Empire of Imagination Review

It’s no secret that tabletop role-playing games are a niche hobby, but I for one can’t imagine the world in which I don’t play them. My involvement in the hobby started during the Spring of 2009, a little before the passing of Dave Arneson and a little after the death of Gary Gygax. Little did I know how profound of an effect on my life the duo would have posthumously.

Empire of Imagination, by Michael Witwer, is a biography of Gary Gygax and ultimately an account of the origins of Dungeons & Dragons. Witwer has written a compelling account of Gygax’s childhood, meteoric rise to an unexpectedly rock and roll lifestyle, and fall from grace through corporate politics at TSR. I received the book as a present sometime last winter but felt compelled to write this review this week as I went to Lake Geneva to see some small pieces of D&D history for myself. Continue reading “Empire of Imagination Review”

Those Who Would Follow – Primordial Cultists

Hello, everyone, today’s article is going to introduce a new NPC stat block for you to use – an easily modified Primordial Cultist who can serve as a severe danger to low-level adventurers and as more readily dispatched mooks to higher-level adventurers. Like other NPC stat blocks, you can easily customize the Primordial Cultist by applying racial traits to it.

Since the Primordials are so different from one another, Primordial Cultists may vary wildly in abilities depending on whom they worship. They share a certain number of spells which they can cast, but the Associated Spells may dramatically shift the cultists’ capabilities. Some, such as the followers of Idbris, the Mind Devourer, will more heavily rely upon laying spells such as Fog Cloud and allowing their enemies to fall into traps or other hazards. Others, such as the followers of Zyagi, the Armored Tyrant, will wade into battle armed with spells such as Magnetic Claws and Mage Armor.

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TBM Games Patreon

Hello, everyone! In addition to today’s regular article, I have an announcement – TBM Games is now on Patreon!

Patreon is an easy way for you to make contributions towards the articles I write each month. When you become a patron, you simply select an amount of money to pledge on a monthly basis, and at the beginning of each month, you’ll be billed that amount. In return for this pledge, you’ll get early access to articles, or even closed playtest versions of upcoming 5e content for yourself and your gaming group!

You may notice that these pledges are pretty small for the time being – That’s because I am only seeking to use them to cover the original content I produce on TBM Games. Any money you pledge will primarily go into maintaining the site – covering hosting costs, making the site ad-free, and commissioning art and visuals for articles. While I’d love to write TBM Games content full-time, I am not looking to cover my own living expenses presently. I will also only use funds from these pledges to purchase new books for reviews if there is excess funding – After all, I’d most likely use the review copies for my own entertainment anyway!

If you’ve liked what you’ve read on TBM Games, please head to https://www.patreon.com/tbmgames or click the button below and become a patron today!

Become a Patron!

Primordial Hunters -The Circle of the Heavens

Hello, everyone! Today’s article introduces a new Druid Circle, the Circle of the Heavens. Unlike other classes, for some reason, I don’t see as many Druids in the games I play and GM. If anything seems strange or plays unusually in your game while using this Druid Circle, please let me know in the comments! Playtesting is everything when developing games, and your feedback helps me to write better content in the future.

The Circle of the Heavens was a relatively unique addition to Primordial Power, as it reflects the Divine response to Primordials and incorporates an unusual blend of gods’ interests. Typically a Druid character will be one who uses violence and shows of force sparingly, or who lives the life of a hermit away from civilizations. However, the Circle of the Heavens introduces a more militant order of Druids. The “call to serve” that these Druids answer may well be one of patriotism for the wilderness. They don’t object to getting their hands dirty and may find themselves in welcome company with military-minded folks such as Fighters and Rangers, as well as the clergy of war gods.

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Tome of Beasts Review

Tome of Beasts, by Kobold Press, is a bestiary containing a wide array of monsters, from Cactids, Salt Golems, and Algoriths to clockwork monsters, dinosaurs, and, of course, plenty of new dragons. The book was produced through a Kickstarter in October of 2015 with contributions totaling to nearly ten times its funding goal. I received the PDF of the book in July of 2016, and the physical book in August, which, aside from an adventure written by Goodman Games, was the first of the third-party 5e books I’ve purchased or backed.

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