Latest Machinations

Cover for Heart of the Atom Isa.
Heart of the Atom Isa
Cover for Solemn Scriptures of the Battle Nuns of the Mercyful Sepulcher.
Solemn Scriptures of the Battle Nuns of the Mercyful Sepulcher
Cover for Hypertellurians.
Cover for Brutal Imperilment in the Bag of Infinite Holding.
Brutal Imperilment in the Bag of Infinite Holding

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A Day in the Markets of Helix

The people of Helix are benevolent, wise, and technologically advanced. But the inhospitable wastes, crags, and hills surrounding their domed city are home to any number of strange creatures, like the savage piglin, the strangely erudite goatfolk, and the reclusive sorcerers and sorceresses. Further afield, other clusters of humanity cling onto half-forgotten luxuries and evaporating wealth, on their dying planet, Sonnos. Sonnos, the place that all but the smallest of gods have abandoned.

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What to Spend Your Hard Earned Gold On

Don’t look the gift genie in the mouth Other than booze and non-denominational professional pleasure workers, of course. So you’ve returned from your latest adventure, laden to the brink with treasure, loot, and uncountable masterwork weapons from your fallen enemies. Only, you suddenly realize that your grimdark fantasy campaign setting doesn’t have magic item shops! Oh no! If you can’t spend your gold on boring but solid attribute-increasing items, or exchange your +1 longsword for a +2 one, what do you do with all that cash?

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The Art of Karen Reding

My wife Karen loves painting, so I don’t feel so bad when I occasionally ask her to do a painting for me. She works with traditional media, which I can only assume has nothing to do with with me being too cheap to buy a modern tablet and stylus. Here is a selection of paintings she’s done for me over the years. The painting of the satyr and the dryad was originally conceived for a Pathfinder adventure I wrote with a friend of mine, but ultimately never got released, so I repurposed the image for the Sidhe Woods Grove proof of concept app I made.

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That Time I Tried Drawing on a Surface Pro

A couple of years ago I managed to get my hands on a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for a weekend. Now, I’d already heard good things about the Surface for drawing, and the device did not disappoint. Hovering the stylus a few centimeters above the tablet and seeing a reticle indicating its position is awesome. When I was a kid, I would draw a lot. Together with a close friend we’d devise and draw whole comic books, hugely influenced by whatever anime we were watching at the time (nod of the head to Knights of the Zodiac, among others).

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Blast from the Past

A friend sent me this snap yesterday from a scrapbook at their local munch, featuring a selection of entry tickets from a burlesque and fetish cabaret night I used to co-run a long time ago. The nights were a lot of work to put together and advertise, but gosh, they were a lot of fun.

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Hoozier Babgottle's Stock

Hoozier Babgottle is a travelling goblin of advanced taste and decorum. With his everchanging assortment of oddities and trinkets, he travels the world in his tiny hot air balloon, made from a sewn-up hog skin and copper bathtub. As per the law of the land, he would of course never sell any weapons. But it’s not his fault if curious adventurers stumble across his small but perfectly formed selection of very personal armaments.

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Map: Frontier Falls

Here’s a map I drew for the starting town of a wildnerness exploration campaign in a homebrew setting called Verdant Reaches. The name of the inn—Axe & Thistle—is of course a nod to the article that inspired the setting, Grand Experiments: West Marches. We played in that setting, with several breaks where we tried out other games, for almost 2 years, with modded 5th edition D&D rules. This worked pretty well to begin with, but started to become troublesome at higher levels due to our version of magic.

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Spell Chain: Dementalism

Spell chains Think of spell chains as thematically linked spells of increasing power levels. You might assign them spell levels such as 1st, 3rd, and 5th, or whatever suits your game. The spells in this series are largely system-neutral, but should be easily adaptable to any ruleset. This first one is based on word-play, which is objectively the best spell naming convention. I’m sure I read the word “dementalism” somewhere (perhaps an album title?

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LARP and Eldritch Etchings

We live in Berlin these days, but my wife and I returned to our previous haunts in Norwich, England, recently to visit friends and family, and to sort through some left-over stuff of ours that we had abandoned in our hasty exodus last year. It’s a bit like a lootbox of travelling down memory lane. In this case we found a bushel of “etchings.” You see, many years ago, at one of the regular LARPs we used to attend, we went around and peddled smut: “quality” etchings of drow matriarchs in compromising and humiliating situations.

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Ten Unusual Adventure Ideas

Miscellaneous fantasy scene I love reading through random tables for inspiration, as well as having tables to hand when I GM. As long as the content is properly interesting and relevant, and goes beyond 1d6 rats (look, why aren’t they 1d6 rats that escaped from a mad professor’s lab and have all sorts of needles, gears and cogs stuck in them, plus their brains are exposed under tiny glass bowls?

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