Saturday, October 3, 2015

[Cryptworld] The Month Of Things: Carnivorous Swarm

An Insectoid Threat  for Cryptworld

STR: 4 (60) --- WPR: NA
AGL: 3 (45) --- PCN: 3 (45)
STA: 4 (60) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 1/53% --- WND: 0*
MV:  L 100   F 200 (if applicable)

Experience: 750

A carnivorous swarm is a massive collection of flesh-eating insects driven into a berserk feeding frenzy. A carnivorous swarm can be triggered by any number of factors: exposure to mutagenic toxins or radiation, control by some nefarious outside force, or simply "nature runs amok".  Fortunately, a carnivorous swarm isn't an intelligent force, as the mass moves upon insectile instinct alone. However, due to the nature of the threat, the carnivorous swarm is very difficult to escape or hide from -- and deadly if it engulfs its prey.

The CM should first roll 1d10 to determine what insect makes up the carnivorous swarm. (* denotes flying insects.)

1. Ants
2. Beetles
3. Centipedes
4. Cockroaches
5. Spiders
6. Flies*
7. Locusts*
8. Mantis*
9. Mosquitos*
10. Wasps/Hornets*

Upon first seeing a carnivorous swarm, it will appear as a darkened mass flowing over and engulfing every surface. If the carnivorous swarm is made up of flying insects, it will appear as a quickly moving black cloud. A carnivorous swarm has only one purpose -- to feed upon anything and anyone it encounters. The vermin making up the carnivorous swarm will eat anything -- plant or animal -- swarming over the hapless victim and stripping them down to bones in minutes. (The victim may die quickly of suffocation before being consumed -- if they're lucky.) If a carnivorous swarm is made up of centipedes, spiders, or wasps/hornets, these insects will use their natural poisonous venom to kill their prey. The CM should roll 1d10 to determine the poison lethality of the carnivorous swarm and have the PC roll a poison check upon any successful attack to determine the outcome.

Since the carnivorous swarm is a mass of individual insects, the thing does not take Wound damage from any attack. If a carnivorous swarm is taken to 0 STA, the individual insects making up the swarm will scatter in various directions, losing cohesion and no longer swarming as a mass. A carnivorous swarm takes half-damage from any ranged projectile weapon as well as bladed handheld weapons, and takes full STA damage from any attack made with a bludgeoning weapon, as well as from fire or cold. A land-based carnivorous swarm is unable to cross a body of water, although flying swarms are unaffected. It is left to the CM to determine if the carnivorous swarm takes damage from any water-based attack.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

[Cryptworld] "Monsters Macabre" Now Available For Purchase

"Monsters Macabre" for CRYPTWORLD is now available for purchase!

Monsters Macabre is the new 64-page sourcebook for CRYPTWORLD -- the new Pacesetter horror RPG -- featuring:

* 71 new THINGS that haunt the night
* 10 new unsettling powers
* A complete adventure featuring one of the new creatures
* Rules for monster PCs
* Guidelines for creating your own THINGS
* Optional rules for variable weapon damage
* Tables for generating random monster hunting organizations

"Monsters Macabre" is also compatible with the entire Pacesetter library of games -- both old and new --  including Rotworld, Timemaster, and Majus!

[Cryptworld] October Is "The Month Of Cryptworld THINGs!"

In October, CRYPTWORLD fans, fiends, and minions will enjoy a ton of support for Pacesetter's horror RPG! Here are just a few preliminary peeks at what's rising from the grave in the next 30 days!

** Monsters Macabre -- the new CRYPTWORLD supplement -- will be available for purchase by the general public in October! New things, new rules, and new adventures await inside the 64-page book, which will be available in electronic PDF, paperback, and hardback. Kickstarter supporters and reviewers have great things to say about the newest addition to the CRYPTWORLD line, so be sure to watch for announcements of its availability!

** Every Saturday in October here at The Savage AfterWorld, we'll unveil a deadly new thing ready for use in your horror-fueled CRYPTWORLD campaigns! And with five Saturdays in the month, that means five new cryptids will be unleashed! (And there just may be some"thing" extra crawling out on October 31st!)

** Want to play CRYPTWORLD with me in person? Then sign up for one of my games being run at Ohio's Con on the Cob from October 15-18 and Michigan's U-Con Gaming Convention from November 20-22. The games I'm running throughout the season include:

Condition Critical -- Dr. Howard Eastman has called a press conference at his remote research facility to announce a medical breakthrough that will “eradicate human illness and suffering forever.” But, what if the cure proves to be worse than the disease?
Unquenchable -- Three days ago, a group of hunters failed to return from their annual deer hunt. Your team has been brought in to assist in the search. But there seems to be an undercurrent of unease amongst the searchers. Is there something sinister lurking in the forest?

Wasted -- It's a raucous Saturday night at "Sweet Oblivion," the roadhouse on the outskirts of town. But this night of revelry will turn to horror when Death stops in for a nightcap. Can you survive The Night of The Living Dead (Drunk)?

** And finally, I've been working on a new Pacesetter-related project that will be unveiled in October. No announcements yet, but I'll leave you with this teaser image...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

[Kickstarter] The Check Deck: A Twist On Checkers

 I love gamehacks and optional home rules folks think up for their favorite boardgames. (For example, tossing all taxes and penalties into the center of the Monopoly board, then hoping you're the first to land on Free Parking for that jackpot!) A new gamehack I stumbled across on Kickstarter is "The Check Deck" -- a deck of 34 rule-breaking cards for Checkers. Similar to Knightmare Chess, The Check Deck adds an element of randomness to the otherwise straightforward game of Checkers.

At the beginning of the match, each player is dealt 7 cards at random from The Check Deck. Play then proceeds normally, with the exception that -- instead of moving -- a player can instead play one of the cards in his hand and follow those instructions for his turn. He may be allowed to treat any piece as if it were a King for that turn, jumping and capturing as many opponent pieces as possible. He might play a card allowing him to move two pieces that turn instead. Or he may swap the position of one of his pieces with that of one of his opponents. Freezing a piece in place, or removing any piece from play could also happen.
The Check Deck already hit its minuscule goal of $100 with 27 days left to go. Only $12 gets you a deck shipped free anywhere in the U.S. with delivery in November in time for Christmas. (Apparently all that's needed is funds for printing, as a prototype deck is featured on the Kickstarter page.) I can't remember the last time I broke out my Checkers board, but this sounds like a nifty addition to try out and toss into the gamebox for future diversions. For $12? Sure, king me!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

[Review] The Gamemaster's Apprentice Base Deck

I'm a sucker for any product that claims to make a GM's life easier at the gaming table. Adventure creators, GM emulators, story prompts -- I really enjoy having something at-hand to help me through those unexpected "curves" your players toss at you.

"Oh, so you want to enter that room I never wrote up to follow that NPC I never fleshed out? Ohhhhh-kay...."

So I'm very pleased to have discovered The Gamemaster's Apprentice by Nathan Rockwood. This incredibly useful deck of 60 double-backed cards (120 card faces) gives the GM a TON of useful prompts, randomizers, seeds, and details for nearly any gaming occasion I can think of. It can also be used as a GM emulator for solo gaming. The deck is also system and genre-neutral, so you can use it with pretty much any game I can imagine.

Each card offers the GM 14 different "tools" at the table, with each card providing a randomly created element or prompt. If the GM is stuck, he pulls a card and runs with the result on the card. Just LOOK at the sheer number of tools found in the GM's Apprentice:

1. Difficulty Generator: Here, the numbers 1 through 10 randomly appear. Distributed through a bell curve with 5-7 appearing most often as an "average", you can randomly determine how easy (1-4), average (5-7), or difficult (8-10) a given task is.
2. Likely Odds:  Need a yes/no answer to a situation? First determine the likelihood of a positive outcome, then pull a card to see if they succeeded or not.
3. Dice: Each polyhedral dice is here, with an even distribution of outcomes across the 120 faces. (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d%). Don't have your dice on hand? Grab a card and find the result instead.
4. Norse Runes: The runes correspond to a handy chart provided in the deck's instructions (provided as a free download). These symbolic prompts are meant to fuel your imagination as needed.
5. Elemental Symbols: The symbols for air, earth, fire, and water can be literal prompts or suggestive for the situation.
6. Random Event Generator: Each line here has a verb-adjective-noun layout. Pull three cards (one for each word) or just read the prompts as written for a random situation prompt!
7. Sensory Prompts: Need to give the players something they can see, hear, smell, or feel in a scene? A random card draw give you some sensory clues for the players to act upon.
8. Tag Symbol: The tags are used for another set of randomizers that correspond to a previously designed list of possible events or encounters, or just for symbolic interpretation.
9. Scatter Die: Need to quickly determine a random direction? Check out the scatter die icon to see which way the path goes, the wind is blowing, or where that grenade landed!
10. Possessions: What's in the NPC's pockets? The handy list gives the GM a way to determine a list of random objects.
11. Names: What is the name of this random NPC? Pull a card an give him/her a quick moniker on the spot.
12. Catalysts: These story prompts push the situation in unexpected directions when needed.
13. Location: Where are they? Where do they need to go? Where is the Macguffin to be found? Each card has a unique location to explore.
14. Virtue and Vice: What's so good/bad about a certain person? What habits do they have. Pull a card and give them some quick quirks.

As you can see, the many uses of these cards is staggering. You can create an NPC on the spot. You can use the deck as a game engine. You can flesh out a random scene or event. Story ideas and seeds can be created with just a few draws of the deck. I'm just beginning to discover the uses this deck has, and it has gone into my travelling game kit. The Gamemaster's Apprentice Deck is available at Drive Through RPG for $10 for a print-your-own version, or $20.00 for a deck of cards. I got the cards, and they're very good, high-quality. Sniderman says check it out.

Monday, September 7, 2015

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Snallygaster

An East-Coast Cryptid  for Cryptworld

STR: 8 (120) --- WPR: 4 (45)
DEX: 6 (90) --- PER: 2 (30)
AGL: 5 (75) --- PCN: 3 (45)
STA: 6 (90) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 1/98% --- WND: 16
MV:  L 50 F 100

Experience: 900

The snallygaster is a cryptid commonly encountered in the northeastern United States, primarily in the Maryland/District of Columbia area. The creature is described as a large flying reptile-like monster. The snallygaster is large enough to easily pick up and fly off with men and livestock, though it prefers smaller game and human children to feed upon.

The snallygaster's beak is described as metallic and able to bite through most hardened substances. Within its mouth is a set of tenticles that is uses to grasp and subdue prey. (It is theorized that these tendrils are actually numerous prehensile "tongues".) Once grappled, the snallygaster flies off to its hidden burrow with its prey in order to feed. (A snallygaster's burrow has a 10% chance of containing 1d10 eggs.)

The creature is somewhat lumbering when on the ground due to its size, but it makes up for its lack of speed when in the air. The snallygaster has a tough leathery hide that repels most bludgeoning attacks (a 20% penalty when attacking it with a blunt object). At the turn of the century, sightings of the snallygaster were so prevalent that President Theodore Roosevelt planned an expedition to capture such a creature. (There are whispered rumors that President Roosevelt was successful, and a stuffed and mounted specimen of the monster is on display somewhere within the White House.)

Urban legend says that a snallygaster flew over an moonshining operation at the turn of the century, and the fumes from the still overcame the creature which came crashing down. It was quickly dispatched as it lay overwhelmed on the forest floor. ICSX members theorize that strong alcohol fumes might be able to subdue the creature. Although sightings of the creature are rare nowadays, DAPA agents have a standing order to monitor for the monster's return due to its proximity to Washington DC.

Friday, September 4, 2015

What Am I Running At Con On The Cob / U-Con This Year?

The fall con season is upon us, and two of my favorite conventions are just around the corner. Ohio's Con on the Cob will be held October 15-18 at its new digs in Brecksville. And Michigan's U-Con Gaming Convention will be held November 20-22 in Ypsilanti. If you're in the area for either of these great gatherings, make plans NOW to attend.

At Con on the Cob, the Goblinoid Games/Pacesetter LTD vendor's booth will once again be present, offering up the complete line of games and supplements for Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Starships & Spacemen, as well as Timemaster, Majus, Rotworld, and Cryptworld. (And there's a good chance the new Cryptworld supplement Monsters Macabre will be available for purchase too!)

As for the games I'll be running at the convention, lots of horror is on the docket!

Cryptworld: “Condition Critical”
Dr. Howard Eastman has called a press conference at his remote research facility to announce a medical breakthrough that will “eradicate human illness and suffering forever.” But what if the cure proves to be worse than the disease?

Cryptworld: “Unquenchable”
Three days ago, a group of hunters failed to return from their annual deer hunt near Akron, Ohio. Your team of expert trackers and investigators have been brought in to assist in the search. But there seems to be an undercurrent of unease amongst the police who whisper of a disturbing discovery they’ve made. Is there something sinister lurking in the forest?
Chill-Black Morn Manor boardgame
Something is loose in Black Morn Manor. Your team of envoys has been dispatched to investigate and (if possible) drive off the unseen evil. Will you succeed, or will you be converted into yet another minion for the creature? Come play this classic Pacesetter boardgame from 1985!

And a month later, I'll be running a bunch of games for U-Con's OSR track, including the following:

Mutant Future: “Thundarr the Barbarian: Warlord of the Sacred Library”
Lords of Light! Drakexx the Unstoppable has established a stronghold in the forbidden Congers Library where thousands of Ancient texts are stored. What use does a warlord have with these tomes, and what secrets does he hope to unlock? The tribal shaman of the village of Linkon has tasked Thundarr, Ookla, and Princess Ariel with stopping and driving out the mindless brute!

Stuper Powers!: “Apocalypse...NOW?!”
Doctor Dredd and his evil team of villains have taken over Washington DC! They plan to start World War III unless your team of "D-list" heroes are able to stop them. Will your ability to "Induce Slight Headaches" and "Turn Things Plaid" be enough to thwart Armageddon? (Nah...probably not...)
Ghostbusters: “Ragnarok-A-Bye Baby”
Judgment Day may be at hand!  In the center of all the chaos and destruction, one place seems untouched – The Wee Tots Nursery School. Could this be the Antichrist’s day care center? The Ghostbusters are mobilized to save the world (and perhaps change a diaper or two)!
Cryptworld: “Wasted”
It's a raucous Saturday night at "Sweet Oblivion," the roadhouse on the outskirts of town. But this night of revelry will turn to horror when Death stops in for a nightcap. Can you survive The Night of The Living Dead (Drunk)?

Stop by and say "Hey" if you're at either of these events!