Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pacesetter/Mayfair Chill (And Cryptworld) Conversion Notes

"Does anyone have a table or conversion tool to convert Pacesetter Chill stats over to Mayfair Chill, and vice-versa?"

It's a request that seems to pop up every so often. The first edition of Chill (and Cryptworld, of course!) and the second edition of Chill are somewhat close in system compatibility, but there are some differences that make mechanical crossovers bothersome. So some basic conversion notes and guidelines would be of use.

A web search some time ago unearthed an old Chill fansite from 1999 via the Internet Wayback Machine. Known as "The Home of Doctor TOC," the site compiled a bunch of Chill-related materials at his webpage. One of those pages is a compiled list of the differences between the Pacesetter edition and the Mayfair edition of the classic horror RPG along with some helpful conversion notes. And, with a bit of reverse engineering, you can use Mayfair Chill supplements with Pacesetter Chill. (And Cryptworld, of course!)

I'm a bit surprised this site is still available, but I fear the information could disappear at any time. So I thought I'd grab the data presented there and post it here for future envoys. I've made some slight formatting updates, but am presenting the info here in the manner in which it was presented at the original site. And my thanks to "Doctor TOC" for posting it in the first place!

CHILL: FROM OLD TO NEW
Rules variations between 1st and 2nd Edition Chill

This doesn't cover all changes, but the most important follow. Most changes and additions from Things and Creature Feature are also included in the CHILL hardcover book: those changes and additions are not noted herein.
In the descriptions that follow, “Then” refers to how that rule was in old Pacesetter Chill, and “Now” refers to how the same rule works in the Mayfair CHILL hardcover book.

The Following Chart Summarizes Results of Specific Checks (T# = Target Number):

L = T# through (T# - tens digit) + 1
M = T# - tens digit through (T# + 2) +1
H = T# + 2 through tens digit +1
C = 1 through tens digit
Example: T# = 66: TD = 6
L = T# thru (T# - TD) +1
L = 66 thru (66 - 6) +1 = 66 thru 61
M = T# - TD thru (T# +2) +1
M = 66- 6 thru (66 + 2) + 1 = 60 thru 34
H = T# + 2 thru TD +1
H = 66 + 2 thru 6 + 1 = 33 thru 7
C = 1 thru TD
C = 1 thru 6

THE ACTION TABLE
The old Pacesetter Action Table is gone. The major thing replacing it is a sliding scale which works in the following way:
When rolling, the number you are trying to roll less than or equal to is called the Target Number, or #. Any roll higher than the T# is a failure.
There are four types of successful results: L, a low result; M, a medium result; H, a high result; and C, a colossal result. There is no longer an S result.
* If the number rolled lies within 10 of the T# or equals the T#, the result is an L.
* If the number rolled is between 1 and 10% of the T#, the result is a C.
* If the number rolled is not already a C or an L result, it is either an M result or an H result. To determine which, first divide the T# in half, rounding any fractions down. If the number rolled is greater than half the T#, the result is an M. If the number rolled is less than or equal to half the T#, the result is an H. (See the following screened example.)
You may have noticed that the M and H results on the Result Table on p. 248-9 of the CHILL book do not match the above summary and number line. This is because the Result Table neglects the "+1's" above, thereby making things as simple as possible. It is up to the CM to decide if he wants this "margin of error" or not. (See p. 88 of the CHILL hardcover book for a more thorough explanation of the new Chill system.)

The Action Table was used in many ways. The following list briefly describes the most important of these uses, and tells how each is now resolved:

CALLED SHOTS
Then: A called shot required a "C" result.
Now: Divide the T# in half (after modifiers are applied). Reduce it even more for a more difficult Called Shot: apply regular L, M, H, and C results if the roll is successful.

FEAR CHECKS
Then: Made a WPR check, with the column determined by how scary the thing was and how many of them there were compared to the size of your party. (Success or failure was unaffected by the thing; it was determined solely by your WPR.)
Now: Make a Specific WPR Check, modifying the T# by how scary the thing is. Also:
-10 More than the number of PCs (but not twice the number);
-20 At least twice the number of PCs;
-30 At least four times the number of PCs;
etc. etc.

MELEE ATTACK DAMAGE
Then: Weapon determined column used; defender could only affect whether or not a hit was scored by hiding or by spending Luck.
Now: Make a Specific Check, applying appropriate modifiers to T#; defender can modify the T#. The Strike Rank of the attacker's weapon helps determine the actual damage.

POISONS AND ILLNESSES
Then: Made a STA check; failure meant you were dying (quickly), regardless of the strength of the poison or illness; or the strength of the poison or illness determined which column to use, thus helping determine how bad off you were.
Now: Make a Specific Opposed Check (see below); your character's Current STA opposed by the poison or illness's strength.

SPECIFIC ABILITY CHECK
Then: Made a specific check on Column 2.
Now: Make a Specific Check.

SPECIFIC SKILL CHECK
Then: Made a specific check on Column 3.
Now: Make a Specific Check

UNSKILLED USE OF NON-COMBAT SKILLS
Then: Divided the base score for the skill by 10 to find the number to be rolled against; any success was an L result.
Now: Make a Specific Check against the character's Unskilled Melee Score in that skill. (This is identical to the new Unskilled Use of a Combat Skill.)

USING EVIL WAY DISCIPLINES
Then: These were divided into Distortion (DIS) and Subjection (SUB) disciplines. For the former, you made a specific check, either on Column 1 or 3; only a "C" was a success (i.e., you made a general check, subtracting 10 or 30 from the roll.) For the latter you made a specific check against a 99 (i.e., only a 100 failed); the column was determined by the victim's WPR.
Now: There is no longer a distinction between DIS and SUB disciplines. With most former DIS disciplines, make a Specific Check with at least an M or H result required for success; a 100 (00) is always a failure. Most former SUB disciplines are resolved as Opposed Checks: the creature's skill opposed by its victim's current WPR.

VEHICLE WRECK RESULT
Then: Rolled a percent, and subtracted it from 100. Choose a column based on the speed of the wreck: applied the result as though the wreck were an attack that automatically hit.
Now: The CM determines at what speed the accident occurred: this is the Accident Number (A#). The Strike Rank of the collision is typically the A# ÷ 10. At A#s of 100 or less, characters may escape a collision unscathed. (This approach also applies to such things as failing damage or damage from being "flung" by a creature.

ANIMALS
Very small and very large animals have a modifier for their Stamina, indicating how much Stamina Loss a blow actually causes. There is a Strike Rank and a number for Wound Boxes listed with each animal and creature. The animal's or creature's Fear Modifier is applied to a character's Fear Check, rather than indicating a column on the Action Table.

Also see Converting Old Stats into New Stats, following:

THE ART
Then: To use any Discipline of the Art, you needed a PCN of at least 60 and a WPR of at least 50.
Now: Your character must have a WPR of at least 50 to learn any Discipline of the Art. The divisions of these disciplines are now called schools, each of which has one other, minimal prerequisite:
COMMUNICATIVE (PER: 60),
INCORPOREAL (STA: 60),
PROTECTIVE (LCK: 60), and
RESTORATIVE (STR: 60).
The base chance to use a discipline is now just 2/3 of the average of your PCN Score and the other prerequisite attribute; however, you can now learn disciplines as Student, Teacher, and Master Levels, which can add up to 50 to your base chance of success.

BASIC ABILITIES
Then: Basic Ability scores ranged from 26 to 80; Luck as used to adjust the result of certain rolls.
No: Ability Scores range from 10 to 90; unspent CIPs may adjust the result of certain rolls. Also, (STR + STA) ÷ 4 determines the total number of wounds your character can no take, and STR determines how far your character can throw objects.

CONVERTING OLD STATS INTO NEW STATS

CHARACTERS
There's not much difference between old and new Chill characters. If you aren't going to worry about the current point value of existing characters (we recommend that you don't), simply do the following:
* Subtract 5 from any Master Level of ability. (Master level adds only 20 now, rather than 25.)
* For each discipline known, refigure its base score using the guidelines on p. 37-42 of the CHILL book. (With the new prerequisites, some existing characters already know disciplines they wouldn't currently be allowed to learn. Don't worry about this discrepancy unless both the player and the CM agree to switch the offending discipline for a skill or for another "legal" discipline; the CM might require that up to 1/2 of all new CIPs be spent to raise the appropriate basic ability or abilities until the discipline is legal.)
* Then roll 1 die:
On a 1-6, the discipline is at Student Level; add 15 to the base score.
On a 7-9, the discipline is at Teacher Level; add 30 to the base score.
On a 10, the discipline is at Master Level; add 50 to the base score.
* For each skill and discipline, make sure that the added 15, 30, or 50 (for Student, Teacher, or Master Level) is not more than the base score. If it is, reduce the added percentage so that the final score is no more than double the base score. For example, if the base score is 43, the final score, even at Master Level, can be no more than 86 (43 x 2).
* Calculate the figures for Movement ((AGL + 3) + 20). Sprinting (AGL + 50), Unskilled Melee ((AGL + STR) ÷ 4), and wounds ((STA + STR) ÷ 4).
* Divide any current store of CIPs by 500 (rounding to nearest whole number).

ANIMALS & CREATURES
* For each basic stat (AGL, DEX, PCN, PER, STA, STR, WPR, and EWS), take the old average value (the number in parentheses), and subtract 15 from it. This becomes the base value to which is added 2D10. The average value is retained. Thus, the Bat Lord's AGL, for example:
Old Chill 7 (105)
New Chill (90+2D100/105
* A few old statistics had an average value below 15. Those are changed to something like one of these:
(5+1D10)/15
(2D10)/15
(1D10/5
* So that players don't always know exactly what attack percentage a creature has against them, Attacks now have a random factor. The old attack percentage is rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 (for the Bat Lord, 98 rounds to 100), and 15 is subtracted:
Old Chill 98
New Chill (85+1D10)/100
In general, the number of attacks a creature had remains the same.
* Wound Boxes (WBs) and Strike Ranks (SRs) are determined by how difficult one is to bring down (e.g., for humans, 25 WBs is average, 5 is extremely low, and 50 is extremely high). Of course, if a creature can't be physically hurt, it has no WBs. Those creatures that don't have a physical attack have no SR, and those that use weapons have the SR of the weapon used.
* Fear is now a modifier to a Willpower roll. In general, the old Fear number is multiplied by -5 (e.g., the Bat Lord's 8 becomes -40).

CREATURES
Then: A creature's classes were Corporeal, Incorporeal, and Special, with Special meaning it could take more than one form.
Now: A creature's class(es) can be Corporeal (C), Incorporeal (I), and/or Gaseous (G). For example, if a creature can be both Corporeal and Incorporeal, its class is given as "C,I," and statistics are given for each possible form. Also see Converting Old Stats into New Stats, preceding.

THE EVIL WAY
As with SAVE's Disciplines of the Art, the Evil Way Disciplines have been divided into schools--Communicative (PER), Distortive (STA), Elemental (STR), Mental (WPR), Psychokinetic (AGL), and Sensory (PCN). Each school has a different base score--2/3 of the average of the creature's Evil Way Score and the other governing attribute. To that base score is added a level of ability (+15, +30, or +50), but, as with all skills and disciplines, the bonus can no more than double the base score.
The Chill Discipline is part of no school and is based solely on the creature's Evil Way Score.

GAME MECHANICS
Initiative (AGL ÷ 10) + 1D10) is now determined character by character, rather than for each side. Initiative stays the same throughout a single series of combat, but must be rerolled at the beginning of each round. Characters with higher initiative can act first, or postpone their turn until later in the round.
Since characters each take their turn in a round individually, the long-round sequence (including Missile Fire, Defensive Missile Fire, etc.) has been eliminated.
Fear Check results have been slightly modified.
You can now pull a punch, hitting someone with less than full force.
Damage is now determined both by how well you roll and by your weapon's Strike Rank. Each weapon has a Strike Rank (SR) assigned to it (the higher the better) that specifies how much Stamina Loss and how many wounds it can cause. An L result on your attack means that it does the specified damage. A better result (an M, H, or C result) means that it does the damage of a higher Strike Rank (e.g., an M does 1 SR higher, an H does 2 SRs higher, and a C does 4 SRs higher).
Collisions, falling, etc. are treated as "attacks" against a character, with very high T#s and SRs.

INSIGHT POINTS (IPs)
These are now called Character Insight Points (CIPs). Rather than earning several hundred CIPs in a game session, you now usually earn less than 10 CIPs. However, the things you can buy with them don't cost nearly as much as they used to.
CIPs don't have to be spent on developing your character. They can be saved for future scenarios, and spent to adjust the result of a crucial roll (that you are making, or that the CM is making for you) by a level or two (1 level per CIP spent) any time the rules or the CM allows.

SKILLS AND SPECIFIC CHECKS
Then: Use of a knowledge/research skill required that a specific number of available items be learned: 1 fact/place for an "L" result, 2 facts/places for an "M" result, etc.
Now: The CM classifies each item of information by how difficult it is to learn/locate (as L, M, H, or C result), thus being a Specific Skill Check.
Many Specific Checks are now Opposed Checks. If, originally, the Action Table column was determined by an opposing character (usually by the opposing character's Current Willpower or Perception), that check is probably an Opposed Check now. Skills which can now be opposed also list the results of opposed rolls.
Several skills have been modified. Some of these modifications follow:
* You don't have to have a blackjack to knock someone unconscious, but Blackjack is still the appropriate skill to use.
* Bow skills have all been combined into one skill, as have Thrown Missiles (no Thrown Weapons). The Entangler Skill has been added, and covers the Bola, Lasso, and Whip.
* There is no longer a distinction between Professional and Common skills; they are all Non-Combat Skills.
* Acting/Drama is now just Acting; Modeling is now Savoir-Faire; Outdoor Survival is now Survival, etc.
* Police Forensic Pathology is now just Forensics, and demands a prerequisite of Medicine or Investigation at Master Skill Level.
* Medicine is no longer a prerequisite for Psychiatry.


This article is provided as is without any express or implied warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, the author/maintainer/contributors; assume(s) no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Phlegm Elementals And Killer Tomatoes Await In 32-Year-Old "Weird Works"

http://tinyurl.com/weirdworksMore than two years ago, I discussed the monster manual titled Weird Works I wrote back in 1982 when I was 16 years old. I donated this kid-written D&D monster tome to PlaGMaDA -- The Play Generated Map and Document Archive. But I stupidly neglected to make a copy of this hand-written book for myself before I mailed it off. Fortunately, Tim Hutchinson of PlaGMaDA was kind enough to send me a scan of the interior pages just the other day. And today, I'll share it with you. Click this link or the cover to the right to take a gander at my first gaming supplement. (One note: The cover is not a high-rez scan but rather a low-rez photo I resized for the PDF.)

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: I wrote this when I was 16, so be kind to 32-years-ago me. I illustrated it to the best of my cartooning ability (Don Martin-esque, I think), and many of the entries are of a parody nature. ("Killer Tomatoes?""Phlegm Elementals?" "GIANT SMURFS?!?") But there are 17 creatures within that had some good idea kernels to them. In fact, some of these creatures ended up being the inspiration for future creatures that have appeared here on The Savage AfterWorld! (Click the links in the list below to see how these creatures evolved!)

Within, you'll find:
So there you have it -- the forerunner of both Deviant Databases. Hope you enjoy thumbing through a piece of my gaming history. And if you have gaming artifacts of your own to share, make arrangements with PlaGMaDa to give them a home!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

[Labyrinth Lord] Savage Menagerie: Gravedigger

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 1
Damage: 6d6 + Special
Save: MU5
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None

The Gravedigger is the spiritual embodiment of the dead and buried, though it is not an undead creature and cannot be turned. It is always initially encountered walking from far away toward the party. It appears to be a black-cowled figure with a shovel in one hand and a tombstone in the other. On the tombstone is written the name of the party member which the Gravedigger has come to bury.

The Gravedigger moves slowly, always attacking last in a round. It attacks by striking with its shovel for 6d6 hp of damage. In addition, if the "chosen one" is struck with the shovel, they will automatically be teleported 6 feet underground where they will begin to suffocate. The grave will be marked with the stone the Gravedigger held, and the creature will disappear. If not dug up, the buried person will suffocate for 1d12 hp per round. Spells such as Move Earth, Stone to Flesh, Polymorph Any Object, etc. will automatically excavate the buried victim. If time runs out, the victim suffocates, and the Gravedigger's "mission" was fulfilled.

The Gravedigger can detect things as if it had a permanent spell of True Seeing. The Gravedigger will only attack the one it is "attuned to", and will attack others only if they get in the way. If a Gravedigger does not succeed in burying its victim, the victim will never again encounter a Gravedigger. The Gravedigger will only stop its mission if it is destroyed.

NOTE: Today's monster originally appeared in my Weird Works monster book written back in 1982!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Join The Ranks Of The D-Listers In The Great Stuper Powers Giveaway!

Wanna copy of my favorite "incompetent superheroes" RPG? I have two brand new copies of Stuper Powers! (first edition) that I'm giving away to two visitors to the Savage AfterWorld! If you want one of these, just comment to this post. Sometime tomorrow, I'll draw two names at random from the commentators, and those two folks will get a copy! I don't mind shipping to other countries, so this is open to everyone worldwide. Good luck!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

[Review] Stuper Powers!: The First-Class Game Of Third-Rate Heroes

I have a soft spot in my heart for superhero RPGs. My first real RPG was Villains and Vigilantes, and I'm no stranger to FASERIP. But my favorite superheroes are the ones who aren't exactly "super," per se. You see, I'm a huge fan of the "D list" superheroes -- those characters who have weak, useless, embarrassing powers, but who somehow manage to save the day in spite of their abilities. I'm sure everyone's seen the movie Mystery Men, which has a great cross-section of super-incompetents. And in the comics world, you have joke teams like the Legion of Substitute Heroes, Hitman's Section 8, and the classic Inferior Five.

Which brings me to one of my FAVORITE superhero RPGs: Stuper Powers!

Stuper Powers! tags itself as "The First-Class Game of Third-Rate Heroes." These are not the superheroes you call when there's trouble. These are the heroes you call when you have no one else you can summon -- and I mean NO ONE ELSE. You see, the heroes in Stuper Powers! have powers and abilities that are far less useful than The A-Listers. You might be able to "Give Wedgies Mentally," "Entangle With Armpit Hair," or the ever-popular "Turn Things Plaid." Face it, you're gonna have a tough time bringing down Doctor Dredd and his minions with your ability to "Glow In The Dark."

Stuper Powers! obviously doesn't take itself or the genre seriously, and that's half the fun! Although presented as a bit of a one-night-joke RPG, there is a lot of fun replayability in this game. Case-in-point: I ran a Stuper Powers! game at a convention for three players who randomly rolled their powers. We had Patty Cake with his ability to "Bake a Pound Cake in 30 Seconds"; Deja View who could "See 2 Seconds Into The Future"; and The Unit with his "Pogo Penis". (Yes, that's the power and, yes, it's exactly what it sounds like.) These three "heroes" formed S.U.C.K. Squadron (Superheroes United Crushing Krime) and they stumbled into a scenario where the town was going to be blown up unless they acted. And in spite of these lousy, useless, nearly-obscene abilities, the players defeated the Big Bad, won the game, and laughed their asses off in the process. And that's what Stuper Powers is all about, Charlie Brown.

Admittedly, Stuper Power's "gimmick" are the bizarre powers and the creative ways the players use them during the game. But what of the system? Well...there really isn't one. Players don't have ability scores or skill sets or anything like that. According to the rules, all contests and checks should be done in one of two ways: flip a coin for a 50-50 chance to succeed/fail, or defeat the "Big Mac Daddy" (the GM) in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. That's it. Now, when I play Stuper Powers, I prefer a little more, so I've house-ruled to let my players use 1d4. All checks are on a scale of 1=sure thing, 2=average, 3=hard, 4=damn hard, 5=impossible. Roll the number or higher to succeed. And I offer situational bonuses of +1 or -1 depending on the event. (Hitting someone at point-blank range is a 1, but if the player is blinded by "Adhesive Snot", there's a -1 penalty. So a 1 is not always a Sure Thing, and I have seen players make "Impossible" checks.)

Something else I do when I play Stuper Powers is that the world around the players is no joke. Although the game offers similar bizarre villains and crimes to foil, I find the game is a LOT more fun when everything is deadly serious and straight -- except for the PCs. When the stakes are high and Doombringer The Unstoppable is about to destroy the town, nothing is funnier than having Kid Dorito appear on the scene with his ability to start a "Nacho Downpour." And seeing Xxyrkkk, Destroyer of Worlds, KO'ed by a pair of "Concussive Breasts" is a show-stopper.

Stuper Powers! is great beer-and-pretzels RPG for folks who'd like to try something a bit less "super" in their superhero games. Stuper Powers! is available in two editions: the original 32-page comic-book-like version from Unstoppable Productions, and an updated 112-page "deluxe" version by Wingnut Games. The original has 48 stuper powers, whereas the deluxe version has 100 stuper powers (three contributed by Yours Truly) as well as four adventures, a map of Knee Jerk City (the home-city of the players), LARP rules (seriously), an Instaventures Creator, and tables-tables-tables. Either version gives you plenty of bang for your buck. (But the deluxe version is admittedly much, much "bangier".)

I have had a TON of fun with this game over the years,and wanted to sing its praises. But it gets better...

Noble Knight apparently has a bunch of the original editions of Stuper Powers available for 1 cent. Yup, one penny will get you a near-mint copy of the original D-List superhero game. That's a crazy good deal! Grab them now while they still have 'em! Or, if you'd like a PDF of the deluxe version for your eReader or tablet, you can buy it directly from Wingnut Games via Gumroad for a minimum $2.00 PWYW. Again, crazy good deal. Still not sure? How about you download the Stuper Powers Quick Start Rules for free and check it out for yourself? Finally, if you want to truly support the game and its creators, Stuper Powers Deluxe is available in print for $16.95 from Wingnut Games.

All this talk about Stuper Powers! has me fired up to schedule a game or two at some conventions next year. In 2015, Bufferin-Man ("Induce Slight Headache"); Glass Jaw ("Bloody Nose Power"); and Scoutmaster Jim ("Summon Cub Scouts") will fight the forces of evil! (Cue Smash Mouth's "All Star")

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Form-Fillable PC Sheets For All Current Pacesetter RPGs

The Cryptworld form-fillable player character sheets I cobbled together were such a big hit, I thought I'd go ahead and take care of the entire current Pacesetter line! Click the links and/or the sheets below and you can download a form-fillable character sheet PDF for your favorite current Pacesetter game!

http://tinyurl.com/qelwh8g

http://tinyurl.com/qc9j2oa

http://tinyurl.com/pax3e5d

http://tinyurl.com/q7og2tu

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cryptworld Form-Fillable Character Sheet Available For Download

Hey gang, just trying my hand at creating form-fillable PDFs. For my first project, I've created a form-fillable Cryptworld character sheet. Hope you can use it! (Click the page to go to a download page.)
http://tinyurl.com/qelwh8g