Thursday, January 30, 2014

Great Deals Still Available At Troll And Toad

After hearing about the great gaming deals Tim Shorts and Erik Tenkar got from the Troll and Toad clearance bin, I just had to go wading in to see what kinds of leftovers remained in the T&T warehouse. And the more I poked through the remaining deals, the fuller my shopping cart got. So here is what I got in the mail today:
I love to see a big ol' box of gaming goodies sitting on the porch after a long day at work.

The whole RPGA thing passed me by back in my gaming youth, but I love to read old issues of Polyhedron. I grabbed about 8 issues. Within these issues, there are full adventures for AD&D, Gamma World, and even Paranoia! Score!

One of my favorite gaming mags was Cryptych and I was surprised to see a couple of back issues in the bargain bin. Snagged them for some retro reading this weekend. (Now to pick up those cheap back issues of Shadis...)

I was very surprised to see copies of West End Games' D6 Fantasy and D6 Space in the bargain bin. (Wish there had been a copy of D6 Adventure too.) When I pulled these out, I was stunned to see they were hardcopies...and brand new too! (And I paid 99 cents and $1.99 for these!)

Here's the coup de grace -- A copy of Road Kill Rally by Z-Man Games, brand new and shrinkwrapped. (Picture "Death Race 2000: The Board Game.") I also grabbed the Quackery card game as the description fascinated me.

And here's the punchline: The total cost of all of this? Less than $40....SHIPPED. Everything you see here was either 49 cents, 99 cents, or $1.99. The only item costing more was Road Kill Rally, and I got that for $15.59. There are still a LOT of great deals to be had, so I suggest you drop what you're doing and go shopping for great stuff cheap! (And leave the Shadis issues for me, would ya?)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Cosmic Circus, A Monstrous Game Fair, And A Festival In The Forest In Ohio This Year!

Well, my convention attendance is being a bit curtailed for 2014 due to numerous personal events I must attend that conflict with some of my favorite cons. So no Gary Con this year for Sniderman, nor Gen Con. But I'll be definitely be attending the following Ohio gaming gatherings. Registration is open for all three right now, so I'll see you there!

Origins Game Fair - Columbus, Ohio
 June 11th to 15th
One of the larger conventions in the U.S., this year's Origins theme is "Monsters." What better place to get some Cryptworld or Rotworld running? It's been a while since I last attended, so I'm really looking forward to my return visit.

Con on the Cob - Hudson, Ohio
October 16th to 19th
Had a great time at this smaller game convention last year, so I've already registered for my next visit! This year, CotC will be a "Cosmic Circus" so I expect the non-gaming time to be filled with, I dunno, space clowns or something. Andy Hopp runs a great gathering, so get your shiny wazoo there!

The Festival in the Forest - Medina, Ohio
August 22nd to 24th
Now here's a great idea for a gaming gathering! The North Coast Gamers are organizing a game con in the great outdoors! They have rented the Brooklyn Exchange Cabin in Hinkley Metroparks as well as the camping area surrounding the cabin. Attendees are encouraged to camp there during the weekend (bunks inside the cabin for those who act fast), with the entire convention occurring within and around the cabin. I love to camp during the summer, and being able to attend a convention while I do so? Hot dang! I'm currently putting together a special late night, outdoors Cryptworld game that will take a campground....JUST LIKE THIS ONE. (Mwah-ha-ha-haaaa...)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

[Fiasco] Got Tired Of Loose Playsets, So...

I've really taken a shine to "Fiasco," but one thing that annoys me are the numerous playsets available for the game. It's not the playsets themselves that cause me grief (as every one of them is a fantastic romp into chaos), but rather I had a lot of them printed out loosely, and it was becoming a chore to keep them together and organized. So, a moment of inspiration struck a few weeks ago. I took the playsets I had acquired (all through freely available downloads at Bully Pulpit Games), compiled them into one master document (inserting blank pages as needed to "force" proper left-right spread layouts and retaining all boilerplates for rights acknowledgments), created an appropriate cover (again, using freely available public domain clipart and fonts), then had the whole project printed and bound via Lulu. (NOTE: This was a one-off POD for my own usage at the gaming table and will never (never-ever) be available "out there.")

Anyway, I wanted to share the end result:

"Fiasco Playsets: Volume 1" contains 41 playsets in one perfect-bound volume. This'll be very handy at the gaming table. And if we're stuck for which playset to use? Flip randomly and play whichever set you fall onto.

I'm in the book publishing business by trade, so I needed to create a back cover that reflected the contents as well as tying in visually with the front cover. I'm kinda compulsive that way.

I used a yellow cover so it'd complement the red and blue covers of the main rulebook and the companion. (The whole CMYK color scheme so important to printing.) I think they'll look nice on my bookshelf. If I do a Volume 2 down the road, it'll have a black cover ("K").

Pagination and layout was important so I'd have all of the Locations, Objects, etc. of each playset falling on the appropriately facing pages. And this beast is 500+ pages, so there was a bit of finagling to ensure each playset was formatted correctly in this compiled volume.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

[Mutant Future] Going Postal 6 & Wisdom From The Wastelands 34 & 35 Now Out!

Playing catch-up today as I announce THREE new supplements for Mutant Future now on sale!

Darwin's Children: The Gallusians -- The Gallusians are bipedal humanoid descendants of a genetically altered strain of poultry created prior to the Apocalypse.  The original stock had been altered to increase the size and mass of the poultry for greater food generation.  The labs and farms where the stock was maintained were located in more rural areas, and several flocks survived and quickly evolved into their current form. The genetic manipulation was amplified the low doses of radiation causing the Gallusians to become more intelligent and nearly human level sentience. This supplement includes both the monster stat block as well as the player character description.  New weapons used solely by the Gallusians including the Blunderbuss and black powder bombs are listed and three new monsters.
Wisdom From the Wastelands Issue 34 is “Plant Mutants I" and described as follows: "No matter what your choice of post-apocalyptic game, plants usually get the hind bud. And, unfortunately, Mutant Future is no exception. Although the core rulebook has example mutant plants and many plant mutations, there just are not enough of either. This is especially true considering that our world has many more plants than animals."

Wisdom From the Wastelands Issue 35 is “Terror Weapons" and described as follows: "During the final wars, various factions came to rely on psychological tactics like terror, rather than conventional bombs, bullets, and energy beams, as their weaponry of choice. Many believed a terrified populace was an unproductive populace, demoralized and ripe for civil unrest, all useful conditions for the terror-users. Sometimes this strategy worked, but other times it backfired so badly the terror groups were hunted down and destroyed with prejudice."

All three Mutant Future supplements are only 99 cents and are available at Drive Through RPG.

Review Of "One Year In The Savage AfterWorld"

Blog-meister Tori Bergquist over at Realms of Chriak posted a review of my Mutant Future micro-adventure supplement One Year in the Savage AfterWorld. He had some very nice things to say, as well as a great idea for using the supplement as a full-fledged campaign setting. Go read his review here!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 7: Manananggal

A Vampiric Thing from the Philippines for Cryptworld

STR: 6 (90) --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: 4 (60) --- PER: 3 (45)
AGL: 7 (105) --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: 6 (90) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 2/98% --- WND: 16
MV: L 75†  F 75

Experience: 1,500

The Manananggal is a legendary vampire from the Philippines that feeds solely on sleeping, pregnant women. The Manananggal is capable of severing its upper torso from the rest of its body, sprouting wings to fly into the night, trailing its internal organs underneath. In fact, manananggal literally means "one who separates himself" in the Tagalog language.

A manananggal can be either male or female, and appears quite normal during the daylight hours -- perhaps even passing as a respected member of the community. At night, however, the manananggal will return to its lair where it will literally tear the top half of its torso from the rest of its body. While its lower half remains immobile, the upper half will fly into the night, looking for prey. The manananggal will find a sleeping, pregnant woman (usually someone they've encountered during the day) and will feed on both mother and unborn child. The manananggal does not have fangs like a traditional vampire, rather it uses a long, barbed, hollow tongue to pierce the flesh and feed directly from the hearts of first the mother, then the unborn child. After the first successful attack versus a victim, the manananggal will begin to feed, automatically dealing damage as per a heavy wound each consecutive round to the victim. Once sated, the manananggal returns to its lower half and rejoins with it, becoming whole once again.

Although a manananggal doesn't have the traditional powers of a vampire, it does have similar weaknesses. It is repelled by the smell of garlic and cannot cross an unbroken line of salt if it fails a general WPR check. Thorny branches are traditionally draped around windows and doorways as a deterrent, as the manananggal will avoid snagging and tearing its exposed entrails on them. Sprinkling salt, crushed garlic, or ashes on the severed lower half will kill a manananggal as it takes two wound boxes of damage for every 10 minutes it is unable to rejoin once the sun rises. Other symbolic, regional weaknesses the manananggal may have include daggers, vinegar, and certain spices (CM's discretion).

After feeding, the manananggal will usually leave the mother alive, however the child will be "touched" by the manananggal's venom and will become one of the creatures once it reaches adulthood. But convincing the victim that her unborn child will grow up to become a monster and should be destroyed is not often fruitful.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

After A 2-Year Hiatus, Fight On! Issue 14 Released!

After a 2-year hiatus, that old-school stalwart fanzine Fight On! is now out with issue 14! Here's the blurb for this exciting issue:
Bloodied and staggered on the 66th level of Maure Castle, somehow, after a 2-year hiatus, we found the will to Fight On! This issue is packed with all the magic, monsters, mayhem, and miscellany you've come to expect to take your FRPing to the next level! Dedicated to Rob Kuntz, our fantastic authors and artists include Lee Barber, Patrick Farley, Jeff Rients, Gabor Lux, Peitsa Veteli, Kevin Mayle, Douglas Cox, Chris Kutalik, Jennifer Weigel, Kelvin Green, Tom Gordon, Michael Curtis, Sniderman, Calithena, Richard Rittenhouse, Hudson Bell, Michael Mornard, Baz Blatt, Jonathan Linneman, Simon Forster, and many more! Let's face it - no matter how old we get, Fight On! still punches harder than Ivan Drago wearing a Girdle of Storm Giant Strength. Grab your copy today!
You can grab the newest issue in PDF and print formats over at Lulu. So what are you waiting for? Fight on!

Monday, January 20, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 6: Redcap

An Mythological Celtic Thing for Cryptworld

STR: 3 (45) --- WPR: 3 (45)
DEX: 4 (60) --- PER: 2 (30)
AGL: 4 (60) --- PCN: 7 (105)
STA: 3 (45) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 1/53% --- WND: 12
MV: L 200†

Experience: 600

A Redcap is a demonic goblin who is murderously territorial. A Redcap stands 2 to 3 feet tall, has shining red eyes, pointed nose and ears, and hawk talons for hands. A Redcap is usually dressed in tunic and leggings as well as two traditional items of clothing: iron-shod boots and a long cloth cap that he stains red with the blood of his victims, giving the creature its name. A Redcap community usually contains 2d10 of the creatures.

Redcaps are xenophobic creatures, making their homes in isolated areas far from any society. Favored locations include long-abandoned manors and castles, and cavernous cave systems. Redcaps are fiercely protective of their privacy and violently territorial if they feel their boundaries have been broached, an area of a 10-mile radius. Anyone who enters the Redcaps' domain will find themselves stalked and hunted by the wily goblins who will attack to kill the invaders at the first opportunity. Considering a Redcap wears heavy iron boots, it is surprisingly quiet as well as quick, moving as fast as a dog or wolf when sprinting. A Redcap can track a victim within its domain with 100% accuracy, breaking off the pursuit only when its prey once again leaves the area as a Redcap will steadfastly refuse to cross the border to The Outside Lands. A Redcap prefers to attacks it victims with a long iron pikestaff, aiming to pierce the heart, or major vein or artery. The Redcaps will gather around a victim as he bleeds to death, taking turns dying their caps in the flowing blood as they celebrate their "victory" over the invader.

A Redcap can be held at bay by the reciting of Bible verses, as reciting the Holy Word causes the creature great pain and discomfort. Because of this, it is thought that Redcaps are an offshoot of Demon (Cryptworld rulebook, page 57) but this theory has not been confirmed.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 5: Bloodoak (AKA: Vampire Vine, Devil's Snare)

A Man-Eating Plant Thing for Cryptworld

STR: 4 (60) --- WPR: NA
DEX: 4 (60) --- PER: NA
AGL: 5 (75) --- PCN: 3 (45)
STA: 3 (45) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 2/68% --- WND: 12

Experience: 500

"Bloodoak" is a general term referring to a class of large, tree-like, carnivorous plants. A Bloodoak can range from 15 to 40 feet in height, is found in any climate, and can look like any common tree from the area. However, the Bloodoak's upper limbs are instead writhing tendrils, each well over 20 feet in length, and covered with sharp, barbed thorns. The Bloodoak uses these vine-like tentacles to lash out and grasp its prey. It then lifts the victim to the top of the boughs, while its thorns tear and rend the victim's body.

At the top of the Bloodoak's trunk is an orifice that passes for a "mouth." Once the victim has stopped moving (whether dead or unconscious), the vines shove the body into its mouth, the orifice closes and seals shut, and the tendrils hide themselves amongst the branches again, leaving no sign of the struggle. Once inside the Bloodoak, the victim is digested by powerful acids over 24 hours until nothing remains. The Bloodoak absorbs the dissolved corpse, and any undigested materials (metals, plastics, etc.) are expelled at the base of the Bloodoak's trunk -- enticing "bait" for a future victim.

A Bloodoak's tendrils grapple in the same manner as the Wrestling skill (Cryptworld rulebook, page 18). With a successful attack with an "H" result, the victim is "Held" by the Bloodoak and takes normal "H" result unarmed damage each round. The victim will be unable to perform any other action other trying to free himself. He can free himself if 1) he wins initiative and passes a general Unskilled Melee, Wrestling, or Martial Arts check, all with a -20 modifier, or 2) another party successfully attacks the Bloodoak with a called shot to the tendril(s) holding the victim. If the Bloodoak successfully grapples with a "C" result ("Constricted"), the victim has a -40 modifier to break the hold, and takes "C" result unarmed damage each round.

A Bloodoak is not an intelligent creature, only reacting and attacking out of instinct. It is "rooted" in place and is easily avoided if you stay out of reach of its tendrils. However, once it has hold of you, it is unlikely that you will escape its grasp.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 4: Fetch

An Irish Supernatural Thing for Cryptworld

STR: NA --- WPR: 7 (105)
DEX: NA --- PER: 6 (90)
AGL: NA --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: NA --- PWR: 130
ATT: 1/* --- WND: 0*
MV: F 75 (incorporeal)

Experience: 1,000

A Fetch is a malevolent spirit that, due to envy and jealousy of the living, wishes to return to life itself. It does this by visiting, appearing to, taking over, and eventually replacing a chosen victim.

When a Fetch first chooses its future "host," it begins a process of possession that takes a full month to complete. The Fetch uses this time to observe its victim, examine their mannerisms and personality, and eventually duplicate every nuance of the host.

  • The first phase begins on the night of a new moon. The Fetch will begin haunting its victim, fleetingly seen out of the corner of the eye. It will be hard to determine if a haunting is happening or not, as the Fetch will take care to stay out of sight of all but the intended victim, who may catch glimpses of the lurking spirit. It is during this phase that the Fetch is observing its victim, learning all that it can.
  • The second phase begins when the moon begins waxing until it reaches the first quarter. The Fetch will begin appearing to the intended victim. Only the victim will see the Fetch as a shapeless, formless spirit in the mirror, standing in a doorway, floating over the bed at night, etc. The Fetch will have a vaguely human shape at this point. However, no one else will be able to detect or see the Fetch as it begins to reenter the world of the living.
  • The third phase of possession occurs on the night of the full moon. The victim will again see the Fetch, but now the spirit will appear as a ghostly duplicate of the intended victim. The Fetch may speak to the victim, taunting them in the victim's own voice. As the Fetch begins anchoring itself to the living world, others may now be able to see the Fetch, usually close friends and family of the intended victim.
  • The fourth phase begins as the moon begins waning into the third quarter. The Fetch will attempt to forcibly possess and control its future host using its Usurp Physical Form power. If unsuccessful, the Fetch will try again on the next night. If successful, the Fetch will interact with the living world in the body of its victim. Since the Fetch has spent the better part of the month learning about its victim, the likeness will be uncanny. The Fetch will leave upon sun-up, and the victim may not have any recollection of anything they did while the Fetch was in control.
  • The fifth and final phase occurs when the moon is once again new. The Fetch will attempt to possess the victim one last time using its Usurp Physical Form power. If unsuccessful, the Fetch will be temporarily banished to the realm of the dead for 1d10 months. If successful, the victim's soul is forced out and irrevocably destroyed, and the Fetch will take over the victim's body and life. Friends and family may notice a new quirk, habit, or manner of speaking, but there will be no other tell-tale signs that the Fetch is now permanently in control.

A Fetch can be stopped if it can be shown that it had its chance at life and it is now over. This can be achieved by showing the Fetch evidence of its life and death, ie, a headstone, its grave, a family member who recalls them in life, or a cherished possession it once possessed. This may prove difficult, as it must be determined who the Fetch once was when it was alive.

Another way to stop the Fetch is to keep it from possessing the intended victim on the final night. If successful, the Fetch will be temporarily banished back to the realm of the dead. It is theorized that, if the victim flees the area on that last night, the Fetch will appear, but have no vessel to inhabit. It will then spend 1d10 months in the Afterworld, searching for the same victim, starting the process again on the first night of a new moon. A victim may be on the run for the rest of his/her life until the Fetch is destroyed or the Fetch successfully possesses its new "home." There are folktales of Fetches that have taken over the bodies of newborns without their parents ever suspecting, but these are the stories nightmares are made from.

Fetch Powers
Supernatural Touch: Similar to a Ghost (Cryptworld rulebook, page 60), a Fetch can make contact with an opponent and deal physical damage to him. It uses the opponent's unskilled melee score as the column for resolving damage. On a C result, the opponent is chilled to the marrow and unable to move for one round.

Usurp Physical Form: A Fetch uses this power to drain the victim's WPR and wrest control of the host's body. This possession usually lasts only one night, however, on the final night of the Fetch's "process," this control is permanent if successful. It costs the Fetch 40 WPR for each attempt. The Fetch must make a specific PWR check versus the column corresponding to the victim's current WPR. (Any WPR lost by the victim is regained at 5 points for every hour of rest as the Fetch's attacks weaken the victim's resistance to future usurpation attempts.)

S = The Fetch will inhabit the body of the victim, but the victim remains in physical control. The victim will hear voices, threats, and taunts in their head as the Fetch tries to unsuccessfully wrest control. The effect lasts for an hour, at which time the Fetch leaves. The victim will be shaken, but will not suffer any WPR loss from the internal conflict with the ghostly inhabitant.
M = The Fetch will inhabit the body of the victim until sunrise, having full physical control. However, the victim will be completely aware of what's happening, but will be powerless to stop it. The victim will suffer 1d10/2 WPR loss from the ordeal.
L = The Fetch will inhabit the body of the victim until sunrise, having full physical control. The victim will have no idea that they were under the Fetch's control, but they will recall fitful dreams and visions of their time as the Fetch's puppet. The victim will suffer 1d10 WPR loss from the encounter.
H = The Fetch will inhabit the body of the victim until sunrise, having full physical control. The victim will have no idea that they were under the Fetch's control and will have no recollection of the ordeal. The victim will suffer 2d10 WPR loss from the ordeal.
C = The Fetch will inhabit the body of the victim until sunrise, having full physical control. The victim will have no idea that they were under the Fetch's control and will have no recollection of the ordeal. The victim will suffer 3d10 WPR loss from the ordeal.

Friday, January 17, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 3: Wendigo

A Native American Thing for Cryptworld

STR: 7 (120) --- WPR: 4 (60)
DEX: 6 (90) --- PER: 4 (60)
AGL: 6 (90) --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: 4 (60) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 1/105% --- WND: 14
MV: L 75†

Experience: 800

The Wendigo is evil creature that is the embodiment of cannibalism brought on by famine and starvation. It is found in the northern U.S./Canadian wilderness and appears as a tall stag-like creature that walks upright. It is emaciated with taut, rotting skin pulled over exposed bones; eyes and cheeks that are sunken and hollow; and what lips it once had are tattered and bloody, as if the creature chewed them off itself.

The Wendigo is ravenously carnivorous, as it is in a constant state of starvation. Any animals the creature encounters will be pursued, subdued, and eaten without pause. The hunting grounds of a Wendigo will be eerily quiet and without life as the forest's creatures know better than to enter the area. A Wendigo has a particular fondness for human flesh though. Any humans caught by a Wendigo will be incapacitated and dragged back to its cavernous lair where it will attempt to fatten them up. As the only food available in a Wendigo's cave are the scraps from previous human meals, it will force the victim to consume human flesh, going so far as to force it into their mouth. This horrific ritual lasts a week, until such time as the Wendigo is ready to eat the victim. If a victim succumbs to the consumption of the foul feast but is able to instead escape the Wendigo's clutches, they will eventually develop a craving for human flesh, becoming ravenously cannibalistic themselves, until they eventually transform into a new Wendigo.

A Wendigo takes Stamina damage as normal during combat, but does not take wound damage from ordinary weapons. When a Wendigo is reduced to zero Stamina, the creature transforms into a cold arctic wind and rushes into the air and away from the area. The Wendigo will reform in 24 hours. As a creature of colder climates, there are only two known ways to permanently destroy a Wendigo. If an icicle pierces it heart, the creature will be killed. A Wendigo is also very susceptible to fire and will take normal wound damage from any flame-based attacks.

(NOTE: There are many varieties of Wendigo in the myths and legends. This was the version that I thought was a good monstrous fit for Cryptworld!)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 2: Moss Man (AKA Swamp Monster)

A "Swamp Thing" for Cryptworld

STR: 6 (90) --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: 6 (90) --- PER: 4 (60)
AGL: 5 (75) --- PCN: 4 (60)
STA: 7 (105) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 1/83% --- WND: 15
MV: L 75  W 100

Experience: 500

A Moss Man is a half-humanoid/half-plant cryptid that lurks within the swamps and bayous of the southern U.S. A Moss Man usually stands well over 6 feet tall and is covered in rotting weeds, plants, vines, and vegetation. It walks on two webbed, clawed feet and has two webbed claws at the ends of its arms. Although a Moss Man cannot breathe underwater, it can hold its breath for up to 30 minutes while lurking in the dark waters. There is a warm, damp odor of rot and decay that hangs upon the creature, so much so that this odor will often signal a Moss Man's approach. The Moss Man is actually more plant than animal, as much of its muscular and skeletal systems are made up of vegetation and flora.

A Moss Man lives in isolation deep within a swamp, rarely venturing into inhabited areas. It is only when man begins to encroach on the Moss Man's domain will it begin to terrorize and assault the interlopers. Land developers and road construction crews have been devastated and driven off by an enraged Moss Man who felt his home was in danger. A Moss Man attacks by lurking just under the surface of the swamp's waters, leaping out to grab a victim and pull them underwater. There, it holds them tightly immobile until they drown. The victim's companions may not ever know what happened to their friend "who was standing right here a moment ago." A Moss Man will continue its guerrilla-like reign of terror, destroying equipment, ruining supplies, and killing trespassers until the interlopers leave the area.

It is believed by some that the Moss Man is a distant cousin to the Gillman (Cryptworld rulebook, page 61) as they share many similar characteristics, but this has not been verified. There are several cryptids in the bogs and bayous of the U.S. that may, in fact, be Moss Men including the Honey Island Swamp Monster, the Fouke Monster of Boggy Creek, and the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

[Cryptworld] 7 Days of Things, Day 1: Boo Hag

An American Folklore Thing for Cryptworld

STR: 5 (75) --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: 4 (60) --- PER: 4 (60)
AGL: 4 (60) --- PCN: 4 (60)
STA: 5 (75) --- PWR: 70
ATT: 1/68% --- WND: 15
MV: L 75†

Experience: 600

A Boo Hag is a vampiric female creature who gains sustenance from the "lifebreath" of its victims. A Boo Hag normally appears as a skinless, hairless crone that is blood-red in color due to their exposed muscular system. A Boo Hag hides her true appearance by wearing the skin of one of her victims much like a costume. When in this guise, the Boo Hag looks like any other human being, although her skin appears pale and waxy.

According to southern U.S. Gullah folklore, Boo Hags steal the lifebreath of their prey by "riding" them while they sleep. The Boo Hag will first remove and hide any skin it is wearing, transform into a dank mist, then enter the bedroom of a sleeping victim through a small crack or hole. The Boo Hag will then any perch upon their victim's chest, sucking the lifebreath from them as they rest. During the feeding, the victim will drop into a deep, nightmare-filled sleep brought on by the Boo Hag. Shortly before sun-up, the Boo Hag will transform into a mist again and exit. The victim will awake exhausted and short of breath with no explanation as to why they remain tired. (A victim of a Boo Hag will not regain any lost Stamina during the fitful night's sleep.) A Boo Hag must be back in her stolen skin before dawn, as sunlight on her exposed, skinless flesh will burn a Boo Hag for three wound boxes of damage each round until she has covered herself again or she is destroyed.

A Boo Hag is loath to kill its source of nourishment, continuing to feed off of the same person for months or perhaps even years if undiscovered. In a devious twist, it's easier for the Boo Hag to maintain this closeness with her source of food over the years by befriending them as a new neighbor or coworker. The victim may be unaware that his/her closest friend has actually been feeding on their lifebreath for many years! However, if a victim becomes overly suspicious during their waking hours, or if they awaken during the Boo Hag's feeding and realizes the dire situation they find themselves in, the Boo Hag will kill the victim, take their skin as a fresh disguise, then leave to find a new victim to "ride."

Boo Hag Powers
Mist Form: A Boo Hag can transform into a dank, gray mist approximately 10 cubic feet in volume. In this form, the Boo Hag can slip under doors, and through cracks and keyholes. Transforming into a mist costs the Boo Hag 20 WPR and requires a general PWR check to succeed.

Induce Catatonia: A Boo Hag can cause a sleeping victim to drop into a deep catatonia, allowing her to feed without risk of waking the victim. It costs 20 WPR an hour to maintain the catatonia. Nothing will wake the victim once they enter this state, though they will wake normally once the hour is up and the effect has ended.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cryptworld Things Seen Skulking In The Shadows

In preparation for some Cryptworld projects I have in mind, I've been reading up a bit recently on monsters and creatures from legend and folklore -- both from the U.S. and abroad -- as well as modern urban legends and little-known myths and lore. And several of these creatures have triggered inspiration. So, in the coming days, I'll be statting up and sharing:

  • A demonic carnivore that roams the Canadian wilderness...
  • A vampiric crone from the American south who peels off and wears your skin...
  • An undead from the Philippines that will tear itself in half just to get to you...
  • A lumbering humanoid plant creature lurking in the southern U.S. swamps and bayous...
  • A Central American tree with prehensile tendrils and an appetite for human flesh...
  • A murderous dwarf from the UK who soaks his clothing in the blood of his victims...
  • A malevolent ghost who first appears as a duplicate of his future victim...

Stay tuned to The Savage AfterWorld for "A Week of Legendary THINGS" beginning on Thursday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

[Cryptworld] Dippin' Into American Monster Folklore

One of my favorite creative pasttimes is Monster Making. The numerous Mutant Future creatures I've created for "Mutant Menagerie" entries is testament to that hobby. (And be sure to pick up my Deviant Database supplement at Drivethru RPG and Lulu! Where was I? Oh yeah...) Creating monster concepts for a post-apocalyptic RPG is fairly simple -- take an animal or plant, dose it with radioactive poisons, mutate it a bit, and voila! A twisted abomination lurching through the Blasted Lands. Monster concepts for fantasy games can also be fairly simple, if you just read up on myths and legends, find an interesting demon or creature from lore, and stat it up. Lovecraftian creatures are also straightforward as the Cthulhu Mythos is well-documented.

But when I turned my attention toward the genre of "modern monster hunting/investigation" ala Cryptworld or Monster of the Week, I began drawing blanks. The usual horror creatures have been overdone (vampires, werewolves, mummies, etc.), so I turned my attention to the myths and creatures of American Folklore. You know -- those regional monsters and cryptids that folks know all about "around these here parts," but you may not have heard of them in another part of the U.S. Three such creatures appear in Cryptworld, in fact: the Sasquatch, Chupacabra, and Jersey Devil. And when I started doing some research, it turns out that the planet is being overrun by little-known regional monsters
Wikipedia is a great source for leads on these modern monsters, as they have an entire section dedicated to Legendary Creatures sorted by culture. Just clicking through any subsection will give you amazing monster ideas all based on "true" accounts. The American folklore section alone has given me ideas for the Boo Hag, the Hidebehind, the Wendigo, and the Beast of Bray Road. And checking out the obscure regional folklore from other countries has given me ideas for the Manananggal, Ya-te-veo, and Minhocao. (No links as I want 'em to be a surprise!)

Another resource I stumbled across is, which seems to be a Cryptid Sighting Clearinghouse. They collect sighting reports, undocumented creature descriptions, and other unexplained events and post them for discussion and further investigation. One surprise: The very lake I grew up on -- and wheremy parents still live -- supposedly has its own cryptid lurking under the waters! Never heard the legend of The Mill Lake Monster, but I'll be checking it out, statting it up, and perhaps doing my own late night, lake side investigation!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

[Mutant Future] Savage Menagerie: Death Angel

No. Enc.: 1d10 (1d10)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d6, poison
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

At first glance, the Death Angel seems to be the result of a fevered hellish nightmare. It is a bleached-white, fanged, humanoid skull that appears to have wings growing from the temple region. The flying creature is always engulfed in a blazing flaming aura, that gives it an otherworldly, demonic appearance. (It is currently unknown if the Death Angel is from another dimension, or if the creatures are a naturally-mutated creature from the Poisonous Blasted Lands.

Death Angels are diabolically intelligent creatures, able to reason and think as well as any intelligent creature. They are able to communicate through speech as well, although they will rarely communicate willingly with any other species. The only noise they seem to make is a high-pitched maniacal laughter, often used to signal an attack. Death Angels attack through biting with their powerful jaws, doing 1d6 hit points of damage when successful. They also have a Class 4 venom that they use upon a successful bite that will do an additional 4d6 HP of damage unless a successful save versus poison is made (half-damage taken is save is made).

The Death Angel's flaming aura makes it immune to fire- and heat-based attacks, and it is thought that the blazing fires somehow helps it in its ability to fly. It is theorized that putting out the Death Angels' fires may ground it, but this has not yet been proven. Contact with the aura will do 2d6 hit points of fire damage to the unfortunate soul who tries to grab one in flight. Although a Death Angel cannot project this flame like a weapon, it has been known to quickly land on a flammable item (clothing, wooden structures, etc.) to set it ablaze.

It is assumed by denizens of the Mutant Future that Death Angels were a common sight in the Bygone Days, as their imagery has been found to adorn Ancient jackets, vehicles, jewelry, and other items.

Mutations: flaming aura