Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Kort'thalis Meta-Sigil


Before getting into more Cha'altified submissions, I'd like to blog about the Kort'thalis meta-sigil.

This magical symbol or glyph is a portal to Cha'alt... the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic campaign setting I created years ago.  Instead of physically transporting you to the world of fuchsia skies, it's a vehicle for your consciousness.

The very first painting of Kort'thalis, over a decade ago, looked like an eldritch and infernal key to another dimension.  This is the latest.

It's acrylic paint on high-grade gallery type canvas, approximately 24" tall x 18" wide, varnished for maximum protection.  There's an unexpected Erol Otus quality about it, if I do say so myself.  

For those using Cha'alt, either on its own or as a hybrid setting in conjunction with others, I suggest rendering your own and keeping a visual of the meta-sigil nearby while you're gaming (both GM and players).  Personally, I like to meditate on Kort'thalis for a minute or two before each session, and if I need an extra shot of inspiration, I'll glance at it while running the game.

All language is simply communicating through mutually agreed upon symbols.  When you see this symbol, it communicates the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic qualities of Cha'alt, transporting you to its burning sand below a fuchsia sky, so those adventures can be lived by you, me, all of us.

This secret world that lives and breathes inside our collective imagination is objective reality, just harder to perceive... that is, until one spends sufficient time and energy in Cha'alt.  The more you engage with it, the realer it becomes.  Perhaps the everyday world will pale by comparison?

Roleplaying games are an outlet, an escape, a fun pastime with family and friends.  But it can be so much more, the chance to participate in the creation and continuation of a parallel universe that exists just outside of our own.

Yesterday morning, I had the painting right beside me while running Cha'alt for someone on Roll20 who'd never played D&D before.  Did it make a difference?  Well, I felt different.  With each session, I see the world of Cha'alt and everyone inhabiting it as incrementally more alive and real.

I'll have this and other paintings of the Kort'thalis meta-sigil on display at VENGER CON!!!  Tickets still available...

If you'd like to participate in one of my Roll20 demonstrations (90-minutes, text only, and usually 18+), either let me know or follow me on Twitter @VengerSatanis.

Have a great week, hoss!


p.s. Disappointed in WotC's latest regurgitation of your beloved campaign setting?  Get hooked on Cha'alt!  And while you're at it, Crimson Dragon Slayer D20.  Don't believe me?  Check out the vast amount of 5-star Cha'alt reviews.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Cha'altifying Dumb/Boring Scenarios (part 1)


I asked for your suggestions - give me the most boring, dumb one-sentence adventure description and I will Cha'altify that bitch.  

Well, the outpouring of worthy suggestions blew my mind.  That's why I collected them in this here blog post.  Alright, here goes nothing...

Original: Find a missing cat.

Cha'altified: A missing cat who is the guardian between worlds was exiled to the center of the hollow planet, falling into the clutches of a subterranean alien vampire race whose civilization thrived over a thousand years ago.  

Original: Safe-space sociology LARPer gets job at multinational megacorp copyright collector.  This is its journey. 

Cha'altified: Beta-male slave is imprisoned within a simulation energy-cell like a cheap, organic battery.  The caves where these energy-cell fields are stored are haunted by sentient raspberry jellies and peanut-butter oozes at war with each other.  These mutant aberrations of nature spawned by a putrefying zoth pool that also happens to be the only place where magical items can be recharged.

Original: A party of adventurers must protect the local lord's chocolate harvest.

Cha'altified: A sinister sorcerer and sulfuric chocolatier has been making delectable pacts with demons for years.  Infernal beings love his sulfuric chocolate, but the constantly rising prices the sorcerer charges have convinced the demons that it would be better to attack the sorcerer in his lair and torture him for those secrets, rather than keep paying exorbitant prices.  

Original: You book a room at an inn and have to get to your room.

Cha'altified: The inn is not only part brothel, it also serves as a dance academy for witches, making it the perfect finishing school for women who will eventually mate with eldritch demon spawn of the Great Old Ones. Around every turn are nubile ballerinas, witches, devils, and Knights of the Purifying Scourge prowling in the shadows.  

Original: You have been chosen by the ancient prophecy to fulfill destiny.

Cha'altified: The looming stars drip off the cosmos' face, signaling the time for heroes who are all that stand between the remnants of civilization and slimy entities in the darkness waiting to return, dethroning mortals into the outer void.  The prophecy was writ in crayon on the back of a kid's Red Lobster menu, and is presumed lost in a retired military facility from before The Apocalypse.  The exact wording of that prophecy is key to surviving the coming horrors. 


Ok, that's enough for now.  I'll do a part 2 either tomorrow or the next day (and maybe even a part 3).  Remember to keep it eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, and post-apocalypse!


p.s. Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows is 25% off on DTRPG.  Also, still several tickets available for VENGER CON in Madison, WI this July.  An old-school gaming convention like it's 1981. You won't want to miss it!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Negative Karma Pools


I try to go through life with my senses open.  

Do za'akier have antennae?  Probably. 

When I read or hear a certain word or phrase, it sometimes triggers my pineal gland, giving fruit to inspiration.

Today's post was inspired by a video by The OG GM's Adventures, specifically this one over here.

He mentioned negative karma pools, and that jarred something in me... and now I'm blogging about it. 

It took me a few minutes to decide what "negative karma pools" might mean.  And this is what I came up with... 

Extra GM dice for when the players take direct action deemed culturally, ethically, or morally egregious, according to the campaign setting.  

This could be anything from naming your character Bob, throwing personal artifacts contained in a mausoleum on the ground so you can bone an attractive woman (Just watched Broken Lizard's Club Dread), shitting in a S'kbah oasis, or stabbing a faithful guide in the back just to save a few gold pieces.

The first time it happens, the GM earns a bonus d4 to use as he will against the PCs.  The second occurrence earns him a d6.  The third, a d8.  Then a d10, d12, and finally d20 [edit: these dice are cumulative, that's why it's called a pool]. GMs don't need to spend these bonus dice; they may reserve them for a later date.  Whatever result is rolled may be added to any dice the GM rolls, such as to-hit, damage, NPC or monster saving throw, etc. 

Let me know what you think of this idea, if you have suggestions, questions, or comments... I want to know.  Give me feedback, hoss!


p.s. For a limited time, Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows is 25% off.  Also, I've sold 20 out of 100 tickets to this July's VENGER CON in Madison, WI.  Get yours before they sell out!

Thursday, April 7, 2022



I had an idea... demonstrate how to Cha'altify your basic D&D adventure premise.  

If you want to watch the video, there you go.

Here's what you do, take something simple like the PCs are hired to rescue a princess from the clutches of an evil sorcerer.

Then, you take aspects of that basic scenario and make it more eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, and post-apocalyptic [these are the macro elements of Cha'alt].  Boom, now it's Cha'altified!

  • Eldritch - the princess is cursed with second-sight because she was born when Alga'al, the "demon star" was in ascendance.  Since puberty (she's around 20 now), the princess has experienced visions of things she couldn't possibly know.
  • Gonzo - the sorcerer is half banana and the majority of his minions are banana-men.
  • Science-Fantasy - the sorcerer has made his lair in the remains of a recently crashed starship.
  • Post-Apocalypse - the sorcerer is using the captured princess to locate an A.I. bured somewhere in the desert wasteland of S'kbah.

If you want to go even further, totally optional, here are some more "tags" to further Cha'alt-up this adventure [micro elements]...

  • Comedic / Grim-Dark - the princess' father is dead.  It's actually her uncle who wants her "rescued".  He's hired the PCs to take the princess away from the sorcerer and leave her in the desert to be devoured by sandworms.
  • Pop-Culture - It is rumored that two droids survived the starship crash.  After the ship went down, these droids (Goldie and U2) walked to a nearby settlement in search of employment.
  • Sleazy - The princess only receives her visions during orgasm.

There you go.  Put whatever vanilla fantasy plot through the Cha'alt Filter, and you'll generate inspiration for terrific, out-of-the-box flourishes that take your pedestrian scenario to the next level and beyond!


p.s. Do I still have gorgeous hardcovers (limited edition, signed and numbered) of both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise?  As of right now... yes.  Details here!