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Sunday, July 31

RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:33 PM | 0 comments links to this post


Want more? Please consider contributing to my Patreon; Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the web; buy my books: The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, The Well of Stars, and Awfully Familiar.

Saturday, July 30

Looking for Reviewers

I know there's a core group of folks who read my site every day...all ten of you. :) I need to get the word out about my latest products, but I can't do it without your help! If you're willing to review one of my products, please let me know and I will be happy to send you a copy. Let me know if there's anything in particular you want to review.

Unfortunately, I've tried this experiment before and it's failed miserably, mostly because people review one product and then stop. Or worse, they never even write the review!

As long as you continue to write reviews about the products I send you (good or bad), I will eventually send you print products as well. Obviously, you get to keep everything I send you. The idea is that for every review you write (and I mean more than two sentence reviews), the more material I will send you.

Interested? Contact me!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:13 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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PDF Review: Construct Mechanus

Construct Mechanus is the first in a series of books about magical robot characters in a fantasy setting (*COUGH* Warforged *COUGH). Actually, I think Construct Mechanus beat Warforged to the punch. But in any case, the Ronin Arts combination of Philip Reed and Christopher Shy band together to present all the mecha goodness you could ever want for a fantasy game, including two new races (Stilt and Abombinus), two new classes (tanker and mystic defender), mechanus-specific feats, and rules on firearms. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:23 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, July 29

Blood and Blades: The Profiler's Guide to Slashers

The Paranormal Response Unit (PRU). It is like no other career choice you've explored. It's challenging. Compelling. Important. Whatever your background or expertise, you will find a PRU future exceptionally rewarding because the work you perform will have a daily impact on the nation's security and the quality-of-life for all citizens.

Our mission is a noble one. It entails protecting everyone from slashers; upholding federal criminal laws against repeat killers; providing leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local and international agencies in investigating paranormal attacks — and performing these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public.

Blood and Blades: The Profiler's Guide to Slashers includes:

PRU: Putting the end to horror movie sequels everywhere. Do you have what it takes?


Buy Blood and Blades at RPGNow today!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 5:28 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:10 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, July 28

PDF Review: Modern Day Maps

Unlike fantasy settings, where you can be pretty confident that an inn is an inn is an inn, modern maps are a lot more challenging because you actually have to know what some of these places look like. From above. Or else someone (and there’s always someone, we all have this guy) points out how unrealistic the map is.

Modern Day Maps to the rescue! [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 5:02 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, July 27

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 1b: Freeport Bound

Baldric glared at Edward with his good eye. "Ahem. Anyway, we be hopin' th' wee kitty would brin' us some luck when ye’re nay on board. So 't’s only right that ye name th' lass."

"Name him?" asked Bijoux, eyebrows raised.

"Aye," said Captain Baldric.

The crew gathered around her expectantly.

Bijoux’s eyes flickered everywhere looking for an escape.

"Just say something," said Ilmarė, "before they make us sing again." [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:54 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, July 26

RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:26 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Review: Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream is not a movie for the faint of heart. But it is not exploitive or judgemental. Hubert Selby Jr. isn't just writing about people who are chained to their addictions, he's mourning them. With Aronofsky's deft touch, a grim book truly rises to the level of a requiem, filled lights and sound that follow its poor subjects to their grim conclusions. A horrible, awful, beautiful masterpiece. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:21 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, July 25

Listen to My Podcast Interview!

What's a podcast? "Podcasting" is making audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) available online in a way that allows software to automatically download the files for listening at the user's convenience.

I was recently interviewed by the cool guys at Dragonslanding.com. Download the interview now to your player and listen to me ramble on like a madman!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:44 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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RetroMUD is BACK!

After two fans on our server blew, thereby melting the whole system, Rayzam and Alaron managed to get us working again on a new, virtual server. And the puppy is FAST. Check out the new and improved RetroMUD at http://www.retromud.org today!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:24 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Modern Dispatch Celebrates Issue #50

This week we (RPGObjects, Adamant, 12 to Midnight, Ronin Arts) celebrate 50 issues of the Modern Dispatch. In honor or this milestone, this week they have placed most back issues on sale for 50c off and 3 month subscriptions for $2 off (one subscription only please).

Buy Modern Dispatch: Deadline, Inc. (#32) for just 75 cents!

This issue of the Modern Dispatch features Deadline, Inc., the military arm of a company that has holdings in gas, oil, and minerals. It considers itself to be a military consultancy, and it purports to specialize in advice and problem resolution for legitimate governments. It is an independent entity, but its senior officers are former military personnel from several major nations.

NOTE: This article, while usable on its own, is best used with Ronin Arts’ Modern: Mercenary Manual, also by Michael Tresca.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:37 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 1a: Freeport Bound

"You will need my help," said Bijoux. "The creatures of the sea will not respond kindly to the intrusion of men. I will go."

Ilmarė frowned. "I wouldn’t be so quick to-"

She was interrupted by a very loud, "BURRRRRRRRRRRRRP!"

"Osalian help me," said Ilmarė without looking at the source, "that can only be—"

"Kham!" shouted Vlad. "I thought you had left for Altheria!" He punched Kham on the shoulder, who had sat at the bar unnoticed until his gaseous expulsion. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:33 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, July 24

RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:07 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, July 23

Review of Joe Tresca's Photoshop CS2

Check out J. Rodriguez's review of Joe Tresca's What's New in Photoshop CS2:

I would continue on, on how great this CD is for the designer who wants to upgrade but does not have any idea on this new and fantastic upgrade adobe has created for us…now to be clear, this program is not only made for graphic designers, but it is also used world wide but photographers. Enough of me ranting about this awsome CD, go and get yourself a copy today! And let them know that Jay sent ya! [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 5:37 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:11 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, July 22

RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:15 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, July 21

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Prologue

Amalia harrumphed and followed the priest with a swirl of his cloak. Broled fell in step behind next to Zainat. "Vhy is Amalia so angry?"

"Because she's insecure?" he responded.

"She's angry," Neyadis said softly behind them, "because if too much powder goes through a gate, it explodes."

Zainat spat in front of Broled as the man's eyes widened.

"Powder for vhat?" Broled said after a moment.

Zainat patted the blackwood stock and mother-of-pearl handle of his flintlock hanging from a holster on his belt. "Altherian secret. You'll find out soon enough." [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:20 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, July 20

Sword & Sorcery Studios to publish "Etherscope" from Goodman Games and Malladins Gate

I recently contribued a section to the Etherscope book The Great Metropolis. It's a 144-page softcover supplement; ISBN 1-58846-943-3; WW17621; $23.99. Available in January 2006

Goodman Games and White Wolf Publishing are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement to publish the "Cyperpunk Victoriana" roleplaying game Etherscope under the Sword & Sorcery Studios imprint. Sword & Sorcery Studios will handle all publishing and distribution duties for Etherscope, which will be produced by Goodman Games in cooperation with the game’s creators at Malladins Gate Press.

Etherscope, a roleplaying game of etherspace adventures in a land of intrigue, industry, and imperialism, is scheduled for November release as a 240-page hardback with a price of $34.99. Published under the Open Gaming License, the Etherscope rulebook requires no other player’s handbook to use, but it will have several supplements of its own and can be used in conjunction with other OGL-driven games.

"Etherscope delivers a great combination of originality and quality, both in its use of the OGL mechanics and its detailed setting," said Stewart Wieck, Managing Editor for Sword & Sorcery Studios. "These qualities will set it apart in a crowded marketplace. They certainly made it standout from the many other proposals we receive."

"Etherscope is a beautifully unique RPG that combines the best elements of two great genres," said Joseph Goodman, President of Goodman Games. "It’s a visionary world with an elegant engine that takes the best of d20 Modern and adapts it to a unique setting."

Etherscope was first developed by creators Nigel McClelland and Ben Redmond, who run PDF publisher Malladins Gate Press. Malladins Gate is best known for the DarkLore Campaign Primer and the Forgotten Heroes line of character-expansion supplements. "From its inception, the potential for Etherscope to become a truly great roleplaying game was obvious," said Ben Redmond, the game’s co-creator. "Finding the best partner for the project was an important factor in realizing this possibility. As fans of DragonMech and Broncosaurus Rex, we knew that Goodman Games would allow Etherscope to achieve its promise. Goodman Games has not let us down—Joseph Goodman has put together an excellent team to make Etherscope one of the true greats of roleplaying."

All Etherscope supplements will be available to retailers from White Wolf in their normal distributor listings, just as with the DragonMech line (a previous collaboration between Sword & Sorcery and Goodman Games). Other Goodman Games releases will continue to be published separately by Goodman Games. Etherscope will be supported by quarterly releases, with the first being the setting sourcebook The Great Metropolis in January 2006.

About Etherscope:
Etherscope is a Victorian-themed world with a rich cyberpunk overtone. In 1876, Harold Wallace discovered something that changed the world: Etherspace. The might of Victorian industry drove forward, breaking down the frontiers of technology. Steam engines became smaller, weapons became more powerful, and cybernaughtics replaced limbs lost in bloody imperial wars. Then mankind learned to step into Etherspace itself. Now it’s 1984. In this alternative world of out-of-control technology, Etherspace is the new frontier. Punk Scope riders fight evil industrialists while occult investigators war against Etherspace demons. Mysterious System agents lurk in the shadows as treasure-hunters raid Lemurian ruins for lost secrets. Jack in, scope up, and get ready, because the options for an Etherscope game are endless!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:03 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Frost and Fur Review

Frost and Fur: The Explorer's Guide to the Frozen Lands recently received a review at RPGNow.com.
I like what I have read and I am only half way through this book. Good Book more than enough details to help you run a winter campaign. Bigger better and at a better cost than some of the bigger companies books.
The verdict: five stars! [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:59 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, July 19

Loesung Updated to 3.5

I reivsed Loesung the Vampire Hunter so that he more accurately reflects his age (nearly a thousand years old and only 6th level? Bah!). Now he's 13th level with a lot more abilities. I also upgraded his intelligent items and converted him to 3.5. Enjoy!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:57 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Amberyll the Thief-Taker Updated to 3.5

Amberyll the Thief-Taker has been updated to the new format and 3.5 rules. She got considerably richer as a result and even splurged on a nicer cloak of resistance!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:46 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, July 18

3.5 Statistics for Talien

As an experiment in stat blocking, I used the E-Tools program to recreate Talien as a celestial satyr paladin. I also wanted to use the new stat block format that Dungeon and the Monster Manual II implemented just recently. So without further ado, here's the new, improved, and simplified Talien to beat up in your D20 games!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:12 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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ENnies Nominations!

The ENnie nominees have been announced! Of note:

What are you waiting for? Visit the ENWorld Web site and vote today!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:11 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, July 17

I'm Available for Interviews!

Just wanted to let the collective news sites out there be aware that I'm available for interviews. There are quite a few exciting developments going on:



I'm always happy to talk about my current and upcoming projects. If you're interested in interviewing me, please contact me today!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:19 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

In summation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is actually a very basic morality play. By keeping it simple and yet poking fun at political mores, fads, and icons (even shifting from 50s-style dress to 80s-style music), Burton creates a tale that's alternately funny, heartwarming, and a dire warning for parents everywhere. Don't let your kids eat too much, spend too much, play too many games, or try too hard to be a winner.

With standards like that, perhaps none of us deserve a visit to Wonka's Chocolate Factory. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:45 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Introduction

This session took place over several hours at a Memorial Day barbecue. I knew it would take long with the sheer amount of detailed NCPs that the party had to face. I was also prepared this time, with cardboard maps and props, miniatures of all types (including my collection of painted lead miniatures, figures from the Pirate Battle game, and toys from a party store), and of course, my pirate mask.

What ensued was complete chaos. This was a grand melee of seven players against all kinds of enemies, such that I can’t even cover them all in the story hour. I hope you enjoy how I chose to portray them, as the bad guys are like the Legion of Doom—they’re just evil versions of the good guys. Just about everybody has an evil counterpart, but my favorite was Zainat Zameri, the clerical gunslinger who is after the bounty on Kham’s head. I had plans to use the dueling rules from D20 Deadlands…but with Kham, things never go according to plan. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:17 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, July 13

The Children of Leviathan - Conclusion

"We were looking for Cassicus," said Ilmarė out of the side of her mouth. "That’s why Quintus sent us to find you."

The servants lifted the tops of the serving trays, revealing succulent smells of roasted saucy meats, breads, fancy stews and puddings, dark gravies, bright vegetables, sweet woodland fruits, truffles, mushrooms and subtle spices.

"Great," said Kham. "Who’s Cassicus?" [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:11 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, July 12

Complete Guide to Werewolves Available at RPGNow!

One shapechanger stands above them all as the ultimate source of fear and cunning. For centuries, werewolves have been staples of folklore worldwide, spreading terror in the night while hiding amongst mankind in the day. Now the Complete Guide to Werewolves brings this historical monster into your d20 game. Grounded in folklore from multiple cultures, this thorough and imaginative sourcebook gives you everything you need to engage the world's most dangerous shapeshifter.

The Complete Guide to Werewolves takes a comprehensive view of its legendary subject. With material based on mythology, it offers new options for werewolf characters, including not just the usual assortment of feats and prestige classes, but also rules for breeds, lunar influence, and weaknesses or "thorns." Every aspect of the lycanthropic process is examined, from life stages to mindset to new lyncathropic diseases, and the book includes a selection of powerful NPCs and new monsters ready to be inserted into any campaign.

PAGES: 72
ZIP SIZE: 3.9 MB
DOWNLOAD PRICE: $9.99
[BUY IT NOW]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:44 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, July 11

Modern Dispatch: The Mad Dogs (#48)

This issue of the Modern Dispatch features the Mad Dogs, a mercenary company known for taking on assignments that other mercs turn down. Includes information on incorporating the mercs in your campaign, involving the players, and a breakdown of the company's organization.

Written by Michael Tresca.

NOTE: This article, while usable on its own, is best used with Ronin Arts’ Modern: Mercenary Manual, also by Michael Tresca. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:01 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Review: Saved!

Saved! is alternately too contrived or not vicious enough. The characters aren't all convincing in their sins or their zeal, and sometimes it just feels like the film is a moral parable masquerading as a movie; a dumbed down liberal version of a Jack Chik rant against the perils of fundamentalism. We get it: "Why would God make us all so different," asks Mary," if he wanted us to be the same?"

If the worst Saved! can point out is that Christian fundamentalism makes everyone boring, then that's a very mild chastisement indeed. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 5:13 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, July 9

The Children of Leviathan - Part 9b: Flight from the Island

Sure enough, cultists were streaming from the ruined temple at the center of the island. They put up a great shout as they came closer, frothing at the mouth with weapons raised high.

"The outrigger!" shouted Vlad. They filed into the boat and each took a paddle.

"Row!" shouted Kham. "Row faster!"

All around them the water was filled spear shafts.

"Not. Helping," said Ilmarė through gritted teeth as she put her back into it. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:14 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:28 AM | 0 comments links to this post


Want more? Please consider contributing to my Patreon; Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the web; buy my books: The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, The Well of Stars, and Awfully Familiar.

Friday, July 8

RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 2:25 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, July 7

Complete Guide to Werewolves Ships!

The Complete Guide to Werewolves just shipped from the printer. This sourcebook covers everything you need to build a campaign centered around one of the all-time classic monsters. Here's an art gallery for Complete Guide to Werewolves so you see some of the book's highlights:


The ulhednir prestige class: a raging horror of tooth and claw!


Other werewolves prefer stealth and surprise over strength and fury.


Werewolves come in many breeds, such as the nubilus werewolves of the plains.


Some breeds believe in protecting the land they inhabit... through whatever means necessary.


Werewolves have a cosmology of their own, including patron deities and the Alpha Lupercus, priests of the wolf-god Lupercus.


So too do they have enemies, such as this Lupus Venator.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 2:01 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, July 6

The Children of Leviathan - Part 9a: Flight from the Island

"Uh, guys…" said Kham.

Vlad looked down at Bijoux, who gulped the blood from the dead woman. "I didn't know the Fihali could do that."

"Guys," said Kham.

Ilmarė joined them. Inexplicably, the knife was back in her hands. "That's enough Bijoux," she said.

Bijoux looked up, her chin soaked with blood. She wiped it off with the back of one arm.

"Now let's see about this mask," said the Elorii. She yanked the knife out of the dead woman's face and tried to pry the mask off, but it crumbled, leaving a faceless skull beneath.

"HEY!" shouted Kham. "I don't want to alarm anyone and I recognize that I have a unique perspective on the situation since I'm strapped to the back of a homicidal lizard, but I thought you might want to know that there are about a million cultists running straight toward us!" [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:29 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:28 PM | 0 comments links to this post


Want more? Please consider contributing to my Patreon; Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the web; buy my books: The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, The Well of Stars, and Awfully Familiar.

Monday, July 4

Review: Batman Begins

Ultimately, Batman Begins is the platform for a much larger story. The events in the first movie stage the platform for the next and explain why so many crazies-with-a-theme populate Batman's world. If the Batman franchise can stray true to this new "comic book realism," it will be a joy to watch unfold. Here's hoping this is just the beginning. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:16 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Review: War of the Worlds

Spielberg's version of War of the Worlds is not a science fiction parable, like the 1950s version. It's not a polemic on the folly of man, like the original book. Any marvel at how the alien technology works is lost in their relentless, seemingly purposeless, destruction of humanity. It's much closer to the radio play in that it's a survival horror.

That horror is best summed up in a question, never broached in the 50s version: Why are the tripods COLLECTING people? Spielberg unflinchingly tells us. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 1:12 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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The Children of Leviathan - Part 8e: The Caves

Vlad pointed to Kham. "Cal, get Kham. Let’s hope that portal leads to somewhere safe."

"No!" shouted Kham as Cal picked him up like a rag doll and strapped him onto his back. "We can't leave the cannon!"

"There’s no way we can carry it," said Vlad as a volley of spears pierced several crates near his head.

"You’re right," said Kham slowly. "We can’t carry it."

Vlad and Kham shared a knowing nod.

Kham encompassed the other crates and barrels in the room. "See all this? It’s ammunition and blackpowder to fire this cannon. Grab a barrel." [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:32 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, July 2

RetroMUD Comic Update

RetroMUD has contracted with Keenspot to highlight RetroMUD. Check out the latest issue of Dan Shive's comic!


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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:47 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, July 1

The Children of Leviathan - Part 8d: The Caves

Bijoux spread her wingflaps and launched herself towards the altar. The air had become a forest of flying spears, such that she had to twist and bend to avoid them. One spear through her wingflaps would ground her.

She landed on the altar and peered in. It was a carved rock altar with a large glass bowl. At the bottom of the bowl was a golden ring with a key mounted on it.

And a snake. Or an eel. Bijoux wasn't familiar with Onaran wildlife.

Bijoux took a deep breath. She didn't have time to fool around by fishing around in the bowl and the snakey thing—whatever it was—would certainly bite her. It would take all of her catlike reflexes to snatch it out of the bowl. It would require all her concentration.

"I don't have time for this," she muttered. With a swipe of her claws, she shattered the bowl. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:15 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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