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.


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.  



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!


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!


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!


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