A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

30 April 2010

Found Items Friday: The Ruined Watchtower of Al'Makhor

Well, at the risk of forming a habit, I want to stay with the theme of the week and look at the little trinkets and things left behind in the chaos and panic of Gronth Knockstone's attack on the watchtower

29 April 2010

Random Stuff

It's time to give props to a friend.

If you're in the midst of a story, deep in mid-National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)--a.k.a. "November"-- and stuck for a character's name or description....

If you're in the midst of a game session, your players take an unexpected trip through the jungle, and you suddenly, out of the blue, need to pull a tribal religion out of your hat....

If your players are tired of meeting NPCs named "Bob"....

If your blaster-wielding smuggler scoundrel needs a part to repair his not-so-stock space freighter and you just don't know what to call it....

Or you just want to kill a couple hours looking at random superstitions, creating your own ancient coinage, or even looking at randomly-generated Country songs....

Do yourself a favor and head on over to Chaotic Shiny.

I've experienced all of the above myself.

This is probably the best collection of random generators I've found on the 'net. These are all home-grown and sprung fresh from the mind of Chaotic Shiny's operator, Swordgleam. It's truly amazing to look at the work and effort, not to mention the product! Nearly any generator a self-respecting author, game player, or DM could want is all right there.

There are even a couple of packaged deals for sale at reasonable prices. Tool bundles for assisting DMs in world creation. Did I say these generators were excellent resources?

New generators are coming out all the time; I would subscribe to the newsletter/bulletin as well, just so you can get all the Chaotic Shiny generator-related goodness you can get.

I'm especially partial to the name generators. Although Swordgleam would probably argue that I'm fond of the sci-fi parts generator....

At any rate, whatever your flavor, whatever your need, I would urge you to hop on over and check out Swordgleam's work at Chaotic Shiny.

28 April 2010

Wednesday's Who's Who: Gronth Knockstone

Today we have the giant responsible for the ruined watchtower, none other than Gronth Knockstone himself!

As a bonus, we'll also meet his snake.

24 April 2010



That's what happens when you take a week-long internet-free vacation.

Magnificent planning and timing on my part; didn't even think about pre-emptively loading up blog posts for the week.

Never fear, I'll be back in swing next week.

Until then, keep your beards dry.

16 April 2010

Found Items Friday: The Farmhouse

In keeping with the rest of the week, let's look at the little treasures that brighten the farmhouse of Reynard Adoall and his family. It's not everything in their house, but it'll provide a start.

Found Items Friday: Introduction

Yep. More introductory information!

I'll preface this by saying that, sometimes as a DM, the hardest thing to do is to come up with treasure items. I don't mean simply the +5 holy mighty cleaving vorpal thundering longsword, formerly wielded by Sir Fragilus of Doomstrike Castle. I also mean the real random stuff....a small bag of gems or a small bag of knucklebones; a little silver bell or a little silver knife.

This is where I'll present the "found items." It could be an intelligent sword, or it could be something completely useless or irrelevant.

Sometimes those seemingly useless or irrelevant items are the most fun: they serve as a little piece of intellectual gristle that gets in your players' minds and worries them until it becomes a little pearl of role-playing fun.

They could be completely irrelevant and not worth the time to pick up. Or they could serve as a hook, an idea germ, for the DM: something that becomes relevant or obvious later.

Something that sends the PCs racing back to the seedy merchant's booth in the street market to buy back that little silver bell at an outrageously marked-up price, simply because it is actually not just relevant, but essential to their success.

14 April 2010

Wednesday's Who's Who: Reynard Adoall

Today's Who's Who Spotlight falls on:
Reynard Adoall, Farmer and Fighter.

After all, we have a farmhouse; now we need someone to live in it.

Wednesday's Who's Who: Introduction

Every world, every campaign, needs a supporting cast.

That's where NPCs come in.

Whether it's the merchant the characters pass on the lonely road, the cackling one-armed jester they encounter in the town square, or the refined lady with the sad eyes and bruised face--they are the extras that add dimension and substance to the campaign world. They provide flavor, adventure hooks, intrigue, and sometimes sheer confusion for the players, characters, and even the DMs.

They deserve to be acknowledged.

These are--or will be--their stories.

12 April 2010

Mini Map Monday: Farmhouse

Welcome to the first set in my Mini Map Monday series.

As I said in my previous posts, these first ones are not perfect. I'm still working on perfecting the process. But I like this one. It's simple and I think it tells a nice little story.

And so, without further ado, I present: The Farmhouse.

Mini Map Monday: Introduction

Back before Christmas I was given a so-called "pocket briefcase"--essentially a 3x5 index card holder for your coat pocket, complete with a little pen loop.

This thing sat in my desk drawer for several months: what use did I have for carrying 3x5 cards everywhere, particularly when I already had my generic moleskine-clone notebook that I carry around for noting my writing and gaming inspirations. Then around Valentine's Day 2010 I was slumming around the local big-box chain office "supply" store looking for a gift for my wife...and came across the 3x5 graph paper cards.

And inspiration hit.

10 April 2010

The First Step

"Who are you?"

Well, that's a long story. So far as this blog is concerned, and so far as the interest of time allows, suffice it to say this: I am a Gamer.

09 April 2010

Well Met!

"What is this place?" you ask?

Well, it's a cozy little place, made of solid stone, eminently defensible. A good place to curl up in front of the fire with a nice plate of red meat and potatoes.
It's a place for the sharing of ideas, concepts, and all that.
Most of all, it's for fun.

Yeah, I hear you say that the web really doesn't need another RPG-oriented blog, now, right?

Maybe not, but it's got one.

And it's 3.x-oriented, with a dash of OSR* influence, a hint of house rules, and input from all over the gaming universe.

I think I have something to share and I hope you'll enjoy it.

* "Old School Renaissance": There seems to be as many definitions of OSR and philosophies concerning OSR as there are D&D clones out there. The questiosn is a match sure to light a flame war among the OSR blogosphere at least once every three fortnights or so. The best one I've found is from Al over at Beyond the Black Gate:
Old School Gaming: "refers to content and/or tone that is from, or reminiscent of, pre-1984 Dungeons and Dragons."

Renaissance: "As a cultural movement, it encompassed a resurgence of learning based on classical sources..."
Al's blog was one of the first I found when I started looking at OSR for inspiration. He's recently started posting the story of his own OSR here. Take a look-see; it's an interesting story.

For my purposes, however, I may change the definition from "pre-1984" to "pre-2000." I'll willingly take influences and inspiration from whereever I can find it. And see? yet another OSR definition is born.
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