Thursday 23 May 2024

D12 Meteoric Metals

I had a draft of the post D12 Anomalous Orbs sat unpublished for long enough to justify its "retroactive dating", so it sits neatly in the April posts... but this is genuinely hot-off-the-press, unadulterated May 2024 content just for you.

When I first used the phrase STAR METAL in PARIAH volume 1 I imagined the reader would assume this to be meteoric iron, though I made no explicit statement regarding its nature... though a while back I washed my hands of a monster created by cryptomnesia known as an Ancient One  Now fully immersed in UFO lore and the existence of supposed “exotic materials”, I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of alternative material properties for “star metal”. In addition to the usual fantasy sources, this table was inspired by anecdotal accounts from ufology and the preindustrial metallurgists and alchemists. There used to be a spiritual element (pun intended) to material science which is sadly lacking today!

Metallic cube photographed from an axometric perspective, fills most of the frame. Light silver and grey metal, criss-crossed with what might at first appear to be artificial engravings or scratches are in fact a structural property of the metal. An annotation indicates the cube's edge dimension of 5cm
Cubic of polished meteoric iron illustrating the Widmanstaetten structure

Monday 13 May 2024

GANGS OF TITAN CITY: Solo experiment, session zero

As part of my continuing effort to squeeze in some tabletop action wherever I can, I've been hosting a weekly, open-table, no strings drop-in sandbox every Friday lunchtime (whenever life permits). Occasionally the stars align, and we get a short but sweet hour of exploratory roleplay: you can read all the play reports at this link right here.

Sometimes, things don't go to plan: to show my commitment (and scratch that RPG itch), I've decided to start a solo-game of GANGS OF TITAN CITY. I backed the Kickstarter nearly 2 years ago (have a look at my review of the quickstart here), yet the odds of me getting it to the table any time soon remain relatively slim. For this and other reasons, it was an obvious choice.

A stylised, almost woodcut inspired image of an ogre-sized being in orangey browns, blasting into the top corners of the frame, behind them a pink white inferno burns
The alternative cover to GotC, by Rollin Kunz

You can order a copy of this excellent game here

Tuesday 30 April 2024

D12 Anomalous Orbs...

I'm back out the other side of one of my bi-annual delves into the rabbit-hole of UFOlogy, and my takeaways are two in number:

  1. Is it me or is this group getting increasingly right wing? We need to revive Posadism at once... some classic Trotskyite entryism could work wonders...
  2. The "jellyfish" video is probably the most sinister children's party balloon I've seen in my life
Before we go on you should know this: I am a believer. In spite my irreverence here let it be known that my worldview is broad enough to entertain the concept of multi-dimensional entities disguised as jellyfish hovering over military bases for reasons unfathomable. Sure, I'm a pragmatic materialist: but beyond the day-to-day existence is a mystery, and my heart knows that there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...

Album cover to Metallic Spheres by The Orb and David Gilmour, AI generated 


Encountered (mostly) at night, at a distance of 100 yards or fewer... a glowing, luminous sphere of indeterminate size is spotted. Closer investigation reveals it to be...

Monday 29 April 2024

City of Ghosts One Hour Pariah Sandbox Session 5 Play Report

You can find more information about this is series of games in this series of posts, but in a nutshell I was inspired by Luke Gearing's and Pat Eyler's respective one-hour megadungeon sessions to run a weekly PARIAH sandbox during my Friday lunch break. 

Just wanted to add a small note to say:

  • I'm having issues with this blog's formatting: I'm aware of display issues, will hopefully get to sort it out this weekend
  • This post is mostly a note for current and future players in the campaign. 

This is the fifth play report, with the game taking place on 29th March. Next game is scheduled for 3rd May, though we haven't been able to make quorum in the last few sessions.

Sunday 31 March 2024

Back in the One Hour Pariah Sandbox: City of Ghosts Session 4 Play Report

Following an extended break the City of Ghosts campaign is once again up and running. You can find more information about it in this series of posts, but in a nutshell I was inspired by Luke Gearing's and Pat Eyler's respective one-hour megadungeon sessions to run a weekly PARIAH sandbox during my Friday lunch break. This is the fourth play report. 

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Planned Hiatus

Since reviving this blog  in 2019 my output has not been as consistent in both quality and quantity as I would like. Setting the issue of quality aside for a moment, there have been occasions where carving out time to post has been challenging. Sometimes these occasions stretch from weeks and into months.

Instead of reactively acknowledging that this has occurred with a tedious "sorry for falling out of the universe" introductory line to whatever post springs up next, I thought it would be a good idea to prepare you (the reader) for a 19 week/ 4-and-a-bit month interruption to your regular broadcast... with some exceptions, described below. 

I'm still planning to keep up the weekly Pariah 1-hour sandbox games, when sessions actually occur. No sessions have taken place yet this year, though I am hopeful we can get a game in this week. However, I won't be able to run a session at all during February, so following a post concerning this Friday's game (if it takes place), please don't expect anything on this blog until March at the earliest.

Due to the fact that  have paid subscribers I will continue to put out a monthly newsletter on substack—Latest from the Labyrinth— which you can subscribe to for free here:

I anticipate that until June, this will mostly consist of the following:

  • Links to play reports for the 1 hour sandbox, as and when games appear
  • Images of my progress with Galaxy 24  
  • Collated media i.e. other stuff I've read/listened to
The Galaxy 24 stuff will also be shared on my Instagram:

Writing this down sort of feels like I'm abandoning the blog and switching to other platforms: an example of action contradicting intent, perhaps, as this is my favourite place: I just can't give it the attention it serves right now.

If this a statement of intent, that intent is to focus on my day job at the expense of my leisure as living costs continue to spiral and job security continues to erode. Apologies for being negative, but it's very difficult to justify the time this blog tells me it deserves.

See you on the other side.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Everything, everywhere—but not necessarily all at once

It's a New Year and (apparently) it's time for a new Universal Resolution Mechanic! At least that's the challenge set by Prismatic Wasteland. My favourite so far is over at friend-of-the-blog Semiurge's Archons March On who proposes a method definitely not suitable for serious practitioners of one of the world's largest religions

Never one to let a bandwagon sail by without sneering uncharitably before making a half-arsed effort to hitch a ride, I too have come up with my own mechanic: I call this Copenhagen Positioning aka Schrödinger's resolution mechanic...

We have quantum ogres and quantum inventory: isn't it time for a quantum twist on everything?

Friday 5 January 2024

The One Hour Pariah Sandbox: City of Ghosts Session 3 Play Report

Portrait of late (Finnish?) Mesolithic man by Tom Björklund,
used as character art for Wren-in-the-Sedge 

Due to time constraints and inspired by Luke Gearing's one-hour megadungeon sessions, I'm running a weekly PARIAH sandbox during my Friday lunch break. This is the third play report. 

Session 1 is here

Session 2 is here