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Tabletop games and adventures
Updated: 1 week 1 day ago

The Ruins of Mistemere

Sun, 03/03/2019 - 20:24
What is The Ruins of Mistemere?

This adventure is inspired by, and is a revisit of, the first “Group Adventure” in a certain Red Box set of the world’s favorite basic role playing game. The original version of this adventure was likely the very first quest many players embarked upon in the days of 1983. It was also likely the first adventure run by many budding GMs at the same time.

Why reboot it? 
  • For the sake of nostalgia.
  • To make a fresh version available to the 5E generation of adventurers and GMs.
  • To add the Fail Squad Games flavor.
  • Because it’s fun, and we can.

This adventure is fully compatible with the 5E ruleset and written in such a way as to keep the author(s) from goblin jail time at the hands of certain wizards who live near a popular coast. 

Some names seem to have changed as planes of existence were traversed. Borgle is well known in many original adventures and legends; many report that his name was spelled with an “a” in place of the “o”. It is also told in ancient tales from different cultures that the spellings of Mistemere and Alena can be slightly altered from the records of the coastal wizards. 

Just $10 for the Black & White version, or treat yourself to the PREMIUM quality full-color adventure for just a few dollars more. We have played this adventure at a number of conventions, a number of ways, and now it’s ready for your table! Revenge awaits for the fallen Cleric Alena!
Many levels to support this project, don’t miss out!

Back it now!


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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Exquisite Dungeon

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 04:22

Yesterday while we were waiting for some of the usual gang to arrive at The Dungeon Tower FLGS it occurred to me that we were trying to run a long-run campaign in the game store. It’s something that one would run at home with a solid regular group, not a place where people come and go from one week to the next. Or where new gamers just want to sit in for a couple of hours.

How to solve our problem?

I recalled Gary Gygax’s Tomb of Horrors. It’s less an out-right campaign adventure and more of a “See how long you can last” challenge. There were a few other stories I heard from Ernie about the Dungeon Hobby Shop where people would drop in and just want a quick game for various reasons. We needed a solution that let us drop in, game, and if others were an hour late or didn’t come, we could still have a game.

The Inspiration

In 1925 Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp created an art exercise called “The Exquisite Corpse”. A paper is folded into thirds. The first artist draws on the top, folds it to hide the section leaving only small hints to end lines for the next artist, and likewise for the third. The end creation is a surreal and abstract whole creation. I knew Herman wanted to get a break from GMing and I was getting my fill of waiting for people to maybe or maybe not arrive.

We threw most ideas of an on-going campaign out the window. We also threw large portions of organized adventure out the window. It was decided that we’d have a blank slate world with just some core elements. Similar to my Lands of Lunacy setting, we’d embrace the chaos void. Characters would be allowed to drop in and out without story-logic explanation. If nothing else, a chaos shadow would sweep away the character. 

Game Masters can rotate at any time or at any natural pause. The GM (previously a player or guest) after the first one has the little story threads left to pull and create a game in an improv fashion. The world as a whole gets built one hex a time as each GM establishes new things. GMs can even rotate mid-dungeon if they like. The end larger creation ends up being an  adventure and campaign. Even if it’s a bit ‘abstract’ it still creates the game world.

Characters and Levels

We are keeping a stack of Pre-Gens available. Players can also generate one on site, but the game continues while they work. Generally speaking, the party has an “adventurer level” as we move along and each GM picks up the torch. As players drop in and out some level adjustments need to be made.

Running on Improv

Running an improv adventure is a real challenge, but in the Exquisite Dungeon a GM can run as few as a handful of encounters or as many as a few sessions. The GM can run off-the-cuff, a portion of a module, or something they googled during the break. In some way it should make sense according to the story threads of the previous GM.

This removes a lot of GM pressure and allows us to game with new visitors to the shop and regulars. We also get to keep our gaming muscles active and ideas flowing. One of the core reasons for us playing more is to become more familiar with the 5E system and its nuances. If your group tries the Exquisite Dungeon approach, I’d be interested in hearing about it below.

~Lloyd Metcalf

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Whisper in the Crags

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 17:20

The latest 5e / S&W “Quick Kick” adventure from Fail Squad Games is coming to a close tomorrow (January 3rd). There was only a little more than a week to find it and get in, but you only need $3 to get he full reward! Here we are now, doing better than ever…

When I first launched this idea for “Quick Kick” projects on Kickstarter with Falls Keep, I wasn’t sure if it was an idea that would stick. My intent was just to push out short adventures that were just a few pages and gave game masters some tools to have in their GMing box. I kept getting these fun ideas for short adventures that weren’t really enough for print, but more than just a Drivethru creation.

Quick Kick Projects

This is the second of Fail Squad Games’ series of “Quick Kick” projects which are super short, Kickstarter projects that cost just a few bucks to back and deliver short Sidequests in PDF form only.  The goal is for each adventure to be about one session long, 8-12 pages in length, and easy to pick up and run for the unprepared GM. Each adventure will be full color, and internally hyperlinked with an interactive PDF.

I have yet to wrangle one of these to under pages, but we’ll get there. No one complains when they get more than promised.

New Artwork

I commissioned my the skilled Raven Winter Metcalf to produce the art for this adventure. It was our goal to change the look and feel of the entire project from our usual ‘serious’ feel. This adventure is inspired by a musical piece “Curse of Milhaven” and we wanted the illustrations to reflect the theme, but carry a Burtonesque feel. In the end we landed on a project with a wonderful look and I couldn’t be happier with the departure.

The Future

The future of “Quick Kick” projects looks bright and we have many more lined up with new authors getting into the queue. For those asking, yes, eventually we may look at printing on paper, but for now, these are PDF only and add to the simplicity of the project when it comes to delivery.


The town of Lorview has seen numerous struggles from Fail Squad Adventures and Whisper in the Crags adds a sweet full-page upgraded map of the area. from the Kickstarter page: 

When the winds blow in from the east at just the right angle, the Whispering Crags north of Lorview howl and moan, giving rise to dark superstition and legends. Little Lottie Fisher has a secret friend who knows more than most about the crags.  That strange little girl, drawing her pictures and talking to the dark.

  “Lottie has a wanderlust,” her mother Rasel Fisher often says. “Even as a babe on the road, she wandered off for two days into the forest alone. She’s a blessing and a handful.”

What dark secret await the heroes in the city of Lorview this time? 

Want to get in the loop to be notified first when a Quick Kick launches? Join the Fail Squad Games Guild NOW!

If you’re reading this and it’s January 3rd 2019 or earlier – Back Whisper in the Crags NOW! 
Follow me on Kickstarter to get pinged about new projects as well.

Fail Squad Games is just getting traction and with each release we improve. Thank you for your support, backing, and sharing a love of this hobby that has enriched the world.

~Lloyd Metcalf
Fail Squad Games CEO

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs