Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Game Design Month Kicks Off Nov. 1st! So What're YOU Creating?

It's nearly November and time to get your creative juices flowing! While others are trying to churn out their Great American Novel, I and other gamers will be participating in National Game Design Month, or "NaGa DeMon." In 30 days, you are encouraged to imagine, design, write, and play a game of your own design. It can be anything: a board game, a video game, a card game, or an RPG.

For the past few Novembers, I've participated in NaGa DeMon, which is a great kick-in-the-pants to actually get some long-neglected project out of my head and onto the page. My first Deviant Database and One Year in the Savage AfterWorld both started as NaGa DeMon projects and, in fact, one of my Cryptworld contributions was also created during the event. (The Smithsonian's SCD, in case you were curious.) So I'm calling out everyone who has a game in mind, an adventure they've been meaning to create, or a project they've never found time to start. For 30 days, get pen onto paper (or start hammering at the keyboard) and get that gaming masterpiece out of your head and onto the gaming table!

Oh, and what am *I* doing for this year? I have two projects I'm working on. One is a supplement for Cryptworld that's in the final stages of completion. I need to finalize one last chunk of text, and it's done. And the other project is one I've been noodling around with, and November is the month it gets finished, printed, and out to the public. Here's a hint-slash-preview-slash-logo:

So sound off in the comments if you plan to participate this year! It's always great to see who's working on what. And NaGa DeMon is a great way to get motivated to actually produce something for your favorite game!

And here are a few places you can go for more information:

The NaGa DeMon website
The NaGa DeMon facebook page (NaGa DeMon's founder)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Mad Scientist

An Evil Experimenter for Cryptworld


STR: 3 (45) --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: 5 (75) --- PER: 3 (45)
AGL: 4 (60) --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: 3 (45) --- PWR: 80
ATT: 1/53% --- WND: 12
MV: L 75†

Experience: 500

There are indeed "things man was not meant to know." When a doctor, surgeon, scientist, or other learned individual unlocks the secrets or life and death, or stares into the abyss and sees something staring back, that person's mind could snap, creating a mad scientist. Harnessing his incredible knowledge and talents, the mad scientist begins an evil quest for knowledge. The world is his Petri dish, and humanity are his lab rats.

A mad scientist will first find a secluded location where he can work in solitude: an abandoned hospital, a neglected university building, an isolated observatory or warehouse, etc. Once he has established his lair, the mad scientist will get to work, attempting to unlock the Mysteries of the Universe by any means necessary. Although many mad scientists prefer to delve into medical experimentation on unwilling (or possibly willing) subjects, they are also quite adept at inventing horrible devices and world-shattering weapons. Mad scientists also dabble in esoterics in an attempt to bridge science with magic.

Fortunately, mad scientists are physically weak. Unfortunately, their experiments are well under way by the time they are discovered, so the players will have to deal with all manners of monsters and things under the mad scientist's control before they reach the evil genius himself.

Mad Scientist Powers

Master of Life: With this power, a mad scientist harnesses the ability to give a thing the gift of life. The thing will be completely under the control of the mad scientist and will obey his commands without question. To create a thing, the mad scientist must spend one month stitching together parts, mixing strange and forbidden elixirs, and/or harnessing the energies of the cosmos. Each week of the thing's creation requires an expenditure of 40 WPR and a successful PWR check. After 4 consecutive successful weeks, the thing is finished. Any failed check means the mad scientist must start over again at the beginning. Some things a mad scientist is capable of creating include revenge golems, composite men, space blobs, and zombies.

Inventor's Spark: Although a mad scientist can create nearly anything, building complex devices takes time and effort. However, under duress, a mad scientist can create nearly any machine, device, or weapon that he can imagine very quickly using his inventor's spark power. If he has access to raw materials (parts, supplies, tools), a mad scientist can intuitively cobble together nearly anything: a vehicle, a weapon, a source of power, etc. The mad scientist must spend 40 WPR and make a specific PWR check to determine how long it takes for him to create his new device:
S = It will take the mad scientist 1d10 hours to assemble his device.
L = It will take the mad scientist 1d10/2 hours to assemble his device.
M = It will take the mad scientist 1d10 minutes to assemble his device.
H = It will take the mad scientist 1d10 rounds to assemble his device.
C = The mad scientist can assemble his device almost instantaneously.

Friday, October 24, 2014

"100 Oddities for a Creepy Old House" Now Released!

Just in time for Halloween and your Cryptworld games, Skirmisher Publishing LLC has released the first of a new line of game-related mini-resources. The first, 100 Oddities for a Creepy Old House, is intended to aid GM creativity, turning possibly bland areas or gaming episodes into something more. From the press release:
Oddities are the little touches that fill up the corners of lives. In our own mundane world, they might be limited to old, chewed pencils, unused key-fobs, or a half-finished decorative spoon collection awaiting the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. In the worlds of our imagination, however, they can be so much more. What oddities might be found in the halls, on the walls, or occupying the shelves of a Creepy Old House? Let’s find out...
"100 Oddities..." is eight pages and is priced as a pay-what-you product. Sniderman says, "Check it out!" (Click this line for the link.)

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!

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

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"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Con On The Cob Day 0: A Whole Lotta Nothing Goin' On

Howdy folks! Your Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman is on the road again, this time attending my favorite Ohio-based convention, Con On The Cob! Gonna be busy, busy, busy as this year I'm representing Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter Ltd in the Dealer's Hall. (The new Pacesetter banner for the booth is amazing -- I'll post pix once it's up.) Plus I'm running games and playing games and drinking some beers. The Con is always a good time, and if you're in Ohio or the surrounding area, you NEED to get here. Now then, it's a day early, and the Con doesn't start until tomorrow. But I always like to arrive a day ahead so I can unpack, set-up, and get a feel for the event before hitting the ground running the next morning.

As I always do with these travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done each day to give you a feel for the convention while it's underway. So here we go:
  • Good thing I left early. Took two wrong turns on my way here, then missed the exit and had to go 10 minutes out of my way to get back. Even my GPS was screaming "Where in the HELL are you going? Listen to me and do what I say, dammit!"
  • When I got to the room, I realized I forgotten Tim's Travel Tip Number One: "Always pack a power strip." I ended up moving half the furniture to access the various outlets for all of my electronic doo-dads and what-nots.
  • BONUS NUMBER ONE: I have a fridge in my room this year. BONUS NUMBER TWO: Planning for this development, I brought a 12 of Yuengling that is now chilling in yonder fridge. (Minus the one I'm polishing off right now.)
  • Try as I might, I just could not get ANYTHING going on this first pre-night of the Con. Very few folks got here early, so the facility is somewhat quiet. That's fine as it gives me a chance to review my Cryptworld game one last time before tomorrow night's run. I'm particularly pleased with it, and it will make a fine future addition to... ah, but I said too much!
  • Something else I brought with me to while away the "downtime" is the first season of Rick and Morty. Fantastically funny show and very, very weird. Consider this a quick DVD recommendation.
Well, usually on Day 0 of these travelogues, I have something more substantial to report other than "I'm here." But the lobby is quiet, the space is still being set-up by the organizers, and no one is really here yet. But tomorrow the Con starts in earnest, so tune in for pictures, game reports, and other missives live from Con on the Cob!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lords Of Light! Check Out Interloper Miniatures' Prize Donation For Con On The Cob!

Legion McRae of Interloper Miniatures has very graciously and generously donated some prizes for my Thundarr the Barbarian game at next week's Con on the Cob! I now have three unfinished and ready-to-paint minis to give away of a certain familiar "wasteland wanderer":
Not sure yet how I plan to choose who amongst the six players gets one of these beauties. (It may come down to a random die roll.)

Be sure to check out Interloper's webstore, as their post-apocalyptic mini goodness is astounding. There are several other minis similarly inspired by media you may recognize. And this "wasteland warrior" will soon be joined by his two companions! Thanks again, Legion!

Friday, October 3, 2014

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Haint

A Lost Soul for Cryptworld


STR: NA --- WPR: 6 (90)
DEX: NA --- PER: 5 (75)
AGL: NA --- PCN: 5 (75)
STA: NA --- PWR: 90
ATT: 1/* --- WND: 0*
MV: F 75  (incorporeal)

Experience: 1,000

A haint is very similar to the spectral entities known as ghosts (Cryptworld rulebook, page 60). The difference is that, whereas a ghost is "tethered" to a particular location or object, a haint has no such anchor to the earthly realm. It is speculated that the haint is the residual spirit of someone who lost their lives far from home and far from familiar surroundings. In death, it no longer knows who it once was, and it refuses to move on until it achieves its goal of returning home. A haint can appear anywhere at any time as it wanders in a lonely vigil from location to location, forever lost, forever searching, and forever alone.

A haint can fly and pass through objects like a ghost. A haint is normally invisible, but it can take on a transparent human form at a cost of 5 WPR. A haint has the typical powers of a ghost, including excise living and supernatural touch. A haint can "sense" any living beings touched by extreme loneliness and despair, and will seek out these other "lost souls," seeing them as kindred spirits. The haint will begin tormenting the victim, frightening them and attacking them until their willpower is broken. Once their morale is broken, the haint will use its ability to spirit away the victim's lifeforce, absorbing their soul into its own in a misguided attempt to alleviate the victim's loneliness as well as its own. A victim whose soul is consumed in this manner is lost forever.

There are several methods to keep a haint at bay. For example, a haint cannot cross an unbroken line of lime. Also, there is a light shade of the color indigo called "Haint Blue" that turns away the wandering spirit. Many entryways into southern homes, such as porches, doorways, and window frames are painted with this particular shade of blue to keep the roaming phantom away.

Like a ghost, a haint cannot be physically harmed. However, a haint can be destroyed if its true name and identity are revealed to it. Once the haint is aware of who it once was, it will disappear from sight while simultaneously reappearing at its "home" (its former place of residence, in front of a loved one, etc.). It will then fade out as it passes on to the next plane of existence.

Haint Powers

Excise Living: Like a ghost, a haint can use its supernatural powers to terrorize a victim. Refer to the Cryptworld rulebook, page 60, for more information on this power.

Supernatural Touch: Like a ghost, a haint can use its supernatural powers to deal physical damage to a victim. Refer to the Cryptworld rulebook, page 60, for more information on this power.

Spirit Away: At a cost of 30 WPR, the haint can attempt to draw out and absorb a victim's soul. The victim must be completely demoralized (WPR score must be 0) for an attempt to be made. The haint must come into contact with the victim. If a general PWR check is successful, the haint draws out the soul of victim, killing him instantly. His soul is then "merged" with the haint's soul, at which point it is lost forever.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cryptworld 50% Off In October!

Hey gang,

In celebration of Cryptworld's 1-year anniversary and Pacesetter's 30-year anniversary, the electronic version of the rulebook is now available for 50% off during the month of October! Cryptworld covers multiple genres of horror and is the new official Pacesetter horror game, fully compatible with other titles such as Timemaster, Rotworld, and Majus. Follow the link for the discount:

For more info on the Pacesetter line of RPGs, stop by

And if you'd like some new THINGs and inspiration for your Cryptworld games, check out what I have here: