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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Classic Rant: Real Magick ON RPGs: How I Got my Albion Softcovers

On the evening before I left home for a trip back to Canada, I found a note from the postman: there was a package waiting for me. I was pretty sure it was the Dark Albion softcovers from Amazon that I'd been waiting for.

This was a problem. I knew for sure that if I didn't pick them up somehow, it would be impossible that they'd still be around in a month's time. The Uruguayan postal service just doesn't work that way.
Unfortuntely, to get someone else to pick it up, I'd need to fill out an authorization sheet, with their ID number, AND leave them a photocopy of my own ID card.

Here was the problem: it was 7pm when I got the notice. Every conceivable place that might have a photocopier was closed. Furthermore, I was about to go to a Masonic meeting I couldn't avoid, which would last until about 1am, and then hightailing it out of town the next morning at 6.45am, long before any of the aforementioned photocopier places might open. Such are the complexity of living in a latinamerican country.

So, I quickly messaged the friend of mine who would be watching the house, and got his ID, and filled out the form. Knowing it was a longshot beyond that, I quickly did an invocation of my own augoeides, or tutelary spirit (what is often called the "Holy Guardian Angel" or "HGA" in modern magick). Having invoked, I then shifted myself into the astral plane, creating a mental image of the area that I was about to go to, the neighbourhood around my Lodge. My goal was to see if there was any direction, indication, of anything within about a 2 block radius that would be open and have a photocopier (a highly unlikely prospect). I immediately got a sense of the spot one bus stop beyond my regular stop to go to Lodge.

So off I went. I knew there was in fact a grocery store there, but was absolutely certain (having gone often) that they had no photocopier. As far as I recalled there was no other shop there except a florists, and certainly nothing that would give me cause to have any expectation of a postiive outcome.
So when I got off the bus, I look over at the opposite corner and see that there is in fact a very small kiosk (the sort of place that sells cigarettes, cookies, only very basic stuff). It seemed impossible to me that this place, that I'd never stepped into, would have a photocopier, but it was really the only credible chance. And in spite of having never even merited my notice before now, the moment I stepped off the bus the corner kiosk seemed to jump to my attention, as though astrally illuminated.

I stepped in, finding the usual (fairly meager) selection of basic necessities this kind of third world answer to the convenience store tends to have: newspapers, some sweets, flasks of booze, a small fridge with cold drinks, nothing fancy. There was a young woman at the counter; I asked her "this may sound really strange but do you by ANY strange chance have a photocopier?"

I swear to Christ this next bit happened exactly this way: the young lady grinned as if overjoyed that I had asked, saying "why yes we do!" and she stepped out of the way, waving her hand the way a game show presenter might when Pat Sajak just told you that you'd won a new car, and there right behind her counter there was an apparently pristine small size photocopier. It was as if years ago on some whim the shop owner had thought it would be a great investment for his little shop to have, only to have had it laying there untouched since that time because who in their right mind would even imagine a corner kiosk like this one would have a photocopier? 

So there you have it. I got my photocopies, left them at the house for my friend with my authorization for him to pick my mail up, and headed off into the sunset (actually, the sunrise, but whatever).

And today, my housesitting friend sent me this:

Magick, baby!


PS: here's the kicker:  about a month ago I needed to make some photocopies in that area again, and so I went to that store. The guy at the counter there said that they don't make photocopies, and haven't in years.

(Originally Posted August 20, 2015)

Saturday, 17 March 2018

I Never Thought Godhood Would Come This Easy

Them, when I Trigger Every SJW Swine in the RPG Hobby at once: "How can we take down the Pundit? I know! We'll call him The Final Boss of Internet Shitlords!"

Me: "Wooooo! I did it!! SUCK IT, MILO!!"

And all this just because I disagreed with their notion that people who don't play RPGs (and maybe even dislike RPGs) should get to be policy-determining members of the RPG "Community".

In other words, I said "D&D should be for people who play D&D".

Who knew Godhood would come so easy?


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Chestnut

PS: of all the swine I've been dealing with, my favorite so far was this one guy, "Darren Steele". 
He demanded that we go to private DMs to talk, because he "didn't want this to be about ego or point-scoring". 
He did this AFTER he posted a link to a Youtube video he performed himself where he basically CALLED ME A NAZI IN SONG.

PPS: Before anyone tries the joke here too, don't worry, I'm sure Milo won't take my statement about him 'sucking it' literally. He can tell I'm being metaphorical because my cock isn't black.  

Friday, 16 March 2018

Continuing the RPGPundit Shitstorm of 2018

So, yesterday I literally didn't have time to blog, because I was responding to twitter outrage for the ENTIRE DAY.

It's still going on. So really, if you want to see it all, check out my tweets & replies on my Twitter account, or search twitter for it.

It's been hilariously fun.  Crushing their posts based on 'feelings' with my rational argument and mockery.

Plus made some interesting new friends, and had some very interesting conversations.

The funniest part was when Jeremy Crawford said he "never saw anything I wrote".

That's totally true, actually, as far as I recall. See, I never worked with Jeremy Crawford.

I worked with HIS BOSS, Mike Mearls. That is to say, above him. I have hundreds of emails dated 2012-2014 of Mike and I talking about all kinds of things (including some things I bet Mike wouldn't want to me to mention in this current climate). I would talk to him, and then Mike (I presume) would write to Crawford about what to do.

Anyways, keep checking it out. Back to the trenches for me.


Currently Smoking: Brigham Anniversary Pipe + Peterson's Wild Atlantic

CORRECTION: in an earlier version of this blog I incorrectly claimed that it was "Chris Perkins" who had written a snippy little comment about me.
As several keen readers have now pointed out, it was in fact Jeremy Crawford.
My sincerest apologies to Chris Perkins.
It's just that it's very hard for me to remember which of Mike's underlings was which.  As I said, I didn't really work with any of them almost at all. I worked extensively and directly with THEIR BOSS, Mike Mearls.
I can hardly be blamed for forgetting the name of Crawford, who was literally a man too low on the totem pole for me to interact with.

Again, sorry to Chris Perkins who as far as I know has said nothing about me.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Are CriticalRole Fans Gamers? Watch me Gatekeep!

So, I haven't posted yet today because of an epic shitshow of a Twitter fight, where I've been busy taking on all comers from a gang of hipster-gamers.

The subject? What has prompted countless tweets? Is it Trump? The environment? Transgender rights?

Nope. It's that I had the audacity to suggest, on this thread, that D&D Livestream Youtube Shows like "Critical Role" are not actually a lot like what you see in most real games; and the shit especially hit the fan when I dared to suggest that.. and I know this was crazy of me.. that people who watch these shows but don't game aren't actually gamers. 

Here's what I said:

"If they PLAY, they're #DnD gamers. If they just watch actors on a Youtube Reality-Show, they're not."

Well, you wouldn't believe the number of hipster gamer types who rushed forward howling in outrage that I would dare to suggest that people who never ever play D&D aren't actually D&D players. As if this wasn't so obvious it slides into tautology territory.

No, to them, it was incredibly offensive of me to say that if you've never played D&D even once you aren't actually a D&D gamer, no matter how many episodes of CriticalRole you've watched.

Note: I made it very clear, over and over again, that I wasn't 'gatekeeping' ANYONE who had actually played. I was saying, for the purposes of this argument, that if you've ever sat down and played an RPG even one single time I'll accept you're a gamer, but if you haven't ever, never ever, played an RPG, that makes you a NON-GAMER.  You know, because you haven't ever played.

For the whole glorious spectacle you'll need to check out the tweets & replies section of my Twitter account. Which, I don't know why, it seems you can only do if you're logged into Twitter (anyone know how to change that??).

But anyways, I've spent the whole day on this. It's been hilarious. I figured I'd get a fuckton of people pissed off when I pointed out that D&D YouTube shows are just that, shows. With paid actors and fake enthusiasm, and that they are not much like actually playing D&D, and they are almost destined to create a whole generation of disappointed players who think they should be getting the "look at the hipster-cool  nerd thing I'm doing!! OMG High-Five Wooo So Random" experience they see from the PAID ACTORS on shows like CriticalRole.

(yeah, no chance these guys are just a group of paid actors looking to make money and expand their careers by making prefab scenes and 80s nostalgia to milk rubes who think its all real)

I didn't figure I'd get a fuckton of people trying to claim that if you never played D&D in your life you are still a vital part of the "D&D Community" if you watch shows like Critical Role.  That watching the show makes you a gamer, even if you haven't ever played the game.

You know, like how if I were to go watch the new Paddington Bear movie, that would make me a reader.
Or British.
Or a tribesman from Darkest Peru.
Or, you know, a bear.

Go on, howl about how intolerant I am by daring to say that every single fucking person who's ever played is a gamer but people who have NEVER played are not. 

See this? This is the world you fucking millennials have created. Where you literally have people claiming I have no right to say SOMEONE WHO NEVER GAMED is not a gamer, if they "feel" like they are.

But fortunately, I'm the RPGPundit. And if someone actually has to be called a 'gatekeeper' for stating the moronically obvious to stop the slide into total 'up is down' relativism, I'll be glad to do it for all of you. So here goes:

I don't give a twopenny fuck about your (a)moral objections you fucking Swine. 

People who do not play RPGs are not part of the RPG Community. PERIOD. 

Fans of YouTube vaguely-D&D-themed Prefab Reality-Shows who have themselves never actually played D&D are NOT GAMERS. PERIOD. 

See that? Gate, kept.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Uncanny Creatures and Objects of the Middle-Northern Wilderlands!

Yes, today we have a new Pundit Presents, and this one is a book of gonzo monsters and antagonists, plus some special items too; all for just $2.99!

From the annals of the RPGPundit's (in)famous Last Sun gonzo fantasy campaign, this supplement brings you a variety of curious creatures and interesting objects that can be found in the Middle-Northern Wilderlands.

What kind of creatures and objects are in Uncanny Creatures and Objects of the Middle-Northern Wilderlands?  You get:

-The Archemaster! And his evil snowmen!

-The Cactus People

-Giant Chickens 

-The Circle of Really Old Wizards!

-The Disco Cube

-Giant Plains Snails

-Hillbilly Giants

-The Hypno-naga

-The Mountain Dragon

-The Mutant Discovery-Scout Elves of Camp Hee-Haw!

-Pythian Androids

-Scottish Mutant Barbarians

-The Succubus Princess

-Sword Octopi

-Middle-Northern Wilderland Zombies

Also, a variety of objects found in the region including control collars, folding mithril-thread tents, Pythian weapons and armors, and the Pythian War Mecha!

So if you like gonzo gaming, don't miss this one!

You can pick up Uncanny Creatures and Objects at RPGnow, or at the Precis Intermedia store.

And while you're at it, be sure to pick up the rest of the great supplements in the RPGPundit Presents series:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia  (usable for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

RPGPundit Presents #5: The Child-Eaters (an adventure scenario for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #17: The Hunters (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #21: Hecate's Tomb (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently smoking: Brigham Anniversary + Image Latakia

Monday, 12 March 2018

Cursed SPANISH Artifacts

Or rather, Cursed Artifacts is now available IN SPANISH.

I have to rush off to the Lodge, but you can now get RPGPundit Presents #22: 13 Cursed Artifacts of Renown in Spanish (also available on the Precis Intermedia Website)!

Esta selección de artefactos malditos (aunque potencialmente útiles) es perfecta para juegos medievales de corte realista (como León & Dragón), pero lo suficientemente genéricos como para resultar útiles en cualquier campaña de fantasía, especialmente aquellas que usen reglas OSR. Sorprende a tus PJs con artefactos como la Maza Colmena, la Caja Dybbuk o la Máscara del Guerrero.

This selection of cursed but potentially useful artifacts is intended for medieval-authentic games (like Lion & Dragon), but general enough to be useful in any fantasy campaign, especially those utilizing OSR rules. Spring such artifacts as the Beehive Mace, Dybbuk Box, or Warrior Mask on your PCs. 

All for just $1.99!

You can also get 13 Cursed Artifacts in English here!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Egg + Country Doctor

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Wild West Campaign Update: The Contessa's Secret

The session opened up with Jackson, still in East Vegas. He'd been lingering around on account of a prostitute he'd taken a real liking to. But one fine day he was witness to John Joshua Webb putting three bullets into Michael Killiher, a local saloon-owner, when the latter refused to pay an exorbitant $1900 is "taxes" to Hoodoo Brown. No one got why Brown demanded this of him, suspecting it was to make an example of Killiher, who seemed to be trying to expand his own influence in the town and weaken Brown's position. What no one knew was that Hoodoo had been having an affair with Killiher's wife. He'd basically sent Webb to provoke a situation that would give an excuse to get rid of Killiher.

Unfortunately, Brown didn't know that the Santa Fe Railroad was done protecting him.  And because Killiher had a position and connection in Las Vegas, the good people of that neighboring town came down with a posse of heavily armed hood-wearing vigilantes with badges, and systematically cleaned out the town.

John Joshua Webb was captured and arrested.  Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, Mysterious Dave Mather, and Dutch Henry all rode out of town by the skin of their teeth. And Hoodoo? He snuck over to Las Vegas, picked up Killiher's widow and ran off with her. The last anyone would hear of him is that he got to Texas and with his lover crossed over into Mexico... and then into history. The mystery man was never seen again.

As for Jackson, he managed to figure out that it was time to go, and got on the last train out of town with his friend Smiley the Scotsman. They made their way to Tombstone.

In Tombstone, Kid Taylor was settling in with his high-demand wife Frances, the Judge's daughter. While their house was being built she demanded that Taylor maintain her in the lifestyle she was accustomed to, which meant a month of living in the Tombstone Grand Hotel and eating every day in one of Tombstone's two French restaurants. Also, expensive dresses that were arriving in the silver boom-town from distant Paris.

He'd promised her to turn a new leaf, and along with that he was trying to get everyone to stop calling him "Kid". He figured that since he was going to be working with Doc Thomas in his medical practice, he might as well be known as Doc Taylor from now on.

Unfortunately, not everyone had got the message. Virgil and Wyatt Earp both knew him from Dodge, and were having trouble referring to him as anything other than "Kid". He was also sufficiently well-known that when he first met Curly Bill Brocius, the de-facto leader of the Cowboy Gang, Curly Bill would also refer to him as Kid Taylor.

Curly Bill offered Taylor a chance to join the Cowboys, but Taylor claimed he was retired from gunfighting.

The two Millers had begun settling in, and things were proceeding well when Crazy Miller got news of his friend John Joshua Webb's arrest. The first instinct was to get some guns and try to break him out, but cooler heads prevailed, thanks to the advice of Miller's colleague and madame Miss Scarlet. Instead, Crazy Miller wrote to his assistant back in Dodge telling him to hire Webb the best lawyer he could find, and wrote another letter to Bat Masterson asking him for help. Even so, he left it pretty clear that if all else failed and Webb was sentenced to hang, he'd be going to Las Vegas to spring him.

Meanwhile, Jackson and Smiley arrived. Jackson was trying to adjust to Tombstone, which was still a pretty easygoing town but definitely not the lawless place East Vegas was; and that also meant that it wasn't quite as welcoming to a black man, regardless of whether he'd previously been a lawman or not.

Smiley had largely been motivated to come to Tombstone because Miller and Miss Scarlett had taken along Hilda, the plus-sized prostitute that Smiley was in love with. He fawned over her, but she was mostly in it for the money, and when Smiley had quickly spent his month's salary on her, he fell into a depression. Somewhere along the way as he wandered Tombstone in the night heartbroken and penniless, he met some friendly Cowboys, who quickly cheered him up. By the time Jackson found him, Smiley was wearing the red sash of that infamous gang.

This could prove to be a problem, since the rest of the PCs were already getting hints that there could end up being trouble with the Cowboys. Other Miller had (last session) watched them at work, massacring a village full of Mexican banditos. And their friend (and Pima County Marshal) Virgil Earp was figuring it would be only a matter of time before he had to arrest some cowboys for cattle rustling or stagecoach-robbery, which would lead to a conflict between him and the whole 200-strong Cowboy gang.

Jackson, on the other hand, was not bothered by any of this. He figured they could manipulate the rather unintelligent scotsman to keep tabs on the Cowboys. The others quickly agreed to that plan.

Meanwhile, Crazy Miller's childhood friend who was now a Contessa had come to him with a problem: someone was blackmailing her, threatening to reveal sordid details of her troubled past back in Chicago when she'd been the unmarried kept-girl of a gangster. Miller agreed to help and they soon found out that her blackmailer was one of the former men of this gangster, who was now apparently being hunted down by his own former fellows, for having failed to pay back some money. They confronted him and agreed that they'd pay the rather large sum he needed if he swore to leave the Contessa alone from then on. They arranged a meeting for later that night where the money would be exchanged.

Kid Taylor was having his own problems. One of the Cowboys, a young guy who liked to call himself "Kid" Billy Claiborne, was not happy about another "Kid" (Taylor) being in town. It was bad enough for Claiborne that everyone knew Billy The Kid and hardly anyone knew him, but now to have another moderately famous gunfighter in town named "Kid" was just too much for him to bear.

Taylor ran into Claiborne at the Crystal Palace Saloon, where he was accompanied by a sizable number of Cowboys.  Curly Bill was there, along with the deadly Johnny Ringo, and also Ike and Billy Clanton (sons of Cowboys' co-leader "Pa" Clanton) and Tom and Frank McLaury (another important Cowboy family).  They were all drinking there with Smiley.

Fortunately, Curly Bill saved the day, telling the bellicose Kid Billy to back off. The Cowboys didn't want any trouble with a guy who could take out their bullet wounds.  When Taylor explained he didn't want to be called "Kid" anymore, and Billy was welcome to the nickname as far as he was concerned, the situation was defused.

While all this was going on, Taylor's wife had been busy. She'd met a charming and eccentric man named Buckskin Frank Leslie, a former army scout and railroad man who had just arrived in Tombstone with a decent wallet-full of money and was charming all the female guests and staff at the Grand Hotel. Frank Leslie was looking for a partner to buy the Cosmopolitan Saloon, across the street from the Grand, and to rebuild it into a high-end hotel to compete with the Grand.  It was a sound idea, but Doc Taylor didn't have the money for it. Yet this wouldn't stop Frances. She was determined they would get in on this so she wired her father, Judge Wright, back in Dodge. He agreed to lend them the $4000 they'd need, interest free. Like it or not, Kid Taylor was now the business partner with Frank Leslie, who he found a little smarmy. His concerns faded a little, at least, when he learned that Frank wasn't hot for his wife, but for May Killeen, the serving girl at the Grand Hotel; though it turned out she was also married and Taylor figured this wasn't likely to stop Frank.

The two Millers went to pay off the would-be blackmailer, in the alley behind the Grand Hotel. The payoff (using the Contessa's money) looked like it was going to go off just fine, but then suddenly shots started to ring out. The two PCs figured out that the shots were coming from the Contessa's room in the hotel.  Crazy Miller and the blackmailer ran into the corral at the other end of the alley, while Other Miller went up the hotel stairs toward the Contessa's room.

It turned out that the Contessa's husband, the rich Texan rancher, had discovered what was going on, and decide then and there that he was going to shoot the blackmailer dead.  He was willing to forgive his wife, but he would be damned if he was going to let the blackmailer get away with his money. This did not amuse Other Miller even a little bit, who all but called the Texan a coward for firing from a second floor window. The Texan argued that it was the best shot he could take.

Crazy Miller had gotten into the corral, where the blackmailer's horse was. They still weren't sure that the shots weren't from killers sent by the blackmailer's former boss. He begged Crazy Miller to give him the money and he'd get out of there. But Crazy Miller decided to lie and claim he hadn't brought the money. The blackmailer pointed a gun at Miller, and Miller handed over a couple of hundred dollars he had in his other pocket; it wasn't nearly enough to pay off the debt he owed, but the blackmailer decided to take his chances and cut out on his horse.

The next day, the Contessa and her Texan husband left town for good. Other Miller (who was worried Crazy Miller was getting too close to her) was glad to see the back of her.
The day after that, Virgil Earp came back from hunting down the blackmailer. He'd found him, but the blackmailer was already dead, and the money he stole from Crazy Miller was gone. He couldn't say if it had been Cowboys or some of the Chicago mob that had killed him.

That was it for this session. Tombstone certainly looks like it's going to be an interesting town.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

What Products I'm Working On Now

I've got my Wild West game happening in like, five fucking seconds, so I'll totally admit this is a filler blog entry with whatever I could think of at the moment. And at this moment, I thought maybe you guys would want to know about what I'm working on in my Pundit Presents series.

The very next thing, coming out this coming week, is going to be a book on some of the monsters and dangerous people and entities of the Last Sun world from my DCC Campaign.

Over the next several weeks, stay tuned for:

- a really weird extraplanar adventure, The Door of 16 Gates

-A guide to the gender-indeterminate Azure Order of Wizards from Last Sun

-A supplement on Domain Management and Mass Combat for Lion & Dragon (largely cribbed from Dark Albion, for those who don't own that setting and for some reason don't want to)

-A Lion & Dragon adventure scenario featuring a sinister evil warlord

-A guide to the Twilight Realm of the Fae, detailing the 'extraplanar' faerie/elf realm for Lion & Dragon/Dark Albion

So stay tuned for these over the next few weeks, plus more!


Currently Smoking: Little Devil Corncob + Image Virginia

Friday, 9 March 2018

DCC Campaign Update: It Was Probably Alan Moore

In our last session, the "heroes" were going through a dungeon, on the advice of Captain Harry (who turned out to be Heidi's grandson, from the future). He thought that the death of the Hippomagus could be made up for if Heidi obtained a very powerful Chaos sword that could slay Daemons.

They'd made their way through the whole dungeon, and got to a black door with some dangerous spells on it.


-Vizi was still up on the Sun, engaging in some couples counselling between Anema (the Spirit of the Sun) and Fabritzio (the rebel biker wight from the Zombie Empire, Anema's ex-boyfriend who had eaten her soul).
"OK you two, so the first thing to do would be for both of you to smoke a little weed!"

-Anema is a Celestial, Fabritzio is undead. Weed won't actually affect either of them.
"I would need some kind of undead weed."
"There's undead weed?"

-"Well, I'm basically out of ideas. When I was a shaman, weed would pretty much fix everything."

-"Do you have food here?"
"The Jesuses... Jesi... can make food. It's one of their tricks. Our whole pantry is pretty much just one loaf and one fish."

-"Hey Black Jesus, could I get some vanilla ice cream?"
"Seriously, motherfucker?"

-The ice cream solution doesn't work either.
"Anema doesn't really care for cold foods, and Fabritzio only eats souls."

-Vizi tries to get Anema and Fabritzio to make a list of their 'cons' about their potential relationship.
"Ok, let me see... Fabritzio's con is that he wants all the sexy ladies... Anema's con is that she's got a crush on the catboy."
"Oh for fuck's sake!"
"She even drew a little cute picture of a cat and some hearts."

-Vizi decides he needs backup, so he gets Sami summoned to the Sun. Fabritzio immediately hits on her.
"You're not  my type. You're poor."

-Historical Jesus takes the Catboy and Vegomagus on a quest to find Chocolate Jesus, who he thinks has betrayed them. In fact, Chocolate Jesus was eaten by Mongo.

-Vizi and Sami are sent back the others in the dungeon, since none of their relationship advice is really working anyways.

-"If that door doesn't have a magic lock, it should blow up when I shoot it?"
"I don't know."
" you're saying I should shoot it..."

-"RJ could summon a lobster!"
"Man, Vizi is so high right now!"

-Sami thinks her divine aid has dispelled the dangerous spells, but she's not sure.
"Sami is walking back into the hallway."
"You're not filling us with confidence here..."

-After some time, Sami actually makes certain she has dispelled the dangerous spells. Vizi breaks open the lock with his laser-sword, and Heidi kicks down the door.
"NYPD! Nobody move!"
"...I just always wanted to say that"

-There's a bigass classic-looking Demon in the room, guarding a badass heavy-metal-style black rune-covered sword.
"Orobaz is bound to stop you, underlings!"

-"Orobaz was bound here by a Daemon."
"Was it Alan Moore?"
"I am bound not to speak his name."
"It was probably Alan Moore."

-"Why don't you just leave?"
"Orobaz is bound to this room."
"Man, you must really be pissed off."
"Orobaz is very pissed off!"

-"What if we kill the Daemon who bound you?"
"Orobaz cannot name him."
"But it's Alan Moore, right?"
"Orobaz cannot confirm or deny."
"But can you say if it was a British dude with a long beard?"
"That could be at least a half-dozen Daemons."

-"I'll give you this delicious bucket of ice cream!"
"Orobaz is bound not to accept bribes."
"Damn, they thought of everything!"

-Vizi tries to use his psychic power to get a glimpse of the past in the area. But all he gets is an image of the old hag missing her master.
"Well, that didn't help."
"As usual, psionics do nothing."

-"Is your master among us?"
"The one who bound me is not here."
"Did the one who bound you write V For Vendetta?"

-Finally, the team decides to just fuck it, and Vizi, Heidi and RJ all empty their clips at the Demon from the other room, figuring it can't leave his chamber. Unfortunately, in the time they took the spells that had been temporarily dispelled have come back in force, and all their shots just bounce off the Wizard-lock force field.
"RJ dives to the ground, having made his saving throw. The rest of you guys take ricochet damage."
"So you're saying Jesus saves?"

-"Sami is really good with her laying-on-hands."
"does she lay on hands with a happy ending?"

-Heidi flies into the room and slams into the demon. The demon tries to hit him but fumbles.
"Orobaz is out of practice!"

-Republican Jesus empties a clip into the Demon.
"Eat hot American lead, haji!"

-Unfortunately, the demon is immune to normal bullets.
RJ starts to bless his M16.

-The demon hits Vizi and permanently drains 4hp from him!
"Can Jesus heal?"
"Not RJ, he just shoots the fuck out of shit."
"Historical Jesus can heal. Baby Jesus can probably heal. Black Jesus can get down. Chocolate Jesus isn't around anymore. And I'm pretty sure that Mexican Jesus is just a guy."

-Heidi gets a critical hit on Orobaz and cuts a chunk right through him.
"Holy shit, he just took like a solid block out of him, like it was a cartoon or something!"
"You made him a paraplegic!"
"Next sword he protects will be from a wheelchair!"
"Jesus, I kind of feel bad for the demon."
"Motherfucking giddy up!"

-While they were fighting, Captain Harry got a hold of the sword. The PCs finish killing the demon.

-"Should I get the sword now, Harry?"
"Depends.. what's your intelligence? Actually, maybe I should just hold it for now until we're at the Crown of Creation."

-Suddenly, just as the PCs are about to head back into the sun, they hear a weird TARDIS-esque sound, and they (and only they, not Roman or Captain Harry or Republican Jesus) are transported through a vortex into another place. A place with velociraptors dressed in victorian garb.
"Oh shit, the Time Dinosaurs!"

-They're on a multicolored platform seemingly made of light, leading down a walkway full of Kirby-Esque structures, culminating in a stunning ziggurat with a giant Robot head on the top!

-"Holy shit, you know what this is?"
"Yeah, another side-quest."

-The Time Dinosaurs lead the PCs up to the giant head, answering any questions they ask but always in their incomprehensible dino-language.
The Giant Robot Head's eyes light up.

-"Hey Bolt-0, do you know my my grandson Harry? He's a time traveler."
"Oh yeah, we're not with him."
"I totally remember him once saying 'fuck Bolt-0'!"

-It turns out that the great enemies of the Time Dinosaurs, the Dimension Bugs, are attempting another incursion into regular space-time. BOLT-O has extracted the PCs from their own time in order to take them to the pocket dimension they've prepared for their incursion, in order to stop them breaking through.
"Do we get paid for this?"
"Oh great."

-"You could come with us, BOLT-0!"
"You used to be a cool robot."

-The PCs are transported to some huge stairs. BOLT-0's head appears in a hologram with a final message.
"Oh great!"
"Even better."

-They go up the stairs to a doorway covered in strange non-euclidian patterns.
"Like, weird shapes?"
"Like, Lovecraft shit!"

-The door opens to an empty room.
"I throw the demon Orobaz's balls into the room!"
"Wait... you cut off the demon's balls and took them with you?"
"Ok... you toss them into the room and nothing happens."
"It's safe, guys! I walk into the room and recover the balls."

-The PCs find a trap door on the floor, but can't open it.
"I'll cut it open with my laser sword!"
"Hey, instead of destroying everything, why don't we check the other, normal door that exits the room?"
"But destroying everything has always worked for us so far!"

-They move on to a gallery of stunning (though sometimes eerie) paintings. Heidi and Vizi start immediately destroying the art.

-One of the paintings Vizi was about to destroys transforms into a cloud of blackness which envelops him, and spreads into the room causing fear to everyone. Everyone heroically abandons Vizi rushing to the next room.

-"Can we cast magic missile at the darkness??"
"Well no, for a couple of reasons. For starters, you have no magic-users."

-Vizi is completely enveloped by the blackness!
"Go Vizi! You've got him on the ropes now!"

-Vizi manages to defeat the blackness. The party then considers whether to fiddle around with the paintings, but finally just decide to round them ALL up and throw them into the pit of rotating knives they'd found in the other room.
"By the way that the GM is laughing, I'm betting that those paintings were important..."
"Hey, BOLT-0 picked us, he knows we're like this."

-They proceed down some stairs and find a library!  While Heidi starts looking at the books carefully, Vizi grabs a bunch and starts trying to throw them into a fireplace! As soon as he does so, the dust in the library starts to swirl and form into a Dust Elemental to attack them!
"Goddamnit, Vizi."

-They defeat the elemental, and then check out the books. Among the volumes they could identify were a Guide to General Engineering, A book about makeup, the complete works of Shakespeare, and a book written in Kobold called "Mysterious Transformation" (which turned out to be a romance novel).

-They move on to a room with some Tesla Coils, where they meet a creature made up of a patchwork-quilt of sewn body parts.
"It's a Frankenstein!"
"That's not a species. There's just one Frankenstein!"
"Well, that's one of them."
"Actually, Frankenstein was the guy who made him, not the monster..."
"No one cares."

-"Guys, that Frankenstein looks like it's concentrating really hard... or maybe it's about to fart!"

-"Hey are you the Frankenstein who drew those paintings upstairs? Because that art looked like shit!"

-The Frankenstein can use the electricity of the tesla coils, and is kicking the crap out of Vizi and Heidi, while Sami backs away and casts Lotus Stare; but she needs the Frankenstein to look at her.
"Hey, over here! Look! I'm topless!"

-After some more general beatings and Heidi fumbling and damaging his own jetpack, the Frankenstein finally gets caught by the Lotus Stare.
They move him away from the Tesla Coils (which were electrocuting the PCs as they fought), and then start literally 'disarming' him.

-They move on to a hallway that has weird escher-like effects as directions and gravity start to lose all meaning.

-Suddenly, they're attacked by some horrific insects that come out of the edges of the walls.
"So are those the Dimension Bugs?"
"There's two things you need to know about Dimension Bugs..."

-The dimension bugs fire energy webs that are very difficult to avoid. There's a crazy fight of PCs trying to hit the bugs while others break out of the webs.

-At one point, a bug criticals Heidi and pierces him with a stinger right through the jaw, costing him five teeth!
"Can the cleric heal that?"
"Clerics can cure light wounds, but not teeth."

-Vizi was paralyzed by the stinger; Sami tries to cure paralysis on him but fails, and gets her hands stuck in the web.
"Since my hands are stuck to him anyways, can I try again?"

-They manage to defeat the bugs, and see that past the hallway there's a vast hall, that is entirely at a 90' angle; one end goes off into the distance, and the other ends below in a huge tangled energy web like the ones the dimension bugs fired at them.

That's it for this session.  Stay tuned next time to see if the PCs get out of the pocket universe before they're totally screwed, and whether they will ever get to the Crown of Creation!


Currently Smoking: Blatter Diplomat + H&H's Delta Days

Thursday, 8 March 2018

RPGPundit Designer Review: Lion & Dragon

So, it's hard to get great reviews. Luckily, Lion & Dragon has had quite a few, including several on L&D's RPGnow page, some more on G+, and two video reviews (here and here)!

But I have a tradition of using my own reviewing skills on my books, because it would be a tragedy if the RPGPundit's reviewing skills were used on every book but his own. OBVIOUSLY, there can't be even the slightest pretense to objectivity here, I have a very clear and definite bias.  So instead of treating these like normal reviews, what they really amount to are 'designer notes'; an overview of what's in the book and to a certain extent what I were my motives behind including it.

So, this is a quasi-review of Lion & Dragon, written by yours truly, published by DOM games. The book is available in hardcover, softcover, and PDF. It's 130 pages long, and features a full-color cover, with a scene of medieval knights in battle.

Funny sidebar: the original cover was going to be a totally different image, of a gauntlet surrounded by a kind of fiery background, but when the publisher got the proofs he felt that it didn't look good in print.

(the original cover plan)

So he went with the new image instead. I think it was an improvement.

The interior art is black and white and utterly prolific, and since I had nothing to do with it I can safely say that it is awesome. There's images on practically every page, mostly old-timey art (which is particularly appropriate for the genre of the book).

So Lion & Dragon is an OSR game, derived from but not identical to any of the old-school D&D rulesets. Its rules vary in some important ways from regular D&D, but it's also immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with D&D.

Part of the difference in the game is based on the rules, but those are only in the service of the bigger difference: the thematic difference in the game. One of the publicity taglines I like to use for L&D is that "you only THOUGHT you were playing Medieval Fantasy, until now".  The main variation of Lion & Dragon is that it has an implicit setting, supported by the rules, that presents a true Medieval-Authentic roleplaying environment.

What does this mean? Well, most people would describe most of the standard D&D worlds as 'medieval fantasy', but they aren't really so much 'medieval' as they are Medieval-Funtime-World Ren-Faire settings complete with 20th century Wisconsin values (or more recently, 21st century Seattle-Portland values).

Lion & Dragon has the setting assumptions and the values of the real Medieval world; following the paradigm of what actual Medieval people believed, even about things like magic or monsters (and Religion, of course).

So the book starts out explaining these default setting assumptions, which, if you're going to play L&D straight, a GM will have to make an effort to engage with. In the book, each of these points are explained in detail:

1. Social Status is Extremely Important.
2. Monotheism
3. Life is Cheap
4. Magic is Rare
5. Civilization is Survival

As far as the mechanics, I'm not going to explain everything, because I'm just going to make a wild guess here and assume that 99% of you who read this have played D&D at some point in your lives. So what I'm going to get into here is the things that are different or unique about Lion & Dragon.

In the character creation section, the first thing that's suggested, as an option, is for the players to potentially be given two characters to use.  This way you can choose which character you're using at the start of a given adventure; and this solves several problems at once. First, some characters of certain social class might be more suited to certain situations. Second, it means that in spite of the game being more lethal than D&D, you can hopefully have a backup character so that you might still be able to do both higher and lower level sessions.

After rolling for basic ability scores, the very next thing you're told to do is roll for Social Class. In most D&D games, social class barely matters at all: peasants are just 'poor people' and nobles are just 'rich people', and in PC groups everyone gets an equal vote, and you might see a peasant offering unsolicited advice to a King.  None of that stuff flies in Lion & Dragon.

Your social class affects everything. A peasant PC will not be able to speak to a PC from a knightly family as if they were equals, much less badmouth a king to his face. A noble PC isn't likely to get a lot of friendly gossip from local peasants. Only a 'villain' (city-dweller) is likely to be able to get around comfortably in a city, which will seem like a very alien sort of place to everyone else.

Your social class will also determine your first skill, the background skill. Which is to say, what your father did for a living.
After this you roll on some random tables to get some defining detail from your past. This is technically optional, but the options on the table can certainly add some medieval style. Plus, the majority of them will give you some kind of benefit. You might have an animal companion, or have studied Theology, or have been previously conscripted to serve in an army, or have been kidnapped by elves as a child, or have been pardoned from a death sentence by some kind of miraculous event; there's many, many more options.

Players can also roll on tables to determine their character's names. These names are actually (from historical records) the most popular 15th century names for men and women in England, Scotland and Wales. The upper classes even get a last name!

Rules are also provided for randomly generating the PC's family. Families tend to be an important thing in the medieval world; and some campaigns are likely to be more focused on this than others (for example, campaigns based on noble families, "Game of Thrones" style).

Character equipment is also based on social class. A peasant will start with a bag of pennies, a dagger, a spear, padded jack armor (the most basic armor), and if they're very lucky, a bow and arrows.

A noble character will start with an average of 27 times more money than a peasant, a dagger, a sword, a horse, plate mail, and a shield. And of course, a family that owns sizable land and properties and influence.

Unlike most D&D games but similar to a few, characters in L&D are assumed to start at 0-level. This means they're starting the game at the end of their apprenticeship in their chosen class. The experience system is set up so that at the end of their first completed adventure, they advance to level 1 (the GM defines what counts as a 'completed adventure' of course). Obviously, if a GM doesn't want to run an easy-mode session where the PCs are raw beginners, he can just level them up to 1st level at character creation.

Character classes in the game are cleric, fighter, thief, and magister (magic-user) plus Scots Men (barbarians), and Cymri (essentially gypsies, or jacks-of-all-trade) as optional classes. The way classes work is an important variation on standard OSR rules. Instead of having a fixed set of abilities that are gained at given levels, characters start with certain fixed bonuses at level 1, and then refer to a random table for their additional benefits. Each level, they gain a small number of fixed hit points (1hp per level for most classes, 2hp per level for fighters and Scots Men); aside from that everything else is based on the advancement tables. Characters can choose (each level, including first) to either roll twice for benefits, or select one item from the list. This option allows characters to focus their characters or correct what they might feel are gaps in their abilities.

Table bonuses vary by class, but all of them include the option of more hit points, improved saving throws, and (excepting magisters) improvements in combat abilities.
Beyond that, each class has its own benefits on their table. Clerics get clerical miracles, and skill bonuses in theology or demonology. Fighters get way more combat bonuses, bonuses to initiative, and horsemanship. Magisters get lore (medieval knowledge of all kinds, because magisters are as much loremasters as wizards). Thieves get bonuses to their thief skills, backstab, and some specialist skills (like urbal lore, wilderness survival, courtly knowledge, appraisal, forgery, or artefact lore).
All this means that, even from level 1, no two characters will look alike in terms of stats or abilities, regarldess of character class. And yet, this is all done without 3e-style 'feats' or other such pseudo-superpowers, and without removing the niche-protection aspect favored by OSR play.

Skill checks in the game function on a "D20" style basis. Characters roll a D20 plus their ability score modifier versus a difficulty number.  If they have certain skills relevant to their task, they add the bonus they have in that skill.

The magic system is probably the single most significant variation in Lion & Dragon from standard OSR rules. In essence, in order to make magic Medieval-Authentic, it was necessary to completely ditch the Vancian Magic system.  In its place, Clerical magic is redesigned into a system to reflect medieval notions of miracle-working, and arcane magic is redesigned based on the ideas of medieval magic present in medieval grimoires.

Clerics have the opportunity to gain miraculous gifts on their advancement table. They automatically start with one at level 1. After that, they may or may not gain further ones by random rolls on their table, or of course they may forfeit rolling twice in exchange for selecting once. However, even in that case, which miracle they receive is random (being a gift from the divine).
There are only 8 miraculous powers in all: blessing, divine inspiration, holy light, holy weapon, laying hands, sanctuary, turning the undead, and holy visions.

However, once a cleric has all eight powers, he automatically gains the much greater power of Divine Intervention. Here, he prays directly to God, in the hope that God will make whatever miracle is necessary for him to achieve what he seeks. Of course, whatever the Cleric is asking for must be for a holy purpose. And if the divine intervention succeeds, the divine will then demand of him a (randomly determined) divine quest to fulfill (of varying degrees of difficulty) that the Cleric must undertake (with friends, if he likes).

In all clerical magic checks, the Player rolls a D20+ WIS modifier + level, vs a difficulty number (the number being variable). If he succeeds, the miracle succeeds. If he fails, he cannot attempt to pray for that miraculous gift again until the next day.

Magisters are a lot more complicated.  All magisters have the potential to learn a number of magical techniques (in the L&D rulebook, there's seven techniques in all, but in theory there could be more techniques and some of these are elaborated upon in some of the RPGPundit Presents supplements).
There's one technique that every magister starts with potential knowledge of: Summoning.  This works largely the same as the Summoning rules in the Dark Albion book. However, to summon and control a demon you need its true name and its sigil, and Magic-user PCs don't actually possess any of these at 1st level. They'd need to obtain them. Note that also, technically, anyone (not just magic-users) could perform summoning, only non-magisters would be much worse at it (and therefore under much more risk of catastrophic failure and demonic possession).

The other six techniques are Astrology, Cures, Banishing, Battle Magic, Astrological Talismans, and True Alchemy.  Each of these have a variety of different rituals under their aegis, and/or different tiers of ability, so techniques can be selected multiple times to get access to more or better rituals in the technique.

Clerics, with their powers, are largely similar in practice to D&D regarding how they use magic (even if the power themselves are a little different from Vancian Clerics). But magisters in Lion & Dragon work radically differently from D&D wizards.

For starters, apart from a couple of spells (the most basic form of banishing, a spell to become partially invisible, etc), almost all of what magisters do require complex rituals.  Most of these require materials (special objects, incense, precious metals, or a full alchemical lab) that are quite costly, meaning that a magister will either need to come from wealth, amass wealth by some means, or have a powerful patron to fund them. These rituals take time and sometimes have associated risks.

But in many cases, the rituals being completed, the result is something the magister can then use very easily in actual situations.
So for example, a magician who knows Astrological Talismans needs to go through a whole process to create a talisman, but after that, as long as he has it on him, he need only touch it for its power to work. A magister can't cast the "light" spell like in D&D, but one that gets a lab, the complicated material components, and succeeds at the ritual to create it can make an ever-burning lamp. High-Level magisters can be ridiculously powerful; but not because they could throw fireballs or lightning bolts. Instead, because they can produce Byzantine Dragonfire (or 'Greek fire' as we knew it historically) that they can fire (or more likely give to someone else to fire) out of a flamethrower-like pump or from little grenades! Master alchemists can even try their hand at creating the Philosopher's Stone (if they can get a Royal Charter permitting them to do so; or if they want to risk execution if they can't get a Charter) to make lead into gold and do many other wondrous things. Or they can try their hand at creating the most difficult and valuable magic of all: the Elixir of Life that could grant immortality.

The section on coin and equipment are largely taken from Dark Albion, another part of the roughly 20% of the book which is also found in the Albion book. This was done for two reasons: so that L&D could be a complete game not requiring Dark Albion to play, and so that even if you do have Dark Albion you won't have to be flipping around from one book to the other to look at the rules material.
But this chapter isn't completely identical! There have been a few entries added to the equipment. Also the Armor has been changed from the standard D&D types to the more accurate types of armor available in the late medieval period: 'padded jack', 'jack splint', 'brigandine', 'chain hauberk', 'plate & hauberk', and 'full plate'.
I've also added rules for cannons.
There's also a neat little rule about how, once in a PC's lifetime, he can choose a specific weapon that they like, give it a name, and have a bonus to hit with that specific 'signature' weapon.
The sections on poisons, herbalism, and (non-magical) alchemical recipes are included here.

In terms of combat rules, most of these will be immediately recognizable by any D&D fan. The game makes use of reaction rolls and morale rolls (2d6). Reaction rolls can be extended to apply to efforts to win over someone in a social situation, but it is always based on actual role-play. For obvious reasons, a column of rules on wilderness survival and orientation are provided.
Initiative is individual, on a D6 roll, modified by DEX and things like armor, and what action you're taking. Fighters (as part of leveling bonuses) can get bonuses to initiative. There's also plenty of emphasis on mounted combat (what with all those knights).

But really the two major innovations in the game are the critical table, which has the potential (however remote) of making any single hit a killing blow, and the parrying rules. The latter put shields in their proper place. Anyone can try to parry a successful hit; while fighters will again tend to be much better at it.
The parrying mechanic is based on rolling a parrying roll against the attack roll that just hit them, and then roll a die to see if they blocked the damage. The blocking die varies depending on whether you're parrying with shield or weapon, and is modified by Strength, magic shield bonus, and fighters and clerics add their level.
I made the blocking roll an all-or-nothing affair; if you roll higher than the damage rolled, you take no damage, otherwise you take all the damage. Some reviewers have suggested that I could have made it into 'damage reduction' instead, making lighter damage a possibility. GMs could certainly choose to do it that way, without having to change any of the mechanics.

Rules for injury include aging, illness, and infection (the latter can theoretically happen any time after taking a cutting wound). So yes, Lion & Dragon is so medieval-authentic that your character could die from infection! Or, you know, the plague.

The old monster-and-gold-based experience system is gone too. It just doesn't fit Medieval-Authentic adventuring, where many of the player characters should not be driven by questing for coin at all cost. I've supplanted it with a very basic system of gaining points for "adventures completed". The amount of points it takes to go up in level increases after the first few levels, topping up at 5 per level between levels 4 and 12. After that, it jumps to 10. The assumption of the rules is that the vast majority of human beings are level 0, and that only a very very few legendary people are above level 12.

The chapter on Treasure & Valuables sets up guidelines for how to do a more Medieval-Authentic perspective to "loot", which should obviously be quite different than the piles of money one would get in a typical D&D world.
There's some instruction on what typical NPCs from specific social classes would be carrying on them. Then there's hauls of treasure from locations pertaining to specific groups, these are: poor, wealthy, criminal, religious, non-supernatural animal lair, supernatural (unintelligent), supernatural (intelligent), and Tombs/Catacombs/Barrows.
Each of these produce varying possibilities of getting a variety of different treasure types, which have their own sub-tables: "trifles", "goods", "weapons/armor", "religious items", "valuables", "jewels" (which includes cash), and "Special items".

Magic items are, in part, covered in the sections on magical techniques. However, there's a special list of several dozen magic items. None of these are your standard D&D items. All of them are based on either religious objects, items from folklore and legend, or objects of historical importance that provide certain benefits from their association. So you have things like Agincourt Bows, Crusader shields, Eluned's Ring, a Griffin's claw, the Jarl's Ring, the Liber Officiorum (an example of a demon grimoire), Runecharms, the Sword of Goreu, Warwick's Sword, etc.
Each item is given a paragraph describing its origins/history, and its powers.

The Monster section is the first appendix to the book, and it features 40 different monsters, not counting a good selection of normal animals and a selection of stat-blocks for human opponents, and also not counting the demon stats that are in the section on summoning (or golems and homunculi found in the section on alchemy). All of the monsters are based on medieval-authentic sources, some more directly than others (that is, some are very much presented in the fully medieval style, while others include some degrees of interpretation). Aside from the normal animals, none will be exactly what you're used to from a D&D monster manual, even though many have the same name as creatures you find in the monster manual. You'll see satyrs and dwarves, giants and dragons, griffins and wights, but they're all designed with the medieval sources in mind.

The next appendix covers trials. This provides a series of simple but complete mechanics, where someone being tried for a crime (and let's face it, odds are sooner or later in the campaign some PC is likely to) will make a roll, with a wide variety of modifiers, to determine if they are judged innocent or guilty. This is again all based as much as possible on medieval jurisprudence (secular and ecclesiastical); for example, the punishments for the different crimes are based on what the standard punishments at the time were for said crimes in medieval England.  The section also covers trial by combat, and 'trial by vision' (where a cleric can potentially be called in to attempt to determine by divine intervention whether the accused is guilty or not). Rules for the appeals process and how to use lawyers (and bribery) are also presented.

The final appendix covers "Wilderland Adventuring".  This provides random tables and guidelines for ruins that PCs might find in a medieval-authentic wilderland (in this case put in the context of Albion/England). It also has a table of "random encounters in the wilderlands", of the sort of things you might find in the forests or mountains, far from civilization. Then there's a generation system with tables for "Settled Wilderland Areas"; this lets you generate who the local ruler is of this isolated area, the ruler's motivations, the state of the local economy, and interesting local details.

The back end of the book includes a character sheet, which is also available online as a free PDF.

So obviously, I'm not going to try to grade my own game.  I hope this breakdown of it's contents, and some of my ideas that went into designing it, will be of use to you in figuring out if it's for you.

If you're interested in a game that will provide a gritty and very medieval experience, whether to play historical encounters like the War of the Roses, the Anarchy, the 100 Years War, the Crusades, the Norman invasion, etc.; or whether you want to play something along the lines of Shakespeare's historical dramas, or Game of Thrones, or just want some kind of a hyper-authentic medieval system to go with your own authentic medieval setting, where you don't have Ren-Faire-World, but something more true to life, you're likely to love this game.

If not? Well, if you're already happy with your own game, you might find the rituals and alchemical practices of the magic section something you can bring into your own game. Ditto many other features, like the monsters, life events, trial rules, and more.

So if any of that appeals to you, check out Lion & Dragon, and be ready to have your whole idea of "medieval fantasy" taken to a whole new level!


Currently Smoking: Mastro De Paja Rhodesian + Image Virginia