Have you ever been in an RPG game where the GM used music? Perhaps you’ve been that GM. When it comes to epic movies, they have epic scores, That should translate to RPGs, right? Instead, the noise gets too distracting, the player’s complain, and everyone hates it. What went wrong?Continue reading “Crumbling UpKeep: Sounds for your Game”
“Tales from the Loop” won all sorts of ennie awards when it was released and for good reason. It uses a simple system that focuses on keeping the game going and the 80’s kids on bikes weird science vibe is really hard to resist. With the popularity of shows like “Stranger Things,” it’s really not a surprise that it’s popularity took off.Continue reading “Things from the Flood, the 90’s Sequel to Tales from the Loop”
Player’s have this long and elaborate backstory. They have 20 some years of tragedy written out, just waiting for that moment their character can be vulnerable and explain what dire straights have forced them into this life of adventuring. Normal well adjusted people don’t want to go sleep on the ground in the cold woods to save the world from whatever abominable threat has reared it’s head this time. Hell, I get cranky if I just skip breakfast.
But what if that moment of vulnerability never comes? What if the heroes are so busy running around killing the baddies and solving the mysteries that they just don’t get that opportunity? Sometimes I want to know about a character’s first love, what their favorite smell is, what keeps them awake at night, and their best drinking stories. The players generally want to share that with you if you just give them an opportunity.
Enter Campfire XP.Continue reading “Crumbling UpKeep: Campfire XP”
“Qua Jon, father of magic, was not a worldly man. His magic came not of “things.” It came of himself. It came from enlightenment. We but seek the same.”– Garnosh, Mithrelian Kashkuli
Continue reading “A Traveler’s Guide to Samsarras: The Kashkuli”
“A magical beggar is still a beggar.”–Carwinth Brass, Del Harun Merchant
Once upon a time, I was a young DM playing Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition. Yes, that does date me a bit. Long before Curse of Strahd was a thing, there was the Ravenloft box set, which contained all the world building and additional rules you need to play in the demiplane of dread. Vampires, ghouls, zombies, and mists that would wrap you up and take you away. It had all thing things it needed to be scary.Continue reading “Crumbling UpKeep: Elements of Horror”
I do not fear them, as they are simple merchants. I do, however, fear their dreams. I am almost certain that demons visit them during the night. I have heard their screams upon waking. I have seen one kill another over a slight she had suffered in a dream. They believe their nighttime visions to be real!Selid Quazar, Patriarch of house Quazar in Zan Zan Turina.
And yet… I have spoken to a Del Harun woman who knew things of me she could not possibly know. She claimed to have seen them in a dream. I am not one to be given to superstition, but what else am I to think? My stomach tightens as I remember her words and I forever await the assassins knife she foretold. Yes, I value their trade, but truly, their nocturnal journeys make it hard for me to sleep.
Del Harun claim to have ancient dragon blood in their veins. While there are none who can prove or disprove this, it is obvious to those who travel with them for any amount of time that they are not mere humans. These desert nomads ride their horses across the burning sands of Qua’Lorn, resting each night to dream. They carry what they see at night into the day.
Look, I’m going to come right out and say it. This is my favorite fantasy RPG system I’ve played. It feels really heroic, it has a delicious level of crunch, and you can give someone the stink eye until they die. If you have other qualifications as to what makes a great RPG, I’d love to know what they are. I can’t imagine what would top that.Continue reading “Crumbling UpKeep: Conan”
Tales from the loop is full of Kids on bikes action. Instead of a hulking adventurer, you play a kid in a world where parents don’t believe you when monsters come-a-calling. The world it is set in reminds me of what the people in the 50’s thought the 80’s would be like.Continue reading “Tales from the Loop: Your Retro Strange Science 80’s Kids RPG”
Before all things, there was the void, the realm of Sribinet. It would become the demon realm and birth the first of its kind. Braxult, Queen of Death and Peace, would create the world below, the Isles of Samsarras. They would torture the races of their making and bask in their screams. The songs of agony floated into the heavens. Continue reading “A Traveler’s Guide to Samsarras: Samsarras.”
Personally, I love random encounter tables. RPGs are games of mitigated chance. Characters make dice rolls to hit monsters, negotiate deals, and fly spaceships. Why not have the GM make them to see what’s around the corner? The element of randomness gives both the players and GM something to play with, as the unexpected happens.Continue reading “Crumbling UpKeep: Better Random Encounters”
Perched upon a rocky outcropping over the sea, Ankhor’s Dive is a haven for the less than reputable visitors to Dane Caelen. This lively tavern and wayside inn draws an eclectic mix of dwarven sailors, human nomads, and elves doing business best not done inside the city proper. It is located on the outskirts of the city, along the northern coast. A torched lined path draws patrons in and, with luck, helps them find their way out again after imbibing fine imported dwarven spirits.Continue reading “A Traveler’s Guide to Samsarras: The Ankhor’s Dive Inn”
The world of Samsarras is vast, and, much like our world, most of it is covered in deep oceans. Seafaring is a necessity for travel between the many islands. This artifact, a blessing of the sea god, Markkhesh, allows a strong leader to more easily navigate those treacherous waters where many ships have foundered.Continue reading “A Traveler’s Guide to Samsarras: the Beacon of Markkhesh”
The Dragon Lord of Mak is named Myrlita, and she is adored by most she governs. Her body and limbs are long and graceful, sheathed in shimmering golden scales. No wings protrude from her back, helping to give her movements a slinking quality, unhindered by anything that would break the sloping lines of her back. Her head is not horned or ridged and her deep green eyes fall mostly to the sides of her head. A leathery back facing gold hood covers the top of her neck. She often adorns it with silks and other decoration.Continue reading “A Traveler’s Guide to Samsarras: Myrlita, God of Pleasure”
The classic 90’s RPG of Vampire Angst is back with a whole new edition. Modiphius has taken the reigns on the property, which can only mean good things. Taking place in modern day, V:TM deals with the hidden world just underneath our own. The players are vampires, torn between their monstrous and human aspects. It’s the game that turned RPGs on their head. Nothing was ever the same since.Continue reading “Vampire the Masquerade is Back- Game with Crumbling Keep!”
Heroes can spend a lot of time out in the wilderness. There is a lot of action outside of town, what with monsters ravaging the countryside, forgotten dungeons, and that pesky environment to contend with. Eventually, the characters are going to come to a settlement, however. Maybe they just want to grab supplies or have a long rest without worrying about pesky Anhkegs for once. Perhaps the city is actually a focus, and you’re planning to run an urban campaign. Whatever the reason, the forests and plains are giving way to wood smoke and buildings. How do you make this community stand out? Continue reading “Crumbling UpKeep: Giving Your Cities Character”
The citizens of Mak are subjected to beauty all their lives; It does not stop with death, however. Those that die in the city are interred in The Dark Garden, a series of fields and catacombs that are as lovely as they are macabre. The monuments to the dead rival the structures built for the living. The death of a prominent citizen is the last chance for them to contribute to their artistic legacy. Continue reading “A Traveler’s Guide to Samsarras: The Dark Garden of Mak”