2022, Politics, Tabletop RPGs, Uncategorized

The Fate of Tekumel for me as a Fan

I am a huge fan of tekumel and the knowledge that has been released has really made me upset. Basically Professor M.A.R. Barker wrote a Neo-nazi fiction book published by the same publisher of the turner diaries as well as served as an editorial lead for a Holocaust Denialism journal. I fell in love with Tekumel and it’s intricate and fascinating cultures, nations, alien species, and of course it’s 30,000 year history. So when I discovered this news it really has shaken me to my core. I quite honestly am shocked and appalled by this turn of events. Honestly my road of learning about Tekumel and collecting the books has been really tarnished. Hopefully The Tekumel foundation can help with this massive loss and make sure that Tekumel is honored not for it’s awful creator but instead as an imaginative and creative work. Anyways I figured I should chime in on this seeing as how I call myself The Witch-King of Tsámra on the interwebs and as a huge fan of Tekumel.

For reference –



The Game VS the Brand

I just thought I would share this here. I agree with this guys points very much. Ultimately though I did start playing TTRPGs with D&D 4e. Anyways consider it food for thought.

Grumpy Wizard

A particular issue has invaded my thoughts over the last year. That issue is the direction that the Wizards of the Coast is taking the Dungeons and Dragons brand.

I’m reluctant to write about it. I make an effort to avoid the controversy of the week as it overflows its banks, flooding the internet with stinky thinking.

I don’t need the distraction. I’m very good at distracting myself from my work without any help.

What is Dungeons and Dragons for?

For me, D&D the game is about creating fantastic worlds, imagining deeds worthy of song and legend, and experiencing memorable moments with my friends. The words in the books, the maps, the character sheets, the play at the table… That’s Dungeons and Dragonsthe game.

As far as WotC, Hasbro and its investors are concerned, they have a different answer to the question “What is D&D for?” To make…

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2021, Fiction, Tales of Gor

Rosa – a Gor Flash Fiction Written by NHart4

What follows is something written by a friend of mine over on discord. We will hopefully be working on more Gor content on this blog. Anyways here it goes.

The kajirae danced with a flowing sensualism that inhabited both passionate abandon and expert control. The hips slid and glided beneath taught, writhing stomachs. One’s eyes were drawn up the torso to the slave’s naked breasts, bobbing ornaments upon her perspiring chest. A slink of the shoulders would bring your gaze to her arms, which beckoned and pushed and moved through space like breath. A hand would be brought up to push up a sweep of her hair, or across another kajira’s waist. And if a man was bold, or lonely, he could look upon her inscrutable face. Aloof, inviting, completely vulnerable yet on a different plane. Degraded and exalted. A goddess for hourly sale.

Perhaps it was the wine, but there was one girl in particular I could not take my eyes off of. She had neck length curly black hair and reddish brown skin. She wore, like the other slaves, nothing more than a collar, bracelets, a thin, long scarlet silk loincloth and bells on her feet. Her features were striking, with a distinctive bridged nose and long facial lines running from her cheek bones to her jaw. Maybe she had noticed me staring, and wanted to make a sale for her master. I noticed the smallest hint of a smile and she turned her back to me and began winding her body down to the floor, barely looking over her shoulder in my direction.

I stepped closer.

“Have I caught your eye?” she murmured.

My heart was racing. I nodded.

“I had hoped so. Mine were on you since you came into this tent.”

For a moment I almost believed her. There was something so magnetic to her, almost familiar, like I had known her in another life.

“One tarsk to be my master,” she said, tilting her head, body still lightly moving to the music, “for an ahn.”

The desire and shame was too much. “Jesus christ,” I whispered to myself.

She fell out of rhythm for a moment, her eyes suddenly meeting mine in an earnestness she had not shown before.

“Rent me,” she said, in perfect English.


“What are the odds?” I laughed, bringing the paga to my lips. It felt good to be able to speak fluently.

“Insane. Insanity,” Rosa said as I passed the paga to her. We were more relaxed around each other, able to drop whatever roles we were playing. She took a sip.

“To be fair,” she said, “you’re not the only human I’ve talked to here. Actually, one of the other girls at my last tavern was from Earth, but I think she was Chinese or something. But from New York? Brooklyn? I mean god dam.”

“How did you end up here?”

“I couldn’t tell you,” she said casually. “Something like ten years ago I got blackout drunk at a friend’s birthday party. Whoever, took me home… took me here.”

“Damn. Were you scared?”

She gave a sarcastic grin. “Waking up on another planet, naked, in chains, told you were gonna be branded and sold as a ‘pleasure slave?’ Nah, not frightening in the least.”

“Alright, alright,” I blushed, “Are you ok? Can I help you somehow?”

“Not at all,” she smiled, and looked into my eyes, “You’ve been really sweet.”

“Have you thought about home at all?”

“This is home. Gor’s my home. I barely remember Bedstuy,” she sounded almost wistful, and then chuckled. “Except Bedford Ave. Is it still poppin?”

I chuckled. “No, no it isn’t,” I said.

“Hard to believe I remembered it. Dang, Will! You’re bringing all these old memories back.”

“You wouldn’t recognize it,” I tried to picture Rosa walking down the street in tight jeans and headphones, any other pretty girl trying to catch the train.

“Do you like Gor? Do you ever think about home?” she asked playfully.

“I’m going back. Somehow. I need to get home.”

“To that city? I’d rather be a coin girl.” We laughed and drank more paga.

I reclined in the warm, dimly lit tent, on the silk pillows. The hypnotic music of the musicians played in the distance, with the sound of insects, swaying as the paga’s warmth emanated from my stomach to the rest of my slowing body. “This… this is nice,” I looked at her with happiness and ease.

She seemed pleased and began sliding and crawling closer to me on the silk.

“I can make it even nicer,” she brought her face into my neck.

I stopped her.

“No, you don’t have to do that,” I said.

“How would you like me, Master?” she asked, still submissive and sensual.

“No, you don’t need to sleep with me.”

“You paid for it, didn’t you?” another wet kiss.

“But it’s not right. It wouldn’t be consensual.”

She pulled her head back a bit and looked at me with an amused curiousness.

“How long have you been on Gor?” she asked, incredulously.

“Not sure, maybe six months.”

She let a little laugh.

“Then I definitely want to do this,” she said, moving toward me again, “I don’t think I even remember what it’s like to be fucked gently.”

“No, no,” I withdrew again. I gave a nervous excuse. “I have a girlfriend… well, sort of.”

“Ohhh, I see,” she said, leaning back, “Is she back in NY?”

“No,” I said, “she’s here.”

“Hmmm,” she said, slightly concerned. “Where is she now? Hidden somewhere?”

“No… um… she was taken.”

“By slavers?”


Rosa winced in sympathy. “I’m sorry, baby,” she cooed, stroking my shoulder. 

“I’m going to save her, and we’re getting off this planet,” I stared at the ceiling.

“When is she going to be auctioned?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Well, try to get her out before the she’s branded,” she said carefully.

“Of course but, even if I don’t, I mean,” I felt my stomach tighten, “There’s gonna be more healing than just scars.”

“I meant to say… slavery is different on Gor. It can change people,” she was quiet, “Change women.”

I took many deep, long gulps of paga, trying to block out the thought of what traumas were being inflicted on my friend. I exhaled, and belched, and my gaze hazily went to the kef branded on Rosa’s thigh. Almost instinctually I reached down and ran my hand over the smooth raised scar tissue. She let out a breathy sigh at my touch and stretched her back over over my lap. I began running his hands over Rosa’s body, her stomach and legs and arms. She began writhing slowly, her eyes closed. Her nipples stiffened on her bare breasts that I didn’t dare touch. As long as I kept my hands off them, my drunken thoughts reasoned, and did not push aside that light translucent loincloth, then it was alright. 

“I wish I could save you too,” I slurred.

“No, go save your girl, hero. I’m fine here.”

“No. You…” I couldn’t find the words.

“I’m a kajira, and a whore, and a woman. All day I read, and play, and eat, and run. At night I dance and hear tales and make love. My life is beautiful.”

I laid back, my head swimming and heavy. Rosa slid up next to me and wrapped her arm and leg over my body, radiating warmth.

“You could be sold, killed…” I said.

“Death and misfortune happen on Earth, too.”

“But there… we at least control our destinies,” I could barely get it out.

Rosa kissed me on the cheek as my eyelids fell. She whispered into my ear with hot breath and affection.

“Barbarian or Gorean, you free people are naive. You think because you can own others you somehow own yourselves,” Rosa said softly as my mind slid into unconscious slumber, “We slaves know we are leaves in the wind.”

I heard only the music and her whisper.

She said, “It’s funny to us that you, in this universe, believe you have any control at all.”


My personal Appendix N

This list includes a whole swath of genres and mediums beyond the books of the AD&D 1e DMG. This will be continually updated as I find new books, games, movies or TV.


1. The Gorean Saga Books 1-5 by John Norman
2. There Will Be Time by Poul Anderson
3. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
4. Nine Princes in Amber and the other Amber Chronicles books by Roger Zelazny.
4. Man of Gold by M.A.R. Barker
5. Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft
6. The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
7. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
8. World War Z by Max Brooks
9. Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne
10. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
11. The Day of The Triffids by John Wyndham
12. Chariot of The Gods by Erich Von Daniken
13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
14. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Comic Books:

1. Promethea by Alan Moore
2. Batman: Year One
3. Super Man Red Son
4. Superman: Secret Origins
5. All Star Superman


1. The Terminator (1984)
2. Alien (1979)
3. T2: Judgement Day (1991)
4. Aliens (1986)
5. Pandorum (2009)
6. Robocop (1987)
7. Starship Troopers (1997)
8. The Bourne Trilogy (2002)
9. The Matrix Trilogy (1999-2003)
10. Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark
11. The Night of The Comet (1984)
12. A Boy and his Dog (1975)
13. Blade Runner (1982)
14. Dune (1984)
15. Dawn of The Dead (1978)
16. Day of The Dead (1985)
17. Star Wars Original and Prequel Trilogy
18. The Lord of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
19. The Mummy (1999)
20. Flash Gordon (1980)
21. The Martian (2015)

Tabletop RPGs:

1. Fate Core
2. The Invisible College
3. Lion & Dragon
4. Tunnels & Trolls
5. Rifts
6. Nightbane
7. Splicers
8. The Morrow Project
9. Incursion
10. Bureau 13
11. Conspiracy X
12. All Flesh Must Be Eaten
13. Nephilim
14. Vampire The Masquerade
15. Werewolf The Apocalypse
16. Wraith The Oblivion
17. Darwin’s World
18. Dead Reign
19. Lords of Olympus
20. Labyrinth Lord
21. Mutant Future
22. Talislanta
23. Empire of The Petal Throne
24. King Arthur Pendragon
25. Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars
26. Tales of Gor – Gorean Roleplaying
27. Barbarians of Lemuria

Dungeons and Dragons, Kickstarters for Tabletop RPGs, Lovecraft, Old School, OSR, Tabletop RPGs

Helping a guy out – Cha’alt: Chartreuse Shadows

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…

2021, Dungeons and Dragons, Old School, Tabletop RPGs

Monster Write up – The Sloar

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

AC: 2/18
HD: 14
HP: 66
#AT: 2
Save: Lvl 18 Fighter
Bite: 2d8
Claws: 2d10+4
Heat Beam: 3d10

Warning none of this has been playtested and I just made it on a whim.

2020, Free Kriegspiel Revival, Game Ideas, Tabletop RPGs

Immortal Adventures in the FKR style

“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…

Highlander Painting by Ken Meyer jr

Creating a character

  1. 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.
  2. Decide how old your Character was when they had their First Death.
  3. Work with your Referee to decide when and where the game takes place and where your character originated.
  4. 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.
  5. Establish one to three occupations per century of life.
  6. 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


Century One

Town Blacksmith



Century Two


US Marshal


Century Three



Century Four


Antiquarian Arts Dealer

Historical Facts about this character

  1. Met Stede Bonnet, Blackbeard and Anne Bonny and Mary Read as a Pirate in the Carribean
  2. Fought in The American revolutionary War
  3. Was a Doctor in the American Civil War
  4. Was a British Officer in WW1
  5. Was a member of MI6 in WW2
  6. Was a spy for The CIA in the Cold War
Alaric Roth

The Rules

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.

2021, Dungeons and Dragons, Tabletop RPGs

Upsetedness at Devils


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.

2021, Kickstarters for Tabletop RPGs, Old School, Q&A, Tabletop RPGs

Interview with Dirk Stanley, creator of Far Away Land + A Kickstarter Shout Out

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.

A Virtuoso playing a Cosmic Organ
A few of the many species in the Materiosphere to play
A Giant Space Tortoise feeding on Starlight

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!