Tabletop Gaming Feeds

State of The Tavern - No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service (yeah, posting basic guidelines)

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 17:46


We've had some lively discussions the past few days here at The Tavern and I couldn't be more pleased. The comments, by and large, were thoughtful and the topics were thought provoking. There were some hiccups, and as such I find myself in a position where I either moderate all day or I put together some basic guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to you comment(s) being deleted. Your bartender has the final word.

Rule Number 1 - You can not answer a question with another question. We are done with that shit. Its an attempt to control the conversation without actually adding to it. Answer the question then ask your own if such is your desire. Questions in response to questions will be deleted as found without warning.

Rule Number 2 - Stay on topic. That being said, there is some huge leeway there. However, if I tell you that you are off topic and you continue to beat the horse expect to see your comments deleted.

Rule Number 3 - Personal attacks on other commenters is strictly verboten. If you aren't sure, don't post it. This hasn't been an issue but it certainly has the potential.

Rule Number 4 - Leave discussion of real world politics in the real world. The virtual Tavern has a no politics rule.

edit: For clarification - there are other places to discuss "real world issues as they may or may not relate to gaming" - its not here. We discuss elf games and such here.

Rule Number 5 - I need your help. If you think something needs my attention, you know how to find me.

It actually pains me to post this and none of the above applies even remotely to The Tavern's regular visitors, but lively discussions bring in those that don't know or understand the community's unwritten rules.

Something else to add to the sidebar ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 209: Munchkin X-men

Gamer Goggles - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:37

In this Box Breaking Matt takes a look at Munchkin X-Men. Is the art going be goofy or traditional? Take a look!

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

The art is solid and I like the feel that it lends towards superhero.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Origins 2017 Event Coverage 1: Arcane Wonders with Tony Gullotti

Gamer Goggles - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:19

I caught up with Tony Gullotti from Arcane Wonders at Origins Game Fair, where we played Spoils of War, and talked about the new Force Mage and Viral.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

The Force Mage is quite sexy. Spoils of War is a great bluffing game – better with beer. Viral is very intriguing at this point.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure OSR Campaign Build Using Raiders! of The Lost Artifacts, Other OSR Titles, & More

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 02:59
Its been a very busy week so far work wise but I managed to catch up with a friend & sat down for a beer last night. We spoke about the recent Raiders! of the Lost Artifacts game. Recently I've wrapped up a round of  Raiders! of the Lost Artifacts using one of Venger Satanis's adventures. But we wanted to get a brand new campaign set up perhaps for Monday nights. One of the reasons isNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Review: D&D Character Sheets

Ultanya - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 02:42
So, this past weekend I decided to pick up new Dungeons & Dragons Character Sheets. Even though I can print character sheets to my heart’s content, it just seemed like a fun thing to do. Part of me was hoping to stir up old nostalgia, back when character sheets were a rite of passage! Unfortunately, I think Wizards of the Coast missed a big opportunity with this product. From a marketing stand point, I would not call this a success by any stretch of the imagination.

So what does it include?

A “lavishly illustrated protective folder.” OK, it’s definitely illustrated, and with a cool ampersand, but I’m not sure what the skulls and roses are there for. Maybe a set of dice would have been a better choice? With Stream of Annihilation, and the announcement of the Tomb of Annihilation, the artwork on these folders should have been the Green Devil Face. The timing was perfect, and it would have helped generate more excitement for those upcoming products.
 
This would have been such a cooler cover.
Inside, the folder the flaps contain the following helpful information:
  • Actions you can take in combat.
  • Things you can do in tandem with movement.
  • Things you can do on your turn.
  • A place to write your name and character name. 



    I think all of the above is good reference material to place inside the folder. I see beginners and veteran players alike routinely forget this information. In terms of the character sheets my folder included:

    • Four copies of a new sheet that does not include Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws.
    • Eight copies of a new, single page introductory character sheet “designed specifically for new players.”


     

       
      OK, so just to review, three of the five included products you can already download and print for free. The modified new sheet is certainly not worth the price of admission. The thing I’m most disappointed in however the introductory character sheet. I think from a design standpoint the larger boxes were a good idea. The sheet is definitely easier to read, especially for a new player who is learning for the first time. But the back of the sheet is blank! They could have at least included the information contained on the folder flaps.

      So what else would I have done to improve this? Well going along with my Green Devil Face idea I would have included some green colored character sheets. You know like the old school basic sheets? Hell, include the Green Devil Face in the design! That at least would have made the product more unique, and worth its $10 price tag. I would have kept some white versions as well for those who wish to scan the sheets.


      If you don’t have access to a printer, or maybe you’re a collector, then definitely check these out. Overall I think this was a cool idea but poorly executed. Oh well, not every product can be a critical hit. Have fun playing the game, and remember sometimes the best character sheet is just a piece of notebook paper, a 3x5 card, or whatever else you can scribble your hit points on!
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight 9PM Eastern- Chat Now or Chat Not!

      Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 19:28


      Tonight is yet another exciting episode of Tavern Chat!

      Hear about the $3,100 estimate for the "minor" rear ending this past Saturday.

      Talk about how Zak S answers questions with further questions.

      Go where no Taverner has gone before!

      Dah dah... dah dah dee dee dah dah!

      Use the Chatwing app on the right side of this page.

      Did I mention I now have a mini fridge under the left wing of my desk? Retirement is REAL yo!


      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      Trouble in Waterdeep

      Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:14


      By Eugene Fasano & James Hutt
      Arcana Games
      5E
      Levels 1-3

      An urban Waterdeep adventure.

      21 pages of linear crap (with sewers!) that dips in to “barely comprehensible” territory wrapped in lipstick art & formatting to make it look decent. It embodies the more recent design style that calls for scenes instead of relying on player-driven interaction. Hackneyed, barely comprehensible, sudden scenes springing up, and poor DM support round things out.

      The cities poort section is suffering from a plague. The players enter, have a couple of scenes to find poisoned grain, get led to the sewers to find zombie workers digging tunnels, and are led to a noble house to learn everything is masterminded by a bastard son who is killing everyone there to cover up his tunnelling for a longevity amulet.

      The very first ‘scene’, past the hook, exemplifies the style of design. Two guards stand at the gate to the poor district. They have no personality, or even stats. You can’t bribe them. You can’t intimidate them. You can’t get in. You HAVE to go to the next scene, which has a merchant with a stuck cart. Helping him gets you his papers to let you in. This is SHIT for design. Linear, doing exactly what the fucking designer tells you to do. D&D on autopilot. Just sit at the table and roll your fucking dice and keep your ideas to yourself you POS player scum! It’s the DM’s story! Fuck. You. Real design would have given us a few details about them, supporting the DM in roleplaying them. It would have allowed you to stab the fuckers. Or put a building nearby to climb on to get in. Or Let you bribe them or intimidate them or befriend them. It would have ALSO provided the stuck cart. Then the PLAYERS get to decide how they want to approach the entry to the district, with the designers having provided the supporting material for the DM to respond.

      Worried about catching the plague? Have no fear! The characters CAN’T catch the plague, according to the text! Recall folks that this is consequence free D&D; you have to eat the poisoned grain for WEEKS to get sick! Yeah!

      There’s a nice vignette where a couple of noblemen retainers are handing out bread to the crowds. There’s a pickpocket, and a cream, and one of them chases after. The crowd rushes forward to get their bread, women and children in danger of being crushed … and that’s it. It’s a nice scene, lots going on, lots of potential for improvisation (completely unsupported by the DM text, of course) … and no consequences. There is no payoff. This is followed by a family wanted to get past a barricade guarded by two retainers. It’s just left hanging, with their stats. It’s so poorly supported that it’s almost minimalist. Imagine the four paragraphs of text were “2 guards won’t let a family carrying bread through a barricade. Their son is sick on the other side and the guards say everyone inside is DOOMED.” That could be an interesting wandering monster encounter in another adventure. In this telegraphed thing though it’s clear that it’s so poorly written that things have been left out and assumed. Of COURSE the party will attack, I mean, stats were provided and everything!

      The next section starts the party in an infirmary; it’s just assumed the party is there. This sort of “now you are here” stuff happens all the time. The bad guys are all half-orcs. I’m not a paragon of social justice but fuck man, why? It’s the fucking laziness that gets to me. Like the exciting adventure (linear) in the sewers! Yes, the next section is all about sewers! One room the party overhearing a bad guy talking to some half orcs from outside. Stats are provided for ‘Gar’ a half-orc. Is that the dude? No, it’s supposed to be a human and the stats are for a half-orc. Who the fuck is the ‘Gar the half orc’ stats? It’s both linear AND incoherent, a great accomplishment!

      It’s $4 on DM’s guild, or if you go look on Reddit you can find the designers pimping a free download version. This thing has all the trade dress of a WOTC adventure and doesn’t even reach THEIR low standards of quality. The preview is three pages and will get you a view in to the guard scene and the pickpocket scene. It’s a good preview in that it shows you what’s typical for what you’ll find inside.
      http://www.dmsguild.com/product/205194/Trouble-in-Waterdeep–An-Urban-Adventure

      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      A Different OSR Ecology Of The Gibberling For Your Old School Campaigns

      Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 05:48
      Hast heard the voices of the fen, That softly sing a lethal rune Where reeds have caught the fallen moon— A song more sweet than conium is, Or honey-blended cannabis, To draw the dreaming feet of men On ways where none goes forth again? Beneath the closely woven grass, The coiling syrt, more soft and deep Than some divan where lovers sleep, Is fain of all who wander there; And Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      Gaming - The Ties That Bind

      Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 04:08
      I may not be OSR Jesus (really, I'm not) but in some ways I've become a pastor (I get the darnedest IMs) for some in the community. I've even been ordained on the internet (don't tell my priest - besides, Rach spilled those beans years ago)

      This probably doesn't apply to 99.999% of those reading this, because you probably aren't sending death threats to members of the OSR at large because of their political beliefs, left or right.

      That being said, politics IS driving folks from the OSR (possibly from gaming altogether) and that's a shame. Gaming is one of those activities that crosses gender, racial, social, religious and political lines. When we sit down to game we are all gamers at the table. We share a social activity that is greater in sum than the individuals that participate in it. We literally share a common denominator.

      Gaming.

      We make magic together and the loss of any one person in our community lessens us all. We should be growing the community, not chasing folks from it. I'm not suggesting that anyone change their beliefs or opinions. Those are personal and we often fight hard to hold on to them. Just remember that others feel the same about their beliefs and opinions. Its what binds us, not what separates us, that is important.

      Alright, getting off my soapbox ;)
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      The Suel Migration into Zindia

      Greyhawk Grognard - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 23:46
      I've long had an idea in the back of my mind that the Suel might just have played a role in Oerth similar to that which the Aryan tribes played in Indian history. Inspired by this article in The Hindu and this opposing one at Swarajaya, I thought it might be a good opportunity to flesh out the idea a little more.

      For those who aren't aware, the Aryan Incursion Theory (aka Aryan Invasion Theory, Aryan Migration Theory, etc.) basically postulates that around 1,600 BCE the Indo-European peoples, originating from the area north of the Black and Caspian Seas, exploded in a migration in all directions, explaining the similarities in various Indo-European languages across Eurasia. Part of this migration moved southeastward into India, impacting language and possibly other things as well (some even go so far as to attribute the lighter skin of upper castes to Aryan genetic influence).

      I'm most definitely not going to get into the merits of the theory here (or lack thereof), but suffice to say the question is one that is centuries old, and rife with controversy, inflamed passions, and political  / religious / social implications. I'm just using it as inspiration. (Note that this means discussion of the theory itself will not be permitted in the comments; keep it to Oerth, if you please.)

      Now, based on the geography of where the Suel Imperium used to be (now the Sea of Dust), and where Zindia is, relative thereto, I thought it might be interesting to apply the same idea to Oerth. Look at Zindia on the map from Dragon Annual 1 (south of what is labeled as the Suel Empire):


      Here's a detailed look at the area, taken from my Beyond the Flanaess maps from a few years ago. I basically cropped together the three different maps from that series that cover Zindia. All we know about the area in terms of canon and Gygaxian near-canon* are a few names, which I took and ran with, dividing the large area collectively known as "Zindia" into eight different realms:

      It's not perfect -- there are some irregularities where the maps meet -- but you
      get the idea. I'm pretty happy with it, all things considered.(You can also see Behow in the upper-left corner, one of the breakaway kingdoms on the periphery of the Celestial Imperium of Suhfang.)

      Now, my great idea is that at the time the Suloise Imperium was destroyed by the Rain of Colorless Fire, it scattered the Suel peoples much like the Indo-European peoples were scattered. They fled not just across the Hellfurnaces into the Flanaess, but also southward across the relatively narrow mountains into Zindia.

      In practical terms this means we can expect to see Suel deities in Zindia in much the same capacity as we see them in the Flanaess; mixed in with other, indigenous deities and religions brought in by other invading or neighboring peoples. (I'm thinking there might be some influence from both the Celestial Imperium to the west and Wujio/Nippon to the south, and possibly vice versa with a Buddhism analogue, but that's beyond the scope of this article.)

      So that gives us a caste system on a Zindia-wide scale somewhat similar to that seen in the Scarlet Brotherhood (for obvious reasons; they both originated with the Suel), some familiar deities for players to deal with, and a definitive link with the published work. Plus (in my mind, anyway) it rhymes with a prominent if controversial historical theory, but doesn't emulate it in any specific form, which I sort of like.

      If my game ever makes it to the steamy climes of Zindia, this is definitely going to be a thing.

      ___________

      * The Gord the Rogue books, specifically; there are a few Zindian lands named in Sea of Death, I believe.
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      [BLOG] Meanwhile, in Xyntillan...

      Beyond Fomalhaut - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 19:11
      The last time we looked at the Castle Xyntillan campaign, 39 adventurers had braved the horrible monsters and Machiavellian deathtraps of the infamous seat of the Malévol family. The list had included 15 player characters and 24 companions. Coincidentally, this was also the number of surviving and deceased heroes. Since then, action has been a bit lighter (eight expeditions), but 25 more brave fools have ventured beyond one of the gates, of whom 10 returned to tell the tale, and 15 perished in the haunted halls. Omitting those who have fallen by the wayside, and now mostly rest in the castle garden (pictured), here is the list of those who would claim Xyntillan’s treasures... and those who have died trying.
      ==========================================================The Survivors (in order of joining the campaign, bold entries are player characters while others are companions)==========================================================
      Catfish, Dwarf 4 (a veteran from PoSP, runs a fish-themed roster of hirelings, once killed by a reaper, but revived by a swig of potent brandy, owns a full suit of plate +1)Salmon, crossbowmanAn expanding graveyardPontius of the Leeches, Thief 5 (the proud owner of The Leechery of Pontius, a thermal bath of his own design; owns ring of invisibility)Reinhart of Metz, Cleric 6 (once a crusading cleric, now the master of several eager disciples interested in his fiery sermons and views on the counter-reformation, owns staff of striking, magical shield and cloak +3, rendering him almost impossible to hit)Raynald of Chatillon, Fighter 5 (promoted from a companion just in time to inherit the stuff left behind by Anastas, owns a flaming sword +1)Danton, heavy footman, left the party to retireWolfgang, heavy footman (member of the secret police, infiltrated party to test their loyalty)Amadeus, heavy footman (member of the secret police, infiltrated party to test their loyalty)Pieter de Bruge, halberdier (former miner, left party with Godard after harrowing stuffed animal battle)Blavatsky, light footman (left party with Godard after harrowing stuffed animal battle)Godard, bowman (rabble-rouser who left to form own company after harrowing stuffed animal battle)Dario the Goatsbane, Fighter 2 (promoted to player character after a pitched battle with multiple goatrices; his companion, Argento was less lucky)Alexander, halberdierArnold, Thief 1Roland, heavy footmanWilhelm, crossbowman
      ==========================================================The Crypt Level ==========================================================
      Picquet, light footman (drained by a wraith)Fosch, light footman (drained by a wraith)Villon the Wine Poet, Magic-User 2 (killed by the Princess in the Tower)Roboise, light footman (hurled to his death by the Princess in the Tower)Rob Roy, bowman (killed by the super-glittercloud)Alister, light footman (killed by a killer bambi)Wyatt, bowman (killed by a giant stuffed owl)Argento, bowman (killed by a stuffed boar)Wretched Frenchie (killed by a stuffed boar)Petrov, halberdier (fled in panic, eaten by monsters while separated from company)Sepp Dietrich, heavy footman (flattened by skeletal cyclops)Bream, crossbowman (smashed a mirror and shattered into a thousand glass shards)Viktor, heavy footman (stalked by a secret nemesis, eventually ambushed and murdered by Malvin Malévol the Strangler)Henri d’Aramitz, Cleric 1 (a disciple of Reinhart, choked by the gaseous form of Sybille Malévol the Widowmaker)Hafiz the Persian, M-U 1 (fried to a crisp by a razzle-dazzle)
      While adventuring in Xyntillan, the company has...
      • defeated the Pigeons From Hell and cleaned out the Donjon;
      • established a secondary Mausoleum for fallen characters in one of the cleaned-out rooms;
      • survived two mutinies, one of which left them with a bad reputation in the area – remedied by printing and distributing a book of heroic poetry about the company’s exploits;
      • obtained two priceless family heirlooms – a Meroving-era sceptre and a silver reliquary – and sold the latter for a princely sum;
      • fought Hubert Malévol the Huntsman and his small army of stuffed animals – twice (Hubert managed to escape, inviting the company for a later rematch in the Hunting Lodge);
      • been infiltrated by operatives of the Royal Secret Police, who would later recommend the company to the court... and give them an offer about Xyntillan they could not refuse;
      • destroyed a diabolical laboratory and almost burned the Grand Library at the behest of Father Reinhart;
      • established the Leechery of Pontius, a combination of thermal baths and sanatorium (Pontius of the Leeches);
      • threw the mother of all parties to remember Bream the crossbowman (Catfish);
      • survived a coordinated ambush set by the increasingly agitated Malévols;
      • met Aristide Malévol the Patrician, the liche of Castle Xyntillan – he was too bored, and they were too scared to turn it into a serious confrontation;
      • purchased a slightly dilapidated noble estate and began renovations (Raynald of Chatillon)
      • ...so far avoided the dungeons, and some of the higher levels.

      Playtesting continues.
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      What the Hell is Going On with the New Vampire Game? Pedophilia this Time?

      Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 13:25

      I'll be blunt - I haven't followed World of Darkness since the various first editions. So when this was brought to my attention by David Knighthawk from the GamersonGamers Youtube Channel I thought "no fucking way!"

      Wow. Way.

      Whatever drama Zak S. brought to White Wolf pales compared to these throwaway pedophilia pieces. You want bad publicity for RPGs? White Wolf has you covered.


      Right. So, vampire kids "could be" 100s of years old. Or 5. Doesn't matter. Amelina is pedophile, pure and simple. You're meant to roleplay this character? In a campaign?

      There is a line between edgy and sick. It isn't fine or thin. It isn't indistinct. Its pretty fucking solid.

      Yes, its only a game. Maybe it should be marketed to pedophiles. I'm sure they are an ignored market.

      But wait! Maybe its taken out of context. Nope. Its actually giving you context.






      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      1d20 Random Living Ships Table For The Old School Solar System And Your Home Campaigns

      Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 06:26
      Out among the asteroids of the Old Solar system are ancient living relics not seen in a million years. Here are some living ships to bedevil and confound your players. " Man's conquest of the interplanetary gulfs has been fraught with many tragedies. Vessel after vessel, like venturous motes, disappeared in the infinite — and had not returned. Inevitably, for the most part, the lost Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      Kickstarter - Far West - Far-gotten and Likely Never to Be

      Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 23:00

      On May 1st, Gareth updated on the Far West Kickstarter that he was dealing with "some serious family matters. I wanted to give you a light at the end of the tunnel, though -- the way things are looking right now, the obligations which are currently weighing on me will be resolved in the next couple of weeks.  At that point, I mean to get back on track and get this done and delivered."

      That was seven weeks ago today. Nary a peep. I mean, sure he's been making convention and podcast appearances, but as far as his Kickstarter obligation goes? Nada

      Well, i'm glad he has time to tweet:

      If I recall correctly, Gareth stated in the past that tweeting doesn't take time away from his work on Far West. I believe him. You can take time away from work that you aren't doing.
      Gee, just think, we are coming up on the 6th anniversary of the launch of the Far West Kickstarter.
      Holy shit! Really six years! I wonder how many of those 28.6k tweets happened in those six years.
      Its always good to know where you stand with a publisher as a customer. It was expensive but now I know...

      #ConManKen - you are not alone :)
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      Commentary On The Free OSR Resource Ben Ball's Hyperborean Encounter Tables! For The Astonishing Swordsmen of Hyperborea & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg & Your Old School Campaigns

      Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 16:59
      I'm always looking for new resources for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, its a sickness & illness with me. That pulpy edge that helps to define a game of AS&SH with monsters & the overall sword & sorcery weirdness of the game. Ben Ball is one of the prolific & solid writer/designer fans of the AS&SH line. He's come up with a dangerous set of encounter tables that I love Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      FBI Via FOIA Request Releases "Gygax Files" (Delta's D&D Hotspot Blog)

      Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 14:07


      I don't go to Delta's D&D Hotspot Blog often, but when I do - simply wow! Why did I go this morning? Because of a truly confusing and boring (pointless?) article on ENWorld about the history of the Fireball spell in D&D. Damn, so glad I looked at that boring article.

      Delta has a nice breakdown of what's contained in the "Gygax Files" and boy, are they interesting. Yep, I am sure Lorraine was the unnamed supervisor doing the telling. Do yourself a favor and visit Delta for the write up.

      I'll be visiting Delta more often it seems...

      The screenshot above is from Reason.com


      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      Against the Goblins

      Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:07

      By Matt Kline
      Creation’s Edge Games
      Sword & Wizardry
      Level 1-3

      A foreboding dream of impossible foes; goblins with control over fire, disease, and death, leads to a tiny village on the edge of the wilderness threatened by three goblin tribes united by chaos and a legacy of hate.

      This 65 page adventure has three goblin lairs near a village. There’s a terrible hook/pretext, and the writing is long and drawn out for what are, essentially, three standard goblin lairs. It rises slightly above generic by including a few extra features in a few rooms. Three lairs, two with 25+ rooms, stuffed full of goblins, means rough going for 1st levels and extended periods in the supplied village. The longer time in the village is refreshing, even if the three goblin lairs are a bit samey … just because it’s always goblins. As “generic first level goblin” adventures go it would be an uninspiring thing to fall back on … but I can’t get over the expansive writing that drags me down mentally as I try to imagine finding things while running the adventure. There are better choices.

      The worst part of this thing is at the beginning and is something that can be safely ignored: the hook. You have a dream about fire and goblins and a certain village. You have it every night. If you ignore it you take damage … and eventually die from it. Look, I know there’s some give and take in hooks. We all pretend and compromise and find some pretext to want to take the DM’s shitty hook. But this kind of TERRIBLE advice on how to deal with people not biting is bad for adventure writing. Somewhere, someone is going to read this and think it’s an acceptable way to run a hook. Why the fuck this would be proffered as a solution is beyond me. “So, you don’t want to play D&D then?” would be better advice, as would pulling out a boardgame to play. I fucking hate this kind of shit. It’s not helpful for a new DM solving problems at the table and in facts hurts them. There’s no excuse for it. But, it’s easily ignored by most.

      The intro and village take up the first seventeen pages, with most businesses getting a column or so of text. Given the amount of time the party will be healing, that’s not entirely inappropriate for a homebase, but I think it’s done all wrong. It focuses much more on trivia then on memorable bits. For example, some long-ish historical anecdote on how NPC Bob got his name/nickname. Long boring trivia, including most physical descriptions, don’t make folks memorable. The NPC’s need something to hang their personalities/peculiarities on. There’s a few side quests in the village, from killing rats (ug!) to wolves (ug!) to finding missing creates (ug!) Side quests are great, but something NOT hackneyed like rats in the basement. Further, the village has between one and THREE monster attacks night, from rats to wolves to zombies to bears and so on. More than a little excessive and would result in the town in a state of panic at that frequency. I think. Then entire village just comes off as generic, with the text expanded with boring trivia. There ARE a couple of investigatory bits, which can provide some assistance down the road. IF you find the goblins body then this other thing changes. Or IF you talk to the druid then she talk to the woodland creatures and you get a heads up on the goblin attack, and so on. It’s ALWAYS a good thing when the parties actions have consequences, especially when they see positive results.

      The lairs are a small tower, some rate tunnels and a necromancer’s cave system, with the later two have 25-ish+ rooms in them. It’s mostly the usual stuff with guard rooms and so forth, with the text expanded upon with boring mundane details and and what the goblins usually do but not right now embedded history that is USELESS during a game. There are exceptions. A room with a dretch in a summoning circle, or a room with a pit in the middle. The latter, in particular is a good example of mixing up the terrain to make combat a bit more interesting. Chucking a goblin in a pit, or avoiding that fate, is great fun. A room described as having a table and chairs is boring mundane description if the room has nothing else in it. A room with tethering bookshelves described is potentially interesting combat terrain if combat happens there. The lairs are their best the bridges, ledges, pits, and summoning circles are in the rooms … things to make them more than just a room with five goblins … that takes a column of text to describe.

      The random mundane treasure tables, and the few new magic items, are a delight and I would have liked to see those sorts of elements used more rather than the emphasis on the mundanity of the dungeon description and de rigueur text.

      It’s $6 on DriveThru. The four page preview tells you almost nothing about the style of adventure you are buying, unfortunately. The last sentence of the last page, three, is fairly typical of the writing style throughout, with lots of detail about things probably don’t matter.

      http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150651/Against-the-Goblins-A-Swords–Wizardry-Adventure?term=against+the+goblins&test_epoch=0

      Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

      The Strange Lights and Noxious Odors of Murk

      Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:00
      A Murkman, likely named Grundy
      Murk is a marshy island of scrub and small stands of cypress, frequently shrouded in a malodorous, yellow-gray fog and inhabited by a dour people, aloof from the raucous society of Polychrome and the other inhabited Motley Isles. The people of the island may be one extended clan of pale and course-featured folk.

      The Grundys (as they all seem to be named) are not of a piratical inclination, but instead harvest mussels and net fish that they trade with the Motley pirates for practical goods. They are also known for the product of  The disposition of the Grundys discourages visitors, though the ever-present miasma is likely more of a deterrent.

      On some nights, variegated illuminations move through the fog, and its dullness is pierced by winking, dancing will-o’wisps. These lights are most prominent on nights of the new moon, when the sharp-eared also claim to hear strange music and other sounds of merriment emanating from the island.

      Bill Webb Has Left the Country - Frogs Are Running Amok Sale - Deep Discounts!

      Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 04:01


      Yep, Bill, Krista and the tadpoles have left the country for a vacation abroad and they've left the other Frogs in charge of the company.

      To put it plainly, Bill's loss is your gain.

      There are TWO sales kicking off right now.

      The first is a bundle: Monstrosities and 1975 for Swords & Wizardry for 10 bucks in PDF. I kid you not. Now, you need to go to the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook page to grab the coupon code that opens up the bundle pricing for you. If for some reason Facebook is your kryptonite, you can email Bad Mike at mikebadolatoATntrpgconDOTcom and tell him you want to join the Legion but Facebook is beyond your ken.

      Monstrosities is my favorite monster book by far.  Each entry give you an adventure hook. One day I want to run a campaign using nothing but the hooks in Monstrosities and a little DM ingenuity.

      1975 is simply an excellent old school adventure. I've run it twice to great success.

      So, what is the other sale you might ask? Well, this is one that The Tavern CAN give you the code to open up your discount pricing:

      The Slumbering Tsar is a massive PDF. Pricing on the PDF is normally 90 bucks but the following coupon code: IN-SANE-TSAR - will bring it down to 15 bucks. Yes, its Pathfinder only. Yes, I suspect I can convert this on the fly for Swords & Wizardry. Heck, at 15 bucks I'll sure give it a try :)

      Endzeigeist has an in depth series of reviews of The Slumbering Tsar:
      Conclusion for the whole Saga: Now, I had the time to digest the whole epic – and it’s better than the sum of its parts – tying everything neatly together sans artificial borders, adding player-maps,l getting rid of just about every glitch I complained about in above reviews, the final result is a milestone of the art of adventure-crafting and takes the word “epic” to a whole new level. Well worth every single buck spent for the module and #2 on my best-of of 2012-list, this epic tome is 5 stars+seal of approval and should stand on the shelf of just about any DM! If you haven’t yet, take a look at its 951 pages of glorious deadliness here.There you have it. Frogs run amok. Yes, I now swim in the Frog's pond but I make no commissions from these sales. They are simply damn good pricing for some awesome RPG products with that Old School Gamer sensibility.


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