RPGs Archive

  • “With tongue-in-cheek humor, the creator of the award-winning Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress takes on the self-help section, proving that the benefits of the Dungeons & Dragons® game goes far beyond simple entertainment.” During PAX Prime 2011 NERD TREK met with Wizards of the Coast to discuss their new line of Neverwinter products.  After the interview we spoke briefly with Shelly Mazzanoble, author of “Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress”.  Although her first book was intended for a female audience, I had read it in hopes of passing it on to my wife.  (Everyone wants their wife to play D&D right?)  When I found out she had a new book entitled “Everything I need to know I learned from Dungeons […]

    Everything I need to know I learned from Dungeons & Dragons

    “With tongue-in-cheek humor, the creator of the award-winning Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress takes on the self-help section, proving that the benefits of the Dungeons & Dragons® game goes far beyond simple entertainment.” During PAX Prime 2011 NERD TREK met with Wizards of the Coast to discuss their new line of Neverwinter products.  After the interview we spoke briefly with Shelly Mazzanoble, author of “Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress”.  Although her first book was intended for a female audience, I had read it in hopes of passing it on to my wife.  (Everyone wants their wife to play D&D right?)  When I found out she had a new book entitled “Everything I need to know I learned from Dungeons […]

    Continue Reading...

  • If you’re reading this then you too probably love Role-Playing Games.  I’m not talking about those computer games where you are given 3 different answers to a question but the game still goes down the same path.  I’m talking about table-top role-playing games with paper, pencils, and dice.  (Although some of my younger players now bring laptops to the gaming table!)  Ah, the smell of a fresh boxed set campaign setting split open with fresh polypropylene polyhedron dice rolling about the table while players finish filling out their crisp character sheets.  Soon those sheets will have holes worn in the HP box where the pencil eraser has dug a groove big enough to shove your finger through.  The gear section […]

    Dungeons and Dragons – Why I’ll never stop playing

    If you’re reading this then you too probably love Role-Playing Games.  I’m not talking about those computer games where you are given 3 different answers to a question but the game still goes down the same path.  I’m talking about table-top role-playing games with paper, pencils, and dice.  (Although some of my younger players now bring laptops to the gaming table!)  Ah, the smell of a fresh boxed set campaign setting split open with fresh polypropylene polyhedron dice rolling about the table while players finish filling out their crisp character sheets.  Soon those sheets will have holes worn in the HP box where the pencil eraser has dug a groove big enough to shove your finger through.  The gear section […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Although many of my players love playing a powerful PC, there is something to be said for the low level RPG adventure. How I came to love the low level adventure probably has roots in my trappings as a child while learning the d&d game. Those basic dnd red books or the keep on the borderlands module, very basic stats with a basic beginning, trying to explain from where your characters hail and then have then die at the hands of the enemy in the first adventure.  Time to roll up some new PCs! Most of the time though I was a fair DM and would let the players make their own choices which would determine if they lived or […]

    D&D low level adventures and why I love them

    Although many of my players love playing a powerful PC, there is something to be said for the low level RPG adventure. How I came to love the low level adventure probably has roots in my trappings as a child while learning the d&d game. Those basic dnd red books or the keep on the borderlands module, very basic stats with a basic beginning, trying to explain from where your characters hail and then have then die at the hands of the enemy in the first adventure.  Time to roll up some new PCs! Most of the time though I was a fair DM and would let the players make their own choices which would determine if they lived or […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Plumbing the Depths When it comes to actually playing games, many of us who work in the RPG industry have two modes – playing like mad or almost never. I know, I know, there is no such thing as playing too much. Very true. However, we can fall into the dual traps of playing one game too much, continuing long after we have wrung everything of value from a system, or too shallowly, only catching glimpses of the unique delights a game has to offer. While recently perusing my far-too-small game collection (I doubt I have even 1000 games), I noted more than a few with which I wish I had spent more time. Thankfully, and I do mean full […]

    RPG Industry: Playing Games

    Plumbing the Depths When it comes to actually playing games, many of us who work in the RPG industry have two modes – playing like mad or almost never. I know, I know, there is no such thing as playing too much. Very true. However, we can fall into the dual traps of playing one game too much, continuing long after we have wrung everything of value from a system, or too shallowly, only catching glimpses of the unique delights a game has to offer. While recently perusing my far-too-small game collection (I doubt I have even 1000 games), I noted more than a few with which I wish I had spent more time. Thankfully, and I do mean full […]

    Continue Reading...

  • “Multi-User Dungeon, you’re so much fu-uh-uh-un!  Multi-User Domain, so much more than just a game!  I hate lag!  Killer flag!  I hate lag!  Killer flag!”  -the Brodies 1997 Ah, fond memories persist surrounding the nerdy past time of “mudding” (playing MUDs).  MUDs also known as Multi-User Dungeons or Domains are fantasy worlds where you create a unique character which you play online with other players.  The catch is that it’s been around a lot longer than MMORPGs and is solely text based.  I spent many hours on a crappy Packard-Bell 386 in my parent’s garage plugging away on a yellow nicotine stained keyboard attempting to level my Half-Elf Ranger Drekmoor.  My high school friends would come into the garage and […]

    MUD – Multi User Dungeon

    “Multi-User Dungeon, you’re so much fu-uh-uh-un!  Multi-User Domain, so much more than just a game!  I hate lag!  Killer flag!  I hate lag!  Killer flag!”  -the Brodies 1997 Ah, fond memories persist surrounding the nerdy past time of “mudding” (playing MUDs).  MUDs also known as Multi-User Dungeons or Domains are fantasy worlds where you create a unique character which you play online with other players.  The catch is that it’s been around a lot longer than MMORPGs and is solely text based.  I spent many hours on a crappy Packard-Bell 386 in my parent’s garage plugging away on a yellow nicotine stained keyboard attempting to level my Half-Elf Ranger Drekmoor.  My high school friends would come into the garage and […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Have you ever played “Chutes ‘n’ Ladders” or “Tic-tac-toe”? Of course you have. If so, you know why the world is a safer place. And you’re to blame for all that’s wrong with America. Have you ever played “Cops ‘n’ Robbers” or “Cowboys ‘n’ Indians”? Of course you have. If so, you know why we can say “f*ck” in almost any conversation, but we face the gallows figuratively if we say the “N-word”.  And you’re to blame for the intolerance of America.  (Ironically, the Editor censored specific words within this piece driving the author’s point home!) Have you ever played “Monopoly” or “Life”? Of course you have. If so, you know why Bernie Madoff made off with so much money […]

    Running with Scissors. Cars with Fins. Fun with Games.

    Have you ever played “Chutes ‘n’ Ladders” or “Tic-tac-toe”? Of course you have. If so, you know why the world is a safer place. And you’re to blame for all that’s wrong with America. Have you ever played “Cops ‘n’ Robbers” or “Cowboys ‘n’ Indians”? Of course you have. If so, you know why we can say “f*ck” in almost any conversation, but we face the gallows figuratively if we say the “N-word”.  And you’re to blame for the intolerance of America.  (Ironically, the Editor censored specific words within this piece driving the author’s point home!) Have you ever played “Monopoly” or “Life”? Of course you have. If so, you know why Bernie Madoff made off with so much money […]

    Continue Reading...

  • The first time I held this module in my hands I was 8 years old. My friend Khidr had been gifted some red basic Dungeons and Dragons books by his Aunt and Uncle. There was the coveted Red Set with the Players Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide. They seemed intimidating at the time, but now I think back and laugh at how short they were compared to most RPG rulebooks. We also received what I truly believe got us involved in role-playing games to begin with- a set of polyhedron dice. Completely alien to us, these dice were like little treasures that required diligent safeguarding.  Strange shapes and of all different colors, this was what caused us to pull up […]

    Retro Role-Playing: The Keep on the Borderlands

    The first time I held this module in my hands I was 8 years old. My friend Khidr had been gifted some red basic Dungeons and Dragons books by his Aunt and Uncle. There was the coveted Red Set with the Players Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide. They seemed intimidating at the time, but now I think back and laugh at how short they were compared to most RPG rulebooks. We also received what I truly believe got us involved in role-playing games to begin with- a set of polyhedron dice. Completely alien to us, these dice were like little treasures that required diligent safeguarding.  Strange shapes and of all different colors, this was what caused us to pull up […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 11 “Let us see if we art truly underground. Mine eyes have been deceived before.” Queless muttered as he drew his Drow longsword, knowing that it would glow magically in the darkness. When the sword was pulled from his sheath he noticed that it did not glow. “Curious.” Queless pulled the Velvet Champion’s whistle out of his pocket, put it to his mouth and blew. It was silent for a moment and then a strange light could be seen moving ever closer from the deeper depths of the cavern. As Queless watched the light grew brighter and brighter until it was upon him! A giant glowing orb with a huge eye in the center and a gaping maw full […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #11

    Chapter 11 “Let us see if we art truly underground. Mine eyes have been deceived before.” Queless muttered as he drew his Drow longsword, knowing that it would glow magically in the darkness. When the sword was pulled from his sheath he noticed that it did not glow. “Curious.” Queless pulled the Velvet Champion’s whistle out of his pocket, put it to his mouth and blew. It was silent for a moment and then a strange light could be seen moving ever closer from the deeper depths of the cavern. As Queless watched the light grew brighter and brighter until it was upon him! A giant glowing orb with a huge eye in the center and a gaping maw full […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 10 Queless asked Morin for the magical whistle given to them by the Velvet Champion. Morin smiled and handed it to him. “Morin, I am off to deliver messages to our old friends. Perhaps we can gain their assistance. I will first go visit the lovely Loli Savage and her brother Karis. Afterwards I’ll try to find master Greenhill. I’ll return after a few other stops.” “Good luck my friend, please be careful. I will pray to Moradin Soulforger for your safe passage in the city. If you have any problems please close your eyes and ask Moradin to send your location to me. If I continue to pray and meditate my mind should remain clear.” It was dusk […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #10

    Chapter 10 Queless asked Morin for the magical whistle given to them by the Velvet Champion. Morin smiled and handed it to him. “Morin, I am off to deliver messages to our old friends. Perhaps we can gain their assistance. I will first go visit the lovely Loli Savage and her brother Karis. Afterwards I’ll try to find master Greenhill. I’ll return after a few other stops.” “Good luck my friend, please be careful. I will pray to Moradin Soulforger for your safe passage in the city. If you have any problems please close your eyes and ask Moradin to send your location to me. If I continue to pray and meditate my mind should remain clear.” It was dusk […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 9 Greater Deity Symbol: Sunrise made of rose, red, and yellow gems Home Plane: House of Nature Alignment: Neutral Good Portfolio: Athletics, birth, creativity, dawn, renewal, self-perfection, spring, vitality, youth Worshipers: Aristocrats, artists, athletes, merchants, monks (Sun Soul), the young Clerical Alignments: CG, LG, NG Domains: Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun Favored Weapon: Dawnspeaker, light or heavy mace ~ Spires of the Morning The Spires of Morning is a temple to Lathander in the Castle Ward of Waterdeep. It was destroyed by fire in 1345 DR during the Night of Temple Fires, but was rebuilt within a year. The earliest construction on this site was a temple and monastery, also to Lathander, constructed in 998 DR, originally outside […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #9

    Chapter 9 Greater Deity Symbol: Sunrise made of rose, red, and yellow gems Home Plane: House of Nature Alignment: Neutral Good Portfolio: Athletics, birth, creativity, dawn, renewal, self-perfection, spring, vitality, youth Worshipers: Aristocrats, artists, athletes, merchants, monks (Sun Soul), the young Clerical Alignments: CG, LG, NG Domains: Good, Nobility, Protection, Renewal, Strength, Sun Favored Weapon: Dawnspeaker, light or heavy mace ~ Spires of the Morning The Spires of Morning is a temple to Lathander in the Castle Ward of Waterdeep. It was destroyed by fire in 1345 DR during the Night of Temple Fires, but was rebuilt within a year. The earliest construction on this site was a temple and monastery, also to Lathander, constructed in 998 DR, originally outside […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 8 The two friends left the horrific scene at the Silver Lion Inn and headed down the hill towards the docks. The smell of the sea permeated the entire area and a cool summer wind blew up from the ocean and through the streets tossing Queless’s hair about. It felt good to have clean air to breathe and the smell of the ocean invigorated him. “One day twould be magnificent to sail these fair seas looking for adventure on the open ocean.” Queless murmured. “Not fer me.” Morin said “I prefer to keep me feet on solid ground. Whatcha gonna do when that ship yer on goes down? Plus Dwarves don’t swim, we sink.” Queless smirked but kept his […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #8

    Chapter 8 The two friends left the horrific scene at the Silver Lion Inn and headed down the hill towards the docks. The smell of the sea permeated the entire area and a cool summer wind blew up from the ocean and through the streets tossing Queless’s hair about. It felt good to have clean air to breathe and the smell of the ocean invigorated him. “One day twould be magnificent to sail these fair seas looking for adventure on the open ocean.” Queless murmured. “Not fer me.” Morin said “I prefer to keep me feet on solid ground. Whatcha gonna do when that ship yer on goes down? Plus Dwarves don’t swim, we sink.” Queless smirked but kept his […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 7 Queless rushed out of the Temple of Lathander and onto the streets of Waterdeep. It took him awhile to find his bearings but soon he spotted Piergeron’s Palace and some kind of commotion on the street nearby. A group of guards was gathered around something on the ground. A few people stopped and either laughed or smiled and continued on their way. As Queless drew closer he could hear Morin’s voice cursing up a storm. “Damn it, let me go will you? I can get meself out if ya just give me a minute of peace and quiet!” Morin had somehow lodged himself halfway into a manhole in the city street in front of Piergeron’s Palace. The guards […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #7

    Chapter 7 Queless rushed out of the Temple of Lathander and onto the streets of Waterdeep. It took him awhile to find his bearings but soon he spotted Piergeron’s Palace and some kind of commotion on the street nearby. A group of guards was gathered around something on the ground. A few people stopped and either laughed or smiled and continued on their way. As Queless drew closer he could hear Morin’s voice cursing up a storm. “Damn it, let me go will you? I can get meself out if ya just give me a minute of peace and quiet!” Morin had somehow lodged himself halfway into a manhole in the city street in front of Piergeron’s Palace. The guards […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 6 Queless reached into his pocket and pulled out his magical ring of Water Walking he had obtained in a past adventure, and slipped it on his finger. He immediately rose up and out of the water, standing just on the very surface. Rings pulsated out as he took each step, then he heard the strange noise again and began to run as fast as he could in the opposite direction. His feet splashed on the top of the water as if there were only a wet floor as opposed to a foot or more of water! He simply sought to escape entrapment in the sludgy sewers of Waterdeep. It may be called “the City of Splendors” he thought, […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #6

    Chapter 6 Queless reached into his pocket and pulled out his magical ring of Water Walking he had obtained in a past adventure, and slipped it on his finger. He immediately rose up and out of the water, standing just on the very surface. Rings pulsated out as he took each step, then he heard the strange noise again and began to run as fast as he could in the opposite direction. His feet splashed on the top of the water as if there were only a wet floor as opposed to a foot or more of water! He simply sought to escape entrapment in the sludgy sewers of Waterdeep. It may be called “the City of Splendors” he thought, […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 5 Seeing the undead leave the room then hearing the sound of a sword being drawn Queless looked at Morin concerned and motioned for him to follow him down the stairs. Queless drew his sword, and began to stride down the stairs. Morin cast a detect traps in front of Queless just in case, but found none.  “We may need to keep our new friend occupied” Queless whispered as he pulled the gems out of his pocket “Dost thou think ye are able, or shall I?”  “I will call upon Moradin Soulforger’s might and crush the evil skeleton’s bones under the weight of my hammer and my soul.” “Morin, most likely we will be invisible to this thing, in […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #5

    Chapter 5 Seeing the undead leave the room then hearing the sound of a sword being drawn Queless looked at Morin concerned and motioned for him to follow him down the stairs. Queless drew his sword, and began to stride down the stairs. Morin cast a detect traps in front of Queless just in case, but found none.  “We may need to keep our new friend occupied” Queless whispered as he pulled the gems out of his pocket “Dost thou think ye are able, or shall I?”  “I will call upon Moradin Soulforger’s might and crush the evil skeleton’s bones under the weight of my hammer and my soul.” “Morin, most likely we will be invisible to this thing, in […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 4 Council Member Grendmeer Mendothian led Queless and Morin deep into the lower levels of Piergeron’s Palace. The vastness of the structure amazed the two heroes and they took in the interior like starved wolves. Elegant tapestries, paintings touched by the brushes of the most famous painters, and luxurious furniture adorned every nook and cranny of the great white marble palace. Even deep below the main palace every room was as lavishly decorated as the last. Finally Grendmeer Mendothian led them into a council chamber made from fine wood. “The floors and walls were lined with the wood from the great forest that once occupied the land where Waterdeep now flourishes. The large painting of the man and woman […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #4

    Chapter 4 Council Member Grendmeer Mendothian led Queless and Morin deep into the lower levels of Piergeron’s Palace. The vastness of the structure amazed the two heroes and they took in the interior like starved wolves. Elegant tapestries, paintings touched by the brushes of the most famous painters, and luxurious furniture adorned every nook and cranny of the great white marble palace. Even deep below the main palace every room was as lavishly decorated as the last. Finally Grendmeer Mendothian led them into a council chamber made from fine wood. “The floors and walls were lined with the wood from the great forest that once occupied the land where Waterdeep now flourishes. The large painting of the man and woman […]

    Continue Reading...

  • Chapter 3 Morin and Queless walked the streets of Waterdeep from the Silver Lion Inn all the way up to the Castle Ward soaking in the sights and sounds of Waterdeep. As they traveled deeper into the Castle Ward the city streets became more and more quiet. Luckily they did not run into any thieves or brigands as there was a very strong guard presence. Large groups of 6 or more guards on horseback rode past with torches often. Surprisingly not one of them stopped to harass Queless as he was used to. Being a Drow could be tough at times. Luckily if one picked an above world city to live in, Waterdeep was it. Even goblins or kobolds with […]

    Fellowship of Lightning #3

    Chapter 3 Morin and Queless walked the streets of Waterdeep from the Silver Lion Inn all the way up to the Castle Ward soaking in the sights and sounds of Waterdeep. As they traveled deeper into the Castle Ward the city streets became more and more quiet. Luckily they did not run into any thieves or brigands as there was a very strong guard presence. Large groups of 6 or more guards on horseback rode past with torches often. Surprisingly not one of them stopped to harass Queless as he was used to. Being a Drow could be tough at times. Luckily if one picked an above world city to live in, Waterdeep was it. Even goblins or kobolds with […]

    Continue Reading...