Monday, October 9, 2017

The impracticality of the Seven Gods

1st: "The Sleeper" sounds more like the title of a Wood Allen movie than the name of a potential world builder. Sleepy's name will be changed to Luna, 'cause that'll cover it.

2nd: The impracticality: As written, none of these guys have any god-like qualities. The Seven (Dwarf) Gods,  are more of an extended family than a team of  titans. There's one responsible adult, one grumpy old man and five children. Which, now that I think about it, resembles the Greek pantheon. 

3rd: Luckily, I have just uncovered some old notes for a group of five nature gods. They are:

A u t u m n,   T h e   M o t h e r   i s   t h e   s e a s o n a l   g o d d e s s   o f   h a r v e s t   a n d   w i n d .

W i n t o n,  T h e  F a t h e r  i s  t h e  s e a s o n a l  g o d  o f  w i n t e r.  H e  i s  a s s o c i a t ed  w i t h
c o l d  w e a t h e r ,  s n o w  a n d   i c e .  E x a m p l e s  o f  W i n t o n' s  a n i m a l  a n d  p l a n t
a s s o c i a t e s   a r e   w o l v e s, bears  a n d   e v e r g r e e n   t r e e s .

G a l e,   s e a s o n a l   g o d d e s s   o f   s p r i n g,  a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h  y o u t h  a n d  f e r t i l i t y. 
H e r   p l a n t   a n d   a n i m a l   a s s o c i a t e s   i n c l u d e   f l o w e r i n g  t r e e s,  robins and sparrows.    

W e i l d e n,   s e a s o n a l   g o d   o f   s u m m e r,  a s s o c i a t e d   w i t h   y o u n g   
m a n h o o d   a n d   t h e  f r e e d o m  a n d  r e c k l e s s n e s s  o f   y o u t h .  H i s  p l a n t  
a n d  a n i m a l  associates  include  b l a c k b e r r i e s   a n d   b e e s .  

O r g  the unwise   o r   T h e   D e c e i v e r   i s   t r a d i t i o n a l l y   t h o u g h t   o f   a s   m a l e. 
Org  i s  t h e  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  o f   f e a r,  violence,  injustice  and  war.  

4th: "Org," that's a stupid name. Regardless, now we have The Seven, The Five and the Twelve Angry Gods. Let's hope they don't become angry gods!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"By the Seven!"

I have just finished reading Lin Carter's Thongor and the Wizard of Lumeria in which Thongor continually swears "By the Nineteen!" But,   other than Father Grom, none of the gods of Lumeria are ever mentioned. So, I was thinking I would research the nineteen gods of Lumeria. I know they are all documented out here on the entree-net and in the various Lumeria frpg books.

However, before I got very far with the research, I got another idea. I'll just barrow a well known group of seven fair tale characters and make them members of my pantheon. Everyone knows this group. I'll just change the names and circumstances too fit their new status as immortals and world builders. Below I have listed The Seven by their fair tale names and their new godly labels.

Bashful -- The Youth: God of adolescence, young brides and Spring.
Doc       -- The Healer: God of nature, birth, healing, health and harvest.
Dopey   --  The Dullard: God of children, addicts and the simple minded.
Grumpy -- The Elder: God of Time, change, disappointment, anger and old age.
Happy    -- Happiness: God of pleasure, celebration and Summer.
Sleepy    -- The Sleeper:  God of Winter, night, dreams, laziness and death.
Sneezy   -- The Plague: God of illness, Fall, etc.

Without their fantasy names, the origin of the Seven may remain a mystery for a while. Unless, of course, you read it on the Polyhedral Dice Bag.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Caverns of Yaw

Here's a simple little dungeon crawl I designed a few years ago. It was written for two guys who hadn't played an rpg in a while and three guys who had never played an rpg before.

This was when I was in my "Encounter Critical phase" however, Caverns of Yaw was written for Labyrinth Lord. All the monsters in the Caverns are from the Opponent Opuscule which is the Encounter Critical "compendium of creatures" written by Christian Conkle. My conversions of the opponents is simple, the overall design of Caverns of Yaw is definitely Beer and Pretzels style.

Those of you who don't have a copy of Opponent Opuscule should be able to find it at the Encounter Critical Yahoo Group. I imagine it is also available on Google Drive too (somewhere). Opponent Opuscule is full of gonzo frpg goodness and each creature has an illustration by Mr. Conkle too. The O.O. certainly expands the possibilities of Encounter Critical. As demonstrated here, the O.O. can expand the possibilities of any frpg or rpg of your choice.

I have uploaded Caverns of Yaw to my Scribd account, have at it.

The ol' blog has come out of hiding in preparation for a Labyrinth Lord game I hope to begin soon.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Now just in time for Fall: Female Character Name Generator!

I had so much fun with the RPG Character Name Generator that I made a second name generator for female player characters. We want gender equality in our RPGs as in everything else. At least, I do.

Most of the names on this generator are Celtic. I found these via the good ol' entree-net. I have posted the PDF at Scribd, of course, because it's easier for me than Google Drive.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A player character by any other name would slay as sweet.

Or, further proof that d12 is not useless.

After producing the Alternative RPG Survey, I got the idea to create this RPG Character Name Generator. I have finally finished it and stored it at Scribd for our convince. It is a series of charts to produce a first, middle and last name for characters in tabletop role playing games.

Most of the names are vaguely Nordic, Roman or Anglo Saxon with a few Spanish, modern and fantastic names too. The names are also all masculine. No offence intended, the group I designed the chart for is all male.

There is an additional chart for descriptive names, if you want your character to have a name like Able the Irritable. The last chart is just a quick d12 roll too provide catchy names like Alpa or Covfefe.

You should be able to access the chart here: RPG Character Name Generator

Lastly, I have been reading Nietzshe, off and on, for a few months. It is torture and not something I should be undertaking unless for a philosophy class. My school days have been completed for a while but I can be very heard headed about my choices of reading material.  I will just add, I am pretty sure that Lovecraft's body of work was inspired  by exposure to Thus Spoke Zarathustra. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How do you say "Hello" to a grizzly bear?

Do you quietly say hello, and anticipate his response? Do you quietly say hello and run screaming?    Well, how do ya and "How do you do?"   Hello to you grizzly bears of tabletop rpg die hards!

The rpg urge has been sneaking forward in my consciousness due to a younger generation of Gamers. I had noted that they are a bit too tied to the rule books, not a problem we often had when playing old school rpgs. So, I devised the following survey to give them some ideas about flexibility within their role-playing game settings.

While this survey may seem vague or sophomoric at first glance, I should point out that these young Gamers which I designed it for are preteens. I hope to patch together an adventure using Risus or a diceless rpg as our base mechanic.

I'll attempt to attache a link for a Google Doc, the text format of the survey is as follows.

An RPG which I would like to play other than fantasy.
Choose one option from the following lists or combine choices within the categories.

1.      The game setting would be:

Pre-Historic --  Horror --  Mystery --  Sci Fi --   Comedy  -- 1920s  Gangsters  -- The Wild West
Pirates --  Lost World Adventure (like King Kong) --  Super Heroes – Time Travel
Wizarding world of Harry what's-his-name

Combine two of the above or add your own suggestion:

2.      My character race would be:

Human – Wookie – Frankenstein – Vampire – Zombie --  Werewolf  --  Grey Alien --- Giant
Half-dragon --  Puppy, kitty or bunny --  Centaur – Klingon -- Robot or Android -- Caveman
Primate or ape -- Dinosaur  -- Godzilla -- The Hulk -- Mutant (like Ninja Turtles) -- Alien
Pok√©mon --  Other Fantasy --  Other Horror  --- Other?

 My character class would be:

Warrior -- Wizard  -- Thief or rogue -- Monk (Asian or European) – Gunslinger --  Gangsters 
Space Pirate  -- Detective – Con Man --- Scientist --- Jedi  --- Bard or Musician –
Star  Fleet Commander ---    Pioneer or Adventurer  --- Caveman – Other?

My weapon would be:

Sticks and stones ---  a sling and a club ---  a magic wand --- a gun --- a laser  gun --- magic beans
a broken bottle --- a magic lamp --- a laptop --- Fire or other element --- spider senses (mutant ability)
a musical instrument --- a magic harp --- The force --- a light saber --- other?

My vehicle would be:

A water buffalo -- a little red wagon -- Model T Ford -- a space ship -- time machine -- flying carpet --- a dragon --- a robot or android --- a unicorn ---  Mystery Machine or A Team van --- a pirate  ship ---- Other?

My companion or spirit animal would be:

Sticks and stones --- a dragon --- a robot or android --- a Wookie --- A hologram or spirit --- a pixie fairy --- a Smurf --- a pet rock ---- a parrot ---- a talking dog ---- a laptop --- Other?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sturgeon vs. Bradbury

I would be hard pressed to define classic Sci-fi Lit. any better than simply referencing Theodore (Ted) Sturgeon who was a Pulp Era Sci-fi writer and early television and film writer. Besides his pulp contributions, Sturgeon is probably best known as a writer for the Original Star Trek series. Sturgeon in Orbit is a collection of five stores published originally from 1951 to 1955 in Fantastic Adventure, Planet Stories, Fantastic, Startling and Other Worlds magazines.

These five tales which transcend most Pulp Sci-Fi,  are more than adventure stories. Sturgeon explores the nature of humanity and the essential function of human relations through this collection. The first example, Extrapolation (Fantastic, 1953), begins as a tale of loneliness. Wolf Reger was a man so intelligent that he is almost prophetic. He "had so many talents that they were past enumerating."  Reger could master science, math and engineering. He could predict actions and reactions, or extrapolate, for every invention he created.  Reger's weakness was his relationship with humanity.  In fact, their ignorance and lack of foresight  would occasionally drive Reger into a rage. For this reason he could not work or live near his fellow humans. He lived alone until discovering a women who had attempted suicide who he nursed back to health and married. Reger's reformed attitude of humanity, based on his new romantic love, leads him to save humanity from an alien invasion. Isn't that the basis for most pulp era Sci-fi tales?

In the introduction to Sturgeon's novel Godbody, Robert Heinlein wrote that  Sturgeon's message was that he loved us all. The same can be said of Sturgeon in Orbit as each of the stories is about humanity and science. I believe that few would argue that Ray Bradbury loved us too. Anyone who would write a novel in defense of artistic expression and preservation of knowledge and creativity like Fahrenheit 451 obviously cares.

I have just finished reading The Martian Chronicles which also is an expression of Bradbury's concern for humanity. As well as, his concern for unbridled bureaucracy and technology and the failure of the use of basic common sense. This concern is no less relevant sixty-five years after The Martian Chronicles began to be published.

When I begin to read the work's of Sturgeon or Bradbury, I am not seeking an investigation into the nature of human civilization but this is how these men approached their art. I  would choose Fahrenheit 451 over The Martian Chronicles if reading for pleasure. I will add, about The Martian Chronicles, it is a bizarre book when the passages I enjoy most are an homage to The Fall of the House of Usher and a piece about the opening of the first Hot Dog Stand on Mars.