Main Topic

Limits and dangers of Games? A lot of this goes first to knowing your players and them trusting you.  Horror in ways other themes don’t requires that trust and that connection.  To the extent that horror, as we talked about before, is about confronting certain terror in the world or in yourself, there are times it can be too intense.  

What is too far? A lot depends on what your players want to get out of a Horror game.  Joules has been stressing the exploration of fears and ideas that are rooted in our childhoods and what that can tell us about ourselves.  The existential and cthonic horrors provide a chance to look at humankinds place in the universe and potential insignificance.  What are you looking for when you play a horror themed game?

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

 

The Seneschal of Carrion

The Seneschal is the governor to the Lord of Flies, Master of the Carrion Pits. Few know the name or purpose of this power behind the throne. Some scholars say he is a puppet of the Lord but for once they may be so far from the truth. Seeing him is not something many sane people ever want to do. While a few have seen him not in his robes of office each has had a different description. As well each time the same person saw him he appeared different. One underlying fact is that his form has been from a single giant maggot to a colony of them to various other creatures known to consume carrion.

 

Is this creature the voice of a demon lord or is he the demon lord with the proxy sitting in the open as the target of ridicule and violence. At times things look one way and at others the look like they are the opposite. To what end does this creature and its master have for others is anyone’s guess. But as with most things of a demonic nature it isn’t good.

 

Joules- Valkyries Lullaby

Breathe.  You’re safe.  The fight is done.

Lay down your sword.  The demons are gone.

At least for the night.

 

Rest your head

Dream of the stars and the moon

And of love and life and glory

 

Till the day when the war is finally over

And I will come to take you home.

-Translation of the Notes of the Last Skald

 

The Valkyrie’s lullaby is heard only by the greatest of warriors.  The strong and the true.  The Honourable and valiant.  The Valkyries know that one day they will one day bring them home.  But they know that the warriors life is full of struggle and strife.  So they try to offer comfort however they can.  So in dreams, the Valkyries sing to them.  Offering them a moment of respite and peace.  

 

The warriors have told tales of the Valkyrie’s lullaby.  Shared bits and pieces of what they remember.  Skalds take what they’re given and try to re-create the lullaby as best they can.  Chanting them while the healers practice their craft.  Intoning them before a battle.  Singing them during funeral rites.  Honouring those who gave all.

 

And sometimes when the Skalds have finished, an ethereal echo can still heard, hanging in the air.  A silky and steady female voice.  “Welcome home.”

 

Guard-a-Manger-

The Grand Masquerade

There is a party that is fabulous.  A party you’ve only heard about.  A Party that can’t possibly be real.  The finest food. The finest drink.  The most amazing clothes.  The dream of all the scene.  Even Tommy Tommy doesn’t know much more about it than the rumors and whispers.  

 

You have resigned yourself to The Grand Masquerade being just a rumor, and then the invitation arrives.  Smelling faintly of lilac, the embossed invitation guarantees your entry to the next Grand Masquerade to be held in a fortnight.  So you prepare yourself and find the finest clothes and hasten to the entry to The Grand Masquerade …. Down a country road just outside the city, and off the beaten path, quite literally.   

 

The smell of the forest grass, the shine of the mushrooms peaking through the ground, and the quite hoot of the owl all lead you to the Grand Masquerade as you hear a faint musical tone drawing you closer.  The Masquerade is full of people, dressed to the nines, talking, dancing, flirting, and making merry.  The champagne glistens in the flutes and those canapes are amazing. It is so wonderful, that you know something must be wrong but quickly put that thought out of your mind.

 

A quarter to midnight, you whip your head around as you think you see something flitting by you.  You don’t see anything but realize the shadows are growing longer. You look around and realize that you don’t know anyone who is here and that the clothes everyone else is wearing seems to be … brighter.  You mind reels but it isn’t until the clock strikes midnight that it all comes together.

 

You hear the glass you were carrying shatter as it hits the floor.  Looking around, you begin to realize where you are.  The ears are long and your hosts eyes almond.  Your stomach begins to turn as you look around at the Unseelie Court of the Fae … having followed their music, drunk their wine, and eaten their food.  

 

“Welcome to your new home, mortal.  We have many years ahead of us to see what use you are.”

 

Lexicon

Lapidary  noun  lap·i·dary  \ ˈla-pə-ˌder-ē \

 

Definition of lapidary

plural lapidaries
1 :a cutter, polisher, or engraver of precious stones usually other than diamonds
2 :the art of cutting gems

 

First Known Use of lapidary
14th century

 

Origin and Etymology of lapidary
Latin lapidarius of stone, from lapid-, lapis stone

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Hellraiser

 

Joules-Prey

 

Guard-a-Manger- The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Phoenix Design Notes

First things first – if you are an optimizing player who ekes out every last drop of effectiveness, you should skip this character sheet.  Making a technomancer has some interesting challenges, but when you have a dwarf in your head already for the character, it gets even more complicated.  With the minimum priority of “C” for metatype, things get thrown out of balance quickly.  I also wanted to make a former otaku who became a technomancer, and that means at the minimum a datajack dropping the characters Resonance.  Once I accepted that the character wouldn’t be nearly as good at what they do as, say, Po’Pay, it started to get easier. In trying to balance out Phoenix, I ended up using Sum to ten with “B” – Resonance; “C” – Attributes; “C” – Skills; “C” – Metatype; and “D” – Resources.

I designed Pheonix more for the roleplaying opportunities when I went this route.  I covered the basics of being a Technomancer and she isn’t completely useless, but with a Resonance of 3, there are some real limits.  To give her at least a small chance to shoot something, she got a cyberarm since I had nearly a point of essence that wasn’t doing anything after the datajack and crammed in some agility modifiers and some sensors.  To round out the character, including a really low attribute and get the remaining nuyen I wanted, I took some potentially dangerous Negative Qualities, especially Curiosity Killed the Cat for such a low Resonance character.   

Phoenix won’t set a game on fire, but as part of Balance Sheet, she is an interesting part of the team and full of roleplaying potential.

Balance Sheet Team Overview Here.

Phoenix Character Notes

Phoenix is a female dwarven Technomancer who has been running with Balance Sheet pretty much since their first run.  Her secrets, however, are her own.  She hasn’t shared with the rest of them that before Crash 2.0, she was an Otaku – a child of the Matrix that didn’t need a deck.  The thing is, Phoenix was already facing the fading, when Otaku would begin to lose their connection to the matrix as they aged, when Crash 2.0 happened and was left in a coma for weeks afterwards.  Her original identity was gone, wiped out in that catastrophic system failure, but she slipped out before they managed to tag her with a criminal SIN.  The benefits of near societal breakdown is that some paperwork gets lost. Her ruined arm replaced with chrome, her connection to the Matrix and the Resonance cut off, Phoenix found herself truly alone.

She quietly managed to keep herself fed as the new Wireless Matrix started to come online around her, feeling dejected and rejected by the Resonance as she pained for warm embrace of the Matrix again. Then it happened.  She woke up to seeing and hearing the wireless noise around her! It had come back! Her gift had returned! Sadly, Phoenix realized that this gift wasn’t nearly as strong in her connection to the Resonance as it used to be.  She sought out the sprites in this new Matrix, hunted for the Resonance to come back to her.  In this quest, she found Preesh and Po’Pay and has been running with them ever since.

Phoenix doesn’t tell them that she isn’t as strong as she lets on.  She also tries to hide the near panic she feels in Matrix deadzones, being reminded of the quiet and stillness that so disturbed her after Crash 2.0.  She has been compensating by slotting BTLs into her old datajack, and trying to find the same Resonance she once knew. While doing this, she has found a new joy.

Anna and Phoenix seem to get lost in conversation time and again. Their different backgrounds and different abilities mean that the conversations seem to be about the nature of reality and the Sixth World, though it seems at times that their spirits and sprites are just using them as a cut outs to talk to each other.  

One more secret she has been keeping – something in the Resonance has started talking to her again.  Promises of restoring her connection and diving deeper into the electronic reality she craves are made.  She is seeking this voice in her head out, but she doesn’t know if it is Resonance or Dissonance.  Frankly, she doesn’t care.  

Phoenix Form

Fillable PDF Shadowrun 5 Sheet by Kyle Willey.

Key
R&G = Run & Gun; RF = Run Faster; DT = Data Trails; CF = Chrome Flesh; CA = Cutting Aces

Main Topic

Joules is an expert in maintaining the mood and tone at a table through the non-game components – what do you at the table to keep the tone and mood in the game?

 

Shift expectations – create a mismatch between the event and the perception

E.g. – Clowns (It) ; Trope of the quiet neebish guy is actually the diabolic killer;

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead- MIne to come once I am back from vacation.

 

Joules- The Well of Desperation

So many fairy stories tell of magical wells that grants wishes, hide incredible treasure, or reveal great secrets.  Ah, if the world only knew the truth.  All of these stories stem from one well.  The Well of Desperation.   A devil’s bargain if there ever was one.

 

The well can indeed provide the seeker with amazing fortune, grant their heart’s desire, or reveal the secrets of the universe.  But things come at a price.  You see, the well knows all.  Knowledge cosmic and knowledge intimite.  So if it must give up its secrets then you must as well.  And the choice isn’t up to you.  Oh no.  The Well knows that which you have tried to hide.  It knows your blackest thoughts and craven actions.  The beating heart in the floor boards.  Hands stained with blood.  Back alley deals and secret affairs.  It knows them all.

 

So if you demand that the well tells its secrets, the well will be sure that the world knows yours as well.  It’s a truly terrible price,  Your hidden shame will be known to all.  On the tip of the tongue and the front of the mind of all who you meet.  

 

The prudent path?  Don’t take the deal.  Keep your secrets.  For they are worth more than any reward the universe can offer.  Silence is golden, is it not?

 

Guard-a-Manger-

Tommy Tommy

Tommy Tommy is a fixture at the bars and taverns.  You’ve seen him a dozen times easily just hanging out on his own or with a few friends.  He’s got a classic style and always seems to have perfect hair.  His deep blue eyes seem to stand out even from across the room giving him a distinctive appearance. It’s kind of frustrating.

 

You don’t know what it is that he does during the day – he won’t talk about his job.  His focus is on you and your life with those blue eyes boring into your soul.  It’s always good to see Tommy.  He keeps the jokes going, listens with a practiced ear, and buys a round probably a little more often than he has to.  He has his fingers of the pulse of the “scene” and can point you in the direction of the next big band, restaurant, or bar.

 

Except you don’t remember actually seeing Tommy ever eat a meal or actually take that shot he bought.  Tommy isn’t human.  He doesn’t eat or drink like we do.  He’s managed to blend into the fabric of the city without anyone ever digging into his past, or lack thereof.  As the night goes on, and you get tired, Tommy seems to keep perking up like a second, third, or even fourth wind comes his way. What does Tommy eat?  Is he a vampire?  Does he leech your psychic energy?  Or maybe just a regular old alien needing some odd foodstuffs … one way or another you are going to find out when unexplained fires and accidents begin to plague the city.  What does Tommy know and why is he suddenly looking over his shoulder every night?

 

Lexicon

Condign  adjective  con·dign  \ kən-ˈdīn , ˈkän-ˌdīn \

 

Definition of condign

:deserved, appropriate

 

Origin and Etymology of condign
Middle English condigne, from Anglo-French, from Latin condignus, from com- + dignus worthy

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Inhumans  and The Gifted

 

Joules- The Guild of Dungeoneering  

 

Guard-a-Manger- Tales from the Crypt

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

Anna Design Notes

I enjoy making characters that are “off type” at times, and Anna is no exception.  Making a Troll Shaman is certainly not the most “optimal” allocation of points, but Anna had already taken root in my head.  Some things are easy to determine when you have this image – magic was going to be a high priority and money wasn’t a very important thing. I used standard character generation with “A” – Magic; “B” – Metatype; “C” – Attributes; “D” – Skills; and “E” – Resources.

Summoning was going to be a priority here because Anna talks to his spirits a lot and Summoning took the front in the regular skill selection. As a magical support character, the sorcery and counterspelling skills were next.  Because I wanted to use the Snake mentor spirit, I made sure that Arcana was also given a good chunk of skills.  Spells were given a broad range of general support and utility while this is a Shaman who does do some binding to fully leverage the use of spirits.  

Because I was making an indigent street shaman, certain things came quickly after that like the Spirit Affinity and Uneducated Quality.  With a small amount of skills to throw around, Anna came together pretty quickly A few bound spirits, the knowledge skills, and contacts, and he was ready for play.  

Balance Sheet Team Overview Here. 

Anna Character Notes

Anna is a surprisingly upbeat and curious troll from the streets of Seattle.  He spends his time wandering around the barrens, collecting reagents, and pleasantly conversing with spirits. This is how he met Balance Sheet.  Anna isn’t the first magical support member of Balance Sheet, and they stumbled across his favorite corner of the barrens on a run that was going sideways.  Curious as to what he could learn, he lent a hand since their Mage had just gotten an up close and personal experience with an assault cannon round.

It turns out Anna didn’t even have a name.  A SINless kid, Preesh thinks is about 15 or 16, Anna had managed to not be enough of a problem to any corporation or the UCAS to get a SIN.  As a small troll, Anna found himself talking to a snake that he never realized others didn’t see.  He would ask questions, so many that the snake took him as one of his own and Anna had his Awakening.  

Never needing a name, and never needing a SIN, he did what he did on the streets of the barrens.  He was a quiet but friendly presence who would trade his spellcasting skills for food to whoever came around his corner.  His gleeful and toothy smile belied the scars years of malnutrition had left on his frail trollish frame, swaddled in a beat up armored jacket.  It’s his cheerful demeanor that had Preesh give him the nickname “Anna” from some old flat-trid in the 20th Century.  Po’Pay even chipped in for a fake SIN and a pistol, but honestly Anna couldn’t hit the broadside of warehouse if he tried.  

Anna and Phoenix seem to get lost in conversation time and again. Their different backgrounds and different abilities mean that the conversations seem to be about the nature of reality and the Sixth World, though it seems at times that their spirits and sprites are just using them as a cut outs to talk to each other.  Anna keeps asking Po’Pay questions, more than anyone else, and Po’Pay lets him without the short temper you would expect.  It’s anybody’s guess why Po’Pay is so protective and accepting of Anna and why a street shaman troll shines so brightly in the astral … maybe he met up with Balance Sheet for a greater purpose.

Anna Form

Fillable PDF Shadowrun 5 Sheet by Kyle Willey.

Key
R&G = Run & Gun; RF = Run Faster; DT = Data Trails; CF = Chrome Flesh; CA = Cutting Aces

Main Topic

 

Horror games can run a gamut of options so first we have to define what we are talking about when we say “Horror.” Different styles of horror include Urban Fantasy Horror rooted in classical Fairy Tales, Jump scares that are built around sudden and unexpected changes, Cosmic Horror like the Cthulhu mythos where there is a deep and almost existential dread, and Mendacity of Horror – the Horror of Everyday life.

 

A majority of horror stories have elements or at least indicia of the supernatural – Think about the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Event Horizon, or It.  Other stories, especially when suspense or thriller styles are used often find their horror in the human element like Scream or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So how do you use these elements and styles in building a Horror themed game?

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

The Hangman’s Noose

 

This old thick hemp rope is about a dozen feet in length one end is frayed and unraveling a touch and the other is an expertly tied hangman’s noose. At first glance it is just any other noose you might find in any sheriff’s office. It is on closer inspection that elements of this rope seem off. Intertwined in the rope is a gold thread and a silver thread. There is also a thread of some sort of blue material that shimmers like metal but isn’t. On each of the loops in the noose is a name in what appears to be dried blood. Well all but the highest loop which is blank. As you are looking at it the crack of a pistol firing from the direction of the saloon across the street. You look up and back down and a name appears on the Hangman’s Noose.

 

Joules- The Gleet

The world is full of mischievous but non malignant spirits. There’s the coblynau and knockers of wales (which are known as Cousin Jacks in Nevada and California), kobolds of germany, and duende of south america just to name a few.  These sprites would steal tools from miners, make mischief in the house, and get humans lost in the forest.  But their tricks (usually) were to poke fun at us humans, delighting in our gullibility.  They only became violent and malicious if they were disrespected.  But if treated with respect, they would often (in their own way) find ways to protect the humans that they played with, often with a slightly mischievous twist.  So with the rise of technology and electronics, it makes sense that prankster spirits would make the move as well.

 

There’s a prankster type of tech spirit called the Gleet and they pick their targets well.  The Gleet choose humans with technical proficiency and intelligence.  Techies that can roll with the punches.  The Gleet don’t mess with n00bs or luddites (their more malicious cousins, the gremlins do that). The Gleet are responsible for the “accidental” forgetting of a semicolon when writing a program.  Or when Adobe Flash crashes in the middle of an export.  Waiting for an important file to download and your network speed drops to almost nothing?  That’s a Gleet kinking the network cable.  Betcha he’s giggling too.  Lulz

 

But the Gleet know not to push a joke too far as they have a sort of affection for their humans.  So catastrophic instances come with a good reason.  A computer’s power supply fails.  5 minutes later, after when the human has unplugged his computer and walked away, lightning strikes the tree next door, arcing to the home and causing a massive power surge.  Frying a bunch of electronics.  The human may have been electrocuted too if he was still at the computer.  Disc drive fails to read a disc, preventing the user from ripping a new CD.  Turns out that the music publisher had a nasty rootkit on the disc “for security purposes.”  No one messes with their human but them.

 

As with most spirits, offerings are expected.  The last sip of an energy drink, the few small remaining pieces of beef jerky, and the last few pieces of popcorn or potato chips are standard offerings to the Gleet.  Variants, depending on the human’s diet, are fine.  But the food usually consumed during crunch time or the “final all nighter” are their faves.  They also enjoy silly and random notepad doodles that folks make while brainstorming.   So once in a while, leave your scratch pad out for them to flip though, you may find the solution to your problem jotted in the margin the next morning.

 

So if a Gleet has taken a shining to you, consider yourself luckier than most.  Your life is going to be interesting, at times frustrating, but you’ll come out on top 99% of the time.  Just do your best to be respectful of them, or else the bannanashark will be the least of your worries.

 

Guard-a-Manger

Razor’s Edge

The Razor’s Edge is a cliff on some far flung island that looks and feels like a tropical paradise.  It is a sharp cliff face jutting out over the ocean with a truly picturesque view.  It is a hotspot for Instagram worthy selfies and you’ve probably seen it in your feeds.  Every so often, a strange shadow appears over someone’s shoulder; the more fanciful claim it looks like a ghostly face stalking the tourists.  When your friend goes missing on vacation, all signs point to The Razor’s Edge as the last place he or she was seen.  When you try to take a look, you don’t find anything … and that’s the strange part of it.  It is perfectly and precisely manicured with no indication of all the visitors there have been over the years.  Pristine and beautiful … oddly so.

 

Can you find out that there is a cult maintaining this area for its beauty?  That the cult is venerating a wild creature that lives not far from the cliff face?  And what is this wild creature?  Is it just a simple predator like a big cat or a komodo dragon … or something more?  Legends go back centuries that the creature protects the island’s residents but maybe this is just human depravity in the Instagram age. And where does that strange shadow come from?

Lexicon

Kern  noun  \ ˈkərn , ˈkern \

 

Definition of kern

1 :a light-armed foot soldier of medieval Ireland or Scotland
2 :yokel

 

Origin and Etymology of kern
Middle English kerne, from Middle Irish cethern band of soldiers

 

First Known Use: 15th century

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Zoo on Netflix

 

Joules- Gantz

 

Guard-a-Manger- The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

Po’Pay Design Notes

Every good Shadowrunning team has a Street Samurai.  The difficulty with a human Street Samurai is that they are a dime a dozen in the shadows.  When building one, you can either make a Street Samurai that checks the boxes for their basic skill set or try to make one that uses a “trick” or “signature” to set them apart.  Po’Pay is the former.  He is built around what I see as the basic requirements of a Street Samurai, and I doubled down on this plan by using the Sum to Ten Method making “A” Priority Nuyen, with “B” priorities for both Skills and Attributes.  That left Magic and Metatype as “E”, but as a human that still means a 3 Edge.

Street Samurai are first and foremost Fire Support characters who are there to put bullets down range to attack physical threats.  Focusing on Automatics and modifying an Ares Alpha means that Po’Pay has 18 dice to shoot with his assault rifle with an Accuracy of 9. Because this is the result of amping up Agility, the Agile Defender Quality makes sense. He is a high value target after the Mages, so his armor is beefed up with Bone Lacing and Dermal Plating leaving him at 22 points of armor in his primary running gear.  

To set this character apart, I dove into his background.  While lots of characters talk about having been former members of a Corp or National military, I doubled down on his Negative Qualities to show his former Pueblo Corporate Council connections.  There hasn’t been a lot written about the P.C.C. military directly, so the best source for information was Horizon Twilight from Fourth Edition that was set in Las Vegas.  The original NAN Books, Sixth World Atlas, Shadows of North America, and Spy Games also gave some insight into the P.C.C.’s activities.  

With an “A” priority in Nuyen, there was a lot of money to spread around.  This meant that a slightly modified vehicle with extra armor that can seat 4 and prepaying the main lifestyle on the character for a full year to keep him ahead of the curve.  Using his karma in the character generation, I upped his low skills and abilities while also adding a few contacts to his rather low Charisma total.

As a Street Samurai, he is focused on combat, but I tried to round out some of his skills so that he had utility outside of that role.  WIth his high Agility, a skill point or two can go a long way to making him useful as a secondary transporter or as infiltration support.  

Balance Sheet Team Overview here.

Po’Pay Character Notes

Po’Pay is on the run and it drives his every action.  He knows the P.C.C. is still looking for him, both to recoup their business investment in his training and `ware, but also because of why he originally ran.  He has managed to keep his P.C.C. SIN from being fully linked to his Seattle activities through bribes and favors, but he knows it is only a matter of time.

Po’Pay started life in the Pueblo Corporate Council, the child of P.C.C. shareholders, issued his citizenship share at birth. Enlisting in the Pueblo Security Corporation, he worked both municipal security jobs and military actions, as is standard for the P.C.C.’s wholly owned security subsidiary.  His quiet nature was replaced with bravado and the stubbornness that is emblematic of PuebSec. While he had shown some initial promise to rise in the ranks, he wasn’t really leadership material.  PuebSec used him for what he was good at, though.

Something went wrong. On a military detachment near Albuquerque, his unit was killed.  There are only vague public reports of a training accident, but it was more than that.  Why Po’Pay survived and whether it was his fault isn’t known.  The P.C.C. would like to find the answer to that to see whether the Koshari has dug deeper, or whether the Kochina have resurfaced to try to gain more control over the P.C.C.  Fleeing into the shadows, he took the name of a civic hero carried down in families through the 2070s. Historically, Po’pay led the Pueblo in revolt against Spanish colonialism in the 1680s driving them from what was formerly known as New Mexico for a time.  What significance this has to the shadowrunner known as Po’Pay is not know.  

Po’Pay is an accomplished warrior and particularly skilled in the use of firearms.  He has a firm grasp of Small Unit Tactics and will often try to take the lead in combat situations for Balance Sheet.  He and Preesh make a sort of Odd Couple, with near constant bickering born partially from Po’Pay’s absolute dislike for corporate SINners (P.C.C. excluded).  He gets protective of Anna, but has never explained why the Troll has such a draw to him.  

PoPay Form

Fillable PDF Shadowrun 5 Sheet by Kyle Willey.

Key
R&G = Run & Gun; RF = Run Faster; DT = Data Trails; CF = Chrome Flesh; CA = Cutting Aces

Main Topic

We will be discussing the ideas of Yes and, Yes but, and No.

This trio of possible responses attempts to describe how a GM answers a player’s actions.  The phrases are seen more frequently in modern narrative focused games and the idea of “Yes, And…” comes from improv training.  

 

In theatrical and improv terms, the player’s action would be an “offer” and how you respond helps to create the tenor and the shape of the game.  The offer is any action or decision that will move a narrative forward.

 

“Yes, And….” is an open response to the offer which encourages the continuation of the story and the increased ability of the players.  Not only have you succeeded, but you also have accomplished …..

 

“Yes, but…” is a setback of impediment where a player is generally successful but is at some sort of a disadvantage afterwards. This creates great drama and tension for success by having these partial measures.

 

“No.” is a closed response that shuts down the line of conversation or action started by the player. This is blocking or cancelling an offer which is frowned upon in improv but for gaming sometimes, the only answer is a “No.”  It may be outside the scope of the game or it may be a subtle way to nudge players towards a story, clue, or other part of the campaign.  It should be used sparingly, however, because utter failure without recourse can sour or discourage players.  <If you find yourself enjoying this tactic frequently, perhaps take a listen to the episode on GM Burnout and Self-Care>

The Yes, and and Yes, but responses are ways to go beyond a simple succeed/fail and enrich the game experience for the players, as well as for the opposition as well.. It is just as important for the opposition party to have Yes, But responses as the party.

 

How do you describe these to your players?

 

What games use them well?

The Cubicle 7 Doctor Who RPG expressly sets out a scale of success that uses this metric and allows for very Doctor Who esque options, but the game that I have been most impressed with using this sort of metric is the most recent Star Wars Games by Fantasy Flight.  By separating out the “success” and “advantage” results, there is the chance for you to fail to succeed but in an advantageous way, or to succeed in your goals while digging yourself in deeper. Little Fears works success “ands” and “buts” into the success system as well and leaves the storyteller the ability to manipulate the “Passing” and “Failing Grades” with great examples. World of Darkness and other games driven by narrative or theme rather than just crunch benefit from the structure described here.  

 

Even crunch heavy games can benefit from flowery descriptions that come along with the Yes, And or Yes, but style of descriptors.  It is as simple as enriching the gameplay by asking the player how the Natural 20 succeeds and going with it.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

 

Joules- The Bastille of Bone
Tyrants always want to keep their playthings close.  The more sanguinary of despots will combine their love of bloodshed with their absolute oppression of their subjects.  This will lead to the creation of the Bastille of Bone.  Originally a standard jail, built as a place to hold dissidents, over the years it has grown into an entity all its own.  The Tyrants would imprison anyone they saw as a threat into the bastille.  To indulge in the Tyrant’s sadistic tastes, the prisoners were used as animals to be hunted, subjects of horrible experiments (both magical, mental, and physical), and sometimes just outright slaughtered.  As the tyrant grips his land tighter and tighter, his enemies grow in number.  As such, the jail had to grow to hold more people.  As the jail grew, the Bastille of Bone started to awaken.  As the bastille grew, stones and mortar of the structure were supplemented with the bones, blood and sinew of the prisoners.  Binding their psychic imprint to the bastille.  The psychic echoes continually torture the prisoners, delighting both the tyrant and jailers (who were selected for having the perfect blend of blind loyalty and bloodlust).  As the Bastille of Bone grows and evolves, the holding cells start to develop their own unique feel.  From rage, to insanity, to the complete absence of humanity.  The jailers delight in moving prisoners between cells, just to see how they react.  And the Bastille of Bones grows in power.

 

But buildings last longer than dynasties.  And long after the tyrant’s name has been forgotten, the Bastille of Bones still stands.  The stories of what happened at the Bastille fade from the collective consciousness.  But the evil done there permeates the structure and surrounding lands.  The trees grown gnarled and twisted.  The grass isn’t soft, it’s rough and sharp.  The sun doesn’t seem to fully shine on the area.  The poison of what happened at the Bastille of Bones will forever infect the land.  

 

And even now, those that gaze upon it feel those psychic echoes;  the twisted, silent screams of the victims.  The final legacy of the Bastille of Bones.

 

Guard-a-Manger-

Nebuchadnezzer’s Map

 

At the turn of the 20th Century, the world is yet full of wonders and unexplored parts of the world.  Nebuchadnezzar’s Map promises to show you parts not yet claimed and a legend not yet defined.  A map of the Ancient Levant ascribed to Nebuchadnezzar entices many explorers from across the globe.  The mysteries there appeal to everyone.

 

A Big Game Hunter, fallen scion of a British family, has reached out to you for help.  He claims to have the map and wants you to help him follow it to its treasure.  The treasure is not a secret at all once you glance at the map unfurled on a billiards table where you meet this lackluster example of British Royalty.  Clear even to you, without being able to read the ancient script, the map depicts the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to be found.  (And still not definitively identified today).

 

Babylon itself as you know it isn’t the location – perhaps the word itself reveals the place and not the Name of the place as a Gate of the Gods could be found anywhere.  Nebuchadnezzar was described as a warrior and a man of great faith, and do you think he left behind this map without obstacles?  Only one who could exemplify the traits of a true leader, and king, could know how to pass these tests and challenges that will beset you on your way, all the while haunted by the shadowy cult that has hounded your patron ever since he won the map in a likely rigged gambling event. Are you ready to follow the clues left behind millennia ago to seek out the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the secrets they hold?

 

Lexicon

 

Unman   verb  un·man  \ ˌən-ˈman \

 

Definition of unman

1 :to deprive of manly vigor, fortitude, or spirit
2 :castrate, emasculate

 

First Known Use of unman
1599

Closing remarks

Zendead-  Trollhunters on Netflix

 

Joules – Romeo and/or Juliet: a Choosable Path Adventure

 

Guard-a-Manger-

 

The American Way (2007 Miniseries)

By John Ridley and art by George Jeanty

 

The American Way – Those Above and Those Below (2017 Miniseries)

On shelves now or at

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

Main Topic

Ways to co-GM

  1. A GM and a helper or two at the table also called Shared GMing. Playing to the strengths of the people involved.  If one person is responsible for the story, they don’t have to be burdened with the Rules as much and on the flip side, knowing the rules doesn’t mean you get saddled with the storytelling.  This also works well in LARPs when you have large groups of people playing and need to be able to provide attention across different people.  
  2. Both GM seperate games in the same world
  3. Both GM seperate games in different systems
  4. Both GM the same story or Serial GMs. By playing round robin, you stretch out and prevent burn out also allowing the GM’s NPCs to be full characters every once in awhile. The time and the effort spent by each can give the “main” GM a chance to really settle into his story with the breaks provided.

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

The Sword of dominium Alfheim

 

Also called the Sword of the Elves. This sword is very simple in its design. The filigree is even simple in its use. There are no markings to tell you that this sword is anything other than a simple but well made sword. It has unlike other treasures never fallen from the king’s hand. The smith that made this blade spent the better part of a century working the metal. The blade could chop a tree in half and never dull. The scabbard is worked leather of some lost beast. It is as much a symbol of leadership as the crown.

 

This sword has been in every battle since it was finished. It has also drawn blood in every one of those conflicts. While few like to admit it this sword has killed more people than any other weapon in all of recorded history. Most consider this blade to be cursed since it is drawn and bloodied in any conflict with the elves. Now how much of that is true and how much is belief that is something the wielder can tell you if but you ask. If you listen closely you might hear the king answer to an empty room a question no one had asked.

 

Joules- Nothing today

 

Guard-a-Manger-

The Kalint

 

Another turn of the moon and another rumor of the Kalint showing up.  This ghostly vessel sails between the stars without a known path and without a known crew.  At least, there is nobody who has claimed to be behind this legend of the starways. When the Kalint enters your sensor range, it makes an impression, probably helping your ship from certain doom, perhaps from pirates, privateers, or power failure but with no com signals and nobody you ever see.

 

The Kalint is said to be a medium sized ship, not unlike a sea schooner, that is outfitted with the ability for deep space travel.  It’s sleek design and swooping lines are evocative of the asteroid belts from Terra System, but don’t map to any known corporation or colony.  It’s been said to dock at deep space stations, payment being made through automated means, with nobody ever stepping off the ship.  There are even stories of cargo being bought and sold, loaded and unloaded without a word ever said.

 

The secret behind the Kalint isn’t really that special.  It’s an experiment gone awry – an attempt to make an advanced expert system to handle the drudgery of space flight actually succeeded.  The algorithms that govern the Kalint’s operation can easily handle navigation and basic trading of goods.  It isn’t that hard to figure out supply and demand, after all.  The better question is whether there is something in the navigation subroutine that manages to hide this vessel between it’s sightings.  Space is big, but it can’t be that easy to hide such a famous or infamous ship in the few safe starways that exist.

 

It’s that home, or base of operations that drives your story.  Some say that a pirate crew on a far flung asteroid uses the profits of the automated trade to wage their the Kalint sells are the result of piracy.  Maybe the stories of an experimental drive system shunting between dimensions are the truth.  The idea that an expert computer system has “evolved” to an AI is just ludicrous.

 

Right?

 

Right?

 

Lexicon

Equerry  noun  equer·ry  \ ˈe-kwə-rē , i-ˈkwer-ē \

 

Definition of equerry

1 :an officer of a prince or noble charged with the care of horses
2 :an officer of the British royal household in personal attendance on the sovereign or a member of the royal family

 

Origin and Etymology of equerry
modification of Middle French ecurie

 

First Known Use: 1591

Closing remarks

Zendead- Era- Balam a Project of Earth

 

Joules- Codebreakers Series

 

Guard-a-Manger- Steal the Stars

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

Facebook Group

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

Main Topic

Today we talk about GM Burnout and how to help prevent it.

Talking Points-

Burnout how it happens.

Over Immersion-

Long run of a game-

Burnout Options

  1. Take a break. Sometimes you need to step away from the GM Screen and let someone else take over.  We’ve all been there and all been conscripted into running when we just want to play.  If you feel that urge to TPK creeping in, maybe enlist someone to run a one-shot of paranoia or little fears to let you play and shrug off that weight of the world(s).
  2. Keep it fun for yourself.  We mentioned in previous episodes to remember that it is okay to laugh. Maybe you can fit in a slapstick adventure in the midst of it all.  Perhaps something more Lupin III than Ronin would help you to stay in the game.
  3. Don’t Do Too Much.  The easiest said and the hardest done.  We all want to play, to run, to have these experiences.  It is easy to overcommit – if weekly games are dragging you down, see about switching to every other week.  Maybe somebody else will run a game in the alternating weeks (See No. 1 above), maybe everybody needs a chance to focus.  Don’t be afraid to engage your players about needing the time.
  4. Just Take a Real Break.  Like above, maybe you need to just push pause for a month.  Other friends, family, hobbies can help you reset that level of stress that leads to burnout.
  5. Have others help with parts of running the game.  

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

Geth

 

Sliding the shutters open and dropping noiselessly into the room the little shadow slinked to the sleeping figure and the key around their neck. As the lips pulled back and the white teeth shined in the moonlight the grin is infectious. The deft little hands reach out and as the exhale of breath comes they lift the key without a sound.

 

Geth is a boogeyman of sorts when things go missing or can not be found Geth is blamed. The truth is Geth spreads these rumors herself. Making people think Geth is a male monster that steals anything and everything. The truth is she is just a very industrious and accomplished halfling thief.

 

Joules-

The Shattered Moon of Acamar

 

Two generations ago, was when the calamity happened.  Some cosmic detritus (a lost hyper planetesimal, a rogue comet, records from that day were lost) was caught in the moon’s gravity and eventually collided.  That was the last day the residents Acamar knew of hope and of safety.

 

After the collision, the planet’s residents who had the money and means, fled to neighboring systems.  The residents who couldn’t leave; were abandoned.

 

Now, debris from the collision randomly rains on the planet; driving the populace into hiding. This includes those who, however futilely, try to maintain a semblance of law and order.  With no witnesses, various n’er do wells are free to do what they like, both planetside and low orbit.  The scoundrels were already equipped to survive in hazardous locals.  The destruction of Acamar’s moon just gave them a new place to conduct business.

 

To try and prevent Acamar from becoming another “Stellar Tortuga,” The Dominion often sends in small details of constables to check in on the planet.  Not that they really do anything useful.  

The constables will occasionally check in with local settlements.  “With the constant bombardment and high crime rate, who in their right mind would to live here?” they’ll ask, somewhat rhetorically.

The response from the locals is almost always the same. “Those who want to, or those who have to.”  

 

Guard-a-Manger-

The Ring of T’lothriel

 

Once, some time ago, the elven king’s ring was known far and wide.  A beautifully filigreed ring of unobtanium interwoven with a cutting of the heart of the elven tree of life.  The ring held the attention of those who saw it in the Elven Court, and commented on its seamless blending of the worked metal with the natural wood.  It was a thing a true beauty.

 

A century back it vanished in the scuffle of his untimely death as many vied for the throne.  T’s beauty and import lost to the ages of time.  Since then, the legends of what the ring could do have only grown with each telling.  It is a powerful artifact gifted from the Immortals; a magical repository of the dead king’s soul; a sigil from which the true power of the elven Court would flow.  As another dynastic struggle looms, the importance of the lost ring becomes once again paramount to the Court and the world.

 

But should you find it, no magical aura surrounds it.  There is no indication that this is anything more than a magnificently made indicia of rulership.  Why, then, does it matter so?  And who should possess such a powerful thing?  Can your players realize or discover that the ring holds no magical power, but is instead the key to the hidden vault in the Elven Court?  Mages and artisans collaborated to make this key that subtly fits into the repository of the Elven throne …. Hidden inside this secret hollow are the words of the former king – the diary and writings of an undisputed monarch.  What secrets do they hold? And who should have such power available to them?

Lexicon

Parabolic  adjective  par·a·bol·ic \ˌper-ə-ˈbä-lik, ˌpa-rə-\

 

Definition of parabolic
1:  expressed by or being a parable :  allegorical
2:  of, having the form of, or relating to a parabola

 

First Known Use: 15th century

 

Origin and Etymology of parabolic
in sense 1, from Late Latin parabola parable; in sense 2, from New Latin parabola

Closing remarks

Zendead- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

Joules- Sprawl Stories 1

 

Guard-a-Manger- Complete Works of Edger Allan Poe

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

Main Topic

We talk about the points that help point to how to keep having fun. Even when you are doing all this extra work.

 

GaM

Collaborative Storytelling – Make sure the story you are telling is one you want to see

You may not have the control of an author, but is it a framework you want to see?

GMs are often running the kind of game they want to play, so make sure it is the kind of thing that you really want to play.

 

Don’t make it about GM vs Players – play your part and your role.  Don’t make it antagonistic, let the world and the adventure be the opposition.  You are playing even more characters and get to Embody the world – make it yours.  

 

Feel Free to Be Silly – Laugh.  The NPCs can do something silly.  The PCs can fail spectacularly.  The PCs can succeed wildly! Be free to let the story be.  Trying to be too straight faced or too railroaded in the story.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

Aethelwulf

 

From the cold tundra comes the lumbering form of a giant. She is known as Aethelwulf to the bards. The Breath of the Wolf to others. Once she comes down from the tundra the winter winds come with her. She is called a witch by some and a force of nature by others. The club that she carries strapped to her back is the length of 2 large men. Bits of frozen blood still cling to it. While some think she is a witch and a hag giant she is actually a manifestation of the North Winds. Her form looks like a single piece of smooth sculpted ice. The polar bear furs and club are the only things not made of ice. Her body creates waves of cold that billow out from her.

 

Mannerisms- She does not view things like mortals since she has been around far longer than man. She views things at a glacial speed, all things happen as they should.  When she comes out of the frozen north it is usually to put something back to where it belongs.

Joules-

The Red Queen’s Last Testament

 

The Red Queen rules over the domain of death.  One of the groups who serve her have come to been known as the Red Queen’s Last Testament.  This group of mages, clerics, knights, sorcerers, necromancers and assassins travel the world searching for the uninterred dead.  THose poor souls who haven’t undergone last rites and burial honours.

 

When they happen upon a body/skeleton, either a cleric or necromancer will cast a spell to speak with the dead.  They will find out how the poor soul met their end.  Depending on how the person died will guide their next actions.

For Example

If the person was murdered, then they gather as much information as they can and turn over the evidence to servitors of the god of Justice.  The death is avenged and Justice is meted out.

 

If the person died in a battle, then they will gather up as many of the individuals weapons/gear that still remain and dress the fallen warrior to the best of their ability.

 

After the specifics are known, the Last Testament ask the fallen what their final wishes are and how would they like to be interred.  This ensures closure for the fallen and the fallen’s family.

 

The dead who have no family or friends usually bequeath their remaining belongings to the Last Testament.  This helps fund their mission.

 

The Last Testament have a good working relationship with some of the other gods and their followers.  The followers of the God of Justice are grateful for information regarding justice denied.  God of Knowledge servitors are grateful that knowledge and stories are re-discovered and shared.  Aside from rigid gods of order and some competing gods of death, the Last Testament is usually well received.

 

When joining the order, each member swears an oath for a term of service of “lifetime plus 100 years.”  When a member dies (natural or unnatural causes), they are resurrected as an undead, bound to protect and defend the current members of the order and their holy sites.  After 100 years are up, the undead is released from his service and his spirit once again returns to the bosom of the Red Queen.  Their actions in both life and death are recorded in the annals, as a defiant stand against those would would relegate the dead to obscurity.

 

Guard-a-Manger-

Corner of June & Hospice

 

The quiet and unassuming corner of June Street and Hospice Boulevard is often overlooked day to day.  That is a shame.  The corner seems to have strange properties, and attracts the stranger, wilder, and more magical parts of the city.  With an alley not far away, in the shadow of a stone building in the neoclassical style and a single lone streetlight that never seems to lose power.  

 

June & Hospice is where you go to strike a good deal and a fair bargain for all things magical. For whatever reason, the deals there always seem to happen at arms length and reflect a well made and equitable deal.  A true marketplace for both buyers and sellers. Nobody claims ownership of the corner and it’s enchantment perhaps because of the second unusual protection it offers – trying to cheat or harm another person who is at the corner sees the city itself start to rise up against you.  

 

No muggings take place, no fraudulent goods change hands, and neither fist nor charm is thrown with bad intent.  The last person who tried found themselves stumbling through the swarm of bugs that crawled from the alley and tripping over the sidewalk until they crashed into the streetlight and died of electrocution.  The next day, the corner was back to normal and business resumed.  

 

Perhaps you need a safe place to meet or a trusted place to deal.  Perhaps you will be on the run and cornered <pardon the pun> at June & Hospice.  Perhaps you need to find out how to stop this enchantment.  One way or another, the corner of June & Hospice will find its way into your game.

 

The secret, you see, is not in the corner, but in the building on the corner itself.  One of the pieces of stone used when the building was built in 1890 as part of the American Renaissance architectural trend, came from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.  A part of Zeus’ godhead came with this symbolic shard of stone and his protection over marketplaces and hospitality now extends over this urban corner.

 

Lexicon

Relic  noun  rel·ic \ˈre-lik\

 

Definition of relic
1a :  an object esteemed and venerated because of association with a saint or martyr
 b :  souvenir, memento
2      relics plural :  remains, corpse
3:  a survivor or remnant left after decay, disintegration, or disappearance
4:  a trace of some past or outmoded practice, custom, or belief

 

Origin and Etymology of relic
Middle English relik, from Anglo-French relike, from Medieval Latin reliquia, from Late Latin reliquiae, plural, remains of a martyr, from Latin, remains, from relinquere to leave behind

 

First Known Use: 13th century

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Mutant Year Zero

 

Joules- Jennifer Brozek and on Amazon

 

Guard-a-Manger- Defenders on Netflix

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

Main Topic

We introduce a fill in co-host till we have Null back in the saddle.

Today we sit down and talk about Player buy-in. How to get it and not abuse it.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead – I have been doing one everyday this month so sorry folks.

 

Joules – Work makes you happy and work makes it so I can not do the things I want.

 

Guard-a-manger – Blue Devil File

Espionage genre – top secret; ninjas & superspies; etc

 

The Blue Devil file is a document or record sought by multiple governments & corporations who want to use its contents to further their goals. The funny thing is that nobody is clear on what the file contains. It is purported to be created by a private intelligence agency 20 years ago and has been stored on a now obsolete medium.

 

The mystery surrounding the blue devil deepens whenever it is rumored to be up for sale on the black market. Numerous rumors over the last decade have it being sold to different groups or companies but none of them ever seems to capitalize.

 

Tracking down these supposed purchasers only creates changing descriptions of the file itself and the contents contained – passcodes allowing backdoor computer access to the most powerful servers on the planet; an ancient scroll detailing long lost martial arts training; a statistical analysis of crop growth patterns; or maybe even an empty file, truly the Macguffin.

 

Regardless, the blue devil forces plans into motion and reveals hidden resources.

 

Lexicon

Halidom  noun  hal·i·dom \ˈha-lə-dəm\

 

Definition of halidom
archaic
:  something held sacred

 

Origin and Etymology of halidom
Middle English, from Old English hāligdōm, from hālig holy + -dōm -dom

 

First Known Use: before 12th century

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Bones 4 Kickstarter, Rules Cyclopedia

 

Joules- Anatomy of Animals Kickstarter, Sheldon Comic

 

Guard-a-manger- Five Degrees off Normal

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

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Find us on Patreon

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

What games do we love to play and run? Listen and find out today.

 

Lexicon

 

Gallowglass

noun  gal·low·glass \ˈga-lō-ˌglas\

 

Definition of gallowglass
1:  a mercenary or retainer of an Irish chief
2:  an armed Irish foot soldier

 

First Known Use: circa 1515

Closing remarks

Zendead- Torg

 

Joules- Mice and Mystics

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

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Find us on Patreon

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

Today we sit down to talk about these movies to draw Inspiration from.

Zendead- Horror- The Descent

    Fantasy- Dark City

   Scifi- Valerian

 

Joules- I have no idea what genre – The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

            Fantasy/Myth – Kubo of the two strings

           Action – The good the bad and the weird

Stat block

Joules- La Pistola Del Diablo

La Pistola del Diablo.  The most feared gun ever smithed.

This infamous six shooter has a long and bloody history.  It’s been used as a tool of law and of anarchy.  Of of justice and of murder.  But no matter who used this weapon and who was the unlucky sod on the receiving end of a lead slug, there were only two winners.

 

Legend says that this weapon is the result of pact between Death and the Devil.  Those holding the pistol could hear the Devil’s whisper, tempting them down the easy path.  Corrupting their good intentions. (You know what they say about the road to hell and intentions, right?).  So the devil could keep filling the pits of hell with sinners.

What did Death get out of this deal?  Well those souls that weren’t damned were given over to Death.  Innocent victims with any venial sin on their soul were given over to Death.  Forever denied access to heaven.  So Death’s domain swelled.

 

This weapon initially gained infamy during the time of the civil war.  It was standard practice to take weapons off of fallen soldiers.  So this gun passed from hand to hand.  From Billy Yank to Johnny Reb.  Then the time of manifest destiny saw it’s corruption spread further.  The gun passed from the pioneers to the native peoples, mine owners, railroad workers and more.

 

So be careful out there.  Be sure you go to confession regularly. And never take a gun from a fallen foe.  To do so is to risk your soul.

 

Buenos Noches, Pistolero.  

 

Lexicon

Hoary  adjective \ˈhȯr-ē\

 

Definition of hoary

1:  gray or white with or as if with age
2:  extremely old

 

First Known Use
1530

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Inkarnate

 

Joules- Pyre

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

 

Find us on Patreon

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

We got to sit down and chat about gaming, podcasting and worldbuilding with Michael from The Worldbuilders Anvil.

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

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Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Dead Cycles

 

Cycles is a technological wizard and by that they are a hacker. They slide into the VR worlds of the web making those people that cross him/her or the people that hire them regret it. Few like to tangle with Cycles in the web the programs that they create are cutting edge. Some even push the boundaries at times to what is thought to be possible. This hacker’s VR icon looks like a zombie with kaleidoscope eyes. Cycles will help some newbies to get their feet under themselves in this frontier.

 

Dead Cycles is said to never have to jack out of the VR world. How much of the things said about Cycles is true and how much is spread by Cycles to help keep the mystique is not known. One other myth is that Dead Cycles programs in the dead spaces of the web. Now myth and such surround this figure but one thing is for sure. When you need to have a kicking hacker email to that dead email for them and you will get one back.

 

Mannerisms- Dead Cycles is a person that secrets are a way of life. Information is a currency that few understand. When contact is made everything is very businesslike. Money is exchanged and services are rendered. For those that meet Cycles in the web things can be different from crazy and chaotic to ships passing in the night.

 

Short History- Cycles is a girl that learned how to hack while in college. Once the tech got to a point of implants to experience the web in VR she was right there getting those things done. She is always upgrading her set up and her implants. Only a few people know that he is Dead Cycles. She spends lots of time making up rumors just to protect herself from the Corp Cops that want to put her up as an example of what not to do.

Teller of the Tales Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Pazuzu

 

The villain known as Pazuzu has found that flight and being stronger than normal has helped him to get his foothold in the criminal underworld. He is sort of a mid tier villain. He can fly at speeds about 200 mph. He has when he needed once to get away threw a bus full of people. Those heroes are so gullible all it takes is put some shlub in harms way and off they run to help. Pazuzu has made a mask that looks like a rotting bird skull. In it are a few things like telescopic sights, sound dampening and a few other things.

 

He got his wings as a deal he made with a supernatural force. Also as he grows in power more abilities will manifest. Soon he will be able to control flocks of birds. When new powers manifest he seems to look more and more like a giant bird with arms.

 

Mannerisms- He is a bully. He pushes people around like they are obstacles in his way to greatness. Belittling and downplaying the help of others also help to push him in making himself feel more important. If someone is to point out shortcomings he flies into a rage.

 

Short History- The man that became Pazuzu had been a low level thug robbing and mugging people. He had pushed up to armed robbery of businesses. One night he was robbing an occult shop thinking he could sell the junk as magickal goods. He got into the safe and there was a bit of money and a couple other things, one was a book that unbenounced to him when he tried to read it aloud called forth a demon. Who asked just one question, “What do you want?” He answered I want to be feared in this town. The creature summoned obliged.

Teller of the Tales Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Damien Forsith

 

Damien is almost finished with his residence before he becomes a full fledged doctor. The hospital where he works has been very good for him he has been in the ER the whole time. While there he has learned a lot about massive trauma for the inner city warfare. This is not what he had wanted to do, he had wanted to be a surgeon you know the rock stars of hospitals. Something on his first night changed that though.

 

Now a year later he has had something else happen to further change his goal. Something happened to a patient and she died, he was blamed for it even thou he was not the attending doctor. Also she had come in for something that could not have killed her. As he was outside waiting on the administration to talk with him something landed in the alleyway. Looking he saw the arm that was bent funny. He ran to help and that was when he saw the mask of the vigilante. As he bent  down over the masked person, he  weakly said “Help me,” and passed out.

 

Mannerisms- Damien is all but a doctor and has a very strong help those around him streak. While he won’t jump in and fight he will help patch up those that will. Helping the guys fighting the good fight makes him feel better. Also the pay is pretty good.

 

Short history- After that first night of helping that one guy he left the hospital and lost his right to call himself a doctor. With the death he was wrongly accused of being the final nail in the coffin. He keeps up on all the research so he can help the guys and girls that are out there fighting for the little people.

 

Teller of the Tales Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Savion Darvic

Savion is at first glance a normal dwarf. A closer look starts to reveal his eccentricities. His clothing is starting to fall apart at the seams. His hair is not groomed. His weapon a spear is not sharp and the wood for the haft is showing signs of warping. What do these signs point to?

 

He has started to lose his connection to this world. Is it because of drugs or is it due to some horror he has witnessed? That is something that only interaction with this poor soul can determine.

 

Mannerisms: He is distracted and mumbles replies. Will never raise his voice above a whisper. Savi has let himself go since he is certain that at some point soon none of this will matter.

 

Short history: Savion is the only survivor of an expedition that was going deeper under the city than any before them. After weeks he appeared on the edge of town wandering and mumbling to himself. The reason he can only whisper is he had screamed at or about what happened to them for so long his voice was damaged.

 

Teller of the Tales Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Craig Stevenson

Craig is an explorer, but not of the places most ever want to go. He and his sister go out and stay out there for longer than most people are capable of. Something about an advantageous mutation. The can process the nuclear radiation that kills others. But with a positive mutation comes that pesky negative one. Craig has a hard time breathing non-irradiated air.

 

Craig is nothing if not a professional until his family is concerned. His family is the one place he will loss his cool and collected persona. He lost a family member when he was young and now takes your safety as his driving force.

 

Mannerisms= Craig is normal for a waste walker. He doesn’t trust most people unless they are from his clan. He also has to keep a small piece of radioactive material in his scarf that he always has wrapped about his lower face.

 

Short History: At a very young age Craig and his sister were found to have the ability to withstand radiation. So they started scavenging from the old world so people could start to rebuild. They were trained to fight and read.  Which is a  skill not many people have anymore. While his sister does help him he watches over her like a hawk. Losing your twin can have that impact on you in the wastelands.

Teller of the Tales Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Main Topic

Day 4 of the Dog Days of Podcasting

Today Joules and I sit back and talk about a part 2 of GM Libraries.

 

Zendead- Art of War

Art Books

Classical Western Myth

 

Joules- Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live (Badass Series)

Thing Explainer – Randal Munroe

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology

 

Lexicon

Bruin   noun  bru·in \ˈbrü-ən\

 

Definition of bruin
:  bear

 

Origin and Etymology of bruin
Middle Dutch, name of the bear in Reynard the Fox

 

First Known Use: 15th century

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Critsuccess

 

Joules- Pony Island

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Zeke Duncan

Zeke is a gutterpunk on the streets of New Orleans. He makes his way about the city at night. No one has seen him before nightfall. Now most people never give him another glance since he looks like any of the other gutterpunks that hang out on the streets. The fact that he is a vampire is a well guarded secret.

 

He has not been a vampire for very long. Only about a year, which has been educational. He has been slowly doing things to improve his station among the vampires in the city. At some point he might even make it off the streets.

 

Mannerisms: Zeke is a guy that will do things others would never do to get ahead. He is also looking for other young vampires to hang out with so he might learn more about the other vampires that have been there for a long time.

 

Short History: He ran away from home at a young age. He learned to find food and shelter. One night while panhandling he made the mistake of trying to get an old vampire to give him money. Zeke later followed the guy to his house and broke in figuring he could steal some things for cash. The vampire at this point had enough of this young punk and gave him a choice become a vampire or die at his hands. Zeke is no fool he made his choice.

Teller of the Tales Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Main Topic

We sit about and talk about our feelings and the fun we had at Origins.

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Torg on Kickstarter Sadly this Project has already funded

 

Joules- Steam Summer Sale: Steam World Heist

 

Guard-a-Manger- Shadowrun Trilogy on Steam

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

While at Origins we got to sit down with Josh of Meeplegamers and Adam of Dice Squad. We had a fun time with them all enjoy the rambling conversation.

 

GloomHaven

Attack on Titan

Barenpark

Patchwork

Pinball Showdown

Steam Park

Dungeon Terrain from Fat Dragon Games

Columbus Area Boardgaming Society

Con on the Cob

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

We got to sit down with Carlton Davis from the Catalyst Demo Team

 

Exploding Dice Bot for Discord

 

Exploding dice Patreon

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

Origins was a blast we got to sit down and have a short chat with Francis one of the Catalyst Demo Team members.

 

Mana and Steel Podcast

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Preesh Design Notes

I’ve been enamored with Faces, especially non-standard Faces for a while.  The concept for Preesh came specifically from the SK Cyberlogician Cyberbundle in Chrome Flesh and the classic Shadowrun prime runner, The Chromed Accountant.  The concept spun out of a variation on the burned corporate employee who lost his SIN and took the fall for some kind of mistake made.  I decided to work with the idea of an accountant that cost Saeder-Krupp a lot of money and was burned and left in the wind.  This means that the Con and Performance aspect of a lot of faces was left behind to focus on other things.

I went back and forth between making an A priority nuyen character who made up for either attributes or skills with the nuyen expenditures, but at the end of the day it didn’t fit the concept.  He was good enough that SK invested in him without the cyber so I kept his Nuyen, Skills, and Attributes all at “B” in a Sum to Ten character generation.  Preesh is not a heavy combat character, but he excels at planning, legwork, and the initial negotiations.  When his existing contacts and skillset are combined with the Tradejack bundle, he is able to fill in a lot of roles for a team before combat starts.

His cyberware is built around mental bonuses and skill enhancements so that he has a better than normal chance of uncovering what the corporate plan behind the run is.  His expertise in negotiations and valuation of corporate assets helps him negotiate better pay for the runs while his contacts give him an “in” on the corporate world a lot of runners lack.  

To make sure that he wasn’t complete dead weight in combat, he has a pack of jazz and enough dice to use the Ares Alpha and Ingram Smartgun to put bullets down range to support the rest of the team.  The combination of the psyche boosts to logic, high mental limit, and analytic mind mean he should be able to figure out what is going on even in the middle of the run.

Preesh Character Notes

Depreciation, or “Preesh”, is a former Saeder-Krupp accountant who made one mistake.  The one mistake cost Saeder-Krupp a lot of nuyen and him his SIN.  Where once he was an up and coming corporate middle manager in the accounting department, now Preesh found himself hung out to dry by the corporation that had invested so much in him. After making a hasty exit from his home sprawl with some certified credsticks stored away, Preesh settled into Seattle where he found a team of other runners now called Balance Sheet through his Fixer, Elias.  

Preesh’s skillset isn’t common in the shadows so the Johnson’s often have difficulty adjusting to a cold, dispassionate argument that their return on investment of the run requires additional compensation to ensure the maximum profitability.  Preesh’s contacts in the corporate world left him behind for the most part, but he held on to a few.  Jackson, the janitor where he used to work, has a real friendship with Preesh from when they would waste a little time talking about all of the different tropical islands that would make a good retirement. Prissy, a secretary who always saw how uncomfortable the board room made Preesh is glad to chat and take some nuyen for her troubles. Reginald, “Reggie”, was the outside counsel who would handle more “delicate” expenditures that were “off the books: but not completely off the accounting ledger.  Preesh has become a bit cold since he entered the shadows – he lost the corporation he thought was his family, and this has left him pretty jaded.  He is never far from complaining about how much he misses his old apartment and his old life, but seems resigned to his shadow existence.

Recently, Elias has been finding them more and more jobs against Shiawase which is making Preesh nervous.  Maybe SK didn’t leave him as far behind as he thought.  Maybe this was all a game of chess to set up a catspaw in the shadows for SK Prime.  It’s been eating at him lately.

Fillable PDF Shadowrun 5 Sheet by Kyle Willey.

Key
R&G = Run & Gun; RF = Run Faster; DT = Data Trails; CF = Chrome Flesh; CA = Cutting Aces

Preesh Form

This is The Card Catalog. Welcome to a corner of the Seize the GM for characters and NPCs you can take and use in your home games.  These character sheets will run the gamut of games from new to old, fantasy to space opera, and beyond.  One word of warning, while these characters won’t be pushovers, they also are not made to be fully optimized.

We are starting with some Shadowrun 5th Edition, which is what I play the most today but it will branch out from there.  This covers the overview of a running team in Shadowrun 5th Ed with each team member getting their own post and character sheet to follow.  They are built on starting character generation values with the Sum to Ten method, so use them as Prime Runner opposition for your party, contacts, or even grab the sheet for a backup PC or a new player.

Balance Sheet

Balance Sheet is an established group of runners in sprawl.  With their diverse backgrounds, they are able to accomplish a wide variety of runs and have made a good reputation for themselves as professionals.  They got their name from Preesh’s negotiating tactics breaking down the costs and ROI for the Johnsons, often coming away with more nuyen for the team. Their diverse backgrounds do create some friction internally that manifests as jabs and inside jokes.  Recently, they have been taking on more challenging and higher profile jobs especially against Shiawase.

 

  • Depreciation (“Preesh”) – A former corporate CPA who took the fall for some creative accounting that didn’t hold up.  Preesh is a human loaded with headware who is still a bit bitter being stuck in the shadows, but makes the best of it as the “leader” of balance sheet handling negotiations, strategy, and their finances.  
  • Po’pay– Po’pay is an AWOL member of the P.C.C. military.  When his C.O. left his squad out to dry, Po’pay took it out on the C.O. and never reported back.  As the only surviving member, the P.C.C. hasn’t found him … yet.  He took the street name Po’pay from a historic leader who fought against colonial rule, seeing his place in the world as a way to strike against the corporations and countries that had taken the place of the old Colonial powers. He gets grumpy with the rest of Balance Sheet because he knows his past will catch up with them eventually, and is trying to keep them alive.  
  • Phoenix – Phoenix is a dwarf technomancer former otaku.  At the ripe old age of 15, she was facing the start of the fading when Crash 2.0 went down. Deus’ machinations meant that she woke up in a brand new world with a brand new way to see the Matrix.  She spends her time exploring the Matrix and whistling up sprites for company.  She and Anna spend way too much time debating the nature of reality, with each so far not budging on what they see as “Truth”.
  • Anna – Anna is a troll street shaman who has never known anything but the streets.  He was born in the Redmonds Barrens to parents who couldn’t provide for everything a growing troll needs and found himself out on the streets in short order.  It was there that his awakening happened, and his mentor spirit spoke to him.  Since then, Anna has had a heart of gold and almost unflappable positive view on life, but a thirst for nuyen.  He and Phoenix each see the world differently and think that there may be more than what we see but they can’t seem to ever agree on just what that is.
  • Rintelletish – Rinelletish is an escapee of the Tir, having worked for Telestrian Industries as well as doing his tour with the Peacekeepers.  He is a paranoid elf adept that excels at infiltration and skulduggery in the dark of the night.  He has a fondness for neo-anarchist ideals and there seem to be hints that his past is hiding something, like a lost childhood dream or an even stranger history.  As the newest member of Balance Sheet, Rinelletish’s paranoia has made it hard for the rest of the members to warm up to him; his reputation for getting runners killed while he lives on is a hard hurdle to overcome.

 

Main Topic

Today we sat down and talk with Jeffery from the World Builder’s Anvil. About gaming and world building as well.

 

You can find him at his Website or his facebook group

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- The GM’s Craft

 

Joules- Grade A under A

 

Jeffery- D.N. Frost

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

We got a special group of people to sit around and do this book review. The book we are talking about is Book of the Lost from Catalyst Games. Our panel in Myself Zendead, Joules, and we brought in Guard-a-Manger.

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

We get to work on setting atmosphere at the table and things to help with that.

 

Lighting-

Sounds-

Scent-

Stat Blocks

Zendead-  

Hexennacht or Witchnight is a derelict ship that is floating on the edge of current space travel. She is an ark ship that has been missing for the 200 years. She left Sol controlled space and lost contact with control. Hexennacht has just appeared on the Observation Stations sensors. No power and no crew that is responding. A ghost ship that has gone further than any ship before or since. No real damage that can be detected by sensor. She could be harboring something from the fringe of explored space or she got lost and has just now gotten back to humans. Maybe the ship hold information about what is out that far or a dire warning.

 

Joules-

Are you frustrated by the near incomprehensible nature of magic?  Are your mage friends making fun of you behind your back?  The catalogue has a new product for you.  From the catalog’s shadow subsidiary “Frobozz Magic and Electric” comes a new fragrance “Fluxx and Warp.”  This fragrance will definitely put you mentally on par with your other colleagues.  No longer will you be ridiculed for your lack of comprehension.  During the annual wizards convocation, you will be on par with your peers while wearing this fragrance.    

 

Just a spritz behind each ear and the magically enhanced pheromones begin to work.  They synchronize with your mental acumen.  Those that inhale the fragrance now match your IQ and level of comprehension.  Simply put they are now as stupid as you.  

And as an added bonus, the effects linger.  Lasting anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks.  

 

So just spray and go.  Then sit back and take in the schadenfraude.

 

Warning do not use during family reunions or events of national importance.

 

Frobozz Magic and Electric are not responsible for law troubles, one night stands and national election results

 

Frobozz Magic and Electric, naysayers will be totemized

 

Lexicon

Jubilee  noun  ju·bi·lee \ˈjü-bə-(ˌ)lē, ˌjü-bə-ˈlē\

 

Definition of jubilee

 

1a :  a special anniversary; especially :  a 50th anniversary
 b :  a celebration of such an anniversary

 

2a :  jubilation
 b :  a season of celebration

 

3 often capitalized :  a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of Hebrew slaves, restoration of alienated lands to their former owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land

 

4a :  a period of time proclaimed by the Roman Catholic pope ordinarily every 25 years as a time of special solemnity
 b :  a special plenary indulgence granted during a year of jubilee to Roman Catholics who perform certain specified works of repentance and piety


5 :  a religious song of black Americans usually referring to a time of future happiness

 

Origin and Etymology of jubilee
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French jubilé, from Late Latin jubilaeus, modification of Late Greek iōbēlaios, from Hebrew yōbhēl ram’s horn, jubilee

First Known Use: 14th century

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Big Eyes Small Mouth by Guardians of Order

 

Joules-What Remains of Edith Finch on Steam, The Abominable Charles Christopher

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

We sit back and discuss the merits and drawbacks of landscape and terrain at your table.

 

Heroscape

World Works Games

Drivethru RPG

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead- The Tome

It is a book of magic but like very few others. The tome is magic, real magic. The kind that can rip reality and remake portions of it. Unlike any other book like this you are the pages of the tome. The tome tethers its magic to the life force of the person that inscribes the spells to their flesh. At first the spells might do small things that don’t seem like much but as time goes the spells grow in power and scope. As you cast these spells parts of you grow weak and die. If you were to want to cast every spell you scribed on you then you would not likely live to see the last spell completed. Since you never know the amount of energy needed to cast the spell the number left on you is not an indication of how much more you can do. So be careful of taking on the power of the Tome.

 

Joules-

The Darktown Poker Club.  Where hucksters, con men, grifters and the damned go to play cards.  This mysterious club has been rumored to exist since the mid 1800s and for those that have been invited say the decor hasn’t changed much.  The inside is smokey,  there’s an old honkey tonk style piano in the corner.  Booze is poured from unlabeled bottles.  And the patrons are as likely to kill you then to invite you to join their table.

 

The legends say that the Darktown Poker Club never really left the 1800s, it just has the power to invite players that would make the games ‘interesting.’  And honestly interesting people exist all across space and time.  So where’s the fun in limiting the game to just one decade?

 

The club is exclusive.  Invite only.  How one receives an invitation is unknown.  And to be honest, sometimes some members wish that they never received one.  The invitation is more like a “polite request.”  The kind usually heard from mafia dons or the CIA.  You really don’t refuse an invitation.

 

So at the predetermined time and location, a set of saloon doors manifest.  And the invitee is subtly ushered through.  A tall gentleman in a black hat and duster greets you and gives you the rules of the club.

  1. Don’t cheat the house
  2. Don’t welch on your marker
  3. No bloodshed inside
  4. Keep your trap shut as to the goings on inside the club
  5. Your word is your bond, so choose your words wisely

 

Break any of these rules will get you kicked out of the club.  Intentionally breaking these rules will net a bounty on your head.  And the Darktown Poker Club has never failed to collect.

 

Welcome to the game.

 

Lexicon

Stagnate  verb  stag·nate \ˈstag-ˌnāt\

Definition of stagnate

1:  to become or remain stagnant

Origin and Etymology of stagnate
Latin stagnatus, past participle of stagnare, from stagnum body of standing water

First Known Use: 1661

Closing remarks

Zendead- DC Adventures by Green Ronin

 

Joules-First we Feast’s series “Hot Ones”

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

We got a special group of people to sit around and do this book review. The Book we are talking about is Cutting Aces from Catalyst Games. Our panel in Myself Zendead, Joules, and we brought in Guard-a-Manger, and Opti who is from the Neo-Anarchist Podcast.

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

Sitting around and shooting the breeze with Zippy today

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

Today we get on the topic of Props. Do you use them? How do you use them? And Why do you use them?

 

DM Scotty

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead- I will be Presenting a letter of Marque to use in your game.

 

Joules- “The Faded”

Always on the very edge of memory live the faded.  They are what’s left when the you and the world have finished with them.  Ground them into ashes and vague recollections.

 

They were once people.  They could have been your friends, co-workers, patrons.  But how their peers perceived them, how the world perceived, how you perceived them ultimately cursed them.

 

In your world, in your life’s narrative, you saw them as simply support.  To be used to further your own end.  For advancement, for money, for fame, for power, for your own pride.  In your eyes, they had no value except what they could provide for you.  And as you grew in power, in fame, in stature, the curse of the faded began to manifest..

 

And when you had no use for them, they became immaterial to your life.  They were broken tools that had no use.  You forgot about them.  They moved on.  Searching for someone, something to give them substance, a meaning, a value.  Most never find it.  For a very lucky few, they met an individual who gives in addition to taking.  This halts the fading process.

 

For the rest of the faded, each time the cycle repeats, they start to disappear.  They effectively fade from memory.  Forgotten first by distant acquaintances, then by neighbors and co-workers, followed by friends and family.  Ultimately even the world itself forgets them.  Records of their existence (birth records, photos, passports) cease to exist. The curse is now complete.

 

But the faded retain their minds, their memories, their personality and emotions.  And since they aren’t part of the world anymore, the rules of the world don’t apply to them.  They can pretty much affect the world how they wish.  A kind faded may act as a guardian angel.  A mischievous faded becomes the gremlins that screw up the computer or hide car keys.  But beware the faded of pain and rage.  They are the ones who have seen hell and lived through it.  And now they bring it with them.

 

Lexicon

Pygmy  noun  pyg·my \ˈpig-mē\

 

Definition of pygmy

1: often capitalized :  any of a race of dwarfs described by ancient Greek authors
2: capitalized :  any of a small people of equatorial Africa ranging under five feet (1.5 meters) in height
3a (1) :  an unusually small person (2) :  an insignificant or unimpressive person an intellectual pygmy
b :  something very small of its kind

 

Origin and Etymology of pygmy


Middle English pigmei, from Latin pygmaeus of a pygmy, dwarfish, from Greek pygmaios, from pygmē fist, measure of length

First Known Use: 14th century

Closing remarks

Zendead- Mantic Games Kickstarter. , Bordertown

 

Joules- Hollow Knight , Full Throttle

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

Today we have a fun discussion about miniatures at the table.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead- Karotin the faithful is a faith healer like no other. He is able to heal the laim and afflicted. Karotin is able to use anything that he touches to “channel” the power of his gods to heal you. Weather he blows air on you or hits you with his shirt or pours a drink on you. He preachers to large groups of people and gets them to pay him to do the things that he does. Is he a charlatan? Most likely if you use him in a fantasy setting, in a modern of scifi setting then he might or might not be. It could be interesting if he was able to heal with a touch.  

Now is he actually able to heal people or do they just think they are better? This is for the game to determine. If you want a reference for this guy think Benny Hinn the TV evangelist.

 

Joules – Dance by Wire Club

Welcome to the Dance by Wire club.  I take it this is your first time coming?  Well, welcome.  You’re in for an experience like no other.  Trust me.

 

Ok first we need you to take a little test.  No no no.  Nothing like that.  We’re seeing your natural dance ability and getting measurements for your range of motion.  Great, I see you have some skill wires too.  I need to know what rating they are.  We have a wide variety of dance skill softs for rent.  We need to be sure that the dance style and skill soft rating match up with your cyberware.  To see the whole catalogue, pick the dance catalog’s AR icon.  Fantastic!  

 

You see the little map AR icon?  That displays club’s layout.  The club is set up kind of colosseum style with 7 floors.  Floor 7 is at the top and is the largest.  People of all skill levels can dance here.  There are 3 bars on this floor and a various smattering of booths where you can order something to snack on.  Yep the floors are clear.  I’ll get to that in just a minute.

 

Floors six through one are restricted.  No it’s not a money thing.  It’s actually based on how well you dance.  Better dancers get access to the lower levels.  Hence the smaller and smaller dance floors.  When there is truly a spectacular dancer, everyone wants to see them dance.  This setup makes it easier.  No no, you’re not confined to that floor.  Your floor access allows you to dance on that floor and all the floors above.  And yes there are bars on every floor.

 

Right below floor one is the DJ booth.  Old Man QWERTY usually spins.  That old dwarf had a reputation back in the day as one of the most unconventional deckers.  Even in retirement he still comes up with unconventional uses for tech.  You ever hear of a TAC-NET program?  Yeah where everyone’s networked and using that network gets everyone a little boost?  Well Old Man QWERTY found a better use for it.  Everyone kind of feeds their music and dance “vibe”into the TAC-NET.  That data is fed to the DJ, and he melds it to the music and sends it out to all the club patrons.  No it’s not invasive or anything like that.  Actually think of it as turning a set of headphones into speakers.  It’s shared while you want to share it and you can turn the speakers back into headphones. I know not a perfect metaphor.  Still it’s pretty awesome.  And it cut the rate of bar fights by 70%.  

 

Excellent!  Seems you’ve finished all the movement tests and the stamina test.  You have access all the way to floor one.  Enjoy yourself Maria Hernandez and please don’t hesitate to message me if there’s anything I can do for you.

 

Nulloperations- Fortam the Bear
Children need protection, but even the greatest of guardians need their own rest. The Catalog presents the means to insure these guardians can sleep easy with their latest child-care product; Fortam the Bear. Fortam appears to any layman observer as a mere soft and plush teddy bear, but when within 50ft. of a sleeping child*, Fortam will arm and defend the area from any perceived threats.
Fortam the Bear comes standard equipped with his mighty sword, knight bearer shield, and disjunction potions. Accessory packs include his mighty tiger steed, the astral armor of infinite slumber, and a potion of warm snuggles. Using these tools, he will strike down even the mightiest of foes who’d dare fight against the ward he is tasked to defend.
*Manufacturers Warning, Fortam’s ability to determine if a being is considered a child is related solely to state of mind, and beings who have been overexposed to the horrors of the real world will no longer be able to receive Fortam’s protection. Fortam’s detection may also extend to legal adults should their innocence and virtue still remain within their hearts, mind, and body. Fortam’s childhood detection does not depend on chronological age. Machine Wash Warm, Rumbly Tumbly Dry.
**Catalog warning: Fortam is designed to protect children from all perceived threats, including monsters, dream eaters, math, waking them up before they have had enough sleep, Draculas, the clinically boring, and the seventh flavor of the color yellow. The catalog is not responsible for Fortam’s actions against these perceived threats. The only friend Fortam recognizes is children that are sleeping.
Fortam the Bear. Sleep tight, Fortam won’t let the bed bugs bite.
Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.

 

 

Lexicon

Hecatomb   noun  hec·a·tomb \ˈhe-kə-ˌtōm\

 

Definition of hecatomb

 

1:  an ancient Greek and Roman sacrifice of 100 oxen or cattle

2:  the sacrifice or slaughter of many victims

 

Origin and Etymology of hecatomb
Latin hecatombe, from Greek hekatombē, from hekaton hundred + -bē; akin to Greek bous cow — more at hundred, cow

First Known Use: circa 1592

Closing remarks

Zendead- Sky Doll by Titan Comics and The Worldbuilders Anvil

 

Joules – Terrible Writing Advice

 

Nulloperations- Moana

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

Tonight we get to sit down and talk with Benjamin Loomes the creator of Syrinscape.

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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The following stat block is a tool that can be dumped right into a game tonight. Stat blocks are meant to be quick and easy to use locations, items, npcs, and other device game masters can use to provide background, lore, treasure, or more for their games. Some will require refining, others may require a simple rules comparison, but most are drop and go items. Each block will include a description, GM Guidelines, and 3 system examples for their usage.

Lasso Rod [Item]

Description

A rod about a foot and a half long and a little more than two inch thick. It’s a pale tan color, and feels like wood in weight but stone in touch. The item has two notches near the top of it, and a leather strap or handle on the opposing end. Under the grip there is a small band of leather or wire to affix the rod to the wielder’s wrist.

GM Guidelines

The Lasso rod is meant as a tool for a prison guard or bounty hunter. It is as light as a small wooden dowel but is as strong as a steel or stone of similar size. When the wielder of the rod flicks it properly, the notched end expands into a lasso that will attempt to ensnare a target. This should require some level of proficiency or knowledge on how to use such items. The lasso as a magical item should be able to prevent magical creatures for teleporting or otherwise leaving an area if they are not as strong as the lasso’s magic. The Lasso as a technological item should be considered uncuttable and resistant to being pulled open. Both version of the lasso should have ammunition or charges to prevent overuse.

Shadowrun 5E Usage

The Lasso is a special nanoweave item initially meant for the handling of enhanced cyber critters and their training. It uses the same skills as whips and can be considered a specialization of such. When using the Lasso Rod for a Subduing Attack, use the Lasso’s rating+3 as the Strength of the Attacker’s Subduing roll. The normal Lasso Rod cannot inflict stun damage per Subduing rules. The shock Lasso Rod can inflict a 9S(e)[AP-5] attack that is resisted normally. The Shock Lasso Rod comes equipped with enough battery life for ten charges before it must be plugged in to recharge, at a rate of one charge every ten seconds. Wireless Bonus: Maintaining the Grapple requires only a Simple Action, but additional actions cannot be taken if a complex action is not spent to maintain the grapple. The Wireless bonus also enables the Shock Lasso Rod to recharge at a rate of one charge an hour of being wirelessly active.

Lasso Rod – Accuracy 5 | Reach 2 | Dmg (Str+1) P | AP -3 | Avail (Rating+3)R | Cost Rating*500¥

Shock Lasso Rod – Accuracy 5 | Reach 2 | Dmg (Str+2) P | AP -3 | Avail (Rating+6)R | Cost Rating*1,000¥

Numenera Usage

Capture Rod (artifact)

Level: 1d6

Form: A small dowel that appears to be made of stone but is as light as wood.

Effect: Produces a long rope like transparent lasso. If used to attack, the Lasso does no damage but causes the struck character to be unable to take any move action and all combat actions are increased one step. Missed attacks cause the Lasso to become stuck on something else, and a 3 Speed roll to free the lasso from the target.

Depletion: 1 in 1d20

Free Market Usage

Lasso Rod – [Wetwork; Nanoweave Rope; Quick and Accurate] – A small dowel that creates a rope useful to stop people before deathing them.

Main Topic

Today we did 3 stat blocks each from 3 different Genres. Enjoy

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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The following stat block is a tool that can be dumped right into a game tonight. Stat blocks are meant to be quick and easy to use locations, items, npcs, and other device game masters can use to provide background, lore, treasure, or more for their games. Some will require refining, others may require a simple rules comparison, but most are drop and go items. Each block will include a description, GM Guidelines, and 3 system examples for their usage.

Duxe Lonis [Location]

Description

Deep in the burrows of swampland lies the ruins of Duxe Lonis. The city is built of heavy carved stone and arranged obsidian glass. The buildings align in concentric circles built around a large altar some 200 feet wide, and three large avenues span from this point. What appears to be precious stones dot the streets every twenty, and at night these seem to give off a faint glow. The place is deserted, and the only remains of humanoids that can be found seem to be fair more recent than when this city would have been built.

GM Guidelines

Duxe Lonis is an ancient city, once the home of skilled and powerful scholars. Some time ago the place was abandoned through a calamity the leaders of the city foresaw. They left behind traps, wards, and other methods to prevent their city from being reclaimed by anyone but their descendants. When an archeological team found it a century or two ago, they were meet by curses and death around every corner. Most history books have crossed the city from their records now by the surviving members of this dig, and only books from older than a few centuries may mention this place.

Dungeon & Dragons Usage

Treat Duxe Lonis as a surface dungeon to discover. Clues from nearby townsfolks or descendants of the archeologists may guide the players to the spot, but otherwise leave them to their fate. The traps should be magical in nature mostly, and golems and undead should be the primary antagonists, with a few wild animals on the outskirts of the city. Any treasure should be knowledge based, and aid magical characters primarily. Complication: One of the players’ guides is a descendant of the city, and will try to use the city’s defenses to kill the players.

Shadowrun Usage

A Johnson wants the team to investigate a rumored fourth world city that has been discovered unearthed recently. They’ll pay handsomely for artifact and treasures from the place, but powerful wards and strange paracritters guard the way in. Complication: One of the players is a descendant of the city, and can strangely interact with the city’s traps and magic.

Call of Cthulhu

A recently uncovered dig site, the players take on the roles of the original archeological survey of the site. Here they’ll discover clues of the ancient avatar that consumed the minds of the city’s founders. Eventually the players will find a cult within the city attempting to restart the ritual that brought the elder god’s avatar to Duxe Lonis. Complication: A rival ancient one seeking to undermine the ritual is the force behind sending the players in.

 

Main Topic

A few different ways to organize your Story elements in your game.

Stat Blocks

Zendead- Going to draw up a few other locations

 

Joules- A sicky Joules gets a pass here. She promises to have something dark and creepy for you all next time.

 

Nulloperations- Idea submitted by Dakota Lewis

 

The Wings of Amdalor
Have you ever wanted to see the world? Like…all of it? With the grace of donning these earrings and giving them a tap you’ll be whisked away to a bird’s eye view. Enjoy the breath-taking view afforded to young Icarus, as you linger in the sky and see the never-ending horizon of the world.
Caution! The Wings of Amdalor does not grant the user the ability to flight. Like young Icarus’s melted wings, you too will plummet to the ground, and shall make fast friends with its firmament. Tapping the earrings again may afford you safety from the situation as you are brought once more to an amazing height where there too shall you fall once more downward bound in an endless cycle of madness and fear.
The Wings of Amdalor. See the World, forever, until the world takes you.
Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.

 

Lexicon

Comely  adjective  come·ly \ˈkəm-lē also ˈkōm- or ˈkäm-\

 

Definition of comely

1:  pleasurably conforming to notions of good appearance, suitability, or proportion
2:  having a pleasing appearance :  not homely or plain

 

Sidebar

Although comely is now typically used to describe the appearance of human beings, it was once used more broadly of other appealing things, such as fine clothing. Comely can be traced back to an Old English word meaning “lovely, glorious, or fine.” If you’re looking to pretty up your prose or poetry with additional words meaning “beautiful,” English is well-supplied with them. Aside from beautiful itself, we have lovely, handsome, pretty, fair, good-looking, gorgeous,ravishing, and even well-favored.

 

Origin and Etymology of comely
Middle English comly, alteration of Old English cȳmlic glorious, from cȳme lively, fine; akin to Old High German kūmig weak

First Known Use: 13th century

Closing remarks

Zendead- Up and Vanished Podcast

 

Joules-Bendy and the Ink Machine,  Bendy and the Ink Machine’s Song “Build our Machine”

 

Nulloperations- Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

Locations and how they build the setting and give it character.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

Davin Boday is the headmaster and virtuoso of the College of the Black Star. Davin has spent many years working on building the college into what it is today. He is an amazing performer that has changed his style a number of times over his life. At present he puts on the airs of a priest. His musical style of lute and song. He got his start in the rough part of town and worked for meals.  Now he is sought by nobles and wealthy merchants to play for them. From time to time he has been known to sneak into one of his old haunts and play shows for free. Thou he mostly spends his days teaching with other bards the newest and the most promising students.

 

Davin is a willowy tall man. His bloodline holds a bit of the elven in it. For he is in his late 60’s but doesn’t appear much over his 40’s. He has blondish colored hair at present, that is long and kept in a ponytail mostly. He wears bits and pieces from many different clergy. He has also taken to wearing a blindfold of muslin with a single eye painted in the center of his forehead.

 

His lute is something of a legend. It has been with him since he started working as a bard. It is never out of tune and has been hitten by things that should have broken it. How he got this and what it actually is no one is sure of.

 

Joules- “The Maimer”

Everyone has their standard toolkit.  It could be a reinforced carpet bag full of chemicals or a pouch of reagents, a utility belt, or even a walking piece of luggage.  It’s become a such part of their being that the individual feels “off” if they forget it.  They’ve modded and moulded this piece of equipment to their exact specifications and requirements.  It always has what they need and it’s pulled them out of a few scrapes before.  

 

And when someone’s enemy finds out about the toolkit, they now have a perfect attack vector.  And this ne’er do well introduces “The Maimer.”  How this item is made, no one knows.  The creators of this item guard their secrets carefully.  

 

The Maimer is made to look like the target’s toolkit.  Size, weight, heft, smell and even the small defects that develop over time are replicated in excruciating detail.  Then, based on the buyers request, the craftsman adds that “special something.” It could be anything from a snap trap that will crush a hand, rendering the appendage useless, a psychoactive mushroom derivative cloud that twists a person’s mind,  to a localized nerve agent that removes the victim’s fine motor control.  The possibilities are endless.  But there is a restriction.

 

The Maimer’s effects are non fatal.  They’re designed to be permanently destructive but not fatal.  Removing a surgeon’s fine motor control, handicapping a scientist’s mind from thinking clearly, or destroying a chef’s sense of smell.  But if you’re thinking that this is due to some kind of kindness or compassion, you’re sorely mistaken.  This is the sadist’s weapon.  You can only kill someone once, but you can destroy someone over and over and over.

 

Nulloperations –

The Grand Champion Box Set

No one can back down from a true call to heroism, and the Grand Champion Box Set (figures sold separately) gives any would be champion the chance to show their steel. With this game in hand, you will be able solve any riddle, puzzle, or physical challenge with ease thanks to tokens of magic, injections of serums, or other powerful enhancements users of the game are granted. The Grand Champion Box Set is fun for the entire adventuring party! Draw a loot card to see what lies and misdeeds your allies hide from you. Land on their homesteads and see the broken paths of destiny they have steered you away from. Roll the dice and learn when their sinister plot against you will take place!

The Grand Champion Box Set is guaranteed to lead you down the path of great heroes and tyrants. You’ll learn the necessary skills to survive what your once loyal best friend is going to do to your dreams. You won’t have to put up with the romantic interest stringing you along when your desire for mortal comforts are robbed from you and only the quest remains. The box will see you through, no matter the cost!

Warning, the Grand Champion Box Set comes pre-equipped with guaranteed CURSE-TEK applications, and will magically adhere or medically inject its commands into the owner of the box. Breaking the curse is considered breach of TOS and thus nullifies any warranty or refund for this product.

The Grand Champion Box Set. After all, you are a champion, aren’t you?

Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.

 

Lexicon

 

Narcosis

noun  nar·co·sis \när-ˈkō-səs\

 

Definition of narcosis
plural narcoses \när-ˈkō-ˌsēz\
:  a state of stupor, unconsciousness, or arrested activity produced by the influence of narcotics or other chemical or physical agents

 

Origin and Etymology
New Latin, from Greek narkōsis, action of benumbing, from narkoun

Closing remarks

Zendead- OontZ Speakers also Lord Zsezse Works

 

Joules – Pit People

 

Nulloperations- Abstract: The Art of Design

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Main Topic

NPC’s how to introduce them and the spaces they fill.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-  Tome of the Dark

Since mankind had developed writing people have written down their ideas, thoughts, and fears. As time passed things that only the darkest dared pen found there way to a small series of folios, pamphlets and scrolls. Over millennia these grew into a collection so large  the individual pieces were becoming lost. Some parts told of beings not of the world and ways to call them, or parts of them. These possessed summoners imparted more “wisdom” into the tome corrupting the original.

Now if the tomes is to be replicated it must be done in a single night. Every copy of the tome is handwritten and illustrated with illuminated pages. Preparations to copy this book can take years to complete. Vellum pages made from sources not the nor make for the largest investment of time. Once the book is bound then the summoning occurs. The creature called forth from the other takes over the body of the scribe and over the course of the evening composes the Tome of the Dark. The scribe is usually a husk of their former self for the few unlucky to survive the experience.

Adventure seed: There is a group of magickal persons that want to have many copies of the Tome out in the world so they have been working overtime to collect the pieces to do the summoning to compose over one hundred copies.

 

Joules- The Screaming Crystal

Whether created by a psychopathic wizard or grown in the lab of a ghost rock addled scientist, the Screaming Crystal is one of the most harrowing things an adventurer can encounter.

 

The Screaming Crystal is a psychically infused crystalline construct, created by lunatics and madmen. Initially, the crystal is quiet. Unprogrammed. A blank slate. But after enough exposure to an individual’s brainwaves, the crystal starts to corrupt, mutate and grow;  absorbing the psyche and mental energy of its victim. The Screaming Crystal then starts to develop a consciousness and a personality.   And an appetite.  

 

The Screaming Crystal requires the mental energy of sentient creatures to survive and grow.  Initially it feeds off of the mental energy of its creator.   Initially the drain on the crystal’s creator is minimal.  But over time, as the crystal grows in size and power, the drain increases exponentially.   The brilliant yet deluded mind of the crystal’s creator grows weaker.  Their personality fades.  They become a walking husk.  They’re not mindless zombies mind you.  They’re just dried up, exhausted.  Any remaining mental energy they generate is drained away.  

 

When the crystal’s food supply drains to a trickle, it gets hungry.  And Angry. Already in sync with a mind/food source (The crystal’s creator), the crystal starts screaming.  Screaming inside the head of the madman who created it.  Waves and waves of psychic screeching shatter what remains of the person’s sanity.  The lucky ones die quickly under the relentless psychic assault.  Those unlucky enough to keep breathing quickly go wild, feral and often will tear themselves apart.

 

All that remains is the crystal.  Alone, starved and full of rage.  It waits for its next victim.  As soon as it senses a mind, it syncs itself to the poor soul’s brainwaves and starts feeding, starting the cycle anew.

 

And strangely enough, there are some aberrant minds that can live harmoniously with the crystal.  They enjoy the “sound” of the crystal screaming in their head.  These rare individuals are quite mad.  There have been reports of a brain in a jar who doesn’t mind the sound at all.  

 

So when an unsuspecting adventuring party stumbles across it, you’d better hope that your group has some incredible mental fortitude or is as dumb as a box of hammers.  Those of a stalwart mind can resist the shrieking psychic assault and run.  Those dense as a black hole are so mentally deviant that the crystal doesn’t see them as food.

 

So how do you defeat it?  The only way is to utterly destroy the lattice that forms the crystal.  Smashing simply doesn’t work.  It just makes tiny little crystals that can hitchhike inside the advetures gear or clothes.  The most efficient way is extreme heat.  Lava is often a favorite of adventurers.  Some alchemists could reduce the crystal to its component atoms.  Some scientists can change the crystal’s lattice to a ring or a chain.  Even a portable black holes have been used.

 

So while out adventuring, remember this.  Sometimes the biggest threat to your party doesn’t have to be a huge, lumbering monster or a malevolent AI.  It doesn’t have to be some Andrew Ryan type of character.  Sometimes a small crystal shard is enough.

 

Nulloperations-Two Sticks
Simple and elegant, the catalog presents Two Sticks. These small rods appear as normal wooden sticks to the unobserving eye, but in the hands of our fine customers, these sticks become much more. Concealed with unknown magics or advanced technologies (depending on the market conditions), the sticks present the possibilities of imagination made whole. Holding one or both sticks aloft like weapons causes them to become durable, hardened, and incredibly sharp despite their cylindric shape. Attempting to climb them like rungs of a ladder permits upward mobility as the two rods lock into invisible dowels. Why, the sticks are so useful, they can even be used to strike any surface and create the sound of thunder as if they were hitting a sheet of storm metal.
Be cautious though, as while the two sticks are powerful, they should never be used against one another. Impossibly sharp should never meet impossibly sharp, nor should the sticks attempt to create thunder on one another. Such outcomes are not covered under warranty and responsibility is held to the customer alone. Geologic activity should be observed closely when handling.
Two Sticks. More than you bargained for.
Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.

 

 

Lexicon

Biltong

noun  bil·tong \ˈbil-ˌtȯŋ, -ˌtäŋ\

 

Definition
chiefly South Africa
:  jerked meat

 

Origin and Etymology
Afrikaans, from bil rump + tong tongue

First Known Use: 1815

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- The 100 on the CW.

Joules- Twisted Toonz

Nulloperations- Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse on Amazon Prime

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Main Topic

 

Zendead- Both physical and electronic based on what I am running. Physically I have a notebook and printout of whatever I am running for at the table. Electronically I use a few different things. I make use of Google Docs, Box, Scriviner, a Name Generator app, Pinterest, and a Journal app I also use WorkFlowy. I have 2 new ones I haven’t played with yet called Character Planner and Quest Tracker. I want to figure out how to use Evernote at some point in the future for notes.

 

Joules- I use a notebook. The back and the front.  Front for story notes.  Turn it over and start at the back for player actions and possible consequences.  A sticky note pad for player ninja notes.  Hero lab.  It’s a great tool for learning how to make characters and there’s a bunch of cool ways to build NPCs. Additionally, the pdf printouts are awesome.  You can go base or super explainy

 

Nulloperations- OneNote, mostly. I never use physical goods anymore.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead- The Archivist

The archivist is 1 part packrat, 1 part organizer and 2 parts salesmen. The archivist can find or has the actual item you are looking for or has a reasonable facsimile of it. It might seem like any old shop keep or black market op it like this but they are only parts of this person. While it make take time for someone else to get or build the thing you are looking for the archivist has it on hand when you need it.

Her name on the street is Bookworm because she wears glasses. She has all the documents you will ever need to jump borders as well as set up that false front to make you seem like the guy that everyone trusts. The reason is she has found a stockpile of old forms that people have used and are in the processes of phasing out. As old pieces pass out of favor she adds new things to her list and keeps from becoming obsolete.

 

Joules

 

Justin – The Voucher
Travel is a difficult task, regardless of location, destination, and chrono-point in the possibility stream; but now the task of arranging your transportation is gone with the purchase of The Voucher. The voucher immediately becomes the ticket, token, currency, or mark needed to identify the holder as a valid rider on a chosen method of transportation. Torn, stamped, or otherwise damaging the voucher doesn’t hinder its ability to provide convincing evidence of the rider’s right to travel. This includes royal parades, funeral barges, secret transportation jets, and more. Enjoy your trip today with a voucher.
WARNING! The Voucher expires immediately on arrival at a destination, and its apparent false nature becomes extremely evident to all those who handled it, including knights, transportation administration, computer security systems, and secretive military agents. The Catalog does not guarantee safety for the user after use of the Voucher, nor are they responsible for criminal charges or incarcerations that may occur.
The Voucher. Here, There, Everywhere.
Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.

 

 

Lexicon

Totem  

noun  to·tem \ˈtō-təm\

Definitions of totem
1 a :  an object (as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry; also :  a usually carved or painted representation of such an object
  b :  a family or clan identified by a common totemic object
2 :  one that serves as an emblem or revered symbol

 

Totem in a sentence-

The shaman’s’ totem was Otter.

 

Origin and Etymology of totem
Ojibwa oto·te·man his totem

First Known Use: circa 1776

Totem comes to us from Ojibwa, an Algonquian language spoken by an American Indian people from the regions around Lake Superior. The most basic form of the word in Ojibwa is believed to be “ote,” but 18th-century English speakers encountered it as “ototeman” (“his totem”), which became our word totem. In its most specific sense, “totem” refers to an emblematic depiction of an animal or plant that gives a family or clan its name and that often serves as a reminder of its ancestry. The term is also used broadly for any thing or person having particular emblematic or symbolic importance. The related adjective “totemic” describes something that serves as a totem, that depicts totems (“totemic basketry,” for example), or that has the nature of a totem.

 

Links

Gaming Paper Kickstarter

 

Shout Outs

Zendead- This week I have 2 the first is a podcast called Mysteries Abound  and the second is an old school Campaign called Night Below I am rereading this gem.

Joules-The Exploring Series on Youtube.  https://www.youtube.com/user/ManggMangg  They have a good information on Cthulhu, Middle Earth, History etc.

Justin- Howls Moving Castle, Spirited Away

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Thanks to Merriam Webster for Lexicon as always.

Main Topic

Examples of sci-fi and a few of the different versions

 

Stat Blocks

Derek – Sadly I did not have time this week to do one.

Joules – All of us are born with a destiny.  Be it great or small.  But there are those who steal those segments of the thread of fate.  Fraying and unraveling the tapestry of kismet.  What happens to the world where the hero was smothered in their crib?  Or the divine champion embraces corruption?  What are the echos of future that never was?

 

At nexus points in the world, where events of great significance were fated to happen, lie gaping wounds in reality.  Holes in the fabric of the world.  They appear as rips in the world, filled by an inky miasma. The edge where it meets reality looks like torn, frayed, fabric.  The area itself feels almost frozen.  Static.  There is no breeze here.  No animal sounds. It’s as if time forgot to move forward.  Or couldn’t.

 

When someone approaches the area, the stillness is unsettling.  The individual feels like they’re treading on sacred ground.  Or at least otherworldly.  The alien stillness makes the area feel almost sterile.  Those who are curious or who know the stories feel drawn to the tears.  As if reality itself was reaching out, desperately wanting to tell the player of the days that never came.  Of destiny denied.  

 

When the player approaches the tear, tendrils reach out and grab them.  Instantly the player’s mind is filled with memories of a future that never happened.  All of it.  All the joys and sorrows.  All the pleasure and pain.  All the triumphs and failures.  Every moment denied.  It floods the player’s psyche, rendering them unconscious.

 

When the player regains consciousness, the weight of the experience frays their composure.  They may become obsessed with the futile attempt of restoring what was once denied.  Spending all their time and energy at a futile quest.  Or have trouble separating the memories of what is and what could have been.  For some, the experience is so great that they eventually become catatonic.  But know this, no matter what the player does, his ending is fixed.  When the player eventually falls, another tear is created.

 

You see, the holes cannot be filled.  The past can not be undone.  But the tear wants to be filled. Needs to be filled.  It’s singular purpose is to be made whole.  So it steals the destiny of those that approach it in a desperate attempt to stitch itself back together.  Ripping other’s threads of fate to suture itself, creating another tear in the process.  And It will keep tugging at threads, stealing the future, till the whole world unravels.

 

Justin

 

Lexicon

Rhapsody  

noun  rhap·so·dy \ˈrap-sə-dē\

Definition of rhapsody

1:  a portion of an epic poem adapted for recitation

2: archaic :  a miscellaneous collection

3a (1) :  a highly emotional utterance (2) :  a highly emotional literary work (3) :  effusively rapturous or extravagant discourseb :  rapture, ecstasy

4:  a musical composition of irregular form having an improvisatory character

 

Examples of rhapsody in a sentence

  1. The mayor launched into a long rhapsody about his plans for the city.
  2. <listening to Mozart always left him in a rhapsody that lingered for the remainder of the evening>

Origin and Etymology of rhapsody
Latin rhapsodia, from Greek rhapsōidia recitation of selections from epic poetry, rhapsody, from rhapsōidos rhapsodist, from rhaptein to sew, stitch together.

First Known Use: 1542

 

Closing remarks

Derek – Pirate Power on iTunes store and on Android

Joules – R.O.M. Read Only Memories

Justin – Nevermine 4 – Minecraft mod.

 

WE OUT

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Episode 10: Fantasy Settings

 

Main Topic

Fantasy Settings- Timeframe as well as general tropes.

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead-

Maps that are going to go up as a separate PDF

Map-Page-1

Joules-I was sick today…

Nulloperations-

The Catalog
A cryptic folded over piece of paper reveals a page of the notorious catalog. On it you find the listing for…
The Doom Tent
The apocalypse is typically seen as a once in a lifetime event, mostly because people don’t survive their first go around. But not anymore because the party is not outfitted with their own Doom Tent. This sleek ash grey tent pleasantly houses six to eight individuals with enough food, sundries, breathable air, and potable water to survive in the wilderness for 3-4 weeks. Rain proof, fire retardant, and wind resistant, the Doom Tent is the ideal camping tool, but these pleasant features aside the tent has the unique property of also being Apocalypse avoidant. If properly setup (a process taking 2d12 rounds and requiring a moderate strength and intelligence check, +8 if you kept the manual) prior to an apocalyptic event, the tent will be immune from the outcome of any local or global catastrophic event. Occupants will not contract horrible radiation damage, zombie infestations, or anti-rapturing style activities. Even if the entire planet is atomized the Doom tent will still stay in one piece, as will the surrounding 30 ft. radius of earth, rock, or other material it was pitched on. The tent itself provides a double flap air lock like system for exiting and entering the tent thus ensuring a detoxification or atmosphere returning effect for those coming and going. The Doom tent cannot guarantee survival for those who step away from the tent, and the tent does not protect against moderate level dangerous events. Low level dangers are only afforded a moderate level of protection no more effective than heavy burlap.
The Doom Tent. It’s all or nothing.
Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.

 

 

Lexicon

éclat

noun \ā-ˈklä, ˈā-ˌ\

 

Definition
1:  ostentatious display :  publicity
2:  dazzling effect :  brilliance
3a :  brilliant or conspicuous success

 

Used in a sentence: “ The bard was received with great  éclat

 

Origin and Etymology
French, splinter, burst, éclat

First Known Use: 1672

 

Closing remarks –

Derek  Thundarr the Barbarian

Joules – google feud

Justin – Hogfather Quote

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

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Episode 009: Modern Settings

 

Main Topic –

Modern settings and how different times effect systems.

 

Stat Blocks –

Zendead-

The Hermit’s Shack- On your travels between locations in the adventure you stumble across this old but sturdy shack out in the woods. Upon first inspection the front of the home appears to be run down but not ruined. Looking around reveals a body or the remains of a body. (Just depending on what you want there to be.) Checking over you see that the person has died in a nonviolent way. Once they start investigating the house they find a well stocked pantry and several common items that could fill in any missing items the characters need. This can also be a place where you can drop clues about things to come in the game at a later point. The Hermit could be a scholar of a topic that the characters are looking into. And now they have his library and journals that they can go through.

 

Joules

The Dark Muses – Way back in the day, the muses inspired many great things.  Paintings, music, poetry, and stories.  But the bards are long gone, the canvases destroyed, and white noise has all but silenced the music.

 

Muses once lived on the energy generated by inspiration.  The energy of artistic creation and the energy of the patrons.  The performance of a new symphony could sustain them for months.  So to survive, the muses would inspire chosen people to create.  In the dreams and hallucinations of man, the muses would plant the seeds for great and inspiring artistic works.

 

But man has stopped dreaming.  The artists are as calcified shells; deaf and blind to the muses suggestion.  As time passed, muses could no longer feed on the energy generated by great inspirational works.  And the muses started to die.

 

Finally in desperation the muses searched for a way to sustain themselves.  And once again in man, they found a solution.  Now the muses feed on man’s almost limitless capacity for hatred and conflict.  They inspire the rantings of the zealot to his followers.  They guide the pen of the mad prophet.  They carefully tend the feelings of insecurity and unease between neighbors; guaranteeing the muses several generations of hatred and conflict.  They drive scientists to abandon nobler pursuits in favor of developing greater and more deadly tools of war.

 

So the next time you start to feel, from out of nowhere, an irrational dislike or a drive to do something destructive, the feeling might not be yours.

 

Justin – The Admirer

 

Heroism has many rewards; prestige, gold, treasure. Adoration is often an additional boon to those who bring peace and wonder to the realm. The following a hero may garner range from fans, lovers, and those who would seek to apprentice under the hero. These allies represent the worth the heroes have presented to the world and often scale in ability based on the power shown from the deeds of the protagonists. Today, we’re talking about one of these loyalists; the admirer.

 

Admirers are fans, through and through. They want to be around the hero; to watch them commit new and wondrous acts of heroism and be a part of the legend made real. Their idea of the hero is perhaps far beyond that of the true nature of a player controlled protagonist, and the very act of trying to live up to this ideal might be beyond the scope of what an rpg might permit. But these are the allies that end up chanting the name of the hero into the ears of bards and scholars; who help place the legends into stone for future generations to aspire to.

 

As much as they aid the hero, they can be burdensome as well. These fans may not be built for survival on the road of adventure. They might lack provisions, clothing, or other sundries that a normal adventure takes for granted. They need their own food, shelter, and other aspects for life but do not mistake them for a pet. The hero who does may find themselves betrayed by the admirer so mistreated. As a fan, they may know the story better than the hero, and as such may bring this intelligence to a rival if threatened or kidnapped.

 

Fans are more common in modern settings, but even in fantasy they can be followers of the protagonists. Bards and minstrels make for good Admirers to help spread a legend while historians may want to record the defeat of a dire monster. In science fiction, they may show up as wandering aliens or tourists looking in on strange stories they’ve heard about. In the modern world and cyberpunk settings, especially ones in which the players are literal rock stars, they may be actual fans of the party and sing along during the chorus.

 

But never met your heroes, kids. The Admirer has an ideal form of the hero in their head, and it’s not hard for the players to shatter this concept. Being even mildly rude or disgruntled about their presence can twist an admirer away. Being hostile can have them spread word against the heroes, turning their reputation sour long before reaching new lands. They’re a potential nuisance or a grand gift, if used right, but take care as they are not playthings. Instead, find a place for them in the legend but preferably one that doesn’t make them think they can replace you.

 

Lexicon –

preceptor
noun  pre·cep·tor \pri-ˈsep-tər, ˈprē-ˌ\

Definition of preceptor
1a :  teacher, tutor
 b :  the headmaster or principal of a school
2 :  the head of a preceptory of Knights Templars

Examples of preceptor in a sentence
<a preceptor at a small English boarding school>

First Known Use 15th century

 

Closing remarks –

Derek- Reaper Minis

Joules – Darkest Dungeon

Justin – Lord Of The Rings, The Original Extended Edition Trilogy

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

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Main Topic

Today we talked about books that need to be in a GM’s Library that are not gaming related but can be used to draw more inspiration from.

 

Zendead-

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley- How it created the genre of Sci-Fi,

 

Far Eastern Myth helping to be more inclusive in your games,

 

Dune by Frank Herbert- How to take existing Cultures and change them into something new that doesn’t look like its Inspiration

 

Nulloperations-

The writing of Stephen King – King shows you the importance of sub-characters to make a rich world

 

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Twisting a genre and the importance of relaxation and jokes in the gaming group

 

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler – building a mystery, which helps in countless genres

 

Joules-

YouTube Show – Extra Credits (They go into almost a bajillion subjects in creating video games.  Lots can be used for creating your game.)

Fables by Bill Willingham – Characters with existing backstory don’t have to be static.

Books of Fables  (Rudyard Kiplings “Just So” Stories, Aesop’s Fables) – Actions have consequences.  And they don’t need to be huge and drawn out

Stat Blocks

Zendead

The Unspoken- The Unspoken are a group of highly trained and specialized warriors for the Queen. They are never seen unless the Queen is threatened and then they appear from the shadows of the throne room. Since the Queen is a widow and has no champion she needed a way to protect herself so so spoke with her spymaster. The result is the Unspoken. They were taken from the finest guard and then trained in a secret location known only to the spymaster. Their membership is secret and very small. They train as a unit of five. There are three units in total that rotate duty. The head of each unit reports to the spymaster and the Queen only. No one has ever seen any of them speak aside from head of a unit. The truth is they has been muted so that they can never speak  They have created a unique system of hand gestures as well as faces to convey everything that a normal language can. There is at least one of them that can do spellcasting as well.

Joules

In Little Fears, kids use “stuff” to fight monsters and help save the world.

One of the items is “the all seeing camera.”  All the powers aren’t known to the child yet. But they’ll find them

 

This camera used to belong to the child’s dad.  It was a big part of their life from their first breath.  It took baby pictures, pictures on vacation, family photos.  It held the memories of the family.

The one day, coming home from a wonderful vacation everything changed.

It was dark and it had been raining.  Dad couldn’t maintain control of the car.

The child doesn’t remember much after that.  

The child went to live with Auntie and Uncle while Mom and Dad were recovering in the hospital.  In suburban Massachusetts.

But since they were away from all that they knew, they were allowed to take the camera with them.  Taking a piece of home and the happy memories.

 

It is now fall.  And things aren’t feeling right.  A whisp in the corner of the eye.  A cold breeze.  A strange noise.

Well, while doing the “Fall Tour” of the local historic sites with Auntie and Uncle, the kid decides to “be like daddy” and take pictures.  Putting the camera up to their eye, getting ready to take a picture of the statue, the child sees something thru the viewer.  A skeletal form overlaying the statue.  It disappears when they stop looking thru the viewer.  Putting it back up to their eye, it reappears.  The apparition overlaying the statue notices that the kid is looking at it and disappears.

 

That’s the initial power of the All Seeing Camera. Seeing the invisible.

 

The more the child uses it, the more powers that are discovered.  The ability to blind monsters with the flash.  The ability to have others experience everything the child experienced when they took the picture.

 

And there’s a special feature of the camera.  But a very dangerous one.  If things go wrong, the consequences can be death.

 

The feature is called “save.”  What happens is when someone is hurt (no matter how badly), taking a picture of the person heals them, restoring all their health and correcting any negative effects.  The memory card in the camera “saves” the damage.  However storage devices are finite. And since the crash, the memory card in there was fused in there for some reason.  It’s currently unknown how many “saves” are on that storage device, and how much more space is left.

When the storage device is full, all the damage that was “saved” explodes outward, returning the damage to its original owner.  

Bones re-break, gaping wounds re-open, and kids rescued from the brink of death find themselves back at the brink, staring into oblivion once again.

 

The Camera is a useful tool and a powerful one.  It can even save someone from dying.  But every bit of magic has a cost.  What are you willing to pay?

 

Justin

<pulled>

 

Lexicon

Penology noun  pe·nol·o·gy \pi-ˈnä-lə-jē\

 

Definition of PENOLOGY

  • :  a branch of criminology dealing with prison management and the treatment of offenders.

Origin and Etymology of penology

Greek poinē penalty + English -logy

 

First Known Use: 1838

 

Closing remarks

Zendead

Music by The Enigma Tng

Joules

Rip Off! (on Audible)  or Mash Up! (on Kindle)

Justin

Ethys Asher – FFXIV Lore

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2UQ_EJkAAlzXkcTfDj-2g

 

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from their self-titled album Numa

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When we look at the people that populate a RPG world, we often think of them as part of the cultural context our characters are a part of. Aspects of tradition, community standards, practices and policies that make society work. Such behavior is how we usually judge new people we meet and if they are known to us or if they are an “other.” But the real world, especially for travelers, explorers, and adventures, often brings groups of people together who don’t share the same default states, and conflict, although unintentional, occurs on a regular basis. The Outsider is one of these others, and their approach to the players may put them off at first, because understanding cultural boundaries and pushing past them isn’t something a player may initially be willing to do.

The NPC Outsider has a great potential within a game setting. They offer a chance to break the mental shortcuts players will use with NPCs. Whether it’s the treatment of diplomatic customs, respect for religious or political iconography, or just normal manners, the chance to experience the world through another viewpoint is the heart of role-playing, and the Outsider reinforces that dialogue. Barriers such as language, upbringing, and class standing provide means for cultural impact on a game while presenting a Gamemasters the chance to expand the depth of the reality they’ve helped introduce to players.

Outsiders exist in all RPG genres as every world should feature a complex set of cultures and communities. Breathing life into these allies comes in the form of changing the norms players may be used to and twisting them on their head. In Fantasy, this may be the Druid who has come to aid your party, but their creed is one of respecting the natural order of life and so healing spells are not part of their preparations. In Science Fiction, aliens and artificial life forms may appear human but possess different biologies or forms of interaction. In contemporary fiction, the choices are myriad as the number of cultures part of our real world. The key is to not treat them as stereotypes but instead fleshed out individuals.

Remember though, cultural missteps are a two-way street. While an outsider may not fit in or understand the culture of the players, it is easy for the players to act incorrectly within the Outsider’s world view. Offense, breach of social contract, or damage to honor can turn an outsider against a party, especially if the party has been failing to be considerate of both cultural touch stones.

Episode 007: Gaming Library

 

Main Topic

What games we feel should be in a GM’s library once you have started to run games.

D&D, Pathfinder  (Or D20 Modern, depending)

Tri-stat (BESM)

WoD

 

Stat Blocks

Derek – Dabbles

 

Shots plowed into the concrete above Daniel’s head. What had I gotten myself into he thought as he crawled behind cover. Pulling out the gun was a weird feeling for him as he had never done this before. He squeezed off 4 rounds in rapid succession. Then he opened his eyes to see if he had hit anything. As expected not a single hit. The tactically masked people peered out then fired another volley. Then as if he had done this a thousand times he rolled out  from cover and fired off several shots that pinned them as he ran.

 

The silence was not deafening, it was unnerving. The dark, now that was creepy. You know the feeling you get when you are certain someone or something is right next to you. Not that you can see or hear them. The unknown that is the true killer. That thing that makes you imagine things a million times more terrifying than the reality. If only it were that simple. Time seems to stretch in this place. Where is this place? Wait. Is that a pinprick of light? Yes it must be because it is getting larger. The fold in space-time unfurls.

 

Leaping up I catch the slightest breeze and grab hold letting it drag me into the sky. There are a few like me that have “powers”. I don’t like to think about it like that. I am not a human anymore, I am something else. Yes I feel like a human, but on another level. I can not be human anymore since I can do amazing things. Flight is just one of my talents. I can pick up a car with some minor effort. There are some that can teleport and other things too. We are the next phase of mankind.

 

Justin – The Outsider

lexicon

 

metier  noun \ˈme-ˌtyā, me-ˈ\

Definition of MÉTIER

1  : vocation, trade

2  : an area of activity in which one excels : forte

Variants of MÉTIER

mé·tier also me·tier

Examples of MÉTIER

 

  • After trying several careers, she found her true métier in computer science.
  • <public speaking is not my métier, as others can attest>

 

Origin of MÉTIER

French, from Old French mestier, from Vulgar Latin*misterium, alteration of Latin ministerium work, ministry

First Known Use: 1792

 

Closing remarks

Derek – Syrinscape

Joules – Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Joseph Campbell Hero of 1000 Faces

Justin – Skyrim SE

 

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

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Ok there’s the standard idea for starting a quest.  An old man says that the wicked necromancer is kidnapping the locals to use in his experiments. Your contact in cyberpunk tells you that Gideon, who runs the local pawn shop, sells info on his clients to the corps.  Local preacher says that there’s a powerful manitou that lurks in the abandoned mine shaft.  These ways of giving quests are straightforward.  There’s a problem and your players can go to resolve it, usually with a final result in mind.  But how about a quest with no “final result.”  Just a vague question that sits in the back of players minds.

Enter the “Interesting Mcguffin.”  This kind of item can usually be introduced underhanded, almost as an afterthought.  For instance, your posse from Deadlands just killed a Harrowed gunslinger.  You’re rifling through his pockets to see if you can get any identification of who he was or how he became harrowed.  In the breast pocket of his shirt you find a bullet, jet black.  There’s no makers mark on it.  And your huckster gets a bad feeling when he’s holding it.  So what is the bullet, why was it made, what was its purpose, and how did this Harrowed get a hold of it?  That’s your Interesting Mcguffin.

You need to make the Mcguffin puzzling enough so that between the “linear missions” your players want to spend time unravel the mysteries of the Mcguffin.  It can be anything depending on your setting.  A broken piece of an ancient tablet with weird writing on it.  An encrypted piece of data that sticks behind in your datalock.  A flower that never wilts but changes colour for some reason.  You as the GM know all about it and what it does, but your players don’t.

There’s an upside and a downside to these kind of items.  Downside is that some players just chuck it in with the rest of the loot and forget about it.  Or they may, inadvertently, find a way to get all mysteries resolved with no issues.  Don’t worry if that happens. Just run with it and don’t try to force things with your players.  The trick as a GM is not to be “invested.”  Just make sure that you remember what your players did with it, even if they forgot.  Like when your players are stopped by security and ordered to turn our their pockets.  Now they have to think on their feet and explain the “interesting Mcguffin” to their captors.

The up side?  It gets your characters thinking.  Not just Out of character, but in character as well.  Your science type may want to analyze it.  The greedy thief may want to try and pawn it (with sometimes funny results).  The Lawman may want to get it back to its owner.  Your mystic may want to unravel its deep secrets.

Nice thing about this kind of item is that it can eventually turn into a quest in and of itself.  They may abandon their current quest to figure it out.

Just be prepared to think on your feet.  The Mcguffin’s inherent flexibility can have the characters approach it out of left field sometimes.

When unrelenting evil comes pouring over the land, the light of the angel made flesh can push them back. The party is saved as the Johnson and his goons come storming in, taking out the go-gangers. The General listens and the nuclear option is diverted, so better special forces may move in on the alien invaders. Great power sometimes finds itself an ally instead of an enemy to protagonists, but such power sometimes offers a heaven bound level of vision and small details can be lost. Overconfidence and sure, the Omni-Potent Fallacy uses their abilities like clubs to solve problems, and in many ways creates waves that break open more rifts.

This NPC is a wild card. Pointed the right way and they assume they can solve the world’s problems in an instant, but without regard to cost and loss. Their assumption on being right can put them at odds to players who haven’t earned their trust, and keeping them calm, happy, and loyal is a juggling act. Such power isn’t something a player wants to content with, whether it comes from a great Wizard, a dragon, a CEO, powerful AI, or even a god. Once they’ve assumed the players are enemies, it’ll be hard to convince them otherwise without equal force.

The Omni-Potent Fallacy exists in most genres, often in the role as a figurative or literal Deus Ex Machina. Gods and Demons in Fantasy realms attempting to understand mortal risks and solving issues with lightning. CEOs and Spy Masters trying to keep their finger on the pulse of an ever deepening world. Military leaders sure of their place on a battlefield. The NPC need not have physical unlimited powers but merely the ability to command such power even through chains of minions.

The worst position a player can find themselves is on the other side of the Omni-Potent Fallacy finding out their wrong after they’ve acted. After they’ve killed loved ones, destroyed cities, ended the lives of innocents and guilty alike. These acts can send the figure spiraling in several hostile directions. They may become self-reflective and depressed, turning inward and losing their great power. They may lash out and blame others for being fooled. Or Worse, they can assume the loss and misdirected actions as proof of their conviction and dive deeper into dangerous beliefs. At this point, the players can try to guide them back to the true path and solve the problems their misdirection has caused, or seek to destroy the omni-potent figure and dismantle them before they can do further harm.

Episode 6 Notes

 

Main topic

Inspiration where to get it and where to steal it from.

 

Stat blocks

The Broken Arrow-

This bowyer/fletcher shop is a one stop shop for all your archery needs. The open flow of the shop feels almost like a quiet forest glen. The barrels of Arrows and bolts plus all the bits for bows and fletching around show you that this place is a shop that knows how to make all types of bows. Hanging from the framing around the counter are the bodies of crossbows and regular bows. The area behind the counter can be opened up to show the archery range behind the shop. The man if he can be called such looks as old and gnarled as some of the wood pieces in here. He goes by Sandral he is a half-elf with larger than normal ears. He might be mistaken for an elf but no elf has ever looked this old. His hands look crooked like they had been broken several times, but they move with a dexterity and strength that their appearance belie. He has a quiet and gentle nature that helps to but people at ease.

 

The Interesting McGuffin

Ok there’s the standard idea for starting a quest.  An old man says that the wicked necromancer is kidnapping the locals to use in his experiments. Your contact in cyberpunk tells you that Gideon, who runs the local pawn shop, sells info on his clients to the corps.  Local preacher says that there’s a powerful manitou that lurks in the abandoned mine shaft.  These ways of giving quests are straightforward.  There’s a problem and your players can go to resolve it, usually with a final result in mind.  But how about a quest with no “final result.”  Just a vague question that sits in the back of players minds.

 

Enter the “Interesting Mcguffin.”  This kind of item can usually be introduced underhanded, almost as an afterthought.  For instance, your posse from Deadlands just killed a Harrowed gunslinger.  You’re rifling through his pockets to see if you can get any identification of who he was or how he became harrowed.  In the breast pocket of his shirt you find a bullet, jet black.  There’s no makers mark on it.  And your huckster gets a bad feeling when he’s holding it.  So what is the bullet, why was it made, what was its purpose, and how did this Harrowed get a hold of it?  That’s your Interesting Mcguffin.

 

You need to make the Mcguffin puzzling enough so that between the “linear missions” your players want to spend time unravel the mysteries of the Mcguffin.  It can be anything depending on your setting.  A broken piece of an ancient tablet with weird writing on it.  An encrypted piece of data that sticks behind in your datalock.  A flower that never wilts but changes colour for some reason.  You as the GM know all about it and what it does, but your players don’t.

 

There’s an upside and a downside to these kind of items.  Downside is that some players just chuck it in with the rest of the loot and forget about it.  Or they may, inadvertently, find a way to get all mysteries resolved with no issues.  Don’t worry if that happens. Just run with it and don’t try to force things with your players.  The trick as a GM is not to be “invested.”  Just make sure that you remember what your players did with it, even if they forgot.  Like when your players are stopped by security and ordered to turn our their pockets.  Now they have to think on their feet and explain the “interesting Mcguffin” to their captors.

The up side?  It gets your characters thinking.  Not just Out of character, but in character as well.  Your science type may want to analyze it.  The greedy thief may want to try and pawn it (with sometimes funny results).  The Lawman may want to get it back to its owner.  Your mystic may want to unravel its deep secrets.

 

Nice thing about this kind of item is that it can eventually turn into a quest in and of itself.  They may abandon their current quest to figure it out.  

 

Just be prepared to think on your feet.  The Mcguffin’s inherent flexibility can have the characters approach it out of left field sometimes.

 

The Omni-Potent Fallacy

When unrelenting evil comes pouring over the land, the light of the angel made flesh can push them back. The party is saved as the Johnson and his goons come storming in, taking out the go-gangers. The General listens and the nuclear option is diverted, so better special forces may move in on the alien invaders. Great power sometimes finds itself an ally instead of an enemy to protagonists, but such power sometimes offers a heaven bound level of vision and small details can be lost. Overconfidence and sure, the Omni-Potent Fallacy uses their abilities like clubs to solve problems, and in many ways creates waves that break open more rifts.

This NPC is a wild card. Pointed the right way and they assume they can solve the world’s problems in an instant, but without regard to cost and loss. Their assumption on being right can put them at odds to players who haven’t earned their trust, and keeping them calm, happy, and loyal is a juggling act. Such power isn’t something a player wants to content with, whether it comes from a great Wizard, a dragon, a CEO, powerful AI, or even a god. Once they’ve assumed the players are enemies, it’ll be hard to convince them otherwise without equal force.

The Omni-Potent Fallacy exists in most genres, often in the role as a figurative or literal Deus Ex Machina. Gods and Demons in Fantasy realms attempting to understand mortal risks and solving issues with lightning. CEOs and Spy Masters trying to keep their finger on the pulse of an ever deepening world. Military leaders sure of their place on a battlefield. The NPC need not have physical unlimited powers but merely the ability to command such power even through chains of minions.

The worst position a player can find themselves is on the other side of the Omni-Potent Fallacy finding out their wrong after they’ve acted. After they’ve killed loved ones, destroyed cities, ended the lives of innocents and guilty alike. These acts can send the figure spiraling in several hostile directions. They may become self-reflective and depressed, turning inward and losing their great power. They may lash out and blame others for being fooled. Or Worse, they can assume the loss and misdirected actions as proof of their conviction and dive deeper into dangerous beliefs. At this point, the players can try to guide them back to the true path and solve the problems their misdirection has caused, or seek to destroy the omni-potent figure and dismantle them before they can do further harm.

 

Lexicon

ordure

noun  or·dure \ˈȯr-jər\

Definition of ordure

  • 1:  excrement
  • 2:  something that is morally degrading

Examples of ordure in a sentence

  • <polite people do not discuss ordure in public>

Origin and Etymology of ordure

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from ord dirty, foul, from Latin horridus horrid

 

First Known Use: 14th century

 

Closing remarks/Shout outs

Derek The Eastern Border

Joules Little Brother

Justin Stormblood

 

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

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The Anti-Knight

Not all heroes are grossly incandescent. The dark appearance, the grim outlook, the broken path are popular threads for players to follow, and occasionally allies finds themselves on these roads. For many this is a path to heroic deeds but the worth comes from coin, wealth, and legend, and these followers are numerous and loyal as long as you can pay their way. There are others though who walk through realms of shadows and dark languages not for material growth but as a temporary band on their injured honor. Forever fallen from grace, these Ronin seek to create a facsimile of a life once worth living in their eyes. They are haunted by the past and by events caused by their inaction or perceived lack of skill. The Anti-knight no longer bears bright shiny barding. They carry no banner for a living lord. They garner no favor from a lady of the land. Their only goal is the holding up the husk of their broken glory.

This NPC is fiercely loyal, but defining what that loyalty is tied to is the challenge players face. They are still bound to their code of honor and ethics provided it supports the myth of their path of redemption. They’re a volatile ally because if crossed or challenged on their past or the path they seek they may quickly go from loyalist to betrayer, and in their eyes be completely justified in their actions. An Anti-knight that has crossed fully into the swamplands of dark knight will not return to their previous role for those who ushered in their final fall from grace.

The Anti-knight exists in any genre or setting where men and women can exist with a place of honor and prestige. In Fantasy, the knight figure defines this role, and when they are disgraced by politics or a battle gone wrong they’ll seek to reclaim their honor from heroic deeds or noble actions. Pushed over the edge and they become the brigade and sell-sword with ease. In science-fiction, they exist in the role of the grey-hat hacker, skirting the edge of legal actions while trying to maintain the façade of being “one of the good guys.” In contemporary fiction, they’re the disgraced soldier or police officer, caught in the wrong moment at the wrong time and rolled from their duty into civilian life. Now they’re the guard, the mercenary, or vigilant, justifying brutal actions against criminals because criminals forced them to fall from grace.

They are a shield against the harriers on your backside, but they are not there for the righteousness of the quest. They’re there for the prestige. The consequences of their existence will follow them until the players meet them. At this point, the players can help guide them back to a true path of honor and dignity or they can pull them deeper into the dark future the Anti-knight has been forging for themselves.

Episode 5 Notes

 

Main Topic – Player Types

We sit down to talk about some of the various player types.

 

Stat blocks

Derek Sand men

A race of beings that feed on the souls and joy of people.

  The phrase of “Sleep with one eye open.” Is actually a reference to a way to keep them at bay when they are out and hunting. As long as you keep an eye out then they can not appear with they must do to feed. In just a blink of the eye they can disappear. If you do catch one they look like a marionette moving that has had its strings cut. And the limbs are not quite connected “right”. But the most disquieting thing about them is that they have a blank face i.e. not a single feature aside from the green glowing eyes that are looking out from under the brim of the hat they all seem to be wearing.

Joules weapon of adaptation

 

Justin Allied Trickery : The Anti-Knight

 

Lexicon

 

Churl  noun \ˈchər(-ə)l\

Definition of CHURL

1  : ceorl

2  : a medieval peasant

3  : rustic, countryman

4  a : a rude ill-bred person

   b : a stingy morose person

Examples of CHURL

 

  • <as far as he was concerned, anyone from outside the city was a backwater churl>

Origin of CHURL

Middle English, from Old English ceorl man, ceorl; akin to Old Norse karl man, husband

First Known Use: before 12th century

 

Closing remarks/Shout outs

Derek Rat Queens by Image

Joules What if?

Justin Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

 

 

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

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Episode 4 Shownotes

Main topic

So for this show we talked about our time at Origins this year and conventions in general.

 

Closing remarks/Shout outs

Derek Garbage day, Haba games

Joules Rick and Morty Mr Meeseeks box o fun  Total Rickall Shadowrun Crossfire

Justin the village crone

 

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

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Episode 3 Show notes

 

Quick Banter

fivedegreesoffnormal.com  Dog Days Of Podcasting

 

Main Topic

6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, Facebook groups, Forums,

                  

 

Lexicon

Factotum  noun  fac·to·tum \fak-ˈtō-təm\

Full Definition of factotum

  • 1:  a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
  • 2:  a general servant

Did You Know?

“Do everything!” That’s a tall order, but it is exactly what a factotum is expected to do. It’s also a literal translation of the New Latin term factotum, which in turn traces to the Latin words facere(“to do”) and totum (“everything”). In the 16th century, factotum was used in English much like a surname, paired with first names to create personalities such as “Johannes Factotum” (literally “John Do-everything”). Back then, it wasn’t necessarily desirable to be called a factotum; the term was a synonym of “meddler” or “busybody.” Now the word is more often used for a handy, versatile individual responsible for many different tasks.

 Origin and Etymology of factotum

         New Latin, literally, do everything, from Latin fac (imperative of facere do) + totum everything   First Known Use: 1566

 

Stat Blocks

The Outsider

When we look at the people that populate a RPG world, we often think of them as part of the cultural context our characters are a part of. Aspects of tradition, community standards, practices and policies that make society work. Such behavior is how we usually judge new people we meet and if they are known to us or if they are an “other.” But the real world, especially for travelers, explorers, and adventures, often brings groups of people together who don’t share the same default states, and conflict, although unintentional occurs on a regular basis. The Outsider is one of these others, and their approach to the players may put them off at first, because understanding cultural boundaries and pushing past them isn’t something a player may initially be willing to do.

The NPC Outsider has a great potential within a game setting. They offer a chance to break the mental short cuts players will use with NPCs. Whether it’s the treatment of diplomatic customs, respect for religious or political iconography, or just normal manners, the chance to experience the world through another view point is the heart of role-playing, and the Outsider reinforces that dialogue. Barriers such as language, upbringing, and class standing provide means for cultural impact on a game while presenting a Gamemasters the chance to expand the depth of the reality they’ve helped introduce to players.

Outsiders exist in all RPG genres as every world should feature a complex set of cultures and communities. The interesting thing to do is to bring outsiders in who have a common thread. In Fantasy, this may be the Druid who has come to aid your party, but their creed is one of respecting the natural order of life and so healing spells are not part of their preparations. In Science Fiction, aliens and artificial life forms are common stand ins for those who are literal outsiders, and explaining the difference between cultures becomes vital to the plot. In contemporary fiction, the choices are myriad as the number of cultures part of our real world.

Remember though, cultural missteps are a two-way street. While an outsider may not fit in or understand the culture of the players, it is easy for the players to act incorrectly within the Outsider’s world view. Offense, breach of social contract, or damage to honor can turn an outsider against a party, especially if the party has been failing to be considerate of both cultural touch stones.

 

Cerulean – They are an Artist that pushes the envelope of art and not art. No one has ever seen them. The work they do is borderline crime they actually call the art hyperrealism. The kinds of things are pushing people to do drugs everyday and photographing it and showing people going from Regular working joe to scary homeless guy. They then host gala’s that are not for the super rich and famous, they are for anyone that walks in the door. No one has ever been invited and no one has ever been to more than a single gala. All of the artist’s pieces are “signed” with a single square of Cerulean in them.

 

Shout out –

The Black Tapes Podcast, and Tanis

 

The Midnight – Endless Summer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pUL7u-mYqA

https://themidnight.bandcamp.com/album/endless-summer

 

Bloodbourn

Epic name Bro

 

 

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

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When world building and designing, you have a few options. First, there is the Top Down option. This is the option that most professional game companies use. Then there is the Bottom Up method, which many GM’s use to make a world for their game. There is also the option I use, which is a bit of both and in no unified order. There is a fourth way but most do not consider it true world building as it is building dungeons alone.  Before we talk about the way I do this we will talk about the other ways.

As stated earlier, it seems Top Down is the game industry standard. You start with looking at things from the highest point first. Which for most games is a planet. Then you go to the continents then the country/kingdom, then finally the city or town. When doing this you are plotting out things and tying them to the overall world. The advantage of this way is things are unified and universally consistent. The disadvantage of this way is that it is hard to come up with everything for an entire world.

Bottom up is the way I feel many GM’s do world building. You start with what the PC will interact with first. So you get to think locally, the starting hamlet or town, then a few outlying settlements and towns – places the PC can get to easily. Once you have that, you get to figure out where the kingdom ends. Once you have a few kingdoms you will have a continent or close to one. Then you can think of starting all over if the planet has multiple continents. The advantage to doing things this way is you are creating what the players want to know about. The biggest disadvantage is adding elements will be hard to do  if you don’t have the bigger ideas finished.

Now I will just say a few things about the dungeon setting as a design style. This way is actually the oldest of them all. Thanks, Gary Gygax. See the original Greyhawk setting was built on towns around dungeons. Elements of the greater world history was buried in the dungeons. So this is something to keep in mind when doing things in your world. History should be uncovered in unusual places as well as the ordinary. I don’t really know what I consider to be the pros and cons of this way of world building.

With all of those out of the way now I will tell you how I design a game world and the pieces that I find to be important. I like to have a few big things figured out first. Those are the continent or the biggest part that I want to run a game in as well as the religions. The reasons for starting with those is very simple. The landmass gives me a set space to work in and the religion is because so many of the core classes in fantasy games I play have tie-ins to the faiths. Then I will do a few gross ideas for land features like mountains, rivers, and large lakes.

Once I have those things, I will start with a town or city that the characters will be starting in and do a few people and places for the players to interact with. After that I will place a few different adventure locations near by and hints for where some of the next towns are. This is something that can be done in a week or so to get a new group off and adventuring quickly. Asking players what they would like to see in town is an easy way to flesh out sections of town. An additional trick you can try is asking the players what is special in town to them. Once the initial town is finished then it is time to do a bit of detailing on the outlying towns.

While working out the basics you should be doing some idea crunching on the story you are wanting to tell. But that as they say is a topic for another time.

Moralis

Gateway of Barakon

Type: Large City (pop. 15000)

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Rulers: The Gray Chair, The Red Chair, The White Chair

Government: Triumvirate

Notable NPC’s: Sandival, Keliva Borgola, Feldon Magivona

Notable Locations: Market Square, Guild Row, Nobles Garden

Adventure Hooks/ Rumors: Someone has stolen the chairs (seats) and is holding them ransom.

A group of dissidence has started to make inroads in the government.

While no one knows who The Chairs are it is certain that two have recently been replaced, why is the question. Rumor has it that the two prior Chairs were assassinated.

Moralis is the westernmost city of Barakon. It sits where the Trade road splits into the northern road, southern road, and the central road. Overland trade goods coming from the west have to pass through Moralis. Being the second largest city in the country has its advantages. The number of troops here is actually small since it borders on the edge of an empirical state as well. Things here are busy but given that trade here only slows down when the northern road which is also called The Pass Road is snowed in at the pass. Guilds play a large part in the day to day running of the city. The market in town is the largest in the country and only one other is bigger in the empire. While things are prosperous the empire’s taxes are a bit much for some people here.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Hallion

Collegiate center

Type: Large Town (pop. 5000)

Alignment: Neutral Good

Ruler: Dean of Schools Deliana Revelia

Government: Pedocracy

Notable NPC’s: Savion (street beggar), Felio Cativa, President Regulis Campalia

Notable Locations: Blackstar (Bards college), Fodelia’s Stage, Copper University

Adventure Hooks/ Rumors: The Dean of Blackstar has died and can not be brought back or spoken to because he has become something other in the the afterlife.

The Archaeologist’s of one school are planning a trip to Bay Guard Island and need guards from the local things there.

Something is going on with the South Trade Road one in three shipments are getting to the town. Where is everything else going?

Hallion is a strange town in that there are 4 universities all in town. The whole town has grown to be what the schools need. Presently the four universities are Blackstar, Magicanus, Fodelia’s Stage, and Hallion. There is another area near the market that is called Copper University. While Hallion is a general establishment for higher learning the other three are specialized schools. While copper university is called a university it is not one. It is actually a close grouping of coffee shops that cater to intellectuals that can sit around and talk about  various topics. Sitting out on the arm of the bay on the ocean side makes it open to trade also from ships coming along the south edge of the continent. While it is not a trading hub some trade passes through here.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kavala

Edge of the frontier

Type: Large Town (pop. 3,000)

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Ruler: Councilwoman Sevial Rodea

Government: Republic

Notable NPC’s: Councilman Welea Basovia, Soothsayer, Hediona Cevia

Notable Locations: Council Hall, Cemetery, Tomb-hunter Guildhall

Adventure Hooks: Soothsayer has gone missing and has been for two weeks, This has never happened before. She was last seen near the cemetery.

The Tomb-Hunters have found a possible tomb near town.

With all the new troops in town tensions are growing between the people and the military.

The town of Kavala was one of the first populated places in the country before the Empire came in. Kavala is sitting on the point where the river splits into two that feeds the forest to the south and east which helped to make it a hub of commerce. Once that happened the influx of ideas from other places has lead to it being a place ruled as a true republic which the empire is not a fan of. Seeing how it had worked here for so long they figured why mess with a thing that works. The troops pouring into town thou have gotten the populace nervous. News of other towns does travel fast especially when garrisons leave a border town in droves.

The Tomb-hunters are a guild of treasure seekers with branches throughout the empire. The have been given the mandate to find treasures and map the areas of those treasures.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Character building options are very important to a game. While some GM’s are able to run a game with any character build, most can not. So having a character options sheet or list can help the players to focus in on the feel that the GM is aiming for in their campaign. Some player may feel that this is heavy handed on the part of the GM but it helps to make characters that fit into the theme better.

Here are the points to consider when getting ready to have players start character generation.

  • Background: Character backgrounds are important not only because they give GM’s hooks to build stories from, and in some systems they give actual mechanical advantages to the character. Also the world has enough orphans in gaming.
  • Race/Class: These can be the place that most problems spring from. Everyone wants to be a unique magical snowflake. Sometimes it helps to set the mood by removing so many options.
  • Skills: In most games this is not a place that much tinkering really needs to go. Some gentle direction can go far. So if you are doing an exploration campaign and none of the characters have those type of skills play it up. having them get lost at the drop of a hat or they have no way to get food in this place and are always hungry.
  • Gear: Here again is a place that can use very little. But if you don’t like guns in your fantasy let the players know that. So they don’t come to the game session with a wild west gunslinger idea.
  • Character Linkage: Character linkage is how characters know each other. Characters should have a substantial link to at least half the party. Even if the character doesn’t know it outright.

Character Build Best Practices

  • Relevant: Make the information relevant to building characters only.
  • Clear: The layout should be neat and easy to read.
  • Concise: Make it short sweet and to the point in all regards. It doesn’t need to be a poetic edda.
  • Updated: Update it regularly. Nothing is as annoying as building a character and finding out there there new options that the GM has added.
  • Printed copies: Most people rely on email nowadays to stay up to date about things. Most people will not take the time to read anything long, they will skim it once and forget it. Make sure you have printed copies for each player with their copy of the campaign primer.

Inspiration for this article from Creighton Broadhurst.

Dath

“Lumberyard to Das”

Type: Small Town (Pop. 500)

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Ruler: Mayor Candius

Government: Elected Official

Notable NPC’s: Sevion- Master Shipwright, Estevea, Kalvin- Bowyer of The Broken Arrow

Notable Locations: The new Shipyards, The Horny Harpy- Tavern, The Broken Arrow-

                             Bowyer/Fletcher

Adventure Hooks: Help to clear out a section of the woods from a strange monster that is living there. Rumor has it                                      that a dark cult has taken up residence to the south of town.

The town of Dath was the lumberyard of Das before the border issues. It sits on the river that runs to the capital. This river also flows to Das, which is how the lumber got to Das in the first place. Now most of the ship building has started to get done here. Dath has only been settled for about five years which is why it is still small, but is now growing fast from the influx of refugees.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Das

Type: Small Town (Pop. 500)

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Rulers:  Captain Daloron and Mayor Tiver

Government: Dyarchy

Notable NPC’s: Kavion- Smith, Lt. Stevia- Quartermaster, Bal- Inn Keeper

Notable Locations: The Ruins, The Blasted Mug

Adventure Hooks: Someone wants to hire a PC to guard them as they go into the Ruins to find a lost Family Heirloom. Looking for spies to infiltrate the military forces massing on the other side of the border. Rumor has it that the old tin mine has strange music coming out of it on the night of full moons.

Das was a once prospering town, with some of the best shipwrights, that feel on hard times those being a border dispute. Whole sections of town have been torn down. With over half of the town’s residents gone, and more than half the garrison of military troops having been pulled out, things look grim indeed. Das is a key port town because it has some of the deepest water in the whole region. For the last month fights have been growing more lopsided not in the town’s favor. Over half the town’s population is military forces the next few battles will determine the state of this town and many along the bay.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Candoron

“The Spires of the Protectorate”

Type: Metropolis (50,000)

Alignment: Neutral Good

Ruler: Lady Regent Protector Galianus of House Thada Beholden to the Empire of

        Davius

Government: Colonialist Hegemony

Notable NPC’s: Lady Galianus, Sir Dofani, Katina Weshia, Captain Nalius,

Notable Locations: Temples of Drafus and Aldren, Spire of House Thada, The Spinning

    Dervish, The Pits, Dockside

Rumors: Under the foundations of the city are ways into Night Below. House Thada contains a

             portal to the Imperial city and to the emperors bedchambers. Lady Galianus is in league

             with the local Resistance to the empire.

Candoron is a strange city in that it is built on top of three islands in the middle of the Fordalian River. There is also a major trade road that crosses the river here. The city has the ability to pull the bridges up that cross the river on both sides of town. It is also possible to pull up the major through fares between islands as well.  Therefore the city itself does not have the ability to truly spread out. Once it filled the islands it had to grow up. With that being the case there are bridges and walkways that spread around. The closer to the ground you are the poorer you tend to be. There is no magic holding these spires up it is almost entirely the work of dwarves. Most building are stone that have a strong foundation. These islands that the city sits on are granite. The Lady Regent had been sent here to help hold this portion of the empire over 10 years ago with little to no contact with the empire other than troops.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Barakon

“Edge of the Empire”

Alignment: Neutral Good

Capital: Candoron (50,000)

Notable Settlements: Moralis (15,000), Hallion (5,000), Kavala (3,000), Das (500),  

Dath (500)

Ruler:Lady Regent Protector Galianus of House Thada beholden to the Empire of

        Davius

Government: Colonialist Hegemony

Languages: Common (Trade), Davi (Empirical)

Religion: Aldren, Aria, Aduin, Drafus, Maythyr, Sor

Barakon sits on the southern edge of the empire of Davius which is the southern coastline. They are in border disputes with the other kingdom along the coast to the north and east of the deep water bay known as Still Waves along the Torrent Sea. The Lady Regent has been in a stalemate with the country of Vandium for this bay. Of late the emperor has been slowly pulling troop back and out of the region with no explanation. The small town of Das sits on the edge of the disputed region with the port town of Dath being a day’s ride from there. A large garrison of Imperial soldiers were stationed outside Das but half of the troops have pulled back to help fortify Kavala. As for what is truly going on with the emperor’s choice in moving troops, as he has, it is anyone’s guess.

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shownotes

Aggath (Lord Tyrant)

God of Slaughter and Tyranny

Symbol: Armored fist dripping blood

Home Plane: Hel

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Worshipers: Evil warriors, tyrants, warlords, and slavers

Domains: Destruction, Law, Strength, War

Subdomains: Hatred, Tyranny, Ferocity, Tactics

Favored Weapon: Great Sword

Colors: Gray and Red

Zencal (Grand Necromancer)

God of the Undeath and Magic

Symbol: A mummified hand

Home Plane: The Howling Night

Alignment: Neutral Evil

Worshipers: Necromancers and evil wizards

Domains: Death, Evil, Luck, Magic, Repose

Subdomains: Undead, Fear, Curse, Arcane, Souls

Favored Weapon: Dagger

Colors: White and gray

Kamar (The Gladiatorial Beast)

Goddess of All Gladiators

Symbol: A casting net behind a galerus

Home Plane: The Infinite Planes of Chaos

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Worshipers: Gladiators

Domains: Animal, Glory, Protection, Strength, Trickery

Subdomains: Fur, Honor, Solitude, Competition, Deception

Favored Weapon: Spiked Gauntlet

Colors: Bronze and White

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Shownotes

Nadenfor (Night’s Shadow)

God of Night Below and Darkness

Symbol: A black disk

Home Plane: The Howling Night

Alignment: Neutral Evil

Worshipers: Those from Night Below

Domains: Darkness, Evil, Earth, Fire, Void

Subdomains: Night, Corruption,  Caves, Ash, Isolation

Favored Weapon: Blowgun

Colors: Black

Drafus (The Sacred Coin)

God of Travel, Rouges, and Merchants

Symbol: Gold coin with an X cut into one side.

Home Plane: The Crossroads

Alignment: Neutral

Worshipers: Merchants, travelers, and rouges

Domains: Charm, Liberation, Luck, Travel, Trickery

Subdomains: Lust, Freedom, Imagination, Trade, Thievery

Favored Weapon: Short sword

Colors: Gold and Black

Aldren (The Shieldmaiden)

Goddess of Honor, Chivalry, and Nobility

Symbol: A shield with a heraldic symbol of a crown, a sword, and an oak leaf on a blue and purple field.

Home Plane: Elysium Fields

Alignment: Neutral Good

Worshipers: Nobility and knights

Domains: Glory, Good, Nobility, Protection, Rune

Subdomains: Honor, Angel, Leadership, Fortifications, Legislation

Favored Weapon: Long Sword

Colors: White and Red

Mortis (The Reaper)

God of Life and Death

Symbol: Jawless skull

Home Plane: The Crossroads

Alignment: Neutral

Worshipers: Anyone and everyone

Domains: Darkness, Death, Healing,  Knowledge, Repose

Subdomains: Loss, Psychopomp, Resurrection, Memory, Souls

Favored Weapon: Scythe

Colors: Black or Gray

Ralishaz (The Lost One)

God of Ill, Luck, Misfortune, Insanity and Chance

Symbol: A hand with a missing finger

Home Plane: The Swirling Nightmare

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Worshipers: Those wishing to harm others and gamblers

Domains: Chaos, Death, Fire, Luck, Madness

Subdomains: Entropy, Murder, Arson, Fate, Insanity

Favored Weapon: Dagger

Colors: Green and Yellow

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shownotes

Maythyr (Maiden of the Tides)

Goddess of the Moon and the Seas

Symbol: The Goddesses face missing her lower jaw and a waterfall pouring from her mouth.

Home Plane: Prime Plane

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Worshipers: Sailors, fishermen, any that use the seas and the tides.

Domains: Darkness, Knowledge, Travel, Water, Weather

Subdomains: Moon, Thought, Trade, Oceans, Storms

Favored Weapon: Monk’s Spade

Colors: Gray and Blue

De’thulia (The Witch Queen)

Goddess of Magic and Death

Symbol: A snowflake

Home Plane: The Pillars of Light

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Worshipers: Magic users and those wishing for a peaceful passing.

Domains: Death, Law, Magic, Repose, Water

Subdomains: Psychopomp, Legislation, Arcane, Souls, Ice

Favored Weapon: Dagger

Colors: Blue and White

Thao (The Forest Princess)

Goddess of the Hunt

Symbol: A drawn bow with a notched arrow.

Home Plane: The Eternal Hunting Grounds

Alignment: Neutral

Worshipers: Rangers, druids, and those that make a living hunting.

Domains: Animal, Glory, Protection, Travel, Weather

Subdomains: Fur, Heroism, Solitude, Exploration, Seasons

Favored Weapon: Long Bow

Colors: Green and Gray

Aria (The Lady of the Divine House)

Goddess of the Hearth and Civilization

Symbol: A home

Home Plane: Isle of the Blessed

Alignment: Lawful Good

Worshipers: Homemakers, Midwives, Royalty

Domains: Community, Knowledge, Law, Nobility, Protection

Subdomains: Home, Education, Loyalty, Aristocracy, Defense

Favored Weapon: Dagger

Colors: Light Blue and Purple

Canavar (The Sanguine Lady)

Goddess of Monsters, blood and evil

Symbol: A drop of blood.

Home Plane: Infinite Planes of Chaos

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Worshipers: Monsters

Domains: Charm, Destruction, Evil, Trickery, War

Subdomains: Lust, Rage, Cannibalism, Blood, Torture

Favored Weapon: Scourge

Colors: Red and Dark Navy

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Show Notes

Aduin (The Reaper)

God of Harvest and Animals

Symbol: Bee with crossed wheat sheafs behind it. A rack of antlers with 4 wheat sheafs in the center of the rack.

Home Plane: The Eternal Hunting Grounds

Alignment: Neutral Good

Worshipers: Farmers and those that make a living from the land.

Domains: Animal, Community, Earth, Plant, Weather

Subdomains: Fur, Cooperation, Metal, Growth, Seasons

Favored Weapon: Sickle

Colors: Brown and Yellow

Sor (Lord of Light)

God of Sun and Light

Symbol: Golden sun with a ray of light coming from the side.

Home Plane: Prime Plane

Alignment: Lawful Good

Worshipers: Anyone not evil.

Domains: Air, Fire, Healing, Protection, Sun

Subdomains: Cloud, Restoration, Purity, Light

Favored Weapon:Morningstar

Colors:White and Gold

Fildarius (The Divine Hammer)

God of the Forge and Beauty

Symbol: Forge hammer with the handle wrapped in rose vines with 5 roses on it.

Home Plane: Elemental Plane of Fire

Alignment:Chaotic Good

Worshipers: Smiths and artisans of all stripes.

Domains: Artifice, Chaos, Fire, Liberation, Strength

Subdomains: Toil, Whimsy, Ash, Freedom, Resolve

Favored Weapon: Hammer

Colors: Gold and Red

Cruc (The Dark Fury)

God of Battle and Strength

Symbol: Mailed fist holding a sword

Home Plane: The Swirling Chaos

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Worshipers: Warriors and mercenaries

Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Protection, Strength, War

Subdomains: Demodand, Rage, Defense, Ferocity, Tactics

Favored Weapon: Bastard Sword

Colors: Red and Black

Rezoo (The Whispering Death)

God of Disease and Secrets

Symbol: Lips with a rotting finger pressed to them.

Home Plane: Hel

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Worshipers: Assassin’s, thieves, and healers

Domains: Death, Evil, Knowledge, Plant, Rune

Subdomains: Undead, Plague, Espionage, Decay, Language

Favored Weapon: Dagger

Colors: Dark Green and Dark Red

“Myst on the Moor”

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Allied Trickery

This series documents a number of NPC concepts designed to give complex allies for Game Masters to present to their players. The allies here are never meant to be traitors or double agents. Instead, they have mixed backgrounds that bring them away from being the standard friendly “Good” helper. Like other Seize The GM concepts, these examples are meant to be system and genre neutral although not all of them will include a full array of examples.

The Reborn

Rebirth brings great change. Flesh becomes new. Personality shifts. Outlooks follow new morality. The Reborn is an ally who born of a dark past. Through the corrupt actions of their former self they’ve had a chance to become something new; someone with different morality and outlook than the darkness they held before. The very nature of their change has come with an ethical and emotional cost that haunts now even in their new existence.

This NPC is always willing to assist the players, but for the mixed reasons of trying to be the new “good” person they have become as well as to pay penance for the past sins they enacted on the world. They should always have an undertone of mistrust, of seeking to hide something. Revelations of their past may have dire consequences in interactions. They may revert to their previous form, they may lash out to desperately hide the truth, or those who have come to know them in their new form may turn on them. At the same time the players are given a unique opportunity with this event. They may be able to help heal the wounds of the past, or they may seek to bring the dark history of the NPC forward and demand justice be served.

The reborn exists in all genres. In fantasy, she is the necromancer now physically inhabiting a new body. She regrets the flesh she stole and the soul destroyed for her to become someone new. The remains of the dark ritual can still be found and she will desperately seek to hide the site of it. In science-fiction, he’s uploaded his brain into another person, or erased his memories. Files exist out there, possibly on the chips in the reborn’s head. The new identity may not even acknowledge the previous. In contemporary fiction, they’ve taken the identity of another person. They’ve left behind a criminal past and their new existence is tied to forged documents. It’s only a matter of time until the paper trail catches up to them and its best if it happens right in front of the party.

They are an ally, despite the lie of their existence. The consequences of their exist will haunt them from the moment the players greet them, and in the end their story arc should close with the price of their resurrection being paid in full.

Zendead

AD&D 1est Edition- Greyhawk/homebrew is the first thing I played in and first thing I ran was Original Red Box D&D in the stock setting of Mystra.

Nulloperations

AD&D Second Edition- Homebrew Played in

Dragon Strike Link

AD&D Second edition- Homebrew Ran in

Joules

D6 StarWars

Little Fears

Stat Blocks

Joules-

“The Fun Uncle/Big Brother”

This NPC Archetype can be a real boon to those new to a game, and they can fit into almost any setting.  The Fun Uncle/Big Brother kind of character serves a “guide” to the party without being the GM’s NPC babysitter or that annoying, pushy, quest giver NPC. They can be used to give advice on a quest or help to reinforce the atmosphere of a setting. It allows the GM to give hints to the players without being obvious.

Additionally there’s another boon to the Fun Uncle/Big Brother NPC. They can change the tone of your game.  Have players that are starting to get cocky and overconfident, have the Fun Uncle/Big Brother regale a tale of dread or horror. Have the PCs just experienced a real emotionally draining scene? He’s there to listen and give context to the experience. Heck, this kind of character can even bring “closure” to a PC’s death, through a touching eulogy or conducting a ceremony where the PC’s name is inscribed on the stone of heros.

The one thing the Fun Uncle/Big Brother is not is a steamroller. He’s not there to push the PCs to do what you want them to do. He’s there to ask a question to get the PCs thinking.

These type of NPCs are in almost any genre:

The retired Shadowrunner turned fixer, dispensing history and advice. (and ideas for weapons) The arcane librarian who knows the stories of the realm and its histories. (Does she know of an underground tunnel to get into the Necromancer’s tower) The babysitter whose stories not only that show that monsters are real, but that they can be defeated. The Mech Mechanic who was always known for pulling wild and crazy stunts, passing that knowledge off to the newer pilots.

Zendead-

Salifondus-   He is a down on his luck elven guy. He dresses nicely but all of his clothing has seen better days. Sali as he is known in the darker part of town is a male “escort” that can be found plying his trade in taverns and inns that cater to the adventuring types. While lots of people in his line of work do things of a questionable nature he has never taken advantage of a “john”.

Nulloperations- Here is a link to his Allied Trickery post.

Lexicon

Polyglot

Shout outs

Zendead- Moon Knight

Joules- Memento Nora

Nulloperations- Final Fantasy 14

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Episode 001 Shownotes

Quickstart Rules Links

Shadowrun, Eclipse Phase, Little Fears Sadly there are no Quickstart rules for this game, Pathfinder Beginner Box, Dragon Age, Traveller, White Wolf- Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changling, Geist, DC Adventures, TriStat

Lexicon

Vapid

Rime

Cad

Punic

Eldritch

Closing Remarks

Nulloperations- Isaac Avimov- Foundation

Joules- Yahtzee Crowshaw- Mogworld

Zendead- D.P. Pryor- Legends of the Nameless Dwarf

Shoutouts

Nulloperations- Warframe, Final Fantasy XIV Fairie Server

Joules- Super Giant Games, Neo-Anarchist Podcast

Zendead- Noctum

Music is courtesy of Magnatune

Artist is Numa from the album Numa

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

 

Find us on Patreon

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment