Showing posts from November, 2013

Regency/Gothic: Apparently Georgette Heyer sucked at this, too.

Even though I've not quite given up hope on it, my Regency/Gothic project has languished for a long time (partially because I'm instead venting my anger at the upper classes with The King is Dead).  Over at, Mari Ness' brilliant Georgette Heyer reread has revealed that even the queen of Regency Romances struggled to integrate the Gothic into the Regency.

I might have to read this book just to learn what not to do.

We gave James Hong a bottle of wine

As thanks for all the hours of entertainment he has given us, we gave James Hong a bottle of Pedernales Block One 2010 today at Wizard World Austin.


The gift of undeath is a strange and complicated magic.There is little in the sacred texts about the powers (or fate) of Salome, but King Hordos is credited with being able to dominate the wills of others, change into a devouring swarm, and become one with his shadow; his spawn, Emperor Etzel, on the other hand was able to become a wolf the size of a horse, regenerate wounds, and command the weather.The blessings of Sathaniel are surprisingly capricious.

Vampires have learned over the centuries that creating vampires from their own dunpeals and the children of said dunpeals greatly improves the chances of a vampire sharing his sire’s gifts.King Wilhelm’s three sons who were conceived while he yet breathed – Ruprecht, Rickard, and Wilhelm the Red – have gifts of the blood that differ greatly from each other and their father; his youngest son, Heinrich, was conceived after King Wilhelm received the gift from Emperor Etzel and resembles his father far more than his brothers.It is for th…

The King is Dead: Some Dunpeals

The upper ranks of society are the domain of the blood-drinkers.The following are some examples of highly-placed dunpeals (the living children of vampires and humans).
Von Ruprecht Necromancer Abbot (Legendary)
Though his face is now a skull-like mask and he cannot feed without killing his victims, this dunpeal churchman has achieved his ambition of ruling a remote monastery.Within its confines, he conducts repulsive rites to sate the demands of his “angelic” patron. Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d8 Strength d8 Vigor d8 Skills: Faith d10, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6. Charisma -4 Corruption 3 Pace 6 Parry 4 Toughness 6 Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Code of Honor, Vow (Minor) (to the Church), Greedy (Minor), Ugly. Edges: AB: Miracles, Connections (Church of Sathaniel), Dunpeal, Necromancer, New Power (x3), Noble, Power Points x2. Power Points: 20 P…

The King is Dead: Churchmen of Malleus

The Church of Sathaniel of Malleus combines the worst qualities of the Anglican and Catholic Churches of the 18th Century.The Church is seen by most nobles as merely a socially-acceptable career for younger sons, while the common folk view priests with a superstitious reverence.Positions within the Church hierarchy are bought and sold as readily as indulgences; rich fathers buy their sons spiritual power over susceptible rustics and social-climbing deacons woo patronage from vampire lords.Ambitious vicars make Faustian pacts with Sathaniel’s “angels” while decadent bishops turn nunneries into private harems.The horror is that this considered a true spiritual model of the world under Sathaniel.

Initiate (Novice) The typical seminary student is practically indistinguishable from a typical Student.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d8 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, S…

The King is Dead: Gentlemen of Malleus

Aristocratic Mallean society allows for far more flexibility in men’s career paths than women.  The following examples trace the careers of a military man, a politician, and a wastrel.  More information on the religious life is forthcoming.

Bully (Novice) Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d4 Spirit d6 Strength d8 Vigor d6 Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d4. Charisma +2Pace 6Parry 6 Toughness 6 Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn, Vengeful (Minor). Edges: Brawny, Noble.
Student (Novice) Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d8 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6 Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Occult) d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6. Charisma +2Pace 6Parry 4 Toughness 5 Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, Greedy (Minor). Edges: Alertness, Noble.
Toady (Novice)

The King is Dead: Mallean Ladies of Good Breeding

This post has been amended to bring it in line with the revised skill rules noted in The King is Dead: Gentlemen of Malleus.

A selection of ladies of the aristocracy and gentry of Malleus, suitable for use as adversaries and damsels in distress:

Ingenue (Novice)
This young lady may still be cloistered or may have just been introduced to society; she would be somewhere between 15 and 18 years old. She is inexperienced in the world at large but well-educated in the arts and practical knowledge a Mallean lady should possess.
Attributes: Agility d6 Smarts d6 Spirit d6 Strength d6 Vigor d6
Skills: Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Occult) d6,* Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Repair d4, Riding d4, Stealth d4, Taunt d4.
Charisma: +2 (+4)** Pace:6 Parry:2 Toughness:5
Hindrances: Code of Honor (tries to live by the standards of decorum of Mallean society), Outsider** (it’s a man’s world), Pacifist (Minor) (has not been taught even the basics of self-defense)

Nightcrawler is in his Heaven: Amazing X-Men #1

As promised, I bought the first issue of Amazing X-Men, the first part of “The Quest for Nightcrawler,” yesterday.It’s the first comic I’ve bought since the beginning of the summer and the first Marvel book I’ve bought since well before they killed Kurt Wagner off back in 2010.I did not, however, go down to my local comic book shop and pick up the issue.Instead, I bought the digital version through Comixology.
I admit to mixed feelings about this choice.My local comic shop, Dragon’s Lair San Antonio, is also my local gaming shop and I haven’t put any money in their tills for months now.It’s a great place – clean, well-stocked, and pretty gender-neutral – but it’s hard to argue that I need to buy any dead-tree RPG books when the PDFs are cheaper and I’m the only one who reads them (I’ve got a laser printer, so it’s really cheap and easy to print out the pages I need).In the case of comics, I’m just plain sick and tired of the long boxes stuffed in my closet and the pile of single issu…

The King is Dead: What Lurks in the Shadows?

What lurks in the shadows?
I’ve been putting off deciding what other supernatural beings exist in the world of The King is Dead for months, but I need to make up my mind.I think best when I’m writing, so I’m going to write out my internal debate. Your feedback is welcome.
I’m sure some readers will look at the beginning of the previous paragraph and think “What do you mean ‘decide what other supernatural beings exist?’It’s a Gothic horror setting – of course there’s Frankensteins and werewolves and zombies and everything!”To be honest, that’s a valid response.Why shouldn’t there be all the usual panoply of monsters?
My storytelling instincts warn me that The King is Dead isn’t just a horror setting.It isn’t Rippers 1776 or even Colonial Gothic; it’s a setting about political revolution.The vampires who rule Malleus don’t live in isolation from the populace; they’re not mysterious folk legends who slip down into the villages once in a blue moon and make off with occasional unwary maid…