In the latest episode of their pageant-like podcast, Ken and Robin talk where to start with Earth, your conspiracy bookshelf, Moina and Samuel Mathers, and The Rise of Skywalker.

Crown of Axis Cover

A funny thing happened on the way to the Crown of Axis arena. Wade’s request for a cover image featuring two powerful female gladiators had been executed in style by Aaron McConnell:

original sketch

For a change, Aaron decided to hand-paint the piece, old school instead of digital. That turned out to create a delivery problem. At first, the paints wouldn’t dry. Well, they dried a bit, but the yellow was taking a loooooong time. Then Aaron’s scanner tech couldn’t pick up the colors he’d painted with properly. Neither could Aaron’s photos.

drying on the easel

So Aaron went over to Lee Moyer’s house, since they were working together on a different project and Lee has a Serious Scanner. And if you know Lee, you know Lee’s super-power—he had suggestions. They got the piece scanned and then worked together on the paints, turning a high-noon situation into an evening showdown. Aaron held onto the piece for another couple weeks, but he has overcome separation anxiety and is calling it done!

Crown of Axis cover by Aaron McConnell, with paints assist by Lee Moyer

As addressed in an earlier piece, you may want to deploy a nastier set of Shock and Injury cards when playing The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in one-shot format.

The cards mentioned there give you a steeper doom spiral. But some con games may tick along safely until the very last moment, where dramatic necessity demands less of a spiral than a precipitous drop from unharmed to smeared across the streets of Paris. (Or the battlefield, or post-revolutionary New York, or in your neighborhood.)

This will most often happen when you as GM do your subtle and not-so-subtle best to steer the investigators from final annihilation, but the players follow their hearts and charge in headlong, warnings be damned.

When this happened in a con run I GMed last spring, I improvised my way to a result that provided the 50% party kill story logic decreed.

(Long story short: half the group decided to attack the Carcosan doppelgangers who had engineered their participation in the publication of the play. The other half decided to abstain. I pointed out what a big disadvantage this would put the fighting characters in. They remained undeterred. Not because they were foolish, but because it was the fun and fitting thing to do.)

Imposing an enormous Challenge rating to compensate for their unspent Fighting points was the easy part.

When you find yourself in this situation, you can improvise the requisite sudden deaths. But you might want cards to prove that you’re doing it within the rules. Which is what you’ll be doing, when you deal out the cards below.

BRINK OF DOOM

Injury

-2 to all tests.

The next Shock or Injury card you receive becomes your Final Card.

CLIMACTIC DOOM

Injury

Counts as your Final Card.

You are dead. Surviving PCs might take advantage of shattered reality to restore your the ability to speak and move. Even so, you’re still dead and leave play at end of scenario.

Sex is…

…exploring your partner’s body like an adventurer in a surreal landscape

…experimenting at a BDSM party in search of your perfect kink match

…helping your lover reach new heights of pleasure…with your vampire bite

…a confusing yet exciting gossip topic for slumber parties

…masturbating with balloons and talking about it in a chat room

…not gay if it’s with your bro

…almost everything you do, if you’re hosting an alien symbiote

…difficult to describe using only a plate of sandwiches

 

Honey & Hot Wax is an anthology of games about sex by a diverse group of 10 designers, edited by Lucian Kahn and Sharang Biswas. From games that merely talk about sex, to larps that feature sex acts, these games will challenge how you think about roleplaying, sexuality, and human relationships. The anthology includes a foreword by game designer Naomi Clark of Consentacle (Twitter: @metasynthie) and a chapter on safety and consent by Maury Brown (Twitter: @maurybrown).

Honey & Hot Wax includes the following live action roleplaying games:

In the Clefts of the Rock 

You are a sentient, otherworldly landscape, and an explorer of landscapes. A surrealist game about touching each others’ bodies while imagining them to be other worlds.

by Lucian Kahn (Twitter: @oh_theogony) 

Follow My Lead

An exploration of kink and kink negotiation where you play dominants and submissives searching for your ideal partners by leading or being led blindfolded through space.

By Susanne

Feeding Lucy

A sex larp based on Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel. Play the Lucy (a person whose body and desires are policed by society to be “pure”) or the Dracula (a vampire who in feeding off Lucy’s latent desires seeks to help her free herself to join the ranks of the beautiful creatures of the night).

By Jonaya Kemper (Twitter: @VioletRiotGames)

The Sleepover

Play as adolescents learning and sharing knowledge about sex, sexuality, and gender identity. Explore how you take what you’ve heard from others and figure out what is true for you. 

By Julia B. Ellingboe (Twitter: @QueenOvPirates) & Kat Jones

Pop!

Play as people who love and have sex with balloons. Build community and culture in cyberspace!

By Alex Roberts (Twitter: @muscularpikachu)

The Echo of the Unsaid

Two ostensibly straight college boys explore unresolved sexual tension, and quite possibly, romantic attraction. You tell the story of sex by not talking about it, letting silence speak volumes.

By Sharang Biswas (Twitter: @SharangBiswas)

You Inside Us

A romance for two people in one body. You play as a human host and the alien symbiote living inside them, sharing their senses. You’ll learn new ways to touch and feel, letting yourselves blur together until it’s hard to say where one ends and the other begins.

By Kat Jones & Will Morningstar (Twitter: @RiverOfInk)

Pass the Sugar, Please

Friends and strangers meet for afternoon tea only to realize that they already hooked up with someone there at a secret BDSM sex party. Can you convey messages about your intimate experiences using only descriptions of the food?

By Clio Yun-Su Davis (Twitter: @cysdavis)

This collection was made possible in part by a grant from the Effing Foundation for Sex-Positivity (Twitter: @EffingFound).

Status: In development

For an indefinite but limited time only, send a pic of yourself holding The Yellow King Roleplaying Game to Robin on Twitter (@RobinDLaws) and he’ll put it through this lovely and not at all harmful Carcosan filter for you.


The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

In the latest episode of their delicious yet impeccably organized podcast, Ken and Robin talk GUMSHOE with more die rolling, Auguste Escoffier, Hellenism at the British Museum, and Belle Epoque bookhound Edmond Bailly.

The Yellow Sign featured heavily in The Yellow King Roleplaying Game and its associated banners and art radiates an alien clarity. As created by graphic designer extraordinaire Christian Knutsson, its imperfections exist within the calm and implacable surety of the Pallid Mask.

Yet no everyone in the clashing realities of the game pulls the same template or stencil off the shelf when they need to inscribe their loyalty to the Court of Hali in sigil form. You might want a gnarlier, freehand version to incorporate into your handouts and fan art. At Pelgrane we’re all about satisfying obscure desires we invent and then project upon you, the esteemed hypothetical reader. Accordingly, here are three sizes of the same freehand Sign for your sinister use.

The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

In a very special episode dedicated to The Yellow King Roleplaying Game, Ken and Robin talk time as a game mechanic, the Skin Affair, strange machinery in the Belle Epoque, and the Martinist magician Papus.

Waxen-eared conspirators at constant war with their cats aren’t the only people with a vested interest in propagating the Yellow Sign. At Pelgrane Press we want everyone to gaze into the symbol of Carcosa, pledging fealty to the Pallid Mask and perhaps picking up a copy of The Yellow King Roleplaying Game.

To this end, Pelgrane releases its Yellow Sign symbol, designed with subtle menace by Christian Knutsson, into the public domain. Use it personally or commercially. Put it in illustrations, banners, or books. Slap it on t-shirts, hats, mugs, or temporary tattoos. Get started by downloading the Yellow Sign image pack.

Spread the word from here to the Hyades. The king is here!


The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

Banner for the Yellow King RPG with image of the four books in a slipcase

The insidious reach of the Yellow King has broken through into the world we know, and you may have seen his otherworldly influence percolate through Facebook and Twitter posts. Show your allegiance to the Yellow King – or be part of the Resistance against him – with these social media banners:

Have a quote that’s better than ours? We’d love to see it! Design your own Yellow King RPG banners and tag us on social media (we’re @pelgranepress on Twitter, and @PelgranePressLtd on Facebook). The one which most evokes the dread King in Yellow will win a print copy of Dean Engelhardt’s exclusive Yellow King RPG ephemera.

 

 

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