September’s passed away, so we have another issue of Monster of the Month to share!
This month’s issue was primarily penned by Diana Probst, of Beer With Teeth infamy. Beer With Teeth is a collective of fellow creators for Chaosium’s Jonstown Compendium, which makes some really amazing stuff. If Diana’s name sounds familiar from around here, she also wrote Air Toads! for last year’s series of MOTM.
Rather than explosive elephantine amphibians, this issue presents a short adventure, complete with a moral quandary, a brief “dungeon” to explore, and politicking beyond the established plot. The key “monster” to this issue is the souls of two heroes, whose ashes were mixed together in the funeral pyre. Now, their ghosts are causing problems near the village of Greenhaft, requiring heroic adventurers to figure out how to resolve their plight. You can get your grubby hands on Jallupel Goodwind here.
I really enjoyed working with Diana on this issue. The concept and bulk of the writing and design are hers—I only wrote the short description of Jallupel Goodwind’s grave site—while I edited, then put together the layout. I reached out to Diana a few months back, asking if she’d be interested in writing another issue because, c’mon, her ideas are horrifying and I love it. Among options in her idea drawer were a “moon tornado,” which ultimately became this issue’s tragic tale.
If you like this story, you really ought to check out BWT’s Cups of Clearwine. It just released in Print on Demand—and has been available for a while in PDF—and has a brilliant little adventure in the back which, in my opinion, has a similarly unorthodox vibe.
You haven’t gotten a new playtest update for Sylthi stuff, because there hasn’t really been one. I’ve, regrettably, chosen to end the current campaign due to a collection of different factors. That doesn’t mean I’ll never be trying to get a game going, just that I think I need to go back to planning, figuring out a more consistent way to play.
Lately, I’ve been chipping away at an article for my Sylthi stuff titled “Gods of Sylthi.” I’m trying to condense the different gods, heroes, and spirits worshiped in the local religion into short, simple descriptions. This will probably get included in both an Adventurer’s Guide and a City Guide. I doubt every single entity will have longform cult writeups, but that’s a question I’m going to need to address as I continue tinkering with the total content of the setting, along with how the project will be structured.
If the religious/cult stuff drags too long, I might even just do a Cults of Sylthi, a la the classic Cults of Prax!
Beyond MOTM, I’ve been doing a lot of editing lately. In addition to a freelance project or two, I’ve been continuing to edit the Chaotic dungeon-bash I mentioned in my previous post. No clue on a delivery date on it, but the manuscript’s looking increasingly good. My guess last month of “early next year” still seems plausible.
Let’s see, what else have I been tinkering with…
On the MOTM front, this month’s issue is in editing, and should be on track nicely. It’s titled The Salt Man. Like last month’s October issue—The Troupe of Terror—I wanted to create something with an appropriately seasonal feel, for Halloween. If possible I’ll try to get this issue out a few days early, in case anyone’s looking for new content for a Halloween session of their RuneQuest campaign!
I’ve also begun more serious prewriting on December’s issue. This will be the final issue of MOTM, as I’ve stated previously. Just like last year’s plus-sized issue to end the year, I also intend this series finale to have some extra heft. I don’t want to spoil anything too much yet—I’ve gotta have something to tease in the months to come!—but I shall say I’m trying to devise a properly “mythical” monster hunt, one which goes beyond a mere “fight the big bad beastie.” We’ll see how it goes.
In other news, I’ve written the first two items from Volume Two of Treasures of Glorantha. I’m not engaging in principal writing on that project, but magic items give me a good opportunity to relax with a shorter piece, especially when I’ve been editing a while and have an urge to write. These items are called “Eurmal’s Backdoor Key,” and “Eye of Arkat.” Yes, I know that’s a tease. No, I’m not willing to say more. Yet.
There’s no realistic chance that Treasures will come out this year. It’s not a dead project, but right now my focus is on finishing out MOTM, then reorganizing my brain and workflow in the new year.
Well, I think that’s everything of interest going on over here. Until next time, then!
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