Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Game Design Month Kicks Off Nov. 1st! So What're YOU Creating?

It's nearly November and time to get your creative juices flowing! While others are trying to churn out their Great American Novel, I and other gamers will be participating in National Game Design Month, or "NaGa DeMon." In 30 days, you are encouraged to imagine, design, write, and play a game of your own design. It can be anything: a board game, a video game, a card game, or an RPG.

For the past few Novembers, I've participated in NaGa DeMon, which is a great kick-in-the-pants to actually get some long-neglected project out of my head and onto the page. My first Deviant Database and One Year in the Savage AfterWorld both started as NaGa DeMon projects and, in fact, one of my Cryptworld contributions was also created during the event. (The Smithsonian's SCD, in case you were curious.) So I'm calling out everyone who has a game in mind, an adventure they've been meaning to create, or a project they've never found time to start. For 30 days, get pen onto paper (or start hammering at the keyboard) and get that gaming masterpiece out of your head and onto the gaming table!

Oh, and what am *I* doing for this year? I have two projects I'm working on. One is a supplement for Cryptworld that's in the final stages of completion. I need to finalize one last chunk of text, and it's done. And the other project is one I've been noodling around with, and November is the month it gets finished, printed, and out to the public. Here's a hint-slash-preview-slash-logo:

So sound off in the comments if you plan to participate this year! It's always great to see who's working on what. And NaGa DeMon is a great way to get motivated to actually produce something for your favorite game!

And here are a few places you can go for more information:

The NaGa DeMon website
The NaGa DeMon facebook page (NaGa DeMon's founder)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Mad Scientist

An Evil Experimenter for Cryptworld


STR: 3 (45) --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: 5 (75) --- PER: 3 (45)
AGL: 4 (60) --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: 3 (45) --- PWR: 80
ATT: 1/53% --- WND: 12
MV: L 75†

Experience: 500

There are indeed "things man was not meant to know." When a doctor, surgeon, scientist, or other learned individual unlocks the secrets or life and death, or stares into the abyss and sees something staring back, that person's mind could snap, creating a mad scientist. Harnessing his incredible knowledge and talents, the mad scientist begins an evil quest for knowledge. The world is his Petri dish, and humanity are his lab rats.

A mad scientist will first find a secluded location where he can work in solitude: an abandoned hospital, a neglected university building, an isolated observatory or warehouse, etc. Once he has established his lair, the mad scientist will get to work, attempting to unlock the Mysteries of the Universe by any means necessary. Although many mad scientists prefer to delve into medical experimentation on unwilling (or possibly willing) subjects, they are also quite adept at inventing horrible devices and world-shattering weapons. Mad scientists also dabble in esoterics in an attempt to bridge science with magic.

Fortunately, mad scientists are physically weak. Unfortunately, their experiments are well under way by the time they are discovered, so the players will have to deal with all manners of monsters and things under the mad scientist's control before they reach the evil genius himself.

Mad Scientist Powers

Master of Life: With this power, a mad scientist harnesses the ability to give a thing the gift of life. The thing will be completely under the control of the mad scientist and will obey his commands without question. To create a thing, the mad scientist must spend one month stitching together parts, mixing strange and forbidden elixirs, and/or harnessing the energies of the cosmos. Each week of the thing's creation requires an expenditure of 40 WPR and a successful PWR check. After 4 consecutive successful weeks, the thing is finished. Any failed check means the mad scientist must start over again at the beginning. Some things a mad scientist is capable of creating include revenge golems, composite men, space blobs, and zombies.

Inventor's Spark: Although a mad scientist can create nearly anything, building complex devices takes time and effort. However, under duress, a mad scientist can create nearly any machine, device, or weapon that he can imagine very quickly using his inventor's spark power. If he has access to raw materials (parts, supplies, tools), a mad scientist can intuitively cobble together nearly anything: a vehicle, a weapon, a source of power, etc. The mad scientist must spend 40 WPR and make a specific PWR check to determine how long it takes for him to create his new device:
S = It will take the mad scientist 1d10 hours to assemble his device.
L = It will take the mad scientist 1d10/2 hours to assemble his device.
M = It will take the mad scientist 1d10 minutes to assemble his device.
H = It will take the mad scientist 1d10 rounds to assemble his device.
C = The mad scientist can assemble his device almost instantaneously.

Friday, October 24, 2014

"100 Oddities for a Creepy Old House" Now Released!

Just in time for Halloween and your Cryptworld games, Skirmisher Publishing LLC has released the first of a new line of game-related mini-resources. The first, 100 Oddities for a Creepy Old House, is intended to aid GM creativity, turning possibly bland areas or gaming episodes into something more. From the press release:
Oddities are the little touches that fill up the corners of lives. In our own mundane world, they might be limited to old, chewed pencils, unused key-fobs, or a half-finished decorative spoon collection awaiting the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. In the worlds of our imagination, however, they can be so much more. What oddities might be found in the halls, on the walls, or occupying the shelves of a Creepy Old House? Let’s find out...
"100 Oddities..." is eight pages and is priced as a pay-what-you product. Sniderman says, "Check it out!" (Click this line for the link.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cryptworld, Chill, And Other Pacesetter Horrors Discussed On The Dead Games Society Podcast

Chad and Michael of The Dead Games Society interviewed Your Truly a few weeks ago for the DGS Podcast. And today the podcast went live. It was a great interview and great fun to do. If you'd like to know a bit about the Pacesetter Action Table system, my history with Chill 1e, and how Cryptworld was developed and created, tune in and enjoy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Replacment Ghostbusters RPG Cards, Ghost Die Available At Nerdy Show

 The Nerdy Show Ghostbusters Roleplaying Hub has announced the release of newly released equipment cards and laser-etched Ghost Die for use with the classic West End RPG "Ghostbusters!" The cards come is a sweet tuckbox that looks like the containment unit too! This nifty little package features new art on the cards, as well as new equipment featured in GBII and the animated series. (And the Ghost Die is impossible to find, and the etching ensures the face will never wear off). The cards and die in the GB Starter Kit are $10 plus shipping.

And for $20, you can get a Franchise Kit that includes the above as well as more dice, Ghostbusters character cards, and an official Ghostbusters Franchise Owner's Certificate! (And if you have trouble finding the game to play, Nerdy Show has that covered too.) Everything you need to run your own paranormal investigations and eliminations games!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Con On The Cob Final Day And Wrap-Up: Silent Auction and "Time Bastard"

Well gang, I'm home after the final day of Con on the Cob. Had a great time, sold quite a few things in the booth, and am energized for future convention attendage. Some interesting developments regarding Con on the Cob popped up toward the end of the event you may want to be aware of, so read through to the end:
  • While packing up my room this morning, I realized I nearly forgot the three remaining bottles of beer in the mini-fridge. When I pulled them out, I was surprised that they had frozen! So I left them in the tub to dethaw and also in case they decided to explode. I hope housekeeping enjoys the dethawed brews and/or I'm sorry for the mess I left behind.
  • One of the booth vendors brought his dog today. Nice pooch, but he's a bit overexcited. About once every five minutes there's an ear-shattering BARK that echoes through the hall.
  • Oddly enough, I've been asked twice if I have the new 5e Monster Manual. Both times, I said "No," and the customers shuffled off dejectedly without saying another word.
  • There is apparently a tattoo artist on the premises as I see TATTOO signs tacked up everywhere. But I don't hear anything nor do I see any tattooing going on.
  • The Silent Auction was pretty cool. Folks brought in their rarities, and they placed them on tables throughout one of the rooms. You'd write a bid on the list and, at the end of the time limit, highest written bid got it. Lots of cool stuff available: RPGs like Dallas, Judge Dread, Masters of the Universe, and tons of Hackmaster, C&C, and d20 stuff; many obscure and brand new board games; and collectible books and comics including a laundry basket filled with loose Endless Quest paperbacks. (Interested, but I filled the holes in my collection long ago.) I managed to snag The Challenge, Friday, and Grave Business for less than $20 total.
  • Someone mispronounced "Timemaster" as "Time Bastard" and that just struck me as an incredibly funny farcical concept. "Jerks and dopes lost in time and screwing up history." Might make for a fun one-shot at a future con.
  • CotC's organizer and chief wazoo-polisher Andy Hopp has announced that CotC has outgrown the current location and, next year, the con will be in Days Inn in Richfield. Twice the vendor's hall space! Twice the games! Twice the games, art, freaks, and fun!
  • And twice the Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter as we committed to a second year at CotC as a vendor with a corner booth in the new Vendor's Hall next year!
It goes without saying that I had yet another grandious time at Con on the Cob, and I have made arrangements already to be there as a representative of Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter again. Next year, though, I hope I can get someone to join me in the booth, as it would give me a bit of downtime to both play in a few games as well as run many, many more. (There have been several requests for more Cryptworld and Timemaster games on the games schedule. Your requests have been duly noted.) And stay tuned because, in one month, I'll be doing this all over again at Michigan's U-Con in November.

This is Your Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman, live from Ohio's Con on the Cob, signing off until next year.

Grabbed my B.A. Felton original sketch from KODT's Jolly Blackburn this morning. And upon the gaming room wall it goes!

 The Silent Auction is underway. Folks were darting back and forth placing their bids. Two minutes before cutoff, this room was a LOT more chaotic!

And what I brought home. Getting a complete copy of The Challenge for $5 was a true score.

 And the last gamers finish out the con in lonely solitude as Con on the Cob 2014 comes to a close. See you in Richfield in 2015!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Con On The Cob Day 3: Trick-Or-Treaters And An Essential NPC

Howdy-ho folks, and welcome to Day 3 of Sniderman's adventures at Con on the Cob. I'm not really playing or running any games today, as I'm running the Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter booth from opening to closing. But I'll let you know what I've seen and heard from my little corner of the Vendor's Hall. Let's see what going on...
  • A familiar-looking fellow came up and slyly mentioned an obscure piece of personal trivia I've not thought about in 20+ years. Turns out it was my old pal Jeff Fournier, who I haven't seen face-to-face since college. I went to college with he and his future-wife Lisa, and gamed with them during the downtimes at school. (There's a lot more history too including double-dates with them and my future wife Chris, but I won't bore you with details.) And later, when some current gaming pals stopped by and saw him, it was all "Hey Jeff." "Hi Jeff." "Oh, hey guys." I lost it. "YOU ALL KNOW EACH OTHER?!?" I said. Turns out after I lost touch with Jeff and Lisa, they found a new group -- one I've been gaming with for the past few months.
  • Jeff asked me if I remembered the Paranoia game I ran at a convention 20 years ago. "Yup, that was the one where I sounded an air horn to wake the players," I answered. "Well, the guy running CoC at the table next to yours was super-pissed about it and complained. Did you know you were banned from that con?" Cool, I've never been banned from a location before, let alone a convention I haven't attended in 20 years.
  • Conversation snippet I overheard: "It's Sweetest Day today. You should totally buy him that lightsaber."
  • A young teen and her friend stopped by the booth. "What are these?" "Ah, these are role-playing games." "Role-playing? Never heard of it." "You know, you and your friends sit around and roll dice and play an adventure, like in Dungeons and Dragons." "Dungeons and Dragons? Is that some kind of game or something?" I decided to just stay quiet as her friend tried to explain RPGs while they wandered slowly away to look at Grumpy Cat merchandise.
  • Just got an email from the folks from the Dead Game Society. The podcast interview I did with them on All Things Pacesetter should be up sometime tomorrow. (Will post a note when it goes live.) It's not con-related, but cool nevertheless.
  • As I sat here in the booth, meeting people and shaking hands (or meeting hands and shaking people), Will Thrasher of Skirmisher Publishing stopped by to introduce himself. I'm a big fan of Skirmisher's stuff, particularly their Wisdom from the Wastelands supplements for Mutant Future. We jawed a bit about upcoming products including a new Labyrinth Lord-focused supplement similar to WftW. They also just released a new mini-supplement that would be perfect for Cryptworld that I'll discuss when I get home.
  • The annual Con on the Cob Witches' Ball is tonight. The parking lot is currently filled with brooms. (I keed! I keed!)
  • "So what do you like -- specifically -- about the Pacesetter system?" he asked. After sharing 30 years of expereince and running him through a quick scene, he walked away with Majus and Rotworld. (And he plans to order Cryptworld upon returning home.)
  • There was a game of Dread scheduled at 8 p.m. that I was tempted to play in, but I'm so tired and shaky, I'm not sure a Jenga-based RPG would pan out favorably for my character.
The day has ended and I'm finishing up this post while I eat a club sammich. Tomorrow is the final day to this most fun of local cons, so I'll wrap up today's post with a handful of pix from the Vendor Hall:

The Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter booth in all its glory.

A close-up of the shirt I wore today. Pacesetter represents!

Not often you see a minotaur and his handler shopping for chainmail dice bags.

And there were kids trick-or-treating during the evening!

Grabbed a handful of DCC zines I didn't have yet as well as a nifty "Essential NPC" t-shirt