Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The land is ruled by five great houses. The bloodline of each house, the extended and sprawling families, have been blessed by the demon lords with whom they have ancient compacts. This grants the members of the great houses puissance and talent and magic.

The House of Death

They wear black. Theirs is the power of necromancy. They dress in hooded robes and decorate themselves with bones and skulls. They speak to ghosts and corpses, they raise the dead to do their bidding and travel through the underworld where no other dares.

The House of Storms

They wear green. Theirs is the power of the fury of nature. They dress in scaled armour and decorate themselves with lightning bolts and shark's teeth and glass fused from the sand. They speak to the ocean and they ride the winds and they call down the thunder and lightning. 

The House of Flames

They wear red. Theirs is the power of fire. They dress in ragged robes and decorate themselves with burn scars and rubies and burnished gold. They summon and control the element of fire, they burn everything in their path and they walk without fear through the most dire inferno. 

The House of Ice

They wear blue. Theirs is the power of ice. They dress in white mail and decorate themselves with crystals and glass and the feathers of white owls. They pull the heat from the air and make your breath appear, they encase their enemies in ice and slow them and freeze them and chill their bones.

The House of Flesh

They wear white. Theirs is the power of the body. They dress in leather of unknown provenance and decorate themselves with withered ears and fingers and icons of eyes. They warp and change the human body, they give themselves wings and claws and alarming celerity. 

Five great houses and countless minor houses. And then there is hell, a dark and twisted reflection of the realm of the great houses. They travel there through their five great gates, the Storm Spiral and the Great Maw and other such atrocious portals. They ride the roads of hell and they trade with the demons. 

When they are of age, the scions of each house are thrown together and made to serve the duty of riding the roads. They protect the trade, they police the minor houses and they slay the enemies of the great houses. They are called Hellriders.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Questions 1 - Jason Corley

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Jason Corley, I'm a lawyer in Tucson, Arizona. I work for permanent, safe families for abused and neglected children.

2. Where do you come from?

Tolleson, Arizona

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A mathematician or a scientist

4. What's your favourite colour?


5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
A big lazy dog. I like having an easy life and I'm loyal.

6. What was the last book you read, movie you watched, and album you listened to?

Book: Please Pass The Guilt, Rex Stout
Movie: L'Avventura, restored Criterion version
Album: The Dark Knight soundtrack album, Hans Zimmer

7. What's your favourite thing you own?

Leatherbound copy of the complete works of O. Henry

8. What issue are you currently most passionate about?

Justice and protection for domestic violence survivors

9. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

John Crowley, (the author), President Obama, and Richard Feynman

10. What's your favourite poem?

Shakespeare's Sonnet 125

Friday, October 19, 2012

Coming Attractions

I'm going to start doing a bunch of fun little questionnaires with people and posting the results here.

If you're interested, email me at

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trust and Communal Projects

I tend to come up with ideas every now and then that are predicated on trust, communication and human kindness. That's pretty much why I tend to abandon them once I realise that. But that's the wrong way to go about it. What I should be doing instead is developing and pitching those ideas under the assumption that there have to be people out there like me and people who would be able to help me (or engage with me to) make those ideas work. So this blog post is a way to put a few of those ideas out there. Bear with me and if something sounds cool, let me know!

The Communal Birthday Card

This one is a strange kind of idea. I'm not sure how I feel about birthday cards, but I know that I like getting things in the mail. Especially from somewhere further away and if it's at least a little personal or actually from a real person and not a business. How cool would it be to get an international birthday card on your birthday?

So the idea is that we get one or more birthday cards or cards of some kind. Someone does this, just a single person. And there's a registry of birthdays and addresses for everyone in the group. So when it's nearing someone's birthday (and keep in mind this doesn't have to be birthday specific, we could just do it for the heck of it) the card is signed by the original person and sent. And then the recipient sends it on to the next birthday boy or girl, having signed it themselves. And on and on it goes, through the mail system. It would be interesting to see how long it lasted and how many little notes and signatures it would get on it.

The Birthday Circle

I promise you not all my ideas are birthday related! This one is more of a gift thing though. The idea is that getting presents is cool. Everybody can agree with that one. This one is all about crowd-sourcing and funding a birthday present for yourself. A group of people, once again, all post their preferences for a gift keeping in mind an upper monetary limit set by the group. They probably wouldn't be very specific, more along the lines of categories and ideas. The rest of the group would, in secret I guess, discuss and figure out what to get the giftee. Then they would communally pay for it and have it delivered in time for their birthday. So the advantage is that you could recruit a group of cool people (which sounds self serving but it isn't if everybody does the same thing) and they're all out there plotting what to get you for your birthday and when it's other people's turn you get to brainstorm cool things to get people. It's the best of both worlds! And with an upper limit on the price, the individual contributions wouldn't be too great especially with a larger group.

The Book Swap

This one is pretty self explanatory but essentially let's swap books we like. Everybody puts their names in, it gets randomised, and you get a cool book from someone somewhere else! Send whatever you like, fiction non-fiction poetry cookbooks it doesn't really matter. All that matters is that you want to share it with someone else.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Unplayed Games - 2012

I know I'm not the only person who has plenty of unplayed RPGs. I buy them, I really do intend to buy them and then months (or years?!) later they're still sitting on my shelf.

So here's my proposition. Once a month or so, I'm going to schedule a one-shot session of one of my unplayed games. I'll put out an open invite and once I get enough people saying they'll play, we're good to go. Even better would be if I didn't always have to be the one running them. If you see something on this list and say "what? He's never played that?!" and you want to run it for me, you're my hero.

Here, for example, are some of the games I own that I have never played, just off the top of my head:

- Reign
- A Dirty World
- Mage: the Ascension
- Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade
- Werewolf: the Wild West
- Werewolf: the Forsaken
- Vampire: the Masquerade
- Vampire: the Dark Ages
- Vampire: the Requiem (and Requiem for Rome)
- Changeling: the Dreaming
- Changeling: the Lost
- Promethean: the Created
- Hunter: the Reckoning
- Hunter: the Vigil
- Demon: the Fallen
- Wraith: the Oblivion
- Godlike
- Cyberpunk 203X (the one with the dolls)
- Shadowrun 4th Edition
- D6 Space/Adventure/Fantasy
- Buffy
- Sailor Moon
- Ghost Dog
- Tenchi Muyo
- Army of Darkness
- All Flesh Must be Eaten
- Witchcraft
- Terra Primate
- Freemarket
- Stargate SG-1
- Tibet
- Dreaming Cities
- Rifts
- Nobilis
- Ex Machina
- Mutants and Masterminds
- Runequest (Mongoose)
- Tribe 8
- Heavy Gear
- Jovian Chronicles
- Blue Planet
- Transhuman Space
- Eclipse Phase
- Exalted
- Legend of the Five Rings (2nd, 3rd, and Legend of the Burning Sands)
- Dust Devils
- carry
- Ganakagok
- Perfect
- A Taste for Murder

And the list goes on. I know there are maybe ten or twenty more.

Help me!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

International Novel Writing Year

I'm a lazy person. I really am. I also have some ambitions that I never live up to. For example, I constantly say that I want to write but when the time comes I'll probably browse some forums and read some webcomics instead.

So I have created what I think will be a balm against this. Keep in mind that this thing is first and foremost for me. It might help you, but it's really made to help me. It's a tool.

That's International Novel Writing Year, as inspired by a combination of factors but also intended partly as a response to National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo (I have the pretty sweet acronym thing of INoWriteYeah)

The whole goal of it is this:

Write a 50,000 word novel in 365 days

And that's it!

Now I've done the math on this. If you want to coast through on the bare minimum you need to write about 137 words a day. That's every day, for a year. This post is going to be more than that! You probably send more in text messages and emails and post more in status updates than that a day. But that's the constant working way.

If we up the word count a little and go to 200 words a day, it will only take eight and a half months. That's right, you'll get 115 days off in the year during which you don't have to do squat. You don't have a daily quota, you can just relax.

200 words isn't very much.

The whole point of it, for me, isn't to treat writing as some sudden burst of energy and creativity. You don't jump up and down shouting EUREKA! Instead, you simply put in the work every day and you slowly but steadily write something and in the process become better at writing. This is about forming a habit and about letting writing soak into your bones.

I'm probably going to start this December 1st.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011



There is fire in the distant hills and ash in the sky and the sound of the drums of the raiders come thudding over the horizon at night.

There are cruel gods, dark gods, dead and dying gods and they care not for your mortal concerns.

The dead rise from the earth and they prowl and they bite and they kill.

You must protect your village against all of this.

CHARNEL is a roleplaying game about survival in the darkest of fantasy settings.

And it doesn't exist yet.