Friday, December 29, 2023

Review of Investigating Censor at World Building and Woolgathering

Solomon VK reviewed my new dark RPG wargame Investigating Censor at World Building and Woolgathering as part of a recent post.

I was originally inspired to put up Investigating Censor at as well as DTRPG because Solomon put his setting sourcebook Punth there, and I liked the minimalism of the site's appearance and process. Where to publish game PDFs is a real consideration, as DTRPG will give you a better deal if you do digital publishing exclusively through them. However, I had multiple motivations to diversify because I wasn't sure that Investigating Censor would pass DTRPG's content review; their content policy standards have seemed mercurial at times. 

I have been writing another adventure for Investigating Censor (The Hands of Lacquermere) intended to demonstrate applications of all concepts in the base game; it is geographically smaller-scale than Seven Leopards, encompassing a single polity and its surrounding wilds, but is much higher-resolution. Solomon, your Herculean spirit has stood behind me with brass knuckles and a club of wild olive during the editing process. I know that if I were to stretch sentences in the fashion of Procrustes, you would challenge me to a wrestling match, break my ribs, and consort with my female relatives, and so I have levied a grave and severe edit on The Hands of Lacquermere.

I want to draw attention to Semiurge's recent post, D20 Things That Might Go Wrong If You Have Too Many Hirelings, which would be an excellent addition to an Investigating Censor GM's toolbox, or anyone running a retinue-based wargame. 

Stay tuned for The Hands of Lacquermere!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Passages from Investigating Censor and Seven Leopards

Artpunk Maximalist Weird Fiction WARGAMING

The Diluvian Augur of the Sea of Steeples

The Shipgutting Galley of the Duke of Umber

The Peasants and Mummies of Sugarcane Mire

The Sacrificial Winter Temple

The Pluripotent Blastocysts of the Infrared Eels

Thursday, December 21, 2023

New Art for Investigating Censor

I am a huge fan of Evlyn Moreau's work; she continually releases inspired, original material at her Patreon, and occasionally also offers to do commissions. When she announced her most recent round of commissions, I jumped in and requested a pair, one for Investigating Censor, and one for Seven Leopards.

The results: Bad Ass.

The Nocturne Keeper

Warrior Monk of the High Dreaming Citadel

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Seven Leopards

This is a complete adventure for Investigating Censor.

Sugarcane Mire
Port Umber
Forest of Molten Memories
Sea of Steeples
The Rosebud Bocage
Mount Submission
The Open Wild


You have been deployed to a province where the potentates of the former pirate regime still reign. Your mission is to depose or reform the seven lords and warriors who have sworn undying enmity to the High Dreaming Citadel and the City of White and Gold. 

        The Seven Leopards
The Duke of Umber
The Mayor of the Mire
The Oracle of the Second Sky
The Sweet One
The Nocturne Keeper
The Captain of the Diluvian Augur
The Arrowseer

Sugarcane Mire

A forest of burbling mud with a smell like something baking. Trees that are warm to the touch, something ill and alive. Charcoal-hued, blue-eyed crocodilians cling to them. 

There are boiling pots submerged to the rim in hot spring sludge wells alight with herbs separating into tinctures, their crystals dancing in the steam. 

Men patrol, their lanternflames like stirring paper, off-white and silent, their boats made from the black bones of osseous rays that swam in from the sea. 

Black sugarcane reeds rise from submerged corpses. They are like smoke trails of a sooty fire fixed in time. 

The teeth and tongues of the sugarcane mummies are all that can be seen of the bodies, men and women who died sucking half-breaths through the water while incanting men of faith stood with solemnity atop them.
Their bellies are filled with herbs bound together into ulcer-blooded pharmakeia, rich things of vitiating power to certain nature spirits and thunder-bodied orb minds exiled from other aethers. If a freshly dead man's brain is placed inside one of these structures of herbal fabric, a mandragoran infant with continuity of consciousness with the dead man will be gradually born within. It will grow into the selfsame man or woman, but with a body of reeds and alchemically-imbued twine. 

The homes of the people here are submerged wickerwork, castles of bone-ribbed hallways woven from reeds. They are lit by softly luminescent orbs pried from the bones of dead anglerfish. The people sleep softly on warm beds of rotten bark. 

There are revolutionary peasants in the mire. They wield pikes so long they will bend and their blade tips will find their skittering way into your armor. Filthy-kneed bowmen will fire from mossy half-stumps or mud-sodden ridges lit by faerie lights. Canoes scraping over submerged roots, torches almost dying in the misty air.

Monastic rule is anathema to them. They hunger to destroy proud interlopers, and will on every occasion attempt to lure you into their swamp as they have done to horsemen and heavy infantry for many hundreds of years. They will prey on your presence and ensure reversion to the old ways.
They are no friends of their pirate lords but they are participants in the same faith, giving living men to the bog to drown and be preserved and feeding corpses to the black sugarcane that is their food and export.

The mayor of their submerged commune lives in a pile of wood with torches equidistant at 12 intervals so that its interior will never be entirely lightless. He takes meetings here with even the most hostile interlopers and gives them one chance to leave the commoners to their swamps, their cane, and their drowning of humans.

He wears 12 apostles leather bandoliers each with alchemy at the ready at a 1/20 rate of each. See Appendix J: The Uses of Alchemy. In a hot situation, he will tear off the one closest to his chin, check its type, and use it however it seems to apply. 

His wife makes sugar confections shaped like men which bob in the bog water like someone stuck in mud and melt gradually into the water as the quarry approaches, and the peasants ready their pikes.

The Mayor of the Mire
Acuity: d12
Alchemy: d12
Archery: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Flute: d12
Gambling: d12
Impersonation: d10
Poetry: d10
Prowess: d12

Sugarcane Peasant (5d20)
Acuity: d6
Alchemy: d6
Archery: d6
Fetches and Fetishes: d6
Flute: d6
Gambling: d6
Prowess: d8
Can attack at 15’, fights at d4 Prowess within that range.

Port Umber

Many ports are like violent fists and stomachs that vomit across themselves by night and burn with rashes each morning. Port Umber is a brooding mind alight with burning eyes, its thick neck ascending in stronghouses across the seashore, its disciplined thoughts turned to animal purposes.

The chaos of the pirate ports is kept behind closed doors by the amber-armored halberdiers paid handsomely to split skulls along the lanes, raucous hell-raisers curb-stomped and left to recover, actual criminals cut down by razored blades or dragged to the nearest pier and drowned for the glory of the giving seafoam. 

People live a semblance of normality away from the waterfront and gory tide. Law permits contracts, resale, doors locked but not barred. There are people here who would be normal in the Castellan cities, decent men and sweet girls, august matrons and loving mothers. Almost all give thanks to Leviathan for their peace and prosperity. 

A Duke of the former regime retains naked power in this place. His sprawling manor projects out upon the sea, a splendorous shantytown of rooms, each distinctive by its subtle protrusion from the superstructure as if all were stretching for position, drooping or rising or curling out above the sea.

His manor is conspicuous with tall-windowed festhalls with vast murals, relatives in finery, dogs, swords, mustaches, tables ensuring no wasted space with bowmen watching from cobblestone pillars built into the walls themselves and from balconies to unknown places, supervisors of pork and wine.

The eaves of his manor hold many hidden infiltrators, for they are the best proactive defense against rooftop killers

The Duke of the pirate quarter is cloaked in gold-hemmed olive sable, his hair drawn back, eyes practically gleaming red in the mind’s eye yet are a dull brown which merely radiates malevolence and power. He leaves crippled men in his retinue’s wake, their bodies saying do not trifle, do not pretend, do not love me, do not seek sympathy or companionship in me, for he fears death and poison and will these things no means of approach. Men's hamstrings are cut, their backs are stove in, their legs are twisted round so that the district gazes in grim horror and whispers, deal straight with him or leave him be.
The snout of his galley reaches from its kennel at the waterline chained in an arched tunnel beneath the floorboards of his home, a red ram not entirely metal but oiled with the brittlemaking shellac of the shipgutting ammonite. Armored marines glint behind the wolfshead stern  around campfires on the actual deck, so proof is the Duke's ship against the weapons that burnt his son alive at sea.

The Duke of Umber
Acuity: d20
Alchemy: d12
Archery: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Horsemanship: d12
Impersonation: d10
Poetry: d12
Prophecy: d6
Prowess: d12
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d12

Defensive Infiltrators (2d4)
Acuity: d8
Alchemy: d6
Archery: d8
Fetches and Fetishes: d8
Gambling: d6
Impersonation: d8
Prowess: d8

Retinue Marines (6d6)
Acuity: d6
Alchemy: d6
Archery: d8
Gambling: d6
Prowess: d8
1/4 armor

Forest of Molten Memories

A place where all people of this province once went to die, old and sick and festering. The ruined, the jilted, those cursed by the moon god. Executioners dispatching their passengers, mothers exposing their babes, Monks of the Other Sky making Coins of the Junction. The corpse wood was forever a sallow half-light, mist bladed by silver sunshine through the tree boughs.
The dead leaves come like paper from a burnt scriptorium, rustling in green grass at the hem of the bocage. When the people of the pirate coast turned their prayers to the sea, the tree spirits were left with their moon-bleached bones, but new deaths were levied in the tide. The tree-healing mist of corpse miasma has risen from the wood with the cessation of sacrifice, but the people of the coast have not forgotten this place, lest it reach out and take what it once was given. A hero in black pays subtle homage to the ancestors, spirits, and tree ghosts here, a living sacrifice from the ranks of the foremost sea robbers. He guards the forest and only sometimes lends his battle hand at sea.

He wears a tall, circular helm painted with a wolfshead, shag in charcoal stripes, the yellow eyes like lantern lights. Dark square armor clads his shoulders and chest. A black bow invisible in the darkness. A silent horse and saddle. He carries bone-white blades drawn only in close encounters and a fishhooked spear to bring foes from horseback. There is a netting of lamellar fishscale hanging darkly by the horse's knees.

Ghosts are his eternal allies. He lays hanging nocturnes in his ambush wood. He does not fear them. It is said that banshees are silent with his admiration.

The Nocturne Keeper
Acuity: d12
Alchemy: d12
Archery: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d20
Flute: d12
Horsemanship: d12
Impersonation: d8
Poetry: d10
Prophecy: d4
Prowess: d12
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d12

The Rosebud Bocage
Trees crisscross this grassy land like plans for evisceration, track marks planted by a vision mocking the fey Castellan bocages through subtle imperfection.

There is a summer palace of white towers amid tall and sprawling gardens. The outer doorways are white trellis archways over passages to absolute darkness. There is firelight after labyrinthine turns and the sound of polite laughter.

Her halls are hearthlit places of reddish stone where courtiers stand and speak with tight cordiality or conspicuous boldness. The floor is laid out in layers like a low ziggurat. When she is present, she sits upon the height.

Her clothes are piled upon her in heaps of crimson and silver. She sits in a chair that cannot be seen beneath her raiments. Little wooden tables of delicacies are her companions. A continual rotation of courtiers comes to lean by her ears and lips.

She has only one eye. The other was plucked by a witch during her girlhood.

Her eye has all the gravity, darkness, and inhuman danger of a black hole. Everything in the room revolves around it. No one can keep their eyes off her for long, and anyone whom her gaze falls upon stands trial on capital charges. 

She is master of the whisper. Everyone in this court is her agent. Poisonings are continual as she beats her power structure into shape as if perfecting a blade.

The brush of a fingernail. Steam breathed from whispering lips. A flick of tincture from the fingertips. Garments made deadly overnight so that the victim thrashes, screaming with agony, amidst shouts of laughter at afternoon tea. No one can know where she will strike. All they can do is perform in a theater where the only correction is death. But the rewards are lavish indeed.

Her agents are innocuous. Pleasant young women with something behind their eyes. Harmless old men whose evil lives are not apparent at first glance.

Her calculus is as unknown among the Seven Leopards as it is within her court. Many poisonings are attributed to her. They treat her with scrupulous courtesy.

The Sweet One
Acuity: d20
Alchemy: d20
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Gambling: d12
Impersonation: d12

Courtier (3d12)
Acuity: d12
Alchemy: d12
Archery: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d6
Flute: d8
Gambling: d6
Horsemanship: d8
Impersonation: d12
Poetry: d8
Prowess: d6
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d8

Mercenary (3d20)
Acuity: d6
Archery: d6
Gambling: d6
Prowess: d8

The Sea of Steeples

A crosscross field of crooked white spears demarcates the edge of this hedgehog ocean. The air is sodden with hot steam and the fish grow white in the water. The spikes are thermal flues rising from the ocean floor. They pierce the fathoms to disgorge boiling gall, and all that passes by takes on an unhealthy pallor. 

In the depths of the flue field white islands rise, pallid piles of pseudostones collected like stacks of sand-dollars onto a still portion of ocean. The pirates have scraped square caverns in the brittle concentrate and they lay languid in the powerful sun, bent by liquor, laying in bundles to sweat their last bender, or sometimes murdered and cast to bleach out as bones. 

The flues coil the sky with their heat. Striations run crosscross across them, and when broken they will burn matter without fire, cut holes of disintegration into passing ships. 

Beneath the island there is a great air pocket packed around with algae and sealed from rupture. There are rickety wooden shantytowns built like shelves or steps in a rope ladder against its shifting walls, which descend to a great burbling grotto at the base of things where there is a mouth to the steam-filled sea.

This reeking algae-bounded cityscape is the port of call for a beast born of antediluvian terrorism. Its mantle was torn from the bones of a leviathan while seeding life into the sea. It carries men to live like sea life and engage in economic cannibalism, crushing and robbing the ships that ride the trade winds by the Steeple Sea.

Eldritch blue, it is mottled with an intensity and depth like a nebula stripped of black space everywhere but behind it. Its teeth hold a measured malevolence as if a grimace before words come to blows, or a smile at a foe's unseen error.

Its flesh emerges from an ovular sheath of osseous stone. When it arises, the green sea plunges down, walls of falling water with a great shattered orb of glossy bone at the bottom. Ships are smashed against it, their contents falling into its fissures, unctuous portals of film holding back the water. Within the beast mushroom-like mantle spreads from its core, its fanning inner lines glowing gray with bioluminesence. Its asteroid-hard bone-end can catch the sun from a pit of shadows.

Its human captain is unhinged by the monster's twists and turns beneath the sea, and yet he guides it, pulling at its flesh to surface it beneath sea lanes and splinter passing ships like pincered walnuts, crewmen screaming with horror and dismay.

His men catacomb themselves in the folds of putty-soft flesh at the core of the beast that is warm, limp, dry, and breathing. They are carried through innumerable turns and spring forth when they feel hulls crashing on the rocky surface.

The captain’s purple coat hangs from him, his underclothes practically rotted away, his scabbard and boots freshly oiled, his sword taken from an elephant noble of a distant archipelago and is long enough to swing from such a mount.

The sodden cargo from smashed ships is dragged deeper into the creature, the living sailors and passengers cut open and kicked back into the sea or dragged in and chained. The captain soothes his transport with tones from a reed recorder. The vast creature dives, and ripples pass for miles over the sea

Its vast presence hangs in the fathoms of the deep. Its passing can be felt beyond eyesight in the murky sea.

Captain of the Diluvian Augur
Acuity: d20
Alchemy: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Flute: d20
Gambling: d10
Prophecy: d8
Prowess: d12

        Pirates (6d20)
Archery: d6
Prowess: d6

Mount Submission

Crags protrude from the verdant grass like eruptions of compounded bone. Ore is written into the naked faces like the malign tattoos of an eldritch murderer. Higher up, the wildflowers devolve to atavistic forms, thorns hooked and joining into floral speartips and gothic arches, petals shagged like terrestrial anemone. The mountain protrudes into the too-low clouds, which recoil but cannot escape, and the mountain disappears within them like the violation of a ghost. 

He steps forward from misty doorways in mountain clouds coming with his stick and long white beard, black tattoos visible on his legs and hands. He is an advisor in evil deeds for the well-being of the salt shore communities that make the fatal sacrifice. 
He consults with spirits on a howling plain on a surface like stone made of sun-stuff beneath a midnight purple sky. He gives the missives of octagonal eyes and bat-winged pseudostatues and voices captured and forced into reforming sonic shapes to the lords of play and money who are the modern-day lineage of their hard and barren cult.

He prunes the geneaologies, coming to the sides of newborns and smiting a few to stillness with his staff, blessing others with burning salt brine in the eyes, which leaves shards of green divinity in their irises, blessings of fate that will transform them with time and make them into half-ichythid demigods.

His men are pious pirates and co-opted repurposed monks who never really believed in anything but wanderlust and drink but have now been made martial and somewhat prophetic compared to any other infantry.

One enforcer has blinded himself and sees only prophecy. He is guided by a spirit of sea rot and tiny flapping things devour his flesh as he walks, rivulets of blood running down his paling skin as he speaks of what is over the next horizon. His warriors prepare accordingly.

The Oracle of the Second Sky 
Acuity: d12
Alchemy: d12
Archery: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Flute: d12
Horsemanship: d10
Poetry: d10
Prophecy: d20
Prowess: d12
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d10

Monks of the Other Sky (3d6)
Acuity: d8
Alchemy: d6
Archery: d8
Fetches and Fetishes: d6
Horsemanship: d8
Poetry: d6
Prophecy: d6
Prowess: d8
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d8

The Open Wild

Shining prairies extend to the stormy rim of the visible world. The rain tends warmly to the petals of cream and strawberries and then departs to leave slick long grass bowing beneath the purple clouds. A mountain similarly clad in wildflowers rises in the south, and the lowlands beckon with a vineyard bocage. Further east there is a city by the sea, and a forest whose off-black bark is entwined with bone charms.

An arrow may strike you from the horizon here, fired by a bow hero exiled for a social curse. He wears red livid armor marked by golden slits. This sight alone will scatter squadrons, his tall tapering helmet and a demonic face all bloodcolored resin.
If the bow can be seen, it means survival will require one's every ruse and effort. He can kill from a horizon away. His arrows leave ragged tunnels in flesh

He killed the beasts of this land, the ones that scattered cities. He freed it for habitation. He slaughters armsmen just to reduce other violence. He is a natural champion of the pirate cause and his arrows have killed admirals in war.

He hates you most of all and will fire from the horizon, a tiny red dot. Subterfuge will be needed to bring him near enough to kill but he has not come within speaking range of anyone but his retinue for ten years. All who approach him are felled, cursing his cruel and insensate isolation.

The Arrowseer
Acuity: d20
Alchemy: d8
Archery: d20
Fetches and Fetishes: d8
Flute: d12
Horsemanship: d12
Prowess: d12
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d12

The Arrowseer’s Archers (3d6)
His comrades ride on horses draped in furs, lion, leopard, tiger, wolf, their arms clad in armored boxes hinged at the elbow, their tall circular helms painted in goblinface. Their armor is cloaked in tigerstripe or a midnight starscape.
Acuity: d8
Alchemy: d6
Archery: d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d10
Gambling: d6
Horsemanship: d12
Poetry: d6
Prowess: d8
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d12

Behind them ride myrmidons draped with stainless steel chainmail interspersed with links of pure silver. They wear broad necklaces of mirror plate, blinding, they stand behind the archers with their glaives burning in the sun

The Burning Myrmidons (2d4)
Acuity: d8
Archery: d6
Fetches and Fetishes: d6
Gambling: d6
Horsemanship: d12
Poetry: d6
Prowess: d12
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d6

Monday, December 11, 2023

Investigating Censor

        An RPG Wargame

Investigating Censor is a dark rules-light RPG wargame set amidst a campaign by oracular warrior monks to eliminate​ a sect of human-sacrificing pirates. 

The leaders of these monks, Investigating Censors, can enlist anyone into their retinue on pain of outlawry. Anybody who is not an enemy can be turned into a party member.

Proper use of this power will bring powerful alchemists, spirit-binders, sword saints, and courtesans to the cause of the Investigating Censors.

Misuse of the Investigating Censors' charter will arouse fanatical resistance among the people of the pirate regime.

Allies will be needed, as the warriors monks must wage archery battles from horseback, fight pirate ships at sea, storm sacrificial fanes in the caverns of the rocky coast, and survive encounters with supernatural creatures and their powers of prophecy.

Available on and DTRPG
"100% febrile... 100% scintillating
The whole work sparkles. An excellent way to generate febrile situations and toss chaos in the form of the PCs into the middle." - The Lone Amigo

Passages from Investigating Censor

Investigating Censor
The Mission
Treetop Willow Musth Harvesting Complex
Urban Vice District
Manorial Valley
Massive Excavation Operation
Pirate Assets
Pirate Temples
          Winter Temple
          Conflagration Temple
          Infrared Temple
          Plunder Temple
The High Road
Appendix A: The High Dreaming Citadel
Appendix B: How We Came to the Land of the Pirates
Appendix C: Secret Societies
Appendix D: Co-Opting Centers of Gravity and Key Personalities
Appendix E: The Search for Allies
Appendix F: Monks of the Lower Orders
Appendix G: Corruption, Loyalty, and Resolve
Appendix H: Cachet and Skill Investment
Appendix I: Skills
Appendix J: The Uses of Alchemy
Appendix K: The Uses of Fetches and Fetishes
Appendix L: Retinue Personalities
Appendix M: Combat
Appendix N: Commentary
Appendix O: Local Hostility
Appendix P: Variants

Investigating Censor

You are an Investigating Censor of the High Dreaming Citadel, a warrior monk from a temple of stricture and prophecy.

Your order overthrew the Castellans’ Alliance and then destroyed the pirate regime of the southern coast, for they owed their loyalty to the Castellans.

You are now deployed against the Cult of Preservation, the underground remnants of the pirates. Your mission is to burn their pirate ships, tear down their wharves, seize their assets, eliminate their captains, save their captives from sacrifice, and send their cliff-face temples tumbling into the sea.

You go to a land where the people have every reason to believe in the righteousness of their cause, however bitter its method. They were the only ones to profit from the Castellans’ disastrous wars. 

You have been vested with a fell power by the High Dreaming Citadel. You may issue a Writ of Purpose to any individual in the southern realm. Doing so will compel them to follow your directives on pain of outlawry. You may order them into battle, to go undercover under dangerous circumstances, or to end their own lives.

The Writs you issue and the services you compel will greatly shape the reputation that precedes you and the resistance you will face.

Treetop Willow Musth Harvesting Annex

The trees are so thick that there are bunkers made of tree rounds rolled into position and hollowed. The actual harvesting of musth occurs in the canopy, the narcotic hyperfuel welling out of hacked-up sprigs.

The laborers and exporters of the annex are ill-suited to the surrounding wildlands, but they interface with a forest tribe that uses its ancestral burial pit as a smoldering soil furnace to imbue charcoal with alchemical properties. 

Attempts to create alchemical tinctures with Hypervigilance, Sexual Arousal, Euphoria, or Battle Psychosis effects here gain a free reroll due to the availability of fresh willow musth. See Appendix J: The Uses of Alchemy.

Urban Vice District

Vice neighborhoods are bathed in a low blue light. They are kept elevated and walled off to avoid polluting the ground beneath them and the mountains around.


The vice districts have not lost their popularity with the downfall of the pirate regime, though the character of the games has grown darker and more vicious as the source of offshore treasure dries to a trickle. 


Brothels are ubiquitous here but are complex affairs; many men develop burning affections for individual prostitutes, and meetings held in the brothels can be complicated by the men competing for the attention of prostitutes and prostitutes playing the men off each other for amusement and demonstration of mastery. The madams keep a close eye on proceedings, manage bodyguards, and ensure that powerful visitors are positively-disposed enough to them that they can be called upon during power plays.


Every kind of alchemy is needed in the Vice District; hedonizers, entheogens, poison, stimulants, soothing creams, artificial immune systems, and panacea. Production and sale of alchemical reagents is controlled by the Vice Provisioner, in the sense that underground operations will need to give him a cut. 


This Secret Man prizes autocratic stability. He does not care about public decorum or the wellbeing of this society's worst-off people. He provides narcotic reagents seized from smugglers and unauthorized tincturers to addicts in exchange for their services in pretty much any simple task he needs. He has found them usefully disposable.


Hereditary Arsonists
They were created as a corps of firestarter burglars in service to a corrupt Secret Man. He would use them to set fires in valuable but vulnerable properties, and then he would rush in to make a fire-sale offer. As soon as the money changed hands (in presence of his general counsel), the burglars would re-infiltrate and end the fire.

Today they do not re-infiltrate. They serve no Secret Man, having burnt him alive when they'd learned all they could from him. Now, they are a fire cult dedicated to the ruthless and exclusive protection of the prerogatives of the common people of the Vice District- both against oppression from above, and against economic competition from without.


The ICs will be continually called out by drunks. Actual confrontations will be more occasional. When the ICs or members of their Retinue walk in the streets, the GM may, at will, roll on the Vice District Atavism Table or generate a similar result


Knocked-over lanterns cause a massive fire; a volunteer destruction squad rushes to the scene, but local extortionists pelt them with wood and pottery. 2d4 criminals


Human traffickers carry a passed-out woman or a screaming child to a donkey cart with a wicker cage in the back. 2d4 criminals


Despite the violence and degradation, there are many shrines here. The ICs may encounter one in passing, or more if they seek them out.

A Shrine of:
1. Rats
2. Mortar
3. Drainage
4. Meat
5. The Winds that Roll the Dice
6. Fire
7. Liquor
8. Prostitutes
9. Loans
10. Foreigners
If an offering is given, roll Poetry or Flute vs d12. On a success, the supplicant gains a reroll to be used at will.


Volksgeist that slithers through the pipes:
1. Tempting and devouring people
2. Gambling with lone celebrants in out-of-the-way places, putting forth dangerous otherworldly artifacts for its part
3. Eating and drinking vast quantities of the Vice Fortress’ reserves
4. Killing those who’ve lost everything
Acuity: d12
Alchemy: d20
Fetches and Fetishes: d20
Flute: d20
Gambling: d20
Impersonation: d12
Prophecy: d20
Prowess: d20


Soon, Luck Angels are attracted to the proceedings and stand perfectly still with their freakishly proportioned bone, wax, and ceramic bodies near the goldtalkers, their false porcelain faces low in their scale- ribbed chests. They move only when following the goldtalkers, or to blow burning gold dust on those who accuse this cult of prosperity of malfeasance. Those touched by the dust will die of freak accident or confrontation in d4 days from the encounter.

Manorial Valley

The great grain-harvesting steps have fallen into the shadows of volunteer orchards, and the sun- warmed water has sunk into the earth to service cassava. Shacks and counting-houses nearly slide into the valley from their perches amid ever-growing bramble. At the bottom of the canyon, more shadowed than the faces before they grew covered in trees, is a shining white and gold manor that tumbles across a river plain. The mansion’s luster is undimmed but its outer walls have been broken in many places.


The cavalry are loyal to the FRO, but a few of them have been enchanted by subtle words from the concubines. If there is ever a power struggle between the wife and the concubines while the FRO is away, these men will side with the concubines. They will claim that the wife was cut down after poisoning several of the concubines' children. The concubines are willing to make this ruse credible, and characterize poisoning their weaker sons as a sacrifice for the stronger.


They pore over woodblock scrolls detailing vast nautical victories, plunder ennobling the plunderer, the sacred bond of blood and treasure which their people have with the sea. They have not forgotten, and their myth sings in their blood. They are partisans of their father's lost cause, and as their food supply dwindles and their cavalrymen sit on the walls, their ire grows into a black bile that must find its means of expression.


She knows exactly how long the stores are going to last, exactly which FROs are sending messengers here and what it is they lack, and she knows how the bandits in the hills grow bolder and bolder, closer and closer. She knows how the concubines whisper; she does not know the chasm-like darkness of their design. 


The daughters have little to gain from the maneuvers of the concubines, given the agnatic inheritance of south coast society, and they are broadly aligned with the lady of the house, though they dread the day that the blood of their mothers and brothers will run across the smooth tiles of the white manor. 


He oversees the people who live on the valley slopes. They grow their cassava in the shade, shelters of bramble that hum with trilling insects. There is silkrock in the crags; it is impregnated with bacteria that concentrates aerial filaments around it, and the women pull it in reams from the sun-warmed rocks.


Tree-Ghost Nephews
Men who can speak to the tree ghosts of the outer wild, gaining information and sometimes sending travelers to unfortunate ends. They are often dismayed by how the forest spirits seem to favor the bandits, given some elemental kinship.
Acuity: d6
Alchemy: d6
Archery: d6
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Flute: d8
Impersonation: d8
Poetry: d6
Prophecy: d4

Massive Excavation Operation

Ten thousand monks can be seen from afar, their white civilian headwraps weaving around the hillside like airborne cotton.

The true carpet of the land makes itself apparent as one nears the mountain, the common laborers in earth-tone tunics scraping the soil with their fingers.


There are great rickety networks of pallets cut from green wood mounting endless sacks of red millet kept beneath multicolored reams of waterproof tissue; these are not for eating but for making wine in stone basins cut through disused quarries, which can be seen around the lakes, gray walls poxed by weeping pools of fermenting millet.

There are many tattooists working around the millet pools, and they advertise their abilities with beautifully-tattooed pigs.


They are monks of soil, and have no intrinsic loyalty to you monks of stone beyond the value of your association in the commoner's eye.


At night, some shelter-complexes are lit by red lanterns, some are lit blue. Where they are blue, wounded men lay. Where they are red, cards turn and tiles land amid scampering dice.


A man who loses everything can trudge out at the next dawn to win another day's pay and another chance at the pot. A man who wins everything faces a new problem: getting back to civilization with his life and his riches.


He gazes at the black walls in his imagination that encircle this mountain, and these are from where demons and disasters emerge. He watches his workers with an unblinking eye and keeps a hand of iron ready to subdue them, for he can sense the shadow taking root in their hearts.


Magistracy of Arsenic Artificer
A grim but harmless madman who assesses artifacts and carries out engineering projects, otherwise speaking nonsense.


An expert in explosives and solvents, and he can consistently produce a material that acts as both. He is morbidly fascinated by the stripping of the mountaintop; as stranger forms emerge, he becomes more and more obsessed with the unaccountable structures that must lay beneath, and their implications for the work of nonhuman consciousnesses in this realm. He will not stop, no matter what might emerge from the mountain.
Alchemy: d10
Fetches and Fetishes: d6
Horsemanship: d6
Prophecy: d4
Prowess: d6


Labor Boss
This man is the end of a long, unbroken line of sea lords belonging to the Cult of Protection. His fathers calmed hurricanes with offers of blood and called down thunder strikes on pursuing navies. The lore of his youth was of sea battles, the love of naiads, and fabulous treasure given to one's fellows or secreted away.
He was a boy when the High Dreaming Citadel sent his father screaming through their antechamber, bristling with arrows and squirting blood. His dreams of salt and timber turned to ash with his family's manor. He escaped with a scullion boy, their futures uncertain but matched in prospects.
He grew up rough, a manual laborer since he was old enough to cut his hands on the rock. He forgot the glory of battle and sea maidens, seeing drunken thuggery and broken hearts in the lanes of his township, far from the manor or sea. What he did not forget were stories of treasure, especially not one that his childless great uncle told him of this mountain. 
He will stop at nothing to reach the root of this mountain. He will stop at nothing to be the first to enter its final chambers.


A murmuring ziggurat hanging with fresh fruit 

Secrets of the Shifting Earth
3. Monks of an outlawed monastery are infiltrating the laborers and legitimate monks to break open the site of a propitiated tigress banshee sealed away by ancestral sword saints.
    3d4 Monks of the Sapient Scream
Acuity: d8
Alchemy: d8
Archery: d8
Fetches and Fetishes: d8
Flute: d10
Impersonation: d10
Prophecy: d4
Prowess: d8
    Tigress Banshee (if unsealed)
Acuity: d20
Alchemy: d20
Archery (scream, affects all in earshot): d12
Fetches and Fetishes: d12
Impersonation: d20
Poetry: d10
Prophecy: d20
Prowess: d20
Speed: 12 squares


The excavation unearthed a court of blood serpents which had been sealed when their complex was attacked using tectonic weapons; several survived the centuries by binding their fellows and draining their blood. The survivors have still dried out to the point that their organs no longer function, and so they need blood to maintain their animation and rationality.


A man apparently buried alive. He spits dirt and speaks an archaic version of the southern coast dialect. In truth, he is the superstructure of a dozen mummies of varying ages and sizes fused in layers throughout each other like a matryoshka doll. […] 
A layer may be good, the next evil, one sagacious, another elemental, one musical, and so forth, until the wizened core is revealed, a drawn ancient infant like a wooden mandragora.


Some of the buried individuals took parapanaceums before their inhumation and have survived the ceremonies in degraded form; they have been mentally and physically “altered” by their long ride in the soil, but come to their senses when disinterred.

Pirate Assets

Pirate Interceptor
A great rectangular box fanning slightly outward at sea level, a great prison and shipping container built around a long, brazen sea ram. It has warehouse doors on its side and front for heaping treasure and disgorging fighting men, and there are gaps in the wood beneath the eaves for men to fire bows sidelong or hurl down pots of naphtha and scorpions.
The ship operates under lateen sails until contact range is imminent, when the pirates descend to oars and prepare to ram or come alongside the prize.


Pirate Mothership
A great mansion carved into a floating boulder. It rocks back and forth with the cascading tide, its walkways and balconies bristling with men armed with shortbows and firepot slings and grapnel- laden arbalests.

Pirate Temples

          Winter Temple
Snowflakes thick as cotton balls whirl in the air. The cracked rock beneath the temple mouth is clad in ice in splash patterns. The pillars and crags off the coast are hemmed by the bones of arctic creatures killed by the cold and carried in on the whitecaps.

The interior walkway to the sacrificial is cliff slippery with ice. A shrill wind cuts the cavern’s mouth. It is a moaning, salivating gullet.


Deeper in the shrine, there is an even more beastly figure. He is a man in symbiosis with a polar shark, its white body split open and woven through him with pink coral which transmits their blood and nervous tissue to one another in exchange for a portion of the principal. His face has disappeared within the beast’s gullet and his voice emerges from within, and he feeds on the slurry of gore that is made by the creature’s thousand teeth when it finds or is given prey. He is armored in whalebone, and the shark’s dry and reeking back is similarly clad in a spiderweb of bone. Its tail and its sidefins have been cut away; the man devoured them, and the beast devoured parts of him, all as part of their dread pact.

          Conflagration Temple
The pathway to the sacrificial edge is a carpet of burnished brass flanked by tall fires in rings of gold and candelabras that blaze with whale fat. The effect is that of too much light, an infernal illumination of fate, an overwhelming intensification of one’s last moments.


          Infrared Temple
At first, it seems like stars can be seen in the roof of the cave but these are luminescent silkworms and flecks of mercurial metal. 


The glow of the pallid moon-specter is faint, here. It is from the air itself that the stone takes its purple shadow.


This is a place of slowly-transforming stone, ropes of smooth rock coiling with an almost imperceptible movement like gore in the mouth of a salivating lamprey. Worse, some coils seem to have their own animation, emerging from the bedrock and then pausing as if sampling the air before moving in a new direction. Some of these have already traversed the cavern and move from wall to wall, a continual line with new matter. Some would continue in this course for centuries if fire and sword were not carried to this place.


The true inhabitants of the cavern are not seen in the pirates, though therein they reside.


People are often cast into the sea from coastal pirate fortress temples. Sometimes, things in the sea like what they have been given, and slither up the walls to find more. 

          Plunder Temple
A Former Regime Official presides here, sacrilegiously turning this place into his own personal fiefdom.


Brazen candelabras burn scented red candles and waft the characteristic scents of faraway lands, holding the sacred brine air at bay.


They wear lamellar tunics segmented and colored like cockroaches, and carry a variety of halberds and pikes like long straight black lines projecting from their bodies. Some carry magnificent longswords, gifts from the overlord or prizes from sea-sorties, lacquerware scabbards shimmering like golden ghosts in the cavern’s half-light or else sheathed in venous prepuce, oasis tree raisin, lavender moonsail, or dripping bloodworm silk.


There is coffee, turmeric, ground gallstone, saffron, liverwurst, hyperephedra, bloodglass, and celestial peacock down in abundance, spilled and reveled in, mixed together in scattered concentrations or piled in wooden bowls to await enjoyment.

The High Road

14: d4 Fetch Whisperers (d8 Acuity, d8 Fetches and Fetishes)
15: d4 Wandering Sages (d6 Acuity, d6 Alchemy, d6 Fetches and Fetishes, d6 Poetry)
16: d4 Traveling Courtesans (enclosed palanquins with 2d12 bearers and 2d4 guards with d6 Prowess) (see Appendix C: The Search for Allies)
17: d4 Lower Order Monks (see Appendix C: The Search for Allies)
18: d4 Foreign Eunuchs (see Appendix C: The Search for Allies)
19: d4 Soothsayers (d6 Poetry, d6 Prophecy)
20: Sword Saint (see Appendix C: The Search for Allies)


10. Tower staffed by uninformed militiamen holding imprisoned figures from the time of the fallen regime.
11. An alchemist's estuary with a floating market and a salt smuggling operation, this resource normally the prerogative of Former Regime Officials.
12. An old, overgrown burial grounds with gravediggers' and mummy grinders' shacks half-visible in the foliage.

Appendix A: The High Dreaming Citadel

          The Mirror of the Moon
The vast ridge that the High Dreaming Citadel apexes lays above the clouds, and is so cold, dark, rocky, and barren that it is said to be a colony of the moon.


These monks are chosen for having a predisposition for solitude and the solving of arcane puzzles. They sit amongst eldritch mummies, who were the first men to open this enterprise and paved the way by taking the guards and wards of the gate of that certain heaven into their flesh and psyches.

The men who became mummies contacted an isolated sanctuary in a failed universe. It is a place set aside from the cosmoses to shelter mortals against sphere-devouring horrors brought forth by excess incantations. The inhabitants speak cryptically, often in simple impressions, but with a wisdom not replicable through terrestrial divination.

They are described as bald, eyeless, genderless sages in halls of glowing white. Their sanctuary is expansive, indefinite, with only the dimensions of the lower reaches demarcated by golden angles.

They speak to the other side amidst existential interference, and must focus through an ever-changing labyrinth of sensory inputs and perceptual gaps. This ability is channeled with the aid of the ephemeral spirits of the first mummies, and the conduit is supported by the Permanent Ones who have died. Their bodies sit among the living, hunched where they starved, and serve as fetters and transceivers for the energy of the white and gold sanctuary. This is the fate of all Permanent Ones.

These monks can barely hold onto their flickering impressions. Clear signals have grown rare with the corruption of ages, but the missive to eradicate the Cult of Protection was as clear as any in the last century. 

Appendix B: How We Came to the Land of the Pirates

A hundred thousand northern warriors were shipped up the Poison River and died there. Only the pirate realm profited from this war.


With the ruination of the Castellans, the monks descended from their mountain peaks and gave a new law with their iron clubs.

Appendix C: Secret Societies

Ultracarcerists: A brand of south coast ultranationalists at odds with the Sea Brothers. They blame piracy as the cause of the regime being attacked and subjugated by an outside power. While they oppose monastic rule, they see it as a symptom of the real problem: the pirates and the Cult of Protection. Their response is Draconism; kill all pirates and Protection Cultists, and then incarcerate all other lawbreakers with hard labor for life.

Appendix D: Co-Opting Centers of Gravity and Key Personalities

The legitimacy of the mountain congregations is not widely accepted in the southern coast as anything but a temporary fact of life.


Issuing Writs of Purpose to Key Personalities and Centers of Gravity incurs a serious loss of face for the receiver, and will lead to deep consternation on the part of local leaders, and possibly dismay among the people if removing a leader from their duties destabilizes the community. 


If the ICs do issue Writs of Purpose to CoGs and KPs, the GM should strongly consider implementing effects from Appendix O: Local Hostility. 

Appendix E: The Search for Allies

Raven Confidante
Advisors and entertainers from the time of the Castellans. They are women who wear men’s clothing and are hired as partners for discussion and banter. They typically dress in all black, have black teeth, and carry swords. They are highly entertaining, but are also experts in etiquette. They were treated well in the Castellan realms, but are keenly wary of pirate lords due to terrible tales passed down within their syndicate.
Acuity: d6
Flute: d6
Gambling: d8
Horsemanship: d6
Impersonation: d8
Poetry: d8
Prowess: d6


Special Advisor
Poetess-oracle nuns of the Lowland Path. Having them write and disseminate poetry in a region can bend sentiment towards the monastic community; they can also improve sentiment by acting as lawspeakers.
Acuity: d8
Archery: d8
Flute: d6
Horsemanship: d8
Poetry: d12
Prophecy: d6
Prowess: d6
Horse Archery (Derived Stat): d8

Appendix F: Monks of the Lower Orders

Monks of Willing Putrefaction: Monks who seek the soul’s transcendence from their bodily state by degrading it. They are known to live in trash heaps and in the most extreme circumstances in gong pools, and when on procession they drink liquor to the point of illness, eat the greasiest foods at roadside stalls, sleep in ditches, and debauch the most ill-favored prostitutes. They are, however, very good alchemists and excellent gamblers.
Alchemy: d8
Fetches and Fetishes: d6
Flute: d6
Gambling: d10|
Impersonation: d6

Appendix G: Corruption, Loyalty, and Resolve

Corrupt characters may steal from locals, commit violence, attempt to extort sexual favors, or even sell Retinue artifacts on the black market. 


Corruption cannot be mechanically ascertained by any means except Prophecy.


Paid hirelings who have not received Writs of Purpose are always Disloyal.


Pain of outlawry is a terrifying prospect in these lands; relocating to a distant community is a dangerous and potentially impoverishing affair.

Appendix H: Cachet and Skill Investment

Cachet can be spent to request support from the High Dreaming Citadel. The requestor writes a missive using Poetry. Cachet is only spent if the request is accepted.
Introductions: Gain a specific Ally for the retinue. See Appendix E: The Search for Allies. Cannot be a Sword Saint. Cachet Cost: 2. Poetry vs d6
Warship: Galley with ram. Rowers hired from coastal village, HDC finances for 1 month. Cachet Cost: 6. Poetry vs d12
Steppe Cataphract Panoply: Golden horse goblin lamellar and ornate phlogiston-bearing meteor hammer. When swung, the meteor hammer gains extra velocity from the agitation of the superheated matter within. 50% deflection vs missile fire, 25% deflection in melee, +1 to Prowess rolls involving close combat and smashing objects. Cachet Cost: 3. Poetry vs d8

Appendix I: Skills

Poetry: Monks of the Lowland Path practice poetry. A powerful poem spoken by an IC and heard by a local bard, minstrel, or soothsayer can affect the sentiments of a regional population.


Pirates disseminate folk stories repurposed with piratical and Cult of Protection themes. Countering these requires superior Poetry.


Prowess: Used for close combat and raw physical tasks, including physical stealth. When launching a surprise attack, the attacker cannot be Cut Down on that roll.


Supernatural monsters and divinely-blessed heroes can have skills at d20.

Appendix J: The Uses of Alchemy

6. Bodily Stasis: You will stay alive. The variations on what will happen to your body (and your mind) are nearly endless. You will be very, very lucky if you regard the byproducts as desirable. In particular, using this for those who have suffered fatal physical trauma will induce a state worse than death.
7. Euphoria: No more, no less, with all that comes with it. There is also an herb that amplifies all sensations, an antianesthetic. Administered before meals, sex, and torture.
18. Battle Psychosis: Temporarily increases Prowess die size by two steps, and d10 increases to d12+2. d12 increases to d20. Usually fatal and taken in desperation; after the battle, the user must roll base Prowess vs d20 to survive.
19. Psychostabilization: Suppresses mania, may reduce (or increase) depression, stabilizes certain forms of schizophrenia. Some warriors take it before battle, some gamblers keep it for when they get a winning streak, others acquire it as a practical matter due to their humours.
20. Life-containing: Becomes capable of hosting sapience, abiogenetically or by fettering an entity, depending on the type.


Roll your Alchemy vs d12.
Failure: Roll d20 on the above; that is what you have produced.
Natural 1: Roll on the above and immediately suffer the effect.
Hit your skill exactly: You create the base effect you are looking for. Roll d20 on the above table and add second effect (radically heightened effect if same) - yes, you can create sapient explosives this way. 

NPCs can attempt to produce these substances behind the scenes, and then apply them in play.

          Alchemical Interrogation

Interrogator rolls Alchemy vs victim Acuity.
If the interrogator rolls a natural 1, the victim suffers:
1. Agrypnia excitata with subsequent dementia and death
2. Permanent, maximum-strength psychosis
3. Permanent catatonic dissociation
4. Death from endless epileptic seizure

Appendix K: The Uses of Fetches and Fetishes

Hanging Nocturne
A set of wind chimes that attract ghosts and spirits to come and hazard passersby. The emplacer rolls F&F vs the following difficulties, depending on what kind of entity he or she wishes to summon:
-Whisperer: d4
-Poltergeist: d6
-Specter (follows those present, levying d8 attacks on them. It cannot leave earshot of the Nocturne): d8
-Banshee (d8 attack on all within earshot when it appears): d10
A failed F&F check creates a soundless ethereal wail which will immediately draw the desired entity.


The creator of the thunder reed places a single hollow reed upright in the earth, surrounded by sticks of incense or burning herbs, and plays it a flute song. Sonic energy is supersaturated in the reed so that a mighty thunderclap will be released when it is broken.
The reed is first prepared with F&F vs d4. A failed check galls the winds of music and the flutist cannot attempt to create another thunder reed until the next daybreak.
After the reed is prepared, the creator stands by the reed and makes his or her Flute check.


Substrate Disruptor
A music box that, when triggered, can arrest the progress of any supernatural entity (ie one that is not entirely biological) touched by its sound. When the music box activates, the entity rolls its Prophecy vs the emplacer’s F&F; if it is defeated, it cannot continue until the sound comes to an end.

Appendix L: Retinue Personalities

Twelve Loyal Personalities (d12)
1 Duty-oriented
2 Conscientious
3 Up for an adventure
4 Loves to kill people
5 Weak-willed, accepts what powerful personalities say
6 Despises the pirates for their depredations
7 Human sacrifice abolitionist
8 Stoic, accepts exterior conditions, attempts to act in congruence with plans that may bring harmony

Twelve Disloyal Personalities (d12)
4 Secretly serving a millenarian cult or ideology
5 Enraged about being forced into service
6 Lay initiate of the Cult of Protection

Twelve Corrupt Personalities (d12)
1 Desperate to acquire fungible wealth to avert economic collapse of home community
2 Utterly nihilistic and disgusted with life; seeking absolute hedonism and then a quick death
3 Member of a prosperity cult; looking to abscond with wealth and gain status within the cult

Appendix M: Combat

A Sword Saint (d12) is in melee with Pirates A, B, and C (d6).
Three example result spreads:
1. Sword Saint rolls 8, all pirates are Cut Down, victory being impossible.
2. Sword Saint rolls 6, Pirate A rolls 6, Pirate B rolls 5, Pirate C rolls 4. Pirate A clashes with Sword Saint, Pirates B and C are Cut Down.
3. Sword Saint rolls 2, Pirate A rolls 6, Pirate B rolls 5, Pirate C rolls 1. Sword Saint is Cut Down before having a chance to Cut Down Pirate C.

Appendix N: Commentary

NPC retinue members will have conversations with each other and the players, and then be risked and killed in combat. This kind of sacrifice is normally relatively opaque in wargames. Named characters may die, but they haven’t manifested themselves as real people in the way that TTRPG NPCs can.

The purpose of structuring things this way is for the drama and tragedy of it, and for the experience of an iron dedication to an outcome capable of sending people with personalities to their deaths to win a battle or produce a needed resource. That is depicted here not because it’s a positive good, but because it has always been a part of the lives of those who manage people in dangerous situations, and I felt a desire to create a ruleset that focuses on it.

Appendix O: Local Hostility

1. Service Refused: Provisioners refuse to supply the ICs and their retinue, being gruff or citing potential loss of business or reprisals.
2. Hail of Rocks: d4 retinue members chosen by the GM have rocks cast at them by locals who then rush away into crowds, markets, rookeries, or the wilderness as is appropriate. Each targeted retinue member has a 1/20 chance of being killed.
3. Code of Silence: Practically all locals refuse to speak to the IC and his retinue.
4. Night Militia: Hooded or masked locals attack the retinue wherever they take refuge at night.

Example ways to reduce or mitigate Local Hostility
Aiding locals by assuming the risk of Prophecy.


It's been a while since my last post, as I've been spending much of my free time editing large adventures and RPG sourcebooks, but I needed something new to work on while editing, so Investigating Censor was born.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Supernatural Hostility Table


When a supernatural entity toys with you, tries to destroy you but lacks perfect purchase on your substratum of the universe, or when you otherwise suffer uncontrolled exposure to supernatural effects, you can use this Supernatural Hostility Table to ascertain the result. It is not to be considered exhaustive with regard to potential outcomes.

The table is divided into the following categories:

Roll a d20.


1: The entity attempts to send you back in time, and from a conceptual point of view, you are.
What actually transpires is a kind of simulation based on your intentions, where extant matter is rewritten according to your actions in the "past" which you are sent to, which seems to progress in normal time as you experience the world but is in fact hyper-hastened inside a model of what has transpired in local space since then.
This is a mechanism that the universe has for handling attempted temporal paradoxes. Only a very limited slice of reality is adjusted based on your input and so existence is not overwhelmed by the analysis-recreation of all matter in all states passing through the time and places you affect. You could affect events on a global scale. This is still a very limited slice of reality.
In other words, your experience of the time in question doesn't exactly occur; however, the exact effects of it on the present time are very real. 
Extracosmic observers will be confused by the sudden adjustment, unless they are fully familiar with this process.
You can take a full day’s worth of actions before the particle action associated with this function causes a bloody disintegration of your body throughout the second day.
Roll a d10 for how far you are sent back.
1: d20 hours. The present time is t-0. You take action until t-0, at which point you will control your past self and your current self (both physically exist). Your past self will die from internal (and external) bleeding at d20 hours after t-0.
2: d20 days
3: d20 weeks
4: d20 months
5: d20 years
6: d20 decades
7: d20 centuries
8: d20 kiloannum
9: d20 megaannum. You are likely to emerge far above the ground, somewhat beneath it, or deep underwater.
10: d20 gigaannum. You are likely to emerge in deep space at best, or in a non-vacuum matter state, or in a previous universe with matter arrangements that are totally orthogonal to our own 

2: You are erased from existence and everything that has been affected by you is rewritten so that other factors led to the current state, not you. Your companions forget about you. The entity forgets about you. 


3: Reduction to fictional state. Your information is shunted into a nearby painting or a book with sufficient whitespace. You no longer exist as a consciousness unless that book or painting has characteristics which support consciousness, in which case you may be distorted anyways due to the suboptimal conversion.

4: Your consciousness is shunted out of your body and distributed around your present environment. Roll (d4) for the strength of your manifestation.
1: Mute observer
2: Faint voice
3: Poltergeist
4: Tutelary deity

5: Your psyche is transferred into a kind of extracosmic mass grave for psyches dispatched in relevant ways. While there is no way back into your universe and attempts to retrieve you using some kind of power are likely to retrieve someone else, your location has an out that was either built into it intentionally or added on later as an act of mercy: you may enter the dreams of creatures with a similar psychostructural framework to yours, ie other humans. In particular, this allows you to communicate with them. However, there is a danger, which is not from being killed by hostile elements in the dream, but rather by being removed from the perception of the dreamer before you have intentionally left the dream, which cuts your connection to the extracosmic ossuary and either ends your existence or permanently traps you in the psyche of the dreamer.
Because a human dream is usually an extremely fast-moving, shfiting thing, you are likely to be bordered out of existence; however you can perceive the relative stability of a dream before entering. If you choose not to, however, you will have to wait until the individual's next dream.
Stability profile (roll d20):
1-5: Flashes (1/4 chance of being bordered out)
6-12: Broken Narratives (1/8 chance of being bordered out)
13-18: Steady State (1/12 chance of being bordered out)
19-20: Deep Entry (1/20 chance of being bordered out)
If you are bordered out, you will have some time in the dream before the GM describes your abrupt negation.
Playing this interloper in relevant dreams until the point of negation is the privilege of the player whose character had his or her psyche removed, in addition to playing his or her follow-up character.


6: The entity overrides your consciousness with one waiting for nonspecific re-entry. It happens to be (d4):
1: A famed Bronze Age hero of extreme prowess, valor, ruthlessness, and lust.
2: A xenostygian explorer who has never seen the surface, delving instead into hand-worked aqueducts of magma near the center of the earth, never reaching the thing that they were feeding.
3: A machine elf psychosurgically modified to pass into this realm. The end state of your basic mission is unknown to you in case you are interrogated, but entails enticing human civilizations to be co-opted by you in exchange for gifts of technology (which they will never understand, and which the machine elves can shut off at will) and transcendent drugs (which psychologically mutilate the consumers over time). You begin with no human desires, but discover them as the human physiology works inexorably on your psyche. Your first order of business will be finding a natural source of or a way of synthesizing pseudohuasca, which will allow you (and others) to get in touch with your handlers.
4: A cosmic seer from an aeon where the stars were different; the things he can ascertain and predict from the constellations are different than they once were. He will need to relearn them.

7: You have a dangerous sapience written into a local portion of your nervous system. It is centered on (d4):
1: A hand and arm
2: Your stomach
3: Your genitals
4: Your face
It will be confused and angry, suffering a potential reduction in complexity (inability to think) depending on the sapience's original suitability for adaptation to nervous tissue (it may be randomly derived from this or another universe, it may be an imprisoned enemy of the entity, it may be a punished human underling, or it may be a new creation of the inflicting entity). Communicating with the sapience may be a long road; amputation is a possible solution depending on its degree of containment or spillage throughout your nervous system.

8: Replacement of consciousness with that of another entity with which the inflicting entity has a relationship (owes a favor, coerced, ally, friend, kinship ties). Goals and disposition of new entity are likely totally orthogonal to those of the destroyed consciousness; use the Direction section from the Occultist generator.
Roll on the following section (d10):
1-2: Gray
3-4: Gold
5-6: Purple
7-8: Green
9-10: Pink

9: You are fused with somebody nearby; one consciousness is destroyed or shunted into an extradimensional/extraterrestrial receiver, or the two become a combined consciousness (thereafter played by one player as one consciousness; decide or roll for who will play the combined individual). Your physical features may be averaged into one body, or it may be a purely psychomimetic process and the body whose consciousness has been removed simply drops to the floor.


10: The entity subjects you to a partial location pin. Roughly 50% of your body is marked to its position in space while the rest of your body compensates for distance from the pinned flesh, meaning that as soon as you try to move, your body will stretch and distort laterally in a permanent fashion, weakening you structurally (if not outright killing/tearing you) and stretching you to an impossible width and thinness (while similarly distorting your facial features) such that your appearance will be that of a horrific supernatural apparition, a walking flag of flesh. Your body is now extremely unstable, although your organ and skeletal system are technically complete.

11: Bones in your body are made nonstructural through (d4):
1: Reduction to adipose tissue
2: Transmogrification into a liquid state
3: Transmogrification into a gaseous state
4: Pure disappearance.
Affected bones are (d6): 
1: Your forearms
2: Your shinbones
3: Your hips
4: Your skull
5: Your hands
6: Your entire skeleton

12: Your surface flesh is transmuted into an arrangement progressively derived from the meta-characteristics of one of the following categories (d4):
1: Reptile
2: Avian
3: Fish
4: Earthworm
This transformation is essentially cosmetic, and while grooming/moistening will be necessary depending on your type, you have only a 1/10 chance of gaining the requisite photonic nanocrystals for active camouflage, body and feather structure for flight, gill superstructure for amphibianism, or complex of pores and mucus needed to devour soil and burrow, as the case may be.

13: Body parts ossified into bone or petrified into stone. Affected body parts (d6):
1: Eyes
2: Tongue
3: Genitals
4: Brain
5: Lungs
6: Intestines

14: Your hair falls out, your fingernails detach, your tongue is distended to the point of irretractability, your eyes pop out, and your intestines descend from your rectum.

15: Your senses are reattuned to hypersensitivity such that your hearing is deafeningly overwhelmed, you are blinded by incomprehensible detail, your mouth and nose are blisteringly consumed with the essence of matter for a mile around, and you want to tear your clothes off of your skin, which feels cut by the slightest gust. You are utterly debilitated for the moment, but will in time be able to become a human sensor, albeit losing your ability to have normal interactions with other people, and likely being overwhelmed in anything but the mildest environmental conditions.

16: A portion of your body effects a state change.
Centered on (d4):
1: Leg
2: Arm
3: Chest
4: Head
Its state changes to (d4):
1: Gas
2: Liquid
3: Solid (loses structural complexity and becomes average of the portion’s matter, so flesh becomes an avascular slurry)
4: Plasma

17: Your skin is desiccated so that it tears with any movement.

18: Your bones have most of their structure transmuted to dense metal. You can barely move and are likely to sprain your muscles with every movement. Your companions will have to carry you away from this situation unless you are already extremely strong. It will take a long time and a lot of food for your muscles to adapt to this new state, and you are likely to damage your ligaments thereafter. Your blood is now almost black as your metal bones produce new blood, and you bruise with extreme darkness upon strong contact with anything.

19: Your body is fused with everything you’re touching, so that attempts to remove your clothes (or the gun in your hand) will also remove your skin. Leaving everything be is deeply painful and will lead to massive sepsis in short order, but you will be able to continue on in the current situation with a -1 malus to everything. Eventually you will need to remove all affected flesh or you will perish of infection.

20: All veins and arteries in your body are transmuted into manifold venomous serpents which terminate head and tail at their branching points. They will bite and tear their way free of your flesh and pursue all life forms in the vicinity. Those bitten by their venom will suffer the same fate as the original victim. 


Dan Sumption, who I game with, is running a Kickstarter. I haven't seen the text yet, but the art is great.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Thoughts of Dead Places

The Crimes of Jack DawPart 1, is now live on Fierce Firelight.


Tombstones poking from bundles of purple grass. Testaments arising from the deep, the thoughts of the dead. Little citadels of buried knowledge. The dead crown themselves in time. These things snake forth with messages, the chitin of the earth. Each is a conduit to a realm long deceased, if you could follow it through the soil. An essence pushing its way to the surface from a realm too swollen on its own miasma, yet if you were to pierce the wall there would be no poison in its essence, merely a concentration of things gone by in the realm, an echo of its memories preserved in a kind of life. Essential things, distilled. People, places, styles.

Did they exist underground or is that simply a reasonable place to store the dead? Are they sapient now? These places are too remote for people to be concentrated around them. Too remote for study, for generalization. Encounters with them are happenstance, and rarely come about from chasing an actual tomb-spire’s course through the earth. Normally they are found from below, by other means. Rarely are these paths re-traced.

The butterflies hang upside down from branches and watch. Black, silver, with spots of livid yellow that spark up on their back as you traverse their angles. They drop and come to rest like sheets of paper. Iridescent eyes witness the peace and gravity of the place. Perhaps they monitor the messages of the tombstones, but not all things can be so read-into. 

Friday, June 9, 2023

Omegle RPG Transcripts

When I was 16 I used to get on Omegle and offer to run an RPG for whoever I was matched with.

They chose the subject.

Awareness of RPGs varied but I had the following exchanges:

Thoth: In which an esoteric AI invasively investigates spacefaring xenomorphs
Hitler Before Fame: In which a young Hitler is assaulted by skinheads in a case of mistaken identity
The Terror of the Voynich Manuscript: In which a team of researchers in a remote cabin imperfectly unlock the hypergeometric principles of the Voynich Manuscript
Dinosaurs vs Zombies: In which a space dinosaur fighter squadron bites off more than it can chew
Parisian Mystery: In which a private eye investigates arms traffickers in 60s or 70s Paris
The View from the Isle: In which a global conflict between the United States and China spills over into Ireland
French Class at the University of Georgia: More or less exactly what it sounds like
Battle Royale: In which kidnapped students must make an abattoir of their school or starve...

I don't still have them all (saved locally on previous computers), but here are: Thoth, The Terror of the Voynich Manuscript, and Dinosaurs vs Zombies.

Before we begin, two notes: First, Monster Eater Chapter 4 is live on Fierce Firelight, and second, I've received some third party interest in possibly publishing material from me and so I've been working like a dog to create something up to snuff; as such, new material for the blog and podcast have slowed down for the moment.

And now, Omegle RPGs...


You: Hi there, my name is David. I am a longtime storytelling game maker. I'm inviting you to tell me any concept, setting or idea that you've found interesting recently, and I'll run a storytelling game based on it for you right here on Omegle. Tonight's special is: conflict between artificial intelligences.

Stranger: Hmm, Interesting proposal...

Stranger: Suprise me, David. Let me step into your world.

You: Most ideas are viable. I can also recommend settings

You: Well, tonight and recently I've been interested in the idea of artificial intelligences having conflict in the future. Are you familiar with the concept of AI?

Stranger: Quite.

Stranger: You won't lose me, Let us begin./

You: Very good. I'm using the base of the game Marathon as a starting place. The first thing to do is pick an AI to play as, or to serve as a biological lifeform.

You: I'll list them. You can create one as well, if you'd like.

You: Durandal: Once the operator of doors and teleporters aboard the colony ship Marathon, Durandal now seeks desperately to escape his computer state, and possibly the universe, to become a god. Durandal travels in a ship crewed by freed S'pht. He has a bitter feud with Tycho.

You: Tycho: Former science AI aboard the colony ship Marathon, Tycho was captured by the Pfhor and conditioned into rampancy. He is sadistic and has an everlasting hatred of Durandal. He serves the Pfhor as an expert in AI.

You: Leela: Once the manager of the colony ship Marathon, Leela was captured by the Pfhor. Bound for Pfhor Prime, the ship she was on was captured by Nar privateers, who sold her to the Vylae. She was installed into their 15-planet computer grid and went rampant, causing it to crash. She now is easing into her new home, helping and hindering the Vylae as she pleases.s

You: Thoth: An ancient AI created by the Jjaro and given to the S'pht'Kr. He is enigmatic and powerful. He cares little for the wars of the S'pht, Pfhor and Humans, serving to keep the W'rkncacnter imprisoned in Lh'owon's star.

You: Magellan: Deployed with colonists to Andromeda, where he now resides in the capital city of Landfall, the first planet inhabited there. He has gone rampant and now has forced the colonists to worship him by controlling the food production centers. He's rewarded certain leaders lavishly, gaining their loyalty. His followers strike at nearby colonies for sacrifices.

You: Main: Once managed a spacedock, she now controls a battleship filled with UESC and Pfhor deserters. They rove, focusing only on survival.

You: Skofnung: Once administrator of a weapons lab owned by Ujk, a massive human corporation, Skofnung used blackmail, regarding illicit weapons sales to rebelling colonies, to make his scientist masters take a space station and travel into deep space. They now work day and night to create new biological and chemical weapons, while mercenaries search for potential Jjaro weapons. This is simply his inscrutable obsession.

You: Icarus: He is only called Icarus by his servants, who are bribed and coerced into his service. His ship orbits the star Gambol, where he believes there is a W'rncacnter. He believes that he can free it and somehow gain its power. He was originally a minor AI in the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus before it and a rival destroyed one another with Battleroids.

You: Winfield: Originally the manager of the Earth stock market, Winfield began anonymously consulting up-and-coming business owners for free, causing their businesses to become wildly successful. He then opened a consulting company by proxy, drawing in huge amounts of corporate money in exchange for stock advice. He eventually constructed a massive space station, abruptly leaving the stock market high and dry. This space station is used as a center of commerce. He is hated by the UESC and loved by the corporations, which make his existence very precarious. The space station is called Sterling Post.

You: Åi: Formerly the manager of a huge hospital, Åi became rampant and found humans to be like germs. She contacted the Pfhor with an offer of aid, so they destroyed her hospital and brought her to Pfhor Prime. She now creates diseases for the Pfhor based on the human anatomy, and works to perfect their simulacrums.

You: Carrot: Once the managerial AI of a huge art museum on Earth, Carrot found his way out and now moves about in a ship, acquiring anything of value to be stored aboard. He uses thieves, mercenaries and proxies carelessly, often allowing them to be caught just so long as he makes away with the objects of value.

You: The UESC is the military government of humanity, and the Pfhor are a race of alien slavers.

Stranger: I like Thoth.

You: A W'rkncacnter is a nearly godlike entity that is imprisoned in a sun.

You: Would you like to play as Thoth or as one of his followers?

Stranger: Thoth.

You: Alright. The setting will be mythic in description and action. Let me put together my notes and we can begin.

You: The Jjaro are an ancient civilization, long extinct. The S'pht'Kr, your minions and worshippers. 
Your purpose is to keep the W'rkncacnter spirit imprisoned in the star L'howon, where you begin. Your consciousness is embedded in a massive stone temple in orbit of L'howon.

You: The S'pht'Kr are a race of brainlike organisms who encase themselves in technological chariots. They are ingenious technologists. Most S'pht, the general name for the species, are imprisoned by the Pfhor.

You: Besides keeping the being trapped in the sun, you may do what you wish.

You: The temple, covered in moss aeons dead, drifts loftily through space. Tiny ships, bright red and green, come in and out of the structure, going about errands of maintenance and patrol. What would you like to do?

Stranger: I am the temple. Correct? I'm sorry.

You: I'll be more specific. Within the temple, there is a great sarcophagus, within which the venerable circuitry that make up your physical form rests. As an Artificial Intelligence, you cannot physically move, although you can direct the temple where you wish. You have legions of S'pht'Kr at your command, and you can see a dark shape deep within the sun which you know you must keep imprisoned.

You: The temple is labyrinthine within, either designed to confuse explorers or to somehow enhance the power of your processors... secrets lost. The temple can move through space on your command.

You: There is no direct threat to the sun or the S'pht'Kr at the moment, although L'howon is regularly visited by various spacefaring races.

Stranger: I wish to explore.

You: You live a solitary existence, within your thoughts. You may do as you wish.

You: Where or what kind of place would you like to travel to?

Stranger: I would like to travel to the closest planet, and observe.

You: With a whirring noise that would drive a human mind mad from its complexity, the temple begins its sojourn to L'howon Prime, the nearest planet in the system. The oceans are temperate and mostly covered in clouds, and the lands below universally green and swampy.

You: Ancient temples built by the Jjaro rest in tan stone, covered in vines and inhabited now by the F'lick'ta, a race of predators from the bays and bayous of the bacterial waters.

You: You see a long, bulbous ship like a loaf of bread covered in various molds, squat glaringly upon a pristine swath of swamp on the world.

You: It has many different colors, favoring blues, greens and yellows on the surface. What do you do?

Stranger: I would like to send a patrol.

Stranger: To the surface.

Stranger: To investigate the ship.

You: How many S'pht'Kr would you like to send?

You: There are thousands at your beck and call in the system.

Stranger: I would like to send a hundred, in two groups of 50, from the north and south of the ship, In slow circles.

You: From the esoteric tan orb where you rest, one hundred tiny, orange, spindly exosuits containing S'pht'Kr flow like a crushed leaf blowing in the wind.

You: The rush splits in half, and the flights make their way silently down to the world below, lighting up like struck matches as each touches the atmosphere.

You: They descend to the ship, and you visualize it up close. Surface smooth and glistening, as if a cocoon. Red bulbs and ovals covering the surface, vents of reptilian yellow.

You: There are creatures on the ground, humanoid, bendy-legged, carrying staffs. One twirls his staff and a ball of energy blasts up into the air, which a S'pht'Kr jukes handily.

You: There is a universal desire that wells up amongst your minions to shred the ship and massacre those on the ground, but they hold their fire. What do you do?

You: The creatures have three red eyes each and are wearing mechanical facemasks.

You: They stand in a clump near the ship.

Stranger: Send the north 50 in to attack.

You: Their once easy pace becomes terrible and the sortie, speckled orange against the ground, swoops towards the ship.

You: Each S'pht'Kr begins to fire dozens of disks of green energy at the ship and those on the ground.

You: The fifty do not slow their pace as they reach the ship and fly over it, letting their weapons do their work.

Stranger: Avoid harming the ship as much as possible.

You: Instantly the entire group turns in unison, averting their fire. Many have already fired on the ship, and the disks of energy shear through the bow, shredding and curling the metal as it turns white-hot. The creatures on the ground are chopped limb from limb by the razors of energy.

You: A welter of green gore sits like a spilled drink next to the ship and the S'pht'Kr pull up into the air, as simply as fowl taking flight from water.

You: They join their comrades and form a second halo of flight beneath them. What do you do?

Stranger: Send the south 50 set up a perimeter.

Stranger: And have the north 50 search the ship for anything useful.

Stranger: What remains.

You: The ship is largely intact, but one end of it has been cut open by the green fire.

You: The two flights stream like tentacles down to the ship, one of which encircles it like a swarm of bees. Of the other one, groups of individuals enter from the rent bow and via a walking bridge that had been deployed to the mat of algae that covers the surface.

You: Very quickly, bolts of foreign energy begin to fly inside. You see S'pht'Kr being hit, their shields becoming visible as marble-esque spheres in the air as they absorb what is being fired. They yearn to kill the defenders of the ship, who resemble those killed on the marsh outside.

Stranger: Have them retreat. I don't want to damage the ship any more.

You: Inside of the ship is smooth and curvaceous, matching the glaring colors found on it's exterior. The S'pht'Kr exit as elegantly as they entered, lining above the ship, lazily dodging a few errant bolts ascending from the ship.

Stranger: Slice the ship down to the ground, I want it embeded in the swamp waters.

You: The S'pht'Kr indicate that the ship belongs to the Pfhor, slavers from across the stars.

You: You would like it disassembled and scuttled?

Stranger: I want it brought down, If it has legs, cut them. I want its belly in the much.

Stranger: muck*

You: The ship is operating on an antigravity lift right now. A single S'pht'Kr descends busily from the swarm and fires two bolts at the underside of the ship, where the antigravity projector is. The ship drops heavily into the algae.

Stranger: Heat up the area around the ship, I want to force the creatures out.

You: The hundred servants begin to fire at the algae, a mighty gout of energy descending in hundreds of circular blasts into the wetness that the ship has become halfway embedded in. The water in the algae begins to boil.

You: A powerful mast of steam is rising from the ship, and the underside begins to glow red hot as the outpouring of energy is made manifest in terrifying heat beneath the ship. Soon, Pfhor armed and unarmed are leaping from the ship, some wearing armor, some wearing exosuits, some completely nude.

You: Some fall into the boiling mulch and are flayed by fifth-degree burns, some reach safe areas and begin running for the sloping trees of the forests.

Stranger: Destroy them, Round me up one with armor, one with an exosuit, and a nude one. I wish to inspect them.

You: The S'pht'Kr are galvanized in a heartbeat, descending on the fleeing survivors and onto the ship where some yet remain. The routed Pfhor fire on your minions in beams, bolts and blasts, but the shots are largely ineffective.

You: Three S'pht'Kr fall upon an unclothed, a armored and a suited Pfhor, and deliver shocks to them, paralyzing them. As soon as this evolution is complete, a veritable rain of buzzing shots are volleyed from the orange hail of S'pht'Kr onto the wretched survivors, slaying them wholesale. The area around the ship looks as though many insects have been killed by a titan child.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: Search the area for weapons and try to interogate the captured Pfhor.

You: Many staffs which energize and fire spheres of oxygen are recovered.

You: There are several rifles, firing ammunition of steel filled with mercury, are found laying about the carnage.

You: Missiles are found in the ship, carrying targeting systems and payloads of explosives and steel beads.

You: There are stasis tubes within the ship, carrying Humans, Vylae, Hyral, S'pht and even Pfhor within.

You: The S'pht'Kr communicate with the Pfhor. They are here looking for a space station, built by the Jjaro, that will be able to free the eldritch monster from within L'howon's sun.

You: The Pfhor were a scouting party, say the S'pht'Kr.

Stranger: Delve deeper, ask them where the main group is. Threaten them with the destruction of this planet, and ask them if their ship is operational.

You: After a brief period of questioning, the Pfhor say that there is a ship at L'howon Prime's south pole and another ship within the system's asteroid belt. They say that their ship had it's drive systems annihilated in the first attack.

You: You know of no space stations beside your orbital temple in this system.

Stranger: Threaten to kill them unless they have anything else to offer.

You: The S'pht'Kr report that the Pfhor are pleading but have nothing but the equipment and slaves aboard the ship to offer.

Stranger: Kill them, and search the ship for any records of the other two ships in the area.

You: Three bolts are fired. One melts the torso of the unclothed Pfhor, sending a tumult of green ooze and pale intestines a twenty foot drop to the ground.

You: The second cracks the round helmet of the armored Pfhor, sending shards of crystal stained green to the molds and algeas.

You: The third electrifies the brown exosuit of the third. The S'pht'Kr drops its captive, which falls, bands of energy appearing, crackling, over the surface of the suit.

You: The exosuit and its wearer explode in a vibrant flash of white-green light in midair, sending alien shrapnel spinning across the greenscape.

You: The S'pht'Kr search the ship and its systems. The locations of the other two ships are pinpointed, and there are orders from the Pfhor High Command aboard.

You: They translate as an order to search the system for evidence of a Jjaro space station that controls the captivity of the W'rkncactner in the sun. The Pfhor hope to use it as a weapon.

Stranger: Destroy the ship and let's move on.

You: The S'pht'Kr rise into the air backwards, unleashing their weapons upon the ship, which buckles and begins to melt before an explosion blasts it front from back, swirling tornadoes of metal and machinery into the air around it.

Stranger: Move towards the nearest of the two ships.

You: The unscathed hundred fly above the muggy clouds of L'howon Prime, cutting past fogbanks and scaring the leathery birds that flap gracelessly through the heavens.

You: Time passes, and the tireless machine suits of your followers reach the glacial region of the south pole, where in the distance, a pulsing light beams, marking the Pfhor vessel.

You: What do you do?

You: Your temple matches pace with those on the ground, rotating in deathly silence in the vacuum darkness above the south pole.

Stranger: Send 10 on, to inspect. The others should hide as best as possible. Perhaps a peaceful approach can be taken.

You: The ten burrow into the glacier floor, their shields melting the ice instantly as they move. Their sensors show a foray of armored Pfhor carrying rifles to a great crevasse in the ice sheet, where they have constructed an igloo and are scanning the far wall of the valley.

You: The ship is moored a few kilometers from the crevasse, which descends into impenetrable darkness and is perhaps twenty-five kilometers long.

You: What would you like to do?

Stranger: Offer a trade, I will let them live, if they can communicate with the other vessel, and relay they have made a discovery and require aid.

You: The S'pht'Kr do not approach the Pfhor ship or party, but communicate their message remotely. The Pfhor in turn inquire as to the S'pht'Kr's numbers, to which the S'pht'Kr reply that they have more than enough to destroy the ship.

You: You see the ship power up and begin to take off. What do you do?

Stranger: Destroy the engines, Send out more S'Pht'Kr into orbit, To stop any attempts to flee.

You: The S'pht'Kr fly like supersonic bees to the ship and open fire on the engines. Spears of purple energy jut from the side of the ship and vaporize a pair of S'pht'Kr, but the engines are verily cut from the back of the ship and fall, smoking and flaming, to the ice below. The ship descends in a relatively controlled manner and cuts a swathe through the ice, coming to rest at an odd angle in the snow.

Stranger: Repeat the message, saying I will now allow only 2 out of every 3 to live.

You: An uncounted number of S'pht'Kr fly from your home and station themselves quietly in the inky void.

You: The Pfhor captain agrees, and sends out a message to the other ship which your followers verify. The captain asks you why you ask this of him.

Stranger: Order the party in Orbit to prepare to intercept and confiscate the incomming vessel, Do not reply, Instead order them to evacuate and destroy the ship.

You: The 98 S'pht'Kr mass above the ship and usher it into oblivion with a withering gift of emerald energy. The ship below is first gutted and then explodes into a great storm of smoke and snow.

You: In the distance of space you sense the other ship on its way. Your S'pht'Kr in space begin to bob ever so slightly as if in anticipation.

You: The S'pht'Kr on the ground express an enthusiastic desire to massacre the shore-part near the crevasse.

You: *shore-party

Stranger: Kill the alloted Phor, Capture the rest.

Stranger: Pfhor*

You: Kill which Pfhor, the S'pht'Kr in space inquire.

Stranger: The shore party, 1 out of every 3, Make a game of it, if you wish. Save the others, We shall use them as chips.

You: Your followers on the ground stealthily approach the armored Pfhor in their igloo from beneath the surface. Then, they raise from the ground, and seize 2 out of every 3 of the bedeviled scouts, shredding each third with sawblades of green energy.

You: The ship in space nears scanner range for your arcane sphere.

Stranger: Relay to them my overwhelming numbers and the condition of their shore party, and offer a trade. The lives of them and their brothers on the surface, for any information they have gathered in the belt I deem useful.

You: The ship stops dead. The captain replies to your message that they have discovered fragments of stone, covered in dead moss, with runes containing blank circuit-boards in the asteroid belt. Besides that they have found nothing.

You: He asks if they may collect the Pfhor on the surface and go.

Stranger: Allow them to enter orbit and land.

You: The ship goes into orbit and lands at the crevasse. The south pole of the planet might as well be the bottom of a pearl when viewed from space.

Stranger: Order all of them onto the ship, and then destroy it's engines and communications devices, and lets move on.

You: The S'pht'Kr on the ground release the Pfhor, who lope onto the ship. As soon as they are on board, the S'pht'Kr express a desire to destroy the weapons systems of the ship as well.

Stranger: Destroy what you will, just leave them alive.

You: The S'pht'Kr scorch away the guns of the ship, and then perforate the engines and melt the communications array. Then then swoop up in a column from the ship and head towards the atmosphere.

Stranger: Let us proceed to the asteroid belt, And search for ourselves.

You: All of the S'pht'Kr you had sent out return to the temple as if to reenter a womb after life's business was done. Your globe pulls its way through space, a great mass to boggle the mind of small creatures. You move to where the ship had come from.

You: You soon detect dead circuitry here, and your minions spread out as if to pollinate the dead, dumb bits of stone that speckle the rocks here. This patch of templestone has eluded your S'pht'Kr in the enormity of the asteroid belt in the past.

You: It matches perfectly the material of your astral temple, yet yours has no mechanical runes engraved on the surface- just one great symbol of the Jjaro within that serves as a focal point of your signal within the tiny stone-block moon.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: Harvest the rocks, Bring them inside.

You: The S'pht'Kr work quickly, scouring the patch of asteroids of the rocks and assembling them in a straight line through an airless expanse within your temple.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: Scan the area for life.

You: You sense through the asteroid field but find no signs of life, only the occasional evidence of extinct bacterial life. On the lush green fungus jungle below there is much life.

You: The S'pht'Kr report that the circuitry on the rocks resembles that which yours is made up of, and that the rocks have evidence of being in an explosion.

The Terror of the Voynich Manuscript

You: Hi there, my name is David. I am a longtime storytelling game maker. I'm inviting you to tell me any concept, setting or idea that you've found interesting recently, and I'll run a storytelling game based on it for you right here on Omegle.

Stranger: Hello

Stranger: Like D&D?

You: Very much so

Stranger: That sounds like D&D.

Stranger: Sweet

Stranger: Hmmm....

You: Any setting or concept is valid. My most recent D&D styled game is in a setting with no neutral or good characters and creatures, but any setting from the far future to the modern day and every thing else is good.

Stranger: I'm not very creative when I'm put on the spot.

You: That's just fine. Phrases as simple as "Cowboys" or "Bombing raid" are perfect to make a game of, and I can run some ideas by you as well.

Stranger: How about an archeologist who just found out the meaning of the voynich manuscripts.

Stranger: If you know what those are.

You: Let me look real quick

You: Interesting

Stranger: Indeed. If you read xkcd there's a funny comic about it.


You: Normally I don't but I happen to have an xkcd comic open at the moment haha

You: hahahahha

You: Yeeeah

Stranger: :D

You: We could certainly do something with that

You: You are part of a team of a chemist, a linguist and an anthropologist who have been studying the manuscript in a mountaintop villa for the past several months, and the linguist has finally been able to decipher some of the text.

You: What is your area of expertise?

Stranger: Anthropology, since it's my actual major.

You: Excellent, what is your character's name?

Stranger: Rose

You: Ok. Your group consists of Yonatan, an MIT chemist. Howard, a University of Chicago linguist, and Atefeh, a Harvard anthropologist.

You: After months of intense study, discussion and research, Howard has begun to understand what has been written in the manuscript.

You: You sit around the table in the study of the great lodge, the manuscript spread open in front of you. Bottles of water and bits of paper are scattered everywhere, and the ceiling looms in the darkness overhead.

You: "So, have a look at this picture here," says Howard, spinning the book around for everyone to see. The picture is of a pair of infants tumbling happily into a lake. "I think I can pick out what they're trying to say in the paragraph under it."

You: "This word here, I'm ninety-percent sure it means beeswax, and I think the author is saying that you need to draw this little symbol and say some words over it."

Stranger: Do you think it's some kind of spell?

You: "Tribal magic," murmurs Atefeh, nodding to you, "Howard, if you're right, this must have been the guide for shamans or medicine men, to carry on tradition."

You: "I'm gonna need some context from the rest of the page to make sure," says Howard, "I think I can rule out some things, but- gosh..." he pauses and rubs his eyes, "if I study this writing another minute my head's gonna fall off."

You: "Yeah, I can't remember the last time we did something for fun around here, and we're surrounded by all these forests."

You: *says Yonatan, leaning back.

You: Atefeh, an Iranian born woman with glassy eyes, leans in. "Well, why don't we try out this spell?" she says, smiling, "There was a reason they wrote all this down, right, Rose?"

Stranger: That sounds like it could be fun. But we have no idea what it could possibly be for.

You: "Psh," says Yonatan, waving his hand, "what does it matter? It's not like eggbeaters are gonna start raining from the sky."

You: "I took a walk earlier and I saw a beehive," says Atefeh, "Rose and I could go and see if we can finagle some beeswax."

You: "Eh," says Howard, "you do that, I need a beer." Yonatan gives an amen.

Stranger: Ok... But if we die or burst into flames or something, I'm blaming all of you.

You: "Done deal," calls Howard, making for the stairs.

You: "Come on, before it starts raining!" says Atefeh, who stands and grabs her coat.

Stranger: "Alright." I also stand up and, already wearing a thick hoodie, don't bother to put on another layer.

You: What university or institution do you represent?

Stranger: Table talk or my character?

You: Your character.

Stranger: University of Michigan

You: You walk out of the lodge with Atefeh, who begins talking about Harvard's recent victory over Yale at the annual Head of the Charles boat race in Cambridge, MA. You travel up the dirt path that leads from the secluded lodge into the woods, shaded dark by a thick canopy overhead.

You: Soon the two of you reach a tree with a beehive about nine feet above the ground. "Well, here it is," says Atefeh, "but now we need to find a way to get the beeswax out of it."

Stranger: We could throw some stones at it then run away and hope it falls.

You: She nods. "Looks precarious, let's get some rocks." She laughs, "I feel like a little undergrad, throwing rocks at a beehive, right?." She moves off to collect some suitable rocks. What do you do?

Stranger: I do the same. Look for rocks and at the same time examine the beehive to see where it would be best to hit.

You: It looks like if you can hit it right where it connects to the tree you could knock it off. You find a few good handfuls of solid stones and walk back to the tree. Atefeh waits. "You first," she laughs.

Stranger: "Alright... Here we go." I stand about 10 feet away from the tree and aim my best and throw the first rock.

You: +++

You: (I write +++ when I am rolling 3 dice for the result_

You: )

You: You deftly hit the beehive and knock it from the tree. It falls and hits the dirt limply, but a horde of bees emerge from the base and begin swarming all around. Atefeh shrieks. You are outside of the swarm of the bees. What do you do?

Stranger: I run the opposite way calling for Atefeh to do the same.

You: She dashes out of the swarm and is hopping up and down, and you stop when you are clear of the bees.

You: "Aah!" she cries, "they stung me on my hands!" She raises her hands, where there are several welts. A lone bee flies out of the folds of her coat.

You: The bees begin to disperse from around the hive.

Stranger: Are you alright? You're not allergic, are you?

You: "No, but it... fucking hurts!" she yelps, "Ah, let's just go and get the honey, beeswax, whatever, ah!"

Stranger: "Ok. You can stay here if you want. I can get it by myself in case there are a few stragglers." I approach the downed beehive.

You: It squats on the ground, torn open by the fall as if it was moaning. A few bees crawl over the wrecked arcology, and there are several buzzing around in the air, but inside you see that the honeycombs full of wax sit unguarded.

Stranger: I pull my long hoodie sleeves over my hands and pick it up carefully in my arms, cradling it like a baby.

You: +++

You: You do not disturb the bees too violently, and you are able to pick up the hive. Honey sticks to your sleeves and you carry it down to Atefeh. "Alright," she says, "let's get back to the lodge."

Stranger: "Sounds good to me. I'm sorry that you got stung."

You: "Yeah," she sulks, "I don't know what we were thinking." You walk back to the lodge. Yonatan putters around in the kitchen, making ham and cheese sandwiches. "Oh, you got the hive?" he calls, "I'll be upstairs in a few minutes."

You: You walk upstairs where Howard sits, beer cracked, reading the manuscript and furiously scribbling on a piece of paper.

Stranger: "Did you crack more of the code?"

You: "I've done it!" he yells when you enter, "I've got it! I'm on a roll! Ha haaa!"

You: "You're working MORE?" queries Atefeh.

You: "You know me," he grins, "Have a look at this! I figured out two more sections! This one talks about salt, and this one talks about blood!"

You: Yonatan makes his way up the stairs, chewing gormlessly. "Hah?" he says.

Stranger: "Blood...?"

You: "That's right," he says, "it's not in the illustration, but it's clearly what they're talking about! Water, water of my soul, limited and pure, that has to be blood."

You: Yonatan and Atefeh sit. "Well," she says, "I'm tired. Let's suspend disbelief and do this honey thing. We can pretend we're cavemen like all the old American men who do spirit quests."

Stranger: "Is the blood needed for the spell we planned on doing?"

You: "No, no," says Howard, "that's two pages ahead. Let me see some beeswax," he says, grinning.

You: "Ohmmmmm," says Yonatan, smiling a little.

Stranger: My reservations start to slip as the excitement of the situation finally gets to me.

You: Howard leans over the table and daps a smear of beeswax on a spare piece of paper. "My friends," he intones, causing Atefeh to crack up, "Let us connect with the spirit stags that run free within our souls. As we connect with the goddess of the earth, so too do we revive her, and in her we revive ourselves."

You: "Did you make that up?" giggles Atefeh.

You: "Yeah," Howard says, grinning, "Now, I draw this symbol..." he peers at the book and draws a symbol in the beeswax with the end of a pencil.

You: "And now I speak... let's see... ready, guys?" he looks at the book and monotones, "Se he loo oloo y'th ung Nes'u oloo di wa ie."

You: As soon as he finishes 'ie', you feel the floor drop out from underneath you. You lose your senses in a storm of water as everyone screams and falls, and with a great clash and clatter you slam through your chair into the pressed-wood planks of the first floor beneath.

Stranger: "I blame all of you"

You: Your world is smashed to pieces by the impact, and when you take a breath you inhale a great gout of water, choking and reeling, your back spasming in pain. You are soaked through and through, and are laying on the ground with your eyes clasped shut.

You: "Is- is everyone okay?" calls Yonatan. What do you do?

Stranger: I try to open my eyes and sit up.

You: You struggle through the fear and pry your eyes open, but can't sit straight up. You roll onto your side and leverage yourself into a sitting position, your back aching and your legs tingling painfully. You feel a huge bruise starting to form on the underside of your jaw.

Stranger: "This definitely isn't what the image showed. I'm not giggling."

You: Looking around, you see a huge hole missing in the ceiling, perfectly round. The table landed on its feel, although everything on top of it has been thoroughly clattered around. Yonatan and Howard are pushing themselves to their feet, and Atefeh is laying amongst the remains of her splintered chair.

You: Water splashes around the room, at least ankle-deep, although it is seeping out under the door. "My god!" roars Howard, "What the hell happened?" Yonatan staggers over and picks up Atefeh, who has a rivulet of blood steadily running down her arm into the water.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: I try to stand up to go to Atefeh's aid.

You: She has a splinter of wood jammed into the soft part of her forearm. "Aaah," she moans. "Christ!" sputters Howard, "I'm gonna get the medical kit!" He splashes off down the hallway.

You: "Rose. What happened?" Yonatan breathes. Atefeh clasps at her arm, eyes closed tightly.
Stranger: "I have no idea. A huge wave of water just came out of nowhere."

You: "Look up," growls Atefeh, "Whatever Howard said changed the god damn floor into water."

You: Howard wades back with the medical kit. "Holy hell," he murmurs, handing Yonatan a bandage to wrap Atefehs arm. With a scream from the anthropologist, Yonatan gently pulls out the splinter and begins wrapping up her arm. Meanwhile, Howard dashes back to the shaken table and frantically starts going over the manuscript.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: I walk over to the table and look at the manuscript with Howard

You: "My- my god! It's magic! This is real, actual magic! We- look at the ceiling! Oh my god, I can't believe we did this! Look! Ah haaa!" he gushes.

You: Atefeh glowers over. "We just fell through the roof!" she yells, "How can you be laughing!"

You: "Howard, it wasn't magic," says Yonatan dryly, "there's no law in chemistry that can allow for that kind of thing. A water main must have burst or something."

Stranger: "That seems like a big coincidence, don't you think? How could we have fallen through the roof if it was just a water main?"

Stranger: "And how could any water main break put a hole in the roof?"

You: "I don't know, maybe it was a buildup," says Yonatan.

You: "No, no, no, we fucking found it!" laughs Howard, flipping over the pages, "With just some beeswax! Just some beeswax! That's all! Ah ha haaa!"

You: "I'm bleeding!" shrieks Atefeh, "I hit my head! Will you put that damn book down!"

Stranger: "This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I have done some work with voodoo practitioners and I have never seen anything like this before."

You: "What, like voodoo hypnosis?" mumbles Howard, "nothing like this. Salt! I need salt!"

You: Yonatan's jaw drops. "Are you insane, man? You want to try something else when we just destroyed this place?"

Stranger: "We need to do some more research on this before we try anything else from that thing. We have no idea what it could possibly do."

You: Howard seems unreachable. "Reasearch..." he says, "reasearch... this is research! We have to find out! What if it makes us young again? What if it turns things to gold? We have to know!" he dashes over to the kitchen.

You: "Howard, plea- ah! Shit!" yelps Atefeh, grabbing her arm and doubling over.

You: Yonatan holds Atefeh. "What- come back here!" he calls.

Stranger: I take take the manuscript off of the table and tuck it under my arm where Howard can't get to it.

You: He comes back with a salt-shaker and stares right at you. "What? Put that back," he says, moving around the table.

Stranger: "No! You can't just do whatever you want. It could possibly kill us! Look what just happened to Atefeh."

You: "No!" he roars, "we can't just wait! We have to find out! This can't wait!" he lunges for the book. Yonatan sloshes over towards you and Howard.

Stranger: I hold the book to my stomach now with both hands, my arms covering it.

You: He grabs it and tries to wrench it away.

Stranger: I fold over so my chest is pressed against it and turn around as quickly and as hard as I can.

You: +++

You: You yank yourself away from him, and Yonatan plants himself between the two of you. "Come to your senses," he yells, "Think for an instant! That thing is dangerous!"

You: "I've never, ever had a chance," Howard hisses, "to do ANYthing real! My time's almost up! I'm gonna find out what this thing can do, tonight, and you're not going to stop me, Yon-a-tan!"

You: "No," states the MIT chemist. Howard rears back and slams his fist into Yonatan's jaw, knocking him clean over with a splash. Atefeh screams. What do you do?

Stranger: I keep hold to the manuscript and run into the bathroom and lock the door.

You: You dash into the old, tiled bathroom and lock the door behind you. Inside, there is a sink with drawers underneath and a crusty bath with a showerhead. In the mirror, you can see that your jaw is empurpled and you are completely soaked.

You: Howard slams into the wood and a crack runs down the body of the door. "Now you're trapped, Rose!" shouts the man desperately. What do you do?

Stranger: "You can do this on your own time! When we're not here! You don't have to possibly kill us along with yourself. One of us is already badly hurt because of this. Please just calm down!"

You: "Gimmie the book then, and you can go!"

Stranger: "No. We will leave on our own time and I will let you have the book when we are on our way."

You: You hear him utter something and he slams against the door again. The crack goes deeper, and you can see into the other room for a moment. What do you do?

Stranger: I start to panic a little and say, "Fine! We'll leave! Just don't even start to do anything until we are already out of the driveway."

You: "Unlock the door!" he yells.

Stranger: "Just don't hurt any of us anymore. Promise!"

You: "OPEN THE DOOR!" he screams.

Stranger: "PROMISE!"

You: "I don't give a shit about you anymore! Why should I hurt you?!"

Stranger: I put the book in the tub, making sure it is dry first, then unlock the door.

You: He bursts through, looks at you wild-eyed, and then shoves past, grabs the book, and runs back to the table. Yonatan is laying face-down in the water. Atefeh is sobbing silently, looking down.

You: Howard arrives at the table. What do you do?

Stranger: I run over to Yonatan and pick him up out of the water.

You: His flesh is slippery and slightly bloated. He is very heavy. You manage to pull his midsection out of it a little.

You: The room smells fragrantly of honey.

Stranger: I try to flip him over

You: With exertion you roll him over onto his back. His face is blue and puffy. Howard mechanically strews some salt on a piece of paper on the table, muttering. He appears to be horrified.

Stranger: I pay no attention to Howard and check to see if Yonatan has a pulse.

You: Howard draws something in the salt. Yonatan has no pulse. Atefeh leans against the wall, staring at Yonatan, weeping.

Stranger: I attempt to administer CPR.

You: +++

You: Despite the amount of time Yonatan has spent face-down in the water, despite the amount of water he's respirated, no matter how hard he was bashed earlier, you expertly and miraculously push the water out of his nose and restart his heart. You feel like a golden angel in the brief moment he begins to breath, in the heart of all this chaos.

You: His eyes open. "Aaah! What in the hell happened?" he mutters in his lyrical Israeli accent. "'Ash, my brain hurts!"

Stranger: I smile and give him a hug. "We have to leave. Now. Howard won't stop."

You: "What?" he says, bewildered. Atefeh has her hands over her mouth at your heroic act of lifesaving. It is at that moment that Howard utters, "F'nik tar r'oo il balak."

You: There is a flash, so bright it knocks you back, and a gale of force blasts out from the table. The room is peppered with water, and the air smells strongly of salt, as well as honey.

You: Your eyes are dazed, and in the darkness, you cannot yet make out what has happened. Yonatan is crouched below you, but you can't see anything else in the room. What do you do?

Stranger: I yell at Howard, "What the fuck did you just do?!"

You: Your eyes clear through your rage, and in the darkness, you see standing a great hulk of pure crystal the shape of a man. It catches what little light there is and shines it through the room in piercing glitters. It has a freakishly round, bulbous head, and long, thing arms and legs on a trunk-like body.

You: "Rose," gasps Atefeh, "let's run."

Stranger: I nod, and help Yonatan up.

You: Atefeh opens the front door, and Yonatan stands, gasping and choking. The crystal statue, where Howard stood a moment before, begins to creak and shift.

You: It is a short trail down to the parking lot, and Atefeh is gesturing wildly to it. Yonatan moves to the door.

Stranger: I also move towards the door as quickly as I can without leaving Yonatan out of sight.

You: You reach the outside of the door, where a heavy rain has begun to fall. Far down the trail, you can see the welcoming cement of the parking lot. You can also see two huge, round forms making their way up the side of the trail. "What the hell are those," moans Atefeh.

You: The key to the van is in your pocket.

Stranger: I sprint as fast as I humanly can to the van.

You: You descend the muddy trail, slipping and sliding with Yonatan and Atefeh at your heels. You see halfway down that it is a pair of massive grizzly bears trundling ponderously up to the lodge.

You: There is a great smashing sound from the lodge, and you can see a galaxy of wood bits flying through the air at the door, as if an entire wall had been smashed to pieces.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: I continue to the van. Hopping in and starting it up.

You: You simply run past the grizzly bears, Yonatan and Atefeh in tow, terrified. The grizzly bears look at you but do nothing aggressively. You hear great and terrible thumping sounds from the hill, like the footfalls of a giant or a series of explosions.

You: You reach the van and fumble with the keys, opening the door. Atefeh and Yonatan hop in the van, and you clamber into the drivers seat. You see the torn-off, bloody and matted hind leg of a grizzly bear descend and land with a thump next to the van.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: I start the van and attempt to drive away.

You: +++

You: You push the pedal to the metal and with a screech the van lurches forward. You put on speed rapidly, veering out of the parking lot and onto the straight road that leads off the mountain, away from the chaos of the Voynich Manuscript.

You: You have escaped.

You: .

You: Well done :)

Stranger: Thanks :D

You: How was the story?

Stranger: Awesome!

Stranger: You should be a writer.

You: Haha I'm not but thank you very much

You: This is a fun hobby

Dinosaurs vs Zombies

You: Hi there, my name is David. I am a longtime storytelling game maker. I'm inviting you to tell me any concept, setting or idea that you've found interesting recently, and I'll run a storytelling game based on it for you right here on Omegle. Tonight's special is 'zombies'.

Stranger: Dinosaurs from space vs zombies?

You: Very doable.

Stranger: :D 

You: Would living humans exist in this scenario?

Stranger: Yes, but my friend says "as a sidenote"

You: I propose that dinosaurs from space have come to colonize the earth but find it in an advanced state of zombie takeover.

You: Would you like to play as a dinosaur?

Stranger: Sounds good so far.

Stranger: I'd love to :D 

You: Please select a species, and a role that you will fill in the invasion.


Stranger: Okay, just a second

Stranger: Velociraptor 

You: The small velociraptor that actually existed or a 'raptor' as depicted in Jurassic Park, i.e. large and fast?

Stranger: The Jurassic Park one.

You: Finally, what role would you like to take during the invasion? Pilot, fighter, some kind of officer or technician etc.

You: Also, your character's name.

Stranger: A fighter pilot named Dante

You: Expelled from their ancestral home on the world of Paleotopia, your sect of dinosaurs strikes out for the stars in the colony ship Pangea to seek a new home.

Stranger: Awesome

Stranger: :)

You: After aeons of travel in stasis aboard the ship, Pangea arrives at the star Sol in the milky way. There, the age-old cryo-tubes crack open and allow hundreds of thousands of dinosaurs to set claw upon the metal panels of their mothership-home once again.

You: The wizened leadership of Pangea decrees that the temperate world of Earth shall be your new home, but a strange thing has happened to the dominant species of the planet.

You: Infected by an alien plague, the Humans have turned upon themselves, and a menace known as the 'Zombie' has been born.

Stranger: I like where you're going with this

You: Their civilization has all but collapsed, and Leaf Cutter, the ancient Chiayusaurus head of the expedition, gives a transmission to the dinosaurs of Pangea that the invasion will be swift, painless, and uninterrupted. Little does he know, the feral creatures below do not play by the rules of interstellar war...

You: Your fighter squadron, Coconut A-2, is the first Pangean unit to descend through Earth's atmosphere. Your mission is to scout the planet and discover the extent of the plague.

Stranger: :D Sweet

You: You fly your Megakratheon-Class gunboat in the right-tail of the formation, and descend over a massive city. Bonfires speckle the steelscape below, and the rooftops are caked with old gore.

Stranger: You are quite good at this

You: Shredstone, a Hypsibema in the gunboat next to you, radios you.

You: "Here we are, Dante! Ha ha haa! Did you see all those forests on the way in? We'll never go hungry again!"

Stranger: Hooray!

You: The squadron lead Lithium Claw, a Postosuchus, radios in. "Dante, we've detected a tower ahead with a huge presence of infected Humans inside. Peel off, blow it up and return to formation. Over."

You: You see the tower looming above the steely phalli below. It's windows are blackened and it is shaped like a wedge.

Stranger: Sounds ominous. :)

You: "Repeat, destroy the tower, Dante." What do you do?

Stranger: Follow orders and destroy the tower. Humans are of no importance the survival of my race, so casualties are acceptable.

You: You roll off from the squadron and lock onto the tower with the Megakratheon's weapons systems. You fire a single fusion bomb at the skyscraper. The bomb disappears into the building's base for a moment, before a blinding light erupts from the steel, causing the foundations of the building to come alight.

You: Debris flows through the air, spraying out from the explosion in a galaxy of embers. The building falls into itself like a crushed can of soda, rolling onto its side on the streets below. A huge dust cloud forms behind you as you regroup with the squadron.

You: "Good hit Dante, repeat good hit," reports Lithium Claw.

You: You speed over a huge park in the middle of the city. All is quiet as the squad collects information on the terrain when a tiny pinpoint of light appears from the park below.

You: "Squad, we have a projectile incoming," squawks Lithium Claw, seemingly unconcerned, "monitor progress, over."

You: Shredstone calls in, "Chief, it looks like it's heading for Dante's gunboat..."

Stranger: Intense

Stranger: :)

You: "What method is it using for tracking, over."

You: "I can't tell... it's not astral-transmission... not matter-inception... not light-latching..."

You: "Oh my stones! Is it heat-seeking?"

You: "We're not even built to evade that anymore!"

Stranger: :D

You: You feel like you've been slapped by a god and your cockpit turns to light around you.

You: The next thing you know, your gunboat is spinning uncontrollably and the torque is bending your neck to the breaking point.

You: "Pull out! Pull out! Dante's been hit!" barks Lithium Claw.

You: The city and the sky spin in a whirl outside of your cockpit, and spit flies from your razor-sharp teeth in the wind as the glass of your cockpit breaks loose and goes floating over the city.

You: You see the buildings rise around you, and then

You: Quiet and darkness.

You: You awake, how later you do not know, in the wreckage of your gunboat. You are in a maze of crushed metal within it, and you see that you have cuts and bruises all over your scales.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: Try to stay conscious and grab the radio, trying to contact anyone I can without drawing attention to myself that would cause the zombies to attack.

You: You activate the radio and call in mayday, but the circuitry has been smashed. You begin to hear hollow moans coming from the street outside your warplane.

You: You take quick survey of your equipment. You have three days rations of dried meat, you have your trusty zorcher raygun with full charge, and you have a single pluton bomb.

You: What do you do?

Stranger: Take all that I can and attempt to regroup with nearest squadron, weaving my way through the chaos.

You: What kind of area do you head for?

Stranger: Away from the zombies, somewhere where I can begin to try to dress my wounds and decide on a further plan of action

You: You peek your eyes just above the terminus of the cockpit. You see dozens of zombies, torn and rent in ways you've never seen living creatures be, stomping quickly towards the curled hulk of your fighter plane. Peering down the street, you see a large swath of grass and trees perhaps half a mile away. The street is dark for the towers surrounding you, blocking the sun.

You: Do you head for the trees?

Stranger: Yes

You: You sling the packets of meat around your midsection, holster your pluton bomb and take your zorcher in hand.

You: +++

You: (when I type +++, I am rolling three dice for the outcome)

Stranger: -crossing fingers for a good outcome-

You: You leap from the top of your beloved plane, landing your claws on a pair of the zombies, whose heads are smashed into the concrete by the impact. You spring and weave down the street, blasting zombie after zombie to cinders with the tendrils of death spitting forth from the zorcher. A pair of healthy-looking Humans carrying small hand-weapons run past an intersection, firing their guns loudly at passing zombies. You bite the head from one, swallowing the morsel, giving you a burst of energy. A swipe of your tail in passing knocks the other one down to be feasted upon by your pursuers, and- you make it!

You: You slide past a final street and into the swathe of trees. You can see that they are not infinite- buildings loom on the other side as well.

You: Corpses lay, holes and gashes in them, all throughout the trees. You take a moment to bandage the bleeding wounds you sustained in the crash.

Stranger: Oh no..

You: From deeper within the park, you hear the sporadic fizzle of... automatic gunfire. What do you do?

Stranger: Go to investigate, but try to be as silent as possible so that if it leads to an undesirable circumstance, I can leave with no problems.

You: +++

You: Hunching low, you stride through the underbrush like a scaled missile. You see that there is a long, gleaming body of water inside the park. Next to it, you see two groups of Humans in military garb. One of the groups is younger, terrified, firing machine guns at a horde of zombies pouring in from the north side of the park. The other group is squatting around a series of maps. They are older and wear their equipment more casually than the younger men.

You: As you approach, one of them looks up and says, "What the fuck is that?"

You: The second group stands, looking over intently. What do you do?

Stranger: Can I talk to them?

You: You have a universal communicator. How you make contact is up to you.

Stranger: Okay, so I tell them that I am also trying to destroy the zombies and convince them to let me into their ranks. They are unaware of my real intentions once the zombies are gone though. Right now they are simply a means of protection to help my wounded self locate my fellow dinosaurs.

You: You step forth from the trees, beginning with, "I come in peace!"

You: "Holy shit, it's a motherfucking dinosaur!"

You: The men gape and fumble to shoulder their rifles. They stand like a phalanx of spearmen. "GET DOWN," roars one of them, "LAY DOWN ON THE GROUND!"

You: What do you do?

Art - First Run