Posts Tagged ‘d20’

Why I Love Thee, Forgotten Realms

My friend Judd Karlman has been talking both on Twitter and his blog about a new Burning Wheel game he’s started set in the city of Waterdeep, in the Forgotten Realms (FR), arguably the most detailed campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons. This, of course, has gotten me thinking about FR as well, and has brought a flood of nostalgia washing upon me, causing me to write this post where I can wax poetic about my love for this world.

Let us travel back to the last years of the Rubik’s-Cube-and-leg-warmers era and to the little island of Puerto Rico. In 1986 I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons, or more precisely to Basic D&D. To say that I fell head-over-heels for this game of the imagination would be an understatement. We played the game as much as we could, as much as 8th-graders can manage, as much as was humanly possible at our age. And given we were playing Basic D&D, all our adventures were in the Known World (later to be known as Mystara): we played through B1-9: In Search of Adventure straight through, once, twice, more. The Known World as our world far more than the real world was. But this isn’t a post about the Known World (though I certainly think one will eventually have to be written as well).

A couple years later, we finally got our hands on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) books. Getting RPG books in Puerto Rico during this time was about as difficult and exiting as Indiana Jones finding the lost ark (sans snooty French nemesis), so these were great treasures and the literal keys to even more adventures than before. Problem was, AD&D didn’t come with a built-in setting. There were a couple to choose from: my friend Braulio wandered down the road to Greyhawk, and me, I took the road leading to a brand new land just recently discovered, a placed called the Forgotten Realms.

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Ronin: Oriental Adventures in Tokugawa Japan

May 12, 2009 Comments off

Welcome to Ronin: Oriental Adventures in Tokugawa Japan, a world of honor and steel at the edge of the modern age.

Ronin brings you to Japan during the Edo Period, characterized by the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868). This is the height of samurai culture, when feudal lords commanded fearsome warriors and ruled vast lands, when the mysticism of the past clashed blades with the coming of the modern age. Will you be a samurai beholden to a master or a free-ranging ronin? Will you follow the way of the sword or call upon the arcane spirits? Will you explore high society or delve into the commoner’s world? A world on the edge of turmoil awaits you.

Ronin gives players and Game Masters will find invaluable information to bring the rich historical era of the Edo Period to their games, including:

  • An introduction to Tokugawa Japan, covering topics such as geography, culture, daily life, nobility, commoners, outsiders and outcasts, magic and mysticism.
  • A primer on samurai culture.
  • New Rules systems, such as the all-important Honor, as well as Flaws.
  • New Basic Classes, such as the courtier, shudoshi (Zen seekers), and vagabond.
  • New Prestige Classes, such as the blade saint, blind swordman, hedge witch, medium, merchant, and shinobi.
  • New Feats, 16 in total.
  • New Magic, including 12 new spells.
  • A Bestiary of menaces from the natural, magical and ghostly realms.

Ronin: Oriental Adventures in Tokugawa Japan is a sourcebook in the 3rd Fantasy line, compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

Written by: Jeremy Puckett
Art by: Zach Ashmore (Cover), public domain Japanese artwork.
Layout by: Mark Reed
Developed by: Daniel M. Perez

Now Available from!


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MonkeyGod Presents: At the Edge of Dreams – Now Available

Highmoon Media Productions and MonkeyGod Enterprises present At the Edge of Dreams.

The body of a Faean lord is found skewered by an iron lance, one of his retinue surviving long enough to whisper, “Mortals” An entire human family is found ruthlessly slaughtered in their sleep, traces of Faean magic still lingering in the air. Ancient pacts between the Faean and the village of Graymeer have ensured a lasting peace over the centuries. Now, however, with ever increasing atrocities occurring to both sides, the pact is strained to the point of breaking. And if they break, there will be a war between the Mortals and Faean, a war that will escalate to throw all of the Shield Islands into chaos.

Something, or someone, has been purposefully trying to drive the Faean and Mortals into direct conflict. The heroes have one chance – they must find the true culprit behind these incidents, and then travel to the mysterious Faean Realm, At the Edge of Dreams, to convince the Faean Court to halt their attacks, before it is too late.

At the Edge of Dreams is a d20 fantasy adventure for 6th- & 7th-level characters.

Written by: Christopher Coyle
Cover by: Scott Fischer
Artwork by: Theodor Black
Fully Bookmarked


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$1.00 d20 Adventures Sale

To celebrate Gen Con, the Best Four Days in Gaming, we are putting all our MonkeyGod d20 adventures on sale for only $1.00!

Click here to see the MonkeyGod d20 adventures. 

Sale is in effect from August 13 – 31, 2008 at RPGnow and DriveThruRPG.

Grab some good d20 fun and head off to the dungeon in style. After all, who knows if these adventures will be seen again after the end of the year, once the d20 System license and logo have expired.

[Review] New Gods of Mankind

We got this product for review on The Digital Front some time back, but unfortunately Mark’s time has been taken up by real life stuff, so it ended up lingering in the electronic closet of gaming books. I had taken a look at it a couple of times since getting the download, and when Richard Leon (of Dark Skull Studios, the publisher) emailed me if I had had a chance to look it over, I took the opportunity to give it one more look and write up some feedback for him, which I now share with you.

Overall I think they have a very intriguing game in New Gods of Mankind. The premise is that you play a new deity as it begins to make its mark on the world and gather followers to create a cult, and thus power. At first I thought that this was along the lines of Godsend Agenda or Scion, but the fact that you actually get to play an actual deity at a period of time when such a paradigm makes sense (the game is set in this world’s early bronze age, when the elder races are still strong, but humanity is starting to become a major force in the world’s dynamics – in short, the perfect time for the titutlar new gods of manking to be making their power plays in order to raise their protected race, and themselves, up in influence and power) is a lot more compeling. I have a soft spot for ancient/bronze age settings, so they hooked me here, and the world they have described seems very appealing, very Hyborea-like, with all the cool pulp fantasy elements that entails. I think, actually, it’s one of the books strongest points.

Playing a deity is not something that calls too me as a gamer, I do have to admit, but I must say that the character creation chapter could very well stand alone as the centerpiece of a great supplement on the creation of deities for a homebrewed campaign. It covers all the right elements to leave you with a well-rounded, complex deity to drop into your world; no cookie-cutter gods here, I assure you. Dark Skull would do well to grab this chapter out and make the supplement I suggest, because it would be of great use to a wide variety of gamers, and would help expose others to their game.

To up the cool factor once more, the book includes a chapter on playing New Gods of Mankind as a board game, effectively giving you two games in one. At $9.95 for the PDF, I think this is a great buy, even if only for the setting and deity creation material in case you’re not looking for another game.

Fans of Scion and Godsend Agenda would do well to take a look at New Gods of Mankind. You’re already familiar with playing a character at this level of power, and hey, why not play an actual deity instead of an avatar?

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A Better New d20 Logo

April 15, 2008 5 comments

Teh Intrawebs has decided the new d20 logo (see previous post) looks way too retro, too 70’s (I agree). So, if it’s gonna look 70’s, then why not make it REALLY 70’s! I present to you the new d20 logo:


Frankly, I feel it’s an improvement.

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New d20 System Logo

This is the new d20 System logo on the D&D Miniatures: Dungeons of Dread boxes (thanks for the scan, Mark), which I also assume will be the one used for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.

I knew Wizards would retire the current d20 System logo (which for the record, I like better than this new one), but I can’t recall off the top of my head them mentioning a new d20 logo (they might have, but if they did, it was a while back and not something they repeated much after that). What I do remember is that, if things have not changed from their original statements (and frankly, these days anything having to do with the 4e OGL/GSL/Whatever-they-call-it is completely up in the air), this logo will be for exclusive WotC use only.

My hope is that Wizards will have some concrete answers at the GAMA Trade Show in two weeks, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Domains of Adventure: The Havenmine Gauntlet (Systemless and d20) – Now Available

Highmoon Media Productions is proud to present Domains of Adventure: The Havenmine Gauntlet.

Situated in a high butte near the bend of a river canyon, Havenmine, named for the predicted security of its lofty location, is anything but safe. A few years ago, when chasing a vein of garnets and other precious gemstones, a house of diligent small folk and a tribe of ambitious kobolds met in a most awkward of situations. After many battles, both the gnomes and kobolds began to fortify their halves of the mine, carving the stone to fit their guerrilla needs, the series of traps and chokepoints known as the Havenmine Gauntlet.

The Havenmine Gauntlet is a systemless 9-page ebook detailing a drop-in location for your fantasy game. It includes a general overview of the location, and area-by-area descriptions of the gauntlet, its challenges and traps.

If you would like The Havenmine Gauntlet with Rules Appendixes for open rules systems, click below:
Rules Appendix Options

Domains of Adventure is a series of systemless products showcasing interesting and unusual locations usable in a variety of games. By focusing on the narrative element instead of the rules mechanics, fans of a variety of rules systems can all enjoy the material and find use for it. To that effect, all Domains of Adventure releases feature additional support in the form of a Rules Appendix, featuring all the rules mechanics relevant to each main release, already translating the narrative elements into ready-to-use stats for a variety of open rules systems. Visit for more info.

Now Available from in Systemless and d20 versions!


Wolfgang Baur’s Kobold Quarterly magazine and Highmoon Media Productions have teamed up to produce and release a special edition in Highmoon’s Domains of Adventure line, the Havenmine Gauntlet, written by WereCabbage Adam Daigle, with art by James Keegan.

Describing the “neutral zone” between warring clans of gnomes and kobolds, the product features seven rooms full of devious traps and wicked challenges for any party that braves the dungeon. This special product will be released as a bonus to all current Kobold Quarterly subscribers as of April 18th, 2008. It will also be sold by Highmoon Media Productions via and

“I am excited to finally release this joint project,” said Highmoon Media Productions owner Daniel M. Perez. “I’ve been a fan and subscriber of Kobold Quarterly since the moment Wolfgang announced it on Open Design, and I jumped at the opportunity to give something back to that community. Without a doubt, one of the easiest and most enjoyable collaborations I have been a part of.”

Domains of Adventure is the series of systemless products showcasing interesting and unusual locations usable in a variety of games. Domains of Adventure releases feature additional support in the form of a Rules Appendix that translates the narrative elements into ready-to-use stats and mechanics for a variety of open rules systems.

Domains of Adventure: The Havenmine Gauntlet will be released to Kobold Quarterly subscribers first, along with the Rules Appendix – d20, and become available to the general public one week later.

Subscribe to Kobold Quarterly:


Founded by Daniel M. Perez, Highmoon Media Productions is a Miami Beach-based publisher of gaming products producing support material for the popular d20 System, including Targum Magazine, a magazine supporting Ancient World campaign settings. Learn more about Highmoon Media Productions at

Kobold Quarterly is the leading RPG magazine for fantasy gamers. It offers playable, fun articles by the industry’s best, including Ed Greenwood, Keith Baker, Nicolas Logue, and Wolfgang Baur. It is available in print and PDF forms, and features contributions from gamers around the world. Learn more about Kobold Quarterly at

The WereCabbages bring together more than thirty of the most successful and promising RPG writers, artists and cartographers. The Cabbages are a one-stop shop for RPG publishers, whether they need an experienced team to complete a large project or a single author or artist for a special task. Learn more about the WereCabbages at

Media Contact:
Ed Healy –
Daniel M. Perez –

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The Two Roads of D&D

March 18, 2008 2 comments

Paizo Publishing announced today the release of their new Pathfinder RPG, based on the d20 3.5 SRD. They have just released the Alpha Playtest PSD for free, and intend to release a free PDF/$24.95 print Beta Playtest in August 2008, with a final hardcover product for Gen Con 2009.

Let it be known that this day is the day whence the road of D&D officially split in twain.

With this announcement, Paizo has flicked a giant finger at WotC (“Basing the Pathfinder RPG on 3.5 also allows Paizo more control over our destiny than simply following along with the latest edition and the newest licensing changes.” -Erik Mona) and provided the rallying point for all the 3,5 fans out there who are simply not interested in D&D 4th Edition.

I just downloaded the file and will look through it. I obviously want to know about 3rd party support, but I’m sure it will come up soon enough without me having to ask.

All in all, excellent news, and a fitting continuation to the “interesting” way 2008 has been developing so far.

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