Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.
50 Origins For a Sorcerer's Bloodline
Sorcerers are those who have the raw power of magic flowing through their blood. They don't read arcane tomes or study ancient scrolls; the power comes to them through sheer force of will. Magic is, in many cases, their birthright.
I'm Not Judging You (I Just Want To RP)
I've been playing RPGs for a pretty long time, now, and I like to think I've gotten pretty good at them. Whether it's gathered round a table with dice, or dressed up in costume and staying in-character for a LARP, I've played all kinds of systems and genres, styles and kinds. One thing every game has had in common, though, is that there's never enough time at the table or venue to really fit all the story in. As such, I like to reach out to my fellow players to put together downtime scenes where we can have conversations, work out plots, and grow the story beyond what a single session a week would allow.
The Ascetic Wizard
The man was not what any of them had expected. He sat atop a stone plinth, his legs folded beneath him, his eyes closed. The breeze tugged his long hair and beard, and his skin was tanned dark by his time in the sun. He wore simple garments that were beginning to fray around the edges, and a necklace of large, carved beads.
5 Tips For Playing a Better Magus
Spellswords. Eldritch warriors. Battle wizards. Combining arcane might with martial prowess is not an easy road to travel, but it is the path walked by the magus. With their flashing blades and devastating spells, these unique individuals are usually far more than the sum of their parts.
50 Two-Sentence Horror Stories, Warhammer 40K Edition
The galaxy is in turmoil. There is no light among the millions of inhabited worlds other than the gleam of fanaticism, and the pyres where heretics are burned. The promises of progress and plenty have been lost, buried beneath battlefields that stretch to the horizon. The stars echo with the laughter of thirsting gods, and the only surety is that worse things lurk in the darkness than a quick, clean death.
The Adopted Adventurer
"That does sound like quite a dangerous endeavor," Maxine Hillcrest said, sipping at her cup of tea. The short, plump halfling woman looked up at the three humans who had stopped near her home, weighing them with her gaze. "Now Hildebrant, can you promise me you'll keep a close eye on my boy if I let him go with you?"
Who Does Your RPG Character Care About?
Garran sat by the fire, reading over a letter. A long, thin man with dueling scars on his cheeks, and hands that always seemed to twitch toward the daggers on his waist, his face was usually set in a hard mask. He was smiling now, though, and his eyes were warm. A far cry from the man most saw when they were on a job together.
The One Time A Storyteller Played Chicken With The Venue
When you show up to a game, you expect the person running it to have a story ready for you. Or, failing that, to at least be willing to follow the players if they take initiative to try to accomplish goals and tie-off existing plots. What you don't expect to happen is for your storyteller to put down roadblocks, warnings, and to get involved in a game of chicken with you when you try to play the game.
The Death Wish
They rode quietly through the mountain passes, their weapons and tack muffled by cloths to prevent any sounds that might travel to unwanted ears. Garrus kept one hand on his saddle horn, and one hand on his wand, but the young wizard couldn't help but notice Valgard's face. They'd ridden together for months now, and in all that time the big man had worn an expression like a thunderhead, barely speaking more than a handful of words. But now it was like the sun had broken through. His sullen eyes were bright, and his dour countenance uplifted. There was an eagerness about him that made him seem lighter. It was difficult to tell through his beard, but he appeared to be smiling.
5 Films You Should Watch To Really "Get" Changeling: The Lost
The World of Darkness, as a setting, speaks to some of the darker parts of our mythological monsters. Not only that, but it finds a way to show the human aspects of the inhuman. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons and more become people we can understand, and even identify with even as they step further and further away from humanity. However, of all the lore that has been added to this modern fantasy mythos, none is as confusing to some folks as that found in Changeling: The Lost. The tagline A Game of Beautiful Madness is well-earned, and it can be intimidating for players who aren't used to a setting that's quite as fluid, or where the darkness hides behind whimsy and wonder.
Silver Raven Chronicles Part Four: Circles in Salt
The Humbert House was a wreck that had only been made worse by the passage of time, and the company that had come through its doors. Tables and desks were splintered to kindling, stacked in piles that had begun to rot over the years. Mildew climbed the walls, and somewhere water dripped from one of the holes in the roof. The floor seemed sturdy enough, but there were places where it buckled if you put a foot wrong. Names had been scratched into the walls, and a dozen different gangs had tagged the place at one time or another, each crossing out the other’s street heraldry before making their own marks bigger and louder to declare the place theirs. Gnawed bones were scattered in heaps, and someone (or something) had been using one of the back rooms to do their business instead of going out to the jakes.