Wednesday, July 30, 2014

George RR Martinism In This Hex

This was the most entertaining image I could find to go with this table.
Paste your own NPCs' heads over these guys and make your own relationship map! 

D100

1, Sword's hilt emblazoned with a rampant stag
2, Coward and inbred woman sitting by a fire
3, Arrowhead of black glass (of disruption)
4, 700' structure made of ice, its head buried in cloud
5, Venison stew with onions
6, A song sung about a cruel father
7, Two women arguing about how to skin a rabbit
8, A crippled and fugitive heir
9, A blonde prophet who suffers seizures
10, Steel climbing claws
11, A royal bastard, skilled in cunnilingus
12, Ranger/Barbarian, female, level 7, red-haired, jealous
13, Snow that falls in reverse
14, A straw effigy used for target practice
15, Robin hood rip-offs served by a drunken monotheist
16, Ambitious priestess of the flame goddess
17, Scarred and one-eyed warrior, unable to die
18, Faithless moron, scion of a sailing house, being tortured
19, Lord arranging for a vassal to marry blindly
20, Vermeerish light falling on a blue-scarfed matron
21, Non-lovers about to be wed, discussing their wedding by a pre-Raphaelite pond
22, Halfling scheming with his sister
23, A steel artifact with a lying legend attached.
24, A bald spymaster with a fear of chaos and a vendetta
25, A prince playing St Sebastian with a concubine
26, Fur-clad barbarians assaying an icy peak
27, Lovers boring everyone
28, A compass rose whose spiked teeth spin
29, The least pleasant man you've ever met, and boss of a bridge
30, A generation of northern men, all raised beneath the same roof, all possessed of the exact same facial hair
31, A war map with chunky and symbolic wooden pieces
32, A letter to a mother, or a letter to a spy-handler disguised as one
33, A jealous and moustached lunatic
34, A sad idiot on a sun-drenched veranda, regretting past naivetes to a shrewd friend
35, An efficient and heartless mercenary who dispenses sound advice
36, A throne room filled with columns and flames
37, A woman beloved by young monsters
38, A walled city, threatened by an army of eunuchs
39, Solid gold chains given as a gift to a scorned woman
40, A bastard in a harbor strewn with wreckage
41, A noble raiding party--of no more than 20
42, A maimed swordsman, held for ransom
43, A pair of teasing girls in the house of a sadist
44, A stone windmill, much discussed
45, A learned man tending to a gruesome stump
46, Horsemen escorting a prisoner down a slope
47, A woman in a dress fighting a creature in a pit with a wooden sword
48, A ziggurat city, crowned by a dominating and heraldic statue
49, A deformed mercenary on a black horse, eating apples
50, A rolling green moor by a fork in a calm red river
51, A queen attended by a pair of Charlton Heston-like generals
52, 3 swaggering mercenary lords in who act like Spinal Tap
53, A prisoner reading a genealogical history
54, A lord who fears an endless night
55, A god sends an utterly convincing supernatural event
56, A great round window with a star in bar tracery
57, An immensely powerful snotrag
58, You're never safe in a room with that many candles
59, A cleric with a permanent Neutralize Poison cast on her tongue
60, Unattractive women, eager to undress
61, A spell powered by the blood leeches suck
62, An awkward wedding feast made yet more awkward by an angry dad
63, A collonnaded balcony overlooking both a great hall and a spreading blue sea
64, Drunk halfling vomiting
65, A lone wight, portended by a plague of shrieking birds
66, A row of spurned daughters, their heads downcast
67, An obscene old man in fingerless gloves
68, Two servants who do not trust a third
69, A castle with a secret entrance, known only to a steward
70, One old man with 8 good horses, protected by rangers
71, A cart laden with supplies, bound for a feast, accosted by a merciless killer
72, An outlaw with a flaming sword
73, Six young travelers trapped in a tower with a giant and a level 1 wizard
74, Two wolves: one white, one black
75, A vicious eagle
76, The greatest whistler in the land
77, Three 12th level fighters set upon by 20 first-level ones
78, A gift of both a bride and her weight in silver
79, A cake frosted in a pale and inauspicious green
80, Minstrel assassins
81, A camp full of drunken soldiers
82, A civil ceremony used as a trap
83, A season that lasts 100 years
84, Rivals join in civil war against a mad king
85, A city that provides a refuge for escaped slaves
86, A demon-haunted city destroyed by a mysterious doom
87, A wall rumored to have been built by giants
88, Towers linked by arches and rope bridges
89, A name that is the default name for illegitimate children
90, A hall with a hole in the middle
91, A great ditch which can be flooded during sieges
92, A castle immune to magic
93, A fortress that is a statue
94, A dark-eyed lenscrafter
95, Guardsmen who marry their axes
96, A city full of men with dyed, forked beards
97, A city where a bloodthirsty tribe are forbidden to shed blood
98, Blue-lipped warlocks
99, A plaza reserved for punishment
00, 8 scheming bastard daughters

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For best results, combine with ThorismTolkienism and He-Man/She-Raism

Like:
Hex 4556: 3 trolls arguing with a queen half-living, half-dead and an obscene old man in fingerless gloves with a hand of steel
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Marilyn Manson On D&D--Live From Laney & Twiggy's Wedding 2014


Our party's intrepid halfling moves from strength to strength--last week she saved everyone from a total party kill after narrowly escaping being fat and she spent this weekend marrying a rock star.

Your humble correspondent was given a great deal of whiskey by some ladies on the catering crew that he suspects were fans of his movies, got to tell Kerry King that Slayer changed his life, and discussed with the Best Manson a lot of things on a great number of topics that are best left unrepeated and a few things I can repeat about his relationship to Gygax and Arneson's baby, the World's First and Finest Role-Playing Game on this Day Before Gygax's birthday.

I could insert a long essay here about how music industry people all inevitably turn out to be weird involuted hobbyists about something very private and how talking to people at Laney and Twiggy's wedding reveals most of their friends are people who make things and collect things and how much of what was at the wedding like the birdcages and dresses and whatever was actually put together by the folks involved and then somehow loop that around to how Laney herself became a special-effects make-up person on account of Gwar and the late Oderus Ungus is such a D&D guy he wrote a module for Lamentations of the Flame Princess and how metal and D&D and special effects and performance are all kind of locked together in exactly the kind of way you'd expect despite frequent attempts to pretend otherwise because the best way to play D&D is after a long week of being out in the world drunk in the dark and really really really not playing D&D the same way it's nice to take a bath, alone, after 8 hours of soccer and then maybe talk about the double standard where everybody takes it as read that it's grown-ups-run-amuck-conservative lunacy for parents to try to police what's in a Slayer or Manson video but some third party D&D product it's like Watch Out OMG Problematic if there's a boob but either I'll save that for another day or I just wrote it.

Anyway, here's Manson on the game:

(Note for the record lately he's taken to talking in a speeded-up True Detective accent)

Zak: Laney comes over to our house and plays D&D.

Manson: Is it advanced D&D?

Zak: Sorta, it's actually kind of a hybrid.

Manson: I had AD&D, I got DMG, I gots Monster Manual, I got pewter figurines.

Zak: Did you color in your own dice?

Manson: I didn't color in mah own dice, but I painted the pewter figures.

Zak: Did you do a base coat?
(Why did I ask that?)

Manson: I did a base coat, did a overall coat--I put the paint on all wet so it went down in the cracks.

Zak: You did a wash.

Charlotte Stokely: Should I call you Brian or Manson while you're here?

Manson: Call me God, call me Overlord, call me Boss, call me…well I guess you can't call me Dungeon Master because you the dungeon master. I like that tattoo son, it's like Carcosa--I got that Carcosa tattoo too right here.
The pair of tattoos in question

(I take Manson by the glove and hold both our spirals up to Stokely's face in an attempt to hypnotize her. It doesn't work.)
Left: Charlotte Stokely, (level 11 tiefling wizard). Right: Manson

Zak: You probably haven't heard about the Carcosa D&D module--but you'd probably like it.
Carcosa
(brief pause for Laney and Twiggy to get married)

Zak: You were an elf wizard weren't you?

Manson: Nah, I was the dungeon master.

Zak: You didn't ever play a character?

Manson: I was into the drow.

Zak: Were you an elf thief?

Manson: Yeah.

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So there you go. Everything they say about Dungeons & Dragons is true.
Brian before D&D
Brian during D&D
Brian after D&D


And congratulations to Laney and Twiggy….

Weird footnote: the same day I did this thing on Manson, his ex did a thing on me.
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mandy Morbid on the D&D 5th Edition Consultant Thing

From her Tumblr….


More Reasons People Found to Hate Me

So, a long time ago I started playing Dungeons & Dragons. Well really I started playing Warhammer 40K first, and painting the minis while I was recovering from surgery. I wasn’t healing properly and I didn’t respond to my post op pain medication—in fact it made me so sick I stopped taking it less than 48 hours after my surgery—so I was on my own basically as far as recovery was going. Zak was taking care of me. He had bought me a Wii to play during recovery but I was too sick to sit up long enough to play and in too much pain to manage the controller. I was also getting cabin fever being so sick and stuck in bed. So Zak then brought me some minis to paint, Daemonettes and Sisters of Battle and Harlequins for homebrew Warhammer 40K games. Our nerdier friends came over and I could play from bed, or sitting on the floor—we spread our terrain out over our studio apartment floor.
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Warhammer 40K lead to D&D when my friend Satine Phoenix heard about my interest. She had been playing since she was in high school and she missed it—so D&D With Porn Stars was born. I first played a thief but this only lasted one or two sessions. I quickly abandoned my (to me) boring thief and rolled up a half-demon (abandoned on the steps of a cathedral) cleric of Vorn—grim god of iron and rain. I also quickly started recruiting my friends to play with us. I wasn’t well and I missed hanging out and this was an activity where my physical limitations didn’t matter at all. My friend Kimberly Kane (AVN best actress winner and Feminist Porn Director award winner) started playing with us—probably the most unlikely D&D player out of all my friends—then my friend Connie—we danced together at Cheetah’s a bikini bar in Hollywood. Connie is shy and has social anxiety and so I was well enough to go back to the club and tell her about our games backstage between our sets before she finally joined in. Then our friend Frankie who, like Connie and I, was a Suicide Girl model. And my siblings started playing with us whenever they were around, on the rare visits to LA and back home in Canada during the holidays.
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Our campaign had been running for a year when the Escapist contacted us, Zak’s blogging about our adventures interested them, and they wanted us to film our games for a weekly web series, so that’s when we started filming I Hit With My Axe.
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Awhile before IHWMA went online Zak had already had to defend me & my girls on an internet forum after someone on a podcast called us “brain damaged”. The guys involved in the podcast apologized to us—well to Zak first as he was the one most tuned into this stuff at the time—when Zak called them on that bullshit—but the forum reaction was appalling and the forum pretty much discriminated against Zak for years after. And what I saw, as a woman gamer, on that forum was pure hatred for anything different. For someone like me daring to play a make believe elf-game and for someone like Zak to post online about girls like me and my friends playing tabletop role playing games. I saw how they hated Zak for sticking up for us, I saw how no one EXCEPT Zak stood up for us, and then I saw how some of them decided to hate Zak for calling them on their bullshit loudly and aggressively. 
So before Axe went online I already had a certain degree of trepidation about exposing myself as a gamer to masses of mostly white male hobbyists. We talked about it. I am not one to let fear stop me from doing something I want to do. I knew parts of Axe were going to be challenging for me, and they were.
The hostility I had glimpsed on that one forum (StoryGames) had made me feel like I wasn’t at all wanted in the hobby but my reaction my whole life to nonsense exclusion like that was to fucking rebel. So you don’t like girls playing your boy games? Oh we’re not playing the games YOU like? We’re not playing exactly the way you like to play with the rules you like? Well I don’t give a fuck what you think. I give a fuck about what I like, and I fucking know what I like, and I am going to show you all how much fun we are having. I got a lot of my porn friends to come play with us as guest stars on Axe, and many of them continued to play with regularly outside of the filmed gamed sessions. I wanted all my friends to come play with me. 
So Axe went ahead and got made.
And the misogyny washed over us. In a series of tidal waves after the first few episodes aired. You wouldn’t…well women would…believe the awful stuff people said ( example:”I don’t feel like watching hookers make noise”). Satine and I got on the Escapist forums and started defending ourselves, we engaged with the people not being total dicks. Connie and Frankie joined in too. Eventually more and more people started shouting the idiots and their sexism down and Axe hit it’s stride and became quite popular. We had a lot of fun making that show but we really got shit on for doing it. 
Anyway, Zak’s blog got more popular. He also started working on Vornheim: The Complete City Kit, for running D&D type adventures in a city setting. When Vornheim was published it sold out and won a bunch of awards, including the IndieCade award (usually a video-game award) for technology of all things.
A friend of ours knew a guy who’s a writer who wanted to write about our group for Maxim. So we were in Maxim, a sweet and friendly article, a little bit about us personally, a little bit about the game session that night where we had the reporter playing with us, a little bit about how people who do porn are really just normal people, and some nude photos of us sitting around our game table with a lot of colourful snacks and dice and everyone’s nipples cleverly hidden behind limbs or copies of the Monster Manual.
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(Different photoshot ^^ with me, Connie, Laney Chantal, Charlotte Stokely, shot by Paradox Productions/D23)
And we got hated on more and more. And Zak went on doing what Zak does when people say fucked up shit about me and our friends: he defends us—loudly and aggressively. And he went on doing the same thing when people said fucked up shit about him too. Or anyoneelse, even people he doesn’t know—if they are being attacked unfairly too (read the comments in that last link). 
Have you seen the youtube video about Phil Fish? You should. Especially if you, like me never heard of Phil Fish. It’s relevant. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmTUW-owa2w 
Meanwhile, offline, and elsewhere online we went on with the non-gamer parts of our lives. I was getting sicker, not better, over the years. That’s become a pretty massive part of our lives. Zak has always always taken care of me when I needed it, and our other friends as well. For nearly all of 2011 we were in Montreal trying to use my Canadian health care to find out what was happening to me. (Originally I was going to start university there—where I’m from—and split my time between LA and porn, and home and school, but my health was rapidly degenerating and I am still not in any shape to attend classes, get around campus and cope with the work load.) We started playing a lot more games on Google +’s video chat during this time since we were away from our friends.
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It was Satine’s idea to use G+ group video chats to play games and Zak started this thing called ConstantCon up, where people are running tabletop rpgs on G+ all the time and lots of people from all over can meet up and play, which is pretty great for people having trouble finding cool people to game with in person or for people who are far from their usual group.
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I was in Montreal drowning in a medical system not designed to care for someone with a rare and poorly understood chronic and degenerative and difficult-to-identify genetic syndrome, waiting for the next test, the next appointment, trying not to despair as I lost my ability to walk and no one could help me, and more wouldn’t even take me seriously, when our issue of Maxim came out. G+ got pretty noisy about it for awhile. Zak was defending us again because some people were saying us being in Maxim was bad for women, and bad for women in gaming. I joined in to speak for myself. It was messy and stressful. Lines were drawn in the sand at that point. I’m currently trying to work things out, move past that notorious argument, with one of the women involved. So I am not going to link to that mess. 
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But, in general, the hate kept coming…..
There was a horrible incident where I, some gamer women friends tried to articulate a different opinion about sexism in gaming than the typical anti-chainmail-bikini "ladyism"and tried to speak up about the “white knighting” we were experiencing in the online hobby community: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?624898-5e-Dragon-s-Eye-View-Sexism-in-Fantasy/page53
And Zak keeps defending people, me, my girlfriends, people he doesn’t even know, online friends, and he keeps getting seriously mischaracterized as a troll or some horrible ethically unacceptable thing just, basically, for asking people honest questions. He keeps calling people on their bullshit and so he’s seen by some people as being the bad guy. He’s not a bad guy.
He is a guy in an unusual place: he has one of the most popular blogs in tabletop gaming but doesn’t make his money in the gaming industry—so he has the ability to reach people without the same fear of making waves that a full-time RPG designer would. He is in the rare position of being able to tell the truth and be listened to, so he feels an obligation to stick up for people.
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Here’s an example of an event involving Zak that pissed a lot of people off. It’s recounted on someone else’s blog: Trigger warning here, for sexual assault, threats, etc, and I don’t agree with the tone or language used in the post linked:  http://therpgpundit.blogspot.com/2013/12/for-pseudo-activists-lying-about-rape.html …but it’s all true. Someone made up a lie, 80 people endorsed it, Zak told everybody not to trust those people, some apologized and that was great—most got pissed and even more self-righteous.
Fast forward to now:
There’s a lot of talk online in some places recently about some “controversial" consultants on Dungeons & Dragon’s 5th edition. 
My boyfriend Zak is one of the consultants.
I’ve dealt with a lot of bullshit online when it comes to gaming myself but it’s culminating in death threats and boycotts and smears and a lot of generally creepy and disturbing stuff.
Since the 5th edition came out Zak’s been accused of ableism and homophobia and transphobia and a few other nasty things too, sexism, trolling, etc. It’s all basically libel and I’ve posted about the nonsensical “ableism” accusations already. (Do you know how many disabled people are in my home group? 2 regulars, and one irregular.) When the people responsible for these accusations are questioned or asked for proof they invariable fail to provide any. Some claim to fear for their safety. Some claim they don’t have the time. WOTC—the company that runs D&D—has asked people to email them proof and got nothing at all damning on Zak. It’s pretty atrocious behaviour, going all the way to creepy-as-fuck threats and posturing.
The most active group started life as a weird militant pro-4th-edition D&D (it sounds stupid, I know) Something Awful thread that attacked me for having electrical cords on my wish list. These people still bear a grudge to this day for Zak catching one of their members openly lying.
What distinguishes the online RPG business from others is the trolls are actually professional game designers—the Something Awful veterans cluster around something called Funhaver Games, headed by someone variously credited as Brandon Schmelz or Alyssa Schmelz when designing games, “Smartmonkey” “Mikan” or “Brandon Mikan” when trolling, and “Tablehop” on twitter. They also keep active on RPGnet where Schmelz’s friend Paul Matijevic is a moderator under the name Ettin.
Meanwhile people like me, Connie (my black/mixed race girlfriend—yes THAT kind of girlfriend), Scrap Princess (trans- gamer in Zak’s group and longtime friend), Satine (another friend, gamer and woman-of-colour who’s spoken (TW) publicly (*some minor factual errors in that article*) about the abuse she survived as a child, Izzy (who is my friend and a fellow gamer but also suffers from the same genetic syndrome as I do and uses a wheelchair like me) and many gay people, trans- folk, women and people of colour, many of whom have never even met Zak keep getting ignored whenever we try to speak up about this or about Zak.
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Connie and I
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Our opinions, our experiences, don’t count. We’re harder to target and make shit up about than Zak, who’s white, cis, straight, able bodied and male. The people attacking Zak continuously pretend we don’t exist because it makes their argument easier. They are trying to smear Zak for “silencing LGBT people” by, literally, ignoring voices of LGBT people in the discussion.
One white cishet guy even decided we all have Stockholm syndrome.
All this upsets me, more than it upsets Zak I think. All the libel and negative attention, even on the tiny scale of the tabletop RPG community (which is nothing compared to the bullshit you read about yourself in the porn world, but somehow hurts more because it’s from people pretending to be responsible). I’m Canadian, I don’t like conflict, I don’t like being involved in conflict. But I do feel morally obligated to stand up for what I believe is right. I was raised on Star Trek TNG—as an educational tool. So that’s what I’m doing. Zak’s pissed some people off yeah. But he isn’t the devil he’s been painted as. He’s fucking awesome.
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These are some of my negative experiences as a girl gamer, as a fairly high profile girl gamer. People have always attacked Zak because he’s an easier target, because he is brave and bold and unflinching when it comes to standing up to bullies, because he’s out there watching out for people like me, Satine, Connie, Charlotte Stokely, artists, creators, performers, and gamers, anyone who the gatekeepers are trying to shame and intimidate out of the hobby. 
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If there is any such thing as an online tabletop RPG community, and I think there is a bit, I think we need to be questioning people’s behaviour, and I think it’s only fair to warn people about those who talk a big game about inclusivity and tolerance and who in practice are doing just the opposite, and have been all along. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

They Should Be Put In A Pit With Wild Dogs

Still editing new I Hit It With My Axe episodes...
Connie's video editing notes
Here's some…well you wouldn't call it mainstream press I guess but literary world press--me getting interviewed for Fanzine.com about the new edition of D&D.

I think it does a little better than hit the usual notes.
Here is a frog that has Mandy's dice.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Help Make The Ennies Not Suck!

The Ennies, EnWorld's annual RPG awards, are weird. Remember that year Vornheim lost best supplement to a bunch of dungeon tiles?

I have no idea how that works, but here's the link to vote for the judges for EnWorld's annual Ennie awards.

Personally I've seen Annah Madrinan, Harald Wagener, Kiel Chenier and Doyle Tavener all be pretty fair- and broad- minded about game stuff. So that's how I'm voting, but you should vote how you like. Put a 1 next to whoever you like most, a 2 next to your next fave, etc etc…

Here's a picture of a weird puppet you should make into a monster:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Actual Play, Actual Cake, Actual Princess Testimony

Good Morning

Editing new I Hit It With My Axe episodes...
Connie left Mandy right
…plus running an online game where like the players are sailing and ran into a floating libraryship and chaos pirates simultaneously, so it's hard to keep adventures straight in my head, so I might be writing this short actual play report more for me than you but here goes…

Actually Playing Reportage From The Red & Pleasant Land

After teleporting away from the vampire, Charlotte cornered a local woodcutter in a hidden village and--after asking about his woodsmanship and how good he was with wood and generally just doing that a lot because that's how Charlotte is, got a hot tip that the Red Knight of Tiamat had been seen menacing a nearby poet.
The ladies decided hey why not fuck with that, right?

So after putting the woodsman and some villagers to work making catapults, they headed to the Gardens of Garvalde--in the center-right here:
Count the fuckups on my map...

They hunted about and found a passage through a door that lead beneath the earth, then saw a vasty murky pool  in which floated what appeared to be and was not leopard-printed, giant, moist ravioli. It was stinging giant jellyfish floating and the the wizard incinerated them because lightning does double damage to submerged creatures.


Beyond was a sitting room, with all the furniture on the backs of old, slow turtles, happy to see anyone after thousands of years of unacknowledged service in the deep and cushy dungeon. And happy to help.

(Turtles, by and large, make poor villains--turtles are eager to help, and grateful for love. Think of Mario--the idea of an evil turtle is just funny.)

Anyway, luckily for the dramatic arc there was a demon-summoning room beyond. And luckier, the players decided to sleep in the turtle room, instructing the turtles to warn them if anyone approached.

Mandy, still playing an Alice and an inch tall due to a diminishing confection consumed a day before, slept in a drawer and got awoken by a rattling sound. "Pardonnn," said an old reptile, "there appearrrrs to be an individ-u-allll skulll-kingg abouuuttt…"

The skulker turned out to be a summoned demon--it grabbed the party cleric and demanded the others go fetchquest the poet.

Who wants a poet? I don't know. Fucking random tables. I'll think of something. I think I have two days to think of something. I know the Red Knight is very pro-censorship as is the Red Church's wont.

Anyway, while the cleric and entrapping demon flirted via parts of Mariah Carey songs (what the fuck, This Session?) (Long story: basically the cleric kept trying to entertain herself without rolling any dice) the wizard and the Alice found a bridge, with three Red Rooks.

…here represented by big dice
They froze Stokely's wizard with a riddle about something found in a mine and entombed in wood and never comes out and but everybody uses it anyway. Luckily the Rooks didn't notice the inch-tall Alice so couldn't riddlefreeze her.

After Many/Alice pulled an aborted backstab attempt and getting knocked off a bridge this unbelievably goofy fucking day was looking like a possible total party kill:

Alice was an inch-tall, had fallen 40 feet, and was a bad die roll away from zero hit points. Stokely's wizard was paralyzed by a riddle she couldn't answer and the cleric was far away in the 9-armed embrace of a nameless demon who scalded her with unholy water whenever it couldn't think of an awkward R&B reference to counter her only slightly less awkward R&B reference (Moriah is her patron goddess. Which I suppose I need to get to work on. Still smarting from having to work Captain Beefheart into the theogony.)
Luckily at that point Laney showed up...
…I think actually just to help Mandy with some stuff but everyone was like Holy fuck laney help!!!!! So she did. She ranger-sneaked through the grass on her Mome Rath and made off with the poet, just as Stokely managed to figure out her riddle (Highlight to see the answer: pencil) and quickly fended off the next one (the answer was the letter M, can't remember the question).

So that's good--next week I suppose they'll hunt the Red Knight in earnest. Or some other thing I have no idea it's not like players ever do what they're supposed to.

In Other News

It's my birthday this week...
...Mandy and Connie made a cake with a cherry and Dr Pepper reduction sauce...

...it was good.
...I also got a 3d pen, some legos, the Book of Vile Darkness (I think the actual one), and Kirin of Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor got me Hawaiian chicken and Connie won first place in a stripper contest and I got a nice note from Scrap Princess:

Just for the record Zak Smith is a friend of mine and I am trans.
I have not found him to be transphobic or anything he has done to be transphobic.

People are calling him transphobic or passing on that other people are saying he is transphobic without checking that out.
 Which is shit because
a) It's a fucking lie
b) Transphobia is something that is bad and important and as a transperson I fucking hate you if you are using it to shore up some shitty argument you are having. Show me why you are saying this so I can know and make effective decisions or all you are proving is transphobia means fuck all to you

In the category of Birthday Presents For Everybody that link also goes to some other Scrap inventions which you should check out if you like Vornheim, there's

Duels
Weird dungeon morphologies
Wizard gimmicks
Warrior elites, and
Kinds of spies, like...

8.  Agent Provocateurs , misdirectors and sowers of vast suggestions of conspiracy. Editors of history and archeological vandal, defilers of vaults and tombs. What for? To always confuse the actual history of the world. They do not know the true history,but just know it never should be known. The possibility of It gnaws at them. The founder knew but took his own memory before starting the guild. This is one story. Others are told. Like post-modernist but even more neurotically driven.

Also, y'know the release of 5th edition has made Jeff start blogging again and Deep Carbon Observatory is the probably most avant-garde RPG product since ever and you should buy it to encourage the brave and spite the wicked.

Rock.
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mandy Morbid Interview, Hatter, Random Stupid Tax Table, Actual Play Report

There's still a lotta drama in the wake of 5th edition D&D being released with me credited as a consultant.

But since all the drama just makes my publisher money, it's kinda stupid and the people involved do seem to slowwwwwwwwly be realizing that. Anyway:

Here's the group getting shot for some magazine….
Heads clockwise from top left: Laney (halfling ranger and viridian knight, Connie--half elf thief, Charlotte Stokely--tiefling wizard, Mandy Morbid--tiefling cleric, make-up by LaneyBabes)



Here's an interview (with a lotta barelySFW pictures) that Mandy did. It's mostly about Mandy and her illness and how smart she is, not D&D, but maybe people wanna know, so there it is.

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We're rolling tomorrow, here's what happened last weekend:

The Hatter is a guy with a cylindrical hat in which he has a hare. An Al'Mi-Raj actually. It has a horn.

They are agents of The Pale King, and like all his agents, they collect his taxes.

Roll D20:


1. Leg tax--d100gp per leg.

2. Pie fee--d100gp per pie. If the party has no pie, 4d100 fine for pielessness.

3. Motion levy--d100gp per foot moved in tax agent's presence.

4. Picture toll--d100gp per image carried, tattooed on skin or inscribed or sewn on the party's clothes or armor.

5. Smile tithe--d100gp per happy party member.

6. Consumption tax--d100 per party member with tuberculosis, or anyone looking wan and withdrawn.

7. Smuggling toll--d100gp per non-local item.

8. Pulchritude fee--d100gp per point of charisma.

9. Confiscatory tax--d100gp per gp taken by party from any defeated foe.

10. Inherit ants tax--Pale agent smears honey on party members, demands d100gp per ant attracted.

11. Cap and hole gains tax--d100gp per piece of headgear in party and for every opening or hole in equipment or clothing carried by party.

12. Poor tax--d100gp for each member unable to produce d100gp.

13. Knuckle fee--d100 per knuckle.

14. Income tax--d100gp from each party member for entering any interior.

15. Sails tax--d100gp per party member able to pilot a watergoing vessel.

16. Proper tea tax--d100gp per party member unable to produce a decent cup of tea. The Tea Party strenuously objects to this tax.

17. Valuable adder tax--d100gp per party member carrying a useful snake.

18. Ex-eyes tax--d100gp per missing eye in party.

19. Pole tax-d100gp per pole arm.

20. Lie sensing fee-d100gp per time the party notices anyone lying.

I was hoping the Hatter and his weird watch would get to reign some chronal havoc on the party, but they played it cool and made a deal: in exchange for an "intercepted" message allegedly sent by the Colorless Queen, the party made 10,000gp. They then had to pay 10,000gp in consumption taxes (the Hatter had some big scales). However, since the payment was new it got them xp. Which, hey: Wonderland, ok?

They retrieved a rusty box with a face inside, an old lady used it to fix a skin condition Laney'd managed to acquire.

They spoke into the ear of a corpse to summon The Pseudoturtle and give it another copy of the "message".

Then some overland travel and an encounter with a Pale Rook: (think big hydrocephalic tweedledum) he demanded a Motion Levy.

The best part was:

Ok, last time Laney rolled a 1 to hit a vampire and hit Tyler, then the Mome Rath she was riding also rolled a 1 and knocked him out. The exact same 400-to-1 shot happened again today.

They kept trying to throw a shrinking cake into his mouth, it didn't work--but eventually he did get ganked. Mandy--playing a shrunken Alice--did take a lot of falling damage, being an inch tall and all.

Then it was off to Castle Poenari to seek the Red King and deliver him another false message from the Colorless Queen. One of his three red brides received them--and offered the players a mountain of gold to kill him for her.

I think she ended up sounding like the dwarf's whore (Shae?) from Game of Thrones.

GMing Principle

NPCs with who look players right in the eye and talk verrrrry slowly freak players out.


Anyway they were like about 45 minutes worth of uncomfortable with her, trying to figure out what to do and who to trust. 

After much argument, they remembered they were D&D PCs and so walked into the vampire king's palace where he waited with a bride, 4 vampire pawns and 6 vampire knights, said hello, negotiated with the doddering and beardo weirdo, then tried to kill him and take his stuff.

The wizard had a clever plan to trap the king in with them in a wall of force.
Ok, would-be-clever because the king just turned into a bat and flew right through it, leaving the party surrounded.

Which is perfect, really--it's so hard to engineer that "archvillain gets away" moment. And there we left it.
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For more pictures and stuff about the girls and the group, click the tag "players" for more actual play reports hit the "actual play" tag, for more about the unending 5E D&D consultant drama just scroll past the last few entries, for more random tables hot the tag "New Random Tables/Charts", for more about the RPG book the Hatter is from, hit "Eat Me"
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