Sunday, May 19, 2024

OSR Review & Commentary On The Cha'alt Experience: Designing Worlds Like A F*cking Boss By Venger Satanis For Any Rpg

 "This is how I built Cha'alt, and how I'm going to teach you to design your own campaign setting.  This is not like any other world-building tome.  Since conceiving Cha'alt, I've taken an unorthodox approach to its design.  The proof is in the gelatinous slime shaking like a bowl full of ichorous jelly - I'm in the middle of a second long-term campaign... after a couple hundred one-shots.  Cha'alt has become my imaginative home, and I hope to inspire you, as well as, provide the tools to make your own world where awesome adventures take place. "

"RPG Pundit wrote the foreword.  He was the perfect person for that particular job, as you'll read.  At the end of the advice portion of the book, I lay out our divergent yet somehow probably intertwined philosophies for the gaming ideal.  Two halves of the same coin, perhaps..."

"If you've ever thought of creating your own world, check this out.  Especially if you have any interest in the following... eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse, humor, sleaze, pop-culture, and grindhouse exploitation."

"Special thanks regarding the spider-jack random table (waiting to receive additional feedback before an official update to this title) goes to Roger Jones, Paddy's Parlor, everybody on the Inapprorpiate Characters monthly RPG show, and those participating over at TheRPGsite." 

The Cha'alt Experience: Designing Worlds Like A F*cking Boss By Venger Satanis clocks in at a hundred & thirty one pages of Venger's design & writing philosphy as well as process for creating Cha'alt. And it starts off with some words of wisdom from RpgPundit about this book. Because The Cha'alt Experience ( yes, this is how I shall be referring to it) takes in many of Venger Satanis's writing and designing process then runs you through it step by step. This is all done in wit and wisdom of Venger Satanis. 
Say what you want but in 'The Cha'alt Experience' Venger does know what he's talking about. He shows you from the ground up how not only to design a campaign setting but an rpg world setting from the ground up. 'The Cha'alt Experience' really compliments the three Cha'alt volumes in a way as both a 'behind the curtain' and solid guide to campaign creation. 
Is 'The Cha'alt Experience' any good?! If you've experienced any of Venger Satanis's other Cha'alt books then I'd say a hardy,yes! This supplement really goes hand to tentacle deeply into Venger's philosphy and writing style that the reader can take or leave. 
'The Cha'alt Experience' plays right into the guidelines laid down in Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows and this makes this supplement both a companion and supplement.  We also see this within the adventure included with 'The Cha'alt Experience'. 

And this is taken up with 'The Blind Monks of Perrshaar' the adventure that Venger ran at GaryCon this past year. 'The Cha'alt Experience' takes on the gonzo and cultastic rpg elements that Venger likes to use so much. And then breaks them down bit by bit for the DM or player to use at thier leasure.  Because of many of the gonzo and design wisdom found in 'The Cha'alt Experience' makes it completely 'rpg system agnoistic'. 
Is 'The Cha'alt Experience' worth the twenty dollar price tag?! That's another story, in my opinion because of the artwork and such. It costs alot to put together an rpg supplement today. Personally for my wallet, I'd wait until Venger has one of his killer sales before getting the 'Cha'alt Experience' 
Is the 'Cha'alt Experience' worth getting?! Yes if your looking for some solid advice on gettting into the deep end of gonzo and cultastic role playing then definitely! 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Deals Within Deals - - Cities Without Number, Stars Without Number, & Trey Causey's Strange Stars Rpg - Mirrors By Joseph Mohr - Session Report

We pick up with our party meeting in virtual space with the slavers representives after last week's   session available here. Our fixer did her job acting as a go between for a deal between  the Slavers Consortium & a coven  of  the Circeans witches called the Grove of Hope. The grove has a small piece of 'the rod of Evermore' which is actually a sophisticated nanite collective. The nanites are able make the infertile, fertile again. And we were able to actually wrangle a profit out of this mess in the meantime. We delivered the 'rod of Evermore' to the Slaver's representive. 

So using a combination of Einstein time and the hyperspace gate we made it back in time to avoid the foreclose on Guiron in the next few months. Which is actually days in relative time. Now of course we've got to do a job for the 'Grove of Hope' by delivering terraforming equipment. They however are also offering more information on genetic damage the colonists within the  Guiron system have suffered. 
This damage is generational but the cause has our party concerned because others could take advantage of thier vulnerability. So we are we looking at some sort of damage from an entropy weapon used in the system's past?
 This has the interest of  Major Bartholomew Rodriguez and the Interstellar Police because this weapon could still be in system. All of this stems from Joseph Mohr's Mirrors adventure available here

We've expanded far past the basic plot of Mirrors, and are now diving into deeper waters with 
the Circeans witches's terraforming delivery. We fear that there may be other powers involved with the delivery. We've got our cyberfreaks looking into the details of the delivery because we smell something weird?! 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

OSR Commentary & Ascendant Rpg Session Report Five - Capital City Casefiles #2: Served Cold By Karl Gustav- Gamber's Round

 The PC's in tonight's Ascendant rpg campaign session started poking around for evidence that Poker Face had indeed returned. The return of one of the group's old villains Poker Face means that the murder count could rise. This vile villain is highly unstable often getting frustrated in his schemes and taking his frustrations out on his victims. He has a hair trigger making this low level Ascendant very dangerous!  Tonight's session picks right up from May 1st session available for a read here.  Events in tonight's game up point the damage to the  criminal underworld from the fall out from Capital City Case Files#2 Served Cold. The adventure plot went something like this; "The heroes are sent to investigate a mysterious and brutal murder in a trendy apartment building by a Cartel enforcer, which leaves them racing to unravel the series of events that led to it, and trying to stop the rampage before it leaves any more corpses.." 

During tonight's game in Bludville the party finally got down and dirty with Pokerface's gang the  'Fifty'. What they weren't expecting was to go toe to toe with a mid level hired Ascendant thug called Bodyslaim  from the Cartels! This was a bit of a shlog for the party. They needed to work as a team because the mercenary Bodyslaim made short work of the team's two bricks. He literally brought two brick walls down on them. He both super strength, regeneration, and sonic powers! 
This attack came right on the heels of the party finding a vital clue and DNA evidence too the lair of Pokerface. 
The player's eventually dropped a car on Bodyslaim! And then before his regeneration could kick in called for backup from Dreadnaught Security to have him arrested. Dreadnaught sent in a clean up crew to take the mercenary in. 
The party then had the evidence gone over by thier own scientist Foxglove in Dreadnaught's crime labs. This is where I used the Ascendant Rogues Gallery for some of the background Dreadnaught Securities NPC's! 

 And the material is from Bluddville's meat packing plant neighborhoods. This is bad news. 
The party went toe to toe with the rest of the Fifty there last year while busting up one of Pokerface's dog fighting gambling and number's rackets! The party is also going to be crossing into one of thier villainous NPC mob bosses 'The Everyman'. A literal master of disguise who rules the meatpacking district with an iron fist! The party will have to arrange a meeting with the 'Everyman' to discuss terms! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Shrine of Thasaidon - Warriors of the Red Planet & Clark Ashton Smiths Zothique - Session Report

 Our characters in DM Paul's game entered a gateway to another plane but we were cautioned not to stray from the path. We strayed from the path and ended up on a flat ever expanding desert.The PC's immediately recognized the giant bloated red star in the sky. We found ourselves on Zothique

It is believed that the cover art can or could be obtained from Ballantine Books.

This was bad because we had no idea where on Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique we were. And we were in the middle of a desert. And on Zothique we were as good as dead. The deserts on Zothique the far future Earth is filled with all manner of undead horrors! 
We had water fortunately and some rations among our lot & we had plenty of weapons as well as ammo. Our party of Warriors of the Red Planet had a stomach full of experience with desert planets. 

We trugged through the desert wasteland for a couple of hours when we came to a rock shrine or small temple. The whole affair was covered in carved demons & outrageous devils writ in some odd form of common was the following: 
"Black Lord of bale and fear, master of all confusion!
By thee, thy prophet saith,
New power is given to wizards after death,
And witches in corruption draw forbidden breath
And weave such wild enchantment and illusion
As none but lamiae may use;
And through thy grace the charneled corpses lose
Their horror, and nefandous loves are lighted
In noisome vaults long nighted;
And vampires make their sacrifice to thee —
Disgorging blood as if great urns had poured
Their bright vermilion hoard
About the washed and weltering sarcophagi.

-- Ludar's Litany to Thasaidon." 
We looked around the shrine and then we heard the thunderous sound of foot falls. Before we could blink we were surround by men. 
And then we were surrounded by city guards! 'State your purpose & business within the kingdom of old Tasuun?!' Our mind master quickly stated, 'We are mercenaries and fighting men of forgein lands seeking employment, sire. " 
'You will find plenty of employment here sir. Quickly come in the Old Gate'. And we quickly brought before the master of arms of the Old City of Tasuun and brought onto the payroll.' 
Next week we find out our mission 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

OSR Review & Commentary On 'From The Beyond' By For The Wretched Rpg or Venger Satanis's Cha'alt

 "The Dha’arma Initiative has once again experimented with things beyond their control. The once benevolent Dr. Chuuth’Nay has unleashed an evil the world of Cha’alt has not seen."

"It is contained inside a secret underground lab… for now. Can your party survive the horror From the Beyond? Or will they too, come to understand insanity as I have?"

Clocking in at forty pages plus maps 'From The Beyond' seems like the kind of gonzo adventure that mashes up Venger Satanis's Cha'alt with the Wretched Rpg and it does! Silvia Clemente of Red Room fame once again proves herself as a good OSR writer/designer with an out and out dungeon romp taking place in an underground lab on Cha'alt. 
And things have gone down hill at the old Dha’arma Initiative laboratory. The whole facility has gone to the undead and it shows! There's monsters running all over this facility and causing all kinds of mayhem. The lab is a veritable maze with the facility filled to the brim with traps and tricks. Clearing this place isn't going to be easy at all. The writing is well done, the facility is dangerous, the layout is very well done, and the font is easily readable. 
'From The Beyond' could give even the most jaded Cha'alt veteran adventurers a work out as they try to figure out what's happened at the facility. Or this adventure could be used as an introduction adventure for a group of Wretched New Flesh second edition operatives or agents to figure out what's happened to the 'From The Beyond' facility. 
I don't want to spoilt the adventure but 'From The Beyond' is a five session or less adventure with lots of twists and turns! This adventure ties the PC's into a possible gut punch for all of Cha'alt. 
'From The Beyond' could easily be tied into the Book 3 of the Cha'alt trilogy's campaign events. The adventure easily fits within the bounds of a full on campaign as a side quest or adventure. 

But is 'From The Beyond' any good?! In a word, yes because of the fact that it can easily be adapted into your favorite OSR rpg or as a jump off point for an entire campaign centered on Cha'alt. This is an adventure that has legs. And hits the highs and lows of Cha'alt as a campaign setting easily. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

In Way Over Thier Heads - Cities Without Number, Stars Without Number, & Trey Causey's Strange Stars Rpg - Session Report- Mirrors By Joseph Mohr

 The PC's in tonight's game ran head long into some very dangerous aliens after two of thier cybersneaks broke into the mainframes of Guiron. They managed to break in and track down the high end genetic &  medical supplies from last session.  And then faked series of delivery orders for the medical center! The party flew thier space hauler there. And here's where things get very interesting! 

The party were met by a gaggle of Guironian Morlocks & cloned Guironian scientists who were in turn guarded by strangely fish like humaniods. The party wanted to know whom the Guironians were dealing with for thier medical supplies and the fish like humanoids telepathically told them. It was thier old friends the Slavers Consortium. Needless to say that the players were not amused by this because in the past the Slavers have been less then honest with the PC's. 
There has been some highly questionable cloning going on for several centuries on Guiron. The robbery of the hover train is cover the debt owed to the Slavers by the people of Guiron. 
The Slavers are trying to decide if the PC's are going to live or become slaves to be sold on the open market. The party didn't wait to find out thier decision and blasted thier way out. 
They contacted  Major Bartholomew Rodriguez & of course the Slavers Consortium made it look like the party had tried to highjack thier operations. The Interstellar Police arrived to inform the Slavers Consortium that they don't have the proper paperwork to operate within the  Guiron system. 
Behind closed doors the Interstellar Police also want the money back that the pirates cartel working for the Guironians stole. The party in the meantime wants out at this point and through several strings that Major Bartholomew Rodriguez pulled they were able to get out almost scott free. Except for the fact that the Slavers are pissed at them for interferring in  a major operation.  And the fact that the Slavers will foreclose on Guiron in the next few months. 

The party's fixer decided to get involved and now the party must find a major artifact that has significance to the Slavers to avoid the foreclosure order! More next week as the plot thickens! 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Review & OSR Commentary On Dirty Wars Corporate Armies In The Hostile Setting By Paul Elliot For the Hostile Rpg

 "Private military contractors are the mercenaries of the Hostile setting, fighting the 'dirty wars' ... unconventional, irregular, unlawful, complicated ... 

"These forces are hired by corporations, governments and NGOs to secure locations, carry out patrols, peace-keeping, VIP escort and, more recently, full-on combat operations in high-intensity war zones. "

"This book helps you create a experienced veteran - the perfect PMC candidate. It also goes into PMC organisation and mission types, and on establishing your own PMC. New military vehicles are provided, a useful kit list and a run-down of all of the 'dirty wars' in the Hostile setting."

Dirty Wars Corporate Armies In The Hostile Setting By Paul Elliot For the Hostile Rpg is the latest offering from the prolific pen of Paul Elliot. Dirty Wars dives below the surface of the dirty world of corporate armies. The first part of Dirty Wars goes into PC creation, career events, and career rotation for mercenary character creation. 
The author does an excellent job of creating no nonsense, grounded PC's without diving into action movie cliches. Dirty Jobs takes the worry out of PC creation with easy and straight forward creation in the world of Hostile. And in the world of Hostile there are literally plenty of opportunities for a mercenary campaign according to the intro; "Private military contractors in 2225 have many opportunities for employment, not just amongst the crisis zones and battlefields of a crumbling Earth, but on the off-world colonies that orbit remote stars. The long, icy tendrils of the corporate interstellar supply lines must be protected from saboteurs, fractious colonies, economic collapse and jealous colonial authorities. Do you want a piece of the action? If you have the relevant experience and clean rap sheet, then sign up!" So Dirty Wars this gives the impression of the deep & dangerous corporate warfare world of Hostile. And it's a really good overview in Dirty Wars. 

Hostile's big time corporate warfare players next from Amadeus Group to Vigo's Combat Specialists. Then we get the payers & client list which are a group of mega corporation that PC's really don't want to cross in the  world of Hostile. 
And then we get into contract work and taking a job. The DM actually gets mission & adventure types with set up, victory conditions, and exacution. This is done for the DM with style. 
Then we get into the down and dirty of creating a PMC which covers;"a Record of 10 or 20, which serves as a measure of their professionalism, efficiency and reliability, important factors in attracting investment." again this is a well done compliment to the system.  
Then the 'Gear & Rules' section which gives us new weaponry, gear, and more for our PMC. And there's some neat little bits and pieces here for a party. Then we dive into vehicles for the player's PC's. 
Finally, we get a 'Creating The Enemy' section which is a small tool box for creating oppostion forces from elites to common foes. This sesction has a small selection of great NPC's ready to take down your PMC. And then we get a nice 'Mission Randomiser' generator for creating missions and adventures on the fly. Even deeper into Dirty Wars we get a Warzone Encounters which is a tool box for on the fly encounters. 
We then dive into the Dirty Wars section  of Hostile a cross section of Earth, and beyond warzones where your PMC can shine! Note that Dirty Wars is a lethal and highly dangerous universe where your a bullet away from a new PC. Dirty Wars continues this tradition. 
Given the over all sheen of Dirty Wars, I've got to say that I continue to be impressed with the quality of writing, the design ethos, the layout, and solid vision of Dirty Wars & Hostile. Dirty Wars is an excellent fit for  the universe of Hostile. The overall package of Dirty Wars is absolutely consisent with the world of Hostile.