Survivalist Chaos: Looking at the Warhammer Chaos Gods through a different lens.

Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle, and Slaanesh. These supernatural beings are the infamous Chaos Gods within the Warhammer universe – both Warhammer 40K, and Warhammer (Fantasy battle and Age of Sigmar). For those familiar with the Warhammer lore, they will know that the Chaos gods are often at the heart of the major storylines and conflicts; for those not familiar, they are described as the biggest threat to order, stability and general life, and portrayed as the major evil along with their villainous followers – even in the lore of 40k where no faction is inherently ‘good’. However, to say that the Chaos Pantheon are evil may be too critical of them, and what Chaos is and those that follow it. I’m not suggesting that Chaos are the “good guys” (if that exists in Warhammer), but neither are they the traditional “bad guys” (if this exists in Warhammer, too) expected from fantasy and sci-fi narratives.

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Disco Elysium: The Final Cut – First Impressions

In case you missed it, we did a livestream of Disco Elysium! Watch the vod below!

Disco Elysium is an RPG unlike any other I’ve played. It would take a while to put into writing how good it is, so instead I decided to record a new playthrough of the Final Cut edition of the game, which updates the game with more content, and most importantly full voice acting!

This is also Lilly’s first time actually seeing the game herself after hearing me go on about it for over a year now. Join us on our first impressions as we play the start of the game!

Becoming God: An RPG noob now GM

If I was to recall one regret in life, one of them would be not getting involved in RPGs earlier. I’ve played RPG video games like Skyrim, and The Witcher, to name a couple, but the RPG style of pen and paper, or even with miniatures was an unexplored realm to me; even when I started playing tabletop wargaming, it was still something other people did – not me. I think I was worried, that would inevitably be playing with a group that always included “that guy” – the person who would literally believe they are a wizard and criticise me because I wasn’t embracing my character properly or because I was making an action that wasn’t optimal to the meta…or some shit. This was until a couple of years ago, when my best mate said that he, his partner and a couple of their friends had played a game of Dungeons and Dragons, and asked if I’d like to join too. I said yes, simply because I thought if my mate is enjoying it (who has never been much of a role-player himself), then, at the lest, I’ll have a laugh with him anyway. His partner has organised a house party, but which had turned into an evening long DnD session… and you know what – I love it! I was playing a socially awkward Dwarve with poor social etiquette (suited me perfectly), who happened to fart every time things got awkward or stressful. I was also a healer for the party. It was brilliant fun, very laid back, and far easier for me to imagine my Dwarve and engage with him as a character than I ever thought it would.

Skip ahead to now, and I have been involved in a nice little range of DnD games now; currently, I’m nearing the end of a The Lord of the Rings RPG campaign as a Rider of Rohan (mostly me riding around shouting DEATH!), will soon be starting a Warhammer 40,000 campaign as a Dark Angel (the best chapter), and the GM for a fortnightly session within the Witcher universe.

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The Witcher RPG: Kassya – Witcher Backstory

Following on from my previous post “Getting into Character: The Witcher RPG”, here is the backstory for Kassya, my Gryphon School Witcher, and the baggage she is bringing to the game we are playing.

I found this email on Google, which helped me envision who Kassya was, just a bit rougher around the edges and with the traditional Wicher eyes. Kudos to the artist because it is badass and it really helped me.

I don’t remember a lot about my life, mostly because my childhood was a haze of trials, blood and alchemy. Then there are other parts which I choose to forget. I was born in Cidaris, the location of which I actively forget everyday of my life. My parents, those people whom I’d rather think dead are very much alive. It is thanks to them that my last few years have been peaceful, and relatively quiet. They take care of…my sister, Niezska…whom in truth is my secret, the one thing I must protect and ensure stays alive. That was simply not an option around me. You see, Niezska is a young girl, probably not so young now; it’s been a while. But despite her life being short, her fate and mine is one of danger.

I spent my youth in the Kaer Y Seren. It wasn’t my choice. None of this was. I’m not sure most people choose this life of darkness and emptiness, but for my parents his was the only means for survival. So I don’t blame them; but I do hate them for it. It was there where I trained as a witcher, and it was there where I met the most despicable human to ever live: Kaehl Wryn. I don’t know much about him, only that he hates my guts and will take any opportunity to destroy anyone he sees fit. I am surprised he did actually make it through the training. It’s like that little weasel had some agenda against everyone and everything in the school, like he thought he was better than the rest of us – he always seemed like an entitled brat whose parents probably considered a gift instead of a curse. And for some reason, his hatred found a perfect landing spot on me. I always did what I had to do. I survive, and I don’t brag about it. Life is unforgiving, and that’s something I already knew before I went to the Gryphon School. Kaehl clearly didn’t. And I hope it really stings when he eventually learns that lesson if he hasn’t already.

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Getting into Character: The Witcher RPG

Hey guys! It has been a while since I have written a post, as lately I have been very focused on recording our podcasts and bringing interesting topics regarding geek culture to your ears rather than your eyes. But my writing flow is ready and back for you, so from now on, as we have reached our episode 20 benchmark, we shall be bringing you podcast and blog posts in a more balanced way. So today, to break the ice, I decided to share with you the back story for an RPG character that I literally started impersonating just yesterday. And the reason why I wanted to tell you about this is because this is really not the type of character I would play in an RPG so it has been a bit of a challenge though it has taught me a few things. So, I will share my thought on the subject with you and then leave you with the edgy backstory for my Witcher Kassya from the Gryphon School.

To Witcher or Not to Witcher; That is the Question

Being a Witcher was not my natural inclination and shouldn’t be a surprise for those of you who know me personally or have been following us for a while. I am not the kinda combat heavy player, and I tend to have characters with deep complex human emotions, ideals and wishes. I am a very emotional player: I feel my characters and so they feel too. Therefore, the prospect of an incredibly low empathy did intimidate me a little to begin with as I was making my character. I am not one to shy away from a challenge though, so I spent my time trying to fully understand who would Kassya be as a Witcher so I could come up with her back story. The book is good in the sense that it allows you to flesh out a lot of the background and life events and it is helpful to help you create a fully fleshed individual. Before deciding to be a Witcher, just rolling for my normal human details it was established that I was going to be of a nervous nature, indifferent to most people, but someone who valued honour. The dice also determined my parents were alive, I had a sibling who felt indifferent towards me but that I valued dearly and that there was a dark secret in the family that could bring its doom. In the process of trying to reconciliate this, I eventually decided to be a Witcher, and my fate was sealed: I was assigned to the Gryphon School which suits my play style better than Wolf or Bear may have, and my back story determined I was also given a child by Law of Surprise, as well as a rival Witcher. And suddenly Kassya made sense: no wonder she was so apathic and dulled inside. So, I tied all the knots together and you can see this in my back story (upcoming post).

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Mythic Iceland: Session 1

Our first try at doing an RPG Stream on our YouTube Channel: Tune into the first session of our Live RPG games!

We streamed ourselves playing Mythic Iceland, using the Basic Roleplaying system via Roll20.net. Lilly is our DM, with her expertise of the Viking Age and years of DMing, with Alex, Mike and James playing their characters as ordinary people living in early medieval Iceland. Mythic Iceland is an rpg produced by Chaosium, using a percentile system and it is very easy to use over Roll20. We also record on our Discord channel whilst Alex broadcasts over in Streamlabs.

Join in with the crew to see how the lives of these three poor Icelanders are about to change!

Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 15: RPG Character Death

Time for another podcast episode! This one is with James Campbell-Prager again, and our regular guest Mike Jarvis to talk about the death of the player character in RPGs! How cheerful!
You can listen through Spotify below, or find links for all other places to listen at anchor.fm/manaburnt

 

Manaburnt Podcast – Colossus: Harbinger

Today we have another special interview podcast episode! This one is with James Campbell-Prager, who is here to tell us all about his upcoming 5th Edition D&D module called Colossus: Harbinger
You can listen through Spotify below, or find links for all other places to listen at anchor.fm/manaburnt
Be sure to check out the team behind the game at facebook.com/BorkenThings
Sign up to their mailing list, and keep an eye out for the Kickstarter appearing on the horizon very soon!