Monday, November 28, 2011

[NSFW] Ken Russell: 1927-2011 -- Thanks for 84 years of Beauty, Grotesqueness, and Lusty Excess

My favorite movie director died last night. The list of adjectives that were typically trotted out to accompany his often hostile reviews included: "vulgar," "tasteless," "shrill," "camp," "trashy," "exploitative," "lurid," "overheated," and "self-indulgent."

These are not, strictly speaking, inaccurate impressions. But if these are vices, then he made a unique virtue of them, and he never committed the far more common and far more damning sin of churning out work that was boring, trite, safe, and thoroughly respectable. I can't think of anything else to say right now that gets across the impact-- the lyrical, brain-shattering jolt this man's work has had on me, so I'll shut up for now and let the work speak for itself.

NOTE: Some of the following video clips would probably not go over well in an office environment, a day care, or a convent. Please exercise discretion.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Empire of the Petal Throne Character Sheet, and Brief Update

- So I made a character sheet for the original, 1974 Empire of the Petal Throne RPG. It's not perfect, by any means, but I hope it'll be useful. I know next to nothing about imaging, layout, and design software (I put it together on MS Word) so feel free to make any adjustments, improvements, or embellishments on it as you see fit -- just let me know so I can link to it, and use it myself. You can find it (in .pdf) in the "Downloads" sidebar to the right.

- I just realized that a few of those downloads were set to "private" so if any of you were trying to download a pdf and couldn't access it, they should all work now.

- "Rival Adventuring Parties" has been fixed so that it actually functions as a table.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Solomon Kane Wishes Ye Gluttonous Wretches a Happy Thanksgiving*

Everyone's favorite Puritan** bids you enjoy your nourishing repast and good fellowship (without ever losing sight of the fact that feasting, like all fleshly pleasures, is vain and fleeting, and that your sinful bodies are destined to fatten the worms even as the turkey does your mortal frames).

*Yeah, I know there's a distinction between Puritans and Pilgrims, but there's that hat...

** A pretty short list, as it turns out:
1. Solomon Kane
2. John Milton
3. ?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

These Guys are Getting Statted Up and Dropped Into Galbaruc

Well, not on the city itself, but beneath it, sure, and in lonely places in the wilderness, and beneath the sea, and inhabiting strange, unexplored islands. I found these pseudo-Rabelasian monstrosities on the always-excellent Monster Brains yesterday, and they're exactly the sort of bizarre creepy-yet-somewhat- whimsical monsters I want to use in my setting. They look like the guys who were taking a cigarette break when it came time for the Temptation of St. Anthony, or something Sir John Mandeville saw on his travels while tripping on strange drugs with Prester John.

Here's a few:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miscellany and Update: 11/15/2011

1. If you're not playing in Jeff Rients' Caves of Myrddin game, you're really missing out. Odds are, if you're reading this, you're reading his blog already and have heard the wild rumors and speculations of this dungeon haunted corner of Cornwall. If the schedule (Jeff starts at 4:30 am CST) is putting you off, take a chance and sign up anyway. I'm not a morning person in the slightest, but it's been more than worth it, every time. In addition to being some of the most fun I've had at a gaming table, virtual or otherwise, each session doubles as a master-class in how to run a challenging, compelling, and satisfying game of Old School D&D (we're using B/X).

2. Jack Shear, author of 13 Flavors of Fear: Weird Setting Sketches for Lamentations of the Flame Princess (yer humble narrator has some material in the appendix) has just come out with a new blog: Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque. And he starts it off with a bang -- 100 strange and phantasmagorical things to happen to your players when they miss a session. Check it out!

3. After a lengthy hiatus, I've started breaking out the art supplies again over the last month. I'm still experimenting and re-learning how to draw, but it's very satisfying to get ink and graphite (I haven't tried painting again yet) on paper. Here are a couple of recent attempts: