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Battle Star: Trek Wars
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2018 12:20:31

So this might be Venger Satanis's last run down the old space brothel ways of the Alpha Blue rpg according to the intro into Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars.

I'm really sorry to see this development. The OSR needs more independent designers. But what is Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars? "Three sleazy scenarios for the Alpha Blue RPG. Plus, a huge, color map of the Ta'andor Galaxy with die-drop event/encounter tables." This book clocks in at seventy six pages of rules, four sleazy scenarios, a fantastic color map of the Ta'andor Galaxy by Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design. All of the sleazy adventures center around the space brothel Alpha Blue with lots & lots of random tables from cosmic orgasms to full blown encounters. This is not a game supplement to take seriously at all, the level of humor is that of perv R rated space sex comedies from back in the Eighties. The sort of Up All Night space romp movies that used to be on late night cable & this book plugs right into that. The text, layout, etc is all up to the usual Kort'thalis Publishing standards. The artwork is good for the product & portrays the sleazy vibe that Venger is going for. If your not into the type of space opera comedy that Venger does then this book isn't for you. Could Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars be used for other OSR space opera style games? In a word yes if the players don't take their role playing seriously. The scenarios are clever & sophomoric in their content but the adventure ideas have some great potential for a space based campaign. There's some great rules & ideas if your an Alpha Blue dungeon master. Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars plays out as it should a sleazy & well written groupings of rules & adventures for the Alpha Blue rpg system. The Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars

book is solidly done for the Alpha Blue rpg system & it would take quite a bit of shoe horning to get it to work with other OSR systems. Is Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars well done? Yes but is it for everyone? No unless their looking for the sort of space sleaze that Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars is offering.

Eric Fabiaschi Swords & Stitchery Blog Want more OSR original content then subscribe to https://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Star: Trek Wars
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Battle Star: Trek Wars
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/19/2018 02:06:57

Battle Star: Trek Wars is a brilliant addition to the sleazy gonzo space opera RPG Alpha Blue. It's bulging with new optional rules and throbbing with news scenarios (FOUR) to make your sexy and campy scifi fantasies into a hilarious reality. Great fun for the whole family! (If your family is a bunch of pervy gamers over the age of 18 who don't take themselves or rpgs too seriously.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
by Shane W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2018 10:04:20

First thing that came to my mind when I read the title was "Who in their right mind would want to dig up a dead God?

Venger Satanis!

Here's the publisher blurb:

Dead God Excavation is a short adventure for characters between 1st and 3rd level. I happen to think it's perfect for kicking off a gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy campaign. If you incorporate this into your "session zero"... respect, hoss!

This scenario was written for Crimson Dragon Slayer (including some new rules for clerics), but everything can be easily converted to your OSR system of choice.

The layout is sick! But there's also a printer-friendly version for those who are intimidated by such lurid hues (or who want to print it out). Just to make you aware, the pagecount includes the cover, two decorative pages, and a page for the credits. It's a densely coiled micro-adventure... beyond gorgeous demon-haunted sandbox! YOU CAN GRAB IT HERE.

First things first, I have to say I really appreciate that everyone of Venger's releases has a printer friendly version. This is handy, because I still print things off when I run adventures, I haven't wrapped my head around using a tablet or laptop while GMing.

The adventure starts off with a few rumours to set the stage. The one I liked was that the adventurer's have heard of ancient treasures and have come to possibly get wealthy and adventure! Simple enough to install the players in the game world. I should note, that I am probably going to run this module is some form. My first thoughts are somewhere in the desert of Mystara. Quite possibly as a 5e one shot. In the notes at the beginning of the adventure it is suggested to run it as a "session one funnel", while that is a grand idea, I wouldn't be able to pull it off with the 5e group I have. Mostly for "character development" reasons. None of which have anything to do with the packaged material. Onward!

Once upon the scene things start to liven up. There are a bunch of interesting NPCs with really good motives. The NPCs alone can get you going on different adventure ideas.

There is a super cool table with a variety of effects when touching the Alien Metal.

This whole adventure has a demonic/alien/god thing going for it. It's sort of like if you took expedition to the barrier peaks and mashed it up with Call of Cthulu. Actually that's not a half bad idea! The one thing this adventure lacks is a detailed map of the inside of the tomb. Now obviously there's a ton of great resources out there for maps, so just do a quick search.

As a side note, Venger if you need a map you can always tag me man, I'd be happy to try it out!

Prior to entering the tomb there's a nifty table called "Strange Occurrences" here's the text prior to the table. (it gives me the willies)

Strange Occurneces table:

This is not simply the inert interior of a giant container full of deceased demonic deity, but an ultra-telluric biosphere somewhere between reality and the place where dead gods dream. For every 15 minutes spent exploring, roll once on the following random table to determine what strangeness occurs....

All in all this is a pretty solid starting point adventure, there is enough text and flavour to get you going, but not too much that it starts to feel like a railroad. And of course the whole thing is filled with the general weirdness and gonzo that we have all come to expect from Korthalis publishing. I'm almost wondering if its worth challenging Venger to write something straight up? Nah..

If you have a copy of the The S'rulyan Vault II I think this adventure would go hand in hand with it!

Good stuff!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss
by Dave C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/02/2018 13:14:40

Perhaps I’m the sort of lifelong roleplaying junkie who enjoys books on the topic of mastering the infinite expanse of creating fictitious realms governed by dice and delusions. Maybe I have a fondness for those old High Gygaxian tomes where the bearded sage expounded for pages upon what crafts disbelief suspension (Ok, well, yeah - I still covet the 1e DMG). But, in all honesty, many of those musty pages are just filled with regurgitated editorials from hoary denizens of pulp infused pulpits. Am I saying that I didn’t learn anything from the “Kobold’s Guide to…” or Broodmother Skyfortress’ pages of blog reprints? No, there was some legitimate quirk and charm - and I’m not Rients, Gygax, Monte Cook (thankfully) or <insert famous game designer here>.



Venger Satanis writes in a conversational tone, and despite his media image being crafted from indulgences disapproved of by the Satanic Panic era, he genuinely seems to care very much for the craft of running RPGs and your success behind the screen. He doesn’t dip too far into the navel gazing, self congratulating, name dropping excesses of many of these guides - though, honestly, he does pimp himself pretty hard everywhere he writes. What he does, that many other writers don’t, is build your self confidence with reasonable advice and reassurances.

He isn’t asking you to detail a Harn or Tekumel level campaign from the top down. There is a certain understanding of available time that many professional, full time game designers have forgotten about. Whereas there are a number of tables towards the back, he isn’t spamming random generation as a solution to detailed hex crawling and running pre-published adventures. He stresses the importance of informed improvisation, reworking a percentage of written adventures to personalize them, and having self confidence and dedication to your art. It isn’t pompous, it isn’t just for the gonzo - it’s sound advice, some of which might already be in your stylistic grab bag, but it’s thoughtfully (dare I say, kindly?) delivered and I think all but the most self-absorbed and egocentric can gain some different and useful insights. 



The last couple of years at my gaming table have been difficult, mostly due to real life trials and tribulations. It’s been several years since my work life has allowed me to run a long term adult oriented campaign (I’ve managed to keep my kids’ group limping along). I’ve found myself with a growing lack of self confidence behind the screen and the work on my impending campaign has suffered from this.

Mind you, I’ve been roleplaying for over 30 years, most of them spent as a Gamemaster. As my career took a few negative turns, eroding professional confidence and enthusiasm, so did my appearance behind the screen. A lot of my RPG reading as of late has been trying to muster that chutzpah back, maybe gain a bit of higher ground. This book, in one night, did more for me than the dozens of other attempts at refreshing my outlook. 



My one fault with this book is that Venger does occasionally come across as a ‘house organ’ - and this is really only present within the tables towards the back. Though I share a good amount of overlap with Mr. Satanis in his love of weird pulp dark fantasy and Lovecraftian Gothicism, I am not really into “gonzo” campaigns. I prefer to keep an environment of the mundane around the fantastic so that my Weird retains it’s mystic ‘what the fuckery?’ In his defense, this book was initially created for himself - so it is natural that he would have tables for his Purple campaign series.

I also may be more of a dick than the high priest of Cthulhu at the table, as I am that ‘Raggi style’ gamemaster that starves PCs for silver and runs low magic campaigns - making them earn and relish what crumbs I give (I do run traditional higher fantasy for kids, I’m not a complete asshole). This is simply a stylistic difference, and doesn’t invalidate any of his advice. In fact, this book made me reevaluate my approach even there - something I haven’t done in a very, very, very long time. Maybe I will let them gain that first level a bit quicker and let them have a few trinkets a little earlier. 



The layout is pleasant, the art is good (and less risqué than I expected), and - again - the conversational tone is a pleasant departure from most ‘analytical game’ works. I honestly wish I had found this book before others on world building or campaign design. It’s nice to feel like you're not being condescended to, but just having a conversation with another enthusiast who gives a damn about gaming seriously (but not TOO seriously). I look forward to reading more of his work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss
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Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2018 04:02:41

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page kort’thalis glyph, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 30 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Now, first of all, what is this? Well, this is basically a sandbox supplement that is almost system neutral and setting agnostic. What do I mean by this? Well, one way of using this pdf is to use it as a hub in a post-apocalyptic game or as a grab-bag in that regard. The second use would be to make this a rather punk-aesthetics cantina-like region of Mad Maxy proportions in conjunction with scifi RPGs like Alpha Blue. In either way, the free Death Race-mini-game makes for a potential tie-in here. Since the rules-system assumed is Venger’s rules-lite VSd6, you will not encounter a lot of complex mechanical bits; the pdf focuses mainly on setting up the atmosphere.

Now, as a potential supplement for Alpha Blue, this supplement does mention sex and associated themes; a couple of the artworks sport exposed nipples, so if that type of thing offends you, then this may not be for you. That being said, compared with many Alpha Blue supplements, this is definitely on the tame side in that regard.

Following this type of dual use, the pdf starts with two tables: One that contains 6 reasons why starfaring PCs can’t immediately leave and another one assumes the PCs have been exiled as a rite of passage of sorts, being native – this table spans a massive 100 entries and is pretty fun, sporting anything from car phones to the 6th edition DMG, foreword by Venger As’Nas Satanis. Hey, it could happen!

A table of 20 myths and legends speaks of starmen that will unite the tribes, of cannibals in the wasteland and that there may well be Lady Liberty buried somewhere in the sands: “That means this is Earth!?! Wait, everyone already knew that? Oh yeah… never mind then.” Notice something? Yes, this is actually genuinely funny in quite a lot of the entries; in fact, it may be the most fun supplement in that regard since the original (and imho superior) Crimson Dragon Slayer. Have I mentioned the large Hard-on collider? (Yes, puerile. But honestly, I really got a laugh out of this one and puns of that caliber are what I throw around, so yeah…) And yes, dread MeowMeowBeenz may well be the future’s currency… D’unh-D’unh-Dunh!

The pdf also sports a table of 20 mutations, which include growing an additional penis or vagina, flesh like shimmering scales or the ability to hear perverted thought-waves. And vagina dentata or penis-worm-demons. A list of 12 weird customs is also included: Like dosing yourself in orange tang powder to stave off scurvy. Speaking of the gods requires a hand-gesture that also doubles, oddly, as the sequences for checking spacesuit seals. Punks adorn themselves with cock-rat and scorpion-skunk bones. And only cool guys wear fedoras. Purple, obviously, is bad luck.

Next up, we have 8 human factions: Sportos focus on athletic prowess; motorheads love vehicles and worship, obviously, the mystical “Ace of Spades;” they are also at war with the violent Bloods, who are basically post-apocalyptic blood-and-soil extremists. Geeks read, study and homebrew tables and are, basically, intellectuals and gamers. Sluts…are self-explanatory Wastoids are survivalists, dweebies are the guys that do the menial tasks and keep things running. Dickheads…are…well, bastards. Each of the factions lists what they can offer typically to the PCs. 12 rites of passage can also be found and include facing off with foes of other factions, ingesting potentially deadly jell-babies…or having your genitals pierced with bat bones.

Now, we get a really nice overview map of the wasteland (in color, with blood-splotches and faction areas noted), and we learn next about areas of interest: These include the forbidden zone, where the AI God of Many Faces creates mechanical animals to hunt down humanoids; the super-library Strax; the Z’roids that war between red and blue factions (Amazing reference to the old-school, hard-core Z-series)…It should be noted that encountering the Z’roids and how they react is elaborated upon in more depth later.

Hills with electric eyes should be an obvious reference. There are also three post-apocalyptic wizard towers; each of the wizards has a third of The Nocticulent Yearnings of Demons Undreamt, which, when completed, can have the Dark Ones return! In New Albuquerque (or Abulakwurq’ee), the largest city-state, the High Priest of Purifying Flame Mayo-Axe rules with an iron fist; the eponymous starport is vast, and yes, we also get a cantina. The Fuck Off Cantina. The bartender is a humanoid grasshopper. The stalls have no toilet paper, but sea shells and 6 random reactions can be found. 4 additional angles make using this easier.

Now starport and New Albuquerque are connected by Route 666, which makes for a solid way to integrate Death Race, should the random encounters not suffice. Cool: We get 3 monsters: The turquoise worm, the tentacled tentacle and the cactus critter. 6 random hazards can make the trek through the desert more interesting. Speaking of monsters: In the northern mountains, there is the Doom that Came to Taos, the endboss of the region, nigh unstoppable, even with starship weaponry. All tremble before the giant mutant squirrel and its 7d6 dice pool and 3 attacks. OUCH. The treasure is interesting here as well, tying into the story of a hermit named…Obi Wan’k. And there is a command phrase to activate a unique item. Gunter glieben glauten globen. Yes, got that reference. No, it doesn’t mean anything in German, though “Gunter” is a male name.

The town of Abulakwurq’ee also comes with a marketplace section of sorts – a table to determine what the market provides and prices: BBQ crock-rats, jars full of chilies, mind-controlled dildos…and in a less stable economy, price may vary as well, obviously. With the town under the rules of a fanatic, the concept of genetic infidels has been introduced and some claim that the caverns beneath have been taken over by Skull-Face and his death cult. Yes, the reference to several classics and e.g. Six Strings Samurai is probably intended. Yes, he has a plan. And he gets stats, and so do his cultists.

Beyond that, we have several extended adventure hooks that may be blended together, should you want to: From smuggling out contraband past the checkpoint, to…donating to save a dying race to an Alpha Blue archive of dirty secrets…and there is an Android revolution going on. They’re incredibly life-like, look like gorgeous humans…and they are sick and tired of being groped and treated like crap. They are led by former sex slave bot “Doctor Cute Butt”, now known as Doctor X, who is NOT particularly fond of biological life anymore. And honestly…that’s understandable. She and two of her fellows get stats and a couple of warning signs can make the PCs realize the upcoming uprising, doubling as signs to get away…or, well, you know, join? Security droids and not all androids and their role in the proceedings are also explained, including a potentially less extremist ally with complete stats. Once the revolution is unleashed, the SJAs (Social Justice Andoids) will pull out the castration machine…

We close with a 12-entry name-table. It should also be noted that the pdf comes with absolutely phenomenal maps: Glynn Seal provides an absolute GORGEOUS high-res jpg.schematic (300 dpi; 34 x22) of desert rovers (including internal layout etc.) and we also get a similarly phenomenal map of the starport. Even if the raunchy tone of the supplement is something you absolutely despise, the maps may well warrant getting the pdf on its own.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant issues. Layout adheres to a gorgeous two-column full-color standard that sports both blue and desert-orange. The pdf is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Easily my favorite layout in the Kort’thalis catalogue of pdfs. The artworks are mostly b/w and, as always for Kort’thalis Publishing, are top-quality. In short, this is a beautiful pdf. However, the maps are my absolutely favorites this time around, looking even better than the usual, impressive maps we get for Alpha Blue supplements. Glynn Seal outdid himself here. The pdf comes with a second, more printer-friendly version that is also smaller: The full-details pdf clocks in at 180 mbs, the more printer-friendly version at ~40. Both versions come with extensive bookmarks for your convenience.

This is Venger As’Nas Satanis at his best. We get relevant stats for everything; creative critters, hilarious tables – everything the heart desires. This is basically a mini sandbox that should fit in seamlessly with most gonzo, post-apocalypse, scifi or space opera games and anything beyond. If the sleazy references don’t bother you, then this will have you grin and chuckle left and right. This can be genuinely funny.

The pdf can seamlessly be dropped into most games with minimum hassle, whether that’s Traveller, Starfinder, etc. – and frankly, even if you are disgusted by anything remotely sexual, then the phenomenal maps still warrant the fair asking price, which was, as per the writing of this review, $6.66.

If you like Alpha Blue, then this is an absolute no-brainer: It is the funniest and best supplement Venger has penned so far; the organization and ease in which it can be used also shows that Venger has learned how to better organize content, making this work much more smoothly. This is one of my favorite offerings in all of his supplements, with only the legendary Purple Islands meeting that level of awesomeness. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. If “gonzo wasteland” even remotely strikes a chord with you, get this!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport
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Save Yourself From Hell
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/01/2018 05:54:30

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This adventure is intended as a one-shot for Alpha Blue and clocks in at 20 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page Kort’thalis glyph, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Now, first things first: This is a scenario for Alpha Blue, the rules-lite scifi-porn-parody game by Kort’thalis Publishing; as such, this contains copious amounts of gonzo and raunchy themes. If the like offends you, then you may want to skip this one. None of the artworks herein sport exposed boobs or primary sexual organs, though – artwork-wise, this is a tame one. Now the module does feature sexual themes, swearing, etc., but it is, as far as I’m concerned, not offensive. Then again, I’m from continental Europe and outrage over sexual themes has always puzzled me to no end. It should also be noted, that while this scenario is intended primarily for Alpha Blue, it can, rules-wise, be run in conjunction with Venger’s other VSd6-based games.

Speaking of which: The pdf provides a rules-update for all VSd6 games: Pulling a stunt. Once per session, a player may pull off a profession-related task without having to roll. This ability refreshes when dice pool comes up as triple 6s or when the character does something over-the-top-awesome and in-character. Stunt points may not be hoarded – you get one. As Venger probably would say: “Use it wisely, hoss.”

Now, as you could glean from the title, this module is basically a not-100%-serious take on the classic genre of scifi-horror in the tradition of many a darker tale, Event Horizon, etc. – but seen through the over-the-top lens of Alpha Blue. If you’re looking for cosmic bleakness, this is not what you’ll get here. Now, as with all kort’thalis offerings, we do get supplemental tables 12 male and female names, and 4 personality types. These cover: “Dick”, “Pussy”, “Asshole” and “Just Plain Weird.”

There is one further thing that sets this pdf apart from other Alpha Blue scenarios: Players don’t automatically get to steal the spotlight; instead, since a leitmotif of the adventure is reopening old wounds, we get a table of emotional traumata. When players vocalize the internal struggle and RP that aspect, they get double the dice pool. Each such instance must be fresh, so not rehashing of the same theme over and over. Towards the end, closure may be achieved – which once triples the dice pool. These do have a risk: If none of the dice come up higher than 2s, the PC goes berserk for 3d6 minutes, as trauma overwhelms him. The results here are represented as a table in the back of the adventure/epilogue, which makes sense when we get there. From an organizational point of view, a page number or getting that one in the front still imho would have made sense, but that as a presentation nitpick.

Now, since quite a few of my readers are interested in that component: No, we do not get an adventure synopsis or flow-chart or the like; in order to run this module, you should read it in its entirety and preferably, take notes.

Okay, this is as far as I can go without diving into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only SDMs around? Great! The pdf begins as the PCs are in a spa and hear a lady calling, who is currently getting a colonic irrigation with a blue liquid; she wants a towel…and there is a solid 50% chance of getting hit with the blue stuff. EW. The stuff causes hair loss, smells and hampers the ability to recall numbers. The lady’s name is Micayla, and yes, her preferences are noted.

Shortly thereafter, the PCs get a communication that there’s trouble brewing in hell’s Cluster – three potential hooks are provided to motivate the PCs to travel there, and more specifically, the friendly Eye of Asmodeus region. Contact with the X-III has been lost; this would be an abyssal-class spaceship with deep-space exploration track records; it is currently sitting on the periphery of the dread Eye and dimensional instabilities may be measured.

Slightly odd regarding presentation sequence: A key NPC of the ship is detailed before the PCs even get there: That would be Matey. Matey is the ship’s cat and just as intelligent as a humanoid. Oh, and capable of talking. Yes, this is the time where you pull out all those old Red Dwarf episodes and stock up your array of cat-like behavior, jokes, etc. How did he get off the ship? No idea. We don’t even get a random table here. Sequence-wise, the fellow would have made more sense later.

Anyways, before the PCs even reach X-III, they will be attacked by the bounty hunter Tengmarr Kouth, who seeks to blow them to smithereens with his gang of crystalline Q’xaanzee natives…who btw. are immune to energy weapons. Ouch. Nice: We get proper stats for them all. Before jumping to light speed, the PCs will have to refuel, but thankfully, there is a space truckstop just a few parsecs away. 4 sample complications/events can make the stay more interesting…and this is Alpha Blue: Yes, cheap sex can be had. Not all will be nice and dandy, though: Two one-eyes, barrel-shaped feathered lifeforms will demand passage to Hell’s Cluster – Gweez and Gwaaz are weird and can potentially commandeer the PC’s vessel! Further complicating the proceedings, the PCs will get a stowaway, who is carrying an omega device bomb taken from the space Muslims of the Caliphate – he wants to detonate the bomb in safety. Meanwhile Federation and Caliphate will want the bomb back. None of these passengers get stats, which is particularly weird concerning Gweez and Gwaaz, who are actually cultists that will try to turn PCs into sushi rolls sooner or later.

Once in hell’s cluster, the PC’s ship will probably be hit by a huge jar of raspberry jam and then attacked by kung-fu marauders. Here, we get a basic ship to ship combat, but oddly, no stats should the PCs attempt to fight off boarding crews. Finally reaching the vicinity of X-III, the PCs intercept an escape pod, where the almost naked Tana Drus tells the PCs about the X-III’s crew preparing for communion with the demons past the Eye…she is not in a good state and infused with demonic energy, potentially a big issue. The black hole seems to bring forth demonic energies, causing first strife, and then later full blown human sacrifice and worse.

Now, I noted before that the two aliens are cultists, and they may actually open a two-way portal to the X-III. Worse, the ship is…actually Hellraiser in space. There are demon-possessed spacers and three zenobites (stats for both included) that can be vanquished…as an aside, really hilariously: They are deadly, but if mocked sufficiently, they flee. Loved that! But ultimately, sooner or later, an anomaly will happen. The black hole starts to close and when it looks like it disappears, it instead turns into a dimensional rift, from which Cthulhu emerges. Yes. You read right. Cthulhu. No, you can’t blast him apart. Not even with kewl laz0rz. The only surefire way to save the universe, is to detonate the omega device, destroying the whole starsystem. Before Cthulhu emerges, obviously. This may or may not entail staying aboard the X-III or being blown to bits by the detonation. Now all of this sounds pretty cool, and it honestly is – but at the same time, the whole finale, where the pieces come together, feels more sketch-like than it should. The organization here could be tighter; as written, we have all these pieces – how exactly they come together is left pretty much up to the SDM. If you can pull it off and make the pieces fit, then it’s really over the top and fun. If not, well, then it can become a bit of a mess.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good, though I noticed a few minor typos. Layout adheres to a really nice full-color 2-column standard with blue veins and bloody splotches. Interior art is a mix of full-color and b/w-artworks, all of which are original pieces. The pdf comes with a second, printer-friendly version - kudos.

Venger As’Nas Satanis’ “Save Yourself From Hell” is a bit of an odd one; if you expected straight scifi horror, then this one will not deliver; instead, this should be considered to be a PARODY of the scifi-horror genre. Hellraiser in space, event horizon and a ridiculous amount of bad, bad scifi-mythos stories all get their due. MeowMeowBeenz are important. Anyways, once you understand that (and it’s pretty much evident from the get-go if you know Alpha Blue), the module can become really fun…but it feels less focused than what we usually get from Venger. The majority of the module takes place on the way to the adventure and is devoted to set-up, with the payoff resting almost exclusively in the hands of the SDM.

Whether you like that or not remains a matter of taste. Against this backdrop, the emotional trauma/closure-stuff feels oddly inappropriate. The module is utterly over-the-top and pretty ridiculous, in a good way. Adding heartfelt drama…just doesn’t fit. The serious, psychological horror-angle implied here simply does not work; it’s anathema to the parody over-the-top style of the supplement. This aspect feels like an afterthought, and frankly, I’d strongly suggest you disregard it.

The lack of stats for the kung-fu marauders is another thing I bemoan here. Most crucially, unlike e.g. Battle for the Purple Islands, the organization makes frankly less sense; it throws together amazing ingredients, but doesn’t really tell you how they best fit together, requiring that you do the hard parts in combining them, sequence of events, etc.. This is, per se, not something I dislike, but it is something that makes the supplement work more like a set-up, like a toolkit, and less like an adventure in the classic sense…at least in the final act. If the organization were tighter, this probably wouldn’t frazzle me, but as presented, the end feels abrupt and requires that you suddenly remember multiple dangling loose threads, which you then need to somehow weave together.

After the detailed voyage, we arrive in Act III, expecting that the play will last for at least 2 more acts…and then find out that Act III is indeed, the finale. This reminded me somewhat of series that were cancelled suddenly, requiring that all is jammed into the two final episodes…and as such, that may even be intentional.

That being said, I wholeheartedly recommend Rafael Chandler’s system neutral “Starship from Hell” supplement to flesh out the details of the X-III and provide the climax that this module per se deserves.

Oh boy. How in the 9 space hells should I rate this? The issue is really complex. The content’s organization is somewhat lacking and we don’t get stats for all relevant NPCs, which are detriments. The finale, similarly, feels sudden and less developed/detailed than I’d like it to be. At the same time, this book does the parody-angle really well and the finale, fragmented though it may be, can congeal into a slimy, gorgeous, over the top experience. Ultimately, whether you like this or not will depend on your angle: If you want a ready-made adventure, then the structural shortcomings and abrupt ending may be jarring. If you’re looking for an adventure-outline of sorts, are willing to develop your own finale and how things come together, then this may work rather well for you. As a person, I found myself annoyed by the issues in the structure and organization, which did detract from the enjoyment the hilarious hodgepodge of scifi-horror clichés otherwise generated for me.

Ultimately, this supplement is worth the low and fair asking price for what it is; at the same time, it very much feels like it falls short of what it could easily have been. This feels like the first part of a two-parter, where the second part has been torn away and reduced to the bare minimum. This could have easily carried twice the page-count, and in such a case, it could have easily made 5 stars + seal. With aforementioned file by Mr. Chandler, you can expand what’s here to emphasize the horror of the finale, before you bring the full-blown ludicrous anomaly that initiates the end of the module. In such a case, this can be glorious…but I need to rate what’s here…and what’s here is a bit weaker than what we usually get from Venger. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Save Yourself From Hell
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La Bas Chartreuse
by Tamas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2018 07:49:11

I see the title "La Bas Chartreuse", and I expect fin de siècle decadence and Satanism, because, well, Huysmans. As far as literature is considered, I think this offering veers closer to R.E.Howard's "The Black Stone", or Abraham Merritt's "The People of the Pit".

This is not a fleshed-out scenario, but a single location (albeit a location that holds portals to all worlds and dimensions). Presented as a letter from a madman who witnessed its terror; a few pages of descriptions (all non-Euclidean, full of squamous voids and pulsating luminescence, and similar words); and many random tables to give you ideas on what can happen in this place. Useful and plunderable things include a d20 table of "Properties of alien metal" ("Reverberates sub-audible dark ambient vibrations" / "All vegetation nearby turns gray, shriveled, and lifeless" and so forth).

This location can easily be dropped into occult horror investigation games with a pulp or exploitation bent - the author's The Outer Presence, Call of Cthulhu, Kult, etc. (or added to a sword & sorcery campaign). So if you are into this specific flavor or insanity, go ahead.

I like the flavor, although I have a couple of reservations. Mainly, I fear that there's only so many eldritch adjectives and black voids a person (player or game master) can take. Stuff like this quickly becomes repetitive... So, beware, and control your dosage.

Review originally published at eldritchfields.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-outer-presence-la-bas-chartreuse.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
La Bas Chartreuse
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La Bas Chartreuse
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2018 15:21:09

La Bas Chartreuse is the latest release by Venger Satanis. Unlike previous releases, this Lovecraftian supplement doesn't present a new game or complete adventure. Instead, we're presented with a thoroughly dark and interesting jungle locale. Glynn Seal did an amazing job with the layout and the artwork is creepy and fitting. As always Venger's prose is thought provoking and creepy. One of the hallmarks of Kort'thalis Publishing releases, useful and entertaining random charts, are also featured prominently. La Bas Charteuse definitely fits in perfectly with the original release of The Outer Presence. That cannibal holocaust meets Cthulhu adventure and rules-lite game is the perfect match up for this creepy set piece. However, it could also be easily used as a local for a world spanning Blood Dark Thirst game or Crimson Dragon Slayer jungle adventure. Actually, given the jungle setting, it's the perfect way to add some eldritch horror to more established and main stream games. Seriously, some retired adventurer could mention the La Bas Chartreuse to a party of Sword Coast adventurers in Waterdeep getting ready to depart to Chult to brave the Tomb of Annihilation. 

At two dollars, this pdf is a steal. Snag it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
by Mark J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2018 14:03:50

+Venger Satanis Please note these are just my opinions.

The Good. I like the writer seems like a fan and clearly excited about this content. The monsters are original so easy enough to make up some stats. Your descriptions of npcs and their motivation is great. The art is marrying well. This is good for inspiring a game as you should always take bits and pieces from published material to your table.

The pdf also came with two versions, one with all background colors to be pleasing to the eye and one without to make it easier to read.

The Bad. I think there was some missed opportunity for more detail. There is a mechanic for exploring the tomb based on length of time, but no map or detail on how much time is needed to find things. You cannot run this game as written. I forsee plot issues with opening the tomb and how abruptly this ends. Let's be honest, as a fan I want more. This is like a good idea where more detail would make a great module.

The Ugly. There is an f-bomb near the beginning where you mention your excitement. It makes one sound less smart when I can tell by the writing you are intelligent and have a mind for well written Cthulhu style horror.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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Dead God Excavation
by Tamas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2018 09:10:30

Dead God Excavation (DGE) is a gonzo horror/science-fantasy scenario by Venger Satanis (review copy provided by author).

DGE is a short, simple scenario, explicitly written as a "session zero" adventure = a quick and dirty introduction for low-level players. However, it is NOT a throw-away story. The possible consequences and outcomes of diggin' up the dead god (what it says on the tin) will change the game world. Definitely a great way to jumpstart a campaign.

First, the adventure gives you the site and the people who conduct the excavation.

I really like the way NPCs are presented: the role of the character is the main header, the name is a smaller one (it makes sense, because you need to know their function first, not their complicated unpronounceable moniker). Then there is a motivation for each NPC. This format is much better than the infodumps Venger usually prefers in his scenario-writing. DGE is quite easy to navigate, information easier to find.

In the second half, you get the weird tomb. Thematically, it's Yog-Sothothery and body horror.

My favorite thing about DGE is the final paragraph entitled "BENEFITS OF HAVING A DEAD GOD UNDER YOUR KINGDOM", listing some marvelous campaign hooks.

Overall, I dig this adventure, and I think it can be easily inserted into any horror / fantasy type campaign.

The original review can be seen here: http://eldritchfields.blogspot.com/2018/02/review-dead-god-excavation.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
by Chad R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/02/2018 03:24:47

The book is a set of tables for helping you flesh out characters. Ideas for appearance, equipment, life events. Its got sweet pulpy art and, even if you don't end up using his ideas, its just fun to read. Worth the small price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Player's Handbook Like A Fucking Boss
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Battle For The Purple Islands
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/29/2018 07:10:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This adventure clocks in at 24 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page Kort’thalis glyph, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Well, as you may have deduced from my reviews, to this day, I consider Venger’s “Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence” perhaps the best of his adventures; it is certainly my favorite, for the combination of Carcosa-style weirdness without the constant doom and gloom (though there is plenty of bad stuff waiting to happen to everyone…), infused with healthy doses of gonzo and humor, created something that really resonated with me.

Suffice to say, I was rather excited when Venger suddenly sprang a return to these unique locales, haunted by basically a Great Old One, with all the “fun” ramifications for the locals that ensues. Now, this adventure, like all of Venger’s adventures, doesn’t really sport a synopsis, though this time around, this is well justified: In a sense, this is a scenario into which PCs are plunged. How it develops and what exactly happens remains a mostly player-driven thing.

It should be noted that I STRONGLY suggest getting the “Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence” before running this one; without its unique backdrop, the putrescence itself, etc., this loses a bit of its flavor. Also, much like Venger’s other modules, this is not something you can pick up and play – you definitely have to read the module in its entirety, preferably while taking notes, but since the preferred way to run this, is one situated within the islands, you will want to modify it anyways. It’s just important to note if you expect the level of convenience provided by quite a few of current modules.

That being said, the pdf is significantly more convenient than usual for Venger’s adventures, in that it explicitly provides three different entry vectors for the scenario: One for newcomers to the purple islands, one for veterans of the place, and, since the tie with Alpha Blue has been established (in fact, Alpha Blue was, to my knowledge, first mentioned in the Islands-supplement!), we also get an entry-vector for Alpha Blue. A big plus would also be that Venger actually included stats for the creatures encountered here: If it’s likely to attempt combat, you’ll get stats.

This isn’t all, though! We do get a massive 100-entry strong table for roll-as-you-go hexcrawling: From clearing to metallic sphinxes, possessed pythons etc., the table is pretty neat and a welcome addition to the GM’s arsenal. We also get a table to randomly determine the reaction of locals to lovecraftian entities, which cover abject terror, worshiping the entity, trying to defeat it – you get the idea. An 8-entry weather table allows the GM to further enhance this aspect – though I do suggest you check out the Islands-book, for purple rain there…well. You’ll see.

Beyond all of these, we have further help for the GM: A total of 8 different motivations can be used to further entice either players, or act as a fill in for an NPC-motivation that you just didn’t think of. There is an additional global rule on the islands for the context of this adventure, one that I rather enjoy: The Purple Destiny. The table depicting those is 20 entries strong, and the implementation is simple: Basically, when a character acts in accordance with the predestined fate, he gains advantage, but not more often than once per battle. (Note: This does not impose anything on the character – it’s just another angle to develop: predestined does not mean that the character is locked into this destiny!)

Now, I should mention that the fully-developed entry vectors do add an in medias res angle that can dramatically change the circumstances of meeting the person that kicks off the action…but to tell you more, I need to go deep into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMS around? Great! So, perhaps the PCs are half-delirious and hanging, captured by cannibals over a pit of sewage, as he is thrown into their cage; or, they encounter an ape-men-patrol hunting for the fellow, but things begin when the PCs meet this man from the Guild of Purple Prose, one Stenz B’wca – this purple-spandex-wearing fellow is on a crucial mission, namely to save the universe. He must find none other than H.P. Lovecraft and convince him to write his tales. You see, Lovecraft, dejected by refusals to be published, lives the life of a hermit on these islands, as he managed to venture here via the Dreamlands. Oh, know what? He’s guarded by shadow shoggoths. Yeah, it won’t be easy to get to him.

Anyways, the middle section of the module beyond the entry vector is, as you can glean from the different starting positions, very much is a dynamic field that oscillates between the actions of and interactions with the factions herein: Each of them comes with stats for rank and file members as well as for the leader, if applicable. Here, we embrace Venger’s gonzo Sword & Sorcery to the full extent: We have the cannibal tribe of the Uba-Tuba, with notes on typical behavior and a 12-.entry table for strange customs of such cannibal tribes; when the crescent moon is in the sky, one of the last snake-men named H’ssan, with deadly apparitions, comes down from the mountains to procure sacrifices; there would be the ape-men and we can encounter the deadly Brotherhood of the Unquiet Void – a cult of the old ones, inspired by their profane messengers, who has instructed them to create the Purple Missile: A missile that is bound to spread extreme, sanity-destroying mutation-causing radiation over the islands…there is just one component missing. An indigo crystal. A Crystal that also contains the hologram that Stenz is supposed to show Lovecraft…yeah, this directly puts the PCs at odds with the powerful brotherhood.

The crystal’s hologram does have a surprise: It’s Lovecraft, 20 years down the line, talking to himself, giving words of encouragement and pointing him towards an old art museum, situated at the bottom of a deep crevasse. Entering the weird museum, the PCs can find all sorts of strange things…and accompany Lovecraft to see the movie. Well, smart PCs will wait outside. The movie will do its job really well, but characters may well become permanently-changed by attempting to see the film.

How does Lovecraft leave the islands? Well, obviously, dream journeys are an option, but the GM can easily make the evacuation of the author yet another adventure…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. Layout adheres to the neat 2-column full-color standard of Kort’thalis Publishing, with splotches of dried blood, purple veins etc. making the pdf aesthetically-pleasing. The pdf sports a ton of really nice b/w-artworks, all original pieces that highlight the weirdness of the islands. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and sports a second, more printer-friendly version.

This is Venger at his best, simple as that. We get a glorious mix of pulp, sword & sorcery, horror and some subdued meta-references (without relying completely on them) and even a bit of humor. The blending of these aesthetics and themes works to the module’s advantage, making it feel more unique than his trinity-modules, for example. While the organization isn’t perfect, and while there are modules out there that are easier to use, this is a huge leap in the right direction and frankly, considering what this is, I am perfectly fine with how this is presented; this is a sandbox/toolkit, pure and simple.

While I tend to really enjoy Venger’s adventures, this is the first in a while where my rating doesn’t come with a caveat; the increased number of stats, the improved structure – this is a really cool set-up for another trip to those thrice-damned purple islands, where all manner of horrors lurk and almost everything is possible. While it would be nice to have names bolded, a synopsis, etc. for easier go-and-play use, this is pretty much my only valid complaint against this, and frankly, considering what this is and tries to be, it doesn’t feel fair. This is a brief set-up for a frame-narrative and a series of strange factions that coalesce into the plot and sequence you create; it has to retain this open structure to maintain compatibility with the diverse iterations of the Purple Islands out there (which, as you know, can go a LOT of different ways…), so as far as I’m concerned, the wide open nature is a here a feature, not a bug.

In short: This left me more excited about future modules by Venger than any of the Trinity-modules. Get the Purple Islands-book, then get this one. Marvel at the glorious, combined madness. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battle For The Purple Islands
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Dead God Excavation
by Justin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2018 14:08:14

(Disclaimer, Venger did send me a review copy, but I'd already bought this before I got the review copy.)

Dead God Excavation is campaign starting adventure by Venger Satanis. It's written for Crimson Dragon Slayer, but because that's such an elegantly simple system, it's an easy one to convert to any variation of D&D. Thematically, I think it would be a great funnel adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics. Change a few names (if you're using the early modern Earth setting) and it'd be a great way to start off a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game too. Thematically it would also be great for Astonishing Swordsman and Sorcerers of Hyborea. 

The premise is phenomenal. A massive earthquake has revealed a a massive alien mausoleum in a kingdom. I mean if you want to kick off a campaign with a bang, this is how you do it. We are presented with several colorful characters, rumor and effect charts, new creatures, a series of encounters, and a dead great old one! Then again is it actually dead? Is it sleeping? I mean, we all know the quote...

After the adventure is over, we're given the effects of having an great old one under your kingdom, which includes some great follow up ideas.

If you play CDS this is a must. You get a great campaign starter, monsters, unique and powerful magic item, new spell, and new cleric rules. If you don't play CDS, you should still pick it up, because this is a well written adventure your players won't forget. 

At two bucks this adventure is a steal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead God Excavation
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Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
by larry h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2018 18:43:03

This booklet was made up of "short and sweet, quick and dirty guidelines" that provide a solid foundation for those with little or no idea of where to start. Perfect for me. Venger gives you some practical ways to come up with an adventure idea and how to turn that into enough material to become a playable adventure that should hit all the points of interest for your players. Guidelines for writing with style, sandbox vs railroading, and a nice breakdown of an adventure into its composite pieces were the most helpful to me mainly because I was a blank slate and needed help getting started with the basics. Advice on setting a scene and when to end it or take it up a notch and up the stakes was also new info for me and I'm glad it was included. As good as this was, the book How to Game Master Like a F+cking Boss was such a bigger book of GM tips and advice that I'd recommend that if you read this one and want to get more of Venger's advice on GMing.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Writing Like A Fucking Boss
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Death Race: Fury Road
by William A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2018 20:07:47

"Best Death Race Ever!" I'm so glad I picked this one up and I'm looking forward to running it. Reading through it it just seems so ludicrously fun, above and beyond the usual lunatic fun I've come to expect from a Kort'thalis release. I think in practice, I'd use the standard saving throw chart from Alpha Blue instead of the shortened one included here, and I'll agree with another reviewer that using a randomized d20 roll to determine placement is unsatisfying - but at the same time, I think a large part of the fun with Death Race: Fury Road is going to be in the race itself, not the conclusion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Death Race: Fury Road
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