It’s that time again my friends. Venger Satanis has a new Kickstarter and this time I am doing my second Cha’alt signal boost. Do you tire of bored pastiches of Middle-Earth with it’s obsessive focus on detail and common sense? Do you want a world of desert rather than a world of tired forests and grasslands? How about a world of Science fantasy? Maybe even Post Apocalyptic with a the slimy leavings of Lovecraftian Monstrosities? Perhaps you desire Pop culture insanity with the option of having sleazy sexy adventures? Well I must say that this Kickstarter is for Book 3 of the Cha’alt trilogy looks awesome, I mean just look at the badass artwork for the cover. I hope that my audience finds the willpower to push past Venger’s nonsense in order to experience the gloriousness of Cha’alt. Oh and hey I guess I am getting more than a post out a month. Signal ends…
“Then, during the Third Reconciliation of the Last of the Meketrex Supplicants, they chose a new form for him, that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zulls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar that day, I can tell you!“―Vinz Clortho
Through out the multiverse there are countless races, creatures and beings that raise the question of their limit in form and function. Ultimately no being has ever escaped the wrath of the mighty Sloar. Sloars are interplanar beings often commanded and bred by eldritch gods and chaotic magicians. An ancient creature born in the maelstrom depths of Khaos and raised on the remains of the last multiverse. They are strong enough to hold the essence of a lesser god, Sloars live for millennia and grow for the majority of their lives. Countless races have worshipped the Sloar, those who haven’t suffer the consequences.
Sloar OSR Monster Stats
Save: Lvl 18 Fighter
Heat Beam: 3d10
Warning none of this has been playtested and I just made it on a whim.
“From the dawn of time we came; moving silently down through the centuries, living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering; when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.” – Tak Ne A.K.A. Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez
So I should mention that I am a pretty big fan of Highlander and it’s live action television series. Since I have been pretty young I have been enamored with Immortality. My favorite iteration of an Immortal character is Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. The fact that an Immortal get’s to experience history and take part in it is fascinating to me. Now that I have been acquainted with The Free Kriegspiel Revival I figured I would start working on a game for it. Shall we begin…
Creating a character
- Roll 3d6 drop the lowest for the attributes of Strength, Agility, Sagacity and Mysticism. If you roll a 8 or higher your immortal has an above average ability. If you roll a 2-4 that ability is poor in quality. Finally if you roll a 5-7 your ability is average. Depending on your roll in each attribute add a good or bad descriptor for each Mysticism allows for the expression of the magical powers that are seen in the first movie and by Cassandra in the Live Action TV Series.
- Decide how old your Character was when they had their First Death.
- Work with your Referee to decide when and where the game takes place and where your character originated.
- Roll 3d10 to determine the last 3 digits in the year your immortal was born. If you roll 241 it could be that your character was born in 1241 BC, 1241 AD, 241 AD, or even 5241 BC. Further you can rearrange the digits in any order you’d like. Referees are well within their right to change how old your immortal is if it doesn’t fit their game. Furthermore you can also play a latent or new immortal. If you play a Latent Immortal you will have to play out your first death and eventual finding of an Immortal Mentor.
- Establish one to three occupations per century of life.
- Establish one to three Historical events that your character took place in (or was responsible), if applicable for each century of life.
If you are playing this game with a group I would advise you to establish ties between the Immortal characters involved. Rivalries, Friendships, Hi-jinks (and assuming group comfort level Romances). Assuming you play a duet/one on one game I highly recommend creating a wide and varied cast of Mortal and Immortal NPCs.
Example Character –
Name: Alaric Roth
Chronological Age: 379
Physical Age: Late 20s
Birthplace: Brandenburg, Holy Roman Empire
Hair Color: Red
Skin Color: Caucasian
Eye Color: Green
Date of Birth: February 28th, 1642 AD
Date of First Death: October 11th, 1670 AD
Strength – Athletic
Toughness – Tough
Sagacity – Learned
Mysticism – Magical
Antiquarian Arts Dealer
Historical Facts about this character
- Met Stede Bonnet, Blackbeard and Anne Bonny and Mary Read as a Pirate in the Carribean
- Fought in The American revolutionary War
- Was a Doctor in the American Civil War
- Was a British Officer in WW1
- Was a member of MI6 in WW2
- Was a spy for The CIA in the Cold War
Say yes or roll the dice.
The Referee is all
Play the world
When it comes down to it Immortals are hyper competent individuals with tons of experience. So when playing I recommend to allow whatever the player wants his character to do (Within reason!) or make them roll dice to see the outcome
Dice are rolled using 1d20. The roll is ultimately adjudicated by the referee based on a characters background and established occupations
Some final notes –
Highlander is about epic action, drama, adventure and tragedy through the lens of Immortal Men and Women from across human history. Don’t feel afraid to fudge some facts about a particular time or place if it is just a flashback. If you are playing in a historical timeframe I highly recommend watching tv shows, movies or reading books dealing with that time. But above all else you should strive to capture the spirit of a particular time and place. For example New York in the 1920s could be about Immortal adventure amidst the Harlem Renaissance or it could be about the criminal dealings and corrupt cops of the Prohibition. The Earth is figuratively your oyster. So remember in the end, there can be only one.
I have seen more than a few folks online up in arms at Wizards changing how they handle alignment. The basic idea is that WotC is going to change alignment in the upcoming revision of D&D so that among other things Alignment for Monsters will be more of a guideline. Which to be honest it always has been, but if people need that to be clearer I don’t mind the change.
What follows is my interview with the game designer and artist who runs Simian Circle Games singlehandedly. He has been working on Far Away Land since 2013 and has released 7 books and his Kickstarter is funding for his 8th. The shout out will follow after the interview.
Question 1: How did you get started in tabletop RPGs?
Red Box D&D. Might have been the greatest moment of my childhood until Christmas two years later when I got an NES. I had a friend who had some D&D books prior to me getting the Mentzer Basic box and I knew some older kids who played and I knew there were these weird dice. I actually tried to make my own dice by letting Play Doh dry so I could carve numbers in it. Didn’t really work. I was really hooked at that point and have been since.
Question 2: What were your influences for FAL?
1980s pop culture is the main influence. MotU. GI-Joe. Thundarr. Transformers. Bravestarr. Inhumanoids. Most ‘80s cartoons in that vein. Comics, specifically Marvel. D&D of course. Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion. Greek and Norse Mythology.
Question 3: How did you develop such an amazing art style? For me the art makes me remember how I felt when I first got started with D&D 4e in 2009. In other words it makes me nostalgic.
Ha. Thanks. I just wanted to do something simple and playful and colorful. Honestly, I feel like so much of what is out there today, while fantastic art way beyond my skill, just doesnt stand out – at least for me. A lot of rpg art just feels the same. I wanted to do something that I felt was distinct and really fit the flavor of what I was aiming for. I don’t think realism was the path for FAL. I really do see the art as a literal interpretation of the FAL universe. I also hate uber armor and highly detailed everything. I look at old miniatures from places like Ral Partha and I love the simplicity.
Question 4: How well does FAL work with small groups of 1 GM and 1 – 2 players?
I’ve run games with just me as GM and a single player. I feel like it does fine. I think the deadliness of the game lends itself to a larger group though, 3 or 4 players is a sweet spot.
Question 5: Star Wars or Star Trek?
Young me would have said Star Wars. Older me really loves certain things about each of those universes. I have equal love for them at this point. I will say that Jean Luc Picard is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and sort of a moral hero to me.
Question 6: If you had a way to go to Far Away Land what would you want to do and what race would you be?
I would be an orka. I would fight against the tyranny of mechanized oppressors. Later I would become more extreme in my views on technology and its negative impact on the world. Maybe found an anti-tech cult and live somewhere remote. Spend time in nature. Oh, wait, you said Far Away Land?
Question 7: Your game is very similar to OSR rules, so what were your inspirations for the rules?
I just wanted a super simple set of rules with a tri-stat system and very little math. Old school stuff was an inspiration for sure, particularly AD&D and B/X. Those are the games I grew up with and still love. I also like the feeling in gameplay that something grand is always on the line – namely PC death is always a possibility. It gives weight to the experience, a sense of meaningful risk taking. I didn’t want FAL PCs to be overpowered. I don’t like power gaming and rules lawyers and constant fiddling with mechanics during play. I want to participate in a story and see how it emerges through play. I also rarely play anything seriously – I prefer when everything is a laugh fest with jokes and ridiculous behavior. The world is serious enough as is.
Question 8: Pancakes or Waffles?
Question 9: What is your favorite movie?
Being There starring Peter Sellers – I really love that movie.
Question 10: What is your favorite TV show
That’s tough. One show I go back to again and again is Star Trek The Next Generation. I’ve probably seen the entirety of the show six or seven times. Well, maybe season 3 onward. Oh, True Detective, the first season/story – I really loved that.
Question 11: What were your artistic influences and do you plan to show people how you make your art?
Salvador Dali. Max Ernst. Frank Frazetta. Boris Vallejo. Mike Mignola. Heironymous Bosch. Jeff Dee. Tom Wham. Moebius. Larry Elmore. Erol Otus. HR Giger. Steve Ditko. Jack Kirby. Zdzislaw Beksinski. There are a ton of artists I really admire. If I had loads of money I would have every inch of my wall space covered in these folks.
I’ve done some videos on YouTube where I draw. I feel like it’s such an easy style to emulate. At some point I would like to put out an art book – probably art of Far Away Land.
Question 12: If you had any words for beginner game designers what would they be?
Start simple. Work modularly. Know what you want from conflict resolution. Be organized. Get feedback from others. I went to a talk with a game designer once and he said design for existing systems. I think that is great advice if you want to sell.
Question 13: After this kickstarter is over do you plan for any other expansions or other supplements?
I do. Planet Skar which is like a Mad Max inspired world. I also want to do a book about the various spheres and their histories/denizens. I want to make it ultra gonzo and a bit darker. I’m currently working on a FAL comic about a detective. It’s written by a friend of mine. I’m excited for it.
Question 14: I recall there being a free pdf for FAL where you play as humans from earth who end up getting transported to FAL. Whatever happened to it?
I need to look. I think that took place in Seattle? Maybe? I didn’t write that adventure and I forget who did. Ill see if I have a copy and if so make it available on the site…
And so ends my interview with Dirk Stanley and Creator of Far Away Land the RPG. As mentioned Dirk currently has a Kickstarter going to expand the Far Away Land setting into space and planets beyond the one of the original game. Oh and one of the really neat selling points for me is the evocative artwork from the games.
The Kickstarter for this new core book for FAL is called Far Away Land: Adventures in the Materiosphere and it is running until October 20th at 7 AM CDT.
I will go more in-depth when I review Far Away Land Tome of Awesome in a few days.
However if you are so inclined hop on this Kickstarter here you go!
I have recently made a post about my interest in two games based on the Ancient Astronaut Theory. So in order to make the 3rd part of the series I am writing this Kickstarter Shout Out. Regardless of that aside let’s get onto the shout out proper.
Do you want a science fantasy setting that mixes in equal measures Zecharia Sitchin’s work, H.P. Lovecraft’s stories, and Sumerian Mythology? Then hop on this Kickstarter, I recommend doing so soon as it has 1 week left on the campaign.
Now onto the basic idea of the game. In the distant reaches of earth’s past is a world of technological wonder spurred on by aliens from a planet in the distant reaches of our binary solar system. Yes it turns out that the planet Nibir orbits around a second sun, and that the inhabitants known as the Annunaki created humanity to serve as workers to mine gold for their planet Nibir’s survival. Nibir orbits our solar system in a 3,600 year long elliptical orbit. As to the game itself it takes place 25,000 years in our past and 30,000 years after the Great Flood. Earth in this world is known as the planet of Ki. Further the tech level of the game is a mixture of bronze age and high tech stuff like flying Vimanas, Ray Guns, Space Ships, Staves that allow you to speak with people across vast distances, computers and etc. Another neat thing is that psychic powers exist and that if a character dies they can come back as a ghost. The game can take place anywhere on Ki (Earth) but the core book and the supplement focus on the Middle-East and Africa respectively.
There are 5 different species or I suppose the better term would be sub-species, but I digress. The species for this game are as follows, Adamu (Modern Humanity’s Ancestors), Balu (Subterranean dwelling miners who are basically like Pygmies of our earth but with some fanciful imaginings), Enkidu (8-10 foot tall furred Humanoids who in our time would be known as Sasquatch or Yeti), Gurmah (Effectively Giants), and the Mahdi (Elongated Headed, Arrogant, and long lived Humans). Characters in this game are based on playing a caste that your character was trained in from the age of 8-18. Caste is more than just a profession, it is the basis for your character moral basis, social status, a fraternity of peers, and your character’s very beliefs. Castes can not be changed lightly, however it is possible to change caste if a player insists. The Castes that are available the Lagaru (Healer), Naru (Entertainer), Garradum (Soldier), Irhandi (Psionicist), Dubsar (Scribe) Shidim (Builder), and Barbaru (Barbarian). Each of these castes has access to different skills. Any skill can be learned through trial and error however. The System functions using just a single d12 with tasks being an attribute or skill that you roll under to succeed.
One of the issues with this game is that as well built the setting is, there are no pronunciation guides. And oh gods does the book use different words for everything in this world. This however is only a minor gripe for me. Another thing that might be a little off putting is the fact that it focuses on theories about Ancient Astronauts or pulp literature. I however am not offended by that and this is a series about Ancient Astronaut games and ideas, so if you are offended, I’m not sure why you would read this series. If you are not okay with games that take place in cultures that aren’t written by a native of that culture, then you will not enjoy this.
If any of this interests you I highly recommend you get your money ready to pledge to the Ankur: Kingdom of The Gods Revised 2e.
Now as of late I have been getting more interested in the pseudo archaeological science fiction that is Ancient Aliens and Chariots of the Gods. However let me preface this by saying I do not believe a wit of the “evidence” that Ancient Aliens theorists dream up. When it comes to science fiction and science fiction RPGs it is a topic of keen interest for me. The Stargate franchise is probably one of my favorite settings. As for the TTRPG hobby there are two games that have held a severe interest in my imagination lately. First there is Baroque Space Opera a Fate Core RPG Setting. Then there is the original indie TTRPG called Ankur – Kingdom of The Gods. In the following paragraphs I will give a brief summary of these two games.
Baroque Space Opera a Space Opera RPG setting for Fate Core. Here is the basic idea of this setting, in the distant past an immortal tyrant ruled over subservient humans and alien outsiders. This empire has lasted for 149,000 years separated into 5 distinct eras. The setting is based on things like Lexx, The Metabarons, Dune and Farscape as well as the ancient astronaut theory. I highly recommend it.
Ankur – Kingdom of The Gods. A science fantasy setting based on Sumerian myth, ancient history, pulp sci-fi, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory. Imagine Earth 25,000 years in our past, it is a world of prehistoric monsters, aliens from the planet Nibir, gold mines, flying saucers, swords, and ray-guns. A world where you can rub shoulders with yeti porters, pygmy couriers, Neanderthal warriors, and cone headed scribes.
If either of these games interest you I will provide links to purchase them or in the case of Ankur to kickstart it’s 2nd edition.
I had an idea earlier today that I think provides precedent for the excessive commonality of gold in potential fantasy campaign settings. So the idea consists of some ideas I’ve run across when reading the craziness of the ancient astronaut theory. Primarily the idea that the ancient aliens that were the gods of Humanity came to earth to mine gold because of it’s use for them. By the by this is talked about in the books by Zecharia Sitchin. Further I do not believe anything in these books or the theory of Ancient Astronauts.
However onto the idea at hand. In a D&D fantasy world lets assume that an alien race such as Aboleths or Serpent Folk colonized the fantasy world and enslaved humans and demi-humans. What if the reason so much gold exists is because this D&D world takes place in the distant past of earth. Henceforth the amount of gold that exists in potentially only there because D&D takes place hundreds of thousands or even millions of years in the past of the current day. This idea dovetails nicely with the popularity of Conan the Barbarian and his Hyborian Age setting by the pioneers of D&D. Anyways I just thought this was a neat idea.
Thanks you for reading.
This Conclave is Adjourned.
Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of posts, I’m not that great at being consistent with regular posts as you may have noticed. Anyways I figured I’d signal boost four Kickstarters that are currently ongoing.
- Chromatic Dragons by Rod Waibel – This here is an OSR game that aims to be more diverse and inclusive for modern gamers. Honestly this game although being quite similar to many other OSR games, I feel it will be a gateway for D&D 5e and Pathfinder 2e players to join the OSR. If you are at all interested in gaining new blood for the OSR hop over to the Kickstarter ASAP.
- Heroes of Tara Player’s Guide for D&D 5e – If you are at all interested in Irish Celtic Mythology and D&D 5e I highly recommend jumping on board this Kickstarter.
- DCC Dying Earth – Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, OSR D&D Rules. If you want to adventure on the picaresque vistas of a far future Dying Earth get on this. And if you have never read anything Dying Earth, what are you doing?! Go get the books, read them and then pledge this Kickstarter. But you better hurry because this Kickstarter is over on July 21st. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/devillich/dcc-dying-earth
- Astonishing Sorcerers & Swordsman of Hyperborea 3e – Sadly I do not have the beautiful rule books for this game, but Swords & Sorcery Weird Science Fantasy RPG with a neat AD&D 1e Chassis. Yes Please! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeffreytalanian/hyperborea-3e
For as much as I get riled up by Pseudo-leftists making a mockery of liberalism, I feel it might be important to note something. I am in the corner as an ally for LGBTQIA people. If anyone is upset about that all I have to say is…