The Stiff: Chapter 6: Page 234
July 29th, 2015

The Stiff: Chapter 6: Page 234

If you’re on the East Coast, guess what: I’m going to be at NecronomiCon Providence! It brings back nostalgic memories to go to a Lovecraft convention in Providence, Rhode Island, since I’m old enough to remember the old NecronomiCon conventions 14+ years ago (I attended for the first time in 1995, the summer I graduated from college!). More importantly, I’m going to be doing a ton of programming and games!

9:00-10:15 am
ONLY IN DREAMS – Garden Room, Biltmore 2nd Floor
An examination of Lovecraft’s Dreamlands and the characters, creations, and places therein.
Panelists: Jason Thompson, Richard Gavin, Dan Mills, Cody Goodfellow, John Langan
Moderator: Simon Strantzas

11-3 pm (gaming area)
Playtest “Dreamland”, my new tabletop RPG inspired by HP Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany’s Dreamlands!

4-6 pm (gaming area)
Playtest my recently Kickstarted (but not quite out yet) drawing game, “Mangaka,” with this special Lovecraft-themed deck of Themes and Trends! This special version has only been played in public once before, at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles!

9:00-10:15 am
MAKE YOUR OWN MADNESS – Garden Room, Biltmore 2nd Floor
Lovecraft-based games continue to increase in popularity. Chaosium’s seminal RPG, Call of Cthulhu, remains one of the most popular role-playing games ever, even decades after it was first created. Learn the tricks on how to create a role-playing game that will rival Lovecraft’s stories and have your players begging for more, even as their sanity melts away!
Panelists: Sandy Petersen, Badger McInnes, Mike Mason, Shane Ivey
Moderator: Jason Thompson

10:30-11:45 am
Lovecraft described Lord Dunsany as one of the three big influences on his writing. Despite being a major literary force in the early 20th century, few today know about Dunsany’s life. This panel gathers together the leading figures in Dunsany scholarship to discuss this historic writer and his work.
Panelists: S.T. Joshi, Darrell Schweitzer, Martin Andersson, Faye Ringel, Paul Di Filippo
Moderator: Jason Thompson

1-5 pm (gaming area)
Another chance to playtest “Dreamland”, my new tabletop RPG inspired by HP Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany’s Dreamlands! More information is up on the NecronomiCon games page.

Also, if you live in the area and are thinking of going to NecronomiCon, I totally need someone to help me by sitting at my booth in the vendors’ area part of the time! -_- I can get you a free pass if you’re willing! Email me at (my first name) at and let me know!

NEXT UPDATE: Next Wednesday!

My Homemade Dungeons & Dragons Class: The Priest

As you probably know, I love Dungeons & Dragons, and my favorite settings are historical (or, frankly, pseudo-historical) ones. Inspired by Scott Bennie’s amazing “Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era” and by my current Ancient Mesopotamia D&D campaign, I hereby present a homebrew D&D class I’ve been working on for several months: the Priest, keeper of secrets, shepherd of the community, worshipper of idols!

The Priest is a totally unofficial, fan-created, no-relation-to-the-good-folks-at-Wizards-of-the-Coast D&D class which I’ve statted out up to 20th level, with several variant builds (chiefly the Idol Aspects through which the priest worships their god: Praisehungry, Resplendent, Mortifying, Ecstatic and Bloodthirsty). As I explain briefly in the PDF, the Priest is an attempt to transform the D&D Cleric class back into something like the archetype of the ‘mysterious high priest’ as seen in an earlier type of fantasy fiction. The Cleric is basically a crusader/undead-buster class at heart, a holy warrior, but there’s plenty of precedent in fantasy for a different type of holy character… one who’s mysterious, a master of illusion and enchantment as well as of healing, more like a wizard than a cleric. This, plus much inspiration and flavor from real-world iconodulic religions, equals the Priest!

This is something I’ve been working on for awhile, and it probably still needs more tinkering and playtesting (many thanks to Shanti, the awesomest playtester ever!). But it’s the kind of thing where you’ve got to just throw it out there and see if it sinks or swims and what people think. The Priest’s special spell focus — the idol — makes an interesting roleplaying challenge, and some campaigns might prefer to have priests as NPCs (antagonists perhaps?) rather than player characters. Do whatever you like with it, but let me know what you think! This has been a fun vanity project inspired by my love of D&D, and if you get some enjoyment out of it, and best of all can use it in your own game, I’ll be super happy. You can download it by clicking the image or clicking here.

If you like it, please also check out my Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics Kickstarter!