Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Wednesday Comics: The Runaway Shadow

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 11:00
Though it's been slower going than we would have liked, the second issue of Underground Comics is still one it's way. Here's a a newly lettered page from the Land of Azurth story "The Runaway Shadow" featuring Wayon the Frogling drawn by Jeff Call:

OSR & Campaign Commentary On The Calidar "On Wings of Darkness" Kickstarter By Bruce Heard

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 02:53
So Bruce Heard has been busy with the Calidar Wings of Darkness Kickstarter, but gasp the world of Calidar is D20!?! No this source book is actually system neutral & easy to adapt to the world's most  popular role playing game. Bruce Heard really seems to have a winner on his hands here, this source book is going to be in the same style as some of his earlier efforts;"Along the same general Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Announce Release of DC Deck-Building Game: Rivals — Green Lantern vs. Sinestro

Cryptozoic - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, today announced the October 31 release of DC Deck-Building Game: Rivals — Green Lantern vs. Sinestro. In this deck-building game that utilizes Cryptozoic’s popular Cerberus Engine, two players become iconic DC rivals Green Lantern and Sinestro and engage in direct Confrontations. As the game progresses, players buy more powerful cards and attack and defend until their opponent’s three oversized Character cards are defeated.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dungeon Masters, Don’t Prepare Plots and Encounters—Do This Instead

DM David - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:00

Every dungeon master sometimes throws characters into a combat encounter, and then sees players do something unexpected. We never expect a peaceful dialog. Later, the characters reach a mountain outpost stocked with perfectly crafted encounters and the players show ingenuity by, say, triggering an avalanche that buries the place. Sometimes, every DM wants to say, “Come on, you all took intelligence as a dump stat. Just fight the monsters!”

Sometime in most dungeon masters’ careers, we plot a grand adventure for characters, complete with dramatic beats, treachery, revelations, and a climax. Then the players impulsively murder the traitor in session 1. In session 3, instead of escaping as planned, the evil mastermind dies too. The threat of such reversals tempt any dungeon master to railroad.

All these setbacks come from preparing encounters and plots that expect players to behave as expected. Often players do something surprising that leaves the plans in ruin.

Such planning misfires stem from taking the wrong mindset to prepare for a Dungeons & Dragons game.

For a better approach, follow two principles:

  • Prepare situations instead of encounters.
  • Prepare clues and villains instead of plots.

Situations form the bones of an adventure.

Game-world situations are the arrangements of locations and non-player characters that stand between the characters and what they want. The most elemental form of a situation includes (a) an obstacle, like a bridge blocked by a troll hungry for the party’s delicious gnome, and (b) a goal, like the other side. Often the difference between a small situation and an encounter is a mindset. An encounter starts as a situation with an assumed plot—perhaps as simple as (1) the characters fight and (2) they win. A situation stops assuming a plot and fills in other details like what the monsters want. (Hint: Not to wait in a room until heroes come to murder them.) A small situation might resemble a combat encounter complete with monsters to (probably) fight, but the situation mindset opens DMs for other courses of action. Maybe the characters talk, or sneak, or dislike the gnome.

Unlike combat, exploration, or interaction scenes, situations bring enough flexibility to play in different ways.

Larger situations often resemble dungeons. From a situation mindset, players could solve the Tomb of Horrors by excavating it from the top down—or by skipping it. Rather than grave robbing, real heroes should battle evil overlords. They have treasure too. (Perhaps by looting the tomb, the heroes can defeat the overlord by getting enough gold to cause runaway inflation. I want an adventure where evil is thwarted because it can’t make payroll.)

Tomb of Annihilation includes more modern takes on the dungeon as situation. Within the campaign, The Fain of the Night Serpent features factions, intrigue, and a McGuffin to recover. The Tomb of Nine Gods resembles the Tomb of Horrors, but with the time limit and an objective bigger than runaway inflation.

Situations can go beyond locations. For instance, a masquerade could be a situation where players need to uncover a spy. The characters might find their target through deception, magic, or by picking a suspect’s pockets to gain stolen plans.

The Prince of Murder’s network of covert assassins could form another situation. Instead of predicting which encounters the characters will face as they unravel the network, the DM invents a organization that reacts to the players’ actions.

As with combat encounters, a boring situation can lead it to dull scenes. Good situations include features that lead to interesting play. Mike “Sly Flourish” Shea has advice for creating situations. “Develop situations with lots of options, lots of hooks, and lots of interesting things the characters can interact with.”

So a situation that might feature combat may include a location primed for a dynamic battle. A situation that might include role playing may include memorable NPCs, but should at least include NPCs that want something.

I think of developing situations as piling kindling. Add enough incendiary ingredients so that if a spark flares, the scenes catch fire.

These details rarely require more work. Most dungeon masters will feel comfortable improvising some of the pieces. Plus, the situation mindset often frees DMs from worrying about contingencies. DMs who build situations spend less time preparing responses for every potential action because consequences stem naturally from the situation.

Mike touts the virtues of situations. “D&D is a lot more fun when we can watch scenes unfold in new and interesting ways well beyond what we originally intended. In order for that to happen, however, we need to build environments with all of the right elements to give characters, and their players, the chance to take things in lots of different directions.”

For situations, Tom “Dungeon Bastard” Lommel plans one extra element: He prepares a menu of potential outcomes. He lists wins that represent total success, complications that bring success at a cost, and setbacks that represent failure. “One thing I always get bogged down in is analysis paralysis,” Tom says. “This is a road map for me to respond to what the party is doing. I have a list of plausible options at my command and I don’t have to think about it in the moment.”

I like Tom’s strategy because, in the heat of a game session, I struggle to improvise reactions to sweeping victories and epic fails. Such grand outcomes often threaten to upend the game. An easy win can’t cut a 4-hour convention adventure to a half-hour assassination. Instead, I want to reward ingenuity with some success, and then add reasonable complications that keep one move from ending the game. A total-party kill shouldn’t abort a long-running campaign arc short of a satisfying conclusion. Instead, I want the characters captured, or to lose the magic key, or to suffer the gloating of the rival who saves them. (Forget bludgeoning, adventurers hate blows to their pride most because they wound the player too.) At the least, I always plan ways to turn total-party kills into setbacks that spare the campaign.

Tom uses a storyteller’s sense of drama to help decide among outcomes. His choice results from the usual factors of the player’s choices and the luck of the die, but also from what suits the narrative. Will an up-beat or a down-beat better add drama? Is the table spoiling for a fight or for a lull? Does the session’s pace leave time for complications?

Instead of preparing encounters, prepare situations. The mindset opens you to plan less for what the players might do, while making you ready for anything.

Next: Prepare secrets, clues, and villains instead of plots.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

25% Off for 9 more Days and did you know that...

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 10/23/2018 - 00:58
You can use the code more than once! Let's say you tried Talomir Tales - Distant Shores, the core Fantasy Sword & Sorcery rule book and got 25% off. 

And you really liked it. You could go back and get one or more of the scenarios books or even the Battle Boards and use the code again. That's


Use it more than once as it's the last 25% off sale of the year!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Review & Commentary Of Castles & Crusades ' The Codex Slavorum' By Brian Young For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 19:13
"Norv & Galv crawled along the guttural entrance to the former Roman temple, its gods long replaced by something much worse. 'Did you bring the torches?!', the voice quivered & it wasn't the rime cold or the slime under Galv's backside. Norv made his way to the ruin's gated remains which had been bent years before by something it hitting it from inside with great force. The candle light arched Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Murder Knights of Corvendark

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 11:18

By Glynn Seal
MonkeyBlood Design
Swords & Wizardry
Level 4

No one knows from where they came. All feathers and spite. Their vile beaks spit angry screeches, and beneath their wing beats, acrid miasmas swirl. […] Since the coming of this otherworldly realm, the Grimwater Lake region has been plagued by the atrocities of the ‘harpies’ — as they have been incorrectly named — regularly raiding the surface lands. None have been ravaged more so than Wychington, a small town on the northern lake edge at the mouth of the Lesselling River. […] The Lord of Wychington, Corben Truss, has sent out word of the need for aid and assistance to any that will heed it. Maybe, just maybe, that is you?

This 49 page adventure describes a couple of adventuring locations with about seventy rooms. A small town gets attacked by things they think are harpies, but are actually crowmen. It’s vaguely interesting, but hard to get in to. Something is wrong and I don’t know what.

This should be a cool adventure. The crowman thing is interesting. The maps looks good, both the color regional ones and the location maps. It’s got some decent ideas in it. The town has some barely covered viscera and blood from the attack the night before. The crowmen burn people alive. They feed on innards. “The attack is as violent and damaging as it can be for the townsfolk.” That’s pretty nice. Good advice for the DM to convey a mood.

But … when I look at this my reactions is that it’s a combination of hipster story-game adventure and some Pathfinder adventure. And I can’t point to ANYTHING that makes me think that. It doesn’t click, or resonate. The descriptions might feel flat? I don’t know.

Here’s one for a certain room: “This chamber is covered in niches with burning red candles. Bits of viscera cover the floor and rusting iron chains hang from the ceiling with half-eaten cadavers hanging on blood- soaked hooks.” That’s one of the better descriptions, and I’m not sure I would characterize it as sanitized … but it also doesn’t come off as … I care about?

I don’t know what the fuck it wrong.

I DO know that other bots are misses. The DM is advised to have the characters arrive in town at dusk and if not then fuck with them with attacks, horses running off, etc, until they do arrive at dusk. And that’s not for any real reason that I can tell. Yeah, the first attack happens at night, but … so? There’s viscera over town, people are cleaning up, but there’s no advice on what they relate and so on … which would seem to be a natural question if you walked in to town and saw a bunch of blood being cleaned up all over the place. The actual night attack in town doesn’t happen until page 18, so the adventure can get a bit long in tooth in relating irrelevant things. The town map is not helpful, separating the key from the map, and the town entries are not in any kind of order I can detect … just a rando list of place names to dig through to find something. And some rooms go on WAY too long, like the one with the exhaustive list of what two dead adventurers are carrying.

But the main issue is that fucking text. I don’t know. Font, background images, spacing and margins … it all points to something too interested in itself. But that’s not something that impacts the text. It actually gives decent advice in places, like an order of battle for how the crowmen react to incursions.

Here’s another bit of text: “A three-day old, disembowelled human female corpse lies here caked in blood and bits of guts. This is a Wychington villager that was dragged down here as a later meal.” What a fun introduction to a new location!

Maybe they feel abstracted, or disconnected from the rest of the text?

You know, it feels flat. Even with the more colorful descriptions. Flat in the way that Barrowmaze sequel, Spider Caves? felt flat. Or maybe it doesn’t feel cohesive?

So, look, it’s probably a fine adventure. I’m probably just off today. Maybe.

I have no idea what to think about this. It has parts that seem cool … but it just doesn’t click for me. At $5, with no preview, it’s kind of much to take a chance on. If you’re rolling in cash, buy it and tell me whats wrong with it. My eyes glaze over.

This is $5 on DriveThru. The preview is broken.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Armchair Planet Who's Who: Imp

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 11:00
It's great to come back from out of town and have new art to show off. Here's Libby Knight aka Imp, the Teen Devil, by Dean Kotz.

Banned in Boston and the Cthulhu Mythos

19th Level - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 23:42

While Boston has a modern reputation as a liberal bastion (though it pales next to its neighbor, the People's Republic of Cambridge), embedded in its history is a strong undercurrent of conservatism. One example of this is the crusade launched by Anthony Comstock and embraced the New England Watch and Ward Society. Under this regime, books, plays, films, music, etc. of objectionable moral character would be banned in Boston.

Some of the works banned in Boston include:

  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Oil! by Upton Sinclair
  • Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill
  • Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
When I was a kid, the Howard Johnson's restaurant chain was still popular, though by the 1990s they were undergoing a rapid decline and the chain no longe exists today. However, its initial success is due to the Banned in Boston movement - in 1929 the play Strange Interlude being unable to be performed in Boston so it relocated to nearby Quincy. The play was five hours long with a dinner break intermission. Across the street from the theatre it was performed in was the first Howard Johnson's restaurant - giving it a massive boost.
One thing I find myself wondering is what this movement would mean for the tomes of the Cthulhu Mythos. One can certainly say these tomes are of objectionable material. Now the Watch and Ward Society was primarily concerned with in-print works and ongoing productions, so it's unlikely they would visit Brattle Book Shop to search for copies of the Necronomicon. At least the core of the organization would not be likely to.
I could see members of the organization using it as a pretense to finding such tomes - a bit like the Bookhounds of London campaign for Trail of Cthulhu. Perhaps they are cultists trying to find such tomes. Perhaps they are player investigators trying to keep humanity safe from such works. Perhaps someone like Henry Armitage from Arkham feeds the organization information about such books.
Neil Miller's book Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society's Crusade against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil, pictured at the top of this post, is a great resource for this activity and a good glimpse of late 19th century and early 20th century Boston. Obviously it doesn't delve into the Cthulhu Mythos...

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Black Hack Second Edition

Oubliette - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 21:27
We've just updated the PDF for The Black Hack Second Edition. It now includes PDF bookmarks and we've corrected lots of typos. Since it's launch last week, it's been sat firmly at Numder 1 in the chart. We've also had a great response from our backers who've helped refine the rules during our beta release and spot typos. We're very close to going to press with the main book now.

The PDF is available here:

And if you missed the Kickstarter you can still bag a preorder that gets you a deal that's almost as good here:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Review & OSR Campaign Commentary On Through Ultan's Door Issue 1 By Ben Laurence

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 10/21/2018 - 04:40
"Go through Ultan's door in this inaugural issue into the Ruins of the Inquisitor's Theater, a 30 room dungeon replete with oneiric puddings, delicate shadow puppets, giggling white swine, and much more. This 36 page zine contains everything you need to launch a D&D campaign in the Zyan, flying city of the dreamlands. Brought to life with a gorgeous map by Gus L and the stunning art of Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

In the Dungeon of the Wizard Lord Keraptis

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 10/20/2018 - 11:11

By Tim Krause
Tomorrow River Games
Level 10

… The party has already delved into the depths of the mountain and stand at a crossroads where they have difficult choices. They have already defeated almost all of the creatures at Lord Keraptis’ command, rendering him far less sinister or capable of exherting his influence on the land. But do they risk it all and delve deeper into the mountain to eliminate Lord Keraptis for good ? What if something more sinister awaits them?

This 86 page adventure is a compendium of three different ones; three levels of a dungeon, with about 80 or so rooms overall. It’s about Keraptis, from White Plume Mountain, with the first level written back in the 80’s and the other two more recently. Tending to the minimal side of things, it’s pretty your basic low-grade ToH. It got some goofiness to it, in the log, in the same way a jr high adventure does. An arbitrariness.

Well, I just don’t know where to start.

This thing has some minimalism going on. Not the extreme kind found in VAmpire Queen, but a very plan facts like style. One of the rooms tells us that “The passage seems to end here in dense vines and the trunks of three large trees. The vines are from a Lurker Above and the tree trunks are Xorn.” That’s the room, all of it. Page after page of that, which is how the designer gets 75+ rooms in to about 20 pages … while still including big art pieces.

It is, essentially, only the mechanics that are included. “This is no saving throw or ability for the players to find this trap. It till instantly teleport them to …” is a phrase written more than once. There’s a certain minimalistic charm to this style. Kind of like one of those modern home living rooms that are all white with one simple L couch in the middle. Ok, yes, It fulfills the basic purpose I guess. But can’t we do just a little more to make it livable? “This room contains no creatures but has all of the implements to torture poor victims.” is not exactly Joyce.

There’s no real joy to this. The descriptions don’t really spark the DM much at all. A chest contains “It contains 30 pieces of jewelry, 40,000 gold pieces and three randomly determined magic items.” Well, ok, yes, I guess that’s a 4e treasure-parcel kind of thing? It’s the journey, not the destination in D&D. All of that gold and shit, yeah, we want it for XP, but it’s the fun of it that we’re really after. And “30 pieces of jewelry” isn’t really very fun. (Nor is an exhaustive list. Oh no! Adventure writing can be hard! Especially at high levels!”)

There’s this goofy simplistic thing it’s got going on also. An almost arbitrary thing. A dragon tries to surrender, if you almost kill him. If you DO kill him then his treasure just disappears. If you walk through a certain wall you take damage. But if you then jump in a river with your armor on you get healed. Its just … disconnected? This weird sort of logic. I know, I say don’t explain shit, it’s magic”, but there’s this sense of the arbitrary that I don’t like. Not explaining why is different from things just being arbitrary.

Wandering monsters happen on a 10% chance every turn. But … if you short/long rest then it’s only 10% every hour. This being 5e I’m sure that’s an attempt to control the resource game, but, still, man, that’s a little rough eh?

This is COMPLETELY unlike any other 5e adventure I’ve seen. It’s got a very “i made this in jr high and then edited it as an adult” thing going on. It feels more like an art project, like that kickstarter that made book of jr high published adventures. A curiosity, nothing more.

This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru, with a currently suggested price of $2. There’s no preview.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

2018 Philly Non-Sports Card Show EXCLUSIVES!

Cryptozoic - Sat, 10/20/2018 - 00:30

Cryptozoic is thrilled to be returning to Allentown for the 69th Philly Non-Sports Card Show! This year, we're excited to announce that we will have EXCLUSIVE trading cards available for purchase, featuring Rick and Morty, Outlander, Batman Classic TV Series, and more! Fans can stop by our table on the main show floor on October 20 and 21 at the Merchants Square Mall to check out our upcoming products and exclusives, and pick up a free Rick and Morty Season 2 Promo Card!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

DC Lil Bombshells: Artist Edition Hand-Painted Figures

Cryptozoic - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 18:10

We are excited to announce our DC Lil Bombshells: Artist Edition figures! Each one is hand-painted by a talented artist and totally unique. Purchase one of our blind-reveal DC Lil Bombshells: Series 3 figures or a hobby box of DC Bombshells Trading Cards II and you may just be lucky enough to get one!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rereadings & Commentaries On Judge's Guild's "City State of the Invincible Overlord" By Bill Owen and Bob Bledsaw

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 17:30
"The City-State of the Invincible Overlord was the first fantasy RPG setting ever published (1976). It features a huge walled city that is ruled by the eponymous (lawful evil) Overlord and the surrounding environs that are full of adventure possibilities. What was so striking at the time that it was first released was the incredible level of detail that the product contains. Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Into the Gloaming…

Torchbearer RPG - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:06

Hello friends!

A few weeks ago, I started a new Torchbearer campaign. I made a map, placed some settlements, wild places and dungeons, and off we went.

The players had rumors of several adventures to choose from at the start. One of the rumors concerned The Dread Crypt of Skogenby (get it free here!):

Some folk in Skogenby recently uncovered a strange barrow while clearing a field. They think some evil spirit has come out of it, and they’ve asked their lord help, but she’s away. Supposedly there’s a lot of treasure in the tomb.

But the players chose to pursue another rumor instead. Now they’ve come back to town after their latest adventure and heard some shocking news: The walking dead have overrun Skogenby!

Just in time for Halloween!

So here I am prepping a survival horror addition to Skogenby, and it occurs to me that Torchbearer is lacking some classic horror monsters. This is intended to remedy that dreadful oversight. Without further ado, here’s my take on the zombie and the werewolf. And Jared Sorensen, of Memento Mori Theatricks, has been kind enough to allow me to include his Vampire Lord, excerpted from his Halloween-inspired Torchbearer Sagas supplement, Denizens of the Dark (you’ll find lots of other holiday-appropriate goodies in Denizens, including the vampire lord’s vampire minions!).



These mindless undead are animated corpses driven by an insatiable hunger for flesh. They are frequently created by evil necromancers as servitors for their wicked schemes.

Might: 2 Nature (Undead): 3

Descriptors: Consuming, Lurching, Sensing Brains Drive Off: 8 Drive Off Weapons
Attack: +1D, Ragged Nails
Defend: +2D, Unreasoning Hunger Kill: 6 Kill Weapons
Attack: +1D, Ragged Nails
Defend: +2D, Unreasoning Hunger Flee: 3 Flee Weapons
Attack: -1D, Mindless Persistence
Defend: +1s, Mindless Persistence Instinct: Brains! Special:
Unliving flesh. All piercing and slashing weapons are -1s to Attack and Feint when used against zombies. A holy symbol used against zombies in drive off or kill conflicts confers +1s to attack actions.

Mindless. Zombies are non-intelligent undead. They cannot be tricked or riddled with, nor engaged in a convince conflict.

Slow. Zombies reveal their first action to players after both sides have selected their actions but before actions are compared. Players then have the option to switch their action 1 and action 2. The players still act in the original order, they simply exchange actions.

The Hunger. Wounds caused by zombies spread their curse. Any character who receives an injury as a result of a kill, capture or drive off conflict in which the zombie used its Ragged Nails also gains a special sick condition. This condition is a curse and may only be removed via magic that breaks curses, like the Absolution of the Lord of Endings invocation. If the condition is not removed by the end of the next town phase, the character becomes a zombie and thus a GM-controlled character. Anyone slain by a zombie also rises to become one of the walking dead. Werewolf

These evil creatures, once human, were bitten by a werewolf and so cursed to become werewolves themselves. By the light of the full moon they are driven to hunt human prey!

Might: 5 Nature (Lycanthrope): 5

Descriptors: Preying, Raging, Howling Kill: 11 Kill Weapons
Attack: +1D, +1s, Slavering Jaws and Razor Claws
Defend: +1D, Uncontrollable Rage
Feint: +1s, Slavering Jaws and Razor Claws
Maneuver: +1s, Lightning Reflexes Flee: 9 Flee Weapons
Attack: +2D, Loping Gait
Defend: +1D, Preternatural Senses
Feint: +1D, Preternatural Senses
Maneuver: +2D, Loping Gait Drive Off: 6 Drive Off Weapons
Attack: +1D, +1s, Slavering Jaws and Razor Claws
Defend: +1D, Uncontrollable Rage
Feint: +1s, Slavering Jaws and Razor Claws
Maneuver: +1s, Lightning Reflexes Trick: 4 Trick Weapons
Defend: +1D, Lupine Cunning
Maneuver: +1D, Lupine Cunning Instinct: Always hunt human (or dwarf, elf or halfling) meat by the light of the full moon. Special:
Shapeshifter: Werewolves assume their humanoid form by day and their wolf form at night. They assume their hybrid-wolf form when the moon is full. They may attempt to assume the hybrid-wolf form at any time with an Ob 2 Nature test. Clothing and equipment does not transform with the werewolf.

Lycanthrope: A werewolf’s bite spreads lycanthropy. Any character who receives an injury as a result of a kill, capture or drive off conflict in which the werewolf used its Slavering Jaws also gains a special sick condition. This condition is a curse and may only be removed via magic that breaks curses, like the Absolution of the Lord of Endings invocation. If the condition is not removed by the end of the next town phase, the character becomes a werewolf and thus a GM-controlled character. Once the character has become a werewolf, it may still be possible to break the curse. The werewolf must be captured, bound and trapped within a circle of wolfsbane. Then the Absolution of the Lord of Endings invocation (or similar curse-breaking magic) must be used upon them. This only works as long as the werewolf has not passed the lycanthropic curse to another. Once it has spread the disease, only its death can end the curse.Cursed. Werewolves are particularly vulnerable to silver. Silver weapons give their wielders +1 effective might against werewolves. Werewolves are also extremely averse to wolfsbane. The herb can be used as a weapon against werewolves in drive off conflicts, providing +1s to attack and feint. Note: The stat block above is for a werewolf in its hybrid-wolf form. Werewolves in wolf form are Might 3, Nature 5 and have the descriptors: Hunting, Stalking, Howling. Werewolves in humanoid form are Might 3, Nature 5 and have the descriptors: Boasting, Demanding, Running (or the descriptors of their Middarmark tribe).


Vampire Lord

Vampire Lords are hideous, immortal fiends that feed on the blood of the living. Whether they were cursed by the Old Gods, infected by an alien plague or were transformed by dark rituals, who can say? All that is known is that Vampire Lords are creatures of Chaos who drain the living of their vital essence and seek to subjugate the mortal masses. Though monsters, they adopt an air of nobility and prefer to reside in ruined castles or mouldering manors where they surround themselves with mortal thralls and undead minions. Vampire Lords retain the abilities and benefits of their former selves.

Might: 5 Nature (Undead): 7

Descriptors: Infecting, Scheming, Subjugating Kill: 15 Kill Weapons
Attack: +1s, Wicked Fangs (ignores armor)
Feint: +1s, Wicked Fangs (ignores armor) Flee: 12 Flee Weapons
Attack: +2D, Inhuman Alacrity
Defend: +1s, Predatory Senses
Feint: +2D, Predatory Senses
Maneuver: +1D, Inhuman Alacrity Drive Off: 9 Drive Off Weapons
Defend: +2D, Monstrous Fortitude Convince: 4 Convince Weapons
Attack: +1D, Terrifying Visage
Defend: +1D, Air of Nobility
Feint: +1s, Terrifying Visage
Maneuver: +2D, Air of Nobility Armor: Most Vampire Lords are able to wear armor and helmets. Instinct: Always drink the blood of my prey. Special:

Dominating Mind. Vampire lords are immune to mind-affecting spells.

Shapeshifter. In dim light or darkness, Vampire Lords can transform into mist, dire wolves or giant vampire bats. It may assume each form no more than once per session. It may revert to its human form at any time. While in mist form, vampire lords are insubstantial and cannot be struck save with spells, invocations or magical weapons, but they cannot use the Attack action. In wolf form, the vampire lord replaces its descriptors with: Hunting, Stalking, Howling. In giant bat form, the vampire lord replaces its descriptors with: Spying, Biting, Flying.

Creature of the Night. Vampire lords can see in darkness and ignore factors from dim light and darkness.

Sorcerer. Some vampire lords are able to use magic.

Vampirism. Any character who receives an injury as a result of a kill or drive off conflict compromise in which a vampire lord used its fangs as a weapon also gains a special sick condition. This condition is a curse and may only be removed via magic that breaks curses, like the Absolution of the Lord of Endings invocation. If the condition is not removed by the end of the next town phase, the character becomes a vampire and thus a GM-controlled character.

Cursed. Vampire lords must sleep during the day. Sunlight reduces their Might to 2. Fire used against vampire lords inflicts +1s damage. A stake through the heart will destroy a sleeping vampire lord.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic Will Showcase Games at SPIEL ’18

Cryptozoic - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment today announced that it will showcase its newest tabletop games at Internationale Spieltage SPIEL ’18, October 25-28 in Essen, Germany. At Booth 5H116, Cryptozoic will demo and sell several recent releases, including two Rick and Morty games, the fourth Epic Spell Wars game, and Million Dollars, But… The Game, which has been given a wide release in partnership with Rooster Teeth. It will also preview Cult: Choose Your God Wisely before it is available at retailers at the end of the year. 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Sword & Planet Character Name Generator

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 11:00
Art by Clyde CaldwellAfter way more intensive review of Barsoomian names in Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books and adding a dash of Gardner Fox's Llarn novels, which pretty closely mimic Barsoomian morphology, I have come up with a series of generators for Martian names, as accurate as I can make it. Well, there's one name from the series it can't generate, but by the time I discovered this, it was too late. Anyway, it's pretty close to getting them all. Check it out.

Note the in the structures given for the names multiple "elements" typical mean a new word for males names, but is more likely to be a multi-syllabic "single" name for females, but since this isn't always the case I've elected to leave the dividing up to you. For example: EES is the structure of Djor Kantos, but also Carthoris and Vanuma.

Hooray, I Have Time for a New Campaign

19th Level - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 02:03

The past few months and years have been busy and I'm finally starting to see things loosening up. I've completed my last graduate class and endured a mercifully brief bout of unemployment.

I'm at the point of feeling able to actually plan out a bit more ambitious game. Most of my thoughts are in the Chaosium-family of games.

The most likely is probably a continuation of my ongoing Call of Cthulhu game, which began at the end of World War I and has reached mid-1921. I've some of the original players but, as is typical for Call of Cthulhu, none of the original characters are active. One is still around but after sanity and luck-blasting adventures, has retired from active adventuring. I've toyed with a global-spanning campaign like Masks of Nyarlathotep but find myself thinking a lot about focusing the game on Boston - certainly with forays into the wider world as appropriate.

Frustrated with the lack of an official Boston supplement for Call of Cthulhu, I've been doing a ton of research on Boston of the early 20th century and I'd like to start putting that to use.

In the back of my mind is actually something a little bit earlier. The latter half of the 1910s were rather eventful for Boston, with events like a police station blown up, a molasses flood, and a police strike. Cthulhu Dark with its focus on the downtrodden seems a possible tool for such a game.

Leaving the world of Cthulhu I've been thinking about other settings. Pendragon has long been on my bucket-list. I find myself wondering if I could pull off a multigenerational game ranging from Uther's reign to the death of King Arthur. One of my kids has joined us and she is fascinated by paganism, giving me ideas on focusing on the different religions of the era.

There's a few possible twists to that idea. Escaping from the legend of King Arthur but keeping the same rules set is Paladin, set during the reign of Charlemagne. One could keep the Arthurian setting but lighten up the rules with the Prince Valiant game - a game I recently picked up and am fascinated by. As a kid, I remember my grandfather and the funny pages. He loved Dick Tracy and Prince Valiant.

Going for a totally fictional setting lies a final option, adventure in the world of Glorantha. The new RuneQuest borrows a lot from Pendragon, with passions, family lineages, etc. It makes for a more mythic experience than previous versions of the game in my opinion.
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25% Off Sale - Last of the Year

Two Hour Wargames - Wed, 10/17/2018 - 22:57

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