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(5e) The Gauntlet of Spiragos

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 11:07


By Matt Franklin & Richard Thomas
Onyx Path Publishing
5e
Level 1

For centuries, titans bestrode the world, colossal heads and shoulders lost in the clouds, carelessly smashing and crushing all beneath. When the youngest of them had enough and declared war on their ancient parents, even the land itself suffered. These scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age.

This thing is a fucking mess.

This 45 page adventure is extremely linear, and, in the modern way, has so much text that it is impossible to follow and/or pick out the parts of the text that you need to run it. It’s got a good mythology behind it, and the dungeon setting is nice, but none of that justifies the excess for the actual content.

Forty five pages? Well, The actual “dungeon” doesn’t start until page twenty five, and the appendices with new monsters start at page thirty five, so you get a ten page dungeon. That contains maybe … eight encounters? Asides, advice, history, backstory, repetition … and it all works with a kind free-flow description style that bucks the room/key format … making the entire thing nigh incomprehensible.

The gimmick here is that, of the three magic items you are looking for, you are actually adventuring inside one of them. A titan’s hand, inside his gauntlet, is embedded in the earth and that’s the pit/chasm you descend down into. Nice setting, with metal cave walls, old bone columns, etc. It’s nice, as is the titan war backstory/setting.

But fuck me man. There’s A LOT of read aloud. And it’s all in a small italic font, making it a pain to read. The goal is to help the DM not make their eyes worse. If I have to hold it up to my nose, instead of laying it flat on the table, it wasn’t a good design decision.

The linearity is stupid. “Here are three optical encounters the party can have on the way to the pit.” They are all just combats, nothing more. And there’s a fourth provided, a kind of hit & run necromancer to dog the parties tails. Again, all optional. The actual dungeon is just more of the same. On the way down encounter this, then this, then this. And it’s all fucking combat. You might as well be playing Descent.

The worst part is the free form layout. It’s linear, but without an encounter/key format. It’s all “ then this and then this” and mixes advice, history and backstory in to the text. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to figure out which area is being described, transitions, etc. It’s one of the most stream of conscious styles I’ve ever seen.

I loathe modern design. “At your discretion this body may have any treasure you wish to give the party.” Well no fucking shit sherlock. How about you add some value and put something on that body? This whole “optical combat” and “freeform treasure” design style is loathsome. Provide some fucking value for christs sake.

This extends to the adventure format proper. There are no real maps and the adventure essentially relies on skill checks. Want to find a trapdoor down to the next level? Make a skill check to find one on your current level. Just roll the fucking dice and master the combat rules; that’s all there is to this adventure.

It does have a decent synopsys, which I wish more adventure had, and the new magic items are decent, leaning toward the low-powered artifact end of the scale. They don’t quite feel wonderous, but they are a cut above the normal slop and include notes on how to destroy them. That lends an air of mystery to them, which is what magic items SHOULD have.

This is free at DriveThru. The preview is six pages. They don’t really reveal what the adventure proper is like. At best you have to discern that it takes six pages to get to the hooks. That’s not good.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/171523/Gauntlet-of-Spiragos-free-5E-OGL-adventure

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Choose your own sci-fi stock art.

Bat in the Attic - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 19:18
I like supporting other OSR projects. The more people we have doing this stuff successfully helps to keep this a thriving hobby with enthusiastic gamers. As many if you with my works know, I am partial to black and white line art and James Shield excels at drawing in that style. I was very pleased with what I got from his last kickstarter and now he has new one, Do It Yourself Science Fiction Stock Art.

This time the focus is on science fiction but what especially neat is that it is also a tool kit for making your own. You can see a preview of it in the image below and he explains it on his kickstarter page.


While the focus of the OSR has been traditionally on fantasy, but there is now a wealth of science fiction material built on the ideas behind classic DnD (White Star, Stars without Number, etc). Having resources like James' DiY Stock Art will make it take much easier for projects to get done and in our hands.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On the week of May 25th in the Old School Renaissance.

Hack & Slash - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:00
Holy crap! We've had a crazy week, let's get right into you beautiful people!

Big News
Warhammer 40,000 is the origin of grimdark! ("In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war") Home of the immortal rotting carcass of the golden emperor who sends his brave genetically modified and tortured half-human marines to purge and burn corruption and heresy, now have adventures for kids of all ages!
"Catholic Space Nazis sound like awesome villains, how can they be the heroes?"
"By comparison."
You heard it folks, Warhammer 40k Children's books.

Warhammer Adventures

The 41st Millennium and the Mortal Realms are fantastical places, ripe for adventure.

Like you, we love these worlds, and we’re always looking for new ways to share them with all kinds of fans. Today, we’re delighted to announce a new type of Warhammer fiction and 2 new series that are sure to excite young readers and parents* eager to introduce the next generation to the joy of Warhammer.
Warhammer Adventures is an exciting new range of books coming next year for boys and girls aged 8-12 years old featuring younger protagonists having thrilling adventures and facing off against dangerous enemies.
They are gonna sell like hotcakes.
 Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is on the horizon, coming on the 29th. If you're curious what's inside, check out Kiel Chenier's take on it in his tumbler post: Is Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes worth your money?

We are all Grognards here, even you youngin's. So we like our Dr. Who Classic. Fortunately Twitch.tv is going to have a 7 day marathon of classic Dr. Who. So grab your Scarf and Jelly Bellies and take a look at adventure ideas and hokey terrifying to children effects. Should be a good time. Over 500 classic episodes from the 26 seasons of classic Doctor Who will air worldwide on the live streaming video platform Twitch from May 29th. Fans will be able to watch adventures from the first seven Doctors – from 1963’s An Unearthly Child to 1989’s Survival – while chatting live to thousands of other viewers around the world. This epic screening of classic Doctor Who from May 29th until July 23rd follows Twitch’s successful marathons of Power Rangers, Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
 YoutubeQuesting beast covers the brilliant Chthonic Codex. In addition he has a discussion with Scrap Princess on how to improve spells in Dungeons and Dragons.

Mr. Welch talks about the King's Festival on Mystara. (I love this guy!!)

Speaking of Mystara, here's an interview with the Japanese developer on what material they were forced to cut from the action-beat-em-up Chronicles of Mystara.

Greg Tito acts like a madman, coming on stream with "Job Titlte here/Twitter here" as his contact. They got it fixed about 5 minutes in. He talks about the Stream of Many Eyes livestream and other streaming casting decisions and covering other news on 5/22/18.

Mike Mearls isn't sick any more and he's working on the Soul Knife Monk subclass on the Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour 5/22/18.

Here's a link to this week's Heroes of Jordoba, Uncle Matt's Live D&D game.

Faerun History posted Tales from the Tavern -Hulburg- Forgotten Realms Lore and History
KickstarterSo here's the thing. This whooole industry is a shitshow. I'm not supporting or recommending any of these kickstarters. Caveat Emptor

The Dice Dungeon: It's a cool dice game, where you build a dungeon inside. . . a cardboard dungeon waffle. How long do we think that cardboard waffle is gonna last? They get props for the commitment to the dragon mask in the video.

Arcane Scrollworks 2: Second Level Spells You can get pieces of paper with scroll art on them. I guess this is a prop or something you frame?

There's this unfinished super generic dungeon crawler that hasn't funded yet. Comments by backers are generally negative, talking about the poor art quality, and the lack of . . . anything . . . interesting. You could take a look at Dungeons Runners! On second thought, Camelot is a silly place.

Deluxe Metal Meeples are high quality meeples by Campaign Coins who's had 4 successful campaigns.

Welcome to Yarnia! It's a knitting pattern! It's an RPG! The video is filmed in a room filled with boxes and a fish tank. It's nearing 30,000$! It's got almost a week left. There's mugs and . . . yarn patterns, and how the hell do you get 30,000$ for that? There's a book! There are these knitted cat
Welcome to Yarnia!things! I guess you knit a companion animal for your character? I don't understand anything about this Kickstarter! Brilliant!

Yarnia is the best damn thing I've ever seen. I mean, in all seriousness, treating a knitted 'choose your own adventure based on your stats' as a record of your adventure hits all the shamanistic notes for me. It's a record of your adventure in the artistic flow. Also, Yarnia. Cause you knit with yarn.

Maybe some of  you don't knit, or cross-stitch, or crochet. I have and this is crazy appealing. The woman looks super trustworthy. She seems to have one failed and two successful kickstarters that appear to have satisfied backers. Maybe it's worth a trip to Yarnia?

Dark Fable Miniatures has a pretty attractive line of Orc Miniatures, of the humanoid face variety. If you're looking to expand an orc force, they aren't bad.

I don't know what this is, or if it's any good, but this Map Maker is hitting some of the right buttons with it's folder and pouch setup.

Games worth checking out!Bryce Lynch certainly has a lot of nice things to say about this adventure, and it's free! Check out Mines, Claws, & Princesses.

"The groom is dead, the bride Sunnhild taken. Men rave in pain whilst their women wail in sorrow. Blood mixed with tears, the chieftain Erfried cries out “Only you are left who can hold a sword. Go now. The orcs ride to Sanjikar and you must follow.”"
And then there's the Esoteric by Emmy Allen:
Picture the adventuring party of most old-school games. A band of thugs, occultists, criminals, weirdos and outcasts who, rather than settle into normal society, risk everything exploring the dark, dangerous places of the world. Perhaps they will become rich and powerful, perhaps they die unceremoniously.
Keep this same adventuring party, and picture their equivallent in the modern day. A world with police, the internet, chain stores... The same band of thugs, occultists, criminals, weirdos and outcasts drift into the underworlds of organised crime and the esoteric.
This, then, is the premise of Esoteric Enterprises: the occult exists in a dangerous black market, where organised criminals traffic in magical grimoires and relics alongside narcotics and weapons. Hidden from the public eye, various gangs, cults and covens struggle for influence and resources in the dark tunnels beneath every city. And beneath that, stranger things lurk; inhuman creatures turn their cold gaze on the mortals who intrude on their subterranean realm.
New on RPG now!There are over 200 products released in the last 7 days. Here is a selection of some of the most interesting.

Embers of the Forgotten Kingdom by Metal Weave Games. There's no stats in this book. You know that campaign where you're just like "If you want to write a book, you should just write a book?" Well that's what this pastiche of the Dark Souls setting is. It's a kickstarter success, which paid for the art, and only has a .pdf option on RPG.now. It's a region you can add to a campaign.

The Storyteller's ArcanaThe Storyteller's Arcana seems to be a dual-statted (1e/5e) set of tools for for Dungeon Masters to use in their games.

The Greydeep Marches is a fantasy setting that is dealing with dark powers from an ancient empire and a threat in the mountains to the east. It doesn't show much in the preview. It's 34 pages for 7$

PC15- The OSR Chymist, this is a back-porting of the Pathfinder alchemist class to old school rules.

This weird product. I mean, this must be the future. You can buy this in pdf or softcover in all different weights of paper. It's called "Non-human Player Codex for Early Era Fantasy Gaming" and it's the rules for dwarves, elves, etc, for three rulesets, Original Edition Characters, Labyrinth Lord and Advanced Edition Companion. Why do you need just the non-human races? Who is this book for?

There's a DCC release from Studio 9 Games (C. Aaron Kreader) called Greenwood of the Fey Sovereign. It's a low level adventure, with a wild elf class. I can't get a look at the adventure proper but the art looks interesting.

Raging Swan had a few releases this week, Languard Locations: Low CityMonstrous Lair #8: Ghoul Nest,

Wizards Releases:
Boot Hill Wild West (3rd Edition)
Amazing Engine: Bug Hunters

Steve Jackson Games Releases:
GURPS Classic: Ultra-Tech
Autoduel Quarterly #8/3
Car Wars Midville
GURPS Classic: Autoduel
The AADA Vehicle Guide

Just a note that I also check the new releases on the DM's Guild, but it's like swimming through a sewer.



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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On Gygax Design II

Hack & Slash - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 12:00
Let's look at the background section of the adventures B2: Keep on the Borderlands, and Return to the Keep on the Borderlands. Part I of this article is here.


Keep on the Borderlands has a four paragraph background, and a two paragraph starting encounter. The expectation is that the background is read aloud. 



The Realm of mankind is narrow and constricted. Always the forces of Chaos press upon its borders, seeking to enslave its populace, rape its riches, and steal its treasures. If it were not for a stout few, many in the Realm would indeed fall prey to the evil which surrounds them. Yet, there are always certain exceptional and brave members of humanity, as well as similar individuals among its allies - dwarves, elves, and halflings - who rise above the common level and join battle to stave off the darkness which would otherwise overwhelm the land. 
I mean, he wrote it as if it pulsed fire in his heart.

The starting scene is particularly appropriate because it instructs the players to introduce themselves to the gatekeeper, and thus the other players.

What follows is six pages detailing the keep itself. We're going to talk about this in a minute.

The Return to the Keep on the Borderlands has a five paragraph introduction, and a two paragraph starting encounter.

But wait? What chicanery is this?!

The introduction is not to be read to the players and contains ancient history. What's more it's dull. No, really. I'll—just look:

Such, at any rate, was his plan. In the event, Macsen found that retirement agreed with him. He devoted all his time to managing the affairs of the garrison and the Keep, . . . Fortunately Macsen had chosen his castellan well. Devereau was a faithful henchmen, an archer who only remained behind because of a crippling wound received in an early adventure. . . Today it is a small but thriving community once more, less populous than of old but warded by people who have invested years of hard work making this into their home and been willing to defend it to the bitter end. That's how it ends. That's the call to adventure. Let me sum up.

Once a dude got a keep, and it was too much effort to dick around with assholes in the woods. And so other people did it, and then all the monsters were dead. Then he went off and died in war, and the rest of the people stayed and now they are strong and happy.

Two paragraphs on a dude that's dead. Story that's both boring and not accessible to players of the game, and the call to adventure is "It's a safe, nice place."

The starter encounter has a paragraph of read aloud text as you approach the keep, and you are hailed by a guard. The boxed text makes no horrible affronts, only slightly telling the players what they feel or do. Then there are eleven pages detailing the keep.

So Much of the KeepWhy do we care about the keep? What can we learn about the way it's presented in the module? What's in those six pages?

Amazingly, it's very gamified. Each section of the keep is a tool to drive the adventure. Gygax meticulously details the arms, armaments, and tactics of people in the keep in addition to documenting the location of every loose copper piece.

What's noticeable is the expectation that the interior of the keep will be explored as a dungeon environment. The players walk in, and then walk around to all the different places. Let's look at some of the gamification of the environment:

1. Main Gate: "Two men-at-arms. . . require that persons entering the keep put their weapons away and then escort them to area 3."
3. Entry Yard: "All entrants, save those of the garrison will be required to dismount and stable their animals (area 4). The Corporal of the Watch is here [and] is rather grouchy, with a low charisma, but he admires outspoken brave fighters and is easily taken in by a pretty girl."He doesn't have a name, but he gets a personality. Further:
Map by Dyson Logos3. Entry Yard: Cont. "A scribe. . . records the name of each person who enters or leaves. . . Lackeys will come to take mounts or mules. Any goods not carried will be stored in the warehouse. Another lacky will then show travelers to the Traveler's Inn."
This connects directly to the entrance scene, informs characters of the stables, that there's goods in the warehouse, and then walks them over to the inn. Which is at area 15. If you're using the map, this walks the characters directly past every other interesting player facing building on the map. To wit:

They walk south past the stables and warehouse, directly towards the bailiff tower (at 6), then west directly past the smithy/armory (at 8) and the provisioner and trader (at 9-10) and the fortified loan office on the south wall (at 11).

By the time they've reached the tavern, they've been exposed to everything there is interesting to do in town for a new adventure, but it doesn't stop there.

Areas marked 7 on the map are private apartments, and Gygax provides two. A jeweler who will exchange gems and money for the characters, and a priest who is willing to assist the party in the caves (but spoilers secretly is chaotic and will attack the party—I've killed more than one player who came to the priest for aid and got a cause wounds for their trouble.)

The apartments (and their many empty partners) are set up for the Dungeon Master to introduce characters of their own. Though this is not explicit, the introduction does say "Special quarters are available for well-to-do families, rich merchants, guild masters, and the like."

How do we know that the information that's listed here is deliberate and not just something compulsive Gygax did because he was an insurance actuary? Because of what he leaves out. He does not detail the normal family members of the personages of the keep.
"The five small apartments along the south wall are occupied by families of persons dwelling within the Outer Bailey of the KEEP."This is the only sentence addressing what Gygax felt were non-game entities. They aren't described, given treasure, etc. because they aren't likely to be involved in gameplay. The smithy's grandmama isn't going to need combat stats, and the players aren't likely to interact with a house full of women and children, so those "apartments . . . are occupied" is all the text that is given.

This deliberate presentation of some things and not others is designed for what the Dungeon Master needs in play. What if the keep is attacked? What if the players attack the keep or try to steal things? Well, that information is there for those Dungeon Masters. The contents of the bank and warehouse are documented. 

Can you figure out why? I can. Because I've played Dungeons and Dragons before.

Where is there to go in this keep? What can the players do? Those questions are also answered in the text, in a very sort of computer game, pick the smithy menu, here's some information about that encounter.

What's in the northern half of the outer bailey—you know, the part the characters don't walk past on the way to the tavern—is unsurprisingly the things the characters will need after their first foray out into the wilds. 16 is the guild house for travellers, 17 the chapel for priests and healing, and most importantly, the gate to the inner keep, which you can only gain access to after you have accomplished deeds in the caves.

You can't go home againIn Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, the map remains very similar (with one or two new tricks). The guard challenge is repeated and they are met at the gate by a named non-player character, Sabine the Gatekeeper who directs them  to the stable, warehouse, marketplace, and inn/tavern. Everyone in the sequel is given names ("The second floor houses. . . Laurl, Charl, Wort, and Joop.")

Each home in the sequel has details of their occupants, no statistics, just a story about what type of person they are.
"A quiet man who keeps mostly to himself, Reece. . . has since married a local woman (Asgrim, a young widow whose first husband marched off to the battlefield while they were still newlyweds, never to return). They have a three year old son, Decius, and a year-old daughter, Nadya."I don't see how the above is accessible or useful to play. He's a cobbler. When will the players intersect with this information? Why is it detailed? 7f details three sisters who are milkmaids and their schedules throughout the day, but should I references 7f which I'm deciding who's in an area?

Each paragraph is giving me a little character story or vignette. . . and no tools to integrate it with what's actually going to be happening at the table. The presentation is convoluted bullshit with zero effort given into what I'm supposed to do with that information.

It gets worse. The players can't buy anything at the smithy "Rafe can make horseshoes, nails, and bits with ease, but weaponsmithing and armor-forging are beyond him." followed by this useful gem that can in no way impact our game, "The keep once had a resident weaponsmith in Mascens day who kept the garrison supplied."

!?

Let's play a game. In what world where you have sat down with your friends to play Dungeons & Dragons is the following information useful?

"Beasley's daughter, Calista, divides chores and responsibilities with her husband."

"Most folks only stay here for a few days, but some stay for extended periods."

There's literally thousands of words detailing small family relationships, who's married to who, local town politics, organized only by building title:"Guild House" under which you find, Greeves and Peta who are the grandparents of Jess who is in the one-eyed cat.

Is the adventure about small town drama? If it is, why is it so poorly organized? How would I keep this web of stories and relationships straight without re-writing everything?

Every entry in the original adventure contained information that I might need. And it did so in the correct place. Anything else, it left me to create and keep track of (such as the large number of un-named guards and people)

There are some bright spots. Even though entirely too many words are used, there are an entertaining collection of colorful characters that the players can collect as henchmen. There's no indication of where they are located in the keep next to their stats, but: Third, a warrior who wears a bronze mask all the time, Brother Martin, a fair cleric who makes sure that everyone provides input (even shy people), Opal, a neutral moon cleric who's Lawful-Chaotic alignment axis changes with the moon. A clever but loony mage, a manipulative necromancer who just wants to find a way to worship at the hidden temple, and a cowardly thief.

Then there are three keep encounters, one keyed to happen after the first three times the characters return to the keep.

If the intent was to detail family relationships, following the form of Gygax is the worst way to organize it. Even though the original module has six pages devoted to the keep, it just feels like six pages of tools for the Dungeon Master to respond to players ideas and successes. Whereas the house descriptions in the sequel are devoid of any mechanical information.

I can see how you could interject some of this drama into the lives of the player characters, but I want to be clear. The text provides no tools to assist with using this information in play, besides creating the unexciting situations: A ward falls in love with her step-father, or how the twenty some-odd members of the Lum clan make up most of the militia. etc. What's more is that the format actively works against this.

I can run the keep with a single pass over Gygax's text. I couldn't even understand the second adventure unless I spend the time to reorganize all the information it gives me.

Next time, we'll look at the wilderness and cave encounters proper.

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

“Shadowrun Sprawl Ops” Live on Kickstarter

Gamer Goggles - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 20:26

“Shadowrun Sprawl Ops” Live on Kickstarter
Innovative worker-placement game features push-your-luck dice rolling mayhem
Media Contact: Aaron Cahall, aaroncahall@gmail.com.

(SEATTLE – May 23, 2018) The magic and high technology of the Sixth World are now open to tabletop gamers with today’s launch of “Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” exclusively on Kickstarter at tinyurl.com/SprawlOps through June 19.

The innovative gameplay of “Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” combines worker-placement mechanics with push-your-luck dice rolling for three to four players, evoking the mayhem and split-second decisions of the internationally-loved Shadowrun setting.

“Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” was created by game designer and Shadowrun author Dylan Birtolo; Lynnvander Studios, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Board Game”; and Catalyst Game Labs, makers of the Shadowrun role-playing game.

“I’ve been a fan of Shadowrun for as long as I can remember and creating a board game for such a compelling universe is a dream come true,” said Birtolo. “I’m excited to help introduce this world to new fans and give them a taste of this one-of-a-kind cyberpunk universe.”

Full details of the rules and mechanics, along with gameplay videos, are available at tinyurl.com/SprawlOps. Backer rewards for various levels of support include a 5-6 player expansion pack and a cooperative play expansion pack. Stretch goals include additional gameplay cards, dice, and a foil game board, with more to come.

The designers of “Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops” will be live tonight, Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. EST, on the official Kickstarter page to introduce the campaign and provide details for prospective backers. Media interviews with Birtolo, Lynnvander Studios, and Catalyst Game Labs are available upon request.

Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high-quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes—all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games. Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction.

Lynnvander Studios Inc. is a Canadian based company enhancing existing and developing new creative properties for clients worldwide. Founded in July of 2005 by Thomas M. Gofton, Lynnvander is responsible for the inception of several media initiatives in film and board game design. Lynnvander has created and produced the award-winning fantasy series “Mind’s Eye” as well as the acclaimed Shadowrun parody film “The Gamers: Natural One” and the epic sequel to The Gamers: Dorkness Rising “The Gamers: Hands of Fate”.

Lynnvander is also responsible for projects in board game design including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Galaxy Quest, The Legacy Line, Cowboy Bebop: Board Game Boogie, Dragon Ball Z: The Board Game Saga, Star Trek Attack Wing: The Alliance System, Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance and many more. They are currently designing games for some of the most awesome IPs in the world, including Mega Man, Shadowrun, Reanimator, Red Sonja and Captain Canuck.

Dylan Birtolo is a game designer, writer, and professional sword-swinger. He’s one of the designers for Dragonfire and the developer for both Shadowrun Sprawl Ops and Henchman the Game. On the writing side, he’s written everything from novels to short stories for game worlds such as Shadowrun, BattleTech, Exalted, Legend of the Five Rings, and Pathfinder. He trains with the Seattle Knights, an acting troop that focuses on stage combat, and has performed in live shows, videos, and movies.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PAIZOCON 2018 SET TO CELEBRATE HOBBY GAMING IN SEATTLE AND ON TWITCH

Gamer Goggles - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 17:39
From Paizo to all of you.
REDMOND, WASHINGTON (May 22, 2018): PaizoCon, the annual hobby game convention, runs this weekend, Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels, at the SeaTac Airport. Badges will be available onsite. Many events will be live-streamed on Twitch as @officialpaizo.

Officially sponsored by Paizo Inc., PaizoCon 2018 brings together hobby gaming’s veteran authors, artists, publishers, and designers and gives fans the opportunity to meet, greet, and game with some of the best and brightest the industry has to offer.

Attendees can get a sneak peak of the Pathfinder Playtest,t be released until August, by exper can also playtest the next major release of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, currently in development.

Paizo will live-stream select events on Twitch as @officialpaizo. The scheduled topics, subject to change, will include Nostalgia in Gaming, Science Fantasy vs. Science Fiction, What Makes a Great Dungeon, Introduction to the Pathfinder Playtest and Q&A, RPG Writing & Editing, the PaizoCon Banquet, and more.

The PaizoCon Banquet will be held on Saturday, May 26 at 7:00 PM Pacific time and emceed by Paizo Publisher, Erik Mona. It will preview upcoming Paizo products and welcome the Glass Cannon Podcast and artist Taylor Fischer as Guests of Honor.

Other drop-in activities will include:

  • The Reaper Paint and Take Area where attendees can get expert advice while painting a free miniature
  • Catch a sneak peek of the upcoming Pathfinder: Kingmaker video game or try out Pathfinder Online
  • The Delves, which are 20-60 minute drop-in encounters run by members of Paizo staff, including options for Starfinder and the Pathfinder Playtest
  • A Character Creation Station presented by Hero Lab
  • An HQ room for pick-up games presented by Glass Cannon Podcast

Single Day Badges will be available at the PaizoCon Convention store. Regular Single Day Badges will be $25 each, and Single Day Kid’s Badges will be $15 each.

Fans can learn more and register at paizocon.com. Find more information on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/officialpaizo. Additional information about the Pathfinder Playtest and related products can be found at PathfinderPlaytest.com.

About Taylor Fischer
Taylor Fischer is an artist who works with Paizo to conceive and illustrate many of their books such as the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover and Occult Adventures, as well leading up the early designs for the Starfinder series. Taylor’s work is diverse in style and background, from sci-fi to fantasy. Taylor has “AAA” gaming industry experience, having worked on Elder Scrolls, Civilization, Xcom, and more. As an Adjunct Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, she taught students how to create industry standard concept art, the production quality artwork requirements required by the artistic game and visual development industries, and the techniques for digital painting. She enjoys a mixture of traditional mediums.

About Glass Cannon
The Glass Cannon debuted in June 2015 as a weekly one-hour actual play podcast of the Giantslayer Adventure Path. In June of 2016, they launched a behind the scenes talkback show called Cannon Fodder which takes a look back at each week’s episode while also answering GM and player questions from listener mail all around the world. In 2017, they announced a partnership with Paizo to become the first officially licensed podcast of the Pathfinder game system. They also started a Patreon which quickly became one of the most successful campaigns on the site in under six months and, because of the generosity of GCP nation, they are currently in pre-production for a second weekly actual play of Paizo’s first Starfinder Adventure Path—Dead Suns! Traveling to gaming conventions, making surprise visits to their numerous fan meet-ups and bringing their infamous live show on the road all make for an exciting future for five nerds based out of Astoria, Queens.

 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mines, Claws & Princesses

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:39


By Oswald
Oswald Publishing
OGL
Level 2-4

The groom is dead, the bride Sunnhild taken. Men rave in pain whilst their women wail in sorrow. Blood mixed with tears, the chieftain Erfried cries out “Only you are left who can hold a sword. Go now. The orcs ride to Sanjikar and you must follow.”

Fuck yeah!

Magnificent.

This 48 page tour-de-force of an adventure takes place in a four-ish level dungeon in a mesa with about eighty rooms. Terse. Evocative. Well formatted. Interesting encounters. From the first paragraph it makes you want to run it. With this Oswald cements himself as one of the best writers currently producing material. As with all of my “best” reviews, I’m just going to rant some in a nigh incomprehensible manner over how good this is. My good reviews always suck.

Simplicity can be deceptive. It’s easy to fall in to ruts, to do what is expected, to go on auto-pilot. You can, at times, see this in art, looking at something that seems very simple and yet very profound. Behind it is a very deep understanding. We don’t need routers, turn off NTP, transponders are for fools … understanding the environment and what you want to do and laser-like focus. Oswald has written something that could be dismissed by fools as simple … and yet is masterful in all of its details.

This thing is EXCITING. From the first paragraph it makes you want to run it, makes you want to play it. There’s an implied urgency to the adventure which everyone can feel immediately. The premise is ridiculously basic: orcs raided a wedding and stole the princess and are gonna marry her to their chief. Fabulous! That opening blurb, above, is the first paragraph and contains the literal call to action. And it just builds and builds on itself. Tension ramps up over and over again.

There’s no fucking garbage! There’s no “this is an adventure for 4-6 characters” or any “As a DM you can modify the encounters” or any “This is set in the region of Boring Generic land.” It just GOES. Oh? Don’t like princess wedding kidnap? How about scabrous beggar vet displaying his ruined limbs and medals, trading food for the location of four magic sword? No? A dead bishop with a map in a secret pocket showing the location of the Hand of St. Aren? This fucking thing packs and delivers like UPS trucks! Dense, word choice offering implied mystery and depth. That vet doesn’t show you ruined limbs (Ruined limbs!). He DISPLAYS them. That offers so much more inspiration for a DM and implies and others things. Word choice fucking matters. English, the most rich language ever, is full on displayed.

It’s like every sentence, every paragraph delivers on something evocative and loaded with implied subtext for your brain to grab and run with. It does this with a minimal word count and good use of bolding and white space to facilitate scanning by the DM. You INSTANTLY find the section you need and the the part of it you need. The first couple of pages orient you toward the adventure. A summary of main character, an outline. The starting village is in an appendix so as to not get in the way. There’s an In Media Res beginning, ala DCO, showing the aftermath of the orc raid on the village. And it gives you the possibility to recruit peasants to your cause! Fuck yeah! D&D FOREVER!

Oh, Oh, let’s talk about one thing he does … There’s this encounter with an old woman who begs you to no go rescue the princess! She does it on three separate occasions. Three, of course, being a magic number. Refused three times she, the last of a line of warrior-maids and secret keeper of the magic sword Hadviya, gifts the sword with cryptic words. That’s fucking mythic. It’s obviously mythic. It preys on overloaded legend that resides in the back of everyone’s consciousness, that almost generic memory. It’s fucking perfect.

The encounters? A big bubbling cauldron with a head floating int? Orcs man, can’t live with … Orcs tossing live sheep off a cliff for fun? Orcs you can talk to. The bride, trapped in a room with her dead bridesmaid (the orcs thought she would want company) staring ahead in shock while she bleeds on the floor from her wrist … Magnificent. Orcs are orcs. People are people. It’s all turned up to ten … never over the top but all at the height of what it could be.

The maps are great, using color, same level features, tunnels, multiple loops, multiple paths in an out. Further, they manage this while being relatively small, at about 25 rooms or so per level. A good map, while being small, is quite hard. AND HE PUT THE FUCKING LIGHT SOURCES ON THE MAP! Good lord, it’s like Oswald thought “What does the DM need?” and then he fucking did it! “Because you told me to drill sergeant!”

There’s just so much to this and I could talk about almost any aspect for pages. Monsters grok their own nature. Blackbirds are jerks, orcs bestial, a succubus deceptive but egomaniacal. Magic items are wonderous and on-standard. They FEEL magical! Set in an old dwarf fort, it feels a little THX “Mandatory Recreational Smithing Area.” Follow up to the parties actions, both during the adventure for delaying and then at the end for consequences. Terse. Evocative. Every. Fucking. Word. Delivers.

“Upon the door lie engravings scarcely seen through dragon acid gouges of a dwarf lord holding his hammer high, 5 swords above him, aside him a skull. Once he was legend.”

This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru, with a current suggested price of $2. You are a FOOL for not purchasing this. A fucking FOOL. Two fucking dollars. I’ve spent $20 on PDFs that were shorter and infinitely more shitty. I’ve spent $50 on hardback adventures of hundreds of pages that didn’t contain as much adventure as one page of this adventure.

The preview is NINETEEN pages long! NINETEEN! You get to see what you are buying! Check out the map on page 6, or the brides waiting room on page ten.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/240094/Mines-Claws–Princesses

There’s another review of this floating around that gives the adventure a 3 out of 5. “No read aloud and no plot.” I am incredulous.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: Underground Comics

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:00

While I was hoping to make an announcement about Underground Comics #1 being on sale this Wednesday, that is not to be. Instead, I'm announcing the not-quite-as-exciting news that he has been submitted for digital sale at Comixology and print-on-demand at IndyPlanet.

Here are some more images from the first issue:


Rick and Morty Trading Cards Season 1 - Sketch Card Previews, Part 12

Cryptozoic - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 18:49

Please enjoy the twelfth 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

CMON Limited Announces Narcos: The Board Game Based on Netflix Original Series

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 18:16

CMON Limited Announces Narcos: The Board Game Based on Netflix Original Series

Friday, May 11, 2018 – CMON Limited announced today that they have teamed with Gaumont, the oldest film company and producer of Narcos to design and publish Narcos: The Board Game, based on the Golden Globe and Emmy ® award-nominated television series

Currently in production for season 4, Narcos chronicles the true-life rise to power of drug lords and the explosion of cocaine trafficking in the world. Narcos continues to grow in popularity around the world, with season 3 premiering as the most in-demand digital original in the U.S. and one of the top five worldwide according to Parrot Analytics. Available for viewing on the world’s most popular streaming service, Netflix, the show is currently available in over 130 countries.

Narcos: The Board Game, designed by Fel Barros and Renato Sasdelli, puts two to five players in the roles of the series’ most powerful characters and factions as they rewrite the story behind the rise and fall of El Patrón. One person acts as El Patrón, managing a growing narcotics empire while trying to keep their location on the board a secret. The remaining players lead the Hunter Factions: the DEA, Policía Nacional de Colombia, Cali Cartel, and the guerrilla extremist group. These seemingly disparate groups are united in their common interest to discover the hidden position of El Patrón, sharing information and discussing strategies. If the El Patrón player manages to complete their secret objectives without being captured by the Hunters, they win. However, if the Hunters are able to uncover El Patrón’s location, they succeed in their mission and win.

“Working with Gaumont to bring Narcos to the tabletop has been an incredible adventure,” commented David Preti, CMON’s Creative Director. “Every aspect of this game is carefully coordinated with the Gaumont team to ensure that the show fans love is brought to life on the tabletop unlike anyone could have imagined, while also appealing to players who have never seen the show.”

“CMON is known for its focus on high-quality and engaging games and we trust them to develop and design the first Narcos board game title that will allow our millions of Narcos fans to immerse themselves within the storylines and characters of the show” added Tim Stephen, Head of Legal and Business Affairs at Gaumont.

Narcos: The Board Game is scheduled for release in Q4 of 2018 with an SRP of $54.99. Those attending CMON Expo 2018 will be able to see the game firsthand from May 11 to May 13 in Atlanta, GA.

About CMON Limited

CMON Limited is an international publisher of board games, tabletop games and apps. Beginning from small hobbyist roots, CMON Limited has grown into a multinational group that publishes several award-winning games, including Zombicide, Arcadia Quest, Blood Rage and more. CMON Limited can be found on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Growth Enterprise Market under stock code “08278.” Follow CMON on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Gaumont

Formed in 1895, Gaumont is the first and oldest film company in the world, with offices in Paris and Los Angeles. In the past few years, the company’s release schedule has continued to increase across film and television production, in both the French and English languages.

The film library now encompasses over 1100 titles including films from such prestigious directors as Luc Besson, Matthieu Kassovitz, Francis Veber, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Federico Fellini, Maurice Pialat and Jean-Luc Godard, and more recently Toledano and Nakache for The Intouchables, the highest-grossing French language movie ever with over $450 million in revenue to date.

Gaumont produces and distributes high-quality TV programming worldwide. Key drama series include the award-winning Narcos for Netflix; the critically acclaimed Hannibal; the winner of “Best Series” (Festival of Fiction TV) The Frozen Dead and The Art of Crime, amongst many others.

The animated catalog comprises over 800 half-hours, broadcast in over 130 countries. Current productions include Noddy (season two) co-produced with Dreamworks, Trulli Tales, Belle & Sebastian, Furiki Wheels, and F is For Family (season three) for Netflix. In development is the series Do, Re & Mi with the multi-talented Kristen Bell.

About Narcos

This raw, gritty series chronicles the gripping real-life stories of the drug kingpins of the late 1980s and the corroborative efforts of law enforcement to meet them head on in brutal, bloody conflict. It details the many, often-conflicting forces – legal, political, police, military and civilian – that clash in the effort to control cocaine, one of the world’s most valuable commodities.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Popular Board Game from Poland is Heading to U.S. Shores from North Star Games

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:31

Popular Board Game from Poland is Heading to U.S. Shores
North Star Games to Launch Warsaw: City of Ruins this Summer
Kensington, MD (May 17, 2018) – Originally published as Capital in Europe by Granna, Warsaw: City of Ruins is set to be introduced by North Star Games at this year’s Origins Game Fair in Columbus Ohio.

This tile-placement game about the rise and fall (and rise again) of Warsaw in the 20th century is a fast, elegant, yet thematic game where players build the City of Warsaw over the course of the 20th century.
“This game has amazingly ‘flown-under-the-radar’ of some of Europe’s bigger brand-name board games” states Dominic Crapuchettes Founder and Co-President of North Star games. “But it’s a fantastic game, and has received early praise from the Dice Tower & Rahdo Runs Through. We’re excited to make the game available in the U.S. this summer!”

Warsaw: City of Ruins will be available in stores this August, at a retail price of $49.99. However, a limited supply of games will be available for pick-up at Origins. For anyone interested in reserving a copy, Warsaw: City of Ruins may be pre-ordered at North Star Games website: www.northstargames.com.

Players: 2-4; Ages 10+; Playtime: 60 Minutes

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Terror From Antarctica With G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl by Gary Gygax The Second Part Of A Pulp Adventure Campaign Cycle

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:29
Your PC's grab a hold of an ancient  chain & your party is transported a world away to adventure! So begins the TSR classic G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl by Gary Gygax the second in the Against the Giants line of adventures.  This is isn't the first time that I've talked about using G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl by Gary Gygax with adventurers & super heroes. But any of Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Prowler’s Passage comes to stares June 6th

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 15:15

in the heart of the sleeping city lies incredible wealth.  While the gates to the city are well guarded, no one is watching what’s under their feet.  The dead of night provides just enough cover for you to tunnel towards untold riches to plunder the city from within.  Act quickly, as a rival thief has the same plan.

In Prowler’s Passage, you and a competing thief will burrow into the city through a network of underground passages to grab valuable items while attempting to gain control of key districts.   Steal the best items, create the longest tunnels, and control districts to become the premier prowler!

Contents Summary:

  • 1 Control Track
  • 10 Board Hexes
  • 27 Object Tiles
  • 5 control Markers
  • 4 Statues
  • 15 Achievement Cards
  • 26 Passage Sections
  • 2 Score Reference Cards
  • 1 Scorepad (and pencil)
  • 1 Rulebook

Quick Facts
MSRP: $35
SKU: RGS0809
North America Release Date: June 6, 2018
Game Type: Set Collection, Area Control, 2 players

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On Endless War II

Hack & Slash - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:00
After admiring Warhammer Fantasy for nearly my whole life, I decided to play one hundred multiplayer matches in the loving rendition Creative Assembly has made of the game. This is that story of a dwarf warrior in the end times. . .

"War has come. My name is Bedun Leatherarm. I fight for clan and glory in the end-times.

Thorin upon his throneI was reassigned after the last battle, and found myself on a battlefield near Castle Drakenhof lead by Thorgrim Grudgebearer himself.  I didn't get too close, but he sits upon a golden throne, with the great book of grudges lain open in front of him, and four powerful dwarves carry him upon the field.

This force was much more traditional, 450 brave and stout dwarven warriors, over 100 slayers, and nearly 200 of the finest thunderers you've ever seen, gleaming brass and steel in the hazy morning light. Across the grass the runesmith stood assaying the cannons and twenty-one brave irondrakes, who burn the enemies of the dawi.

We saw the damnable red and purple flag right after first light. Mistress Tither-me-nethers or some such, and her "Brave Knights and Men" were on a "Holy Quest" which unsurprisingly took the form of artillery fire on our positions. Their aim was worse than my one-eyed grandmothers'.

Looking out across the plain, there were nearly 1,000 men. Even from here, the ground shook when they began to march. Thorin's eyes darted back and forth. He made a signal, and a unit of slayers took off for forest cover to the east. Artillery fire continued to come in, but other than some minor injuries to the Gob-Lobber crew, no damage was taken.

Dwarven artillery on the barrel however, strikes a mite 'arder and faster than any man-made shite. Dozens and dozens of men were torn apart as they rushed our cannons, while all our soldiers stood, ready and waiting.

One thunderer was killed by a stray missile, before the vollies opened up. Men died. Then over the shoulders of the warriors, flames from the irondrakes burned the front line, torching any who survived the opening vollies. But the damnable sprite wove some dark magic and the burned skin unburned, flesh unpeeling. Dark and damned these human souls must be.

Thunderer fire rang out, each time, a dozen men fell. Flame burned flesh, and then the front lines crashed together. Grail knights darted out from the trees in the west, but were met by the deadly twin axe blades of a unit of slayers. They turned and fled. The other unit of slayers moved forward out of the eastern woods, sprinting down the battlefield to the back line of the artillery. They crossed hidden by trees and terrain!

The thunderers shifted. Two units targeted the grail knights, and the rest fired crosswise into battle, taking down any man engaged in combat with brave dawi. Thorin and the runesmith remained calm, directing the battle.

The Fae Enchantress astride her unicornMore dark blessings rained down from the faerie kite, turning her men into savage combatants, infused with the power of the fay. Dawi fought, and the front-eastern flank buckled, and the dawi fled.

Within moments, each of us felt the runic power strengthening our armor and restoring our vigor.  They moved onto our grudge lobber, and Thorin waded in alone to give them what for.  In the rear, the grail knights charged the thunderers and horses and men fell as the slayers continued to give chase.

The slayers managed to catch one man and bring him down, but the hooves of the grail knights thundered on the ground as they charged the thunderers! Aye, they batted a few Dawi around, but none'tha worse for wear. But the grail knights did tear back and forth, causing some distress until they realized, there were dawi all around. The slayers caught up, and thunderers tore into the unit.

Meanwhile, the stealthy slayers finally brought justice to the rear line. Their axes tore through the lightly armed and armored catapult crews shutting down the ranged fire on our troops.

Aye, on some fronts we were not holding, on others we were, but any who did make it into our line, found that if you attack one group of thunderers, you expose your back to three others. One unit of men chased the firedrakes clear through our entire encampment. It was a hundred men when they gave chase. By the time they fled the field, naught but 20 remained.

Thunderer fire is not to be taken lightly.

Our leaders stood unharmed, the enemies back line destroyed, their men crumbling and routing, and we remained the victors on the battlefield that day.

Dwarves Vs. Wood Elves (loss)
Dwarves Vs, Britannia (victory)
Is anyone interested in downloading the replays of these battles?

Hack & Slash FollowGoogle +NewsletterSupportDonate to end Cancer (5 Star Rating
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 247: Arkham Ritual From Ninja Star Games

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 01:38

Check out Arkham Ritual from Ninja Star Games. The card game where reporters uncover a mystery of horror and worshipers and relics.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

 

This is another fast playing game I’m looking forward too. Promo available as part of the Through Gamer Goggles Kickstarter.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d10 Random Lost Treasures & Artifacts of the Dames Blanches Table For Your Old School Sword & Sorcery Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 16:20
We should profane the service of the dead, To sing a requiem and such rest to her As to peace-parted souls. Act V, scene 1, line 259.William ShakespeareHamlet (1600-02)In the coldest frozen alien Hell shadows in the Outer Darkness are the marrow eaten remains of the servants of the Old Ones. Gods whose time has passed on. In some wizard's quarters they are known as Juffers or Joffers ("Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

combined challenge-rating index for Monster Manual, Volo’s, and Tome of Foes

Blog of Holding - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 15:25

Back when 5e first came out, I made a one-page index of all the Monster Manual monsters, sorted by CR, with page numbers for each monster. Oddly enough, the Monster Manual didn’t have such an index!

Since I made it, I’ve found it insanely useful. I keep the PDF on my phone, and I have a copy taped to the inside back cover of my Monster Manual. I’ve used it before and during every D&D session I’ve run for the past 4 years.

Over the last four years, WOTC has released two major monster books: Volo’s Guide to Monsters and, as of a few days ago, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. I’ve updated my PDF to include the hundreds of new monsters from these books. The PDF has ballooned up from 1 page… to 2 pages. Not a lot of edition bloat so far. In fact, there was some room left on the second page, so I included encounter-building guidelines distilled from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. (My D&D group runs a bit hot so I have to throw more monsters at them than Xanathar suggests, but it’s a starting place.)

I hope you find this useful. Since it’s only 2 pages, you can still tape it to the left and right back cover pages of your Monster Manual.

Here’s all the D&D Monsters by CR!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Happy Birthday To Through Gamer Goggles

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 13:09

Over the years I’ve been able to write several articles and film over 2000 videos for the gaming industry; most of those are published on my YouTube Channel.  In the beginning there were minis, then RPGs, food, and then board games. Now there is everything – which is great but it’s clear my fans are role-players, wargamers, and then board gamers.

To be successful I have to slow down and listen to you more.  That’s why this year is the year of community. I have reflected on the numbers, and you want me to talk about Pathfinder, D&D, wargames, and everyone loves my convention coverage.  Then there are those of you that love my Box Breakings – don’t worry they’re not going anywhere! Some of you have also been talking with me about the production quality of my videos. I appreciate the feedback, and that’s why I’m shooting for a new camera this year.

In order to do all of this I need to make some changes; these are not necessarily in any particular order. One thing I will be evaluating is launching new channels that focus on specific genres, but that is something I want you to help me decide.

 

Build a bigger stronger community                 

  • Facebook groups – private
  • Community feedback chatsMeet ups
  • Push forward with RPG
  • Consistent Flip Throughs
  • More Role-Play Ramblings
  • Run at least one game per con

Bring back wargaming to my channel

  • Terrain building
  • Battle reports
  • More game specific content
  • New show Wargame Wandering – not confirmed yet
  • Board games
    • Box Breakings remain and improve
    • More reviews or how tos
    • Fiction and technical content
  • My game world                                                
    • Tools
    • Adventures
    • Monsters
    • Magic
    • NPCs
    • Short stories
  • I would like to organize events again!
    • I used to organize events like a mad man and I miss it.
    • I would love to create my very own game con!
    • This is kind of lofty right now.
  • More conventions
    • I would like to make Origins, Gen Con, and Adepticon staples for every season.
    • Gary Con and Paizo Con would be awesome too!

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff!  I currently commit about 20 hours per week to creating content for Through Gamer Goggles with more crunch hours around conventions.  Which for the content I produce is just about right. With some better organization I can do more. Heck, if I had it my way I’d be doing it 40-60 hours a week, but that’s just not realistic right now.

 

In order for Through Gamer Goggles to continue improving, I need you. I can’t possibly build a community without you. If you would like to help grow the Through Gamer Goggles community please check out our Kickstarter.  It’s full of all kinds of goodies like promos and digital copies!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Chamber of the Serpent

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:15


New Realms Publishing
Labyrinth Lord
Levels 1-3

Delve into the dark depths, explore ancient halls and chambers in search of gold, glory and adventure! But beware the hazards and horrors that guard the Chamber of the Serpent!

This thirteen page adventure details eight rooms in a small dungeon. It is a solo adventure. The publisher’s blurb starts with “for 4-6 characters”, which is what caught my eye. It also ends with “can be played solo or with a group, with or without a GM.”

Yes, I guess that’s correct. You can play a solo adventure with a DM. But this isn’t a choose your own adventure style solo adventure. It’s all random. Take the tables out the rear of the 1e DMG and put a subset of them in the text. Ta da! You can now charge $5 for an adventure!

When you go in a room you roll to see what’s in it. You roll if you search the room to see what you found. There are a couple of unique rooms, each of which also random tables for what happens when you touch the door, etc.

I’m really at a fucking loss here.

It is, at best, a solo adventure and at worst just a bunch of tables.

Once again, I feel ripped off. It’s like someone sold you a new razor. The box talks of how wonderful it is. You open it to find a rock. Well, yes, I could chip off a blade and use it, and I’m sure people have in the past, but that’s not what we expect. The nox needs to say “contains one rock” in giant letters. It’s what’s in it.

This thing needs to reveal that it’s just a bunch of rando tables. Not bury that in the text and declare itself an adventure for 4-6. No, it’s fucking solo adventure full of tables. That should be the first fucking line of the blurb.

Starting today I have a new tag “Do Not Buy, EVER.” This is to remind me that the publisher in question has issues with product descriptions.

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is two mini pages. If it were any longer you’d know you were getting ripped off.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241803/Deadly-Encounters-1-Chamber-of-the-Serpent

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weird Revisited: The Muvian-American War (1898-1903)

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:00
This post first appeared in Sepember of 2013.


In the wake of the Spanish-American War, the U.S. went to war with at least two of Spain's former colonial holdings. The most protracted was on the islands of Mu. There, American troops faced a foe they were totally unprepared for.

Though Mu appeared to a peaceful colony of Spain, in reality the power of it's Priest-Kings was only held in check by certain ancient ceramic seals in possession of the Spanish. When the Americans inadvertently broke these, the  Priest-Kings were free to unleash their power and reveal their true, inhuman nature. Not only were these reptilian humanoids adepts at amazing powers of the mind, but they were  heirs to ancient Agharta, but they were also in possession of machinery older than all of human civilization that could create monsters.

Of course, Mu hadn't had to wage a war since men were armed with bronze. The U.S. forces were able to hold on, if barely. It was only when the first of the clandestine draftees from the ranks of mentalists, spiritualists, and Theosophists arrived that the Americans began to turn the tide.


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