Information is a valuable commodity to an adventuring party, no matter the setting. Whether the group are seeking information on a quest they’re already involved in, or looking for a job to keep them in gold and hot meals, keeping an ear to the ground in taverns or out in the street can be an excellent source of information, but only once they have separated out all of the misinformation from the truth.
Among the rumours listed below is a mixture of truth, half-truth, and out and out lies, and within that information there are hooks for two quests, the location of a dungeon, and one piece of mundane gossip. It is up to your players how they will learn which is which, and up to you where the truth is.
Tim, no reading, there may be spoilers.
As for the rest of you, it’s been ample time for you all to have played, but as Tim recently played Arkham Asylum for the first time ever, it seems a good time to talk about the sequel. Arkham City is fodder for every gaming hall of fame going, a neat blend of sandbox with high quality story, stealth and action, puzzles and combat, and perhaps one of the best representations of Batman ever put to a screen of any size. Arkham City was also going to be the last ever appearance of Mark Hamill as the Joker, promising he’d only return if they ever animated The Killing Joke (they did, he did). (more…)
Among the many weapons in the DMs arsenal, often we overlook the idea of curses. Monsters and traps aplenty, puzzles and challenges, sure, but a curse is something wholly other. Disease is frequently too random, we rarely use disease because it is not something earned through foolish action, but a curse can be laid upon a player who does something foolish, or stumbles across something terrible.
These curses broadly use Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules, but can easily be adjusted for other systems and settings.
As a compromise to my ever declining reading habits, I have instead decided to embrace audiobooks with a passion. My recent Lovecraft addiction has ultimately led me to HorrorBabble, a small UK based narration group who read from a short list of public domain and permitted authors, as well as a few original creations. They have an affiliation with Rue Morgue, an international horror magazine* and production company, so in a short space of time they’re already part of a larger media empire, and with good reason.
Simple, beautifully recorded audio, hours of books recorded by a collection of readers, almost entirely Ian Gordon who has been the bulk of my listening habits thusfar. Ian is not the most lively reader, one might be forgiven – in those moments when two characters are talking to one another – for confusing one character for another to an extent, but his voice is soft and clear, at once relaxing, and a little chilling. As cofounder, he also records some of his own material for the channel. (more…)
Right, where were we? Travelling companions eleven through twenty. Here’s one through ten if you missed them.
The softly spoken halfling dresses in soft leathers and expensive looking silks, but without much by way of ornamentation or showy colours. Her hair is a thick bundle of dun dreadlocks tied with a chord, and she goes barefoot most places while travelling. She’s hard to hear in the midst of heavy conversation, but happy enough to listen and participate only when she feels it’s her “turn” to speak, waiting for lulls where she might be heard clearly. (more…)
Having learned a lesson about underestimating the quality of the mobile gaming scene, I’ve dabbled a little more into the options at hand. Here are a handful of the games I’ve been playing of late. (more…)
Finally, a Meetup title too long for Facebook to accommodate in full.
This month mixed back-to-school with quiz month, meaning a quiz more aggressive than any exam you could hope to face, but many of you proved you could face down the worst of what I had to offer, and good company, good games, and a box of Harry Potter themed biscuits softened the blow a little. Here’s what happened this month:
Ahhh… this may have to be a two-parter. This is going to be a two-parter. Having hit 1600+ words with only half of my wandering NPCs written, I shall save another ten for next Thursday.
Here below I offer you ten NPCs who may travel with your party. Some may help, others may hinder, all were created using random tables and generators for race, gender, jobs and roles, although the names and details are all my own. Thanks to the Hyper Halfling’s Book of Lists, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Fantasy Name Generators for giving the bare bones of the characters brought to life below.
Allow these fine folk to join the party for their next journey to help bridge the gaps between civilisation and adventure. If nothing else… it’ll be memorable. (more…)
I may have mentioned I’m a bit of a late-to-the-party Avatar fan, I marathon’d the entire series a few years ago, and it’s become something of a node, a go-to point in my creative reference library whenever I create something fantasy. It’s an off-piste and indirect approach to the classical westernised fantasy of elves and dragons that Tolkien drew together from Arthurian, Norse, and Christian mythologies. The series embraced eastern viewpoints and philosophies, the notions of household and local gods or spirits, the Qi-like elements of elemental bending, and with it brought profoundly human elements, and rich political analogues.
That’s a tall order for a kids show! (more…)
There are days when the grind of combat becomes a simple matter of pointing and declaring “I hit that one” or “I cast this spell”. Sometimes what is required is a combat so utterly challenging that players are forced to think outside the box, get creative, and push themselves to the very limit. It need not be the bigbad, the final villain, the single enemy to which all other narratives have been merely a pursuit. It might be something stumbled upon in the course of exploration, something rumoured, but never sought, or something simply in the way of something else…
The raid boss, or nemesis villain, is more a staple of the hack-and-slash style RPG than the narratively driven tabletop role-play, but it’s fair to admit sometimes that we’re gamers of a new generation, who want a break from talking around a campfire, and just want the deadly thrill of facing a foe designed to kill. (more…)