GameholeCon 2018

Posted in Conventions, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , on January 2, 2019 by boccobsblog
GameHoleCon 2019

Pic by Arcadya Photography

GameHoleCon is a tabletop convention held at the Alliant Energy Center  in Madison WI each fall. We attended GHC for Saturday only, and this is our review.

Free Parking
One of the biggest draws for GameholeCon is the parking. If you’ve been to GenCon or another major event then you’re used to paying $25+ a day on parking. The Alliant Energy Center has nearly 6,000 free spots. There was ample free parking. This was a welcome change.

Food & Drink
This is one area that the con really suffered. The concessions in the AEC are limited. The food was expensive and they only carried Pepsi products. If you prefer or need to drink diet soda, then Diet Pepsi is your only choice. Diet Pepsi is somewhere between demon piss and gasoline. The con had a deal where you could get a refillable cup, but again a refillable cup of demon piss isn’t really a win. There were food carts outside the AEC, but the prices were high (I spent 5 dollars on a bottle of soda from a vendor).

If you attend you should know ahead of time, there are no restaurants close to the convention center.

Booze
The AEC sells beer in their concession area. This is a rare find at most cons.

Hotels
The hotels are close to the hall, but many require a short walk outside. This isn’t a bad thing, but should be considered because booking a room. The Clarion Suites is the onsite hotel with an enclosed walkway to the AEC. There were plenty of hotel rooms available for the con (another welcome change).

Vendor Hall
The vendor area is fairly small, but all the major names and usual suspects were in attendance.

Access to Industry Celebs
The most impressive aspect of this small con was the sheer number industry celebs that attended,, and how easy it was to approach and even game with them. On the one day we were in attendance we saw, Matt Mercer, Chris Perkins, Satine Phoenix and Matt Lillard.

In Conclusion
GameHoleCon has all of the features of a large con-True Dungeon, miniature painting, Adventurer’s League, Pathfinder Society, industry celebrity games (maybe more so than a large con). The staff was extremely friendly, and there was plenty of free parking. GameHoleCon is worth visiting and we will be returning.

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Return of Wolverine #3

Posted in Comic Books, Review with tags , on December 31, 2018 by boccobsblog
return_of_wolverine_3

Return of Wolverine #3

Details:

Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Declan Shalvey
Cover: Steve McNiven
Inker: Jay Leisten
Color Artist: Laura Martin
Letter: Joe Sabino
Variant cover by: Patrick Zircher
Variant cover by: Declan Shalvey

This isn’t much plot to issue #3. Logan and the Lunch Lady wander around the city looking for the Lunch Lady’s kidnapped son. The X-Men show up and attempt to talk to Logan, which likely rules out that this arc is a dream sequence. Wolvie makes short work of the X-men and there is a cliffhanger as he lunges at Jean.

I must say I continue to be disappointed with this series, three issues into a five issue arc and very little has happened. On top of a subpar plot and pacing problems, the art in #3 is really terrible. I know it’s easy to tear a thing down, but I am not alone in thinking the art in this issue is not up to Marvel’s standard.

Return of Wolverine #4 release date has been pushed by to January 16th and #5 is still slated for January 30th. We’ll see how this ends, but the hole is pretty deep and issues #4 and #5 have their work cut out for them.

Return of Wolverine #3 Review

Odd indeed…

5e Resource Page Updated

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , , on December 28, 2018 by boccobsblog

D&D5e Resources

Last night I revised our D&D5e Resource page. I’ve updated the System Reference Document (5E SRD) document, the errata for the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual. Additionally, I added several missing Unearthed Arcana articles. If you see an official WotC D&D5e resource I’ve missed, comment or send me an email. Thank you!

-Andy

Simon D&D Puzzle

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2018 by boccobsblog

SImon

I am a big proponent of using existing games as in-game D&D Puzzles. The following article outlines ways to use a Simon game as a D&D puzzle.

Reminder on D&D/Pathfinder Puzzles
Puzzles should ALWAYS be optional. When you place a D&D Puzzle or riddle at a choke point in an adventure or dungeon the momentum grinds to a halt.

Difficulty
When you successfully follow Simon through a pattern you receive a signal (effectively a point), after 35 signals the game is beaten and you win. In our playtesting, 20 signals presented a moderate challenge and 25 signals presented a difficult (but still achievable) challenge.

The longest recorded game of Simon was at the 25th anniversary party of the game in 2003. 14-year-old Joel Berger beat the game 14 times in a row. (This is often misquoted by the duergar on Reddit as 14 moves, Joel got 35 moves in a row, 14 times, not 14 moves).

Sci-Fi Example
The players discover a crashed alien vessel the doors of which are sealed with four colored buttons, red, yellow, green, and blue. Don’t overuse the locks, protect only sensitive areas that hide advanced weaponry or major plot points.

Fantasy Example (D&D5E Puzzle)
Given the colorful nature of the Simon puzzle, it lends itself to a prismatic wall trap. A room of the dungeon is blocked by a prismatic wall. This prismatic wall seems slightly different than others of its kind. The scintillating pattern is made up of splashes of yellow, red, blue, and green. On the floor in front of the wall are 7 gems, three of the which are dull and grey. The remaining gems are red, blue, yellow, and green.

The players then attempts to complete sequences equal to or greater than the difficulty set by the DM (Usually 20 or 25 moves). If they fail to get the correct number of moves they suffer damage, the type of which is determined randomly (damage presented for D&D5E, tweak for Pathfinder):

Damage Type (1d4)
1 Red – fire
2 Yellow – lightning
3 Green – poison
4 Blue – cold

Damage by Level
1 – 4: 1d10
5 – 10: 2d10
11 – 16: 4d10
17+: 10d10

Damage-less Option
You can replace damage by increasing the difficulty of subsequent attempts by 3 or 5 moves.

Horror Example
A playful spirit hides a clue or point plot, and refuses to share with the information unless a character beats it at Simon. The two-player version can be used or take turns.

D&D puzzles can be difficult to create. This mini-game can lighten a session and be used to break up ordinary gameplay with a splash of nostalgia. Try it and let me know how it worked in the comments.

Any Simon game will work, we used a handheld version. Need one? Grab them here.

50 D&D Quest Ideas

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , on December 19, 2018 by boccobsblog
RDJE

“Red Dragon” by Jeff Easley

  1. Tiny dolls made of wheat sheaves are attacking the village at night, made by the children of the town being taught how to construct them by a night hag who disguises herself as a fairy godmother.
  2. Three old ladies wander into town, and set up shop as adventurers, and knitting sweaters for their clients. Every quest the party goes on, they’ve somehow managed to skip to the end and defeat the big boss. Now they’re looking for a fight.
  3. Two rival houses enlist the aid of the party in poisoning the leader of the other.
  4. A rat catcher stumbles into the street and collapse. His body is covered in vicious bites. The terrified man can only speak a single, “Grokk”.
  5. The PC’s fall asleep and are astral projected to an ancient alien temple/ruin/structure filled with bizarre traps, treasure, and creatures. If the survive they must try to find the great treasures, they left behind and the mystery of who sent them there.
  6. A war has broken out between the guild of barber surgeons and a newly founded college of surgery. The city/town/region is in turmoil as the wounded flood temples and exhaust the resources of the clerics with mundane injuries.
  7. A PC is trapped inside a Mirror of Life Trapping, and in freeing their party member, the players release a score of horrible creatures.
  8. A fountain in a local park/garden is turning people’s tongues/hair/skin various colors as a precocious fey has taken up residence nearby.
  9. A pit fiend will grant a wish to any who help him defect from the Bloodwar.
  10. The books in a local temple/library/guild/shop have begun talking to one another, but never to people.
  11. Seven townsfolk that disappeared seven years ago to the day have returned with no memory of where they have been.
  12. The PC’s are hired to retrieve a valuable item from the flooded basement of a local inn/tavern/temple that has become invested with a swarm of angry, and very hungry, quippers.
  13. The heraldic banner of an unknown lord/family/house flies in the middle of the town/city/fort and no one knows he planted it or why it is there.
  14. A dim-witted flower seller is said to be wandering the city/town/region selling a rare and priceless, and believed to be extinct, flower known for its curative/magical properties for a copper each to the peasantry.
  15. A jeweler is found murdered in his locked shop. A Necklace of Strangulation is the culprit.
  16. A missing woodsman’s trail leads into the forest and ends next to a beautifully carved wooden throne that acts as a portal to the Feywild.
  17. A troll spotted in the wilderness nearby is reported to speak common and offers sound advice to the terrified travelers that happen onto its path.
  18. Every bird flown by the royal falconer disappears moments after being set loose.
  19. Bards all over the region/town/city are being found turned to stone.
  20. A wizard trapped for years on another plane/in stone/Imprisoned returns to find all his belongings sold off and he hires the PC’s to track down his notes/spellbook/research
  21. The rare beasts being sold in town by a traveling merchant are just polymorphed cats that revert to their natural state an hour after purchase when the merchant is long gone.
  22. The grave of a local hero has been desecrated and the corpse is missing.
  23. A noble family’s new wet-nurse/servant is a member of a feuding family that goes back generations.
  24. A famous playwright is found stabbed through the eye a week after being mysteriously arrested without cause.
  25. A young maiden is drawing a fearsome red dragon on the cobblestones nearby and some villagers swear they’ve seen the dragon moving. What will happen when she finishes?
  26. Panic ensues when every lock in the castle/city/town springs open at once as if from the Knock spell.
  27. An antimagic field has appeared in the center of the town/city/temple and it is growing at an alarming rate.
  28. A gang of valuable gladiators has escaped the fighting pits and must be captured alive.
  29. An alluring belly dancer has been captivating crowds while her pickpocket lover robs them blind.
  30. PC’s are drafted to lead an unprepared militia against a horde of orcs/gnolls/One Direction fans.
  31. A sailing ship carrying the royal heir was destroyed by a kraken and the PC’s must recover the body, so he/she can be raised before the next in line can claim the throne.
  32. Blood hawks have taken up nests in the town/city/temple/castle and are creating a nuisance as they protect their nests. Violence cannot be used as the blood hawk is the crest of a powerful noble/hero/family in the region.
  33. Lizardmen/bullywugs have dammed a vital water source to create a new home as theirs has been claimed by a black dragon/band of harpies
  34. All the player’s attuned items break their bonds with their owners
  35. An arch mage needs help unleashing a plague of rust monsters on Dispater’s Iron Tower to rescue the Chalice of Heironeroius.
  36. A NPC is convinced that their wife/husband is a doppelganger.
  37. The city’s rat catchers are on strike and a plague threatens the populace is a diplomatic solution can’t be reached.
  38. Cities are being raided by warforged marauders seeking something for their awakened iron golem “god”.
  39. A dwarven hold has gone silent and ceased trading. Pc’s discover that the hold’s leaders have been replaced by simulacrums controlled by the Drow.
  40. The pillars of the local temples want the PCs to kill or run off a mysterious cabal that is offering magical healing (and potions) for free.
  41. The king/mayor/noble’s dog has run off to become the animal companion/familiar of a wandering ranger/wizard/druid and the PCs are offered a huge sum to return it at any cost.
  42. A white, divine rank zero, stag has appeared in a local wood and the fey/elves/druids want to the PCs to help stop a band of orcs trying to claim the beast’s divinity for themselves.
  43. As a newly opened university grows in size and influence divine and arcane magic in the area start to decline in effectiveness as local move towards science.
  44. The king has died, and he was the only person who knew the location of the heir who was placed in status to protect him/her from political rivals.
  45. A curse/plague/ randomly changes the language of everyone affected.
  46. A thief running from the law hides in a manor house occupied by two sisters. The sisters turn out to be vampires/cultists/witches and kill him. Now the thieves’ guild hires the PCs to recover the stolen item from the manor.
  47. Something is eating missionaries who are building a temple in a nearby swamp.
  48. Each new moon, one of the players is contacted telepathically by an entity claiming to be trapped on the dark side of the moon.
  49. You are invited to dinner/drinks by an old friend who keeps steering the conversation to a seemingly irrelevant item you acquired years ago on an adventure. He/she seem obsessed with finding the item, though they are evasion if questioned.
  50. The party must obtain a recently crash meteorite made of adamantine that is currently being worshipped by a tribe of monstrous beings.

Need more ideas? See 101 D&D Quest Ideas & Another 101 Quest Ideas


Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

10 Call of Cthulhu Investigation Ideas

Posted in Call of Cthulhu with tags , , , on December 12, 2018 by boccobsblog

Lovecraft-cthulhu

Today we have a guest blogger, George Mueller, who has written ten Call of Cthulhu investigation ideas.

  1. A graduate student writing his thesis on of urban legend in a small New England Town disappears wall doing genealogical research.
  2. A psychiatrist in the local asylum is treating a man accused of killing his wife. He claims she was killed by an invisible monster that is now stalking him. Investigators are called in because the psychiatrist is starting to think he is telling the truth
  3. All the cats in town start disappearing every new moon and are found watching outside a moldering old abandoned house.
  4. Investigators are called in when a biology professor discovers an unearthly fungus near a meteor strike. He starts acting odd and students start disappearing.
  5. You discover an old diary while cleaning out a deceased relative’s house. It seems he may have been a wizard who was researching how to live forever by taking over someone else’s body. You were his only blood relative.
  6. You find out that you have several aunts and uncles that you have never met. They all live together in the Nevada desert and look forward to seeing you.
  7. You inherit a box from a relative. When you open the box, it contains letters in your handwriting that you don’t remember writing.
  8. You inherit a house during renovations you find a strange circle engraves in the floor of the basement in copper. Research shows that the house was used as a headquarters by a cult.
  9. You inherit a house from an elderly relative, later you find out that they had a younger sibling who disappeared when they were young. When you turn on a strange machine in the basement you can hear the sound a of a child’s voice crying for help.
  10. You inherit a house in another state that has a picture from the 17th century in it. The picture is of you.

When not teaching history or spending time with his family, George is the head of a cult devoted to Dagon.

20 Star Wars Mission/Quest Ideas

Posted in Star Wars with tags , , on December 5, 2018 by boccobsblog

star-wars-poster-1977

Here are 20 Star Wars RPG quest/mission ideas for use with any system.

  1. A Corellian noble pays tramp freighters to travel to Abbaji to purchase firethorn seeds in the Irugian Rain Forest
  2. An escape pod lost on Byss must be recovered, but the area is filled with violent and primitive Abyssins.
  3. A live Abyssin subject must be collected to create a regenerative serum.
  4. The party is sold a faulty acceleration compensator which promptly burns out and leaves them stranded.
  5. A mysterious cloaked figure hires the crew to take him to a Jedi temple ruin on Adega.
  6. An ice mining company in Adriana is hiring convoy guards for their routine runs to Tattooine.
  7. Defel wraiths stow away on a mining ship carrying durasteel from Af’EL.
  8. Someone has reprogrammed agrirobots to spray herbicide on mature plants causing a food shortage.
  9. A Rodian smuggler claims to be in possession of a Bodo Baas holocron and is looking to sell it to a force-sensitive buyer.
  10. Archaeologists from the Obroan Institute are seeking safe passage to the tropical planet of Babali, unknown to the group, the researchers are being followed by relic hunters.
  11. Bacta prices skyrocket as a mysterious crime syndicate corners the market.
  12. The party is hired to capture an imperial freighter carrying a shipment of C4-CZN ion field guns.
  13. Criminals intend to detonate explosives in the center of Carconth, the second largest star in the known universe, to win a supernova watch pool that has been going on for over 600 years.
  14. Something is destroying mining crafts in the ore-rich asteroid belt in the Cardua System.
  15. Zebulon Dak hires the party to investigate paternity claims that could complicate his retirement from the Zebulon Dak Speeder Corporation.
  16. Medical supplies meant for Dakshee has been stolen by pirates.
  17. The party must infiltrate an Imperial research facility to implant a virus into the targeting chip of the newest upgrade to the E-11 blaster.
  18. The party is sent to Echo Base to salvage supplies left behind after the Battle of Hoth.
  19. A shipment of EG-4 power droids have been reprogrammed as assassins by the Empire.
  20. The players are hired to smuggle Chak-root to the Tion Hegemony

Buy me a cup of caf
Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Han Solo Card Game