Friday, June 18, 2021

Cha'alt After Dark Kickstarter

 

Ok, I'm finally opening up the Kickstarter for my Cha'alt After Dark collection of adventures.  

Exactly what you've come to expect from Cha'alt - eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse - but these scenarios are even sleazier!

Check it out here.

The first 2 adventures, Cha'alt After Dark and So Beautiful, So Dangerous, are already 90% written.  That's why I only did a 20-day crowdfunding campaign.  

And once this KS has been fulfilled, I'm going all-in on the next edition of Encounter Critical (kickstarting that in August).

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, or anything else, let me know.  Also, please share the Cha'alt After Dark Kickstarter campaign on social media.  

Thanks,

VS


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Encounter Critical of Kort'thalis Publishing

 

If the title to this blog post is confusing, let me spell it out for you... 

I, Venger Satanis, have purchased the rights to Encounter Critical from its original creator, S. John Ross.

If you've been with me since the beginning, you'll know how much I love Encounter Critical.  It influenced a lot of my RPG writing.  This review and play report was written the same year (2014) I put out The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence.  And it's no exaggeration to say that Crimson Dragon Slayer, Alpha Blue and Cha'alt were inspired by Encounter Critical, as well.  

So, what are my plans for the game?

As I assured Mr. Ross, I intend to expand Encounter Critical with a new edition + several adventures.  I'll probably want some help, so if you have input, don't be afraid to reach out to me.

In my mind, there's no clearer way to judge demand like crowdfunding.  Slightly awkward timing as I'm a day or two away from launching a Kickstarter to fund new Cha'alt adventures called Cha'alt After Dark.  

At least, that will give me several weeks to plan for an Encounter Critical Kickstarter campaign.  I'd like to have a better idea which direction Encounter Critical will go before diving headfirst, anyway.

You think you know true scientific realism, hoss?  We'll just have to see about that...

Thanks for your support in perpetuity, 

Venger As'Nas Satanis

High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing


Sunday, June 13, 2021

SJWs Rage-Quit T&T

 

Ken St. Andre didn't kneel before our woke overlords, and now it seems like political activist gamers (of the radical-left) are trying to cancel him.  Or, at least, signaling their virtue by denouncing both Ken and Tunnels & Trolls.  

Why, you ask?  Because Ken had the sheer audacity to disagree with a gamer who said it's not enough to simply not be racist, one has to be anti-racist.  One has to join the angry mob.  If you don't pick up that torch and pitchfork, you'll be hunted down and burned with all the bad people.  You know... because we want to make gaming more inclusive.

This is where the tweet is screenshot.

Since Ken isn't a flaming radical-leftist and stands up for what he believes, all the little SJWs are taking their little shots.  You can't apologize to these people.  They have no sense of humor, justice, mercy, fairness, gratitude, respect, or shame.  All they know how to do is infest, take over, and destroy.  Every major institution has either resisted or fallen prey to the outspoken woke mob.

RPGs have done a good job of resisting, but the pressure keeps building.  We must support those who resist being assimilated into political activism on the left.  Sitting on the fence, trying to play it safe, and stay neutral ain't going to work.  It's long past time we fought to protect our hobby from a hostile woke takeover!

Everyone is an individual at my gaming table, not part of a special interest group or racial faction or privileged class.  The minute you start dividing people, that's when you lose.

I wish D&D had a modicum of the Troll Godfather's spine.  Please, show Ken St. Andre your support on social media.  Buy and play some Tunnels & Trolls.  Help us fight back against the evils of radical-leftism that want to control us like an authoritarian puppet-master.

VS


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The Long Game

 

As I've mentioned before, my focus has been on one-shots and micro-campaigns lasting 3-5 sessions.  That's pretty much all I could get away with considering my crazy-ass, wild, carefree, Satanic orgies before teatime lifestyle of a wife, 5 kids, job, and suburban living.

However, one of my goals for 2022 is refocusing my roleplaying towards longer campaigns.  That's what I did in my youth and now I feel like I'm missing out by constantly restarting.  Hey, it's been a blast, tons of fun, but I'm shifting gears.  The sleeper must awaken!

You've probably also heard me talk about the January 2022 Kickstarter for Book 3 of the Cha'alt trilogy - Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows.  Well, included in that book will be another version of Crimson Dragon Slayer.  It'll still be rules-light, but this incarnation will be suited for the campaign, rather than individual sessions.

It's going to have negative character traits and cultural backgrounds, along with extra classes, more races (especially those included in the Cha'alt books), and I'm going to tweak the epic deeds of awesomeness.

Similar to what I've done before with my Purple Islands sessions, players will get a fuchsia stone to keep track of their character's Divine Favor.  Usually, PCs each start with one and may earn more through play. 

You can trade-in 3 of the fuchsia stones to get a chartreuse stone (still searching the internet for the right shade of chartreuse).  The chartreuse stones are more valuable because they can be spent to automatically (no rolling needed) do something spectacularly awesome in the game.  I'll provide a cheat-sheet for those desiring recommendations on far you can take it.  

There'll be more, as well.  The revised Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 cleaned-up and tacked-on several changes to the original, but this new edition will be more than a fresh coat of paint.  I'm tentatively calling it Advanced Crimson Dragon Slayer.

Obviously, I'm going to have to playtest the shit out of this.  Where will I find the time?  Good question, might have to clone myself.  Or perhaps someone out there wants to help test things out with their own long-term Cha'alt campaign?

By the way, I'm launching another Kickstarter next week to help raise money for more Cha'alt adventures and to sell more books.  It's called Cha'alt After Dark, and will have an extra sleazy edge.  If you want to order your glorious hardcover before the crowdfunding begins, check this out.

Thanks,

VS

p.s. It's been awhile since I've seen reviews on DriveThruRPG, TheRPGsite, reddit, etc.  Please write a review of my stuff - it keeps me going.  Thanks!


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Summer Kickstarters

 

Yeah, I've got another one coming up in a week or two.  However, I wanted this blog post to shed light on a couple of lesser known Kickstarters...

The first is something called Revenge of the Gobcocker!  Come for the 13th Warlock's erotic computer generated art, stay for the miniatures.  I used a number of his images in latter-day Alpha Blue supplements.  Good stuff!

The second is for Creature Feature Quarterly, volume #6.  Who doesn't need more fearsome foes and creepy creatures to fight in their OSR games?  Jeremy Hart illustrated a gorilla monster with tentacle arms in, I believe, Revelry in Torth.

I'll do an announcement post for my own Kickstarter somewhere between June 10th - 15th.  Until then, have a great gaming summer!

VS


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

NFT, Blockchains, Cryptocurrency, and Cha'alt

 

Welcome to the very first crypto-campaign setting... CHA'ALT!!!

Since they're numbered and finite, the gorgeous hardcover books for both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise are already unique, non-fungible tokens [NFTs] on a Blockchain.  Basically, collector items that will appreciate in value over time.

But instead of opening up an Ethereum wallet in the real world, I've decided to create a highly lucrative cryptocurrency storage facility in the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic world of Cha'alt.  Cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum, was introduced into Cha'alt's economy by the Federation.  Specifically, Federation outlaws and criminal organizations.  

Ethereum is traded throughout Cha'alt, above and below ground.  Currently, a signed and numbered hardcover Cha'alt book (either one) is worth 100 Ethereum or 100e.  At the moment, a single unit of Ethereum on Cha'alt is worth 93 talons (equal to 31 gold pieces or credits).  That's already a substantial amount, which is no surprise as the precious tomes have received their fair share of praise.

As the supply of books diminish, the value of Ethereum will increase - that's just basic economics.  The valuation formula is not open to the public, but investors can ask me about it privately: Venger.Satanis@yahoo.com

What can you do with the money?  Ethereum can be used to buy goods or services, like regular currency, not only on Cha'alt but all Federation controlled space.  Ethereum is tied to a real world individual (you), not Player-Characters.  That should be of particular interest to investors.

As a player, you can distribute Ethereum to one or more characters as you see fit via access crystal.  You receive 3 complimentary access crystals upon opening up your Ethereum account, which has automatically processed.  If you already own a hardcover Cha'alt book, then congratulations - you're already an investor!  

Ethereum is recorded at the Cryptocurrency Storage Facility in A'agrybah (I've heard rumors that a subterranean branch has already been approved in the dark-elf city Ba'al-Tan).  Your Ethereum is accessible in-game with an access crystal.  If an access crystal is lost or stolen, even if the character who owns the access crystal dies, your Ethereum is safe.  The amount of Ethereum you own fluctuates when authorized individuals make in-game purchases with the cryptocurrency.  

Purchases made with Ethereum are protected transdimensionally.  Let's say, you save up enough Ethereum to buy a starship so you can tool around the galaxy.  Even if that starship is blown-up in the campaign run by your current Game Master, the starship still exists somewhere in an alternate universe.  Given that there are nearly infinite dimensions, your starship should still be somewhere, even if finding its location may be a pain in the ass.  

Of course, the number of hardcover Cha'alt books owned also changes the amount of Ethereum in your account.  FYI, another Kickstarter, Cha'alt After Dark, is coming June 10th, followed by a Kickstarter for book III, Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows, in January 2022.

As stated, the value of Ethereum can fluctuate.  On the 1st of every month, I'll make a blog post reflecting Ethereum's current value.  Generally speaking, the more books sold, the higher its value.  Does that mean the remaining few books will increase in price?  Well, if a single tweet or abstract digital drawing can be auctioned off for millions of dollars, anything's possible.  

Months from now, I have no idea if the last dozen or so books will be sold for thousands of dollars or not, but the chances are good that prices could skyrocket, especially if the predicted hyperinflation comes to pass.

Last but not least, how do you order Cha'alt books?  Details right over here!

Happy speculating, hoss!!!


Venger As'Nas Satanis

High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Cha'alt After Dark [actual play]

 

Remember the first game?  It's here if you need a refresher.

So, last night was the second playtest.  I added a lot of backstory to the scenario which involved the PCs tracking down a lead to their missing friend.

For some reason, it never occurred to me that a group of bloodthirsty adventurers would just up and kill the principle antagonist and his entourage shortly after their introduction.  But to be fair, the entourage ran away.  I mean, the sexy slave girl was "freed" by multiple strapping young heroes and the henchmen sort of scattered after the initial blows knocked the boss elf to his knees.

Luckily, I gave the skeletal structure of this adventure enough realism (everyone has a reason for doing what they're doing) to ride the sand worm of chaos all the way to the end.

The game only lasted 90 minutes, which seems short, but we covered a lot of ground for a couple different reasons...

The very first being the "perfect" rule-set.  Guess what?  There is no perfect rule-set, just whatever works best for you.  I made Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 to suit my specific rules-light "arcade mode" needs.

Anything that wasn't necessary and/or didn't move the adventure forward, I either axed or handwaved.  For instance, if the reptilian humanoid Sq'sha'al wanted to eat the heart of a fallen opponent, I let it happen.  Of course, that doesn't mean I can't narrate the scene.  I'm pretty happy with the following quote I got off the chat, "You rip out his heart. It's still beating grossly red in your reptilian hand as the midday suns slowly descend in the fuchsia sky."

If the PCs want to fallback to avoid the swarm of angry demon wasps, they flee.  I present choices which eventually lead to different outcomes as the story unfolds, rather than relying on mere dice rolls to decide if PCs can do a thing.  Players don't want to be told they can't do something.  Instead, they'd rather see the options in front of them, knowing that if they choose the wrong one, it could lead to disastrous (or potentially awesome) consequences.

Aside from combat, there were precious few rolls made.  The droid CB-69 rolled to see if he had a can of RAID in his internal equipment.  He rolled poorly, so nope.  Earlier in the scenario, those allowed rolled to see if they could decipher an ancient glyph.  The rest was all roleplaying.  

GMs who struggle to come up with spontaneous answers, outcomes, and dialog should work on that.  Start by doing it a little bit in each scenario until, with practice, you get good enough to riff off the cuff.

For instance, I never planned on Grimm Da'ark the Savage asking the one-eyed prostitute her price list.  Without missing a beat, I typed the following... "5 talons for hand stuff, 10 for mouth stuff, 20 to go all the way, and 35 for the really weird shit."

The second technique I use for these types of games is this - when a consensus has been reached amongst the players, regarding the characters' next course of action, I don't sit there with my thumb up my ass waiting for the last straggler to say "Yes."  Nor do I pause the game in case someone changes their mind because they noticed a squirrel and got momentarily distracted.  If over 50% of the group says they want to go to the red-light district or the city gates or the well of souls, then they start walking.  Assuming they don't have an encounter on the way, the next thing I type is that they arrived and I start describing what the PCs perceive.

Anything else, I've found, holds up the game.  These shorter virtual games are no nonsense.  The GM has a mandate, and time/energy must not be wasted!

So, at the well of souls no one gets tentacle raped... but it was close, just a bad die roll away.  The adventurers got to explore that subterranean area a bit.  Their reactions gave me a better idea of how to improve the cavern they explored.  Which is one of the things a playtest should do (the other is find glaring holes in logic that break immersion).

My only regret is that the scenario wasn't dirtier.  I could have injected a little more sex and sleaze, like last session.  This session was more straightforward swords, sorcery, and blasters.  But I have ideas for adding little lascivious touches along the way.  ;)

The Kickstarter campaign for Cha'alt After Dark should (Cthulhu willing) launch June 10th.  It's pretty much all written.  I just need touch-ups, expand random tables, and suitable artwork.

Thanks to the 7 players on Roll20 who allowed this to session to happen!

VS

p.s. I still have gorgeous hardcovers of both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.  Order your book(s) today!


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Cha'alt After Dark (part 2)

I'm running a 2nd playtest session for Cha'alt After Dark this Saturday night.

Should be just as awesome as the 1st session - read the play report.

Briefly, it's a mix of Alpha Blue sleazy aesthetics in the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse world of Cha'alt.  Should go together like chocolate and peanut butter.  I'll be crowd-funding the adventure starting on June 10th.

In the meantime, if you want to play with us on Roll20, come join us!  First come, first served.  90-minute session, text only, 18+ due to sexual content, mature themes, and graphic violence.

VS

p.s. If you're asking about the gorgeous Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers, I've still some left.  Ordering details here.


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Getting Paid To Game

 

There are a few ways to make money playing RPGs...

  • Become a GM for hire, getting paid to run games for folks.
  • Create your own RPG content and find an audience for that.
  • If you're big enough, you can make money with a YouTube channel, Ko-fi, Patreon, affiliate links, or be one of those bloggers / podcasters that has advertisers, sponsors, etc.  

Here, I'm going to suggest another way to turn gaming into cash - run specific games for publishers and share those experiences with the gaming world.  

There are tons of people playing D&D online.  Yeah, it's the most popular RPG, but it's also been done to death - and it doesn't help those independent content creators struggling to get noticed.

I'm probably not alone in desiring a group to run Kort'thalis Publishing products (specific products mentioned below) with regular play reports that include photos, maybe even an entire video stream?  Personally, I'd rather read about a game than watch 3-4 hour sessions, but to each his own.

I will put my money where my mouth is and offer $100 for every individual who runs a year-long game of 2+ sessions per month, documenting each session with a satisfying chronicle of their group's experiences.  It might work for a player, instead of only GMs, but that player would have to rely on a GM to run the games, and I know how fragile gaming groups can be - especially when you're not calling the shots.

Now, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, $100 isn't a HUGE amount of money.  But consider free RPG products and extra promotion for yourself when those RPG companies (such as Kort'thalis Publishing) promotes your content.  Plus, you could run multiple games for one or more companies.  Depending on the companies, maybe you could get paid twice for mixing products together... who wouldn't love to read about a Cha'alt and Carcosa, Barbarians of Lemuria, or World of the Last Sun campaign?

Consider all of this and let me know if you'd be interested in participating.  At the moment, I'm most interested in either the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic campaign setting of Cha'alt or my sleazy scifi RPG Alpha Blue.

Feel free to comment below with questions, comments, suggestions, or advice!

VS

p.s. If you want the gorgeous Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers, ordering details here.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Human Heart Demands An Adventure

 

I was watching Ben Shapiro's Sunday Special last week.  He had Jordan Peterson on, and the discussion was both fascinating and enlightening.

For gamers especially, the call to adventure is recognizable.  We continually seek adventure through our characters, if not in everyday life.  The mythic struggle that's in all of us, yearning for expression!  It seldom gets talked about, except in games, art, and religion... but it's a vitally important aspect of the human condition.

As I've talked about multiple times, the reason for roleplaying at all is immersion - to feel as though you are there, on some level, taking part in what's happening.  To experience another world and everything that goes with it.  Like the movie Total Recall, you get to vacation from yourself.

There's more than that, of course.  After addressing the ridiculous comparison of Peterson to Red Skull, their discussion veers from psychology to politics to philosophy.  Blogger hides the video if you're on a mobile device, so I'll include a link to the YouTube video right over here.



 BTW, the title of this blog post is a direct quote from the video, around the 8:30 mark.

Please, feel free to post your thoughts below...

VS

p.s. If you haven't joined us on Facebook yet, there's a relatively new place to hang out and discuss what's going on in gaming culture - Conservative OSR & RPG Group.  See you there!


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Cha'alt After Dark

 

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm not sure if it had always been in the back of my mind or some gamer suggested it, but Cha'alt + Alpha Blue eventually needed to happen.  Last night was the first one-shot...

What's the difference?  Well, I started with Cha'alt and just included more scifi and sleaze.  That's pretty much it.

I ran the game on Roll20 with 9 players.  Since I run these virtual one-shot sessions so rarely, I didn't want to turn anyone away.  It was a little hard to keep track of everyone, but that didn't deter me from GMing like a fucking boss.

Some notable characters were... Vrek, a chaotic vore wizard, an elven cleric named Muldraen who was the party prude (until he wasn't anymore), not wanting to spend much time in the desert oasis sex club... but I'm getting ahead of myself.  Who else? Gabbak Notha the demon cleric, Hanz Frazen the swole & shirtless human wizard.  Tan'ndoor Starblade, a moon-elf thief, and several reptilian PCs.

One player in particular renamed his reptoid Whitesnake to honor the memory of Tawny Kitaen.

I simply focused on what was happening and how the adventurers responded, letting everything else fall into the background.  The PCs talked amongst themselves, and I had to ignore most of that to keep all my balls in the air.  

The session started in a normal non-sleazy way.  Mysterious humanoids pulling strings, making the adventurers dance.  It all started with a game. This magic ring thrown down a well, and the PCs had to go fetch it.

I was expecting more in-fighting, but that was my fault.  Next time I run it, I need to incentivize betrayal.  No one turned on each other, sadly.  However, there was a decent combat encounter to get the blood flowing (though, not everyone participated).  The rest of the party had already climbed out of the well.  They missed the fight, but found out what was going on via drones circling the air.  The gold they were expected to get for surviving was being held at the desert destination sex club - Pervert's Paradise.

The majority of the session took place in the club.  I had a random table for what they encountered upon entering, a random table for what happened to each of them while they were hanging out, and then a third for the inevitable bar fight.

It's important to let PCs off the leash when it comes to sandbox social interaction scenes.  I want them to roleplay, to gravitate towards whatever kind of play experience they're interested in.  That's an important part of Alpha Blue, and any RPG, in my opinion.

For example, one player started gambling away, using a friendly drunk elf as the "table stakes".  Another asked the bartender if he could make a pan-galactic gargleblaster.  As everyone knows, my games are very pop-culture friendly.

By the time the bar fight happened, we were close to the end of our 2-hour session.  I had a variety of plot hooks in my notes, but it was too late in the night to make good use of that.  So, we simply roleplayed the after-effects of the bar fight.

The Federation broke up the fight and sent everyone home. A couple PCs sauntered into the Federation starship that was parked just outside Pervert's Paradise.  They stole the ship and flew it to Alpha Blue.

The rest went to an afterparty thrown by one of the hot bimbos from the club (possibly the woman asking if anyone wanted to take a pussy shot).  At the very beginning of the scenario, it took them 2 hours to walk from A'agrybah to the well.  At the end, it took them about 15 minutes to get back to her apartment via shuttle.

I almost forgot... one of the PCs, Muldraen, stayed behind, sneaking into an upstairs bedroom with 3 elf maidens while the Federation troopers weren't looking.  BTW, that was the one and only skill-check of the night.  

After getting with the girls, he asked if any of them were holding.  One elf-girl presented a handful of glowing purple crystals they could smoke.  And smoke them they did.  What were the effects?  While I did have both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise (as well as the Saving Cha'alt PDF) sitting right next to me for reference, an idea sprang to mind... an out-of-body experience that makes you feel like you're Nicholas Cage for a few hours.  Yes, that's the dream!

And, of course, the best part was reading all the enthusiastically supportive comments post-game.  Thanks, guys.

All in all, a very satisfying one-shot.  Yes, there will be more!  ;)

VS

p.s. If you still want hardcovers of both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaiseordering details here.  Thank you for supporting independent RPG content creators like yours truly!


Friday, April 30, 2021

Negative Character Traits

 

This is something I've thought about after initially making a short video about it.

You either choose or randomly roll on the list of negative character traits.  That's just part of your personality.  You can choose to indulge your nature or fight against it.

If you choose to succumb to your flaw (via roleplaying), you get a point of Divine Favor (it's like 5e's inspiration, but you can re-roll anything if you don't like how the original roll turned out).   The advantage of avoiding one's shortcomings means you're not put into dangerous situations.  

It's the kind of risk vs reward mechanic I like. Plus, I think it'll juice-up the roleplaying while giving players something else to think about... other than "should I touch the tentacle or leave it be?"

This needs some kind of cap, as well.  Can't have PCs going down the rabbit hole of vice to keep themselves insulated with re-rolls.  Across the board, I'm limiting divine favor to 3 per session.  Doesn't matter if it comes from flaws, culture, or sheer awesomeness.  

Like my post about cultural backgrounds, this should be considered a workshop zone.  Things may change, as I'll be refining stuff every few days.  Check back to see its progress.

Negative Traits

  1. Vengeance
  2. Alcoholic
  3. Drug addict
  4. Curious
  5. Sex fiend
  6. Deceitful
  7. Violent temper
  8. Disloyal
  9. Jealous
  10. Obsessive
  11. Fanatical
  12. Lazy
  13. Hubris
  14. Disgusting
  15. Bigoted
  16. Selfless
  17. Cowardly
  18. Rebellious
  19. Megalomania
  20. Vain

There are many more I could have chosen, but my thinking here is two-fold.  First, the flaw should be something the player can roleplay.  Second, it's got to be gameable, as in, will this occasionally get PCs into trouble without being a total drag?  Finicky might be an interesting negative trait, but if a character is going to spend his time cleaning his nails or looking for higher quality ale, that's just boring.

Feel free to try it out, and let me know what happens!  Many other RPGs have mechanics similar to this, but I'm specifically designing something that'll work really well with Crimson Dragon Slayer D20.

VS

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Saving Cha'alt

 

The PDF is up on DriveThru.  Click right here and I will take you there, hoss!

What can I say about this release?  It's OSR (but I'd also feel comfortable using 5e).  It took me about 6 months from start to finish.  It contains 7 scenarios, some tips for running Cha'alt, and a 1-page appendix at the end.  Lots of random tables, as well.

It looks great!  Saving Cha'alt follows the same basic layout as Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.  I'm hoping to run a KS for the 3rd book in the trilogy around January of 2022.  Until then, grab this PDF.  The vast majority of money received goes into future projects.

I still have hardcovers of the first two books Ordering details here.

If you like my stuff, write a review or just talk about it on social media.  

Enjoy,

VS


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Cultural Paradigm

 

Ok, this blog post is going to be a "workshop area" for a while.  I'm going to be tinkering around with ideas involving Conan-esque sword & sorcery cultures.  This awesome blog post was brought to my attention recently, and I'm inspired to incorporate it into my own D&D.  

What Thulsa has done is terrific, so do check out his Xoth blog and show him some love.  FYI, his blog post is meant for Pathfinder.  This right here is meant for 5e.

However, I also want to make it my own.  So, it'll be a process taking it from rip-off to homage.  Check back for alteration updates!


Cultural Backgrounds of Cha’alt

Cha’alt has hundreds of isolated settlements.  Due to technology, magic, and the cultural contamination of both off-worlders and those steeped in the ancient ways, the cultural development varies greatly.

Players should choose one cultural background for their character.  Roll on the following random table to determine where an NPC falls on the scale…

  • 1     Savage – They live in the wild, untamed... their culture is barbaric and uncompromising.  Feats of strength, agility, and sheer survival are prized above all else.  This cultural paradigm is wary of technology and the false promises of civilization.  Drug use can dull certain senses, and is therefore rarely seen in savage cultures.  However, weird sexual fetishes are encouraged, believed to benefit the individual or entire tribe, as superstition dictates.  Humanoids from conquered tribes are sometimes taken as slaves, but are generally freed after years of proving themselves through hard work.
  • 2.       Nomadic – Outsiders in regards to cities, they are always moving across S'kbah.  Nomadic tribes are insular and self-contained, preferring their own company, keeping tribal knowledge secret and the oral history of the tribe in living memory - especially since it involves blood oaths to tentacled monstrosities who dwell beyond the outer dark.  Drugs are only used to commune with ultra-telluric entities... with whom they occasionally copulate.  Retaining one's own cultural identity in the face of new experiences and adversaries is paramount.
  • 3.       Civilized – Such humanoids generally live in cities.  They generally have an appreciation for, or may be wholly dependent upon, technology.  Civilized cultures understand the value of diversity of backgrounds and views.  Tolerance, compromise, and moderation are highly regarded traits.  Drugs, deviant sex, and slavery are frowned upon, but can still be had where the dregs of society congregate.
  • 4.       Enlightened – Cultures that have withstood the test of time, neither seeking to build empires nor scatter themselves to the desert wastes.  Humanoids belonging to an enlightened culture have evolved further than those around them via self-mastery.  Their ways seem strange, respecting the Old Gods from a distance while resisting the temptations of demons and pleasure for its own sake.  Drug use is reserved for achieving altered states of consciousness.  Enlightened cultures are detached from the world, priding themselves on sacrificing oneself in favor of higher pursuits of esoteric understanding.
  • 5.       Decadent – When cultures have it too easy for too long, they go soft, indulgent; corruption invariably sets in.  Such humanoids are more interested in aesthetics and individual appetites than the foundations of civilization, such as truth, law and order, or morality.  Decadent humanoids may indulge in recreational drug use as a means of temporary escapism.  For decadents, serving oneself is better than lofty, high-minded ideals.
  • 6.       Degenerate – Cultures that have fallen past the point of decadence seize the fruits of wickedness and degradation.  Subjugation of the weak has turned into a thriving slave trade.  Civilization has declined to the point where the malign, unnatural influence of demons has taken hold.  Cultists worshiping the Dark Gods keep their power by abusing worshipers and demanding daily human sacrifice.  Degenerate cultures use hallucinogens and narcotics to lose themselves entirely, making it easier for them to live with the horrific choices they've made.  The motto of degenerates is "Take what you can, when you can... leaving remorse for those who still retain a conscience."


At this point, and I could very well change my mind, I want to keep the mechanics super rules-light.  One thing I liked about 5e was inspiration (or my interpretation of it).  

Roleplaying choices are made by and incumbent upon the player.  When the GM recognizes player efforts, they are rewarded with a sort of "universal gift card" such as a re-roll that can be used anytime the player chooses.  In my own games (Crimson Dragon Slayer D20, for instance) I call this "Divine Favor".  

There should be a limitation to prevent accidental or purposeful abuse.  So, I'll say no more than 3 points of Divine Favor per session, for each PC.

So, when the decadent thief indulgences in some vermilion-lotus to pass the time (decadent), the fighter shoves court intrigue aside in favor of slicing the demon's head off (savage), the cleric sells humanoids into slavery in exchange for forbidden secrets (degenerate), or the sorcerer reads his scrolls in a tent outside the city while his companions sleep in comfortable beds (nomadic)... each should receive Divine Favor.  

Feel free to comment below!

VS

p.s. I still have Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcover books for sale.  Ordering details here.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Alien Lover (1975)

 

For the longest time... so long, I can't even tell you, I've been searching for this movie.  

Something about a guy that's trapped in a TV, maybe he's an alien, demon, pure energy, or just some unexplained entity.  He was talking to people or a person in this house.  And it was vaguely unsettling, like a Twilight Zone episode.  

Through the grace of obscure, underground weird media hounds, I found someone on Twitter who asked someone who knew someone else that had the answer.  It's a made-for-TV movie called Alien Lover.

And the craziest part... it premiered exactly one year after my birth.  So bizarre!

I have to wait a little over 24 hours to watch it on YouTube, but I've waited at least 25 or 30 years, I can wait another day.

The pic is b/w, but the movie is color and just over an hour long.  If you want to watch, just go to YouTube and search for "Alien Lover 1975".  Will post again after I've seen it.

Hope this finds you well and if there's something you've been dying to see or even find out if it's real or just something you imagined decades ago, go out there and make it happen!

VS

p.s. I still have Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers.  Order yours today!


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Rules of Engagement

 

I'll make this brief.  As conservatives, moderates, and old-school liberals, we've got to engage with the tragic woke SJW fools who want to ruin gaming.

Yes, there are many reasons for staying away, not engaging, and burying our head in the sand.  Wouldn't it be nice if it just died off?  Newsflash, I don't think it's going to go away on its own.

Once per day (that you're online) engage in some fashion.  Doesn't have to be in the lion's den with 240 frothing leftists on a twitter thread (although, that's what I routinely do).  Maybe a variety of views are being expressed on Facebook or some garbage "straight white male terrorist" opinion is being spouted in a forum.  Doesn't matter.  Confront it!

Post a comment, suggestion, hashtag, meme, emoji, question, insult, random gif.  Engage and keep engaging because if there's no resistance to crappy ideas, that worldview will multiply... and then we'll have a real fight on our hands.  

It's not only fun to troll radical leftists, it actually works.  I've seen it happen.  Sure, the most unhinged people in a thread will try crapping on you, but those on the fence will either back down or realize there are real folks on the other side of an issue.  

Want to talk about it?  Talk to me.  Or talk about it on my newish conservative FB group - info right over here!

VS

p.s. Want to buy a fancy hardcover book of either Cha'alt or Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise?  Ordering details here.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Conservative OSR & RPG Facebook Group

 

You know, a place for us... those who don't want to be bothered by politics BUT are not afraid to speak our minds when some political topic arises.  

In fact, I'm of the opinion that politics MUST be discussed if we're going to survive the radical-left takeover of RPGs.

I don't care what political views you have or share, but I will not allow the intolerance of the SJW woke mob to silence or drown out voices of normal, regular, ordinary folks who just want to game... not have to worry about politics.

Our hobby has been under siege for awhile now, the creation of this FB group is one small step in the fight to take back what's ours.  This is an act of preservation.  If you want to conserve our gaming culture, I invite you to join us.

This is the link right here!

If you have a question or suggestion, feel free to comment here or on the Conservative OSR & RPG Group.  

Enjoy,

VS

p.s. Do I still have luxury hardcover Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise books for sale?  Yes, I do.


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Perfect Outcome?

 

As you might have already heard, Luke Crane has been forced to resign over the stupidest weak-sauce bullshit you could imagine.

Similar to what's been happening to Governor Cuomo in NY, Cuomo should be getting his ass handed to him over killing all those elderly people in nursing homes and then trying to cover it up.  But instead, the left wants to beat him over the head for sexually crude comments and trying to kiss a secretary or two.

What can I say, the progressive, radical-left are fucking insane... and they're ruining this hobby.

Luke Crane got in trouble for having Adam Koebel as a contributor to his KS project when the real reason he should (or should not, depending on your view) be scrutinized is that Luke Crane was head of the RPG division of Kickstarter, creating conflict of interest red flags.

I, and many others, have discussed the Adam Koebel nothing burger until we're blue in the face.  From now on, EVERY SINGLE SESSION I RUN FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR will include the pushing of a button to simulate at least one (probably multiple) non-consensual robot orgasm.  Jesus tentacled Christ, who the fuck cares?!?

Getting back on track, the social justice warriors seem to think this hobby is theirs, that "the community" is so important, so evolved, so much better than the OSR and regular gamers who don't want politics in their RPGs.  

Yes, the collective can be as seductive as an angry mob to certain people.  If you join, you get perks!  But don't be fooled.  It robs you of your identity (ironic when you think of identity politics), controls you, and eventually leads to the death of freedom.  Hello, cancelation! 

And to all the people who've said that either cancel culture doesn't exist or "it's just fine," let me remind you - ignoring the problem won't make it go away.  You guys are just as guilty of poisoning elf-games as those vilifying individuals just trying to live and make a living irrespective of the woke authoritarian regime.

Makes you wonder what would happen if Koebel, Crane, and the rest of the SJW gamers just refused to apologize, refused to recede into the shadows.  Can you be canceled if you don't let it happen?

Well, it worked for Gina Carano but didn't work for Zak (though, he's still blogging and putting content out there).  Both are talented, but the former seems like a sweetheart (confirmed by Bill Burr) while the latter... well, yeah.  He'll probably always be a hyper-argumentative asshole demanding his version of objective truth and unequivocal apologies.  

Anyway, goodbye to Luke Crane, a continued farewell to Adam Koebel, and adios to every other SJW who crosses the ever-encroaching and self-imposed line of what's "socially acceptable".  You guys are spineless, easily offended, back-stabbing, cry-bully collectivists.  Fuck all y'all!

VS

p.s. Want the best in eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic gaming?  Luxurious, signed, limited edition Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers... ordering details here.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Psycho Goreman

 

The kids have off today, so I'm going to make this review short and sweet.

Aaron the Pedantic and I have been talking about science-fantasy and Krull in particular on our new podcast Gonzo Up Your Ass!

Well, if you take the awesome and epic worldbuilding of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror and put it on contemporary Earth, but make it funny - like badass demons getting interrupted by uppity children, then you have Psycho Goreman.

There are literally dozens of cool bits and pieces to steal from this and put it in your RPG or campaign setting of choice... D&D, Rifts, Cha'alt, Carcosa, LotFP, DCC, Arduin, etc.

Just like you can tell that Mork Borg was created by graphic designers, Psycho Goreman must have been created by special FX guys because there are more creature costumes than you can can count.  Every time you turn around, there's a weird, over-the-top, cringe on purpose which makes it ironically awesome humanoid (mostly) entity that reminds you of those silly sci-fi monsters from Power Rangers.  

But it's the unrelenting dark atmosphere mixed with the laughs that sets it apart and makes it seven-fold better than just another kid's show or movie.  The language reminds me of Prince of Nothing, his pleasingly overwrought and legendary way of speaking and naming things.  

Some of my favorite things... the look and sound of the "protagonist" Psycho Goreman, along with that glowing magenta/fuchsia magic stone, a different kind of laser-sword than I've ever seen before, the backstory of Psycho Goreman involving the planet Gigax (yes, pronounced like Gygax), the humorous board of directors that have an interest in seeing Psycho Goreman defeated, the cool deaths as PG dishes the pain on both pesky humans and alien demon creatures more like himself.

It's the kind of movie I'm glad I bought on blu-ray because I'll be seeing this many more times over the years.  The fact that I was able to watch this with my wife and two older girls was an unexpected bonus!

This movie gets my highest recommendation 5 out of 5 stars.  If you're at all into stuff like D&D while not taking yourself too seriously, watch it and prepare to re-watch soon after.  It's just that awesome.  If they don't make a sequel next year, I'm going to be really disappointed.

VS

p.s. Yes, I have the luxury hardcover Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise books for sale, direct through me.  Ordering details here!


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A.I. Players for D&D

 

An interesting discussion broke out on Twitter yesterday.  

We were talking about the possibility of an artificial intelligence as DM.  But then a couple of us simultaneously wondered about an A.I. player.

So, I decided to simulate an A.I. player in D&D with a simple d20 table...

  1. "I attack."
  2. "I keep going."
  3. "I want to take a closer look at that."
  4. "I leave it alone."
  5. "I do NOT speak the Latin... same goes for any other weird, mystical, or ancient form of communication."
  6. "I'm ready to make a new character.  Ok, I'll say your damn words!"
  7. "I make conversation, trying to gather information."
  8. "I attempt to negotiate, intimidate, or seduce." [whichever gives me the best advantage]
  9. "I surrender."
  10. "I loot the body."
  11. "I run away."
  12. "I back away slowly."
  13. "I attempt to disarm the trap."
  14. "I move around or jump over the obstacle."
  15. "I eat, drink, and make merry."
  16. "I disbelieve."
  17. "I attempt to steal it."
  18. "I use the special thing (magic, high-tech, explosive device, etc.)."
  19. "I ask for healing."
  20. "I rest."
Perhaps, this would actually make a good list of options (not necessarily a random table) for noobs?  

I don't know, but share your thoughts with me.  I'd love to hear them.

VS

p.s. Fuck yes, I'm back to selling my gorgeous Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers!  Ordering details here.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Stimulating Cha'alt

 

Another round of stimulus checks, and another chance to buy the limited edition, signed, hardcovers of both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.  

Kort'thalis Publishing is sure to garner at least a third of that 1.9 trillion dollars, right?

I bought back the 500 copies of Cha'alt that a friend helped me out with last year.  A good chunk of those were snatched up by Kickstarter backers, but I still have some left.

Cha'alt is $60 (includes USA shipping) + $20 to Canada or + $30 everywhere else in the world.

Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise is $60 (includes USA shipping) + $20 to Canada or + $30 everywhere else in the world.

Combined, both books are $100 + $30 to Canada and + $40 everywhere else in the world.

Send money via paypal.  My email is: Venger.Satanis@yahoo.com

All physical media automatically includes the corresponding PDF(s).  If you've already purchased the PDF, take $5 off the total price.

Thanks for your continued support!

VS


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Welcome To The Thunderdome

 

The inaugural episode of our monthly podcast Gonzo Up Your Ass! is available.  Aaron the Pedantic and I had a nice little chat about how to make your RPG sessions more gonzo and/or metal.



If you're checking this blog post out on a mobile device, the video may not show up.  In that case, here is a direct link to the YouTube video. 

Have a question or suggestion about gonzo/metal in your game?  Let us know so we can talk about it.

Enjoy,

VS

p.s. Only a short time left to back my Saving Cha'alt kickstarter.  Back it to get more bang for your buck - as many as 7 eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic scenarios!


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cyborg Tomato

 


Not sure how I happened upon this, but it's awesome and gameable and it's going into Saving Cha'alt... somewhere somehow.  

As luck would have it, I needed a gimmick for the A.I. patrolling the prison-city known as Sanz Egra'as.  Cyborg tomato it is, then.  

Legendary!

If you haven't backed the Kickstarter yet, there's only 9 days left.  What are you waiting for?

VS


Friday, February 12, 2021

Gonzo Up Your Ass!

 

Aaron the Pedantic and I will be tag-teaming a new hour-long, once a month podcast that will showcase how you can make your D&D more gonzo and/or metal.

How did this all come about?  Aaron was dismayed that Mork Borg gave you fish rather than teaching you how to fish, when it comes to metal-izing your adventures and campaign.  Well, Aaron and I want to teach you how to fish.  

For those who don't know, Metallica wanted to call their first album Metal Up Your Ass, but the pussy record company wouldn't allow it, so they came up with Kill 'Em All, instead.  Since this podcast is for both gonzo and metal, I thought Gonzo Up Your Ass had a nice ring to it.  ;)

The first show is Tuesday night, February 23rd (7:30-8:30pm central standard time).  Aaron also got his logo guy to make this badass thing over here.  Sweet!

Thanks for your continued support, everyone.

VS

p.s. Almost forgot about the Saving Cha'alt kickstarter.  It's awesome, please back it!!!


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Larry Flynt: Space Hustler

 

It's obvious to me that without Larry Flynt, there might not be an Alpha Blue RPG.  And what a tragedy that would be for the universe!

I just found out that he died.  Champion of free speech and lover of all things sleazy... RIP, hoss.

From now until Monday, I'm bringing 3 Alpha Blue titles to the low, low price of $1.  

It all started with Alpha Blue.  That gets you in the mood while teaching you everything you need to play.

Girls Gone Rogue is the first Alpha Blue supplement.  More options, random tables, and scenarios.

An even bigger and nastier supplement is Universal Exploits. It's got everything! 

I tried to make everything as rules-light, gameable, humorous, sexy, and sci-fi as I could.  Anyway, enjoy.  Pour a Purple Prizm out for one of my heroes, Larry Flynt.  If you want to read about the man, this is as good a place as any.

VS

p.s. Yep, my Saving Cha'alt kickstarter is going for another couple weeks.  Back it now before you have to pay retail [shudders uncontrollably].

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

WotC Apology for Stuff of Legends

 

Here it is.  After the twitter backlash, we all knew it was coming.  Wizards apologies for Stuff of Legends.  Read their letter below...

Dear fans, customers, and D&D community;

It has come to our attention that Stuff of Legends, our new D&D web series involving "muppets" has negatively impacted those sensitive to such things.  While many in our toxic culture would call you social justice warriors, virtue signaling twerps, and complete idiots, we understand.  We hear you.  And we're there for you.

Obviously, large breasts, as well as the platemail which bouys them, is sexist and awful, probably racist, too, and no doubt the product of straight white male terrorism in our very midst.  

Furthermore, even though the character's name is quite amusing, we now realize that humor is the enemy.  Remember, while you're laughing, fascism is rising!  Joking around is forbidden at the gaming table, unless of course, everyone has checked the box on the consent checklist.  But even then, don't do it.  No laughing!

Henceforth, we will be calling this Tiddy-gate.  Heads will roll.  Heads as giant and round as that muppet's tiddies.  So it shall be!

Sincerely, 

WotC Management 


Before you go, check out my latest kickstarter campaign for eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic adventures set in Cha'alt.  If you like what you see, back Saving Cha'alt!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Saving Cha'alt Kickstarter

 

I know I said February 5th, but just couldn't think of a good reason not to pull the trigger.

The Saving Cha'alt Kickstarter launched yesterday, and is already on track to do big things!  With your help, we can reach 7k.

That means talking about it on twitter, FB, reddit, Mewe, YouTube, RPG forums/blogs, and whatever social media platform you're on.  

Don't be shy about reviewing stuff like Crimson Dragon Slayer D20Cha'alt, and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise. I'm also making myself available for interviews.

All the info is on the KS page, but if you want to talk Cha'alt or ask questions, feel free to do so here.

Thanks for your continued support!

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

p.s. Saving Cha'alt has already funded!


Monday, January 25, 2021

Cha'alt Book 3 next year?

 

Ok, so the first two Cha'alt books turned out great.  The Kickstarters were both successful, and the quality is off the charts!

Next year... yes, I'm talking about 2022, I'd like to Kickstart the third Cha'alt book.  To the right, you can see a quick concept sketch for the Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows cover art.  

It's a mish-mash of awesome stuff I've grown up with over the years... Beastmaster, Indiana Jones, Conan (sword), Lovecraftian tentacles, and hot fantasy ladies.  What do you think?

However, I've been reliably informed by my wife that until I get the 1,000 print run of Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise sold (200 of those already out the door), I can't move forward - except for commissioning the cover art, of course.

So, in the meantime, I'm launching an in-between Kickstarter to help sell Fuchsia Malaise books, as well as, one or more short PDF adventures set in the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic campaign setting of Cha'alt.  The further we break stretch goal barriers, the more adventures will be released into backers' hands.

That KS has already been submitted for approval with a launch date of February 5th.  It'll run a full 30 days.  Should be pretty cool.  The more $ it makes, the better value backers will get.  I have many adventure ideas just waiting to be uncaged!

So, check back here for details.  If you have questions or suggestions, definitely let me know.

VS

p.s.  Why wait for the Kickstarter when you can order your luxury hardcover Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise right now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Spell Components in Cha'alt

 

I'm workshopping something new for my Cha'alt campaign, maybe it'll appear in the 3rd book next year... who knows?

At character creation, magic-using PCs must either choose or roll on the following random table to determine their fetishistic spell focus - a component which is part and parcel of their sorcery.

  1. Fire - any kind of flame or intense heat.
  2. Water - any of the three states of water (liquid, steam, or ice).
  3. Gold - self explanatory.
  4. Flesh - think: sex magic.
  5. Blood - ritual bloodletting and death.
  6. Crystal - any crystalline structure.
  7. Energy - high-tech power supplies.
  8. Emotional Turmoil - eliciting a powerful emotional response from one or more humanoids around you.

So, what are the pros and cons?  
  • Casting without your spell component yields a 2 in 6 chance of spell failure.
  • Casting with a small or medium amount of your spell component just means that magic is cast normally.  Casting with a large amount of your spell component effectively doubles the potency of that spell.  
  • The higher the spell level, the more component you need.  A 1st level spell might only require a single gold piece or "shot" from a blaster's energy-cell.  4th level spells may take a fist-sized crystal or consume a torch.

Keep in mind that when a particular component is used, it's entirely spent... water evaporates, crystal becomes dull rock, gold pieces turn to lead, and lifeforce is consumed.  This prevents sorcerers from using the same energy-cell to summon a demon over and over again.

Why bother doing this?  Well, it's just another thing to both keep players on their toes while creating interesting situations.  Could be fun... go ahead and give it a try!  And let me know the results.

If this seems to work, I could add more components.  Light, darkness, slime, who knows?  Feel free to suggest your own!

VS

p.s. Book II of the Cha'alt trilogy, Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise is selling like hot-cakes.  Click over here to find out how to order the luxury hardcover (and get the PDF FREE).

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Dead Poet Dungeon Master

 

Today, I'm blogging about the "sweaty-toothed madman" technique of adventure writing.  

Don't bother googling it, I just made that shit up... but not out of thin air.  

I fondly remember watching the movie Dead Poet Society in 1989.  Very relatable since I was, and still am, an anti-authoritarian creative writer.

So, what's this sweaty-toothed madman technique about?  Sometimes, saying (or writing) the first thing that comes into your mind is a winning strategy.  Game Masters who love coming up with details on the spot do this all the time.  Maybe they filter out the more ridiculous notions, maybe not.

Let's take an example - a black box.  The PCs have it in their hot little hands.  They want to open it, and you (as GM), don't have a clue what's in there.  Now what?

The safe option is to stall for time until you can think of something suitably interesting.  Perhaps, the black box doesn't open right away... or skeevers attack just as the thief pries the lid to have a peek.

However, if you want to come up with something off-the-wall and possibly inspired, say the first thing that comes to your mind.

In the following scene, Keating (Robin Williams at his best) coaxes something from one of his students, Todd.

Keating: A picture of Uncle Walt [Whitman] up there, what does he remind you of, don't think, answer.

Todd: A madman.

Keating: What kind of madman?

Todd: A crazy madman.

Keating: No, you can do better than that, free up your mind, use your imagination, say the first thing that pops into your head, even if it's total gibberish, go on, go on.

Todd: A sweaty-toothed madman.

Keating: Good God boy, there's a poet in you, after all.  There, close your eyes, close your eyes, close 'em, now describe what you see.

Todd: I close my eyes...

Keating: Yes.

Todd: And this image floats beside me.

Keating: A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain.

Keating: Oh, that's excellent, now give him an action, make him do something.

Todd: His hands reach out and choke me.

Keating: That's excellent, wonderful, wonderful.

Todd: And all the time he's mumbling.

Keating: What's he mumbling?

Todd: Mumbling truth, truth like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold. [laughter]

Keating: Forget them, forget them, stay with the blanket, tell me about the blanket.

Todd: you push it, stretch it, it will never be enough, you kick at it, beat it, it will never cover any of us.  From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, it will just cover your face, as you wail and cry and scream.

Keating: [Whispering to Todd] Don't you forget this.



[For mobile devices, you may not see a video...Click here, instead]

Indeed, we all have something inside of us worth a great deal.

So, that's it, essentially.  Closing your eyes isn't necessary, but letting your imagination flow is.  The results don't always produce great things; however, the sweaty-toothed madman technique occasionally beats the pants off everything else.  

I don't remember mentioning Dead Poet Society in my book How To Game Master Like A Fucking Boss, but it's possible.  If I have time, I'll take a gander later today.

VS

p.s. I've got luxury hardcovers of Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise for sale.  Ordering details right over here!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Fuchsia Malaise Contest Results

 

For Lordmatteus, rolling a one worked out...  

Congratulations on winning, hoss!  Email me your info.  

As a special reward, the others who participated in the contest each get $10 off the purchase price.  

For everyone else, order your luxury hardcover sometime in January and get $5 off.  Better than a kick in the balls, am I right?

Ordering details right over here.

Enjoy,

VS


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Favorite Pop-Culture Reference

 

I've decided to make this into a contest.  

Comment below with your favorite pop-culture reference from either Cha'alt or Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise and you'll be in the running to win a free hardcover of the latter (within the USA, otherwise it's $35 if you live outside the USA).

I'll randomly roll for the winner at midnight tomorrow, January 11th.  I'll post the winner's name on the 12th and you'll have 48 hours to email me your info (like mailing address).  

Good luck!

What's Chaultt and the other thing... fautsha mayonnaise?  Details here, my friend.  

;)

VS


Friday, January 8, 2021

Brink of Civil War

TL;DR:  If you thought this bullshit was over with 2020, think again.

Sorry for the lateness of this blog post... I thought it important to wait a bit and let the dust settle before I recklessly shoot my mouth off as many of my colleagues have done.

If you've been on social media the last couple days, you can hear the left cry out with indignant glee!  They're thinking "We've got them now, those bad, lousy, no good, very bad Trump supporters.  We can label them terrorists, just like we've done for years [albeit with softer voices] and be done with Orange Man Bad forever!"

Bad news, leftists.  What happened at the Capitol was your fault.  You did this.  

  • You tried to impeach Trump BEFORE he was even inaugurated in 2016, denying he won in a fair and free election with your Russian hoax - when it was the Clintons who colluded with Russia via the Steele Dossier!
  • You've been insulting and demonizing Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters ever since Trump declared he was running for president.
  • You normalized violent protests, demonstrations, rioting, and occupying territory throughout 2020.  The media, politicians, celebrities, Big Tech, corporations, and even some law enforcement agencies gave their approval.
  • You convinced a plurality of Americans that America itself was systemically racist and then tried to fix the imaginary problem with critical race theory, defunding the police, and Green New Deal.
  • You locked everything down so people couldn't do much of anything - extremely limited socialization, entertainment, religious celebration, political organizing, and going back to work.  15 days to slow the spread has turned into 9 months of house arrest.
  • You threw away all the voting norms and safeguards we've had in place until just before the biggest and most contentious election in U.S. history.  And when Americans cried foul, you censored them, discredited them, and continued to insult them while wondering why the other half doesn't want to unify around Biden and his supporters.  

I don't have any proof (aside from the anecdotal evidence one can easily find online) that the election was stolen away from Trump.  And I'm not sure why holding a political rally at that time and place was considered a good idea.  But it's also not surprising.  What did you expect would happen?  

Will there be more political violence in 2021.  I hope not, but it seems likely.

A woman lost her life.  So many more people lost their lives throughout the "mostly peaceful protests" in 2020.  It all seems tragic and needless.  

I don't know where the line between protesting and rioting is, anymore... what's tolerated and what isn't.  And I don't know where we go from here.  But it doesn't take a genius to see that whatever we've got going on right now isn't working.

Eventually, both sides need to come together on something (hopefully, multiple things) in order to successfully move forward into the future as a nation.  Until then, there will be chaos - the new normal.

VS

p.s. If you haven't heard, I now have luxury, signed, limited edition Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers for sale.  Eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse campaign settings have never looked this good!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Accomplishments Thus Far

A new year brings chance for reflection.  

Someone on twitter was asking what I've accomplished in my life.  Some accomplishments are personal, subjective, and either unverifiable or ephemeral.  I won't include those... but those times I knew my opponent was bluffing on the river, well, if you add it all up, I saved myself thousands of dollars.  Plus, a lot of final tables.

In no particular order, here we go...

  • 50+ roleplaying game products written and self-published, several of them best-sellers.
  • Married (still).
  • 5 children.
  • My Game Mastering is known far and wide as legen... wait for it... dary.  Legendary!
  • Before wife and kids, I was a successful PUA with a score around 100 in a 5-year timeframe.
  • College degree (probably the least of my accomplishments on this list - the most useful thing I learned in school was how to type - and that was in High School).
  • Business / financial success in my chosen industry.
  • I was the High Priest of a religion and magical order based on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Cult (still the founder and spiritual leader for the organization - Ipsissimus Venger As'Nas Satanis.  Within that paradigm, my achievements are vast and esoteric.  Feel free to ask me about it privately, though).
  • I limit myself to a dozen or so specialties, but within those parameters, I'm a damn good cook.  And each year, I add to my repertoire.  
  • I've amassed a collection of movies the likes of which would make Blockbuster blush (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, horror, exploitation, comedy, and westerns).

That's it for now.  If I think of something red-hot tonight or tomorrow, I'll add it to the list.  If you know of any accomplishment I didn't mention, comment below.

What's for the future?  That's probably a blog post for another time...

Happy New Year!

VS

p.s. Before I forget, now selling luxury hardcovers of Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise.