Saturday, June 23, 2012

New magic item l

Ring of the Huntsman  This gold and ivory ring is carved with what appears to to be a hunting pack of some sort of dog/wolves chasing a deer. A closer look reveals  that the ivory is used for the fangs and claws of the beasts. Their eyes appear to twinkle with small rubies that are random number of 1d10. The ring allows the wearer to control all canines and lupines within 60 feet for 1 hour per rubied eye on the ring. after using the charge one ruby disappears from the ring.
     The true insidious nature of the ring is when the final ruby disappears the ring claps onto the finger of the wearer and causes all canine and lupines in the area will attack the wearer above all others. The ring is attached for1d8 days. If the wear hides indoors during this time the building will
become surrounded by 1d% of dogs and wolves. Howling from the pack causes the loss of 1d6 wisdom and 1d4 constitution to the wearer. After the ring falls off the disappears over 4 hours.
    For the truly evil curse the wearer is turned into a stag for 1d10 hours with 1d20 hounds attempting to bring the stag down. The wearer retains hit points and its intelligence. All items fall away from wearer of of the ring except the ring which is absorbed into the stags body. If the wearer survives the hunt they are rewarded with an equal number of rubies for each member of the hunting pack.

The Drain Chamber

The badass art of Doug Kovacs.

The Drain Chamber

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Dragon Lord Van by Ed Beard JR

What some people can do with 900 hours of thier time.

RPG New RPG Company Casting All Women for Genesys

New RPG Company Casting All Women for Genesys‏


I'm mildly disturbed by this news item, but here it is for completeness' sake. There's a new RPG company that is in their words - "revolutionizing the gaming industry", by photographing "hot gamer chicks" beginning with their new game Genesys. Fables Streams is launching their new game later this summer, but in the meantime, they are "casting real gamer chicks to portray the nine main characters in the game".

They are hosting a casting/launch party in Miami this weekend at Q Lounge Miami, where "hundreds of gorgeous women who love gaming will come out for their chance to be 1 of the 9 Fates in the new RPG Genesys".

I have pasted the "MEDIA ALERT!" below (complete with breathlessly excitable "MEDIA ALERT!" headings), and attached the .docx press release to this post. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it whiffs of gender-based exploitation to me and doesn't - in my eyes - qualify as "revolutionizing the game industry" so much as "using cliched cheap sexist gimmicks in the game industry that we should have moved away from by now".

Hopefully, I'm just misunderstanding it - I'm all for promoting women in the industry, and I feel that they are woefully underserved in our hobby, but I feel lines like "There's nothing sexier than a hot gamer chick who knows how to throw it down and keep up with the boys" is language we need to avoid if we actually want our industry to actually represent a diversity of people, and find it hard to see sexism as "revolutionizing".

I'd be very interested in hearing the opinions of our female membership on this issue. Please be warned that, as this is no doubt a sensitive issue, EN World's moderators will be keeping a close eye on this thread; we do not tolerate sexism on our website.

Their website is here.



Live Casting Party to Take Place at Q Lounge on Saturday, June 16th

There's nothing sexier than a hot gamer chick who knows how to throw it down and keep up with the boys, which is why the new Role Playing Game company, Fable Streams is searching the country to find nine vivacious women to portray the nine lead characters in their new Role Playing Game (RPG), Genesys. The search for �1 of the 9� will begin in the sexiest city on the planet, Miami, Florida at South Beach�s hottest new lounge, Q Lounge on Saturday, June 16.

The night will begin at 11 p.m. with international sensation Pirate Stereo working the turntables, spinning the hottest beats in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) while female revelers indulge in complimentary vodka cocktails, schmooze with fellow gamers, and prepare for their chance to become 1 of the 9."

The night will serve as an official casting party while simultaneously functioning as a ladies night at the new fabulous bar and lounge. Women will enter free and receive complimentary cocktails until 1 a.m. As the ladies enter the official 1 of the 9 Casting Party, they will be given a registration number and information on the characters they will potentially portray.

Throughout the night revelers will get a preview of the characters and the story of Genesys, as images of the Nine flash across the projection screens.

By the end of the night, Fable Streams will announce the Miami finalists for the national 1 of the 9 Casting Competition. (See end of alert for 1 of the 9 prize information.)



Saturday, June 16th

Casting: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Party: 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.


Q Lounge

841 Washington Ave.

Miami Beach, FL 33139


Thomas Barker



For more information on the 1 of the 9 Casting Competition visit and for more information on Fable Streams visit

Winners of the competition will receive the following:

A one (1) year contract with Fable Streams as a Fate

Travel the country with all expenses paid to make paid appearances

Receive paid training to serve as an official spokes model for Fable Streams

Receive a free styling session by professional stylists

Embark on and lead quests at events such as Gen Con, Dragon Con and Fable Streams VIP Launch events

An opportunity to connect with fans and through their own Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as in person at various events

Receive exposure and coverage in magazines, TV interviews, national publications, websites, blogs, YouTube channels, and the FS website

An opportunity to make co-appearances with major brands.

RPG New RPG Company Casting All Women for Genesys‏ - EN World: Your Daily RPG Magazine

Thanks Morrus for the warning eh I mean update.

Pelgrane Press Ltd » 13th Age Escalation Edition

Available for pre-order.

Pelgrane Press Ltd » Blog Archive » 13th Age Escalation Edition


Great show use to enjoy going, wonderful just to see the varity and scale of minitures from HMGS. Thanks to Mr Nizz from Third Point of Singularityfor the PSA.

The Chapel Perilous - Language of Game Design

The Chapel Perilous - Language of Game Design

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kickstarter failures revealed! What can you learn from Kickstarter failures? [INFOGRAPHIC] |

Kickstarter failures revealed! What can you learn from Kickstarter failures? [INFOGRAPHIC] |

Controlling for goal and reward levels, and compared to a baseline of Art projects, categories have the following effects:

Comics is only 70% as likely to be funded.

Dance is 2.18 times as likely to be funded.

Fashion projects are only 40% as likely.

Film is 7% more likely to be funded.

Games projects are only 62% as likely to be funded.

Music is 1.36 more likely.

Photography is 70% as likely.

Publishing is only half as likely.

Theater is twice as likely.

The number of reward levels increases the chance of being funded up to a point, and then decreases the chance.

New Survey North Coastgamers Origins 2012

New Survey

1. Overall, how would you rate the attendance at Origins this year?

 1. Much lower than previous years

2. A little lower than previous years

3. About the same as last year

4. A little higher than last year

5. Much higher than last year

2. What comments do you have about the attendance?

What comments do you have about the attendance?

3. Overall, how would you rank the diversity of games available?

Overall, how would you rank the diversity of games available? 1. I was very disappointed at the diversity of games

2. I was expecting more diversity

3. The diversity of games was about right for a convention this size

4. I was happy to see the amount of diversity

5. I thought the diversity of games was great!

4. Please provide some additional thoughts about the diversity of games available at Origins this year

Please provide some additional thoughts about the diversity of games available at Origins this year

5. Overall, how would you rate the vendors at Origins this year?

Overall, how would you rate the vendors at Origins this year? 1. I was very disappointed in the number and quality of vendors this year

2. I was somewhat disappointed in the number and quality of vendors this year

3. I thought the number and quality of vendors this year was OK

4. I was happy to see the number and quality of vendors this year

5. I was really impressed with the number and quality of vendors this year

6. What other comments do you have about the vendors at Origins this year?

What other comments do you have about the vendors at Origins this year?

7. Overall, how would you rate the organization of Origins this year?

Overall, how would you rate the organization of Origins this year? 1. I was very disappointed

2. I was somewhat disappointed

3. It was OK

4. I was pleased

5. I was very pleased

8. What other comments do you have about the organization of Origins this year?

What other comments do you have about the organization of Origins this year?

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The History Blog » Blog Archive » Beau St. Hoard is older, more varied than expected

Bags of gold found in a chest. Some so old they are almost worn smooth from daily use. Number of coins range from 22,000 to 30,000

The History Blog » Blog Archive » Beau St. Hoard is older, more varied than expected

Monster Design in D&D Next

Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Article (Monster Design in D&D Next)

Geek & Sundry - New Community Manager Checking In!

Wil Wheaton's web series Tabletop featured an interview with Steve Jackson in the latest episode. The episode itself also featured Felicia Day and and Sandeep Parikh and looked at Jackson's card game, Munchkin. The show mainly deals with board games, but the occasional RPG mentions pop up from time to time, like now. You can find out more about Tabletop over at Felicia Day's GeekandSundry.

Geek & Sundry - New Community Manager Checking In!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dungeon World: A Game with Modern Rules & Old-School Style by Sage Kobold Productions — Kickstarter

Dungeon World: A Game with Modern Rules & Old-School Style by Sage Kobold Productions — Kickstarter

Using Hero's Journey to design for D&D Next (part 1)

the hero's journey : summary of the steps
This page summarizes the brief explanations from every step of the Hero's Journey.


The Call to Adventure
The call to adventure is the point in a person's life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not.

Refusal of the Call
Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.

Supernaturall Aid
Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known.

The Crossing of the First Threshold
This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known. 

The Belly of the Whale
The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero's known world and self. It is sometimes described as the person's lowest point, but it is actually the point when the person is between or transitioning between worlds and selves. The separation has been made, or is being made, or being fully recognized between the old world and old self and the potential for a new world/self. The experiences that will shape the new world and self will begin shortly, or may be beginning with this experience which is often symbolized by something dark, unknown and frightening. By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself. 


The Road of Trials
The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes. 

The Meeting with the Goddess
The meeting with the goddess represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. It is also known as the "hieros gamos", or sacred marriage, the union of opposites, and may take place entirely within the person. In other words, the person begins to see him or herself in a non-dualistic way. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely. Although Campbell symbolizes this step as a meeting with a goddess, unconditional love and /or self unification does not have to be represented by a woman. 

Woman as the Temptress
At one level, this step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which as with the Meeting with the Goddess does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. For Campbell, however, this step is about the revulsion that the usually male hero may feel about his own fleshy/earthy nature, and the subsequent attachment or projection of that revulsion to women. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey. 

Atonement with the Father
In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power. For the transformation to take place, the person as he or she has been must be "killed" so that the new self can come into being. Sometime this killing is literal, and the earthly journey for that character is either over or moves into a different realm. 

To apotheosis is to deify. When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. This is a god-like state; the person is in heaven and beyond all strife. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return. 

The Ultimate Boon
The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail. 


Refusal of the Return
So why, when all has been achieved, the ambrosia has been drunk, and we have conversed with the gods, why come back to normal life with all its cares and woes? 

The Magic Flight
Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it. 

Rescue from Without
Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often times he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience. Or perhaps the person doesn't realize that it is time to return, that they can return, or that others need their boon. 

The Crossing of the Return Threshold
The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. This is usually extremely difficult. 

Master of the Two Worlds
In myth, this step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds. 

Freedom to Live
Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past. 

Hero's Journey : Summary of Steps

City of Clocks Industrial Fantasy Systemless Setting Book by Battlefield Press, Inc. — Kickstarter

City of Clocks is a systemless setting product, written by RPG veteran James Knevitt and usable with the system of your choice, in which players can take the roles of scheming nobles, Faction partisans, powerful Incarna, or anything else the setting has to offer. City of Clocks details a rich history, eight Noble Houses, ten Factions, forty-eight districts, over a hundred unique locations, and dozens of characters.

City of Clocks Industrial Fantasy Systemless Setting Book by Battlefield Press, Inc. — Kickstarter

D&D Next artical from Rodney Thompson

Bounded Accuracy
Legends and Lore
Rodney Thompson

  Conventional D&D wisdom tells us that the maxim "the numbers go up" is an inherent part of the class and level progression in D&D. While that might be true, in the next iteration of the game we're experimenting with something we call the bounded accuracy system.
The basic premise behind the bounded accuracy system is simple: we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game that the player's attack and spell accuracy, or their defenses, increase as a result of gaining levels. Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained. Characters can fight tougher monsters not because they can finally hit them, but because their damage is sufficient to take a significant chunk out of the monster's hit points; likewise, the character can now stand up to a few hits from that monster without being killed easily, thanks to the character's increased hit points. Furthermore, gaining levels grants the characters new capabilities, which go much farther toward making your character feel different than simple numerical increases.
Now, note that I said that we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game about increased accuracy and defenses. This does not mean that the players do not gain bonuses to accuracy and defenses. It does mean, however, that we do not need to make sure that characters advance on a set schedule, and we can let  each class advance at its own appropriate pace. Thus, wizards don't have to gain a +10 bonus to weapon attack rolls just for reaching a higher level in order to keep participating; if wizards never gain an accuracy bonus, they can still contribute just fine to the ongoing play experience.
This extends beyond simple attacks and damage. We also make the same assumptions about character ability modifiers and skill bonuses. Thus, our expected DCs do not scale automatically with level, and instead a DC is left to represent the fixed value of the difficulty of some task, not the difficulty of the task relative to level.
We think the bounded accuracy system is good for the game for a number of different reasons, including the following:
Getting better at something means actually getting better at something. Since target numbers (DCs for checks, AC, and so on) and monster accuracy don't scale with level, gaining a +1 bonus means you are actually 5% better at succeeding at that task, not simply hitting some basic competence level. When a fighter gets a +1 increase to his or her attack bonus, it means he or she hits monsters across the board 5% more often. This means that characters, as they gain levels, see a tangible increase in their competence, not just in being able to accomplish more amazing things, but also in how often they succeed at tasks they perform regularly.
Nonspecialized characters can more easily participate in many scenes. While it's true that increases in accuracy are real and tangible, it also means that characters can achieve a basic level of competence just through how players assign their ability bonuses. Although a character who gains a +6 bonus to checks made to hide might do so with incredible ease, the character with only a naked ability bonus still has a chance to participate. We want to use the system to make it so that specialized characters find tasks increasingly trivial, while other characters can still make attempts without feeling they are wasting their time.
The DM's monster roster expands, never contracts. Although low-level characters probably don't stack up well against higher-level monsters, thanks to the high hit points and high damage numbers of those monsters, as the characters gain levels, the lower-level monsters continue to be useful to the DM, just in greater numbers. While we might fight only four goblins at a time at 1st level, we might take on twelve of them at 5th level without breaking a sweat. Since the monsters don't lose the ability to hit the player characters—instead they take out a smaller percentage chunk of the characters' hit points—the DM can continue to increase the number of monsters instead of needing to design or find whole new monsters. Thus, the repertoire of monsters available for DMs to use in an adventure only increases over time, as new monsters become acceptable challenges and old monsters simply need to have their quantity increased.
Bounded accuracy makes it easier to DM and easier to adjudicate improvised scenes. After a short period of DMing, DMs should gain a clear sense of how to assign DCs to various tasks. If the DM knows that for most characters a DC of 15 is a mildly difficult check, then the DM starts to associate DC values with in-world difficulties. Thus, when it comes time to improvise, a link has been created between the difficulty of the challenge in the world (balancing as you run across this rickety bridge is pretty tough due to the breaking planks, especially if you're not a nimble character) and the target number. Since those target numbers don't change, the longer a DM runs his or her game, the easier it is going to be to set quick target numbers, improvise monster attack bonuses and AC, or determine just what kind of bonus a skilled NPC has to a particular check. The DM's understanding of how difficult tasks are ceases to be a moving target under a bounded accuracy system.
It opens up new possibilities of encounter and adventure design. A 1st-level character might not fight the black dragon plaguing the town in a face-to-face fight and expect to survive. But if they rally the town to their side, outfit the guards with bows and arrows, and whittle the dragon down with dozens of attacks instead of only four or five, the possibilities grow. With the bounded accuracy system, lower-level creatures banding together can erode a higher-level creature's hit points, which cuts both ways; now, fights involving hordes of orcs against the higher-level party can be threatening using only the basic orc stat block, and the city militia can still battle against the fire giants rampaging at the gates without having to inflate the statistics of the city guards to make that possible.
It is easier for players and DMs to understand the relative strength and difficulty of things. Under the bounded accuracy system, a DM can describe a hobgoblin wearing chainmail, and, no matter what the level of the characters, a player can reasonably guess that the hobgoblin's AC is around 15; the description of the world matches up to mechanical expectations, and eventually players will see chainmail, or leather armor, or plate mail in game and have an instinctive response to how tough things are. Likewise, a DM knows that he or she can reasonably expect players to understand the difficulty of things based purely on their in-world description, and so the DM can focus more on the details of the world rather than on setting player expectations.
It's good for verisimilitude. The bounded accuracy system lets us perpetually associate difficulty numbers with certain tasks based on what they are in the world, without the need to constantly escalate the story behind those tasks. For example, we can say that breaking down an iron-banded wooden door is a DC 17 check, and that can live in the game no matter what level the players are. There's no need to constantly escalate the in-world descriptions to match a growing DC; an iron-banded door is just as tough to break down at 20th level as it was at 1st, and it might still be a challenge for a party consisting of heroes without great Strength scores. There's no need to make it a solid adamantine door encrusted with ancient runes just to make it a moderate challenge for the high-level characters. Instead, we let that adamantine door encrusted with ancient runes have its own high DC as a reflection of its difficulty in the world. If players have the means of breaking down the super difficult adamantine door, it's because they pursued player options that make that so, and it is not simply a side effect of continuing to adventure.
This feeds in with the earlier point about DMs and players understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of things, since it not only makes it easier to understand play expectations, but it also ties those expectations very firmly to what those things are in the world. Now, we want to avoid situations where DMs feel bound by the numbers. ("Hey," says the player, "you said it was an iron-bound wooden door and I rolled a 17, what do you mean I didn't break it down?") We hope to do that by making sure we focus more on teaching DMs how to determine DCs and other numbers, and letting them adjust descriptions and difficulties based on their needs.

BBC News - Swansea University Egyptian Centre acquires relics

Possible to tie in CoC adventure with strange things a foot after 40 years.

BBC News - Swansea University Egyptian Centre acquires relics

"Body Jars," Cliff Coffins Are Clues

Great real world article to help inspire a DM. Could lend bigger need to have rope use and having sky dungeons.

Pictures: "Body Jars," Cliff Coffins Are Clues to Unknown Tribe#/body-jars-log-coffins-unknown-tribe-clay-jar_53325_600x450.jpg#/body-jars-log-coffins-unknown-tribe-skeleton_53329_600x450.jpg#/body-jars-log-coffins-unknown-tribe-rings_53327_600x450.jpg#/climber-skull-himalayan-cave-culture_32522_600x450.jpg#/body-jars-log-coffins-unknown-tribe-rings_53327_600x450.jpg#/body-jars-log-coffins-unknown-tribe-researcher_53326_600x450.jpg#/body-jars-log-coffins-unknown-tribe-skulls_53324_600x450.jpg

Monte Cook's - Logic in RPGs

Monte Cook (one of the designers of D&D 3E, and until recently of D&D Next) has written a short essay on "Logic in RPGs" over on his journal, The Chapel Perilous. It largely deals with the concept of rules-heavy and rules-light systems ("rulings not rules") and the effects such systems have on gameplay, while clearly stating his preference for the latter. It's not a new theory by any stretch, but it goes some way to codifying it clearly. Thanks to Mark at CMG for the link.

You can read the essay here.

]The Chapel Perilous - Logic in RPGs