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The Gathering Gloom: After First Playtest

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Last night I ran the first playtest game of The Gathering Gloom. It was a hoot. The Physick, The Witch, The Battuere and The Disgraced Officer (from faraway Spain!) encountered the Kabouter and its offspring (a fairy gnome, inspired by Cronenberg). They wanted tender meat, and help in getting a relic out of the church.

To my surprise and glee one of the PCs took them up on the offer! This lead to much fun and some PvP situations that I had not prepared for. Luckily I had great players.


Things I need to work on:

- PvP rules, maybe. Or at least some thoughts on how to handle it. As the rules stand the character who wins the roll has the loser at their mercy. That's not a problem if the players are ok with it.
- A bit more background. That was a request from one of the players. I don't want to make it a game where historical accuracy is paramount.
- Some rules for GM prep. As it stands there is a bit about what dice to use and some table for generating baddies. I found that I need…

Darkness closes in, haunting the hearts of men

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The Opposition
A rudimentary monster generator (for The Gathering Gloom or whatever you feel like). 
D12
Basic shape
1
Human (no physical signs of its monstrous nature)
2
Human (signs of the uncanny).
3
Hominid (debased human or ancestor)
4
Beastman (some combination of animal and human)
5
Animal (A natural seeming or near-natural beast)
6
Magical construct (golem, affront to nature, homunculus)
7
Undead (corporeal)
8
Undead (spectral)
9
Debased fey (giant or gnomish, possessed of low cunning).
10
Noble fey (tall, regal, beautiful, made of incongruous matter)
11
Utterly alien entity (unlike anything in nature)
12
Roll twice and combine



D12
Main powers (D3)
1
Speed and martial prowess
2
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One day my Midsomer Murders rpg will be done. On that day the sky will darken. We will dance till our feet are shapeless nubs of pain and exposed nerves. Birds will take to the air, their wings on fire, and they will disappear like sparks in the gathering gloom.


It'll be a fucking blast though. You can play a Pagan Reenactment Cuckold or a Battenberg Cake Adjuster.

The Disgraced Officer

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Another Career for The Gathering Gloom, this one inspired by an Ambrose Bierce short story.
Captain Graffenreid lay alongside the dead man, from beneath whose breast flowed a little rill of blood. It had a faint, sweetish odor that sickened him. The face was crushed into the earth and flattened. It looked yellow already, and was repulsive. Nothing suggested the glory of a soldier's death nor mitigated the loathsomeness of the incident. He could not turn his back upon the body without facing away from his company.
Ambrose Bierce - "One Officer, One Man"
Your line of ancestors is a long one, and there were plenty of stories about valor and horsemanship, conquest and camaraderie. You set out to war as was right and proper, your spirits stirred to a fever pitch by the bugle and the drum. When you came to battle there was no music, only the thunder of cannons and the cawing of carrion crows. There were no comrades, only frightened farm boys fumbling with swords and rifles. It…

The Freeshooter

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A calling ('character class') for The Gathering Gloom.


The Freeshooter
You were never much of a hunter, which meant that you were a wallflower at best, and a target of cruelty and scorn at worst. You turned to books, to knowledge, to pursue things that did not involve bringing home a twelve-point buck or a brace of rabbits. That was until you met Sofiya the game keeper’s daughter. She was funny, curious, and did not mind that you could not hit the broad side of a barn, let alone a mallard in flight. Her father was another matter. You asked for her hand in marriage. He laughed. Then he spat.
That was when your readings took a darker turn, and one night you found yourself in Wolf’s Hollow, waiting for Samiel, the one that some call the Black Huntsman. He appeared as a handsome man with a clubfoot. Samiel offered you the magic bullets, but warned you: ”some are for thee, and some are for me”. Since then you have become a master huntsman, and you are to be wed to Sofiya come Christ…

Kult 101

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I was asked in a comment what Kult is all about, what sort of characters you play in it, and what a game session might be like. There will be setting spoilers in the following, as well as comparisons with Call of Cthulhu (since it remains the big dog of horror rpgs).

The basic premise of Kult is that humanity were once gods. We were not constrained by time, space, or physicality. We were trapped into our present state by the Demiurge, a powerful but nebulous entity who has invented the world we know now, one in which we a limited beings.
We are our bodies, time is short, and we feel powerless in the face of laws of nature and convention. Since humans cannot really die, we are channeled into a gruesome afterlife and reborn, our memories scoured clean (mostly).

In Call of Cthulhu we're fucked because we're extremely insignificant. In Kult we're extremely significant, and fucked because of it.

However the Demiurge has vanished, and his lieutenants have turned on each other. T…

The rodent things you do

This is an older piece of fiction. I'm posting it here to save it from G+ageddon. I don't write fiction anymore. Dunno why.
May 1st

I had a dream last night. I was in this labyrinth. When I say labyrinth, you might imagine an intentional structure, like a hedge maze. That wasn't it, exactly. The labyrinth in my dream was something that seemed to have come together by happenstance. 
One wall may have been made by dead shrubs, which tore my hands when I tried to force my way through it. Another was made of crumbling brickwork, another again of corrugated iron. At one point I had to worm my way through an old culvert, which stank of stale water and mildew. Now that I think about it, I can't remember noticing smells in a dream before.
I was in a hurry in my dream. I am not sure if I was running from something or towards something. There was a sound in my dream though. A sound and a presence, really. It was a rattling sound. Or maybe scratching it better. Scratching and tearin…