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Review & Commentary On The Free OSR Adventure Resource - ZA1: The Temple Of Chaos by Joseph Moar For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 05:19
I'm eternally on the look out for ways of getting the maximum utility out of classic old school modules. Is it because I'm a cheap or shabby gamer? Well in fact no I'm not a gamer at all but an OSR  hobbyist. What's the difference? The hobbyist is always looking to expand the hobby & the gamer is always in the middle of the infinite sea of play & product that washes around the shoals of the Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Now available - all 12 Battle Boards!

Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 23:45
Use them with all of our Fantasy games!
12 full color Battle Boards playable with Talomir Tales or any THW Fantasy rules. Heck, you can even use them for ANY set of Fantasy Rules. 
These 8" x 10" color card stock boards replace the terrain on the table when you want a quick sand easy game or are pressed for time. 
You'll find the following Battle Boards:
  • Alley. 
  • Banquet Hall. 
  • Camp. 
  • Cemetery. 
  • Dungeon Passage. 
  • Ford. 
  • Market. 
  • Street. 
  • Swamp. 
  • Tavern. 
  • Treasure Room. 
  • Woods. 

  • Available in both PDF or Printed form. PDF included with your Print order!

  • Battle Boards!
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Not Going to Historicon Sale - 25% Off through the 22nd

    Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 21:31

    Since I stopped going to Historicon (great convention BTW) I've run this annual 25% off sale. Use the coupon code


    and get 25% off of your entire order.


    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Son of Breaking Through with G.E.V.

    Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 16:34

    The thing about G.E.V.’s break through scenario: the first few times you play it, you are just not that likely to break through. That harsh learning curve in the context of an otherwise simple system is going to be a real kick in the teeth for an entire class of gamer, too. I’ll tell you, though, the ones that stick around for a few more sessions…? They will experience some of the best gaming of their lives. No foolin’!

    But before we take a look at that, let’s highlight the some more of that profound agony that goes with those first few humiliating defeats.

    Having witnessed entire squadrons of G.E.V.s get eaten by a handful of infantry in the swamps on the northeastern section of the board, our intrepid Combine player decides to take a stab at blitzing up through the western side of the board. The Paneuropeans meanwhile has chosen four heavy tanks and two missile tanks for defense:

    What could possibly go wrong? The only thing impeding the G.E.V.s’s escape is this river. How bad can it be?

    The G.E.V.’s are in a hurry, so the risk crossing the river with five of their units, hoping to clear a way for the other seven.

    Unfortunately for the Combine, they only succeed in disabling one heavy tank. They are now in a critically exposed position, set to be swarmed by angry defenders!

    The defense kills a whopping six G.E.V.’s and disables two others. The Combine picks off one measly heavy tank in exchange. This is a disaster!

    And once again, the G.E.V. player fails to move a single unit off the north side of the map.

    There will be no breakthrough today! If anything, there will be a breakdown.

    And then there are the inevitable recriminations: Who designed this game, anyway? This thing is completely imbalanced. The G.E.V.’s are too weak! I would have had a chance if I didn’t roll so many ones!!!!

    It doesn’t have to be that way. Because maybe… just maybe… it’s not the scenario. Maybe it’s not the dice, either. Maybe it’s your tactics that are completely broken here. And the only way you’re going to find out is by picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and running yourself through yet another meat-grinder!

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and the Hall of Judgment

    Bat in the Attic - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:27
    The latest from Douglas Code is a kickstarter for an adventure for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy called the Hall of Judgment. It is an adaptation and revision of his earlier adventure Lost Hall of Tyr for the GURPS system. It is noteworthy because in part it is an experiment by SJ Games to see how 3rd party publisher support will be received by the fans of GURPS and how it will work out in the long run.

    So far the kickstarter has been a success and it is now in it's last 24 hours. If you are a fan of GURPS and fantasy I recommend checking it out. Doug has a passion for Viking myth and legend and it shows in his previous works giving them a distinct feel. He knows GURPS inside and out and the mechanics side of the adventure will be solid. Finally he mastered the tricky art of making full color layouts and his books are a treat to read.

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    On Classic Gaming the Second Week of July, 2018

    Hack & Slash - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 12:00
    What a busy week. Those of you who join me for my chill Twitch streams know that I've been hard a work on an exciting project (explaining the dearth of posts so far this week) but rest assured, I've got plenty of stuff in store. This week's a doozy and time is moving pretty fast, so lets get right into business!

    New releasesFaux Pas is out!

    Disclosure, I'm a big fan of Nick's and he's been my friend for years. This is his first release that he's charged for. It has an audio recording of the module along with it. That's exciting.

    "The first symptom is a popping sound from the belly. It can
    happen at anytime, and the afflicted never feel it coming.
    They’ll be having a friendly chat one moment, then pop, and
    now they’re trying to kill people.
    Thus begins Faux Pas, the first in a series of adventures from HOCUS publishing. . . .Faux Pas features the art of Anxy P., and layout from no less a figure than Christian Kessler (of Fever Swamp fame). I also got a lot of help throughout the process from Jarrett Crader (editor of numerous LotFP publications), and OSR luminary Evey Lockhart.
    Faux Pas, A system neutral adventure. The players discover a town beset by a mysterious illness with symptoms worse than death. It breeds violence, madness, and mutation. It turns people into things that are no longer themselves.
    The Inquisitor General has been warned. He’s on his way here. When he arrives he’ll burn every building to the ground and torture everyone living until they confess to the devil worship that obviously brought this evil into the world.
    Will the players discover what’s really going on, and how to stop it, before the Inquisitor arrives? Or will they just loot the place and run away?"

    Also, there's a couple of Kickstarters tearing things up.

    NGR, Neoclassical Geek Revival has been tearing up some lists. Asking for about 600$, it's currently sitting at nearly 12,000$. It's got some pretty big draws. As well as being a classic retro-clone, it also collects all of Zzarchov's many very high-quality adventures together in a book for print. You can also have your choice of illustrated versions of the game from Alex Mayo, Chris Huth, and Dyson Logos. Really, it seems like a great deal, for a collection of good stuff, and giving work to a great group of people.

    Then there's woodfall, a small setting that can be dropped in your setting. It's got a neat aesthetic and the little graphic of "Your setting" with a hole in it, with woodfall fitting right in.

    Goblinoid games is also running a fully funded version of a new Advanced Labyrinth Lord guide. With the existences of Basic/Expert for sale, as well as B/X Essentials, I have the ruleset I like.
    Hot takes of the weekGavin Norman made a huge announcement of a new partnership with Quality Beast! I'm pretty sure it means higher quality and faster releases from Necrotic Gnome. I don't know, we'll have to wait and see.

    Patrick conducts another interview with one of the most creative minds in classic gaming. Ben L. talks about early proto-childhood gaming and how the memory affected his creativity today.

    This Lamentations/Basic D&D conversion of Dark Sun rules has been making the rounds, and it's pretty impressive.

    Drama at the Ennies, isn't there always? Did the wrong people get nominated? Is the Old School Renaissance a Voting Bloc? Rule changes about judges are coming. A publisher hires a bodyguard for Gencon. Big money is on the line for the winners. It looks like we're finally big enough, we're getting a taste of that civilization movin' in from out east.

    This post is Patreon supported, and I'm almost halfway to covering rent!. support me or tip me!
    Hack & Slash FollowGoogle +NewsletterSupportDonate to end Cancer (5 Star Rating
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Kung-Fu Post-Apocalyptic Ravenloft

    Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 11:00
    I have enjoyed Into the Badlands on AMC much more than I thought first saw advertisements for it. The fight scenes are well choreographed (much better than Marvel's Iron Fist) and it's vaguely Western post-Apocalyptic setting is more intriguing than expected.

    Anyway, watching Into the Badlands the other night, I thought it not be cool in a mashup with Ravenloft. Perhaps it was the hint of 19th-Century that made me think of it, but you could replace Into the Badlands' barons with Ravenloft's Dark Lords and stir in some Vampire Hunter D seasoning.

    This seems like it might work particularly well in 5e where the greater number of character powers/abilities would be easy to translate to a wuxia sort of thing.

    This is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but it has martial arts, 19th Century stylings, and supernatural stuff too

    Some OSR Thoughts On Using B10 Night's Dark Terror, B2 Keep On The Borderland, & T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil As The Basis For A Campaign In Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Second Edition

    Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 00:55
    Barely one day's march from Kelven, the uncharted tracts of the Dymrak forest conceal horrors enough to freeze the blood of civilized folk. Those who have ventured there tell how death comes quick to the unwary - for the woods at night are far worse than any dungeon. But you are adventurers, veterans of many battles, and the call of the will is strong. Will you answer the call, or Needles
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Colonial Twilight: A Different Kind of War

    Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 21:26

    A good game forces you to learn something in order to play it well. Colonial Twilight has quite a bit to offer in that regard and it can take several plays to get the hang of it.

    The guerrilla forces are of course the most attractive aspect of the game. They fight differently than conventional forces. They have different capabilities compared to conventional forces. They have completely different objectives than they counter-insurgent government player.

    But here’s the thing….

    If you try to go head to head against France’s elite troops with them, you’re going to get blown away. It doesn’t matter that you can ambush them, subvert Algerian police and troops, and rally new recruits faster than the government can kill them.

    Even an experienced wargamer is likely to spend far too much time and materiel playing the sort of game the guerrillas are ill-suited for. But a novice will compound this by neglecting the much more significant battle for the hearts and minds of the civilian population.

    Which means that when the second propaganda card turns up, the game can come to a very abrupt end with a very early and very decisive government victory:

    Better luck next time!

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    How many magic items should the party have at each level?

    Blog of Holding - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:35

    If you’re playing by-the-book 5e D&D, how much magical treasure is a party likely to find? Is it less than other editions? Is that wererat’s immunity to normal weapons a big deal?

    The DMG and Xanathar’s Guide offer some guidance: “Over the course of a typical campaign, a party finds treasure hoards amounting to seven rolls on the Challenge 0-4 table, eighteen rolls on the Challenge 5-10 table, twelve rolls on the Challenge 11-16 table, and eight rolls on the Challenge 17+ table.” That’s 45 rolls, roughly two per character level: three per level at CR 5-10, because level advancement slows there because that’s the game’s “sweet spot”. (I’m assuming that most fights are intended to be against a CR equal to character level, which may be a big assumption, but which looks borne out by this treasure distribution.)

    Xanathar’s Guide has a further table, Magic Items Awarded by Tier, which specifies the number of major and minor items the party should expect to collect. For instance, during character levels 1-4, it says the party is supposed to accumulated 9 “minor” items (mostly expendable items like potions and scrolls, plus a few low-power permanent items) and 2 “major” items (like magic swords and shields and ioun stones and the like). During character levels 5-10, the party should find 28 more minor items and 6 more major items.

    Because I like to check math, I decided to, well, check the math, and I found that the Xanathar’s chart is close to, but not 100%, accurate. For example, let’s take the number of major items collected during levels 5-10. Xanathar’s says 6 items will be accumulated over 18 treasure rolls. Let’s compare this to the Dungeon Master’s Guide treasure tables.

    In one treasure roll for levels 5-10,, you have a 14% chance of getting 1d4 items from Magic Item Table F (an expectation of .35 items), a 4% chance of getting 1d4 items from Magic Item Table G (an expectation of .1 items), and a 2% chance of an item from Magic Item H (.02 items). Over 18 rolls, that’s 8.46 major magic items. Not a big difference from 6 – 40% off, which is in the ballpark – but if the Xanathar’s table is at all useful to you, you may like to have a more accurate version of the table.
    My more detailed (broken down by level) and accurate chart is below.

    I’ve also added a column for Magic Weapons: this is how many of the party’s major items can be expected to be magic weapons, based on the percentage of magic weapons on each treasure table. This is useful if you want to know, for instance, how big of a deal it is that gargoyles are resistant to, and lycanthropes are immune to, nonmagic weapons.

    Magic Items Accumulated By Level

    Level Minor Major Magic Weapon 1 2.75 .75 .21 2 5.5 1.5 .42 3 8.25 2.25 .63 4 11 3 .84 5 14.4 4.85 1.29 6 17.8 6.7 1.74 7 21.2 8.55 2.19 8 24.6 10.4 2.64 9 28 12.25 3.09 10 31.4 14.1 3.54 11 35.5 15 3.76 12 39.6 16 3.98 13 43.7 17 4.2 14 47.8 18 4.42 15 51.9 19 4.64 16 56 20 4.86 17 60.85 21.6 5.38 18 65.7 23.2 5.9 19 70.55 24.8 6.42 20 75.4 26.4 6.94

    The discrepancy in numbers between my chart and Xanathar’s may be nothing more than rounding error in the Xanathar chart: despite different estimates per level, we end up in the same place. Xanathar’s Guide says that over 20 levels, a party will find “roughly one hundred items.” According to my calculations, the party should find 101.8 items – pretty damn close to 100. Of these, 75 will be minor items, and only 7 will be magic weapons.

    Conclusion 1: Use my chart instead of Xanathar’s if you are a fan of unnecessarily high precision.

    Conclusion 2: Magical treasure is given out rather sparingly in 5e, apart from minor items, which are given out like candy. Let’s take a 6-person party, three of whom are weapon users. Each character won’t have his or her own major item until level 6, and all three weapon users won’t have magical weapons until around level 9. That means that that CR 2 Wererat (or CR 1/2 jackalwere), will probably be an annoyance for some time.

    Caveat: This treasure distribution doesn’t match my game, and it probably doesn’t match yours either. In fact, it may not match any real-world game at all. Are there any DMs who provide purely random treasure, and at the by-the-book rate of distribution? I know that when I DM, the monsters drop minor magic items at a much lower rate, and major items at a much higher rate. Another DM may be much stingier than me. But if you are striving to play by-the-book, this may help you.

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Common Sense Convention Event Preparation 101 & OSR Sword & Sorcery Weirdness

    Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 16:28
    I've got a wall of clients today & any minute I'm going to have my first one descending up on my work bench as of this blog entry with another four or five to hand me their repairs. But I've got something on the back burner which is prepping an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2nd edition  event for ShireCon in Falls village Ct. So how does a dungeon master with little time, Needles
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Black Hack Late Pledges

    Oubliette - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:14
    We've had a quite a few requests from people wanting to join the campaign as late backers. We also have around 20 backers whose payments have not been successfully collected by Kickstarter who have been automatically dropped by the system.In the past, to deal with these issues I've been happy to collect manual Paypal payments from people. However, given the scale of this project, it is not really workable and would probably lead to problems when it comes to the fulfilment stage.To solve this I've set up 3 preorder products that essentially duplicate the Level 3, 4 and 5 rewards. The only differences being that they cost 10% more, and do not include access to the beta document. These preorder products will available until the project survey deadline (surveys haven't gone out yet), which will be in early August. Preorders will be posted after the Kickstarter rewards, but before the Second Edition products go on general sale. Any preorders that also include general stock products will be held until the preorder items are ready for dispatch. There are no add-on options for these preorders.Here's the link to the product page:

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Cryptozoic and Sony Pictures Television Announce Release of Outlander: Jamie Fraser Vinyl Figure

    Cryptozoic - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:00

    Cryptozoic Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television today announced the release of the Outlander: Jamie Fraser vinyl figure, available exclusively through Cryptozoic. Based on the Jamie Fraser character in Sony Pictures Television’s Outlander TV series, the limited edition figure—only 3000 produced—can be purchased via the company’s eStore and shipped directly to customers. In addition, Cryptozoic will be selling limited quantities at the Official Outlander Convention, July 13-15 in Las Vegas, and San Diego Comic-Con, July 19-22, as well as at future events.

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Weird Revisited: Toward A Hard-Boiled Fantasy Sandbox

    Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 11:00

    "Walk down the right back alley...and you can find anything."
    - Sin City (2005)
    Folks of a poetical inclination have called the City "unnamed."  Truth is, the City has too many monikers for anybody to know them all. But you say "the City," and everybody from yokels up in the Smaragdine Mountains, to the newsie on the corner knows where you mean. There was a city here before it became the City, you know?  Then some swell got himself itch to be an emperor and brought the five baronies together. So here we are, and that swell got his empire, but maybe it didn't turn out the way he thought. The City doesn't need soldiers or armies when it's got commerce and style.

    Alright, maybe they've got all the movie stars--and most of the sunshine--out there in Hesperia, but all the other culture's right here. Ships come into this harbor from all over the world--bringing stuff to sell, bringing people. And a lot of the decide to stay.  You go to the right neighborhood and you'll swear you got dropped into some foreign country. And the nightlife? This town jumps, friend. From low-class gin-dives to tony swing-clubs, it roars.  I'd steer clear of the hinky alchemical liquors, though.  Word to the wise.

    Now, those joints I was talking about are full of would-be toughs and hard-cases come here to make a name for themselves. They go ransack the ruins the Old Ones, left all over the countryside, then they come to the City to sell their haul and hit the town. City-folk are happy to separate a rube from his money. Gin, jazz, janes--you know, whatever. Guys can make money too, if they know were to look. The gang bosses that run the streets always got a need for muscle, or a little cheap wizardry. Sometimes the ghouls from Undertown get kind of rowdy, and the coppers start looking for guys to deputize, too. Or maybe the rail-yards are looking for bulls to crack a few goblin skulls. Then of course there are bounties on monsters that need killing.  What, you think there's only gold down in those ruins? Anyway, you get the idea. There's dough to be had, and plenty.

    So welcome to the City.  Have a good visit--but watch yourself, pal, things can get rough.

    Breaking Through With G.E.V.

    Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 00:11

    G.E.V. is easily among the best science fiction games ever designed. The rules can be learned in a few minutes. Your first game can be played in about an hour and a half. Mastering the games tactics to the point where you can play well…? That might take a few evenings.

    To help speed that process along, here is a session recap that will show you one way to not get your BPC armored hovercraft across the map.

    The G.E.V.’s make their way across the river, offering the defense a chance to take their best shot:

    What should you do with that? Do you fall back or do you rush out to fight them? In our game, the defense rushed and managed to take out three of the attacking G.E.V.’s.:

    From here, the G.E.V.’s throw themselves into the shooting match and collect some scalps of their own from this firing position:

    But the G.E.V.’s end their turn strung out in a line, easy pickings for the defenders. The defenders move up, kill four more G.E.V.’s, and disable two more.

    It’s a blowout:

    The G.E.V.’s fail to get a single unit off the map….

    Don’t let this happen to you!

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game: First Look and Thoughts on Making the Game

    Cryptozoic - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 22:05

    "When the Rick and Morty Season 3 episode “Pickle Rick” debuted on August 6, 2017, it was an immediate hit. Memes, fan art, fan-made T-shirts, and general online chatter were non-stop for the rest of the summer. Being superfans of the show ourselves, we knew we had to make a game based on this incredibly popular episode. But why is it so popular?" - Matt Hyra, Lead Game Designer at Cryptozoic Entertainment

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    More Kilodungeon Ecology, Design, & More In The Old School & Beyond

    Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 20:25
    "For three thousand years, the secrets of the Nethercity have been hidden. Now the delving of man has breached the ruins, and the lore and treasures of the ancients wait in the darkness below for those bold enough to seize them. But an inhuman evil slumbers in that darkness, and the time of the Awakening is at hand...." Wall Graves By Michael Syrigos So over the last couple of weeks Needles
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    What type of THW Gamer are you?

    Two Hour Wargames - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:30
    Many of you started with THW when it was only the Reaction System. While some of our titles still use it and always will (NUTS, Star Army, etc.) some have incorporated the 2d6 Action Table.
    With ATZ Evolution coming out we'll be offering both ways to play plus a board game add on that can be used as well. The nice thing is ALL versions will be compatible, so you can play a big table zombie game one day then a small Battle Board game the next using the same figures and the same Stars.
    Historicon 2011
    Speaking of Historicon, watch for the annual "I can't go to Historicon" 25% off sale later this week.
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Cryptozoic and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Announce Release of DC Lil Bombshells Series 3

    Cryptozoic - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 17:27

    Cryptozoic Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products today announced the release of Series 3 of DC Lil Bombshells vinyl figures at San Diego Comic-Con, July 19-22, followed by a full retail release after the convention. Fans can come to Cryptozoic’s Booth #115 at the San Diego Convention Center for the first opportunity to buy the 2.75-inch Series 3 figures, which are inspired by 1940s pin-up art and the popular DC Bombshells comics and collectibles that put the spotlight on DC’s powerful female characters.

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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