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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Benjamin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2017 11:23:34

It misses details and elaboration, especially on the actual writing part. However, what can you expect for $3? It is a good start, nothing more, nothing less. If you get more into adventure writing you might leave some of it behind and explore the depths and possibilities of adventure writing that are out there. I for myself don't like writing adventures in the form of scenes. The scenes are something which happens in my game, not on the planning table. I have to be honest - the author implies that his guide is for GMs how want to play the adventure after they have written them. I do it the other way around, first I play the adventure, then I might bother to write it down for others, will the input and insights I gathered from playing. I think it is a waste of time to write adventures in this way befor you play them. Especially with that in mind the book doesn't get in the art of rewriting and redacting your adventure.

So, in the end I give a solid 3 out of 5. It won't change my game, but it wasn't a waste of time or money either. Maybe I will even try to write one of my next adventures exactly like it is recommended in the guide.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2017 04:54:11

I like to read/collect books about adventure writing and GM'ing. I stayed away from similar titles from this line of books because I think dropping an "F-Bomb" in your title is a bit juvenile, crude, ill-mannered, unprofessional, makes you sound uneducated and is done strictly for shock value. While I don't advocate censorship, I advocate responsible, sensible writing and editing. I have been known to drop foul language in front of my kids, old people, etc, just not when writing gaming material. I started gaming when I was 10. Do I really want my 11 year old son picking this up?

That said, I could have just walked away from this pdf all together. Then curiousity took hold...

It's really short, including a big logo, several sidebars, a full page illustration and a long quoted scene from Resevoir Dogs. I think this might have made for an okay-ish article in a fanzine or the like, but I'm not sure it was worth much to me in terms of the money I spent.

Shameless plugs are okay in moderation. I think this author went out of his way to include them.

Some of the advice was good, maybe even great with some polish. Some of the examples made me chuckle. There's a lot of potential here, but I feel it was mired in the author's personal opinions and negative examples. Some of this advice was redundant with other sources such as "How to Write Modules That Don't Suck" and basic writing advice you would get in any given course. However, it was done in the author's very distinctive style, which merits mention.

Good effort and intentions, just needs a lot of work on revision and substance.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/11/2017 05:12:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This advice booklet clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page kort’thalis glyph, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, so this advice-book for adventure-writers and, as one born from the pen of one of the OSR’s more controversial writers, its very first section is titled “No Limits” – it is a rallying call versus censorship and, to a degree, something I absolutely agree with. Why? Because someone, somewhere, is bound to be offended by what you write, no matter how carefully you phrase your material. That being said, the pdf does draw a line in the sand that very much echoes my sentiment – never force PCs to harm children, even if they are make-believe children. It is a line in the sand I share…but it brings me to an aspect of the book that should be mentioned first:

This book is about writing modules for your group, and not for public consumption.

This is important, for the aforementioned no-limits-aesthetic falls apart pretty quickly once you have to navigate the harsh realities of closed IP, compatibility-licenses, etc. That being said, even when writing for your own group, there are limits – we have wildly diverging levels of tolerance for the descriptive portrayal of the less pleasant potential aspects of the condition humana, and what may be totally fine for guys like me could be utterly horrific for other players – so my expansion of the thesis, which arguably focuses more on theme rather than levels of violence/sex/etc., would be “No Limits within the boundaries that your group considers palatable.”

But that may just be me and is much less catchy and edgy. It should also be noted that this pdf does not, not even once, note the mathematical principles and difficulty-gauging process, which may not be required for Kort’thalis pretty simple d6-based game-engines, but which is very much a huge stumbling block for more complex games. Getting rules-language right is similarly not touched upon, probably due to the same reasons. Heck, many OSR-writers would benefit seriously from taking a close look at the system for which they’re writing. Simple rules don’t mean that they’re not supposed to be precise. (Check out Necrotic Gnome’s Complete Vivimancer for a gorgeous example of how to write incredibly precise OSR-material that loses none of the cool outré wildness we all love…) Sorry, I’m rambling.

So, you decided to write your own module, righty? Venger’s first advice regarding structuring would be the elevator pitch and it won’t remain the only one: Sections of the adventure are likened to scenes and their anatomy is treated as such: Concise questions allow you to get a grip on them and the use of random tables and dressing choices as means to make things more interesting is similarly touched upon. The book also helps you establish a grasp on what happens between the scenes (and breathers) and the use of the callback reference as a narrative device that you can employ as alternate storytelling means or to make things fall into place – we often see that used to great effect in the smarter horror/thriller movies, so yeah, kudos – I just wished it would provide some ideas to make the callback work smoothly. If we remain in the realm of those movies – they turn into duds if you can see the reveal/callback coming from a mile away, so some advanced guidelines would have been neat to see. The ultimate expression of these movie-analogues would be the trailer test – can you make a trailer that’s compelling out of the scenes assembled?

From a structural point of view, the trinity of combat, interaction and exploration are covered. The general structure of an adventure is discussed with a classic 5-act structure and, as conflict is at the heart of most adventuring, depicting interesting conflict, upping the ante for a scene, etc. can be found and all such aspects are presented in an easy to grasp manner.

Structure-wise, the importance of sandboxing versus railroads…and where the difference lies between railroads and guardrails, are mentioned. After all, as a consequence of the limited nature of the medium words versus our imagination, a degree of railroading is hard to avoid. The pdf also advises the prospective reader regarding finding a style – whether terse or detail-oriented or in-between and the respective aesthetics. Personally, I would have loved if the pdf actually mentioned tips for these styles; tricks; means to develop them. It remains, for the most part, a pretty basic discussion of the standards.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard with reddish veins and the pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly b/w-version. The pdf sports some really nice b/w-artworks and comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

So, here’s the big question: Should you get this guidebook by Venger As’Nas Satanis?

The response, ultimately, depends on your motivation and your level of expertise. If you’re already a veteran and cognizant of most pitfalls of adventure-writing, then this will not do much for you.

Similarly, this will not provide any new insights if you have a background in an academic field that studies, in some form, the structures of a given form of media. If you’re looking for a concise how-to-guide to get published by the “big players” (in as far as these exist in RPGs in the first place), then this won’t necessarily help you there either. This is a book for writing adventures for your home group, first and foremost. It is not a book that teaches you to write for the rules of a given system, doesn’t help you extrapolate success-chances, etc. This is not about “DESIGNING”, this is only about writing.

This guide does not discuss the pitfalls of structural variations, how to generate modular investigations, truly free sandboxes (ironically enough) like hex crawls. This is very much a vanilla adventure writing pdf, blended with a kind of written form of pep-talk, telling writers to stand up for their vision – and in a field where many brilliant writers suffer from anxiety, impostor syndrome, etc., this has some worth in itself.

What this does, however, is to outline an easy way to think with a certain structure about not yet fully gestated adventure ideas, a guidance that particularly newcomers to the arena of writing are likely to appreciate greatly. Additionally, the book can be seen as a kind of submission guideline for Venger’s adventure-writing contest for Kort’thalis Publishing, which, obviously, makes the aforementioned potential issues with submission guidelines different from those herein, moot.

Is this worth the low and fair asking price? If you want to submit a module to Kort’thalis, then absolutely! If you love Venger’s modules and his distinct style and structure, then this makes for a nice introduction to the subject matter. Now, my advice for veterans or those looking for advanced advice would be to skip this; personally, I got no new knowledge whatsoever out of this pdf and frankly, my own adventures tend to gravitate towards more difficult structures than what this covers. (Same holds true for some of Venger’s modules, fyi – this is a starting point, after all!)

At the same time, I can see this pdf perfectly fulfilling its role as a first guidance booklet for prospective authors, which is to say, that yes, I do believe that this has a raison d`être. For me as a person, this did literally nothing, but as a reviewer, I need to take its value for a part of its demographic into account – even if, to me, this is less “writing like a fucking boss” and more “n00b writing basics for home use 101.” You won’t find extensive pacing guidelines, the mechanics of setting up sequels, establishing leitmotifs and using them – the pdf does not cover the depths of the subject matter and remains a place to start from.

Ultimately, this booklet is less widely useful than it should be and misses a significant part of its potential demographics; but it also does what it sets out to do rather well. A novice GM sans theoretical experience regarding module creation should consider this to be a solid offering. If one of the caveats I listed above apply to you regarding your knowledge, experience, goals, etc., then skip this – this is not for you.

In the end, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, but honestly, I can’t round up for this one – it may be a twist or irony, but to me, Venger’s guide to GMing like a Fucking Boss has more salient advice that can be extrapolated to adventure-writing; his discussion of how to structure narratives and sell them to the players, how to improvise, helps significantly with the DESIGN-aspect of the adventure and the material covered is significantly broader in the way it can be applied. So yeah, veterans, take a look at that one instead. Chances are you’ll find at least something cool in that tome!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Girls Gone Rogue
by Ian C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2017 12:19:51

Girls Gone Rogue is the first supplement to Alpha Blue, a D6 based vintage sleazy sci-fi RPG by the inimitable Venger Satanis. You will require a copy of Alpha Blue to properly make use of this book as intended, although even if you don’t play Alpha Blue you may still find a lot of the charts and adventure seeds herein useful in your own sci-fi game of choice.

If you’re easily offended by sexuality, nudity, drug use, and other adult themes then this game is probably not for you. Venger knows his audience, and isn’t one to concern himself with pleasing the masses. The synopsis to the main adventure contained in this supplement is thus:

“Lisa SS is the name of a Slut Series Replicant that has gone haywire, screwing and blasting her way through the galaxy. Normally, that kind of thing wouldn’t be priority one on the Federation wave wire. However, Ilsa SS has taken out a number of key Federation assets and politicos. The Federation is hiring an expendable team of spacer rejects to retire her a** with extreme prejudice.”

Sound like fun? If so, read on!

I ran the principle Ilsa of the SS adventure back when it was in play testing well before this book was released. My party had a blast with it then, and I even hombrewed a follow-up adventure of my own to continue the story afterwards. It’s typical Alpha Blue fare, full of sex and drugs, comical NPCs and situations, and plenty of throwback reference to the vintage sci-fi that Venger is such a fan of. The adventure as it stands now isn’t much different than the one I ran in play testing, though some extra elements and NPCs have been thrown in which flesh it out nicely and give plenty of options for the party to pursue depending on if/how they want to help the Federation resolve the Ilsa SS problem.

Before you even get to the adventure though, there is real Alpha Blue treasure contained in the first 40 pages of this book. If you’ve played or read any of the books Venger has released under Kort’thalis Publishing, then you will be aware of his love for random roll charts. These were the best selling point of Alpha Blue for me, and Girls Gone Rogue adds a whole lot more to the mix! With so many random roll charts (all of which are entirely optional, so you can pick and choose which to use or even to use none at all) you really shouldn’t have trouble generating interesting and hilarious PCs, NPCs, Scenarios, and Environments for a long time to come! My favourite in this book is titled What The Fuck Did I Do Last Night?!?

There is also a cool section on Spaghetti Western Tropes that shows how you can convert your sleazy sci-fi game into a sleazy sci-fi western! This section also has roll charts that you can use and offers some inspiration as to what kind of adventures you might run in such a setting. It’s a small bit, but could add so much to your game if you wanted to go that route.

Then there’s my favourite part of this whole book: the Ship-to-Ship Combat System and Chart. It offers a cool and easy way to manage ship combat without having to track dozens of variables and monitor shield strength, weapon power, and hull points. As everything in these books, the system is entirely optional, but if you want to keep your game fast paced and exciting I think this is an excellent tool to implement into your Alpha Blue game immediately! In fact, like all of the charts in these books, you could pretty easily implement them into your other favourite sci-fi game as well if you like!

After the primary adventure, Ilsa of the SS, there are 10 more adventure seeds in this book, one of which is pretty fully fleshed out while the others give you just enough info to flesh out and build upon as you play in whatever way best suits your own group. There’s something I find refreshing about Venger’s style of adventure writing, and I think it’s how open-ended he keeps everything. He offers multiple suggestions as to how the party COULD become involved in the adventure, but nothing is force-fed. In fact, there are often suggestions as to what could happen if the players just say “Forget this, we’re not getting involved!”

Bottom line: I’m really impressed with how much valuable information Venger has packed into this 69 page supplement. The last 10 or 11 pages are full of ship maps and note pages that you can use to make your own Alpha Blue campaign something really special to your players. As I said in the beginning, Venger knows his audience. If you, like me, are a member of that audience, then you really can’t go wrong with picking up this book!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Girls Gone Rogue
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Ben W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2017 07:53:59

I've been a GM for 25 of the 27 years I have been roleplaying. I am always looking for new gems and morsels to leverage for aiding my adventure design and play. This is not the greatest ever read on the subject (how can it be at only 11 real pages of content?), but especially for $3.00, it is a very good document to have on hand to refresh yourself on the basics. It reminds me of the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). How often do I fall into that trap of trying to over do it, trying to make it more and more awesome, when all I really need to do is take a breath and remember the basics. This book helps you center on those basics, helps you focus on the important story elements, and does so without innundating oneself with too much extra superfluous crap. It reminds you of how to focus on the important elements of the story and of that fact that GMing is 50% prep and 50% improvisation. I give it 4 starts because I found it useful, informative, and reasonably priced. I didn't give it 5 starts because I think there is a bit of waste at the beginning with the entire first page dedicated to "no limits" and primarily because there is a bit of hype/marketing (good on you - wink, wink) with the title and plugs for other documents by the same publisher within the content. No big deal and understandbly part of the content, but just a bit much for me. Still, a good, short read to have on hand when you need a refresher course on the basics and for a reasonable price. I do wish there would have been more, but hey, I didn't rate it "perfect" for a reason.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Mark N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/30/2017 15:16:24

I went into this with my eyes wide open. I knew the author has a destinctive style, and I wasn't dissapointed. I picked upsom great tips and it is a bargain at the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Battle For The Purple Islands
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/26/2017 16:29:43

Battle for the Purple Islands is the newest release from Venger Satanis. It's written for Venger's games (like Crimson Dragon Slayer and Alpha Blue) and can be used with just about any D&D-ish system with minimal effort. I've read through it a few times and it's a blast.

The adventure centers around a courier needing to deliver a hologram message to a hermit that lives in a mountain located on the Purple Islands. Depending on the system your playing the character could be the couriers (if playing Alpha Blue) or they could be captives of cannibals alongside the courier. The players need to escape the cannibals, avoid intelligent ape patrols, make it up the mountain, and deliver the message to.... H.P. MF'ing Lovecraft. Oh, but that's not all kiddies. In addition, players must escort the master of the macabre to a museum with his work, avoid a sinister snake man, and stop purple cultists from nuking the island and turning everyone in to Lovecraftian monstrosities!

Pros: The adventure is a gonzo hex crawl and the Purple Islands are an unforgettable setting. You like something, the Purple Islands has it or can with little-to-no explanation. Grindhouse-style cannibal tribes? Check. Talking apes with machine guns? Check. Lovecraftian monsters out the wazoo? Triple check. Killer juggalos? They were mentioned in the first excursion to the Purple Islands, not this one, but still... check! Though the setting is on a fantasy world, reality's boundaries are thin and you can add whatever the Hell you want.

Do you like references and homages in your games? Venger sure does. There are some pretty obvious ones like A New Hope and Cannibal Holocaust, but there are some you might glance over, like Ghostbusters.

Finally, like all of Venger's works, this one is full of random tables to keep things fresh and interesting, including a Land of the Lost roll as you go hexcrawl chart with 100 entries.

Cons: You're going to really want The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence if you're running this. Now I don't think that's a bad thing. Quite to the contrary I love that book, just saying if you have this one, you're probably going to need that one.

Final Verdict: If you've ever wanted to do a Lovecraftian version of "Vincent and the Doctor" mixed with a little Planet of the Apes and a bloody dollop of Cannibal Holocaust. this is the adventure you've been waiting for.

If not, what's wrong with you?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle For The Purple Islands
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Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/21/2017 05:10:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This advice book clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page Kort’thalis glyph inside of front cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content, two of which are taken up by nice pieces of b/w-artwork, so let’s take a look!

It’s interesting, really – while there are plenty of GM books around, there are almost no player advice books. Sure, more math-intense systems have a lot of optimization guides, but what many folks forget, is that a good game is as much reliant on having great players as on having a great GM. Anyone who has played in a a Living Campaign will probably nod knowingly right then and there – I know that it took some seriously horrendous experiences gaming with strangers to appreciate my main campaign and faithful cadre of players…and similarly, playing with strangers did highlight the strengths and weaknesses of my own players…but that as an aside.

This pdf, thus, is focused on player advice and as such can be considered to be a companion booklet to Venger’s massive GM-advice book. The introduction to the matter at hand will most certainly sound true for many of us: Being a socially awkward person most certainly applies o many folks I’ve seen gaming…but at the same time, as the pdf notes, actually playing sans fear can help mitigate this factor. The pdf also notes that roleplaying is not supposed to be “blowing off steam” – well, it can actually have beneficent effects, reduce aggression, etc. – but at the same time, while it can have the therapeutic and benevolent effects on one’s psyche, roleplaying is a collective experience and trying to resolve one’s own psychic baggage while playing can compromise the fun of the group. The analogue ultimately taken here would be that of the lion tamer and lions – the GM being the lion tamer, the PCs the lions. While the metaphor may not apply perfectly, it suffices to convey the intent.

The pdf does explain how the GM is reliant on the players and how the players can attempt to be awesome, to wow the GM: These pieces of advice are actually very helpful: Not hogging the spotlight and making it count; attempting to move the plot forward, adhering to genre, staying in character, thinking creatively, using humor (hint: Endless, mood-breaking Monty Python references are not using humor properly…) and being badass. Compelling attention via the character is covered by 3 tenets based on the writing of LaVey, namely sex, sentiment and wonder – while there is no disputing their efficiency, I’d argue that, cleanly defined though they be, not all groups will be comfortable with them…and frankly, it seems very reductionist as far as I’m concerned.

One the more generally applicable list of things that is really helpful would be a brief character background checklist: What’s the occupation? Family? Hobbies? Ideological leanings? Any affiliations? And, taking a cue from 13th Age, the One Unique Thing your character should have, a distinguishing characteristic, birthmark, whatever. From there, we move on to considering defining internally what kind of person the character is and then take a look at three character archetypes, from loud and cool to quiet strength, with the third man in the middle, examples from pop-culture to drive home the respective points. Personally, I wished that this section could do without them, if only for file longevity’s sake, but that as an aside. The pdf also makes a case strongly in favor of sandbox gaming, as a very much player-driven experience – which is something I generally like, though some advice for players on how to keep such a game moving in the long term could help – in my experience, the main issue with sandbox campaigns tend to be the lulls when players at one point either don’t have clear goals or no idea of how to reach them. While this can be offset by a good GM, the number of sandbox campaigns I’ve seen fizzle out does mean that the like would probably have merited closer inspection.

On the plus side, if the GM is using bad hooks, the pdf champions telling this, fostering communication…but at the same time, it is easy to forget that some players, alas, take this to the logical extreme, feeling entitled for a custom hook for “their” motivation…which can bury a campaign, so a bit more nuance here would have been nice. Though, on a plus-side,the importance of communicating likes and dislikes is emphasized. How to properly improvise as a player, the rules of courtesy and appreciation for the GM are also noted…as is the fact that no GM, no group, can always be non-stop amazing…things even out, and that is okay…and using this acceptance to also gauge one’s own spotlight makes sense.

As an aside, ½ a page is used extolling the virtues of the OSR and how the author feels about aspects, splicing some advertisement in the section as well. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of such entries – while I get that an advice-book like this is bound to be opinionated aspects, I do not like the notion of bad fun/doing it wrong and this bleeds in some aspects here. Not too jarringly, mind you, but it does take up about half a page, which could imho have been filled better, considering the brevity of the file.

On the plus-side, the etiquette championed for playing (no mobile device check-ups, etc.) is something I dearly wished all players took to heart.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious issues. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column full-color standard with icky veins (neat!) and the pdf comes with a printer-friendly, second version – kudos! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience (again: Kudos!), in spite of its brevity. The b/w-artworks of interior art are amazing.

Venger As’Nas Satanis’ advice-booklet for players is nice; it is a helpful file to consider, it spells out many of the things that make players better and roleplaying with them more rewarding. At the same time, I do believe that the brevity of this booklet hurts its mission, namely because it fails to address the elephant in the room regarding player advice: You are not alone. While the booklet addresses a LOT of the dynamics between GM and players, it does not so much as begin to elaborate upon interaction between players and PCs. From this in my opinion crucial oversight stem potential issues: If every PC is “a fucking boss”, simply not hogging the spotlight alone doesn’t cut it – while player personality discrepancies help, ultimately, we have the issue that e.g. demanding proper tailored hooks can lead to conflicting notions of entitlement between players. Similarly, having too many iterations of one archetype is not necessarily conductive to a fulfilling experience. In short: The dynamics of the group and how to be a better player within the confines of that group, are not touched upon to a sufficient extent.

Now, don’t get me wrong – this is not a bad advice-pdf by any definition of the word and its content can prove to be rather helpful. It is generally well-presented etc. – but it does fall short of providing the level of coverage and insight I expected after the rather neat GM-book. As a whole, this can be considered to be a nice advice pdf for the player as a singular entity interacting with the GM, but not for the player as part of a social entity interacting with the GM. For me as a person, this represents a serious drawback. As a person, this was a 3 star-file for me; however, as a reviewer, I have an in dubio pro reo policy, and hence, I will round up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Play Your Character Like A Fucking Boss
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Battle For The Purple Islands
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2017 20:22:40

I have a very strong connections with The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence, its a very flexible & dangerous adventure location/setting from the warped mind of Venger Satanis. A gonzo science fantasy setting with liberal doses of 'R' rated sex, gore, & lots of mayhem. All of which collide with the concepts from H.P. Lovecraft's circle of Cthulhu mythos writers. But what are the islands themselves & the brand new factions, horrors, & the adventure kit? Wait what?! Didn't you know that the new Heavy Metal style magazine aesthetic adventure & expansion book The Battle For The Purple Islands has hit the shelves of Drivethrurpg "What are they? A forbidden sanctuary of weirdness in the middle of the ocean. Three large islands next to

each other with dark purple sand, unbelievable creatures, and treasures untold. It’s a gonzo science fantasy paradise!

You see, much of the dark forces reigning supreme over the purple islands were vanquished by adventuring heroes. They came, they saw, and they slaughtered. A few years went by without incident.

Everyone started coming to the islands after things quieted down—colonists, anthropologists, big game hunters, sightseeing tourists, etc. But then obscene purple blasphemies deep within the islands began to resurface"

The islands have a bit of an overhaul & get back into the multi dimensional madness that them great as an adventure location in the first place. There's lots of reasons for your PC's to be on the islands and the book actually provides a number of random tables to give your characters a reason to be there. The whole affair clocks in at about twenty three or so pages. There's Venger's usual OSR & O5R vibe through out but in this case that's not a bad thing. Basically this book is a number of interconnected adventure plot points with factional information scattered throughout as much adventure as tool kit. Battle for The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence is Venger's Seventies & Early Eighties wet dream love letter with blood slime from 'Cannibal Holocaust' mixed with Stop Motion dinosaurs from 'Land of The Lost'. There are expansions of existing Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence factions & new ones like 'Cannibal' tribes that will eat your PC's in heart beat, yes you do meet HP Lovecraft & yes there is an Alpha Blue adventure in for you Satanis veteran players. This is an extremely dangerous little book with lots of new pit falls & weirdness waiting for PC's. I'm talking new factions such as the Sorcerers of the Crescent Moon who are serpent men from another time just waiting for PC's. "When at least one of the purple moons is crescent, a snake-man sorcerer named H'ssan comes down from the mountain to steal warm-blooded humans. Under cover of darkness, H’ssan procures sacrifices for Xivirinthi, the ancient wyrm who lives inside the third moon." Then you've got Talking Apes an in for Apes Victorious if you ever needed one! Why? Why not because everything is better with apes! "The purple islands allow for travel through time, space, and other dimensions. So, it’s no wonder that certain areas of the jungle have been altered by the quantum upheaval. Such changes bring civilizations from parallel worlds and alternate universes. Talking apes that walk upright like men is just one example. The apes are part of a community called New Ape City. They carry machine guns, attempting to conquer the purple islands whenever they meet a force that threatens them—both physically and intellectually… radical ideas that go against their religious-scientific belief system." The ones you really don't want to meet are the brotherhood of the Unquiet Void, "A religious order calling themselves Brotherhood of the Unquiet Void devote themselves to those outer abominations whose slime drips down from another universe, a universe of throbbing, twitching, screaming flesh, gory and insane and spilling out into the unreachable darkness. The brotherhood worships entities that hail from such places, and they have a leader named Kaion Vasus" Sort of a combination of the underdwellers from Battle For The Planet of the Apes & what happens to the world population in the film In The Mouth of Madness. These are not folks you want to invite over for supper. Then there's encounters with Lovecraft younger & older(don't ask). Lots of encounter tables for hex crawling across the islands. This is where the book shines of OSR style games especially if your into own a couple of OSR retroclone systems and want to expand your players adventuring! This also takes place in a timeless setting meaning that this is the book your going to want to pick up to introduce new players to the gonzo Lovecraftian sleazy jungle dripping action of The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence. Is Battle For The Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence worth the five dollar price tag? In a word yes, even if you don't own the original then Battle is your entry level drug for the weird science fantasy setting. This book brings home the setting and there are several tables that should have been in the original book. Your not paying twice for same setting folks this book has lots and lots of new material that isn't the 'special features' that ended up on the cutting room floor. Instead this is an add on book for the setting. Which leads into the next question should there be another book in the Purple Haunted Putrescence setting series of books? In a word yes. If your into the All Night Long USA style gonzo cheese and weirdness of Venger Satanis's science fantasy setting then this is book for you. Will I be using it in future and upcoming games? In a word yes! But this isn't a perfect book, I wanted more awesomeness and cult crazy gonzo adventure but this is a gateway & continuation book. In this alone the book sustains and in some points exceeds its goals. I'd say an even five out of five for purple haunted weirdness! Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Want More OSR action & support for this as well as other OSR titles? Subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle For The Purple Islands
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Stephane G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2017 18:58:02

This book in my opinion is good if you want some tips on how to set up a basic structure for your adventure, whether you wan to submit it to a publisher or just for yourself, but may not be worth the price.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Arto S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2017 04:12:37

It's a solid ballsy guide to what you are expected to write that qualifies as a good adventure.



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[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2017 17:45:48

I've been a GM/DM since in the 1980s, and I found this booklet to be well worth the read. It has made me reflect on how I ran my past adventures, and there's information in there that I can apply to future adventures for my campaign. This is a great resource for new and experienced GMs. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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A Green Jewel They Must Possess
by Tamas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2017 17:25:26

A Green Jewel... is a hard-boiled occult detective story. It's heavy on tropes, and works best if both the GM and the players are versed in pulp & horror, and are ready to immerse themselves in this world of unaussprachlichen Kulten and other mind-bending kosmische conspiracies.

The scenario probably takes 1-2 sessions to play through. In a nutshell, the characters are assumed to be Investigators who come in contact with the adventure's centerpiece, which is, obviously, THE Green Jewel They (that is, everybody) Must Possess. It might seem like a MacGuffin type of device, but let's just say it comes with a couple of strings attached, which are not obvious at first glance. And those who end up possessing it by the end of the scenario are in for a surprise.

The investigation leads the players to several locations. I actually really like how they are described, as each comes with plenty of small details that make them interesting. This is in true pulp spirit. You have to be able to catch your players' attention (or creep them out) with weird, unusual set pieces.

The Outer Presence line takes a minimalist approach when it comes to PCs. The players basically just have to show up, with a bare character concept and maybe a name, without much preparation, then roll on a table to generate some additional background information. His Flesh Becomes My Key provided characters with random paranormal/extrasensory abilities, while Green Jewel gives them a "character subplot" of a more mundane nature ("out of rehab", "owes money to the mob", etc.). The PCs' relationship to the main NPC is randomized as well.

Maybe tables like this should be collected into a single volume "Outer Presence Companion" of sorts? To be used to enhance other quick, out-of-the-box contemporary occult investigation adventures. The GM can take the "Companion", and insert or ignore the "character modules" as fit for the story.

I mentioned in my review of His Flesh..., that the scenario is presented without an initial overview, so the GM (unlike the players), has to read and prep it before the game session, make notes of timelines/NPCs. Although, when compared to His Flesh..., Green Jewel comes over as more organized and easier to follow. And the scenario in the main book comes with an overview and background description as well. But this style of presentation is a conscious choice by the author, Venger Satanis, to turn the scenario into a suspense / mystery short story. In my opinion, it lowers the usefulness of the product as a tool, but, I have to admit, it does add to the atmosphere!

Altogether, I find the whole Outer Presence line quite good, and recommend it to fans of grim, pulpy horror. Originally published at eldritchfields.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-outer-presence-green-jewel-they.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Green Jewel They Must Possess
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His Flesh Becomes My Key
by Tamas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2017 06:53:57

His Flesh Becomes My Key (let's just call it His Flesh...) is described as an "eldritch pulp / investigative horror" scenario. It's developed for the simple rules-lite The Outer Presence, but can be used in any other system without much effort.

The scenario's setting is defined by a short, but very evocative introduction, a description of the world coming apart at the seams: "This reality currently sits on a dimensional fault-line. It's been like that for thousands of years, perhaps from the very beginning." This shifting reality gives the characters a chance to experience flashbacks and lucid dreams.

His Flesh... assumes that the player characters are a team of "investigators". There isn't much of a hook, so I think the scenario would work best as a one-shot, or as an investigation for a very specific group of characters (weird consultants for the police, occult detectives, etc.).

I want to keep this review spoiler-free, so suffice to say, that the players investigate a series of occult-tinged murders, and get drawn into something bigger. There is a twist-ending, of sorts... Twilight Zone style. Which might work with your players, or might annoy the hell out of them.

What I really like about this scenario is its imagery and tone. It displays noir sensibilities… but this is not the 1940-50s stylish black & white noir, but something more 1980s or early 1990s? Miami Vice? No-no… Silk Stalkings, yeah, that's the one! Occult Silk Stalkings, I like that. Dario Argento, but not the 1970s Argento, but the pastel & neon of Tenebrae and Phenoena. RPG-wise, the first thing that comes to mind is not Call of Cthulhu (Modern), but old World of Darkness and especially KULT, this type of stuff. In The Outer Presence scenarios nothing is set in stone, everything's just vague shapes, mist, smoke machines and lasers, but you still get an impression, an atmosphere, a strong visual. Venger draws heavily on movies, so if you are a horror nerd, you share this world.

And the book/pdf looks good too, with a crisp layout and several full-page illustrations.

So far, so good!

Now, what I'm not so keen about is the presentation of the scenario. There is no overview of "what's going on", so the game master has to read the whole thing to get the picture. It's not too long (around 10 pages of text), but I think such summaries are important. There are no NPC write-ups, and all information regarding them is scattered all around in the step-by-step narrative of the scenario. I definitely think that a published adventure should help the game master more.

My overall impression: although the information is not organized efficiently, His Flesh Becomes My Key is a highly inspiring, atmospheric scenario.

Originally published at eldritchfields.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-outer-presence-his-flesh-becomes-my.html



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
His Flesh Becomes My Key
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2017 17:58:41

So, earlier this year I had a moment of realization. I came to see that while I'd been ignoring the written adventures of both yore and today I'd been missing out on learning design from other people's effort. It's not that I can't run a game, or write an adventure for myself, but going through the process of writing one for other people made me realize where I tended to say "fuck it" and just improvise. Not a bad thing, but not a great thing for published product.

So I've been looking at various bits of advice in this regard. The latest of which is "Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss" which is a title that really says something about the confidence level of the author...

What's In It?

Advice that strips out most of the bullshit. Seriously, there's very little pretension here, which is a good thing. Hell, it's probably the best part of this product that it doesn't treat itself as being too far "above the reader." In what amounts to about 9 pages of text if you strip out the art, cover, and credits the author lays down the foundations of adventure writing. As a GM for decades there's not a lot here that's "new to me" but it's refreshing to see it all laid out and bare.

The content is broken out into fifteen sections ranging from about 3 paragraphs to a dozen or so. The author starts off by detailing why you may want to write your own adventures. OK, fair enough, but probably anybody who has gotten this far already made that choice. It then goes into the idea of the elevator pitch as a metric for good and bad ideas. This is pretty reasonable, if you cannot sum up an idea into 2-3 interesting sentences it's probably not an idea that will yield an interesting adventure. Or it's too much, and you need to consider breaking it up into smaller parts; perhaps your epic idea can become fodder for a series of adventures instead. From there we get some advice on finding your own writing style and trying to make the best of it. There are some words of wisdom here in regards to over-writing.

Next we get a discussion of the adventure rails. Ah, to railroad, or not to railroad, that is the question! Actually, no, screw that, NEVER railroad. But, to the author's point, knowing when to toss in "guardrails" to keep the adventure from going entirely ... ahem ... "off the rails" ... is wise. Players are ... unpredictable creatures, and having mitigating factors in place to help keep the session from going bananas is good. Most GMs simply cannot keep up improvising after a certain point without abandoning the original adventure, which sucks.

At this point we're on page four and getting into the meat. First we get "Anatomy of an Adventure" breaking down the basic (and classic) structure for storytelling. Then the author dives into scenes and starts discussing each component therein. The fact that adventures and scenes have the same basic structure is makes this all the more valuable.

From here out the product fires on all cylinders for me, right up until the last section, which just didn't float for me, but hey, that's cool, it's only one page. The writing keeps being punchy and direct, and breaks down how to build a scene up without getting overwrought. It's presents the idea of a "Trailer Test" to help prune scenes much in the way the Elevator Pitch helps prune out bad adventure ideas. This is just the fractal nature of things in my opinion.

After scenes we get a quick hit of the three most basic aspects of gaming (and storytelling) and how these should all be present in some form to make for a good session. Lastly there is some advice for "moments" or interludes, the stuff between scenes that adds color, as well as the idea of callbacks.

The layout if functional, the art is minimal (which is fine) and of a good quality, but I couldn't stand the full color version with these angry red veins rimming each page. It added nothing, and it detracted plenty. Thankfully there's a printer friendly version without that. I will say the cover is quality, and I imagine that's just good marketing to put an attractive eye catching cover onto any product. Duh.

Closing Thoughts

I'd say that if you're new to GMing, and new to writing up your own adventures this is a pretty damn good purchase for $3. If you've been at it a while it may make for a nice refresher course, and the clean and bullshit free presentation of the writing does help make this a nice reference or refresher. Will this make you a "fucking boss" at adventure writing? I'm not sure about that, but it sure as shit will help prevent you from making an ass of yourself. There's plenty more to writing good adventures than structure, but if you don't have good "bones" the flesh won't matter for shit.

Score: 85% - Pretty good for those wanting a refresher course or those who are new to adventure writing. Maybe not what you're looking for if you've been GMing for a while.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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