Charcuterie Board is a 50-page electronic zine (read: pdf), the first from the GLoG community, and laid out by yours truly. I drew the table for the table of contents above. There’s something for everyone in this! It’s almost guaranteed that nobody will like -everything- in this zine (there are conflicting rulesets), so pick it up, take what you want, and leave the rest. There’s an entire playable game in this zine with Sawn-Off by Velexiraptor, and a playable adventure in the Gaoler’s Hand by Phlox. There’s like 20 playable classes on the cover alone!
When the Before Times ended, a lot of spare time suddenly opened up and I found myself partaking in a bizarre Gretchling community on Discord. Who were they? People who casually threw away the worn, smooth prizes other people cherished. Bewitched, soon I too was crudely cobbling together my own Goblin Laws of Gaming. Before I knew it I was laying and designing a GLoG Charcuterie Board Zine. Covid raged across the world in 2020, and I feverishly worked on this zine, seeking some kind of Talmudic balance to the insane mess of comments, pictures, articles, and tables. Was it a success? Success was never a consideration. There is no overcoming struggle, only elevating it to its highest possible plane. The rules will always change. Embrace the chaos.
In the room of busts, the party inspects the different family members. The bust of Priscilla Malévol tugs at Longo’s shadow, and while the party inspects the phenomenon, they hear footsteps coming up the hall. Astaire quickly casts hold portal on the door and everyone stays quiet. Someone tries to open the door, then the voice of Gilbert Malévol cuts in, and he tries the door. Concluding that it’s another stuck door Gilbert and his merry men move on, and the footsteps fade. Jamila and Bandit investigate the sword in the head. Bandit sees “SCRUPULOUS” on the hilt and senses that it is a magic sword. Jamila takes it, and Scrupulous the intelligent sword introduces themselves to Jamila. Astaire examines Claudette’s jeweled eyes and surmises that they’ll bleed if removed, but uses his sword to pry them out anyhow.
Then they hear shouts down the hall–the merry men heard the party, running back to the room of busts! Astaire quickly casts hold portal again, and the merry men can’t open the door. Gilbert orders it kicked down. The party decides to try the unopened door to the east–into a closet! Making their way into the closet, Jamila uses Scrupulous to detect a hidden door. They advance into an empty room with some broken glass on the floor and quickly shut the secret door behind them. The next room is a laboratory. There is a basket of rags in the corner. Lou sees a homunculon bang its tiny fist against the glass, and Astaire takes a closer look. Lou examines the bouncing sparks in the dome. The homunculon is a hand with two fingers that end in smaller hands. The palm has an eye and a mouth. The party hears one of the merry men discover the hidden door, and enter the room. The merry men open fire, and Tugtar, Lou, and Jamila step in to fight. Astaire turns around to survey the room, and sees Merlerik Malévol, Founder, now wraith, passing through the wall into the room! He casts protection of evil over himself, and Merlerik is rebuffed. Jamila steps in to fight the wraith with Scrupulous. Tugtar stands close by, and whiffs with their hammer. A battle ensues between Jamila and the wraith, who drains 2 points of constitution before dying, burning shadows into the walls. Ysambeau witnesses the battle holding the lantern the entire time. After the victory Tugtar gives him a pair of greaves and Ysambeau’s morale goes up a point. Astaire rolls the four bodies of the merry men in the empty room, and eats one of their sausages, and takes their possessions.
Gilbert abandons the battle, leaving a merry man behind. Bandit tackles and gives chase after Gilbert down the hall and through the Knight’s Hall, where he slashes a cut in gilbert’s forearm. There are 5 headless manservants with trays of wine. Gilbert makes it into the feasting hall and Bandit tackles them again. Longo catches the lone merry man and runs them through with their sword, looting their body while they are alive. The merry man attempts to parley, then fight, and then dies. Lou runs into the knight’s hall and is served mulled wine, then runs over to see Bandit punch Gilbert’s head with his Ring of the Ram Goddess. His head explodes. A merry man appears, sees the carnage, and flees. Lou gives chase, tumbling down the stairs with him. Four merry men are down below. One holds a lantern, and the other three attack Lou with their swords, slashing at him. Lou runs back up the stairs, and the merry men retreat. Bandit takes a gold pocketwatch off of Gilbert, and moves the weapons far from the body. He thens looks over the ghoulish feast on the table. Brined eyeballs in a jar follow his movement.
Bandit: Where’s the goddamn salt???
Session Xp 100 xp
Risks Taken Bandit, Lou, Tugtar, Jamila fight the Merry Men 100 xp Bandit fights and defeats Gilbert Malévol the Fox 200 xp Jamila fights and defeats Merlerik Malévol the Founder, wraith 200 xp Astaire casts Protect From Evil and stands against the wraith 50 xp Tugtar swipes at the wraith 100 xp
XP Gained: Astaire = 150 xp Bandit = 400 xp Jamila = 400 xp Lou = 200 xp Tugtar = 200 xp
Gilbert Malevol and his merry men have entered the castle, searching for the party. In the serjeant’s room, the party douses their light and stays quiet. Astaire casts clairvoyance and peers through the walls. In the darkness, he sees Gilbert Malevol and his “merry men” arrive down an adjacent hall by torchlight, opening doors and looking for the party. Astaire ceases the spell and as the torchlight appears underneath the door of the serjeant’s room and the shadow of boots step before the threshold, Astaire casts hold portal on the door.
Merry Man: It’s stuck. Gilbert: Hmpf, let me try!
But the door doesn’t open and Gilbert wanders off deeper into the castle to find the miscreant party. Heading out after the coast is clear, the party avoids the singing in the mess hall and explores several rooms of a barracks, the last of which was crawling with tiny spiders. An obliquely shaped empty room save for a floursack caught their attention for a while. Then the party returns back to a dumbwaiter they walked by earlier, and wheeling ysambeau and longo up, see a caveman statue opposite, a bathroom door to the east, and a hallway to the west. The party wheels themselves up two at a time and open the bathroom door- to Aristide Malévol, Patrician! Emanating a supernatural menace, he casts Geas over the entire group, which only Lou fails; this cheers up Aristide quite a bit, because he needs a few ingredients he’s left lying about the castle for a special ritual he’s going to perform. Without leaving details, he walks off into the darkness.
Lou: He’s a swell guy! Hope I can help him out.
As Aristide departs, magic swirls around the castle, whether it is from Aristide or a dweomer inside the castle, who can say – but the dumbwaiter the party ascended through moments ago has now become the bathroom that Aristide departed, and the bathroom they were in has become a bedroom! Adjusting to their surroundings in the bedroom, Tugtar hears a weeping behind a dressing screen and hits it with his hammer, knocking over a chained casket behind it, which does nothing to help the sobbing from the casket. Astaire finds and loots a dressing room behind a blue cloth draping the room’s walls. Bandit takes a mirror. A puzzle box is found, and Astaire investigates with it before handing it off to Lou, who investigates it but is also unable to solve the puzzle. Then Jamila also investigates it, and like the others, can’t solve it, but by this point wheezing skeletons have made their way into the bedroom, attacking Longo! Longo’s shield is sundered against the bony claws, and another skeleton luches towards Tugtar. Jamila fires with some arrows and Astaire leaps to the bedroom door, shuts it, and stands against the door. The trapped three skeletons are taken down quickly. When the hall is clear, the party then begins exploring the second floor, wandering down some halls. Astaire opens a door into a room with lit candelabras in the corners and a wooden chest in the center of the room. Stepping in, Astaire is blessed with protection from good and is then questioned by a disembodied voice.
Disembodied voice: What is the purpose of thy affront? Astaire: We’re just exploring? Disembodied voice: Mwahahaha!
Astaire opens the chest, it flies open, the doors slams shut, and the candles go out. Everyone runs out of the room and Astaire almost does too, but then heads back and finds a false bottom in the chest- 3,000 gold coin in paper rolls, a hammer, and seven stakes! Moving on into another hall, Bandit leads the way and heads into a ruined bedroom where an invisible figure sleeps in the bed. Bandits sneaks over to the beat-up weapon cabinet against the wall and inspects the wares beyond the broken glass. A suite of different weapons collected over the years is displayed. A longsword catches Bandit’s eye, and but lifting it out of the case caused some noise, and the sleeping figure awoke, shouting “Attention!” The weapons clattered in the cabinet and everyone’s weapons leap to attention. Bandit held onto their sword, and Lou jumps to the fore with his shovel, smacking the invisible figure in the bed. They disappear and all the weapons fall inert again. The lampbearers Wagner and Ysambeau pick out some kris daggers from the pile, and underneath the fallen pile of weapons in the cabinet, Bandit finds a wood box with six military medals inside. Astairs pins a few on the inside of his robe.
Astaire: “If anyone asks, tell them we won!”
Moving on, the party finds the object of their quest: a library! Everyone takes to the shelves and starts a pile of books on the floor they think look promising for finding information on un-petrifying Adelaide, but the books seem to be mostly romances, adventure yarns, and travelogues. Tugtar paws through an overlooked section on musical scores and finds an insane symphony from Ludwig von Schreck and bundled with it, a spellbook of irresistible dance! Bandit finds hardly anything of interest, and the party questions the quality of book subjects in the library. The party decides to try the second floor of the library, and heads into a room full of hunchbacked scribes chained to their desks, writing feverishly. The scribes are writing the most offensive stuff they can think of. One of the scribes asks Lou for some good material.
Lou: I’ll tell you the MOST offensive joke I know in exchange for writing me a stone-to-flesh spell. Promise? Scribe: Yeah, I promise. Lou: *explicit duck sex joke* Scribe: Oh ho ho ho! that’s really bad. exactly what i want. thanks! Lou: My spell? Scribe: Oh yeah. I lied! how’s THAT for offensive?
To which Lou responded by bashing the scribe’s head in. A few scribes are horrified and drop their quills. One is inspired and begins writing with renewed energy. Meanwhile outside the scribe room in the library, the other party members see a wraith floating down the hallway! Astaire recognizes the wraith as the wasted form of Merlerik Malévol, founder, from his history book on the Malévols. Longo goes to tip a bookcase at the wraith but isn’t quite able to tip it and so retreats. Astaire tries out Tugtar’s new-found spell on the wraith, whos fails and is irrestibably drawn into a dancing a quadrille. The party runs away from the wraith, who attempts to follow while dancing.
Astaire: This spellbook I found is great! Jamila: That’s TUGTAR’S spellbook, Astaire.
Heading away from the dancing wraith and the scribes, they head north into another room. The party steps into a room with the warm light of a evening in late summer streaming in through the castle murderholes. On plinths against the wall are various busts of the Malévol family. Aristide’s skeletal grin is here, another has a sword through their head, and yet another’s eyes sparkle like gems…
What new members of the family are depicted in these busts?? What secrets do they hold??
Session Xp (2) 200 xp
Risks Taken Lou kills a scribe 50 xp Astaire casts irrestible dance on a wraith 100 xp
XP Gained: Astaire = 300 xp Bandit = 200 xp Jamila = 200 xp Lou = 250 xp Tugtar = 200 xp