Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Pre-Convention News & Updates

I wanted to show off the map progress.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been experimenting with a new tentacle-drawn mapping style.

And this is what it looks like after my layout guy is done with it.  There will be more like this soon (with possible tweaks).  After VENGER CON, I'll be preparing the way for book 4 of the Cha'alt trilogy (due out next July).

Speaking of VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo, it's less than a month away.  Weekend badges are still available.  Everyone who loves old-school, OSR, and traditional RPGs is welcome, but this is not a woke convention.  

As the con gets closer, I'll be posting some content for gamers to use (both those attending and those who wish they could attend, but aren't able to).

There are Cha'alt zines happening.  I believe all three of them are about to launch between now and VENGER CON.  I'll post about those (with links) as the convention approaches.  However, this one right here is currently being crowdfunded via Kickstarter - please, support him!

I'm also still working on the webcomics (Cha'alt, Alpha Blue, and Purple Islands).

Remember, I'm still giving away that free Cha'alt adventure, The Violet-Haunted Crypt.

This Sunday at 7pm central (8pm eastern) we'll be debuting the next phase of our monthly RPG YouTube podcast Inappropriate Characters with our new co-host Diversity & Dragons!  It'll be a 90-minute stream.  So, mark your digital calendars or whatever.

Ok, if there's anything you want to talk about or see from me in the next 3 weeks, comment down below!


Sunday, June 25, 2023

Crystals of Chaos [session report #12]


This was kind of a strange episode... reminded me of Empire Strikes Back.

Only 3 players (which I consider the bare minimum for playing face-to-face in a long-term campaign).  We had Jackal the dwarf warrior, Zagreus the dwarf thief, and Crandol the half-orc warrior.  As you can see, they're missing at least half their firepower.  

I opened the session by gazing at the Kort'thalis meta-sigil, striking the Gong of Destiny, and donning my black Game Mastering cloak!

Aside from Vanessa who didn't even get mentioned this session, and the film crew... I meant to remind the guys that they could do that thing where they talk to the camera in a private interview format to earn an extra point of Divine Favor - next session, don't wait for me to forget again, just ask!

So the main NPC du jour was Teddy Westside (along with the medical-droid they liberated from that Federation penal colony, OZ-22).  He didn't have as much screen time as last session, but towards the session's end, he was there when it counted.

There was only one cave on level 2 of Cremza'amirikza'am that hadn't yet been explored.  Zagreus, being the stealthiest, checked it out first.  It was a demon massacre, at least a dozen demons ripped or hacked apart.  Many pools of blood, including one that was neon-blue.  They saved a vial of that for later and the thief searched the bodies for loot.

They found a number of interesting things, such as a sleestak bobblehead with a series of numbers taped to the bottom, a bust of H.P. Lovecraft covered with fungi that glowed indigo in darkness, an onyx idol of Kort'thalis, and 111 gold pieces.  Also, Zagreus picked-up a magical and vorpal ba'atleth (the Klingon melee weapon).

As the thief scoured the corpses, he noticed one demon was still barely alive.  With its last breath, the demon croaked "The Mutilator!" then died.  Zagreus took the just-now-dead demon's aquamarine ring that he believed was magical... and then kept getting thirsty for no apparent reason.

Towards the back of the cave was a spiral stairway going down to the third level.  They eavesdropped on a couple of young lovers who were part of this game or contest, the survivors got some sort of prize, and it was all being televised with silent drones that Zagreus happened to notice.

But not having much to do with either of the Crimson Bastard's quests - search for crystals to fuel their starship Jefferson and track down Federation Commander Andrak before he can find that super-weapon capable of destroying Cha'alt - they let them go on their way.

Zagreus scouted ahead again, noticing a purple demon pleasuring himself to the sight of two women making-out just up the northern tunnel.  He bypassed that while silently creeping to the southern caves, and found a few different humanoid settlement factions preparing for something - ritually cleansing themselves with zoth, trying to decipher infernal glyphs on scrolls, and so forth. 

With Teddy Westside's prompting, the warriors eventually made their way towards the party's thief.  Jackal saw the purple demon jacking it and decided to stab him with his enchanted trident.  He did, killing the demon.  I rolled to see if the demon was able to finish before succumbing to his wounds.  Yes, he was!  Then I asked Jackal's player to roll a saving throw... and I believe he rolled a natural 1 (either that or it was real low, like a 2 or 3).  So, I ruled that the demon managed to get his purple spunk all over the dwarven warrior.

Wiping the purple ejaculate away, Teddy mentioned the repairing qualities that purple demon jizz had, like on leather furniture, for instance!  So, Teddy Westside collected as much as he could with a special instrument that he called "jizz tweezers" and Zagreus' player dubbed "jeezers," as Ted mentioned another name for the tool... a jaccard (the highest quality and fashion dictate the jaccard be crystal-rimmed, of course).

Finishing that, they met up with Zagreus, talked to more people, and found out about The Selection - a certain number of humanoids who passed The Selection were able to face The Challenge in the southwestern cave.  Whoever passed The Challenge would be set apart from all other humanoids down here in Cremza'amirikza'am.

Curious, they made their way further south, encountering a rave party that included a 22-person hot-tub, bar, DJ, the works.  The PCs spent a fair amount of time relaxing, having fun, and interacting with the locals.  Zagreus, whose thirst was nearly unquenchable by now, refused "the special" three-penis margarita, instead opting for the only other drink they had - a can of Bud Light... which led to a strange looking demon luring him away from everyone else - only to mug him.  But the mugger rolled a 1, and Zagreus chopped off his hand, as it got stuck in the dwarven thief's ba'atleth, and then was decapitated.

Jackal got in the hot-tub and put the moves on a sexy woman, eventually fucking her right there in the jacuzzi.  Cue the GM finding "Move Any Mountain" by The Shamen on his cellphone and playing that over the dark ambient tones audible in the background.

Crandol listened to a group of 6 humanoids planning to heist something from a black robed and black masked stranger who was also in the hot-tub.  Zagreus noticed the amateur thieving, and when Jackal had finished, he noticed his friends at the back of the cave with the humanoids who'd liberated a triangular black keycard from the humanoid in black.  Apparently, it opened a special room in The Black Pyramid - a rainbow room - where one of the six's brother had gone missing a year ago.

Crandol, instead of hacking them to pieces, which was his usual M.O. decided to help the humanoids.  After they were done with Cremza'amirikza'am, they'd accompany them to The Black Pyramid for everyone's mutual benefit.  In the meantime, the six humanoids were teleported to Jefferson until the adventurers were ready.

The PCs decided to move towards a cave between the rave and The Challenge.  It was a man in a jeweled animal mask executing humanoids who failed The Selection.  After he offed one of them by shooting him at point-blank range, Zagreus blasted the dude in the back.  The remaining three failures stayed with the PCs as they all went to see what The Challenge was all about.

A huge and muscular demon stood between them and a back wall completely covered in crystal formations.  It was an amazing sight, and access to it would allow the winner to commune directly with the Great Old Ones.  But first, that demon would have to be disposed of.

The demon held a massive two-handed hilt in his hands, waiting for challengers.  One of the three humanoids who'd just been rescued stood before the demon and talked as the PCs stood way back.  Within minutes, the demon ignited a ferocious violet blade of plasma energy and sliced the whelp into pieces. Oh dear...

All three decided to challenge the demon.  Zagreus tried to blast him, missed, and the demon (who after some banter was revealed to be The Mutilator) kicked a rock at the side of his face - doing 6 points of damage!  Then it was Crandol's turn.  He rolled a 1.  The half-orc's magical black blade came down, was caught and held by the demon, then bitch-slapped against the nearby cave wall, and knocked unconscious.  Holy crap!

Finally, it was Jackal's chance.  He swung and hit, doing a fair amount of damage which the demon regarded as "merely a fleshwound" before striking back, reducing the dwarven warrior to nearly half his hit-points.  Ouch!

The trio+ decided to back away from this challenge until they were better prepared to face The Mutilator.  Jackal was pissed and wanted to quench his rage with a little senseless violence, cutting down a couple of night-clowns (or were they just regular clowns?) outside of a black structure.  The other two clowns ran inside, and the party decided to go around, venturing into another cave that contained a clown abortion in progress!

This was the final and deadliest battle (that the PCs finished).  8 night-clowns vs. the 3 PCs + Teddy Westside.  After the first couple rounds, most of the clowns were dead and had only dealt bush-league damage.  But the last 2 had detachable red noses that doubled as explosives.  The first threw his at Jackal (who made his save) and did 8 points of damage.  The second threw his nose at Zagreus (the 6th level thief, who failed his save... I think he rolled a 1).  I rolled enough damage to take the dwarven thief down to -9 HP. 

Yeah, he was in bad shape, almost blown apart due to the shrapnel.  Luckily, Teddy Westside was there with the PC's medical-droid.  The droid applied a quick-acting, antibiotic healing salve.  Ted had the foresight to collect and insight + willingness to experiment with the purple demon jizz as an infernal accelerant to the salve.

Meanwhile, the warriors dispatched the last of the clowns.  When it was all over, Zagreus was bandaged up.  His eye was badly damaged, his right arm up to the elbow was gone, and his flesh was cut-up all over, but he was alive.  Luckily, Ted knows of a top-notch cyber-surgeon in A'agrybah that could fix Zagreus up with a mechanical prosthetic.  The medical-droid explained that Zagreus would need at least a week of R&R before he was in-shape to adventure again.

"Everyone, back to the ship!"  With that, we ended the session a bit early.  It was an appropriate place to stop, so we hung-out and talked the until the 4 hours was up.

I have a feeling that next session will see the PCs' fortunes rise.  As I mentioned at the start, this felt like Empire Strikes Back - the "heroes" more or less defeated, but stabilized and preparing themselves for the conflict to come.

Aside from the multiple objet d'art lifted off of dead demons, the adventurers got some gold, that cool Klingon weapon, and a bunch of plastic purple trapezoidal coins - surely, some weird currency from another land.

If we can sustain the player-base, there's time enough for two more sessions before VENGER CON.  I'd be happy to end the Crystals of Chaos campaign with session #14, so we'll see how things work out.

Thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed the session report, leave a comment!

Edit - forgot to mention, between the hot-tub and clown abortion was a random encounter of some dancing lights that the PCs decided to basically ignore and march through.  At the tail end of the session, the medical-droid ran a scan on Zagreus, but Crandol was right next to him - and it picked-up that the half-orc warrior (very much a male) was pregnant!


p.s. VENGER CON, you say?  What's that?  Only the most old-school RPG convention in the Midwest, hoss!  Weekend badges still available.  And if you want the books that comprise my eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse campaign setting, you can acquire the hardcovers right over here.  If you want to see some Cha'alt reviews, check out google and/or YouTube! 

Friday, June 23, 2023

The Tentacle-Drawn Mapping Style of Venger Satanis


What's up, hoss?

So many things to talk about!  But the major announcement is that, at long last, I've finally created my own mapping style.  One that I'm more than happy with and shall be employing from now on.

It took dozens of maps, a good couple years, lots of paper and ink, and most of my remaining sanity, a sacrifice of time, energy, and money (I already have a few previously drawn maps turned into adventuring locations, might have to scrap most of them).

Back in the day, everyone copied the crosshatching thing that one super-progressive guy started.  Well, I didn't want to follow in his footsteps (for a variety of reasons).  

For anyone who wants to see it up close and personal, as well as, getting a full-on tutorial by yours truly, I'll be demonstrating the VS technique at next month's VENGER CON.

What else has been going on?  Well, I just discovered that I have autism... that's all kinds of weird and fucked-up!

I put out a brand-new Cha'alt adventure called Loathsome Secrets In Amethyst.  That's the last release until not only VENGER CON, but all 12 issues of the Cha'alt webcomic, Under Fuchsia Ska'ai, that should be out in September.

However, I will have something to share on my blog just a few days before the convention - a fun random table (or two) that folks who can't make it to VENGER CON can use at home, so they feel like part of the sorcery.

And then sometime in November I'll kickstart Book 4 of the Cha'alt trilogy, another gorgeous, limited edition, signed and numbered hardcover tome that will be in my slimy tentacles by VENGER CON III in July of 2024.

That volume will contain all the previous Cha'alt content that's come out since Chartreuse Shadows + a bunch of new stuff, never before seen by human eyes!



Monday, June 19, 2023

The Cult of Cthulhu


A lot has happened since I founded the Cult of Cthulhu nearly two decades ago.  

Over the summer of 2004, I ritually conceived the Cthulhu Cult, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.  Then, in the Spring of 2005, the organization was fully realized or birthed in the form of a May Eve weekend convention in Madison, WI known as Cthulhu One.

Since then, the Cult of Cthulhu has grown, expanded, receded, and was temporarily put aside to make way for new endeavors.  Now, it has come out of hibernation with not one but two different groups that spawned from the original.

The first is the Satanic Thulian Society's Cult of Cthulhu run by High Priest Lucifer LeGivorden who is taking the Cthulhu Cult back to my own LaVeyan roots.  Their website can be found here.

The second Cult of Cthulhu is being reopened by my old right-hand-man High Priest Beast Xeno.  He's still working on reorganizing and developing a clear focus of where his Cult of Cthulhu shall go in the years to come.  In the meantime, he's running the old Order of the Nine Angles website here.

Both groups are clearly anti-woke and Left Hand Path.  They believe in a higher power that is bigger than ourselves, and that we are called to more than mindless servitude or pleasure-chasing.  They each have my support and are officially recognized as Cthulhu Cults with my full blessing.

While I, myself, am not going back to actively running the Cthulhu Cult day-to-day, but instead will remain the Ipsissimus (the eye in the pyramid), watching, waiting, and preparing for future struggles.

Nevertheless, I shall be advocating for three things, three new initiatives... three long-term goals to keep the spirit of the Cthulhu Cult alive and focused on real-world action, here and now...

  • Forging an openness, understanding, and compatibility with our shared religious and philosophical brothers and sisters.  Any individual or organization who values family, faith, and freedom are our allies - especially in these dark times of wokeness, Communism, and radical-leftism run amok.  Those are the forces wishing destruction on our civilization, that would deny objective reality, in hopes of rebuilding their Utopia upon the millions who fundamentally disagree and must be purged, instead of simply accepting human nature for what it is.
  • The creative, spiritual, and existential fulfillment I've received from engaging in fantasy roleplaying games (yes, like Dungeons & Dragons... but don't buy from Wizards of the Coast, they're woke) has opened my eyes to new possibilities, and continues to be at the forefront of my magical work.  While it is certainly escapist entertainment, it's so much more than that.  We are manifesting worlds, realities, and visions undreamt that can be accessed by the initiated and shared with anyone willing to participate... merging objective and subjective universes into a sorcerous, hyper-conscious state of being known as  PSYCHOCOSM !!! 
  • The full legalization of cannabis, as in marijuana.  Great strides on decriminalization have already been made, but there are still a variety of obstacles before the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is accepted.  In order to speed the process along, I'm officially declaring marijuana use a holy sacrament of the Cthulhu Cult.  Let this God given right be recognized by every governing body across the land!

On a monthly basis, I'll be posting matters of religious, magical, and philosophical persuasion for those interested in such things.

Until then, have a great week, hoss!  It's almost exactly one month before VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo, my Madison, WI roleplaying convention in July.  Weekend badges still available.  ;)


p.s. One of the upcoming Cha'alt zines is being crowdfunded right now over at Kickstarter.  Check it out!  If you don't yet have the luxury, hardcover Cha'alt trilogy, they're still on sale right over here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Crystals of Chaos [session report #11]


I'm going to make this short and sweet because time is running out.

3 players because of summer absences.  It happens.  Still a great game, and 3 players was enough to get by.  Crandol, Jackal, and Heighten Chancery Philthrop III.  Let's do this...

More than 2 weeks elapsed since our last session, so there was some recapping and deciding what happened to the PCs who weren't there.  Robard and Zagreus were back on the ship.  The camera crew, Vanessa, and Ka'arl were with the adventurers exploring the magenta saturated caves and tunnels of Cremza'amirikza'am.

They found the source of the magenta illumination, felt the good vibrations, and a whole bunch of hanky-panky happening in this cave.  I thought they already explored this area, so reminded them that this machine is why levels 1 and 2 look this way and why everyone's so horny all the time.  But I might have been thinking of another group.  At worst, I ruined the surprise.  But at least now it makes sense to them.  Well, more sense than it did prior to this point.

I believe a tentacled, three-breasted woman caressed the halfling's neck suggestively and they hooked up against a nearby cave wall.  The half-orc also took his pleasure where he could find it.  There are in-game bonuses, after all.  

Meanwhile, a dark elf filmed much of what was going on for an OnlyFans account, and then began filming the camera crew as they were filming him.  Inception!

I decided to roll on a few random tables available for Cremza'amirikza'am.  There was a Cha'altquake, some rocks fell, and a demon girl flirted with them in a tunnel... plus, the exotic fragrances of this megadungeon.

Wasn't long before the PCs finally ran into the fried chicken shack and whorehouse they'd been looking for.  The one Vanessa, their traveling companion, had the legal right to, bequeathed by her uncle.  The PCs found the current proprietor and made him an offer he couldn't refuse.  So, he left with this life and a bucket of greasy chicken.

With Vanessa newly installed as the boss of Breasts, Legs, and Thighs, the adventurers kept exploring (after having their fill of fried chicken and prostitutes, of course).

They rescued a young man who goes by the name Teddy Westside.  Several humanoids dressed in "skeleton spandex" outfits were throwing daggers against the wall, with him already shackled to it.  Once freed, he decided to join the party.  Especially, since he knew his way around.  Ted could act as a guide.  What could go wrong?

The party snuck up to a cave where Teddy Westside's former master, the warlord K'chava was having a celebration.  While hatching the perfect plan, Ted decides to implement what he's overheard so far straight away.  So, he runs in, says something insulting to K'chava, and runs out for the PCs to thwack him.

K'chava was a match for them, but his lieutenants were bush league. The PCs had them all down within 3 or 4 rounds.  The warlord has a massive amount of crystals, which the PCs took with them.  Crystals, along with finding Commander Andrak, was their prime reason for entering Cremza'amirikza'am.

Then, they found a zipper running along a tunnel wall and found an opening to hyperspace.  Weird!

Not long after, the halfling wanted to check out this dark cave with soft moaning issuing from it.  "There might be jewels in there," he said.  Just at that moment, a brilliant plan entered into my head.  As Heighten Chancery Philthrop III crept inside, I told him that he saw a good sized ruby glittering in the darkness.  "Oh yeah, that's more like it," he said, half-expecting to simply find more lovemaking.  "See, I told you there might be gems in here."

At that point, I described his realization that the ruby was the jeweled backside of a butt-plug already inside a woman's posterior as she had her front half busy with the humanoid in front of her.  Disappointed, the halfling left the cave, rejoining the rest of the party.

The PCs fought a half-dozen dark elf slavers who were being forced to mine crystals.  It was a touch battle and unfortunately Ka'arl got shot with a laser blast right through his eye.  His was the only party death this session.  They just barely conquered the slavers (the leader called a giant worm with a conch shell that helped the drow in battle), and were hatching a plan to keep the slaves for themselves.

Unfortunately, Teddy Westside, who was elsewhere when the PCs were scheming, started yelling out that the slaves were free and told them to enjoy their freedom as he high-fived them all on their way out of the crystal cave.  The adventurers were a little upset, but couldn't stay mad at Ted.

There was a secondary fried bat (chicken of the cave) and bordello at this end of level 2.  So, they told everyone there that they were now working for Vanessa, or they could die.  

Finally, the PCs came across a few scientists and technicians who were trying to impregnate some humanoids with a xenomorph in a nearby cave.  That ended terribly for them because if the Crimson Bastards like to do anything, it's to fuck shit up.  And fuck shit up they did!

After everyone was dead, we wrapped the session up there for next time.  I hope that in two weeks, we'll have a party of 5 again.  Until then, thanks for reading, hoss!  Our condolences go out to Ka'arl.  I'm sure there'll be a memorial back on Jefferson.  


Game with us at VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo this July 21st - 23rd in Madison, WI.  Weekend badges still available!  And if you want to get your slimy tentacles on my signed and numbered, hardcover Cha'alt books, ordering details are right over here.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Cha'alt Session Report [roll20 interlude]


We made it to eleven... seems like every single session is a wonderful new milestone.  But wait!  I've got another session to report on first.

A couple days prior to session 11 of our Crystals of Chaos campaign, I ran a virtual one-shot on Roll20 for 4 players (one of whom had to leave early because of his work/sleep schedule).

The details of that 90-minute game aren't that consequential.  However, while I was running it, I took notes of moments that were worth remembering from a Game Mastering standpoint.  What to do, what not to do, gut insights from the mind of a vocational GM, called to do this sort of thing by a higher power!

If you like books on GMing advice, my latest is called Advanced Game Mastering Like A Fucking Boss.  Let's go (in no particular order)!

The shorter your time-frame, the greater your coincidences can be...

The PCs were trying to find a strip club.  So, after hours of wandering the desert, they find someone who had actually been to one before!  He led them a few more hours over the S'kbah wasteland, and then the PCs happened to hear a man screaming as he was being sucked into a zarla'ac pit.  And that guy they saved (by killing the creature) had just stepped outside the Gamma Incel Cantina to take a piss.  

Coincidences, yes... many in a row, but, you see, we only had an hour and a half to play, so... it's fine.  Call it narrative logic or dramatic pacing or just laugh at how it all unfolds.  The alternative is actual fucking realism where you just keep trekking over sand dunes until Willy Wonka appears (as a mirage), saying "You get nothing.  You lose.  Good day, sir!"


Some of these players were noobs.  I'm not sure why, maybe the friendly hand-wavy atmosphere I suggest in my synopsis of the sessions, but I almost always get one or more players who are either brand new to roleplaying or new to Roll20 in general.  

Anyway, I try to softly, imperceptibly educate players while we play.  I told the players that their characters were walking a great distance and for them to let me know what they were talking about on their journey.  

One PC chimed in, starting the conversation, and then another said something... there was a few seconds (this was text-only, BTW) of nothing, so I interjected some encouragement.  I said something like, "This is good stuff.  Yeah, keep it going.  I'll be back in a minute, just going to pee," or whatever.  And they did.  Having in-character conversations during the game is, in my opinion, something every GM should actively encourage.

Don't wait if you don't have to...

It might seem rude to describe stuff in a way that paints a picture and tells a story for everyone while one player is still figuring out how to tie his character's shoes, but the show must go on.  

By that I mean, let's say the adventuring party just entered a wild and perverted space tavern in the middle of the deep desert.  One player says he wants to get the bartender's attention so he can order a drink.  Another player wants to hang around the bar, trying to listen to people's conversations covertly.  Let's say a third PC bumps into a mysterious dark figure and a fight ensues.  

As a GM, you might say, "You all can hear fighting words being spoken, loud enough over the mellow tones of zita'ar music.  A scuffle is about to start between a black clad stranger and Korath.  What do you do?"  

If the PC trying to order a drink doesn't respond right away (which frequently happens in a text-only game) or isn't interested for whatever reason - "I'm still trying to get a frothy glass of Purple Prizm." -  don't hold up the game.  Something exciting is happening - follow through.  Don't wait for everyone to be on board!

Focus on primordial details...

Instead of getting real specific or using "accurate" details based on how something was described in a book or how it appeared in that one episode of a TV show, use words that paint a deeper, primordial picture in one's mind.  

Instead of trying to get the surface image just right, go for the essence that lays beneath that surface... imagery that pre-dates whatever you're attempting to reference.  For example, I described a patron of the Gamma Incel Cantina as "a cloaked figure with glowing red eyes and a scaly, scarred visage."  Did I give a super-accurate description, detailing his exact race or class or where he buys his clothes?  No, I simply gave a vague impression based on the mood I was trying to invoke.  

Remember, kids, the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear... and the oldest and strongest fear is fear of the unknown!  That's from H.P. Lovecraft, if you didn't know.  By employing primordial imagery, we're tapping into that ancient emotional template.

Go in the direction the PCs point you...

This one is so obvious, I almost didn't mention it.  There's a distinction between doing whatever your players or the PCs want you to do, and picking-up on their desires.  It's like buying whatever your kids ask for while you're shopping at the mall versus responding to a casual conversation your children are having in a separate room about what they really want for Christmas this year.

Earlier in the adventure, I had planned on the PCs stumbling onto a cave filled with cool weirdness, perils, and treasure.  However, multiple PCs had mentioned wanting to locate a "strip club" multiple times.  So, it seemed a shame not to change gears and go in that direction.  Remember, this doesn't mean you have to bend to whatever your players want.  Just be open to their influence.  Let them inspire you as EVERYBODY has a hand (or tentacle) in creating the story.

Narrate stuff that happened earlier...

I've got two examples of this.  First, a thief tried to do some thieving.  I even gave him Advantage due to favorable circumstances.  He failed miserably (this wasn't his first failed attempt at thieving, either), which led me to say, "Yeah, you suck as a thief. Maybe that's why your friends back home said you should have been a warrior."  

I was also playing on the fact that the player had chosen his thief's race as a half-orc.  Which led to the player replying with, "Mom wanted me to be a thief.  I wanted to be a dancer."  A quick-witted and funny response that actually adds a lot of character depth, which is just one form of immersion.  

Second example!  Along the way, the PCs picked-up a couple of NPCs.  The first was a fellow traveler who led them to Gamma Incel Cantina.  The second was the guy they rescued, Garsh. 

As things started heating up at the climax of the session, I neglected to mention what the NPCs were doing, which is pretty standard.  When the shit hits the fan, it's got to be up to the PCs first and foremost.  NPCs should always remain side-characters.  

The adventurers were making their getaway, and one player asked about the NPCs.  I told him the one (I'm not going to use his name, because I recycled it for something else I'm publishing very soon) stayed but that Garsh "decided to stay behind, but he high-fived everyone before you left."  

I created a detail that they could visualize of something that happened earlier in the game that didn't get mentioned until now.  Who cares, someone might say, sounds like a throwaway line?  Well yeah, but they're almost all throwaway lines... add up enough throwaway lines and you've actually got something amazing that's more than the sum of its parts.


Ok, so, this blog post got out of hand!  I didn't expect to write so much.  The actual session report for Crystals of Chaos will have to wait a day or two.

Hope some of this was entertaining and/or enlightening.  If you have any questions, let me know.  And if you want to "talk shop" in-person before a game, immediately after, while we're sitting across from each other eating a chicken sandwich, or drinking a beer at the hotel bar... come on down to VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo, my Madison, WI convention happening next month (July 21st - 23rd).  Weekend badges still available!


p.s.  I have signed and numbered hardcover Cha'alt books available, as well.  And they're on sale, hoss!  Get 'em right over here!!!

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Griffith Morgan, Guest of Honor at VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo


This year’s Special Guest at VENGER CON is none other than Griffith Morgan.

Griff is the co-director of, Secrets of Blackmoor the documentary on the origin of role playing games. He also has co-authored the RPG book, The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg. This book features Greg Svenson’s dungeon from 1973 that had been thought lost for 35 years.

Griff’s interests lie in preserving older games and game play. He is running  a variety of games that come from the time when RPGs were first being created.

Planned Events...

Fletcher Pratt’s, Naval Wargame (1937)

This is a rules-lite ship to ship combat game that simulates WWI and WWIi naval engagements. Each player will get a chance to captain a battle ship in this fast playing game. The miniatures used in this session come from the personal collection of Dan Nicholson who was one of the original players in Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor campaign. Fletcher Pratt is considered an influence on D&D because many claim this is the game where Hit Points were first used for tracking damage.

Dave Arneson’s, Battle in the Skies (1973)

This is an unpublished manuscript of rules that were redacted from original D&D because Gygax felt they were too long to be included in small format D&D booklets. Based on Mike Carr’s, Fight in the Skies, the game simulates fantasy combat between airborne creatures over the town of Blackmoor. As a war game style simulation it features all kinds of creatures from vampires and balrogs, to gargoyles and dragons.

The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg (1973)

This is a very old dungeon. In fact, it is so old that it predates the publication of Dungeons & Dragons. Join a party of adventurers and explore the depths of antiquity in an old School ‘Grip it and Rip it’ style dungeon dive. If you’ve never played original D&D, this is your chance to experience what it was like to play the game when it was first released, in a time when rulings mattered more than rules.

Secrets of Blackmoor (documentary)

Blackmoor is the name of a fictional world created by David Arneson in 1971. It is also the prototype for Dungeons & Dragons, the first published role playing game. Unlike other fantasy worlds, such as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, Blackmoor is a living world that is being explored to this day.

In 2012 a film crew set out on a 6 and a half year journey in order to discover who invented role playing games. They visited 12 cities, shot 200 hours of footage, and examined 20,000 documents and photos, the answer to their quest may surprise you.

Come watch the documentary film and discover The True History of Dungeons and Dragons.

There will be a Q&A session with the both movie makers following the screening.


Share this where you can, so we can top last year's attendance numbers!  Again, here's the link for info and weekend badges... VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo.



Saturday, June 3, 2023

Game Hole Con Boycott


Ok, this is yet another blog post I didn't want to write.

To put it simply, the latest LGBTQIAP+ flag, that most recently pushes transgenderism, is a highly political and highly partisan symbol of the radical-left.  It doesn't mean inclusion, in the normal sense of the word.

To many of us who aren't deep-blue progressive Democrats, this flag/symbol is (forgive the redundancy) anti-conservative, anti-Republican, anti-centrist, anti-moderate, anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, anti-science, anti-woman, anti-American, and anti-reality.

It's the symbol that says straight, white men (and everyone who's ok with them) need not apply.  In fact, many who fly that flag hate us and want us to go away... or worse.

Well, I do not condone the indoctrination of weird sex fetishes and proclivities for children.  I do not condone child sex-change operations.  I do not condone the practice of grooming.  I do not condone the terrorism we've seen over the last few years... violent political activism forcing itself on the rest of us.

If Game Hole Con wants to fly their Pride Community flag, that's their right, but I'm not ok with it.  Until things change, I'm not going to attend that gaming convention, or any gaming convention that openly supports and endorses radical-leftism.

I'm out.  Oh yeah, I also made a video.

In the meantime, I do have a substitute.  The 2nd year of VENGER CON is happening next month (July 21st - 23rd) in Madison, WI.  It's much smaller, but we won't push wokeness on you.  The choice is yours!


Venger As'Nas Satanis

High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing & Arch-Duke of the OSR

p.s. If you can't make it to VENGER CON II: Electric Boogaloo, then I recommend purchasing one or more luxury hardcover Cha'alt books right over here.