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This film is *sumptuous*, with massive set pieces, extensive green screen to make those set pieces feel even bigger, and sweeping music practically all the time.

Unfortunately, it feels like a movie aggressively storyboarded that should have been more edited later. Some subplots that could have been trimmed down to the benefit of the film's overall pace.

The fleet attacks a castle -- which is defended by, among other things, an arrow gatling gun and rotating cannon turrets -- which hoists a lady up to the top of a tower. The lady proceeds to *sing*.

They also have a device that focuses the sun into a laser. Which causes things to explode.

*Damn*, this movie.

I am currently watching a movie that *opens* with a shot of an airship -- as in, a galleon -- flying through the sky, then fades to shots of a *fleet* of airships. Damn.

(The movie is "To The Ends of Time." More as I watch more.)

Monday: Crystal Brute

We've been creating monsters based on a gem mine that just so happens to sit on a ley line, which breathes simple life into the crystals there. We've already made simpler threats; let's create a more deadly monster, with a brute. The previous two had simple lightning attacks, and I think this time we'll go with more traditional bashing attacks supplemented with lightning damage.

More here:

* Friday: The Blue Flame*

If you're raising an army and need an edge, call on the Blue Flame. A rising name in the mercenary trade, this tight-knit group of mages have taught themselves combat-oriented magic, and integrate themselves well into existing armies. Their spells invigorate and revitalize those around them, and they can cast destructive spells covering wide areas.

More here:

Monday: Crystal Wyrm

Last week, we created a gem mine that just so happens to sit on a ley line, which has the unfortunate propensity to breathe simple life into the crystals there. Miners now have to contend with crystalline monsters that range from annoyance to grave danger.

Today's monster sits squarely in the center of that spectrum: the crystal wyrm. Its lightning attack increases in intensity the more crystal wyrms are about.

More here:

My new favorite design tool is Scribus, a desktop publishing app. I've started writing games in it, oddly.

Designing a game by thinking about where things should go on a page -- how much space to devote to the core mechanic and how long an example should be -- clarifies my thinking about what's important. It also forces me to think about important supplemental information.

It helps that I tend to write very small games.

Friday: The Blackblades

A relentlessly efficient group of mercenaries and smugglers operating out of a major port city, they're a motley bunch who favor dark clothes and one curious harmony: each carries a blade with a dark gray or black blade.

When they spill blood, these blades glow with mystic power, a feature that brings the band significant trouble. It's hard to slip unnoticed past a guard when one's weapon is shining like a torch.

More here:

As promised, here's a little writeup on generating island shapes on a hex grid with just d6 and a pencil:

Shoutout to @kensanata for his Text Mapper making this 99% easier to come up with!

Monday: Crystal Wasp

Today's monster is a bit of a challenge. I want a tough creature that's size "tiny." It's hard to envision a dangerous, tiny creature that can only bite your feet.

Let's go nice and fantastical and create a crystalline creature. Imagine a precious gem mine that also sits on a ley line, which sometimes breathes life into the gems, turning them into insect-like creatures that flitter about the caves.

More here:

Friday: The Invisible Hand (forgot to post this last Friday)

There are rumors of a strange cabal that meets outside the city. They all wear metal masks, and they work to gain control of everything. One might be blackmailing half the cloth merchants, another might be the most successful goldsmith in the city, while another might be the judge.

Those who whisper about this cabal call them the Invisible Hand.

Read more here:

* Monday: A Magma Monster For Any Level*

Today, instead of creating a creature for just one level or challenge rating, I decided to design a set of abilities that the DM can adjust to a variety of levels.

More here:

Who actually made sure that things got done in a Medieval town? While there were a lot of different roles and responsibilities, three stand out: the steward (who administered the money and lands), the bailiff or sheriff (responsible for justice), and the reeve (who managed actual public work projects). Each of them can be useful for a group of player-characters.

More here:

It's always useful to have a generic system in your back pocket, especially one that you can memorize in its entirety *and* that has some interesting mechanics.

Enter minimal d6:

Character creation: roll 1d6 for each core attribute that makes sense for your setting. Pick a class that gives you 2 skills, or choose 2 skills from a list.

Core mechanic: Roll 2d6 as a dice pool; 5 or 6 are successes. If you have an appropriate skill, roll 3d6; if at disadvantage, roll 1d6.

"CHRONICLES & COMMONS" #0x13, with Brent Newhall as guest.

I just finished listening to this episode. Excellent interview, and quite inspiring!

Brent is a funny, creative, prolific guy, with a unique vision. (And the overview of planes-walking rangers at the end of the episode is worth your time, all on its own!)

@klaatu @BrentNewhall

Monday: One Who Walks Between

This week's monster is an inter-planar traveler who finds and guards portals, inspired by the Horizon Walker Ranger from Xanathar's Guid to Everything. Its abilities include some tricky short-range teleportation.

More here, including a D&D 5E stat block:

Friday: Those Who Walk Between

Heavily cloaked and nearly always wielding staves or other pike weapons, these mysterious entities will stay overnight at a tavern in one country, then appear at a farmhouse hundreds of miles away the next day. Most are quiet types, but some open up to those who bribe them with a good drink or three, and tell stories of wild adventures on other worlds and realms of existence.

Read more:

I should clarify: Police as we know them today weren't invented in European society until the 1800's. 😄

Police weren't invented until the 1800's. So how were criminals caught in Medieval times, and how can you use that to your advantage in your tabletop RPG?

n Medieval England, every 12-year-old boy went through a sort of coming-of-age ceremony in front of the local bailiff, where he was placed in a "tithing." A tithing was 10-20 people who enforced law on each other. If one was accused of a crime, they all ensured he appeared in court or they'd all get fined.

More here:

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