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Goatman's Goblet

A member registered Apr 29, 2017 · View creator page →

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Alas, I lost my core document for this after a Blue Screen of Death / Full Reset a few weeks ago; but I've fixed it and will post it as a PDF update (unfortunately, not OCR.)

My fool mistake for not uploading it to a cloud or external hard drive.

A delightful entry from Munkao of Centaur Games; a whimsical 'dungeon' that is part of a larger temple school complex. Complete with factions, loot, and a charming gimmick with automatons functioning by way of mantra command codes (with a helpful little side-bar on how to change/subvert those command codes.) The goal of recovering the meditating body of the school's founder (without waking him up!) is also a good hook and challenge to consider.

As is to be expected of a project by Munkao, the art is rich and everything you'd hope to see presented in the text is rendered for us. Humanizing touches such as etchings on the wall in the Chamber of Quiet Practise - capture the whimsical mundanity of a lived in place. 

Written with use for ItO/Cairn - and thus with an easily adapted lingua franca of probability spreads. Well worth the $6.00 asking price, and a ripe plunder at its initial sales price.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! This was my first real attempt at making a 'gimmick dungeon' and it is certainly rough (or at least not as intricate) as things I experiment with now. I should give it some polish down the line, or at least better put together a map for use at the table (as yes, those were meant to be cave squeezes, hard for the Wyrm to get through but fun to visualize in a very Dragonslayer kind of way!)

I honestly ought to give it that polish sooner rather than later, because working on this for Rakehell originally kind of got me on this whole other wavelength with regards to design thinking. Usually when I run sessions, my players don't enjoy dungeoneering. It is often too eclectic, with a lot of various rulings to adapt to (versus field rulings); so Maw of the Mountain as well as Bandit's Manse were me trying to put together one-shots that focused primarily on a single mechanism of play (loot tables, dungeon turns, etc.) It was a good place for my mind to be while designing it, tighter focus but things will get lost along the wayside. I'm more than happy that something from six or so years ago is a 7/10 and an enjoyable time which you'd use again.

All the best,

- Brian

Fishing poles function as a [d6 2h] improvised weapon which breaks on max damage; the d8 is meant to be when used as a single-shot hunting rifle - the d4 is the usage of it as a standard fishing pole for the purposes of angling. 

So the Gentleman's Rod would be as a weapon the following:

Gentleman's Rod d6 improvised (break on max damage) or d8 single shot (as Hunting rifle).
- d4 Angling.

I could've written it better; and certainly will figure out how to finagle it out should I expand upon it.

Thanks for asking! Hope that helps.

Hell yeah, I hope it goes well.

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Its a fun game, uses d6s; I've run a few small campaigns using it - but I primarily work in making toolbox setting books so there's broad applicability regardless if people enjoy that set of math. 

This all noted, there are official conversion notes in one of the BLB books; which I've included here:

Converting Advantages might be a bit harder, given the narrative nature of them in writing and the mechanical expression of them in BLB; but for ad hoc - the Candlemen are Elemental-type Ghouls, the Shaggyman is like a very fast Ogre-type thing, and Eradabbis would be some sort of tempter-type Devil. I'd say make his HD rather than "Grip" equal to the current day on the Island so as to make him an escalating power/challenge.

All the best, hope your conversion efforts go well and the game ends up fun for y'all.

- Brian

Hey! Yeah, this was written for Best Left Buried, a game I've written a few setting toolbox books for. 

Its a somewhat sad, albeit common problem; in that its mostly all done, it has all the art I ordered for it done (literally years ago at this point) - but it just needs that bit more extra polish and I'm no longer in a circumstance where I can actually and actively pour myself into it.

When I was really going whole hog on Issue 2 I was working a pretty terrible factory gig that paid well enough but was destroying my knees and my sanity; and then we got hit with the pandemic -- which in turn allowed me to have a safety net for a bit, as nobody needed quasi-legal waterbeds during said pandemic. Factory shuttered, PUA allowed me to finally get a computer that didn't murder itself when I was running photoshop -- and for a time, I was really banging on all cylinders with Rakehell 2.

But things changed, lost some roommates, still marooned in NYC despite the state of all things, ended up doing work for others/books for others which I enjoyed and stand by, but which were ultimately just there to pay the rent. Then I also turned 30, lost a good portion of my peer group overnight due to a good many of them leaning into some horrible things they decided to be okay with, and the existentialism hit me for a bit.

That was two years ago at this point, as I'm 32 now. Its rough goings, more often than not, but I've begun rebuilding, and I've begun focusing again on aspects of the craft that I personally love - and I do want to get Rakehell 2 out at some point -- I spent a lot of money on art, token pieces and a cover by some artists I've been friends with for almost over a decade each at this point.

But the rent still needs paying, and times are tough all over. Its on my list of things to do when I've got a moment to breathe, a moment to not be held in the cage of month to month anxieties of making said rent. Which is all more complicated now having gotten covid (literally back in March, never stopped masking, up to date on my shots, but it happened) and having been dealing with compounding fatigue issues ever since. 

I'd love to get back into it. It does bring me joy as a setting, to pour in all my woebegone eruditic malaise into some purple prose by way of a poisoned pen - but alas, its an issue of 'maybe someday' rather than anything I can give a proper time table to.

Glad you like it, and I appreciate the kind words. 
All the best, 

- Brian

Have some art, just to know that it still lives though it languishes on my hard drive. Some of the main NPC tokens, some player tokens, and the cover. Perhaps not the stylistic choice some would desire, but they're done by Peter Violini, my current roomie and a guy I made comics with for six years. Cover by Tish Doolin, who is also a comic friend from way back when.

Added those two dungeon maps to the downloads; as I apparently did have them (albeit not at the largest size, as this was years ago before I had gotten a bit better at bashing things together.)

Sure, I'll see if I still have those in raw (as these were from a good while/several computers ago), and I'll comment again here once I've done so. Glad you liked it!

Hey! Yeah, I literally just threw it up last night before going to bed; so it is a bit unpolished---especially as an ashcan. 

For Expression; its not something I've seen in another game specifically (though I do read a lot and osmosis can occur without notice.) The designed intent was to use a meta-currency to supplement the big action currency (Karma) in a way that allows players to get a sense of agency over how they interact with one another. The ideal way of gathering Expression is part of how I intend to handle travel, wherein travel is a means of:

  • Moving through an environment, in weather; which determines mood.
  • Rolling on a topic that the conversation of the party has reached after hours of travel through said mood/with said mood.
  • Allowing the party to determine how they are engaging with the topic, allowing them to speak to a backstory, or to lie, or to not feel like commenting.
  • And then, encounter something on the path or a destination, where this expression might be further utilized.

The hope and goal is to make travel a means of introspection: how much do you trust your fellows to tell the truth, how much do you wish to keep intimate of yourself, does it matter to tell exaggerated/tall tales to people you may never see again? 

Backstories and deciding what other characters know about you is always something I'd like to see explored more; so this was the general idea.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, I'm certainly looking to finishing it as a project.

- Brian

I don't live in the woods anymore, but this little game is a short, delightful, nostalgic trip back to my youth when I learned orienteering. Its combat rules remind me of the sort of resolution mechanics I'd think of as a kid playing in the woods.

I recommend this. It is an enjoyable memory made manifest. Worth it for that novelty alone and the joy it brings. 

I'll be honest with you, I haven't the slightest idea. I never really did much of the back end stuff with itch when I first set things up here; and this is the first time this has been brought to my attention; like to the point that I didn't know those weren't one and the same in most cases. I'll look into this and try to figure it out; sorry for the inconvenience. 

- Brian

Mostly. The why is a bit cumbersome, but provided below for context. It will be resuscitated, there's a vague timetable for it.

Was writing it pretty well deep into Summer-ish of 2020, then being trapped in New York City, primarily trapped in just my apartment due to how poorly my neighborhood was handling the pandemic kind of soured my desire to write about cities at all for a bit. So I shifted Issue 2 to be more of Issue 1's content, building off stuff I culled until that also became unwieldy; and it was around that point I ran out of some meds due to my doctor passing from said pandemic; and now I'm stuck working on my thesis which is of a type but not so much a continuation as a congruence. 

My goal, back to being medicated, second vaccine scheduled for a week from now; is to get Rakehell 2: The War in the Rift and then Gog-Moloch done this year; as I am getting back to having the fighting spirit to do such work. The issue now being other major projects I'm doing to make rent via other publishers. 

Its a sticky situation being a literal one-person operation trying to make big books or at least big mechanisms; but the goal is to never abandon them. The city issue, god-willingly, would be done by this autumn. 

Apologies for the inconvenience and delay,

- Brian

Thanks mate, its glad to hear you dig it.  I've known many a good cat, though I was always a dog person; which I think is what made cats all the more enchanting. They're turning cogs up in their head, and while an old dog may wear the face of its favorite thing for many years (snoozing, walking, swimming; that smile they do when you offer it up) a cat makes you read its eyes. 

There's certainly a Ghibli quality, I used to babysit kids when I was in HS and they'd watch The Cat Returns until it lost all meaning; and so there's some well of experience; nostalgia coupled with this imagery coupled with uncertainty; which definitely plays a factor into the idea of the Catlands. 

I truly appreciate this kind post and your reading of the material. 

Added it to the bottom corner of the image. 

Yep, about to upload it. 

Thanks Batts!

Hey, I just put the Maps up as something that can be freely downloaded here. Let me know if you're unable to grab them.

- Brian

I was under the impression that the PDF was sent alongside it via SpearWitch. Let me know where you've bought it elsewhere and I'll try to remedy this and/or send me an email/receipt at and I'll send you the PDF right away. 

Hey, I was informed of this as it is a layout error; its meant to be:

Page 29 - Entries wrong.
Should be: 1-2. Bridgetownie 3. Riverbanker 4. Bridgetopper 5-6. Underbridger.

I actually just got the fixed PDF and will be putting it up right now.

I'll see what can be done!

A very enjoyable set-up with additional intrigue to really help give it more weight than a mere tomb plundering. I appreciate the cultural flair and could see this doing well as an introductory adventure in the Hill Cantons or other areas of a similar cultural root inspiration. I would recommend this to those who want a good first level dungeon with greater ramifications to it. 

I believe SoulMuppet did another print run of them,  I'll check in with him to see if/when any will be resupplied state-side. Worst case scenario, you absolutely do have my permission to get it printed locally at a print shop if the option is open to you.  

im reporting you to oiffcer jenanine

where is garbodor batts

Too many axes, not enough orcs. IGN 9/10.

Note: If you purchase this toolkit, leave a review. As the author of this work, I've stated that I will gladly write a table, monster, item, or some small bit of content to anyone who reviews this product; to help enrich your play or to facilitate covering something you found lacking. 

- Brian.

Posted below is a Review I wrote for this project before learning doesn't apparently show this in a public way:

Alex Damaceno's "Beyond the Borderlands" is a worthwhile purchase for even the most frugal tabletop RPG player, as it provides a beautiful marriage of artistic whimsy and utilitarian design. With inspiration clearly taken and acknowledged from the classic "Keep on the Borderlands" module, what is provided within the first issue is something most Game Masters need but seldom consider until it is too late: an exceptionally modular micro-setting starter zone from which adventures may begin.

Stronglaw Keep is well laid out in an isometric illustration which gives a clear sense of how one could navigate through it, defend it, besiege it, stage ambushes, or go unseen by watchmen. Beyond the diagram, the keyed locations are all fairly elaborated upon, enough that a GM could slot in other modules, NPCs, and rumors to fit the locale without much additional tailoring. Intrigue on how one could influence, blackmail, or usurp the Bailiff is casually layered throughout the locations; his older brother runs the Bluewine Tavern, the Blacksmith must obey the Bailiff's orders, et cetera. Just enough information and a sense of flavor to make use of the area; yet generic enough that you could easily replace any name with something more befitting your personal setting desires.

Loot and Stuff is where the deeper utility comes into play, outlining the various treasures and equipment which can be found within the Keep. Nothing here is outlandish or of a game-breaking power; rather instead it skews towards the small comforts that might otherwise go unappreciated. Variety is had to the food stuffs, though all are simple. Guests are of a variety at the Inn, and they speak to potential intrigue in the surrounding Borderlands (which once again, is generic but flavorful enough to invoke curiosity.)

 The Notice Board has ample rumors, or rather hooks which could be a good basis for getting a party out into the field, fleshing out further intrigue or plotlines, or what simply to change up the status quo. Among such rumors and hooks are also a few bits of idle gossip, pinned up; which could be used to flesh-out any character who may have posted such things.

The Wicked Pallovalley section itself offers a very basic but entirely useful set of travel rulings for hexploration; and though they are not of great use to me I know from personal experience that making travel rules fun is akin to finding the Holy Grail, so I'll not spite efforts made; it does its works. 

I would note my first Caveat here though; we receive an amazing map of the Pallovalley, but our introduction to its localities does not give us a sense of why we should adventure in it; it is there of course, but I like a bit of purple prose, a paragraph to sell the intrigue of this region, that this is a borderland taken by monsters who will claw out towards civilization, or that the dark forces of Chaos seek new power here and must be stopped; just a small overarching sense of why this realm is dangerous fits my proclivities; but this is a Caveat not an issue proper which would steam my grits.

 We are given exceptionally fun hex illustrations of the various sub-regions; the Keep's Domains, Hunting Groves, Dusky Woods, Sludgy Bog, Rockfall Range, and Scarlet Forest: each with a d6 of region specific rumors (noted as True, False, or Partially False), and a 2d6 of Regional Encounters. All of these have enough going for them to invoke curiosity, inspire a session, or make for an interesting encounter---and this is before we get into the numbered hexes which possess detail enough to make their gimmick or core feature succinctly known.

Travel thus, throughout the Pallovalley, will always have something going on, and given the size of the regions themselves there shouldn't be too much repeated material unless desired. These localities are perfect to tailor sessions for, and I must applaud that; no hex feels a wasted place, and no encounter seems generic to the point of being unnecessary.

 What Comes Next is a worthy section to note; as it ensures to us that there will be two more zines in this series; a Dungeon zine and a Bestiary zine--with note that all the Bestiary entities will be illustrated and assembled for paper miniature use. The dungeons themselves sound interesting, good enough to teach the basics of a world of them to newer players or those wishing to get back to the simpler roots of the hobby.

 Of Note: Demaceno has posted both The Kobold Lair & The Goblin Caves as a One Page Dungeon with map, illustrations, et cetera; which could be of use if you want to delve right into using this setting from the get-go with a cohesive aesthetic vision present.

General Notes: I am a big fan of Demaceno's work, both from a design perspective and for a charm of the artistic perspective. I would wholeheartedly recommend this product and the whole of Alex's works to anyone who wants to get involved in tabletop role-playing games. I would say I think his work is most useful to a new Game Master, someone who wants to experiment but might require additional guidance to get what it is they want out of something. The aesthetics help make it approachable and fun, the tone is enchanting in how it makes you want to have fun.

Pairs Well With: As a long fan of the Chaos Scar setting from 4th Edition D&D which also took heavy inspiration from the Keep on the Borderlands series; I would recommend those modular adventures which could fit well into the Pallovalley and give it further longevity. Additional Borderlands inspired work could go well with it, though this may require further tailoring on the part of the GM. I would likely run Beyond the Borderlands with a simple system that fits my personal tastes, such as the Black Hack or Whitehack, something that is easily accessible and clear in its purposes; as I think Beyond the Borderlands might work best in such a scenario.

End Notes: I rate this work a 5/5. It has a lot of amazing things going for it, and the caveats or not entirely favored thoughts I hold to it are matters of personal opinion. I think a final unified project, with a few more illustrations and clever layout (the Notice Board would've made a lovely illustration/drop-dice/illustrated table), would be nothing short of a grand success.

Purchase this book, enkindle a sense of nostalgia that is cultivated in the sense of enjoying the work for sake of joy, rather than anything else.

Sure. Took me a moment to find it (been a few computers since the initial writing of this.)
I'll upload it. 

The idea is that the enemy army is fighting mostly everywhere, with the Bridge being the active center of the combat.  Active Threats are meant to be the sort of forward charge/enemies sneaking about on the battlefield and encountering the knaves. I'll try to clean this up and post a new version tomorrow or Friday, as I'm looking at it deeply now and I can 100% better explain/elaborate on these things. 

Sorry for all the delays on this,  world's a bit hectic right now for me. But I appreciate the patience and patronage. 

- Brian

Oh jeeze, sorry for the delay!
An active theater of war, as listed in the module, is pretty much the Bridge/No-Man's-Land, and hostile territory where the enemy army is presently fighting. It is meant to shift but I likely didn't convey that as well as I could in this initial draft. 

A better version of the Battlefield, with rulings to make your own battlefield and such will be in Rakehell 2 which I hope to have out in a month or so. 

I'll get back to you with a better read on this in an hour or so, as I just noticed this while in the middle of something.

- Brian

Afraid not, the printed version is handled by an intermediary; but there is a printer friendly version of the file available for home printing and a new disclaimer in the back for making sure folks can get the pdf printed at a local copy shop. I've kept the PDF price pretty cheap as a means of making the loss for those who double up the purchase as negligible as possible. 

But I am sorry for the inconvenience. 

I find most Mass Battle systems to feel detached from the core mechanics of systems they're affixed to; or they relegate the characters to command positions which aren't as dangerous/fun or cause the scenario to dictate the command are leading the fight from the front for some reason.

I think with some time to clarify/broaden things/provide enough examples, this type of scenario could be more broadly useful. Glad to hear you like it!

Added a printer friendly image to the downloads/screenshots; let me know if that's still too rough and I'll try to polish that out.

Also, there are a few dark pages in the book proper; so if you can give me til this evening I can probably cobble together a printer-friendly version without much art or black pages getting in the way. 

Sure, I'll whip something up today!


Glad you enjoyed it! I don't usually get a chance to write this kind of content but it does provide me with a good sense of catharsis.

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Actually, just spoke to layout; I should have a finalized revision (with some fixes and the two pamphlet dungeons included) up possibly tonight!

Edit: New version with two dungeons in it is now up in the Downloads section.