Thursday 17 November 2022

[MODULE] The Forest of Gornate (NOW AVAILABLE!)

The Forest of Gornate
I am pleased to announce the publication of
The Forest of Gornate. With cover and interior art by Denis McCarthy, and illustrations by Stefan Poag and Jerry Boucher, this is a 32-page module for characters level 3rd to 5th, describing an expansive forest in the pointcrawl format, as well as the mini-dungeons therein. Located next to the city of Mur (described In the Shadow of the City-God, a module that connects to, but is not essential for enjoying this one), the Forest of Gornate is a place of fallen civilisations, strange denizens, and natural wonders. Seek the treasures of a mysterious villa, the secrets of a reclusive bandit leader, win the patronage of the ancient and sinister Guild of Judges, or strike out on your own to seek fame and fortune in the forests, and the lands beyond. This is a scenario with 42+39 keyed areas, adventure hooks, rumours, and random encounters offering numerous possibilities for open-ended exploration and player-driven adventure inspired by Scorpion Swamp, the Fighting Fantasy classic.

“South of the dark walls of Mur, an overgrown forest lies between two mountain ranges. Its namesake, the immortal beast Gornate, noted for his thirty-six eyes and a peculiar taste for collecting human spinal columns, has made no sign of his presence in many years. Even so, the woodlands hide numerous dangers. Robber bands, man-eating beasts, abandoned manor houses and mysterious ruins dot a land divided by rivers and mountain ridges. The people of the city rarely venture into the forest, but recently, three notabilities have expressed an interest in sponsoring a hazardous, but lucrative expedition. While serving three masters may be too much for a single adventure, a resourceful and lucky company could return rich from… the Forest of Gornate!

The print version of the fanzine is available from my Bigcartel store; the PDF edition will be published through DriveThruRPG with a few months’ delay. As always, customers who buy the print edition will receive the PDF version free of charge.

Gornate is watching!

Sunday 6 November 2022

[BEYONDE] A Few Thoughts on Why the Twitter Deal is Significant

That's terror.
[This is obviously not gaming related.]

With one of the larger swamps drained and the political commissars dismissed, the grift ecosystem will become more competitive and overcrowded, while gaps in the enforcement system emerge. If more companies and institutions did something similar, it would overwhelm and implode the control system. Since it could not feed its army of woke enforcers, it would not not be able to successfully harness its own distributed network as an effective weapon against single, isolated targets. In the last decade, the managerial elites have, in effect, successfully centralised the distributed systems of the Internet, and gained dictatorial power over the individual, and even the individual organisation. Whether this is a coordinated effort by the managerial elites or an end result of impersonal social forces (or more likely, the former exploiting and leveraging the latter – large-scale social "hacking"), this is where we have been heading.

An uncontrolled Twitter alone does not win the war for a free Internet, but it allows people to actually fight battles, which they currently can't without swift and brutal counter-action. There is a good reason platform ownership is so important to the managerial class. A reformed, reasonably open Twitter would be a constant hole in their control scheme, from which further cracks could spread outwards, and which would allow their opponents to speak up and organise.

The totalitarian Chinese-style information management model they desire cannot exist in a free society, because then their leverage, the ability to snuff you out for non-compliance is gone. Individuals could just walk away from them or say "nah" to their unhinged demands. Imagine campus radicals in an environment that is even halfway like the 1990s. It just would not work, because their views are weird and repugnant to normie. It would be hilarious if they couldn’t just terminate you for even laughing at them. If Twitter is indeed opened up, other companies may also get the idea that the whole ESG/Blackrock/woke control model is harmful to their interests (a lot of them obviously think so privately, if only because it restricts their own power). It is not the beginning of the end, but at least it is in the end of the beginning.

Yes, JC. In fact, I do.
This is why the Twitter deal is so significant, and why it will be good even if Based Freeze Peach Man is not going to deliver on every hope people have pinned on him. (It is itself an abnormality that so much hinges on the whims of one super-rich guy, but there you have it.) At least he gave us a battleground and a fighting chance.

If you read this in the Deus Ex Liberty Island Guy voice, you are not off the mark. We all live in the world of Deus Ex now – but that is for another post.

[Note, as an exception to the normal way things are done on this blog, this post is not open to comments. You can notice the irony. In a free world, such decisions and disclaimers would not be, and perhaps once will not be necessary.]

Thursday 3 November 2022

[REVIEW] The Crypt of Terror

The Crypt of Terror
The Crypt of Terror (2022)

by Jeff Simpson with Kim Kuffner

Published by Buddyscott Entertainment Group

Levels 8-9

Since Swords & Sewercery, Buddyscott Entertainment has established itself as a publisher of short PDF adventures. These releases are simple, matter-of-fact booklets around 12 pages each, featuring stickman art, homemade maps, and a surprising amount of good content. This post is a review of the most recent one, but the others are mostly similar in scope, style and quality.