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Johnstone Metzger
The Nightmares Underneath, The Metamorphica, Dungeon Planet.
The Nightmares Underneath, The Metamorphica, Dungeon Planet.


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I finished my scenario for The Veil, and I'm gonna run it at Gauntlet Con.

(Looks like I'm gonna learn what Discord and Hangouts On Air are, too!)
+Johnstone Metzger Running Games at Gauntlet Con

Johnstone Metzger is a game designer from Vancouver, Canada, best known for writing and publishing The Nightmares Underneath and numerous supplements for Dungeon World, like Adventures on Dungeon Planet and Class Warfare. He also made The Metamorphica, a system-agnostic book of mutations. He does freelance work on occasion, and is currently writing a scenario for The Veil: Cascade. He doesn't like anything.

During Gauntlet Con, Johnstone will be running The Veil: Cascade.

Gauntlet Con is an online RPG convention coming up 20-22 of October!
Find out more about Gauntlet Con guests, and how to register for the con here:
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In my regular Nightmares Underneath game, I have started using these magic item rules that I wrote a little while ago for Paolo Greco's Mageblade. It'll be one of the example settings, though it's pretty light on actual setting and mostly consists of tables for making your magic items really fucking weird.

So far, the party has discovered two black blades that a local university scholar says are products of the "Esoptrial" science of a long-ago vanished race of wizard-god overlords. The dagger has a hi-tech, asymmetrical design, and the handle appears made of coiled wire. The longsword is a single piece of glittery black metal. If there were black metal bands in this setting, they would all desire this sword.

Both of them inflict cold damage as well as normal cutting damage. Some characters in my game get to deal double damage on a hit, so when Sheikh al-Hazred the Champion of Evil wields the Esoptrial sword, he gets to inflict 4d10 damage if the target fails a save against the cold (and basically 3d10 even if they do). It's the same when the assassin cat gets to backstab someone with the Esoptrial dagger, only with d8s. It's a lot to dish out, but I upped the damage on fighting characters specifically to cut down on fight times in my old school games. I have yet to unleash any monsters that can do this kind of damage themselves, but the party is delving into a fairly high-level dungeon currently, so I suppose it could happen eventually (although I prefer high-level monsters to inflict attribute loss instead).

There are problems with these magic items, of course. The late cultist who was wielding the dagger started dressing in black, asymmetrical clothes that resembled it. But then he died and now the assassin uses it.

They have one other weird magic item, apparently from another branch of ancient science. This "Pholisine" device that resembles the handle of a whip, but is covered in fish scales and has a mouth on one end (we joke that it kind of looks like a really creepy fleshlight). In order to get the rod to work, the scholar cat feeds it rotten food and spoiled milk. It produces a whip-like structure made of sticky goop that will cover and immobilize a target (kind of like a Hold Person spell). It doesn't always work, and last session he got himself all tangled up. Also, he now has a weird hankering for rotten food and spoiled milk himself.
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Lulu codes FWD15 for 15 percent off and ONESHIP for free mail shipping are stackable today. Use the US storefront. I bought Chromatic Soup 1 and 2.
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I thought this article was amusing but then the comments reminded me that a lot of people dehumanize the replicants and think Deckard is a good guy.
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Let's do one more (I was trying to reorganize my patreon pledges today, not sure how well I succeeded). I've hired Nate Marcel for numerous books I've published, but he also has a patreon! Go there and get some awesome comics. He doesn't put stuff out very often, either, so pledging a buck isn't even costing you a buck every month.
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And here is another patreon you could check out. If you are not familiar with Evlyn's art, you are missing out.
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Some of you may know about my book Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn. I wrote it for Jackson Tegu's Second Skins kickstarter, and based it on those second skins (which are like playbooks or character classes for the game Monsterhearts). If you don't know anything about the Second Skins, well, they are finally available to the public and you can check them out. They even come in original and Monsterhearts 2 flavours.

Jackson also has a patreon where he releases other weird games and stuff.
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Replicant or Lesbian Session One

(I managed to get a playtest in over the weekend! Photo by our host Chris.)

The Apostate: Nyx
Punk as fuck genderfluid enby Filipino (masculine pronouns used this session). I am vengeance. Wants revenge on yt for sister dying from an illegal abortion. Is a private eye (used to work for the feds).

The Hegemon: Randy
Events coordinator in the cultural production sector. Very white man, asshole business casual. Opposed to popular representation (is a fascist) and life-long romantic pair bonds because he is polyamorous (he has 12 kids). Otherwise, hegemonic society is a lot like hollywood today? (art that makes money, corporate capitalism, nuclear family, and violence is justified as protection). He has a gang of security goons who work for him.

The Quisling: Zelda Montrose
(Lynette Montrose's sister, although that didn't come up)
Black, genderfluid, streetwear (Creole/Jewish, feminine pronouns used this session; is a lesbian because she's not a replicant). Does surveillance work for the Wintermute Network AI which is part of HollywoodLand.
Has a neural interface.

The Xenos: Leathercunt
Artificial, alien, feminine, and robotic. Improvised spiritual style. Built for war.
Doesn't: breathe, have a functional immune system, respect the law, support society's leaders, travel into the future at 60 seconds per minute, or want to live. Moves through time randomly. She believes she is meant to be wherever she ends up, to destroy society, which gives her a reason to live. Her clothes don't jump through time with her. Her source for guns, "The Terminator," is a time-jumping military NASA replicant like her, hence his nickname. She has solvents and sterile nutrients for the immune system thing.

The Flashpoint happens when a convoy of Amigos vehicles gets ambushed by the 88s (a neo-nazi gang) just north of the Harbour Gateway. Their cargo, 3 replicants, escape.

The Amigos blackmail Nyx to find them. He finds them hiding out at Ashley Roth's house in Beverly Hills (a critical success on his engagement roll means state senator gives him access to surveillance videos and facial recognition software). He knows Ashley from his time with the feds, and the action starts when she finds him in her house.

Meanwhile, Zelda has been tasked with surveilling Ashley's house, and sees her take them in. Instead of ratting them out to Wintermute, she wants to send video signals to lead them to Sasha 2<3 Lee, who will help them. Nyx convinces Ashley that he's there to help, but she says she wants to take the replicants directly to the buyer instead of back to the Amigos. Zelda hides in Nyx's car and hacks it to take control of it. When it starts driving itself, Nyx hacks into it himself and drives to Ashley's intended destination. When he realizes it is the compound of the militia leader Sean William White, he kicks Ashley out of the car and escapes with the replicants. Zelda has already alerted Wintermute, however, and so a heavily-armoured security team comes to collect them.

After all that happens, the Amigos offer Leathercunt a job: assault the 88s. She goes back in time and convinces Randy to host a white power event at a local club just after the replicants escape, which the Amigos will attack. When Mexican gangsters in skull masks show up, she has to get behind cover and DM them detailed plans of the club and how they should attack it. This works. Randy uses this opportunity to shoot some video of himself taking a bullet for the cause while ushering some yt bigwigs to safety. Conspiring to mass-murder nazis has indeed made him a hero among them. Leathercunt has to get personally involved in order to deal the 88s a crippling blow in terms of lost personnel, which means more heat for her than for anyone else.

After these operations, Zelda's human boss chews her out and calls her a dyke in front of all the other human employees in the Wintermute AI's office. The police investigating the murders give Randy a real hard time over this whole mess. It's his fault for giving them so much extra work to do. Leathercunt is blocked from returning to the current train station locker she's using as a coffin hotel by some Heritage Party protests and has to use a downtime action to get away from them without being noticed. Everybody basically forgets about Nyx.

Everybody got their extra downtime action, which resulted in a lot of long-term projects and a request for training to be available as a downtime action. Zelda acquired the use of a girl gang for the next operation, while Nyx started a clock to track her down and tried to get back on good terms with Ashley but didn't make great progress on either of those. Anyway, that's the general outline of how it went down. It would have been nice to dig into the finer details of these characters and their setting a little more, but I had to push forward a bit to get through character creation, an action phase, and downtime all in a single session.

Lots of things worked really well. A few things didn't really carry as much weight as I was hoping they would. The characters being self-directed but not part of a crew still poses a bit of a problem.

So I made some more changes to the rules document, chiefly because I think there should be fewer downtime actions, the relationships don't need categories, now you can also train or add a relationship as a downtime action, and maybe characters should start with 2 special abilities. Also, I think I will try replacing devil's bargains with connections: to get a bonus die, we get to see how another PC (who isn't present in the scene) finds out about what you are doing, or we see how they react, or how your actions help or hinder them later. When you're not in a scene, you should offer connections where appropriate. I'll try that out and see how it works. I might still want to bring normal devil's bargains back or something, I dunno.

New version with changes here (edit: with proper link now, hopefully):
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Now you can find out where Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn comes from. If you didn't already know (I know some of you didn't).
At long last the Monsterhearts Second Skins are available to all!
Please find this 7 Skin expansion for Monsterhearts 2 and original Monsterhearts on my newly redesigned website:

#Monsterhearts #MHSS
Thank you to my backers and to all who've added their brilliance to this project. More Monsterhearts goodness yet to come!
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