Table Talk (Gaming Stories)

We've all got some of those stories. Whether you did something epic or something stupid, chances are that any time you get together with new gamers you have to tell that story. Table Talk is where we at Improved Initiative tell those tales and regale you with our own epic deeds and equally epic screw-ups.

Folks around here know my love of the audio drama, but the world of Exalted is a new place for me to explore. So I thought I'd put together a small story, and then get some feedback from my regular readers whether this was the sort of thing they'd like to see (or hear) more about in the future?

It's important to take moments to look at how far you've come, and to appreciate the things you make. And since my Sundara stories have gotten to a unique place I wanted to take a moment, rest a spell, and look back at where I started. Then, hopefully, move forward into a new era!

Despite not having much in the way of new novels, I have plenty of stories going up all over the place these days! So if you enjoy my fiction, consider checking out some of these ongoing projects, and taking some steps to help keep up the momentum going forward!

In the long ago and far away, I played a lot of Changeling: The Lost with the organization known as Mind's Eye Society. And when I was told I had to prove that my character should be allowed to be famous, well, malicious compliance kicked in with some rather hilarious results!


Gav Smythe is one of the bravest ogryns in the Imperium, and he has faced things that would make others quake in terror. A servant of the Inquisition, Inquisitor Traela wants to be sure that after his last mission Gav remains steadfast, and uncorrupted. While visiting a stronghold of the Sisters of Battle, though, Gav finds a kindred spirit... and lays at least a few of the ghosts that follow him to rest.

This past summer I proposed an interconnected podcast for the Chronicles of Darkness titled Windy City Shadows. While I want the first season to focus on a story for Changeling: The Lost, the second season is something I'd like to do as a way to wrap up another series of audio dramas I made for the channel... and I'm tentatively titling it Dead City Blues.

I've been stringing together a little cyberpunk narrative in the introductions for several of my sci fi TTRPG supplements for a little while now, and the initial arc is complete... for now, at least! This is an opportunity for all my regular readers/listeners out there to check it out, and to give some input on where you'd like these stories to go from here!

The Japanese army has put eyes on dozens of islands, keeping an eye out for the retaliation they know must be coming from the United States. In this remote spit of land, none of them thought they'd see any action. While the U.S. Navy remains scarce, there's a danger on the island with them... a danger that won't be satisfied until all of the red flowers bloom! This original story was commissioned by A Vox in The Void, so keep an eye out for the audio drama, coming soon!

My story "The Final Lamentation" has been out for a while, but the audio version that just dropped over on A Vox in The Void has been setting records as far as listeners to my stories goes. So if you've been enjoying my Warhammer 40K content, and you want to push me to put out even more, this update is definitely for you!

I've been kicking around this idea for a Chronicles of Darkness podcast for a while, and this week I thought I'd ask my readers out there if this is something you'd all like to see. Because it's going to take a lot of work to make it happen, but if folks want me to get to work I'm more than happy to do so if there's enough eager ears ready to check it out!

This little side project of mine has been updated and expanded sporadically over the years, but I figured I'd make it the subject of today's update. Especially since where it goes from here is largely up to you, my readers! So if you're in a mood for some short, snacky, scary content, don't let this update pass you by!

I've been working on a lot of audio dramas for the last little while, and I've been sneakily putting a through line in several of the vignettes that open my sci fi RPG supplements. I recently completed a trilogy of tales that I'm pretty proud of, and I wanted to take a moment to ask my readers (and listeners) what they'd like to see more of in the future!

When one is taken prisoner aboard a ship belonging to the Black Legion, that is often a fate worse than death. For one of the Lamenters, though, it is a chance at vengeance. For while abord their vessel in the deep black, his curses now fall upon them just as surely as they do him... and he means to reap a devastating toll.

Folks who've been regulars around here have likely noticed all of the Warhammer 40K content I've been writing. Well, I've got a plan to start tying off some of the narratives I created, and if that's something you'd like to check out for yourself, then this update is for you!

When Kill Team Errant picks up an emergency distress beacon, they waste no time in teleporting onto a drukhari ship to rescue an inquisitor in distress. There's something more valuable on the vessel than just an inquisitor, though, and this team of black shields is facing an uphill battle to complete this mission with their lives, and the kidnapped package, intact.

A long-awaited sequel to Waking Dogs, Crixus is on a crusade to seek out his brothers in the World Eaters. His name was all but forgotten, but now among his fellow veterans of the long war it is beginning to be whispered. And it is his former sergeant, now a leader of a warband in his own right, who will have to face justice for what he did so long ago.


I've been working on a lot of audio dramas and short stories over the past year, and they seem to finally be getting at least a little bit of traction. So if you'd like to see more of these projects, make sure you subscribe to my channels, comment on the videos with your suggestions, and share the stories around so more folks can help support these efforts going forward!

The third installment in my two-sentence horror stories series, this one explores the strange, mind-bending universe of the SCP Foundation. Lost gods, mad scientists, helpful teddy bears, and raging monsters can all be found in this latest collection of the bizarre and macabre! There's even an audio version linked in the text, if you prefer listening to reading.

August 20, 2022 Broken Heroes
A piece I wrote for an anthology with Cold Open Stories, Broken Heroes is another tale that takes place in the grim darkness of the far future. With their backs to the wall, surrounding by monstrous, insectoid creatures, Ren stumbles across an ancient hangar... and the weapon that's waiting to be awoken within it.

Gav Smythe has served the Imperium all his life. Now a member of an inquisitorial retinue, he finds that the Emperor needs him, personally. How can a loyal servant possibly say no? While I didn't create this particular character, I was encouraged to pen an adventure for him... and this is the result!

Table Talk has always been the odd sheep out when it comes to the pages on this blog. However, rather than just trying to guess what folks actually want to see, I figured I'd ask directly what kinds of entries would get more eyeballs so I can give you, the reader, what you actually want!

With the nation of Mingkai in the grip of the puppet leader known as the Jade Regent, suffering and corruption is widespread. The rightful heir intends to return, but in their quest a tiny spirit asks them to please find its lost bonsai tree. This single request is, perhaps, the task that truly set the princess and her companions loose in a way that even a threat to the nation hadn't.

Sometimes folks get really self conscious about roleplaying with folks who are more experienced than they are. It doesn't help when that person is an author, and a professional RPG designer. But take it from me, we aren't judging you... we just want everyone to have fun!

A break from the traditional format, this is something I've had rolling around in my head for a little while now. As such, I thought I'd put together some short, snacky bits of horror set in the grim darkness of the far future for folks to enjoy!

Another of the horror stories from my time playing Werewolf: The Apocalypse, this is one of the stranger incidents I was a part of. A Storyteller who, when asked to let players actually pursue plot, basically threatened to kill all their characters if they tried instead of just admitting he didn't have anything plotted for us to run down.

The Silver Ravens have begun to make a nuisance of themselves to people in power. Tonight they're planning a jail break, but they're joined by an unexpected ally... the Ghost of Old Kintargo. A black-clad figure who seems to appear and disappear at will, is he truly a friend? For that matter, how many of the street-level legends told about him are more than whispers and rumor?

Since folks seemed to enjoy the last horror story from my LARPing days, I figured I'd share one more while I work on the Silver Raven Chronicles. This game had everything going for it; high attendance, awesome venue, enthusiastic player base... but then the STs just couldn't stop shooting themselves in the foot.


There are a lot of red flags you need to look for when you come to a LARP. An ST that allows you to waste an entire session chasing shadows with no payoff, and laughing at you behind their hand the whole time, is one of the biggest and reddest flags out there!

Oddfellow Bodkins doesn't usually get caught up in the doings of the upper crust. He's just a set of private eyes who looks into problems. With that said, though, he knows that things have to change if halflings ever want to be able to walk tall in Cheliax... and it's just possible that the sparks of this revolution are going to catch on if they play their cards right. First, though, they need a headquarters.

The Night of Ashes still stains the air with soot, and the people of Kintargo gather to air their grievances. Barzilaii Thrune reaches for the truncheon, but is he merely planting the seeds that will lead to the resurrection of a secret from Cheliax's past? The Silver Ravens, once removed from history, shall rise from the ashes!

A vengeful ghost stalks the streets of Kintargo, and there are whispers that the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune may have a reckoning coming. For all the powers of hell are nothing in the face of the fury of Cheliax's own past, risen from the grave. The first in a series of stories dealing with my group's run through Hell's Rebels, all eyes, likes, and shares are appreciated to keep this project going!

The first time I ever played a bard, I inadvertently starting a Rube Goldberg device that would result in fracturing one relationship, and in part starting a new one. This is one of those stories about table drama that I didn't find out about until long after it was over, despite being right in the center of the whole thing.

I left a short guide for Rise of The Runelords after I finally finished tallying up the tale, and folks seemed to find it useful. As such, I figured I would do something similar for those who have yet to run Curse of The Crimson Throne, but who would like to do so.

So many of our games focus on finding the one bad guy responsible for all the villainy in the campaign, and taking them down. But when you go deeper, and get more involved, the challenge becomes greater... and a lot more satisfying to overcome than just a 1 v. 1 punch up.

For game masters who are always looking for fun little ways to surprise their players and add fun RP moments, this is something I'd recommend wholeheartedly. I've done it several times, but this is perhaps the best example of when it really hooked my table's interest.

The World of Darkness is known for focusing on "politics" as an important aspect of solving plots and maneuvering. However, thinking of these actions in terms of soft power can help put it into perspective, and can often get players taking all sorts of creative actions.

Before the pandemic, I attended a pretty wide number of so-called "organized" LARPs. This term rarely means what people think it means, and I've learned over time that the buyer should most definitely beware when it comes to games who claim to be part of a network.

Those who have attended LARPs have likely dealt with a scenario where a small handful of players dam up plot while they sit to discuss strategy. One way I've found to deal with this is to form your own crew, and go do something while they deliberate... often this helps them reach decisions a lot faster.

We all have tales about one of those dice. This is mine. Beware calling upon the powers of cursed luck, for they always require you pay them back.

Not all the gaming stories we have about ourselves are moments we're proud of. This comedy of errors unfortunately ruined a surprise event that the storytellers had kept so closely wrapped up that none of the players knew it was coming.


If you want to try your own run through Rise of The Runelords, here are 4 BIG tips I'd like to share. Spoilers, of course, so read at your discretion.

The final chapter in the Companions' march to Xin Shalast. All of Kharzoug's plans have come undone, and now there is only this last battle. A battle that, for the sake of Golarion itself, he must lose.
Bypassing the final protection Karzoug has laid around his massive fortress was the final test of the Companions' skill. Accomplishing it was not easy, and the toll Karzoug pays will be heavier because of it.
The Companions have finally arrived in the fabled city of Xin-Shalast... but there is one final challenge they must overcome before they can confront the Runelord in his lair. One final barrier they must acquire a key for. But which of the three holders will they try to take it from?
The Companions are on the very doorstep of Karzoug's realm... but there is something awaiting them in the darkness between worlds. A trap that might catch the unwary... and which could end their quest just before it reaches its conclusion. 

Darkness and death loom over the Companions as they attempt to navigate their way to the hidden city of the Runelord Karzoug. Nothing will stand in their path, though, and they have scattered the slavers and brutes of the city to spread word of their coming. What awaits them in the beyond, however, is still to be seen.

July 11, 2020 That One Time I Played a Bard Out of Spite (And Had a Ball)
When I was just starting out as a player I tended to focus on dark, broody antiheroes that solved their problems with steel. When I did try on a bard for size, though, the experience helped me grow quite a lot as a player.

June 14, 2020 That One Time a DM Gave My Table a Bait-and-Switch on a Zombie Game
If a DM gives you an absolutely perfect pitch, it might be wise to be just a bit leery. This is what happened when a DM promised my table one thing, and then delivered on exactly zero elements of the original pitch.

May 16, 2020 That One Time I Shocked Storytellers By Solving Vampire Plot With Violence
Most vampire players have horror stories about games utterly lacking in subtlety, story, and deep roleplaying. What I've found is that even if you have all those things, sometimes a shot of the old ultra violence is what it takes to get the blood flowing.

April 18, 2020 When The Party Decided To Play "HeroQuest" To Kill Time Between Adventures
We've all had those moments where the campaign hits a lull. To stop the players from losing enthusiasm, though, the DM came up with a unique scenario... have the characters themselves play a fantasy board game so we still got our roleplaying in, and we got to have a bit of meta humor about the whole situation.

March 21, 2020 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 25: The Hunger in The Mountains
The Companions travel north, along with their newest member. While the gateway to Zin Shalast awaits, there are many dangers between the Companions and their final destination.

February 22, 2020 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 24: Preparation For The Final Journey
The final confrontation with Kharzoug looms over the horizon... but not all of the Companions will step upon that field of battle. Though they find new aid just as they embark on the journey northward.

January 25, 2020 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 23: The End of Runeforge
Finished with being attacked at every turn, the Companions go on the offensive, seeking the runeforged weapons they came to the Runeforge for. Nothing will stand in their way, but there are plenty of challenges that stand in their way.


December 28, 2019 The Best Zombie Game I Ever Played (Where Nothing Happened)
If you're in a survival horror game, then the most important thing for you to do is to actually focus on reaching your goals, and surviving. And this particular game of All Flesh Must Be Eaten is, in my mind, a perfect example of that.

December 1, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 22: The Bowels of Necromancy's Tomb
The second hall in the Runeforge reeks of death and decay... but does it have the answers the Companions seek? Mayhap... but it will contain threats even more dire than the fires of evocation, for necromancy is a dark corruptive magic when embraced too fully.

November 2, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 21: Storming The Halls of Evocation
While within the Runeforge, the Companions had no idea what they sought, or where it might be found. Those who seek weapons should go to evocation... but down that way lies peril even greater than the potential rewards.

October 5, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 20: At The Gates of The Runeforge
To defeat the awakening Runelord, the Companions will need potent weapons... something that can only be found in one place. So they head north, seeking the tools that will help them hold back the tide.

September 6, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 19: The Secrets Beneath Sandpoint
The giants' army has been broken, but that is not the only threat waiting on the rim of the world. One of the ancient Runelords awakens, and with him his servants. The ruins beneath Sandpoint groan and shift, ancient seals broken open to breathe the modern air once more.

August 10, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 18: The Taking of Jorgenfist
The giants are massing for war... but whose banners do they ride under? This strange wizard Mokmurian is powerful, but if he can be slain than the great beast of his army will be without a head. Can the Companions end this threat before it grows too great for them to contain?

July 12, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 17: The March of The Giants
The giants are gathering for an offensive, and Sandpoint sits in the path of their oncoming avalanche. Can the Companions save it in time, and turn the tide of rage that threatens to boil out over the world?

June 15, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 16: Mad Lovers and Lost Captains
One, final crisis awaits the Companions in Turtleback Ferry... the missing commander of the Black Arrows, his mad fey lover, and a marshaling force of giants. A hero's work is never done, it seems.

May 18, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 15: Water Over The Dam
If it's not one damn thing it's another. The Skull's Crossing dam, overtaken by dangerous trolls years ago, seems to finally be collapsing! If it isn't stopped, then Turtleback Ferry is doomed. But is there more at play here than there seems?

April 20, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 14: The Taking of Fort Rannick
The ogres overran Fort Rannick, slaying the elite Black Arrows. What else lurks in the bowels of the fortress, though? And is it even more dangerous than the giants above?

March 24, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 13: Trouble at Turtleback Ferry
A small errand from Magnimar's Lord Mayor turns out to have dire consequences. A border fort has fallen to ogres and their kin, and it's now up to Sandpoint's companions to break the giants' stranglehold on the mountains.

February 23, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 12: Demonbane
With Sandpoint and Magnimar both safe, for now, our heroes are given rich rewards. But when Zhakar stumbles across an aging priest of a dead god, what will he find in the grave of the divine?

January 27, 2019 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 11: The Crumbling Tower
With the true power behind the Skinsaw cult still on the loose, our heroes are on the verge of finding what they seek... but will they be able to stop the wheels that have been set in motion?


December 29, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 10: Something Rotten in Magnimar
With the mystery of what happened to Aldern Foxglove only getting deeper, our heroes seek answers in Magnimar. Their answers may have to be paid for in blood, however, and the price could be higher than they expect.

November 30 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 9: Fox in The Hen House
What lurks in Foxglove Manor? The ghast lord is there, but so is a dark secret that no one in Sandpoint ever would have guessed at.

November 3, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 8: Halflings and Ghouls
Ghouls are growing across the countryside, spreading like a pestilence. Sandpoint's heroes need to put out the fire, and find where it came from if they hope to stop the town from being overrun in short order.

October 7, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 7: Murders at The Mill
With the goblins gone, peace seems like it's settling back over Sandpoint. Until a pair of grisly murders herald a new threat.

September 9, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 6: Secrets Behind The Curtain
Thistletop has fallen... or has it? What lurks in the depths of the abandoned fortress might be a sign of dangers yet to come. If our heroes survive, that is.

August 10, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 5: The Assault on Thistletop
With Nualia scheming new ways to bring death and destruction to Sandpoint, there is no time to waste. But can our heroes survive the allies she's drawn about herself before bringing her to heel?

July 14, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter 4: Tussle in The Tangle
The foe behind the goblin attacks is in the ruined fortress of Thistletop... but between there and Sandpoint is the Nettlewood. Our heroes will have to traverse it before they can reach their true foe.

June 16, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter Three: The Sin Pit
Beneath the glassworks, something foul is brewing. Even if it's stopped, though, where is the hand responsible for these dark deeds?

May 19, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter Two: Murder and Glass
Corruption and danger run deeper in Sandpoint than a goblin raid, and Thokk and Zhakar have to move quickly if they're going to save Ameiko Kaijitsu from being its latest victim in the bowels o the Sandpoint glassworks.

April 23, 2018 Rise of The Runelords Chapter One: Blood and Butterflies
Paizo's first adventure path has some of the most difficult and epic challenges... fortunately, when war comes to the Swallowtail Festival, there are heroes on hand to drive it back.

March 24, 2018 That One Time The Party Solved The Plot With A Legal Battle
Because when you get a bunch of tough-talking ex-cons together, sometimes they know the best thing to do is lawyer-up. And, depending on the legal system in your setting, that can actually work!

February 23, 2018 The Head of Vecna (An Apocryphal Tale)
Most of the stories on here were things I saw or did personally... but this is a story I heard from a DM about an old game he ran. True or not, I felt it was worth repeating.

January 26, 2018 The Worst Werewolf Game I Ever Ran
I've been pretty fortunate in my time as a DM. But there was one game I ran that was so frustrating that the experience still haunts me today. I learned a lot from it, but at the time it was like pulling teeth.


December 29, 2017 "The Tale of Old Man Henderson" is a Lesson For DMs, Not Players
Most of us have heard The Tale of Old Man Henderson, the Call of Cthulhu game where a player completely derailed an asshat DM's plot in a game of chicken that has become legendary. But what a lot of folks totally miss is that this whole thing never would have happened if the DM had been skilled enough to maintain the game's tone, and to provide adequate consequences for actions taken.

December 3, 2017 The Tale of Adolph The Red-Eyed Reindeer
It's the holidays, so I thought I'd share what was one of the worst games I've ever played. It only lasted a session, but when your players pull off something against impossible odds, the proper DM response is not to shut your book and end the campaign because you feel like you lost. Revel with them in the amazing thing they accomplished... like killing a CR 8 demon moose as a first level party of three!

November 4, 2017 The Worst Call of Cthulhu Game I Ever Played
I love the Cthulhu mythos... so imagine my disappointment when a pretty promising game I was invited to took a nose dive in a big damn hurry.

October 7, 2017 So I'm Related To An Ax Murderer (A "Betrayal At House On The Hill" Story)
Some board games are close cousins to RPGs, and Betrayal at House on The Hill is one of those, for sure. My first game not only did I turn out to be the traitor, but holy hell was it a bloodbath!

September 9, 2017 The First (And Worst) LARP I Ever Attended
I've been to a lot of LARPs over the years, but I have never had an experience to rival the first one I ever showed up to. That's something I am very grateful for.

August 13, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Ten: The End of The Forgotten Paharaoh
The final installment in this particular campaign, the Desert Falcons finally stand toe-to-toe with the Forgotten Pharaoh... and it is a battle to be remembered.

July 15, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Nine: The Mind of The Forgotten Pharaoh
The cult has been defeated at every turn, but they have a few tricks left up their sleeve. With a bound genie lord, and a ritual commencing, the Desert Falcons must stop them, and stop them quickly... to do that, though, they'll need allies.

June 17, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Eight: Lamias and Genie Lords
With the Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh stymied, the Desert Falcons appear to be winning... until the cult destroys half of Tephu, and kidnaps Hakar! Why would they go to all that trouble? Well... there's a reason.

May 19, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Seven: Needle in a Haystack
With the whole of the desert to search through, how will the Desert Falcons locate the Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh? Well, sometimes it's all about asking the right questions...

April 22, 2017 That One Time A Group of Imperial Regulars Made The DM Cry
And now, for a quick break from Golarion, we have a reader submission. Vincent Cross, Chicago-area author, tells us the tale of how a handful of imperial regulars practically won a war, first against orks, and then against a small army of chaos troops. Great fodder, for a great story.

March 25, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Six: No Harm Ever Came From Reading A Book...
The library at Tephu proves a more daunting challenge than we feared. With huge, horned daemons (named Matthew), medusas, and diabolical traps, the knowledge we need should be located within. Should being the key word...

February 24, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Five: Who is The Forgotten Pharaoh?
While we survived the struggle against the undead, the Desert Falcons are left with questions... the most pressing of which is who is the Forgotten Pharaoh? What does his cult want, and what should we do with his death mask? We hope to find answers in Tephu, and its famous library... but will we?

January 22, 2017 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Four: Fight Night at The Necropolis
The golden mask was clearly a valuable artifact, but who stole it? What do they plan on doing with it? We find out all too soon when the entire necropolis raises from the dead. How will the Desert Falcons save themselves, and Wati?


December 24, 2016 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Three: Enemies on All Sides
The Desert Falcons find themselves in the center of a conflict over treasure, and their claim to the latest dig site. What do their enemies know that they don't? What sinister wheels are turning behind the scenes?

November 26, 2016 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part Two: Undead Children, and Resurrected Puppies
When fell magic and ancient events are sealed behind the walls in the city of the dead, unveiling them can be a burden on the soul. The curse of undeath shows no favoritism, and after a harrowing ordeal, we manage to do right by a fellow adventurer.

October 28, 2016 The Search For The Mummy's Mask Part One: The Desert Falcons, and The Littlest Pharaoh
The Mummy's Mask adventure path is one of the most commonly played campaigns Paizo has put out. But you've never seen it like this. Join the Desert Falcons as they get embroiled in the shifting sands of Osirion, and the terrors that lurk beneath the layers of the ancients.

October 1, 2016 That One Time A Sorceress, A Rogue, and A Bard Broke The Game
It's one thing to build characters who are stronger than you expect them to be. It's quite another for unusual and creative solutions to run circles around the DM running a game. This tale is one of the latter.

September 2, 2016 The Broken Mirror Part Five: Madness Comes Home to Roost
The conclusion of the tale of the Talented Mr. Ripley. In the World of Darkness, it's a bad idea to look too deeply into things. When Ripley looked, he fell, and fell hard. Not only that, but he nearly dragged everyone else into the void along with him.

July 29, 2016 The Broken Mirror Part Four: The Moon Court Madman
Mr. Ripley has stepped through into the realm of true darkness... but what lies in there? Murder, mayhem, madness, and truth. There's only so much truth you can take before your mind retreats into insanity, though. And Ripley's psyche already boasted jagged cracks. When someone he cares for murders his favorite antagonist... he doesn't take it well.

July 1, 2016 The Broken Mirror Part Three: The Dark Side of The Moon
Broken and bleeding, it looks like lights out for Mr. Ripley... but a mysterious savior comes with a message of mercy. But what is it about the darkness of the Moon Court's philosophy that makes it take hold? And where will it drive out face-stealing cop-killer?

June 3, 2016 The Broken Mirror Part Two: Through The Mirror Darkly
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a reflection of whoever is held too close to him... but there's a darkness lurking beneath that surface. A cold, serpentine efficiency that might spark a clue about who and what he used to be, if he survives to investigate it.

May 6, 2016 The Broken Mirror Part One: The Talented Mr. Ripley
I am a lover of LARP, and Changeling: The Lost holds a special place in my heart. This is the tale of the talented Mr. Ripley, and how the World of Darkness will turn a blank slate into a monster, given enough time.

April 8, 2016 That One Time a DM Tried to Run "City of The Spider Queen" For an Evil Party
Published mods are awesome things. They save a DM time, and they only require a bit of tweaking. If it isn't meant for an evil party, though, they'll tear you a new one.

March 11, 2016 That One Time I Brought Calvinball to a Changeling LARP
Changeling: The Lost is a venue where you can do almost anything. Can you play a game of Calvinball with a band of brutes determined to win at all costs? Yes, as it turns out, you can.

February 6, 2016 The Saga of Majenko Part Ten: Down With The Queen
The final installment of the Saga of Majenko, this is how the final encounter in Curse of the Crimson Throne went.

January 8, 2016 The Saga of Majenko Part Nine: The Assault on Castle Korvosa
With the rebellion in full swing, or heroes take the fight to Castle Korvosa... or at least they give it a good damn try!


December 4, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Eight: Re-Taking Korvosa
We've been back in town for less than a day, and they threw an efreet at us! Not five minutes after that, out of the sky comes a black dragon, ridden by a gray maiden. Nothing good can come from this... or can it?

October 30, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Seven: The Return to Korvosa
We've been away from the city for a long time, and it's changed in our absence. When a new hero tries to take the party's place, we show the people just why we were first. Also, surprise, surprise, it turns out the new "hero" isn't what he seems.

October 2, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Six: The Raid on Castle Scarwall
Our intrepid entourage has won the trust of the Shoanti... but will they be able to face down the living dead in the haunted Castle Scarwall? Of course they will. They're heroes, aren't they?

September 5, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Five: Brother to The Shoanti
We find part of a legend, but only the Shoanti know the rest of it. Will it be possible to earn the respect of the desert-dwelling tribe without losing our patience, our minds, and our lives?

August 14, 2015 The Barbarian Samurai
The third installment in my unusual character concept series is here. Should this become its own page, or should it remain a part of Table Talk?

July 25, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Four: Blood Pig Champion!
In our continued quest to find real authority in the City of Korvosa, we have to play a deadly game. Blood Pig! A game which, after this session, pseudodragons are banned from.

July 4, 2015 The Risen Antipaladin (Or How You Can Play A Paladin In An Evil Campaign)
Sometimes you just want to go against the flow, and if your brain is being contrary why not take the challenge of playing a paladin in an evil campaign? This week's character concept is about how you can do just that, and make it compelling for everyone.

June 12, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Three: Scourge of The Red Mantis!
The plague has been stopped, but the queen was behind it! What do we do? Well, we follow an invitation from Blackjack, the city's vigilante, and see just what information he has... or that was the plan, until we get jumped by the Red Mantis!

May 22, 2015 The Android Barbarian
This week I'm trying something different; throwing a character concept at you and seeing what you, the readers, think of it. We start with The Android Barbarian, and I explain how you can mechanically and thematically make it work... if you really want to.

May 2, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part Two: How Much Damage Could One Pseudodragon Do?
The ongoing saga of Majenko (known to most players as The Curse of the Crimson Throne) is the most recent campaign I completed. Let me explain how I turned what was supposed to be the comic relief into a combat-ending cruise missile with an adorable love of deep-fried rats.

April 10, 2015 The Single Player RPG Books That Got Me Into Dungeons and Dragons
Single player RPGs are typically found on PC and console systems, but when I was just edging over into my teenage years I discovered a single player tabletop game. It would be years before I'd join a party, but those books were one hell of a primer.

March 20, 2015 The Saga of Majenko Part One: Finding The Main Character of "Curse of The Crimson Throne"
"Curse of the Crimson Throne" is one of Paizo's oldest adventure paths, made back when they were still using Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. The game, unbeknownst to most players, has a main character. His name is Majenko, and we let him loose.

February 27, 2015 I'm Not A Doctor (But I Played One In A LARP Once)
Whether it's a tabletop game or a LARP no one wants to be the resident band-aid. There is something to be said for being the only doctor in the house though... namely that people are going to drag you into plot by your lapels!

January 30, 2015 A Story About Understanding the Culture Shock of Gen Con
Being a geek often comes with isolation. If you've never been to Gen Con let me confirm for you that the rumor is true; it's like being a member of a tiny sovereign nation where gaming is the new norm. It's weird... good, but weird.

January 9, 2015 Making Your Own Fate (Or Why It's A Bad Idea For Chaotic Good Characters To Rear Black Dragons)
Another reader-submitted story of fabulous misadventures at the table. Sometimes what seems like a fine idea can really scale out of control!


December 19, 2014 That One Time A Cheating Player Got His Comeuppance Via A Cyclops
We've all seen people get away with cheating at a table a time or two. If you've ever wanted to see karma kick one of these players square in the crotch, then here's a story about how a cyclops acted as an agent of universal punishment.

July 17, 2014 The Ballad of Baldric Brimstone Chapter Three: Big Gay Half-Orcs and Plot Destruction
The final chapter in the Ballad of Baldric Brimstone talks about his cohort, his attitude toward time travel, and the colossal middle finger this character chose to deliver to an ST he'd already tortured for quite some time. Don't miss the end of this three-part tale!

June 7, 2014 Unleashing Yuri: A Gaming Story About Evil Gods and Evil PCs
This story was contributed by Ron Samuel, and it details the kind of crazy shenanigans that can only take place in a campaign where the DM allows a player to be both evil, and to create his own, pet god. Madness ensues.

May 10, 2014 "Truth Is In The Eye of The Beholder" or "Why You Should Always Have a Ranged Weapon"
Every now and again a DM will run a game declaring that players have access to whatever they want to bring. Nothing is off the table, because you could not possibly defeat the dungeon of doom you're going to go through. This did not end well for one DM.

April 5, 2014 The Ballad of Baldric Brimstone Part Two: Never Give Players The One Ring
Baldric Brimstone was one of the crazier concepts I ever played, as evidenced by his taking on a dragon nearly single-handedly in his first session. If anything he got even crazier as we kept going. Here's what happened when the DM put an insanely powerful artifact in game that, for some reason, he didn't expect any of us to use.

February 28, 2014 That One Time I Had So Much Fun With a Horror Game I Published a Story About It
A friend of mine once had a terrible idea that spawned an entire gaming tradition with my group. It also led me to publish a story, but more on that later.

February 1, 2014 Don't Ever Field a One-Eyed Dragon
Being the new guy at a table isn't always easy. You want to make a good impression, but sometimes you might go a little overboard. On the other hand, there's nothing quite like looks of dumbfounded horror when a series of truly stupid ideas does work out in your favor.

January 3, 2014 How I Became a Min-Maxing, Number Crunching Point Whore
We all remember our first time the rules stopped being a confusing series of limitations, and transformed into the building blocks of an effective character. This is what mine felt like.


December 13, 2013 The Great Obfuscation
Our first reader-submitted story, Kat talks about how she once bamboozled a fellow player in a live action game through sheer roleplay, rather than some cool ability she had written down on her character sheet.

November 13, 2013 That One Time When I Got a Job Offer From a Sith Lord
It's not what you know, it's who you know. Nowhere was this more true than when a mysterious benefactor offered me a job based almost purely on what he'd heard about my character doing in a Star Wars game.

October 19, 2013 That Time When My Paladin One-Shotted The Final Big Bad
Carrion Crown is a game filled with eldritch horrors and the shambling dead. However, it is also a game where Valgard Grimwald did something that the players present still talk about to this day.

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