By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes – 2015 October RPG Blog Carnival

of Dice and Dragons - Something wicked this way comes

Update: The October Carnival is over, be sure to catch the wrap up article before you leave.

Welcome friends, it’s October and that can only mean one thing, the RPG Blog Carnival has arrived once again!

In past years we’ve sought out those spooky spots that the local towns folks like to avoid and talked about things that go bump in the night which kept you awake until morning.

This year there’s no escape as it will be coming to seek you out as the wicked come to you!

Instead of a house on the haunted hill, or that unexplained sound in the dark, it’s something that just may come to your door.

So share the tale of that wandering witch, the peddler that always seems to know just a bit too much, or the carnival with the many strange performers that’s come to town (sound familiar?).

Remember, it’s the month of All Hallow’s Eve, when the barrier between the worlds can be easily passed.

rpgblogcarnivallogoIf you decide to share a tale (or two, or three) be sure to link back to this post after your article goes live (adding a comment doesn’t hurt either) so all can enjoy it and I can include it in the wrap-up after I’ve run out of treats for the kids.




I’ll leave you with this trailer from 1983 Ray Bradbury movie, Something Wicked This Way Comes, to help inspire you.

I’m looking forward to seeing what I need to keep out of my town.

May your dice roll well!

Bonus points: The title of this blog post is a quote – from where? And it’s not the movie.

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July 2015 Blog Carnival: Sheathing the Weapons

rpgblogcarnivallogoThe RPGBA Carnival moved on long ago (if you’re quick you catch up with it over at Creative Mountain Games) but the wrap up here never got posted. You have my apology for that so without further ado, here’s the wrap up of the legendary posts written for the Weapons of Legend carnival.

In the order they came in:

The Catholics had some pretty cool +1 swords – a partial listing of some interesting and powerful Catholic weapons. Have to give bonus points for Spear of Destiny inclusion.

Weapons of Legend in the Summerlands – a couple of weapons that come from the mythology of the Polynesian Islands – Jawbone of Maui and Tokotoko-tai (Longstaff of the Sea).

The Real Swords of Findalay – not one, not two, but five swords included in this package, did I forget to mention they’re all intelligent? Be sure to pick up a copy of the PDF while you’re there.

Death Metal – What do you get when you listen to heavy metal music and play RPGs? You get the Death Metal sword and a sudden urge to form a mosh pit.

The Legend of Betrayal’s Tear – “Yes, this is an absurdly powerful legendary weapon.” Yes, that’s a direct quote from the posting. A wonderful sword to be wielded and a great write up of its history.

Gymir’s Tooth – Another non-sword entry, one of very few. There’s an interest back story to this dwarven made warhammer, and it’ll make your hero a bane of dragonkind.

The Tuesday Sundries – RPG Blog Carnival – Weapons of Legend – Comments on a sword so powerful in Grymvald it can alter time.

Rothubel, the Lucky – A thought experiment over at Leicester’s Ramble and makes for a good read. It’s the story of Rothubel, a sword, and its journey on the way to becoming legendary.

Golden Zenith – Another entry from Summerland and this time a long bow. The post includes the history and a variety of powers that the bow has.

RPG Blog Carnival: Weapons of Legend: Gretzky’s Staff – An interesting staff and one that I’m sure to many will feel familiar somehow . . . .

RPG Blog Carnival: Weapons of Legend: Ahab’s Crosshairs – And now for something completely different, a laser rifle – yes you read that right, a laser rifle. It is the only item it that particular category, be sure to check it out.

Harbinger of Doom – Brandes shared some interesting tidbits about Named and Living Weapons in Dust to Dust and is definitely worth taking a look at.

Ganister’s Stones – You remember the lowly sling? You know that weapon that no one ever really wanted to use but had anyway. That might have been different if they had a pouch full of stones like these.

I hope I managed to catch everyone on this round up – again my apology for getting it out so late.

May your dice roll well!

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Reaver and Cleaver

Cleaver and Reaver

The great white wyrm raised its head looking to strike yet another fatal blow the to one of the members of the party.

It was then that a young dwarf, Rlog Nuraald, who had been told to hang back and protect the rear of the party from any sneak attack charged the beast. The look of shock was upon the face of the other members of his company as he raised the two twin headed battle axes he had forged himself those many months ago by moonlight in the heat of his father’s forge. The same weapons that nearly every member of his group had scoffed at, jeered him about, and told him he should go buy better ones that they would even be willing to pay for them.

Weapons no one thought would last a moment in a real fight.

The wyrm turned to face this new threat when the first axe struck and bit deeply into its flesh slicing it open as though its tough hide wasn’t even there. The cold that came from within is said to have caused that axe to glow with a bluish light and thus was born Reaver.

The giant jaws snapped at the air where the young dwarf had been. He was moving with a speed rarely seen for his kind, and then the eyes of the beast went blank as the head was severed from the body with a blow from the second axe. It is said that the blade seemed to be sheathed in fire as it struck, pulling power from the very forge it was born from. Thus was born Cleaver.

This month the RPGBA blog carnival was hosted right here at of Dice and Dragons and we shared posts about Weapons of Legend. I thought I would close out the month’s submissions with a pair of battle axes, Reaver and Cleaver.

The above story tells of how these two, rather plain looking weapons, finally showed their powers to their weidler and the world at large. It is something I find frequently missing when I see weapons brought into a campaign or story line, what’s the back story?
An example from the well known book, The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

“I will give you a name, and I will call you Sting.” – Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo named his blade after his battle with the giant spider based on what happened during the battle – it gives it meaning. It makes it a character in the story, something of value to the other characters or in the case of a table-top RPG, the players. It forms a bond with them, something they want to keep.

So, the next time your players are given a Weapon of Legend have a backstory for it. You don’t have to tell it to them directly, maybe they can quest for it, maybe that old storyteller by the fire at the inn can fill them about those strange runes carved on it.

Or maybe, just maybe, they will be the ones that write the legend.

May your dice roll well.

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What makes a good Dungeon Master?

What makes a good Dungeon MasterThose of us that sit around the gaming table often talk of days gone by. We talk of sessions when there were legendary battles fought and epic tales were told. When you look back at those sessions what do they all have in common?

A Dungeon Master at the top of his game.

Over at Power Score, Sean tackles that very topic in a recent post, The Difficulties of Being a Dungeon Master.

What’s nice about this article is that it isn’t just your usual post about what one person thinks makes a good Dungeon Master, instead Sean goes to reddit and actually asked others what kind of DM they were.

I decided that I wanted to see where other DMs of the world were at mentally. So I asked people on reddit to talk about what kind of DM they were, and I collected the responses. I have sifted through this information, looking for trends and common themes, to see if there are any particular things that most DMs have in common. What are people struggling with? What kind of games do they run?

And find some common themes and ground he did.

In fact, some of what he found was near and dear to my heart in his sections on style and campaign.

It appears, at least based on the responses he got, that as many as 1/3 “make it up as they go” (I’ve heard something similar to that statement before). I have to admit that while I do envy those that can pull it off I’m more of a partial prep type. The kind that has an outline for the session, maybe a couple of prepared encounters in my back pocket but then just goes with the flow.

The other item that hit home from me is the overwhelming stamp of approval on home-brew campaigns. It would appear that although there is a huge amount of material published every year for a DM to use, many prefer to develop their own. Many use an establish setting as the starting point but then take it in a direction all their own. For me, I’ve always built it from the ground up, the setting and the campaign – I like the intimate knowledge it gives out which makes the “winging it” during a session easier.

Sean also brings some attention to general issues, like the game being to easy or two difficult, and problem players (“you forgot a pencil?”) which rounds out the post and makes it well worth the read.

May your dice roll well.

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