RPG Blog Carnival: All of these Worlds

RPGBlogCarnival

Worldbuilding.  It’s a chore, it’s a craft, it can be great fun!  From a young age till now, I’ve always loved it.  Whether my eyes scrawl over the many fantastical and wonderful realms of countless authors or I concoct my own strange dimensions from even stranger depths!  For November 2018, Nuketown is hosting the RPG Blog Carnival with the theme “All These Worlds…“, a nod towards the classic novel, 2010.

So, it got me thinking about the world I’ve used for quite a few games.  From the gritty to the gonzo, from the mystical to the mundane, from the distant past to the distant future.  This world is known as Arothe.  It’s a quirky and bizarre little world hooked up to many strange eons.  In a sense, it’s a high-gonzo, high-planar setting.  For the passing glance, it’s what happens when a kid from the 1990s plays too much Planescape and RIFTS.  And, well, you’re not exactly wrong.  Throw in a lot of ’80s and ’90s sci-fi and fantasy in general, while we’re at it.  But, there’s nothing wrong with talking about your inspirations.  Inspiration helps to shape the tropes, genres and more that makes up pop culture today!

Author’s Note: So, my previous post with some Zelda themed magical items?  Admittedly, I was mostly interested in doing that for the Blog Carnival, albeit it was more so as homage to Peanut Butter Gamer’s Zelda Month videos.  Whether this month or early next month, I’ll probably make another LoZ themed post, as I promised I’d do something in some capacity!  In the meantime, I want to do something for the November Blog Carnival again.  This time, I wanna talk about the home setting I’ve mostly isolated from my very blog.  My earlier posts were tied into my own world’s lore, but insecurity and anxiety got the best of me and these references were mostly removed.  That said, I wanna welcome people back to my delightful labyrinth of weird, dark, gonzo and crazy that embodies what I do!  Also, be warned!  Long winded ramblings lie ahead!  Tread at your own risk!

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July 2018 RPG Blog Carnival – Tabletop Tales

My good blogger buddy, Brynvalk, is hosting a theme once more!  This time around, it’s “Tabletop Tales“.  If you wanna know more, please hop over to the page in the link and help support the theme!  For more on RPG Blog Carnival, please go here!  Despite the slight break in theme from Gaslamp Fantasy/Gothic Horror/Weird Western, my content will continue during the next week.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll make another blog carnival post that’s also a themed post for here.  Some kinda lore related post or world building that ties into the theme of stories in the tabletop realm.  I may be truly something out there, but I have a few fun ideas here and there!

In the meantime, please indulge a mad bard as he recants tales of wonder, woe and weeeeiiiiiiirrrrrddd stuff!  Let me share with you stories of high adventure!  (cue Conan the Barbarian theme)

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Doomsdays & Dystopias Wrap-Up

While I got a fair bit more last year, I still enjoyed this theme quite a bit!  The GRIMDARK theme might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps less than science-fantasy.  But, oh well, this was a theme I wanted to do for a long time.  None the less, this has been a learning experience.  All the same, some of the bloggers who participated last year weren’t able to join in for this year.  But, to those who were able to join in?  You have my thanks!  Thanks for making this celebration of the dark and dreadful a truly fun one!   That said, onward to other things.  But in the meantime, here are this month’s contributors for my theme!  Please, check out what they have to offer!  And as always, give the RPG Carnival a try yourself!  It’s tons of fun and well worth the effort!

Anyway, enough babbling out of me!  Here are the contributors for “Doomsdays & Dystopias”:

Stay tuned for Kobold Press and their theme of “Magic” for August 2017!  You can find out more here!  Again, a big thanks for everyone who was interested in the darker side of gaming fiction!  Till next time, gamers!

IMAGE CREDIT: Wasteland 2 Promotional Image – Obsidian Entertainment

 

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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Even more DOOM Monsters!

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Even more evils of the underworld invade your games!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: My last offering was kinda sad, so let’s finish off the rest of the monsters from DOOM I and DOOM II!

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Planarsoldaten – A Dimensional Menace for D&D 5th Edition

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That’s right, Moon Nazis…

“Their initial strikes have left us vastly crippled.  We never saw them coming, legions of men fitted with advanced armor and weaponry; adorned with the symbols of a diabolic looking empire.  They eliminated our troops quickly and many of our civilians even quicker.  There is little hope for our world.” – A letter found in a burnt down house

The planes hold countless universes and endless possibilities.  Among them is a dystopian world where a brutal regime managed to take hold of the world.  However, one planet proved to be not enough for them.  Their empire was forged on persecution and bloodshed; hatred and genocide.  Their global domination campaign cost the lives of billions, causing irreparable damage upon the world as a result.  Unsatisfied with controlling the entire world for many years, they eventually turned their cleansing campaign towards the planes beyond.  Thanks to their high tech moonbase experiments, they were able to rip open a portal within the fabric of reality itself.  Achieving planar transport, waves of these augmented super-soldiers unleashed hell upon anything unlike them.

Countless realities did their best to hold back the waves of soldiers and generals, armed with strange technologies.  Some succeeded in pushing their evil back from hence it came.  Others were conquered and their resources exploited until only dirt and death remained.  Some realms were enslaved and only the worthy preserved… or recruited.  With an ever present grip, those who manage to slip through the cracks continue to hide in fear, well aware that their attempts at sabotage or spying aren’t enough.  Many of these realities require a hero now more than ever, a rebellion to turn the tides against a dystopian cancer that seeks to infect all walks of life.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wanted to revive my Wolfenstein themed post because the first version needed a touch up, plus I promised I’d come back to it.  Plus, I love the of Iron Sky…  Alien invasion plus an alternate-history nazi menace.  So, what if the horrors of Wolfenstein invaded the worlds of D&D?  Well, in the name of over-the-top pulp science fiction, I give you the chance to find out!  Also, as I had done with the previous post, I’d like to apologize for poorly translated German.

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Super-Science and Sorcery Roundup

RPG Blog Carnival Logo

For starters, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute to this month’s theme.  While many themes have come and gone through carnival history, I’m not too sure many have really tackled this idea in depth.  Perhaps it’s due to the fact the genre hybrid of science-fantasy isn’t as popular as it once was.  Perhaps people just wanted to tackle something else that tickles their fancy.  Both are very fine reasons.

At first, I was hesitant to make the theme about science fantasy.  The reason was that it’s very much a niche flavor within a niche hobby.  I love it, but I figured not too many other people shared that same love.  None the less, plenty of fans came out of the wood work to support a pretty cool concept, if I do say so myself!  Mages and dragons meets techno-crafters and giant robots!  I mean, come on!  That’s pretty darn cool!  Also yes, RIFTS was one of my favorite settings way back when… how did you guess?

Anyway, I’m gonna stop prattling here and get to showcasing this month’s RPG Blog Carnival posts.  Here are the posts for the August 2016 theme, “Science Science and Sorcery!”

EDIT: Added missing links

 

 

6d6RPG: The Monster in the Machine – jfoster merges machinery with the strange and supernatural to create some fascinating and unsettling new monster ideas!

Anarcarnivàle: Any technology sufficiently advanced… – Clark proposes ideas on fusing magic and technology together with the help of historical scenarios.

Brynvalk: Cold Iron Corruptor – Faith from Brynvalk mashes classical fantasy creatures of the Fae with Sci-Fi elements such as cyborgs and mutants.

Crossplanes: F@NE For Savage RIFTS – Mark from Crossplanes creates a creature for the science-fantasy world of RIFTS, now compatible with Savage Worlds.

Daemons & Deathrays: Expedition to Barrier Peaks – Brian (Me) of Daemons & Deathrays has devoted the month to converting a classic module to D&D 5th Edition.  These posts consist of:

Forgotmydice: Astounding Tales of Science Fantasy – Grynning examines Clarke’s Third Law in its relation to the Sword and Planet genre, as well as figuring out how to run such games in D&D.

Forgotmydice: Warlock Patron of Interest – Griss makes a pact with a new warlock patron, The Machine.

Forgotmydice: ‘Tis New to Thee – Trevor transports people from a Modern world into the realm of Fantasy thanks to a new background!

Forgotmydice: From the Red Hills of Mars – Robert channels John Carter in the blog’s August 2016 finale by creating Green Martian stats.

Forgot my dice: Allons-y! – Trevor makes an intellectual and scientific sub class for the Ranger.

Mythus Mage: Are You Sure? – Alan dissects genre and treats magic as a science.

Notes of the Wandering Alchemist: Science-Fantasy Trinket Table – Based on the PHB, John has made a table of random trinkets you can incorporate into your games.

Rollcall: Reskinning to Maximize a System’s Range – Rollcall shows how simple it is to reflavor fantasy RPGs into science fiction.

Tales of a GM: Serpentfall in Heroquest – Phil takes from “The Day After Ragnarok” setting to build an epic interlude with a helping of science-fantasy!

Temple of Ravens: Super-Science and Sorcery – Anthony of Temple of Ravens ponders Sci-Fi series like Star Trek and how to run them within the realms of D&D and beyond.

 

If you would like to participate in an upcoming  RPG Blog Carnival event or host your own event, please check out this page to learn more.

The Planes, The Planes! – Doc’s look at the Planescape Setting

So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness.  Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting.  While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me.  It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit!  You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns?  You can!  You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side?  It’s possible!  You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God?  PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!  But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore.  For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition.  So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.)  While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game.  I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes.  Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting?  Why, I’m glad you asked!  Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  “Doc!  Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?”  Yes, I did.  However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions.  Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole!  With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.

For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc!  Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?”  And you would be right!  Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up.  The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms.  Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!)  Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time.  The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below.  That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine.  To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.

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