Shared posts

18 Sep 16:04

The Moon Maiden By Edgar Rice Burroughs For Your Old School Sword and Planet Campaign

by Needles

 The Moon Maid remains one of my all time favorite series of the Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is a classic series of exploration set within the world of 2026.
The Earth is expanding out into the stars and mankind has exchanged knowledge with Barsoom. Both worlds are the richer for the experience. War, poverty, etc. are pretty much banished and mankind has mounted an expedition to Barsoom.
 Things go terribly wrong.
According to wiki :

"As evident from its name, Under the Red Flag was originally set in contemporary Soviet Russia, with the Bolsheviks as villains; as this was not popular with the publishers, Burroughs transferred it to a science-fictional setting, with the evil Communist-like "Kalkars" taking over the Moon (in the first part) and then the Earth (in the second part, with the help of a renegade Earthman) and being finally overthrown in the third part." 
The Moon Maid.jpg

THE PARADOX OF THE MOON by  Den Valdron addresses some of the major concerns about using this classic. 
HERE
The Gygaxian biology and other paradoxes of the series are also settled as well LUNAR LOST WORLDS by Den Valdron
HERE



Using The Moon Maiden In Your OSR games

 
The  Moon Maiden and its follow up Red Hawk are part of what might be considered one of the alternative time lines that ERBs wrote and designed. His moon was not only active and dangerous but part of a push for a very invasive people who not only bred with Earth women but ruled the Earth in Red Hawk.
There's a post apocalyptic feel to the books as if Earth was on the edge of something very catastrophic and The events of Red Hawk simply pushes it over into the void. Believe it or not these books would make an excellent setting for a 'Mutant Future' game. The action takes place within the interior of the Moon and not on its surface.
Much of what we see of the Moon is a dying ecology and a race of people ready for expansion or extinction. The humans come right into the middle of this mess. This is a perfect time for adventurers to stumble into this mess. What happens after the events of Red Hawk though? What possible treasures are left on the moon? 

"the Kalkar movement despises the official elites and preaches their destruction, while at the same time establishing themselves as a secret elite with the trappings of populism.   The old ruling class, isolated, inbred and largely incompetent, are no match for the new populist movement and fall, one by one." 

So what possible hidden fortresses, palaces, and store houses still exist? 
 The Moon of 'Red Hawk' might be thought of as the ultimate megadugeon with many of the monsters of OD&D taking over the ecological niches of the original ecology. Perhaps brought in by other invaders who see the Moon's value in both strategy and as a tactical position.
Lost  Worlds interior worlds, weird nobles,a host of monsters, and warlike race of warriors & warlords, as well as megadungeons with political intrigue. The Moonmaid and Redhawk have OSR campaign ready to roll. What more could you want?
Let's throw in ERB psyche powers as well! 
 We see astral teleportation also making its appearance in the Moon Maid. This allows us to throw in a few familiar OD&D faces. 
The idea of astral teleportation is one of ERB's finer literary inventions and it also crosses over with much of the material of OD&D. This allows many of the astral critters of D&D fame to play into a lunar campaign. 
There are in fact way too many uses for the Moon Maid and Red Hawk to be put down in one blog entry. Think of this as one in a series and this is only a quick introduction to the world of the Moonmaid by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 
 You can download the book right here from Project Gutenburg Australia. 
HERE 
18 Sep 23:32

The 'Screw-Ship' For Your OSR Post Apocalyptic Retro Future Campaign

by Needles

Original Source HERE 

Atomic Powered Screw Ship 
Required Crew: 59 (109  capacity) 
Top Speed: Surfaced (17.55 mph; 28.24 km/h) 
Submerged: (70 mph)
Cargo: 100 men or 20,000lbs (normal complement 20 marines)
Structural Hit Points: 150
Armour: AC:3
Weapons : Laser cannon (6d10 x 2, 3000’ range)
Under Water Capacitor Battery ( 4d6 to everything within a 1,000' range) drains the screw ship for 4 rounds per use. 
10 micro torpedo launchers treat as mini missile launchers with 'fire and forget'  pin point guidance systems. 
Power Source : Niles Nuclear Reactors 

Originally used for cargo transportation by the Ancients before the collapse of society and the known world. These Atomic powered behemoths were used for incredibly rapid transport between the waves and nations. Since then several warlords with close ties to under water communities have resurrected these giants and used them for troop transportation and invasion of several coastal cities in the Mutant Future. 
These incredible artifacts have been warred over by several aquatic factions over the years. There are rumors of under water bases where 'screw ships' have been stored. Still these are mere urban legend or true fish tales. 

 The operation of the screw ship 

"Resembling a torpedo in general appearance, the proposed underwater craft consists of two parts. One, a cylinder-like inner chamber, features the crew’s rooms, the storage hold, engines (electric) and a gyro device to maintain balance. The other part of the future “screw-ship” consists of a steel outer jacket which rotates around the stationary inner chamber by means of a special gear and bearing arrangement and which has spiral-shaped metal fins fastened to its surface. When the engines cause the outer jacket to rotate, the spiral fins screw into the water much as the threads of a screw bite into wood, thus forcing the craft forward. A periscope at the nose and a rudder at the rear facilitate steering." 


Additional properties 
Because of the nature of these ships,these cargo vessels are strangely silent and very hard to detect underwater. It is unknown if this was intentional or part of the design of the 'Screw Ship' by the Ancients. 
Parts, maintenance,dry docking, and other routine upkeep must be done in a well equipped facility. Parts are extremely hard to come by and many underwater mutant communities hoard such items as collateral against attack by local warlords.

Local Rumors  

There have also been reports out of the waters of the ChineSe Ocean that several screw ships have been seen shelling mutant communities and have engaged several ancient 'Mecha'. The owners of such powerful artifacts are unknown at this time
The legends of screw ships controlled by the ghosts of ancients haunts the harbors of Mutant Future.
From time to time new tales circulate through the bars, brothels, and harbor front hangouts of mutant sailors of these 'demon ships' taking sailors down to the atomic fueled hells of the Ancients.
Most are dismissed as pure backwash but occasionally a wreck will turn up with weird patterns upon the remains of its prow or body of a boat and the rumors begin anew. Many sailors curse the dark of the seas then and pray for a run that will not take them near the haunts of these supposed 'devil ships'. 
18 Sep 15:47

Kittens Playing Jenga

by Kimber Streams
18 Sep 17:57

Disney Princesses Wearing Their Princes’ Costumes

by Kimber Streams

Costume Swap

Disney princesses wear their princes’ costumes in “Costume Swap,” a fun series of illustrations created by Japanese artist Haruki Godo, also known as godohelp. More illustrations in the ongoing series can be found at godohelp’s DeviantART gallery.

Costume Swap

Costume Swap

Costume Swap

Costume Swap

images via godohelp

via Neatorama

18 Sep 19:53

Steampunk Monkey Nation, Illustrations of Primates in Military Gear by Chet Phillips

by Justin Page

Gundersonne - Steampunk Monkey Nation and Gear

Gundersonne

Steampunk Monkey Nation is a series of illustrations by Austin, Texas-based artist Chet Phillips featuring primates dressed up in military gear. Prints are available to purchase online at his Etsy store, ChetArt. Previously, we’ve written about Chet and his creative collections of artwork.

Each of these stalwart monkeys and apes utilize specific weapons, clothing and support equipment in order to complete their challenging and dangerous tasks and missions.

McCrackendish - Steampunk Monkey Nation and Gear

McCrackendish

Thorncastle - Steampunk Monkey Nation and Gear

Thorncastle

Pinionbolt - Steampunk Monkey Nation and Gear

Pinionbolt

StarkSparrow - Steampunk Monkey Nation and Gear

StarkSparrow

images via ChetArt

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

12 Sep 20:38

Jus’ chillaxin’.



Jus’ chillaxin’.

11 Sep 23:43

Austin Tinkering School Teaches Kids as Young as 3 to Wield Power Tools

by Maggie Duval

It’s a pleasure to introduce Maggie Duval as a new guest blogger for Laughing Squid. I’ve known Maggie since the day I arrived in California nearly 20 years ago and it was with her help that I first got online. It’s always exciting to find out what she is up to, as she is often working on projects that are a step or two ahead of the curve. Without further ado, please take a moment to read Maggie’s first post about a cool alt-school in Texas.

–Rusty Blazenhoff

Austin Tinkering School

Many parents are beginning to grasp the idea that maybe what grandpa is always railing about off in the corner – “using your noodle,” and “good old American ingenuity,” and “we never threw anything away,” and “back in my day we started working in the farm/factory right when we was out of diapers” – is not so far off the mark.

Austin Tinkering School (ATS) is addressing just that idea. As one possible antidote to “helicopter parenting” (over/hyper protective, super competitive, and controlling of every aspect of the child’s life, taking away their innate problem-solving and coping abilities), the school gives kids the place and space to mess around with power tools, saws, hammers, paint, and design problem solving starting as young as 3 years old. The school says, “Adults serve as collaborators rather than teachers for maximum engagement, interest, enthusiasm, and enjoyment.”

The Central Texas school was founded in 2010 by teacher Kami Wilt following a profound epiphany she experienced viewing a TEDx Talk by Gever Tully called 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do. Tully gave Willet his blessing to name ATS after his original California school. Now entering its third year, the school has already expanded to a second location where they share space with Make+Shift ATX, which offers design on demand space and resources for product developers – an insanely perfect fit.

Austin Tinkering School

Hammer

photos by Austin Tinkering School, video by Stephen Henderson

10 Sep 16:32

Photo



02 Sep 22:18

meanmisterdharma: Zen

05 Sep 15:00

Summer Olympics Training Starts Meow

Summer Olympics Training Starts Meow

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: cat , summersault
05 Sep 20:00

Look at these Soft and Fluffy Honduran White Bats

Look at these Soft and Fluffy Honduran White Bats

Submitted by: Unknown

29 Aug 07:48

Pepper Jelly

by Punk Domestics
Image: 

Speaking of sweet heat, put your peppers up in a jelly, delicious served with cream cheese and crackers. (Image via Simply Recipes)

06 Aug 06:26

Cat Wearing a Shark Costume Rides a Roomba Vacuum Round and Round a Kitchen

by Rusty Blazenhoff

Max-Arthur, the cat who wore a shark costume and rode around on a Roomba chasing a duckling, is back. This time there’s no duckling but he’s again dressed in a shark costume and is found simply riding the Roomba vacuum around while it cleans the kitchen floor.

video by texasgirly1979

via Tastefully Offensive

01 Aug 18:28

Kazu Kibuishi's Awesome Challenge: Creating New Harry Potter Covers

by Natalie Zutter - Bookish.com
oz garcia

awesome

Kazu Kibuishi's Awesome Challenge: Creating New Harry Potter Covers

Eisner Award-nominated comic book artist and author Kazu Kibuishi admits that he was "surprised" when Scholastic approached him about designing brand-new covers for all seven "Harry Potter" books. He needn't have worried: The founder of the stunning "Flight" comic book anthology series has brought a whole new dimension to J.K. Rowling's enduring series.

Read more...

    


17 Jul 15:26

‘Vampire Grave’ Discovered at Polish Construction Site

by George Dvorsky

‘Vampire Grave’ Discovered at Polish Construction Site

Archaeologists in Poland believe they have found a vampire grave near the town of Gilwice in southern Poland. The skeletons were found with their heads removed and placed between their legs — a ritualistic practice designed to keep the dead from rising up.

Read more...

    


12 Jul 21:59

Magnitude, Admiral Ackbar Mini Bust Based on Artwork by Steven Daily

by Justin Page

Magnitude Mini Bust

Magnitude” is a mini bust of Star Wars’ Admiral Ackbar from Gentle Giant Ltd., LucasFilm and artist Steven Daily, which is based on an original painting by Steven. The mini bust is currently available to pre-order online from Gentle Giant Ltd. It is expected to ship after July 21, 2013.

This mini bust stands at 8” tall and comes in a screen printed wooden box with a 4 x 6 limited edition lithograph print by Acme Archives. Limited edition of 500 pieces. Each comes with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity and bottom stamp.

Magnitude Mini Bust

Magnitude Mini Bust

Here is the original “Magnitude” painting by Steven Daily:

Magnitude

images via Gentle Giant Ltd., Ltd. Art Gallery

via Figures.com, Topless Robot, Technabob, Neatorama

12 Jul 23:58

The Coffinmaker, Short Film About a Carpenter Who Handcrafts Earth Friendly Wooden Caskets

by EDW Lynch

“The Coffinmaker” by Dan McComb is a thought-provoking short film about Marcus Daly, a Vashon Island, Washington-based carpenter who handcrafts environmentally friendly wooden caskets. According to the Green Burial Council nearly 1 million tons of steel in the form of caskets are buried each year in America—that’s enough steel to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

via Vimeo Staff Picks

13 Jul 01:40

Hartford Betamax Black Book Edition Stars Without Number Campaign- Battle Star Galactica Telemovie 'Lost Planet of Gods' The Mega Dungeons of Kobol

by Needles
Introduction 
Today I got the chance to go to a friends house as part of the VHS club I belong to and get glimpse at an ancient treasure beyond compare. The movie version of the original Battle Star Galactica episode 'Lost Planet of The Gods'. This episode is considered by many to be one of the very best of the original Battle Star Galactica run. 
You can find an overview of the episode right over HERE
What really struck me was Kobol! According to Wiki :
'Within the context of both Battlestar Galactica stories, Kobol is the birthplace and original home of humanity, from which the civilization departed and formed the Twelve Colonies on other worlds.[1] According to legend, there was also a thirteenth tribe who settled on a "lost" colony, a planet called Earth, whose location remained a mystery to the populations of the other twelve.'
Why watch a VHS copy of this episode? Well because it contains a very important set of scenes that never were aired! They have quite a bit to do with the mega dungeons of Kobol. According to Wiki:
'In scenes that were filmed, but deleted from the final broadcast of the episodes, Captain Apollo explains that in its final days, Kobol was stricken with terrible overpopulation and waste. The surface and atmosphere of the planet were in fact so polluted that only the absolute strongest of creatures could still survive. After the human inhabitants of Kobol fled the planet and founded the colonies, they deliberately destroyed all of their technology and spacecraft; it took several centuries to rebuild even the most primitive ships for exploring the stars. The scene where this dialogue takes place was filmed for the episode "Lost Planet of the Gods", but only appears onscreen in the expanded telemovie version (it was edited out of the original airing)'
So they destroyed their technology and space craft hmm? Could some of it survived? And are there other secrets on Kobol? 

Into The Void - The Secrets of Kobol 
Commander Adama: The Book of the Word tells us that a great star guided the Lords of Kobol away from the dying planet, across an endless black sea.
Col. Tigh: The void? Adama, there are probably as many voids in the universe as there are ideas.
I posted the other day about possibly using Battle Star as a basis for a game but there are other possibilities! 
According to wiki : 
'Kobol orbits an irregular variable star, and its encompassing system of planets lies immediately adjacent to a "magnetic void". The people of Kobol developed space-faring technology, and within the story it is suggested that their population likely reached the limits inherent in occupying a single planet, and, coupled with other disasters or factors (such as the star around which Kobol revolves), motivated humans to leave the planet.
Eden was the name of a city on the planet, and, according to Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), was "the first to fall" to some unknown cataclysm'
Who knows what other secrets Kobol may hold. The planet is still within the magnetic void. There are possibly some Cylon warriors left behind to stand watch should any others find this world. Then there are thousands and thousands of miles of ruins, pyramids, dungeons, and the Lords know what else waiting for others to find it. 
I was struck by several things watching this telemovie. One there are miles and miles of  ruins. The whole planet seems very Earth like and why the Biblical themed destroying of all technology? There might still be some of this technology left in the ruins of museums, schools, and certain houses of worship as well as the old seats of governmental power.
Major Spoilers Ahead : 
According to wiki,
'Adama performs the ceremony, Boxey as the protector gives Serina away. During the ceremony a bright star appears and Adama orders Tigh to scan for a planet in orbit. Apollo asks Adama what it could be and Adama says it could be the planet Kobol.

The Colonials land on the surface of the planet, where there are pyramids and ruins. Adama chooses a site for a camp, and posts a guard even though the planet is supposed to be dead.
Lucifer reports to Baltar that a star has appeared and guided Galactica to a dead planet. Baltar recognizes a chance to spring a trap, and orders Lucifer to prepare his craft. He will go alone, for only he can bring Galactica back to the Imperious Leader.
Adama, Serina, and Apollo explore the ruins. Adama suspects that it might be Eden, the largest city and the first to fall. Adama recognizes the seal of the Ninth Lord of Kobol. He was the last leader of Kobol before the thirteen tribes went to the stars. Apollo realizes that Adama is hoping to find the location of the thirteenth tribe (and Earth) by looking here.
The three find the entrance to the Tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol, which bears a warning of death for those that enter. Serina recognizes that Adama's medallion is the same as the seal on the tomb, and it acts as a key to open it.
They find the bodies of tomb robbers, and then are trapped by bars that descend, but lift when Adama uses his medallion again. They enter a room that appears to contain a sarcophagus.
Baltar enters through a different door, greeting Adama. Adama lunges at him, trying to strangle the traitor. Apollo pulls him off of Baltar, saying that he should be left to the council.
'

Quick Note about the Seal of the Twelve
According to the Battle Star Wiki : 
The Seal of the Lords is a medallion that is the symbol of the Lords of Kobol. CommanderAdama normally wears this peculiar medallion with his commander's robes when in full dress.
He explains to Colonel Tigh that the medallion is a symbol of the Colonial faith as well as a symbol of power. The medallions are passed to members of the Quorum of Twelve; both he and the treasonous Lord Baltar have the last known surviving Seals.
The medallion is also used in the sealing ceremony, where the master of ceremonies wraps the medallion's chains around the bride and groom's hands as each holds the other's hands, with the medallion itself on top.
On Kobol, in search of answers to the whereabouts of Earth, Commander Adama uses the medallion as a key that opens the tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol, as well as to circumvent the cage-trap in the corridor leading to the tomb. The diamond-shape of the medallion also served as a mirror to reflect light to photo-sensitive eyes of the animal-figures within the tomb, thus opening the actual resting place beneath the faux sarcophagus (Lost Planet of the Gods, Part II).
You can find out more on the wiki right over HERE

This is the important bit, 
Adama suspects that it might be Eden, the largest city and the first to fall. Adama recognizes the seal of the Ninth Lord of Kobol. He was the last leader of Kobol before the thirteen tribes went to the stars. Apollo realizes that Adama is hoping to find the location of the thirteenth tribe (and Earth) by looking here.
The three find the entrance to the Tomb of the Ninth Lord of Kobol, which bears a warning of death for those that enter. Serina recognizes that Adama's medallion is the same as the seal on the tomb, and it acts as a key to open it.'I believe that the Lords of Kobol might have had some dealings with things best left undisturbed and they paid for it dearly
.


The Tomb world of Kobol 
Kobol is a very interesting little world. Entirely desert and filled with ruins that look as if they stepped right out of the pages of a Egyptian tour book. The Lords of Kobol had ruled this world for generations with a super science without compare. Then one by one the worlds of the empire fell. This sounds suspiciously like another science fiction classic HERE
There are dark and some what ominous hints throughout the Battle Star Galactica series that mankind were pawns in greater moves by powers far beyond his ken. 
File:Frazetta - In Pharaos Tomb.jpg

The military and the religious seat of government on the world of Kobol were very closely tied together. There were sacred knowledge and secrets  passed down from generation to generation. The fall of man from Kobol is hinted at and teased about in the 'Book of The Word'. But only the mega-dungeons of Kobol hold the answer.  

1d10 Random Fall of Mankind on Kobol Table 

  1. Mankind glazed into the realm of time travel and saw things at the beginning of time that drove them to the brink. The secrets of that forbidden science must never be revealed. 
  2. Mankind unlocked the gifts of the Outer God and the secrets of antimatter. They thought themselves the equal of the gods and were taught the errors of their ways. 
  3. The gifts of forbidden knowledge polluted the scientists and scholars. Only the military and priest hood were able to preserve most of society that brought itself to the brink of extinction. 
  4. The Cylons were right and mankind is actually a plague upon the universe and is destine to end all of existence should the forbidden secrets of the city of Eden be revealed! 
  5. There are no secrets. Mankind degenerated from the cradle of his high technology and the priests were actually the cause. The true rulers are now so much dust and man shall never truly achieve those heights again. 
  6. The secret of the Outer God who is locked within Kobol must never be let loose. Mankind looked into the face of the devil god and found himself staring back. He fled into the darkness rather then acknowledge such horrors. 
  7. The truth must never be revealed. There are horrors that the Cylons will not go near and the children of mankind await the time when they shall kill their fathers and mothers among the stars. 
  8. The world is not dead but sleeping. There are millions of human warriors awaiting their time when they can awaken and seek out Earth to battle the Cylons! 
  9. The undead lich kings of Kobol are still stirring beneath the sands and awaiting their time again when the stars are right and they can once again claim their descendant slaves once again. 
  10. Adama was a fool. The power of the Lords of Kobol echoes among the stars. Should the legacy of mankind be awakened. 'The Angel of Death' shall descend from the stars and obliterate man from the face of the universe. 

11 Jul 21:07

The Effects

by Patrick Stuart

Ryan Silva asked for “long term and short term effects of subterranean adventuring if you would.” I would and could and can and did.

Short Term

Fatigue and vitamin deficiency. 

Disturbing and colourful hallucinations become common whenever the lights are out. They are clearly not real though they do prevent you from sleeping.

You begin to know where you are in the cave when you wake up. You have recall of nearby formations without turning on the light.

In the first weeks, paranoia and rages are common.

During the first six months the rapture stalks you, after this, if it fails to take you, it disappears and comes only occasionally.

You slowly abandon useless items, ruthlessly purging your belongings for weight. You shave your blades to razors and slice from the soles of your shoes.

Long Term

As the memory of the sun decays your claustrophobia lessens. The day sunlight disappears from your dreams, you no longer fear small spaces, even the narrowest squeeze can be pushed through without a test.

You recognise worked passages from the tool-scars left. Later, you can tell the size and natre, and mood, of the worker by the trace of their swing.

You come to recognise the identity of spilt blood by its smell and taste, if the person is known to you.

Maximum pupil dilation at all times.

Gradual, then total, pigment loss from skin.

In the first week, a total collapse of your immune system. Immunity reaches zero. Then invisibly replaced with a (relatively) harmless semi-intelligent fungal symbiote.

Hair Loss.

Skin becomes extra-sensitive, clothes uncomfortable. After weeks you can learn to use your skin to sense the air flow in the surrounding area, giving you a good idea of cavern size and possible exits. As well as general size of linking passages.

Hearing becomes extra-sensitive. You subconsciously begin making tongue clicks to judge distance in the dark. Though unaware of this.

The rhythm of your conversations slows imperceptibly. You breathe out single words. Shouting becomes intolerable, even in times of danger. Battles pass in silence on both sides.

Osteocytes begin to form upon you scalp and joints. Harmless, painless frills and horns of bone.
Your finger bones lengthen and crook permanently. This provides a tireless hold while climbing and increases your ascent speed.

Your time sense erodes without any realisation, your wake-sleep cycle extends from 24 hours to 48 then to 72. You do not notice this

Respiration and digestion slow. In silent moments or when still you sometimes go 30 seconds between breaths.

Your breathing becomes non-audible when you are sleeping or waiting.

You no-longer trust paper as it decays too fast. You start to tattoo your knowledge and maps onto your skin. Your self-developed code is shorter than writing and means your flayed skin would be useless as a map for others. A clever trick, you think. You start with your forearms and thighs then spiral out.

Effects on Magic Users

Casting of Light spell changes gradually, darkens to infra-red, then becomes nearly invisible as memory of sunlight decays.

Surface creatures gradually disappear from the results of summoning spells.

Any fire generated stats to burn deep-blue.

ESP no longer brings you visions of others mental states. Only flows on smell or movement, taste and sound, you do not notice this.

Spells used to trace and spy on others likewise lose their visual component, you know where someone is, you smell, taste and hear them. You feel them in the air. You do not see them. This is not disabling in any way.

Spider Climb lasts longer. It begins to eat up spell slots without you realising. When all 1stlevel spell slots have been consumed, Spider Climb becomes semi-permanent, subconsciously and cyclically cast and re cast whenever you are awake. Following this, the concepts of ‘up’ and ‘down’ will begin to lose all meaning. You may not understand the words.

The Imprison spell begins to feel shaky and unreliable. You begin to think you hear the voices of people you had previously imprisoned as you near their location. 

The spell Flight begins to decay. It lessens, disappears, then returns as ‘Dive’. This lets you dive and walk through rock as if it were water or gas.

Effects on Clerics

As you approach Hell, the reach of heavean comes less frequently, silently but with invisible force. You can burn spell slots for one of a kind high level miracles.

Gods voice intensifies as you reach the Core.

God speaks continually now. But unaware of you. As if addressing a crowd in the next room.

You can no longer create food or drink. Yet the same spell allows you to fast for days without any effect.

The earth regards you. The stone is aware. You know that if you addressed it, it would hear. Yet this is wrong and forbidden.

The stone is one with the stars. You can read the curls of sediment and speleothem as if they were hidden constellations.

For a long time lightning does not heed your call, then, as you grow deeper, suddenly it does. This time coming from below.

(A few of these are inspired by Jeff Longs book The Descent. If you gave that book an index and some sub-par illustrations it would be half way to being a module on its own.)
11 Jul 14:20

The BBC's Doctor Who docudrama gets the first Doctor exactly right

by Rob Bricken

The BBC's Doctor Who docudrama gets the first Doctor exactly right

Shockingly, that's not an old picture of William Hartnell as the first Doctor. That's actor David Bradley as Hartnell, in the first promo picture for Mark Gatiss' An Adventure in Time and Space, the docudrama retelling the creation of Doctor Who.

Read more...

    


09 Jul 18:01

"Banned Satanic D&D Commercial" by Megasteakman, an...



"Banned Satanic D&D Commercial" by Megasteakman, an excellent parody of the Satanic Panic view of gaming, found via The Escapist blog.

08 Jul 17:30

These are Dragons (Dragons for S&W Whitebox)

by Pearce Shea





Talk of how to create a dragon in Swords & Wizardry inspired me to put this together.

First, Dragons are ridiculously dangerous opponents. They're intelligent, shaped for mayhem and murder, long-lived, possessed of enormous amounts of resources which they'll happily use to hire someone to kill you. 

So, things like HD, attacks, breath damage, etc. aren't super instructive when differentiating between Dragon ages (for me). They're also kind of boring; the granularity is interesting, but much less so if we're just talking about a change in a few mechanics. None of the below has to be true at all, it's just an ecology of Dragons based pretty much solely on the Dragon section in S&W Whitebox (free download of the whole thing here).

HOW BIG ARE THEY? HOW OLD?

Standard S&W rules apply for HD and damage, so roll a d8 for age:

1. Very Young Dragons (years 0-3 or so)

          "Hatchlings," about 5 feet long from end to end, lives in a brood of 3-18, flies at half speed and is ungainly in the air. Highly intelligent hunters, will likely lure prey into a trap,  when solitary, will fight only when cornered, otherwise, will prefer to nip/breathe/claw and run until its full numbers are available at which time all will pounce on the weakest looking target. Highly incautious and may not necessarily view adventurers as threats, more as playthings (they still kill their playthings). Most will hunt nearby wildlife or small humanoids. A forest devoid of game is often an early sign of a nearby brood. Most will nest near where they were born as they tend to be born in locations well-hidden.

2. Young (years 4-5 or so)

           "Whelps," about ten feet long from end to end, lives in a brood of 3-12. Will fight as hatchlings, will also have hunting patterns more established, will be highly aware of the terrain and may have more elaborate traps established. By this point some of its brood have likely died to illness, predation, roughhousing or adventurers and the Dragon will be much less eager to engage in melee if numbers aren't on its side, prefer to flee and fight another day (or more likely, return with the rest of its brood and stalk its former attacker).  Will begin to hunt and stalk larger, more intelligent creatures, especially orc and other humanoids living along the fringes of civilization. Eat less frequently than younger Dragon but tend to glut themselves when they do, mimicking the feasting/hibernation pattern of older Dragon.

3. Immature (years 6-10 or so)

            "Hunters," about fifteen feet from end to end, live in groups of 3-9. Dragons of this age will still often hunt and live in a group, but as they age, they begin to feel a certain distrust of others of their kin and the first roots of their greed and covetousness take hold. They will develop a craving for privacy and independence from the brood, but still prepare these lairs with the help of the brood, carving out a network of caves, mazes and traps replete with murderholes and the like which take maximum advantage of their breath weapon and other natural abilities. The obsession with preparing the most defensible lair is highly ingrained, part nesting behavior, part a coping strategy for leaving the safety of the brood's numbers.

Most will lair where their nature inclines or where they are best adapted (white dragons in areas with lots of snow, black dragons in swamps, blue dragons in abandoned, lightning-blasted wizard's towers), but this is far from a necessity. Immature Dragons are highly proud of their lairs and the various traps therein and the brood will compete and obsess over these lairs and increasingly elaborate tricks and traps.

Immature Dragons intentionally hunt and bait intelligent humanoids and pride themselves on their ability to take down increasingly dangerous prey. Most will intentionally hunt away from their lair and will bring food home for later. Some may even store food away from the brood, to prevent discovery of their siblings.

4. Adult (years 11-60 or so)

          "Lairing," about 20 feet from end to end. May live with one other of its kind, if only to have someone around to defend the lair while you're out foraging through towns and villages for food. Dragons of this age are frequent and wide-ranging hunters. As they begin to acquire more material goods, whether from conquests or as the result of defending its lair from looters, a Lairing Dragon will become slowly covetous and jealous, increasingly solitary and acquisitive. It's rare that any Dragon of this age that his laired with another will make it to old age without killing its partner in a fit of jealous, mistrust or abject fury.

5. Old (years 61-99 or so)

           "Solitary," about 20 feet from end to end. At this point, the Dragon is truly greed and solitary. If any of its brood or a Lairing partner have thus far survived, the Solitary Dragon is obsessed with finding them and silencing them and accordingly, Dragons this old are likely to die by the hand of one another than looters. Dragons of this age rarely hunt or even leave their lair but when they do, the result is often catastrophic for the surrounding area. After a good meal, the Dragon will sleep for days.

6. Very Old (years 100-200 or so)

            "Hibernating," about 20-40 feet from end to end, depending on precise age. Hibernating Dragons are rarely awake, but will decimate a series of towns or even an ill-prepared city when hungry. Most sleep for years and spend their little waking time not dedicated to eating to shoring up their traps and burying their hoard ever deeper. As they age, their waking/sleeping cycle is increasingly associated less with hunger and more with nearby cataclysmic events, making their awakening fortuitous (waking the day of an enormous battle, the winning side easy pickings, waking on the day of a high holiday in a nearby city, when the revelers are least cautious). The Dragons hoard likely contains at least one truly unique magical item, likely something from another age, perhaps an intelligent item. This will undoubtedly be the Dragon's prized possession and it may risk all to get it back.

During hibernation, particularly the last, long sleep it undergoes at around age 195 or so, the Dragon will begin to change, grow larger, grow more horns, eyes, wings, may take the ability to shapechange, may be able to cast magic as a Magic-User of its HD. It's scales become thicker, hollow.

7. Aged (years 201-399 or so)

             "Chiming," about 60 feet from end to end. The scales of Chiming Dragons are hollow and they produce alien tones when they move. These tones can be addictive, hearing them can be similar to taking psychoactive drugs (save v paralysis or you're tripping) but will grant visions of strange cosmological significance. Dragon addicts/cultists will likely attend/worship the Dragon. Dragons no longer sleep and rarely eat. When they do eat, they eat any and everything: rocks, sound, trees, the living, the dead, shadows, thoughts. Chiming Dragons begin to care less for their material hoard and more for lost knowledge, secrets. They may well kidnap religious leaders, powerful wizards in hopes of teasing out secrets from them (or attracting the attention of those even more powerful). May trade quite a lot of gold for a good secret (but then may try to kill you as they prefer their secrets...secret).

                 Near the end of this period, the Dragon will begin to build hundreds of cocoons thickly walled by its dropped, chiming scales.

8. Ancient (400+ years old)

             "True," about 80 feet from end to end (or much, much larger). Most True Dragons take on a different shape as their original is often painfully arthritic. True Dragons likely grant cleric spells as any other divine being. They now eat only strange, intangible things and they burn for the secrets of the universe. True Dragons may live for thousands of years before their memory begins to fail. This is the Dragon's greatest fear and many will do whatever they can, including inciting their worshipers into single-minded pursuit of a means of halting the progress of dementia and memory loss. Those Dragons that fail (it's believed that all have) commit ritual suicide, vomiting all of their secrets into the cocoon left in their lair. The cocoons will hatch into other Dragons or perhaps things stranger still, depending on the secret.

HOW DO THEY FIGHT?

Dragons are highly intelligent and clever but they fight like animals. They will try to bullrush, headbutt, use their tail and the length of their body to knock down and crush before bringing tooth and claw to bear. Larger Dragons will likely just try and step on you.

THINGS THE DRAGONS KNOW

Dragons are pathologically acquisitive and this behavior extends to less material goods as well. They collect and covet information (especially secrets), spellbooks and other sorts of less immediately tangible power. Accordingly, a Dragon always knows secrets about the area surrounding its lair. If the elf fortress has a secret backdoor, the Dragon knows it. If there is a cure for the plague ravaging the nearby towns, the Dragon knows it. How you get that information out of the Dragon is another matter.

Adult and Old Dragons know one of the things below. Very Old know two things, Aged know three and Ancient know three plus something apocalyptic.


the secret of a star
the recipes necessary to cook star flesh
the weakness of a god
why the elves do not die
what dwarves fear most
the language of an old, lost race
the location of something a character most wants/needs
the location and key to the treasure vault of another Dragon (or God)
the true name of another Dragon
a book containing the most powerful spell (ritual) the Dragon knows
what is buried beneath the city of the overlord
the magical sentence that will cause the giants to curl up like dead spiders
how to learn the secrets of trees or stones or the wind or rain
the secret of crow boy
what happened to the leader of your religion
where they've stashed their hoard
how to eat time
how to swallow sound

WHAT AN ANCIENT DRAGON KNOWS (APOCALYPTIC STUFF)

this should include stuff that makes sense in the context of your setting, like:

the location of one of the pillars that holds up the world
the true name of the worm that encircles the universe and is slowly devouring itself. When sated, it will crush the world between two hoary talons
a ritual that remakes reality
the location of the forge in which the world was fashioned

pictures: Albín Brunovský, Brian Froud
04 Jul 11:19

The Planes of Hubris- Weird Dice Generator for the Planes

by wrathofzombie

Vortex

 

Planes are cool and I enjoy putting extra-dimensional encounters/travel into my games.  I wanted to create a quick die generator for Dungeon Crawl Classics that will be used in my Hubris game.

 

This gives me a few interesting tidbits that I can flush out myself, rather than having to read a bunch of stuff that my players may or may not interact with/give a shit about.

 

All you do is drop the following dice: d3, d4, d5, d6, d7, d8, d10, d12, d14, d16, d20, d24, d30.

Then consult the table below.  Once you’ve generated a plane scratch them off and write new stuff in its stead.

 

d3- You Emerge From the Portal

  1. Sopping wet, covered in ectoplasm
  2. Completely normal, but all your clothes and possessions are at your feet.
  3. Dry, sunburned, dehydrated, and exhausted.

 

d4- Seasons (or equivalent)

  1. Summer
  2. Winter
  3. Fall
  4. Spring

 

d5- The Local Denizens are… 

  1. Giant humanoids
  2. Sentient oozes
  3. Reptilian in nature
  4. Have demonic heritage
  5. Creepy living dolls

 

d6- Time Functions

  1. Slower- one minute there is an hour on home plane
  2. Faster- one hour there is one minute on home plane
  3. Normal as on home plane
  4. Does not function in a perceivable manner to outsiders
  5. Slower- one hour there is one year on the home plane
  6. Faster- one year there is one hour on the home plane

 

d7- Interesting Thing

  1. People use conch shells filled with blood to talk across great distances
  2. Sentient airships are used for travel
  3. Anthropomorphic cat-people are used as slaves
  4. Food never rots
  5. Certain people are able to utilize strange powers with their mind
  6. Creatures tan in the moon, not the sun
  7. The younger are revered and the elders become servants and slaves

 

d8- Problems…

  1. A cylindrical planetoid is being drawn nearer and nearer
  2. The sun and moon collide.  The entire plane is now in a permanent solar eclipse like state
  3. Insects have become infused with magic and have become super intelligent and are ravenously hungry
  4. Sky pirates have begun laying siege to important ports of the realm
  5. Extreme cold is causing whole areas/villages to freeze
  6. Vengeful spirits of a long forgotten battle have risen and believe that the war still continues
  7. Enraged living spell stalks easy targets
  8. Two opposing factions are on the brink of full war

 

d10- Religion is…

  1. A thing of the past…
  2. Rigidly controlled and monitored
  3. Free thinking, openly discussed and welcomed
  4. Does not exist (clerics cannot cast spells while here)
  5. Not tolerated.  Those that practice are jailed or executed
  6. The cause of current open civil war between three prominent religions
  7. Practiced privately in own home, not something to share
  8. The theocratic god-king allows worship in himself only
  9. A twisted mirrored image of the home plane
  10. What saved the plane from the last cataclysm

 

d12- More Problems…

  1. Violent storms rage across the landscape
  2. The memories of the people are being consumed by a dark phantasm.
  3. The enemy of the current leader of the Plane (roll d14 again) is declaring war
  4. Magic is not function as should, causing chaos
  5. Strange cult is vying for power against established religion(s)
  6. All the elementals of the plane have turned to stone
  7. A giant vortex is gobbling up everything in its path and slowly expanding
  8. All humanoid children in the world suddenly grow old and die
  9. Ancient evil awakens
  10. Two planes collide and merge
  11. Strange and horrible creatures invade from another plane
  12. Drought, famine, plague, chaos, death, riots, you name it…

 

d14- Leader of the Plane (or just local area)

  1. An old war hero
  2. A prophet that heralds a grim future
  3. A boy-king attempting to live up to parents legacy
  4. An outsider to the realm that conquered
  5. The ghost of a murdered demi-god
  6. An extremely intelligent talking idol
  7. Religious leader of prominent religion
  8. The Council of Six Nightmares
  9. Conglomerate of prominent/powerful citizens
  10. Reanimated corpse of a hardened criminal
  11. A sorcerer claiming to be from another world
  12. A gigantic dragon
  13. A glowing 20ft orb
  14. An old man with too many stories

 

d16- You Appear in the Plane Here…

  1. Cramped in a broom closet
  2. In a placid lake full of carnivorous fish
  3. Burst up from a grave
  4. Crawl out under the bed of a child
  5. In the cage of a hungry humanoid
  6. In the hut of a witch
  7. Explode out of the back of a giant
  8. In the depths of an outhouse
  9. In a locked room in a dungeon
  10. In a violent whirlwind
  11. Spit out of a whirlpool spinning counterclockwise
  12. Dribble out the nose of a creature with a cold, then reform as solid
  13. As a faded memory of someone then made real
  14. On the back of a giant flying bird
  15. On the edge of a volcano
  16. An electrical storm that ravages a small town

 

d20- How to Travel to Plane

  1. Through the mouth of a gigantic fish
  2. On the breath of a dying man
  3. Drinking the tears of a weeping heartbroken princess
  4. Through the closet in a child’s bedroom
  5. Walking backwards through a maze
  6. Having sex in a cemetery
  7. Dancing too fast to a slow song
  8. Climbing to the peak of a frost-capped mountain
  9. Singing a song long forgotten to man
  10. In a locked room in a dungeon
  11. By seeking forgiveness from someone you’ve wronged
  12. By breathing in the first laugh of a newborn baby
  13. By potting a plant in the desert
  14. Sailing on a still sea with no wind
  15. Swimming in a pool filled with alchemical substances
  16. Staring into the sun for 1d3 days straight
  17. Taking a door of hinges and rotating it to open the other way
  18. Being shrunk and going into a teapot
  19. By striking a deal with an extra-dimensional being
  20. By breaking a promise to a king

 

d24- Random Strange Effect on You When Entering the Plane

  1. All copper is turned to gold
  2. All glassware and vials are turned to sand
  3. Sex is changed (will return to normal upon leaving realm)
  4. Become spirit (will return to normal upon leaving realm)
  5. Gravity lighter (jump higher)
  6. Gravity heavier (no jumping, move slower)
  7. Magic is amplified (+5 to rolls for 2d4 days)
  8. Magic is muted (-5 to rolls for 2d4 days)
  9. Magic ceases to work (for 2d4 days)
  10. Make Fort save (DC 12) or gain 1 minor corruption or mutation
  11. Your foreign body collides with an object of realm that causes explosion (2d6 damage 15ft radius)
  12. All liquids are turned to ice (potions receive a save)
  13. Any animal companion transforms into anthropomorphic version
  14. Age 2d6 years
  15. Reverse age 2d6 years
  16. All wounds are healed.
  17. All corruptions, mutations, injuries, diseases, curses gained AFTER character creation are healed and removed (whether beneficial or detrimental)
  18. Gain ability to speak random language
  19. Gain glimpse into future (allowed to reroll one failed check while in the plane)
  20. Become ravenously hungry as though haven’t eaten in 2d10 days
  21. Body becomes luminescent
  22. Skin changes color (choose one from rainbow)
  23. All hair falls out for 1d3 years
  24. Roll twice

 

d30- Type of Plane

  1. Chaos
  2. Law
  3. Light
  4. Darkness
  5. Lies
  6. Fire
  7. Water
  8. Life
  9. Death
  10. Alternate reality
  11. Pleasure
  12. Torture
  13. Water
  14. Dreams and Nightmares
  15. Earth
  16. Nature spirits
  17. Astral
  18. Ethereal
  19. Sorrow
  20. Outer Realm
  21. Prismatic Saturation
  22. Insanity and Madness
  23. Temptation
  24. Knowledge
  25. Realm of the Gods
  26. Time
  27. The Imprisoned
  28. Beastmen
  29. Failure
  30. The Dragons

 


05 Jul 14:29

Nostalgia Overload

by noreply@blogger.com (Al)
Check out the blog 2 Warps to Neptune for some classic pics of young folks in the 70-80's playing D&D. Its great stuff, and there's some good info on the infamous Summer Adventure Camp from days of yore.

These pics are fun to blow up and look at closely for all the little details - snacks, books, clothes, etc, you probably haven't seen much of since the early 80's.






See lots more at the blog here!

The whole blog in general is pretty cool, actually.
06 Jul 12:45

MEanwhile surrounded by half formed things stillborn yet mewling

by scrap princess






Things hatching from the earth

1. A new sun. It will attempt to consume the old sun. If it succeeds everything will be different now.
2. The inverse of your form in discarded skin. It has been lonely for a very long time time
3.Luminous bug eating children
4. Bottled men
5. Shadows from the previous sun
6.Drill bombs from the other side of the world
7.Fruiting bodies of the vast mycelium web that is the actual form and purpose of every tunnel and every burrow
8. Everything that flies
9.Soldiers of Glass
10.Breath stealing cats
11. Nightgaunt Whispersmiths
12.Wise Vermin
13. Spider Keys
14. Traitors tongues
15.Crawling Spears
16. Everyone buried under the wrong name
17.Whistling
18.Vast Plumes of Mold
19.Air Drinking Roots
20.Very Stubborn Fish

Things Sewn Into the Air

1. Old Spider Troubling Hobbits
2.Virulent Misinformation
3.Door/Sinkhole
4. Mirror/Window.
5.Hungry mouths
6.Scabrous citadels
7.Cages/refugees
8.Words/parasites
9.Snakes/organs
10.Bard Flesh
11.Wicked/unlucky Children
12 Cloaker Priests

Subtle or Unlikely Weapons

1.Mistrust
2. Caged song birds
3. Human Hair
4.Tattoos
5.Feathers
6.Leaves
7.Mutes
8.Avalanches
9.Sweat
10.Drumming

Things Buried Long Ago in Snow

1.Things somewhat like pets and somewhat like weapons
2.Things somewhat like armour and somewhat like furniture
3.Castles of Hair
4.Flea Kings
5.Shoutings
6.Tarry Brides
7. Contracts with the tides
8. Thief Eggs


Things falling slowly from the sky

1. dead ghosts
2.Invisible jellyfish
3.one winged angels
4.Obsidian knives
5.Mummy infested islands
6.Giants Hearts

Rogue Elements

1.Spite
2.Absence
3.Fat
4.Noise

?
1.Faster
2.Further

Where do we put all the ruins?
1.Duh everything is ruins
30 Jun 17:15

Splatter Punk 70's & 80's Post Apocalyptic Horror Campaign Sundown Edition - Cemeteries of The Dead Part Two Daylight

by noreply@blogger.com (Needles)
 Please Press Play To Begin! 
Daylight does not leave on safe from encounters with the weird of the 'Supernaturalpyse' Below are some of the daylight hazards that mark this era of supernatural terror and horror beyond the ken of men and adventurer! 

Splatter Punk 70's & 80's Post Apocalyptic Horror Campaign
The 'Nightwing' curtesy of Emperor's Choose Games! Get it HERE
The unholy energies of the "Supernaturalypse" surges through the veins of the Earth. Long forgotten things crawl from the funk of fossilized worlds near the dimensional borders of Earth. Monsters imortalized in myth and legend return.The  NIGHTWING or (Giant Bat) is one such horror! These foul mutated monsters correspond to no known animal of Old Earth. These are the stuff of nightmare itself mutated by the supernatural energies of Hell itself. 

 These foul beasts often are found in the urban ruins of shopping malls, the shells of  churches, and a wide variety of the husks of skyscrapers. These brutes can eat a man within moments. They are often called by necromancers and the undead to bare witness to foul ceremonies and banquets to the moon.
Because of the company that these foul things of Hell keep there is a 40% chance of them carrying some god forsaken disease of the supernatural such as Red Death, Black Plague, or other less nameable infections.
 There have been reports of other larger versions of these monsters capable of carrying mansized or larger riders. These are often dismissed as legend. Many of the varieties of these monsters are active during the day!

Scavenger Angels 

File:Angel in St Pauli cemeteries, Malmo.jpg

 These stone faced scowling angels turn to stone during the daylight hours. They feed upon the misery and fear lurking in the air even during the sunlight. These beings look after the dead as a mother with her children They don't tolerate intrusions into their domains.
 They are actually an unholy hybrid of alien cybernetics and magic! They stand watch only to spring to life when the sun goes down! These monsters also carry a vendetta and have very long memories. 
Type: Other
Hit Dice:
 8
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d8), bite (2d10)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Unknown(weird alien cybernetics) 
Move: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 14 / 2600


Bronze Death Griffon 
File:"Griff" Statue in the forecourt of the Farkashegyi Cemetery Budapest.jpg

Type : Other Hit Dice: 9
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d6), bite (2d10)
Saving Throw: 14
Special: Immune to psychic abilities or mind magic 
Move: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 13 / 2600Summoned from beyond the pale these demonic bronze monsters watch over tombs, cemeteries and entire necropolises. They are single minded in their devotion, and utterly deadly when roused. They hate the living with a vengeance and while away eternity thinking of cunning plans to kill trespassers and  adventurers.
They are active both day and night. They will spring to life at a moment's notice and
tear any fools apart who happen to disturb them.
These beasts do not fly but move quickly and have a bronze like skin that protects them from most attacks and the elements. These alien demon like monster's minds do not reside upon the same plane as their bodies.  Though they  have the appearance of  griffons they are demonic guardians and alien psychopaths of the highest order. 


1d10 Cemeteries of The Dead Part Two Daylight Random Encounter Tables File:La Recoleta Cemetery by Mardetanha 1925.JPG

  1. 1d10 Cultists tending the grounds and making a pilgrimage to a sacred tomb. They will attack as 2nd level fighters and are led by a 2nd level black magician. 
  2. 1d6 Grave yard lurkers tending the grounds and doing general maintence. 3 hit dice each, Armor 8, Damage 1d4 armed with a variety of shovels, pick axes, and garden tools
  3. 1d8 wild hell dogs 4 hit points, 1d6 bite, armor 8. Looking for a fast meal. 
  4. A very nervous necromancer on the run from a local cult, will pay 4 pieces of gold and offer a favor if you accompany him to a tomb. Has 1d4 funeral relics
  5. 1d4 Crypt trolls taking a stroll for a quick meal of some adventurers or lurkers. Stats a standard trolls but add mummy rot. 
  6. Weeping Guardian  This statue is actually a hell spawned horror that sucks life essence. The alien horror has 3 hit points, AC of 7, and does 1d4 points of damage as it feeds on Constitution. 
  7. A priest of  the old faith looking to make a name for himself or get himself killed. Wishes to put a stake into his sister who was turned into a vampire. 
  8. A pair of kids looking to mess around the graves. Actually two psycho children killers, each of these pint sized knife wielding weirdos isn't even human. 2 hit points each AC of 8, 1d6 in enchanted kitchen cutlery.
  9. An undead guardian worm winds its way around an ancient tomb of some dead occultist. The worm appears as a statue. This 10 hit point Horror does 1d8 damage in a powerful bite and has an AC of 6. The thing carries the "Red Death" upon its fangs. 
  10. A necromancer has summoned 1d10 zombies and is preparing to cause havoc to the locals. He might kill you and add you to his horde or pay you to help keep them rounded up!
28 Jun 11:00

‘120 Minutes’ Rewind: The Sisters of Mercy, Sonic Youth, Nitzer Ebb at Reading — 1991

by Slicing Up Eyeballs

The Sisters of Mercy and Dave Kendall

[tweetmeme]For this week’s “120 Minutes” Rewind, we present a series of clips of what host Dave Kendall announces as “the first-ever international edition of ’120 Minutes,’” broadcast in August 1991 from England’s Reading Festival. As you can see from the footage below, Kendall chats up The Sisters of Mercy’s Andrew Eldritch and members of Sonic Youth, Nitzer Ebb and James.

Check it out (via dpallen):

 

120 Minutes: The Sisters of Mercy

 

120 Minutes: Sonic Youth

 

120 Minutes: Nitzer Ebb

 

120 Minutes: James

 

PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS

 

 

28 Jun 14:00

A quick way to make people feel bad about their whole lives

by Esther Inglis-Arkell

A quick way to make people feel bad about their whole lives

Want to find a way to psychologically crush your enemies? There's an easy way to do it. All it takes is a quick question to make them think of the worst aspect of their life, and then asking them, directly, what they think of their life.

Read more...

    


27 Jun 18:34

Thift-score: mad, wonderful scrapbooks of 19th C Texas butcher who loved flying machines, secret societies

by Cory Doctorow


Robbo sez, "Charles Dellschau, a retired butcher in Texas in the late 1800's created a series of scrapbooks: '2,500 intricate drawings of flying machines alongside cryptic newspaper clippings filled the pages, crudely sewn together with shoelaces and thread' - it's an astonishing collection of mystery and whimsey with loads of drawings and plans for arcane flying machines, a secret society and coded messages strewn throughout. The books were found by a junk dealer in the 1960's and are now valued at $15,000 - per page."

These are astounding illustrations and amazing fantasies; they've been collected in a book called THE SECRETS OF DELLSCHAU: The Sonora Aero Club and the Airships of the 1800s, A True Story, which includes a lot of commentary on Dellschau's work and context.

He began with three books entitled Recollections which purported to describe a secret organization called the Sonora Aero Club. Dellschau described his duties in the club as that of the draftsman. Within his collaged watercolors were newspaper clippings (he called them “press blooms”) of early attempts at flight overlapped with his own fantastic drawings of airships of all kind. Powered by a secret formula he cryptically referred to as “NB Gas” or “Suppa” — the “aeros” (as Dellscahu called them) were steampunk like contraptions with multiple propellers, wheels, viewing decks and secret compartments. Though highly personal, autobiographical (perhaps!), and idiosyncratic, these artworks could cross-pollinate with the fiction of Jules Verne, Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz. The works were completed in a furiously creative period from 1899 to 1923, when air travel was still looked at by most people as almost magical. Newspapers of that period were full of stories about air travel feats and the acrobatic aerial dogfights of WWI were legend.

Dreams of the Sonora Aero Club [John Foster/Design Observer]

(Thanks, Robbo!)

    


27 Jun 18:47

A Show Of Evil

by Tobie Abad
A Show of Evil
by Tobie Abad

So you have players who insist they want to be evil characters.   Maybe they're the minority in the group.  Or maybe they outnumber the ones who want to be heroes.  And after considering things, and talking to all your players, in the end you have all decided to still go for it because yes, it can be fun.

Here are some things to consider adding or bringing up with the group to make the game more interesting:

1) The No Kill Rule
A mixed group of good and evil can sometimes spell very rapid character deaths.  The Paladin might decide he HAS to hunt and kill the evil Assassin.  Or the Fallen Angel might make it a point to destroy the Saint.

Tell them: Don't.
Instead, remind them that the game can remain more fun if a no-kill rule applies.    And once they feel its a stupid rule because there's no fun if the good/bad guy doesn't terminally deal with the other, quickly shoot off the following examples:  Batman and the Joker, The Devil and God, and practically any other franchise that features a hero and his rival villain.

For the Hero, the concept of redemption will always be there.  There may be a time the villain can be rehabilitated. Or can be made to understand the evil he does.  And if not, there's the idea that the hero MUST not become the villain.  He must never cross that line.  And at its most basic, maybe the hero does want to cross the line, and can, but if he does so, the villain has the last laugh.  In the end, the hero's pride keeps him from letting the villain win.    (And if the player does kill the villain, tell the player of the villain to feel free to HAUNT the hero for the rest of the game.  Or be sure to throw the full weight of his actions upon him in later narrative arcs.)

For the Villain, the hero must be broken down.  The hero must be made to give up.  Killing him is easy, but removes all the fun and fulfillment of being evil.  Killing him removes the point of being his dark reflection.  And in the end, if he does kill him, the Hero player can always create someone who wants to avenge the old character.  The game can continue, but now the stakes definitely may change.

Remind both players a "killing" moment makes for a great climactic moment in a story.  So to time it well, rather than just make it something that happens by accident.  Or by opportunity.  And remind them this no killing rule applies only to each other.  All other non-player characters are free game.

2) RewardsWhether or not the game itself has an existing system, be sure to create a reward system for whenever either player acts in full accordance to his preferred role.  The Hero must gain something for doing good things, such as saving total strangers, or doing "the right thing" even if it may be to his own detriment.  While the Villain gets something for showing cruelty, or for having moments of megalomania and the like.    This way, the two feel the distinct difference in their roles.  The Hero who opts to resort to violence does NOT get the extra fruits of his decision.  The Villain who shows compassion does not get the bonus for being nice.

This ties in to the fact that if you want to encourage an approach, you show a benefit for doing it.

Maybe the reward can be a bonus they can apply to their roles.  Or maybe, plan and simple (which can work for almost all games out there), each time they receive the "bonus" they get a token which they can cash in to reroll any roll whose result they did not like.

3)  TemptationsOn the flip side, you might want to throw temptations in.  Sort of, throw small systems to see how hard and determined the player is in embracing their chosen role.  The Hero might get the bonus whenever he resorts to violence, cruelty, and breaking his word.  The Villain might be thrown allies, friends, and other bonuses for free whenever he decides to sincerely try kindness.  Or care for someone.  Or even just doing it in reverse, by making such allies and advantages cost time and effort to have as a villain, but come easily when he does good.

Tempt them to stray from their roles.
This should give birth to pretty cool role-playing opportunities.

4) Show me you mean it
My last suggestion was one I've embraced for any game where a player might opt to kill/sacrifice or otherwise eliminate another player character from the story.  Firstly, this applies only to games where I've made it clear to all players that character death will be something that happens in the game. While in some games the players enjoy a "no kill unless you really act stupid or is dramatically appropriate" rule, I've run other games where I've made it clear, "There is no fate or destiny in this game.  If you die, then you die."

So in such a game, if a player, for example, opts to literally sacrifice the others to save himself/others... have them walk up to the player whose characters were killed, face them as they pick up the character sheet (and yes, the other player is free to plead, beg, and do everything save for touching the other player to convince them to reconsider), and tear it up in front of the other without breaking eye contact.

This was my version of "Show me you mean it" and nicely, it has worked wonderfully in practice.


Hope you find these ideas fun!
Do let me know if you tried them out.