Monday, July 28, 2014

[GameHack] "We Found A Witch! May We Burn Her?" -- Two More New Monty Python Fluxx Cards

OK, I'm almost done, I swear. I made two more new cards for Monty Python Fluxx. One card is a new Creeper featuring A Witch!!! ("But I'm not a witch!") And there's a new Goal titled "May We Burn Her?" You win if you have A Witch!!! and Sir Bedevere on the table in front of you. (After we see if she weighs as much as a duck, of course.)

As with The Black Knight card, the card faces should be printed out and pasted to either two spare Fluxx cards or you can use two of the Fluxx Blanxx that are available. (Click the image for a higher-rez PNG file. You'll have to resize it yourself.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hope You Enjoyed Gary Gygax Day

I was on the road traveling until I walked in the door a few seconds ago, so I didn't get to chuck any dice in Gary's memory today. Hope everyone else ran a game or rolled up a character or just toss back a drink in Gary's honor today.

I love this tribute. Thanks Gary.

Friday, July 25, 2014

[GameHack] "Camelot! (It's Only A Model...) Shhh!" -- Another New Monty Python Fluxx Card

What can I say? Inspired again to create another new card for Monty Python Fluxx, I created another new one featuring my favorite squire, Patsy, and his only line of the movie. This Action card allows you to discard any one Keeper or Creeper card currently in play on the table. After all, "it's only a model."

As with The Black Knight card, the card face should be printed out and pasted to either a spare Fluxx card or you can use one of the Fluxx Blanxx that are available. (Click the image for a higher-rez PNG file. You'll have to resize it yourself.)

I don't have it out of my system quite yet, as I have ideas for Tim the Enchanter, the Witch ("I'm not a witch!"), the Bridge of Death, and some new Goals for the game. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

[GameHack] New Custom Card For Your Monty Python Fluxx Game: The Black Knight

Been playing a bit of Monty Python Fluxx in my home games recently. Even have the Castle Expansion and "Sir Not Appearing in This Game" promo card. But the omission of one card was driving me nuts, as it's such an obvious addition, I'm surprised it doesn't exist.

Doesn't exist until NOW, anyway!

I've created a new Creeper card for your Monty Python Fluxx games: The Black Knight! Like most Creeper cards, he's brought out and played upon drawing. You cannot win the game if he's on the table in front of you unless the current Goal says otherwise. But unlike many other Creepers, The Black Knight has one weakness: You CAN win the game with him on the table, but only if you also have either the King Arthur Keeper or the Excalibur Keeper on the table as well. ("What are you gonna do? Bleed on me?")

The card face should be printed out and pasted to either a spare Fluxx card or you can use one of the Fluxx Blanxx that are available. (Click the image for a higher-rez PNG file. You'll have to resize it yourself.)

I have some ideas for some other additional Monty Python Fluxx cards, but thought I'd throw this out for those who enjoy the game as much as I do.

"You're a looney..."

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Savage AfterWorld's Christmas In July Sales!

With the release of the Deviant Database 2.0, I thought I'd make both it and the original Deviant Database available in hardcopy format at a special low price. For a limited time, the original Deviant Database is 20% off at Lulu. The new Deviant Database 2.0 is under $10, so you can score both Mutant Future supplements -- that's over 128 pages of mutants -- for less than $20 (plus shipping)! And if you don't play Mutant Future, the creatures of the Deviant Database 1.0 and 2.0 are compatible with Labyrinth Lord and other First Edition RPGs!

As if that weren't enough, The Savage AfterWorld is also participating in Drive Through RPG's Christmas in July sale!  Deviant Database, Deviant Database 2.0, and One Year In The Savage AfterWorld are all 25% in PDF format at Drive Through RPG. This sale runs through July 29, so act fast. And thanks!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

[Let's Make A Cryptworld Module] Part 4 - Act 1 Addendum: Get A Clue!

[[This is the next in a series of blog posts where I plan to take The Covetous Poet's Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook for a spin. Over the coming weeks, I'll be generating an adventure module for the Pacesetter horror RPG Cryptworld using the book's Adventure Creator. And you can follow along with the creation process...]]

In our previous outings, we established our plotlinesfleshed out our primary antagonist, and constructed our Act 1 Event Scenes. Those of you reading this post"out of the blue" may want to go back and read up on the "story thus far" just to get some context. Now then, I was preparing to hammer out Act 2's Action Scenes (and lots of action is about to happen!) when I discovered the Adventure Creator's "Clues Chart" in the General Tables section. Intrigued, I read on...

When you use the Adventure Creator (as we're doing in this exercise), the Clues Chart isn't really implemented. A bit of reading showed me that the Clues Chart is primarily used with the Solo GM portion of the book. I read through the entries on the chart and determined that this would come in REAL handy for an adventure like this! After all, a monster-hunter scenario requires a bit of research and investigation, so having some evidence and information presented to the PCs in various scenes would be both helpful and intriguing.

So, I've decided that my Cryptworld scenario really needs some clues scattered about for the players to follow. (We need to get those Investigation and Research Skills involved!) As with everything else, whether or not an entry comes into play is solely at my discretion. In Act 2, I'll have the Clues listed with all other random elements, but for now, let's double-back to our Act 1 Event Scenes and see what interesting tidbits and threads may be laying about for the players to follow...

Clue: Strange Jewelry or Item

Scene 1: (I won't reiterate what transpired in each scene in this follow-up, so please refer back to the previous post for background info.) This clue is a good one to have right off the bat, as it gives me a great idea to "plant a seed" in the PCs' minds. As we've determined, The Mystical Order of the All-Seeing Eye is our villain's unofficial base of operations. His first few "converts" are all members. Therefore, when the PCs first arrive, I'll have one of them notice that some of the townfolk wear a ring or pendant with an All-Seeing Eye icon on it. Subtle, and it clues them in that this place could be important down the road.

Clue: Hidden Passageway

Scene 2:  Although this is a "red herring" scene, it'd be fun to give the PCs something to investigate. Since we're dealing with an old decrepit house, let's say that they find a hidden passageway. But since nothing of interest is truly here, it will end up being innocuous. In the kitchen, there will be an obvious false wall, easily found. This hidden passageway leads to a stairwell to a basement fruit cellar. There is nothing of interest, as it was never used for this purpose after the advent of refrigeration. Also, there is a storm cellar door on the outside of the house that leads to the same location (in case of tornado), so it's not really "hidden". But while they're poking around in the dark cellar, perhaps that's when our "angry townfolk" decides to confront them. (He heard them in the cellar and used the storm cellar door to follow them.)

Clue: Things Left At Crime Scene

Scene 3: The PCs meet Sheriff Pratt for the first time when he shows up at the house. (His excuse was he was on patrol and he noticed the cars at the old abandoned house. He actually "sensed" that one of his minions was up to something and, using the Eye of Anubis, came out to see what was going on.) Since the house was established to be a dead end (all of the action followed our PCs here!), there's not really any good way to shoehorn any other clues into this scene. And having Pratt or our ruffian "drop" something would be too obvious this early in the scenario. So we're going to ignore this clue and leave Scene 3 as written.

Clue: Personal Effects Left Behind

Scene 4: The PCs return to the hotel to find the room tossed and Louise missing. We already have an All-Seeing Eye pendant left at the scene, so the social club is the next place. Howls in the distance and the multiple "dog attacks" should have pointed them toward a lycanthrope in town. However, as I've mulled over the plot thus far, I realize that having several werewolves (OK, "werejackals") in action might be too much of a challenge for the PCs. Rather than having them go toe-to-toe with (at last count) 7 or 8 werejackals, I decided to give them a bit of help. In this scenario, I'm inserting the classic "kill the werewolf who sired its minions and you break the curse, restoring all underlings to their human selves." That way, the PCs have a bit of a chance to "win" without slaughtering a whole bunch of townfolk. Since Louise is a monster hunter herself, I'm going to say that her notes and research are here in the tossed room. Her personal journal is filled with werewolf data and has this scrap of information within. The PCs may not know the extent of the infestation (yet), but they now will know that IDing and killing the Werewolf Master (whomever that might be) is one way to end the crisis.

(Also, and it's a bit of a cheat, but I wanted the PCs to have an "out" if anyone does get bitten. After all, werewolves are deadly even without passing along the lycan curse.)

Clue: Witness to Odd Behavior

Scene 5: Another clue that ties in nicely to the scene as written. During the rescue, the PCs will see multiple lycan transformations! No need to insert another clue, as it's all coming together at this point. Louise will make it clear that rushing in is suicide, and they should try to find out who is the Lycan Leader of this horrific mob!

And we now have some interesting new threads to insert into our Act 1 scenes. I think the Clues Chart gives the creator a few more options to play around with, as well as giving investigatory scenarios some much-needed evidence to pursue. As I hammer together Act 2 (and with any future mystery scenarios), I'll be implementing the Clues Chart for some necessary inspiration.

Stay tuned for Act 2...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

D&D Meets Reality TV: "The Quest" Premieres July 31

I'll admit, I'm a sucker for themed reality game shows. I loved The Mole (conspiracy/espionage), Murder in Small Town X (police procedural), and Pirate Master (errr...pirates). (And, although not a "game show," The Colony's post-apocalyptic angle fascinated me.) With the proliferation of reality shows nowadays, I had wondered why no one had yet tapped into the "fantasy world" genre. Well, looks like that's exactly what's coming to U.S. television in a few short weeks. The Quest will premiere July 31 on ABC. Here's the description of the show:

Announcing "The Quest," a reality show that literally takes contestants and audiences to an amazing, imaginative realm, where the ogres are advancing in the woods, the dragons are stirring, agents of a dark lord are infiltrating the keep, and the only thing that stands between peace and chaos are 12 very unlikely heroes. From the producers of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, paired with the producers of "The Amazing Race," "The Quest" is a fully immersive experience. In and around this castle, our fantasy realm comes to life with state-of-the art projections, animatronics, prosthetics, real-time motion capture and art direction. The narrative and mythology of "The Quest" is deep and fully imagined, and it was designed to incorporate seamlessly with the unexpected actions and decisions of our contestants – fantasy comes alive as it never has before in this genre-bending series. 

Gotta admit I'm intrigued enough to tune in for the first episode. Here's the trailer for the show:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Deviant Database 2.0 For Mutant Future Now Available!

And thus, The Savage AfterWorld releases its third Mutant Future supplement:


In this fiendish follow-up to the original Deviant Database, your players will meet 44 new twisted abominations lurking within The Savage AfterWorld!

• Gargantuan grotesqueries like the Bro’ding and Pangaea wander the ruined world like walking mountains and living islands!
• Analog assailants like the Computer Bug and Mechanobane are driven to rend and consume your robotic player characters!
• Hybrid humanoids like the Mako, Pwnees, and Clotted Ones welcome all visitors! (But will they allow them to ever leave?)

The Deviant Database 2.0 is fully compatible with Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord RPGs as well as other Original Edition Fantasy RPGs. The supplement is now available as a downloadable PDF for $3.95 at Drive Through RPG and in perfect-bound hardcopy book for $9.95 at Lulu.

EDITED TO ADD: I have tacked on a 20% discount onto the original Deviant Database for Mutant Future over at Lulu. You can now pick up dead tree paperbacks of both Deviant Databases (the original and the newly released 2.0) for less than $20! Act quick. Offer ends when I get bored with it. ;)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Tale Of "Willie The Nadstabber"

All of the online talk about D&D 5e has me reflecting on the classic D&D games of my youth. The adventure, the excitement, the acts of valor and chivalry. Then, there’s the one hysterical event that derailed the game so hard, we had to break for the evening to regain our composure…

The game was a low-level one with most in our party hovering around level 2 or 3. One member of our group was playing a kender thief named Willie who was armed with only a dagger. During a typical wilderness random encounter, we met an ogre who swiftly trounced everyone but Willie. As the only one left conscious, he knew he was the only thing standing between us and a TPK.

"I run between the ogre's legs and stab him as I dart through!" the player announced. The DM nodded, and the player rolled a successful hit.

Now then, the guy playing Willie meant to say he was stabbing at the ogre's LEG as he ran through, hoping the ogre would drop to the ground where he could fight it better. Instead the DM assumed Willie was stabbing UPWARD as he ran through.

"OK, you run through his legs and stab up and under his loincloth as you do so,” the DM said. “His groin takes 4 points of damage.”

Howls of laughter erupt from the table, and Willie's player smiles.

"OK, I do it again!"

The orge took a clumsy swipe at Willie, missing handily, and Willie darted through its legs again with a successful called shot to the ogre's plumsack.

"You stab it in the nuts again, and it takes double damage. The orge screams and staggers a bit. It’s clutching its groin and cursing in orgrish, but it's still on it feet."

Half of us are on the floor, laughing ourselves sick due to the absurdity of the fight. By the time the fight ended, Willie was victorious, and the ogre was dead due to multiple called shots to its junk.

From that day forward, Willie demanded that we call him "Nadstabber."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Another Page Flutters By...

Final Layout Complete. Release Imminent...

My Prediction Of Gen Con 2014 Opening Day

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[Let's Make A Cryptworld Module] Part 3: Act 1 -- Terror Stalks The Streets Of Coldcreek, Kansas

[[This is the next in a series of blog posts where I plan to take The Covetous Poet's Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook for a spin. Over the coming months, I'll be generating an adventure module for the Pacesetter horror RPG Cryptworld using the book's Adventure Creator. And you can follow along with the creation process...]]

In our previous outings, we established our plotlines and fleshed out our primary antagonist. Today, we'll move onto Act 1, where the PCs will be initially dropped into our scenario and introduced to the story (though they may not know the scope of the mystery). Act 1 is less "plot-driven," and more "character-driven" as the PCs snoop about to get a feel for the story. Subplots may also surface during Act 1. In Act 2 (to come later), the PCs should have discovered the plot that's afoot and will be taking steps to confront and overcome the challenges they face. But, at this time, let's bring the PCs into the tale and give them some events to ponder.

Two things we need to establish in Act 1 is, of course, why are the players here? What prompts their involvement? The Adventure Creator suggests that we come up with the "Initial Oddity" (What's so odd about the location that it initially makes the PCs curious enough to check?) and the "Inciting Incident" (What single event throws our PCs headfirst into the scenario?). The Initial Oddity has already come to me, so I'll be using "A series of suspicious deaths attributed to 'dog attacks' has been plaguing a small town in Kansas." The Inciting Incident may form as the PCs move through Act 1, so it's something to keep in the back of our head as we design it.

According to the Adventure Creator, Act 1 should consist of 10 or more "Event Scenes" in a full-scale adventure module. For this exercise, I want to keep it smaller, so we'll only have 5 Event Scenes for them to investigate. So, taking our Act 1 worksheet and rolling on the random tables, we'll begin designing the investigatory scenes that pique our PC's curiosity about the sleepy town of Coldcreek, Kansas. (As before, we're encouraged to pick and choose the results we determine randomly depending on how they "fit", so some elements may not be used as we progress.)

Event: Something Good Happens to a PC
Action: Cover Up
Thing: Butchery
Plot: Screams in the Night
Opposition: Outsiders
Location: Plains

Scene 1: Our PCs are sent to Coldcreek, Kansas, (Plains) to investigate a series of dog attacks that have left a few of the townspeople dead. The townspeople seem to be surprisingly tight-lipped about the killings, muttering something about "damned coyotes", but not willing to give the PCs much more information. (Outsiders) One of the PCs will have a chance encounter with Louise Farmer, who IDs herself as a monster hunter already on the scene working undercover. (Something Good...) She explains that the townspeople seem to be terrorized by these attacks and that they seem to occur only at night. (Screams in the Night) She also says that any time she uses legal means to get information (autopsy reports, police records, etc.), she hits a dead end. (Cover Up Butchery) There's a conspiracy afoot, and the town isn't talking...

Event: The PCs Run Into Trouble
Action: Pretend
Thing: Breakthrough
Plot: Until the Devil Knows You're Dead
Opposition: Dark Cult
Location: Cabin

Scene 2: When the PCs begin investigating, they'll hear of a local legend that supposedly haunts a decrepit house on the edge of town (Cabin). This "ghostly coyote spirit" attacks those who trespass upon its land. (Until the Devil...) This legend is false and is just a wive's tale (Pretend Breakthrough). However, once the PCs realize they've been chasing a red herring and abandon that line of investigation, a large, surly townsperson (a member of the All-Seeing Eye) corners the PCs at the house and "suggests" that they should stop poking around and leave town (PCs Run Into Trouble...Dark Cult). The conflict escalates...

Event: A New NPC Is Introduced
Action: Carry
Thing: Dog Catcher
Plot: Powerful Artifact
Opposition: Human Collaborators
Location: Bedroom

Scene 3: Fortunately (?), the local sheriff arrives before the fight gets out of hand (A New NPC...). The townsperson is driven off/arrested (depending on how the fight goes) without incident. (Pratt is using the Eye of Anubis to calm his minion down and to force him to cooperate -- Carry Powerful Artifact). Sheriff Pratt apologizes for the trouble the PCs have encountered in town, and he asks if there's anything he can do to assist them, hoping to gain their trust. (Human Collaborators) If the PCs are forthcoming, Pratt confirms (in a misleading way) some of the PC's suspicions as he feels them out. He hopes to learn their business in town, what they know, and gain their trust so he can subvert them later.

Event: Something Bad Happens to the PCs
Action: Seize
Thing: Eclipse
Plot: Mass Delusion
Opposition: Guardians
Location: Inn

Scene 4: When the PCs get back to their hotel (Inn), they find signs of a struggle and Louise is missing! (Seize...Something Bad Happens...) A small All-Seeing Eye pendant is found, pointing to the social club's members as being behind Louise's abduction. The full moon is coming up (Eclipse...close enough), and the PCs can hear the howls of  a werewolf in the distance. This must be a creature responsible, and the reason for the terror of the citizens! The townspeople have taken refuge behind closed doors and will offer no help to the PCs (Mass Delusion). The PCs are on their own to fight their way to the All-Seeing Eye Temple to attempt a rescue, and in the streets, a werewolf lurks to stop them! (Guardians)

Event: Unexpected Turn of Events
Action: Follow
Thing: Necromancer
Plot: This Is *****!
Opposition: Monster
Location: Town Hall

Scene 5: Arriving at the Mystic Order of the All-Seeing Eye (Town Hall...close enough again), the PCs must try to sneak their way in to attempt a rescue. (Follow) There could be members roaming the halls on patrol. If they come across the Great Hall, they'll see a handful of townspeople milling about -- and one of them is the NPC who accosted them earlier. When the moon reaches its apex, every club member transforms into a werewolf! (Monster...Unexpected Turn of Events) It's not just one werewolf, it's an infestation! The PCs should be able to find and rescue Louise, who also now realizes the scope of the problem. One or two lycans are difficult, but eight of the beasts? The PCs will need to escape and try to come up with a way to deal with the mass werewolf conspiracy that has infected the town of Coldcreek! Perhaps that nice sheriff can lend a hand... (This is *****!)

And Act 1 comes to a close. Our PCs now have their hands full as their investigations have now revealed a "werewolf conspiracy" is at hand! And we now have our Inciting Incident: "The PCs realize that the entire town is being transformed into werewolves by the Mystic Order of the All-Seeing Eye."

When we return to this adventure, we'll begin constructing Act 2, where the investigation ends and PCs are tasked with stopping the horrific plague that is starting to engulf the citizens. And, perhaps, the identity of the mastermind behind it all will come to light...


“So, You All Meet In A Tavern…”

The Team Leader stood in front of the tavern’s swinging double doors. He was in need of a stalwart party of adventurers to accompany him on his quest, and he had heard tales that this nondescript bar was where such people gathered and socialized. Steeling up his resolve and squaring his shoulders, he walked in.

The Team Leader blinked a few times and staggered a bit as his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. He bumped into a hulking figure in the darkness. The muscular barbarian glared at him, and the Team Leader mumbled an apology and moved further into the establishment. At the bar, he saw a post-apocalyptic “road warrior” chatting with a bored-looking elven magician. Near the fireplace, a femme fatale in mirrored sunglasses and trenchcoat fiddled nervously with a briefcase chained to her wrist. At an adjoining table, an Old West riverboat gambler dealt a hand to a caped superhero, a steampunk inventor, and a cyborg. Meanwhile, in the corner, a futuristic med-bot, a frontier sawbones, and a WWII combat medic discussed surgical techniques from their respective eras.

This was the right place, all right.

The Team Leader loudly and dramatically cleared his throat, and all eyes in the place turned to face him.

“I’m recruiting stalwart adventurers to join me on a quest!” he announced. “I require a warrior, a rogue, a healer, and a sage! So, who’s interested?”

(To Be Continued)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How About Some Dungeons & Flagons? Drinking Quest Kickstarter Now In Its Final Hours

(Excuse the meme. Couldn't help myself.)

One of my favorite games to play during convention downtimes is Drinking Quest. The cleverly designed card-based RPG incorporates liquid libation into a humorous evening of questing and quaffing. So far, there have been three editions of the "Drunkards & Dragons" game, and now all three of these editions have been combined, updated, and expanded into a new boxed set with tons of extras!  "Drinking Quest: The Trilogy Edition" looks to expand upon the game, and the Kickstarter for this new edition is wrapping up a very successful fundraiser with about 40 hours left as this post goes live.

The Trilogy Edition of Drinking Quest introduces a host of improvements and additions to the game, including:

  • All three original DQ editions in one package! (Each edition has 4 quests, so that's 12 different drinkin' adventures!)
  • Bigger, full-color cards!
  • A new system that uses more than just d6s!
  • A fancy-shmancy box to hold it all!
  • Plus, three stretch goals have been reached, adding THREE new Drinking Quest...quests!

For roughly $40 US ($44 CAN), you get the entire shebang listed above. And the next stretch goal will provide everyone with a new bottle opener featuring Chuglox, the drunken barbarian featured in the game.

At game conventions, there are three afterhours "beer and pretzels" games I always seek out just for the sheer brilliant fun they bring: Illuminati, Are You a Werewolf, and Drinking Quest. And this new edition will become part of my travelling pack. Look for me at a convention and we'll play (if you're of drinkin' age). And for those who would like their own "deluxe edition" of the world's best RPG-slash-drinking game, you now have a little less than two days to toss in and secure your own set.