RULES . three c’s of failing forward

Image by Rifle Infantry


Failing forward is a nice phrase. But when it comes to a moment of abject character failure will we, the game master, know what to do? With my impervious strategies, The Three C’s of Failing Forwards: COST, COMPLICATION, and CLUE, you will never have to wonder again.

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Group Play 4.1 Return to Medeba

Image by Kunrong Yap


This Expedition:

The group meets some of Faustyn’s old synth friends, journeys through an underground aqueduct system, and finds bittersweet news upon their return to Medeba.


Our Companions:

Rendmoor, a burnt-coral mycomorph with aphrodisiac flesh. Re-animated from the corpse of a plague victim. Wields cryokinetic powers. Driven by the desire to live and feed.

Faustyn, a golden janitor-synth. Vampiric and cannibalistic. The demise of his kin is the source of his mystical powers. Believes that all memories are a lie. Desires to liberate the local inhabitants from water-oppression and put them back in control of their reservoirs.

Nirid, a veracious true-kin. Protector of the purity of his kind. Armed with a blasphemous fungal spear and the gift of healing hands. Possesses a weird orb and a fascination of necrotech.

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VAARN . Summer Jam Submissions

Image by Pablo Carpio


I’m excited to present two submissions to the Vaarn Summer Jam on itch.io.

The first is called Dwellers of the Waste and it is a supplement I co-created with Eric M Smith. He helped with designing, editing, and, of course, by drawing beautiful illustrations. He makes some amazing art, which has been featured on this blog before. Go check him out. I’ll drop a sample of his work for the supplement below. As for the contents of the supplement, it includes six new monsters and two new ancestries, including a new universal skill for all characters to use: tinker.

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INTERVIEW . Leo Hunt

Image by Jacob Marks (Midjourney)


Recently, I interviewed Leo Hunt, creator of Vaults of Vaarn, a science-fantasy post-apocalyptic ttrpg. I sent the questions (via email) to him hoping he would be able to carve some time out of his busy schedule in the next few weeks. I received a response only a few days later.

I want to thank Leo for entertaining my questions and giving such robust answers. Although this interview focuses on Vaults of Vaarn, he has also released another ttrpg by the name of Bloodheist and runs a notorious zine cartel called Antipode Zines. Without further ado, I present my interview with the zinefather himself: Leo Hunt.


Bucolia: Tell me about the first thought you had of Vaarn. Was it more of an inspirational vision? Or was it something quite specific, like a scenario, a scene, or a monster?

Leo: The original setting impetus was a specific drawing by Moebius, which shows a man reacting with alarm to the sight of a floating rock formation which has three sleeping faces carved into it. The rocks and surrounding desert are blue. The inner workings of my imagination are something of a mystery to me, even after all these years, but I began to think repeatedly about what/where the blue desert in this image might be, the significance of the faces in the rock formation, etcetera. Vaarn begins there.

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Group Play 3.1 The Horrors of Hypergeometry

Image by Jacob Marks (Midjourney)


This Expedition:

The group escapes a tavern shootout and travels to a hypergeometrically-entangled vault in search of an elder Faa named Yudhi. It is said that this elder can ride the great sandworm.


Our Companions:

Rendmoor, a burnt-coral mycomorph with aphrodisiac flesh. Re-animated from the corpse of a plague victim. Wields cryokinetic powers. Driven by the desire to live and feed.

Faustyn, a golden janitor-synth. Vampiric and cannibalistic. The demise of his kin is the source of his mystical powers. Believes that all memories are a lie. Desires to liberate the local inhabitants from water-oppression and put them back in control of their reservoirs.

Nirid, a veracious true-kin. Protector of the purity of his kind. Armed with a blasphemous fungal spear and the gift of healing hands. Possesses a weird orb and a fascination of necrotech.


The Tale:

Last session, we ended in the oasis-settlement of Medeba Basin. The lights had just gone out in the tavern. Before that, the companions had just sat down with Joseph Gordon Diehard, a contact of Rendmoor’s, and discussed the possibility of hiring a Faa wormrider to travel to the Fount and eat the rubble piled high over the entrance. There was talk of using the water cistern discovered within the Fount to relieve the region’s water-poverty, instead of handing it over to the Hinnom Cartel. Faustyn repeats his desire to free all from the stranglehold that the Hinnom Cartel and the Hegemony hold over the local inhabitants.

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