It’s got to be here somewhere.

It’s what they all think, and what many of them speak aloud. Their weak boots filling with my waters, their feeble sight confounded by my mists, they trudge through the trackless stretches of my maze, jumping at cobwebs and the shadows of trees, bewilderment giving way to desperation and gray, empty hopelessness. And the mires swallow them up as they kneel. So it has been for seventy succulent years.

“It’s got to be here somewhere,” one now says, parting his way through thick, slippery vines. His eyes flick from shadow to shadow, from stump to imagined looming shape. His fear comes off him in a slow, oozing torrent that spreads across the surface of the water, but the map in his clutched hand and the hollow promise of gold in his jittery mind lend something like confidence to his voice. He is telling himself that he is confident, and he is just good enough at lying to himself to believe it.

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JiffyCon Roundup!

BloodLetterPress (represented by Miki and myself) made our live debut at JiffyCon this weekend!  Here’s some of the cool stuff we did.

We kicked off the morning by playing a game of Fuel Priest, a dieselpunk RPG in development by Timeless Caverns.  I personally think dieselpunk is a criminally underrated genre (and am working on a dieselpunk setting of my own), so I was excited enough by the concept of Fuel Priest when we sat down to play, but if I had known what I was in for, I would have been practically ravenous for this game.  In the 34 pages of their current design, the folks at Timeless Caverns have created a game driven by hope, desperation, and reverence, where characters are defined by their kinship with their tools and their various interpretations of a common dogma.  It’s a work of elegant design married to exciting and timely narrative themes, and I can’t wait to play it again, or see the next step in its evolution.

From there, we ate a quick lunch, and Miki went to play Brodie’s  Here Is My Power Button, which I’ll let them write about.  After navigating a logistical hall of mirrors, I found myself playing Elliot Baker’s Tiny and Chrome, a Lego-based car combat game in homage to Mad Max: Fury Road.  While I don’t speak from a wealth of experience, this was easily the most fun I have ever had playing a miniatures game—intuitive rules ensured that each turn passed quickly, and playing with five other people meant that the board state changed explosively every round.

Rhino, Speedy, T-Bone, Gasser, and Slevine lie rent asunder as Cadillac and The Incinerator square off with Hedgehog and Skeeter for the final showdown! Photo credit: Meguey Baker

And, finally, we ran a game of our own Stars Fall Up!  I did a terrible job of explaining the rules, but it didn’t take long for our shared story to take off into a madcap Pilot City full of gondolas and ziplines, werewolf law, and suspicious turtles, which culminated in a boss battle against a Voltron made of Radio Shacks beneath a total eclipse of Planet Marsha.  Huge thanks to Dylan, Brodie, and Aaron for checking out our game and lending your splendid imaginations to our evening!  And huge thanks as well to Modern Myths and the organizers of JiffyCon 2017, for giving us the infrastructure we needed to expand our community, meet new people, and feel like Real Life Professionals!

BloodLetterPress careens forward into November with more fresh content coming to you a couple times a week here on our website.  Our Extra Life fundraiser culminates on November 14th in a 24-hour video game stream on our Twitch channel, which coincides with a DEATHWRITE: DEATHNOWRIMO 2017 EDITION for you writers out there.  Until then, we hope your Halloween is the best ever!

Inktober Update: Nerd Out of Hell 2–Back into (Anime) Hell

As it would turn out, even the best laid plans have their way of going awry. You might recall that in last week’s Inktober Round-Up, I set a goal for myself this year: stick to a particular theme for each week of the challenge. I had intended to warm up with a few days of fun and fluffy fan-art before diving into a week full of witches, spooks, specters, and things that go bump in the night. This worked…for a few days. As my girl Emily Dickinson once said, “The heart wants what it wants”, and much to nobody’s surprise, my fragile little heart burns bright with an ardent nerd-fire that has yet to be quelled.  So here I am– a few days later than anticipated– proudly delivering another hot batch of fan-fueled Inktober magic:

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BLP Shenanigans for October/November: Live Appearances, Extra Life, and More!

Hello hello hello!  Wowie, dear readers, I am caffeinated!  And very excited to share what BloodLetterPress is going to be up to for the next few months!  We’ve had this blog up for a while now and have been churning out content ever since, but as the final days of Halloween Month draw closer, we’re getting ready to explode forth from our blog format into REAL LIVE APPEARANCES with our REAL LIFE SELVES!  Details under the cut!

Continue reading BLP Shenanigans for October/November: Live Appearances, Extra Life, and More!

Going Around: Colorful Descriptions

Hey all, I (Nagi) am in charge of this week’s Going Around feature. I wanted to stick with the theme of fall, but we already did spooky last week. But the autumnal times are also periods of wonderful color, at least if you’re living in certain climate zones. So I want to ask:

Why is color important in creative media? What are your favorite examples of color in a piece of art or a narrative?

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Books In The Wizard’s Library, Volume 3

Even More Books in the Wizard’s Library (some translated into Common by the Society for a Vernacular Zenith)

1: From Many, One, by Jenth Cooper (memoir of an awakened flesh golem, in Old Common)

2: An Ethnobotany of the Gleaming Swamp, by Ecalsis Wide-Eyes (in Sylvan, but trails off into pictographs and asemic writing at the end of each chapter; excellent botanical illustrations)

3: A Beginner’s Guide to Cobblecraft, by Ricki Hobnail (instructions on the creation and enchantment of magical footwear)

4: People of the Rune: a Study of the Ilumians, by J.F. Shmatz (iffy scholarship, but words glow blue and float off the page, so it ought to be worth something, right?)

5: An Anatomical Atlas of the Purple Worm, by Alysha Wroughtiron (includes a 10:1 scale foldout [8 feet long] with several layers of cross-section)

6: Where We Flock Together: A Living History of the Good Partridge Tavern, by Toastmaster Groth Jarlson (includes partridge-based recipes; book will hunt partridges by itself if removed from library)

7: The Definitive Museum of Fatespinner Textiles, by Lord Huecorro Sartor (one incorporated textile is poisonous on contact)

8: Shieldcraft, by Ulgurk Ulrich (book has been used as the key to a cipher; covered in scrawled notes, nearly illegible)

9: The Nopos Manifesto, by Orlog Siegetongue (made of cut-up bits of other books, preaches novelty and originality as the highest virtues of art; heated debate over this text distracted from several high-profile heists by its author)

10: The Monarchist’s Cookbook, no author (anti-insurrectionist explosives assembly manual)

11: Popular Folk Songs of the Asedia Lowlands, by Picadilly Stout (notation for mandolin, hand drum, and reed flute)

12: Grand Evocations of the Ancient Pistians (beautiful fake; curses thieves in 1d4 minutes, or explodes on anyone who opens it)

13: Interviews with Those Guarded by Unicorns, by Wasseli Fillamentra (constructed of cotton, wool, and other gently-harvested fibers, written with walnut ink).

14: Filvire Spangrov: A Life, A Death, An Unlife, by Dictus Abraxis (biography of lich by the detective who killed it)

15: Sentimentalism: An Ethical History of Charm Spells, by Rev. Lorelai Craishin (includes section on recreational use)

16: The Wizard’s Guide to Obtaining Free Labor, by The Great & Terrible Progadrius (hollowed out, pages glued together with dried blood; hollow contains copy of The Case for Lizardfolk Self-Determination by Genko of the Poison Fen)

17: The Theoretical Sixth Spellbook of Ivonne Dalehelm, transcribed by Fasaal Ibn-Ezesh (exists only when thought about)

18: We Love Macreedis Serpret, by his twenty-six homunculi (Serpret made this and other copies but keeps the original)

19: Sonnets by Glarthrek (flyleaf informs reader that opening book summons invisible horrors that attack if book is not finished in one sitting)

20: The Tome of the True Gourmand, by Gastrique, the Sultan of Spice (most recipes call for extremely exotic/expensive ingredients; careful perusal provides permanent +2 bonus to Profession (chef) or related skill)

 

Look for more installments of Books in the Wizard’s Library in the future.  -ð

Going Around: Getting Spooky

Here at BloodLetterPress, we’re simply not satisfied with a single day of Halloween.  Every day of October thus far has been yet another mischief-filled day of Halloween Month.  We’re celebrating Second Halloween a few months from now when our contributor Nagi returns from overseas.  We’ve been stocking up on candy for Reverse Trick-Or-Treating and watching a new horror film every other night or so.  This week, we thought we’d share some of our favorite pieces of seasonally spine-chilling media.

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Inktober week One: The Island of Misfit Weebs

People of the internet rejoice: Inktober has been off to a great start! Friends near and far have been hard at work, pressing that pen to page every day, getting one step closer to the finish line! “But what’s drawing so much inspiration from these people?”, you might ask. Well, truly awful puns aside, that’s a great question. The answers you get will differ from artist to artist. Some folks like to stick to the official list. Some folks will follow alternate lists, much like this one I posted last week. Then, there are folks like myself, who, despite their best intentions, are a bit all over the place. This year, I’ve decided to (more or less) stick to a particular theme for each week of Inktober. This week’s theme has been “Fanart”, with a more specific focus on anime and manga series that have wormed their way into my heart.

Continue reading Inktober week One: The Island of Misfit Weebs

Are We Having Fun Yet? (Part 2)

So, last week, I introduced the problem I was having with making engaging combat encounters with my teenage player group with a DnD homebrew system I’m running. And I promised an answer for my game design woes. Well, here it is:

I don’t really enjoy combat encounters myself. (Was that dramatic reveal worth the wait? Don’t answer that).

And from what I’ve seen, my players don’t either. But games like DnD are literally designed around combat encounters (or at least the first four editions were, I don’t have much experience with 5e); your character gains power and levels through EXP and loot obtained after beating up baddies. It’s more than something you’re encouraged to do via game mechanics; it’s the game’s M.O. It’s how you play the game.

Continue reading Are We Having Fun Yet? (Part 2)