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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Review 2017: The Year We Started Making Things Great Again

So it's time to think a bit about the past year. For me, on the whole, it's been pretty fantastic. Every year has its ups and downs of course, but in this year on a personal level, I think I've had more fun and laughed more than I have in my entire life.

Also things that matter a little less: I've made probably the most money (maybe 2016 was better, but it's pretty close) than ever before. I've gotten to travel, learned a lot of new things, met some great new people, discovered friends I never knew I had, and got to see enemies all over laid low.

For me, on a personal level, I guess this would be the Year of The RPG. I've had (silver-bestseller) Cults of Chaos, The RPGPundit Presents series, and now Lion & Dragon (which became a Copper Bestseller in under 2 weeks). I've published more RPG stuff this year than ever before.

In the bigger scale? Well, I think that 2017 will be known as The Year The Entire Left Went Insane.
The whole Left throughout the western world went completely crazy in November 2016, and have remained completely hysterically mad ever since.  And getting periodically worse at moments when reality keeps confronting their narrative bubbles, like when they're forced to accept that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, or that women in Iran hate wearing the hijab which is a sign of religiously-backward oppression.

(Just in case you're a leftist, and only read major news media, you may have no idea that right now hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in Iran to try to overthrow the corrupt Islamist regime there, praising western style democracy and being supported by Donald Trump... Justin Trudeau of course spoke up in defense of the Ayatollah's government instead. Anyways, that's a picture of a woman, a REAL FEMINIST -not the kind who live on tumblr or g+ and complain about how female clerics look too slutty in old-school D&D- tearing off her Hijab in defiance of the theocratic Islamist government, and of western feminists who want to pretend that theocratic Islam is "progressive" and "the most feminist religion" and that hijabs are "an empowering choice for women". That woman was later arrested and may be dead now, fighting for her actual freedoms against tyrants instead of fighting against free speech and for tyranny like western feminists do)

2017 was the year where you literally couldn't write satire about the Left anymore. How could any headlines you could make up as a joke equal these absolutely real headlines from major Leftist media sources??

(Thanks to Orwell & Goode for compiling these!)

The insanity has proven, however, to not really be a successful strategy for stopping the right or the Trump movement or achieving anything productive whatsoever. I know, right? Who'd have thunk it?? Who would have imagined that screaming at the sky and wearing hats shaped like vaginas would utterly fail to stop Trump from becoming President, or from having a better fiscal year than Obama did in all his 8 years of office, in making the biggest tax reform in recent history, in standing up to the U.N. to great popular support, and now in providing world leadership that was sorely lacking before to oppose the Iranian regime?
Who would have imagined that having absolutely no coherent evidence and lying a ridiculous amount wouldn't succeed at impeaching Trump, and that actors and comedians who did nothing for decades about serial sexual assaults in their own culture lecturing the rest of us about how evil we are has led to us not giving a fuck what any of them think anymore?

It's far from over, but this is the year we started to win back territory in a very real way in the culture wars. Marvel comics 2-year experiment with shitting all over anyone who actually likes comics in the name of feminism/lgbt/racial identity-politics has ended with a new editor being brought in who just cancelled the vast majority of their pet characters' comics. And perhaps more importantly, their campaign to try to get him fired for being an evil racist white straight man FAILED.

Movies, TV shows, novels, and games which had been taken over by the totalitarian Left have, one after the other this year have been facing horrific plummeting sales because everything they produce is utter garbage. Their efforts to impose censorship in colleges and universities have, for the first time, been met with intense and serious opposition from people who are sick of being told what they're allowed or not allowed to read or who they may or may not listen to, based on the dictats of some blue haired obese lesbian who shows no outward evidence of having even the slightest sense of self-control and yet demands to get total control over all our lives.

There's a lot of ground yet to go, but this was, as Churchill once said, "the end of the beginning".

And since the Left just keeps doubling-down on its ever increasing psychotic break from any sense of reality, keeps betting everything on racial/gender/sexual identity politics, and on opposing everything Trump stands for to the point of now being pro-Iran, and keeps on cheering for violent totalitarian sociopaths publicly using major media to call for political murders or racial segregation or even genocide, that means that they're going to keep losing, and looking like a laughing stock.

So I sincerely hope 2018 will be the year that we laugh even harder.
All my best to you and yours in the coming year, and may you all benefit from the blessings that only our civilization, our western values, and freedom of speech can provide us all. Even the gift of having the freedom to look like a complete retard while you howl impotently in utter denial of reality.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti A-grade + Fox Dorisco

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Lion & Dragon's First VIDEO Review!

Many thanks to Kenny Johnson who, utterly unsolicited, presented what (as far as I know) is not only the first review of Lion & Dragon but the first VIDEO review!

So, check it out in it's full glory to get a fair review of the product, and also a great view of how awesome the product looks on the inside!

(note: the book in the video is a softcover. The hardcover is identical apart from being much nicer because it's a hardcover)

Thanks again, Kenny!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Solani Aged Burley Flake

Friday, 29 December 2017

DCC Campaign Archive: Put his Torso Into the Dolphin Launcher!

We left off with our intrepid PCs about two-thirds of the way done the Death Race 3000.  Will they get to the end this session? Read on, gonzo-fans, and find out!


-"So just to review, it's Blitzkrieg, Space Bear, Vizi and Heidi on the Shaft-1?"
"Yes. And the nerds are on the APV."

-"So there's no Warriors on the APV?"
"No, like we said, the APV is full of nerds."

-"You realize at this point this fucking party has more NPCs than PCs in it?"
"Yeah, and you're not even counting Mu's monkey-wizard or the dolphin."

-"I would trade all of these NPCs for BOLT-0!"
"Hmm, but would you trade all the NPCs you have right now for BOLT-0 AND Priscilla?"
"Wow... I'd have to think about that."

-"What about keeping BOLT-0 and Roman?"
"I don't think those two should be in the same room together."
"Wait... we've never seen BOLT-O and Roman together..."
"Are you saying Roman is BOLT-0 in disguise?!"
"Well, that would explain a lot."

-"I'm summoning more dolphin ammunition, but I'm using dolphin poop for the summoning, so I might end up summoning fish instead."

-After summoning 24 fish, the Vegan is out of dolphin poop. Sami intimidates the dolphin into crapping itself again, and the Vegan finally summons more dolphins.

-Shortly after that, the party gets attacked by a group of leather clad bikers!
"There's also one guy dressed as a construction worker, and a guy dressed as an Indian Chief."

-"Vegan, what do you do?"
"I guess I'll go up top and fire."
"You feel sufficiently secure that these guys are wussy enough not to endanger you, don't you?"

-"Wait, if you do a dispel magic on me, Hippomagus, would there be a chance that my monkey-wizard familiar would be dispelled?"
"I say! I certainly wouldn't care to be dispelled, old boy. I'm having far too good a time!"
"Oh, that's nice, that someone actually enjoys my company!"
"Well, I think I'm magically required to like you."
"Although I do."
"Well, OK!"
"Though that's probably the magic talking, old bean."

-Having defeated the bikers/village-people, the party drives on. After a while, the party sees the dreaded Viking Long-truck up ahead. They're heading over to engage them when suddenly a rift opens up in space and a giant tentacle reaches down, wraps around the viking vehicle, crushing it, and pulls it up into the extraplanar space!
"Holy shit! What is that goddamn tentacle?!"

-The PCs pause, worried the rift will open up in the same spot if they proceed. The Hippomagus casts invisibility on the APV.
"Hey Blitzkrieg, are we invisible over here? Did it work?"
"Yeah man, you're invisible."
"Great... wait, are we really invisible or are you just saying that so we go first?"
"No, man, you're really invisible!"
"OK, but seriously, or are you fucking with us?"

-"We'll go first, and then the Hippomagus will come back and make the Shaft-1 invisible too."
"Hey wait, are we seriously going to send the Hippomagus back to them, with the sunstaff?"
"Oh shit, no. I'm just fucking with them."

-Without help from the Hippomagus, the Shaft-1 starts to drive under the rift.
"I'm going to fire, not really to hit anything but to try to hold back the tentacle."
"So, like, suppressing fire?"
"You miss.

-Blitzkrieg's quick reflexes get them past the tentacles.
"You assholes had to turn invisible, but we go through on pure Sakomano, baby."

-Next, they encounter a couple of nerds on a weenie-esque moped. They seem pretty hopeless but they soon start taking control of the vehicles with their computer!
Luckily, the Hippomagus is on fire this session, and he blows them away with magic missiles.

-"Those nerds were as dangerous as the giant tentacle, so you get the same amount of XP."

-After that, they run into a fancy looking bus manned by dragonmen, including some dragonmen mandarins with some powerful spellcasting chops. They blast the APV with two Lightning Bolts and a Fireball, and Mu is down!
"They're wizards!"
"No shit."

-"Don't worry, I have 19 Luck, I'll be fine!"
"Jesus, 19?! You're immortal."
"Ok, now..oh. I rolled a 20. I'm dead."
"God damn it you had one job!"
"Yeah, not to roll a 20."
"This is so awful! I loot Mu's body immediately."

-"Wait, what happens to the monkey-wizard?"
"He vanishes when his master dies."
"No! Not the monkey!"
"Aw, damn it. What are we going to do now??"

-"I'd like some healing please."
"Yes, but do something to stop these dragonmen you fat fuck!"
"I'm just big boned... this is a normal weight for a hippomagus."

-Vizi blows the dragon-bus' main gun away with a critical from the Shaft-1's secondary guns.

-The dragonmen wizards are still fighting, though. The Vegan Wizard shoots at them with the last of the Dolphins he'd conjured, but is now exposed and about to be blasted with fireballs.
"Quick, pull me back down!"
"I don't know how you're talking to, but no one is listening."
"Oh shit, I'm dying"
"You're pretty much already dead, you just don't know it yet."

-One of the dragonmen accidentally electrocutes himself while trying to cast lightning-bolt, and goes below-deck.
"You coward!"
"Don't tease them!"

-Finally, the shaft-1's guns manage to blow up the dragon-bus and the wizards.

-"Mu had very little loot."
"He died as he lived: worthless."

-"Man Hippomagus, you're whiny bitch. I bet you didn't have any friends on the High Council of wizards."
"....Fluffy the cat pretended to like me."

-"Cut off Mu's arms and and put his torso into the dolphin launcher!"
"Mu would have wanted to go that way."
"I'll do it! I can use my lightsaber."
"Good, thanks!"

-"That's still a better treatment that Mu is getting than what you did with Tonut's corpse; just leaving his body pants-less in the middle of the dungeon."

-They just fire the corpse at nothing!
"Why did you do that?! We could have used him against our enemies after stuffing his corpse with C4!"
"We did stuff his corpse with C4."
"You idiot! Now you wasted Mu AND the C4!"

-The PCs drive on to an area that seems filled with half-melted vehicles. Among these, they find 3 pathetic newbies.
"Should we kill them?"
"No, dumbass, they're Mu's replacement."

-The newbies consist of a Sky-Communist Dwarf, a Human wage-slave from some kind of Mega-corporate dystopia, and a catperson street urchin.
"Get in, motherfuckers, we're saving the universe!"

-Mongo takes an immediate liking to the catboy, picking him up forcefully and hugging him tightly and petting him too roughly
"blah blah blah blah George!"

-"we'll take the Dwarf on the Shaft-1. At least he can fix things."
"If only he could fix our moral values."
"Those are beyond repair."
"You can't fix what doesn't exist."

-The party soon finds out that this area of the race-track is routinely showered with acid rain! Before they can speed past it, the roof of the ATV is wrecked, along with the dolphin launcher, and the main and forward guns of the Shaft-1 are ruined permanently.

-"So what do we do with the dolphin now?"
"The dolphin looks nervous."

-It turns out the wage-slave worked in dolphin maintenance, and has some dolphin hormones on him.
"Do the hormones come with any kind of instructions?"
"No, they don't have any regulations in the megacorp zone."

-"I'm taking these hormones."
"But they're mine!"
"You'll be compensated eventually."
"I've heard that before!"
"There's no 'i' in team, you know."
"Yeah, I've heard that one too."

-The party is attacked by a couple of renegade time-dinosaurs! Luckily, or maybe unfortunately, the Hippomagus blows them up before they can do anything cool.

-The party is then attacked by a gang of flying sky-bugs! The Hippomagus, who has evolved from a bumbling amicable dweeb into a killing machine over the course of this race, blows a bunch of them to bits as well.
"You know you and I are friends, right Hippomagus?"
"Of course! You heal me. And I feel a lot more comfortable now that Mu is dead."

-"You can see the finish line at the end of a long stretch ahead."
"I preemptively cast Sanctuary."

-The party is suddenly swooped down upon by Giant Halcons! With both vehicles' roofs badly corroded the huge birds can easily tear the tops open and start attacking the delicious PCs inside. There's a short but vicious firefight, the birds are scared off, and the party gets across the finish line!

-There were several other teams that got across the line before the PCs did. But it was already established that this was not a 'first across the finish' contest. There is an obscure set of points-system calculations to determine who wins, in which getting across the finish early is good but not the sole factor. Things like defeating other racers, having entertaining fights, amusing the Wardens, capturing enemy vehicles, and looking cool were all important parts of the calculations.  The PCs end up with 96 points, which at the moment puts them in first place.  However, there's still several contestants which might yet make it across the finish, and could theoretically still beat them.
"Heck, those evil robots got 95 points, so there's every chance we might still lose."
"Hey evil robots, so much for being superior, huh?"
"Illogical! Illogical!"
"That one's literally sparking."
"Hey no hard feelings guys, or really any feelings at all."

-The other teams that manage to get through, though some of them come close, don't manage to beat the PCs' score. They are the Champions of the Death Race 3000!
"Hooray! Now we can fall into the Wardens' obvious trap..."

-"Did any of those pirates I hired survive?"
"Apparently not."
"Mission accomplished!"

-The catboy helps the rest of the PCs sell some of the loot they'd accumulated.
"Thanks to the catboy, we made 8000 quatlums."
"Should we give him some?"
"Yeah. Hey catboy, here's 20 quatlums for your troubles. Don't spend them all at once."

-Blitzkrieg and Space-bear let the party know this is as far as they go. They're not interested in whatever the Wardens have in mind, and their place is in the skies, so they're going to try to gamble their way into getting a new ship to fly out of here and back down to the upper skies.
"Also, because there are too many NPCs."

-That night, there's a huge, almost city-wide party in the PCs honor as the victors of the Death Race 3000. Most of the PCs only participate in moderation, but the catboy gets seriously drunk. Sometime in the night he gets stabbed, but survives.

-Heidi also went crazy with the partying, and wakes up the next morning with a sky-klingon woman named "Dorma". Apparently she and Heidi "blood-bonded" that night (which doesn't seem to mean sex, but rather having cut each other with knives or something), and they had sworn to overthrow the Wardens and take over the Citadel.
"Great! ANOTHER NPC. Just what we need."

That's it for today; in the next session, the PCs will be entering the Citadel. They're pretty sure the whole thing is a set up, since there's a way too convenient story about how the winners get to live long lives of pleasure in the citadel and it's all so wonderful that none of them ever return.
But what will they really find in there?
Stay tuned to find out!


Currently Smoking: Blatter Diplomat + C&D's Crowley's Best

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Experience in Lion & Dragon

I'm just blown away by the success of Lion & Dragon.  Entering into it's THIRD week it's still in the top bestseller list on RPGnow, the top list of indie products, and had already hit Copper bestseller status a couple of days ago!

So I thought I'd talk a bit on this blog, over the next few entries, about some of the areas that most differ from the standard D&D/OSR rules.  I've already mentioned many times that the magic system is totally different, based on the real magical ideas of the medieval grimoire tradition.

I've also talked about how the classes are set up different in terms of how they advance, introducing randomness and/or choice to the way an OSR character levels up, without making the system complicated.

Another difference I felt I should mention here is the Experience system.

The standard D&D experience is that you get xp for killing monsters (usually based on HD), and for getting gold (this one varies, but where it exists it's usually a 1-1 ratio). There's other details but that's the basics.

This is a great experience system for a fantasy game.

It's not so great for a Medieval-Authentic Fantasy game.  In a medieval-authentic game, for starters, there shouldn't be an awful lot of money to go around. Characters might spend a lot of their time dead broke in terms of money, or being paid in terms of goods and services.

Second, while you definitely CAN have a campaign that's about a band of adventurers digging into barrow mounds and catacombs and tombs and killing the monstrosities therein, or any other type of high combat campaign (like where the characters are actively fighting in war, etc), there's also plenty of campaign setups which are not about that.

So I decided to go with an XP system I used for a long time. Characters get 1xp for showing up, another 1xp if they are chosen by the other players as having been the best gamer of the night, and everyone might get 1 more xp if they complete some kind of major campaign goal or quest.

To go from Level 0 to level 1 takes one session. After that, you need a certain amount of xp to level up.

That's it.

So this means that PCs are not bound to do anything in the game. Players have to just show up at the session to get their experience. In my experience, this LIBERATES the game. In that now a player doesn't need to think in 'meta' terms at all. They don't have to worry about "I need to find 1000 more gp to level up", they just need to play their character however they imagine that characters should go in order to level up.

That's way better. You don't end up with lawful Clerics looking like money-grubbing assholes. You don't end up with cautious characters taking huge risks not because of something to do with the character but because the player needs the xp. You can also end up having sessions where there's no treasure and little combat, just other stuff going on (IF your party likes that sort of stuff), and players won't feel torn between enjoying a really good rp-heavy session (of, say, political intrigue, or a court case - Did I mention L&D has a set of rules for running medieval crime and punishment?) and knowing that session comes at the 'cost' of not getting any xp.

Now, I'm not saying you must use this system. I believe in the predominance of the Game Master. If you want to use the standard XP system, it's easy enough to do. Just pick one of the OSR games and use that xp list.  That's it.

If you want to do something different, you can do that too.

But in Medieval-Authentic RP, it can still be a good idea to have a way to give leeway to players to portray their characters MEDIEVAL-AUTHENTICALLY without punishing them for it with reduced XP. Whatever system you use.

Finally, I'll note that you might not specifically like the XP progression I put in the book. That's fine. I actually pretty much just went random with it, and it's pretty much flat. You need 5xp for a bunch of levels and then you need 10xp from then on.

If you'd rather make it faster, or slower, or with an increasing difficulty as you go on, then by all means do!  In my own campaign, I don't use that table. I make the xp needed to level up equal to the number of the level you're trying to reach (so, for example, 8 xp to get to level 8). Which is also a perfectly fine way of doing it.

On the other hand, if you're playing a short campaign, you might want to speed experience up. That's fine too.

Anyways, check out Lion & Dragon, and keep reading here for more info on other details of the game!


Currently Smoking: Stanwell Deluxe + Image Latakia

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Classic Rant: Real Magick in RPGs (What Crowley Got Wrong)

I Figured this Had to Happen Sooner or Later 

Didn’t expect it to take this long, really, but there you go. A “real” magician (of some kind, if you can call an apparent fan of the pseudo-Rosicrucian quasi-theosophical “New Thought” movement, the precursors of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Antony-Robbins self-help-book crowd, any sort of magician) has apparently started taking umbrage to some of my comments about the wild and crazy state of the modern occultism scene, and particularly he seems to be under the impression I’m giving Aleister Crowley too much credit. The action is all going on over on the RPGPundit’s forum of theRPGsite, where I’ve been posting the archived past entries of this series from my blog. The action starts somewhere around here. 

I’m willing to at least consider whether the guy has a point, in that I’ve spoken quite a bit about how stupid a lot of the self-styled followers of Aleister Crowley today are, but maybe in trying to explain why Crowley is important, and has such a huge influence on both the silly and the serious magicians of the 21st century, I lionized the guy a bit too much and didn’t bother to talk about his flaws. There were more than a few, but probably not the ones those who feel fear or loathing at the mention of his name imagine: there was no baby-sacrifices or murder, and even relatively far less abuse or manipulation of his students than people tend to believe.

There are some areas that you could say were problematic, but that have also been exaggerated or misrepresented. Its not fair to just blankly paint him as a “misogynist”, for example, when in fact a lot of what Crowley wrote about women was in the realm of radical women’s lib, especially compared to the standard of the age. Undoubtedly, he still did cling himself to some of the notions of his time regarding women, but that’s hardly fair to judge, and for the most part people who accuse him of sexism mainly do so on the basis that Crowley liked to have sex with a lot of women, and believe that if they wanted to have sex with him that was a good thing. 


Likewise, accusations of racism are complicated: there’s no question that some of the things Crowley said or wrote would be terribly racist by today’s standards, as well as awfully Anti-Semitic; but on the other hand he also kept acquaintance and regard with people of all races, traveled the world and by all accounts went utterly native wherever and whenever he could (something scandalous to the typical Edwardian mentality of trying as much as possible to avoid native culture or interaction) and was one of the first really serious advocates of presenting esoteric concepts from the middle east, India, and China on THEIR terms, rather than assuming these to be at best degenerated truths from ancient Caucasian, Atlantean, Lemurian, or other non-ethnic sources, as if non-white cultures couldn't possibly have made them. 

No, from the point of view of occultism, Crowley’s flaws were more along the lines of things like the fact that he failed to complete the magical operation of Abramelin on the first try, something that led to about a half-decade of disaster for him magically speaking; the fact that he often ignored or failed to act upon the instructions he received in his operations, essentially being a “reluctant messenger” for the change he was himself trying to embody, and other varieties of biting-off more than he could chew. He was also very regularly suffering from serious material/financial instability, and while some of his studies on drugs (and the incredibly honest accounts he provided of these in writing) were absolutely invaluable from the perspective of both a magician and a “seeker of the self” in general, it was also pretty clear that his threadbare control over himself in this department ultimately caused him more harm than good. 

There’s no question that he was a relentless seeker of infamy; and while there’s a longstanding tradition of this in esoteric practice (the Sufis call this the “path of blame”, or the Tibetans call it “Crazy wisdom”) and as a technique it probably made his memory so immortal, it also caused him and people associated with him no end of trouble. He was bombastic at times when it would have been wiser to be subtle, and sold himself short at times when he should have been confident. His administrative management of his working groups were absolutely terrible, and most damningly, he failed to produce an effective heir for any of these groups or work; fortunately, he turned out to be better at producing a legacy, which in a way is more important, since groups are bound to stagnate no matter what you do. While he certainly had an amazing sex life, he was a hard person to have as a friend, and in romantic relationships he was an unmitigated disaster; but this kind of thing often goes with the territory.

Anyways, none of this actually relates to RPGs, so I’ll stop now, but if you’re actually more interested in the discussion from the magical point of view, check out that thread.


(October 18, 2012)

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

What To Do With Your Dragon Corpse!

For starters, I wanted to share some good news with all of y'all: Lion & Dragon has hit Copper!

Yes, even without selling exclusively on RPGnow, Lion & Dragon has managed to make it to the top 8% of bestselling products in RPGnow, in under 2 weeks!

So to celebrate, have some authentic medieval party music:

But that's not all the news today! Since yesterday was Christmas Day, Precis intermedia delayed their release and today are putting out TWO new Pundit Presents products!

First off, the Spanish edition of RPGPundit Presents #12: "Otros Dos Autenticos Grimoirios Magicos Medievales"

And second, for the main event, we give you RPGPundit Presents #13: Making the Most of Your Dragon Corpse!

You've slain the dragon: now what? Just steal the loot and head home?  In fact, in this short supplement (only 99 cents!) you can learn about a variety of special qualities that Dragon corpses have, which parts can be harvested for various purposes, and what you need to know to use them.

Discover the secret of dragonstone... it's not what you think!

And also the Dragon-Pearl and Milk-of-the-Dragon, essential ingredients for the Philosopher's Stone and the Elixir of life!

Anyways, check out this sourcebook, which can be used for EITHER Gonzo or Medieval-Authentic gaming (like Lion & Dragon).  You can get it from RPGnow, or on the Precis Intermedia shop.

Also, while you're at it, be sure to check out the earlier issues of RPGPundit Presents:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia

RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + Blue Boar

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas From Gallifrey

Today I'm off to see the Doctor Who special.

EDIT TO ADD: My thoughts? Well, it was a very good episode. I certainly hope it's not the last good episode I get to see.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Where to Chat About Lion & Dragon

Well, the short answer is, really, you could talk about Lion & Dragon anywhere!

But if you're interested in talking about L&D somewhere that I might see you, and answer your questions or comments, here's the places to check out:

1. On theRPGsite: You can always just start up a thread of your own there, obviously. But there's also some existing threads directly about or related to L&D going on right now:

Get Your Lion & Dragon For Christmas, 20% Off!

Lion & Dragon Already Has Supplements 

Everybody Loves Lion & Dragon

How Powerful Are Lion & Dragon Characters?

Lion & Dragon Comes Out!

What do the Medieval-Authentic PC Party Do? 

2. On Google+:  We have, on Google+, the "Dark Albion + Lion & Dragon Community", a G+ community that's dedicated to everything in my Medieval-Authentic series of works.

So, check those out, and let me know if you see discussion about L&D elsewhere!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Quiete + Fox Dorisco

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Some Q&A For Lion & Dragon

So, here's a the first of many questions that have been coming up lately from early readers of Lion & Dragon: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying.

If you've picked up the game, or want to know more about it, send me your questions and I'll be glad to try to answer them!

Q: What is the difference between power levels of L&D characters and characters in old-school editions of D&D or other OSR games?

A: The main difference is that, generally speaking, at level 1 characters (note that play in L&D optionally starts at level 0!) tend to have more hit points than lv1 characters in other OSR games, but after a short while that flips around, so that a typical level 4 character  from L&D has less hit points than a typical character of that level in regular old-school D&D.

Also, each class will have unique advancement, because they roll randomly or select a bonus each time they level from the table for their class (they can either roll twice, or select once). These bonuses don't likely make L&D characters more powerful than their OSR equivalents, but it will make them different; there's some things they'll do better, and some things they'll do worse, than the average for that level in a standard D&D-derived OSR clone.

And characters in general tend to be a little better at doing whatever their class-niche tends to do. Because of the way the advancement tables work for each class, fighters will be vastly better at fighting than the other core classes. Thieves at sneaking and backstabbing and weird specialties, magisters will be mostly crap at fighting but will be valuable loremasters and have all kinds of magical tricks and toys. And Clerics will have miracles, plus enormous social cachet (as basically living saints).

Anyways, that's it for now. Feel free to send me your questions, I'll try to answer them.


Currently Smoking: Neerup Billiard + Image Latakia

Friday, 22 December 2017

TheRPGsite is One of The Top-10 RPG Websites, According to a Very Dubious List

So, theRPGsite is a pretty big success. It's been around for well over a decade now, has thousands of members, hundreds and hundreds of posts per day, and a generally engaged community. Most importantly to me, it has remained true to the commitment to being a place where Free Speech is strongly valued.

But a couple of days ago someone pointed me over to this site, which has a list of "the top 100 RPG websites and blogs".
According to them, theRPGsite is the 7th best RPG website... in the world.

Mind you, I find this list a bit dubious. I'm pretty sure it was made with some kind of weird algorithm. I also think it's probably pretty inaccurate. It's #1 choice is another site called the "RPG site" (not to be mistaken with theRPGsite), which isn't even about tabletop RPGs (it's a video-game site).
Their #3 spot is another video-game site.

And their #4 choice is not even about RPGs at all, it's a left-wing pro-antifa political forum!

Also, according to this webpage, ENworld only makes "about 17 posts per week". That means that theRPGsite is way ahead of them, making "about 21 posts per week" (according to the webpage).

Of course, that's not true. At theRPGsite I sometimes make 21 posts in an hour, all by myself.  And however bad things might have gotten at Enworld, I'm pretty sure they still do more than 3 posts a day.

But hey, publicity is publicity!

Anyhow, the real point of this blog is to remind you that if you haven't checked it out yet, or haven't been there in a while, come visit us at theRPGsite!  Especially if the other places you've been posting about RPGs hasn't been working for you.  We're definitely a place with a "wild west" atmosphere, but absolutely everyone is welcome so long as they're wanting to talk about RPGs in a free and equal playing field!


Currently Smoking: Neerup Acorn + Image Virginia

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Get Your Lion & Dragon for Christmas, at 20% Off!

So, it's not really our own doing, but I've found out that you can now get Lion & Dragon with a big discount if you buy it between now and the 26th.  But only if you get it on Lulu.

You see, Lulu right now is offering a 20% discount code, which I believe you put in at check-out. The code is: LULU20

Oh, and one more thing: up until yesterday, it seems that the Lulu hardcover's details accidentally listed the language of Lion & Dragon as "French". Maybe because it has a French publisher?

Anyways, no. Definitely not. Lion & Dragon, whether you buy it at Lulu or over on RPGnow (where it's still in the top 10 bestselling titles, and #3 in the Small Press list), Lion & Dragon is written in English.

Anyways, check it out!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Solani's Aged Burley Flake

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Classic Rant: "Real Magick" in RPGs: Chaos Magick

After Aleister Crowley, probably the most significant shift in 20th century western magick was the development of what can be called "chaos magick", starting in the late 70s. I've talked a little about this before; they were/are kind of magickal-hipsters who try to incorporate post-modern ideas into magick, show general disdain for scripted ritual, and like to mix "science" with their magick (or more aptly, butcher popular scientific or mathematical theories about everything from quantum mechanics to game theory to try to fit in with or justify their magical world view).

At their worst, these are guys who go around trying to invoke Superman by a free-form ritual of running around in a cape, rather than, say, invoking Horus with a modified version of a 2000 year old invocation. Many of them tend to believe that all magick is purely a subjective, almost "artistic" thing, where you can make up just anything and if you believe in it strongly enough it will work. That's "magick as placebo", basically.

But there is one thing that has to be said for them. Of all the groups of magicians, they're the ones most likely to actually try to perform some kind of magick. Way more, in fact, than the average Thelemite or old school ceremonial magician, most of whom prefer to spend a lot of time reading about and talking about magick rather than actually trying any. Unfortunately, the chaos magicians only really have one form of magick that's popular with them that they regularly use, which is "Sigil magick", and they usually do that poorly. They have a great ratio of practice to bullshit but their practice is a half-assed performance of a one-trick pony.

You see, the reason why they actually do their one-trick magick act so much is because it's very easy to do; it doesn't require any great effort to use sigil magick. And a chaos magician might explain it like this: you pick some kind of intention, you summarize that intention as a phrase (ie. "I will get the job"). Then from that phrase you reduce it to core letters, some chaos magicians just take out repeated letters, others take out vowels and repeated letters. For simplicity's sake let's remove both; in our example you're thus left with "w l g t h j b". With those remaining letters, you then try to draw them all together in a kind of jumble, all connected to form one single drawing, and then you can optionally abstract that drawing until the original letters aren't even recognizable anymore.

Then you have to "charge" the sigil somehow; there are several popular methods of doing this, from the very vanilla version of just staring at the sigil intensely while repeating your intention, to the more risque version of masturbating onto the sigil while thinking about your intention. There are other ways too, of varying degrees of weirdness.

After your sigil is "charged", you put it away, and stop thinking about it. This is known to be an important step, because you now want to let go of the attachments that keep you worried about the issue and would block your Will's ability to get stuff done, energetically. 

And that's it. In theory, your desired change should come to pass.

The reason Sigil magick became so popular was threefold:
First, because it takes very little actual work, no memorization, no ancient languages, no kabbalistic correspondences, nothing strenuous.

Second, because some people report a very high success rate with it. For those people for whom it works, it works very well. Note that it does not in fact work very well for everyone, or consistently, but when you're looking for cheap low-labour-intensity magick, you go for whatever has even a halfway-decent success rate.

Third, because it was basically invented by Austin Osman Spare, a counterculture artist who lived in the early half of the 20th century, that many chaos magicians latched onto as promoting some kind of easygoing alternative to all the pomp-and-circumstance (and hard work!) of Aleister Crowley's system of magick. Long after Spare was dead, he was credited (because of sigil magick) with being the "grandfather of chaos magick".

(Osman Spare: Male Cat Lady)

Now, sigil magick does have its downsides. The chief among them is that in fact it is not nearly as easy as the above explanation implies. You see, most chaos magicians didn't actually read Spare or read about his history; if they had they'd have known that he was in fact a student of Aleister Crowley's, that he was largely concerned with the same issues of personal transformation and transcendence, and that for him sigil magick was a relatively minor part of a much larger body of work that had to be taken on holistically. In Spare's "Book of Pleasure" (a sanity-loss-inducing ramble of a book that presents a very wordy and jumbled explanation of Spare's philosophy) Spare makes it clear that the REAL goal of his magick is the achieving of what he called "Kia", the state of non-duality, and the vast majority of his writing is not about the sigil magick but about how to undertake a discipline of practice to achieve that state.

And the reason why sigil magick doesn't actually work as well as advertised is largely because most people do it in a very half-assed way (drawing a sigil, metaphorically or literally wanking over it, and then dropping the whole thing); when in fact the efficacy of sigil magick depends on whether or not a magician is engaging in a dedicated daily regimen of practice and spiritual exercises to focus his concentration, and to achieve trance states. Its not surprising that those chaos magicians that reported amazing success with sigil magick were also those who were very serious in their pursuit of magick; they usually failed, however, to report the connection between being disciplined and doing sigils successfully; they tended to say "its easy" either as a selling point to get people into it or because they honestly didn't make the connection that maybe their sigils were working so well because they were doing a bunch of other shit at the same time; a routine of exercises in concentration and trance-work that they took for granted, but that 99% of the people reading them did not and would not do, because it feels too much like work.

In game terms, a chaos magician is most likely to be a young hipster of some kind, into all kinds of fashionable theories (lots of chaos magicians are very into psychedelics, counter-culture, cutting edge science or pseudo-science, singularity predictions, AI, virtual reality, UFOs and conspiracy theories, etc. etc.). Many of them tend to be artistically, dramatically, or musically inclined, and see that as part of their magick.

The average chaos magician tends to rankle at anything smacking of formal ritual, magical orders, hierarchy, authority, tradition, or at the idea of objective rather than subjective archetypes. Many of them to the point that (as per my "superman" example above) they try to incorporate pop culture into their magick (usually with less-than-stellar results). Many of them will have very... let's say "broad" definitions of magick, and of "success" in their magick. They're the kind of guys that will try to convince you that just thinking really hard is magick, or that playing Xbox for 12 hours straight while high is a transcendent experience. The problem about half of them have with magick is that they don't really believe in it; the other half's problem is that they DO actually believe in it and suffer from serious doubts about their own lack of seriousness. In both cases, chaos magicians have a tendency to completely freak out when they get actual REAL results, because they just don't expect that sort of shit to go down. A Chaos Magician NPC will be able to tell you all about what's hip and new and what's out of style, and may be able to show the PCs some tricks (mainly how to use sigils) but if they end up facing some kind of spiritual entity that the chaos magician realizes is not just explainable as a conversation with himself, or have an experience of an altered state of reality or travel to a dimension that is clearly not just a flight of fantasy, he'll probably go through a serious spiritual meltdown.

They're not all bad, of course; I'm describing the typical suspect above; and there are many more serious people involved in it: The main proponents of the movement, people like Peter J. Caroll or Jan Fries are very studious and regularly push the frontiers of their own experiences and perspectives, and are often highly critical of their own scene and the lack of seriousness some people show. Others, like Alan Chapman, have recently begun to come to a kind of revelation which might be the start of yet another new movement in magick: they've decided that post-modernism and pop-culture in magick is a dead end, and have instead tried to take some of the lessons they learned from the best of chaos magick, but go back to the more orthodox models and apply their practices to Thelemic or other ceremonial magick structures. Chapman described how the initial appeal of going from standard magick to chaos magick amounted to the question "why ponce about in robes when I could be a stoned wanker"? That was pretty much the sentiment of a large number of chaos magicians; but he continues from there to say, "a few years later, however, and the novelty was wearing off".

In particular, more and more chaos magicians have recently got the feeling that there might be something more to explore in magick than just making sigils to get stuff in the material world, and have begun to think about how there might be something to this whole "experiencing other levels of reality" or even "self-transformation/transcendence" stuff after all.


(Originally posted January 6, 2012)

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Lion & Dragon ALREADY Has Supplements; "Two More Medieval-Authentic Grimoires" Is One of Them

Lion & Dragon is a totally new way of looking at OSR Play. It's totally recognizable as D&D, but it's also a radically different style and form, with different ways to handle classes, magic, etc.; and with all it's implicit-setting elements being based on REAL medieval history, real medieval folklore, or real medieval legend. Plus, the magic system is totally new, a mostly-ritual-based system DIRECTLY taken from REAL medieval magical texts

But you might already know all of that. You might have already bought Lion & Dragon.

Did you know that you can also already buy sourcebooks for Lion & Dragon?

Take my newest supplement, for example.  RPGPundit Presents #12: Two More Authentic-Medieval Grimoires is NEW material (not found in L&D or anywhere else) that details two magical grimoires based on real medieval texts, that introduce new magical techniques to add to your L&D magister.

Of course, it can also be used with any other OSR game! Just like L&D's magic system as a whole can, either as a supplement to or a replacement for Vancian-casting.

RPGPundit Presents #12 isn't the only book in this series that is essentially a supplement for L&D. There's also The Goetia (a collection of demons for summoning), The Child-Eaters (an adventure set-up), Three Medieval-Authentic Grimoires (more grimoires which add new magical powers to wizards), and The Book of the Art of Hours (yet another grimoire).

So there you are. There's actually already FIVE existing supplements for Lion & Dragon, and with the RPGpundit Presents series, there will be many, many more. This will be a supported product.

Two More Medieval-Authentic Grimoires is available on DTRPG, and also on the Precis website, either way for just 99 cents!  If you like Lion & Dragon, you'll really want to check this book out.
And if you've bought any of the RPGPundit Presents products listed above, and liked them, you really will want to check out Lion & Dragon!

Also, while you're at it, be sure to check out the earlier issues of RPGPundit Presents:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia

RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + Blue Boar

Monday, 18 December 2017

Crazy (Spanish) Wizards, also Lion & Dragon Keeps Kicking Ass

I haven't yet found a full review of Lion & Dragon, but I've had a lot of feedback and people sure seem to be liking what they see!  Plus, it's now on its second week on RPGnow's top-10 Bestselling Titles list AND the top ten Hottest Small Press list!

(also available on Lulu!)

In other news, RPGPundit Presents #11: Crazy Wizards is now out in Spanish on DTRPG (as well as on Precis Intermedia's own shop).
Now, Crazy Wizards is more gonzo, so you might not be so much into that if you're looking for Lion & Dragon stuff. Medieval-Authentic 'crazy wizards' are of a different sort.

BUT, if you like Lion & Dragon's magic system, you will definitely want to check us out tomorrow, when I'll be releasing "Two More Medieval-Authentic Magical Grimoires", providing new magic for Lion & Dragon or for any other OSR game.  Stay tuned!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Half-volcano + Blue Boar

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Wild West Campaign Update: Shootout at 20 Paces

This week's adventure featured a number of events that happened around East Vegas.

Doc Thomas was kept busy, as in one day there would end up being no less than four shooting survivors. The first two shot each other, over a saloon girl in the Goodlet & Roberts Saloon.

(a real East Vegas saloon)

The third was a guy named Baker, who was shot in the back by a mystery assailant. While he was still unconscious, a deputy came in from the town of Roswell, claiming that Baker was wanted for murder and he was under orders to bring him back dead or alive.

Doc Thomas referred the matter to Hoodoo Brown. Hoodoo was a bit torn, and waited until Baker regained consciousness, when Baker claimed that he had indeed killed a man, but it was in a fair fight. Only the man was the son of a wealthy rancher who owned the town, and if they sent him back he was bound to be executed.

Crazy Miller felt a certain sympathy for the guy and pleaded his case to Hoodoo. Hoodoo in the end said that someone had to disappear: either Baker or the Deputy, and that in either case no one in town could know.

The PCs set up a trap for the Deputy, one meant to test whether he was really here to see justice done, or to just murder Baker, as by now they suspected he was the one who shot Baker in the back in a failed murder attempt.  So they led him to think that Hoodoo wasn't going to turn over the prisoner, to see if he would try a lawful means of appeal, or if he would try to sneak into the Doc's office in the night.

Turned out the Deputy chose the latter. But he spotted the ambush when Kid Taylor botched his sneak, and made a run for it. Unfortunately for him, the PCs knew the town a lot better than the deputy, and they intercepted him at the stables. 
Other Miller's code of honor didn't sit well with just executing a man, so he decided to take the deputy out of town, and give him a gun and a fair shoot-out, which was frankly a badass thing to do. The deputy got the other PCs to give their word that if he won the fight, they'd let him go.

The shootout was tense. It was also one of the rare cases of a 'draw at 20 paces' shootout in the campaign. 
Other Miller took more care with his aim, so the deputy shot first. Both men missed their first shot. The deputy got his second shot off before miller, and landed a bullet into his right knee. But then Miller got the deputy in the head, and he was dead before hitting the ground.

They got Miller over to the clinic; unfortunately, Doc Thomas was already famous for his incompetence. So far he'd managed to not kill any of the three previous patients, but that was because two of them had relatively minor injuries (even so, he managed to make Baker's wound worse for no reason), and the third was a sheer stroke of dumb luck. Miller actually knew that Kid Taylor, who had trained a bit back in Dodge under the old and expert town doctor, was more experienced and he insisted that Kid Taylor treat him.  Unfortunately, Kid Taylor somewhat botched setting the leg, which meant that while Other Miller would survive, he would never be able to run or sprint again. Not that Doc Thomas would have done much better.

There was a whole other subplot this adventure, regarding an old but famous shootist, tired of living, who came to town looking for a gunfight worthy of him and just ended up being killed by a back-shooting piece of human garbage (who would in turn be killed by Doc Holliday, who had refused to give the shootist the fight he'd been looking for). But the PCs pretty much had nothing to do with it.  They knew it was going on, but they just decided to stay the hell away from it. 
That's pretty much just how it goes sometimes: I throw two or three possible adventure seeds into town, and let the players choose what their characters get into.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Solani's Aged Burley Flake