SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES now in print!

Published under the OGL and compatible with 5e and OSR fantasy role playing games, SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES – Kal-Zar’s Bane: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES is a 68-page book with adventures for characters of 1st-4th level, that can be played as One-Shots or as the first module in a four-part campaign

So, what’s in SHOTGLASS ADVENTURES – Kal-Zar’s Bane: GRAVIS TOWN BLUES?

· 6 adventures, complete with full color maps! Varied adventures – investigation, assault, river raid, rescue, dungeon crawl, escape – ranging from 1st-4th level, designed for minimal preparation and flexible delivery. Each adventure can be run as a One-Shot, or as part of the Kal-Zar’s Bane campaign. Every adventure has both Campaign-specific and One-Shot-specific hooks. The One-Shot hooks ignore all the sub-plots and provide you with exactly what you need to run each adventure as a one-off for your players – you can either slot them into your existing campaign or run them as separate, individual side quests.

· Hand-drawn, full-color maps – old school style with new school flair!

· New Monsters – 11 new monsters and NPCs!

· New Magic Items – 10 new magic items and a new spell!

· River Encounters & Adventure Seeds – 8 short encounters, as well as adventure seeds that can be expanded into mini-adventures!  

· New Ships – 2 new ships, fully compatible with the ship rules in official adventure GoS!

· Fully detailed city & region setting – Gravis Town is a rich frontier town, fueled by sapphire mining. It’s based in the vast and wild Orinwood on the northern periphery of Verona Province, just south of the Daggershield Mountains that form the border with Skandara. The setting includes maps, gazetteer, NPCs, rumors, adventure seeds, additional short river encounters and more!

· Expanded map of Verona Province – including the Jarldoms of Skandara – a new, expanded map and brief gazetteer of the Invician Empire and Verona Province! New and expanded lore for the Shotglass Adventures campaign setting!

· Full guide for OSR conversions!

To get your copy in print, simply click on the link below:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/327887/SHOTGLASS-ADVENTURES-Gravis-Town-Blues

Game On!

Steve 🙂

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RPG. A poem.

My game is never done
Or lost or won
Even when the final die is cast
And the last
Player upon this infinite stage
Writes their page
Another memorable tale
It’s safe to say
That lives on in mind and soul
The final
The ultimate
And ever-lasting
Goal.

For more Poetry, click here.

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For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

For more Laidback DM, click here.

All Laidback DM products are on sale at DrivethruRPG.

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Mind Maze. A haiku.

The mind is a maze;
Navigating snares and pits,
We long to escape.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Detritus

Photography & Poetry – P&P for all the RPG fans lol 😊

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Detritus. A poem.

Cast ashore by storied seas
A mishmash of memories
And undefinable surprises
From the ocean’s turned out pockets
A lost and found of salty treats
Waiting and wanting to be reclaimed

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

My Prayer. A poem.

My prayer is for today
And yesterday and tomorrow,
For every lost soul counting time,
Standing rooted to the spot.

Perhaps one day you’ll learn
To get on the road
And into the headlights
Of a truckload of realisation,
That may, somewhat ironically,

Bring you back to life.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Vice. A poem.

A tightness in my torso
In my arm and in my jaw
Unlike anything I’ve felt before

(Maybe indigestion, it’s a start)
Everything I know says fit
Healthy, young of heart

This dreaded feeling I confess
Grips me harder than the vice
Squeezing life from my chest

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Beach Morning

Photography, poetry – why not, I say? 😊

Cheers

Steve

Beach Morning. A poem.

Rainbowed cloud and
Circuitous seas
Casting ancient wisdom
Like dice upon the shore

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Depression Is. A poem.

I always work so hard, you see,
With such effort and resolve.
Working towards my lofty goal,
Another problem I can solve.
Setting the bar too high, it seems,
But reaching every time.
Again, a pinnacle achieved
And a feeling so sublime.

But then the mighty outcome,
The success which I have craved,
Turns out to be so minimal
And all the thoughts I’ve saved
Turn inwards upon myself
To a sickening degree.
And suddenly I’m burdened
By self-doubt, hypocrisy.

As if all of that endless effort
Was not it’s own reward,
As if the milestone that I reached
Was falling on a sword.
And the black dog deep within me
He just smiles his toothy grin
And laps up all the hatred,
Despair and self-loathing.

Maybe one day I’ll learn again
To take each small success
With the pleasure and conviction
That will, black dog, address.
And send him far from this place
So he will plague me never more.
But until that day, depression is
All I am and more.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Curse of Strahd 2017 – Week 18

Hi all,

Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that).

Some of the summaries may be dull, some may be amusing; some are written in present tense, some in past tense – these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar.

If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them, but I warn you: I’m not Mathew Mercer and this is not Twitch.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

Week 18

After a two-week enforced delay, the game was afoot.

The party was pleasantly surprised by…you guessed, it, fog! And lots of treasure (most un-Barovian). After ransacking the remains of the Vistani encampment, everyone seemed more excited at the prospect of horses and wagons, rather than gold pieces. But it’s been that sort of campaign – it’s all about sore feet and the indignity of walking.

While searching the main tent, William’s Paladin discovered a well, hidden under the campfire (isn’t that where all the best wells are hidden? In Barovia, anyway…). The wall of the well were studded with human bones and skulls. Naturally everyone felt a bit worried. So, the next day, after a very brief discussion, money signs flashed in their vision and they decided to explore it.

Natasha’s Druid shape-changed into a bat and scouted the well and the first corridor below, seeing through the illusion-covered pit with her echo location (“Damn,” said Steve. “Foiled!”). To get across the pit, William’s Dragonborn Paladin piggybacked individuals as he climbed the walls. He only fell off once. The floors were also covered with skulls and bones (a Barovian designer choice, perhaps: “I think I will go with skulls for the floors and walls, it’s so in, this season”).

The first set of doors opened easily, and the Paladin’s spidey-sense picked up lots of undead (“Damn,” said Steve. “Foiled again!”). The party very slowly made their way across the room, tested the doors at the other end and that’s when the undead skeletons and a mummy made their brief guest appearance, thanks to the Dusk Elf leader’s fireball (“Damn,” said Steve. “Foiled again!”). Yeah, turns out he’s a bit of a wiz. Wizard, that is.

Next room, a teleporting hole in the floor over a water laden pit, guarded by two Hook Horrors. Lots of fun, with William’s Paladin’s spirit horse activating the trap and the paladin being dragged down into the water after grappling with one of the monsters. The party hung back at the door, using ranged attacks (“Damn,” said Steve. “Foiled again!”). Eventually the horse and paladin were saved. The Wiz cast fly on the horse and the party were safely transported over the floor. The Druid fell into the floor with the Wiz, changed to a giant spider and carried the Wiz out (“Why do I bother with traps at all,” said Steve).

The last room was home to a trapped Demon called Asgarte, who promised the party anything they wanted if they freed him. So, the party slept on it, taking a long rest in the room and thoroughly annoying Asgarte, who stood watching all night with crossed arms, tapping his foot.

Next week: The end of the mini-adventure (Steve’s excuse to use his new dungeon tiles), and back to Barovia-proper!

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A Loss. A poem.

I feel the absence
The missing jigsaw heart
That once made me whole
And now makes me hole

I feel every teardrop
Every rip and tear
Every shake and rattle
And every distant sigh

I feel the darkness
These clouds and storms
That weather and wither
My very being

An emptiness
That can’t be filled
One day to the next
The lost suffering a loss

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Angry. A haiku.

You make me angry:
Your choices and selfishness
Robbed him of a life.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Share. A poem.

Would that I could share this success with you?
All the excess and fortune
Pointing to moments unsolicited
And gratuitous and circumspect
All these worlds and words
Of self doubt and self pity
Replaced by self esteem
And confidential confidence
Would that I could share this success with you
Even if only for one last time.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Distressed

Photography and poetry – a two for one deal, but for a short time only 😊

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Distressed. A poem.

Your interminable display
A marriage of metaphor that
Adds rings to eucalyptus fingers
As the elements play out
A millennium of bad hair days

So stand tall and despair
Oh lady of distress
For your long day into night
Is just another season of many
In your constant pantomime

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sunlight. A poem.

Clouds upon an onion soul
A lattice of incidental grief
Whispering and blowing
Winds of contentious intent

Shimmering summer rays
Cannot pierce this veil
This black hole that crushes
All in its event horizon

Each season cries “winter”
An icy arctic freeze
Knowing no end or beginning
I’m frozen in time and place

But then the break
The dappled beams that slice
Through these clouds
And warm me to the core

Your sunlight is
The furtive spotlight
I’ve been waiting for

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Curse of Strahd 2017 – Week 15

Hi all,

Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that).

Some of the summaries may be dull, some may be amusing; some are written in present tense, some in past tense – these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar.

If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them, but I warn you: I’m not Mathew Mercer and this is not Twitch.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

Week 15

Barovia, Barovia, we so love Barovia
It’s dark and foggy, we’re so fancy free 
So sunny, so bright, please won’t you save me
Barovia, Barovia, we so love Barovia
It’s chock full of wolves and so much desperation
Damn the devil Strahd and his cursed temptations
Barovia, Barovia, we so love Barovia
It may not be as good as we made out before
So give me some wine or I’ll show you the door
– Barovian National Anthem

Curse of Strahd continues, inexorably, to its exciting conclusion…which is actually a fair way off. In the meantime:

The party argued over whether to go to Berez and face the Witch, or to go and save Baron Van Richten, who they learned had been taken hostage by the Vistani and was about to be delivered to Strahd. Eventually, they agreed (begrudgingly, in some cases) to undertake a rescue.

On the road they fought a couple of berserkers (obviously the Druids at Yester Hill were still a bit miffed about them hacking up their Gulthias Tree…), capturing and interrogating one, whom they then killed (such a pleasant party).

Savid the Dusk Elf led the party to the Vistani Camp outside of Vallaki. On the way, they came across Van Richten’s carnival wagon and signs of a battle. They found an absolutely fascinating page of the egotistical Van Richten’s journal and his dead sabretooth tiger.

A quick wereraven/Paladin reconnoitre of the camp showed the Vistani were mostly drunk and a bit lax at guard duty. Sneaking (and riding) into the Vistani camp, they met with the Dusk Elves’ leader, Kasimir Velikov, still peeved that Strahd killed all the women of his tribe hundreds of years ago and pining over his dead sister Patrina, who wanted to be Strahd’s bride. Kasimir explained the Amber Temple might hold the secret of Strahd’s curse, and he would willingly escort the party there.

In the meantime, the party needed to rescue poor old Van Richten from the clutches of the Vistani. Natasha’s Gnomish Druid changed into a spider and snuck into the Vistani leader’s tent, where Van Richten was being tortured. That’s where the plan started going a bit askew. Meanwhile, Mark’s Gnome Bard tried a distraction (amazing juggling, by the way) and Dan’s annoying Halfling Monk hid under the eave of a building(!).

A big fight ensued, with William’s Dragonborn Paladin riding in on his skeletal spiritual warhorse and slaughtering Vistani left, right and centre. Isaac’s reticent Tiefling Warlock provided support and it was on for young and old. Dan’s monk managed to dispatch the assassin leader, and eventually took out the Vistani second-in-command as well.

Unfortunately, poor old Van Richten was killed. Oh, well, you can’t make a Barovian omelette without cracking some vampire eggs (or so goes the old Barovian saying…). The friendly wereravens, who had been following the party’s progress, stopped the Dusk Elves from slaughtering the fleeing Vistani (seems the Dusk Elves have long memories…).

So, now the party can get down to what they really need to do. Looting!

I know I said don’t level up, but I’ve decided you’ve all done a lot over the previous few weeks, so I’m changing my mind. You can level up to 8th. Yay! Why? ‘Cause I think you’ll need it…

See you all Wednesday night, same Barovian Time, same Barovian channel!

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I Suck at Social Media.

I have a confession. One that’s obvious to some, especially those who know me.

I suck at social media.

Social media as a forum is both a treasure and a bane. It’s an information and networking portal and a source of disinformation and anxiety. Not to mention underhanded data collection, stalking, cyber bullying and echo chambering.

To be ‘good’ at social media means taking the bull by the horns and engaging on a regular basis, making contacts, commenting, reading, and generally using up time that I would consider better used writing or reading books. But social media is an essential marketing tool for those of us with online businesses, and the time we spend on it is an essential investment in our work.

And that’s where I fall over.

Without the interest or inclination to do more on social media, my network and business contacts are meagre. My reach is limited and as a result my business is as well. This became readily apparent in my last promotional campaign, which struggled against larger and better social mediated projects. My product and materials were good, but my reach was ineffective when faced with powerhouse competition.

I know I have to make greater efforts to utilise social media the way it should be. But my naturally introverted self shies away from the narcissistic tendencies required to run social media sites properly (I’m sure many of you will disagree on this point, but let’s not kid ourselves: social media is generally about self promotion).

So, I’m going to try. I’m going to try to use social media a little more effectively. I’ll still suck at it, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn a bit as well.

I can only hope.

The Book. A poem.

There’s a lot of typing here,
Exposition to be done.
A hard fought war on grammar
And literacy that’s often won.
Occasionally a photo finish
(A second or a third),
Or an error left in print
That’s obviously absurd.

Another book is done
And another now begun:
Eighty thousand words or so,
The constant to and fro,
Endless drafts and rewrites
That bring confidence undone.
And, eventually,
As sure as sunrise on the sea—
The hard fought deadline battle
That’s always lost and always won.

The long night’s fever dreams,
Burning, stinging with ideas,
To fingers poised on patient keys
Just waiting to break free.
Where wilful thoughts give wilful birth
To each line’s encoded worth.
A literary child of hate and love
And inspiration from above.

And soon the war is won.
The book is finally done.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Why? A poem.

I can see your place
When I turn the corner.
I’m shifting gears,
Downshifting and slowing,
Braking and breaking
To the sound of singing tyre tread
And siren goodbyes.

Such a short time,
But what a time.
And how we wished
It would last and would be different
From all the times before,
When empty promises and vague circumstances
Made the weight of everything
So much less
Than ought.

Defences raised,
A call to arms,
And suddenly every scrutiny
Seemed ridiculous
And uncalled for.
Lingering at the door
Without a last word,
All left for text messages,
Bound to be misconstrued.

Every fire burning (b)right
Was put out in the storm
That followed.
Harsh rains
And lightning wit
To paint a picture
Few artists would admit to.

And that was it.

Another tally on the board,
But not one you or I wanted
To be scored.
Not a picture perfect ending,
Not a thank you or goodbye.
Just a shopping list
Of indignations,
And a lonely question:

Why?

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Bittersweet. A poem.

You were there
You were gone
We had sung
Our last swan song

Now a whisper
Just a pall
Just an echo
Heard in the halls

I did wrong
So did you
Two separate paths
Two lonely fools

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Just a poem
Just a memory
Of bygone days
Of bittersweet whimsy

Worst Enemy. A poem.

All the hells that we conceive
Nurture in our heads and breed
Far worse than any promises
That the end could throw at us.
My greatest and worst enemy
You are mine and whole in me.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Damocles. A haiku.

A Damocles sword
By a thin thread suspended
Over all our heads

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Vexed. A poem.

Why do you continually
vex me so?
And how much further
Must we go?

You want my ear
And the rest of me
Yet all I ask
Is some interest

In the things I do
And say and need
And yet that’s too much
To ask, it seems

Far too much
For you to do
When it seems that I’m
Just there for you

It vexes me
And I cannot say
How long injustice
Will have its way

Before the sun sets forth
The world turns again
And I repeat the dance
That we all must play

Why do you continually
vex me so?
And how much longer
Until you finally

Know

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Curse of Strahd 2017 – Week 14

Hi all,

Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that).

Some of the summaries may be dull, some may be amusing; some are written in present tense, some in past tense – these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar.

If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them, but I warn you: I’m not Mathew Mercer and this is not Twitch.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

Week 14

This week, it was unexpectedly foggy in Barovia.

In further exciting news, the party, still recovering from the Revenant fever of last week, spoke to wounded Dusk Elf Savid, who was resting after being attacked by needle blights  while looking for the daughter of the Vistani chief. Savid explained that he was part of a colony of Dusk Elves located in the Vistani camp outside of Vallaki. They were a lovely elvish community, but a long time ago Strahd decided to punish them by wiping out all the females and kids. The Dusk Elves are now “overseen” by the Vistani. Savid noted that a carnival performer matching the description of Van Richten had been captured by the Vistani recently, and was due to be delivered  to Strahd any day now.

The party was joined by Pablo, new player Jame’s crazy Half Orc Fighter/Wizard with low intelligence and a penchant for mending stuff (hey, he spent two hours magically mending sheets. First time that’s happened…). Pablo decided to make his mark by stirring up the revenants upstairs and getting the bard and monk injured in the process. Nice use of that magical fog cloud to prevent everyone from seeing, but hey, nobody’s perfect. We look forward to Pablo’s high jinks next week (or should that be high jinx? Time will tell…)

Eventually the party made nice with the Revenants, having a good old chin wag with Sir Godfrey Gilfrim and the mightily depressed Vladimir Horngaard, leader and mightiest warrior of the Knights of the Silver Dragon (lucky you didn’t fight him, eh?)

Lots of history uncovered this week:

  • Argynvost was a silver dragon who liked to pose as human who fought and was killed by Strahd and his armies, before Strahd became a vampire.
  • Argynvost’s spirit appealed to the characters to save his fallen knights, who had fallen into darkness. Isn’t that everyone in Barovia, really?
  • The revenants were originally good human knights, part of the Order of the Silver Dragon. They fought Strahd’s armies to a standstill, and were originally in Barovia to prevent anyone from getting into the evil Amber Temple down south.
  • Argynvost’s body was cut up and shipped back to Ravenloft as trophies. If the bones are returned to the mausoleum at Argynvhostholt, and the beacon relit, then the knights will be saved and sent to their rest.
  • When Strahd became a vampire, Horngaard and his knights marched on Ravenloft, but were confronted by Madame Eva (remember her – not such a spring chicken after all) who told them that Strahd was now a prisoner in his own land as a result of his pact with the evil forces that made him a vampire (bummer). The knights did not go to their rest, and over time have become consumed by hatred. Obviously, they’re all in need of a good hug.

So, a few things to do now:

  • Recover the green stone for the Wizard of Vines vineyard and the thing alluded to in the card reading, from the ruins of Berez.
  • Rescue Van Richten from the Vistani camp outside of Vallaki, before he becomes vampire stew.
  • Talk to the leader of the Dusk Elves that Savid informed might be able to help.
  • Visit the Amber Temple and see just what all the fuss is about.
  • Traipse on over to Ravenloft and collect some dusty old dragon bones (I’m sure it will be a bit more complicated than that…).

Oh, and Ezmerelda’s body disappeared (no one thought to do anything about a decent burial. The party was more interested in stringing up revenants from the rafters just in case they came back to life…).

Next Week: Get the feeling that everything is coming to a head? No? Must be just me, then.

 

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Inflexible. A haiku.

So inflexible.
Time to loosen up, my friend.
Just let it all go.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

These Tears. A poem.

These tears are not for you

Not for the moments shared and lost
Not for the conversation, trust
Not for the heat and aftermath
Not for a future that’s now dashed
Not for the glass I raise to you
Not for the player, now the fool
Not for the one who got away
Not for dreams of yesterday

These tears are not for you

Of course they’re not

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Spoke Too Soon. A poem.

Perhaps I misconstrued
The intention of content
Perhaps I spoke too soon

Perhaps I failed to see
The disappointment in your eyes
Perhaps it will always be

Perhaps the fear inside
Amplified the angry tide

Perhaps it’s best
Not to reason why

Perhaps I spoke to soon

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Together. A poem.

How can you be?

In a universe of complex biorhythmic uncertainty,
Where chaotic tides dance
And random polarities flicker
Like afterthoughts,
Where silken geometries
Defy natural orders
And ebb and flow and dance
To fundamental and existential
microcosmic transmissions

You are the one thing
That makes sense

Part of the subtle weave
That binds both of us

Together.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Wait Outside. A poem.

The wait outside
With city lights and vacant looks
Of passers by and wannabes
Perhaps the tune we’ll sing tonight
Will change the course of mediocrity
And reverse this season of discord
With discourse so ebullient
That fire and ice could not compare
And could not even try

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laugh. A poem.

It builds, it shudders
Creeping its way up
From gut and soul
Slicing through proximities
Of weariness and ennui

Now

Surging up so easily
No Marathon or Thermopylae
Stretching wings of fearsome resolve
And filling our worlds
With promiscuous promise.

I laugh with you
Like no other.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Hanging on a Message. A poem.

Hanging on a message
And a welcoming tone
So distinct it’s almost surreal
And blistered ears and eyes
With next to no regrets
Should seek its welcoming crèche
As a baby seeks a bottled breast
And the fulfilment
Of a cherished goal

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

A Letter.

Hi SS,

I know you’re not going to read this.

I know these words are simply an elegy sent out into the wires, read by strangers and not the intended.

I had never before connected with anyone the way we did. We saw the best and, ultimately, the worst of each other. The ending, like so many convoluted stories, was hopelessly misconstrued. Two uncommunicative communicators and a texted aftermath swathed in hurt and regret.

(Such irony: knowing what we know now, we would sync even better than we did.)

I tried to persuade myself it didn’t matter. Just another stopover on life’s insistent highway. Time to move on, move forward – the urgency of age demands continuity.

I didn’t know until today, but I’m in mourning. And trying to lose myself in other pursuits provided no catharsis. Not even writing this.

I find myself wondering what you might be going through, whether you might feel the same. Purely projection and wish fulfillment on my part.

I know you’re not going to read this.

But I miss you.

More than you will ever know.

Sincerely,

SSS

To the Ground. A poem.

Reap the whirlwind of your faith
The circuitous tirades and malcontent
Of a tyrant fettered in disbelief
Hyperbole and untruth
May it shake you to your core
And tear your existential mockery of existence
To the ground
.

#BlackLivesMatter

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Night Conversation. A poem.

The ebon flame burns
Long and fulsome
Requited and requisite
Melding two minds into one

The art of conversation
Once lost, now unearthed
We discover the profound
While digging for treasures
Our holy grounds desecrated
In only the best of ways

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

All Apologies. A poem.

What did I see? Mirage or destiny?
Outstretched hand, grasping for life 
And failing so miserably

Seems you weren’t the one for me
We misread the contours of the land
Now what’s left is all apologies 

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

 

Laidback DM: Curse of Strahd 2017 – Week 13

Hi all,

Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting some warts-and-all email summaries of the Curse of Strahd campaign I ran in 2017. This is the first campaign I started sending summaries to players by email after each game (I was a bit lazy prior to that).

Some of the summaries may be dull, some may be amusing; some are written in present tense, some in past tense – these are unedited emails, so please forgive their somewhat chaotic nature and poor sentence structure/grammar.

If you’re a D&D fan you may enjoy them, but I warn you: I’m not Mathew Mercer and this is not Twitch.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

Week 13

Sunny Barovia just keeps getting foggier, if that’s at all possible…

This week, the party (reduced in number with a few away) were about to be attacked by werewolves and wolves, so they retreated into Van Richten’s tower and let the tower defenses take care of the wolves. Unfortunately, Isaac’s Tiefling Warlock was on the roof, and got electrocuted as the defenses kicked in. After jumping through the ceiling to save herself, the Tiefling joined the others who watched as the wolves all ran away. Exiting the building to get on the road, they were very lucky as once they got out the entire tower collapsed, destroying Ezmerelda’s caravan in the process (“…but that caravan was a gift from my dearly departed grandmother” – okay, she didn’t say that, but she wasn’t happy).

William’s Dragonborn Paladin persuaded the party to try a location they didn’t know anything about, in preference to one they did, to save themselves from certain slaughter. So, off to the mansion of Argynvoshtolt they went.

In the courtyard they discovered a huge silver dragon statue that failed to freeze them at the front door (a bit old, you see), a grand reception, a nifty dining room with carved dragon chairs and a bunch of revenants hanging out in the chapel, who attacked them. The fight that followed was one of the hardest and most exciting the party has experienced yet, as the revenants proved harder to beat than expected. During the fight, Natasha’s Gnome Druid used Moonbeam to great effect, Dan’s annoying Halfling monk had her wings clipped a bit (seems he was using too many bonus actions in the past for his character’s additional attacks), and Ezmerelda bit the big one as Isaac’s Tiefling decided to assassinate her in the midst of the battle.

The party was surprisingly nice about the death of the major NPC that the Taroka cards had predicted they would need to defeat Strahd. “If you do it again,” said Natasha. “We’ll have to leave you behind.” Suitably admonished, Isaac promised to be a good Tiefling.

No he didn’t, I just put that bit in for effect.

William changed into a wereraven (remember, he picked that little curse up last session) and flew around outside the building, scouting out the premises, spotting an old dude on a throne and lots more revenants. Natasha changed into a spider and crawled under several doors and scouted internal rooms. In the store room next to the kitchen, she spotted a wounded elf (and here we thought there were no elves in Barovia, racist nation that it is…)

Next week: Who is the wounded elf? Who is the old dude on the throne? Will those revenants make mincemeat out of the party? Why is the Tiefling being so nice? Where does the druid store all her gear when she transforms? How many more questions will Steve ask before he finishes typing?

For more Laidback DM, click here.

All Laidback DM products are now on sale at DrivethruRPG.

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Treason. A haiku.

A treason of lies
Trumped again, America
Time to vote him down

#BlackLivesMatter
#Vote

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Last Word. A poem.

The last word
Is a flail across my back
Stripping flesh bare to bone
A blood eagle worthy of Vikings
Exposing heart and soul
And ready for the killing thrust

Your pain mingles with my own
As you strike again, again
And I’m drawn and quartered
On the yoke
Hung out to dry
A pendulum in the wind

Blithely embracing my only friend
His scythe scratching my cheek
He who lingers, unblinking and unmoving
And always waiting in the wings

The black dog growls and snaps
In the background
And I’m underground
My coffin little comfort in this repose

Today I die a little more
Today I take one more step
Towards the door
Where Death beckons to me greedily
“Perhaps today,” I say
“Why not?” He replies

He offers the silvered razor
So many have admired and aspired to
His gift in memoriam
An everlasting metaphor
Of our misbegotten friendship

And I reach with greedy, outstretched fingers
And lonely, fettered veins

For more Poetry, click here.

So Many Ghosts. A poem.

So many ghosts
Pleading from the past
Negotiating with the future
Throwing off chains
And screaming from rooftops
For attention in a sea
Of ignorance

Don’t shut your eyes and ears
For these many ghosts
Are deserving of respect
And hope and love

Or do you prefer
Not to learn at all
Like so many before you

#BlackLivesMatter

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Democracy. A haiku.

Democracy died
Because tyranny, it won.
TAKE BACK THE POWER
.

#BlackLivesMatter
#Vote
#FuckTrump

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

March. A poem.

Your clubs and fists
Your horses and mace
Cannot quell or diminish
Voices united as one

To drown out despots
And desperate hypocrites
Who would hold us down
With guile and inequity

We march and pray
We cry for justice
And will not be overcome
Because

Black
Lives
Matter

#BlackLivesMatter

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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