Tome of Knowledge

Tome of Knowledge

Casting a pod

April 2013Posted by Sir Keith Tue, April 30, 2013 14:18:20

Welcome to the weekly update from the RPG universe. Before I start there is some sad news to share. Margaret Weis Productions and Marvel have parted ways. This means the current Marvel Heroic System will stop publication as of now! Interestingly the PDFs have already been withdrawn from DriveThruRPG. It is a shame as the system was very interesting and I found the source books to be very informative. I think this will become a treasure soon that collectors and gamers will want for years to come... Get your's while you can.

Just a quick note this week on some of the podcasts that are out there and the content that you may find interesting:

Firstly for those in good old blighty, the GMS Magazine podcast has released a series of recordings from the seminars from Conpulsion. This is a growing convention that is held each year in Edinburgh, Scotland. There are three seminars presented here:

World building – This design your own world. There are

Landscape art with Paul Bourne and Paul Canavan

Kevin Beimers talks about italic pig and the new game – Stroichinders cat

Deimonorum – A new RPG concept that the host Paco is introducing. He has an outline for the design of the system and how it would work (that is built along the lines of Savage Worlds)

WOTC have continued to release their actual play podcasts in the Mines of Madness. As I mentioned last week, this scenario is part of the latest Next release and they use the Next system in the game.

Haste is a podcast released by the Obsidian Portal crew. They give a quick 30min update on the latest gaming news and some of the features that have caught their attention on the Web. They also give some good tips on using their site and how to get the most from recording your campaign. The latest (April 25th) talk about how to make games fun – from an excellent little feature on Gnome Stew - and also includes a discussion on the current kickstarter campaign for “The Worst Dungeon Crawl”.

Critical Hits is an actual play D&D 4E podcast by the people from the Major Spoilers Website. They have taken their characters on a unique adventure, based in the DM’s own world, from lst level up to the current 12th. The scope of the adventure has been quite epic, but also they take time to run through rules and the explain some of the more complex rules. Also when levelling up their characters, they will also explain how to do this and why they make certain decisions.

Save or Die – is a long going podcast about the original D&D. If you have any questions then they will have the answers. The same crew (with certain additions) also make Roll for Initiative and THAC0’s Hammer. Both these do the same for 1st and 2nd editions of Dungeons and Dragons respectively.

For those with a Pathfinder itch, I would recommend Chronicles : a Pathfinder podcast. They have dived deeply into Adventure Paths, giving encounter by encounter advice and actual play examples. They have split it into a section for all and a section for DM’s only. This can mean that player’s can listen to part of the cast without having the adventure spoilt, while DM’s can get some excellent advice and tips for running the adventure.

I do not listen to Cthulhu and never found a One Ring podcast so over to you – who do you recommend and who would you not listen too as well??

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Week 3 - news news news

April 2013Posted by Sir Keith Tue, April 23, 2013 09:39:30

Greetings from the dark dank confines of Ashford in the South Eastern corner of the UK. Just to let you know that we have completed our plans for UK expo. I will be playing in an Achtung Cthulhu game on Friday night and a Tunnels and Trolls on the Saturday. I look forward to playing in these games and will give a full report on my return. I will also be assisting the podcasters in their forums and chats, as a committed member of the UKGamers Network. If you are in Birmingham, please stop by and say hi. We are also play-testing the latest games from Sir Steve’s fevered brow – Wiziots. A mix of chariot racing and wizard combat….. Oh and not forgetting Every Round Counts that we are releasing to Kickstarter at the show!

I am also getting through the PDF’s from my backing of the ENWorld Kickstarter. The first PDF is Tournaments and Fairs. This gives rules, ideas and tips for running these in pathfinder or D&D (though you could expand this to any system). These are really interesting and not an area I have really thought of exploring previously. I will give you an update and where you can find it in a later update….

A slow week this week in the RPG omniverse (if there really is one). However this is what happened so far:

Dungeons and Dragons

A small patch was released this week for D&D Next. This had the monster stats for the S-Series of modules, recently released by WOTC as the Dungeons of Dread. One of the best parts is that there are monster stats for iconic creatures not currently in the Next Bestiary, so it gives more options for my own campaign. Also the chance to now run these iconic scenarios in my Next campaign may be more than I can resist (though I will use the original scenarios rather than this book…. Find out why in my review of the book here). I also look forward to the next book set of the A-series, which will have an additional mini scenario that will be unique to the book.

Also released is the Mines of Madness – a 3rd level Next adventure, which was initially released for PAXEast. To be warned: “The dungeon is tragically stacked in the DM’s favour and built to frustrate, maim, humble and ultimately kill adventurers. But if the players band together and use their brains, with a little luck their characters might survive to tell the tale of how they descended into the Mines of Madness in search of the Forever Stone and prevailed”. There is also an actual play podcast from WOTC with players working through this awesome adventure. I would recommend listening and reading the module as it is pure entertainment. However only play this as a one-off as it will kill PC’s – without mercy!!!


The Reign of Winter continues to expand with the third book just about to be released. I am enjoying reading this interesting spin on the normal adventure path, with characters now in the Walking Hut – where will this lead to and in the fantasy equivalent of the TARDIS, how does the GM keep them on track??

The next Pathfinder Society Organised Play campaign has been named – Year of the Demon . Please wait and I will find out as much as possible and update you all in the near future.

Call of Cthulhu

With the successful financing of Achtung Cthulhu and the stretch goals in the bag, the additional add-ons are now being made available. I have ordered the player guider and gamesmaster guide, along with Shadows of Atlantis, Assault on the Mountains of Madness plus guides to the Eastern Front, the Pacific and North African settings. All these have been ordered in hardback, for the Cthulhu system (FATE was also available). Obviously there will be a long time for these to be published but I hope to chat directly with Chris Birch, one of the main designers, at Birmingham.

The One Ring – and other RPG News

No update for TOR this week – The Darkening of Mirkwood and Heart of the Wild are scheduled for later this year and Rivendell(??) will be at the end of the year – or early next year. See more detail of these titles on their own dedicated page.

Larry Elmore is looking to release Sovereign Stone setting for Pathfinder. I bought an old copy of the source book at Birmingham last year (never know what treasures you will stumble upon at the Bring and Buy).

Dwarven Forge’s game tiles is about to run out on Kickstarter and about to hit the $1m mark – an amazing amount with some very cool stretch goals…. I would recommend if you can afford it (and your wife wouldn’t kill you!!).

Pathfinder has also announced White Dragon Evolution – Three unique white dragon sculpts in a non-random box – available as part of their Pathfinder Battle miniatures this summer. Also Skulls and Shackles minis will be released soon. Keep an eye out for We Be Goblins – coming in June, with the iconic Pathfinder goblin sculpts. This gives me an opportunity to show my favourite goblin mini – Ripnugget (I ordered him especially from the states!).

OK – that’s me for this week – thanks for reading and hope you found this interesting.

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The adventure continues....

April 2013Posted by Sir Keith Fri, April 12, 2013 12:15:58

This week I have several things to relate. Firstly I got two new products – the first being the Dungeons of Dread (full review in my D&D part) and the second being the part two of the new Pathfinder adventure path, Reign of Winter. I have also ordered the new Pathfinder Campaign guide (still not arrived – the pains of getting it cheaper from Amazon!!). You would never guess I am scaling down the spend before UK Expo…. Don’t tell the wife!!!!!

In regards to the UK Expo, we have our T Shirts and business cards arrived. I have also got note pads and pens for the team to use. Please look out for us at the expo and come and chat. I will also be supporting the podcast guys as part of the UK Games media team and promoting this site (and the game Every Round Counts) as much as possible. However you all will be the ones to make the site so please post comments and grow the hobby with me.

This week I also kicked off my new D&D Next campaign with the guys from Thirstyknight. It is quite a large group, 6 players!! But it is a chance to try the different classes and races and give the new rules a good airing. What was very surprising was to receive the latest survey from WOTC within 30 mins of finishing (big brother is watching….).

I am basing the campaign on the Steven Erikson books, with some pathfinder mixed in. The party are actually a squad from the Letharian Empire. There are no such things as adventure groups and the squads investigate any strange or troubling occurrences. The party has a captain, sergent and corporal and there is a different level of information for each type. As I explained it too my group, it is Colonial Marines meets Lord of the Rings!! (Though they preferred Dads Army vs Call of Cthulhu.)

Just a note on Kickstarter – Fox and Chicken (a werewolf game) is the only open one I am currently backing. The add-ons and the stretch goals are a lot of fun – Wesley Clucker a favourite of mine!! Please have a look and consider backing. I have spoken with Michael Fox, the designer, and we are arranging several games at the UK Expo…… look forward to it!!

Just a final note on the site. I continue to add data and add design improvements. I am not a programmer and do have a job and children so time is limited. I am trying to get everything working and at least have core data in there for each of the pages. Anything you want to see, please contact me. In the meantime – please bear with me…..

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April 2013Posted by Sir Keith Fri, April 05, 2013 07:33:13

Firstly welcome to the first blog of this new site. I hope that you enjoy the site and at least find something here that is of use to you. I am not trying to support every RPG out there so if there is something you wish to see, add, or be featured let me know. The main thing is that I am not funded and I am totally independent. I started the Thirsty Knight group with my friends and now that has taken off, with a game coming soon on Kickstarter. However RPG is my first love, as it has been since my brother bought me the red box set back in 1984.

So the first thing to talk about is Gygax magazine. Those of you that have seen this advertised over the past few months on other sites may be wondering what it is about. The magazine finally hit my mat a few days ago and I have already read through most of the features. Not to say it isn’t packed – 64 pages of goodness – rather I was so engrossed that I spent hours reading them and absorbing them. The main features are by Gary Gygax’s family and friends. They cover the development (Cosmology) of RPG’s over the years, the future of RPGs, DMing for toddlers and the use of virtual tabletops. This magazine is a real heady mixture of fun and serious features – really like an old style Dragon or Imagine (for those of us that remember that far back). I can only recommend this to you all and hope you support it. I am very excited about the next issue!

D&D Next has released the latest play test. It has rules for Rangers, Druids and Paladins but has also totally revised every other class. I aim to start a campaign with Next over future weeks and months but I am very upset that the revision meant I have had to review every character and start again with them all!! However I am nearly done so watch this space as I explain the campaign and tell of the sessions in the months to come.

With D&D in mind, I have to mention the latest from WOTC’s Dungeon Command. The Blood of Gruumsh is a real disappointment. This is the first set to include totally new and unique figures but to be honest the painting is dreadful. The Ogre looks nothing like this ones in other sets and the wereboar is just embarrassing. I have loved the other sets and though it plays well as the rest, in the only game of it I have played we spent more time mocking the lack of painting and the inability to put eyes in the proper places that the game play past us by. Avoid this set and get the undead, Drow or Cormyr – these are the best three by miles (though the Troll and Devil in the goblin set is worth a look).

Finally a quick word on Kickstarter. I have so far backed five products (Dice Tower, EnWorld, Dungeon Roll, Fox and Chicken and Achtung Cthulhu). All but the fox have finished and I am looking forward to the cool books/PDFs I will be getting. I will review them all and let you know any that are worth your further time...

OK – first post done. Hope you enjoyed it and will speak to you all next week……

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