Monday 31 August 2020


A summary of the NINTH session of the discord live voice-chat game of PARIAH. Have a look at the previous session summary or indeed some of the posts collected under the label pariah or even visit if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

We interrupt our usual campaign to bring tales of two new arrivals to the indigo coast...
(This session took place on Sunday 2nd August 2020)

Sunday 30 August 2020


This is a summary of what went down in the eighth session of the regular PARIAH Sunday Sandbox session. To catch up on what happened last time, please read this report:

To find out more about PARIAH please read this post or trawl through the many, many posts tagged pariah at this link

CONTENT WARNING: Medium scale destruction of communal property by arson...
(This took place on Sunday 26th July in the real world)

Tuesday 25 August 2020


There's a print-on-demand edition of PARIAH available at drive-thru-RPG. This will only be available until 23rd September.

If you backed the kickstarter a discount link has been posted here (available to backers only).

Normal service to resume soon.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Sofinho and His Heteronyms

Throne of Salt recently made a post titled "All My other Characters" in which a list of characters played by the blog's author was provided, as a kind of testament to their journey through RPGs.

Others followed, including The Mad Queen's Court, Of Slugs and Silver (Ancalagon) and Lapidary Ossuary. It was a really interesting insight into the minds and the makings of those authors, or at least one aspect of it.

I think that's what got me thinking about Fernando Pessoa and the concept of the heteronym. Pessoa was a Portuguese poet who more commonly wrote "poets" rather than poems (of course, those poets then went on to write their own poetry...), and as such is often described as the first postmodern poet: Pessoa's ouvre raises questions about the relationship between the author, the reader and the text.

One of Pessoa's heteronyms was Alberto Caeiro, which inspired my own heteronym, Sofinho Caeiro.
I wrote a long post about this, then lost it, along with my assorted character list. Intermingled within were various flippant asides regarding my own mental health and identity issues which I shan't re-insert, because this is an RPG blog not therapy. Broadly though, the very simple (and somewhat hackneyed?) theme of that post was this: a character is an extension of the author. It is a mask, but a mask can also present a hidden (or not-so-hidden) facet of identity.

By laying bare the small clutch of characters I have played I show a little bit of my soul, and it is dull for its blandness. But the hidden story is that I rarely had a chance to play, and for a long period, did not play at all.


Monday 10 August 2020


A summary of the SEVENTH session of the discord live voice-chat game of PARIAH. Have a look at the previous session summary or indeed some of the posts collected under the label pariah or even visit if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

He threw himself/ to a bottomless pit/ he was screaming as he fell/ I never heard him hit

SESSION 07: DAY 10 CROW MOON (continued)

Witheringly-Footed-in-the-Point said a few words to commemorate his uh... fallen comrade, perhaps also to lift the spirits of Antelope, who was obviously upset at the loss of their comrade.

But in the heavily forested foothills, one is never too far from a new friend, and so it came to pass that they happened upon a solitary figure on the path back to the settlement, a wiry but powerful figure carrying a bow, caked in dried mud and dirt.

"My name is Rides-the-Grave," he said, offering no other gesture by way of greeting.


Wednesday 5 August 2020


I don't think anyone reads these sorts of posts by I feel things need to be recorded for posterity. Here I talk about how ability checks and skills interact with one another in a classless OSR-based game.

You may want to take a look at this 11 year-old post which pops up in OSR circles from time-to-time:


I have a new red sharpie
So no messing around, let's cut to the quick: here's how we do it in PARIAH, which is available at  Drive Thru RPG and


So this is basic, but only roll when:

  • There's a consequence to failure.
  • There is an element of time pressure.
If it's not risky and the player isn't bothered about when the goal is achieved, it can be assumed that the action is successful given sufficient time.
  • Don't roll for knowledge: make a judgement based on the character's background etc. and either tell the players or let them find out information through questions.
  • Investigation & perception checks: don't bother, again provide information based on the actions of the characters as described by their players
  • Exception: sometimes it's fun to do listening rolls. You may have a different opinion regarding this.