Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Adopt a Blog Entry

Monsters & Manuals is very close to its 1000th published post. Believe it or not there are also 181 draft posts lurking backstage who never had their chance at the limelight. They're a crowd of ragamuffins, ne'er-do-wells, and outcasts: a shiftless lot who would gleefully stick a knife in your lungs from behind as soon as your back was turned. But maybe somebody reading this will have a use for them; so I hereby let it be known that if you would like to adopt one (or several) you are welcome to do so.

Some of them barley exist at all, being just titles:

  • An Incomplete History of Message (18/01/2015) 
  • Everything is Rabbits (16/04/2014) 
  • You Are the Hero (08/10/2013)
  • Sandbox DMing Best Practices (17/08/2013)
  • Dogs in the Grimdark Future (05/08/2012)
  • Two Druids (17/06/2012)
  • [Forgotten Monsters] The Locathah (01/09/2011)
  • Spotlight = Fun? (09/04/2013)
  • Stuff that Makes You Seem like a Dick (01/02/2011)

Others are intriguingly vague, consisting only of the barest fragments of openings and nothing else:

  • On Fecundity (18/05/2012) - "Wilderness travel is uneventful, flat, a little dull? Consider this."
  • The Humble Arrow (06/08/2012) - "Kent's comments on this post really got me thinking." 
  • Immigrant Song (30/08/2010) - "I like the idea of the immigrant as adventurer."
  • Dragonlance, Appendix N, and Fantasy for Grown-Ups (31/10/2013) - "So, Dragonlance. Much-maligned. Not particularly well-written, not particularly interesting. Responsible for much that is bad and wrong."
  • Commando Comics (12/08/2012) - "One day, I'd like to make a game based on Commando Comics, the peculiar"
  • Just the Random Generator Results, Ma'am (09/09/2013) - "I enjoy using random tables to generate content. Nonetheless, it is time consuming. Anybody who has stocked a dungeon level knows this. Moreover,"

There are some others, though, who you almost feel could grow up to be proper entries one day if they pull their socks up and eat their greens:

Rules for Insect Swarms (17/02/2014)
1. Choose swarm type: ground insects (ants, termites) or flying insects (locusts, beetles, butterflies).
2. Calculate swarm size. Roll a d1000 and multiply by 1000 for the number of individual insects. Then divide by 100 for the number of square or cubic feet occupied, respectively.  
3 Ghosts (22/11/2012)
I've just finished reading Ramsey Campbell's Dark Companions, a collection of 21 of his short stories that I recommend very highly: it's serious horror fiction with genuinely disturbing and unremittingly bleak content, which never goes for cheap gore or gross-out. And, rarely for Campbell, it's available on kindle. (Campbell is also a bit of a minor local hero of mine; he's lived for a long time in Wallasey, the town where I grew up, and I went to school with his son. As a claim to fame goes it isn't much, but it's something.)
So, in honour of Dark Companions, three ghosts inspired by its contents:

Near Future Dystopian Noir (11/09/2013)
If I were to make a Cyberpunk 2020 retroclone based on Swords & Wizardry I would call it "Near Future Dystopian Noir". 
20 Ways to Make an NPC Party Interesting (05/07/2009)
The players stumble across another NPC Party in the dungeon. What is their story?
1. They are starving and attempting to make their way to the surface.
2. They are searching for the daughter of a randomly determined member.
3. They are

Have at it. I would like them to find good homes, although I can't guarantee they'll be well-behaved.


  1. I could take that Commando one, maybe?


  3. I'll trade you one of my unwritten ones.

  4. Sean Robert Meaney25 August 2015 at 11:01

    Huzzah: http://valianttheywere.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/spotlight-art-equals-fun.html

  5. You were doing podcast for a while. I don't know why the more popular bloggers haven't created a podcast scene interviewing each other and whatnot. 20 mins is a good length and invisibly scripted and tight not rambling chats. Id listen for one.

    Did you watch Patrick Stewarts interview ? Doesn't he live in your neck of the woods ?

    1. --Id listen for one

      It'd be funny if I was the only one listening - that's only half a telephone call.

  6. "20 Ways to Make an NPC Party Interesting" got attention, and it kind of blew up into more than 20 possibilities with multiple tables.

    The players stumble across another NPC Party in the dungeon. What is their story?
    1. They are starving and attempting to make their way to the surface.
    2. They are searching for the relative of a randomly determined member. Use the "Personal Relationship" table below. One of the other members is secretly romantically engaged with the missing person as well.
    3. They are arguing over whether they actually have the McGuffin they came in here looking for. Use the "Desired Item" table below.
    4. One of them is severely wounded, and they are out of spells, looking for a safe way out.
    5. They are disagreeing on which way is the safe way out, and starting to lose their tempers.
    6. Their weapons have been destroyed (rust monster, acid attacks, cleaved by brutes), and they're just trying to get out
    7. Some of them have caught a disease, and they are trying to get out before they succumb (the disease might actually just be something relatively minor, like a cold or the runs, rather than full on dysentry, leprosy, or tuberculosis)
    8. They are looking for the warlock/witch who cursed their village, and believe he/she is here (he/she may be, although he/she may not have cursed the village)
    9. They're looking for someone who has either been kidnapped or run down into this dungeon. Use the "Person of note in the Community" table below.
    10. They're looking for an item missing from the local community. Use the "Desired Item" table below.
    11. They're drunk, and finally looking to deal with some problem. Use the "Local Villain" table below.
    12. They've been kidnapped by denizens of the local dungeon, and are looking to escape.

    The rest of it won't fit here in one comment, so I made a blog and a post on it myself. At any rate, it got me to stop lurking. (BTW, hi!)

    1. Nice! I love these. I'll check out your post.