But How Can I Get Toren’s Comics?

Recently I’ve restocked a bunch of the comic anthologies in which my work appears, and I’m making them available at very reasonable prices indeed!

EXPLODED VIEW – contains my 5 page ‘prequel’ comic that ties in with the Spaceship Zero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets.

Cover price is $11 and I’m letting them go for $5 for a limited time

ACTS OF VIOLENCE – Back in stock! Back in the day Kevin Leeson asked me to do the art for his story “Reggie-Town” which Ed Brisson published in the anthology ACTS OF VIOLENCE along with many other impressive creatives! The book contains 4 stories and ours was 37 pages – definitely the longest comic project I’ve worked on. I’m charging $10

HISTORYONICS (Cloudscape Comics) – Contains a 4 page, black and white, dialogue free “Secret Files From the World Wildlife Federation of Justice: The Ominous Origin of Rhinosferatu.” Cover price $10 my price $5 for a limited time.

MEGA FAUNA (Cloudscape) – The culmination of my anthropomorphic animal superhero characters (so far) in print. Contains the 9-page full colour “Eye Eye Eye!” written by Ian Boothby and colored by Tanya Lehoux. Cover price $25 my price $12 for a limited time!

GIANTS OF MAIN STREET (Cloudscape) – Featuring a four page story called Tales of the Underbelly written by Kolja Liquette. Cover price is $10 and my price is $5 for a limited time!

Giants of Main Street is Cloudscape’s massive tome exploring the theme of fantasy and magic within an urban environment. This graphic novel carries the reader through a multitude of impossible cities inhabited by all manner of strange creatures. From communities ravaged by sorcerous wars to thriving metropoli preserved in bottles, this anthology has it all. After all, anything imagined can be found between the cracks if you are brave enough to look.


Contains a 1 page parody of those old Hostess Fruit Pies ads. In”Mid-Afternoon of the Living Dead” Go-Rilla finds the only way to stop Elk Diablo’s evil plan is with General Woodcock’s Wholesome Flax Pies! Free with any purchase but it’s wider and longer than the other books so that may affect shipping prices if we’re doing this through the mail

Hey! Cheap Original D&D Art! My Annual Birthday Sale

Yes it’s time once again for my birthday art sale. These original pencil drawings (and a couple of inks) were produced for various D&D and other RPG books and are marked down from now until my birthday June 28.

Everything listed here is on offer for $54 USD (unless you’re in Vancouver and we can arrange in person, then $54 CAD)


You can see more D&D art going all the way back to AD&D/2nd edition at https://torenatkinson.com/dungeons-and-dragons-original-art/ and I’ll be giving discounts on offsale stuff too if you buy two or more pieces!

Shipping to the US is typically $20 and that includes tracking and stiffening boards for maximum protection.

From Terror in Freeport – Reikert

From If Thoughts Could Kill (Monte Cook/Malhavoc Press) – crystal consciousness amulet

From Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra (3.5 edition, Green Ronin)

Skull & Bones (Green Ronin)

From BONDS OF MAGIC (Malhavoc Press)


Demonologist (slight blemish from ink bleed through on left edge)




Cults of Freeport (Green Ronin)

From Temple Quarter (Game Mechanics/Green Ronin)

From Advanced Players Manual (Green Ronin)

From Advanced Bestiary (Green Ronin 2004)

From Minions (Chaosium, Call of Cthulhu)

From Monte Cook Presents: Year’s Best d20 (Malhavoc Press)

From Shaman’s Handbook (Green Ronin)

From Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs, published by Green Ronin

From Spaceship Zero: The Roleplaying Game (2001 Green Ronin)

From Liber Bestarius (Eden Studios 2003)

From Black Sails Over Freeport (Green Ronin)


From Book of the Righteous (Green Ronin)

From Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed D&D 3rd edition pencil on paper

From Bastards & Bloodlines D&D 3rd edition (Green Ronin Publishing) pencil on paper:

From Black Company (Green Ronin Publishing):

Book of Fiends (Green Ronin Publishing)

Aasimar and Tiefling: A Guidebook to the Planetouched (Green Ronin)

Mindshadows (Green Ronin)

Noble’s Handbook (Green Ronin)

From ORK! The Roleplaying Game (Green Ronin)

From Chaositech (Malhavoc Press)

From Creature Collection (White Wolf)

From Jade Dragons and Hungry Ghosts (Green Ronin)

From Creatures of Freeport (Green Ronin)

From Denizens of Freeport (Green Ronin)

from Touched by the Gods (Atlas Games)

From Thieves World (Green Ronin)

From THIEVES QUARTER (Game Mechanics)

from Unholy Warrior’s Handbook (Green Ronin)

From HARP (High Adventure Roleplaying Game – Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE)

20 Minute Monster Series: Fiend Folio

For the first Monster Manual series, click here

Berbalang breaks a bard

Diana debates a dark stalker in a dank dungeon. The Darkling was seen in the cartoon episode “Winds of Darkness”

Evil ettercap entices an eager elf with an emerald

bonus E entry

Four flail snails frolic in a fuschia foyer

A grey-green grell grapples a gravid grimlock with a greataxe in a granite grotto

Hook Horror appeared in the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon “City on the Edge of Midnight”

Jermlaine jousting for jars of jujubes

Khaki kenku with katana kicks a khargra in the keel

Lilac lachrymose lava children lamenting the loss of their luggage

Many merciless maroon meenlocks menace a manly mountain mage

Nude nilbog nerfs a noble knight and a needy gnome in a navy nave

Ochre ogrillon observes obvious osquip in the old outhouse

As seen in the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon episode “The Garden of Zinn”

A reliable retriever wrecks a rector in the reredorter

Three theatrical thorks threaten a thief (Sheila from the D&D cartoons)

Underneath an undulating ultramarine umpleby unveiling it’s umbilical ulexite

Various vexing volts victimize a vizier in a vermillion void

Wild warty witherstenches worry a wayward wizard in a winter waste

Xill, as seen in the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon episodes “Servant of Evil” and “P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster”

Y is for Yellow Musk Creeper and Z is for Zombie, Yellow Musk. Featuring Ruddiger the elf!

Stay Tuned for the Monster Manual II, coming later in 2024. Like what I do? Send me a dollar on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/torenatkinson

Three Quick DM Tips

Prefer to watch as a 3 minute video? See below

TIP 1 – use a colored marker on your dungeon map to indicate what the player characters might smell, hear and see

TIP 2 – on the bottom of each page of your notebook, write some character names so that when your players ask what an NPC’s name is, you don’t have to come up with something on the spot. Also on the back page of your book keep a list of voices you can do. Be prepared!

TIP 3 – get some small cards and on each one write some miscellaneous personal effects that a downed enemy might have, or might be found when searching a room. Let the players pick a card randomly for added flavor and fun!

Adapting “Prison Without Walls” D&D Cartoon Episode to a D&D Tabletop Adventure

“With each brave deed you grow more worthy” – Dungeon Master

This is part 2 of Adapting the D&D cartoon into a campaign. For the basics and part 1 “In Search of Dungeon Master” see my blog post:

Episode 7 features a pretty straightforward plot and some fun encounters. I’ll post the video link down below. This adaptation is edition agnostic, no stats are provided.

Here is an overall map of the area and encounters, with great thanks to Andrew Bator

Scene 1: Mist-Enshrouded Mountains

The party is lost in a sort of misty wasteland. The episode script reads “these are old mountains, not unlike the Appalachians, except the trees on the slopes grow in contorted, vaguely demonic shapes” and “we hear the distant sounds of hammers pounding rocks, and baleful moaning.” Dungeon Master pays them a visit and provides the first clue/riddle: “When the dragon’s heart is in the right place, it may show you the way home” and then DM disappears. The fog gets so thick they can’t see where they’re going and they fall down over a ledge into….

Scene 2: The Vale of Mists.

The valley (more like a big crater, which the script describes as “reminiscent of the Devil’s Punchbowl in the Mojave”) harbors an (inexplicably *not* foggy) gnome village. There are two immense stone warrior statues poised like sentries, and the walls of the crater are filled with “Mystic Gems.” The gnomes are all busy on various scaffolding, mining gems from the rock under the watchful eye of their slavemasters, the orcs. In the center of the village is a large stone statue of a dragon with a hand-sized hole in the center of its chest — where it’s heart would be. One of the pitiful gnomes falls off a scaffolding. He is tired and hurt! A merciless, evil orc comes to whip him – this is the heroes’ cue to come to the gnomes defense. This is our first combat encounter.

This is not a terribly challenging fight for the heroes. Once it’s over, the gnome (he isn’t given a name in the show, let’s call him Orson) explains that his people cannot leave the valley because of Venger’s spell. In the script it says “the gnomes cannot leave unless summoned by Venger — or else they die!” Orson explains “only our wizard Lukyon might break the spell. His magic protected our valley for centuries” and “No one can find Lukyon. When he refused to tell Venger the secret of the dragon’s heart, Venger imprisoned him in the Swamp of Sorrows.” Orson also tells them that the swamp is South, beyond the forest.

Scene 3: The Swamp of Sorrows

Any battle map will do for this encounter – here’s a nice one from DiceGrimorium

The heroes slosh knee-deep through the dismal swamp, overgrown with vines. Sunlight barely penetrates, and insects are everywhere.

Dungeon Master appears and provides the second clue/riddle: Lukyon dwells in a prison without walls.

Immediately after DM vanishes, the heroes are attacked by violet fungi. In the middle of the fight, a shambling mound appears. It frees them (rather violently) from the grip of the fungi, and then it lurches menacingly towards the heroes – Eric gets stuck in the creature and is seemingly almost sucked inside it. After taking a few hits from the heroes, the monster retreats back into the foliage.

Swamp Part 2.

The heroes continue searching in the swamp, being eaten alive by mosquitos. Dungeon Master appears and give them another clue: “You will know Lukyon by what he says without speaking” He adds “find him quickly, young ones. Tomorrow, during the crossing of the four suns, is the only time Lukyon can help you.”

Scene 4: The Cursed Dwelling

The kids come across a rotting house. The script describes it as “the ruins of a dwelling on a small patch of moist, grassy land. The roof is rotting. The walls are partially caved-in. Drippy, slimy gobs of moss hang like curtains from the rotting timber supports” However, a more welcoming description would invite the PCs to use this location to rest – perhaps this is the only solid ground they’ve come across for hours of wandering in the dark. You also might describe the dwelling with some or all of the walls missing, as if this might be the “prison without walls.”

This encounter must happen in the evening or at night, after some time has passed since Dungeon Master reminded them that the crossing of the four suns happens the next day. For a battle map, try searching “swamp hut shack battle map” on your search engine of choice.

There’s a bed on the porch. When the kids enter the shack they are attacked by zombies who are very possessive of their house and start grappling with the party. The party is overwhelmed! But, the shambling mound returns, scares off the zombies, and demolishes the house with a tree trunk.

The kids realize that the monster is Lukyon because it’s saved them twice.

Scene 5: Breaking the Spell

Lukyon brings the heroes to a tree where the cursed gnome has stashed his magic items, as well as the Dragon heart – a large violet gem about 5 or 6 inches across that pulsates – like the beat of a heart!

Lukyon shows Presto (more or less) how to break Venger’s spell by using Lukyon’s spellbook and magic wand, and Lukyon reverts to the form of an elderly gnome wizard. There’s a brief chitchat, and then…

Scene 6: Climactic Wizard Battle

With a wave of Lukyon’s wand, the group is teleported back to the Veil of Mists and the gnome village where, just in time for the four suns to converge, he puts the dragon’s heart back into the dragon (using the Mage Hand spell, no doubt). The entire crater lights up with glowing gems, with a lattice of glimmering lasers pointing between them. Lukyon explains that each point of light is a gateway to another world. Just at that moment, Venger appears on his nightmare, releases the orcs and activates/animates the two giant statues which start crushing the gnome houses with their tremendous feet, and attack the PCs (as do the orcs).

The kids defeat the colossi while Venger and Lukyon have a battle of magic. Venger keeps far overhead out of range of the kids. During the battle, one of Venger’s energy blasts ricochets and destroys an area of the gem cliffs, specifically the portal back to Earth. Venger is ‘banished’ by Lukyon. The kids are cheated out of their way home and must adventure on.

Of course, there are countless gateways to other worlds through the gems while the solar conjunction is happening, should the group and DM want to explore that option. Otherwise, the conjunction ends and the gateways close. On to the next adventure!

DM challenges

As usual, there are a few decisions the kids in the cartoon make that allow this adventure to play out the way it does, which could be a challenge for the Dungeon Master if their players make different decisions.

In the Vale of Mists, the entire group falls down into the crater because of the fog. This means in game terms that every single group fails their saving throw and falls several feet. Probably the best way to handle this is through narration, avoiding any dice rolls. 

Clever players may try to avoid falling by using a pole or something as a cane to check the ground as they move through the fog. Feel free to simply have the ledge crumble and bring the kids down. Whether or not you require saving throws or dexterity checks to avoid taking a small amount of damage from the fall is up to you. I personally would avoid damage but might have a character stunned from the fall and more easily grabbed by an orc.

Antediluvian miniatures

The scene with the gnome getting whipped by the orc is a good one for story, flavor and characterization if you can keep it in. Combat with the orcs is likely even if the PCs don’t go charging in – you can simply have an orc spot them and sound the alarm. The orcs should not be an overwhelming challenge for the PCs – play them dumb and with low morale, and arm them only with swords and whips, with leather armor at best. Quick to run away, but they will return in greater numbers later, after Orson gives the PCs the vital directions for where to look for Lukyon. The interior of the cave is not detailed here, but it can be a simple barracks for the orc slavemaster and soldiers, should the PCs want to investigate.


The shambling mound/Lukyon is more tricky. In the cartoon, Lukyon is initially viewed a threat by the kids because he is scary, bumbling, and dangerous simply due to his size and the composition of his body. If your players realize that he is the gnome “in the prison without walls” during this encounter then the second swamp encounter with the zombie house will likely be skipped.

In the zombie house, you might add a “boss zombie” to make things more interesting.

Otherworld Miniatures

Using Presto to break Venger’s enchantment on Lukyon is a very particular character/plot device that might prove difficult to adapt, depending on the classes and abilities of the player characters. If all that is needed is for a character to wave Lukyon’s wand over his spellbook and read aloud some magic words, that’s great. But if it relies on a skill or class ability, and that fails, then the plot grinds to a halt. Take a look at your player characters and see how you might be able to handle this conundrum.

Once Lukyon is restored, make sure you give the PCs time to rest and heal before the final encounter, where they will be dealing with the stone titans and a contingent of orc warriors. You can easily say that there are a full 8 hours before the conjunction of the four suns.

Crocodile Games

The giant statues in the Vale are described as stone golems in the script, but the rules have stone golems as size Large. These statues are what I would call colossal or gargantuan. You might base your monster on the Walking Statue of Waterdeep, but prepare to play it fast and loose with the numbers, because two of those could wipe out the party quickly and easily. If a golem hits, rather than do massive damage, have it grab the victim and hold them fast in its hand. Make them slow and nigh-invulnerable so that the PCs will have to think of some ingenious way to disable them, such as the marbles that Presto used.

In the episode, we the audience see Shadow Demon. You might permit the PCs to make some kind of perception check to detect his presence, it could add an interesting element to the story, even just seeing him skulk away.

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Overdue Who Review: Destiny of the Daleks

Season 17, 1979, 4 parts, Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

Romana regenerates, despite being in perfect health, and she chooses various forms before settling on a doppelganger of Princess Astra (see previous episode). The TARDIS lands on Skaro, home of the daleks, but untold years since last we saw them, and their battle computer is in a stalemate with the battle computer of the robotic Movellans. The daleks last hope is to drill down to find and excavate the body of Davros, creator of the Daleks, who was believed to be dead. Naturally the daleks are using humans as slave labor. The Doctor and Roman run about and get separated multiple times, and The Doctor blinds a dalek by throwing his hat on its ocular extender. Meanhile the Movellans are likewise made inert by removing a very obvious and exposed item from their belt, which causes them to do a weird falling down dance.

Not a particularly fun or interesting episode, sadly. The only remarkable aspect is the interesting look of the Movellans, who are cast largely by non-white actors.

Next: City of Death

I Became A Paid DM. Am I A Monster? If So, What’s My Challenge Rating?


One day I received this message from a Facebook friend:

To which I agreed, except it wouldn’t be a campaign, it would be a ‘one-shot.’ Primarily because I don’t have time to game regularly and with a group of strangers I didn’t want to make a commitment beyond the ‘test run.’ You know, in case it goes horribly wrong (spoiler alert: it wen’t terribly right)! They would also have to supply the venue since I lack gaming space of my own. (And no, DMing for novices is not annoying.)


I play music for fun, I can also get paid for it. I draw for fun, I can also get paid for it. And of course when I DM for my friends and regular gaming group, I don’t charge money. But what was asked of me is a very different context. And context is king.

We decided a rate – $80 for 4 hours. They didn’t ask my bona fides, but I’ll put them here in case it makes a difference to you:

I’ve been GMing since 1985. I co-wrote an award-winning RPG (Spaceship Zero). I’ve organized game conventions. I’ve run tournaments (at my day job) for about 20 different groups – each a mix of experience and novice players.


The players (3 of them in total) mainly worked out the characters themselves, which I checked and tweaked. In addition to the adventure itself, I provided dice, battle maps, dungeon tiles, player handouts (clues etc), miniatures for the Player Characters and monsters and Non-Player Characters.


What if I told you DMs have been receiving compensation for decades? Conventions and game shops have been recruiting people to run games for years. Sometimes that compensation is free attendance to the event, or store credit, but sometimes also cold hard cash or a combination of those things.

At your home game, do your players not bring any contributions? Do they not bring snacks or beverages for you to enjoy? Do they not chip in for any new books or peripherals (dice towers, minis, your D&D Beyond subscription)? I mean sure, this probably counts as ‘gifts’ rather than ‘payment’ – but all these things have value, and to my mind the DM does a lot of work for the players. There is a – perhaps unspoken – transaction happening in many (but not all) cases.


One of the banes of group games like D&D is player cancellations can really upend an otherwise perfectly planned game night. Everything I’ve heard from professional DMs is that when the players have put up money, they actually show up and are fully present, rather than showing up 45 minutes late and dicking around on their phone.

For my own experience, when the first session had to be cancelled, they offered to pay me anyway for all the prep time I did. I told them not to worry about it, we’ll just reschedule.


This is actually a take that I read someone post on a Facebook group. Come on, dude. Somebody wanted to hire me and I accepted. Also, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sex work.

Overdue Who Review: The Armageddon Factor

Season 16, 1979, 6 parts, Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

The Doctor and Romana land on the planet Atrios and meet Princess Astra, her lover Merak, and The Marshall, the latter of which is war-mad about defeating neighboring planet Zeos in their ages-long war. Secretly Zeos is run by an AI, which is secretly run by a guy in a skull mask (The Shadow – he hates light) who also is secretly advising the Marshall through a black mirror. The Shadow is an agent of the Black Guardian and is hunting for the sixth segment to the Key to Time, which (spoiler) is Princess Astra. K9 is captured by The Shadow and reprogrammed, while Astra is likewise corrupted and transforms herself into the puzzle segment. The Shadow gains entry to the TARDIS while The Doctor is miniaturized by friendly Time Lord Drax (found in the bowels of The Shadow’s space base). The Shadow puts the Time Key together and starts monologuing so The Doctor returns to size, grabs the macguffin and our heroes get away.

The Doctor practically turns to the camera and says the name of the episode out loud, which is always fun. This is the final chapter in the Key of Time story arc which spans the entire 16th season. Overall, a disappointing climax to a fun season. This could easily have been 4 episodes, there’s a lot of chaff in the first 3. It only gets interesting when K9 becomes a servant of The Shadow and The Doctor bumps into Drax. Given how overpowered K9 is as an ally, he should be more of a threat to The Doctor, but he’s defeated easily and stupidly. Also it occurs to me that K9’s eyes are always red, so how can we tell when he’s good or evil? In a rare twist Romana upstages The Doctor when she clues him into the fact that the White Guardian is the evil Black Guardian because he’s unwilling to restore Astra to human form. This leads to the question, was there ever a White Guardian, or was it the Black one all this time?

Maybe we’ll find out in the next episode: Destiny of the Daleks

Adapting “In Search of the Dungeon Master” Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon Episode for a D&D Campaign

In 2005 and 2014 I adapted episodes of the 1983 TV series for my gaming group. I’ll tell you how…

If you want an overview of adapting the series check this blog entry – keep in mind that was written for 3rd edition D&D.

Where to start? First, get familiar with the episode

Have your players create human characters that are children from Earth. They could be from the ’80s or they could be from modern times. In the cartoon the ages ranged from 9 to 15, so that’s probably a good range to choose from.

Each kid should have a phobia. For example, fear of crowds, fear of fire, fear of drowning, fear of growing old, fear of germs, fear of thunder and lightning. This will be important if you want to run them through the Quest of the Skeleton Warrior episode.

In the tv show, the kids were motivated to get back home. They found the monsters of the Realm to be scary and weird, whereas your players will look forward to slaying evil dragons etc. Check with your players if getting home is a good ‘final quest’ for them, or, if not, figure out what is actively moving them through the story.

Stress to your players before the first session that all the kids are friends (and/or relatives) who care about each other (even if they may not admit it, like Eric). Decide what your tolerance for ‘lone wolf’ characters are and stress that to the group. Also, while I personally don’t use alignment, I recommend all the PCs be Good for purposes of motivation. In the cartoon the kids defeat, but do not kill, many monsters. Usually they fend off foes and one side or the other runs away. Will your campaign be similar? Will your kids slay some orcs and take their weapons and armor?

Work with each player to come up with a Weapon of Power. You know the ones from the cartoon, and if you watch the episode The Dragon’s Graveyard you will see some additional ideas. Here are ideas from my players:

A wand that had a random effect (we put together a table of 20 effects, similar to presto’s hat, they were not all particularly helpful and sometimes they were very unhelpful like duplicating a foe).
A musical instrument that could cast certain spells.
A lump of clay that the character could sculpt into something that would animate.
A horn which projected a cone of force and sonic affects.

Other ideas – maybe an amputee who gets a magic gauntlet to go on her missing arm?
A mirrored shield or weapon which can temporarily blind foes and perhaps scry?
A cloak that can transform the wearer into a woodland creature?

As dungeon Master, you will have to think carefully about the implications of each Weapon of Power and how they could be used to circumvent certain challenges or even entire scenes important to the plot.

We all remember Uni from the cartoon, and usually not with fondness. But if you want a creature in the party this can be memorable and help with player motivation. Remember Freddy the dog from the episode The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow? When you want the players to go somewhere, having the beloved pet run in that direction helps.

On the other hand, one of my players wanted to play a baby owl bear and I allowed it. However, be mindful about how restrictive playing an animal can be in terms of verbal communication and general role-playing.


The first time you have a session, run the actual opening intro scene from the cartoon — they go through the amusement park ride, emerge in their new garb, and encounter Dungeon Master who gives them them their weapons, and are attacked by Tiamat and Venger.


Probably you will want to start everyone off with Inspiration or some kind of cheat dice so they can get out of impossible situations and don’t die from random bad rolls. Dying from stupid decisions is fine. But this first encounter, which seems ridiculous, sets the tone that sometimes they will have to run away. They are after all just kids and not seasoned warriors. Also, don’t play Tiamat and Venger smart. Tiamat is indestructible but is easily avoided and baited. She is ponderous and takes her time. Venger has powerful magic but prefers to just make threats and monologue about how great he is, how foolish and weak Dungeon Master is, and how the kids are doomed to fail. Play the villains creatively, not efficiently.

Battle Map Suggestion: Dragondown Grotto

Please take a look at my blog entry at the beginner’s guide to the D&D cartoon. This will show you which episodes I believe are friendly to game adaptation.


The narrative begins as the group wanders through the woods. Dungeon Master has told them “you will find a clue to the way home in the forest with no trees.” On cue, they encounter a talking tree which introduces itself as a “know tree.”

Before it gives the clue for the characters to go home, it worriedly reports that Dungeon Master is in great danger, and reverts back to a normal tree. Optionally a character who has a good Perception score could hear some combat coming from some distance away. At any point they are attacked by bullywugs! Have one or more PCs see Warduke as he disappears into the woods, just as a preview to who the villain is that they will encounter later.

There are numerous options for forest battle maps. Here’s one of Paizo’s Flip Mats


After the battle, or if things are looking grim during the battle, a sprite flies to the group and tries to enlist their help to rescue Dungeon master. the pixie leads them into a mountainous area and along a cliff ledge, but there is a gap in the ledge the characters must cross. If they cannot work out a way by themselves, or if a failed roll leads to someone falling, have lammasu come help them across, as in the cartoon.


The pixie leads them into a scary cave with lava rivers inside and they are attacked by an earth elemental, and subsequently, orcs. If you want to keep the characters from escaping, you can have the earth elemental collapse the entrance through which they came. The orcs take the weapons and enslave the kids in the Slave Mines of Daramorn (this will be tricky, players dislike having their agency taken away).

Possible battle map: Hellspike Prison


It’s ok to split the party at this point if only some kids are captured. The kids meet enslaved dwarfs who explain that this was their (silver?) mine before the orcs took over. They offer to help the kids rescue DM if the kids help the dwarfs escape the mine. As an option, introduce random tremors throughout these scenes, maybe even some lava leaks – this might inspire the players to come up with their plan.

Battle Map Suggestion for the Slave Mines of Daramorn

A dwarf (let’s give him a name – Balzad) tells the kids that Dungeon Master is just on the other side of a mine wall. The PCs should have an opportunity to reclaim their weapons and get through the wall of the mine into the chamber where DM is held by Warduke. Before they can rescue Dungeon Master, Venger shows up. This is the climactic battle with Venger, Warduke and the bullywugs. The The key to surviving this encounter is to free dungeon master from the magic of Warduke’s ice sword.

You can find Warduke’s game stats online, but they usually give him a flaming sword. Don’t use that – give him the ice sword which freezes whoever it hits. And can shatter the magic ice it makes!

DM turns Venger’s evil magic against him and Venger explodes! DM warns the children that he’ll soon regain his form and they must flee the mines as the intermittent tremors are now shaking the place apart. And don’t forget the dwarves! In the chaos of the quakes, the baddies are scattered and that’s the end! Huzzah!

Final Battle – Underground Grotto


This is one of the few episodes of the cartoon where the kids don’t find a portal home. Why can’t the PCs go back to the Know Tree and get their clue now? No reason I can think of. This was a plot thread left dangling in the cartoon. If this bothers you, you can edit out the tree encounter altogether, or think up some clue to give the PCs that will take them on their next journey.

Next episode: Prison Without Walls

Please Support my work on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/torenatkinson

Just for fun, here are the stats for my players when I ran the game:

MC, age 10 (Khodi),
HP 10, STR 9 DEX 17 CON 11 INT 13 WIS 14 CHA 15
SKILL: Stealth, Perception, Sleight of Hand, Performance, Athletics, Search
Phobia of crowds
Weapon of Power: Whip

GILBERT, age 12 (Gibby)
HP 12 STR 9 DEX 11 CON 13 INT 15 WIS 14 CHA 17
SKILLS: Performance, Sleight of Hand, Insight, Perception
Weapon of Power: Horn (short burst = cone of force (save vs STR), long blow = cone of sonic damage (1d6 dmg, save vs CON or temporary deafness), melody = drowsiness (save vs. CON)

MADISON, age 12 (Louise)
HP 10 STR 13 DEX 15 CON 11 INT 17 WIS 9 CHA 14
SKILLS: Acrobatics, Performance, Intimidate, Deception
Phobia: doctors
Weapon of Power: Clay

LORI, age 12 (Toni)
HP 11 STR 11 DEX 17 CON 13 INT 14 WIS 9 CHA 15
SKILLS: Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Deception, Perception, +______
Phobia of drowning
Weapon: Boots

MARTY, age 10 (Carl)
HP 13 STR 15 DEX 13 CON 17 INT 11 WIS 9 CHA 14
SKILLS: Deception, Intimidate, Athletics, Stealth
Phobia: growing old
Weapon: Crossbow (Bolt of Piercing 1d10+1; Bolt of Fire 1d6 + save vs DEX or catch on fire; Bolt of Poison save vs CON or be sickened; Bolt of Tether 100′)

BENNY, age 11 (Mike)
HP 12 STR 13 DEX 14 CON 15 INT 17 WIS 11 CHA 9
SKILLS: Search, Acrobatics, Athletics, History
Phobia: germs
Weapon: Staff of Random Weirdness

OWLBEAR, age 1 (Tomoko)
HP 12 STR 14 DEX 11 CON 14 INT 7 WIS 12 CHA 12
full attack: 2 claws + 1 bite (+2 to hit and 1d4+2 dmg each attack)
Fear of thunder and lightning (brontophobia)


Overdue Who Review: The Power of Kroll

Season 16, 1978-1979, 4 parts, Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

All the tropes of classic Doctor Who are here – a corporation looking to exploit resources which disturbs an otherwise peaceful monster, in turn worshipped by the local savages who are controlled by a zealous high priest. The only thing missing is the myopic scientist over-invested in his work.

I can’t get over Neil McCarthy’s face – he’s the actor who plays the head company man Thawn. He also played Calibos in the 1981 Clash of the Titan and was in the movie Zulu! I feel for the actors and crew having to film on location in a marsh, and Wikipedia tells me the green dye used on the ‘swampies’ (what a name) wouldn’t come off for some time after production ended. All in all not a terrible episode, but pretty par for the course.

Next: The Armageddon Factor