Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Achtung! Cthulhu for 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu

Stargazer's World - Tue, 03/12/2019 - 07:36

A few days ago I was surprised to find emails from DriveThruRPG in my inbox with links to free copies of three new products. As it turned out Mödiphiüs had just released an updated version of their Achtung! Cthulhu game for 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu, and as one of the original backers I was eligible for a free copy. The core rules consist of the Investigator’s Guide (a 128-paged PDF containing all the rules needed by the players) and the Keeper’s Guide (a 216-paged PDF with the background, new rules for WW2 combat, a bestiary, and everything else the GM needs to run this game).

Achtung! Cthulhu is – as the name implies – a Call of Cthulhu game set into World War 2. The horror of war and the atrocities of the Nazis are combined with Lovecraftian cosmic horror. The characters are Allied soldiers or agents of Allied services fighting both the Axis and the Mythos creatures weaponized by them. The setting also helps to solve one the issues that often crop up in Call of Cthulhu games: why should the investigators travel the world, risking their lives and their sanity, while at the same time jeopardizing their jobs and relationships? Delta Green solved the issue by making the investigators members of a government conspiracy. In Achtung! Cthulhu you’re playing the soldiers fighting a war. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to actually play Achtung! Cthulhu yet, but now I can at least do so with the latest iteration of the Call of Cthulhu rules. If you enjoy Lovecraftian Horror and have an interest in WW2, you definitely should check Achtung! Cthulhu out!

While checking out the official Mödiphiüs site I was also reminded of Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish, their tabletop miniatures game in the same setting. Miniature skirmish games have always been a mixed bag for me. I love playing those games, but I am not particularly good at them. They can also quickly become a huge money and time sink. I have to admit that Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish looks quite tempting and the miniature prices are very reasonable. If you are into these kinds of games, you definitely should give it a look.

What are your thoughts on Achtung! Cthulhu? Have you actually played the RPG or the miniature game? Please share your comments below.

Related posts:

  1. Kickstarter: Achtung! Cthulhu
  2. Review: ACHTUNG! Cthulhu – Three Kings
  3. Kickstarter: Achtung! Cthulhu – Assault on the Mountains of Madness Confirmed!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PRESALE: Pestilence Cryptkins: Series 2 Vinyl Figure (WonderCon Exclusive)

Cryptozoic - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 16:59

This little guy will infect you... with his cuteness! Here’s your chance to own the Pestilence Cryptkins vinyl figure created exclusively for WonderCon 2019! You can make sure you get this limited collectible by purchasing it now and then picking it up at Cryptozoic’s Booth #1337 during the event.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure Encounter - New Drow City

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 16:40
"This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games. All games are basically hostile. Winners and losers. We see them all around us: the winners and the losers. The losers can oftentimes become winners, and the winners can very easily become losers."The War Universe", Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Mountain Tollkeep

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 11:14
By Peter Lattimore
Garblag Games

High on a mountain side where the pass skirts the flank of a massive peak sit two towers standing proud against the sky. Between them a thick wall and portcullis bar the path of anyone seeking to sneak from one land to another, for whatever purpose. The walls of this structure have witnessed many things: diplomatic envoys hell-bent on trade deals, generals on horseback with declarations of war, displaced peasantfolk hammering on it’s gates with malnourished hands.

This ten page “locale” is not an adventure. It describes a location, barely. Two towers with a wall running between them, closing off a mountain pass between two countries. It is devoid of any but the most basic location information.

Not an adventure. It is basically a map and then some text describing the map in a VERY basic way. Like, the map shows murder holes and the text says “there are murder holes on the wall”, or the map has two rooms on a floor labeled “bunkrooms” and the text of the product says “there are two bunkrooms on this floor.” IE: the text almost always adds nothing to the map and, while it doesn’t describe room dimensions, it does essentially the same thing with everything on the map EXCEPT room dimensions.

There are no NPC’s. There’s no garrison commander, or drunk soldiers, or anything like that. When it mentions people, and it seldom does, it mentions them in the most generic way possible. “The commander might …”

And it’s full of “might.” It contains useful advice like “you can change the walls from stone to something else to fit your campaign better” or “defenders are most likely to be seen on the walls”, or, in a hook “we’ll leave the blackmail option up to you.” So, basically, this product is a one page map expanded to ten pages with almost nothing else.

And even the map suffers. The two towers are called Falcon and Eerie, but the maps generally don’t note which tower is which.

I bought this on DriveThru and was gonna print it out, but it says i can’t reproduce it in ANY way unless I contact the designer, and I can’t find contact information for them. Yes, I’m being an ass.

There’s nothing here. I’d say it’s not even a location, but rather just a map.

This is available on DriveThru for $2. There’s no preview, otherwise you might know beforehand what you’re buying.–The-Mountain-Tollkeep?affiliate_id=1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Stupid *#& Yahoo Store!

Two Hour Wargames - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 20:29

Says coupon good through May 10th. But it really means expires on the 10th. Pushed it back one more day, ends Tuesday.


25% off your entire order!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure Encounter - The Kerouac Wilderness

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 17:55
"I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Creativity is a Flowing

The Splintered Realm - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 15:50
So I got a round of stuff done for Sentinels of Echo City, and I've got the next issue of Doc Stalwart's adventures well underway... and I've turned my attention to Tales of the Splintered Realm. 

The three big knocks against the system were that the spell system was pretty far removed from the classic D+D system, that the core rules don't include the 'big four' classes, and that there is no representation of faith magic in the core rules. All of these were intentional, but they are all things I've decided to correct. In creating expansion materials (I'm working on a dungeon crawl), I've realized how many basic things you need in place for dungeon crawls... things like curses, wizard lock, dispel magic, and turning undead need to be in the core rules, because including rules for these in supplements for dungeon crawls creates an unnecessary layer of material ("you can find the rules for this in module A1, the rules for that in module B3, and the rules for this is module C1")...

The core rules can be a central clearinghouse for all of the basics without adding any bloat. I am adding one page of character archetypes, 2 pages of spells, and a page of treasure. That will keep a solid foundational game in place, but only increase the page count to 20, which is still nice and light. 

Random Mars

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 14:00

Mars shows less variation that Venus in pulp and old sci-fi sources. Still, not all Marses are alike, so you deserve your own unique yet very derivative one! Let the randomizing commence:

Basic Theme:
1-2 Dying - The world is desiccating and civilization is trying to stop it/adapt to it. 
3-4 Worn Out - It most the planet formation lottery and is a dried up, "failed earth." Civilization is of any sort
5-6 Doomed - The world is trying up, and civilization is too decadent to care.

Atmospheric Density:
1-2 Complete breathable
3-4 Anyone not from the Andes or Himalayas will need to acclimate
5-6 Earth folk need oxygen

1-2 Like Southern California
3-4 Gobi Desert Spring in the day, Gobi Desert winter at night
4-5 Artic Circle

1-2 Poles and canals only
3-4 Nothing above ground, no canals
5-6 Some shallow seasonal wetlands where once were mightly seas

Dying World Civilization:
1 Wise and Noble but tinged with Melancholy
2 Overly Cerebral
3 Passionate and Vibrant but Tradition-bound and/or Factionalized
4 Post-technological
5 Post-sophont
6 Only the Robots are Left

Decadent Civilization:
1 Atavistic; Fallen into Primitivism
2 Withered bodies, minds consumed with the distant and abstract
3 Devoted entirely to bloodsports and other dubious pleasures
4 Consumed by meaningless sectarian struggle
5 Enslaved by something
6 Destroyed by war, with few mutated survivors

What do Earthmen Want?
1 More room
2 Drug Tourism
3 Ancient Technology
4 Powers of the Mind

Totally NOT Captain Marvel, so I don't know why you'd say that

The Splintered Realm - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 00:17

Just saw Captain Marvel with the girls. We all really liked it. Mary and I agreed that the only flaw was the banter between characters - it was clever, but rarely genuine, and sometimes a bit forced. The story was great, and the connections to the existing MCU were well done. On the whole, a strong offering.
And of course, it gets me thinking about how this sort of higher-end super-heroing works in game terms for Sentinels of Echo City. So, let’s give it a spin…
Uri the Cosmic Guardian (Hero 6) Uri, Cosmic Guardian: Resources 14 AC 21; HD 12d6+36 (hp 101); Feat +13; Move 50’ (fly 10 miles) Combat Blast (+10/1d10+9/120’) or Punch (+10/1d6+4) Attributes STR 15 (+4); INT 11 (+2); PWR 24 (+9)DEX 14 (+4); CON 18 (+6); CHA 12 (+3) Traits Flight; Cosmic Energy Control; Cosmic Blast (1d10); Invulnerability; Pilot; 
Pummel (1d6) Talents Improved Dice (x3) Iron Will; Prowess; Toughness Drawbacks Vow: To help the downtrodden Purpose To defend those who cannot defend themselves across the cosmos.

MeWe and Blogger Not Playing Nice

The Splintered Realm - Sat, 03/09/2019 - 13:57
For some reason, I cannot get a direct link to my MeWe account to work. I have the link, and it works when I put it the browser field. I go right to my MeWe. But, when I create a link in the sidebar to the left, it comes up as an error. Help me Internet!

(5e) Embrace

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 03/09/2019 - 12:31
By Richard Iorio
Rogue Games Inc
Levels 8-9

Embrace is a voyage into the heart of an evil plot. Something strange is happening, and long-held beliefs are being perverted to fit another’s evil ways. How the characters accomplish their task and handle the looming crisis, is another matter all together…

This 46 page adventure is the typical Lovecraft Call of Cthulhu adventure converted to 5e. Actually, it appears to have been written for Sword, Shield & Spell and converted to 5e. But the publisher also sells the Colonial Gothic RPG game, which appears to be CoC in colonial america … and if you think “What if HPL wrote his stories set in colonial america?” and then converted it to 5e then you’d have this adventure. Everything about this is CoC. The pacing is HPL CoC pacing and the writing is straight out of every CoC adventure ever written. IE: bad.

Some woman’s husband has disappeared and not been seen for two months. Seems he was a university professor specializing in religion and went to some village to look in to something, not being seen since. The party is hired to find him. Sound familiar? Like every HPL story ever? When you think of D&D do you think of university professors? This thing is full of stuff like that. “Coach inns” abound, and some of the art looks more like a colonial american inn than D&D … Anyway …

The usual has happened. A cultist came in, took over the local religion disguised as a druid, and then converted people to Shub worship. There’s a strong wicker man/creepy village thing going on, down to the artwork showing a burning wicker man, along with the usual “everyone in the village is cultist”, people staring at you, the local sheriff is in on it, etc. If you’ve played any Call of Cthulhu game, ever, or read a rural New England HPL story then you know what the adventure is.  Wander around investigating, locals rise up, and then confront the EHP.

So, long read-alouds. We know that’s bad and why it’s bad. No one pays attention after three sentences. Then there is MOUNTAINS of DM text. But it’s CoC Dm text style, which means it’s written as a “first x and then Y and then z  happens” which is impossible to follow and run at the table. You can’t scan it. Bullet points and/or white space formatting is in painfully short supply. You can’t find shit, it’s all buried.

NPC descriptions are long and written in the same style. We’re not reading a novel. We’re trying to run something at the table. The writing and formatting needs to be oriented towards that. If all the other Call of Cthulhu adventures jumped off a bridge would you also? Bandit stats, in 5e, are a column long. How ever did older games manage with inline stats? Oh, the horror of recognizing what’s important in the game and it’s not stats, The Horror!

At the start of the game the party gets a letter the missing guy received. It’s signed W. The DM text tells us the wife “probably doesn’t know who W is …” How does that help us run the game?  The inexplicable nature of that line boggles me to no end and is representative of the complete lack of understanding of what an adventure is and how to write one. “I had an idea and I threw a bunch of text down on a page in a roughly linear manner” is no way to run a railroad/write an adventure.

Also, there’s no indication what level this adventure is for on the DriveThru page or on the adventure cover. Bad publisher! Bad! How the fuck am I supposed to know if I should buy it for my group of Level 1’s? Oh, I should just buy it? Oh, you didn’t think of thigns like that. See, get my point, YOU WERE NOT THINKING ABOUT THE NEEDS OF THE DM WHEN YOU WROTE IT.

It’s a CoC adventure. It’s another point in my favor that Horror  translates well between all settings, from SciFi to Fantasy to 1920’s. It’s not bad, at its core, but it’s just the usual CoC tropes, handed down from HPL himself.

Also, I now associate the 5e brand (and Pathfinder, for that matter) with suckage. When I get ready to go buy one I ask myself “I wonder just how bad this one will be …” I’m guessing that’s not the image that WOTC & Paizo are trying for. Mixing official shit with homebrew in the storefront was a bad idea, as was allowing the cross-branding. Hey WOTC, when you finally get that 10 picture movie deal done (You belong to Hasbro for cross-branding purposes. That’s it. And we all know it’s mostly or MtG) I’m going to think “I wonder how bad this one will suck?” because of your paper publishing strategy has led me that way. That’s what you were going for, right?

This is $8 at DriveThru. The preview is perfectly representative of the paragraphs long writing style that you’ll find in the adventure. So, good preview in that you tells you what to expect: a disorganized mess.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure Encounter - Burroughs/Bakshi Fantasy Mash Up

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 03/09/2019 - 09:12
'After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.'William S. BurroughsIntroduction At the very edge of human consciousness is a place where reality bleeds into the deepest abysses of the artistic places of the human genius & roll into forbidden & terrible dreams. Places that exist as mini planes that float between the astral storms of the dreamNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Echoing Elemental Death Winds of AD&D G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 21:35
"Giants have been raiding the lands of men in large bands, with giants of different sorts in these marauding groups. Death and destruction have been laid heavily upon every place these monsters have visited. A party of the bravest and most powerful adventurers has been assembled and given the charge to punish the miscreant giants."  This is the final installment of the 'Against The Giants' Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

This weekend only! 25% off

Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 20:48

Use coupon code

and get 25% off of your order. Only good through Sunday!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Random Venus

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 12:00
Modern science tells us Venus is a hellscape resulting from runaway greenhouse effect, but that was not always the way we imagined it to be. Early sci-fi and pulp sci-fi Venus was general assumed to be verdant under its eternal cloud cover. Sure, even before space probes spoiled all the fun, Venus had already been conceived of as a harsh desert wracked by storm (see Anderson's "Big Rain"), but mostly it's drippy jungles.

That still leaves a lot of variation. Here are some random charts to make your own pulp Venus or similar worlds:

Basic Terrain:
1-2 Oceanic
3-4 Desert
5-6 Jungle
7-8 Swampy/Low-lying
9-10 Tidally Locked (as seen in Weinbaum's "Parasite Planet."  Dayside is a desert and nightside is frozen. Action's in the Terminator)

Basic Theme (probably applies to anything but desert, but up to you)
1 Eden - Almost too pleasant and inviting
2 Primeval - Like Earth in an earlier age, perhaps the Mesozoic or Triassic?
3 Hostile - Too hot, too wet, too fecund, too alien. Humankind finds it tough. Roll below.
4 Hell - Like hostile turned up all the way. Roll Below.

Why So Inhospitable?
1 Endless Rain (Bradbury, "Death-By-Rain")
2 Parasitic Life
3 Horrible Storms
4 Giant Monsters
5 Everything Wants to Eat You
6 The Natives Have a Horrible Secret

Dominant Lifeform
1 Reptilian* (includes Dinosaurs in the pulp era)
2 Amphibian
3 Plant/Fungal
4 Icthyoid
5 Humanoid
6 Hyper-evolved - brain things/energy creatures

One Notable Thing
1 Gaseous Sea
2 Alluring Slave Girls/Guys
3 Rare Element
4 Mysterious Artifact
5 Giant Trees
6 Ancient Ruins
add your own!

[BLOG] The Conspiracy

Beyond Fomalhaut - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:37
The Conspiracy is a simple, play-friendly method to describe interaction and conflict between city-based interest groups or conspiracies, reusing the entries of random encounter tables. Individually, random encounters represent local colour, complications in an ongoing scenario, or the beginnings of mini-adventures. By placing three or four next to each other – whether by design or chance – the result is often an adventure that can fill much of a session. Yet cities are even more complex, and they are filled with hidden social structures with dangerous agendas. 
In the Conspiracy, the nexus points of a pre-drawn, blank “connection network” are populated with random or semi-random encounters, and once finished, a coherent design is created around the existing network.
Sample NetworksThe resulting network has multiple benefits. It shows who is associated with whom, and it also shows which way clues lead from one point to the next while the characters are investigating the network. The links can, furthermore, represent command structures, dependencies, and especially the conduit of information. They can be one-sided (marked with an arrow) or mutual. Stronger links may be marked with bold lines, and weak, tentative ones with dashed ones. Some connections can be dead ends, but important nodes – the „heart” of the conspiracy – should be located close to the centre, approachable from multiple directions. The deeper details of a network usually follow logically from the connected nexus points.
These networks are individually fairly simple, but they are often well hidden, and a large city has several of them. They are often connected, too – but how? Does it all form an enormous spider web, with a particularly clever conspirator pulling all the strings? A hierarchy, with a leader or group on top of the all-seeing pyramid? A matrix that seemingly leads nowhere? Or multiple networks vying for power and influence? All configurations have their potential in the game.
Example: The Gamemaster wishes to develop a conspiracy centred around Prince Alkoor, a double-dealing aristocrat. Selecting the second basic layout, he rolls up seven encounters [these are drawn from The Nocturnal Table, a forthcoming supplement for running city campaigns, and are abridged here for demonstration purposes]:
  • 137 Bricks fallen from a nearby wall are all stamped with the mark of a cat’s eye, reveal entrance to forgotten part of house sealed up long ago.
  • 151 City guards: 1d4*5 militias (Fighter 1) battering down tenement door, suspected tax-dodgers.
  • 212 Hermit, an animalistic, nameless wreck, digging in street garbage. Cursed priest.
  • 239 Mob: 2d4*10 men looting neighbourhood
  • 312 Robbers: Yusuf Muraad Khusi (Illusionist 4) and 2d6 robbers (Fighter 2); the hunchbacked Yusuf, hiding in a curtained hiding place, creates the illusion of several more companions surrounding locale.
  • 110 Alchemist Multiphage of Lam (Illusionist 6) selling 1d6+1 potions from beaker of potions (01-40 delusion); also provides horoscopes (all ambiguous)
  • 356 Thief Smardis (Thief 4, deep blue turban, 4*opium), smoking a hookah and offering empty tower apartment for sale at 140 gp.

Prince Alkoor's ConspiracyWith some more rolling and interpretation, the random entries yield a decent criminal enterprise. It appears that Alkoor’s game is to expropriate plebeians through aggressive tax-collection (151), as well as inciting looters in the slum areas (239). He buys up properties on the cheap, and sells them through one of his agents, a skilled thief named Smardis (356). Alkoor is mostly careful to work through intermediaries, a loyal robber gang (312), placing his orders in a secret meeting room in a sealed house (137). However, a more immediate connection can also be established via the City Guard – perhaps he has been stepping up the collection efforts and leaning on the officials. This is only part of his racket, though – and perhaps an entirely lawful one!
We have two more entries to consider. It seems Alkoor is related to a nameless pariah (212), who could be a victim or a secret associate – the GM elects to make him an effective spy most characters would not suspect. Finally, the alchemist and potion-seller (110) is tentatively connected to both of Alkoor’s main activities, without being linked to the robber gang. Perhaps he is not even a formal part of the network – just someone who had made a fateful connection, and can offer the important information that the two activities are somehow connected… or someone who’d had his own fingers in the pie, but is now in over his head.
And how does it all unfold? Does Alkoor end up losing his head, or does he have an offer the players can’t refuse? Are those connections with the robbers and the City Guard good enough to hound the company out of the city before they jeopardise a perfectly good get-richer scheme? Well… The conspiracy described above should serve as a sufficient framework to provide the right kind of pointers, and let the characters connect the dots on their own. The adventure can take the shape of a mission, or arise spontaneously from the logic of the campaign: in any event, minor puzzle pieces can form a pattern; and patterns, a grander design.
Cloak, Dagger, and a Few Magic Missiles

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Murders of the Night - The Lovecraftian Ecology of the Kamadan For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 07:05
 Blink Dogs vs Displacer Beast. (AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, TSR, 1979.) Today has been one of those days where I haggled my way through the imaginary landscape of the more forgotten parts of imaginary old school campaign landscape. I went over lots of different notes & half remembered bits including the sectors of the planes where the Coeurl interstellar empire once flourished billions of Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Warrior Heroes: New Warring Fleets Bat Rep!

Two Hour Wargames - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 22:24
Here's a Bat Rep for the upcoming Warrior Heroes: Warring Fleets. Kurinthian raiders have been causing lots of trouble for the Governor of south Eskelin. He has decided to dispatch a small fleet of 4 ships to "teach them a lesson." He has sent 1 Great Ship (size 6), 2 Warships (size 4) and 1 small Raider (size 2) under Duke Rodriguez a Rep 5 Fleet Commander.

The Kurinthians have sent out 6 Raiders (size 2) under the leadership of a Rep 4 Chieftain. The ships meet off the coast of upper Kurinthia and the battle is joined.
************The game revolves around how well you command your fleet, not each individual ship. These are controlled by the game mechanics being Ship Size, Crew Rep, Hull points and Firepower  points. Firepower can reflect archery (as the Kurinthians have), Artillery (Eskelin ships) or Engines - large ballistae/catapults.
The fight starts with seeing who has the Advantage, who saw who first.

 Side with the Advantage acts first, then the other side.

 When both sides have finished, the Will to Fight Test is taken; will the sides continue to fight.

 Boarding represents casualties and a reduction in the desire to keep fighting.
The table is divided into three sections and each side sets up with one empty side between them. Movement is one section at a time, remember you are the Fleet Commander, not a ship's Captain. Artillery and engines fire two out sections, archery (missile fire)only one.

More to come. Like all THW games, playable with minis or counters.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Flip Through Review: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything for D&D 5e

Gamer Goggles - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 19:15

In the Flip Through Matt Reviews Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. This is a compilation of content from Unearthed Arcana for Dungeons and Dragons 5e. DnD5e

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

There are plenty of little goodies spread throughout the entire book for players and D.M.s

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 2 - Sketch Card Previews, Part 7

Cryptozoic - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 18:58

Please enjoy the seventh preview of Sketch Cards from our artists. Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 2 are coming soon! Links to contact the artists can be found below the images of their work.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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