Breaking the Game II: The Secret Player

This will instantly turn your next adventure into a thing of legend.

It's Not Better to Burn Out!

How to never burn out as a Dungeon Master.

A Pirate's Life

High seas adventure in 5th edition!

Breaking the Game: Slaying Dungeon Masters

Do you know what every Dungeon Master's afraid of?

Heroic Journey II: Rising Action

The next stage of your heroic journey.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Had a great time DMing last night. However, there was one frustrating encounter where the players were surprised by a Remhorhaz. The wizard's response was hold monster, and that was pretty much the end of the encounter. The monster was not proficient in any saving throws whatsoever, meaning it needed a natural 18 or higher in the die to break free. My challenging battle had become a game of teeball. What was the real problem here? Was it that the monster had no proficient saves? Or was the real problem spellcasting itself?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Board Game Campaigns

Got to play the Forbidden Stars Board Game the past two weekends. It's got a bit of a learning curve, but once you get past it your in for an exciting game. My first time with it was basically a throw away since we were all getting used to the rules. There are layers upon layers of strategic depth here. That's why I'm just going to go over a few of the finer points of the second game, and how it ties into using board game / campaign mashups.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Building A Game Table VI

I'm edging ever closer to completion! This weekend got the curves for top level of the table completed. Since these are going to be open both sides need to be finished. The radius was off a little bit so it took painstaking corrections to get them fitting correctly by adding thin strips of veneer. There was a lot of going back and forth to cut off minute shaving of the ends as well. With it being a curved piece, got this jig put together to make it easier to cut.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Building a Game Table V


This time we're working on the top tier. Both table halves are all sanded and ready to go. Naturally, the next step was to flip 'em over and clamp 'em.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Building a Game Table IV

Progress moves ever onward! Today got the curved corners glued up to the veneers and then attached them to the table. Notice all the clamps? If you're gluing then you need clamps, because clamps are a woodworker's best friend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Building a Game Table III

The work on this project has continued, despite not being able to do so as often as I'd like. Last weekend was a shopping expedition to get some of necessities, like stains, varnish, clasps, etc. Below are images of of the stain I picked out, General Finishes "Georgian Cherry" . Here it is on the red oak.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A New World

Recently, my Glorious Bastards campaign wrapped up and now I’m preparing for the next one with many lessons learned. First lesson, don’t invite players until the campaign is completely prepared. In ‘Bastards, the city was fleshed out as were a few locations outside the city. I intended for the campaign to take almost entirely in the city. The one thing I never saw coming was when one of the players made an interesting character choice. Whenever his character had a bad experience somewhere, he vowed to never set foot in that place again, and the rest of the group usually followed suit.

The rest of the campaign was spent trying to find ways to use lost material as the party would have one close call and book it from whatever adventure they were in. Towards the tail end I even had to railroad them (very very gently). Nearly every NPC they met or revisited starting pointing them towards the material I had left to use. Many sessions were spent winging it, which I can pull off but prefer not to do. If nothing else, I gained experience at improvisation and learned about a new problem to prepare for. My mistake was having too much empty space on the map. In retrospect, it would have been better to frame their choices as staying in the frying pan or going into the fire. Meaning leaving one encounter has the PCs running into another. I guess one of my weaknesses is being surprised.

For this next campaign I want to try an Open Game Table set in a squarecrawl. The Alexandrian wrote a bunch of great essays on this topic and I plan to utilize them all. Turning to Ray Winninger’s old essays, a new campaign needs a well defined home base. Ludus Ludorum has some great articles about Medieval villages, towns, and cities. Between these three sources there’s plenty of gristle for the idea mill.

I love the Fall from Heaven setting. If I were to utilize FfH again, this time instead of the game taking place a couple of hundred years into the Age of Rebirth, I’d start with the very end of the Age of Ice. Mulcarn has been slain. The endless winter is just giving way to spring for the first time in several hundred years. Communities of survivors are slowly realizing it’s safe to resettle the surface as most have spent the Age of Ice hiding deep underground.

Already I’ve been tossing around ideas to develop a lonely medieval village called Gondaga, which has only been around for twenty years or so. The melting tundra is fraught with roving bands of marauders, barbarians, and dangerous wildlife. The peasantry of Gondaga eke out an existence on the surface to reclaim their rightful place on Erebus, yet survival is still a struggle. They farm, fish, and shepherd. However, all swear allegiance to the lord of the manor who has sworn to protect the village in exchange for their labor.

Perhaps early myths tell of a pale skinned man named Cassiel, larger than life, who found the villagers stumbling about in the wilderness, and re-taught them how to farm and build. His quest is to bring civilization back to mankind, one village at a time. He said there were others, but no one in the village has met or found any other civilized folk. His last words to them were, “The gods are dead.” Cassiel told them, “Live for yourselves, not the gods.” Meanwhile, the villagers are ever vigilant to safeguard themselves from the barbarians. An order was formed by the lord of the manor to explore the countryside and find other survivors, as people are far more valuable a resource than land.

The idea of an advanced being coming to edify mankind has lots of roots harkening to ancient mythology across many cultures. For instance, Prometheus bringing fire to man, the Grigori teaching mankind technology, the white bearded men bring civilization to the Mayans (some Mayan gods were described to have white skin and long beards), or Ioannes and the Sumerians.

Whenever I find myself worldbuilding, I like to mirror the themes of from mythology. There’s so much depth to find below the surface. Honestly, pick a myth, any myth, and you’ll find themes just begging to be explored. One of the reasons I’m such a fan of FfH is that it’s writer, Derek “Kael” Paxton, imported so many of these myths from differing cultures into a seamless universe. Maybe this time I’ll venture out and create my own.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Building a Game Table II

Building a Game Table II


For the next installment in this series, here's what happened on days two and three of the build. Since our machine was a 3 axis, it wasn't able to cut the rounded corners in the way I thought.

Which meant some assembly was required.

This is the rounded corners cleaned and glued up. Left these to dry until the next day.

This here is a jig, for those not in the know its a device - often custom made - to aid in shaping wood. This jig was for gluing red oak veneer to the plywood corners. I didn't have a steam box to bend the wood so this was the way to go. On my to do list: build a steam box. Also, making veneer is a pain.


Part III

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Building a Game Table

This is it! Cutting has begun. This picture above is of a really cool machine called a CNC router. Got all the pieces cut on this thing. Here's how it works.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Game Table Ideas V

Here's a quick update today.

Get this Free PDF!

Join here

Join the mailing list and get EARLY ACCESS to all my posts and a FREE PDF: Magic of the Gods. Inside you'll find over 40 pages of feats, domains, and more. It's a MASSIVE VALUE I’m giving away!

* indicates required