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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Classic Rant: Sci-fi Dark Albion?

So, how about the War of the Roses in space?

Game of Thrones crossed with Star Wars?

(Lord Vader of House Skywalker; motto: "the Force is strong in us")

Sounds pretty good, right?  Well, over at the Swords & Stitchery blog, a post has been made suggesting that we could combine Dark Albion with Stars Without Number.
Now, mechanically there would be no more problem doing this than with any other OSR game, but the question is how to incorporate the setting?  The blog entry above takes inspiration from some weird Russian Sci-Fi and suggests that the PCs could be characters from some galactic empire who are forced to land on an primitive world (Albion's earth) and have only limited access to technology or permission to interfere.

But why not take it all the way?

Imagine if, like how Star Trek is basically a space-western, and Star Wars at least started out as a space-samurai-story, you were to combine Dark Albion and SWN to have a campaign that was the War of the Roses in space? Have the two great families struggling for the throne of a galactic kingdom, in a setting with a medieval aesthetic in the Fading Suns sense, maybe in a galaxy that was once far more advanced and now interstellar civilization is just barely holding on.

Magisters could be keepers of now only half-understood ultra-tech (nanites? quantum sorcery?) or psionics.  The Clerics may be Jedi-like servants of some kind of super-advanced cosmic entity they only partially understand.  The forces of chaos (frogmen, goblins, Elves, etc.) are hostile alien races in a galaxy where mankind has never found any friends.

Doesn't sound too bad, does it?

You wouldn't have to use SWN of course. You could use White Star, given how much James Spahn likes Albion; or pretty much any other sci-fi game (though a sci-fi OSR game would be best). Which system you use might alter slightly what you'd be blending into the setting, mind you, so it's still a consideration.

But yeah, stuff like this is to me part of the genius of 3rd Wave OSR thinking.


Currently Smoking: Brigham Anniversary + Image Latakia

(originally posted October 23, 2015)

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The RPGPundit Presents #3: High Tech Weapons!

So, right on time, we now present you with the next in the Pundit Presents series: high tech weapons!

Yes, this week's supplement details rules for handling high-tech weaponry of various kinds, including things like burst fire, energy clips, and more. And it provides a variety of easily-adaptable type of high-tech weapons, from slug throwers to blasters to ion or plasma weapons; even grenades and rocket-launchers.  All intended for use in a Gonzo fantasy game.

Only $1.99, be sure to check it out on DTRPG or at the Precis Intermedia online store.

And in case you haven't seen them yet, don't forget the other titles in this series:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia

And stay tuned next week for our next entry in the series: Hipster Elves!


Currently Smoking: Stanwell Deluxe + Image Virginia

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Goetia, Now in Spanish; Plus a Gnomemurdered Sale!

So, today we have for you the Spanish edition of my RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia.

En RPGPundit Presenta #2: La GoeciaTraza un círculo mágico de protección y una guarda triangular con el símbolo de un demonio para invocarlo. Reza porque cumpla tu voluntad, y no la suya propia. Este número proporciona 72 demonios y sus beneficios, junto con las reglas necesarias para invocarlos. Inspirado en grimorios medievales sobre magia con el objetivo de que tus partidas tengan un sabor más auténtico.

But today, that's not all! if you were looking for a light-hearted party-game RPG (mind you, in English), be sure to check out my old game Gnomemurdered. 

Right now, Precis Intermedia is engaging in a special Halloween sale, where you can get the book for just $3.42!  You can get Gnomemurdered at the Precis Store, or at DTRPG.

Stay tuned tomorrow for RPGPundit Presents #3!


Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Rhodesian + Image Latakia 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

In Case You Need Some More Gods for Lords of Olympus

Several of these are in fact detailed in the incredibly extensive section on the Greek Gods found in Lords of Olympus, but not all of them are. So here you go:

The ones that weren't in the book can serve as minor NPCs, or as ideas for divine themes for your PCs!


Currently Smoking: Neerup Egg + Image Virginia

Saturday, 14 October 2017

CSA-Lass Isn't Going To Convince Anyone, Assholes

So Vox Day has announced that he's making a foray into the world of comics. After helping Jeffro Johnson remake pulp into retarded and unbearable pseudo-intellectual navel-gazing fantasy-nostalgia for some kind of paleo-con dream world of "burroughs as high literature" that never was, he's moving on to fight back against the motherfucking SJWs at Marvel (who certainly deserve to be fought), with a huge kickstarter to create his own comics universe.  He's calling it "Alt-Hero".

And this is his centerpiece of the whole line:

Now, I wasn't going to write about this on my blog at all, but I did get caught up in a Tweet argument about it with the "Supreme Dark Lord" himself. And then Jeffro over on G+ decided to take a screenshot of a tiny tiny bit of it where I basically said nothing, and claim that I was some kind of 'cuck' who was saying we had to keep any "heroism, truth, nationalism, family, marriage, and Christianity" from comics to appease the left or some shit like that, which had NO resemblance to what I was saying.
In other words, Jeffro Johnson is a cowardly lying fuck who can't stand to actual debate and just makes up shit instead. So I'm going to post the bulk of my Tweet arguments below. But first I'm going to explain just why I'm so disappointed in this project.

Before that, I should note that everything else they've released in the previews is equally bad. Note, not bad as in "this is morally bad because it isn't politically correct" or something like that (before Jeffro decides to "creatively reinterpret" my argument again), but bad as in motherfucking retarded.

Stuff like the vigilante character who "cleans up the streets one (rapist) illegal at a time":

or the obviously flamingly gay villain that's part of the EU superteam:

Again, retarded.
Now in the twitter argument Day assured me that Alt-Hero was going to actually have deep storytelling and be all about the comics. But he wouldn't explain why there is NO sign of that in anything I've seen him release to the public so far. All we've seen tells us that this comic will be full of stuff meant to trigger SJWs, which is fun and good, but will essentially just be using comics as an ideological medium rather than caring about comics as a hobby itself.

So here are most of my relevant tweets that Jeffro was too much of a fucking pussy to show, and you will see the gist of my argument there:

"I don't want them up to the current level. What's the point of that? I want them to be BETTER, & not put ideological propaganda first."

"Every preview you have so far seems more interested in pissing off SJWs than winning over comic fans."
" Is the best way to win comic fans sick of comics being a political battlefield to show a chick in the Rebel flag?"

" Instead of doing stuff that will scare off the normies, make the SJWs go nuts over things the normies will see as no big deal.
Then we win."

"It's "Supergirl wears Confederate flag" vs "wonder woman wears hijab"? Or "batman beats up illegals" vs "Storm kicks out Harlem whites"."

"I'm saying, show us ANYTHING to prove this is actually about comics, not just irritating SJWs!"

"I'm concerned it's a missed opportunity. Culture > politics. Win people with better worlds. Then you win them ideologically."

"You don't win video games or #RPG culture wars by making a game that's more about ideology than game. You can't do that with comics either."

"When you betray the medium you automatically concede ground."

"The thing that beat back the wave of Ctrl-Left incursions in RPGs wasn't making some kind of alt-right-wankfest game. It was the #OSR"

"What turned it around in RPGs was when I made them condemn #DnD basic as racist, or Aleena the Cleric as "rape culture""

"When you stake the center ground, they define the center as evil, & suddenly everyone already at the center has joined the Deplorables."

"Instead of setting yourself up, make the same heroine wearing a US flag, then let the SJWs get outraged about that. You know they will."

"That's how you win."

"Not by making a stupid and meaningless gesture over the Confederate battle flag. That's you playing THEIR game."

"It makes your loyal fanboys cheer but accomplishes NOTHING."

And that's what bothers me about Alt-Hero. We certainly could use someone coming along and making a new comics universe that was ABOUT THE COMICS in the same way the OSR is about the games. One that didn't ignore politics completely, or shy from moral lessons, or push a leftist agenda, but that wasn't just a facade for right-wing propagandism either.

I would love to see a universe that had heroes that actually embodied heroism, that had moral values, that were patriotic, that believed in family, that stood up for classical Enlightenment values, who saluted the flag. And this would have the "Aleena Effect" of SJWs protesting against a hero in a US flag, and everyone who likes US flags abandoning the SJWs.

But above all, that it would focus on the comics. Instead, Alt-hero has every appearance of being something that will involve someone who is fundamentally not really all that into comics (at least, not enough to value the subculture) injecting ideological propaganda into the medium of the comic, with the comics' conventions being largely an afterthought to sledgehammering their political agenda.

That means Alt-Hero looks like it's going to be pretty much just like SJW Marvel.

What we need is someone who loves comics enough to actually make them great again. Not someone who is just using them to get their attacks across.

You aren't doing something like the best of comics history and the values you claimed to uphold with this job. You're not doing this:

Or this:

Instead what you're doing is stuff that is doomed to fail, because the fans will see it for the ploy it is. It's been done before. Alt-hero is going to be stuff, at best, like this:

Or this:

Or this.

Like I said. Retarded.


Currently Smoking: Mastro De Paja Rhodesian + Image Virginia

Friday, 13 October 2017

Pictures From Uruguay!

Because fuck it, I'm busy working.

Here's some more pictures from the huge and amazing Tristan Narvaja street fair, which takes place every Sunday, about 9 blocks from my house.

Birds are just one of a huge variety of animals that are sold at the fair. These are pretty plain, but there's often also chickens and roosters, weird local birds, parrots, and more.

Antiques are another common feature in the market.

Here's a closer look at some of the curios:

Street food is another common feature, and delicious!

If you like that sort of thing, there's a huge selection of crystals (Uruguay being one of the biggest sources of Quartz and Amethyst):

This here? This is one of the side-streets.  It just goes on forever.

I think I'll stop there for now. And next time I do this I'll show you what you find on the very fringes of the side-streets of the fair.


Currently Smoking: Dunhill Shell Diplomat + C&D's Crowley's Best

Thursday, 12 October 2017

If You Object to Illegal Immigration, You Have to Oppose the Source of Demand

So, fellow conservatives: I'm curious to see if some of you think this is not right.

The United States has a huge problem with illegal immigration. It is being facilitated by complicit elements in the government. But the government isn't really the cause of the illegal immigration. Economics is. The illegal arrive in the US to get jobs that are utterly awful but better than what they could hope to get in that failed narco-state we call Mexico.

So if you, like me, support the arrest and deportation of illegals, who are acting completely in violation of rule of law and the established processes for immigration, then you will agree with me that one way to fight this problem is also to go after the people paying these illegals.

The people hiring illegal immigrants are violating the law. Probably multiple laws. They're certainly evading various regulations and taxes that other businesses have to follow. They're avoiding the minimum wage everyone else is bound by. Whether or not you think any of those things I've just named are good (and I don't, particularly), you have to agree that they are at this time established Law, and that it's wrong for some people get circumvent it. Particularly by the hiring of illegals.

So, I'm totally for a much more aggressive rounding up and deporting of illegals. But I think that if you want to actually cause a long-term change (other than actually building the wall), arrest the farmers, construction companies, business-owners, and wealthy California liberals who hire illegals for all those shit jobs at shit pay.

Do some undercover operations. Make it too dangerous for them to risk it. Oblige them to hire Americans, at proper wages.

Because when you think about it, the illegals frankly owe the United States nothing; they're criminals but they are just trying to seek out advantage of a foreign country they owe no allegiance to. But the people who hire them, they're traitors.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Egg + Gawith's Navy Flake

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Classic Rant: I'm a Movement!

It's a funny thing, overhearing some gamers referring to you as a style/movement in GMing. 

I am far from the be all and end all of the spectacular RPG community in Uruguay, which was already cool before I got here and has a ton of great people and stuff going on besides my presence.

But I guess I have made an impact. I know there are some games played here that are only here because I brought attention to them. And I've run a lot of games with a lot of people.

So maybe I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard someone talk about how someone else's GM-ing style is of the "Punditist" school. And that certain things are a very "Punditist" feature of GMing.

So in the same sense as impressionism, cubism, etc., are to art, apparently Punditism or the Punditist school is a specific 'school' of the craft of GMing, where enough people have played under me (hell, there are crazy numbers who learned how to play from me, whose start in RPGs here was with me), that when they GM now they incorporate details into their game.

On interrogation with the people who said it, this ranges from meaningful and sweeping details, like having a vast number of NPCs, and a powerful sense of a living world, to particular quirks and minutiae, like having a fast and loose style with stats and and the 'theater of the mind' combat style; to comedic details (having some comedic parts to even the most serious of games being one feature of Punditism, no doubt), like how you can tell the bosses by the size of their mustaches.

So yeah, there's something funny about that, because I never made a manifesto or set myself up to play this part. It was just a function of me being a fanatical GM and 12+ years gaming with a ton of people.


Currently Smoking: Ben Wade Rhodesian + Image Latakia

(Originally Posted October 4, 2015)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia!

So, on schedule, Precis Intermedia has now released for your consumption the second in the RPGPundit Presents serial.

This week's entry is The Goetia!

(note, not actual art from the book! Just for reference)

The RPGPundit Presents: The Goetia is a 22-page medieval-authentic OSR sourcebook that is inspired by a real medieval historical grimoire.

It includes:

-A slightly-simplified version of the Summoning Rules found in the upcoming Lion & Dragon RPG, compatible with most OSR rpg rulesets!

-A listing of 72 demons for summoners to contact, with description, title, what gifts they can grant, and how many lesser demons are in their service.

So, if you want to add a touch of authentic summoning to your OSR (or other fantasy) game, be sure to check out The Goetia, now available at DTRPG, or at Precis' own store!

Note: the listing of demons is NOT going to be included in Lion & Dragon, which makes Pundit Presents #2 technically the first actual supplement for that game, before it even comes out!

Edit: Stay tuned next week for #3: High Tech Weapons!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar

Monday, 9 October 2017

DungeonChef; Ahora En Castellano!

So, the first issue of RPGPundit Presents, DungeonChef, is now available in Spanish! You can find it either on the Precis store, or at DTRPG!

La edición española de la publicación semanal OSR creada por RPGPundit que presenta un tema diferente en cada número.

Ya sea por necesidad, curiosidad o estupidez, los personaje jugadores se llevarán cosas a la boca, algunas de las cuales, obviamente, no deberían. Con una variedad enorme de criaturas y sustancias fantásticas, ¿cómo decididirás los resultados? Las criaturas mágicas pueden ser comestibes, con mágicas consecuencias, igual que podrían ser tóxicas. Adéntrate en esta útil guía para averiguar qué ocurre con lo almuerzos fantásticos. Incluye tablas aleatorias para deglutir criaturas astrales, ajenos/seres del caos, setas y cosas bizarras.

So, if you're part of the Hispanic RPG community, please enjoy DungeonChef!  

And for everyone else, stay tuned tomorrow for RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia! 


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Chestnut 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Wild West Campaign Update: Getting the Hell out of Dodge

This week's adventure revolved around a conflict between two ranchers who had lusted after the same woman.

But that's pretty much all that's worth saying about that, other than that it ended in tragedy but none of the PCs ended up being involved in gunplay.  The REAL challenge in this adventure had little to do with that (which was really more of a sideshow), and instead had to do with the realization that in the first peak month of the cattle drive, the numbers and profits were down 25%.

This coincided with a convenient event: Doc Holliday and John Joshua Webb sat Crazy Miller down and talked to him about a letter they'd received from Dirty Dave Rudabaugh.  About two months back, Dirty Dave and Mysterious Dave Mather had left Dodge in search of somewhere they would feel less pressured by the inexorable march of civilization and an excess of lawmen.  And they'd now written some of their sometime partners in crime to let them know that they'd found it.

Ironically, it was in a city that had, only four months before, chased off Doc Holliday for public gambling: Las Vegas. That town was known, if it was known at all, for being a dull law-abiding town where gambling and prostitution were strictly prohibited.
But Las Vegas was also on the Santa Fe Railroad line; and the railroad was finding that Las Vegas' laws were too restrictive. So they'd founded a sister town, just across the tracks, calling it East Las Vegas.  And in East Las Vegas, anything goes.

More than that, it turns out that the two Daves had been brought into the circle of a well-known scoundrel by the name of Hoodoo Brown, who had managed to buy himself the title of Justice of the Peace in Las Vegas, as well as the new town's provisional Mayor title. This meant that they would get to set up the city, and they would get to determine the law. Which was pretty incredible given that these were all known outlaws.  It was a bit like if all of the Flash's Rogues' Gallery went off and started their own flash-free city.

Crazy Miller was intentionally courted by this group, via Webb and Doc Holliday, who had already determined that one way or the other, they were heading to Las Vegas.  Both of them because they wanted to be in a city where they'd have no trouble from the law, and because they wanted to own a saloon where they could game and drink to their hearts' content; and in Doc's case, because the dry hot climate around Las Vegas and it's medicinal hot springs might manage to keep him alive a bit longer.
But even before learning of the existence of East Las Vegas, Crazy Miller had already decided it was time to start divesting himself of his many holdings in Dodge; the reduction of profits from the cattle drive made it very clear for him that the writing was on the wall, and Dodge City was soon going to lose all its freedom, fun, and profitability as a boom town.

Other Miller was happy to go with Crazy Miller, at least, as soon as he finally cleared up that John Joshua Webb was not in fact taking advantage of Crazy Miller, and thus wouldn't require a reckoning from him.  Meanwhile, Kid Taylor had made it a personal goal of his to figure out a way out of Dodge for some time now, not very happy about where his secret alliance with the 'Better People' might lead him.

Of the party members present, only Hale the Mormon ex-Gambler decided he'd be staying in Dodge.  It made sense; Hale had a good job, he was married and settled, and Las Vegas was too close to the old territories of his doppleganger, the mysterious outlaw know as Derek McClue. Plus, I think his player realized Hale was at a bit of a dead-end action-wise; he was too often out of the action because his character simply wasn't a man of action. He wouldn't shy from a fight but he never was the type to go out looking for one either. This was a chance to make a new PC that would play differently.

So now, the only one left in question is Jeff Young. His player didn't come this week, and Young is the town Marshall in Dodge.  Will he leave that behind to go to a city that will probably be more lawless than his character would like, and where any attempts on his part to enforce any real rule of law would be met with strong opposition from a gang of virtual psychopaths?  On the other hand, he is statistically one of the best characters in the group, certainly the best by far for actual gunfighting, so it's not like he wouldn't be capable of finding stuff to do in a lawless boom-town.
I guess we'll have to wait and see for what he decides next adventure.  Regardless, next session will, after four years of game-time, be the very first where the PCs will be based somewhere other than Dodge.

Goodbye, Dodge.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Solani Aged Burley Flake

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Quit Saying Any Celebrity Over 60 "Died too Soon"

It's not at all weird for someone to die at 66. Especially someone who lived like Tom Petty did.  And the thing is there's nothing wrong about that happening.

Death is actually a NORMAL fucking thing, it's not some crazy tragedy that was otherwise avoidable, that only happens sometimes.  It happens to everyone. And it's ridiculous to say that someone who reached senior citizen age after accomplishing a world-spanning award winning career of international fame and fortune while doing an insane amount of drugs and having a schedule that would tire out a 20 year old somehow "died too soon".

There's no such thing as "dying too soon". There's just dying. And everyone dies.
But saying that about anyone over 60 is especially ridiculous and the kind of thing that we can only say in a society so decadent, soft and mollycoddled that it has separated itself from the reality of death so much that death feels like something alien, weird, unnatural or avoidable

I'm not quite at Petty's age, and probably did (very) slightly less drugs than he had, but consider it surprising every day I wake up alive, and have lived my life in such a way that if I didn't, that would be fine too. Because I got shit done. I lived. I've followed my dreams. I've been places. I've written books. I've had a life explored to the fullest. I've pursued loves and passions without compromise, to such an extent that how long you live no longer matters because of how profoundly you're living.

And so did Tom Petty. So you want to say you're sad? Sure. That's fine. That you miss him? OK. But don't suggest that he died "too young" or that his life was somehow 'incomplete'.


Currently Smoking: Neerup Bent Billiard + Image Latakia

Friday, 6 October 2017

DCC Campaign Archive: They're Pre-emptive Snakes!

When we left off in our last session, the PCs were racing away from Fuck Station Aleph on the Superfly-1, being hotly pursued by the Station's Valkyrie Fighters.


-"Do you have anywhere we could lay low, Blitzkrieg?"
"Well, there's that deadly asteroid field over there."
"Oh.. and.. are you good with that?"
"Man, I'm good with everything!"

-"Hey can I start shooting at something?"
"You can start shooting at everything!"

-"Shut up, this is all your fault! You killed that woman with your snakes!"
"With all my snakes! It was awesome."
"No, it's awful."
"Well, I am a vegan."

-The Superfly-1 is being pursued by Valkyrie Fighter ships, which look like giant boobs.

-"Sakomano, just asking.. but do you have any spare vacuum-suits?"
"Hell no! Why would we need that?"

-Blitzkrieg avoids the first shots by veering the Superfly-1 slightly to the left.
"Awesome! He knows maneuvers!"

-Unfortunately, the Valkyrie Fighters also know maneuvers, and when they hit the Superfly-1 everyone on board does the Star Trek Shuffle.

-"Blitzkrieg are you sure you want to fly us into an asteroid field? We've got people on board who are 1xp from leveling up!"
"Never tell me the odds!"

-Vizi, operating the Superfly-1's turret-cannon, manages to hit one of the Valkyrie Fighters, causing it to retreat. Then he hits another making it slam into the third.
"Stop it, Vizi! You're giving me false hope we'll survive this!"
"Hope is my middle name!"
"Really? What's your last name?"
"Yeah.. Vizi 'hope'...what?"
"Fuck you guys! I don't have a last name. I hope to get one someday."

-"use the force, Vizi!"
"Huh? Roman?! What the fuck are you doing sneaking up behind me and whispering into my ear?!"
"I said 'use more force'! Your attenuator is only on 'Low'!"
"Ohhh... ok."

-The Valkyrie ships are now close enough that the PCs can see through their cockpit-windows.
"The Valkyries are being piloted by real Valkyries, you guys!"
"Well, hot babes, anyways."

-"Are you sure they're not going to spot us hidden behind this asteroid? Should we shut off all power or something?"
"Nah, this is an Energy-Saver ship. When it's idle it can't be detected."
"Blitzkrieg believes in saving the environment."

-While Roman is repairing the damage to the ship with Space-Bear, Mu gets Blitzkrieg to search the Interwebs for 'Roman Beckett'. They find that there's tons of hits, maybe too many, but all of them are only from the last two years. It's like Roman didn't exist before that.

-"Hey what are you guys doing up here?"
"Nothing, Roman! Totally not looking up stuff about someone on the Interwebs!"

-That night, Mu levels up, to level 3.
"Yes! Now my Will save is +0!"

-Sami and Heidi were both knocked out in the firefight with the Valkyries and they're still unconscious the next day (their players didn't come).
"I think they've slipped into a coma. Should we do something?"
"They'll be fine."

-The Superfly-1 finally arrives on Gebo. They expected to find the Sezrekhan-zombie Bill the Elf there, but he's gone. There's also evidence that Jal'udin's men were here. Vizi has a psychic vision of Jal'udin on the asteroid, kidnapping Bill (alive) and being unable to decipher the secret of the monolith. But he was planning to go find the answer back on Lol.

-"Wait.. Bill the Elf has a snake-head?"
"And he wears flip-flops."
"Man, I have got to meet this motherfucker!"

-Roman warns Vizi that he shouldn't try to use his psychic powers to 'read the monolith', but the rest of the party believes he's using reverse-psychology on him.

-"Look, just do it or don't do it."
"There is no try."

-Vizi tries to psychically sense the monolith, but he only ends up seeing a vision of Bill the Elf murdering Fluffy the Cat and his minder.

-"So Bill didn't betray us after all?"
"He was betraying fluffy?"
"One thing's for sure, he was betraying someone!"
"Maybe more."

-"So Jaludin is trying to figure out the answer to the monolith riddle. What do we do?"
"We could go to the library of Barth."
"Who the fuck picks these names?"

-The plan is either to go to the library of Barth, which is another huge orbital library but on general-subjects, or to go back and infiltrate Lol and steal the brain of Zuman from Lol's mausoleum.

-"I know! We could flood the city with snakes!"
"That won't help!"
"How about cats?"

-"Is Ekim's brain in the mausoleum?"
"Ok, because I would like to file a complaint."

-They decide to go to Lol. On the way Roman admits he's pretty sure Mu will be recognized and captured, so the other PCs would be better off going separately from him.
"You should stay on the ship, Mu, if you have any brains."
"No, I'm going to take the risks."
"Suit yourself."
"Wait.. was that reverse psychology again? Are you planning to have me go to cause a distraction?"

-"Me and Blitkrieg will stay behind here on the ship. And we'll rescue you if.. bwah hahaha.. oh man, I'm sorry, I just can't keep saying that with a straight face."

-"Ok, so we're going in two different paths"
 "You're team Monkey and we're team Snakes!"
"Yeah, me going around with a monkey-wizard familiar definitely isn't going to make me stand out..."

-The Superfly-1 lands in the Lol spaceport. The area is crawling with black-armored High Council guards, and there's propaganda posters everywhere, with slogans like 'Peace Has Returned' or 'Report Sezrekhan Zombies to Your Local Extermination Squad'.

-They get interviewed by the Port Authority.
"Are you a wizard?"
"Do you cast spells?"
"No, I smoke herbs and have visions."
"Oh. I'll just put you down as 'hippie'.  And your profession, sir?"
"Ok, make that 'two hippies'."

-"Are you now or have you ever been part of a revolutionary organization?"
"No. Well, he's a vegan."
"I said revolutionary, not stupid."

-When Vizi and the Vegan wizard get up onto the streets of Lol, they see some kind of a rally going on. Apparently sanctioned or at least unmolested by the police forces, the marchers are carrying placards saying 'expel interplanar degenerates', 'down with the Greys', and 'make Lol great again'.

-Mu, meanwhile, has snuck in with invisibility, and then flies over straight to the mausoleum. He's recognized by the mausoleum keeper but goes invisible again, gets past the guards, and managed to get to Zuman's brain.  Zuman explains his code.
"The numbers on the monolith... they are a library code. Find the book it corresponds to, and you will have your password!"
"...why don't you just tell me what it is?"
"...fine. It's 'The Dark Gate'. You're no fun!"

-As he's leaving the mausoleum, still invisible, Mu sees Vizi and the Vegan. But instead of telling them he's already succeeded in the mission, he can't be arsed and just leaves them there.

-In any case, Vizi and the Vegan weren't heading to the mausoleum. One-upping Mu in sheer crappiness, they decide to ignore the mission completely and head over to the market.
"What's the best jet-pack you've got?"
"That would be the Huntsman. It costs 1500 credits."
"Oh. Ok, how about the cheapest jetpack you've got?"
"These ones in the pile were made in a Kekistani sweatshop. They cost 600 credits. No warranty."
" you have anything in the middle?"
"We have the Flightmaster, it's decent, for 750 credits. Or the Lady Flightmaster, for 790."
"What's the difference between the two?"
"The Lady Flightmaster is pink."
"I'll take the Lady Flightmaster, please!"

-Vizi and the Vegan buy comms, jet packs, particle belts and take a bunch of selfies. Roman contacts them and tells them to get back to the ship.

-At the fair, there's an anti-Archemaster protest. The black guard come in.
"Ok, beat the shit out of anyone who's identity scan registers their profession as 'hippie'!"
"oh, shit!"

-Meanwhile, Mu has gotten back to the spaceship, but since he'd been spotted at the mausoleum, he's most wanted, and the port authority are searching everything.
"What do I do?"
"Quick man, hide here in this secret smuggler's compartment!"
"Wait, I'm getting in there too."
"There's not enough room for both of us, Roman!"
"Tough, get ready to snuggle up, Mu."

-"What do we do, Vizi?"
"Let's just pretend we're dumb tourists"
"I have a problem with you saying that's just pretending."

-Mu and Roman are discovered by the port authority guards. Roman blows one's brains out; Mu blasts another two with magic missiles.

-Vizi and the Vegan mutant make it down to the ship in the middle of the fight with the guards. The vegan wizard takes a swing at a guard with his sword.
"Hah! The Vegan wizard fights like Publio used to!"

-Blitzkrieg Sakomano joins the shooting.
"All you black-helmet motherfuckers get the fuck off my ship!"

-One of Jal'udin's assassins is also at the spaceport, and starts a lightsaber duel with Vizi!

-Rather than risk the lightsaber fight, though, Vizi decides to just psychically dominate the assassin.

-The Superfly-1 takes off, escaping Lol, taking the assassin with them.

-Vizi tries to get the assassin high on medicinal herbs to have him talk; but his training is just too good. So Roman decides to brain-fry the Assassin to find out what he knows. This confirms what they all suspected: Jal'udin and the Archemaster are allies.
Vizi decapitates the assassin.

-They get back to Gebo. Mu circles the monolith and speaks the words, and the monolith opens a dark gateway.

-"Remember, the demon Rataxos is in there. He'll try to convince you to let him free. Don't let him!"
"But maybe he'd be a good patron?"

-The Vegan Wizard conjures some snakes.
"Why did you do that?"
"They're pre-emptive snakes."

-Sakomano and Space-Bear stay behind on the superfly-1, taking care of Mongo (who is too valuable to be risked), while the rest of the party enters the monolith.

-They find themselves in total darkness. The Vegan wizard casts 'detect magic' and sees that they're in a corridor, and several horrific photo-negative giant centipedes are heading their way!

-In the fight the Vegan Wizard keeps spellburning 1 point at a time to recover his Animal Summoning spell, and keeps losing it.
"I don't get you. You burned like 10 points to murder the shopkeeper back on Fuck Station Aleph, but here we're fighting for our lives against extraplanar monsters and you're pussyfooting it."
"She was a greater danger to me than these bugs."

-Just as they're getting into trouble, a magic missile comes from the darkness and blasts one of the bugs!

-The Vegan Wizard finally manages to summon a giant porcupine, which quills the living fuck out of the last of the demonic bugs.

-"So, can I ride around on my giant porcupine?"
"What the hell is wrong with you?"

-"Come to think of it, how the hell do porcupines make love?"
"Very carefully."

-The PCs finally see who helped them in the fight, as out of the darkness comes... the Hippomagus!

-"Do you have the sunstaff?"
"It is in the hands of the demon rataxos! If we want it, we will have to work together to have any chance of defeating him."
"Oh, shit."

That's it for this session. Will the PCs be able to get the sunstaff at long last?
Find out in our next session!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + Gawith's Navy Flake

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Could RPGPundit Presents Be In Spanish?

Sorry, I haven't gotten around to writing today, because (among other things) I'm working out the details of a possible arrangement for Dungeonchef, the first entry in the RPGPundit Presents series, to end up being translated and getting a Spanish edition.  Who knows? This might lead to more down the line.

Anyways, more news on that later, if it comes to anything.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Classic Rant: Dark Albion and 3rd-Wave OSR

So Jeffro Johnson (of the often-controversial Castalia House) has published a kind of non-review of Dark Albion. In it he kindly points out the significant amount of praise Dark Albion has received from all kinds of OSR corners, but for his own part expresses a kind of confusion as to why this 'game' (Dark Albion, that is) could get away with not actually having rules in it and just tell you to use the RPG you most like (even -gasp- 5e!) and then offer you modifications for how to run the game with whatever rules you like.

I think he's a bit confused about Dark Albion, particularly in calling it a 'game'. Dark Albion isn't an RPG, it's a setting. What might be confusing Jeffro is that for a long time, the OSR didn't really give a shit about settings. It didn't value them at all. It had Greyhawk, the Wilderlands, or Blackmoor, the old stuff that was venerated for being old, and some people just made their own homebrews. And that's fine, but since the OSR in its first wave was about venerating ancient history and not wanting to introduce anything new, there clearly wasn't much room for the idea of doing anything creative with setting.

This gave rise to people, like Jeffro claiming that they have no use for settings. I really fail to understand this mentality. Someone claiming they have no use for published settings is like a musician saying he doesn't need to listen to any recorded music beside his own. I don't care how good your homebrew is, there is stuff out there you literally will be INCAPABLE of thinking of. Be it because you're not as bright as me, or because you don't have the educational background I have, or because your brain is just wired differently from mine, there are going to be things I will have thought of in setting-design that you will never ever think of on your own. And, of course, other people will have thought up things in setting-design that I would never ever think of on my own.

And this is what the 3rd Wave of the OSR is all about. I talked about this before, but let's review, shall we?

1st wave osr: clonemania. As precise as possible copies of existing old edition versions of D&D. What I once not very affectionately termed "the OSR Taliban".

2nd wave OSR: Innovation of Design. OSR rules that worked within the old school framework but did radically new things. LotFP. ACKS. DCC. SWN.

3rd Wave OSR: Innovation of Setting. Games where the interesting part was less about what rules were being changed as how the D&D-type rules were being applied to fit radically different settings. Vornheim. Arrows of Indra. Yoon-Suin. Dark Albion. 

So Dark Albion is a 3rd Wave product (according to James Spahn, who knows a thing or two about making great OSR games, it may be the best RPG product of the last 5 years, period). It is not a full game that once again copies the D&D model, but it's also not 'just a setting' in the the sense of being a book with no rules in it at all.

The 3rd Wave OSR aesthetic is about a synthesis of rules meant to create emulation of specific (almost always non-standard) settings with the D&D framework. So you don't "only" get a setting. You get a full set of rules you can use to adjust your own favorite game. Why am I going to make a whole new RPG for Albion instead of letting you run it with the OSR game you already love most, whichever that is? The Appendix P rules are there, if you want, to replace huge chunks of the core rules of your game if you want to, making Albion ALMOST have a complete RPG in it (all that's really missing is the filler of explaining how the mechanics work, which every OSR guy already knows, and the descriptions of the spells, which you can find in any D&D book). But if you don't want that, if you like your S&W or your LotFP or your 5e D&D for that matter, and want to run Albion with that, you also have the much lighter guidelines to just show you how to tweak it (and stuff like the background tables, social class rules, authentic names tables, etc. to help out with that too).

That's the whole idea of what 3rd wave OSR is about: it's not just a completely barren setting, but it's not obsessive rules-wankery, much less obsessive OSR-taliban wankery where you jizz over some recently rediscovered scribble Gary Gygax wrote on a McDonalds' napkin in 1977. It's a setting with a bunch of very creative rules material to let you play an OSR campaign in a context that no other OSR campaign was ever done. It's Setting/rules Innovation.

So Dark Albion has some pretty big rule-changes (look at the Demonology stuff, or at the Appendix P rules, if you doubt that) but they are there in the service of making the game work for the setting, a setting different than anything that has come before. And in Dark Albion's case, that's particularly interesting given that instead of India or Fantasy Tibet or Wonderland, the "radically different" setting is the exact same place as almost all D&D campaigns ever think they are riffing from: medieval Europe. Dark Albion is "Medieval Fantasy Europe", those exact words we've heard to describe so many D&D worlds, but done like they have never ever been done before. Anyone can do weirdo-gonzo land in a different way, but Albion's triumph is that it takes the most trodden fantasy ground of all and does that with a new freshness of historical detail and rules to match the world.

That's the spirit of Dark Albion, which when you think about it, is the same spirit of the best of the OSR: to take oldest most traditional RPG in the world and do new things with it, within it's framework.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Horn + Gawith's Navy Flake

(Originally posted October 19, 2015)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef is Now Here!

So, as promised, today you can purchase the very first issue of  my new serial, RPGPundit Presents!

RPGPundit Presents #1 is "DungeonChef" and it's a guide to how to handle player characters eating weird things in your OSR game.  As you can imagine it has more than a touch of Gonzo.

In this 14-page supplement you'll find:

-rules on food poisoning

-Alignment-issues involving dining off slain creatures.

-A long list of strange and special effects from eating various types of monsters and supernatural creatures.

-Random tables for effects from eating Astral Creatures, Fae-Realm Creatures, Extraplanar/Outsiders, Fungi, and Slimes.

-A big generic "WTF did I eat?" table.

So, go check it out! You can find DungeonChef for sale at $2.99 at the Precis online store, or on DTRPG!

And stay tuned next week for "RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia"!


Currently Smoking: Neerup Hawkbill + Image Virginia

Monday, 2 October 2017

Pundit Presents #1: DungeonChef Comes Out Tomorrow!

So, Precis Intermedia has been working like wildfire on this project, and I'm very pleased to inform you all that as of tomorrow, we should be seeing the first installment of what I hope will be a very long serial; "Pundit Presents #1: DungeonChef"!

For the first issue, we will be looking at 14 pages of guidelines and awesome random tables related to a situation that inevitably happens to any GM: one of your players says "my character is going to eat this monster corpse".

Find out about everything from basic food poisoning to weird and wonderful effects from eating extraplanar beings, to what happens if you eat astral creatures, mutations or other odd random effects from tasting magical slimes, and even some alchemical secrets.

Check in tomorrow, right here on this blog, to get your link to where you can buy DungeonChef!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + H&H's Chestnut

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Post-Apocalypse Wuxia OSR Campaign Update

So, last night we had a great session.

It included some adventuring deep in enemy (northern barbarian) territory, sneaking up to a barbarian camp to judge the size of the army they plan to invade the empire with, uncovering a conspiracy among the northern clan, and a great scene where the commander of the PCs had to fight a duel with one of the most legendary warriors in the world.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun but went late, and that's about all the writing I've got in me today.


Currently Smoking: Stanwell Deluxe + Image Virginia

Saturday, 30 September 2017

My New Publisher for Pundit Presents!

So, a while back I made a second call for publishers for a planned serial of small OSR supplements I'm going to call "Pundit Presents".  My first publisher (contracted around late May) was very eager but had a series of different problems he ran into. It was not really any blame on him, and it had nothing to do with any personal conflicts or political issues, so I'm not going to bring up his name here.

I made a call for a new publisher a little over a week ago. I had about five serious offers; among those you can see from the comments in the original call, there was Gaming Ballistic and Purple Duck Games, both of which are clearly really excellent companies that made very professional pitches to try to recruit me.

But in the end, the best pitch ended up being from an old friend.  On account of the length and scope of this project, I decided that the most important thing of all would be that I'd be able to be absolutely certain of the long-term endurance and dependability of the publisher in question.

So I'm happy to report that I've decided on none other than Precis Intermedia, who have already worked with me in publishing my Lords of Olympus RPG.  And as anyone who owns a copy of LoO (especially the color edition) knows, they do good work!

What's more, I'm happy to say that Precis has gone straight to work.  The great Brett Bernstein reliably informs me that we should have Pundit Presents #1: "Dungeonchef" sometime within the next week! And it will be one new product every week after that.

So, stay tuned!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar