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Elementary – May 17

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Sun, 05/17/2020 - 03:00

ACTIVITIES FOR THIS LESSON

Worship Video

 

Check out our ongoing resources for each age group: And don’t forget to follow Kidz Rock on Facebook and Instagram!

   

The post Elementary – May 17 appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

5150 Send Lawyers, Guns & Money - Billy's Crew

Two Hour Wargames - Sat, 05/16/2020 - 22:05
Billy Pink, Sooze, Amber the Net Runner, Fast Eddie and Bent on the streets of Dhankann.
Waiting on last of artwork. Will have of 30+ new and unique counters.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

In The Shadow of Tegel Manor - Play Session Report One

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 05/16/2020 - 19:54
So we rolled in at about five A.M. & it was a great night of gaming! I'm using various incarnations of Tegel Manor including Frog God Games Tegel Manor. I cranked up the Gothic & Lovecraftian elements to eleven in last night's game. Frog God Games old Tegel Manor kickstarter video. It really gets the manor's feel across!A pirate ship anchored itself into the bay of Tegel village after Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Style of Play in Ø2\\‘3|| (that game I'm about to publish)

The Disoriented Ranger - Sat, 05/16/2020 - 13:04
A plan is a list of things that won't happen, especially when you are self-publishing and even more so in trying times like these. That said, we've made great progress in that roleplaying game I'm going to publish: Ø2\\‘3||. The writing is almost done, the art is lined up and the editing already started ... we are on our way and maybe (maybe!) it'll be out there as early as end of June. Wouldn't that be something?

Anyway, I'm always saying a publication is worth at least 20 posts here, and I honestly believe that the people enjoying this blog will enjoy reading Ø2\\‘3||, if not playing it. Or I could be totally talking out of my arse here (and there). To put this to the test and to give you a hint what will be in store with this publication, I thought I share a part of the introduction to the DM part of the book. Here we go, unedited (please hype):

Style of Play

If you have read this book in a linear fashion (as one would be bound to do on a first reading), you’ll only have a glimpse of what style of play we have in mind for the DM. As we define in the beginning, the system itself will produce lots of abstract patterns that help forming and directing the narrative.

Some indications of how that works have already been shown throughout the book (how Anger limits the actions a player has in combat is one example of that). However, it’ll need a little bit more than that to make it work for a District Master. We believe that each DM needs the equivalent of what the character sheet is for a player. A world sheet, if you will, although more fittingly it should be called something like an ‘analogue world engine’.

A clockwork like that would by necessity be way more complex than anything you’d expect from a character sheet, which is why we dedicate the second half of this book not only to offering a DM more background for the setting of Ø2\\‘3|| but also try to ease the DM into designing their own campaign with this game.

How to exactly do that will be described later in the book. For this introduction full of inspirations and themes we want to conclude with a little passage how all of the above connects to form a game in Ø2\\‘3||.

There is one universal truth that unites all DM/Player-driven roleplaying games: the decisions the DM makes push the narrative that manifests at the table beyond its event horizon to move it forward. The feedback loop between players and DM will create areas with possibilities that get limited as the dialogue about them progresses to a point where a final decision needs to be made how to progress. That’s when the DM makes a call on what needs to happen next and how.

Aspects a good DM will take into account with their decisions need to be (1) the established narrative, (2) the player expectations, (3) the setting (as a background), (4) the immediate scene (as the stage, if you will) and (5) the rules (basically the physics of the simulated gaming environment).

As important as those aspects are, they are also merely indicators. They offer possibilities. The style of play that emerges from decision to decision to choose among those possibilities is in equal parts what will make the tone of a game and what defines a DM.

Now, roleplaying games allow for a lot of conjecture-driven projection between the ‘real world’ (or our perception thereof) and the gaming environment. DMs will instinctively use that leeway to compensate for all kinds of shortcomings a game might bring by applying common sense, personality and good old story telling instead of the rules.

Again, to a degree this is a necessity due to the complexity of the aspects a DM needs to take into account at any given moment. However, the gap between the limitations a game brings and the craftsmanship of a DM decides about the experience at the table. In other words: it takes a great DM to work with an incomplete game.

But what makes a game ‘complete’? It is our strong belief that a game should offer all the rules necessary to produce a similar (if not equal) basic experience to which then a DM adds their personal touch.

To be more precise, Ruled As Written (R.A.W.) each game of Ø2\\‘3|| should produce the kind of stories it wants to tell while allowing for autonomous, intuitive and spontaneous play from all involved, including the DM.

This is, ultimately, where the style of play in Ø2\\‘3|| connects to those original games of yore: a game of AD&D is recognized as such through the usage of its rules (it’s just its popularity that allows DMs to project the game instead nowadays).

To achieve something like this, a set of rules needs to provide abstract patterns that go beyond what the main set of rules described in the beginning of this book will do for a DM. It is the area where the game designer gives a game nuance. It is what makes it complete.

Since Ø2\\‘3|| is about a dystopian world where individuals are imprisoned, manipulated and monitored in their own private little bubbles, we decided to create tools for DMs to generate twists and turns for the narrative that culminate in the tropes one would expect in a story like that along with point-driven economy (called ‘Pennies’) that forces players to make the setting response stronger and more dangerous the more advantages they take.

DMs will also get the opportunity to create the districts the characters live in as well as surrounding districts and districts they might travel to. It will bring that specific part of the world in Ø2\\‘3|| to live and help a DM in describing a complex science fiction setting with lots of urban areas. This ‘sandbox’ will change over time as the narrative emerges and the DM spends Pennies.

All this is kept abstract enough to let a DM make out of it what they deem interesting and entertaining, offering enough material and interaction to allow believable freedom of movement on the player side while staying consistent with the premise of the game and the fictional surroundings.

In Ø2\\‘3|| DMs will improvise aspects of the narrative most would expect to be prepared (like encounters and the basic story) and will be able to do so consistently because the game offers the tools and additional rules to give complete support for conjuring all the little details that make the game a unique experience.

Lastly, this approach to roleplaying games allows a DM to actually play their part of the game as they can freely improvise and create without making hours of preparation necessary before each Episode.

And that's that

As you just saw, this will be somewhat demanding, and purposely so. Aren't there already enough roleplaying games out there doing the same over and over again? This will be an attempt on going into another direction. I'm actually not afraid to fail. The book stands for itself and it will not embrace mainstream. It'll also be hard to find (look at the title) and it'll be only PoD for the price I deem appropriate (no pdf ... you want this, you buy the book or know me personally). That said, all involved are giving their best to make this as good a book as possible.

We'll also sell merch. Here is part of a poster (details on where to buy it will follow):

The complete poster will be a detailed cityscape with lots of details ...

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Diluvian Disaster

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 05/16/2020 - 11:06
By Mike Myler Legendary Games 5e level 8

Up from the Depths! Dark and disturbing dreams of the deep wash over Marriwell harbor, and the townsfolk wonder if that nightmare of a vast wave was terrifyingly real. For the heroes, something has changed as their bodies now crave the salt and the brine, with their skin slowly sloughing away to reveal gills and scales. The scummiest seaside wharves hold secrets long hidden, and a voyage into the deep must brave savage storms to reach a sunken city where maelstroms above and below the surface hide a fleshwarping tide of mutation and madness that threatens surface dwellers and merfolk alike. What strange magics are bubbling up from the ocean floor in The Diluvian Disaster?

This 32 page adventure describes a thirty room underwater dungeon. There are two encounter types: set piece monsters and room with a DC skill check or take damage. It reminds me of a 3e adventure. It is boring. 

Ok, so, an illusion tidal wave washes over the party, and the party only, and now they can breathe underwater and have to be immersed in salt water for ten minutes before they can take a long rest. Three random buildings in town have some sort of information that says there is an underwater city off the coast. I guess the party should go there? It’s the usual underwater problem: how do you keep the party alive? In this case, you turn them in to fish people and tell them they have to go underwater to stay alive. Ta da! They can now breathe water, and nary a level 1 adventuring party being gifted 2 billion go in underwater breathing magic items to be found! It’s all just a pretext, I know, I know. But when the pretext is this blatant, with so little effort behind it … whatever, I guess.

Three locations in town. A tavern, a merchant, and a sea temple outside of town. Who the fuck knows who you find your way to each of thr three. There are no real hints, or guidance, just three isolated places. Fine, ok, I can work them in, i guess, but it IS traditional to provide the DM just a few threads to hold an adventure together, even in the bullshit “investigation” portion before the combat starts.

Underwater adventure! Yeah! Except it’s not. It’s dungeon, essentially, but filled with water. No real 3d element. You face two kinds of rooms. First, monsters attack. Standard stuff. Second, make a DC check. In the most monotone voice you can manage I want you to say “The room is full of corrupted coral. Make a DC 15 Strength(Athletics) check to avoid taking 4d4 damage.” That’s about half the rooms, right there. Serious. Gee, that’s fun. Wonder. Whimsy. Exploration. Discovery. Or, just make another fucking DC check.

Speaking of … DC checks abound! For the most trivial things! Make a DC8 check to figure out you’re covered with seawater. Make a DC check to see who falls asleep first. Make a DC check to see who wakes up first. Make a DC check to see that the people don’t notice you freaking out about the tidal wave. Fucking garbage. Useless rolls. Rolling dice for the same of rolling dice. And in some cases, at the cost of horror. It would be great to add the horror-ish elements of the seawater and people not noticing the tidal wave … great horror elements there. Hope someone sees that so it can happen! Why the fuck would you hide this behind a DC check? Just make the fucking thing happen to build tension at the table!

Unlike, of course, the skeleton attack. “If the party is having an easy time so far, then 8 skeletons in this room attack,” ARRRGGGGGG!!!!!! What the fuck is the point of it all? Read-aloud in red italics, because THATS easy to read in long chunks … Read-aloud that over-shares details of the room, destroying the interactivity between player and DM that is the heart of RPG’s. A lack of section headings in places, causing text to run in to each other. Meaningless detail. Boring encounters. One room tells you that in the final room you get to roll a DC 15 check if you’ve been in this room. Why the fuck would you put that in this room and not the final room, where ts actually fucking relevent? . 

Yeah, the adventure is comprehensible. If you can make it past the red italics rea-daloud, that assumes you go counter-clockwise around the circular dungeon hallway (why would you assume that and write it that way? Was is that important?!) You can figure out what is going on. Because it’s just a boring fucking combat and then a boring fucking DC check. There is no wonder of being under the sea. There is no interactivity. I missed the Necromancer era, but is touting people from Necromancer as being involved. Is this what Necromancer was?

B O R I N G

This is $7 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages. You get to see the ? of the tavern description on the last page, as well as all of the “make a pointless DC check” stuff for th tidal wave illusion. Useless fucking preview, showing nothing of what you’ll actuall be buying.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/311270/The-Diluvian-Disaster?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Lions, Dragons, Dinosaurs, & Slavers - Wrapping the Campaign World Setting Up -Tegel Manor Session Zero Play Report Part II

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 18:05
Off the California coast strange prehistoric beasts have been seen. The locals are trying to mount an expedition but there's been rumors of strange lights, 1400 century pirate ships,etc. Alright so I converted my old copy of X1 Isle of Dread over to my current Castles & Crusades campaign. I'm getting a real Valley of Gwangi feel about this version of X1 in the campaign setting so I'm Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Squid Squish

Moogly - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 15:28

The Squid Squish is the latest cuddly crochet cutie on Moogly! This adorable amigurumi style sea creature joins his pals for fun and adventures – get the free crochet squid softie pattern below! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Yarnspirations and Furls. A Crochet Bolster Pillow The Squid Squish is filled with...

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The post Squid Squish appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

REVIEW: Donna Noble: Kidnapped! – A crazy, fun girls’ weekend

Blogtor Who - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 11:00

If you need a fun-filled set of adventures to brighten your day, look no further than Donna Noble: Kidnapped! This set of stories was released by Big Finish in March. It really was perfect timing for the kind of mayhem that only Donna Noble can provide. This time she is joined by an old friend […]

The post REVIEW: Donna Noble: Kidnapped! – A crazy, fun girls’ weekend appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Post-Apocalyptic Greyhawk

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 11:00

A great deal of change separates the North America of the 21st Century from the future age of the Free-City of Greyhawk, sitting on the ruins of ancient Chicago. The upheaval around the Anthropocene Thermal Maximum lead to mass migrations and alteration of the landscape. Four emerging peoples would be largely responsible for shaping civilization of the Greyhawk era.

The ancestors of the Bakluni were sea nomads and climate refugees from Asia who had settled on the southern Pacific Coast of North America. Pressure from groups fleeing north from the Tropic of Cancer led their culture in a more warlike direction--and also pushed them both east toward the Rockies and northward.

The Pacific Northwest was the domain of the Suel culture. It evolved in the main from separatist groups with racial supremacist leanings during the fracture of the United States and Canada. An upper-class of "pure-blooded" nobility ruled over a "mixed race" lower class in a feudal society. The inbred ruling class commonly displayed a unique mutation in melanogenesis that led to pigmentless skin and hair, and violet eyes.

The underclass of the Suel was similar (and indeed often derived from) the peoples of diverse ethnic origin that were the primary cultural group from the Rocky Mountains eastward. These were collectively known as the Flan, though they did not initial share any real concept of national identity. Most Flan lived in small, nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes.

The final group, the Oeridians, were a people of less certain origin, but they seem, like the Suel, to be derived from North Americans of European descent, but with genetic markers indicating a significant contribution from Native American ancestry. They were a tribal people known to both the Bakluni and Suel--and employed by them both as mercenaries.

BIG FINISH: Original Time-Travel Drama ‘Jeremiah Bourne In Time’ Available to Download For Free This Week

Blogtor Who - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 10:08

Big Finish have announced Nigel Planer‘s time-travelling adventure Jeremiah Bourne In Time as this week’s #lockdownload, with the first part available now for free! During the current lockdown imposed by the coronavirus crisis, Big Finish have been offering a different audio drama each week as a free download – or #lockdownload – for a limited time […]

The post BIG FINISH: Original Time-Travel Drama ‘Jeremiah Bourne In Time’ Available to Download For Free This Week appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

BIG FINISH: UNIT: The Complete Series – Re-release available featuring Nicholas Courtney and David Tennant

Blogtor Who - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:00

Fifteen years after their original release, a collection of five stories featuring the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is 25% OFF for a limited time in UNIT: The Complete Series. Originally released in 2005, these UNIT stories follow the secretive military organisation working to defend the Earth against extraterrestrial threat, based on the characters first seen […]

The post BIG FINISH: UNIT: The Complete Series – Re-release available featuring Nicholas Courtney and David Tennant appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Cha'alt 1870's - Tegel Manor Session Zero Report Part I

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 04:16
So tonight I got out the twins & began to go back over Cha'alt. I've owned Venger Satanis's Cha'alt now for a few months as a physical book & its been one of the best OSR gonzo Science Fantasy books on today's market. The PC's have over the last year made some really nasty enemies within the walls of the black pyramid. Those Lovecraftian  enemies are well aware of the PC's movements & Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

One Knitter to Another

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 23:59

It is one of my favourite things to knit for other knitters.  I know that seems counter intuitive, I suppose on some level you think that if they already have a pathway to knitted stuff that they aren’t going to want to get a gift of knitting. I mean, if you already had a blender, or in our case it’s more like you own a blender factory,  then a blender is going to be a pretty crappy gift.

It turns out though, that at least in my experience, knitters love getting knitted gifts. (Admittedly they also like yarn as a gift, but that’s to be expected.) In my knitting career it hasn’t been unheard of for the recipient of a knitted gift to not meet said gift with the enthusiasm that I’d like them too.  I hand them the box, they open it up, take out the pair of socks or scarf or whatever it is and say “Oh wow. Nice socks. Thank you, I love them.” That may seem like the right thing to say and non-knitters, it is enough gratitude, I assure you, but it is nothing compared to what happens if you give a knitter a pair of socks, which is that they totally get what has just happened. They know what you’re giving them, they know how long it took to make it, they know that you just took however many hours of your life that you could have given to anyone on this earth and gave it to them. That you couldn’t think of anyone else that you would love to give this container of love and time to, and furthermore, they are usually pretty damned impressed that this love-vessel fits.

Over the years I’ve trained most of my common victims in the mighty ways of knitters. They know now when I give them a knitted thing what they’re really worth, and they know how to take care of them (or return them for care) and they appreciate knitting properly. Still, there is no joy like bestowing a piece of knitting on someone who’s going to notice… well, everything.  So it is with this sweater for Ken.  I finished it the other day and after it was done I left my house (how weird is that eh?) and I went over to Ken’s house (he lives very close by) and I put this sweater on his porch, and then texted him, and backed up onto the path so we would be distanced when he came out to get it.  (I cannot &^%$ing wait until I don’t have to treat the people I love like they are potential poison. It is so hard on the heart.)

He came out and was delighted to see it, and tried it on right away, and noticed all the things that he was meant to.

I took that woefully inadequate physically distanced picture of him, and asked him to selfie a few shots of the thing for all of you, and I waved to him (what a nightmare this is) and took myself off back home.  Ken did take some great self portraits (or it is possible a housemate helped him)  and because he’s a knitter, he took pictures he thought that other knitters would like.

Pattern: Rift.  Yarn: Good old Cascade 220, in 8400 – charcoal.

He’s showing you the details of the seams, how it looks under the arms – he’s commented on how beautifully it fits, and it should. I took his measurements back in March before I wasn’t allowed to touch him.* He loves the details on the side, he’s made an appropriate amount of fuss about the tubular cast-on at the bottom and sleeves, and he’s asked how the neck is right, why it’s not stretching out of shape… did I reinforce it? (I did not. I just always pick up stitches at a bound off edge so that it’s nice and strong, which was 100% an answer he cared about.)

The point is, Ken knows exactly how big and nice the love container I knit for him is, and that means that when pulls it on, it should feel like the full breadth of my love is there. Only another knitter could feel the sentiment behind a tubular cast on. Only a knitter.

Until we’re together again Ken.  Wear the sweater.

*There is some hope on the horizon here in Ontario. We’ve had low/declining cases for a while now, and we’re going to Stage 1 of easing restrictions on Tuesday after the holiday. It means certain kinds of businesses will be able to open if they can meet the strict public health rules, though the rules mean that open isn’t really open, they can take so few customers.  No restaurants yet, and no schools or daycares, certainly, and it’s been made clear to us that we’re ages off of being able to get a haircut. We are hoping that there’s some easing of the distancing rules and group size rules (we’re at no more than 5), and that you’ll start being able to have contact with people outside your household bubble.  We’ve got our fingers crossed that the coveted “double bubble” might not be far off for this province, though Canada’s commitment to letting the science lead the response might mean we all have to be apart a little longer. I can’t wait to hug Meg and Elliot. (Ken it will be you right after. Triple bubble.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Back To The Manor Baby! Tegel Manor Session Zero Play Report

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 18:51
One of the ideas that's been kicking around my head has been using Castles & Crusades with the older 3.5 Ravenloft books but twisting it around Tegel Manor. But there's far more to my version of Tegel manor. But that could wait as we dive back into Tegel Manor's long & storied history in my OSR games.  Sorry folks but I've been a wee bit absent for the last day & a half but campaign Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Teaching Crafts: 70+ Free Beginner Crochet, Knit, and Sewing Patterns

Moogly - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 17:00

Sharing is caring, and that includes our craft knowledge! Teaching crafts to those we love is a great way to connect with others, and Yarnspirations has put together a fantastic collection of 70+ free beginner crochet, knit, and sewing patterns to help you get started – and I’ve added a few more teaching-ready freebies here...

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The post Teaching Crafts: 70+ Free Beginner Crochet, Knit, and Sewing Patterns appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Goes Gold!

Zenopus Archives - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 16:43
Updated image for the product page
Interest in the The Ruined Tower of Zenopus has remained fairly steady at DMs Guild over the last few months, no doubt aided by the forced increase in screen time everyone is subjected to during these days of quarantine, and (in the last week) the sale at DMs Guild I posted about earlier this week. As a result the adventure has now hit another DMs Guild milestone: Gold Best Seller...!

As a thank you to everyone who has purchased the adventure, and to help it be more useful for on-line play during these dark days, I will soon be adding a re-drawn map as a separate file. DMs Guild allows redrawn maps as long as they support a product rather than being sold alone. Everyone who has already purchased the product should be able to download the new map for free.

This map is derived from the map I made in Gridmapper a few years ago and posted here. I've tested and found it very suitable for import into Roll20, and have optimized the size for aligning with the grids in their interface. I've also made DM and Player versions, so there will actually be two map files of this sort. Here is a preview of the Player's Map, with room lettering and some other features erased:




I've also been working on a hand-drawn map that will be more printer-friendly than the original or the Gridmapper map.

Product Link:
The Ruined Tower of Zenopus on DMs Guild

Click here to read reviews of the RTOZ by various bloggers
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

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