Grimalkin: A New Adventure for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Strange Doings in the Sultan’s Charnel House Grimalkin is here! Lo! The corpse of poor, departed Scholar Zubayr, washed up on the shores of the River of Sand, lies in the charnel house… destined to become dinner for a cult of cannibals. Though distasteful in the extreme, this isn’t your concern—except that Princess Karima Gamila, the most beautiful gnoll in Per-Bastet, has begged you to rescue her friend’s body and help discover his fate....

Under the City: Lada’s Temple

Under the City presents opportunities to add new layers to your urban adventuring… Lada’s Temple stands prominent among the city’s buildings, made all the more visible by a gilded marble statue perched atop its vaulted roof. The statue is of Lada, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. A sheaf of wheat is braided into her long hair, twisting as it flows down her body, modestly concealing her form, though parting to reveal her...

The Far Side of the Table: Who’s Telling the Story Here?

Welcome to the table. Tonight, my players split up across the town, and unfortunately, each wound up involved in deadly assassination plots. For a GM, a session like this may sound like a nightmare—multiple simultaneous fights across a split party. Yet as the night developed, I discovered an effective way to get the players to tell the outcome of their conflicts. Today, we talk about Narrative Authority and its effect at the table. Val and...

The Far Side of the Table: What’s on the Horizon

Welcome to the table. This is the final part of a three-part installment of The Far Side of the Table about “teching” your game. In earlier parts, we discussed how you can use projectors to digitize the table and how GMs can turn tablets and cellphones into roleplaying opportunities. In this article, I focus on possible futures for technology at the table. Let’s talk about some successful uses of technology at the table and the implications of...

The Far Side of the Table: “Teching” the Table

Upgrading the Game: “Teching” the Table There is an enormous amount of technology that can be added to the table. Initiative trackers, digital character sheets, rulebook PDFs, and virtual dice rollers make up a small number of possible additions players or GMs may use. Throughout this installment, I work to describe my own adventures in using technology. Each article focuses on a different piece of technology, discussing its...

The Egg Thief, Part 2: A Sidetrek

Pernicious Template (and 3 examples) Pernicious Creature (CR +0 or +1) Creatures with the pernicious template live anywhere evil fey are found. Pernicious creatures acquire the physical characteristics (such as green feathers, fur, or scales, and red spots), locomotion, and feeding habits of the pernicious platypus. A pernicious creature’s CR increases by +1 only if the base creature has 5 or more HD.   Rebuild Rules: Senses gains...

The Far Side of the Table: “Click! Now What?”

“Click! Now What?” Our heroes find themselves standing in the Tangle, a sprawling market square filled with local merchants and their patrons. Before them sits one of the city’s grand masters, Lady Rena Ambar, master of brewers. She waves them to join her at the small plaza table, topped with fine foods. Welcome to the table. In my quest to learn better ways to GM, I discovered a tip mentioned by the writer, The Angry GM, called a “Click Trap.”...

Medieval Urbanism: Fantasy Transmutations of Medieval Urbanism

Fantasy Transmutations of Medieval Urbanism Deep, exhaustive knowledge of the functions, shapes, styles, structures, and topologies of the medieval city is, irritatingly, not enough to guarantee the birth of places as unique, believable, and awe-inspiring as, say, Tolkien’s Gondor. Such feats of the imagination are indeed rare, but knowing where to draw upon, not being afraid to allow the rich history of cities to inspire you, and...

Dunsany & Dragons: Adventures from English Literature

Adventures from English Literature Lord Dunsany’s (1878–1957) works have been cited as sources of inspiration for the most famous fantasy roleplaying game since its first edition in the late 70s. His short tales, in particular, are really “fantasy” in the modern sense: most of them follow the “hero’s journey” model, involving young brave adventurers involved in situations dealing with magic swords, monsters, spells, and...

Writing a Better Homebrew Campaign: Linear and Nonlinear Worlds

So you want to create your own campaign for your players? You want to craft adventures with thrilling action, compelling characters, and rich plot hooks? With cliffhangers and twists, treachery and redemption, complexity and surprises around every corner? A living, breathing world to explore with your friends? We want to help you do just that. Part 3, Linear and Nonlinear Worlds An understanding of linear narrative structure is something many...

The Egg Thief: A Sidetrek

The Egg Thief: The Purloining Pernicious Platypus While visiting a provincial festival, an eccentrically dressed man wearing a leather helmet and goggles approaches the PCs. His name is Halm Hogarth, and he takes the PCs aside, saying he needs their help with an investigation. A large number of chicken eggs have disappeared from several farms east of town. Worse, he is also missing two hippogriff eggs. When the PCs arrive at the hamlet, they...

The Far Side of the Table: The Frying Pan or the Fire?

The Frying Pan or the Fire? Welcome back to the table. In this session, the adventurers accidentally found their way into a nest of 6 vampire spawn that I had prepared for later in the story. The adventurers were all level 3, each vampire was level 5. My players were destined to lose. What do you do when an encounter is too hard? What adjustments can you make in the middle of combat to scale the scene down to more reasonable odds? Wednesday...

Medieval Urbanism: The Labyrinthine Realities of the Medieval City, A Designer’s Primer

The Labyrinthine Realities of the Medieval City City planner and historian Lewis Mumford famously recognized the essence of medieval urbanism in “the secrecy and the surprise, the sudden opening and the lift upwards, the richness of the carved detail.” It is that very essence, along with the mysteries fantasy tradition has constructed within it, that makes the medieval city a great environment to roleplay in, and a constant source of...

Midgard Expanded: The Travels of Lucano Volpe, or Captured by Monks

Part 8, Captured by the Monks of Leng Woe and calamity! Imagine the worst that might befall a traveler, and that thought pales in comparison to what has happened to Agosto and I! Desert duststorms drove us Northward for three more days in clouds of choking grit and sand. But on the fourth day, the sky cleared, and it was then that we saw the black city lurking at the base of the cliff-like mountains. We stopped to refill our waterskins at an...

Writing a Better Homebrew Campaign: Different Ways to Tell Your Story

So you want to create your own campaign for your players? You want to craft adventures with thrilling action, compelling characters, and rich plot hooks? With cliffhangers and twists, treachery and redemption, complexity and surprises around every corner? A living, breathing world to explore with your friends? We want to help you do just that. We’ve looked at where ideas might come from. Now, it’s time to think about how to tell...


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