July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Mutant Monsters

 

They shouldn’t have existed, mistakes of nature and mistakes of humanity!  These abominations were the accidents as a result of careless experiments and deadly warfare.  And the result?  Worse than we could have ever feared.  Confused, angry, resentful, hateful!  These things seek to destroy both their creators and the world around them.  Much like the forces that spawned them, destruction is usually their goal.  But, these creatures are no villains, but the consequences of arrogance, apathy, discrimination and violence.

Author’s Note: As a continuation of my theme, here’s a plethora of horrible mutants and mad experiments.  While much of it is revisiting old monsters, there’s a good amount of new goodies to toss into your wastelands, super secret labs and other such locations.
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July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Post-Apocalyptic House Rules

Most creations of the apocalypse are accidental.

The end of the world happened as we expected, too many people squabbling over too many things.  And with their super weapons, a new breed of terror was unleashed.  Not only did the radiation spread, it became aware, it gained its own life.  And what followed?  I dare not say…  All that is certain is the horrors of this war spawned all of them.  Protect yourself at all costs, should you run into such a mockery of life.

The post-apocalypse, a staple of darker science fiction.  There are few greater fears than not only one’s own death, but the death of the world we live in.  Or at the very least, the death of civilization.  In most cases, we wouldn’t have roaming raiders, so much as starved out and depressed barbarians.  But, since science fiction gives some leeway, we’re able to explore the grittier side with the likes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the more gonzo like Mad Max and all of the bootlegs and homages that it inspired!  (And ’70s/’80s Italian post-apocalyptic bootlegs are simply incredible.)  Or go even further with the likes of Adventure Time, especially in the more recent years as the old world was further expanded upon.  Even if settlements are rebuilding the old world and some semblance of stability comes to the wastes, there are still many hazards that roam the blasted out reaches.  Just like the dungeon crawls and treks of D&D fantasy, the world has regressed into an age of buried secrets, monstrous threats, lost knowledge and high adventure!

With that, today I’m going to focus on retooling some old ideas I’ve had for post-apocalyptic settings.  Effects of radiation, as well as enfeebled equipment and ruins of buildings are given some spit and polish.  Plus, I wanted to bring back a fair share of gruesome and ghoulish creatures I had worked on in the past.  Whether it’s an elemental power of radiation itself or the many mutants that is probably created, there are tons of familiar faces.  While I wanted to make a scrapping based craft mechanic, I couldn’t really settle on a base craft mechanic.  To be fair, neither has core D&D really.  And until we have an expanded idea, there are tons of concepts floating throughout the web.  So, I’ll likely come back to that in the future.

Author’s Note: Here’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while!  In fact, it’s part 1 for that matter.  Expect a heaping helping of horrifying mutants within the next couple of days to next week!  Stay glowing, my radioactive muties!

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July 2017 Blog Carnival – Conflicts in Dark Worlds and Genres

RPG Blog Carnival Logo

Welcome back, gamers!  I usually homebrew stuff and this is a complete change of pace for me.  That said, I’ve been meaning to write pieces examining things within games in addition to homebrew.  As it is, I’ve branched out with gaming recaps and those seem to reach some sort of audience, so I’ll continue to experiment.  That said, homebrewing is still my prime focus.

Back on topic, last time I opened up the carnival by looking at why I think people like darker genres and topics in their games!  Today’s post is deeper focus on dark settings in regards to conflict; whether it’s problems from society, the self, the environment or even forces beyond our control.  One can’t have a darker story without extreme conflict, to the point it’s usually quite oppressive, or repressive in some cases.  Sure, there are more examples than what I’m talking about, but I could go on and on about that.  Also, I like rambling some anecdotes about old games I’ve played it, because I really love sharing gaming stories with everyone when I get the chance!

Author’s Note: I know, it’s a change of pace.  Like I said, I’m not abandoning homebrewing.  I promise.  Also, this one is a little more mature oriented than other posts, touching upon rougher subjects.

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July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival: Doomsdays & Dystopias (Dark Genres and Settings)

Abandoned Environment Concept tutorial by maciejkuciara

While I enjoy tons of heroic settings with noble characters ensuring good in the world, I’ve always loved truly grim and dour settings.  I speak of worlds that fit the “GRIMDARK” moniker that’s been affectionately used.  For those who don’t get the reference, it refers to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K tagline, which states that “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!”  I’m speaking of places blighted by impossible evils, dystopias where any sort of righteousness and passion is repressed, a sinister universe that is out to destroy you, nuked out wastelands where the remains of society struggle to continue or scrap the last bits of the old ones… but you get the point.

So, why is my theme essentially “dark settings and dark themes”?  Sounds depressing, I know.  After all, spending too much time in an overly dark and oppressive world can wear one down, right?  Not exactly!  There are many reasons why dark settings are truly fascinating.  Before I turn the carnival over to you, let’s take a look at why starker settings can be awesome.  (Or if you prefer, skip down to the bold text.)

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Tidings of Grim Darkness Ahead!

larger version of the painting I did for the Fallout Tales #2 loading screen - Leonard Boyarsky

Because of my work schedule being crazy (8 shifts bouncing between night and day) in a row, I just can’t find energy or time to do something for this week.  So, I’m consolidating effort to get ready for the RPG Blog Carnival theme that I’ll be doing for the month of July!  The theme?  “Doomsdays & Dystopias” or rather, dark genres of fiction and dark settings.  WH40K RPG/Wargaming stories, examining bleak subject matter and grim things in gaming, dying quickly in the desert world of Athas, dying even faster in Ravenloft, stark and seemingly hopeless worlds, etc.  All that stuff is good!  Till next time, friends!  Don’t you dare go hollow.

Image Credit: Fallout Tales #2 – Black Isles Studios/Obsidian Entertainment/Bethesda Software

June Blog Carnival – Bizarre Bazaar – Magitech!

https://daemonsanddeathrays.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/03849-57arcane.jpg?w=620

Why hello-li-lo-li-lo!  The name is Jermaine!  Funny name for a guy like me, I know, but I’m the one and only!  I know what you’re about to say… What am I?  Don’t worry, I am not offended, not in the very least!  I love to talk about myself!  I am of the Arcane and I am here to serve you.  These robes I wear, they are ceremonial, for the high holy act of commerce and trade; a sacred practice among my people.  My people have scoured wild space, the planes, the multiverse, you name it; we have visited it!  Many like me collect all sorts of oddities for my “bizarre bazaar”.

Unlike that barmy star berk, I assure you that my wares are much safer… and much fairer of a price.  My associates procure a wide variety of simply marvelous items from all over all known realities, the price you pay matches the story and the piece!  Now, what is my specialty?  Why, I collect and craft technological crafts empowered by The Art…  That’s “magic” for the clueless out there.  I’ve rambled far too long…  So my lovely observers, do you see anything you like?  Hmmm?  …  Oh, and one more thing!  No refunds, a merchant has to make a handful of jink somehow.  Ya hear me, baby?

Author’s Note: I’m back with another contribution to the RPG Blog Carnival!  This month’s theme is gonzo cross-genre gaming, hosted by Cross-Planes!  Find out more HERE.  Also, stay tuned for my theme post next month!

If there is one thing I love, it’s magitech!  Sure, most of my planar items count as this already, but I wanted to try something new.  In fact, I made a new shopkeeper narrator for the occasion as well!  (Don’t worry, Zam’dul isn’t going anywhere, Jermaine promises this!)  Here’s a sampling of technomagical devices for your games!  And yes, Scaramouche from the Samurai Jack miniseries inspired Jermaine the Arcane.  I also went a little crazy on these, so they might be a tad unstable.

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MAY BLOG CARNIVAL – Spiritualist Sorcerer and Exorcist Background

Image result for Pathfinder spiritualist

One might wonder, what is the power of a spiritualist?  It’s very much laid out in their name, someone who works with the spirits of the deceased.  Such sorcerers are fabled for calming angry spirits who lacked desire to move on to the after life.  In some instances, they have found ways to harness the spirits, whether out of mutual pact or magical extortion.

For most of your life, you have felt a connection with spirits.  Over time, you tried to develop talents to reach out to the realms beyond.  While not a bloodline in its own right, you have been touched by the nether realms, planar domains where souls travel upon death.  Harnessing your talent, you are more than capable of communing with spirits either through seance or through a known spell.

However, conjuring and working with spirits is often taboo, and is such practiced in secret.  While some may hear of you and seek you out for counsel when dealing with the dead, others might see you as a second rate necromancer.  Some orders have even formed within various religious organizations as exorcists, while others revel in individual freedom when dealing with the shadows beyond our world.

Author’s Notes:  I’m back with Blog Carnival content once more!  This time, I thought I’d dabble into the Occult theme by making a Spiritualist based circle for the Sorcerer.  While other classes also felt like good picks, this felt like the quickest match for me.  So, let’s speak with the dearly departed as we explore the Nether World with the Spiritualist.  And as a bonus, have a background on exorcism. 

You may find more on the May 2017 Blog Carnival here!  Alternatively, you may be interested in the Sage Variant: Occultist background that I made last year.  This would better fit a medium who contacts spirits through seances and the like, should you favor a more gothic flavor over a high fantasy one!

Also, this is the first pass for this sub-class, it will be due for revision in subsequent weeks.  This first draft is experimental and possibly volatile.

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