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A YouTube channel to watch: The DM's Craft

The DM’s Craft is a YouTube channel from DM Scotty that, as the name suggests, interest DMs, GMs, STs and moderators of all shapes and sizes. It’s been on YouTube since early 2012 and at the time of posting has over 6,000 subscribers.

The channel shares craft tips for DMs. Here’s the five most popular so far.

#5: Craft your own cave tiles (ep 2, part 1) #4: How to get started collecting miniatures #3: Gridless D&D game play with DM Scott #2: Craft your own dungeon tiles (ep 1, part 2) #1: Craft your own dungeon tiles (ep 1, part 1)

The post A YouTube channel [...]

My RPG Person Profile

Jumping on the bandwagon, mostly because I've enjoyed reading a bunch of these the past day or so.

I'm currently running (at home): Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying post-apocalyptic science fantasy. A solo Labyrinth Lord dungeon campaign. Some D&D b/x one shots.

I'm currently running (on line): nothing

I am [...]

30 Days of Exalted Challenge Day 12- Come up with your own quasi-buddha name for a new Death Lord!

The Dying Pink Lotus Which Rest Upon a Sad Dog Drenched by Autumn Rains

Monday Gunday: Accessorizing your SKS, Part 2

In part 1, I talked about replacing the stock, only to find that the plastic rail mount over the gas piston was not suitable for mounting an optic -- and how mounting an optic was pretty much the entire reason I began this endeavor in the first place.

If there is anything you take away from all this, let it be this: Never mount anything that requires precision to plastic. Always use metal.

With this mantra firmly in mind, I went looking for a way to mount a steel rail to my SKS without ultimately mounting it to [...]

What is Spellcraft & Swordplay?

One of the questions I have been getting a lot this week is "How does Spellcraft & Swordplay play" followed by "What is Spellcraft & Swordplay".

Spellcraft & Swordplay is Jason Vey's old school game based on the Original edition of Dungeons & Dragons.  It is a retro-clone, or more precisely a "near clone".

The feel of S&S is extremely old-school and when I played it with my son when it first came out it reminded me so much of OD&D that I wanted to make it my old-old-school game of choice.
You can read my original review [...]

Gray Ghouls of Ice Isles

Once dwarven warriors, these ancient corpses were raised up again and given new life by the necromancer White Eye. The boatmen of the northern sea who have sailed too close to the ice isles therein call them “the gray ones” when they return to the shore to tell their stories. Ravenous for flesh, they will climb down out of the ice-encased towers naked save for tattered hauberks of chain mail, gather on the shores and wade out into the frigid water when boats come within sighting distance.

Gray Ghoul – CR 3

XP 800
N medium undead
Init +0; Senses darkvision [...]

Magic Item Monday: Uyutmak's Shield

Uyutmak’s Shield Aura moderate enchantment; CL 6th Slot none; Price 16,170 gp; Weight15 lbs. Description The rim of this ornate circular heavy steel shield is decorated with thousands of miniature fragments of gem and crystal inlaid in complex gold trim. The gilded metalwork sweeps inward to the center of the armament like a draining pool […]

Reflections on Spiel 2013

By Paco Garcia Jaen One more year, we have taken the camera equipment and gone to Germany to what is *the* gaming event of the year for tens of thousands of people and thousands of companies. Once again, we battled the gigantic crowds of so many thousands, that finding out how many is as difficult [...]

The post Reflections on Spiel 2013 appeared first on .

Reconciling Agents of Shield And Captain America The Winter Soldier Trailer For Your Old School Super Heroes campaign

By now trailer adds for Captain America Winter Soldier have hit the airwaves hard and its interesting to see some of the elements. 

  • Multiple Hele carriers in the sky like out of some Orwellian nightmare 
  • Lots of threats to American and world wide soil in the movie Marvel universe 
  • Oodles of weird high tech/alien Shield hybrid technology 

Flashes of the Red Falcon, Black Widow, and of course the Winter Soldier himself. 
  • So where in the world do we have the 'Agents of Shield in all of this?
    We have them hopefully out of the way because they're likely to be killed unless [...]

Man, so I have this really bad idea

I found a website where you can get really crappy stock art for your latest BDSMVWMAGEF (Bondage Domination Sadism Masochism Vampire Werewolf Mummy Angel Goddess Elf Fairy) epic for pretty cheap (as low as $69!) with some small level of customization. Sometimes I find myself having a hard time seeing things through from beginning to end, especially in the long form (the last works of fiction I had published were the flash fictions included with the Black Hole and Dracula albums I put out).

Anyway, I figure some small degree of commitment financially might induce me to finish some things. As [...]

Thinking about a Kickstarter for the Sea of Stars

And really, this is all still in the thinking/planning stage, it will take a lot more research before I am to the stage of actually starting one.

However, asking people what they would want from such a product seems like the place to start. So, let me tell you what I am thinking of get your feedback and suggestions.

What I am thinking of is an illustrated PDF, about 120 pages, broken down (roughly) as follows:

  • Introduction to and history of the Sea of Stars, 12 pages
  • New and adapted races with support material, 24 pages
  • Magic items, spells and such, 24 pages
  • New Monsters, 20 [...]

Vampire 30-Day Challenge : Favorite Edition

Vampire 30-Day Challenge : Favorite Edition
Oh, the dreaded edition wars question.  Let's see, we have First edition which very few ever got to try.  We have 2nd edition which rocked the hardcovers and tended to have very dated artwork.  We have Revised edition which sort of shifted gears away from Tim Bradstreet artwork and slid towards a more anime-manga-inspired look.  And then, we have the new World of Darkness line, which by all means is a whole new game of its own, but is close enough to count (at least in my opinion) as another edition/incarnation of the Vampire [...]

Tricksters and Treats

Our first Trilogy of Terror offering on our path to Halloween is an examination of a host of demons that enjoy a limited (but growing) freedom to wander the night of All Hallows’ Eve. Obsessed with causing torment and strife, … Continue reading →

Previously Generated - Veronica Monsterhearts - Stats and Basic Moves

I'm sitting here and have other stuff to write, so clearly that means I feel like I should write more about Veronica Monsterhearts. For the little bit of work I've done on doing anything AW-ish, the most important part for me to start are the stats and basic moves. Because everyone has access to these two things, they inform the basic feel for the whole game. If you want a game about

Daily Punch 10-28-13 Contingency Spell in Arcanis


How about a trait to make contingency spells in Arcanis?


Spell Stitched Body [Arcanum, Limited]

Through your faith, dealings, or abilities, you have placed spells into your very body.

Benefit: Your body is stitched with a spell. The abilities granted by this spell vary by the spell. This spell will go off when conditions imposed by the spell are met or if you lose all wounds.




[Video] Cthulhus Ruf #4 bei Durchgeblttert

In der neuen Folge von Durchgeblttert wird die gerade erschienene Ausgabe #4 des Magazins Cthulhus Ruf durchgeblttert.

Spreadsheets Glitches and Tweaks, Oh My!

I’ve got the spreadsheets for making equipment for the Player’s Handbook functional, so I’m churning out stats for example equipment. I’m aiming for stats that are at least close to the original system but the way this system works, it’s highly variable. That’s cool if you’re a player making one piece of equipment, but when you need a dozen different pieces that match real life examples or in game equipment, it gets a little harder.

I’m slowly working out the bugs, like batteries add a CP for every kilogram, which increased their already high mass to impossibly high. I also have [...]

Black Wheel Conspiracy

Back at the end of August, I mentioned I was working on a campaign outline for Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. I actually finished typing up my notes and shared the resulting outline on Patreon this morning.

Download: Black Wheel Conspiracy

I’m in the process of wrapping up several big design projects, so expect to see several more campaign outlines this week. I’ve been working on outlines for Half-Life and its sequel, Borderlands, and Halo. You could call this an apology for not working more on “Future Fantasy” last month, when it was actually a theme.

If there’s sufficient interest in the [...]

Happy Belated Blogoversary to Me (more self-indulgent than usual, is it not?)

Tabletop Diversion's 2nd anniversary came and went and I totally didn't realize it until today.

This isn't surprising really, as I forget most birthdays too.

It's been a fun ride so far - I've "met" lot's of great people through blogging, enjoyed interesting discussions in the comments and [...]

Altered States

Starting the week off with updates about Renaissance Gamer, because some things are, you guessed it, changing. I’m going back to a M-F update schedule. I tried M-W-F, or sometimes T-Th-Sat, but that usually resulted in a single post and an “eff you!” to the rest of the week. Habit is everything when it comes to writing on a regular basis, and working through the 30 Days of GMing Challenge showed me I can post everyday. But since I do need a few days a week just for me and nerdy gaming things, I’m compromising with M-F.

Speaking of the GMing [...]

Foreign Element RPG

Yes, the title does mean that my next 30 Days of GMing post is delayed. Again. Bit busy finding my illness/work balance, and something had to give. But I wanted to take a moment to promote something cool I worked on.

The Foreign Element RPG is a game for anyone who likes fast-paced, B-movie style fun at the gaming table. Published by Mystic Ages Publishing and written by Nathan J. Hill, the game is set in a dystopian far future, where mankind has reached out into the stars…and discovered the stars don’t really want us. It is a great storytelling game [...]

Extra Life Update and Game Schedule

Taking a break from the 30 Days of Game Mastering Challenge. Don’t worry, I’ll catch up tomorrow. But today I’m talking about my Extra Life fundraising, because the day is fast approaching.

I am not a serious, hard-core video gamer. I have my moments; I play more World of Tanks and World of Warcraft than is probably healthy, and I love getting into games like Card Hunters. But when you compare my “skillz” to just about anyone else on Team Knifeshoes, I’m not a first round draft pick. But while I’m weak in some areas I have very specific strengths, sort [...]

Click Clack Jumberjack

Click Clack Lumberjack is a fun party game for anywhere from two to ten players. It comes with a plastic tree, which, sort of like how Jenga must be set […]

Judge Dredd: Cry Of The Werewolf

MEGA-CITY ONE -- A VAST, NIGHTMARISH FUTURE METROPOLIS BUILT ON TOP OF THE POLLUTED CITIES THAT ONCE POPULATED THE EASTERN SEABOARD OF THE UNITED STATE. The forgotten Undercity is now a lawless refuge for unwanted outcasts from the 'Big Meg' -- mutants, monsters and escaped criminals all struggle to survive on the streets of old Manhattan.

A chemical spill in the Undercity has spawned a race of super-strong lycanthropes, all desperate to get above ground and feast on the flesh of Mega-City One's citizens. Things could get hairy, but thankfully Judge Dredd is on the case!

This collection of dog-eat-dog tales features [...]

Numenera Gets Stranger

Welcome to a new episode of Transmissions from the Ninth World, episode 11. In this episode we talk with Bruce Cordell, Shanna Germain, and Monte Cook about new and upcoming releases for Numenera as well as their new Kickstarter "The Strange".

Numenera Gets Stranger

Playbooks - Making Life Easier

Over the last few years I've been lucky enough to have to played in or ran games from a variety of systems. A personal goal of mine is to have ran a session in every different "Cthulhu" RPG to get a feel for how the rules compare and contrast in a familiar setting.

Now in terms of rules,I'm a lazy GM. I don't want to to wade through hundreds of pages to understand how to run something or have to refer to lots of charts during gameplay. Combat usually frustrates me in this regard. I do,however, like to have [...]

October Movie Challenge: Weekend round up

Bunch of movies under my belt this weekend.  Though all disappointed me or fell short.

The Witching (1993)
This one gets my vote as the worst movie I have seen this entire challenge.  And I was on a Jean Rollin kick.
Awful.  Going after the acting in this one is a cheap shot...but I am doing it anyway. The actors where not just terrible I have seen better work from High School plays.
The plot such as it is concerns a 300 year old witch locked away in Limbo with demons and her pet demon dog-rat "Scully".  The gate [...]

Why no Lankhmar?

This is one of those bouts of idle musing. Let’s face it there’s all sorts of superhero, fantasy and Sci-Fi goodies that hitting both the [...]


Gardain continues to log about his adventures in Nexus.

Monster Mondays: Forlorn Spirit

By Andrew Hoskins
Forward by Frank Gori

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension--- a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone." -Rod Serling

This week The Flying Pincushion has chosen to look to The Twilight Zone for inspiration. Some might say that a TV show not matter how good is not literature, but lI find myself wanting to argue it could be.

The [...]

[GUEST POST] Welcome To The New Frontier...

Author Jeremy Lee introduces us to his latest novel, New Frontier, which is due out next month...

"Even if it gets rough, I'll take life, we only get the one."  
- New Frontier
Diving headfirst into its swerving story, New Frontier opens with a space ship crippled, the air rushing out into the vacuum of space, and the crew holding on for dear life as emergency hatches slam down.

Then the story takes off, careening down different avenues, shifting in time, and spinning threads which slowly weave together in the explosive ending.

This vision of the future, sprinkled with lessons from the past, and repeat mistakes as well, explores a wilderness so like others humans have set out to tame: a land of rampant capitalist opportunism, religious fanaticism, hardworking settlers, geniuses of invention, corrupt politicians, sensationalist media, and a new world where this panorama of [...]


Gardain continues to log about his adventures in Nexus.

Boreas Snows Ancient And Deep ~ A Sword & Sorcery Adventure Setting For Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Upon The Dark Corners Blog

Your journey begins

 Something ancient and evil stalks the lands once again! 
Caught beyond edge of the world of Hyperborea is an the ancient world of Venseclav.
A world of cold, horror, and ancient adventure!
An ancient evil stalks the land once again from the time of my father's father and his father!
We need heroes!
Right here and Right now! 


They're skipping into your town soon. Happy Halloween.

Not Just XP -- How to Tell Your NPC's Story

A lot of times when you have a published campaign, especially some of the ones I’ve seen from Paizo, there are richly developed NPC villains that may have complex and fascinating motivations…. that the PC’s will probably steamroll right over without ever getting a glimpse of it.

Perhaps one of my favorite examples of this was in the old Living Greyhawk module The Reckoning wherein a party of would-be waylayers are involved in a love triangle that can somewhat irregularly shift the targets of their attacks in mid-combat if you injured their would-be lover. I ran the combat several times, and [...]

Knights Templar: A Secret History

Born during the dark days that saw the struggles of the great crusades, the warrior monks of the Knights Templar vowed to defend the pilgrims traveling to the Holy Lands. In actuality, there are few, if any, historical records of the Templars ever fulfilling this task. Instead, historical records show that the Templars' history is one of bloodshed and conquest, wealth and power, dark secrets and conspiracies. Today, their story is intricately linked with the story of the Holy Grail. But what exactly is this ancient artifact?  How has it been used to manipulate history for the last one thousand years?

This book is based on the notes of the recently diseased historian Dr. Emile Fouchet and his attempts at unlocking the secrets of the Knights Templar. It begins with an examination of their historical origins, their growth in the early middle ages, and their supposed destruction under charges [...]



Kicking and Screaming

So as to not bore you all with another set of Pathfinder Pregen Parties, I decided to go with an article about Kickstarter. As a group, we at Skyland Games all have new ideas gushing out of our heads and no way to produce a decent product without having large sums of cash on hand. And yes, it can get messy in the man-cave with all those ideas just lying on the floor of the man-cave.

The advantage to Kickstarter is that you do not need a lump sum of cash handy or try to find an investor that will loan [...]

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you’ve no doubt heard that Reaper Miniatures is Kickstarting the second set of Bones miniatures. Once again, they’re offering a mega-pile of new Bones plastic miniatures at a very deep discount, and have a number of add-ons you can get for things like miniature cases and their line of awesome paints. This time around they are doing something new with their stretch goals: instead of a pile of all add-ons, they have the Core set, and — for now — two add-on ‘expansions’ to the Core set for $50 each. This is of [...]

No internet challenge

Unfortunately there will be no test drive of Whitehack in the near future. I really want to have the feedback of the other players before continuing my review. I already played Whitehack solo but I need input from others.
Unfortunately, my Google+ event is cancelled and I won't have the time to repeat my offer in the next few weeks as I need to study more.

And hey, I think I surf too much. I check my emails several times a day and G+, too. And in the end, the time is missing for other stuff.

So I will now challenge myself [...]

Free GM Resource: City Generator

Last month I posted about a pretty cool city map generator that gave you a lot of options for building any sized city on the fly. The only real problem I saw with that program was that while a map is useful, it is only part of what a GM needs to build a city.

This City Generator, from CrystalBallSoft, is a simple & easy to use generator that has a number of options that really lets you tweak the city to your needs. The greatest part of this generator, the thing that puts it above just about every [...]

Halloween Horror RPG Round Up

Given that we're just a few days away, I thought I'd pull together everything I could find directly related to horror from the blog. Don't forget the Eternal Lies giveaway contest which ends on Wednesday. We hit another milepost today with post #800. 
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part One: 1981-1990)
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Two: 1991-1995) 
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Three: 1996-2000) 
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Four: 2001-2003) 
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Five: 2004-2005)
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Six: 2006-2007) 
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Seven: 2008-2009)
  • History of Horror RPGs (Part Eight: 2010-2011)
  • The Year in Horror RPGs 2012: [...]

Thistlethorn Forest [Mini-Map Monday]

We're playing Beyond the Wall and Other Adventuresat home. The heroes recently found a map detailing part of the Thistlethorn Forest, the goblin-haunted woods that lies just beyond the wall of their home village of Seaford. I drew up the map for my players, including a bunch of interesting-sounding places in hopes of sparking their adventuresome interest. Now, I'm going to share it with you.

Phantom Hits

This post is about some behind the scenes stuff, so bear with me. I had over 500 hits on this blog the other day, and over 400 the day before. After the initial "WOW!" factor wore off, I checked my stats to see just where in the hell these hits are coming from and found some really questionable traffic sources. I've seen a few of these before and after a cursory search found that I shouldn't

Dissecting Monsters: The Defender's Creature from "Better Than Any Man"

Illustration by Jennifer Rodgers

Lets go!

-The Defender's Creature-
See the description for statistics. Morale 12.

While the creature appears as a brain resting in a tentacle-laden pod, it is actually an adaptive creature which drains the abilities of those around it in order to have any abilities of its own.

This draining of abilities is applicable to whoever and whatever is near (within 100') and takes them for itself and its master. The character or creature with the best Armor rating loses it and both the creature and The Defender instead have it. The character or creature with the weapon doing the most damage loses it and the creature and The Defender instead have it each. The character or creature with the fastest movement becomes unable to move and the creature and The Defender instead have that movement capability. The character or creature with the most Hit Points loses them (being reduced to 1d6 Hit Points), and the creature and The Defender instead have them as their Hit Points each.

Special abilities or attacks are likewise absorbed. Any character or creature with Magic-User spell capabilities loses them, and the creature and Defender instead have the spell capabilities between them. Cleric spell ability is not absorbed.

Once an "absorbed" character or creature moves out of the 100' range of this ability, they regain their abilities and the creature and Defender lose them (although spells cast by The Defender, or the creature, are still expended).

My first impression of The Defender’s Creature was that it was a pain in the ass. So much bookkeeping! Everybody announce the amount of damage your weapon does. Uh oh, two people have weapons which deal the same damage? Um, do either weapons have tie-breaking special abilities? What about speed? Everyone is playing a human with 120′ speed, so I guess we randomly [...]

Daily Punch 10-25-13

How about something I read about while reading the Sundering? Its another feat for DnD Next



Charge and Throw

You’ve trained long and hard for this. You use an opening with one attack to make another happen

Prerequisite: Charge

  • You gain +10′ movement bonus
  • When you charge you may make an additional attack along the way. This attack must be a thrown weapon attack.
  • If you charge the target of your thrown weapon attack and you hit with the thrown weapon, you gain a +2 bonus to the charge attack.


What do you guys think?


They're skipping into your town soon. Happy Halloween.

My Metatopia 2013 Schedule

This is the obligatory convention schedule post.

I’ll be at Metatopia this year (2013)! I’m not playtesting any of my own stuff this year; I’m there to network, play some awesome games, and hear some awesome people talk about cool stuff. If you’re reading this post, it means I’d love to see you if you’re there. Just don’t stop me in the hallway, as we’ll block the flow of traffic.

Thursday night is the meet and greet, and I’m still deciding whether I want to wear a costume. It’s Halloween, so it seems appropriate. My only idea is to dress how I [...]

[News] Achtung! Cthulhu deutsch

Lesen, Denken, Freuen!

Not Just XP -- How to Tell Your NPC's Story

A lot of times when you have a published campaign, especially some of the ones I’ve seen from Paizo, there are richly developed NPC villains that may have complex and fascinating motivations…. that the PC’s will probably steamroll right over without ever getting a glimpse of it.

Perhaps one of my favorite examples of this was in the old Living Greyhawk module The Reckoning wherein a party of would-be waylayers are involved in a love triangle that can somewhat irregularly shift the targets of their attacks in mid-combat if you injured their would-be lover. I ran the combat several times, and [...]

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