Blogging lesson: don’t serialize rules ideas, because you might lose focus mid-stream and then you look stupid. I had every intention of following up the Cleric spell rules with rules for M-U spells and magic items as a whole, but I lost my mojo. Hopefully the Cleric content has provided food for thought for DMs interested in bringing their campaigns to CARCOSA for a one (or more) shot, perhaps improvise additional rules in the same vein if you need them.

I’ve hit a bit of a CARCOSA writers block. I wrote up hex 1110 for a hexcrawl over the holidays, but I’ve never been very satisfied with it and tinkering isn’t leading to any improvements. I wrote a short adventure and outlines for a couple more over the past couple months, but again… something’s just not right with any of it.

I’m putting the blame on Thomas Ligotti and Lord Dunsany. I’ve just read them for the first time and they’ve sort of hijacked my creativity. Ligotti was a mixed bag for me – he’s kind of a one-trick pony, but he does that one trick really well. This is based only on reading Teatro Grottesco so maybe I need to give him more of a chance, but right now I feel no real compulsion to explore. Dunsany also a mixed bag, but I’m much more inspired by his world. Again, this is a guy who does one thing very well. Gods of Pegana is awesome and I’m inspired to create a D&D setting book for it. I think I’d just mash some of Time and the Gods in there as well, mostly just for the evocative names. Going to read Welleran soon and looking forward to it.

But in the past couple days I’ve come back to CARCOSA and found I’ve lost the voice, probably due to cross-contamination from these other authors. I’m working on a beginning hexcrawl, a place from which to launch a CARCOSA campaign — a small village in a relatively tame hex (I’m thinking 1014) with several adventures that can lead to bigger things. Slavers to hunt down. A sorcerer who gives you a map. Deep Ones doing shitty Deep One stuff. Velociraptor ambushes. Some books from authors of dubious sanity. I’m scavenging the few parts that work from the half-ass shit I wrote previously and hopefully can use those as a springboard to create the rest. Skimming non-standard sources to expand my thinking: the Conan boxed set, Talislanta, Stars w/out Number… I even peeked inside F.A.T.A.L. for the first time in a while. Going over hexcrawls in Fight On! with a fine-toothed comb.

But I need to get back into the proper creative frame of reference, so I’m re-reading Supplement V  in order to calibrate. As always, I’m reading Swords & Stitchery, which can be dangerous because it threatens to send me off on a Terminal Space trajectory. And I’ve just discovered Songs that the Hyades shall sing…, which I’ve only glanced at thus far but it already has me not quite back in the saddle, but at least looking thoughtfully at the horse. And then there’s JOESKYTHEDUNGEONBRAWLER, who needs no introduction.

Probably a “This Is CARCOSA” post or two would work wonders. More coming soon, hopefully…

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