Al Amarja Today!

al amarja today logo
I wanted to GM a short campaign of Over the Edge, the classic rpg of surreal conspiracies. The biggest problem with the game, I figured, was that there was no clear core activity for the PCs to pursue as a group. So I decided to frame the game with the PCs as journalists, working for Al Amarja Today! (the island’s leading newspaper). this gives them a good reason to work together, and a good reason to go poking into every weird conspiracy and event on the island.

Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I rewrote the actual rules from scratch. Again. This new version bears basically zero resemblance to the last time I rewrote Over the Edge. I borrowed significantly from tinyFate, Archipelago III, Itras By, Gumshoe and Small World to make a totally new system:

Al Amarja Today
Al Amarja answer cards

So far, playtests indicate that seven is too many players for me to handle with this game, but not much else. I’m really unsure on the number of traits people get, the number of available answers, the ratio of Yes and No cards, etc. These all could be off wildly, but only further playtesting will let us know.

A Shadow Among Shadows

Here’s a game I made over the summer, inspired by but not entered into Game Chef, but I never got around to posting it here. It’s a mashup or Archipelago and some boardgame mechanics, where you explore an abandoned space ship.

A Shadow Among Shadows

Anomalistic Extrasensory Techniques for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Anomalistic Extrasensory Techniques for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a radical new technique for dealing with mental illnesses and stresses. Or may it is just another 200 word RPG I wrote about psychics in group therapy invading each other’s minds to heal their mental wounds.

Yeah, like Psychonauts.


LOVEINT (noun) 1. The slang term used by the NSA surveillance analysts to refer to the misuse and abuse of intelligence capabilities to observe the activities of romantic rivals, potential or former lovers. 2. The 200 word RPG I wrote about the same.

Mesopotamians revision

I revised Mesopotamians slightly, so that it is now a complete rpg on 16 cards (printed double sided) or 32 cards (single sided).

You know, the game I wrote about ancient undead warlords seeking fame and fortune as an indie band, based on a song by They Might Be Giants and the Indie Mixtape anthology.

[13th Age] More monsters

These were more things I created for my _13th Age_ campaign but never got a chance to use them. Maybe someone else will find some use for them.

1st level kenku necromancer
Initiative +3

AC 12 PD 11 MD 14.
Hollow Bones: Critical threat range for attacks against Contarius is expanded by 2.
HP: 12

Black dagger Melee basic. +3 vs. AC; 1d4+2 negative energy damage and Contarius gains temp HP equal to the escalation die.

Ghostly Swarm: Ranged spell, at-will. +5 vs MD; 1d4+4 ongoing negative energy damage. The subject has to take a standard action to swat away the spirits, allowing them to roll a normal save (11+). Miss: 1 damage.

Summon Undead: Daily, creates 1d3+1 crumbling skeletons

Deathknell: Enemies nearby Contarius die if they have 5 hp or fewer, and Contarius or a nearby ally heals 1d6 HP.

Flock Together: Allies attacking an enemy engaged with Contarius add 1 to their critical threat range.

Sorta Dead: Contarius chooses whether to count as undead or not for spells and effects. Contarius gets one ‘get out of death free’ card per PC level.

Missing Leg: Is stuck unless the escalation die is even.

Ritual Caster

Cantrips: Contarius can cast most basic wizard cantrips, but not mending or light.

Death Priest: Contarius can spend his Icon relationship dice to speak with the dead. He has two points in the Lich King (ie, any dead person) and one in The Emperor (anyone associated with the Empire)

Find shiny things +7
Reluctant necromancer +7
Trickery and mimicry +6

Dunstan, badly wounded commander
1st level leader
Initiative +1 (but allies gain a +2 to initiative when following his advice)

Longspear +5 vs. AC; 1d8+4. Miss: 1 damage. Even hit or miss: One ally adds the escalation die to their next attack (an additional time if they already gain it.)

Shortbow (ranged) +4 vs. AC; 1d6+2 damage. Even hit or miss: One nearby ally gains temporary HP equal to 4+escalation die.

Try Again! Interrupt action when an ally misses with an attack while the escalation die is even. Reroll the attack die.

Never Say Die: Once per battle when an enemy scores a critical hit against an ally, increase the escalation die by 1.

Missing Leg Dunstan is considered stuck unless the escalation die is even.

AC 15 PD 13 MD 13
HP 27
8Recoveries (1d8+2)

Seen too many wars +7
The Emperor’s Investigator +7

Demon bred hydra body
Level 3 Wrecker
Initiative +3

AC 19 PD 17 MD 13
HP: 45

The body of the hydra stays in its pool of brackish, disgusting water. Enemies in the demon tainted water take 5 necrotic damage if they end their turn in the water. And probably have to roll a background check (DC 15) to stay swimming and still fight. If they fail, they they spend their standard action simply staying afloat. Most of the time, you’ll have to get in the water to engage the hydra body, but you might swing on ropes or float on wooden rafts or come up with some other clever plan.

Crushing Claw +8 vs AC. Hit: 10 necrotic damage. Any even hit: The target is knocked into the brackish, disgusting water. Miss: 2 damage

Hold Under Water: If a target is in the water at the start of the hydra’s turn, it will hold the target under water as its standard action. The target takes 6 damage per turn and has to make last gasp saves to keep from drowning. (Ie, the target only gets one action per round, and the have to roll a hard save to keep from getting worse. On a success, you shake off the condition. On a failure, you are unconscious and have to start making death saves (16+). 16+ means spend a recovery and regain consciousness, 20 means you do that and can take your turn as normal. After four failures, you die.)

All One Being: When the Hydra Body is hit by a status effect, it can transfer that effect to one surviving Hydra Head.

Regrow Heads: Each round, roll a d4. If the result is equal to or lower than the escalation die, the hydra grows a new Hydra Head. After the hydra has grown a new head through this ability, use a d6 from there on, then a d8 and so forth.

Resist energy 12+. Attacks with an energy type that roll a 11 or lower do only half damage to the hydra body. (The heads are normally vulnerable.) For necrotic and poison damage, resistance is 16+.

Hydra Heads
Level 2 mooks (blockers)

AC 18 PD 15 MD 13
HP: 9 each

Clamping Bite +8 vs AC. Hit: 3+escalation die damage and the jaw clamps down on you. Until you disengage (at a -4 penalty), you cannot move away from the hydra head, you cannot make opportunity attacks and a -4 to hit any enemy that is not a Hydra Head biting you. Hydra Heads biting you get a +2 to hit you.

Tear Apart: If two Hydra Heads are biting you, they can both work together to try to tear you apart. This is the attack for both Heads. +8 vs. PD (+10 with the bonus from Clamping Bite); 6 damage and 5 ongoing damage (normal save ends).

Mass of Whipping Heads: Once per round when an attack targets the hydra body and the attack roll is odd, a hydra head gets in the way and takes the attack instead.

Mooks. As mooks, they share a pool of HPs. Kill a head for every 9 damage the heads take.

The Hydra’s Secret Weapon: When you kill a hydra head and the attack die result is odd, the hydra heads regrows two new heads.

Death Frenzy If the Hydra Body dies, then all remaining Hydra Heads get a +2 to hit for the rest of the battle.

I Pray God Will Curse the Writer

I Pray God Will Curse the Writer is a live action roleplaying game I wrote, inspired by bits of the Hastur mythos as described by Robert Chambers, John Tynes, Dennis Detwiller and Robin Laws.

All the larp files in one .zip file

Cast member character sheets
Inhabitant of Carcosa character sheets
Answer cards
Whisper Labyrinth cards
Supplemental cards
The King in Yellow
Fates for the King in Yellow to distribute
papers full of weird writing for the author

Google Doc of the main text

This larp is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License

Interstellar Diplomacy

Interstellar Diplomacy is a freeform-ish game I wrote as an entrant into the Golden Cobra Challenge. You play alien diplomats, meeting on earth to decide whether or not war will destroy the galaxy. I’m voting against it, but you might have other concerns.

The formatting for the game is just whatever raw text output that Google Drive created, because Scribus crapped out on me several hours into working on the game. Stupid Scribus, I’m beginning to really hate you. Juan Manuel Avila was kind enough to make some nice looking cards that should be helpful if you choose to play.

[13th Age] A couple monsters

Here are a few monsters I made for my 13th Age campaign, which may or may not be of use to other people out there. The PCs had recruited a group of dwarven sailors to fight a necromancer dragon, so I needed some monsters for that fight.

Probably I made all of these overly complicated. You could probably use one or two and a few simpler creatures and have a good encounter, though.

Zombie Accordionist
2nd level Spoiler

Initiative +1

C: Music of the Damned With its first standard action, the Zombie Accordionist begins to play its musical instrument. Any creatures that can hear it have to reroll any die that rolls it maximum result (just the first roll is rerolled. If it comes up maximum again you can keep it.) In addition, any enemy with 12 HP or less are affected by its Fear aura (-4 to attack, no escalation die.) These effects all last as long as the zombie accordionist continues to play its instrument.

C: Maddening Chord (all enemies that can hear it play) +9 vs. MD. Hit: 5 psychic damage.

Empty Husk The Zombie Accordionist does not move, take Opportunity Attacks or basic attacks.

Vulnerable: Holy

AC 15
PD 9
MD 13
HP 35

Skeleton Archer
3rd level archers
Initiative +7

Rusty Scimitar +10 vs. AC. Hit: 10 damage. Miss: The Skeleton Archer takes 1d6 damage.

Wicked Longbow +11 vs. AC. Hit: 9+escalation die damage and attacks against the target add the escalation die to their crit range (normal save ends).

Resist weapons 16+
Vulnerable: Holy

AC 19
PD 17
MD 13
HP 32

2nd level dwarven mercenary
Initiative +4

Heavy Axe +6 vs. AC. Hit: 4 damage. Natural Even Hit: +1d6 damage per point of escalation die.

Escalator: Thoradin adds the escalation die to his attacks.

Dwarven Defenses: Thoradin adds the escalation die to his AC and PD.

AC 18+
PD 16+
MD 12
HP 38

1st level gnome lookout

Initiative +6

Dagger +5 vs AC. Hit: 3 damage and one ally gets a +2 to attack the target on their next attack before Flugel’s next turn.

Crossbow +7 vs. AC. Hit: 5 damage and Vulnerable (easy save ends).

Warning Cry Once per battle, Flugel can interrupt an enemy attack. Make a Crossbow or Dagger attack. If it hits, the target is also Dazed until the end of its next turn.

Delayed Healing Something is odd about Flugel. Any healing he receives does not take effect until the round after it normally would.

Small Flugel has +2 to defenses against Opportunity Attacks.

AC 17
PD 11
MD 15
HP 25

1st level Dwarven hedge wizard

Shocking Grasp +6 vs. PD. Hit: 5 lightning damage and the target pops free from Helja. Miss: Helja takes 3 damage.

Gain Mystic Focus Helja takes a standard action to gain her mystic focus. If Helja still has mystic focus on the start of he turn, she deals 5 damage to a random enemy. Helja loses her focus if she moves or takes any damage.

Illusory Image While the escalation die is odd, Helja can lose focus to redirect an enemy attack on a nearby ally onto a different target that the attack could have hit. Make the attack roll against the new target instead of the original.

Dwarven Defenses Helja adds the escalation die to her MD, but not to her attacks.

AC 17
PD 14
MD 12+
HP 30

Dwarven Sailors
1st level Dwarven mooks
Initiative +3

Improvised Axes +6 vs. AC. Hit: 5 damage.

Each dwarf also has a special ability:

Zahig is Strong Add the escalation die to his damage.

Orsik is Distracting Enemies engaged with Orsik are Hampered.

Snurri is Tricky Enemies engaged with Snurri subtract the escalation die from their disengage results.

Adrik is Helpful Attacks on an enemy Adrik has engaged add +1 to their critical range. (so most attack will crit on 19 or 20.)

Dwarven Defenses All dwarf sailors add the escalation die to their PD but not to attacks.

Mooks For each 7 damage the dwarven sailors take, one mook is taken out of the fight.

AC 17
PD 15+
MD 11
HP 7 each (28 total)

Unsupervised Apprentices

Unsupervised Apprentices

Unsupervised Apprentices is a simple little game I made where you play sorcerous apprentices who can’t quite control your magic. When your wizardly mentor disappears, you probably should find him or her. Or you could just goof off and do all those things you couldn’t get away with while the archmage was around. Either way, the use of magic tends to be entertaining and create interesting complications.

Mechanically, it is more or less a mashup between Ars Magica and Zombie Dice. It’s fun to play, but it probably could use some serious revision and some more large scale structure.