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Troy’s Crock Pot: Patrons make sense

What’s more realistic? A group of heroes waits in a tavern until adventure finds them … … or a rich, well-connected patron provides them with the means to set out on the next adventure? As cliched as both options can be, I’ve been rethinking my aversion to using the patron as a means of hooking into an adventure. Show More Summary

What a Blinder!

It's been a really busy week this week, both gaming and non-gaming. We're having a load of family up next weekend for a birthday party for The Daughter, so we're trying to sort the house and garden out a bit in preparation for all the visitors. Show More Summary


Back when Bézier Games hinted at new games in the Suburbia family, I was intrigued. When the two games were announced, I immediately preordered both. Now I got Subdivision, and have some plays under my belt. Time for a quick review! The game: Subdivision by Lucas Hedgren, published by Bézier Games in 2014. Show More Summary

Gnome Stew Won the Gold ENnie for Best Blog — Thank You!

Last night Gnome Stew won its sixth ENnie Award, the gold for Best Blog. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, especially Evil Hat Productions for charting a course of transparency and customer-centric business practices that kicks major ass. Show More Summary

Characters to Grow Old With: Getting the Most Out of Your Pregens

I love pregenerated characters. They’re great for con games, online games, pick-up games, or when you need replacement characters after a TPK.  They’re an easy way to get new people gaming quickly.  Obviously you won’t use pregens in every game (more later), but they are handy to have around. Show More Summary

1000 ratings!

Board games, after a long break! The goal for the day was clear: reach 1000 BGG ratings. Red is a new mini game from Carl Chudyk and Chris Cieslik. Play a card and/or change the goal. Only requirement? You need to be winning after your move, otherwise it’s game over for you. Fun little filler. Suggest. Pick-a-Pig was familiar: I’ve played Formissimo, […]

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Even when your group is lucky enough to have multiple GMs, sometimes you need a backup game in a hurry. Or the GM didn’t have time to prep, but everyone has gathered and is ready for an adventure. There are a lot of solutions in that...Show More Summary

Troy’s Crock Pot: Signature monsters

A well-utilized signature monster can drive a campaign for a long time. The monster doesn’t necessarily need any exceptional abilities to be compelling. For example, savage orcs move the adventures along in Middle Earth and skulking goblins jump start things in Golarian. Show More Summary

Rush Job

This week was Newcastle Playtest again on Tuesday, but with guests visiting last weekend, I'd had no time to prepare for it so I went along with Zombology and Vacuum with none of my intended changes made to either. Newcastle Playtest...Show More Summary

Stopping Short

If you find yourself ending an adventure with significant session time to spare, do you stop short or introduce the next adventure? For most of my GMing life I’ve been in the “if there’s enough game-time to set scene or two then do it” camp. Show More Summary

Charge! Polish cavalry tackles tanks in AAM

When I was in elementary school back in the 1960s I had several of the How and Why Wonder books. One in particular that I still remember vividly was the one on World War II. It had, as I recall, a dramatic illustration of Polish cavalry being attacked by German aircraft. Show More Summary

Hammering the Scots again

... or maybe not... Hammer of the Scots is a low complexity block wargame and is a good introduction game for players new to block games or wargames. I have always liked it, but it had been ages since I last played. So it's on my list of games to play under my one-hard-to-arrange-game-per-month program. Show More Summary

Movie Magic

Like quite a few other people this past week, I went to see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. It has a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and if you listen to the buzz, the movie is everything from the absolute best film this year to the second coming of ‘Star Wars’. Show More Summary

in photos: Carcassonne, Pickomino, Viva Topo

22 Jun 2014. It had been a long time since Michelle and I last played Carcassonne, and it was like catching up with a dear old friend. This game used to be very heavily played when boardgames first became my hobby. This was a littleShow More Summary

THE ONLINE TABLETOP: Preparing Your First Session

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge: you’re going to GM your first online session.  Maybe you’re a little nervous, concerned about getting all the details right.  This article will give you some guidelines to help you make that first session start smoothly. Show More Summary

Timing Is Critical

As I mentioned last week, when I discussed an idea I'd had for Zombology with Dan (the other Newcastle Playtest organiser) he promptly countered with another idea which blew my idea out of the water. So, I'm going to steal his idea shamelessly. Show More Summary

Sorry for the long gap -- update

So the Fatal Choices Kickstarter was successful. I have been spending most of my time working on finishing up the book and the Rewards. This is the final version of the countersheet that goes with the book. Kickstarter backers will get a copy of the countersheet with their copy of the eBook or physical book. Show More Summary


Plays: 3Px7, 2Px1. During the Raya holidays Allen suggested to lend me his PitchCar set for me to try with my daughters. His children are still a bit too young for it. So I played, and I had a great time. I didn't know much about the game before, other than having seen some photos and knowing it's a dexterity game. Show More Summary

appreciating Android Netrunner

Over the Raya holidays (Aidilfitri / Eid al-Fitr) I arranged with John to play Android: Netrunner, hoping to continue to learn this game. He's a veteran, and he actually started playing it at Spartan Games Arena, where I visited recently to play and learn from Nik. Show More Summary

A Return To Prep-Lite

I was running out of time to prep my games. Sounds almost ironic from the guy who wrote Never Unprepared, but it was true. Things have changed in my life, and my ability to prep was straining against my dwindling free time. I had maximized the usage of my time, and I simply had less time to prepare than before. Show More Summary

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