Archive for the ‘Rogue Nonsense’ Category

Back from Convention; Dead Adventurer Sweepstakes

16 Oct

EDIT: And the winner for October is Tim van den Langenbergh! I’ll be in touch!

As some of you know, I’ve spent the past weeks hosting lead developer Arvind Yadav for IndieCade and its subsequent publisher feedback and networking rigamarole. But the silence is soon going to be lifted in a big way; not only will regular content resume, but the first novella in my Patreon-backed series, Adventurers: Song of the Bastards, is about a week from release! Which means this is a fabulous time to announce not only the fact that this series even exists, something I had not previously posted about on this site, but the existence of an attached regular drawing. It’s called the Dead Adventurer Sweepstakes. I’ve had no kind of time for preparing graphics, so for now, just imagine a rotted adventurer corpse clutching a ticket and giving a peppy thumbs up.

The Dead Adventurer Sweepstakes

Criteria for Entry:

Must have e-mail and a favorite original roleplaying character. Must be pledging enough to the Patreon to actually get the novella ($5)

 How to Play:

1.) Send me an e-mail with a description of your favorite character, complete with all the details of personality, appearance, aptitude, backstory, and career you consider important.
2.) Every month I’ll draw one name from the hat and create a mirror universe version of them in the world of Adventurers, complete with a short, encylopedia-styled history of their travels and how they met their gruesome fate at the hands of disease, deprivation, rivals, friends, wild animals, shipwreck, traps, monsters, or whatever else would be appropriate. That’s the one thing that don’t change: this is the Dead Adventurer Sweepstakes, not the the Happy Funland Adventurer Sweepstakes. Even if your character didn’t die in your game, it will die in the entry.
3.) Each Dead Adventurer story will be shipped along with the next chapter of the novella.

The winner of this month’s drawing will be announced on Saturday, so shoot off those e-mails! I’ll grease up the guillotine.

(Email all entries to


Sneak Preview: Altered Scrolls, Morrowind

08 Aug

Sometimes you’re at a used bookstore and you pick up an old paperback fantasy novel that you’ve never head of. You’re not even sure why you buy it–maybe you like the cover, or the summary on the back was well written, or the author photo is of somebody who’s not a hirsute chunky American white dude. Nothing you can really point to later.

You don’t read it right away, because it’s not that kind of purchase–you just throw it onto the backseat of your car and forget about it for a couple days. Later you’re getting out of your car and you remember to  bring it in and put it on your desk. Then one day you sit down with your lunch, realize you left the Comic History of the Peleponnenisan War you’d been reading at home–and your hungry eyes fall one the cover of that paperback . Chapter One; Page One.

From that lunch break onwards, you find yourself coming back to the paperback regularly. It’s good–but it’s not really that it’s good. It’s that it’s weird.

The hero is born in a village that isn’t burned down by orcs. Magic rules are patterned around some obscure historical mystic tradition that doesn’t comfortably conform to established conventions or even vocabulary–spellcasters aren’t wizards, but byrzkars, and that’s somehow relevant. Elves aren’t haughty fey, which would be cliche, or evil celestial beings, which would be the edgy cliche–they’re some third choice that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything anyone’s done with elves before.

It’s kind of like you showed up to watch a stringed instrument contest. For hours you hear everything from Jim Croce acoustic guitar to twanging Southern six-string riffs to wailing glamrock solos to doom-shaken death metal crunch. And just when you’re trying to figure out where on the sliding scale of soft folksy guitar to ear-splitting electric guitar your tastes lie, some guy comes on with a cello and effortlessly changes the context of the entire show.

That paperback fantasy novel probably won’t end up being your favorite ever. It may not be the first book you recommend to people. You may not even seek out other work by that author. But years later, if you come across the spine of that book on your shelf, it’ll all come rushing back. For better or for worse, that book was different enough to stick with you to the grave.

Give it time, and that’s exactly what Morrowind‘s world and story are.


No Regularly Scheduled Posts This Week

07 Jul

My inconsistent it’s-done-when-it’s-done schedule of updating has worked out pretty well so far, but for this week, I’m going to have to go ahead and explicitly suspend it. My duties running PR for Unrest take up half my time and I need the rest for my wrists to recover. Until things plateau around Sunday, I’m not going to get the chance to knock anything out.

I will say after this week, I’ll finally have some stuff besides the (very fun to write) Elder Scrolls retrospective. I’ve been taking the time to get my thoughts straight on a few topics/do the legwork on a few others and I think it’s beginning to pay off.

I do have video knocking around that just needs an edit and an upload. If that pops up, it will be late Wednesday. Otherwise–see you guys next week!



An Accurate Summary of Four Hours of Bioshock: Infinite

16 May

I really liked Bioshock: Infinite, but upon replaying it with an audience, I have noticed one thing. When you aren’t hypnotized by the constant combats and strong visuals, and when you break apart from those to share your observations with somebody else, you perceive the interplay of dialogue and gameplay very differently. By which I mean you realize how award-winning game-changing Nobel-peace-prize-getting they really are.
Read the rest of this entry »


Aunty Paladin Write-An-Adventure Contest!

03 Dec

Excited for the upcoming livestreamed, chaotic, nonstop tabletop gaming marathon? Of course you are! The marathon isn’t just a highlight of our gaming year, it’s a great opportunity to take virtual, vicarious part in a ceaseless whirlwind of creativity and showmanship. Which is why this year, we’re letting you go beyond the voluntary Deck of Many Ideas platform and right up to the level of GM’s assistant. One crafty, creative individual will get an adventure of their design run live on camera. Probably by me–assuming I’m not dead of Costco meatball poisoning by that stage of the marathon.

How do you get your adventure run? Simple:

Write a pitch/summary for a one-shot tabletop gaming adventure. The summary can be as short as one sentence or as long as three hundred words, but generally speaking, the more elaborate the better. Send your pitches to for review and we’ll pick one out just before December 16th.

We recommend you don’t name a system because we’re not guaranteed to have it (although frankly, we have pretty much everything). Beyond that disclaimer, anything goes.

Best of luck!


Aunty Paladin: The Deck of Many Ideas (Submit Yours Now!)

25 Nov

Come another winter, come another show. Aunty Paladin, the live-streamed charity RPG marathon powered by tabletop enthusiasts with a week to kill and no sense of self preservation, is due to go live on December 16th. We’ll have more details after Thanksgiving, but you can expect the same stuff you got the last two years: laughs, action, crowd-pleasing japeries, more esoteric indie systems than you can fit in a king’s basement, and the realtime pickling of a dozen underdeveloped brains in gamer funk and curry sauce. I am thrilled to pieces to be part of it–and now you can be part of it as well!

Since a 24-7, nonstop roleplaying marathon requires constant innovation and creativity, one of our favorite things to do is bounce ideas off of the viewers in our stream’s chat client. Which is fun, and a great way to leverage the untapped sadistic energies of hundreds of anonymous spectators, but it does have one unfortunate side effect: it makes our lives too easy. The ideas are presented too logically and coherently in nice, neat packages we can pick and choose as we please. Clearly we need to engineer a solution around that.

That’s why from now until December 14th, we’re soliciting random game ideas from all y’all in the comments, on Twitter, or on our new Facebook page. And by “game ideas,” we mean “whatever you decide constitutes a ‘game idea’ at the time, even if it doesn’t make sense or isn’t technically words.” Examples include:

cabbage falls in love

wizard mob

an ogre starts a chess club

reality television


Ronald Reagan

We’ll take any halfway usable suggestions and stick ’em in a random generator called the Deck of Many Ideas. If during the marathon a GM is ever running dry, s/he will decide on a number of ideas to draw, randomly select that number, and then hopelessly attempt to sew a game out of the mess that ensues. Considerations such as player limit, game length, and system will be at the individual GM’s discretion.

Submit as many as you like. Oh–and if little snippets aren’t your thing, and you’re looking to submit a more fully-formed idea…well, stick around, because we’ve got a contest coming up right after Thanksgiving that’ll tickle your fancy nicely.

Rutskarn out.


Unrest Update

20 May

Since the Kickstarter should be launched this week, the plot/spy journal update will be deferred until a little later.

By tomorrow, expect a new Galactic Civ or Vatsy and Bruno post.


Tomorrow’s Stream Isn’t

21 Apr

Yeah, that’s a couple weeks in a row with no stream. I’m sorry about this, but I am absolutely getting my can kicked by deadlines over here. I’m going to tentatively say to look to this space around Friday, when I’ll have some of this stuff cleared off my desk and might be able to pull off some M&B.

I should also have more Galactic Civilizations II and Great Freak Detective soon, but probably not for a couple days.

If this announcement sounds kind of boring, it’s because I posted it after killing every brain cell I had banging my head against a keyboard all day on multiple projects, to the point where I sort of have to fake understanding how grammar and sentences work. So I’m going to stop this part before that do some have headaches.



Stream Delayed/New Text Let’s Play

14 Apr

I’ve already handily spoiled both in the title, but let’s get the good news out of the way first: I’m starting a new LP series, analogous to my early Morrowind one, in the immediate future. No need to talk about that any more; you should be seeing it in a couple of days. It’s something of a return to my more classic form, and I think you’ll all like it.

Also, I’m not streaming today (Monday) because I’m currently playing videogames in anticipation of my new series. Maybe there’ll be another stream later this week, but I don’t yet have a date picked out, so stay alert.

Well, that’s every both of the news items I’ve got for this Monday. I’ll say that I’ve got another announcement in the wings, but it’s not something I’ve got a lot of business talking about just yet. Let’s just say that all of you out there who like my writing and like videogames will have something to look forward to.


The Indietronic Guessing Game

09 Apr

While preparing the future lineup, I punched out this game to go along with last week’s Diecast. For those who don’t follow the series (posted on Twenty Sided), I proposed a guessing game where players had to figure out which pitches corresponded to real indie games and which were fabricated.

The answers will be posted in the comments. For added fun, before you check your score, pick out whatever pitch you like best.

  1. The player is a lion tamer who has a problem: his blind date doesn’t like circus folk. He has to navigate a three-act date without the truth coming out.
  2. The player controls an ant who dreams of becoming a man. After a regime of exercise and extreme surgery, the ant completely fails.
  3. The player controls a very old woman taking a very slow walk. Sometimes she dies. Other times, she doesn’t die.
  4. A well-to-do barista has to go through an entire week of work without joining a jazz band.
  5. The player controls colored squares and circles. This is an analogy for the complications of marriage.
  6. A housewife confronts her businessman husband about his affairs over the phone. The player is the telephone.
  7. A man sits in his apartment waiting for his date to show up. She doesn’t. He spends twenty minutes moping while the player takes control of his finger-tapping and nervous bread eating.
  8. The player meets a woman. He can either make her his wife or get some treasure.
  9. A night shift nurse lives and loves in an alternate 1950s Las Vegas. Plot twist: she’s actually Marie Antoinette.
  10. A gripping simulation of diamond trust manipulation.
  11. A top-down shooter dealing with the historical colonization of Jamestown, with one alteration: it takes place on Mars.
  12. A bureaucrat files papers in a lonely office building. Slowly, he realizes that the company he works for doesn’t exist.
  13. You play a Kentucky antiquities dealer searching for a road. The road does not exist.