Awesome webcomic by Oglaf’s – Quacksalver

Aside

Oglaf is three parts satire, and two parts morbid; and well worth your time if you play any kind of dark, moody, gritty games or table-top roleplaying games – QuackSalver this week is no exception. Please be warned in advance that much of Oglaf’s material is not safe for work.

Oglaf, Quacksalver web comic Pure medieval satire, smells a lot like Warhammer Fantasy roleplay…

 

Advertisements

Portrait generator by Losing Games

This Portrait generator by Isaac Williams will create a simple portrait. Could also be useful as an avatar creator. Nice work sir.

a story tidbit

The man runs quickly down a muddy overgrown track. Branches whip as he races and behind him the sun drops below the tree line. He pants and scrambles as he moves through the scrub. A dishevelled beard, ratty clothes, and a scrawny collection of old furs cover his body. A fur bundle clutched to his panting chest. Clearly afraid, he runs. It must be saved.

In the distance a bell sounds, the tone warping strangely as it peals over the trees. Everything here is discordant.

When the man pauses his running it becomes clear how thin his frame is and how malnourished he must be. The fear in his eyes explaining why the ice and snow underfoot hardly slow him. He is breathing hard even while standing still, chest heaving.

The bell tones again, it’s tone becoming dull and flat far too soon. Is it dull or is his mind now addled? He stretches his back, breathes in deeply, then begins running again. As he moves his breath makes streams of fog behind him. He runs.

The bell tones a final time, the sound faint now but still ending shortly, like a hand has muffled the vibrations, like silencing the bark of an errant dog.

As he moves from the track into the proper woods the brush thins and the trees spread themselves sparsely so that the tepid moonlight teases down into the leaves, but does not reach enough of the ground below. His tired eyes gain nothing from the light except the realisation that almost any other night would have been better than the washed out light he has chosen tonight. Did he even choose? A slow hiss spoken far away reaches his ears. He runs faster.

His fear slides to dread, they know he has escaped. It knows too, and the safety of the border is well too far.

Reluctantly he stops running and then searches the trees around him. He reaches into the fur bundle to the small crucifix pecked from rotten wood by his bloody fingernails. It’s surface caked in old blood and the wood is black in the shallow light. Shaking hands bundle scrawled leathers into snow. His hands work to scape away the frost then the old earth so that the bundle can be sunk deep.

The hiss comes again, sounding louder and stronger. He can picture the brown and yellow teeth and thin craggy hands of the owner.

He presses the crucifix atop the replaced snow, and wipes his jittery hands down the sodden rough tunic. Standing still takes determination, he silently prays for a moment. It is all the time he really has left.

Resigned now, he runs again. Any direction, away from the bundle.

The third hiss is so close he can almost hear the chipper chatter of her teeth, her long drawn breath, and imagine the thin unpleasant smile; lips stretched too tight across sharpened teeth and eyes uncaring by design. “Ssss-slow my beautiful sssnow. You make me sssad, so don’t run so.”

Snow. His old name and the hiding place of the only legacy which matters now. His breath puffs between cracked lips as he lets out a grunted laugh. His legs slow him, his back rises, lifting his sweeping limbs from the ground. They have him again. She has him. As she materialises in front of him from the dank air his chin and arms shake, face wet with tears.

“Ahhhh, my beautiful boy. Home sssssnow, we must go.”

A soldier’s kit from 1066

Aside

A quick aside – a soldier’s kit from 1066 has been recreated and photographed as part of a series on the typical kit carried by soldiers across a range of time periods; via Laughing Squid’s post. I find this photo to be very evocative of the period, something about it is right.

credit to photographer Thom Atkinson, and laughing Squid

a play by post game – Tales of Crimson and Gold

the yard in this house always faces the sunWe’re starting up a little play-by-forum game using a harsh cludge of high fantasy and Mythic Europe, based upon Atlas Game’s Ars Magica setting. It’s called the Tales of Crimson and Gold (or ToGC for short). The mash-up is all the huge epic fluff from typical D&D settings pushed into a world that was once Europe.

I know that makes about as much sense as a dyslexic angel with A.D.D. and a heavy-bolter, but I think it will feel good to play.

It will hopefully be like RIFTS meets Ars Magica. A typical AM games have a predilection for the local area to be rather mundane, with the odd hidden gem of mystic stuff, and then the world gets more “fantastic/odd” as the character branch out from their home. It is a “tip of the hat” to the idea that everywhere else in the world is wild and dangerous, so best stay home where it is same. Conversely boilerplate Forgotten Realms-ish makes no apologies about random encounters, huge dragons, lightning swords, monsters with 5 syllable names, and crazy wizards with floppy hats and portable hole generators.

The players and I are hopefully going to see what happens when home is just as wacky as the legendary places far away. Continue reading

How to I step back up to the gaming table?

It’s been a while since I ran an rpg. And then even longer, as in a decade or more since I did it regularly. It is a worrying commitment to make, but I used to be ok so it probably will be ok again.

To start off I’m thinking about a short run game. A few sessions, nothing major, a story on rails, and a very narrow vision. The goal is to start small an bite off chewable problems.

As I thought about What to run I also thought about Who can play in it.

Firstly my old group have lives now so getting us together is a mongrel. But as it’s small the game probably needs only two or three players. It could be a solo game, or if we get all the players and some bonus folks it could be a romp. It wouldn’t affect the story too much.

A play by email or forum game allows for very detailed and creative story, but is downright dull for game mechanics. Pbp also kills acting skill. A table session is better for actual roleplaying; and that is what really appeals.

Secondly some of the group like rolling, others like acting, and only a few like both. Shamefully I’m not the best mechanical gamer at the table, or the best actor, or any role really. So frankly, it is scary.

We’ve creating the characters and I’ve sent out a quick teaser, so there is no avoiding it now…but that only helps create more apprehension in my mind about quality and a positive experience.

The prep for this game is far more detailed than I used to do, so that might be a saving grace – the plot has holes in it, but not the huge gaping holes that myy normal “seat of the pants” stories had. I think the worst I ran was an RPG using the Palladium engine and trying to replay the UltimaV pc game storyline. It got weird really quickly.

I guess I’ll just look forward to having a beer on the other side of the games, and seeing if they sucked or not. #holdingmybreath #theEmperorProtects

A quick spell – Ward Against the Common Man

A quick shot new Ars Magica spell, which allows the caster to remain safe from mundane humans. Intended for those times the wizard wishes to sleep safely and soundly.

Ward Against the Common Man

Rego Corpus 20, R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Circle

Creates a circle through which no ordinary (say protected by Parma Magica or otherwise resist the spell) person can cross or affect those within the circle.

(Base 5, R: Touch +1, Ring +2, Circle +0)

You can find the rest of the custom spells in this blog’s Ars Magica spell list. Happy gaming.