Dark, Rotten and Terribly Odd

Back earlier this year I wrote up what would be the initial seed for Uldridge City moving over into The Flames Will Die.

It was originally a simple setting for use with Into the Odd, it was all setting with no mechanical alterations. But I never put it out for people to see as I moved away from that spot and went to start working more on having it integrated into the new game system.

So, here is a link to a prettied-up version of the original text. Here is a link to the original map that would match the original text, and here is a link to the new and prettier map.

By the way, I am pretty sure it had no editing done to it and is meant to leave tons of blanks. But it still is really cool.


Coming Up! Runaway Hirelings Playtest for the Swampworks set

Awesome day today, here is the list: Video that I made today, an Event that you can come join and then nothing else.

I posted a video on youtube where I ran through and introduced parts of the new edition of my RPG called Runaway Hirelings, here is the general intro text for what it is about:

“Here you are, your bosses are dead on the floor, blood pooling under their cloaks and mighty swords. A shattered wand is spread like used toothpicks all around the big bad guy. They led you in, they defeated great monsters and solved complex puzzles to reach this, the treasure room. THE RUMORED FORTUNE!

Gold, jewels and the most magnificent fabrics; and also gold. But, they could not have been prepared for what would wait here, protecting such delicious riches. They fought valiantly, you cowered behind a rock, they were hit with mighty fists, and you hid behind a rock, and they had to suffer the blasts of explosive magicks! And they died just as the boss monster did, but you survived, hidden behind a rock.

But what now? You have gold in your packs and have buried your heroes, tears have been shed (maybe), and now you must flee back from whence you came. You must run away as fast as you can back to the entrance.

Hopefully the path out is easier when you blindly flail your way forward!”

I went through parts of it and also described the flail point bits as I edited the numbers for them. At the end I ran through what a Character in the game has for information, next video will be about me writing up a couple character type as I chat about them.

Playtest on Mon, Sep 19th!

On Monday September 19th (Mon, Sep 19, 7:30 PM EDT – 10:00 PM EDT) I will be running a playtest for the new edition of Runaway Hirelings, I will be running it via Google Hangouts for audio and Roll20 for the map grid. Sign up if you want! First come first serve and I need 4 Players.

If you are interested in signing up, here is a link to the event page on G+ (link). Here is the complete event text:

Time: Oneshot (up to 2 to 3 hours total)
Game: Runaway Hirelings: Ultimate Peasant Edition
Players: 4 + Me
Specifics: this is a playtest. The doc will be shared before Saturday 10th.

Going to Playtest the new version of Runaway Hirelings! I’ll drop you guys a link to the hireling’s guide later this week.

I expect it’ll be a 2 hour or 2.5 hour game, but that it might take upwards of 30 minutes to start playing (explaining rules quick, making ideas and getting into it).

If you are unsure if this will be good for you, I recommend checking out the previous version of the game (which is cool but a lot has changed in the text and mechanically, but still hecka fun). http://thomas-novosel.com/downloads/

“The Swampworks lie beneath the forgotten city. Its pipes burst around corners as the water pours down into the sewers far below. Mutants. Aligator men. Muck monsters and moss traps are all everywhere.”

It’s a very improv ish game, in that we will be working together to make theswampworks an awesome dungeon.

We will be using Roll20s tabletop for this, but only because it is an easy grid. Audio will be done through Hangouts. And I do plan on recording the game session to possibly post online, so sign up if you are good with that 🙂

That’s right, I will be recording this game to potentially post online, so sign up if you are okay with that!

As a reminder, I am going to be running games each Monday night yall at the same time.

From My Phone: Zines I will publish soon

I have caught the fever once more! Specifically with zines and tiny books with tiny subjects. As such here is a list of things I need to finish and print:


8.5×5.5 half letter zines

  • Pulp Writers RPG Scenario w/ art pages; a weird fantasy rpg scenario. Comes with a quick play ruleset.
  • Some Stories vol.1 (a collection of short short fiction); a bunch of weird descriptions of fantastic places

4.5×5.5 quarter letter zines

  • Runaway Hirelings Ultimate Peasant Edition (4 copies of the Player book, and 1 GM book); this is the new version of Runaway Hirelings!
  • Weirdly Dungeon Utility Zine; has various tools and instructions on fun ways of using maps from the weirdly dungeon packs. Also has a couple pages of small dungeons in the back.
  • Arms and Armour; a 2 zine set. One of fantasy arms with illustrations and another with armor with illustrations.
  • ElectroPunk RPG; a two zine set that makes up the entirety of the electropunk tiny rpg. One os rules, the other is setting and genre primer.

This is a post made from my stupid phone. I will update it later yo.

EDIT: here are some more zine ideas!

  • Hobo Ruckus; a murderhobo adventure. With murderhobo pregens. Think pounds of blood raining down murder hoboisms. (Also has murderhoboisms).
  • Weirdly Dungeon: Wicked Towns. A second weirdly dungeon zine this time about town maps. More illustrated type maps thisbtime around.
  • Weirdly Wicked: symbolic and landmark-icked. This is just map symbols and making landmarks.
  • My Backpocket Fantasy. A fantasy rpg in the half half letter size, essentially me making a fantasy rpg for my backpocket so if i go to conventions ever, I can pull out a game and play for lunch.
  • My Pocket Oneshot. Just the pocket booklet that has everything you need to prep a oneshot. Like, roll dice and then fill in the specific blanks, then go play. Essentially a pocket oneshot generator.
  • Barbarians Guide to being Especially Uncivilized. Illustrated silly pocket zine. Like a for dummies book but for people who are more educated barbarians who want to be more uncivilized in play. Its like a silly fiction how to booklet.
  • A Bunch of Tree People. An illustrated pocket zine of just a bunch of treeants or tree people to use in play.

A Map of Uldridge City Handout

If you are unfamiliar with my secret writings of blasphemous materials and histories unknown, then let me tell you what Uldridge City is. Uldridge City is a large dark gothic amalgamation of shapes and spikes and shadows cast onto moving men and the shadows follow them even when they leave the footsteps of towers. The people within are apathetic to the wants of most others besides themselves, if you fall into the drained canal, screaming a hundred feet down and crashing through the roof of a hut in a makeshift town. No one will really blink an eye at the news article except for the guy who had lived there.

Magic is not practiced in the open or even at all, the source of all magical energy is residual within the bricks and masonry of the city. The foul wickedness of twisted figures chanting in the hope to summon malnourished gods of destruction who can answer the cries and wishes of their followers. So, the entirety of magic within the city and monsters worth fighting are the product of residual energy bent to the whim of long dead evil men but filling the form of the city (similar to a jello mold if you could morph the mold with magic and use it also an ingredient).

Originally, I had written Uldridge City to be a short set of tables and rules to have this Bloodborne aesthetic inspired setting which I could use in Into the Odd (that short OSR awesome minigame fantasy rpg by Chris McDowall). But, now I am working on putting together a bigger version which I could use with the forthcoming Flames Will Die RPG that I am working on. But since I am still working on all this stuff, I am just going to post the map handout at the moment, also because I am in a rush today and don’t have the patience (not energy) to write up a better introduction.

So introduction comes later.


Click here to download.

Black Candle light: Setting Notes

The last couple days I have been working on “The Flames Will Die” which I am hoping will be my first big book game to have written and designed all by myself. But I have other game thoughts too, specifically, a spinoff game that uses the same rule system but a bit lighter in weight and complexity. Most the weight being shaved off is the rules for organization creation and complex management, so this short version would be all about testing the basic rules.

That game would be called “Black Candles” and is about members of the Black Candles Society. An organization that collects, catalogs and protects the otherworldly Black Candles that have been scattered across the world.

What is a Black Candle?

A Black Candle is exactly what it sounds like, a candle of completely black wax and wick which when burned emits a sour scent and an invisible smoke (made only visible on a moonless night).

The inhalation of the smoke of a burning black candle will transport an individual to another world where a duplicate candle is burning at the exact same time and rate. These two candles are linked, no other candle can bring you to this world or take you from this world.

But just inhaling the smoke of the linked candle will not bring a person back home, the only method of return is by putting out the flame on either of the two candles. At which point the transported parties will be brought home immediately regardless of distance from the candle or state of being (if you are now a grotesque monster, then you will be coming home as a monster).

Worlds traveled to…

The places that the candles transport people to places within time, outside of space, and can be parallel or alternate realities and timelines. But, as Perry and Finn wrote in the members handbook, the majority of worlds traveled to are in a place where there is not even darkness or a space that could be called a void. It is without existence, but by being without anything it is something. This area is called “the third Apothecary”, the name meaning that there is the possibility that there are multiple spaces like this that house worlds that cannot be viewed or touched except by transport via a black candle, but also that this could be the last area like this (these are all just half formed conjectures on Perry and Finn’s part, but it is the best the group has so it is believed).

As far as the group knows there is 273 Black Candle worlds. That number being the number of candles discovered in the ruins of Erloppeth. Erloppeth was a city that allowed dark magic and practices to be legal and was known across the land as a foul and dreadfully sinful place. So it was no surprise to anyone at the time (a thousand years ago) that the mountain above would erupt into a volcano turning the city into stone. Commonfolk saw it as a cleansing by god.

How Black Candles work

To travel to a world you just have to light the candle and inhale the scent and you will be transported. To return someone must put out one of the two candles (the world at home and the world travelled to).

By travelling to a world through a Black Candle the candle will become shorter and shorter with each trip. However, the amount of wax spent for a specific amount of time is different from candle to candle but can be measured after a single trip through the candle in question. This is explained as time is a form of energy that is flexible but also distinctly different from place to place (thus why time slows in some spaces and speeds in another).

But since time is so fickle and strange, the time that passes between each burning is not measurable. So if you travel for a day through a candle and return to find less than half an inch is gone and immediately travel back. You may be travelling to a world that is hundreds of years older than the last time you visited; the consequences and fruits of your interference being sometimes visibly apparent.

Finally, one thing that is definitely certain is that when a candle is burned out, the connected world dies. Our world seems to be exempt as the candle for our own world does not exist or has not yet been discovered (this candle, in theory, would just transport an individual from this world back to this world in a different time).

What is the Black Candles Society?

The Black Candles Society is an organization that collects, catalogues and guards information about as well as the physical Black Candles. Using a variety of spaces within the pinnacle city of Diro as a base of operations, they have a general headquarters on 68th of Powell Street (a group of small apartments on the second floor that has had walls knocked down and connected together).

There are a number of agents in the city and beyond, but most do not know each other but may know of a handful each (controlling information!). In total, there are probably around 40 agents in the city at any one time, and 20 out beyond its walls searching for the rest of the candles.

(I’ll talk more about the society itself in a separate post)


This is the rewrite of my notes that I made on my phone. It should be a little better I hope…

In the future (and what is on my plate to rewrite then post for Black Candles):

  • The Dark Room (the equivalent of the stargate room)
  • Terms of Membership and Leadership Guidelines
  • Expedition Equipment and Procedures
  • The “Black” House
  • Friends and Safehouses
  • Member Tools and Equipment
  • 11 Candles from the Captains lockbox

Anyways, I’ll put more up on the Black Candles stuff after I finish up my back catalog of posts and Actual Play reports (and work).