The second (very rough) preview of Wightchester is up, in the form of some important and relevant information about the radical political and religious forces at work in England in the 1660s. That period being the (approximate) setting and time period for the book.
Think of it as a ‘bluffer’s guide’ to the Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Fifth Monarchists, Quakers, Baptists and others at work during the English Civil War and its aftermath.
Patrons and Subscribestars get access to such exclusive previews and material, and access to me for questions and help with their games – or anything else I can help with.
Plus you get to help and support a struggling game designer, writer, videographer and all around lovely chap – me! Hard times have meant some of my larger patrons have had to cancel their support, so I’d really appreciate even a dollar a month to take the rough edges off.
(Hardcopy will be available soon, technically you can buy it now at Lulu, but I’m waiting on a quality check).
Many fantasy games, if not all of them, follow the lead given by Dungeons & Dragons, and rapidly become superheroic parodies of themselves. This has been especially true of the newer editions, since AD&D Second Edition. It’s great, but it’s not for everyone.
At least not all of the time.
There are many kinds of fantasy, and Dungeons & Dragons’ increasingly sanitised, fluffy, generic, high-escapist fantasy – dripping in magical weapons and character invulnerability, isn’t necessarily what people want.
A Grimdark game is in part made from difficulty. In this context, that has to come from encouraging the players to play tactically and carefully. To do everything they can to swing advantage in their favour.
It’s also as much about encouraging players to deal with difficult and horrifying role-playing and decisionmaking consequences, all with less resources and power than they might be used to. It also encourages them, when necessary, to run away.
We need to take that, lustrous, heroic, ‘fantasy-Portland’ edge off 5th Edition’s default rules-set, to amp up the difficulty and make people play more carefully. At the same time, we don’t want to just turn it into an unfair meatgrinder.
So why not a game designer, literally known as ‘Grim’, to do it?
Small, drab dragons who hoard unconventional (meaning wrong) lore, and expound loudly and at length on subjects they know nothing about.
Some perversely masochistic magicians have them as familiars, enjoying the opportunity they provide to hone their rhetorical skill. Other pseudointellectual dragons find productive employment as journalists, sages, loremasters, cultural critics, Inhuman Resources department heads and sensitivity readers.
These roles will suffice until Talk Radio or social media are invented in whatever fantasy realm they find themselves.
Challenge: 1/4 (50 XP) Armor Class: 13 (natural armor) Hit Points: 5 (2d4) Speed:15 ft, fly 60 ft.
Skills: Deception +4, Any Intelligence Skill +2 Senses: blindsight 10 ft, darkvision 60 ft, passive Perception 11. Languages: Understands Common and Draconic, and can bullshit in either. Ripe Bullshit: The pseudointellectual dragon has advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks that rely on the spoken word. Magic Resistance: The pseudointellectual dragon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. Limited Knowledge: The pseudointellectual dragon ignores any roll higher than 10 on an Intelligence-based roll, taking the 10 instead.
Actions Bite: Melee Weapon Attack:+4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage. Bullshit Breath (Recharge 5-6): The pseudointellectual dragon utters a confusing babble of nonsense in a 15 ft cone. Any creature within that area that can comprehend Common (or draconic) must make an Intelligence Save against a DC11 or suffer one of the random effects of the Confusion spell.
Art only, text will be handled, so a bit of space will need to be left at the top to fit in a title.
Looking for a 300 dpi, A4, basic colour (shade and highlight) at around ~$200, but this is negotiable. Digital delivery required and payment via Paypal upon delivery, with the artist retaining rights to resale or re-use the art.
The cover is for an introductory comic, to explain RPGs as a concept to new players, parents, friends or children. Perhaps to become part of a series, depending on reception.
As such I’d like the cover to evoke the basic wish-fulfilment quality and appeal of games. Perhaps fantasy archetypes bracketing a d20, perhaps a player, looming about their character like a god while their character faces some peril. Those are my two main ideas, but I’m open to pitches.
Lepuna are always moving, their cosy, earthy burrows a hive of raucous activity at every hour of day and night. Music is their constant companion, wine and song not far behind. They throw themselves wholeheartedly into their short lives, without reservation or regret and with an infectious enthusiasm that can exhaust or empower those around them. Life around the lepuna is, at least, never dull.
A complete character suite for player a lepuna. Racial template, subraces, backgrounds,feats, equipment and magical items.
Without access to treasure, the Lutit is a dull grey colour with a black ‘cap’ of feathers. With access to treasure, it breaks down precious metals and jewels with its tough beak and binds the gilt to its feathers, giving each (male) Lutit a brilliant and unique, gold, silver and jewel-encrusted appearance. Lutits build nests out of hardened spit and purloined treasure in inaccessible parts of dungeons and survive on a diet of carrion, moss, lichen, slime and parasites. Their nests are communes of d100 birds who will attack as a swarm to protect their nests and young.
Treasure Finder: The Lutit has a preternatural ability to sense treasure, especially gold. It can seemingly sense treasure within 30 feet of its current location and is capable of carrying off a single gold piece at a time to its nest. Some are trained to find treasure and lead their owners to it.
Toxin Resistance: Advantage on Constitution checks against poison.
Gilt feathers: A gilded Lutit is worth 5gp to collectors, alchemists and taxidermists. Trained Lutits are valued as familiars and treasure-seekers (and messenger birds) by adventurers and dungeon-owning masterminds.
You can buy this piece of stock art, for as little as $1 this month as part of a promotion. We have a promotion running all month, 31 pieces of monstrous stock art, one a day until all are at on sale culminating on the 31st for Halloween.
Some spies do their deeds in the shadows, hidden completely from sight. Disguises of all kinds, magical and mundane, let them do their work. Others ‘hide’ in plain sight, relying on people’s horror, disgust, and even compassion to complete their work – some without even knowing that is what they are doing. Dark magic can twist people into grotesque puppets, and certain inheritors of the magic of the Tyrant Orb delight in making ‘improvements’ to their victims.
To read the rest of this entry, with statistics for 5e D&D, please subscribe to me on Patreon for as little as $1 a month.