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Collection of Curiosities: The Reflection Pool

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoWater stretches out before you, reflecting the sky above. But what is within the pool? Perhaps the water element has more than just water in it! You can roll randomly for a result below, or use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

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The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Thomas MoranSo your players went off on a tangent…

We’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s unavoidable; you’re staring at ten single-spaced pages of adventure you wrote last week and your party just walked… right… by. Prepared! offers you solutions to player tangents while you figure out your next move.

Unexpected traveling can be a stressful situation for a GM to facilitate. You want to provide your players with something more than: “It takes about four hours to get there. It…uh…rains a little.” Below are four snappy scenarios that can be used when your party engages in a little impromptu road wandering.

The Disbanded Circus

Who They Are: Tamby and Godgerman’s traveling circus was destined to fail. The party encounters a small remnant of the circus as this group travels to a nearby civilized center to sell circus gear and find new work. These sad folk have two horse-drawn wagon cages full of nearly dead animals.

What They Want: To reach civilization and forget the whole awful experience. Information on the road ahead would be welcome.

General Disposition Toward Strangers: Suspicious, ranging to ambivalent.

Plot Hook: The circus was disbanded when trained giant spiders turned on the ringmaster. The disbanded circus workers fear the spiders have been stalking them…

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Report from the Southlands: The Editorial Side

Southlands ScarabGreetings, Southlanders!

In just a few short months, the Southlands sourcebook and all the project’s shiny add-ons will be in your hands, at your tables, and ready to provide your gaming groups with unlimited adventures beneath the pitiless sun. We can’t wait to see what GMs and players do with the myriad story hooks, rich traditions, dastardly villains, and brave heroes—all inspired by the Arabian Nights and ancient Egypt—that the project will offer.

But! Before all that goodness can happen, the book has to wind its way through the editorial process even before it heads to layout, proofing, and printing. And that editorial process is where I come in.

I’ve been working with portions of the core Southlands text for about the past three months, and I have to say, it’s been an incredibly fun ride. I’ve taken tours of the River Kingdom of Nuria Natal, the Dominion of the Wind Lords, the High Jungles, the perilous East and West, the Abandoned Lands, and the Southern Fringe. I’ve explored the strange traditions of lotus magic and combat divinations, and I’ve learned the ways of the proud Lion Kingdom of Omphaya and the Narumbeki legions. I’ve even peered into the disturbing lives of the insectoid tosculi, which build hives that engulf ruins and thriving communities alike.

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Gaming and the Busy Adult

Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, If you’re anything like me, you started playing roleplaying games sometime in your teens. You know, back when it was nothing to start a game Friday night, pass out from exhaustion early Saturday morning, wake up at noon and continue from the night before with a quick lunch of leftover pizza. Then one day you wake up and realize that you haven’t had a decent game session in almost a year thanks to your job, bills, and responsibilities to your family. Even thinking about staying up all night makes you tired. Most times it’s a slow decline; for some people it happens the second they move out to college or to follow a career.

How do you find the time to play? How do you get started again once your flow has been disrupted? How do you organize a group of your own?

The honest answer is this: Hard work and a whole lot of luck.

The more helpful answer is to take a look at the things I’ve learned over the years and see if you can apply them to your search for games.

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