5 Lovecraftian Game Ideas that aren’t Tentacles

I’m not a smart man, Jenny, but I do know what “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” means. It means it’s time for me to write something that doesn’t require loads of research because I am still full of opiates. Opiates, for when you will still be in pain, but you don’t care because you are riding a cloud that is shaped like a dog-headed crow, and now you are pretty sure that you are fighting ninjas. I should have pursued that advertising career, after all. Isn’t that right, opiates? Anyway, things are still tough for me, but enough of that. Let’s talk Lovecraft.

Tribality Publishing – Forever Young

Hey Kiddo!

We are very excited to announce that we finally have a new publication on DriveThruRPG.com. Our latest product is titled: Forever Young created by Anton Bailey and Ralph Clark! Forever Young  has player character options for 5th edition to create young and adolescent characters. I lightly covered playing younger PCs a while back in a blog post and it is awesome to see such a detailed publication being published by us on this fun little subject.

Unearthed Arcana: Martial Archetypes Breakdown

This week in Unearthed Arcana, Affleck & Damon present four new fighter archetypes: the Arcane Archer, the Knight, the Samurai, and the Sharpshooter. To talk about them, though, let’s first step back and talk about how the Player’s Handbook fighter archetypes are imagined on a different axis than any other set of subclasses. This has informed later subclass designs, and it makes today’s UA a challenging contrast.

D&D Force Grey: The Lost Episode

The cliffhanging conclusion to this summer’s smash hit series on Twitch, D&D Force Grey: Giant Hunters, comes to a dramatic end on Monday, December 5. DM-to-the-Stars, Matthew Mercer, and his crazy group of players, including comedians and actors, will be battling the giants one last time at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. matthew-mercer

Fans will get some sweet loot, including a free 32-page adventure, a print of the Stranger Things-styled poster (see below!), chocolate bars, stickers, and other D&D swag they can’t get anywhere else.

Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft

The 90’s were a lawless time. Hypercolor tee shirts, peace frogs, and Home Improvement walked the land, and our only hope was to hide behind our friends in No Fear apparel or the closest giant hair-do. During this bleak era, a game was release for the PC and Playstation 1. This game, like many before it, was a D&D game. However, rather than be set in Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance – remember, Planescape: Torment was still four years away from saving us all – it was set in Ravenloft. This was around the first peak of Ravenloft popularity. Sure, the setting was released six years earlier, but a few things happened to raise its profile over time. Knight of the Black Rose, the inclusion of Lord Soth in Ravenloft, was released in 1991, and I, Strahd, the first novel solely about that totally-not-Dracula Count Strahd von Zarovich, was released in 1993. More importantly, the film Interview with the Vampire was released in 1994. This coincided nicely with the rise of Hot Topic, which had an IPO in 1996. So, even though Ravenloft was released in 1990, it wasn’t until the mid-90’s that the 90’s new-goth scene was really taking off. So, it was a perfect time for a Ravenloft game to be released.

Unearthed Arcana: Druid Circles and Wild Shape Breakdown

I guess if you’re going to call any class even obliquely harvest-holiday-themed, druid is a good one. Accordingly, this week’s Unearthed Arcana offers three new druid circles and a variant Wild Shape rule. Whatever else might be said, they took more risks with new mechanics this time than last week, and so even if I wind up disliking it (spoiler: I won’t), it’s useful as suggestions for what’s “in-bounds” for third-party design. Third-party designers get read the Riot Act for venturing too far outside the borders that Smith & Wesson Mearls & Crawford lay out in official releases, you know? Anyway, let’s get to it.

Oh, and in case you’re new around here, I have done some writing about druids before. The link points to the last article in the series, with directory links to the earlier ones.

NPC For Hire – Print and Mobile Tools by Knights of Vasteel

There is a new Kickstarter project that I think you will really like from Nathan and Austin of Knights of Vasteel.  The project is called NPC for Hire and uses a 52 card deck of hand draw portraits that you can use in a fantasy RPG game to add life to your non-player characters. These cards are very similar to Paizo’s Face Cards that I have used in the past. But along with the NPC for Hire cards, there is also a companion application that they have developed for iOS and Android.

Gobble-ins, Centaurkeys,and Thanksgiving One-Shots

Happy American Thanksgiving, everybody! I expect most people are reading this on Thursday, because they are drinking as often as possible on Wednesday. This is going to be a hard holiday for a lot of people, and I bet bars and liquor stores are looking forward to Black Wednesday. Let’s assume for a minute that you are woefully hungover and are reading this from your smart device while praying to the porcelain gods. First, I feel your pain, and suggest you pop some alka seltzer and make yourself an egg cream. Second, double up on the mashed potatoes, heavy on the butter. Third, let’s talk about a Thanksgiving themed one-shot you can run while everyone is barely keeping it together.

Volo’s Guide to Monsters Review

Last week, Wizards of the Coast released their latest D&D 5th edition fall supplement book, Volo’s Guide to Monsters. I’ve had a week with the book to read it over and even try out some monsters and extended lore in game. Volo’s Guide provides monster lore, new character races and a bestiary with nearly 100 monsters. Read on for my in depth look at this book to find out if it is a must buy for you and your gaming group.