Nothing Less. A poem.

I left myself in such a mess,
recovery mode and nothing less.
Drowned my sorrows in emptiness,
succumbed to my own thoughtlessness.

But now I see the road ahead.
You light my way to more than this.
I guess this all was just a test,
Your way of saying “Just do your best”.

Now, I rise above the rest
to face the world, my sins addressed.
I’ve become, I must confess,
a better man and nothing less.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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Sleeptalking. A poem.

Lying here
              Thinking
              Thinking
              Counting
                             Minutes
                             Hours
                             Sheep
A pretence
    rendered
       Black and blue
In ultraviolet

Hate my head
       For it hurts
                 Hurts
                 Hurts
Me so

Breathless again
Foggy-eyed and foggy-headed
          Branded
          Fool
Shake
Rinse
Repeat

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Haiku Friday: Poetic. A haiku.

Poetic
To wax poetic.
To surf rhythmic waves of verse,
rise and scream “success!”

What is a haiku? Glad you asked. Click here to find out more.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Winter of Our World. A poem.

Winter wanted one last bite
of the red, red cherry,
and so it returned
with steely vengeance,
to strike with icy blades
that shimmied through my skin
and took root within my veins.

The frost dusting the lawn
was a plague on both our houses,
and a sign of forlorn vendettas
lost to bitter hearts
and aching bones.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer: Things #3

I like to write poems. I like to take photographs. Sometimes I take photos of things.

Here’s one, with an accompanying poem. I don’t normally write poems about things, but for my photos I can make an exception.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Rocks. A poem.
Rocks awash
in sea-salt dreams,
caressed in pleasure
until they spume.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sweet Nothings. A poem.

Head down
Black entrails entwined
Around my throat
Choking the life
And whispering

Sweet nothings

Of mindless contempt
The residue of years
Of churning anger
The spittle of malice
And undisputed loathing
Clawing its way
Up from within
Until it’s without
Plastering the walls
Layering the floors
With enmity

Sweet nothings

And condescension
Are all that’s left
For me

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Step. A poem.

One
Foot
In
Front
Of the other

Every day

Step
Forward
Trying
Not
To step back

Every day

I
Move
A
Little
Further
Forward

Every day

I move a little further
To where I need to be

One
Step
Closer
To you

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Lazy Movie Reviews: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘Teen Titans Go to the Movies’

Yeah, I’m lazy. But I just love seeing movies. Here’s a couple of reviews.

Crazy Rich Asians

• Bright and colourful Singapore setting

• Conventional story with average acting

• Much of the humour falls flat

• Some great actors wasted in minor roles

• I know this movie was considered a breakthrough for Hollywood because of its all-Asian casting and storyline, but Asia and England have been making these sorts of movies for decades, and better than this

Rating: C-

Teen Titans Go to the Movies

• A cartoon that often seems more for adults than kids

• Lots of movie parodies and references that many kids just won’t get

• Very funny at times, only the occasional fart jokes

• Gorgeous and bright animation

• Better than some of the live action superhero movies of the last few years

Rating: B

Haiku Friday: The Promise. A haiku.

The Promise
Holistic vision:
a promise swaddled in truth.
Future redemption.

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form with a strict 5/7/5 syllable and line structure.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Shadow Tales. A poem.

My aching thoughts and fretful angst
that often lead astray,
that wander in the ceding light,
whose shadows form my way.
The consequences of my time,
misled misgivings here,
they form a crazy, tangled skein,
the symptoms of my fears.
Beneath the coverlet of night
pulled tight to shield me so,
to trick me in the feeble light
whence all the shadows go.
Internal, puerile anger
that only suffocates my joy,
continues here to effervesce,
and shake me like a toy.
And when the crystal shear without
cuts through the satin veil,
I’ll be waiting here again
with my sad, poetic tale.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Free Map! The Living Tower of Moka-Shul

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get.

This week: The Living Tower of Moka-Shul!

So, who is this Moka-Shul guy anyway? And what’s the go with his living tower? Well, I picture Moka-Shul as a powerful wizard, perhaps a Lich or Vampire. His tower exists on a lower plane and travels inter-dimensionally depending on its master’s whims.  The tower is populated with all sorts of beasties the players will have to confront as they make their way to the top.

The tower is alive, the walls extruding living tentacles in surprise attacks that suck targets into fleshy maws that appear wherever the tower needs them. And the inhabitants aren’t immune to this either, which is why they regularly bathe in the waters of the fathom beast, one of Moka-Shul’s pets. The fathom beast sweats a particular oil that the tower recognises as friendly. But the fathom beast isn’t very amenable and often makes a meal out of bathers!

The Living Tower of Moka-Shul

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

P.S. I’m writing a 48-page book of dungeon maps, adventures, tables and tips! Coming soon!

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Upstart Photographer: Things #2

I like to write poems. I like to take photographs. Sometimes I take photos of things.

Here’s one, with an accompanying poem. I don’t normally write poems about things, but for my photos I can make an exception.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Road. A poem.

Exemplars on the way,
milestones of the incredulous
and the extravagant,
until the unseen border, gone.
Here in stark contrast,
mother’s permanent residents
hold sway and sway in time
to the rhythms of the asphalt,
the heat swathes writing
memoirs of the silence.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Tears. A poem.

Succinct and retrospect,
mercury lines connecting dots,
snaking and entwined,
‘tween valleys and hills,
pooling at the feet:
drowned confetti dreams.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Fumes of You. A poem.

Your scent was different,
lingering in my nostrils,
a whiff of nostalgic free fall
and extra sensory motion.
The fumes of you twisted
around me and consumed
every pore and fibre
of my unwholesome being.
Should I have let that smell
overwhelm me as it did before
when I threw subtle caution
to the heedless wind?
Then you were gone
and the flames and fumes
died, as they always did.
All that was left, the memory
of your trackless bouquet.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Moon Thoughts. A poem.

The moon waxes and wanes,
in afterthoughts of the
bitter-sweet variety.

My wanderings have
brought me closer to
an undistinguished end,
and yet still I cling
to the filaments of
monopolised undertakings.

Moonlight fill my spirit,
build it up in a voodoo
pyre to burn and jest,
as if the last laugh were
worthy of redemption.

Play away, subtle light,
fix your steely gaze upon
this unctuous beggar
and cast a shadow long
unto his craven grave,
where silver shafts do
shape his own betrayal.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Writer Interrupted: Writing Haiku

What is a Haiku?

The Haiku is a poetic form that originated in Japan as early as the 9th or 13th Century, depending on what you read, but wasn’t known by the term Haiku until the 19th century.

Want to know more about Haiku history? Click here.

Traditionally, they focussed on nature and emphasised simplicity.

Each line of the poem has specific syllabic criteria:

1st Line: 5 syllables
2nd Line: 7 syllables
3rd Line: 5 syllables

Want to know how to count syllables? Click here. 

Examples of Japanese Haiku

April’s air stirs in
Willow-leaves…a butterfly
Floats and balances
― Bashō, Japanese Haiku

Dead my old fine hopes
And dry my dreaming but still…
Iris, blue each spring
― Shushiki, Japanese Haiku

Modern Haiku

Modern Haiku can vary dramatically from the original intent in terms of subject matter. Some even depart from the syllabic criteria (which calls into question whether they should be considered Haiku).

For some cool, nature-oriented examples, click here.

And here’s a few Haiku I wrote about writing Haiku:

Writing Haiku. A Haiku trilogy.

1.
In every dew drop,
I see the acorn of thought
that grows into oak.
2.
Language comes alive.
My mind is afire with life,
burned on the white page.
3.
Acorn now grown tall,
the tree outlined in firelight.
Feel these sunset words.

– Stephen Thompson, Modern Haiku

For more of my Haiku, click here.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry.
Click here to buy a copy online.

Make Your Way. A poem.

Indecision rules
in every fool,
the uninspired and undecided.

Confusion reigns
and fear sustains
the paltry and the parodied.

Mark this day,
make your way from
the aimless and objectionable.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Laidback DM: Big Books of Monsters – mini-reviews

I love using new monsters in D&D and other fantasy role playing games (RPGs), and players love the uncertainty and the challenge that comes with them. Like many time-poor DMs, I’m always on the lookout for new monster books so I don’t have to waste time making my own (I still do, but a lot less than I used to). Luckily there are some great books on the market to cater to my laziness.

Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes

Official D&D 5e product from WOTC, similar to Volo’s Guide but with a higher page count of 256 pages. They obviously listened to the feedback after the rather short Xanathar’s Guide. Extensive background on numerous races, including new race options. A number of new creatures, including more higher Challenge Rating (CR) beasties. My faves include the Cadaver Collector, Oblex and the Gnomish Clockworks.

• Great and consistent production values.

• Good race options for players looking for more variety.

• Some of the monsters are drawn from previously released adventures.

• Not as many monsters as I’d like and some of the higher CR creatures are a bit easy for their level.

Kobold’s Tome of Beasts

Kobold’s beastie book has been out for a while, and features 429 pages of D&D 5e monsters, many quite horrific. New dragon and giant types, fey lords, demons, devils and undead, and a riot of new and exciting creatures, including many high CRs. These monsters are much more challenging than WOTC’s offerings. Some of my faves are the Void Dragon with its gravitic and stellar flare breaths, Sand Spider with impaling legs, and the array of cool Clockworks.

• Fantastic art, thick paper and well bound (not likely to fall apart from use).

• Great variety of challenging and unusual beasties.

• Better value than the official D&D monster products.

• One or two beasts (Titivilus, for example) have been superseded by official content. But then, you can choose which version you prefer!

Monster Codex

A new core book recently Kickstarted for the awesome Swedish grimdark fantasy RPG Symbaroum. New monsters with adventure seeds, loads of NPC and beast listings, new monstrous traits and guidelines for balancing encounters and developing monster-specific adventures like hunts. Not only is Symbaroum a great system, it features the best layout and art of any fantasy RPG on the market.

• Awesome, atmospheric art worth drooling over.

• Write-ups and supporting documents in the style of old-time bestiaries and grimoires.

• Could have been a little longer, but the quality more than makes up for the length.

Cheers

DM Steve 🙂

Anvil. Part 19.

Shi-Cho smiles grimly as Flotsam station appears in the transteel cockpit window. At this distance it is little more than a tiny spinning tin can, a shining diamond against the charcoal disk of the planet below. Captain Hansen, seated in the pilot’s chair in front of Shi-Cho, gestures to a nearby monitor. “We’re being hailed by the Hyperion, sir. She’s about 500 kays off the port bow.”

“I’ll take the call in the back.” Shi-Cho heads to the private cabin and awkwardly seats his massive frame in the chair. The hologram flickers to life. It’s Bester; his long, lean features are less stern than usual.

“I want you to bring your ship to my cruiser,” says Bester.

Shi-Cho frowns. “You said I would have command of this operation.”

“You still have command. I have an alternative for you and I to get aboard while the assault takes place.”

“And what would that be?”

“Dock with my cruiser. I’ll show you when you get here.” The hologram fades and Shi-Cho’s eyes narrow suspiciously. “Gods-damned trillionaires and their secrets.”

* * *

Olsin rushes to catch up to the Anvil as it strides down the corridor.

“Hey,” says Olsin. “Slow down.”

The armature’s reply is curt. “I didn’t ask you to come with me.”

Olsin matches the Anvil’s stride, double-stepping to keep up. “Sugar, you just saw your daughter and hardly said ‘boo’,” she says. “Back in the cell you were ready to rip the walls down to save her. Obviously, something’s the matter.”

The Anvil keeps its eyes locked ahead. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Well, sugar, amongst my qualities of awesome hand-to-hand fighter and incredible shot, I’m also a great listener.”

The Anvil stops and turns to Olsin, its masculine face inscrutable. Olsin shrugs and smiles, and they continue walking. Around them, technicians, troops and general staff run around like lab rats missing a maze, as Flotsam preps for attack. A siren starts to wail and the overhead glowglobes change colour, painting the surrounds scarlet.

“We need to hurry, Bester’s mercenary fleet must be within range,” says the Anvil. Picking up the pace, they run until they come to a large room, walls layered with colourful vending machines. They pass fast food, clothing, fetish and gun vending machines before they arrive at a pharmaceutical dispenser. “Memjets,” says the Anvil, palmchip hovering over the sensor. A plastic pill case drops into the collection slot as money is transferred. Grabbing the box, the armature flips two tablets into its mouth and swallows. The synthi-flesh nub of the Anvil’s missing left arm throbs sympathetically.

“Recall problems, huh?” says Olsin. “I don’t suppose this has anything to do with your attitude towards your little girl?” The armature frowns and starts back to the briefing room, Olsin jogging beside her.

“Look, sugar,” Olsin says. “I may not know you that well—hell, I only just found out you were a woman thirty minutes ago—but I sense you’ve got some heavy-duty crap going on. Aside from having your ass whipped and losing an arm, that is. If I’m going to be fighting alongside you, I’d prefer to know your head’s in the game.” The Anvil continues silently.

Olsin sighs. “Hell, sugar, you might as well actually be a man. You sure do act like one.”

The Anvil stops abruptly. “That’s the problem,” it says, a frown creasing its masculine brow. “I think I am a man.”

“So, you’re not a woman, after all?”

“I don’t think I’m Violet’s mother, either. But someone wants me to think I am.”

* * *

Chun fingers the pumpgun hanging at her side as the briefing officer informs the team of the boarding defence strategy. There are numerous hologram displays clogging the air: lots of pretty icons and moving arrows, station and weapon schematics. She sighs and rolls her eyes every few minutes. Violet stands at her side, cuddling Chun’s leg with one arm and her teddy with the other. Chun soothingly runs her fingers through the little girl’s hair.

Jimmy stands beside her, arms crossed, moody and unimpressed. Every once in a while, his eyes dart to Jayle, who is less interested in the plan than Chun is. She sticks out her tongue, teasing the little man as she spins his antique Magnum around her finger. Jimmy grinds his teeth, cocking his station-issued auto-pistol. Chun places her palm on the barrel and guides it downwards, shaking her head.

The holograms fade, the circus over; the briefing officer exits. Lady Chao stands out front, tall and menacing, neon dragon tattoos on her durasteel arms shining like warning signs up and down dual roadways. Her assistant Alida hovers behind, looking as inconsequential as she feels. Johnston addresses the team.

“You heard the defence plan,” he says. “The Flotsam defence teams will cover the docking bays at northside and southside. There’s always the chance Bester’s mercs could enter elsewhere, but that might end up depressurising the station and I don’t believe he’d be stupid enough to do that. Our job is to prevent anyone getting to Violet Bester and use the confusion of the attack to get her out of here. We’ll be in two teams—one directly responsible for the girl and the other to provide backup and fire support.” He eyes the newcomers warily. “The boss insists we mix and match, so Kanji and Jayle will go with Chun and Jimmy in Kid Bester’s team and the Anvil, Olsin, Sarain and myself will be the fire team. Any questions?”

The door slides open and the Anvil and Olsin step in. “Yeah,” says Olsin. “Mind repeating that?”

* * *

The massive shell of Bester’s cruiser dwarfs Shi-Cho’s troop carrier as it snuggles into the Hyperion’s docking bay like a baby in utero. Shi-Cho makes his way to the bridge, the slider lifts taking much less time than expected, given the distance. The doors part silently to reveal a control area at least fifty metres across, studded with transteel-encapsulated flight officers, vast hologrammatic screens, and recessed operations cavities filled with vacc-suited men and women.  A floating viewing platform dominates the centre, facing massive ten metre-high transteel view ports overlooking Flotsam station, a few hundred kilometres distant. Bester’s lithe figure stands next to the vacc-suited Captain Ward. Four two-metre high raptors festooned with cybernetics, aggressively sniffing the air and tapping their dewclaws, hover behind.

A localised anti-grav field glides Shi-Cho onto the viewing platform. The raptors immediately tense as they face him. He stares them down, his internal sensors and pre-cursive tracking arrays registering their armaments, plotting potential attack and defence vectors; his HUD is a wash of colour impressions and data.

Bester turns. “Shi-Cho, your fleet can commence its attack. It will be a diversion—you and I will be entering the station separately while the station crew are distracted.”

Shi-Cho sends a message to his fleet vessel commanders. In the huge view ports the flotilla of ships closes on the station, splitting into two groups and heading for the north and southside docking bays. Streams of silent plasma light up the dark as various station defensive turrets respond. Several troop ships and interceptors explode in brief, distant flashes. Captain Ward gestures to his operators below, and multiple munitions-seeking fission torps launch silently from the Hyperion, bright contrails hanging in their wake. Flechette defence arrays launch from the Flotsam. Some of the torps are curtailed, but most get through. There are flares across the station’s knobbly surface, and the turrets and missile bays are no more. Ward turns to Bester. “All external defences neutralised, sir.”

Bester watches as several of Shi-Cho’s ships dock at both ends of the station, with others holding position around Flotsam to prevent any life pod evacs. As the minutes pass, comms transmissions from the ground assault troops advise heavy resistance portside.

Bester checks his watch, a brief holographic panel flickering to life, his fingers darting across translucent keys. Shi-Cho looks on curiously. He’s never seen a watch like that before.

“It’s time for us to pay Lady Chao a visit,” says Bester.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here.

What is ANVIL?

ANVIL is a deliberately unplanned, multi-part short story I’m creating week-by-week to challenge myself as a writer (I’ve done this before with The Sale – check it out by clicking here). My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the dilemma and continue the story. I have no idea how the story will progress, no idea what it’s about until I get there.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my continuing experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Died Inside. A poem.

And as I slowly died inside
within the canny matrices
of my mind,

I came to understand it all
everything I’d ever been
done and seen,

as if every strand
was a flower bud opening
for the first time.

And as the tears flowed
and doused the floor
my sins like wine,

an overturned wash bucket,
overdue for mopping,
I slowly died inside.

And the loathsome cancer
of self-pity, self-hate,
and self-loathing,

took root and multiplied,
a calculus of lethal and
poisonous last rites.

The sum and division
of you and I.
I slowly died inside.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer: Things #1

I like to write poems. I like to take photographs. Sometimes I take photos of things.

Here’s one, with an accompanying poem. I don’t normally write poems about things, but for my photos I can make an exception.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Bowl. A poem.
Crusted and crinkled,
your contours and skin
are wrinkles in time,
shaped and subsumed
in ornamental bliss:
a life beyond death.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Nostalgia. A poem.

Nostalgia
On my mind
A keepsake
Turn it over
In my hands
A snow globe
Filled with memory
And the dust
Of fickle years
And absent foes
Now long forgotten
But present still

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Haiku Friday: Third Degree. A haiku.

Third Degree
Caustic heart branding
third degree burns on my soul.
Tell me again—why?

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form with a strict 5/7/5 syllable and line structure.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Heel. A poem.

Why concern yourself
with where you walk?
I am just a reed
beneath your heel
cracking until broken,
outlined in your footprint.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Laidback DM: Murder Hobos vs. Negotiators

Is your party the kind that prefers to fight their way through a role playing game encounter (known in the trade as ‘Murder Hobos’)? Or one that likes to talk to the bad guys, using their role playing ability or character’s skills to get out of a tough spot (negotiators)?

I believe players that prefer fight- over talk-based solutions may result from the following:

• Old school, ‘experience points-from-monster-death’ mindsets

• Characters created with an emphasis on fighting skills/abilities

• The enjoyment of a good battle

• A personal belief they’re not good role players

• Negotiating/talking means too many variables/potential outcomes

So, how do you get around these particular issues? It’s quite possible that your players just prefer fight-based adventures. But you may be growing tired with running these sorts of games all the time. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of variety. Here’s some things you can do:

Write some deliberately role playing-focused adventures – nothing like a good murder mystery, or an adventure where the party are unable to use weapons. They’re forced to use other approaches.

Use milestone advancement in place of experience points – 5e includes the option for milestone advancement, and it sure saves a lot of XP calculations. Players think less about killing monsters and more about completing goals. Or if you really love XP, reward for solution-based outcomes rather than killing.

Reward players more for good role playingInspiration in D&D is an extra D20 that can be rolled in a tight spot to replace another D20 roll. Reward players more often for role playing and they’ll start role playing more. If you have people in the group who aren’t good role players, reward them for inventive use of player skills/spells.

Make them think more – use more puzzles and interesting traps for players to think their way out of.

Offer alternative outcomes to hacking and slashing – monsters have feelings, too! Let them have opportunities to talk their way out. I like one of the rules in the 13th Age game: everyone speaks the same language, unless the story calls for a different one. It makes it easier to negotiate. Or at least understand the bad guys as they’re dispatching you.

Emphasise consequences – sometimes your players need to see the repercussions of their violent actions to start thinking more. The orphanage for homeless goblin kids whose henchman parents were killed in that last lair assault, for instance. Or the bad guy, whose brother was killed, coming to murder the party in their sleep. Try not to get too grim, though.

Most of all, don’t forget to keep it flowing and keep it fun!

Cheers

DM Steve 🙂

What did Steve just rabbit on about? Don’t know what D&D or RPGs are? Click here.

Vagrant Heart. A poem.

And now every time I pass by you,
I remember when you were my muse.
My inspiration, a living rhyme
to hang my aching heart, in time.

          (I could and did, ‘til I was blue,
          write many volumes, just for you.
          But you never read and never knew,
          enigmas all and yet so full.)

Words flowed like the torrential rain,
now they flow right down the drain,
the endless drain out to the sea,
where tender mercies float and dream.
I’ll never know if you ever wondered,
guessed, assumed, or maybe stumbled,
upon the musings of my heart
disguised as metaphor in part.
I guess I was the greatest fool
for thinking you could love me, too.
I guess my words were wasted art,
the rantings of a vagrant heart.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

 

Surburbia. A poem.

                                My hurt
                                My tears
                                My pain
Are nothing more
Than your
                                Knowing smile
As you turn
And walk
While the
Rain washes
                               My frozen
                               Suburbia
Clean but
Still grey

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Twosome. A poem.

You creep up on me
An inveterate stalker
A ghostly presence
A firefly somnambulist
(Shadowing its prey)

You wrap me up
(A Christmas treat)
In sunflower petals
An itinerant limpet
Squeezing me senseless

You take me down
And bleed me until dry
Subcutaneous showers
(That eventually leave me)
Drained and serendipitous

Now we entwined
Seek a sunlight sojourn
(In darkness we are)
A tattooed compromise
Until morning arrives

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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