Memories Lost. A poem.

Thoughts desiccating, Like snow on afternoon tarmac; Turning elegant meridians Into mist. An inelegant design, Fractured by uncertainty And regret And all left to chance. For more Poetry, click here. For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print. ClickContinue reading “Memories Lost. A poem.”

Free Fantasy Map – Field Hospital

You can use this cool map for your tabletop or Roll20/Fantasy Grounds. Field Hospital War is hell! But you need to patch your troops up somewhere and this ramshackle M.A.S.H-style Field Hospital includes trenches, tents and an underground bunker. Maybe the bunker has been sealed off because the officers there were killed in a magicalContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Field Hospital”

Escape Book. A poem.

Texture and scent; Wafting, consoling. Old friend on empty nights, When time and tide have made A joke of sudden pretence. When every tiny sliver of doubt Is a tear working The stone of your heart – Slow and condescending Erosion of the subtle kind. The book takes you away From blithe thoughts of bitterness,Continue reading “Escape Book. A poem.”

Tomb of Annihilation: Week 1

Hi all, I previously posted some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. It was the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Here’s the follow up campaign – 2018’s Tomb of Annihilation. We used experienceContinue reading “Tomb of Annihilation: Week 1”

Free Fantasy Map – Multi-Level Caves

Time for a free hand-drawn map! There’s two versions of this one – one with a grid and the other without (perfect for online platforms like Roll20/Fantasy Grounds). Multi-Level Caves This cave has four levels, with connecting chimneys accessing each level (I’ve included labels as it might get a bit confusing as to what connectsContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Multi-Level Caves”

Free Fantasy Map – Fettered Tomb

Time for another free map! This one is grid-less for use with Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, but the tiles are conveniently 5 ft. squares, so you can use it for face-to-face games as well. Fettered Tomb The Fettered Tomb is bound by ancient magics, trapped and haunted by the fettered souls within. It’s very small,Continue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Fettered Tomb”

Curse of Strahd: Weeks 30-31

Hi all, Over the last few months I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Some of the summaries may be dull, someContinue reading “Curse of Strahd: Weeks 30-31”

Free Fantasy Map – Overgrown Castle Ruins

This map is grid-less, perfect for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Overgrown Ruined Castle The party stumbles across an overgrown ruin in a forest clearing: the remains of a castle, crumbling and dilapidated. Of the inner keep and walls, there is nothing but weed-infested rubble; only the atrophied remnants of a gatehouse and two outbuildings remain.Continue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Overgrown Castle Ruins”

For the Better. A poem.

Surprise was in your eyes Overwhelming every petulant And irrational thought Because this was unexpected And positively rejected All that you believed Know now Some things are meant to be Bad ties you’re meant to sever Trust in how you feel And make a change For the better For more Poetry, click here. For moreContinue reading “For the Better. A poem.”

Free Fantasy Map – Cult Temple

As you may or may not know, I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures, and it just so happens this map is 1750 x 1750 (24 squares), perfect for Roll20 / Fantasy Grounds! AND the temple’s floor tiles are conveniently 5 ft. squares… Cult Temple There’s a pesky little cult that has takenContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Cult Temple”

Free Fantasy Map – Dragon Cave

This hand-drawn map comes in grid or grid-less versions, perfect for face-to-face games or Roll20 / Fantasy Grounds! Who doesn’t love a big old cave for a big old dragon? And what’s more, if you’re using the online grid-less version you can make the cave any size and the dragon any size so you canContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Dragon Cave”

Curse of Strahd: Weeks 28-29

Hi all, Over the last few months I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Some of the summaries may be dull, someContinue reading “Curse of Strahd: Weeks 28-29”

Time is. A poem.

Time is short It stands in line, dwarfed by all the other narcissistic concepts All wanting a piece of our mind Another piece of the pie A little bit more of our Time is Wondering when it will have its Time in the sun And yet Time flies When you’re having fun And there’s neverContinue reading “Time is. A poem.”

Free Fantasy Map – Super-Fortress

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This is one I made for a friend a while ago. Super-Fortress! The PCs are at war, invading a towering super-fortress to unseatContinue reading “Free Fantasy Map – Super-Fortress”

Curse of Strahd: Week 26-27

Hi all, Over the last few months I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I sent summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Some of the summaries may be dull, someContinue reading “Curse of Strahd: Week 26-27”

Upstart Photographer – Fractured

I love to take photographs and write poetry. Sweet. Steve 🙂 Fractured. A poem. A filigree of cracks, wrinkles Upon your desiccated face Washed clean with weary salt And wind and watery grace. Your sad song that breaks This familiar salt pan patina Will last at least another age Until your twelve-bar blues Ends inContinue reading “Upstart Photographer – Fractured”

Plummet. A poem.

The descent begins: That troublesome, quarrelsome, Misbegotten feeling. Vertigo in media res. The whirlpool beckoning A less than eager sailor Of depths all too familiar. Down you go again: You wish the plummet Was further out of reach. For more Poetry, click here. For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, LonelyContinue reading “Plummet. A poem.”

Curse of Strahd: Week 25

Hi all, Over the last few months I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that). Some of the summaries may be dull,Continue reading “Curse of Strahd: Week 25”

Free Map – Forest Cliff

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This map is 1750×1750 (25×25 squares), in grid and non-grid versions, perfect for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds! Forest Cliff The party makes itsContinue reading “Free Map – Forest Cliff”

2020 One Page Dungeon Contest Winner!

Hi all, I tied for first place in the 2020 One Page Dungeon Contest! Aside from winning some money and some nice RPG swag, I get to bask humbly in my own appreciation for a few days lol! This is the second time I’ve won – my 2019 entry was a joint winner. Here’s myContinue reading “2020 One Page Dungeon Contest Winner!”

Pariah’s Game. A poem.

Fire and ice; divergent tangents Burning, steaming; circumventing logic Interconnected; beyond precedents We were one and then we lost The game that made pariahs of us both For more Poetry, click here. For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available inContinue reading “Pariah’s Game. A poem.”

Upstart Photographer – Beached

I love to take photographs and write poetry. Why not take a gander. Steve 🙂 Beached. A poem. Like an errant whale Who misjudged the moon You lie beached In objection and isolation Wondering when the tides Would carry you home But your languid, igneous soul Is too heavy for the lightness Of this seasideContinue reading “Upstart Photographer – Beached”

The Rabbits’ Yard. A poem.

This yard is an Elysian Field. Where once they sneaked Like rogues into a lion’s den, Now they parade before the sun With no fear of molten wax. Well-worn trails, scented scorn, Marking passages with contempt. Reassurance and arrogance Threaten to subjugate The hallowed ground In which they stir. And yet: Indolent bodies gathered, RecliningContinue reading “The Rabbits’ Yard. A poem.”

Bottle. A poem.

Lost my bottle to a bottle, The convex bottom of Carnival Mirror Reflections Twisting and churning; The beast within the beast, Cracked Scarred Spent And as poignant as an empty Bottle. For more Poetry, click here. For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All orContinue reading “Bottle. A poem.”

Laidback DM: Dragon Warriors Review

I don’t have a lot of free time nowadays, but I ordered this game from DrivethruRPG and thought I’d (finally) post a review of it. Dragon Warriors is an English TTRPG first published as a series of paperbacks back in the mid-80s. Serpent King Games has reprinted the 2006 revival of that original game, whichContinue reading “Laidback DM: Dragon Warriors Review”

We Once Gathered Round. A poem.

We once gathered round, Before time and circumstance Dictated less than fond adieus; And bloated sensitivities Blended with simplistic vagaries, Tore down tradition And vented wholesome lies. We once gathered round, Like comrades round the vodka. When fires so honourable Simmered with every loss And every back not broken Was bent to lift the woundedContinue reading “We Once Gathered Round. A poem.”

Free Map – Dwarven Mine Camp!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I have far too many, though, so I like to give away my hand-drawn maps when I can. This Week: Dwarven Mine Camp You know how it is, the party sees that interesting cave entrance just off to the side ofContinue reading “Free Map – Dwarven Mine Camp!”

Shotglass Adventures: Mined Games Now in Print!

Shotglass Adventures – Kal-Zar’s Bane 2: Mined Games is now available in print, PDF and as a Digital Maps Package from DrivethruRPG. Gravis Town is locked down as the Kal-Zar’s Bane virus runs rampant. A journal found in a lost shipyard provides the location of the long-hidden library of Kal-Zar Ro. The party must travelContinue reading “Shotglass Adventures: Mined Games Now in Print!”

Mummy’s Curse. A poem.

Stricken with A mummy’s curse To waste away To slough and spurt As bodies melt Into emptiness Prognosis lost And second best A life lived short And lost again Unfulfilled A sea of pain This mummy’s curse Will take you down And leave you wanting In the ground For more Poetry, click here. For moreContinue reading “Mummy’s Curse. A poem.”

Upstart Photographer – Beach Hut

I love to take photographs and write poetry. Scroll down, it’s waiting. Steve 🙂 Beach Hut. A poem. Lonely, yet adamant The sun sears your skin The waves beat you blind Your scarred alacrity Carries on and on Until the surf has its way And you join your Unfettered, broken brothers Prostrate upon the shoreContinue reading “Upstart Photographer – Beach Hut”

Shotglass Rounds – PDF Adventures for D&D 5e now available on DrivethruRPG!

Shotglass Rounds are flexible PDF-only One-Shots for D&D 5e for the DM who doesn’t want to sit up hours doing prep for their next game session! Each adventure is presented in the proven Shotglass Adventures format, designed for a 3-5 hour session. Each PDF includes a two-page spread of the adventure with DM’s map andContinue reading “Shotglass Rounds – PDF Adventures for D&D 5e now available on DrivethruRPG!”

Fish Story. A poem.

I wish I was a fish And could see the world Through fishy eyes And fish bowl smile With no care or thoughts To remonstrate Or percolate Within my fishy brain But my brain’s too big And far too succinct To live a simpler life It would rather sacrifice Me to myself Night after nightContinue reading “Fish Story. A poem.”

Book Store Brevity. A poem.

You were standing there And I was standing here Surrounded by the things We longed for and adored And neither of us knew (But of course we did) In our ignorance and arrogance We turned and passed away Flipped destiny the bird And wrapped ourselves up In hypocrisy and humdrum All the while wondering WhatContinue reading “Book Store Brevity. A poem.”

Murder on the Dance Floor – Dealing with Dissent in TRPG Games

What do you do when players cause dissent in your game? (And believe me, even if it hasn’t happened in one of your games yet, it WILL happen.) Here’s a few suggestions: Establishing Ground Rules Make sure you set ground rules about behaviour in your session zero, such as being respectful of others, allowing everyoneContinue reading “Murder on the Dance Floor – Dealing with Dissent in TRPG Games”

Upstart Photographer – Beach Rocks at Sunrise

I love to take photographs and write poetry. To wit: Steve 🙂 Beach Rocks at Sunrise Angular and obtuse Yet smoothed to a fine edge The grasping sunlight Illuminates your bitter curves Casting shadows like Ambit claims destined to fail Until they try again tomorrow For more Poetry, click here. For more of my poetry,Continue reading “Upstart Photographer – Beach Rocks at Sunrise”

Brutal Damage in DnD 5e

Some people (oldies and grognards, like me) remember when D&D was a lot more lethal for player characters (PCs). 5e changed all that. Now players have a suitably comfortable time with only a few chances of actually dying in a campaign (players don’t really like their characters dying unless its part of a game-changing eventContinue reading “Brutal Damage in DnD 5e”