Science Fantasy Factions - Oh No! Necro-Tokyo! Go Go Godzilla!
Science Fantasy Factions - Oh No! Necro-Tokyo! Go Go Godzilla! My ongoing Tolkienian Science Fantasy project is all about creating an easy-to-understand "french vanilla" setting by replacing the common character and monster species of fantasy with some well-known examples from science fiction.In personal communication, From the Sorcerer's Skull described the ...
"Game Wizards" Has Arrived!  Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons is the title of the new book by Jon Peterson of Playing at the World fame. I had eagerly awaited it since hearing about it, and had pre-ordered from Amazon, and it ...
Bon Mots - Darkseid & Cinderblock
Bon Mots - Darkseid & Cinderblock Darkseid left his suit at the cleaners, and all the other DC villains mistake him for Cinderblock, who got stuck working overtime at, you guessed it, the dry cleaners, trying to get all the invulnerable super-blood of Darkseid's costume. Cue the ...
Star Wars and Me: Re-Watching The Force Awakens
Star Wars and Me: Re-Watching The Force Awakens  Let me preface this by saying if you hated the Prequels or Sequels I don't care and I don't want to hear from you about it. Kindly scroll on past. If your comments are anti-prequel or anti-sequel, I WILL delete ...
Film Notes: Old Dark Houses
Film Notes: Old Dark Houses Magical Murder Mansion is today's (2021/10/07) DriveThruRPG Deal of the Day. I don't usually do sales but it is October, the month of creaking mansions, secret passages, and elaborate deathtraps. (If it's not 2021/10/07, then it's not on sale).While writing ...
Sutherland Dragon Details
Sutherland Dragon Details As promised in my earlier post about on the exhibit of the Holmes Basic cover art ⁠— aka the Sutherland Dragon ⁠— here are several close-ups of different portions.The FighterThe greens are more apparent, including in details such as the "emeralds" circling the ...
The Worm Ouroboros
The Worm Ouroboros The Worm Ouroboros is a proto-fantasy (the in the genre sense) novel by E. R. Eddison, originally published in 1922. It is an amalgam of mythological traditions, Greco-Roman epic poetry, and invented fantasy worlds. A historian of fantasy literature could ...
Minigame:
Minigame: "In 1973, President Nixon..." I've invented a party game called "In 1973, President Nixon...". Feel free to nick it, adapt it, test it, and improve upon it. Letters of complaint should be sent to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba ...
Why the Sun is Dark and the Realms are Forgotten
Why the Sun is Dark and the Realms are Forgotten From the Sorcerer's Skull's recent posts about Dark Sun have gotten me musing about the relationship between the world of Dark Sun and other fantasy worlds within the WOTC orrery.Magic in Dark Sun is scarce, and comes at a high price, ...
Last-Minute d6 Dungeons: Map Glyphs
Last-Minute d6 Dungeons: Map Glyphs I’m looking at the Last-Minute d6 Dungeons series (links below) and wanting to simplify it some more… but also, wanting to make it more readable.Here’s what I mean: I plan on creating customizable dungeon maps that use these techniques. It ...
Raiders of the Lost Artifacts: New Backgrounds and Alternate Skill System
Raiders of the Lost Artifacts: New Backgrounds and Alternate Skill System A few quick ideas.New BackgroundsBlue CollarThe character has extensive experience as a factory worker, in commercial fishing, construction, taxi driver, postal worker, and other jobs not considered a desk job. When dealing with a situation that falls into a skill ...
OSR: Baboons, Goblins, and Bicameral Kobolds
OSR: Baboons, Goblins, and Bicameral Kobolds  Baboons are special creatures.On the one hand there's the view of someone like Robert Ardrey that primate social competition is all about, who's got the biggest canines, the most muscle, and the biggest balls. This view is straight-ahead and deterministic. ...
Ethereal Components
Ethereal Components The way I run magic in D&D, M-Us use common, easy-to-get “material components” as spell ingredients during their spell prep (not during spell casting.) This helps explain why there is even a need for spell prep and why it is ...
Safety Tools I have a weird relationship with safety tools. On the one hand, I absolutely see their usefulness and think they are important for a certain type of game. On the other hand, I don't play with explicit safety tools during ...
Portable Holes in a One-Plane Universe
Portable Holes in a One-Plane Universe There’s a question about portable holes on the OD&D forums: do you treat it as a Bag of Holding, or just a temporary hole? The question assumes in both cases that there’s an extra-dimensional space involved, as mentioned in the ...
Advice for Running Horror Games
Advice for Running Horror Games  The advice here was written for a side project I struck up work on this week called The Manse of Bad Memories. After chewing on what "horror OSR" looks like, I think this advice is broadly applicable. Advice for EveryoneIf you ...
OSR: Book Entrances and Exits
OSR: Book Entrances and Exits It might be useful to consider a book as a physical space through which the reader's attention wanders.Entrance: where the reader starts reading.Exit: where the reader stops reading. It's not the only tool for designing an RPG book, and it ...
Ten Years of the Zenopus Archives
Ten Years of the Zenopus Archives Ten years ago today, I made the first post to this blog, "What lies in the (undiscovered) deeper levels where Zenopus met his doom?", which was titled after Holmes' question in the coda to the Sample Dungeon. It was essentially ...
Concerning the OSR, Everything is All Right.
Concerning the OSR, Everything is All Right. Over the summer and recently I seen posts and opinions on the direction of the Old School Renaissance or OSR. Just keep in mind that due to how it came about. A result of discussion and sharing on the Internet ...
The Ruined Tower of Zenopus: September Starter Sale
The Ruined Tower of Zenopus: September Starter Sale DMs Guild is having a "September Starter Sale", with select introductory adventures up to 30% off through September 7th, and The Ruined Tower of Zenopus has been selected, so it is currently only $1.39!As a reminder, if you missed the announcement last fall, the ...
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN - 5 Days Left on the Night Companion Kickstarter!
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN - 5 Days Left on the Night Companion Kickstarter!  Happy Monday, everyone! I considered posting a link to the video for that song, but I decided not to. You're welcome for that, by the way. But in all seriousness, here we go, folks! 5 days left to go on ...
Dice Dragon (New Monster)
Dice Dragon (New Monster) TSR's Dragon Dice (1981). Art by Jim Roslof. Detail of photo by Brian Stillman as found hereDice DragonMove: 60 feet/turn, 240 feet/turn flyingHit Dice: 1+1Armor Class: 2Treasure Type: QAlignment: neutral (75%)/chaotic good (25%)Attacks: 1 biteDamage: 1d6These winged but legless micro-dragons, purple-and-blue ...
The Cubes That Saved Everyone
The Cubes That Saved Everyone  The Time of Fire and Madness had finally come, and the whole world strained underneath it. Strange lights fell from the night sky, started strange fires, and then leapt away again.  Many summoned them, but not one of the Serpents responded.  ...
A Wilderness of Building
A Wilderness of Building frus·trat·ed fan·ta·sy nov·el·ist, n. A caricature of a tabletop roleplaying referee who has developed a complex imaginary world, or particular plot, and would really much rather show players around or tell a predetermined story than play a game.
From Piranesi’s ...
Blogs on Tape 4 - Resources 4 All
Blogs on Tape 4 - Resources 4 All Nick LS Whelan has started the fourth season of his Blogs on Tape podcast, and I'm honored to have one of my posts included as the first episode of the new season!You can listen to the episode at Episode 89 ...
The Night Companion is LIVE ON KICKSTARTER!
The Night Companion is LIVE ON KICKSTARTER!  We Are LIVE!Well, folks, we launched this morning and are ROCKETING towards funding on day one! If we can make it, that would be an amazing birthday present for me. I'm thrilled to see it doing so well, and hope ...
Coming Soon: The Night Companion for Night Shift: VSW
Coming Soon: The Night Companion for Night Shift: VSW   They Walk Beside You in the Night...The Night Companion is the first sourcebook for the Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Role Playing Game, the old-school RPG of Chosen Ones, Witches, Survivors, Psychics, and Something Weird. Within its pages, you ...
Bones of Contention
Bones of Contention I recently joined the Skeleton Crew of a new blogging enterprise - Bones of Contention.  The overall goal of the blog is to serve as a repository of reviews written by a group of people who have at least somewhat similar taste ...
Elf Lair Games at Gary Con
Elf Lair Games at Gary Con  Elf Lair Games is at Gary Con!Hey, folks, Elf Lair Games is at Ethereal Gary Con XIII, and yours truly is a convention special guest. Of course, I'm also still a Troll Lord Games guy so I'm involved with their ...
You Died
You Died You Died is a book about Dark Souls, written by a pair of game journalists. It was first published as a simple paperback and then reimagined as a deluxe hardcover funded by a Kickstarter campaign. The book is printed offset ...

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