Monday, January 22, 2018

The Penis Showing Game


At first, I was just going to post this on Draconic Magazine straight-up (you should excuse the expression) because that's where I post all my free/bonus content.

However, this may be a subject that's too touchy even for me... and Alpha Blue.  That's why I'm opening it up for discussion.  Not just to those who play the game and back my Kickstarters (such as Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars), but gamers from all walks of life.

Re-watching the raunchy comedy Waiting... last night, it dawned on me that Alpha Blue, or at least one of its many scenarios, could use something like The Penis Showing Game to keep things interesting.

Basically, you try to catch others unawares, making them inadvertently look at your junk.  Then you ridicule them for being a homosexual and get to kick them in the ass (the number of times depends on how complicated the "exposure move" is).

Instead of free ass-kicks, characters would get something else.  Maybe temporary Health or a chance to Steal the Spotlight or something completely different.  I'll need to work on the details and playtest it before putting it one of the Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars adventures.

Perhaps, this is a popular game on a particular planet.  Maybe this is something the Federation has instituted in order to keep up morale or distract from lackluster policies?  In the end, the reason doesn't really matter.  Fun is the most important thing - and the dumb, inappropriate, gross-out humor of The Game is what will generate this particular fun... one hopes.


I'm 43 years old, so old school comes naturally for me.  I like things vintage, for the most part, and the discrepancy between what's acceptable today and some bygone era fascinates me.  Now, you wouldn't normally think of a 2005 movie as old fashioned or out-of-date, but that's probably how it looks to us in 2018.

Yes, terms like fag, faggot, meat gazer, etc. are potentially offensive and frowned-upon in our over-sensitive and politically correct world.  I don't have anything against any sexual proclivity or lifestyle choice that happens between consenting adults.  Neither do I have anything against ripping on people for liking a certain thing or being a certain way.

I don't want to offend anyone.  I don't go out of my way to offend anyone, either.  However, sometimes I say or do things that are "offensive."  People don't have a right protecting them from potential offense, and yet, in this day and age, claiming a state of offendedness can be politically expedient. Victims seem to have more power at the moment, but I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way sooner or later.

Can't please everybody. That's part of our world, part of being human.  It's a catch-22 wrapped in a mobius strip that flows like a snake we ride through the velvet goldmine.

In any case, if you have a comment to make, I'm listening!

VS


Monday, January 15, 2018

Alpha Blue session report - Ta'andor Rising


I ran another one-shot (actually part 1 of 3) of Alpha Blue last Friday night.  This was a playtest session for my current Kickstarter campaign Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars.

We started things off with character creation, but unlike every other session... things went a little differently.

Five players, three hours, and fast times at Ta'andor galaxy...


  • Alpha Blue has its own "what's going on?" info-crawl at the bottom of every display screen (including ships refueling in the space station brothel's hangar), allowing patrons to hear about events, news, promotions, specials, sales, and hooker availability at a moment's notice.
  • The crew of The Stargazer decided to crash the Miss Ta'andor Bikini Contest.  Bribing the humanoid shark doorman.
  • On the way, drugs were purchased, imbibed, and bought in bulk!  Also, spare starship parts were ordered.
  • After choosing three teal-colored women (who were all half-sisters to each other), their pimp required extra payment.  He was poisoned and the PCs got out of there quick - but not before grabbing the pimp's room key.
  • They robbed the pimp's room and grabbed a blu-ber that was waiting for them.  Two lifeforms were having sex in the backseat.  Hung-Solo joined in.  He wanted to "wash of this stank."  Luckily, there's an app for that.  The blu-ber's driver hosed his mega-penis off before they stopped at a checkpoint.
  • They bribed the security officer to let them into the hangar, even though they looked just like the suspects' descriptions.
  • The pimp had a cache of supplies and information on Ta'andor Prime - a planet at the center of the galaxy that was rich in blue crystal.  Many factions poised to exploit the planet, but so many that it's turned into a deadly competition.
  • The PCs were allowed to enter the Pleasure Seekers of Ta'andor faction and hired to collect arms from the Mutant Death Squad faction and bring it back to them.
  • I learned what "ruggedized" means... as in, that pleasure droid should be ruggedized if she's going to hold up on a deep space voyage with these spacers.
  • They set off for a planet in that sector of the galaxy, but had to get through Krylon space first - and they were attacked by two Krylon raiders.  The PCs evaded the enemy ships instead of being destroyed.
  • After the arms deal, they landed on Ta'andor Prime and grabbed the dead pimp's loot.  

While this session was low on sexual activity (Samuel Jones had some off-camera stuff with the teal "ship's entertainment" who had nice hands) and non-starship laser battles were noticeably absent (I'm pretty sure that's never happened before), it was awesome. 

I got to break out the new map of Ta'andor galaxy!  Oh yes, and my wife bought me LED candles for Christmas, so I got to use those.  About a dozen different colors to choose from and they work on remote control.  I used them during the session, but could have used them more... pink for when the sex happens and red during ship-to-ship combat.

Session #2 won't happen for another month.  Though, I'm interested in running some quick demo games on Roll20...

VS


Friday, January 12, 2018

Ta'andor Galaxy


I've got +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal)'s map(s) in hand!

A laminated one for me (my players spill a lot of soda and the occasional cocktail or beer) and three vinyl "outdoor banner" maps (that can be easily rolled up and shipped) for Kickstarter backers.

Yes, Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars is ongoing... support your local independent space opera smut-peddler!

The maps are 44" x 34" and represent the greater part of the Ta'andor galaxy.  There's humor, well-worn sci-fi cliches and homages, as well as, good old fashioned sleaze.  This hex-map will be accompanied by pages of random tables.  The Bold Dungeon Space Master (BDSM for short) can whip up an entire night's gaming - or even a campaign - with nothing but the map and a few rolls.

The adventures will be equally awesome!  Now that we're nearing another stretch goal, there will be 4 short scenarios - each an engaging and wild ride through contested Ta'andor.  Why is it so valuable?  What makes Ta'andor Prime the most precious and dangerous planet in this quadrant of the universe?  Together, all this forms a unique setting.  Apart, these scenarios and random tables are great for idea mining, one-shots, convention games, or stringing loose sessions together just to see what happens next... sandbox style.

Alpha Blue doesn't get the mainstream press like a lot of other sci-fi RPGs.  That's ok.  I'm well acquainted with the dark alleys and gutters, the red-lit flop houses and dens of iniquity.

I ask you, my fellow libertine gamer, to help spread the word.  Our sleazy shadow is growing.  Soon, you'll be joining us in the space champagne room.  A couple bounty hunters and a pleasure droid assassin are playing pink-pong over in the corner.  I'm talking to a scaly stripper who knows an ace pilot down on his luck.

Party's just getting started, spacer.  Bring a friend or two.  Normally, it's 10 credits at the door... but the first time's always free.

VS


Thursday, January 11, 2018

It's Kort'thalis Publishing Day!


Not only is 111 my favorite number (for a variety of reasons), but Kort'thalis Publishing was founded on 1/11 about 5 years ago. 

As many of you already know, it's not easy being an independent publisher in the tabletop RPG market.  And yet, I feel enormously successful and gratified that we have so many awesome fans eagerly awaiting MOAR CONTENT!!!

So, all this weekend we're celebrating with some outrageous sales...

The Outer Presence is 50% off!

Blood Dark Thirst is 50% off!

Crimson Dragon Slayer is 50% off!

Also, don't forget about the Kickstarter currently funded and trying to reach those lofty stretch goals.  Check out and please share Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars.  I would love to see new gamers back my project!

Thanks,

VS

Monday, January 8, 2018

Kort'thalis Publishing Testimonial


[First, a quick reminder that my latest Kickstarter Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars is still going.]

It's always nice to hear that you've made a positive impact on someone's gaming life. 

The following was posted by +Brian Courtemanche on the Kort'thalis Publishing g+ community (please join us!)...

I am fast becoming a fan of Kort’thalis Publishing. It started a couple of weeks ago with my purchase of The Outer Presence rpg and then having a great time running/playing it with friends this weekend. I’ve just now downloaded the Crimson Dragon Slayer bundle (CDS, Candy Crypts, and No Escape from New York) from DriveThruRPG.


The combination of simple, playable rules plus utterly gonzo situations is glorious. I’ve been on the rpg scene a long time (started with AD&D a loooong time ago) and this stuff is a breath of pure FUN. I’d sorta forgotten about fun. Somewhere down that line I became more concerned with rules systems, simulationist vs. narrative play styles, balanced encounters, and a whole bunch of Not Fun stuff that somehow crept into my skull. And in the midst of all that, I’ve spent a ton of money on crappy games (or games that used to be cool but have ‘upgraded’ to crappier editions), and wasted a lot of time. And must have had a blind spot to Kort’thalis Publishing somewhere in the middle of all that. Well I’m correcting all that now...rather like a blind man learning to see again. More like finding the FUN again!

Venger, man, thanks. Really, thanks. Your stuff rocks. I took a look at CDS 1.11 - the whole less gonzo, more dark science-sorcery stuff - and went ‘ugh! No! I want my crazy!’ And promptly purchased/downloaded the original CDS (bundled with Candy Crypts and No Escape from New York). I’ll buy a few more of the modules and such when my credit card has had a few weeks to lick its wounds.


Venger - speaking as a customer and consumer of the glorious products of your fevered imagination - I implore you to please keep these two things as your guiding stars as you forge more material:


1. Keep the rules simple. Please, please, please. I’ll take a simple, well-wrought system that handles the basics cleanly and leaves room for GM and player ingenuity any day over the plethora of overly-complex, pain-in-the-butt, multi-chapter mega-tomes that take forever to learn and shoehorn one’s gameplay to fit within a matrix of Byzantine rules. The simplicity and robustness of your game rules are a huge breath of fresh air, Venger. When we played The Outer Presence this weekend, explaining the rules to the players was a snap and we just got on with it. That ease of play and level of comfort with simple, robust rules that let us just get on with things can not be undervalued or overstated.


2. Keep it gonzo! When running The Outer Presence this weekend, my group had a blast partly because it was so ‘oh wow. Huh.’ Meepie atrocities, Dr. Steiner’s whole attitude, the weird thing floating thing flitting about the mountain (don’t want to get too specific and give anything away). One of my players rolled randomly for his background and got that he was an, um, ‘body double’ (say no more) for 1970s adult films. Well he took that and ran with it for the entire session. It was great. And now I’m skimming Crimson Dragon Slayer (just bought it, must now eagerly give it a proper read) and there’s the gonzo...well written gonzo! To me, the new, more somber approach of CDS 1.11 feels...meh.


Give me adventures that feel like a 1980s Conan rip-off made in the back half of a Spencer’s gift shop! Adventures that feel like a 1970s black velvet fluorescent poster lit by black light. I can get ‘somber, serious’ (aka: more muted and dull) stuff in a pile of other rpg offerings. Your stuff pops off the page because: a) it’s gonzo and b) you write it very well. A lot of people try for gonzo but they really don’t have the imagination and wordsmithing skills to pull it off. It just comes off as cheap and immature. But your stuff - well you hit the mark!

The potent combination of simple, rugged rules and unchained, un-politically-correct, refreshingly original craziness has made me a fan. Keep up the great work, man! Thanks, Venger! - Brian C.

_________



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars


I've got a new Kickstarter.  Here's the link!

Basically, I'm trying to fund three Alpha Blue adventures.  Each will focus on a slightly different aspect of the game - sleaze, laser sword-wielding action/adventure, and deep space exploration.

To go along with these scenarios, +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) and I are working on a galactic map full of territories/factions, planets, stars, and all kinds of craziness.  The map will correspond to a plethora of random tables revealing what's going on in each sector of the Ta'andor galaxy.

I'm excited about this project, and I hope you'll help make Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars a reality!  ;)

Thanks for climbing aboard,

VS


Friday, December 22, 2017

Player's Handbook like a Fucking Boss


Yes, I've been busy (again)!

Just a few moments ago, I completed the upload process for my latest fantasy roleplaying game aid.  It's called Player's Handbook like a Fucking Boss, a 32 page PDF that's got everything from the defining moment that forged you into an adventurer to badass names for your magic items.

This book is for all the various iterations of D&D, including retro-clones and 4th wave OSR weirdness like Crimson Dragon Slayer.  It's strong enough for a GM, but PH-balanced for all you struggling players out there who keep dying all the fucking time.  Aren't you a little sick and tired of not surviving the first level of the dungeon or a raucous tavern brawl?  Yeah, I thought so.

Do yourself a favor and check out Player's Handbook like a Fucking Boss!

As usual, lots of fantastic artwork and +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) made it that much more awesome because of his mad layout skillz.

Venger As'Nas Satanis
High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing


Monday, November 27, 2017

Close, but no Cigar


FYI, this blog post is kind of a bummer - sorry in advance.

Remember that Adventure Writing Contest I kept posting about?  Well, it came and went.

I offered the sun, moon, and stars... but only received 5 entries.  After reading them, I've determined they're all equally "pretty good."

Unfortunately, nothing came close to rocking my world.  Since there was no clear winner, I'm offering the following gamers who submitted their adventure my thanks and either $20 via paypal or 4 Kort'thalis Publishing PDFs of their choice...

  • Tim Edmonson
  • Herman Klang
  • Mark Nolan
  • Gage Berry
  • Andrew "Zakero" Moore

In November 2018, I intend to hold this contest again, except this time the prize pool will be $750. I encourage all prior entrants to submit brand new scenarios for consideration, as well as, everyone who's picked up Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss.  With reviews like that, how can you go wrong?

Meanwhile, I'll be working on a part 2.  Clearly, there's lots more to say on the subject.  

Thank you,

VS

p.s.  If I receive at least 10 qualified submissions next year, I promise to name a winning entry.  If I find myself in the same quandary, I'll pass the buck to a neutral 3-person panel in order to determine the victor. 

p.p.s. The Kermit / girl almost showing her boobs but flicking him off GIF isn't meant to crap on anyone.  It merely attempts to encapsulate the disappointment which I'm sure many of us feel (myself included).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Gamma Turquoise PDF live!


I've said it a dozen times already, but will say it again to those awesome folks who backed the Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport Kickstarter - Thank you!!!

So, what's it all about?  Earth barely survived nuclear bombardment decades ago.  The southwest is one of the few areas that wasn't totally decimated, but it's still a weird and dangerous place.  There's trouble at the Santa Fe Starport... and this trouble is a many-headed beast!

Well, the scenario with a side-order of campaign setting turned out much longer and even more gorgeous than I originally intended.  +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) had everything to do with the latter.  Regarding the former, so much went into this fucker that I'm 111 shades of exhausted.  Wanted to get it out there before my birthday on November 25th.  So, now I can rest for a few days before starting new stuff.

The PDF is right over here. 

Enjoy and have a turquoise turkey day from all of us at Kort'thalis Publishing,

VS