"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." — Gary Gygax.


GAME OVER – Of Dropzones and Jaffa Cakes

Originally posted on Jon Garrad:


First paid-for episode of my tabletop gaming podcast! Listen at Podomatic, support on Patreon, discuss… freely.

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[Dark Ages Vampire] Act Three – The Land Beyond The Forest

Map (original):

swaen.com - map by Mercator

Map (abstracted for gameplay clarity, hand-redrawn so GM can understand territory via principle of constructivism, creative licence taken with locations but there are still seven towns established by Transylvanian Saxons, for instance, and yes I know it’s ugly as sin – I’m not an illustrator!):

2015-04-16 16.00.00

Rustovich, voivode among voivodes: nominated commander of the Tzimisce warhost.

by ozanb of deviantart

The Dracon, overlord of the Obertus monks: in dreams, he walks among them.

by ozanb of deviantart

Shaagra, sire of Rustovich: mistress of monsters.

by ozanb of deviantart


To-Do List:

  • source faces for Ventrue, Tremere, Gangrel and Cappadocian NPCs
  • prepare miniatures for battlefield-level/dynamic encounter play
  • stat up assembled NPCs to varying degrees
  • discuss Road of Lilith with Hark and establish how this morality is going to work and what Aziz could find in Transylvania (backstory – Aziz doesn’t know masses about Caine yet, let alone Lilith – where is Lilith now, geographically or emotionally? – cool pain experiments people have done (cf. Cathedral of Flesh) – METHODOLOGY – he’s already searched Islamic documentation to reconcile the Bahari code with Islam to the extent that he can [obvious incompatibilities are more down to being a vampire than being Lilin – “if the prophet had KNOWN about vampires wouldn’t he have helped us out somehow?”])
  • actually bother codifying house rules (including reviewed and streamlined mass battle system)? Would people be interested in that?


Shopping List for a Mordheim Warband

“I have kept thee long in waiting, dear Romuald, and it must have seemed to thee that I had forgotten thee. But I come from afar off, very far off, and from a land whence no other has ever yet returned. There is neither sun nor moon in that land whence I come: all is but space and shadow; there is neither road nor pathway: no earth for the foot, no air for the wing; and nevertheless behold me here, for Love is stronger than Death and must conquer him in the end…”
— Clarimonde (Théophile Gautier, La Morte Amoureuse)

Avatars of War – Vampire Countess

At one moment I believed myself a priest who dreamed nightly that he was a gentleman, at another that I was a gentleman who dreamed he was a priest. I could no longer distinguish the dream from the reality, nor could I discover where the reality began or where ended the dream. The exquisite young lord and libertine railed at the priest, the priest loathed the dissolute habits of the young lord. Two spirals entangled and confounded the one with the other, yet never touching…
— Romuald (Théophile Gautier, La Morte Amoureuse)

Warhammer Quest Necromancer – if available. If not, cf. Avatars of War.

It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs – and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.


The Paris slums are a gathering-place for eccentric people – people who have fallen into solitary, half-mad grooves of life and given up trying to be normal or decent. Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behavior, just as money frees people from work.

— George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

Freebooter Miniatures – Eugen

Freebooter Miniatures – Fith’Aarch the Spider

Freebooter Miniatures – Romerto the Strangler

And the people—ah, the people,
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone —
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
A pæan from the bells
— Edgar Allen Poe, The Bells

Heresy Miniatures – Ghoul Tribe

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.”
— The Wolf Man

Citadel Doom Wolf (OOP)

Zombies will, as required, be plundered from elsewhere in my collection – assuming I have the good fortune to roll the spell which summons them. There will only be a singular Dire Wolf; the error made with previous warbands was the surfeit of henchmen who were unable to gain experience during campaign play, which robbed me of precious Warband Rating and the opportunity for free heroes. Dire Wolves are the bomb and have one of the best inherent statlines in the game, but five of them was too many. One, as a headhunter and finisher for tricky targets, seems reasonable.


  • Vampire with sword – 120
  • Necromancer with sword – 45
  • Dreg with short bow – 25
  • Dreg with bow – 30
  • Dreg with bow – 30


  • Dire Wolf – 50
  • Ghoul – 40
  • Ghoul – 40
  • Ghoul – 40
  • Ghoul – 40
  • Ghoul – 40
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