Rise of the Runelords #81: Sandpoint in Flames

Pathfinders' Guild of Berkeley

In a missing chapter of our tale, the party encountered the ogres’ leader, a stone giant spellcaster who had a note saying there would be a raid on the humble town of Sandpoint, the party’s starting town! The alchemist Gustav Gustav pursued his dream of opening a troll restaurant, and a ranger named Petey joined the party. The party returned, worked with the city to mount a defense, and are now fighting stone giants and a dragon!(-GM)

4th of Abadius, 4708 AR

Quite frankly, the giants weren’t that big of a problem. They were pretty tough, but we managed them. The dragon was another matter. Surprise surprise, dragons, even young ones, are not creatures that die easily. We tried valiantly, but to no avail.

That thing added us to the list of adventuring casualties pretty quickly. It didn’t help that I had about a shot glass’s worth of magical…

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The Red Temple under Béy Sǘ

Dyson's Dodecahedron

As with all the major cities of Tsolyánu, Béy Sǘ has been torn down and built over innumerable times over the generations. In the underworld of the city are a number of important (and well guarded) sites including the understructures of the major temples, archives, government buildings, and access to the remnants of the planetary tube-car system. But in a city as massive as Béy Sǘ, there are many other things below the city streets…

The Red Temple under Béy Sǘ
The Red Temple under Béy Sǘ (300 dpi promo – no commercial license)

The Red Temple was once a major part of the temple of Karakán before it moved to another part of the city. A hall of heroes and champions of the Brethren of Scarlet – a “secret warrior society” within the cult of Karakán. Most of the Red Temple was buried during the ditlanna that resulted in the current sewer system that runs…

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Is Sword-and-Sorcery Making a Come Back?

Grumpy Wizard

Sword-and-Sorcery was the beginning of the fantasy genre. It was overwhelmed by epic fantasy in the 1990s. Many thought it was never coming back. There has been a response to epic fantasy, the so-called grimdark, which shares many characteristics of sword-and-sorcery but remains distinct.

I see signs that there are some writers returning to sword-and-sorcery. I don’t expect to see Del Rey or Tor publishing anthologies of new stories. I think we are in the beginning stages of a small and spirited small press revival of the genre. I have a few ideas why that might be.

Much Diminished

Sword-and-sorcery has long been a genre sneered at by literary snobs. Even some of its foremost storytellers have been critical of the genre when it became overwrought and cliched.

In the fantasy world, epic fantasy has been the dominant form of the genre since the late 80s’. Multi-book series of…

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Wrapping up the Steam Summer Sale 2022

The Ancient Gaming Noob

By the time this post goes live the annual Steam Summer Sale will have been consigned to history, another sales event in a long series of such events.

Steam Summer Sale 2022

In the end, I bought a single title, Solasta: Crown of the Magister.  And that last night.

Potshot was into it, it was already on my wishlist, and it was 60% off.  I had to tell myself that I would spend time with it this coming weekend.  We shall see how that fares.

That was my sole purchase.

Not that the sale was missing other temptations.  There were a number of items on my wishlist I seriously considered.

I probably cam the closest to buying LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which had been marked down by 25%. That isn’t a bad discount for a major multi-platform title released just a couple of months back, and…

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Games Leaving Game Pass This Month


Subscription services being what they are, old games get cycled-off as new games are added-in. Why that is when they’re still hosted for download, only the service providers know, but the fact still remains that nothing is permanent when it comes to the likes of Game Pass and now PS Plus. So, here’s what’s gonna be going away soon.

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Boss Rush Banter: Would You Name Your Child After a Video Game Character?

Parents have a variety of reasons of how they name their children. Some are traditionalists and pass along a family name, and others scour through a book for one that carries a significant meaning. Others just go for the bizarre for the shock value. Regardless, naming your child is a big deal–that is how they will be addressed for life (for the most part). Many of us may know a friend or person who named their child after a musician or celebrity they adore, but have you met someone who named–or considered naming–their child after a video game character? Maybe you considered it, too?

The most famous example is Robin Williams and his daughter, Zelda. They did a commercial together to promote The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which was incredibly sweet.

Commercial courtesy of Nintendo (via Zelda Universe)

Many may believe naming a child after…

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Playful Prep Suggestions

Roleplay Rescue’s Blog

Following on from my decision to schedule free-play GM prep time, time to prepare game stuff which is specifically designed for no particular reason, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of areas that would be fun to explore. These would be useful starting points, hooks upon which to hang some ideas.

The first area would be specific game and scenario structures: building interesting combat situation; designing locations to explore; sketching out a mystery; mapping out a hexcrawl. These are nice broad structures that can be a lot of fun to sketch out and stick in a folder for future use in sessions.

The second area is adding specific elements that can be inserted in Worlds: people; places, things. Giving yourself licence to imagine grand fantastic imagery and jot it down. Coming up with intriguing NPC ideas. Designing magical items or cool pieces of science-fiction tech. It’s a fun thing…

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5RD – Barrow of the Flayer

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Barrow of the Flayer
Barrow of the Flayer (300 dpi promo, no commercial license)

Cut into the hillside behind a circle of menhirs is the Barrow of the Flayer – a stone-reinforced barrow partially hidden by overhanging grasses from the steep hill above. The menhirs themselves give hints as to the origin of the flayer – carvings of tentacles descend from the peaks of the menhirs towards the base, ominous and seeming to reach for those who stand among the stones to examine them.

Barrow of the Flayer
Barrow of the Flayer (1200 dpi)

Steps lead into the two openings of the barrow – a few broad steps into the main entrance, and a series of narrow stairs up into the small natural-looking antechamber on the right. The largest chamber is the only one that sees much use these days as the “druids” of the circle outside will take shelter here from the elements. The statue at the…

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D&D Diary – The Wild Beyond the Witchlight – Session 12

Game Night Blog

Where we execute Will’s half-baked rescue plan; but first, an in-between session when half the party doesn’t show up to play.

Witchlight cover titleA little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

When last we left our heroes, we finally found the infamous Will of the Fey, a notorious criminal, currently wanted by the law of the land. That law being the evil hag, Skabatha Nightshade. Expecting Will to be a roguish rapscillion akin to Robin Hood and his Merry Men, he is instead a twelve-year-old boy and his Getaway Gang. It’s Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. And what has Will done to invoke the ire of the local witch? Well, he had the audacity to rescue several enslaved children, saving them from a lifetime of misery, toiling in Skabatha’s toy making sweatshop. And he’s got a brilliant plan to rescue the rest of them. If only…

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Notable Games Coming to PlayStation, PC, and Xbox This Week — 4th July to 10th July

The releases this week are steady, with a few noteworthy games coming out across all platforms. The newly released Arcadegeddon is a free grab for PlayStation Plus subscribers but the big highlight this week is the return of Klonoa!

KLONOA Phantasy Reverie Series (image courtesy and © 2022 Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Here are the new games coming to PS5, PS4, PC, and Xbox this week across both physical and digital formats so you will know what’s coming out for your favorite Sony or Microsoft systems. Enjoy and remember to come back every week for all info about game releases!

4 July

© 2022 Sekai Project

  • One Last Crane | PC

5 July

© 2022 IllFonic

  • Arcadegeddon | PS5 & PS4
    (also on: PC, Xbox Series X, XB1)
  • Yurukill: The Calumniation Games | PS5 & PS4
    (also on: PC July 8, 2022)

6 July

© 2018, 2022 Ubisoft

  • The Crew…

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