Category Archives: Silliness
Hofenung ripped a streetlight free of its cast iron mooring with one arm, caked ice shattering off of it, and hurled it down the alley. A bolt of faefire caught it before it had gone more than 20 feet, ripping through it with the same boom as a glacier breaking free of the icepack. The streetlight exploded in a cloud of dust and burning embers, filling the narrow space between buildings. Still clutching his charred side with his other hand, Hofenung staggered to the end of the byway and turned onto the next major street.
Behind him, he heard a chorus of buccasnickle cries of pain and anger. Though he could not smile, Hofenung allowed himself a flat-faced chuckle. The Fel Moroz wouldn’t make the mistake of assuming everything made by man was wood and stone again, but for not they had coated themselves in iron shavings far more efficiently than he possibly could have.
Still, the Fouettard would have the diminutive trackers whipped back into a hunting pack within moments, so his reprieve was to be a short one. He bulled forward through the near-blinding snow toward the nearest doorway, using his good shoulder to burst the door in, popping it entirely free of its frame. He staggered a half dozen paces into the shop, plowing through a display of silk hats and gloves, before crashing down on a wooden bench, which groaned under his weight.
His form heaved as though he was breathing heavily, though he lacked lungs or need for air. He rolled onto his side, bringing the side he had been clutching with his spare hand up from under him. Gently he peeled his fingers back to survey the damage. A chunk nearly the size of his fist was missing from his stone body. Worse, veins of shiny black silver was spreading from the wound, tiny spikes drilling through his granite form and cracking him apart.
At full strength, he might have been able to fight the curse. Weakened as he was, there was no chance of stopping it. He would break, and die, soon. He had even less time than he had feared.
Gingerly, Hofenung reached into the inner pocket of his tattered opera cloak. He pulled forth a single thread, a golden line of light, its tail end trailing into the fabric of his cloak. It resisted his pull at first, but when he gave it a determined tug it popped free. A chill set into his massive stone form, and he felt the animation begin to seep from him. The glowing thread curled one end of itself around his bulky fingertip, stroking the rock that was turning more gray by the second.
“It has been my honor to protect to.” Hofenung could no more cry than he could smile, but there was sadness and pain in his voice. “But I can carry this duty no longer. Your enemies ride fast. We must find you a new protector.”
It was scarcely a minute before heavy hoofsteps crunched in the snow outside. The light from the doorway was blocked by a massive form, hunched and shaggy, a long, barbed whip clutched in one hand and a massive wicket basked over its back. Around it, tiny, beautiful, perfect human forms danced and shook their fists angrily.
The hooved figured pressed its head against the open space of the doorway, and for a moment was held in place. It pushed, and the entire frame of the building groaned, as if being pressed by a terrifying wind. Then, it’s passage no longer blocked by the invisible force, the creature stepped into the shop. It walked down the obvious path of destruction through smashed displays and toppled shelves, to find Hofenung lying on a broken bench.
“You have been a worthy hunt, protector.” The creature’s voice was deep and gruff, nearly closer a growl than speech. “But it comes to an end now.”
“That you have enjoyed my escape is my sole regret in evading you.” Hofenung’s mouth opened, but did not move with the words. His body was almost entirely stiff, lifeless rock.
The creature bleated once. “You evaded nothing, protector. The teacher’s gift shall now be ours. Produce it, or I shall rip it from your broken rubble.”
More than ever in his long existence, Hofenung wished he could smile. “It’s not here.”
“WHAT?!” The shaggy form stomped a hoofed foot in anger. “What foolishness is this? Left aloeg, it could be damaged, destroyed. I need it intact to harness it, and you would never risk a gift from the teacher!”
Hofenung nodded. “You are right, of course. I have stitched it anew. And it will find a new protector, and that entity shall carry on where I have fallen.”
The creature snorted, in a mix of anger and amusement. “A new protector? Oh, it has the power to bring another like you alife, it is certain. But you believe here, in this time in this place, someone will craft a new body for such a protector? Make a man-form, or close enough, imbue it with their love and joy and cheer, so the gift can embody it?” One of the tiny forms yelped in squeaky complaint, and the creature nodded. “Indeed, even if some student of secrets was so inclined, there is snow on everything!”
Hofenung felt his last moments come upon him. “Yes, I believe all those things. And until it selects a protector, it will be difficult even for your buccasnickle to find. You will, at least, be delayed.”
And then the protector was no more than a pile of rock.
The hoofed, shaggy whip-bearer stared for long seconds at the remains of its foe of centuries, then cracked its whip. The buccasnickle flooded into the shop, and began tearing apart everything within in. Hats were rent asunder. Coats split in half. Scarves unraveled. As dawn approached, the whip-bearer roared in frustration and, with a crack, drove the small searchers from the shop, back toward the alley.
As they marched past the window of “Professor Hinkle’s Magic Shoppe and Rabbit Supplies,” not one of them stopped to glance at an old silk hat sitting in the display, a bright pink cloth flower sewn to it by a single, golden thread.
My Patreon backers get even more! All my mega-patrons will get a PDF in a few days that has all my free content from September, including the 101 Mimics, but I also wanted to compile these in one post for anyone interested in them. So all my patrons have access to a Patreon post with 101 Mimics, plus I added ONE more mimic encounter idea as a bonus, at the end of that post!
So if you want more mimics (and similar material as time goes on), go join my Patreon!
- Mimic as the keystone in an arch (build by mimic minions). When it attacks and jumps free not only it there a bitey mimic, the room’s ceiling collapses on you.
- Mimic treasure map. The mimic pretends to be a treasure map that leads you to am ambush of the mimic’s allies. The mimic changes this location as needed to keep the news from getting out.
- Mimic bandage. It just quietly drinks your blood when you wrap it around your wound.
- Mimic haute couture. The mimic rents itself out to be brand-new, impossible-without-living-cloth high-end outfits and shoes that fit perfectly, match your coloration, hair, and jewelry, and you don’t have to put in a closet after wearing once. Hourly or daily rates available.
- Mimic rope. It waits until you are using it in a life-or-death situation, then extorts you with greater payment or it withdraws its (literal) support.
- Mimic golem: Easiest to pretend to be a wood golem or clay golem. You think it’s a construct, but it’s actually an aberration, giving it a distinct tactical advantage.
- Mimic rock at edge of common rest-stop campsite. Look, people are SUSPICIOUS of treasure chests these days, but no one looks twice at a rock that happens to be near where their head is going to be when they sleep.
- Mimic false bottom of a chest. Go ahead, check the chest for signs it’s a mimic all you want. then, once you are inside and your guard is done, and you get excited you’ve spotted a false bottom…
- Mimic hanging tapestry. May rent itself out to high-end castles as a magic every-changing tapestry that also shouts an alarm when people find the concealed door behind it, or may drop down on unsuspecting adventurers looking behind it for a concealed door. Or both.
- Mimic trash-can private investigator. You can learn a LOT about someone by sorting through their trash, and if they give it to you there’s no expectation of privacy.
- Mimic Spike at the Bottom of a Pit. If you fall into the pit and still look fine, it ignores you as too tough to handle. If you fall into the pit and seem badly injured or incapacitated…
- Mimic bookcase wizard. People have been placing powerful and dangerous books on it in the forbidden section of the library for decades.
- Mimic altar. Honestly, a faithful devotee of a god that has decided to serve as an altar. Of course, if you come to DESECRATE that temple…
- Mimic Kitchen Table. Mostly just eats scraps when no one is looking. But may be in trouble since it is now so fat, it doesn’t really fit in the same space anymore…
- Mimic Mirror in a Vampire’s Employ. Look, some vampires care how they look!
- Mimic Siege Tower. Always the right size and shape to reach the top of a wall, able to become a bridge to get over a moat, and able to be healed or buffed against fire with “1 target” spells.
- Mimic Wagon. Mostly lets your draft animals pull it along (while it dozes off), but for an extra fee and turn into a boat to cross rivers, walk itself out of mud, and so on.
- Mimic Wine Barrel. Takes a nip now and then, but mostly stays sober so it can eat the occasional vagrant that wonders by late at night, who no one will miss.
- Mimic Wishing Well. I mean, people just THROW money into it! Why risk combat when you can get paid to sleep, then go buy any food you want later?
- Mimic Coffin. Sneak into undertaker’s (or cut deal with them). Get corpse placed indie me. Eat it. Dig my way out of grave, making people panic about ghouls. Sneak back to undertaker’s.
- Mimic Iron Maiden. Torturers put people in me, I drink their blood, and they are kept alive to go back into me again and again.
Mimic smuggler. Can look like any crate, fake any needed seals or markings, hide among other crates and shuffle from warehouse to warehouse and hold to hold as needed.
- Mimic roulette wheel. Doesn’t detect as magic or illusion, but can still make sure the house gets more than its cut (or, if smuggled in as a ringer, it’s partner can take a huge bite out of the house).
- Mimic Spymaster Confessional. Look, if there’s a place people are going to just whisper their secrets anyway…
(Lots of other Mimic Spy possibilities, too.)
- Mimic sleeping bag guard hireling. Hires itself out to protect travelers. It can sleep during the day, eat all your leftovers, and quietly watch over you while you sleep at night, while being the perfect size and warmness for you.
- Mimic is a single wheel in a rented wagon. It can thus “fall off” at any time to make the wagon vulnerable to ambush, and attack from inside the defensive perimeter once the ambush begins.
- Mimic weapon rack. With luck, you disarm yourself and give it your weapons before the fight starts, and it’s certainly armed.
- Mimic as obviously trapped secret door. Everyone moves away from the rogue in case the trap goes off, leaving the rogue alone with the mimic.
- Mimic table in room convicts meet with lawyers. Might be spy for illicit law enforcement, or might be enforcer for the thieves’ guild ensuring people keep their yap shut.
- Mimic cloak. Rules a gang of cloakers who think it is a highly evolved version of themselves.
- Tiny mimic sheath for dueling rapier. One of two. Everything seems fine when your foe selects one of them, but once the fight starts, the mimics don’t let your foe even draw his weapon.
- Mimic fishing pole. Mostly works as advertised, but when hungry just eats a fish which you think is “one that got away.”
- Mimic emulating a corpse. When it starts moving and eating things, everyone thinks it’s an undead. But it’s not.
- Mimic big overstuffed chair. Is a consulting detective, but keeps hiring someone to sit in the chair and play the public role of detective, so no one suspects their cases are being solved by a mimic listening in.
- Mimic crystal ball. Works with fake psychic to show clients what they want to see, but can’t actually tell the future.
- Mimic workbench. Friend and ally to renowned craftsman, acts as his guard and assistant, moving tools to be in reach as needed.
- Mimic guillotine psychopath. Just wants to kill people, so as long as the revolution feeds its bloodshed, acts like a guillotine. If anyone tries to reign in the mob rule, sneaks out to kill that person.
- Mimic crossbow. Works with its hunter. Loads itself, can even fire itself as needed.
- Mimic printing press. Always well informed, and can tweak things it prints to move its own narrative or plots forward.
- Mimic sail. Self-trimming, self-furling, heals if damaged, and can help defend the ship if attacked.
- Mimic lump of clay. Works with fake sculptor to allow the sculptor to appear to be a great artist, then sneaks off with sculptor once a commission is paid.
- Mimic high-end furniture from antique store. Gets bought and placed in rich house. Waits to see where their valuables are. Steals them blind while antique dealer has alibi. Sneaks back to look like different high-end furniture at shop.
- Mimic banker’s or merchant’s scale. Check for false weights and magic all you want, it can still claim your valuable are 1-2% lighter than they really are, getting its merchant partner an extra profit margin.
- Mimic rock full of veins of gold and silver. Sits in a mine its partner wants to sell. Makes sure the potential buyer “happens” to see it, still wedged into the wall. Great for cycling through multiple played out mines.
- Mimic pile of hay. Only good for some seasons, but great way to hide in plain sight, and local children often sneak off to play near you, making them easy targets.
- Mimic outhouse. Perfect for catching prey with their paints down.
- Mimic dressmaker’s dummy. Can be the exact size and shape (and even weight) the dressmaker needs, often happy to work for scraps of cloth (leather, cotton, and other biomass). Plus, gets to feel like a pretty, pretty mimic.
- Mimic periscope. Fits in any shape, crack, or around any corner, can show you what it sees, and even report on what it hears.
- Mimic game table. Can play chess with you, or help you subtly cheat against others.
- Mimic elevator. Crawls up and down (and even sideways) though the large castle, giving easy access quickly in return for a fair daily wage.
Not every supers character needs a lot of backstory. In fact when you get into B-Teams, Caped Best Buddies, Great-Lakes Groups, X-treme X-amples, Tri-County Taskforces, and Substitute Heroes, often about all you need for a quirky, minor super character is two-sentences.
These concepts can be used as quick descriptions for background characters that may not ever need full stats, or jumping-off points for more detailed descriptions. They aren’t necessarily “joke” characters, just nontraditional and less likely to take center stage for various reasons.
Alewife: Alewife is a stern mother of five who is the strongest in a long line of monosaccahakenetic women able to generate and manipulate honey and honey byproducts, including ale. She does not use her powers for parties, unless one of her children (by birth or fierce mommabear adoption) is getting married or turning 16.
Bear-B-Que: Bear-B-Que is a chubby, cheerful, hirsute, gay man who can actually breath fire and (as a professional chef) make ribs that make people think they are breathing fire. Can also cast shade, but that doesn’t appear to be a superpower.
Drakkar: As a child, Drakkar ate a piece of a viking longship his parents were excavating at an archaeological dig, and now he can transform into one (from 20-60 feet long, which can fly, and has a “kick-ass” dragon masthead). He also fronts an eponymous heavy metal rock band.
Hotspot: Hotspot can always connect any device she is holding to the nearest radio tower, satellite pickup, and wireless connection–even through Faraday cages and solid stone. She most often plays “girl in the chair” to low-level heroes, giving advice and overwatch.
Prybar: Prybar has unbreakable, irremovable, unbendable fingernails. They are often a big ragged, since they are nearly impossible to trim (she has to use her own nails to file her nails).
Quiff: Quiff volunteered to be a human test for a receding hairline treatment. He is the only survivor of the test, and while he is still an aging, overweight man, he now has augmented strength and durability (though not enhanced endurance–he’s good for maybe a minute of fighting between rests), and a huge lock of thick, nearly-indestructible, brightly-colored prehensile hair on his forehead that can lift half a ton and extend up to 30 feet.
Sheba: Sheba is a highly evolved colony of bees–not a sapient queen bee who rules a hive, but the hive itself has become a distributed intelligence able to communicate and act collectively. She can do anything a hive of bees with group human intelligence can do, and is an active environmentalist.
Slack: Slack’s skin is infinitely flexible and stretchy, able to extend away from the rest of the body, which is otherwise normal. If cut free, the removed skin rots almost immediately and the wounded skin heals just as quickly.
Sudden-Oven Man: He can summon an over…. suddenly. Prefers charity work over superheroics but is willing to pitch in when needed. (You can read an interview with him here.)
Ten-Point: Ten-point is a seven-foot tall man with a full rack of stag horns, stag feet, and considerably enhanced speed, strength, and endurance. He works as a park ranger most of the year, but not during hunting season (no amount of bright orange makes him safe when it’s hunting season), when he does more in-town heroics and volunteer work.
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Okay, this is one run at “Three if By Air, the Game of Revolutionary War Air Combat.”
Written by Owen K.C. Stephens, Illustrated by Stan!
The final may play nothing like this.
Play on a hex grid at least 22 x 36. Each player sprinkles a handful of coins (no more than 20, no less than 5) across the grid for terrain. These represent things sticking up into the air–steeples, treetops, flagpoles, and so on. (Look it’s the 1700s, You are fighting HIGH in the air!) Center each coin in a hex. If an attack you be traced through a hex with a coin, you can’t make that attack unless an ability says otherwise.
Players — 2 Units — 6 each
Players — 3 Units — 4 each
Players — 4 Units — 3 each
Players — 5 or 6 Units — 2 each
Each player is British, or American. In 2, 4, and 6 player games, make teams of an even number of players. In 3 or 5 player games, it’s a free-for all (fog of war, and all that — the final game may include more factions such as Canadian Moose Dirigibles, Tidewater Steam Gliders, and Pogo-Armed Yetis, for all I know).
British players may have British or Hessian troops. American players may have American or French troops, but cannot have more French than American.
Make your units before play. You get 10 points. Divide them among these 5 attributes, which are used with combat characteristics, no more than 4 in any one attribute.
Offense: Used with ATTACK.
Defense: Used with EVADE.
Toughness: Used with HEALTH.
Speed: Used with MOVE.
Accuracy: Used with RANGE.
ATTACK: For each attack, roll 1d6 and add your Offense. If the value exceeds your target’s Evade, the difference is the damage you do.
EVADE: Each time you are attacked, roll 1d6 an add your Defense to see if you are damaged.
HEALTH: You can take damage equal to 2 + double your Toughness value. If damage would reduce you below this number, that unit is removed from play.
MOVE: Determines both movement order and how far you can go. Each round you can move a number of hexes equal to 1d6 + your Speed, to a maximum of 7. If you choose not to ATTACK, you may move an additional 1d6 hexes in phase 2. You can always move less than your maximum (including moving 0).
RANGE: Each round at the beginning of Phase 2 you roll 1d6 -3, and add your Accuracy. On that Phase you can attack foes a number of hexes away equal to this number, to a minimum RANGE of 1.
If you are AMERICAN, your units are Lightingrod Class War Kites. If on your first attack against a target your attack roll is a natural 6 (a 6 shows on the d6), you may also attack a second unit if it is within 6 hexes.
If you are BRITISH, your units as Beefeater Rocket Cavalry. You gain a +1 to attacks made against a target in an adjacent hex.
If you are FRENCH, your units are Hot Air Balloon Dragoons. When one of your units takes damage, it moves 1 hex in a direction of your choice.
If you are Hessian, your units are Trebuchet Infantry, lobbed into the air by ground forces each round. You may only move in a straight line each turn, and gain +1 ATTACk and +1 EVADE.
Each player picks one side of the map to begin on, in secret. All sides are then all revealed. If two or players pick the same side, and there is a side with fewer players having picked it, the players each roll a d6 (rerolling ties) and the one who rolls highest decides to stay or move 1 side clockwise to the nearest side with fewer players. After that, each other player in descending order of die rolls must move 1 side clockwise to the nearest side with fewer players until there is not a side of the map with fewer players assigned to it.
The each player rolls 3d6 and totals them. In descending order of those die rolls, each player places 1 unit within 3 inches of their side of the map. Proceed through this order until all units are placed.
Everyone rolls their MOVE. The unit with the highest move may choose to go first, or wait and go last. If two units have a tied MOVE, they may defer to one another, or write down their movement and reveal them simultaneously to move simultaneously.
The unit with the next highest MOVE then decides to go immediately, or go last (or next-to-last if the highest MOVE is going last).
Proceed until everyone has moved.
In order of MOVE, each unit rolls its RANGE, then attacks or moves another 1d6 hexes.
Proceed through all units, then the round is over, and go to Phase 1 of the next round.
If a player ever goes 3 rounds in a row without any unit making an ATTACK against a target in range, that player’s units are considered to have no taste for battle and retreat, and are removed from play.
If you have eliminated more than half of an opponent’s units, that opponent is eliminated and any remaining units are removed of play.
One side wins when all opposing sides have had all their units removed from play.
Carson pulled the twine tight, again. She walked around the enormous almost-sphere of the material, again. She pulled a new skein of twine from her coat pocket, and tied it to the end of the twine coming off the twine-ball. Again.
this won’t work, mortal
The voice was much weaker than he had been when she’d started. Good. A few more hours, and even she wouldn’t hear it anymore.
She smiled, and she began tugging, wrapping, and walking around the twine. Again.
“It will, Svarmag, thank goodness. While you deigoth can only be bound by unique memorials, they don’t have to be hanging gardens, or colossi.” She patted the oversized string ball affectionately. “Just, you know, noteworthy.”
they built the sphinx itself to bind me
Carson smiled. “And then Napoleon’s troops screwed up and let you out, I know. Though let’s be honest, if you were stored in the nose, you probably aren’t why they built the sphinx. I’d bet there were dozens of you stored in there. You were just the lucky booger who escaped.
this is not fitting. it is not permanent. it is no…
Carson felt a grin tug at her face. Oh, it would take some planning. A foundation, dedicated to the cultural impact of the ball. A little money. Some websites.
But yes. Svarmag would be bound in twine, Forever.
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I had a chance to sit down with the awesome folks of Nerdarchy at Gen Con 2018, and talk a bit about tabletop gaming, content creation, and the evolution of RPGs!
(And some thoughts on Starfinder RPG, Paizo Inc., 5th Edition D&D, Green Ronin, crowdsourcing, and more!)
If you enjoy any of the content on this blog, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!
I haven’t done one of these for a while, so:
TOP TEN INEVITABLE GEEK SHOWS
10. The Southsons Family Park and Morty
Irreverent animated family comedy that riffs off more popular shows, while trying to create its own catchphrases and making all the same mistakes and with less original writing.
Look, Supernatural has gone on forever, all the main characters have died (most more than once), and no spin-off has been produced. So:
Young hunky gender-swapped clones of the most popular characters–Deanne, Samantha, Charlie, and Cassielle, try to make their own path and escape the shadow of their originals.
A reboot of the T-Rex Transformer as a high-functioning sociopath robot that solves crimes. Seven episodes over four years!
7. Mithral Girls
Linda Carter heads up this heroines-of-a-certain-age sitcom when powerful, confident women who saved the world in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s decide retirement isn’t the best use of their golden years.
6. Crowd Hoot
UNIT was disbanded for budgetary reasons… but not everyone is willing to leave the Earth undefended. Every time a new threat looms, rogue “Companion’s Companions” gather a different force of people who have traveled in a TARDIS before to deal with it. All under the direction of the mysterious mastermind “DN.”
5. Agents of G.O.T.H.A.M
It practically writes itself, continuity be damned.
4. Throne of Games
Political intrigue, sex, betrayal, and war as a single shared video game universe groans under the weight of Smash Brothers, Tekken, Mortal Combat, and Kingdom Hearts all fighting to control the Grid. The mash-up you never asked for!
3. The Mighty Crusaders
Heroes are big, in movies and on TV. Archie Comics characters are making a big push on TV and streaming. So doesn’t it make sense for the heroes originally written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel to get their own show?
The Shield, Flygirl, the Black Hood, War Eagle (if the rights can be ironed out), the Shadow (again, rights), the Comet. The Crusade starts now!
2. Star Trek: Eugenics War
After the war, the records of what happened when got badly confused. The Eugenics War is now, and Khan is Earth’s last, best hope.
I mean, it’s worth a shot…
1. CSI: Brainiac
He’s stolen cities and destroyed planets to collect all the knowledge in the universe. But there are some unsolved mysteries throughout the galaxy Brainiac can’t stand not knowing the answers to. So the all-powerful artificial intelligence has gathered the best CSIs of all worlds and sets them to solve one mystery each week.
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Happy holidays all! Regular articles will return with the new year, but for now please enjoy this bit of silliness.
It was the Night before Adventure and all through the Party,
Not a Creature Was Stirring, their snores much too hearty.
No one on watch, they trusted a spell,
And if it didn’t work, their mage they’d give hell.
The steeds were all stabled, the familiars asleep,
The summoner’s eidolon made not a peep.
The rogue clad in mithral, paladin in full plate,
Knew the forces of evil would just have to wait.
When from camp’s edge there arose a loud scream,
Two boom, three zaps, and one laser beam.
“To arms” a knight screamed, to weapons they dashed,
Though the bard didn’t make it, his head was too bashed.
The wards all collapse, some hirelings did flee,
As a cyborg rust monster attacked us with glee.
“I won’t kill you all” it said in voice clipped,
“I’ll just rot your stuff, so your power is dipped.”
The adventurers all gasped, and considered the horrors,
Of loosing their status as bad-ass top scorers.
They rolled their initiative, and cast up their buffs,
And leaped up to engage in violent fisticuffs.
The monster did taunt them, and call them bad names,
As it used its evasion to dodge magic flames.
They stabbed it, and slashed it, and missiled it with magic,
Until its form was quite punctured, lifeless, and tragic.
The adventurers smiled, and kicked the dead brute,
For they knew in its lair, there was surely more loot.
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Sometimes things don’t go well in an RPG, and all the player characters die. This sad event is often known as a Total party Kill, or TPK.
But what ELSE could you call it, if someone asks you what your game was like the day after a wipeout?
TOP TEN ALTERNATIVES TO CALL THE GAME IF IT WAS A TPK
10. The ultimate validation of our sense that our characters faced real risks during gametime.
9. Teambuilding exercise to all travel beyond the pale.
8. Once-in-a-lifetime investment prospect involving buying a farm together.
7. Impressive group effort to push up ALL the daisies.
6. Six-way tie of the world “playing opossum” championships.
5. Story-driven opportunity for everyone to make new characters.
4. Achievement of biological function zero.
3. The “Last Stand of the Swiss Guard” memorial game session.
2. An involuntary change of the campaign to an all-outer-planes petitioners game.
1. Unscheduled playtest of the we are all dead and dying and not coming back rules.
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For more than a decade now, I have been collecting the most profound things I have written online.
Here’s a sample of more than 140 of the best examples.
“Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Goblins are the screaming, burning chaos of little minds.”
A rolling d20 gathers no moss… and delays the game until it stops %*#^ing rolling!”
A picture is worth 1,000 words. A clear, accurate, useful map is priceless.
Edition Wars were BETTER back in my day!
A fool and his money are a miniatures games company’s target audience.
A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. A gamer is the same, but also wants to tell your company with a decade or more of experience how you could do things soooo much cheaper.
A game worth playing, is worth playing badly, on the path to playing well.
If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I now understand why player characters often burn down kingdoms…
Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. At least then you know what bypasses its DR.
A house divided against itself cannot stand… unless that’s just step one of transforming into a robot.
A closed mouth gathers no foot. But with enough force, you can JAM one in there.
A good lawyer makes a bad neighbor, especially if actually they’re a superhero and villains keep dropping buildings on the law firm but some rubble crosses onto your property.
Editing (or being edited by) your spouse leads to a much closer understanding of each other… or divorce. There’s no middle ground there.
Theory: Sailor Moon is actually a were-sailor. She was bitten by a rabid sailor which is why she transforms into a hybrid scout/sailor form.
When you have a cat in your home, you MUST delight in every precious moment. Because one day you’ll wake up to a hairball in your eye.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Google Maps search.
*Absinthe* makes the heart grow fonder. Any other claim is a typo.
Moving is like doing homework so that you can exercise too hard in painful positions with the main reward being massive inconvenience.
What if you only lose your soul if picture’s taken while sneezing and no one says “bless you”? We’re one coincidence from zombie apocalypse!
It’s beginning to look like the term “testerical” may be my longest-lasting legacy. … I’d be okay with that.
A man cannot serve two masters. Well, he can, but it eats into Netflix time.
I plan to seed the ground above my burial site with caltrops.
So just LET my enemies dance on my grave…
I think Luke Skywalker has probably upgraded his prosthesis a few times since Empire Strikes Back. I think of that as my Personal Hand Canon.
I have no option about whether the chicken or the egg came first. I’m eggnostic.
I’m sorry the release date of the new RPG/Movie/Novel you were looking forward to got delayed, but…
I’m pretty sure my patronus is a fat badger. So far it doesn’t chase off dementors, but just kinda shows up and disapproves of them.
As a security measure, I like to keep passwords on post-it notes scattered around my desk. They just aren’t passwords I use for anything.
There are many ways in which game designers are like cats. Mostly, these are not related to being adorable.
Oh Fine. Apparently mixing dragons and turtles or dragons and lions is classic, but my Dragon Lobster is “dumb” and Dragolverinne “silly.”
If someone stabs you instead of crying out “touché!,” the correct response is to yell “Ouché!”
It’s hockey mask and machete, right? No wearing a human-flesh-face-and-chainsaw until after Memorial Day, as I recall Slasher Etiquette.
A man is known by the company he keeps. At least, he is if his company’s advertising budget is big enough.
A man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. His lawyer’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, either.
A man’s home is his castle. And the heating bills on castles are outrageous. I recommend renting a small fort or keep, instead.
“I’ve been trying to figure out how to attack this stronghold, but I’ve had to reconsider every plan…
“Of COURSE you have. What do you expect from a redoubt?”
A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. A college-level course can be catastrophic.
Honesty is the best policy… but honestly how many companies do you know that actually follow their own policies?
You can’t judge a book by its cover. Sentencing is even more complex, and allows an appeal.
Familiarity breeds contempt. Familiars mostly breed with fairy-dragons. And a few imps. Maybe a brownie.
All good things must come to an end. An unfortunate number of terrible things just go on, and on, and on…
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Or at least wash it off first.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. And is it too much to ask for SOMEONE to make a salad for table 7 if we have so many damn cooks?!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or… isn’t broke? What if it’s broke but kinda works? What if it’s not but it’s crappy. This proverb sucks
Cleanliness is not next to Godliness. Unless your dictionary only has 7 entries.
You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Unless you use an ostrich egg. Then it just takes the one.
Keeps your friends close, and your enemies closer. “Prayer” only has a 40-foot-radius.
Birds of a feather flock together. Dinosaurs of a feather engage in sudden but inevitable betrayal.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Unless it’s bulletproof glass. In that case, go ahead.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The squeaky kobold gets a fireball!
Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise. Also, it provokes attacks of opportunity.
Don’t learn safety rules on accident. I mean, that’s better than not learning them at all, but still.
The heaviest thing to carry is a grudge. Though it still doesn’t slow down dwarves at all. which explains a lot, actually.
One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time. Another is glossy magazine covers. A third is bad olives.
Your mind is like a parachute. Always pack it yourself, don’t wait too long to use it, and it’s better with a giant picture of Daffy Duck.
Dress for the adventure you want to go on, not the adventure in your zip code. As long as the adventure you want to go on is HR appropriate.
Labels are for cans, not people. Nutritional information should be universal. If you’re on a desert island you need to know who to eat first.
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Also the forge, volcanoes, the Elemental plane of Fire, and Arizona.
It isn’t whether you win or lose that counts, it’s how you play the game. Although constantly losing may suggest you suck at playing the game.
Always get your ducks in a row. Then, one lightning bolt later, fried duck!
Wake up and smell the coffee. Because apparently you have the technology or contacts to have coffee get made while you are still sleeping.
A bird may love a fish, but where would they live? I mean, sure a houseboat, but let’s be real even most humans can’t afford a houseboat.
“Flopportunity” – A chance to make something that could be extremely unsuccessful.
“Evil Stew” – A thick soup made from everything in the house that is “about to go bad.”
Early to bed and early to rise doesn’t actually mean you’re getting any more work done.
“Like a bat out of a handbasket.”
You reap what you sow. Which means there’s a skull with a scythe and robe that’s quietly going around sowing the heck out of things.
You have to take the bad with the good. The facts of life. The facts of life.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but “You’re never too old to learn.” Which tells me the old dog’s teacher sucks.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. So you need two cakes, which explains the American obesity epidemic.
You can lead a horse to water. Actually, can you? I am sure a few of you can, but it’s not as common a skill as it used to be.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. That’s just how the pyrotechnics spell works.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Play musical instruments as the place burns to the ground.
The way to a man’s is through his stomach. The way to a man’s stomach is for a facehugger to burst out of a yonic egg and mouthfuck him.
Variety is the spice of life. So it comes from worm butts on a desert planet.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Unless you are paid by the word, in which case for SOME reason, it doesn’t count. 😛
Two heads are better than one. Though an ettin is only CR 6 and a hill giant is CR 7, so maybe one head is actually better.
Too many chefs spoil the soup, but not enough chefs ruin the restaurant.
There’s no fool like an old fool. Well, except a young fool which, just by process of basic logic, we can determine has some similarities.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but less than three to pet their belly.
There is no honor among thieves. Which may be true, but my MAIN issue with them is that they steal things.
Strike while the iron is hot. It’s more likely to give into your union demands if it’s uncomfortable.
The squeaky wheel gets the oil, but the squeaky mouse gets eaten by the cat.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And bad intentions. And anything else the devil can get his hands on, he’s a pragmatist.
Rome was not built in a day. But it sure burned down fast.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The proof of the pie is in the radius.
Keep the home fires burning. That way your enemies have no place to sleep or change their shoes.
Practice makes perfect. I suspect that’s why so many doctors and lawyers think they’re perfect.
Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Which is why the Devil’s Advocate is such a good lawyer,
The pen is mightier than the sword. But not the vorpal sword.
One swallow does not a summer make. Which is either profound on a ‘winter is coming” level, or the tagline for bad porn.
One man’s gravy is another man’s poison. Especially with Vishkanya. Though “Vishkanya Gravy” sounds like a nasty euphemism
One good turn deserves another, but you’re just as likely to roll a 1 next turn.
Old habits die hard. I think they’re mostly worn by vampire nuns and you have to stuff holy wafers in their hems after you deravelcate them.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Which I think means all venturing is painful, according to that other proverb…
Nothing hurts like the truth. Especially +1 keen flaming truth.
No pain, no gain. Of course there’s plenty of pain that ALSO produced no gain, so fuck that.
No news is good news.
No, seriously, nowadays none of the news is good.
Necessity is the mother of invention. But does invention ever call? Ever write? Nooooooooo…
Money doesn’t grow on tree. Except black walnut. Those things are cash cows.
Misery loves company. But honestly most company is kinda sick of misery.
A man is known by the company he keeps. Unless they’re idiots and never noticed him.
Look before you leap. It’s nice to at least know where you are going to go splat.
Love is blind. Love makes the world go ’round. Which may explain why we seem to be headed to hell in a handbasket.
Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. Because if your enemies line up for a lightning bolt, they quickly learn to spread out.
A leopard can’t change its spots. A cuttlefish can. A cuttlepard is CR 5.
It takes two to tango. Also, to flank.
Man does not live by bread alone. Normally he’s also near some other stuff. Maybe a chair, or a tree.
Good things come in small packages. So do evil things. Package size is a terrible gauge for moral value.
Don’t judge a book by its cover – there are critics that will do it for you.
Don’t cry over spilled milk. You’ll get your tears in it and make it salty.
Blood is thicker than water, and harder to get out of the carpet.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but the CR isn’t as high.
Clothes make the man. A woman probably made the clothes.
Beauty is in the eye of the generic non-IP floating eye-monster with ray attacks.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That’s what catapults are for!
Actions speak louder than words. Full-round actions, especially.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Unless it’s the heart that’s absent, which makes the body grow colder.
A watched pot will not toke.
A lion won’t eat where it sleeps, but a spider must. A spiderlion is CR 5.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or a teleport spell. Plane shift works, too. Or just summon giant eagles.
If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. Unless what you love is working, in which case apparently you’re screwed.
The friends of our friends are our friends. Except Arlo. Fuck that guy.
A single stick is easily broken. A bundle of sticks is difficult to break. A stick golem is CR 5.
War has no eyes, and justice is blind. Leaving both vulnerable to sneak attack.
If you use your wealth, it diminishes. If you use your wits, they expand. If you use the critical hit deck, you lose a hand.
The foolish build walls. The wise build bridges. The wizard builds a staff of blasting.
The idiotic speak. The wise listen. The rogue rolls for initiative.
Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. But you CAN tongue-kiss it.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, bring a cleric. And a summoner, preferably with one of the broken archetypes.
“If you wait long enough by the riverbank, the bodies of your enemies will float by. But writers don’t have that kind of time.
Can you imagine if dead souls had access to social media?
“Still in Limbo. Working off sins of things I did when I was, like, 8. Really??”
Hcum gnihton spelled backwards is nothing much.
The Black Pudding is not NEARLY as evil, NOR as moist, as the Ochre Bunt Cake!
People need priorities.
Arguing about a game online with people who don’t even play with you should never be at the top.
Go home spellchecker. Your drank.
Any popular game that has human interpretation of rules is inevitably going to have people bitch about how those rules are interpreted.
I am well aware that nearly everything I do could be done by a million monkeys pounding on a million typewriters.
As a result, my career is based in large part on flinging less poo than they would.
Mint absinthe. It’s the ghost of Christmas Passed Out.
“I kept thinking a shark fin was following me, but it was just a fluke.”
Never complain about anyone but yourself. And your dice. And fascists, because frak them.
A clean conscience makes a soft pillow. But so do the corpses of your enemies.
A smile is worth a thousand words. But for some people’s smiles, those are all words of warning.
Life is more than just surviving. That’s why we have refrigerators.
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