Howdy all y’all, I hope this finds you well. Or not on fire and being eaten by bears at least.
I’m recovering a little bit from some con crud picked up from GottaCon 2015 this last weekend, so for now I’m simply going to direct you to the Black Goat Games part of the GM’s Day Sale over at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. There you’ll be able to get your grubby paws on many a fine product offered by many a fine publisher, as well as stuff from this here goat.
BGG products include everything published so far and the gaming music I’ve been slowly releasing over there at those sites. So, yeah, what are you waiting for? Go get some.
While bouncing ideas around, I tend to draw from history a lot. I love history, and I even spent way too much of my younger life in school studying it. These days, I put all that academia towards roleplaying ideas… and, uh, research for copy– but that’s a darker story for another time.
One fellow who pops out from history is Johann Weyer, student of famed occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and, of course, ardent demonologist. Weyer is best known for writing De Praestigiis Daemonum et Incantationibus ac Venificiis in 1563, leading a life of research into the occult, working as a physician, and basically taking the piss out of radical woo-doo types. In fact, Johann might just have been a bit of a cad in terms of the occult, as some of his works could be considered prankish satire, like Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, which lists 69 entities in a “false monarchy of demons”, which some brainy, experty folks argue that he was mocking the mere thought of a “Hellish hierarchy”. But where Weyer really shined was the way he took on contemporary witch hunters, whom he must’ve thought of as complete prats. He considered so-called witches to be delusional at best (or worst, I suppose), and even used terms like “melancholy” to describe their condition– which is essentially like saying “mentally ill” today. Go ahead and follow the links when you get a chance. He and his works make for a fascinating read.
I’m willing to bet that the character of Dr. Weir in Event Horizon was at least partially inspired by Weyer, at least in name.
Anyways, in terms of your game, Johann Weyer serves as a great example of a non-evil demonologist. Sure, he didn’t think all demons were evil, as demons were originally meant to be spirits and such; but Weyer was still someone who researched the roots of supernatural evil (from a certain moralistic point of view). Those who dabble and dabble with demons, devils, and other infernal indulgences can be really anyone from any walk of life. Maybe they’re a poor priest who broke off from their church in order to better obsessively pursue demonic knowledge, whether to fight evil, use evil, or be just plain evil. Maybe they’re a rich aristocrat who wishes for easier power, or have become a “lay academic” because of some kind of demonic encounter. Reformed witch hunter. Obsessed witch hunter. Ruined merchant. Enlightened mercenary. The ideas abound. Combine some thoughts and paste on some stats, if necessary.
If you’re looking for a good angle to mess with your players, dear GMs, which involves demonologists and necromancers and the like, take a gander at Black Death, which I plan to cover in a future entry.
As for more on this particular idea, I’ll probably incorporate it into BGG at some point. And I already kinda have in some respects. Usually, I find some of the best game aspects evolve from the gray ooze resulting from the vigorous mixing of black and white.
Until next time, game the hell on.
This week, the writing mines of Black Goat Games finally released A is for Arjetkainen, the first in Ye Nerterological Abecedarium series, which is the Black Goat version of the Alphabet of Death. I felt the Arjetkainen was a fun creature to kick of this series with, considering there’s always room for some wraith alien things, right? Best of all, it’s only a buck.
R is for Regimental Revenant is next, which should be released very soon. It covers ways you can use the undead in a military manner, mostly focusing on (hopefully) interesting creatures, troop types, magic items, and other details. After that comes B is for Bog Mummy and then C is for Corpse Flower.
In other news, the other BGG products out there are discounted for the holiday season. Feel free to get your filthy paws on some!
And t-shirts are still on the table. Please feel free to drop me a line if you want one. I’ll have them printed up soon. I can’t promise they’ll be done in time to ship before Xmas, though.
[Update! This has been extended into an Xmas deal– because, hey, why not? And not only that, but it goes through the month of December.]
Hello, my evil darlings! It is that time of year where sales begin and people start to lose their tiny little minds, etc, etc… and the dolmen of this Goat is no different, really.
While I’m getting back in gear with some new releases, Black Goat Games would like to announce the following deals that are good from Friday, November 27 to Monday, December 1. For starters, I’ll yabble about the PDF deals, and then we’ll get to the t-shirt stuff.
LITTLE THINGS: THE FIRST OFFERING is only 50 cents— madness!
THE EGADINGFLY can be yours for only 50 cents, as well!
And why not throw in THE MURDER URCHIN for 50 pennies more?
For a mere $1.50, you can procure everything released from Black Goat Games so far. A good deal, if you ask me. Don’t worry, all revenue is guaranteed to go towards nefarious deeds.
Then, there’s shirts. Black Goat Games shirts. They kick ass, and you totally want one. Okay, so normally these suckers would run $20 a pop; but for you? This weekend? This Black Goat Friday? $15. Yup, for $15 you can have an awesome grimdark shirt of +666 Grimdarkness. In an even crazier deal, I’m charging the same price for the slightly more expensive “ladies fit” t-shirts, too! Long-sleeved versions of the regular BGG shirt can also be obtained for only $2 more, and please inquire if you need XXL or larger, or a long-sleeved XXL.
For locals to the Victoria, BC area, you don’t have to worry about shipping. We can arrange for pick-up. As for Canadians, shipping shouldn’t be too hefty– no more than $3-$5 for a shirt. For US customers… oof, shipping can be brutal, I won’t lie. But if you want to get your claws on a BGG shirt, I will do my damn-doodliest to cut you the best shipping deal possible. And that goes for the rest of you, too, no matter where you live. Alright? ALRIGHT!
Now, here’s a mock up of what the shirts will look like.
Yes, this is even different than my own personal BGG shirt (where all the information is on the front). These shirts haven’t even been printed yet– a local printer is waiting for the minimum order to be filled (12; which is almost achieved already!) and off to the presses they go (so to speak). I assure you the shirts will be of the highest, evilest screen printing quality, as Randy knows no equal in the garment printing industry.
Since this is a one Goat operation and for a limted time, please direct all orders through firstname.lastname@example.org, with “SHIRT” in the subject line. All payment must be through Paypal or cash in person. Locals can be certain to get theirs before Krampus Day (Xmas) is upon us, and I will do my damnedest to ship all shirts out ASAP.
Thanks for checking this out, and I hope to hear from you soon.
(Please note that prices are in CAD for Canadian customers and USD for everyone else– this is to make things easier all around! Thanks for your understanding.)
Hey folks, I have been playing around with coming up with Black Goat’s own easy-to-use rules system, or some modification of an open source one, or whatever. I like to call it “Grim Fantasy”. First as a placeholder, but then the name kinda stuck with me. These rules and such have been brewing in my head for a long, long time, and I keep playing and tinkering with them. Anyway, I hope this one will give you some cool ideas, or maybe you’ll use it in your own game. Sure, this can all be expanded– and it will. But for now, play around with it, see what happens, and I would love to read reports of your findings.
Once again, these are the basic notes.
Fate is fickle, but I feel that much of the fate of a character should rest in the hands of a player. I also feel players should be rewarded for taking chances and “letting it roll”. In this case, Doom means fate or destiny, and is being used in the more archaic convention.
The Doom stat is gained by rolling a d6 first. This will be the amount of times you get to roll your d100 Doom dice, and you take the number you wish. Usually this will be the highest, but if a player a lower number, they will get a Special Reward base on the rank of which roll it was. For instance, if you roll 4 on the d6 and take the next highest you get one Special Reward; take the lowest and you get three Special Rewards.
The Grim Fantasy RPG is about rewarding players for having fun with their characters and making the best out of a bad deal, so if the player decide to give themselves only one try at the Doom score, they should get a Very Special Reward (especially if they end up rolling, say, a 07 or something).
Certain “blessed” races, like elves, will get modifiers already, like only being able to roll d4 times and receiving later Doom penalties.
Next up, and after you’ve figured out which Doom score you’re taking, apply appropriate modifiers. As of this writing, most modifiers are suggestions; races themselves are also suggestions.
Elves: Roll d4 times. Subtract 2d10 from Doom.
Angelic and Demonic Blood: Roll d4 times. 3d10 from Doom.
Gnomes: 1d10 from Doom.
Dwarves: Roll d4 times. Add 1d10 to Doom.
Halflings: roll d8 times. Add 2d10 to Doom. Halflings are very lucky by nature.
During the game, Doom can be used as a Luck stat, and it can be used to modify rolls and cheat death. Often these choices will permanently affect Doom.
Influence a roll +/- 1, +/-10%, etc: Dock 1 Doom point per d6 increments in a single instance.
Automatically make a mundane / non-lethal check: Dock 5 Doom points.
Automatically make an important or life-saving check: Dock 10 Doom.
Cheat Death with fetters (consequences): Dock 20 Doom.
Fully Cheat Death, no strings: 30 points of Doom docked.
Bring Death Upon Someone (Doom them*): Subtract all Doom to -10**.
(*Note: This should never be allowed to used against PCs and the GM’s call is sacrosanct.)
(**The character must have at least 30 Doom to perform this in the first place.)
These subtractions are final. Though, a character can earn Doom points by extreme and interesting actions. They can also use gobs of Experience Points (XP) to gain more.
Another way one can earn lots of Doom is by simply “going with it”. If they make their character creation completely random, they will get 4d10+5 extra starting Doom. Yes, that’s a lot. They can also sacrifice a stat point level (-1/-10) for 5 Doom. Now, this can lead to a character to having a ridiculous amount of Doom, and that’s alright because it should lead to great amusement, as their character will most probably be a hot mess. Now, “going with it” also means Calling and Profession are also random. So, yeah, you and your friends might end up with the world’s clumsiest burglar who’s built like a brick shithouse. There’s also a possibility of having a halfling with a Doom of something like 165 or more.
The PC’s Doom can also be used as a Luck score, as mentioned. This works as a d100 stat with appropriate modifiers. And while this can all seem complicated, one must remember that one’s Doom is a primary aspect of Grim Fantasy, but if you finding it to be mucking things up to much, take or add what you whilst.
No matter how high or low a Doom is, 100 is always an automatic failure and 1 is an automatic success. Also, due to other nasty things, it is completely possible to have a negative Doom. These people are actually known as Doomed Ones.
Players could easily abuse this game mechanic, and it’s really up to the Gamemaster on how it’s all handled. How Doom Abusers are treated could be a fun mechanic in and of itself!
I’ll be sure to come up with some fun charts and tables as I flesh this out more. Overall, I think Doom can really make a game interesting and exciting in all the right/wrong ways.
Demon Cult image by Ed Geier, used with permission
Cat artwork © Jeff Freels 2008, used with permission
Crow Skull image by Nicole Turner
Anything else is found in the public domain
Hey, hey, hey! It’s been too damned long since I’ve updated this thing. Very sorry about that! Anyhow, here’s a breakdown of new stuff going on with Black Goat Games:
Little Things: The First Offering is still on sale for 99 cents. Get it here or here! And never fear, Little Things II: A Second Helping is trucking right along!
The Egadingfly is a Pay What You Want beastie that folks seem to enjoy. GM’s pick up this wonderful creature to torment your group here. Since you can pick the price, you can also pick it up for free. And if you totally dig it, please consider picking it up again and “leaving a tip”– meaning throwing a buck or two toward’s Black Goat Games. I promise all funds are used for nothing but nefarious reasons.
Pink Space Marine is a minis blog I started. You may find it of interest!
And finally, I started posting videos to YouTube, calling them Black Goat TV. I’m only a few episodes in, but maybe you’ll have a good time watching them… maybe? I cover gaming tips, personal stories, and friendly little rants. As you may expect, foul language abounds.
Here’s #1 to start with.
And here’s links to the rest of them so far.
Thanks for all of your support, thanks to my loved ones, and thank to all of our Dark Patrons!!
Be seeing you!
As with all good things, sales must happen. Right now and for the foreseeable future, you will be able to pick up Little Things: the first offering for the low, low price of 99 cents. That’s right, it’s half off. I promise you that all proceeds garnered from this dark venture get dumped right into more art for upcoming Black Goat Games products.
Click here to be wooshed to Little Things!
I’m feverishly working on these things, as always. I should probably listen to Nicole more concerning my habit of fiddling with things, and thus causing delay. Sigh.
As some of you may know, I also write funny books from time to time. Naturally, my favorite kind of comic to write is dark fantasy (shocker, I know). A few years back, a buddy of mine over in Britain, Ian Sharman, asked me to contribute to his excellent anthology FTL, to which I darkheartedly agreed. After some of the usual sacrificing and tithing to gibbering madness, it occurred to me I hadn’t written a script on my lonesome yet (my usual partner being the incomparable Josh Wagner). I whipped up a script, which was just the start of this idea I had about recreating The Song of Roland in a way. Gritty, dark, goddamned historic, Sorgon sprang forth from my brain meats like a lunatic child.
Once the script went out to a great artist, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t jazzed up. But then, tragedy! Steve, the original artist, had to drop out– and it saddened me deeply, as his first run through looked like it was ripped straight from the pages of Savage Sword of Conan.
Fortunately, the unspeakable powers were looking out for this Goat, and I was introduced to Rolf Lejdegård, a truly wonderful human being who makes his home in lovely Sweden. Rolf looked at that script and went to town on it. What you see is his amazing results. Personally, I really, really dig his style. It’s raw, kinetic, and visceral. Just like Rolf is, really, which makes perfect sense! One day, I hope to work with him again on something. You must also understand that this project was essentially a volunteer one. No one got paid for it. Well, aside from Ian selling copies of FTL, which we hope he sold many to cover costs. The comics business is a harsh mistress, indeed.
One day, one day, one day… one day I’ll write more of Hruodland’s adventures. He only has around 7 years of them left at the start of Lithan, the first Sorgon story, because the historical Hruodland (Roland) died 14 August, 778. The story is arced already, and so all I need to do is dedicate some time and money to it.
In the meantime, enjoy this ten-pager. Writing-wise, I cram a lot in there. And I apologize if it’s hard to read in spots. Rolf makes up for any typographical or writing issues quite nicely. I’ll get better images up soon, I hope.
Just click on the image and enjoy!
(And big thanks go out to Ryan Speck for hosting this comic!)
Hey there! So, the Murder Urchin– which is a grimdark fancy way of saying “Dire Hedgehog”– has been redone and polished up for expanded public consumption.
This scary, prickly beast is available here as a part of the Pay What You Want model. This means you can pay whatever you want; even nothing, if you’re so inclined. But what if you nab it for free and then have the urge to help this old goat out? No worries! Just pick it up again for a price you’re comfortable with, or pick up Little Things: the first offering, or just write up a review talking about how much you love or hate it. Well, honestly, I really hope you love it!
Now, what’s next for Black Goat Games? Currently, numerous things are in development, but the ones that are going to be unleashed very soon are the redux versions of The Edgadingfly, R is for Regimental Revenant, and A is for Arjetkainen. Then it’s Little Things II: a second helping, Little Things III: Little Places, Little Things IV: Celebrate the Cult, Creature Feature: Those Who Creep and Crawl, Breach and Butcher!, Lovely Maachen, Scribendarum Volume I, and… wow, a lot on the plate, indeed! There’s even more brewing, too.
To be fair, most of the releases are small offerings, so we’re not as buried as it seems. Right? Right??
We’ll keep plugging along and get more stuff out there. So far the response has been great, and I look forward to hearing and reading more of what y’all have to say!
Hey there! Just so you are aware, Black Goat has released its first product for glorious consumption… Little Things: The First Offering!
This 25+ page PDF is centered around 8 ideas that you can insert into any dark fantasy and/or weird fantasy RPG.
- The Urmakabus: a gnome-like creature powered by loneliness and pure sadism.
- Cornerstone Keep: A location you can use in games that has its very own cannibal family unit.
- The Krofron: Bizarre interdimensonal alien creatures that serve to make weird fantasy even weirder.
- The Tentacled Brain-Sucker: Most of you know what kind of brain-eating creatures these can be, but this expands on them a bit, giving different names for them as well as other ideas and ways to use them to whatever devious ends a GM desires.
- Fun-filled tables of village stuff, horrible things, a map of a location (which can be used for Cornerstone Keep, now that I think on it…), andWhat’s in the Box, a page of 20 options for contents in whatever box players find.
Allow this Goat to link you:
Click on the above, or, if you prefer DriveThruRPG, klicken hier:
Really, I just like the German banner. But we do hope to have BGG products available in German and other languages in the future!
I hope those of you who pick up Little Things: The First Offering enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it and putting it together.