Sunday, December 16, 2018

The first overview of The Silence. A setting in the works using the WaRP system.

The world we live in, the reality around us, is but one of many. Other worlds, parallel dimensions, other realities, whatever names they are given exist along side our own. Just a hairs width away separated by a boundary to keep us isolated from each other. But over time that wall has weakened and slowly broken down. Allowing others to pass into that space in between, a sinister place that mirrors the darkest aspects of the realities around it, a place known as The Silence.

In this setting the players take on the roles of people who are sensitive to areas of weakness in the boundary between our reality and that of The Silence. They feel a draw to these areas or may even cause the cracks that already exist to open up even more. What they choose to do about the horrors that they keep stumbling across is up to them. But one thing is for sure, the things that reside on the other side want in our world for various reasons. They may be the only ones who can stop them.

The Cracks in the Boundary.

The areas where the wall is the weakest are called cracks, but they are not all the same. There are different levels of breakage and how the other side is manifested can be different from site to site. Also the areas along the Boundary next to our world are mirror images, copies if you will, of each other. Although those over there tend to be a much more broken, dark and horrific version. Where everything is in a constant state of decay and despair permeates the air.

Sound does not travel the same either. In the open air most sounds are completely gone within a hundred feet, so somebody could be screaming for help close by and nobody could hear it. Hence the name that it is given, The Silence. Inside structures such as buildings it is more chaotic, noises far away may sound like they are right in the next room while your friend down the hallway may be getting violently murdered and you hear nothing.

Now lets look at the various types of cracks and how they are categorized. But do note that this isn't a science and they may manifest in completely unforeseen ways as well.

Crosspoint. These are completely open doorways that exist between the two worlds. You can't see them until you've already walked through. Once several feet in the air will go very cold and you won't hear any noises. Then you will see the entire reality around you slowly peel over into the dark mirror version of itself. Paint will peel away, glass grows cracks, blood soaks up through the floors, barb wire creeps across open windows. If the one has been paying attention they may be able to retrace their path back through the Crosspoint into our reality and escape... unless something blocks their way.

Snap. This is an almost violent cross over to the other side. The person will feel a shock of cold that is slightly painful and their muscles will tense up and cramp for a moment usually bringing them to their knees. When they recover a second later they find themselves on the other side in the mirror version of where they were. But there is no path back to follow.

Bleed. Sometimes the crack only works one way. With a bleed creatures and residents can be pulled over into our reality. But it also starts to leak that negative energy that permeates the Silence as well. Slowly buildings will start to take on the appearance of their mirror counterparts and fall into disrepair while feeling constantly drafty and cold. These spots can be very dangerous as somethings like to take up their nests near a Bleed while hunting out around it.

Ritual Breaks. These are deliberate breaks in the Border to allow passage back and forth between the realities. Usually achieved after the culmination of a long and arduous magical ritual. Sometimes these are done by unwitting cultist in search of power and knowledge, other times they are done in order to rescue someone who is trapped. These passages only last a limited amount of time dependent on the type of ritual used to open them. Some of these rituals cause such a disturbance in the Silence that they attract the attention of those that reside there. Something very bad for those who aren't prepared for the horrors that lurk in the cold. Most of the time these rituals open up in the mirror of the spot where they are performed although there are some out there that creak a passage to very specific locations.

Areas of The Silence

Broken City.

Most of the cracks that form are in this area. A massive apparently unending city that goes on and on, sometimes looping back in on itself even. Containing the mirrored structures of the present and the past all crammed together. One will also notice that all because two building are beside each other in our reality doesn't mean they will be next to each other in the mirror of the Silence. One could crossover and find a huge collapsing cathedral between them or a canal on filthy water. There is no apparent rhyme or reason to how they are placed.

Some areas appear to be completely empty of life in any direction. But don't let that fool you, the creatures here know that staying hidden can be a key element of survival and will only show themselves when the odds are in their favor. But the kind of life you stumble across may not be human at all as there are things from realities yet unknown that have crossed over into this place in between.

Wild Lands.

This is a much more rare section to stumble into. A heavy dark jungle like forest that, like it's city counterpart, goes on forever. While the noise silencing is still there the cold is not, instead replace by a constant humid heat that will not let up. But the mirrors here are also different, you could stumble upon an area that clears up and a heavy fog rolls in only to discover that you have wandered into the copy of a World War One trench warfare site complete with zombified soldiers still fighting each other for inches of dirt. Or the deep jungle warfare of the Pacific rim during the Vietnam War era, massive stone temples piled with bodies of human sacrifices and a tribe still living there following their old ways hoping to be released into the world their ancestors came from.

What you will find is another mix of things from other realities that have made this area their home. Things of nightmares that creep just behind the bushes no longer afraid to step on a twig because you will not hear it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Jaded Gamer Diary - OSR survey notes

Recently there was a survey passed around about the OSR communities/movement/brand whatever. Now I gave up half way through it due to the length and relative trivial nonsense of some of the questions. But I did notice something interesting coming up in discussions afterwards.

There have been several folks sharing their negative interactions with other OSR people and communities.  Things that they've seen or were done to them personally. Which is a good thing to talk about as it gives everyone the ability to see stuff from every angle and discover why some people are a bit taken back about the OSR overall.

Of course that's not what happened most of the time.  Occasionally open talk happened, but on a more frequent basis something else did. The complaints were ignored, told by others "Well I've never seen that happen" or openly told they were making stuff up. 

What this would have been is a very opportune moment for people to share out the positive OSR circles where things like this don't happen. But that hardly happened most of the time. They were given some rough thoughts about finding the more artpunk DIY groups... but not actually telling them were these groups were.  If I were to be the owner, moderator or member of a very friendly and open OSR group I damn sure would have been sharing it around during all this.

So why didn't that happen?  That's a very important question right there.

Either they don't know of community spots where there aren't toxic shitbags ruining it occasionally for other people.  OR they are afraid to give out the spots because they are worried the toxic shitbags they know are out there will also move in.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Jaded Gamer Diary - She Bleeds books pulped

As many of you saw a few days ago there were reports of a book titled "She Bleeds" by Elizabeth Chaipraditkul being destroyed by a warehouse.  The evident reason was that the people running the warehouse found the book to be 'disgusting'.  People were upset over this, understandably so given the current climate of the gaming hobby.  There were discussions of the legality of it, calls for the name of the company warehousing the book and questions on if it happened or if somebody was trolling the LotFP folks.

Well now there's been an official announcement on the LofFP Facebook page:

Quick update on 'She Bleeds' for you all:  
James finished up his holiday in London and got information back about what happened. Turns out a distributor purchased 36 copies, then destroyed their own property. Other than being an incomprehensibly foolish business decision, it was their property to do with as they please.
It's still infuriating to hear about any books anywhere being destroyed for their content, and the author - Elizabeth Chaipraditkul - is handling the emotional burden of seeing a piece of work she put herself into being recklessly destroyed by dudes who presumably have no problem with blood so long as it doesn't come from a vagina.
Like many LotFP authors, Liz is paid via profit sharing rather than a flat per-word payment. That means you can support her by continuing to buy her work wherever it's available.
From us, you can get the She Bleeds PDF on DTRPG here:
She Bleeds on DrivethruRPG
As for hard copies, the remaining Gen Con books went to Impressions post-Gen Con, which means there are still hard copies out there at mail order retailers and FLGSs who are getting them from their distributors. If you know of a place you can find it online, do please link in the comments below to help folks purchase the book.
You can see the actual announcement on their page RIGHT HERE.

So evidently it did happen but luckily was only a small number of copies and they were legally owned by the distributor so they could do with them as they please.  I'm still not happy with the idea of them destroying the books rather than contacting the publisher and asking for possible 'buy back' or something along those lines.

Also in the comments they are unwilling to name the distributor because they don't want anymore drama to come up from all of this.  Which is also understandable.  But damned if I still wish I knew who it was so I could avoid any business with them in the future.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Jaded Gamer Diary - Fallout from articles.

Never really expected to get much reaction out of my Jaded Gamer Diary articles.  But low and behold I have! 

First off the 'Archon Part One' entry sparked some interest.  But over on the fan ran Archon STL page a couple days later a conversation started up that had some similar points.  Then out of know where Draco Fornax suddenly appeared and tried to act like he knew what he was doing.

As a side note I posted a link to the Archon article only on one small Archon fan page ran by a friend of mine.  The person who started the conversation over at Archon STL had seen it.  So apparently it had some influence.

You can find the post and comments here.

Then my Sla Industries rant got some attention from one of the folks from Daruma.  The people who were apparently putting out Sla in conjunction with Nightfall games now.  He hopped in to comment on the actual diary entry. Although now it's really funny as since then they tried a Kickstarter, failed to deliver, went out of business and all sorts of other drama.

Here is a link back to that article.

Later on another of my Sla Industries rants would get me blocked on Facebook by Dave Allsop. 

Insert link to post here

Monday, November 26, 2018

Great time to be a DnD fan.

I just realized that right now is a great time to be a Dungeons and Dragons fan of nearly any edition.  Before when a new edition went out of print the previous one was no longer available shortly after they sold what was left in their warehouse except through second hand sales. 

With the advent of Print On Demand that has all changed.

Right now in print you can get the Rules Cyclopedia version of the old basic rules. 1st edition ADnD,  and 2nd edition ADnD have all the core books available. There is a gap for 3.0/3.5 but really you could get Pathfinder to cover that. 4th edition is available pretty cheaply and they even one of the corebooks up in POD already. That's just the corebooks by the way, quite a few of the supplements are available in print as well. 

That's all covering the POD stuff. Nearly everything except a small handful of books are available in pdf.

You can find them all over on DrivethruRPG with just a few clicks.

Try being a fan of some of the games that have never made their way to even pdf.  Long since dead, print copies being scarce and prices all over the board. DnD folks are having it easier than ever.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

City State of Kainis - Threshold

Been working on my own system again, mainly for my fantasy setting I've been jotting down for years.  Nothing really world changing but more along the lines of traditional gaming fare since that's what I like to play and run. I am trying to mix a few things up here and there with it though, one would be with a stat called Threshold.

THRESHOLD - If your character is hit for damage that is less than this stat it isn't recorded on the damage chart.

As a base all characters (humans at least) start with a Threshold of zero before other modifiers are added in either class or species based, maybe even some sort of advantage system. It's these modifiers that may raise it a point or two. In some settings other things like nano/bio/cybertech may add to it as well.

So if you are hit with X damage and X is less than your Threshold you take no damage. If X is greater than your Threshold than you take all the damage. So it doesn't reduce the damage but buffers against small injuries. Basically I'm tired of characters, who are supposed to be the main point of the game, getting whittled down a point at a time by tiny hits.

Armor will reduce the damage. Whatever is left goes to the Threshold and then to the damage chart.

Just me thinking out loud here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kult: Rectal Dumpings has arrived in pdf

Well the pdf of Kult: Rectal Dumpings finally made it's way to DrivethruRPG.  With one of the most overhyped and utterly unfun systems inside of it now (that would be the Apocalypse World system). It took long enough after a Kickstarter whose goal was to rake the fans for as much money as possible.

But it's here in all it's overprice pdf glory.  Seems like they should have made their production money on the overpriced Kickstarter to cover all costs.  But evidently charging 30+ bucks for the pdf is a good idea and there are suckers born every minute for it.

If you have no problems paying that just click on the link below to purchase it and I'll get a few pennies of it to throw at my ever growing electric bill.

Also don't forget the other equally over priced accessories to go along with it.