Ultra Violet Grasslands

The Heretic

Should be playing D&D instead
”The Artpunk is rising. After Lotfp was dealt a grievous hit under the water-line and took on water, the adherents of this terrible creed emerged filth-spattered from all of its nooks and crannies and leapt into the ocean, to search for greener pastures to infest. In its wake follow Troika, and now Mörk Börg, and with each iteration we see an inexorable decline in gameability, depth, substance and thematic fealty in favor of gorgeous presentation, posturing and off-the-wall hair-brained ideas.”
Hair-brained? Not hare-brained? I like it. Was it a typo or was it a reference to the fact that metalheads like long hair. Maybe @PrinceofNothing will pop in and let me know.
I believe the style of using obscure language came to D&D through Dying Earth where it is both precise and disorienting and employed to create a certain mood. People remember the blue concentrate precisely because it's never specified what it is.
A mood of confusion? Remembering for what? Lots of blue concentrate belonephobic platipusmen conducting apocryphal make up design sessions to confidante the confederacy of the melonic fragmentated shoe strings.

Two orcs

Officially better than you, according to PoN
A mood of confusion? Remembering for what? Lots of blue concentrate belonephobic platipusmen conducting apocryphal make up design sessions to confidante the confederacy of the melonic fragmentated shoe strings.
A mood of being in a real but alien environment, where people react to it's internal logic and etiquette in strange but consistent and often funny ways. Sort of like a fairy tale turned up to 11, not only does the clever swineherd have to endure rhetorical battles with a troll that wishes to eat him but the most common predator of men will knock on your door incessantly begging you to open it and chiding you for your cruelty in denying it a meal. It's easier to convey in a book because of the wide perspective of the reader and a well informed narrator, these crocodiles could work as a payoff if the players learn of their school and their fate before encountering them (in which case the solution also becomes a matter of player skill rather than impossible guessing).

The same technique is employed a lot in The Book of the New Sun.


My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Well, I got to the end of UVG after taking a break to work through a huge Economist backlog that the wife was threatening to throw in the recycle bin (I am now even more sinophobic and Keynesian than I was before; ah sweet, sweet, moderate neo-liberal propaganda...). Reading this book right before bed brought on some absolutely spectacular dreams. I have to say UVG was a real trip and a very fun book to read. I'd love to run it some day.

Though it did present the author's own OSR-style rules-light D&D mod, this was definitely an adventure product in the Sandbox category. The idea being to build a caravan and plan a route across the increasingly weird plains to a Black City at the edge of reality. It is some straight up '70's Metal Hurlant, acid-trip shit evoking all my favourite comics.

There are definite mechanical issues. As was suggested, the SEACAT system should probably be discarded for a more tested/familiar system (although, it might be a bitch to rip it's sticky tendrils out of the elegant and eminently gameable Caravan system). A further product fleshing out this system is hinted at. I don't know if I'd be overly interested in further mechanics, but more details on the weird races and classes that inhabit this environment as well as some more concrete descriptions (and lush illustrations) of the 'monsters' would definitely be welcome.

The Caravan rules provide a fun sub-game for the players to engage in, hopefully distracting them from the lack of combat/detailed side-quests.
Side-quests/dungeon-like structures are hand-waved (the product would have been utterly unfinishable/unpublishable otherwise) but more than that, it seems almost intentionally abstracted. Like the players find a location, say a mysterious pyramid in the wastes, they roll some dice, they lose x days, extract y trade goods and lose z life. Maybe throw in a key encounter with a boss NPC/monster that inhabits the place and let that modify the results. No dungeon map, no searching for traps, no delving. The crawl is the road, the discoveries you make along the way to be run more like rooms than whole installations unto themselves. The option is always there, but then it's up to the 'CAT' to design and run something. The average UVG character is too foofy for tactical dungeon clearing, so that's another argument for bringing in your own favored ruleset if you and your players want to put a little more time into the roadside distractions.

As I mentioned before, the language is often florid, opaque and a bit texturbatory, but never overlong or superfluous. It definitely sets the mood especially when combined with the art (which with a little reading almost always corresponds clearly with something on the spread (which is a BIG DEAL)).

This is above all a fantastic read and for sure a book to enjoy pride-of-place on the bookshelf or coffee table. It definitely can't be run straight out of the box and will drive BtB people fucking crazy with it's story-gamey 'yes-and' and 'do what feels right in the moment' hand waving instructions. I could see this working with a group of friends who maybe havn't played in a while or with casuals who want to geek-out without immersing themselves in rules arcana. Some beers, some weed, some caravan rules for that one barrister/attorney-at-table and you're looking at a solid night at the cottage/day in the basement that people will be talking about for a long time to come.

Highly recommended: 3 mushroom caps and 2 stems out of five? it was five dude, right? shit I lost count.


8, 8, I forget what is for
That brought back some memories of my DM (back in the 70's/80's) was always going on about the Economist and New Republic...even when he was in High School. Wrote a great paper on free trade where he made the analogy (against tariffs) by saying, "If someone shot themselves in the arm and sprayed blood on you, should you shoot yourself in the arm to spray them back?".

A true iconoclast was he.