Sunday, December 31, 2017

Creepy Repeaters

Looking at the use of language in horror.

This text was created by feeding in the entire script of the Silence of the Lambs film, removing every line that didn't include the word "Clarice", and rearranging them in order of length.

It makes a nice little treatise--or christmas tree--on how much Lecter loves to say her name (perhaps because you have to bear your teeth and bite the air just to say it)--and the uses he puts it to.

Hey, Clarice.
Brave Clarice.
Well, Clarice?
Goodbye, Clarice.
Clarice M Starling.
Hot damn, Clarice.
Not "just", Clarice.
Thank you, Clarice.
Good evening, Clarice.
Clarice M. Good morning.
You're very frank, Clarice.
Yes, he did. Clarice Starling.
I'll help you catch him, Clarice.
Clarice, phone. It's the guru.
Where were you going, Clarice?
What became of your lamb, Clarice?
First principles, Clarice. Simplicity.
No. It is your turn to tell me, Clarice.
I'm Clarice Starling. I'm with the FBl.
I have no plans to call on you, Clarice.
And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?
Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice.
That was an especially nice touch, Clarice.
How did you feel when you saw him, Clarice?
Look deep within yourself, Clarice Starling.
What did you see, Clarice? What did you see?
Clarice. They're waiting for you. Watch your step.
Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice?
I've been in this room for eight years now, Clarice.
Yes or no, Clarice? Poor little Catherine is waiting.
If I help you, Clarice, it will be "turns" with us too.
Why, Clarice? Did the rancher make you perform fellatio?
Good morning. Dr Lecter, my name is Clarice Starling.
Oh, Clarice, your problem is you need to get more fun out of life.
I don't imagine the answer is on those second-rate shoes, Clarice.
I've waited, Clarice, but how long can you and old Jackie Boy wait?
Nice to meet you, Clarice. You can hang your coat up there if you like.
Clarice Starling and that awful Jack Crawford have wasted far too much time.
Clarice, doesn't this random scattering of sites seem desperately random, like the elaborations of a bad liar?

Below is a very condensed but surprisingly coherent remix of Lovecraft's original Call of Cthulhu story created by removing every sentence that doesn't have the word "Cthulhu" in it. The overall effect is to get rid of almost everything ordinary or dull in the story and reveal a very effective imagism at the core of the writing. Lovecraft seemed to not want to waste his invented word on any merely scene-shifty sentence.

Once before, it appears, Professor Angell had seen the hellish outlines of the nameless monstrosity, puzzled over the unknown hieroglyphics, and heard the ominous syllables which can be rendered only as “Cthulhu”; and all this in so stirring and horrible a connexion that it is small wonder he pursued young Wilcox with queries and demands for data.

This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway.

 He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong—and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless, half-mental calling from underground: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.

Hieroglyphics had covered the walls and pillars, and from some undetermined point below had come a voice that was not a voice; a chaotic sensation which only fancy could transmute into sound, but which he attempted to render by the almost unpronounceable jumble of letters, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.

From Dunedin the Alert and her noisome crew had darted eagerly forth as if imperiously summoned, and on the other side of the earth poets and artists had begun to dream of a strange, dank Cyclopean city whilst a young sculptor had moulded in his sleep the form of the dreaded Cthulhu.

There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults and sending out at last, after cycles incalculable, the thoughts that spread fear to the dreams of the sensitive and called imperiously to the faithful to come on a pilgrimage of liberation and restoration.

I had largely given over my inquiries into what Professor Angell called the “Cthulhu Cult”, and was visiting a learned friend in Paterson, New Jersey; the curator of a local museum and a mineralogist of note.

They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them.

That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth.

These words had formed part of that dread ritual which told of dead Cthulhu’s dream-vigil in his stone vault at R’lyeh, and I felt deeply moved despite my rational beliefs.

What seemed to be the main document was headed “CTHULHU CULT” in characters painstakingly printed to avoid the erroneous reading of a word so unheard-of.

Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency.

I suppose that only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried, actually emerged from the waters.

Here were new treasuries of data on the Cthulhu Cult, and evidence that it had strange interests at sea as well as on land.

Cthulhu still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of stone which has shielded him since the sun was young.

The carven idol was great Cthulhu, but none might say whether or not the others were precisely like him.

The two sounds most frequently repeated are those rendered by the letters “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh”.

After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.

The chant meant only this: “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

Saturday, December 30, 2017

d10 Awful Things To Say When Something Bad Happens To Their Skin

A lot of horror is just in how you say it.

1, It darkens and curls off like a leaf in a fire, batwing-shaped

2, It begins to drag and strip away in peals. like when tissue paper gets wet

3, It explodes in small, filthy yellowed bubbles that sag in on themselves instead of pop

4, It begins to run and then drip the way plastic melts, hanging in long hanging drops

5, It turn drier and tighter, ripping like paper showing red underneath

6, The veins and arteries in your arm pulse and writhe with something that isn't your blood

7, It's as if you're wrapped in some synthetic fabric that doesn't breathe but there's nothing there

8, A meniscus forms, like an algae, it feels like someone else's skin all around yours

9, There's a hot and cold like a needle or a staple's punched in and then dragged around your neck muscle while still anchored

10. You know, cherry pie filling? It feels like that, warm, and the cherries are made of saliva

Friday, December 29, 2017

Advanced GMing stuff: Getting Cozy

One of the most fun things in games, but one of the things it's most difficult to give solid advice about, is campaign-specific, slow-burn plot twists. Like: Leia is Luke's sister in Jedi.

Game products and game bloggers thrive on modular ideas that can be plugged into any old game with specific characteristics (You got a desert? I got a scorpion cult! etc). But in order to get a really good, really slow-twist you have to know that specific campaign really well.

So the best you can do is dance around it, but I'm gonna dance around this one: The Cozy.
i don't know who drew this

The Cozy

The Cozy is--, in murder-fiction lingo, the counterpart of the hard-boiled detective story. Murder She Wrote, Agatha Christie, etc Typically:

  • It happens in an isolated, pleasant community instead of in a city.
  • The murder isn't a part of a larger theme of corruption, it's some specific old grudge.
  • The tone is light.
  • Not a lot of action.
  • Lots of ladies, often elderly, often kicking ass.
  • Tone is light, not a lot of sex and violence.
  • Bringing the suspect in is largely a matter of puzzle-solving.
  • A relatively clear list of suspects, like in Clue.
  • All of them are interesting, eccentric people, many friendly and pleasant.
The last three are the ones I want to focus on here as essential: the action of figuring out whodunit from a list of suspects. The rest is relatively easy to do (or not do) in any game.

Properly done, this can destabilize your campaign worse than Death Frost Doom or Broodmother Sky Fortress.

While there is no doubt at this moment a child being born who will stitch together a hyperfocused cozy-specific one-shot system, I am more interested in the cozy murder as an emergent revelation late in your game. OSR-style, this isn't about reproducing a story in which a cozy murder happens, it's about reproducing what a cozy murder and subsequent investigation would be like from the pov of the characters.

That is: you play for months or years, the players get truly comfortable and cozy and then, all of a sudden, a murder. And this brings on a revelation in the campaign.


The first thing you need, which requires mostly patience, is at least 4 NPCs. You don't need or want to create them all at once.

These need to be long-running NPCs that are organically in the campaign. There will inevitably be some, but this is easier in systems where friendly NPCs are part of the mechanics of the game, like FASERIP or Night's Black Agents (or Demon City, which made me think to write this post)--my years-long D&D game has maybe 2 at the moment, going on the your NPCs suck and are going to die principle. 

They have to be NPCs that the players remember. 

If you don't have four yet, you'll have to slowly introduce them over the course of several sessions. This may take time. How? I cannot tell you that, that's why this is 'Advanced GM Shit' it depends on where your campaign is at.

Second thing is: one of them is a victim. Now this doesn't necessarily mean you have to off them, it could just mean that they have to be the victim of something, it could just be someone clearly threatening to murder them, like sending messages, etc.  

They do have to be an NPC that you could let die if the PCs don't do something. Unlike the step above, this is easier in systems where friendly NPCs aren't part of the mechanics of the game--because then you're not taking away a resource a player "paid" for. In that case the NPC definitely needs to be threatened rather than outright dead.

Third thing is: another one of them is the murderer. Just as the victim needs to be someone the campaign could do without, this needs to be someone you could see being bad (or, conversely, it turns out the victim was bad). 

They do not have to obviously be related right now.

Fourth thing is: seed the grudge into the game. You may not even have to--it may already be in there. Players tend to disregard the inner lives and desires of NPCs--all you need is a reason for one to dislike the other. A competition for someone's affection (a PC?), an opportunity lost to a rival, a potential opportunity snatched away, whatever.

Seed the grudge during a session about a different thing, long before the players even expect a murder coming on. This is advanced GM stuff--it requires patience.

The more the grudge relates to a revelation about past events in the campaign, the better. Like if you find out the tavern where the PCs kept getting hired was secretly feeding secrets to the evil lichpriest all along.

Fifth thing:
 give all the non-victim NPCs plausible motives for murder and reasons to act suspicious. Give them things they want to do and don't want anyone else to know about, give them reasons to mistrust the PC investigators.

Sixth thing: isolate the suspects and victim. Create a situation where only the 4 NPC suspects--or the suspects and PCs--are present. You know the kind of thing: a quiet island, a dinner party, a wedding, whatever. All the NPCs--possibly from disparate backgrounds--will need to be there, it may be the first time they every appear in the same place at the same time.

Magic and superpowers make this a little hinky--there are ways to kill people from across a continent. If your campaign has these features, find a psychic or wizard who can assure PCs that the killer is in this room. Or something.

The dense social atmosphere and the contained nature of the problem are what distinguish the cozy from the typical noir murder--once the murderer could be any number of unknown people then you've created a much more open-ended problem which requires more procedural solutions to identify and eliminate suspects. By guaranteeing the murderer is someone on the island, you clearly cut the players' work out for them.

Last thing: enact the crime and give the players a reason to solve it. The reason can be that they are the prime suspects otherwise.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ice Storm

From the upcoming Frostbitten & Mutilated (formerly Black Metal Amazons of the Devoured Land)

Place these on the random encounter table in polar regions:

Ice Storm--The weather is piercing, impossible, moving forward is hard labor at best. Every PC must roll succeed on a Strength check or movement is impossible for 10 minutes x the number of points the check was failed by. Anyone not in some kind of shelter beyond normal cold-weather gear must save or take 1 hit point of damage for every 10 minutes in the cold.

Ice Storm+ Encounter--As above plus roll again--something's coming.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Retropost Sunday: D10 Seasonal Modules Someone Should Write

Roll d10

1 Fuck This Sugarplum Palace

2 Unlimited Access To Every Single House With A Chimney And At Least One Christian Inhabitant For One Night Only

3 The Rat King Was Right The Nutcracker Is A Devouring Menace

4. Biscuits, Ice And New Machines

5 Toyhammer of the Weasel Elves

6 The Bishop of Turkey and His Six To Eight Slaves

7 Inside The Turkey Is A Duck And Inside That Is A Chicken And Inside The Chicken Is The Entrance

8 Your Grandmother's House Is Basically Wolf-Themed

9 The Reward For Your Year Of Sloth And Sin Is This Reeking Anthracite

10 Black Metal Frost Giants Of The Hatemountain Demand Toys

Thursday, December 21, 2017

How To Win A Fight In Apocalypse World

The bulbfly, crept around the inner circumference of the wallglobe, its glowing, deformed gut casting jagged shadows past its legs and abdomen over the bed and Char’s (1)  face, which was kind or pretty but not both (2).

“Fuck my tits, Vonk the Sculptor (3).”

“Oh Char,” said Vonk the Sculptor, “Oh Char oh Char oh Char,” he shifted in the afternoon haze, “Would that I could jizz massively and wild on those stout twin beige hillocks, yet I cannot.”

“Don’t you…” she pulled at her knees on the chaotic bed, arranged her compact or sturdy but not both body against the splayed gingham and neoprene “…don’t you…want to?”

“I do, but…it’s fucking complicated.”

Uncoiling, she took a weary drag on a vape patched with green gaffer’s tape “Try me.”

“Tomorrow approacheth the fearful Juck, harshly astride his Yamaha and trailed by his loathsome biking gang. There will be conflict.”

“I know,” she slid over, wrapped him in the medical patchwork of her long arms “We can take them, Vonk the Sculptor, it’ll be ok.”

“It’s not that,” he said, “it’s…well you know how every time we have sex you get +1 to your next roll? (4)

"Of course,” she blinked her quick-or-hard-but-not-both eyes “Why do you think I do it? There’s a gang of mutant bikers coming tomorrow to kill us all, I need a +1 going forward. You told me that's why gunluggers always have to fuck everyone in the camp before a fight. Or at least that's what they always say when they're,” she narrowed or hardened her eyes "walking out the door."

"No, it's....see...” Vonk the Sculptor drank deep from a cracking Astro-Boy mug seething with Iron Bru and precontamination scotch “when tomorrow happens—when the radbaked tiles of the hardhold are awash in biking blood—you may need my help.”

“I know,” said Char “I accept that.”

“Yes, but…in order to help you I will need to roll+Hx (5). That is: the stat that records how much History we have.”

“That’s fine. That’s the way things go in this Apocalypsed World. I’ve made my peace with it,” a gecko crawled through the bent nest of black cables meshing the weathered floor  “we all have.”

“But here’s the thing, Char. I already have max Hx with you—+3. If I shoot a load on your tits tonight it will reset to +1, and I’ll be that much less able to help.”

“Fuck,” said Char.

“I know, right?” said Vonk the Sculptor.

“Wait,” said Char “does tit-fucking count as sex?”

“I mean: it says ‘fucking’ in the name. And the rule says ‘If you and another character have sex, your Hx with them on your sheet goes immediately to +3, and they immediately get +1 to their Hx with you on their sheet. If that brings their Hx with you to +4, they reset it to +1 instead’.”

“Ok, but listen,” Char’s eyes went wide (but not bright because they were already quick or hard) “What if you do my tits but then—wait for it—I suck you off—oral sex, then you assfuck me. Then, yeah, your Hx resets to +1 but then it goes back up to +2, and then +3!”

“Well that’s kind of a normal day. But is that having sex three times or once?”

“Well if you’re worried we can just stop for a few minutes and watch an episode of Butt Thesis in between. That’s definitely three distinct times we had sex, then.”

“Oh, whoa. How come we didn’t think of having sex three times earlier? Why would anyone just have sex once?”

“Or any non-multiple-of-three amount of times?”

“Hey, wait. Every time my Hx resets I get more xp.”

“Oh shit.”

“Right! So we can just have sex a lot tonight and….”

“Yeah—I mean you said you were going to spend a few hours setting up caltrops and trenches and oil pits you could set on fire, but if you can just eat my pussy, then stop and have a snack, then start eating it again..what is that? 135 more times and…”

“I’ll have my stats completely maxed out before morning…”

“Wait, do I have to cum each time? ‘cause that could get…”

“There is no mention of orgasm in the rules.”

“Who wrote this game?”

(1) Angel Name Options, Apocalypse World, Pg 20:

Dou, Bon, Abe, Boo, T, Kal, Bai, Char, Jav, Ruth, Wei, Jay, Nee, Kim, Lan, Di, or Dez.
Doc, Core, Wheels, Buzz, Key, Gabe, Biz, Bish, Line, Inch, Grip, or Setter.

(2) Angel Appearance options, Apocalypse World, Pg 21:

Kind face, strong face, rugged face, haggard face, pretty face, or lively face.

Quick eyes, hard eyes, caring eyes, bright eyes, laughing eyes, or clear eyes.

Compact body, stout body, spare body, big body, rangy body, or sturdy body.

(3) Gunlugger Name Options, Apocalypse World, Pg 51

Vonk the Sculptor, Batty, Jonker, A.T., Rue Wakeman, Navarre, Man, Kartak, Barbarossa, Keeler, Grekkor, Crille, Doom, or Chaplain.
Rex, Fido, Spot, Boxer, Doberman, Trey, Killer, Butch, Fi , Flu y, Duke, Wolf, Rover, Max, or Buddy.

(4) Gunlugger Sex Move, Apocalypse World, Pg 54

If you and another character have sex, you take +1 forward. At your option, they take +1 forward too.

(5) HELP OR INTERFERE, Apocalypse World, Pg 88

When you help or interfere with someone who’s making a roll, roll+Hx. On a hit, they take +1 (help) or -2 (interfere) now. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Those Who Are Obscene


I'll do a real one later

These demons, also called Gamaliel, Obscene Ones, and divided into the succubus (female) and the incubus (male) are capable of assuming an impossibly attractive appearance and seek thereby to tempt humans, and thereby spawn half-demonic children tainted by dishonest congress.

In order to attract a succubus or incubus, a human must be willing and the prospect of intercourse must involve the mortal in a lie or broken promise. As the act progresses the creature becomes ever more monstrous. The true and final form of a succubus is a horned woman 15’ tall, its many bellies awrithe with polluted offspring, the true form of the incubus is a curled and clutching abomination with skin like an eel.

Their true names have nine letters—such as Onivistin. A succubus can only be summoned to a place on days when the number of births in that place is precisely nine times the number of murders, an incubus can only be summoned when nine genuine accidents have resulted in nine deaths of nine lovers in nine days. The summoning involves nine atrocities, nine virgins and nine weapons—one of mercury dedicated to the first planet, one of copper dedicated to the second planet, one of graphite dedicated to the third planet, one of iron dedicated to the fourth planet, one of tin dedicated to the fifth planet, one of lead dedicated to the sixth planet, one of lapis lazuli dedicated to the seventh planet, one of aquamarine dedicated to the eighth planet, and one of ice that melts as it is used dedicated to the planet that is not a planet.

Calm: 9
Agility: 4
Toughness: 9
Perception: 6
Appeal: 9
Cash: 5
Knowledge: 6

Calm Check: 9
Cards: Lovers (6), Nine of Swords

Special abilities:

Demonic: Demons don’t need to breathe or digest, don’t age, and are immune to poison, etc. and cannot be mentally controlled with psionic abilities. Animals will avoid the demon in any form. Technological contrivances like firearms and explosives can hurt but never kill these demons—they must be manually decapitated, have their hearts cut out, or be dealt with by magic.

Sixth Sense: All demons are supersensitive to danger, hostile emotions and signs of past trauma or the supernatural.

Shapeshift: These demons can appear to be ordinary humans, though always with a missing finger.

Emerge from the Darkness: If unwitnessed, Gamaliel may step into any shadow in the city where they are summoned and reappear through any other in the same city.

Corrupt Eye: A single look from one of these demons will cause a pregnant woman to give birth to nine children in total over nine years. Each will despise the others. If she has more than nine already, the others will die—if she has nine precisely, she will serve the demon for nine years.


The holy symbols of any faith causes a demon to make a Calm check or flee until they are out of sight. The intensity of the calm check is equal to the degree of fervor of whoever is wielding it (1-9). In the case of an incidentally encountered symbol (a glimpsed church steeple, for instance) the intensity is 2.

Touching a holy symbol, including holy water, does damage to a demon as an ordinary physical attack.

Speaking the true name of demon causes it great pain, and the creature must make a Calm Check against the speaker’s Calm each round to avoid obeying the attacker.

Those Who Are Obscene are always missing a finger in any form.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Toy Museum

Really,  you wonder, how haunted can a doll be?

Very haunted, it turns out.

This is not a bunch of random internet photos--these are all from the same place, the Pollock Toy Museum in London, where I just was at.

In the guidebook inexplicably has a "recommended for children" beanie next to it but that is wrong and insane and, bonus, it is always deserted.

You give the Hermione at the counter your 12 pounds and then go in through a musty red door like it was an episode of Outer Limits.

"Oh would you like to see the toy museum????"

That's normal and not at all something from an anime where a little girls gets folded up like an origami and mailed to hell

The idea of these is really apparently that you drop the doll in the river and it washes away bad luck 
These aren't aliens.

Top Middle is totally not made of pig grease and betrayal
That is what a reasonable person does.
Not at all the queen of any damned
This bell jar was not created in 1903 by theosophists and does not have ectoplasmic containment properties
Mr Stripes is a delightful cycling cat and not going anywhere bad on his Omen/Saw trike

This is totally not the corner where bad children go

Why does this museum exist?
Left horse is totally not Linda Blair
The plasmic ghoul from the Medusa House in Vornheim is not sitting at that back table
Ha, he has fallen, it is comical
Mother what is in the chest mother?
Totally not a cannibal child

Ah, a charming souvenir

Oh hey the devil

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's Definitely A Pattern


It happened again--yet another performatively woke RPGnet dude who dogpiled onto a harassment campaign against us has been, well, take a look...

There's nothing new to say. Just the usual "I told you so".


Obviously, this is tedious but its not good ignore something like this simply because people want to keep their blogs interesting--it's a pretty shitty excuse for supporting silence about abuse.

Previously in these chronicles:



Monday, December 11, 2017

Why LotFP Is The Best Game to Play With Strangers

The logic:

1. Game system is always less important than who you play with.

2. Dungeons & Dragons is the most widely-played RPG.

3. Anyone who likes any edition of D&D should be able to understand all they need to know to play Lamentations of the Flame Princess (or any other retroclone or old-school game) in minutes and will be within a stone's throw of a premise and theme that they've already signed on to.

4. Due to the art and marketing, LotFP offends more boring people than any other game.

5. LotFP offends no interesting people.

6. Therefore if you sit down to a table with people who've agreed to play LotFP, you have screened out a larger percentage of boring people than you have by choosing any other game while still drawing players from a diverse pool due to the bar for entry--mechanically and thematically--being extremely low.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Theft and Other Demon City Notes

Demon City's Downtime system is basically a re-tool of Jeff's Party Like It's 999.

The money system is basically from FASERIP

Contacts are a combo of FASERIP's Jeff Grubb's Genius Subplot Rule and the way they work in Night's Black Agents.

Combat is 5e's advantage/disadvantage on steroids. I think Jeff may have suggested something along one of these lines once.

The Tarot thing are relatively out of nowhere I think.

Motives instead of classes is more like Vampire than anything else I can think of that I read, but still pretty much out of nowhere.

Calm is obviously like Call of Cthulhu Sanity and probably nobody would want it any other way, though I hope Downtime puts a new spin on it.

Most of the feedback has been too good to be useful. Just a lot of "I like the__! and the__!" which is nice but the sample is kind of self-selected--they're backing it so they're getting what they want. If anybody reading has anything they just thought of, hit me with it.

I'm curious about how long-term play will work. In sunday's D&D game, we thought Agnes Steelheart was just fucking dead the other day until shenanigans restored her and it was clear it hurt. I want to figure out if the stack of rewards and interrelationships Demon City creates will eventually make that happen with a PC that's around long enough, or if you just basically have to choose between horror and that level of attachment.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Things To Do With Salad and Styrofoam

So this is the Sandman:
...the Sandman is on set, starring in a Sci Fi Channel original movie. Somewhere in Hollywood.


The Sandman's cell phone has rung.

Now, Sandman's wearing a lot of make-up and a mask which make it pretty hard to put a phone to your ear. So it's on speaker.


"Hey Ela, I'm on set, what's up?"

"Can Poppy borrow the Lady Nine Bones Necklace from Arafel?"

"Uh, sure?"

"Cool, ok--have fun on set, sweetie!"

"Ok-good luck in the Maze!"

The call ends.

Sandman looks around to see the cast and crew staring, cocking its collective head.


"That was my D&D group."
So, a few weeks ago the party traveled to Hot Springs Island.

They hexcrawled their way across many hazards...
I used lettuce for the jungle

...and eventually stumbled on the remnants of an elven army cowering on a mountaintop a few miles from the great volcano.

The proud fair folk were suspicious of a party of mostly half-elves and--possibly worse--tieflings--but they camped together for the night.

They were then--of course--attacked by lizardmen. One of them hurled a globe of mutation at one of the basically totally incompetent elven princes (a second eye and then head began to emerge from the side of his neck) but the party eventually fought them off.

In the morning, the party asked the elves they'd just saved for help finding the volcano and the dragon egg inside, but, terrified, they politely begged off and hiked out into the jungle.

Agnes Steelheart burned with contempt at their cowardice "Good luck with your extra face, loser!"
Also, somewhere along the line the party picked up two things:

1. Smudge the elf thief who sucks at rolling dice

2. 11 doses of a potion form Hot Springs Island that makes "the body and mind forget the last hour"

Also the cleric was drinking a lot of wine.

This lead to the following situation no less than three times:

Agnes Steelheart would get really pissed at how useless Smudge was in a fight.

Agnes would be like "Ugh! Men! Useless!"

Agnes would get knocked out and be almost dead (and, in one case, actually dead).

Agnes would awake to find Smudge the elf thief who sucks at rolling dice standing over her feeding her this potion, feeling fine but having no idea how she got there and not remembering any of the dice rolls that made her disgusted with Smudge the elf thief who sucks at rolling dice and thinking he was pretty cool. For now.
So anyway just before this session I was trying to think how I'd write up this ruined temple they came upon and I was also like I need a muffin.

So I got in the elevator and there were three people and one of them had a big box with styrofoam sticking out.

"Hey," (lightbulb) "is that box all packing material?"

"Uh...." they thought I was going to yell at them about the environment "yeah?"

"Can I have it?"

So then I threw it together with some stuff I already had and proceeded to build a Temple of Mariyah on the kitchen table...
(Complete with the stryofoam head as the remains of a colossal sculpted head of Mariyah)

 I got pretty into it. I made a whole key of the secrets hidden under all the rocks and crannies.

I was fucking prepared...

...but you know how players are, spending all that work on something pretty much guarantees they'll be like "This looks scary, let's go fart in a pumpkin".

But, luckily, it went over...
(You can hear me yelling at them to shut up and enjoy it on this clip here).

Even better, though, there was a massive, brutal fight with a near tpk. The serpentmen had a hydra that almost bit everyone's head off until Arafel used the 9 Bones Necklace to get possessed by the Blue Medusa.

So we solved the Who Would Win In A Fight Between Medusa and Hydra question the Greeks somehow never got around to answering.


Then Medusa will then be like "Where am I?" because she wasn't the one who decided to possess this tiefling and then wander in a random direction (roll 40k scatter dice) and...oh dear...look right at one of those reflective pillars.
 Notch off one more dose of Rewind Potion.

Anyway it was a fun game. The cleric of Mariyah kept staring dazzled at the temple

"I love you, Zak."

"You take nine damage."