Magic Items That Are “Better Than Nothing” hits 200!

Well, that’s a wrap on that series, for now.  200 items (with mechanics, some play balance, histories, fluffy narratives for interesting Divinations or Identifies, etc. is a lot. It’s been fantastic shooting for the goal and crossing that finish line, and while we’ll be taking a break from that content for a bit we won’t be giving up entirely.

Next up for that collection is a well formatted, linked, searchable PDF and a Kickstarter to stretch goal for paying artists (we have a handful ready and interested) to help us included illustrations of at least some and maybe all of them!  And, if that turns out proper, a bigger stretch goal of a printed product with some celebrity/guest introductions.  All of that coming as a project this summer.

In addition, we’ll be continuing some of our other content series’ like Adventure Pitches, Class Histories, and Monster play-guides as well as trying out a few new ones.  Thanks for reading, everyone.


Tools are for Fools…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.


Now that the brush was cleared away (thanks to Meilla’s controlled inferno), what they saw was arresting and ominous. A long hallway cut right into the side of the hill, tiled with clever small colored stones depicting a winding red path that extended farther than any of them could see. The little crimson stones almost pleaded “walk on me, for I am the safe way through this hell”. Mosaics and frescos on the walls ahead, too dark to make out perfectly, said this was the horrorful tomb they’d sought.

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Fiendish Drapery, A Study of You, Gangrel Were Awesome, Dark Sorcery Indeed, and St. Augustine Would Be Proud…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.

Blisterkrau Shroud

“I do not love you, Quix. I don’t even hate you. I regard you in the same way I regard the paper on which I scribble my careful messages or the base metal I forge into something of use. You’re mortal, which means you’re one of millions times millions of pestilential, short-lived things in this world and all others that I may use for a larger purpose.

“Should I tell you my purpose? Again? I’ve told you before, of course. Your mind cannot hold its grandeur and naturally burns itself free of the knowledge each time. You used to speak clearly, that stutter is a sign you’re slipping more. Your soul cannot handle the burden of my majesty. But, because it makes me laugh and happy, I’ll tell you again.

“Sshhhhh, careful boy, shhhh. No crying yet. I haven’t even started. You’ll need to steel yourself, you always scream at the end…”

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Grandfather Thunder, Savage Regalia, and The Science of Being -Resistable

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.


Teller stared at the great, lumbering man. He’d only been with the group for a week, and already she couldn’t stand him. Huge, ugly axe on his back and a feathered leathern shield over it, scraggly haired and thick bearded—he was everything her tribe hated. When the people of the Reaches and High Places come to the kingdoms, most take them for brutes and illiterate savages—and Brau was why. He was crude, filthy, and little more than an animal most of the time.

No self-respect there, she rolled her eyes at the lazy way he scratched himself while they walked on. Here, truly, was a savage. May the Mountain Gods and the Death Bear eat his whole clan.

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Orcs, the Panic of Banjos

This is part of a series exploring some advice on how to use certain monsters in your games–a resource for flavor and occasional combat tips. This is from an old post, being reposted–I expect I’ll revise in the near future.

By and large, I think most people feel they have a grasp on most monsters–so I don’t want anyone thinking my takes on these things are me saying how things SHOULD be… I only want to talk about how they CAN be.

To that end. Orcs. I think for those influenced by classic fantasy, Orcs are like Lord of the Rings creatures or maybe something from WoW–I was never exposed to anything fantasy before D&D and even then, never really anything in the high-fantasy settings (like Forgotten Realms). So, what I made of Orcs (and how I think of them) is driven by sort of a natural analogue.

In my games, I treat orcs as something very much like the most dangerous imagining of an Appalachian hillbilly possible. I think positioning them like this offers a few huge advantages to natural role-play…

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Dramatic Gloves, Like a Foot Hammer, and Gilly Suits.c

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ‘em, like ‘em, share ‘em, and comment.

Gloves of Ynx

Love is war. That’s what Grek-voke believed and in this moment, close enough to see every bead of sweat on his opponent’s brow—each weary line of the old Captain’s weathered face. He really felt close, emotionally significant, to the man. They were locked in the most honest moment of their lives.

Raef would likely try and ruin it, the child-like sneak would be circling around to the soldier’s flank and it boiled a small spite in Grek. It would only spoil this. The ache in his arms as he held his nicked and scratched falchion in two large hands, his shoulder forward and bracing was sweet and dangerous. The Captain’s own axe kissing his sword and the old man leaning into it just as deliciously.

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Secret & Safe: A Look At Codes and Spies For Fantasy Games

The history of espionage, even in the Classical or Medieval or Renaissance periods that so frequently inspire elements of fantasy settings, is enormous and deep. It’s also probably filled with holes in information, because so many resources were probably destroyed or lost due to their covert nature.

So, if you plan to use spies and coded messages in your game, how can you turn those story elements into challenges or hooks for player characters?

Below are a few brief thoughts on the form that spies might take, along with notes on how they might be treated, and a few example methods for passing secret information that could be slipped into any game.

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