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The Capharnaüm RPG Kickstarter December 2, 2017

Posted by jkahane in capharnaum rpg, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut.
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I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to do it, but then it came along… For those who are roleplaying gamers and interested in such things, there’s a new fantasy roleplaying game on the horizon that’s currently being Kickstarted. At least new to the English speaking market.

Capharnaüm is a French roleplaying game that’s been out for over 10 years now. More properly called Capharnaüm: The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game of Arabian Nights adventure that is being published in English by Mindjammer Press and will be distributed by the folks at Modiphius Entertainment. The game rules look really simple, the artwork is lavish and fantastic and has that Arabian Nights feel to it, and the game has some rather neat conceits and conceptions. Here’s the link to the Kickstarter itself:

Capharnaüm: The Tales of the Dragon-Marked Kickstarter Page

Capharnaüm – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game set in an imaginary Arabia-like world. It borrows from the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights, as well as semitic legends and the ancient and mediaeval epics. Capharnaüm doesn’t aim to be a historical game, but a heroic one, a flamboyant refraction of historical, cultural, and mythical themes, filled with light and thrilling adventure!

In Capharna¨m, you play the Dragon-Marked, heroic individuals with a special destiny, born with a birthmark on their backs in the shape of a dragon’s claw. The Dragon-Mark announces to the world that you are capable of astonishing feats, for good or evil. Chosen by mystical dragons in accordance with an unknown divine will, you are offered a place in the great game of the gods. You’ll be cast into colourful adventures, political, military, and magical intrigues, and much more.

Capharnaüm is a simple yet profound game. We all know the tales of Sinbad, of Ali Baba, of Aladdin and Scheherezade – we grew up with them, they form part of our personal culture. The world of Capharnaüm is familiar, easy to pick up and play. And yet – scratch the surface, and a whole world opens up. Meticulously researched, the game aims to provide fantastic takes on real-world Mediterranean cultures, from ancient Greece and Rome, Egypt and Sumeria, right through to the crusader kingdoms, dark age and mediaeval Europe, the kingdoms of Africa, India, and the distant East. Uniquely, Capharna¨m is centred upon a fantastic version of the Middle-East, where all these cultures meet, clash, come into conflict with the profound cultures of the peninsula of Jazirat, and where something new is being born.

As the Dragon-Marked, you transcend cultural differences. You’re united by an unknown, mystical, yet common destiny. Side-by-side with people who would otherwise be your foes, you adventure in this vibrant, chaotic land, where the fate of the future is at play, and where you are destined to change the world…

For some interesting aspects of the game, I recommend the following link:

Dan Davenport’s Q&A with Sarah Newton

There are several other places that you can learn more information about the game, but there are only 14 days (as of this writing) left for the Kickstarter, so if you’re interested in supporting the game, pledge around the Kickstarter and help out with getting this roleplaying game produced.

Overall, Capharnaüm looks to be a really neat, fascinating fantasy roleplaying game, and I finally caved in and pledged around it today. Part of that was due to the fact that I’m a sucker for Arabian Nights games, but also the fact that it’s being done by Sarah Newton and the folks at Mindjammer Press. I hope this post gives you some interest in the game, and perhaps motivates you to take a peek at the Kickstarter, and perhaps pledge around the game.


Friday Testing of Torg Eternity Scenario Material July 29, 2017

Posted by jkahane in coriolis rpg, personal, playtest, roleplaying games, rpg hut, scenario, torg eternity rpg.
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I spent last night having a really good evening with the Friday night gaming group.

I wasn’t sure whether we’d be playing a board game or a roleplaying game last night, to be honest. When the Friday night players arrived at around 7:00 pm, we chatted a bit for around 10 minutes and caught up on life and the world at large, and then got down to business. The players told me that they had decided they wanted to play some Torg Eternity, and we talked about various options. They said they wanted to playtest the scenario that I was writing that I’d mentioned in my blog last week, and so that’s what we did.


The players took about half an hour to create some player characters for the evening (yes, the character generation system is really that simple!, other than making some choices in terms of Skills and Perks), and once they’d finished that, we got down to it. The player characters were:

Dr. Andrea Jones (KathyB) – An ER Doctor
Helena Cross (Angela) – Roller Derby Girl
Maggie Armstrong (Ellie) – Runaway
Sgt. Jonathan Harper (DavidM) – NYPD Cop
Alexander Copeland (Mark) – Artist

As mentioned in the previous post about this, adventures for the Torg Eternity RPG are divided down into Acts and then Scenes. The adventure is one that I’m working on, with the tentative title “A Day at the Zoo” and is set on Day 1 of the invasion in New York City.

Suffice it to say that the players had a terrific time, though we were missing the Drama Deck, Destiny Deck, and Cosm Deck, but I compromised for that element in certain ways, giving out extra Possibilities and at times giving the players the equivalent of the cards. DavidM (unsurprisingly with the cop) and Angela (surprisingly with tools that she snatched up) were the combat saviours for the group, while Mark’s artist surprised the others with his martial arts flair. I thought that Ellie might be at a bit of a disadvantage with her runaway, but she proved to be the most adept in the final Act bits, and the characters were really quite solid in how they got together at the zoo and worked well when they had to.

The way things stand right now, the Act One material needs a bit of additional text here and there, and I may have to weaken the opposition a bit, but overall is pretty solid. The Act Two material is still much rougher, and needs to be tidied up, have a couple of scenes re-written, and the final two scenes tidied up with some game mechanics added and specified.

The players were pretty happy with the way the playtest of the scenario for Torg Eternity went, and so was I. DavidM and Mark, who have never played Torg in any incarnation, were really thrilled with the game, and loved the simpleness of the game mechanics, though it did take them a bit of time to adjust to the idea of consulting the Bonus Table after rolling the d20.

I’m looking forward to running Torg Eternity when the game comes out, but have to say that I’m looking forward to next week. The players suggested we get back to the Coriolis – The Third Horizon scenario! 🙂

Winter of the World RPG Book Has Finally Arrived! July 24, 2017

Posted by jkahane in personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, winter of the world rpg.
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Morvan Morlanhal! (Morvan shall rise!)

Hail, hail, my copy of Michael Scott Rohan’s The Winter of the World RPG book has finally arrived! 🙂

This ice age fantasy RPG based on author Michael Scott Rohan‘s six book series (starting with The Anvil of Ice) is a roleplaying game I’ve been waiting forever for, and the good folks at Cakebread & Walton (sold through DriveThruRPG in PoD format) have finally delivered on the game.

I placed my order with DriveThru a while back, and was actually wondering if I was going to have to find a copy of the game at this year’s GenCon 50, but the copy of the book is here in my hot hands at last!! Hooray!!

The one regret that I have with the game is that the game stats use the One Dice system developed by C&W, but is also dual-statted for D&D v5 (boo! hiss!) Waste of paper space, if you ask me.

Sunday Testing of Torg Eternity Scenario Material July 24, 2017

Posted by jkahane in personal, playtest, rpg hut, scenario, torg eternity rpg.
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Spent a relatively good afternoon doing some gaming in relation to the Torg Eternity RPG (yes, there’s no colon between the two words as I’ve been typing it all this time).

SteveR told me that he would come over on Sunday to just “do stuff” (and likely get away from his folks and all), but I didn’t really have a plan about what I wanted to do for the afternoon. He arrived at my place, and talked about seeing a movie, but I compromised and said that I’d like to do a quick playtest of a basic scenario idea I’ve got for an adventure for the Torg Eternity game. He was agreeable to that, so that’s what we did.


Adventures for the Torg Eternity game (and the previous TORG: The Possibility Wars) are divided down into Acts, and then Scenes (but scenes can have other stuff contained within them, and no, I’m not going into this subject here; maybe another blog entry some time). The adventure in question is on Day 1 of the invasion by the various High Lords, and is set at…a zoo. 🙂 I’ve got the basic Act structure and the Scene breakdown for the scenario, but needed to fine tune things a bit.

Anyway, SteveR played one of the characters he’d created with me the week before, and I took the adventure through its paces, making notes here and there about changes that need to be made. Suffice it to say that SteveR had a lot of fun with it, but the Act Two material will need to be somewhat altered from what I’ve got, and there are some minor changes that need to be incorporated into several of the Scenes. The one element that I couldn’t really take into account for the scenario were the Drama, Destiny, and Cosm cards, since I don’t have the Decks as of yet. (I do have the cards in PDF, so have some familiarity with them, and was able to make some notes about using several of the cards in different circumstances and the impact the cards may have on some of the Scenes.)

Overall, it was a really good afternoon of working on some of the kinks in the Torg Eternity scenario that I’m working on. I need to do some re-writing and restructuring of the Act One material first, and then see how the Act Two material shakes out. SteveR seemed to enjoy himself, and I really am finding that I’ve missed running the Torg system in any shape or form. Can’t wait for the new version of the game to come out!

Afternoon of Torg: Eternity Stuff July 19, 2017

Posted by jkahane in character creation, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg, writing & editing.
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Spent a relatively quiet day yesterday (Tuesday), just trying to stay out of the heat and not stressing out my body and all.

The afternoon was pretty quiet, for the most part.


I did a little bit of work on an idea I have for an adventure for the Torg: Eternity RPG, as it’s something that came to me over the last few days and all. Just the basics are written down for now, and I’ll let the adventure idea percolate a little, and see what comes of it. Definitely going to take place in the Living Land, and possibly one other Realm on Earth as well.

After a couple of hours work on the adventure idea, I decided that I wanted to test run the creation system for another couple of Storm Knights, and did some more of that. By the time I was finished, I had the following Storm Knight characters done up.

Noble Barbarian (Aysle)
Crusading Preacher (Orrorsh)
Victorian Sniper (Orrorsh)
Edeinos Healer (Living Land)

I had a lot of fun creating these, and to be honest, surprised myself with how quickly I was able to create the Storm Knight characters and see what the system offers. I’m really looking forward to running Torg: Eternity, and hope I get a chance to play the game as well.

Sample Character Creation for Torg: Eternity July 17, 2017

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Spent an interesting afternoon yesterday (Sunday) doing a bit of testing of the character creation system for the new Torg: Eternity RPG.


SteveR dropped in at my place around 1:00 pm yesterday, and we sat down and created some sample, test characters for the Torg: Eternity RPG (that will hopefully be out in October of this year). The process was a bit more involved, since the game is only out in the (Beta) PDF version that is available to backers of the Kickstarter, so we were working off the computer, rather than a physical copy of the game book (as I wasn’t about to have the book printed out for this purpose).

The rules for character creation in the Torg: Eternity RPG are relatively simple, but some of the decisions and choices that need to be made are not, thus taking a bit of time. Once a Race and Cosm are chosen, the player has a number of points to assign to Attributes and Skills, and then take a couple of Perks for the character before rounding things out with some equipment and gear. Given that SteveR and I were working off the PDF on my laptop computer, things took a bit of time to get done. The first characters were done in just over 1-1/2 hours, but once one has a grasp of the basics of the process, the second characters were created in just over 1/2 an hour. (And that’s without just being able to flip through a physical rulebook.)

Anyway, SteveR and I created two player characters (called Storm Knights) each, though we didn’t get into the details of personality and background for the Storm Knights. SteveR’s two characters were:

Actuary from Cleveland (Core Earth)
Wood Elf from Archer (Aysle)

I, in turn, created two characters as well.

Archaeologist from New York (Core Earth)
Missionary from New France (Cyberpapacy)

The four Storm Knights came out quite nicely, I thought, and I did add a bit of detail for the background and character of both Storm Knights. Since there will likely be some changes to character creation before the final version of the book comes out, I’m not putting any game stats up here for folks to look at. I will say that I really like the simplicity of the game mechanics for Torg: Eternity, and rather like some of the new additions and revisions made in this version of the game.

The Storm may have a Name, but it now has Storm Knight defenders as well! 🙂

Friday Night Session of Ambrosia July 8, 2017

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Had a good gaming session last night.

The Friday night gaming group decided that they wanted to try out the new, forthcoming (in English) Ambrosia fantasy RPG. Since I have the Quickstarter document for the game, the players agreed to play in the scenario included with it.

You can read my original thoughts on the Ambrosia Quickstart product by following the link to my previous post on the subject.


The players arrived around 7:00 pm last night, but I was surprised when Kathy arrived and told me that Ellie had begged off roleplaying for the night, since she wanted to spend some time with friends. I was a bit sad (she’s obviously growing up a bit, and may not want to roleplay much longer), but was somewhat content. After chatting for a few minutes, we got down to the nuts and bolts of the Ambrosia RPG. I went over the basics of the game world of Ambrosia that we know through the Quickstart book, and the players were quite intrigued by the world. Kathy commented that it seemed rather different than the “standard” fantasy rpgs, but that’s another matter. I then went over the basic mechanics of the Ambrosia RPG, and the players struggled a bit with these, because of some of the simplicity of the game mechanics of RPGs that I’ve been running of late. The players got the gist of the rules, but felt they’d be better off seeing them in action (as in, play). The four players then chose their characters from the mix provided (details of which I’m not going to go into here).

I’m not going to go into details about the scenario or the game play last night. “A Gathering of Souls” is one of the most challenging introductory scenarios for an rpg that I’ve encountered in a long time. What starts off as a group of characters sitting around a campfire in a forest during a bad storm turns into something completely different that will raise moral, cultural, and ethical concerns that will change the player characters’ lives forever. Suffice to say, the players *loved* the scenario, and were somewhat shaken by the end of the scenario and the choices they had to make. Where they struggled somewhat was with the combat system, specifically how combat functioned (at least at first) and how damage was taken. These eventually were worked out in their heads, as practice made more perfect, but the characters discovered the hard way that combat can be lethal in Ambrosia. It’s a truly mediaeval society, and combat hurts and can kill easily. It’s to be avoided if possible, but the players learned the hard way (not by dying but being seriously wounded – one of the player characters lost their right arm!).

Overall, I had a good time running the Quickstart scenario for the Ambrosia RPG, and the players are definitely intrigued by this game and have told me that when the game rulebook comes out, they’ll want to play the game.

Anyway, looking forward to more Ambrosia RPG stuff in the future! 🙂

Sunday Afternoon Session of Torg: Eternity June 27, 2017

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Had a very enjoyable game session on Sunday afternoon (the 25th) with the normal Sunday gamers.

Once the players reached my place, the three of us talked about the possible games for the afternoon, and SteveR was able to convince Tammy to play a game session of the new Torg: Eternity RPG, even though we’re still using the Free RPG Day booklet, no cards of any kind, and so forth.
So with no further ado, we got into the Torg: Eternity game…


I started off chatting with the players (both of whom have fond memories of the original TORG: The Possibility Wars) a little about the game, explaining about the game universe (Cosms, Realms, The High Lords, how Reality works in the game and the Axioms, the Torg, and Storm Knights) and then a quick overview of the basic rules. They chose their characters, and then got on with it.


Bill Henderson (SteveR) – The Wannabe Athlete
Jade “The Blade” Anderson (Tammy) – Petty Crook

The player characters (called Storm Knights in the game) started the adventure separate from each other [as is usually the case with these two player characters] in the Battery Park area. Jade Anderson’s more mercenary desires took a backseat when she helped a woman out of a car wreck that was being menaced by a tri-horned dinosaur, while Bill Henderson’s interest was peaked by some lizardmen (the edeinos) digging furrows in the ground. He discovered that the edeinos were putting dead humans into the ground, and…something was growing there in their place. Encountering an edeinos patrol, he was forced to run and managed to outsmart his pursuers and eventually met up with Jade.

The two of them helped rescue the woman’s son from an ancient looking apartment building, but in the process Bill got captured by the group of feral humans – and (in a change of pace) discovered they were working with a group of edeinos, including a Stormer! The two Storm Knights were able to save the son of the woman, who turned out to be a Realm Runner (and her son a potential one with a great deal of power). She sacrificed herself fighting the edeinos shaman Stormer in reality combat, and in an act of foolish heroism, Bill tried to help her, dying in the reality storm as it tore him to pieces.

As Jade takes charge of the young man, in light of his mother’s death, she leads him off into the Living Land searching for a safe haven for the young man. Several of the feral humans follow them…

Sunday afternoon’s session of the Torg: Eternity RPG went really well, and I was quite pleased with how the game came out. The players had a good time of it, and really liked the game rules and mechanics, though it took Tammy a bit of time to get used to the Bonus Chart again. 🙂 Since I don’t have the three card Decks (Drama, Destiny or Cosm), or one of the original Drama Decks from 1st Edition, I was forced to be generous with the Possibilities, but that worked out well, as the players realised very quickly that it was a “use them or lose them” kind of approach that I took with them. SteveR played the Wannabe Athlete pretty well, and was much more active in the game than he’s been in a few years. Still, he played a follower to some extent, but not as much as Tammy and I had expected. Tammy played the Petty Crook pretty much as I expected her to, grabbing “free” stuff that she could, but her humane side came out early on, and she played her as being somewhat conflicted in that regard.

Overall, a good session of the Torg: Eternity RPG and one that I had a lot of fun with. Really had forgotten how much *fun* running Torg is, but also the fact that I *can* run an action/adventure (cinematic) rpg when it’s one like this. Looking forward to running the Torg: Eternity campaign(s) when the game comes out! 🙂

Friday Night Session of Torg: Eternity June 26, 2017

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Had a very enjoyable game session on Friday night (the 23rd) with the normal Friday night gamers.

It had been decided during the early part of the week that the Friday night group would play a session of the Torg: Eternity RPG, since they’d heard something about it through some of my blog entries and some searching on the internet. In particular, Kathy, who had played the original TORG: The Possibility Wars RPG, was quite eager to see what the new version of the game involved and how it had changed. Besides, she still wants to play her original character again on this different Earth. 🙂

When the players arrived at my place, we talked for about 10 minutes and caught up with each other about life during the past week. Then we sat down, and got down to the Torg: Eternity game.

I talked to the players a little about the game (since most of them had never heard of the game in either incarnation!), explaining about the game universe (Cosms, Realms, The High Lords, how Reality works in the game and the Axioms, the Torg, and Storm Knights) and then a quick overview of the basic rules. It was enough to intrigue them. They chose their characters, and then got on with it.


Helen Archer (Kathy) – The Wannabe Athlete
Dr. Sarah Rappaport (Angela) – The Egghead Professor
Halle Clarke (Ellie) – The Quasi Celebrity
Randall Crane (DavidM) – The Jaded Paramedic
Jimmy (“Gears”) Williams (Mark) – The Petty Crook

The Storm Knights all started the adventure in the Battery Park area, Helen Archer saving a couple of children from falling rubble and debris and befriended Randall Crane when he came over to check on the children. Jimmy was searching through the debris near Battery Park for stuff to steal, and this became a common theme throughout the evening’s game session. Helen, Randall, and Jimmy all joined forces to track a group of the lizard-like edeinos when they saw they had a young blond woman whom Helen recognised as quasi celebrity Halle Clarke. They were able to free Halle, and rather than thanking them she played the wounded actress, and the characters saw how vain she was.

Attracted by the sound of gunfire, they came upon Dr. Sarah Rappaport, who was watching a tri-horned dinosaur much on plants. It was Helen who realised the dinosaur had trapped a woman in a car, and after rescuing her, the characters all agreed to help her find her son. Meanwhile, Halle kept going on about her adoring fans, and where were they all? She soon got her answer, as in the rescue attempt on the son from the home inside the apartment building, the group had to fight some feral humans, and it was only through some luck, skill [and a few Possibilities] that they defeated the feral humans (Dr. Rappaport refusing to let them kill them).

The group continued on to the site where they had heard gunfire, and after taking up some weapons and armour (in the case of Helen), the group was attacked by some of the edeinos. The characters handled themselves well, suffering some injuries [and narrowly avoiding a Disconnection in one instance], but were able to defeat the edeinos and claim some of their weapons (the so-called Hrocht shoot spears) for themselves.

The Storm Knights then came upon some survivors of the initial attack, several of which didn’t seem quite “human” any longer, and agreed to escort them to a local hospital that was inside a somewhat “safe zone” (whatever that meant; the man who mentioned it died shortly thereafter of his wounds, no matter what Randall Crane attempted to do).

The player characters and the surviving humans made their way to the hospital, but had to fend off an attack by edeinos (led by a Stormer shaman), some natural dangers, and finally the attack by the transformed humans into ferals, but eventually reached the safety of the hospital, and the soldiers there.

Friday night’s session of the Torg: Eternity game using the Free RPG Day booklet scenario was a lot of fun. It had a bit of everything in it, and reminded me how much fun I used to have with the game system. While the card decks (Drama, Destiny, Cosm) weren’t available for this (and I don’t have an old Drama Deck from the 1st Edition), I managed to evoke the feeling the game had/has with the cards, and was generous with the Possibilities. The players did a good job with the characters and the limited backgrounds they had. Kathy played the Wannabe Athlete nicely, and used her baseball bat effectively. Angela played the professor nicely, rather more science/knowledge oriented than people oriented, and gave the other players some good laughs. The hit of the night was Ellie’s Quasi Celebrity, as she just annoyed the other characters no end with her vanity, but her Helper Perk was quite useful. DavidM played his Jaded Paramedic, Randall Crane, very well as the underpaid, overworked guy, who found himself in the middle of this mess with lots of injured people and not enough time or equipment to handle it all, but his medical training was useful. And finally Mark’s “Gears”, the Petty Crook, just insinuated himself among the others, and they took the help he offered, his sneaking abilities (not to mention pistol and switchblade) being quite useful in their own way.

Overall, it was a fun evening of roleplaying, and I had a good time running the Torg: Eternity Free RPG Day scenario, and adding a bit more to it. The players absolutely *loved* the game, especially DavidM, who hadn’t experienced a game quite like this. I just know I’m looking forward to the full game and running it! 🙂

7 or 6 Days to Go on Torg: Eternity Kickstarter June 23, 2017

Posted by jkahane in rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
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For those who are interested, the Torg: Eternity Kickstarter has only seven (7) or so days left before it ends, and we need *you* to join us as a Storm Knight and help take on the High Lords! Here’s the link to the KS page.

Torg: Eternity Kickstarter

There’s a lot of good pledge levels on the KS page, so hope you find something that intrigues you enough to back the game. 🙂

And to whet your appetite a bit more, the Q & A session with one of the designers, Darrell Hayhurst, on Dan Davenport’s The Hardboiled GMshoe’s Office website last night was quite long, and highly informative. Check it out at the link below…

[Q&A] Darrell Hayhurst (Torg: Eternity)

Perhaps that will inspire you or encourage you even more to back the game. 🙂