Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Revisiting Hyperborea

19th Level - Fri, 06/30/2017 - 01:52

Revisiting is a strange word, as I've never actually played Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea (AS&SH). I reviewed it several years ago and I liked what I read, though I wound up using ACKS and Dungeon Crawl Classics. It's been a while since I played an OSR game but as I evaluated options for our upcoming game, I found myself coming back to it a lot. There's a new edition of it due within a few months but this new edition is designed to be fully compatible with the first edition. I will confess that I'll miss the boxed set and coil-bound rulebooks but as a backer of the Kickstarter I'm definitely looking forward to it.

When I first reviewed AS&SH I wasn't particularly familiar with Clark Ashton Smith. However, over the past several years I've read a number of his works and his writings have had a large influence on my Call of Cthulhu gaming. The Book of Eibon had an important role in my campaign as has his creation, Tsathoggua, As my familiarity with Smith increased, my appreciation for AS&SH has gone up. One of Smith's creations was his land of Hyperborea. Once a land dominated by jungles and dinosaur remnants, over time it becomes threatened by an ice age. By the modern day, Hyperborea is no more, all that remains of it is modern Greenland.

In AS&SH Hyperborea has found its way to the center of a hexagon-shaped world - almost like a demiplane. The Hyperboreans are a dying race,  though the world is inhabited by others from Earth as well - Vikings, Amazons, Kelts, Picts, etc. It has a number of features that make it conducive to adventure - a Green Plague wiped out most life centuries ago and the world has not fully recovered, leaving many ruins, cities not fully populated, etc. The secrets for creating major magic items have been lost - no one even knows how to make a lowly +1 sword anymore.

AS&SH's Hyperborea, like that of Clark Ashton Smith, is threatened by extreme weather. It isn't threatened by an ice age (though its overall climate is cool) - rather its year which lasts about 13 Earth-years, leads to an odd cycle (for the most part years in the setting refer to our traditional year length, with 13 making up the cycle). One of these thirteen years is daylight almost all the time. Another is a year of constant night. I was initially a bit hesitant to embrace this part of the setting - it makes my suspension of disbelief a bit stretched that such a night could be survived. However, the more I think of it the more ways I can think of to make the challenge of surviving such an event to be conducive to adventure.

I've done a bit of polling for interest in a game of AS&SH on Google+ and I've been pleased at the interest I've heard, so it's looking promising for a game of this with some new folks in the group (we've been running a bit small which works nicely for Call of Cthulhu but I'd like a few more folks for OSR games). If anyone is interested, feel free to give me a holler.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[REVIEW] Legends of Krshal

Beyond Fomalhaut - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 19:09
Legends of Krshal: The Towers of Krshal Rumours Table Expansion (2017)by Albert RakowskiSelf-published
Legends of KrshalTowers of Krshal easily remains one of my favourite old school supplements. I could cite its use of random tables to create multiple possible ideas of a fantastic city; its powerful and fantastic imagery shamelessly stealing from Lankhmar, the Victorian period, and various macabre sources; its density of content contrasted with its cavalier attitude towards production values, and so on. It is a compelling and original piece of writing, and I think it is great. Legends of Krshal is an expansion on Towers; more accurately, it takes the 50-entry rumours table of the original, and expands each entry with more in-depth random results, some kind of explanation, or a discussion of what the rumour may mean and/or lead to.
This approach makes Legends of Krshal a subtly different product from Towers. The tables in Towers gave you a probabilistic view of the city – at one time, they might tell you that prisoners are being eaten in the Centaur District prison and a faceless woman walks on Lame Dog Street each full moon; and at another, they might draw your attention to the idea that multiple crime lords were killed with black magic six years ago, and a strange multi-handed clock was recently installed in the Temple of the Seven Stars. The potential was there for all (or most) of these things to be true, or at least relevant, but it was the connections drawn through random generation that would lead to interesting juxtapositions and combinations. Towers is an excellent “dream machine” to generate scenario outlines in a specific style, or introduce random elements into an ongoing adventure. It is all there, but sometimes your adventure is about the Centaur District prison, and sometimes it is about the memory of dead crime lords – you needn’t concern yourself with all the other stuff.
Legends of Krshal follows a different path. It gives the rumours table an additional level of detail, where most entries have their own random tables leading to further ideas, connections and tidbits of information, and some have bullet points giving you a complex picture. Sometimes, it is a collection of alternative explanations, or a collection of loose ideas associated with the basic concept. These ideas do not coexist as easily as the ones in Towers; usually, one possibility excludes the other. This gives you less material to play with than you could expect – even if many of the sub-entries are actually reusable.
One of my worries about this sequel was the dilution of Krshal’s original imaginative power. Indeed, some of the entries lose their poetic power when the author tries to expand them into more detailed adventure hooks. In the original table, one of my favourite entries was “Everyone on Boggy Square saw a man falling from the window of the Bat’s Tower but no corpse was found”. This could be worthy of Kafka, Borges or Calvino, so it is sad to see the author fumble around with ideas like “the story is a hoax concocted by muggers” or “tragic love – nothing extraordinary”. Do we really need that stuff?
On the other hand, sometimes the magic works, and we get apocalyptic prophecies, secret societies working on nefarious schemes, and wonderfully twisted personalities. “A two-headed lich beneath the Silver chapel is gathering an army of undead rodents to destroy the sacred place above his lair”, or “Stones excavated from some ancient, cursed tomb were used to build the mansion belonging to the Varnham family” – that’s the stuff that made Krshal so wondrous and original. Sometimes, a single entry becomes a cool little random table of its own – a recently opened sinkhole might lead to “a maze of caverns filled with living, sapient crystals”, or “a tunnel to the Palatial Complex of Mar Gat’nep”, or (my favourite) “the graveyard of the train engines”. There are a lot of fantastic ideas in the product, but they are messier and harder to fish out of a collection of detours and dead ends than from the more neatly structured Towers of Krshal.
Legends of Krshal continues the tradition of Towers with imaginative and off the wall ideas, and it is definitely worth owning as a supplement to the original. It should be used more carefully, and some of the really good stuff is hidden in obscure corners you need to carefully and deliberately look for and attack with a highlighter. It is less immediately useful as a game material, but it is an invaluable idea mine – there's gold in them thar hills, if you are willing to do the digging.
No playtesters were credited in the supplement.

Rating: *** / *****
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

OSR Artist Mona Dowie in Need! Funds Needed for Stage 4 Cancer Related Bills

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 15:14
Originally appeared in Petty Gods - Artist Mona Dowie
Let me start this by saying cancer is a topic very near and dear to my heart. I lost two aunts and uncle to cancer and I myself am a survivor of Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was and am blessed to have very good health care due to my service to the City of New York. I realize many do not have such benefits.

One such person is Mona Dowie. She was brought to my attention by +R.J. Thompson last night in Tavern Chat. I've said many times that the OSR Community is much like the Law Enforcement Community - when a member is truly in need we simply give, no questions asked. Well, Mona is in need:
"My wife Mona has had cancer for years. Her cancer made her too sick to work by the Spring of 2014. Her cancer was first diagnosed in the fall of 2014 as uterine cancer. In early 2015 she finally got surgery to remove the cancer, which consisted of a full hysterectomy. She was in the hospital for weeks following some complications from surgery, which required her to be on dialysis for a few weeks. Radiation followed for the next few months. We went about a year after that thinking she was cancer free, recovering from her treatment. We moved to her hometown of Waverly, NY, since we had lost our house in Mexico, NY anyway, and it was about time we lived near her family and friends. She was not cancer free though. The cancer metastasized first to her lungs, which gave her a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer, a few months later it metastasized to her brain, which we discovered because of the seizures it caused when it bled into her brain."  +William Dowie William has set up a GoFundMe to assist with the medical bills. They need to raise $3,000. You can find Mona's GoFundMe at this link.

R.J. is also going to auction off a signed copy of Petty Gods (Mona's work appeared therein) Go to the Gamer's & Grognards blog if you wish read more on the auction.

If you can give, please do. Times are tough and wallets are light these days, believe me, I do understand. If you can't afford to give at this moment please share this post to others who may.

I thank you all in advance. I consider myself a proud member of the OSR, one of the tightest gaming communities to be found.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Let Alex Toth Illustrate Your Monster Manual

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
I've posted some Alex Toth animation model sheets before for their inspirational value. Here are more in that same vein:

This one could be a salamander:

Dogheaded? Junior dragons? How about insectoid kobolds?

If you ignore the heights given, these guys could be frost giants:

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Tell Me how to do Better

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 22:18

Tavern Chat is tonight at 9 PM Eastern. Quite simply, tell me how I can do better.

Seriously. I do what I do for you, and if I am not up to par, let me know how I can improve.

Use the Chatwing app o the right side of this page and give me your feedback.

I can only be as good as you let me...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d15 Random Ascended Transcomic Encounters Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 18:05
"Aeons of aeons ago, in an epoch whose marvellous worlds have crumbled, and whose mighty suns are less than shadow, I dwelt in a star whose course, decadent from the high, irremeable heavens of the past, was even then verging upon the abyss in which, said astronomers, its immemorial cycle should find a dark and disastrous close. Ah, strange was that gulf-forgotten star-how stranger than Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Road Goes Ever On and On

Torchbearer RPG - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:10

Hello friends!

A number of you have been patiently waiting for rules for overland travel in Torchbearer. Well, wait no longer. Here is a playtest draft of the rules. They are designed to interface with the weather rules in Middarmark.

Have fun and please send us feedback!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder - Winners and Effect Table

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 14:50
What follows is The Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder. I have edited some of the entries for consistency and occasional balance as well as to make them compatible with Swords & Wizardry Light's default dice (d6 and d20).

Random winners are as follows:

$10 RPGNow GC - +Joseph Bloch
$5   RPGNow GC - +Denis McCarthy
$5   RPGNow GC - Wolfgang Cole
$5   RPGNow GC - Steve Queen
For making me laugh
$5   RPGNow GC - +Michael Gross

Winners should email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing to receive their GCs.

To roll on the Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder Results Table, Roll 1d20 and 1d6 and add the results.

2 - Every color on the user is reversed, including body, clothing, and possessions. Black becomes white, red becomes green, and so forth. The effect is permanent. Joseph Block

3 - The Spirit of the wand 'time-stops' the user for 1d6 rounds, answering one question per round as truthfully as possible, but with a quirky, sometimes off-beat sense of humor, if more than 2 questions are asked, the caster suffers one round of being under a time stop himself. The wand answers only to 'Gary'... James Stanton

4 - Target of wand has their clothing inverted inside out. Denis McCarthy

5 - Fart gun. Shooting it means a normal attack roll, at +2, with 1d6 damage on a successful hit. Regardless of success, the target and anyone within 10 feet of the target must save vs. breath weapon or lose the next round while holding his nose. Range is 30 feet (thank goodness!). Charles Saeger

6 - The rod turns into a non-magical torch for 1d6 hours. Jayson Gardner

7 - Wand utters out loud a nearby enemy’s embarrassing secret. Ray Chapel

8 - Stream of coins. A steady stream of gold coins issues forth for one round, in a cone 15' long and 4' wide at the base. It will do 2d6 h.p. of damage to anything in the area of effect, and when complete, there will be 1d100+100 g.p. on the ground. Joseph Bloch

9 - The wand extends 1d20' for a duration of 1d6 Rounds, thereafter losing all rigidity for a Turn before returning to its normal state. Anyone in the path of the wand's extension must Save vs having their eye poked (-2 to attacks for 1d6 turns). Geordie Racer

10 - When activated the wand will produce a wondrous display of lights and sounds. The audience (those not expecting the use of the wand) must save vs spell or they will become completely enthralled with the display, stop all activity and watch the display. Each time physical damage is taken, a further save may be rolled to break the effect. The display will last 1 + D20 rounds or when the caster stops concentrating.

The difficulty of the save is increased by any CHA bonus and Bard levels of the user. A successful save breaks the effect and protects the character for the next 24 hours from the effect.

The range is a far as an audience member can see or hear the effect. Wolfgang Cole

11 - On use, the wand created 5 cubic inches of mashed potatoes, topped with salt and gravy or butter to the wand user's specification. The wand does not create a bowl or other vessel to hold the conjured food, nor any utensils to eat it with. John Kramer

12 - The Wand extends to 4 feet long and claps the wielder on the back as a show of support for doing such a good job. John Kramer

13 - The wand calls upon the Fates to affect the wielder's attributes. Randomly determine an attribute, flip a coin, heads, add 1d3 to the attribute, tails, subtract 1d3 from the attribute. John Kramer

14 - The wand summons 1d3 alternate universe versions of the weirder. These alternates are of different classes, genders, species and possibly even different genres as well. They spend 1d6 rounds arguing which of them is the truest or best form. After this time, 1 version disappears each round until only one remains, save vs. death to not be one of those that disappears. Nathaniel Hull

15 - All magic rings in 1d10 yards of the wielder strike the wielder doing 1 hp damage each, before tumbling to the ground. This includes magic rings worn by the wielder and any party members. 1d4 rounds per ring are required to gather them up and put on a desired ring. Cursed rings will not leave the wearer, but instead drag the wearer towards the wielder, including all others or objects used to prevent this, if a strength check succeeds. Follow Me And Die

16 - The immediate area will smell strongly of maple syrup. Anyone entering the area (defined as necessary by the DM) must save vs. pancake. Failure cause you to lose initiative will you figure out where you can score pancakes at this hour. Justin Culverhouse

17 - Roll again; this effect occurs normally, but in the process of creating the effect the wand shifts polarity, magically (but not physically) reversing the front and back ends. The next use of the wand will treat the user as the target, and anyone/thing being pointed at by the wand as the user. This reversal lasts until the result is rolled again. Alea Iactanda est

18 - With a sudden flourish of this wand, the air surrounding the wielder becomes filled with 6d20 floating dwarven skulls. These skulls erupt into a raucous falsetto rendition of ancient elven love-ballads. All within 60' of the event (including the wielder) must make a saving throw or stand transfixed and enthralled by the performance until its conclusion. This effect last 1d3+3 rounds. Douglas Zielsdorf

19 - A swarm of brilliantly colored butterflies streams from the wand and flocks around a target. The butterflies can lift the target up to 20 feet up, and on a successful reaction roll, carry them at a rate of 10 feet per round, for 2d6 rounds. On a roll of 1-3 on a d6 they are not butterflies, but moths, and will destroy any cloth items the swarmed character is wearing instead. Denis McCarthy

20 - All creatures within 1d4 x 10' of the wand must make a saving throw or have their heads rotated 180-degrees relative to their torsos for 1d6 rounds. Combat is difficult - every opponent is effectively invisible (-4 to hit) and attack rolls less than or equal to 4 (on a d20) indicate a self-inflicted wound. Unguided movement rate is reduced to 1/3 normal, anything faster requires a saving throw each round or 0-1 hp of damage is suffered from collisions. Steve Queen

21 - A random near-by creature is sucked into the wand. They are unharmed, and in stasis. An additional activation (charge) of the wand is required to release them. Steve Queen

22 - The minds of the two random (near-by) creatures swap bodies for the next hour. Confusion last for a 2 rounds - all skills/classes/memorized spells/etc. remain with the body - unless it would be funnier otherwise. Steve Queen

23 - The flesh of all living creatures within 25' radius becomes magically adhesive - anything touched becomes affixed to it. If flesh touches flesh, the glued creature also immediately becomes adhesive as well. None of the creatures in the glue-chain can be separated (short of amputation/destruction) for 1 turn.  Steve Queen

24 - Three to eight (1d6+2) children from an alternate plane appear near the wand user. Roll a d20 on the table below for the children. Do *not* re-roll duplicates, use them!  Children whose descriptions are noted with an asterisk (*) will eventually huddle around the wand user and ask to go back to the Romper Room. The wand looks much like the children’s teachers “attention stick” back home. (If the wand user or anyone else in the party says, “Romper Room,” the children are returned home. The speaker must make a saving throw or be whisked there, too!) Children will return to their plan on their own in 4d6 rounds.

1. Amy; she asks the wand user (or, if ignored other children) to tie her untied shoe*
2. Bryan; he is flexing his hands and walking in place saying, “I have to go.”*
3. Dylan; he tugs at the wand user’s clothes, saying, “I want to go on the monkey bars!”*
4. Gary; he is reading from a joke book and laughs periodically
5. Gus; he is holding an open plastic container of paste in his right hand and eating it with his left index finger*
6. Irene; she is tugging at the hem of her dress, crying for her mommy*
7. Jeffrey; he walks up to other children and squawks at them*
8. Katherine; she continually asks if she can “go on the playground slide”*
9. Keith; a conscientious child, he walks around to the other children and to the characters, asking, “Are you okay?”*
10. Kelly; she is reading from a book entitled, “Adventure Masters Guide”
11. Madison; she is holding an open bottle of bubbles and a bubble wand*
12. Marcus; he is quietly petting his purring cat, whom he brought in today for “Show and Tell”*
13. Michael; he holds a small hockey stick and exclaims, “Me Like Hockey!”*
14. Monique; an aspiring actress, she asks what her motivation is*
15. Nora; she is looking at a magazine
16. Paige; she is coloring on the floor*
17. Phillip; he wears a brown robe and is “working on his vows”*
18. Sydney; she is showing off her small containers that compose her bug collection*
19. Walter; he holds a beautiful flower and asks the other children to smell it*
20. Wendy; she is brushing her hair & asking, “Is it straight?” over and over*
Michael Gross

25 - The recipient of the wands pointing must make a save (d20) versus switching bodies temporarily with the user of the wand. Time to switch back bodies is 5 rounds + 2d6 (or something more reasonable) - Unknown

26 - Re-roll twice and use both results.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Thinking of Starting a "Project Evaluation / Consultation Tip Jar" at The Tavern

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 13:51
Over the course of any given month I get a dozen to a dozen and a half requests to either look at a not quite live Kickstarter for potential issues or "hey, this is my Kickstarter! Help!" This post is about the first type of request.

Evaluating a Kickstarter for potential issues can be time consuming if done properly. Admittedly, there are other draws on my time that actually pay (not much, but they do) and Kickstarter evaluations and consultations often don't get done or just get the most basic review.

Having folks pay to have me evaluate their Kickstarter just seems... I dunno, I guess it would put it on a priority over blogging and content creation, which I don't want to do. It could also put into question my impartiality if and when I post about a project that I was paid to consult on.

A tip jar, to me, allows for the potential of some sort of compensation for my time evaluating while still keeping the priorities of The Tavern as they are meant to be - my honest opinion. You may not agree with my opinion, but know that it can't be bought and I disclose all conflicts of interest as they may be. Which going forward, will include if I was asked to evaluate a Kickstarter project before it went live.

I know that some in the community have joked that I should start a Kickstarter Consulting Service. Although said in jest, there is truth to the idea. I'm just trying to find the proper balance to such.

Feedback is, as always, welcome :)

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Binding the Wind

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:16

By John Mcnabb & Matthew Roth
McNabb Games
Level ??

Piracy is an omnipresent threat while sailing the open seas, and none are more formidable than the treacherous slavers that seek more than simple cargo. Often putting their newly captured stock to use in the rowing banks of galleys, these predators prowl the trade lanes and get rich off the suffering of others. Among the flesh-traders, the Iron Windrunner is a ship of no small renown. It owes its fame to its namesake, an air elemental restrained in enchanted iron bondage. Thanks to a complex system of gauged pipes, this living wind engine propels the galley to nearly unparalleled speed on open sea while keeping the traditional oars for finer maneuvering.

Eight Pages! Either this is a tightly written masterpiece or I’ve been ripped off. What are the odds?

It’s a pirate ship with a captured air elemental. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? My life is a living fucking hell.

You get: a detailed explanation of the ship. A paragraph on each of the half-dozen notable NPC’s. There’s nothing else here but reams of “hot notes” describing tactics and behaviors. There’s NOTHING in this. Nothing is particularly evocative. There’s nothing special about the fucking ship except it has got an air elemental. It takes eight pages to do what one paragraph could do.

So, there’s your two problems: it’s not a fucking adventure and it’s boring as fuck. It is, at best, an encounter.

In retrospect the cover says “ENCOUNTER” on it. The publisher’s text doesn’t say shit about that though. I fucking HATE IT when people don’t disclose what the fuck they are selling. That fucking joke Castle Greyhawk adventure wounded me deep.

And it’s boring. It’s just pirates. They swing up alongside, fire ballista, board the ship … we, as consumers, are paying for imagination. For inspiration. Far too often we get shit. I feel like this thing is the equivalent of paying for an orc guardroom.

“1. Guardroom. Four orcs at a table shooting dice.” I’ll expand it to eight pages later. You all owe me $1 now. Pay up.

It’s $1 on DriveThru. The preview is two pages long, showing the cover and title page. Note that the cover has FUCK ALL to do with the adventure, except, you know, pirates.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: The Wretch

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 11:00
Strange things happen in Glass City: a rain of babies falls, a grinning cut-out of a sun on a little girl's wall demands she give it a body, the spectre of a wailing woman kills children with her tears. The Eisner nominated comic The Wretch by Phil Hester and others resembles a superhero comic in some superficial ways, but it's actually something more akin to the New Weird literary genre in comics form.

The titular Wretch is a ink-black shape in bandages and occasionally hoses (he resembles a bit, a messier version of Spider-Man's black costume). He patrols the small midwestern city of Glass City where a lot of weird things happen. The Wretch never speaks. We're not given a clear indication of his powers, nor anything regarding his motivation of origins. The focus is more on Glass City's denizens and the odd things happening to them. The Wretch just tends to show up in the nick of time to fight something. The stories are all short and not very deep but they are a nice mix of absurdity and horror.

The second volume of Slave Labor Graphics collections subtitled "Devil's Lullaby" actually collects an earlier limited series (from Caliber Comics, 1996) than the one collected in the first volume. I think the chronological reading order of the SLG collections would be to start with the third and work backwards.

The 'Vulth' russ' - The Martian Book of Forbidden Knowledge & Insanity For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 06:31
"The two men, apart from their misfortunes, shared an illimitable curiosity concerning all things Martian. Their thirst for the exotic, their proclivity for wandering into places usually avoided by terrestrials, had drawn them together in spite of obvious differences of temperament and had made them fast friends. Trying to forget their worries, they had spent the past day in the Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 210: Ulterior Motives for Frostgrave

Gamer Goggles - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 03:36

Watch as Matt takes a look at Ulterior motives the latest expansion for Frostgrave. These cards change the objective of some the scenario you are playing.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

I have played three games now with Ulterior Motives and I like it.  Check back for more details in a few days, or better yet subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Top Secret: New World Order

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 17:14

Top Secret is back in a new way. The Top Secret: New World Order Kickstarter has just launched.

Now, I has hoped to have the transcript of the interview I conducted with Merle Rasmussen on Sunday transcribed, but as I have found little in the way of helpful software I will need to do this by hand. It may take a few days and it might come out in pieces. Either way I'll put it in your hands, our readers as soon as it is done.

Back to the Kickstarter. Boxed set with all the extra goodness boxed sets are know for is just 50 bucks. Just want the rules and the module? 10 bucks in PDF. If you ask me, those are really strong buy in points for what you get in return.

I also plan to run the pre-release version of the rules through a play test this Saturday night. Yes, the fine folk at the New TSR were nice enough to send me along the PDF of the rules and some extras. I've not read through everything yet, but having played it at NTRPG Con earlier this month I'm confident enough I can run a fairly accurate to the rules session of Top Secret: NWO. That's a huge statement from a grognard like me.

Oh, this also means I can report that the rules are written, which is often not the case with Kickstarters (Far West, I AM talking about you!)

Alright, time for my legs to recover from yesterday's 4.8 mile walk. I see a few pints and 1# lifts in my immediate future ;)

edit - 30 minutes after launch and the funding goal of 12k has already been achieved and exceeded

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Does This Thing Still Work?

The Splintered Realm - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 13:47
Logged in today to see that it has been over a year since my last update! And, I realized this week it has been two years since I released Sentinels of Echo City. Wow... um. Time flies and all that good stuff. School goes well and my march towards certification as a school administrator continues unabated... but I always have some gaming stuff turning in the back of my head.

I saw a picture of Doc Ock fighting Spidey the other day, and I realized that I never really solved a villain like him in game terms. Yeah, you can have multiple attacks, but he doesn't really have a multiple attack so much as a barrage of attacks at one time. In fact, this is something that I had not successfully resolved for any hero or villain that can pummel you quickly with a series of blows. Speedsters do this. Doc Ock does this. A big tanky guy could take this as his sort of signature. Instead of landing one big attack, he is always peppering you with quick jabs. I present to you, the barrage attack for Sentinels of Echo City:

Barrage Attack (self). You land a series of blows every time you attack in melee. Roll 1d4+1 for the number of attacks you can take every round. Roll 1d6 for the base damage from your attacks: 1-2 = 1d4; 3-4 = 1d6; 5-6 = 1d8. On each attack you roll, you roll a total number of 1d20s equal to your barrage attack rating (adding your total modifier to hit to each roll). For each attack that succeeds, you roll one of the appropriate dice from barrage attack. Add your STR modifier to the total damage (not to each individual die). For example, Professor Squid is level 5 (+3 attack modifier) has STR 14 (+4 modifier) and has barrage attack 4 (for his 4 robotic tentacle arms) with damage of 1d6 for each arm. He attacks a hero with AC 17. He rolls 4d20 each time he attacks. If he rolls 5 (+7=12; miss), 12 (+7=19; hit) 13 (+7=20; hit), and 20 (allowing him to double the die) on an attack, he lands 3 of the 4 attacks this round. He rolls 3d6 for damage, adding +4 (from his STR) to the total damage this round, and doubling one of the 1d6 results (he should roll this die separately before the other two 1d6s). He could potentially deal a large amount of damage this round... or he could roll a series of 1s.   

Tales of Peril Ordering Details

Zenopus Archives - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 13:00
Tales of Peril at the Black Blade booth at NTRPG Con. Photo by Allan Grohe
I am excited to share that Tales of Peril - the Complete Boinger & Zereth Stories of John Eric Holmes - is now available for order. For details on how to order see this post on Allan Grohe's blog:

How to Order Tales of Peril (and other books) from Black Blade Publishing
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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