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So, I got the news of Gary Gygax's death last night just as we finished a session.

The players had just waded heroically through the goblins in the glassworks. Their reconnaissance was good, they knew where their foe was, they had a sketch plan of the interior. A classic, well organised raid. The ranger (goblin favoured) charging in pausing only to impale fleeing goblins with arrows, the half-orc dancing-girl monk laying down bladed scarf death to the left and right. The rogue, sneak attacking the surprised goblins and the wizard - well it had to be a magic missile.

The game is still the same one I started playing back in, what was it 1977? For sure it has changed, but the thief is still back-stabbing and the wizard has the same spells. What struck me last night, as I wound down from the game back home was how far Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax's idea had come, without being diluted - and what a powerful idea that made it.

As if to underline that thought - we took the game a step forward last night. For the first time, we used Skype to bring a player who could not attend to the table. He was stuck home with sick family and it took us the best part of an hour, two computers, two web cams and lots of fiddling to get it to work - but it did work for us. It was a bit odd, but we all settled into it OK. We pointed the webcam at the map and the party wizard went from an NPC to a PC for the night.

Another example of what a brilliant concept Dave and Gary came up with. How far it can be stretched and still remain true to its roots. Gary's presence in the gaming community will be missed. DnD has given me countless hours of pleasure, my condolences to his family and friends.

I guess we will now have another reason to remember GM's Day - when the community lost the first Dungeon Master.

So, one of my players has decided to take an interest in all things thassilonian. Which is good. He has taken the language and made a bee-line for the "Lighthouse". He then went to see Quink and made a good impression on him. He is now spending time researching the subject.

What do I reveal?

Previously Mr Jacobs has said that since finding out about anything Thassilonian is a DC 30 check, it should not be revealed before 4th level. Fair enough, but this guy is going direct to a source - Quink. Now, if he was to use Quink as a sage he would have to pay, but this is just him engaging Quink in discussion over a cup of herbal tea in the shadow of the Lighthouse.

I figured I should let him see the first page of the article on Thassilon - nothing too controversial there and nothing I can see that breaks the story.

Or is there?

The Swallow Tail Festival...

Dear Mother,

And you thought my short trip down here would not be exciting! This past week has been a strange culmination of events in deed, almost as if the recent unpleasantness is more recent than many would like to believe.

I think something is on the horizon, I feel myself being drawn towards it, it is the same as when I felt I had to leave Celwynvian. Two weeks ago Auntie Hannah and I were out collecting and came across a tribesman from Storval Plateau, he had been set upon by goblins, thankfully they must have thought him already dead, we managed to bring him around and brought him down to Sandpoint to rest up. This week a travelling troupe came in to town for the celebrations of the recently rebuilt cathedral's dedication. Travelling with them was non-other than half-orc girl Auntie Hannah and I helped deliver in the plains near the Yondabakari River.

And then today, at the dedication, Sandpoint was attacked by goblins, I am sure their goal was to burn it down again. Everything was going along nicely and then we heard the screams, shortly followed by a goblin chant as they came straight for the cathedral, it was a short bloody battle but we defeated them and with no damage to the cathedral. We also managed to keep one alive for questioning, as I write he is still unconscious, the Mayor wants to wake him and but Auntie Hannah said the shock could kill him, and then we would have nothing. He will be awake soon enough; patience is one thing these humans have never had.

I will write again soon.


This was brought up in another thread - would Paizo consider releasing short Adventure Paths?

By this I mean 3 scenarios rather than 6, with a smaller level progression. So for example 1st to 8th or maybe 4th to 11th level. Whilst I love the idea of long running campaigns, it is not always practical to run one. Then we could explore more unusual AP ideas that maybe would not sustain a full 6 episodes without the commitment of year and then some of play. Maybe a few of the GM modules could be hooked together more tightly - not that I know anything about these products.

Just a thought

I especially hate how higher level characters are festooned with them, and given that some of my players are pretty inexperienced, they forget half of the items they have.

I want magic items to be objects of awe, wonder and enormous rarity.

What would happen do you think to game balance if I just scrubbed 95% of magic items from the game? All the NPCs loose their items and players don't get them either. Magic shops don't exist - you can't buy them, they are too rare. Item creation feats are super high level. Would it still be a fair fight? Obviously monsters that require magic to hit them are an issue, but I could just ignore that defensive capability.

Just a thought...

I just finished my last campaign (Age of Worms) and am trying to decide which to go for next - Runelords or Crimson Throne.

I want to run something where the emphasis is not on the Hack and Slash. Age of Worms was far too dungeon crawly for my liking and I would like the next campaign to be more investigative and involve more role playing. From what I have read Crimson Throne may be the way to go. Is this the case?

However, the players are champing at the bit, baying for new characters and new challenges - and Crimson Throne does not start until Feb. A month of gaming withdrawal symptoms could be dangerous. Are there any Gamesmastery modules suited to being run before part one of Crimson Throne? And how would that work given that the players guide is not available?

Alternatively - how about a one off to kill time till Feb? Any suggestions on sutable modules?


I plan to start the series soon and have been giving the subject of mapping some thought. I realise now that, realistically I have very little prep time, and what time I have is spent note taking and considering NPC tactics. Maps get pushed down the list. Previously I have used:

1) Dunjinni to create gorgeous maps, printed on A3 paper - but it takes ages to make the maps, and printing is costly and a pain (I get them printed in a print shop)

2) Taking maps from pdfs and printing them onto A4 sheets then sticking the sheets together to make big battle maps - but the resolution of the pdfs is not great and I invariably don't have time to tape the sheets together so it all gets a bit messy on the night.

3) Doodling on scraps of paper and just free forming the combat without miniatures.

The last solution works well for me with other systems (CoC, FengShui etc), except D&D really does benefit from a map. I will be playing in a local games shop, where space is a bit limited. So, does anyone have any insightful ideas to help?

Has anyone used the Flip Mat things? I last used a battle mat about 25 years ago...

And secondly - what about miniatures? I am getting a bit sick of using spare dice - which invariably get knocked or picked up and thrown ("Arrgh, did you just use my hoard of NPCs to roll your damage?"). So far, I was thinking about getting some 1" stickers and some 1" steel washers. Any great suggestions?


Hi all

I am just coming up with plans to run Burnt Offerings at my local rpg club. To that end I am scouting around for any resources that are lurking out there to smooth my task. So, what is out there? Are there downloadable maps like with the last Paizo adventure path (Age of Worms)? I did see a link to some runes on the boards - but seeing as how I have not actually read the scenario yet it made little sense.

Anyhow, I will eventually be making a little website to support the game I will be running, with a chronicle and so on. When it is up and running I will make it public for all.


Warning Spoilers
So I am about to start Hall of Harsh Reflections - and can't decide who should be the doppleganger plant. The PCs consist of a Thri-kreen PsiWarrior/Psion, a Dwarf Cleric, a Ghost Halfling Druid and a Human Monk.

So - which PC do I take out? They all have special powers that they use regulalrly - powers that teh doppleganger will not be able to duplicate. All of the players are up to the task of role playing the swap. But I can't see how the swap would work until past the first minor combat.

Any ideas?

Host of Angels

I was wondering how you, my fellow DMs have managed to work the rival adventurers into the Whispering Cairn plot. The plot as written seems to assume that they will encounter and have dealing with Auric, Tirra and Khellek at some point. But when exactly.

So far my group are still wading through the first part of the Cairn, bobbing out to the mine manager house to take a breather. A couple of the PCs have encountered the rivals in their backstory, and they have seen the group in the valley bottom riding past while they were holed up in the house.

I guess it slightly depends on what they do when they inevitably head back into town. Any suggestions?

I was wondering what the consensus is. Are those of you running AoW in the Forgotten Realms using Daggerford as printed in the old "The North" supplement or as it stands in Dungeon (albeit under the name of Diamond Lake).

I have not particular reason to use the North version, and rather like the sleaze and filth of Diamond Lake. I've not started yet (see my Help - Munchkin thread!) so my mind is not made up yet...

OK - so I am about to start the Age of Worms and am having preliminary chats with the players, when the super-munchkin of the group announces that he really wants to play a psi-warrior thri-keen!!!

This is bad on several levels. The worst parts though are:
1) Thrikeen are +2 ECL and +2 monster level. I could use a mix of the non-adult version of race and negative ECLs - but it would be a mess
2) Having a huge insect wondering about will make any social interaction hard work.
3) I am running this in FR, Daggerford. Why on earth would a thri-keen be in Daggerford? And doing what?

Question: Should I let the player go for it? How could I possibly incorporate it into the background? Any advice would be gladly recieved.