Saturday, December 31, 2022

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make me a Map...

 I finally got Wonderdraft and the long and short of it is this: there's a learning curve.  It's not crazy steep, but my first few maps are not quite there.  What you see below are attempts 1 & 2.  The first is Camortine for TOTM, and the second is a map for my live table group (all that grey and black is meant to represent 'the unknown' if you're wondering). There's a balance of detail, business, and scale that I haven't quite got the knack of yet, but I do think I'm improving. If you have any tips, please put them in the comments!

Friday, December 30, 2022

A Table of Random Names (For Pendulum or General Use)

 This is the table I have on hand to grab names from for the show - don't be surprised if you hear one of these in future episodes.  I don't really have a system for making names... I just mash sounds together until they sound like something.  I try to avoid ending all female names with 'a' as I find it does get a little samey.  With that in mind, here's a table of: 

female names for a fantasy setting

1 Runotha

2 Ayen

3 Eiyeen

4 Kaliron

5 Colvin

6 Kabaleth

7 Kava

8 Darlee

9 Ehghondra

10 Tiahn

11 Janelle

12 Kavan

13 Kallen

14 Layaan

15 Eiluned

16 Myriahn

17 Janna

18 Ofrian

19 Cenina

20 Bryonny

Friday, December 23, 2022

AI Generated Images of Some Characters From Season 1

 I know how divisive AI art is, and as a musician, I get why it's problematic.  Still, I cannot deny that these portraits, sent to me by Royal Fish Games are unbelievably cool.




and finally, GyrAIos

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 18

 Theme                       Enchiridion

Welcome                     148 Barovian Castle

Previously On     Scott Buckley Legionnaire 


Some  FX:         

Monday, December 19, 2022

That Time I Went to the Inquisition Museum


Years ago I was traveling in Granada, Spain, and I decided to check out this little museum dedicated to torture devices. I'm not entirely sure why I wanted to go there... ghoulish curiosity? I guess that's why... what other reason could there be?  

I think my curiosity quickly curdled into revulsion and I remember feeling pretty ill when we left.  And some of the things I saw there stayed with me.  Most notable was a kind of combination screw-press and metal cap.  There was a chin rest at the base and the idea was to twist the press until ... ugh.  I can't even bring myself to write about it in detail.  

There's a version of that awful thing in a recent episode of TOTM; I called it the iron wolf.  

If you ever get the chance to visit one of these places, I'd say: don't.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Weird Things in a Wizard's Laboratory (3 Tables) MINOR SPOILERS

 These are the tables I used when Catsbane 'had an idea' in episode 17.  Technically, these might be considered minor spoilers, though I'm only showing the tables here - not the results of the dice.


  • A pot of wizard's glue, whatever that is
  • A pot of sleeping dust
  • An explosive of some kind that detonates in cold, not fire.
  • A pouch of diamond dust worth 1000gp
  • A sack of Yellow Mold spores
  • A pot of oil that is not flammable but creates a 3' x 3' frictionless surface that lasts for 24 hours


  • A potion of diminution
  • A potion of gaseous form
  • A potion of fly
  • A scroll with a random 2nd level spell
  • A scroll with a random 3rd level spell
  • A wand of paralyzation with 2 charges


  • A rust monster
  • A silver living statue (see TSR supplement AC9)
  • A cockatrice
  • A smoke mephit
  • A case of rot grubs
  • A pixie

Monday, December 12, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 17

Theme                        Enchiridion

Welcome                    148 Barovian Castle

Previously On     Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Part 2b    Tabletop Audio - Defiled Temple

Dramatis                     RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:        

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Quarter Million, Baby!

 I have been looking forward to this for a while now... but today it happened:

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Behold! It's Yet Another Craft


I got the eye-dea for this when I was painting something else and realized I could make a good looking central eyeball by using a contact lens package.  I put the black paint in the inside for the pupil, let it dry, then did the blue, then the white.  It worked really well.  The teeth are made from plastic forks.  The 'body' is mostly toilet paper mache with a web of hot glue drawn across it for texture.  Super easy to make and it turned out OK.  Wish I had the chops to make these things to scale - it would not be usable as a figurine in an actual game.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 16

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                      148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Dramatis                       RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:          

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Map of the Dungeon Under the Old Sawmill - Minor Spoiler up to Ep 15

 Here's the map for the Weeping Eyes' torture dungeon just outside Myrpoole.  Yep... it's a classic five-room dungeon.  Made with, which is a really useful tool for making good looking maps... and it's free!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 15

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                         Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Part 1                                      Tense Cinematic Instrumental Ambient Music by Argsound


Dramatis                                 RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 2                                     125 Existential Dread

Some  FX:                    

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 14


Theme                      Enchiridion

Welcome                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On          Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Dramatis                   RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:       

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 13


Theme                         Enchiridion

Welcome                     148 Barovian Castle

Previously On             Scott Buckley Legionnaire

Dramatis                      RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:         

Saturday, November 5, 2022

More Crafts from this Summer: Earth Elemental

 Sadly, this is not to scale.  Partly this is because I'm using packing foam, which is not very easy to work with, though I have found it makes for good stone texture because it's already porous.  Earlier, I'd tried making earth elementals out of epoxy and stones.  They turned out poorly - usable, but not very good looking.  This one, I think, looks good... but it isn't usable for anything other than a chachki for the shelf.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

I Made a Shelob out of Trash

 Last summer I got into all manner of crafts and I'm really just finishing most of them now.  Here's a Shelob made from a pinecone, wire, parts of flowers, a plastic fork, Modpodge, hot glue, appleseeds, and paint.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Arts n Crafts Time

 Over the summer, I started a bunch of half-baked ideas.  Most of them are now fully baked ... things.  Not sure how useful they'll be as they aren't really to scale.  I just did them for fun.  Learned a couple things along the way.  Here's my Air Elemental project:

You can see how it was made: epoxy base and a skeleton of glue sticks from a hot glue gun.  Wrap those in yarn and hot glue again.  Then paint, using blue with white highlights/drybrush.  Modpodge all over for a glossy finish and once more lightly with the glue gun to get the transparent air wisps.  Turned out OK.  Not the best thing I ever made, but it is an air elemental for about 50 cents. 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Aelward, the Silverthorn

I used this MidJourney AI generated image to describe the statue of Aelward, the Silverthorn - a hero of days gone by & generated using Pendulum.  Too bad I didn't have the forethought to put the Church of Sadal in behind it.

Shownotes for Episode 12

Theme                         Enchiridion

Welcome                     148 Barovian Castle

Previously On     Scott Buckley Legionnaire 


Part 2         'It's In The Fog' by Darren Curtis 


Some  FX:         

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Pendulum Updated

 Hey folks,  for those who purchased Pendulum and didn't get the express version bundled, everything should be fixed and fully updated now.  Please let me know if there's any difficulties and I'll address them right away. :) Thanks for your patience.


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 11

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Previously                               On Scott Buckley Legionnaire


Part 2 (final moments)            Tabletop Audio - Defiled Temple

Dramatis                                 RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 4                                      Darren Curtis –  She’s Watching Me

Some  FX:                    

Monday, October 17, 2022

Nalukkhar: A Pendulum-Generated Settlement

    Nalukkhar: A Pendulum-Generated Settlement

    (feel free to use this in whole or in part for your own game if you find it useful)

    (Year 1) Hileon Ansic, the warlord (33 years old), discovers a cache of ancient knowledge in the ruins under a newly conquered territory. He decides to quit the life of a nomadic raider and settle here.

    (Year 4) The little settlement, now called Nalukkhar, is a hamlet of about 50 people. Building has gone well, as many of the original structures remained intact after Hileon's invasion.

    (Year 10) One such structure is a stone wall with a watch tower. After a few years, it is restored and improved upon under Hileon's supervision.

    (Year 11) Hileon, now 44 years old, disappears into the ruins. The event is sudden and mysterious as the ruins were thought to have been fully explored. His wife becomes the new leader. Her name is D'nara (33 yrs old). They did not have a good relationship and she does not mourn his absence, nor does she make a large effort to find him. Some people suspect her of foul play.

    (Year 21) Over the next ten years, the hamlet becomes village of 150 people. People living nearby in the region have come to the city for the protection of its walls as stories of marauding creatures become more and more common. When Queen D'nara is 43 years old, a kind of blueprint is found in the ruins. It allows the skilled artisans of Nalukkhar to repair a special item that had been badly damaged during Hileon's invasion: a special device made of pipes that catches the wind and creates a high-frequency pitch. This ever present tone somehow keeps the marauding beasts away.

    (Year 41) Queen D'nara (now 63 years old) makes a trading partner out of a settlement on the far side of a nearby mountain range. It is another walled city, called Formarist. The people of Formarist want to build some 'Beast Pipes' of their own to ward off a different kind of monster threatening their home, but they lack the knowledge to do so.

    (Year 41) By the time Queen D'nara is 66, sightings and run-ins with the monsters that prowl their borders are back. Have the creatures adapted to the pipes? Have the pipes' power waned? Eventually there is an attack on a merchant caravan and some citizens are killed. The people of Nalukkhar are growing scared once again.

    (Year 70) Mysteriously, the sightings stop and there are no more attacks. One day the reason is discovered: some of the monsters are found slain... but what killed them? That remains a mystery, but years of prosperity follow and the town expands to 1000 people after many years of bountiful harvest, safety and skilled governance.

    (Year 71) Queen D'nara did not have children; she never took another husband, as she was worried it might cast more suspicion on her concerning Hileon's disappearance. This is evidence of the queen's wisdom that provided so many years of growth and prosperity for her subjects. But nothing lasts forever. Queen D'nara passes away at the age of 92, from natural causes. Now the long worry about who will replace her suddenly becomes a pressing issue. Over this problem, Nalukkhar splits into factions, with powerful players lending their strength to various sides claiming their chosen man or woman should lead.

    In that same year, not long after the queen's death, a foreigner comes to the city, claiming to be Hileon reborn. His outrageous story is believed by some; he knows things that should be impossible for an outsider to know. While some see him as a charlatan or a madman, others do not. A cult slowly begins to form around him. All the while, the power vacuum expands.

    (Year 90) 19 years of strife and infighting pass as Nalukkhar teeters on the edge of civil war. The man claiming to be Hileon reborn advocate for the destruction of the 'Beast Pipes'. His cult has been growing steadily in numbers and influence over the years. During this time, the leadership passes from petty lord to petty lord, but civil unrest continues to smolder, and looks like it may ignite, until one day when...

Friday, October 14, 2022

Monday, October 10, 2022

Giving Thanks

It's Canadian Thanksgiving today and I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all my listeners and supporters, and all the folks who helped to playtest/betatest Pendulum.  The World-building assistant is complete and is now on DTRPG for those who would like to check it out.

I think I got them all, and I've put it out there once, but a second time won't hurt: if I missed crediting any playtesters (you didn't get an email with a copy attached would be one way to know), please email me asap and I will update the master file.


(Canejonegro, if you are reading this, please get in touch - I've lost your email address and I'd like to send you a complimentary finished copy)

Saturday, October 8, 2022

The Skundehvar: Listener Made Map!

Eric (@drakonspyre on Twitter) recently got in touch to let me know he had made a map of the Bridge of the Wind.  

He has done an amazing job, using Inkarnate, to bring this location to vivid life.  Check it out:


Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Guillotine


V= Am to EM and C= CM and GM works well with strum and hold verses and busy refrains

Once there were princesses three,

And lusty maids they were said to be

Their father would not trust to luck,

And fearful of a roy-al . . .

          Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la,

          fa-la-la, fa-la, la LA

He welded on his daughters three,

belts to keep virginity

And in each belt was placed a lock,

with-a-blade-to-chop an intruders...

          Diddle-dum, diddle-dee, diddle-dum, diddle-dee,


When the king returned from war,

He called his knights, all seven score

And ordered them to drop their pants,

to see if each still had- his

          Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, fa-la-la,

          fa-la-la, fa-la, la LA

The king could see at just a glance,

Not one of his knights retained their lance

Save the brave and bold Sir Nick,

the only knight who still had - his...

Derry down, derry down, derry down, derry down,

derry down, hang derry derry down

Shownotes for Episode 10

Theme                               Enchiridion

Welcome                           148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                   Scott Buckley Legionnaire


Dramatis                           RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:               

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Shownotes for Episodes 7,8 & 9

 That harddrive failure cost me a lot in terms of time, so I'm very late with these shownotes, but 'better late than never' I guess.

Ep 7

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 2                                       Odin 

Some  FX:                     

Ep 8

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Part 1                                       Tense Cinematic Instrumental Ambient Music by Argsound


Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Part 2 RPG SOUNDS             “Dark Continent”

Some  FX:                     

Ep 9

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                 148 Barovian Castle

Part 1                                       Darren Curtis – She’s Watching Me

                                     211 Thieves Guild

Part 2                                      RPG SOUNDS “Dark Continent”

Some  FX:                     

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

More Beautiful Listener Submitted Artwork!!

 I feel like a rich man! Check out these astounding submissions by Brandon Yu (various manticores) and Simon J Williams (Coll from S2... the first artwork for S2 so far).  Thanks SO MUCH to Brandon and Simon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Alchemists' Fire

 Sorry this a bit late; I'm playing catch up after my hard drive failed and I spent the last month in computer purgatory.

Monday, September 12, 2022

A Lovely Review of One Shot in the Dark with Playthrough (partial)

 A very fun review of the game by 'Stache' from Lonely TTRPG podcast.  You can find it on your favorite podcatcher, or watch it on Youtube with visuals here.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Map of the City Watch Tower

Not exactly a spoiler, but you might want to wait until after you've heard ep 8 for this one.  Also, Shownotes for eps 7 & 8 will be delayed... my computer has been in the shop for 2 weeks and I have fallen way behind.  Shownotes are something I need the main rig to do properly.  Hopefully I won't have any interruptions in my actual release schedule, but it might happen... :(

In the meantime, here's a map of the City Watch Tower that I was lucky enough to have backed up on a flashdrive before Ye Olde Blue Screene of Deth:

Friday, September 9, 2022

Pendulum playtesters: please read

 Even though I've had a setback with my computer blue-screening, I wanted to post this note to the blog to say thanks to all those who helped out so much by playtesting and sharing their ideas.  The finished Pendulum is quite different now as a result of your comments.  There were a few ideas that I wanted to implement but could not, and I wanted to acknowledge them.  They are very worthy but for one reason or another, I couldn't make them happen.  They were:

  • Making the blank parts of the table form-fillable.  A clearly excellent idea.  I spent a lot of time testing products for this, but ultimately couldn't make it work.
  • Playing the game backwards.  Another great idea, but would have required a complete re-write as so many prompts refer backwards to older ones.
  • Adding a variety of sample lists and tables for names, secrets, etc. I thought about this and decided there should either be a lot or none.  Perhaps I can post this kind of thing piecemeal here on the blog.
The title of this post says 'please read' because I wanted to list all the names of my playtesters here to catch anyone I might have somehow missed.

If you playtested Pendulum and you don't see your name here (or if you see a spelling error or something like that), please reach out and tell me (using the comments or email or Twitter or whatever works!) so I can fix the oversight.  The worst thing I can imagine doing is to neglect to thank someone who helped.  If you see your name and all looks well, you don't need to do anything.

Here's the list:

PLAYTESTERS: Thanks so very much to Charles "Cid" Jean, Steve Morrison, EZ, Talon 

Waite, James Sral, Josh @ Mudbeggar Games, Christer Enfors, HODAG RPG, Eric Dill 

(@drakonspyre), Caulin Close, Matt Hayles, Mike Northcraft, Tony Mowery, 

CadejoNegro, Andrea Privitera, Gregory Timperio, Andrew Brewer, Laurent Banguet & Robin Sampson

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Delays, delays...

I thought I'd make a quick note to say that I'm still here, just suffered a setback when my new computer bluescreened about 10 days ago.  The result: I'm a bit delayed with Pendulum and some of my communications, but I'm still here, ready to catch up when I get that computer back from the shop.  I'll probably have to double up on shownotes and do ep 7 and 8 together, after the release of ep 8 on the 11th.

Should be back on track in no time.


Monday, August 29, 2022

I Made a Dice Tower

It took ages to make this, but it was free and it kept me busy, so... yeah, a fun summer project. Take a look - anyone can make something like this.  It just takes time (and glue).

I used a soymilk carton.  This was a mistake.  The outside was a bit waxed and the glue didn't stick perfectly, but more problematic was that it was too thin and needed to be braced inside.  I added some ramps for the dice to tumble over, too, so it wouldn't be a straight drop.

I attached each brick individually, using a lot of glue, and stuck it to a foamcore base.  Then I painted the whole thing with a 50-50 mixture of black paint and Modpodge to seal it.

I made the top separately so the dice tower stuff was hidden.

Next I painted individual stones different shades of grey and brown. The, I drybushed highlights in beige.

Finally, a blackwash (this is where it comes to life) and a coat of pure Modpodge, which dries glossy clear.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 6

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Some  FX:                      

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Shownotes for Episode 5

Theme                                     Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Dramatis                                  RPG SOUNDS “Realization”

Dramatis pt2                            'It's In The Fog' by Darren Curtis

Some  FX:                      

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Pendulum Playtesters: Please Read

 Hi folks,

Thanks so much for your time and truly excellent feedback.  Without a doubt, this world-building assistant is going to be so much better because of your efforts!  As I begin to implement the suggested changes, I wanted to be sure that I have all my info correct and that I haven't missed anybody.  It's always possible that emails get lost, misfiled, or misdirected.

Please check that your name a) is included and that it is b) spelled correctly.  You can let me know by email or in the comments if there is anything that requires attention.  

Here's the current Thank You list:


Thanks so very much to Charles "Cid" Jean, Steve Morrison, EZ, Talon Waite, James Sral, Josh @ Mudbeggar Games, Christer Enfors, HODAG RPG, Eric Dill (@drakonspyre), Caulin Close, Matt Hayles, Mike Northcraft, Tony Mowery, CadejoNegro, Andrea Privitera, Gregory Timperio, Andrew Brewer, & Robin Sampson

Friday, August 5, 2022

Dice Making Level-Up!

 I probably made a hundred dice before I realized that there was a better way.  The "Wish" molds (the little individual ones) are pretty good.  They make some very sharp edged dice, but they also tend to have one raised face.  This inevitably leads to sanding... hours of sanding. I'm not even exaggerating.  A hundred dice, each of which has several sides to sand, takes several hour-long sessions.  This is because you need to work through several grades of sandpaper grit: 320, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000 and 3000.

It was because of all the sanding that I finally decided to try something different (I'm a slow learner, it seems).  I bought a bit of silicone and made a "Squish" mold, which I think is the same as a cap mold.  The mold worked out extremely well.  This time I used rounded dice and it's clear from the result that each die will require much, much less sanding and polishing.

I'd highly recommend doing it this way - save yourself literally hours of not very fun work, and just start with one of these.  Here's how you make them:


Put the dice on some sticky-side-up tape in a mold.


Hot glue the edges so nothing can leak, then cover it with silicone.


Flip it upside down. Now cover the silicone with Vaseline so the next pour doesn't bond to it.


Wrap tape around to extend the mold and pour the silicone again to form the 'cap'.


Pour directly into the mold and voila!

Once the flashing is peeled off, you get almost roll-ready dice.  This worked way better than I expected and there'll be no going back to the old way. Btw, for any of you who work with electronics, it turns out you can make potentiometer knobs with this method, too! Double win!