Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Neffia the Small pt 5 (Conclusion)

Neffia the Small

 

Body: 2
Mind: 1
Soul: 1

HP: 4

 

Cliché’s: Quiet as a mouse, Tougher than she looks, No lock she can’t pick.

 

Continued from: Cursing, she moves down the hall to the next room.  If that room was locked, it might be the room she was looking for.  People didn’t lock rooms that didn’t contain valuables.  Hopefully there’s another way in…

 

Neffia is at a door that should open into a room adjacent to the one she would like to enter.  There is a chance that it leads elsewhere, however.  First things first… is this door locked?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (3) (No)

 

Well, alright! The knob twists and she pushes the door softly open.  Is there light in here?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No, but)

 

There’s no candles or oil lamps, but there is a very small window that lets in a good deal of bluish moonlight.  I wonder, is she in a room adjacent to her target room?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (6) (Yes, and)

 

I think with this roll, this is actually the target room itself.  It’s a long, wide room with four doors, two at either end.  So now Neffia is right where she wants to be.  This room is a kind of receiving room/trophy room.  The heads of defeated animals and even some monstrous creatures are mounted on the wall between portraits and landscape paintings. Some of the portraits show a young knight in armor.  Perhaps it is Sir Gillinton.

 

A large hearth dominates the north wall, with a bear rug in front of it along with several thick-legged and thick-cushioned chairs.

 

Are there any people in here?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No, but)

 

There are no people here now, but there’s a lingering smell of tobacco in the air.  Someone was here not too long ago.  It’s good quality tobacco, so it was probably the master of the house.

 

Does Neffia see the medallion she seeks?  A trophy room seems like an appropriate spot.

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No, but)

 

Well, it’s not in plain view, but there’s a small chest on the mantle over the hearth.  Is it unlocked?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No, but)

 

It opens easily, but it is empty.  Perhaps it has a false bottom.  Does it? 

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (6) (Yes, and)

 

A rattle of chain when she tips the chest.  Aha!  She digs inside with her fingernails until she find the lip of the false bottom.  Lifting it up, she sees her prize: Hustan the Brave’s silver medallion is finally hers!  She realizes it’s time to leave – with her lockpicks bent, her chance of getting caught is now higher than her chance of finding more valuables.  She looks up at the window.  Can she get to it?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No, but)

 

It’s too high, and barred besides.  She’d be wisest to retrace her steps and hope that nobody catches her.  Does anybody cross her path as she heads all the way back to the start? 

 

Applicable clichés?: Quiet as a Mouse

 

2d6=1 is the best result (No, and)

She glides her way back through the estate like a shadow.  Mounting the trunk she had slid into place to facilitate her escape earlier, she squeezes through the bars and slips out the same window she came through, disappearing into the night with the medallion clutched in her little hand.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Addendum to Mail of the Manticore

 

Listening back, I realize that I didn’t fully answer all the questions that I selected on this latest bonus material.  Maybe that’s not such a bad thing – I wanted to keep the episode fairly brief – but now the completionist in me demands justice.  Here’s what I neglected to include:

On contributing a voice: this answer was more or less complete, though I wanted to clarify what I meant by a potential contributor having the ‘right accent’.  By ‘right’, I just meant ‘consistent with other characters from that part of the world’.  Dwarves tend to have North American Accents, as do Zaceans and Camortinians who live in the country.  Upper class Camortinians and those who live in the capitol city of Cylmorril have British accents.  Some Kamranthians have a Spanish accent, Sachoriis have a bit of French.  Everyone from Koth has an Australian accent.  The goal here is just to maximize verisimilitude and not ‘take people out’ of the story wherever it could be helped.  There are exceptions to this ‘rule’ – but they all occurred because I didn’t have a wide enough selection of talent to organize things perfectly.

On Dwarven Culture: Oops, I completely forgot to talk about anything other than names here.  I did take some inspiration from the political climate in North America (at the time of writing) but TOTM is not an allegory.   I just wanted competing factions, with some dwarves being conservative isolationists and others being liberal free-traders.  I realized early on that the cliché of dwarves living up in mountains, completely cut off from the outside would be very tough to make realistic if trading with outsiders was avoided (where would they get wood, barley, etc ?) and so I came up with the idea of hill dwarves providing a supply of agricultural products.  That also introduced dwarves to Burke, and eventually to the main story.  A great deal of what happens in game is just a logical consequence of some solution-to-a-problem.  As for all the rest, most of it is just made up on the spot.  I try to stay true to classic fantasy tropes while not being cartoonish.  Whenever things feel too simple, I try to add some dirt, some ugliness, or some weirdness.

On parts of the process that are ‘work’ & that I don’t enjoy so much:  Well, most of it is fun.  Editing voice is just work, however.  I ‘scrub’ my audio to delete empty air, fix whistling S’s & plosive P’s.  I trim down silences to keep things moving.  Doing it as I go makes it feel less onerous, but, yeah, this part isn’t super fun.  The only other part that isn’t always fun is that soliciting ads and even voices can sometimes be difficult. Often I’m left waiting for a file for weeks – sometimes as much as a month – before I receive it.  This causes problems with meeting my own ‘release every 10 days’ goal, and forces me to be much further ahead in the game than the published episodes.  Usually I keep a 6-8 episode buffer for this reason.  That way, while I’m waiting for folks to send me their files, I can still be working and tinkering on other episodes.  For those ad partners and voice actors that are quick with a turnaround (some can do it in just a week or two), I hope you know how grateful I am!

OK, I think I'm satisfied with those additions to the mailbag answers.  Thanks so much for your questions; thanks for listening & for supporting the show.  If there are any questions that I didn't answer, just shoot me an email at taleofthemanticore@gmail.com, or ask me in the comments right here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 59

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Part 1                                       Kyellan – Woden’s Bounty

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 58

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Thursday, December 9, 2021

It might be a snowball's chance, but what the hell...

 Hey folks!  Can I ask you a favor?  If you have the time and inclination, I would be very grateful if you could vote for my show to win an ENNIE this year.  My gratitude to those of you who have already done so.  You can vote by clicking here.



Saturday, December 4, 2021

Neffia the Small pt 4

Neffia the Small pt 4

 

Continued from: She gets the lock open but bends her best tool in the process.  Damn it!  She won’t have ‘advantage’ on this type of roll anymore until she can get a new set of thieves’ tools.  On the other hand, she has found a shortcut!

 

 

She lifts the lid of the trapdoor and slips into the narrow shaft that it reveals.  There are ladder rungs attached to the shaft’s wall and she descends fifteen feet before reaching a slender tunnel somewhere on the first floor.  It runs in two directions.  Neffia doesn’t really know which to take, so she arbitrarily goes to the right.  The tunnel ends at … not quite a door, but a dead end with a fairly obvious door shaped seem cut into the wall with a handle in the middle.  She listens at the door.

 

Does she hear anything?        

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No)

 

Hearing nothing, she shrugs and twists the handle.  The door opens into a scullery.

 

Is anyone here?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (3) (No, but)

 

The room is empty, but she does see a plate with a half eaten, thick slice of bread and a wedge of white cheese resting on the counter under a row of hanging pans and pots.  Someone will be coming back for that any time, thinks Neffia.  She scans the room for exits.

 

Are there more than one exit?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (4) (Yes, but)

 

There are two exits in the scullery.  Neffia is moving towards the closest one when she hears approaching footsteps.  There’s no choice now, she dashes for the other exit, throws it open and hurries through, pulling it shut behind her.

 

Is this new room lit?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (4) (Yes, but)

 

This room is lit, but only dimly.  A candle, burned down almost to the nub sits in the centre of a table in this room that appears to be a servant’s quarters.  She quickly scans the room.  Is anyone here?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (5) (Yes)

 

That candle had burned down pretty far – it’s possible this person fell asleep.  Is the person asleep?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (6) (Yes, and)

 

There’s a bed in here, and it’s occupied! But Neffia isn’t too worried.  There’s an empty wine bottle beside the bed and the man who occupies it is snoring softly and drooling on his pillow.  Neffia doesn’t even have to try to be quiet as she crosses the room, scanning as she goes for anything of use or value. 

 

Is there anything?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (2) (No)

 

Nothing of interest here save for the door on the opposite side.  The door has no lock.  Neffia briefly considers listening at it, but with the snores of this servant in her other ear, it’s no use. She opens the door a crack and peaks into the hallway beyond.  The hallway is empty and she slips through the door, shutting it softly behind her.  There are several doors in this new hallway.  She approaches the first and this time she does listen at it. 

 

Is there anything to be heard?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (1) (No, and)

 

Neffia is confident there’s nothing alive beyond, asleep or awake.  She pushes on the door.  Is it locked?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (5) (Yes)

 

She’s going to have to pick the lock, but with her bent tool, she loses her advantage.

 

Is she successful?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6= (1) (No, and)

 

Damn it! Another tool is ruined and now Neffia will take a -1 if she tries to pick another lock.

 

Cursing, she moves down the hall to the next room.  If that room was locked, it might be the room she was looking for.  People didn’t lock rooms that didn’t contain valuables.  Hopefully there’s another way in…

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 57

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 2                                       98 Lost Mine https://tabletopaudio.com/

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 56

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Part 1                                       98 Lost Mine https://tabletopaudio.com/

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Monster Reboot (Minor spoilers if you have not listened up to & including ep 55)

 Ankhegs are cool, but the monster-as-written lacked a bit of depth and needed some tweaking so it would make sense in my game.  Below is my new (and I think improved) version of the classic monster.


Ankheg

 

They are giant, highly aggressive insects that burrow underground and can tunnel through rock.  They live in colonies with a single brood queen at the center.  There are three varieties of ankheg, and each is quite distinct from the other.

 

Workers: 

 

Workers do the digging, tending of eggs and preparation of food.  They also double as soldiers and so these ankhegs are big, many reaching 20’ long.  They have short antennae, huge mandibles, a multitude of hook-tipped legs and a thick chitinous armor of rusty reddish brown.

 

Habitat: Underground/Mountainous

Frequency: Rare

Organization: Brood

Diet: Omnivore

Intelligence: Non

Alignment: Neutral

No. Appearing: 1-8

Armor Class: 2

Hit Dice: 7-8

No. of Attacks: 1

Damage/Attack: *3-18

Special Attacks: None

Special Defenses: None

Size: H 20’ long

Morale: 9 (12 if protecting Queen)

 

*Note that the creature must make a successful to-hit each round of combat; there is no automatic damage/grapple.



Hunters: 

 

These ankhegs are smaller than the warriors, measuring 10-12 feet long.  Their only job is to hunt food for the rest colony.  Hunters burrow under the ground and lay in ambush.  They are yellow in colour for one, and their antennae are extremely long.  They have smaller mandibles than the workers, but compensate for this by having a stinger that can paralyze their prey the way carrion crawlers can do.  If the saving throw is failed, the paralysis will last 2-8 turns but can be cured by a Cure Light Wounds spell if one is available.  Hunters prefer not to kill their prey, instead paralyzing it and bringing it back to the rest of the colony still alive.  This way the kill will not go to rot.  Also, if it is large enough, the Queen might select it as a candidate for egg insertion.

 

Habitat: Underground/Mountainous

Frequency: Rare

Organization: Brood

Diet: Omnivore

Intelligence: Non

Alignment: Neutral

No. Appearing: 1-2

Armor Class: 4

Hit Dice: 3

No. of Attacks: 1

Damage/Attack: *2-12

Special Attacks: Paralyzing sting

Special Defenses: None

Size: L 10-12’ long

Morale: 9

 

 

The Queen:

 

The queen is the center of the colony.  She regulates population and can sense when the numbers of her colony have dropped and she needs to lay new eggs.  Most hives will have 1 queen, 2 hunters and 12 workers at full strength.

 

The queen is huge, fully forty feet long and twenty in diameter.  She is bulbous and pale white in colour. She resembles an enormous grub and does not have natural armor.  Although she is extremely large, she does not fight.   She does have a special defense however, and will use it if cornered.  She can spray acid in a cone 30’ long and 15’ wide at the end.  This attack causes 2d10 points of acid damage to any creature caught in the spray (save vs breath weapon for half) and can destroy armor, weapons and other materials it touches at the DM’s discretion.  The queen’s acid breath may only be used once per day.

 

Habitat: Underground/Mountainous

Frequency: Rare

Organization: Brood

Diet: Omnivore

Intelligence: Non

Alignment: Neutral

No. Appearing: 1

Armor Class: 8

Hit Dice: 4

No. of Attacks: 0

Damage/Attack: N/A

Special Attacks: Acid Spray

Special Defenses: None

Size: H 30’ long

Morale: 6

 


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

One Shot in the Dark Demo Game Map

 This is the gaming sheet/map I used in the demo of OSitD that aired today.  The game is much more fun if you doodle and scribble your way through it.




Friday, November 12, 2021

A Very Cool Virtual Harp

 Someone asked me how I made the recent dueling harps tune as performed by the hephlins Willa and Moll Sweetgrass.  I used this app here.

It's easy to use, sounds good, and best of all, you can strum across the strings to get that gliss, which adds realism, I think.



Thursday, November 11, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 55

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Part 1                                       98 Lost Mine https://tabletopaudio.com/

Combat                                    RPG SOUNDS “The Boss is Here”

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

5 More Movies that Have Inspired the Show

 Back in June, I posted about 5 films that have inspired scenes from the show.  Well, here's 5 more, in no particular order, that have inspired the making of TOTM.



This scene from Clash of the Titans (the good one) gave me the idea to have Gruenmawg listening where Barrok Ironskin slagged him off, saying the deity was nothing more than a shadow.  Of course, the gods have a sense of irony, and Ironskin's punishment fit the crime.

 



This scene from The Shining needs no introduction, being one of the most iconic scenes in cinema.  Barrok at the Throne Room door comes from this image.  I even named the dish they are eating after the director.  "The Koobrik is delicious."



I love the animations of Ray Harryhausen (who did loads of work on Clash of the Titans, too, of course).  Their imperfect look is what makes them feel so distinct.  That, and the sound design.  I knew what the Gaxarn Living Statues would sound like the moment I decided to put them in the Vault.  This scene is from Jason and the Argonauts, which is still an excellent watch, to this day.




The film, Hollow Man, is one that many people passed on.  It's not a perfect film, but it's better than most of the genre and has some very cool moments.  One is a scene depicting this bridge - which is a real place (though there's plenty of movie magic going on to super-charge it in the film's depiction of it) in Bhutan.  I lifted the basic idea of the Bridge of the Wind from this movie.




Finally, the film version of Romeo & Juliet directed by Zeffirelli is near perfect.  In the middle of the play, there's a song by a young boy.  There's a similar scene in Polanski's Macbeth.  Having Ursulath sing for everyone in the throne room in Duervar came from these 2 films. This is neither here nor there, but how perfect is Olivia Hussey as Juliet?







Friday, November 5, 2021

A little natural inspiration

 I was going to post this right after publishing ep 53 but held off, thinking it might be considered a very minor spoiler.  I think it's safe enough to post up now.  There's a scene in ep 53 where the descriptive narrative is drawn from this photo.  It's a place that actually exists.  I've never been there... have any of you? 

The Fairy Pools of Scotland:



Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Episode 54 Character Inventory Update


HARL


Blacknail’s Mentzium Plate mail +2, battleaxe, belt pouch (14gp, 34sp, 88cp), elven waterskin. A whetstone. A leather sack. Iron rations +2, bedroll, 800gp in various rubies.


UMURA


Leather boots, layered tunic and leggings, goblin belt pouch (empty) waterskin, silver dagger, shoulderbag (quill, inkpot, hooded lantern, tinderbox, 2 flasks oil, 2 doses of Raphinfel’s serum, ‘angel’ recipe notes, “A Treatise on Theoretical Extra Planar Realities.”, Dermund’s spellbook, her spellbook), Silver necklace with sapphire worth 500gp. A spool of strong thread with both a needle and a fish hook. Owl of Thressendia. Ring of prot +1 (now AC=8) Iron rations+2, bedroll


GYRIOS


Chainmail, Sov’s +1 mace, backpack, Kagan’s old half-helm, waterskin, good quality beltpouch(2 flasks of oil), good traveling boots, 1 gold holy-symbol-coin, silver shield with engraving, backpack (16 candles, A leather sack, a flint & steel,),  boots, belt pouch Iron rations+2, bedroll, Mithridaticum Elixir (1 vial/1dose). 51gp in mixed coins.


ARADINE


Waterskin, short sword, gold-hilted elven long sword, dagger, short bow and quiver, thieves tools, goblin belt pouch (empty), 50’ rope, Bracers of Defense AC 6. (22 gp, 163sp and 195 cp). 6 expertly made, white-fletched arrows. 17 arrows and a leather quiver. Iron rations+2, whetstone, bedroll


Retainers:


Simple equipment suitable for a journey and for their respective class plus MINE RATIONS.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 54

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Thursday, October 28, 2021

On writing for audio

 I’m a History, English and Media Studies teacher so thinking about literature, fiction, mass communication, and all that kinda stuff is home turf for me, but making TOTM has made all those thoughts resonate in a new way because it’s all no longer just theory – I practice it, too.

When I play/scriptwrite for the show (I still don’t know the right verb to use for that), I often find myself writing in a way that I wouldn’t do if I were writing, say, a novel or short story.  If I came across the stuff I write in those types of media, I would cringe.  It’s not the content I’m talking about – it’s the mode of delivery, or style.

An example would be something like a description of on unseen threat… coming closer… and closer… until the hairs on the back of her neck started to stand up straight.  That kind of overly dramatic writing is super cringey in print.  I think it works on a podcast.  It’s all a matter of taste of course, but I would absolutely lean into that.  A countdown is another kind of thing I’d definitely do.  You know: the creature was fifty feet away… now 20 feet… now close enough that they could smell its breath blah blah blah.

I feel that using the verbal equivalent of big, bold colours works in the audio format in a way that would be crass and amateurish in print.  This is yet another way that TOTM has liberated me to just write without thinking too self consciously about the literary quality of my writing.  I like that.  It comes out more fluidly and if it also comes out a little bit pulpy… well, that’s OK. The show is a little bit pulpy (odd to use a print media metaphor but just go with it) and it has to be.  There’s just no time to be editing and re-editing, and searching for an hour for just the right word.  There’s a show to make and a deadline to keep.  I wish I’d discovered all this years ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have a shitty ‘finished but not good enough for anyone to ever read’ novel sitting on my hard drive.


Sunday, October 24, 2021

OSitD update

 Hello friends.  Today I was recording the playthrough for levels 2 & 3 of OSitD (to be released in a few weeks most likely)  and I came across a typo.  I fixed it and updated the file and it appears all customers have been sent a new copy.  There's no major changes - just a little goof that escaped all the editors' notice.  Cheers and thanks so much for your support!


(You know, I played this game so much last summer that, when work came charging back in September, I put it down and didn't touch it for a couple of months.  I'm delighted to find that it's still fun to play!)

Friday, October 22, 2021

The embarrassment of riches continues

 Didn't I say I keep getting incredible artwork?  This just blows me away!  Today's is from @thisisbardcore of the Dice & Desire podcast.  Kagan throwback!




Thursday, October 21, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 53

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                         Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Part 1                                      Kyellan – Carved in Stone https://www.soundcloud.com/kyellan-cc

Dramatis                                 RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                              https://www.zapsplat.com

Monday, October 18, 2021

An embarrassment of riches

 The hits keep coming! Check out this stunning portrait of Aradine by Justin Pfeil. If you aren't familiar with Justin's work, his comic uses the same kind of hybrid storytelling engine as TOTM.  Here's a link to pg 1:

http://thekeepontheborderlands.justinpfeil.com/comic/page-001/




Saturday, October 16, 2021

Neffia the Small pt 4

 

A month and a half since I last picked up this story.... ack... it's my job that's to blame.  Why can't I just play games full time?  Looking over the last part of the story I realize... I need to edit for spelling. Yeesh!

Anyway, we are continuing from:

This is a servant’s bedroom, which means, the master bedroom is probably not even on this floor.  Neffia has to make a choice. There’s a room right next to the one she’s in that has something in it worth protecting, but it’s almost certainly not the room containing the silver medallion she’s after.  Chances are that the master bedroom is on a different floor than the servants’ room.  She’ll have to go downstairs to reach her objective.  Perhaps the master of the house dislikes stairs or something… the lazy bastard…


Let’s see… Neffia is not just here to find the medallion.  She’s here to pick up some loot along the way, so I think she’s going to try this door, even though she knows it’s unlikely to bring her closer her ultimate goal.

 

First things first: is there anything of use of note in this room?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=5 (Yes) … OK.  Is it .. I dunno, a key or key ring?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=5 (Yes) A single iron key on a cheaply made nightstand.  Cool.

 

This might be nothing more than the key to the room she’s in, unless the far door is locked.  Is it locked?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=3 (No, but)

 

No, it isn’t locked, but this key also does not fit its lock.  She pockets the key and hopes to find a use for it later.

 

The door might open up into a parallel hallway.  Does it?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=6 (Yes, and)

 

It opens up into a hallway that is dark and quiet.  It also looks, to Neffia’ approval, to be seldom used. There are hooks from which to hang lanterns that are all empty.

 

Neffia wants to see if there’s a second door to the room she could not gain access to before.  If there is one, it would be right down the hall from here.  Is there?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=4 (Yes, but)

OK, there is, but it’s locked.  She’ll try her new key. Does it fit?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=6 (Yes, and)

 

It fits and not only does the door swing open, it swings open silently and reveals an unoccupied room of much nicer décor than the previous.  Neffia believes that this is the room of the head valet.  She wonders why the key to this room would be in a servant’s quarters and then realizes that it is probably evidence of a little staff romance taking place in this household.  Neffia taps the side of her nose and winks at the empty bed.  She won’t tell a soul.  However, if there’s anything of value here, she will be taking that.  Is there anything?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=2 (No)

 

Neffia curses softly when she realizes this head valet is just as penniless as the rest of the staff.  Either that or he has hidden his wealth too well for her to find it.

 

Is there anything else useful in this room other than valuables?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=4 (Yes, but)

 

There’s a trapdoor under the rug.  That makes sense. Valets often have access to secret passages and back hallways that lead directly to their masters’ quarters.  Actually, this could be just what she needs – a way to travel directly to the parts of the estate most likely to contain her prize – and avoiding the guards at the same time.  Sounds good.  Sadly, the door is locked.  Maybe she can pick this one, too.  Out come the tools.

 

Applicable clichés?: No lock she can’t pick

 

2d6=4 is the best result. (Yes, but)

 

She gets the lock open but bends her best tool in the process.  Damn it!  She won’t have ‘advantage’ on this type of roll anymore until she can get a new set of thieves’ tools.  On the other hand, she has found a shortcut!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Episode 52 Character Inventory Update

 Haven't done one of these in a while.  Here's what each character is carrying as of the end of episode 52:


HARL

Blacknail’s Mentzium Plate mail +2, battleaxe, belt pouch (14gp, 36sp, 88cp), elven waterskin. A whetstone. A leather sack. Iron rations +2, bedroll, 800gp in various rubies.


UMURA

Leather boots, layered tunic and leggings, goblin belt pouch (empty) waterskin, silver dagger, shoulderbag (quill, inkpot, hooded lantern, tinderbox, 2 flasks oil, 2 doses of Raphinfel’s serum, ‘angel’ recipe notes, “A Treatise on Theoretical Extra Planar Realities.”, Dermund’s spellbook, her spellbook), Silver necklace with sapphire worth 500gp. A spool of strong thread with both a needle and a fish hook. Owl of Thressendia. Ring of prot +1 (now AC=8) Iron rations+2, bedroll


GYRIOS

Chainmail, Sov’s +1 mace, backpack, Kagan’s old half-helm, waterskin, good quality beltpouch(2 flasks of oil), good traveling boots, 1 gold holy-symbol-coin, silver shield with engraving, backpack (16 candles, A leather sack, a flint & steel,),  boots, belt pouch Iron rations+2, bedroll, Mithridaticum Elixir (1 vial/1dose). 91gp in mixed coins.


ARADINE

Waterskin, short sword, dagger, short bow and quiver, thieves tools, goblin belt pouch (empty), 50’ rope, Bracers of Defense AC 6. (22 gp, 163sp and 195 cp). 6 expertly made, white-fletched arrows. 17 arrows and a leather quiver. Iron rations+2, whetstone, bedroll


Retainers:

- Simple equipment suitable for a journey and for their respective class plus MINE RATIONS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Map: Blacknail's Vault

 I often make stuff with dungeonscrawl.com, which is both very easy to use, and free.  I have no affiliation with them - I just think the site is awesome.  Anyway, this is a map of Blacknail's Vault as well as Grythwip's Hidden Workshop below.  I can't quite remember, but I might have deviated from this a little bit, adding right angled turns to break line of sight in the hallways, but more or less, it's pretty accurate.



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 52

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Thanksgiving

 Here in Canada, it's Thanksgiving weekend.  This year, I'd like to give thanks to the many artists who have interpreted my story through their talents. Guys, you can't believe how much this means to me.  Thank you very much, Simon J Williams, Roland Diaz, Angry Piper, Justin Pfeil and Jemarc Axinto!





Saturday, October 2, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 51

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The cast portraits are almost complete! Here's Umura, by Roland Diaz.

 I was very curious to see how Roland would interpret Umura, and I was not disappointed. Just look at her!





Thursday, September 23, 2021

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 50

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                         Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Some  FX:                               https://www.zapsplat.com

Monday, September 20, 2021

Saturday, September 18, 2021

New character art by Roland Diaz

 I can't believe how good this is.  I am so humbled and grateful when artists are inspired by my show.  Thank you so much, Roland!




Saturday, September 11, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 49

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Part 2                                       Tabletop Audio - Defiled Temple https://tabletopaudio.com/blog/2020/11/18/defiled-temple/

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Sunday, September 5, 2021

2 More Loopable Tracks - free to download and use

 I posted these a little while ago and then forgot to tell anyone.  2 new tracks from the show that anyone can use for their home games or even for commercial use.  If you do publish anything using these tracks, please just credit TOTM in your shownotes.  

Links below:

Composition 8

Composition 9

Friday, September 3, 2021

Talking XP: One Shot in the Dark Actual Play

 Recently, the guys at Talking XP did a livestream of a full game of One Shot in the Dark, my new ultra light rpg for 1-4 players.  It was crazy fun and turned out to be a real nail-biter.  The Talking XP guys are very fun to watch, too!

Here's the Link to the Youtube Video





Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Shownotes for Episode 48

Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8NkG3bhIxU

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle https://tabletopaudio.com/

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwW0vFUCzEM

Some  FX:                                https://www.zapsplat.com

Monday, August 30, 2021

Neffia the Small pt 3

Continued from: The medallion she needs to find is probably in Sir Gillinton’s bed chamber or treasury.  Hopefully she’ll find it quickly.

 

She opens the door and peers into the hallway beyond.

 

Is the hallway occupied?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=3 (No, but)

 

The hallway is empty, but it is lit with an oil lamp on a small table at the end and she can hear two low voices.  There are 2 door set in the wall between her and the light source.

 

Can she sneak to the first door without being heard?

 

Applicable clichés?: Quiet as a Mouse

 

2d6=6 is the best result (Yes, And)

 

Like a shadow, she moves to the first door, presses her ear against it and listens.  She can’t hear anything on the other side but she does hear a part of the conversation she couldn’t make out earlier.  “….time to do the rounds downstairs…” Someone grabs the lamp and the hall is cast in darkness.  Just the way she prefers.

 

Luck is with her.  At least for now.  She tries the door.  Is it locked?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=6 (Yes, and)

 

Not locked but barred from the other side.  There’s no way she’s getting through.

 

Cursing, she moves on the the next door.  At least whoever was talking has moved on – they took their light with them, too.

 

She tries the new door.  Is it locked?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=4 (Yes, but)

 

It’s locked but at least it’s a mechanical lock se in the door and she can probably pop it open with her tools.  She fishes a probe and a hooked wire from a wallet she keeps at her belt and goes to work.

 

Does she successfully pick the lock?

 

Applicable clichés?: No lock she can’t pick

 

2d6=5 is the bets result. (Yes)

 

There’s a gratifying little snap and the door swings open quietly.  The room inside is not lit, but Neffia is used to working in low light and she can see well enough to work.

 

This is some kind of bedroom.  There’s a door on the other side of the room, probably leading to another hallway parallel to the one she was just in.

 

Is this the master bedroom?

 

Applicable clichés?: None

 

1d6=1 (No, and)

 

This is a servant’s bedroom, which means, the master bedroom is probably not even on this floor.  Neffia has to make a choice. There’s a room right next to the one she’s in that has something in it worth protecting, but it’s almost certainly not the room containing the silver medallion she’s after.  The chances are almost certain that the master bedroom is on a different floor than the servants’ room.  She’ll have to go downstairs to reach her objective.  Perhaps the master of the house dislikes stairs or something… the lazy bastard…