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Sunday, 24 March 2019

Wild West Campaign Update: The Battle of Iron Springs

The PCs continued riding with Wyatt Earp and his Immortals, hunting down any Cowboys they can find.

Having set themselves up in the eastern road to Tombstone, they decided to wait in ambush for any Cowboys that might come along to join the huge posse they now knew Johnny Behan was forming to go after them.

After waiting for some time, they finally spotted a group of four Cowboys. The nine Adjudicators divided themselves in two and rode in on them from either side, coming out from behind some dunes.

There was a fairly quick shootout, but the four Cowboys didn't stand a chance. One of them was an important Cowboy rancher, Ben Maynard, and as he lay dying, he warned Kid Taylor that they'd all been charged with murder, and Curly Bill and Johnny Ringo were lawmen now and were coming after them with 50 men.

The group decided that given this news, it might be better for them to turn around and head toward the Dragoon Hills, track around there, and then circle back to come out in southern AZ where they could go through the various small towns of Cochise county and kill more small groups of Cowboys.

They rode toward the hills, but the next day, Crazy Miller's eagle-eyes spotted some horsemen coming toward them. He couldn't quite make out from that distance whether they were Cowboys or not, but they realized that if they were there were about 15 of them and it would be wise not to engage. So they turned off-trail, heading for a dry creek-bed familiar to Sherman McMaster, where they could hide a while and make a stand if necessary. They hid out there, but when they weren't approached they assumed the riders either hadn't spotted them or didn't follow them. They proceeded toward the woods around the hills.

Arriving near the entrance to the hills, they encountered a group of renegade Apache. It looked like just a handful of them, but the party knew that it was common practice for the Apache to have a larger warband hiding nearby. The Indians asked them if they had an beef, and the PCs offered them some jerky; remembering that the Apache didn't like the Cowboys, they explained who they were and that they were planning to kill all the Cowboys. The Apache were incredulous, knowing the Cowboys' numbers. But one of them noticed Doc Holliday, and commented that he has the 'spirit of death' in him.

Either out of respect for the Adjudicators, or fear of Doc Holliday, the Apache let the party pass without incident.

The party carried on and the next day went through the wilderness. They rode up to Iron Springs where they planned to rest the horses for a while, but then Crazy Miller spotted someone on the other side of the creek: Dirty Dave Rudabaugh. He wasn't sure if Dirty Dave, his old companion who had now joined the Cowboys (on account of his friendship with the Clantons), had intentionally exposed himself to warn the party or was just incompetent, but either way he just barely managed to shout out a warning that it was an ambush.

The firing started, with Texas Jack Vermillion getting his horse shot out from under him, pinning his leg. He would spend the entire fight trying to get out from under it. Kid Taylor's horse was shot through the neck but he fell free of it, and headed for cover. The rest of the Adjudicators jumped off their horses, except for Jackson, who was slow to react as usual, and Turkey Creek Jack Johnson who turned around and tried to gallop away, deciding he'd had enough of this.  There were nine Cowboys on the other side of the creek, including Dirty Dave, Johnny Barnes, and Curly Bill Brocious, who was so sure they'd got Earp now that he mocked them "How you doing, Wyatt? We got you in a bit of a crossfire!"
From behind them, several shots rang out, as another five cowboys shot at Turkey Creek as he fled.

After getting of his horse, Doc Holliday stumbled, falling to the ground from a coughing fit. All this hard riding was devastating his fragile health, and the PCs had seen him getting more pale, covered in his own sweat and struggling to breathe as he hacked out blood. It looked like he might not be able to do any good in this fight.

From tree cover, the PCs tried to shoot back. Kid Taylor got behind his dead horse for cover. One of the cowboys nearly shot his head off but the bullet was blocked by his rifle butt as he was reaching for it.

Jackson managed to get off his horse and go for cover, but then a couple of Cowboys shot him in the knee and chest as he peeked out to shoot.

Wyatt seemed in a haze. He gripped his rifle tightly and shouted "NO"! He turned and started walking, right out in the open, and straight into the creek. The Cowboys on the other shore all started firing on him, and yet he kept walking. They shot his hat, his coat was riddled with bullet holes, and his gun holster was blown off, but not one bullet as much as grazed him.

Crazy Miller was behind cover, when he saw the five other Cowboys coming up behind him. He called for help and fortunately, Doc Holliday was up by then. He'd willed himself to stand calling out to Wyatt to stop, thinking his friend had lost his mind and was going to be filled with lead; and when Doc heard Crazy call out he spun around fast, two guns in hand and hip-shot both of them shooting two Cowboys dead both through the head.

The other PCs, seeing that the Cowboys across the creek were momentarily distracted firing all around Wyatt, turned too. They killed two more of the men coming at them from behind. One of the Cowboys got a shot off at Kid Taylor, hitting him in the chest with what should have been a mortal blow. but to everyone's surprise, he was still alive!  The shot had been partially stopped by the Bullet-Proof Vest invented by Kid Taylor's friend Doctor George Goodfellow.

Wyatt, meanwhile, had gotten within 20 feet of Curly Bill, who came out to meet him. Curly Bill shot at Wyatt but missed, as all the shots fired on Wyatt did. Wyatt shot back and killed the leader of the Cowboys.

The PCs, meanwhile, had been shooting the hell out of the rest of the Cowboys, as they had now turned the tide. Within a very short time, all the Cowboys at Iron Springs were dead, except for Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, who had fled and tossed away his red sash in a panic.

The party had won the battle, though not without cost. Texas Jack had a badly sprained ankle. Kid Taylor was injured but not nearly as badly as  he otherwise would have been. But Jackson was critically injured. Kid Taylor's medical skill stopped his bleeding with an emergency surgery, and pulled the bullet out of his chest, but he was still very weak, and would soon die from infection.

While Kid Taylor operated, the other Adjudicators caught their breath. Sherman McMaster scouted around to make sure no Cowboys were left in the area, and came back to report. "Where's Wyatt?" he asked.
"Down by the creek, walking on water.", said Doc. Holliday was trying to play it like he was just relaxing on a rock but it was obvious that he was actually too ill to stand.

"Damn it, Doc!" said Texas Jack, "You ought to be in bed. What the hell are you doing this for anyways?"

"Wyatt Earp is my friend."

"Friend? Hell, I've got a lot of friends!"

"..I don't."

Realizing that there were more Cowboys on their way, and that they couldn't stay there, the party rode out, heading toward the Sierra Bonita ranch belonging to Henry Hooker, a long time enemy of the Cowboys, in the hopes that they would find some sanctuary there to attend to the still-ailing Jackson, and Doc Holliday.

Henry Hooker, who had more than a passing resemblance to Charlton Heston, welcomed them to stay for a while. He wasn't a big fan of the Earps' fondness for gun control laws, but he liked their "kill all cowboys" policy.


Currently Smoking: Dunhill Shell Diplomat + C&D's Crowley's Best

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Classic Rant: Kotaku Almost Convinced Me of What Little Influence Women Had on D&D

It's really quite pathetic. Because the fact is, I know that there were women who had very important parts to play, and significant influence, on the early D&D hobby.

But if you read Kotaku's supposed 'feminist' article about how important women were to early D&D, you'd come out feeling like women were inconsequential. The article is ironically entitled "D&D wouldn't be what it is today without these women", and yet when you look for the list of who these 'journalists' managed to get together, ironically you could very easily remove all of them from the history of D&D and the hobby would have been practically unchanged.

Instead of being able to provide an article that talks about the important early contributors to the hobby, what this article does is show us a group of second-tier writers, mostly admitted non-gamers, who did very peripheral products for D&D like maps, choose-your-own-adventure stories, and some art. Stuff which was in no way central to early design. Stuff that anyone else could have done.

I mean, I know, it's Kotaku: everyone who works for them actually hates gaming of all varieties, gamers, and thinks all geek hobbies are The Enemy that needs to be destroyed. But do they really have to be so incompetent they can't make their own title argument!?

It's probably because the person writing the article has no idea what they're doing. If they did, they could have mentioned Lee Gold, who published Alarums & Excursions and had enormous early influence on the hobby. Or Jennell Jaquays, which seems an odd omission, unless Kotaku now thinks that transgender women don't count?

On the other hand, it's more understandable that they would miss out on most of the other important and influential women in early D&D. Because these were not writers or game designers or publishers: they were gamers. Some of them were related to the early creators of the hobby (like Elise Gygax), and naturally that would discount them in the minds of the third-wave feminist author of the Kotaku piece; even though the Gygax women (not in spite of but by virtue of being related to Gary) probably had much more influence on the early hobby than anyone the 'reporter' mentioned in her piece. Others were women like Mary Dale, who had joined with her brother and had an influential early character in Gygax's original campaign.

But to Kotaku these don't count, because they're not the 'strong independent female designers' that they want for their narrative.  Never mind their real influence on the hobby, they just don't fit the story, even if no one actually does because the type of female influence Kotaku wants to 'discover' on early D&D (where there was some hugely influential female game designer as important as Gygax or Arneson) just never happened. So instead, they pick the nearest facsimiles they can get a hold of and try their best to make an untenable argument.  They start out with Jean Wells, who was certainly an important early figure, as their best possible argument, which just shows how weak their argument is. And from there they proceed downward to Margaret Weis, who helped make the shittiest D&D setting in history, long after the influential early period, and was basically a novelist rather than a game designer. Her contribution to the hobby was a series of modules that enshrined railroading and metaplot, causing enormous harm to the game and arguably being one of two markers of the end of the original Old-School period (the other later marker would be the printing of 2e itself, under the supervision of another destructive woman, Lorraine Williams; I'm kind of shocked that Kotaku didn't try to rebrand that hobby-destroying she-harpy into a feminist D&D heroine!).

Anyways, way to shoot yourself in the foot, Kotaku. It's a lucky thing you got it at least partially wrong, because if you were right, it would have meant that women were of absolutely no meaningful significance in the creation of D&D.


(originally posted June 27, 2017) 

Friday, 22 March 2019

DCC Campaign Update: I Hope There's Younglings In There

In our last session, the PCs had wandered around the planes trying to figure out what to do; first when they heard that Sezrekhan's new Phylactery was the Libram of the Ten Spheres, then when they found out it had been stolen from the Crown of Creation by one of the dwarves they'd brought back from the past, then when they heard that Sezrekhan had taken over Anthraz's body, and finally when they discovered that the Crown of Creation has been corrupted by the power of the Dark Ones (apparently brought in there somehow by that same dwarf).


-"The campaign has reached the point where we now need to specify which literal ass we're referring to."

-They're beaming back Bill and Catboy from the surface, when there's a mysterious transporter error!
"We got Catboy but that's not Bill!"
"No, it's Catboy and three assholes."
"So, four assholes?"

-Bill's missing, and in his place there's a Vegan Mutant former-slave, a Scotsman Mutant Alcoholic, and a Purple Mutant Elephant-Butcher.

-"Sami immediately shoots the Scotsman."
"What the fuck, Sami?!"
"Sami, you need an intervention!"

-"Let's all calm down. We'll have some cocaine.."
"Bill had it."
"Oh fuck!"

-"I need my cleric powers back. I'm itching all over!"
"Sami's addicted to being a cleric."

-"Is the Sword of Neutrality trying to compel me to do anything?"
"No, it's not trying to compel you to do anything at all."
"If you feel compelled to try to do things it'll probably try to calm you down!"

-"Bill tried to sell you out, Roman!"
"Did he offer me to Sezrekhan?"
"No, but he said you're an Ancient."
"You know, we Ancients have a saying: he who reports on private information is likely to be harmed!"
"Snitches get stitches!"

-"You know, it disturbs me that Bill is one of this period's most successful people."

-"So, have you found anything, Roman?"
"No, Catboy, because you keep fucking talking to me!"
"Don't worry Catboy, everyone tells me to shut up too!"
"Shut up, Sky-Mexican, or I'll build a wall right here!"

-Sami is so desperate from her withdrawl symptoms that she's ready to give a blowjob to Republican Jesus in the hope of getting divine power.
"You, angel boy, drop your pants!"

-"We don't have to actually RP this do we?"
"Fuck no! This isn't Alpha Blue!"

-While Republican Jesus is... busy... with Sami.. the rest of the party raids his armory.
"Holy crap! RJ has a nuke!"
"We should nuke the crown of creation!"

-The Sky-Mexican cleric found a missile launcher.
"It only has two missiles, but they do 8d6 damage each."
"Wow... are there any spare missiles?"
"You find one extra missile behind a barrel of moonshine."

-"Are there gadgets here?"
"What are you, a pussy?"

-"Are there gold-plated guns?"
"Roll perception."
"I failed."
"Then unfortunately, you didn't find the Gold-Plated Trump Special."

-"Is there a Claymore?"
"For sure. RJ probably cried when he watched Braveheart."

-"Well, we're all stocked up with weapons."
"You guys are lucky that Republicans give way more to charity..."

-Catboy decides to go knock on Anema's door.
"Oh.. Catboy.. I didn't know you were here."
"You see that her room has a holo image that clearly shows the control room."
"Yeah, I didn't know you were here either."
"Dude, who are you fooling? You're in the Sun, she's the Spirit of the Sun, and you're at her bedroom door."

-"I.. I've just been really alone..."
"Damn it, Anema. Her and Catboy deserve each other."

-"So um.. where have you been?"
"Oh, I've heard Coolland is pretty cool..."
Yeah.. I go there because I'm cool.."
"Footage not found."

-"I like how the heart of the sun is where you guys just go to get guns and sex now."
"And drugs!"

-Roman has found a solution!
"You know how there is an Apocalypse Protocol that could theoretically cleanse and reset the material plane? Well, there's one for the Crown of Creation too."
"So, how is it activated?"
"The Ancients made a safeguard consisting of five rings, that contain the source code for the Crown; a five-fold word that causes the crown to reboot fully."
"A code? Have you tried 12345?"

-"Catboy, promise me you'll come back to me after you save the universe, again."
"I promise, Anema."
"Good. And I promise I'll try not to immediately become bored of you, again."

-"So where are these rings?"
"One is in a burger shack in Wisconsin. The second is in the Island of the Blue Elves off the Southern Continent of the material realm. The third is in the Birthing Slurries of the Stone Realm. The fourth is in the Great Temple of the Grey Realm, and the last one is in the Imperial Palace of the Jade Realm."
"Birthing slurries?"
"Yes. That's where Stone Men are born."
"It's probably like lava."
"Or like a mud pit."
"It's more like a mud pit, yes."
"See? Catboy's always right!"

-"Do you want to take the Sunstaff Roman?"
"Oh great, let's keep all the ways to get to the Crown of Creation in one place."
"Yeah, that's probably not a good plan."

-The PCs return to the Plane of Wisconsin, and get to the burger shack, where a grizzled old fry cook is at work.
"What'll you have? Mushroom Burger Special?"
"No! We're here for the ring."
"I still want the Mushroom Burger."
"One Mushroom Burger coming up!"

-"The Fry Cook is really powerful."
"His only jobs are to make burgers and guard the ring."
"Just like that guy whose jobs are to kill Catboy and then the sky-fuhrer!"
"I wonder if we could recruit that guy, after he kills Catboy?"

-"I'm an Ancient."
"You don't have the clearance rank to take the ring!"
"Look, I'm the senior known surviving Ancient."
"The second-most senior surviving Ancient is Mongo!"
"Oh shit, that's true!"

-Roman puts on the ring.
"Wait.. you're not going to eventually betray us, are you?"
"Hey, I trust you, Zargon! Er.. I mean, Roman!"

-After Wisconsin, the PCs take the UFOe back to the Grey Realms, and head toward the great temple.
"Remember, everyone keep cool, we were technically never meant to come back here."
"You get to the temple, and a Grey Alien in fancy robes opens the doors."
"Sami shoots him."
"Oh shit!"

-"Another priest starts to run away, shouting 'help! We're under attack!'"
"Nice, there's more of them!"

-"damn it we have to leave one alive!"

-"Heidi rips the throat out of one of the priests, Mortal Combat style."
"What are we doing?!"
"I don't know anymore!"

-"Go in there and kill anything that moves!"
"I hope there's younglings in there."

-"This is a holy temple!"
"It's not a temple of G.O.D.!"
"Yes it is!"
"Not the G.O.D.!"
"Yes it is!!"
"Not the one in the Crown of Creation!"
"Oh shit, my bad... well, still, shoot anyone that moves!"

-"Give us the ring!!"
"We don't have it!"
"Where is it??"
"It was confiscated years ago; the former queen wanted it for a costume party and never gave it back."
"Oh shit, Priscilla has the ring..."

-"Kill them all."
"No! They're men of G.O.D.!"
"Then they'll be happy to die for G.O.D."
"We wouldn't!!"

-"Let's go check out the palace just in case. Remember, if anyone asks what happened here, Bill sent us!"

-"So this whole session has been about sex, drugs and unnecessary manslaughter?"

-"How do we get into the palace?"
"We could sneak in?"
"Not likely."
"Well... we can fly.. and we have grenades.."
"So you want to drop grenades on the roof?"
"Yes, Roman."
"That... that's the greatest plan I've ever heard!"

-"I've noticed that there's an inverse relationship between Heidi's Pacifism, and how close he is to leveling up..."

-The party ultimately decides to just walk to the front gate, and end up being brought before Fake-Bill.
"Hey guys..."
"What's up?"
"I thought I sent you guys on a very distant mission...?"

-"If you try anything, we have our artillery targeted on your UFOe."
"There's no one of value there."

-"Priscilla took the ring."
"Oh. Fuck."
"Well, at least I'll finally get to kill Priscilla."

-"We can try to reason with the Jade Empress."
"I'm sure the Jade Empress will be reasonable..."
"We're screwed."

-"We'll land the UFOe near the palace and--"
"They're firing jade missiles at us!"

-The Jade army forces attack.
"What are the characters doing?"
"I'm staying near the open door of the UFOe with a rifle, and try to shoot at any oncoming missiles."
"My other guy lost his dagger so..."
"Wait, the dagger you fumbled back then and it just fell at your feet? You never bothered to pick it up??"
"No. Fuck that dagger!"

-"Wait... was that a magic dagger??"
"And you never picked it up?"
"You're a newbie! You shouldn't even be allowed to have a magic dagger!"
"Now I don't!"

-The PCs communicate with the jade forces, under Supreme Commander Jade Stone.
"Send me someone to negotiate."
"Who? Do we send?"
"G.O.D. help us, but of all the people who can fly, he's the most reasonable one right now."
"Damn it, Sami!"

-"Roman, can I get my force field belt back?"
"Now I feel safe."
"Yeah, that will really save you from the jade missiles."

-"Supreme Commander Stone, I can promise you that we do have an ancient, and we're here to get the Jade ring to save the universe."
"We'll need expert advice here, so I'm going to call in the Historiologist."
"Who's the historiologist?"
"He's the one with the ridiculous hat."
"It's the natural way of showing hierarchy."
"Like my sombrero!"

-"You have an Ancient?"
"It's a long story... actually, it's pretty short: we went back in time."

-"The Queen will have to approve to give you the ring."
"She better, because Sami will be pissed."

-"Why don't you bring the Ancient here?"
"We need to be sure he's safe."
"We'd have to be insane to hurt an Ancient!"
"It's happened before."
"Mostly that was us, though!"

-"How can we tell he's a real Ancient?"
"If he's a real Ancient he'll be able to decode some of the artifacts of Ancient-tech we have in the vault. Call the Technologist!"
"The 'technologist'? What does he do, The Science?"
"No, he's a specialist in Technonomy, of course!"

-"You guys better not try anything; I'm 1xp from leveling, so you do not want to piss me off!"

-"So, if you are an ancient, you will be able to identify the property of this mysterious sphere that has technology so advanced we can't figure out what it does."
"Roman touches it and music starts playing, and lights start flashing."
"It's a disco ball?"

-"If anything happens, start killing people!"

-The Jade people reach an agreement with the PCs, they'll exchange the Jade Realm's ring for the opportunity for their specialists to download the databanks from the UFOe to learn what the Grey Realm invasion plans are.
"Anything you don't want us to download?"
"I'd avoid any folders that have the word Probing in them."

-"So honestly, Jade dude, how do you guys reproduce?"
"...the exact same way you do."
"So like, man and woman parts?"
"Stop talking!"

-"Roman puts on the Jade Ring."
"Does he look like Thanos?"

-Sami's comments to the Jade technician about how organics reproduce has put his life in danger.
"I want asylum! I want asylum!! They'll kill me if I stay here! I know too much now!"

-"Come on, Stony!"
"Stony? He has a name, I presume."
"Yes I do. My name's Rocky!"

-"So we just got a new NPC?"

-"You have a fugitive on your vessel!"
"We do?"
"We'll look for him."
"If we see him, we'll let you know."
"New radio, who this?"

-"Just remember we have an Ancient on this ship!"
"And the Catboy, so if you kill us, you'd be a Sky-Nazi!"

-"You are not taking this seriously! You'll be forbidden here. Jade Men never forget!"
"Fuck off."
"That was Sami!"

-"So you're saying there's two things you need to know about the Stone Realm..."
"How do you mean?"
"OMG, the Ancient's didn't know the 2 things joke!"

-"I don't want to contradict the Ancient, but we were told the Stone Men were actually dangerous and aggressive."

-"Zeke and Rocky, you stay behind."
"Good, It'll give me a chance to teach Rocky the word of G.O.D."
"Don't baptize him! We might need him later!"

-"Good luck my friends, you can contact me if you need to."
"We can but probably won't."

-The PCs are almost immediately attacked by Stone Men.
"So half of the party are kicking ass, while the newbs are uselessly throwing rocks."
"And the sky-cleric!"

-"Does Sami actually like any character at all?"
"Do NPCs count?"
"Then no."

-Heidi gets 4 fumbles in a row, 2 in a single round!
"In this last one, he drops the demon sword!"

-"Newbs, it's OK! These are tough opponents, no one is expecting anything of you. Unlike the Mexican Sky-Cleric."
"Or Heidi!"

-"The trans-mutant newb grabs the sword!"
"What's your INT + WIS?"
"What? Holy shit! You are able to control the daemon-slaying sword. You cannot, however, control Heidi, who goes next and is probably going to kill you for stealing his sword."

-"Heidi grabs the sword back."
"The sword is now happy to be back with Heidi. You get the feeling it was unhappy with the trans-mutant, for some reason."

-"I just got hit. It hurt."
"Don't worry, we have two clerics in this party... ohhh, wait.."

-"Will someone fucking kill the other Stone Man?!"
"I am on my way!"
"Oh fuck, everything depends on the Mexican Sky-cleric!"

-"The sky-cleric charges on his hoverbike!"
"Natural 1; he crashes his hoverbike, flipping it multiple times and lands on a bunch of jagged rocks, possibly dead."

-"Is Heidi in the air right now?"
"No, his jetpack came loose in a fumble, remember?"
"He can't fly."
"Well, he could, but it wouldn't go well."

-Heidi finally gets a critical, and disembowels the Stone Man in one hit.

-"I give you guys 3xp for this fight, just because of how sorry I feel for you."

-"So now, all six of the newbs are just 1xp from levelling!"
"They're all going to die!"

And on that bombshell, we leave the PCs. Stay tuned next time to find out if Bill the Elf will be back, and whether the PCs will be able to keep gathering the rings to turn Roman into Thanos!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + Image Latakia

Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Reivers: A Medieval-Authentic Borderland Adventure

This week, I give you a new Medieval-Authentic adventure scenario, for Lion & Dragon but playable with your choice of OSR or D&D game, in the form of RPGPundit Presents #71: The Reivers!

This is a medieval-authentic adventure set in Dark Albion, along the area of The Wall between Albion and Scots Land. But you could probably set it up in any fantasy world where there's a wall to keep off barbarians.

In The Reivers, the PCs get caught up, in the area held by Albion just north of the wall, in a treasonous plot to help the Scots Men in what looks like an invasion plan, taking advantage of the instability of the Rose War. There's also crazy hermits, wilderlands, corrupt lords, and of course lots and lots of Scots Men!  What's really going on? Is there supernatural activity afoot, machinations of traitors coming to fruition, or mere stealth and bribery of the Scots Reivers?

You can pick up this short adventure for just $2.49 from DTRPG, or from 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!)

RPGPundit Presents #21: Hecate's Tomb (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #54: Medieval College Adventures (compatible with Lion & Dragon)

RPGPundit Presents #58: Expanded Prior History Tables  (compatible with Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #65: The Defilers (compatible with Lion & Dragon)

RPGPundit Presents #68: The Cult of the Saints (compatible with Lion & Dragon) 

RPGPundit Presents #69: The Path of Trees (compatible with Lion & Dragon)

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently Smoking: Mastro De Paja Rhodesian + Image Virginia

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Send me Your RPG Product for Review!

So as of right now I've just gotten to the end of my RPG review-copy waiting list.

That means that if you have an RPG gamebook, supplement, or adventure that you would like me to review, this would be the ideal time for you to send it my way.

As you may know if you read my blog, I review every single RPG book sent to me. These reviews are lengthy and detailed, and I make every attempt to be fair (within the acknowledge contexts of my particular ideas about RPGs), and when possible I try to explain what type of gamers will be drawn to this type of product.

You can check out the many, many RPGs I've reviewed here.

So, if you're interested, please get in touch with me, either through the comments, on Google+, or on theRPGsite!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Delta Days

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

RPGPundit Presenta: Tres Asesinos Sobrenaturales!

La edición española de la publicación semanal OSR "RPGPundit Presents" creada por RPGPundit que presenta un tema diferente en cada número. 

Este número, RPGPundit Presents #48: Tres Asesinos Sobrenaturales, desarrolla 3 series de antagonistas inspirados en asesinos sobrenaturales reales. Han sido diseñados para el juego León & Dragón y otros juegos OSR. Se incluyen Los Aldered y su banda, John North y el Lobo Demoníaco y Madre Sylvia y su culto.

Puedes comprar estas tres mini-aventuras investigativas en uno en DTRPG, o en la tienda internet de Precis Intermedia!

Note: You can buy the English version of RPGPundit Presents #48: 3 Occult Killer Antagonists here


Currently Smoking: Mastro de Paja Apple + Elizabethan Mix 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Reddit SJW Hoax-crimes Me, Admits it, I'm Censored Anyways

In my new video, I talk about how a Reddit SJW on the OSR-subreddit engaged in a hoax-crime against me, then admitted it, but the mods decided to Censor me anyways. That's the modern Left for you, ladies and gents.


Currently Smoking: Raleigh Hawkbill + Image Virginia

Saturday, 16 March 2019

RPGPundit Reviews: The Last Alpha Blue Supplement

This is a review of the almost-certainly erroneously-named "The Last Alpha Blue Supplement", written by Venger Satanis, published by Korthalis publishing. It's as always a review of the print edition, which is a softcover book, about 78 pages long, with full color cover and full color interior. In terms of build, it looks pretty fancy.  The cover features a joking-style image of what is very obviously a Predator (from the movies), with the background featuring an Alien, the Terminator (I think) and if I'm not mistaken the waitress from Office Space.

Before proceeding with the review, I should note that Venger is a co-host on the Inappropriate Characters Youtube show, which I do with him and Grimjim. Aside from this we have no financial ties or relationship, I had no part in making the product I'm reviewing here, and make no income from it. I'm mentioning the fact that he's my co-host for complete transparency, and I don't honestly think that it will affect my review in any way (as proof, I've savaged some of his books to varying degrees since the start of our show, just like I sometimes did before we had the show together).  But there you go, you've been warned.

For those of you who don't know, Alpha Blue is a sci-fi RPG (using a dice-pool system that is obviously NOT OSR, even though Venger has sometimes tried to claim that it is) with a humorous and salacious bent. The default setting is a huge space station that's been converted into a massive brothel. The humor is often very referential to present-day pop culture (including many cases of blatantly ripping-off/parodies of pop culture characters), is highly politically incorrect, and is 'sexualized' in the very sophomoric sense that I would think would be mainly appealing to 12-14 year old boys.  There's also sometimes some good gonzo material in the products, in spite of having the wrong system and requiring that you take out the excessive pervyness.

The book is divided into two sections: "Sexual Predators" and "Kobayashi Maroon". In the introduction, we're told that the Federation has decided to start clamping down on sexual promiscuity, creating a natural result of heightened resistance to federation rule, and a conflict in the setting that probably would have made sense to have there right from the beginning.  The intro includes a random (only 4-entry) table to determine how anti-sex a given space sector has become.

After the introduction you get a page-long essay on how it's not necessary to feel shy about roleplaying sex in the game. I'm pretty sure anyone actually playing this game is likely to be both shameless and yet possessing of a great deal to be ashamed about, but that's just me.

The next page features a new "profession" for Alpha Blue, which is "porn salvage". This is the job of finding and salvaging ancient porn. There's no special rules, just a table of the approximate value of old porn media.

Then there's a random table for determining how long a period of time is in different planets, where the definition of an hour, week, month etc may be different than Earth standard.

Then we get into the ostensible premise for an adventure, the first of several each of which consists of a few pages each.  This first one is called "Earth Girls are not Easy", which has to do with the Predator on the cover, only he's a "Sexual Predator"; a renowned space-pimp. Now the Sexual Predator has gone back in time to Earth in 2018. The time hole created by this causes strange effects on the planet, and there's also some dangerous Space Albanians involved. And some sexy space vampires.

There's a bunch of weird characters, in fact, including Cheech Marin and Will Ferrell. None of the adventure really makes much sense.

After this we get "Kaiser So-You-Say", which is about a psychotically unstable member of the Terra Nostra by that name, who has invited the PCs as well as other villainous scum to his personal moon (surrounded by laser-sharks) to attend a "private martial arts competition and festivities". It turns out that it's a trick, but Kaiser's enemies are planning a trap for him too, and the PCs are in the middle of it. This short adventure is goofy but at least more coherent than the previous one.

After this, there's "Crimson Dwarf", involving the crew of a mining ship called Red.. sorry, Crimson Dwarf, who died mysteriously while the PCs were in stasis. There's a random table of 8 entries to determine why the PCs were in stasis on the ship to begin with. When the PCs are released from the Stasis, they are informed that the ship is now "3 million years from Earth" and that the crew are all dead. There's a floorplan of the ship keyed by room, with a wide variety of strange encounters and dangerous creatures. There's 16 rooms in all, none of which have any kind of 'dungeon coherency' but at least some of them are amusing.
This is a decent enough crawl if you don't care about it making much sense, but there's also not really any kind of significant resolution to it. It feels incomplete.

"Dude, Where's My Starship" is the next adventure scenario. It starts with the PCs (or the one PC who owns the party's starship) waking up and realizing that his starship is missing. Apparently there was a big party last night, and something happened to the ship. The characters have a chance to get a new ship from a sleazy salesman named Leisure Larry, but it comes with a cost: the PCs have to get Larry sex with a famous "Alpha Blue Satisfier" within 24 hours or the ship will self-destruct. Except, when they get to Alpha Blue, they find that the entire station has been taken over by mind-dominating aliens.
The adventure is at least fairly coherent, though also obviously fairly sex-focused. And, as usual in a very adolescent sort of way; as in, an important macguffin object in the adventure is found in the aforementioned "Satisfier's" vagina.
The adventure continues with the PCs finding out what happened to their original ship, involving some 8th-dimensional repo-men, and the notorious "Grabba the Butt". Yeah...

"Ra'aj Blake" is the next scenario, and it's the name of a great revolutionary fighter against the Federation. Blake had vanished, but he's now coming out of hiding from the Mauve Zone, to continue the struggle. The Mauve Zone is a place of weird inter-dimensional anomalies, full of 'freaky happenings' (there's a table of 'potentially freaky happenings' but it's only 4 entries long, continuing the tradition in Venger's books of interesting concepts that have way too few random entries). When they meet Blake, he claims to have a plan with a program that will disrupt all the Federation's vital Artificial Intelligences, and wants the PCs help to make it happen... but all may not be as it seems. Also, there's a "Zith Lord" in this scenario named "Darth Cray-Cray".

Then there's an adventure named "Order 66". It starts with the PCs suddenly encountering a mysterious "voluptuous redhead" who begs them for help. She's being hunted because she knows about "order 66". The adventure is only two and a half pages long, and it is a basic sort of chase adventure which is mostly set up to have an amusing punch line as to what "order 66" actually is.

"Messiahs of P'oon" involves a prophet of "Ilsham Muy-Deep" who has engaged in a religious war with his rival "Jorda'an".  The PCs have to "pretend to be jihad-affiliated nomads" to try to assassinate Muy-Deep and replace him.  The adventure involves a description of an extremely disturbing urination-related ritual.

After this, we get to the "Last Alpha Blue Appendix". This has a variety of tables that will be pretty much useless for any non-pornographic campaign. It includes the "Lady bits standard" table, to determine whether a random female alien has normal "lady bits" or something unusual, then a "vagina and clit location table", a "how to pleasure them" table, a "vaginal and clit surprises" table, a "scent of a woman" table to determine how a female character (or specific parts of her anatomy) smell like. I mean, this is FATAL-level nonsense.

There's also a "relationship agreements" table, for random conditions of "lovers contracts" that are sometimes used as legal contracts in Alpha Blue, to determine what kind of strange demands "controlling females" might make.

This concludes the first section of the book, and then we get to the second section, Kobayashi Maroon.  It doesn't start out very promisingly, commencing with a full-page essay on the importance and some guidelines for how to get your players (presumably imbued with a healthy sense of distaste at the notion of playing out graphic material in a room full of nerds) to roleplay sex scenes.

After that we start with an adventure scenario, simply title "Episode 1". It begins forcefully setting up that the PCs are the crew of a starship called the Get Woke Go Broke, which was bequeathed to them by their aging mentor. The PCs pick up a distress signal from a ship called The Vanessa, which is breaking up as a result of strange energy emanating from a nearby "pink hole". This leads to an encounter with Yog-Soggoth, though in the end the whole thing turns out be just a simulation, an exercise known as the Kobayashi Maroon. There's a random table to determine whether each PC shat their pants during the simulation; and another to determine why they were chosen for the exercise. The score of the PCs is determined with a 1d100 roll to see how they did, which is completely random and totally independent of anything they did, didn't do, whether or not they shat their pants, or why they were there in the first place. In other words, the typical shoddy design we've seen before from Venger leading to meaningless play where nothing you do actually matters.

Next we move on to Episode 2. One would assume this is a continuation of Episode 1, but no. It has no connection.
Episode 2 is set up to work as a solo adventure, for one player, though it can be played with a group. The scenario begins with a description of the "Pron Faar", the heat that people of "Vulkyn Blood" go through every 7 months, where they want to bone anything that moves. PCs are instructed to roll to determine, with a 1/6 chance, if they have some amount of Vulkyn blood (those who do roll a d100 to see what percentage it is). After this, the actual adventure starts with the PC (or one of the PCs, if more than one is playing) walking in on their wife having sex with someone. It turns out the wife isn't a real wife, she's a Federation agent who was sent to spy on the PC.
At this point, the adventure directly assumes and absolutely depends on the PC choosing to look through his fake-wife's purse and look at her phone. Then, it also automatically assumes the PC will look at the last person she spoke to and go meet them. Then there's an incident with a vorpal whoopee cushion, and a fight against a bunch of clones. There's a wizard named S'pock, some pink & blue martians, Clint Eastwood, a Tron Girl and more. The fight is to win the last remaining female of an alien species famous for their love-making abilities.

"Episode 3" involves the PCs attending a wine mixer. They're offered a chance for work there by a 'sultry' Federation officer. At the Mixer, there's an anti-federation agent planning to cause some kind of havoc, and the PCs are meant to find them out. There's also a terrorist attack by "space muslims" and a Zith Lord who challenges the PCs to a "pussy eating contest".

Then we get to Appendix KM. It begins with rules for playing out a Pussy-Eating contest, where you roll a D6 ("female bisexuals and lesbians" get to roll twice and use the best result) to see how well you do. Venger actually notes here "if your name is the RPGPundit and this table isn't old school enough for you, then feel free to throw little modifiers here and there based on tongue length, warming up the tongue muscle, and sensitivity to the smell of fresh fish".
I think the part he missed is that if your name is the RPGPundit, you wouldn't be having a pussy-eating contest (certainly not one that required mechanical resolution) in your game.
That, and that the obvious modifier would be past experience.

There's also a "blue ball spectrum" table, meant to randomly determine how bad your case of blue balls is.

There's also a brief additional rule, the "can't miss at this range" rule, where you're firing at such close distance that you're bound to hit, you multiply damage. At least this one is straightforward.
Then we have the "surprising NPCs" table. This is a good large table, of 100 entries, of random things an NPC might be doing at the time the PCs unexpectedly show up. There are of course some 'naughty' entries, like "autofellatio training in zero-g", but other more ordinary ones like "eating a large bowl of ice cream" or "having a cat chase a laser, not necessarily a laser pointer", or unusual stuff like "sawing someone in half" or "wiping away blood stains".
There's a smaller, less useful 6-entry table of "how do they feel about the interruption".

Then there's "Venger Satanis, the NPC". Yes, Venger has statted himself out as a possible NPC for people who want to include him in their game. His stats are... let's say, highly flattering. Also a bit naive; he thinks his calling people "hoss" is "charming".

Lastly, there's a table of more random names. It has 24 entries; 8 male, 8 female and 8 miscellaneous.

At the back of the book there's a color-coded tracker to keep score of how bad one's blue-balls are, and then a space for notes.

So, my judgment on this book? Well, first of all I wouldn't be at all surprised if this doesn't turn out to be the "last Alpha Blue supplement". Though maybe it should be. All the Alpha Blue line had a combination of interesting gonzo sci-fi material with raunchy adolescent sexual humor. This one has almost nothing that's really useful to anyone not interested in the latter. Of the whole book, only the "surprising NPCs" table is something I found moderately interesting.

So I guess my conclusion is that this book is only really worth picking up if you are a fan of Alpha Blue in full childish-sex-humor mode.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + C&D's Morning Drive