Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Common Sense Convention Event Preparation 101 & OSR Sword & Sorcery Weirdness

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 16:28
I've got a wall of clients today & any minute I'm going to have my first one descending up on my work bench as of this blog entry with another four or five to hand me their repairs. But I've got something on the back burner which is prepping an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2nd edition  event for ShireCon in Falls village Ct. So how does a dungeon master with little time, Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Black Hack Late Pledges

Oubliette - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:14
We've had a quite a few requests from people wanting to join the campaign as late backers. We also have around 20 backers whose payments have not been successfully collected by Kickstarter who have been automatically dropped by the system.In the past, to deal with these issues I've been happy to collect manual Paypal payments from people. However, given the scale of this project, it is not really workable and would probably lead to problems when it comes to the fulfilment stage.To solve this I've set up 3 preorder products that essentially duplicate the Level 3, 4 and 5 rewards. The only differences being that they cost 10% more, and do not include access to the beta document. These preorder products will available until the project survey deadline (surveys haven't gone out yet), which will be in early August. Preorders will be posted after the Kickstarter rewards, but before the Second Edition products go on general sale. Any preorders that also include general stock products will be held until the preorder items are ready for dispatch. There are no add-on options for these preorders.Here's the link to the product page:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic and Sony Pictures Television Announce Release of Outlander: Jamie Fraser Vinyl Figure

Cryptozoic - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television today announced the release of the Outlander: Jamie Fraser vinyl figure, available exclusively through Cryptozoic. Based on the Jamie Fraser character in Sony Pictures Television’s Outlander TV series, the limited edition figure—only 3000 produced—can be purchased via the company’s eStore and shipped directly to customers. In addition, Cryptozoic will be selling limited quantities at the Official Outlander Convention, July 13-15 in Las Vegas, and San Diego Comic-Con, July 19-22, as well as at future events.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weird Revisited: Toward A Hard-Boiled Fantasy Sandbox

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 11:00

"Walk down the right back alley...and you can find anything."
- Sin City (2005)
Folks of a poetical inclination have called the City "unnamed."  Truth is, the City has too many monikers for anybody to know them all. But you say "the City," and everybody from yokels up in the Smaragdine Mountains, to the newsie on the corner knows where you mean. There was a city here before it became the City, you know?  Then some swell got himself itch to be an emperor and brought the five baronies together. So here we are, and that swell got his empire, but maybe it didn't turn out the way he thought. The City doesn't need soldiers or armies when it's got commerce and style.

Alright, maybe they've got all the movie stars--and most of the sunshine--out there in Hesperia, but all the other culture's right here. Ships come into this harbor from all over the world--bringing stuff to sell, bringing people. And a lot of the decide to stay.  You go to the right neighborhood and you'll swear you got dropped into some foreign country. And the nightlife? This town jumps, friend. From low-class gin-dives to tony swing-clubs, it roars.  I'd steer clear of the hinky alchemical liquors, though.  Word to the wise.

Now, those joints I was talking about are full of would-be toughs and hard-cases come here to make a name for themselves. They go ransack the ruins the Old Ones, left all over the countryside, then they come to the City to sell their haul and hit the town. City-folk are happy to separate a rube from his money. Gin, jazz, janes--you know, whatever. Guys can make money too, if they know were to look. The gang bosses that run the streets always got a need for muscle, or a little cheap wizardry. Sometimes the ghouls from Undertown get kind of rowdy, and the coppers start looking for guys to deputize, too. Or maybe the rail-yards are looking for bulls to crack a few goblin skulls. Then of course there are bounties on monsters that need killing.  What, you think there's only gold down in those ruins? Anyway, you get the idea. There's dough to be had, and plenty.

So welcome to the City.  Have a good visit--but watch yourself, pal, things can get rough.

Breaking Through With G.E.V.

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Thu, 07/12/2018 - 00:11

G.E.V. is easily among the best science fiction games ever designed. The rules can be learned in a few minutes. Your first game can be played in about an hour and a half. Mastering the games tactics to the point where you can play well…? That might take a few evenings.

To help speed that process along, here is a session recap that will show you one way to not get your BPC armored hovercraft across the map.

The G.E.V.’s make their way across the river, offering the defense a chance to take their best shot:

What should you do with that? Do you fall back or do you rush out to fight them? In our game, the defense rushed and managed to take out three of the attacking G.E.V.’s.:

From here, the G.E.V.’s throw themselves into the shooting match and collect some scalps of their own from this firing position:

But the G.E.V.’s end their turn strung out in a line, easy pickings for the defenders. The defenders move up, kill four more G.E.V.’s, and disable two more.

It’s a blowout:

The G.E.V.’s fail to get a single unit off the map….

Don’t let this happen to you!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game: First Look and Thoughts on Making the Game

Cryptozoic - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 22:05

"When the Rick and Morty Season 3 episode “Pickle Rick” debuted on August 6, 2017, it was an immediate hit. Memes, fan art, fan-made T-shirts, and general online chatter were non-stop for the rest of the summer. Being superfans of the show ourselves, we knew we had to make a game based on this incredibly popular episode. But why is it so popular?" - Matt Hyra, Lead Game Designer at Cryptozoic Entertainment

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

More Kilodungeon Ecology, Design, & More In The Old School & Beyond

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 20:25
"For three thousand years, the secrets of the Nethercity have been hidden. Now the delving of man has breached the ruins, and the lore and treasures of the ancients wait in the darkness below for those bold enough to seize them. But an inhuman evil slumbers in that darkness, and the time of the Awakening is at hand...." Wall Graves By Michael Syrigos So over the last couple of weeks Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

What type of THW Gamer are you?

Two Hour Wargames - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:30
Many of you started with THW when it was only the Reaction System. While some of our titles still use it and always will (NUTS, Star Army, etc.) some have incorporated the 2d6 Action Table.
With ATZ Evolution coming out we'll be offering both ways to play plus a board game add on that can be used as well. The nice thing is ALL versions will be compatible, so you can play a big table zombie game one day then a small Battle Board game the next using the same figures and the same Stars.
Historicon 2011
Speaking of Historicon, watch for the annual "I can't go to Historicon" 25% off sale later this week.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Announce Release of DC Lil Bombshells Series 3

Cryptozoic - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 17:27

Cryptozoic Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products today announced the release of Series 3 of DC Lil Bombshells vinyl figures at San Diego Comic-Con, July 19-22, followed by a full retail release after the convention. Fans can come to Cryptozoic’s Booth #115 at the San Diego Convention Center for the first opportunity to buy the 2.75-inch Series 3 figures, which are inspired by 1940s pin-up art and the popular DC Bombshells comics and collectibles that put the spotlight on DC’s powerful female characters.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Grudge Immortal

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:15

By Emanuele Galletto
Rooster Games

The Year is 1564. A group of Western explorers reach Japan on board Portuguese vessels, lured by the promise of adventure, fame, and riches. What awaits them on the ghastly island of Takashima, however, is a much darker tale…

This 40 page adventure details a small Japanese island with a very bad spirit on it. Good theming can’t disguise the verbosity and formatting issues though. This could easily be half as long, if not less, and be much better for it. It’s a good horror adventure, and those are few and far between. But man, it’s a textbook example of an adventure making sense to the author, but needing the hand of a good editor to cut Cut CUT.

While in a small Japanese village the players hear some rumors. Some primitive villagers on a nearby island have silver with weird runes on them, there are pirates on the island, the island is a Heavenly Ark, left behind during the Age of Gods, and/or there’s a legendary sword on the island. This brings the party to the island. The first eight pages are full of background, historical and fictional, which condenses down to “you’re in a village and hear some rumors”, with it assumed the party follows up on. The actual content in this section is pretty weak, consisting mostly of just the half-column of rumors. Everything else should have been stuck in an appendix to safely ignore.

Achieving the island, it’s full of massacre site after massacre site with great horror imagery. A ruined fishing village full of the bodies of women and children cut down. The elders hut on a hill has some bodies torn apart, impaled, in a wholly different way than the rest of the village, and the headman is at the bottom of a ladder, his neck broken from a fall. Elsewhere on the island there a woman’s body stuffed in to a sacred well. In the ark proper there are the bodies of children in various states of decay mired in muck in a small dungeon room. It’s creepy as fuck, and a slow burn until it explodes in action. It’s got some great imagery, the dungeon proper has a lot for the players to interact with and get in to trouble with, and feels for all the world like both Japanese horror AND a deadly LotFP adventure. That kind of “the only winning is not playing” high character stakes shit that Raggi adventure have had. Good horror, the slow build with creepy as fuck shit, is hard to find in adventures. This is good horror.

The adventure is also a total pain in the ass. It engages in LENGTHY descriptions of things with seemingly on the very basics effort made to organize itself. So while you get major section headings like “Village” or “Pirate Base” you also get facts mixed in to the text, all stream of consciousness style. Mixed in to the pirate base description it tells us that at night you can hear gunshots from the base all over the island. Well, fuck man. That’s important. That’s not something that you bury in the text of one location. “Wilderness encounter 45 of 134: A great visage of God hangs over this site and can be seen everywhere, pointing a big red arrow downward.” The gunshots are perhaps the most glaring example of this lack of thought, but it shows up everywhere in the adventure. The formatting of large chunks of text is just plain WRONG. Important things are mixed up in the text of trivia. You have to read a full column or more to get a grip on whats going on in a location. General descriptions should be up front, with the most obvious things, with follow up text explaining more. Summaries, indents, bullets, bolding … use the full power of word processor and layout to bring clarity to the adventure text. This is just verbose stream of consciousness writing. Sure, the layout is nice, but who cares if its a pain to run?

Here’s the description of one of the rooms in the dungeon/Ark:
“Partially submerged within the sludge on the floor are the rotten corpses of eighteen male children, each in a different state of decay and swarming with arhropods. The most recent has probably been dead for less than three weeks, and the oldest is little more than a skeleton. All of them had their neck broken; a careful examination of the more intact corps- es reveals they were tied or restrained.

These are Tokiko’s failed experiments, the children kidnapped by the villagers and killed for Antoku’s soul to possess them. This process has never been successful: the young child-emperor has retained some of his sanity and purposefully resists the process. Tokiko doesn’t know this, or perhaps she refuses to acknowledge it.”

Note that the second paragraph is all fluff/history. Irrelevant. We’re actually told this information three other places in the adventure, iirc. The first paragraph is good, but, perhaps, formatted sloppily. The last sentence, maybe the last two, could be broken out in to another paragraph or via bullets or something. It’s not such a big deal in this room description, but as the descriptions get longer and the DM text does also, it becomes critically important to make the data easily transferred to the DM during a quick text scan/read at the table. It does this over and over again. You’re not writing fluff. You’re writing a tool to be used at the table. It CONTAINS fluff, those evocative descriptions and so on, but its primary orientation must be use at the table.

I like the adventure. Nice slow burn horror with dire consequences. That’s rare enough. But man, I can’t stand the format. This morning, it’s not worth it to me to go all highlighter on it. Let’s all remember though that I have very high standards; this thing is certainly interesting and its cons may be more manageable/acceptable to a wide range of folks.

This is $7 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages. It shows you all of that background data on Japan, historical and fictional, and the small section on the second-to-last-page that has the rumors/hooks.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: Steve Ditko

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:00
With the passing of comics legend Steve Ditko, I thought it was worth looking at some of his work. I'm going to take a broad view of his career and not just focus on his work at Marvel, which many would consider his high point.

Likely his greatest work, the early issues of Spider-Man also have the virtue of being almost constantly in print in one collection or another.

Ditko's characters got more off-beat in his DC years, presaging the sort of stuff he would do in his later career in indies (though without as much of a political bend). This collection includes both the Shade the Changing-Man and Stalker stories, as well as some anthology pieces. You should check out his Creeper stuff too, but that collection is out of print and pricey.

While we wait for an omnibus of his work with the Silver Age Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and Question at Charlton, you can check out the early issues of that work in this DC Archive.

Finally, for a nice overview of his career, check out Stranger than Strange: The World of Steve Ditko.

Deeper Readings Into T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil By Gary Gygax and Frank Mentzer

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/11/2018 - 06:10
I've been offline a good part of the day because of work & I've been playing catch up with any number of OSR events going on around my area. Including a friend's T1 Village of Hommlet By Gary Gygax  part I of the Temple of Elemental Evil adventure campaign going on right now. The party has ventured deep into the heart of the mini dungeon in the moat house, found about the rumors of the Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Shooting - Evolution versus Final Fade Out

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 23:21

One of the ten Battle Boards for ATZ - Evolution.

Shooting in Final Fade Out1 - Roll 1d6 for each Target Rating (shot) and add to Rep.2 - Look at Ranged Combat Table. 3 - 4 possible results – 7 modifiers to get there.4 - If miss, target takes Received Fire Test to see what target does – Duck Back, return Fire, Carry On.5 – If hit roll for damage.·        Obviously Dead.·        Out of the Fight.·        Knocked Down Could be Stunned, Out of the Fight or Obviously Dead.Need to roll dice minimum of twice, maximum of four times.Shooting in Evolution1 – Roll 2d6 versus shooter Rep.2 – Look at Shooting Table.3 – 3 possible results – 5 modifiers to get there.4 – If miss target returns fire or charges – no dice rolling needed.5 – If hit roll for damage – Obviously Dead, Out of the Fight or Duck Back.Need to roll dice minimum of once maximum of twice. Half the rolling giving similar or same results.

Difference is less rolling needed and no Received Fire Test needed. Auto  Return ir once, if miss and get shot at again, then you Duck Back.

Example  - Billy Pink and two Gangers square off. Billy wins on the Action Table and fires first. Roll 2d6 and pass 1d6. One Ganger is hit, the other missed. Roll for damage and he goes Out of the Fight. The other Ganger now Returns Fire and misses. Billy now fires back and misses again! The Ganger cannot return Fire as he's done it before and Ducks Back instead.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[REVIEW] Tyranny of the Black Tower

Beyond Fomalhaut - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 19:47

Tyranny of the Black Tower (2018)by ExtildepoPublished by Verisimilitude Society Press3rd to 5th level
Do Not Judge a Book By Its Awesome CoverFell things are afoot in the village of Scarabad. Since the disappearance of a benevolent wizard, the locals have lived under the brutal rule of the evil lord Nim Sheog, who extorts and plunders his own people while letting the nearby goblins wreak further havoc. The Black Tower, the fortress built on the hilltop overlooking the village, sees everything. It is time for a brave band of adventurers to investigate what is amiss and set things right.
This adventure starts with a great illustration promising wahoo action, and offers an excellent initial impression with its skilfully drawn, interesting location maps, but ends up delivering an altogether different, disappointing experience. The bizarre monster the adventurers are fighting is just an afterthought to a much more mundane scenario describing a farming village ruled by an evil landlord, his castle, and the castle’s dungeons. It follows in the tradition of the “fantastic realism” you can find in The Village of Hommlet, but lacks the latter’s versatility and scope. There is a lot of “tell” (superfluous background information and lengthy explanations pointing out the obvious) and much less “show” (play-relevant details the characters may fruitfully interact with). You could cut the page count in half without losing anything interesting, and you would still have a wordy adventure in your hands.
This is a problem of presentation, but there are similar issues with the content as well. Fantastic realism succeeds when it presents interesting, believable conflicts and situations where setting logic and history matter, and can be applied in the course of complex problem-solving. It does not work here, because the situation is not very interesting: Nim Sheog is a clear baddy responsible for some evil stuff, the village denizens who receive a description are opposed to his reign, and the imprisoned wizard in his dungeon is basically benevolent. The decisions you can make in this environment are mostly obvious. On the other hand, the infiltration of the Black Tower and its dungeons, the defeat of Nim Sheog or the freeing of the wizard Bibotrop take place in an adventure site that’s not very interesting either. The tower is a succession of common rooms you’d find in a tower (guard posts, bedroom, a great hall, etc.), containing the obvious things you’d put there on the basis of their names. The dungeon rooms are fairly standard as well. There is also a kind of bet-hedging that leaves a bad aftertaste – a protective item that “only works against this particular [monster]and no other creature”, or treasure in the form of precious jewels (“quartz or diamond, Referee’s choice”).
The module should be playable, and you could get a decent gaming session or two out of it. However, the realism it brings to the table is the boring kind, and the overwriting does not help fix this impression. There is something seriously wrong with the idea density it offers – too much padding, too little meat. Without the sense of wonder or tactical complexity that defined the early TSR modules, what we are left with is a rather one-note village setting, a generic dungeon full of the obvious, and – ironically – a decent extra dungeon map that is left underdeveloped. I don’t think this module is worth bothering with. It is not really bad, but it is boring, and that’s probably worse.
No playtesters have been listed for this publication, but multiple signs point at it having been playtested.
Rating: ** / *****
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic and Cartoon Network Enterprises Announce Release of Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game

Cryptozoic - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment and Cartoon Network Enterprises today announced the limited release of Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game at San Diego Comic-Con, July 19-22, and Gen Con, August 2-5, followed by a full retail release this September. Fans can come to Cryptozoic’s Booth #115 at San Diego Comic-Con for the first opportunity to buy the 1-2 player tabletop game based on the hugely popular “Pickle Rick” episode of Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty. It includes Pickle Rick and Jaguar miniatures and a custom, collectible Pickle Rick game case that measures approximately 12.75 inches tall and holds all of the game’s components.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Avoiding the Awkward D&D Moment When a Priest, a Wizard, and a Dwarf Enter a Bar and Nothing Happens

DM David - Tue, 07/10/2018 - 10:24

A few recurring types of adventure scenes make me want to fast forward the game. For instance, I dislike when an scenario starts a party in a tavern, masquerade, or other social gathering, and then expects them to spend an hour or more mingling before the adventure finds them. Such scenes appear too regularly in Adventurer’s League scenarios. Even the adventure that introduced fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons to the public, Murder in Baldur’s Gate, started by letting characters mingle in a marketplace while they waited for the adventure to start.

This setup comes from good motives. Many role-playing gamers enjoy role playing, so a gathering of lovingly-crafted and colorful non-player characters seems like a playground. But I’ve never seen such setups offer more than a struggle for dungeon masters or players. I wrote a post about my trouble making Murder in Baldur’s Gate work during the convention slots I ran it.

Instead of living up to an author’s ambition, these mix-and-mingle scenes follow a different pattern:

  1. While the dungeon master describes the colorful occupants of an inn, players update their character sheets, snack, and check their phones. The most attentive players will remember one—perhaps two—of the NPCs crowding in the scene.
  2. Players enjoy a moment of vicarious wealth as their characters, who carry thousands of gold in loose change, pay a gold piece for a 1 copper piece cup of ale because keeping track of coppers is too much bother.
  3. Players of dwarves act out their character’s exaggerated appetite for ale. (To players of dwarves, ale provides as much material as air travel and 7-Eleven provide to stand-up comics.)
  4. The characters look for the mysterious hooded figure beckoning from a corner.
  5. If no figure beckons, characters wait for the bar fight. Sometimes an impatient player starts one.
  6. If no bar fight erupts, players start metagaming as they try to determine how to start the scheduled adventure. “Innkeeper, have we entered the wrong establishment? I was told there would be adventure here.”

The mix-and-mingle scenes fizzle because players lack an objective other than discover how to make the adventure start. When characters lack a goal and a DM launches a role-playing scene anyway, players wind up wondering what they are supposed to do.

Instead, players should enter a scene with a goal they think their characters can accomplish. Convince the fearful witness to name the assassin. Pass the sphinx that bars the way. Get the name of an alchemist who can supply reagents.

To succeed, a scene needs more than a goal. If the dwarf enters the bar with a purse full of gold and a goal of drinking ale, then a good bartender ends the scene in a hurry.

In Dungeons & Dragons, as in fiction, the really interesting action happens when the characters have both a goal and an obstacle that stands in their way. In the early days, the objective (treasure) was as simple as the obstacles (dungeons and dragons). Now we enjoy more variety, buy we still need the core ingredients of objectives and obstacles to keep the game moving and fun.

Sometimes players face the obstacle of not knowing which NPC in the crowd has the clue they need. This works. The players now have a reason to interact with several characters. Still, stronger obstacles make better scenes.

Typically, role-playing encounters combine an objective of gaining information or help, with the obstacle of an uncooperative non-player character.

Often the players simply try to persuade the NPC, succeed at a diplomacy check, and move on, but if every interaction amounts to a skill roll, the game loses interest. At times the bard’s honeyed words may overcome any objections; at times an NPC faces conflicts or repercussions that require action.

For more challenging and interesting encounters—and more memorable NPCs—treat some NPCs as puzzles. Just as the puzzles in a Dungeons & Dragons game have solutions, and locked doors have keys, NPCs can have keys of a sort too. Every NPC who stands unwilling to cooperate must have a reason for it. To unlock the NPC’s help, players must find ways to defuse or overcome their objections. Perhaps the NPCs feel certain they’re being watched, or they love someone working for the villain, or they plan to buy the reagents. For more ideas, see 22 Reasons why a non-player character won’t cooperate. If an NPC enters an interaction with a reason not to help the players, give the players enough clues to find a way past the objection.

A lack of goals or obstacles explains some of the game’s less-interesting stretches.

You can pace your game by looking at the players’ objectives and the obstacles they face. If no obstacles challenge the party, then consider summarizing events until something new blocks the players’ progress. See How to Use Scenes and Summaries to Focus on the Best Parts of a Role-Playing Adventure.

If the players lack objectives, then unveil some new development that suggests their next step. Characters should start each scene with an objective that can be achieved in the scene, and they should end with a new objective or, better still, a choice of objectives. A steady supply of objectives keeps the game moving forward and the players eager for more. A choice of objectives prevents the players from feeling railroaded.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Tao of The Clash of The Titans 1981 & The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook By Gary Gygax

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 18:47
I've talked about not burning out or giving in to the apathy that comes with real life & all of the responsibilities that go with it. Sometimes its about going back to the sweet spots of life & grabbing a memory path to tap into. For me its the Summer of Eight One right around June when the original Clash of the Titans film dropped into theaters. It was an exciting time to be in Dungeons & Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Announce Release of Classic Harley Quinn Vinyl Figure

Cryptozoic - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products today announced the release of the Classic Harley Quinn vinyl figure at San Diego Comic-Con, July 19-22, followed by a full retail release after the convention. This 7-inch vinyl figure pays tribute to the character’s origins by depicting Harley in her classic red-and-black jester costume, the same outfit she wore when she was first introduced in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Scenario from Ontario

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:18

By Kiel Chenier & Zzarchov Kowloski
Self published
Low levels

(These are the results from a writing contest, with little extra polish.)

This 49 page canadian-themed adventure has two scenarios: Sugar Shack Slaughter and Maple Witch of the Beaver Wars. They each take up about half the book. Both are set in the pseudohistory of the 17th century of LotFP. They both ooze a lot of flavor, local and otherwise, with quite good encounters. And they both could have used more editing/layout, with the first being better than the second, but not great either. The first is essentially a monster hunt while the second has just a bit more roleplay, although I would say both are very roleplay heavy.

The first scenario is more developed than the second, with the second being more in the line of free form ideas in paragraph form with some general large section headings. The first dows more with whitespace, indents, bullets, and so on to make the information more readily available to find during play. The second has long paragraph that has three NPC’s in it, describing all three of them. Bullet points or paragraph breaks, perhaps with bolding, would have done wonder to make it more accessible and less like a wall of text … which major sections of it are.

Nitpicking at the first, the hex map is a little light to read hex boundaries, and the wandering and movement stuff really should have been included on the hex page also, to put everything together instead of spread out over multiple pages. It does this in multiple places, and could have been formatted better to keep important things, like what the syrup farm owner knows, all on one page. But …

It DOES have a nice little section NPC’s. The core concepts of both are great and there are PACKED with flavor. Furt traders, one sick, will trade some beaver pelt for a cure … but not all of them! That’s a great roleplay scene, between the party and them and between the two of them. “Jaque! Give them more so I will be healed! No! We need that money!”

The monster hunt has a 50hd 600hp blob monster that, if killed, reforms, That’s pretty nice! Finding your way to a cursed tree and a trapped spirit to be banished finishes things up. Along the way are complications from the natives, and government/business conflicts with bribes. Maple syrup, beaver pelts, witches, native tribes, fur traders … all its missing are some mounties and hockey players for the most canadian thing ever written.

(Speaking of, Canada needs some more tourist traps. Mounties, first peoples, hockey players, fur traders, all walking around in the same fake forts.)

The hooks present are pretty blah … except for one. It’s mostly just hired jobs and missing relatives. But, a central point of the first adventure is a missing maple syrup mogul. One hook has you searching for her … but for revenge! She has wronged you and by god you’ll not let her get off so easy as to have a monster take her! I love the logic of it! Great hook!
My, what a worthless review I’ve written. If you’ve ever wondered why I usually just reviewone adventure in multi-paks, this is it. I do a terrible job.

Anyway, they are both very flavorful and evocative. The encounters in each are top notch, memorable without trying to be over the top. And they both FEEL like Canadian adventures. And they both have serious usability issues. Whil the first, the monster hunt, has better formatting, it’s still quite lengthy, the sort that digest with large margins gives you, and the second is just free form text, IMO.

This is $4.50 at DriveThru. The preview is worthless, giving you no idea of the writing in each section.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Aberration!

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:00

I had hoped to show an example of the layout for the front (fluff) and back (game stats) of the pages in the Armchair Planet Who's Who today, but unfortunately, I was only able to get the front page finished to my satisfaction. Hopefully, I'm have the back page with ICONS stats up in a post later this week.

If you'd like to see the Marvel Super-Heroes rpg stats for this guy, you can find them here.


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