Wednesday, July 31, 2013

10 questions meme

So I thought I'd get on board with that 10 questions meme that is going around. I'm typing the questions from memory, so I might get a couple mixed up. Be cool.

Do you have a racist class in your game?

You mean like Klansmen? No, I don't even have dwarfs. That's a weird question. Kind of disturbing, really.

Do elfs have their own heaven?

Yes and it is right next to dog heaven. You have to decide each day whether you want to be a dog or an elf. Whichever, it is way the fuck better than human heaven, 'cause you can lay around all day eating lembas flavored milkbone, licking the taste of the ones you ate the day before out of your own ass.

Descending or ascending AC?

Whew, that's a little personal, but I think as long as everyone is hygienic and gets their blood tested on a regular basis, it really isn't any of my business. Make sure to shower after, though. Nothing ruins a TPK like stank ass.

Do you take drugs, Danny?

Every day.

Are magic users less likable than fighters?

Yeah, sorry to say, it's the hats, the bad hygiene and the inability to get laid that makes them awful. Everyone knows Gandalf is moochy bastard who can't get anyone to touch his cock. Also I hate it when I climb onto the back of a dragon dildo and the guy next to me is taking up half of my seat with his "material components," if you know what I mean.

How many of these meme things have you taken part in?

This is my first one; pretty excited, hope I don't fuck it up!

What is that smell?

See the magic user question.

Do you use alignment languages?

I speak 1970's Marvel Comics pseudo Jive, does that count, sucka?!?!!?!!?

XP for gold?

I only take American Dollars, Euros and plasma.

Which OSR game do you think is played by the most sex offenders?

Now this is a good question. At first glance, you might think that LotoFaps is the shoe in, but, man, I am convinced that 1e still holds the title. I mean, come on, you can't beat the king just by failing to shock your mom like 25 times in a row- no matter how hard you try. My game store fits you with an ankle bracelet if they even catch you looking at the 1e DMG. If you try to buy a LotoFaPs product, they just give you an Iron Maiden album, a copy of Tiger Beat (the Lief Garret issue) some acne medication, and call your dad to come drive you home. Sometimes, though, they separate the boys and girls, send them to the auditorium in small groups, and make them watch a movie about how their bodies are changing.

That was great! How'd I do? Now it's your turn!

[Map/color] The Black Smoke Sea, revisited.

I changed some names, and colored this. I'll be coloring some more old maps in the near future (My plan is to give The Province of Forgotten Empire the treatment, in order to further this effort of Jack's to replace the Dwarf kickstarter thingy. Dwarfs need a place to hang their... Whatever.

Anyway, this is what it is, but I imaging it could be used for a variety of PA settings, or even an alien world. I changed some names amd fixed some fuck ups. Anyone want to learn how to do these, from balnk paper to colored hexmap?


Bigger version.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Outworld Sector Guide: Crone: Entry 1- Introduction



A large terrestrial (rocky) world, Crone is sheathed in an atmosphere of toxic gas comprised chiefly of ammonia and methane. Sky City, the chief population center is situated at 20k meters elevation, above the natural atmosphere, and built upon the peak of the planet's highest mountain. The city, which will be detailed in a future entry, is supplied a breathable (for humanoids) atmosphere by three floating weather control/gas processing plants. It is the only place on the planet where it is possible to go about without a survival suit and breathing apparatus.


Although the city acts as a trading center and houses the administrative offices of the three major companies that de facto own Crone, and houses the managerial elite, and even has sizable middle and under class populations, the vast majority of the planet's residents live upon the surface, in small company dome towns, isolated independent settlements, scout skimmers fitted for long term residence, or nomadic squats.


Of course, as with most worlds, the comfort of the few is secured by the labor and hardship of the many. The chief industries of the planet are two-fold. The mining and processing of rare earth elements and heavy metals first drew Bothco to the world; the discovery of the planet's strange indigenous life and its exploitable psychoactive properties brought in Simblex and The Tarn Corporation some fifty years later. The three megacorps exist in a state of continual cold war. In addition to the antagonism they face from one another, the corporations must also contend with several hostile factions amongst the general population as well, both in Sky City and upon the surface.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Beyond the Leaning City Part 5


Friday? Sunday? It is all the same to me, motherfuckers.



The Second Meeting


Reluctant to enter the gloomy interior of any dead ship, Kal spent the night in a cubbyhole above a deckhouse. He was out of the wind, his clothes had dried, and he was able to keep a little blaze going all night, but he didn't get much sleep.

In the morning, his second away from Sursha and Thront, he set out again, continuing to travel northward.

He found himself thinking about the stone table in the front room of their bungalow: the way it smelled in the evening when the sunlight slanted across the room to lay against it. An image of Sursha seated at the table, her skin streaked and glowing with the day's last light, entered his mind. He became distracted and wandered slightly off course.

When Kal noticed the shift in his direction of travel, rather than make a correction, he allowed himself to drift further. He climbed some stairs, crossed a bridge of ice and came down onto a long, flat metal deck.

There was a large black stain at the center of the deck, Kal stepped around it, and almost tripped. He stooped to examine what he had tripped over; it was a backpack: his backpack.

He opened it up, and pulled out a bundle of clothes; there was also a wide, flat bladed battle knife with a spiked guard, but there was no food, or water, and he was sorely in need of both.

He pulled on the heavy overshirt and the quilted leggings; the gloves were the best part. His fingers warmed slowly, prickling with delicious pain.

How had these things come to be here?

There were footprints everywhere. Kal walked around the deck, examining the marks and tracks. By the looks of things, some sort of scuffle had taken place. He identified one definite example of Thront's footprint.

He suspected that the black stain was some sort of bodily fluid; he touched its surface. Frozen slick. If he was correct whatever had taken place here had happened some hours ago.

The abandoned backpack worried him. His sense of things was that Sursha was alive, but the eerie light and the fog made him doubt his instinct.

"Don't move."

Kal swiveled around. He was looking at the contact point of his own static caster. Wister and three companions: the two nort that had impersonated Beurophants and one meafle.

The meafle's coat was severely singed and he had a vivid scar on his yellow furred face. He was holding the static caster.

"Greetings, nact." Wister's tentacles writhed. Seated on a float, he hovered several hand spans over the deck.

"Careful," the meafle said. "More dangerous than he looks."

Kal scrutinized the meafle again, unable to place the incidence of their prior acquaintance.

Wister made a grating, sliding noise. The nort jerked their brow tufts.

"Don't laugh," The meafle said. "Its true."

"If you cannot be silent, Phenton, then I will have Thane or Barin remove your speaking appendage." Wister's tentacles fluxed on the fleshy vocal node at the apex of his form. "Now, nact, give us your weapons."

"What do you want?"

"We want your ship, blue hair-" Phenton stepped forward brandishing the 'caster. One of the norts lashed out with his arm knocking the meafle to the snow where he lay without motion. The static caster lay on the ground beside him.

Kal hesitated; he wondered if he waited a moment longer if they would do him any more favors, like give him food, or offer him a foot massage. Or kill each other.

"Now drop your weapons-" Wister floated over the intervening distance. Kal did a handspring, soared over Wister, and came down beside the fallen meafle. He grabbed the static caster; pointed it at Wister and flipped the toggle.

Electricity lanced through the air; it stuck to Wister's chair; for a hot, and flickering instant it snapped up and down in the air between the float and the contact, cooking the fog.

The float exploded; burning, glowing shards of metal whistled through the air; a plate-shaped, black cloud of smoke swept outward from the nexus of the explosion. The two nort tumbled across the deck screaming; Wister flew high into the air and splashed down into a trough of water intervening between two hulks.

Kal got a nasty burn on his hand, but by the time the smoke cleared he was eight ships away; with the static caster under one arm and the meafle's food bag under another.

Wister survived. He had no bones to break, his mind was a semi- soft construct of mold complexes spread throughout his body and connected by durable ganglia: almost impossible to damage with a single trauma, and the severity of his burns was stunted by the almost immediate immersion into ice cold salt water.

Thane and Barin pulled him out of the sea and sat him down on deck.

"Go after that little blister, both of you." Wister jerked and twitched; two of his tentacles had been scorched into tight rings of cooked flesh, and burn blisters rose up on his speech fold. "I want him alive. Remember we need their boat; he can tell us where it is."

"Thane, give me your gun. I'll wait here." Wister scrunched his way across the deck.

"Will you be safe?" Barin leaned down over Wister.

"Yes. Yes. Now go."

The pair of norts departed.

Wister sat and looked out into the fog with his two remaining eyes. He was in a great deal of pain; his speech fold was the most sensitive region of his body and it had been fairly well scorched in the explosion.

He was busy consoling himself with revenge fantasies when he saw the first of the approaching shapes.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Color comic preview

I've been neglecting the blog again. Sometimes I'm just not into it to the point that it doesn't even cross my mind. Also, I'm not gaming right now, because misanthropy

what with all yer fancy e-phones, tinkles, tooblers and F+ and the lord knows whatnot else, does anyone even read these things anymore?

I'll post the next section of Beyond The Leaning City on Friday. Anyway, I scrapped my comic and started over. I already have a site set up and I'm planning on launching in January. I still have a long way to go, but my art is improving and my speed has increased dramatically just recently after having hit a plateau a few years ago. Thank you, Andrew Loomis.




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

[Art/ Icons] Mr. Hands, alien Super Hero

Mr. Hands

Prowess 7
Strength 6
Coordination 5
Intellect 8
Willpower 7
Stamina 13

Force Field 4 (Extra- extended)
Binding 3
Blast 4
Stretching 4
Super Senses 4 (Telepathy; Tracking; UV Visio; Spatial Sense)
Speciaties: Master Detective

Protector of (the mostly human/humanoid) Sky City on the planet Crone, Mr. Hands is a master detective always up for a fight against evil. However, Hands will always pursue a non violent option- if at all possible. The welfare of all parties involved in any conflict is on his mind at all times. If he has one fault, it is over compassion and, perhaps, he believes a bit too much in the potential for criminals to reform.
Mr. Hands' origins and home world are shrouded in secrecy.

Qualities: Total bro.
Challenges: We can Work it out. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt.

1) I based Hands' personality on Tom Strong.
2) Mr. Hands would be a good hero for the classic super hero fight based on misunderstanding. Just have the players stumble upon him fighting an unknown human villian before they know who he is. They will almost certainly pick the wrong side.

NEXT: Captain Steel: programmed for piratical perfection.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Comics: American Barbarian

Why haven't you read this yet, slug?

I have been meaning to blog about this for a while. I wont go into a lot of detail, because spolers, but this comic, which is available in its entirety, for free here is fearlessly creative and gives not a single fuck. If you are not a Yank, do not worry- it is not a flag waving comic, its just a fucking goofy science fantasy post apocalyptic romp about a guy with red, white and blue hair. Trust me it will be okay; people from four continents have told me I am a terrible American, some of them meant it as an insult, some as a compliment, either way, I take their word for it, and I enjoyed the hell out of this comic. So much so that I bought the harcover.

Tom Scioli, the creator, is the artist on the excellent Godland, and has another series that he worked on in the early aughts, called Myth of 8-Opus. That is also awesome, and is heavily influenced by Kirby's New Gods, but still very much his own thing. Scioli's favorite superhero is Orion (me too, bro) and it really shows in this comic.

All of this stuff is avalable to purchase at the site linked above, and he has a couple of other free comics up there as well. I'm especially fond of his riff on the FF, Final Frontier. The Am Barb book is fat, in color, and like 13 usd. Read the comic and if you like it, buy it.


Monday, July 8, 2013

[Art/Icons] Grimblade


Origin: Artificial

Prowess: 7

Coordination: 5

Strength: 8

Intellect: 4

Awareness: 4

Willpower: 6




Damage Resistance 5

Life Support 4 (space)

Weapon REEVE (device) chalcedony sword

Strike (slashing or bashing)* 5

Dimension Travel* 8 Using Reeve, Grimblade is able to slash open a portal to any of the inhabited worlds in the Outland Sector, and several uninhabited ones as well. He requires one page of preparation.

*Requires device.

Grimblade was originally a magico-bio-construct created by the oligarchs of the Sorcerer's Moon. Intended to be the first of a large military force, Grimblade proved to be too unmanageable, and eventually rebelled against his masters (he is discernibly male) liberated the legendary sword Reeve from their custody and escaped.

Currently he works a mercenary and hired muscle, although it is said he is ruthless and cruel, the truth is more nuanced.



Challenges: Nobody speaks to me like that! Too good to be all that bad.

Qualities: I'm Grimblade bitch (unstoppable)!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Beyond the Leaning City: Part 4

Moving in to the second half of the story now...




An Encounter at Sea

Sursha woke Thront by tugging on one of his eyelid cilia.

"Kal thinks he's seen another boat," she said. Thront's sleepy eye widened. He followed her out onto the deck.

The waves were high and rolling; the air was cutting sharp and frigid; barrel sized chunks of ice bobbed up and down in the choppy sea; moonslight scattered against and through the barrier of gusting mist, setting the frozen flotsam aglow.

Kal crouched in the bow.

"What did you see?" Thront asked him.

"A long boat, a galley of some kind, I saw oars and I think it had sails too."

"Sure it wasn't just a trick of the light?"

"Trick of the light? With three mounted guns?" Kal snorted and turned his back on Thront. "Look for yourself: there- to the north; it'll turn up again in a moment."

Thront took the telescope.

Minutes passed. Thront's eye watered excessively in the cold wind. He blinked a tear; it plopped to the deck and froze. He looked.

"I don't see anything," he said.

"It's there." Kal pulled the canvas hood off the deck gun.

"I didn't see it either," Sursha said.

Kal sighed. Ignoring his companions, he examined the gun, a thrower of eldritch design. The barrel was blue gray, fat and deadly looking; ruins and glyphs, charms of accuracy and protection were etched up and down its length; Kal suppressed his desire to thoroughly inspect the script, instead, he looked around the undercarriage for some kind of propulsion canister.

"Wait. Wait," Thront said. "I see it. It's a galley all right." He paused, squinting into the telescope. "Its Wister! I can see his cranial tentacles. Disgusting."

"Let's get the bastards,” Sursha said.

Thront nodded and lowered the telescope; he stepped towards the stern.

"I'll feed the engine,"

"I'll get the wheel," Sursha said.

Kal was still examining the gun. "Where's the primer on this thing, anyway?"

"Its self-contained; each projectile has its own booster," Thront said.

"Primitive." Sursha pursed her lips, and leaned closer to the gun.

"Loud as hell, too." Thront turned away.

Sursha took the helm and Thront shoveled a pile of fuel nodes into the furnace. The paddles threw up mighty churn of water. The Siren splashed northward at speed, pushing aside large hunks of ice.

The choppy and violent sea provided plenty of cover; they remained unseen until a mere wave trough away from the other vessel.

The Siren came up onto the crest of a wave, and into line of sight.

Kal activated the firing mechanism of the deck gun. Three shells arched over the dark ocean; the first two splashed into the sea, exploding on impact; huge quantities of water spurted upwards. The third struck the galley amidships; for an instant, the vessel vanished in a terrific, flower-bright explosion.

Kal hooted with glee and fired again.

The first three shots had discharged with rhythmic surety, like the successive beats of a heart. The fourth shot went awry; the gun barrel split open and exploded.

Kal sensed the danger at the last second and leapt into the sea. A second terrific explosion followed; the Siren wallowed, out of control, flames consumed the gun station; black smoke billowed up into the dark sky.

Thront hunched down; hot metal debris pelted his carapace. Horrified, Sursha watched from the deckhouse.

Thront dropped his shovel and ran forward; he caught one last sight of the activity on the galley: Wister's crewbeings rushed around; fire raged all along the galley's deck. Thront saw a burning shape plummet into the sea and then the mist and the waves came between the two vessels and the galley was gone.

Thront managed to get the fire on The Siren out in short order. As it turned out, the damage was mostly cosmetic. The gun would never function again, but, aside from that, the steamboat was unscathed.

Kal was nowhere to be seen. The dark night or the dark sea had swallowed him. Thront and Sursha called out his name over the icy waves, but received no reply.


The Boneyard

Ironically, Kal arrived first.

He spent the night on a largish chunk of ice, shivering. For several hours, he drifted in the wake of the burning galley, but eventually lost sight of it. Alone, he drifted onward. The night deepened and the waves pushed him further and further north.

Dawn traveled through the mist and emerged alien. The gray sea was rough and sharp and round with sloshing, agitated water. A vibral twitched out of mist, calling out as its quivering flight took it over Kal's head; shivering and miserable, he turned and watched.

When the vibral had vanished behind the misted veil, he hunched back into himself. His clothes were frozen and wet; his skin had taken on a greenish tint. He shook, and shook, his teeth knocking together with painful intensity.

He held his trembling head up and looked over the sea.

A layer of visibility existed between the water and the fog, its dimensions uncertain, its true depth unknowable and ambiguous; somehow, its existence, and the existence of the mist itself, contrived to make the sea seem even more vast than it might have on a clear, bright day out of sight from land.

Gray. Shifting. Hanging. Splashing. Foaming, deadly cold and endless, dawn stretched out before him; Kal clenched his teeth, stilling them, and waited for the day to unfold.

As the morning brightened, and he bobbed up and down, up and down on his vessel of ice, Kal became resigned to his own death. He was upset that he had no pen or paper with which to write a poem commemorating his passage, but, he realized, one must take death as it comes.

Not long after- he was still, in fact, trying to cheer himself up about the lack of a death poem when it happened- he saw a ship.

All at once, the sea calmed and went flat, and just as Kal was becoming aware in the change of conditions, the vessel loomed up out of the fog.

A huge and wide bellied craft, a galleon of some sort, it didn't rock or jib on the waves, and for a moment Kal thought it was a phantasm of misted light and swirling rime, but a handful of heartbeats later he was clambering up its side.

He stood on the deck, unbelieving; below, his icy funeral slab banged against the hull.

Badly damaged, the ship displayed many signs of decay and exposure.

Ice crusted the planks, massive pillars of it straddled the decks, and great cicles hung in the half collapsed rigging. Strange, blue vines dangled from the masts; some wound round and grew into the surrounding frost.

Frantic and trembling, Kal hunted for fuel; he chipped away ice with his knife and pried long splinters from the planking underneath. Once he'd made a small pile, he drew forth his sparkmaker; the device was waterproof and wholly intact, but Kal shivered with such intensity that several moments passed before he could make it work.

Near the rail, out of the wind, he crouched low by the tiny fire. The blaze grew; its warmth spread outward, melting the ice that lay over the adjacent deck; Kal chiseled free additional fuel and tossed it on.

The vines nearby writhed away.

The movement surprised Kal. He watched the vines suspiciously for any further signs of activity as his cloths dried. He was still engaged in said observation, reviewing his options at the back of his mind, when the fog swirled away for an instant and he saw the neighboring ship, and several of the vessels beyond that.

The ships hulked close against each other, bonded by grasping formations of ice and tangles of vinery, most looked severely damaged.

The Ship's Boneyard.

Kal stood and took a step away from the fire. Hypnotized by the wonder of it, he gazed into the indistinct distance.


The First Sign

The greenskin soldier affected a swayback position of respect.

Ommman fluttered his hands. "Speak." He said.

The soldier was a half-clear, but even so its speech was inelegant and crude, and its lightwork was almost without meaning. "Intruders." was the entirety of what Ommman could glean from its statement.

Nevertheless, he was pleased. His time drew near. He paused for a moment to seethe and then turned to the soldier.

"Bring them to the temple chamber," he said. "Take as much assistance as you require."

The drone stood motionless, staring.

"What is it?" Ommman's question was all snapping cloth and flashing light, he barely needed to speak at all.

"You're giving him too much responsibility." Ghusst, Ommman's son stood at the other end of the cabin; he held an open copy of the holy book. "His kind is not made to think." He made a holy sign. "Such is not the will of the Icyarch; leadership is for the clearheads alone."

"You will go then," Ommman said. "Do not fail."

Ghusst made a motion of surprised and confused acquiescence and departed the chamber.

Ommman went to the observation window. His view was to the north; he saw farmers at work on the ocean floor, but he caught no hint of the Icyarch, or its children.

He contemplated what possession of the second sacrifice would mean. He would turn the key to the third notch, and beckon his brothers into the new age. It would be one of destiny's great moments: he would be the new arch-Vissel, and his name would be recorded on the wall of the tower forevermore.

It would be only the first of his great deeds.

Ommman's thoughts were interrupted by an unpleasant and dry sensation at the back of his head. Cursing softly, he looked about for a moistening brush.


Fight in the snow

A white-furred and round creature scuttled across the deck and went over the side. Its body was a perfect sphere, horizontally bisected by twelve legs. Several slender fibrils (eyestalks?) sprouted, seemingly at random locations on its body, from its fur. A fleshy, sack-like appendage hung from the creatures belly; the open end of the sack dragged across the deck as the creature fled. A glittering, dark hole opened and closed on its dorsal side.

"What was that?" Sursha hauled herself the rest of the way over the rail. "Did you see, it had a mouth on its back." she bent to examine the trail of frosted slime the thing had left behind. Thront stood beside her, but he did not reply.

Sursha wrinkled her nose at the slime and looked up at her companion.

"He's all right you know."

"I'm certain of it."

"Don't humor me," she said. "I'm sure he made it here; if we just keep looking we'll find him."

"We should light a lamp soon; it'll be dangerous climbing from ship to ship like this in the dark; you don't want to fall in; that water is cold-" Thront mumbled down into silence. Sursha felt sorry for him. Earlier, while they were making ready to depart the sloop, he had watched, his great eye drooping with sadness, as she had stuffed a pack full of warm clothes for Kal. She had told him then that Kal was alive, but cold. He hadn't believed her. He didn't believe her now. Thought she was making it up. What an idiot.

They walked across the deck towards an ice bridge that connected the next vessel. Sursha bent and scooped up a handful of snow as they ascended a flight of stairs and stepped onto the vessel's poop deck.

She packed the white powder down into a ball. She dropped it into her pocket and bent for another handful. She made five snowballs in all.

"You'd better listen to me one-eye. Kal is fine. Believe me."

"Sursha, I think you should try to stay calm. We have to learn to accept-"

The first snowball whistled through the air and impacted the center of Thront's pupil.

"Shut up!"

Thront gasped and swayed backwards. She pelted him twice more: hitting his chest and the upper portion of his ocular case.

"Do you believe me?"

He looked up at her. "Sursha be reasonable-"

She nailed him in the eye again.

"Say it! Say you believe me!" Sursha stomped her foot.

Thront roared; he rolled across the deck away from her, and grabbed a handful of snow. He ducked another snowball, Sursha's last, as he came to his feet- and packed his own.

He dodged around the deckhouse, grabbing up more snow and smashing it down.

"Thront!" Sursha screamed.

Great, he thought, she's gone feeble minded. Females.

He came around the corner, his massive arm cocked to throw. Sursha ran towards him; a score of creatures swarmed across the ship behind her; they were roughly humanoid covered with rubbery looking green hide, dead black eyes rested above noseless faces and gash mouths. One of the creatures wore a striking transparent headdress.

Thront's arm released before he even realized what had happened. The throw went high; the snowball sailed past Sursha, his intended target, and arced over the deck. It shot through the air, followed by the sharp noise of its passage.

The snowball hit Vissel Ghusst, son of Vissel Ommman in the part of his head that Thront had mistaken for a headdress.

Ghusst's brain came apart with a quivering splat. He tumbled to the deck; black fluid flowed from the greasy remains of his cranium.

Brain jelly was everywhere. It stained the masts, and streaked across nearby faces and hull planking.

There was a moment of silence.

"Greetings." Thront held up his hand.

The throng closed in.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

[MAP] Protectorate Space I The Outworlds.

Year 4217 CE: Isolated, well above the galactic plain, the volume of space known as the Outworlds contains several civilizations that were once affiliates of the galactic superhero team, the Protectorate. Over two centuries have passed, however, since Protectorate Operatives last maintained a presence in the region.

Larger version: Here