Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Just wanted to let the maximum number of people know that I'm open to interviews. After all, absolutely everyone reads my blog, right?
Cha'alt is possibly the greatest DnD product on the market today. Possibly? Haha, why am I being so modest? Of course it's the greatest!!!
I have no doubt that gamers will want to know what THE CREATOR thinks about this, that, and everything under the tentacled sun.
Still haven't checked it out? Get the Cha'alt PDF here!
Reach out to me via email: Venger.Satanis@yahoo.com
Monday, August 26, 2019
So, what does Amber: Diceless Roleplaying Game and The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence have in common?
They were both reviewed poorly (yes, I meant that in two different ways) by some dude on RPGnet called Lev Lafayette - which I assume is a pseudonym because generally speaking, the French have pretty good taste.
Right over here is his recent review of Amber. This is where you can find his Purple Islands review.
Clearly, this guy doesn't know his ass from page 2. What an ignoramus!
Anyway, just thought that was amusing...
p.s. Speaking of reviews, it's been over a year since many Kort'thalis Publishing titles have been reviewed, either on DriveThruRPG or anywhere else. Let's change that!
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Continuing on from my last blog post about renaming advantage and disadvantage in-game so they're more evocative...
I would call inspiration or any collection of advantage points "divine favor".
Going deeper, I wouldn't limit favor of the Gods to d20 rolls. Pretty much any roll you could think of could get double and choose the higher. Or what it usually turns into (because I'm such a softy) a re-roll. Hey, my Gods are a pretty lenient bunch. After all, they let the PCs get away with murder!
I mean, doesn't that just make sense? If the Gods really want to help Kamaltine the fearless out, why wouldn't they let him use divine favor on his damage roll, instead of only his d20 attack, saving throw, and skill check?
And by extension, if any character has disadvantage on a particular roll (d20 or other), let them truly be cursed by the Gods.
There's a broken corridor between two rooms in The Black Pyramid of Cha'alt with a 2 in 6 chance of falling into the abyss if PCs try to cross. If one of them has a broken leg, well, that sounds an awful lot like disadvantage... or being cursed by the Gods, to me. Roll 2d6 and take the worse result.
The adventuring life's a bitch and then you die!
p.s. If you've recently used any one of my RPG books, I'd love to hear about it. Go ahead and write a review. Here's a list of all the titles by Kort'thalis Publishing. Thanks!
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Just yesterday I was reading this blog post about evocative names for attributes.
Unfortunately, I lost track of it, but it reminded me of the importance of language.
Without sacrificing functionality, we should try to use more evocative names for things.
Driving to work this morning, I realized that advantage and disadvantage sounds rather mechanical. After all, it's part of the 5e D&D system... a "non-copyrightable" game mechanic that I love and use frequently. So much, in fact, that it does nothing for me, aside from designating a particular rule.
From now on, I think I'm going to call "advantage" favor, favored, favored by the Gods, the Gods have shown you favor, etc. Similarly, "disadvantage" will be referred to as ill-favor, ill-favored, ill-favored by the Gods, the Gods are displeased with you, and so forth.
Not only does it sound less like a game mechanic, but it also evokes notions such as fate, destiny, divine providence, and that the Gods are always watching, occasionally sticking a hand or tentacle into the mix, influencing events. It makes whatever results (after the dice have been rolled), seem like they were ordained by higher forces, hinting at the oracular power of random dice rolls.
This blog post wasn't earth-shocking or anything, just an idea I had.
p.s. 32 page preview of Cha'alt on DriveThruRPG - check it out!
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
This is a behind-the-scenes exchange I had with a Cha'alt kickstarter backer...
Weeks ago, I asked for feedback and typo-hunting so the manuscript would be as awesome and error free as possible.
One backer in particular came up with suggestions. A few suggestions asked for clarification on ambivalent language, details that were unclear based on the text.
At first, I was going to fix these ambiguities, but then I realized that the suggestions he put forth trying to answer his own questions were just as good if not better than anything I had thought of or might come up with.
So, several of these ambiguities I left as they were. But I emailed the backer to let him know I appreciated his feedback, along with telling him why I neglected to change the phrasing in key areas.
The following was his response...
I am glad my comments were helpful. It's not every day that some normal guy gets to offer suggestions to a great game designer! I know that I asked some pretty specific questions that were not all addressed in the final product, but after re-reading the foreword a couple of times, I think I "get" what you were doing with Cha'alt (as much as any human can comprehend the alien mind of a za'akier).
It's not a traditional setting or a traditional mega-dungeon. Cha'alt is a huge sandbox in a relatively small package. Big enough to play in for a long time, but not too big as to be unwieldy for the GM to find relevant information quickly. No two Cha'alt campaigns will be remotely the same and that is by design.
Part of the mindset that motivated some of my questions was trying to discern the author's intent. When I run Cha'alt, if you showed up in a disguise and played, I would want you to think that I was doing it correctly. When I answered the questions, I wanted to answer them the "right" way.
Now I realize that the small hints and hooks are meant to be developed in unique and interesting ways by each GM. Sure, it means a little more work from the GM, but it will be worth it for a great gaming experience. I am glad to have backed this project and am honored that I was able to contribute a little bit to it.
Can't wait for my hardcover to arrive!
I think that sums up the difference between OSR and modern RPG design. There is no "right way" because the book is there to help the GM create his own version of the world, dungeon, cantina, or whatever. The book isn't god... the GM is.
BTW, you can find the Cha'alt PDF right over here.
Thursday, August 1, 2019
At long last, my campaign setting and dungeoncrawl extravaganza Cha'alt is now available on DriveThruRPG.
This thing is almost double the size of anything I've done before. 218 pages... I almost can't even count that high. That's nuts! And it's just jam-packed with content. The thing is dense, my dudes. And so beautifully laid-out by Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design, I can't even believe it. Yeah, it's a dream come true.
I've talked about it for a long while, but now it's time for Cha'alt to speak for itself.
p.s. If you get the PDF ahead of any print version, there's going to be a price break. So, try it out now because I'm pretty sure you'll want this in either soft or hardcover soon enough.