Saturday, June 7, 2014

NTRPG Con Day 2: "What We Have Here Is Your Basic Giant Tick Infestation..."

Got a good night's sleep last night and enjoyed a bracing breakfast. You'd think with plenty of rest and plenty of food that I wouldn't be as sore and tired as I am this afternoon. But you'd be wrong. Gotta shake the drowsies as my Cryptworld game is running this evening. So time to hammer some Mountain Dew as I get today's daily NTRPG Con Missive started. And here we go:

* I had an epiphany during last night's Timemaster game. I realized that character names are very rarely used in modern setting games, as we were just using everyone's real names. So the next time I run a game with pre-gens, I'm going to leave the PC name blank. When the plyers arrive, their characters will "coincidentally" have the same names. NOTE: This technique will only work on modern-era games as I don't think I'd be able to get away with "Stefanie Johnson the Dwarven Barbarian...
* I played in Jeff Dee's Cavemaster game this morning. Before I descibe the game, let me say it was a pleasure meeting Jeff. Villains and Vigilantes was my "gateway" game into role-playing and some of the characters I created for the game 30+ years ago are still going strong. Jeff was even kind enough to sign the cover of my original V&V rulebook.
* Now then, Cavemaster is not just the game of cavemen, but it's also mechnically the game cavemen would have played. Each player was given a "character skin" and a handful of stones which were used as both the randomizers and our stat points. I won't go into deatil here, but you should really check it out as the resolution mechanics are creative, simple, and intuative. As for the game, the following happened:
---- Our clan of antelope hunters saw that the herd was thinning out. Our team was sent to go look for then and/or bring back any other game we could find. The boars we encountered put up a good fight, but two of them seemed to be swollen with disease and pustules. Uh-oh.
---- As we enjoyed a bit of fresh boar meet from the undiseased one, a clan of Neanderthals showed up, demanding that we stop hunting their boars. They also claimed to be "blessed" by the spirits of fire which gave them the same disease and pustules. Double uh-oh.
---- When the Neanderthals attacked, my gatherer by the name of "SharpTooth" grabbed a branch out of our campfireand swatted the face of one of our attackers. He wants to be "touched by fire"? He got it.
---- The next morning, we followed the attacker's tracks back to their mountain lair (finding and defeating a cave bear on the way), and we discovered their shaman was sacrificing their tribe's children to the Spirits of Disease. After defeating all of the crazed cavemen, we found a single baby Neanderthal on a dias -- the next planned sacrifice.Rather than kill it, we pooled our spirit essence, and our tribal healer cleansed the child of all disease, which then spread throughout the lands, clearing the taint and bringing back the game to our region.
---- Did I mention this awesome game was played with a handful of rocks? Sniderman says, go check it out!

* After lunch and a nap, it was time to get ready to run a new Cryptworld adventure "Unquenchable" for a group of 6 victims...I mean, rescuers. I ran my home group through the same adventure, and they came out of it a little less unscathed, but no less disturbed.
---- The team gathered at the edge of a wooded forested area to assist in a search and rescue for a group of hunters who were three days overdue. The wildlife running past them as they entered the forest gave them some inkling that Something Bad was north.
---- In the distance, they saw what appeared to be black manhole covers clinging to a tree. Upon peering through binoculars, they saw it was a group of giant ticks. "What we have here is your basic giant tick infestation," the EMT played by Trey Causey reported back to base camp.
---- When the first ticks lanuched themselves at the team and bit into their legs, it was both horrifying and hilarious at the same time.
---- Also hilarious is when our resident plainclothes cop -- in actually an undercover agent for a paranormal investigation unit -- discovered a blue-grey sphere in a backpack. He confiscated the backpack and began carrying it with him. Later, when they discovered more clusters of those spheres, he realized he'd been carrying an unhatched tick egg -- the very egg the tick spawn killed the hunters for. Whoops.
---- We also nearly had an in-party firefight break out when the team was split between moving forward (into certain death) or going back the way they came (also certain death, as the ticks had been "herding" the team). The approaching blood-sucking swarm prompted the team to continue forward.
---- At the end of the trail, the team discovered the Queen Mother Tick who had been laying eggs throughout the area. Since she was swollen to the size of a VW bus, a few well-placed shots popped her like, well, like a tick. Blood and gore sprayed everywhere in a Hammer Horror-like gout of grue.
---- One of the missing hunters had been converted into a half-man/half-tick hybrid. One party member discovered this when he turned over the "body", and the creature lunged forward and latched onto his neck to feed. The freak-out was B-movie horror tastiness.
---- The team managed to defeat the Tick Mother, destroy the nesting grounds, and fly out in the rescue chopper. Meanwhile, left behind and undiscovered, a half-deer/half-tick hybrid had taken down a black bear and began to feed. THE END.......? (dun-dun-dunnnnnn)

* It is now 1 a.m. and I have my ever-popular Thundarr game at 8 a.m. So I've got to put this post to bed, as well as myself. And here are some environmental shot of the con for your to persue and enjoy. Until tomorrow folks...


  1. The Cryptworld game was great. I'm glad I got a chance to play in it.

  2. Your posts on the Con are great! Your infectious love of Timemaster finally took hold and compelled me to order Timemaster (Gobliniod/Pacestter) and Timetasks (Pacesetter) via Noble Knight last night. And I did it with a drop of hooch in me too. So no buyers remorse here.

    Looking forward to comparing Timemaster to TimeWatch (Pelgrane Press).

    Great stuff Mr. Snider!

    1. Should say "without" not "with". Maybe I am always drunk?