Tag Archives: rpg hub

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 …

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 …

New site feature: Post Index

In keeping with this site’s mission statement , which is geared toward making utility a priority, and in order to make accessing information on the Athenaeum easier, all 150 posts on this site have been organized into a post title index. The index can be viewed by clicking here , or at any point during a future visit by clicking the Post Index …

You gragdok! The evolution of setting-based swear words in RPGs

While reorganizing Athenaeum content into a forthcoming post index, this writer happened upon this post , which dealt with creating a unique flavor in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign by developing slang words for the common tongue. One area of language that post didn’t explore, though, was the evolution of campaign-specific curse or “swear” words to express increased …

Using the Aboriginal Dreamtime as inspiration for Primal 4e characters

This Australian Aboriginal rock art depicts what could be a creation ancestor. This sort of art, and the creation story that inspired it, is a useful source of inspiration for DMs designing adventures for primal heroes in D&D. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Virtually every culture, whether real or created for a fantasy role-playing game like Dungeons & Dragons, has a story about how…

Bring a little 1e lethality – and some background- to your new 4e character

The AD&D module “Treasure Hunt,” published in 1986, can prove instructive in bringing the lethality and tension of the game's first edition to the game's current edition. Years ago, when opening the fourth edition Player’s Handbook for the first time, this writer discovered some good news and some bad news. The good news was that, since heroes…

Looking for a change of pace in your D&D game? Switch sides!

The “Reverse Dungeon” module was a breath of fresh air for the writer's game 10 years ago. Adventures like it can do the same for your game today. In this writer’s estimation, one of the high points of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons history was the publication of Reverse Dungeon module in 2000. As the title implied, the module reversed the roles…

Converting a D&D economy to the silver standard

          These Genoese coins, dating to the 12th Century, are a prime example of silver standard currency. Inside the treasure chest are 3,500 gold pieces, a silver bracelet inlaid with ivory worth another 50 gold, and an amethyst gem worth 100 gold pieces. That phrase, or others that are practically identical to it, can be found in almost every published Dungeons & Dragons …

Interrogating prisoners in a D&D Game

Joan of Arc is interrogated by The Cardinal of Winchester in her prison, by Paul Delaroche Essentially, there are two situations where interrogation might take place during a Dungeons & Dragons adventure: when the heroes are captured, or when the heroes capture an enemy. Both situations turn the game from a battle of might to a battle of wits; the…

Communist Sandbox Redux

Well, I tried and tried to find my backups but apparently they were on my larger portable hard drive, which got stolen at my old roommates job. Bummer. So I’m trying to recreate some of my better posts. The title of this post is in no way an…

Organic Percentile Skill Progression

I often think about how experience points, some of the biggest and most unwieldy numbers in RPG’s are also the least fun or useful. GM’s calculate them for encounters, players forget to write them down on their character sheets, people…

4321 Apocalypse-A Zombie R*PG for when you don’t have a GM

If you are like my ex-roommate, you might be having trouble finding a GM. This is one of the things that intrigues me about RPG’s, namely, how necessary is a GM? I think several of the roles of a Game Master can be shared with other player or…

And I’m Back. At least for a bit.

Well, a major overhaul has been done and I’m up and running again. Clutter has been reduced back to an acceptable level, and the games have been put back up. I haven’t put all the backed up posts here yet, because too many of them are…

The Communist Sandbox: Role Playing with too few Players & Not Enough GM’s

This is an incredibly late entry intended originally for the May 2010 RPG Blog Carnival: Surviving the Gaming Drought A few moths ago I posted and article on 2 different ways of circumventing the problem many of us encounter, limited people to play…

Bikes and Broomsticks: Character Creation 2

Download the full PDF! Skills Now, why do you think I made that whole first page all about background. Because you would think “Hey, maybe I should do this background thing.” Well, if you did, Good! You did awesome. If you didn’t, sorry……

Use an experience point ‘slush fund’ to encourage role-playing

While there are several different connotations for the term, one definition for “slush fund” is an account in the general ledger of a company that uses the double-entry system of bookkeeping. Essentially, the slush fund is used to record transactions involving funds commingled from other accounts, and as the default place to record transactions and expenses that shouldn’t properly be recorded elsewhere in the …