Category: Uncategorized

City Slices I is here!

In case you haven’t seen City Slices I: Marketplace Fun is selling like crazy at  30 adventure bits with marketplace stalls, food vendors, skill challenges and more.  Optimized for 4E but the fluff works with any fantasy rpg.  Check it out!

The Vanquishers Campaign: What to do with a sick DM.

William gets sick.  If you’re friends with him, it’s a fact of life.  He takes medication just fine, and, as far as I know it’s rare that he ever gets seriously ill, but if there’s a sniffle to be had, he’ll get it.  I think if he talks to a sick person on the phone he gets sick.  This inevitability reared its ugly head on last weeks game.  We played, but it didn’t further the story much because, let’s be honest, he was sick enough that it wouldn’t have shocked anyone if he’d cancelled altogether (not sure if anyone realizes how close I was to canceling: I felt like I couldn’t give the performance my players deserved.  As a DM with adult players, most with children, I know how valuable their time is…I feel like if I don’t hit a grand slam every time, the session has been an utter failure.)

In the story, however, with our many available gangs to battle with, we helped eliminate the current lowest gang by removing their final 4 members.  It was interesting because we got to watch JohnO (the Bard) go one on one with a rogue.  This provided a fair amount of fireworks because our team was there under the guise of “auditioning” to join the gang and JohnO’s character was the one speaking, so he was thrown to the wolves.  Take note, Bards aren’t very good at going mano-a-mano(obviously not all Bards, just his particular build, you can make any character good at anything you want- hence us making my Invoker a tank).  His greatest powers are triggered from his allies hitting or being hit and one on one combat doesn’t give too many opportunities for that… actually… none.  JohnO softened the Rogue and Ed the Barbarian finished off almost the entire rest of the group himself.  It was a bloodbath (an incredible understatement….we knew barbarians were great, we knew they dished out tons of damage, but Ed dropped one bloodied foe and two totally healthy foes in a single round.  It was jaw-dropping.)

This week coming is exciting.  We have Christmas coming up AND it’s Ed the Barbarian’s birthday on our regular game night.  I believe the “snacking” may be some of our best work (scotch eggs? anyone?).  And, since William had such a rough week last week, we’re nearly guaranteed to get some juicy elements in this week’s game.  Our current status is at Level 3 mostly, and we seem to be moving along well.  I’ll post after next game as best as possible with all the other festivities going on, and hope I’ll be able to wish you all a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa or Happy whichever Pagan holiday you happen to celebrate.  Take care everyone and enjoy (Murry Crimas! and God save the leucrottas!).


The Vanquishers Campaign: I Now Know How College Basketball Players Feel

Playing a moral compass isn’t easy.  I never really liked the concept, mostly because it just plain seemed annoying.  “Oh my, the Gods would frown upon that, don’t you think?”  There’s a certain amount of pompous mixed with a certain amount of just plain asshole involved with it- and really, I’m kinda there to help the DM tell the story, not to be his referee.  And, speaking of referees, that’s what we’re going to discuss this week.  It’s kind of easy to be the fighter, you get yourself into the situation and everyone else bails you out because you can defend yourself long enough to stay upright.  Your decisions are based on whether you think you think he can crack your armor before you kill him or your friends arrive.  With a spellcaster, it’s not so easy.  You choose your words carefully early on because one solid shot, and you’re done. (Bmo goes a lil old school here, spellslingers aren’t nearly as ‘squishy’ in 4e, and I think we’ve found a way for his invoker to be a mini-tank…more to come on that in future posts)  You aren’t normally geared up to take a huge blow, so you keep your mouth shut until you know what you’re talking about then speak to benefit the party.

Sophistication Stinks

I don’t mean to sound arrogant but my players and I have become more sophisticated in our gaming tastes and styles. I think it’s a natural progression. In middle school, I as the DM, used to hastily scrawl maps on graph paper on the bus on the way home….some random encounter charts and a few traps sprinkled in and we are off and gaming!

Burn Out….what a pain…

Burn Out……the bane of every creative person out there. I’ve been suffering from it massively as of late, and that’s the reason for the hiatus in updating this site as well as lack of new products beyond Vexing Sands.

I realized I had to get “back in the saddle” so to speak so this is a first step. I’m going to address some of the ways to fight “burn-out”, “writer’s block”, whatever you wish to call it.

Ready for some desert tiles?

Escape Velocity has teamed up with incredible U.K. artist Billiam Babble to produce, Vexing Sands, a collection of “desert details” for use with any fantasy rpg system! Check it out at!

What’s Next?

Haunting Trio is now available! Three free 4e monsters each illustrated and each in the newest stat block format! Check it out at!

Today’s Post Brought to You by the Letter “Bee”

Bee art courtesy of Karen's Whimsy Public Domain art.

Bees?  Fantasy RPGs have had giant bees and wasps, killer bee swarms, and the like for years.  However, if you just tweak the “Bee backstory” a bit you can take otherwise mundane insects to a new level.  What am I buzzing on about?  Read on for a few buzzworthy ideas….

“That Poison”  – Perhaps a notorious group of assassins uses a particular bee’s venom in all of their killings.  Finding the famous bees in question might lead to the assassin’s hideout and further adventures.

Perhaps the bee’s poison is only usable by the King’s elite bodyguards and owning the poison or a hive of the bees could be a crime punishable by death.  Maybe the party is hired by a shady patron to steal a bee or two… what harm could come of stealing two simple bees?

“That Color” – Rather than a honey prized for its taste, your special bees produce a honey that is used as a dye.  Maybe Crimson Glade Bee Honey is the premier color of red for all well-to-do gentleman’s capes and hats.  The value of this dye would make it an enticing target for low-level adventurers trying to climb the social ladder and get some more coin.

“That Sound” – Maybe the bees in your world are kept by almost all noble families for their melodies.  The buzzing of each hive is slightly different and they create a harmonious whole.  In this case, perhaps a family has three out of the four “singing bees” they need and hire the adventurers to track down a hive of the fourth kind.

“That Sting” – Perhaps giant bee stingers are immensely popular as dagger blades in your world.  Tracking down these bees while keeping their stingers undamaged would be key (guess the fighter-types will have to leave their thick metal armor at home!).