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Friday, 15 February 2019

Classic Rant: "Real Magick" in RPGs: Tools & Talismans

First, once again, our foundational rule as always: in real world occultism, it's EASY to find occult knowledge, it's HARD to find anyone who actually engages in practicing it, because 90% of the people in the scene are armchair-magicians or posers or frauds or dilettantes, anything but people who actually work at doing magick.

One way to tell a faker from someone (potentially) genuine is to look at the magical accouterments they use.  Are they going around with a fancy-looking crystal-encrusted rune-marked perfectly-straight wand that may have been store-bought or ordered from Etsy?  They're 99% likely to be frauds (that last percentage point is just because there just may be some serious magician who has gotten to the level of occult talent that he doesn't have to give a fuck what he does, and also doesn't care about being mistaken for a poser).

(this one can be yours for $190 from the Magic Wand Store. I kid you not)

Are they using an wooden wand they clearly crafted themselves (or maybe even a metal wand they smelted themselves) with tremendous attention to qabbalistic correspondences? There's maybe only a 70% chance they're fakers.  Why so high still, you ask, given that clearly it's a case of someone doing something?

For a very good reason: collecting (or even making) the accouterments of magick does not make you a magician.  There are lots of people who, in addition to collecting an enormous library of occult grimoires (the likes of which would have made John Dee piss his robe with envy), also collect or even carefully craft the magical tools, the wand, the lamp, the altar, paint a ritual room, carefully carve enochian tables using authentic medieval methods, commission gold-trimmed robes and the most expensive frankincense, and so on, but then don't actually do a damn thing with them all.   Sort of like the guy who collects hundreds of RPG books and owns 17 pounds of dice (and probably posts like crazy on internet forums), but never 'has the time' to actually play.

(here's a "did it all my fucking self and I'm probably too busy making wands to do any actual magick" wand)

Finally, if your possible magician's wand is just a stick, there's maybe a 90% chance of being a faker.  Or better put, this is the scenario where the person in question is either going to be a total faker/poser/newbie of no value (probably claiming they're a 'chaos magician'), or a really impressively competent magician.  The guys in the middle, the eager-beavers trying hard to figure out how to do all this stuff, will become obsessive about trying to get every last technical detail right, following Golden Dawn rules or following the precise (often ridiculously difficult) instructions found in medieval grimoires. This is important, for the discipline needed to learn. Thing is, when you get to the level of adept suddenly all those tools have been largely internalized, as have the correspondences. And at that point you can do magick equally well with the simplest of tools, or even whatever objects you have at hand.  Aleister Crowley famously once did a magical operation halfway up a mountain using the stuff from his climbing gear.

Which brings us to the use of magical talismans.  A talisman is a term for some kind of physical object that was used in a magical ritual to imbue it with some kind of particular 'magical link' to an archetypal force, to achieve a specific purpose.   This is used to create a more lasting effect or for purposes you know you're going to need over and over again.

For talismans, the rule is exactly the same as with all the other magical tools and equipment: if it's all fancy and clearly store-bought it's almost certainly useless. If it's meticulously made (usually, in the case of western magical talismans, at least, out of some type of metal) with carved Hebrew characters or sigils, there's a (high) chance it's bullshit and a (small) chance it might be the work of some intermediate magician (and thus reflective of either a successful or unsuccessful operation).

(here's a fancy talisman, which means it probably does nothing)

What about the advanced ones?  Well, consider this: the most powerful of all the medieval grimoires (the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage) has a set of talismans in it (and guidelines for creating them or others of the same kind) that are so dangerous that they can only be used by Adepts.  These are the most powerful and effective talismans in western magick.  And what do they look like?

Like a slip of paper with a square full of letters on it.  Something that could be mistaken for a doodle, or an incoherent crossword.

The most advanced magicians usually make talismans that don't look like talismans at all.

They can only do this effectively, again, because as adepts they have completely internalized the power of Symbol.  The reason you need, when you're starting out, to follow the rules (and the reason why most rule-breaking 'chaos magicians' are kind of crappy in spite of tending to actually try to do magick more often than most other types of magicians) is because these outward objects end up acting as powerful symbolic aids in connecting your conscious mind to the True Will, and from there to those Archetypal Forces you're trying to work with.  This is another important rule of 'real magick': the more simple anything to do with magick is, the more advanced of a magician you have to be to do it right.  The most complex rituals, though technically difficult, are the ones you'll be most likely to succeed at if you're a hard-working beginner.  The "simplest" stuff (in terms of technical complexity) requires that you already have a strong background in the practice of daily preliminary disciplines and have internalized the symbols through a series of personal initiations and 'ordeals' (that is, shifts in your level of consciousness).  Trying to 'skip ahead' to the stuff that looks easier will usually just leave you in a dead end.

In a modern-occult RPG, you could have some rumor going around about some serious magician, said to own a talisman of an aspect of Jupiter that was revealed to him during astral working while he was working with a secret book (the "Second Book of Abramelin", which had been dictated to him by his Augoeides while working adept-level ritual).   This facet of Jupiter (who called himself Jupiter Celestion) governed work, discipline, labor, planning, enjoyment (in and of labor), and the creation of the material world (that last aspect would be particularly interesting, as it would permit the magician to manipulate the most basic level of material reality).  Celestion endowed this magician with a talisman that, when held and activated, would draw material wealth, never undeserved wealth but in the form of easy opportunities to labor at what one would most love doing.

Now, the PCs might wish to try to obtain this talisman, in essence cheating their way to magical power (that never ends well, mind you, but maybe they're stupid or something), so they try to find this guy's talisman.  They're looking for some kind of metal disk (tin, probably, since that's the qabalistic metal of Jupiter) with Jupiter-related symbols on it, or some other kind of fancy object. They fail to find it, maybe get caught.  Imagine their surprise when the magician chuckles at their naivete and reveals the reason they came up empty-handed: they were looking for some fancy piece of jewelry, but it turns out the Talisman of Jupiter Celestion is an 25 cent piece.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + H&H's Beverwyck

(originally posted April 20, 2015)

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Wild West Campaign: The Retrial

In our latest session, the PCs were still in an increasingly-tense Tombstone. The Earp group, including the PCs, were in control over the town, but all there rest of the county was under Cowboy domination.

The PCs were still mourning the death of Jeff Young at the hands of commancheros; surely they were probably also thinking about how it was unbelievable misfortune losing one of their very best shots during these tense times.

There was some good news, however. Jim Jackson and his Scottish partner Smiley had come back into town after nearly a year. They were shocked by current developments, but quickly got back to working for Crazy Miller.

The Earps got a surprise when they were informed that OK-Corral survivor Ike Clanton, with the help from his lawyer Bill McClaury (the brother of the two McClauries to have died at the OK Corral), made an appeal to obtain a new hearing against the Earps, but in the town of Contention.

The argument was that Judge Wells Spicer was prejudiced in favor of the Earps and against the Clantons, and thus a new trial was called for. The PCs lawyer advised the Earps that the appeal was almost certain to be rejected. But the Earps were concerned that this wasn't the cowboys' real goal. Wyatt Earp figured that the whole thing was just an excuse to force Wyatt, Morgan and Doc (Virgil was exempted as he was still recovering from his injuries) to leave Tombstone and travel in open country where the Cowboys could ambush and kill them.

So Wyatt decided that the plan was safety in numbers. They got together a big group of men, including Crazy Miller, Jackson and Smiley, Kid Taylor, Bat Masterson, Buckskin Frank, and Turkey Creek Jack Johnson to ride out with him, Morgan, Doc and the lawyer to Contention.

Meanwhile, Other Miller, Texas Jack Vermillion and Sherman McMaster would stay in town, along with Deputy Marshal Charlie Bassett, to take care of the town and guard Virgil and the women-folk. Virgil, his wife Allie, along with Morgan's wife Louise and Wyatt's partner Maddy were all staying in expensive rooms in the Grand Hotel. Before leaving town, Kid Taylor had his wife Frances and their baby join the Earp family... and more controversially, Wyatt got his lover Sadie Marcus to stay there too, to absolutely no one's satisfaction.

The group headed to Contention ended up passing the night in Charlton, where there were quite a few cowboys, but Bat Masterson pulled some strings and the local "vigilance committee" of business-owners came to their aid, a vigilante group of a couple of dozen men kept watch over the Earp party to make sure that if there was a shootout, it wouldn't be in Charlton. The night went through calmly and the next day they continued on and arrived in Contention.
Contention was absolutely full to the brim with Cowboys, and the townsfolk were all in their pockets, so there'd be no help from friendlies here. Wyatt and Morgan decided to commandeer the Registry Office (where the hearing would be held the next day) and stay holed up there that night, ready to fight off any potential siege.

But it seems the Cowboys actually had other plans. Taking advantage of the relative lack of Earp lawmen and shootists in Tombstone, they went in and set fire to Other Miller's house. He wasn't in it at the time, mind you. As everyone rushed over that way, the lawmen suddenly thought that maybe the burning down of his house was a distraction. So they split up, and went to go protect Judge Spicer, Mayor Clum, and Virgil and the women in the Grand Hotel.

Other Miller took the latter job, and as he entered the hotel, he suddenly heard shotgun shots! Realizing they came from the lot behind the hotel, he raced to the rear door, even as he heard return fire coming from the Earps' window.
Other Miller got out the back door to see a group of four or five cowboys running off in the night. He shot in their direction, hitting one pretty badly and grazing another, but they ran away (and Other Miller, due to an old wound, couldn't run after them).  Virgil called out to him from the window that they were alright, that the cowboys hadn't shot through the windows and seemed to just be shooting into the air as if to intimidate them.  As it turns out, Other Miller was glad he hadn't killed any of them just then, as it might have made for a complicated trial.  Other Miller had no way of knowing it, but the cowboy he injured was none other than Phin Clanton, Ike's brother.

The next day in Contention, the local judge very quickly dismissed the complaint made by Ike Clanton. Wyatt and the group were worried that the PCs were going to be ambushed as soon as they headed back for Tombstone, so it occurred to them to take a turn as soon as they were out of view of town, and turn toward Bisbee.  They managed to sneak off that way, and got to Bisbee where the town Sheriff greeted them and had already worked along with Railroad men to get the cowboys out of the town.

So in the end no lives were lost this time, but everyone was pretty shook up. It was clear that a big fight was imminent. And when they got back to Tombstone, all the Earps were upset at their women being threatened. Realizing he couldn't protect her, Wyatt made Sadie Marcus leave town, and possibly walk out of his life forever.

Kid Taylor, meanwhile, realized that there was nothing left for him in Tombstone and he was putting his young family at risk.  His pride was the only thing keeping him here, not wanting to seem yellow and leave his associates when they were going to face the cowboys, but he had to put his family first. So he and his wife decided they would be leaving town next month.


Currently Smoking: Neerup Hawkbill + Image Virginia

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

20 More Dubious Items of the Last Sun!

A while back I presented you guys with 20 Dubious Magic Items of the Last Sun.  It was a collection of 20 weird gonzo-fantasy items, of variable levels of actual utility, comic value, and weirdness.

But the Last Sun is a big world, and a sequel was called for!

In RPGPundit Presents #67: 20 More Dubious Items of the Last Sun, you get a whole new collection of these weird objects.  Including:

-The Fungusman Box

- The Brain Jar

-Beads of Neutrality

-The Theme-Song Potion

-The Legion of Super-Cool Teens Hoverboard

-The Messenger Chicken

-Magic Warhammers (of the Workshop)

-The Dagger of Teleportation

-The Wish Parasite

And many more!

If you're looking for truly strange and creative magical (and a few high-tech) items for your Gonzo OSR campaign, or with some modification for any other fantasy campaign, here's a product for you!

You can pick up RPGPundit Pesents #67: 20 More Dubious Items of the Last Sun at the Precis Intermedia Webstore, or from DTRPG. Either way for just $2.49. That's less than the price of a fancy coffee!

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)

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently Smoking: Mastro De Paja Rhodesian + Image Virginia

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

El Huevo de Dragon

En el mas nuevo numero de RPGPundit Presents traducido al castellano, les presentamos "El Huevo De Dragon", una aventura medieval-autentico!

Este escenario ha sido diseñado para usarse en tu campaña de Dark Albion empleando el sistema de León y Dragón, pero puede modificarse con facilidad para jugarlo con tu sistema OSR favorito (especialmente si es medieval de corte realista). Los Tres Eds, un trío de criminales, está tratando de vender un huevo de dragón, algo que no se ha visto en siglos. También tienen un ritual que puede hacer eclosionar el huevo aparentemente dormido. Hacen su aparición los personajes jugadores, que pueden haber sido contratados para comprovar su autenticidad, robarlo o quizá confiscarlo para la Iglesia o para su Señor. Al tener lugar en Londres, es probable que los jugadores deban viajar por las alcantarillas hasta unos antiguos baños y enfrentarse a los hombres rata y a sus verdaderas intenciones.

Compra El Huevo de Dragon en DTRPG, o en la tienda web de Precis Intermedia!


Currently Smoking: Moretti Rhodesian + Barking Dog 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

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 they 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 15, 2015)

Saturday, 9 February 2019

DCC Campaign Update: Can You Locate Our Self-Respect?

In our last session, the PCs had managed to murder a couple of Grey Realm rich-kid aliens, stole a UFOe, and then stopped a crazy peasant with a cursed crown and an army of clones. Then they headed back to Gaga, the capital of Coolland, one of the only kingdoms where Bill and his crew are thought of as heroes.


-The party is trying to find their missing PCs.
"They're probably in some pocket dimension."
"Oh yeah!"
"That's what I said!"

-"I'm a bit worried about Lenny."
"And Heidi?"
"No... Heidi can take care of himself."
"Yeah, I'm sure he's fine."

-"PM Fabio, does the Duke of Abstinence have a name?"
"..of course!"
"... you don't know what it is, do you?"
"... No."

-"We could give the computer the Duke's official portrait?"
"But he's covered in burns now!"
"Well, maybe we could just burn the portrait a bit?"

-"Bill wants to finally learn the polymorph spell!"
"That could work, while Bill studies, I could spread the word of the Lord here in Coolland."
"Zeke, that will just land you in fashion jail."
"No, I could make the Scriptures cool somehow, like by combining it with modern rock music!"

-"I need something that belonged to the Duke."
"What for?"
"I could Locate him."
"Locate? Or Magic Missile?"
"Magic Missile is a type of Locate!"

-"The people demand Blingbae!"

-"Damn it, I'll have to learn Locate instead of Polymorph."
"No, stop limiting yourself Bill!"

-"Can I preach the Scripture?"
"Is that cool?"
"It can be cool..."
"That always means no."
"I could make it into some kind of a rap..."

-"Learn your scriptures every day, it'll help you repress the feeling that you're gay..."
"Guards, take Zeke to the Fashion Jail."

-"Bill wants to use your tower, Palumbo."
"As long as he leaves it more clean than the last wizard in his party did.."
"Don't worry, my magic isn't masturbation-based."
"That's lucky for Bill, since all the corruption and radioactivity he has would probably make that impossible."

-"Could the UFOe computer search for burned people to find the Duke?"
"I'm pretty sure Gaga has a lot of burned people, on account of the Fire Vampire Bill brought here..."

-"Computer, could you obtain DNA from Queen Zoey that could then be used to search for her relative?"
"What about with her spit? I could collect that... with my tongue."
"Damn it Catboy, why do you always have to hit on anyone who I'm trying to make my female friend??"

-Carlitos the Sky-Mexican Cleric is in Fashion Jail. He was arrested almost immediately after arriving, on the SS Sidequest, to Minaj. Zeke is brought in to share his cell.
"Don't worry my friend, the rest of our party is here and I'm sure they'll soon arrange for our escape from bondage."
"I don't think so!"

-"Please let me out!"
"Where are you from?"
"...are you a refugee?"
"just a minute..."

-Finding out the Sky-Mexican Cleric is a refugee, the guards let him out.
"I will get you out soon Zeke."
"I put my faith in you my friend."
"I whisper to the guard 'no I won't'."

-"You're a real sky-mexican refugee?"
"Omigod! I always wanted one of those! Now everyone will see how woke I am!"

-"my friends are here?"
"Wait, you're their refugee? Aww. Of course, Sami would have a a refugee, she's so cool."
"OK, the Mexican Cleric can stay with the party after all."
"Mexico 1, Sami 0!"

-"I'm going to the market."
"I'd say people might mob you, but you're Catboy so they won't."

-Catboy runs into Prime Minister Fabio.
"I was heading to the market.."
"The Queen wants Sami to know we have her Refugee."
"A sky-mexican?"
"Oh.. um, yes, that's MY refugee actually!"
"Oh, OK. From what I heard I thought it was Sami's."
"No, no it's mine. let's go to the Queen and not even tell Sami at all, OK?"
"Sure, whatever."

-"Look, we found your person!"
"Catboy rushes over and hugs the sky-mexican Cleric, saying 'thank goodness you're alright'!"
"Catboy whispers 'I'll pay you if you play along..'"
"how much?"
"1000 platinum."
"Boy I'm glad we found you!"
"Yes, I am so happy!"
"Yeah.. stop touching me!"

-"So what do you do?"
"I'm a cleric."
"ohh.. of some strange foreign-culture religion that oppresses women?"
"No, just of G.O.D., like Sami."
"Oh. That's boring. And oppresses women!"

-"You must have had a very hard life. But now that you are here we will take care of you and pay for everything!"
"That sounds nice."
"I like how Queen Zoey talks to him like he's retarded."

-"I'm going out of the ship."
"When you open the door you see Catboy with Queen Zoey and the Sky-Cleric."
"I close the door again."

-"What are you doing here??"
"He's my refugee!"

-Bill is up in his room in the tower, starting to study his spell, when he hears weird familiar noises, and suddenly a Time-Cabinet shows up out of nowhere.
"You see a group of seven dwarves step out of it, along with Heidi."
"I show them all the sleep rune and then I kill the dwarves."

-Bill slays the dwarves and is bashing their heads in with his primo staff, blood splattering everywhere, and that's when Palumbo walks in."
"Oh come on! Your spell-study methods are worse than the masturbator's!"

-"Hey guys, I just got a time machine!"
"Man, I like how each of the last three sessions we've been progressively ramping up our ride!"

-Heidi wakes up and sees all the dwarves, brutally slaughtered.
"What happened?!"
"They all had heart attacks."

-"Damn it Bill! Next time at least use the potato dagger!"
"Oh, yeah. I'm really sorry, next time I'll totally do that."

-"Why do I think this will all end up with the Time Dinosaurs showing up and sending us all to Time-Guantanamo?"

-"Help me clean them up.."
"Can't we just throw the dwarf corpses out the window?"
"Oh, yeah, but first let's undress them so that they look like little angels flying through the sky..."
"Fuck's sake, Bill."

-"I go into the Time Cabinet."
"It's smaller on the outside!"

-"Is there like a central control panel?"
"Yes, it looks like no kind of technology you've ever seen before, and some of it looks magical."
"I search for an instruction manual..."
"You don't find one. You know who probably knew how to use it? The dwarves."

-"Sami walks in: What the fuck, Bill?"
"No, no it's OK, they're all dead!"

-"Bill the Elf is like a goofier version of Ultron."
"To me he's like if Kramer from Seinfeld was a psychotic wizard."

-"Blingbae is back #HumbleLife #WealthyOnTheInside"

"Hi yes."
"It's you!"
"Oh, Catboy."
"So you're where?"
"With Bill."
"OK, huh.."
"Trying to get rid of some dwarf corpses."
"Yeah, I got here in a time machine."
"Those dwarves?"
"Queen Zoey looks at you funny, hearing only one part of the conversation."

-Sami flies up to the tower.
"What the fuck?"
"They all had strokes."

-"I grab one of the dead dwarves and drag him into the cabinet."
"as you do, some of his brains smear on the floor."
"Geez, you're making a mess, Sami!"

-"How are we going to get rid of these dwarves?"
"Blingbae tweets 'attacked today by dwarf agents of the Duke of Abstinence, time to stop him #LockHimUp'."

-"The cleric is off in the market trying to buy armor, when he sees an angry mob chasing a frantic dwarf."
"Reminds me of home!"

-"We could use the time cabinet to go back and save the Vegomagus!"
"The Vegomagus was one of the most normal members of our party..."
"No he wasn't, though I could see why Sami would think that, given that she thinks she's normal herself."

-"Let's just get the Duke of Abstinence!"
"Well, maybe Bill really does need to 'locate' him.. Locate him HARD."

-"He's Bill Chungus!"

-"Blingbae sends a notice to everyone to help locate the Duke, #"
"What's that? #??"
"It's a hashtag of just #"

-"OH! Could we go back in time and save Cool Morris??"
"No, he's from an alternate timeline. You could go find regular Morris."
"Eww, no."

-Sami tries to use Divine Aid to figure out how the time-cabinet works, but the only thing she discovers is which button activates the cabinet's self-destruct. She's about to press it when a weird force-ghost of Lenny appears!
"Sami! Whatever you do don.. destr..the time cabinet! You'll need it. I'm with Nikos in a rhombus"
"Your connection is awful, Lenny. A rhombus?"
"Yea..told send this mes.."
"Sami you have to listen! ....started.. Sezrekhan...and tell Bill..."
"The sound is gone, and a second later Lenny's image vanishes."
"God damn it."

-"We could go back in time and take out Sezrekhan when he was still weak?"
"You don't think Sezrekhan could do something about that?"

-"Maybe we could contact Nikos directly?"
"No.. he'd fry my brain! Hey, maybe the Sky-Mexican Cleric could do it?"
"But you're a lot less important than me!"

-"Why not go back to the Disaster and stop it?"
"If we go back in time, we have to only do stuff that was supposed to happen."
"Oh, like Looper!"

-"Guards, can you leave me alone for a moment with Zeke?"
"Well, you're not going to try anything funny are you?"
"No, I'm not funny. Ask anyone!"

-"I can't promise to reject G.O.D., but I will stop trying to make the scripture cool."
"That's all we ask of you, Zeke."

-"Zeke doesn't know anything about the Rhombus."
"He doesn't know anything, period!"
"He knew about the Crown of Amilidiah!"
"Shut up, Catboy."

-Sami contacts Korean Jesus.
"What is it? I'm very busy!"
"We have a time machine."
"Oh shit!"

-"If you go anywhere, don't change anything!! Unless you were supposed to change it then you have to change it!!"
"That's what I said!"

-"We heard about this from Lenny, who said he was in some kind of Rhombus?"
"Did he say a Trans-Spatial Rhombus??"

-"I thought Sezrekhan was dead?"
"Yes but he has a phylactery!"

-"He's Asian Stereotype Jesus..."

-"No you cannot just go to Crown of Creation! It is not a tourist place!"
"Hey, I'm not a tourist, I'm an employee!"

-"So Sami just wasted 5 minutes of our time.."
"We could get it back with the time machine..."

-"Whatever we do with the time machine will have been meant to happen!"
"That's not how it works!"
"Sami is becoming a little Presbyterian."

-The PCs are interrupted in their discussions about time machines and Presbyterianism by an official invitation to dinner with Queen Zoey.
"OK come on guys."
"I'm going to keep studying."
"Should we really leave Bill here alone with the Time Cabinet?"

-"Where's catboy?"
"Who cares?"
"I figure if none of us know where he is we have a better chance of him doing something useful."

-"Ohh, selfie time with Blingbae!"
"Coolland selfies are just some guy doing a sketch of Zoey and Heidi and then tying the drawing to a bird."
"Why did I ever like Zoey? I miss Sandi..."
"Sandi's about to have a baby in a couple of months... we should check in on her."
"No, we should avoid her at all costs."

-"Wait, Sandi the Dark Lord? The one who's invading all the lands east of the Tangled Wood?"
"I fear that eventually she'll attack Coolland."
"That would put me in a really awkward position because you're both female friends of mine."
"Ha! The Sky-Mexican Cleric is not the only one who thinks he has friends when he doesn't!"

-"If you destroy time-space continuum, Elsa will hit you with shovel!"
"I don't know how you'd do that."
"Elsa would find way."
"I believe you!"

-Heidi decides to cock-block Catboy.
"What's that Catboy?? Sorry your majesty, it's Catboy talking to me on the comm... what? You say you're attacking black mutants just because? You're just that racist?"
"He's attacking black mutants? Oh my god! But... he was so nice to his refugee! Right?"
"Huh? Si?"
"I whisper to the Sky-Mexican Cleric... 1000."
"Oh, I mean si he was very cruel to me."
"Catboy made him do terrible things."
"With peanut butter..."
"Si.. wait, what?"
"Just go with it."

-"#CatboyStillACreep #BlackMutantLivesMatter"
"I'm putting him in Fashion Jail. In Coolland we don't stand for this stuff!"

-Catboy, meanwhile, had been resting on the ship, knowing nothing about Heidi's setup.
"You wake up hearing some noises outside."
"I go to the door to see what's happening."
"There he is, get him!"
"What? Why?!"
"You aren't getting away from us, you racist bastard!"

-"Heidi has been bad mouthing you to the Queen..."

-"I change appearance into Roman."
"Oh sure, that'll help."
"It might!"
"Catboy is panicking."

-"I'm done mothering you guys!"
"Sami says, for the 500th time."

-"Heidi, stop lying about me!"
"It was necessary."
"Because Zoey was feeling attracted to you, you asshole."
"I'd have fucked that up anyways!"

-"I'll give you another 1000gp"
"Wait, you betrayed me with Heidi for less than I gave you in the first place?"
"Well I thought he was going to give me 1000pp."
"That doesn't really make it better."

-"There is a direct correlation between how long you guys are in Coolland and the percentage chance that you'll all be banned forever from Coolland."

-"So Catboy is sneaking toward Queen Zoey disguised as Roman?"
"No, as a Trent."
"Oh right, because that's way more inconspicuous!"

-"Hello, I've come from the Tangled Wood and I must speak with Queen Zoey!"
"We've never had a Trent here before.."
"I'm from the Treelands, you may never have heard of it... it's really underground."

-"Treeland is the new Minotauria!"

-"Your majesty, we have heard of the accusations against Catboy and think there must be a mistake."
"But we heard it directly from Blingbae!"

-"Bring me Catboy and Blingbae at once!"
"Oh, your majesty I just remembered I have to 'leaf' now.. get it?"
"People have been thrown in Fashion Jail for much less than that, I think."

-"Why in the world did you want to abuse black mutants, catboy?"
"I didn't, Heidi!"
"Then why did you tell me that?"
"I didn't!"
"And why did you also do terrible things to that refugee??"
"I never did!"
"Call in the refugee!"
"The bidding war begins..."

-"So what are each of you going to give me?"
"I'll bankroll you."
"I'll send a tweet saying you're a cool cleric."

-"If you help Catboy, he'll end up sleeping with Queen Zoey."
"We won't be able to come back to Coolland."
"Because Catboy will fuck things up."
"YOU fucked me up!"
"That was a sacrifice I was willing to make."

-"This entire session has just been a series of 5 minute blocks of wasted time!"

-"Wait a minute.. this message you got from Catboy, Heidi... could it have been a Bot??"
"Um.. yes, sure, that seems credible."

-"Bill murdered 7 dwarves for this!"

-"There's got to be an instruction manual for this thing.."
"You know who probably knew how the time cabinet worked? Those dwarves you killed!"

-Sami prays and downloads the instruction manual to her tablet.
"Oh crap, it's 975 pages long!"

-Bill decides to restart his Tweeter account.
"Helping Catboy with casting a spell. ##"

-Catboy reads his rune-scroll, and creates a rune of forgetting, which he places on his hand.
"you know that anyone who sees it will forget about you after they lose sight of you, there's no way to turn it off."
"I cover that hand with a glove."
"So Catboy is now a Michael Jackson Impersonator."

-"Blingbae, where's your bling??"
"I've given it up. I want to simplify my life."
"He's Humblebae now!"

-"I should try getting rid of everything that doesn't bring me joy."
"Yeah, but I'm a Queen, that's pretty hard."

-Catboy finds that after Heidi's set up, things are too awkward with Zoey to effectively hook up.
"So how does Catboy spend the next two weeks while Bill is learning his spell?"
"He spends it on the ship, crying while he plays DDR."

-The Sky-Mexican cleric spends 11 days trying to cast Second Sight in the hope of having a really high roll. He ends up with a total roll of 19.
"You can see one vision of something happening in the next half-hour".
"Forget it."

-Bill successfully learns Locate Object.
"Can you locate our self-respect?"
"Not even with a Natural 20."

-"Sami, roll to see if you understand the manual."
"Natural 1."
"Sami has been driven insane by the manual, she's convinced it's all in a secret code and she's cracked it."

-"OK guys, I've figured it out. I know how to get us through time. Let's do a short 5 minute jump to test it."
"OK, that sounds sane."
"As soon as Sami starts pressing stuff the console shudders and you're all being tossed around the Time Cabinet, and sparks fly from the machinery, then smoke. Then finally it stops with a crash."

-The party steps out into a huge cavernous complex full of enormous machines. The place is full of dwarves, marching around in overalls and tools, whistling while they work.
"What are they?"
"They're dwarves, but they're all singing..."
"...and smiling!"
"Oh fuck; we're in the past!"

-They encounter some very happy very friendly dwarves, who are a bit surprised by their presence but not the least bit hostile or even defensive.
"Well you must be lost."
"You could say that."
"Let's take them to the Ancient, you're lucky he's here to do maintenance."
"You have an Ancient here? Yes, take us to him."
"Of course! But first, we'd like you to sign our Book of Friends!"
"Book of Friends?"
"Yes it's our holy book, where we keep a list of all those who are friends of the dwarves."
"Fuck's sake."
"I sign it with 'Bill was here'."

-"So we're in the past BEFORE the Great Disaster."
"You know, absolutely no one will be surprised if Bill causes the Disaster, right?"

-The dwarves lead the PCs to the Ancient Technician who's currently in the Machinehold.
"The Dwarves call out to the Ancient; we need to show you these people, they're very strange... the Ancient turns around."
"Who is it going to be?"
"Huh? So what the hell are you people?!"
"Oh shit.. it's Roman!!"

And on that bombshell, we leave you all for this session. Stay tuned next time, to see if Bill really does cause the Disaster!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Hawkbill + Image Virginia