Archive for the Occult Detective RPG Category

Occult Detective RPG Update

Posted in Occult Detective RPG on March 22, 2019 by Occult Detective


I had planned to launch the Occult Detective RPG on May 1. That date now looks a tad bit too optimistic. I’m having surgery in April and that’s going to gravely affect my productivity, so, rather than rush the project (or worse, try to complete it in a medicated state) I am going to postpone the release till Lammas Night, the first of August.

I like the date. I like it a lot actually. To be honest, Katherine Kurtz has been such a huge influence on my work, and her novel Lammas Night in particular has its fingerprints all over my fiction, and thus, this RPG, that it is fitting.

From a metaphysical sense, I like the symmetry of releasing the game during Lughnasadh, especially with a New Moon overhead.

Practically speaking, with these added few months, I can add some additional art and functional graphics to the rulebook that will certainly enhance not only the experience, but the overall aesthetic.

As we move forward, I will strive to produce weekly updates on my progress, and maybe even offer up some sneak peeks of what’s to come.

I have certainly tempered my ambitions and expectations. Without partners, not taking it to kickstarter is the right decision. While I liked the idea of maps and miniatures, they were never a crucial element of the gameplay. It’s the roleplaying that matters, the storytelling.

This game will rise or fall on the strength of the magic system, I suspect. It is different from what many will have been used to. I think it makes for a more vibrant and exciting game. I look forward to seeing what the public thinks…


Preternaturally Speaking #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective RPG on April 23, 2018 by Occult Detective

Let’s continue our exploration of KITH.

To refresh your memory, Kith, within the context of Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game™, is what you are. Your Protagonist’s Kith provides you with a basic framework from which your occult detective will come to life through the unique powers, resistances, advantages, and abilities they add. More than that, your Kith establishes the first glimmer of background for which to build your Protagonist around.

There are three core Kith for you to choose from: Natural, Preternatural, and Supernatural.

In our first installment, we took a peek at the Naturals. Today, we’ll look at what it means to be a Preternatural.

First, the word itself. Merriam-Webster defines preternatural as existing outside of nature; exceeding what is natural or regular; inexplicable by ordinary means.

In Occult Detective, a Preternatural is a character with powers and abilities beyond what is normal or natural — the idea being they are naturals with special gifts, either by birth or by exceptional training.

There are three types of Preternatural:

Alchemists, who are scientifically gifted, are blessed with intelligence beyond the scope of ordinary men and women. As such, they begin with a minimum Brains score of 10, then roll a 1d10+2 to establish their ability. One can come at this from several different angles, be it from speculative philosophy or fringe science.

Examples: Victor Frankenstein, Walter Bishop, Herbert West


Magicians, adept in the use of the Esoteric Arts, select their abilities from the Path and Major Arcana tables found in this manual. Their Sun and Moon Signs dictate which element those spells are expressed by. A Magician can choose a Light or Dark Path and the spells available to them are adjusted accordingly. Light Path Magicians begin with a minimum Brains score of 10, then roll 1d10+1 to establish their ability. Dark Path Magicians begin with a minimum Bravado score of 10, then roll 1d10+1 to establish their ability.

Examples: John Constantine, Harry Dresden, Diana Tregarde

Necromancing the Stone



Psychics are sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences, marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding, and in some cases, possess powers of telekinesis, pyrokinesis, levitation, and more. Psychics begin with a minimum Boon score of 10, then roll a 1d10+2 to establish their ability.

Examples: Odd Thomas, Vanessa Ives, Eleven

Episode 101

Coming up next — Supernaturals.


There’s Nothing Natural About It #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective RPG on April 16, 2018 by Occult Detective

This week I thought we’d share a bit about KITH.

Kith, within the context of Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game™, is what you are. Your Protagonist’s Kith provides you with a basic framework from which your occult detective will come to life through the unique powers, resistances, advantages, and abilities they add. More than that, your Kith establishes the first glimmer of background for which to build your Protagonist around.

There are three core Kith for you to choose from: Natural, Preternatural, and Supernatural.

Today, we’ll look at what it means to be a Natural.

A Natural is an ordinary human who gets caught up in extraordinary events, who has the veil ripped from their eyes, revealing an unimaginable world filled with all manner of things that go bump in the night.

Being non-magical, a Natural gains resistance to certain types of magick based on their Path and Major Arcana. More on that later.

A Natural has two options when rolling their character’s ability scores: Add a +2 Bonus to all six abilities (or) add a +1 Bonus to five scores and a +3 to one.


Naturals are the most common type of occult detective. Some examples from television would be Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural), Carl Kolchak (The Night Stalker), Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (The X-Files), and, talking dog not withstanding, Mystery Inc’s Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy (Scooby Doo, Where Are You?).


Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at Preternaturals.

Magick is coming…

Posted in Occult Detective RPG on April 12, 2018 by Occult Detective



In this first iteration of OD:TRPG you can play a Natural, (i.e., a person who stumbles into the shadowy world of the occult ), Preternatural (e.g., ceremonial magicians, shamans, psychics, and the like), or Supernatural (e.g., angels, demons, ghosts, golems, vampires, or werewolves). You further refine your occult detective character by choosing one of ten archetypes, such as a Doctor, Archaeologist, Private Investigator, or even an Artist.

There are a whole lot of things that go into your character build. Your astrological sun and moon signs are a factor, and everyone draws a rune to further enhance their personality and ability traits.

We’ve got a whole lot more to show off, so stick around…

You can signup for our mailing list via this link: Occult Detective RPG.

Casting a deadlier spell… #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective RPG on April 10, 2018 by Occult Detective


A wizard’s work is never done…

If it seems quiet around here, it’s because I’m neck deep in building the grimoire for our forthcoming Occult Detective RPG. Magick is as magick does. All fitting work considering the last circle of three staring back at me from the calendar on my wall. I’d like to think that Crowley would approve…


If you build it… #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective RPG, Occult Detectives on April 6, 2018 by Occult Detective


Back in the proverbial saddle after a long hiatus from game development. It feels good to shake the dust off and revisit this game and to know that we are finally moving in the right direction.

I aim to have all the rulebooks completed by the end of May and the final playtesting to commence over the summer, then we’ll be launching a kickstarter and see what dreams may come…

There is a steep learning curve, but we’re up to the challenge. We aim to deliver, first and foremost, a game that will fire your imagination, but we want it to include a full line of miniatures, game maps, scenarios, and all the bells and whistles that a quality board game brings to the table, but with an RPG’s narrative sensibilities.

I’ll be reaching out to some folks to help elevate the game beyond my wildest imaginings. We’re looking to build something special here and I think we’re on track to drag it kicking and screaming into reality.

I am reminded of a place I used to live, far off the beaten path, in the rural wilds of Indiana. Atop a hill overlooking a coursing stream my friends and I constructed rings of stone around a fire pit. I painted runes upon the stones, and smiling, I said, “If you build it, they will come” to which my friend Shaun quipped, “Oh, great, now we’re in Bob’s Field of Bad Dreams”.

Yes. Yes you are…

Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game is coming. And Magick is coming with it.

The Occult Detective is open for business

Posted in Magick, Occult Detective RPG, Occult Detectives with tags , , , on July 5, 2017 by Occult Detective


On Tuesday, whilst America was celebrating its Independence, I was busy launching an etsy store. That’s right, The Occult Detective is open for business.

The first item being offered is The Landon Connors: Occult Detective Tarot. Originally designed for use in Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, I quickly developed a deep connection with the cards and felt that they had a greater purpose beyond the game itself.

I wanted to make the deck available to those who would have little to no interest in an RPG, but would understand and intuit the value of these cards as a divination tool. I think you’ll agree, they are brimming with potential.

The Allfather

In the coming weeks I’ll be adding The Occult Detective Skrá Tarot to the store.

Skrá is an old Norse word. As a noun, it meant “skin” as in parchment, but as a verb its meaning is “to write”.

The Skrá Tarot was my first attempt at a personalized deck, where the symbolism was mine and mine alone.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Ever since I first started revealing images from this deck back in 2012, the response has been overwhelming.

For whatever reason, a lot of people have felt a real connection to these images. So, after a wee bit of soul-searching, I decided to release them. I have had to reformat them somewhat to accommodate the print shop doing the work, but I think in the end, this will make the cards even better.

As for what else I might be offering, I foresee signed books, perhaps more Tarot Decks, maybe even some readings.

I’m also offering up my services to create custom cards or full decks for those interested.

As you can see, there’s lots going on at my new storefront. Come on by and check out The Occult Detective and browse around. I’ve a feeling something might grab you…

Kick Out the JAMS

Posted in Horror, Occult Detective RPG, Occult Detectives, Writing on May 10, 2017 by Occult Detective

mathers rs

Fans of my Cairnwood Manor series might get a kick out of the faux Rolling Stone cover above. Mathers is a character I enjoyed writing a lot, sort of a cross between Jim Morrison, Jimmy Page, and Dennis Wheatley’s Duke De Richleau. He had a prominent role in Keepers of the Dead, and, I’m happy to report, he will be showing up in the future, both in the novel Born Again and in some short stories I’m working on.

Anyway, the purpose of today’s missive is merely to say that I am overjoyed and excited about some things developing behind the scenes. Nothing concrete, and certainly nothing I want to jinx by dragging them out into the light of day just yet, but my fingers are more than crossed, let me assure you…

In publishing news — Still working on finalizing First Born. We’re a handful of weeks out from the launch and I’m starting to get a bit antsy. A lot hinges on this occult detective collection.

Progress is still being made on Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game. Crossed a hurdle in regard to the magic system and spell lists. Things are really starting to come together.

Been focusing on Connor’s novels, helping to edit them for publication. He’s essentially created a YA occult detective series from the bare bones of an abandoned idea of mine. He’s done some incredibly unique and wondrous things with it. Makes a father proud.

Hope to squeeze in a couple of book reviews tomorrow, but time is becoming a precious commodity.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the passing of my favorite artist, Frank Frazetta. He is truly and sorely missed.

Today is also John Constantine’s 64th birthday. Happy Birthday, Con-Job. I miss you too.

Till next time, be well & true…

Beltane Blues (Cheap Day Return)

Posted in Magick, Occult Detective RPG, Occult Detectives, Writing on May 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

“At Bealltainn, or May Day, every effort was made to scare away the fairies, who were particularly dreaded at this season. In the West Highlands charms were used to avert their influence. In the Isle of Man the gorse was set alight to keep them at a distance. In some parts of Ireland the house was sprinkled with holy water to ward off fairy influence. These are only a mere handful out of the large number of references available, but they seem to me to reveal an effort to avoid the attentions of discredited deities on occasions of festival once sacred to them. The gods duly return at the appointed season, but instead of being received with adoration, they are rebuffed by the descendants of their former worshippers, who have embraced a faith which regards them as demons.

In like manner the fairies in Ireland were chased away from the midsummer bonfires by casting fire at them. At the first approach of summer, the fairy folk of Scotland were wont to hold a “Rade,” or ceremonial ride on horseback, when they were liable to tread down the growing grain.”

― Lewis Spence, British Fairy Origins

The tide has turned, it seems, as Beltane Fire Festivals and the like light the way to a new dawn of pagan revitalization. Oh, sure, there are some naysayers, calling the pagan movement, reborn in the 50s by many estimations, a passing fancy, but from my vantage point, being somewhat older than most of those writing of such things, that paganism, which has never been a unified thing to begin with, is merely undergoing a change, much like it has been doing for the better part of the past century and most likely has done so since we were painting bulls on cave walls.

You will find a litany of articles declaring paganism’s demise, of it falling out of favor. They couldn’t be more wrong. Welcome to the revolution, the evolution, of faith in the 21st century.

Beltane, being a welcoming of summer’s return, of renewal and rekindling, is alive and well here and I feel a continuation of what I wrote of last year at this time — that the old ways have steadily been seeping back into my weary bones, that the call of the spirits still beckon from beyond the pale.

I have many fires lit and I tend to them as best I can.

First Born, my occult detective collection due soon from Seventh Star Press, has passed through the proof stage. I will be looking forward to announcing a blog tour and book promotion in the coming weeks.

I’ll have a Landon Connors tale published in an upcoming issue of Skelos Magazine. Details once I can share them. One of my bucket List accomplishments I craved was being published in Weird Tales. As they are no more, I view Skelos as a worthy successor, so landing a story with them is a real honour.

I’ve been editing my son’s second novel, Word Hollow, and it’s really been such a tremendous joy to pore over this thing. Connor is a marvel and I thank the gods each and every day that he is a part of Kim’s and my world. We are blessed. I may be biased, but he’s one helluva storyteller.

I finally completed the Occult Detective Tarot and the writing on the rulebooks for Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game continues. It is coming together nicely and I look forward to shopping it around to game publishers soon. I have some in mind, of course, but am prepared to take the beast to crowdfunding if necessary. There is an audience hungry for it, I think.

tarot sample

Speaking of Occult Detectives, I have read the wondrously talented Judika Illes’s October release titled The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives and I will be publishing a review this week, giving the book my most heartfelt recommendation and endorsement.

You can also expect forthcoming reviews of several other books, including Getting Higher by Julian Vayne.

I have some other projects in the works, some more secret than others, but I’m in a bit of a rush, so that’s all for now. I love this time of the year, this Second Hallowe’en if you will. There is magic afoot and the ancient powers abound. I am thankful for my time here, for my friends and family, and for all of you. Be well and true, and may the gods bless you all of your days.

We’re getting closer…

Posted in Occult Detective RPG on March 23, 2017 by Occult Detective


The box art for Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game™

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