Visiting Scholars: Sergio Martínez, from Carisma 18

Phlogiston Books is indeed a place for books, but it's as well a place where Scholars of DCC RPG and OSR games in general meet. Our doors are always open not only for the creations of many other people, but also for that people (but please check for traps, just in case).

Enter Sergio Martínez, blog master (Carisma 18), DCC Judge, and actor. He's not only hilarious, but also wise, and his articles on said blog are full of great ideas for an OSR game (most of them are focused on DCC, anyways). He's graciously agreed to let us publish his articles here. Thank you, Sergio!

Without further ado, I'll leave you with his article, originally posted here in Spanish. By the way, it's much more enjoyable if you read it while listening to Metal music.

Live for Metal! Die for Metal! Kill for Metal!

Opaí. Metal Gods of Ur Hadad greatly inspired much of my homebrew DCC RPG campaign; I highly recommend the 'zine, but above all I recommend Mister Muszkiewicz's blog (as you may know, such a last name grants +3 on your "OSR guru" skill), since it's a trove of bizarre, arcane, scattered, and amazing information about his milieu, the world of Ore. I really love his Metal Gods mythology.


There's something you just can't ignore: DCC is Metal. The art of Doug Kovacs and Stefan Poag is like the one you'd find on the covers of the folder that a Metal teenager brings to high school... not to mention DCC 'zines. We all know that's not uncommon for a young metalhead to play RPGs, or for a young roleplayer to listen to Blind Guardian.

One day, when I was talking about music on my blog, Sr. Rojo [Translator's note: that's Mr. Red, his Spanish blog is here] showed me his amazing DCC RPG Spotify list: its main feature is that it's made up of bands and songs only from the seventies, which really suits the game. Sr. Rojo was thinking about coming up with a system or a house rule about the music that's playing when they're at the gaming table: depending on the band or the track, you'll get this or that effect in play.

So if it's Black Sabbath... you'll get +3 to eat a living bat. When it's Jethro Tull, you'll roll on the table "Fortuitously-induced minor hallucinations "

I thought hard about that idea, it could definitely rock. But for simplicity's sake and because I didn't want to steal my pal's idea, I turned up with a simpler concept that I now proceed to explain here, one that I indeed use in my games.

All characters are born under a God of Metal sign. Those Gods might smile upon their protégés in capricious ways.

The bottom line:

1. Make a cool playlist for your campaign; bear in mind, though, that music is a powerful evoking tool, and that the style you choose will influence your campaign's emotions. You could also make two, one for combat and another one for hexcrawling / exploration. Make them long, since games usually last for hours. Try not to repeat the bands too much, and to balance what bands you include and how many songs you choose form each. Sample playlists: Sr. Rojo, Gods of Ur-Hadad Metal playlist.

2. The bands on your playlist are Metal Gods in your campaign. Well, not really gods, but saints or demigods, mortals who attained their near-godhood status through a life of partying non-stop full of vices.

3. All players roll on a table to determine their Metal God sign. They don't choose their Gods, the Gods choose them.

If you let them choose, they all choose the same one... 
If you let them choose, they all choose the same one...

4. Play the list with the "random" option on. Keep it in the background, at all times.

5. When you Metal God is playing, you recover 1 Luck point.

6. In order to receive this blessing, the character must Live for Metal, spending half the money he's found during his adventures on partying and frivolous, yet completely necessary, pursuits: it's the "High living" rule, very similar to the one found in the Conan RPG book [Translator's note: Sergio wrote his personal version in this article, in Spanish, soon to be translated as well]. Those who don't live to the fullest don't deserve the Metal God's attentions.

Well that's it! Peace and love!

P.S: When I say Metal, I mean fucking good music. Let's not discriminate other kinds of music.


Tierra de Nadie '15 Con: Here we come!

It's confirmed! In exactly one month's time from now (6-10 August), Phloghiston Books will be in the Tierra de Nadie '15 Con!


Tierra de Nadie, TdN for short, is the biggest and most important Con in Spain, both in number of attendees and games offered and played. It is located in Mollina (a small town in Málaga, Andalucía), and it all started back in '03, so as they themselves say, this year's edition will the number "12+1". Last year, more than 5200 people took part in the 539 activities that were offered; these numbers may look humble if we compare them to other Cons all around the world, but please remember that this is Spain, where roleplaying and board games are still a tiny drop in the vast sea of hobbies and pastimes (or lack of them, for that matter).

Get used to the one on the top, guys 
Get used to the one on the top, guys

It's the first time that DCC RPG is played in the TdN. We're overtly excited about bringing the Appendix N awesomeness to the unsuspecting players who have never tried what we think is its flagship. We'll play safe, so we'll be offering a couple of well-tested (by us and many other people) adventures. If it ain't broken, don't fix it. And to add variety, they'll be an "old" adventure and probably the best funnel out there, Sailors on the starless sea; and a new one, the tournament module The Hypercube of Myt.

So if you're around there on holidays, and the DCC itch is too strong to be ignored, just give in and join us! There's no entrance fee or anything like that, you just need to check in and get your name on the list for the game.

Oh, and... don't forget your sunscreen!