Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Pulp Era OSR Make Over For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons's Modue Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull's UK3 The Final Enemy

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 06:37
At last! An opportunity to avert the threat to the little town of Saltmarsh! The real enemies have been identified - evil, cruel creatures, massed in force and viciously organized. Can the brave adventurers thwart this evil and ensure the safety of Saltmarsh?The PC's have proceeded along the path of corruption to the well organized forces of the Sahuagin around the Atlantic area right intoNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Please Update Your Link!

Greyhawk Grognard - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 23:52
If you're seeing this, it means your link to the Greyhawk Grognard blog is out of date.

Please update your link to www.greyhawkgrognard.com.

You're missing out on all the new content posted since the site moved!

If you're looking for an older post, just replace "greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com" with "www.greyhawkgrognard.com" in the URL. All the old stuff is on the new site, including comments.

Thanks!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 1 - Sketch Card Previews, Part 8

Cryptozoic - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 22:33

Please enjoy the eighth 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

Adventuring Gear: The Crowbar

Ultanya - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:54
The Crowbar. It’s perfect for prying open doors, removing nails, smashing glass, using the sharpened end as a chisel, or even an improvised weapon. Is there one in your adventuring pack? If not, there should be.

According to the etymology dictionary, it was once simply known as crow; so called from its "beak" or from resemblance to a crow's foot; or possibly it is from crows, from Old French cros, plural of croc "hook."

To get started let’s look at the Crowbar as presented in the current 5E rules:

Using a crowbar grants advantage to Strength Checks where the crowbar's leverage can be applied.

Obviously the use of one in some circumstances requires DM adjudication, but a crowbar is super useful. Advantage to ANY roll is kind of a big deal. Someone in your party should have one of these.

So how can we home-brew the crowbar a tad? Well for one I would house rule they do the same damage as a club, and are not really an improvised weapon. Just ask Gordon Freeman in Half-life. It seems like something most dwarves would be familiar with, especially if they come from a line of miners. A well constructed crowbar would be useful in prying apart seams or just to break rock.

I would imagine the most coveted would be an adamantine crowbar. Which is interesting since the fabled metal was recently featured in Xanathar’s Guide To Everything:

Adamantine is an ultrahard metal found in meteorites and extraordinary mineral veins. In addition to being used to craft adamantine armor, the metal is also used for weapons. Melee weapons and ammunition made of or coated with adamantine are unusually effective when used to break objects. Whenever an adamantine weapon or piece of ammunition hits an object, the hit is a critical hit. The adamantine version of a melee weapon or of ten pieces of ammunition costs 500 gp more than the normal version, whether the weapon or ammunition is made of the metal or coated with it.

An automatic critical hit against objects? Sign me up! What if the dwarves took it a step further and crafted a Spearbar? All the benefits of being a lever, chisel and a nasty piercing weapon. This would be a tool/treasure worth coveting for any dungeoneer!

Below Youtuber Chasen Tom did just that minus the adamantine...I think!


I’m a big fan of mundane equipment as it harkens back to old school D&D. Descriptive play was the thing. We made good use of every tool at our disposal as we explored the dungeon. This was more then just consulting skills and rolling dice. Rather an invitation to be a better player, a better DM and ultimately a more imaginative gamer. I invite you to read over the adventuring gear section of the Player’s Handbook, you may be surprised at what you find!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Capellan Confederation Ambush With Conventional Forces

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 04:17

Okay, this was a game I waited decades to play: BattleTech with mecha versus a infantry and tanks. Seriously, the xerox copy I ran off of the CityTech infantry record form has been sitting in the box for over twenty-five years!

Here’s how I set up the game. First I calculated the repair times for the surviving mechs from the last scenario. Then, as I would with D&D, I improvised a chart to account for the most reasonable outcomes:

1-2: The Vindicator which would take an hour an a half to repair is immediately sent out on a mission by itself without the rest of the group.

3-5: The Vindicator, the Clint, and the Blackjack are repaired and sent out on a mission together, but the Blackjack’s arm could not be reattached in time.

6: The full group is sent out, the Blackjack’s arm is repaired or retrofitted, and… the mech pilot that was in the destroyed Javelin is reassigned to a Locust.

The die roll came up as a two, confirming my original instincts for how to play the next game… but adding a sense of fairness and rightness that maybe wouldn’t have been there before. I still had this problem of the destroyed Javelin. I didn’t really want to let a Green mechwarrior with any  amount of experience go to waste. But I didn’t want to hand out “free” mechs either. So I ruled that for this game… if an enemy mech got dropped in such a way that it could be repaired, the Javelin guy would pick it up as his replacement mech.

I decided that a Davion Archer and Rifleman would be ambushed by four motorized MG infantry, 2 Patton tanks, and the “green” House Liao Vindicator. The Archer and Rifleman would come onto the board… and the House Liao units get hidden placement with a surprise round. I also ruled that Davion would have a morale of 9… minus the number of criticals they received. A number higher than that rolled after any turn they received a crit and they would turn tail and run.

Basically… a totally made up scenario with the objective of introducing infantry and vehicles while giving every conceivable break to the new guy just getting the hang of the game. (I could have maybe added one light mech to this group if I wanted it to be more even.)

The game played very fast– lest than three hours, easily. The Davion guys did not care about the green mechwarrior at all. They wanted to take out the much easier-to-mission-kill tanks first! Besides, the green guy just doesn’t hit often enough to be worth bothering with.

The infantry were interesting, more fun than I expected… and way too effective. I was running the game wrong, of course!

  • Mechs get a +3 bonus to to-hit with melee attacks against them.
  • Infantry take double damage if they are hit in a clear hex.
  • Mechs also have the option to move into the same hex as them… which would have the Archer the chance to take some better cover than I allowed him.

Everything played out perfectly for House Liao when the Archer took first a medium laser shot to the head followed by an AC-10 shot that blew it entirely off. The Javelin pilot will be coming back next game with an ARCHER! (And hoo-boy, does this change the overall complexion of the lance…!)

Here’s the current XP values as calculated by Mechwarrior first edition:

  • Blackjack (7/6) — 61
  • Clint (6/5) — 92
  • Javelin/Archer (6/5) — 106
  • Vindicator (6/5) — 75 + 63 = 138

The big break for this group comes when the 6/5 guys reach 175 XP… which is not that far away. (The Vindicator and Archer are liable to both get there next session.) The Blackjack was nearly useless in the first game, but if he can just hold on until he can reach 125 XP, he will be able to at least do something.

Anyway, that’s how the second installment went. Can’t what to see what happens to these guys next!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pulp Era OSR Make Over For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons's Modue Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull's UK2 Danger At Dunwater Part II

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 15:02
"The little fishing town of Saltmarsh is threatened! Why are lizard men gathering force nearby and why have they been buying large quantities of weapons? A party of bold adventurers must answer these questions or the people of Saltmarsh will never live in peace!" So let's pick up what's been happening around 'the quiet' little fishing village around Saltmarsh. The action has pickedNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Underground Comics Contents

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 11:00

Solo-parenting of a sick infant has kept the blog silent this week, but I wanted to share a bit of what I've been working on just prior to all that happening. Here's a glimpse of the most interesting part of the contents page for the forthcoming Underground Comics with work by Jason Sholtis, James V. West, Stefan Poag, Luka Rejec, Jeff Call, and Karl Stjernberg.

The Midnight Duke

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 11:18


RPGpundit
Precis Intermedia
Dark Albion
Mid-Level

Taking control of the Debateable Lands, the Midnight Duke and his followers spread darkness and Chaos. Whether sent to investigate claims of dark powers by the Clerical Order or ordered to stop the threat at all costs by a rival lord, the PCs are sure to meet trouble in this open-ended scenario.

Well fuck me. 0 for 2 this week.

This seventeen page “adventure” details a couple of evil NPC’s and lightly outlines a situation. In a lawless border region an evil dude has taken over while everyone else is busy in a civil war. There’s some nobleman who might hire the party to go kill the dude. The dude has three followers and a duke of hell lives in his keep. The local villagers don’t really support him, but are beaten down.

It takes Pundit seventeen pages to outline this. Lots of history and background, if you are bored and can’t sleep.

NOT.
A.
FUCKING.
ADVENTURE.

There’s a crowd that says something like “it’s art if the creator says its art,”

Maybe.

Unless I pay fucking money for it. Then I’ve been ripped off. And I’m bitter.

The gang is coming over in a few hours and you go to DriveThru to buy an adventure to run. That’s my bar. “There are some evil dudes on the border and a demon” don’t cut it.

This is $3 at DriveThru. It has a four page quick preview that shows you nothing.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/239948/RPGPundit-Presents-28-The-Midnight-Duke

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pulp Era OSR Make Over For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons's Modue Dave J. Browne with Don Turnbull's UK2 Danger At Dunwater Part I

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 21:23
"The little fishing town of Saltmarsh is threatened! Why are lizard men gathering force nearby and why have they been buying large quantities of weapons? A party of bold adventurers must answer these questions or the people of Saltmarsh will never live in peace!" Its been a long while since I did anything with UK2 Danger At Dungwater after talking about turning UK1 The Sinister Secret of Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 1 - Sketch Card Previews, Part 7

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 21:19

Please enjoy the seventh 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

Steve Jackson to Attend Origins Game Fair 2018

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 19:02
Steve Jackson to Attend Origins Game Fair 2018

Columbus, OH – Steve Jackson, owner and founder of Steve Jackson Games, will be attending Origins Game Fair this June! Jackson has received over a dozen Origins awards, and has created timeless games such as Ogre and Illuminati. Origins attendees will have the opportunity to learn to play different games that he’ll demonstrate, get his signature, and participate in a special event!

Steve will be demonstrating a few of his classic games at this convention, including Illuminati, one of Steve Jackson Games’ top sellers. Participants will learn to take over the world, with Evil Stevie himself as their guide, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13. If players would like to find out more about space warfare, Steve will be available to demonstrate how Triplanetary is played at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. Finally, Jackson’s first RPG will be returning soon! At 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, attendees can get an advance look at The Fantasy Trip by playing with Steve.

Those who love evil cybertanks and strategy will have the chance to play Ogre! At 1 p.m. on Friday, June 15, Steve will take on 12 players at once. How many games of Ogre can he win? We’ll find out! As a bonus, Ogre Line Editor Drew Metzger will be at Origins as well. Attendees will have three opportunities to play Ogre with him, including at 4 p.m. on June 15 and 16, and at 9 a.m. on June 17.

Finally, Steve Jackson Games will have its own special room in the convention. To chat with our very own Steve or simply hang out with him, go to Office Hours with Steve, which will be occurring at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, in room C150. If attendees can’t be present at this special event, they’ll have two additional opportunities to meet Steve. He’ll be available for signatures at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the Steve Jackson Games room.

Steve Jackson Games staff will be around to teach players other games, so those who are planning to take part in Origins Game Fair should pay special attention to our Facebook page and our Daily Illuminator. We’ll be posting more information on our social media as we get closer to the convention!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PRESALE: Outlander: Jamie Fraser Vinyl Figure

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 17:02

This is your chance to own the limited edition Outlander: Jamie Fraser vinyl figure! This 7-inch collectible captures Jamie Fraser as portrayed in the historical time-travel drama Outlander. Standing on the rocks in 18th century Scotland, Jamie dramatically looks out across the Highlands, ready to battle for his soulmate Claire and his family. The Outlander: Jamie Fraser figure is available exclusively from Cryptozoic, meaning it can only be purchased online via the company eStore or in person at selected events.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PRESALE: Batwoman DC Pumps Vinyl Figure (San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive)

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 17:01

A shoe fit for Gotham City’s famed female vigilante! Here’s your chance to own the Batwoman DC Pumps vinyl figure created exclusively for San Diego Comic-Con 2018! You can avoid missing out on this extremely limited figure by purchasing it now and then picking it up at Cryptozoic’s Booth #115 during Comic-Con.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PRESALE: Obsidian Idol Batman DC Teekeez Vinyl Figure (San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive)

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 16:00

Ready for a truly dark knight? Here’s your chance to own the Obsidian Idol Batman DC TeeekeezTM vinyl figure created exclusively for San Diego Comic-Con 2018! You can avoid missing out on this extremely limited figure by purchasing it now and then picking it up at Cryptozoic’s Booth #115 during Comic-Con.

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

RPG Design: Rules to Project or Rules to Experience?

The Disoriented Ranger - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 14:54
This is sort of an intermission between development posts for be67. It's something that occurred to me a couple of weeks ago and I see it resonated in my blog-roll every so often (like, three times today alone!). I'm going to lean myself a bit out of the window here and say that there are two major and distinct game design schools in RPG Land. RPGs are either one or the other. Let me explain ...
CAVEAT (just in case someone is looking for a fight): Although I believe myself to be clearly on the one side of this (for reasons I will illustrate below), I don't think that any one side is better than the other. As a matter of fact, the one thing that unites (or divides, for that matter) all DIY designers out there is getting it done or not and I'd argue that it is just as hard to build and write a streamlined minimalist game as it is to write rules that reflect how a world should react to a character out of luck. I also might not be the first to formulate those thoughts. If that's so, I'm happy to just repeat them.
Surrealist game, he said
Patient Zero for this was a post over at Realms of Chirak about surrealism in gaming (I'd tag Nicholas, but I somehow seem to have lost that power here in blogger). That post is interesting for a couple of reasons, but what triggered this particular train of thought was him talking about a game I never had been exposed to: Over The Edge (thank you! now I want that and it doesn't exist anymore).
What he said was, that it is (one of?) the first role playing games out there to embrace surrealist elements. Then he goes a bit into the setting and I went off to read a bit more about that setting (which is cool shit, don't get me wrong) and then I read that it is a very rules light game ...
... wait a minute, I thought, so the surrealist elements come from the setting, not from the system? Well, if you check out the character sheet, you'll see quite fast that there isn't happening a lot from the system side of things (from what I could gather, it's a nice system, though).
It certainly isn't the first time I encountered a game like that (and I'm not talking about games featuring surrealist elements, although one could make an argument for OD&D in that regard). Tékumel is a strong contender for a setting-driven, rules-light game and among the first to be published. Talislanta is another one (No elves!), but that just might be the hand of Jonathan Tweet again, so it only counts half way, I guess.
D&D can be surreal, and you know it ... [source]I wrote in a post not that long ago (still lost ... can't find it right now, but it's the thought that counts) that strong settings are narrative expansion of the rules and just as strict. All you'll need with a strong setting is a minimalist or light game to make it work (which is one way to see it). I'll leave it at that for now and come back to it later. The distinction we need to make here, is that the game is not heavy on the mechanics, but heavy on the context (or subtext?).
It's Setting vs. Rules, then?
So what are we talking about here? There seems to be a shifting scale between, say, the established story of a game and the rules that determine the outcome of interactions with said world. Both feed the narrative that emerges at the table and the degree with which they dominate is close to the distinction I'm trying to make, just not quite right.
As far as I can tell, this more is about how much is projected into a game and how much is created procedurally. You'll obviously have both aspects in every game. However, I think we can make a clear distinction by looking at the rules of a game for attempts to generate an experience rather than leaving room for projection.
I'll elaborate. Let's take Dungeon World as an example (because I read and reviewed that one). It is very rules light, only has a couple of rules to play with. Everything else is just labeled differently, so the impact on the narrative is shifted with different words describing (mostly) the same mechanic.
DW is interesting as an example for another reason: it shows how OD&D as a set of rules is canonized to a degree that you can actually project it on a lighter system and produce the same feel for the lighter game (if all involved know what D&D is, I'd argue). In the reviews back when I described that as "scripted D&D" and that is just another way of describing the phenomenon.
The "XYZ Hack" is another great example for games like that. Take a light system, change the words and use some strong idea or another as platform to project. Everyone has an idea what pirates are, so pirate games are easy like that. Same goes for Cthulhu games or Pulp games or Kung Fu ... just look at the list.
To a degree you'll have that with every role playing game, as I already pointed out. People will bring their ideas of stories to the table. Always. The difference is, if you need to bring that knowledge to the table, or if the game also delivers and challenges some of that itself.
An easy example for this are the insanity rules in Call of Cthulhu games. The game will tell you how your character goes insane, what that means and how to do something about that while playing the game. Port those rules in any other game and see how it completely changes the flow of that other game.
SWAT guys playing Ballerinas ...
Here's another example for projection versus experience. You bring to the table what you know. If that's all you need, you'll be good to go. The rest is negotiation of the validity of that knowledge with all others involved.
Say, a SWAT team plays some rpg in their off hours (or as training?) about being a SWAT team. They could just go and use something Powered by the Apocalypse or a Hack variant or some other set of minimalist rules and everything else would just fall into place.
But have them play a couple of ballerinas in a Black Swan scenario, and I imagine they'd be as lost as most people. If they were still up to it (because, lets face it, people don't really want to invest that much into the games they are playing ...), there'd be two ways to make this work:
  • (1) would be offering them the setting heavy variant (see above, could just be an extension of a rules light system and still work)
  • OR
  • (2) you introduce them to a system that already took care of the heavy lifting and allows the players to explore that theme themselves.
And that's how you make ballerinas out of a SWAT team. A system like that would seek the essence of what it means to be a competitive ballerina (to stay with the example here) and allows players to explore the game's theme by producing results that form the emerging narrative in a meaningful way towards said theme, not towards the players expectations.
Too unexpected? [source]They are not negotiating and projecting as much as they are experiencing and interpreting. As they get better at playing the game, they come to an understanding of the underlying themes on a more visceral level ... (you are still looking at that Kirk picture, aren't you?)
You could say it is the long held distinction between so-called "storyteller games" and games that "simulate", but I always questioned that distinction and the above explains why to some extent. However, I might add that all role playing games actually tell a story or simulate in the true sense of the word (which explains why people fight so hard about those definitions, btw, they are not apt to begin with).
Different approaches, I'd say
I'm not saying writing a game to allow exploring a theme is more difficult than writing one that offers projection of known and agreed upon themes, but the difficulties are distributed very differently for each. And the distinction is very real (although overlap, see above).
The complexity for offering a platform for players to project themes upon can go from minimal D6 to GURPS (or other universal role playing games) and all of them are in their way equally hard to design, I imagine.
As far as strengths and weaknesses go, I'd say those games allow easy access for players and low investment on the plus side. Both aspects will get people together easily and get you playing fast. Very nice for short games and one shots.
The downside, however, is that games will most likely lack depth, while only rarely challenging the players and the DM or only in the most superficial way (you have no hit points, you are dead ... but even that's not always the case). The lack of depth and exploration (other than on the narrative side, I suppose) will not allow for huge campaigns and lend itself to entertaining mini campaigns. At least it'll be difficult to keep a story alive for long.
The other side of the spectrum would be games that offer the exploration of their themes through the rules. While campaigns can be longer and more satisfying, because all involved will continually be challenged by the game to learn and extrapolate, instead of just telling/negotiating what's going to happen, it's also a serious commitment. Not everyone is willing to do that.
Also, even if all the rules can be learned during the game, you still have to remember them as the game progresses. You have to want to get better at the game (and, arguably, be able to do so) to really benefit from the game instead of getting, say, frustrated. Ideally, a game will lead you into it's depths, though.
With those games it's also very easy to make mistakes in the design. If a game like that is not well designed, it'll fail.
D&D as prototype
D&D is the best example for the latter variant. Especially in it's early "final" stages, the D&D Rules Cyclopedia and AD&D. Highly abstract, high complexity, lots and lots of exploration and little sub-systems to boot (down to having little rules for different monsters!).
It'll keep you engaged for years and then some. Classes are not only different, they are distinct and offer a wide range of different play-styles. The rules are easy on the players in the beginning and grow with the characters.
It's also a true game of exploration, in every sense (which ultimately is why young children find it so appealing!). Fantasy as a genre also played a crucial role in that its generic nature allowed the game to manifest through the rules instead of, say, setting distinctions (a mistake AD&D 2e did, arguably) or strong themes. Just the most basic understanding of what fantasy means was enough to play the game.
D&D, still surreal ... [source]What's more, the game allowed an easy exit along the way. You just want to play the first 9 or 6 or 3 levels? It's all fun and easy enough to do. However, if you go in deep, you'll find it's very deep indeed, as there are rules for warfare and domain games and becoming gods, for instance. There's also room to develop your own game out of it or add new rules. Or just take aspects of it and run with that for a while.
D&D can do all that and did it so good, in fact, that those rules and it's vocabulary became iconic enough to be used as a theme as well, just as explained above. It helped creating a very successful video game industry and all role playing games developed after D&D did so in distinction to it. Think about that for a minute.
Two schools
Anyway. That's D&D for you. The problem with all that is to decide whether you'd rather explore or project in your games (and you could project exploring, for that matter), or which to what degree. It might come down to taste, and that isn't even a constant. However, knowing is half the battle, right?
As far as developing games goes, I think we are talking two different schools here. Or two different disciplines, if you will. And they are distinct in that they each try to create a very different style of role playing. Each are equally difficult to design, make no mistake about it. However, distinct they are and that comes with huge ramifications as far as definitions go.
Here's something useful to take away from this: if you want to find out if a game is for you (or why a game doesn't work for you), look back at the games you liked so far in the most abstract way you can muster and with the distinctions made in this here post. Then check if that new game does that or not.
So if you are into projecting games that are low on setting, something like Dungeon or Apocalypse World might be totally for you. High complexity experiences, but low time investment? Check out indie rpgs like My Life With Master or 44 (or a bazillion other indie games in that direction). Highly modular, lots of projection, descent mini-campaigns? GURPS or BRPG or universal rpgs in general might work. And so on and so forth.
It'll also give you some indications what players you'll want. I had a game of WitchCraft once go south because the players totally where projecting and ignored the rules to an extent where people with super hero characters played as if they were normal and weak. The game offered no challenges for them on that level, and they weren't happy when the things started happening the game demands to challenge the characters ...
It's an extreme case, but I wouldn't have had that problem using a system accommodating this sort of play, like FATE, for instance. Being able to communicate to potential players what kind of game you want to play is a very good thing, imo (although in the example above it meant that two players had to go and one went with them ... which was for the better, I might add).
A hard distinction to make?
If you read up to this point, you'll probably be thinking up examples where the distinction fails. Good. Please challenge this, as I don't think enough people are. I can imagine people going "But we played GURPS for decades now!" or "Dungeon World is not projecting D&D themes on a rules-light system!" or "D&D has no depth!", and that's all fine and dandy from an individual point of view.
However, please consider that it's distinctions like the above that, on a purely pragmatic level, allow us not only to find ways to talk about the games we play, they also offer a way to reflect and position your own preferences in gaming in relation to them. In an ideal case we talk about it and come to a better definition. Nothing set in stone here.
That said, and adding that there indeed is some overlap, I think it is important to understand that there might be play styles that are not compatible at all and what the reasons for that are. Describing this as the distinction between projection and exploration at least has the benefit that it isn't as nebulous as the "storyteller"/"simulationist" approach.
And that's that: i'd love to hear if you guys see the same distinction or something else. Maybe it's really not that much of a distinction but more like a scale of involvement (although I don't think so ... I strongly believe it's a temperament thing, or at least connected)? Let me hear what you think. Opinions and thoughts are, as always, very welcome.
I just liked that one [source]
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Explorers of the North Sea Expansion Rocks of Ruin is to be Released on May 23!

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 14:15

Recent storms have left longships torn apart, with their precious cargo scattered across the rocky shores. Meanwhile, rumours of great fortresses in nearby regions are beginning to spread. Will you be the first to salvage the wrecks, or will you throw caution to the wind and charge the enemy fortresses for fame and glory?
Rocks of Ruin adds new ways to score with salvaging Shipwrecks, building Structures and raiding Fortresses. When placing tiles with a Shipwreck, a token is taken from the supply and placed facedown on the tile. Players may spend an action with 1 Viking to salvage a Shipwreck. They will either find Timber for building Structures, Provisions for additional actions, Battering Rams for raiding with 1 fewer Viking, or precious Gold worth 3 Victory Points at the game’s end.

*This is not a standalone game. Explorers of the North Sea is required to play.
Features:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[NEWS] The Barbarian King (revised edition) / Echoes From Fomalhaut #02

Beyond Fomalhaut - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:58

Cover art by Matthew RayI am happy to announce the forthcoming publication of the revised edition of The Barbarian King. A 20-page adventure module for 4th to 6th level player characters, The Barbarian King pits the company against the ruined empire of the mountain barbarians... and the evil that still slumbers therein! This gloomy wilderness and dungeon scenario features deals with malevolent and ultra-powerful spirits, the burial places of a now defeated people, shadowy hosts and deadly traps. 

First published in 2002 as a standalone mini-module and in 2011 in an expanded version in Fight On! magazine, The Barbarian King has seen quite a lot of play in those sixteen years (and held up rather well at the table). This edition has been re-edited for easy use, and includes illustrations by Matthew Ray (who also did the cover art seen to the left), Stefan Poag and Denis McCarthy. It will be available in print in May, and in PDF with a few months’ delay, at a price of $6 plus shipping. 
Echoes From Fomalhaut #02 is now almost fully written, and undergoing proofreading (you should see how many tiny errors I catch before releasing something still riddled with a whole lot of tiny errors). With art orders taken into account, it has a good chance to come out mid-June. Remember the map from Issue #01? There will be a double-sided one in this one!
City State of the Invincible Typographical Error
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

APRIL PRODUCTS FROM PAIZO FEATURE TWILIGHT, GATES, SHADOWS, AND DARKLANDS

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:56
APRIL PRODUCTS FROM PAIZO FEATURE TWILIGHT, GATES, SHADOWS, AND DARKLANDS



REDMOND, WASHINGTON (April 26, 2018): This month, Paizo published new Adventure Path installments for Pathfinder and Starfinder, an expanded nation in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, a classic Flip-Mat, two Pocket Edition rulebooks, and a magical Add-On Deck for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. They are available for purchase at game retailers and paizo.com now.



Pathfinder Adventure Path: The Twilight Child (War for the Crown 3 of 6)

The Worst in Others

Dark shadows haunt the trade city of Yanmass, spreading chaos even as the city’s leaders debate which royal heir to support in the growing civil war. Their soldiers are vanishing, bandits attack without fear, and a mysterious plague of nightmares rattles the populace—are these troubles random, or part of a larger conspiracy? And what role do the mysterious Twilight Child and the cultlike following he has attracted play in the chaos?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the War for the Crown Adventure Path and includes:

• “The Twilight Child,” a Pathfinder adventure for 7th-level characters, by Ron Lundeen. • A gazetteer of the city of Yanmass, the caravan hub of northern Taldor catering to travelers from across two continents, by Ron Lundeen. • An ecology of the mysterious and bureaucratic servants of death known as psychopomps, by F. Wesley Schneider. • A thoughtful exploration of resurrection, the strange role it plays in the world of Golarion, and how the various gods react to this violation of the natural order, by Patchen Mortimer. • A collection of strange beasts that roam the Whistling Plains, from the thieving grassling to the explosive bloodplate burster, by Ron Lundeen, Andrew Mullen, Richard Pett, and David Schwartz.

 
Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpya0fi?Pathfinder-Adventure-Path-129-The-Twilight-Child

Starfinder Adventure Path: The Thirteenth Gate (Dead Suns 5 of 6)

A Place in the Suns

The heroes journey deeper into the Vast to find the Gate of Twelve Suns, an alien megastructure consisting of a dozen stars arranged in a perfect circle. However, members of the Cult of the Devourer precede them, and the heroes must contend with the cultists for control of the alien technology found on the single planet orbiting each sun. Only by defeating these foul marauders can the heroes keep the superweapon hidden here out of the wrong hands—though the destructive zealots are far from the only threats found in the system.

This volume of Starfinder Adventure Path continues the Dead Suns Adventure Path and includes:


• “The Thirteenth Gate,” a Starfinder adventure for 9th-level characters, by Stephen Radney-MacFarland. • A collection of technological relics left scattered across the galaxy by the kishalee, members of an ancient advanced alien civilization, by Stephen Radney-MacFarland. • Detailed descriptions of the worlds and cultures of five never-before-encountered alien species, by Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, and Mark Moreland. • An archive of new creatures, from the main inhabitants of the five new alien worlds to an undead manifestation of entropy, by Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Mark Moreland, and Stephen Radney-MacFarland. • Statistics and deck plans for a heavily modified starship crewed by Devourer cultists, by Stephen Radney-MacFarland, plus a glimpse of a barren planet cloaked in shadow in the Codex of Worlds, by Owen K.C. Stephens.


Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpya0fe?Starfinder-Adventure-Path-The-Thirteenth-Gate

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Nidal, Land of Shadows

A Land Chained in Shadow

Ten thousand years ago, faced with extinction, the terrified leaders of Nidal heard whispers in their minds—promises of salvation for their nation if only they’d submit their people’s bodies and souls to perpetual servitude. Those leaders’ assent transformed them into conduits for Zon-Kuthon, the god of envy and pain, and has sealed Nidal’s fate to this day.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Nidal, Land of Shadows draws back the curtain from one of Golarion’s most wicked and mysterious theocracies. Within these pages, you’ll find:


• Detailed descriptions of Nidal’s history, including its tragic fall into Zon-Kuthon’s grasp. • An in-depth gazetteer of the entire nation, from settlements to more sinister features. • Malevolent adventure sites from the Castle of the Captive Sun to the Tower of Slant Shadows. • A bestiary of shadowy creatures, including the suffragan kyton, that lurk in Nidal and beyond.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Nidal, Land of Shadows is intended for use with the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can be easily adapted to any fantasy world.

Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpya0fg?Pathfinder-Campaign-Setting-Nidal-Land-of-Shadows

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic Pocket Edition

Raise your character to the pinnacle of magical might with Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic! Within this book, secrets arcane and divine lie ready to burst into life at the hands of all the spellcasting classes in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. In addition to the brand-new magus class—a master of both arcane magic and martial prowess—you’ll also find a whole new system for spellcasting, rules for spell duels and other magical specialties, and pages upon pages of new spells, feats, and more. Because when it comes to magic, why settle for less than absolute power?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic includes:

• The magus, a new base class combining deadly arcane magic with the skills and weapons of a trained warrior. • Words of power, an innovative and flexible new spellcasting system. • New options for dedicated casters, such as alchemist discoveries, alternative uses for channeled energy, druid companions, sorcerer bloodlines, eidolon abilities, witch hexes, and oracle mysteries. • Additional feats and magical abilities for martially oriented casters, including monk ki tricks, inquisitor archetypes, and ranger traps. • New magical conditions called spellblights, as well as systems for crafting constructs, binding outsiders, and spell-dueling. • More than 100 new spells, plus detailed guidelines for designing your own.


Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpy9vtd?Pathfinder-Roleplaying-Game-Ultimate-Magic-Pocket-Edition

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 4 (PFRPG) Pocket Edition

Confront the creatures that go bump in the night! Bestiary 4 presents hundreds of new monsters for use in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Within this tome of terrors you’ll find pitiless psychopomps and blood-drinking nosferatu, insectile formians and faceless nightgaunts, and even unique mythological horrors like Spring- Heeled Jack and Grendel himself.

Yet not every creature need be an enemy, as mighty empyreal lords, primeval outer dragons, and valorous swan maidens enlist you in their epic battles!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 includes:

• More than 300 different monsters • Creatures from classic horror literature and monster films, including the colour out of space, elder things, and kaiju • New player-friendly races like changelings, kitsune, and nagaji • Entities of mythic might, from despotic demon lords and alien elohim to terrifying Great Old Ones—including Cthulhu! • New creatures you can construct, like clockworks and juggernauts • New familiars, animal companions, and other allies • New templates to help you get more life out of classic monsters • Appendices to help you find the right monster, including lists by Challenge Rating, monster type, and habitat • Expanded universal monster rules to simplify combat • Challenges for every adventure and every level of play


Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpy9vtc?Pathfinder-Roleplaying-Game-Bestiary-4-Pocket-Edition

Pathfinder Flip-Mat Classics: Darklands

Go Spelunking!

Crawl into the depths of the earth with Flip-Mat Classics: Darklands! Whether the adventurers are just checking out a cave or fighting their way through a subterranean tunnel system, this Flip-Mat provides a ready-to-use combat map for a variety of encounters. Don’t forget to bring plenty of light and watch out for collapses when using Flip-Mat Classics: Darklands!

The most-popular Pathfinder Flip-Mats in history return! These fan-favorite maps feature versatile adventure settings—city streets, forests, ships, taverns, and more—and now they’re back for a repeat performance. Durable and lavishly detailed, these essential adventure set pieces are sure to bring excitement to your game table for years to come!

A special coating on each Flip-Mat allows you to use wet erase, dry erase, AND permanent markers with ease! Removing permanent ink is easy—simply trace over any permanent mark with a dry erase marker, wait 10 seconds, then wipe off both marks with a dry cloth or paper towel. Each Flip-Mat measures 24″ x 30″ unfolded, and 8″ x 10″ folded.

Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpy9zkg?Pathfinder-FlipMat-Classics-Darklands

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Ultimate Magic Add-On Deck

Find the Magic Within!

Whether you’re an arcane or a divine spellcaster, you need the magical boon cards included in this exciting new deck for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game! Loaded with spells and magic items galore, the Ultimate Magic Add-On Deck can be used with any Pathfinder Adventure Card Game character or Adventure Path. Or you can play with the character included in this 109-card box: Enora, the iconic arcanist. Harness your eldritch power with the Ultimate Magic Add-On Deck!

Product link: http://paizo.com/products/btpy9vtb?Pathfinder-Adventure-Card-Game-Ultimate-Magic-AddOn-Deck

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 242: Meurtoons from Steve Jackson Games

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 13:30

Based on the popular cartoon Meurtoons this is a simple fun to play “race”.  Muertoons is made by Steve Jackson games

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Time to play Meurtoons!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

New Lovecraftian Horror - N'rsae Worm Zomvies For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 05:31
The next night devils danced on the roofs of Arkham, and unnatural madness howled in the wind. Through the fevered town had crept a curse which some said was greater than the plague, and which some whispered was the embodied daemon-soul of the plague itself. Eight houses were entered by a nameless thing which strewed red death in its wake—in all, seventeen maimed and shapeless Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
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