Tag Archives: Resources

Experience for the ordinary person

Johnn’s recent mention of the Ostrich-GM approach he sometimes takes to the question of how Administrators and Nobles get their character levels (comments, City Government Power Bases – Class and Level ) struck a chord. There are really only two answers besides the close-you-eyes-and-hope-it-goes-away approach, and adopting one of them has some interesting implications for the rest of the game…

Need to give your fantasy campaign a boost? Arthurian Mythology to the rescue

It happens to the best of us.  Whether it is the start of a new campaign or two years in to an ongoing, persistent world, sometimes coming up with a great adventure hook is tough.  The same old fantasy tropes we’re used to in our games can get boring.  One more orc, one more dragon, one more litch. When this happens to me, I do what…

How To Cast A Spell On Your Campaign And Polish Till It Gleams

The dead will not always give you clear answers In part one, you saw how spell details can inspire encounters . In part two today, we continue to walk through the plight of poor Halcos and who the PCs’ enemies plot to prevent them from casting Speak With dead. We also offer tips on how spells can help you design game worlds and regions…

The Keys To Your Horror Campaign

Sometimes lost beneath the piles of fantasy RPGs, followed by the various incarnations of sci-fi and superhero games, falls the incredibly compelling, but often overlooked genre of horror. I don’t mean a game where player character take on the roles of dark creatures as you might see in White Wolf’s various World of Darkness titles, or Nightbane from Palladium Books, but a game where…

The Keys To Your Horror Campaign

Sometimes lost beneath the piles of fantasy RPGs, followed by the various incarnations of sci-fi and superhero games, falls the incredibly compelling, but often overlooked genre of horror. I don’t mean a game where player character take on the roles of dark creatures as you might see in White Wolf’s various World of Darkness titles, or Nightbane from Palladium Books, but a …

Building the Barbarian: Creating Complete Characters #1

Good evening, fellow gamers. Today is the day that Complete Characters finally comes back into view. It’s an exciting day for me, as it always is when some of my work makes its way to the public. Briefly, what this retooling means is that the previous incarnation, with its full character description, custom illustration, and systemless stats, now includes stats for the d20 system. Not one set of stats, …

Clang! Crash! Pow! Game Mastering The Pulp Genre

If all has gone according to plan, you are now looking at the final part of what’s been a massive series on the Pulp Genre. This article is mostly afterthoughts and GM advice that I’ve culled from many discussions with players and with my co-GM, Blair Ramage, together with some stuff straight from my own head. It’s a cleanup article, let&#…

City Government Power Bases – War and Military plus Software Giveaway

What forces govern your city? A strong military is real, solid power. A city with a skilled, well-equipped and well-led army can protect itself, fend off its neighbours, go on a conquering binge, and keep its own citizens under control, though not necessarily all at once or in that order. A politician with a private army can often get away…

Review: Alternity

Alternity , by Bill Slavicsek and Richard Baker, is a science-fiction role-playing game released in 1998 by TSR (now Wizards of the Coast ). It bills itself as “a framework for all kinds of contemporary to far-future science fiction adventures.” Indeed, its two original settings are Star*Drive , a far-future space-opera, and Dark•Matter , which is a modern-day game drawing much of…

Introducing the Batman Irregulars

Our heroes have been sent by Batman to investigate tales of a Vampire stalking the streets of Metropolis , and Superman is nowhere to be found. They heroes are reserve members of Batman Incorporated, and eager to prove their worth in their first mission as a team. This is a one-shot adventure to test the waters in the world of DC Adventures . The current Batman …

Free download: the Rusty Dwarf Inn

Not all readers are aware that this blog has a   free downloads page , where all .pdf resources produced by the Athenaeum are posted for reader use. In addition to the popular “100 lists” available there is The Rusty Dwarf Inn , an edition-neutral, 12-page document that details a fantasy inn, including its history, staff, map and complete key. The file was posted …

City Government Power Bases – Leadership

What forces govern your city? Popularity Being popular earns a government a lot of power, though it is always a fragile thing. Think of popularity as a form of temporary affiliation . Popularity is often restricted to a subset of urban society – you can’t please everyone. Strengths With a large amount of consent, a government can rule with fewer objections and roadblocks. The will of the people can …

Pow! Bam! Crunch! Story Conventions In Pulp (continued)

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grown so substantially that it has become necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, and furnished a context…

Dresden Files RPG: Stress Track Sheets

I made these Stress Track sheets for our Dresden Files RPG games to save wear & tear on the character sheets and thought I’d share them with anyone else who’s interested. They are designed to be printed on A4 card stock & then cut in half to give you two A5 sheets to use. Since I hate to …

Dresden Files RPG: Stress Track Sheets

I made these Stress Track sheets for our Dresden Files RPG games to save wear & tear on the character sheets and thought I’d share them with anyone else who’s interested. They are designed to be printed on A4 card stock & then cut in half to give you two A5 sheets to use. Since I hate to waste paper, I added a back …

Hasbro’s Motion Vision Play: Monopoly and Battleship Live

Hasbro will be adding an infrared motion detection and control system (“Motion Vision Play”) to various board games this year, including Monopoly and Battleship. [1] The tower not only tracks player resources, such as money and piece position, but also prompts players to play, rolls the dice, announces results, checks for cheating, prevents house rules, makes sound effects, introduces random events, does your homework…

Pow! Wham! Bang! Story Conventions In Pulp

This article is being co-written by Blair Ramage, with whom I co-referee a Pulp Hero campaign. Although it started as a single item, it has grown so substantially that it has become necessary to split it into multiple parts. The first part dealt with the relationship of genre to other aspects of a roleplaying game, and furnished a context for the…

Five tips for villainous resource management

It is certainly possible to play Dungeons & Dragons without giving a single thought toward how monsters and villains end up awaiting heroes in elaborate lairs; if the primary point of the game is to defeat the villains in combat, deciding the particulars of how the villain maintains his underground complex isn’t very important. This post contends, however,  that even in a …

City Government Power Bases – Law and Affiliation (plus NBOS software giveaway)

What forces govern your city? In the introduction last week I covered the goal of this series, which is to use the idea of power bases – where do fantasy governments, government officials and factions get power and influence? – to make your cities interesting places to adventure. Each part in this series will cover two or three power bases in detail…

City Government Power Bases – Overview

What forces govern your city? The topic of city government causes GMs big yawns. Other than picking a government type, you find it a difficult city element to make interesting for game sessions, adventures and city design. However, it is an important part of urban environments that should not be ignored. And it does not have to be a difficult or boring thing. The key is …