Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 69

Bundle of Trouble vol.

Available Now!!


DEPARTMENTS 46 Tales from the Table

Actual stories from the gaming table

4 Cries from the Attic 57 Web Scryer

by Ken Newquist Build a Virtual Game Room with Tablet Apps
Editorial of a madman

5 Table Talk: Letters Page
47 All Things Magic
Our readers talk back White Lightning by Barb Blackburn

60 Back Room at the Games Pit

48 Deadly Trappings
An opinion arena where Deep Water by Barb Blackburn
readers can sound off

49 Bait And Tackle

62 Weird Pete’s Bulletin Board Adventure hooks on the fly
Classified ads, personals
and other strangeness

51 Lost Game Safari
by Alan Hume
35 Kings and Things

55 Indy Game Scene

by J.L. Duncan
Gaming the
The Adventures of 58 Off the Shelf
Brisco County, Jr. by Noah Chinn
By Jolly Blackburn Road to Mars by Eric Idle

59 Brian’s Picks

Call of Cthulhu, 7th Edition,

Microscope Explorer, Young

© Copyright 2017, Kenzer and Company, All Rights Reserved. Knights of the Dinner Table® magazine
(ISSN 1526-307X) is published monthly by Kenzer and Company, 1659 N Claremont Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.

LEGAL NOTICE: Knights of the Dinner Table, HackMaster and Kingdoms of Kalamar are registered trademarks of Kenzer and Company. Sergeant Hack™, All Things Magic, Back Room at the
Games Pit, Bait and Tackle, Board Squawk, Brian’s Small Press Picks, Celebrity Hack, Cries from the Attic, Deadly Trappings, Disks of Wondrous Power, GameMasters’ Workshop, Game
Mechanic, Gamer Pulpit, GameVine, Gaming the Movies, Gary Jackson Files, Hacklopedia of Beasts, Hard Eight Enterprises, kenzerco.com, KODT, Lookin’ at Comics, Off the Shelf, One-Two
Punches, Parting Shots, Players’ Advantage, Radio Free KODT, Retro-KODT, RFKODT, Rustlers of the Night, SpellJacked, Summon Web Scryer, Table Talk, Tales from the Table, The Gamer’s
Rant on the Movies/TV. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The “Indy” Game Scene, the Kenzer and Company Logo, The Quotable Gamer, Weird Pete’s Bulletin Board, W.W.A.G.D. and all promi-
nent characters and likenesses thereof are trademarks of Kenzer and Company.

2 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245


12 The Plunderers
15 Final Grab PUBLISHER Kenzer and Company
20 Exit No Return Jolly R. Blackburn • jolly@kenzerco.com
22 Camera One Barbara Blackburn • barb_blackburn@kenzerco.com
24 Alarm Bells Jolly R. Blackburn • Steve Johansson
David S. Kenzer • Brian Jelke • Barbara Blackburn (+1)
25 Utter Bedlam HACKMASTER EDITOR Steve Johansson • steve@kenzerco.com
26 Up in Arms KODT STRIP ART Jolly R. Blackburn
27 Shadow People COVER ART Fraim Brothers


Brendon Fraim • Brian Fraim
30 The Power of Seduction Larry Elmore • Paul Shiner
Bill “Indy” Cavalier • Jolly Blackburn
63 One-Two Punches Cheesepawz • Carolyn Stogdill
Kenneth Newquist • Noah Chinn • Benjamin Lomax
61 SnarfQuest™ Barbara Blackburn • Jolly R. Blackburn • Larry Elmore
Larry Elmore J.L. Duncan • Alan Hume • Andy Miller


Steve Johansson • steve@kenzerco.com • 847-858-6847
Bill “Indy” Cavalier, Cheesepaws,
Carolyn Stogdill SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES orders@kenzerco.com
Kevin Vance • Jack Grayson • Craig Zipse

ABOUT Postmaster: Send address changes to:
Knights of the Dinner Table
The Fraim Brothers are 1659 N CLAREMONT AVE, CHICAGO, IL 60647
back with this parody of E-Mail: questions@kenzerco.com • Phone: 847.662.6600
a classic SGT ROCK cover. World Wide Web: www.kenzerco.com
Submissions: We accept submissions for strip ideas, jokes, cartoons,
“You wanna live etc. We are interested in running anything that other gamers and fans
FOREVER? C’mon boys would enjoy. Check out our website for writer’s guidelines.
— over the wall!! Subscriptions: A standard 12-issue monthly subscription is only
$77.99 (or $65.99 for slower bulk mail shipping). [US $92.99 for
Canada or US $117.99 for other foreign locations.] 6- and 24-issue
subscriptions are also available.
To subscribe, order by credit card at our online store at
HTTP://WWW.KENZERCO.COM or send a check or money order (made
payable to Kenzer and Company) to:
D T ™ was accidentally created by Jolly R. Blackburn
K way back in 1990 as ‘filler’ for his small press magazine, Shadis. It was
something of a ‘creative burp’ and Jolly really didn’t give it much thought.
Kenzer & Company KODT Subscriptions,
1659 N Claremont Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Perhaps that’s why he was just as surprised as anyone that soon KODT was
overshadowing everything else he’d ever done and that the created was now Back Issues: Older issues and other KODT merchandise are avail-
able for direct purchase on our website at HTTP://WWW.KENZERCO.COM
controlling the creator. The Knights have gone far beyond anything Jolly or the D-Team (David
Kenzer, Brian Jelke, Steve Johansson and Barbara Blackburn) ever imagined. In 2006, Jolly was ATTENTION RETAILERS: If you are having difficulty getting our
inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now, with over 245 issues and over 74 trade paper backs under product (including back issues and RPGs) please call or e-mail us.
their belts, it’s been a wild ride and we look forward to seeing where the Knights take us next.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 3

une 9, 2017 was a sad day for fans of the The show featured a live appearance by Adam
wonderful, campy Batman TV series which West, and a meet-and greet afterward.
was originally aired from 1966 to 1968, “Mr. West had that wonderful rich voice
because we lost our hero, Adam West at age 88. It I remembered from the television show.
was a long, good run for a hero, that’s sure. I remember two quotes from him in particular. The
Fans like me, and you, certainly feel the loss of first was describing offer to the producers of the
someone who was such a memorable part of our Michael Keaton ‘Batman’ that he could appear as a
childhoods. Kids like me hung on every cliff-hanger sort of an Uncle Batman to Keaton's Batman.
ending, rushing to our sets the next evening (the “The other was him describing the scene in the
same bat time, same bat channel) to see just how Batman movie in which the Bat-cycle sidecar
the Dynamic Duo would get out of another detaches, so so both he and Robin approach the
dangerous scrape. I had no idea there was humor Bat 'Copter from different sides. Robin's had iffy
in the show until I was grown, but, I remember guidance, so he laughingly describes Burt Ward
being shocked the first time I realized just how screaming in fear as the sidecar careens wildly
funny it was. toward the chopper. He was laughing so hard he
Of course, Adam West acted in other TV shows, could barely talk.”
movies and did voice acting, but to the world, he While, I personally never had the good fortune of
was always our beloved Batman. He was also often meeting him, I certainly will never forget watching
a special guest at conventions and other public that wonderful Caped Crusader fight crime in
events, delighting fans who had the chance to Gotham. Farewell to our hero. Even though the
meet him. bat-signal has dimmed, you will not be forgotten.
Vincent Frugé had this to say about meeting Mr.
“The Congress Street bridge in Austin is known Barbara Blackburn
for its twilight flights of Mexican Freetail bats and
June 11, 2017
is a popular tourist attraction. One year for the Bat
Fest, as it was known, the Historic Paramount
Theater hosted a showing of the 1966 "Batman"
upon which the television series was based.

Twenty Years Ago This Month: Nitro stands in for B.A. while he’s at a convention.
This was the first time readers saw Nitro running a game.
4 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245
okay — \ get it. FALL, patty.
\ just wanna point out — it’s what
that this was presented as they do.
when we ACCEPTED the call.


sometimes... GANDALF on the
bridge with the BALROG...
the L.T. and VASQUEZ in ALIENS...

the PARTY sheds a TEAR — but

they CONTINUE with the mission.
ah damn, JIM BROWN. HODOR for
that always breaks me up. cryin’ out loud.

I literally grew up with Knights sitting toward. He at first comes across like a total
around the house. Bob, Dave and Brian are dick gm, but then you realize he’s really
more familiar to me then some of my own being sort of fair.
kin. Allowing players to own their own
EDITOR’S NOTE: The mail just
never seems to stop. While we I just had my own kid this month. I’m mistakes without leading them there. If that
make every effort to read each and hoping he takes after me and develops a makes sense.
every letter, it is not always possible love for Knights of the Dinner Table and I suspect a lot of readers are going to bitch
to give a personal reply. Even if your letter gaming as well. about Brian insisting they ditch B.A.’s
doesn’t happen to bepublished or if you don’t When he’s old enough, I’ll be sending you character and leave him behind. But you
get a direct response, rest assured you are a picture of him ‘monkey pawing’ KODT #8 know what? He was right.
being heard. — the very same issue my dad owned. This is a one off session as he pointed out,
Remember, KODT is an interactive I inherited his collection when he passed not a home game. Why not go for broke and
magazine. We want you, the reader, to be last year. Going through those old issues play it in Dirty Dozen “we’re all
involved. So keep your suggestions, thoughts reminds me of all the good times we had. expendable” fashion?
and opinions (constructive and otherwise) Gaming for us was what baseball is for so Something else, I realized while reading
coming. Opinions expressed by readers are many other father/sons. And your comic was this strip. It’s good to see Brian hasn’t
not necessarily shared by the editor or Kenzer a big part of that. changed as far as his approach to the game.
and Company. Please be aware that due to So happy birthday. I hope you have many I was worried his recent ‘crisis of
space considerations, some letters have been more. character’ might mean you were going to
edited and/or trimmed. — Jolly
Ken Reading ^ forever change the fabric of the Brian we’ve
Aah — touching story, Ken. Thanks for known for so many years.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! sharing it. I look forward to seeing that pic- I think that would be a huge mistake.
Jolly, I noticed it was your birthday the ture. And you are right — it made me feel So I like that he’s waivering and back
other day and it made me realize you’ve old. — Jolly slipping a bit — though I suspect Sara will
been doing Knights for over 25 years. be lecturing him soon.
Well sir, this will make you feel old. My BRIAN WAS RIGHT Really enjoying this story, Mr. Blackburn. I
dad has a picture of me “monkey pawing” eagerly await the next issue (and the next).
Really enjoyed issue 243. I really love Gary So please keep them coming.
his Knights of the Dinner Table #8 just Jackson’s style. I only wish we could see
after it arrived in the mail almost 20 years more of his game but I understand there’s Bill Webb ^
ago!! I was 2 years old. pacing and other story points to march The Delvers of Inebriation

^: Via ONLINE FORUM — Just pop over to www.kenzerco.com and visit our discussion forums
7: via E-MAIL — Send your strip ideas, reader mail, back room fodder and questions to jolly@kenzerco.com
. via SNAIL MAIL — Or write to us at KODT c/o KenzerCo, 511 W Greenwood Ave., Waukegan, IL 60087
z: via TWITTER — jollybgood FB: via Facebook — Jolly Blackburn
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 5
May 26 - 29 2017 • Milwaukee

exus IV took place recently and once again
KenzerCo was there to participate in the fun.
Jolly ran his “Destroy the Hunley” Aces and
Eights adventure, signed sketches. A lot of dice were rolled
and a lot of casualty counters were laid out on the table.
This is a great convention in a great downtown location.
We love the venue with all of the great local eateries and
there were more board games (both scheduled and pick up)
than we could ever hope to play.
Great con, great crowd and great staff. Already looking
forward to next year. See you there. — Jolly oh OH — \’m
havin’ FUN
blowin’ a
FUSE here.

6 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

\ got a
you — you

and then the

arrive on PONTOON
BOATS — roll
for INIT.

why are you trying

to DESTROY the
HUNLEY..? HUH? the
damn thing has SUNK
three times — all
by itself.

why can’t
we have

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 7

Although you doubtless will be getting
many requests for “An Empty Chair” for
Adam Keller, as his home group, we felt we
had to write to make the “official” request.
Adam’s sudden and senseless death on
April 23rd at the young age of 40 stunned
and struck us all to the heart.
Everyone in the games community surely
knew Adam – he was a fixture at cons large
The Empty Chair and small. There was no more knowledge-
able or fair GM than Adam Keller, whether
Eulogy for a Gamer
he was helming HackMaster, D&D,
Shadowrun, or any other game.
There is an empty chair,
If Adam was your GM, you were in for a
at the table this day. treat – a challenging game, fair rule calls, DOOMSDAY PACK TPB?
A hallowed place where, and really being put through your paces as a Gentlemen, I really, really enjoyed the
player. And as a player – Adam was, simply CattlePunk Chronicle trade paperbacks.
a friend once played. put, the best. He could build a character like And judging from the sneak peek from Men
no one else, hands down. that Hack that ran this issue (243) it’s a
The roll of his dice,
Knowing the rules as he did, his characters certainty that I’m going to enjoy that one as
my ears long to hear. were tricked out to the max – always 100% well. And I absolutely loved The Bag Wurld
Or perhaps it would suffice, according to the rules, but were they Saga.
something for any GM to deal with! Since these ‘editor cuts’ seem to be a thing
if he should suddenly appear. The other players and I never left a session and you are doing more of them it begs the
With character sheet in hand, without learning something from Adam, the question... Will we be seeing the
consummate game player. Plus, his sly, dry, Doomsday Pack or the Carvin’
and a bag of wry wit made him a delight to game with. Marvin/Tremble story arcs get the same
Cheeze-doodles to share. Away from the table, Adam was a smart, treatment?
funny, honest, straight as they come guy, Chris Amp ^
All his friends would stand,
someone we were all proud to call “friend”. I wouldn’t bet against it, Chris. While there
as he sat in the empty chair. He leaves not only an empty chair, but an are no current plans to do those story arcs they
empty place in our hearts which will never definitely good candidates. Although not
I hear his voice a-callin’, be filled. official, I have been looking forward to
and it ties my heart in a knot. Suzanne Stevenson ^ revisting CattlePunk and doing the “Brian as
on behalf of The Holy Terrors, Inc. GM” strips. That arc was far too long to
For he cries,
include in the other two volumes of the
“Though a comrade has fallen, CattlePunk Chronicles. So they sort of tug at
me. I’d like to see them get the same
You must play for those who cannot.” treatment. — Jolly
We conquered worlds on the run,
he and I in the name of fun. GIVE ‘EM HELL, DAVE
And as others may come and go, Bravo for Dave for calling out Bob for
I make both friend and foe. giving Brian his spot in the game. I mean
what the royal F? Clearly Sara or Dave were
But what I long for most, more deserving than the Big Guy.
is our past now long a ghost. I would have been upset to.
Mark L. ^
Adam Keller
April 2017
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 9
was placed in because of all those traps.
I started thinking about class abilities and
Fighters are (no surprise here), good at
fighting. Clerics can hold their own in a
fight, but can also heal, (the party loves
that). Wizards start out almost worthless,
but in time become very powerful, (fire-
balls are awesome). The thief can fight
fairly well in some systems, but the thief’s
skills are what sets them apart.
When it comes to fighting, the whole
party helps, even though “fighting” is the
Fighter’s specialty.
As you come across a group of Orcs, the
party doesn’t stand by and watch the
Fighter attempt to kill the Orcs by herself -
Guest it’s a group effort. If while fighting those
Orcs the Fighter rolls high and deals a
Editorial by bunch of damage, good for her. But in the
TODD J next round, if she misses, generally there is
CHRISTOPHERSON no immediate penalty. She may take
damage the next round, or she may not. In
The Next Time no case is the damage that was dealt the
round before, go away, just because you
You’re In Town, Buy roll a miss this round.

the Rogue a Drink! Clerics are also good at dealing damage.

But what about their specialty: healing?
In our current campaign, we were After the combat, everyone clamors
going up against a villain who around the Cleric for healing. Can the
happened to be a rogue. As we Cleric fail? He might roll low.
approached his lair, there were a bunch of Most players alleviate this by having the
traps we had to overcome. player being healed, roll the dice. That
As the party “Trap Finder”, I found a trap, way if the roll is high, the Cleric looks like a
but while trying to disarm it, I ended up hero. If the roll is low, then it wasn’t the
taking some damage. I guess I com- Cleric’s fault.
plained. The GM said, “What did you Spell casters can do well in combat,
expect? The villain is a rogue, he’s going to adding to the damage dealt with little
defend himself with traps. Besides, you chance to look bad. Many spells are “area
rolled a lot of high rolls tonight.” effect”: the caster neither rolls to hit, nor
Of course, the GM is correct: the villain has anything to do with whether the
would have a bunch of traps, and I did roll monster saves or not. When spell casters
some good rolls, but I also rolled some are called on to cast specific spells like
bad rolls. That not why I complained; it “Fly” or “See Invisible Object”, many spells
was because of the situation my assassin like that just work.

10 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245


309 S. Dilger Ave,

Waukegan IL 60085

The Thief can also do well fighting check has to be rolled twice, one to find
monsters. But when it comes to doing the and one to disarm, that drops the chance
“thief things”, no one helps. from 80% down to 64%.
If the party comes to a locked door, If the GM requires three checks to sneak
everyone watches as the Thief gets out his down a hallway, that 80% chance
picks and tries to unlock the door. Imagine becomes 51%. If you’re not lucky enough
the pressure as all of your companions to start out with an 80% chance of success;
gawk at you as you attempt to do your job. if your skill is at 67%.
But before you even attempt to pick the To make two rolls in succession you only
lock, you better check for traps. have a 44% chance to make it. If you need
The whole party is still waiting on you, as three rolls to succeed then good luck,
you examine the door for potential you’re looking at a 70% chance to FAIL.
dangers. This is where the problem is for The party’s rogue has a tremendous
the thief: to succeed, he has to make two amount of pressure on him; many of his
or more successful rolls. “checks” require multiple rolls to succeed,
In the above example, if the thief fails to most are solo affairs with the rest the party
find the trap, he gets a poisoned needle to watching, not helping.
the finger. If he gets a "high roll" and finds Add to that the fact that many rolls are
the trap, it doesn’t matter at all, because if made with the threat of failure, when
the next roll to disarm the trap fails, he still there really is no threat. You are required
gets a needle to the finger. to check every chest and door because the
If he is lucky enough to get past both one you don’t will be the one that’s
Skill Checks, he still has to pick the lock. If trapped. You listen at doors when there’s
he fails, the Fighter will have to break the often nothing to hear.
door down, or the Wizard will cast a spell, You sneak when there may be no reason
making the thief feel like a failure. to do so. It would be like the GM asking for
Sneaking, Hiding, and Climbing almost initiative rolls and attack rolls for every
always requires consecutive successful room you walked into, just to say, “Never
rolls. No matter how good the other rolls mind, the room is empty.”
are, one bad roll makes the whole effort a So, next time you’re in town, buy the
failure. Rogue a drink. q
Just looking at odds: if a thief has an 80%
chance of finding a trap, that’s pretty
good, right? But because each Find Trap
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 11
The Plunderers by jolly r. blackburn

RECAP: PATTY and the guests on her GOLDEN TICKET



excuse me...
-sputter- it, son...
this isn’t good.
t-this what is it
isn’t GOOD TULEY...? we’re on
at all... BREAK
in here.

sir - \’m a few moments later...

sorry — but \ well, ZEKE — looks
THINK you like, BURMA watch’cha got, son?
need to see this. just BOUGHT itself
a FEW more minutes. it’s WAVE THREE, sir —
they’re just over the
that LINE’S gonna hold, gary.
it’s regarding
the SHOPPING yeah, sure. the what
\ got TEN BUCKS MUNCIE group. about
that says it will... ‘em..?

fine — yeah, well — you better come

just take
\’m with me — \ don’t want
on my a look, sir.
you STUDYING the board.

the SECURITY it’s one of the

CAMS... see..? SHOPPERS, sir — he
COMMANDEERED it. there’s
nothing in
the RULES to
prevent ‘em...

wait - who
the hell is whoah — what
that on the the HELL...?
FORK LIFT...? look at ALL t-they can’t
that STUFF!! do that...

^ “\ still don’t know what the HELL \ did to set her off. i’m pretty sure she’s the one who tipped over
that PORTA POTTY while \ was in it at REN FAIR last summer.” —Bob Herzog, KODT Issue #112, Making it Real

12 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

helluv’an OVERSIGHT — wouldn’t ya say? this — remember...?
SKIP - this was YOUR department. take a LOOK
you KNOW at that
whoah - you’re how resourceful FRICKIN’
putting this on ME..? they can be. product pile!

why the HECK WOULD we yeah but...

have a rule about the FORK LIFT?
nobody could’a
FORESEEN this! dammit, skip.

they’re GAMERS!

a-are those
the new
we haven’t
MAGE splat
those yet.

impossible — there’s b-but they were BURIED - under

no WAY they could’ve TWO PALLETS of GAMER BIBS - they figured out
gained ACESS to ‘em, gar. we moved the HIGH
wes and \ saw to it, personally. DOLLAR ITEMS to
then WHY am \ looking the TOP RACKS.
my gawd — \ see
of them..? there —
character portfolios...
TOP LEFT of the pile.


us out!

look at ‘em —
yeah - and they’re not even
they’re USIN’ runnin’ around like
the FORK LIFT CHICKENS with thier
to get at it.... heads cut off...

calm, cool whoah whoah...

and collected.
bring up just give me
it’s like CAMERA FOUR, tuley... a MOMENT, sir...
they had
it ALL
planned out. zoom in on
the FAT ONE... there
you go.

w-where in the
is that a
HELL did he
FIND that?

^ “\ rolled up a TEXICAN BOUNTY HUNTER with ambidextrous NUMCHUCK proficiency last night.”
— Dave Bozwell., KODT Issue #112, Random Deck of Violence

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 13

it’s not a shield, sir — okay - now
that is IT!
it’s the CLOCK. *
clock...? what the you know - the one \ want ‘em
HELL are you MRS. JACKSON gave OUT of there - NOW!
talkin’ about...? you on HARD EIGHT’S
tenth anniversary... \ agree —
throw ‘em out
uh oh... on thier ASSES.


technically it \ believe what MR.

was in the you two MORONS have ANY IDEA
how much MONEY in product SKIPOWSKI is trying to say
warehouse — sir, is they HAVE to PHYSICALLY
is SITTING THERE...? huh...?!!
the RULES carry the product OUT.
are a little,
um, VAGUE. whoah - gary. RELAX. in ONE TRIP - there’s
oh, \’m RELAXED.
no going BACK for more.
my SALARY isn’t
aren’t you
on the line here.
\ hate to say it — but something...? say —
he’s right. we jump the that’s right.
GUN on tossin’ ‘em....

we could and we got

have a those DAMN game
RIOT on bloggers here.**

if they use that so no reason to PANIC \

FORK LIFT to take suppose. they can’t carry it ALL.
anything out
of the WAREHOUSE... still — \’ve got an
UNEASY feeling about this.

as do \, sir — which you did

is why \ felt you right,
should know. son.

keep me updated —
we’ll give ‘em
enough ROPE to
then it’s all hang themselves.
VOID and
they LOSE see what
it all. unfolds.

* See KODT #244: Fair Game — Brian spies the Hard Eight clock on the wall of the warehouse and decides he HAS to have it.
** See KODT #242: Tune In — Norman Bowzer and Jake Berlin are on hand to give play by play commentary on the Golden Ticket games.

14 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Final Grab by jolly r. blackburn

meanwhile... we still have

the clock, guys —
alright, excuse me — 18.
that’s yeah, big guy —
GOOD, guys... we’ve got more
we should take
than we can
advantage of
drop it RIGHT POSSIBLY take
EVERY second.
there — then go as it is.
back for MORE!

MORE...? don’t
ya think we well, \ agree
have ENOUGH, - so why the
brian...? RECALL text?

that’s all you’re taking —

because we need to take dude — \’m GOOD. dave? are you INSANE...?!!
INVENTORY — and start thinkin’
about how we’re gonna this ARMOR, SHIELD and when you find a MAJOR RELIC
MAXIMIZE our takeage. SWORD is all \’m takin’ or TREASURE item — HAUL
ASS out of the DUNGEON —
isn’t that how we ROLL...?
and that’s brian’s right —
gonna take this IS a
TEAMWORK. team effort.
\ was
thinkin’ of
now — \
don’t wanna
JINX it.

naah — but we saw their LIGHTS —

nobody EXITS, dave. we’re
doing this TOGETHER. we’re WHERE the HELL over yonder — in the
gonna need ALL the muscle we is B.A. and PATTY..? direction of AISLE SIX.
can get when it’s TIME to....
hey — \ just REALIZED... ten-fifteen
has anyone minutes ago.
we’ve got a couple
SEEN ‘em..?
of people MISSING...


^ “once when JOHNNY KIZINSKI killed brian’s CHARACTER and stole his STAFF OF THE MAGI he
waited FOUR full days before CORNERING the poor bastard… he gave him a DOUBLE ATOMIC WEDGIE
with a TIE-TWIST. JOHNNY had to use a WALKER for a MONTH.” —B.A. Felton, KODT Issue #111, Big Man in Town

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 15

yep — and there are
no way — this is a
TWO BOXES of ‘em on the pile
— you can thank US, right geeze. crutch. \
here — we noticed a WALL had NO IDEA you
edition of the PLAYER’S
of PALLETED PRODUcT had could operate
been placed atop one of a FORK LIFT.
the RACKS — to

was up — so
we MOVED ‘em/.

we hit the
yo — AISLE TWO. sara
heh —
seriously — you’re OSHA and \ SUSPECTED ‘em
are you
thing there — puttin’
that’s a SKILL ASSET \ should the ARTISAN precious
it’s what he have been made AWARE of... stone dice — up high.
DOES — at
his JOB.
we need
to take
of this.

well — among
OTHER things.
but yeah — MY think you can
butt is familiar run that TANK
with a SEAT over there and
like this. check it out...?

dave — \ got
hammer to the metal! a MISSION
we got this for you
aisle two ya make it SNAPPY. — HANG ON,
say...? you got as well...
coz time’s a-tickin’. little buddy...
bob - you go with im/’ dude — let’s
do this.

^ “the FLOOR of the cell is QUICKLY covered by an ever widening POOL of BLOOD…
you can take COMFORT in the fact your PRESENCE in the world will LONG be given WITNESS
by the BLOOD STAINED planks.” —Brian Van Hoose, KODT Issue #111, A Few Loose Ends

16 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

we noticed some TEN FOOT oh no — no way. will you stop it with that
POLE props — from TRUE LIFE did you even hear NONSENSE - \ need those POLES.
DUNGEON — over near AISLE 8. a WORD \ said?
\’m thinkin’ we can fashion
SHADOW PEOPLE!!! a MAKE SHIFT litter to...
they might come in useful -
can ya grab me SIX of ‘em..? we just came
\’m not makin’ it up —
from the FIGHT riiiiiight —
GORDO was there.
w- who..? me...? of our lives. “shadow
yeah - you.
he can tell ya.

gordo can
you go
with ‘im?

SCREAMING..? heh — WAR CRY maybe. \ DROVE

‘em off with my sword, — WELT RAISER!! um, yeah — how
t-to be honest... \ ‘bout we SAVE the
didn’t see a WHOLE LOT. character stories
\ fought off the FIRST WAVE —
but the BASTARDS came back. for LATER, dave.
the boxes were piled
too high — but \ did just go get
hear a lot of bastards PINNED me down
you’ve already those DAMN poles.
given your
FOAM sword and be
a name...? QUICK
and DAVE
screamin’ about it.
and such.

\ wanna start
and if you SEE patty or
okay — what POOLED PRODUCT
b.a. — tell ‘em to
alright, alright... about US..? pile — with an eye
CHECK IN — \ need to
we’re going. what’s the plan. on EXTRACTION.
c’mon, GORDo.
the items on their list.


hey, mind
if we grab we’re gonna
some more have to make
dice towers? some TOUGH

* See KODT #244: Dave finds a backpack and other personal belongings while searching one of the aisles.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 17

I Got This… by jolly r. blackburn

\ DID it! what’cha
okay —
THERE!! \ I’M UP¡¡ ya GOT
up there?
got a HAND
a little GRIP...
that’s about
higher... as HIGH as
\ dare take
good - ‘er, SLIM...
good. a
LITTLE more.

easy — EASY!
don’t break
yer neck..
sunuvabitch —
eh - bunch the BIG GUY
of CRAP — was RIGHT... they’re HERE —
\’m not seein’ at least TWO
anything BOXES of UNNNGH — this
worth... artisan dice... is gonna TAKE a few
MINUTES — they’re
whoah — wait BURIED — gotta
a minute... MOVE some boxes.

got some-
thin’? talk HOODY
to me, hoss.
oh yeah — GOLD in the
you NAUGHTY strawdawg!

as the “DIGGING” progresses... oh c’mon —

\ reckon b.a. is the you heard ‘im -
one who should tell he’s not saying.
so, CRUTCH — that story, STRETCH.
tell me —what and \ can tell
you know — \ hate to tell
HAPPENED in that by his tone -
GARY’S GAME TALES on someone.
ROOM...? what’s the he NEVER will.
and that “NEAR”

B.A. escapin’ —
and something
about a “HEALING
GRENADE”...? *

come again?


* See KODT #244: Eat, Drink and Shop — B.A. and the rest of the Muncie crew who had been in Gary’s game come out after the smoke clears.
B.A. isn’t keen on sharing details of how they all were taken out.

18 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

ah, man —
WHAT the
expect they REALLY
he would... buried ‘em
GOOD — \
tell you what.

it’s like TETRIS

up here — these
damn BOXES are
REALLY wedged
what in tight...
is it...? um — not
just the same... to add any
that’s HIS PRESSURE, hoss
story to tell. — but we ain’t
got MUCH time.

oh no —
t-those DICE are
maybe we just so CLOSE,
CALL this one \ can SMELL ‘em.
and head back. almost there...
but \ SEE
what \
need to do...

out my
there’s a LOT of
on that PILE.
\ HATE to risk it.

relax — \
GOT THIS. they
don’t call me
hey — CLIMBERS for...
climbin’ OVER to

wouldn’t GEEZUS...!!
DO THAT, dude watch
stretch. yer...

^ “on the count of THREE you start your CHARGE across the field. … you reach the MOUTH of the
CAVE and CONTINUE your CHARGE… unfortunately for you, PETE. your ‘BATTLE CRY’ is drowned out by
the RIOTOUS LAUGHTER coming from the REAR.” —Nitro Fergueson, KODT Issue #105, On the Count of Three

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 19

Exit No Return by jolly r. blackburn

\’m tellin’ ya — it’s just
we came this a TRICK of
\ don’t way before, b.a. shadows —
understand —
playin’ with
how did we
yer head.
get LOST...? something’s
it’s like a
in here. whoever came
up with that
LEFT crap
was FULL Of it.

coz it
doesn’t work.

but that’s
\’m NOT imagining IMPOSSIBLE —
things — there are it would mean we unless you’re
the GRUNGE came from suggesting
WARRIOR boxes we THAT direction... HARD EIGHT is usin’
RIFLED through... SHIFTING WALL tactics
to IMPEDE us. —
only it’s it must’ve
are that’d be crazy.
see...?! BLOCKED... been, patty.

hello — they
this WALL of DIMMED the
boxes wasn’t LIGHTS...
\’m SURE
here before.*
of it... and GREASED
the RACKS...

\ think we might
\ was HOPING
well, \ hate to have to LEAVE
to give it to
say it, patty... it BEHIND.
NITRO — he’s a
would you STANDING GM.
HONESTLY put it oh \’d HATE it’s PERFECT
but \ think to do that...
BENEATH them? for him.
we have to go
back in THAT
through that
GAP between

it’s also
but the patty.
won’t fit.

* Crutch’s forklift action is the true cause of the shifting piles of boxes. He and Bob have been gathering boxes and rearranging them in order
to get to the “good stuff.”

20 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

\ VOTE we
stop draggin’
it around —
b.a., wait — huh...?
work our way at what?
over there,
BACK to where
we stashed THERE!
up our LOOT.

it’s a

whoah - well - \
you mean suppose
yeah —
OPEN it? not.
so...? it’s a \-\ dunno
FIRE EXIT. — it says OPEN
ONLY”, patty.

hurt to
take just a
so — MAYBE it’s would it?
a way AROUND

moments later...

oh gawd...
well \ was...? LOCKED¡¡
shoot... so now y-you were
what...? SUPPOSED
to hold the

so much
for that.

it only
leads to the

^ “okay, everybody STAND on BLUE SCALE’S chest and LOOK PRETTY!! i’m burnin’ off an
IMAGE-SCRY and sending it back to my PROTEGEES in FAARWIPLE. …they’ll get a KICK out
of seein’ the OLD MAN in his moment of GLORY!!” —Pete Ashton, KODT Issue #105, Team Smirk

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 21

Camera One by jolly r. blackburn

moments later...
someone opened one
of the FIRE DOORS —
get me

bringin’ up
now, sir.
it’s a FALSE
ALARM, sir...

looks like TWO naaa — but let those

participants on the TWO sit things out.
themselves locked out...
and TURN that
DAMN alarm off.

we can’t, sir —
not until the FIRE
comes out.

heh — serves ‘em

right — tryin’ to you want \
SKIRT the rules should PULL they APPEAR
were they...? the entire to be empty
TEAM, GAR..? handed, sir.

state law,
mr. jackson.

what kind of
wait a minute...
law is that...?


w-what the HELL

is THAT ass clown

^ “umm, you’re not SWALLOWING that TOBACCO JUICE are you?”

—Sara Felton, KODT Issue #104, Hard to Swallow

22 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Out on a Limb ya HEAR.?
by jolly r. blackburn


PANIC? you
don’t have
the VIEW
\ have...

BUDDY...!! hoss — if’n ya
SHIMMY a bit to
your LEFT and
SWING a little...

catch your
TOE on the
END of those


WHAT...?!!! \

^ “okay, so speaking HYPOTHETICALLY, supposin’ \ WANTED to DETONATE the THERMO-NUCLEAR

DEVICE… how FAR would \ have to RUN in order to EVADE the resulting BLAST?”
—Bob Herzog, KODT Issue #103, One-Two Punches

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 23

Alarm Bells \’m a little
by jolly r. blackburn

meanwhile... TORQUED, gordo

first CRUTCH pretty sure

blocks the AISLE that’s a FIRE
with a wall ALARM — maybe
of PALLETS,, we should find
an EXIT...

DAVE ...?
how’s it
GOING over
ALARMS going
off —going off,
and NOW
lights go out —
it’s RAINING....?
and NOW it’s

ya think?
dude, RELAX —
\ TOLD ya —
it’s all PART
of their game.

it’s like, BRIAN

said — HARD trust me - if
EIGHT is MESSIN’ it was a REAL
with us. alarm they’d
send someone
to FETCH us.
well - \
\ don’t like yer right.
jess let me
bein’ ALONE — \
grab the REST of
got an UNEASY h-hello...?
these POLES so
feel.... bob? b.a...?
we can get the
hell OUT of here. just


can we
HEAD back? h-h-hello...

in a MODERN ERA CAMPAIGN will subsequently be DETONATED by a PLAYER.”
—Brian Van Hoose, KODT Issue #103, One-Two Punches

24 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Utter Bedlam by jolly r. blackburn


SPRINKLER with a couple of
SYSTEM was the boys now
TRIGGERED sir... — to CUT the
the WATER took out
WANT for the ENTIRE building


PRONTO¡¡ sir — \’m trying
we CAN’T...

wait — are you GAWDAMMIT... we have EMERGENCY LIGHTS -

telling me it’s
well isn’t this just GREAT!
RAINING DOWN don’t we? \ kind of remember PAYING for those.
water — ON why am \ sitting here in CANDLE LIGHT...? \ was just on the PHONE
we HAD emergency lights sir..
trying to EXPLAIN to
them why there’s no
whadda ya MEAN we “HAD” ‘em..? need to come out here.


they got into the coming
through the wiring.

remember? you
never authorized
the FUNDS to...


now \ can think of a HALF DOZEN fire code violations off hand. by GAWD, \’ll
including the sQUATTER CAMP ** in the FRICKIN’ WAREHOUSE!! have somebody’s
HEAD for this...
\’ll grab WES and

what about the

SPREE sir???
y-yes, sir.
I SAID on it,

* See KODT #213: It Ant Me Babe and KODT #214: Infestation — Hard Eight’s warehouses were infested by Peruvian Fire Ants that were part
of the “live perils” of the Chia Dungeon Kickstarter Project.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 25

Up in Arms by jolly r. blackburn

back in the warehouse...



ya GOTTA trust
me, HOSS —
this will WORK.

just LET GO —
this PALLET of EMPTY you can
yer FALL!!

c’mon bob.
WORSE that’ll but you’ll on the COUNT
HAPPEN \ reckon SURVIVE it! of FOUR....
is you WRENCH
a KNEE... \’ve JUMPED off
an ANKLE... than THIS.

d-dude -

\-\ can’t!
TWO... \ just....


^ “\ saw what b.a. was up to STRAIGHT off. that ARMOR TRANSFER from MALI to GHANA was
OBVIOUSLY a diversionary tactic. by tying up bob’s ARMIES in BURKINA FASO…brilliant move …
he PLAYED bob like an ATARI 400.” —Brian Van Hoose, KODT Issue #102, My Kingdom for a GameMaster

26 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Shadow People by jolly r. blackburn


z this here is PACO
0h -
okay, GORDO — HEY,
\’m BACK. let’s dave!!
get the hell
back to the....

um.... who
the hell are
THESE guys...?
well - my
is a little dave — \ think
dude — that
RUSTY but... it was HIS — he
one in the HAT
was just tryin’
— he’s the guy
from what \ to get it back.
w-what’s who JUMPED me
understand they
going on? and took my
LIVE here — or
BACKPACK. wait -
WORK here. \’m not
they WORK
quite sure.

again — my
all that good.

of cOURSE —
it’s a MASH UP —
with the SHOPPING
SHADOW SPREE. these guys are
it all makes
PEOPLE¡¡ SENSE now... volunteers STANDING
in as NPCS and

no, dave - \
don’t think
you under...

don’t you see? this is think?
you know — like

wait a minute — hey, GORDO —

that actually DOES make think you could
\ APOLOGIZE guys —
sense. they DIMMED the \ didn’t MEAN for TRANSLATE some sort

lights, added WATER you to BREAK of PARLEY? you know
TRAPS, the CHARACTER — you’ve — make a DIPLOMACY
GARY really
pulled out ALL
for this event.

\ suppose \
could TRY — what
did you have
in MIND?

* True Life Dungeon is a popular event and several of the Muncie gamers have adventured in them before.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 27

Plan X by jolly r. blackburn

several minutes later... -sigh- yer PLAN is

about to be STILL w-where the hell
BORN, big guy. IS everyone? \
brian — something we’ve got less than sent a DOZEN
is terribly WRONG. FIVE MINUTES... recall texts...
maybe we should we need to
just GRAB some STICK to the
boxes and GO. PLAN, sara.
we can’t
LEAVE all this
SWAG here.

YOU and your

frickin’ “PLAN” —
this should have
there, ya SEE...?!! been FUN, brian
THIS is what \ was — and SIMPLE.
TALKING about. what...? y-you’re
blaming this
on ME...?!!

yes — \ AM.
you OVER thought
it. — we could’ve
some stuff and
gotten out.

here’s what \’m

all \ know is thinking...we USE
hey — it isn’t \’m WET, COLD, this clock — like a
MY fault the others STRESSED and TENSER’S DISK
aren’t following MISERABLE. what are — pile PRODUCT on it -
the SCRIPT. we gonna do — like a PYRAMID...
RIGHT next to
you’re the one looks like the door —
with the PLAN — we’re on then we REACH
what’s the our own...
deep and TWO
MAN carry...

^ “\ thought we drove that point HOME the LAST time you GMed. we TIED you to the
hood of your PACER and DROVE you through the automated CAR WASH on DILLARD.”
—Brian Van Hoose, KODT Issue #102, My Kingdom for a GameMaster

28 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

where the

HELL have they’re our
you... -sputter- we found

that WITH only we
you? have to PAY
‘em still.

only they
wouldn’t take
for what? MY credit
IN-GAME currency
hirelings...? — FIFTY BUCKS. card...?
before they’ll TOTE
a SINGLE box.
guys —
this isn’t
paco here has gonna FLY...
on his phone.
sara - GIVE ‘em
yer credit card.

well PAY you

as PACK back - just DO it!
BEARERS — but...
a DEAL...

they’re gonna sara - can

help us HAUL we put it on
this stuff YOUR credit
OUTTA here. card...?

they’re RIGHT — moments later...

the RULES say
all product must
carried out.
alright men — put some
SHOULDER UP! boxes on \ LOVE it
GORDO’s chair. when a PLAN
everything on comes together.
the RED X

that’s it -
HELP your

and \
it doesn’t guarantee a 25
SPECIFY dollar bonus if
WHO has to we get it ALL!!
do the

^ “hey, b.a., \’m moseying on over to that FOUNTAIN and taking a good LONG drink of its ‘CRYSTAL
CLEAR’ waters. matter of fact, it’s such a HOT day and \’m covered with so much DUNGEON GRIME and
all -- \’m gonna DUNK my entire HEAD right in the pool.” —Bob Herzog, KODT Issue #106, Water Under the Bridge

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 29

Special Sneak Peek
The Power of Seduction by jolly r. blackburn
office for an URGENT MEETING. you’ve been sitting in a WAITING
explains that he’s on the HOTLINE with the PRESIDENT.

“the DIRECTOR will be with you MOMENTARILY,” she explains.

this should be a GOOD OPPORTUNITY for your

CHARACTERS to INTRODUCE themselves to one another.

any COFFEE in yeah. how ‘bout hey,

this DUMP? a spot of TEA? b.a....


\’m RIFLING at my CURRENT level, \ only have a 71 percent

through the well — the ONLY
COMPREHENSION when speed reading, but \’ll
MAGAZINES while magazines sitting OUT
RETAIN 89 percent of any KNOWLEDGE acquired.
we’re waiting. are a few copies of
\ have the HOUSE catalog
VORACIOUS READER what are my CHOICES...?!! and an old RATTED
quirk AND the UP issue of TIGER BEAT.
seriously...? you want a
\ should be able to LIST of reading material in
go through 1D12 my RECALL of
magazines per TURN.
should ROCK ASS!
good idea,
sweet! BIG GUY! knock

kewl! \ grab a copy

hey, b.a. — if we have a few MINUTES
to kill, \ might as well start Y-YOU’RE WHAT...¿¡¡
and sit by MYSELF
putting my little PLAN into action.
away from the OTHERS.
you HEARD me little MISS
but \’m also SECRET-KEEPER! *
AcTIVELY aware of plan? \’m puttin’ ol’ SINCLAIR here is
my SURROUNDINGS the MOVES turning on the CHARM and
at all times. what plan? on sara’s attempting to BEGUILE you.

too -sputter-
-snicker- kewl!

* It was established earlier in the story that Sara’s character has an undisclosed detail for her character background.

30 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

HA!!! check it out! whoah — slow yer ONLY be used against NPCs.
ROLL there, bob.
whoah, dude! if you’re going to attempt to
she LIKES you. SEDUCE amanda holt, who is a PC...
looks like it’s not gonna
\ got the be THAT easy... you’re gonna have to
she REALLY ROLE PLAY it out.
likes you!
oh man....
H-HUH? THIS \’ve
gotta see.

so — you wanna SEDUCE my character, before we PROCEED, you should

BOBBY-BOY...? huh..?!! is THAT the PLAN? PROBABLY know what yer UP against.

well, BRING IT ON, STUD MUFFIN — c’mon. hold on, guys.

let’s SEE what yer MADE of. don’t be shy., AMANDA HOLT isn’t EASY. \ chose ‘HIGH
d-don’t you
think this is SELF-ESTEEM’ as one of her TRAITS
er... ummm... go on, BOB. as well as ‘GOOD CATHOLIC UPBRINGING’.
uh....erp... INAPPROPRIATE?
SHOW her!
uht oh.

BAD NEWS, dude. w-w-why do \

hafta PLAY it so what’s it going to be, MR. SINCLAIR? you making your MOVE right
you’re HOSED. HERE? what’s your PITCH? a MOVIE and DINNER? your place or mine?
out? huh?
that’s a TOUGH
COMBINATION to beat. \ ROLLED a psst - dude, give it up, bob.
frickin’ 85! uh... sputter... THROAT WELL..¿¡¡
and you’ve THROWN -wheeze- PUNCH her you’re not MAN
you SAW me!!
down the GAUNTLET — and RUN! enough for sara...er,
urp.... \ mean, AMANDA.
you can’t back out NOW!


c-c’mon, sara. don’t ya have to now you don’t want to MOVE too fast.
ROLL a DIE or something? huh?
SWEET TALK you just wanna BREAK THE ICE.
me, BICEPS. you’re DANCIN’ a DANCE — take it SLOW.
yeah -
dude, compliment her on let’s
her CLOTHES. oh — or l-lemme ALONE!
HEAR it...
her HAIR. chicks LIKE that.
yer not HELPIN’.

^ “oh yes, ‘the slap heard ‘round the con.’ \ was rolling for a
critical and nitro hit him so hard my one rolled over to a twenty!!”
—Bob Herzog, Tales from the Vault #1, pg. 44

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 31

B.A., \-\’m WITHDRAWING hmmmrrrffff! MEN! they’re like GERBILS.
dude, you’re
RATTLE their CAGES and they RUN for cover.
I’M WITH- lemme alone.
gee, \ dunno, bob. don’t PROPOSE a DEAL, bob, if
let’s PLAY. you’re not PREPARED to CLOSE it.
you DID say you were
making your MOVE. you HEAR?!!! can’t we
just PLAY? good
you ROLLED job,
and everything AMANDA!

dude, where’s gee, DAVE — if

she was MESSIN’ with my HEAD, man. h-huh? what
yer PRIDE! you want that
INFORMATION so BADLY... was that?
\ couldn’t HELP it -- \ CRACKED.
how can you give
up so EASILY? why don’t YOU you HEARD me. if you
we NEED to know give it a SHOT. think you can do BETTER,
what her SECRET is.


THERE¡¡¡ let’s just say, \ don’t think HAA! you chose the WRONG
\ see yer GAME, sara. you HAVE what it takes to put MAN to TANGLE with LITTLE LADY.
ya SEE??!! the MOVES on AMANDA HOLT.
you think \’ll BREAK just so happens that
she’s doin’ it AGAIN. and RUN -- is THAT it? JOE LAMPSHADE WILSON
that’s right. she’s
she’s tryin’ to get AND ‘COUNTRY BOY CHARM’.
lady of CHARACTER.
into yer HEAD!!

is that

don’t worry, SARA. HEY.... WHAT THE...

and check it out...

your ‘HIGH SELF oh my — \ had \’m ALL yours, baby cakes.

\ ALSO took the NO IDEA — \’m in.
ACE SEDUCER skill. ESTEEM’ trait cancels
out his ‘SMOOTH \’ll tell you ANYTHING
PERSUASION’ skill. you just SWEPT you want to know.
heh \’d call me off my
that a FULL HOUSE. FEET, handsome. er...
country boy
charm, eh? uh...

^ “EXCUSE ME?? \ believe FOUR of those VENDORS were downed by my WAND OF ANEURISMS!”
—Brian Van Hoose, Bundle of Trouble #12, Hell Hath No Fury

32 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

go ahead, daddy — just ask. hey - HEY - HEY..!!!
\’ll tell you ALL my secrets.

-sputter- huh...?!!

s-she’s not uh... before you go oh? and brace yerself. you’re
so TOUGH. HIGH-FIVIN’ each other, what’s not gonna LIKE this...
there’s something that?
whooooah, dude! you should know...
guess she REALIZED

RESIST me. heh, heh..

no, no, first things first. oh, \’m not a BAD GIRL...
wadda ya MEAN, \’m not going to LIKE it?
RELAX, pumpkin. not REALLY, snookums.
\’m usin’ my
\ FELL for you SMOOTH s-stop callin’ me that.
you’re not trying SINKER. to COAX yer
ya wanna KNOW why, \ was
to RENEGE are ya? ‘SECRET’ out.
DRUMMED out of the SERVICE...?
it’s just that,
my character has...
uh oh... she’s BACK- and
of your

like, \ said before — the CHARGES what’s WITH you, sara? \ thought you had
some real DIRT you were keeping back.
you mean
\ refused to FALSIFY some paperwork you created oh, \’m sorry, TIGER. don’t be mad. you
and they TURNED it around on me. this whole can PUNISH me if you want - \ dont’ mind.
got me for DISOBEYING a DIRECT ORDER. over that OVER?! sh’ya RIGHT.
LITTLE BIT okay, okay, ENOUGH with
\ tried to FIGHT it but it was a FIX. of NOTHING? the SILLY pet names, sara.
you WISH!
haaa - that’s mmmm hmmm... \ the SEDUCTION BIT is OVER.
likely IT??! WISH \ could
story. see your eyes.

^ “he’s not IMPRESSED. he INTRODUCES you to the STICKY

END of his POISONED BLADE as he SINKS it into your GUT!”
—Nitro Fergueson, KODT Issue #171, One-Two Punches

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 33

that’s good — and for GOOD REASON...
as \ was TRYING to tell you, what — MORE secrets...?!!
we AGREED after B.A., ran that
there’s something about they had “MISSION TO BANGKOK”
AMANDA HOLT \ NEGLECTED oh gawd -- you NO PLACE in module we agreed they just
to SHARE with you. no, you
didn’t roll on the HACKNOIA!! SLOWED down the game.
S.T.D. TABLES did you?


NO, \’m talking about some CHARACTER FLAWS \ took. U-USER-GIRLFRIEND...?

you know — to earn a few extra BUILDING POINTS. not only am
\, “NEEDY”....
what the hell is THAT?

so...? who cares? oh it has EVERYTHING

to do with dave — NOW. but “CLINGY-OBSESSIVE” look it up. PAGE 35,
what’s that got and “USER-GIRLFRIEND” LEFT COLUMN,
to do with dave? SECOND PARAGRAPH.
come again...?
oh — THIS
is going to uh oh...
be a VERY


boyfriend and “boyfriend and

\’ll SUMMARIZE... an “ITEM”...? girlfriend...?!! afraid you don’t
girlfriend, have much of a
\’m not FOLLOWING. sugar cake.
it means after our whoah — NO choice — you
“HOOK UP”, amanda you are WAY. \ didn’t FORFEITED your save
dude — SO hosed... when you THREW
considers the AGREE to that.
RUN!! yourself at me.
TWO of us an ITEM.


aaah —

best way to describe is it for starters, you can make my CAR PAYMENT.
WORKS like a charm spell.
then we can discuss LIVING ARRANGEMENTS.
she’s going to have “control”...?
a CERTAIN degree of
-ahem- CONTROL over you holy moly... oh — and \ was DECLINED on a
— through MANIPULATION. LOAN for a custom made pistol.
maybe you could CO-SIGN for me.
z tsk, tsk.
so tragic.

continued in MEN THAT HACK

^ “whoah… WHOAH! ESCAPES? no way -- \ set fire to that ROPE BRIDGE seven rounds ago.”
—Dave Bozwell, KODT Issue #169, Lost Strip, pg. 19

34 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

risco County, Jr. froze in fear as he found

MOVIES himself standing face to face with his

father’s murderer. He stared down the
barrel that had been shoved in his face,
realizing it was the same Colt 44 that had laid
his father to rest.
The bounty hunter had been trailing the
notorious John Bly for hours up a long and
treacherous cliffside trail. Brisco had been
apprehensive about catching up with the man
he had been hired to bring in. For Bly was a
murderous fox, an emotionless killer. And he
had bested Brisco in several games of cat and
mouse already. Each time, Brisco had barely
managed to escape with his life. Bly was a
formidable opponent who brought Brisco’s
inadequacies all too painfully to light.
And now — Bly, his sixth sense serving him
well, had doubled back on Brisco and gained
Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

the upper hand once again.

As the bounty hunter stood at Bly’s mercy, he
looked over his shoulder and contemplated
leaping off the cliff. At least he would deny him
the satisfaction of killing him in cold blood.
“Well, well…” said Bly, holding the gun
steadily at arms length. “The son of Marshall
Bringing the Fun of Brisco County! I’m really disappointed. Your
Brisco County Jr. to your father would never have fallen for such an old
Aces & Eights Campaign
Brisco winced painfully at the words as Bly
continued. “But then I really shouldn’t be
By Jolly R. Blackburn surprised. After all, you were never the man
your father was.”
He laughed at his own joke and then contin-
ued. “Then again, your father wasn’t really THAT
much of a man anyway.”
Brisco was vaguely aware of the laughter that
followed. His face burned with anger and he
considered grabbing for the gun and taking his
chance. Then his other option came flashing
Turning in one swift motion, he leapt over the
rocky face of the cliff.

Editorʼs note: I wrote the original version of this

article back in 1994 for Shadis Magazine while
Brisco County Jr. was still in its first season. I thought
itʼd be fun to update it for Aces and Eights (although
you could easily adapt the show to any wild west rpg
system. — Jolly

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 35

As he fell to certain death, Brisco yelled, “I’ll It seems Brisco is just as surprised by his good
see you in hell, Bly!” luck as we are.
Brisco cascaded several hundred feet only to Countless predecessors have attempted such
land in the branches of a tall pine tree. As he a marriage of genres resulting in nothing more
tumbled to the ground, crashing through the than television bombs and some red-faced ac-
branches, he emitted a string of curses and tors and actresses.
moans. Finally, he landed with a loud thud in a How did Brisco pull it off so well? The glue
cloud of dust. that holds it together is the wit and humor of
Standing to his feet and brushing the pine the characters (as well as some great writing).
needles from his clothes, he looked skyward It’s a formula that such classic characters as
and cocked his head in amazement. James Bond and Indiana Jones have also used
“I’m not doing that again!” he commented successfully.
dryly. The creators of Brisco took the formula and
created a show that was full of surprises. One
never knew what to expect from week to week.
The preceding scene is only one of many that They had that rare talent of timing – knowing
have made the Adventures of Brisco County, when to introduce a little comic relief, without
Jr. a favorite among my fellow nerds and rendering the whole show with a campy
gamers over the past 20 years. The show is a atmosphere. (That’s not to say every episode
bizarre blend of western, science fiction, steam was perfect — there were some real dogs, in
punk and even a dash of fantasy. my opinion, in the mix. But that’s often the case
None of this would work, or course, if the with any cyclic production with hard deadlines
show wasn’t also filled with tongue-in-cheek to meet).
humor. If Brisco falls from a cliff only to walk Brisco had much more going for it than just a
away unscathed, the cries of protest from the unique setting. The real magic of Brisco was to
audience are quickly silenced by his one-liners.
Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

36 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

be found in the many colorful characters. tunnel as arcs of light flicker from the rod. The
Virtually every character, both large and arcs of light suddenly intensify and begin to
small, are fully fleshed and interesting. And dance over the four workmen, causing their
that’s what makes The Adventures of Brisco chains to fall away.
County, Jr. an attractive wellspring of ideas The four slave-laborers escape into the hills
from which to pull ideas for an Aces and Eights and soon wild rumors begin to surface about
campaign. four men with superhuman strength and
The mysterious orb is, at first, confiscated by
A STRANGE DISCOVERY the mining company and later, by the U.S.
In the first episode of Brisco, we are taken to Government, becoming the McGuffin of the
a remote site in the mountains of southern series that drives much of the action in the first
California where a gang of Chinese slave two seasons.
laborers are being brutally pushed to complete
a railroad tunnel in order to make way for a new
rail- line. Meanwhile, elsewhere in California, the
famous U.S. Marshall Brisco County, Sr. and his
After a particularly large blast, four laborers
deputies are escorting John Bly by train to a
in ankle chains are sent into the tunnel to
federal prison. The train is ambushed by Pete
remove the rubble and debris. To their
Hutter, a member of John Bly’s gang. Bly and his
amazement, the blast has uncovered a strange
gang escape after shooting down Brisco, Sr. in
metallic orb.
cold blood.
While inspecting this new find, one man tugs
at one of the metallic knobs that bristle the
orb’s surface, and extracts a rod of electric-blue After the Marshall’s death, the Tycoons (more
light. A strange hum fills the silence of the about them later) put out a call for bounty

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 37

hunters to round up Bly’s gang and to restore • Brisco learned that a total of three orbs had
law and order. been discovered.
Brisco County, Jr. shows up to take the job, • One was severely damaged when it was
wanting to avenge his father’s death. In the found. This orb was later destroyed when John
proceeding episodes, we follow Brisco as he Bly attempted to tap its powers.
rounds up Bly’s gang and slowly uncovers the • A second orb is in the possession of a
mystery of the orb. mysterious professor who has been studying it
Along his way to adventure, Brisco meets and • The last orb, in a surprising episode, was
falls in love with the unpredictable Dixie taken back to the future by Brisco County, Jr.
Cousins, a dance hall girl who always seems to while visiting himself in the past. Brisco learned
know more than she is telling. that the orb is desperately needed in the future.
Brisco reluctantly finds friendship in the form This means that there will be only one
of Socrates Poole, the somewhat timid lawyer remaining orb in a Brisco campaign.
who serves as intermediary between the We know very little of the origin of the mys-
bounty hunter and the Tycoons. He also terious orbs. Brisco is told that his destiny is tied
befriends Lord Bowler, the infamous bounty with them. He also learned that the orbs have
hunter who has a knack for intimidation. been sent back from the future in order to help
THE ORBS mankind.
Before the GM can incorporate Brisco into his The orbs themselves have incredible powers.
western campaign, he is going to have to deal In one episode, Brisco’s fatal gunshot wounds
with the strange metallic orbs head-on. are healed by the orb (The GM should definitely
give the orb healing abilities within the game).
These strange artifacts have powerful,
seemingly magical abilities. How you deal with Anyone who draws power from the orb
the artifacts will set the tone for your campaign, receives superhuman strength. This power is
although admittedly, you could just ignore the dangerous, however, if the user has anything
orbs and not include them. but good intentions. Brisco is warned in one
episode that it is dangerous to use the orb
Here’s a bit of what the series revealed;
without understanding its power.

Comet knows a
number of tricks.
Counting, Untie
Knots, etc.

* Fair market price. Of course to Brisco, Comet is priceless.

38 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

We know the orb works toward good even if
evil men attempt to tap its powers. In such a
situation the orb will twist the outcome so that
only good comes out of it.
Such was the case when Big Smith, one of
Bly’s henchmen, came in contact with the orb.
Smith robbed a bank soon afterward and

Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

gave the money to a mission. As it turned out,
the money had been stolen deceitfully from the
mission by the bank.
Smith, compelled by the orb, had involuntar-
ily set things to rights. By the time Brisco had
caught up with Smith, the once cold-blooded
killer had been transformed into a good The ultimate goal in the Brisco campaign of
Samaritan. course will be to fully reveal the secret of the
The mere fact that the orbs exist in the year orbs. Secondly, bringing John Bly and his gang
1893 tells us that eventually, men of the future to justice will figure largely as a backdrop for
learn how to time travel and that they are the campaign.
somehow trying to alter the past or help TIME PERIOD
mankind through some difficult periods of
Brisco is set in the year 1893. The twentieth
history. century is just beginning to loom on the
In my opinion, the GM should avoid giving horizon. You will have to depart from the rule-
the orb any hard stats. Instead, treat the orb as book here. Remember, Brisco has elements of
you would a deity in a fantasy role-playing science fiction/steam punk at work in the
game. The orb should remain mysterious and shadows. There are also quite a few
outside the realm of reality. anachronisms.
Use it to guide the players and the campaign Episodes of Brisco revealed jet rockets, diving
in the desired direction. equipment, motorcycles, and other bits of
technology that are slightly out of place in the
Much of the appeal of the orbs for me, as a
Old West.
viewer, was the fact they WERE mysterious and
not much was known about them. Therefore Don’t be afraid to dispense with the history
books and use your imagination.
defining them and putting numbers and
assigning rules to them seems like a crime. LOCALES
When you begin to use the orbs in a campaign, The series is set in California, with the main
you will find they are great plot devices and characters based in San Francisco. The GM will
open up doors for many adventures. want to work up floor plans for several
The most important thing to keep in mind is locations in the old city.
that the orbs have their own agenda and Frequent haunts for Brisco and the gang are
appear to use men to fulfill their aim – not the the Golden Horseshoe (saloon), Wester Field
other way around. Club (private club where the Tycoons meet),
Stannions (restaurant), Loo’s Curios (antique
A Brisco campaign could center around the shop) and the San Francisco Gazette.
constant struggle to seize (or protect) the last
Lord Bowler purchased a house in the series
remaining orb. Bly’s gang as well as other
and it was used frequently as a place for the
powers, will constantly be plotting to gain main characters to get together.
control of it. In addition, the U.S. Government
is interested in studying the orb. It will be up to Professor Wickwire has a laboratory where he
tinkers with jet engine designs, diving suits, and
the players to determine if the government can
other inventions. The clever GM could find
be trusted with such knowledge and power.
many opportunities for adventure in this locale.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 39

THE CHARACTERS Brisco sometimes remarks, “I am my father’s
Now that we have taken a look at the setting son.”
and backdrop for The Adventures of Brisco When he learned of his father’s death, Brisco
County, Jr., let’s turn to the characters convinced the Tycoons that he was the best
themselves. man to bring in his father’s killers and immedi-
Even if the GM decides to allow his players to ately devoted his life to his mission. However,
run their own characters, the regular Brisco Lord Bowler is set on collecting this bounty on
characters can serve as valuable, well-detailed his own and conflict arises.
NPCs. Brisco’s closest companion is his horse,
Comet. He has a bad habit of talking to his
horse, something that concerns his friends. It
Occupation: Bounty Hunter
doesn’t seem to bother Brisco that Comet’s
Motivation: Avenge Father’s Death
loyalty can be wavered with a bribe of green
Weaknesses: Women, Gadgets
Brisco County, Jr. is a graduate of Harvard Law After a rough and sporadic courtship, Brisco
School. Being a lawyer didn’t “suit” him and he has just recently confessed his love for Dixie
quickly left his career behind to become a Cousins, the dance hall singer.
bounty hunter.
Living in the shadow of his father, who was a LORD BOWLER
famous U.S. Marshall, wasn’t easy for Brisco, as Occupation: Bounty Hunter
he found himself tumbling from one scrape to Motivation: Money, Social Status
the next. Weaknesses: Temper
Brisco has many unresolved feelings toward Lord Bowler is a bounty hunter known
his father. Sometimes it appears that he feels throughout the west for his ability to bring his
guilty for not being there when his father man in. He is also famous for being insulting,
needed him. When strangers ask him who he is, intimidating, and hard to get along with.
Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

40 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

Lord Bowler prides himself on the fact that he SOCRATES POOLE

works alone and that there isn’t a better tracker Occupation: Lawyer, Legal Consultant
in the business. Bowler hates competition and Motivation: Justice
considers all other bounty hunters nuisances Weaknesses: Coward, No HTH Skills
who are out to get their hands on bounties that
Socrates Poole is an attorney and serves as
are rightfully his.
the legal consultant for the Tycoons. When
When Lord Bowler and Brisco County, Jr. first John Bly’s gang escaped, Socrates was ordered
met it was not on the best of terms, with both to hire a bounty hunter to bring them in. He
men competing for the same bounty. selected Brisco County, Jr.
As time went on, it became apparent the two Technically, Brisco is supposed to answer
men had become fast friends (although Lord directly to Socrates and report his progress.
Bowler would more than likely strike any man However, as the two men began to work closely
who suggested as much.) together, Socrates began to change and pick
While Lord Bowler growls and snarls a lot, up Brisco’s bad habits. Many of these changes
those close to him have seen a deeper, more were for the better and Socrates isn’t so much
sensitive side to the bounty hunter. of a “company” man anymore.
Bowler recently financed a large house, Socrates lives by the letter of the law, and
complete with a butler and crystal collection. often seems surprised and shocked that his
Behind the closed doors of his new residence, fellow man often treats the law with little
he is apparently pursuing the finer things in life, regard and lacks sense of fair play.
going so far as to have himself tutored in the When Brisco was kidnapped and the Tycoons
social graces. refused to pay the ransom, Socrates took it
Besides his pistols, Bowler has two sawed off upon himself to save Brisco. His loyalty is so
shotguns which he keeps in shoulder holsters. great that it often inspires moments of heroics
in a man well known for his lack of bravery.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 41

Socrates spends most of his time covering for After a romantic game of cat-and-mouse she
Brisco and keeping the Tycoons at bay. has finally admitted to herself and to Brisco that
He is more than a little perturbed that Brisco she is in love.
doesn’t seem to appreciate the need to keep Falling in love hasn’t tamed her, however, in
the Tycoons satisfied. the slightest. She is still head-strong and
DIXIE COUSINS independent. Using her ties with member of
Bly’s gang, she is still able to gather information
Occupation: Entertainer on the gang’s activities and plans, which she
Motivation: Power, Money gladly turns over to Brisco.
Weaknesses: Loves Brisco
Dixie has demonstrated that she is an expert
Dixie Cousins is a saloon-entertainer with a rider and is at home on the saddle as well as on
habit of falling in love with outlaws. She is a the stage.
talented singer and dancer and consistently
draws a big crowd when she performs at the PROFESSOR WICKWIRE
Golden Horseshoe. Occupation: Scientist/Inventor
She appears, on the surface, to be a gullible Motivation: Furthering Knowledge
woman who falls prey to the men around her, Weaknesses: Eccentric, Gullible
but it’s only an illusion. In reality, Dixie is a Professor Wickwire lives with his daughter on
seductress and uses her charm and beauty to a farm outside of San Francisco, where he dab-
gather power and money around her. bles with various inventions and experiments.
While involved with a man she plays the part He will prove to be a valuable NPC for the GM.
of the faithful girlfriend, but manages to keep Through him the GM can introduce new items
control of the situation, taking advantage of the and new technology essential to the mission
opportunities that infatuation has to offer. (think Q in James Bond).
When Dixie met up with Brisco, the sparks So far, the professor has developed a diving
began to fly. suit with a self-contained air supply, a jet rocket,
Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

42 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

and other items that have proven useful to JOHN BLY
Brisco in his many adventures. Occupation: Master Criminal
The professor is a bit of a scatter-brain. He Motivation: Control of the Orb, Power
tends to forget things and is easily sidetracked. Weaknesses: Pride, Over-confidence
Bly kidnapped the professor to study the orb John Bly is feared throughout the West by
he had obtained. The professor was able to law-abiding citizens and criminals alike. The
study the orb at length before it was destroyed, cold-blooded killer has managed to assemble
so he has valuable first-hand knowledge. a gang comprised of thirteen of the West’s most
Wickwire is very fond of Brisco, who shares his notorious outlaws.
fascination with the future and technology. The His gang has been so successful in California
two men love to gather ‘round the professor’s that the Tycoons put pressure on the
latest projects and compare notes. government to do something about it. U.S.
There have been indications that the Marshall Brisco County, Sr., heading up one of
professor isn’t in the best of health and takes the largest posses in history, managed to
medication for his heart. His daughter, Amanda, corner Bly and his gang and arrest them.
is very protective of him and disapproves of his Bly and his gang were freed by one of their
heavy work schedule. henchmen, Pete Hutter. After killing the
COMET marshall, Bly went into hiding to reorganize his
gang. It was while in hiding that Bly caught
Occupation: Brisco’s Horse wind of the orb and its mysterious powers.
Motivation: Who Knows Since then, he has become obsessed with
Weaknesses: Green Apples obtaining the orb and putting it to work in
Comet isn’t just any ordinary horse. Brisco order to further his grip of control.
finds himself apologizing for Comet often by Bly also has a personal score to settle with
informing others that, “He doesn’t know he’s a Brisco County, Jr. Perhaps it’s because Brisco has
horse.” foiled so many of his plans, or maybe because
The animal has a bad habit of following his he is the son of the marshall who almost did
master into buildings and other places where him in. Whatever the reason, Bly has developed
horses aren’t generally welcomed. He also has a deep hatred for Brisco.
the uncanny ability of being able to find Brisco Brisco is determined to bring Bly to justice for
wherever he is. the murder of his father and is relentless in his
It doesn’t seem to matter if Brisco doesn’t chase.
want to be found – Comet is only too happy to
allow anyone to follow him (or even ride him)
while he is tracking his master. Occupation: Outlaw
Motivation: Power
Comet has a weakness for green apples and
Weaknesses: Hair-pin temper
will do most anything to earn one. If confronted
with choosing between loyalty to Brisco or a Pete Hutter is famous for his fast draw. Those
bribe of green apples, Comet will choose the around him are terrified of his terrible temper
apples. and unforgiving demeanor. To make things
worse, Pete doesn’t seem to have it altogether
Brisco doesn’t seem to fault his horse for his
less than perfect devotion. Comet has pulled
the bounty hunter out of more than one scrape Anyone who knows Pete has quickly learned
and the two seem to understand each other a few simple rules to stay on his good side, in
better than anyone else. addition to staying alive.
When on-lookers raise an eyebrow, they see They know never, EVER to touch Pete’s gun.
Brisco sitting by a campfire and talking about Anyone who does so is quickly called out on
his problems with Comet, but neither of them the street and made to pay for their
seem to take notice or care. transgression.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 43

Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

Another rule to remember is that Pete is San Francisco. They were organized with the
always right about any issue or topic of express purpose of killing Big Smith and
conversation. ending his slave-labor operations. Now that
Pete is one of those annoying characters who Smith has changed, it is unclear if the Scarred
believes himself to be knowledgeable in all Feet will disband or take on a new cause.
fields of study. As soon as he opens his mouth, TYCOONS (ROBBER BARONS)
however, the listener is painfully aware that Tycoons is the unofficial title given to a group
Pete has no idea what the hell he is talking of the five wealthiest men in the West by the
about and would be inclined to tell Pete so if he press. Between the members of this group,
weren’t so accurate with his pistol. virtually everything in California falls under
OTHER CHARACTERS their control or influence. The members are
The following is a list of minor characters that Mr. Parson (mining), Mr. Kilbrad (shipping), Mr.
have recurring roles on Brisco. Ingram (cattle), Mr. Thoroughgood (railroads)
and Mr. Emerson (banks).
Mr. Thoroughgood was destroyed when he
Big Smith was John Bly’s right hand man at attempted to tap one of the orbs for strength
one time. Smith made most of his money by and longevity.
exploiting Chinese-laborers for the railroad.
The Tycoons hired Brisco to round up Bly’s
Big Smith was pushed from a moving train gang, but it has become clear that at least one
while clutching the orb. He was assumed to be of the Tycoons is not above working with Bly
dead until he resurfaced as a sort of “Robin secretly in order to gain control of the orb.
Hood” with superhuman strength.
Tycoons are the classic bad guys in any good
THE SCARRED FEET western story. Profit-focused characters with
The Scarred Feet are a gang of Chinese great power and long reaches who can impact
martial artists who operate out of Chinatown in a campaign (and the players) from afar.

44 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245


Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

Hopefully this brief overview gives
you enough information to begin your
own Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
At the very least, it might change up
things just enough to lure those players
who aren’t western fans to your table —
proof that any genre can be stood on its
Also of interest, if you are thinking
running a Brisco campaign — a few
years ago we ran a two part article on
adding Steam Punk elements to Aces
and Eights. (Aces & Eights: Sixguns &
Steam; KODT #218)
If you liked this installment, I’m toying
with the idea of doing the same thing
with Deadwood, Westworld and some
other western favorites down the road.
Until next time — slap leather, watch
your back and keep your powder dry.
* The Adventures of Brisco County Jr,
the characters and all photographs from
the series are copyright Boam/Cuse Pro-
ductions and Warner Brothers. q
Copyright Boam/Cuse Productions

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 45

taken the Athletics skill and that proved fatal crewmember, and spin a nice tale to the doc-
with me failing to adequately make the jump tor and stormtroopers there. I get them to
and finding myself hanging from the edge of leave the room. Everything is going
the roof top on the other side long enough for smoothly... until they exit the room and my
me to get shot by the security guards down
below. I learnt the hard way not having some friend Ranti's character, Gena, just shoots the
common skills can get you killed!—Mark stormtroopers, alerting everybody to our pres-
Dowson ence...—Lord MaGnUs


Ionesentient ant/mantis warrior race). I played Pnewly-formed, low-level party was in the
used play a Arduin Grimoire Phraint (7' tall

a friend's game, introducing him, ex-

alladium Fantasy Game, years ago. Our

wilderness, camped for the night. Into our

plaining his race, abilities, etc. Well during the
game one of the female players hit on my campsite comes a badger looking for food. One
character. After awhile, I stared down the of the fighter types decided he wanted a
player and said: 'Do not flaunt your udders at badger-claw necklace, so he went to kill it. Lit-
me mammal' (My Phraints talked like Groaci tle did we know that Palladium badgers were
from Keith Laumer's Retief stories). She was walking death machines (sort of like B.A.'s tree
disconcerted, and I asked her if she realized squirrels and llamas). The fighter was dead in
she was hitting on a 7' tall preying mantis. I
laughed and she laughed and the situation got one round, maybe two. Then his buddy went
NIGHTRAVEN to avenge him. He was down and bleeding out
smoothed over.—Michael Maley

ack in the 90s I was running a Champions
where an "old-guard" hero (ac-
in the 50s and 60s but now well past his
in one round. So, by this time and not having
the sense God gave an ant between us (but

APCss a DMnames.
I have a terrible habit of forgetting plenty of beer in us), we all attacked the
prime) had an enemy uncover his "civilian" badger. Monty Python's killer rabbit would
identity (a literature professor with a love of
Thus my Games have contained. have asked for this critter's autograph. A few
Edgar Allen Poe - hence his costumed identity
"Nightraven") and frame his civilian ID for rounds later, the lone survivor crawled away
*Hitler Carebear
murder. Donning his costume for one last clutching the stump of his arm, while the
time, he enlists the heroes to clear his real * The nicking Droid badger feasted on our corpses. By an odd co-
name. They succeed and he thanks them, then * Matt's character who will die horribly at incidence, our next characters were devout fol-
is about to leave by the door when he notices his own hand. (Apply to any campaign) lowers of the Cult of the Demon
an open window. He hesitates, then says: * Chaz's Ninja with a fear of, has night- Badger.—Anthony Ragan
"What the heck...", takes out his grapple line, mares and phobia of cheese.—Tim Hart
walks to the window, strikes as heroic a pose
as a roughly 80-year-old man in a Halloween UNSTANDARDIZED WEAPONS

costume can, and says: "Shall Evil go unpun-
I 've gotten into another Star Wars campaign hile playing a legendary large game of
ished? Nevermore!" then swings out into the
night. One player says: "OK, Nightraven's a (ran by my friend Loki), so this makes it two one that would go on for six
dude..." and the entire table collapses with I'm playing in, and one I'm GMing. In fact, I months, I was slinging dice and taking coun-
laughter.—Charles Brown played Star Wars Saturday and Sunday! tries. I always had a good streak with the dice
But I digress. We're playing a New Republic overall, and it was well known at the table.
MY SHAMAN CAN’T JUMP ship pursuing an Imperial warlord through a One of my friends offered me some gummi

Tmonthswashe firstIawasShadowrun
faraway sector he used to rule, and a small worms, which I accepted. Little did I know that
ever roleplay campaign I played in
one, during the nine team of us takes a transport to a planet to do they were sour worms, sour candy being my
a Community Service Volunteer. some fact finding. We're pulled out of hyper-
bane. I got three chews into one before I real-
We had a session every Wednesday evening space earlier than expected, and asked to dock
with an Imperial station for inspection. Since ized it, and dramatically acted that I was poi-
and with Matt being the best GM I have ever soned. As the turn passed to the poisoner, the
known, my shaman, Night Seeker, survived we're masquerading as merchants, we com-
ply. Long story short, we end up captured, but dice gods turned their back on me as well. He
many adventures. Frequently Night Seeker
would use astral projection to scout ahead for one of our people manages to evade capture cried out, "Get im! Press the attack!" I lost five
the team and faced elementals and enemy and frees us. countries before I broke from the table to gar-
mages, while Boris, the troll samurai, would We now need to recover our ship and get gle with Mountain Dew.
carry his body on his back. In the final session, out of the station, but we also need to rescue
one of our crew that got taken to the infirmary. When I came back, I was already proclaim-
as we were running across a roof top to escape
corporate security, I found myself faced with My character, Zor, is a bit of a fast talker, so he ing that we needed a Geneva Convention for-
a rather large leap to the next roof. I had never steals a uniform and infiltrates the infirmary. bidding such unscrupulous tactics such as sour
I get into the room where they're holding our gummies!—Matt Reedq

46 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

White Lightning

hile there are many kinds of drinks in the The drink was first created for use by certain
world, the concoction known as White specialty troops of a kingdom bent on conquest.
Lightning is like none other. The soldiers would be given a dose of White
Some people call it a potion. Some call it wine. In Lightning before battle, and they’d become
reality, it is both. White Lightning is a combination relentless warriors.
of a magical white wine that packs a punch in more Some tribes of hobgoblins, orcs and other warlike
ways than one. races use this drink in battle rituals to encourage
The alcoholic content is not terribly high, but the their warriors to become crazed fighters in battle.
magical elixir does have quite an impact. Anyone Thankfully, for the rest of the civilized world, the
who imbibes will become obsessed with fighting recipe for making White Lightning is known by only
for 24 hours after having at least four ounces of the a few distillers. It is a rare drink, not found in most
stuff. drinking establishments.
In game terms it means that the individual takes It is served most often in bars or inns where the
on the Hack Frenzy quirk for 24 hours. (See the military make up the majority of patrons. And, it is
Hackmaster Player’s Handbook for details). most often extremely expensive.
This madness that turns a regular person into a Once the effects of the drink wear off, imbibers
hacking machine does not become evident right report that the after-effects are hardcore.
away. It builds slowly. It takes about half an hour for Hangovers are severe, causing almost paralyzing
the full effects of the drink to manifest. headaches, several hours of nausea that results in
However, anyone drinking a cup of White Light- severe vomiting and dehydration. The best way to
ning will immediately feel a sourness in his stomach mitigate these effects is for the imbiber to drink lots
that should discourage him from drinking another. of water after drinking a cup of White Lightning.
But, if someone should drink more than one of Most commanders who use the drink on their
these strange drinks, the Hack Frenzy will last 24 troops also insist that their soldiers drink at least a
hours for each drink consumed. If someone were to pint of water over 24 hours to avoid having
be so foolish as to drink more than three of these debilitating effects.— Barbara Blackburn
within the space of an hour, the Hack Frenzy quirk
will become permanent.
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 47
Deep Water
AKA: Now You Sea Me
MECHANISM: trip wire, nature
SUGGESTED DAMAGE: drowning damage
ENGINEER: Barbara Blackburn

The main treasury is an interesting room. The

entry into the room is well below sea level, while the
treasure itself sits high above, on a 25-foot wall that
anyone wanting to gather it must climb.
However, when the door is open, there is a nigh
invisible trip wire strung across the path. When that
wire is broken or tugged, two large plugs are dis-
lodged from the walls near the door and the strong
tide of sea water beings to pour into the chamber.

Anyone inside is sure to drown unless that person
ladsea is an ancient keep built on the can swim well. The water rises up to the 18-foot level,
coast. As the spires of the keep rise high keeping the treasure itself dry and safe.
into the sky, its lower levels are well below
sea level and are little more than excavated caverns.
The keep has been occupied for centuries by a
family of sea-faring wanderers and their families. The
keep is now occupied by a very old matriarch, Lady
Celene Gladstone, and her nephew, Ferneul. The
young man’s mother died in childbirth and his father
has been out at sea for most of his life. It is almost
certain that he has been killed out on the sea.
Since so many generations of Gladstones have
lived in the keep, you might imagine that there are
some interesting items of treasure stored in the cav-
erns beneath.
The family rarely thinks about the treasure, or the
room, for that matter. But, if they were to need to
retrieve it, there is another entrance, a trap door with
a ladder that extends from the floor above. That door
is, of course, concealed from prying eyes, blending
into the cavernous ceiling and walls.
Ferneul has visited the room occasionally. He will
sometimes restring the wire and put the plugs back
into the wall when the tide recedes. He can never
bear to deal with any dead bodies that might be in
the room, so he just leaves them there. Anyone
entering is sure to notice the remains of others who
have foolishly pried into the depths of Gladsea

48 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

BAIT: The party finds an inn. The proprietor is a bit of an
eccentric fellow - very friendly, but also somewhat daft. He
greets the visitors warmly and says, “Why, you’re just in time!
I am running a drink special today. You may try my new
concoction free of charge!” He laughs and shows them to a table,
clapping for his bar maid to bring the party a round of his newest
TACKLE: The drink has foamy, smoky wisps rising from the
glass. It is blue and smells like blueberries. “I call it BluebAle!”
says the barkeep. “I named it after my wife, Bluebell. Let me
know how you like it.”
In fact, the stones are being magically generated at a place
If the PCs try the beverage, they will note a sweet, fruity taste.
called “the Candy Store”, an industrial mining operation some
However, the ale packs a hefty punch that seems to be delayed.
miles to the north of town. The owners of the mine have
The ale is smooth, tasty and free, but, it will get anyone who created an incredibly complex form of alchemy that converts
imbibes drunk faster than most drinks. One mug is equivalent to simple minerals into gems. The flaw in their system is that the
three mugs of regular ale. It could be an interesting night. gems are flawless and identical. This similarity has flagged the
By Barbara Blackburn local authorities and the mining operation has begun to carve
imperfections into the stones to make them appear different
CANDY STORE ROCK from each other.
SETTING: Any The other flaw is that they have driven competing gem mines
BAIT: The party was lucky enough to find a haul of valuable and merchants nearly out of business. If the party digs deeply
gems on their latest venture. For once no hauling of giant bags enough into the Candy Store or talks to enough competing
or boxes of coins and bulky treasures via mules and wagons. merchants, they will find a lot of support for shutting down the
With some joy, they return to the closest town with jewelers operation. This will be a good idea, as the alchemical formula is
who can exchange the gems for much needed hard currency. unstable, and very soon the gems are going to start reverting
But the party finds that the local gemologists are disturbingly to rocks, which will basically destabilize a huge segment of the
uninterested, offering very poor trades for their precious stones. merchant economy in the region. The oligarchs locally are
They explain that the market is saturated with rare minerals, heavily invested in exporting these gems to foreign markets at
someone must have either unearthed an ancient horde or found massive markups and right up until the market collapses, they
a natural source, which is unlikely since virtually all valuable will provide barriers to the investigation at every turn. When the
gems are in massive over-supply. market does crash, they will be looking for someone to blame.
TACKLE: Initially it may just seem like poor luck, and the If they have any way to do it, the party will make nice
party may even just sell off their stones at rock bottom prices scapegoats.
and be on their way. But if they dig deeper, whether to find the By Benjamin Lomax
source for their own enrichment or to cut out the competition,
they will see an interesting trend among nearly all the jewelry HOTS ON FOR NOWHERE
forged from this glut. The gems look nearly identical, whether SETTING: Any fantasy
they be sapphire or ruby or emerald or diamond. The cuts are BAIT: The party is hunting for a quest or assignment,
nearly the same and where they are different appears to crude something to keep making their progress unto fame and
cuts, where the identical cuts are precise, almost inhuman. fortune. A full-bellied bearded man with spectacles takes the
If the party starts digging into this strange “coincidence”, they group in as they sit about a table at a local tavern. He approaches
find their inquiries unwelcome among any merchants. In fact, the group with an angry expression on his face. He accuses the
rough thugs confront them and threaten them, telling them not group of stealing his group’s likeness and images and making
to ask too many questions or they might not like the answers. profit from it. He demands that they cease and desist
Confronting these thugs sends them running for their lives pretending to be his very successful clients.
however. Any party member with a jeweler’s talent can tell the TACKLE: During a previous adventure, the party walked by a
stones are real, but they are very strange.
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 49
Duplicating Mirror, which made copies of them. The copies easy as purchasing groceries.
emerged roughly an hour later, assumed they were the party The fey separation will inevitably wear on the party, as the
and went on to great adventures, just in the opposite direction inhabitants seem distant and aloof, an unbridgeable gap. When
the original party travelled from the same point. The copies have they decide to return to the “real” world, it will be as simple as
actually been considerably more successful in their activities than going back through the portal, but they will find time transpires
the originals, so much so that they have had to acquire an agent, differently in the faerie realm. Not a geometric advancement,
who is this fellow. but a random time displacement. The party will return at
Notably the clones have exactly the same memories, though different times, as much as several hundred years before or after
they have quite a bit more resources and connections due to their their departure. They will also not return at the same time unless
adventuring success. The only way the party can get this bull- they enter the portal together, and the relative distance between
dog off their trail is to assume different identities. Assuming they two seconds in real time could be a hundred years or more in real
do not make this choice, proving there are the real deal will be time.
extremely difficult, perhaps impossible. They won’t necessarily Finding their way back to the same time will require very high
meet or conflict directly with their doubles, but if they do even level time magic or the support of powerful magical entities. The
they will be astounded by the similarity, even the most secret portal is one-time, so they cannot return there as a way home.
information. Effective game management might even convince The members of the group will be required to spend a lot of
the party that they might be the clones. Given their exact same literal and figurative time alone, with little to nothing or nobody
origin story, who’s to say who came first? familiar to them, so arranging help will be quite difficult.
By Benjamin Lomax.
By Benjamin Lomax
BAIT: As the adventurers patronize their next inn for some
BAIT: The party has voyaged long and far. The last time they drinks or a meal, they are waited on by a young woman who
were near civilization was months ago, and the last time they seems to be fighting strong emotion. She also seems to be
slept on a mattress is just a memory. Their forays into ancient studying the group, but tries to do this unobtrusively. She seems
ruins and monster lairs in deep caverns have netted them wealth somewhat frightened. Before the party leaves, she slips one of
and arcane items, but it is just about time to head back to the the party members a note. (She will choose the most friendly
real world and enjoy some fruits from all that labor. Just as the looking of the bunch.)
group has settled on the time and logistics of their return
TACKLE: The note says simply: “I need your help. Please meet
journey, a dazed looking young man approaches their
me near the livery stable.”
temporary camp, seemingly out of nowhere.
If the PCs decide to meet the woman, she will be wearing a
He states he has been looking for them for a long time, and
cloak and will be grateful as she pours out her tale of woe. “Is
they are the only ones that can “make the magic happen”. The
there any way you would be able to take me to the next town
young man seems feverish but urgently in need of…something.
when you leave here? My love has gone to this town and we
He begs for their support, as they are the only ones who can. It
mean to be married. My family hates him because they say his
will mean a long journey, even further beyond the pale than they
kinfolk are liars and cheats -- something about the sale of some
have gone so far, but the rewards for success will be like nothing
property, I’m not certain. But, we are in love and I can’t wait any
they can imagine. He talks to the group about a legendary
longer. My family are trying to force me to wed a brute. Can you
adventurers who have unearthed amazing treasures and now
help me? If you come back here tomorrow night for drinks, you
wield otherworldly magic powers and the party has heard of
can give me your answer with a simple nod of your head. I think
them before.
I can get a wagon if that will help. I cannot pay you, but my lover
TACKLE: If the party declines the young man’s offer, he will can when I am delivered. I know we would be so grateful.”
be sad but leave the camp and return wherever he came from
If the party agrees to help the damsel, named Myalise, there
without any further contact. If the group is unable to resist the
is a chance (50%) that they will be discovered by the family, or
offer, the fellow’s eyes light up and he asks them to follow him.
the intended brutish blacksmith who wants to marry her. The
He walks down a heretofore unseen trail that leads to a glowing
family may alert the town guard to claim their child is being
portal. The other side of the portal is a high-magic realm, where
kidnapped. The brute might just try to bust some heads.
even the common people wield animated equivalents of house-
hold instruments and the local officials are powerful wizards. By Barbara Blackburn
Acquiring magical treasures and arcane knowledge will be as q
50 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245
Kings and Things
TYPE: Board Game
PLAYING TIME: 1-2 hours or more
DESIGNER: Tom Wham & Rob Kuntz w/Doug Kaufman

ings and Things is a silly game, a build keeps, towers and castles before

K very silly game indeed and harkens

back to a day when, perhaps, people
didn't take their gaming quite so seriously.
ultimately raising a mighty citadel to
establish as your base of power. However,
it's not as simple as it sounds as all the
It is designed by Tom Wham and Rob Kuntz other players are trying to do exactly the
(with Doug Kaufman) and any gamer same thing and will stop at nothing to beat
worth their salt should be very familiar with you to the throne. If the other players
those storied names and their rather manage to build a citadel in the same turn
notable contributions to the gaming hobby. as you then the only way to win is by
Set in the mythical kingdom of Kadab, outright conquest and by capturing their
(the broken kingdom of Kadab, a fantastic citadel. No one ever said it was going to be
land full of magic, monsters, valiant heroes easy.
and civil war!) you play a minor noble who, Kings and Things comes with every-
like all minor nobles, wants to be a major thing you need to play including 48 hex
noble and, ultimately, re-unite the land tiles, over 300 playing pieces, 8 player racks,
under themselves as King!!! In your noble 4 dice and a 16 page rulebook and is over-
quest you must explore the wondrous all a pretty nice looking game (the Tom
realm of Kadab increasing your control of Wham illustrated counters are especially
it's varied lands, increase your income, raise nice and goofy and I reckon they are worth
rag tag armies of various heterogeneous the price of admission alone). The game
creatures and mighty heroes to lead them, does not use a regular board but instead
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 51
builds the playing surface as you go by way GOLD COLLECTION PHASE: where players
of placing multiple hex tiles (which allows determine income and collect gold pieces
for a different game every time you play). from the bank.
The hex tiles represent seven different RECRUITING CHARACTERS: each player
types of land; forest, plains, jungle, frozen may attempt to recruit one Special
waste, swamp, mountains, desert and sea character
all of which you will fight over on your path RECRUITING THINGS: each player
to glory and, surely, it is worth mentioning draws Things and may place Things on the
here that this must have been one of the board or trade in unwanted Things.
first ever tile based games appearing as it
did in the mid eighties long before the RANDOM EVENTS PHASE: this makes for
days of Settlers of Catan and the rise of the some serious, silly fun as each player may
Euro, indeed, for play one random event (such as a Vandal
that alone I think invasion) from his
the game is worth rack.
remembering MOVEMENT
(that and the PHASE: each
kooky Tom Wham player may move
illustrations). his counters on
The object of the board as he or
the game is to she sees fit, move-
re-unite the king- ment is optional
dom of Kadab COMBAT PHASE:
under your wise each player may
and benevolent explore or fight
rule and whoever battles
can prove their CONSTRUCTION
ability to rule will surely win the day. This is PHASE: each player may build forts
done by building and/or capturing SPECIAL POWERS PHASE: during this
Citadels. A Citadel is really nothing more phase the Master Thief and Assassin Primus
than a big fort, there are four fort levels, in Special characters may use their special
order of size they are: tower, keep, castle powers if they are in the game. The Assas-
and citadel. You begin with a tower and sin Primus is particularly powerful as she
eventually increase the size of your fort has the power to eliminate enemy coun-
until you have built a mighty citadel. If you ters without engaging in combat while the
are the first player to build a citadel and no Master Thief allows you to either steal all of
one else has built one by the end of the an opponent's gold or steal one of their
next construction phase then you have counters at random.
won the game, if someone else builds a CHANGING PLAYER ORDER: the second
citadel before that then you can only win player becomes the first player. Changing
the game by conquest. When two or more player order is mandatory.
Citadels are on the board you must capture
another one to win. All those phases may seem confusing but
you soon get the hang of it, still, they do
Kings and Things is played in turns with add to the length of the game somewhat I
each being divided into a number of think, certainly, Kings and Things is not a
phases, those are: short game and you do need to set aside
52 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245
some time to play through to the end but I neat little game that has been popular and
think it's worth it overall. successful enough (it even won the 1986
The eponymous Things play a big part in Charles S. Roberts award for Best Science
the game and are really at the heart of Fiction or Fantasy Board Game) to have
things (heh, get it, things) and you are well been reissued a number of times through
advised to acquire as many as you can for the years the most recent being in 2010
your army. This is done in one of three from Z-Man Games so you can always pick
ways, you may get FREE recruits (one for up the newer edition if you feel so inclined
every two land hexes you control), you may but collectors (and true grognards) will
acquire PAID recruits, one for every five want to seek out an original copy if they
gold pieces you pay to the bank or you may can (although, admittedly, the modern
get TRADE-INS by swapping unused coun- version does have much better quality
ters at a rate of two for one. Things come components including wooden counters
in all shapes and sizes and you may very and plastic buildings, it doesn't, however,
well find yourself armed with a rag tag have the cool Tom Wham art).
bunch of undead, swamp rats, killer rac- Kings and Things is very much a blast
coons or even the dreaded killer penguins! from the past (and a very silly one at that)
Combat occurs whenever counters of but it clearly has legs and is a good game
more than one player come together in the for the more competitive gameplayers out
same hex and a battle must be fought to there who love nothing more than beating
determine ownership of the hex. Each bat- down their opponent of an evening (al-
tle is resolved as a series of rounds and is though it could be a long one as the game
continued until all but one player has been can take quite a while to play out), in short,
defeated or retreats. Conquering hexes is it's a lot of fun and if you like tilebased
important as once you control a hex it be- games then this could be just the game for
comes part of your growing kingdom and you. It is a very random game however and
increases your income and recruits (as well luck does play a big part (the game is very
as perhaps providing a magic item or two). unpredictable) so if you are more into skill
Originally published in Dragon magazine based games where you have complete
number 77 way back in 1983 as 'King of the control over events then this may not be
Tabletop' and while not perhaps as well quite so much a hit with you but if you are
known (or quite so awesome, well what is?) not such a control freak and just enjoy lots
as Tom Wham's 'the Awful Green Things of dice based mayhem then I think you will
From Outer Space', Kings and Things is a find much in this game to like. q

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 53

Empires of Blood and Steam
BY: M.P. Yorty & Joshua Baker
PUBLISHED BY: Xaos Publishing
REVIEW BY: J.L. Duncan

his issue is a review of portable document

T format (PDF) of Mechanika: Empires of Blood
and Steam. This product was provided free of
charge for the purpose of this review. Mechanika
funded for just over $9k, via Kickstarter in 2013,
with the final push for delivery, fulfillment, and
eventually availability at drivethrurpg.com,
occurring mid 2016.
Mechanika is a bit of an odd duck as far as RPGs icons instead of numbers. The icons for Fate Core &
go. While I wouldn’t disagree that its theme is Mechanika are plus (+), minus (-) or blank (_); two of
steampunk, the more I read and as the pages went each icon on a d6. Needless to say, but easy
by, less did this game feel like a steampunk RPG. enough to simulate on a standard d6 as well,
When I brought out the dice, for character creation, assigning two numbers to each icon.
and to test some of the mechanics all heck broke Beside the basic rolls which entail those
loose! improved by character skills/attributes/perks, or
As the author admits, Mechanika is a bit of a challenged by flaws, the Xaos System allows for
mash or perhaps a rehash of many other RPGs. degrees of success and failure. In other words,
There is certainly a bit of Fate Core here and a bit meeting the target number set by the GM is a
a Savage Worlds there. Add in a hint of gothic fan- success, but exceeding the number may count
tasy, a little (non-plushy) Call of Cthulhu and that towards a special success. As such, rolling well
about sums it up. I’m a bit on the fence with this below the target number may count as a “special”
one, but it is less about what this game is and more failure. Either occurrence encourages the GM and
about what it could be, which admittedly doesn’t the players to incorporate some narrative story
give credence to the idea of paying money for it. elements. The Xaos system also features a luck
Steampunk isn’t an RPG genre I’m too familiar with, mechanic for dice rolls called Destiny Points. Those
but setting wise this RPG is absolutely a mash of familiar with Savage Worlds and Fate Core will
many elements other than steampunk. recognize it, as this mechanic allows rerolls as well
as enables players to “edit a scene,” avoid an
Gamers familiar with Fate Core or Savage Worlds untimely death and a couple of other things.
might consider giving it whirl, but at the same time
Mechanika, is very different from those RPGs. Destiny Points are rewarded to the player by the
Mechanika uses the Xaos system. Dice mechanics GM, mostly in regards to good character play.
are performed with percentile dice (d10s) and These points roll over to experience points for the
FUDGE dice. If you not familiar with FATE CORE, character if unused at the conclusion of the session.
FUDGE dice are six-sided die, which are faced with Speaking of character, let’s make one. Character
creation with this RPG requires players to create a

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 55

persona. The concept of this persona is then The setting of Mechanika is earth with an
mitigated by two character concepts the “higher” alternate timeline and a mash of several themes. At
and “lower” self. In essence, instead of alignment, some point in this timeline the Old Ones (H.P.
we have a default character personality tag. The Lovecraft style) arrive plunging the earth in fifty
higher self is just as it seems, your character at years of despair. The effect of their presence causes
his/her best, or most selfless, the lower self being disease, mutation and misery. The Fae arrive; from
your character’s worst or most selfish. Players are where the text isn’t clear. They fight the Old Ones
charged with creating these three tags and putting offering humanity servitude, claiming themselves
them together in a way that is somewhat the saviors of the human race. The war between
reasonable. There are plenty of examples (for the Fae and Old Ones continues and somewhere in
newbs) to get you started, and the concepts in this there the dwarves and goblins arrive. The dwarfs
section are well presented. work both sides for profit, the goblins are mostly
Next is selecting a race of which there is a unique combat fodder. The Great War spans 250 years, until
variety. Humans make up 80% of the current the Fae gain dominance. For one thousand years
population of this alternate earth/steam punk the Fae are worshiped unchallenged, when
setting, but my beloved dwarf is available (so I without explanation they disappear. There is a bit
made one), as well as goblins, moreauvians, sylvans of unrest between the three lesser races as they via
and Dhampyrs. Moreauvians are human/animal for power. And this is the setting Mechanika is
hybrids and of many varieties, sylvan are plant or subtitled and player character will explore: The Age
tree like humanoids and dhampyrs are the spawn of Blood and Steam.
of vampires. Races have a high number of racially Likely the best material to get a feel for
specific, drawbacks and benefits. The race template Mechanika, are the chapters to do with machina
is a bit overloaded in this regard. Step three is and magic. Interestingly, there is about twice as
assigning attributes and wounds. Attributes in much content on the chapter for magic then there
Mechanika are the physical and mental aptitude is for the chapter on machina. That said… the chap-
however, a score of zero is considered the human ter on machina is pretty interesting. Both magic
average. With creation, player characters are and machina rely on Flux, which is the source of
provided five points to distribute among these magic energy. For the most part this section
attributes, as well as some attributes may be provides a handy set of guidelines for Artificers and
further modified by the race template. Mechanika Tinkerers to construct their own gizmos, which are
does not use a typical Hit Point system, instead machines/devices melded with this element of
incorporating a (meticulously written) wound flux. Artifice Houses specialize in creating certain
system, which includes three different types of types of machina and each house is provided a
wounds, to show damage. treatment specifically describing what can be
Next in character creation, is the odd combina- created as well as provides a few examples.
tion of assigning wealth and designating the Despite seeming a bit overflowing for a steam-
number of actions available. There is really nothing punk RPG, the Chapter on Magic is my actually my
to choose here, so it is really more of a “to make you favorite. Magi in Mechanika belong to one of
aware section.” All characters are suggested at twelve houses, Warlocks wield elemental forces
starting out with a -1 wealth rating or in other and Wyrds unstudied, but naturally gifted, harness
words, not very wealthy. Characters start the game their innate magical talents through a totem. The
with three sorts of actions, but may receive more if features of the three magic-user archetypes are di-
they have the appropriate ranks in agility attribute. verse and interesting. The magic schools are sub-
Rounding it out is selecting skills, perks, and flaws. divided by type: The Schools Elements, Matter,
These sections are pretty standard as far as RPGs Energy, Life & Death and the Aberrant Schools.
go. Skills are linked to one or two designated While Mechanika is bit wonky, if I had put my
attributes and help define what characters can and money down, there are certainly some interesting
presumably, cannot do; all of these are based on concepts. The writing isn’t terrible, but the overall
character knowledge/education. Perks are divided layout and presentation could certainly use some
into three categories: regular, supernatural and by additional work. This being a Steampunk game, as
race (race: listed with the race template). Likely my I mentioned in the intro, it’s rather odd. While the
preference for old school games, but some of these games “theme” is steampunk it’s got a bulky dose of
read in line with what I would say was a skill, others other things, which significantly weigh it down in
are seemingly genetic graces and more in line with regards to mechanics as well as to the core of its
what I think a perk might be. Flaws can be taken at role-playing elements. If Mechanika was developed
character creation, and award Experience Points in the early 90’s no doubt it would have likely
(EPs), which you can put towards additional perks gained a fan base. As is, I’d wait to see if some of
and skills during character creation. these things might be cleaned up and if it should
ever come to pass with a second edition.q

56 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245

Build a Virtual Game
Room with Tablet Apps
doing exactly the same thing for you. It’s a lightning fast game that
leads to a lot of laughs and cross talking. It’s a great warm up for your
weekly game sessions. Spaceteam is available for iOS and Android.
There’s also a real-world card game version.
One of my favorite board games as a kid actually belonged to my
sister: Dark Tower. The game featured a circular game divided into
four quadrant. Each player controlled a quadrant, which the other
players’ characters had to navigate. As they did so they fended off
brigands and monsters in an attempt to recover the three keys that
would allow them to unlock the tower. Once the tower was unlocked,
you could attack with your army and win the game. After college my
sister said I could have it, and it’s been part of my collection ever since.
Sadly though, the tower itself no longer works. This is a common
problem with the game, but thankfully geeks have come up with a
solution: apps that emulate the tower’s functionality. Dark Tower (iOS)
and Droid Tower (Android) serve as virtual replacements for the game’s
namesake. If, like me, you have the board game, the app can serve as
s I’ve grown older – and busier – I’ve had less and less time to a tower replacement. Otherwise, you can play a virtual version of the

A play video games on the Playstation 4 or Xbox. Fortunately the

proliferation of mobile games – particularly tablet games – has
provided welcome opportunities for gaming on the go.
game with in the app.
Game master’s looking for devious puzzles for their players to
encounter should check out The Room series. Now on its third release,
One of my all-time favorite apps for the iPad (but also available for The Room places you in the role of an individual trying to unlock
Android, PS4, and Xbox One) is Pinball Arcade. It is an awesomely various Da Vinci-like contraptions to learn arcane secrets. The game is
well-done pinball emulator that recreates such classic games as Star very much about the journey than the destination; there’s a larger plot
Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone, Addams Family, Doc- about the mysterious force known as “The Null” and some increasingly
tor Who, Terminator, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Mythos-like trappings, but the puzzles were always the thing I loved
many, many more. Tables can be purchased individually or in season- best. The game utilizes the tablet’s touch interface to manipulate the
based collections. If you love pinball, you owe it to yourself to check out virtual environment, spinning tumblers, aligning light beams, and
this game. revealing hidden images. It’s available for iOS and Android.
I have many pleasant (if blurry) memories of playing Baldur’s Gate Looking for more mobile gaming ideas? Check out Pocket Tactics,
into the wee hours of the morning. Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition a website dedicated to all manner of mobile games. It includes
(available for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows) lets me relive those monthly round ups of new games, game reviews, and – of course –
days wherever and whenever I want. I have to say that it is a lot harder regular news updates. q
and unforgiving than I remember; there’s no auto-save so you need to
be very contentious about saving your game before running headlong
into a battle with the many humanoid threats roaming the region. If PINBALL ARCADE
you loved Baldur’s Gate, you can also pick up Baldur’s Gate II, a new https://www.pinballarcade.com
expansion called The Siege of Dragonspear, as well as two other games BALDUR’S GATE: ENHANCED EDITION
that use the same engine: Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. https://www.baldursgate.com
Spaceteam is a crazy frantic team-building game in which play- SPACETEAM
ers need to work together keep a space ship running for as long as http://spaceteam.ca
possible. Here’s how it works: each player downloads the app to their DARK TOWER (IOS)
phone. Then – in the same real-world room – they fire up the app and https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/app-for-dark-tower/id806256398
connect their phones together using either wireless or Bluetooth. DROID TOWER (ANDROID)
Everyone is given a console that shows starship systems such as https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mow.droidtower
“Subputty”, “Dangling Shunter”, and “Spectrobolt” which are THE ROOM THREE
represented by dials, dip switches, and dongles. As the game http://www.fireproofgames.com/games/the-room-three
progresses, it tells you what items need fixing … but you may not POCKET TACTICS
have them on your console (and likely won’t). You then need to call http://www.pockettactics.com
out to your friends to tell them what they need to fix, while they’re
Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 57
The Road to Mars
by Eric Idle

comedians, and irony. With him we have an outsider’s perspective and

become privy to his theories and musings on the matter. For example,
we see comedians like Muscroft and Ashby being divided up between
the “Red Nose” and “White Face” archetypes—both necessary compo-
nents and different facets of comedy. The Red Nose is the boisterous
and energetic slapstick type, while the White Face is the serious and
grave deadpan type. But that’s not to say the White Face is without
humor, it’s simply of a different sort.
The book is full of reflections of the nature of comedy through the
ages as seen through Carleton’s unique perspective, often borrowed
n some ways it’s hard to picture a member of Monty Python as an from long standing traditions (such as the Red Nose/White Face
entity separate of Monty Python. Whenever we see John Cleese, no dynamic). Though not everyone fits into these categories neatly. As Eric
matter who he is playing, he somehow carries a bit of his Python- himself said about the concept: “Steve Martin called me the other day,
ness around with him. Same can be said of Terry Gilliam, even though and said he finally got it. He was a Red Nose masquerading as a White
he’s long gone his own way as a director, or Michael Palin as a travel Face, which I thought was a very interesting twist on it.... That's why
writer. Steve Martin is so confusing, because on the face of it, he looks like a
Of them all, however, I think Eric Idle is the one that seems to be the White Face but he is in fact lovable. So that's why I think he tends to go
most inseparable from his Python identity, and indeed he’s the one who Red Nosing.”
works hardest to keep it alive. But he’s done his own fair share of other At one point, while stranded and freezing in the cold of space, the
projects. And it turns out he’s a damn good writer, too. The Road to
android realizes that levity is the opposite of gravity, the fundamental
Mars is a science fiction novel about two comedians on an interplane-
force that causes the universe to expand. We also learn of his desire to
tary comedy tour and the trouble they get into. But like all the best
attempt comedy himself, something that should be impossible for an
science fiction, this is also a look at present day ideas—in particular at
android. We know that by the 25th century he has performed—
the nature of comedy and comedians, as seen through the eyes of
once—but what actually happened on stage is a lingering mystery
someone who desperately wants to understand it.
throughout the book. On top of Carleton’s retelling of events we also
The three main protagonists of the book are an Abbot and Costello see things from the perspective of Dr. William Reynolds, the professor
style duo, Alex Muscroft and Lewis Ashby, and their robotic secretary, of micropaleontology mentioned earlier. We learn more about the
Carleton (a “Bowie” model android who is based on David Bowie’s 1985 professor as the story goes on, because he’s having his own personal
look). Carleton is, in a sense, the protagonist, since this is a story that problems, and in fact is becoming somewhat unwound by them.
takes place in two different times—with Carleton being interviewed by
a professor of micropaleontology in the 25th century, telling him about However, I think it’s important to make one thing clear before you
the adventures he was on with Muscroft and Ashby in the 24th century. decide to read this. If you are expecting to find Monty Python in print,
you are going to be sorely disappointed. This is not a hilarious book. It’s
After accidentally insulting Brenda Wolley, an aging but influential
amusing and wry, but oddly enough, I hesitate in calling it a comedy. It
diva, the pair end up losing their other gigs out Saturn way and have to
actually takes its subject matter quite seriously, and is even
take the long road to Mars, picking up any work they can along the way.
suspenseful in all the right places. I think that lead to a number of
They end up entwined in a terrorist plot, encountering a mysterious and
negative reviews when it was first released in 1999.
seductive woman, and various other notorious individuals, all the while
being observed by (and often rescued by) Carlton. What makes the story They expected the Red Nose, what they got was the White Face.
stand out is Carleton’s attempt to understand the nature of comedy,
58 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245
Chaosium Inc. • www.chaosium.com

all of Cthulhu has been around for 35 years and it’s the
C oldest tabletop rpg that uses the same game system it
did when it began. The 7th Edition of the game expands upon
said system, tweaking it out and making a few changes while
still remaining backwards compatible with everything ever
published for the game.
The Keeper Rulebook has everything needed to create characters and gives lots of background
information for the Keeper (i.e. GM) on Lovecraft and the mythos. Skills are defined as well as the
game system: combat, chases, sanity, and magic. Information is here on how to run the game as well
as books and tomes, spells, artifacts and alien devices, monsters, beasts, alien gods, and two scenarios.
The Investigator Handbook is for the players. More information is here on creating investigators
as well as an extended list of occupations. Skills are defined and there are several investigator
SEND REVIEW COPIES TO: organizations to help get them together. Information on life as an investigator and background on
the roaring 20s are included. Several references and investigator sheets are here as well.
309 S. Dilger Ave.
Waukegan, IL 60085 BRIAN’S RATING: As fresh now as ever.


Lame Mage Productions • Evil Hat Productions LLC • www.evilhat.com

icroscope Explorer is an Y oung Centurions is family-friendly story-

telling game of teenage pulp heroes in the
M expansion for the Microscope early 1910s. Written as a prequel or introduction
to Spirit of the Century, it follows the same prem-
game, giving the game more depth and
more ideas The book includes informa- ise that on the first day of every century at mid-
tion on improving setup and play as well night, certain special people are born with a
as ideas on how to share history. Some certain amount of spirit (powers) who either
seeds are here for starting your history with 18 seeds to give work towards good or towards evil in the world. These young people
players an idea where to start. Oracles, or randomly generated big will eventually grow up to be the heroes of Spirit of the Century.
pictures are here, with five different charts to use. There are ideas The game book uses the FATE system and talks about playing young
for using source material that’s not original as well. people as well as the Century Club, which helps get spirits together in
The game can be great for developing a campaign setting: order to help them. Shadows (the evil spirits) are also introduced and
information is here on just that. It’s perfect for making a group- discussed as well as the other people of the world. An overview of
history for a world for other role playing games. There are also three America in the early 20th century is here as well. Complete rules for
new ways to play the game: Union, Chronicle, and Echo. Each has character creation including a high concept for each character and
different takes on the game itself. Union deals with a family tree, some trouble that they’re in, etc. are all here. The game also includes
Chronicle narrows the history, and Echo uses time travel and alter- things like the use of guns, actions, challenges, contests, conflicts,
nate history. The game is also available at Indie Press Revolution. damage, stress, consequences, aspects, FATE points, stunts, and the
like. Gamemaster advice is also included with special advice on
running the game for young adults or children.
BRIAN’S RATING: A great expansion.
BRIAN’S RATING: A great RPG aimed at kids.

hey -- 36,000
PEEPS -- it
Can’t HURT.

am \ RIGHT?

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 59

she helps COMPLETE my cover besides — it wouldn’t
go with the COVER
— as a FAT CAT CEO sneaking off IDENTITIES \ gave you.
for the WEEKEND to
right — about those “COVERS”.
and hit the CASINOS.
\’m a HOUSE WIFE going to a
soon as we touch down FAT FARM for LIPOSUcTION
she’ll catch a RETURN flight. TREATMENTS...? seriously?

cool. \ want a RED hey — you’ve PUMPED out

HEAD — some hot little sorry FOUR KIDS. there’s no SHAME
minx named, BAMBI. guys — in packin’ on the POUNDS.
just NOT in
\’m hirin’ the just
TWINS! BUDGET. remember
the FAT

I’m looking forward to this one. Really glad these He's not really doing anything bad or conniving, he's

stories were the ones you chose next for the ‘editor’s cut’ playing the game as if Gary were BA and I think he can
s the subheading indicates, this is a sounding treatment.
board where gamers can give their two-cents’ deserve some credit for that.
worth on whatever seems to rile them. So pull back the — Red M. 7
curtain and come on in the Back Room. You can leave It occurs to me that even though this is Gary doing
that thin skin at the door, but be sure to bring your the GM and BA playing, the basic premise is the same
opinions with you. Note that due to space limitations aaah — look. the
some letters are edited. GREEN LIGHT on that’s that was laid out in the very first cartoon, the GM is
GARY JACKSON’s great. trying to kill the party and the party is trying to survive.
Got something to say? We wanna hear it. Just use one
table just came on.
of the following options; let’s
^: Via ONLINE FORUM — Just pop over to www.kenz- look in.
On the outside Dave is getting a little annoying? The
erco.com and visit our discussion forums. scene at WP was fun.
7: via E-MAIL — Send your strip ideas, reader
mail, back room fodder and questions to jolly@kenz- Skytower ^
.: via SNAIL MAIL — Or write to us at KODT c/o “It’s Like Brian Wins”
KenzerCo, 309 S. Dilger Ave, Waukegan, IL 60085.
Dave is right — Brian getting to play with Gary
Critical High Podcast Jackson is like the big guy dodging karma and winning.
Great issue, guys (243). This away game with the I’ve really been enjoying this story arc with Brian finally
Knights and Hard Eight is a lot of fun. Can’t wait for getting his comeuppance. And what does Bob do...?
the shopping spree. Just wanted to say I really LOVE the
Essentially hands, Brian what he wanted all along.
Critical High Podcast guy. Norman Bowzer and Jake
Berlin are a lot of fun together. I love their play by play Don’t get me wrong, it’s great story telling. I was
commentary. yelling at the page. It just irks me a bit. So it was good to
Would be kind of fun to see that in real life. Really see, Dave (of all people) call Bob out on it. Good show,
liked the ritual with Crutch casting the spell. That should
KODT 243
be a REAL, Hackmaster spell with those components. One thing I really loved about this issue was the two
That said there are some brilliant, Brian moments.
Keep up the good work. — Lance D. 7 announcers. For all the world I swear I heard the two
characters who used to do Celebrity Deathmatch. When in game he becomes analytical and calculating.
Men That Hack Teaser Especially when Brian got Gary mad. I gotta wonder Of course you leave the gnome according to Brian’s logic.
Really enjoyed issue #243 but wow, that MTH teaser what Gary's reaction will be when this game is pirated The game for him isn’t about roleplay but winning. he
really has my motor revved for the new trade paperback. onto Youtube or some other site like that. can’t help himself.
As someone who played a lot of Top Secret back in Other than that the talk in character about what to I’m looking forward to issue 244.
the day as well as Spy Craft, I’m a huge fan of the do with BA's character and the reaction when they
realized the game would live on afterward. Brian is still Randy Task 7
espionage genre and I’ve always loved the Muncieverse’s
being Brian but I can't really fault him for it.
take on things. q

60 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245
by larry elmore ©2016
all rights reserved.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 61


Serving the
Muncie Area
me today!!

mark your
Calendars --
no worries, hoss. KENZERCO
will be appearing
you can SUBSCRIBE to KODT at the following
and load up on BACK ISSUES conventions in
and other KENZERCO products at
www.kenzerco.com. 2017


is a meeting place where readers may pass along information, barter, trade and gossip. Readers are invited to place classified ads, announce group meetings, seek out other players,
etc. Subscribers of KODT may place classified ads free of charge with a limit of one ad per issue and a maximum of twenty-five words. Non-Subscribers may place ads at the rate of
50¢ per word with a limit of 25 words. Companies may place ads at the following rates: [5.5” x 2” - $175], [2.75” x 2” - $95], [1.5” x 1” - $50]. Non-profit organizations (serving the
gaming community) and Conventions or Seminars may place ads for free. All ads are placed on a first-come first-served basis with subscribers having priority.
c’mon — admit it. you got PUNKED!!


BOTTOM of your TEA CUP so they were ONLY revealed
as you took the LAST SIP was PURE GENIUS. -snort.

you mean... he DID say it was sorry, kind of HARD
“GOOD” to the to look a man in the
that wasn’t fair — LAST DROP. EYE when they’ve
when you deliver been BLASTED out
PAY BACK you it WAS pretty of the BACK of
should at LEAST clever, newt. his SKULL CAP.
look a man in
the EYE!

Gut-Punching Mayhem in Small Doses

look you DUMB ASSES — how is it NOT sinking in...? huh???

while you are trying to “SCAMPER” up the WALLS of THE GRAND SHERIFF TUCK, whirring
scythes are SWINGING on chains to and fro “SWEEPING” the STONE WALLS clean.

meanwhile, FIFTY GUARDS are dropping BOULDERS, sharp instruments and BURNING OIL
firing SIX FLAME-TIPPED BOLTS the size of TREE LIMBS at you — every ROUND.
dammit, \ have the
yeah, yeah, we GOT that. \ got a SHIELD
TIGHTLY to the remember?
but \’m wearing OPEN strapped across
TOED SANDALS of my back - are you
— and sucking in my \ should be able
WALL WALKING. taking that into
CHEST and making a account? also to EASILY scramble
VERY SMALL profile. this ROPE is up that surface!

okay, okay... NO, in point of fact, \ did lessee, one pound of CORN DODGERS, a mess kit,
NOT ask what the cook put in the STEW! a fish hook, 100 bullets, a extra pair of SOCKS, a
daniel webster CEE-GAR, bottle of whiskey, deck
you got me there. hrrmph — so SUE ME for of cards, BANJO, 100 feet of BARBED WIRE, a
“ASSUMING” \ was actually buying something blacksmith portable forge with anvil...
DIGESTIBLE when \ tossed the cook a SILVER piece.
okay, maybe NITRO has a point. maybe if \
ROLLED the pup
now STOP maybe all that stuff WON’T tent instead of
laughing and fit in your SADDLEBAGS. FOLDING it...
tell me how
many times \
RETCH before
\ get it out of
my system.

Knights of the Dinner Table® #245 63

this CHART illustrates exactly

By Jolly R. Blackburn
HOW and WHERE \ will take
out my REVENGE upon you..

also where \ plan to

scatter your BODY PARTS.

seems a little
never CROSS
can’t you just HEAD
SHOOT me so \ can
\ think that’s
get on with ROLLING
up a NEW character...?

64 Knights of the Dinner Table® #245