|Commissioned from Scrap Princess|
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Sunday, November 8, 2020
It's GLOGvember now, get off my case. Part one is here. Also technically counts for GLOG WEEK, no matter what Oblidisideryptch says.
Day 8 - Mystery
Travelers in the Hive Cities would be remiss to think the dry-eyed people of that land have no religions. They have many, all hidden from the view of outsiders.
These Mystery Cults share some traits - baroque social orders, complex rituals, and an effect. Unlike the other religions of the world, the Mystery Cults work, contacting something out there that helps them.
1d4 Mystery Cults of the Hive Cities
The Mystery Cults use the format of A Distant Chime's Shrines and Saints.
Patron of the desperate and the dying. Saves those who deserve it. Those uninitiated call to him frantically, to help themselves. Those of his Cult save their prayers for others.
Shrine: A pair of scales, one side filled with water.
Cult: Largely composed of judges and other agents of the state, although they will accept anyone. Aspirants are locked in a room in pairs, then abandoned. If they cooperate to escape, they are accepted. If they attempt to save themselves, they are abandoned.
R: 100' T: 25' radius D: [sum] minutes
Clouds form in the sky, flooding an area with enough water to survive for [dice] days if collected. If 2 or more dice are used, you may also strike the area with [dice] bolts of lightning, each doing 1d8 damage.
1. Save the dying, no matter their allegiance.
2. Eat and drink only when necessary.
3. Be just in all your decisions.
Hopes only to be free.
Shrine: A string knotted with feathers, tied to the highest point accessible.
Cult: Cousin Birdcatcher's worship is favored by those who want change. While many join as a symbol, assassins and rebels often leave prayers to Cousin Birdwatcher for more direct reasons. Initiation is simple - climb to the nearest shrine, and take it. The rest of the cult will try to stop you.
R: 0 T: self D: until landing
Shoots you [sum]*2 feet into the air. You fall at 1 foot per minute until you land. You can still act while falling.
1. Support the shrine with one feather each day.
2. Lead everyone deserving into the cult.
3. Always have an open route between you and the sky.
Killed the first dragon, freeing the Hive Cities.
Shrine: There are no shrines, only totems - tiny sculptures of a dragon's skull, which only work if broken.
Cult: Hunters and their families make up most of the cult. There is no initiation - the cult will come to you if they feel you deserve entrance. This tends to lead to nepotism and other unfair influences.
R: Touch T: one projectile D: instant
Bless an arrow or stone with Father's sight. The next attack with the projectile gains [dice] damage and always hits. The attack can accomplish impossible feats, like curving around corners.
1. Never hurt that which could not hurt you.
2. Never hurt something, then leave it alive.
3. Be the last to eat from what you kill.
Took the sun from Brother Bricklayer after he dropped it, burning the world.
Shrine: A piece of glass, pulled from the desert after the storms end.
Cult: Hide in plain sight. 3 people walk past, each wearing discs of hammered metal on your forehead. If you ask what they are, they respond "Oh, you're so clueless!", then walk further.
R: 0 T: Self D: [dice] hours
Project an orb of light, as bright as a torch, from your hand.
1. Shun fire and its glow.
2. At dawn, bow to the sun in public.
3. Expose secrets, except those that would cause harm.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
This is the continuation of a series, where I interview members of the OSR community.
A: So, introduce yourself - name, blog, social security number, etc.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Fractal Meadows of Reality is a new blog, started last month. It's already excellent. Their second post, on the demiplane of the Glass Fields, has a few references to Blood-Knots - strange assemblages of blood and glass, that whisper secrets - and the hermits who live around them.
Immediately, those words leapt off the screen and beat me over the head, crying "make a GLOG class".
Hermit of the Blood-Knots
- Lose 1 HP worth of blood to give someone else 1 HP.
- You can step through your shadow. Normally, this lets you move an extra 5 feet. Being tricky with bright light and long drops will let you extend this.
- After you drink something, it suffuses your blood. You may take 1d4 damage to create another dose of the substance.
1. Sent to Seek
R: 100' T: N/A D: [dice] Rounds
You can peel off one of your shadows and send it hunting for a specific object. It uses your Wisdom score + [dice] for search rolls, if those are required.
2. Draining Needle
R: 30' T: [dice] creatures D: [dice] rounds
You conjure the life-draining glass flora of the Fields, throwing them like knives. Targets take [most] damage each round of the duration. You regain [dice] health each round.
3. Listen to the Blood
R: N/A T: Self D: [dice] rounds
Your blood whispers to you. It can answer [dice] questions from this list, or others.
- Where is the person you like most?
- Who hates you the most?
- What is the most threatening thing in this area?
- How does this person feel?
4. One is Preserved
R: Touch T: one creature D: Instant
A creature gains [sum] HP. Any dice used in this spell are automatically exhausted.
5. Another is Sacrificed
R: Touch T: Self/1 wizard D: Instant
Recharge [dice] MD. You may recharge another wizard's MD if you wish. In exchange, you or a willing participant lose [dice] max HP, permanently.
6. Raise the Pillars
R: 100' T: N/A D: Instant
[dice] pillars of glass, [sum] feet high, rise up from the ground. They move slowly, carrying people up rather than impaling them.
7. Heat Glass
R: Sight T: [dice] pounds of glass D: Instant
Glass shies away in fear of your gaze, and melts. On contact with a person, molten glass does [dice]d8 fire damage.
8. Silent Message
R: Sight T: [dice] creatures D: Instant
Send a message to [dice] creatures you can see. If you spend 2 or more MD, they can respond.
R: 40' T: 20' radius D: [dice] minutes
No sound can be emitted in the radius. This prevents most spellcasting.
10. Stallion's Path
R: 30' T: 30' line D: instant
A line in front of you is parted, shoving everything off to the sides.
1 [dice]: shoves people
2 [dice]: shifts trees
3 [dice]: splits buildings
4 [dice]: parts small lakes
11. Into/Out of the Fields
R: 500' radius T: N/A D: [sum] minutes
You and everyone else in a 500' radius are thrown into or out of the Glass Fields. NPCs who do not expect this transition must immediately make a Morale check.
12. Blood to Glass
R: Touch T: one creature D: Instant
The target's blood turns to glass. They must make a CON save - if they pass, they take [sum]*2 damage. If they fail, they take [sum]*[dice] damage and one part of their body is turned to glass permanently.
1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours
2. Take 1d6 damage
3. Random mutation for 1d6 rounds, then make a save. Permanent if you fail.
4. Lose 1 MD for 24 hours.
5. You must sacrifice 1 HP per MD you regain for 1d4 days.
6. Your blood solidifies and slows down. On a successful CON save to avoid an effect, you must succeed on another CON save on your next turn or be affected.
- Your blood shifts, and begins to whisper. It wants whatever you want, but more.
- One of your limbs turns to glass. It is completely under the control of your blood.
- The rest of you turns to glass, and you become an NPC.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
For GLOGtober, I've decided to make a setting, one week at a time. I don't know if this is a good idea, but it's certainly... an idea.
Note that this is done in sections - I haven't read any of the prompts past week 1, so the setting may shift as I take later prompts into account. Buyer beware, Saturn reigns, etcetera.
Day 1 - Guns
Guns are a modern invention, their use spreading from the Sunset Isles and across the lands of the Empire. Currently, there are only two: heavy, long cannonets, and light single-shot derringers.
These are both wheel-locks, limiting their use by the Empire's military due to their expense. However, this makes them more useful for the few that own them, as armor hasn't advanced enough to protect its wearer.
Both have been made illegal throughout the Empire after a spike in assassination attempts, including one on the Empress herself.
4d6 damage, one slot, all enemies and hirelings must make Morale saves. 20' range, advantage to hit. Illegal.
4d6 damage, 3 slots, all enemies and hirelings must make Morale saves. 300' range, disadvantage to-hit within 30', advantage past that. Illegal.
Day 2 - Blood
Blood is the seat of the soul. Without it, the body is only a husk. When someone dies, their blood pulls itself out of their body and ascends to Heaven, as the body hopefully reduces itself to dust.
Of course, sometimes the body does not. Then, it reverts, driven only by the base impulses written on humanity's bones. These Geists stalk the wilderness like animals, hunting for humans. (Just stat them as zombies, minus any infection chances.)
Some magicians of the Lamb's Continent have managed to die, releasing their blood, then control it, pulling it from its path to Heaven and using it as a tool before returning it and living again.
Starting equipment: a pendant token of your order, a katar (light), ritual equipment (six candles, a vial of sparrow's blood), a short magnetic bar (used to test the iron content of blood, which is thought to correlate to moral purity)
C: Blood & Bone
D: Twist the Path
Motility: Through a short ritualized "death", you convince your blood to emerge from your body in an angelic form, bringing your consciousness with it. The blood can move at twice human speed, and fly. While your blood is gone, your body cannot move, and you take 1 damage each minute. The blood is too diffuse to move anything more than a pound, and too condensed to move through walls.
Condensation: You can shift the blood, making more or less condensed. When condensed, it is solid enough to hold as much a person or even attack, but cannot fly. If hit, it will dissolve. When diffused, it can slowly move its droplets through walls, but cannot hold anything. You must choose how dense your blood is when you release it.
Blood & Bone: You have reached inwards, reinforcing the instructions carved on your bones. When you release your blood, you can also raise your body as a Geist.
Twist the Path: When you die, your control continues, counting down from full health. When time runs out, you're dead. You can't return your blood during this time - it won't let you.
Day 3 - Goblins
Goblins do not exist. Despite this, it's normal to see about one a week. They are emanations from the noosphere, said to be responsible for bad luck. They knock over shelves, hide things, trip people, and all the other things that would be caused be random chance.
Hobgoblins and Bugbears are manifestations of even worse luck - a Hobgoblin will break your sword over its knee, then run into the forest. A Bugbear will burn down your house.
Day 4 - Swirling Rainbow Vortices
Above the world is a gateway. It does not circle the world like the Sun and Moon. It sits, perfectly still. When the sun crosses it around noon, this is the Short Night, where work ends and people return to bed. When the moon crosses it around midnight, this is the Witch Hour, where monsters meet under unnatural darkness.
This is the gate to Heaven, where blood crosses into that prismatic city. The observatories of the Guild of Astronautics have peered through it, and now plan to build a great machine with which they can shuttle themselves (and their patrons) into Heaven without being judged.
Day 5 - Map
Here's an early map of the setting. I have no idea what any of this stuff is, but this'll remind me to figure that out later.Day 6 - Food
- A heavy meat stew served over dumplings - traditional during the winter holidays.
- Smoked fish, preserved and buried for emergencies.
- Pickled vegetables.
- Sweet wine, imported from the Lamb's Continent.
- Small, bitter berries hardy enough to survive the droughts. Slight stimulants.
- A thin syrup made of those berries. Strong stimulant, usually mixed with water or wine to weaken the taste.
- Hard seeds, ground into a paste. Usually served on bread.
- Clams, pulled from the pools they hide in.
- Small soft cookies, shaped into spheres and stamped with (usually romantic) messages.
- A light salad of bitter greens.
- Raw fish, rubbed with hot herbs.
- Thinly sliced meat, seared quickly.
1d6 Reasons to Adventure
- Your home in the Hive-Cities is suffering a drought. You want to find some way to alleviate it.
- The Imperial Guild of Astronautics has sent you to map the stars from all the corners of the world. You faintly suspect this is because they wanted to get rid of you.
- A border skirmish in the Lamb's Continent ended recently. Now you (and hundreds of other soldiers) have no work.
- You and the rest of your cell were caught on your way from the Bitter East, your assignment burned out of your heads. The Empire has given you a deal - work for us, or die.
- When your mother died, her blood streamed to the south. No one could tell you what happened to it.
- You want money. A lot of money.
Friday, October 2, 2020
Part 1: The Depthcrawl
Part 2: The Template
|We're going to use this as our example setting.|
Part 3: Filling the Frame
- A cavernous, empty room made of hands all grasping each other.
- A bone of the ascended, full of holes. The wind slowly plays it like a flute, frightening spirits. Every turn you spend here decreases your Sinfulness by one.
- The ascended's lungs, slowly expanding and filling with lightly hallucinogenic incenses.
- One of the ascended's eyes, focusing any light in the room into a web of burning beams.
- The stomach, which is half-filled with acid. Stone sculptures of food float over the acid, unharmed.
- Petrification is slow. This room of hands still lives. They grasp blindly at anything touching them.
- The heart, the size of a house. It is crossed with rivers of pure, cold water, and rains constantly. These rivers cannot be forded without equipment. The rain makes the stone slippery - when under stress, characters must make a DEX check or slip.
- The brain, sitting on a stone pedestal. If you have a Sinfulness of more than 5, it prevents you from touching it.
- Sloth (embodied) - an enormously fat, cheerful statue. Obstinately blocks your path, has a job it wants you to do for it - 1. move this heavy rock 2. find my lost ring 3. 4. nothing, it's just not moving.
- Pride (embodied) - a glorious marble sculpture. Automatically hostile unless praised.
- Wrath (embodied) - acts like a professional wrestler. Wants a challenge - it doesn't have to be you.
- Envy (disembodied) - wants the prettiest/most magic/otherwise superlative item you have. Can be tricked.
- Greed (disembodied) - will just start stealing your stuff. Runs if attacked.
- Gluttony (disembodied) - clamps on to the highest CON character and starts to drain them (1 CON per round).
- Lust (disembodied) - wants to go on a date. Candles, nice food, the whole thing.
Part 4: Depthcrawl Variations
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Libra is an urban fantasy/supernatural conspiracy version of the GLOG. Instead of dice, it uses Zener cards - tools used by 20th century researchers into psychic ability.
It has 7 classes (6 varieties of psychic and 1 standard person), an original magic system, and 18 adventure seeds. It's been playtested in a short campaign that reached level 2. Click on the cover to grab the PDF.
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
A: So, introduce yourself - name, blog, favorite color, etc.
V: HI MY NAME IS VAYRA you can find my Works (gaze upon them, and despair) at https://madqueenscourt.blogspot.com/
I live in the PNW (BC, Canada, to be exact) and my favorite color is being needlessly contrarian.
Monday, September 7, 2020
For a couple weeks, I'm going to be posting interviews with members of the OSR community - first is Erika, of Ice Queen's Throne. This is my first time interviewing anyone, so it has some issues; the next ones should be better. If you want to get on the list, I have contact information on my blog's sidebar.
Archon: First, let's talk about something light - have you been able to play anything recently?
Erika: The last game I ran was the final session of my Old School Essentials game set in the Forgotten Realms; we kind of got collectively frustrated at the poor design of the module and cancelled it, so not the most fun session, but onwards and upwards!
E: I like it a lot, honestly - I'm about to back the kickstarter for new rules taken from AD&D. The toolbox purity of making sure it's compatible with original B/X stuff is really appealing, as I often want to revive some older module/setting/style of play that I'm curious about. The rules are well presented and easy to run, which is really nice.
A: So, do you think you'll keep running OSE in your next campaign, or is there another system you'd like to try?
E: Honestly, I have so many games I want to try it's hard to tell! I'm running Pathfinder 2e for my other group right now and that's a blast; I'm looking at setting up some one-shots to clean out stuff that's been on my shelf for years and never been played, and I kind of want to run a new World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness game next. For old-school stuff, if I want to do something strictly revivalist, OSE is a good bet; for something more revolutionary I should really try the GLOG and Esoteric Enterprises and Knave and [goes on forever here].
A: There's always a lot to try, isn't there. I'd recommend the GLOG (because of course I would).
E: Why would you recommend the GLOG? What does the GLOG do well for you?
A: I think it does a lot of things quite well - for one thing, it's incredibly simple - one of my unreleased hacks fits all its rules onto a single page. It's also very modular; I've seen lots of different combat systems, stat systems, and settings, because of how easy it is to change the few rules it has. Most importantly to me, it's excellent at containing setting - through your class choices, you can show almost any genre through the GLOG. For example, there's a couple cyberpunk versions, and I'm currently working on an EE-like urban fantasy hack.
And, I know this is a peripheral thing, but the culture around the game is excellent - they just keep making things, constantly, and its always something strange.
I know you have your blog, but is there anywhere else you release OSR content? A book or a zine you've written, anything like that.
E: Nothing yet really, most of what I do is specifically for the games I'm running, so I haven't had a lot to show otherwise. I was thinking about doing a hack of OSE and 2e AD&D, but put that aside with the game ending.
Part of the idea of it being about loving your own trash was that it didn't have to be the same as everyone else's trash, and if other people didn't see the value in it, that's alright! Stuff like the GLOG is way beyond the realm of the PLOG, and if that's where people are having fun/being happy, that's what really matters. I appreciate having an idea and a mission statement for how to approach the revivalist stuff I like doing with OSE and other older D&D books.
A: It's a good guiding concept for OSR revivalists, in my opinion. The idea of tearing apart official products to scavenge good bits of them was what drew me to the community in the first place.
Speaking of that, how did you get into the OSR?
E: So for me, I straddle the line between old-school and modern D&D. I picked up D&D when I was like 9, at the very tail end of 2e, and didn't really get to play until I had the 3e starter box set a few years later. But my grandfather picked me up a used copy of the 1e DMG, and I was blown away by how incredibly lush and dense and inspiring it was. I could see that the rules were generally better in my 3.0 books, but the STORY and especially the world was so much better in that old DMG.
E: Right! there's tons of good stuff in it, so I'm always kind of balancing, the smoother rules and careful balancing and all the little content gimmicks of 3e/4e/Pathfinder with the sheer captivating power of the old-school stuff. and I want to find a way to kind of reconcile those, in my head?
Have good flexible rules that can do a lot for character creation but also have a lot of room for worldbuilding and sandbox play like the old-school games did. I can never quite settle on one or the other.
And I remember back in the 3.5 days the older stuff was kind of discarded, frequently given away for free by WotC; it wasn't until OSRIC came out that there was really something THERE to grab on to. The most influential OSR blog to me personally was likely Grognardia, because James Maliszewski's readings of older products really illustrated what they did well and what was worth celebrating about them that my newer stuff didn't have, and that was a convincing argument for trying old-school games off and on over the years. Haven't really quite had it stick yet, but I've learned a lot!
A: It's been about an hour: do you have any final statements before we finish up?
E: I don't blog a lot but when I do it's usually been about the Forgotten Realms not sucking pre-5e, so you should check out my blog for stuff on that.
A: Sounds great. Thanks for coming!
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Last session, the party started their adventure, went on a nice boating trip, were attacked by bugs, and then ate someone.
This time, we end the first "season" of the campaign with them completing their final objectives. And then they ate someone.
Aemanda Tessier - Dom (only session 3)
Eni Léashvath - Vayra
Arok Tseyvar - Kwub (only session 3)
Erul Avedayati - PurpleCthulhu
Zoma - Justin Hamilton
The players spent some time in Subrayada - giving the Overseer the capacitors they'd gathered, then going on a shopping trip. They managed to afford some more bullets for [PLACEHOLDER]'s new gun, and a knife for Aemanda.
They checked their map - the nearest objective was a Network Anteenna, from Network Station 32-c, only a mile and a half away. They leave, passing through Subrayada's front gate and a massive crack in one of the ship's walls. As they walked, the path in front of them split, over and over, until eventually they marched through a corridor only 10 feet wide.
Then, they stopped. A 20-foot wide stream of corrosive liquid cut through one of the path's walls like a bleeding wound. burning through the floor and vanishing somewhere below.
[Unnamed] was immediately interested in tasting the liquid. When Erul's 10-foot pole (used for depth testing) came up tarnished and smoking, that attitude changed.
Eni decides fire fixed everything last time, and lights a torch, pushing it across the ground towards the stream. The liquid sputters and boils immediately, but does not burn. The party quickly realized that turning the dangerous corrosive stream into a dangerous corrosive cloud really wouldn't help their situation, and pulled out the torch.
Eventually they decide to block the flow with a wall panel. Eni bravely sacrifices their 10-foot pole to the task, and starts prying at the wall. The other PCs hear a pair of footsteps coming up from behind them - their special brand of violent paranoia is (at least time) unjustified, as the footsteps come from a pair of Sworn (Sworn are well-supplied direct agents of the Hierarchs, usually kept for actual wars. Subrayada has a few because of its proximity to a Coolant Sea, and with the rail line down the Overseer is at the top of their chain of command), out here trying to build a perimeter.
The Sworn warn them about the Network Station - traders have returned from there warning of Ghoul attacks. Eni responds with a... less than charismatic reference to Creationist Heresy, leading the more pious of the Sworn to blink in confusion. Luckily, the other breaks the tension, offering the party a round of drinks if they manage to make it back.
Having (barely) managed to talk to a person for 5 minutes without thinking about eating them, the party decide it's time for some lunch, and a test of Sunless Horizon's Rest system - instead of just healing, you get to choose 2 of a list of options (resting to restore Hope, using bandages and other medicine to restore Flesh, Scouting to change the random encounter table, etc.).
[Unnamed] passes their Scout check, and decides to hunt down a group of bandits in the area. Aemanda passes as well, and removes one of the more threatening Obstacles. They start to move, and conceal themselves on one of the bandits' routes. Thanks to my poor initiative system, the fight turned into a massacre - each PC killed the bandit just below them in initiative, so initiative went to another PC, who then killed the next bandit, and repeat. (After this session we switched to a simultaneous system that seems to be working a lot better).
The party loot the bandits, then travel the rest of the way to the Network Station.
Network Station 32-C
The Station is marked by a pair of enormous hydraulic doors, both stenciled with the station's designation. Over these stencils are unknown brownish symbols, scrawled by Ghouls to mark one of their nests.
As the players crossed the doorway, they found a pair of heads on pikes (one Kaiva, one Disciple) staring at the entrance of the nest. Inside this front room is a round shaft leading deeper into the station, and a rusted scaffold drooping into the pit from the ceiling, bearing the antenna at its nadir.
While the players inspect the pit, they see a pair of wet, dark eyes - a Ghoul, staring back up at them. They decide to move down and try to parley - Eni descends on a rope and offers it some food. It accepts, but doesn't understand their language - Eni asks where the antenna is, but the Ghoul assumes they're looking for the last group of Jackals, and points to a small maintenance room on the other side of the shaft.
The rest of the PCs keep an eye on the Ghoul while Eni crosses over, and opens the door to the maintenance room. They are almost stabbed by one of the last Jackals - an Ayir named Alexis, with two broken legs. Alexis begs to be rescued, and the players bring her up to the first floor. The Ghoul they found leaves, crawling through a tunnel.
Then, they decide to descend all the way to the bottom, skipping the 3rd and 4th floors of the pit. At the bottom, they find the Network Antenna, hanging over an abyss. They can see lights blinking back at them from the bottom - it seems like they're miles away.
|Like this, but upside-down. Sure looks safe to me!|
As the PCs make a plan to detach the Antenna without it falling, a Ghoul starts to climb across the scaffolds above, from one room of the 3rd floor to another. As Eni disconnects the Antenna, [Unnamed] uses their duct tape to tape it to Eni's back.
The Ghoul looks down and sees them. It coils and leaps, but [Unnamed] deflects it, sending it into the abyss. Its scream awakens the rest, and 5 Ghouls emerge from the 3rd floor. 2 start to climb the scaffolds to the top, while three descend.
This fight was the first test of the new simultaneous initiative system.
Zoma and Erul both fire, the sound of their guns resonating in the walls. Both shots hit, one caving in a Ghoul's skull, the other puncturing its lung. Alexis throws a spear, stabbing through one of the descending Ghouls.
- Simultaneous combat is definitely the best option for this game.
- The Difficult Terrain system isn't really working how I had hoped. I'm currently debating whether to try a pointcrawl-like Difficult Terrain minigame, or just drop the subsystem entirely. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd really like to hear them.
- The game doc needs a lot more resources to be run by anyone but me - the Obstacle and Encounter tables are all placeholder, there's no guidance for if the PCs abandon the Houses, etc. This is my highest priority for the next version.
- And finally, this is a working concept. Even after all the work I'd put into this setting, I was still (very slightly) unsure if it would work for an RPG.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
|the Houses have been bringing derelict mechs back into service, preparing for war with the Oasis Kingdoms|
It's nearly impossible to be surprised - even if you don't notice the huge blue light (which is also the only blue thing in the game), the little *beep* they make a second before they attack will be burned into your mind.
This gives some good advice for the equally lethal combat found in Sunless Horizon (and the majority of other OSR games) - warn the players about monsters. For example, no one in Sunless Horizon has darkvision except the Disciples, so any group of wanderers would be bringing light. While Disciples are harder to see, they're easy to hear, thanks to their constant static-filled chanting.
NaissanceE - Inhuman Architecture
NaissanceE is a platformer(?)/walking simulator... thing, where you walk through a seemingly infinite purgatory of machinery and stark colors. Are you starting to see a theme?
The game is incredible at making you feel like you don't belong - the lights shift instantly from pitch-black to blindingly bright, you spend 5 minutes crawling through a tunnel barely taller than you are only to emerge in front of a mile-long chasm, electricity arcing across it in massive bolts. Nothing here it built for you. You should not be here. You do not fit into it's world.
A lot of what's been written about Sunless Horizon is very "woog darkness claustrophobia argh", but that's something I'm trying to move away from, into a less predictable framework.
You should absolutely watch this video, which explains the game better than it could ever be described in text.
Pathologic - Just Utterly Ruining Your Player's Lives
H E Y - this has spoilers for Pathologic, so if you don't want that, go away ok cool
Pathologic is a Russian survival horror game where you work to cure a plague in a rural steppe town. Pathologic is incredibly unpleasant to play - the vast majority of your time is spent slowly trudging through town over and over, the combat is odd, slippery, and terrible, and the game has a slight habit of not actually telling you how to play it.
However, it's very interestingly cruel - for example, on your second day in town, all prices increase tenfold without warning, dragging you down from a place of "I can easily afford stuff, I thought this game was hard!" to "Maybe I should sell my only weapon so I can buy food and survive another day."
It's incredibly unstable - things just change (always for the worse), with no warning, and you just have to deal with it. You can never be prepared for what happens next, it's all awful forever.
This is surprisingly easy to accomplish - a few timetables similar to those found within A Pound of Flesh can set up a framework for multiple types of events, from war between the Navigator Houses to the Disciples' Last Crusade. This idea's also useful in any game - have tables for the living Moon coming to kill everyone, the invasion of the Icthyan Empire from beneath the sea, or the rise of Hell and upending of all of the cosmos.
Commissioned from Scrap Princess excited screeching I've been posting about Sunless Horizon for about a year, and after finally gettin...