Every time I shitpost about Dungeons & Dragons I get a bunch of folks in the notes going “ACTUALLY that’s wrong, how it ACTUALLY works is” because the thing I’m clowning on isn’t true of the one specific iteration of the game that they’re familiar with, and they’re assuming that the edition history of Dungeons & Dragons consists of small variations on the same essential core and not half a dozen completely different games stacked on each other’s shoulders in a trenchcoat.
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Cerebos: The Crystal City Version 1.0
Cerebos: The Crystal City leaves early access today! This tabletop game of memory, attachment, and magic(?) trains was successfully crowdfunded in April of this year, and today’s update marks its full public release. If you’re into trains, deserts, magical realism, the looming spectre of mortality, and/or talking about your feelings, Cerebos may be the roleplaying game for you.
Cerebos is available via itch.io and DriveThruRPG.
Changelog under the cut:
Note: all page numbers refer to the PDF version of the game.
Added four-page introductory comic "City of Surprises" by Cynthia Yuan Cheng (pp. 2–5), plus a bonus epilogue page (p. 91)
Updated "Credits and Acknowledgements" (p. 6) to include authors of stretch goal Conductors (see below)
Added four new illustrations: "Meet the Conductors" (p. 18) and "Traffegg Jam" (p. 50) by Kaninchenbau, and "I Hate Phantom Mothman" (p. 39) and "Speeding Along Like Dynamite (pp. 58–59) by Madeleine Ember. This rounds out fulfillment of the the "Double Art" stretch goal.
Expanded preamble/genre discussion for all four existing Conductors (pp. 20–23)
Inserted hyperlinked page references for Conductor Powers that modify or replace standard Train and Stop Actions, pointing to the relevant Action's writeup (pp. 20–26)
Corrected several incomplete/improperly formatted pull quote citations (pp. 20, 26, 52, 54)
Made minor clarifications to the "Musical Journey Through Space" Conductor's Montage Power (p. 23)
Added three new Conductors: "Surreal Anime Bildungsroman" by Ashley Flanagan (p. 24), "Twisted Folk Horror" by Madeleine Ember (p. 25), and "Mythic Transgression" by Zach Welhouse (p. 26)
Restored missing page border art to the "Random Touchstones" appendix (pp. 74–83)
Events and Stops
Added printing instructions to "Events and Stops" PDF
Added "Cities of Motion" by Zach Welhouse to the Events packet.
Added "Cities of Persistence" by Zach Welhouse to the Stops packet.
Added blank and form-fillable Events/Stops table templates to download package; these resources are also available via the Penguin King Games website
Quick Reference Postcards
Reformatted print-and-play PDFs to have more printer-friendly margins
Updated page references throughout "Summary" reference card to reflect updated core rulebook pagination
Updated page reference in Waking Dream Power of "Psychogrit" conductor reference card to reflect updated core rulebook pagination
Update description of "Musical Journey Through Space" Conductor's Montage Power to reflect core rulebook changes
Added reference cards for "Surreal Anime Bildungsroman", "Twisted Folk Horror", and "Mythic Transgression" (see above)
Fixed several formatting issues with passport-style character record sheet; this resource has also been made available via the Penguin King Games website
Download package reorganised to gather all blank playsheets into a zipfile and keep the length of the file list from getting out of control
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For when you just really want to hurt someone and you don't care who it is or where they are. 🤷♂️🖕
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A druidic warlock for sure!
When I sewed more of my LARPing gear I was a wizard and I had some cleric in me when my burnout was at it’s worst.
What class(es) are you?!
EDIT: @greebers reminded me that I’ve got some strong Bard-tendecies when doing ESO dungeons over voicechat.
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An early peak at one of the new designs for the upcoming collection. Coming to the new kickstarter soon. Sign up at www.wildearthdice.com for future updates
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Clearly one of these boys is having a lot more fun than the other right now.
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“Guys... do you know that every week people think we’re so fucking high?”
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Character Class: Magician
(a long belated “Gaming with Godot” jam entry, with a grateful nod to the anonymous author of the now-deleted Heavy Metal Future wikidot - hey, if you’re out there and happen to see this, drop me a line!)
A magician lives in a universe much too big for them. In a galaxy haunted by chrononauts and gigalomaniacs and principalities, the magician survives by the skin of their teeth and by leaning on mortal humanity's ancient strengths: persistence, tool use, and preparation. In other words, cheating.
It's theorized that witches are not always proto-gigalomaniacs; some of them would be more simply explained if they were, instead, apprentice magicians who have cheated especially well.
Foundation: Defy Ontology
When a scene begins, a magician may choose a single Ontology. Once during that scene, the magician may take an action that ignores that Ontology.
Alternatively, a magician may choose any number of Ontologies with total Magnitude less than or equal to their own to be suppressed for the entire scene.
Unlike the innate power of Tigers to ignore Ontologies and Lies, a magician's Defy Ontology is not automatic. Newly established, changed, or revealed Ontologies cannot be defied mid-scene; time off-camera is necessary for the magician to adapt to them.
If the character that created an Ontology witnesses it being defied, they can Grok Ontology to discover that the defiance is a magician effect. Principalities get their usual bonuses to this even though the Ontology is their own.
Magnitude 3: Dim Reflections
The first priority of any magician, after establishing their fundamentals in the craft, should be to get those fundamentals as well-hidden as possible. The magician's effective Magnitude is increased by 2 against Grok attempts. In addition, when facing a Grok attempt, magicians may Burn retroactively instead of needing to commit to it.
Magnitude 6: Pepper's Ghost
At this scope it becomes easier to be selective about who your infrastructure sweeps up, and into what. When using their other scene-length powers, the magician may define (Magnitude/3) subgroups of the people in the scene, and decide which parts of the effect apply to which subgroups. For example, a Magnitude 9 magician Defying four Ontologies could decide that none of those ontologies apply to the magician themself, one of them still applies to the magician's allies, and another one of them applies to the magician's enemies.
Characters who witness this phenomenon can Grok Ontology to gain the ability to switch between subgroups by making an Effort; as a side effect, this also reveals that the phenomenon is a magician effect if the character didn't already know.
Magnitude 9: Counterfeit Teleology
As the gigalomaniacs know, it is never truly feasible or safe to play God.
But it's least infeasible if one also plays at God "moving in mysterious ways".
When a scene begins, the magician may create a false Teleology with Magnitude equal to their own. If the magician is also using Pepper's Ghost, they may decide which subgroups experience the Teleology and which don't. The Teleology applies until the start of the magician's next scene, at which point it ceases to exist even if it hasn't been Fulfilled.
The false Teleology works as normal for Efforts during its lifespan. However, the effective Magnitude of the Teleology is 3 higher against people who don't realize it's a magician effect (this does not stack with Dim Reflections - use the best bonus that applies), and 3 lower against those who do (partially mitigated by Dim Reflections if applicable). Characters who witness the Teleology can learn that it's a magician effect with a successful Grok Teleology action; chrononauts get their usual bonuses to this even though the Teleology is temporary.
Magnitude 12: Eye of the Tiger
With greater understanding of the unstoppable forces surrounding them, the magician gains greater facility at recognizing which of those forces are really unstoppable.
The magician's Ontology related powers, including Defy Ontology, can also be used on Lies. In particular, such a magician’s successful Grok Ontology, applied to a Lie, reveals it as such; the effective Magnitude of such a Lie is reduced by 3 thereafter for the purposes of future uses of Defy Ontology against it.
Magnitude 15: Allspice
At this scope the magician becomes able to hide moral costs in their infrastructure. When a scene begins, the magician may secretly commit to a Sin. The first time the magician Sins in that way during the scene, the effective Karma of the Sin is reduced by 3, to a minimum of 0 Karma.
Magnitude 21: Forge Commission
Fate is huge, impersonal. But the advantage of a vast and uncaring universe, is that it tends not to notice when people go along with it in an unexpected way.
When a scene begins, the magician may choose a single Teleology that names a person or role. Until the scene ends, the magician is treated as though they are the person or role so named. As usual, the magician may use Pepper's Ghost to choose who is affected by the subverted version of the Teleology.
As with Counterfeit Teleology, this can be revealed as a magician effect with a successful Grok Teleology action. Anyone properly named or enrolled by the original Teleology, who knows that this is a magician effect, treats the effect as a separate Teleology with its effective Magnitude reduced by 3, and uses the original Teleology unmodified.
Magnitude 27: Summon Isn't
The foundational art of the magician is answering the question that separates the impossible from the real, and then carefully keeping that answer to themselves. But there are cases - however rare - where that answer is at least somewhat safe to share.
At the beginning of a scene, the magician may choose an Isn't. During that scene, the magician may sustain this power and temporarily cease to exist.
While this effect is active:
The magician cannot use other magician effects, and any attempt to target or affect them must either overcome their Magnitude or first succeed at a Grok Ontology. Successfully targeting or affecting the magician in this way immediately ends the effect.
The chosen Isn't is treated as an Is, played by the magician's player (with their original player, if any, having veto power over the effective player's actions).
If the summoned Isn't is Destroyed, immediately end the effect and permanently reduce the magician's Magnitude by 1.
The magician may voluntarily end this effect between scenes.
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@uldren-sov ‘s OC I finally got around to finishing for fun! This is Erzsébet, the Prince of Dusk from my DM @dukerinoVEVO's ttrpg, The Devil City and its 77 Vicious Princes! Check it out if you’re looking for courtly politics, schemes and intrigue roleplaying~ 🎭🥀✨
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Starfish dice. Ocean not included.
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Just as the moon is no more ruler of the sky than the sun, so is one brother no more master of fate than the other.
Thanks to @smolsarcasticraspberry for the awesome commission of these NPCs from their D&D campaign! They are inspired by the tarot cards Knight of Swords for Lyrien and Hanged Man for Ardeth.
If you'd like to see more about how these illustrations were made and other behind-the-scenes info, check out my patreon!
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I was thinking about how the most conspicuous difference between the kinds of cool powers that characters tend to have in He-Man versus the kinds of cool powers that characters tend to have in She-Ra seems to be that Eternians mostly employ magic to enhance their bodies and weapons, while Ethereans mostly employ magic to shoot energy blasts and shit, so basically in Dungeons & Dragons terms we’re looking at the difference between a culture of enchanters versus a culture of evokers, and now I’ve got this vivid mental image of, like, a kids’ show with an Avatar: The Last Airbender style magic-systems-as-cultures conceit, except each of the setting’s major cultures is based on the practice and aesthetics of a specific Dungeons & Dragons school of magic – so you’d have the Abjuration Nation, the Conjuration Country, the Transmutation Tribe, and so forth.
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Gaming with Godot is a compendium of fifty tabletop RPG supplements – playbooks, scenarios, rules modules, and other miscellanea – by 48 different authors, with a catch: none of the games the material is written for actually exist. Entries run the gamut from transdimensional diners, to polyamorous starships, to a character class which can only be taken by a character who has killed God, each one offering a tiny glimpse of what tabletop roleplaying might look like in a world very slightly askew of our own.
Gaming with Godot can be downloaded for free via itch.io:
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If you answered yes to those questions, then have I got the survey for you! And if you didn’t, then please consider reblogging anyway so that others can see this post!
Hi guys!! It’s been a while huh? As some of you may or may not know, I’ve been working on a Master’s thesis this past year and a bit, despite 2020′s best attempts at stopping me. This thesis is focused on the construction of LGBT+ characters within tabletop roleplaying games, and as of now I am looking to gather data on the ways in which people create and play LGBT+ character’s within their games!
My hope with this research is to prove, as much as I possibly can, that tabletop games provide a very important space in which people can explore gender and sexuality, amongst other topics, in a fun and controlled way. Some of you may remember that I previously did my undergraduate dissertation on D&D, and your responses played a large part in validating my research and informing where my thesis has ended up!
So, if you play D&D, and would like to help out with this research (by telling me about your character): please check out this survey!
And/or, if you play Monsterhearts 2, and would like to help out with this research (by telling me about your character): please check out this survey!
Each survey should take roughly 5-10 minutes to complete, depending on the time you wish to dedicate to them. They begin with an information page, which should hopefully tell you everything you need to know about the survey, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask!
Thank you all for any responses you can give! It really means the world to me!!
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Pride Dragon Bagon Kickstarter update
Sadly the manufactured samples have not yet arrived, so we need to push the Kickstarter back a little bit to either July or August depending on how long it takes for the samples to arrive and be finetuned.
For June Pride instead we're doing a sale. 10-50% off all our existing Pride Dragon Bagons on the etsy store for all of June 2021
Check it out
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Okay, so if anyone is curious, I am indeed still trying to make my Cryptozoology Game, I just have had a never ending cavalcade of fuckups jackhammering any motivation and time out of my life for.... Fuck, years now. Really, it's just got worse as time went on...
Seriously, family deaths, pets dying, family in declining health, I'm basically an impromptu live in nurse, house in bad shape. Shit be fucked, yo.
Things have hit a small lull, though, so I'm going to try to make a solid strike at making some progress. But, I'm gonna need a little help.
I would like you guys to reblog this with your Top 20 list of the most famous American Cryptids.
[And if Mothman isn't at the top of your lists, I'm gonna be very disappointed in you, Tumblr.]
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There is a lot of evil and hatred in the world today, so now more than ever, we all need to support one another, protect those in danger, and have each other‘s backs! Remember the number one rule: Never split the party!
And, I assure you, that the Funky Grognard will absolutely look out for you!
￼Yours truly, the Funky Grognard, after early voting yesterday. Because of COVID-19, the polling place did not give out stickers. Instead, each of us got a pen in which to vote, and we got to keep the pen…￼ Coolness! 👍
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New Lovecraft stuff! Wanted to do a more rough Necronomicon sigil, as well as my own version of the star.
These are available (in above order) at:
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Is anyone else like, made deeply uncomfortable by the way that violence in DnD is a spectacle, and increasingly brutal one? Like the whole “how do you do it?” culture that’s sprung up that emphasizes crueler and crueler ways to kill enemies? Like the fact that killing is the only way to solve most problems already rubs me the wrong way, but the fact that now we’re meant to revel in inflicting the worst possible violence on others is just…
Maybe I’m a fool for wanting violence to be handled in a more thematically relevant way in a ttrpg, but these games are fundamentally storytelling devices, and I feel like we could be doing so much more with the stories we’re telling
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