The 777 Writing Challenge: Watch me WIP!

So, I was trolling the webz, and lo and behold, find the blog of one of the editors at Albedo1 (Thanks Sharon). Most current post had the "777 Writing Challenge."

I was intrigued, at first because I knew that after Linus Torvalds invented Linux, Satan decided to change the Number of the Beast to 777 because it was so much more evil (setting a folder's permissions to 777 means anyone can get in it, even the Hot-Pocket stroking Rat from The Core). But, I read further, and its apparently a sort of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" kind of challenge: the kind that only the brave (or those who can forgive themselves) can follow through. I like it...

Here's the how:

1. Find the 7th line on the 7th page of your current work-in-progress (WIP)
2. Copy that line and seven lines after it
3. Post it, naked, unedited, and afraid, for the worldwide sideshow to see

Here's the go. This is from "Alexa", my short piece WIP.


“Christmas day. It was really cold that night. One of the harvesters, Nero I think, came into the loading bay, forgot to lock the garage door behind him. Phear’s brother, the second story man, noticed, slipped out of the manacles and slipped away. Nero’s skin is still hanging up inside the Ritus Chamber.”

“...So we could sneak them out one at a time? No, that's not practical. How can we prevent them from going in the first place.”

“Kill everyone?”

“They will just be replaced.”


First thing I notice is that I happened upon dialog, dialog between two people so I drop the names after awhile. This is a short story though: is the dialogue too long, I wonder? I'll consider that in the first edit.

Also, tone is still there, somewhat, but I could maybe take some more oppurtunites to show it. We'll see..

Y'all will see the final draft of Alexa eventually, either on the blog or in a magazine. Either way, I'll let you know.


By the way, I tag +Alan Vannes, +Sean Bircher+Charles Akins +Maggie Carroll and any other writers that hit this for the Challenge. Fiction, Non-Fiction, RPG Cores and Supplements, all apply in my opinion.


Why your Power Gamer is your most valuable player...sometimes

When you see a spider and reach for a shoe, remember this...

You were lied to.

The beastmasters who wrote your beastiary promised you. They promised you that even the most tested adventurer could not defeat such a beast. Claws like spears, teeth like swords, breath like a hot summer day in Hell, even resistance to the great equalizer: magic.

But no. Your night was a complete cluster. A crunchy, nougaty, caramelly cluster of broken plot dreams. It probably went a little something like this:

"The Many-Bladed Dire Marmaduke of Many Blades appears, gnashing all twenty of its jaws, buffeting you with gales of wind from its mountain-sized wings, and terrifying your soul with visions of Pure Chaos in its murder-lusting eyes. Do only stand there and soil yourself, or do you dare attack?"

"Ok dude, lay off the pulp. I attack, by sticking my sword in its skull."

"Roll your pathetic..."

"Awesome! I got a 10!"

"Heh, a ten he says. Even though its obvious to everyone that your soon-to-be-dead adventure missed by a mile, I'll extend to you some common courtesy by asking you one last question, before your PC is consigned to the trash bin: how much does that come to?"


"....lemme see your sheet. Why are you handing me a binder!?"

"That's my character dude. Hey everyone, can y'all help me roll damage? Paul, I need that gallon ziploc of mini d6's..."

They lied to you! Their lies fill your raging blood with boiling rage! They are probably watching you weep quietly over your empty table now, smugly laughing, knowing that you'll go buy another book that promises even more powerful monsters. You chose that beast as a clear warning that the PC's were no sturdier than the paper that they were writ on! "Guys, she's serious about this dungeon!" they were supposed to whisper to eachother. It would inspire "Teamwork". "Comraderie". "Esprit du corps"!

No! The other players just glared at the bright shining star of the power gamer, like they glare at dog poop on their lawns.

You will have the last laugh though. You will. That email you just typed up and sent to the publishers of the beastiary that burned you will melt their faces, and break their hearts. You will show them CR 14! You'll show them....

In the meantime, what is a DM to do about Power Gamers?


Cold, Deep and Dark: Support "The Dark Zone!"

Murky Master is an observant man...

He has noticed that his #3 post of all time is one in regards to a kickstarter than he was rather passionate about. So, it might be that you all like to hear about new Kickstarter projects coming down the line, especially RPGs.

Well too bad. This is not a new RPG in development. This is a new movie  in development.

Why do I care (and why should you)?


Roleplayer's Library Review: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility

I thought to myself, as I made up my mind to read Austen's two most well known novels: Oh my. Some books about Regency England. More specifically, some books about people trying to get married, in Regency England. Not a gunfight, naval battle or duel in sight. ZZZZZzzzzz....

Yet, as you may expect, I formed a different opinion once I began reading.

To be honest, I laughed my ass off the whole time.

Pride and Prejudice is about the vexations of the Bennet family and their attempt to marry off their two most eligible daughters, Julie and Elizabeth. Liz, the main protagonist, wants nothing more in the world to see her older, sweeter, gentler sister happy, and that means she must marry Mr. Bingley, whom she is fallen hard for.
Unfortunately, Mr. Bingley has a friend: Mr. Darcy, a mean, cold, arrogant, rich and handsome bachelor. And he is standing in the way of Julie's happiness. Liz wont back down that easily though.

Sense and Sensibility concerns a pair of sisters who are very much opposites. One of whom is about to marry someone who is very much a bad match, and the other may see the man she loves taken away...

These books apply to:

Iron Kingdoms
Victorian Age Vampire
Vampire the Masquerade
Any other 1800's type setting, or an analog of such times.
Any game where the conflict needs to be free of violence


Secrets: How I create tempting yet horrific dark magic in my games.

Worldbuilding dark magic into your campaign or chronicle
The Summoning by Balaskas www.deviantart.com

What is dark magic?

Dark magic is magic that is dark. Dark, in this case, means forbidden, dangerous, secret.

So, in order for me to have dark magic in my game, I have to answer several questions: Why would a particular kind magic be kept secret? How would you keep it secret? What would make it more dangerous than “normal” or “light” magic? Who would decide it is forbidden, and why?

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