Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Crimson Dragon Slayer Day approaches!

Yep, every July 11th, (you can remember it by the convenience store 7/11) is Crimson Dragon Slayer Day!  It's coming up, so definitely prepare by doing one or more of the following...

  • Talking about the Crimson Dragon Slayer RPG... on sale right freakin' now (CreateSpace version here)!
  • Posting your Crimson Dragon Slayer related home-brewed gaming stuff somewhere on the internet.
  • Send me your Crimson Dragon Slayer related stuff - I'd like to put out a short PDF containing community created content - this PDF will be free and your name will be included as a contributor.
  • Running a Crimson Dragon Slayer game!
  • Playing in a Crimson Dragon Slayer game!
  • Creating some Crimson Dragon Slayer artwork that can be used in conjunction with the free PDF.
  • Write a Crimson Dragon Slayer review for the RPG or an adventure.
  • Submit a Crimson Dragon Slayer article or essay for inclusion in Draconic Magazine.

Though it's been a little while since I've written any Crimson Dragon Slayer adventures, available here and here, I have not forgotten about my quasi-OSR, sword, sorcery, and silliness RPG of biblical (because of all the sex and violence) proportions.  Bits and pieces shall be forthcoming!

Help me celebrate Crimson Dragon Slayer Day(!) on Monday, July 11th.  Game until awesome licks the blood from an evil sword!


Venger As'Nas Satanis
High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing

Monday, June 13, 2016

This is not a simulation!

There's only a short time left to back Universal Exploits on Kickstarter.  And for those who want a sneak peek of upcoming content, check this out!

Universal Exploits is the last piece of the puzzle, the final book in the trilogy that, I hope, will put Alpha Blue on the star map.  In the true old school tradition, it facilitates roleplaying rather than bogs things down in unnecessary procedures that only get in the way, reminding you that this is a game.

Personally, I don't want to be continually reminded that this is just a game, only a game.  I want to immerse myself in the world, no matter if I'm the Game Master or player.  I'm not talking about simulation, but immersion.  In a way, immersion is anti-simulation.

I don't want to imitate life or develop a model or abstract particular systems.  I want immersion, to be involved in situations, to become part of that other world, to experience what it would be like if I was an alien smuggler with an itchy trigger-finger on a starship about to be boarded by the Federation.

It's hard for me say what has "gone wrong" with RPGs over the last 10 years.  But I've read through or at least skimmed various books over the last decade, some shorter, others longer, some from independent companies, others from established, big RPG companies, encompassing various genres and production values.

At first I thought it might have been an attempt to capture the old school renaissance, an attempt but obvious failure (Thankfully, D&D 5e got it right, in my view).  However, I'm now inclined to think that it's not OSR emulation at all, but a combination of the 00's a rule for everything and everything must have a rule, as well as, "indie" forge-ish rules for affecting the narrative that try to artificially gin up player agency or bypass the Game Master's authority (depending on your view).

All I can say with certainty is that I must do without rules that are too arbitrary, intrusive, and complex because they exemplify life-as-game... those unnatural aspects which kill the organic, authentic experience of game-as-life.  Indeed, without mercy the artificial must be cut away from my roleplaying gaming!

Well, that's enough ranting and raving for today.  I'm leaving for another week, so take care until next Wednesday.  Thanks for all your support, friendship, and fun!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Spacers with Candy

Earlier today was yet another session of Alpha Blue, probably the last one for awhile.  It was also crucially important because it gave me a chance to work through and playtest a lot of new ideas.  After all, Universal Exploits is just around the corner.

Four players, one was totally new to the game.  I think having fewer players (usually, I have anywhere from 7 to 11) made the adventure more cohesive and gave the player-characters more action.  So, it felt really good.  Here's a rundown of the PCs...

Captain Shumoxx Plibb (and Frank) - Human psychic and interior designer.  Last adventure, he acquired a cybernetic right hand named Frank who's a total badass and talks like Liam Neeson in the movie Taken.

Gebek - human gambler and assassin; there's a full-scale manhunt for him.  His outfit is a tan and sunburst orange type of space pajamas with bell bottoms, made out of satin.  He's dumb, but strong and sneaky.

Zhora - is the token alien.  Steve rolled on the first alien table and got "thought form."  To Steve's credit, he played the thought form idea to the hilt, suggesting weird stuff ("Is he a meme?") and going along with a lot of awesome and asinine suggestions made by myself and his fellow players ("Can't you just put it in your thought pockets?" and "How much money do you think you have?".

Zhora is not only female, but a lesbian; also a mercenary.  When images of her come to mind, she's wearing a skintight silver and sky-blue leather jumpsuit.

Azaxyr - human scientist and mutant with the following mutant powers: he smells like roses, can redirect pain to others, and has built up a mental fortress over the years.

There was so much going on in this session, that I can't relay all of it - even though I took notes.  But I can say that it was one of the best Alpha Blue games I've run.  It was so good, that if it were possible, I'd quit my job to run Alpha Blue full time throughout the world.  Maybe some day...

Plus, I got to use so many random tables.  Literally, every 5 - 10 minutes I was rolling on some wacky table or another... by choice.  Not every GM likes to be surprised constantly by what happens next in his game, but I do.

Anyways, I'm going to fire off a plethora of bullet points that will give you a sense of what transpired.

  • The characters barely knew each other, but they were all at a party together on the brothel space station known as Alpha Blue.  Shumoxx was the only PC with a starship, so he was looking for a new crew.  Captain Shumoxx overheard a humanoid fungus talk about an upcoming job to several spacers who were all booked up with gigs of their own.  
  • The PCs decided to join forces and become shipmates aboard Shumoxx's sunfish.  Before they could begin, the fungoid named Kaplan explained that everyone had to sign a contract, making them sub-contractors of a spacer-for-hire limited liability corporation known as Universal Exploits.
  • Azaxyr wanted to try this alien's cigar.  (Un)fortunately for him, it was laced with lucky charms.  He was seeing colorful marshmallow shapes and searching for his own personal pot of gold for the rest of the evening.
  • Gebek loves to gamble.  Sadly, he's terrible at it, and has to pay back his massive gambling debts through assassinations.  Rolling at a disadvantage, he got a 1d6 dice pool while sitting down at a smuggler's quarry game.  He rolled a "6", thought he had the equivalent of Ace-high when really he had a royal flush.  Gebek won 200 credits, quit the game to spend his winnings on a very special cocktail - a martian watermelon a la mode drowning in I can't believe it's not space tequila.
  • Zhora found another thought form female who was watching a vid-screen of Buck Rogers.  Turns out, she was a prostitute.  Zhora negotiated half the 100 credit payment up-front and the rest after.  They had some form of thought-sex, she paid in full, reluctantly, and received 4 temporary Health points. 
  • Everyone was eavesdropping on a member of the Mauve Council willing to pay 25,000 credits to impregnate this woman named Candy with triplets.  No one knew why, but several more watermelons full of space tequila were purchased and consumed by PCs and NPCs alike.  
  • Candy agreed and everyone went back to the councilor's suite.  Candy got undressed, laid on the floor with her eyes closed and told the councilor to just get it over with so she could get her money.  She was going to spend it on butt implants.  The councilor was suffering from "watermelon dick" and couldn't perform.
  • Gebek was going to get paid to assassinate the councilor, so he started firing and rolled three "1"s.  He ended up shooting Zhora while the councilor and his aid fled the scene.  Gebek went after the councilor and Shumoxx went after the aid.  Shumoxx rolled 2d6 on his attack and also got all "1"s.  His vortex equalizer hit Gebek instead.  After exchanging shots for a couple rounds, both councilor and aid were dead.
  • Meanwhile, Zhora had lesbian sex (again) with Candy.  He acquired 4 more temporary Health.  Rolling on the d100 table for random women encountered, turns out Candy was eerily similar to Zhora.  Same taste in clothes, vid-screen shows, food for thought, etc.  And she was a pilot! 
  • The next morning, Azaxyr, using his charm, stopped Federation security from engaging Gebek, which could have ended in several PC deaths.  
  • The PCs read the mission briefing provided by their Universal Exploits sponsor.  They were to pick up a humanoid on some nearby desert planet and escort him to the space station Revan 111, where everyone has a past.
  • Just as they spotted their eventual passenger, another starship was about to fire on him.  The PC's ship fired on the enemy starship first.  Yes!  This was ship-to-ship combat.  I'd only used that table in Girls Gone Rogue once before, so I was excited about trying it out a second time.  It was a terrific battle.  The enemy ship sustained damage, but mostly the opposing captain, who was getting oral sex during the engagement, kept getting his space penis chewed due to all the turbulence.  Eventually, his member was completely bitten off.  While the PC's ship sustained damage, the enemy ship was all but destroyed and the crew dead.  
  • McSpanner was there to make repairs on the PC's ship while Shumoxx and company talked with their new and temporary companion.  His name was Gaius Bantha.  He dismissed conventional science for something called "laser science".  On a cocktail napkin, he worked out a design for something having to do with laser-sharks and a laser ball for space kittens.
  • Meanwhile, Azaxyr retrieved a therapy-bot built from an old VCR and vintage porn VHS tapes. Fast Forward 5 joined the crew.
  • Despite his ridiculous theories, the PCs escorted Gaius to Revan 111.  It wasn't until the PCs said goodbye to Gaius that they got a call from their Universal Exploits sponsor, Kaplan.  Apparently, the mission was supposed to be - don't allow Gaius Bantha to reach Revan.  The PCs negotiated a few more credits and geared up.  Gebek, fearing discovery (being a wanted man and all) wore an avocado-green and paisley headscarf.  Shumoxx donned his turtleneck chevron cheetah print heavy tactical armor.
  • They deduced that Gaius had gone to the purple section devoted to weird science.  Standing in their way was a religious ceremony performed by 17 gelatinous blobs.  The PCs fought the laser investors (also fungoids and Kaplan's brother-in-law) Gaius had lined up.  
  • It was a pitched battle within the space bar/cantina map designed by +MonkeyBlood Design.  Gaius started to run away but couldn't get far because Azaxyr used his redirect pain ability to transfer his discomfort at being blasted over and over again to Gaius.  It took several rounds, but the PCs were winning.  There were only a couple opponents left when I rolled 2d6 against Shumoxx Plib.  I rolled a "6" on the initial attack roll and so rolled 3d6 damage.  All "6"s!  So, I rolled the exploding damage again.  Two more "6"s!  After all the rolling had stopped, that laser blast had done about 42 points of damage.  Despite his armor, Shumoxx was toast.  He rolled 2d6 on his saving throw and came up with a "3" - one last heroic act before dying.  Shumoxx set his vortex equalizer to self-destruct.  It took the last two enemies out.
  • Azaxyr scraped what was left of Shumoxx onto a glass slide for later cloning and removed Gaius' "laser brain" so he could place it in a roomba cleaning-bot.  The credits, minus Universal Exploits' 10% commission, were transferred into the PC's bank account.  

So, those were some of the highlights.  Although, as any gamer knows, you really have to be there to feel just how powerful a game is - the spectacle, the laughs, the emotion, the adrenaline, the boobs... only so much can be conveyed via blog post.

I hope that in the next week and a half, you'll help support the latest Alpha Blue sourcebook, Universal Exploits.  


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vault's open - come on in!

The S'rulyan Vault is officially here.

As I was explaining to someone only an hour ago, this product is mostly about the maps.  It's big, it took a long time to make, and costs are what they are.  The dungeon even comes in two different colors - old school blue/white and a golden brown parchment hue.

The PDF is meant to be the icing on the cake.  That doesn't mean I'm not extremely proud of the PDF, though.  I am.  I think it turned out really well and I'm excited to hear feedback from gamers who use my guidelines and random tables in their dungeon.

But yeah, this isn't a fully formed mega-dungeon with fleshed out encounters.  The meat and potatoes of it is up to the GM.  I merely provided the salad, appetizer, bread, and dessert.  The actual entree itself is not included.

So, keep in mind that you're mostly paying for the large, high-resolution map files that can be blown up to 34" x 44" at a professional print shop.

The PDF is 20 pages of neat stuff that will add depth to the dungeoncrawl that YOU create, whether that's mostly on-the-fly or with a few hours of campaign prep depends on what kind of GM you are.

If you have any questions, please let me know!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Universal Exploits

Ok, I've got some news.  For a select few, this may seem like a punch in the gut, for many a picnic lunch on a beautiful summer's day, but my guess is that most of you will probably go, "Meh."
When the book (being Kickstarted now) actually comes out, it's not going to be called Pussy Chasers: the Legend of Oral.  There are many reasons for this, such as pushing people away from it and Alpha Blue, as well as, making people think that the entire thing is either going to be pornographic or a riff on StarChaser: The Legend of Orin.  And to be perfectly honest, my wife wanted me to shut the whole thing down, and this name change is a compromise.
In actuality, the sleaze is probably only 20% - 30% of this RPG line.  It's just that most RPG books have less than 5%, so it makes Alpha Blue and company look disproportionately raunchy by comparison.  
I'll be parodying many, many sci-fi movies, tv shows, and so forth.  StarChaser is but one.  However, there will be a section/heading called "Pussy Chasers: the Legend of Oral" and it will deliver on what's already been mentioned in the Kickstarter.  Additionally, there will be other sections that will deal with various topics.  The space station brothel has already been done, so this new book will focus on other people, places, and things.  
For instance, today I'm writing "The Stars Are Dying" (cosmic horror) and "The Violet Jungle Moon of K'rymzonia Minor" (gonzo sword & planet pulp).  Both will have sleazy aspects, but neither will be as preoccupied with sex as the "Pussy Chasers" section.
With this new book, I will bring to life a campaign setting where life is hard and risking one's neck as a spacer is pretty much the only hope for escaping the indentured servitude of a dystopian future.  Writing about the pleasure seekers on a leisure station was a lot of fun, but it's time for something new.  
Keeping the old title would diminish everything else, making it fade into the background.  Kind of like if you knew you're 6th grade teacher had starred in an adult movie.  Now, that's the only thing that comes to mind when you're in math class.
So, what's the new title?  As of now, the working title is Universal Exploits.  Yeah, it's a bit generic, but there's a wink and a nudge nudge in there, as well.  At least we'll all remember the book's secret name when seeing it on DriveThruRPG.  ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Play Alpha Blue NOW!!!

Back when I was funding Girls Gone Rogue on Kickstarter, one of my stretch goals / campaign promises was to do a backer-wide play by email or chat session of Alpha Blue.

Well, this is where it starts.  Read the description below, roll the dice, see what happens, and comment below how you're going to react (be sure to include a sentence or two about who and what your character is).  Don't have a character?  Either create one from the Alpha Blue RPG rulebook or simply come up with a suitable character concept.

These tables will also tie into my next and last (for awhile, at least) Kickstarter project for Alpha Blue called... Pussy Chasers: The Legend of Oral.  Check it out here.

The After-Party

You missed the actual party, unfortunately.  The freighter hauling 23 space tons of frozen Purple Prizm grape soda was late... then it was stopped by customs... and then almost hijacked by dwermfermers on ultra-amphetamines.  Needless to say, you're ready to get this after-party into full swing!  Let's see what happens soon after you arrive.

1. Someone slipped a turquoise dreamer into your drink.  Now, all you want to do is have anal sex.

2. You accidentally got diverted into a nearby conference room where an orange-furred platypusoid is giving a power-point presentation regarding time-share properties on New Alderaan 2.

3. An alien that's mostly just eyes and glowing indigo snot just threw up all over you.  Gross!

4. After about 20 microns of waiting, you finally got yourself a drink and found the friends you were hanging out with from before - now some random, albeit cute, woman wants you to get her a drink, as well.

5. As soon as you walk in, a trio of large, two-headed, hairy albino ape-men with glittering horns tell you that you're kind isn't welcome here.

6. You order a drink, the bartender pours a thick, molasses-like, chartreuse-colored substance into a tall, rectangular glass and tells you that'll be 15 credits.  You feel around for your space wallet - but it's gone!

7. Some girl wearing a sexy red outfit with three boobs and smoking a personal hookah motions for you to come closer.  You walk towards her just as another spacer comes up to the girl, putting his arm around her.

8. You get an incoming call on your vis-a-fone.  Before you can see who it is, a sneaky little anchovy-based life form swipes it out of your hand and scurries towards the main stage where various strippers are pole-dancing to "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Motley Crue.

9. Just as one stripper is leaving the pole-dancing area and another is entering, one of the women accidentally kicks a platinum credit (worth approximately 100 regular credits) in your drink.

10. A stripper with clear-colored, high-heel platform dancer shoes walks right past you.  She's the hottest girl here tonight.  Your gaze follows her spectacular ass as she walks into the "Anything Goes Room."

11. You're snorting a few lines of vermilion psychopath off some reptilian girl's tits when suddenly the veins under your skin start glowing bright scarlet.

12. Some jackass let his tiger-bot into the party.  It's already clawed up a half-dozen people by the time it finds you - and regards you with cold, predatory disdain.

13. You haven't eaten since connecting with the Purple Prizm freighter at Algeria Gamma.  You're famished and there's nothing to eat!  In the distance, you see some spacer holding a grilled space cheese sandwich.

14. A protocol-bot corners you, regaling you with anecdotes about the Enigma Cluster orbiting Kryus Prime.

15. An old and inebriated acquaintance believes he can shoot faster and straighter than you.  He challenges you to a blaster duel right here and now.

16. A suckered star slug from Vokk Major-Minor insults your funky threads while implying that you have a reputation for disappointing your sexual partners.

17. There's a Knight in White Satin talking to the bartender about something.  Must be pretty important if he's taking up the bartender's valuable time.  Meanwhile, you and the other patrons aren't getting any drinks.

18. Directly in front of you, some girl is taking a selfie with one of her girlfriends.  The flash momentarily blinds you - sending you stumbling into a nearby crowd of people.  Your face somehow ends up in the cleavage of Vanessa Von Tease, a well-known burlesque performer on the outer rim.

19. Princess Assa is in attendance.  She's wearing a tight little blue dress accented with sparkling diamonds.  The Princess has ordered her personal bodyguards to line up some of the more desirable men and women in front of her VIP corner booth.  You're picked to stand in that line.

20. You're fucked up on Tinkerbell's Fairydust, wandering around asking people about the Great Space Chicken and Cosmic Egg.  Eventually, a sentient violet-colored gas tells you about an easy game of smuggler's quarry happening in the next sector.  He's willing to stake you the 5,000 credits required to play, both of you will split the profits... but if you lose it all - he owns you (as in slavery).  Not being in your right mind, you signed a contract agreeing to those terms.

Good luck, spacers!


Monday, May 9, 2016

I have questions for you...

Though they tried in all their myriad ways, Disney, Florida, a cruise ship, Bermuda, my family, and one of the worst flu viruses I've ever experienced could not destroy me.  After all, I'm Venger Satanis.  I endure.

Today, I'm polling.  I want to know what you - the fans, audience, customers, friends, and critics want to see from Kort'thalis Publishing over the next few years.  Why?  Because I couldn't do it without you.  I wouldn't want to.  A roleplaying game is not a solo activity.  It's a group thing.  Without the gamers, there's no game.  Likewise, without your input, my output probably won't meet your expectations.

Don't be shy.  There are no wrong answers or stupid comments.  If you like what I've been doing so far, say so.  If you think things should go in a certain direction, say so.  If you think I should go in a completely different direction, then tell me that.  Whatever is on your mind.  Only the silent get no vote!

  1. What's your favorite/preferred RPG from Kort'thalis Publishing:  Crimson Dragon Slayer, Alpha Blue, or The Outer Presence?
  2. Should Kort'thalis Publishing focus on these three RPGs or keep come up with something new?  Bonus question, if you said "something new," then what would you like to see?
  3. In your opinion, what does CDS, AB, and/or TOP need next to keep you interested and gaming?
  4. What is your favorite/preferred tone(s)?  Sexual/sleazy, grim/dark, comedic/parody/spoof, gonzo/weird, Lovecraftian/cosmic horror, action/adventure, kitsch/vintage, etc.
  5. What is the ideal length?  Less than 10 pages (PDF only), 11 - 20 pages (PDF only), 21 - 35 pages, 36 - 80 pages, 81 - 150 pages?
  6. What's your favorite/preferred content?  Random tables, campaign/setting, detailed NPCs, maps/plans/schematics, or new monsters, items, spells?
  7. Of all Kort'thalis Publishing's books, which is your favorite cover art?
  8. Of all Kort'thalis Publishing's books, describe (with name of book and page number, if possible) three of your favorite pieces of b/w interior illustrations.  Alternatively, describe or show an example of the kind of b/w illustrations you'd like to see in a future work (naming an artist is also fine).
  9. Is there something you'd like Kort'thalis Publishing to offer that hasn't been offered yet or isn't currently available?  Such as GM screen, widespread convention support, hardcover editions, miniatures, video tutorials, more virtual one-shots on Roll20, etc.?
  10. Is there a favorite/preferred color that I haven't used yet that you'd like to see incorporated into a future work?
  11. Please let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to either see more of or less of.  Inside the box, outside the box, anything!  Your feedback is very important to me.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Huntsman: Winter's War

I'd seen the previews.  It looked like another live-action Disney fairy tale spin-off for teen girls and moms.

My wife bought us tickets weeks ago.  As soon as I found out, I suggested she take her mom, my mom, or one of her friends.  Nope, she wanted to go with me.  (Sigh), ok...

Well, I was totally wrong!  The Huntsman: Winter's War actually kicked a substantial amount of ass.  In the Venger Satanis tradition, it borrowed from the great films that came before, melted it down into raw elements, and built something new, yet old, and timeless.

I recognized elements of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Conan the Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons, and of course Snow White and Frozen.

Halfway through the film, I leaned over to Danielle and whispered, "This is like a D&D game."  It was not only that good, but it emulated an above average session of fantasy roleplaying.

Yes, the film's point of view is primarily female-centric.  That's not a bad thing, just be aware going in.  And yes, it has a decidedly fairy tale feel.  But it's got a great story, too.  And interesting characters.

If you're a fan (or even a casual reader) of this blog, then chances are you'll find a number of things to enjoy.  Go see The Huntsman: Winter's War.  Before you ask... no, I haven't seen the first Huntsman movie.  So, really can't comment on what that one's like.


p.s.  The S'rulyan Vault kickstarter is still going.  Check it out and back this project if you like what you see!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Purple Reign

In honor of the music icon Prince, I've decided to have a sale on The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence for the next few days (both PDF and print).  If you'd like it on a slightly heavier, cream-colored paper, then I've also reduced the price over at CreateSpace (that's Amazon's print-on-demand service).

If you have a personal story or anecdote involving The Purple Islands, please feel free to share it in a comment below.

Let us celebrate the man, the myth, the legend... and the color purple!


p.s.  I was going to end the sale on both Alpha Blue (CreateSpace) and Girls Gone Rogue (CreateSpace) yesterday, but under the circumstances, it seems fitting to keep the reduced price going.  Keep it weird and sexy, y'all.