Traveller: Tales of the Laughing Fishwife

All new Actual Play. The Monday Night Heroes gang takes on the classic Traveller adventure, Research Station Gamma. Join us for sci-fi shenanigans in the first arc of an ongoing series!

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

 

This series is ongoing with new episodes every Friday!

https://mnh.podbean.com/

Mask of the Oni: Complete Actual Play

Following the events of Slow Tide Harbor, the Heroes of Hamamatsu are sent to the town of Sunrise to investigate another suspicious death. They uncover a legend lost to time and a nightmare that could spell doom for Nippon.

EPISODE 1

EPISODE 2

EPISODE 3

EPISODE 4

EPISODE 5

EPISODE 6

EPISODE 7

EPISODE 8

EPISODE 9

EPISODE 10

EPISODE 11

EPISODE 12

Dark Tides (Complete Actual Play)

Here is a playlist of all five episodes of our Pulp Cthulhu adaptation of the Legend of the Five Rings adventure:title

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Reflection of a Paragon (Complete Actual Play)

reflection

Fifteen years after the tragic death of the world’s first superhero, a new generation takes up the torch of defending the city of Kirby. The Golden Age crimefighter called the Magpie tasks four new heroes with the reformation of the Justice Association. Our fledgling team begins investigating a series of bizarre thefts only to discover that they are connected to a coming event that could bring about the end of the world.

Check out the complete run of this Actual Play series.

Issue #1

Issue #2

Issue #3

Issue #4

Issue #5

Issue #6

Issue #7

Issue #8

Issue #9

Issue #10

Issue #11

Issue #12

Issue #13

Issue #14

Issue #15

 

Nippon No Kage: Complete Series

logomic

A twisted version of Edo Period Japan is the stage in Steve’s tale of horror. A chance encounter sets a group of strangers on a path to thwart the apocalypse. Check out the complete campaign. Click the links below to listen to the episodes on podbean.

Episode 1

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-1/

Episode 2

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-2/

Episode 3

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-3/

Episode 4

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-4/

Episode 5

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-5/

Episode 6

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-6/

Episode 7

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-7/

Episode 8

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-8/

Episode 9

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-9/

Episode 10

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-10/

Episode 11

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-11/

Episode 12

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-12/

Episode 13

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-13/

Episode 14

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-14/

Episode 15

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-15/

Episode 16

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-16/

Episode 17

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-17/

Episode 18

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-18/

Episode 19

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-19/

Episode 20

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-20/

Episode 21

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-21/

Episode 22

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-22/

Episode 23

https://mnh.podbean.com/e/actual-play-nippon-no-kage-23/

 

Sycorax’s Daughters Complete Discussion

We recently wrapped up a five part discussion of the anthology Sycorax’s Daughters, an excellent gathering of dark fiction and poetry from African-American women. The tales featured in this volume are of such variety that there is something to scratch just about every spec-fic itch you might have. Grab a copy at the link below.

Episodes:

Sycorax’s Daughters Part 1

Sycorax’s Daughters Part 2

Sycorax’s Daughters Part 3

Sycorax’s Daughters Part 4

Sycorax’s Daughters Part 5

 

A Single Link Never Breaks

A Review of The Beatdown by Balogun Ojetade

by Rodney Turner


In 2025 Atlanta, the hottest thing going is The Beatdown, a MMORPG that utilizes a highly advanced virtual reality console to allow players to experience total immersion in the fantastic sword and soul setting of Ki Khanga. War is outlawed as an act that will anger the gods so all disputes are settled through honorable single combat. This tradition spawned a popular and lucrative combat sport. Within this framework, Remi Korede transforms tragedy and vengeance into an opportunity to be an inspiration by becoming The Beatdown’s first co-ed champion.

Balogun Ojedtade delivers his standard of high quality story-telling in The Beatdown. The narrative is smooth, the characters are entertaining and feel like people you know, and the world is vibrant and interesting. All of these elements are combined into a classic martial arts story.

While The Beatdown is well-written, it does suffer from a couple of flaws. The first is that, despite the strong and positive portrayals of women, the main plot is set into motion with a rape. Ojetade is careful to not present the attack as titillating and the more graphic aspect takes place “off-camera,” the trope is overworn and problematic. A more detailed critique of the trope is better served as commentary from a thinker far more erudite than myself. Fortunately, Ojetade shifts the focus from a rape/revenge plot to Remi competing for the glory of all women.

The second flaw is more a stylistic choice. I labeled The Beatdown as a martial arts novel earlier and, in my mind, it definitely is. However, the actual genre for this book is LitRPG. For those unaware, LitRPG is a subgenre that fuses elements and tropes from MMO’s into a conventional narrative. As a result, The Beatdown, at times, reads as a narrative version of the sidebar examples found in the core book of many tabletop RPG’s. It is a novel method of storytelling, but I am not certain that it works well with Ojedtade’s fluid action scenes. I will say that, as an interesting side effect of this style of storytelling, Ojetade includes enough information on the mechanics and lore of The Beatdown that a creative gamer could piece together a tabletop version. In fact, with a few tweaks, The Beatdown could be a very unique core rulebook.

Now the burning question: do I recommend this book? Yes. While I don’t rate The Beatdown as highly as Beneath the Shining Jewel, it is still fine work from Balogun Ojetade even if the LitRPG elements make it a little awkward at times.

Grab a copy for yourself HERE.

Have Gun, Will Travel

An Overview of Down Darker Trails

By Steve Rosenstein

There’s something romantic about a showdown at high noon, fingers tensed at your hip as your heart thunders in your chest, knowing that you’re fast, but are you fast enough. Something in travelling across the prairie by moonlight, six-gun at the ready, listening for any sound that might betray the whereabouts of the varmints that burned down your homestead pulls at the soul of just about every kid who grew up on a diet of Westerns. Sure, there have been plenty of role-playing games that have given us that Wild West feeling: TSR’s Boot Hill and Kenzer & Co.’s Aces & Eights come to mind, and Pinnacle Entertainment’s Deadlands adds the elements of the weird to widen the possibilities of the genre. So what does Chaosium’s Down Darker Trails bring to the table?

The short answer is 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu. With the release of Pulp Cthulhu sourcebook, Chaosium has been providing Call of Cthulhu players the means of expanding the foundations of BRP horror roleplaying beyond Lovecraft and his literary progeny. Authors like Robert E. Howard and Clark Aston Smith, whose style were distinct from that of Lovecraft’s, have really only been represented as entries in the Malleus Monstrorum but never in the actual flavor of the game itself. Down Darker Trails allows for a spectrum of play styles that range from the Lovecraftian “Purist” style of play (Curse of Yig) to the more Two-Fisted Howard “Pulp” style (The Horror From The Mound) and everything in between.

The first thing that strikes you about this book is the layout. Chaosium has been doubling down on their book design since the 7th Edition was first published, with each subsequent volume getting better and better. Down Darker Trails does not disappoint. Some of the artwork is breathtaking, and Nicholas Nacario, has really put together a book that looks like it delivers.

Down Darker Trails is not a stand-alone system, it does require a familiarity with the 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu rules, and, if you want to play a more action oriented game, the Pulp Cthulhu supplement. That being said, Down Darker Trails does give you almost everything you need to play Call of Cthulhu in the Weird West, from character creation to equipment, to setting materials. Those familiar with the 7th Edition will find little surprises in the character creation process, some of the skills are modified to fit the setting, and there are a few new skills such as Gambling, Rope Use, and Trap that also add a Western flavor to characters. If Pulp is more your style, there is a table for pulp talents included and the pulp archetypes translate well to this setting, as well as a set of “Optional Rules for the Old West” that covers quick draws, Duel-Wielding, Shooting from Horseback and the like. But really, there is so much more to a setting than only in the characters that inhabit it. Fortunately, Down Darker Trails gives the Keeper some fine resources to set their campaigns and scenarios right square west of the Mississippi.

There is a great chapter that serves as a primer for the old west that looks at the history of the west from pre-Columbian peoples through the antebellum and post war periods, as well as a timeline of major historical events that helped shape the West. There is a lot of ink spilled on the War Between the States and how it impacts the setting. There is also a resource that looks at some of the activities of day to day life of various segments of society, such as buffalo hunts, mining, the law, and cattle drives (move ‘em out!), all of the good stuff that really drives home the setting.

There is a survey of Native American Tribes included in the book that discusses, briefly, some of their language and cultural statistics, providing enough information to allow for the use of Native peoples as setting material, unfortunate as this is. I realize that there isn’t enough room in a book like this to provide any more than a bit of information about each tribe, and it may be unfair to criticize the book in regard to this, I just was hoping that even though portraying Native Americans as the ‘other’ is part and parcel for the genre, that it would have been more possible to be inclusive and have them be more than set dressing. Of course nothing is stopping anyone from coming up with a better system for including Native Americans, and maybe Chaosium would take the opportunity to approach Native American gamers to expand upon the role of Native Americans in this supplement.

After the historical information, the stuff you paid your money for is presented: the Supernatural West, where we are treated to settings appropriate monsters, deities, grimoires, and folk magic. There really isn’t anything new in terms of monsters and deities, except advice on how to blend them into the weird west. For example, a Shantak are spun as to be a possible source for the Thunderbird legend, or having Flying Polyps haunting mines when they dig too deep. I would have loved to have seen some of the local legends incorporated into the book, to exist side-by-side with the mythos, why not have both the Thunderbird AND the Shantak? Once again a clever keeper could make that happen. Unfortunately, none of the monsters are statted out, except a few new beings, which wouldn’t be a problem as most of the stats can be found in the Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Guide, but some of the entities can only be found in the Malleus Monstrorum supplement which has not yet been updated for the current edition.

The really interesting thing is the incorporation of folk magic which is presented as possibly “…watered-down versions of Mythos magic, learnt through misunderstanding and passed down over generations…”. Once again, I see no reason that folk magic has to be associated thematically with the Mythos, but there are possibilities here, especially for a pulp campaign.

Included in the text are a few “Lost Worlds of the Old West” that can serve as story hooks or physical settings for scenarios. The first is the Lost Valley, a Robert E. Howard inspired place populated by the pre-human ‘Old People.’ The second may be recognized by CoC grognards, K’n-Yan from the pen of Keith Herber, originally published in the Keeper’s Companion Volume One. There is the Shadow Desert a mysterious dark reflection of the material world, and El Canon De Los Viejos, a place where dinosaurs survive alongside people. Finally there is a chapter giving advice on how to design Old-West adventures, covering tropes and sources of inspiration, followed by two adventures ready to play. Really, almost everything that you need to start adventuring in the Old, Weird, and Wild is included in this book. So, what are you waiting for?

Tomb of Horrors: Slapstick Version

We recently wrapped up a chaotic play-through of the classic dungeon Tomb of Horrors, updated for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. Enjoy this complete playlist of all the wacky action.

 

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6- Finale

Echo Hiding Audio Recording

Microphones of Madness is proud to present a full-cast recording of “Echo Hiding”, a short story by Rodney Turner appearing in A Breath From the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession.

A Breath From the Sky was edited by Scott R. Jones and published by Martian Migraine Press. Grab yourself a copy of this excellent anthology HERE!

We hope you enjoy this special presentation.

Cast (in order of appearance):

Farah Rose Smith: The Hermit

Rodney Turner: Into the Booth Announcer

Wesley James Young: Carl Moore (CEO, Solar Records)

Steve Rosenstein: Phil Lambert (Producer)

Scott R. Jones: Johnny Highbrow (DJ KKIY FM)

Leeman Kessler: Anchorman

Lillie Dickie: Catherine Valentine (Jinny Six’s Agent)

Sound Effects/ Drone: Freesound.org

Music: Saddest Beach by Silent Partner

Cielo by Huma Huma

News Theme 2 by Audiotronix [News Theme 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/http://audionautix.com/ ]