Showing posts from August, 2021

When the Radion Psytower gets your scent in its glands

 As you gaze down, you find that you are now wearing a worn tabard with heraldry of a lord you do not recognize. It is rent with many holes from sword or arrow or dagger. Your teeth are clattering, clicking against one another, rapidly and frenetically. You find it difficult to concentrate or focus.  Your boots are slipping and slipping on the ground, slick with a strange slimy bioluminescent mud. Try with all your might, scraping it against flagstones, it is stuck fast. You hear a clink of coins. Looking down, a trail of large ants is descending from your coin purse, each bearing a piece of currency on its back.  The harsh circuitous winds carry the sound of the Lost Seraphim’s laughter to your ears. It is all you can hear. Nothing but the laughter fills your ears. Behind your left shoulder you hear the panting of many mouths, hot breath making the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention. A single drop of boiling saliva drips slowly onto your skin. When you turn, there is no

The Psytower and the Groaning Gale

The Radion PsyTower shimmers on the edge of the Groaning Gale, a perpetual malaise of wind and creaking sounds hovering over Lake Radion. Many animals and other creatures living in the lake and shore are prone to song but there is not much agreement on tune, key, or melody, hence the groaning. It is an area prone to confusion and mischief. The Psytower is not so much built with a foundation as it is an idea. If you expect it to be there, it will be.  When you expect it to be there and it hungers it manifests thus: garish colored blocks arranged in a haphazard fashion, ascending 10 stories though the upper floors are hidden by the gloom of the storm. The Groaning Gale gives it ample room, its creatures waiting to pick up whatever scraps remain after the feeding. If you perk your ears up and listen very closely over the cacophony of tuneless song of the lake creatures, one can hear the strange, confused joyful laughter of many mouths. That is the grief laughter of the Lost Seraphim. If t

15 ways to eliminate the eldritch object you need to dispose of.

Written with many contributions from Nick Sunshine 1. Feed it to the gravity dragon at the bottom of the pit 2. Get a nation to recognize the object as its rightful king 3. Team of bards describes the object in such excruciating detail and flowery prose that its existence collapses in on itself 4. Devise a magical mathematical proof of the object's existence that is self-contradictory but verifiably true 5. Find the first flower and impale it on its spines 6. Put it in a vault on the moon 7. Encase it primordial goo 8. Cast enlarge on it thousands of times in rapid succession, causing it to go macro-scale and become unable to interact with our micro-universe 8. Sell it to a god 9. Shrink it and attach it a feral cat’s collar 10. Tell a joke that negates its power by making no one take it seriously 11. Weave it into a sacrificial cloth for the last lamb and burn it 12. Use a were-curse to bind it to someone, so you only have to deal with it once a month when the full moon comes out

On my recent cyberpunk one shot and the joy of low prep/no prep

Last night I ran a 2 hour one shot of Cyber/Punk  by David Brunell-Brutman, a hack of John Harper's Lasers & Feelings . It made me realize something I've been ruminating on for a while and that I've seen written a lot around the OSR blogworld.  System is just the pot you make the soup in. It's the delivery device but almost everything that matters and make a game dynamic is your players, your GM, and your table culture.  My three players created a Grizzled Medic Sexbot with a Blood Testing System in its chest, a Zen Cop that use Buddhist Prayer Beads and a katana, and a early 2000s iMac flavored hacker and hacked, flooded a corporate building built into a former natural history museum, flirted and fought a traitor on their way to disable a malevolent AI.  There's a lot of freedom in low rules systems and I see how they are attractive to folks, but my experience is that as long as you have creatively generous people and some good safety tools in place, you can en

Random tables for the city

I'm in the process of creating a city maker for my swords, magic, and spaceships-type games and here's a few tables I'm working on for it. Hope they prove useful.  How did the last leader lose power?   1. Left without a trace, a cryptic rhyming poem all that they left behind and a golden feather dripping with fey energy.  2. Blackmailed by a merchant lord.  3. Election! The people's voice.  4. Retirement.  5. Supplanted by a wizard from afar.  6. Betrayed by a parent, sibling, or cousin with ambition.  7. Called beyond the sea by the deep desire to find a lost heirloom.  8. Eaten by a beast or demon.  9. Assassins.  10. Imprisoned for crimes (real or politically expedient).  How does the community address local injustices?   1. Violent overthrow of the oppressive leadership  2. Civil disobedience  3. Restorative community dialogues  4. Non-violent overthrow of the oppressive leadership  5. Forming trade guilds and unions  6. Developing alternative power structures  Who

Incidents at the docks

Die Roll Incidents 1 An unimportant baronet recognizes one of you and waylays you with pleasantries and inane conversation, causing delays on the road 2 Someone attempts to recruit one of the PCs into the Whalies 3 A young Lizardwoman is leaning out of her window, yelling curses at an elf woman in edgy looking clothes. There is a pile of dirty clothes and an obsidian colored pan flute on the ground. 4 A giggling halfling stumbles out of a nearby flophouse into your path and trips. He is going to fall into a puddle. 5 A squidship is being impounded, and a very angry looking penguin is waving its flippers angrily at the tired bureaucrat and pointing them in the half giant's face (or at least the general direction). The half giant is speaking in flat affect and appears to be repeating the same directions for maybe the 100th time. 6 You see a large wagon driving by in which two large octopi wearing spectacles appear to be having a very spirited discussion, delicately holding teacups in