Ask Me Anything About Cha'alt

Venger Satanis

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Or it doesn't have to be Cha'alt related. But the whopping 218 page eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic campaign setting + megadungeon was released a couple weeks ago. It's a slow grind to the top, but I believe Cha'alt will eventually be hailed as something truly special, possibly the best gaming product of 2019. Tentacles crossed!

For those curious, I put a 32 full-page preview up on DriveThru: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/284600/Chaalt

The fancy hardcovers should be available by mid-October.

Thanks,

VS
 

Edgewise

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Hey Venger, I picked it up Cha'alt a month or so back and I've read about a quarter of it in drips and drabs. What I'd like to get a better handle on is what makes the setting distinct. Why would I want to run a campaign there as opposed to something like Hubris or another dark science fantasy mash-up?

By the way, I don't mean that as a criticism; I'd say so far, so good, but I'd like to know up front about what makes the setting stand out from similar forays.

Also, I've seen references to something called "zoth," but from the TOC it looks like this isn't really described until about one-hundred pages in. Should I be skipping ahead? What is "zoth"? I suspect you might want to say something about this sooner in the text.
 

Brock Savage

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Hey Venger I've bought a few of your products, Your adventure writing book was especially helpful and just a few weeks ago I recommended it to a friend.

Could you please give us the dungeon's elevator pitch? I'm at work and will check out the preview later tonight. Thanks!
 

Venger Satanis

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Hey Venger, I picked it up Cha'alt a month or so back and I've read about a quarter of it in drips and drabs. What I'd like to get a better handle on is what makes the setting distinct. Why would I want to run a campaign there as opposed to something like Hubris or another dark science fantasy mash-up?

By the way, I don't mean that as a criticism; I'd say so far, so good, but I'd like to know up front about what makes the setting stand out from similar forays.

Also, I've seen references to something called "zoth," but from the TOC it looks like this isn't really described until about one-hundred pages in. Should I be skipping ahead? What is "zoth"? I suspect you might want to say something about this sooner in the text.
Thanks for picking it up, Edgewise!

If you have one "dark science fantasy mash-up" don't you have them all? To some degree, yes. But there will be differences, they may not mean much to a particular gamer, or perhaps they are significant... Is it the pop-culture references? Humor? Exploitation? Creativity? Only one Venger Satanis, so it won't be a direct copy of anything you've read before. I've learned a lot since writing my very first adventure, Liberation of the Demon Slayer. I put all of my vast knowledge to use.

The best part of Cha'alt, in my opinion, is The Black Pyramid. Once you've digest that, I think you'll find the full value of the book.

I first wrote about zoth in The S'rulyan Vault II. My other reason for not defining it early on is that I wanted to preserve a bit of the mystery for the GM. What is zoth, one might ask oneself? The imagination fills in those gaps, and that can be just as fruitful as anything I eventually describe.

VS
 
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Venger Satanis

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Hey Venger I've bought a few of your products, Your adventure writing book was especially helpful and just a few weeks ago I recommended it to a friend.

Could you please give us the dungeon's elevator pitch? I'm at work and will check out the preview later tonight. Thanks!
That's awesome. Thank you.

Ok, this is what I've been using... eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse campaign setting + megadungeon. That's for a really short elevator ride, maybe one floor. Cha'alt borrows from a lot of sources, and has a lot going on while still room enough for the GM and players to create their own unique content.

VS
 

Gringnr

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Link to your workout routine plz

Totes srs
 

Venger Satanis

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Link to your workout routine plz

Totes srs
Who me? Ok, sure. Over the years, I've developed a workout routine that works for me. I have no idea if it'll work for anyone else, but here goes...

I go to the gym about 4 times per week, but only spend about 10-15 minutes there each time. This is what it looks like.

Day 1: one or two warm-up sets of bench press or dumbbell press and then a single set with enough weight to max out between 5-10 reps.

Day 2: warm-up of squats and then single set with enough weight to max out between 7-12 reps.

Day 3: general warm-up of the muscles (like stretching), then do as many chins as you possible can. Then do one set each of stomach crunches and reverse stomach crunches.

Day 4: one or two warm-up sets of deadlifts, then max it out for 5-15 reps.

That's pretty much it. I usually take a day off between day 3 and 4, then take the weekend off. Every other week, I usually do a set or two of military press with a bar or dumbbells, as well.

Because you're putting maximum effort into each non-warm-up set, you're muscles are getting a workout. It may not seem like much, but over time it pays off and you won't have to worry about over-training. Plus, how hard is it to spend 15 minutes at the gym?

Diet is also really important. I guess you're going to ask me about that next...

VS
 

Gringnr

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Who me? Ok, sure. Over the years, I've developed a workout routine that works for me. I have no idea if it'll work for anyone else, but here goes...

I go to the gym about 4 times per week, but only spend about 10-15 minutes there each time. This is what it looks like.

Day 1: one or two warm-up sets of bench press or dumbbell press and then a single set with enough weight to max out between 5-10 reps.

Day 2: warm-up of squats and then single set with enough weight to max out between 7-12 reps.

Day 3: general warm-up of the muscles (like stretching), then do as many chins as you possible can. Then do one set each of stomach crunches and reverse stomach crunches.

Day 4: one or two warm-up sets of deadlifts, then max it out for 5-15 reps.

That's pretty much it. I usually take a day off between day 3 and 4, then take the weekend off. Every other week, I usually do a set or two of military press with a bar or dumbbells, as well.

Because you're putting maximum effort into each non-warm-up set, you're muscles are getting a workout. It may not seem like much, but over time it pays off and you won't have to worry about over-training. Plus, how hard is it to spend 15 minutes at the gym?

Diet is also really important. I guess you're going to ask me about that next...

VS
Sure, let's hear it.
 

Venger Satanis

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Sure, let's hear it.
1) focus on protein... steak, chicken, eggs, fish, shrimp, hamburger, turkey, ham, protein powder, etc. Don't eat too many carbs. But if you are going to eat carbs, it should be the first meal after your workout.

2) try to eat just below your calorie maintenance. If I feel a bit hungry here and there throughout the day but not starving, then I know I'm somewhere in that zone.

3) Intermittent fasting is one of the best things I discovered. I eat as many "meals" as I want within an 8-hour window. The rest of the time, I drink water. It both helps cut calories (skipping breakfast is the way to go) and helps you deal with hunger. Takes a couple weeks to get used to it, but then your body learns, adapts, and helps you out.

My biggest lifestyle change, when I go from non-diet to diet, is giving up both soda and desserts. Maybe you'll have to give up snacks, like chips... or excessive amounts of bread. Give yourself a cheat day once a week if you need it to stay sane. I love pizza, so limit myself to pizza just once a week... and then I'll have a non-addictive soda (without caffeine) like Ginger Ale, rather than my precious... the cold master... Mountain Dew.

If you combine the workout regimen with the diet, your body fat will slowly go down, while your strength and muscles will slowly go up. Don't expect to see significant progress for at least 6 weeks.

Good luck,

VS
 

Gringnr

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1) focus on protein... steak, chicken, eggs, fish, shrimp, hamburger, turkey, ham, protein powder, etc. Don't eat too many carbs. But if you are going to eat carbs, it should be the first meal after your workout.

2) try to eat just below your calorie maintenance. If I feel a bit hungry here and there throughout the day but not starving, then I know I'm somewhere in that zone.

3) Intermittent fasting is one of the best things I discovered. I eat as many "meals" as I want within an 8-hour window. The rest of the time, I drink water. It both helps cut calories (skipping breakfast is the way to go) and helps you deal with hunger. Takes a couple weeks to get used to it, but then your body learns, adapts, and helps you out.

My biggest lifestyle change, when I go from non-diet to diet, is giving up both soda and desserts. Maybe you'll have to give up snacks, like chips... or excessive amounts of bread. Give yourself a cheat day once a week if you need it to stay sane. I love pizza, so limit myself to pizza just once a week... and then I'll have a non-addictive soda (without caffeine) like Ginger Ale, rather than my precious... the cold master... Mountain Dew.

If you combine the workout regimen with the diet, your body fat will slowly go down, while your strength and muscles will slowly go up. Don't expect to see significant progress for at least 6 weeks.

Good luck,

VS
Oh, I run and lift already. I'm just always looking for stuff I can use to switch up my workouts. Or stuff I hadn't heard/been aware of before that I can use.
 

Venger Satanis

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Oh, I run and lift already. I'm just always looking for stuff I can use to switch up my workouts. Or stuff I hadn't heard/been aware of before that I can use.
I was really hardcore into the lifestyle years ago. Just recently, I decided to get back into shape. So far, it's going well.

VS
 

Necrozius

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Glad to see you’re doing well @Venger Satanis ! I always enjoyed reviewing your works back in the day.

...before the dark times. Before I left Google plus... (dramatically and pointlessly about 2 weeks before google announced that they were shutting it down anyway).

So yeah as someone who read and playtested a ton of Venger’s stuff: two thumbs up and a hearty recommendation for ease of use, readability and fun. ‘Can’t go wrong with our Dark Brother’s style, I feel.
 

Venger Satanis

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Thanks, guys! I'm back from vacation and will be around more. It's also my birthday, so expecting some reviews and blog posts for Cha'alt and various other titles from Kort'thalis Publishing. ;)

VS
 

Venger Satanis

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Once more unto the breach... the PCs explore The Black Pyramid in a Roll20 session.

Here's the play report:
 

Edgewise

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Geez, you should really try to market yourself outside the edgelord crowd. Grim and Pundit both have valid opinions and all that (really, I mean it), but you seem to deal strictly with that ecosystem and that's gotta be holding you back, sales-wise.
 

Venger Satanis

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Geez, you should really try to market yourself outside the edgelord crowd. Grim and Pundit both have valid opinions and all that (really, I mean it), but you seem to deal strictly with that ecosystem and that's gotta be holding you back, sales-wise.
It's all about choices. If I move towards one thing, then I'm moving away from something else. I actually don't think I'm super edgy or an "edgelord". I just write from the perspective of me as a 14 year old boy, but with better spelling and punctuation. If I'm not making myself happy, why bother?
 

Edgewise

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If I move towards one thing, then I'm moving away from something else.
I suppose, but I'm talking more about marketing and not content. No doubt they are related, but they're not exactly the same, either.
I actually don't think I'm super edgy or an "edgelord".
I totally agree. That's why I think it's a shame that you are getting reviews mostly from that community and not a broader one.
 

Venger Satanis

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I suppose, but I'm talking more about marketing and not content. No doubt they are related, but they're not exactly the same, either.

I totally agree. That's why I think it's a shame that you are getting reviews mostly from that community and not a broader one.
Well, I really don't want to market my stuff by lying about it. Sure, I'd probably get more sales by telling people that Cha'alt or whatever is just fine for pseudo-medieval vanilla fantasy, but then people would get pissed because that's not at all true.

For whatever reason, I seem to be half-cancelled by the regular OSR blogging crowd. And here I thought I'd get a hero's welcome for my efforts. Nope, just crickets.
 

Edgewise

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Well I think you’re a fine fellow despite some occasional disagreements. At the end of the day, as the kids would say, you gotta do you and succeed on your own terms. Ultimately your stuff is always authentically you.
 

Black Leaf

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It's all about choices. If I move towards one thing, then I'm moving away from something else. I actually don't think I'm super edgy or an "edgelord". I just write from the perspective of me as a 14 year old boy, but with better spelling and punctuation. If I'm not making myself happy, why bother?
It's about marketing for me.

I've praised both Pundit and Grim's work and I meant it. But they're both ruthless harnessers of controversy as promotion. Which I don't have an issue with. (In my younger days I was in a punk band called Gonorrhea after all ). But it does mean that if those are the only people I'm seeing doing reviews I'm going to assume that you're doing the same.

I'm not suggesting you change the content of your games, just try and get out what they have to offer to a wider audience.
 

Venger Satanis

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It's about marketing for me.

I've praised both Pundit and Grim's work and I meant it. But they're both ruthless harnessers of controversy as promotion. Which I don't have an issue with. (In my younger days I was in a punk band called Gonorrhea after all ). But it does mean that if those are the only people I'm seeing doing reviews I'm going to assume that you're doing the same.

I'm not suggesting you change the content of your games, just try and get out what they have to offer to a wider audience.
Yes, that's a good point and not lost on me. I've been trying and will continue to reach out to mainstream reviewers.

Thanks, Edgewise!

VS
 

Venger Satanis

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FYI, I've just made the decision to upgrade all the "print" rewards for Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise to deluxe hardcovers from Friesens (128 pages) see latest update:

VS
 
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