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.