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Blood, Guts, Gore, & More - OSR Gonzo & Pulp Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:19
For most people my blog has been a non stop thrill ride of giant robots, science fantasy,etc. The truth is far stranger & a bit more backhanded in some respects.Way back in 2011 & 12 I was running a Carcosa campaign that had real world bits & pieces, Iron Age influences, patterns from Appendix N authors, & more. Basically I borrowed a good deal  from William  Hope Hodgeson, Arthur Machen, & Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Last Candle

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:19


By Greg Christopher
Chubby Funster
1e
Level 1-3

The Prieuré de Chaurillon lies isolated in the upper valley of the Satrebonne river. The empire that once protected it has fallen. Barbarian hordes now roam the land. Once tamed borderlands have become infested with monsters and foul beasts. The monks of the Prieuré are all that remain of their ancient order. They stand alone against the darkness of the age; The Last Candle of their faith.

This 37 page adventure details a small home base (?), the surrounding region (?) and a 64 room dungeon (?.) This is the real deal. All three parts have very strong content with interesting encounters and NPC’s that directly relate to a parties adventures without having a “hey dummy. Here is the adventure” label on them. It’s also padded to all fuck and back with loose language and an informal style that makes finding information a total pain in the ass. Bolding, terser writing, etc would have gone a long way to making this MUCH more usable at the table. You’re gonna need a highlighter. It might be worth it.

The home base centers around an abbey. It’s got a secretive and plotting, but good, head along with a famous library and knights/soldiers patrolling around it, as befitting the last religious site in a rough borderlands region. This allows for a variety of NPC’s and subplots to be brought in to play. The library needs something, you need access to the library, the head monk wants something from you, the peasants are available as plots or hirelings. There are folk who want in the library who you can hire, etc. The place feels like a natural part of the environment and the people in it feel like they should be there. And it’s all oriented towards actual play. The people described are the ones the party will interact with or want to interact with, like field worker who also fights in bare knuckle matches. There’s a hireling for you! He wants to go get some leather armor from father-in-law first though … those are the details that bring an NPC to life and this first third is full of those. There’s an armed band camped out, with the leader wanting to see the prior about his promised wife to be … who the prior has sent away to see a mage on the edge of the territory in order to protect her from the fiance. Human Drama! It’s got a lot of REALLY nice subplots (which the adventure terms “hooks”) that allow for a whole host of things to be going on while the party is “in town” and yet still be quite relevant to a current or future Thing To Do.

The local region has a decently extensive wandering monster table, and enough regional variety of woods, lowlands, hills, etc to provide variety, with some decent little details also. Like “this area was once home to farms and a lot of abandoned orchards attract monsters.” The creatures are doing things and there’s also twenty or so more in depth encounters for the DM to toss in when a wanderer is called for. They remind me a bit of the Wilderlands hex entries, expanded in to two or three paragraphs each. Things are going on and happening. They are full of potential energy. You discover a man lying on the ground in tattered clothes, covered in blood. Dude has a secret … he’s a werewolf! There’s a lot here to take advantage of. [As an aside, the wanderers would be strong if they also included an adjective/adverb. “A FRIENDLY troll roasting a halfling on a spit.”]

The dungeon is great also. A little over sixty rooms, laid out in a roughly “square surrounding an inner bailey” format, with rooms and little mini-corridor complexes scattered around the edges. It’s got a good mix of traps and monsters, NPC’s and monsters you can talk to, and little in media res things. A group of darkelves with their leader gravely injured, trapped in a room by a monster outside. Clearly, there are opportunities here for roleplay. Those opportunities are repeated over and over again. Roleplaying in the dungeon, little almost vignette scenes, without them being full on set-pieces.

And yet this is a full on highlighter adventure. There is little to no bolding, bullets, or indents to make finding information easier. Those great village NPC’s are spread out over three pages and have two to three paragraphs each. They need a one sentence bolded summary up top that says “Hireling: crude bare-knuckle boxing field-hand. The regional presentation is likewise … lazily described. As are the wilderness encounters. As are the dungeon entries. What you are most likely to see in a dungeon room is not necessarily the first few words/sentences. Mixed throughout a couple of paragraphs are obvious sensory information. The entries are cluttered with verbose advice and explanations.

Entire paragraphs are devoted to tactics of DM advice. Verbose. “They want to avoid a fight and are hungry for food/horses” and “they pick up things and drop them a height.” is great. It’s terse. But an entire paragraph saying that on the first round they will perform diving attacks. And that they target the largest pack animals. And they knock players out of saddles. And that they flutter around the ground on the second round. And on the third round they fly in to the air with anything they have. Man. Look, I get it. You can get there with a word or two juicy unridden pack animals and destroyed equipment.

This happens over and over again in the adventure. It uses a sentence when a word will do, and comes off dry because of that.

Still, all in all, great encounters. Encounter after encounter. Great NPC’s/village/starting region. Just in need of a major MAJOR edit.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages long. The last page is probably the closest to representing the spirit of the writing in the product. You can see how the entries can tend to the longish side of the spectrum. This page still kind of falls in to the General Overview section, and so its harder to see the issues and/or for them to stand out.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/117345/The-Last-Candle

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dark Albion, HP Lovecraft's Dreamlands, & The Dungeons & Dragons PC Races For Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 14:40
"Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvelous city, and three times was he snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it. All golden and lovely it blazed in the sunset, with walls, temples, colonnades and arched bridges of veined marble, silver-basined fountains of prismatic spray in broad squares and perfumed gardens, and wide streets marching between delicate Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dan's Top 19 RPGs - #2 - Star Wars (West End Games)

19th Level - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:31


Welcome to the penultimate entry in this journey that has lasted a lot longer than I'd anticipated. I'm one of those Star Wars fans who were there at the beginning, seeing it for the first time at the age of five in a Brooklyn movie theatre - a big one, one with balconies.

In the mid 1980s, Star Wars entered a lull. I still loved it but popular interest in it had waned. At Quassy Amusement Park, where I worked in high school, we had a few gazillion Snowtrooper figures redeemable with tickets from Whack-a-Mole and Skee-Ball.

But it began picking up steam slowly. I remember being overjoyed at the first Star Wars Encyclopedia that I picked up from a Stop & Shop that had a small book section. And in 1987 I remember seeing advertisements for a new Star Wars RPG. I was overjoyed. I'd tried my hand at adapting AD&D for Star Wars but it wasn't right. I'd had better luck with the Marvel Superheroes RPG oddly enough.

The West End Games Star Wars RPG is my favorite incarnation of Star Wars RPGs. I've played them all. Fantasy Flight Games' version is a lot of fun - it just missed an entry on this list. And I think Wizards of the Coast really got Star Wars right with their Saga Edition series of Star Wars books.

So why the silver medal to the West End Games Star Wars? The first reason is that it feels like how I picture Star Wars. No character is incompetent. No skill in starship piloting? Make a roll anyways.

This version of Star Wars uses what would later be called the D6 System. It got its start with the Ghostbusters RPG. Every character has a bunch of attributes and skills. Every skill falls under an attribute. If you don't have a rating in a skill you just use the attribute rating. The ratings are simply the number of dice you roll, plus possibly adding one or two "pips" to the total. You use six-sided dice. So a rating of 3D+2 means roll 3 six-sided dice to the total and add 2. Tasks have difficulties. Characters can take as many actions as they want in a round, though they every action after the first takes one die away from all actions that round.

My favorite version of the game is, oddly, one that is not often even considered one. It is the Star Wars Introductory Game, put out late in the game's license. The versions of the game are:

  • 1st Edition
  • 1st Edition plus Rules Upgrade - the first few adventures had a four-page rules upgrade that gave the game a more standard round sequence.
  • 2nd Edition - Made the game a little crunchier.
  • 2nd Edition Revised & Expanded - Close to the 2nd edition, dialed back the crunch a tad.
  • Star Wars Introductory Game - Boxed set, returned to the simplicity of the 1st edition but in a much more polished format.
Space and vehicle battles are just an extrapolation of normal combat rules - something nice, not requiring you to learn a whole new system. If the game has one weakness, it is the Force rules are a little wonky. Beginning Force users are pretty mediocre, but if they get to a high enough skill level they become extremely dominant. Admittedly, one could argue that's how they are in the movies too... I find the Force rules work well for a Luke Skywalker in A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back - or Rey in The Force Awakens.
West End Games really did a fantastic job in production values. Though the 1st edition was primarily in black and white, it had color plates with advertisements from the Star Wars universe. With just three movies, a few novels and comic books (at the time the game came out), they did a fantastic job filling in details of the universe. These details still find their way into modern Star Wars productions. Star Wars Rebels featured a number of things first seen in the West End Games incarnation - Imperial Inquisitors, Interdictor-class ships, Shantipole being the source of the B-wing fighter,  etc. 
Fantasy Flight Games has a reprint of the 1st edition coming out, albeit extremely delayed. I'm very pleased that people will have a chance to check out the original game. It's worth noting the 1st edition has some concepts that quickly went away - for example, in action scenes, your skill roll also doubled as your initiative roll.
How does it compare with the Fantasy Flight Games version? Fantasy Flight Games gives your character a lot of interesting nuggets and abilities. West End Games' version is a lot simpler. I can definitely see why some might appreciate all the funkiness that the FFG version brings - I've played the game myself on a number of occasions and quite enjoy it. But the West End Game version is more along the line of "spend five minutes making a character (or less) and get playing". 
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Apocalyptic Campaign Appearance Of The Dungeon Module ASE2-3 Anomalous Subsurface Environment By Patrick Wetmore

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 19:36
"The Anomalous Subsurface Environment is more than just robots and lasers – it's clowns and dinosaurs, too! Levels 2 and 3 of the critically ignored gonzo megadungeon are finally available – with more classes, more tables, and more cruel and unusual ways to die deep beneath the surface of the post-apocalyptic Earth"When it comes to mega dungeons that don't get the press they deserve  ASE1Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[REVIEW] Crepuscular #01: Sanctum of the Snail

Beyond Fomalhaut - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 13:48

Crepuscular #01: Sanctum of the Snail (2018)by Joshua L.H. BurnettSelf-published0-level funnel
Crepuscular #01Even though it is often considered generic fantasy, there is just something about D&D’s monster selection that’s not found in your typical fantasy game. You have floating balls full of eyes which can blast you into atoms; an aardvark that’s also a shark which burrows under the earth; a jello cube that eats people (but not their stuff)... a dolphin skeleton from another plane?! Uh… and also a psionic mole and giant mushrooms. It is profoundly silly, but it is also deadly serious and slightly disturbing: the screwed-up things you meet will eat you if you aren’t careful. This kind of weird dissonance is one of the great things about D&D, and the sensibility which has informed the first issue of this DCC fanzine. Crepuscular’s success comes from walking the fine line expertly. It is not afraid to be funny or silly (the cover might be an indication), but it is not afraid to kill your characters in gruesome yet hilarious ways either.
Much of Crepuscular’sfirst issue is dedicated to Sanctum of the Snail, a 26-page romp through a dungeon that’s built around a mollusc theme. The characters are shipwrecked on a forlorn island that’s a bit like R’Lyeh, and their only way out of the monster-haunted reef leads down under the sea to a wondrous cavern system dedicated to Blorgamorg the Cthonic Snail, mollusc deity of the Cosmic Balance. It is a classical funnel in the sense that you push in the PCs at one end, and what comes out at the other will either be adventurers, or ground meat. There are plenty of killer encounters even when we discount the fragility of zero-level characters, and most of these ways to die have a satisfying splat factor (you can fall to your doom if you miss a jump, get lost in outer space, be mashed into a pulp by a piston mechanism, or choose between fiery death and drowning in a pit trap filled with oily water). However, the smart and lucky also gain access to some neat goodies: this is as much a chance to stock up as a place to weed out the weak, and the rewards are both generous and unique.
The strength of the adventure lies in the well-designed encounters. The challenges involve navigation through dangerous terrain, uncovering ancient secrets (and dealing with what happens when you prod them), and combat with the Sanctum’s odd denizens. Plenty of magical and fantastic stuff. I think all, or almost all content here is new, from the oddball magic items to the creepy-crawlies you must fight. Crumbling stairs over a swirling sea divided between Law and Chaos; a gigantic dead turtle; the tomb of a hero and a summoning chamber. As you’d guess, there are a lot of slugs and slug-related squishy things, but there are also some neat elements related to the cosmic war between War and Chaos, as well as grotesque finds that are just there. This is imaginative, vivid stuff embodying D&D at its weirdest, put into the service of good gameplay (player creativity goes a long way here). The writing is good through the module; even the boxed text sticks to the essentials.
Sanctum is not without problems. It follows a mostly linear structure, and the action is more focused on dealing with various encounters sequentially than on exploration. Like many DCC modules, it also lacks “breathing room” – every place has something going on, things are too close to each other, and it can feel a little busy. This is a legitimate way to construct an adventure, but a few more rooms with limited descriptive detail, or some more navigation-related content would have felt more right... as it is, the Sanctum does not really feel as large as the writeup would suggest; many of the spaces after the first few are decidedly on the small side. I would personally unwrap it on a slightly larger map to make finding various rooms more of an accomplishment.
Moonblossom and Chance find a treasure mapCrepuscular also offers a handful of miscellaneous articles (a little less than half the issue): a hilarious two-page comic, Blorgamorg as a DCC patron, two more unique magic items, and a d30 table of miscreants you can pick up as hirelings in the city of Xöthma-Ghül (to be presented in more detail in subsequent issues). These are all good, with the hirelings being my favourite – they range from “Tiberius Plum, man-at-arms; pragmatic, obsessed with the colour purple” to Quvark, a platypus man with a venomous heel-spur.
Altogether, Crepuscular is an interesting, quirky take on DCC – consistently high-energy, somewhere in the middle between deadly and hilarious. The comedy ranges from the sly to the tremendously unsubtle, but somehow, it all works. The snail theme doesn’t overstay its welcome, with enough variations to keep it from feeling one-note, and I am actually interested in learning more about the game world behind the zine.
The module in the zine gives credit to its playtesters, and even an editor!
Rating: **** / *****
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

(PF) The Forest of Starving Spirits

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 11:17


By … Jessica Redekop, Robert Gresham, Michael Whitney
Wayward Rogues Publishing
Pathfinder
Level 10

Explore the haunted remains of Endiel Forest, the forsaken kingdom of the gruesome ghastlord Mortalbane. Once a vibrant wildwood where the ancient elves lived in harmony with nature, what’s left of Endiel now is a shadow of its former glory, a rotten wilderness guarded jealously by an enigmatic horror known only as the Endiel Witch. Tread paths no mortal has walked in over a thousand years and uncover long-forgotten forgotten secrets in Forest of Starving Spirits, part four of the Ravenous Ruin adventure path.

This thirteen page adventure is a trip through a haunted forest. Part four of an adventure pah, it is barely coherent. Motivations, knowledge, challenges … they all have some of the most tenuous ties I’ve ever seen in an adventure. Another example of focusing on the style, artwork, layout, font, borders, instead of the substance of the text.

I like treading paths no one has walked for a thousand years … I am a failure as a father because my son now plays Pathfinder … because it’s what his friends play … and he said Oswalds adventure, while great, was something his friends could not handle. Fuck your system superiority complex; it’ all about market share.

Oops. I stumbled on to part 4 of an adventure path. Still … let’s judge the entire series by this one entry and also see if its useful as a standalone haunted forest.

The party wants the magic gobstopper and is told that The EVil One has it; you gotta go in to the haunted forest to find him and get it. The forest is 400 miles by 800 miles, with each square being 30 miles on the map. There’s some mountains on one side where The Evil One resides. I think. Well, I, the DM, know he’s there. It’s unclear if the party is supposed to know that before they go in. I guess not? I mean if they did, then why would they enter the forest at the far/opposite side, why not enter the forest at the square next to the mountains, keeping to the unhaunted grasslands AROUND the forest until then? So I guess the party doesn’t know he lives in the mountains? It’s VERY clear. Just like everything else in this adventure.

Remember that super big 400×800 mile forest? The one with the map? The map doesn’t have locations on it. The text of the adventure eventually tells us that the lost city is in I-4 and waterfall is in G-8, but that’s at the top of each entry, spread out through the entire adventure. So what the fucks the purpose of the map? I don’t know. The evil spirits in the forest get you lost and evli dryads lead you to danger … but the map doesn’t tell you where anything is.

The climax is in a ruined city. “Once the players reach the ruined city …” Really? Once they reach it? Were they trying to reach it? That’s not mentioned anywhere. In the ruined city (city!) are some crypts. Are you looking for crypts? It doesn’t say we’re looking for a crypt in a ruined city. There’s a total disconnect between what the players are trying to do and what the text is assuming. More on this later.

There’s a stinking cloud above the forest, it makes flying above it hard. (I Guess it reaches outer space?) So you’re footslogging 30 mile hexes in a tangled forest. What is that, 8 miles a day or something in a bramble filled haunted forest? For every hour spent in the forest there’s a chance the evil witch shows up to fuck with the party. What is the chance? We’re not told. Just “there’s a chance.” Wandering monsters? No, no list. At all. There’s a couple of entries: Winding Woods (you get lost) and an Unnerving Presence that makes you have a -2 to WIll saves. Oh ,it also says that you an encounter a poison pit tap, four shambling mounds, four lacedon trolls, and a ghoul treant. In as many words. That’s literally a quote from the adventure to describe the encounters on your trek. Nothing else. That’s it. I’m not making this fucking up.

There are knowledge checks. “The forest is wild and overgrown.” Ok. They are all just as useless. They tell you nothing of consequence. It’s just trivia. Why the fuck do they exist if they are just trivia?

Grief builds inside of you, silence is deafening, and the writing is hackneyed. More to the word, the formatting is terrible. Recall how a modern bullet point system works in a word processor. If you indent then the text is offset to the right and the style of bullet point changes. This denotes this is a sub-item to the item above it. This allows for easy visual groupings of data and relationships to be immediately obvious. Yeah, this adventure don’t do that. Everything is at the same level, and appears in the same style. Is this a new monster? Is this a part of a different encounter? Who knows, because the formatting makes everything confusing as fuck. You know those monstrous long Pathfinder stat blocks … imagine three of them all in a row with something else FORMATTED THE EXACT SAME WAY appearing between two of them. There’s no way to tell where one things ends and another begins. I wouldn’t quite call it wall of text, but “confusing mass of text” is a relative of it, to be sure.

Oh, oh, in the crypt in the ruined city (again, why the fiuck are the party drawn there?) you finally battle the evil witch that has been harassing you. This time she flees to an estate. Uh. She has fled in every encounter. Is the party still chasing her? Why are they following her? Killing the witch isn’t a part of the adventure, getting the gobstopper is. It makes no fucking sense AT ALL.

Back to that total disconnect I mentioned earlier? I think this adventure falls in to the “throw some shit at the party” category of product. Here’s some shit, throw it at the party until bored. Make them have this encounter, and then this one. Lead them to this one. Just put them in the ruined city and tell them they see a crypt. (Aside: Roll to find the crypt, to trigger the witch encounter? That’s a roll to continue. What if they DON’T succeed in their roll? Nothing happens, ever? No, the DM fudges it. So why the fuck is it in the adventure?)

This is a bad adventure. It fails on the most basic points. Great encounters might be a part of my review standards, as might evocative writing, terse writing, useful to the DM at the table. One of the most fundamental points though, that I never mention because it’s NEVER an issue, is a goal. I don’t mean a hook, or some such. But communicating to the players what they need to do. This adventure doesn’t do that. Sure, I think the read-aloud is hackneyed, I see that in a lot of adventures. Terse and evocative? Meh, again, lots of examples of that. Useful to the DM at the table? Again, lots of product fail at that point. But to be so incoherent that no one at the table understands what is going on in the adventure? That’s a new one. I think. I’ll have to go reread my review of Golanda.

Giving the designer(s) the benefit of the doubt, I have to question the editing of this. What the fuck is the purpose of editing these days? Copy editing? Fact checking? It’s certainly not “point out basic things wrong”, which is much more important than an orc having an ac of 13 vs 14.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is one of those mini things, so you can’t actually see what you are getting. Boo! I Boo I say! Still … on that last page? That’s two things you are looking at, nt one. See how everything is in “one line” green boxes? Yeah, no indent. Confusing as fuck. On the page before that, #3, that’s THREE things in that text on the left side column. Good fucking luck with that.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242806/Forest-of-Starving-Spirits

Oh, and one more thing. A Poison pit trap is CR13 in Pathfinder. Ouch.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Adapting Lamentions of the Flame Princess's Adventure Tower Of The Star Gazer By James Edward Raggi IV For Old School Pulp Style Campaign Play

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 16:37
"Legends tell of a wizard so arrogant that he felt the entire sky was naught but a lens for him to view the stars. So great was the hubris and defiance of this man that the gods smote him with the power of storm and fire. Oh did the wizard laugh at such a pathetic gesture. He did not fear the gods, for he drew his knowledge from something greater. Something darker. The legend of this Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bloodied Wings of the Undead Prince - Actual Pulp Era Campaign Event Eleven

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 07:07
"Secrets are revealed when the PC's stumble upon one of the military secrets hidden at the Turck Research Dynamics labs in the wastelands of New Jersey!" Abductor craft from tonight's game using their plasma attack on a poor sailing vessel! In tonight's retro pulp game  of Renegade Heroes, Tyrannical Conquerors, & Wasteland Kings game one of the PC' managed to board & steal a Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Beer, Comtemplation,Orcus,Labyrinth Lord, & The Black Plague As Old School Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:50
Last night was another bar night with friends specifically those us still alive & left who were around in the 90's underground gaming scene. The late 90's to early 00's saw the hobby scene change in Connecticut when many established Dungeons & Dragons game campaigns coming  home. The reason was simply, Magic The Gathering had made table space a paying premium for hobby shops. Dungeons Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

10 Minute Review Sheriff of Nottingham Merry Men

Gamer Goggles - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:46

In this review Matt goes over Merry Men from Arcane Wonders and shares his thoughts along the way. This is a great expansion for one the one of the wildest social interaction games out there!

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

This is my first attempt at a review like this. I am open to suggestions. I already have a few of my own.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Asmodee Digital to Bring Board Games to Nintendo Switch

Gamer Goggles - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 00:52

From Asmodee Digital

Carcassonne Coming First, Winter 2018

 

PARIS — June 6, 2018 — Asmodee Digital, the industry leader in digital board game entertainment, announced today it will soon begin publishing games on Nintendo Switch. The first release in Asmodee Digital’s console development strategy will be Carcassonne, the digital version of the award-winning, tile-laying board game, already available for Android, PC and Mac via Steam. The Nintendo Switch™ adaptation will be available in Winter 2018.

 

“Carcassonne is the first Asmodee Digital title of many to follow on Nintendo’s platforms,” says Pierre Ortolan CEO of Asmodee Digital. “This partnership is based on Nintendo’s need for new user experiences, and Asmodee Digital’s continued goal of bringing great board game IPs to new platforms.”


“Bringing Carcassonne to the Nintendo Switch platform is an opportunity to enlarge the success of this iconic game,” said Moritz Brunnhofer, Managing Director, Hans im Glück.

 

Simple to pick up but challenging to master, Carcassonne presents players with endless opportunities for tactical play. Within minutes, players will find themselves in tough situations – determining where to put their last meeple, whether to use tiles to expand the city, or to hinder their opponent. Players place only one tile each round, and have the option to place one meeple on it. Each game develops differently, full of boundless possibilities, and the quick-fire nature of the game ensures that Carcassonne always runs at a brisk pace.

For more information:

 

Press Kit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1GkAhGN4q8_kO7wz-leDkIl9zhFE-ihJB

 

About Asmodee Digital

Asmodee Digital, a fully owned subsidiary of the Asmodee Group, is an international publisher and distributor of digital board games with operations located in Europe, North America, and China. Asmodee Digital manages the creation, design, development, publishing, and marketing of board and card games on leading digital platforms for Asmodee studios as well as for third-party publishers. The current Asmodee Digital catalog includes best-selling digital games such as Catan VR, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Agricola, Mille Bornes, Pandemic, Small World 2, Mr. Jack London, Colt Express, Mysterium, Potion Explosion, Onirim, Jaipur, Spot It! Duel, Abalone, Ticket to Ride First Journey, Catan Stories, Talisman, Fighting Fantasy Legends, Smash Up and digital versions of many other well-known board games.

 

About Hans Im Glück

Hans im Glück, founded 1981 in Munich, Germany, is an international boardgame publisher. Probably the best known brand held by HiG, is Carcassonne. This boardgames is licensed into about 30 languages and sold in about 36 countries. About 10.000.000 copies of this family were sold so far, only counting physical copies. Beside that, HiG has a strong reputation for strategic boardgames and won a large amount of international prices. For example 7 times the well known „Spiel des Jahres“ in Germany. Other successful games sold, are for example: Stone Age, The Voyages of Marco Polo and Majesty-for the realm.

 

Nintendo Switch™ is a trademark of Nintendo.

 

© 2018 Asmodee Digital & Hans im Glück Carcassonne™ is a property of Hans im Glück. All rights reserved

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Save Your Game Session: DM Burnout

Ultanya - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 20:12
It has happened to us all. You scheduled the game weeks ago. It is finally here. You just worked a gazillion hours or were up to a million o’clock the night before. You are tired, not in the mood, but don't want to cancel the game. After all, it is super hard to get the gang together!

Everyone arrives. You catch up, since you have not interacted which each other beyond social media. Some time passes and everyone is finally ready to start. You feel a little better now, a tad more relaxed. An hour into the game you have the 1000-mile stare. You start hand waving things you should not. Monster stats become meaningless. Hell, you just want them to die and the game to end.

Someone is building dice towers. Maybe someone else is on his or her phone. There is almost definitely someone doodling. Yikes, can you salvage this? Yes, you can! Remember Dungeons & Dragons is a storytelling game. If you are tired and the game is dragging, it is time to get back to basics. Referencing character sheets and rules minutia is enough to cast a Sleep Spell on anyone.

I have been though the scenario outlined above many times. To escape the mire I developed some tools to get me back on track. The first one is a character card. On it, I have bullet points, which detail the motivations, goals, quirks, and weaknesses of each character. When things start to drag, or the scenario I prepared is not turning out great, I turn to those cards. After all this is their story, and you are just helping to direct it.

Players will immediately perk up when suddenly passed the story ball. I have to tell you, that energy at the game table is very contagious. As Dungeon Master, you should be on the lookout for when the players pass you the story ball also. That cool idea they just came up with? Go with it! Especially if you are feeling session burnout and things are bland.

Nothing is more exciting than when the players take the story in some unexpected direction. It is fun to be surprised as the Dungeon Master occasionally. That is the essence of collaborative story telling. It makes you not have to do all the heavy lifting, especially if you are having an off night.

Another technique I use when tired is intravenous coffee. OK, jokes aside I have yet another set of cards on hand. On them, I have detailed in one paragraph or less, various colorful NPCs and points of interest. These immediately create a “shiny” for the players to latch onto. Some are outlandish, like a kobold selling dyed scarfs in the middle of the dungeon, whoa…what is her story? Others are just fascinating, like the countenance of a man upon the door of a rotted cottage, his eyes almost lifelike.

When dreaming these up I have no idea where they may go. This is by design. I have even run entire game sessions this way, setting aside my original plans. They have created some of the most memorable encounters. However, most importantly they helped to get this tired Dungeon Master back on track. I hope this post inspires you with some of these ideas. In the instances where life has you failing your tired save, the game sessions are salvageable. You just need to jump-start your engine!

If these solutions don’t work for you, it may be best to end your game early and regroup at a later date. It is definitely not worth forging on if everyone is not having a good time. If you are experiencing dungeon master burnout constantly, it may be time for a break. Maybe schedule a board game night. Alternatively, switch things up and run a low crunch one shot to rekindle that game master fire.  For some it may be simple as handing over the reins to another game master for a while.

If you have any tips or tricks to bounce back from a dragging game session, please feel free to share! Just remember the challenge not unique to you. We all have been there!

Sleep Spell - Larry Elmore (1983)


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cults Of The Demon Lord Orcus For Sword & Sorery & Modern Old School Campagins

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 17:50
Orcus the name conjures up images of the roiling chaos of the Abyss and within certain esoteric grimoires the secret teachings of the demon lord are revealed. The pen & the promise are given to certain upper strata pf society citizens in modern cities where the name of the demon lord are unknown to the average person. The promise of the right of rulership of the mace & the pleasures of the Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic Will Showcase Games at Origins Game Fair 2018

Cryptozoic - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment today announced that it will showcase current and upcoming games at Origins Game Fair, June 13-17 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. At Booth #C201, Cryptozoic will demo Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick GamePantone™: The GameDC Spyfall, and much more. It will also sell several games, including Rick and Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Multiverse GameMillion Dollars, But… The GameGKR: Heavy Hitters, and The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary — The Board Game, as well as limited prelease quantities of Wallet and DC Deck-Building Game Crossover Pack 7: New Gods.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Wizard of Bald Mountain

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 11:19


By Ken Goudsward
Dimensionfold Games
Goldensword/Generic
Entry Level

Our adventurers are commissioned by the Jarl of Connaught to investigate strange weather phenomenon at Bald Mountain. The Jarl also sends his personal mage to accompany them.

I don’t even know where to start on this one.

This 24 page adventure details a short overland journey to a ruined keep on top of a mountain with a wizard in it. The keep has ten rooms and has two monsters: the wizard and his fighter buddy. Single column, sparse, and yet with 24 pages … there’s just nothing here. Condensing this to a one page dungeon would still leave ¾ of a page to spare.

The jarl charges you with getting to the bottom of the weird weather coming from the top of the mountain. He gives you a sword and some armor. He sends his mage with you. (Ug. NPC with the party means betrary by him and/or DM pet. And in this case it’s a party betrayal.) You wander up a mountain for a day, find a ruined keep that is mostly empty, and fight a wizard. Everything here is more than little off.

Take the overland. The mountain is eight hours away, walking. Each hour you have an encounter on the wandering animal table. “Woah!” I thought, way too much. Foolish me. The encounters involve flies, mosquitos, crows, grouse, rabbits, deer, geese, a falcon, etc. I was then surprised there was no wandering rock table.

Once again, the adventure should concentrate on player interactivity. The mundane has little place. Wanna set the mood, or foreshadow? Great, no problem. Roll on table 12 each hour to see what kind of gravel the road is made of that hour? No. This is a caricature of D&D and, much like the rest of this adventure, reminds me of fantasy heartbreakers. Someone’s got a bug up their ass about how things should be.

“The team will need to gain entry into the keep. The keep can be entered easily from the east, north, or west.” *sigh* And does the sun rise today also?

The keep, proper, has two levels and ten rooms. “R3: (Servants quarters) (dark-empty torch sconce) 3 beds, only 1 with blankets; 1 dresser with shabby clothes” Fucking wonderful. My life is now complete. I never knew what I was missing. This is adventure? This is value? This is supposed to help you run a good game for your players? Yeah, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, but it also doesn’t DO anything. Room after room is like this. Well, at least all ten rooms, that is.

The adventure ends on page ten, after starting on page four, with the Boss Fight. It’s labeled The Boss Fight. It’s one page long, with TOO much whitespace, and full of tactics for the evil bad guy wizard. The rest of the page count is monster stats, tables, etc. Any EVERYTHING is in single column “i wrote this in word and printed in PDF” format.

There’s just nothing here. It would make, at best, a quarter to half a page of a one page dungeon. I get “slow burn”, but this is a little silly.

This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru, with a current suggested price of $3. The preview shows you the entire adventure. Enjoy, in particular, the boss fight on page ten. Or maybe the adventure design on pages two and three.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242468/the-Wizard-of-Bald-Mountain

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

For a Love Of Goblinoid Games Labyrinth Lord An OSR Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 06:41
So if you were online then you know about the shake up over at the Labyrinth Lord. G+ community. There's new blood that's been infused into the back court of the game & perhaps on a positive side we'll see more action on the Labyrinth Lord front.  With Antonio Bravo now taking over the reigns we'll probably see more new life blood pumped into the OSR beast that is Labyrinth Lord. Way back Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wargame Wanderings 1: Thoughts on X-Wing Second Edition

Gamer Goggles - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 01:44

In the first ever episode of Wargame Wanderings Matt talks about X-wing second ed and how the changes might impact players.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

If all goes well I will be able to Gen Con FFG has invited me and several other creators a second ed party so I’m looking for ways to go.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Twelve Rules For Pulp & Gonzo Elements In Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 16:53
There's been a bit of a misnomer about my reputation among certain corners of the OSR. I've been called everything from an 'Old School Renegade' to an 'Old School Resurrectionist' to that 'old fool'. Well, perhaps I'm a bit of all of those things & more. The commentary I'm offering seems to be scoffed at in some corners. So what. I'm here for the OSR readers &  subscribers but more over theNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Runequest available from Chaosium

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 16:06

RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha has just been released by Chaosium as an all-new edition of one of the world’s most influential and acclaimed fantasy roleplaying games.

First appearing almost 40 years ago, RuneQuest is as dynamic and vital as ever. This all-new, deluxe edition introduces RuneQuest and its setting of Glorantha to new players everywhere.

“This new edition, also known as “RQG”, has been explicitly written with the goal of approachability, reaching out to new players and gamemasters as well as returning fans, making sure that the game line remains vital and engaging for everyone.” said Chaosium creative director Jeff Richard. “These rules are also backward-compatible with the previous versions of RuneQuest from Chaosium, and the scenarios published for them.”

Lavishly illustrated in full-color throughout, Chaosium has released the core RQG rules as a 443 page PDF, with the physical book to follow in August (just in time for Gen Con). People who buy the PDF from Chaosium.com now will receive a coupon for the full price of the PDF back, when they buy the physical book*. So there’s no need to wait, adventures in Glorantha can start now!

*How this works: The hardcover version will retail for USD$54.95. With the coupon from your PDF purchase you will only pay $27.00 ($54.95 – $27.95 coupon = $27.00).

Four features make RuneQuest distinct among other roleplaying games:

Mythic AdventureRuneQuest began in Greg Stafford’s mythic universe Glorantha, one of the oldest, most detailed, and most influential roleplaying settings ever published. Its influences are Bronze Age cultures where the relationship between mortals and the gods are much stronger. Rather than being myths, the deeds and actions of the gods are history, and are very much active forces in shaping the day-to-day lives of all living things. Culture and Community — Adventurers are strongly tied to their cultures and clans, with compelling family histories, complete with all that entails. They begin play knowing not only who they are, who their family is, what clan they belong to, but with person al history that gives them experience and momentum going forward.

Unique Adventurers — Players can create unique adventurers and customize them as desired, without arbitrary restrictions such as classes or levels. All adventurers can use magic, including powerful Rune spells that channel the very power of the gods. As adventurers progress, they grow along natural lines: skills that are used successful improve, and rather than being limited, the opportunities for development and improve increase dramatically.

Dangerous Combat — Combat in RuneQuest can be dangerous, even deadly, with skirmishes filled the chance of fumbles, critical hits, and strategic tactical choices. Shields can shatter when hit hard enough, limbs can be disabled, and even the weakest of opponents can get off a lucky shot that can take out an experienced foe. RuneQuest’s percentile-based rules system has been used to drive many other wildly-successful games. including Stormbringer, ElfQuest, Ringworld, and most notably Call of Cthulhu, itself one of the most popular roleplaying games worldwide. RuneQuest‘s simple, intuitive system (also known as Basic Roleplaying or BRP) has directly inspired other games, including HeroQuest and King Arthur Pendragon, and been influential to countless other tabletop and computer games. What some early reviewers have said:

“RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha is a landmark, and was even before it was written… it marks the return of one of the most influential and storied games in our hobby back to the house that built it… No other RuneQuest—and this is coming from a guy from whom you’d have to pry his Cults of Prax or Cults of Terror from his cold, dead hands—does Glorantha as well as RQG.”—Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming. “one of the most stunning RPG books ever made”Games Vs Play

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