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Essential Viewing for a Weird Campaign

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A good Ref takes inspiration from everywhere. Books, graphic novels, video games, movies, television. What's the canon? Where is the weird? We need an Appendix N. It's pretty hard to find many films that meet the standards of the type of games we try to run. To that end, I'm going to be doing a couple of posts about some movies that will give solid inspiration for atmosphere, aesthetics, creatures, and to a lesser degree, structure (because being a slave to structure is antithetical to good refereeing, particularly in the OSR). I will avoid spoilers without warning and give content warnings where appropriate. Every film comes with my recommendation. Of course, there is no way to begin a series like this without addressing the elephantine abomination in the torture room, the most obvious, perhaps even cliche choices of inspiration for a deadly, dark and weird game. The Obvious The VVitch by Robert Eggers This is one of a few films which will instantly be brought up

Welcome to our Not-Human-Sacrifice Feast, Outsiders! (Sirenswail Session 3)

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Date: Late summer 1640 Location: The Island of Sirenswail, southwest of Cornwall Cast: Shio the Alice, Gundislavus the Magic-User, Helga of the Ulvenbrigad, Harold the Mule  Previously:   Arriving at Sirenswail, the party was greeted by the beautiful Sarah Marvale and her father Lord Arthur, who guided them to the idyllic village on the Island. Presently: The winding path from the beach along the cliffs took the party past beautiful golden fields of wheat and orchards of fruit trees laden with bounty. Lord Marvale was immediately open about the Island, telling them that their community served as a safe haven for users of magic and believers of faiths persecuted by Puritans and their Witchfinders. They sought out folk like the party and employed Rennie to bring them to the Island on the White Wind , where they hoped they would choose to join them and grow their numbers. And they wanted the party to celebrate with them, because they would soon be having a feast!  As their tour took the

Mr. Marvale's Neighborhood (Sirenswail Session 2)

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Date: Late summer 1640 Location: The White Wind , en route from Penzance to the island of Sirenswail Cast: Shio the Alice, Gundislavus the Magic-User, Helga of the Ulvenbrigad, Harold the Mule   Cosplay by Kanasaiii Previously: Ambushed by a child vampire of the Heart faction native to Shio's "Underland", our party tends to wounds and prepare to search for it, hiding in maggot form in the hold. Presently: The sound of the struggle awoke a drunken sot passed out behind a stack of supplies. He introduced himself as Gundislavus, described by Dylan as Dan Harmon in wizard clothes. He questioned their panicked state, and was further puzzled by their explanation in his recently-awoken, still hung-over state. Nevertheless, he was convinced of their truthfulness, because why would you not take the word of an absentminded youth, one-armed Amazon warrior and mule which seemed to be huffing and puffing in a fashion remarkably similar to a human biting their tongue in the presence

Don't join the illuminati through my comment section... (w/ bonus NPC)

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  Yup, I have the best chatbots. This has been going on for quite some time. Either the rest of you OSR bloggers are more fastidious in maintaining your comments, or I have done something to attract the attention of the great esoteric order of the cyber-illuminati. This really is great entertainment (for me at least). I'm not deleting their comments. Read them, be entertained by them. Please don't click them, get phished, and have your identity stolen and your cash converted into bitcoin.   Bonus Gameable Content: The inspiration for this NPC Dr. Odion Level 3 Specialist 9HP Armor 12 Dagger 1d4  Languages 3-in-6, Alchemy 4-in-6, Medicine 4-in-6   Elias Odion is an accomplished physician and apothecary. He is a servant of those in need alongside his husband Corbin. He provides his services as charity, provided he can do so while avoiding notice from those who distrust herbology and curative medicine beyond simple understanding. He has learned the arts of mundane medicine throu

Mules, Maggots & Murder, Oh My! (Sirenswail Session 1)

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Spoilers for Sirenswail, an LotFP-compatible adventure for characters levels 1-3 written by David Mitchell. It’s available in  print on Lulu and  pdf on DriveThru. The adventure is recommended for 5-8 characters, but I ran it over 3 sessions with only 1 player for the first, and a second for sessions 2 & 3. This went just fine. Date: Late summer 1640 Location: Penzance, southeast England Cast: Shio the Alice, displaced into 17th century earth (Kelly), Gundislavus the Magic-User (Dylan, enters Session 2), Harold, Shio’s faithful bright pink talking mule. Dry of wit and jaded in character. (Kelly-controlled NPC), Helga the barbarian Amazon traveling abroad. Her wolf companion was recently killed and her arm lost in battle, and she carries its still-bloody pelt with her in a state of sorrow, seeking solace from the loss of her friend. (Party-controlled NPC) The adventure begins in the town of Penzance, where young Shio has tumbled through a mirror in the Land of Unreason into a sma

Mork Borg Session: Rotblack Sludge

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The Accursed Den (but upside down) Rotblack Sludge is the introductory adventure included in the Mork Borg core book. It's well-suited to a one-shot, as are the ones created by Mork Borg's DNGNGN . I ran it for 3 players, using 2 characters each in case of a high body count. This report will include spoilers, obviously.  The players: Kelly Quinn Dylan Our heroes:   Quaker Mary the Dark Traveler. Occult Herbmaster, cowardly and prone to substance abuse. (Kelly) Doctor Dizzy the escaped cultist. Esoteric Hermit, alcoholic and extremely loud with a phlegm problem. (Kelly) Dun Kirk the Zweihander-wielding Gutterborn Scum. Wasteful, ruthless, and stutters when he lies (constantly). (Quinn) Roman the repugnant. Esoteric Hermit, vindictive and lazy. (Quinn) Chastity Goodfellow the Rotten Nihilist. Occult Herbmaster, former slave of a witch, shrewd and giggly. Has 4 monkey companions named Caligula, Nero, Ivan, and Mary, Queen of Scots. (Dylan) *Scream of a dying man* (the actual sound

Spells That Are Fucking Metal: Ocean of Wounds

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Sometimes there's just not enough blood. Blood on the ground. Blood on the walls. Blood on the ceiling. Blood on basically everything. Well, here's the solution you've been waiting for! Like all Weird Magic spells, it does not have an obvious, easy application. It's messy, terrifying, has awful consequences, and a very imbalanced power level which can make it either amazing or terrible, depending on how strategically it is used. But basically if you want to rain blood, well, here you go. Abbath by Abbath Ocean of Wounds No./Area Affected: 10’ x CL area up to a range of 10’ x CL  Duration: Until ended by caster. The suffering of the world is not fleeting. It is not past, not gone; it persists to pollute the world over  eons. Its crushing id is perceptible in dark moments and brushes with death. It is an ocean in which all  things will drown, choking. Ocean of Wounds opens this glut of gore and pain, releasing it back into the  delicate, placid plane of reality.