If the title to this blog post is confusing, let me spell it out for you…
I, Venger Satanis, have purchased the rights to Encounter Critical from its original creator, S. John Ross.
If you’ve been with me since the beginning, you’ll know how much I love Encounter Critical. It influenced a lot of my RPG writing. This review and play report was written the same year (2014) I put out The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence. And it’s no exaggeration to say that Crimson Dragon Slayer, Alpha Blue and Cha'alt were inspired by Encounter Critical, as well.
So, what are my plans for the game?
As I assured Mr. Ross, I intend to expand Encounter Critical with a new edition + several adventures. I’ll probably want some help, so if you have input, don’t be afraid to reach out to me.
In my mind, there’s no clearer way to judge demand like crowdfunding. Slightly awkward timing as I’m a day or two away from launching a Kickstarter to fund new Cha'alt adventures called Cha'alt After Dark.
At least, that will give me several weeks to plan for an Encounter Critical Kickstarter campaign. I’d like to have a better idea which direction Encounter Critical will go before diving headfirst, anyway.
You think you know true scientific realism, hoss? We’ll just have to see about that…
Thanks for your support in perpetuity,
Venger As'Nas Satanis
High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing
Encounter Critical of Kort'thalis Publishing published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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Ken St. Andre didn’t kneel before our woke overlords, and now it seems like political activist gamers (of the radical-left) are trying to cancel him. Or, at least, signaling their virtue by denouncing both Ken and Tunnels & Trolls.
Why, you ask? Because Ken had the sheer audacity to disagree with a gamer who said it’s not enough to simply not be racist, one has to be anti-racist. One has to join the angry mob. If you don’t pick up that torch and pitchfork, you’ll be hunted down and burned with all the bad people. You know… because we want to make gaming more inclusive.
Since Ken isn’t a flaming radical-leftist and stands up for what he believes, all the little SJWs are taking their little shots. You can’t apologize to these people. They have no sense of humor, justice, mercy, fairness, gratitude, respect, or shame. All they know how to do is infest, take over, and destroy. Every major institution has either resisted or fallen prey to the outspoken woke mob.
RPGs have done a good job of resisting, but the pressure keeps building. We must support those who resist being assimilated into political activism on the left. Sitting on the fence, trying to play it safe, and stay neutral ain’t going to work. It’s long past time we fought to protect our hobby from a hostile woke takeover!
Everyone is an individual at my gaming table, not part of a special interest group or racial faction or privileged class. The minute you start dividing people, that’s when you lose.
I wish D&D had a modicum of the Troll Godfather’s spine. Please, show Ken St. Andre your support on social media. Buy and play some Tunnels & Trolls. Help us fight back against the evils of radical-leftism that want to control us like an authoritarian puppet-master.
SJWs Rage-Quit T&T published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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As I’ve mentioned before, my focus has been on one-shots and micro-campaigns lasting 3-5 sessions. That’s pretty much all I could get away with considering my crazy-ass, wild, carefree, Satanic orgies before teatime lifestyle of a wife, 5 kids, job, and suburban living.
However, one of my goals for 2022 is refocusing my roleplaying towards longer campaigns. That’s what I did in my youth and now I feel like I’m missing out by constantly restarting. Hey, it’s been a blast, tons of fun, but I’m shifting gears. The sleeper must awaken!
You’ve probably also heard me talk about the January 2022 Kickstarter for Book 3 of the Cha'alt trilogy - Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows. Well, included in that book will be another version of Crimson Dragon Slayer. It’ll still be rules-light, but this incarnation will be suited for the campaign, rather than individual sessions.
It’s going to have negative character traits and cultural backgrounds, along with extra classes, more races (especially those included in the Cha'alt books), and I’m going to tweak the epic deeds of awesomeness.
Similar to what I’ve done before with my Purple Islands sessions, players will get a fuchsia stone to keep track of their character’s Divine Favor. Usually, PCs each start with one and may earn more through play.
You can trade-in 3 of the fuchsia stones to get a chartreuse stone (still searching the internet for the right shade of chartreuse). The chartreuse stones are more valuable because they can be spent to automatically (no rolling needed) do something spectacularly awesome in the game. I’ll provide a cheat-sheet for those desiring recommendations on far you can take it.
There’ll be more, as well. The revised Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 cleaned-up and tacked-on several changes to the original, but this new edition will be more than a fresh coat of paint. I’m tentatively calling it Advanced Crimson Dragon Slayer.
Obviously, I’m going to have to playtest the shit out of this. Where will I find the time? Good question, might have to clone myself. Or perhaps someone out there wants to help test things out with their own long-term Cha'alt campaign?
By the way, I’m launching another Kickstarter next week to help raise money for more Cha'alt adventures and to sell more books. It’s called Cha'alt After Dark, and will have an extra sleazy edge. If you want to order your glorious hardcover before the crowdfunding begins, check this out.
p.s. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen reviews on DriveThruRPG, TheRPGsite, reddit, etc. Please write a review of my stuff - it keeps me going. Thanks!
The Long Game published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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Yeah, I’ve got another one coming up in a week or two. However, I wanted this blog post to shed light on a couple of lesser known Kickstarters…
The first is something called Revenge of the Gobcocker! Come for the 13th Warlock’s erotic computer generated art, stay for the miniatures. I used a number of his images in latter-day Alpha Blue supplements. Good stuff!
The second is for Creature Feature Quarterly, volume #6. Who doesn’t need more fearsome foes and creepy creatures to fight in their OSR games? Jeremy Hart illustrated a gorilla monster with tentacle arms in, I believe, Revelry in Torth.
I’ll do an announcement post for my own Kickstarter somewhere between June 10th - 15th. Until then, have a great gaming summer!
Summer Kickstarters published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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Welcome to the very first crypto-campaign setting… CHA'ALT!!!
Since they’re numbered and finite, the gorgeous hardcover books for both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise are already unique, non-fungible tokens [NFTs] on a Blockchain. Basically, collector items that will appreciate in value over time.
But instead of opening up an Ethereum wallet in the real world, I’ve decided to create a highly lucrative cryptocurrency storage facility in the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic world of Cha'alt. Cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum, was introduced into Cha'alt’s economy by the Federation. Specifically, Federation outlaws and criminal organizations.
Ethereum is traded throughout Cha'alt, above and below ground. Currently, a signed and numbered hardcover Cha'alt book (either one) is worth 100 Ethereum or 100e. At the moment, a single unit of Ethereum on Cha'alt is worth 93 talons (equal to 31 gold pieces or credits). That’s already a substantial amount, which is no surprise as the precious tomes have received their fair share of praise.
As the supply of books diminish, the value of Ethereum will increase - that’s just basic economics. The valuation formula is not open to the public, but investors can ask me about it privately: Venger.Satanis@yahoo.com
What can you do with the money? Ethereum can be used to buy goods or services, like regular currency, not only on Cha'alt but all Federation controlled space. Ethereum is tied to a real world individual (you), not Player-Characters. That should be of particular interest to investors.
As a player, you can distribute Ethereum to one or more characters as you see fit via access crystal. You receive 3 complimentary access crystals upon opening up your Ethereum account, which has automatically processed. If you already own a hardcover Cha'alt book, then congratulations - you’re already an investor!
Ethereum is recorded at the Cryptocurrency Storage Facility in A'agrybah (I’ve heard rumors that a subterranean branch has already been approved in the dark-elf city Ba'al-Tan). Your Ethereum is accessible in-game with an access crystal. If an access crystal is lost or stolen, even if the character who owns the access crystal dies, your Ethereum is safe. The amount of Ethereum you own fluctuates when authorized individuals make in-game purchases with the cryptocurrency.
Purchases made with Ethereum are protected transdimensionally. Let’s say, you save up enough Ethereum to buy a starship so you can tool around the galaxy. Even if that starship is blown-up in the campaign run by your current Game Master, the starship still exists somewhere in an alternate universe. Given that there are nearly infinite dimensions, your starship should still be somewhere, even if finding its location may be a pain in the ass.
Of course, the number of hardcover Cha'alt books owned also changes the amount of Ethereum in your account. FYI, another Kickstarter, Cha'alt After Dark, is coming June 10th, followed by a Kickstarter for book III, Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows, in January 2022.
As stated, the value of Ethereum can fluctuate. On the 1st of every month, I’ll make a blog post reflecting Ethereum’s current value. Generally speaking, the more books sold, the higher its value. Does that mean the remaining few books will increase in price? Well, if a single tweet or abstract digital drawing can be auctioned off for millions of dollars, anything’s possible.
Months from now, I have no idea if the last dozen or so books will be sold for thousands of dollars or not, but the chances are good that prices could skyrocket, especially if the predicted hyperinflation comes to pass.
Last but not least, how do you order Cha'alt books? Details right over here!
Happy speculating, hoss!!!
Venger As'Nas Satanis
High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing
NFT, Blockchains, Cryptocurrency, and Cha'alt published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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Remember the first game? It's here if you need a refresher.
So, last night was the second playtest. I added a lot of backstory to the scenario which involved the PCs tracking down a lead to their missing friend.
For some reason, it never occurred to me that a group of bloodthirsty adventurers would just up and kill the principle antagonist and his entourage shortly after their introduction. But to be fair, the entourage ran away. I mean, the sexy slave girl was “freed” by multiple strapping young heroes and the henchmen sort of scattered after the initial blows knocked the boss elf to his knees.
Luckily, I gave the skeletal structure of this adventure enough realism (everyone has a reason for doing what they’re doing) to ride the sand worm of chaos all the way to the end.
The game only lasted 90 minutes, which seems short, but we covered a lot of ground for a couple different reasons…
The very first being the “perfect” rule-set. Guess what? There is no perfect rule-set, just whatever works best for you. I made Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 to suit my specific rules-light “arcade mode” needs.
Anything that wasn’t necessary and/or didn’t move the adventure forward, I either axed or handwaved. For instance, if the reptilian humanoid Sq'sha'al wanted to eat the heart of a fallen opponent, I let it happen. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t narrate the scene. I’m pretty happy with the following quote I got off the chat, “You rip out his heart. It’s still beating grossly red in your reptilian hand as the midday suns slowly descend in the fuchsia sky.”
If the PCs want to fallback to avoid the swarm of angry demon wasps, they flee. I present choices which eventually lead to different outcomes as the story unfolds, rather than relying on mere dice rolls to decide if PCs can do a thing. Players don’t want to be told they can’t do something. Instead, they’d rather see the options in front of them, knowing that if they choose the wrong one, it could lead to disastrous (or potentially awesome) consequences.
Aside from combat, there were precious few rolls made. The droid CB-69 rolled to see if he had a can of RAID in his internal equipment. He rolled poorly, so nope. Earlier in the scenario, those allowed rolled to see if they could decipher an ancient glyph. The rest was all roleplaying.
GMs who struggle to come up with spontaneous answers, outcomes, and dialog should work on that. Start by doing it a little bit in each scenario until, with practice, you get good enough to riff off the cuff.
For instance, I never planned on Grimm Da'ark the Savage asking the one-eyed prostitute her price list. Without missing a beat, I typed the following… “5 talons for hand stuff, 10 for mouth stuff, 20 to go all the way, and 35 for the really weird shit.”
The second technique I use for these types of games is this - when a consensus has been reached amongst the players, regarding the characters’ next course of action, I don’t sit there with my thumb up my ass waiting for the last straggler to say “Yes." Nor do I pause the game in case someone changes their mind because they noticed a squirrel and got momentarily distracted. If over 50% of the group says they want to go to the red-light district or the city gates or the well of souls, then they start walking. Assuming they don’t have an encounter on the way, the next thing I type is that they arrived and I start describing what the PCs perceive.
Anything else, I’ve found, holds up the game. These shorter virtual games are no nonsense. The GM has a mandate, and time/energy must not be wasted!
So, at the well of souls no one gets tentacle raped… but it was close, just a bad die roll away. The adventurers got to explore that subterranean area a bit. Their reactions gave me a better idea of how to improve the cavern they explored. Which is one of the things a playtest should do (the other is find glaring holes in logic that break immersion).
My only regret is that the scenario wasn’t dirtier. I could have injected a little more sex and sleaze, like last session. This session was more straightforward swords, sorcery, and blasters. But I have ideas for adding little lascivious touches along the way. ;)
The Kickstarter campaign for Cha'alt After Dark should (Cthulhu willing) launch June 10th. It’s pretty much all written. I just need touch-ups, expand random tables, and suitable artwork.
Thanks to the 7 players on Roll20 who allowed this to session to happen!
p.s. I still have gorgeous hardcovers of both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise. Order your book(s) today!
Cha'alt After Dark [actual play] published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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[Blogger has some kind of glitch that won’t let me upload a photo.]
I’m running a 2nd playtest session for Cha'alt After Dark this Saturday night.
Should be just as awesome as the 1st session - read the play report.
Briefly, it’s a mix of Alpha Blue sleazy aesthetics in the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse world of Cha'alt. Should go together like chocolate and peanut butter. I’ll be crowd-funding the adventure starting on June 10th.
In the meantime, if you want to play with us on Roll20, come join us! First come, first served. 90-minute session, text only, 18+ due to sexual content, mature themes, and graphic violence.
p.s. If you’re asking about the gorgeous Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers, I’ve still some left. Ordering details here.
Cha'alt After Dark (part 2) published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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There are a few ways to make money playing RPGs…
Here, I’m going to suggest another way to turn gaming into cash - run specific games for publishers and share those experiences with the gaming world.
There are tons of people playing D&D online. Yeah, it’s the most popular RPG, but it’s also been done to death - and it doesn’t help those independent content creators struggling to get noticed.
I’m probably not alone in desiring a group to run Kort'thalis Publishing products (specific products mentioned below) with regular play reports that include photos, maybe even an entire video stream? Personally, I’d rather read about a game than watch 3-4 hour sessions, but to each his own.
I will put my money where my mouth is and offer $100 for every individual who runs a year-long game of 2+ sessions per month, documenting each session with a satisfying chronicle of their group’s experiences. It might work for a player, instead of only GMs, but that player would have to rely on a GM to run the games, and I know how fragile gaming groups can be - especially when you’re not calling the shots.
Now, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, $100 isn’t a HUGE amount of money. But consider free RPG products and extra promotion for yourself when those RPG companies (such as Kort'thalis Publishing) promotes your content. Plus, you could run multiple games for one or more companies. Depending on the companies, maybe you could get paid twice for mixing products together… who wouldn’t love to read about a Cha'alt and Carcosa, Barbarians of Lemuria, or World of the Last Sun campaign?
Consider all of this and let me know if you’d be interested in participating. At the moment, I’m most interested in either the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic campaign setting of Cha'alt or my sleazy scifi RPG Alpha Blue.
Feel free to comment below with questions, comments, suggestions, or advice!
p.s. If you want the gorgeous Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise hardcovers, ordering details here.
Getting Paid To Game published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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I was watching Ben Shapiro’s Sunday Special last week. He had Jordan Peterson on, and the discussion was both fascinating and enlightening.
For gamers especially, the call to adventure is recognizable. We continually seek adventure through our characters, if not in everyday life. The mythic struggle that’s in all of us, yearning for expression! It seldom gets talked about, except in games, art, and religion… but it’s a vitally important aspect of the human condition.
As I’ve talked about multiple times, the reason for roleplaying at all is immersion - to feel as though you are there, on some level, taking part in what’s happening. To experience another world and everything that goes with it. Like the movie Total Recall, you get to vacation from yourself.
There’s more than that, of course. After addressing the ridiculous comparison of Peterson to Red Skull, their discussion veers from psychology to politics to philosophy. Blogger hides the video if you’re on a mobile device, so I’ll include a link to the YouTube video right over here.
BTW, the title of this blog post is a direct quote from the video, around the 8:30 mark.
Please, feel free to post your thoughts below…
p.s. If you haven’t joined us on Facebook yet, there’s a relatively new place to hang out and discuss what’s going on in gaming culture - Conservative OSR & RPG Group. See you there!
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I’m not sure if it had always been in the back of my mind or some gamer suggested it, but Cha'alt + Alpha Blue eventually needed to happen. Last night was the first one-shot…
What’s the difference? Well, I started with Cha'alt and just included more scifi and sleaze. That’s pretty much it.
I ran the game on Roll20 with 9 players. Since I run these virtual one-shot sessions so rarely, I didn’t want to turn anyone away. It was a little hard to keep track of everyone, but that didn’t deter me from GMing like a fucking boss.
Some notable characters were… Vrek, a chaotic vore wizard, an elven cleric named Muldraen who was the party prude, not wanting to spend much time in the desert oasis sex club… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Who else? Tan'ndoor Starblade, a moon-elf thief, and several reptilian PCs.
I simply focused on what was happening and how the adventurers responded, letting everything else fall into the background. The PCs talked amongst themselves, and I had to ignore most of that to keep all my balls in the air.
The session started in a normal non-sleazy way. Mysterious humanoids pulling strings, making the adventurers dance. It all started with a game. This magic ring thrown down a well, and the PCs had to go fetch it.
I was expecting more in-fighting, but that was my fault. Next time I run it, I need to incentivize betrayal. No one turned on each other, sadly. However, there was a decent combat encounter to get the blood flowing (though, not everyone participated). The rest of the party had already climbed out of the well. They missed the fight, but found out what was going on via drones circling the air. The gold they were expected to get for surviving was being held at the desert destination sex club - Pervert’s Paradise.
The majority of the session took place in the club. I had a random table for what they encountered upon entering, a random table for what happened to each of them while they were hanging out, and then a third for the inevitable bar fight.
It’s important to let PCs off the leash when it comes to sandbox social interaction scenes. I want them to roleplay, to gravitate towards whatever kind of play experience they’re interested in. That’s an important part of Alpha Blue, and any RPG, in my opinion.
For example, one player started gambling with a friendly drunk elf as the “table stakes”. Another asked the bartender if he could make a pangalactic gargleblaster. As everyone knows, my games are very pop-culture friendly.
By the time the bar fight happened, we were close to the end of our 2-hour session. I had a variety of plot hooks in my notes, but it was too late in the night to make good use of that. So, we simply roleplayed the after-effects of the bar fight.
The Federation broke up the fight and sent everyone home. A couple PCs sauntered into the Federation starship that was parked just outside Pervert’s Paradise. They stole the ship and flew it to Alpha Blue.
The rest went to an afterparty thrown by one of the hot bimbos from the club (possibly the woman asking if anyone wanted to take a pussy shot). At the very beginning of the scenario, it took them 2 hours to walk from A'agrybah to the well. At the end, it took them about 15 minutes to get back to her apartment via shuttle.
I almost forgot… one of the PCs, Muldraen, stayed behind, sneaking into an upstairs bedroom with 3 elf maidens while the Federation troopers weren’t looking. BTW, that was the one and only skill-check of the night.
After getting with the girls, he asked if they had anything. One of them presented a handful of glowing purple crystals they could smoke. And smoke them they did. What were the effects? While I did have both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise (as well as the Saving Cha'alt PDF) sitting right next to me for reference, an idea sprang to mind… an out-of-body experience that makes you feel like you’re Nicholas Cage for a few hours. Yes, that’s the dream!
All in all, a very satisfying game. Yes, there will be more! ;)
p.s. If you still want hardcovers of both Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise, ordering details here. Thank you for supporting independent RPG content creators like yours truly!
Cha'alt After Dark published first on http://www.rssmix.com/u/8261174/rss.xml
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My passion for gaming is something which will keep me happy and energetic all the time. I love sharing my review on games so that my readers can get better gaming experience. I love writing and sharing knowledge with others.