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Ch. 5, Page 14

Castle Greyhawk - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 04:34
They made slow progress, trying to guide their dogs in the right direction. Every so often the dogs would stop and smell something. Robilar or Quij would start to go for their weapons before someone would guess that the dogs were sniffing something more mundane, yet curiously enchanting to the dogs, like the garbage lining the gutter or the dung on some stranger's boots. Quij almost lost one of them to chasing a cat.

What they were not aware of was that Lady Endelar was on that same road, heading in the opposite direction. Endelar was on her way to an important engagement at the Cartographer's Guildhall to gain an important commission. Endelar did nothing small, so she was planning on arriving in style to wow the aristocrat that wanted an accurate new map of the Cairn Hills. Almost nothing could make her late for such an appointment.

Bayou & Sorcery RPG

3d6 Traps & Thieves - Wed, 03/28/2018 - 00:28
Avremier 0e, as an initial project, is drawing to a close. The fifth book is due to print in mid-2018. That's this very year. Much as I've enjoyed getting Avremier down for public consumption, I'm looking forward to making progress on a few other projects. The newest of those is a "Southern Gothic Fantasy" setting called RedStaff (a "clever" play on Baton Rouge).

As Avremier is partially an exercise in non-traditional setting influences beyond the usual "Fantasy Europe," so is RedStaff a project with an unusual flavor. Bayous and plantations. Cities overgrown with lush greenery and Gothic embellishment. A possibly corrupt Magocracy challenged by an equally-corrupt (and upstart) Theocracy. Dangerous and alien magic tenuously harnessed by dynastic Mage Houses. A class of artificial homunculus slaves. A class of voluntary undead servants. Hag Queens that rule entire cities or districts. Canals, gambling, and riverboat parties. Deadly fevers and lavish excess.

A little Lovecraft. Maybe some Anne Rice. Possibly even some True Blood. Definitely a bit of Glen Cook's saga of The Black Company. A dash of Disney's The Princess and the Frog? A picture forms.

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A Quick OSR Commentary On The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition 1979 Dungeon Master's Guide By Gary Gygax Edited by Mike Carr

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 17:50
So I'm about to piss a whole bunch of OSR people off but there's one only one real book that I've needed in all of the years of my 40 plus years of table top gaming. Published in '79 by TSR & written by Gary Gygax & Mike Carr  its been my go to book for original Dungeons & Dragons, Gamma World, Boot Hill, & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition. For me the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Sturgeon’s Law, Battlestar Galactica, and Feet of Clay

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 12:58

Over at The Practical Conservative’s site, Jane Sand feverishly scrambles to prop up the embarrassingly stupid claim that is today known as Sturgeon’s Law:

As for your opinion regarding the stories of the 10’s through the 40’s being superior to those of the 70’s – well, that could be for an abundance of reasons. One might be that comparing the best of the harvest of 4 decades to the best of the harvest of ONE decade gives a slightly unfair advantage to the longer time period, with its benefit of longer evaluation and discussion in hindsight. Or, as you say, you might find the cultural difference of the Good Old Days to be more appealing to you than the latter ones.

According to Jeffro’s recent column, it’s because the writers of the later decades had the bad taste to DARE give the heros feet of clay. Apparently he prefers his heros to be flawless Marty Stus. He forgets what Oscar Wilde (a Dead White European Male writer par excellence, and a great fantasy writer to boot) said: “It is the feet of clay that make the gold of the image precious.”

First off, the quality of the average pulp story is quite surprising to most of us that end up going back to see for ourselves what things were actually like. I know people that only ever read, say, Robert Jordan’s Conan stories. When they go back and read Robert E. Howard they are astonished. I know people that are already hip to Lovecraft and Howard, but have never heard of Merritt. If you take Sturgeon’s Law for granted, there shouldn’t be too many more giants operating in the pulps this period… but Merritt is arguably superior to both. When you get done being blown away by C. L. Moore and Many Wade Wellman, it’s suddenly an open question as to how many superlative authors were actually frequenting the pages of the pulp magazines of the twenties and thirties..

And about this feet of clay thing…. I just watched a few episodes of the third season of the Battlestar Galactica reboot:

  • Admiral Adama is about to get an award from the president for saving humanity. But… it turns out that before the war… he violated the neutral zone treaty they had with the Cylons. The genocide of his people is actually his fault!
  • Cat is in the process of committing suicide by subjecting herself to too much radiation. There are plenty of pilots that could do the job and the fleet desperately needs pilots like her… but she is despairing because she lied about her identity to become a pilot. Worse… she was a criminal in the bad old days and she actually helped smuggle Cylons into key cities. The genocide of her people is actually her fault!
  • Helo is head over heels in love with a Cylon. When Adama concocts a means to put an end to this mortal threat to humanity, he sabotages it. The then puts the fate of humanity at stake in an insane plan to get his half-human half daughter back from the Cylons.
  • Apollo and Starbuck have the hots for each other. They are also married and cheating on their respective spouses. The writers then have Apollo’s wife rescue Starbuck from the Cylons.

This is not a matter of the writers giving each and every character feet of clay. These characters are head-to-toe iron mixed with miry clay. And there’s nothing DARING about any of it.

Where do you look if you’d like to have more of the gold, silver, and brass…? The answer right now is… in the crumbling pages of a battered old pulp magazine! (I recommend A. Merritt’s The Ship of Ishtar as a prime example of everything contemporary authors are incapable of doing.)

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Pathfinder Second Edition to release @ Gen Con 2018

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 12:46

From Paizo

Pathfinder Playtest Products

All Pathfinder Playtest products will be released as FREE downloads exclusively at on August 2, 2018. On the same day, we’ll release limited-edition print versions of the Pathfinder Playtest RulebookPathfinder Playtest Adventure, and Pathfinder Playtest Flip-Mat Multi-Pack for players and Game Masters seeking the ultimate playtest experience. These print editions will be available for preorder from local retailers now and between March 27 and May 1. We’ll also have copies at the Paizo booth during Gen Con 2018 in Indianapolis on August 2–5.


Pathfinder 2nd ed thoughts.

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Box Breaking 241: Star Wars Legion

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 12:11

In this Box Breaking Matt takes a look at the  2 Player Starter for Star Wars Legion from FFG. This starter has a lot of pieces and was a surprise on many fronts!

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Stop back soon to see them put together.

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2018
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The Subtle Winds of Chaos In X2 Castle Amber (Château d'Amberville) By Tom Moldvay

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 05:48
The Lion & Dragon Rpg system has been one that's been on my mind for a couple of months now along with its setting Dark Albion & Cults of Chaos. So talking with one of my players has been interesting as we've been discussing the ins & outs of his character's social status. Social status during times of war can & did fluctuate with the fortunes of royal patrons & families. This is Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Old School Post Apocalyptic Gaming & OSR Commentary

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 19:44
I haven't updated the Dark Corner blog quite while & so I wanted to do a bit of post apocalyptic commentary today. Don't worry we'll be right back to the D&D & OSR material on the blog for for tomorrow. In the meantime if you wand a bit of Gamma World style weirdness & OSR commentary. Go Right Over Here For Your Post Apocalyptic Commentary! Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

VHS Era Old School Post Apocalyptic Gaming Campaign - OSR Commentary

Dark Corners of RPGing - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 17:52

I haven't been happy for a while now with certain aspects of my DYI OSR gaming more specifically the lack of post apocalyptic & cult classic horror table top gaming. A work has been taking its toll on my life in certain aspects in a positive direction. We've gotten busier & busier in the home sewing machine repair realm. That's a great thing but its left me with a bit less time to blog & enjoy myself but today I decided to put down some of my thoughts on my corner of the OSR. The fact is that since about last Thursday or so I returned to Gamma World & Mutant Future. Yes I love both games go figure. But I like a much softer apocalyse then what's been presented in both of those game systems. Truth be told I add in bits of Fantastic Heroes & Witchery with Adventurer,Conqueror, King's rpg system to get the right balance of domain level play. Also my players weren't comfortable with the gun rules of Fantastic Heroes & Witchery's gun rules so we went with ADK's Guns of War.
Two things right off I don't care if certain authors  or designers don't get along that's not my problem. Second I've paid for these games & under the games terms of fair use I'm going to use them at my table as I see fit. If my players are happy then I'm happy. So don't bother telling me that me that you got a problem with what I'm writing behind the scenes I don't have time for OSR pissing contests. You've got to understand that there's going to be damage adjustments & other system considerations using Labyrinth Lord & Labyrinth Lord Advanced's monsters & also a fair amount of Realms of Crawling Chaos.
So over the weekend I got a chance to view some cultclassic VHS era horror films that I love. Ghosthouse a horror film from 1988 has pretty much almost everything I'm looking for to kick off a campaign.
"Ghosthouse (Italian: La Casa 3) is a 1988 Italian horror film directed by Umberto Lenzi and produced by Joe D'Amato. It co-starred Lara Wendel and Donald O'Brien.
Its plot focuses on a deserted house where the visions of a ghostly girl and her haunted doll wreak havoc on those who enter it."
The film is the unofficial sequel to Evil Dead II.[1] In Italy, The Evil Dead was released under the title La Casa (The House), and Evil Dead II became La Casa II. "

So basically this isn't our world at all. About 1920 or so the rise in interest in the occult & the supernatural reached a fever pitch. The occult was a fringe hobby along with a part time religion. The 'Dark Forces' of the world gained a toe hold. Events escalated in the Depression allowing Hitler and his cronies to gain in power but in 1940's both the Axis & Allies employed dangerous time & dimensional continuum shattering experiments. The Fifties saw the first mutants among mankind & the rise the giant monsters.
The early Eighties saw the beginnings of the 'Little Wars' small scale atomic & dimensional warfare allowing even more supernatural seepage into our world & the rise of the mutant front organizations. The Cult of Cthulhu has been working its way into the foundations of society opening doorways for their masters. Meanwhile technologies have become incredibly dangerous as the US government & other world powers use agents, adventurers, and others to try curtail the advancing monsters destroying society from within.
This is a world with a slightly higher technological level built upon the backs of genetically modified apes & other mutate animal species after finding the secrets to this genetic fount head out in the fringes of reality.

VHS tape by Tumi-1983
All is not well in society as the major religions are calling for the end of the world as NASA & other governmental organizations stock pile caches of technology, relics, and more in bunkers all over the world & the USA. Riots of mutate workers & servants have happened in several major world cities and these are on the increase even as strangely garbed travelers wander into our home towns & other cities from Elsewhere.

Much of this came from reading through the Mutant Future Wiki Gamma World Entry over the weekend & taking a look deeper into the first Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Gamma World Conversions again for the billionth time.

More coming up very soon
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Into the Borderlands review by paleologos

Zenopus Archives - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 16:07
Photo of the Black Blade booth by Guy Fullerton, from his Gary Con X album
(click photo for a larger view)
Advance copies of Into the Borderlands were on sale at Gary Con earlier this month, as shown above in a photo of the Black Blade Publishing booth. Also on the table are copies of Tales of Peril and issues one and two of the Holmes Basic art-inspired zine Fantastic! Exciting! Imaginative!

Dragonsfoot member paleologos purchased a copy of Into the Borderlands at the con and has now posted a comprehensive review of the book over there in the Reviews section:

Into the Borderlands (Goodman Games, 2018)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Real Reason Why Luke Skywalker Was Cut Out of Force Awakens

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 13:01

So you remember sitting through The Force Awakens and you get to the end and there (finally) is Luke Skywalker… and he just turns around and says… nothing. (!?) It’s a completely weird scene to begin with, especially when you consider how much Luke Skywalker concept art was done for the movie.

Well, it turns out that J. J. Abrams originally pushed hard to have Luke Skywalker made into a first class element of the film… but they just couldn’t make it work. Here’s why:

“Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass,” Arndt said. “It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012.” Apparently the issue was Luke’s presence was always upstaging everyone in the script. “It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over,” Arndt continued. “Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, ‘Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.’”

Well, that can sure got kicked down the road. You can almost pity Rian Johnson for having to deal with it. And even his solution to this almost begins to make sense. If the real Luke Skywalker shows up at all, the new sub par characters are shown for what they are: empty imitations with a veneer of Star Warsy stuff slathered over them. So the new “Not Luke Skywalker” has to come out of nowhere, drinking milk hot out of the space cow and behaving completely out of character.

Pulpy, old school adventurers are so appealing and so engaging… they had to wreck a four billion dollar franchise rather than give people a glimpse of an actual hero. It’s not because they didn’t try, either. Their concepts of how myth and storytelling work are fundamentally incompatible with the film series they were tasked with building off of.

There’s no way that what they wanted to do could work. And they didn’t know it until it was too late!

(h/t Bradford Walker for this video The Decline of Star Wars Part One— the Luke bit cited above is mentioned at the nineteen minute mark.)

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On Streaming, Art, and Joy

Hack & Slash - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 12:00
Since working on Dungeons is my full time job, I'm in that desperate sole-proprietor work a bunch of hours every day, joy in doing what I love sort of excitement.

As a way to reach more people, as well as allowing people to support me at no cost to themselves, I've become a affiliate! I stream four days a week, and do all of my art during those hours. If you like my dungeon maps, you can come hang out with me and other creatives you're familiar with in my community while I draw and paint!

What's more, if you have amazon prime, you can subscribe to the channel to support me financially at no cost to you! (Well, no cost other than time and attention, which I'm already thankful for). All Amazon Prime users get one free subscription to twitch prime monthly!

My schedule is below:
Tuesday: 11am-4pm Art and layout
Wednesday: 11am-7pm Dungeon Drawing
Friday: 11am-4pm Art & Painting Miniatures
Saturday: 3pm-? Variety stream, either painting or grindtastic video games like Disgaea 2, Hearthstone* Warframe, or Grim Dawn

Getting to spend time with friends and laughing and making beautiful maps and drawings? It's a great time with great people! I'm just getting started, so I'll be looking forward to see you all!

Watch me (AgonarchArtist) on:

(*My highest rank so far is rank 58 legend.)

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Inferno: Oasis of Koessa

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 11:17

By Paul Elkmann/Geoffrey O. Dale
Spellbook Games
1e/Portal to Adventure
Level 10+

“Oasis of Koessa is an adventure set on the Seventh Circle of Hell, the Desert of Fire, can be used as a projection of Hell into the Material Plane, or it can be used as an enchanted location in any remote hot desert. It can represent any of nine Oases found in the Desert of Fire. The Oasis is a dangerous and challenging location suitable for challenging higher-level Adventurers. The non-linear location contains eight significant structures which can be explored in any order, each with different challenges and opportunities. The centerpieces are the two large Pyramids and the dungeon inside a Sphinx statue.”

This 69 page adventure describes an oasis on the seventh circle of hell. It’s packed full of mummies and their minions. Like the blurb says, three dungeons, and extensive at that. It’s also a pretty textbook example of the mechanics of writing getting in the way the adventure. Wall of text. Detailed room descriptions. Hordes of creatures stuffed in rooms. It burdens my soul just thinking about it.

I am NOT in the mood for this thing this morning.

Let’s talk room descriptions. What’s the goal? As always: helping the DM at the table. More specifically, picking out the important stuff in the room and describing it in a way that the flavor is communicated by the text from the designer to the DM’s head … who can then attempt to send it on to the players. How does one accomplish this? There are several possible paths. One path which is NOT useful is the one that FAR too many adventures fall in to: describing the room in excruciating detail.

We the room it titled “Kitchen” then the DM can fill in the details; we know what a kitchen looks like. Maybe the room is titled “Clean Kitchen” or “Greasy Kitchen” or something else. The designer is leveraging the DM in communicating the vibe. They are then free to add to description things like “The master key is inside a loose chimney stone.” or “The grease makes the floor slippery and the rusty knife collection is stored on the low, open shelves …” The descriptions focus both on the evocative, to communicate the vibe well to the DM, as well as the mechanics of things actually useful to the adventurers.

Revisiting our kitchen example, lets follow where the contra example takes us. If we exhaustive list he contexts of the kitchen then what does that get us? Seven bowls, Six spoons (one bent), a 10’ by 11’ work surface with a knife cut in the upper right hand corner 1 foot from the left edge running parallel to the lower edge. Unless those elements are relevant to the adventure then they do nothing but clog up the text and distract the DM from from the evocative nature of the room and the mechanics of the party interaction with it. The seven bowls could be a clue … in which case it IS relevant to the adventure, if the party needs to know/would be helpful to know there are seven people using bowls.

Besides this exhaustive listing of room contents there is also the “where does the door go” commentary. “The archway to the west goes room 14, the kitchen.” Well, yes, that is what the map indicates ,,, s why does the text tell us that also?

This, along with poor formatting choices, can lead to wall of text issues. All of the text just runs together, visually, and your eyes glaze over.

Here’s an example of the text from room three of the funerary temple. This is one paragraph of six, with the entire thing taking up over a page of text.

“The room has arches to the Embalming Room, the Wrapping Room, and to the Entry Curtain. An 8 FT by 5 FT mahogany table on the western side of the room supports a large bright blue wooden sarcophagus which is sealed with a line of lead solder (requires a knife/scraper). A 50 inch bronze gong hangs in a black wood frame to the left of the table with a hook for the 30 inch clapper; sounding the gong has no immediate impact. Two 7 FT by 4 FT black granite altars are along the east wall, separated by 10 FT. An 8 FT diameter silver spider with 8000 GP diamond eyes is mounted on the north wall in front of one altar; an 8 FT di- ameter gold ram’s head with 12,500 GP ruby eyes and 14,000 GP ivory horns is mounted on the south wall. A 12 FT diameter circular brown-and-orange carpet is between the altars. Lit golden lanterns are to the north and south walls, spaced 5 FT apart.”

Are the dimensions of the table relevant? Is the spacing of the lanterns relevant? The size of the gong? I would assert that most of the text description is irrelevant, and that which IS relevant is boring. “A silver spider with diamond eyes” barely makes the grade.

And remember, that’s one paragraph of six. The adventure engages in this over and over again. Everything is just beaten to death, and then to a pulp. Seldom have I cared less about what I’m reading. Useless detail without writing to inspire.

This is $4 on DriveThru. The preview is about six pages and the last few give you an idea of what to expect in terms of writing. It’s not actual rooms, but it is indicative.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

What Do You Want to See?

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 11:00

Hopefully, everyone who reads this blog is aware of (and enjoying) the two Land of Azurth products on the market. I have two more planned currently: a second issue of the Azurth Adventures Digest and the adventure The Cloud Castle of Azurth. Both are running behind schedule due to real life stuff, but I still intend to bring them out.

Blog comments are exactly profuse these days, but I thought it was worth asking both here and on social media: What particularly would those who appreciate Azurth material like to see in the future? More adventures, maybe something in the other countries of Azurth beyond Yanth? A pure setting book? While I can't promise I will go with suggestions, the content of the second Azurth Adventures Digest was at the suggestion of Enworld's Chris Helton. So I do listen sometimes!

Actual Play: Tell Me, Have You Seen the Yellow Sign? Part 2

19th Level - Mon, 03/26/2018 - 00:55
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
- "Cassilda's Song" in The King in Yellow Act 1, Scene 2

Based on the classic Call of Cthulhu adventure "Tell Me, Have You Seen the Yellow Sign" by Kevin Ross. Originally published by Chaosium in The Great Old Ones, revised version published by Golden Goblin Press in Tales of the Crescent City.

Setting: New Orleans, LA; Monday, January 31, 1921 - Tuesday, February 1, 1921

  • Earl Crowley - Antiquarian settled in Arkham
  • Jordaine Furst - Strasbourg-born Great War spy for France
  • Fredrick Tardiff - Great War veteran, Kingsport artist


After dealing with a bout of paranoid madness, the investigators limped their way back to their hotel to recover from the shock.

The next morning (rather late morning), going over Gavvin's notes, they decided to go to the warehouse being used by the Most Honorable Krewe of Swords. It was a hive of activity, with the impeccably dressed chairman of the Krewe, Denis Bouchard, paying a visit, though it was the oddly dressed and speaking Papa Screech who was truly in charge. Bouchard was friendly enough, especially given Crowley's wealth, inviting them to a Mardis Gras celebration at Fowler's estate on February 9. Screech said little, commenting that the Yellow Sign had come to him in a vision - something that conflicted with their recent reading of The King in Yellow. As they left, they noticed the skylight was shattered - something seemed to have landed on it hard. Something to investigate at a later point perhaps.

With many signs pointing to Fowler, they paid a visit to his estate. Finding it totally vacant, Furst picked the lock and they had a look around. Much to their surprise they found a room with what Tardiff recognized as a teleportation gate from his sojourn to Ka'tori in June of 1920. Knowing how to activate it, they bravely (foolishly?) did so, taking a sanity bending journey... Into the swamp outside the city... They'd arrived in a hut, one of many rundown huts. Looking around they found their way to a clearing with some stone menhirs - a sight they recognized from their visions and from The King in Yellow. It was the perfect place to bring Hastur to take a mortal form, bringing him from Carcosa.

They also found a relatively friendly face, Granny Goudreau living in a one-room cabin. She talked about the wicked voodoo folk, led by Papa Screech. He had been part of the Cthulhu cult wiped out back in 1907. She'd also observed Papa Screech and his people preparing for a ritual - one where they'd summon Hastur to take over the body and destroy the mind of some stupid white man, Fowler, convincing him he'd become a god.

They returned to the abandoned hut and returned to Fowler's estate as the sun set. There they overheard Papa Screech and Fowler talking, with Screech assuring him he'd soon be a god...
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The Splintered Realm - Sun, 03/25/2018 - 19:34
I am working on big-picture edits. I have gone through and removed all references to level modifier, using level (scaled at 1-6) for the default modifier for AC, Feats, Attacks, and modifiers to various power ratings. That cleaned things up nicely.

Now, I'm on to checks. I went back and forth (and back... and forth... and back again) about how checks would work when I wrote the original rules. I decided (and the rules currently represent) that there are only two check ratings: 20 for standard actions and 30 for super actions. Everything else becomes a modifier to the check. Your target is always 20 or 30, but you can add or subtract several things to modify the roll to see if you hit that target.

I like it, but I don't like it. The alternative is that there are variable targets for checks, based on the situation. It really is an issue of semantics (the math works out the same either way) but - now that I'm reading the book a bit more holistically and not in the granular way of a later edit - this just feels heavier than it needs to be. To say that something is target 27 to accomplish is cleaner than saying that it is target 30, but you get a +3 modifier to the roll. Also, this doesn't align with the basic way combat works: all targets in combat are variable; each foe you face has a different Armor Class. It's not like there's one armor class rating for everyone, and you take a modifier to your attack, which is further modified by the foe's AC adjustment.

The problem is further complicated by the idea that the range of -4 to +4 to a check leaves a weird little spot between high end standard actions (which are target 24) and low-end super actions (which are target 26). This means that, mechanically, the difference between lifting a dirt bike and an armored car is 2 points... hrm.

What about this as a scale? (with an example weights, and for the Hulk's chances with STR 24)

16 - Simple Standard Check (lifting 50 lbs; succeeds unless a 1 is rolled)
20 - Standard Check (lifting 200 lbs; succeeds unless a 1 is rolled)
24 - Complex Standard Check (lifting 1,000 lbs; succeeds unless a 1 is rolled)
28 - Simple Super Check (lifting 10 tons; needs 4 or better on the die)
32 - Standard Super Check (lifting 50 tons; needs 8 or better on the die)
36 - Complex Standard Check (lifting 200 tons; needs 12 or better on the die)

This moves the center target for a super check up a little, but streamlines the whole thing and gets rid of that annoying bump in the middle. This also allows for a more complex table of targets (if desired) that scales the whole thing out. I think that the GM section has both... a table that spells out each of the 20 points along the continuum, with the recommended benchmarks (for most situations) highlighted. In effect, some GMs can say "well, that car weighs 2 to 3 tons, so it's a 27 target" while in another game, the GM says "it's a car: simple super check, target 28". This requires a considerable language edit, but I think it is worth it for clarity. It's a relatively small difference, but it can either help you make your game more granular or a bit simpler, depending on how you want to run things. 26 becomes the magic number. If something is target 26 or higher, only a character with a rating of 14 or better can attempt it, since it requires superhuman ability (although a Resolve point would allow you to bypass that rule... I was thinking about Captain America holding a helicopter in place in Civil War... no way does a character with STR 13 do that, but Cap is burning through Resolve like it's the end of his world... because, you know... it kind of is.).

The Buffalo Bill – Madame Mandelip Connection!

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Sun, 03/25/2018 - 15:18

The word is in from the Appendix N Podcast. A. Merritt’s Burn Witch Burn might lose a few political correctness points due to its stereotypical Italian mobster and comic relief Irish Beat Cop. And yes, sensitive readers will experience a brief moment of triggering at the the mention of how women were put away for “hysteria” in the bad old days of prohibition. If you thought that there just wasn’t anything in here truly worth getting offended over, then think again. Because Burn Witch Burn is danker than you think!

Check this out from the podcast: One of the things that did stick out to me though is actually something that I still see today but was especially common as recently as the nineties is this idea of the gender non-conformist as a villain because here Madame Mandelip is like this big masculine woman with this hairy upper lip and these like big hands and like I think using this masculine woman as an equivalent to villainy is also kind of the same way that you see effeminate men and dandies as a way of standing for decadence and evil often times in Conan stories but even in like Disney cartoons….

Mind. Blown.

This one went right past me when I was reading. Sure, I was vaguely conscious of the “big hands” bit. Mainly, I was too horrified by the thought of a woman that ugly having the ability to appear unfathomably beautiful… and going around seducing unknowing men for her nefarious purposes. It’s fundamentally, rivetingly horrible in a way that very little of contemporary storytelling manages to attain.

One of the guys on the show unironically ponders what it is that people will look back and see that is so “problematic” about the stories of our day… as if we are all just going to continue to get more and more refined and more and more sensitive to an even more comprehensive list of horrible awful no good things over time. And of course, there’s no way to tell what the next big offensive thing will be. And that is true… in a sense.

This stuff is scary if you think about it, because the only sure thing in this is that we are all being extremely problematic even without meaning to and without knowing what it is that we’re doing that’s do awful! Imagine living like that. I mean really, honestly living like that. Being vaguely aware that everything you build is founded on the shifting sands of a fickle and opportunistic ideology. Not having any way to even conceive of being genuinely “okay”, but remaining in sort of a permanent defensive posture at all times because you know that you can fall afoul of the collective determination of whatever the next scandalously problematic thing is supposed to be.

The only way you would be able to cope with that would be to publicly and loudly join up in some sort of weird cultural police force, doing the public a service by alerting them to dangerous people and materials at all times. Stoking and feeding the general hysteria with nearly every social interaction in order to keep attention on people that are noticeably more problematic than you… but knowing that still in spite of all your efforts the mob can still come for you at any moment!

It can’t be healthy.

At any rate, yes… traditional notions of witches and witchcraft are “problematic” today. Most contemporary treatments of them are necessarily eager to invert, sacrifice, or dilute age old mythical elements in exchange for a very tenuous brand of virtue that has an explicit expiration date right on the package. I wouldn’t be surprised if the early twenty-first century fails to produce much in the way of timeless classics. The spirit of this age is opposed to such things on principle.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A Day When Titans Walk the Earth!

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 03/25/2018 - 12:00
I saw Pacific Rim: Uprising yesterday. My short review: If you liked the first Pacific Rim, you will probably like this one, though I missed some of the del Toro quirkiness. If you didn't like the first one, this one probably won't change you mind about the series.

Anyway, vaguely tentacled blob things from another dimension taking over the minds of those who make contact with them, driving them mad, and monsters rising from the ocean depths made me think of the Cthulhu Mythos. The first movie had me distracted with the name "kaiju" and all that, but it really is a sort of Lovecraftian (in a way Lovecraft himself would have never, ever wrote it) setup.

Now, I know there is a game called CthulhuTech which is mecha vs. Lovecraftian monsters/aliens, but what I think would be cool is something a bit less Neon Genesis Evangelion and more 70s Shogun Warriors! That would be a cool setting, I think.

The Dwarven Curse Of The Caverns Of Tsathoggua - The Volcano Lands Olathoë' Session Report Thirteen

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 03/25/2018 - 06:12
"Several dangerous & diabolical NPC's showed up in the Caverns of Tsathoggua & a chance encounter with an unexpected guest of diabolical intentions makes things very dicey for the PCs tonight. "The third gift — an enormous hammer by Elmer Boyd SmithIn tonight's game the PC's managed to survive against several otherworldly NPC's including Captain Brand an NPC other dimensional pirate &Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Day2 #My30dayworld What is the name of your world?

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 03/25/2018 - 00:49

Day 2 of #my30dayworld What is the name of my Game world and how I created it.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Tomorrow the nefarious villain.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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