Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Tomb of the Lovelorn

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:13


By Morten Greis Petersen
Greis Games
Labyrinth Lord
Levels 3-4

For generations the anger of a scorned wizard has kept two lovers from each other, but now adventurous souls delving into an ancient tomb is about to change all that, though they may never live to see the results.

This nineteen page adventure details a thirteen room tomb inhabited by a pair of undead servants who maintain the place for some (dead) separated lovers. It’s got a great undead vibe going on and good imagery, magic items, challenges, and monsters. It does get a bit long in places, in both flowery read-aloud and DM text, but good formatting helps.

I’m rather fond of these Danish translations. They belong to a series called Hinterlands and I’ve looked forward to seeing new ones; something quite rare for me. They are, at once, both low fantasy and high fantasy. They have that sense of the places being natural and well developed without droning on or appealing to the baser elements like “waste disposal” and the like. My favorite adventures seem to have some thought put to them, not in mechanics or balance, but in motivations and What Would It Be Like … without forgetting that the goal is to have fun.

So, a tomb. Two lovers, one dead and one undead and trapped. Two undead mummy servants who maintain the tomb and sometimes kidnap people to feed to the I-Dont-Know-I’m-dead guy. The party can stumble on the ruins of a grave complex, or encounter some youths just back from an expedition. That’s my favorite since it involves the traditional tavern, stupid braggart kids, and others in the tavern overhearing. Anyway, the thing is supplemented by some rumors which are, generally, more in the realm of hooks. This includes two guardsmen trying to calm a group of peasants by encouraging them to just stay inside at night and lock their doors, as well as a different one that has Fake news! all over it. The more typical dream and//or woman-in-a-crowd are there also, and are significantly weaker.

There’s good monsters and treasure. They tend to all be unique entities and not book creatures. The two mummy-like servants have personalities and will talk to the party, always a good thing. They want to eventually kill them, of course, but the friendly undead before I kill is a classic and I do love the classics! There’s also some undead spirits and ghosts that can/could talk before combat, and even the dead guy who doesn’t know he’s dead. (Getting him to realize that is one of the main adventure goals, so he can move along and meet his dead girlfriend in the afterlife.) The unique nature of them is a good feature, and even extends to the tomb rats, who try and drag bodies away. Those extra little bits liven up combats so they are not just roll-to-hit … something DCC recognized as well. The magic items get good descriptions and have some unique properties that DONT seem like the mechanics were thought of first. The map has some nice same-level features like same-level stairs and hallways going over and under others. I love the vibe those features give exploring parties.

The descriptions are evocative, with swarms of fat flies and putrid congealed bodily fluids and reeks of rotting flesh. An oozing mass of flesh from several merged headless bodies with a sickening stench of rot … quivering flesh covered in leaking pustules with acidic liquid flowing and popping with a spray of … well, you get the picture. And that’s the point: getting the picture. Good evocative writing is short and paints a picture for the DM so they can expand and enhance it for the party. That’s what this does. Well, for the most part.

It falls down on the “short” point. The read-aloud can sometimes tend toward the overly flowery and the DM text can get long. Mechanic effects get long and sometimes there’s a sentence or two of backstory. I know that sounds trivial, but the third time were told the mummies were charged with maintaining the tomb … well, it gets redundant and distracts from the important stuff at the table during the game.

The use of paragraph breaks and bolding is ok, which helps break up the text and focus specific topics to specific paragraphs … something that seems obvious but which many adventures don’t do. So, it’s not unworkable but it is on the edge of it.

Ik kan glas eten. Het doet geen pijn.

This is $2 at DriveThru. The preview is five pages and shows you some of the hooks and rumors and a few rooms. “The darkness retreats from the light” can be seen in the read-aloud, as well as a good sense of the writing style, both positive and negative.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/240685/Tomb-of-the-Lovelorn

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: More Metabarons

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:00

I heard there was a Metabarons comic on Free Comic Book Day, which precedes a new Metabarons series. I've mentioned Metabarons on this blog before, but for those unfamiliar with it, it's the Greek Tragedy by way of Space Opera generational saga by  Alejandro Jodorowsky that he came up with riffing off ideas from his aborted attempt to get a Dune movie made.

The original "Saga of the Metabarons" was published, complete, in English in the early 2000s. In 2014, there was a sort of prequel Metabarons Genesis: Castaka published in 2014.

Hearing about this new series, I went looking to see if I had missed something, and what do you know? I had. There are already two volumes in a series called The Metabaron. Now, I haven't read these yet myself, so I can't comment on them (though I'll have them in hand this week), but I wanted you guys to know they were out there:

The Metabaron Book 1: The Techno-Admiral and the Anti-Baron

The Metabaron Book2: The Techno-Cardinal and the Transhuman

Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 1 - Sketch Card Previews, Part 9

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 21:26

 

Please enjoy the ninth installment of our Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 1 Sketch Card previews, hand-drawn by our talented artists. Set coming soon!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Monsters, Manuals,& Clark Ashton Smith Mythological Ecology Within Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 19:22
Some days as a dungeon master you've got to double down on dungeons & monsters. I spoken at length about how dungeons are created by the very forces of Chaos & corruption that occur around them. This isn't a new idea but I've been going through Monsters of Mayhem #1 by Dark Wizard Games. And I've been brain storming the same issue that I've had with the NeoPlastic Press's Teratic Tome  & Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[REVIEW] Masks of Lankhmar

Beyond Fomalhaut - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 16:40

Masks of Lankhmar (2015)by Michael CurtisPublished by Goodman Games1st level
Warning: Severe ending spoilersHeists are hard to capture in the form of a D&D module. A party of adventurers is usually not well equipped with the skills to pull off a smooth, silent burglary; someone is inevitably too loud, too clumsy, or there are just too many people in the way. City-based heists also have many variables which can lead to unpredictable cascading events, or branch off in ways you can’t fully cover in the scenario without making it bloated and unmanageable. In play, this calls for a loose interpretation of the rules; and in writing, compromises between text and suggestion, written module and improvisation. When D&D thievery works, it is exhilarating, fun, and full of unlikely victories and dramatic reversals.
Masks of Lankhmar, introductory module to Goodman Games’ yet-unpublished Lankhmar supplement, errs on the side of being a sweet slice of nothing. There is a superb plot in the background that’d make for a hell of a Leiber story: it has intrigue, dark irony, urban gloom and a hokey ending that’s completely Leiberesque, but there is not much of an adventure inside it. It evokes something from what makes Lankhmar so fascinating, but it is limited as an RPG scenario.
A Map Illustrating
the ProblemBriefly, Masks follows the fate of a long-gone religious order who have left behind a bunch of valuable masks… and the characters stumble on their trail in a heist gone bad. Thus, the module is divided into an in medias resbeginning (an interrupted burglary in the mansion of a rich magnate), an intermission for information gathering, the recovery of the masks in the order’s now crumbling (but hardly vacant) temple, and finally the denouement. It is mostly a railroad in the segments covered in detail. There are branches here and there in how the players can get through a problem (such as escaping the magnate’s manor), but the action usually takes place in small physical locales where you either can’t go anywhere but forward, or you can go places but only forward matters (since the scenario doesn’t cover the other places). There are no side areas, no alternate approaches, no unlikely discoveries, and the progression of events is mostly preordained. The beginning heist is a linear sequence of five encounters taking place in three small rooms, followed by an escape with three alternative paths through a not much larger location. The main adventure area is a complex place, but only one encounter (to get through all the complex scenery which barely plays a role), followed by seven sequential encounters on the Adventure Express.

Masks of Lankhmar, ironically, becomes the most interesting in the areas it does not try to cover. Following the trail of the initial clues can be fun and open-ended if the GM drags it out a little, and the multiple ending possibilities tie up the heist in ways that establish the characters’ standing with different city factions, and lead to interesting new adventures. There are proper consequences to the players’ actions! It also shows evidence of imagination in the rooms and situations it sets up. Golden masks glittering through the funereal shrouds of the dead. A posh party thrown by an upstart who wants to get into high society. The Thieves’ Guild trailing the characters. A slum tenement filled with the dregs of society. Lankhmar’s soot and filth, glamour and decadence are all on display, and some of the encounters are pretty good – although in a severely lacking structure which inhibits the players in properly interacting with them.
The module serves its purpose of getting the characters together (in Lankhmar RPG terms, this is called “the Meet”) and launching a campaign. On the other hand, it is small and very limited in scope, while simultaneously feeling overwritten, with the boxed text and background information overwhelming the action. I don’t usually review production values (life and experience have left me bitter and cynical in this regard), but this booklet’s layout bothered me. Nothing wrong with the two-column solution, but leaving in orphans and stat blocks which necessitate page flipping is lazy, especially for a pro publisher.
I vacillated on Masks of Lankhmar’s rating, and gave it three stars on the strength of its imagery, and its evocation of mood. However, taken on its own – pure gameplay – it is severely lacking. Decision-making is superficial, player agency is mostly illusory. Of course, not every module has to have the same level of player agency, but this felt unnecessarily stifling. The same general storyline could be reconstructed as a much more open adventure, and re-written as a more efficient yet equally expressive piece of writing. There is a philosophy which suggests intro adventures should be small and unassuming, while explaining everything to the GM in detail. Personally, I’d rather see the exact opposite: intro adventures which offer GM advice economically, and offer the full, complex game experience in a newbie-friendly package.
The adventure credits its playtesters, and it had been through play on three conventions.
Rating: *** / *****
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Alien Gods, Dungeons & Dragons Elves, & Hellish Demons For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 06:19
Tonight I'm thinking about the  Original Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons PC race of Elves. Elves from pop culture have always to a certain extent been well problematic. Though I know where they come from Tolkein's Hobbit & Lord of the Rings books. In my mind there's always been a distinct disconnect from the Elves of mythology & Dungeons & Dragons.  But the ideas that theseNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 245: Murder of Crows From Atlas Games

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 18:22

In Murder of Crows you try and tell a murderous story before your opponents do. Sounds simple, but they try and thwart you with every play.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

I hope to play my first game Thursday night.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pathfinder Battles: Kingmaker! It Looks Sexy!

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 14:22
Annoucing Pathfinder Battles: Kingmaker!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Now that we’re done with previews of Jungle of Despair—which releases next week—I’m excited to announce the next Pathfinder Battles miniatures set from our partners at WizKids.

Currently scheduled for an October release, Pathfinder Battles: Kingmaker, is the fifteenth set of prepainted plastic miniatures in the popular Pathfinder Battles line. Featuring 44 randomized figures in sizes ranging from Small to Large, and six pieces of dungeon dressing, Pathfinder Battles: Kingmaker exemplifies the commitment to quality sculpts and paint jobs, as well as variety and utility of figures, the line is known for.

As always, customers who order a case of Pathfinder Battles: Kingmaker boosters will also have the opportunity to purchase the set’s case incentive. This set’s two-figure incentive features the earth and water elemental lords, completing the Huge elemental series we began last year in Maze of Death with the air and fire elemental lords.

No Kingmaker set would be complete without some of the iconic allies and villains from the Kingmaker Adventure Path, such as the troll leader and Nyrissa, a Large uncommon and Medium rare figure, respectively.

There are also a number of more generic tropes of the genre we’re releasing for the first time, like the bat swarm, werewolf, and oni mage. These figures fill in some of the gaps from the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, which many fans have requested we represent as thoroughly as possible in prepainted plastic. The bat swarm and werewolf are both Medium figures, at the common and uncommon rarities, respectively, while the oni mage is a Large uncommon figure.

With the pending release of Pathfinder Kingmaker, the first isometric, party-based computer RPG set in the Pathfinder fantasy universe (now in Beta for Kickstarter backers!), we also had the unique opportunity to provide miniatures of the many new characters being introduced in the game by the game’s developers at Owlcat Games. These companions will join the player along their journey to conquer and rule the Stolen Lands, and can now join players in their tabletop games as well. Check out Regongar, half-orc magus, the first of these companions we’re showing off. A Medium rare figure, Regongar also makes a great PC or enemy NPC with the lightning spell effect giving him unmatched gravitas on the battle mat.

We’re still a few months away from showing off the entire set, but keep coming back weekly for more Pathfinder (and Starfinder) miniature previews. Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the figures in next wave of Deep Cuts unpainted plastic miniatures from WizKids. Until then, keep rolling 20s!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Shrine of Fallen Angels

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 11:28


By WR Beatty
Rosethrone Publishing
S&W

The faithful will sometimes make a pilgrimage to pray at the Shrine of the Fallen Angels. Legends tell of angelic visitations and miracles. Certainly there is more to this shrine than simply a place for pilgrims to pay homage to a long forgotten saint.

This nineteen page adventure details a 20-ish room shrine/tomb of a local saint. It’s got a great OD&D vibe but suffers from formatting issues that lead to a wall of text. It could also be a disaster for the party, scale-wise. The content is ok, but I expect more from formatting/usability in 2018.

I dig an OD&D vibe. By that, I mean a style of encounter that doesn’t seem a derigour as conventional encounters. It’s not that the encounters are all that different, deep down, but they seem more natural. Each encounter must, eventually, debase itself in to providing mechanics, but it seems like OD&D-style encounters tend to do that much later in the designers thought process, and with less devotion to standard mechanics. It’s as if someone sat down and thought about what a hermit pilgrim, for example, might be and imagined it in their head and then wrote it down. Then, at some point, with almost no preconceived notions, noted mechanics for it.

There is a freshness that comes from these, and they seem effortlessly natural to the location than a lot of other writing styles have.

The wandering table is a great one, for example, because of this. Note this one: “A grave digger carrying the ashes of the Lord of the Valley. He is supposed to bury them at the shrine, but he is worried about his sick wife at home.” There’s so much embedded in that description. Most notably, it gives the grave digger some reason to interact with the party and to drive some potential action. And such it is with almost all of the wandering encounters. They contain a kind of potential energy,

But, it is also these wandering monsters that the first hints of issues are encountered. Some of them can be quite long. FUll of flavor? Absolutly. An owlbear with maximum hit points referred to by the locals as The Grey Bear with a hideously deformed left paw … which causes him to not hug and fall over if he hits of max damage? A minor demon (his patron) and a ghost show up on the encounter tables if you kill him? That’s some serious fucking chrome right there. It’s not just all in the owlbears favor, with a hit bonus, but has a natural vibe with the no hugs and falling over. It also takes a lot of text to get there.

That text journey is the adventures major problem. It’s long. There’s not much formatting with whitespace or even bolding. THis lends to a wall of text property that is quite hard to dig through during play at the table. Details are hidden in the middle of paragraphs that you would want to know or call out during play. It’s almost feels like a stream of consciousness writing style with no pauses to take a breath. There is a lot of richness and depth, but it can be conveyed better with a little bolding and whitespace.

Old school can design without an appeal to scaling and that’s done here … perhaps too much. Some creatures have 1d3 HP and others are 10hd or 60hp. Further, defiling the tomb has some SERIOUSLY bad consequences and it’s not clear to me that any warning of that is present. Looting abandoned places is what parties do … but in this case it can EASILY trigger a massive retaliation that even higher level parties would be hard pressed to live through.

So while the adventure has a very natural vibe to it, and is rich in gameable detail, it also hides that in a way that better editing could have solved. The disproportionate response to defiling is a little out of place also.. It may be a personal style thing; if you know your DM runs games like that then its ok. But if you’ve been defiling places with little godly consequences and then out of nowhere get TPK’d, well, the party might justly note a bait and switch.

This is interesting the way MERP products are interesting. But I’m seriously not convinced of its usability.

This is $2 at DriveThru. The preview shows you some of the great wandering encounters near the beginning. The last page shows you some of the location writing style, and gets in to some of the writing style positives and negatives.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/237736/The-Shrine-of-the-Fallen-Angels

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Misty Isle of the Meanies

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 11:00
Our Land of Azurth 5e campaign continued last night, with the party and friends still lost at sea after displeasing the Sea King. Their submarine had wondered into strange, dense fog. Kory Keenstep recalls legends of the mist-enshrouded paradise of Cucana and is sure they have found it. When Captain Cog sights a green and pleasant isle in his optics, it seems that Keenstep may becorrect.

When Waylon, Dagmar, and Erekose go ashore, they find the pleasantness to be an illusion. The island is gray and mostly barren and cloaked in gray skies and a sulfurous stench. Going ashore, they find paths strewn with the pulverized bits of broken toys, and occasional gray statues that look more like petrified people.

They made their way past the giant, sessile worms with lolling stripped tongues to the Blue Pagoda City. There they encountered the disagreeable blue meanies--and ended up slaughtering them in fairly large numbers. The party wandered through the bunker encountering and defeating a number of odd and violent people before apparently reaching the inner sanctum of "His Blueness."

This adventure began a loose adaptation of Chris Kutalik's Misty Isles of the Eld, liberally mashed together with the film Yellow Submarine.


Dangerous Duplicity & Dire Alien Menace - Actual Pulp Era Campaign Event Six

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 05:43
Among the wreckage of a Grey scout saucer the PC's discover a particularly valuable cargo. The whole site was coordinated & several alien engineer drone & minor robots were trying to repair the same scout saucer. slice & dice stripper & salvage  ships from last night's game Our adventurer's salvager called in his patron's slice & dice stripper ship. The ship stripped down the scout saucer Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mecha & Cavemen

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 14:03
The physical copies of the the English translation of the French prehistoric rpg Würm finally arrived last week. I got the main rulebook and the Voice of Our Ancestors  magazine with rules and adventures. I taked about the main rulebook pdf before. On of the Voice of Ancestors issues has rules for the benefits conferred by ritual cannibalism, which is an interesting edition. I don't know if I can convince my group to play it, but I'm not sorry I backed the Kickstarter.

Tom Parkinson-Morgan, the author of Kill 6 Billion Demons, released the latest iteration of his mecha rpg Lancer for free. I confess I have not read through it yet, but hey, it's free.

Mistmourn Warg for Super Dungeon Explore

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 07:43

The latest in our masterclass resin miniature series for Super Dungeon Explore is the Mistmourn Warg! This fearsome beast is available to order now! Get yours while supplies last!

“The wargs of the Mistmourn Coast grow exceptionally dangerous. Unlike other wargs, they are not pack hunters. Instead, each one strikes out on its own to claim its territory. These beasts grow to exceptional size and are frequently manipulated by the Dark Consul against the heroes of Crystalia. When a warg leads the Consul’s minions into battle, its howl emboldens those around it, driving them into a frenzy with the warg at their backs.”
Includes:

  • 1x Mistmourn Warg Resin Model (Assembly Required)
  • 1x Mini Boss Card (Classic)
  • 1x Mini Boss Card (Arcade)
  • 1x Chew Toy Treasure Card
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Star Realms Arena is Here!

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 04:58

We are thrilled to announce Star Realms Arena, in-app digital tournaments for the award-winning Star Realms Deckbuilding Game, will be available in the latest Star Realms update today at 11 am EST. We will also be releasing the United Heroes expansion as part of this update. From its beginning in 2014, the Star Realms app has been a favorite for board gamers. It was recently selected as an Editor’s Choice Pick on Android, has been featured by Apple, has won the Best Mobile BGG Golden Geek Award, and was voted as the #1 “Top 10 Apps to Own for Board Gamers” in a 2018 BGG Community Survey.

 

 

 

Star Realms Arena Key Features:

  • Free weekly entry into an Arena tournament
  • Weekly formats to win prizes, including digital foil cards
  • Ability to play with Star Realms expansions (without purchasing the expansions!)
  • Race to the Stars to get the Brain World avatar

 


New Arena Tournament Play, Digital Foil Cards and Heroes in the Star Realms App!
Players can now compete in weekly online tournaments to win prizes in the widely popular Star
Realms app with a different format each week.
May 1, 2018 – Framingham, MA – White Wizard Games LLC, the company created by Magic:
The Gathering Hal of Famers Darwin Kastle and Rob Dougherty, today announced that the
United Heroes expansion and all-new in-app tournament play, Star Realms Arena, has been
added to the popular Star Realms app. From its beginning in 2014, the Star Realms app has been
a favorite for board gamers. The Star Realms app was recently selected as an Editor’s Choice
Pick on the Android Play Store, has been featured on the Apple store, has won the Best Mobile
BoardGameGeek Golden Geek Award, and was voted as the #1 “Top 10 Apps to Own for Board
Gamers” in a 2018 BoardGameGeek Community Survey.
United Heroes is a $2 expansion with a new campaign chapter and 8 powerful new Heroes for
your Trade Deck. More powerful than the heroes from the Crisis set, these cards generate a
powerful effect and trigger unused ally abilities of their faction twice, once when you acquire
them and again when you sacrifice them.
Star Realms Arena is a weekly tournament format with trophy stars and foil cards as prizes. In
order to play in the Arena, players can download the Star Realms update, and then click on the
Arena symbol in the top right-hand corner of the Play Online lobby. Each week, there is a
different tournament format, and players can win prizes based on how many games they win.
Once a player joins an Arena, they can play until they get 6 wins, or 2 losses, whichever comes
first. All Arena games will be real-time, and extra time has been added to the clock so that
players won’t feel too rushed.
Rob Dougherty, CEO of White Wizard Games says, “We are super excited about the new Star
Realms Arena. Not only will players get to compete for prizes with a different format every
week, but everyone will be able to play with all of our expansions in Arena.”
Arena will have a new format each week with its own special rules. Often these formats will be
from the Scenarios set. For example, one week Arena may be Flare Mining, which allows each
player to pay 1 trade to draw a card and then discard a card, once per turn.. The next week Arena
might be Rushed Defenses which makes bases cost 1 less and ships go on top of your deck when
acquired. Arena will also use specific sets each week, but players will be able to play Arena
using those sets even if they don’t own those sets! All players will get one free Arena
Tournament entry each week, and they can purchase or win credits to play in additional Arena
Tournament that same week. The first 100 players to reach 100 Trophy Stars will receive the
Brain World avatar in the app!
Arena prizes are awarded based on the number of wins. Some prizes are available in every Arena
tournament (like Trophy Stars). Other prizes are only available once per week (like Credits or
weekly digital Foil Cards) or once per season (like Season Avatars or Season Foil Cards).
The new Star Realms update with the United Heroes expansion and Star Realms Arena will go
live at 11 am EST today. Watch a livestream of Star Realms Arena play with the United Heroes
expansion tonight at 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm EST on the White Wizard Games Twitch Channel at
www.twitch.tv/whitewizardgames

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PAIZOCON 2018 RUNS MAY 25-28 IN SEATTLE

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 04:08
PAIZOCON 2018 RUNS MAY 25-28 IN SEATTLE



Gamers worldwide converge for the annual celebration of all things Paizo.

 

REDMOND, WASHINGTON (May 5, 2018): Join Paizo staff, authors, artists, and more for a weekend of gaming and camaraderie! The Pathfinder Playtest doesn’t release until August, but attendees at PaizoCon will get a chance to see the evolution of Pathfinder in action. They can also playtest the updated Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. The convention runs May 25-28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels in Seattle, Washington.

Win the Lottery! Attendees should prioritize signing up for the event lottery at PaizoCon.com, which allows hundreds of fans to get an equal chance at claiming a coveted spot at events. The opportunity for attendees to rank their event preferences ends on Tuesday, May 8 at 2:00 pm PST.

PaizoCon events include the Preview Banquet, panels, seminars, workshops, and exclusive gaming events. There will be organized play sessions for Starfinder Society, Pathfinder Society, and the Adventure Card Guild. Paizo staff, game industry veterans, and fans will run open gaming. Special Guests include artist Taylor Fischer, who will host panels on designing aliens and monsters, and the Glass Cannon Podcast, who have promised events and shenanigans all weekend long.

4-Day Badges are $75, Preview Banquet tickets are $35 and purchasing them together gives attendees a $10 discount. There are Kids Badges for children ten years old and younger. Single Day Badges will be available in person at the PaizoCon convention store and are priced at $25 for adults and $15 for kids.

Fans can learn more and register at paizocon.com.


About Paizo

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

DIG Second Edition and its expansion DIG: Dragon! are now live on Kickstarter, until May 22nd.

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 04:07
Now on Kickstarter

Board Game Circus, the marketing team behind the KS hit Arena: The Contest and their French partner, Mangrove Games, the publisher of DIG and Planetopia, are collaborating once again! DIG Second Edition and its expansion DIG: Dragon! are now live on Kickstarter, until May 22nd.

DIG is an action-packed push-your-luck game in which players compete to find the most loot in their galleries and hire the most promising companions to be the first one to find 5 precious gems. A lot of risk is involved, clever mitigation and a good portion of luck. The expansion adds another layer of push-your luck to the game, as well as new specialists, helping you to achieve your goal faster… but at a cost. DIG: Dragon! is fully compatible with the first edition of DIG.

“Our cooperation with Mangrove Games started over a year ago, when we made sure that DIG saw the light of the day, and since developed into a friendship around developing and publishing entertaining board games in France and Germany. Julien has put a lot of thought in the rules and visual presentation DIG, it was a please discovering it bit by bit (see what I did there) and diving into the depth of the Dragon’s Lair in the new expansion.”, mentions Daniel Theuerkaufer, co-Founder of Board Game Circus.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Robit Riddle from Atlas Games June 2018

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 03:35

In June, Atlas Games will distribute Baba Geek Games’ new title Robit Riddle to the distribution channel.

In Robit Riddle, the players make believe that they are robots trying to find their missing pet robits.

  • A GM-free introduction to roleplaying.
  • Easy to learn, quick to play.
  • Three family-friendly storybooks with more than 50 endings.
  • Art by John Ariosa (Mice & Mystics).
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fall of 2018 Wendake from Renegade Games

Gamer Goggles - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 02:52

San Diego, CA (May 1, 2018) — Renegade Game Studios™ is excited to announce the upcoming release of Wendake a unique action selection and resource management game designed by Danilo Sabia. Originally published in Italy and released at Essen in 2017 through Placentia Games and Post Scriptum, Wendake will now be available to North American fans through this continued partnership.

Pre-orders are available now for pick up at Gen Con, August 2-5th. 2018.

Fans can also pre-order Wendake now from their Friendly Local Game Store for delivery in Fall, 2018.

As a member of The Renegade Society, we will make sure you don’t miss future updates about Wendake including when we post the rule book, and fun photos of the game as we get closer to the release!

 

“Wendake” is the name that the Wyandot People use for their traditional territory. This population, also known as the Huron Nation, lived in the Great Lakes region together with the Iroquois, Shawnee, Potomac, Seneca, and many others. In this game, you explore the traditions and everyday life of these tribes during the 1756-1763 period when the Seven Years War between the French and the English took place in these territories.

But this white man’s war is really only a marginal aspect of the game; the focus is on life in the Native villages, fields, and forests. In this game, you won’t find the traditional teepees since those were used by southwestern tribes who moved their camps to follow the herds of buffalo. The Natives of the Great Lakes were sedentary, living in long houses. The women farmed beans, corn, and pumpkins, while men hunted beavers in the forests, mainly to sell their pelts as leather.

In the game Wendake, you are placed in the shoes of a chief of a Native American tribe. You have to manage all of the most important aspects of their lives, earning points on the economic, military, ritual, and mask tracks.

The core of the game is the action selection mechanism: You have the opportunity to choose better and better actions over seven game rounds, and the winner will be the player who can find the best combinations of actions and use them to lead their tribe to prosperity.

Quick Facts
MSRP: $65
SKU: RGS820
North America Release Date: Fall 2018
Game Type: Action Selection, Resource Management, Area Control

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Building be67, a LL/MF supplement for the weird 60s, Part 3 (classes, ability scores, skills and weapon mastery)

The Disoriented Ranger - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 14:04
Here we are again, talking a bit more about how to transport your Labyrinth Lord/Mutant Future game into the Weird Sixties (which totally should be a thing, btw, but isn't). More Grindhouse aesthetic, more gory violence, more funky stuff. All optional, of course. Today we'll explore a bit the classes for be67, ability scores, skills, weapon mastery and some random character generation. Here we go ...
You want to catch up? Check out Part 1 and Part 2 a bit further below.
[source]  (Random) Character generation
I had it all a bit backwards, since I wanted to show you guys the "extraordinary splatter" part of the game (and because those parts adapt well to all basic editions). However, this (probably) last part of the series will give you the complete character creation process in the order I'd do it at the table. If you know D&D/LL/MF or any other game like it, you'll know your way around and spot the differences easily enough. Most of the changes here are cosmetic to some degree or another, because we are playing the Weird Sixties, baby ...
1. ABILITY SCORES
Roll 3d6 per ability score, in order. Re-roll one ability score (keep better result). The ability scores are (names will defer from the editions you know):
  • POWER! – a character’s strength (bonus to attack)
  • Dex (was here) – a character’s finesse (bonus to AC)
  • Con is for Constitution (bonus to hp per level)
  • Wits – a character’s intelligence (skill points)
  • Zen – a character’s wisdom (bonus to social interaction & Initiative)
  • Funk – a character’s groove (luck pool)
A player may take any amount from his Funk score as a bonus to Saves or rolls or to reduce damage he received. The only ways to regain those points are (1) whenever a character gains a new level (restore up to the original maximum), (2) a wish and (3) a heavy psychedelic experience.I may offer an alternative way in the rules to roll up ability scores (the rule originates here):Players may roll 18d6, and note every single result. For every rolled 6, players may re-roll a lower result and take the new roll instead.  Three digits make an ability score, players can combine as they see fit (and can do so after they (or the dice!) decided on their class, see below). [source]2. CLASSES p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; direction: ltr; line-height: 120%; text-align: left; }a:link { color: rgb(0, 0, 255); }(roll 3d6: 1. is the class, 2. is some flavor (see class entry and 3. is the character’s level … follow class descriptions for individual results) -------------------p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; direction: ltr; line-height: 120%; text-align: left; }a:link { color: rgb(0, 0, 255);
1. Convict – A tough criminal (+3 to physical saves) that has “reasons” to join the party (2nd d6):
  1. he’s fighting for his freedom
  2. his sister, a prostitute, is in trouble
  3. he gets paid a giant sum to do one specific task here (and keeps it secret, needs to talk to DM)
  4. someone has his wife and child as a hostage to exploit him for his skills
  5. he’s in debt and this solves it
  6. Revenge!
  • HD: 1d10 per level
Tough Shiv – if it’s pointy and stabby you automatically get an extra die for damage.
Weapon Mastery: All weapons damages for ranged are d4, Brawl and Close Combat are d6. Everything else needs to get learned separately. 1d6 (your 3rd) points to raise or learn a new one … 1 point from d4 to d6, 2 points from d6 to d8, 3 points from d8 to d10). Exotic is zero.-------------------
2. Spy – She’s a spy, that’s what she is (get +2 on all Saves when the cause relevant for the mission). The mission is (2nd d6 - the DM will tell you what exactly … or at least what you are allowed to know):
  1. steal some documents
  2. save the world, of course
  3. kill a target that knows too much
  4. destroy evidence
  5. contact a source
  6. extract a double agent
  • HD: 1d6 per level
Agency Support – [level times] you get support during a mission from the agency you are working for. Needs to be plausible and the DM decides how it manifests. It always solves a scene, not a mission.

Weapon Mastery: Small Ranged and Heavy Ranged are d6, the rest is d4. 1d6 (your 3rd) points to raise or learn a new one … 1 point from d4 to d6, 2 points from d6 to d8, 3 points from d8 to d10.Spies double their Dex bonus to AC.

-------------------
3. Military – You are a grunt (double hp-result when rolled, always) and you are here to follow orders from (2nd d6):
  1. no one, this shit should be in your past … in Vietnam
  2. one of the other players is your superior (true for all military, even if they might have someone else, too … choose player randomly and give it a reason)
  3. your rank makes you the superior
  4. the president gave you those orders
  5. this is a personal matter
  6. black ops, bitches
If there’s more than one soldier in the group, chose the d6 with the higher number for the motivation and the lower number as the level of one additional NPC soldier in this task force. Add a soldier like that each time (so with 3 player soldiers, you'd have a troupe of 5 soldiers: 3 players and 2 non player characters).
  • HD: 1d8 per level 
Nuke ‘em from orbit (one time, all Soldiers in the team) – collect all the hp the troupe loses during the mission. One time, as a last resort, you can roll a d100 with the lost xp as an upper limit. If the roll is below, you can give the order to nuke the place from orbit. Radio contact needs to be established, the strike will be 3d6 minutes later.

Weapon Mastery: If it is a weapon, you can use it with d6. 1d6 (your 3rd) points to raise or learn a new one … 1 point from d4 to d6, 2 points from d6 to d8, 3 points from d8 to d10. Exotic is zero.

-------------------
4. Activist – You are fighting The Man and your cause is (2nd d6):
  1. fighting fascism
  2. fighting gene experiments
  3. fighting pollution
  4. fighting big corp
  5. world piece
  6. no, this is a family matter 
  • HD: 1d8
For The Cause! – Refresh all your hp [level times]. You keep coming back, man.

Weapon Mastery: Activists get Brawl and Small Ranged as a d6 and no other weapons. 1d6 (your 3rd) points to raise or learn a new one … 1 point from d4 to d6, 2 points from d6 to d8, 3 points from d8 to d10. Exotic is zero. 
-------------------
5. Journalist – The story is the thing, man. You want it all and pictures (2nd d6 times 200 is the currency you have left to work the story where it happens … getting there, equipment and all that are all already payed for).
  • HD: 1d8 per level
Journalistic Immunity – You get [level times] combats ignored as long as you do nothing but non-combative actions (taking photos, giving First Aid and so on).

Weapon Mastery: Your camera is your weapon, but roll 1d6 (your 3rd) and buy weapon skills for 1 point from d4 to d6, 2 points from d6 to d8, 3 points from d8 to d10. You always start buying the d4, every stage needs to be bought.
-------------------
6. Flower Child – Religious nut, inspired being or just a drug addict that’s on the wrong party … you are the hippie of the group. The result of the d6 is the number of drug doses you have at your disposal right now (LSD, most likely). You could share, if you want to … you are highly immune anyway (+5 to Saves against poison when perusing drugs).
  • HD 1d12 per level
Smother them with kindness - [level times] you can resolve a conflict without everyone resorting to violence. Need to win initiative for it, though, and all involved have a difficult (vs. 25+1 for everyone failing the Save) Save to avoid the peaceful solution (if one doesn’t make it, he gets one free round to do damage, after that everyone is entitled to join).

Seeing it as it is
– They have no filter and see the monsters that hide amongst humanity for what they are. This is active all the time, but nobody believes them. They take lots of drugs, after all.
Weapon Mastery: No weapon skills to begin with (love, not war, baby). But roll 1d6 (your 3rd) and buy weapon skills for 1 point from d4 to d6, 2 points from d6 to d8, 3 points from d8 to d10. You always start buying the d4, every stage needs to be bought.Flower children also double their skill points.
[source]At this point players have their ability scores (or a pool of numbers to distribute), a (random) class, guidelines for weapon mastery and an idea what the group will look like. Each player can also roll hit points at this point. Before we get to skills and what weapon mastery is, though, I'd like to introduce another feature here: 
3. THE RANDOM TRAIT GENERATOR (1D20)
1-2    Thin (-1 to Strength)
3-4    Choleric (-1 to Wisdom, +1 to Constitution)
5-6    Melancholic (+1 to Intelligence)
7-8    Nimble (+1 to Dexterity)
9-12   Normal
13-14  Serene (+1 to Wisdom)
15-16  Vivid (+1 to Luck/Charisma)
17-18  Brawny (+1 to Strength)
19-20  Fat (+1 Constitution, -1 Dexterity)

I've introduced this here. Usually I'll allow players to chose if they want to try their hands on this, since negative consequences are possible. But if they decide to test this table, they roll after they decided on a class and the ability scores are settled.
4. SKILLS
Characters get at character generation 1 skill point for every point Wits above 10. Each point buys a character a "+1" on a chosen skill. A list of skills might follow, for now I just go with what players think appropriate for their character. Other than that it is assumed that character have the skills necessary to play their class. Basic education or driving skills, for instance, are assumed and tested via the ability scores.
[Source]A skilled character just has an edge on the other characters. So having a "+1" on any skill means that characters will automatically have a partial success if their roll to test the skill (basically 1D20 + ability score vs. difficulty) comes up with a 10 or higher.Characters get another skill point (+Wits bonus) to distribute like this every 3 levels.I might go all in here and add the rules I wrote for Lost Songs of the Nibelungs here, as they easily add some depth. Might keep it optional, though.
5. WEAPON MASTERY
Weapon Mastery needs to match the rules discussed in Parts 1 & 2 in that not the weapon itself determines the damage, but the ability of a user to deal damage is what makes the difference. A man that knows how to use a knife might be just as dangerous as one knowing how to use a pistol (at least in the genre we are playing here, ha!). The Weapon Mastery for a modern times game might be a bit different than you'd need for a fantasy game, so here is how I split it:
  • Brawl (Boxing, Judo, Kung Fu)
  • Close Combat (knives and shit)
  • Small Ranged (pistols, semi-automatics)
  • Medium Ranged (shotguns, rifles)
  • Heavy Ranged (sniper rifles, mounted guns)
  • Explosives (c4, dynamite)
  • Exotic (swords or ninjutsu and shit)
Damage dice as per class description. Characters can get 1 damage die raised by one stage every 3 levels.
[source]The last thing you'll need is a mission
I'll offer a couple of scenarios and mini-adventures for be67 and the Weird Sixties here on the blog. I'm also currently writing a module for this system called "The Rise of Robo-Hitler" and it will hit shelves in December. That said, you could quite easily come up with your own scenario by checking out a vast library of Grindhouse inspired movies and comics and (computer) games from the sixties to today (check the posters alone, here for instance).
Or just take your favorite D&D adventure and twist a bit to work in the Weird Sixties (man, a rewrite of something like B2 to fit the era would be tons of fun ...).
The rules described here will offer wild shot-outs, motivated and colorful characters and bloody action. The rest is what the rules you use provide.
The game of your choice and be67
And that's that. Anything else you might need to make this work is the basic edition compatible game of your choosing: xp, level advancement, saves, everything that is missing so far. I might do some character sheets for LL, MF when I do the one for be67 (or maybe just a mini-sheet for the additional rules?).
I'll twist be67 into form in the next couple of months and it'll be available for free (probably PWYW). A fourth part of this series will probably address loose ends like armor and maybe a table for random splatter events. You don't have to change much with the original rules you are using to make this work for you. For combats, just take a monsters already existing damage dice for the weapons they carry, handle the tokens for them as the players do and you are good to go.

Everything else should apply naturally. Mortality shouldn't be much higher, but people will get crippled more and the game will be way more gritty. As I like it, actually. If you use any of this in your games, I'd be happy to hear how it worked for you, of course. Happy gaming!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

(5e) Whispers from the Void

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 11:19


By Benoit de Bernardy, Richard Jansen-Parks, JVC Parry
LoreSmyth
5e
Level 4

After enjoying many long decades of peace, the small port town of Sestone has found itself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the entire region – if not the very fabric of the mortal plane. In hopes of learning more about the growing danger, the adventurers are tasked to seek out a secretive druid circle. But the heroes are not the only ones looking for the druids.

Thirty four pages of linear encounters. Joy. With too much read-aloud. Joy. And read-aloud that tells you what you think and feel. Joy. Lots and lots of meaningless text. Joy. Why people put up with this dreck is beyond me. Do they just not know that there is better available? Yeah, yeah, “we had fun.” Whatever. I choose Camus. THis is just more of the usual 5th edition garbage.

Baron Cant-Be-Bothered asks you to go find some druids who might know how to shut down a mutation rift nearby. He gives you the name of a woman in a nearby town who may know where the druids are. She is dying on the floow when the party finds her. The druids in the forest are being attacked by pirates. You follow the pirates and kill them. There’s some other minor shit. It’s linear.

The maps are small and the key numbers on them are hard to read. Strike One.

The adventure opens with Baron I-dont-care and some villagers memorializing some dead people. No details given. Specificity is the soul of narrative. “Bob had 18 sons and never caught a fish though he loved fishing.” There. One sentence. The DM can now build on that for the eulogy’s that are supposed to take up the intro/hook. Nope. Can’t be bothered. This is bad fucking writing. It’ abstracts the parts of the adventure that the DM needs to run the encounter.

To add insult to injury it them expands useless background detail. This kind of crap reminds me of style guides for a Tv series. We gotta know the minor characters backstory for episode 89 … but there ain’t no episode 89 in D&D. It’s all just garbage and detracts from the information the DM needs to run the adventure RIGHT NOW … well, if that information were in the adventure to begin with.

You find your contact in town dying on the floor. The read-aloud is long. I guarantee that before the DM finishes reading the shitty text that someone will have cast cure light. But, no, no provision for that. The plot calls for a death and so their contact dies. It’s fucking lame. Don’t want to have the contact tell them something? THEN MAKE THEM DEAD. Yanking the fucking parties chain, teasing them with possibilities that you will DM fiat away, is no fucking way to run a D&D game. And if you think it is then you’re a fucking idiot.

Shitty long DM text abounds. Here’s the FIRST paragraph for an NPC found in a inn: “For many years, the Tomund siblings paid little attention to the town where they lived, but after his brother Guthber was found to be the cause of the missing townsfolk, Heleste has been making an effort to get to know the locals. Many still look on him with suspicion, but Ared at least appreciates the effort.”

What the fuck is the point of that? Does any of that fucking shit matter when the party strides up to him? Bad fucking writing.

“You see a winged monstrosity gliding …” Yeah, ok, failed novelist. That’s a fucking conclusion. Tell the fucking party what they see if you are going to make us suffer through read-aloud. Better yet, write one sentence of DM text that inspires the DM with a great description, the way good adventures do.

There’s three paragraphs devoted to a geographical feature, darkstone pass, which is completely irrelevant. The next encounter is the manticore , err, “”winged monstrosity”. The pass text adds nothing but to the page count.

“Weary from your long walk, you’re glad to see the walls of Moonstone draw closer.” No. Just, No. Conclusions. Telling the party what they see and think. Just fucking textbook bad read-aloud.

And none of that even touches on the linear nature.

You know, I really wish DriveThru/Now offered no questions asked refunds. Yeah, yeah, piracy, blah blah blah. People don’t deserve this kind of crap.

This is $7 at DriveThru.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/212028/Whispers-from-the-Void-5e-adventure

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