Zhilin Campaign Journal #10: Threads of Fate

No, we’re not talking about Fate the RPG here, but rather the various threads I can pull on a bit like Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos (the Greek Fates) in the plot skein of my campaign. So far we’ve introduced the following threads: The PCs are members of the Zhilin City Guard (ZCG) and tasked with…

Zhilin Campaign Journal #9: Rising Water!

In the last post, the party had just discovered not only a dead body in the sewer, but a possible entrance to the world ‘Neath Zhilin. And that’s when the rain began… As half of the group began investigating the trap door in the floor, they heard the first trickle of water coming through the…

Zhilin Campaign Journal #8: Continuing the Adventure

When we last left our group of new Zhilin City Guards, they were hanging out at the Cracked Mug tavern, owned by the now sheepish Celi who owes the party a debt of gratitude for taking care of his rat problem and keeping his impropriety quiet. They were contemplating their next move in the investigation…

Zhilin Campaign Journal #7: The Power of Ambiguity

We had another game session this week! Huzzah! Adulting and scheduling was a royal pain, but we eventually made it work– or so we thought. And yet, one of our players had to back out a few days before the session due to a work-related event. Sigh. Such is life as an adult gamer, which…

No Planning Challenge, Part 2

To challenge yourself is a good thing. Especially if it is for a no planning challenge! As you saw in the last post, I set a challenge for myself: To not prep at all, with only the pages I had written in my world of Kavallor Almanac to go by! When we left them, they…

No Planning Challenge, Part 1

I am not sure how many people do this regularly, but this week I set a challenge for myself: Allow myself no preparation at all and only use the pages of my Kavallor Almanac for reference. Admittedly, I usually don’t prep much and let my players drive the story. Most of the time, I just…

Revisiting the Past: Insight Checks in OSR

Anybody used to playing older versions of D&D (pre-4e) is probably wondering what the heck an Insight check is. Imagine for a moment that your PC is interacting with a NPC and you want to know whether the NPC’s motives are pure. Are they lying to you? Are they hiding something? Are they being forthright?…

Revisiting the Past: The Old School Mindset and Roll-Playing

When I started playing D&D in 1982, we were young, naive, and enthusiastic. We took on every dungeon with glee and even fought a few major figures like Orcus and Tiamat as I recall. But it wasn’t “Old School” then — it was just playing D&D with friends every weekend we could get together. By…

Ten Things Goblins Say…

This weekend I started playing the Lost Mine of Phandelver with my daughters from the 5e Starter Set and it’s led led to some interesting interactions with goblins. The goblins in the campaign so far seem to be relative cowardly, even just going up against a couple of PCs (a fighter and a wizard) and an…

How’s Them Road Apples?

As a player I often wondered how much time we actually spent on the road between locations. In some campaigns we seemed to ALWAYS be on horseback or foot, camping by the roadside, holed up in some creepy inn, or stuffed in the stacked hammocks aboard a ship… We never really complained all that much,…

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