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HJRP1412 Happy Jacks RPG Podcast Season 14 Episode 12


Your hosts: Stu, Tyler and Tim

Show Notes! We discuss making a big boss fight memorable. Jeremy writes in with a horror story and a question about passive players. Weaslecreature takes exception with Stu’s contention regarding the place of game mechanics in social situations. New GM Starting tells us of his players exploits in a Star Wars game. And Tony relates a gaming nightmare.

The Crypts and Things Remastered Rpg System by Newt Newport Kickstarter For Your Old School Sword and Sorcery Campaigns

Get In On The Action RightHERE The OSR has been very,very, good to me & one of the games that I haven't gotten to play nearly enough is the Crypts and Things Rpg retroclone system. Crypts and Things is a sword and sorcery retroclone built on the Swords and Wizardry engine. For me its a really important game because what it allows a DM to do is to take the game,grab some players and dive into

Frightful Fridays! Giant Velvet Worm

Howdy and welcome to another Frightful Fridays! (or Frightful word-ending-in-'days', which doesn't have quite the same ring to it) This entry is courtesy of Jason who pointed to a Cracked article about "the 24 most bizarre creatures on Earth," and these worms appealed to me, especially since they spray mucus to to capture their prey and slowly devour the ensnared prey. What's not to love?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these giant velvet worms, and I hope to be back this Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

They're so adorable

This massive worm bears dozens of crescent-shaped claws along its body, [...]

Kickstarter - Pyramid of the Lost King: Adventures in Basq (OSR Setting)

I've been remiss in my Kickstarter coverage. Well, remiss in that I've failed to cover all of the good ones, as the train wrecks (or even minor fender benders) are usually very entertaining.

One of the Kickstarters I've overlooked is Pyramid of the Lost King: Adventures in Basq, which is a foolish thing to overlook, as I've agreed to do a small part (as has +Tim Shorts , so if nothing else, my small part can be judged against Tim's small part - wait - that doesn't sound right at all.)
Pyramid of the Lost King is the newest Lands of Usarm adventure from Genius Loci Games. Pyramid takes place in the deserts far to the south of the Ruined City of Uostin where [...]

Late Review: Clanbook: Toreador (Revised)

Clanbook:  Toreador (Revised)By Heather Grove & Greg Stoltze2000, 100 pages                        From the very first page, Clanbook Toreador recreates the image of the Clan of the Rose and Kindred society by offering a multicultural perspective that was not present in the previous edition's clanbooks.   Players are exposed to a variety of different viewpoints on the Toreador, and those viewpoints are especially important in that they are well developed and completely untrustworthy.   Kindred are liars and deceivers who twist the truth into new forms that are not outright lies and that fact makes them far more [...]

Pyramid #3/76 - Dungeon Fantasy IV Review (Dire and Terrible Monsters)

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise -- it's the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in an I have to put that in my game kind of way.

So, let's delve in . . . but remember you're descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin' Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can't be found. Nope. Nothing to see there. Though you're going to want to lose your lunch after spending time in the horrid living room of your bad guy. But don't worry, you can always punch him in the gut with a magically-enhanced fist of death.

But what's this we see here? Awww . . . it's so cute. A tiny, fluffy little bunny. I'm sure it's cuddly and oh my glob, it's attacking me! The pain, the pain! Aaaaaahh!

Dire and Terrible Monsters ( +Peter V. Dell'Orto and +Douglas Cole )

Of course, I co-wrote this one, so you can take my review with a grain of salt. That being said, I noted in a previous post that [...]

Miss March: Lindy Booth

Lindy Booth (from The Librarians, Copper, Kick-Ass 2, Wrong Turn, The 4400, Odyssey 5 and Relic Hunter)

Time to Award the White Box PDF Bundle Prize(s)

Yes. Prize(s). That's because in addition to the bundle that includes White Box Treasures, Bestiary and Companion, three additional winners will get to pick one of the three titles for themselves. +James Spahn , temporary temporal commander of the OSR in a generous benefactor ;)

All right, lets get to the goodies giving part :)

For the White Box Bundle - +Peter V. Dell'Orto 

For their choice of one of the three releases in PDF, we have:

+Brett Slocum 

Sir Corvus

Halenar Frosthelm

Email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing. I'll need your RPGNow email and for the final three, the product that you want.

James and I thank everyone for participating.

As next week is [...]

February 2015 Update

Basically nothing RPG related to report this month. Have been watching more 1970’s and 1980s SF movies. Probably not going to be much except movies and some reading for the next few months while I finish my onsite clinical training.

Here’s a few pages of scans from my 1980s Holothom notebook to tide us over until next month. These are about spellcasting and religion. (I skipped over the several pages of custom spell lists I had made up for the campaign, but you can see the last bit of them on the first scan.)

Page 17

Page 18

Page 19

Page 20

Filed under: blogging, [...]

Weekend R&R: Mini Six

I enjoy the d6 system and have said as much on repeated occasions.

My first foray with the system would be though West End Games' classic Star Wars RPG at a time when I truly got fed up with TSR and their bloated publishing schedule and, what I perceived as schlock, being produced.  This would have been around the mid-90s.  The Star Wars RPG (and d6 in general) was easy to grasp, quick to learn, and fast to play and the rules were light enough to allow the freedom and flexibility for a narrative and cinematic experience.  It was [...]

'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene' Adventure By Venger Satanis for Your Old School Campaigns

If your a reader of this blog, then by all means you know how much I love the gonzo. Well I went after and pestered the hell out of Venger Satanis for a review copy of the infamous 'The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescene'. And this isn't one for the kids, the Pat Robertson Crowd, or the easily offended. If you're still reading this then let's move on and go right into the breakdown of this

Review - Another Bunch of Content Issue #3 (OSR Supplement)

I never got around to reviewing Issues 1 and 2 of Another Bunch of Content, which is totally my fault. Well, that and work, as I've been trying to find time for reviews and they are often the more time consuming of posts.

Let me start with the simple statement - You Want This

Nothing subliminal, no beating around the bush, just a simple statement. Each issue has 26 pieces of content for your game. What kind of content are we talking about? Magic items, locations, personalities, history, spells, monsters.

It is literally inspiration for the DM that is looking for that one piece to the puzzle, but in this case they get 26 extremely varied pieces.

For a [...]

Blogger's New Adult Policy, Part 2

I was looking up some stuff for our Castles & Crusades game today and I discovered this: An update on Blogger porn content policy In a nutshell Google/Blogger is going back to the policy it had all this time. So we can all go back to worrying about what color that damn dress is.

Terraria Episode 044

My arena prepared, it’s time to kill the Wall of Flesh again! Hopefully this time I’ll get the PwnHammer, and be able to get my mitts on those tasty, tasty Hardmode ores…

Find the playlist here!

Sidequest Saturday (Forsaken Frontier): Final Battle

Four warlords have marshaled powerful undead armies to once more fight for the rulership of the Shining City of Salamangka. This is the climax of everything the PCs have experienced since 5th level when they were first drawn to the Disputed Territories, and for the most part this sidequest is focused on making the most […]

The post Sidequest Saturday (Forsaken Frontier): Final Battle appeared first on Adventureaweek.com.

Free Show, Great Music, Cool Shop

If you're in the Buckeye state today I recommend heading to Super-Fly Comics and Gamesin Yellow Springstonight. There will be a great hiphop show tonight. Mikal kHill and Tribe Onewill be doing individual sets. Afterwards they will get together to do some stuff from Tribe One's other project, Malibu Shark Attack!(exclamation point is part of the name, though I am excited). I've heard both

Win a Free eBook

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Aquaman's Gonna Kick Your Ass If You Make Any More Lame Fish Jokes...

[Video] Player Tips - Make some shit up

Offering a tip to players, to make stuff up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6-mPBPo4HA

OMG! Reaper Bones II Unboxing

Hi. I’m Nick Watanabe, as far as you know, and I splashed out on the Reaper Bones II Kickstarter way back almost a million years ago.

Well, good news, it finally arrived! And now I’m going to open it on camera, just for you!

You should totally keep an eye, and maybe even an ear, peeled to see if anything else exciting comes from this.

Cause it will.

So You Want to Start A Game Club?

In March, 2013, Geek and Sundry, through their popular YouTube show Tabletop hosted the very first International Tabletop Day.   A full day of celebrating board games, card games, role-playing games, and pretty much anything tabletop gaming related, thousands of gamers all around the world gathered in their friendly local game stores, libraries, and homes to share their love of gaming.  For so many people around the world, it was an incredible day to be out and about with their fellow gamers!  

Here in the Walls residence, it was a bit more low-key, but still a lot of fun.

Major Influence - 2000AD Timeline 35 years Video And Old School Gaming

I just ran across this wonderful video byRichard Herrero, this morning and its like someone took a snap shot of my mind. I've written before about some of the major comic book influences it in my life, especially after the 90's trip to the U.K.. But growing up there was a comic book title that was like a kick in the head. 2000 AD. was/is one of my old favorites and pretty much gave me the

February, 2015 RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-up

Taking a break from alphabetical dungeon dressings to wrap up this month's Blog Carnival, "How and Where I Write"

I received entries from eight individual bloggers, and Lowell Francis and Terl Ober both contributed multiple entries. Thanks to all for sharing - I really appreciate the responses.

First of all, a common theme seemed to run through most of the entries was not so much 'how' people write, but 'when.'  It's most illustrative of many of our middle-aged lives, full of work, family, other pursuits, and annoying cats.  I've read in other writing essays and guides of the importance [...]

B/XoL: Converting D&D creatures to Barbarians of Lemuria

The Legendary edition of Barbarians of Lemuria doesn’t come with a lot of creatures and most of them are pretty unique and unusual. Though my own goal with B/XoL is not to recreate Basic D&D but to take inspirations from it, Dungeons & Dragons is a great source when it comes to monsters. I think between BECMI and AD&D, there are way over a thousand of them.

Having looked at the creatures from the BoL Legendary Edition and the D&D Basic Set, I’ve come up with a couple of guidelines how to convert creatures from one game to the other:

Attributes: In [...]

Pyramid #3/76 - Dungeon Fantasy IV Review (The Magic Touch)

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise -- it's the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in an I have to put that in my game kind of way.

So, let's delve in . . . but remember you're descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin' Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can't be found. Nope. Nothing to see there. Though you're going to want to lose your lunch after spending time in the horrid living room of your bad guy.

But what's this we see here? A small, harmless-looking guy in a robe? The rube has no business in a dungeon. Or does he?

The Magic Touch (+Matt Riggsby)

This short article presents a set of magic items tuned to the martial artist archetype. Martial Artists usually eschew weapons and armor, and so much of the common loot one finds is inappropriate for them. This article tries to help balance the scales - but many of the items are not unvarnished benefits to the user!

Savage Worlds -- Space 1889 -- Flip Through

I was involved recently in an online conversation where someone pointed out the vast difference in cost between the core …

Continue reading →

Contest Time -- Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

Sitting here in Barnes and Noble, on the outskirts of the cafe area. There are tables of books all around me. Looking over at some of the titles, I see some interesting titles that have me thinking of gaming themes inspired by the titles.

I see titles like The Forever Girl, this one give me ideas such as a ghost inspired adventure. Zealot makes me think of a spiritual leader and his cult following; I wonder where I could take that line of thinking? A Visit From the Goon Squad has me thinking of either a post apocalyptic situation or even [...]

My Bones II minis are on the way!

So I just got the official email from Reaper Miniatures that my set of Bones II minis from the kickstarter are on the way--estimated arrival this Tuesday.  I can hardly wait for this stupid weekend to be over!!!!  (Er, wait, what am I saying?)

Ex-RPGNet Reviews -- Dragon Magazine Archive

Tagline: A great bargain for a wealth of material, and a wonderful little taste of history.

Allow me to salivate.

The Dragon Magazine Archive collects, on five CD-ROMs, the first two hundred and fifty issues of Dragon Magazine, as well as all seven issues of The Strategic Review (the house organ which Tactical Studies Rules published prior to Dragon). It thus collects more than twenty years worth of material -- thousands and thousands of pages of the finest roleplaying material ever set to paper.

For forty bucks. (Some places are selling it for as much as $70 -- don't let 'em fool you. [...]

Hackmaster 4e & 5e Comparison Part 2

Hackmaster Combat: The Real DifferenceNetherdeep by Erol Otus
4e Combat4e combat is essentially a First and Second edition AD&D system. The outline or flowchart of AD&D combat can be somewhat complex "rules as written". A general outline of 4e Hackmaster combat runs something like this:
  • Encounter distance
  • Surprise resolution
  • Encounter reaction
  • 1d10 initiative
  • Combat rounds
  • Resolve actions in initiative order
  • Roll to hit plus modifiers vs AC modified by character abilities, armor type, weapon speed
  • Roll damage
  • Missile combat the same modified by range
  • Spells resolved as per spell description in initiative order
  • There are details such as armor damage and HP absorption
  • Damage rules details can make combat very dangerous
HM 5e [...]

The Week In Superhero TV...

The Flash - Crazy For You: Another episode chock full of Easter Eggs for comic book fans from Barry's meeting with Linda Park (Malese Jow), through the foreshadowing of Cisco's future identity as Vibe, to our first glimpse of Gorilla Grodd. When a low-level crook Clay Parker (Micah Parker) disappears from Iron Heights prison, Team Flash discover they're dealing with a metahuman teleporter,

1,001 More Weird and Wacky Adventure Ideas


Some Thoughts on Converting AD&D Monsters to Old School Hack

 Okay, so I'm not quite done with my current design obsession with Old School Hack.  A little while back I posted some ideas for future design projects along this line.  If there's one thing I have little problem doing, it's coming up with new ideas.

Recently I was looking over the D&D classics pdf versions of old modules on DrivethruRPG.  I was pleased to see that they had the old AD&D Desert of Desolation modules.  I ran these for my group using the Chivalry & Sorcery rules back in the day.  We had a lot of fun with them [...]

ChupacabraCon 2015 Panel 13


Zatannurday: Zatanna at Hogwarts!

You might have noticed from my post yesterday that I have been rereading all the Harry Potter books. Yeah they are for kids, but damn are they good. This of course got me thinking about Zatanna and what she would have been like at Hogwarts. Would she have been admired as a student? John Zatarra was well known and certainly his daughter would have been accepted even if she wasn't British.

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup - Tenkar's Tavern, Pyramid of the Lost King, & Empires: Age of Discovery

There are relatively few gaming bloggers as dedicated to their work as Erik Tenkar, the proprietor of the blog Tenkar's Tavern.  He's got a Patreon page set up to help him offset the costs of his phenomenal efforts here.  Join him!

Also, a couple of Kickstarters of note include, first, "Pyramid of the Lost King: Adventures in Basq" by Johua De Santo.  It's a modest adventure for Sword & Wizardry so jump on board here.

Finally, there is still time to get in on the juggernaut that is "Empires: Age of Discovery (Age of Empires III reborn)" [...]

We're Jamming

So by some weird twist of fate I find that I will be spending this weekend preparing a fifth edition spell jamming campaign. The Wednesday night group at the Friendly Local Game Store has been enjoying the clean spare lines of fifth edition by gooping it up with weird gonzo stuff. Unfortunately it is my turn in the DM rotation. One of the stipulations of my time in the chair that characters get to transfer from the old campaign, and yes they get to keep the evil eleven space suits, boltcasters, medium size mecha, and the Death Jammer the space [...]

James Spahn - Hottest Titles 1-4 Over at RPGNow!

I'm excited for +James Spahn and the OSR as a whole (and Swords & Wizardry in particular.)

If you thought, as I did, that James holding positions 1-3 on the RPGNow Hottest Titles list as of this past Monday was a thing beauty, holding the 1st-4th spots on that very list as of Saturday morning brings it to "eleven." (obligatory Spinal Tap reference)

For me, what is even more impressive, is that James' three White Box releases hold positions 1 through 3. I'll bet a week's pay that no one has held the first four spots at the same time.

If you want a chance to grab the White Box "Trilogy" of Barrel Rider Games releases in PDF for free you still have [...]

State of the Mega Delve!

Sometime back in November I figured I would finish off 2014 with a small megadungeon styled map. So I pulled out a post-it note and drew a basic node map for said. In time, that node map would evolve as I added additional maps and subdivided the various nodes (but in the end, the final node map is still recognizably pretty much the same as the post-it)

Node Map (click to enlarge)

All that is needed now is the last two maps to be drawn (The Necropolis and the Harpy Tower) – which we’ll get to in a few weeks. I’m holding off on these last two maps because the first few maps in March will be released under a free commercial license thanks to the awesome funding of my Patreon Campaign patrons, and I don’t want to stick the potential commercial users with partial maps from the MegaDelve. To see how the whole Dyson Mega Delve comes together in a more tangible format than the node map above, here’s a pseudo-isometric blow-apart projection of the 29 maps used so far:

The Whole Mega Delve (click for huge graphic)

This graphic is a bit big and unwieldy (roughly 4000 x 4000 pixels in [...]

v0.202 and Advanced Sheet Tutorial

A new build is available that mostly addresses issues with macros and loading sheets. Build v0.202 is necessary for the sample sheet from the tutorial video.

The video on advanced character sheets can be found on the video tutorials page.

You can also download the sample sheet.

The download links are available in the latest Kickstarter Backer update. If you pre-ordered through BackerKit then you should have received an e-mail with the updated links. If you haven't, please send an e-mail to backerkit@tabletopconnect.com.

Cable Car Chaos (Mickey Mouse Short)

Beta Max Black Hartford Edition Stars Without Number - Mopping Up The Thundarr Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Cross Over Adventure.

You can read about the original Fantastic Heroes and Witchery Thundarr gameHERE After the last cycle of Thundarr inspired Swords and Witchery rpg games with Peter's group, my old Stars Without Number party stayed behind to make sure the last loose ends were wrapped up.The party worked out two weeks ago that group of Brainlashers and rival slavers were at each other's throats was a ploy. The

Tragidore: Gallow's Grove and the Abandoned Ones

325 gp 5 pp(5) 100 gp gems
Masterwork leather armorMasterwork morning starPotion of remove fearArcane scroll of webDivine scroll of cause fear, Divine scroll of murderous commandBrute Gauntlets, Brooch of Stability, and a Ring of Brief Blessing. 
In a masterwork ceremonial velvet lined box, with obvious symbols from the Temple of the Gauntleted Fist and runes for four holy sacraments. Inside the box are 4 objects: a bronze "swords" flagon (50 gp), electrum "knight" cup (75 gp), polished duskwood "squire" flagon (50 gp), and a silver "priest" chalice with the symbol of Torm (250 gp, also functions as a cleric's holy symbol).
(3) Masterwork battle axes(3) Masterwork half-plate and masterwork light steel shields (dating back to the Weeping War)Arcane Scroll of Minor ImageDivine Scroll of Cause fear, Divine Scroll of Delay Poison, Divine Scroll of LightWand of Cure Light Wounds (CL1- 30 ch); Wand of Entropic Shield (CL3- 23 ch); Wand of Magic Missile (CL5- 18 ch); Wand of Acid Splash (CL1- 40 ch)
  • Deadfall Dweller brain (magical beast); 5 HD; abjuration school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Abjuration) 
  • Deadfall Dweller glands (magical beast); 5 HD; conjuration school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Conjuration) 
  • Deadfall Dweller heart (magical beast); 5 [...]

Dragon #102

February's Pictoral Phantasamagoria...

For the gamer who has everything...

Depleted uranium dice.

Bringing a whole new meaning to critical rolls.

Friday Night Videos: Sojourn in Hell

Welcome once again to Friday Night Videos! Tonight I want to feature videos from the soundtrack "A Sojourn in Hell". Never heard of it? No one has. It was a collection of MP3s I listened to while I was working on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG and then later when I was writing Ghosts of Albion. Some of this music also fueled my playtests of Buffy with games that became part of The Dragon


Gyrphax is the largest dragon in my brother Robert’s campaign. He did this piece in high school, a few years before his current campaign started, or rather he started it in high school. It is pen and ink in the stipple style, that is, it is all dots. He had the dragon and the slain […]

Pyramid #3/76 - Dungeon Fantasy IV Review (Eidetic Memory - Living Rooms)

This is the fourth issue that is devoted to Dungeon Fantasy. No surprise -- it's the most popular sub-line, having spawned at least 16 or 17 books, and of course, since it occupies the same turf as the most popular game today (D&D in all its flavors, be it D&D5, Pathfinder, or the various OSR or D&Derived versions).

This issue is quite eclectic in its coverage, and some of the articles are downright . . . well, somewhere between odd and squicky, but in a *I have to put that in my game* kind of way.

So, let's delve in . . . but remember you're descending from an upper level, where psychic freakin' Jedi can be found . . . or slighty below that, where books and mighty spells can't be found. Nope. Nothing to see there.

But what's this we see here? And why does the floor . . . move?

Eidetic Memory -- Living Rooms (+David Pulver )
In this installment of Eidetic Memory, David pulls out all the stops in making delving as awful, gross, and cringe-inducingly squicky as possible. And I mean this in the best possible way. The article covers some of the history of having part of your dungeon be actually alive, as well as what various viscera and giblets can be found within. Living rooms (a phrase I will simply never hear correctly again) as traps, as rooms, as diversions . . . and monsters. It's all here. [...]

A Terrible Thing, Prayed to in Space

Irk'tk'skrilln [Sounds like static and screeching crystalline minerals tearing themselves apart from within]AKA The Irradiant Aurora of Pulsing MadnessAKA The Echoing Frequency Beyond Understanding AKA That Horrible Radioactive Poison That Turned Me Into ThisIrk'tk'skrilln is a semi-intelligent flashing orb of EM spectrum radiation careening through the universe at large, like some drunken quasar in miniature. Followed by slavish and mutated attendants in a ragged fleet of cobbled together ships, it sparks life and mutation less often than horrible death, hallucinatory [...]
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