Author Archives: Brent

About Brent

21st Century Renaissance Man. My gamer resume:

Monster Monday: The Tricaput

In a more sane world, the Tricaput would be one of those calm herbivores that mostly gets out of humans’ way. Instead, the Tricaput — all six tons of it — chooses a mile-wide area of land as its territory and defends it viciously against anything larger than a dog, flying into rages at the … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: Elesantra’s Dungeon of Wonder and Goblins

Elesantra, an adventurous elf, followed the classic adventurer career: She spent years delving into dungeons, collecting various items of power, then eventually retired very comfortably. Having developed a taste for city life, she put her money in charge of a local banker, bought a small mansion, and placed her collection of magic items in a … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Skullspiders

Spawned in abandoned graveyards and poorly maintained battlefields, skullspiders are large, venomous predators about the size of a cat. Unlike the single web of a typical spider, each skullspider will spread several thick webs over graves, crypts, bushes, and trees and feed indiscriminately on anything that gets caught there. They are also viciously territorial and … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: Gus’s Goblins

Life’s tough for goblins who try to be good. Many of them turn to the merchant life as peddlers and gypsies, turning their natural eye for trinkets into a shrewd judge of value. Still, they take quite a while to earn the locals’ trust. Enter Gus, a minor half-elf spell-caster who never seemed to find … Continue reading »

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The Inverse Barker Mechanic: d100 for Everything

I’ve probably written about this on Google+ a few times, but I wanted to document it in full. Apparently, M.A.R. Barker, creator of the early RPG¬†Empire of the Petal Throne, after decades of role-playing settled on a very simple system: The GM takes the PCs’ character description into account when describing NPC reactions, so if … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Painsoppers

Today’s monster is converted from the “hexmute” found in¬†GURPS: Creatures of the Night by Scott Paul Maykrantz. Painsoppers are strange humanoids who live on pain. Usually encountered in groups of 3 to 10, they are indistinguishable from normal humans except for their irises, which are pure black, and the fact that they never speak. They … Continue reading »

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Faction Friday: The Gatekeepers

Every city attracts a wide variety of religious believers, from the established to the fringe. The Gatekeepers are a canonical example of the latter. Using only heavy white caps as symbols of their fraternity, the Gatekeepers gather at various spots around the city which they’ve identified as “universal nexus points,” or “gates.” According to their … Continue reading »

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You cannot build a perfectly challenging puzzle for D&D

In most traditional RPG campaigns, PCs face broadly three kinds of challenges: physical combat, social conflict, and intellectual puzzles. The rules of the game usually cover physical combat in plenty of depth, and most groups can navigate difficult conversations without complex rule systems. Puzzles, meanwhile, beguile us. We imagine an ingeniously interconnected set of traps … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Whip Vines

Whip vines drink blood. They look simply like long, very thorny green vines, but they conceal a round sac, buried deep in the ground or kept high in the air, that acts as a simple “brain” for the organism. Whip vines sense movement with great accuracy. Any movement nearby causes the whip vines to animate, … Continue reading »

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Monster Monday: Flesh-Eating Darkshade

This carnivorous plant (about 3 meters/yards tall at full height) disguises itself as a normal tuberous plant, typically growing in the wilderness and occasionally in overgrown dungeon environments. When prey nears, it reaches out with its “arms,” which secretes a numbing poison (and can swallow tiny creatures whole). Then its large, serrated mouth lowers onto … Continue reading »

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