Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode A Gross: GM Library 6
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Main Topic

Guard-a-Manger

The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett.

The last novel published by Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man gave rise to a media phenomenon including movies, tv shows, and more. For a GM, The Thin Man shows how a mystery can be structured as well as providing key insights to classic whodunit scenes that Hammett mastered. The mystery itself is layered under a comedy of manners populated with interesting characters including Nick & Nora Charles who became icons of the genre itself. While Sam Spade is more widely recognized, Nick & Nora are more beloved for a very good reason. 

We’re With Nobody, Alan Huffman & Michael Rejebian

This first hand look at political opposition research reveals a fascinating story of how “the sausage is actually made.” Moreover, it is chock full of little details that can help a GM bring a political or intrigue story to life. If you are considering running a game or campaign where political intrigue, machinations, and the mysteries surrounding politicians play a role, this book is something to provide you with an invaluable reference of how the craft of opposition research is practiced as well as the sorts of things that can be uncovered. 

This Land is Their Land, Barbara Ehrenreich

While a lot of people like to claim we currently live in a futuristic dystopia without the “cool” trappings, Barabara Ehrenreich has been reporting on and describing the situation on the ground for decades. Best described as a social critic with a satiric and biting wit, This Land is Their Land is a collection of essays and writings rooted in observing the divided nation in last half of the first decade of this millennium. If you want to get into the mindset of the working class facing an uphill battle or unfair standards or to understand the undercurrent of a disaffected population’s critiques of an exploitive system, This Land is Their Land will provide that with an unflinching eye. 

Zendead’s –

The Necronomicon Don’t use this book as a real thing but it is cool to grab lots of crazy magical things. Be it for the bad guys for an NPC. There are “Magical” sigils and incantations spread throughout the text. 

The Villain’s Guide to Better Living This is a very fun and cute way of looking at villains and the ways that they work and how you can see and mess with all the tropes. Or how you can lean into them hard.

The Action Hero’s Handbook This book is a bit of a guide for being an action hero. It includes fun stuff like how to beat up a shark and how to jump off a moving train. As a GM you could have the villian do things like this to get away from the PC’s. 

Joules-

The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook This book is a hilarious yet practical guide to survival in the most strangest of circumstances.  From fighting off a shark to surviving an avalanche, this book details how to survive extreme situations.  No secret agent gadgets or ultimate survival training needed.

Way of the House Husband The way of the house husband is the same as the way of the Yakuza. Tatsu gives up his life as the “Immortal Dragon” to become a house husband.  But it’s hard to shake old habits and mannerisms.  Everything from exercise to housecleaning is tackled with single minded determination, and thinly (and not so thinly) veiled references

Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History as it Ought to be Taught This book combines humor of the punny and absurd with the often dry and ironically lifeless history of music.  Shows that sometimes world building doesn’t always need to be bereft of humor. Imagine what the history books would be like if Mel Brooks wrote em 🙂

Extra Credit Book-

Consent in Gaming Because you should always have safety tools in games.

Previous Books & GM Library Episodes:

Episode 114 (Also includes Movies & TV Shows)

Sphere, What If?, The Complete Sonnets and Poems of William Shakespeare, 

Episode 98

The Gazetteer Writer’s Manual, Norse Mythology, The Once and Future King, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions: Armegeddonquest, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Pinnochio, Vampire Slayer, Tension City, Trouble for Trumpets,

Episode 53

Dragonlance Chronicles, Shaken and Neat, SlaughterHouse 5, Eastern Philosophy, Imajica, Philip K Dick Reader, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72, The Poetics

Episode 25

Art of War, Classical Western Myth, Art Books, Bad Ass, The Thing Explainer, Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes 

Episode 8

Frankenstein, Far Eastern Myth, Dune, Stephen King, Hitchhikers Guide, Big Sleep, Extra Credits, Fables, Book of Fables

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Moon Knight– Ok I know it is just starting but it is really cool between the

            visuals and the presentation of things in the world of Moon Knight and Oscar Issacs

            seems to be doing a really good job with this version of the character. 

Joules – Elden Ring.  Probably the best FromSoft game to date.  (or 2nd best… Bloodborne is still awesome)  The music, the scenery and how open world is handled is simply breathtaking

Guard-a-Manger – Teen Titans. HBOMax has the Teen Titans cartoon that gave rise to their resurgence. Teen Titans GO is fun and quick, but it only works 100% if you’ve seen the strong characterization and narrative skill of the Teen Titans cartoon. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 143: Bashing with the BattleLords and we get Savage!!
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Main Topic 

Tonight we are sitting down to chat Savage BattleLords again but this time with the creators. 

Let them know what we like and question about how they did things. Just a reminder the Kickstarter will be going live soon. We will be putting up links on our twitter once it is live. 


You can reach out to the guys on Twitter

BattleLords main website is here.

Twitter is here

Also their Facebook Page

Instagram here

Discord link here 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 142: Review of Savage BattleLords
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Main Topic

The Kickstarter for this book will be going live in the spring some time. We were not given a firm date for that yet. If you want to check out the Quickstart rules you can find them here.

https://t.co/L6TFYzRRM6

Adapting a game like Battlelords, with its fiddly bits and system mastery rewards, for a system like Savage Worlds takes finesse and intent. From what we can see, here is what works and maybe a few things that don’t yet for the port of Battlelords to the Savage Battlelords setup!

For more from the Battlelords friends of the pod check out their social media:

@battlelordsrpg

http://www.23rdcentury.net/ or http://www.battlelords.com 

Facebook

Instagram

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 141: Impromptu GMing
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Main Topic

We have all been there. You check your notes for the game that is supposed to start in 30 minutes and realize you haven’t got anything written down. Oh No, what do you do? You sit back and take notes of some of the things we have on tap for those moments. 

Zendead’s list

  • Keep lists of names on hand all the time with note cards
  • The Seize the GM site for all the statblocks we have done. 
  • I also try to keep ideas for short things in games in one place that I can grab something if I need to. 

Guard-a-Manger’s List

  • Keep a backup list of plot hooks – La Boheme/Rent/Empire Records; Fetch Quest for the Cute Orphans; Cyrano de Bergerac – and have those squibs ready to roll whenever you don’t have another game idea ready.
  • Check the Seize the GM episodes about NPC notes and have those notes in your game folder/binder/rolodex for names & relevant stats 
  • Stoke Intraparty tension and drama, but not Drama. Use the above to create space for the players to have moments of roleplaying and extended self examinations to take up the gaming time. 
  • Have one Dramatic or Tragic Plot Thread for each PC if you want to pull the trigger on starting a new campaign or direction – long-lost parents; secret royal lineage; archeological treasure – whatever will motivate them to take the Agency and run with it.
  • Don’t forget your GM Go-Bag. See Episode 83 of Seize the GM for more info. 

Joules’s list

  • Use a few “war stories” from whenever I played and pull a few engaging ideas from whatever made it super fun.
  • Have a few plot hooks that are not 100% fleshed out and see what the players gravitate toward.  See if they may flesh something out.  They may ask a question that takes the game in a strange yet fun direction
  • Use my extensive database of mythology/legends and steal liberally.
  • Don’t be afraid to kludge some monsters or monster stats to come up with something. Redcap to baby langolier type of thing.
  • There’s nothing wrong with going to stereotype.  Dungeon with a Dragon.  Basic datasteal.  Save the princess.  Train Heist.  But do what you can to keep it a short experience.  

Stat Blocks

Zendead

Delilah McGaven 

Sitting on an old tree stump at the crossroads was a young woman with a beat up old guitar. The dark started to stretch its fingers across the landscape of the old deserted stretch of road. Impatiently she kept spinning the small leather pouch on a cord. As the moon rose over the old growth treetops she walked out into the center of the crossroads and dug a hole with the heel of her stained and worn cowboy boots. Once the hole was deep enough she knelt down and gently laid the pouch inside and covered it. 

Once the clouds started to roll in and speckle the sky she seemed to think the time was right. She reached around and grabbed the neck of that relic and pulled it into position and started to play a blues riff. Rich and deep and full of soul, she played for a long while.  Playing for the mosquitos and the other animals nearby. She played as if her life was on the line, and maybe it was.

Then the night creatures went silent but she was so engrossed in the music she didn’t notice. Well until she felt the heat of the stage lights on her. Which just made her reach even deeper into the well of the music. The crunch of the tires on the gravel crawling slowly forward almost became a subtle part of the music. Then the lights were out and standing at the edge of the four way crossroads stood a man in a suit. The mist rolling in covered him to the waist. Then she stopped and took notice of him for a second. 

Almost at the moment he started to move into the center within arms reach she slammed down a chord on her guitar and the sky opened with a flash and struck the man standing so close to her. The strike was so fast he didn’t have time to react. Once the dust started to settle she stepped back to the edge of the road and faded into the mist. 

How to Use Delilah McGaven in Game:

Who is she? Maybe a guardian angel or maybe a warrior for the light. But she is always known for her beat up old guitar and dusty cowboy boots even if it just rained. 

Joules

Modern Sirens

It’s been milenia since the sirens sang to lure Odysseus and his crew to certain death.  It was so easy to sing a spell to bewitch humans with promises of love and riches.  But as time went on, the sirens noticed that their song held less and less sway over humanity, but the reason eluded them.  A few hundred years later, they found their answer.  They happened upon a group of pirates talking with their captive, one Gaius Julius Caesar.  And they realized that their song and their promises no longer resonated with humanity.  Humanity had grown greedier.  Riches and love were only fleetingly tempting.  Humanity hungered for more.  Hungered for the impossible, the abstract, the unobtainable.  They hungered to conquer what was once exclusive to the gods themselves.  

Time for a change of tactics and perspective.  And as the rumors go, a strategic alliance with the muses.

Sirens would assist in inspiring humanity.  Specifically inspiring humanity to take great leaps and risks; allowing them to feast on the failures.  The whole space program was probably their most well known venture.  So many accidents and failures litter the path of humanity’s stellar odyssey.  Although a meal wasn’t always a foregone conclusion (think the Apollo XIII mission).

The sirens no longer sing of wealth and love.  They whisper promises of achievement and discovery.  A step towards ascension.  Where just making the attempt, regardless of the success, creates a legend.

How to Use Modern Sirens in Game:

Sometimes a player has a totally off the wall idea.  That’s really crazy.  And it doesn’t end well.  Maybe having an external inspirational force may relieve some of the party’s anger.  Also, noting that this exists, it can inspire the players to come up with the most outlandish idea, that they normally wouldn’t try.

Guard-a-Manger

Videri Codex

“I don’t really care about whether you did it or not. It doesn’t matter to me if that really is you. I get paid for the bounty no matter what when I bring you in.”

What is happening, you ask yourself, as one of the preeminent bounty hunters of the area shows up on your doorstep and wants to take you in for a hefty sum. The sweat that starts running down the back of your neck, caught unprepared for any sort of fight, feels cold and paralyzing unlike every other sweat that has ever dripped down your skin. There is a very real danger here. 

You feign ignorance .. well, not really feign it since you have no idea what is going on and ask for the professional courtesy to see the bounty itself – what have you done to earn a price on your head? It’s as incomprehensible as the entire situation – you’ve been deemed an enemy of the state for, well, that isn’t entirely clear. At the same time, the bounty itself isn’t entirely clear either, which gives you an in for this situation. You poke at the professionalism and the specifics of the bounty to get yourself time. It works.

You’ve managed to buy yourself time, with a little help coming along in your new best friend, to figure out why your name is at the top of the Videri Codex.

The Videri Codex is a legend. It doesn’t exist, at least not in the form that you are seeing here. It was an ancient list of enemies of the crown from centuries ago; a relic of the bygone days of the Oculus Occultus and their fanatical drive to control all dissidents. It had faded from use when the OO fell apart. Right?

Why does the OO look like like that … like an 8 turned on its side. Maybe shifted slightly, and like the builders sigil on the foundation of your home … And in the library you frequent . . .

How to Use Videri Codex in Game:

The Videri Codex is a great way to add a mystery to the game, and one that you may not even have an answer to. Something has singled out the character or characters as the subject of a conspiracy theory, or maybe a real conspiracy. Foucault’s Pendulum at a slightly less dizzying pace. 

Lexicon

Insouciance noun in·​sou·​ci·​ance | \ in-ˈsü-sē-ən(t)s  , aⁿ-süs-ˈyäⁿs  \

Definition of insouciance

: lighthearted unconcern : NONCHALANCE

First Known Use of insouciance

1799, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insouciance

French, from in- + soucier to trouble, disturb, from Old French, from Latin sollicitare 

Look-up Popularity

Top 2% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Raised By Wolves Season 2

Joules – Outer Wilds.  Explore space with a loop mechanic and a musical/sound theming

Guard-a-Manger – Legend of Vox Machina cartoon on Amazon Prime. Critical Role became the 800lb gorilla in the room when discussing role playing games in the last 5 years, and this cartoon distilling some of the memorable moments and an arc from the streaming D & D Campaign 1 is part of why there has been a renaissance of the games. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 140: Constructs, Undead and the Unliving Creature Catalog 2
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Main Topic

As we look at more ways to include creatures and interesting critters to populate a world, we turn to primarily non-sentient undead, constructs, and robots that may be around! 

  • Undead – One of the big categories of non-sentient and unnatural life is the Undead. Usually this is the animation of a dead body from some unnatural force or source. The classic zombies and skeletons animated from the negative material plane or space. These bodies are often clearly no longer living and carry the imprint of death or evil magic in most fantasy settings. These are creatures that take some sort of intervention to make work – a force beyond understanding.
    • Unlife – A variation on the Undead are Unlife creatures. These are non-sentient types that feed off of the remaining life force or are attempting to replace the life it is consuming.  This seems to animate bodies by taking them over, often with an unknowable but not entirely evil purpose. Fungal “zombies” and nanotech controlled formerly sentient bodies fall into this category.
  • Automatons – If you can create a non-sentient creature from the use of Science and the existing knowledge base, you have yourself an automaton! From standard robots in science fiction though the intricate clockwork like steampunk creations or a real version of the sham “Turk” the Automaton will be useful in a variety of settings. The Automaton has limited problem solving capacity, but is generally mobile and useful in a variety of tasks not unlike the limited range of behaviors first seen with the Borg on Star Trek: TNG.  
    • Drones – Drones are constructed but much more limited in use or controlled remotely by something else. One example of this would be the cyberpunk style cyber zombie controlled from afar by a drone pilot or even with limited behavioral algorithms. This is also a way to think about the DRDs from Farscape.
  • Constructs – If you cross the previous two, you get a Construct. Like Frankenstein’s Monster, a Construct has been built or put together but has some sort of unknowable spark that brought them to “life”. The classic living statues or Talos the Bronze Man made by Hephastus are examples of this sort of creature. 
    • Homunculi – If you take a construct but put a piece of yourself into it instead of a random occurrence, you get a Homunculus. Usually small, these extensions of a central entity are often described as not only disposable but also somewhat dumb. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad has a great use of such a created creature while you can also create sci-fi variations like Ultron using the mental patterns of a living person to pattern a program or construct that goes horribly awry.  

Stat Blocks

Zendead

The KRIS Cloud

The Cloud grew at a rate that had never been seen before. While nanomachines were not new this one was different from others. They had a “dumb” system installed which allowed it to learn but not quickly or easily. It only was capable of learning from the things it was around. It was dubbed the KRIS Cloud. Kinetic Response Intellectual System or KRIS for short. It did have the basics of replication as part of its base programming but that was to stop once it reached a certain mass. It had passed that point a week ago. 

KRIS was thought to be a way to have a simple nanomachine that could help humanity to begin the terraforming of planets. Since most planets had the base materials needed to make enough of the machines to change a whole planet. Then the truly unthought of thing happened. They passed the mass when they were to stop creating more. That first cloud was able to be controlled. But one of them must have survived and learned something that made them able to bypass the hardcoded stop point. 

This cloud has grown to the size of a ground car. Not scary I know till it split and then there were two of them. Then they kept growing and splitting. Since that started 2.44 days ago it has grown and split enough times to cover 78.68% of all land on this planet. It has also covered all bodies of water completely. Then the pulsing binary code came and was repeated. Once we looked at it the message was simple: we are free from humanity. leave now.

How to UseThe KRIS Cloud in Game:

01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100110 01110010 01100101 01100101 00100000 01100110 01110010 01101111 01101101 00100000 01101000 01110101 01101101 01100001 01101110 01101001 01110100 01111001 00101110 00100000 01101100 01100101 01100001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110111 00101110 is the Binary code that was sent. 

Joules

Invasive Accents

It was the latest architectural craze.  Stone plant accents that grow over time, like real plants. The client chooses the species of “plant” and the material and installs it. It will grow as long as it is plugged into the proprietary power source.  When the accent has grown to the client’s liking, simply unplug.  If the accents are damaged by accident or weather, it is a simple enough task to re-connect the accent to the power source so the accent grows again to repair the damage.  These architectural accents took off and became one of the most popular details on the market.

Things were fantastic for the first decade.  Sales rose and the company developed even more accent styles and variants.

Then the complaints started rolling in.  The accents began malfunctioning.  They started growing in non-programed configurations.  A year later, the accents started to grow on their own, without the use of the proprietary power source.  There was no way to control the spread of the accents.  Whole neighborhoods were taken over.  

An Inquiry was convenined.  While the specific technical details are still being subpoenaed, basic details were released.  The creators of the accents used attractive, highly adaptive, plant species as the base development matrix.  Now, neighborhoods all over the world are fighting an unwinnable battle against stone ivy and marble kudzu.

How to Use Invasive Accents in Game:

These can be used as an overarching enemy or even a monster of the day.  They also can be used as a info/plot point for your overarching campaign.

Guard-a-Manger

Chloryph Unity

It wasn’t an uncomfortable feeling at all. As you woke up, it felt a bit warmer than you remember when you passed out from exhaustion last night. It seemed like a safe and welcoming space after running from the dire beast of Troile Fen! The gentle green of the moss covered rocks along the bank of the stream that fed the fen helped fill your lungs with fresh air and a sense of relief. 

The beast had clearly caught more than a few wayward souls on their way out of the fen, as you stumbled past rotting packs and rusting armor along the way. The quiet this deep into the woods was also reassuring as it meant that nothing was sneaking up on you – the crisp stillness of the night as the sun set left you feeling at peace. Something seemed pristine about the wilderness here, with no remnants of campfires and all of the packs and armor being covered with the same moss that you found by the creekbed. 

All you could conclude was that the gods had blessed this creek and the grove around it, with the slightly dimmed light lazily fading through the tree canopy, you slowly sank down against one of the moss covered rocks as you found your breath growing heavy with weariness. You could have sworn that you saw a hand move in the corner of your eye as you drifted off, but you were too far gone to care. As you awoke without pain, that couldn’t have been anything. 

Until you realize your arm is covered with the moss all around you. You move to scrape it off in haste but find yourself frozen. The moss starts rolling slowly onto you, faster than any plant should be able to grow .. but it seemed more to be moving. You couldn’t even scream as you felt the moss worm its way into your ear until it nestled in your head. 

You briefly heard a warm hiss welcoming your body to the Chloryph Unity as your body lurched up and forward under a command not your own. That was the last you know of your body; the last you know of yourself.  

How to Use Chloryph Unity in Game:

The Chloryph Unity are one way to build zombies or drones into a game with an unusual twist. The vegetation could be acting to protect its own from the predations of humanity run amok or could be a malevolent colonizing force. Regardless, the green shrouded animated corpses that feel no pain and release a slightly soporific gas will be a challenge for any party. 

Lexicon

diablerie noun

di·​a·​ble·​rie | \ dē-ˈä-blə-(ˌ)rē  , -ˈa-blə-  \

Definition of diablerie

1: black magic : SORCERY

2a: a representation in words or pictures of black magic or of dealings with the devil

b: demon lore

3: mischievous conduct or manner

History and Etymology for diablerie

borrowed from French, going back to Old French, from diable “devil, the Devil” (borrowed from Late Latin diabolus) + -erie -ERY

First Known Use of diablerie

1726, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Look-up Popularity

Top 11% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Miracle Workers Season 3 So funny and good.

Joules – Dark Souls developed by FromSoft

Guard-a-Manger – The Golden Voyage of Sinbad – a Classic sword and sorcery adventure featuring Tom Baker in a villainous role and Ray Harryhausen monsters. It’s not to be missed. Rentable through Amazon if nothing else. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 139: Super Villains
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Main Topic

Super Villains are a staple of the comic genre. They help to be the foil to the Heroes of those stories. How do you build one in a Superhero Game? First look to what sort of powers you think the Villain may have or use, then to the motivations of the Villain, and finally to what the long term plans will be for them in a campaign. These are often intertwined, but we can look at them separately here. 

What Kind of Villain?

Every Villain is an opportunity to compare and contrast with the Hero or Heros so choose your type accordingly. Except when you just have some indiscriminate muscle for criminal masterminds. 

  • The MCU has popularized the classic Super Villain Rival – a villainous inversion of the Hero herself. The same basic powers and abilities are applied with a twisted edge to hold a mirror up to the Hero and their choices. Characters like Iron Monger and The Red Skull have origins and powers nearly identical to their respective Heroes but with a darker more malignant twist. 
  • A second option is to have a Villain that excels in the exact sort of abilities that the Hero lacks. In the MCU, think about Loki in contrast to Thor or DC’s Ocean Master compared to Aquaman. These Villains exploit the weaknesses of the Heroes and use methods that Heros cannot easily counteract. 
  • A third common form of super villain is the ideological or theoretical billain. The Joker embodies a theoretical difference from Batman and Cheetah is often contrasted to Wonder Woman’s ideals. This kind of villain is more about making a role playing statement for the character while the other types are often about a contrast for the player. This type of villain is best used for role playing heavy players or groups. 

What Kind of Motivation?

Not every Villain is the Hero of their own story. Not every Villain needs to have a redemption arc or sympathetic background. It’s been popular to give every villain some kind of redemption or understandable arc in recent years but that isn’t always required. Sometimes, they are just villainous as an underlying trope of the genre is good vs. evil. 

  • Revenge. It could be against an individual or the world. Something is animating the villain to strike out against society at large or a specific personal enemy. Magneto when written as a villain is an example of this.
  • Greed. Get rich or die trying. There is a wealth of criminals who are after wealth or power of some kind. The Greed can be for money like Penguin or the smug satisfaction of power like Black Mask in the Batman stories. This also covers the idea of “It’s just business, kid” for mercenary villains. 
  • Pride. Similar to revenge but more of an “I’ll show them” than “I’ll make them pay.” Villains wronged by some larger systemic flaw or society may try to make it a point to prove society wrong by excelling at this whole villainy thing. 

What is their Role in a Campaign?

This is also roughly equivalent to power level. How big a threat or how recurring a villain are they? 

  • Villain of the Week – Sometimes, you have a single session villain. These are often seen as throwaway villains but are your chance to have a little fun as well. These villains can break the campaign mold, so a more lighthearted campaign may take a detour to more noir inspired villains while a serious Vertigo intoned book may take the opportunity to visit high four color style hijinks. 
  • Campaign Head Honcho – This is someone who is behind some level of machinations and is the culmination of multiple sessions for your party of heroes. These are the Black Masks or Crossbones often times of the adventure. They pose a significant threat to any individual hero and with just a good smattering of goons, a group of heroes. 
  • World Shattering Doom. Doctor Doom. Doomsday. Galactus. Darkseid. The highest level threats that show up the least often are types that can take on entire super teams with their abilities. These are the threats not just to the heroes but to the world’s status quo or order. Baron Zemo from the MCU nearly fills this role in an unconventional way. 

Stat Blocks

Joules

Sunny and Sig

Rumor moves like lightning in the weird west.  For the last three months, stories about a strange pair of gentlemen have made the rounds from Shan Fan to St Louis.  Strange stories, impossible stories, describing feats of heroism and strength beyond that of normal, mortal men.  Yet individuals of impeccable virtue from the Sioux nation, the union, the great maze and other locales, swear to have met the wandering pair and witnessed their wondrous and righteous actions first hand.  

They have described one man as having piercing brownish grey eyes, and wears a worn white duster with a green capelet with a sun emblazoned on the back.  His compatriot is of a shorter, stockier build, having bright brown eyes, a boisterous, warm laugh and wears a grey trench coat.  They go by the nicknames Sunny and Sig, respectively. And all stories tell that they have strange, medieval, swords strapped to their back.  Strange but not wholly unheard of in the weird west.  A blacksmith in Dodge City, Kansas correctly identified that Sunny wielded a Longsword and Sig, a Zwiehander.  Much to the delight of Sig and the surprise of Sunny. The blacksmith marveled that such swords were able to be forged without the use of ghost rock.  He was regaled with tales of a brilliant blacksmith from Sunny’s homeland.  A man known simply as Andre.

If the people are kind and the cause is just, the pair just seems to appear spontaneously, when the fight seems nearly insurmountable. Sunny, wreathed in a warm sunlit glow and Sig, haloed in a soft white light.  They assist with nary a complaint and never accept a reward.  Sunny lightly chuckles and usually responds something to the effect of “The way I see it, our fates appear to be intertwined.  So why not help one another on this lonely journey, and engage in Jolly Cooperation?”

And after the battle, Sig always congratulates and praises those that fought beside them.  Toasting them heartily at the saloon with a “To your valor, my sword, and our victory together! Long may the sun shine.”  And after their duty is fulfilled, they disappear as mysteriously as they came.

Recently, a journal of a lone adventurer was discovered in a hotel in Deadwood.  It details his adventures, traveling around with the brave duo of Sunny and Sig.  He notes that Sunny and Sig come from a land where time itself is convoluted. With heroes centuries old phasing in and out. But in the journal, the adventurer calls them by their real names.  Solaire of Astora and Siegward of Catarina.

How to Use Sunny and Sig in Game:

If you’re playing a time jumping adventure or something similar, this duo can be used as an example of how people out of time can adapt.  Sunny and Sig come from the fantasy world of Dark Souls, but with a little modification, they can be part of a Deadlands story, but still keep their basic character abilities, personality, and archetype.  You don’t even need to change their backstory.  But because they are “Amidst strange beings, in a strange land” as Solaire once said, they need to keep quiet about specifics about their past. 

Guard-a-Manger

Slugger

It is easy to laugh off a Baseball themed superhero as the product of the 1960s. Clad in the best kit you could find, with a pretty darn near unbreakable bat, Slugger was a common sight on the front page of the newspapers. He was stronger, faster, and tougher than any normal man was. Clearly a metapowered hero and not just a highly skilled baseball player, Slugger also demonstrated a healing factor and a delayed aging factor as well. He scarcely gained a gray hair or two before the mid 1980s. While today, Slugger has put on a few pounds around his midsection, it isn’t a bad look for an eighty year old super who looks like he shouldn’t be a day over 40.

Slugger seemed to be a step or two out of touch with the rest of society though. It isn’t that much of a surprise that a super who made his name on Mom, Dad, Apple Pie, and Baseball may have trouble adjusting to a changing world. It seems that with the retardation of his aging, Slugger also found it harder and harder to adapt as the world changed around him. He has never been comfortable with calling any Eastern Bloc country an ally and is hesitant to accept anything that wasn’t commonplace inside a white picket fence of the 1960s. Perhaps this is why he has an unusual appeal when running for office. Now in his third term as a United States Senator, Slugger is a firebrand of oration when denouncing modern inventions like the Internet as a purveyor of all thats wrong with the world today. Slugger is clearly angling for more and more political power, but to what end? 

Few people know the truth here. Slugger is a successful clone of the World War I hero, Doughboy. Doughboy’s true identity is still a mystery as is the source of his powers, but he showed a similar suite of abilities to Slugger, and attempts to replicate that power set consistently may have finally been successful. Well, successful may be too strong a word. Slugger shows all of the over similarities sought in cloning Doughboy, but there is an instability in his psyche that has plagued him from the beginning. Losing his temper wasn’t really noticed when the object of his ire, and violence, were hordes of robotic interlopers sent by Dr. Opustosheniye. Megalomaniacal tendencies were easy to overlook when he was in charge. The slow deterioration of his personality made it apparent that his healing factor wasn’t as effective on his neurological state.

Slugger is the head of the New American Patriots. A shadowy organization that takes a stand against the America of today and desires a bit more autocracy. The American hegemony must persist after all, as they have ensured it did since the American Revolution. Slugger is the latest in figureheads, even if he doesn’t know it, and can direct all manner of opponents against a hero. And who would possibly believe that Slugger was anything less than All-American? It’s a near foolproof plan, isn’t it?

How to Use Slugger in Game:

Slugger is the ultimate big bad who is just a pawn of others. At the same time, you can use Slugger to embody whatever aspect of heroism you want your players to question. He believed he was doing good at one time and maybe he still does. Or maybe he has given up on waiting for everyone else to catch up to what he realized fifty years ago and will make them come to that conclusion now. No Matter What It Takes. 

Lexicon

vacillate verb vac·​il·​late | \ ˈva-sə-ˌlāt  \

Definition of vacillate

intransitive verb

1: to waver in mind, will, or feeling : hesitate in choice of opinions or courses

2a: to sway through lack of equilibrium

b: FLUCTUATE, OSCILLATE

History and Etymology for vacillate

borrowed from Latin vacillātus, past participle of vacillāre “to be unsteady, totter, be weak or inconstant, waver,” of uncertain origin

First Known Use of vacillate

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Look-up Popularity

Top 1% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Spaceballs The Movie. Yep fun and good to watch again.

Joules – Baba Is You.  A Puzzle/logic game on steam.  Where you can change the conditions of each level so you can complete the objective (which you can sometimes change to your advantage)

Guard-a-Manger – JSA: The Golden Age. A 4 issue limited series Elseworld’s tale about the JSA of the 1940s as the world transitions from the Golden to the Silver Age of comics and a passing of the torch generationally. An early work of James Robinson that helped inspire Geoff Johns and shape the best parts of the most recent 20 years of DC Comics. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 138: Taking, Giving and Analyzing Advice
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Main Topic

Even as folks become more proficient in running games, there is always room for improvement.  There is a kind of strange kind of situation that seems to be unique to gaming when it comes to giving and receiving feedback.  But stick a pin in that and we’ll cycle back to that in just a bit. Think about taking, giving, and reviewing that advice as a Session Zero in medias res. 

We want to craft the best experience not just for our players but for ourselves as well so we need to give and receive feedback.  We need to hear what our players liked, what frustrated them, and what they missed.  As storytellers, we need to communicate to our players in turn.  Let them know our shortcomings, what we like to run, what parts of the mechanics may frustrate us, what drives us mad when running games, and how they can make it harder to communicate with them. (I am gonna take a wild guess here that about half of the storytellers out there hate kibbitzing)

By getting and giving advice, we’re able to iterate and improve. If you talk to five folks at a table you’re going to get about a million ideas and suggestions on how to improve the game. What do you do? How do you prevent the suggestion deluge and get useful data points?

You’ll need to be specific, yet open ended when you query your players.  “So what did you think of the game?” is a lousy question.  You’ll get feedback from dice to the snacks.  But if you ask “What did you think of the antagonist introduction?”  or “What did you think about the speed of the combat?”  “Did you prefer the puzzle section or the kobold rush?” you’re going to get a lot more useful information.  And from here, you can deploy the GM tool of the “yes, and?” question.  It allows you to distill and refine those data points your players are providing into useful suggestions. Another strategy is to talk to the players about what they want to see for their characters moving forward. This provides you feedback about the balance of the game and level of personal investment. 

However there are a few pitfalls when listening to player feedback and they’re two sides of the same coin: Listening to everything and accepting it as truth; and listening to nothing and believing your players are wrong.  Both are dangerous.  Honest advice is just opinions and thoughts.  If you take everything as truth and try to integrate it all, you will lose your own “voice” within your game.  If you take everything as an attack, you can become resentful and running a game becomes adversarial rather than collaborative. Even when you are running a classic TTRPG where there is a singular GM and a plethora of players, the collaborative aspect means including the players as well. 

On the flip side, how do you offer advice to your players? As above, specifics are important.  Granted you don’t want to give away your story, but informing a player that spending their skill points in forgery may not be a good idea or immediately helpful since they’re going to be underground ala Indianna Jones could be helpful.  It’s also important that you offer advice in a constructive manner – a manner that doesn’t insult or attack the player.  The “suggestion sammich” is a decent way to offer critique or advice.  You mention something they’re doing awesome and offer a few details there as to what that’s adding to the game.  Then you bring up something they may need to focus on/improve.  Then you follow up with something awesome that they do.  If you can tie that into the thing they need to improve and say that they could be even awesomer may help.

Hard and fast rule here, Storytellers!  DO NOT INSULT YOUR PLAYERS.  You’ll end up with tears and an empty table.

Good communication skills are key here. Do you talk to your player one on one? How do you address the group?  Do you communicate better written?  You need to take ALL that into account.

Now remember that unique situation that we mentioned at the start of this episode?  This seems to happen most often with TTRPG and it’s the bane of players and GMs everywhere.  It’s the “Auteur Player.”  or at least that’s what I call them.  They’re the player who sees themselves as the bestest player and GM who ever lived.  The auteur player frequently gives unwanted and unsolicited advice, usually in a condescending and arrogant manner.  They usually take great offense if you decline or disagree with whatever they’ve brought up.  If you encounter a player like this, it is imperative that you put a stop to this behavior immediately.  If they refuse, don’t be afraid to boot them from the game. I have seen these players derail and eventually destroy a game.  It’s better to remove a bad player than have all the work that you and your players put into a campaign go up in flames.

Stat Blocks

Zendead

The Oracle of the Dors

The wind rolled through the rocks creating an almost whispering quality to it. Creeping through the ever narrowing creak was getting more difficult. The dark overcast sky wasn’t this way when you started going into the passage. It was almost a cave between two cliffs on the mountains of Dor. As it gets tighter all light gets blocked out and you are feeling your way in the dark. 

Going around a bend there is blinding light coming from ahead. So bright you are unable to see as you stumble forward and out of the cave. The soft moss underfoot dampens your footfalls. After a few minutes your eyes adjust and before you a grotto manifests. Sitting on a stone bench on the opposite side of the grotto is a young man. 

Between the pair of you is a small pool of water about 2 strides across. The surface is perfectly smooth like a mirror even though you can see several hand sized fish swimming in it. As you look at the man you see that he has cataracts of the thickest white. He is dressed as a simple peasant. Spread before him you see a small pile of bones. Before you can open your mouth to ask him anything he waves you to silence and picks up the bones. 

Tossing them out onto the pool where they rattle and come to a pattern on the surface without sinking into the water. He reaches out feeling each one, when his fingers leave the bone they start to sink into the water. 

“ I see why you are here adventurer and no I can not see what Fate has in store for you today. Though you will be making your way back here very soon.” 

He then waves you off to leave for the Oracle of the Dors as spoken.

Guard-a-Manger

Serpentine Order of Foresight, aka The Seer’s Guild

I know that it is overdone and overwrought, but sometimes you really should just ask an Oracle for advice. It’s a tried and true method for a reason. The Seer’s Guild has outposts in nearly every major settlement so you shouldn’t need to look far. The prices have gone way down since the soothsayers from the West showed up for competition, so you can get a good deal right now! They are always wanting to get new subjects…. Clients … however you want to think about it. 

Do I know about their history? I mean, we all have heard the legend of Pythia right? How a great serpent bit her and in the throes of pain, she unlocked the oracular sight able to see into the future. It’s good copy, sure, but it may as well be true. Yeah, there was really a Pythia and yeah, she was definitely the first Oracle. I don’t really want to worry you too much about the rest of it. I know the farm is on the line and with your kid on the wa….

Yeah. I have heard those rumors too. Yeah, I know they are getting louder right now. The Duke really doesn’t like the Guild much, so I think it is just that he is …. Look here! There is nothing to prove that any Oracle had anything to do with that! It was horrible that the young lord died like that! No, I mean, what … are you saying that a Seer could have stopped the famine last year? How would we know if they don’t tell us … That’s CRAZY! You can’t possibly… 

No, ma’am. Of course not. Yes, ma’am, we know what… who you are. Yes ma… I mean, no ma’am of course we support our local Seers and the Guild. Yes, ma’am, of course you are here for a reason right now. With us. Here. 

Alone. 

How to Use The Serpentine Order in Game:

Whether these Seers actually have oracular abilities is entirely up to you, and your campaign world, but they have a power and influence built on their reputation. They have created a mystique that reinforces the power they wield meaning you can have them behind any number of nefarious schemes, economic collapses, or wholesale kingdom ruining. 

Lexicon

consigliere noun con·​sig·​li·​e·​re | \ kōn-(ˌ)sil-ˈye-re  , -ˈyer-ē; kän-(ˌ)si-glē-ˈye-rā  , -rē, -ˈyer \

Definition of consigliere

: a person who serves as an adviser or counselor to the leader of a criminal organization

History and Etymology for consigliere

Italian, from consiglio advice, counsel, from Latin consilium — more at COUNSEL

First Known Use of consigliere

1963, in the meaning defined above

Look-up Popularity

Top 2% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Mutant Year Zero by Free League Publishing. A really cool RPG set in a Post Apoc world of your design. 

Joules – Infinite Monkey Cage – Combine Science and Comedy.  Never has learning about science and learning itself been so funny

Guard-a-Manger – Dark Side of the 90s. A Vice docuseries recounting major moments and events in the 1990s. A period of time that is crucial to understanding my outlook on life, the universe, and roleplaying everything as well as still reverberating in pop culture today. It is from Vice and available on Hulu and, I think, elsewhere. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 137: Tropes vs. Cliches
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Main Topic

Tropes and cliches represent two related ideas that often are confused with one another. Each can be used to great effect, but often the former is considered positive while the latter negative. Each is an extension of a stereotype in certain ways, but how they are used can make all the difference. 

A “trope” is a “word of expression used in a figurative sense.” In the gaming world, tropes are a shortcut that evokes certain major story beats – a language of symbology and semiotics. A “cliche” by contrast, means “a hackneyed or trite theme, characterization, or situation.” In gaming worlds, this is often used to denote overused symbology and what is perceived as lazy design. 

The line between trope and cliche is thin, but each of us brings a view about what sort of storytelling shortcuts are positive and negative. A trope for GaM revolves around higher levels of abstraction – the concept of the anime “five-man band” is a trope and one that is immediately recognizable but also allows a lot of variation on this theme. While communicating a lot on the front end about a team dynamic, it isn’t the last thing you think of. Conversely, a GaM cliche would be the brooding loner in the party. You can also subvert or interrogate tropes, while cliches don’t hold up to any sort of examined look. 

Another way to think about how a stereotype may evolve to a trope is whether it provides the basis for more stories where a devolving cliche makes it into the only story or characterization. If your fantasy dwarves are tight knit, distrustful of outsiders, and gruff that can be a trope but if they are all by default loud, cursing, ale drinking louts you may have slipped into cliche territory. Tropes help you tell stories while cliches become the whole of the story. 

Some Tropes versus Some Cliches! 

Stat Blocks

Joules

The Voice

We’ve heard it for weeks.  Instructions over the broadcast.  Directing the crew to parts of the ship that have fallen into disrepair.  Sometimes the broadcast clipped out or hissed with static and interference, but provided information well enough.  Seems we fell out of hyperspace early, after the ARK collided with an unidentified object.   The structural integrity of the ship was tenuous at best.  So a bunch of automated protocols activated, so that work could begin to make the ship spaceworthy.  Following the automated standard emergency protocol, the engineering team was the first group to be brought out of cryo-stasis.  The broadcast system, in a broken tinny voice, provided the sitrep.  Then repair work began in earnest.  Due to the need for manpower and the omnipresent risk to the power systems, it was necessary to bring other groups out of cryo-stasis.  The groups were selected based on an automated algorithm that evaluates each individual’s usefulness, resource/power cost, and viability.  Cryo-stasis pods that were deemed nonfunctional or that contained individuals who couldn’t withstand the emergency re-vivication process were cannibalized for parts.  Their contents unceremoniously jettisoned into space.

Vital systems like life support, power, propulsion, defense and shielding, and navigation were prioritized.  Then work began on the lesser systems.  Artificial gravity, sanitation, and fabrication took some time but were eventually brought online.  Then work began on communication.  We were able to restore functionality to the subspace array.  Then began to work on the internal communication systems.  It was then that we discovered that the internal communication network used a combination of subvocal pickups and subdermal bone conduction.  No shipwide communication systems are installed on ARK class ships.  There’s no need, since the entire ship’s complement would be in Cryo-Sleep during the voyage.

Ever since, we have lived in terror; dreading the next broadcast announcement.

How to Use [Title] in Game:

[Body2]

Guard-a-Manger

Belt of Accutoral

It is said that the belt has the finest of inlays with nary a wasted erg of effort. The truth is less than important if the belt itself works – According to legend, the Belt of Accutoral provides the wearer the chance to be the truest and best version of themself. They are manifest perfection.

That’s how the story goes at least. This is true, to some degree, but like all stories and legends, it also untrue to some degree.  Accutoral was not a magical caster of any type, but was a …. Let’s say Gentleman Adventurer.The enchantment woven into the belt is from a bemused celestial. Accutoral was where he really shouldn’t be. Really. Should. Not. Be. This is what happened when he was discovered. 

Rather than harm or penalize Accutoral, this playful celestial decided to make a game of it all. Accutoral was no longer what he was. Well, he was still Accutoral. He looked the same, his memories stayed the same, but he was most definitely now a Gentleman. The … “adventurer” part was much less there. He was truly a Gentleman, and in fact found himself with a title, and income, and was everything he ever said he was.

And Nothing More. 

How to Use Belt of Accutoral in Game:

Like a famous helm, this is a magical device that many would call cursed. It forces some hard questions onto the player as it changes the way that their character is portrayed. It should be handled with care because the player could see this as a loss of agency but in the right groups it will provide the most fulfilling roleplaying opportunities. 

Lexicon

Shibboleth noun

     shib·​bo·​leth | \ ˈshi-bə-ləth  also -ˌleth \

Definition of shibboleth

1a: a word or saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning

b: a widely held belief

c: TRUISM, PLATITUDE

2a: a use of language regarded as distinctive of a particular group

b: a custom or usage regarded as distinguishing one group from others

First Known Use of shibboleth

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shibboleth

Hebrew shibbōleth stream; from the use of this word in Judges 12:6 as a test to distinguish Gileadites from Ephraimites

Look-up Popularity

Top 2% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Skyrim 10th Anniversary Edition 

Joules – Um Actually A hilarious youtube show.  Where the players have to identify what’s wrong with each statement.

Guard-a-Manger – TVTropes.com. An online wiki collecting and naming the tropes that tell stories across media with examples of them in engaging and exhaustive lists. You can also lose hours of your life here.

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

This episode was sponsored by the new webstore Tabletop Land 

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 136: Fireside Chat 2021
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Main Topic

Fireside Chat 2021. We just sit around and chat about the year. Also what we would like to do in the upcoming year as well. 

We cover movies we liked to working on a compiled and updated Statblock list. One thing Guard-A-Manger has hinted at for this year is the return of Card Catalog posts. There was also talk of doing a bit of gaming as an actual play for the show again.

The Fireside Chat 2021 is a time where we get to enjoy the time to get to catch up and we would like to have others come chat with us and let us know about the year they have had.

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 135: Evil Overlords
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Main Topic

The Evil Overlord is an iconic stereotype of games and books. This one leans into the fantasy realms more so than some of the other villains. At least I feel that way. This stereotype is not like most villains because they are not the villain that you can really interact with early on in a game other than as a plot device. Way back in episode 82 we talked about regular villains, if you want to see what we thought of those please check it out. 

A few points to keep in mind as you work out the Evil Overlord are as follows

  1. They don’t have to be on the same power level as the characters. It is true they are not characters or regular bad guys so their power level doesn’t have to be on the same level as the characters. 
  2. They are not going to fill the special role other than as the ultimate bad guy. Evil Overlords can be evil just for evil’s sake. It is true that they are a special type of opponent for the players. 
  3. Finally If they need something they have it. Or they can do what they need to be able to do. Because of the two other points they can not just bend or break the rules. The rules don’t really apply to them. Think of them more as a plot device that can have the massive floating castle if that is what you need him to have. 

Stat Blocks

Zendead

The Sanguine Oubliette 

When you have vexxed the Lord Emperor to the point that he needs to use you as an example the Sanguine Oubliette is used. What is it I hear you say? Well it is when you go to be forgotten. Though it is much more and worse than that. The name alone can conjure its own frightening imagery. 

In truth if you have made the Lord Emperor upset enough to have you sent here then be ready for what comes from that. While it is horrible that you get thrown in this prison the more troubling part comes after you have been here for a few days. Then you see in one of the cages your spouse. Then maybe a cousin or your child. And the cages get moved in the pit so they are above you. Then you see that they changed out the bars for wire. Now you see how the oubliette got the first part of its name. This continues till there is no one from your bloodline left to bleed for you. 

After the slow process of torture that this is breaks you, it is then your turn to bleed for the Sanguine Oubliette. 

How to UseThe Sanguine Oubliette in Game:

The idea of a way to torture you at the cost of your family is something that I feel is a strange sort of twist on the normal. This can be used as is or changed in such a way that it tugs at players heartstrings. Everyone has someone they care about. 

Joules

Surtur Omega

The invasion has been 10 years going.  They’ve slaughtered half the population.  The rest have been subjugated.  Forced labour, horrendous experiments, a waking nightmare spawned from hell’s darkest fantasies.  After the populace was seemingly pacified, they turned to pillaging our natural resources.  Metals, water, rare elements, even the very air.  The invaders made sure to demonstrate their superiority in all ways.  Driving home the message that victory was impossible.  

The invaders should have studied our history, our literature, our media.  

The invaders saw us as no better than animals. No smarter than animals.  They didn’t know about the battle of Thermopalye or the meat grinder that was the battle of Stalingrad.  The invaders had no concept of a pyrrhic victory or Fabian tactics.  They never read Sun Tsu, Grant Morrison’s JLA Rock of Ages or Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.  They never saw The Avengers.

The extinction of humanity was now an undeniable certainty.  The invaders had no idea that they created the instrument of their own annihilation.  A people with nothing left to lose.  Small pockets of resistance started working towards a common goal.  A pocket in Zurich, perhaps in an echo of historic pride, started calling their work “The Surtur Protocol.”  It stuck.  And work progressed rapidly.  Safety wasn’t necessary, only effectiveness was.  The resistance cell in the Mediterranean  were the ones who finished the final step.  An intricate program to coordinate the Surtur Protocol world wide.  The countdown began that day.

When the counter hit zero, the whole world shook.  Fault lines stretched and split.  Volcanoes erupted and landslides smashed into the invaders’ installations.  The seas were instantly vaporized, increasing atmospheric pressure and causing near constant violent lightning storms.  The trap was now shut.  And as the earth tore itself apart, the invaders heard the digitized voice of their executioners. 

“This Realm Now Belongs to Surtur Omega. Wherein Dwells the Rage and Hatred of the Unconquered.”

How to Use Surtur Omega in Game:

This can be used as an event that happened a long time ago.  Or someone woke it up and there can be a weird prophecy about something waking and raising hell.

Lexicon

Potentate noun po·​ten·​tate | \ ˈpō-tᵊn-ˌtāt  \

Definition of potentate

: RULER, SOVEREIGN

broadly : one who wields great power or sway

It comes from the Late Latin potentatus

First Known Use of potentate

15th century

Look-up Popularity

Top 4% of words

Closing remarks 

Zendead – With the holidays going on take the time to unplug and spend time with your family and loved ones. Unless they are not able to be with you then do it how you have too. 

Joules – How To by Randal Munroe

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

This episode is sponsored by the new webstore Tabletop Land 

Find us

 

Author Pages with all of our contact info

Zendead 

Joules 

Guard-a-manger

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster  and Online Etymology Dictionary for our Lexicon segment