Monday, September 3, 2018

The Godfaced Lands

The Dumontiluvian War rages across the vast, pockmarked skinlands of the Godfaced valley of He-who-Hungers, with the roving hordes battling to drive their enemies into the massive, screaming gorge whose walls rise up and crest into a fang-rimmed chasm known as the End of the World.

Vulturemen on shackled, enslaved hawkbeasts soar overhead and dive to feast on the dead left behind in the greater war between the ratmen on their giant human-headed spider beasts, facing insect-people on goat beasts, and pigmen riding lizard beasts joined in battle against octopi riding crab monsters.

Yeah so, I've started work on a new project. It's just a short and silly thing to get my creative juices flowing again, but of course I'm already hungry to see artwork based on the brief I posted above, and I've reached out to Michael Raston ( to help me flesh out the setting and concept a bit more.

My thought is this is all there is to the world; just the face. The face itself has been ripped off of a God, so there’s a Faceless God out there somewhere. Probably a little pissed to be missing their face.

So it’s clearly a ripped off face floating in darkness I guess? Although the world has some kind of day/night cycle, some kind of atmosphere and physics and gravity making it all work.

I’m not great at writing right now but I kind of envision this place as a weird, Alice-in-Wonderland-kind-of-weird place, where it has its own sense of logic and reality that functions for the bizarre factions that are all engaged in ridiculous war for no reason.

As for the rider/mounts:

Vulturemen riding shackled hawkbeasts.
Clearly at some time the hawkbeasts were free roaming. The gangly vulturemen, In all their skeksi-like glory, have imprisoned them, quite possibly in heavy and burdensome shackles making flight difficult but possible, but hardly graceful. And the vulturemen could fly themselves, but they are lazy and hate to use their wings.

Breathing-mask wearing humans riding giant ticks.
No idea where the masks come from or why they are needed but the only humans present wear ornate face masks wit breathing apparatuses attached and ride gigantic black ticks.

Ratmen in howdahs riding gigantic human heads on spider legs.
Weirdest of the mounts, the massive human heads are the heads of priests and kings who once served the now faceless god. Clearly for them this landscape is some kind of version of hell. They do not speak but probably appear angry or distressed as they are ridden into combat.

Insect-men on dual-headed goat monsters.
The goats have two heads aligned vertically, and seem to constantly be in pain. The insect-men are regal in design, each warrior atop a goatbeast a prince of their hive.

Pigmen riding lizard beasts.
The pigmen (NOT pig-nosed orcs) were the worshipers of the Faceless God when he had a face. This too, like the priests and kings mentioned above, is their version of hell. They ride atop horse-like lizard/dinosaur beasts.

Octopi warriors atop crablike monsters.
Somewhere there is an ocean whose water smashes against a beach, and it is from this place these warriors rise. Fierce and intelligent, the octopi wield multiple weapons as they ride their crablike behemoths into battle.

Six factions so far. I'll probably (or Michael will) come up with a few more. Maybe it will be possible to mix and match Rider and mount, with the above outline being only one possible outcome. I suppose each rider and mount has unique advantages and disadvantages in play.

With a great deal of thanks to everyone on Google+ who contributed ideas and suggestions!

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Thing in the Sky

So here's a thing I had made:

Artwork by D. L. Johnson. Copyright 2018.

If you don't know, I run my own game company called In Search of Games. We're focused on producing old school game products, like the Ennie-nominated Santa is Dead as well as Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos, both products written by Evey Lockhart (both products are also Copper Sellers and available for download and purchase on DrivethruRPG).

So I have this artwork made by D.L. Johnson, and nothing yet planned for it.

Which is where you come in. If you or someone you know would be interested in work, I'm accepting pitches for a small product that makes use of the above featured artwork. Payment is $.10/word, plus profit shares.

Send your pitches to me directly at

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Vivisextrator

This post comes from a lot of hard work, and practically none of it is mine. Michael Raston, whose work I linked to in my previous post, took some old writing of mine and vastly improved upon it, rounding out what was intended to be a factory of monster creation that I just wasn’t capable of finishing myself.

So here is the Vivisextrator, a gargantuan bio-factory that vomits up new monstrous creations. Initial description by me, random tables by Michael.

For more of Michael’s work, be sure to check out

The Vivisextrator: A Monstrostifactorhemoth
A remnant super-structure of the Biode Hexegemony (a hegemony governed by witch-based ritual power), the Vivisextrator is a behemoth-sized living factory that has recombinant DNA glands that constantly churn and fuse living shapes together; effectively, its mucus makes monsters, and it vomits up random creations.
It's constantly in motion, and its massive cylindrical legs trample everything underneath as it walks. Each leg stalk ends in a stump with a wide mouth at the bottom, which pull all sorts of material from the ground into the beast's conversion gut, which reprocesses materials for use in monster creation.
Thankfully, the creature moves pretty slowly.
Two rows of tall, hollow bone-spires jut out from the behemoth's spine, exhausting wasted gaseous flesh clouds. These clouds can travel great distances and, depending on precipitation, cause meat-bone storms to occur even miles away from the Vivisextrator.
In addition, this exhaust tends to attract Parasitic Rust Vultures who make nests around the bone spires.
Killing the factory should be almost impossible; Not only can we assume it has over 1000 hit points, but it's also pretty well armored and pumps out radiation like a nuclear reactor in meltdown; which is pretty much what the environment inside its skull/brain/control center is.
If someone gained access to the control center, they'd find themselves plunged into a compartment crammed full of thick meat folds and putrescent mucus. If they figure out how to work the controls, they theoretically could control the beast's movement, its feeding, and it's monster creation, but they'd also have to deal with life-ending radiation baths every round.
More importantly, the factory serves the purpose of vomiting an endless assortment of random creatures that are eager to stab players in the face (not all of them), so onto the random charts!
Start Here: 
Size, d6: 
1-3 Medium, 2HD, No. App: D6
4-5 Large, 5HD, No. App: D3
6 Huge, 12HD, No. App: Solitary
Head form, d20: 

1. Man, malformed and brutish, leering eyes and flaring nostrils. 
2. Amoebic sludge, quivering and featureless mass, barely held together with surface tension. 
3. Beetle, compound eyes and huge, sharp, strong mandibles. 
4. Fish, scales, enormous and expressionless eyes, drab gulping maw. 
5. Bird, long, sharp and cruel beak, beady eyes of pure hate. 
6. Toad, encrusted with warts, huge slit of mouth with lolling and grasping tongue. 
7. Lizard, hypnotizing and lurid eyes, thick scales and strong biting jaw. 
8. Bat, elaborate mechanism of a nose, flesh folds, dish like ears that hear all. 
9. Crocodile, almost all jaw, mouth and teeth, ancient and dispassionate eyes. 
10. Cat, dangling whiskers and small, quick teeth, eyes that laugh at the terror it inflicts. 
11. Ape, wizened eyes, leathery flesh, huge ears that dangle aside tufts of fur. 
12. Wolf, A drooling snarl, wrinkling and knowing nose that smells all.  
13. Bear, dead, black and empty eyes, a deafening and terrifying growl. 
14. Flower, scintillating patterns of petals, swirling hypnotically, defusing poisonous perfume. 
15. Vine tangle, mess of a mass of ever twirling, tangling green ropes. 
16. Shark, All mouth and teeth, eyes blank and dumb. 
17. Stone, featureless rock, somehow points towards target with unnerving accuracy.  
18. Flame, burns in a myriad of colours, huge and menacing. 
19. Gas, wafts in all directions from an ever replenishing neck hole, at times vague features form.  
20. Mechanical, plates of bio-organic gears and cogs, formed into a jaw of horror. 
# of Heads
We start with heads because the BETTER TO EAT YOUR FACE WITH
1. None
2. One, but you can roll again if you prefer. Get this twice and it's definitely one head (boring) but deal with it.
3. Two. Same as above because TWO HEADS ARE JUST AS BORING.
4. Four heads. Now we're talking.
5. One head that shares two bodies.
6. Two, but heads terminate at end of arm-like limbs.
7. Two different heads, roll twice on the head table. 
8. Three different heads, roll three times on the head table. 
9. Head is another body, roll twice on the body form table. 
10. One but head is in torso. 
11. Roll again, but instead of heads it's tentacles where the heads should be.
12. Roll again but instead of heads it’s just a mouth where the heads should be.
Body form, d20: 
  1. 1. Man, lumbering arms and legs, naked with ponderous genitals hanging. 
  2. 2. Amoebic sludge, globular, rolling and quivering mass, ill formed and slow. 
  3. 3. Beetle, scuttling, six legged and heavily armoured with thick carapace.  
  4. 4. Fish, silvery and twisting, bizarrely floating through the air. 
  5. 5. Bird, foul feathers, long scabrous hook taloned claw feet, flaps through the air. 
  6. 6. Toad, squat, wet, boil, pus and mould covered, slowly crawls or suddenly leaps.  
  7. 7. Lizard, huge claws and swatting tail, scrabbles and scrambles along. 
  8. 8. Bat, Enveloping, black leathered wings ending in poisoned claws. 
  9. 9. Crocodile, scaled, long and flat, gouges the land as it drags itself forward.  
  10. 10. Cat, furred, quick and graceful, liquid in motion, a natural hunters body. 
  11. 11. Ape, gangling and drooping, thick leathered skin with tufts of fur, all muscle and stomach. 
  12. 12. Wolf,  blunt, pointed and sprinting, hurtles deadly head towards target. 
  13. 13. Bear, huge, slow and thick, shambling mass of thick flesh and muscle. 
  14. 14. Flower, creeping, delicate, uncountable feet of dizzying petals. 
  15. 15. Vine tangle, ever morphing and transforming mass, sometimes flat, sometimes round. 
  16. 16. Shark, long, sleek floating gullet, never stops darting about. 
  17. 17. Stone, tumble and rolls forward grinding all in its path to dust. 
  18. 18. Flame, a rolling brush fire destroying all of existence, leaves desolation in its wake. 
  19. 19. Gas, seeping, disgusting and fetid, dissipating and forming around the central head mass. 
  20. 20. Mechanical, bio-organic, stilts, spikes and claws, formed into a spindly stalker. 
Additional Attack ability, d20: (Assume all forms of attack implied by head and body). 
  1. Spews sparking lighting from orifice or limbs. 
  2. An enormous blade, mace or lance affixed to limb or made from own flesh.  
  3. Impaling horns, skewering victims with charging. 
  4. Is fast beyond measure, d8 extra attacks a round. 
  5. Eyes are huge and piercing and stops the heart of the weak willed. 
  6. Breath destroys and corrodes, d4; 1.Flesh, 2. Vegetation, 3. Mineral, 4. Stone. 
  7. Vomits tsunamis of choking and diseased water. 
  8. A blast of deathly brain melting migraine emanates from brow. 
  9. Belches plumes of red flame and fire. Is ever smoking acrid black smoke. 
  10. Touch of fingers destroys and corrodes, d4; 1.Flesh, 2. Vegetation, 3. Mineral, 4. Stone.  
  11. Warps and twists bones of victim through sheer power of mind. 
  12. Expulses poisonous yellow gas which melts lungs of victims. 
  13. Can leap great distances and plummet into victim, near killing them in a single blow. 
  14. Chameleon stalked eyes that turn victims to stone with gaze. 
  15. A moon like shield of bone, metal, crystal or scale that reflects back damage to attackers
  16. Trampling, stomping oversized feet, or a bony, deformed, body fused battering ram. 
  17. Barbed tentacle whips erupt from body, from back, torso or limbs. 
  18. Harbours hivegrowths that biting clouds of insects erupt from. 
  19. Sirenesque scream that, d4: 1) Bursts eardrums, 2) Seduces, 3) Maddens, 4) Stupefies
  20. A bank of spines that can be fired like a rain of arrows, replenishes hourly. 
Form mutation, d20: 
  1. The dead rise around it, bent to its will to serve it. 
  2. Glows and shines brightly, inflicting awe on those that see it. 
  3. Ever covered by a miasma of dark shadow. 
  4. Befouls and corrupts the very land it walks upon. 
  5. Is constantly expulsing corrupted eggs of its own kind. 
  6. Is increased in size by one, is now the bearer of a deadlier monster, cradled in its arms. 
  7. Is made of prismatic and iridescent quartz, either craggy or smooth. 
  8. Is made of twisting and gnarled living wood, can regrow lost limbs wit time. 
  9. Is skeletal, made of pure bone. 
  10. Form is composed of engraved and holy temple stone architecture. 
  11. Form is encased in thick and gilded, gaudy coloured cloth, robe like costume. 
  12. Covered in milky malformed eyes with light blue iris. 
  13. Flesh sloughing off in great bubbling rends of red, grows back and sheds again. 
  14. Wings of pure white feathers. If already has flight, has ability to teleport. 
  15. A blinding and deafening halo of divinity tears through reality above head. 
  16. Swirling white smoke erupts from body, can phase through physical barriers at will. 
  17. Long, black, mank and matter hair cascades from head. 
  18. Snakes and worms erupt dangling from all orifices include now empty eye sockets. 
  19. All flesh and skin is smooth, fresh, clean, soft and plump as an infant human. 
  20. Extra body parts, d4: 1)d6 extra mouths, 2) d8 extra arms, 3) d4 extra legs, 4) d8 extra tails.   
Behaviour, d20: 
  1. Demands the allegiance of all living beings, is ever gathering a horrible horde.  
  2. Burn all heathens unworth of the godbeing Vivisextrator. 
  3. Create cairn like shrines and temples in honour of Vivisextrator. 
  4. Must stalks and hunt from a distance, must not be seen by those it kills. 
  5. Collects bones of victims to cover, costume and adorn self. 
  6. Must see the world turned into a wasteland. 
  7. Must destroy all other monsters, to become the favoured spawn of Vivisextrator.
  8. Must make itself a deity, to be venerated by lesser beings. 
  9. Must corrupt beautiful things, people and places. 
  10. Act as smiling and joyous emissary for the oncoming Vivisextrator
  11. Recover Vivisextrator DNA cache that will allow the creation of a new Vivisextrator. 
  12. Scout out intriguing DNA for the Vivisextrator, and shepard it in that direction. 
  13. Must build a tower of rock or bone and perch their awaiting the return of Vivisextrator
  14. Must be mated with to give birth to new horrific offspring, a miniature Vivisextrator. 
  15. Must gain rulership of nearest town, city or village. 
  16. Searches wildly for any remnants of the Biode Hexegemony. 
  17. Must exchange knowledge and tales of the world around it with others. 
  18. Make itself a suit of holy irradiated armour. 
  19. Destroy the relics of all fakegods that are not Vivisextrator. 
  20. Must quietly ponder its own sentience and consciousness, or  philosophize with others. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hey it’s been awhile

Hey, it's been awhile. Normally after a year long absence I'd nuke the old posts on this blog and start fresh. I've done it several times since starting this blog in 2008. Hard to imagine it's been 10 years.

I'm coming back though, and I'm happy about it. Actually, the truth is I've been blogging for a few months already, only I haven't been doing it here. Instead, I have a new blog:

Careful though; the subject matter is...intense. It's a game blog, yes, but it's a blog where I openly discuss my depression. It's dark and unforgiving, and I present it without making any apologies for its subject matter.

It does feature original art, by people like Alex Mayo, Dan Domme, and David Lewis Johnson.

I'm really happy with how it's coming along, although suggestions and feedback are always welcome.

So what does that have to do with this blog?

I've decided to come back to blogging here. I have a big project in the works that I'm going to be discussing and sharing on this blog. And this blog is a more mainstream gaming blog, so you won't have to deal with posts about depression here, that's what the other blog is for.

Okay, so here is something I want to share, mostly so that I have a link to it saved somewhere that matters to me:

Michael R, who is a fantastic artist, also happens to be incredibly inventive, and has made this really bad ass suburb generator that he posted on his blog:

I love this thing. I wish I could come up with something like this myself. Maybe one of these days I'll actually make something useful personally and share it. Until then, I'll have to rely on the ingenuity of others.

So many good things being produced right now...I look forward to discussing all of them in more detail in the days and weeks to come.