Yesterday’s Gone – Kelly’s Novella

Our own Kelly Pawlik has branched out into fiction! Her debut novella, Yesterday’s Gone, is now available on Amazon. Set in the fictional small town of Olympic Vista, book one in the Legends of The Link series is the perfect summer read.

Darius Belcouer, a rich kid from Boston, moves to the strange, small town of Olympic Vista, Washington at the end of the summer of 1986.

Here he meets Adelaide and her friends. Eager to embrace his new life, Darius encourages them to help him explore a haunted house.

When the children uncover government agents tasked with maintaining order in the chaos created by local scientists, they realize the house is only the beginning of the strange happenings.

A tale of friendship, and coming of age in the late 80s. 

At less than 160 pages, this is the perfect summer read. Settle down at the beach, curl up in a chair in your living room, or tuck it into your bag for your travels. Yesterday’s Gone will transport you back to the 80s. 

You can read the first few chapters on her website:

Chapter One

 Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four


Yesterday’s Gone is available on


Follow Kelly on:
Facebook: kellypawlikauthor
Instagram: kellypawlikauthor
Twitter: @KellyPawlik84


Please consider purchasing this product through the included affiliate link.

Kobold Press’ Rogue’s Gallery

Kobold Press is releasing a series of NPC blog posts, written by Kelly. Each post details the NPC and includes stats for levels 1, 4, 7 and 9.

Check them out now.

Silent Night (A Micro Short)

He knew he must keep very still. Footsteps moved down the hall toward him. He sucked in his breath and held it, hoping he was hidden by the shadow of the plush couch. The figure moved into the room carrying an oversized bag. They paused briefly and he wondered if they knew he was there. The figure moved toward the tree, which was still illuminated with tiny white lights. Slowly, they reached into the bag and pulled several boxes. Each one was placed gingerly around the tree. He took a small breath in through his nose and watched as the figure turned and walked back out of the room, padding softly in their slippers. He’d discovered the true magic behind Christmas.

Why Taverns?

Why taverns? I posed this question in the foreword of the original version of Tangible Taverns: The Bull & The Bear. Taverns are where we got our start, five years ago. We were so proud of our work at the time, though reviewing it shows how inexperienced we were and how much we’ve grown since then.

The past five years have seen an improvement in every aspect of what we do. The writing is sharper and more concise. The art is more skillfully executed, and more of it is produced in-house. The maps look great. The layouts improve every release.

We couldn’t have believed five years ago that our humble little release would be the stepping stone for working with other publishers.

If you’ve noticed a slowdown of Dire Rugrat releases, it’s due to just that fact. If you like what we do, you may be interested to know that Kelly has done work for Kobold Press, Playground Adventures, Flaming Crab Games, and other third-party publishers of D&D 5e materials. I’ve worked with Rogue Genius Games and others.

But… back to the question. Why taverns?

The local watering hole is a representation of the community as a whole, whether that community is a neighbourhood in a larger city or a tiny hamlet. Adventurers can go to the tavern, figure out what the locals are like and what problems they have, solve those problems (or make new ones), and return to the taphouse to collect payment before moving on… or not. I’m certain entire RPG campaigns could be set in a tavern, just dealing with the drama created by all those visiting adventurers!

If you downloaded the latest Tangible Taverns: The Bull & The Bear because you received a notification of an updated version, thank you for your patronage these last five years. 

To those who are new to what Dire Rugrat does, welcome!

I’m excited to see what the next five years hold for us and our little company, and hope many of you reading this will come along for the ride. Regardless, put your feet up, pour yourself your favourite drink, and enjoy this little slice of our gaming reality.

We’re pleased to announce the anniversary edition of Tangible Taverns: The Bull & The Bear. These new files include more original artwork, a revised colour map, and additional stat blocks for 5e and Pathfinder.

Ken Pawlik, September 2020


Pick up Your Copy Today

Tangible Taverns: The Bull & The Bear (5e)








Tangible Taverns: The Bull & The Bear (Pathfinder Compatible)








Tangible Taverns: The Bull & The Bear (System Neutral)  


Adventure Adviser: Delectable Dragonfly

The Delectable Dragonfly


7 reviews     |        $$, Tea Service, Spa Services

Ratings and Reviews




Tea Service, Light Lunch


Seating, Table Service, Spa Treatment

Vast Collection of Teas

I am always impressed with the selection of available teas. Every pot is perfectly brewed.
Tangible Taverns: The Delectable Dragonfly

stupid place for stupid women

This is nothing but some fancy tea parlour for uppity noblewomen with nothing better to do.

Excellent service

The staff go above and beyond without being obtrusive. If you’d like to enjoy an afternoon with acquaintances and don’t wish to host them in your own home, I highly recommend the Delectable Dragonfly.
Rosalind Alderidge
Tangible Taverns: The Delectable Dragonfly


I enjoyed a few afternoon teas here while staying in town on business. The quality of service is superb. It was an excellent way to meet some important and influential people.
Deloris Franz
5e NPCs: Bullies & Brutes

delectable additions are the icing on the cake

The delectable additions are the reason I visit. If you haven’t explored this menu you are missing out.

Class Act

The Dragonfly is a class act from start to finish. Everything is meticulously decorated and cared for. The presentation of the food is impeccable, and the quality is excellent. The perfect place to spend the afternoon - with friends, or on your own.
Maeve W.
Tangible Taverns: The Delectable Dragonfly

They do try

This little tea house can be quite lovely. Prim does her best, but sometimes they are short staffed, the food is substandard, or they have an error with their books and do not have the correct person on hand. I recommond visiting, but suggest you keep your expections moderate.
Eva Lurancree
Tangible Taverns: The Delectable Dragonfly

Adventure Adviser: Gumption



6 reviews     |        $, Home-Style Food, Lodging

Ratings and Reviews




Breakfast, Dinner


Seating, Table Service, Large Property to Walk, Working Farm, Small Rooms for Rent

A Waterfowl Enthusiast’s Dream 

I'd heard rumours of the mysterious property filled with an incredible assortment of waterfowl, but I didn't believe it to be true until I saw it with my own eyes. Harbrum has an incredible selection of ducks, geese, and other waterfowl. I was particularly impressed when I spotted a Drovan's Redbeak. True bird watchers will understand the magnitude of this bird's presence in such a location.
Larnit Hemshire
Nature enthusiast

don’t like the squirrel

Bring a bedroll, and don't expect to sleep in the main house. The place is good enough, but there's this weird squirrel statue that made me feel like I was being watched.
5e NPCs Bullies & Brutes


Something weird is going on here.. my friend went missing and they won't say what happened to him
like i'd tell you!!


bed was good. food was good. was a nice place to stay.
Trune K

Home away from home

The kids here are just the sweetest, and Harbrum is a delight. I stumbled on the place by accident and stayed a few days enjoying the amazing property. Magenta even sent me on my way with lunch when I left.
Celeste T.

knack with animals

This is the perfect place for stop for a break, and not just because there is nothing else around for miles. The rooming cabins are sufficient (and far better than being out in the open), the food is filling, and the proprietors are welcoming. Even more than that, they have a real knack with animals. Our horses had a rough go of things before our arrival and the Kettlebees let us stable them for a few days. Never seen those creatures happier.
Cleo Arnsdorfsen
Hauler of Folks

Adventure Adviser: The Hut

The Hut


4 reviews     |        $, Home-Style Food, Hostel

Ratings and Reviews




Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Seating, Table Service, Liquor, Hostel Beds

A Good Place to Go

I like it here. Mama's food is really good, and she always gives my pup a treat.
cloudy forest by Lum3n

Lucky find

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this place some time ago. It had been a rough few days and Mama took me in. The food she made was delicious. The beds were very comfortable.

a hut in the middle of nowhere

Inconvenient location. Too much wildlife. No private rooms. Food was spicy. Do not recommend.

Nice place to rest

Durgal and I enjoyed the food here. It was nice to get inside. Mama was friendly. 
Evie Longheart

Have a character who visited The Hut and wants to share their experience? Submit it and it could be featured here!

Don’t forget to include your character’s name. 

Inbar’s Guide to the Northlands

Kobold Press has a series of blog posts, written by Kelly, about Inbar. This young woman left her home and family in Siwal to explore the Northlands. She records her adventures in letters she sends home to her family.

In addition to Ibar’s insights these blog posts contain more information about the Northlands, a region of Kobold Press’ Midgard campaign setting.

Illusions with Kids

Everyone seems to be offering free or discounted classes right now. I don’t have extra time because three kids at home full time, but hey, that’s okay. I still found this go at your own pace video based class. It’s called ‘The Science of Well Being’ and is touted as a Yale class being offered through Coursera. It’s been one night, so I’m not going to get into that, but there was this great bit about the GI Joe Fallacy.

Knowing is Half the Battle

She explains that, in the 80’s GI Joe cartoon there were public service announcements at the end of each episode. At the end of them, the kid would thank the GI Joe who delivered the PSA, and he or she would say “Knowing is half the battle.”

Professor Laurie Santos disagrees, saying that just because we know something, doesn’t mean we apply it.

Then she showed some optical illusions. The first one was the Muller-Lyer illusion. It looks like this:

Muller-Lyer illusion

So the question is: which line appears longer?  The top one.

Seeing is Believing

Look closely. They are the same length.

Muller-Lyer illusion

Even when we know this, the top one still appears longer.

Professor Laurie Santos goes on to explain our own thought patterns aren’t as easy as we think.

Seeing isn’t always believing.

And knowing isn’t always half the battle.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice doesn’t make perfect. It makes better.

I saw this as a great opportunity to teach the Rugrats how to question what they see, even if they see it with their own eyes.

For today’s class at the College of Very Interesting Disciplines, we talked about illusions!

I likened this to their first class of illusion magic. The second class is coming soon and we’re all excited about it (shadow puppets!).

We looked at the Muller-Lyer illusion above first. Rugrat#1 had seen it before, so I learned they do cover this in school, at at least one of his teachers did.

Duck or Bunny?

Then we took a look at this one:

duck or bunny illusion

Do you see a duck? Or a bunny?

All of the Rugrats said a duck, even though I held it as a bunny at first.

Rugrat#1 had seen this before, so he found both of them, but he still defaulted to the duck first.

Two Faces or a Pedestal?

pedestal or people illusion

So, Rugrat#1 called this a gauntlet. He meant goblet, but either way, I love he knows those words. This led to a great talk about both of those items.

Everyone saw the pedestal first in my house.


This illusion lets us see how our mind can fill in a blank space.

triangle illusion

There is not actually a white triangle there.

Now, oddly, my Rugrats started counting out a ton of triangles, seeing each point as its own triangle because of the other triangle intercepting it.

Two Faced

The last illusion we looked at was this one.

two faced illusion

There is a young women and an old crone in this image, depending on how you look at it.

Ken taught us all this one is the trickiest of them all. He has never been able to see either face in the image.

The Rugrats worked together to try to find the faces, and they all claim to be able to see them.

How’d You Do?

I hope you had some fun exploring illusions. If you did, share them with someone else stuck at home. Then use these skills!

And as a bonus:

“Imagine Everyone is a Vampire”

A friend of mine said this recently and I think it’s important. Don’t scare the kids with this one, but practice this “illusion” for yourself.

Stay inside.

Don’t let anyone into your home.

Don’t get too close to anyone.

The sooner we can all properly practice social distancing and stay isolated as much as possible, the sooner we can flatten the curve!

an underground cavern

Halflings, Ghouls and Horses: oh my!

Okay, so we really got lost in a world of Kobolds.

On top of all of the settings, mini adventures and other products listed in that post, I’ve been hard at work with a few more great products for this really great producer of 5e content. There are a couple of them still in the works, and Kobold Press will have more about them soon.

Empire of the Ghouls

This really successfully Kickstarter vs. the undead wrapped up a little while ago, and if you were one of the 2,000+ backers who jumped aboard, shipments should be going out in April. It was a great pleasure to have a hand in this project and I cannot wait to see the whole thing come together.

The lead designer is Richard Green, and contributing designers include Chris Lockey, Dan Dillon, Jeff Lee, Jon Sawatsky, Mike Welham, and Wolfgang Baur. Plus me – Kelly Pawlik! The project editor is Meagan Maricle and she is incredible. If you didn’t take part in this Kickstarter, watch their website and pick up a copy once it is available. 

Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design, 2nd Edition

Because sometimes you want a break from settings and adventures, you can find my essay in this great resource.

Between these covers, you’ll find practical, thought-provoking essays on worldbuilding, creating magic systems, conflict, and compelling stories, what to expect when you work as a design professional, and much more. Conceptual chapters examine what game design is and how good design can create the best games. Concrete examples provide models to help you create well-rounded designs and exciting adventures.

More about these essays can be found on the Kobold Press website. 

Warlock 17: Halflings

If you prefer supplements you can use at your gaming table, check out Warlock 17: Halflings.

This handy little Warlock magazine details three branches of the halfling family tree. Scott Gable asked me to work on this one, and it also features work by Victoria Jaczko. 

Tangible Taverns: Gumption

With everything going on in the world right now, we’re sticking closer to home and trying to tie up some loose ends. If you’re like us, you might think the current state of things makes it the perfect time to settle in, stay home, and play some RPGs.

If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered with a new Tangible Tavern.

Located in the middle of no-where (which some say is the perfect place to be right now!), this tavern is a refuge for weary travellers. No, it isn’t the one in the middle of the woods under a tree, or a hut located on the river, this little farmstead is something new. And there’s a horse with a secret!

Stay tuned – it’s coming soon!