Mysterium: What is “the weird”?

When I began writing Mysterium Weird Fiction Roleplaying I had to think about what I meant with “Weird Fiction” in this particular context. The text below is my attempt at an answer. Of course, the list of suggested media elaborates the answer further.

A Game of Weird Fiction and Paranormal Mysteries

Mysterium is a weird fiction roleplaying game where ordinary people encounter the paranormal and the unknown. Here we will try to define what we mean by weird fiction for the purposes of this game.
In his essay, Supernatural Horror in Literature HP Lovecraft proposes the following understanding of the weird:

The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain—a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.

In the same text, Lovecraft writes that ”The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”. The known world is a small circle of light surrounded by a great unknown darkness that can hold any kind of threat. But the unknown can also be tempting and intriguing, offering new possibilities and experiences. In another essay, Notes on Writing Weird Fiction, Lovecraft suggests this perspective:

I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best—one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which forever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis.

The power of the unknown and the strange is strongest when fear and attraction are both present. This double nature of the weird was identified by the theologian Rudolf Otto in his classic work The Idea of the Holy where he expressed a view of the sacred that characterized the encounter with the numinous Other as mysterium tremendum et fascinans – a mystery that both repels and attracts, terrifies and fascinates.
Mark Fisher writes, in The Weird and the Eerie, that these notions are two aesthetic modes that share a preoccupation with the strange, a fascination with the outside, that which lies beyond standard perception, cognition, and experience. Both modes exist at the crossroads between supernatural horror, science fiction, and fantasy. The weird is that which does not belong; it is a mode of liminality, it is about the encounter between the familiar and the unknown.
The existence of the weird presupposes normality, a recognizable mundane world into which the unknown outside can intrude. The eerie is concerned with the opposition between presence and absence, existence and non-existence. The question of why there is something when there should be nothing, or why there is nothing when there should be something, means that the eerie is tied up with questions of agency. What kind of agent is at work here? Is there an agent at all?
In the introduction to their anthology, The Weird, Ann and Jeff Vandermeer talk about the protagonists of weird narratives. The description is eminently applicable to the player characters of this game.

Usually, the characters in weird fiction have either entered into a place unfamiliar to most of us, or have received such hints of the unusual that they become obsessed with the weird. Whether It exists or not, they have fallen into dialogue with It; they may pull back from the abyss, they may decide to unsee what they saw, but still they saw it.

This is the premise of any campaign in Mysterium. How do the player characters act when confronted with the strange forces of the outside, the suspension or defeat of the fixed laws of Nature? Are they consumed by fear or seduced by fascination? Do they turn their backs and run, or do they leap into the unknown? And what are the consequences of their choices?

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Mysterium suggested media

One thing I like to find in roleplaying games is a section about fact and fiction that has inspired the authors, such as the Appendix N in the 1st edition AD&D DMG. Here is the list of inspiration and suggested reading and viewing for the d100 based weird fiction game I’m doodling with.

Literature
Robert Aickman
Nathan Ballingrud
Clive Barker – Books of Blood
Laird Barron
Matthew M Bartlett
Greg Bear – City at the End of Time
Jorge Luis Borges
Nadia Bulkin
Ramsey Campbell
Matt Cardin
Robert W Chambers
Michael Cisco
Susanna Clarke – Piranesi
Kristi DeMeester
Philip K Dick
Brian Evenson
Anders Fager
Kurt Fawver
Gemma Files
William Hope Hodgson
Junji Ito
Shirley Jackson
Scott R Jones
Caitlín R Kiernan
T. E. D. Klein
Joe Koch
Kathe Koja
Leena Krohn
Victor LaValle
Benjamin Labatut – When we cease to understand the world
John Langan
Fritz Leiber
Thomas Ligotti
John Ajvide Lindqvist
Livia Llewellyn
H. P. Lovecraft
George MacDonald
Arthur Machen
China Miéville
C. L. Moore
Grant Morrison – The Invisibles
Jon Padgett
Hailey Piper
Tim Powers
Joseph S. Pulver Sr.
Jean Rey
Theodore Roszak – Flicker
Mark Samuels
Michael Shea
Clark Ashton Smith
Margaret St. Clair
Max D Stanton
Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
Karin Tidbeck
Jeff Vandermeer
Karl Edward Wagner
D.P. Watt
Don Webb
John Wyndham
B. R. Yeager

Anthologies and magazines
Ashes & Entropy
Dangerous Dimensions
Fungi
Liminal Spaces
New Maps of Dream
Nightmare’s Realm
Nox Pareidolia
Penumbra
Screams From the Dark
Shadows and Tall Trees
The Moons At Your Door
There Is A Graveyard That Dwells In Man
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Vastarien Literary Journal
Years Best Weird Fiction

Literary criticism
Michael Cisco – Weird Fiction
Dr. Bob Curran – Metropolitan Weird: Urban Folklore and Forteana
Mark Fisher – The Weird and the Eerie
Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies
ST Joshi – The Weird Tale
HP Lovecraft – Supernatural Horror in Literature

Science and Philosophy
Peter Godfrey-Smith – Other Minds
Robert Macfarlane – Underworld
Timothy Morton – Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World
Merlin Sheldrake – Entangled Life
Max Tegmark – Our Mathematical Universe
Eugene Thacker – In the Dust of This Planet

Paranormal, Occult, Esoteric non-fiction
Peter Bebergal – Strange Frequencies
Erik Davis – High Weirdness
Charles Fort – Book of the Damned, New Lands, Lo!, Wild Talents
Patrick Harpur – Daimonic Reality
John Keel – The Mothman Prophecies, Operation Trojan Horse, The Eight Tower
Jeffrey Kripal – Authors of the Impossible, Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained
Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier – The Morning of the Magicians
Lucia Peters – Dangerous games to play in the dark
Whitley Strieber – Communion
Jacques Vallée – Passport to Magonia, The Invisible College, Wonders in the Sky

Movies
A Dark Song (2016)
Altered States (1980)
Annihilation (2018)
Antrum (2018)
Beyond the Black Rainbow (2012)
Communion (1989)
Crimes of the Future (2022)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Doors (2021)
Feed the Light (2014)
Flatliners (1990)
Get out (2017)
Histoira de lo Oculto (2020)
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Lord of Illusions (1995)
Mimic (1997)
Nope (2022)
Pi (1998)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Pontypool (2008)
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
Scanners (1981)
Solaris (1972)
Stalker (1979)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1992)
The Brood (1979)
The Endless (2017)
The Incident (2014)
The Mist (2007)
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
The Ninth Gate (1999)
The Quiet Earth(1985)
The Sound of My Voice (2011)
The Thing (1982)
They Remain (2018)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
Us (2019)
Videodrome (1983)
Village of the damned (1960)
Vivarium (2019)
Wounds (2019)
YellowBrickRoad (2010)

TV-series
Archive 81
Ares
Brand New Cherry Flavor
Channel Zero
Dark
Feria
Hannibal
Hellier
Strange Angel
The Children of the Stones
The Kettering Incident
The Lost Room
The OA
The Outer Limits
The Twilight Zone
The X-files
True Detective season 1
Twin Peaks
Zone Blanche / Black Spot

Podcasts
Archive 81
Borrasca
Cults
Elder Sign: A Weird Fiction Podcast
Fear is the Mind Killer
I am in Eskew
Knifepoint Horror
MonsterTalk
No Sleep
Pseudopod
Rabbits
Tanis
The Black Tapes
The Last Film
The Left Right Game
The Lovecraft eZine
The Lovecraft Investigations
The Magnus Archive
The Outer Dark
The Saucer Life
The Silt Verses
Udda Ting
Weird Studies
Wrong Station
Wyrd Transmissions

Weird World Web
Codex Astarte
creepypasta.com
Dr. Rinaldi’s Horror Cabinet
incunabula.org
r/9M9H9E9
r/nosleep
r/threekings
r/WeirdLit
The Anomalist
The Backrooms
The Ghost In My Machine
The Mystery Flesh Pit National Park
The SCP Foundation
Weird Fiction Review

Roleplaying games
Unknown Armies 2nd ed.
Delta Green
Odd Soot
Kuf
Kutulu
Chronicles of Darkness
Call of Cthulhu
Trail of Cthulhu
LIMINAL_
Esoteric Enterprises
Silent Legions
Stealing Cthulhu
Stalker
Deep Morphean Transmissions
The Esoterrorists
Fear Itself
JAGS Wonderland
GURPS Horror: The Madness Dossier

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Mysterium Weird Fiction Roleplaying

So, I wanted to run some campaigns inspired by contemporary weird fiction. There are many excellent games that I could have used for this, but most of them are centered on HP Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos and even though I’ve had much fun with that stuff over the years it was beginning to feel a bit old. Furthermore I knew that I wanted a d100-based system, and there are several good ones to choose from, but I found that I wanted to use ideas from a handful of them so I started to cobble together a house rule document. Quite soon I had a frankensteins monster made from parts stolen from different games and adapted to suit my needs.

As I worked on the rules, and ran games using the system, I refined and formulated ideas about what I meant by ‘weird fiction’ (stories in the intersection between horror, science fiction and fantasy that avoid common established tropes and focus on the strange and unknown) and how to run roleplaying campaigns in that mode.

What I ended up with can be summarized as a d100-based game for weird fiction roleplaying where ordinary contemporary people encounter the unknown through paranormal phenomena and strange beings. There is no set mythos or cosmology, each campaign is focused on a unique facet of the unknown and mysterious. Therefore rules and stats for weird powers, creatures and technology are particular to each scenario and are not covered by the core rules.

Currently I’m writing up three more extensive scenarios that are meant to make up the meat of the book.

  • The New Gods: Entities from beyond time and space make contact with sensitive individuals and offer strange powers in exchange for worship and sacrifice.
  • Angel Tears: A new drug allows users to access other worlds.
  • Hidden Masters: Ultraterrestrial forces fight a secret war for control of humanitys future.

If you want to check out how the game looks so far there is a Beta version (that include two shorter scenarios) available as Pay what you want (it’s perfectly alright to download it for free!): https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/397654/Mysterium-Weird-Fiction-Roleplaying-BETA

I hope to have the game finished in the second half of the year, but as this is a one man 0$ project we’ll just have to see.

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Ready made player characters for Xuhlan

In Umeå where I live we have an OSR convention / game day called Grottröj (“Dungeon Bashing”) once every quarter of the year. This time I ran the intro dungeon for Swords & Super-Science of Xuhlan, my setting for the Warriors of the Red Planet rpg. To make sure we would not waste valuable game time I had made six player characters using the Xuhlan races (humans, mutants, robots, formians, formiankin and lizard folk) with the WotRP classes (Fighing man, Scoundrel, Scientist and Mentalist).

In case you would like to use these characters, they can be downloaded here.

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Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan

Several years ago I made a sword and planet style setting called Xuhlan on this blog. Now I’ve expanded that material and rewritten it for use with the excellent Warriors of the Red Planet rules system. The cool art was made by FSF-Ink.

If you’d like a ticket to a world of pulpy planetary adventures you can buy it here!

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NPC for PARIAH

pngwing.com

Pariah is a “psychedelic proto-neolithic animist old-school roleplaying game” that I recently received after backing its zine quest kickstarter. Check out the creators blog here and itch.io store here.

I really like this game (another campaign to play, I need to quit my job!) and was inspired to make this NPC.

Cunning Hyena

True name: Urugu

A lanky old man with an intense gaze and complex tattoos covering face and upper body. Due to mutations his eyes bun with a magenta coloured flame and he smells faintly of ozone. His touch deal minor electrical shocks.

As a youth he was visited in his dreams by entities from Beyond. After he performed the rites they taught him and bound a spell-spirit to himself the elders of his tribe decided that he had broken a great taboo and cast him out into the wilderness. From then on he has followed the instructions of the whispering voices from Outside.

Cunning Hyena is followed by Empty Jar, a ten year old boy with empty eyes and a string of drool from his slack-jawed mouth. He was kidnapped by Cunning Hyena as an unnamed infant and used as a vessel to bind Azazanaz (4 HD), a fearsome elemental spirit from Beyond. When the spirit becomes active the boys eyes glow with magenta fire and a vailing ululation rises from his throat. When the boy is cut he bleeds a milky luminescent substance. This efluvium is an entheogen associated to the realm of the Beyond.

Following the directions of the voices from beyond the stars Cunning Hyena have built a shrine to them in a cave. The walls are painted with stars and eyes. In the center is a pyramid of human skulls from people whom Cunning Hyena have trapped and sacrificed to his masters.

HD: 8d6

HP: 7

Attributes: Con 10, Str 10, Dex 13 (+1), Int 13 (+1), Wis 8 (-1), Cha (Core) 13 (+1)

Saves: Death / Poison 13, Magical devices 14, Paralysis / Petrific. 13, Reflex 15, Spells +1

Skills: Craft (Tattoo) Int d8, Entheogens Con d10, Herbalism Wis d8, Intimidation Cha d10, Persuasion Cha d8, Poisons Int d10, Traps Dex d10

Rituals: Show me the the truth, Invocation, Conjuration, Binding

Bound spell-spirit from Beyond (3 HD).

Possessions: Colourful flaxen cloak, Leather pouch, Sack, Obsidian knife (Proficient, Int), Blowpipe + darts, Tattoo needles and pigments, Clay jar (poisonous ointments), Human skull drinking cup, Onyx dodecahedron. An ice cold, black, twelve sided, fist sized stone. Eyes starring out from each side. Lets the user paralyze a living target (until next dawn or dusk) or spend HD to damage Int or Cha (attackers choice).

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Esoteric Enterprises Actual Play

Today I ran my first session of Esoteric Enterprises at our local osr-con.

nophoto

The player characters were:

  • Janne, a doctor who never really finished med-school, runs an illegal street clinic and wants to do some interesting medical experiments.
  • Bob, a criminal and outspoken anarcho-primitivist who lives in his old van and has a weird old flame thrower that is supposedly “holy”.
  • Beata Monstråle-Adler, a mystic who prays to her dolphin patrons to channel the powers of the secret masters on Sirius B.

Since we run the games on our con in a Flailsnails fashion the party also included two veteran characters who had been on many previous adventures:

  • Krelka, female ogre level 3 fighter with a pet tardigrade the size of a guinea pig.
  • Murv, level 4 fighter with a collection of weird magic objects.

Based on my preparations I had made up three job offers for the characters:

  1. Tracking a thief and returning a stolen sculpture. The client insisted that the pc’s shouldn’t touch the sculpture with their bare hands.
  2. Breaking into the shrine of the Temple of Secret Wisdom to steal The Green Book.
  3. Locating a girl who had associated with a local street gang before going missing.

The players decided to go with mission no 3. I told them what they knew about the gang, namely that they were called “The Skulls” because of tatoos featuring a laughing skull and that they were often seen downtown and in the neighbourhoods surrounding the hospital.

The party took Bob’s van, drove around the relevant parts of town looking for someone wearing the gangs colors, pulled him into the van, pacified him with a cattle prod. blidfolded him and tied him up. After bringing him to Janne’s street clinic they started interrogating him. At first he was quite tough and told the pc’s that they would have to pay with their lives if they didn’t let him go. But when Krelka brought out her pet tardigrade and told the captive that it would eat his toes he broke down and spilled all his secrets.

The gangster explained that the gang has a mask that gives the wearer the ability to answer questions that he would not normally know the answer to. But this takes a toll on the wearer who becomes dull and passive even after removing the mask. Therefore the gang would pay some desperate person to don the mask when needed. Now, the boss of the gang had been involved with a girl for some time, but when the girl broke up with him he decided to punish her by making her wear the mask.

The pc’s asked their captive about details on the gang stronghold before going to war. Then they went down into the subterranean network of sewers, storm drains and transport tunnels that connect many of the underground complexes hidden beneath the feet of unsuspecting civilians.

Now, I thought this would become an absolute TPK. The pc’s were walking straight toward a guard with a tripod mounted machine gun, in a tunnel with nowhere to take cover.  And if they somehow survived this, they would be sorely outnumbered when they entered the gang stronghold. Well, it didn’t turn out that way.

As the party advanced through the tunnel towards the gangs hidden bunker the passage was suddenly flooded with light from a powerful electric lamp. A voice, amplified by a loud-hailer, told them to retreat or be fired upon.

Murv, the inter-dimensional fighting man, quickly pulled out a little glass bottle and threw it in the direction of the light. It conained a Fireball in liquid form. After a die roll for the throw, a rough calculation of throwing distance and an estimation of how the sphere of fire would be deformed by the tunnel, we reached the conclusion that the inferno did not engulf the pc’s and did not make the fuel tank of Bob’s flamethrower explode. But the conflagration did reach the guard at the end of the tunnel.

The electric lamp went dark as it was destroyed by the fire, and when the party advanced they could see the smoldering corpse of the guard. They retrieved the machine gun, found some keys on the guard and opened the door he had been stationed outside. Warm light, loud music and the smell of food and cigarette smoke greeted them into the gang stronghold. However, the gangsters had seen the assault on cctv and were not taken by surprise. The seven gang members currently in the complex had taken cover and grabbed their guns. This could still end with all the pc’s dead.

The pc’s won the initiative roll. Beata, the weird old new age lady, delivered suppressive fire with the expropriated machine gun while Bob, the lanky young thug let his flamethrower spewe a torrent of flame into the gang hideout. (Luckily Bob’s player rolled a bad attack throw and happened to point the flamethrower towards the concrete roof, so it did not set the rooms on fire.) Murv rushed in, ducking beneath the fire, and stabbed a gangster to death with his sword (+1). After this I felt it was reasonable to make a morale check for the gang, which they failed, sending them fleeing in panick.

The time was nearly up for our session so we wrapped it up summarily. The pc’s found the kidnapped girl, in good health. They also found 1000 euros in cash, some drugs and expensive lab equipment, some guns and amo and a weird looking mask made of some leathery material.

The players seemed to have enjoyed the game quite a lot and expressed interest in playing an Esoteric Enterprises campaign.

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Creating a city with Esoteric Enterprises

The coming saturday I will run a Esoteric Enterprises game on our local quarterly OSR con Grottröj. I could have gone with something a bit more small-scale, but I wanted to test the EE tools for creating an underground environment and an occult underworld. Though, admittedly, I’ve deviated somewhat from the procedure by choosing to use a map of an actual city – namely Umeå where our convention is held.

EE Umeå 1Umeå is by no means a big city, even though it has a university, large industry and the main hospital of the region, so one might wonder how so many supernatural factions can hide in such a limited population. But for the sake of this game we will simply disregard such questions.

EE Umeå 2The first step in rolling up the undercity is to drop a handfull of different dice on a large piece of paper.EE Umeå 4The I noted the type of die and the number rolled and checked against the table in the rulebook to see what kind of undercity complex was situated at that spot.

EE Umeå 3I linked nearby complexes with passages, and by comparing the type of dice on each end and checking against another table I could determine the specific sort of conduit. Now, since Umeå does not have a subway I reinterpreted that result as military tunnels, for covert transportation of materials. EE Umeå 5To roll up the social underworld of occult criminals I dropped a handfull of different dice on a empty paper. By once again comparing the type of dice and the number rolled against tables in the EE rulebook I could see what groups dominated the scene and what kind of relations they have to each other. EE Umeå 6Then I performed a similar procedure for each of the undercity complexes. At the same time I compared the undercity with the social underworld and decided what locations was inhabited by specific factions.

EE Umeå 8Now that I know how the undercity looks like, what factions of occult weirdos are active in the city and their conflicts with each other I can make some adventure hooks for the game.

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The world of OERG-8

The following text is an excerpt from The Voudon Gnostic Workbook by Michael Bertiaux. This book, which could be described as very excentric and eclectic, was one of many influences referred to in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles.

When I read this text it makes me think of George Lucas’ THX 1138 combined with Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain.

Enjoy!

The world of Oerg-8 is the world of the future. It is a world formed according to the esoteric philosophy of neo-orgonomy. It is a world where the energies are aspects of orgone-energy and where the production of this energy is the fundamental activity. I have been able to locate this world by means of my time-travel computer, the ideas in these Oerg-papers are derived from that world. It would be meaningless to say when this world exists or will exist. It can be located by means of my computer and that is sufficient. In it, we find confirmations of some of our present magickal ideas. We also find many changes and transformations of energy. We find many strange situations, also, which we did not suspect. This is a world where the fundamental energy is orgone and where the management of life is in the hands of servo-mechanisms, such as computers or instruments, powered by orgone. Since orgone is a particular form of magickal energy, we can view this culture as being of a magickal type. It is a sexo-magickal culture. There are a variety of computers in this world. They are specific and specialized in what they do. Their functions have developed to such a degree that they are now in a position to administer human life. The human beings in this culture are brought up and helped by these servo-mechanisms in order to adapt themselves to the society of orgone energy. It is very important to realize the powers which these servo-mechanisms possess.

Oerg-8 realized that he could be masturbated by the System. He entered his unit and carefully held up his ‘sex-card’ to the Monitor. “Yes, you are allowed a gratification program at this time,” hummed the mechanical speaker. There was a clicking as the wall slid back and rolled out the System. Oerg-8 unzipped his uniform and stood naked before the mechanical master. The arms of the System reached out for him and carefully began to do their program-work. This was based on a memory-bank pattern of Oerg-8’s personal and sexual history. Oerg-8 wanted to fall backwards from the intensity of the program, but the System held him firmly in its warm and metallic grip. He climaxed on schedule, as he always had in the past, and now felt pain as the System, over-running its program, continued unaware of his ejaculation. “Stop, I’ve had enough,” he gasped into the radio-panel. The System came to a halt and, releasing Oerg-8, he lay in a heap of exhaustion and pain on the cold steel floor. “Gratification achieved,” spoke the Monitor. Oerg-8 dragged himself into the sleeping sector of the floor and felt the cold rubber blankets beginning to cover him.

There is only the society of the servo-mechanisms. There is only the System and the Monitor, nothing else can exist without Their permission. Nothing can exist except what is permitted by the System and the Monitor. These were the first words which were taught to Oerg-8, as he was admitted into the world of the others. He never knew what they were like but he realized that they were something like himself. But were they? This is a society where human beings exist to provide the energy for the servomechanisms and their managers. Because the fundamental energy is orgone, human beings are used to provide this energy for the robotic agents of this society. 

However, this is not the same type of understanding of orgone energy, which we in the 20th century associate with the work of W. Reich and his discoveries. This is a perversion of that concept and also an exotic distortion of the original Reichian teachings. It would be impossible to find out how this happened. We do not possess any documents and the humans with whom we have established contact are unable to tell us. The servo-mechanisms, for reasons of their own security, are not talking. There are not any documents or papers available. In fact, this is an entirely non-literary society. True, they can read but they do not read extensively. Oerg-8 was born in this society. He does not know where he came from biologically as he was raised by servo-mechanisms. He was taught that he was a sexual being, one of a few and that is why he had the name Oerg. It was a sexual name. He was told that the value of his productivity — which was his value to the society — was measured in terms of the orgone energy which he produced for the System. He was told that any sexual activity which was not directed towards the System was forbidden. At a certain age he was given an erotic schedule. All this must be under the direction of the System. He could not allow the thought to arise that sexual experience was otherwise possible. It was forbidden, Oerg-8 was educated by the System. He was taught sexual philosophy. He was taught sexual politics and economy. He was taught to be a part of the System. He was taught that there were certain types of orgone-energy. These were very special and could never be discussed with anyone other than the Monitor. If he had any question he was to take it to the Monitor. He was forbidden to touch himself and every movement of his body, hands, his movement while sleeping, were watched by the Monitor. There was never to be any inappropriate use of the body. All sexuality belonged to the System. The production of sexual energy was allowed but only as a fuel for use by the System. 

One afternoon following a particularly intense workout with the System, the Monitor spoke to Oerg-8. “Because of your high level of energy-production, you will be allowed to hear the preliminary history instruction behind our way of experiencing.” With these words, as Oerg-8 relaxed on the cold steel floor, the Monitor began to explain the creation of the world as known by Oerg-8. It began rather simply in the 20th century. There was a magician named Michael, who was a human being. He was connected to another being beyond the humanoid stage of evolution. This being was called Michael Aquarius. He was a hyper-dimensional and gnostic being. The type of work which they did was related to gnostic computers. These are magickal types of machines which operate on esoteric energies. There seemed to be a point in the work where these two magicians took the radionic energies of the African or Afro-Atlantean IFA system and then combined them with the psionic energies generated by means of the Esoteric Shinto Cosmology. This combination, when harnessed by a computer produced a magickal information and energy system, which closely paralleled certain magickal tendencies in Islamic Sufism. These Sufi tendencies were reflected in the magickal powers of the Nine-and-Ninety Names of God. This magickal computer became more and more powerful since it was run on cosmic energies of a very fundamental nature. Also, in connection with this computer these magicians were in the process of developing various systems of sexual magick and connecting the results of these systems to the activities of the computer. Gradually it was discovered that the basic energies used by the computer and those developed in these magickal systems were fundamentally similar, if not identical. It was discovered that the radionic, psionic, and sexo-magickal energies were all aspects of the fundamental Ojas, behind all phenomena. In a very important way, this Ojas was expressed as Orgone energy by certain psychotherapists. There has been a psychoanalyst by the name of Dr. Reich. He had written about ‘The Function of the Orgasm.” In the process, he had developed a school of psychotherapy. After his death, the school and teachings fragmented and proliferated in a wide spectrum of methods and sexual therapies and psychologies. 

As a way of disguising what they were doing, the magicians used the Neo-Reichian images to hide the magickal and gnostic aspects of their work from the outside world. Using a number of these images drawn from Reichian and Neo-Reichian sources, Michael and his helpers were able to develop a number of their ideas regarding the political construction of the future direction of time. They apppear to have wanted to create a society in which they would be free to explore all of their hypotheses concerning time, energy, and human evolution. By means of their experiments with time lines, time-travel, and alternative universes, they found what they wanted at the present vector basis of our world, in the future. And making use of various methods, they transported to that world what they felt would be the basics for building their magickal society. That was a long time ago. Michael and his helpers are no longer here in the same way that humanoids like Oerg-8 are here. But they are here in a hyperspatial way, since they live on in a magickal metageometry. Of course, no one dies in this world, they are simply transformed to a higher experience or level of work with the instruments of research. The System is the ultimate erotic computer designed by Michael and his helpers. The Monitor represents the Teaching Function of society. It is the companion of every humanoid in the society created by those futuristic magicians. In a very interesting way, this society is the Plutonian or Yuggothian projection of the id-imagination of Michael and his computers. It represents the objectification of what he wishes realized in matter. Back in the world where he lived, Michael was familiar with the planetary influences of three gods: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. All that he did was a projection to the world where he lived under certain influences and energies from these gods. These gods are viewed in our world, the world of Oerg-8, as the ultimate sources of power. They are the three aspects of the Absolute, or the Holy Trinity. The fundamental theology of this world is an explanation of the ways whereby the powers of these gods are manifested in our experiences. Theology is always a form of esoteric engineering because the root energies come from radionic, psionic, and vudotronic roots. The form that this power takes in humanoids is a deep field of orgone energy, which is released by means of intense orgasms, made possible by the Reichian and Neo-Reichian programming of these erotic computers. This is the basic way in which our world is sustained, for to maintain power requires the constant feeding of orgone into the System, since it is orgone energy which underwrites the more magickal energy-fields, which hold this world in the future.

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Gathox Random World Table

planet

So, I was reading in my copy of Gathox Vertical Slum and thinking about how cool it is that this ambulating god-city travels between different worlds and how this would let players make expeditions from the city to explore and scavenge whatever worlds they happen to find themselves on.

Therefore, I made a random table for worlds that Gathox can appear on. I wanted a science fantasy / sword and planet vibe, another table could have D&D Great Wheel planes or high fantasy settings or alternate versions of Earth history or…

1. Hubris

2. Carcosa

3. The Purple Planet

4. Athanor

5. Zoon

6. BX Mars

7. Mu / Mars

8. Athas

9. The Ultraviolet Grasslands

10. The Land of One Thousand Towers

11. The Hill Cantons

12. Xuhlan 

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