Monday, January 8, 2018

Kort'thalis Publishing Testimonial


[First, a quick reminder that my latest Kickstarter Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars is still going.]

It's always nice to hear that you've made a positive impact on someone's gaming life. 

The following was posted by +Brian Courtemanche on the Kort'thalis Publishing g+ community (please join us!)...

I am fast becoming a fan of Kort’thalis Publishing. It started a couple of weeks ago with my purchase of The Outer Presence rpg and then having a great time running/playing it with friends this weekend. I’ve just now downloaded the Crimson Dragon Slayer bundle (CDS, Candy Crypts, and No Escape from New York) from DriveThruRPG.


The combination of simple, playable rules plus utterly gonzo situations is glorious. I’ve been on the rpg scene a long time (started with AD&D a loooong time ago) and this stuff is a breath of pure FUN. I’d sorta forgotten about fun. Somewhere down that line I became more concerned with rules systems, simulationist vs. narrative play styles, balanced encounters, and a whole bunch of Not Fun stuff that somehow crept into my skull. And in the midst of all that, I’ve spent a ton of money on crappy games (or games that used to be cool but have ‘upgraded’ to crappier editions), and wasted a lot of time. And must have had a blind spot to Kort’thalis Publishing somewhere in the middle of all that. Well I’m correcting all that now...rather like a blind man learning to see again. More like finding the FUN again!

Venger, man, thanks. Really, thanks. Your stuff rocks. I took a look at CDS 1.11 - the whole less gonzo, more dark science-sorcery stuff - and went ‘ugh! No! I want my crazy!’ And promptly purchased/downloaded the original CDS (bundled with Candy Crypts and No Escape from New York). I’ll buy a few more of the modules and such when my credit card has had a few weeks to lick its wounds.


Venger - speaking as a customer and consumer of the glorious products of your fevered imagination - I implore you to please keep these two things as your guiding stars as you forge more material:


1. Keep the rules simple. Please, please, please. I’ll take a simple, well-wrought system that handles the basics cleanly and leaves room for GM and player ingenuity any day over the plethora of overly-complex, pain-in-the-butt, multi-chapter mega-tomes that take forever to learn and shoehorn one’s gameplay to fit within a matrix of Byzantine rules. The simplicity and robustness of your game rules are a huge breath of fresh air, Venger. When we played The Outer Presence this weekend, explaining the rules to the players was a snap and we just got on with it. That ease of play and level of comfort with simple, robust rules that let us just get on with things can not be undervalued or overstated.


2. Keep it gonzo! When running The Outer Presence this weekend, my group had a blast partly because it was so ‘oh wow. Huh.’ Meepie atrocities, Dr. Steiner’s whole attitude, the weird thing floating thing flitting about the mountain (don’t want to get too specific and give anything away). One of my players rolled randomly for his background and got that he was an, um, ‘body double’ (say no more) for 1970s adult films. Well he took that and ran with it for the entire session. It was great. And now I’m skimming Crimson Dragon Slayer (just bought it, must now eagerly give it a proper read) and there’s the gonzo...well written gonzo! To me, the new, more somber approach of CDS 1.11 feels...meh.


Give me adventures that feel like a 1980s Conan rip-off made in the back half of a Spencer’s gift shop! Adventures that feel like a 1970s black velvet fluorescent poster lit by black light. I can get ‘somber, serious’ (aka: more muted and dull) stuff in a pile of other rpg offerings. Your stuff pops off the page because: a) it’s gonzo and b) you write it very well. A lot of people try for gonzo but they really don’t have the imagination and wordsmithing skills to pull it off. It just comes off as cheap and immature. But your stuff - well you hit the mark!

The potent combination of simple, rugged rules and unchained, un-politically-correct, refreshingly original craziness has made me a fan. Keep up the great work, man! Thanks, Venger! - Brian C.

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