Monday, 29 November 2021

Alignment Post (Non-Alignment Pact)

I'm making a chassis to run old school modules, but hoping to spin it out in interesting directions... this week  month I'm looking at alignment and also jotting down some notes about so-called "demi"-humans  giving up the extended footnotes about dwarfs and elves because there is no time in my life to do anything any more... which is an exaggeration and I apologise.

Previous posts in this series:

That was in the past. Now: let us tackle alignment, aware that this is a path well-trod, but one we will attempt to follow with fresh legs and open eyes.

But first...

While I was writing this I became aware of recent posts on alignment at FORTRESS OF DUST and VDONUT VALLEY which more or less align (ha!) with some of what I'm hoping to achieve.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021


I originally included this generator with a continuation post concerning GENIUS LOCI REACTIONS AS ENCOUNTERS but I like it too much to leave languishing as a footnote. I like the revisions to the generator enough to give them their own post. 

BEsides which, I should continue on from the series which last covered TROPICAL FORESTS:

...we now come to THE MANGROVE...

* * *

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Spirit of the Wilderness: Second Look at Genius Driven Loci Encounters... and a new hex (mangrove)

Previously I've posted two posts about random encounter generation, both of which within the framework of PARIAH (but easily adaptable to your old school game of choice blah blah...). The first attempt was inspired by Goblin Punch's encounter stew, but modified to accommodate the skills system I'd built into PARIAH (this version was included in the zine). I wasn't entirely happy with it, especially when playing it online and started to think about how I could move things around and create something more coherent but also thematic. 

I googled "Nature spirit - scary" and got this

What then emerged was something based around the Genius Loci reacting to the PCs as they enter and interact with the place in question, usually (but by no means always) imagined to be the local 6 mile hex. A poor reaction leads to more lethal encounters, ba weather, and shitty foraging; the inverse is true of a a good reaction roll. You can read it all here:

That post has become one of the most popular on this site, no doubt due to it being featured in an edition of The Glatisant. Nonetheless what was presented was somewhat incomplete. 

This represents an attempt to grant that post a little more polish.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells: Title Generator

In my previous post about Ulysses 31 I mention the utility of Diogo Nogueira's TITLE GENERATOR in the wonderful Solar Blades and Cosmic Spells and soon realised it would be better for me to "show" rather than "tell".. and tbh I can't think of a better advertisement for the game than that!

Wednesday, 10 November 2021


I used to think the DIY old-school scene needed to take more inspiration from James Joyce* than Ulysses 31. I have since revised that opinion.

Characters L-R: Yumi; the eponymous hero, Ulysses; Telemachus and finally the robot Nono

Ulysses 31 was a Japanese-French anime released in the early 80s, charting the voyage of the titular hero through space after being cursed by the Gods of Olympus. You don't need to have studied classics at a posh English school to recognise that this children's cartoon was a sci-fi retelling of Homer's Odyssey. The (literally) epic storytelling, stylish animation and (figuratively) epic soundtrack (U-le, U-le, UlySSEEEEES!/Flying through the ga-la-k-SEEEE!)would insure that the cartoon would have a lasting impact on young Gen Xers and older millennials around the world.

My question is this: would it make for a good campaign?

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Generic Adventure Game: HIT PROTECTION & HIT DICE

Let's cut to the chase- this is another "0 HP" post, but I've been thinking about it while putting together this GENERIC ADVENTURE GAME  by working backwards from monster stat blocks.

You don't have to read any more if you don't want to. No one will think any less of you.

But if you do, let me know what you think.

Saturday, 30 October 2021


Follow-up post to a concept an Esoteric Enterprises campaign where a party of down-at-heel artists and performers, all tied to the same unscrupulous agent, carry out magical crimes in the esoteric underworld of H-Town

What follows is a simple character generator... grab one of each of the standard dice-set (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12) and roll....

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Duodenums & Drains


Finally: the farewell roman-playing gander you've been waiting for...

Duodenums& Drains!

This is an experimental publication combining Jean Lescure's S + 7 constraint with the original version of the world's most famous RPG 

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Reverse Engineered Adventure Game

This is a post was originally made on 27th September and then removed. Revisions have been made since then. To lay my cards on the table: the objective is to create a gam without the standard attribute array..

When I first put PARIAH up on DTRPG I received a comment accusing me of advertising the product falsely and misusing the OSR label. I made sure a full preview was available and asked the commenter to take a look and see if they were willing to revise their opinion. To my surprise... they did! Not only did they take a look, they also revised their opinion!

By their definition, a game is OSR compatible if a character created can be run-through a B/X , 1e or BECMI adventure module with minimum effort. It's not a definition I agree with, but it did get me thinking: what kind of gaming system could you run through a B/X module with minimum effort?

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Tuesday, 28 September 2021


This post aggregates the DMing advice from all sources following the 15 more cheap tricks to liven up your game by Phlox, itself following up an earlier post of ten similarly cheap tricks. It includes "cheap tricks" from the following source: 

If you can't see the generator, follow this link:

Monday, 27 September 2021

Memory-Eaters: Giant Silkworms


The caterpillar is a most voracious creature. It is known that a brood will strip a tree of all its leaves — if they are not pecked off by birds first, that is. But those worms that weave silk are prized and protected... and provided with as many mulberry leaves as their mouths can munch... 

Such caterpillars won't stop eating until it's time to change... but for some, the time to change doesn't arrive when it's expected: those worms do not stop growing...