Not Dead, Fungus, and Printing

Firstly the blog ain't dead I'm just busy. Busy with game things, none of this "oh I had a child and real life is taking up my nerd time". Nope, all nerd all the time.

Obviously TROIKA! Numinous Edition is out and doing its thing. If you're reading this you would have done very well to miss that fact. What might not be clear is that all my creative time is getting spent on it, ahead of the Patreon schedule. The Patreon is also quiet, also because we're in serious crunch time. We've got four chapbooks coming soon, all in the illustration stage, and then there are 4 or 5 more I'm writing. These are coming and I'm not doing anything new until that happens.

Troika is gonna get supported with such relentless weird quality until it becomes embarrassing for people to not know what Troika is. Plan.

After the chapbooks I'm gonna finish two long standing Troika projects the Patreons might be familiar with that have been in a state of near completion for far too long. Cursed with having to keep the lights on.


Fungus! Fungi of the Far Realms is on Kickstarter and it's doing... okey? It probably suffers from being too normal for the usual crowd and too weird for everyone else. People ask but what IS it? and I reply it's a fictionaly fully illustrated encyclopedia of fantasy mushrooms. Really, that's it. Mushrooms. Illustrations. On the surface it doesn't look weird but think about it this way:

How many full blown rule books have very little art? Full blown stupidly successful books that we hear about constantly. Little art, or bad art, or both. We've made a list of mushrooms and we've had them all, all 216 of them, full-page traditional watercolour illustrated. And we're going to Smyth-sewn bind them in a hardback book, with buckram covers, and a round spine, and it's going to be excessively pretty. And affordable. All because can. Your wildly successful book can't be nicely bound and illustrated? Our mushrooms can.

See? It is weird. Tell your friends, tell your botany class, tell everyone so we can keep doing these recklessly wonderful things. It's trite to say it, but we literally can't do these things without your support.


Lastly, I'm starting an INITIATIVE. It's very simple and starts here in Kingscairn. If you're an aspiring publisher/designer and you've made a Troika zine with a nice PDF and are selling it or not or whatever, I will help you get to the next step. Too often I see people stall at the printing stage in fear and confusion. I have the infrastructure already in place, I've done this a million times. I can afford to take a (little bit of) risk.

 If you finish a Troika thing I will print and sell 100 hard copies for you. You'll get 50% of the gross money made, I'll eat all the costs. I will not put any trade dress on. The book is yours, you published it, I'm just selling it.

It almost goes without saying that I am more than willing to help in regards to general advice and indeed don't care if it's me or you who ends up printing your work. Just print it!

 Email me or find me on discord

Vaulted Animarium

Vaulted Animarium 

Julius Coldbridge 5/10/2
 Hamm Coldbridge 3/20/1

 Spell: Befuddle

 Small shop full of small animals. Some move freely. The animals are so loud as to make it impossible to be heard from anywhere other than mouth to ear contact. Julius runs the shop with his adopted son Hamm, a shambling mound of a man who rarely tries to talk and is mostly deaf. Hamm has two rabbits living in his pockets. Ruby Lorgnettes in a drawer by the counter. Cabinet full of luminous larvae and singing beetles. Choir rats, various common city-owls, a nesting pig, 17 ogre fleas, a pair of sympathy serpents (not on speaking terms) are among the selection.

 Rumour: A famous hunter has caught a live alzabo and is exhibiting it in his apartments to selected guests.

Group of Seventeen

Group of Seventeen 

 Cyriaca verGrin 11/17/4
 Spell: Invisibility
 Android 7/26/2 (1)

 8ft tall and perilously thin. A bathouse mistress. Single large bath with multiple secluded areas. Remains proudly ignorant of customers' business. Staff are Thinking Engines, 9 of them left, who can pass as entirely organic. Open all hours, staff rarely seen abroad, Cyriaca more so and only while accompanied by staff. 1 in 6 chance of a herbal bath day 1- Green, red berries, restores all Stamina 2- Blue with silver streaks, ensures a restful night's sleep 3-Red and twigs, smells like dirt, tightens skin drastically, so no one recognises you for a day 4-Green with green berries, relaxing, -5 Skill for the day 5-Hot mud, -2 Stamina +1 Skill for the day 6-Pink, smells like cake, calm & happy for the rest of the week, immune to fear and panic.

 RUMOUR: A giant is convinced that Troika is in fact Lost Corda and has blocked Owl Street with his ecstatic crying and celebrating. Danger of terminal hugging.

Court of the Summer King

Court of the Summer King 

Open, the Summer King 9/18/5
 Spell: Assume Shape, Hurricane, Teleport, Zed

 Reception hall for the divine Summer King. Front door and halls guarded by Feathered Folk wielding brass blowpipes-staves decorated with and firing peridots. Petitioners are mostly foreigners and cacogen, with the occasional hyrodules and their silver suited guards. None speak to the King, only touch his hands, drop a guilder in the chrome vase, and leave. The petitioners spend a long time talking in meaningless metaphors to one another. Non-comprehension will be met with disdain. 

RUMOUR: The feathered-swine have captured radiant thought and hold it in disgust

 Big map:

Alcalde Station Juniper

Alcalde Station Juniper
Boris Saypurple 8/16/5
 Spell: Darkness, Darksee

 The local justice, Boris, is a short joyless man. Quick to anger, quick to forgive, violent and emotional. Four junior alcalde (7/14/2) are under his command and help keep the peace, mainly by spying and gathering harmful gossip. He is unsure who exactly pays his wages or what his jurisdiction is, which frustrates him greatly. The station occupies a large old home with Boris' private chambers, rooms full of papers, and a basement jail. Boris' rooms are full of cats, the jail is clinically clean and well lit. Loft full of unusual lost things.

 RUMOUR: Recent random killings are due to a new cult of Cage The Dead-Maker operating out of the goblin labyrinth. They relocate nightly.

Some Ways of Killing D&D People

We live in a world without hitpoints. Death is not a certain countdown.

  1. Smash Bros HP. Play D&D as normal but add your damage up. When your damage passes a threshold, save or die. Roll d100 and roll over your damage total or die. Do this every subsequent instance of getting hurt.

    Maybe use the old HD as the threshold. Like, wizards start testing at over 4 damage. Or alternatively save every time they take damage, screw the bookkeeping.
  2. I'M THE FUCKING DADDY system. Standard HP, except they are now how you hit things. Gamble your HP as dice. Each HP spent lets you roll a die, but keep the same number as you usually would. Rolling to hit, spend 3 HP, roll 3d20 and pick the best one. Spend 8, roll 8, keep 1 and so on. All violent action takes energy.At 0 HP you are at the whims of the enemy. They can automatically kill you, or the DM can have them do something else, like kidnap you or chop your arms off.

    Damage works like normal, but use HP to roll the dice.

    Probably wanna increase HP pools a bit.
  3. DAMAGE DICE EXPLODE. The d4 knife is now interesting

Unsure death is fun. Having a sense of impending doom is fun. Knowing you can take a couple of shots is too comfortable. Turning your life resource into currency is exciting.

What's up my droogs?

What's happening, what's going to happen, who are we, what are we, where is that, why are that, where do?

Calm down.

Firstly this is very important:

Talking about your blog is boring, but this blog is fine and as alive as it ever was. I'll be here in my spare time between helping other people make things real.

I care about politics a lot but I'm not gonna talk about it with any seriousness in public 'cos others do culture war a lot better. Assume everyone who is obviously a shitlord sits comfortably on my shitlist.

I am too busy, but fine I'll be the ambassador of the OSR.

I figure since I talk to myself while I'm working I might as well do it on Twitch and make a spectacle of myself. I even have a cat that won't fuck off, people love that right?

G+, the only social media platform that wasn't complete and utter shite, is on its way out. You can just stay here, I'll keep you company. Or go to Discord and harass me in retro relay. Follow me on other platforms if you like, but they'll be mostly shitposts and self promotion (you know, like absolutely everything else on them)

I'm going to have a table at Dragonmeet on the 1st of December. Come and say hi.

Business plan for the Melsonian Arts Council:

  • Make books forever and never stop
  • Earn enough money to pay the bills
  • Earn more money than hype-man invaders
  • Win more prizes
  • Become insufferable egomaniacs
All work in progress.

HEY, you know what still exists? THE UNDERCROFT! 
Do you write weirdo D&D stuff for funsies?
Wanna tidy it up enough to be published in a trashy periodical?
Wanna get paid 3p a word for it? (don't have to google it, bad rate but more than the publisher will be getting)
Then tell me about it and we'll talk.

Art Preservation

Here, have a list of excellent artists that I have had reason to interact with.
 This was maintained on G+ but somebody decided to ruin that. For now I'm just cutting and pasting it here but I'll tart it up later.

 +Evlyn M -
 +Matthew Adams -
 +Simon Forster -
 +Claytonian JP -
 +Jeremy Duncan -
 +Jim Magnusson -
+Sean Poppe -
 +Anxy Anxy -
 +Nicolò Maioli -
 Louise Perfect, who doesn't do the internet (I can get you in touch if you want) +Oli Palmer -
 +Andrew Walter -
+Jason Sholtis -
 +cecil howe -
 +Dirk Detweiler Leichty -
 +Courtney Campbell -