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Encounters in the Unsettling Dimension

Blog of Holding - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 14:48

Here are some encounters that you could run in a truly alien setting, like another planet or a far realm. They’re pretty low-level, suitable for characters around level 5 to 10, or for, say, level 3 characters who are in way over their heads.

These encounters are mostly inspired by weird stuff I saw in a documentary about coral reefs.

Roll d12 on this chart while traveling, or d6 while stationary. This encounter table is based on this encounter table template which incorporates rules for weather, resting, and getting lost:

1: Make up an encounter that’s related to your campaign or to one of your characters. If nothing springs to mind: you meet a plane-traveling evil level-15 wizard from the world of Mystara. He/she is searching for a Sea Anemone of the Magi said to be lost in this dimension, and suspects the PCs of trying to get it first. He/she will not attack unless that suspicion becomes a certainty. He/she will trade help or information, but offers nothing for free. His/her skin is covered with weird flowers and he/she detects magic at will (see encounter 4).

2: 2d4 levitating, hand-sized, ovoid stars which cast bright and cheery light in all colors. Their touch is telepathic poison: saving throw or take d20 psychic damage from their nihilistic world view. Evil characters take no damage. AC 15, 2d8 HP.

3: 1d4 walking ten-foot-tall antlers. They charge and impale victims for 2d20 damage. Impaled creatures take full damage each round until they use an action to disentangle themselves. The antler can carry around up to 3 impaled creatures at a time. AC 18, immune to piercing attacks, 10d8 HP.

4: A field of human-sized flowers which snatch victims in their finger-petals, digesting them for 1d20 damage in subsequent turns. AC 12, 1d8 HP. The flowers’ only sense is Detect Magic, so they will only attack creatures under magical effects or with magical gear. Anyone who takes damage from a flower will sprout small, harmless flowers in 1d4 days. Until the flowers are pruned, the character can Detect Magic at will.

5: 1d4 quivering, jelly-like, transparent pillars, periodically shot with neon lightning. They travel like Slinkies. 2 in 6 chance that there is a sluggish creature inside (lumpy cone, fire-spewing sac, silver torpedo, teleporting lightning bolt). If any players push their way into the pillar, they are rewarded by being healed 1 HP for every 10 minutes they remain inside. AC 10, 10d8 HP, regenerate 1/turn.

6: Rot grub rain. Anyone whose flesh is exposed to the rain is infected.

7: Rotting, gooey meat surrounds a 10-foot-wide hole in the ground. Inside a three-room underground lair is a giant armor-plated shark (AC 18, HP 20d8) with a giant, exposed brain (AC 13). Called attacks on the brain do double damage but the attacker must make a saving throw or take 1d20 psychic damage. The shark can make a bite attack (3d20 damage) and a gaze attack at a different target (gaze: saving throw or the target and its equipment becomes soft and gooey: AC reduced by 5 until the target next eats). The lair contains 1d6x1000 GP worth of cut gems, a gem vein with a potential 5d6x1000 GP more in gems, and inch-tall miner octopi (each day, they mine and cut 250 GP worth of gems, of which they eat half).

8: A silent wave of purple light rolls over the sky. In every direction, the sky and ground are twisted and swirled, so the shortest path between any two points is a curve or spiral. Travel requires a daily DC 15 Intelligence check or the party is lost. This effect lasts for 1d4 days or until someone gets a natural 20 on one of the intelligence checks.

9: 1d4+1 pools filled with a heavy oil (if burned, burns blue and does cold damage) and small, oily, scaly creatures. If you dive into the pool and swim through a thirty-foot-long tunnel, you will emerge from a different pool. (Roll 1d6: 1-3: the exit pool is more than 100 miles away on the same plane. 4: the exit is somehow the same as the entrance pool. 5: The exit is on a different plane. 6: The exit is on the swimmer’s home plane.)

10: A waving fern which exudes a visible bubble, 30-foot radius. The bubble is buzzing with small, flying, colorful creatures of all descriptions. Any creature inside the bubble is under the protection of a Sanctuary spell until it does violence.

11: A mountain of curvilinear catacombs, terraced apartments, and caves of chaos. At the top of the mountain, inch-tall blind octopi labor to create new levels.

12: Inch-thick tubes of multi-colored, hyperdense stone (20x the weight of normal stone) lead in an intermittent trail to a human-length, flat, spined worm. Rear attack: poison spines, 1d20 damage, saving throw or paralysis for 1 minute. Front attack: The worm’s all-consuming maw telekinetically sucks in everything in front of it in a 20-foot cone (save or be swallowed) and excretes everything (including adventurers) as inch-thick stone tubes. Stone to Flesh restores things to their original shape, but dead. AC 20, HP 15d10.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Once and Future Romero

Zenopus Archives - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 14:24

Yes, that's Ed Harris in the Knightriders film poster!
I was saddened to hear that George Romero passed away a few days ago. I have fond memories of a time about fifteen years ago when we lived near a great video store (remember those?) that had prominent shelves dedicated to certain directors: Romero, Herzog, Altman, etc. While I love Romero's zombie films, Knightriders (1981) is actually my favorite of his. It's an ensemble drama (Altman-esque) about a troupe of knights who joust on motorcyles at Renaissance Festivals. It's got his signature social commentary. Starring a young Ed Harris (pictured above) in the King Arthur-type role and Tom Savini in the Mordred-type role. A must see.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Officially Retired for a Year - The Point of No Return - State of The Tavern

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:28

I didn't sleep well last night. I've been looking forward to today and yet dreading it for at least a year. Today is my official Day of No Return - I am no longer able to rescind my retirement papers. I've had the Kansas song Point of Know Return going through my head for days no - seems like my official soundtrack ;)

First, I want to thank each of you, the readers of The Tavern. You support over the years and especially the last year have helped keep the fires burning, the drinks flowing and the posts coming. I can't thank you enough.

The main challenge with being retired at the ripe old age of nearly 50 (happens 2 days before #ConManKen's Kickstarter fiascos are due) is being busy enough that Rach doesn't get any ideas about me working some square badge security gig to keep me busy. So far, I've been doing okay.

As you can guess, The Tavern is a huge time sink. Multiple posts per day don't happen on their own. Further work on SWL, the Torchlight mag, some random side projects and such keep me busy. They don't really make me much income, but that is what the pension is for.

That being said, I am truly grateful to everyone that uses my affiliate links when making purchases at RPGNow and Amazon as well as clicking on the ads that interest you. It really does help. The budget is tighter than I was used to while working but the little extra income goes further than you might think.

Thank you for joining me on this amazing ride.

Remember, The Tenkar's Tavern Facebook Community is the backwater dive of the OSR, with your bartender Poo Poo Face (thank you Ken for finding such an amazing moniker for me) 1,590 members and growing. Grow with us :)


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Don't buy the Scourge of the Demon Wolf! (Issue Resolved)

Bat in the Attic - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 13:09
At least not from Noble Knight Games. Now some authors would be all up in arms about somebody obviously price gouging their own products. Especially when it still available for sale at it original price of $15 at Lulu and RPGNow.  I am enough of a libertarian that I support the right for Noble Knights to do this. But I will take advantage of my right to mock them for trying to rip off an unsuspecting buyer.

Poking around their site I find they are selling the Majestic Wilderlands for $30 ($12 from Lulu or RPGNow)

Looking at some of +James Raggi stuff is not passing the smell test in my opinion.

Again it Nobles Knight right to sell the material they have for whatever the market will bear and it our right to mock them for it when it get ridiculous. Especially when they have a shaky reputation due to the fact they don't post actual pictures of the high dollar collectibles they are selling.

UPDATE: After reading various comments, I want to stress rarely in life anybody is complete villain. Noble Knights has been in business a long time with a good reputation for service.  I placed several orders with them over the years with no issues except for one minor one where I got the wrong cover. But since it was the only one they had and I wanted the content as well, I was fine with it.

However for long time there been complaints about their refusal to post actual pictures and there been incidents with high dollar items that would have been adverted if they had. You can search the Acaeum forum to read about other collectors experiences.But for the most part they do verbally report the accurate condition of the product.  Then there is there pricing which always been on the high side. Although bargains are not hard to find over time.

However marking various readily available OSR product up at 100%? There no excuse for that. It is a decision that warrants mocking and criticism until it is addressed.

Finally I want to thank +Erik Tenkar for getting the word out about this on his blog.

FURTHER UPDATE: I had a nice exchange with Naomi from Noble Knights Sales. So the prices has been updated which you can see here. It is slightly higher but that in line from what I know about how vendor like Noble Knights operate. I don't know how much they paid for it but given their history of service I will take their word that what they need for a proper profit. So kudos to Naomi and Noble Knight Gams for responding promptly. Still need to use actual picture tho.

As for the rest of the OSR people need to make sure they are on their toes. If you have pertinent information or an OSR author of one the products list then contact Noble Knights at sales@nobleknight.com.  Be polite!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A Woman as the Doctor

19th Level - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:07

With Jodie Whittaker announced as the Doctor there have been a variety of reactions. This isn't too surprising - pretty much every new Doctor announcement has been met with reactions ranging from "this is the perfect Doctor" to "Doctor Who is ruined".

Unsurprisingly, the fact that a woman has been cast as the Doctor for the first time in the 50+ years of the show has a higher percentage of "Doctor Who is ruined" folks out there. It's definitely a big change in casting. I recall Usenet discussions in the 1990s about a hypothetical woman Doctor - and it should be noted there were people who questioned whether there could even be a non-white Doctor. Similarly, as the cast of Star Trek: Voyager was announced, some people went a little nuts at idea of a black Vulcan - Tuvok, as played by Tim Russ. It's worth noting that for me, Russ was one of the bright spots on what I saw as a fairly mediocre show. (I also greatly like Kate Mulgrew as an actress but found her character of Captain Janeway was inconsistently written).

So what about a lady Doctor? Well to begin, my daughter Jasmine was quite happy at the announcement. She's the science fiction fan of my two daughters. Her sister Victoria is passing familiar with Doctor Who and she was pleased too. There's something to being able to imagine yourself as the hero - and the Doctor is a great hero. Not using guns but his (or now, her) brains to fight evil. Sure they could someday to a spinoff with characters like Jenny, Clara, and Ashildr/Me. But Doctor Who is the core of a decades old institution.

Were they being social justice warriors? I don't know, and you know what, good on them if they were. I hate the use of that as an insult. It's great to have greater inclusivity and Doctor Who is a show whose format greatly lends itself to such a casting. Every few years a new actor takes over the role with no expectation of a resemblance in appearance - indeed the Doctors all look very distinct from one another and you'd never mistake one for another. The new show has clearly established Time Lords can change gender. Yes that's an addition to the show's mythology, but it contradicts nothing. And let's be honest, contradictions in Doctor Who are nothing new. Michelle Gomez's portrayal of a female Master, Missy, has been.. well, masterful. A homicidal Mary Poppins.

I can think of a million in-universe reasons why the Doctor has been male all this time and now has a female incarnation. It could be some Time Lords are more predisposed to a single gender and with a new cycle of regenerations the Doctor has changed. It seems Time Lords have some control over the regeneration process (the Master especially) and since the Doctor generally thought of himself as male, chose to stay male but has decided on a change. It could be a gazillion things.

What about Whittaker as an actress. Truth to tell, I know next to nothing about her. I've never seen Broadchurch, where she had a major role. It's one of those shows that has long been on my "to watch" queue so I imagine I'll get around to viewing it. Given new Doctor Who showrunner's Chris Chibnall's roles in the creation and production of Broadchurch it's clear that he has an actress whose work he is familiar and comfortable with, meaning it is quite likely the two will work well together to realize his vision of Doctor Who. Will it be any good? Will Whittaker? Time will tell. I hope so.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Ken Bought Mad Ox Games & Comics - At a Discount and No Money Down - Who's the Bigger Fool?

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 01:49

So, Marcus sold the money losing, poorly managed Mad Ox Games & Comics to the above mentally disabled (self diagnosed) alleged con man and serial Kickstarter Project creator who has yet to fulfill a project.



Ken was the last manager. He didn't hit his numbers, but he'll be a success as a store owner!

Marcus was asking $20k, so he sold it for $13k. But wait, no money down! Of course, if Ken had money to put down, he'd put it towards that Kickstarters that are due in 2 weeks - Ken's own timetable. I mean, he would - right?


My God - Ken's doing Kickstarter stuff? Probably so he can sell it in store ;)

So, I'm thinking we should run a pool a as to how long it takes for Kenny to:

a - default on paying Marcus

b - default on the lease

c - default on utilities

My money is on 60 days to default on utilities with a trifecta at 90 days.

Now remember, #ConManKen has a self diagnosed mental disability, so when he forgets to pay a bill, he has a built in excuse. Not a valid excuse, mind you, but an excuse none the less.

This is Poo Poo Face with yet another installment in the saga affectionately known as #ConManKen, the Self Diagnosed Mentally Deficient Store Owner and Serial Kickstarter Abuser.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

13 Questions for the Thirteenth Doctor

BBC Doctor Who - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 01:24
We interviewed Jodie Whittaker about taking on the role of the Doctor… 2017-07-16T17:37:09+01:00 2017-07-16T17:37:09+01:00
Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Introducing Jodie Whittaker - The Thirteenth Doctor

BBC Doctor Who - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 01:24
The BBC today announced to the world that Jodie Whittaker will be the new Doctor Who. 2017-07-16T17:03:18+01:00 2017-07-16T17:03:18+01:00
Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

BOOM! STUDIOS ANNOUNCES JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH 2017 SPECIAL

First Comics News - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 01:02

Road to San Diego 2017 Announcement #9: Star-studded, oversized issue from Archaia imprint arrives November 2017

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special Main Cover by Derek Kirk Kim

July 17, 2017 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – BOOM! Studios, in partnership with The Jim Henson Company, is proud to announce the JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH 2017 SPECIAL, on sale in November. Featuring a diverse assembly of acclaimed creators, including Jeff Stokely (The Spire), Roger Langridge (Thor: The Mighty Avenger), Delilah S. Dawson (Ladycastle), Adam Smith (Jim Henson’s Labyrinth), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), Ryan Sook (Batman Beyond), Derek Kirk Kim (Tune), and more, this second annual special is an all-new collection of short stories that celebrates the various characters and creatures from the world of Labyrinth (1986). This includes the never-before-told story of how Sir Didymus met his trusted steed Ambrosius, and the story of a goblin running late to the famous “Dance Magic Dance” sequence from the iconic film.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special is published through BOOM! Studios’ cutting-edge Archaia imprint and is the latest release in celebrating the innovative family entertainment franchises from The Jim Henson Company such as Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal and  Jim Henson’s The Storyteller.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is home to some of the most memorable characters in pop culture,” said Sierra Hahn, Senior Editor. “Through our partnership with The Jim Henson Company, Archaia has been able to expand this world in meaningful and innovative ways. This Special is the first of a few projects that will excite longtime fans of the film and reveal to newcomers the magic and wonder of this singular world.”

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special will be available in November for sale at local comic book shops (to find a shop near you, visit comicshoplocator.com) or through the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers including comiXology, Kindle, iTunes, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

Discover your breaking Road to San Diego Comic-Con news from BOOM! Studios by visiting www.boom-studios.com and following @boomstudios on Twitter.

 
Cover by Ryan Sook                                      Cover by Jeff Stokely

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

My Gen Con 50 Schedule

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 00:41

For those of you following what I will be doing at Gen Con 50.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptozoic Entertainment: San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Official Event Schedule

Cryptozoic - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 23:45

Cryptozoic is thrilled to return to San Diego Comic-Con! Check out our schedule of events for the upcoming weekend, including our booth activities, events, giveaways, game demos, and artist signings!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

RIVERDALE #5 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 22:07

RIVERDALE #5
Set in the same universe as the hit CW series, this issue gives us a peek into what makes Riverdale High hot-shots Reggie Mantle and Josie McCoy tick. Reggie’s used to getting what he wants, and sets his romantic sights on the lead singer of the Pussycats. But when Josie turns him down, just how far will Reggie go to convince her he’s worth an audition?
Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Tessa Leigh Williams, Brian E. Paterson
Art: Thomas Pitilli, Andre Szymanowicz, Janice Chiang
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
Variant Cover: Matthew Dow Smith
On Sale Date: 8/9
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Cthulhu Wars: Reviews and How to Play Videos

Greyhawk Grognard - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 21:55
Now that the Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3 Kickstarter is on its malevolent way (and met its goal within an hour or two of launching!), I thought it might be interesting to show off the game itself, with a few videos from various folks.

First, we have a short and sweet "how to play" video from the designer of the game himself, Sandy Peterson, sporting some very fetching suspenders:


Next up, Drive Thru Review has a nice review of the original game that doubles as a play-through video:


Here JBs Total Gaming asks the musical question, Should you buy Cthulhu Wars? (Spoiler alert: the answer is yes.)



And last but not least, Blue Table Painting has taken some of the figures and given them some really awesome paint jobs, to give you a sense of what one can do with them. That's where I think this could really pay for itself, even if you don't ever end up playing the game (but I think you will; as the above videos show, it's pretty easy, quick, and fun).


__________

Disclosure: I was sent a bag of Cthulhu Wars figures to use in helping boost the Onslaught Three Kickstarter (you'll see them soon). I paid for the first Kickstarter and Onslaught Two myself, however, and will pay for Onslaught 3 when it launches Monday.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

In Other Worlds – REVIEW: Game of Thrones S7 Ep1 ‘Dragonstone’

Blogtor Who - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 21:08

One of Blogtor Who – In Other World’s Posts. Game of Thrones is back! Season 7 begins a shorter run of seven episodes with ‘Dragonstone’. Season 8, which will be the final run, will have only six episodes. So with the end of this global phenomenon on the horizon ‘Game of Thrones’ returned to our […]

The post In Other Worlds – REVIEW: Game of Thrones S7 Ep1 ‘Dragonstone’ appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

GFW and Pro-Wrestling and NOAH Expand Talent Exchange

First Comics News - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 20:55

“Nashville – Global Force Wrestling (GFW), a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., announced today that it is expanding its talent exchange with Tokyo-based Pro Wrestling NOAH.

Taiji Ishimori, the three-time and reigning Global Honored Crown (GHC) Junior Heavyweight Champion from Pro Wrestling NOAH, returns to IMPACT Wrestling on Thursday, Aug. 17, to participate in Destination-X, live on Pop TV and broadcast to more than 120 countries worldwide.  Ishimori was a show-stealer in his GFW debut on July 2, at Slammiversary 15, originating from The Impact Zone on the backlot of Universal Studios Florida.

Ishimori was joined at Slammiversary by Naomichi Marufuji.

“All of us at GFW are excited to continue to grow our relationship with Pro Wrestling NOAH,” said GFW Vice President of International Relations Scott D’Amore.  “Having Ishimori back competing in the six-sided GFW ring at Destination-X shows our commitment to showcasing the very best athletes from around the world.”

There is no confirmation yet on additional Pro Wrestling NOAH talent that will be in Orlando for Destination-X and the ensuing TV tapings for IMPACT Wrestling, D’Amore said.

GFW stars also will be heading to Japan later this year to participate in Great Voyage 2017, vol. 2 from Pro Wrestling NOAH on Sunday, Oct. 1.  GFW stars Moose and Eddie Edwards will be competing in Japan.  Edwards was in Japan earlier this year, along with “Cowboy” James Storm.

“GFW is excited and honored to be part of the Great Voyage from Pro Wrestling NOAH,” D’Amore said.  “Moose and Eddie Edwards are two amazing athletes who will be great representatives for GFW and IMPACT Wrestling.

“These talent collaborations are examples of how GFW and its international promotional partners continue to work together on an unprecedented level to provide a truly global audience with the very best action in the wrestling business.”

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Alberto El Patron Stipped Of WAW Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship

First Comics News - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 20:53

The WAW Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship has been declared vacant at last night’s Academy Show in Costessey, following a unanimous decision by the WAW Championship Committee. The WAWCC’s decision was announced by Zak Knight but no information was revealed regarding the crowning of a new champion. Since the announcement several individuals have announced their desire to compete for the title. Both European Heavyweight Champion Robin Lekime and British Heavyweight Champion Aaron Sharp have already revealed their desire to add more gold to their repertoire, as well as former World Heavyweight Champion Brad Slayer and former European Heavyweight Champion King Kendo. With four of WAW’s top competitors already eyeing up the most prestigious title will anyone else step forward in the hope of gaining public support?

A 32 man tournament has been announced to determine a new Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion over the course of the rest of 2017 with the final taking place at Epic Studios, Norwich in December. The entrants into this tournament will be deliberated by the WAWCC over the coming weeks before brackets are announced.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

“WORLD OF WARCRAFT® CHRONICLE” THIRD INSTALLMENT RELEASED BY DARK HORSE AND BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT

First Comics News - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 20:46

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (July 17, 2017)—Dark Horse and Blizzard Entertainment are thrilled to present World of Warcraft® Chronicle: Volume III! Dark Horse and Blizzard Entertainment have a long history of partnering on critically acclaimed publications, including the bestselling World of Warcraft Chronicle (volumes I and II) and an anthology of Overwatch® comics. The partners also recently announced The Art of Overwatch, which is set to go on sale October 24, 2017.

World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume III features beautiful full-color artwork by Peter Lee, Roman Kenney, Stanton Feng, and other fan-favorite artists, as well as intricately detailed maps and artwork by Joseph Lacroix. Writers Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, and Robert Brooks also return to impart knowledge of Warcraft lore in this third volume. World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume III details the events that shaped the modern history of Azeroth and delves into the backstories of Arthas Menethil, Illidan Stormrage, Jaina Proudmoore, and other iconic World of Warcraft® characters.

The 184-page World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume III goes on sale March 27, 2018, and will retail for $39.99. World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume III is available for preorder on Amazon, Penguin Random House, and at your local comic shop. Visit DarkHorse.com for more information.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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