Visit Uncharted Isles!

Talk Like a Pirate Day is upon us again! If you need some backdrop for adventures asea, pick up a free copy of Uncharted Isles, a short product of island descriptions from Tabletop Adventures. It’s currently available free from RPGNow and



If you need even more pirate-y goodness, check out Pirate Places, the results of Warlock’s Journal Contest #12. It is full of descriptions of the best place for a pirate, and may have just the place you need for a swashbuckling adventure!

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One more adversary…

After we posted 13 Adversaries for Against the Darkness a few days ago, one minion noticed that the banshee, which had snuck onto the list  in company with some evil ‘leprechauns,’ was actually straight from the Against the Darkness book and not a new adversary at all. To correct this oversight, the powers that be have decreed the addition of one more creature to the list; that way, there will indeed be 13 new adversaries. And the banshee, for the audacity of sneaking onto the list in the first place – gets to stay. The Overlord appreciates a little audacity now and then.

The link in the original post now goes to the updated version, but just for reassurance, you can download the latest version of this list of 13 here: 13 Adversaries for Against the Darkness.

One final note, in case anyone is counting: We did not succeed in posting 13 lists of 13 things during our Anniversary the 13th event, because our Grand Finale was squashed by an upload issue. No one has died because of this yet, but the sale manager is feeling a little nervous around the neck. We currently have our top minions working on the issue, and hope to be able to complete the full group soon.

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13 Adversaries for “Against the Darkness”

Observing Anniversary the 13th has pressed us into producing yet another list – this time of adversaries (that is, monsters) for Against the Darkness. Our modern Vatican horror roleplaying game has never had a lot of published monsters, so here are another 13 to add to the darkness! Some are based in legend, while others come straight from the slightly twisted minds of our own gamemasters. These were developed by Tabletop Adventures staff for use in games we have run at conventions in our area. They aren’t necessarily highly polished; they don’t even all have the same format. They do have one thing in common, though – they can inspire the imagination, which then leads to having fun.

You can download the 13 Adversaries only from the Tabletop Adventures website, so click here: 13 Adversaries for Against the Darkness

Remember you only have a few hours left to pick up Tabletop Adventures products for 25% off, during our Anniversary the 13th sale. Although our Anniversary observance ends at midnight, the sale will go on until about 8 AM Central Time at RPGNow and Tabletop Library. Augment your imagination, with products from Tabletop Adventures!

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13 Science Fiction Names – A Quartet

In this entry for Anniversary the 13th, we talk about names! Names in science fiction settings vary a great deal. Some are very down-to-earth, such as Jim Kirk or Leonard McCoy. In certain settings, a few people may have common names (such as Luke), while other names are much more exotic, such as Qui-Gon Jinn, or Mon Mothma. It is possible to use the Deck O’ Names random name generators from Tabletop Adventures to provide reasonable names for many science fiction RPGs.

The original Deck O’ Names uses syllables of real male or female names to recombine into sensible, pronounceable, but unusual, names. These can be good for either fantasy or some sci-fi settings. On the other hand, the Deck O’ Names Modern uses modern American names to combine random given names and surnames. Of course, modern America has a wide variety of ethnic roots and an attempt has been made to represent this with the names used in this Deck.

Although both Deck O’ Names sets are available as print-and-cut cards, in this instance the software Generators will be used. The physical cards do have the advantage that the decks based on male and female names can easily be mixed. The Generator software (which runs in most browser windows) is currently configured in such a way that it draws from the list of male names, or female names, but cannot combine them. The user does not necessarily have to be limited by the program’s capabilities, though.

Beginning with the Deck O’ Names Modern, names related to real Earth names and cultures can be generated. For example:

This random list means that a starship’s officers (the player characters) can easily travel to a new planet with a security team of Belinda Vargas, Jamil Ng, Wayne Saavedra, and Lanikai Ramos. Good thing it didn’t take too long to generate those names, because the guards may not live long enough for anyone to learn them!

In the ‘space opera’ genre, names tend to be more unique. In this case, the original Deck O’ Names can be used to put together ideas.


It would be easy to pull several good character names just from this group. A GM might introduce Rebanna of Staith, representative to the Galactic Senate; or Thadson Doan, freighter pilot. Jostian of Bysell (which could be a town, planet, or system) dispenses justice with his laser sword, and he travels with his trainee, Melda Ruvan.

With the above as samples, here are 13 science fiction names based on modern first names and surnames, in both male and female versions. One of these names could be given to a ship’s officer or passenger, a bureaucrat, a popular news reporter from a human-based world, a social contact, a shady businessperson, or anything else needed during a game.

Female-based names

  1. Cyrene Arbo
  2. Diane Hutto
  3. Esmeralda Tesla
  4. Hattie Bryant
  5. Joan Chen
  6. Juanita Montgomery
  7. Ladawn Elaraby
  8. Maria Al-Alfi
  9. Nashota Washington
  10. Reyna TallBear
  11. Skye Griffin
  12. Trudy Nelson
  13. Vineeta Colston
Male-based names

  1. Ahmed Hjelmfelt
  2. Albert Stelzer
  3. Alonzo Culpepper
  4. Angus Upchurch
  5. Blaze Zottola
  6. Danny Slocum
  7. Elisha Kamel
  8. Julio Ossinski
  9. Nash Kurlander
  10. Randy Hall
  11. Rhett Pinard
  12. Stanley Chapman
  13. Stuart Kavanagh

Next, here are 13 space opera or science fantasy names, again in both male and female versions. The given names here are distinguished between male and female; the surnames may be mixed. A random name could be provided for a diplomat, a fighter pilot, a suave businessman with a cape, an elderly tavern-keeper with wisdom to share, the keeper of an archive of knowledge, a fellow student, or almost any of the myriad of NPCs the player characters might encounter in a game.

Female-based names

  1. Abianie Bycas
  2. Anatie Savith
  3. Cassah Feney
  4. Gidie Gunjah
  5. Holeen Sarva Michby
  6. Isaena Ronnard
  7. Jansta Maldy
  8. Jenela Soleen
  9. Jilrena Darnler
  10. Katya Rayder
  11. Lartie Baraine
  12. Samicia Regmer
  13. Wenanda Getus
Male-based names

  1. Alcan Gabetus
  2. Byry Wentathan
  3. Clayper Penedie
  4. Elmin Matolf
  5. Ezego Tyrolf
  6. Gelivan Meloah
  7. Hariel Sarmine
  8. Jaran Roberly
  9. Madeus Romeron
  10. Rusary Dodra
  11. Stesan Malkiel
  12. Syler Denlin
  13. Zater Brogo

Remember that this is the final day for Anniversary the 13th! All our Deck O’ Names products (along with all our other products) are on sale at 25% off through tonight. Do yourself a favor and pick up some today at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, or any of our other fine sales sites.


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13 Difficulties in Deep Space

In yet another acknowledgement of Anniversary the 13th, the minions present 13 Difficulties in Deep Space. This collection of damage to encounter on a spaceship is system neutral and can be used with almost any roleplaying game that employs spaceships. You can download a copy of the three-page PDF here: 13 Difficulties in Deep Space

Some of these descriptions are taken from Into the Future: Derelict Starships and others are modified from Destinations: Repair Station 7-Osiris. Both of these are still on sale as part of our Anniversary the 13th Sale, but just for another day or so – it continues only through July 31.

Check out our science fiction (“Future”) products – and all electronic products by Tabletop Adventures – at 25% off at and RPGNow. Celebrate our anniversary by buying yourself a present!


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13 Descriptions of Modern Horror

Today, for Anniversary the 13th, we present 13 Descriptions of Modern Horror, a small collection (13, in fact) of descriptions in a modern setting. You can download this short PDF here: 13 Descriptions of Modern Horror

Some of these descriptions are taken from Halls of Horror, which covers the classic ‘spooky house’ and other modern locations of the generally urban variety. If you like modern horror, also check out Against the Darkness, our Vatican horror roleplaying game.

Both of these are on sale now (along with all our other products), for Anniversary the 13th! You can get a 25% discount on all digital products through July 31st at on-line stores like Tabletop Library, the Open Gaming Store, and RPGNow.

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13 Inspirational Websites for Roleplaying Gamers

Son Doong Cave; photo by Doug Knuth, CC BY-SA 2.0

Welcome back to another edition of Anniversary the 13th! So often as the minions cruise the internet, they come across websites that really fire the imagination. They give great ideas for locations or events for roleplaying games, or point out things from real history that could be events for player characters or background activity in a campaign.

Today the minions have selected a variegated baker’s dozen from their long list of bookmarks. Most of the following site would be inspirational for fantasy games. Some are more useful in modern situations, or near-future, and although none are specifically science fiction, many could be worked into a sci-fi game with a little creativity.

None of these sites are ad-free; a few have enough to be annoying. However, the minions have never experienced anything more negative than annoyance from any of these sites. Also, please do not take any link to be a recommendation of a site as a whole; in most cases the linked article is the only one from the site that the minions have perused. A notable exception would be Atlas Obscura, which is a deep, deep rabbit hole of amazing stuff that will only be even better when we can figure out how to work it all into a roleplaying game! Without further ado, then, please enjoy:

13 Inspirational Websites for Roleplaying Gamers

  1. 10 Ancient Incan Ruins –
  1. 16 Surreal Landscapes –
  1. 23 Creepy Unsolved Crimes –
  1. 28 Stunning Photos of World’s Largest Cave –
  1. Abandoned Places –
  1. Ancient Temple Carved out of a Mountain –
  1. The Deepest Place on Earth –
  1. Formerly Flooded Village in Argentina –
  1. Labyrinths of India –
  1. Lessons from Real-Life Revolutions –
  1. Shipwreck Found in Namibian Desert –
  1. Skeleton Found in the Roots of a Tree –
  1. Spy Network of Queen Elizabeth I –

Don’t forget that our Anniversary the 13th sale continues through July 31! You can purchase Tabletop Adventures’ excellent products at these fine digital sales sites:

Warehouse 23

Tabletop Library



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It’s like Christmas AND our Birthday!

Not only is Tabletop Adventures continuing our Anniversary the 13th Sale, but we are also participating in the Christmas in July sale on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. Whatever you want to celebrate, pick up a present for yourself right now!

You could get some Help for the Harried Gamemaster with terrain descriptions. These include the Bits of Darkness and Bits of the Wilderness series as well as Bits of the Boulevard, the modern Halls of Horror, and the sci-fi Into the Future: Derelict Starships.

You might pick up one of our fun random name generators; we have four to choose from. (See the blog post “13 Japanese Place Names” to see one of them in action!)Maybe take a look at Against the Darkness, our modern-day Vatican horror roleplaying game, or pick up some system-free Destinations spaceports.

Whatever you choose, all our products are 25% off at both RPGNow and DriveThruRPG (as well as our other fine sales sites) through July 31st.

Tabletop Adventures – whatever you play, we’ve got your back.

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13 Space Station Descriptions

In further observance of Anniversary the 13th, the minions present 13 Space Station Descriptions. This station can be a location for repair or resupply, a place to meet someone in deep space (to buy or sell, or just make a contact), or just a place to get off a ship for a bit and take a look around. While this describes a single station, it is system-neutral and everything about it would be easy to drop into most sci-fi systems.

You can download a copy of this three-page PDF here: 13 Space Station Descriptions

Keep in mind that our Anniversary the 13th Sale is still going on! You can find everything including our “Future” (sci-fi) products at 25% off at and RPGNow. Celebrate our anniversary by buying yourself a present!


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Thrice 13 Splinters of the Senses

This entry for Anniversary the 13th is selected from Splinters of the Senses, written by Martin Ralya and published as part of Bits of Darkness: Dungeons II. Martin took the concept of Bits (short descriptions a GM can drop in anywhere) one step even further: these splinters of description are meant to be added to preprinted descriptions in purchased adventures, should those prove to be lacking. For example, say an adventure describes a room this way:

You enter a twenty by twenty room with a door on the far side. The walls are bare.

A quick random selection from Splinters of the Senses can liven up this bland space:

You enter a twenty by twenty room with a door on one side. The walls are bare. The words ‘Turn back’ are painted in Common on the floor in what looks like blood.

For more information, see the explanation of Bits of Darkness: Dungeons II on our website. Right now you can purchase it at a 25% discount on all our digital sales sites, such as Warehouse 23 (at Steve Jackson Games) or DriveThruRPG.

Here are 13 Splinters from each of three different senses: sight, sounds, and smells.



1: The flickering torchlight makes long shadows dance across the walls.
2: The floor here is covered in a web of long, thin cracks that run in every direction.
3: Dozens of tiny spiders scatter before you, fleeing into the corners of the room.
4: A rusty shortsword sticks out of one wall, its leather-wrapped hilt covered in mildew.
5: You see a coil of rope by the wall, along with the rusted remains of a grappling hook.
6: A crudely painted red skull backed with crossed swords decorates one wall of this room.
7: A puddle of stagnant water fills one corner, with several large dead beetles floating in it.
8: Dozens of rusty, flattened caltrops are spread out across the floor in this room.
9: On the floor is a circle of candle stubs, each surrounded by a puddle of melted wax.
10: A ruined human-sized statue stands in the corner, cracked and eroded beyond recognition.
11: The floor is covered in shattered potion vials, their contents long since dried up.
12: A dented cauldron full of stagnant water sits by one wall, with two dead rats floating in it.
13: About three feet up the wall, someone has made four bright blue chalk marks, all fresh.


1: From a little ways behind you, you hear the soft skittering of tiny claws against the stone.
2: Several flies buzz around you briefly before disappearing deeper into the dungeon.
3: You hear the crunch of tiny bones underfoot as you walk, probably from rats or bats.
4: You hear a low, ominous rumble, as if from an earthquake somewhere in the distance.
5: Abruptly, a pile of dusty bones in one corner settles, sending bones clattering to the floor.
6: A high-pitched animal shriek echoes through the dungeon, and then is cut off abruptly.
7: The ground here is gritty with sand and chips of stone, and crunches underfoot.
8: The flame of your torch gutters and pops, sending out a shower of sparks.
9: A rivulet of water streams down one wall, splashing softly as it hits the floor.
10: A clicking sound – metallic, or perhaps insectile – echoes down the nearest corridor.
11: From elsewhere in the dungeon, you hear the high-pitched, echoing cries of bats.
12: The floor here is slick with mildew, and every footstep makes a soft squelching sound.
13: This area is eerily quiet, and every noise you make seems louder than normal.


1: You catch a faint whiff of brimstone, acrid and sulphurous.
2: This chamber smells damp, and the air is slightly humid.
3: The air in this area smells slightly sooty, as if there had been a fire here not long ago.
4: A putrid stench wafts up from the floor of this room, a mix of vinegar and decay.
5: This part of the dungeon smells of dried animal dung, dusty and unpleasant.
6: Tiny, dried-up roots stick out of the ceiling, giving this area an earthy smell.
7: This area smells of scorched fur, and you see a pile of burned-up rats in one corner.
8: An empty, lidless stone coffin sits in this room, and a sepulchral stink emanates from it.
9: There are two broken beer barrels here, empty but still smelling faintly of cheap ale.
10: Large patches of fungus send out a rich, loamy smell underlaid with a tinge of decay.
11: The acrid tang of alchemist’s fire hangs in the air in this room.
12: A heavy, cloying scent hangs in the air – the smell of something decaying, sickly-sweet.
13: One of your torches sputters for a moment, filling the air with a cloud of acrid smoke.

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