All posts by theworstdm

Minion Motivation

As a Game Master you probably spend a fair amount of time creating a Big Bad for your adventures. Part of this creation involves coming up with a motivation for this Big Bad. By determining why they do the things they do it is easier for you to determine how they will act in different situations. Motivation is an important aspect in creating well-rounded characters in your game. But, have you ever stopped to think about the motivations for the minions that serve the Big Bad? These NPC’s are often just nameless cannon fodder. We trot them out for the PC’s to fight without a second thought as to why they are fighting.  However, a minion’s motivation defines their actions just as much as the Big Bad.  Continue reading Minion Motivation

Monks in Space: The Tsunami

A few weeks back I received a question from George Cameron. Take it away, George!

I actually have a request of you, if you do that sort of thing. Would you be willing to do a conversion of the Tsunami and/or Locust from the Realmspace book? I’m about to start using your material in our 5E Kara-Tur game, and I thought having a carrier battle with this monstrosity would be fun. I hope it isn’t rude of me to ask!

It’s not rude at all. I’m more than happy to help. First some background. Realmspace was the second Spelljammer Accessory product released for 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It was written by Dale “Slade” Henson.  Realmspace provided Dungeon Masters and players with the tools to bring Spelljammer rules into the Forgotten Realms, one of D&D’s most popular settings. This supplement introduced two new types of Spelljammer ships, the Locust and the Tsunami, that originated from Kara-Tur. Kara-Tur was originally its own D&D setting based off of medieval Asian culture. However, in 2nd Edition AD&D Kara-Tur was officially made part of the Forgotten Realms. If you’re interested, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide has information about Kara-Tur for 5E . Okay, enough of that. Let’s get to it! I will be covering the Tsunami in this post and will detail the Locust in a future post.
Continue reading Monks in Space: The Tsunami

Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters Review

It’s no secret that I am a fan of the Tiny Frontiers RPG. I am also a fan of anything involving Giant Robots or Kaiju. Therefore, I was excited to hear that Tiny Frontiers was getting an expansion that would include both.  I backed the Kickstarter (since apparently I back every RPG Kickstarter) and received my copy of the book back in February. I read through it right away, but haven’t shared my thoughts on the game until now.

Continue reading Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters Review

5e Critical Misses Table

Apparently I rolled a natural 1 yesterday when I posted the 5e Critical Hits table as the Critical Misses table. Today I am posting the actual Critical Misses table. As with the Critical Hits table I am offering this up as an optional rule for your 5e Dungeons & Dragons game. Some of the results on this table are extreme. So make sure that your group is fully on board before introducing this into your game. Feel free to customize it in whatever way fits your game. Otherwise, happy gaming!

Continue reading 5e Critical Misses Table

Bedlam Hall Kickstarter

Well, they’ve gone and done it now, haven’t they? David Kizzia, one of the twisted minds at Monkeyfun Studios, reached into the inky depths of his imagination and drew forth Bedlam Hall, a new game of macabre Victorian role-playing. And, you, the unquestioning acolytes, powerful to resist his dark sorcery, answered the call to support the Kickstarter for the game.  Shamefully, I must confess to being weak myself and giving in to the siren song. But, I am not here to lament the decisions of the past; I am here to bring a message of hope for the future!

Unfortunately, I am too late to prevent Monkeyfun Studios from bringing Bedlam Hall and all the calamity it will carry with it into the world. The Blackwood family still holds much influence over the generous though misguided denizens of Kickstarter. However, there is still hope that we can prevent the horrors of Bedlam Hall from leeching out into our reality. That hope is Gruel Truck.

What is Gruel Truck? Very simply,  it’s an RPG where you play a retired adventure working in a food truck. Like the movie Chef, but with John Rhys-Davies instead of Jon Favreau.  If the campaign reaches the $20,000 funding goal every backer above $15 will receive a copy of Gruel Truck! Backers who opted for a physical copy of Bedlam Hall will receive a physical copy of Gruel Truck and a paper hat!

David and his minions at Monkeyfun have left a glaring weakness in their campaign to infect our minds with the horrible mysteries of Bedlam Hall. Gruel Truck will fill us with such light that the crooked shadow of that other game will never be able to darken our souls again. It won’t be easy, though. The Bedlam Hall Kickstarter only has eight more days until funding is closed. Now is our moment. Now is when fight back against the darkness. Do it for the children. Do it for humanity! Support Bedlam Hall and BRING GRUEL TRUCK TO LIFE!

Cold Shadows Kickstarter

I am a big believer in backing tabletop gaming projects on Kickstarter. I’m willing to accept the small amount of risk involved in crowdfunding projects. However, I feel much better when I can throw my support behind a project from creators with a proven record of success. That’s why I was happy to back Cold Shadows, a new game project from Alan Bahr. I have discussed Alan’s minimalist science fiction game, Tiny Frontiers and its expansion Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters here before. Cold Shadows will be his first game since he joined Nocturnal Media. I had an opportunity to correspond with Alan over the last week and pick his brain on the new game and what’s on the horizon for him and Nocturnal Media. Continue reading Cold Shadows Kickstarter

Awarding Noncombat Experience

“Dragons! Shall we slay them for XP rewards?” “Nay, establishing trade routes is all the reward we seek.”

A few months back I wrote a post about why you should switch over from awarding experience points to milestone leveling.  One of the comments on that post was “I love math so I want to still use XP leveling, but I’m also building a campaign with little to no combat in it. How can I award non-combat XP?” The Dungeon Master’s Guide does cover this subject briefly under Creating Encounters (pg. 80) and Noncombat Challenges (pg. 261), but I am more than happy to provide my take on the subject. Continue reading Awarding Noncombat Experience

Shadow of the Demon Lord: RPG Backlog

The Demon Lord wears many masks. It is the One Foretold,
the Destroyer of Worlds, the Hunger, the Shuddering One,
the One Who Whispers, the Shadow in the Void, the Dark
Between the Stars, and the Unspeakable One. Its will alone
snuffs out the stars and its shadow ends realities.

In this edition of RPG Backlog I will be looking at Shadow of the Demon Lord, the first game designed by Robert J. Schwalb for his company Schwalb Entertainment. You may recognize Schwalb from his extensive resume of game design that includes multiple editions of Dungeons & Dragons, Numenera, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and the Song of Ice and Fire roleplaying game.  He started his own company in 2014 and Shadow of the Demon Lord is the first of what will hopefully be many games from that company. Continue reading Shadow of the Demon Lord: RPG Backlog