Red Moon Roleplaying

Dark worlds await

Curse of Strahd 20: Societas Draconistarum

The Order of the Dragon was an order of nobles founded by the king of Hungary, Sigismund von Luxembourg, in 1408. Modeled on the orders from the Crusades, its purpose was to fight the enemies of Christianity in general and the Ottoman Empire in particular. Its members pledged to:

“In company with the prelates, barons, and magnates of our kingdom, whom we invite to participate with us in this party, by reason of the sign and effigy of our pure inclination and intention to crush the pernicious deeds of the same perfidious Enemy, and of the followers of the ancient Dragon, and of the pagan knights, schismatics, and other nations of the Orthodox faith, and those envious of the Cross of Christ, and of our kingdoms, and of his holy and saving religion of faith, under the banner of the triumphant Cross of Christ...”

One of its members was Vlad II Dracul, "Vlad the Dragon". His son, Vlad III, would be known as the son of the Dragon… Dracula.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  Order of the Dragon.

Order of the Dragon.

Demon City with Zak Smith 02

“Demon City is Rome, Tokyo, Los Angeles, anywhere, but coming to pieces. No-one gets enough sleep, everyone has three jobs or hasn’t worked in months, the trucks never seem to get where they’re going, the sky always has something in it, elevators creak, cell service sucks, police cars are black, streetlights burn the way an eye burns against an eyelid after staring too long.“

There is now less than 24 hours left on the Kickstarter for Demon City and to give you a final taste of the game before it ends we thought we would release one more episode of our session with Zak Smith. This one focuses a lot on the combat and reward mechanics. The rest of the session will follow in the coming weeks!

The Kickstarter is here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1070557469/demon-city-the-ultimate-horror-rpg

You can find Zak’s blog, “Playing DnD with Porn Stars” here:
http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com

Music by: Atrium Carceri

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  Jewels of the Demon City.

Jewels of the Demon City.

Demon City with Zak Smith 01

“Murder, corruption, death, whiskey, hate, night, darkness, noise, summoning, possession, car chases, claws, disorder, firearms, glass shattering, bathtubs filled with blood, devoured corpses, tentacles, neon, broken men, fear..."

We had the opportunity to play the upcoming horror game Demon City with its creator, Zak Smith, as our Host. You may know Zak from the web show “I Hit It With My Axe” or his work for “Lamentations of the Flame Princess” and the OSR scene in general where he has created modules like “Frostbitten and Mutilated”, “A Red and Pleasant Land”, “Maze of the Blue Medusa” and “Vornheim”. 

This will be a slightly different episode than you may be used to where we give the system, utilizing tarot cards, and rules more space than we normally do.

Demon City is on Kickstarter right now and you can find it here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1070557469/demon-city-the-ultimate-horror-rpg

You can find Zak’s blog, “Playing DnD with Porn Stars” here:
http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com

Music by: Atrium Carceri

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
Android: http://bit.ly/2vSvwZi
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/RedMoonRoleplaying
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  Jewels of the Demon City.

Jewels of the Demon City.

Curse of Strahd 19: Arachnid

In Greek mythology the woman Arachne was a very talented weaver, credited with inventing linen cloth and nets and whose son was said to have introduced the use of the spindle in wool manufacturing. These were incredible discoveries and according to the stories, such as the one by the Roman poet Ovid, Arachne was filled with hubris, boasting that her prowess as a weaver exceeded even that of the goddess Athena.

Athena was incensed by this and set up a contest with Arachne to determine who truly was the most skilled. Athena’s weaving depicted other contests in which the gods had punished mortals that set themselves as equals to the gods, to show how wrong Arachne was to challenge the gods. Arachne’s weaving on the other hand depicted ways in which the gods had misled and abused mortals.

Athena was enraged by this insult to the gods, and the fact that Arachne’s weaving was more beautiful than hers. She destroyed Arachne’s work and drove her to commit suicide through hanging. Athena cursed her saying “Live on then, and yet hang, condemned one, but, lest you are careless in future, this same condition is declared, in punishment, against your descendants, to the last generation!”

The goddess then sprinkled Hecate’s herb on her “making Arachne's hair fall out. With it went her nose and ears, her head shrank to the smallest size, and her whole body became tiny. Her slender fingers stuck to her sides as legs, the rest is belly, from which she still spins a thread, and, as a spider, weaves her ancient web.”

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  Cursed by the goddess.

Cursed by the goddess.

Coriolis: A Song for Jarouma 02

Here comes the conclusion to our first journey in Fria Ligan's Coriolis and the Third Horizon, as well as the end of this prologue to the campaign "Emissary Lost". Will the crew be able to repair the installations and get the data they need from each of the quadrants? Or will the violent storms in the atmosphere of Xene claim their shuttle and all aboard?

"The hull groans from the stress as the shuttle descends into the growing storm. The passengers hold on tight as Xene’s hurricane winds hit the hull and steering jets, doing their best to push the shuttle back out into the dark void. The pilot is focused on the flight control screens. Interfering noise washes over the internal speakers as she bites down nervously on a piece of well-chewed tabak. – “We should be there now. Check the sensors for any sign of the beacons. I need coordinates NOW, or this ride will end up in flames!"

Recorded at: GothCon
Gamemaster: Rickard Antroia
Music by: Alphaxone, Sabled Sun (Thank you Cryo Chamber!) and Stars on a Black Sea
Sounds effects by: Syrinscape, www.syrinscape.com
Coriolis distributed by: MODIPHIUS

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  Jarouma arrives.

Jarouma arrives.

Coriolis: A Song for Jarouma 01

Join us on a journey to the world of Free League’s Coriolis and space station FS-7, orbiting the gas giant Xene in the Kua system. Hjalmar plays the pilot Leila Hatami and Craig the technician Alam Dania, who are part of a team of researchers contracted to install and oversee an experiment known as the “Jarouma pattern”. They are still blissfully unaware of the roles they will play in events that will shake the Third Horizon to its foundations.

"By the Icons, it looks like we have succeeded. Readouts from quadrant 2 and 3 are confirmed. Both frequencies align with the Jarouma pattern. Alam will attach the data dumps. But, we have grave news. The mission is in danger. Weather is getting worse, and we’ve run into several incidents during the mission. Two of our crew-members are hurt and simulations indicate that the shuttle may not hold up to the stress as we try to reach quadrant 4. We pray to the Icons that this message will get through..."

Recorded at: GothCon
Gamemaster: Rickard Antroia who has constructed the scenario and is one of the writers on the campaign module “Emissary Lost” to which this adventure is a prologue
Music by: Alphaxhone, Sabled Sun (Thank you Cryo Chamber!) and Stars on a Black Sea
Sounds effects by: Syrinscape, www.syrinscape.com

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
Android: http://bit.ly/2vSvwZi
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/RedMoonRoleplaying
RSS: http://www.redmoonroleplaying.com/podcast?format=rss
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  Station FS-7 orbiting the gas giant Xene in the Kua system.

Station FS-7 orbiting the gas giant Xene in the Kua system.

Curse of Strahd 18: Lychantrope

Werewolves are widespread in European folklore, with stories of men turning in to wolves going back to late antiquity. In Western Europe werewolves were often connected with shape-shifting sorcerers and witches who abducted children. During the European witch hunts large numbers of people, especially in France, were accused of being werewolves and burned at the stake for it.

In Eastern Europe however it seems that some of the stories may have originated from Viking berserkers dressed in wolves’ hides, resistant to pain and fighting viciously to the end; not unlike the animal whose hide they were wearing.

The stories there focused more on the superhuman speed and strength, such as in the tale of Vseslav the prince who ruled the town during the day and prowled in the guise of a wolf all across Belarus and Ukraine during the night. Gradually the stories of werewolves in Eastern Europe became intertwined with those of the vampires.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
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  Man-wolf.

Man-wolf.

Curse of Strahd 17: Orphanim

In Ezekiel, the throne of God is said to be moved around on wheels: “The four wheels had rims and they had spokes, and their rims were full of eyes round about.” These wheels are called the “Orphanim”.

Other texts, such as the first book of Enoch portray these Orphanim as a class of celestial beings, angels, listed alongside the Seraphim and the Cherubim. They are said to never sleep and guard the throne of God with their many eyes.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
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  Ezekiel's vision.

Ezekiel's vision.

Curse of Strahd 16: Prometheus

The story of Prometheus, the champion who stole fire from the gods to give to humanity, is a story about us as a species. It's about our efforts to improve our existence and not accepting things as they are. It's also a tragic story about overreach and unintended consequences for that ambition. The immortal Prometheus is ultimately punished by the gods and bound to a rock. Every day an eagle would come to eat his liver, only to have it grow back overnight; repeating the process the next day.

The liver was thought to be the seat of human emotions, and similar to Mary Shelley's "Modern Prometheus", Victor Frankenstein,  both men suffer greatly for their ambitions. 

In Frankenstein one of the final words of the protagonist is to "avoid ambition". 
But we wouldn't be human if we did...

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
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  Ambition.

Ambition.

KULT: Divinity Lost - Oakwood Heights, Act III

Zug Island is a man-made island in the river Rouge in the southern part of Detroit. It’s home to a large ironmaking industry with massive blast furnaces. Ore and coal is brought to the island via train and pig iron and coke shipped out. At its peak thousands of people worked there, today only a few hundred, mainly due to automatization and the decline in manufacturing throughout the rust belt.

The ”Zug Island hum” are mysterious cyclical rumblings and vibrations that can be felt as far away eighty kilometers away. It is believed they are emanating from the iron-making facilities, but studies are inconclusive and the city has cancelled further investigations due to the general lack of funds.

Adventure: “Oakwood Heights", KULT: Divinity Lost, Helmgast
Music by: Atrium Carceri
Recorded with Josh and Tallsquall from Encounter Roleplay

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  Source of the hum?

Source of the hum?

Curse of Strahd 15: Traducianism

Traducianism is a Christian doctrine about the origins of the soul originally championed by scholars such as Tertullian. It holds that God created Adam’s soul but that all the souls created thereafter are actually generated naturally along with the body and derived from the individual’s parents. This is in opposition to the creationist view on souls which states that God creates each new individual soul.

Traducianists argue that this does not make sense in relation to fundamental tenets such as the original sin. God created all things ”very good” but in order for the original sin to be transferred, the creationist view would require God to create sinful souls. They also argue that God’s creation is supposed to be finished, so how could he still be required to create new souls?

Finally, in Genesis 6 there are stories of offspring with human bodies and demonic souls, resulting from the union of angels and humans. Surely God could not be responsible for having created those demonic souls?

However, the creationist view is held firmly today within the Roman Catholic Church. It is in line with the churches’ stance against abortion and according to “The Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 366, “The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not ‘ produced’ by the parents”, thus helping the church to, in their view, solidify the personhood and sanctity of each embryo.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  The original sin.

The original sin.

KULT: Divinity Lost - Oakwood Heights, Act II

Oakwood Heights is in the heavily industrialized southwestern part of Detroit. The neighborhood is relatively densely populated but also ranks as the most polluted in all of Michigan. The population has dropped by more than 20% since the year 2000 and is 75% African-American with almost 30% of all residents living below the poverty line.

Most states have regulations regarding how close industries can be to residential areas, but not Michigan. The Marathon Petroleum Company is located right by the neighborhood and long-term residents, unsurprisingly, have higher levels of respiratory diseases and cancer.

In 2010 the Detroit Free Press reported this about the area “For the past six months, a rain of mysterious sparkly dust of unknown origin has landed on their homes and gardens. Odd odors and clouds of dark particles float overhead”.

Adventure: “Oakwood Heights", KULT: Divinity Lost, Helmgast
Music by: Atrium Carceri
Recorded with Josh and Tallsquall from Encounter Roleplay

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
Android: http://bit.ly/2vSvwZi
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/RedMoonRoleplaying
RSS: http://www.redmoonroleplaying.com/podcast?format=rss
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  Home.

Home.

Curse of Strahd 14: Westinghoused

Electrocution is a portmanteau of” electro” and “execution” and was originally coined to describe electrical execution through the electric chair. At the time the “war of currents” between Thomas Edison’s direct current (DC) and George Westinghouse’s alternating current (AC) was at its peak. Edison and anti-AC activist Harold Brown had managed to get AC to be selected for powering the chair and were now portraying it as the “executioner’s current”.

The New York Times, who was generally supportive of Edison, tried to introduce the word “Westinghoused” to describe the execution method and thus discredit AC. The war raged on with DC scoring many propaganda victories like this.

However, AC was ultimately victorious, this after Thomas Edison had ended up sidelined in the new Edison General Electric company and he, and his dogmatic anti-AC stance, no longer kept the war going.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  The executioner.

The executioner.

Tales from the Loop: Horror Movie Mayhem, Part 2 of 2

Moral panic was widespread fear and social concern of a, usually hitherto unknown, evil that threatened society and preferably the innocent children. The fear was spread by ”moral entrepreneurs” as well as the mass media.

Often it related to new phenomena that young people enjoyed, such as heavy metal music, roleplaying games or video nasties. Moral panic could also be generated targeting groups that were seen as threats to social norms in a community, outsiders like mods and rockers or the LGBT community.

It’s good that we have gotten past this as a society… now it will never happen again.

Adventure: “Horror Movie Mayhem", Tales from the Loop, Fria Ligan
Music by: Gabrielle De Bourg, 
https://soundcloud.com/gabrielle-de-bourg

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
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Horror Movie Mayhem.png

KULT: Divinity Lost - Oakwood Heights, Act I

We are big fans of the wonderful people over at Encounter Roleplay who stream tremendous amounts of high quality roleplaying goodness every week, both in their own Twitch channel as well as the official DnD-channel. They also produce two top-class podcasts with a fairly similar tone to ours, "Turncloaks" and "Tomes & Tentacles", that we can heartily recommend.

We recently had the opportunity to do a collaboration with Josh and Tallsquall from Encounter Roleplay and our own DM extraordinaire Craig decided to take them to the lovely neighborhood of Oakwood Heights, Detroit in the year 2015. Enjoy!

"It is a grey and cold winter’s day in Detroit, as members of the public prosecutor’s office and police force shepherd the accused Franklin Mills around his crime scenes, located throughout the city. The objective is to attain clarity of what happened on that fateful day back in August, the motive behind the cruel murders, the child who disappeared, and whether Franklin Mills really lost his memory."

Adventure: “Oakwood Heights", KULT: Divinity Lost, Helmgast
Music by: Atrium Carceri

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
Android: http://bit.ly/2vSvwZi
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/RedMoonRoleplaying
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  What is hidden in the mind of a murderer?

What is hidden in the mind of a murderer?

Curse of Strahd 13: Heliophobia

In Bram Stoker’s "Dracula" the eponymous Count was weakened by sunlight, but it did not kill him. Trying to trace where the idea of vampires exploding in to a cloud of dust or catching on fire when in sunlight seems to lead to the 1922 movie "Nosferatu". In the movie, Count Orlok needs to sleep by day as the sunlight would otherwise kill him. 

One theory goes that this element was introduced in order to differentiate the story somewhat from "Dracula" which it quite proudly stole most of its plot from.

The attempts at differentiating were not enough however and the movie company Prana Film was forced to declare bankruptcy after Florence Stoker, Bram’s widow and holder of the estate, sued the company for copyright infringement and won.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  Sensitive to light.

Sensitive to light.

Tales from the Loop: Horror Movie Mayhem, Part 1 of 2

We are joined by the talented Gabrielle De Bourg who GM's Hjalmar and Craig through "Horror Movie Mayhem", an adventure she has created for the game "Tales from the Loop" by Free League that is included in the module "Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries"

"It is the summer of 1988, 30 years ago today, and the Parent Teacher Association are about to hold a Culture Festival in the little society of Stenhamra on Mälaröarna to celebrate the fine culture offerings in the area.

But as soon as it has begun, notes are landing in the mailboxes and adults are going door-to-door. Because there is one type of culture that they think is dangerous. Everywhere they are talking about the Video Nasties and how it's making the children violent.

But is there something more hidden behind it all? Come along for an adventure about moral panic, LGBT and paranoia in Simon Stålenhags 80's that never was in this Horror Movie Mayhem."

Adventure: “Horror Movie Mayhem", Tales from the Loop, Fria Ligan
Music by: Gabrielle De Bourg, https://soundcloud.com/gabrielle-de-bourg

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
Android: http://bit.ly/2vSvwZi
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/RedMoonRoleplaying
RSS: http://www.redmoonroleplaying.com/podcast?format=rss
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

Horror Movie Mayhem.png

Curse of Strahd 12: Hamartia

Hamartia is a term used to describe turns of events in dramatic literature and usually refers to the protagonists erring or having a fatal flaw, setting off a chain of events that reverses their fortunes and leads to their downfall.

In his treatise Poetics, Aristotle deemed hamartia to be necessary to create the optimal tragic hero and achieve catharsis. He wrote: "...the character between these two extremes – that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. "

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/RedMoonRoleplaying

  Tragic downfall.

Tragic downfall.

Curse of Strahd 11: Kresnik

Legends in Slovenia and Croatia speak of the "Kresnik", a shaman whose spirit wanders into that of an animal at night. It does this to protect the lives of the people of the land, fighting the evil powers that stalk the night. The Kresnik's nemesis is the "Kudlak", a vampiric animal that he hunts, said to represent the evil in the world.

The word Kresnik may have been derived from the Slav word for “resurrect”, making the Kresnik the “resurrector”.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
iTunes: http://apple.co/2wTNqHx
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  Darkness falls.

Darkness falls.

Curse of Strahd 10: Valravn

According to Danish folklore, when a chieftain was killed in battle but never found, ravens would come and eat him. The ravens that ate the chieftain’s heart would gain human intelligence and supernatural powers. They would also become malicious and evil, leading wanderers astray. These ravens were known as "Valravn", "raven of the slain".

Other accounts speak of the Valravn as a restless soul flying through the night as a raven. One tale tells of a Valravn that helps a maiden find her lost betrothed in return for the life of her firstborn. The maiden agrees and the Valravn flies off…  returning years later when the couple has had their first child. It then asks the maiden if she has forgotten her promise, proceeding to rip in to the chest of the child and drinking the blood from its heart.

According to the story the Valravn then turned in to a knight, presumably having been returned to its former life.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

Web: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com
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  Restless soul.

Restless soul.