Archive for the ‘Von Rutskarn Presents: The Blackchapel Revolution’ Category


25 Jul

Since the full Blackchapel update is being written, I thought I’d take some of the pressure off and come out with the names of the people who’ve been killed.

The two casualties are:

1.) Mavros

2.) Lord Eric

Hard luck to the two of you.

The other update is that–and this is partially responsible for the delay season–this Thursday, I have an appointment to have four holes the size of grapes added to my head. This may prevent me speaking for a while. Actually, it’s practically guaranteed. There’s a good chance this Thursday will be streamless.

On the other hand, if–and this is also a fantastic possibility–the various medications called for by this procedure leave me loopy as a drunk parrot, I’d be loathe to waste the opportunity. So I’ll either be streaming or recording a run of, for example, the Hitman president mission on Pro difficulty; anything sufficiently cruel and unusual.

I’ll keep people posted.


The Blackchapel Revolution: The Once Future Emperor

13 Jul

There was one more reaction to the unofficial opening of campaign season. It was to take the newspaper, which had been brought in by a stray dog, and throw it against the walls of the crypt before turning over and trying to go back to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, grumbling quietly, he rolled over and picked up his glass of water. A little shake confirmed that the water in it had evaporated. He wondered if he’d be too awake to kick back off if he got up to get more.

Well, now he’d gone and fixated on how thirsty he was. If he hadn’t done, he could have probably gotten back to sleep—he wasn’t even that thirsty, for Gods’ sake. It’s just that now he’d thought about it, it was all he could think about, and it wasn’t even the fact that he was suddenly parched so much as the fact that he was obsessing too much to rest properly. This was so damn typical.

His lids were still heavy. He’d probably be able to get back to sleep if he just got up, crossed the room, and got some water without really opening them.

Grumbling some more, he got up, crossed the room, and walked facefirst into a wall.

Dammit. Wasn’t that puddle supposed to be here? He was sure there was usually a puddle there. Maybe he’d just open his right eye a crack. Just his right eye, and then he could find his way towards some water and get this whole bloody thing over with. Yes, that would do.

He opened his eye a crack, found a pool of stagnant water, drank a little, drank some more, smacked his tongue to find that his mouth was still somehow dry, drank some more, drank some more, smacked his tongue, and drank some more.

Then he closed his right eye and felt his way back, lay down, relaxed, and realized that neither of his eyes were staying closed naturally anymore.

Ten impatient minutes. He turned over. Five impatient minutes. He turned over again, more determined.

About two minutes.


Emperor Victor the Flenser gave up and decided to get up for good. He’d been meaning to get a solid five hundred years in, but he’d just have to settle for three hundred seventy-five.



The Blackchapel Revolution: The Society Column

11 Jul

Penelope Cotswall’s column was ten pages long and typed with a mixture of #5 Blackmore Typewriter’s Ink and cobra venom. The courier felt a chill run down his arm when he picked it up and, later that evening, threw a brick through his landlord’s window without knowing why. The newspaper’s desk clerk, who was new to her position, caught a glimpse of the first page as she passed it to the editor and had to go lie down afterwards. The typesetter had to have a stiff drink, and then another, to calm his nerves enough that it was possible–at half speeds and with an occasional break to mop up the sweat–to transcribe the piece.

The printing press overheated midway through the run and had to be cooled with buckets of water. But that might have been a coincidence.

The illiterate urchins who hawked the newspapers didn’t know what they were selling, only that people who stopped to skim the first page either bought the paper immediately or fainted dead away. One brave man read his copy aloud at a particularly bohemian cafe in Norfolk, and there was nearly a riot. The first aristocratic suicide was reported around lunchtime.

It wasn’t that the article was particularly groundbreaking, or even that there was any particular content to it. There were no shocking revelations. No evidence was brought to light, no great sins were uncovered, no groundbreaking exposes were presented. It didn’t even have that many core ideas. All the column contained was ten pages of Penelope Cotswall doing what she did best: hating the everloving piss of the aristocracy.

It was primarily the purity of that motive–abject, untempered hatred–that made the column so spectacular. Partially it was Penelope’s wordplay, which whatever you thought of her politics was enough to physically move one’s bowels and quicken one’s heartbeat. But what made this column even more brutal than any Penelope had run before was her idea, an idea that drove her to new heights of rhetoric and new lengths of persuasion. It was because she saw something no truly sane person ever sees, which was the opportunity to fix absolutely everything.

The entirety of the column cannot be reprinted for reasons of copyright, responsible journalism, and public decency. Thus, the sole significant idea must be summarized, and it can be summarized thusly:

The one thing Europa didn’t need was an emperor. Someone should win the job and and then declare some other, better form of government.

This could be defined as “any form without those goddamned aristocrats hanging around.”



The Blackchapel Revolution: Day Breaks

10 Jul

Phineas von Rutskarn rarely awoke in the same state twice in a row. One morning would find him at his desk, seated before an opened ledger of sober reference material and a stack of empty teacups. The next found him in a chintzy armchair with with whatever the commission for public decency had confiscated last week open in his lap. A third would find him in the back garden, having spent the previous night reading the labels on bottles of spirit until his eyes would focus any longer. Some mornings he woke up in the company of another–a further throw of the dice to determine if it were lady, gentleman, or undeclared. Phineas didn’t mind the undeclareds provided they were, in addition, underclad.

That morning he awoke in a cell of the family dungeons. That wasn’t quite as bracing as it sounded, because one of the first things Phineas had done when he’d inherited the mansion was have the cells turned into plush guest rooms. Each was replete with pillows, adorned with tasteful art prints, and stocked with the makings of a few good stiff nightcaps, which he’d thoughtfully provided in case anyone felt uneasy about the bars, wall manacles, and bloodstains. He was vaguely disappointed that no-one had ever volunteered to be a guest.

It had been a bit of a feat to wrest hostship for last night’s event out of the council. He’d had to make a few not-nice promises to a few not-nice people, which was ethically enough of a wash that it wouldn’t do his reputation any harm when people found out. Besides, he was a Von Rutskarn. Amongst the numerous exciting benefits of being a Von Rutskarn–he’d found so very many–was that the worse your reputation was, the more powerful you were. It was a strange kind of lore none of the other aristocrats could compete with. It was a bit like being Springheel Jack; what would be loathsome wickedness in another was just part of your mythic quality. You were an institution of perversity and cruel eccentricity, and if there was one thing these aristocrats gorged themselves on, it was institution.

Last night had been exactly what he’d expected. A lot of gentle conversation and good breeding. A lot of silliness. A lot of apparently harmless people. And then, when a small threat was leveraged, a lot of guns, swords, knives, martial arts, poisons, bodyguards, and advanced self-defense measures that even he–a connoisseur of not being killed–had only been vaguely aware existed.

But the thing about self-defense is that when they need to be, aristocrats can be extremely proactive, and the thing about guns, swords, knives, martial arts, poisons, and bodyguards…they didn’t much care how or why you used them.

Phineas took the newspaper his valet gave him and skipped straight to the obituaries.



Blackchapel Spectators

01 Mar

Now that The Blackchapel Revolution has begun–anyone in the game should drop in for the arrival of Phineas von Rutskarn, which just went live–I’ve given some consideration to some reader requests to spectate the game. Having explored Mythweaver’s capabilities, I’d say this is possible.

Anyone who’d like to watch the game can send a private message to Blackchapel, the account I run the game from. Make the subject line “spectate,” and I’ll hook up your spectator invite post-haste.

And as a general response to a question I’ve been getting from players: characters are tentatively due by March 14th. Sooner, or later, can be arranged. Please make some reference to the fact that it’s your character build when you PM it to me.

(Unrelated: we’ve recorded the last Payday episode. It’ll be up, along with the next World Creation, before the weekend.)


Invites Sent

12 Feb

I’ve sent out invites to all individuals who’ve messaged me on Mythweavers. To the one outstanding name change issue, I’m working on it.

To those who’ve speculated wrath-of-god delays, you’re not entirely wrong. I can’t actually go into all of it, but there’s been a bit of bother on this end–all strictly personal, you understand–that is sorted and defused, but did provide a bit of distraction. I have the Payday episode rendering as this is typed.

If you’re on the guest list and haven’t yet sent out for your invite, it’s certainly not too late. I’ve elected for a soft open, so even if you’re a week late into the game, you’ll be at no disadvantage. Perhaps you’ll miss the chance for a spot of incidental narration, but that’s the most of it.

And if you did send me a PM requesting an invite, keep in mind that I had to hand-process about fifty-five of them, and it’s quite possible I accidentally missed you. Just go ahead and send me a new PM and I’ll be right on it. I’ll be monitoring the game very closely over the next few days.

As always, if there are any problems, I can be contacted at


26 Jan

A few quick notices:

1.) The name change requests are sent, and as soon as I get the response back, I’ll post a list of what the names have been changed to. I had to make a few alterations, but nothing that altered the substance of the character’s name–just the formatting.

2.) If you’ve sent an invite request to Blackchapel, don’t worryI haven’t responded to anyone yet. I’ll send out invites once I’ve got the game threads finished.

3.) Picture unrelated.


Blackchapel Revolution: Rules Document

12 Jan

Coming soon: NPC biographies, rules errata, a surprise treat post unrelated to this RPG.

To those individuals involved in the Blackchapel Revolution RPG: enclosed within are the rules and regulations regarding joining and posting. All of these must be observed. If there are any problems, post below.

The rules are as follows:

Rules and Regulations:

You will need a Mythweavers account to play the game.

  1. If you do not have a Mythweavers account, rather than using your generic username, make your account name the same as your character’s surname. For example: a character named Count Samael Corbaine would have the username Corbaine.
  2. If you already have one, the site rules ask that you do not create another one. However, there is a procedure in place to change your name. If you contact a moderator, they will apparently be happy to change your username. I can’t require this, because it may be inconvenient for people with games in place, but I’ll really, really goddamn appreciate it. It will be about a hundred thousand times easier for me to run and everyone else to play this 75-person game if your username is the same as your character name. The game won’t start for a while, so if you apply soon, they should get around to changing it by the time the game starts.
  3. Once you have an account, send a private message to user “Blackchapel,” and I’ll invite you in.

The following rules are in play when it comes to declaring actions:

  1. The rules outlined in the previous post are now invalid. Simply adhere to the following guidelines for structuring your actions.
  2. All action declarations will be sent via private message to the GM account Blackchapel. The subject line should simply read “[Character’s Surname]  [Scheme Phase #]”; for example, “Corbaine 3”.
  3. Within shall be a list of all actions you wish to undertake that Phase. Once mailed out, this list is intractable—even if there is, for example, an extremely amusing error, such as attempting to assassinate one’s teammate. Impossible actions will be discarded, and the player will be notified of this after the Phase is complete. I may be gentler first round, since we’ll all be getting used to the format.
  4. Actions should be phrased simply, with the form, “[Attribute][Attribute #] vs. [Target]. Actions with multiple targets, such as Espionage attempts, will have each target on a separate line. Example:
    1. i.      Espionage 2 vs. Corbaine
    2. ii.      Espionage 2 vs. Pollister
  5. If you are working with other people to combine your attributes, you must agree upon a name for your operation, which will take the form of, “The <X> Affair.” You will preface the relevant declared action with this. For example, if a team of assassins decided on the name “The Pins and Needles Affair” for the assassination of Lord Corbaine, they would each include this in their actions, and one such line might read as follows:
    1. i.      <The Pins and Needles Affair> Malice 5 vs. Corbaine
  6. Defensive attributes, such as Paranoia, can be applied to other people with the form, “[Attribute] defending [Subject]”. If no such phrase is included, it is assumed that the player is applying the attribute to themselves.

The following general rules apply:

  1. No sending messages outside of the Scheme phase.
  2. No out-of-game collusion.
  3. No harassment of other players.
  4. Keep all interplayer messages in-character, whenever possible.
  5. If no actions are declared for two Scheme Phases together, you may be removed from the game.
  6. Don’t take things too seriously. Keep in mind that a.) this game will affect a dark humor tone, b.) there can only be one Emperor, and c.) it’s sometimes more fun to fail amusingly than to succeed. This ain’t srs bsns, people.
  7. No back-sassing the GM. Keep in mind that between Scheme Phase and Event Phase, there’s going to be a huge, unmarked Bookkeeping Phase where I try to compile everything. If you think I’ve made a mistake, it’s okay to tell me so, but keep in mind I’ve got an administrative nightmare on my hands, here.
  8. Obviously, all Mythweavers rules and regulations should be adhered to.
  9. There will be “Notables” in the game, characters with above-PC status. It is currently not know which of these, if any, will be run by the GM and which will be run by non-player individuals.
  10. Some people posted valid rules questions. If you posed a question that was not answered, please do so once again below, and I will answer all of them below.

Also: Feel free to post your public character bio below! All that you need (or should) publicize should be your name, title, nationality, and a few lines of biography about you and your family.






Von Rutskarn Presents The Blackchapel Revolution: Player List

05 Jan

I’ve actually just gone ahead and given a slot to everyone who’d applied before this posting. However: anyone whose name is not in bold might be bumped if there’s an issue with the forum mechanics. As far as I know, everything should go perfectly well, but if it doesn’t, I might have to settle for a smaller player base.

Here’s the player list. If you spot a mistake–you’re not on it when you should be, you are when you shouldn’t–feel free to let me know. Rules clarifications, further information, and joining details will arrive later today.

EDIT: I’m still on the fence about one mechanic. As a result, you may not see the final rules post until early next week. There might be the next Lovecraftcraft before then, naturally.

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Von Rutskarn Presents The Blackchapel Revolution: A Macro-RPG

01 Jan

“Von Rutskarn Presents:

The Blackchapel Revolution

A Game of Polis, Politesse, Politics, and Homicide.”

The year is 1895, and the bearer to the throne of Europa—one Emperor Millicent the Scabrous, youngest of her line, representing the last rancid burp of dynasty—has perished in a boating accident that was as unfortunate as it was technically impossible. Europe finds itself freed from the oppressive steel fist of inbred autocracy for the first time in bloodsoaked centuries. A wild spirit of revolutionary democracy has gripped the continent, and—though the Emperor’s presence is but five months gone–plans have already been laid for a continent-wide democratic free election to determine, via a simple, honest vote, who the next oppressive steel-fisted inbred autocrat is going to be. Any man or woman may vote, provided they are of age, citizens of a European nation, and have hundreds of years of unearned titles and human rights abuses to their name.

Two months from today, a primary will be held in which six men and women will be nominated as candidates for emperor. After that, they will have two months of perfectly legal and wholly ethical campaigning on their hands before the final election is held. All will be overseen by the temporary ruling commission of Blackchapel, England, who are as eager to see the democratic process carried out as they are to stick some other bastard with the job of running things before they get shanked outside a public house.

Provided that you’re reading this from the comfort of a chaise longue, perhaps one stitched from the hides of endangered animals, you yourself have a chance of becoming the High Emperor of Europa. Alternately, of assassinating a potential candidate for the High Emperor of Europa. Or becoming a toady spy or campaigner for a candidate for the High Emperor of Europa. Or being shanked outside of a public house.

There’s risks, certainly. But there’s a certain temptation in the idea of becoming the only oligarch in Europa to have earned their power. And no matter who becomes High Emperor, one thing is certain: if they survive that long, they will have earned every jewel and ermine hair.

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