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Archive for April, 2018

Veneida Smith, 16-year-old girl horse thief and jail breaker

April 25, 2018 Leave a comment

“Parkersburg authorities refused to pursue Veneida Smith, pretty 16-year-old girl, an alleged horse thief and jail breaker, into her mountain hiding places today. The sheriff and his deputies, opined “There ain’t no jail that’ll hold her,” following the last escape when she sawed the bars in her cell window with a tiny blade of steel smuggled into the jail in her shoe. Sliding to the ground on a rope made with bed clothes, the “Holy Terror Tomboy,” as she is known to authorities, evaded pursuit to outskirts of town where she secured her pony and galloped away in the direction of Cairo. Veneida is the veteran of a long string of jail breaks, according to authorities. Once she wrecked her cell with an iron bar because the sheriff refused to give her cigars to smoke. Previously she had broken out of a reform school, and numerous efforts of social workers to reform her were met with this reply: “The devil got me into it, let him get me out.” Parkersburg authorities describe the girl as “pretty as a picture, wild as a deer, hardy as a mountain goat, as hard as nails, and able to care for herself anywhere.”

Google+ won’t let me link the pdf with collected articles, so you get a tweet.

you can thank Bruce Shark for my finding out about Jason Stieva. here’s his Instagram, with a LOT of close-ups of the ghost ship sculpture, among other fabulous pieces:

April 25, 2018 Leave a comment

you can thank Bruce Shark for my finding out about Jason Stieva. here’s his Instagram, with a LOT of close-ups of the ghost ship sculpture, among other fabulous pieces:
https://www.instagram.com/p/Be-gdZIjooD/

View this post on Instagram

Can’t thank you guys enough for the overwhelming support🙏🙏 So here’s a sexy front side shot from a recent photo shoot of “Leviathan” Ark of the Apocalypse #15 in my Gothic Times series at the clients home! Made this piece a lil over 4 years ago taking me roughly 14 months to complete..She stands 8ft on custom made table @heritage_harvest_tables About 7.5ft in length and about 2.5ft wide. From start 2 finish this is hands down the most work that has gone into a piece..lost track of the amount of hours she took and bandaids I went through…Delivery day was a little stressful😂 but she did arrive in one piece🤙 Its great that I get to visit her once and awhile as I don’t do much of the character assemblage anymore and you quickly remember how much blood sweat and tears went into this! Will@post some detailed pics soon!! Wishin you guys all the best stay hungry stay creative👊A bunch of new pieces in progress!! Comin soon!@jasonstieva @sinful_inflictions @alongtheway72 #leviathan #gothictimes #assemblageart #sculpture #skulls #sullenclothing #togetherwerise #jackofthedust #art_motive #art_daily #taxidermy #oddity #timepiece #hungry #staycreative #creative4life

A post shared by Sculptures By Jason Stieva (@shallowgravestudios) on

No few clerics have wasted precious time trying to turn Bone Hands, not realizing until it was too late that they aren’t undead at all. Rather they’re a sort of vehicle piloted by a two members of a highly intelligent & psionically talented cemetery-dwelling snake species. One rides in the abdominal cavity & controls locomotion while the other coils up inside the skull & controls the arms.

April 23, 2018 Leave a comment


No few clerics have wasted precious time trying to turn Bone Hands, not realizing until it was too late that they aren’t undead at all. Rather they’re a sort of vehicle piloted by a two members of a highly intelligent & psionically talented cemetery-dwelling snake species. One rides in the abdominal cavity & controls locomotion while the other coils up inside the skull & controls the arms.

Lacking any fine manipulators of their own, the snakes have learned that a certain amount of skill in the trade practiced in life resides in the bones of dead artisans. If they need some woodworking done they’ll burrow into the coffin of a carpenter, if they need to write something down they’ll find a scribe, & so on.

Even if the skeleton they’re riding wasn’t a fighter, the snake team can still bull rush a foe & grapple them until the snakes get a chance to deliver a venomous bite.

If they’ve found a particularly valuable skeleton, the snakes may take steps to preserve it when the remaining connective tissue starts to fail. If they have money, they may go to an alchemist to buy varnish & flexible glue to hold the bones together.

What are the playable races in your current campaign and is that more or less than you usually run with?

April 20, 2018 Leave a comment

What are the playable races in your current campaign and is that more or less than you usually run with?

Asking b/c Scrap Princess started a thread about demihumans and it’s revealing diversity and it looks like some people hold their own campaigns quite differently in their minds from how they think about DnD as a common experience (I know I do).

Me: I’m running 2 CCH campaigns right now.
In one, you can play anything you’ve met, and so far the players have met humans, sorcerors,* sky men, talking undead crocodiles, Jenny Hanivers, djinn, birds and spirits in general.
The other is just humans plus Maxime Golubchik is playing a cat, which can think and act but not talk.

*sorcerors blur the line between human, spirit, demon etc. Kinda like Aku from Samurai Jack or Adventure Time wizards. They each have a story for how they got that way.

OK. Thanks to Maxime Golubchik who managed to spike all some significant subset of my obsessions with one pop video.

April 19, 2018 Leave a comment

OK. Thanks to Maxime Golubchik who managed to spike all some significant subset of my obsessions with one pop video.
This is definitely Tartary, maybe a few other things.
In terms of pure sensory frisson, I must credit:
– Beton brut, the tactile qualities of which have never been clearer
– Tycho Brahe, in an unusually sympathetic, needy incarnation
– Auric Goldfinger or a better substitute, doubling for Donald Pleasance and Gert Froebe at once.
– dudes in sallets.

is it (mostly) all dudes? In this case, I guess that’s (most of) the point. Except for Servelan, obviously, who out-dudes anyone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar7iFM9b7Sc

Chris McDowall got me to think about what I want from combat in RPGs. Here’s what came out:

April 9, 2018 Leave a comment

Chris McDowall got me to think about what I want from combat in RPGs. Here’s what came out:

I think if it’s worth having a fight in the game, then I like it to have 2 or 3 phases of tactical assessment (or dramatic beats, if that’s your metier).
Broadly:
1. should we engage?
2. now we’ve tested the enemy, are we strong enough/is this enemy going to wreck us?
and maybe:
3. do we have to do something clever/unexpected to survive this?

I find very few games handle this gracefully. The exact mechanics of how many die rolls it takes to establish each phase differs with system speed.
Optimally, if there are rich tactical questions swirling around in players’ heads, I’d like 1 per phase, recognizing that the tense moment of die-rolling comes at the end of a period of thinking/emoting.

The Pokemon handheld games manage this through attrition, which can take up to 10 or more rounds for boss fights, but the tactical options there are strictly limited, so the decision-making time per round is short.

For the ship combat rules I’m currently writing, there’s a further graded consideration, which is what kind of condition is our ship going to be in? Usually there is only one ship for the whole party, so the alive/dead condition of individual characters doesn’t work so well: a TPK is a different sort of defeat from an individual character’s death. Essentially, it’s useful to subdivide phase 2 and extend the time available for flight or surrender. The history of early modern naval warfare helps out here, with sea battles that can go on for hours/days.

But what if you want a quick sea battle? What if the players collectively groan when an enemy comes into cannon range?

Prompted by a recent Jeff Rients comment on restraining his urge to wax poetic about the architectural style of his 10′ corridors, here is how I roll: architectural style matters to a game when it – – has tactical consequences (sight lines, overhangs, falls, escape routes)

April 4, 2018 Leave a comment

Prompted by a recent Jeff Rients comment on restraining his urge to wax poetic about the architectural style of his 10′ corridors, here is how I roll: architectural style matters to a game when it –
– has tactical consequences (sight lines, overhangs, falls, escape routes)
– tells you something about the occupants/challenges (grandiosity, a potentially friendly captive emperor being held prisoner in his palace by goblins, workings of the golem factory)
– is just really cool. I still haven’t got around to running Chris Kutalik’s colossal, corrugated Slumbering Ursine Dunes but when I do, I’m looking forward to the big reveal that they’re just the folds in a volute of a gigantic ionic capital, and that there will be hundreds of miles of eggs and darts to go before you can reach the Promised Pediment and its bas-relief princesses.

https://greg.org/archive/2003/05/10/swat-team-blames-gehry-architecture-for-delay-in-trapping-cleveland-shooter.html