Friday, 8 January 2016

I Tried Building a Monster-Creation-Table and Ended Up Creating a Monster

I like making monsters but I often don't know where to start. I have, therefore, made some tables that give me what I need to create excellent and fun encounters. Turns out some of the things write themselves, some of the things aren't monsters, and sometimes I end up with things I don't think I'd have otherwise thought of. It seems more powerful than I intended. I am pleased, but need to refine some things. I rolled straight on the tables, and these are the first 6 things they churned out:

1) "The Raven and The Bull". A magical ballad or story; a lilting Fae given tonal flesh. The story tells of a raven, which frustrates and thwarts a young bull of his opportunities to impress and court young heifers. He becomes furious, but the raven is too cunning and elusive to be trampled. The young bull's rage instead brings great harm to those kind beasts around him, who in turn get angry with him and he is ostracised. The song, once heard, is unforgettable. When afflicted folk find anger in their company, the swirling, dirgy ballad may slink forth from their mouths. Their angry fellow, hearing the chorus, may enflame and do violence upon those around him/her. The weakest willed enfuriates will cruelly eat their victims, unless bodily restraints are applied. The fae-song thus propagates, feeding on the rage of folk.  

2) The Monks of Makery. A chasm, from which dull, copper light emerges. Inside, a sect of outcasts worship the formless, brazen mists that pool in the central, bottomless void of the pit. It demands, they say, the crafts and makery of all things, and in return nourishes them with warmth and life.

3) Khanezzar's Fingers. A spidery, ten limbed abomination crafted of alchemically treated man- and beast-flesh. The central mass is a stitchery of hide and maws, surrounding pulsating and purpling organs. It is the servant of a mad, lost alchemist, who commands it to covet and collect treasures and food for his work and sustenance. The passages of command are carried on leylines, and these words might be acquired in order to control the thing...

4) Mists of Madness. Writhing, tentacled sacs that live in the frozen fogs of New Feierland. The instincts and emotions of manfolk, particularly those of dreamers, draw them forth from their icy nests. The take nothing, but bring gifts of overwhelming paranoia, confusion and distrust. They thrive, dance, and reproduce to the moorish delights of humans succumbing to and exaggerating their gifts. Madness often follows, and these sorrowful folk may be found, helpless, in the shadows of receding night.

5) The Hungerer. A large, emaciated serpent that eats the bones of virtuous folk. It stalks the night. It attacks by spewing forth a mass of grey bile, that stretches and sticks like a spider's silk. Helpless victims are dragged into cursed pits, where they hang and starve, until their bones can be drawn from their flesh and consumed. The beast, perhaps due to its diet, is incapable of lies or verbal evasion.

6) Vulheulla. Home to the lost, desperate, and hopeful. Vulhuella is a magnificent bastion, built of Celestine bricks, gilded with gold and bronze, and fed by a river of alchemical silver. There are tales of travellers, wracked with grief, loss or despair, who find this place beyond the edges of civilisation. Most who visit its glorious walls or speak with its beauteous, alluring folk are forever lost to the world of men. Those few that return are forever changed, and burdened with treasures.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

10 Craftsfolk of New Feierland

Sometimes in games, buying stuff is a bit exciting but then you're like "oh that's all there is? cool".

I don't want that to happen. Equipping a character is often among the earliest things a player will do in your game. Some like this to be fast and efficient, to get into play as soon as possible. That's fine and easy to do. This post isn't about that.

This post is about making that equipment process, that early introduction of a player to your game and setting, into part of the game. Set the tone and turn it into play. Get your players thinking in the "right" kinds of ways, picturing the world they're pretending to explore and/or ruin. If a simple necessity (sort of) such as equipment purchasing consistently presents them with a sample of the game's energy, players might start to think in terms of their character and the world s/he inhabits. Increased enjoyment should hopefully follow.

There's still a lot of finalising to do in my game (many of the details need to be eloquently scrawled, etc.), but here are some places you can go to get stuff in New Feierland. Each will, of course, have its own list of stuff, services and modifications.

1. Prostheticist
Misplacement of a piece of your body can occur unexpectedly and without provocation. Despair not, young chap or chapette! It needn't be the end of your thriving! Come visit Macintosh's Prostheterie for a great range of custom limbs and organs!

2. Obscurer
Esoterica and Obscurisms. Trinkets and Curios. Ornament. Gimcrack. Accoutrement. Paraphernalia, Contrivance, Apparati, Ornament Again. Somethingrother. Biscuit. Honestly, I don't even know where most of this stuff came from. Whoever made them are probably dead or an elf or a dead elf. Buy something.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Curses Of New Feierland

Working on magic for the game. It's taking a while since the system I'm designing is unprecedented. It will hopefully be tremendous and gloriously acclaimed or universally reviled. Or maybe just quietly and unpassionately dismissed. Anyway, the list of things I wanted to be spells ended up being 98 long, so that's pretty convenient. I will make two more for 100 total. Here are some of the curses:

Curse Of:

1. The Empty, from which one's tubes fall unto the earth, intact.

2. The Sycophant, from which obsequiousness infects.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

10 Farms of New Feierland

I am making a game. It will be great. Here are some types of farms you will probably burn down by accident.

1. Leperberry Vineyard:
A fibrous, greyish vine that produces globular berries with the appearance of leprous skin. Taste of liver and honey.

2. Shameweed Cages & Squiddery
A long, rubbery sea-algae, originally named due to heavy consumption by the poorest and least capable of early settlers. Shameweed is now a staple for most households.  Served best with whiskey.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

My People Are Cowards are Giants in my town

They have destroyed many items of infrastructure to facilitate their passage through city, including lightpoles, traffic signals and footpaths. They are discriminate. We suspect they were brought here by the French, who cannot be trusted. It is a bold escalation in what was otherwise a cold or, at worst, simmering war. This cannot be excused.

And yet, none will battle them. All know that giants create ruckus, and that giants should be battled forever until there are no more giants.  I want to know why my people are not battling them. I suspect cowardice.

They must be shown. I will show them. I have studied the movements of the giants. I have armed myself; I will lead a force at daybreak.

Do not mourn the giant...

Saturday, 7 February 2015

New Feierland: The Rules I Used For G+ Games

“This place is horrible.”

“All New Feierland Travel Tips seem to boil down to: If you're in New Feierland, you've already fucked up at life,
and you're about to pay dearly for the string of bad decisions that landed you here in the first place.”

Note: This whole system was used successfully for a few years, til the end of 2014, but I've moved onto a new thing. It's not perfect, but I don't think I'm going to update this anymore. There are some decent ideas in here. Feel free to use the system, or pieces, for your games. Some pieces were borrowed from other people. Please ask me if you want to use anything make money.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Making A Character Is Like When You Text Message Intimate Things To Your Intimate Partner

By which I mean; it's foreplay. If you get new players, get a new system, start a new campaign, one-off, whatever, your players are going to be turning dice into characters*. This is great for various reasons, but let me backtrack a little...

Friday, 30 January 2015

For When The PCs Go The Wrong Way

There occur at times situations you have not prepared for. I often encounter these situations when running RPGs. PCs are renowned for doing the incorrect thing at basically every opportunity, and about the only thing you can guarantee when you make a dungeon is that the PCs won't see it all. Commonly enough they'll seek out the things that aren't the dungeon and don't, in fact, exist yet. Deliberately. To upset you.

Here is a thing I use to throw content at them until they straighten themselves out and stop ruining the game for everyone*. It's for D&Dlike games. It fits comfortably on an A5 page. You may enjoy it. 

Bartender: The Servening

A game for between 1 and 7 poor to excellent humans.
You are a Bartender or you are the GM. It's 3am on Wednesday. There are no customers right now. Play the game as follows:

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Kings Of Feierland and other horrible NPCs.

It is not without precedent that town-dwelling NPCs are crueler and more horrid than the things from beyond the dark. Even a small injection of the selfishness, pettiness or cowardice you can bring with a squirrelly, unvirtuous or conniving NPC can be valuable, and might escalate into something seriously fun. It may even be a relatively unwretched trait that the PCs end up describing as wretched.

But the maiden said, "Rather than marry him, dear father, I will go away into
the world as far as my legs can carry me." But the king said that if
she would not marry him she should take off her royal garments and
wear peasant's clothing, and go forth, and that she should go to a
potter, and begin a trade in earthen vessels...