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Friday, September 30

D20 Modern Halloween Special

Zombies and slashers and ghosts, oh my!

It's that time of year again, when the dead rise up out of their graves, ghosts return to their old haunting grounds, and every moron in a mask demands candy at the end of a butcher's knife. It's enough to make a role-player mad!

Well fear no more. These handy guides will teach you how to spot the enemy, neutralize the enemy, and most importantly, blow the enemy to bits, preferably with a shotgun. Best of all, for one month only, they're a buck off the cover price! Get the coupon here:

BLOOD AND BLADES: THE PROFILER'S GUIDE TO SLASHERS ($6.95 with coupon): Contains new victim classes, a cohesive system for horror, madness, panic and fear, rules on playing a GM-less horror movie-style game. And of course, your favorite movie monsters, from the warrior breed to the demon pumpkin, the demonic slasher to the dream stalker, the thin stranger and his sentinel spheres to the soul sucker and the dreaded shape. Buy it at now at RPGNow.

BLOOD AND SPOOKS: THE GHOST HUNTER'S GUIDE ($5.45 with coupon): If you've ever wanted to open your own ghost busting franchise, this book will help you do it. It includes eight advanced classes, over 50 psionic powers, and plenty of ghost busting equipment to keep the restless dead contained. This guide ain't afraid of no ghosts! Buy it now at RPGNow.

BLOOD AND BRAINS: THE ZOMBIE HUNTER'S GUIDE ($6.95 with coupon): Everything you need to kill zombies, including a random zombie generator, 10 new occupations, five new advanced classes, and more weapons than you can shake a stick at. Come to think of it, the stick works too! But it now at RPGNow.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:25 AM | 1 comments links to this post


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Thursday, September 29

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 10: Ebb Tide

Where two boys once stood, only one remained. Camring had transformed into a bestially monstrous form. It was six-feet tall, with slick blue-black skin stretched tautly over knotty cords of muscle, long arms ending in viciously taloned and webbed claws, a bullet-like head with no discernable neck, and a face more fish than human.

Uttering a guttural, inarticulate moan, it turned and lunged from the room, crashing through the windows to the garden below.

Vlad moved to pursue. Bijoux put a hand out. "Let him go. Things are now as they should be," she said. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:58 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, September 26

New Review: Blood & Brains

Blood & Brains: The Zombie Hunter's Guide was recently reviewed by David Wright at RPGNow.com. The verdict: four stars!

Zombie's are something I'm trying to do something clever with in my games at the moment. The shambling zombies of Romero fame are all well and good but I was looking for something with a bit more zing!

This product has certainly gone some of the way towards giving me that and also giving my players other areas to expand themselves into via the new feats. [MORE]

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


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Sunday, September 25

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 9e: A Vengeful Storm

"Come on out, Cam. I got a bullet with yer name on it."

"It’s pronounced kai-EM!" shouted Kham as he hung over the window, twenty feet up, both handgonnes aimed at Zainat.

BLAM! BLAM!

Zainat whirled but not in time. Two bullet holes pierced his jacket. He lay flat on his back, staring upwards at Kham.

"I jest got one word fer ya," Zainat spat blood. "Jump."

Against every measure of common sense and instinct, Kham did as he was told. He threw himself out of the window...[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:21 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, September 21

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 9d: A Vengeful Storm

Ilmarė pointed at Neyadis, who began chanting again. "Stop her before she casts again!" she shouted.

Vlad barreled towards her. If she got off another fireball…

Neyadis raised one hand and pointed. The same pea-sized ball of flames would balloon into a massive explosion. It would most certainly incinerate his comrades if he didn't do something fast.

"Incendiaries—"

Her chant ended in a gurgle as she slid off Vlad's longsword. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:25 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, September 19

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 1:54 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, September 18

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 9c: A Vengeful Storm

Kham struggled up onto the roof. "How are the fires coming?" he asked, out of breath.

"Slowly," said Bijoux. "I do not think this plan will work." The cold mist and the water-soaked warehouse all worked against the sputtering flames.

"Me either," said Kham. He scrambled across the roof.

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"To settle a score," said Kham over his shoulder. Then he disappeared over the other side of the roof. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:15 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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DVD Review: True Romance

This is one star-studded cast that actually lives up to expectations. Don't be fooled: True Romance is as passionate and foul-mouthed as anything Tarantino has written. But it's a love letter to lovers, celebrating what brings out the best and worst in humanity.

Watch it, if only to see two pros (Hopper and Walken) at the top of their game. Trust me, I should know…I'm part Sicilian. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 2:06 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, September 16

Modern Dispatch: Executive Solutions (#56)

This issue of the Modern Dispatch features Executive Solutions, a mercenary company written by Michael Tresca. Includes information on incorporating the mercs in your campaign, involving the players, and a breakdown of the company's organization.

Purchase it for just $1.50 at RPGNow.

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.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:26 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 9b: A Vengeful Storm

WHAM!

The double doors shuttered. An axe blade rent a crack through one of the doors.

WHAM!

"Everyone to their weapons!" shouted Locksan, pointing to different thugs. "Crossbows up! You shoot the first thing that comes through those doors!"

WHAM!

Amalia gripped her flamberge with both hands. Broled had his longsword out. Neyadis was poring over a scroll. Zainat was at least sitting upright.

WHAM!

The double doors fell forward, revealing the three forms of a dwarf, a human, and a ss'ressen in the fog. Seven halberdiers were lined up behind them.

"And here I thought this was gonna be easy," said Zainat.
[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:02 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, September 13

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 9a: A Vengeful Storm

"Okay, so here's the plan," said Vlad. He looked around. "Wait. Where's Kham?"

A figure in an overcoat darted from crate to crate, zigzagging its way in the mist and darkness towards the sentry. The guard straightened up and lifted his crossbow, peering into the darkness.

"He's been spotted," said Ilmarė.

"He'll give us away!" said Vlad.

"Not if I can help it," said Ilmarė. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:43 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, September 11

Book Review: Bill the Galactic Hero

I imagine I would have appreciated this book much more if I was in the military or a teenager. In any case, it was certainly an educational experience for my inner writer. For anyone who wants to glorify war (Harrison's looking at you, Heinlein) in word, song or deed, Bill the Galactic Hero will shamelessly mock them until they change their mind.

And if not, well they were stupid bowbs anyway. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:09 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, September 9

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 8: Sleeping With the Fishes

"What were you doing, Vlad?"

"I found Cunegunda downstairs in Thralen's study," said Vlad. "She's a Censuri spy."

"And why exactly were you walking around in your nightshirt with a sword?" asked Thralen.

"I uh…" Vlad realized the predicament he was in. "I decided to take a walk."

"I see."
[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:34 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, September 8

New Blood & Blades Review

Marx Pyle just reviewed Blood and Blades: The Profiler's Guide to Slashers at SciFi411.com:
There are some really great new rule additions. The book includes one of the best horror check rules that I’ve seen in d20. It appears to be a blend of OGL Horror and the Sanity Rules in Unearthed Arcana that were adapted from Call of Cthulu d20. The book also includes new Flaws that add a little depth to your characters personality (Cowardly, Cruel, Envious, Greedy, Hot-Headed, etc). There are also Diplomacy skill rules on how to ‘tempt’ someone of the opposite sex and detailed rules on profiling. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:12 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, September 7

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 7c: Dancing Along the Yardarm

Five bight yellow strips were placed before the dwarf on a small plate. He took a fork and speared one.

Cal sniffed at him from across the table. "Fish?"

"No," said Beldin. "Sea urchin."

"What are you doing?" asked Vlad as he watched the dwarf savor the first bite. "That looks like little yellow tongues."

"Getting revenge," he replied with a satisfied smile. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:06 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, September 6

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 7b: Dancing Along the Yardarm

Vlad leaned forward, deadly serious. "There are rumors that your House has been compromised. Someone is readily supplying pirates with details pertaining the movements of the Milandisian naval patrols. They suspect your security has been breached."

The maid, who was turning to pour Vlad a cup of wine, nearly spilled it into his lap. Thralen's eyebrows shot up.

"A spy? In my house? While I appreciate your concern, I trust all my servants implicitly. If there was a spy here, I would know it."

The maidservant excused herself to clean up the mess.

"Way to keep the mission secret," said Ilmarė. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:53 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, September 5

DVD Review: Ginger Snaps Back

Ginger Snaps Back overreaches itself, struggling to craft a new tale with characters that can't support its Message of Sisterhood, a message that was done better by the first film. And since you need to see the first film to appreciate the ending of the Ginger Snaps Back, it ultimately fails in as a prequel and as an additional entry to the series' mythology. A good effort, but unnecessary… lycanthropy and pubescence are horror enough without any 19th century dressing. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:42 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Movie Review: The Transporter 2

All in all, Transporter 2 is a welcome entry in an otherwise crowded genre, with European sensibilities and style. Forget XXX, the Transporter is my candidate for the James Bond of the 21st century. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 3:52 PM | 1 comments links to this post


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Saturday, September 3

DVD Review: Kalifornia

The first clue to "Kalifornia" being about serial killers comes from the title itself. It starts with a "K" rather than a "C." For some reason, I thought of the song by the Eagles, Hotel California…but you'll note there's no "K" in the title. There are a myriad of theories, engouh to fill a Sesame Street song, as to why the movie is named that way: "K" is for Kafka, Kali, or even Klan (as in, the KKK). For me, it stands for "killing" as well as a fairytale land that doesn't really exist. In essence, all the characters fantasize about going to Kalifornia, but the real California is far, far worse. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:28 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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New Blood & Brains Review

Simon Washbourne just reviewed Blood and Brains: The Zombie Hunter's Guide at RPGNow.com:
A nice buy for zombie fans who also like the d20 system. Interesting new classes and lots of possibilities for what would otherwise be standard zombie-bashing fare. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:15 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, September 2

Cast Upon Tides of Weal and Woe - Part 7a: Dancing Along the Yardarm

Kham stopped to face the fountain. "The Fountain of Fortune. I’ve heard of it but never saw it before.” He fished a coin out of his pouch and flicked it into the water.

"Why would you waste perfectly good gold like that?” asked Beldin.

"For luck,” said Vlad.

"Stupid human custom,” said Ilmarė. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:51 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, September 1

New Blood & Blades Review

Peter Martin just reviewed Blood and Blades: The Profiler's Guide to Slashers at RPGNow.com:
A pretty solid treatment of the slasher genre, whether you want to have scared people running for their lives or grim professionals tracking down a killer as the focal point of the game. The profiler class from the Game Mechanics' Modern Player's Companion makes another appearance here, but the bounty hunter advanced class is new. The book seems well-constructed and balanced, and has a decent number of slasher customisation tools. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:37 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.