OSR: The Blockchain Mine

Good morning, and welcome to AdventureGild ®'s Blockchain Mine, sponsored by AdventureGild ®. As a new Adventurer, you may find the Blockchain Mine overwhelming, but don't worry! We are here to assist you in the onboarding process.

Cryptcurrency is this plane's newest and most valuable resource. In the earliest days of exploring the Blockchain Mine, we found huge lumps of cryptcurrency lying on the ground. We didn't know what they were worth at the time! Silly us. 

But now, we know that cryptcurrency is a wonderful, magical, and immeasurably valuable substance. Let me give you an example. Your local lord taxes you in gold, labour, or goods, but cryptcurrency is none of those things, and therefore cannot be taxed! That's right; every bit of cryptcurrency you mine, you keep!

As we delve deeper into the Blockchain Mine, cryptcurrency has become more scarce. But don't worry! Studies* show that it is not possible to delve too greedily or too deep, so keep on mining! Remember that any cryptcurrency you mine today will be worth more tomorrow, as supplies are constantly decreasing. You don't want to be left behind. This is a regime of natural hyperdeflation.**

Piotr Dura


Your mining rig (including pickaxes, lanterns, rope, and other gear) can be purchased at any AdventureGild ® location using gold pieces. Only certified rigs are permitted in the Blockchain Mine. A basic rig might not let you mine cryptcurrency fast enough; invest (your gold) in high-quality enchanted gear.

Serge Pricing

The Blockchain Mines are cold and damp. An outfit of thick serge is mandatory, and can be purchased at any AdventureGild ® location using gold pieces. Serge pricing fluctuates with demand, so try to purchase your outfit when demand is low, and resell it when demand is high. Remember, once you're in line you're locked in, and must purchase or sell at the market value when you reach the front of the line.

Alex Brock

Proof of Stake

In order to enter the Blockchain Mine, you must present proof that you own a sturdy wooden stake. Vampires are common in the lower levels. Stakes can be purchased at any AdventureGild ® location using gold pieces. Only certified stakes are permitted in the Blockchain Mine.

Proof of Work

To ensure complete transparency, all activities of Adventures in the Blockchain Mine, and all purchases made with cryptcurrency, are recorded in a series of immutable ledgers. Since these ledgers are large and heavy, they are stored in a locked warehouse near the Blockchain Mine. You, or any other Adventurer, can view any record at any time.  


Instability within freshly mined lumps of cryptcurrency can, in rare cases, trigger a Forking Event. Duplicates of Adventurers, cryptcurrency, items, and memories may occur. If you encounter a copy of yourself, the Blockchain Mine suggests you fight to the death to establish which version is correct. Collaborating with a Forked duplicate is strictly prohibited. Rugged individualism is the watchword of the profitable Adventurer.

Non Fungal Tokens

To validate your identity, and for fashion purposes, Adventurers are encouraged to purchase one or more Non Fungal Tokens from other Adventurers or from any of the stalls near the edge of the Blockchain Mine. Most Non Fungal Tokens are discs of wood, lacquered to prevent mildew, and attached to a handsome linen cord. Though they may superficially resemble each other, each NFT is unique, and can be used to identify the wearer. Thanks to variation in wood texture and lacquer colour, some NFTs are rare and extremely valuable.

Remember, in the Blockchain Mine, possession is ten tenths of the law. Do not lose your Non Fungal Tokens.

If you'd like to set up your own Non Fungal Token stall, please purchase an access permit from any AdventureGild ® location using gold pieces, and pay the Ghast Fee for each Token you create.

Igor Krstic

Ghast Fees

Transfering cryptcurrency from one location or person to another angers the Ghasts, who must be propitiated before the lump can be transferred or moved. They are usually satisfied with a small portion of cryptcurrency, but the hunger of the Ghasts is unpredictable.

The DAO™

A Deified Axiomatic Organism, the DAO™ lurks in the Innovation Pit. Anyone who owns a Governance Token (which can be purchased at any AdventureGild ® location using gold pieces) can vote on proposals. The DAO™ senses the intent of your soul and translates it into soundforms.

The murmuring of the DAO™ is interpreted by AdventureGild ® Peacelocks. Don't worry; the AdventureGild ® promises to faithfully obey the will of the DAO™, which is really the will of all Adventurers. 

Sacrifices to the DAO™ are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm.


Cryptcurrency Exchanges

You may have noticed that most items required to work in the Blockchain Mine can only be purchased with gold pieces, not cryptcurrency. Don't worry! You can exchange your cryptcurrency for gold pieces at the AdventureGild ® Exchange Hall.

Please note that all cryptcurrency is not equally valuable, and must be graded before exchange. An exchange fee will also be charged, in addition to the portion taken by the Ghasts. Exchange rates are subject to change at any time without warning.

Also, while cryptcurrency cannot be taxed, any gold taken from the Blockchain Mine can (and will) be taxed heavily. Why not leave your earnings in their natural form; lumps of cryptcurrency!

The Wyrms of Service

If you feel dissatisfied with conditions in the Blockchain Mine, please consult the Wyrms of Service. Remember, you're not a worker, you're an Adventurer! Workers have rights; Adventurers have opportunities!

Arthur Rackham


If you experience a critical mortality event in the Blockchain Mine, you may be eligible to become an Inspecter, and record Adventurer activities in the Proof of Work ledgers. Inspecters wear the Blockchains they forged in life; how fashionable!

Smart Contracts

By reading this contract, and entering the Circle of Protection Against Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt that surrounds this location, you have automatically registered as an Adventurer! Congratulations! Please submit payment (in gold pieces) into the box below. 

Thank you, and good night.

*Studies is the given name of an imp conjured AdventureGild ® Peacelocks and should not be interpreted as evidence of actual studies.

**As opposed to a regime of unnatural hyperinflation, such as Kiel Chenier's Blood in the Chocolate***

***If you know, you know. If you don't, you really don't want to know. 


Film Notes: Ascension (2021)

Ascension (2021) is one of the best films I've seen in the past decade.


Holy Scripture presents a kind of mirror to the eyes of the mind, so that our inner face may be seen in it. There we learn our own ugliness, there our own beauty.

-Pope Gregory I

I'm not an expert in direct cinema / cinéma_vérité or whatever you call observational cinema. Comparisons to the trilogy of Chronos (1985), Baraka (1992), and Samsara (2011) are inevitable, but Ascension comes off very favorably. Samsara is a coffee table book. A tourism film. It's apolitical guided meditation. It's about the world, but it's not of the world.

Ascension is less frenetic and less spiritual. It resembles Le Sang des bêtes (1949). The camera doesn't blink, doesn't look away. Le sang des bêtes is no more about blood than Ascension is about plastic packaging... and no more about France than Ascension is about China.

The eeriness of the everyday. The unexamined world. Ascension is full of small details. Tiny gestures. Adjusting a collar. Idly rolling a pen. Layers of theming. Skin tones. Hair. Screens. Plants. Water. Plastic bags, wrapping and unwrapping. Fixation. Control. In comparison, the theming and transitions of Samsara feel clumsy and detached.

I'm not doing a very good job explaining it. Whoever you are, and whatever you believe, you'll have something to talk about after watching Ascension.


There's no artificial grain or tint (see, in contrast, Steel Town (2016)). There's no grey-green dystopian filter. Colours are bright and real without being oversaturated in editing. 

And it's so well framed! There's real craft on display here. This is Jessica Kingdon's first feature film, though her short film Commodity City (2017) showcases some of the same techniques and themes.

The soundtrack by Dan Deacon is good. It doesn't rely on its discordant tones for impact. It supports the film without steering the viewer. It's nice to see that Dan is still involved in interesting projects.

Maybe Ascension has power because it feels real and relevant, in this age of sequels, remakes, back-catalogues, aging risk-adverse producers, and permanent nostalgia.


To what degree should direct cinema be supported by outside commentary? Does knowing more about the filmmaker's background and motivations make the film more interesting, or is it purely optional? Clearly, other people have had the desire to dig deeper after watching Ascension. Like any thought-provoking documentary, the film feels unbelievable. Was any of the dialogue scripted or prompted? Are the participants aware they are being filmed?  How was the camera hidden? In a world where cameras are ubiquitous and everyone expects to be filmed at all times - for surveillance or for marketing - does it really matter?

Final Notes

Ascension made $17,000 at the box office. I know 2021 was a bad year for films and theaters, but that seems ridiculous. You can (and probably should) watch it online at one of these festivals.


40k: HamWarmer 24.5 Update - v0.4

Here's another round of updated HamWarmer 24.5 PDFs. Testing will continue until I lose interest, civilization collapses, or I achieve perfect balance.

I'm reasonably happy with the results so far. Alternating activation makes the game feel much more dynamic. It's trivial to put together a list.


  • Units no longer collide during the Fight Phase, then mutually decide to flee in the Morale phase.
  • Tau do more Tau Things for the Tau Empire.
  • Psykers made slightly less scary.
  • Units can now Infiltrate on Turn 1.
  • Carnifexes move at a sensible speed.
  • Synapse ranges tweaked.
  • Many points cost changes.

And finally, here are a few pics from a test game.

The scenario pit the Imperial Fists against a Tyranid invasion force. Four groups of civilians were trying to escape a doomed spaceport. The Imperial Fists scored points for each shuttle or vehicle that successfully launched, and the Tyranids scored points for each civilian devoured.

Sneaky Genestealers attempt to seize an objective, but the civilians escape just in time, exposing the Genestealers to devastating bolter fire.

Meanwhile, Spore Mines rain down on the battlefield, inflicting a few superficial injuries but ultimately doing little to deter the Astartes.

A Lictor destroys one shuttle, but it is a minor victory for the Hive Mind. The majority of the precious biomass in the spaceport escapes... for now.


40k: Tyranid Swarm Completed

The Tyranid project I started in late 2020 is finished.

The prospect of an upcoming game (in person! With a real living human!) spurred me to finish the last few squads in two marathon sessions.

Every model in this army was purchased second-hand. The vast majority (including all the 'gaunts) had to be stripped and repainted. Still, the final results are worth it.

The original scheme was inspired by Marco Schulze's Hive Fleet Ouroboros, as seen in Forgeworld's book The Anphelion Project.

120 Termagants, 3 Pyrovores, and 1 Tervigon.

20 Gargoyles, 2 flying Hive Tyrants (one based on the old Forgeworld kit, one in plastic), 3 Lictors, and 8 Zoanthropes (including 6 Alien Brain Larva from Trollforged Miniatures).

60 Hormagaunts, 1 Tervigon.

32 Genestealers, 2 Broodlords, 1 Carnifex.

9 Raveners, 1 Trygon, 1 Slitherer (Red Terror), 3 Venomthropes, 1 Toxicrene, 3 Biovores, 24 Spore Mines, 1 Barbed Hierodule.

3 Hive Guard, 6 Mucolid Spores, 2 Carnifexes w. Crushing Claws, 2 Carnifexes w. Quad Devourers, 2 Carnifexes w. Twin Venom Cannons, 3 Tyrant Guard, 9 Ripper Swarms, 20 Devilgants, 1 Hive Tyrant w. Venom Cannon, 1 Hive Tyrant w. Quad Boneswords, 1 Warrior Prime, 9 Tyranid Warriors.

Painting Recipe:

  • Black primer.
  • Airbrush chitin in Vallejo 71.023 (Hemp). Highlighted up with a few drops of green and white
  • Airbrush carapace in Vallejo 71.075 (Sand Ivory). Highlighted up with a few drops of white.
  • Ink with Vallejo 73.300 (Sepia wash).
  • Drybrush carapace with Pallid Wych Flesh.
  • Touch up chitin with a 1:1 mix of Pallid Wych Flesh and Castellan Green.
  • Tongues and biomorphs in Xereus Purple, Pink Horror, and a dilute layer of Flesh Tearers Red.
  • Teeth, eyes, and biomorphs receive a wash of Gloss Nuln Oil.
  • Base in a 1:1 mix of Vallejo 26.809 Industrial Thick Mud and Vallejo 28.807 European Mud.
  • Touch up base rims.
If you can't paint so hot, paint a lot.


40k: HamWarmer 24.5 - Tau

HamWarmer 24.5 is my wobbly homebrew ruleset for Warhammer 40k games. Here's my take on the Tau faction.

Adrian Smith

Tau PDF (v.0.1)

The goal of this project, aside from simplifying the rules, is to make every army feel "right". Space Marines should feel like armoured posthuman warrior-knights. Tyranids should feel like a horde of ravening space bugs. Tau should feel like a combined arms force that bends (or outright breaks) conventions.

With HamWarmer 24.5, I'd like armies to rely on positioning and tactics to mitigate weaknesses. Screen. Redeploy. Use allies to tie up advancing units. Or, if that fails, just shoot everything before it gets to your lines.

As usual, testing is ongoing. Alternating activations makes Markerlights (and Tau shooting in general) much more interesting for everyone. Markerlight-heavy units tend to fire first (but can't benefit from their own Markerlights), followed by heavy weapons and seeker missiles, followed by everything else. 

I've also integrated some long-forgotten Kroot units into this list. Daniel Cockersell's sculpts deserve better.

If you spot any errors or omissions in the rules, let me know.