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Wednesday 28 February 2018

Real Magick in RPGs, Interlude: What is Magick?

Magick is a system. Its main purpose is the Great Work, Enlightenment, whatever you want to call it. But along the way it works with particular components, and in fact those components are remarkably similar whether you're talking about a Western wizard, a Chinese wizard, an Arab wizard, or something else. 

Outer imagery is different, the 'recipe' of magick as a system of self-transformation is largely the same throughout all cultures and time periods; with the only notable detail being that not unlike technology, what cultures do with magick evolves as cultures become more advanced and complex. 

So one of the ways to determine if an occultist is serious or not is if he has an answer to the question of "what is magick" that is systemic, that involves a process of self-transformation (Change), and that is not just given a non-definition or something relativistic like "it's whatever you feel it is".

Saying "oh you can't really answer a question like this" is probably only true if you personally can't answer it due to a lack of investigation or experience. And/or if you're involvement in magick is really a type of LARPing or fantasy-based wishful-thinking. 

Wiccans, for example, tend to treat magick (along with their entire religion) as one big D&D LARP. They want to pretend they're powerful wizards in some fantasy world and try to convince themselves that any day now they'll be casting 'fly' or 'fireball'; while at the same time thinking that spells can just be whatever they like at the time, because 'you can't know stuff, man'.

New Agers treat magick like it was a mix of "the power of positive thinking" and a Victorian reverse-lovecraft story, full of ascended masters and atlanteans and the galactic high council all watching over them and that you can just make 'anything' happen if you can only think of enough white-light brightly enough. 

These people then balk at defining magick or what magick is and is not capable of because a realistic definition of what it can do would ruin the fantasy novel that's going on in their heads. 

Which is crazy to me, because what it can do, if you actually apply yourself to it, is pretty freaking awesome.


(originally posted April 13, 2016, on theRPGsite)

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Hecate's Tomb: a Medieval-Authentic Dungeon?

Well, close enough, anyways!

The newest Lion & Dragon supplement is RPGPundit Presents #21: Hecate's Tomb! And it's an exciting brand new adventure scenario.

This adventure scenario is a perfect fit for your Dark Albion campaign,  Lion & Dragon RPG, or other fantasy OSR game. A series of disappearing travelers. Stories of frightening large owl-like birds and talking ravens. Stop at the town of Blackheath, a crossroads at the center of these mysteries. Is the largest farmstead in the area connected? How about the mysterious catacombs of a bygone era?

So, if you want your next OSR adventure to feature a great mystery, some bandits, maybe a cult, a weird family, and an ancient 'dungeon' with a good explanation of its existence, check out Hecate's Tomb!

And while you're at it, be sure to pick up the rest of the great supplements in the RPGPundit Presents series:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia  (usable for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

RPGPundit Presents #5: The Child-Eaters (an adventure scenario for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #17: The Hunters (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently smoking: Brigham Anniversary + Image Latakia 

Monday 26 February 2018

Arkhome in Spanish is "Santuario"

I'm not sure which sounds better.  Anyways, the Arkhome II supplement now has a Spanish edition!

If you want to know more about this fantastic OSR city-supplement, both parts, check out last week's blog.  Suffice it to say here that it's full of weird and wonderful stuff for any grungy type of city in any gonzo type of setting!

And now, if you're a Spanish-reader pick it up in Spanish on DTRPG or over at the Precis Intermedia store


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar 

Sunday 25 February 2018

Wild West Campaign: The Law of the West

In this weekend's game, most of the PCs were heading into Tombstone; Crazy Miller and Doc Thomas by train and stagecoach, Other Miller traveling on his own on the old Cimmaron Trail.

Meanwhile, Kid Taylor and his wife and infant daughter went back to Dodge City, to visit with his wife's mother, and her father Judge Wright. Kid Taylor was feeling quite bored with the visit when all of a sudden who came knocking at his door but the irascible and irredeemable Bat Masterson!

Bat, you'll recall, was Dodge County Sheriff when the PCs lived there, but had since lost re-election against the Better People (mainly because he'd lost most of his important allies when the PCs left town for East Vegas). But he'd stayed in Dodge because Bat and his brother Jim were owners of the very successful Lady Gay Saloon.

This time, though, Bat had come to see Kid over a mutual companion of theirs from their famous adventure in the Royal Gorge Rail War, Ben Thompson.  Ben's brother Billy was in deep trouble, facing hanging in the town of Oglalia, Nebraska, and of course Ben was heading to break him out. Bat and Kid both agreed immediately to help Ben, without so much as a consideration as to whether Ben's kid brother really committed the crime or not.

Crazy Miller, meanwhile, had run into an old friend on the stagecoach from Tuscon to Tombstone: Morgan Earp.

Morgan was Deputy Marshal for Pima County (his older brother Virgil being the US Marshal for the county), and he was guarding the stagecoach on account of a rich Texan and a Countess being on board. Morgan was optimistic as ever; the Earp Brothers (Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt - who was not currently a lawman but was working private security for Wells Fargo) had bought into a large stake in the silver mines, which looked like it could be the second biggest silver strike in US history to date.  He explained how Tombstone itself was booming beyond belief, slightly disappointing Doc Thomas by explaining how in fact Tombstone already had three other Doctor's offices. It also had a huge number of saloons, whorehouses, its own Chinatown and Mexican neighborhood, butcher shop, bank, two different french restaurants, a great hotel and another in the works, all in a city that had grown ten times it's former size in the last 18 months.

It made the PCs wonder if they hadn't chosen to show up too late.

As for Other Miller, he'd been going through the desert, and found his way to a small village of Mexican-Americans, where a massacre had only just happened.  A group of local Banditos, who had taken over the town after crossing over from Sonora, had started a small gang war with the Cowboys. The Cowboys fell upon them and massacred the lot, and then had a party right in front of the corpses, while having their way with the banditos' women.  Other Miller met Curly Bill Brocius, leader of the Cowboys, and some of his men (including Sherman McMaster and Indian Charlie Cruz).

He also met the stone cold killer, Johnny Ringo, just as Johnny was murdering a priest.

At that moment, Other Miller decided that he hated the Cowboys, and would end up opposing them.

Not so much Doc Thomas; when he got to town (this being a few days later, when both the Cowboys and the PCs were back in Tombstone), Thomas went to see his boyfriend Billy Breakenridge. Billy had decided he was going to purchase the Tombstone Nugget, the local paper, rather than start up his own; and Curly Bill and the cowboys were helping him to do it. They'd taken a shine to Billy and were friendly to Doc Thomas too, promising both that if they ever had any problem with anyone in town they could just talk to them and the Cowboys would take care of it.

In the end, Doc Thomas leased an office to go into practice (with Kid Taylor, once he arrives) above the Crystal Palace saloon, for a fairly good bargain. Crazy Miller and Other Miller ended up buying no less than four lots: two to make a huge saloon and gambling hall, one for a general store, and one for Miller's platonic lady-friend and madam, Miss Scarlet, who would open a truly classy whorehouse.

As for Bat and Kid Taylor, they got to Oglalia, along with Ben Thompson and Jim Masterson, who had followed them along. They'd also kidnapped the Mormon Gambler, planning to get into the Sheriff's office in Oglalia passing themselves off as bounty hunters, and the Mormon Gambler as the infamous outlaw Derek McClue (who was his doppelganger). Unfortunately, in the process of kidnapping him the Gambler suffered a very bad concussion; so they had to come up with an alternative plan, and Kid Taylor went with one that once worked to get Doc Holliday out of jail in Fort Griffin: Jim would set fire to the lumberyard and in the chaos they'd break Billy out. It worked like a charm, but the party soon had a posse of more than 20 men riding hard behind them.

It looked grim for the gang, but then Bat remembered something: not far from where they were was a ranch belonging to someone who he thought might be willing to help them.  He got there, met the ranch's owner for the first time, shook his hand, and the ranch-owner was immediately willing to do whatever he could to help.  His name?

Buffalo Bill Cody. Though they'd never met before, Buffalo Bill knew Bat and considered him a brother. So he gave them sanctuary in his ranch, and then spirited them away from the posse in the middle of the night, helping them get back across the border to Kansas, and safety.

The interesting thing was that at this point, in 1880, a lot of the youngsters in the Wild West considered Buffalo Bill something of a joke. A sell-out, who'd gone back east and made a fortune with a totally fake "wild west show". They didn't know, the way Bat did, that Buffalo Bill was a western legend. Once upon a time, in another, earlier, wilder "wild west", he was the greatest Buffalo Hunter who ever lived. He was close friends with the likes of Wild Bill, and countless other hunters, Indian scouts, and desperados, almost all of whom were dead by then.

When they parted ways, Kid Taylor said that maybe someday, when the "wild west was over", he'd go join his show. Buffalo Bill answered that he thought it was funny, that Kid Taylor thought the Wild West wasn't over yet.  "I guess the wild west is a different thing for different people; kid. My Wild West ended a long time ago."

That's it for this session.  Kid Taylor and his family ended the session heading out toward Tombstone, and Jackson should be there too next time, so we'll be back to full complement and with all the PCs together again in one place.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti half-volcano + Country Doctor

Saturday 24 February 2018

Jordan Peterson vs. "So You're Saying", pt2

Man, it's hilarious seeing someone who actually knows how to tear apart the post-modernist paradigm and use their own weapons against them as masterfully as Jordan Peterson does get confronted by these intellectual midgets like Cathy Newman, and now this VICE interviewer.
Notice how almost all of their power, and what little ability they had, goes away as soon as you:

a) Don't care about 'getting in trouble' by saying something they claim you should not be allowed to say.
b) Refuse to accept any of their double-standards and the notion of malleable truth.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + H&H's Chestnut

Friday 23 February 2018

Fantastic New Video Review of Lion & Dragon!

Well, today I'll just leave you with this; if you somehow still weren't sure about buying Lion & Dragon, maybe this guy will convince you!


Currently Smoking: Moretti Rhodesian + Country Doctor

Thursday 22 February 2018

Lion & Dragon Character Sheet Now Available FREE!

Over in the G+ Dark Albion + Lion & Dragon community, someone who just bought Lion & Dragon was asking about how they could get a quality copy of the character sheet in PDF so they could print it out.

And it really is a nice character sheet!

So, I sent word up to DOM (my publisher) and they made a free-download PDF of the character sheet over on RPGnow!

Be sure to check it out!  And check out Lion & Dragon while you're at it, of course, if you haven't done so already.  There's a reason why it's been on the bestselling top-15 of rpgnow for three months now!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Chestnut

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Classic Rant: Real Magick in RPGs: Thelema

In a modern occult game, the PCs might run into some new-age goofballs, or some neo-pagan eclectics, while they're looking for someone who can provide them some kind of information or real magical assistance. Chances are, those people will be useless. But sooner or later, someone is going to point them to some guy or some group that they think of as "dark", or even more often as "assholes", but that may actually have the information or skills they seek; odds are, those will be the Thelemites.

Don't get me wrong: chances are most of the Thelemites will be useless too!

Thelema is in many ways the 20th century's greatest magical tradition, born out of the Golden Dawn (which was the 19th's greatest tradition), and it was directly or semi-directly the source of so much of what we think of as Occultism today, including Wicca, most Neo-Paganism, Chaos Magick, and it was even peripherally involved in the rise of Scientology. Not to mention being a big influence on a lot of the big movers of the hippie era: Timothy Leary, William S. Burroughs, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, discordianism, Robert Anton Wilson... from both the artistic and the 'philosophical' side (using that term loosely), Thelema was the well from which they all drank.

So what's the deal with it? That might be too much to express in just one blog entry, so you may need to do some extra research if you really give a damn. But putting it in brief, Thelema was a radical new expression of everything that had come before in western magick, and set up as a truly complete and coherent system of rigorous esoteric/spiritual practice for the first time in at least 1500 years in the west.

It was founded on a series of Holy Books that were received by Aleister Crowley in 1904 (at which time he had already been an ex-magician, having worked in the Golden Dawn, become disillusioned, and taken up Buddhism instead), through a vision his wife had on their honeymoon while they were spending the night inside the Great Pyramid of Giza (because back then you could just do that, if you had money). The vision led him into communication with the solar-god Ra-Hoor-Khuit through a being called Aiwass, who was Crowley's own Augoeides (guiding spirit, or the reflection of his higher self, if you want to simplify it somewhat).

These workings led Crowley to re-invent the magical system already developed by the Golden Dawn into a new system, a mixture of magical practice with a new pagan-inspired (but not inherently pagan) philosophy, centered around the core teaching of the Book of the Law: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law; Love is the law, love under will". The system was a kind of western Tantra, involving the overcoming of one's self through rigorous yogic practice, ceremonial magick, meditation, and initiations.

Again, that's all the theory. In practice, what happened is that like anything else in occultism, the vast majority of people involved decided that it's a lot easier to be a poser than to be legit. Crowley was a transgressive figure, and his reputation for breaking all the rules caused him to make relatively little ground in his own lifetime; by the time he died in 1947, in spite of some initial gains, there were probably only a few dozen Thelemites in the entire world. But later, in the 1960s, Crowley's philosophy took off among the hippies and the post-hippies and later among the punks and the heavy-metal fans and the goths, so that there are now probably tens of thousands of Thelemites world-wide, and a lot more people who are peripherally connected to his work (whether they know it or not).

But most of these people were really drawn to the idea of "Do what thou wilt" just meaning "do what you like", or they were drawn to the sex-magic stuff (which was really only one small, though important, part of Thelema, and not for beginners), or to the idea that it might be "satanic" (a claim mostly made by its detractors). So just like you have a lot of neo-pagans who are really mistaking their religion for a D&D-Larp or a Ren Faire, today you have a lot of Thelemites who are really mistaking their religion for playing at being Azrael Abyss.

(future "thelemites")

That is, again, one of the main things to remember in running a genuine modern-occult games. Real magical teachings are NOT hard to find, you don't need to go to old libraries and look for difficult texts for months; you can get it all on the internet these days. But its really really hard to find people who have actually worked the work, regardless of the tradition. 
For a lot of Thelemites, their work consists in having occasionally read some of Crowley's work, having maybe done a Banishing Ritual once or twice in their lives, maybe having joined the O.T.O. (the most popular Thelemic group), which is a bit like Freemasonry but less stable and more lame, or just hanging around wiccan/pagan groups freaking them out and telling them that their whole 'ancient religion' is just ripped off Crowley...

It doesn't help that by definition, Thelema is one of the ultimate Individualist philosophies. "Every man and every woman is a star", says the Book of the Law; which is to say every person is unique and must find their will (their true Will, the guidance of their higher self, again really simplifying it there). This means a lot of Thelemites don't generally play well in groups. Thelemites are a crazy mix of radical lefties, total libertarians, anarchists, quasi-fascists, drop-out stoners, off-the-grid nutsos, and general whackos. As always, the ones who are really good at it, who do the work and have gotten somewhere, are often not very interested in spending a lot of time around all the other guys, or if they do they keep what they've done relatively quiet.

Even so, if you can find one of those guys, they're the ones most likely, in all the western traditions, of having something worth telling you or showing you. Ironically, for a system that says "do what thou wilt" and for a movement that is so full of people who are often about style (usually 'sinister' style) over substance, the actual PRACTICE of Thelema requires an insane amount of discipline. The payoff is that it is the most coherent magical system for systematically gaining the skills necessary for magical work. Once again, none of the teaching is secret, but the art of how to apply it in the right order is just really hard, and thus usually ignored or skipped over. It sure does bring results, if you follow through though.


Currently Smoking: Masonic Meerschaum + Image Perique

(Originally posted April 10th, 2015)

Tuesday 20 February 2018

RPGPundit Presents #20: Arkhome II

Wow. Seriously, I can't believe we're already at the 20th issue of RPGPundit Presents! I have to say it's been doing quite well these few months, and a big thank-you to everyone who's ever bought one. And if you haven't, check out the whole list below at the bottom of this blog entry, because you'll be bound to find something you'll find interesting, and all for only a couple of bucks.

That is, if you don't find Arkhome II interesting, which you should. For just $2.99, you get a 21 page continuation of our previous issue, RPGPundit Presents #16: The Great City of Arkhome. Technically, you can use Arkhome II in your gonzo/weird-fantasy OSR gaming without having to own the first Arkhome, but seriously, why not?
If you buy them both, you get a 39 page city book that has everything you could want for under $6! 

So Arkhome I had the introduction to the city, one of the last refuges of pure-strain humanity in the world of the Last Sun, in the middle of a huge desert, inside of a canyon, made from the shells of great rocket ships. You got the background of the different power groups and vicious gangs that run the city, including the Assassin King and the Snake Witch, locked in a war for dominance, as well as other groups like the old families, the thieves guild, and Queen BooBoo and her halfling savages that live on the canyon floor. You got a set of tables for generating random tower levels, and some big tables of random adventure seeds for the different tower levels.

So what do you get in Arkhome II?  Here's where things get even weirder! You get:

-The mysterious interdimensional trading post known as The Curiosity Shoppe

-The Giant Snail farms of Arkhome, chief resource of the city, and details on this precious source of power

-Information about the Dwarves of Arkhome, and the not-very-secret plans of Prince Flarb son of Marb to enact the 12,445th great expedition!

-The Evil Parrot, possibly the single most dangerous creature in Arkhome (well, second most dangerous, after the mad wizard Nikos).

-The new bird-mask-wearing cult/gang of violent lunatics known as the Halconlords, and why they might just conquer the entire city. Learn the secret of the Ribond, and who is the master behind the weirdest badass gangsters ever

-A whole new table of DCC-style 0-level Occupations, specifically tailored for creating 0-level characters or NPCs for the city of Arkhome! Featuring over 80 unique professions! 

-Lotus Powder, the drug of choice on Arkhome's streets

-Find out if the "imported pork" can be trusted!

-Cave-scorpion poison!

-And last but definitely not least, some very big detailed random tables for random events and encounters covering the surrounding Desert, the Canyon cliffside and its caves, and the Subsurface Catacombs below Arkhome.

The city of Arkhome is one of the most important areas of the World of the Last Sun, but assuming you're not running your game there (and don't want to visit), you can put Arkhome into just about any Weird Fantasy setting, isolated as it is, or use the material in their for your own grubby weird-fantasy city full of gangs and strange goings-on.

So be sure to check out Arkhome II on DTRPG, or at the Precis Intermedia webstore!

And while you're at it, be sure to pick up the rest of the great supplements in the RPGPundit Presents series:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia  (usable for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

RPGPundit Presents #5: The Child-Eaters (an adventure scenario for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #17: The Hunters (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently smoking: Brigham Anniversary + Image Latakia 

Monday 19 February 2018

The Frantabulous Gonzo Robot Generator (now Multilingual)!

So, I already posted here last week about my RPGpundit Presents #19: the Frantabulous Gonzo Robot Generator. It's an awesome little product if I say so myself, letting you create random robots with a gonzo flavor for your OSR Gonzo Fantasy or Gonzo Sci-Fi needs!

(it also has the stats for BOLT-0, the legendary Robot NPC from my DCC Last Sun campaign)

Anyways, you get all kinds of tables, not just for generating robot stats and special abilities, but also name, purpose, desires and hobbies.

And now, you can get it in Spanish!

El Fantabuloso Generador Gonzo De Robots  is now available from DTRPG, or here from the Precis website.

"Crea robots, androides, cíborgs y otras entidades artificiales para juegos OSR de temática gonzo (u otro tipo de fantasía). Ya sea máquinas sin conciencia o robots inteligentes, esta colección de tablas aleatorias pueden generar una gran variedad de modelos, nombres, formas y otros rasgos."

So, check it out in either language!


Currently Smoking: Neerup Egg + Image Virginia

Sunday 18 February 2018

DCC Campaign Update: Vegan Mutants are Descended From Carrots

When last we left our "heroes", they were back in the Sun, and trying to get the Spirit of the Sun (Anema) and the Wight who stole her heart, her soul, and her ability to open the gate to the Crown of Creation, back together again as a couple.   Also, the strange and very glam Captain Harry, from the future, had just revealed to Heidi that he was Heidi's grandson.


-"Sami, get a hair off Mongo for me."
"He's not an animal, you can't Summon him!"
"No, it's for Locate Object."
"He's not an object!"

"Guys, I think Heidi just got some kind of bad news!"

-"We can go anywhere from here, we should get some money!"
"Who are you even talking to right now, Catboy? Heidi is in the other room screaming with Captain Harry, I'm with Anema, and Vizi is talking to Fabritzio. I guess you're just talking to the Vegan."
"Oh god no!"

-"We're almost at the Crown of Creation."
"Yeah, you could say we're in the Hallway of Creation."

-"OK, so to review: Sami is talking with Anema trying to get her on track with the relationship thing, Vizi is doing the same with Fabritzio, the catboy is following Vizi, the Vegan is following the Catboy, and Heidi is still screaming but no one cares."

-Sami is trying to talk relationship advice to Anema.
"The way to a man's heart is through his prostate, you just shove up.."
"What Vizi?"
"I got this one, OK? I got this."

-"From now on, I'm just called Catboy."
"That's a stupid name."

-Fabritzio still has cold feet.
"I'm a wight, she's the Sun.. it's not a very natural mix."

-Roman comes into the room in a bathrobe.
"What's happening? Who keeps screaming? Are Anema and Fabritzio doing it? Those don't sound much like happy screams."

-"Wait, this place has showers?"
"This place is run by the most narcissistic shallow Female Entity we've ever met. Have you seen the size of her makeup closet?"
"Really? That's interesting. Excuse me for a moment..."

-"What are you doing?"
"Stealing makeup."
"I have makeup!"
"You do, why?!"
"I'm a thief. It's for disguise."
"You're a cat!"
"Yeah, no amount of makeup is going to hide the fact you're a catperson!"

-Sami sneaks into Anema's Makeup Closet.
"Oh my god! The colors!!"

-Meanwhile, Heidi is telling everyone what Captain Harry told him.
"Wait, how could he be your grandfather!? You're not even green!"
"We can be whatever we want, in the future. Human, mutant, those are all things of the past. In the future we're all One."
"Are there Vegans?"
"No. As I mentioned, they're all extinct."
"See? That really is the best of all possible futures."

"Shut up, Vegomagus!"
"That's it! That's his new name!"
"But I don't want to be called the Vegomagus!"
"...i want my name back please."

-"Can we fit a mammoth or a giant porcupine in the dungeon we're going to visit?"
"I can now understand why we drove you to extinction."

-"No, Vegomagus, you can't make a catboy from cat hairs!"
"He's a catperson, not a cat! He's as similar to a cat as Heidi is to a monkey or the Vegomagus is to a carrot."
"Vegan mutants are descended from carrots?"
"Well, I assume so."

-They go get Sami, who's busy stealing all the makeup she can from Anema.
"Sami, we have to go somewhere."
"There's a problem."
"Because I want a cool sword."

-"We should bring one of the Jesi with us; they can teleport us there and back."
"Yeah, good idea. Hey, I haven't seen Chocolate Jesus around lately..."
"I notice Mongo's face is covered in chocolate stains..."
"Oh. I thought he was just eating makeup."

-"blah blah sidequest mongo?"
"No, Mongo, you're not going on a sidequest with us. You're staying here."
"Hey, Mongo's first word in Common is 'sidequest'!"
"Makes sense!"

-"Mongo, stay here. Be good. Don't eat another Jesus."

-"Let's bring Republican Jesus."
"Where is he?"
"He's over at the gun range, shooting an M16 and drinking beer while listening to Sweet Home Alabama."
"Hey Republican Jesus, want to come with us to shoot some things?"
"Buddy, you had me at shoot."

-"Do you have any more guns, Republican Jesus? All I have is this pistol."
"Shit, do I?"
Republican Jesus shows the catboy a gigantic warehouse full of guns. There also appears to be an atomic bomb there.

-The Catboy takes a sniper rifle, a bandolier full of high-explosive grenades, and a machine gun that's almost too big for him to lift.  They're heading back to the others when they run into Historical Jesus.
"Hey, have any of you seen Chocolate Jesus anywhere?"
"Um. No. We have to go now!"

-Following Captain Harry's guidelines, Republican Jesus teleports the party to a rocky black island in the middle of a blood-red sea.
"This is the Sea of Blood."
"Can I summon something with this blood?"
"NO! Do not do that."

-The PCs find the entrance to the dungeon, it took some time because in Captain Harry's time this whole place was a commemorative museum.
They enter a corridor and find a large door at the end, which the Vegomagus' Detect Magic notes is protected by an Explosive Rune. 
"We could send some porcupines through there."
"If I send a porcupine through and it's hurt, will you heal it?"
"Porcupines ain't for healing, they're for eating!"

-Roman tries to remove the explosive rune with this sonic tool, but it creates a type of backlash and briefly Roman seems to assume a different form, of a tall man with heavier features and a larger beard.
"What was that?!"
"Uh, nothing. It must have tried to polymorph me or something."

-"It seems to be a Fae Rune"
"I knew about a Fae Rune in some Realms, but I've Forgotten."

-"I could just use my grenade launcher on it, that might do the trick."
"Do your stuff, RJ!"
"RJ? Shit, I like that! OK, y'all step back... motherfucking Giddy Up!"

-Republican Jesus fires a couple of grenades at it, destroying the door, but the rune is still there, invisible to the naked eye.
"Ok, that's it. Vegomagus, tell one your porcupine to go through the entrance."

-Reluctantly, the Vegomagus sends a summoned porcupine through the door.
"Ok, walk through that door porcupine.. I.. I love you!"

-The porcupine, facing a suicidal order, turns on the party!

-Heidi manages to kill the porcupine. The Vegomagus summons 4 more porcupines.
"The porcupines look happy until they see the mangled corpse of the former porcupine. Then they look worried."
"Don't worry. That won't happen to you if you obey!"

-The 2nd porcupine they try to send through the door ALSO turns on the PCs!
"Lucky we killed it before it could avenge itself on you, Vegomagus!"

-The 3rd porcupine ALSO turns on the party!
"In porcupine it's saying 'die, destroyer of my race'!"

-The Vegomagus is forced to use Force Manipulation to destroy his own summoned animal.
"It's body parts explode all over the remaining porcupines, who look horrified."

-The next porcupine finally crosses, and gets blown up by the Rune. The rune is weakened by not extinguished.
"God damn it!"

-To avoid the risk of the last porcupine turning on them, Heidi has a plan. He has the vegomagus order the remaining porcupine to get within 10 feet of the doorway.
"I can't tell you."
"But why?"
"Because if I tell you, the porcupine will know and then it might turn on you!"
"OK, but what are you going to do?"
"Just do it!"

-Heidi kicks the porcupine, field-goal style, through the doorway. It also explodes, and the blast hits Heidi, and he takes some damage but survives.

-The rune is finally spent! The Vegomagus summons another porcupine and tells it to go through the door. It does so unharmed, but a second later is snatched up from some hideous white tentacles from the ceiling! They hear some desperate squeals, and then some porcupine bones fall to the floor.
"Holy shit, what is that goddamn thing?!"
"Oh yeah, the museum did mention a tentacle creature.."

-The party comes up with a plan. They summon yet another porcupine, and tie a bandolier around it with 10 High Explosive grenades. Republican Jesus ties some fishing line to a pin, and when it goes through the entry and gets snatched up by the tentacles the pin is released. A second later there's a huge explosion and bits of tentacle and chunks of red matter fall the floor.

-"Summon some more porcupines to see if it's really safe."
"OK, I'll summon 2 4HD porcupines."
"No, summon 8 little ones, we might need more test subjects!"
"But the big ones can protect me..."
"Well, the little ones can swarm an opponent, Ugandan-Knuckles style!"
"I like how you're using his favorite meme as a way to try to manipulate him."

-"Hey, I just thought of something. To restore Captain Harry's timeline, maybe we just need to SAY that the Hippomagus was at the Crown of Creation!"
"You mean bring his corpse with us, Weekend At Bernie's style?"

-"Huh. I think this tentacle creature was made of... spaghetti?"
"So it was a flying spaghetti monster?"
"Oh crap, the atheists will hate us now, we blew up their god!"

-"You know, for a supposedly 'useless' guy, I sure helped!"
"You couldn't control your porcupines for shit! We wasted hours on this!"

-"Which way now?"
"Well, I know that to the left there was some kind of blob-monster. And to the right there was a little shop."
"Oooh, a little shop! That's great!"
"That's probably just in the future, this place will become a museum, remember?"
"So what kind of shop is it?"
"It doesn't exist there now!"

-The PCs head to the room that will one day have a 'little shop'. They were hoping it might have just been an empty room, but as it turns out its covered in gunk and crap and has a dangerous Shit-Eater!

-"Heidi, it's your turn. What do you do other than weep for your descendants?"

-RJ hits the shit-eater with a burst from his M16, and it runs away.

-There are some twinkling things in the shit-eater's pile of shit!
The Vegomagus covers himself in shit in the process of digging it all out. It turns out to mostly be a few thousand copper pieces and a couple of platinum pieces, though there's also three scroll tubes.
"The highest level spell is Lokerimon's Assistance"
"Makes sense, that's a shit spell."

-They move on to the next room, where they encounter the Shit Eater, which seems to have mutated to grow a couple of extra tentacles! The room also has an evil Hag (who probably healed and 'evolved' the Shit Eater), and a Giant Flan!

-Heidi flies in and attacks the Giant Flan, but the Hag casts Sleep and Heidi falls asleep, while his jet pack is still on, bouncing him around the room at random.

-The Vegomagus decides to summon more animals after his latest porcupine is beaten to death and disemboweled by the Shit Eater.
"Force Manipulation!!.... er, I mean, Animal Summoning!"
"You are so confused, dude."

-Sami calls on Divine Aid to wake Heidi up!
"I got a natural 20! Heidi will never sleep again!"
"He is so Woke now!"

-Heidi grabs the hag by the hair and throws her into the corridor. Then, surprising absolutely everyone, Captain Harry pulls out a tiny little gun out of his pocket and instantly disintegrates her!
"Holy shit!"
"Wow, look at your grandson now, Heidi!"

-Vegomagus summoned a bear, who goes at it with the Giant Flan.
"The flan hits the bear, doing 10 points of damage from acidic Dulce De Leche!"
"That's one tough piece of frou-frou cake!"

-The bear hits but only does 4 points of damage.
"That's a weak hit. Is that bear ill?"
"It must be Vegan!"

-Heidi slays the Giant Flan.
"Dessert is served."
"Great line!"

-"I'm finally getting good at throwing Force Balls!"
"You're good at handling balls, Vegomagus?"
"I learned from the master!"
"The Hippomagus taught you about balls?"

-They finish killing the monsters.
"I cast detect magic."
"You don't detect anything?"
"Not even from that black door you mentioned?"
"Oh, shit, right. No, the door is FULL of magic."

-The black door has another explosive rune. And it's immune to scrying. And it has a Wizard Lock. And it's got a barrier against Daemons.

And at that point, unfortunately, one of the players had to leave early.  So we stop on a 'to be continued'. Stay tuned for more DCC greatness!


Currently Smoking: Castello 4k Collection Canadian + Image Latakia

Saturday 17 February 2018

My new Lion & Dragon Campaign: Highlights

So, today we played the second session of my brand new Lion & Dragon campaign.  This is the campaign that replaces the original Dark Albion campaign, which lasted six years and whose house-rules were the foundation for the Lion & Dragon rules.

The first session of this new campaign was largely about character creation, where we established the past history of the PCs and their families.  Like my last campaign, the players each had two characters.  But unlike the previous campaign, in this one I decided (because I wanted more connection for the PCs to the corridors of power) that every player would have at least one character of Knightly social class.

In that first session the characters:

1. Did some training, and the new players learned some of the basic mechanics in this way.

2. Went on a hunt.

3. Had an encounter with a strange fantastical creature.

And that was about it. Oh, they also had the PCs they played level up from level 0 to level 1.

In this session, which picked up right where the last one left off, the PCs:

4. Fought off some common bandits.

5. Visited the court of an Earl.

6. A couple of them got knighted, and one of them was invested as a Cleric.

7. One of the PCs, a Scots Man, got drunk out of his mind, committed some petty vandalism, was arrested and tried (I didn't expect a chance to use the medieval court trial resolution mechanics so soon in the campaign, but there you go)!

Luckily, the Scots Man PC had a venerable old knight vouch for him, gave a great speech before the judge, and had one of the other PCs (a knight) agree to take him on (and take responsibility for him) as a professional squire.  So he got off!

8. Headed off to patrol the border of the county.

9. Got into a big fight with a band of soldiers from a neighboring barony who's Lord had an ongoing feud with their Earl. Tragically, the venerable knight who was their mentor died in the fight; of course that was luck of the dice and not predetermined, but it sure fit the "heroes journey" motif.

Anyways, it was a really great session in what looks to be a really great campaign.  The PCs got to learn a lot of local folklore, a lot about the game, and a lot about how they need to behave in a Medieval-Authentic setting. They all got seriously into it.

I imagine I'll be doing some more updates as we go along.  Meanwhile, be sure to pick up Lion & Dragon if you want to enjoy the same kinds of Medieval Authentic awesomeness! 


Currently Smoking: Neerup Acorn + Image Virginia

Friday 16 February 2018

Transcript From my Lion & Dragon Q&A!

Here, courtesy of Dan Davenport's archive, is the complete transcript of my Live Q&A chat yesterday. Enjoy!

[19:33] <+RPGPundit> So, I’m the RPGPundit.
[19:34] <+RPGPundit> Do any of you really need more than that?  Ok, well, my latest game is the bestseller “Lion & Dragon: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying”, which is here: (Link:
[19:35] <+RPGPundit> I also saved D&D, and by extension the hobby, from itself, and I’ve been accused of being a sexist gatekeeper, by morons.
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> Now I just got to show everyone that they’ve never actually played “medieval fantasy” until Lion & Dragon.
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> (oh, I’m done).
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> Glad you like it, Catseye!
[19:36] <~Dan> Thanks, RPGPundit! The floor is open to questions!
[19:37] <~Dan> So I know the answer to this based upon your previous visit, but for the sake of our readers: What is the setting?
[19:38] <+RPGPundit> I’ve got one! Did you know that has apparently refused to publish a review of Lion & Dragon someone submitted! Wonder why?
[19:38] <+RPGPundit> Ok, Lion & Dragon technically doesn’t have a setting, though it’s IMPLICIT setting is Medieval Europe. One where the paradigm of actual historical medieval europeans was correct.
[19:38] <~Dan> Really? Wow…
[19:39] <+RPGPundit> That is to say, medieval europe with monsters and magic, but monsters and magic AS THE MEDIEVAL EUROPEANS UNDERSTOOD THEM
[19:39] <+Krimson> Question: Why did you go with Lion and Dragon instead of the much cooler sounding Hollow Crown? 
[19:40] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: more people voted for Lion & Dragon. And ultimately, getting to put the “&” on it probably makes it a better choice.
[19:40] <+Krimson> I certainly can’t argue against the use of the Ampersand.
[19:40] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yeah. A guy named Ulari posted on therpgsite that he submitted a review of L&D weeks and weeks ago and they’ve just not published it.
[19:41] <~Dan> Huh…
[19:41] <+RPGPundit> Also, Lion=Plantagenet, Dragon=Tudor.
[19:41] <+Krimson> Dan I saw the same post on TheRPGSite as well.
[19:41] <~Dan> (wb, Catseye)
[19:42] <+Catseye> (thanks))
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> It’s sure been fun watching some people flailing desperately at L&D’s unprecedented success.
[19:43] <+Krimson> I don’t think many of the critics followed your posts during development.
[19:43] <+RPGPundit> Like I’ve said before: You should buy Lion & Dragon because it’ll totally change the way you think about medieval-authentic gaming! That buying it will also piss off all the right people is just extra! (Link:
[19:43] <+Catseye> they aren’t critics when all they do is a hatchet-job.
[19:43] <~Dan> So how difficult was it to make OSR work for medieval-authentic?
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> Dan: hehe, good question. On the whole, not all that hard, in that most of the problem is a change of PERCEPTION among players, of playstyle, rather than mechanics.
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> But the one big mechanical exception that had to be overhauled is the magic system, of course.
[19:45] <+RPGPundit> So Lion & Dragon does not use the Vancian spellcasting system at all. Instead, it uses a series of magical lores & techniques that are actually drawn from REAL historical medieval grimoires.
[19:46] <~Dan> That’s something you’ve studied extensively, IIRC?
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> That’s for wizards, obviously. For Clerics, their magic is also non-vancian and based on some basic ‘common miracles’ and then at higher level direct communion with & intervention from God.
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> Dan: that’s correct. I’m an historian of the occult, and have studied it on a practical level for over 20 years now.
[19:47] <~Dan> Is wizardly magic largely ritualistic in the game?
[19:47] <+RPGPundit> So the magic that magisters (wizards) do in L&D is directly lifted from medieval magic-books. Meaning a lot more rituals and magical talismans and stuff like that, yes. There is some magic that wizards can just do directly.
[19:48] <+RPGPundit> Some of which is very funny. For example, when you read what wizards had to do to supposedly become Invisible.
[19:48] <~Dan> Oh? Do tell. 
[19:49] <+RPGPundit> Ok, so first, L&D magister techinques are divided into the following broad categories: Summoning, Astrology, Cures, ‘battle magic’ (the kind of impromptu magic), Banishing, Talismans and Alchemy
[19:49] * ~Dan nods
[19:50] <+RPGPundit> Each of these grant a number of specific techniques. In “battle magic” you have several spells that can be cast without doing any complex ritual work, the closest thing to typical ‘spells’. One of these is called “Unseen to Enemies”.
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> To cast “Unseen to Enemies”, the magician must take off his left shoe, circle it in the air above his head 7 times, and shake it in front of him 7 times, while calling out certain magical words.
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> I would strongly urge L&D GMs to force their wizard players to act it out every time they cast it.
[19:51] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> And yes, this was directly taken from a magical grimoire
[19:52] <+Catseye> beautiful!
[19:53] <+Gust32> “most of the problem is a change of PERCEPTION among players, of playstyle, rather than mechanics.”…. Could you expand on this a bit more. Do you mean you are not playing in a “fantasy world where you can do almost anything and get away with it – ie Player 1: I’m bored, let’s go murder someone/thing” or something else?
[19:53] <+Krimson> I’m not sure I’d want a player removing a shoe during a game. 
[19:53] <~Dan> Are there any limits to spellcasting beyond the required rituals?
[19:53] <+RPGPundit> So in L&D, wizards have to prep beforehand, for the most part. They can be super-powerful if they have the right materials.
[19:53] <~Dan> Really? What can magic accomplish on the high end?
[19:53] <+RPGPundit> Gust32: That’s very right. In the L&D world, players need to get used to the standards of the medieval paradigm. To give an example…
[19:54] <+RPGPundit> …in most fantasy worlds, you’re really just playing in Medieval-fun-time Ren-faire with Portland/Seattle values (or OSR games, sometimes with Wisconsin values).  That is, that there’s almost no consideration to things like social class.
[19:54] <~Dan> Good point.
[19:54] <+RPGPundit> So you might have PCs who are “peasants” in greyhawk or faerun, but that just means “poor farmers”, most of the time.
[19:55] <+RPGPundit> And you might have some PCs who’s a “knight” but that just means “fighter who has platemail and a horse”
[19:55] <+RPGPundit> And you can have a group of PCs where they all vote to decide what they do and the peasant PC has the same vote as the Knight PC. And then when they meet a Lord, the peasant might be the one to tell the Lord what he thinks they should all do
[19:56] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Rithuan!)
[19:56] <+RPGPundit> None of that would happen in L&D.  Social Class is huge and really matters. It determines everything about who you are. Being from a knightly family is better than having an 18 str most times, because it means you can go around with a sword and the peasant with 18 str is stuck with a 1d4 dagger.
[19:57] <+RPGPundit> If  peasant tries to tell a Baron what he thinks they should all do, he’ll probably be beaten where he stands. On the other hand, if a Knight is trying to get information in the big city, he’s not going to get anywhere.
[19:57] <~Dan> (brb — please continue)
[19:58] <+RPGPundit> Also, religion is hugely important.  Never mind that most D&D worlds just strap on polytheism to the middle ages and pretend it fits (it doesn’t), but Clerics are also pretty much just whatever. Their alignment matters more than their god, really.
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> In L&D, religion matters to absolutely everyone. And if you’re a Cleric, one of God’s chosen, you get HUGE social-class respect for it (a very big advantage) but you also have to swear Poverty, Chastity and Obedience to the Order and the Pontifex.
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> No Clerics running around with 1 million gp.  Not that you’d ever find that in L&D.
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> Hope that answered your question  more or less, Gust32?
[20:00] <~Dan> (back)
[20:00] <+RPGPundit> Dan: The limits to spellcasting are what you can learn, first of all. You also need materials. For really powerful magic you will either have to be born rich, or get a powerful patron, who will likely make demands of you.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> You also asked about examples of really powerful magic: well, a mid-level magister specialised in Alchemy can make a flamethrower of Greek Fire.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> A high-level magister can try to make the Philosopher’s Stone or the Elixir of Immortality.
[20:01] <+Catseye> How I did it in AD&D 2nd Edition? If a Cleric went to town with that absurd amount of money, they would meet the tax man and then the temple tithe. They would be lucky to end up with a few gold pieces left. I was really brutal on treasure and its possibility of wrecking the kingdom’s economy.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> Of course, a low-level magister could also try to summon the Demon Prince Asmodeus.. Though that probably wouldn’t go too well.
[20:02] <~Dan> So given its importance, how do you handle social class in character creation?
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: see, in L&D, the Cleric would just give ALL that money to the Clerical Order. Then the Order in turn gives the Clerics whatever they need for their given missions.
[20:03] <+Catseye> Fair enough 
[20:03] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Well, by default social class is randomly determined. GMs of course can have the option to not make it random, for example if they want to run a “Game of Thrones” style campaign where everyone is noble.
[20:03] <+RPGPundit> Or a London city gangs campaign where everyone is a “villain” (city-dweller)
[20:03] <~Dan> Does social class then limit what character classes are available?
[20:03] <+Krimson> And then there’s me who would run Black Adder.
[20:04] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: that would be great!
[20:04] <+Catseye> It sounds a bit more versitile than vanilla D&D.
[20:04] <+Krimson> Yeah, it would probably be pretty fun. It would take some preparation but the humor of that show was often historical.
[20:04] <+RPGPundit> Dan: no. Character classes each have (low) minimum ability score requirements. But social class doesn’t affect it. If you’re a peasant fighter, it means you’re probably a mercenary, if you’re a knightly fighter then you’re obviously on track to being a knight.
[20:05] <+RPGPundit> The exception are clerics, who are chosen as children to be trained in the Clerical Order. So if you play a cleric, regardless of which social class you were BORN into, you count as a Knightly social class character when you become invested as a cleric.
[20:05] <+Catseye> I like the idea of social standing being something to be earned
[20:05] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest09!)
[20:05] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: Blackadder was one of my direct inspirations for the Scots Men in Dark Albion
[20:06] <+RPGPundit> Dark Albion, by the way folks, is my awesome RPG setting, and is in some ways the natural setting book for Lion & Dragon. You don’t need one to play the other, but why wouldn’t you?
[20:06] <+Krimson> Oh neat. I’ll have to give that a read. I’m sure I bought the PDF a while back. Say, is L&D going to be on Lulu?
[20:06] <~Dan> Ah, yes. I was just about to bring that up. 
[20:06] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: Lion & Dragon is ALREADY on lulu! (Link:
[20:07] <~Dan> Nice!
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> Hardcover only, though. So if you want the SC or HC+PDF options you have to go with rpgnow.
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[20:07] <~Dan> So I’m guessing that L&D is a humans-only game?
[20:07] <+Krimson> Thanks I’ll keep that in mind. I bought Dark Albion on OBS, so I probably won’t get a print copy because of shipping, but Lulu has a facility in Canada which makes purchases much more cost effective.
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Dan: correct. There are all kinds of monsters (and a monster chapter in the book), including things like Elves and Goblins, but these are seriously INHUMAN.
[20:08] * ~Dan nods
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Lion & Dragon/Dark Albion Elves will scare the shit out of your players. Encountering them is more like encountering some kind of creepy aliens than meeting legolas.
[20:09] <+RPGPundit> (sorry, language!)
[20:09] <~Dan> Are there hordes of goblins and their ilk? Or is that too un-creepy?
[20:10] <+Krimson> That sounds neat. My elves are usually more Melniboneans and less Keebler so I like that. I remember some of the Fae in some Slaine comics which I think were influenced by Cu Chulainn.
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> Dan: there are bands of goblins to encounter. But like all supernatural beings, these are encountered ‘over there’, far off in the lonely places, in the wilderlands or the frontier.
[20:11] <~Dan> So no invading armies of orcs or the like?
[20:11] <+Catseye> I’m thankful for that
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> It’s a standard of the medieval paradigm that everyone knows the living dead and goblins and elves and giants etc exist, but that most peasants will live their whole lives without ever seeing one, because they hide in the fringes of the human world.
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> Of course, that’s where adventurers go.
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> Dan: no, for armies it’s generally humans. Of course, Dark Albion has the Frogmen, but even they’re “over there”, as in over there on the Continent where everything goes.
[20:12] <~Dan> Actually, how do “adventurers” fit into the medieval paradigm?
[20:12] <+Seer> You mean the French?
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> Good question! What you can’t really have is just a group of ‘murderhobos’ running around doing whatever they like. Remember, this is a culture where literally wearing certain types of clothing outside your social class can be a crime.
[20:13] <+Catseye> I’ll be honest. I read Tolkien in high school and never could get through it. It just never clicked with me. So games based upon it always created a mental disconnect. So I prefer my fantasy based on just about anything else.
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> You can’t go into a city wearing armor and fully armed (or armed at all, unless you’re a noble or cleric).
[20:13] <+Krimson> Catseye, I made it halfway through the trilogy before I literally threw the book out a window. 
[20:14] <~Dan> (Clerics are allowed to be armed?)
[20:14] <+RPGPundit> So this means that adventurers have to be something: the closest thing to the murderhobo format would be if they were brigands or outlaws.
[20:14] <+RPGPundit> Other possibilities are that PCs could all be a group in the service of a noble (possibly one of the PCs, or some NPC). Or working for the Clerical Order. Or the Church, or the Crown, or a University.
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They could be a street gang in a big city (like London or York). They could be a merchant or mercenary company.
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They could be part of an army fighting in the Rose War.
[20:15] <+Catseye> Krimson: Fell asleep during the middle and woke up literally at the end of the school day. I still can’t believe I avoided detenbtion for it.
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They have to fit into it somehow, though. And then work according to the place they fit into.
[20:15] <~Dan> On the face of it, the random social class thing would seem to make cohesive groups difficult. Am I missing something there?
[20:16] <+RPGPundit> And no, in the default concept, Clerics aren’t allowed to marry. (of course if you want you can always change that for your game)
[20:16] <+RPGPundit> Dan: not in my experience.  For example, if you get a group with varied social class, you could have them all be working as agents for a given Lord. Possibly, one of the PCs is the lord, or the lord is his dad.
[20:16] <+Krimson> Well you could try RPing the Reformation. 
[20:17] <~Dan> I see. Makes sense.
[20:17] <+RPGPundit> Or they could be a disparate group working as Inquisitors for the Clerical Order, backing up a PC (or NPC) Cleric.
[20:18] <~Dan> Does the game focus on any particular part of the Middle Ages?
[20:18] <+RPGPundit> Even if they were a group of outlaws, you could have the PCs who were of an aristocratic social-level be renegades, who were disinherited by their father, or committed some crime, or who’s family was attaindered (stripped of title) by the Crown.
[20:18] <+RPGPundit> Yes. Lion & Dragon by default is set up to run in the Late Middle Ages, from 1350-1500. You can set it earlier, with a bit of effort, or later into the Renaissance with a bit more effort.
[20:19] <~Dan> Does that mean that firearms are available?
[20:19] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: if you want some context as to how L&D plays, it’s very much NOT Tolkien. What you could see it as being closer to is Game of Thrones, or of course what GoT itself is based on: the War of the Roses plays by Shakespeare
[20:20] <+Krimson> The Renaissance has a range around the 14th to 18th centuries, so there is certainly a couple of centuries of overlap while staying firmly in the Medieval period.
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> Which was really just the original Game of Thrones. Shakespeare was the 16th Century’s George RR Martin, complete with killing off Falstaff, everyone’s favorite character.
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: that’s right. Technically you’d be playing in the time of early Italian Renaissance, for example, and that would still be perfectly manageable by L&D.
[20:21] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Yes. There’s rules for firearms and cannons in L&D.
[20:21] <+Krimson> The Age of Exploration fits in there as well.
[20:21] <+Seer> Is alchemy considered a natural science or spirituality
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: the very early part of it.
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> Seer: there’s two different types of Alchemy. Three if you count the Apothecary/herbalism skill. Besides that one, there’s the “Alchemy Lore (“Puffery”)”, which is non-magical medieval chemistry, and then “True Alchemy” which is the magical skill.
[20:23] <+RPGPundit> With Alchemy Lore you can make stuff like asbestos, gunpowder, false gold, acids, and even some very unstable explosives.
[20:23] <+Seer> Is the philosopher’s stone self-multiplying?
[20:23] <~Dan> Would you say that this is a “gritty” take on OSR?
[20:24] <+RPGPundit> Seer: no, I based it on other medieval sources which suggest it is actually rather fragile (it dissolves in water, for example, so don’t get it wet!).
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes. L&D is VERY gritty, even by OSR standards.
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> In combat it’s possible to lose body parts.
[20:25] <~Dan> Hmm… How do you handle hit point inflation?
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> Dan: I did hit points a little differently. You start the game at 0-level, with 1d6hp, modified by CON. When you get to lv1 in your class, you roll a hit die. After that, you get a (very low) fixed amount of HP every time you level, but only roll for more hp on top of that if you get it as a random or chosen advancement bonus.
[20:26] <+Seer> Hermeticists were somewhat pantheists, and presumably some of the witches who practice magic the church wouldn’t call ‘natural’ would offend Catholic sensibilities as well.  How do you expect these differences to affect party dynamics?
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> There’s tables that you use to see how you level, so characters will all be different as they advance. You can roll twice on a table at random, or choose just once.
[20:27] <+Rithuan> What sources do you suggest for the War of the Roses? Was it complex to bring this material to RPG material? Thank you!
[20:28] <+RPGPundit> Seer: Lion & Dragon presume that you’re running the game in the late Medieval Period. At this time, everyone is monotheist, except for rare cultists or heretics. So “witches” were either servants of demons (evil), or they were just peasant ‘wise men/women’ who knew some of the ‘old ways’ but still identified as monotheists.
[20:29] <+RPGPundit> Middle and upper-class magic-users were “Magisters”, trained in the occult sciences and natural philosophy in the great universities (so they’re also loremasters, and have a lot of knowledge skills that are non-magical). They’re monotheists as well, unless they become heretics of some kind, or make pacts with (as opposed to dominating) demons.
[20:30] <+RPGPundit> Rithuan: it’s hard to suggest sources for the War of the Roses. Dark Albion is pretty complete in terms of the setting material it offers. But if a GM wanted to learn about the War of the Roses to improve his game, I’d suggest looking at fiction, starting with Shakespeare’s plays about it.
[20:31] <~Dan> Is the Church okay with dominating demons?
[20:31] <+Seer> I just think As Above, So Below would ruffle the feathers of the church
[20:32] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes. To a certain degree. You need to remember that in the medieval period, what we could call ‘high magic’ was seen as “natural philosophy” and (as long as it wasn’t either trickery or devil worship), it was understood to be totally acceptable for a learned man of faith to do.
[20:32] <+RPGPundit> In the earlier middle ages almost all the important magicians were monks!
[20:33] <+RPGPundit> In the renaissance, you had people like John Dee, who was a very prestigious Elizabethan intellectual and a trusted courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, and famous for his magical studies.
[20:34] <+RPGPundit> In Lion & Dragon, I even mention a historical story, about how Carolus Magnus made a brazen head (something else you can do in the game) and his apprentice accidentally broke it. His apprentice was Thomas Aquinas, considered by Catholics to be a saint and the greatest catholic theologian since the early Church fathers.
[20:35] <~Dan> Huh. I’ll be darned. 
[20:35] <+Guest60> Re: “they’re also loremasters, and have a lot of knowledge skills that are non-magical”, what’s the skill system like?
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> This is another issue with Medieval-Authentic gaming. People in the modern era have very inaccurate perceptions of what the Church was like in the middle ages. Its why in Dark Albion I just substituted “Jesus” for “the Unconquered Sun”, even though everything else is still basically the same.
[20:36] <~Dan> Is that a holdover from Solomon, re: holy magic?
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> I found that just by it not being the “christian” church, even though EVERYTHING ELSE WAS EXACTLY THE SAME, it solved a whole bunch of mental blocks gamers have with playing in a Medieval-Authentic setting.
[20:37] <+RPGPundit> Because non-religious gamers get all worked up about assuming the church was ‘bad’ in all kinds of ways it wasn’t, and religious gamers get worked up with a bunch of their own assumptions (depending on what denomination they are) that are also not really accurate.
[20:38] <+RPGPundit> Dan: exactly.  Almost all the medieval wizards claimed to be following in the tradition of Solomon. And in the grimoires, those lengthy rituals are usually full of prayers, fasting, more prayer, and reciting the psalms (the psalms were usually seen to be full of magical power, like a secret spellbook right inside the bible).
[20:39] <~Dan> Interesting.
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> Guest60: sorry, almost didn’t see your question!  The skill system in L&D is pretty simple. You get skills with bonuses, +1, +2, etc, and roll a D20+skill+ability-score-modifier, versus a DC.
[20:39] <~Dan> (Guest60: You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> Skills can be gotten through social class (what your family was trained in), through the random previous-events table of something that happened in your character’s past, or by class.
[20:40] <+Guest60> Few broad skills or numerous narrow ones?
[20:41] <+RPGPundit> Guest60: In following with the idea I had strongly pushed for 5e D&D, Lion & Dragon has no set “list” of skills. Most characters will only have a few skills (obviously with Thieves and Magisters being the most skill-heavy).  But the GM is free to make up more skills if he likes.
[20:42] <+RPGPundit> Currently Smoking: Ashton Old Church Rhodesian + C&D’s Crowley’s Best
[20:43] <~Dan> Are there any classes that are absent from or unique to L&D?
[20:44] <+Guest60> Free form then or not? Can you give a few examples? I assume there are specific examples in the rule book?
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> L&D has four core classes, and two optional classes. The core classes are Cleric, Fighter, Magister and Thief.  The two optional classes are Scots Man (which could be taken to be ‘barbarian’) and Cymri (which could be taken to be ‘gypsy’ or ‘roguish jack-of-all-trades’).
[20:45] <+RPGPundit> Guest60: well, most fighters will have Horsemanship.  If you were from a peasant family, you will probably start with “farming”, but maybe “herding” or “fishing”. If you were city-born poor you probably have “urban lore” (how to survive in a city).
[20:45] <+RPGPundit> But if you were city-born with a bit more wealth, your father might have been in a trade, so you might start with “draper” or “baker” or “saddler”.
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> If you’re a thief, at Level 1 you get ‘pick pockets’, ‘open lock’, “find/remove traps”, “sneak”, “listen” and “climb”. Later on, a thief might get Urban Lore or Wilderness Lore or Court Lore (depending where he hangs out); ‘appraisal’, or ‘forgery’, or ‘disguise’, or ‘artifact lore’.
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> -done-
[20:48] <~Dan> Do you use alignments?
[20:49] <+RPGPundit> Yes, just the three basic ones: Law, Neutral, Chaos. Clerics of course must be lawful, for everyone else it’s their choice.
[20:49] <~Dan> (wb, Rithuan)
[20:49] <+Catseye> I prefer that method
[20:50] <+Catseye> once you expand to 9 alignmnts, you get into trouple
[20:50] <+RPGPundit> I had considered using stats of some kind to simulate piety, or honor, but I decided all that stuff is better roleplayed.
[20:50] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest54!)
[20:50] <~Dan> (wb, Guest60!)
[20:51] <~Dan> How do Law, Chaos, and Neutrality manifest in ways particular to this setting?
[20:51] <~Dan> (If that makes sense.)
[20:52] <+RPGPundit> Also, just like almost everyone in the world is level-0, almost everyone is Neutral.  Lawful are people who are extremely law-and-order or extremely religious, while Chaos is for people who are seriously criminal or seriously looking to revolt against the established order of things. Everyone else is just neutral.
[20:53] <~Dan> Does the setting address good vs. evil at all? Are demons objectively evil, for example?
[20:53] <+RPGPundit> It is presumed that the monotheistic God (whether you use Jehova or the Unconquered Sun or whatever) is a god of Law. That’s how the medieval people saw Him. Meanwhile, Chaos as a metaphysical force is supernatural rebellion against God and hostile to Man. Most intelligent supernatural creatures are Chaotic (some nature spirits can be Neutral).
[20:55] <+RPGPundit> Without a doubt, demons are objectively ‘evil’ in the sense that they seek the oppression and destruction of humanity, and the ruin of those who seek their power. That’s why if you make a PACT with a demon (as opposed to a magister Dominating it by -you guessed it- invoking the name of God), you are then spiritually doomed.
[20:55] * ~Dan nods
[20:56] <+RPGPundit> On the other hand, all people are, by their nature, good and evil. So some Lawful character might be a complete bastard who is a cruel torturer in the name of the King and authority and whatever. Or someone Chaotic might be Robin Hood.
[20:57] <+RPGPundit> All Clerics, for example, are lawful, but Clerics can run the gamut from those who dedicate their lives to caring for the poor, to those who dedicate their lives to hunting down heretics or slaying the Turks.  All of those things are, by medieval standards “good”.
[20:57] <~Dan> I see… So there’s objective evil in the setting, but it doesn’t apply to humans.
[20:57] <+RPGPundit> That’s been my experience (in life and as an historian) of humans in general, yes.
[20:57] * ~Dan nods
[20:58] <+RPGPundit> Humans can DO things that are objectively evil. But a Goblin IS objectively evil.
[20:58] * ~Dan nods
[20:59] <~Dan> I’m always annoyed by the claim that creatures like goblins “can’t” be pure evil.
[20:59] <~Dan> As an aside here.
[20:59] <+RPGPundit> Well, then Lion & Dragon is the game for you!
[20:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:59] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[20:59] <~Dan> Good salesmanship, sir. 
[21:00] <~Dan> What are dragons like in the setting?
[21:00] <+RPGPundit> First, in the implied setting they’re super-rare.  The last one was seen hundreds of years ago. People think they might have gone extinct, at least in this part of the world. They are remembered as terrifying.
[21:01] * ~Dan nods
[21:01] <+RPGPundit> So you won’t be spotting any just wandering around at low level. In fact, at mid-level you’re more likely to go off on an expedition to look for some abandoned dragon lair in order to get “dragonstone” (solidified dragon poop) which is a key ingredient in Byzantine Dragonfire.
[21:02] <+RPGPundit> But of course, there are Stats for Dragons in the monster chapter, both small and large dragons. And they’re super deadly. Dragons are always intelligent, and can usually speak (if they want to) in multiple languages.
[21:02] <+RPGPundit> Sometimes they may shapeshift.
[21:03] <~Dan> Do they all breathe fire?
[21:03] <+RPGPundit> Even small dragons can cause fear in ordinary mortals (Elves can do that too).
[21:03] <+RPGPundit> Yes, they all breathe fire.
[21:03] <+Catseye> Pundit: I’ve encountered loudmouths on your forums that have always insisted and browbeat me over their believe that shades of grey in morality always have to be catered to in gaming. Morality and alignment I have always had problems with talking about there.
[21:04] <+Catseye> sorry, belief
[21:04] <+Catseye> and yes, I outed myself. I’m a member of your forums
[21:04] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: really? That’s strange because I would have bet that the majority of people on my forum tend to not be the ‘shades of grey’ types. 
[21:05] <~Dan> Heh. 
[21:05] <+RPGPundit> but we do have all kinds. We even have some full-blown Communists there!
[21:05] <+RPGPundit> Or WORSE… people who like White Wolf games.
[21:05] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:06] <+Catseye> You originally invited me to your forums on a visit years past here. In this very chatroom.
[21:06] <~Dan> (wb, Le_Squide)
[21:07] <+RPGPundit> But ‘loudmouths’ is probably super accurate. theRPGsite is definitely full of loudmouths. Its a free speech forum, meaning that people can say what they think (as long as it’s about gaming). So you have to be ready for a rowdier atmosphere, and some people flaming.
[21:07] <~Dan> You’ve touched on this, but can you say a bit more about elves in this game?
[21:07] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest84!)
[21:08] <+Catseye> Pundit: Then why do you have so many anti-free speech jerks there? The ones who want to bully and shut others down? And yes, I can give examples.
[21:08] <+RPGPundit> Sure. Elves are pretty much the same as I presented them in Dark Albion, and how they were elaborated upon in the Cults of Chaos book (which is an AWESOME book full of tables to create totally unique evil cults/heresies/witch-covens etc):
[21:09] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[21:09] <+RPGPundit> So the main inspiration for Elves are the darker legends and folklore, of the unseelie court, changelings, people vanishing in the woods, stone-circles, etc.
[21:10] <+Catseye> Pundit: I don’t mean anything personal against you. You have mostly been very fair to me.
[21:10] <+RPGPundit> Elves once lived in the material world, and ruled over men. But they became decadent, warred with each other, and then men with elvish blood (from elves cross-breeding with their human slaves) overthrew them with magic, and they had to flee to a place called the “twilight realm”.
[21:10] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest44!)
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> But they can still enter the material world in places where the veil between the worlds is weak. Some chaotic places, standing stones, stone circles, etc.
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> They are incredibly dangerous, causing fear in (and higher-HD elves can even enchant) low-level mortals. They sometimes take people away with them to the Twilight Realm.
[21:12] <+RPGPundit> in L&D you get stats for common elves, knight elves, elven lords, and elf maidens.  All of which are very dangerous opponents.
[21:12] <+RPGPundit> in a future RPGPundit Presents supplement, I’ll be providing more information on the fae realm of the elves.
[21:13] <~Dan> Do you cover other fae creatures as well?
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: there’s anti-free-speech people on theRPGsite because it’s a free-speech site. Comes with the territory. There’s very few basic rules, and if they follow those they can think or say what they like. But one of the rules is against stalking, if you think you are being serially stalked by another user please let me know (though maybe by PM on theRPGsite
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> rather than here).
[21:15] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes, things like basilisks, black dogs, griffins, hippogriffs (elven knights’ favorite mounts), unicorns, giants, satyrs, and much more.
[21:16] <~Dan> Hmm… Maybe I should ask if you distinguish between “fae creature” and “magical creature”.
[21:16] <+RPGPundit> Here’s a link to the RPGPundit Presents series, by the way. It’s a weekly series of supplements, very inexpensive, that generally alternate between two themes: “gonzo” and “Medieval authentic” .The latter are for Lion & Dragon (though you can use them in other OSR games).
[21:16] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[21:17] <+Krimson> I think I reviewed Pundit’s firearms guide in that series.
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes. there’s non-fae magical creatures too. like the Undead, demons, chaos slimes, etc.
[21:17] <~Dan> Chaos slimes? Are such things authentically medieval?
[21:18] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: right, that one is a non-L&D supplement. But there’s lots of L&D-default supplements expanding the magical techniques, plus adventure scenarios, and future stuff to come (like more on Clerics).
[21:18] <+Krimson> And at least once Youkai in the form of Reynard der Fuchs. 
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes, to a certain extent. I took a bit of liberty with that. But in the middle ages “slimes” were associated with the sinister and evil and black magic.
[21:20] * ~Dan nods
[21:20] <~Dan> While we’re on the subject, how extensive is the game’s bestiary?
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> evil ‘slime’ was seen as a kind of material manifestation of Sin. Dante even brings it up.
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> Dan: NOT counting human statblocks for various npc templates (thugs, low/mid/high level fighters, cultists, etc), there’s 53 separate statblocks for types of non-human creatures.
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> So, not enormous, but decent.
[21:22] <~Dan> Very respectable!
[21:22] * ~Dan nods
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> Oh, that’s also not counting stats for Demons, which are found in the Summoning section.
[21:22] <+Krimson> You don’t need too much extensive in a world where you can kill people with pigs. 
[21:23] <+RPGPundit> True!
[21:23] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> Well, just that Lion & Dragon is a game that will likely change the way you think about ‘medieval fantasy’. Even if you don’t run it directly, it’s got tons of stuff that you’ll be able to port into any other OSR game.
[21:24] <~Dan> Oh, one last question from me: What’s the future of the game line?
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> It’s got all kinds of stuff on medieval economics, laws (including a system for resolving medieval-style trials, both secular and ecclesiastic), random treasure tables done in a medieval style, random tables for travel and encounters in the frontiers&wilderlands, and much more.
[21:25] <+Catseye> well to me, this is a good game. One that deserves judgment on its own merits
[21:25] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the future of the game line is strong. As a rule, I made most of my products as stand-alone. Arrows of Indra and Lords of Olympus have no supplements as such. Whereas with Lion & Dragon, if you get the main book and like it you ALREADY have a ton of extra stuff you can get:
[21:25] <+RPGPundit> Here’s a list: (Link:
[21:26] <+Krimson> The economics interests me. I’ve spend an inordinate of time on currency systems and trade.
[21:26] <~Dan> Very cool.
[21:26] <+RPGPundit> About half of all the RPGPundit Presents products will be focused on Medieval-Authentic OSR play and will be directly usable with Lion & Dragon. Most recently, I released a product that expands the Astrology technique making it have way more features than just basic prediction.
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> There’s also a number of already-published ‘adventure scenarios’ in the Pundit Presents series, and more to come.
[21:27] <~Dan> Speaking of promotion, I’d like to remind folks that those interested in supporting my Q&A series can do so at (Link: . 
[21:27] <+Krimson> By half me means you don’t get the Phased Plasma Rifle with the 40 Watt range.
[21:27] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Pundit!
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: well, yeah, that’s another way L&D differs from any other D&D setting. It’s assumed that it’s a low-cash economy. A lot of characters might not be running around with 1000s of coins. Or even dozens of coins.
[21:28] <+Krimson> I still say Plasma weapons should be able to use multifire. 
[21:28] <~Dan> As usual, you’re more than welcome to hang out as long as you like.
[21:28] <+Krimson> Oh for sure. I like those old currency systems.
[21:28] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: so noted. BTW, did you check out the latest Pundit Presents #19: The Frantabulous Gonzo Robot Generator? It’s awesome.
[21:29] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[21:29] <~Dan> Give me just a minute, and I’ll get the log posted and get you the link!
[21:29] <+Krimson> My own games usually assume a silver standard. I have not looked at the Robot book yet. Are these things ever going to get bound into one volume?
[21:29] <+RPGPundit> Thank you very much for having me, Dan.
[21:29] <~Dan> Absolutely!