Saturday, August 30, 2014

[Labyrinth Lord] Savage Menagerie: Floating Ooze

No. Enc.: 1d8
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 30' Flying: 60'
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 + Special
Save: F2
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None

Floating Ooze is a dungeon-dwelling slime encountered deep underground where no natural light is found. The slimy organism is pale white and about 8 to 12 inches across. The Floating Ooze also emits a foul odor that fills any area it resides in. Although repellent, the scent is not dangerous.

When first encountered, the Ooze lays motionless, appearing from a distance to be a small colony of underdeveloped Ochre Jellies (LL rulebook, page 88). However, when it senses movement in the area, Floating Oozes will inflate an internal gas-bag and launch themselves into the air. They are able to guide themselves toward the intruder accurately and, when above a victim, they will suddenly deflate and drop onto their prey.

A Floating Ooze is coated with a paralyzing secretion. If it successfully falls on a victim (treat as an attack), the victim should make a saving throw versus paralyze, or become paralyzed for 2d8 rounds. The Floating Ooze will also begin dripping a dissolving enzyme that will begin dissolving its prey's flesh for 1d6 hit points of damage each round.

Floating Oozes take normal damage from fire and lightning attacks and double-damage from cold-based attacks.

NOTE: Today's monster was created using straight rolls on The Random Esoteric Creature Generator.

Friday, August 29, 2014

November's U-Con Features An "OSR Track" Of Games, Guests, And Seminars!

This fall's convention season is shaping up to be an active one for me! My gaming schedule is in place for October's Con on the Cob in Hudson, Ohio. And now, I'm finalizing my plans for the  U-Con Gaming Convention to be held November 14 - 16 in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

This year, U-Con is launching an "OSR Track" featuring games and seminars with an old-school focus. And due to my contributions to the OSR, I've been asked to participate as a special guest! I'm pretty stoked about that.

Once again, I'll be manning the Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter Ltd booth in the Vendor's Hall with plenty of Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future games and supplements. The Pacesetter RPG line will also be available, and I'll be running one-on-one scenarios at the booth for those who want to get familiar with the Action Table System.

My gaming time will be tight, but I have two games on the schedule as part of the OSR Track: 

Mutant Future
Gimme Shelter III: Down to Earth
Friday, 8 pm--Midnight

NOW HIRING: Barter John needs six apocalyptic scavengers to investigate last month’s meteorite impact crater. Rumors of extraterrestrial infestation are to be ignored. Any retrieved Bygone artifacts will be split 60-40. Tools and transportation provided. No mants or boulderoids need apply.

Saturday: 8 pm--Midnight
Horrific axe murders recently committed in Oregon's Tillamook State Forest are identical to those committed by the legendary "Paul Bunyon Butcher" 40 years ago. However, the original killer – now elderly and feeble – remains behind bars. Has a copycat killer surfaced, or is this the work of something even more sinister?

I might try to squeeze an early-morning Thundarr game in there too, but I'm already gonna be burning the candle at both ends while I'm there, so I need to really give that some consideration. (Plus, it's the only time I have open so I can play something myself!)

Looking forward to seeing everyone this fall!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

[Review] Coin Age By Tasty Minstrel Games: The Area Control Game That Fits In Your Pocket

One of my favorite genres of boardgames is the "capture the most area and win"-type games. (Risk is my personal go-to game.) Late last year, I stumbled across a Kickstarter for a new area management boardgame, and the second I saw the video and the pitch for the concept, I tossed right in. The selling point to me was the portability. After all, how many boardgames can fit into your wallet and are played with the spare change you have in your pocket? Folks, I present "Coin Age" by Tasty Minstrel Games.
(The Coin Age coin purse shown here was a separate purchase I made and is not included with the game. But it's a keen carrying case for everything!)

Coin Age is played on a single world map about the size and shape of a credit card. If you already know the rules, you can stick the board in your wallet and -- with $1.56 in change -- you can play this game anyplace. The Coin Age Kickstarter bundle came with a bunch of additional stretch goals, but the only thing required to play is the map, the rules, and a handful of coins.
The Kickstarter ended with the two double-sided game boards (with a total of four different maps to play on); a plastic "credit card" of the original map for wallet portability (as I discussed above); some cardboard double-sided punch-out coins (not pictured here as I don't use 'em); stickers to apply to real coins if desired (which I've done here, though you can play heads/tails rather than silver/gold if desired); and the rules booklet. The game arrived the other day (though the original estimated delivery was April) and my friends and I have been getting a lot of gameplay out of it already. Waiting for our meal to arrive at a restaurant? Play a few games of Coin Age. Between frames during bowling league night? Play a few games of Coin Age.
To begin, each player gets 1 quarter, 2 nickles, 3 pennies, and 4 dimes. One plays heads, and the other is tails. (I prefer the gold/silver stickers supplied with the game as shown here.) Larger coins (in size, not denomination) are worth more points, but the smaller coins are "stronger" strategically. Smaller coins can cover/capture areas held by larger units, but they're worth less at the end. The map is divided into regions of different sizes. (On this map, there are four regions of 1, 2, 3, and 4 spaces each.) If you hold all or a majority of an area, your coins score double at the end. Game goes until all areas are covered or someone runs out of coins. The points are then totaled. And that's about it.

On your turn, you take one of each coin you have (a quarter, nickle, penny, and dime), shake them, then slam them to the table. Coins that show your side up are playable that turn. And the number of coins that are "your side up" gives you the actions you can perform. If you match all four, you can place two or pay one coin to your opponent to place three coins. If you match two or three coins, you can place two on the board. Matching one coin allows you to place that coin then move any stack on the board to a neighboring area. And finally, if none of the coins are yours, you can capture any opponents piece from the board, then move a stack on the map. So you can see, there are a lot of strategic options. On the turn shown here, gold played a nickle (3 points) and a penny (2 points) and the two "silver coins" were returned back to his pool.

On silver's turn, he turned up a nickle and a penny. He placed the nickle and, since his penny is smaller than gold's nickle, he used it to "cover" gold's nickle, taking that area away. He returns his unused coins to his pool, and the game goes on from there -- place coins, moving them, covering your opponent's coins when possible, and on.

Once the last area is covered, or someone's coins are all used, the game ends, and the points are totaled. Here, silver wins with 25 points, barely beating gold's 20 points. Scoop up the spare change and play again. A game takes about 5 minutes to play.

Coin Age was just sent out to the Kickstarter backers, though Tasty Minstrel had copies available at Gen Con, so I'm uncertain of the commercial availability at this time. (A few overpriced copies have popped up on eBay if you feel like paying triple.) But once you can get your hands on this clever little game, I suggest you grab it. You never know when you might find yourself with some downtime, a handful of change, and a conquering opponent!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

[Cryptworld] Deadly Destination: Crybaby Bridge

An eerie area for Cryptworld


A “crybaby bridge” is a general term used to describe a bridge haunted by the spirit of a baby, child, or the child’s parent(s). A baby’s cries are usually heard at the location giving the bridge its nickname, though adult screams and wails could also be experienced. The bridge is often the scene of a past crime as the original victim either accidentally fell to their fate or was violently thrown into the waters below.


The urban legends surrounding the local crybaby bridge are usually well-known by the citizens of the town, and everyone will have a personal “ghost sighting” that they’ll be willing to share. Some of the more common accounts include:

  • The crying/wailing happens only at midnight when the full moon is up. The screams go on for several minutes, then are cut off as a “splash” is heard in the waters below.
  • If baby powder is sprinkled on the bridge surface, the footprints of a child are revealed. If followed, the footprints walk up to and over the edge.
  • The ghostly spirit of a distraught parent who lost their child at the scene stands silent watch over the waters. If approached, they will disappear.
  • On the anniversary of the victim’s death, any vehicles passing over the bridge will stall out and refuse to start. Only if the vehicle is towed or pushed off the bridge will it start again.


Recently, the crybaby bridge has been the scene of a series of violent murders. Each of the killings has occurred late at night, and the bodies have been found either on the bridge or down in the waters below. Due to the rumors and legends surrounding the location, the players are brought in to investigate whether the supposed “haunting” has taken a violent turn.


  • The crybaby bridge is haunted by the ghost of a parent who lost their child on the bridge, either by accident (vehicle collision or an accident fall over the rails) or on purpose (the murder/suicide of a child/parent). Though peaceful over the years, the ghost has become enraged, and it seeks justice for their child’s death. It stops and demands answers from those who cross the bridge at night, and attacks any who cannot satisfy it.
  • The bridge is not truly haunted per se, but rather it has become the lair of a Hell Spawn. The demonic child-thing learned of the urban legend surrounding the bridge and has been using the folklore to mask its murderous games. Eyewitnesses claiming to see a “child” on the bridge only help to support the legend.
  • A demon was responsible for the initial deaths at the bridge, and now it is somehow “anchored” to the location. Every 6 years, the demon requires the blood of the innocent or it will be banished from the physical realm. It uses its Demonic Powers to lure the unwary and curious to the bridge, feeds on their lifeforce, then disposes of the body, making it look like yet another crybaby bridge suicide.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

October's Con On The Cob Features New Games Of Cryptworld and Cartoon Action Hour!

Getting my gaming schedule in place for this October's Con on the Cob, Northern Ohio's four day celebration of games, art, freaks, and fun. The Con will be held October 16-19 in Hudson, Ohio.

This year, I'll be representing Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter Ltd in the Vendor's Hall! Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future games and supplements will be well-represented, of course. And for those who want to get reacquainted with the Pacesetter RPG line -- or those who have always wanted to check it out -- stop on by and I'll run you through a quick one-on-one scenario to show you how the system works.  Cryptworld, Rotworld, Timemaster, Majus -- they'll all be on hand! (Plus lots of other games, supplements, swag, and niftiness!)

Due to my time being taken up by the Vendor's Hall, my gaming time will be somewhat limited. However, I will be running two new games written for the event. The first is a new Cryptworld adventure written specifically for the con.

Death In The Dust
Thursday: 8 pm--Midnight
In 1901, the gold-mining boomtown of Weaver, Arizona, was suddenly abandoned by its citizens after a series of unexplained disappearances, and the town was left to crumble in the desert sands. Recently, however, tourists are flocking to the former ghost town, which has been revitalized as a historical attraction. Is history about to repeat itself?

And one of my new obsessions is the new edition of Cartoon Action Hour that captures the feel of those 1980s action cartoons we used to love. (And the action figures they spawned!) I have a new "series" for the game I'm launching at Con on the Cob that I'm pretty excited by. My elevator pitch would be: "What if the kids from the D&D Animated Cartoon found themselves in the world of Ravenloft rather than the Forgotten Realms?"

Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3
Transylmania Ep. 1: “Arrival in Darkbourne”
Friday, 8 am--Noon

Six teens are transported to the haunted lands of Darkbourne, a world where monsters, ghouls, and nightmares are real! Rescued by the kindly librarian Dan Helsing, they become the Mighty Monster Fighters: chosen by fate to defeat the evil Count Vladula and his monstrous minions! If they want to get back home, the teens must bring hope back to the realm of TRANSYLMANIA! It’s 1980’s cartoon action!

Any other free time I can find, I'm gonna try to get on the other side of the table and chuck some dice. In fact, I'm arriving on Wednesday -- a day early -- specifically to play in the "unofficial" pick-up games that occur. (And maybe a few drunken games of Drinking Quest if my KS package arrives in time!) Looking forward to seeing everyone this fall!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

[Our Last Best Hope] Sharknado: A Mission Playset

A mission playset for Our Last Best Hope. This mission isn't so much of a "global" crisis so much as a regional crisis, so scale accordingly. And I'm so very, very sorry for this...

Sharknado Mission
A tornado is one of the most destructive natural forces. The sheer power of these monstrous cyclones is enough to flatten buildings, rip up anchored structures, and crush anything and anyone that gets in the way. However, when one of these twisters passes over a body of water infested with sharks, the ravenous waterbeasts could be picked up and spun about, becoming one with the twister, and a sharknado is formed. What the tornado doesn't destroy, the flying sharks consume -- marking it as one of the deadliest natural phenomenons known to mankind.

Suggested viewing/reading: Sharknado, Sharknado 2: The Second One, How to Survive a Sharknado

"It's like a twister...with teeth." – A sharknado is a swirling vortex of man-eating creatures. As the ravenous sea-creatures fly by, they take careful aim, biting off heads and severing limbs as the pass by. Those unlucky enough to be swept up into the twister will be eaten alive by the flying sharks. Even being in the same area as a sharknado is deadly, as the sharks will occasionally come flying out to either eat or land on a helpless victim, killing both.

Ever growing, never slowing...  – Unlike other tornadoes which are usually encountered singularly, sharknados are usually formed in groups of three or more.  Normal tornadoes usually last less than a few minutes, but sharknados rarely dissipate on their own. The spinning death vortex increases in size and, if it joins with other nearby sharknados, a super-sharknado could form. These monstrous cyclones can engulf entire cities consuming all within unless stopped.

1W – There are six sharnados bearing down on the city -- more than has ever been seen at one time.
2W – The gargantuan sharknado contains a single prehistoric megalodon.
3W – The sharknado forming off the coast is the size of a small hurricane -- 100 miles wide.
4W – Every body of water no matter how small (pond, swimming pool, drainage ditch, sewer) is filled with aggressive sharks of various sizes that have been deposited by the passing sharknado.
5W – The sharknado has stopped in the center of town...and is growing larger every minute is remains in place.
6W – The sharks in the sharknado are mentally linked, giving the sharknado a hive-mind consciousness and free will.
1B – The sharks in the sharknado are two-headed sharks!
2B – The sharks in the sharknado are sharktopuses!
3B – The sharks in the sharknado are dinosharks!
4B – The sharks in the sharknado are snow sharks!
5B – The sharks in the sharknado are ghost sharks!
6B – The sharks in the sharknado are Lovecraftian Deep Ones!

1W – Time is running out, and the city is doomed within hours.
2W – The team is made up of specialized oceanic experts with knowledge specific to the Crisis.
3W – The team has encountered this Crisis before on a smaller scale.
4W – Most of the city has been decimated by the Crisis.
5W – The team has access to the only piece of equipment that will be of use in fighting the Crisis.
6W – The materials needed to stop the Crisis are nearly depleted and there's only enough for one chance.
1B – The team are the only ones close enough to reach the Crisis.
2B – Once underway, the team's communication will be cut off.
3B – The team is uniquely immune to the effects of the Crisis.
4B – No one else believes the Crisis is a world-ending event.
5B – The team is unaware of the scope of the Crisis.
6B – The team accidentally set the Crisis in motion and feels obligated to stop it.

1W or 1B – The team receives a distress call on-route to the Crisis they must act upon.
2W or 2B – The sharknado is sending out wave after wave of defenses to stop them as they approach.
3W or 3B – There is a saboteur actively working to thwart the team.
4W or 4B – The timeline for the Crisis was originally miscalculated, and there's only half the time as originally thought.
5W or 5B – There is another Crisis as well as the original one; roll for a second Crisis that's occurring at the same time.
6W or 6B – The team's original plan won't work, and they must come up with a new one with the resources on hand.


Propane canister bombs

Saturday, August 9, 2014

[Fiasco] Let's Visit Wonderland Park: "The Funnest Place In The Universe!"

Anyone want a new Fiasco playset that takes place in a rundown, soon-to-be-shut-down local amusement park? Sure you do!

It’s a world of laughter,
a world of tears...
When it opened in 1974, Wonderland Park was the premiere amusement park in the state. Though it remains open today, years of maintenance neglect and patron indifference has caused the park to decompose into a shell of its former glory. The park’s employees are underskilled, underpaid, and apathetic. The owners are desperately looking for a buyer – any buyer. And those visitors who do visit  know the staff usually turns a blind eye to any malfeasance.

The gates could be permanently locked tomorrow morning, so let’s enjoy today’s visit to “The Funnest Place In The Universe!”

(Click cover to be taken to the file for download!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

[Cartoon Action Hour] Help Me Decide Which Series To Run!

Well, I'm scheduled to attend both Ohio's Con on the Cob in October and Michigan's U-Con in November. My time will be limited as I'll be manning the Gobinoid Games/Pacesetter LTD booth in the Dealer's Hall at both cons. (Be sure to stop by and say "Hey!")

I'll be running games of Cryptworld at both conventions late at night after the hall closes, as it's become my go-to horror genre game to run at cons. (Details to come...) I only have enough time remaining to run one early morning session at each con. Of course, my ever-popular Thundarr the Barbarian game is a crowd-pleaser, but honestly, I'd like to run something different this season. But I also love running a cartoon-based game in the wee morning hours. The players always arrive a bit groggy, but a few hours of animated Saturday morning mayhem is better than a double-espresso. But if not Thundarr, then what to run this season? Then it hit me:

The newly-released Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 would be a perfect system to run an early morning 80s animated action game with! I love the system, which is simple, streamlined, perfect for con-run games, and lends itself perfectly for the kind of over-the-top 'toon action I like to play.

Now then, I have ideas for two cartoon "series" I'd like to run, but I'm honestly torn as to which one to launch at Con on the Cob this October. So I'll leave it up to you folks. So grab a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, plop down in front of the console Zenith TV set, and consider the promos for these two new 80s cartoon series airing this fall!

On a dare, six teens entered the creepy mansion at the edge of town. But when they left the next morning, they found they had been transported to a haunted land filled with monsters, ghouls, and nightmarish creatures! Taking refuge in the village at the foot of Mount Dread, the lost youth met the kindly librarian "Dan Helsing," who explained to them that they are the Mighty Monster Fighters: chosen by fate to defeat the evil Count Vladula and his monstrous minions! If they hope to find a way back home, the teens must bring hope and light back to the realm of...

Students who attend Sterling Preparatory for Youth University learn about more than mathematics, geography, and science. They also learn about martial arts, disguise and infiltration, and saving the world from the forces of evil! These teens are secretly being trained to be the world's next great super-secret agents under the watchful eye of Headmaster Sterling (AKA retired super-agent "Mr. S"). Students are tasked with fighting the forces of H.O.R.N.E.T. -- a sinister band of evil agents who wish to take over the world. The only thing standing in their way are the kids who attend...

So those are the concepts. Vote in the comments as to which cartoon series "pitch" you like best. I plan to hammer out both and release them for folks to run their own games, but I need to get some feedback as to which one sounds more "1980s cartoon action awesome"! That's the one that'll premiere at Con on the Cob and U-Con!

Friday, August 1, 2014

[Timemaster] Historical Figure: Thomas Jefferson

While poking around the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine, I discovered that one or two pages from Time Corps HQ -- my old defunct Timemaster RPG blog  -- had been saved and archived. Sadly, most of the useful material I posted there has been lost (stats for H.G. Wells, St. George, and Edger Allan Poe as well as several "Time Window" adventure seeds). But one historical figure I statted up was archived.

Thomas Jefferson
(1743 – 1826)
Significance Rating: 500

STR: 51 --- DEX: 68 --- AGL: 55
WPR: 36 --- PER: 49 --- PCN: 75
STA: 58 --- UMS: 53 --- WNDS: 13

Mechanics/Inventing, Master 113; Military Leadership, Master 101; Equestrian, Expert 96; Languages/Oratory Persuasion, Expert 83; Pistol, Specialist 83.

Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, and third president of the United States. His father, Peter, was a successful planter and surveyor and his mother, Jane, was a member of one of Virginia's most distinguished families. Jefferson inherited a sizable estate from his father, and was a successful lawyer in his own right. As a member of the Continental Congress, he was chosen in 1776 to draft the Declaration of Independence. He then returned to Virginia, serving as governor from 1779 to 1781. In 1790, he became Secretary of State under George Washington, and he was elected president 10 years later. Jefferson spoke five languages, and was deeply interested in science, inventing, architecture, religion, and philosophy.

Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, appropriately enough, on July 4.

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
--Thomas Jefferson