Saturday, December 28, 2019

Retro-Stupid Is The New Purple

Before the featured video, I'd like to share this blog post from Jeff's Gameblog.  It's his three-fold model of RPGs.  Essentially, there are only 3 categories - retro, pretentious, and stupid.  And he's right, of course. 

Coincidentally, purple is the stupidest (veering towards retro) color in Jeff's model.  ;)

Without further ado, here's the RPG Pundit reviewing Cha'alt...

If you enjoyed that, there's my current Kickstarter campaign to fund Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise

If you want to order the fancy hardcover Cha'alt direct from me, this link has details.


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

My Identity

I've clarified it on individual terms, but have so far avoided a secondary (or would that be tertiary?) public statement.  And that's probably hurt me in social media because a lot of times people assume the worst.  Especially in this day and age when it seems like half the population are abusers, scumbags, terrorists, intolerant religious zealots, sociopaths, hardened criminals, political extremists, and so on and so forth.

For a quick refresher, here is my original blog post, from over a year ago, where I came out as za'akier, a green-skinned, tentacled humanoid... biologically human*, but still extraterrestrial regarding identity.  And that's what it all comes down to.  How I see myself is different than how others probably view me.  And that's ok... expected, even.

I'm an outsider.  That's one of the reasons why I gravitate towards the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, and why I find a kinship with him and other writers in the Lovecraft Circle, other creators using the Cthulhu Mythos to push something forward, an agenda that goes beyond time and space.

But that's a blog post for another time, I think.

Right now, I want to reassure those who already know and support me, and those I haven't gotten the chance to meet (lot of angry people on reddit), that I'm not against anyone based on skin color, ethnicity, sexual preferences (unless you're a pedophile), identity, gender, politics, creed, etc.

My opening up to the internet about being za'akier wasn't about tearing anyone down or mocking those who are different, marginalized, etc.  On the contrary, I was identifying as an outsider, specifically the kind of alien identification previously mentioned.

To me, the term "trans" means more to me than a penis, vagina, beard, shaved legs, or any of the superficial trappings of biological sex and what we conceptualize as gender.  Transformation is rooted in how we see ourselves, and the cognitive dissonance that might evolve between our own self-perspective and that of the world at large.

To those who've hurt me, whether intentional or not, this past year, I forgive you.  But let's get over our differences sooner than later, yeah?

It's Christmas today.  If I could have one wish for the entire world, it would be for everyone to breathe deeply, try to relax, be themselves (leave the "hivemind" at the door), and get along with as many people as humanly possible.

Merry Christma'as!


* There's some interesting information on "otherkin" which may or may not muddy the waters.  I'm not saying that I'm part of that group, and I'm not saying I'm not.  It's complicated.

Friday, December 20, 2019

OSR Like A Fucking Boss

I decided to go ahead and fucking do it!  ;)

This is the link.

Hope you enjoy this quick and dirty foray into the OSR, from my perspective, that is.

Definitely spread the news around social media.  Thanks!


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 Review

Here is Endzeitgeist's review of Crimson Dragon Slayer D20.

It's a solid review, but there's something I'd like to address - the "broken" cleric class.  Before getting into details, all 4 classes are kind of broken in their own way.  Which means that each one is "the best" in its own way, assuming you stick to class abilities.

I'm copy/pasting my comment, just in case it disappears from the internet.  Not because of anything the reviewer is doing, but software glitches, etc...


Thanks for the review, hoss!

Regarding the cleric, in play I've found that his unlimited healing works rather well. Let's say an adventuring party of 5 PCs has 2 clerics (something you might actually see, if playing Crimson Dragon Slayer D20).

This last round was brutal on the PCs. 1 guy down and unconscious (a fighter), and 2 others badly wounded (a cleric and sorcerer). There are still a couple monsters remaining. Does one cleric heal the unconscious fighter? Would that even make him conscious again? What about the wounded members of the party? Is 1d6 healing going to prevent the sorcerer from dropping if hit next round? Wouldn't it make just as much sense for the clerics to attack rather than heal, in this instance? I feel like it's a toss-up, and an interesting dilemma for those playing a cleric.

As for the thief's backstab, I see what you mean. Personally, I like things kind of nebulous so the player is forced to come up with some sort of cunning plan or sneaky maneuver to get that bonus. If he's willing to put in the creative work every single round, there's a possibility (depending on the circumstances) of continual backstabbing. A lot depends on the GM, player, and environment.



So, I've already gone into detail re: the cleric (his lack of spell list is another drawback) and touched on the thief.  The review mentioned how over-powered the wizard can be (any spell, as long as he has enough HP to cast it).  And, if you take a good, hard look at the fighter, he obviously owns the battlefield - the most damage, the most HP, adds +1 to both to-hit and damage every level.

Incidentally, if the cleric wants to aid the wizard (allowing him to cast higher level spells) by healing him right away, that's a very doable and legal "cheat".  However, the cleric is then focusing on the wizard, and not those on the front lines.

The fantasy worlds I run are so deadly that even in a one-hour game with only 1-3 combats, PC deaths happen frequently.

On the other hand, compared to old D&D, the cleric, along with his other 3 pals, probably seem super-powered.  If I remember correctly, the old school cleric didn't even get a spell, prayer, or whatever until 2nd level.  And I'm sure that was usable once per day.  And he probably started with 3 HP.  And the party had to walk uphill to get to the dungeon... both ways!

And that's precisely why I love the OSR.  It's not necessarily shackled to however they played in 1979.  It's a mix and match of everything from the last 45 years!  Of course, a few traditional tenets must be followed, but those are also malleable and hard to pin down.

In any case, CDS D20 works great for quick and dirty online games containing one or more noobs.  I've been using this system / hack / house-rules for almost a year now.  That's not a ton of playtesting, but it's held up remarkably well so far.

You can download the FREE PDF here.  They're also included as an appendix in Cha'alt.  Speaking of which, check out the latest Kickstarter campaign for Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise Kickstarter

Yes, the creative batteries have been recharged and I'm ready to scribble my little eldritch-green heart out!

Right over here is the Kickstarter campaign.  Yesterday was a soft opening... today is the full-scale launch.  And it's already nearly funded. 

I'm excited and encouraged by the projected numbers.  Several individuals whose opinion I trust believe this will top out around $28,000. 

Numbers like that mean we can go all-out with the book, just like our gorgeous Cha'alt hardcover!  I intend to add as much value as I possibly can.  Backers are like family to me - better, actually, because I don't want to kick backers out of my house an hour after the Thanksgiving meal.

Have any questions?  Please ask.  Have suggestions?  Yes, indeed.  Want to share this KS on social media?  May you live to be a thousand years old, and the seven purple moons of Cha'alt shine their shadowy tentacles upon the fabulous wealth of your intrepid adventuring party!

Thanks for your support,


p.s. I'll be making frequent updates to the KS.  Additionally, keep an eye on those stretch goals.  Regardless of how far we get, the list will grow.  ;)

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cyber Monday Cha'alt

"If you're really into over-the-top gonzo dungeons full of weird and interesting encounters, then Cha'alt is a must-have." ~ Shyberkryst

Order a fancy hardcover of Cha'alt and get either $5 off the price (that's good worldwide) or a second Cha'alt hardcover for only an additional $10 (domestic USA shipping only, sorry).

This amazing offer is good until Wednesday at midnight (12/4/19).

Ordering information here

Remember, you get the PDF FREE after purchasing the gorgeous, full-color print version.  Check it out!


p.s. Some high-profile reviews and media coverage coming soon, along with a brand-new Cha'alt-themed Kickstarter launching Friday.