Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Weird Revisited: The Otus Pantheon

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 02/17/2020 - 12:00
This Pantheon first appeared back in 2016.

Blame Chris Kutalik. He did a post back in the day about imagining a pantheon based on Erol Otus's strange evocative illustrations in Deities & Demigods. This is what I came up with:

Click to check it out in its enlarged "glory." The domains provided are for 5th edition.

Dark Hold Kobold Cavalry Kickstarter!

Rebel Minis - Mon, 02/17/2020 - 02:52

We are Live! 

We are very excited to announce our Newest 28mm Scale Dark Hold Kobold Cavalry Kickstarter!

The Kobold Cavalry set is a pack of 10 pewter(unpainted) 28mm scale Kobold riders on Giant Ferrets and Komodo Dragon mounts sculpted by master sculptor Bob Olley. Each pack contains a Kobold General, a Standard-bearer, Kobold Spearmen, Kobold Swordsmen and even Kobolds with Axes!



Check it out here: 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rebelminis/dark-hold-kobold-28mm-scale-cavalry-miniatures-for-rpgs



Thank you for the Support!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Into The Wastelands With Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique & Xiccarph Collection Edited By Greg Gorgonmilk - An OSR Review & Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 02/16/2020 - 04:06
So Greg Gorgonmilk approached myself & a bunch of other OSR folks about doing a Clark Ashton Smith Zothique & Xiccarph book. I contributed some input & comments but he when above & beyond putting the whole affair together. I asked for a review copy because I'm a huge Clark Ashton Smith fanatic. I'm more of a Clark Ashton Smith reader then HP Lovecraft which seems to come with time. The book Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Evil In The Wastelands -Cha'alt/Godbound Campaign Commentary Session Report Part Five

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 19:17
In tonight's game my players are going to deeply embroiled within the city of the dragon king while the forces of the Egg of Coot march across the wastelands!Came across these The Witch Coven of Garlghast & the Egregore set by Privateer Press (34035) in a random Google image search they make excellent substitutes for the witches of Egg of Coot. So for the last two weeks I've been Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Ruins of the Grendleroot – 5e D&D Adventure Review

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 12:11
By Michael E. Shea Sly Flourish 5e Levels 1-5

For a thousand thousand years, an ancient entity has been trapped in the heart of a mountain formed from rock not of this world. Over eons, creatures both monstrous and intelligent have explored the endless tunnels, caverns, and chambers of Blackclaw, answering the call of the mysterious entity buried within it. Over long centuries, hundreds of lairs, cities, keeps, prisons, and tombs were established within the mountain, but even those centuries of exploration did not uncover all its secrets. Then, two centuries ago, the entity now known as the Grendleroot awoke. Indestructible black spires shot through the rock of the mountain like the roots of a deadly weed, shattering civilizations, burying cities, and exposing caverns long lost. Today, adventurers residing in Deepdelver’s Enclave explore these lost ruins once again. They seek fellow adventurers brave enough to answer the call of Blackclaw, and to seek the mysteries of the Grendleroot.

This 172 page book is a collection of ten single-session dungeon adventures (taking up about a hundred and ten pages) set inside of a giant hollowed out mountain, Moria-style.  The adventures are ok, but long read-aloud, abstracted descriptions, and unfocused DM text leads to a product that has ok design but terrible usability. 

So, big hollow mountain full of tunnels, Moria-style, with a rich history. Abandoned due to REASONS. There’s a small village inside in a big chamber, the only settlement, that caters to explorers and serves as homebase. It may cater to explorers, but the party will be going on missions. Mission after mission after mission, instead of exploring. The way the adventures are oriented, the party is really just a set of troubleshooters for the village, dealing with the absurdity that Friend Computer, errr, the villagers, encounter week to week. 

The situations tend to have a slight sense of absurdism to them, just enough to cause the party to do a “Jesus H Fucking Christ … “ as they learn the details. Little Timmy talks to an invisible friend in ancient elvish? Seriously? You thought that was ok? And they disappeared at an ancient temple during Wee Delvers Week? What the fuck is wrong with you people?” Thye absurdism doesn’t go past the set ups, so they work out pretty good. It’s obvious what the adventure is, and slightly amusing without TRYING to be amusing. 

The advenuring environments tend to be small, as you would expect from a two to four hour adventure. Still, not badly done for being small. The first, for example, features a small tower on the outskirts of “town” that only has about six rooms in it … and yet there are three entrances, from the front doors to climbing to the roof to going in through a stream in a cellar. The encounter rooms, also, tend to have several things going on in them, from creatures to things to explore and mess with, in each room. And it tends to do it in a naturalistic way that doesn’t feel forced. Thus the adventuring environment is a rich one to explore. Rewards tend to be nice also, like … that tower in the first adventure! Now you have a home base! And if you rescued someone inside instead of killing them then you might have a caretaker also, grateful for your help in their rescue! And … you might even get a spectre as a butler! Again, rewards to no just hacking him down. And, besides, having a spectral butler is pretty cool. Oh, and a gargoyle doorman. Rich rewards that are not just cash. Thumbs Up!

The setups and situations are nice. But I am not nice.

The adventure is bloated to all fuck all. My position on bloat has softened in recent years. Whereas before I fucking hated it, I now tolerate it as long as it doesn’t get inthe way. I still think there’s some value prop that is miscommunicated in a 200 page adventure that has 150 pages of fluff and fifty of adventure, but, that’s a different problem. The only problem with bloat and backstory is when it gets in the way of running the adventure … as it does here. Now, to be sure, the vast majority of bloat & backstory in this (let’s call it “the setting guide”) is reserved for some chapters that you can easily skip and/or pluck out if they offend thee. And then there’s the embedded backstory in the encounters. This is the real issue with bloat in this, beyond value-prop expectations issues. Background in the encounter gets in the DM’s way of scanning the encounter to run it at the table. Moving it to the end, or beginning, or some other place where the trivia can be ignored and/or referenced at leisure if the way to handle it if the designer believes they simply must include it. 

And then there’s the read-aloud. LONG read-aloud. In italics. In RED italics. My eyes just glaze over at this shit. Long sections of italics, meaning more than a phrase, are functionally illegible. Eyestrain galore! Oh, you can read it, you just don’t want to struggle to. And then, to ALSO put it in a red font? Was the inset box AND the italics not enough to denote it was read-aloud? It also needed a red font to make it even harder to read? WTF Flourish? 

And then there’s the abstraction. Specificity is the soul of narrative. If I rail against bloat I also must rail against abstraction. Targeted specificity is what the word budget SHOULD be spent on. Yet time and again it abstracts. The players recognize carvings of ancient gods. WHICH ancient god? Detharaxis, Reaver of Blood? No, just ancient gods. B O R I N G. Don’t fucking abstract!

The RE is also too expressive. It  gives away all of the details of the rooms too soon.  Writing in read-aloud is described as elvish. Or as religious iconography. Of other details in the read aloud. This helps destroy the back and forth between the players and the DM which is the soul of RPG’s. This interactivity between the DM and their players. There are things carved on it. That leads the players to say “what kind of things.” Or even that there’s just an alter, which causes them to examine it, which causes the DM to mention the writing, which causes them to examine it. Back and forth. But if you put all the fucking details inthe read-aloud then that can’t happen, can it? And the read-aloud is WAAAAAAYYYYY too long. Paragraphs, or columns in some places. Two to three sentences, that’s all you get. 

“Time has not been kind to …” NO! NOT IN THE READ ALOUD! NO FLOWERY SHIT IN THE READ ALOUD! Besides, that’s a conclusion. Don’t put in conclusions. That is, again, an abstraction. Instead write a description (or read-aloud) that makes the players THINK that time has not been kind to this room. SHOW don’t TELL. 

And then there’s the weird absences. If the room has creatures then it’s almost uniformly NOT mentioned in the read aloud, in spite of “is there something about to kill me? Being perhaps the most important thing that the DM can initially mention to the players. It’s fucking weird. Instead it’s all buried deeper down in the DM text. 

Oh, the DM text, terrible in it’s lack of focus. The rooms start with a little brief “important things” keywords, but then those same keywords, the important shit in the room, tends to be buried in the DM text. Room two has statues and mosaics in it, but without bolding in the statues and mosaics paragraphs you’re left to hunt for which Witch is which. Not cool. The DM text is, essentially, completely unfocused. 

I can go on on, covering design decisions, like “how do I know there’s a second path to the temple?” or “You need to use six charges from the wand to solve the adventure but it only has seven charges … why not instead of two encounters each requiring three charges instead they require two, or one? This seems like a design trap and a pushback AGAINST players using the treasure they find … what if the DM has a special use for it somewhere and we need it? Not good D&D. 

So, some journeyman ideas and effort but ruined by being essentially unusable at the table. Let’s hope that improves in the future.

This is $15 at DriveThru. The preview is eleven pages. You get to see the entirety of the first adventure “Starson Tower.” This is great,as it gives an exact idea of the quality of what you are purchasing. Great preview. A brief perusal will also show the red offset long italics read-aloud. Room two is a great example of most of the issues the adventure has with read-aloud and DM text.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296843/Fantastic-Adventures-Ruins-of-the-Grendleroot-for-5e?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Hunters in Death the last 24 hours

Bat in the Attic - Sat, 02/15/2020 - 04:37

I want to thank everybody for their show of support throughout the week. It meant a lot and I got to talk to a lot of new people. I regret it wasn't under better circumstances.

I will be talking in a later post about Bat in the Attic Games. But right now it is last day  of one of my best friends kickstarters.

Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor and I have been gaming together since high school along with our friend Dwayne Gillingham. In recent years he has been publishing his ideas along with some kick ass maps.

Now Tim is taking a stab at a kickstarter by offering Hunters in Death, an old school hex crawl. It part of Kickstarter's zine quest 2 encouraging and promoting various zine authors.

Here is a summary of what it is about.
Hunters in Death is set in the Komor Forest. A place that's consumed civilizations and birthed abominations. Yet there is a single outpost, Hounds Head, that holds back the darkness. It's a beacon for adventurers. Silver and blood are promised. And delivered. Some adventurers return with sacks overflowing with coins and jewels, but most fertilize the forest with their blood.I have adventured in the Komor Forest and it is an interesting place to explore. The zine itself is a good deal at $4 for the PDF and $8 for print + pdf. Hope you check it out.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cosmic OSR Hi Jinks - Commentary On Nexus's The Infinite City rpg & First Comics Series Warp With Even More OSR Overtones

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 20:22
  My working/playing  copy of Nexus The Infinite City so used with the cover worn off.So I spent the last couple of days in the presence of the royal family of Cynosure, yeah that's right we're in for more Nexus The Infinite City & First Comics commentary. So the Wikipedia entry on the pan dimensional city of Cynosure reads;" Cynosure is a fictional pan-dimensional city that exists within theNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bronze Age Book Club: Young Love

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:00
A new episode of the Bronze Age Book Club podcast has dropped, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Listen to "Episode 14: YOUNG LOVE #112" on Spreaker.

Adventures On Old Mars - A Castles & Crusades & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Hybrid Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 07:35
One of the thought exercises that I've been tossing around is the option of using Castles & Crusades plus Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea to run an Old Mars game adventure or two. This has been on radar even since DM Steve spoke at length about the Serpent Men becoming a problem on Old Mars. I'm thinking about using the Castles & Crusades Siege engine systems to power the Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Good, The Bad, & The Lovecraftian - Post Apocalyptic Lovecraftian Death Squad One Shot Encounter

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 19:21
One of the ideas that I've been toying with over the last couple of months with my campaigns is a down & dirty Cha'alt NPC death squad & for this I wanted to break out one of the OSR classics. So Goblinoid Games Realms of Crawling Chaos is gonna get a bit of a workout. This of course is part of my on going Cha'alt/Godbound campaign. The idea is that my player's PC's have been causing Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic Will Preview Upcoming Collectibles, Games, and Trading Cards at Toy Fair New York 2020

Cryptozoic - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 14:00

Cryptozoic will preview upcoming products at Toy Fair New York, February 22-25 at the Javits Center in New York City. At Booth #6651, Cryptozoic will feature its upcoming Cryptkins™ Unleashed and Catwoman Movie Collectible vinyl figures and three tabletop games coming later in 2020: Steven Universe: Beach-a-Palooza Card Battling Game, Epic Spell Wars™ of the Battle Wizards: Hijinx at Hell High, and DC Deck-Building Game: Dark Nights: Metal. Finally, it will preview its latest trading card set based on Outlander.

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A Play Shade of Tom Moldvay's X2 Castle Amber - Clark Ashton Smith & Jack Vance Cha'alt/Godbound Campaign Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 18:36
Harry Quin's The Wild Hunt from Tom Moldvay's X2 Castle Amber m module This Bob Bledsaw II business has left a bad taste in my mouth & for a while I'm gonna have to switch out my Judge's Guild material for my campaigns at least for a couple of months. But since this led to a bit of a sleepless night for me. Why?! Because of the fact that a player of mine reminded me that  I was going Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mike’s Dungeons

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 12:11
Geoffrey McKinney Self-published B/X Levels 1-10

I took my DeLorean time machine back to 1983. I saw there four middle-school boys playing Dungeons & Dragons, and Mike was the name of the DM. I managed to steal Mike’s dungeons and bring them back to 2020. I stole them fair and square, and now you can buy them. Mike did all the work, so we can be lazy.

This 158 page adventure describes a 72 level dungeon. It lies somewhere between “minimally keyed” and “just a bit more than minimally keyed.” And I do mean Just A Bit More. Is minimal keying good enough these days?

So …. Good effort. 72 dungeon levels. Hand drawn maps of about a dozen rooms per level. The rooms are all described on one page, in clean easy to read font with margins. The dungeon map is on the other page, making it a “lay open” book affair. I, also, use 3-rings at home, but rings instead of a folder. It’s a good format for actualling running things. You can flip around easily, fold it back to back, lay it open on facing pages, and find the front and back easily for additional quick-access reference material. 

Geoffrey doesn’t do any of that. It’s just a map and a one-page key, per level, with a singal page of DM background information on page one describing how undead turn as two levels harder and how all Chaotics in the temple levels of the dungeon get a 1 point armor class bonus when attacked by Lawfulls. 

The writing style is one that Geoffrey has used before, such as in Isle of the Unknown. It’s minimally keyed, and, while he doesn’t say it, it looks like he’s using the charts from B/X to roll the encounters on, about one per room. Thus the first level has about fourteen rooms and twelve of them have a creature to slay in it. The thirteenth is the entrance cave mouth and the fourteenth a room with a trick. Stuffed full of creatures!

And minimally keyed. Which I seem to think is important since I seem to be beating that point to death in this review, name dropping it all over the place. The encounters on level one include:

2 chaotic warriors in plate mail with shields and swords.  

Giant orange centipedes crawl in and out of a worthless red glass urn, and they will not attack unless disturbed.  

1 giant yellow scorpion cannot move unless the 319 gp scattered on the floor near the scorpion is touched. 

2 gray oozes are in this cold, damp, and humid chamber  

An 11-headed hydra lairs here. Each of its 22 eyes is an amethyst worth 100 gp  

I’m not summarizing; this is all the text there is for those various rooms. I don’t think I’m cherry picking either, this is fairly representative for the vast vast majority of rooms. It’s very similar to Isle of the Unknown. In both cases it looks like a random generator was used to crete a keying and then an adjective was added, usually a color adjective. Yellow scorpion. Orange centipede.

Which is not to say that the entries are all bad. Crawling in and out of a glass urn is not bad, as ia hydra with amethyst eyes. In both cases it engages the risk/reward mechanism of the party, tempting them to recover loot, present with the hydra and not with the urns.   

And to be fair there are sometimes longer entries. But they are not common. Here’s one in which the creatures will talk to you:

The 9 wereboars here are preyed upon by the cyclops (room B). They will seek an alliance against their hated enemy: “Help us kill him, and you can keep all his gold.”

Your experiences here are going to be related to your tolerance of minimally keying. I don’t have any tolerance for it. There are mountains and mountains of random creature generators online these days to roll up your own dungeon. The level theming is pretty non-existent, except for a an Evil Temple theme which runs through some of the levels. (Portions of a dozen or sixteen levels?) It’s just a novelty, like the Habitation of the Stone Giant Lord art project from a few years back. I’m glad he wrote this, it’s fun to see, but that’s all.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The entire thing is available for preview, all 158 pages. Kudos for McKinney for doing this. Every product should be like this, or, close enough to it that you can get a real sense of what you are buying before you pay for it.


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/295151/Mikes-Dungeons?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: Wild, Wild West

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 12:00

The 60s spy-fi Western Wild, Wild West has had a couple of comic book adaptations. Gold Key Comics published 7 issues from 1966-69 (the span of tv series). The most recent series was in 1990 from Millennium Comics.

I've never read the Millennium series, but several issues of the Gold Key run are available on the Internet Archive. Check them out.


Red Planet Under Siege - Mars For The Cha'alt/Godbound Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 04:47
"Sometime after the collapse of the Human Empires & the disappearance of  Tékumel. Mars wasn't the powerhouse it had been during the days of the Human Space Empire. Instead there were thousands of space craft dry docks across Mars & scattered city states living in the shadows of forgotten temples of technologies that had been forgotten or abandoned all together. This would be a Mars that had Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wars of the Red Planet - Brett Slocum's Warrior's of the Lost Planets & A Post Apocalyptic Mars

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 18:15
'The distant red sands blow across the works of a reign of red kings who have turned to dust. Warriors of many tribes fight in the hollow remains of pyramids & stalk among the streets of a long dead empire fighting among themselves with sword & radium pistols!' My family is fine & all but work has had me on the ropes for the last three days or so. Last night after getting back from Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

11 Great Dungeon Master Tips Revealed at Winter Fantasy 2020

DM David - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 11:47

The Winter Fantasy convention fits into one hall at the convention center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Despite the event’s compact size, it delivers as much Dungeons & Dragons as far larger conventions such as Origins or Gen Con. Plus, the con offers plenty of inexpensive hotel rooms. Sure, Fort Wayne suffers an icy February, but you come to game.

For dungeon masters who aim to improve their game, nothing beats running games for strangers. In close second comes playing at other DMs’ tables and learning their best techniques. (See If You Want to Write Games for Everyone, Game with Everyone).

At the 2020 convention, I came to play, and I found myself noting tips gleaned from every session.

1. When you have to deliver background, have players roll for it so it feels like a reward.

We all see adventures that start with bullet lists of background information for some patron to recite. Often, letting everyone roll, say, a history check makes a better way to reveal such backstory. Once everyone rolls, reward the lower results with the common knowledge, and the higher rolls with the lesser-known details. See In D&D, Letting Everyone Roll Certain Checks Guarantees Success, So Why Bother Rolling?.

2. Try to award every attempt to gather information with something.

I used to reveal every descriptive detail of a door, altar, or dungeon room right away. This made for long descriptions and held nothing for when players explored. You want to reward players’ investigations with some information, even just bits of color and flavor. I used to fear that holding back would deprive players of some necessary description. Now I trust that players will gather whatever details I hold back.

3. Show the written names of key non-player characters. Pictures are even better.

DMs love when players show enough interest to take notes, writing names and other details. This year I resolved to take such notes as I played. But fantasy character names became a problem. I would write what I thought I heard and always get it wrong. Even for non-note takers, seeing a name written helps scribe it in memory. Teachers write on a board for a reason. As a DM, you probably have an erasable grid surface in your kit. Use it to show names as well as maps.

For the most important characters, try to find a picture that suits them. Showing a picture makes the impression even stronger.

4. In interaction scenes, make sure players know their goal and see at least one potential route to success.

The best thing about combat scenes is that players rarely enter one without some idea of what they aim to accomplish. They have a goal and understand what to do. (Typically, kill the monsters.) Too often, adventurers start interaction scenes without seeing a potential route to success. Players flounder as they try to figure out what to do. That never makes for the most fun. See Avoiding the Awkward D&D Moment When a Priest, a Wizard, and a Dwarf Enter a Bar and Nothing Happens.

5. You can say, “You have learned all you can here,” or “You’ve done all you can here.”

Sometimes players continue searching a place or questioning someone well after accomplishing everything they can. DMs feel hesitant to say, “You have learned all you can here,” because it reveals something the characters would not know. Just say it. If you like, you can imagine that hours more of unproductive conversation happened off screen.

6. When players attempt something, make sure they understand the odds and the stakes.

We all love when players stake their characters’ lives on some reckless, nearly impossible stunt. Whether they succeed or fail, such moments make unforgettable gaming. But before any foolhardy undertaking, make sure the players know the odds and the result of failure. I typically share difficulty classes before players roll. These DC numbers help span the gulf between a character’s vivid sense of the game world and what a player learns from a DM’s description. DCs prevent misunderstandings. As for risks, make sure players know that, say, falling from the Earth mote means plunging into a sea of lava. That works better than rewinding the action for a player who heard “sea” and not “lava.” See Would You Play With a Dungeon Master Who Kept Your Character Sheet and Hid Your PC’s Hit Points?.

7. For a convention game, encourage players to put their character’s name on a table tent.

Based on anecdotal evidence collected from a few hundred convention games, I’m convinced that players need about 2 hours to learn the names of their partners in adventure. Table tents bring a simple remedy. Veteran convention players know this and bring their own. I suggest bringing note cards and a Sharpie so every player can make a tent.

8. Add, don’t subtract.

When you track damage to a monster, add the damage until it reaches the monster’s hit points. Some DMs subtract until they reach 0, which seems more cumbersome to us non-savants.

9. In roleplaying interactions, go ahead and split the party.

Never split the party applies to combat and exploration, but in roleplaying challenges, splitting up often proves more fun. Rather than the player with the most forceful personality taking most of the time in the spotlight, more players participate. As a bonus, ability checks work better when just a couple of players participate.

To make the most of a split party, cut between the smaller groups’ scenes. Every role-playing game reaches moments when the players make plans while the DM sits idle. Those moments bring my favorite times to switch scenes. This sort of switch keeps half the players busy planning while the rest act. Instead of waiting for decisions, I can give more players time in the spotlight. The tempo of the game feels faster. See Never Split the Party—Except When It Adds Fun.

10. Every time you ask for a check, you write a check.

Remember paper checks? Once, long ago, folks used to pay money by writing a promise to pay on a special slip of paper. With checks, you needed to back that promise with actual money in the bank. Ability checks sometimes work like paper checks. If you ask for a check, you promise to allow for failure. This year I saw bad rolls test a few DMs who realized a failure had to succeed for the adventure to continue. I watched their damage control as they hunted for a way to drag me to success. If the adventure leaves no room for failure, skip the check.

11. Speak like a storyteller.

When I DM, I tend to rush through my speaking parts. The habit comes from a good motive: I want to spend less time talking so the players do more playing. Seeing more measured DMs proves that sometimes going slower works better. The best DMs adjust their tempo, often slowing to give their words weight. They pause to emphasize, their tone expresses emotion, and it works. Fireside storytellers and preachers show it, and we DMs can learn it. Through practice, I hope to capture some of that knack.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Concerning Judges Guild

Bat in the Attic - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 00:23
I use facebook to keep in contact with various individuals including Robert Bledsaw II, the owner of the Judges Guild IP and the son of one of the company's founders.

Saturday evening, I noticed the following post:

Read the caption above the picture to see the issue.
This is unacceptable.

Sunday evening, I called Robert Bledsaw II and discussed the issue. I notified him that I will no longer be doing future Judges' Guild projects and will only continue to sell what I have currently listed.  I stated that I will be calling the other Judges Guild licensee and inform them of the situation and of my decision.

I was not planning making any public announcements. Given the mob mentality I have seen emerge, I was not comfortable in making a public statement.

However, because I was calling several people who are immediately affected by this situation, the odds of a public post were high. With issues like these, one has to follow the dictates of their conscience. It has gone public hence this post explaining what happened and why.

In addition to the above post, I noticed shortly before the call the following post.

The video is of Christian Bale dropping the card and looking disappointed
This cemented my decision that I can no longer be in a future business relationship with Judges Guild. Then later this post was pointed out to me.



This too, I consider unacceptable.

For now, I will keep up my Judges Guild related products up for sale. I currently have a unique situation in regards to the royalties I pay. Given the state of the Kickstarter finances, Robert Bledsaw II suspended the royalty payments in lieu of paying me for finishing the last nine maps. This has been going on since November of 2017 when I released the CSIO map. Since then, all revenue after taxes and expenses have gone to me. This will not last indefinitely, at which point I will have to revisit having these products listed based on how things have progressed. I will make an announcement accordingly.

Expect a post outlining my future plans for Bat in the Attic Games. In a nutshell, I wasn't expecting to have a license to Judges Guild IP ten years ago and was proceeding on that basis for what became the Majestic Wilderlands supplement. Then an opportunity came up after I finished working on the map for City State of the Sea Kings, and as a result I secured a license.

Last Word
To those of you familiar with my published writing: I try to follow a philosophy of less is more. So is it the same in the case of my response. I don't need to explain the ills caused by generations of bigotry and prejudice. It is just wrong, and it is unacceptable.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Gangs, Tramps, & Thieves - Rogue To Rogue - The Use of The Rogues Gallery By Brian Blume, Dave Cook, & Jean Wells In Old School & OSR Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 18:38
"No longer will you the Dungeon Master need to spend precious time laboring over the task of generating non-player characters. This valuable booklet contains hundreds of pre-rolled non-player characters of all classes and types, complete with alignments, sex, personalities and much more. The Rogues Gallery is specially designed to be compatible with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Deepfakes, Fraud, and Digital Personal Copyright

Dungeoncomics - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 13:00
This story opens in media res, in the middle of heart-pounding action as the US Congress passes a modification to the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

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