Knights of the Dinner Table
The Gazebo - In our podcast episode "When to Say Yes to Your Players" we talk about what happens if your players misunderstand a statement you made. We referenced the classic Knights of the Dinner Table classic from issue #1.
1,000,000 Sq Ft of Forest Maps - The artist is offering them free in January 2021 (not sure when they will switch behind his paywall. He has a lot of other maps there including 1,000,000 Sq Ft of Dungeon. This service is a competitor for Patreon FYI.
Dungeon Generators, NPC Generators, and much much more - Don Jon's page has a lot of great resources for AD&D, D&D 3.5 / 4.0 / 5.0, Pathfinder and more. If you need a dungeon with monsters and traps 5 minutes before your game session click the link.
Dungeon Script - Create your own custom dungeon in no time. This is a great tool if you have something specific in mind. Free web based tool that lets you create a cave, castle, tavern, spaceship layout for use in your RPG's. The tool is very versatile and can be easy to learn and has a ton of features that can grow with you.
Skull RPG Resources
Tell Your Story - Our free methodology for learning to connect your game sessions to your game campaign using the analogy of a play. Find the power of being able to use acts to tell engaging stories and have your scenes tell a cohesive story.
Just Enough Planning - Our paid course ($39) that has about 3 hours of video and several workbooks that will help you plan your game campaign (play) and connect it to your game sessions (scenes) so that you can take the lessons learned in Tell Your Story and build out your next adventure. Never forget about foreshadowing a big twist or reveal. As a bonus we will give you hundreds of curated names for humans, elves, dwarves, orcs as well as other cool things like generating your own place names with the knowledge of how to shorten them to show the passage of time. Click the link to learn more.
Elevator Game Rules
Six Stories (Hydra)
Hyrda in the 6 stories books is where I first heard about the elevator game / black eyed children. Click here for that.
Cyberpunk/Shadowrun Dossier Image
Here is the image I used for the background of my dossier's in Shadowrun. The grey box is for a picture. Then I put the name of the person at the top and bio info to the right of the image. Click here for that.
Free to play board games
Here is where our gaming group has been going when we have to play remotely. https://boardgamearena.com
RPG Game Resources
Dungeons and Dragons
Core rule books for Dungeons and Dragons
Shadowrun core rule books on Drive Thru RPG
Shadowrun 5e quick start rules (free)
Here is the Trilogy of games on Steam
Normally cheaper on GOG
Pick up GURPS here
Vampire: The Masquerade / World of Darkness
Pick up any of the versions of Vampire: The Masquerade from Drive Thru RPG
Nights Black Agents
Pick up Night Black Agents from Drive Thru RPG
Here is where you can get 10 Candles.
Everybody is John
Here are the rules for Everybody is John.
Killer Horror Story Ideas
Town NPC Cast
Mayor Jarl - Halfling / Male / Clueless / Afraid
Baker Edwyn – Human / Male / Jovial / Helpful with town history / Gossip
Butcher’s wife Almora – Dwarven / Female / Suspicious of Wizard / Believer of conspiracies
Blacksmith Gilor – Dwarven / Male / Boastful / Will kill the beast with bare hands
Druid Rodwen – Elven / Female / Openly distrusts Wizard and accuses him of evil
Head of town guard Garl – Half Orc / Fighter / Male / Thuglike / Violent
Cleric Glandur – Elf / Male / Openly hostile toward Garl / Money loving
Bard Lywne – Human / Male / Lies / Looking for next heroes for songs / annoying
Innkeep Ruda – Dwarven / Female / Friendly / Gossipy / Speaks her mind
Wizard Kora – Human / Female / Know it all / arrogant / needs no one / spiteful
Timeline first 5 days
Day 1 – Heroes come to town – murder of a teenage eleven male – bear attack – no brain
Day 2 – old human man – knifed in alley – no brain
Day 3 – one of the town guard (human) – “fell” – baker seen 5 minutes earlier going up the tower – no brain
Day 4 – Druid’s apprentice (elven male) – crushed by mace (suspicion falls on cleric) – no brain
Day 5 – Baker – Tiger attack – no brain
Pishacha – flesh eating Indian Demon
This ghoul-like demon has blue-black skin covered in bulging red veins that glow like embers. A long, lascivious tongue snakes forth from a mouth filled with jagged teeth.
Medium fiend (shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 55 (10d8 + 10)
Speed 30 ft.
Arcana +2, Perception +5
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Abyssal, Common, Darakhul; telepathy 60 ft.
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
- Shapechanger. The pishacha can use its action to polymorph into a tiger or a wolf, or back into its true form. Other than its size, its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
- Multiattack. The pishacha makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.
- Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) piercing damage.
- Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage.
- Demonic Possession (Recharge 6). One humanoid that the pishacha can see within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be possessed by the pishacha; the pishacha then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses some control of its body, succumbing to a random short-term madness (see the System Reference Document 5.1) each round for 3d6 rounds. At the end of the 3d6 rounds, the pishacha becomes dormant within the body. While possessing a victim, the pishacha attempts to seize control of the body again every 1d4 hours. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or succumb to another 3d6 round period of random short-term madness. Even if the target succeeds, it is still possessed. If the target is still possessed at the end of a long rest, it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or gain a long-term madness. While possessing a victim, the pishacha can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect, except those that can turn or repel fiends, and it retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics, but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies. The possession lasts until the body drops to 0 hp, the pishacha ends it as a bonus action, or the pishacha is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. The pishacha can also be forced out if the victim eats a bowl of rice that has been cooked in holy water. When the possession ends, the pishacha reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to possession by the same pishacha for 24 hours after succeeding on the initial saving throw or after the possession ends.
- Invisibility. The pishacha magically turns invisible until it attacks or until its concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell).
Cursed by the Gods. Originating in eastern lands, pishacha are created when the souls of the greedy and lustful are deemed too wicked to be reincarnated by the gods. Unable to redeem themselves, the pishacha are cursed to remain on the Material Plane and feed on the living.
Graveyard Dwellers. Pishacha demons haunt remote places where they can lure a living creature to its doom. They often share space with ghouls, and some pishacha can be found dwelling near darakhul settlements. Those living near a pishacha lair make offerings of rice at the crossroads on holy days to appease the demons and keep them away.
Bloodthirsty and Cruel. Pishacha seek to spread fear and mayhem among the living. They seek to possess humanoid bodies, driving their victims insane from the inside out.
Lexicon: The RPG Game
Posted by Neel Krishnaswami on November 20, 2003 at 08:43 PM
Here's a little roleplaying game that I've been toying with. I call it the Lexicon rpg, in honor of its inspiration, Milorad Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars.
The basic idea is that each player takes on the role of a scholar, from before scholarly pursuits became professionalized (or possibly after they ceased to be). You are cranky, opinionated, prejudiced and eccentric. You are also collaborating with a number of your peers -- the other players -- on the construction of an encyclopedia describing some historical period (possibly of a fantastic world).
The game is played in 26 turns, one for each letter of the alphabet.
1. On the first turn, each player writes an entry for the letter 'A'. You come up with the name of the entry, and you write 100-200 words on the subject. At the end of the article, you sign your name, and make two citations to other entries in the encyclopedia. These citations will be phantoms -- their names exist, but their content will get filled in only on the appropriate turn. No letter can have more entries than the number of players, either, so all citations made on the first turn have to start with non-A letters.
2. On the second and subsequent turns, you continue to write entries for B, C, D and so on. However, you need to make three citations. One must be a reference to an already-written entry, and two must be to unwritten entries. (On the 25th and 26th turns, you only need to cite one and zero phantom entries, respectively, because there won't be enough phantom entries, otherwise.)
It's an academic sin to cite yourself, you can never cite an entry you've written. (OOC, this forces the players to intertwingle their entries, so that everybody depends on everyone else's facts.) Incidentally, once you run out of empty slots, obviously you can only cite the phantom slots.
3. Despite the fact that your peers are self-important, narrow-minded dunderheads, they are honest scholars. No matter how strained their interpretations are, their facts are accurate as historical research can make them. So if you cite an entry, you have to treat its factual content as true! (Though you can argue vociferously with the interpretation and introduce new facts that shade the interpretation.)
4. This little game will probably play best on a wiki, and it should take a month or so to play to completion. At the end of it, you'll have a highly-hyperlinked document that details a nice little piece of collaborative world-building.
The owner of the wiki should set the general subject of the Lexicon. I suggest that he or she make use of the technique of "open reference" when describing the historical period: "You are all revisionist scholars from the Paleotechnic Era arguing about how the Void Ghost Rebellion led to the overthrow of the cyber-gnostic theocracy and the establishment of the Third Republic." What a cyber-gnostic theocracy is, or what happened to the first two republics, or what the Paleotechnic Era is are all unknown -- they are named to specifically to evoke a mood and inspire the other players' creativity. (This is an idea which I've first seen in fully articulated form in the character creation rules for Robin Laws's Hero Wars game.)
The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell (article):
What makes a hero? - Matthew Winkler (TEDx Talk):
Dan Harmon's Story Circle:
Can't quite execute your vision as a game master?
I could easily come up with a world and create an idea to play, but I could never quite execute my vision. You see I realized that there is a huge step missing between the campaign setting and the individual game sessions. They didn't have the feel that I wanted. I could never make them into a complete story, until I switched over to the Play / Act / Scene Model of being a storyteller. Check it out below.