Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I found this

Deadly purpose cloaked Jacob Eugene O'Carol.
Scaly Jake, as he was professionally known, was no stranger to having his back against the wall. He was a survivor of the last stand at Matamorosa, and seemingly a thousand other battles in the last great war. Death itself was an old friend of Jake's. When came for him this time, he would look it in the eye and say, “Long time, no see.” But he would say that while holding his old service flamethrower and fighting for the life he had made for himself.
Jake's service station was known to those who traveled the waste as the best garage in the north, and Jake's wife served up some damn good pie.
The old flamethrower that Jake had carried through Hell and back was in a neglected corner of his shop, near an even older refrigerator that held a six pack of cheap beer. Both the brews and the weapon had seemingly been waiting for a day like this and Jake had touched neither since he came home from the war. He needed both of them now.
He and his wife had been walking through their cold morning ritual, eating breakfast and watching the morning news to combat the pregnant silence. They were lizard people, and made lifemates through culture and biology, but any love that they had once felt for each other had faded through the years. What the news anchor had to say that morning made both of them stop in the middle of the motions that replaced their intimacy, and begin to tremble.
“...a massive creature has virtually destroyed Kurgisburg and is making its way south.”
A projected path of the creature displayed on a map put Scaly Jake's Filling Station and Garage squarely in its path. Shaky, grainy, video showed a massive shape making its way across the wastes. It was impossibly large and death strode with it.
An hour later, he and his wife had just finished packing their old station wagon. Their work completed, the pair stood facing each other, neither one moving.
“Get in the car, Jake.”
Jake paused, “No, I don't think I will.”
“What do you mean, Jake? We've got to get out of here!”
“No, we don't. You do. I'm gonna stay.”
His wife's jaw hung open.
“Woman, we've been here twenty years, and you've been hating it for at least fifteen. You don't love this life, but I do. I love this service station, I love my work. Hell, I even love those damn dirty dwarves who come through once a year. And working on that fancy car them boys brought in last week, well, I'd rather be dead in the desert than stand by and let some random leviathan step all over my dreams. I'll stay, and I'll fight, and I might die. Most likely I will. But I'm glad to die for that which I love, even if it's only a run-down gas station in the middle of nowhere that ain't worth a damn.”
Tears were in his wife's eyes. They began to stream down her cheeks as she spoke.
“There you are. Here's the lizard I love. You've found your fire. I'm so happy I could see you again before I die.”
“I'm staying, Jake. I'm staying.”
They made love then and there. On the hood of the station wagon, on the cement floor, and in the dust out front by the full service pumps.
When their passions were finally spent, Jake unpacked the flamethrower, minigun, and grenade launcher and stacked them neatly against the station wagon. When the shadow of the colossus finally darkened his property, he met the beast on the land that he loved, with the woman that he loved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I made a game.

I made a game today. It is heavily based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess and will likely never be used. I didn't flesh out the magic system because it's all in my head and as I'm likely the only person who will ever run this system, there's no need to write it down. An ultra-crappy character sheet is included. You can download it here.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Echoes in eternity

I still exist, though I doubt any of my readers would still self-identify as such, should there have ever been any.

Anyway, I ran a game! With my own homebrew system! And my own original setting!

So how neat is that? For added indy cred, my homebrew is classless, much like its creator.

That setting doesn't have a name, yet*. But it's a science fantasy setting, possibly in our own world's distant future, or just uncomfortably nearby in the multiverse as things such as V8 muscle cars and the Top Gun soundtrack exist. Also 8 track players with said soundtrack stuck in them, forever playing side B.

It is a place of dwarven biker gangs tearing down the highways on their custom machines. A place of lizardmen mechanics working lonely, isolated, filling stations with nothing but the company of his shrew of a wife to pass the time.

It is a place of only one elf. But the elf is legion. And an A.I. It exists in many bodies, but one mind, unless of course, a body is sent out into the world to experience the world through the cultural lens of the ELF, and perhaps find true individuality, only to return to the collective.

It is a place of sharp-dressed, psychic spell casters, wielding laser swords and sniper rifles, who have sexual performance issues, and are fiscally conservative.

It is a place of wild nomadic beastmen, ripped from their tundra home and placed in a hive of scum and villainy. They live in abandoned "living spaces" and play cards with cheating robots, who double as microwaves.

Magic, high science, pop culture, post apocalyptica, fear, loathing, and really old cans of coke.

*I think I'm going to call the setting "The Danger Zone". Well, I know it's not a very good name, but, well, fuck you. Go on. Fuck off.

Monday, June 16, 2014

When all your blog posts are just posts apologizing for not posting...

Look, I know it has been awhile, but I've been busy, life intrudes, you know?

Well, fuck you then.

Go on, fuck off.

Or continue reading.

When one cannot game, one must think about gaming.
When one thinks enough about gaming, one must write about it.

So I'll do that.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my original world, its politics, and denizens and have created a map that I am most proud of. Not proud enough to show you people, but still proud.

Furthermore, I've started work on blending my favorite elements from Lamentations of the Flame Princess and ADnD 2E. I call it, Lamentations of the Second Edition Remix or LoSER.

The idea behind the project is to marry the accessibility and quick start up time of LotFP with the depth of 2E. My biggest issue with 2E is the time it takes to roll characters and my biggest gripe with LotFP is how flat characters made with that system start out.

Now, it is my belief that characters really receive their "roundness" through actual play, but I think that the decisions made during character creation help the process. In LotFP, your choices are class, alignment, and equipment. I'd like to add some depth there.

Depth, but not crunch. Unnecessary number crunching is to be avoided. To that end, saving throws are out the window.

At first I thought I'd steal from the third edition of DnD, with its three simple saving throws, and then I thought, "Wait. Aren't fortitude, willpower, and reflex covered by constitution, wisdom, and dexterity? Y U ADD MORE THINGS?" Why not a simple stat check?

What's that you say? Saving throws should be more difficult? Fine. Bring back the 3E style saving throws but each one is set at 10 and acts like an armor class. Modify that number with the relevant stat bonus. (Descending armor class, you Luddite.)  Whatever is forcing the saving throw now must make an "attack roll" against your saving throw. Embrace the suck. Because this shit goes both ways. Anytime you force a saving throw against something else, you must make an attack roll against it. Wizards, dust off yer d20's.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

About dem gnomes...

In my home campaign setting I've spent some time working on three sample backgrounds for each major race, divided along social and sub-race lines.

In this I have two major goals: First provide some ideas to players creating characters and second to further flesh out the individual cultures that populate my world.

Gnomes are general divided into three groups: Architects, peasants, and exiles.

Architects are part of the former ruling class of the highly organized and rigidly caste-based gnomish society. Before being conquered by the Iron Empire, these gnomes belonged to the gnome leaders who were directly involved with the cult of Mechanics.

Peasant gnomes where the hoi polloi of gnomish society and have barely noticed the change in management. Though many of the laws that had made them second class citizens have been repealed, most stick to the old restrictions, still not daring to violate what have become cultural norms for the uneducated laborer class.

Exiles are those gnomes that regardless of which caste they had previously belonged too, fled their homeland en masse rather than be ruled by a foreign power.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Two for the price of naught

Quickie gaming update: My sociopathic savage worlds character is now a blooded priest of the wolf god of dreams and nightmares and also had all his fear removed. Literally, he cannot feel fear. As fear was the prime motivator of his antisocial and psychotic behaviors, he's effectively been cured.

But who is the man without fear?

We'll find out when that adventure continues, I suppose.

In the meantime, I'm scratching my sci-fi itch by coercing the group to switch to a Travellers game, of which, I am DM.

I find that space games suffer from the same problem as sea-based fantasy games. Ostensibly, the only difference would be that the characters mode of locomotion has changed from foot and hoof to oar and sail, but the reality tends to be "OK, we have a ship.... now what? We just sail around until something attacks us?"

I've never had it work out, for whatever reasons. However, I am not one to walk away from such problems.

So I lurk here, in my basement, chain smoking unfiltered Camels and listing to Neil Young; stewing over the elements of the scenario.

Also, I read an article about the Michigan Dogman. So, using Ed's sans-system monster thingy, here is the Dogman.

Name: Dogman

Purpose: Could function fine as a random monster, or the focus of a one or two shot adventure, or as an element of a location, something of an environmental hazard. I see them as being something horrific, without origin or a natural place in the world. A corruption of both man and beast.


Man/dog face, human body, covered in fur, dog legs, four of 'em. Though capable of walking upright, the "arms" are just another set of legs. Sharp claws. Stanky. Makes sounds like a large dog, or a man with a cleft pallet.

Descriptors: The Dogman is as intelligent as the smartest wolf and just as fast. Whatever stats your game gives for something like a dire wolf should work just fine, or a faster bear, perhaps. They should be pack manimals. Territorial, if shy. Smart, fast, deadly. Tougher than your average man, though completely unarmored. Strongish. Keen sense of smell and hearing. Nocturnal.

Ecology: Dogmen could be a cursed race of men, horrors summoned from the Twisting Nether, or a natural part of the ecosystem. Suppose some or all of them are domesticated and serve in roles traditionally filled by mundane dogs. My immediate thought was of something like a pack of stray dogs. Dirty, wild, and dangerous. Surviving off society's refuse and feasting on the unwary or unlucky. Regardless, Dogmen should be truly uncanny. Close enough to being a man or a dog that the similarity only serves to highlight their strangeness. Unsettling. Perhaps their appearance in a location could be a symptom of some greater corruption? Perhaps any who encounter Dogmen and leave some alive are doomed to be forever hunted by that particular pack? Though, if Dogmen are cursed, the effects shouldn't be spread by mere encounters with or wounds from a Dogman. If you want some polymorphing disease monster, we have werewolves for that.

In the Fiction:

"We tracked the pack of devils from the O'Leary farm to Sutter's Mill. They seemed to disappear by day. It seemed that we could only catch a glimpse of them once the moon was up and they could see and we couldn't. You could smell the pack before you could see them, anyway. Though, if you can smell the beasts, you can bet they can smell you. The bastards are smart too. You'd spot one standing out in the open, and he'd lock eyes with you, eyes that were too much like a man's, and you would know that he was staring right at you. Not just in your direction, but right into your own eyes. That's when the rest of the pack would come down on you. All teeth and stinking fur, tearing and barking and screaming at you. That night, we lost three good men and killed one, maybe two, of the beasts. The rest fled, and we called that a victory. How do you hunt something that is hunting you? I say we lost three good men, and we did. Their widows had no bodies to bury. The Dogmen took them as they fled. Between the O'Leary's and those we lost, those monsters were likely fed for a month. Did they come out of the hills seeking to eat a few families? Or did they want us to come at them, all angry and stinking of fear? I don't sleep but with my doors and windows locked. And if you think it's Dogmen you've got, then take my advice and let them have your sheep and your horses and cows and pray that they'll settle for them and not you."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Must... keep... blogging....

Willpower! Hal Jordan, man, let's do this~!

I'm playing in a Savage Worlds game, it will soon be converted to The Pool, then back to Savage Worlds, I think.

I dunno. My character is a complete sociopath. Everything good that happens is because of him, everything bad that happens is the fault of his weird pre-human sasquatch goblin companion.

What the GM had envisioned as an epic quest to rid the world of the taint (HA!) of the Elder Gods has become "A Complete Asshole and a Goblin Awaken All the Old Evil".

So far, I have two pacts with a snake god (who's unholy text I possess) and a blind wolf god of sleep who's avatar I may or may not have helped slay and then further desecrate with poop. Some death goddess tried to attack us, but she was cast down.

Basically, my character is an ex-pharmacist turned unwilling polygot priest who takes credit for everything, deflects all blame, and is never grateful for anything. It's only a matter of time before he becomes some kind of cult leader/serial killer.