Friday 26 February 2016

In Search of the Miraculous #11: Tormented by Deros

Not a role-playing post today. It's obligatory though to mention that Chariot is still funding at
Look at this. Look at everything it means.
I Remember Lemuria is a piece of pulp fantasy sci-fi from the 1940s. I Remember Lemuria is horribly written. I Remember Lemuria speaks of grief and thwarted desire, and most of all, of illness. Every word of it is made of pain. VII.CHA.BE.CHA.

Thursday 25 February 2016

In Lemuria

9 of Wands
The section on Atlantis is now 100% written. Lemuria, though, is dreamlike, and its inhabitants think in songs and verse and dance. I decided to do something different with Lemuria. Lemuria's section is written as a poem. Here's some of it.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

So I made a game

So I made a game where the point is altruism. Seriously, your character is a demigod, doomed, yes, but unable to be beaten. There's no point in self-actualisation; your character is already about as far as you can go on that road. No, the struggle, and the point, is in making a difference in a larger sense. It lies in freeing the slaves, standing as an accusation against the horrendous human sin we call “empire” and getting people off the land when it sinks, when the bombs fall and the meteorites hit and the land breaks in two. You fight a harder battle. Heroism is in who you save, because the lot of your hero is, as is the way of heroes, to conquer the armies of the world and to die in the end of the age.

And I made a game where there are no monsters. There are only fallible people and animals following their nature. Sure, some of the greater villains might even call themselves monsters, but one thing I've learned is that when you call yourself a monster, you only use it as a perverse badge of pride, as a way to hide from the true banality of your failings. Because the greatest crimes – empires, institutionalised slavery, genocides – they're a function of smallness. They're failures of imagination, failures to be better. You can be better. Here: you know what's going to happen, you know when you're going to die; what will you do with this?


Monday 22 February 2016

Chalidocean, City of the Golden Gates, Dream of Empire

XVI. The Tower

Important piece of lore today. Today's post isn't in the current draft but will be in the new version I'm uploading Friday, which you can get hold of early if you support Chariot at

Friday 19 February 2016

Why the Black Sun is Winning

XVII. The Star.
The Chariot Crowdfunder continues apace and would love you to support it.

In the meantime, here is an assessment of where Atlantis is going at its end.

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Cercenes, City of the Vine

Five of Cups, Five of Wounds: A Cercenian citizen.

We still have over seven weeks left in the Chariot funding campaign and we're still reaching, straining towards our stretch goals, the first of which is a suite of supporting cast as written by the inestimable Malcolm Sheppard.

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about why the Black Sun is winning, but for now, here is another of the stranger creations of my private Atlantis, the city of Cercenes.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Numea by the Inland Sea

A story: so my son Dave, ten years old, is talented as hell and politically engaged, and he draws maps. He's really good at it. I asked him to draw me a map. I said, two continents joined by a land bridge, five big islands. The rest, all yours.

So he drew me a beautiful map. He's the reason Mentis is an island rather than, as I originally imagined, coastal. And he drew me an inland sea. And it's thanks to him that I put this story to one of the Atlantea cities I had names for. This one I wrote for Dave, passionate for Wales and its hopes for independence, for the Welsh language, and for justice. I'm proud of that kid.

Friday 12 February 2016

The Hat Club Playtest, Part One

Edit: The names have now been changed to protect... something.

Every week, more or less, since 2003, I've met with a small group of friends to play games. When I was writing regularly for White Wolf, they got to playtest with me, too. For Reasons Lost in the Antediluvian Aeons, we call our group Hat Club.

(Note: these reasons predate the filming of Chuck Palahniuk's most famous novel, so we don't have any actual rules, comedy or otherwise.)

So, of course they were going to do Chariot. No choice, see. For reasons tied to family and jobs and stuff these games aren't very long. A couple of hours. Therefore, it's become tradition for the person running the game to generate all the characters and hand them out in advance.

We can't generally be having with wasting a whole session on character generation, see.

Except, Chariot being a) what it is and b) something I wrote, I sort of felt that for the first time in well over a decade it was time to break tradition and do a Character Generation session.

Thursday 11 February 2016


The Chariot crowdfunder reached its funding goal in 72 hours, and now we're aiming to get to the first stretch goal, more material for the game as written by the estimable Malcolm Sheppard.

THANK YOU for your support. Please let people know about the game, if you like it. The more people join in, the more material there will be.

But Chariot is happening, because of you. That's all.

Menocea, City of the Mirrored Spires

Trump X. The Wheel.
Chariot's crowdfunder at the end of its third day stands at 96% of its admittedly modest goal. Let's see if we can fund today.

In the meantime, another creation of my boyhood imagination that I inserted into Atlantis because, well, I don't know. I just did.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

The City of the Blue Women

With the Chariot crowdfunding campaign closing in on its target in its third day, it's time to share some more excerpts. Here's Mentis, City of the Blue Women.

I created the Blue Women as part of my Atlantis when I was maybe twelve or thirteen, because when you are that age amphibious blue punk rock cyborg amazons who ride robo-sea dinosaurs sounds like a good idea. I still think it's a pretty good idea.

I wish I still had what I had written about them. I made them anew from memory for Chariot. 

If you like my work, please consider supporting Chariot:

Monday 8 February 2016


The Chariot Crowdfunder is now live. The more people who support it, the more material there will be. That's all.

Friday 5 February 2016

CHARIOT Indiegogo Launches Monday

It has been the best part of a year but the CHARIOT crowdfunding campaign finally launches this coming Monday. The game's written, so basically this is a means of both getting people to preorder and also to see if there is enough demand out there to have more material written - the more people who contribute, the more supplemental material that everyone who buys the game will receive.

In the meantime, I thought I'd tease... the character sheet.  Because you have to have a character sheet.