Category: Uncategorized

Perfect Timing

One of my best friends in the gaming industry, one Billiam Babble of Great Britain, has produced a terrific overview of our products and I have to say I am thoroughly impressed, delighted, and gobsmacked.  Thanks for your effort my friend and your salute to our work. The timing couldn’t be better because the end of October is going to be truly epic for Escape Velocity Gaming as is coming…soon….


Find the full overview here….

Roll for an Encounter

I was checking out my usual gaming blogs when I realized I haven’t mentioned Trollsmyth yet in my blog.  Specifically this series of articles.  I have absolutely devoured this series on hex mapping and it got me thinking about encounters.

In the olden days (waaaaaaay back in 1st and 2nd edition D&D….lol)  we used wandering monster tables and random checks while crossing wilderness hexes with quite a bit of gusto.  The interesting thing was we almost always used a D8 and low rolls meant encounters.  The result?  My players used to root for a “1” to come up…almost without exception.  They wanted something  to happen.  So most times it did.  The only time the party didn’t root for an encounter to pop up was when the party was low on healing (which happened quite a bit) or low on “big bang” wizard spells (remember prior to 4th edition the wizard was “Gladys Knight” and everyone else was “The Pips”).

I think random encounters may still have their place but I find that in 4E it takes a lot more planning.  I prefer to have “semi-random” set pieces instead of truly random encounters.  I set up three or four encounters in between gaming weeks (we play every other week as almost all of my players have children, jobs, or both) that can be used in a variety of situations.  If I end up not needing them? I just bump the levels of the critters up but keep the framework in place.  That way it’s ready for the next gaming session.


How do you handle “random” encounters?  How do you determine what’s lurking in the wilderness between dungeons?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Very Useful Stuff

Had to post this link to my man Fitz’s latest article.  Incredibly useful stuff about layout and design…a topic which I am still learning a ton about.

Check this out!

My main man Billiam Babble has done it again…major cool points for drinking your favorite tea or my new fave drink “Mello Yello Zero” out of THIS mug....

Alternate Emeraldscale Eel Attack

There’s a really neat feature that some eels possess called a pharyngeal jaw.  It’s basically a “second extending” jaw that is designed to hold prey.  Pretty badass I must say.  So if you want to give your eel that nifty bite, replace the current bite and tail flick with this single non-melee basic, standard action attack…

Pharyngeal Bite * At-Will

  • Requirement: The eel must not have a creature currently restrained.
  • Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); + 11 vs. AC
  • Hit: 2d6 +4 damage and the target is restrained until the end of the eel’s next turn.

Does this post make very little sense?  That means you don’t have your copy of Six Superb Mounts yet!  Get it here…DriveThruRPG- Six Superb Mounts

So Monte Cook Dropped Me a Line

Okay so it was just that….one line. Let me tell you why I’m hyped! I sent Monte Cook (if you don’t know who he is Google him….I’ll wait) a free copy of City Slices I: Marketplace Fun and basically thanked him for being him.  Monte Cook’s résumé is, in my opinion, without peer in the industry and his mega-supplement Ptolus is without equal on the bookshelf. Not only has Monte been an influence on my own personal design style and game philosophy, he’s also been a personal influence on my own positive outlook.

A wee bit of backstory so you can understand my excitement.  Mr. Cook didn’t know me from the ‘man on the moon’ when he took the time to speak with me at GenCon over a decade ago.  He basically offered me the “go for it and follow your dreams” talk when I asked him about writing game material.  And he also said “Call me Monte” when I addressed him as “Mr.Cook”.  It was the most brief and basic of interactions but it was a big deal to a fan of D&D in general and of the man himself specifically.

Fast forward too many years, I finally have my own tiny publishing business and I’m making pdfs and having a great time.  Reviews are coming in and people are saying, “hey….good stuff.”  So I thought, “It’s time to go back and thank some of my influences.”  Unfortunately Mr. Gygax is gone and I still have an e-mail to send to Tony Diterlizzi, but I happened to catch Monte.  I sent him an e-mail saying to the effect of, “here’s a free copy of my latest and best effort as a thank you for your efforts and your time.”  And guess what?  He did it again.  One line: “Thanks!  Looks Great!”.  That was it…he didn’t ask me to join Malhavoc Press, he didn’t invite me over for steaks on the grill.  He just took time (that I know he has in very, very finite supply)  to thank me and tell me the product looked great. I’d say it was unexpected, but after meeting Monte in Wisconsin it was exactly what I expected.  Mr. Cook hasn’t forgotten that he too was a dreamy-eyed youth and he had heroes.  He intuitively understood exactly how much an e-mail back would mean…so of course he did it.

Monte, thanks again, for the ‘shot in the arm’.  I’m going to keep pursuing the dream with my goal to one day be the one dispensing the encouragement.  I certainly won’t forget to say “Thanks” to anyone who (dare I even dream it) cites me as an influence.

Until then, I’m redoubling my efforts on my next series of products.  It’s amazing what a couple positive words can do.

If Larry King Commented on D&D

With apologies to Mr. King himself and ESPN the Magazine (who does an “If Larry King wrote for us” shtick).

Don’t know about you but I figure these ‘fortune cards’ are gonna be the biggest thing to hit D&D since THACO.  I just made fifth level in my weekend campaign…25 more levels and Orcus is goin’ down!      Have you seen how well the essentials mage tanks?  Trust me take the feats you need and have him slap on some plate mail…you won’t regret it.     I’m not sure what to think but I hear they got Ernie Gygax to write 5th edition- might just be a rumor though.      Have you squared off against the purple worm in the Monster Vault boxed set yet?  We’ve been TPK’ed six times….’course starting over with first level characters each time might have something to do with it.      Adventurer’s Vault 3, WOTC finally debuts the ‘hardheaded packmule’ (level 3 soldier), you heard it here first!    Is it just me or is there a TON of water in the Desert of Athas terrain tiles?  Well that’s it for now, I’m off to use the DDI character builder to put together my half-goliath, half-drow multi-class bard/starlock!