Deck of Many Things

Gaming Stories: Pick a Card

Every once in a while, I like to send the PCs against a monster that’s just out of their league. When you’re low-level, encountering an adult dragon or a lich can still be fun. The only difference is that the goal stops being killing the other guy and taking his stuff and becomes a matter of survival. After all, sometimes the monsters want to kill some adventurers and take their stuff.

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Pathfinder Flumph

The Awesome Silliness of Fantasy RPGs

Originally published on Sidekickcast.com

If you’re a fan of role-playing games, you probably got introduced to the game through a little thing called Dungeons & Dragons. It may have come by a different name back then, such as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but the general gist remains the same. In my unscientific study, about 99% of gamers were found to have come into the hobby via some iteration of D&D.

I’ve hopped around a lot in the RPG hobby, and while I got off the D&D train, my current game of choice, Pathfinder, is an extremely close cousin of the world’s first role-playing game. While there are a lot of reasons I tend to stick close to the D&D tradition, one of the major ones is the oddball humor that the game’s history is steeped in.

I like a good beer and pretzels game, where the play is fairly casual and the jokes are frequent. And when it comes to D&D-style fantasy, the jokes have been baked into the game for decades now.

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Pathfinder Playtest

The Pathfinder Playtest: Changes to Come

We’re less than five months away from the release of Pathfinder 2nd edition. Folks who participated in the playtest saw a notably changed system, and those who kept up on the regular updates saw the game change even more due to player feedback. After all that, what will the final version look like?

Only the designers know for sure, although fans can expect previews as the hype for the new edition builds. But interviews during and after the playtest, not to mention the update documents themselves, already provide some hints as to what’s coming. Here’s a breakdown of the changes we can definitely expect from 2nd edition.

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Apparatus of Kwalish

Weird Magic Items I Wish I’d Used

Originally posted on Sidekickcast.com

Thanks to whatever weirdness inhabited the heads of Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, fantasy gaming has some really bizarre stuff baked into its history. I’ve gamed long enough to use a lot of that weirdness (including my personal favorite, the deck of many things), but there’s still so much more out there. Here’s a quick list of some of the fun items in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder that I’ve always wanted to slip into an adventure but have never quite been able to make fit.

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Council of Thieves Carriage

Gaming Stories: The Ignominious Death of Machiavelli

This is a story about chaos and mismanaged expectations. It involves the death of a PC whose player had only started gaming two sessions ago. Somehow, my botched GMing didn’t drive him away from the tabletop for good and in fact became a tale that many who were there recall fondly.

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Super Mario Pathfinder

Super Mario Pathfinder

I have a son who is getting interested in role-playing games. He is also extremely interested in the Mario franchise, to the point where he refers to himself as Mario. His sister gets to be Princess Peach, his mother gets to be Princess Daisy, and I’m stuck as Luigi.

Recently, I decided to fuse these two interests together, resulting in a Super Mario Brothers edition of Pathfinder.

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Dryad

Gaming Stories: The Evil Tree Spirit

Originally published in Knights of the Dinner Table #146

The quest was a simple low-level affair: men in a small lumber town were disappearing into the forest. All the PCs had to do was find out what was going on and put a stop to it.

The culprit was a lonely dryad that had been luring men into the forest and charming them to keep her company. I had planned the session out as a diplomatic session, since I figured the PCs weren’t going to outright slaughter an apparently innocent dryad. This was going to be the session that taught the adventurers that not every problem needs to be solved with swordplay. A nice thought on my part, but not a plan that would endure the night.

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