Sunday, November 10, 2019

[DCC RPG] Savage Menagerie: Blood Imp (AKA "Hemogoblin")

This blood-thirsty goblin was originally created for Labyrinth Lord, but I felt he could be a great addition to DCC RPG, so here's my conversion...

BLOOD IMP: Init +0; Atk bite -1 melee (1d3) or as weapon -1 melee; AC 10 + armor; HD 1d6; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP infravision
30’; SV Fort -1, Ref +2, Will -1; AL L.

The Blood Imp is an offshoot of Goblin (DCC rulebook, page 417) though it stands slightly taller than its Goblin cousins (slightly less than 4 feet tall) and has a crimson tone to its flesh. Blood Imps live underground in a loose tribal fashion, though some above-ground camps have been encountered. Blood Imps do not suffer any penalties in sunlight, though their infravision is not as effective, ranging around 30' in the darkness.

The Blood Imp always appears to be caked in dried blood and grue. This is because the creature can actually heal itself using the blood of a victim. If injured, the Blood Imp can rub the spilled blood of an enemy upon its skin which will heal the Imp for 1d4 hp of damage. It takes one action for the Imp to apply this "blood salve" to its wounds, and healing is instantaneous. The blood used can be from any fallen foe. In fact, Blood Imps have been known to slaughter weaker members of their tribe solely to use their blood to heal the stronger members during active combat.

NOTE: I misspelled "hemoglobin" earlier today, and that misspelling inspired this vicious creature!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Play or DIE Mini-Gaming Con in Athens, Ohio, Nov. 16


Just discovered a small one-day mini-con in my neck of the woods next weekend. (OK, so the "neck" is a bit more than 2 hours away. It's still in the state.) Hosted by Ratha Con (love the name), Play or DIE is a one-day affair that runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Athens Community Center in Athens, Ohio. Sounds like there will be boardgames, videogames, and - yes - RPGs there for attendees to try out and play during the day. I'm still riding a bit of a "gaming high" after last week's Gamehole Con attendance, plus I want to give my next MCC RPG adventure "The Desk in Room 8-10" a bit more playtesting, so I'm planning on driving down for the day to check it out. Current plans are to run "Dead In The Water" from noon to 4 p.m., then "Desk" from 4 to 8 p.m. If you're in the area, swing by and check it out with me! Here's the link for ticket and event info.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

[NaGa DeMon] This Year's Projects: Cryptworld, Quill, and MCC RPG

As National Game Design Month gets underway, I've already got a good start on three seperate projects! Will I get them all completed? Well, no, probably not. But my goal is to get one, maybe two across the finish line before this month is up! Here's a sneak preview of my works-in-progress:

First up, I'm working on Issue 5 of my Creepy Comic Conversion series. For this series, I take a classic horror comic in the public domain from the 1940s-1950s and convert the tale into an adventure for the Cryptworld RPG. In this story from Mister Mystery magazne, the players will join "Department G" in their quest to rid the New York subway tunnels of "The Subway Terror!"

Once that's done, my next project will be to finally get my follow-up to Quill Quest written up. This adventure is "Quill Quest II: Tomb of the Raven Queen" for the Quill Letter-Writing Solo RPG. (A system I particularly like, having also written Quill Noir for the system.)

And, time willing, I plan to clean up my notes and adventure script to my next Mutant Crawl Classics adventure currently in playtesting, "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

So, how about you all out there? What do you plan to hammer out in the next 25 days?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Gamehole Con Day 3: The Threat Of Baron Von Bloodstayne And The Rarest Of The Rare Collectibles

Day Three of Gamehole Con is winding down for me, so you'll be reading this after I've turned in for the night. The weather has gotten much better (still cold, but the snow has melted and the temps have warmed up a bit), and tomorrow morning I'll be heading back home to Ohio. So let's recap what happened today, my last full day at the con...

  • Today's t-shirt is one I designed through Spoonflower and Zazzle. It's the Classic RPG Map shirt, and here's a link if you'd like one for yourself. (Makes a great Christmas gift for the gamer in your life!)
  • If you "Go Green" here at the hotel by not using the housekeeping staff, you get a $10 voucher each day. So for two days, I made my bed and hung up my towels to dry. In return, I got $20 in hotel vouchers. And this morning, I treated myself to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. It's like the they say: "Free pancakes are the best pancakes!"
  • Today, I ran three new players through a playtest round of FORSOOTH!, my upcoming comedy-fantasy RPG. The team of a ranger, thief, and druid were tasked with stopping the machinations of Baron Von Bloodstayne who was amassing an army to overrun the lands! Highlights included: the thief talking two minions out of their armor as well as convincing them of an upcoming party; the ranger nearly falling to his death, but when the druid came to help, he was left dangling where the ranger once was. (And when the ranger tried to help pull up the druid, they BOTH ended up there. Of course, the thief sighed and came to help.) The druid argued to every minion that "leather armor is murder!" Later, the ranger, fired from a trebuchet, fired arrows into a wyvern before landing on its face while in flight. (The wyvern was NOT pleased.) The druid tried to convince the wyvern to throw off its oppressor, which it did...before sending a fireball into the face of the druid. Finally, the thief launched off a keep's tower, landed on the wyvern and delivered a deathblow, before parachuting back to safety. FORSOOTH! It was quite an adventure for the ages! Thanks guys! Beware of exploding chickens!
  • Saw and picked up Cartographers. I'm a sucker for solo-play games, and I've heard this game has been getting great reviews from the boardgame community. Love stumbling across finds like this at game cons!
  • Because yesterday was quite taxing, I'm still trying to recover. Came back to my hotel and took a well-earned nap. (Hey, I'm over 50! Naps are necessary to keeping this well-tuned machine of a body operating smoothly!)
  • I swung by the Goodman Games booth and BS'ed with Brett for a bit before picking up the unsold copies of "Dead in the Water." These are going to be shipped directly to The Dark Master and will likely be on sale on the Goodman Games online storefront very soon!
  • Finally, to end the day, I attended the Gamehole auction where they auctioned off the rarest of the rare gaming collectibles, with proceeds going primarily to Extra Life. I saw items up for bids that I had never seen before up close: 1st edition very good copies of the original D&D Player's Handbook and Dungeonmaster's Guide; the first piece of Greyhawk fiction penned by Gary Gygax; incredibly rare modules, adventures, supplements; and many MANY items went for several thousand dollars. I kept my hands firmly in my pockets as I was out of my league, but it was grand seeing these museum-like items from gaming history.
  • And, with that, my attendance here at Gamehole Con comes to an end. I'll be packing up and heading back to Ohio early tomorrow morning. I had a great time at my first GHC and hope to make it back again very soon. I also hope you readers enjoyed these missives from the convention trenches, and I encourage everyone to attend a convention of your own!

And finally, the last pictures from Gamehole Con:

 "Free pancakes are the best pancakes!"

 FORSOOTH! We had a great time! Thanks again to Ethan, Patrick, and Christian for playtesting the game with me. Hope you enjoyed meeting Baron Von Bloodstayne!

The freeplay boardgame area has been busy the entire event. 

Down the hallway, the Last Hope LARP team were showing folks the fire art of boffer combat.

 The miniature paint and take was always busy. I need to do that one year. My minis suck.

 An arial view of the Dealer Hall shortly before it closed for the evening.

 And the GHC Auction is underway with many (MANY) rare collectibles. Nearly everything was wildly out of my price range.
 The auction was still going on into the evening.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Gamehole Con Day 2: Housefly Riding, Mechanical Arm Wrestling, And Healed To Death

It's day two here at Gamehole Con, and today it's MUTANT, MUTANTS, MUTANTS! I'm running three back-to-back (to back) games of Mutant Crawl Classics. My first game is a playtest of a new adventure I have in the works. The second is the adventure I recently released. And the third is something I wrote for this Gongfarmer's Almanac. Kinda proud that the next 12 hours will be solely material that I created myself.

Games start at 9 a.m. and it's 7:47 a.m. as I start this blog post. As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done throughout the day and it will go live later tonight, which is --NOW-- to you obviously. Here we go:
  • Dropped off a armload of free swag to the freebie table. Rulebooks I no longer use, extra Cryptworld adventure swag I had on hand, etc. So come and get 'em!
  • Oddly, the three games I'm running back-to-back (to back) are at different tables. So every four hours, I need to pack up, move to a table nearby, and re-setup. That was a bit annoying and likely due to computerized table assignment. Would've been nice to, you know, stay at the same table for 12 hours.
  • The first game today was "The Desk In Room 8-10". The team investigated a recently exposed Ancient structure that was emitting an orange glow. Without warning, they found themselves reduced to 1/8 inch in height! Highlights included one team member catching and training a housefly ("Steve"). Later, while trying to ride Steve, the same mutant slipped and fell one scale-mile ala Wile E. Coyote! (He SOMEHOW survived!) One mutant found a Swiss Army Knife that -- at present size -- he used as a makeshift sword. A teleporting scorpion gave them some trouble, and later the battle was joined as the team raced The Ravenous Ones on stampeding silverfish while trying to repair the A.I. responsible for their reduced size. They succeeded and found themselves restored and outside again -- with some very oversized weapons scavenged from the micro-world! (As well as a pet housefly that was now 3 feet tall.)
  • Next up, my merry band of mutants set sail in "Dead in the Water". I, of course, love this adventure as it always becomes a flurry of excitement. The players managed to turn back the slow onslaught of The Drenched, and the first deaths occurred at the teeth of hungry Great White Gulls that attacked on their sea voyage to the Island of Fire. I had two mutants yanked off a ladder by flying spiders and into the clutching hands of the water-logged zombies below. Within the underwater lab, FOR THE FIRST TIME, someone managed to get the giant manipulator arms working, and used them to great effect against the Big Bad Monster at the end, literately clubbing it to death with a giant robot arm. THAT is MCC RPG at its finest!
  • To round out the day, I had my final set of players searching for "The Desert Gardens", which was an adventure I wrote for the Gongfarmer's Almanac. The game started badly when, while crossing the Sharpsand Desert, a Silane Serpent exploded from the ground and swallowed one mutant whole. After finding the hidden entrance, another mutant died of sandfly bites and another died when they began retching upon exposure to a Corpse Flower in full bloom (they literally died throwing up). My favorite was the one who was using a Medishot to cure the others. It only had two doses so when he "stabbed" it into a third mutant, he did a point of damage, and actually killed them! The players managed to rack up a lot of seeds and plant clippings for their village, which ticked off the Sentinel guarding the facility. They made short work of it and, finding a hover car and a friendly agro-bot, they rode back to their village as heroes.
  • Over all, the three games I ran went VERY well, and I hope the players had a good time. I know I did!
And here are some nifty keen pictures of the day's activities...
Although I didn't run any Cryptworld games at GHC, I left plenty of swag for the Halloween season!

  This lucky group of mutants were the first to encounter the horrors to be found within "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

And because a Swiss Army Knife is featured prominently in the adventure, each players got their own MCC RPG Ancient Multi-tool AKA "Rover's Friend"!
 Yet another group of MCC RPG players about to take voyage to The Island of Fire in "Dead In The Water"
And everyone who played got a copy of the new adventure that was just released, and some even asked me to sign 'em!

Beware Of The NaGaDeMon! (National Game Design Month 2019)

It's November, and while others churn out their Great American Novel during NaNoWriMo, I prefer to focus my efforts during the National Game Design Month, or "NaGaDeMon." 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. In years past, I've written RPG adventures and supplements during NaGaDeMon, and this year, I plan to focus on my next MCC RPG adventure: Plague From Below. (More on that coming soon!)

NaGaDeMon is a fun exercise for many folks, as they endeavor to create a new game whole-cloth within one month. However, others use the opportunity to finally create that fantasy heartbreaker they've imagined or put the finishing touches on a newly considered adventure. Whatever you've had in mind, take the next 30 days and try to get it done and in the hands of a waiting public! For more information, check out The NaGaDeMon website or The NaGaDeMon facebook page.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Gamehole Con Day 1: Grinding Snow Plows And Horrifying Monsters

Howdy everyone and Happy Halloween! This morning, I awoke to a noise I equate with the slightly chilly fall season -- that of a snow plow scrapping the hotel parking lot. That's right, the first official day of GHC was hit with about an inch or two of snow overnight. Being from Ohio, I'm always prepared for this sudden winter squalls, and my car already holds my thick winter coat, a pair of gloves, a toboggan cap, a heavy-duty snow brush for the car, and a dog sled and team in the trunk.

But this bit of "winter preview" isn't about to dampen my excitement for today's gaming! Let me tell you about my day. As always, these notes are "train of thought" posted throughout the day to the blog, then it will go live later tonight when the day ends. In no particular order:
  • I have an Internet TV hookup in my hotel room, so I booted up Pandora while I got ready. First song of the day? John Carpenter's Halloween theme. How incredibly apropos!
  • Speaking of hotel, where I'm staying has a "green initiative," so each day you do without housekeeping services, they give you a $10 voucher for the restaurant. So, I'll make my bed each day and hang up my towel. When I leave Sunday morning, I'll have enough for a free pancake breakfast in the restaurant. (I eat pancakes EVERY SUNDAY. It's my own personal thing.)
  • When I got to the convention center, it looked like there were a lot of people who hadn't gotten there quite yet due to the weather. Unless you stayed at one of the nearby hotels, you were likely caught by the sudden snow that blanketed the area.
  • Speaking of the weather, the most popular cosplay costume was "Arctic Explorer". In fact, today would have been a good day to run a Call of Cthulhu "Mountains of Madness" game!
  • Okay enough snow and weather-related BS. The con eventually picked up, and the lines for registration began to snake around. I hit the Dealer Hall and was gratified to see my MCC RPG offering "Dead In The Water" at the Goodman Games booth. Bit of a thrill there. I also spent a LOT of money there picking up all the new DCC RPG stuff as well as filling a few holes in my collection.
  • Argh, one of the booths has a great copy of Magic Realm, a game I've wanted to add to my collection for years. But the asking price is $150, so it's a bit steep. Still trying to talk myself out of it, but I may break...
  •  Even with the snow (last mention, I swear), it was great that the food trucks were still serving up some mighty fine grub. I had a bacon and egg panini for breakfast, a slab of mac and cheese pizza for lunch, and a take-and-go burrito for dinner. The food trucks are a great idea so be sure to support them!
  • To keep my first day schedule light, I decided to run a couple of rounds of my current favorite board game, Horrified. I ran two teams through the game, which is based on the classic Universal Monsters property. The European village is being overrun by horrific creatures of legend: Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein and His Bride, The Wolfman, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The Invisible Man. The players must work as a team to thwart the threat before the monsters do enough damage to the villagers (and the players). The first group easily defeated Dracula and The Wolfman in a simple novice game, but when a third monster was added to a second game, they were swifty defeated. The next group tackled Dracula and The Wolfman as well, but they nearly lost after a series of close calls and bad dice rolls, but they came out on top as well. It's a great board game and it was a great (and appropriate) way to end Halloween gaming!
  • Forgot there was a trick-or-treat event for the local kids. The place was FILLED with trick-or-treaters in their Halloween costumes. It was cute! So, of course, I forgot to take any damn pictures...
  • Well, tomorrow is a big day, as I'm running three back-to-back Mutant Crawl Classics games -- all of them are adventures I wrote! Here's hoping they go well. (And here's hoping the aspirin I took before bed kick in. I'm sore.)
And here are a few photos to round out today's missive:
Today's t-shirt pays homage to "Tales From the Magician's Skull", a great magazine of sword and sorcery fiction. You should check it out.

The view from my room this morning. Eep.

This morning's "getting ready to game" soundtrack!

 Board game room starting to fill up.

 Folks in line for pre-registration.

 My MCC RPG adventure available in the Goodman Games booth.

 I love the fact that there's a constant scrolling list of games looking for players happening that hour. If you can't find anything to play, it's your own fault. Just stop by information, watch the screen, and run to the tables listed to get in a game right that very minute. (Great idea, GHC staff! Kudos!)

 One team of heroes tries to thwart the evil creatures stalking the streets in Horrified!

And a big ol' pile of DCC RPG goodies begins my daily purchases for the event. Oh, my wallet's gonna be feeling THAT.