Category Archives: Silliness
Blemmyes are one of the mythological creatures of antiquity that seem to get the least spotlight time in modern fantasy stories and games. Maybe we just need better names for Blemmyes characters?
Here are my:
Top Ten Names For Blemmyes
10. Gregory Pectoral
8. Deltoid Burke
6. Donald Stump
5. Thorax, God of Gut Thunder
4. Mary Belly’s Frankenstein
2. Howard Sturnum
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Sometimes, I have good ideas I just can’t get out of my head.
These are not those.
10. Army of the Dead Zone
A virus causes people to go crazy, bite 2-3 other people, fall into a coma, then wake up 5 years later with psychic powers. As interesting as all that sounds, this is a heist movie that doesn’t really touch on it.
9. Halloween Out of Space
A strange holiday descends from space, which no one can describe, but celebrating it involves lots of people showing up without calling first, spending time with your least favorite relatives and your boss’s family, and killing people with an axe.
8. Nightmare on Wall Street
What’s that you say, the movie Wall Street isn’t a horror film, so this isn’t a horror film mashup?
(Stares at you in late-stage capitalism.)
After conning retirees out of their life savings, a Wall Street bigwig is burned at the stake. But his greed is so great, he survives as a dream-based apparition, who can force people to pay him if they want to sleep.
7. Silence of the Quiet Place
Yes, hearing-based aliens have invaded the world and everyone must operate in complete noiselessness. But the FBI still needs to catch serial killers, even if they have to pass notes delicately written in crayon to serial killers for insight into what kind of wacko goes on a killing spree during an alien invasion.
6. Amityville of the Corn
It turns out the same architect who built the Amityville House built an identical house for himself in the corn fields of Nebraska. Sadly, entirely by coincidence the architecture itself is a form of spirit-summoning rune, and He Who Walks Behind the Corn, and the kid who wishes you to the cornfields, and the cannibalistic creeper who pretends to be a scarecrow have al moved in.
5. Bride of Young Frankenstein
The wife of Young Frankenstein decides to make her own monster, for the merchandizing potential.
4. Train to Cabin in the Woods
An evil corporation tries use supernatural monsters to kill off everyone on a train to appease evil gods who are conceptual stand-ins for the audience itself, while constantly complaining that their actions are largely pointless, derivative, and a crude cash-grab as conceptual stand-ins for what the audience are thinking. Obviously, this is a prequel.
3. The Mummy of the Opera
An opera singer’s voice is so bad, it could wake the dead. And it does.
2. Night of the Cabinet of Doctor Dracula’s Labyrinth Hostel
Doctor Dracula, professor of bloodletting, lures innocent tourists into his maze-themed air bnb so his animated cabinet can torture them. … Or something like that, anyway.
1. Interview with a Voorhees
An unkillable psychopathic murderer agrees to give a reporter an exclusive interview on what it is like to be the vengeful spirit of not letting teenagers have any fun. In the end, the Voorhees turns the reporter into a vengeful spirit of not letting teenagers have fun
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Look, we’ve all been there, trying to figure out if we are the Chosen One. Maybe we’re trying to decide if learning to speak Greek backwards while swordfighting from camelback is worth the effort. Maybe we need to know if we should pull the Scepter of Rulership from the Lake of Ill-Conceived Governmental Organization.
Maybe it’s just that our tax forms want to know our occupation.
Whatever the reason, when you are trying to decide how Chosen you may be, there are the:
Top Ten Signs You Might Be The Chosen One
10. You have visions of a giant mecha only you can pilot, an ancient sword only you can wield, a magic spell only you can pronounce, an alien army only you can command… or heck, all of the above.
9. You were born under unusual circumstances that sound like they could be spun into their own not-as-interesting prequel. Like, born during an eclipse on the side of a volcano at the exact moment the Queen of Graves was slain by Ashley Apocalypseblade.
8. There’s a prophecy about you. This is a huge giveaway… but also a crapshoot. First, prophecies about Chosen Ones are often kept from Chosen Ones for… reasons? Second, Chosen-One-Defining-Prophecies are notoriously vague. It’s almost like they’re written so after anyone does anything spectacular, you could back-translate the prophecy to make it sound like it meant them all along. (Weird, that.) Third, flattery and the Big Lie both being powerful, some people may tell you there’s a prophecy about you to get you to do what they want…. which could be something vile. So, you know, don’t do anything because you are maybe the Chosen One that you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing anyway.
7. Your name is *just* shy of sounding like a porn star name. Like Azure Bliss, or Bolt Vanderhuge.
6. You instinctively know mystic, alien, or dead languages no one has taught you. Aramaic is popular for this, but Njerep is just as good. However, if it’s Klingon or Tolkien elvish, you’re likely just the Geeky One. Esperanto only counts if you are on a world that is an endless river. Enochian could go either way.
5. Fey folk/spirits/sentient viruses/gods casually hang out with you in your head. And, yes, this does mean that some signs of being the Chosen One are easily mistaken for signs that you need therapy. Come to think of it, most Chosen Ones could use some therapy, so just go get some whether you turn out to be Chosen or not.
4. Your early life sucks, but only if it sucks in a way that specifically prepares you for greatness. Which you almost never realize at the time, so while this technically counts, it’s not actually very useful for analytic comparison, given how many people have early lives that suck.
3. You have a birthmark, scar, or blemish that is recognizably in the shape of something cool. Bonus points if it itches during thunderstorms, or glows when undead are nearby.
2. One of your best family friends is a powerful hero who has saved the world more than once… though you just think of her as “Aunt Apocalypseblade.”
1. Joseph Campbell keeps taking notes about your life, calling it a “journey.”
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There’s more Trek on the air at once than ever before, with Discovery, Lower Decks, and Picard all current shows, Brave New Worlds coming soon, and some kind of Starfleet Academy show in the works. But if Paramount Network wants all-Trek, all the time, they need more shows! So, here are the best ideas for things no one has suggested is in the works, to create enough different Trek to not overload, while maintaining weekly new episodes year-round. (Mild spoilers for existing shows, so if you aren’t up-to-date on a show and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this!)
10. Deep Space K-7
Tribbles. Klingons. Organians. There’s a lot here that would be fascinating to look at, perhaps in the Picard or even Discovery Season 3 eras.
Episode 1 begins in the middle of a multi-sided starship skirmish in an inhabited system. Then, the Burn hits, and all the active ships detonate. Only the ships that were disabled in the fight survive, and now none of them can manage on their own. The system is cut off from the galaxy, and will be for a century. The fate of one system may not matter to the long-term fate of the galaxy, but for the ships’ crews and billions of lives on inhabited systems that can no longer benefit from stellar trade, there’s a real question to whether or not they can survive in the embers.
Yes, a scifi show about legal issues is a tough sell. But Star Trek has had several interesting legal drama episodes (on more than one of its series), and a think, for example, a Federal Mobile Circuit Court Ship, going from place to place to sort out complex legal issues (and get into trouble now and then, like all legal procedurals seem to nowadays) could be very different, but also very fun.
7. Mudd and Jones
Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd And Cyrano Jones aren’t friends. They aren’t allies. They definitely aren’t champions of justice or peace. But they ARE resourceful, and after they booth end up in the same Orion prison they are given an opportunity for full pardons, and a considerable payday, if they work together to solve a major issue. Which turns out to be more complex, and go deeper, than anyone expected. Smuggling, piracy, illegal goods, the fringes of society, shadow ports, all places we know Star Trek has, but have rarely seen, become the backdrop of these two’s reluctant adventures and, despite themselves, occasional heroics.
6. Phase II: The Animated Adventures
Yep, do Phase II of the original Starship Enterprise as a serious animated show, with visuals matching the original cast and voice actors doing their best representations of their voices. And maybe include a horta navigator, and a Gorn attaché, and other weirdness that’s cheaper to draw than do live.
Ten thousand “lower-cases,” young Qs (written as ‘q’s” and ‘queues’) have been unleashed from the Continuum Nursery into the Lower Planes… and while they lack the cosmic power they’ll eventually grow into, and are often influenced by cultural beliefs and legends on the worlds and ships they find themselves (often limiting their potential to become full Qs as they become sidelined into acting as Greek Gods, for example), these q’s can still disrupt the entire galaxy. Most will eventually fade back into the Continuum, a few will evolve into full Qs, but the Continuum is not willing to allow them to be destroyed, or let them run rampant. Trelane, just recently evolved to full Q status, is assigned to wrangle them, and he adopts a merchant ship, the Free Trader Squire, to act as his primary agents in finding, talking down, and if need be quarantining the queues. Whether the crew of the Squire like that, or not. With as many guest appearances by John De Lancie as he feels like sparing.
4. Assignment: Earth
Set in the modern day, with Gary 7, Carl (Gateway of Forever), and touching on the ongoing repercussions of various Time Wars (and how they created alternate timelines), without being *about* a time war. A hopeful show about how well humanity can do with a little help.
3. Real McCoys
The USS McCoy is a Medical Frigate with a reputation for solving the most perplexing and dangerous galactic medical issues. Totally unarmed, trust deflectors and diplomacy to keep it safe, it often enters hostile territory and missions of mercy, and is so well-respected that even active foes of the Federation over escort it safely through their space.
2. Honor of the Empire
A Klingon-focused show, possibly with a Federation officer assigned to Qo’noS as the fish-out-of-water POV character. Could be set anytime, with characters in a Qo’nos-orbit starbase if it’s after the planet has been evacuated.
1. These Are the Voyages
An anthology series focusing on a different starship, captain, and crew for every episode. These Are the Voyages isn’t tied to one specific time period, timeline, crew, or culture; the episodes are only united by the fact they are all in A Star Trek universe, and they all focus on a ship and its crew. Some could be showing us the later adventures of characters we know (Captain Sulu! Captain Worf!), others could be non-Federation ships, historic events we know must have happened (the Romulan/Vulcan split, the first Gorn ftl flight, Mirror Universe Spock’s fall, since we have a new Spock actor or two), and even Anaxar.
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Look, maybe you want to run a fantasy ttRPG with giant animated fruitcake warriors… and maybe you’ll just get a giggle out of my actually taking this topic seriously. But if you want to reskin some class iron, clay, and stone constructs (or any construct-type creature) into holiday-themed materials, here are some options for powers to add based on the holiday material used.
Figgy Pudding/Fruitcake: Take half damage from bludgeoning attacks. Are sticky, so they gain a climb speed.
Gingerbread: As almost 2-d, flexible creatures, they can get through spaces a creature 2 size classes smaller could, without taking any penalties. Any fire damage sets them on fire, both damaging them and causing their attacks to do fire damage.
Holly: Anyone hit by the construct, or adjacent to it for a full round, must make a mental save or move towards the person present they would be most interested in kissing (though once they take that move, all compulsion stops).
Hot Cocoa: Gains all the powers of both a fire elemental and a water elemental of the same threat level. takes double damage from bite attacks.
Peppermint: These constructs are “curiously strong.” Tracking them by scent is easy, but they cover all other scents, and after being in an enclosed space for a minute, scent can no longer pinpoint their exact location with that space.
Yes, it started as a joke. But I do ADORE making these, so you all get to be exposed to this overwrought exercise in my humor.
I’m not even sure why this is funny to me. Maybe the thought I would go to this much effort (hint: it wasn’t much effort) for something no one is likely to ever actually use? Also, just because you roll it up randomly here doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t already used it, so employ due diligence before you actually publish anything with a name you got here. Any similarity between randomly generated Ampersand ttRPG names and real-world copyright material or trademarks is, obviously, either unintentional, or a result of parody.
Using the Generator is simple. Roll once on Table 1, add an Ampersand (“&”), then roll ocne on table 2. If you don’t like it (“Burrows & Dynasties” sounds terrible) You should also see if a randomly-generated Ampersand ttRPG name sounds between when you reverse the two elements. I personally think “Wyverns & Warrens” sounds much better than “Warrens & Wyverns,” but your mileage may vary.
(In fact, I like Wyverns and Warrens so much I am unofficially putting my finger on it, and hoping no one else uses it before I get a chance to, or I give up on the idea.).
Table 1: Roll 1d100
Table 2: Roll 75
76-78. the Occult
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Need an epic-sounding name for your fantasy novel, adventure, game setting, heavy metal album, or just to mess with people ebcause it sounds like the name of something?
Roll 1d100 for the first word on the first column, then add “of,” then another d100 to determine the second word, from the second column.
No, “Queen of Tempests” may not be the best fantasy title out there… but there are certainly worse, and rolling that up took me all of 30 seconds.
01-02. Blood Blood
03-05. Chronicles Crystal
06-07. Conquest Darkness
08-10. Destiny Death
11-12. Empire Demons
13-15. Forest Destiny
16-17. Game Dragons
18-20. Heart Dreams
21-23. Kingdom Dungeons
24-26. Kings Fire
27-29. Lands Graves
30-32. League Ice
33-34. Legacy Legends
25-37. Legend Light
38-40. Lord Mercy
41-43. Magic Night
44-46. Mask Omens
47-49. Minion Oracles
50-52. Mission Paradise
53-55. Path Placename*
56-58. Queen Rings
59-61. Quest Roses
62-64. Record Runes
65-67. Reign Secrets
68-70. Shadow Shadows
71-72. Song Sigils
73-74. Sword Stone
75-77. Tale Storms
78-80. Talisman Tempests
81-83. Thief Thorns
84-86. War Thrones
87-89. Wheel Talismans
90-91. Wishstones Time
92-94. Witch Truth
96-97. World Vengeance
98-00. Wraith Warcraft
*Just pick any fantasy-sounding place here. If you can’t
think of one, spell a prescription drug backward. “War of Lirponisil” is as
good as some real titles get.
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Top Ten Things Wizards Watch on Crystal Balls When They Think No One is Looking
We know what videos people watch in the modern world. But what visions are popular in a crystal-ball enable fantasy reality? You can use this for background info in a typical fantasy game, or along with my list of Top Ten Modern Crystal Balls, or just giggle and never think about it again.
10. Cat Visions
Most of the ethereal plane is just filled with visions of cute cats. Often paranormal cats. Winged kittens playing with floating baby flumphs and chimera cubs chasing their own dragon-heads are particularly popular.
9. Critical Hit Visions
It’s often entertaining to watch heroic people to amazing things, and cheer their spectacular successes!
8. Critical Fumble Visions
But it is MUCH more entertaining to watch people accidentally hit themselves in the head with the sharpened bottom end of a gnomish hook hammer, or wrap a spiked chain around their own legs.
7. Waterfalls and Thunderstorms
A lot of mages tune in to tranquil sounds to sleep. … Others know air and water elementals want them dead, and keep a constant, paranoid watch out on any scene that might hide a rogue wave or ill wind plotting their death.
6. How-Do Ritual Demonstrations
Once you have a crystal ball, it’s a good idea to expand your repertoire of rituals… especially privacy rituals that keep other people from watching visions of your critical fumbles.
5. Reaction Visions
If you know where to watch, you can see the looks on adventurer’s faces when they discover the “white dragon” they were hunting with flaming weapons is a “wight dragon,” an undead fire dragon immune to both flame and ice.
4. Make-Up Tips
Face it, people just take mages with on-point eyebrows more seriously, and there’s a fine line between the perfect “necromancer eye” look, and people thinking you have smudged soot on your face.
3. Tick Tock
No one is sure why, but the Paraelemental Plane of Clockwork has a lot of dancing on it…
Okay, okay, technically this is “prognostication,” but seeing snippets of the future is just a form of previews, right?
Look, we all knew this was going to be #1. And if we hadn’t lumped all porn sub-genres into one category? Then the whole list would have been porn. Some extraplanar entities make a living with acts of lovemaking mortals can barely comprehend, which can only be viewed by mages who pay to know the password to scry past the “wall of pay” warding.
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After the burning controversy over if fire elementals shouldn’t be immune to damage from fires, along with a guest blog retort with counter-proposals, I decided to go in a different (sillier) direction today:
Top Ten Bad Ideas for TV Shows Featuring Fire Elementals
10. The Larry Smolders Show
Can a fire elemental host a late-night talk and variety show? Well, with the catchphrase “I’m What’s Hot!,” Larry Smolders is sure going to try!
9. How I Met Your Tinder
A mature fire elemental explains to its offspring lil’ flames how it met the prime flammables its burned to create them. But it’s a long, twisting, story, and no one is sure what’s getting turned into coals until the last episode. And somehow there’s a dating app involved?
8. Gun’s Smoke
Marshall Ash Dillon is an Really Wild West lawman descended in part from fire elementals. He is know as having a deadly firearm… er… fire-arm, that is an arm made of fire, allowing him to shoot flaming bolts from empty revolvers if needed to enforce the law.
7. Torch Wood
Time-traveling fire elementals posing as humans pose as government agents to hunt down aliens posing as faeries posing as good Samaritans so they can turn people in rosace à l’orange.
It kinda loses the track in season 7.
6. The George Burns and Blazie Allen Show
Look, Burns and Allen are good TV, even if they are fire elementals.
Set during the Planar War, the Arcane Surgical Hospital does their best to patch up injured elementals, genies, celestials, and fiends, often with elemental doctors cauterizing wounds while trying to crack jokes to stay sane.
4. Fawlty Wiring Towers
A nasty comedy set in a hotel with an owner so cheap the wiring keeps sparking small fires… which are inevitable annoyed minor fire elementals that would rather be back in their native land than stuck burning down this moldering building.
Burnlock Holmes, a fire elemental that is the greatest detective on the elemental planes, works with his assistant Waterson, to solve cross-planar crimes.
2. Burndownton Abby
In the smoldering wreck of a once-fine manor, aristocratic flame elementals ignore the fact that once the last bits of wood and cloth have been consumed, their life of consuming fine flammables will end.
1. Censor For Hire
Censor is a private detective tiny fire elemental that was part of a military Fire Team during the Planar War, who ended up on a watch list forbidding planar travel. As a result he lives in a small censor on the material plane. He is hired by other detectives (who them have to carry him around, since he can’t leave his censor), or sometimes local police, to help with cases too baffling, or too dangerous, for them to handle on their own.
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For no particular reason: Bad Ideas for Geeky Reality Shows!
10. Rules of the Road — A group of gamers is put together on a tour buss to hit every convention they can, with a tight budget for each of them, during the summer convention season. During each convention there are challenges to earn points, with the lowest points-earning risking elimination after each con.
9. The Ring Guild — Contestants are isolated in individual apartments, only able to communicate with each other through a horror MMORPG, the Ring. And only while actively participating in risky zones Do well in the game, and you get benefits to upgrade your apartment. If you die in the game, you are cut off from interaction for hours or, in extreme cases, days.
8. Hell’s Dev Pit — A team of professional game designers, project managers, and business experts are brought in to save a struggling game company each week.
7. Keeping Up with the Kreators — Eight professionals in the ttRPG world have cameras brought into their lives, to see what it is actually like to live the life of game creator.
6. Horror Survivor — Contestants are put up in a spooky mansion, broken into multiple secret societies, and must play a different survival horror game each night. Doing well can earn immunity, but otherwise one person from a randomly-determined secret society is voted off each episode.
5. The Curse of Pulp Genre — Cameras follow a team of creators as they try to launch a profitable pulp ttRPG line.
4. Roll of the Dice — Tabletop gamers are placed in a nonstop-conventionlike atmosphere with rooms set up with games, dice, terrain, rulebooks, and famous game designers. But if anyone is caught actually playing a game, they are kicked off the compound.
3. The Great British GameMastering Show — Britain’s best ttRPG Game Masters must create from scratch scenarios for popular ttRPGs and run them for a series of juges, with one getting eliminated each week.
2. Game Room Makeover — Each week a different gaming group’s game room is made over for function, fashion, and fun!
1. 90 Days to Air — Teams of total strangers who happen to be fans of different geeky hobbies are thrown together and must compete to have a podcast up and running within 90 days.
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