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!
WE'RE READY TO BELIEVE YOU

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Con On The Cob Day 2: Meet B.A. Felton And "Fumbles The Mok"


Howdy gang, and welcome to Day 2 of my live reports from Ohio's Con on the Cob. I hope you enjoy reading these gaming missives as much as I enjoy bringing them to you. So let's see what what Friday had in store for Your Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman!
  • Wow. When you game until midnight, go to bed at 1 a.m., then get up at 6 a.m., you can reeeeeally feel it. As long as my throat holds out for this morning's Thundarr the Barbarian game, I should be OK.
  • Was at the buffet at 6 a.m. Hostess from yesterday seated me. "Looks like I won't have to chase you out this time!" she jokes. "Looks like I won't have to leave a tip this time!" I joke. The jokes kinda stopped there. (I left a tip.)
  • Four Saturday morning adventurers made it for this morning's Thundarr the Barbarian game at 8 a.m. Everyone was tired, but LOUD cartoon action was had. Three players played the trio from the series, and my pal Jim Yoder played Oosoo, a young Mok who was accompanying the team to train as a new post-apocalyptic hero. And Oosoo had some the worst luck I've seen in a game -- which actually worked in the context of a new hero learning the ropes. Some of the highlights: Thundarr and Oosoo each grabbed a giant snake by the tail, swung them over their respective heads, and CRASHED the heads together which downed the evil serpents; while in an Ancient flying machine, Oosoo threw a sandbag ballast at an enemy -- and hit Thundarr by accident; after ripping off the leg from an animated statue, Oosoo tried to strike the automaton with it -- and hit Thundarr by accident; Ookla, who's afraid of both fire and water, decided to "watch the horses" while the rest of the team entered the swamp to retrieve the "Forever Fires"; Princess Ariel cast Control Animal on a giant snake and caused it to attack its brethren; and Thundarr dove a flying bat into the chest of an animated statue, rolled a 28 on the d30, and CRUSHED the bat into the statue. The statue fell while Thundarr rode it down to the ground. And in spite of Oosoo's fumbles, he dealt the final blow to the evil wizard, redeeming himself at the end. Demon Dogs, what an adventure!
  • The Goodman Games booth had three DCC modules I don't have. So that was a nice unexpected score. I grabbed them while they were still available. I'll give 'em a readthrough later tonight.
  • And I just sold my last copy of Cryptworld. The demand for it has been astounding, and the folks who already have it have been very excited to talk about it. (Wait 'til you see what's in the pipeline. Mwah-ha-haaaaa...) 
  • Speaking of Cryptworld, as I sat here in the booth, inspiration struck. I hammered out and posted The Curator, an evil artist for Cryptworld. Enjoy!
  • Knowing that Knights of the Dinner Table's Jolly Blackburn was going to be here, I brought my cherished copy of KODT Issue 48. In this issue, I had my Tales From the Table story printed. Jolly was kind enough to autograph the cover for me. And tomorrow, he'll have a custom sketch of beleaguered gamemaster B.A. Felton for me!
  • I was supposed to play in a game of Are You A Werewolf, but only 4 people showed up. Not really possible with so few, so we decided to cancel the game. Now I'm in my room and, honestly, looking forward to a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is gonna be quite a stretch as I'm in the booth from 10 am to 8 pm.
And, as I like to do, here are a few random shots of this and that from the convention floor. See you tomorrow as we enter Day 3 of the Cosmic Circus!

 Andy Hopp's style can be found all over the banners for the Con, lending quite an unusual and distinctive "flair"

 One of several game rooms in full-fledged gaming action!

 Sweet, sweet loot has been grabbed and purchased!

 My even-more-cherished Issue 48 of KODT with Jolly's autograph on the cover!

 And for the old school arcade lovers, when was the last time you saw a WORKING Simpsons Arcade Game? The hotel's game room has one! Might have to toss in a few quarters for old times' sake.

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Curator

(While I'm manning the booth here at Con on the Cob, I thought I'd hammer out a brand new THING for you to torment your Cryptworld players with!)

A Psychotic Artist for Cryptworld

CURATOR
STR: 4 (60) --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: 3 (45) --- PER: 2 (30)
AGL: 4 (60) --- PCN: 3 (45)
STA: 5 (75) --- PWR: 80
ATT: 1/65% --- WND: 15
MV: L 75

Experience: 750

A Curator is a frustrated artist who, in spite of his passion and drive, has no appreciable talent for the arts. This frustration has built up and exploded into a psychotic maniac determined to prove his artistic merits. And since mankind refuses to recognize his "genius," humanity will now become the bloodsplattered canvas upon which he'll "create."

When creating a Curator, the CM should first determine the medium upon which he works. Once the Curator has kidnapped and slain a victim, the Curator prepares his masterpiece using the following process (roll 1d10):

1. Wax Sculptures -- The Curator dips his victims into molten wax, posing the body before the wax hardens, creating a very lifelike wax figure.
2. Bust Sculptures -- The Curator removes the victim's head, then coats the head in quick-hardening plaster or cement, creating an uncanny human bust.
3. Abstract Paintings -- The chaotic patterns coating the Curator's canvas initially consists of the victim's arterial spray followed by the splatter and drips from various multicolored acrylics.
4. Ceramics -- After removing the victim's limbs, the Curator envelops it in clay, fires it in a kiln, then glazes it as a representation of "the human form."
5. Tile Collage -- The Curator uses broken bits of bones and teeth to create a stark-white collage of "tile" in various eye-pleasing patterns.
6. Watercolors -- The paintings created by the Curator is created with watered-down blood, bile, and other organic fluids of the victim.
7. Photography -- The Curator poses his "models" in lifelike slice-of-life scenes. The photos -- in black-and-white -- capture his vision of a stark realism.
8. Ivory Carving -- Although the artform is frowned upon by some, the Curator can honestly assure the public he never uses ivory taken from live animals. (Live humans are a different matter...)
9. Leatherworking -- The victim's skin is processed into a fine leather canvas by the Curator that is tooled and formed into various forms of leather goods.
10. Music -- The Curator creates beautiful haunting melodies using instruments formed by his victims: a bone flute, a ribcage xylophone, a violin using victim's sinew, etc.

The Curator is very clever and will not begin his killing spree in a haphazard or unplanned manner. He will first kill and "process" a victim in secret, revealing his new artwork to an audience while using his masterpiece power. The audience will be incredibly receptive and praising of the new piece, offering the Curator a place to create and a future gallery showing. With each new masterpiece, the Curator's fame will grow until he has his own museum featuring many of his masterworks (as well as artwork of other, "less talented" artists).

The Curator has usually already established himself in the local artistic culture as an up-and-coming artist before he begins his slaughter. The Curator is egotistical to a fault, seeing himself as the next Great Artistic Talent waiting to be discovered. He is also egotistical as he sees all of his admirers as just "art supplies" for his future projects.

Curator Powers
Masterpiece: The Curator can manipulate an audience's collective mind to impart the impression that the artwork they're viewing is one of the greatest works of art ever created. At a cost of 30 WPR and a successful PWR check, all members of the viewing audience will agree as to the artistic genius of the work. Critics will shower both it and the Creator with praise, and no one will recognize the horrific basis of the artwork's creation. With each future success of the masterpiece power, the Curator establishes himself even further as a wunderkind. Failure of the check means that the work is judged on its own merits. (And harsh critics may find themselves as the "subject" of a future masterpiece.

Con On The Cob Day 1: Vendor Booth During The Day And A Ghosttown Shoot-out At Night


Howdy gang, and welcome to Day 1 of the 2014 Con on the Cob travelogue. Unlike previous years where I'm running back to my room to hammer out the daily updates, I'm blogging from the Vendor's Hall in the Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter booth. So if you stop by the booth and see me hunched over, I'm bloggin'.

here's today's highlights:
  • For the first time at a convention in a while, I didn't have an early morning game to play or run on the first day. So I was able to sleep in until 9 a.m. Nice to not have to race off on the first day.
  • Stopped by the restaurant for the complimentary breakfast buffet that comes with my room, and they were putting everything away -- at 9:30 a.m. When I asked, the hostess seemed a bit exasperated and made it CLEAR that the buffet ended at 9:30 a.m. She begrudgingly allowed me to grab some sausage and a piece of French Toast. So tomorrow I'll be beating on the door at 6 a.m. sharp. "IS THIS EARLY ENOUGH?!?"
  • Got the Goblinoid/Pacesetter booth set up. The banners and signage are very sharp. Gotten a lot of complements on them. As I type this, the Vendor's Hall is 1/2 hour from opening.
  • First sale: Cryptworld. Boo-yah.
  • Just met Ron at the booth. He picked up Mutant Future and said, "Did you see some guy wrote a Thundarr supplement for this?" We had a laugh when he found out who I was. He also mentioned two other local Ohio cons I was unaware of. Looks like my con schedule next year just expanded by two more! (Good to meet you, Ron!)
  • There seem to be a lot of Pacesetter fans who are thrilled about the resurrection of the brand and system. I have heard a LOT of tales about old Chill, Timemaster, Star Ace and -- yes -- even Sandman campaigns.
  • One of the Con runners heard I was from Mansfield and mentioned a game convention that was once held there. He was stunned to find out I was at "Panzer Con" in 1985 as well. Spent a good amount of time reflecting on a long-dead game convention. Never met anyone else who remembered that con, let alone attended its one and only showing!
  • At 8 p.m., I ran my first game of the convention -- Cryptworld's "Death in the Dust." Five agents for the DAPA organization (Defense Against Paranormal Agents) are dispatched to an Old West mining ghosttown that's being renovated into a tourist attraction. Someone or something was damaging the facility with some very nasty vandalism, including a pickaxe driven into a painting of the town's founder. During the course of the game, two agents used an air conditioner to "freeze out" a pair of threatening rattlesnakes under a desk; another agent tried to talk to an animated construct made out of mining tools -- and got a pickaxe to her chest and a sledgehammer to her shoulder for her efforts; all five agents scrambled to get out of a house that began sinking into an underground mineshaft; and an Old West shoot-out occurred when the True Owner of the property rose from his underground tomb to reclaim his property and get beyond-the-grave revenge on the current owners. Another great time fighting the supernatural!
Well, it's 1 a.m. as I put this post to bed. Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post. Thundarr in the morning! Werewolves in the evening! And more merriment from the Cosmic Circus of Con on the Cob! And now, some pictures taken during the day:

 The Cosmic Circus is now underway!

 The new Pacesetter signage is awesome. Jim Holloway's artwork is impressive wall-sized.

The Goblinoid Games/Pacesetter booth is now open for business! Free Pacesetter d10s with purchase! And quick Action Table runthroughs upon request! (And I just noticed my reflection is in the mirror to the far left - gah.)

Arial photo of the Vendor's Hall about to open.

Five intrepid DAPA members go undercover in Cryptworld to solve the mysteries found in Weaver, Arizona, in "Death in the Dust"