Saturday, February 8, 2020


The Joesky Tax is a necessary part of a healthy RPG environment and chief of the weapons against the disc horse. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not know of the power of the Joesky Tax and are thus left defenseless to the horrific beast.

Never fear! I have created a list, better than a list a random table, that when the disc horse arrives at your door and demands engagement you can say NO, DISC HORSE! I HAVE PAID MY TAXES!

100 Methods of Paying Your Joesky Tax

  1. Revise & polish an old module (or even game) you like.
  2. Outline a new game using 5 core mechanics taken from other games.
  3. What genre of games needs a revival, change, start or renewal?
  4. You are a goblin. What is today's scheme?
  5. What horrible internet rabbit hole did the occultist fall into?
  6. Favorite children's book + favorite adult book = game setting
  7. Your favorite PC.
  8. Lost tomes of the Stygian Library.
  9. Make your least favorite monster cool.
  10. What's a myth that begs for an adaptation (that doesn't have one)?
  11. Your favorite weird Wikipedia article & how to use it.
  12. What holiday festival did you stumble onto?
  13. Goblins have a food truck! What are they serving?
  14. Funerary beliefs of the local culture.
  15. Common pets for adventurers
  16. What monster lurks in the hearts of men?
  17. Make or modify character creation into a solo game.
  18. Who are these chucklehead novices from the Temple of the Centipede?
  19. Describe the place you long for.
  20. What songs do you faintly hear on the lyre, and what do they mean?
  21. What world lies beyond the hidden door?
  22. Make a family tree generator or table.
  23. Revise & renew an old post.
  24. What terrible fortune has befallen, to drive so many into the life of a delver?
  25. What great journey has just left to where you cannot follow?
  26. Take a class; make its opposite.
  27. Shotgun scenario! Any game, 1500 words max.
  28. Why is that starfish latched to that man's face?
  29. Character creation via a novel form of life path.
  30. Who carries that lantern across the mist-shrouded moor? 
  31. What sort of monstrous roadkill is that?
  32. Explain what a gorbadrex is.
  33. Notable pilgrimage points.
  34. Name the threat that seeks to eat the sun.
  35. Character creation through memories.
  36. Describe the other planets in the solar system.
  37. Take a given in society, flip and extrapolate.
  38. Take a given about human physiology or behavior, flip and extrapolate.
  39. Who bears delvers and cutters to the afterlife? Which afterlife?
  40. Make a map.
  41. Using the above map, apply this post from Sword of Mass Destruction
  42. Patch notes from the gods.
  43. Super-specialized non-hostile magical creature.
  44. What avoidable tragedy started this terrible conflict?
  45. Take a game you've never played, make a character for it. Write about the experience.
  46. Take your favorite class, remake it even more favorite.
  47. The council failed at its appointed task. What consequences will come of this?
  48. Non-dinosaur prehistoric creature class or monster.
  49. Formative myths of this culture.
  50. Organizations for making parties.
  51. What intolerable injustice must be righted?
  52. Blow the conch! Who answers?
  53. Loopholes in fairy contracts.
  54. Terrifying threat that is actually misunderstood.
  55. Stranded alien colonists.
  56. Guests at the mad magician's tea party.
  57. What did you see on that unmarked VHS?
  58. What is trapped in the roots of that tree?
  59. What great filter killed these aliens?
  60. What's something you like in a game you don't?
  61. So where do these monsters come from?
  62. Make a short adventure about a marriage.
  63. Using magic to solve big, but mundane, problems.
  64. Get the PCs to the moon using default rules in a game where that is not normally an option.
  65. What is the Hand of Trax and why was it stolen?
  66. Critique a video game RPG.
  67. Fishing minigame!
  68. The hideous secret vices of notable nobles.
  69. Read & review a game book you own but have not played.
  70. Non-racist ancient alien scenario.
  71. Build a city in a very unlikely place.
  72. Cryptids! Make some cryptids.
  73. Nonstandard monstrous humanoids that are more than one note.
  74. A broken artifact and how to fix it.
  75. Leviathans of the abyss, sky, and mantle.
  76. Make a script / alphabet.
  77. An ancient song that contains clues to ruins and treasure!
  78. Make a Wonder and Wickedness style magical school.
  79. Take a genre, approach it from a different angle and perspective.
  80. Notorious pieces of high art worth heisting away.
  81. What lurks inside the labyrinth? Why is it there? How?
  82. What are the gifts of the Great Machine God?
  83. What government is funding these privateers?
  84. Cobble together a map of your favorite adventures.
  85. Who is this future for?
  86. What brings the Gazelle Queen to court?
  87. Who built these terrible tombs?
  88. Fun with obscure Biblical stories.
  89. What nonviolent interactions exist with these creatures.
  90. A forbidden spell; why was it censured?
  91. What secrets have these hallucinogenic snails divulged?
  92. What did this magical creature look like millions of years ago? What about the future?
  93. Who will inherit the world after humanity has passed?
  94. Write about a topic that inspires you. The thing that instinctively makes you want to create.
  95. Myths and legends told in the twilight days of the climate apocalypse. 
  96. What is the snake-headed salesman selling?
  97. Society-upending magical or technological development.
  98. An unusual shapeshifter.
  99. A collection of final thoughts.
  100. Make a similar d100 list, link it to this one.



  2. I loved working with on of my DM's to create a mashup of LOTR, Rifts ttrpg, and our current time to answer the question of 'what would be different if Middle Earth and our world were the same and then the events of Rifts happened?

  3. Did you call them cutters because of Benton / Incunabula? Because I'm here for it. This list is mighty, comrade.

    1. Benton has made my absolute favorite version of "adventurer-as-profession" to exist, so yes, absolutely.

  4. Oh man, can you imagine what this place would be like if everyone did all of these? Too much content! What bliss!

  5. These are all delights, but #26 is especially fruitful. The classic Fighter, Magic-User, and Cleric can be swapped for the Saint, the Debunker, and the Blasphemer. (respectively, imagine as Mr. Rogers, H. L. Mencken, and a shock-jock atheist punk interacting with orcs and liches.)
    The Thief and the Bard are less intuitive, being broad-based problem solvers.
    Since Thieves/Rogues operate by stealth and theft and tend to be gritty and acquisitive, their opposite needs to be overt and open-handed. Enter The Eccentric! Think post-conversion Scrooge crossed with Henry Cavendish. They have a vast fortune, all tied up in land and business concerns, and adventure in search of communities to philanthropically improve (the tax writeoff is a side benefit). Also a keen student of Natural Philosophy who can jury-rig mechanical solutions to problems. Bribery, donations, contraptions, and public information campaigns are their toolkit, and they have a high chance of Knowing a Fellow in the City. Alas, they can't buy the rest of the party adamantine plate and +X weapons/wands due to byzantine rules of fiduciary conduct and conflict-of-interest. Not a great fighter, but can present the orcs with a better employment contract or convince kobolds to go on strike until the dragon lets them unionize, that sort of thing.

    Since that kind of took the overt-social-flamboyant niche of the Bard, let's make the Oubliette! These deal in silence and secrets, the devouring and burying of information. Why did the museum lose that strangely-shaped skull? Why did that flood in the library destroy that priceless manuscript? Why have subsequent interviews with the shaman never yielded further mention of their god? The Oubliette, that's why. Perhaps through philosophical introspection, perhaps through contact with a Great Old One, they have come to the conclusion that the world would be better with less information. (And since more people=more minds=more information processors, they are also celibate; a further anti-bard-stereotype) Expect a lot of memory-affecting abilities. At mid-level, they can destroy information, replacing it with the equivalent of predictive text. At high level, they can *eat* True Names. Deeply creepy. Fortunately non-hierarchical and not organized. Inspired by weird coincidences in fringe science, classic Cthulhu cultists, some fey stuff, Stross's infovores, and the [SPOILER REDACTED] from Lafferty's "What was the Name of That Town?"

  6. I did this one:

    Why is that starfish latched to that man’s face?
    1. That’s his wife
    2. Sharing lunch
    3. Laying eggs in his stomach
    4. Fashion statement
    5. Manservant carrying aquatic master about
    6. Man-shaped tumour growing on unfortunate starfish

    Among other things here: