Friday 19 July 2024

A Syllabary | RPG Blog Carnival of Words Entry #01

There comes a time in a nerd's life when they have to take a good, long look at what they've done with their time on earth and think to themselves... FUCK! I HAVEN'T EVEN HAD A PROPER STAB AT A CONLANG! 

Here is my first contribution to July's RPG BLOG CARNIVAL, hosted by the inestimable Rook. For this post I'm going to draft a syllabary and in doing so lay the foundations for a constructed language (conlang).

Cuneiform tablet

Wednesday 17 July 2024


More than two years ago I made a post called "demi-humans and alignment: dwarfs" which originally included a bit about elves, later replaced with a bit that promised: "elves update to follow!"...

If you've been reading this for any length of time, you'll be aware of the standard gamut of excuses so let's just crack on. 

Our current position in the solar cycle is determined by whether the discourse is about Rankin's elves

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Solo Blueholme session #0 (chargen etc.)

A number of weeks ago I posted regarding my intention to run Stygian Library solo. There's a link right here but for some reason they aren't showing up as such, so please scroll to the end to read the comprehensive list of pages linked in this post. I've since already run a party of adventurers through a delve in the Stygian library, and had some thoughts about what the survivors (spoiler alert! some of them survive!) do next. However, before writing that up I wanted to go into a little more detail about how I'm using BLUEHOLME as the "operating system" (OS, Really) for Stygian.

The 1977 Dungeons and Dragons "basic set" by Eric Holmes, aka. the Holmes Basic can be thought of as the "missing link" between OD&D and B/X (or perhaps even B/X and AD&D 1e), and it is not without its fans (particularly popular blog The Zenopus Archives). Blueholme is a retroclone of that ruleset by Michael Thomas, and seems to have emerged following conversations on the Dragonsfoot forum.

Sunday 30 June 2024

Gangs of Titan City (solo) session #4 (2nd cycle)

So... the inevitable has happened: I have postponed the City of Ghosts Friday Lunchtime Sandbox... indefinitely. It became too disheartening waiting each week only for it never to happen. I'm going to blame the format for this: thanks Luke Gearing!

Anyway, I DO hope to get the same sandbox (basically a PARIAH version of a dungeoncrawl) up and running again soon, maybe over longer sessions and at more sociable hours? Let's see... anyway, in the meantime I've made use of my long Friday lunch break by test-driving Soul Muppet's Gangs of Titan City, and so far have found it to be ideal for solo play. You can read all my reports  (as well as other posts related to the game) at this link, which may not be visible on your screen (so scroll to the end).  

Some of Ben Brown's very fun art found in GoTC

In case you don't know, Gangs of Titan City is a sort-of mash-up between Necromunda and Blades in the Dark, in that players control gang members ("gutters") in a grimdark hiveworld (the eponymous Titan City). It's narrative-focused, though probably more on the story game end of the spectrum rather than the rules-light end (though the mechanics are pretty light). It's closer to PBTA than 24XX. I play solo with a notebook, pencils and real dice and write up the sessions from those notes at a later date. So far I have not felt the need to use additional oracles or solo tools with the game book, but that could change.

Read on for more!