13 Mar

GM’s Day Sale 2016

It’s the time of year again. The GM’s Day Sale. It’s the one time a year that bribing celebrating your game master is actively encouraged. Well, encouraged more than usual. Another made up holiday graces our calendars although Hallmark hasn’t jumped on board. Yet.

Instead, the gods of commerce encourage you to go buy things for your GM over at DriveThruRPG.com rather than a glitter-doused card with some saccharine half-apology for ignoring every possible plot hook for twelve weeks straight. Of course, more than likely you’re just going to go shopping for yourself and pick up some new player options with the explicit purpose of assassinating your GM’s carefully crafted villain. I’m sure your GM will appreciate that too…

GM's Day Sale 2016

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14 Jun

Review of Never Ask Directions

Never Ask Directions - 5EMerric Blackman over at Merric’s Musings took some time to review my sample sidetrek Never Ask Directions that I’ve converted to 5E. The PDF is available through DriveThruRPG as a pay-what-you-want offering. Merric was complimentary but he also pointed out some areas that I agree need some improvement. As with his review of another of my 5E offerings, The Blacksmith’s Burden, I think he’s on the money and the feedback should lead to better products in the future.

Take some time to check out his site as he’s been taking a look at 5E products from a number of publishers. I appreciate the fact that he takes the time for the “little guys” and provides useful critiques that are valuable to consumers and publishers alike.

Head over to Merric’s Musings and see what he had to say about Never Ask Directions.

5 Mar

GMs Day Sale on at DTRPG

AD&D Dungeon Masters GuideJust in case you somehow missed it, DriveThruRPG.com is celebrating GMs Day with a week-long sale. With at least 30% off a lot of great titles, it might be time to check your wishlist for any PDFs that you’ve been holding out on picking up.

And, yes, my works are among the discount offerings so I hope 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons fans pick up The Blacksmith’s Burden and that players of all fantasy games check out my system neutral supplements.

And remember:

“The worthy GM never purposely kills players’ PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own.”

-Gary Gygax

GMs Day Sale

16 Oct

The Eternal Rest in Dungeon World

Dungeon World

Last week I mentioned that my system neutral fantasy game supplement The Eternal Rest is currently on sale over at DriveThruRPG.com on the Drunken Goblin page. I also indicated that I’d been thinking about Dungeon World and adding some moves to further supplement The Eternal Rest. I wrote the PDF around the idea that its hooks could be put to use in any rule set and would leave the mechanics up to the game master.

With Dungeon World on my mind lately, I decided to take my own challenge and bolt on a few straightforward mechanics to The Eternal Rest. Even if you aren’t familiar with Dungeon World (and why not?), each of those moves can still be looted for added hooks to spin off from my PDF. Continue reading

18 Sep

The Importance of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines

D&D Insider LogoNews of the hiatus for Dragon and Dungeon magazines from DDI saddens me. Not just because I won’t be pitching anything in what would have been the Fall submission window, but because they are landmarks on the landscape of Dungeons & Dragons. (And, for the record, I don’t see them as landmarks of any particular edition.) To me, in print or digitally, they were a part of the game that I have always played. They were full of content that I always read, whether the material would fit my game or not. Put simply, the two magazines  have always represented “more.” Continue reading

4 Mar

GM Day Discounts at DriveThruRPG

This week, DriveThruRPG.com and its sister site RPGNow.com are celebrating GM Day. It’s the one day (week, really) that you can suck up to your game master and give him or her some swag in the hopes that you’ll be allowed to reroll that failed saving throw. There are discounts all over the site.

The Blacksmith's Burden (4th Edition D&D)My own products are no exception. You can save on The Blacksmith’s Burden, a low-level adventure available for both Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. You can also pick up The Eternal Rest, an inn set with dozens of haunted hooks suitable for any fantasy roleplaying game.

Did the party just get TPK’d? Your GM might be trying to tell you something. Buying something as a GM Day bribe might be a way to start the new campaign off on the right foot. I’m not saying you have to or anything, but don’t act surprised when your GM makes you roll your stats 3d6 “down the line” and then tells you that she always believed the Hopeless Character rule was “too generous.”

D&D Vikings Sourcebook
That’s right. I just dropped the old “green” sourcebooks. (Kittens with battleaxes sold separately.)

And, if you are starting a new campaign, why not bust out one of the classic 2E campaign setting sourcebooks like the Vikings or the Glory of Rome? Any of these is an easy GM Day way to score a +2 circumstance bonus for your Diplomacy check to determine whether or not Fraz-Urb’luu really broke your vorpal swords or just kinda broke them… Either way, you’re probably not going to be adventuring under Castle Greyhawk again.

SPOILER: The Prince of Lies did really break your swords. Next time don’t trust every bas relief carving you meet. The sword, and soul, you save might be your own.

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20 Feb

Close Encounters: An Interview with Alyssa Faden of Torn World, Part 1

Torn World Sisk Light War Golem
This. Alyssa and the Torn World want us to have more of THIS!

Alyssa Faden appeared on my radar when I saw some of her exceptional cartography work posted in a discussion group of old school gamers. Although she has freelanced for a number of gaming companies –Kobold Quarterly and Gygax Magazine, for instance– some of her work is born of her own setting, Torn World, a campaign world that has spanned decades and continents, both real and imaginary.

That setting slumbered like something massive lurking beneath the choppy waters of the internet. Over the years some people knew of its existence, and they eventually inspired Alyssa to assemble a team of writers, artists, and editors to wake this beast and unleash it upon an unsuspecting world. It’s like Godzilla, or Cthulu, assuming either of those timeless forces of nature/madness could also hurl a pilum… Continue reading

15 Feb

Review: James M. Ward’s Tower of the Scarlet Wizard

Eldritch Enterprises LogoTower of the Scarlet Wizard is an adventure put out by Eldritch Enterprises’ to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by James M. Ward, the writer of Dark Outpost (previously reviewed here), this adventure offers the unique twist of allowing a PC to inherit the dungeon after it is explored.

Eldritch Enterprises once again serves up an old-school, open-ended adventure that fits easily into any campaign and adapts to nearly any rules set you might use. It calls for “three or more players of moderate experience” on the cover and threatens a 60% fatality rating, although, at a glance, I think it is certainly more forgiving than several other Eldritch Enterprises offerings. Like all their products, it is a very easy matter to further increase or decrease the difficulty of the adventure and Tower of the Scarlet Wizard offers a number of encounters that are not based on combat alone. (Be warned, there might be some spoilers ahead.) Continue reading

6 Feb

Review: Tim Kask’s Curse of the Weaver Queen

Eldritch Enterprises LogoCurse of the Weaver Queen is Eldritch Enterprises’ latest adventure meant to be adapted to any fantasy setting. Written by Tim Kask, the writer of the Snakeriders of the Aradondo (reviewed here in January), Curse of the Weaver Queen holds to his philosophy of constructing an adventure around the fact that every group has a different style of play. The GM who runs it is expected to tweak it to the tastes of his gaming group.

A dungeon crawl that embraces Eldritch Enterprises’ typical old-school feel, Curse of the Weaver Queen can be integrated into virtually any campaign with one or two simple hooks. The cover identifies it as “a remarkably deadly adventure for 5 – 7 players of moderate level” and I would agree with that assessment. I do believe it can easily be modified, based on the system you adapt it to fit, to adjust for more or fewer players, but the GM should keep the danger level in mind (especially when reducing the number of players). Continue reading

22 Jan

Old School D&D in PDF Format

Wizards of the Coast has teamed up with my favorite folks over at DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com to make a great deal of “old school” Dungeons and Dragons products available in PDF form. And I should point out that although I’m excited about the old school D&D releases, the PDF format books cover the range from Basic/Expert all the way up to 4th Edition material. So go find your favorites, even you weirdo’s who have this strange attachment to Second Edition D&D.

Behold! DnDClassics.com! (And your DriveThruRPG/RPGNow login and account are linked to this sister site already.)

Dungeons & Dragons Classics

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