Laidback DM: SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES 3: BLACK MERIDIAN HEART in Print/Digital

SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES 3: BLACK MERIDIAN HEART is now available in digital PDF and print from DrivethruRPG! 136 pages of awesome, mind bending adventures and campaign materials for 5e and OSR role playing games!

Published under the OGL, inside you’ll find:

· 10 one-shot adventures of all varieties – investigation, dungeon crawl, planar, puzzle, quest, role playing, sci-fi – complete with full color maps! The adventures are for PCs of 11th-15th level, designed for minimal preparation and flexible delivery. Each adventure can be run as a ‘one-shot’ for 2-3 gaming sessions (8-12 hours) or played as a mini-campaign. Over 100 hours of gaming content! High-level adventures mean greater challenges – these adventures are longer and feature more content than the previous books.

· Hand-drawn, full-color maps – old school style with new school flair!

·  31 New Monsters + 19 Monsters from Kobold’s Tome of Beasts/Creature Codex! 5e stats included! New monsters include life-drinking Covenantals, manastatically-mutated Meridian Wyrms, mania-inducing Shrooms and the planet-sized Great Old One Asgarte!

·  13 New Magic Items and Vehicles! New items include the mystical Plume Stones, spirit-controlling Ghost Collar, psionic Gerth’r Mentor Helm, legendary ForNev’r Shards and deck plan and stats for the Gerth’r Planar Assault Ship!

· All new city setting of Meridian’s End, complete with important NPCs, factions, backgrounds, rumors, adventure seeds and city map! A frontier town, bordering the wasteland of the Black Meridian, Meridian’s End stands frozen in time, a legacy to Invicia’s defeat of the old Kereshi Empire. There are dark secrets here, whispered behind closed doors in trembling voices as the Baron’s undead guardians glide overhead, always watching. Corruption and fear pervade this new magical frontier…

· New rules and tables for magic, travel and weather, background lore, random encounters and adventures seeds for the magical wasteland known as the Black Meridian! A vast desert created by a magical disaster centuries ago, the Black Meridian is the only source of the valuable but cursed mystical Plume Stones. There are ruins and treasures untold in that desert, trapped behind a magical barrier that only the most courageous – or most foolish – pass. Are you brave enough to face the rampant manastatic storms, bizarre temporal and spacial effects and mutated monsters of the ForNev’r wastes?

· Random Ruin Generation tables! Roll up a ruin – its size, type, features, inhabitants, manastatic effects and adventure seeds! Perfect for creating a ruin on the fly for sandbox play or preparing a dungeon ruin in advance.

· Expanded Verona Province – updated two-page map and extended lore for the region featured in SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES I and SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES II!

· Loads of new and revised lore for the Invician Empire – everything you need for campaign play!

· Full guide for OSR conversions!

· Two bonus Laidback DM articles: on running sandbox campaigns and how to handle split parties.  

· Includes bonus unkeyed maps to use in your own adventures!

 

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM

Laidback DM - Shotglass Adventures 3 - AD1

 

 

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Against the Scarlet Triad

Time I got back to reviewing some Pathfinder stuff! I’ve been buying literally everything, so here’s my opinion.

The 5th adventure in the Age of Ashes Adventure Path progresses characters from 15th-17th level. It’s time to face the Scarlet Triad in their home town of Katapesh, battling a Wendigo in the town of Flinderplain and networking and influencing the guilds of Katapesh to gain some credibility before an all-out assault on the Triad’s Red Pyramid base. Lots of mission variety in this adventure, including gladiatorial contests, animal hunting, infiltration, investigation, dungeon crawls and preventing assassination attempts!

My favourite adventure in this series so far. It includes lore about the Witchwyrds and Lost Aiudara gates, new items, feats, poisons, companions, a new archetype with 5 new feats and 12 new monsters. If you don’t play any of the others, play this one. Well designed and well worth the investment of money and time.

Rating 10/10

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM
MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

 

Laidback DM: P2e Review – Fires of the Haunted City

Time I got back to reviewing some Pathfinder stuff! I’ve been buying literally everything, so here’s my (short) opinion.

The Age of Ashes Adventure Path continues with this adventure for 12th-14th level characters. The PCs use one of their portals to get to the underground Dwarven city of Kovlar and the nearby haunted city of Saggorak. They’re on the trail of the Scarlet Triad and have to influence the Court of Regents in Kovlar to help them out (a cool mini-game within a game), battle Accursed Forge-Spurned, explore the haunted city and face the Scarlet Triad and Veshumirix, a huge Magma Dragon!

Another exciting adventure with high production standards, wonderful art and maps, a gazetteer of Kovlar, 7 new magic items, a new archetype with 4 feats and a focus spell, 11 new monsters and detailed NPC stats.

Rating: 9/10

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM
MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

 

RightWhereUWant2B. A poem.

U make things so hard
When they should B E Z

But E Z is not
What U want
What U need

(A little inconsistency
A little conspiracy
A little paranoid delusion
A little freaked-out seclusion)

And U R right where
U want 2 B
U need 2 B

U make things so hard
When they should B E Z

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Cold, Hard Facts. A poem.

Empty out these cold, hard facts
Pour them in a bowl to inspect
The entrails, mysteries unsolved
By the clueless and the klutzes

Cold, hard facts and nothing else
But a ringing that won’t leave
Your heart and ears, a reminder
That you had it better, once

Before these cold, hard facts
Blew you away one lonely
Windswept day in August
And left you better off dead

All these cold, hard facts
Pounding at your temple
Like a barrel to your head
A bullet of cold, hard facts

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Ice Cold. A poem.

A perilous montage
Belies the truth
A potent mix that
Soaks in waters
Where icebergs
And submersibles
Hide bittersweet
Goodbyes

A dangerous place
Windswept with lies
A potent reminder
That all is not
As it was or could be
An icy reminder
Of yesterday’s
Foreshadowing

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Outside and In. A poem.

How I miss you
Even when you’re here
Prostrate beside me
Worshiping rod and staff
Valley and furrow
Driven to excess
And shaken to the core

How I miss you
Outside and in

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Kal-el. A poem.

Sky of blue up here
Where cacophony
And constancy
Plies the airwaves
And escape is the stuff
Of fantasy
Where responsibility
Is a tribulation
Accepted righteously
The world cries
In hypocrisy
And only a refugee
Can address it
With moral consistency
Two feet on the ground
Head in the clouds

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Green. A poem.

The green envelops me
And I float
And rise
And sink
On this green tide

The green consumes me
As I taste
And toil
And vomit
This green inside

The green greets me
And seduces me
And I

As with all

Welcome it
In return

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.n

Upstart Photographer – Path.

My photography. My poetry. A nice mix, I think.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Steve Still Standing - upstart photographer

Path. A poem.

Surrounded, enclosed,
cut off from all and sundry.
You opened the way,
you cleared a path.
I walked to you,
and the sun shone anew.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Shake. A poem.

What slumber is this?
How far deep in waking dreams
Did this course of action
Decide progress beyond
Frank anticipation?

Shudder under a veil
Of night as black as pitch
That sinks thought
As dark as tar and deep
Into this vale we’ll toil,
Until the morning sun
Casts glimmers of wistful
Hope on towers pert and bold.

Then shake this sermon
From me with a kiss
.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

I Tried. A poem.

I tried to make you happy
And not to bring you down
But again I failed so inevitably
Thorny crown upon my brow

I tried to make you happy
But perhaps the stage was set
For another lonely scene of remonstrance
A monologue of regret

I tried to make you happy
But it seems to be my fate
To swim against a surly tide
And to drown in history’s wake

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sh&t Show. A poem.

This sh&t show never ends
I would change the channel
But the remote’s on the fritz
And there’s nothing else
Worthwhile on anyway
And even if there was
I’m too apathetic to care
And too down to get up today
Too spent to make some change

And too

Too

This sh&t show never ends
Until I
Finally

Tell it to

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Currents and Whirlpools. A poem.

Somewhere along the way
I lost sight of yesterday

Drifting on currents and whirlpools

Threatening to take me
Down to places I’d rather not be

And so I fell as deeply as one could
As far down as one never ever should
A stone and leaden weight
Sinking deeper into fate

Violent currents and whirlpools

Threatening to spin me right around
To run my hard fought world aground
Like a ship without a helm
Like a lifetime overwhelmed

And after all that, I survived
Left somewhat ragged and indecisive
Yet I struggled, rose to my feet
An embittered revolutionary

Fighting currents and whirlpools

(That won’t take me there again
Won’t spin me down the drain)

Although I live with constant hurt
The culmination of this work
I will walk with head held high
Still standing and not crying

And to all those currents and whirlpools

I am not afraid of you

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

My Lady Waits. A poem.

My lady waits in conscious thought,
Precluded and abstaining,
With fickle motions bought
And sold in a moment’s notice.
She stands and lies and shivers,
Like summer rainfall or icy leaves
At winter’s end, when all delights
Must finally shake those fickle traces
And embrace their bitter finality.

My lady waits and presents
Herself to me, and now I shiver
As the wind that fills my heart
And blinded, new swept soul
Lifts me up and casts me aside
In another long felt gesture
Of indignation and unkempt desire.

My lady waits for me,
And I listen for her call.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM – Free D&D 5e Adventure

Hi all,

Here’s a free copy of one of my adventures from Shotglass Adventures volume 1. It was a winner in the 2019 One-Page Dungeon Contest.

This image is 1200 dpi so you can view it easily on tablets and PCs. Just right click on laptop/PC or hold your finger on the image on your phone or tablet to save it, then print and play!

Laidback DM Free Dungeon

And if you like that, why not check out my other products, available at DriveThruRPG!  Click on the link below for more.

Game on!

Steve 😊

 

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.​ ​

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at​ https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

Laidback DM – Running Big Parties

Nope – this isn’t a post about hosting huge drunkfests the whole street will remember. But nerdfests? Bring it on…

There’s a reason most modules are written for four players. Over time this was considered the average number of players most DMs could get together for one game session. Times have changed though, and with D&D reaching a level of popularity far beyond the original golden years of the ‘80’s, parties are bigger, tables are bigger and the associated problems of running games are bigger. Yep, facilitating large parties of players can be fun, but they can also be awkward and fatiguing. I’ve regularly run large parties of players. Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years to help run big games and avoid some of the pitfalls.

  • Set ground rules – this is important for any game, especially big groups as they can become unruly faster than a smaller one. Establish your basic game ground rules early: no insulting, no vilification, don’t humiliate other players, etc. get your players’ input in coming up with ground rules so the group is not only accepting but knows where they shouldn’t go regarding discussions/behaviours.
  • Involve everyone – managing a party of players is like managing a team in a workplace – everyone has different strengths and motivations. Over time you’ll get to know your players well, and you’ll know what best motivates and engages them. Use that knowledge. Directly involve your players in some time of the administration functions of the game. Got some who are rules experts? Ask them for help on rules decisions, if needed. Got overly responsible players? Let them take over roles like organising initiative, mapping, marching orders, etc. Got vocal players? Give them opportunities to role play and describe their scenes. Got quiet players? Be inclusive, give them opportunities to speak and be heard. Give everybody opportunities to shine. In short, let them make your job as a DM easier, while playing to each player’s core strengths and motivations.
  • Manage the pace – make sure the story is moving along. This may sound a little obvious, and it’s true for any game, no matter what size: slow pacing kills engagement. Make sure your game doesn’t drag. If the wilderness encounters are tedious, drop them and so a travel montage instead. Better still, get one of your players to describe the flow of days on the road. If there’s a part of the adventure that’s boring, move through it quickly. And combat? “Many battles do not a good game make,” said Yoda. Even if your party are die hard hack-and-slashers, every game should be a balance of role play and combat, so that everyone gets to do something they enjoy.
  • Let your players contribute to the story – give each of your players the time to describe what they do in down time, or how they react to a new environment or new NPC. But beware the over-talker! If someone’s going on too long and the other players are switching off, acknowledge that player’s contribution and continue to move the game forward.
  • Run faster combats – big parties mean more down time between turns. This is ok for those players who are intensely involved or planning their upcoming turn, but there will be a few who aren’t – playing with phones or side conversations about non-game stuff are an indicator. Use faster combat to keep players engaged. Forego some of the lengthy descriptions of battle. Make the combat fast and keep everyone involved and excited. Theater of the mind becomes tricky the more players and monsters are involved, but it’s still quicker than using a grid. That said, the bigger the party, the better a grid for combat becomes as it’s easier to manage where the PCs are in relation to opponents. It’s your call, just remember to drop the unnecessary bits.
  • Increase the challenges – as mentioned earlier, adventures are generally written for four players. If you have more, up the ante. Parties of eight are easy – just double the number of bad guys. But what about the big bad? Rather than duplicate him/her, increase their hit points. Give them legendary actions. Up their armor class. Give them a powerful magic item to wield (if they don’t have one already). Remember, the more players, the more actions they have and the more hits the bad guys take, thus lessening the threat. You need to counter player character overkill by ensuring each combat encounter and the final boss remain suitably epic.
  • Consider more role playing opportunities – large parties of people respond like large groups of people. Often they split into cliques, or favour particular people in the group they know or identify with. Role playing encounters give an opportunity for groups to play as a party and introduce some ‘game’ conflict into the mix. Just make sure it doesn’t become REAL conflict – as facilitator, maintain control of the flow of discussion and immediately cut off anything that vilifies or denigrates another player.

Big parties are lots of fun to run. Just make sure they don’t run all the way over you.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

PS Do you have any hints for running big parties? Leave a comment! Heck, I’ll even respond to the ones about wild drunkfests.

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.​ ​

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at​ https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM
MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

 

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Lost Omens Character Guide

I’ve been buying most of the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them.

Paizo has a monthly release schedule for their products, which is great for those of us with collector mentalities that like to have everything (but terrible for our erstwhile budgets). I was pretty impressed with the Lost Omens World Guide, so it was a no brainer I would pick up the Lost Omens Character Guide.

A slim volume at 135 pages, the Character Guide manages to squeeze a lot of content in. There is expanded lore for all the Core Rulebook ancestries, new heritages and ancestry-specific feats. I was most interested in the new ancestries: the militaristic Hobgoblin; nature guardian Leshies (I love how Gourd Leshies can store physical objects inside their hollow heads); the patient and adaptable Lizardfolk. Each of these ancestries has multiple heritages with specific abilities, and ancestry feats. Want a Lizardfolk from the desert – try the Sandstrider. Or maybe an Unseen Lizardfolk which has chameleon abilities. How about an Elfbane Hobgoblin with resistance to elvish magic? Leaf Leshies are so light they can fall any distance and not be hurt.

One of my criticisms of the P2e Core Rulebook was the lack of new ancestries other than the Goblin, but these additional ones start to make up for that. They are all substantially different from the D&D takes on these races and there is the promise of more to come.

Next up is organisations, with detailed entries on the ostentatious Firebrands, the dogmatic Hellknights, stalwart Knights of Lastwall, the ancient magical Magaambya, and the adventurous Pathfinder Society. Not only is there a wealth of information on these organisations, how PCs join them and how each organisation relates to one other, there’s also loads of new items specific to each group, new abilities and archetypes, and feats galore. The Firebrands have access to an Insistent Door Knocker that whispers hints to you when you’re trying to unlock another door. Knights of Lastwall gain access to the new Sun Blade spell. Magaambyan attendants can gain Mask Familiars.

This book is a treasure trove of ideas for P2e players, especially those who like to get deep into their character’s background story and customise their skill sets appropriately. GMs will be happy, as well. Aside from all the lore available, the end of the book includes an NPC gallery with low and high level NPCs from each organisation, along with guidelines to apply themed templates to create organisation NPCs at differing levels and using other ancestries.

Paizo has impeccable production standards for their products, but it doesn’t make them perfect. I’ve mentioned before I’m not a fan of having rules and information spread out over multiple books. There are feats and archetypes in the Lost Omens World Guide that flow into some of the archetypes in this book. When you look at that book and this one, it seems like one book was split into two to ensure a regular flow of product. I have no problem with companies safeguarding their bottom line, especially when the products they produce are so good, but I usually like to have most things in one place. I’m not a fan of lugging my books around, so I use PDFs on a tablet for reference during games. Even jumping between PDFs can be a pain, but I am happy Paizo had the foresight to include page references when referring to feats or archetypes in other books. I guess I’ll just have to live with an annoyingly high number of rules sources.

Lost Omens Character Guide is a worthy addition to your P2e library (and believe me, with all the content being released, it becomes a library VERY quickly). There’s great content here for players and GMs, and it will definitely add some spice to your herb rack (a terrible analogy, but you know what I mean).

Rating: 9/10

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.​ ​

You can find my D&D 5e and OSR products at​ https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM
MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

 

So. A stream of consciousness poem.

So.

So so so.

So, a lot of people seem to have an issue with uncertainty. About where they are headed, about the meaning of life. You know. The big questions.

I’m one of those. Sometimes.

So.

So, I know I’m on a path. I’m a believer in predestination. Destiny. Fate. Call it what you want. I never used to be, but too many things have played out in my life to be coincidence. Believe it or not.

So.

So, yeah, I’m a believer. And as such, I’m not really uncertain about where I’ll end up, big picture-wise.

But I am pretty uncertain about where I’m gonna be with the little stuff. The nitty gritty. The stuff that drags us down. Money problems. Love. Family. Getting by.

So.

So, I write poetry, and I use it to express myself and talk about sh&t that worries me and stuff I need to get off my chest. I bet you do, too.

Even this train of thought is a poem. It flows. It expresses. It’s me.

So.

So so so.

So, yeah, I worry about stuff all the time. Just like you. Just like every f&@$ing person in the whole world. But I’m selfish, like every f$&@ing person in the whole world.

And although I think and worry about others, deep down I worry more about myself because I’m just a selfish pr$ck.

Who swears a lot.

So.

So, a train of thought doesn’t always have to stop at the station to make its point, you know.

Sometimes it just has to ride along those tracks.

Even if it never quite gets to its destination.

So.

So, uncertainty sucks.

So, let that train get to the station.

And try not to worry so.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Products Available Now!

Hi all!

Far be it for me to spruik for a living, but hey – it’s how I make a living now. So, here are some of my products available on DrivethruRPG in print/PDF/digital. You can buy any or all of these fine products by visiting this nifty little link:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/13989/Laidback-DM?term=laidback

MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

Laidback DM Ad - Shotglass Adventures 1 and 2

img_2662

Laidback DM Ad - Maps

Laidback DM Ad - Cards

Game on!

Steve 🙂

For more Laidback DM, click here.​

Briars and Thorns. A poem.

All these briars and thorns—
Sticking and slicing,
Pricking and enticing—
Patterning my body
And reflecting my somber discontent.

Marking a trail upon this empty flesh—
A patina of scar tissue,
A fleshy, vertiginous map—
To guide me like a lost,
Angst-filled, wayward child.

Back from the emptiness
Of my long congealing heart.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Tomorrow Must Burn

I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy.

Limited Spoilers!

Tomorrow Must Burn is the third part of the epic Pathfinder 2e adventure path Age of Ashes, containing three adventures for characters of 9th-11th level. The PCs face off against the Scarlet Triad, the slavers behind the Cinderclaw Cult and the adventure path’s overarching conspiracy (which I won’t spoil).

Tomorrow Must Burn is set in the country of Ravounel, which gained its independence in a previous adventure path (remember I said a while back these adventure paths have a real impact on the game world?). It’s nice to see a return to a previous adventure location (even if I get the faint impression this might have been to save on production time).

There are several interesting town and city-based adventures and a showdown with the slaver boss in a remote quarry location, and although the investigations and missions have less variety than the previous adventure in the series, they are nonetheless enjoyable.

As usual, Tomorrow Must Burn includes loads of additional information for GMs, including a gazetteer of Ravounel, all about Dragons, seven new magic items, three pages of new feats that can be learned from NPCs (the Lacunafex spy network and Bellflower underground railroad that frees Halfling slaves), 10 high-level monsters and three detailed NPC overviews.

All of this wonderful added content can be an issue in the long term, however. When spread out over multiple supplements—a concern with Pathfinder 1st edition and also with the various new Lost Omens hardcovers—it can become problematic trying to find references during your future games. Perhaps Paizo will consolidate all the new material at some point, however the current example of division of Lost Omens’ content makes this doubtful. I hate having to look through multiple books for references (D&D 5e is getting this way as well). It’s inevitable as games age and new content for players and GMs is released, but P2e has only been around a few months and it’s already racking up a significant supplement count. Having said that, it’s the GM’s choice to use the additional content or not.

One other quibble: the Ravounel gazetteer is a bit of a letdown – it reads like a bland travel brochure and there are next to no adventure seeds. WOTC managed to cram Baldur’s Gate full of them, and although that gazetteer was much bigger it shows what can be done with a city supplement. Having additional adventure seeds can really help GMs (especially new ones) with building and running their own campaigns.

The nature of adventure paths means they tend to lead PCs from one specific outcome to the next, in a somewhat linear fashion—they’re a path, after all—and there’s not much room for improvisation. Having said that, Age of Ashes compensates by providing a full and interesting campaign from 1st-20th level, and WOTC has only managed that in one of their many campaign adventures. Age of Ashes is more varied and challenging than that somewhat staid multi-level dungeon crawler.

Although Tomorrow Must Burn has less mission variety than Cult of Cinders, it will keep players interested and engaged throughout the many sessions of play in this book. I’m enjoying these adventures, and look forward to the next.

Rating: 8/10

MYPWDF Ad - Laidback DM

Drowning Not Waving. A poem.

It’s so easy
to wave
And then
slide below
And let the tide
take me
Wherever
we’ll go

Waving
not drowning
Just a puppet
on show
Drowning
not waving
Behind a
curtain of woe

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Review – Cult of Cinders

I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy.

Spoilers!!

Cult of Cinders is the second part of the Age of Ashes adventure path. It contains four adventures taking PCs from 5th-8th level, set in the vast and danger-filled jungles of the Mwangi Expanse.

Laidback DM: Cult of Cinders review

This adventure has a great balance of role playing and fighting missions that include befriending the local Ekujae Elves via hunting, attending a feast, matchmaking and storytelling (among other activities); deactivating a number of protective dragon pillars throughout the jungle; disrupting a mining operation and an intense showdown with the Cinderclaw Cult antagonists in the fossilized remains of a giant dragon. Along the way the PCs learn the cult is linked to another, bigger conspiracy, and gain a key to another Elvish magic gate (and thus another part of the Inner Sea Region of Golarion). Age of Ashes is a good introductory campaign as it uses portals to take the PCs to multiple countries across the game world, providing varied environments and challenges in each new instalment.

Along with the adventures are additional rules enabling repair and upgrade of the citadel the PCs took over in Hellknight Hill, copious information on the Ekujae Elves, new treasures and diseases, extensive background information on two major NPCs and 15 new monsters.

Cult of Cinders has the usual high levels of presentation and writing we’ve come to expect from Paizo. It’s less linear than the previous instalment, with more mission variety that also very effectively demonstrates the various P2e rules for downtime and NPC interactions.

Rating: 9.5/10

For more Laidback DM, click here.

Delineate. A poem.

Let me draw an outline
Around your heart
And delineate
The love between
Let me itemise it
Systematically
Congruently
Congenially
Tangentially
Until it is so defined
That it no longer
Means a thing
To either you or me
Because logic
And love
Are not the same
And you and I
Delineate it
Differently

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Three Years!

Wow.

It’s been three years of blogging, poetry, D&D, films, comics, stories and stuff. I trimmed down recently to just poetry and role playing game blogs, but the site is still going strong!

58000+ views, 1000+ posts, 1600+ followers, 3000+ comments (according to my WordPress stats). That’s not bad for a site I originally started to encourage me to write every day and to vent about my sad life.

Thanks for your support. Onwards and upwards! Or sideways. One of those.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Want to read my very first blog (no one’s forcing you to)? Just click on this link: https://stevestillstanding.com/2017/01/09/so-why-a-blog/

Blame. A poem.

I took the blame
For it was my lot
To stumble and toil
And make my weary way
Back to life
From whence I was cast
Aside

But blame should be
Apportioned
Fairly and to each
For blame lies not in one
But in the actions
And inactions
Of all

Forevermore

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Murder of Crows. A poem.

A tendency to exaggerate.
Variable and inconsistent,
A migratory bird, unaware
Which hemisphere is up
Or what time of year it is.

A mountain and a molehill,
Keynotes of your dependency.
Furtive and insecure
And longing for approval;
All wayward illegitimacy.

Time to find the truth within
And not try so hard
To be party to an
Estranged and inconsolable
Murder of crows.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Pathfinder 2e Reviews – Hellknight Hill

(I’ve been buying all the Pathfinder 2e products, so I may as well review them. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get to this adventure path. Just call me lazy.)

Hellknight Hill is the first in the Age of Ashes Adventure Path for P2e, taking PCs from 1st-4th level. The first mini-adventure sees the PCs fighting a fire in the town hall, before accepting a job to chase down the fire starter in the citadel on Hellknight Hill, just outside of the town of Breachhill. Next up is a dungeon crawl through the citadel, rescuing a band of local goblins and defeating the fire starter. The last part of the adventure sees the PCs investigating the dungeons and caves below the citadel, fighting the Cinderclaw cult attempting to invade the region through a magic gate and discovering a series of portals that tie directly into future instalments of the adventure path. They even get to keep the citadel as a fixer-upper to use as a home base, which is a nice touch.

Overall this adventure is a well put together, somewhat linear adventure, with bonus materials including campaign information, a detailed town with a mysterious secret, 3 major NPCs, 2 new magic items and 9 new monsters. The writing, maps and art are good and the levels are decently designed (although there are the occasional questionable monster placements that seem to be there just to make up the XP level requirements rather than for logical reasons).

This adventure makes a good introduction not only to the Age of Ashes Adventure Path but also to P2e itself. I also like the fact the Adventure Path enables the PCs to significantly impact the game world (assuming they play it through to its conclusion at level 20). As with all of Paizo’s campaign materials, this is very closely tied to the Pathfinder world of Golarion, but any DM/GM could cull bits to use in their own homebrew campaigns if they wished.

Rating: 8.5/10

For more Laidback DM, click here.

For Laidback DM products, in print/PDF/digital, visit https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/browser/publisher/13989.

Paramour. A poem.

These metaphors,
So sorely overused,
Are now circumspect
And reeking of apathy.

I long to find
Such cunning words
That would spin
Symphonies of ardency.

This paramour,
In evidence alone,
Has proven they
Can break your heart so many times,

Yet always have you
Coming back for more.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Practice Makes Perfect. A poem.

I reach
And yet
Everything
Is so
Far away

Unknowable

My fingertips
Brush
The surface
Of something
I cannot

Grasp

No matter
How hard
I try

But that
Won’t stop
Me from

Persevering

Because

Practice
Makes
Perfect

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: