The ChaosGrenade

Quick & Dirty Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Echoed Invocations 0: Clarity

Echoed Invocations is a new series of supplemental zines for Sigil & Shadow, providing expanded rules and content for my role-playing game of Urban Fantasy & Occult Horror. This inaugural issue kicks off by addressing frequent questions I’ve had over the past year, providing rules clarifications and as well as errata. In addition, this zine works as a quick and dirty reference to the bulk of the game’s rules – it’s literally a “GM Screen” in booklet form. Continue reading

[SIGIL & SHADOW] The Dim Waters

All artwork on this post was done with Midjourney AI

Houston, Texas – largest city in the state, home to over 2.3 million people in a roughly 666-mile area. This massive bayside city and neighboring communities reside on a handful of bayous and two large rivers (the Trinity and San Jacinto). The city itself is a hotbed for many paranormal types — many who walk its streets are unaware of how many occultists, cryptids and other shades they bump elbows with.

Seasonal rains and annual hurricanes frequently flood Houston’s streets and neighborhoods. These waters bring uncaring currents that steal away facets of everyday life – beloved possessions and entire lives are washed away in these deluges. It is said that when the waters rescind and currents are still, you can see another place reflected on the surface of the streams and riverbeds. It’s like our world through a lens of murky sunlight, but different. Distorted. And that if you stare long enough, you can see the reflections of those people and things lost to the currents.

This place is called The Dim Waters. It is the ephemeral Echo of the region – a reflection of all the psychic and emotional energies within and surrounding the city. Drowned ghosts seek out mementos of their old lives, swamp spirits stalk and prey on those who dare to enter their domains, and strange denizens lure others in with haunting bayou songs.

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[SIGIL & SHADOW] New Myths on Old Streets

All artwork on this post was done with Midjourney AI

When Sigil & Shadow was in the brainstorming phase, Bill Logan mentioned a line from the movie Queen of the Damned — “Old gods on new streets”. That’s been something pinned in my head for years, but as the game finally manifested into its final form I felt it may have actually flipped polarity.

While ancient horrors and elder gods definitely have a place in the dark parallels, I personally became more interested in the ideas of emergent powers in a century of new magic — modern mythos awakening in an age of confusion, hyper disinformation, and dreams of infinite possibilities while the world watched itself collapsing.

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[SIGIL & SHADOW] The Stained Artist

All artwork on this post was done with Midjourney AI

This is a character write up inspired by the Sigil & Shadow Play-by-Poll I ran over on the Osprey Games Twitter. Every decision voted on not only steered the events of the story, but the development of this persona. Granted, after the fact I filled in some blanks according to my own interpretations of events.

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[SIGIL & SHADOW] Factions & Stature

Header Art by Luis F. Sanz

Sigil & Shadow strives to cover the tropes of urban fantasy and modern horror – hunting down monstrous threats, investigating paranormal mysteries, researching hidden magic and communing with powerful entities. But it also allows players to become monstrous individuals, treading down paths of power that often put them at odds with both the cities they live in and the others who haunt its streets. While “Scooby gang mysteries” are a staple of the genre, so to are stories of ancient feuds, dark conspiracies, and rivalries that litter the streets with blood and fire.

Today we’re taking a dive into using factions as part of a Sigil & Shadow campaign.

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The Wythe Case, Part 4: A Shattered Nightmare

The entity paralyzing Samantha pays no attention to Julia, continuing to attempt to suffocate her with a swarm of shadowy bugs that bleed out from its outstretched hands. Julia hurriedly gestures her spell and screams “By my will, I demand you be banished from this place!” In a flash, ghostly arms wisp out and grab the horror, dragging it into the mirror as it howls in anguish. Julia rushes to Samantha’s side as she finally wakes up, sitting straight up and screaming. Continue reading

The Wythe Case, Part 3: Dead End Friends

Samantha couldn’t sleep the nights following her encounter at the Wythe Estate. Any time she closed her eyes, that wretched man-bug with the hollowed eyes was there… its severed and inhuman teeth. When she was awake, especially on the nights following, something else was there. It hid in plain sight – even when she meditated and gazed across the curtain into the Echo, it was only there the edges of the periphery. Continue reading

The Wythe Case, Part 2: Fight or Flight

This narrative is a continuing example of gameplay for Sigil & Shadow, my role-playing game of Urban Fantasy & Occult Horror. We left Samantha Cane being pursued by some kind of gnarly half-humanoid, half-insect monstrosity chasing her out of an abandoned estate. You can catch up on part one here You can also check out Samantha Cane’s Character Sheet Learn more about Sigil & Shadow here Our Story Continues Samantha runs out into dark night, sliding in the mud and frantically trying to find an escape from the Wythe estate grounds. Continue reading
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