Thursday, May 7, 2020

Nephilidia! Win Stuff! Correct Walpole Languray Contest!

As you may know if you keep up with The Store, Nephilidia is up! This one took a while to collate...
I tried to do an Ian Miller old man tree monster but it just looks like a guy
trying to give you pills at an Electric Wizard show

So decadent are the vampire lords of Nephilidia that they fear equally the sun, the sea, dry land, and, indeed any surface not hewn by an intelligent hand. Distinguishable from ordinary vampires by the gills on their necks and their glassy blue eyes, they prefer to travel via subterranean aqueducts, sewers, or other shallow, watertight, artificial constructions.

Most prefer never to leave their half-drowned empire of Nephilidia. Inside its tarnished palaces and rotting halls they sit--forever knee-deep in black and stagnant water, with strange algaes stretched like cobwebs from the surface to the once-ornate walls and crumbling statuary--endlessly elaborating cruel and languid intrigues, attended by naught but eyeless fish.

Nephilidia once had another name, and another before that, but now it is only Nephilidia—the sun’s weakened gleam silhouetting nothing but immense sea spiders and the scaffolds of illegible, unmoving machines rusting in snow and the enormous moon, in its turn, describing only the charcoaled surfaces of black-armored knights and the pale of their ghost-colored steeds.

This 23-page pdf includes a hexmap, random encounter tables for the sea, snow, and ruins, Nephilidian dungeon generator, map of the last palace, stats, items and lots more. 12$, 15$ if you use Onlyfans. Details on how to buy in The Store

I realized while putting this together that the entire idea for Nephilidia came from this Sutherland image from the 1e Dungeon Master's Guide...
So I homaged it...
(this was my third attempt)
Anyway though I'm happy with Nephilidia, I realize for some of you in this Covid-economy it may be too pricey, so I am once again offering....

A Contest

So, as you know, Into The Odd's Chris McDowall runs the OSR discord server and, last year, I guess to enable the harassment campaign against me and LotFP? He changed the rules to allow lying on the server.

So in addition to the usual lunacy, we regularly get gems like this, about the various sections of Maze of the Blue Medusa, drawn and painted by me and written by Patrick Stuart and I...
So here's the contest:

Answer the following trivia questions about Maze of the Blue Medusa in the comments:

1) Name anything from Maze of the Blue Medusa that was Patrick Stuart's idea

2) Name anything from Maze of the Blue Medusa that was Zak Smith's idea

3) Who conceived of- and wrote most of- The Gallery section of Maze of the Blue Medusa with its ill-behaved Cannibal Critics and their absurd questions?

4) Who conceived of- and wrote most of- The Garden in Maze of the Blue Medusa with its creepy eroticized plants?

5) What major change was made by one author of Maze to the Garden section? By which author?

6) Who conceived of- and wrote most of- The Wedding section of Maze of the Blue Medusa?

7) Who was the personality of the Medusa based on? Who decided that?

8) Who was the personality of the naked girl who destroys everything she touches based on? Who decided that?

9) Who was the physical model for the painting of the Blue Medusa?

10) Who invented the chameleon women?

You can find the answers to these questions by fact checking. That is: reviewing public statements and interviews by me and Patrick, by asking Patrick (he has a blog, I hear), or figuring them out by looking at the answers in the comments when I tell people they're wrong and how warm or cold they are. I mean, you can just guess until you get it right if you're dedicated.

First person to get all the questions right wins!

Winner gets a copy of any pdf of any one RPG thing I wrote--except Nephilidia, because I just finished and it took a long time and I'm not ready to be giving it away yet.

Second chance:

If you want a pdf but can't afford one and don't win the contest, you can get one by contacting Wapole Languray on discord (on the OSR server or anywhere else) and conveying the correct answers to them, with a screenshot.


Zak Sabbath said...

@Deleted anon

No anonymous comments allowed
No first-strike personal attacks allowed

Zak Sabbath said...

@2nd Deleted Anon

No anonymous comments

But thanks for the info

Simon Tsevelev said...

So I tried to find the answers, found a PS&ZS interview about the Maze. Didn't find any answers, but fuck, was it fascinating reading.
Loved the final advice for people who write their own adventures.
Good stuff.

Zak Sabbath said...

@ Семен Цевелев


Zak Sabbath said...

@Erased anon

1. No anonymous comments allowed
2. No lying in the comments (fact-checking is not harassment)
3. If you want to know why I don't contact the mistaken person myself, ask Chris McDowall

AndAbettin said...

Alright, bear with me. I did as much checking of blogs as my brain would allow but both authors have incredibly long blogs, so I'm likely wrong about most things.

1) Name anything from Maze of the Blue Medusa that was Patrick Stuart's idea

If I have inferred correctly, the golden machine and the wedding.

2) Name anything from Maze of the Blue Medusa that was Zak Smith's idea

The removal of anything Terry Pratchett-esque, or if that doesn't do it for you, the re-addition of the sexy blind girls with Medusa.

3) Who conceived of- and wrote most of- The Gallery section of Maze of the Blue Medusa with its ill-behaved Cannibal Critics and their absurd questions?

Look there's a lot of critical reading to do but a post on False Machine describes a pair of crowned figures and he says he made them cannibals, so I'm going to go with Patrick.

4) Who conceived of- and wrote most of- The Garden in Maze of the Blue Medusa with its creepy eroticized plants?

Since Patrick Stuart seems to have done much of the writing, I'm going to say Patrick

5) What major change was made by one author of Maze to the Garden section? By which author?

Since from the blog post I get the sense that Patrick did much of the writing and Zak did a lot of editing, I'll say Zak made the change but I couldn't say what it was.

6) Who conceived of- and wrote most of- The Wedding section of Maze of the Blue Medusa?

I'm going to guess Patrick based on that one blog post I read.

7) Who was the personality of the Medusa based on? Who decided that?

Patrick says he made Medusa a bit too much like Zak, so Zak and then Patrick.

8) Who was the personality of the naked girl who destroys everything she touches based on? Who decided that?

If she's the super-invulnerable girl that bleeds time, then Mandy.

9) Who was the physical model for the painting of the Blue Medusa?

I have looked through so many blog posts and checked so many vendor websites and I just can't find it. At a guess I'd say maybe Stokely but I don't really have much basis for that.

10) Who invented the chameleon women?

I have no idea, I can't find that in all the blog posts I've looked at. Can I guess? I'm going to guess Zak.

EoN said...

Reading an interview I get a feeling like the moral of the story is that neither you nor Patrick are SOLELY responsible for any one particular thing. You did the art and then everything else is mutual collaboration. Might be wrong tho, it has been a long day.

Zak Sabbath said...


While that has -some- truth to it, the ideas in the questions have straightforward answers, they aren't trick questions.


1. Yes

2. "Removal" doesn't count, nor does "re-addition". Name something I invented

3. Correct: It was Patrick's idea to make that section a gallery, Patrick's idea to make the Cannibal Critics, Patrick's idea to make them ask stupid questions and, in general, to make them satires of art critics or of criticism in general. My input one this section (other than drawing it) was mainly to improve the design that underpinned the concept so that, for example, the painting that destroys another painting --in Patricks original--was right next to its "enemy" painting. Which meant there was no chance the party would see the paint slide off the artwork and then have to follow it through the halls to see what it was doing. I also invented the reasons for the cannibalism: the time magic that preserves the art by speeding up time and so making everyone hungry.

4. Correct. Patrick saw there was a bunch of plant monsters in the drawing, read some Baudelaire, and decided to make the plants disturbing erotic metaphors. That was all him.

5. You'll have to guess.

6. Yes. I made some major change to the machine's aesthetics to make it fit, if I recall, but the idea of a wedding, aurum spectres, that was Patrick.

7. Yes: Patrick created the Medusa's personality and based her on me.

8. It is based on Mandy. But the second part of the question is: who decided that?

9. Yep, from the same set of poses:

10. Yep.

First person who can fix the mistakes and missing answers gets the prize.

Saci said...

As someone that is running this maze right now, This contest is being great for me to know more about its creative process. I’ll not try to guess anything, because I don’t really care for who did what specifically, all of the content are great, not perfect, but very creative and original, nonetheless. Kudos to you and Patrick on the matter, even with Patrick don’t talking about it and accepting any of the praise it deserves personally. I have a question, though, because I don’t remember of seeing any other reference of that inside the book yet. Wh the hell is Picata Pleshenka? Thanks!

Zak Sabbath said...


I think Picata was the name of the Loving Lich from an earlier draft. The name is definitely a Patrick coinage.

Saci said...

Cool, thanks. This gave me an idea.

Zak Sabbath said...


What's the idea?

Saci said...

I'm thinking of expanding the plot of the loving lich to something more, Like using Pleshenka as a part of him, extracted from, or cloned of him, that fixated on the Medusa instead of the sister torn. he could be some kind of experiment made by the See me no more, like Xanthoceras younger human version clone, or something. And he is trapped somewhere inside or outside the maze, and could help, or not, the party.

Zak Sabbath said...


One thing I did a lot was the opposite: reducing the number of characters and connecting them to each other, because Patrick wrote a lot of his original ideas months (maybe years?) apart and so often didn't remember one idea was like another and the dungeon could be a lil incoherent--or at least less coherent than it needed to be.

Saci said...

yes, thats makes sense. There are really a lot of characters in the maze as it is. I like to change or expand some of what the players has come to see, because I know that they will not explore a lot of it, so I kind of like to create some stuff to them if they want to know. Like, they became curious about the pleshenka character. With that I can come up with something to explore if they want to,

Penny Dreadful said...

1) As oddly specific as it is, Mr. Stuart claims responsibility for a lack of explicit sex. Characters still express sexual desire, but a stated goal of Mr. Stuart was that “none of [the “hot girls”] get laid.”

2) Zak ensured that the Maze operate in three dimensions, operate on the z-axis, rather than being a series of rooms and corridors.

3) Mr. Stuart designed the gallery and its “CRITICS!! CRITICS!! CRITICS!! THEY ARE CANNIBALS!! ALL OF THEM!!”, as he referenced in Caphtor Clowe’s fictional interview for the Golden Teat.

4) Mr. Stuart seems to have taken much inspiration over years specifically from Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil, including for The Garden.

5) Wild guessing is necessary on my part here, but I can see Zak suggesting the Vineway Access. The intersection of helpful to players, confusing to players, visually evocative, Alice-ish, and non-linearity feels like a Zak touch.

6) Mr. Stuart mentions working out what happened in the Wedding.

7/8) Mr. Stuart mentions he (unintentionally, at least at first, it seems) based the two most prominent characters in the art (Psathyrella and Chronia, the medusa and maiden) on Zak S. and Mandy Morbid, respectively.

9) The original painting which became the Blue Medusa was a portrait of Charlotte Stokely that had transformed into something of a self-reflective scene of cold imprisonment.

10) This too I failed to find a source for, but my money would be on Zak. Given his propensity for female characters, well-placed color, and odd reptiles, Chameleon Women would be his bag.


*I’d have loved to use this very blog for research, but for some reason I get the blogspot content warning loop glitch on my laptop, and did not wish to write this on my phone.*

Zak Sabbath said...


Nice job! All correct or at least acceptable except 5....but actually I can't -remember- if I invented Vineway Access or not so I'll give it to you....

The major change I made to The Garden that I was thinking was:

-I made it less rapey. The original had the plants doing -stuff- to the players that seemed unnecessary and not fun in ply even for players who wouldn't be sensitive to it. I also added something like a a content warning.

TO PENNY: Let me know which pdf you want and the email address you want it sent to:

Also to fix the content warning loop you can avoid Chrome or clear cookies and update, etc.


You can get a free pdf by conveying these correct answers to Walpole and screencapping yourself doing it.