You thought you could lock the crazy IN, didn’t you, you naive fucks. But did you ever think about locking the crazy OUT? I didn’t think so. So here we are on Saturday night clutching our proverbial nuts and gritting our teeth through the electroshock therapy. Well guess what! It’s a new Episode! Jim Miller is back! Listen in on our lunatic ravings! Music by Legion, Ghost, and the Bay City Rollers
In this episode Brendan and Ben keep it short and sweet with an in depth discussion of what’s new with gaming followed by a review of Justin Sirois’ Beneath: The Inverted Church currently gathering pledges on Kickstarter. And homie, let me tell you, it’s a doozey! So check out the episode and consider hitting up Kickstarter and maybe grabbing yourself a copy. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll barf up chunks. Is this Wayne’s World? Did you read to the bottom? Congratulations! No listen to the episode.
Music by Legion and a couple tracks from the latest Ghost album. Enjoy, striplings!
Sometimes I get bored at work and I send out replies to the mass mailings that are routinely exchanged across our department. Here is one such message:
Congratulations, <NAME> and <NAME>! With your new roles come increased responsibilities. Tasks, if you will. Toils, like the heroes in some Homeric epic. Deep within the confines of the earth, the hidden things sleep. Impossible beings that should not exist. Things that by our current understanding of the sciences cannot exist. The great weeping sores that line their bodies weep sweet lacrima. When ingested, this cloudy fluid opens our minds to strange new vistas and terrifying cosmic truths that unwind human sanity and send us into a spiral of madness from whence there is no return. To sup from their wounds is to blow open the doors of perception and wrench your third eye open in blood and pain. To light your every nerve with electric current and burn away any pretense you maintain about your place in this world. You cannot call yourself fully human once you have tasted their alien fruit.
Of course, such things must be made to slumber. They are fang and claw and multitudes of limbs and mouths that will surely seek to consume all that lies before them. They hunger, and they sleep fitfully. You must descend beneath the earth, into the lightless subterranean caverns and sing them a siren song of screams of pain and terror. All that soothes these monsters are the sounds of strife and the scent of bloodshed. The taste of fear. Conflict is, to them, a sweet lullaby that gently lulls them back into complacency. Dreamless sleep.
In time you shall grow accustomed to your new home. Your eyes will fog and go dark in the depths. You will no longer need sight. You will navigate by the scent of the sleeping ones and the sound of their vast mass shifting, signaling the need for your ministrations. Eventually, as you continue to subsist on the fungus found in their caverns, a fungus fed by the secretions of the sleepers, you will begin your transformation. Finally, one day you will take your place among them, joining their ranks as we send new acolytes into that hellish chamber of lament.
How to Petition Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headphones Over the Sensory Organs We Might Crudely Refer to as Ears
These days, many entities who exist on the frayed edges of of our reality are cruel and capricious monsters who have turned their multitudinous eyes elsewhere in the cosmos.
That does not mean you cannot petition their favor.
Not all entities are receptive to entreaties from pitiful creatures they consider beneath their notice, and will gladly consume the minds of any who dare to speak their name, leaving an empty, soulless husk. A drooling shell of what was once a man.
However, some things from beyond the realms of humanity are eager for supplicants and vassals who will work their dark will upon the face of our world, turning it into a hellish landscape of ceaseless suffering and torment. These blighted overlords will be happy to hear your pleas and invest you with a portion of their power, blackening your soul and damning you to an eternity in their thrall in exchange for power over your own kind. The ability to subjugate your fellow humans in the dark bondage of your new master.
Of course, their willingness to hear your mewling does not mean they will not crush your flesh, leaving a ruined mass of shattered bones and bleeding tissues, your organs sent to the far flung nine corners of their domain to be gnawed on by things that cannot exist in our universe. This is the risk you take when you dare to traverse where your brethren rightly fear to tread.
Approaching and Talking to Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headpohnes
First, you must find an ancient grimoire bound in human flesh, stained with blood and the passing of ages. Within the yellowed, cracking pages, you must find a ritual called The Black Sacrament. Beware corrupted versions of this incantation, as they will surely call the unwanted notice of far fouler beasts.
The seller will likely make many demands of you. Fulfill them to your utmost, and be willing to offer anything. Have no fear, this unfortunate degenerate shall be the first to be annihilated when you assume your new form. Your promises mean nothing.
Pour out a circle of salt and stand within. As you begin chanting the blasphemous words that dance before your eyes, you will feel your sanity begin to strain and slip. At this point you may go insane, forever lost to the terrible truths to which you have opened your mind. Persist in your efforts.
Next you must produce a sacrificial dagger forced from the black ore found only in the Mines of Gibbering Madness and tempered in the blood of goats. It must be goat blood. Rams’ blood will not work. Cow blood will cause you to be atomized and scattered into the realms of pain, where you will be tortured eternally by the howling winds.
With the dagger, slice into the flesh of your forearm, peeling your skin back from the muscle. Continue until you are able to hold your flayed arm aloft, proclaiming you have done so in the name of Brilzug, the Lord of Flaying. It is important you not allow any blood to fall outside the salt circle. Doing so will result in you being consumed in a pillar of flame.
Summoned by the scent of your blood on the wind, you should now have its full attention. At this point, its many lidless eyes will likely have turned to gaze upon you balefully, the full weight of his terrible majesty made manifest through the rent you have opened into its world. It will slowly remove the headphones that It might listen to your pitiful words. All will stand revealed as you stand on the precipice of dark apotheosis.
The rest is up to you. Speak plainly and clearly, making your desires known. Bargain wisely, as you are weak and easily destroyed by this terrible thing that should not exist. your new life begins now, your will lashed to that of your hideous master.
Common Mistakes that Mortals Make When Approaching Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headphones
1. Approaching in a nervous manner
Only the mighty are worth of serving Brilzug. The weak are to be fodder for the strong. All shall suffer in the coming world, and the weak will be the first to fall.
2. Giving up too easily
Headphones are a great barrier between a vile thing of darkness and the world, but not as great as the void keeping our realities from commingling.
Some of these creatures are more than capable of manifesting on their own, but they want supplicants with strength and confidence, and they like to test their followers with arcane rituals and difficult acts of faith.
Those who give up too easily or feel shame at their actions are marked as cowards and will be forced to watch as they love is brought to ruin before their flesh is twisted and they are made to spend eternity writhing in endless pain.
3. Not leading the conversation
Brilzug has no need of you, human. You are weak and pathetic. You approached It. You must make you entreaties and show you are worth of Its vile caress.
4. Sticking to polite or reserved conversation
Brilzug is the lord of Flaying. Politeness and reservation went out the window long ago. Get to the point and do it quickly, meat sack, lest it grow weary of your prattling and devour you whole.
5. Not including sacrifices
Lords of Flaying love gifts. The bloodier, the better. You will be called on for frequent sacrifice while in Its thrall. You will be made to offer up that which you hold most dear. This is the price of power. These are the wages that must be paid. You shall know strength, but only at the cost of suffering. You shall be made again in its terrible image.
POST CAFFEINE REHAB Brendan digs into topics with Full Metal Ben, the Warlord Amanda and his sponsor, Dr. Drew. Lotta rambling diatribes in this episode, but eventually Brendan does manage to get around to talking about his Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. Heather comes on the show and off the air does a mic drop, puts both hands up in the air and proclaims “I DID AWESOME!” Brendan shakes his head a lot and tries to remember the days when doing a podcast about roleplaying games with all of his friends sounded like a GOOD idea. Are you still reading this? For chirstsake, listen to the show!
As a thought exercise, I thought it might be fun/harrowing to take a stab at how much money I’ve thrown down the bottomless, money hungry pit of the gaming industry. I need to break it out by type for any real accounting:
Board Games – I fancied myself a board gamer for a good while. I was regularly dropping $50-100 on the things. I still have probably twenty or so I’ve never even played. I told myself I could play them with the kids when they get older, but if I’m being honest that will never happen. I’m a compulsive hoarder. Rough guess? $2500 dropped here.
- Magic the Gathering – Like everyone else in the nineties I got sucked into the vortex that is Magic. It was like heroin. It was worse than heroin. At least heroin has the decency to be the sort of thing you lie to people about. I told people I played Magic. Hell, I was kind of proud of it. Honestly, I probably would have ended up sucking just as much dick if I had known that was an option. $2500 easily. The only thing that kept me from spending more was being a broke ass high school student. Luckily I punched out at the right time and recouped some of my losses. Hahahahahaha just kidding. I sold my cards for next to nothing and counted myself luckily to get out without sucking a dick.
- Vampire: The Eternal Struggle – When I wasn’t wasting time on Magic, it was Jyhad/Eternal Struggle. II was more practical here, buying complete boxes on ebay instead of feeding my addiction a booster at a time. I’ll call it $1000, though I think it was higher.
- Rage – Yes, I played Rage. Both versions. Shut up. I got into Rage when it was cheap. I could get boxes for under $50. Consequently I bought a lot of them, because it was a such a deal! I’ll say another $500 here.
Dice and Junk – Everyone needs peripherals. $500.
- Dungeons & Dragons – Look, I don’t even know. $1000? More? It feel like more. I compulsively collected 3, 3.5, and 4. I’m starting 5th edition because I can’t control myself. Don’t cry for me. I know I’m already lost.
- Star Wars – $500 or so. Fortunately Star Wars was never super popular. I got most of the books at a discount thanks to Amazon, and the Saga Edition was no where near as comprehensive with books as it could have been. I have thus far managed to avoid the latest iteration with multiple core books. Hooray for small victories.
- Classic World of Darkness – I don’t want to talk about. I don’t. Whatever it all cost, it was worth it. I have dozens of these books, and this is after getting rid of a bunch of them. $2000? $3000? I don’t care. I’d do it again. I’ll probably re buy some of the books I no longer have. I’ll get the 20th anniversary editions. I’ll suck a dick. I’ll suck twenty. Fifty. Line them up. It doesn’t matter.
- Chronicle of Darkness – I mostly stuck with CoD, Requiem, and Changeling here. It was still a lot of books. And now the second editions are coming it. I’ll call it $1500 and be done with it.
- Misc (Shadowrun, Cyperpunk, Eclipse Phase, CthulhuTech, one offs) – Lets say $750.
- Warhammer Fantasy – I managed to limit myself to one army in this game. One big, expensive army. The core box alone with a couple hundred, Factor in multiple editions. $750 conservatively.
- Warhammer 40,000 – Look, I did things. Things I’m not proud of. Things I don’t want to talk about. $2500, even though I know that is a lie. A damn lie. Because the truth is too hard to fathom. Games Workshop pimped my ass with this game, and at the time I loved it. I couldn’t get enough. I look back with shame. Yet I know the only thing that stopped me was not having enough time for it anymore.
- Warmachine – For a while I thought Warmachine was the antidote to the Games Workshop poison. Oh ho, how naive. It is a different flavored fruit from the same twisted vine. I spent $1000 on my Menoth army, and I never really got around to playing it.
- Misc (Anima, Starship Troopers, Reaper minis) – $500 probably. I don’t know. I still have most of these. Somewhere.
- Paints – $500. Modeling paint is damn expensive. I swear they make it from mermaid blood or something.
- Brushes – During my forays into miniature painting, I decided what was holding me back was brushes. Namely that I was using overpriced Games Workshop brushes, and not ludicrously expensive sable hair brushes with fucking unicorn horn handles or whatever bullshit they claimed. I dropped some cash on brushes and brush holders and brush conditioner and yak semen to give them sheen. My painting still sucks. Go figure. $1000.
If I’m being realistic it is probably close to $20,000. The price of a car. Not even a shitty a car. A decent car. The kind where the AC works and it doesn’t make that weird noise when you hit 60 miles per hour. A legit car.
I really shouldn’t have done this.
Oh man, I really just can’t get enough Age of Sigmar. I swore up and down I’d never go back to GW. I got rid of all my models. I gave away all my paints. I did the gamer 12 steps or something, I dunno.
I was fucking burned forever.
But now, it appears, I am back.
I guess I know how it happened. I’m a romantic sort. I’m the kind who is overly likely to get into a mood and sit around on a rainy day looking out the fucking window and mulling over a broken relationship with a girl who hasn’t thought of me in years. I have a maudlin sensibility in that way.
I think that’s why I ended up in so many goth clubs over the years, listening to brokenhearted songs for brokenhearted people. But even now I’m romanticizing the whole damn thing.
I guess that the truth is that I have a taste for toxic relationships.
Here I was back on my feet after years and years of clean, sober, Games Workshop free living. Ah yeah, it felt good. “Why not play some Infinity?” I thought to myself. “I’m fine. It will be fine. Things are different now. I’m different now.” Classic rationalization.
So I started playing Infinity with Young Dustin the Paladin and Full Metal Ben. The rules are tight. The rules let you do practically anything you think of. The ruleset is dynamic. The model range is great. The model range is attractively affordable. The lore is pretty rad. Narrative play could be a thing.
It was a good relationship! A perfectly fine, healthy relationship. And what did I do? I fucked it all up.
You see I just couldn’t stay away from those damn GW models.
When I lived in LA and I was broke as fuck, I used to go to this walk in clinic where I got free health care because I worked at Whole Foods. The clinic was across the street from a GW store. Of course.
I had to ride the bus back then, I wasn’t making enough money as a grocery checker to support a car. So I would arrive 20, 30 minutes ahead of my scheduled appointment and walk to the clinic, crossing the street and pressing my face against the the glass like some kind of asshole, always thinking “I wonder if I could go back?” Then I would cross back across the street and go to the doctor.
I watched a lot of stuff happen through that window, new 40k boxed sets. The End Times. I made it inside a few times and mostly found it to be as eye-roll inducing as I remembered from back when I thought a hot way to spend Saturday night was to hit up the GW store at the local mall, and then head over to an independent hobby shop called Warboss games after the mall closed. But there were some rad new Chaos models out. Stuff I couldn’t help but imagine in Nurgle’s Rot green, trimmed with Corpse Flesh White.
It was just too damn expensive though. If I couldn’t afford a car inn LA, a city where you need a car to get ahead and bus life kills you slowly, a death by a thousand cuts, I couldn’t afford a Death Guard army (with the Forge World shoulder pads, Land Raider doors and Spaced Armour newb.)
So here I am in the present. I have a girlfriend. A car. TWO dogs. And a job that pays for everything and leaves some money left over to feed my various addictions. And I find myself walking back and forth in front of the Age of Sigmar stuff whenever I’m down at my local hobby joint, Game Depot, in Tempe Arizona.
The thing that kept me out was the thing that kept a lot of people out I guess. GW bungled the rollout in a big way. No one understood the concept of the game. It seemed like some kind of bullshit free for all. All the weird new names, the way that it seemed like there were only going to be four armies. Four pages of rules. It didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before and so, of course, I hated it.
But as they kept rolling out the new armies, books and kits I kept coming back to look. There was definitely something going on here. Something beneath the surface that wasn’t immediately apparent. The game started to reveal itself and I started to get excited.
I ran playing by a couple of the old standby foolios. The guys who were always down back in the day. They were not down. They convinced me for about two weeks that it was a huge mistake. For about 7 days I was educating myself on Kings of War. I almost bought in.
Then one day, I had my buddy Ben Mandall over to record a podcast. Like me he is the kind of guy who is always looking for new games. He’s the kind of guy who is always recruiting. After the episode was in the bag he hit me and Full Metal Ben up. He had a hardsell for Age of Sigmar and he wanted us in. Mostly he wanted someone to split a starter set with him.
From that moment, I was in. I fought it for another day or so, but within the week I was back down at Game Depot splitting a starter box with Mandall.
So, I’m back. And I’m having a great time. I’m not going to sell you the game. If you want someone to do that I highly recommend Dan Heelan’s podcast Heelanhammer out of the UK. It sold me AoS and now I’m a devoted listener as well as player.
Once you’ve been converted I have two more recommendations for you. While Heelanhammer is probably the best Age of Sigmar podcast. The Black Sun is my hands down favorite. It’s also one of my favorite podcasts, period. I’ll let you mull over the difference, that discussion is for another time.
Also, you should consider giving a listen to The Lost Lighthouse podcast: Age of Sigbrah. Gary talks about Nagash a bit too much perhaps, but otherwise it’s a great show. I’ll put some links below.
So, that’s me and AoS. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
The Lost Lighthouse URL defies copying. Connect below:
I do a small blog on Ben Curry of Bad Dice Podcast’s The Grand Alliance forum. If you are into Age of Sigmar, it’s a great community and I really can’t recommend it highly enough. I try and update my blog every week with new insights into the games and hobby around my Nurgle Rotbringer army “The Path of Rot.” If you’re into that sort of thing, please come check it out and consider signing up for The Grand Alliance. I’ve met a lot of people on there and they’ve all been cool and actually made the hobby experience more fun.
Everyone is at Gen Con checking out what’s the haps for the next year of gaming and I’m just sitting here looking at my Instagram feed like:
Have fun at Gen Con foolios. Have some great games and come back and tell us everything. Grab some of that LE swag for your homies at FMRPG, the DM says you’ll get extra XP for it.