Sunday, August 31, 2014

Primeval Thule: Freeblade Background for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.


Skill Proficiencies (1st level): You are Proficient in Athletics, Investigation, and Persuasion.

Langauges (1st level): Choose 1 from Low Atlantean, Dhari, Kalayan, Lomari, Nimothan, or Ungari.

Tools Proficiencies (1st level): Any one.

Opportunistic Action  (Level 1):  You can spend a Luck point to use your reaction for any action.
 Sellsword (6th level): Whenever you are paid gold for your services, you get 50% more gold. In addition, add double your proficiency bonus to Athletics, Investigation, and Persuasion.
 Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level.

Company of Men (10th level): You have worked for, with, and against many other sellswords and earned their respect. You now have a small company of guards at your call. You decide whether your company is a band of outlaws, soldiers, mercenaries or something in between. You
also may choose a base of operations, such as a hall in a city-state, a watchtower on a road, or a hidden cave near a trade route.  Additionally, when in the company of a group your guards you have advantage on  Charisma (Intimidation) and Wisdom (Perceptions). Finally, you may use your reaction to have your guards use the help action.

Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level.

D&D 5th Edition: Psychic Warrior Sub-Class for the Monk

Psychic Warrior Monastic Tradition

Way of the Mind

Telekinetic Gift (3rd level)
• You may use wisdom in place of dexterity or strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes, monk weapons and flurry of blows.
• Your unarmed strikes, monk weapons and flurry of blows have an additional 10 feet of reach.
• When using deflect missiles you may used wisdom instead of dexterity.
• You know the Mage Hand cantrip and if you spend 1 Ki point, you can lift up to your level x 10, but requires concentration.

Psyclone (6th level)
You can spend 3 Ki points and each enemy in a 15-foot sphere originating from you must make a dexterity save.  On a failed save, each enemy takes three times your monk level in force damage .  On a successful save they take your monk level in force damage.

Mind Over Matter (11th level)
You can spend 6 Ki points to cast Animate Objects.

Flurry of Blasts (17th level)
As a reaction your flurry of blows push a creature back 20 feet and deal nyour proficiency bonus in damage.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Primeval Thule: Dhari Hunter Background for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.

Dhari Hunter 

Skill Proficiencies (1st level): You are Proficient in Animal Handling, Stealth, and Survival.

Langauges (1st level): Dhari.

Tools Proficiencies (1st level): Any one.

Hunter's Strike (Level 1):  You may spend a Luck point to gain advantage on an attack roll against a target that is not aware of you or has not acted yet in this combat. Additionally, when using Hunter's Strike you score a critical hit on a natural 19-20.
Hunter's Instinct (6th level): Add double your proficiency bonus to Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks.  Additionally,  you possess an uncanny ability to notice animals and anticipate their behavior. You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks to spot hidden animals, Wisdom (Survival) checks to follow animal tracks, or Intelligence (Nature) checks to identify rare animals and their abilities.
 Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, additionally gain +1 Wisdom.

Dhari Chieftain (10th level): You become the chief of your tribe or establish a new tribe of your own. Your tribe numbers a couple of hundred warriors, spouses, and children, and your tribal lands cover about 1,000 square miles. In its own lands, your tribe is almost impossible to locate or attack, and it is quite capable of getting along without you for long periods of time if you continue to adventure.  Also, you are so adept at hunting, your experience allows you and your allies to gain advantage on Initiative rolls.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Primeval Thule: Atlantean Race & Atlantean Noble Background for D&D 5th Edtion

I'm a HUGE fan of Primeval Thule by Sasquatch Game Studio!

Backgrounds here are based on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  I've made the decision to treat them as backgrounds because they fill a similar niche as 5E's backgrounds, but allow abilities to be gained as you level to reflect the high action and deep peril of the setting.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.

I have opted to present an option that treats the 6th & 10th Level abilities as feats for those who feel it stretches the concept of the Background too far.


Atlantean Traits

Ability Score Increase:  +2 to one ability score of your choice and +1 to a different ability score of your choice.

Age:  Atlanteans mature as the same rate as humans, but are considered young until the reach 100.  On average they live about 500 years.

Alignment:  Most Atlanteans are lawful.

Size:  Atlanteans stand between 5 and 6 feet tall and average about 140 pounds.  Your size is medium.

Speed:  Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Broad Education: Atlantean characters begin play with two additional skills of your choice.

Headstrong: Atlanteans gain advantage on saving throws against being charmed and frightened.

Wealthy: Atlantean characters begin play with an additional 300 gp in starting wealth.

Languages: You speak, read, and write Common (Low Atlantean), High Atlantean and two additional languages of your choice.

Atlantean Noble

Skill Proficiencies (1st level): You are Proficient in Intimidation, Persuasion, and Arcana or History.

Langauges (1st level): Any one.

Tools Proficiencies (1st level): Any two.

Commanding Action (1st level):  As an action, spend a Luck point that grants an ally within 25 feet a bonus action.  This action can only be used to make an attack.

Noble's Grace (6th level): When interacting with other nobles or leaders, you have advantage on any Charisma checks due to your family name.
Optionally, this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, also gain +1 Charisma.

Noble Scion (10th level): You become the official patriarch of your noble house, are nominated to a seat of power in your home city, or are appointed to a ruling body, or some other similar great honor. You gain access to the wealth of your house, and can draw up to 1,000 gp per month for whatever expenses you can justify (or not justify). 
     You are used to having personal protection and so may disengage as a bonus action.  
     Also, as a reaction you grant an ally within 5 feet a bonus action.  This action can only be used to make an attack against an enemy who has attacked you this turn.
Optionally, this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level.

#RPGaDAY Day 28

Scariest Game You've Played?  Back in the day my buddy Todd, ran a Vampire: the Masquerade game for just me and our friend Barry.  It explored some pretty dark things and while sometimes we responded with violence for the sake of violence (in our defense we were both Brujah Anarchs), the horror came from exploring the world we lived in (pun intended) and the creatures we had become.

A central theme, because of my character, became diablerie which contrasted with my initial concept for my character as a Vampire who fought his Beast and embraced his Humanity.   But our journey through Chicago had me devolve into a being who embraced his Beast fully....leading to the ultimate crime in the world of the Masquerade and the blood hunt that resulted in it.

Strangely, we often played during the day, but in Todd's basement, time had no meaning and the shadows of broad daylight seemed to creep into our decisions.

It was a great game.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Primeval Thule: Bearer of the Black Book Background for D&D 5th Edition

I'm a HUGE fan of Primeval Thule by Sasquatch Game Studio!

Backgrounds here are based on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  I've made the decision to treat them as backgrounds because they fill a similar niche as 5E's backgrounds, but allow abilities to be gained as you level to reflect the high action and deep peril of the setting.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.

Bearer of the Black Book  

Skill Proficiencies (1st level): You are Proficient in Arcana, History, and Religion.

Langauges (1st level): Common and any three.

Tools Proficiencies (1st level): Quill and ink and astrolabe.

Remembrance (1st level):  As an action, spend a Luck point and can consult the Black Book to regain the use of a spell you cast in the previous round. The spell must be at least one level lower than the highest-level spell you can cast.

Ritual Insight (6th level): The Black Book can act as a focus and material component for any divination spell. The book is not consumed when used as a material component in this way.
Optionally, this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, also gain +1 Wisdom.

Secret Legend (10th level): Once per day, you can cast legend lore for free (no component or focus cost) by simply consulting the book.
Optionally, this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, also gain +1 Intelligence.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Primeval Thule: Beastfriend Background for 5th Edition

Sasquatch Games Primeval Thule is a setting I was so interested in I ordered the Setting Guide in Print for 4E, Pathfinder, and 13th Age.

And while I'm not at all disappointed with the work that the Squatchs did, it's a shame there isn't an official OGL for 5E for them to use.

But that's why I have a blog right?

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.


Skill Proficiencies (1st level): You are Proficient in Animal Handling, Nature, and Survival.

Langauges (1st level): Common and elven.

Tools Proficiencies (1st level): Any one.

Animal Rapport (Level 1):  You can spend a Luck point on your turn for one of two effects: you can use a bonus action action to befriend an animal (functions as charm person, but the save DC is 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Charisma Modifier); alternatively, you can use a Luck point in a natural setting to call to the animals in your vicinity, requiring enemies within 30 feet of you to become frightened unless they succeed on a Wisdom save with a of DC 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Charisma Modifier. This use of the ability doesn’t work if there are no animals or vermin nearby.

Natural Understanding (6th level): Double your Proficiency bonus to Animal Handling, Nature, and Survival.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level.

Lord of the Wild (10th level): You gain a loyal servant in the form of a wolf, great elk, raptor, or similar animal. This functions like the Beastmater Ranger's companion ability, except adding 1/2 your proficiency bonus for purposes of your companions statistics . If you already have an animal companion ability, instead double your proficiency bonus for purposes of your companion’s statistics. If the beast dies, or you release if from its bond, you can recruit a new beast by calling for the beast while spending 24 uninterrupted hours in the new companion’s home environment.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level.

#RPGaDAY 26 & 27

Coolest Character Sheet?  The ones I made up for my own use.  No, I don't have them to show off.
My favorite was the DC Heroes sheet that used TORG's resolution chart.

Games you'd like to see a new/improved edition of?  Marvel FASERIP or Marvel SAGA system.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

7 Episode 3: a Planescape game for D&D 5th Edition

The group arrived on a lonely road in a thick forest with moon high and full.  They were greeted by three strangers.

Magda, the ancient leader of a group of Vistani nearby and their contact with Nightwing Restorations.

Zanos, Magda's grandson, who's smirk and dark eyes reveal nothing to anyone.

The Benadanti, a werewolf with a silver muzzle, who is Magda's guardian.

There is a powerful scent of smoke in the air, but the group decides to follow Magda.

They learn that Camilla, the flesh golem they are seeking, has escaped from the clutches of Otto Braunstein because she is in love with Otto's brother Adolph.

She warns them to tread carefully in the local village, because two strangers were brutally murdered in their rooms at the Silver Stag Inn three nights ago.  The villagers are more guarded and weary than usual.

As Magda talks, Vespa, goes for a walk with Zanos and she seeks out the source of the smoke.  They fine a local farmstead and all of it's barsn burning to the ground and profane sigils painted in blood on the land.  The fire is still to hot to investigate further but they are certain that several people and animals died in the blaze.

Everyone turns in before the Witching Hour.

In the morning the paladin, Xander, asks if there is anything they can do for her and she confides that she'd like him to visit a monk at the Rookery, named Samual.  He's been painting disturbing paints that Otto Braunstein is paying a handsome sum for.  She is worried that the young man is dealing with forces far outside of his understanding.

The group arrives at the village in the morning in time for the daily market and met the local Sheriff, Rudolph.

After talking with Rudolph they find out about the two strangers from Freeport who were murdered and mutilated in their room.  He tells them that Roger, the owner of the Inn, says that Tanarak Kurst reacted oddly at seeing the two men eating in the main room of the Inn and that he is wanted for question but he hasn't been seen since the night of the murders.  To make matters worse, his deputies, Serena and Dodger are at the Kurst farm because it was burned down last night and there is a real concern the rest of the family died in the blaze.  Rudolph also mentions that he's going to speak with Homer Ryle, who is Tanarak's apprentice and is betrothed to the oldest Kurst girl, Penny.

Druic, a fighter/warlock and Murph, a bard decide to go talk to Serena and Doger at the farmstead.
They find the farm and all of it's barns burnt to the ground.  All of the animals apparently died in the fire and they find the bodies of all seven Kurst children and their mother, Apricot.  The bodies all have their throats slit, their left arms torn off and their hearts have been removed.  There is no sign of the arms or the hearts.

Serena, Dodger and the villagers who accompanied them are overwhelmed.

Serena, a 2nd Level Wizard, convinces the others locals to take a break and grants Druic and Murph permission to examine the bodies.

Murph casts Speak With Dead on Penny and learns that three strangely shaped men in heavy clothes with their faces hidden and a powerful dog attacked their home and slaughtered her mother and the twins before they killed her.  She remembers the smell of the sea all around them.

As they finish the ritual they spy a golden-eyed raven watching them.  Druic decides to cast Chill Touch as it flies away, hitting it and forcing the bird to land.  But as it lands it grows larger and takes on a humanoid shape.  It explains that it is Tanarak's familiar, Isis, and that he is hurt.  It also warns them to be careful with necromancy spells and tells them to decapitate Penny after using the spell on her.  Finally, Isis tells them to speak with Homer Ryle and if he vouches for them, she will lead them to Tanarak.

Meanwhile, Xander and Vespa head to the Rookery, a monastery devoted to the worship of the Raven Queen.  They ask to meet with Samual and our also introduced to the Rookery's Abbot, Luger Van Zant.

Abbot Van Zant quietly explains that he is worried for Brother Samual's sanity and health, but also makes it clear that Otto Brauntein's patronage in sponsoring Samual's art has been exceedingly beneficial to the monastery and the their work in the region.

Finally, Xander and Vespa meet with Samual who explains that almost two months ago he began being visited nightly by his "muse".  Each visit "inspired" him to paint her, though on her first visit his only canvas was the wall of his room and the only paint, his own blood.

Each painting is always a disturbing portrait of his beloved muse.  Within the first week of her visits to him, Abbot Luger, in one of his regular visits to Otto Braunstein's home for tea, revealed the young monk's work and Otto demanded to see the work and became Saumual's patron.  Samual knows that there is something wrong with him, but knows that money Mr. Braunstein is providing the Rookery is helpful to many people in need.  And he admits that he isn't sure he would want survive without his muse visiting each night.

Vespa asks to see his room.  There is a fresh painting from the night before of a hauntingly beautiful, but also very disturbing.  The portrait seems to drain both Vespa and Xander of stamina (failed their Wis saves and suffered a level of Exhaustion).  Xander decides to you his divine sense and detects an undead directly under Samual's room.

Immediately, Xander is contacted telepathically by the undead, a female who expresses regret for Samual's exposure to her presence.  She accidentally revealed herself to him, but knew that if she didn't continue to visit, he might do something terrible.

Xander asks who he is she is.  Her answer is Camilla, the Bride of Braunstein.

#RPGaDay 12-24

12) Old RPG you still play/read?  TSR's Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP).  I mostly think its the best RPG for playing Supers.

13) Most memorable character death?  We were playing DnD 4E, I was playing a Dwarven Warlock of Darkness/Shadow (from the Forgotten Realms splat).  My character had betrayed his clan for magical power (though unwittingly) and had wondered seeking a way to absolve himself.

We were fighting a big bad, some god/demon in the bottom of a ship that was flooding and I had just made a Save vs a mental attack.  I asked the DM if I could sacrifice myself so the others could live and opened my mind to the beast, while focusing on the being I had made a pact with.  By working with the DM, my patron came to this plane and the battle with the big bad destroyed all three of us, but let the party escape.

14) Best Convention Purchase?  Alternity Gen Con 1997 Special Edition Preview.  I still dig that TSR did that and I purchased it.

15) Favorite Convention Game?  Back at Gen Con 1993, me and my buddy played in a Marvel FASERIP game where were D List villains.  I was Killer Shrike.  We beat the New Warriors before getting our tails handed to us by Thor.

16) Game You Wish You Own?  Iron Heroes Revised Edition.

17) Funniest Game You've Played?  I'm the DM does that count?  If it does, my Jarlsburg game using DnD Next.

18) Favorite Game System?  The D20 system that powers DnD 5th Edition.

19) Favorite Published Adventure?  Keep on the Borderlands.

20) Will Still Play in 20 Years Time... Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.

21) Favorite Licensed RPG?  Star Wars by West End Games.

22) Best Secondhand RPG Purchase?  I don't buy used books or games.

23)  Coolest Looking RPG Product/Book?  Feng Shui 1st Edition.

24)  Most Complicated RPG Owned?  This is a crazy answer:  Any edition of Shadowrun.  This isn't Shadowrun's fault, but unlike every other RPG I've ever read, I can't quite understand or work out the game's magic and armor system.  Earthdawn (go figure) is a close second.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Planescape Game for 5th Edition: 7

I've manage to run two sessions of Planescape so far:

The group works for the Nightwing Restorations office on Eberron's plane, just outside the city of Sharn.  Their manager is Serendipity Dumont, who was crippled several years ago by an assassination attempt.

They headed into the Astral Plane, to an abandoned outpost of the githyanki (all that is left of the body of the dead god the githyanki has settle on is the head) know as Crown.  Their goal is to meet up with a rogue modron, named Twonky.  They are to escort him back to Eberron.

Aside from a near run in with Twonky's friend, Redgy (a gold dragon) and a verbal barrage with the local boss of the Polian Mining Service, Lingo Maneet (a rakshasha), things go great and Twonky leaves with them.

When they arrive in Eberron (the planar gate is located in the Egress--think Grand Central Station for steampunk trains and air ships), they have three travel options to return to their HQ, known as the Manor:  train, limo, or wagon.

The Bard chooses a limo and is attacked by...well...apparently Boba Fett.  It appears that the mandalorian isn't looking for the Bard, so he makes it out alive of a thirty "car" pile up on one of Eberron's "interstates".

The Ranger takes the train and is attacked by a group of warforged, known as the Sound of Thunder, mercenaries that work for a man named Fiacho.  He manages to fight them off and run away.

The rest of the group look for some additional information about why Twonky's important and find out that in the last 18 months, three other rogue moderns have been murdered and it seems tied to a war brewing between cultists of Law and Chaos in the Outer Planes.

Eventually, everyone makes it to the Manor and checks in with Serendipity.  They learn that her client is looking for the Rod of Seven Parts and she has been told that Twonky is a construct to contain a piece.

If the group agrees, she has their next target:  a flesh golem named Camilla.

But they have to go the Demiplane of Dread and Desire.  

They have to go to Ravenloft and she can't guarantee their return.

After they agree (of course they do), she gives them an elixir to drink and leaves an ancient urn for them to open after she vacates the room.

When the breach the seal of the urn, mists erupt all around them and when the clear, they are on a lonely road in a deep forest with a full moon staring down at them and several figures approaching from the shadows...

My Gen Con Post

I really haven't died, but a new POS system at our store, my oldest daughter visiting from Florida, Gen Con, rolling out the new POS system at our second store, my web host migrating my store's site without my knowledge and learning WordPress have kept me going.

I hope to finish #RPGaDAY, but no promises.

But the WHOLE family made it to Gen Con this year.

First, I have to say that each year that I experience the way that Gen Con, LLC runs the show, the more I am disappointed with their effort.  I think they find something new to tick me off about each year.

Second, I love Indy.  Its a great town and makes my closest metropolitan area, Cincinnati, look like a joke.  If I had more time, I think I'd vacation there.

Third, as much as I want to take the whole family to Gen Con next year, with 5 to 6 of us going, it's not that much cheaper than going to Disney World.

Fourth, Palamino and the Colts Grille have AMAZING food!

Fifth, I miss the days when RPG's and their publishers dominated Gen Con.  But times change...

Sixth, FFG expects me to wait in a line to get into their booth?!  Good luck with that.

Seventh, a BIG thank you to WotC, Paizo and even FFG for getting my store their big releases BEFORE Gen Con.

Monday, August 11, 2014

#RPGaDay Day 11

Weirderst RPG Owned?  These are tough ones.  Talislanta maybe?  No elves or humans.

I'm gonna go with World of Synnabar.  Raven McCracken wrote a fairly unplayable game with a gonzo setting.  Rules are really bad.  Setting is Mars moving through the universe.

Lots of ninjas.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I know this is very much outside the scope of my usual posts, but I need to share some thoughts.

One of our cats, Snowflake died today.  We had to have her put to sleep.  She was at least 18 years old (we'd had her for 14) and was a good and social cat.  She was the first pet I ever bought for one of my children.  She was H's cat.

But H is working for Disney right now and hours and hours away and I almost didn't burden her with the decision.  But in the end, I needed to know that she understood.   No, really I just needed to hear her voice.  Even if she's 24, she's still my baby.  Well one of four, at least.

Snowflake had reached the end of her days.  We'd noticed in the last week she'd not only stopped eating but dropped too much weight (not that she was ever heavy).  Then we noticed she'd stopped drinking and was trying to crawl away and hide.  Last night, my son and I got her to eat, but her breathing was ragged and her legs really weren't working.

We said a lot of prayers and we started preparing the younger kids for what we might find.

When the Vet tech took Snowflake's temp and saw how low it was she got the Vet right away.

I don't know other peoples experience with Banfield Pet Hospital (they're linked to Pet's Mart), but we've had wonderful people to help us whenever we've had to take them a sick animal.

Essentially, they told us we could take her home and her heart would probably stop in the next 24 hours, but she was dehydrated and mostly unaware of her surroundings.

I didn't want to say goodbye, but I couldn't let her suffer.

Let me digress here, that even though I'm a husband and father and I'm going to be 42 this year, knowing that I had to be a foundation for my family and lead them through this was terrifying.  Being an adult is hard and more and more I am gobsmacked how well my parents did these things.  And I'm not saying my wife didn't pull her weight, her strength is different and we try to balance our strengths and bring out the best in each other.

Banfield let us take our tearful time with her.  She got to perch on their sink and watch a trickle of water come out (her favorite thing in the world was to drink water from the tap, but she could only watch it now).

The great people at Banfield even took the kids for a bit and let them color and lovingly explain what was happening to her.

The tech who worked with us was sobbing as bad as the rest of us.

The Vet even broke into tears, too.

Snowflake was so dehydrated that they couldn't use a traditional IV method, so we couldn't stay with her for the very end, but I know she's in a better place.

She's not suffering and we will always be her family.

I know its just my cat, but I've cried so much today that I keep thinking there are no more tears left.  But they keep coming.

It's not just the loss of our pet.  It's having to walk my children through death.  We've all been very blessed and haven't been profoundly touched by the end of life, but today we had to face it.


Except for being one short, this time.

Snowflake, may your tummy never no hunger, may your face always have someone to scratch it, and I hope there is a fabulous sink to drink an endless stream of crystal clear water from!
You were a good and dear cat and we love you.

#RPGaDay Playing Catchup: Day 7 through 10

7.  Most "intellectual" RPG owned?  Hmmm....Nephilim.  Yeah, I like that answer.

8.  Favorite Character?  Billy Ray Cordite.  A Lawful Dick Paladin of Tyr, who wears shitkickers and says "boy howdy" a lot.  I've only played him twice, but I hope to get more time in with him

9.  Favorite Dice/Dice Set?  My red/blue d20 from my TORG boxes set.

10.  Favorite Tie-In Novel/Game Fiction?  The Companions (Book 1 of the Forgotten Realms Sundering Series) by R.A. Salvatore.  I loved that it focused on Cattie-Brie, Bruenor, and Regis.  I really, really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Brainstorming for 5E: Primeval Thule

I backed Sasquatch Games' Primeval Thule for 4E, 13th Age AND Pathfinder.

The setting sounds spectacular and it's something I plan to run a game in.

It's not higher, at the moment, because it's not out yet.

I've had a list of ideas floating around though since late last year:

Hyll Clans of the Hylands.

Islanders of Crannog on Loch Nis (Think Laketown).

Cave People (Dwarves,).

Moon Folk of Elphame (Drow, who have defiled their lands with Sorcery and now fearing Nyarlathotep's wrath have become nocturnal and live underground where they worship their Spider Goddess, Atlach-Nacha and serve their Queen.  Not going for the traditional pure evil dark elves here, but corruption plagues the males and that is why they are a matriarchal society).

Barbarians of the Raithnoch Moors

Astromancers of Pnom whose tower is located near Cairn (A place where ancient and alien knowledge is whispered to the faithful by beings who wait beyond the stars).

The Elgr (Druids of the Elk-Goddess, Yhoundeh.  Her husband, Nyarlathotep has taught humanity Sorcery).

#RPGaDAY Day 6

Favorite RPG I never get to play?

Call of Cthulhu.  Most of my friends aren't big into the Mythos and playing mundane investigators never REALLY caught onto the groups I've been part of, in the past.

Plus, bad games.  Two spring to mind.  One based on "The Fog" and one where we were told the tone would be like wasn't.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Brainstorming for 5E: Cross Planes

In case you don't know, I chose the name of this blog as an homage to the birthplace of Robert E. Howard, Cross Plains, TX.  I like pulpy action and the title I'm using also adds cross genre action.

But, it was originally a city, much like Grimjack's Cynosure; Nexus, the Infinite City; Sigil; etc.

Essentially Cross Planes is about using the DnD 5E engine to run Rifts.  Maybe even going so far as to take their character classes and applying the Proficiency Bonus.  Or maybe just using 5E's character Classes and 13th Age's One Unique Thing to add that Rifts twist.

Its something I'll dwell on for days and days, but then I'll end up with more traditional fantasy because I haven't been able to make the time I need to work on it further.

#RPGaDay Day 5

Most Old-School RPG owned?

I have the WotC Premium Reproduction of the White Box from last year, but that probably doesn't count.

I have a copy of the original Empire of the Petal Throne.  For years, I held a keen interest in Professor Barker's world and when I finally got my hands on it...I realized it wasn't for me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Brainstorming for 5E: Rise of the Runelords

Yeah, I know this Adventure Path is for Pathfinder, but I've had the hardcover for months and I'd really like to give it a go.

I've tackled a couple of PF conversions of monsters and usually just convert the Ability Scores and special abilities.  I generally eyeball monsters anyway.

I doubt I'll get to do this in 2014 and the new Adventure Path set in Numenia will probably pull my attention away anyway.

But its an excellent product and I'm keen on giving it a go.

Since it appears that my Planescape game will launch friday, I may try to wrangle a PC to be from Golarion so I can leave room for this.

#RPGaDAY Day 4

What was my most recent RPG purchase?

In print its the DnD 5th Edition Starter set, which I'm very fond of.

Digitally, its Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Helm of Tyranny for D&D 5E

Helm of Tyranny

Bards dazzle audiences at inns and taverns throughout the continent with stories from the time that Strongheart the Paladin and Warduke were like brothers; stalwart and faithful companions who warred against the forces of darkness...until the day that Warduke stumbled upon the Helm of Tyranny

Whenever you place the Helm upon your head, you must make a Wisdom save vs DC 14.  On a failure, your alignment immediately shifts to Evil.  

Once the Helm has bonded, you gain a +2 bonus to AC, all saving throws and to intimidation and survival skills.  You also gain dark vision out to 120 feet.  Finally, the Helm grants resistance to necrotic and radiant damage.

Masters of the Universe Monday Extra: Clocksqatch for D&D 5th Edition

I love He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Science fantasy is something I would like to get more time running and it's my favorite genre.  Plus I'm going to blame Trey Causey for this idea, though I don't know why I hadn't seriously thought of it first (guess I'm to busy thinking about Thundarr most days)

It doesn't have to be Eternia, but there is no reason not to use it.

Basically, I'd bolt on Gamma World 7th Edition's Origins onto 5E using this site.

Clocksquatch (Yeti/Temporal)
4th Level Rogue
Follower of Skeletor
Armor Class 15 (Hide Armor; +2 from Temporal)
Hit Points 16 (4d8-4) 
Speed 30 ft.
Initiative +5


   Str        Dex      Con       Int        Wis      Cha
16 (+3)        10 (+0)         8 (-1)         18 (+4)        15 (+2)         7 (-2)

Background Sage
Skills Athletics +4, Arcane +1, History +1, Investigation +3, Perception +6, Stealth +2
Saves Dexterity +2, Intelligence +6
Tools Science!, Thieves' Tools
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Yeti, Hordish, Technobabble, Thieves' Cant
Proficiency +2

Expertise Athletic, Investigation
Sneak Attack +1d6
Cunning Action

Roguish Archetype Thief
Fast Hands
Second-Story Work

Melee Attack—Haymaker +5 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d8+3 bludgeoning damage.

Melee Attack—Claw +5 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature).  
Hit: 1d6 piercing damage.

Melee Attack—Big Claw +5 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d10+3 slashing damage.
You have advantage on this attack and your targets speed is reduced to 10 feet while you remain adjacent.  You must take a short or long rest to use this attack again.

Ranged Attack—Blaster +2 to hit (range 60/180 ft.; one creature).  
Hit: 1d8 radiant damage.

Ranged Attack—Temporal Fugue +5 to hit (range 30/90 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d8+4 radiant damage.
Teleport target 20 feet and they have disadvantage on their next ability check, attack roll or saving throw.

Cold Resistance

Yeti Rage As a bonus action you may heal 7 (3 + Level) hit points and have advantage on your next ability check, attack roll, or saving throw.

Advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks.

Temporal Critical +1d10 radiant damage and teleport target an additional 40 feet.

#RPGaDAY Day 3

First RPG Purchsed?

This is a little complex as well.  The first RPG supplement I purchased was GURPS Wild Cards because I was a HUGE fan of the series.

The first RPG rule book was Champions 4E from Hero Games.  It was the Big Blue Hardcover which very quickly fell apart.  I still have the softcover version and if push came to shove I prefer it over the 5E book and definitely over the 6E rules.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Brainstorming for 5E: Planescape

The PCs are troubleshooters who work for an aasimar named Serendipity (a former Paladin of Dol Dorn) and have been hired to head to a backwater locale in the Astral Plane.

They're tasked with finding a rogue modron named Twonky whose residing on the decapitated head of the dead god, Khnum.  Khnum's corpse was destroyed decades ago in a skirmish between the Githyanki and the mysterious Throng.

Serendipity has a source waiting for them at the Looted Corpse, a tavern in outpost known as Krull.

Serendipity wants Twonky because she believes he can lead her to the Rod of Seven Parts...and a benefactor who can resurrect her family.


When looking at DnD there are quite a few locales to narrow down.  This idea let's me stir it all up and run with it, plus it lets me try the engine out at around 9th level.  Its in the lead at the moment, especially after finding my Planescape Boxed Set from ADnD 2E.

#RPGaDAY Day 2

First RPG Gamemastered?

Champions 4th Edition.  I don't remember the specifics.  I'm sure it dealt with Demolisher (Captain Midknight's archenemy and his group Malefactor).  Hopefully we had fun.  I remember that my goal as a GM was to emulate comics and action movies and to shine the spotlight squarely on the PCs, something I felt our primary GM didn't quite do.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Brainstorming for 5E: Tiamat

So in a week, I'll have the 5th Edition Player's Handbook in my greedy little hands and I'm trying to figure out what setting and adventure I'm going to run.

I won't run the adventure from the Starter Set because I'm playing through it currently.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen looks really promising.  As a fan of the DnD Cartoon, anything involving Tiamat is as cool as anything involving Warduke.  And the Adventurer's League Support material is really cool (I run a WPN store, I have the kits already).

BUT, part of me doesn't want to roll back to Level 1 for my PCs.

And, I'm terrible at prepping published adventures.  Though this one is pretty damn sweet.

Also, I spent May and June getting caught up on all of the recent Forgotten Realms novels and it would let me play in that amusement park.

Finally, since I'll be running this in-store, its very accessible to new players/customers.

#RPGaDAY Blogfest Day 1

I'm joining in this Blogfest, created by David F. Chapman and alerted to me by the great Timothy Brannan.

First RPG Played:  Complex answer here.  It could be TSR's Marvel Super Heroes Basic game, except my buddy Barry and I had no idea what we were doing.  It could be Battletech, because when I got to play it, we each only played a single pilot in a single Mech.  But technically, it's probably Champions 4th Edition.  First RPG I bought, made a character and then actually played.  My first PC was Captain Midknight, who was very loosely based on the Martian Manhunter.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...