Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Bundle of Holding - Palladium Fantasy - The "Other" D&D ;)

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 19:48

Palladium Fantasy is very much AD&D with the serial numbers obscured by mud and dirt and a whole lot of house rules tacked on. I never very much liked the system itself - playable but extremely quirky - but the setting material? Spot on. The adventurers? Well done. The alignment system? Better than anything TSR ever offered us back in the day.

Now, notice how I said I didn't like the Palladium Rules system? I don't, but I do love the Palladium Fantasy Rulebook. Packed with inspiration to freshen up your Old School / OSR campaign, this is where it shines.

Wolfen. I need wolfen in SWL...

I'm glad to see Palladium releasing Rifts and Palladium Fantasy in PDF. Looks like I'm buying yet another Bundle of Holding.

The Starter Collection is $14.95, the Bonus Collection is just under $26.00.

The core rulebook itself is $27 in print.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Getting A More Lovecraftian Campaign Spin On Leigh Brackett's 'The Citadel of Lost Ships' & The Old Solar System Setting &

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:05
So last night with headache on the boil, I closed down the internet & began to really think about some of the background of my fall AS&SH campaign. Part of this was to return to Leigh Brackett's The Citadel of Lost Ships. " Brackett's novelette "Citadel of Lost Ships" was the cover story in the March 1943 issue of Planet Stories" 'The Kraylens are a dying tribe, a scrap of old Venus, but Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Far West Non Announcement from Gareth on Twitter Video

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:04

Yep, Gareth spoke about Far West yesterday on Twitter for RPGaDay 2017. I had to downsize the video quality to post this, but you can capture it (and Gareth) in all of its glory on Gareth's Twitter feed.

Reminds me I need a haircut and a shave...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic Will Demo Games and Conduct Tournaments at Gen Con 2017

Cryptozoic - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment today announced that it will be demoing and selling several new and upcoming tabletop games, as well as conducting several tournaments, at Gen Con, August 17-20 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Products at Cryptozoic’s booth (#601) include games based on Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty TV series, the anime Attack on Titan, and various DC properties. In addition, there will be some surprise demos of games that have never before been shown in public.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Some Azurth Adventure Digest Art

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:14
The art for the Azurth Adventure Digest is rolling in.

Here's a a group of heroes versus the mummy of the Candy Temple by Jason Sholtis:

And here's the creature from the Prismatic Hole by Jeff Call:

Stay tuned for more!

#RPGaDay 2017 Day 2 - RPG I'd Like to See Published

19th Level - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 03:21

As a fan of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels, I'd love to see an RPG published that captures this series. There's a few Age of Fighting Sail RPGs out there, but I haven't yet found the "perfect" one. I'd want something that captures the feel of life at land and at sea, the social aspects of the era, and provides for exciting ship combats. It would need to manage the advancement of characters while also having a way to keep a group together. It would need to handle the passage of years, though for gaming purposes I'd be fine with it also making the year 1813 last as long as it needed to, much as Patrick O'Brian did. And it would need to appeal to people who aren't perhaps a tad obsessed with the genre.

I keep thinking that Pendragon could be reskinned for this purpose. A game that expects a campaign of many game years. Perhaps living long enough to see your son take your place might be a bit much, even with a long 1813, but one could see a midshipman protege advancing through the ranks... Someone make this game for me please.

"To wives and sweethearts - may they never meet!"

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Reminder - Tavern Chat - Tonight at 9 PM Eastern - The Stars are Alighned

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 23:26

Tonight is a Wednesday Night and your bartender will be hosting the weekly Tavern Chat at 9 PM Eastern. If I run late, please feel free to let yourselves in.

Possible topics include - growing old ;) , the The Tenkar's Tavern Crate (I've heard reports its been spotted in the wild), #ConManKen's latest failure's and more.

Use the Tavern Chat / Chatwing Widget on the right side of this page.

See you then...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Beta PDF Available - Link Included with Permission)

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:11

Stars Without Number: Revised Edition. You KNOW you want to back this Kickstarter.
Seriously. +Kevin Crawford knows how to run a Kickstarter Project.

Want to look at the rules before pledging? Here's the link the the SWN: Revised Edition Beta Rules

Want to read the stretch goals? Guess what? They've all been hit already.
- At $20,000 I will release all commissioned art for the game as royalty-free, zero-cost art available for other gamers and publishers to use for their own personal and commercial products. I've made arrangements with the artists for this game, including Tan Ho Sim, Christof Grobelski, Joyce Maureira, and Aaron Lee, to buy full rights for all the pieces I commission, and so I will be able to let others freely use these assets for their own purposes.  - At $30,000 I will rework both the free and deluxe versions of the core book as additional EPUB and MOBI file formats. This will involve considerable extra effort in redoing the text for these decidedly non-spread-oriented formats, but if the campaign gets this far, clearly you want these formats provided.  - At $40,000 I will forge the culmination of madness and bibliomanic obsession- the mighty UNIVERSAL OMNIBUS, a vast hardback tome containing every single Stars Without Number first edition product, both free and for-pay. This massive, black-and-white interior tome will consist of the Stars Without Number first edition core book, Skyward Steel, Suns of Gold, Darkness Visible, Starvation Cheap, Polychrome, Dead Names, Relics of the Lost, Engines of Babylon, Sixteen Stars, Hard Light, all of the Mandate Archive free supplements, and both editions of The Sandbox, the whole summing over a thousand pages. Everything that ever has or will be written for first-edition Stars Without Number will be contained within this book. Every backer at $20 or more will be given a code that will permit them to order this voluminous codex from DriveThruRPG for $100, if they so wish. This code will not have an expiration date, so they may defer the purchase until later if they wish to reflect on it. Backers at the munificent Galactic Overmind level of $175 will get one of these superdense grimoires shipped to them at no further shipping cost, provided the address is in Canada, the United States, the UK, or the European Union. No other persons will be permitted to acquire the UNIVERSAL OMNIBUS. Only those loyal and fearless backers who join me in my plunge into madness by contributing to this campaign will be allowed to buy the book from DriveThruRPG. It will not be made available for general public purchase.  - At $50,000, I will be extremely grateful to you all and have the wisdom to refrain from offering further stretch goals. I am but one man. I've completed every Kickstarter I've ever launched on-time or early, chiefly because I've known when to stop promising and when to start working.The amount pledged as I write this is just under $65k.

It launched yesterday.

You know you want it :)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

OSR Commentary - Using Saga TSR's Age of Heroes Mini games For Operatic Campaign Design

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 15:25
Could one of TSR classic era's mini games be used for old school campaign construction? Yes it could! Sound the horns, grab your father's sword & armor, and come with me now down the dark halls of history to Nineteen Eighty!  For tonight we play Saga one of TSR's Mini games! Much of what follows has been referenced from Board Game Geek's entry on Saga. So Steve a friend of mine blew into townNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

House of Flowers

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:19

By Christopher Audette
Five Cataclysms
Five Cataclysms

In a warm place sits a mansion made entirely of many-hued flowers, their vines forming the unnatural architecture of mankind. The house grew around two entities, the Heart of Eternity, and the Heart of Chaos. The Heart of Chaos mutated all life around it, changing it beyond recognition, and the Heart of Eternity gave the new life the order necessary to survive. The Hearts arrived long before mankind existed, and they have been locked in a perpetual struggle ever since. A proxy war is fought between the two, using flowers mutated into ambulatory forms as pawns. The battles are fought entirely inside the house, because while immensely powerful, the influence of the Hearts cannot extend outside. The structure around which the house grew, the Chapel of the Void, is the reason the Hearts cannot leave. Only dreams they create are dreamt beyond the house. Locals in the area know well enough to avoid the house, as all who have entered were either killed or scarred horrendously, but they all receive the dreams. Those who sleep in the area often dream of entering the house, fighting through the rooms, kidnapping one of the Hearts, and sacrificing it on the altar inside the Chapel of the Void. They dream this will bring them great wealth and power. The dreams lie.

This is a 78 page adventure in a weird flower structure with 64 rooms in it. It has about ten pages of introduction, then 22 pages of room descriptions, and then the rest being supplemental information and tables. It ABSOLUTELY has that weird non-standard vibe going on, a hallmark of some of the great OD&D adventures. It’s got a lot of interesting ideas, and a great concept, magic items, creatures, and the rest. GREAT content. It’s also got a vision in presentation and a descriptive style that, while it should work in theory, makes my brain hurt trying to decipher the text. I can let some formatting sins pass in exchange for good content, but, man, this one is hard to justify.

Oh, so a vaguely house-like structure made up of flowers. Inside are two enemies: In one wing is the Heart of Chaos and in another the Heart of Eternity (with rules for shoving one into someone’s chest, Vecna-stylet! Yes!) Their plant-creature minions contest with each other in a third section. They send dreams to people outside the house to get them inside and to kill the other heart. And in the immortal words of a cartoon person “Dude, this is pretty fucked up right here.”

Vines with flower bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Crystals glowing with sunlight with rotting bodies under the soil tended by flower-people. Non-hostile flower people. A deep chasm with 5000 skeletons in it, some wearing obvious treasure, with flower-people keeping you from fucking with it. A room FULL of multi-colored webs crawling with tiny spiders. Six creatures encased in multi-colored amber. Room after room this goes on. Enter a room, be tempted, or face a situation … most all with a kind of theming going on. It’s similar, in that way, to Blue Medusa and other dungeons with strong room visions … perhaps combined with a bit of the fab Dreams of the Lurid Sac. These bizarre and … unearthly? encounters. They force the players to engage or ignore, to tempt fate or use them to their advantage. I don’t think Funhouse is appropriate term for these. ‘OD&D’ seems closer. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s pretty exciting to see.

Likewise, the magic items. There’s a big table of a hundred at the back and the adventure is worth having just for that table alone. A snow globe that when you shake it causes a blizzard to spring up within 50’. A crown of thorns that allows the players to grant 1st level cleric spells. A vial of boiling blood .., that is actually a creature. A monocle that lets you see in to a strange dreamland. An oar that, affixed to a ship/boat, surrounds it with mist and allow you passage to one of the lands of the dead. EFFECTS. It concentrates on EFFECTS. There’s some mechanics attached, usually, but never more than about a sentence or less. But the effects. I’ve overjoyed to see magic items that are mysterious and wondrous!

It is also an OH. MY. GOD. nightmare to dig through the rooms. It’s got a decent idea for formatting. Each notable thing in the room is bolded as the first sentence of a paragraph, with the paragraph adding detail. Thus room 1 has two paragraphs, the first starting with the bolded “Vines with flower bulbs hanging from the ceiling” and the second starting with the bolded “Even soil” The meat of the paragraphs follow the bolded sentence, the details to reveal upon further explanation. Thus the DM can quickly give an overview of the room, using the bolded portions that scan quickly, and then follow up as the party inquires. Why uneven soil? There are drag marks? What type? They look like body marks, and go through the east doorway. I like this format. I DO think it helps you scan quickly. My more-than-a-quibble comes with the specific implementation in this adventure. The bolded portions are a little weak, being facts and lacking strong imagery in them. I’m looking for “bulbous flower bulbs” or “oozing flower bulbs” or something like that. Further, the “mundane” text is not really organized well, which becomes a pain in the ass when the room is non-trivial. Room seven is the Vibrating Lotus Pond. Murky pond water covering the floor. Lotus flower of many colors floating on the pond. Multicolored glittering beneath the pond. The middle paragraph is long. LOOOOONG. There’s beetles in them, and, while not a lot going on, I’d argue, there is a lot of text. It’s good, but I don’t think it’s organized effectively. IDK, bullet points, or some other technique? As with the Fungi Chemist I think the strict devotion to the vision hampers the presentation. I’m in favor of a strong vision, but as we move it out of the realm of the platonic and it hits the road we need to mangle it if it conflicts with higher values … like ‘understanding.’ IN an attempt to be MORE understandable it is less. Pulling out the “beetle combat” for example, to another paragraph, and/or pulling out the treasure (present in the last two paragraphs) to a separate one would have allowed the upper paragraphs to focus on the environment while the combat/treasure focused on the actions.

I would also take exception to the random monsters. Flower people, and maybe angels and demons, could show up. There are tables for each that you can use to randomly determine them. Nice in theory. I would have also liked to have seen a table of pregen ones. Just one sheet full of stats for each of them, perhaps in addition to the random rules. Then I have the option of doing more but I’m not forced to slow down play by rolling. Yes, I could do it myself ahead of time. Or … the fuckign designer could have done it for me to help me out. There’s a few other things, like having to roll saving throws every 20 minutes in two wings of the dungeon. I’ve not sure how I feel about that. I like the “time pressure” aspect but dislike the tedium of the mechanic. Meh. But, on the plus side, it does something Death Frost Doom did, using spells in “appropriate ways.” Protection from Evil, or something similar, will prevent the save from having to be made. How about Bless? Sure, I’d say, if the player makes a good argument. This use of the “utility” nature of spells is something I favor.

I note it also has another Death Frost Doom callback … both skeletons, angels and/or demons could be let loose upon the world, if folks fuck the place up. There’s some cosmic shit going on inside with things in balance for a LONG time. Fucking with it will mean consequences.

If you are a fan of OD&D weirdness, Lamentations, Lurid Sac, or want some new magic items then this thing is for you. I think it’s non-trivial to run at the table, mostly because of the organization of the detail in the paragraphs. It that were addressed, or the bolded portions were much more evocative, then I may be able to look past my misgivings. Fantastic content, but hard to make my A-Team list.

This is PWYW on DriveThru. The preview is broken.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:00
Taking a break from Storm for a week, I want to consider the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, a 60s superhero comic conceived primarily by the great Wally Wood. The series only ran 20 issues in its initial run, but its characters and concepts were appealing enough they there have been several (brief) revivals over the decades.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents combines two popular things in the mid-1960s: spy-fi and Marvel-style superheroics. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. stands for The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves (I don't know what that means, either). It's essential SHIELD or UNCLE with more superhero agents. All of them are the product of technology: Dynamo with his thunderbelt, NoMan, the elderly scientist who can transfer his intellect into robotic bodies, and Menthor, a secret traitor with a helmet that gives him mental powers and a more heroic personality.

There enemies are a mostly forgettable cadre of aliens and freedom-threatening organizations: the Warlord, the Subterraneans, S.P.I.D.E.R. They serve their purpose for generating superhero action, particularly rendered in Wally Wood's style.

DC Comics did hardcover archives of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents material when they had the license. These aren't too hard to find, but do require a bit of looking. IDW now owns the license and has put out paperback collections called T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics.

Great Hall Burning Viking Kickstarter Ending - Stretch Goals unlocked!

Two Hour Wargames - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 19:19
Kickstarter Vikings

Only a few hours left and a great deal. Minis, terrain and more all in one box. 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Bye Bye Two Hour Wargames...well, not exactly.

Two Hour Wargames - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 16:06

Two Hour Wargames will also be known as THW Game Design. and here's why. We currently have and are making lots of games that are not "traditional wargames".  But being called a Wargames company makes it hard for these games to be found by potential gamers.

So in the near future you'll be seeing the THW Game Design logo, but don't worry. It's still us...  
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Quarters - The Game of Quarter Horse Racing

Two Hour Wargames - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 22:25
Why a game on Quarter Horse Racing?
In no particular order:

  • It's a great family game playable with kids and newbies of both genders.
  • It's exciting and quick to play with a nice blend of luck and strategy.
  • It can be used to supplement your other RPG Lite games like Larger than Life or similar where your characters go to the races. You can even use the rules for 5150 substituting alien creatures for horses!
  • Great for a change of pace that can be picked up when you have 30 to 45 minutes to burn.
Here's a quick example of how the game works. Click the pics for easy reading.

Here's the track expanded to cover the whole race track for use with Larger Than Life, Mission St. Mary, 5150 or any of our other RPG Lite games.Quarters - Coming soon.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fortunes Won and Lost AAR Part 6 - Morning Patrol Redux

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 23:51
Part 4

After the disastrous Morning Patrol, Sir Winston - just Winston back then - joined the Italian and French mercenaries on another Patrol Mission. Unknown to them, the Hill Tribesmen were heading south on a Raid. 

But that was the past. Watch for Part 7, coming soon!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Coming soon - Weird War Zed

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 20:30
Project Hölle auf ErdenIt’s late in the war and things are not going well for Germany. Hitler has seen the reports, the increasing casualties, the displeasure at home, and always the gains being made by the Allies.
In desperation he has turned to Herr Doktor. Once a ludicrous idea has now become, in Der Fuehrer’s mind, his last hope to turn the tide and achieve victory.
What is Project Hölle auf Erden? Simply put, it is the reanimation of the dead and more. Not the undead that would randomly wreak havoc on the world, but a controlled force led by the minions of Der Fuehrer. However; exactly how much control is debatable and yet to be seen.

And we’re not even talking about the Werewolves…
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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