Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Cookbook of Cora Underbough

Something easy to get back into the swing of blogging, and before I forget, Happy Holidays! (as belated as it is...)

Inspired by a post over at Grymvald Gazetteer, I decided to borrow a bit of reality to spice up my fancy. The end result is below. I hope you like it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Series of Unfortunate Events

(Right then, Finals Month is over, after that horrid monkeywrench in the gears, I can get back to blogging. Let's find out what's happened to our heroes in the SWN game so far!...)

As I mentioned last time, Soo-Kyung the rogue psychic, and Annalise the little assassin that could, opted to hijack a ship and make their way off planet. To do so, they made the decision to steal a grav-car to make the trip quicker. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stars Without Number: Session One - In Which Annalise Encounters Terrible Rolls.

Ah, Stars Without Number. A lovely little RPG that I've fallen deeply in love with. Surprisingly, I've fallen into the Gaming Seat for a change, playing in a campaign that a friend is running. The setting strays from the one provided by SWN, and reminds me of Cowboy Bebop, The Foundation and Firefly all rolled into one, with dashes of Babylon 5 and other assorted goodies, to taste. Relatively short, the first session showed my character, a Rogue Psychic by the name of Soo-Kyung and Annalise (A  Warrior played by my friend MisterGMSir),  locked up for unfair minor infractions.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Sorry for the month of silence, folks.  School, seasonal depression, and life in general have taken their toll. I'm picking up the pieces and getting back on track.

On the gaming front, things have dried up, with little chance of picking back up from the way things look. But such is gaming! 

I'll be tackling a few reviews as time and education permit, and I'll be attempting to take part in NaGaDeMon, as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sky Divide session 2

Not much to say about this one. The party is in negotiations with a minotaur locksmith.  A pet emergency cut the game short. Hopefully tomorrow's session will be better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to Basics: Fantastic Races

Having recently rediscovered Basic Fantasy (a pseudo-retroclone that aims to combine the 'best bits' of various editions of D&D to get an oldschool feel with streamlined mechanics), I gave the game a read through, and after seeing the simple presentation of the races, I thought I'd try a few of my own. So without further ado, my fantastic races.


Description: Centaurs appear to be half man, half horse, having the torso, arms and head of a man in the position a horse's head would otherwise occupy.  A centaur is as big as a heavy horse, but much taller and slightly heavier; average males are about 7 feet tall and weigh about 2,100 pounds, and females are just a bit smaller.  There is a 2% chance that any female centaur born will have traits similar to a Unicorn, including a horn which grows from the forehead.
Restrictions:  Centaur may become Fighters or Clerics.  They are required to have a minimum Constitution of 12.  Due to their large, somewhat inflexible frames, they may not have a Dexterity higher than 17. Female Centaur born with unicorn traits may become magic users.
Special Abilities:  All Centaur have Darkvision with a 60' range, and, in addition, receive a special Trample attack (As warhorse)
Saving Throws:  Centaur save at +4 vs. Death Ray or Poison, and +3 Paralysis or Petrify.

Description: Appearing as green skinned women with serpents in place of hair, the Medusae are the offspring of those individuals cursed by the serpent gods.
Restrictions:  Medusae may become Thieves or Magic Users.  They are required to have a minimum Int of 9.  Suffering from an aloof, cool nature, they may not have a Charisma higher than 17.
Special Abilities: Medusae possess a lesser version of their namesake’s horrific gaze. When not wearing spectacles of magically smoked glass, anyone meeting the Medusae’s gaze must make a successful save vs Paralysis, or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. This ability affects friend and foe alike. Using a mirror negates the ability, as per the monster entry.
Saving Throws:  Medusae receive no special bonuses to saving throws.

So there you have it. Not the most elegant presentation, and they could probably use a bit of play-testing, but for those interested, have at! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DM Blues

This has not been a good week for gaming.   One of my two players is sick for Sky Divide, so we'll be attempting to run that tomorrow or Saturday.  Talislanta has been put on hiatus until further notice. I'll be picking it up again when I can.

In Review! The New Death and Others

With rare exception, the things I review on the blog are games of varying pedigree. So imagine my surprise when an author contacted me, requesting I review his book! Feeling like a fancy lady, I agreed, and now after absorbing the text, I feel I'm ready to offer a review.

Written by James Hutchings, "The New Death" is a collection of stories and poetry that sits in a peculiar place. One part fiction, one part Aesopian dialogue, the text reads in a charming tone that I associate with the late eighteen and early nineteen hundreds.  The stories range from engaging, to feeling a bit forced, but as a whole, I enjoyed it. Several of the stories contained fodder for gaming purposes, too. From the sorceress Abi-Simti to death himself, there are multiple characters just ripe to be placed into a campaign setting, and I'll be filching (with due honor), certain aspects to be seen at my table.

Unfortunately, some of these characters are buried amidst somewhat clunky writing. While not bad, per se, there were several places that could have used another pass or two of editing.

That said, I suggest folks acquire a copy for themselves. The cost of entry is extremely friendly, and there are handfuls of diamonds to be found.

PS, read the introductory piece, it's ripe for laying the foundations of a pantheon. "The Face In The Hill" is an excellent read, too. It tries (and for the most part succeeds), in meeting a voice that reads like something from Amazing Stories.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wow, I never thought that would happen! As of this writing, my blog is sitting at 1,004 views since my first post.  I've known for a while now that I've had a silent audience, as well as a random one, if my stats are any indication.

So, for those of you who check my blog, even semi-regularly, thank you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Bit of Dungeoncraft

While browsing The Welsh Piper for hex map templates this morning, I came across this chart for generating ruins. Being the curious sort I am, I decided to give it a try, and got the following results:

Type: Castle (14 levels)
Ruin: Angry God(s)
Interest: Plunder
Major Domo: Fighter1, Demon, Fighter2
Minions: Humanoids (F1)
Animals (F1)
Bandits (F2)
Animals (F2)
Worms (Dn)
Weird* (Dn)

Pretty slick, no? One thing I like about charts like these, is when elements come together to help tie to a theme. What we see is that we have a castle that was ruined by an Angry God. Why was it ruined? Well, we see that one of the main nemesi is a demon, and that its minions are worms and something weird. The 14 levels help too. I COULD build a tall castle, but where's the fun in that? Assuming 2 levels for towers, 3 'main' levels, 1 level for the dungeon and 2 for the catacombs, that leaves 6 levels. What lies beneath the catacombs, that could refer to a demon? Why not an old temple? Suppose that in expanding the royal catacombs, the builders unearthed the entrance to an ancient temple complex, and in exploring, awoke the demon originally worshiped in Pre-Stygian times. The reigning monarchs fell back into old worships, a pall fell across the land, and the dominant deity decided enough was enough.

Now, for the fighters, suppose that Fighter 2, with his band of bandits (a mercenary crew?), went a-lootin' and dug up ol' squirmy?

The thread continues from there, spinning out a dungeon that could occupy a stalwart group of adventurers for many a session. I think I'm going to have to write this out and torment entertain my players...

So there you have it! Pop by the Piper, give the chart a roll, and see what you get. Be sure to post creations you like in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sky Divide Session 1 recap

No, I haven't abandoned Talislanta. Life's kept me busy, and you can expect a recap on Friday. I have, however, started a Savage Worlds game for a few friends. Read on for the events of the first session.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Illuminated Ō-yoroi

In the days of the Grandfathers' Grandfathers, There lived at the foot of Mount Kujoi a wizard by the name of Shen Zhu. One of the Four Great Generals, he desired nothing more than to live out his life in quiet contemplation in atonement for his deeds.

When the warriors came from the Far Waters, the Golden Empress sent couriers to the four winds, their purpose to seek out the Generals and call them to battle once more.

His topknot cut and his scepter broken, Shen Zhu was yet unable to deny the Empress' edict. Unable to don the Warrior's garb, Shen Zhu meditated for a day and a night. Upon the dawn he departed, armored in knowledge.

The Illuminated Ō-yoroi is a suit of Lamellar armor, the construction of which is said to be contained within the Five Scrolls of Shen Zhu. Crafted from pages of arcane writing, and worked fine illustrations, the magically hardened armor provides a -2[+2]  bonus, and is wearable by magic users. In addition, the Illuminated Ō-yoroi, when found, bears 3 of the original 9 illuminations. When a successful hit is scored, the enchantment worked into the illustration is triggered. (Which Illustration is triggered is determined randomly)

Once triggered, the illustration's enchantment is spent, rendering it inert.

The Golden Empress:  Golden flame engulfs the attacker, dealing 2d6 damage.

The Princess and the Heron: Heals 1d8 HP

The Toad: Darkness, as per the spell.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In Review: Battlechangers!

Whoo boy... Every time I write one of these reviews, I try to be as fair as possible. Often, that means I point out flaws, real or perceived, though I try to be as professional as I can.

So what can I say about Battlechangers? Well, we'll find out after the jump.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Class has started back in earnest, so expect some slight hiccups in posting. One of these days, I'll be able to churn out a steady schedule, I swear.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dreams of Talslanta: 1-2 Gatekeeper

Too drained last week to run, so I allowed the players a respite, to RP with the newest member of the party, a Rogue Magician named Calithen. This week, the four-strong fellowship ascended the stair. Halfway up, they encountered a trio of mechanical giants.

A tense stand-off occurred and thanks to Cypreana and Calithen, the guardians were turned aside.

Cresting the stairs, the party came face to face with a walled structure, the gate of which had collapsed from age. A further discovery showed that the group was, in fact, standing on a floating island.  

Some outside events forced me to pause the game there, but the party as a whole seemed satisfied. There was good roleplaying, clever use of magic, and though the mechanics are still being puzzled out, I feel that the game is going well.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Post Apoc Sci-Fantasy musings.

"...Warriors here could have been inheritors of ancient ritual traditions so they are genetically engineered, trained to the apex of human potential (think Dune's superhumans), users of gene-coded, evolving relic weapons and/or had potential-expanding machinery integrated into their body. 'Rogues' could have been scholar-cum-archaeologists, studying the ruins of previous civilizations for what they are actively trying to understand the numenera and attempting to piece together their own crude, but innovative, machines. Wizards could have been a select group guarding passed down activation words for the common types of numenera, or those still biologically similar enough to the humans of the ancient empires that the various nanomachines floating around everywhere still respond to their commands."

The above comes from a post on a popular message board concerning Monte Cook's newest project, Numenera. Unfortunately, the user's ideas skip beyond what Cook presents, which means I have little interest in the end product. I do however, have copies of Other Dust and the Stars Without Number core rulebook.  I might see what I can knock together...

The Big Blue Binder o' Talislanta

After a few pokes and prods from folks on IRC, I thought I'd share what exactly my Talislanta binder looks like. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had the core rulebook printed through printme1, the binder I supplied myself.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Blue Sun

Thrice round the room the blue sun slipped
With a dip and a spin and a flash
And Into Shadow nimbly skipped
With the ring of a saber's clash  
-- From the Bladesong of Forgemaster Kelail

A sturdy +1 shortsword, the Blue Sun bears its namesake, a gibbous moon depicted on the flat of the blade in a single sapphire the length of a man's middle finger. Much like the moon from which it takes its name, the Blue Sun sheds false light, obscuring the wielder in shadow. The wielder is always treated as one step higher (or lower, depending on system used) AC than armor and other bonuses normally allow.

Monday, August 6, 2012

In Review: The Sacred BBQ!!

What do you get when you cross Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition, The Burning Wheel's design ethos, and sprinkle a bit of narrative gaming on top? No, that's not a riddle, it's The Sacred BBQ!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In Review: Neoclassical Geek Revival

Neoclassical Geek Revival (NGR). Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a plug-and-play RPG! What does plug and play mean, exactly?  It means, gentle reader, that the game can be run as-is (Though, as it's created in the vein of an RPG of yesteryear there's a good bit of rulings in place of rules references), or as a series of house rules to lift and socket into your existing RPG of choice. Does NGR achieve its goal? Read on to find out!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dreams of Talislanta: 1-1 An Ill Wind and Strange Shores

So, last night was the first session of my fledgling Talislanta 4th edition campaign. The group had fun, though we didn't progress quite as far as I'd hoped. Still, things went well, and the group digs the system.  

LiBinyon, a Cymrillian Swordsmage had in a drunken haze had acquired a passenger, a gypsy woman who answered to the name Cypreana, and cargo in the form of a Saurian Gladiator that went by the name Ophidon.

As LiBinyon set sail out of Cymril, his vessel was attacked by a buccaneer airship thinking to lighten his load and make off with what precious cargo they could. Lacking in a dedicated crew, LiBinyon chose to flee combat, taking refuge in a building maelstrom. A few successful piloting checks, and LiBinyon rode the storm like an old hand.

Unfortunately, an errant cannon shot damaged the Highstepper III's levitational, leaving LiBinyon and associates slowly but surely floundering as they left the storm's clutches. Spying an ancient landing platform on what appeared to be a mist-choked mountain, the party moored, and LiBinyon attempted to repair the Levitational.  Securing it well enough to keep the ship from scuttling itself, the party abandoned ship. (It should be noted that Ophidon, a hulking brute with a Dinosaurian visage, had the worst luck in disembarking, and ended up tumbling to the landing platform in a heap of claws, tail, and cranky lizard.)

Trusting to fate and Cypreana's coin toss, the party ascended an odd stair, one that glowed, lights rippling beneath its smooth surface with each step they took.

The game was paused there, to be resumed next week. All in all a good amount of play for an hour and forty-five minutes, no?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pathfinder Homebrew: Miirikae

While my tastes are firmly rooted in the more flexible, enjoyable editions of Dungeons and Dragons that hark back to yesteryear, I do on occasion dip my toe into newer fare. Generally, this is only for offerings of Eberron, but recently, Paizo released the Advanced Race Creation Guide for Pathfinder. Since it hit the SRD, I thought I'd give it a swing. Below is a race I've used elsewhere, one that's based off of the Song Dragons of Faerun, and one that actually appeared before the adventure of Dragonborn (go figure!)


Created in ages past by the Magekings to serve as soldiers, assistants, and paramours, the Wyrmforged appear as anthropomorphic dragons. Slender and graceful, they stand some six to seven feet tall,  their scales a silver-blue color that shines like a well polished blade.

Racial Attributes:
Type: Monstrous Humanoid 3 RP
Size: Medium 0 RP
Speed: 30' (50' Average flight) 8 RP
Ability Modifiers: +2 Con +2 Wis -2 Cha 0 RP
Languages: Common Bonus:Draconic 0 RP
Racial Traits: Bite 1 RP
Breath Weapon 2 RP
(15' Cone:Fire 2d6)
Claws 2 RP
Darkvision 60' 0 RP
Total Points

Codex Fantastica: Mytwari

Home: The Mytwa Jungle


Tall, graceful beings, the Mytwari are green-skinned plantfolk whose faces grow into masklike  forms that the Mytwari take great delight in ornamenting with dyes in colorful patterns.

Deeply in tune with the living world around them, the Mytwari serve as children and caretakers of the Mytwa Jungle. There, amidst a dazzling bouquet of wild blossoms and dizzyingly tall trees, they spend their days tending to the needs of the jungle.

The Jungle, however, is not alone in its life, and on occasion a Mytwari journeys beyond the Mytwa Jungle, to see and learn more of the world around them. Often attracting the curiosity of the taciturn Sulk, a Mytwari's natural affinity for growing things, and for the magics of plants often help to pay their way on their journeys.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In Review: Printme1 and Talislanta!

Readers of my blog may have noticed entries for an RPG titled Talislanta. Entries containing odd little spells about an odd little student of the arts arcane. While a few of my readers (if my blog's traffic meter is to be trusted) know what Talislanta is, some of you might be going, "Right, Daniel, what's the deal?!"

Well, I thought I'd answer!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Elahn's Tears

Busy week! Life and church have kept me away from the internet, so in apologies, have a magic item for your preferred retroclone.

Through the dusk shadowed wood the youth staggered, trembling fingers clutching at his stomach. As he stumbled on, ink-dark blood spattered the trail, one that lead back to a ruined village, ravaged by the Forgehounds of Khor. Barely more than a boy, he had stood with the men of his village, and now, the poisoned shards of a Warsmith's dagger burning in his gut, he would die.

Against a sturdy oak he sank, breath ragged, brow beaded with fevered sweat. Just a child, a simple boy with dreams of his own good earth to tend, he had not dreamed of war, and yet, when war came he fought as courageously as any knight. Just a child, and already his life ended.

"Mama." A sole word, a plea to one who had soothed his fears and mended each wound. It came unbidden, the farmboy's arms curling around his stomach. Head bowed, he closed his eyes, a spasm of pain ripping a cry from his throat. The world dimmed, and he knew no more.

When awareness returned to the boy, it came as a sense of comfort,  its form a simple wooden cup pressed to his lips.

He drank, the cool liquid suffusing him with a sense of calm, the burning talons of poison loosening their hold on his body.  He drank, and as unconsciousness overtook him once more, a gentle hand stroked his hair, a soft, earthy voice humming a lullaby once had calmed him when storms raged about his home. At peace, he slept,  the chalice clutched between his hands...

Elahn's Tears

A plain chalice of wood, unadorned by mark or script to signify its true purpose. A gift of Elahn the Allmother, the chalice now passes from owner to owner, bringing comfort when most needed.

Elahn's Tears' true purpose becomes manifest when its bearer is in dire need. Should a bearer of Elahn's tears be mortally wounded, the chalice fills with a sparkling liquid. This liquid restores 2d8 hit points, and neutralizes any poison or disease the bearer suffers from.

Once the chalice has been used, it vanishes from its bearer's possessions, reappearing elsewhere in the world to ward a new owner, for a mother's love is never bestowed solely upon one child alone.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gettin' Funky Now!

Browsing Spotify this morning, I came across this shocking gem (you'll need Spotify installed before clicking the link, Youtube version available here .). Modern Funk. Good Funk at that!

This got me to thinking, of all things, about Urban Fantasy set in the sixties/seventies.  Just something to ponder in your spare moments during the day. I know I will. Disco Elves. That is all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Codex Fantastica: Uktulkli

Home: The Thousand Stars

Stocky, hexapedal amphibians with thick, fringed tails, Uktulkli stand four feet tall at the shoulder, and measure some twelve feet long from chest to tail.

A peaceful race, the Uktulkli are creatures of magic, born from deep wells that dot the ruins of the Thousand Stars, an island chain  in the midst of the Skymirror Sea. Slow and contemplative, the Uktulkli are considered lazy and dull witted by most races. Those with the patience to maintain a conversation with an Uktulkli, however, find a wise, nurturing individual. Born of water, Uktulkli spend most of their time in contact with the lifeblood of the world, basking in streams, or diving deep in the waters surrounding their homes.

When the notion takes them, the Uktulkli weave Star Pearls from the sacred waters of their Lifewells. These fist-sized, translucent stones glow with a bluish light, gently illuminating a space ten feet in diameter. Whatever other properties these strange artifacts possess is unknown, and when pressed, the Uktulkli respond with a sleepy smile.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My brain, she dinnae sit still.

Being as addled as I am, I jump from project to project with frustrating irregularity. On occasion, an entirely new idea springs up, demanding attention with enough force that I can't get it out of my head until I do something with it. So I present the basic framework for a Role Playing Game inspired by the works of Jim Henson.

The following content is protected by the Creative Commons 3.0 NC-BY-ND license.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dreamblade Boogie: Temple Lion

What's this? Dreamblade Boogie on schedule?! Pretty much!

Temple Lion
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: Bite
Special:  Unform Nightmare
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 4/240

"Temple Lions, sometimes known as Shishas, have protected Dreamers for thousands of years..."

Not all that treads Nightmare is evil. Beloved servants of the spider goddess Namerasae, the Temple Lions patrol the borders of Nightmare, cutting back the ever-spreading threat. Further blessed by Namerasae, the Temple Lion can focus its attention on any one creature of Nightmare. That creature must pass a saving throw -2, or be Unformed, destroyed instantly. Because of this,  Temple Lion pelts draw a king's ransom from the Lichking of Nightmare.

The Illuminated Nymph

A rumpled piece of parchment scuds along, pushed by the wind.
Closer examination reveals it to be a graded assignment.

Theoretical Enchanting

The Illuminated Nymph
Rhialto The Resplendent
(First Year students do not take on sobriquets, Rhialto. 
 Speak with me at the end of the lecture)

For the edufication and illumination of the artisan, The Illuminated Nymph conjures an ideal example of the female body, which may be studied in great detail. (Edufication is not a word.See comment at the end of the assignment sheet.)

Mode: Illusion
Enchantment Type: Limited, Triggered
Enchantment Check: -55
Enchantment Time:  Three Weeks
Effect: When activated, the amulet projects a nude female. The amulet functions Thrice daily, and projects the image for a grand total of five minutes.

(Rhialto, while your  enthusiasm for Enchanting is to be commended, there are several flaws in this design. First, a classmate's permission must be obtained before working their visage into any spell effect. Additionally, the materials and training to create such an artifact are well beyond the first year student. In light of this, as well as grammatical errors and flaunting this prestigious academy's rules regarding rank and title, I give this assignment failing marks. We shall attempt this course again... Next year.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The "Illustrius Grimoire"

Something for Talislanta 4th Edition, enjoy!

A slim ledger, the type commonly used by students learning the arcane arts, lies on the street. 

Waterlogged, the cover sports the title 'The Illustrius Grimoire of Rh**l*o t** Re*p**nd***' . The thoroughly soaked interior sports only a handful of salvageable pages, sporting the spells below.

A Charm for the Benefication and Beautiment of the Caster
This will get Kylestae to attend the Festival of Lights with me!

This charm's purpose is to improve, for a short time, improve the handsomisity and general pleasantry of self of the caster.
Mode: Alter
Casting Check: -11
Duration: 5 minutes
Effect: +2  CHA

Ziggula's Dancing Misfortune
Named in honor of Ziggula the Corpulent, gourmand of the Academy's kitchens, this simple charms summons several hornets, in commemoration of the day that Ziggula brought such a nest down upon his fat head.

Mode: Attack
Casting Check: -8
Range: 100' (For the caster's protection from flying flatware)
Damage: 3 points
Duration: Instant

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dreamblade Boogie Bonus: Book of Nothing

Courtesy of Ridurey1
In one of the lost cities cloaked in the dreamstuff of Nightmare, a dark tome nestles among more innocent grimoires. Within its pages, some say, the Book of Nothing holds the secret to banish Nightmare forever. At what cost, however, does the wisdom come?

When opened, the reader and 1d6-2 other individuals within 15' of the Book of Nothing must make a save -5. Success incurs 1d6+2 HP damage, and a permanent loss of 1 Constitution point.

Any who fail the save  have their soul trapped within the Book of Nothing. Their Wisdom and Intelligence scores drop to 3, and their eyes become shadowy orbs.  Destruction of the book is not enough to reclaim the victims' souls, only intervention from a higher power (either through direct intervention or a Crusader's Miracle) can restore those claimed by Nothing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lazy Sunday

So, today boys and girls, you get to decide  tomorrow's post! Below are three miniatures from the Dreamblade line. Post your choice in the comments, and the winner will be this week's  Bonus Dreamblade Boogie entry! Hit the jump and make your voice heard!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mystery Woman! The Raven

I've previously spoken of Mystery Men!, the Sword and Wizardry inspired Superheroic RPG. Tonight, I share with you a character created using the system. An homage to Batman's Noir-Pulp feel, with no further ado I present... The Raven!  At the moment, she lacks a biography, feel free to add one in the comments, best bio becomes canonical!

What I'm doing

Bleh.  Assistant Teacher for Vacation Bible School,  heat exhaustion, and a summer cold have thrown this blog into disarray. And after I made such a nice promise to be more active, too.

Well, while the internet has been neglected, my GM Journal has not. I've got a few projects cooked up, working on them in between life and coughing fits. Hopefully you'll be hearing more about them in the coming days.

Swordsong Chronicles: A Sword and Wizardry Whitebox campaign, a sandbox based wholeheartedly on the idea of 'like it, lift it, refluff it, use it'.

Land of Nod: A supernatural RPG based loosely on the Nightbane franchise. Roll
                      and keep D6 system, Dreamers are trying to save Nod from 

The Unnamed RPG: A roll-under RPG that draws on mesoamerican, african,
                                 egyptian, middle eastern and hindi mythologies for its

In addition, I'm running a short Talislanta 4th Edition campaign in the coming months, play notes for that will be forthcoming.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dreamblade Boogie: Dreamreef Marauder

Dreamreef Marauder
Courtesy of Ridureyu1
Armor Class: 6 [13] 
Hit Dice: 15 
Attacks: Bite (2d6)
Special: Swallow Whole
Move: 9 
HDE/XP: 17/3,500

"No one cares for a shark's company, not even another shark."

The dreamstuff of Nightmare covers the land, clinging like a thick fog
to hide dangerous pitfalls. More dangerous, however, are the things
which swim its depths.

Thankfully rare, the Dreamreef Marauder is a titanic shark whose fin
cuts the dreamstuff as it hunts, towering taller than a man. A horror
in battle, the Marauder's preferred tactic is to lunge from below, catching
unsuspecting prey in its many teeth. In addition, when the Marauder rolls
ten or more higher than the target's Armor Class, the target is swallowed

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Write a Story: Pixar Style

Received an interesting tidbit from a friend on IRC tonight, a list of twenty-two rules of storytelling, from Pixar Storyboard artist Emma Coats. While aimed at writers, this list is ideal for a GM, especially one stuck in a rut. Having recently read Robin D. Laws' book Hamlet's Hit Points, this list strikes me more-so than it might have under other circumstances. Still, give a click, Ms. Coats' nuggets of wisdom are well worth taking to heart!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scenery... Sunday?

Delayed Scenery piece. No blurb this time, though I leave you with a question. Where does the stair lead?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In Review: Mystery Men

Apologies for the missing installment of Dreamblade Boogie and Lost Tribe, I've been helping my family prepare for a music festival. To make up for it, have a review!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

And now for something completely different, or a preview of things to come.

For the entertainment of the viewing body, the first installment of a series that will take its regular place on Mondays. A "Let's Play" pictorial article focusing on MS-DOS games from the eighties and nineties. On occasion, these will be accompanied by gaming stats. So without further ado...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday Scenery

Just one piece this week, but what a piece!  One thing I love about KaiCarpenter's work is the use of color. The palettes used lend a sort of dreamy quality to the pieces, an almost surreal touch in some ways, while remaining well defined.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dreamblade Boogie: The Tower of Faces

At the center of Nightmare, brooding over the corrupted realm, the Tower of Faces serves as home to the Lich-Kings. From the Tower they rule with an iron first, working their machinations deep within infernal workshops, sending out their dream-stuff minions to ensure Nightmare remains firmly under their sway. A towering spire some 120 feet tall, and its sullen gray walls, inside and out, are worked with the mad frescoes of tormented dreamers.the Tower is wrapped with the souls bound by the Lich-Kings. From the forlorn visages of these souls the Tower takes its name.

Presented below is the entry level to the Tower of Faces for those brave few willing to assault the sanctum and overthrow the Lich-Kings. But be warned, the stuff of Nightmare is nebulous, and no two journeys within the Tower will be the same...

The Tower of Faces: Level One
 (to be populated at the GM's discretion*)

*Because, y'know, the tower changes... not because the Puzzled Viking is lazy... Honest!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dreamblade Boogie: The Lungthief Beetle

Lungthief Beetle

Beetle, Lungthief
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 1+4
Attacks: Bite
Special: Shatter
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 1/15

"The secret of immortality is carved in its carapace, 
in runes only the dead can decipher."

Serving as a living phylactery for the Lich-Kings of the
Dreamland, Lungthief Beetles are rat-sized insects that
search the battlefields for corpses. Relatively weak, they
defend themselves with a painful bite that deals 1d2 damage.

Upon finding a suitable corpse, the Lungthief Beetle burrows
into the chest and animates the corpse, allowing the Lich to
claim a new body (hence the name). Due to the malevolent force
of the soul held within their carapace, any time the Lungthief
Beetle fumbles, scores a critical hit, or a critical hit is scored against
it, the beetle explodes, shards of its shell doing 1d4 damage to 1d3
creatures in a 10' area, determined randomly.

((Image courtesy of Ridureyu1))

Radio Silence

Apologies for the radio silence. Life has me hopping, but that's calmed down for now. A few things to look forward to in the coming days:

  1. The return of Saturday Scenery
  2. A new series of conversions, based on Dreamblade
  3. I'm starting my first  offline gaming group in 2 years, expect thoughts, playlogs, and musings on that.
  4. More reviews! Finishing Mystic Empyrean, tackling a few other games and products along the line.
So hopefully there's some things to entertain all three of my readers!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Scenery Saturday!

Only one piece this time, but what a piece.  I've always been a fan of fantastic elements in my, well... Fantasy.  Floating citadels are one of them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Emperor Protects

So, it's been a busy month for me with school. First midterms, now pre-finals crunch is keeping me from writing up a few reviews and working on other projects. It's enough to make a grown man cry.

That is, until that grown manchild checks his mail! Lo and behold, the other day in the post I received a padded envelope, straight from the land of funny accents, cork hats, and killer trees, Australia!

And what was inside this envelope?  Feast your eyes on the image below.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Your First Time

In many ways, I'm a child playing among the shadows of those who came before. I wasn't there to experience the mother of them all. And, in fact, I didn't get into the hobby until the early nineties.  Where most folks cut their teeth on the World's Most Popular Role Playing Game, I ended up going an entirely different direction.

No exotic, Tolkienien beauty for me with her strange landscapes and mighty magics.  No, my first was that vulcan-jedi-roadwarrior cosplayer at Gencon. That's right, my first was Palladium's Rifts.

Much maligned (and some of it rightfully so), Rifts has always been the geeky cousin to D&D. Socially awkward, never sure of herself, a bit hard to get to know. But once you did? She knew your favorite movies, your comics, the names of all your transformers.  She didn't care about the minutiae, but of the big screen explosions and madcap insanity of Saturday morning cartoons.  And yet, at times, she could take you places and teach you things that the other kids on the block never would have dreamed of.

I remember clearly my first gaming session, the first time I was introduced to any game, even Rifts. My brother's group had lost a player due to summer vacation, and they needed a Big Guy With Guns. So, considering I was a bit smarter than your average eight year old, they gave me a character sheet, told me to do what the Glitterboy said, and to be quiet otherwise. While they referenced such lofty things as Star Wars, Heavy Metal, and The Terminator, I looked over my sheet, and waited for my instructions.

When they came, they were too simple.  "Shoot anything that sounds terrifying."

I could do that. I had guns, I was BIG GUY WITH GUNS!

My brother, the GM, sent an adult dragon flying overhead. Dragons are scary things. It was a total party wipe, and I was banished from the table.

 The seeds were planted, it was puppy love that would blossom into a real crush two years later, when my brother allowed me to borrow his books to run Rifts for MY friends.

It was another total party wipe. And it was amazing.

Though I've courted others throughout the years, trying the exotic, the mundane, the downright freaky, I've always come back to Rifts. She knows what I want, she scratches that itch nicely.

So, Blogger. Who was your first?

Saturday Scenery

Bone Hill by ~maronski on deviantART

Dead Civilization by ~Cormax on deviantART

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Review: Mystic Empyrean

 Enter Empyrean, a world of
your own imagination and design.
Recreate the world lost to the Aether
and shape it to your whim and will.
But take care-for even as you
remake the world, you
remake yourself.

When I first heard of Mystic Empyrean, it was from a discussion on Nobilis. Curious, I did some Googling, grabbed the demo, and ultimately bought the PDF and Hardbound Rulebook.

A unique approach to the tabletop, Mystic Empyrean reminds me of Microscope, with a healthy dose of Legend of Mana, Dark Cloud, and the late Professor MAR Barker's Perfected Game Rules added to taste.

So what does Mystic Empyrean bring to the table? Read on to find out!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Not a fan of crossing the personal and the blogfessional, but midterms are swarming this week. Posts might be a bit delayed.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Scenery

Each Saturday I'll be bringing two or more bits of scenery, ranging through multiple genres. These bits of art  find their way into my own 'Fodder Folder'. I hope you find some use in them, too.

And So It Begins

Getting in to this little affair, hopefully it will amount to something.


This blog will mostly pertain to tabletop gaming. Reviews, homebrew, and miscellany. If I manage to keep it going, I hope that future readers will come to enjoy my little tidbits.