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There will be a new episode of Crypt Shyfter this weekend! Episode 23: The Pit. I'm about halfway finished at the moment but should have it all wrapped up by tomorrow.
Special thanks to @Phronemophobia for keeping me honest :)
Yo! You may have noticed my posting schedule has been... erm... delayed a bit. I do apologize for that. Crypt Shyfter should be out every week! This is blasphemy- madness! (Well, not Madness. Crypt Shyfter. One's paper cutout, the other is- oh, you know the deal. It's Newgrounds for fucks sake!!)
But I've missed the last two weeks and will probably miss this week as well. So much to do, so little time to do it in! Remember all the way back on 12/27/16 when I posted this?:
That's pretty fucking ambitious, and I'll be floored if I can actually pull off all that bullshit I'm spouting
I was talking about how I'd be making episodes of Crypt Shyfter every week of the year in 2017 lol. How naive I was to think I could pull off such a stunt! (But how freakin' awesome would that have been??) Looks like no man is above the laws of mortality and my best efforts have been quashed by the effects of burnout and shifting interests.
I still intend to have the final 8 episodes completed over the next few months, but I expect now I'll be posting them at a more irregular pace. We have a story that needs finishing, and no story should be left incomplete!
So we will wrap it up, but it'll be at a slower pace than I've been going previously.
What the fuck have I been doing with my time?? Am I just sitting around playing with my dick all day?
Well yeah but I mean, nothing's changed there.
But seriously, what is more important that animating!?
Well, I got bit really hard by the RPG bug. Not the video game kind, the pencil and paper kind. I thought I'd be able to split my focus between animation and RPGs but OH HOW WRONG I WAS.
Both animation and RPGs are storytelling devices, and more than anything I'm addicted to telling stories. So I've been both playing and writing RPG adventures, like this adventure about a witch who turns kids into scarecrows called MOONBRIGHT and this little adventure series called Harper's House of Heroes about a group of fast food delivery-style heroes who come to the rescue in 30-minutes or less, guaranteed! (Inspired by another of my short animations, Holden's House of Heroes).
I've also been hacking Dungeons & Dragons, simplifying the system to strip out all the crazy number crunching so I can focus even more on story. It's a way for me to introduce my non-RPG playing friends and people new to the hobby to D&D without spending 3 hours creating characters and another full day explaining the rules. You can learn to play in about 20 minutes.
I was super excited about making that system because I'd figured out a cool way to blend D&D, Final Fantasy, Fighting Fantasy, Dungeon World, and Skyrim into one game that was both simpler and faster than all of them- and then I came across a little gem called Risus.
Oh Risus, how I have longed for your simple touch!
I seriously thought RPGs couldn't get any simpler than the little monster I'd birthed, but then I found you! You're what I've been searching for all along! I truly believed Dungeon World was the closest RPG to perfection, and now I know that is quite possibly correct- because Risus IS perfection!
I no longer need to wrack my brain for ways to hack D&D to simplify it because Risus is the game I've been searching for these past 3 years since I started playing RPGs. It is, quite literally, me.
I mean, the word Risus means laughter in Latin! The game is so simple there are no stats- only cliches! You want to be a Dinosaur Riding Knight with a Flaming Sword? Write that down! That is your character sheet!
You get 10 dice to allot to your character when you start the game. Each "cliche" can have a max of 4 dice when you start building your character. The more dice you have in a cliche, the better your chances of being successful.
Take this character, for example: Barbarian  Lover  Hoola-hoop champion 
Yeah, it's freaking ridiculous. But how does that work? Well, I'm a barbarian, so I can do anything a barbarian would do by rolling 4 barbarian dice. What can a barbarian do? That's totally up to the player! Your job is to roleplay the shit out of your cliches to convince everyone that you could use that ability- even if it makes no sense!
Let's say my barbarian gets attacked by an orc. Naturally, using my barbarian cliche would seem like the appropriate choice, right? Barbarians are good at fighting, so I could easily argue that my barbarian smashes in the orc's face.
But what if I want to defend myself using the hoola hoop champion ability? That's where the hilarity comes in! Now I've got to convince the table that I can defeat this goblin using my skills as hoola hoop champion and roll my dice. If I win, I do TRIPLE DAMAGE for trying something so crazy.
The game gives little rewards like that to encourage clever thinking and funny roleplay. Using "inappropriate cliches" for the situation deal extra damage, but if I would have chosen the barbarian cliche instead, I'd still have an opportunity to get a perk- being hilariously descriptive in the way I describe smashing the orc's skull in and ripping out his ribs to build myself a hat would give me 1 extra dice to roll in my attempt- as opposed to saying "I attack the orc" which is fine to say, but doesn't give me a bonus since I don't add anything to the game with that bland statement.
This is the exact OPPOSITE of most RPGs, where being over the top actually makes it HARDER for you to succeed, so being clever and funny is usually discouraged because you'd make your move with disadvantage. I freaking love that this system strongly encourages you to be wacky because the stories get insane! Now barbarians can powerbomb orcs and knights can dropkick goblins (and have a better chance of succeeding!).
Another awesome thing is that you're just rolling a bunch of d6 dice. Anyone can grab those out of a board game they've got lying around at home. If you're fighting an orc, you both roll your dice and see who gets the highest number- for example my 4 dice barbarian fights a 3 dice orc and rolls a 1, a 3, and two 4's. The orc rolls two 2s and a 6. The orc wins because even though he had less dice, he rolled a 6, but my highest was only 4.
Since I lost that round, I lose 1 dice. So now it's 3 dice vs 3 dice. Each round of combat continues with us describing our attacks in funny ways, hopefully pumping ourselves by getting extra dice, and rolling to see who gets the biggest number.
No math! So easy and awesome.
I know I'm rambling and this is a giant wall of text but I am so freaking excited about Risus because it is in my mind the perfect RPG.
But enough about that! I have more stories to write and animations to produce. I will return shortly with another episode of Crypt Shyfter!
la la laaaaaa!
Sup nerds. Just wanted to post a quick update about Crypt Shyfter. It’s been a crazy ride so far and the series has grown a bit, gotten some great feedback, and even won a few trophies on NG, but alas all things must come to an end, and this post was bound to show up sooner or later.
Originally I’d planned on doing like 120 episodes or something crazy, but life is being life and my interests are changing (kinda), so after taking a look at the Crypt Shyfter outline I’m cutting a lot of stuff out that I had in originally and wrapping up the series a little earlier.
I’ll still be posting weekly until the series ends, but I just wrote the last episode today so it’s looking like there will be 8-9 more episodes before I wrap up the story for good around episode 30.
After that I’ll be taking a break for a while to gather my thoughts and figure out what’s next. There may be more Crypt Shyfter in the future, or maybe a totally new series, or possibly just a bunch of random shorts for a while.
Making Crypt Shyfter has gotten me more and more excited about actual Dungeons & Dragons, so I’ve been finding myself playing more frequently, which is seriously cutting into animation time, and I don’t want the series to get crappier just because I can’t focus on it.
So there’ll be more cartoons in the future, but I just need a bit of R&R and D&D for now.
If any of you guys are interested in playing D&D, my offer still stands- I’m always available Monday & Tuesday nights after 6pm EST and most weekends on Roll20 if you wanna game with me! I’d be more than happy to teach new players or DM for anyone currently looking for a group.
That’s it for now, I’ll see you guys on Sunday for the next chapter of Crypt Shyfter!
Crypt Shyfter won its 5th award this week! I'm really proud of this series so far and I'm looking forward to creating more episodes. I've got a lot of fun ideas coming up and I can't wait to share everything with you :)
Holy shnikeys guys we're about to hit 20 episodes of Crypt Shyfter! Thank you so much to everyone who's been commenting and reviewing the videos, I really appreciate all your support! It seriously keeps me going when I feel like giving up.
I hope I can keep the show going strong and making it better as we get into the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond!
Also had a great time playing D&D last week with a bunch of NG folks, that was super awesome! Special shout out to @Alexander the DM for organizing it. I had so much fun and hope we can all play again soon!
Crypt Shyfter 19 is online now:
Some nasty chicken noodle soup eating pixies in this strange episode.
Crypt Shyfter 19 will be online at some point! If not today then early tomorrow. I'm dealing with the consequences of procrastinating... the deadly rendering stage!
Rendering used to take maybe 10-20 minutes per episode but I think something is wrong with my computer or the program. Rendering now takes up to 12 hours. Something really wrong there, considering the episodes are all less than 5 mins and the file size is pretty damn small.
But the episode will be online, it just may be a little late ;)