darkest-dungeon-3

Go to hell, indeed.

I continue the darkest descent of gaming this week for the second time, playing Darkest Dungeon every day of November. Let’s see what happens this go around and who survives, shall we?

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 16

November 6th, 2016

My return was well met. I killed everything with little problem and got to use one of my current favorite groups.

My Group (The Laughing Dogs of War):

  • Font the Crusader
  • Cobb the Houndmaster
  • Bretteville the Jester
  • Giscard the Occultist

Bullet Points:

  • The highlights were some awesome ass-kicking “combos” with the group raining down Debuffs and Bleed on their foes.
  • Walked away with some minor scratches.

Just got a Town Event that takes away level restrictions. Might be time to give that damn Sonorous Prophet a go again with my higher level heroes. Hmm…

ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 17

Brought along a combo team. Let me introduce you to the Olive Salad!

My Group:

  • Hot Dog the Abomination
  • Sardine the Bounty Hunter (always Masochistic)
  • Cobb the Houndmaster
  • Giscard the Occultist

Bullet Points:

  • The Sonorous Prophet is dead. Eat shit!
sonorous-prophet

Yes, eat shit, stinky guy.

ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 18

Back to the Ruins to get some coin (I’m broke).

My Group:

  • Carbuncle the Man-at-Arms
  • Bretteville the Jester
  • Martel the Antiquarian
  • Petremol the Arbalist

Bullet Points:

  • What should have been relatively easy, was not.
  • Martel got killed after getting Death’s Door early on. I can’t keep an Antiquarian alive.
  • The others did fine for the most part, Petremol scraping by with 1 HP.
  • Ugh, I need to destress.
weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 19

Time for a Veteran expedition. Spoiler: this probably will not go well.

My Group (Red Red Whine):

  • Bloody Jobe
  • Font
  • Sardine
  • Giscard

Bullet Points:

  • Only two battles in and I’m getting whacked left and right. There is some kind of Blighted Giant that beats the holy shit out of you with a tree.
  • I had to run or else everyone was going to die. These Veteran expeditions are no joke.
  • Everyone gets stressed and walks away in shame.
  • I now only have Veterans in my group now and I spent all my money on upgrades. I’m broke and I’m going to have to send some Seekers (Level 0 folks) out for a while to build my money back up.
ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 20

 November 7th

With no money and little faith in my ability to take on Veteran expeditions at the moment, I’m sending a spanking new team into the Ruins to get me some more coin. Let’s hope this works.

My Group:

  • Percival the Crusader
  • Folio the Highwayman
  • Culai the Vestal
  • Petra (formerly Petremol) the Arbalist

Bullet Points:

  • Percival got hit hard a few times, but Culai kept him healed.
  • Ditto for Folio.
  • In the end, the team ended up pretty decent. Only a few minor scratches.
  • Let’s see how they fare somewhere else…
warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 21

My Group (I suppose I should name them. How about Minotaur Maggot Machine?)

  • Percival the Crusader
  • Folio the Highwayman
  • Culai the Vestal
  • Petra (formerly Petremol) the Arbalist

Bullet Points:

  • This…was…something.
  • Everyone got their Resolve tested. Abusing each other, cursing, going mad, it was all over the place.
  • Ultimately they all died from Heart Attacks. Yes, seriously all four of them. All dead.
warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 22

After that last abysmal outing, I’m going back to the Warrens with another set of greenhorns (this time led by Bretteville at least, who has a little experience)

My Group: The Mad Misfits

  • Crescent the Leper
  • Marriage the Hellion
  • Dufay the Highwayman
  • Bretteville the Jester

Bullet Points:

  • Got stressed AF but managed to pull through with everyone intact.
  • Crescent got the brunt of the damage. They seemed to work well together though.
warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 23

 My Group:

  • Hot Dog the Abomination
  • Cobb the Houndmaster
  • Sardine the Bounty Hunter
  • Giscard the Occultist

Bullet Points:

  • Damn, Cobb got obliterated by spiders and I had to retreat. Then he was Blighted so badly, he was going to die so I cut my losses and abandoned the mission. I can’t catch a break with these Veteran missions.
  • I’ll have to call it a night.

 

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 24

November 8th

 My Group:

  • Font the Crusader
  • Carbuncle the Man-at-Arms
  • Courteney the Gravedigger
  • Sickle the Plague Doctor

Bullet Points:

  • This is one of the first Veteran expeditions I haven’t gotten mauled in. I’m plodding along well for the most part.
  • Font gets stressed AF but his Resolve makes him awesome! I think it was Focused.
  • We beat the shit out of most everyone, even downing that giant bastard that kicked my party’s ass in the past.
  • I did it and got a shitload of money. Yeah!
warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 25

My Group:

  • Carbuncle the Man-At-Arms
  • Death-Bringer the Hellion
  • Bretteville the Jester
  • Giscard the Occultist

Bullet Points:

  • I got really lucky with some maps and found a secret door! There were some heads inside. Gross. But they give me some good abilities and some bad. Yay?!
  • Some big ass enemies in here, but I managed to keep it together. Even killed a Swinetaur (a pig centaur). Nice.
cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 26

My Group (Need to name this group as they did well the first time. How about The Hyenas of the Deep?

  • Carbuncle the Man-At-Arms
  • Death-Bringer the Hellion
  • Bretteville the Jester
  • Giscard the Occultist

Bullet Points:

  • Got waylaid the second or third fight in (mostly by Stress)
  • Both Death-Bringer and Bretteville were clinging to life due to a big crab that kept bleeding them out. They both got negative Resolve tests and hit Death’s Door at the same time.
  • I decided to abort the mission and try again another time. The Hyenas of the Deep go back to the surface. That’s all for tonight.
weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 27

November 9th

My Group (Chicken Olive Salad):

  • Hot Dog
  • Cobb
  • Sardine
  • Sickle

Bullet Points:

  • Sardine got Death’s Door, but managed to not get killed miraculously.
  • Both Sardine and Cobb got their Resolve tested and turned Selfish, but Sickle got a positive one, Virtuous (?)
  • We made it through, but just barely. These Veteran expeditions are hell.
ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 28

I got a Town Fair which made all activities that aren’t upgrades free. Damn, I needed that. I de-stressed almost all of my Veteran heroes and got some diseases cleared up as well. That meant I had to go with my lower end Apprentices for the next mission. So I decked them out with upgrades and some of my fancy treasure I picked up.

My Group:

  • Crescent the Leper
  • Marriage the Hellion
  • Dufay the Highwayman (with bloody head in a bag for extra oomph)
  • Maudit the Vestal

Bullet Points:

  • Marriage looked to be in trouble early on, but pulled through.
  • Maudit proved a life-saver with her healing spells.
  • Dufay is the hardest hitting Highwayman (that’s a mouthful), I’ve had so far. Mostly due to upgrades and his equipment.
  • Pulled through with no major injuries, but got a shitload of Negative Quirks.
  • Had a long day and two long expeditions, so that’s all for tonight.

 

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 29

November 10th

I actually fell asleep early last night, but I did this one in the morning before work, so I’m counting it!

My Group: (Hell Walkers)

  • Crescent the Leper
  • Marriage the Hellion
  • Dufay the Highwayman
  • Maudit the Vestal

Bullet Points:

  • This group works pretty well together. Crescent has high melee power, Marriage has some bleeding ability and pretty strong melee as well, Dufay has a good mix of abilities and does high damage due to the head in a bag treasure, and Maudit has nice healing mixed with Judgement which drains life from enemies and gives it to her.
  • With all of the above said, I made short work of the enemies in the Weald this go around.
  • The only thing that gave me trouble was a pack of Rabid Dogs, but only because they were bleeding everyone.
  • Crescent finished with 99 Stress, so he just barely avoided getting his Resolve tested.
  • That’s all for now. More later!

 

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 30

November 11th

My Group:

  • Marriage
  • Dufay
  • Campbell the Arbalist
  • Maudit

Bullet Points:

  • Well, I think Crescent going on a drinking binge screwed up my chemistry.
  • Everyone got their Resolve tested, especially Dufay after getting hit over and over again.
  • Eventually we were ambushed after camping and Dufay had a Heart Attack and died. Shit.
  • I had to call it after that because everyone else was pretty well stressed and I don’t think I could have taken on the goal of killing the Wizened Hag with three members only. Back to the drawing board.
warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 31

After that last shitty expedition it’s time to send my Champions out (Level 4).

My Group: (Meaty Supreme)

  • Carbuncle
  • Hot Dog
  • Sardine
  • Giscard

Bullet Points:

  • Sardine got pegged with another Resolve test as usual. This guy is a target for getting stressed.
  • Otherwise I zig-zagged through the dungeon and managed to not get beat up too bad. Got stressed as hell though. Time for a rest.
cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 32

November 12th

My Group:

  • Crescent
  • Berners the Highwayman (let’s see if he dies like all my others)
  • Maudit
  • Campbell

Bullet Points:

  • No major problems here other than getting stressed again and Berners getting Masochistic. Everyone hates my Highwaymen.
  • I killed a shitload of Fish people and got the jump on a few.
  • Decent group.
ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 33

My Group: (Holy Shit Team)

  • Bloody Jobe
  • Font
  • Bretteville
  • Sickle

Bullet Points:

  • Tempting Goblet pisses me off. Ugh!
  • I managed to get through this without camping. Decent!
  • No one suffered much other than Font who was in position 2. Everyone hates position 2. Everyone survived though, so all and all, good show.
  • That’s it for tonight. Whew!
weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 34

November 13th

My Group:

  • Crescent
  • Emory the Bounty Hunter
  • Berners
  • Maudit

Bullet Points:

  • I don’t recall any major hits because I think I did this one really, really late (or early depending on your perspective)
  • Balancing the more difficult missions with these smaller ones is a good way to advance. Plus, my level 4 folks need to rest or they’ll be stressed AF.
cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 35

My Group:

  • Berbers the Highwayman
  • Wissant the Antiquarian
  • Cairon the Occultist
  • Campbell the Arbalist

Bullet Points:

  • Killed the Collector
  • Campbell became Courageous
  • Found a rare antique
  • Got Junia’s Head, gives +30% Healing, but +20% Stress too
cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 36

My Group:

  • Crescent
  • Marriage
  • Maudit
  • Cairon

Bullet Points:

  • Found a secret room
  • Found the Siren with little issues
  • Marriage got tempted, but we killed the Siren. Hell yeah!
siren

Surprise…you’re dead!

ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 37

My Group:

  • Carbuncle
  • Font
  • Giscard
  • Maudit (which I noticed too late was already stressed from a previous expedition)

Bullet Points:

  • Planning to find the Necromancer, but things are looking good from the get-go with all these Stress attacks.
  • OK, shit, too stressed
  • Maudit and Giscard at Death’s Door
  • Maudit Heart Attack. Time to pack up and call it a day.
  • I had to abandon the quest, but kept some of my favorites alive. That’s it for Week 2!

If you’re interested to continue following these adventures, stay tuned to Week 3!

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Overby’s Current Obsessions #2

Posted: November 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

overbys-current-obsession-2

Another week, another set of geekly obsessions. Some the same, some different.

Books

A Crown for Cold Silver

Still greatly enjoying this book by Alex Marshall. I’m about 50 percent through it now and it keeps getting better. Lots of nasty characters in this book, but they’re intriguing to watch.

Traitor’s Blade 

Another book I’m still continuing to enjoy is Sebastien de Castell’s Traitor’s Blade, which has dark elements, but is a good swashbuckling tale to balance out the darker things I’m reading at the moment.

Fish Wielder

fish-wielder

Hilarious, irreverent, sometimes bloody, Fish Wielder is the kind of book I’d love to see more of. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and revels in the genre conventions by turning them on their head and having a good time with them. There’s a talking fish named Brad and lots of magic pudding. A must-read.

Kappa

kappa

I picked up Kappa recently at a bookstore in Shinjuku because I rarely get to read anything in Japanese. Plus, I’ve heard great things about this book from various people and love kappa for some reason. A weird little book worth reading.

TV

The Walking Dead

the_walking_dead_title_card

I don’t even watch The Walking Dead anymore, but I recently became obsessed with the reactions people are having to one of the recent episodes when Negan, the new bad guy on the block, bashed some heads in. I found it odd to be on the outside in regards to beloved characters getting killed because I usually watch a lot of the shows that have such things happening (Games of Thrones for example).

Rick and Morty

Just finished Season 2 of Rick and Morty and it continues to be LOL worthy type of show. I rarely actually laugh at any TV show while watching, I’ll occassionally snicker, but this show always makes me laugh. It’s smart, crude, weird, bloody, and all the things I enjoy about things in life. The Purge episode and Microverse ones were two of my particular favorites.

Games

Darkest Dungeon

darkest-dungeon

I would have put Rogue Legacy or some other games here, but Darkest Dungeon has recently taken over my November. Every day after work I’ve been playing the game and chronicling my adventures here on my website (you can see Week 1’s summary here). This game is as fun as it is punishing, but I keep coming back for more despite repeated deaths.

Music
MS MR

ms-mr

It’s actually only one song by them I really like at the moment, “Criminals” but I listen to it so much I felt the need to put it here.

CHVRCHES

chvrches

CHVRCHES (pronounced Churches) is a band I’ve heard about for a long time, but never really listened to. Since signing up for a free tree of Amazon Music I found some new music I’ve been wanting to listen to. I really enjoy their sound and reminds me some other artists I like in similar veins like Crystal Castles, Grimes, and Purity Ring.

Miscellaneous

Murkmarrow

“Murkmarrow” (originally Murkmouth, but I realized how close that was to Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth) is a game I’m designing at the moment. I usually just design card games for my classes, but sometimes I do one just for fun. This game plays off some aspects of Darkest Dungeon, but deals with having a regular life despite being bound by debts and curses from a group called the Constricting Coil, an alliance of mercenary companies feverishly dedicated to the twisted Snake Gods. The characters are dark and weird and they have to try to balance their regular life with deeds like monster hunting, carriage robbery, and quests to find treasure. So far it’s fun to make, but I’m always looking for testers!

Hangnails

I’ve been having a lot of hangnails recently. I’m not sure why. But it’s an obsession to cut them with my little scissors.

Pizza

I want to eat a hand-tossed pizza. I’ve been eating so many thin crusts here in Japan, that I’m going to get a hand-tossed one tonight. I need it!

That’s all for this week. Cheers!

darkest-dungeon-2

Ready to die?

Instead of doing NaNoWriMo this month, I’m doing my regular reading, writing, and other shit, but also playing Darkest Dungeon every day. I originally wanted to play until I died, but for a game so brutally difficult yet fun as hell, I decided I’m going to push through and play every day of November. Each week I’ll post my progress, notable occurrences, and how I’m feeling about the game overall. I honestly wish their were more games like this and I’m hoping a Darkest Dungeon 2 is in the works!

Here are my journeys, some more detailed than others:

 

warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 1

November 2nd, 2016

The Warrens are a place filled with plague, bacteria, and all sorts of other nasty poo to make you sick. Pig people vomit on you, slice you with rusty hooks, and chop you with butcher knives. Not a nice place to visit. It’s like a slaughterhouse gone horribly wrong.

My Group:

  • Death-Bringer the Hellion: Think awesome barbarian woman with a huge ass axe.
  • Pig Vomit (appropriately named) the Abomination: Hard to describe, but basically a cursed individual who can change into a gut-ripping beast.
  • Devereux the Jester: Good at supporting the group with his jaunty tunes, but also slices people with his sickle.
  • Sickle the Plague Doctor: Speaking of sickles, the Plague Doctor rains all sorts of horribleness on her victims with poison, powders, and other concoctions.

Bullet Points:

  • Sickle blighted folks left and right. She gives no shits.
  • Death-Bringer contracted Scurvy and became Fragile. What a wonderful combination.
  • Devereux clung to life by a thread for most of the journey.
  • Pig Vomit healed himself a bunch and became a Warrens Scrounger! That makes him way better at finding good junk.

Overall, I’d say a minor success!

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 2

The Weald is slightly less disgusting than the Warrens, but has tons of graves, creepy ass trees, and mushroom bastards that are like those insane zombies from The Last of Us. A place you don’t want to be late at night.

My Group:

  • Pig Vomit returns for another round of being abominable.
  • Cruel the Highwayman: Like a bandit that loves cutting and shooting. His pistol skills are no joke.
  • Sardine the Bounty Hunter: Probably my best named character, Bounty Hunters have a well-rounded mix of skills including chopping with a hatchet and throwing a chain on a hook. Who doesn’t love a chain on a hook?
  • Sickle (I think) rounded out the group.

Bullet Points:

  • Pig Vomit got Rabies, trapped and Slowdraw
  • Cruel got Slowdraw, too. Damn sappy mushroom folks!
  • Sardine got Death’s Door from a mushroom man and became Vigorous. Hot damn!

Got a Town Fair that makes all Stress Relief activities free! Yahoo! I needed that after all the stress I’ve had.

 

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 3

The Weald is full of bandits and mushroom people that love to beat the shit out of you with their meaty arms. Good times!

Bullet Points:

  • The Collector showed up. Shit. This doesn’t look good.
  • Bretteville got hammered bleeding and Death’s Door became Fearful
  • Tournebut the Antiquarian died
  • Abandoned quest and fled The Collector
weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 4

Back to the Weald.

Bullet Points:

  • Death-Bringer hung on at the end
  • Cobb brought the pain salad
  • Pig Vomit killed folks

 

ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 5

The Ruins are like a crypt no one should ever go into full of eldritch horrors and devilish undead. Not a place to travel to late at night.

November 3rd, 2016

  • Party Wipe from the Sonorous Prophet. That Rubble of Ruin skill is brutal. He rained death on us and we all died. Poo.

RIP folks. Pig Vomit, Sardine, et al.

 

ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 6

November 4th

I decided to keep on going even after a devastating loss, and back into the Ruins I go. Albeit, a bit simpler this time. Got some successful upgrades! Not much else to report from this one, fairly straightforward.

warrens

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 7

Killed the Swine Prince! Kiss my ass you pork…ass.

swine-prince

Isn’t he lovely?

cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 8

The Cove is a stinking pit of salty death full of fish people with rusty hooks and other horrors of the deep.

Font the Crusader became Paranoid and bloated corpse exploded and almost killed everyone. Those are the main highlights.

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 9

Not much to say about this one. Easy as shit!

weald

WARRENS: EXPEDITION 10

OK, it’s the weekend here so I can get more detailed with the journeys. I also got creative with the names…sort of.

November 5th

My Group:

  • Regamey aka Hot Dog the Abomination
  • Carbuncle the Man-at-Arms
  • Martel the Antiquarian
  • Giscard the Occultist

Bullet Points:

  • Martel got Death’s Door after being sliced by a pig man and now she is teetering on the edge of death every few minutes.
  • Regamey got a good quirk and a bad quirk! Shit.
  • Breezed through the rest. Pretty simple scouting mission. Now onto something a bit more difficult…
cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 11

My Group:

  • Bloody Jobe the Leper
  • Carbuncle the Man-at-Arms
  • Courteney the Gravedigger
  • McMurphy the Vestal

Bullet Points:

  • Damn, that first swarm of fish people royally kicked my ass. This is not a good start.
  • Both Courtney and McMurphy are at Death’s Door early on. This sucks for me.
  • Got overwhelmed by some bandits and decided to flee and get the hell out of there. My characters were all low on health, two at Death’s Door and it looked likely that they wouldn’t make it. Hate to run, but screw it. Plus, they all got diseases afterwards. A nice plague cherry on top.
warrens

WARRENS, EXPEDITION 11

My Group:

  • Death-Bringer
  • Hot Dog
  • Sardine (back from the dead!)
  • Giscard

Bullet Points:

  • Killed a bunch of pig people.
  • Good combination of heroes with Death-Bringer hitting hard, Sardine pulling off some Mortal Kombat Scorpion moves (get over here!) and Regamey and Giscard disabling everyone.
  • Easy expedition, got off with a few scratches (and diseases).

 

weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 12

My Group (The Laughing Dogs of War):

  • Font
  • Cobb
  • Bretteville
  • Giscard

Bullet Points

  • Font is getting barraged with disease, bleeding, and blight. He probably looks like uncooked hamburger meat.
  • Managed to survive despite mushrooms hitting me from all sides. And with some loot!
weald

WEALD: EXPEDITION 13

Lucky 13!

My Group-Puke Green(with wonderful nicknames and matching green outfits):

  • Carbuncle
  • Hot Dog
  • Sardine
  • Sickle

Bullet Points:

  • Everyone was stressed AF and it didn’t look good since Sardine became Masochistic (wanting to be hurt) and Carbuncle was Paranoid (thinking everyone is out to kill him). Team Puke Green was having some trust issues.
  • In the end, the rabid dogs were kicking my green ass, but I managed to pull the team through to the end, diseased and near the edge of mental breakdown. Ah, good times.
cove

COVE: EXPEDITION 14

My Group (The Laughing Dogs of War are back!)

  • Font
  • Cobb
  • Bretteville
  • Giscard

Bullet Points:

  • Got stressed as hell again.
  • Managed to keep things under control with Bretteville’s stress reducing lute.
  • Killed loads of fish people.

 

ruins

RUINS: EXPEDITION 15

A long expedition, Veterans only, so let’s see how this turns out.

My Group:

  • Bloody Jobe
  • Death-Bringer
  • Sardine
  • McMurphy

Bullet Points:

  • Well, that sucked.
  • McMurphy’s dead. RIP.
  • Everyone got their Resolve tested and went mad. Then I got ambushed by some spiders while I was camping.
  • OK, so that went badly. I had to run again. These Veteran expeditions are no joke.

Well, that concludes Week 1. If you read all of that, you have more endurance than me (thanks!). I’ll continue the journeys with Week 2 so keep an eye out for more journal-riffic descents into the Darkest Dungeon!

And if you want to check out The Grim Tidings Podcast interview with some of the awesome guys from Red Hook Studios discussing Darkest Dungeon you can find it here!

As always, I’m into some of the bloodier, splattery fantasy as some might know and you can always check out my sort of dark, sort of silly, over-the-top GDAF Splatter Elf stories by clicking the pic below!

splatter-elf-2016

If you want to follow me on social media, here is some more link sausage!

Facebook

Twitter

Splatter Elf Facebook

 

 

darkest-dungeon

While other people are doing NaNoWriMo (which I encourage people to do), I’m going to be playing games and doodling around with some story ideas. Since I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons games, many that are old as hell for the first time I attempted RPG Explosion, I decided to go with something newer.

I weighed doing a few games for my rebirth of RPG Explosion before settling on Darkest Dungeon. There are several reasons for this. One, it is brutally difficult and my characters will get killed left and right. Two, it technically never ends, I can just keep recruiting new characters to go die for me. Three, it’s shit hot awesome.

So usually what I do with RPG Explosion is I play a game until I:

a. get a total party wipe

b. beat the game

Thus far only (a) has happened. For a game like Darkest Dungeon, you get total party wipes for sure, but you also have the option to surrender. Therefore, for this game I’m going to change the rules a bit. I will only conclude this series of playthroughs if the following happens:

a. get a total party wipe

b. beat the game

c. have to surrender three times (three strikes I’m out)

Seeing that I probably won’t beat the game, it’ll be interesting to see how far I get before the dungeon kills me both body and soul.

And to put the grim cherry on top, we interviewed the guys from Red Hook Studios on The Grim Tidings Podcast earlier this year! They were awesome and it makes me just want to keep coming back to the game more and more since I know how much work they put into making it a unique gaming experience.

Grim Gozzoth returns from the dead (sort of)!

Grim Gozzoth

cruds-and-scumzy-episode-1

This is the rebirth of trying to do Splatter Elf flash fiction on my new-fangled PhilipOverby.com. Keep an eye out every weekend for short tales from some well-known characters, slightly-unknown characters, and “who the hell are these assholes?” If you’ve read One Goblin Army, you might recognize Cruds and Scumzy. However, Scumzy…uh, had an accident? This Scumzy is the sixth from a long line of Scumzys, a teenager who thinks he’s cooler than he is. Cruds is a shithead dwarf. That’s about all there is to say about him. Enjoy!

Cruds tossed his shitty pants into the bushes. No one was around, but he didn’t care if they were or not. He had to get his ass out of Phlegm. The money was good working with the Crumbling Chains, but not good enough to get turned into maggot sauce. He stroked his magnificent blond beard, streaking it with blood. Where in the Dwarven Hottest Hell did that come from? He patted himself down, but no sign of blood anywhere. Must have been from Scumzy, the poor bastard. Whatever sort of devil spawn Maggotglove turned out to be, Cruds didn’t want to know. He just wanted to crawl back to his favorite cart-tavern in the Rolling City and get back to drinking.

“Uncle Cruds?” a cracking voice came from behind a nearby rock.

“Eh?” Cruds couldn’t believe his eyes. Scumzy’s own son, Scumzy the Sixth, squatted down next to a big rock, wearing his father’s old purple crow helm. He looked rightly stupid in it, same as his father did, but most things humans wore looked dumb to him.

“My father told me wait out here if everything went to shit,” Scumzy said. “I’m guessing he’s dead if you’re here.”

“I hate to say it, boy, but–”

“Good,” Scumzy said, sneering. “I hate being called Sixth or Six Boy or Little Scum. Let him go to Great Necropolis screaming.”

“Now that’s no way to speak of your father, boy,” Cruds said, stepping towards him. When he stood at his full height, the boy towered over Cruds. At only sixteen, he always saw him as the shriveled little runt that threw rocks at goblins. Yet here he was with stubble on his chin and two heads taller than the dwarf. “Now say a prayer for your dearly departed daddy to whatever gods you mumble to.”

“Gods? Ha! What have they done for me?”

Cruds narrowed his eyes. “You best be careful talking that bloody mess so close to me. I ain’t in the business of getting struck by lightning or a swarm of bees.”

“Shit,” Scumzy said, kicking a rock as hard as he could. It went sailing off into the wastes to disappear in the swirling dust. “I wish the gods would try something. At least then I’d know who to punch in the face.”

“Quit it with the stupid shit, boy,” Cruds said, putting his had to knife. “I’ll cut that peach fuzz off your damn chin. Now I’m off to the Rolling City. I ain’t got time to chat about foolishness with you.”

Scumzy looked down at the ground. “I could have killed that beast in town. I was right there. Had a spear aimed right at it.”

“You weren’t going to kill shit.” Cruds waddled off past Scumzy. “I ain’t trying to stay out here when it gets dark. I know a caravan usually camps nearby here and they’re always harping on about needing security. If we can catch ’em, we can get the bloody hell out of here for good. But you keep dallying and slagging off your pa, we won’t have the time.”

Scumzy mumbled to himself and scooped up his spear. “We should go back and fight.”

“You’re dumber than you look then, lad. Ain’t no body surviving the night in Phlegm, I can tell you that. You come with me or you die. Them’s your options.” Cruds stomped off, swatting away bloated flies as he went. If the boy wanted to be lunch for the crows, then he could have at it. His Pa would be mighty unsettled that his son talked so much shit about him. Despite Scumzy the Fifth being a right idiot, he did care for his son. Cruds knew that much.

Scumzy came running up behind Cruds. “We cant’ go that way.”

“So you’re coming then?” Cruds smirked. “I knew you weren’t that daft.”

“No, look. We really can’t go that way.”

Cruds shielded his eyes from the blasted sun. “Eh, what is that?”

Looming in the distance was a lop-sided mountain that buzzards and crows from miles around circled and picked at. From far away it just looked like a regular hill, but the longer Cruds stared at it, the more he could see an arm jutting out or tufts of hair.

“It’s a pile of bodies,” Scumzy whispered. “A big one.”

“Yeah, just figured it out, lad. It’s blocking our damned path though.”

Scumzy huffed. “We can’t find another way?”

“Not unless you want to go off the main road. Ain’t your Pa never told you about going off the main road from Phlegm?”

“He maybe mentioned it.”

“You’ll get your bones picked clean in seconds by any number of beasts and crawlies. Least on the main road we can see shit sneaking up on us.”

“But there’s a huge pile of bodies there,” Scumzy said. “Huge.”

“I ain’t blind, son. We have to go that way, bodies or no. They’re dead, ain’t they?”

“I’m assuming so,” Scumzy said.

“Then what we got to worry about. Just keep your spear at the ready. I’ve got knives coming out the wazoo so we’ll be fine and dandy.”

Cruds didn’t believe a word of his blabbering, but carried on toward the hill of death. He’d seen worse in his days in the Gloamish army. That was before he deserted his cadre when a pack of witches blasted the unholy shit out of them. Guts hung in the trees, flesh was seared off of skulls, beards sizzling in the hot summer sun. Lucky those giant metallic Mandrake bastards came along and reduced the witches to quivering sludge. Since Curds was supposed to be on watch, he got the brunt of abuse from the Mandrake captain. He fled later that night because he knew the firing squad would come in the morning once everyone sobered up.

A hill of dead bodies ain’t shit.

He burped a few times. “Think I’m gonna puke.”

“Really?” Scumzy covered his mouth. “If you puke, I’m going to puke, too.”

“Come on now, both of us can’t be puking out here.”

“I feel queasy already,” Scumzy said, pulling the ghastly helmet off his head. His black hair was plastered to his pimply face, nose running. “We should really reconsider this. Can’t we go somewhere else?”

Cruds leaned over, clutching his stomach. He spat a few times. “Got some suggestions?”

“No.”

“Then shut your trap and keep moving. We puke, we puke.”

“Wait,” Scumzy said. “What the red hell is that now?”

“Riders,” Cruds said, eyes watering. “Two. Three. Can’t make them out.”

“Crumbling Chains?”

“Most likely.” Cruds scratched at his beard. “Runners like us. Nothing like keeping the company of cowards.”

“I’m not running. I’m doing what I was told. Being a good son.”

“Right, lad. You’re a bloody brilliant son.” Cruds waved his arms at the riders. “Hey now! Over here!”

The riders slowed to a trot. Now that they’d slowed down Cruds could distinctively make out two horses. Then the horses stopped completely.

“They stopped,” Scumzy said.

“No shit?” Cruds squinted.

“Why did they stop?”

“Stop asking me dumb questions, boy, just be on the alert. Mayhaps they’re not friendly folks after all.”

An arrow whizzed through the air and pinged off the top of Cruds’s helmet.

Cruds and Scumzy exchanged strained looks.

“You gonna stare at me or fucking run, lad?”

“Run?”

“Yep.”

The two ran and the horses followed. This day was just getting shittier and shittier.

 

Tune in next Splatterday for some more fabulous Splatter Elf flash. Will it be the continuation of Cruds and Scumzy’s adventures or a new tale? If you’re interested in reading more of the Splatter Elf universe, click the pic below!

splatter-elf-2016

 

 

 

 

What is GDAF? (Grimdark AF)

Posted: October 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

A new term I’ve seen a few times and needs to become a thing is GDAF (Grimdark AF). From what I’ve gathered, it can be something ridiculously dark, cutsie dark, or darkly bizarre/black humor. An offshoot of the nebulously defined Grimdark subgenre, GDAF can be a next evolution in the genre of dark fiction, tongue firmly in cheek, or it can just be a fun word to throw around. Whatevs. I’ve always found dark humor funny mainly because the world is simultaneously a beautiful and effed up place, so why not embrace it?

As I started thinking about GDAF, some various things in internet culture, movies, etc. came to mind.

Of course, I’m thinking of the three categories I mentioned before:

A. Ridiculously dark-so dark it’s insane or mind-bending

B. Cutsie dark-some element of the dark combined with something usually cute or fun

C. Darkly bizarre/black humor-humor that is extremely dark or goes into the realms of the weird

1. Zombie+Majestic=GDAF

Zombie unicorns are actually quite popular and were the inspiration behind my first Splatter Elf story “The Unicorn-Eater.” A quick Google search shows that many people enjoy taking usually happy imagery and making it horrifying. In this case, I’d say the images below encapsulate Category B: Cutsie dark.

zombie-unicorn-by-janine-h

Credit Janine H. on Pinterest.

zombie-pegasus-by-telthona

Credit telthona on Deviant Art

2. Deadpool

deadpool

Deadpool shocked many people around the world when it broke all sorts of records and kicked the superhero genre in the teeth. Since then, I’m sure people in the movie business are clamoring for more dark humor in their superhero movies. Deadpool did it so well, it’s hard to imagine anyone will come close to recapturing its brilliance. However, I’d say this goes in Category C: it amps up the dark humor to 11 and winks at its self-awareness.

3. Cthulu 2016

cthulu-2016

No one moans about seeing waves of political posts more than I do. However, I understand it’s something people like talking about so I just ignore it and keep scrolling on the old social medias. I would imagine there are a lot of people that look at the upcoming American election with disdain or a bad taste in their mouths. That’s why Cthulu 2016 started popping up. It’s a Category C kind of deal.

4.Rick and Morty

rick-and-morty

I discovered the genius of Rick and Morty and their send-up of almost any tropes that exist in all of speculative fiction. The episodes start off relatively simple sometimes but spiral out of control fairly quickly before you have some chaotic horrorscape exploded onto the screen. The animation is relatively cute (except when it’s not), so I’d put this in both Categories B and C. This is also my favorite show ever right now. Enjoy Ants in My Eyes Johnson.

5. Nekrogoblikon, Finntroll, and other Crazy Metal Bands

I enjoy metal bands that relish in the awesomeness that can be metal when it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love serious metal as well, but there’s nothing like a goblin going to work and screwing shit up to make me laugh. And the music is epic as well. Of course dressing up like trolls and elves is also cool.

 

6. Creepypasta

the_rake

This would go in the Category A. A lot of Creepypasta out there, including Slenderman, Jeff the Killer, Smile Dog, and The Rake (pictured above in all his splendor), has some horrific backstory and is enough to make your hair stand up on end. The fact that some of these backstories are so unflinchingly dark makes them sometimes GDAF.

7. Dark TV Show Memes

tyrionhodorEveryone loves a good meme now and again and some of the ones people create after some big event in a usually dark TV show gives light to the fact that people that enjoy dark shit also enjoy dark humor. Category C all the way for the Game of Thrones memes above.

And of course there is cross-over, like this The Walking Dead/Game of Thrones mash-up below.

white-walkers

Then there’s the bordering on trollish memes that accompany the death of a beloved character. It takes what was an emotional moment and makes light of it. Some might get offended or upset, but the main idea is that some fans enjoy a good laugh after the ill effects have worn off. Category C, baby!

negan

8. Superjail!, Metalocalypse, Korgoth of Barbaria, and Other Adult Swim Programs

superjail

metalocalpyse

korgoth-of-barbaria

Some of the best dark fiction comes in the form of animation. The three above, Superjail!, Metalocalypse, and Korgoth of Barbaria all take elements of various tropes and make them ten times bloodier and a hundred times funnier. For fans of over-the-top action, funny dialogue, and dark AF humor, these shows all snap the funny bone in half and suck out the marrow. Category C for all of these.

9. Hell Platformers

super-meat-boy

How cute! Super Meat Boy, despite his cute exterior, is constantly being splattered all over the screen. These hell platformers often take punishing elements of old NES games like Ninja Gaiden or Contra and ramp up the difficulty until your nose bleeds.

rogue-legacy

Rogue Legacy is another game with a friendly exterior that kills you over and over again, only to play as your increasingly hilarious descendants with their own quirks. Dying has never been more fun!

slain

And Slain: Back from Hell was played on the Splatter Elf Youtube channel in which Grim Gozzoth died many times. The awesome heavy metal theme, demons and blood galore make this game GDAF. Some Category B and C.

 

10. Dark Souls

Now let’s talk about Dark Souls. Nothing is funny about Dark Souls whatsoever unless your idea of funny is being killed repeatedly for your stupid mistakes and punishingly hard difficulty. However, it’s GDAF in Category A. This game takes itself very seriously, but the bosses and monsters are so over-the-top you can’t help but say FFS.

I mean, look at this sampling below from the first Dark Souls.

gravelord-nitoGravelord Nito is a big ass skeleton god or something. And he’s made of skeletons. Yeah.

bed-of-chaos

Here’s the Bed of Chaos. I don’t even know what the hell this is, but it’s called the Bed of Chaos and I’ve never reached it in the game. I’ve seen plenty of people get killed by it on Youtube though.

the-gaping-dragon

And of course, The Gaping Dragon, which is…um…I have no clue.

11. Wild Cosplay

hello-kitty-cosplay

Here we have a Category B. I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

resident-evil-2-cosplay

And then there’s this. Commitment, people, commitment.

12. Some Anime

If anyone watches anime, you know some of it has a penchant for being either have a shitload of cuteness or insane action. Below are some samplings of different categories of GDAF.

Berserk

Nothing really funny at all about Berserk, but it’s so insanely dark that I couldn’t help but include this. I mean, this anime made me love anime back in the day just because Guts was massacring people left and right. And there’s weird ass demons. Category A.

One Punch Man

I’ve actually never seen this, but I’m aware of the manga. It’s a pretty funny concept: a ridiculously overpowered superhero that is bored of fighting unchallenging enemies. Let’s put this in Category C.

Attack on Titan

And, shit, if you’ve seen Attack on Titan, you pretty much know that it’s one of the darkest anime out there. Giants eating people by chewing off their heads is about as dark at it gets. Category A.

All in all, this might not become a “thing” but I think there is a definite audience for GDAF in all aspects of our lives. If you’re into the unrelentingly dark, the cutsie dark, and the bizarrely humorous dark, then GDAF might just be your cup of tea. With no milk of course.

If you’re interested in what writer Dave de Burgh recently called “GDAF” you may enjoy my Splatter Elf series available on Amazon.com. Cheap plugs can also be GDAF!

SplatterCollage

The latest is the novella, One Goblin Army!

one-goblin-army-final-cover

What is GDAF to you? Share what you think is GDAF in the comments!

Everyone has moments. Those moments when they don’t know what the hell to do next. After recently finishing the emotionally draining slough of One Goblin Army, I’m left to ponder my next move. I have several Splatter Elf ventures planned, some outlined novels in the wings, and shorts galore. Yet I’m finding myself pressed to decide which thing to write next. I guess that’s a good problem to have? With NaNoWriMo season coming up, I’d love to have a meaty project to work on during that most glorious of months, but I’m not up to doing the full-on NaNoWriMo experience which includes churning out a shitload of words and sleepless night. I’m not in the business of that this year, but I would like to “play along at home” so to speak.

So help me choose something to write. And I understand, “It’s really up to you.” But let’s imagine I’m elevator pitching you. You only have the brief concept. Which of these would you say “Oh, tell me more.”

  1. Deadbeat Dad Demon Hunter-A drifter finds out he has spawned half-demon children throughout the United States and sets out with a crew of tabletop gamers to hunt them down.
  2. Chef of Wyrms-A chef prepares gourmet meals for finicky dragons to prevent them from attacking local villages until dragon slayers show up en masse to finally eliminate the threats.
  3. Bard Moon-A group of bards lock themselves in a tavern unwittingly with a psychotic werewolf and have to fight to survive the night.
  4. Necrogopher-A gopher that can speak with dead becomes a beloved international celebrity until it’s discovered she has plans to create an undead army.

In addition to my Splatter Elf shorts (I’m not doing anything long in the Splatter Elf world for the rest of the year) I’d like to start one of these larger projects and see what happens. I’m hoping to start shopping novels to agents next year, so I sort of need a novel to do so.

So, help a writer out?

Leave your ideas in the comments or comment on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks!

Overby’s Current Obsessions #1

Posted: October 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

overbys-current-obsessions

Welcome to the first edition of Overby’s Current Obsessions(that branding shit everyone talks about), all my geekiness squeezed into weekly blog posts. This is a place for good ole retro nostalgia, neo-retro pixelations, TV gems, hot AF games, and the books that have currently crawled to the top of my TBR Infinity Tower. I have a lot of shit on my plate (not literally) so I always have something to ramble on about. In addition, I’d love to hear from others about what they’re currently marinating their brains in.  Feel free to share in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter.

BOOKS

Books are undoubtedly my lifeblood so its no coincidence I’m starting with a couple of books I’ve recently wrapped up in addition to what I’m currently reading. I read a lot for The Grim Tidings Podcast, so I’m going to keep my choices here to whatever I’m the deepest into.

A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall

crown-for-cold-silver

After really enjoying other books by the author also known as Jesse Bullington, I’d heard lots of good things about A Crown of Cold Silver. I checked out the sample on Kindle and got hooked immediately. This is the kind of fantasy I want to read now and forever. It’s at times humorous, bloody, has an intriguing cast of characters, and pulls from various cultures to make a fascinating world. Tying in devils, witchcraft, and other dark subject matter makes this a must-read for fans of darker-tinged fantasy. I’m still reading it and actually was encouraged to book him for The Grim Tidings Podcast once I picked it up.

Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

traitors-blade

Speaking of The Grim Tidings Podcast (a theme you might notice), speaking with Sebastien de Castell let me know I’d love his work. His dialogue is snappy, characters are fun, and there is plenty of swasbuckling action for those that dig it. The Greatcoats Series has gotten loads of praise from all over the SFF community so you can’t go wrong with checking this out. I’m currently about half-way through the first book Traitor’s Blade and I’m excited to read the rest of the trilogy.

A Head Full of Ghosts

head-full-of-ghosts

For Octoborror, a month supporting horror fiction, Paul Tremblay was at the top of our list as a guest to get on the show. I haven’t read much horror in recent years, but was a big fan of Stephen King and Jack Ketchum back in the day. This is one story that resuscitated my love of horror, dealing with a girl who may or may not have demonic problems. I’m really excited to get back into horror again and A Head Full of Ghosts is a great re-entry point.

Recently Finished:Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

black-city-saint
I recently wrapped up reading Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak and it wowed me on multiple levels. I wrote a review recently and talked about how I loved the combination of noir and the Fae, making a unique entry into the fantasy field. Since I grew up reading books like Legend of Huma (the first fantasy book I actually read), I’ve been a fan of fantasy ever since. It’s awesome to see Knaak kicking ass in a different genre.

TV

That 70s Show

that_70s_show_1

Netflix is crack for many people, me included. With the wealth of new content, there should never be a lack of shows to watch. The latest ritual in the Overby household is to watch That 70s Show while we eat. I missed most of it during its heyday and would watch it occasionally if I was bored. However, now I know why it was popular for so long. Its writing is top-notch, the characters are cast and played to perfection, and it perfectly captures the 70s nostalgia without beating your over the head with it. Classic TV.

Rick and Morty

rick-and-morty

“Have you seen Rick and Morty yet?” My friends obviously know my tastes well because I was asked this several times before I actually got around to watching the show. It’s genius on multiple levels and offers a fresh take on time-traveling and SF by going full-on weird. Seriously, if you’re into a weird, insane, and sometimes even heart-warming (?) take on classic SF tropes, then this is the show for you. Currently my #1 show period. I’ve mentioned to people before that if I did some kind of Splatter Elf SF (Splatter Elf 400 Billion) then Rick and Morty would probably be a huge inspiration.

GAMES

Rogue Legacy

rogue-legacy

I’m a gamer, not hardcore, but medium-core I’d guess. Rogue Legacy takes ideas of both casual gaming and hardcore gaming and punches you in the face with it. Like other hell platformers, Rogue Legacy will kill you. Over and over. That’s the fun of it though because after you die, one of your descendants takes over with their various quirks, powers, and restrictions. It’s the perfect game to play for my Nine Lives series of Youtube videos, so expect that for sure! If you want to see me die in a similar fashion, here’s me playing Slain: Back from Hell:

Baldur’s Gate

baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition

Since I love these kind of games, Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition was a no-brainer. It’ll be my featured “RPG Explosion” game for November, which means I’ll be playing it without loading if a character dies until either I beat the game or everyone dies. I most likely will keep the game updates to text for now, but if there’s a loud scream for more Grim Gozzoth (who will be making an appearance now and again if you’re a fan), then I may do the occasional video. One thing I already love about the Enhanced Edition is the ability to create your own party a la Icewind Dale. So I have my full band of weirdos from the previous playthroughs (Grim Challange, Mimi Mirrors, Goatscream, etc.) and some new faces as well.

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

final-fantasy-brave-exvius

A game I just picked up for free (you can pay for more content though), Final Fantasy Brave Exvius scratches the old school fantasy itch with a bit of modern tap, tap, tap mobile gaming casualness. The characters are interesting so far and you can summon your favorites from other Final Fantasy games to fight alongside you. It’s pretty genius and is a fun time-waster to fight the classic Final Fantasy monsters on the go.

MUSIC

Washed Out

I recently started a free trial of Amazon Music, which I already love more than iTunes because of its ease of navigation, and I was able to find some rad playlists. Washed Out stood out to me the most from some of the music I listened to and I’ve since been playing this groovy, chill-out electronic track on repeat. Edit: I knew I recognized this from somewhere! It’s the theme to Portlandia!

MISC.

Goblins

one-goblin-army-final-cover

Well, shit, of course goblins. A good ole blog post wouldn’t be complete without a little shameless plug, so One Goblin Army, my first Splatter Elf novella, is now out on Kindle. There’s been good feedback so far and I hope that more people will pick up the previous stories. Goblins have been something I’ve been intrigued about for a while. They’re small, usually attack in hordes, and have been seen as the lowly peons of the fantasy world. Yet in One Goblin Army, Grinner has a chainsaw and kills a bunch of folks himself, so I’m hoping to show goblins aren’t just peons, but can also be badasses in their own right. The awesome web comic Goblins also plays up this idea and is one of my favorites out there.

Ice Coffee

ice-coffee

I drink a shitload of ice coffee. Or some variant of it. It doesn’t even matter what season. I love it forever and ever.

Sloths

midnight-sloth

Sloths are the new animal I love to watch. It never gets old watching a sloth eat carrots. Go on. Watch it.

That concludes my first Overby’s Current Obsessions! Tune in next week for more obsessive behavior!

What are some of your current obsessions? Share in the comments or on your social media of choice.

My internet places:

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

Buy Splatter Elf

 

Hey folks! It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything after that the arduous journey that was the RPG Explosion. I’m here to say I have more cool shit to be featured on this site. Part of it is to scratch a creative itch now and again and the other part is that something will stick and people will get pumped about it. Isn’t that what all websites do?

After some morning brainstorming about things I can do with this website, I came up with a cornucopia of ideas. Some harebrained, some gold AF.

Let’s see what I have coming down the pike!

Monthly Features:

Monster of the Month: This will be me highlighting a monster every month from across the world’s mythology. I’m very interested in monsters of all types, have been since I was small. This is my chance to scour the interwebs and do some research about rad monsters from around the globe.

The Grim Gozzoth Show: Some of you may know Grim Gozzoth, the video game playing goblin that curses a lot. Well, I’ve thought about it and I plan to do some interviews (audio and video maybe) and other things that feature the Splatter Elf Youtube channel.

RPG Explosion: The huge challenge I did in August returns with less intensity. I will probably do more videos in the future, but for now this will be to highlight whatever RPG game I’m playing at the moment. Perhaps several! This feature will be mostly my thoughts about current games I’m playing and the many deaths I experience.

Weekly Features:

Current Obsessions: This will be a brief highlight of current things I’m enjoying at the moment, including games, movies, TV, books, etc. A chance to maybe discover some awesome shit of your own!

Splatter Flash: A feature I tried in the past but never worked due to me trying too hard, Splatter Flash will be a chance to read mini-adventures featuring Splatter Elf favorites like Katzia, Bathbrady, Grinner, and others in addition to meeting new characters that might be important in forthcoming Splatter Elf tales. The plan is to write one piece of flash a week and see how that goes! I’ll even make my own little Splatter Elf covers to go with them!

So this is some posts to keep an eye out for. If you’re interested in Splatter Elf or just whatever is going on, this is your place to do it.

Are there any other features that you think might work for me? Share in the comments!

 

I did my RPG Explosion Challenge in the month of August. The basic idea was to play through old school Dungeons and Dragons computer games, but only play them until I either:

a. had a total party wipe aka died.

b. finished the game.

I didn’t finish any of the games.Period.

However, I did learn several things about myself, the evolution of games, Dungeons and Dragons, and how hard it is to actually make quality videos. So let’s talk about all that happy shit, shall we?

1. The Pool of Radiance Series is Hard AF

I challenge anyone to try to play these games again, or for the first time, without dying very early on. Granted, I screwed myself a few times by making poor decisions, but the original four games, Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, and Pools of Darkness all killed my party very early on. One thing that was evident is that if you modify your party max out stats, you will get attacked by bigger random mobs. And this will kill you. Quickly.

While games like Dark Souls have brought challenge back to video games, these original PC games could be pretty unforgiving. But that’s also one reason I liked them.

2. Actually Role-playing Can Be Loads of Fun…but Gets You Killed

Grim Challange

Filth demons that sustain themselves on trash? I must slay them!

I had a paladin in my party. Therefore, anytime I came across something he perceived as “evil” he fought it. He also wouldn’t run away. He was one of the first to die in almost every game.

I had a Chaotic Neutral wizard named Goatscream that would just run around and randomly do things at times. He blew himself up with a fireball once. He also went toe-to-toe with a hill giant and got flattened.

Goatscream

Jacked.

This is all fun when you’re playing games that don’t really require actual role-playing. But I got killed due to staying loyal to my characters.

3. Trying to Make Playing These Games Entertaining Can be Nerve-wracking

Grim Gozzoth

My ticket to stardom: Grim Gozzoth

I integrated my Grim Gozzoth character, a foul-mouthed, weird goblin that makes random noises into my gameplay. At times when things were slow, I found myself struggling to keep the video entertaining. When you’re literally walking in circles it can be tough to maintain any sort of entertainment value for a viewer. I think if it was just me as myself playing these games, it would probably be dry as old shit. There’s a reason people like Pewdiepie are successful: they’ve figured out what their audience likes, they try new things, but they always amp their personalities up.

4. Making Videos Gets Easier but Still Remains Something I Don’t Completely Understand

NewPicture3

Hey, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Sure, anyone can make videos with a little time and the right software. However, making videos that people actually want to watch (see Number 5) is something altogether different. I’m sure there are ways I could enhance the video quality or jazz it up more, but I’m not fancy enough for that yet. There are people that do all sorts of cool edits and use special logos and shit, but again, I’m leagues away from that as of yet. I’ll keep trying or bash my head against the keyboard doing so.

5. Getting an Audience for This Type of Thing is Tough

2016-08-07

1988. Damn, I was seven.

Playing D&D games from the 80s and 90s might not appeal to a wide base of fans. I’m not playing Minecraft or the current most popular game out there. So building an audience that stays through the process isn’t easy. There’s the idea of making lots of content that can appeal to more people, but it’s a lot of trial and error. The biggest viewership I got was for my first video for Pool of Radiance. I think this was mostly just because people were curious about it. The later videos didn’t even get out of single digits. Which I think is too bad because I got better at doing the videos as time went on. That’s sort of the conundrum with making videos: you might start out shit, but it’s hard to build a viewership if it’s not awesome right out the gate.

6. This Was a Gateway Drug into a Video Creating Addiction

Speaking of gates, I made a lot of videos since doing this challenge. Not just video games, but doing readings on my Splatter Elf channel like I intended to do from the beginning. When I first started it, I want to have my channel be used for things I liked, sharing my stories, and whatever else I thought would be good. Yet I found myself struggling to make the videos because I didn’t have software conducive to a beginner. Now that I have the awesome OBS Studio, it’s made making videos a lot easier. I think I made about 20 videos or so in the span of two weeks. That shit’s crazy.

7. Dungeons and Dragons is Life

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Hell yeah, blurry Player’s Handbook!

I haven’t played D&D as much as I used to, but playing these games not only kicked me right in the nostalgia, but also made me realize that I love Dungeons and Dragons and the worlds that connect to them (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc.) On The Grim Tidings Podcast we got to interview R.A. Salvatore and Richard A. Knaak, both writers who got me into reading fantasy from a young age. Playing these games just made me embrace my undying love for D&D even more.

8. Gameplay+Story> Graphics

Something that a lot of gamers might claim is that gameplay is always more important than graphics. I’m not sure that’s completely true, but in the case of these games, the gameplay is fun, engaging, and challenging. With retro gaming and pixel art becoming more popular, we can see that gameplay is definitely on the rise. There are big budget titles with amazing graphics that get blasted by critics and gamers alike. There are some genius indie titles coming out these days that use pixel art and I’m inclined to focus a lot more on those types of games going forward.

9. Editing Takes Hours and is an Art Unto Itself

This one took a while because I suck.

Editing is not easy. While my videos were sparsely edited (you can tell), the edits I did do took a lot of time. The precision required to make an edit work the way you want it might require dozens if not hundreds of tries–in my case dozens. I have the utmost respect for people who can edit videos in mere hours. You are champions of the world.

10. It Can Be Hell on Your Wallet

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Broke.

The games I played during this challenge were mostly games I had purchased and never got around to playing. This challenge gave me an excuse to play them. Yet again, these kind of challenges can lead to more and more purchases. Since I started this challenge, I’ve probably spent about another 100 dollars on new games. Games I hope to play and video later on. I had no intention of doing this, but there we have it. If you plan to get into making videos of games, plan to empty your damn wallet.

11. Archers, Archers, Archers

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In the end, nothing matters. Not even sweet ass arrows.

Throughout my challenge, Mimi Mirrors, my sometimes gnome, sometimes dwarf, sometimes halfling multi-colored cloak wearing fighter/thief, was my regular MVP of every session. She was consistent in hitting enemies and in several playthroughs was the sole survivor at the end. I doubled up with both Yamagata and Jack Faraway, who added even more archery power. Basically, if you plan on playing these games, get archers. They will make you happy.

That’s all for this challenge! I may do some others in the future, but for now I’ll continue to play the games I planned to play but at a slower pace. I’ll also be putting up more videos of different kinds of games, so keep an eye out for those.

What are some games you loved in the past that you’d like to go back and play? Do the games hold up? Please share with me in the comments!