TPK Talk

Basically all my favourite posts this week came from various writers at Gnome Stew, which isn’t that surprising seeing as it’s one of the best gaming blogs around. We’ve also got a great video from Epic Level TV. Lightning round!

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The Tanril Agezar, Fingers of the Empty Hand

Wiki Update

Every fantasy world needs an assassin’s guild. Well, that’s not true, but spies, thieves, and killers do have a tendency to hang out together in fantasy worlds, and when they spend too much time together, they unionize. The conflict between the Tanril Agezar, or the Empty Hand, and the Camonna Tong is based on the same idea as the one between the Aecha Ostai and the TSR, though battlegrounds are completely different. Old blood versus new. That’s what Temir is about. Progress, change, and the collision of the ancient with the enterprising, and the Tanril are the ancients who inhabit the shadows. Read more


Lacrosse sticks

Wiki Update

It’s fun to invent things for other people’s settings, and when I do, I like to go big. That’s how there came to be a civilization of Eladrin long-removed from the Feywild squatting in the southern plains beyond the Vale. Gebonneauvais (Pronounced “jawbone-of-ass”) is a city of light, colour, and sports. Come with me on this journey.  Read more


Wiki Update

Today’s wiki update is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. For years in D&D, I’ve been talking about Traveler, the card game that’s played across my setting, from pubs to courts. It’s been a passing reference, and people tend to assume it’s basically like poker. Which it sometimes is. Really, it’s an opportunity to add depth to the game world and explore some cultures’ values by looking at the rulesets they use.

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On Bullshit

Cliff Clavin, from Cheers

It’s my last post for improv month, and I want to talk about the truth of improvisation while GMing. It’s an ambiguous term. Some of it is about incorporating good ideas from improv theatre into the game, which is awesome. But mostly it’s a guide on how to bullshit well. That’s often what we’re doing when we get caught off guard, were too busy to prepare for a session, or when the players go in a direction we weren’t expecting at all. We’re improvising sure, but we’re also bullshitting. So today I want to talk about bullshit, some of its important principles, and the key rule when it comes to doing it at the gaming table.

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Two Birds, One Stone

The Fell Court, by Howard Lyon

Wiki Update

Writing this late at night while I’m editing videos and escaping my Feed the Beast addiction. There’s a post coming about that at some point, I’m sure. Just got back from Ryan’s D&D game where we saved a city from a conspiracy of devil-worshippers. I need to write a character reflection, and I need a wiki update for today, because I was without internet all weekend. Exciting pieces of life. So two birds, one stone, and my first character reflection. I’m going to update HIS wiki. Here we go.

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Moving Pictures!

So it’s a holiday here in Canada, which isn’t really a good reason not to update, but I’m also off visiting family and carousing with novels and cameras. Happily, last week’s videos were all about how D&D motivates people’s creativity and is generally awesome. Roleplaying games, really, but for me it always comes back to D&D. Hop past the jump for a good video and a great song written by one of my D&D players.
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Credit: flickr/waltstoneburner

It’s almost a dirty word, isn’t it? It brings to mind memories of self-righteous douchery and stupidity in shining armor. The lawful good hero who insists that everyone abide by his code of honour, and comes with a standard issue stick up his butt. Almost everyone I’ve ever spoken to about it has a story like this. But let me tell you a secret.

I love paladins.

Playing the hero is one thing, but paladins have to. If they don’t, they’re punished. All their cool powers go bye-bye. This creates a really interesting kind of tension, but the code of honor can also put pressure  on players. There’s a tendency to overcompensate, which is where the self-righteousness and even fanaticism can come from. As a way of talking about heroism, today I’m going to teach you how to play a paladin without being a jerk. Feel free to share with your local paladins.  Read more

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