Monday, April 29, 2024

Wait... I have a gaming blog, don't I?

It's been awhile, and my muse and I are back on speaking terms, so it's time to dust off the blog and get to writing again. Even though it seems that blogs have gone the way of MySpace and Google Glass, I don't see a lot of other options for young, aspiring, game writers like myself, so I'll be using this dinosaur to get my ill-informed opinions out to you, the people. 

Also, I recently lost my job, so I've got more time on my hands and I need to do something before I starve to death.

What have I been doing all this time? Well...

I've discovered 'Zine games, namely Mothership and Mörk Borg and its variants. At first glance I wondered if games these rules-lite were even playable. I asked myself, Self, how many rules do you need to play what is essentially a grown-up version of "let's pretend?" Then, after a few sessions at home and conventions, I came to the conclusion:  Not as many as you think? 

I also rediscovered the Cyberpunk genre. It's not that I ever really lost it, but it fell by the wayside as I pursued other gaming interests. However, after CD Red released (and they fixed all the bugs) Cyberpunk 2077, based on Mike Pondsmith's classic TTRPG, I was over the moon. I've started to reread old books and short stories of the genre, collect and paint cyberpunk minis, I'm even trying to come up with a sandbox hexcrawler for Cy_Borg set on a O'Neill space colony. Also, let's face it, our current state of economic and political affairs could have lifted straight out of a William Gibson novel. You want an idea for a cyberpunk campaign, just turn on the news or read Elon's Twitter--or whatever he's calling it now.

I've struggled with my love of Tékumel and the revelations about M.A.R. Barker's clandestine fascism and Holocaust denial. On one hand, the last decade of right wing shenanigans have made me militantly mistrustful of anything coming from the mind of a closet Nazi. On the other hand Tékumel is still one of the coolest fantasy settings ever created and Barker seemed to have kept most of his fascist baggage out of his game. I suppose it falls right along side my love of Burroughs, Howard, and Lovecraft; try to separate the art from the bigoted, out-of-touch artist. Some might be able to, others won't and I can't say I blame them.

I've gotten BIG into 3D printing. Believe it or not, this is the future of miniature gaming. No longer do you have to go to Games Workshop, Reaper, Ral Partha, or any major miniature manufacture, hoping they make something you like or can convert into something you like. Now, there are hundreds of creators who create awesome 3D objects you can purchase and print. Also, after the initial equipment investment, you can print out armies for a fraction of the cost of traditional figures. Even Têkumel has gotten in on the action with their own line of 3D models

As for my own gaming, I've been involved with a group of Old School Essentials players at one of my FLGS since last summer and things are going pretty well. In fact, they let me run for the first time last week, and it seems everyone had a good time. Otherwise, I'm still looking for other people willing to do other non-fantasy rpgs, but I haven't been able to find one that aligns with my interests and schedule. I may have to go back to Roll 20 or Foundry for that.

But enough about me, what have YOU been up to? 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Still alive and rethinking a few things:

Hey all. It's been a while. I hope you're all doing well in the dystopian Hell that is 2020 CE. Speaking for myself, I've... OKish. I've been busy with work and few other projects and in that time, I've been rethinking the direction of this blog.

Since starting this venture, I've mainly written about the OSR and classic RPGs. Eventually I folded in the material from my previous Savage Worlds and Traveller blogs along with some infrequent posts on miniature gaming. However, over the last year, I've been wondering if my scope has been too narrow. It's becoming harder and harder to write about classic gaming lately, especially since the OSR has waned in popularity. I think that my blogging would be far more frequent if I didn't constrain myself to just one topic.

So, in the next few weeks, expect to see some changes to the look and even the name of the blog. I'll be expanding the scope of material where I'll be writing more and more about contemporary RPGs I've playing as well as greater emphasis on miniature wargaming. 

See you all later.

Monday, February 24, 2020

I do reviews...

Dear gaming content creators:

If you have a hot gaming product that you'd like a honest, review by a veteran role-player and miniature wargaming who's work has been published in Pyramid magazine, please let me know.  I need some excuse to post on stuff on this blog. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Mu: Shadows of Ghatanothoa

Let's head into the new year--and a new burst of productivity--with some new material for Mu using the Eldritch Tales rules involving the terrible god of Mount Yaddith-Gho, Ghatanothoa.

Slaves of Ghatanothoa:

AC: 3 [16]
HD: 3
Save: 16
Move: 6
Morale: 1
Level/XP:  4/120
Insanity: -1/1/1d3
Attacks: Claws+3, 1d6
Special: Ghatanothoa Curse, Immune to Sleep or Charm.

Sight of the god, or its image, as all the legends of the Yuggoth-spawn agreed, meant paralysis and petrifaction of a singularly shocking sort, in which the victim was turned to stone and leather on the outside, while the brain within remained perpetually alive—horribly fixed and prisoned through the ages, and maddeningly conscious of the passage of interminable epochs of helpless inaction till chance and time might complete the decay of the petrified shell and leave it exposed to die. 
--H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, Out of the Aeons
The poor wretches unfortunate enough to gaze upon the fell form of Ghatanothoa, the God of Mount Yaddith-Gho, are doomed to to a grisly fate of living death. Their still-living brains trapped in a prison of desiccated and petrified flesh and bone. However the priests and sorcerers devoted to the Mountain God have found a use for these poor souls.

Created by the spell "Awaken Slaves of Ghatanothoa" (see below), these shambling creatures obey the commands of the caster without question or pause. Their leathery skin and sinew make them exceedingly tough, and the tips of their shriveled fingers are razor sharp. Worse, someone wounded by these talons must make a saving throw or they themselves will surfer Ghatanothoa's Cruse, becoming a petrified mummy within 1d3 rounds. Anyone seeing this horrific transformation must make a saving throw vs. insanity or gain 1 insanity. Only very powerful magical intervention can save the victim from this end.

Awaken Slaves of Ghatanothoa:

Spell Level: 5
Learn Spell: -2
Casting Time: 2 Rounds
Spell Check: Intelligence -2
Range: 20 ft.
Duration: Permanent until broken.
Failure: All Slaves within the spell range awaken and attack the operator until either the Slaves or the operator are slain.

This spell activates all dormant mummies petrified by Ghatanothoa's Curse within the range of the operator. The awakened Slaves will obey the operator until they are destroyed or willingly released by the Operator.

The Amulet of T'yog

So T’yog wrote his protective formula on a scroll of pthagon membrane (according to von Junzt, the inner skin of the extinct yakith-lizard) and enclosed it in a carven cylinder of lagh metal—the metal brought by the Elder Ones from Yuggoth, and found in no mine of earth. This charm, carried in his robe, would make him proof against the menace of Ghatanothoa—it would even restore the Dark God’s petrified victims if that monstrous entity should ever emerge and begin its devastations.
--H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, Out of the Aeons

Created by T'yog of K'naa, the ancient Naacal sorcerer-priest of Shub Niggurath, this powerful amulet can protect the bearer from the petrifying effects of Ghatanothoa's Curse. Also, if touched to the Mountain God's mummified victims, the amulet will restore them to full life and vigor. However, depending on how long they've been cursed, their sanity might not be intact.

As far as we know, only one of these potent talismans were ever created. It was stolen by T'yog's rival, Immash-Mo, the High Priest of the Temple of Ghatanothoa, and is believed to have been lost with the destruction of Mu.  

Monday, December 9, 2019

I'm back...

OK, I'm done with all this moping around. Time to down a fistful of Adderall with a Red Bull chaser and do some blogging!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Celebrate HPL’s 128 birthday with Eldritch Tales!

After dwelling in primal darkness for countless aeons, the stars aligned properly and Joe Salvador at Raven God Games has just released Eldritch Tales: Lovecraftian White Box Role Playing on the 128th anniversary of the birth of Howard Phillips Lovecraft! You can purchase a digital copy at DriveThruRPG with print-on-demand options coming soon! 

As stated previously, I was privileged to lend a hand in playtesting this stand-alone game, and if you are looking for a minimalist, Old-school style alternative to other Cthulhu Mythos RPGs, you should really give Eldritch Tales a try! Also, fans of all the other iterations of the White Box engine will find the new rules, spells, items, and monsters to be welcome addition to their repertoire, whether they’re playing White Star: Galaxy Edition for “Cthulhu in Spaaaaace” campaigns, White Lies if you want to try an OSR rendition of Delta Green, or even WWII: Operation Whitebox (“Damn Nazi occultists calling down Yog Sothoth… Again!”).

Joe has also thoughtfully released the official character sheet along with it along with a compatibility logo and licensing guidelines for those who wish to create their own third-party support. I've only had a chance to skim over the final product, but it looks fantastic! I'll give a more thorough review later.

Until then, Happy Birthday HPL!