Sunday, 28 May 2023

Ride the Giants, Development Blog 1

As mentioned here, I am attending the 'Cauldron' Con in Germany and am trying to develop a 'real time' adventure to run there. This is a development blog for that adventure. This is what I have so far. Later blogs will probably go into more specific sections and problems rather than giving an overview.


Ride the Giants 

Once in every century, a crowd of ancient, stoop-shouldered giants come down from the Star  Mountains and stride down the Sword Peninsula towards the Titans Reach, where the Sea of Storms separates the Lands We Know from the nightmare Monster Continent which lies beyond. 

There, at the very point of the land, the Giants slow a little, perhaps to gaze at the wild ocean before them. Then they walk off the land, into the sea, and  wade across the Titans Reach, the sea covering them even to the neck, the mouth, the eyes. Without slowing, they surge through the waves and, after four hours of wading, they rise once again to the land, walking up the shore and making their way off into the Monster Continent. 

Where they go, or why, none know, nor how they return. Perhaps they endlessly circle the world, for in roughly 100 years, the same giants will return, again coming down from the Star Mountains, and again, slowing, just a little, to gaze at the Sea of Storms before they plunge into it and wade across the Titans Reach. 

They do not speak or communicate in any way. They walk through anything in their path, pushing down fortress walls like a man pushing through weeds, but ignore anything beyond it. 

A century ago observers with telescopes and trained birds noted ruins on the giants backs, strange parasites in their rocky skin, relics and remnants of unknown actions studded across them and what seem to be mysterious temples built atop their bowed heads! 

Now the Giants come again, but this time we are ready! 

I am King Sleet and I have called adventurers from across all realms. I have called you

Not to stop the giants, for nothing can, and we fear their wrath if we try, but to board them! 

As the giants slow before the Titans Reach, they are just slow enough that it becomes possible to climb onto their feet. 

Board a giant. Climb it. If you are quick, it should be possible to climb their legs as they wade into the ocean, staying just ahead of the rising water. Investigate. For any Lore or Treasure you return, you will be well paid. 

My small navy waits at sea. They shall try to follow the giants, as well they can. A few experimental Hot Air Balloons await. They are hard to control but they will try to follow and assist. 

You have FOUR HOURS (in real time) until the Giants walk onto the Continent of Monsters. None who go there return! 

They come! Prepare yourselves!  



The Scene 

As you look across the ranging fields you see spots of colour; other groups of wild adventurers waiting with hooks, grapples, ladders, horses and a crazy range of tool and tricks. 

Far beyond the giants path, the King observes from his pavilion, and lined around him, the people of the land, waiting to see the Giants. Far out to sea, the Kings small navy prepares to attempt to follow the giants and in the air, experimental but hard to control hot air balloons bob about, hoping to observe and perhaps even offer rescue. 

The brass horns are blowing! The ground is shaking! The crowd roars! 


The Giants 

The Giants are proportioned like immensely strong but very ancient men with stony skin. They walk bent over like hunchbacks, heads tilted up so they can see. 

From their perspective they are not walking very fast, but their enormous size means that, to us, their feet thunder past. The relative movement of their bodies is very slow, but for someone on the ground as they step over, the gargantuan foot fairly flies past overhead. 

The Giants heads are roughly 2,000 Feet in the air. 

Their skin is pitted and rocky. Where an ancient man would have wrinkles and folds, they have cracks and crevices. Their surface looks rough and fricative. Scrub plants have taken root in places. Some have trees or heather, scrubland and maquis, even small trickling streams, on their backs. 

If a giant was static and still, an energetic hiker could possibly climb one in an hour and a half. 

The giants have something like hair. Perhaps it is vines or growth of some kind mixed with ancient hair as thick as ropes or the branches of trees. The hair hangs down around their heads and faces. On some, hair speckles their forearms and thighs. The Giants have thick hanging crotch and ass hair, which thankfully spares the modesty of those who look upon them, and which might also prove useful to climbers. 


The Giants Path 

There are about a dozen Giants. They walk together in no fixed formation. They sometimes stumble and brush up against one another. (It might be possible to leap from one to another). 

Over the Eons the Giants have worn a shallow valley in the ground. Rivers and streams often weave and gather in this valley, so the giants sometimes splash through them on their way.


Giant Layout – Labelled



The Climb 

1. The Foot 

A 50 foot cliff. Very rugged, not sheer, more like a clamber. Race to the ankle. Need to climb up over and around the ankle to the back of the lower leg. There are unlikely to be other life-forms or encounters on the foot. 

Though, as the most accessible place, there might be small encampments of bandits, sigilites, monks or others who have mounted the giant at some point during its great journey. Those who understand the ocean is coming will either be about to jump off or, like you, be willing to risk a rapid ascent to stay above the waters. 

This would be a good place for a goatherds shack actually. They could let their goats rove all over the giant. Maybe they are a monk. Will they come with you as you climb or refuse to believe in their doom until the sea washes over them. 


The Ankle Cross 

A traverse around a moving joint. Big possibility of falling off here, it must be accomplished quickly before the giant takes too many steps into the sea. Once on the rear of the calf the terrain becomes more predictable and the angle of climb more advantageous. 

Of course you could try climbing the overhand of the shin, but that is madness.. 

If there are other teams or spoiling factors this would be a good first spot to knock someone off, but does not guarantee their death…. 


2. The Lower Leg Climb 

How far is this? About 150 feet. A hard scramble and climb up the back of the calf, a moving surface which shifts from near vertical to overhang in pulses as the giant walks. 

This is probably the most important time-sensitive climb as reaching the knee will keep you safe for most of the journey, only the deepest part of the ocean at the two-hour mark will reach past this 


The Knee Decision 

As one reaches the knee another traverse is required, followed by a decision. Should one continue to climb the frontal thigh, aiming for the hips and lower back, or risk it all with a daring leap onto the giants hand? 

The hand swings very close to the knee over the giants slow steps. It is certainly possible to try to jump onto a knuckle as it swings near the kneecap. This might allow you to climb the arm and give you a time advantage, avoiding whatever terrors occupy the back.. You can aim right for the head! It’s a straight climb up past the shoulder, 


3. The Upper Leg 

The climb up the front of the thigh may be fatiguing but is not technically difficult and it stands the best change of keeping your party together. As you begin to reach the hip you are truly out of danger from the rising sea level and can afford to take s short break to consider. 

Will you attempt a traverse up and over the hip, aiming for the side of the back? Or will you clamber into the giants dense ass hair? The growth is thick and tangled, making the way seem relatively safe. You could move through the crotch like a tick, work your way through the steaming jungle of the taint and then haul your way up to the base of the spine via the ass hair between the cheeks. 

It sounds horrific, but isn’t just such an investigation the reason you are here? And who knows who, or what you may discover in that Dark Realm? 


4. The Back 

At last, the great tilted expanse of the Giants Back. Finally you need no longer fear falling off. However this is a ready environment for combat, either with other explorers or denizens of the Giants body. Its also a good place for a Balloon to try to land, they could tie up here and wait for you, assuming you have already made arrangements. Or Balloons could land rival parties or pirates. 

Will you explore the karst and moorland of the back or head straight for the head and its mysteries? From here you can probably easily make out the tailing naval forces. You may also be exposed to any flying monsters.. 


5. The Head 

What is the mysterious structure atop the Giants head and what secrets or treasures does it hold? Can you gain access to the Giants Thoughts (and even PILOT the giant?) 

This would be a good place for a Balloon to try to pick you up from (if possible), but the Head may be haunted by Quetzacotolous or other flying creatures, perhaps mountain lions or even super-monkeys making their home in the dense forest of its hair. 

Getting through that dense hair to the temple or fort on the giants crown will be the hard part. One must risk diving or crawling through the maquis of the scalp, risking attack by whatever lies beneath, or attack from above, the whirl of strange flying parasites which circles above the giants highest point, riding the thermals of its exertions. 

From here you can easily see the head-tops of the other giants. Which other adventurers have already reached their summits? Some may be being picked up by balloons already, others may be rotating vast cannons or lazer guns to blast at you! Or signalling more peaceful intentions, even requests for aid… 

This might be a good place to consider, will you risk leaping to another giant? If you traverse down to the arm it might be possible as they brush against each other… 

Reaching the peak of the head would also give you a good look at the advancing line of the Monster Continent, coming closer with each mighty step…. 


6. The Arm Climb 

The arm in general is a tough, vertical climb with less hand holds and less safety. It may however be less populated than the thigh and if one can manage it, it might bring you more directly to the neck, and thence to the head, bypassing the great Karst of the back completely. 


The Mysteries of the Hand! 

Do the Giants have great rings upon those stony fingers? If so can you read the cartouche of its symbols as you climb across its golden surface? Or does the giant have something in its hand? How big is that something and might it drop it? Is the giants ‘skin’ around its palm and fingertips perhaps sensitive enough that it may detect the PCs climbing it? Here the swinging force of the giants movements would be the greatest of all. 


The Elbow Traverse 

Like the Knee traverse but worse. The angles of the giants arms are more vertical than their legs but its still much easier to climb the upward diagonal of the rear of its upper arm than to risk the overhang of the front of the upper arm. Cover is less, as the rocky ‘skin’ of the giant is less chunky and dense. 


Hair or Shoulders? 

The giants armpit hair can provide a brief respite of illusory safety but ultimately you are going to have to get up, out and over.. 

OR – if you are feeling truly radical, and if the giant itself has long enough hair or a long enough beard, you could try another LEAP into the giants beard and/or hair. 


Climbing the Hair 

The thick, foresty hair should be climbable by anyone thief-like or elf-like. But the hair is dense, may contain even more bugs and monsters. Huge flakes of dandruff, and is a vertical climb which, no matter the hand holds, will be challenging. Though if you fall there is s good chance of grabbing something on the way down. The beard (if  present) could provide a useful ‘off ramp’ for the last part of the adventure. 

If one wishes to make a quick exit on the return as the giant is rising from the waves, it might be worth abseiling or clambering down its beard and dropping from the tips, hoping to be picked up by following ships before the weight of your treasure drowns you. 


The Giants Face 

Only by climbing the hair will you stand a chance of looking deeply into the giants FACE

It can be seen from far off, but what strange sadness does it hold when seem from close up?

What impossible and ancient emotions might it project? 


The Great Shoulder Traverse 

The tricky part is getting out of the armpit via the overhang. But once this is done it’s a fatiguing but relatively simple scramble across its shoulders, up to its neck. If you are quick you may well beat anyone climbing from the legs. 


The Schedule 

How long to board the foot? 

How long till you have to climb? 



The giants enter the sea! This should be a major deal! As the giants foot slashes into the waves, from this point, the water is rising! 


Two Hours In – The Mid Point 

The Giants are as deep in the sea as they can be

Now would be the safest time to jump off

And if you are still alive it must be because you have got pretty high

So why wouldn’t PCs jump off at this point?

Maybe the Giants only get up to their hips? So you have two hours to get that high?

Then the rest of the time to get over the back and down?

Or maybe even to try your luck on another giant? 


Three Hours In  - race for the scalp 


Four Hours In – The Turnaround 


Design Questions 

‘Encounters’ while climbing 

Or just things you find or discover there..

These could be potential treasures, life forms, bits of history

Maybe whole ship fragments

In the foot-to knee area (currently the part of the giant where they are climbing quickly to escape the rising sea levels 


When might you fall off?

Lets say with climbing limbs

You are in most danger of falling off *when the limb is vertical*

And since the limb is moving in ‘real time’ you can use that as the ‘pulse’ of the game

With some kind of real-time timer

So while climbing, each pulse of gaming would be a scramble to secure yourself, or at least not be doing anything risky, before the limb reaches vertical 


What is the Procedure for falling off and getting back on? 

I mean, if you fall from high enough, death is pretty likely

Above a certain height water, even sea-foam, is like concrete

But there should be some kind of possibility of getting back on the giant

Bribing a ship captain with treasures or a balloon pilot 


Spoiling factors.. 

A Naval war as ships from a rival king, or even from the Monster Continent attack those following in the lee of the giants. A Trafalgar attacks! You see the ships blasting at each other from above. No idea who will win. Will you risk leaping into the sea, not knowing who may pick you up or how long it may take? Will you try to intervene, perhaps firing from the giants head or even attempting to manipulate a giant into crushing your foes?

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

The Gravity of Cows

Over many a volume of forgotten Lore, through many an hour of Netflix and Disney dreck and many a meltdown over whatever Games Workshop is doing this week, I have pondered the interlacement of the Paracosm, the Corporation, and Autism.

Lets say instead, - 'autistic traits' or 'light autistic spectrum traits'. Strongly Autistic individuals have a very hard time and don't get to do much. Those of us with autistic traits, of whom there are many more, well we have quite a strong effect on, and relationship with, popular culture.

You might even say that we are the collective gravitational force of Genre-based popular fiction.

Part One - Evolution of the Paracosm

But first the Paracosm, the alternate world! Its primordial precursors; most religions, imagined tales of distant lands, stories of a legendary past, 

Then more recently; the philosophical disquisition given concrete form; what if there was an island where this or that happened? Or a country that was ruled this or that way? Lets imagine it in detail, not just the parts relative to the argument but the whole thing. a republic, a Utopia, a perfect king a most awful tyranny.

Then; what if we just imagined such a place but there was no (direct) political argument to it? Or at least, it did not primarily rest on such an argument. This is not, legend, history, argument or scripture, it is directly stated fancy, a fiction. A creation of the imagination, and called so,
but described as if it were a real place.

Then; when does it become a full Paracosm? When it is shared between multiple people? If so then the earliest I can think of is Glassland, the imaginary world cooked up by the Brontes. 

There must be a deep forgotten history of the Paracosm because it emerges so naturally from the play of children in friendship groups and families.

E.R. Eddison, writer of The Worm Ouroboros had one with his own brother I think, which is where many of his stories were set. The serial scientific and fantastic fictions of the late 19th and early 20th century were Paracosm, but owned by their author, and usually made purely as a vector for stories, the linked stories by various authors in 'Strange Tales' in particular

The vast, many-peopled Paracosm as we understand it I think really took root in the 70s and is closely related to D&D and corporate ownership.

Part Two - Corporate Power

for a Paracosm to be projected across a vast range of people, and for those people to be able to interact in a regular and systemic way with it, and for those systems to be unified and universally communicated, requires industrial production, complex communication and organisation.

A substantially large organisation must do this. Something bigger than just a small business, and for a substantially large organisation to do this there must be a substantially large reward. At minimum enough to pay for the industrial reproduction, communication and organisation. So the beast becomes something that feeds upon itself. The more industrial reproduction and systemisation spread the Paracosm, the more people interact with it, which feeds back into greater profits, which can go into more industrial production.

But more. As we consider the Paracosm though time, (and the most active ones have not been active that long), like land, if you want it to remain coherent, that is; stable in use and nature, then it must have an owner of singular identity, but one much longer lived than any individual person.

Historically the owners of land have been; an aristocratic family, the Church, a religious order, the King etc.

To which we may now add the corporation. The aristocratic houses of our modern day, and the Paracosm a virtual barony, which, like a stretch of agricultural land, can be conserved, developed, sold off, reduced to ruination and treated in many ways as a real place.

Now the Corporation, a 'virtual' aristocratic house, has its own virtual kingdom, a place sustained and made real by the interest and investment in it.

Something happened in the late 60's and 70s. Something to do with the growth of genre, the power of information technology and industrial production, free time for nerds and corporate interlacement with the imagination.

The 60's - Star Trek, Tolkeins major growth. Marvel and DC get a boost here and are re-integrated as Paracosms though they have been running for a while.

The 70s - Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons

The 80's - the Warhammers 

So we have a synthesis; the Paracosm, an imagined barony, and the Corporation, an imagined and potentially immortal individual. The Corporation can own a Paracosm ... forever perhaps, and can theoretically maintain a profit on it forever, and it is that profit that allows the Paracosm to keep developing. The corporation is not an author, it has no single use in mind for the Paracosm
but far from it, desires as many uses as possible across as many systems of production as possible. 

Part Three - Autistic Traits

The interest in a Paracosm is not the same as the interest in an individual book or film but is renewed and remade through books, films, comics, television, animation, games, toys, models, props, bought costumes, embodied in acts of shared social play and through gatherings. All of these methods united by their shared love for and expression of, a place, or a reality, which is not real, yet is still shared and experienced by a great many people.

  • DEPTH of interest.
  • love of DETAIL.
  • Love of OBJECTS.
  • SYSTEMISATION of shared communion.
  • DISCUSSION and ARGUMENT over details.

And chief and ruler of these passions, desire to be POSESSED BY THE IMAGINED WORLD

None of these are necessarily the product of light autistic traits, but as a whole they synthesise with those traits, and with the pressures and coping strategies they produce, perfectly.

And from hence comes the great and terrible danger and most subtle trap of the Paracosm, the need to MILK THE COWS, for the cows are we.

Four - The Milking Process

Those who are drawn to the Paracosm tend to have autistic traits and of those who are drawn, there is something of a curve.

Cows is what we are.

But imagine you owned a field of cows, and some cows you could only milk once a day, or even once a week, and you had to go and round them up to do it.

But there were other cows, a minority, who you could milk twice a day, three times a day, more. And you don't have to go round them up. Instead they come to you, constantly, and in fact they get quite violent if you refuse to milk them.

So originally you start out with a Dairy Farm, as we would understand it, but what you end up with is quite different. It’s a milk factory . Which, yes a Dairy Farm is a milk factory. The difference is in the proportion of attention and resources you give to each part.

By the end, the factory is the main thing and you have forgotten you even had fields. There are fields out there sure, the cows live there, but most of your time is taken up with the very productive cows
and even more with those small minority of hyper-productive cows.

Really, as accounting goes, and as your milking operation improves, becoming more and more efficient, your fields decay, and this is inevitable.

Hence the life-cycle of the Paracosm

Five - The Natural Life-Cycle Of The Paracosm

Now, we don't know a lot of this for certain. The Paracosm that most neatly fit our definition have only been going since the 30s , so even the oldest are less than a century old, nor can we guess how they will respond to copyright laws which usually max out after about 100 years, but within that time period we can see a continual process, a pulse of growth and die-back.

Following the cows.
Always follow the cows.


(It’s beyond curious to me that after Marvel and DC essentially bricked themselves into the Comic Book stores, to milk the cows of course, and maybe 40 years later, Disney/Marvel finds itself doing exactly the same thing, bricking itself back up inside Disney Plus.

It costs less outlay, less terrifying risk and the cows come to you.

At the same time Games Workshop attempts its own Streaming Service.

There are echoes here of the Comic Shop but also of Apples 'walled garden', of a lifestyle brand where every widget and thingy integrates with every other whatever, and where you can charge people a LOT, for entrance to that garden because, in Apples case, you are essentially guarding entrance to the globalised middle class.

None of the Paracosm-guardians have managed that yet, and likely nor shall they, (because of the Autistic Traits))


I will venture this as a thesis; every corporate-owned Paracosm, (which is to say nearly every major Paracosm), is at any point, somewhere in this long orbit between states.

Its natural arc is to slowly decay into a nightmare milk factory.

Then once that collapses, the milk factory will be razed and the clean open fields of a fresh new farm to be opened (with the ruins still lingering beneath the soil).

Then the whole process will begin again.

At times Paracosm can be pulled back and forth between the poles. Sometimes they can totally collapse and be regenerated, either by being newly acquired or even through 'community action', but they are always somewhere between these two points and defined by the gravitational pull between milking the cows and luring more cows. Those are the tectonic forces of imaginary worlds. The Gravity of Cows.

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Designing for the Cauldron


I have been invited to a Con in Germany called 'Cauldron' 

and my mum said I should go so I am going. I will be picked up in Frankfurt and driven to a castle in the middle of Bavaria.... For several days.. I am sure everything will be fine...

Anyway they asked me to run something;

"the general idea is to play mostly FLAILSNAILS compatible sessions, so that a player can play his character across the convention. .... The minimum requirement for any game system during the weekend is to award gold & treasure in the adventure commensurate with the challenges & dangers, i. e. an  "XP for gold"-standard, roughly following B/X, 1e or OD&D tables in value."

So, now I must dig through my mental 'bits box' to put together... something. A four-hour FLAILSNAILS session at least.. 

Lets think about some possible concepts;


A dungeon, or a series of dungeons, set 'on' the bodies of some enormous stony giants who are wading across a sea of acid. (So you can't just jump off).

Though, the problem of what to do if or when someone fals off a giant, and if or how they might get back on, would be tricky.

Mapping would also be tricky; the backs and top of the heads would be relatively easy 
but climbing around the torsos and faces and under the chins would be hard to depict
and YES its just 'Shadow of the Colossus' or whatever was going on with those Zelda dungeons.

If its for a Con, the time factor of the giants wading the acid sea could be a neat limit. Say you leap onto a Giant as they enter the Acid Sea and have until they wade across to complete your mission. We could just say there is a real-time time limit. 

Maybe they are gradually wading so deep that only the tops of their heads are exposed and you need to jump back on the airship before they go completely underwater, or they reach the deep part of the sea precisely half-way through the session, with parts of the giants becoming un-navigable up to that point, with all the surviving creatures on the giants gradually forced up to the crown of their giant heads, then after the middle of the session the 'maps' slowly open up again until they reach the shore, then you can climb down a leg and exit via the heel.

You can jump from giant to giant. They have treasure on them, like earrings or crumbs of gold in their hair. Or you have a mission of some kind to find something.

Probably they have small temples or castles on the tops of each head and you can fire catapults or cannons from crown to crown.

For some reason I was imagining this as a knock-out 'vs' game with rival teams of adventurers clambering over the giants and trying to take each other out. Or maybe a rival tomb, or crown-robbing expedition where you leap onto the giants feet right at the start and everyone is racing to make it to the top, but also you can 'board' or jump onto other giants who are also stumbling along.


An adventure starts mis-en scene with the party in the middle of a rope bridge, they are in the middle of a fight or adventure, the bridge snaps and two half's of the group are flung to either side of the ravine.

Its entirely random who ends up on which side of the ravine. Though the groups are relatively equal in number.

From that point on its a journey up along the river/ravine. The aim of the party is to get back together (maybe each half of the party has half of a magical McGuffin

There is a group of bad guys, a specific group, with their own identity and rituals. Presumably they also want the McGuffin (both halves). 

Probably the cliffs to both sides have various tombs, statues and complexes worked into the stone, so you can run along the cliff top, or if threatened, or that becomes impassable, climb across the statues and run through the tunnels of the cliffside.

(Maybe there are giants or trolls up there throwing boulders for fun so you don't want to skyline). 

The main challenge in this case is not getting past any particular problem but getting past it *quickly* and without burning a lot of resources.

Probably the enemy group is pursuing you and, since the terrain on each side of the ravine is very lumpy, the PCs on the *opposite* side can see the people pursuing you, and even shoot at them, while you can't see them yourself, and visa-versa. So part of the game might be combining your efforts to aid each other.

The end-game is you need to get to the stone bridge further upstream, but when you get there there is a big monster or something waiting and you will need to work together and hopefully use the stuff you grabbed as you ran through the tombs to fight it.


this is kind of blissfully dumb but could stripmine Gaslands for rules, instead of cars, use magic animals. Players can pick toys to choose which animal their PC is riding. All PCs retain their powers and skills. 

Now their job is to win a race. Maybe they are racing for the hand of the Infinite Princess. But its an apocalyptic deathrace 2000 pod race kind of thing, with lots of encounters and strange terrain, treasure and tools hanging around plus problems its really hard to overcome without teaming up with other players, plus orc racer gang on pigs.

Will the PCs work together or try to beat each other to the finish line? Coolness of prizes goes in order of finishing so being ahead of someone might get you more XP or fun magical stuff for the next adventure.


A ship is a nice, contained and explicable shape. A sinking ship having four real-time hours before it fully sinks and you need to get away from it to escape being dragged down. Advancing fish-creatures or mer-people. Interesting time-sensitive choices between things i.e. do you release prisoners or search for treasure. 

You might have to fight the crew, or choose between fighting or saving the crew.


This is one, really designed specifically to be a nightmare for EVERY OTHER DM AT THE CON. 

I don't know exactly how it works but there is some kind of memetic plague, maybe something that trades power for slow degradation and transmittabillaty. Like Vampirism except faster and more fun, like Fireball Vamparism where someone gets the ability to cast 'Fireball' but its transmissible and wants to keep being cast. (Also its slowly killing you).

Maybe the fire itself is the medium of transmission. 

But if the PCs screw up and the 'infection' gets out of this particular game (like the Zombie survivor who gets bitten but doesn't tell anyone), then it can 'infect' every other game at the CON that those survivors get to, and then pass on, and on, absolutely destroying Germanies FLAILSNAILS scene, if such a think exists.

I suppose a good basis for this would be the 'Fire at the Laboratory' adventure. Maybe a wizards black tower, or worse, an interdimensional TARDIS-like lair, but its burning down. (A fire burning in an interdimensional place might be fascinating). The PCs have to make choices about fighting the fire, looting the place, not getting infected by the Fireball plague, (or 'getting' infected if they are sneaky). 

The Wizards wierd mutant experiments getting out, or maybe you want to let them out, they are just experimental animals after all, its not their fault they are locked in a burning TARDIS. 

The interdimensional nature of the space makes incorporation into a FLAILSNAILS setting pretty simple since PCs could easily be vomited out wherever. It also means creatures and NPCs could 'escape' into other games, or that people or things from other games could show up in this one, having accidentally wandered in, or having been captured or whatever.

6 - One of these OLD POSTS turned into an adventure somehow;


Thursday, 27 April 2023


What was Africa like during the Pleistocene?

Oh it was pretty cool( ̄ー ̄)

Human population bottleneck theories vary quite a bit but the most recent, most reliable synthesis I am familiar with guesses the total human population reduced to somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals for 5,000 to 10,000 years some time in the Pleistocene, say maybe about 70,000 years ago, possibly in what is now north east Africa.

WHAT IF we created some kind of RPG set within that forge of mankind? Its a tantalising reality; a closed environment, surrounded by, well probably not ice, as the ice walls would be further north, but probably dry land and super-deserts, then ice. Plus the mountains of Africa would probably have substantial glaciers so there's your 'Ice Walls', title still counts.

The entirety of humanity being about 7'000 people. If we go by Dunbars numbers and eyeball it we could say four or five 'tribes', each with say 15 lineage groups with about three bands each. So depending on the kind of game you play, you could 'encounter' pretty much everyone who exists.


In Africa? Warm and wet I think, especially wet. BIG lakes, big rivers, Glaciers coming down from the mountains. Africa probably quite a bit chonkier side-to-side due to lower sea levels. May possibly have joined with Arabia at points. Pretty big north-to-south as well but you can't actually get north due to the arid super-sahara and beyond that.. the valley of the Mediterranean? No idea what that would have been like. North of that maybe some microclimates in the alps then permafrost for a few 100 miles then ICE SHEETS.

"In Eurasia, large lakes developed as a result of the runoff from the glaciers. Rivers were larger, had a more copious flow, and were braided. African lakes were fuller, apparently from decreased evaporation. Deserts, on the other hand, were drier and more extensive. Rainfall was lower because of the decreases in oceanic and other evaporation." - from Wikipedia


I could build you a list of 'cool' Pleistocene animals to encounter but, tbh, the African 'Big Animal' set doesn't look like it was *that much* different during that era.  There are various theories about this, the main one is that this biosphere had longer to get used to human behaviour and wasn't hugely changed when humans as we know them spread out after the last glacial maximum.

Most importantly, several cool animals were *quite larger*, i.e. Super-Hippos, Murder-Baboons. And humanity really had utterly crap technology to deal with them. 

And also some very fun art has been made of this environment

Got this one off pintrest

Its quite wonderful for a D&D type game as everything is so sublimely dangerous.


A fascinating but somewhat morally-complex element is the vast potential range of human strains. 

(Please don't comment about what exactly a species or subspecies or race or whatever is or is not, the matter is in development.)

A trend in Prehistory(?) currently is the gradual expansion of a much greater variety of human and humanlike 'types'. (I will just call these 'human strains'). Previously we knew that 'Sapiens' and Neanderthal co-existed, but genetics has unravelled that this bottleneck population, or something close to them, interbred with Neanderthal enough to leave a tangible trace in their genetics. We know about Florensis, the little hobbit dudes and from Denovisian Cave we know that a bunch of human strains were effectively hanging out in what seems to have been the Mos Eisley Cantina of prehistory. We also know that a lot of current African populations have 'ghost populations' in their genetics; traces of some kind of lost strain for which we have no evidence except for the faint echo they left behind in a surviving Sapiens population.

The 'out of Africa theory remains broadly in place but with massive, (I can't emphasise this enough, MASSIVE) complexification, with loop-backs, bottlenecks, strain-crossing, evidence of these strains hanging out just a lot of stuff.

If the pre-21stC version of Homo origins was a nice neat set of spreading lines and a few discreet 'subspecies' who may have barely interacted but displaced each other through environmental effects, then the new version is.. basically Jabbas Palace. Way, way way more types and strains of Homo, way more crossbreeding, way more interaction, way more messy strange bullshit. 

The very-rare nature of pre-glacial-maximum remains (plus the fact that many are probably in Africa and even with a massive input of wealth and tech, are probably covered by rainforest and won't be found without a truly sci-fi level of tech), and the massive increase in types, and genetic and archaeological evidence of mutual-existence and interaction, has strongly tilted the general view of pre-historic human-strain history into kind of more like an American post-Tolkien fantasy novel. Its not really stupid any more to say hey, maybe a surviving *Erectus*, a Neanderthal and Denovisian and a Sapiens team up to fight a fucking giant tiger or something.

Its still not probably likely but it feels way more likely than it was.

I think this is by Marucio Anton


This 'Bottleneck', (both the real one and the one we are simulating in this game), may well have acted as a genetic sausage machine for a variety of human strains. This means the populations going in to the bottleneck might have a pretty high level of diversity, but the population coming out, is singular; after several millennia with less than 10,000 individuals they have the very low-diversity genome we associate with the extra-African Sapiens population.

Peter Schouten


WHO is the RPG player playing? 

The tribe? The person? The Gene-line? Is this a survival/crafting game? A cultural development game? A game of genetics? A game about exploring the boundaries of your world, or a game about surviving within the boundaries of a closing world?

I honestly don't know and in fact it sounds more like a series of games.

At the 'top end' a genetics/environmental-influenced Microscope.

Below that a crafting/cultural/technology semi-simulator in the middle. Battles and diplomacy in a closed and shrinking world (maybe something patterned like Pendragon).

At the bottom end a very BX-like survive-the-monsters, gather food D&D-esque game.

I suppose you could combine these into one vast Fantasy Heartbreaker with each player playing a Gene-line at the top level, then after that 'round' of game time is played, they go down a level and play the 'tribe' or Culture-line, with abilities and developments influenced by the gene-tree, then you zoom down to the deep granular history and generate a bunch of Homo who's stats/equipment/abilities etc are all influenced by the previous two rounds. Then this little D&D team faces one of the crisis points of their small, closed world. 

Depending on how they do in that mission they get more or less points to feed back into the next loop of gameplay.


I don't actually know enough about genetics to even begin to attempt this, and I think possibly humanity doesn't know enough for anyone to simulate it. So I would be really very largely making it up. Which, from a political point of view may actually be better as this is one of the most politically and morally complex and dangerous parts of this extremely politically and morally sensitive game (see below for 'Things Which Won't Be In This Game').


This might be a very-great compression but I would probably be going from starting out something like a very-clever Erectus, who might occasionally sharpen a rock, and ending up as something a bit like an Aboriginal Australian culture.

I have to base a extra-African just-post-Glacial-Maximum culture/technology group on something and Aboriginal Australians seem like the closest we are going to get any good info on. Their tech and culture feels pretty "early stone age".


Most Important; textiles, bags, containers, glues, attachment materials, hooks and lines, woven string and rope. 

We would go from "Pick it up, drop it or bury it" to "Put it in the bag/gourd". This is a pretty big deal. Lines and cords are, as anyone who has played D&D will know, a very big deal. Clothing is maybe the most vital technology in allowing Sapiens to enter such a wide range of environments. Sewing is a killer app.

Most Charismatic; weapons, spears, boomerangs, atlatls, slings, hunting clubs, throwing sticks, early simple bow technology? Probably the simple bow was invented independently a bunch of times. Shields and armour are both important too. Aboriginal Australian cultural beliefs about shields are interesting.

Travel; canoes, (dugout and bark), initial canoes more likely to be used in lakes of which there were apparently quite a lot during the Pleistocene. I think even strapping things to friendly animals is quite a way off. Complexity of language and the cultural complexity required to receive, remember and transmit that information would be important. Going from "I will show you the way" to "I can tell you ALL the way" is a big deal and would fundamentally change the capacities of a society.

Cultural; message sticks, drumming, dance and Communal Performance as a 'living law book' capable of harmonising and transmitting a shared culture across many more people. Drumming and dance also seem really important in building shared identities and a 'communal self' probably enabling larger group sizes, mor sophisticated group actions giving you something to actually do or exchange if you go visit other humans other than just material things, and also just making life less shit. Complexity of language would be another; the development of syntax and tenses, descriptions of actual and supernatural things. This cultural complexity and the firmware needed to carry it helps you hang on to those cool inventions like slings and atlatls and sharp rocks. Most of these things were probably invented hundreds of times by increasingly clever Homo until finally someone found a way to jam them into the culture, transmit and preserve the information even if the original inventor wasn't there to show you how to do it. The relationship with, and inner conceptualisation of animals a main thing, you have to build the animal in your mind before you can interact with it.

Agricultural/Survival Shifts; from scavenging to hunting to possible-pastoralism and maybe some mild agriculture. Finding a new thing to eat and a new way to eat it is a big deal. Curiously in later pre-history there seem to have been some Neolithic culture groups who really liked fish, and others living in exactly the same environments who just would not eat fish, even over long periods. People are pretty interesting. One of the side-effects of culture may be... I suppose we would call it 'bugs', like "We are not eating shellfish fuck no not even if it means starving that stuff is banned by the spirits for a reason."



All those melting glaciers, shrinking lakes, expanding land and changing rivers open the possibility for some quite-sudden catastrophic events. Not to mention the fucking MONSTER ANIMALS. Plus ALIEN HUMAN STRAINS! 

Gigantic things, or the axial points of super long-term processes, can happen over a day, or a few hours, like an ice barrier breaks, tectonic shifts tilt a super-lake slightly against a thinning rock wall, a super-lake drains away mysteriously. Tunguska events. Again not likely of *common* but at least a few of these must have happened.

Or even slightly less catastrophic sudden arrivals of super-predators, giant unbeatable animals either driven south by expanding ice walls, or displaced by warming and its knock-on events. The arrival of a *last of its kind* forgotten mega-predator in an 'alien' environment would be fit fuel for an adventure. You want to try taking on that thing with sticks?

The arrival or displacement of an 'alien' human strain (i.e anyone sufficiently different from you) would be another. Its a limited resource-poor environment after all, and you can't really leave till the glacial maximum ends. Will this be a matter of SUPER WAR where you use all your cultural sophistication to turn your whole tribe into a SUPER HUNT gathered together and synchronised at an heretofore unimagined scale. An army of hundreds in one place? 

Or could it be a Pleistocene Star Trek where your Sapiens/Neanderthal cross uses the power of imagination and intelligence to perform cross-strain diplomacy for the first time, entering into the gaze of an unknowable Other in attempts to bridge an unimaginable cognitive gap and form some common understanding?

Your kin-group is starving, your kin-group is sick, a new environmental possibility has opened up, another has closed down. Literally any kind of megafauna is fucking with you. Fucking MURDER BABBOONS?



Probably more than any other game I can imagine, this one would need a VERY long introduction, explanation, disclaimer and probably you have to sign something before you play promising not to cancel or sue the makers.

Starting with things that probably happened quite a lot in pre-history but which won't be happening (much) in this game;

  • Rape
  • Slavery
  • Patriarchy
  • Mutilation and torture
  • Genocide
  • Intensely weird sexual stuff
  • Human sacrifice 
  • Cannibalism
  • Batshit Xenophobia

I don't mean to say (and we don't fundamentally know) if this stuff was universal, much less common in pre-history, but what we know of many Stone Age peoples (and since) strongly suggests the normalised nature of most if not all of this.

RPG players will tend strongly towards leb-leftism, but even if they didn't, on a greater scale, there is probably a hard limit to how much rape, abduction, genocide, mutilation, human sacrifice etc ANY person can reasonably expect to actually play out.

Any game which functions *as a game* will inevitably be presenting a very 'softened' interpretation of human capacities and nature, and this is ok, so long as I am very clear about the fact that this is a fantasy with softened corners and less sharp edges. Be aware you are participating in a real-seeming dream, and NOT a simulation.

Its just a limitation of the form. It is what it is I guess.


The beloved Science of Human Inequality raises its Janus-split face. It is genetics, to a large degree, with a fair amount of archaeology, we can thank for our expanding deep-view of our own prehistoric origins and all of the wonderful and sometimes awful complexity and detail that has emerged. Our genes really are a telescope in time.

Unfortunately our own society is based around a rather hard-won principal of the broadly equality of human life, and genetics is the science of precisely-described human inequality. This 'bottleneck' whether it was one event or several, created a deep shared structure in the *extra-african* Sapiens line (which then looped back into Africa in several ways). Enough of a commonality so that when this line spread out across Eurasia and into America, it seems to have either murdered the fuck out of every big animal it could find, or at least disrupted the environment so much those megafauna couldn't survive.

We don't know how and how much genetics interacted with culture and technology to produce this hyper-successful strain but I doubt it was *zero*. And that fact that it isn't *zero* is a meaningful moral challenge to the mainstream of our society.

Gene-line or 'descent' differences aren't the same as 19th Century concepts of race, but they speak the same language and unlike race, modern genetics speaks *precisely*. Genticists have largely gotten around this with a combination of blather and mild autism; "ah yes the 19thc century concept of 'race', oh no we wouldn't use anything like that any more, rather disproven you know, anyway, here's your childs likely IQ, to within a 5 pt margin."

On a deep level the genetic history of humanity teaches interwoven strands of truth. One strand is quite nice; it’s about shared human origins, a deep diversity of human strains, a shared struggle and a shared environment where everything effects everything else. The Force does indeed bind and link us all Obi-Wan. 

But the other strand, which is equally true, is about utterly ruthless competition, hominids murdering and raping the fuck out of each other, displacing each other from environments and differences in genetic advantage cascading into and/or synthesising with cultural and technological advantages. It’s about humans as the monsters from a science fiction movie and has kind of a 'there can only be one' Highlander vibe. 

And both of these are true. It just depends which lens you look through. There is a level of choice in what we emphasise and find meaning in, and in the lessons we take, but there is no choice in the facts.

Which is a main reason this game will probably never exist, or if it does, it will come with something you have to sign before you play.

That was a little depressing so to end the article;


Previously I was working in the realm of the 'likely', based on our current understanding of history. But fuck that, what if we ignored 'likely' and went straight for 'possible'!

Pleistocene Empires baby! Can't find them? That's because their cities are UNDER THE SEA. The Inca of the Glacial Maximum! Polynesians of the Great Lakes!

We could just take *every* kind of *possible* Stone-Age technology and culture and jam it all together in a Conan-the-Barbarian style mashup of cool things. You can't prove it didn't happen! Glaciers took the evidence!

So; Very large boats. Oceanic vessels. Intra-oceanic navigation (it is *possible* as the Polynesians have proved, but what if it also happened at a previous time?) Inter-oceanic navigation (even less likely but *possible* at least in theory). A worldwide coastal empire, why not?

Super-stonehenge Ziggurat cities, cave-cities (we know they turned up later). Mass scale Imperial warfare. Grass suspension bridges with villages whose whole purpose is to continually re-weave the bridge (Inca did it). Catapults. Sieges. Terror-bird cavalry. Trained super-baboons and mega-hippos.

Neanderthal shock troops and Florensis advisors wearing capes of humming bird feathers. Super wars to crack open the gates to the Mediterranean basin and drown the Empire of the Morlocks. Eating small horses for dinner. Crowns of amber and bone. Flutes of mammoth ivory. You could do an entire Pleistocene-Elric series or 'forgotten Aztecs' game set in some early inter-glacial period when the world looked an utterly different shape. 

It would have quite an elegiac lost-summr feel as this civilisation grew too soon, and the glaciers were coming back, and then after that the glaciers were shrinking waaay too much and the seas rising so even the ruins of these Inca/Minoan/Polynesian cities were drowned and forgotten.

Honestly if you just jammed in every cool thing from every stone age 'high' civilisation
and all of the 'homo' descent groups you could imagine, plus all of the Pleistocene fauna you could think of, it would be pretty fucking great. 

Like being an extinct homo species and calling your Florensis slave to your ziggurat to bring you a humming bird quill so your can write poetry on calfskin about the doom of your civilisation before riding forth on your war-glyptodont to battle the savage raiders for the last time. Behold! how an empire ends!

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

RoC RaW - The Creation of Tristian le Tigre, Slave to Darkness

 A trip to Warhammer World recently left me with a copy of the re-printed 'The Lost and the Dammed', to go along my copy of 'Slaves to Darkness'.

Of course, the fact that I now possess both means I can attempt the impossible; rolling up a Chaos Champion using the 'Realms of Chaos' system, RaW, that's Rules as Written. 

I attempted this wonder on a friendly Discord, I have edited out the other responses but thank you to the unnamed person who came up with a PDF of 'Warhammer Armies' by Nigel Stillman.

(Yes, rolling on this wonderous labyrinth of tables did indeed require access to a totally seperate and long out-of-print book, in addition to the two expensive reprints I already had.)

Without further ado, let us witness the birth of Tristian le Tigre, Champion of Carnalpierce!

Part One - a Standard Human?


Ok, #RoCRAW here I go..

"Generate the Champoins Starting Profile using the Starting Profile table..
is there a dice roller on here?

[1d100] Roll: [57] Result: 57

They are a... Human!

[1d100] Roll: [2] Result: 2

A standard human! 😭 

Move 4, Weapons Skill 3, Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 3, Toughness 3, Wounds 1, Initiative 3, Attacks 1, Leadership 7, Intelligence 7, Cool 7 Will Power 7

Literally the most standard human you could imagine, no wonder they turned to chaos.

Next, the Starting Equipment Table

So, this is a point-spend thing where you get a certain semi random number of points and get to spend them depending on your level, but that level starts at "5 Hero or Wizard" while I am level 1 or zero, and this isn't mentioned, so I suppose I get no equipment

Next, I receive a 'Mark of Chaos' from my Patron. I am allowed to choose whether to follow Korne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, Tzeentch or Chaos Undivided. 

I am also allowed to generate a Chaos Patron demon, so I will do that next.

Creating a Patron - the birth of Carnalpierce

My Demonic Patrons Origin is;

[1d3] Roll: [2] Result: 2

Its is "a composite demonic entity founded upon one or more highly focused souls - such souls are not dissolved in the warp but retain their own integrity as deamons."

Next, choose a mortal creature as a basis for the demon, refer to the Universal Creature Table and randomly generate a creature from it.

[3 1d10] Rolls:
[3] Result: 3
[4] Result: 4
[7] Result: 7

its a Troglodyte ...

[1d100] Roll: [33] Result: 33

just a standard Troglodyte...

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, S 4, T 4, W 2, I 1, A 2, Ld 9, Int 4, Cl 9,  WP 9

So despite being a standard demonic immortal Troglodyte this thing is actually better than my standard human champion, except for intelligence where it seems like I am smarter than my Patron

So this is clearly some shitty back-alley demonic patron deal between the absolute bottom of the barrel demon and some random schlub

Refer to the Chaos Attributes table and generate D6+3 attributes. (If it turns into a spawn or becomes mindless I am meant to re-roll.

[1d6+3] Roll: [2] Result: 5

Ok five attributes, here we go..

[5 1d100] Rolls:
[46] Result: 46
[13] Result: 13
[25] Result: 25
[1] Result: 1
[5] Result: 5

Ok that was meant to be 5 d100 so I will roll a d10 for each and add that as a single digit to the end

[5 1d10] Rolls:
[6] Result: 6
[5] Result: 5
[5] Result: 5
[2] Result: 2
[9] Result: 9

So me results are ...

466 - HORNS!
135 - BESTIAL FACE (see main chart...)
255 - CHAOS WERE (see main chart)
59 - BESTIAL FACE (see main chart) again, I guess it can have two?

So for the 'Bestial Faces' there is a sub-table where usually they get the face of their patron god, but I feel like the horned troglodyte is a servant of chaos undivided so I will roll twice on the sub-sub table..

[2 1d20] Rolls:
[10] Result: 10
[18] Result: 18

One face is that of an EAGLE! (+1 bite attack and excellent vision gained.

The second is that of a SPIDER (+1 bite attack)

So the horned, agile troglodyte Demon has the face of an Eagle and the face of a Spider, but its also a Chaos Were, which means it has a second form, which means more sub-tables... 

Generate a random Chaos Creature under the procedure set out under 'Instant' Chaos Spawn, but only give it D6 Chaos Attributes. Keep a seperate record of this creature, including a seperate record of fear points, as this is the mutants Chaos Were-Form

The mutant is now subject to frenzy, when it becomes frenzied it must make a WP test or become frenzied for the rest of the battle.

It gains +2 fear points when it changes into its new form

Ok, on to page 65 of 'Slaves to Darkness', only give it D6 Chaos Attributes

So, basic form first;

[1d6] Roll: [1] Result: 1

[1d10] Roll: [1] Result: 1

So its were-form basis is that of a GIANT BAT

How many Chaos Attributes..

[1d6] Roll: [2] Result: 2

TWO Chaos Attributes

 [2 3d10] Rolls:
[8, 8, 5] Result: 21
[8, 6, 5] Result: 19

885 is ... TELEKINESIS!

865 is... TALL!

No sorry, 865 is TAIL!

"This tail is not strong enough to give the mutant a tail attack, nor can it manipulate anything if prehensile"

So!  My Chaos Patron is a Demon of CHAOS UNDIVIDED. It has the form of a horned Troglodyte with two faces, one of an Eagle and one of a Spider. It is an agile being.

But it is also frenzied and if enraged will transform into the form of a giant bat with a prehensile (but not otherwise dangerous) tail, with the power of TELEKINESIS

"Modify the creatures profile as follows;

Strength - double up to a maximum of 10

Toughness - add +2 up to a maximum of 10

Wounds Double

Initiative Double"

Its stats should now be ;

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, S 8, T 6, W 4, I 2, A 2, Ld 9, Int 4, Cl 9,  WP 9

So still a lesser demon but now a bit more obviously demonic

"The creature grows to 1 1/2 times its size. It acquires horns, wings and a tail if it does not already have them....

Kind of feel like rolling horns to begin with was a bit of a waste but ok

So now its a HUGE horned, winged betailed troglodite which is agile with the face of an eagle and that of a spider, and it can were into a HUGE Giant Bat with Horns! Which is telekinetic!

he had horns before it was cool


The creature becomes demonic and is subject to the normal rules for Greater Demons, ie;

1. It cannot be harmed by normal weapons...

2. Its own attacks are magical

3. In the material universe the Demon will be subject to instability

4. It is not effected by psychological affects other than those caused by one of the four Great Powers in person

5. If it has spell casting powers it can use them without expending magic points.

6. It can fly as a swooper with a max speed of 32 and etc etc

7. Causes fear

So now he needs a name. "A name can be generated by the demonic name tables in 'Slaves to Darkness',

Ok, lets go..

"The number of elements in a Deamons name depends on the number associated with the Chaos God it serves.."

Its not quite RAW but lets say a D6

 [1d6] Roll: [1] Result: 1

It has one element to its name..

 [1d6] Roll: [6] Result: 6

 [1d10] Roll: [7] Result: 7

So the demons TRUE NAME is..... EE

But it will also have a 'Use-Name'

First part..

[1d10] Roll: [4] Result: 4

[1d20] Roll: [2] Result: 2

'CARNAL' is the first part

Second part..

[1d10] Roll: [7] Result: 7

[1d20] Roll: [16] Result: 16

'PIERCE' is the second part

So, I serve the demon 'Carnalpierce' who's True Name (speak it not) is 'EE'

He beeth a great trogolodyte with wings, horns and a tail and one face be that of an Eagle for he sees all, and the other that of a Spider'

Yet he have a second more wrathful form, that of a great horned Bat, Huge as a dragon, which castes all about with only a thought.

'Carnalpierce' is a composite demonic entity founded upon one or more highly focused souls, and serves Chaos Undivided!

"Roll D6+3 times on the 'Demonic Trappings' table below..."


[1d6+3] Roll: [1] Result: 4

[4 1d6] Rolls:
[3] Result: 3
[4] Result: 4
[2] Result: 2
[4] Result: 4


He is MIGHTY in STRENGTH, making his Stats now

Move 4, WS 3, BS 3, S 10, T 6, W 4, I 2, A 2, Ld 9, Int 4, Cl 9,  WP 9

And he wields a might CHAOS WEAPON

His weapon is....

[1d100] Roll: [38] Result: 38

a LONG BONE (eg femur)

A fitting weapon for the Dweller in Stone

I think thats it for the patron?

The Gifts of Chaos

The Champion recieves the 'Mark of Chaos' from his Patron.


The Mark of Chaos Undivided...

"If the new Champion chooses to worship Chaos in its undivided glory rather etc etc.. he receives a Random Reward from the Chaos Rewards Table, he also receives a random Chaos Attribute.

Ok, the random Reward..

[1d100] Roll: [34] Result: 34

ok thats just a random attribute, so thats two attributes then..

[3 1d10] Rolls:
[4] Result: 4
[5] Result: 5
[10] Result: 10

450 is.... GROWTH!  D3+1 times original size!

[1d3+1] Roll: [1] Result: 2

TWICE THE SIZE OF A MAN, his stats are now..

Move 5, Weapons Skill 3, Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 5, Toughness 4, Wounds 2, Initiative 2, Attacks 1, Leadership 7, Intelligence 6, Cool 7 Will Power 7

Plus one fear point

"Durrr, Carnalpierce make me big an strong durrr"


[3 1d10] Rolls:
[10] Result: 10
[7] Result: 7
[8] Result: 8

78! is... BESTIAL FACE

[1d20] Roll: [19] Result: 19

The face of a TIGER! Plus one Bite Attack, plus Night Vision! Plus an extra Fear Point!

Move 5, Weapons Skill 3, Ballistic Skill 3, Strength 5, Toughness 4, Wounds 2, Initiative 2, Attacks 2, Leadership 7, Intelligence 6, Cool 7 Will Power 7

Fear Points - 2

"Raww grrr ragghhh"

Now I roll on my RETINUE TABLE...

Someone has to kitbash this dude.

The Retinue of Tigerface

 [1d100] Roll: [71] Result: 71

2d4 Mercenary Band and Captain

"Mercenaries retain their soldierly organisation and bravado but are otherwise very much like warbands in their way of life. Sometimes they will join a Chaos Champion whose reputation suggests a promise of loot and mutual protection."

"Mercenaries can be represented by any of the troops types included in the Bretonian or Empire Armies or Human Mercinary or Ally contingents in Warhammer Armies. Alternately you may prefer to equip them as a standard type with a basic profile, light armour, shields, and either double-handed swords, spear or crossbows.

It is certainly more interesting to generate them as if they were part of a defeated army. refer to Warhammer Armies and choose the list you wish to use. Randomly determine an army list from amongst all the ranks and file troops available to the army. All troops come with the basic equipment listed in the box, and there is a 50% chance the entire unit will be equipped with up to D3 of the options listed.

The Band is lead by a mercinary captain who will be of the same nationality and type as the others - he has a randomly determined profile...."

[1d100] Roll: [34] Result: 34

Captain is a 5 Hero - Move 4, WS 4, BS 4, S 4, T3, W 1, I 4, A 2, Ld 7, Cl 7, WP 7

[2d4] Roll: [2, 2] Result: 4

He leads a band of four men!

I don't think I have even a PDF of Warhammer Armies, if anyone does let me know

Yes, I have that one
I have pdf
54 mb
Let me upload it to GDrive

I feel like we are using it in the spirit intended.

So I was picturing a Troglodyte like the D&D monster but they're presented a little differently here
sort of proto-kroxigor?

So, shall we go with Brettonian or Empire army?

Well, we can let the die decide. 1 for Empire, 2 for Brettonia.

[1d2] Roll: [2] Result: 2

A defeated Brettonian army!

are Bretonnians in this era of Warhammer already Francophone Round-Table knights?

Pretty much

It looks like even more so. 

The rank and file troops choices are;

Villains, Ribalds, Arbalstiers, Rapscallions, Brigands and Rascals

Those are the actual troops choices names


So if we go
1. Villains, 
2. Ribalds, 
3. Arbalstiers, 
4. Rapscallions, 
5. Brigands and 
6. Rascals

[4 1d6] Rolls:
[2] Result: 2
[2] Result: 2
[5] Result: 5
[2] Result: 2

Three Ribalds and a Brigand

three "2"?
This is rather nice
(I initially mis-saw the roll as it it was 4 "2" hence the reaction) 

ah nice, you roll for each individually?

Its says "Randomly determine an amry list from amongst all the ranks and file troops available to the army." so I improvised

Bretonnians of this edition are more frog and snail focused than they would be later

These are 'Ribalds'

This is not what dictionary told me but makes more sense


"All troops come with the basic equipment listed in the box, and there is a 50% chance the entire unit will be equipped with up to D3 of the options listed." what?

Ok a 50% chance for the Ribalds!

1 is yes, 2 is no

[1d2] Roll: [2] Result: 2


I.e. Brigant might have a two-handed sword, I think

And for the Brigand!
[1d2] Roll: [2] Result: 2



So they just have crappy weapons and armour
makes sense if they have been defeated.

(Hope you don't mind me taking a look at the book @K damn, the book is fucking charming

The link is free for all
I'll take it down in a few days but if people wish the pdf the pdf is here to download 

So according to this book a Level 5 Brettonian Hero is a 'Baron'

Robber baron?
Or is it a Captain?

pjamesstuart ;
I will roll randomly to see what kind of unit he might have belonged to
1. Chevalier D'Honnour
2. Chevalier De Notre Dame de Battale
3. Noblesse d Epee
4. Chevallier Rampants

 [1d4] Roll: [4] Result: 4

Rampants...ram-pants? 🐏 + 👖 


Did he keep his barding and shield? 1 is yes, 2 is no

[1d2] Roll: [1] Result: 1

Yes! Mon Baronne!

So this was a Brettonian army that was badly beaten. This young Baron managed to escape with a handful of men.

If we take the original stat line as a guide, my Chaos Champion was just a Ribald to begin with, before he made a deal with 'Carnalpierce, the Dweller in Stone'. Now he 'leads' (he's a pretty dumb giant tiger-faced man) this doomed group of mercenaries, their honour long forgotten!

There are some 'Narrative Tables', the most omni-applicable looks to be the 'locations' table, lets see what we get..

[1d100] Roll: [22] Result: 22

"The wastelands of the north are full of ruins. Most were prosperous cities before the incursions of Chaos swept them away.Many of those desolate places shelter hidden treasures buried by their destruction. Most house more recent inhabitants in the form of warbands, rampaging bands of Beastment and other unwelcome creatures."

A bit boring but ok. Looks like we delved too greedily and too deep and I was confronted by 'Carnalpierce' in the caves of a ruined city in the northern wastes, and made a deal with Chaos.

Holed up in wastelands after going for Chaos after the defeat and looking for some chaos artifact for their patron?

All to save mon beloved Baronne..

I went here for a name for Mon Baronne

And got 'Gornemant de Grescfort'

Another random generator gives me;

The Champion of Carnalpierce - Tristian le Tigre!

His Mortal Lord  - Sir Gornemant de Grescfort

Three Ribalds - Huchon Pie, Talbot Marcel, Guibert de Bonpre

And the Brigand  Evrard du Mesnil

We stand ready to battle for Chaos! (and gold)

Its more poetic if he got warped there out of pure feudal loyalty, despereately trying to preserve the life of his lord!

So that was fun

Curious that most of the other characters were more interesting than the main chaos champion but still fun to do

Evrard, you brigand! Were you somehow behind all this?