, or by turning him in. I’m curious to see what they’ll do.

In other news, I designed and coded a browser puzzle created by Richard, one of my more mechanics savvy players. He’s also come up with some cool abilities that might be showcased here [...]

The Man, Myth & Magic Grimoire

"Sorcery is not a bowl of cherries," remarks the Man, Myth & Magic rules.  The successful casting of a spell is dependent upon overcoming the Fundamental Failure Rate.  For "every activity," (Advanced) MM&M characters have a Fundamental Failure Rate.  By default, this rate is 50%; meaning "you will have to throw 50 or better on the percentile dice to score a hit [or otherwise succeed]."  (I know, that's a 49% chance for failure.  What difference does a single percentage point make?  A great deal actually; read on.)  Circumstances can modify the Fundamental Failure Rate.  For example, a warrior's SKILL [...]

Spiritwalking in Hari Ragat

Finally, inspiration again! Had a bad cold last night, but woke up much fresher this morning after an early sleep and with new ideas. For starters, I tackled the long-delayed section on Spiritwalking. Please have a look and let me know what you think!


All shamans also possess the Spiritwalking ability. This enables the shaman, while in trance, to detach their soul from their physical shell and wander about the world as an incorporeal, invisible spirit, able to move at the speed of thought.

During the spiritwalk the shaman can see and hear as though [...]

Building A World - Small Hiatus

Just a heads up, I'm putting the building a world on a small hiatus. I want to take some time to get the map done better and for the islands. We'll come back then and get going on doing some kingdoms with the terrain and such already set. Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far, and hopefully you'll come back for the return.

Wayward Kickstarter - CHUGS, a Collectible Drinking Card Game

What could be wrong with a collectible drinking card game?

Well, perhaps we'll start with the graphic above, where apparently they can't spell. What exactly is a "Collec Table" game anyway? I guess it's CHUGS. (edit: maybe it can be spelled both ways, but the spacing of the graphic is STILL wrong, and the "i" is more proper than the "a".)

Hey, shit happens, even when one is looking to raise $18k Canadian for a drinking game with misspellings right on the tin.

19 backers - $3,000 raised. Basic buy in for the game is 20 bucks. So, where did all of the extra money come from? Well, having a $1k backer and a $500 backer does that pretty well. That's [...]

dagger ... on patrol !

sketch of dagger , from cloak and dagger , looking for villains ! :D

dagger on patrol !

Filed under: comic book, fan art, superhero Tagged: character, comicbook, fanart, heroine, marvel, superhero

spider woman ... good morning villains ! :D

more figure sketches of new spider woman :w00t:

spider woman … good morning villains !

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: character, comicbook, fanart, heroine, marvel, spider, spider woman, spiderwoman, superhero

Inspiration from things you drink

I ran across this as a single in the cold beer fridge at HEB.  The joint product of three breweries, it is really good.  Or more to the point, outstanding.  I recommend trying it even if you are not a big IPA fan, the way that the blackness of the malt really stands up to the hops.  It is the product of cooperation between three breweries, and apparently inspired by the metal band Vulgaari.

And when it comes to inspiration, I believe in getting inspiration anywhere and everywhere.  Whether you are a beer fan or not, the three-headed [...]

1,000 Years of Shar Auvryndar (A Millennium in Prologue)

In the years following the Time of Troubles, the Inquisitor Meaghan continued to guide Shar along the path Mystra had placed before him; first by tasking him with documenting her ascension as goddess of magic, then leading to Shar to recover a lost relic of the North.
When researching for Godsfall: The Time of Troubles Shar and Meagan returned to Waterdeep and eventually to the Wands noble family where he spent years making all the associations, meeting all the witnesses, and visiting all the sacred locations to tell the right story. During this time Shar came to know the Wands family, Maskar, and the early years of Smendric.
Later but while still in Waterdeep, Shar uncovered dragon disciples in the undermountain, a remnant of Karlot's Cult of the dragon. Led by Narthund, one of the Sages, and with sanction from Neirgral, a deep dragon, these cultists were experiencing a resurgence in strength in Skullport doubling in size in a month. Joining with other adventurers, among them Balder Ironshield, Shar and his companions defeated the cultists, killed the underdark dragon Neirgral, and recovered a lost Samular relic from the Cultists and earned the enmity of an evil ancient intelligent [...]


Another Art Market

I have started uploading my work to yet another online market. This one is called Bluecanvas. They describe themselves as an international, multi-genre, online community of artists and art lovers. They also have a quarterly publication that features artists from their online community. They hope everyone will be able to find inspiration that reaches across genres, and hope they can provide the right tools for their users to inspire everyone, artists and non-artists alike.

Uploading work is real easy, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see how effective the site is as a platform for getting my work noticed.

That’s [...]

[Mutant Future] Savage Menagerie: Porcuspine

No. Enc.: 1d4 (2d4)
Alignment: ChaoticMovement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 1 (spines)
Damage: 1d8 + poison
Save: L6
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None

Porcuspines are medium-sized humanoids (about 4 to 6 feet tall) who are covered with long, poisonous spiny growths. These spines are incredibly long and thick -- most are more than 2 feet long and 1 inch thick -- making the creature appear as if it is covered in tree-like twigs and branches. (In fact, the porcuspine may be initially mistaken for a plant-like mutant.)

The spines offer a degree of armor [...]

Fumble Charts -- D&D 5th Edition

Now for the bad stuff. Fumbles, critical failures, epic fails; whatever you want to call them. I’ve put together some tables that provide results on a 1, or in my case, two 1s coming up on a attack roll with advantage or disadvantage. Melee with weapons, unarmed melee/natural weapons, ranged attack with weapon and spell attack tables are provided for your pleasure and pain. The link to all 4 is below the sample for Melee weapons.


Melee with weapon [...]

Crit Charts -- 5th Edition D&D

While I’m not quite ready to institute these crit rules into my 5th edition game, I’m certain I’ll eventually do so. Crit charts are a familiar house-ruled mechanism for RPGs that I used extensively back in the 2E hey-days. I’ve gone all out here and created a crit chart for every damage type listed in 5E. Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning, Acid, Fire, Cold, Poison, Necrotic, Radiant, Lightning, Psychic, Thunder and Force. Take a look and offer your suggestions/tweaks.

Some rules I’ll be instituting to go along with these crit tables.

1) Roll on these only when 2 20s appear on an attack with [...]

Myconid -- Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition


I’m running Tyranny of Dragons at a local game store and I’m finding that I need some additional content. Myconids are an old favorite of mine from the classic “Slave Lords” modules. While I’m on the subject of that series of modules, I think I’ll have to whip up some Aspis in the future too. I’d like to see those monsters make a return.


Myconid [...]

Apocalypse World: Dark Ages Playtest and Observations

This past Better World Book’smonthly game day, I ran a playtest session of Vincent Baker’s Apocalypse World: Dark Ages. There were four other players. We spent about an hour creating the stronghold, people, and characters. Then another two and a half hours “in character”.

The process of crafting the stronghold, people, and characters gaveimmediate shape to the characters’ environ. As this is a game about strongholds, peoples, and war companies, the game world crafting process is better than any Quickstart Guide.

The game started bumpy; I wasn’t asking my usual questions to growthe world. Ifumbled a bit. I went quick to the [...]

Super Crate Box, fast and demented fun!

Review #60 -- Free Video Game
Super Crate Box, fast and demented fun!
Here we have a one of the most simple, yet addictive, games on the whole Warehouse. Super Crate Box is just an old-school endless arcade, with the added fun of modern day unlockables. Jump and shot, collecting boxes until you die. Don't act so surprised, I said it was simple.
The action is fast, and the graphics are awesome. As you beat your high score, you'll also get new character skins and new weapons. Each weapon is unique, and as you progress through the game, your armory [...]

The tight spell lists of classic D&D

Magic is an integral - some would say indispensible - part of fantasy stories and fantasy role-playing games.  Sure, you can have a medieval game without magic, but it loses a significant element of the fantastic.  Even games that bar player characters from being spell-casters often do so not to expunge magic from the game entirely, but to keep it beyond the understanding of the players - to keep it wild and fantastic and fearsome.

I like magic in my game.  I like for the players to be able to choose to run spell-casting characters if they want to.  [...]
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