Friday, December 20, 2019

[Review] "Crit Or Myth" RPG Musical Comedy CD By Fugli

Although I don't typically review music CDs here at The Savage AfterWorld, I stumbled across a request on Facebook for folks to review an upcoming music CD focusing on old school role-playing gaming. Now, I'm a fan of filk and musical parodys, so I wanted to find out what this was all about. Sent away and in a few days, I got a preview copy of the CD illustrated above.

"Crit or Myth" is an upcoming music CD by "Fugli" (AKA Jeremy Fowler-Lindemulder) who typically performs in the Renaissance Faire community, but this new offering is a divergence from his normal Faire material, and focuses on his AD&D 1e days.

There's good stuff here for the OSR enthusiast with a variety of styles vary from medieval fantasy, to calypso, to rock, to folk parodies of  classic tunes. I enjoyed the variety of musical styles amongst the songs on this fully loaded CD (I'll explain more in a second). There are 12 songs that will have all role-players nodding along with the melodies as well as in agreement with the pithy situations mentioned in the melodious tales. Some of my favorites include...

"Epic Myth" - The odds are against you, and a TPK is imminent. The party is counting on you to pull their fat out of the fire with a Roll For The Ages. You throw the dice and, well, as the song refrain says, "I rolled a one..." A very funny song that I've come to call The Gamer's Lament. One of my favorites on the CD.

"Conga Line of Doom" - Those narrow dungeon corridors don't allow for much shoulder-to-shoulder combat, so line up for the slaughter! The problems with marching orders versus tight underground quarters feature in this calypso parody of pinch points and kill zones.

"Flavor Text" - Those descriptive paragraphs that paint a vivid picture in the minds of your players -- and how they then run berserk through the scene when you stop to take a breath. The creative lyrical prose of the DM versus the breathless impulsive actions of the PCs meet in this funny adventure summary.

Other songs on the CD include: "The Wild Roller" (How much dice you got? It's not enough.); "The Deck of Many Don'ts" (That deck you found in a locked chest? Leave it alone.); "Random Tables" (Almost everything you find and do will be eventually left to chance.); "Baba Yaga's Hut" (Chicken-footed house a-comin'!); "The Demon Prince" (The dance craze...from the Seven Hells!); "Parts is Parts" (You never know what monster part might come in handy later.); "The Hoard" (There's always one player who hoards EVERYTHING - encumbrance be damned.); "Alignment Blues" (Chaotic Evil is so much easier than Lawful Good, you know?); and "Eye of the Beholder" (Monsters, go figure.)

Remember when I said this was "fully loaded"? There are numerous other special features lurking within, such as video clips of live performances, web links to numerous sites of the band's other offerings, and -- most keen for the gamers out there -- "Striek Hollus: The Tomb of the Eighth Blue Wizard", an adventure written by Jeremy back in December 1980 for The Dungeoneer's Journal and is now re-released here! (Which WILL see table use in one of my upcoming home games!) There is a lot to like on this CD for the gamer as well as those who appreciate clever music parodys.

"Crit or Myth" will be released January 2020 through Amazon and You can follow the group at or as well!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

[Samson Sunday] Savage Menagerie: Ice Monster

In Mighty Samson Issue 4, Samson faced the threat of sailing vessels from Greelynd led by the ruthless warlord Thorr! Thorr captured Samson and his friends, and pitted Samson against post-apocalyptic mutants in his arena! Here's one of those threats!

Ice Monster: Init +1; Atk bite +6 melee (1d6+2) or claw +4 melee (1d4); AC 17; HD 3d8; MV 20'; Act 2d20; SP laser resistance, cryokinesis; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +6.

The Ice Monster appears to be similar to the Ancient polar bear species. However, the bear-like creature is twice as large and, instead of white fur, it is covered in icy shards across its body,  giving it a crystalline shimmer when light reflects off of its hide. Because its surface reflects/refracts light waves, an Ice Monster only takes half-damage from light-based attacks (e.g., lasers and similar weapons).

An Ice Monster is a powerful ursine animal, able to bite for 1d6+2 hp damage or claw an opponent for 1d4 hp. An Ice Monster is "super-coldblooded", giving it the mutation of cryokinesis, which it uses to try to freeze its prey in place during combat.

An Ice Monster, however, is incredibly vulnerable to heat-based attacks and will take double-damage from any such assault. It is not unusual to see the massive beast melt clean away under a barrage of flame and fire.

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the interior tale from Issue 4 of "Mighty Samson." Stay tuned each week for Samson Sunday!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

[Samson Sunday] Savage Menagerie: Rhinophant

Rhinophant: Init +0; Atk trample +5 melee (3d4) or gore +2 melee (2d4); AC 17; HD 3d8; MV 20'; Act 1d20; SP absorption; SV Fort +4, Ref -2, Will +2.

The Rhinophant is a large herbivore animal that roams the abandoned streets of post-apocalypse N'Yark . The Rhinophant is huge and heavy, standing nearly 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing in excess of 2000 lbs. The Rhinophant has two large horns growing out of its muzzle, and it has a line of bony plates that run down the center of its spine. The Rhinophant is also covered with a thick leathery hide, making it very difficult to injure the creature.

Although the Rhinophant appears at a distance to be no more aggressive than the Ancient cow, it is actually quite territorial and will charge once it sees an interloper into its territory. It will attempt to either trample a victim under its lumbering bulk, crushing them for 3d4 hp damage, or it will lower its head and try to gore them with its twin horns for 2d4 hp damage. Fortunately, the Rhinophant is not a fast creature and can be outrun if spotted soon enough.

The Rhinophant's hide makes it difficult to injure, but what makes it nearly impossible is the creature's latent absorption mutation. The Rhinophant absorbs kinetic energy and will only take half-damage from any melee or missile attack. Also, when hit, the Rhinophant will gain 1d4 hp (up to its max hp) from each attack. A team of Terrans may be surprised to see a Rhinophant actually healing as they inflict injury upon injury upon the beast!

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the cover and interior tale from Issue 3 of "Mighty Samson." Stay tuned each week for Samson Sunday!

Friday, December 6, 2019

(MCC RPG) Savage Menagerie: Glueworm

One of my favorite Mutant Future creatures now converted for Mutant Crawl Classics!

Glueworm: Init +0; Atk none; AC 5; HD 1 hp; MV 5’; Act 1d16; SP adhesive secretion; SV Fort -5, Ref -5, Will -5.

A slug-like creature measuring only 1-2 inches in length with a sickly yellow tint, the glueworm is hardly a threat to the usual cautious Terran, having no real attack/damage ability and a minimal hit point total. However, where the glueworm is a danger is that it secretes one of the most aggressive adhesives found naturally. If a PC steps onto a glueworm “snail trail” and/or crushes or otherwise injures a glueworm, they will find their weapon (or worse, themselves) permanently bonded to the underlying surface unless they make a DC 20 Ref check. (Even if the save is made, the PC will have the adhesive on their foot/hand/weapon, but it will not be bonded to anything...until it makes contact with something else!)

This adhesive will bond anything to anything permanently, with one exception: the adhesive does not adhere to glass or crystal. Even picking up a glueworm will leave enough residue on the mutant’s hand to be a hazard. Small bottles of glueworm secretion (called "snailhesive" by traders) will fetch a good price for its many uses.

The adhesive can be dissolved with the use of a strong acid, although anything thus bonded will take  damage. The glueworm secretion can also be burned off with fire, although the glue itself is not flammable.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Genghis Con/Weird Realms Game Room: Comics, Art, And "New Mutants"

Yesterday was the last day of a long Thanksgiving weekend, and what better way to round it out than by squeezing in one last con-run RPG session before the year ends? Yesterady I attended Genghis Con in Cleveland. The event is a small press/independent comic publishers convention, and one I've been wanting to attend for years. For the second year, Weird Realms game store hosted a game room where folks could try out indy RPGs and self-published materials. So I signed on to run a playtest game of my next MCC RPG adventure, "The Desk in Room 8-10".

Although this was just a one-day afternoon affair, I'd be remiss if I didn't post my usual travelogue so folks can attend vicariously and, perhaps, make plans to attend next year. As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done to give you a feel for what happened. Here we go:
  • The event was in the Tenk Building in Cleveland, which was in a old warehouse/manufacturing district that is being repurposed for event hosting. From the outside, the building was a non-descript warehouse, but the inside was quite nice with an industrial flair.
  • One entire area was filled with artists and vendors hawking their wares. The indy comic scene alone was mind-boggling and I truly wish I had set aside more time to browse and shop. I love indy publishers and saw a lot of stuff that caught my eye.
  • I did manage to find several things in the Weird Realms booth. A current obsession is horror comics and horror video mags, and I picked up some issues of Creepy, Fangoria, and Psychotronic Video magazine amongst other treasures. (Love my new "Weird Tales" button now on my convention ID badge wallet.) Beckett and I traded for some stuff, so I got a new horror book and he now has 5 new copies of "Dead In The Water" stocked on his store's shelves. Go pick one up today!
  • The game room  had 5 tables set up and, at its busiest, each table was filled with players. Board games, RPGs, and other fun stuff was ongoing.
  • Met and spoke at length with Jim Pozenel who recent ended a successful Kickstarter for his adventure "The House of the Red Doors" for DCC RPG. The adventure is a 0 level funnel for one player. That's right, just you and the judge going mano-a-mano. Jim had a table set up where he was running all-comers through a 15-minute death-dash through the adventure. He showed me a proof of the end product (which I backed) and I can't wait to see the finished product. We also talked about editing and future RPG projects we're each working on. Nice to talk with you Jim!
  • I only had time to run one game, and I had Kurt and Sam show up for a crack at my next MCC project. Interestingly, they had never played DCC/MCC before! (Kurt had the rules, but it was an Xmas gift he's forbidden to crack open until then.) They had also never played in a post-apocalyptic game, so this was all new. Within 20 minutes, they were blasting stuff with lasers and battling mutants warped by radiation like old pros! After 3 hours, they had made short work of the dangers within my adventure, and I think they really enjoyed the system and the adventure!
And here are some photos from today's event (all environmental because I forgot to take pictures of, you know, people playing and stuff...):
Banner outside of the Tenk Building IDing the location for the fun!

This is just half of the vendors and artists showing off their stuff. Due to poor planning on my part, I didn't have enough time to see it all and I certainly didn't have enough cash to buy it all!

But I did pick up a few horrific tomes for future Cryptworld inspiration!

The Weird Realms archway ushered folks into the game room beyond!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

[Samson Sunday] Savage Menagerie: Fanged Flyer

Fanged Flyer: Init +1; Atk bite +3 melee (1d6) or claw +2 melee (1d6); AC 15; HD 2d8; MV flying 40'; Act 1d20; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +0.

A Fanged Flyer is an aerial predator descended from the common bat. A Flyer is monstrously large with a 20-foot wingspan, a furry torso, bird-like talons, and a canine's head. The beast typically attacks by descending on its prey then slashing with its sharp claws. Otherwise, the creature will try to bite with its fang-like teeth, which gives it its name.

One typical tactic the Fanged Flyer will use is to grab its prey with both talons. If successful, it will then carry its victim aloft. The Fanged Flyer is capable of picking up and carrying prey of up to 300 pounds in weight.) The beast will then either carry its prey back to its lair for feeding or, if the victim struggles too much, the Flyer will climb high in the sky then release the victim. The Fanged Flyer will then descend to feed upon the crushed remains that are left after the fall.

A Fanged Flyer is a flock animal and will typically be found in groups of 2d10. If a PC sees a mass of Fanged Flyers approaching, it's best to take cover as one is difficult enough to defeat. Fortunately Fanged Flyers are usually found only in large wide-open spaces where they can be seen approaching from a distance.

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the cover and interior tale from Issue 2 of "Mighty Samson." Stay tuned each week for Samson Sunday!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

[Cryptworld] "Creepy Comic Conversion" Issue 5 Now Available

Once again Boils and Ghouls, it's time to crack open another terror tale from the 1940s-50s and see how your Cryptworld players manage to face their fears! In other words, a new issue of the Creepy Comic Conversion series for Cryptworld is now available!

I love horror comics, especially the long-forgotten ones that have entered the public domain. As a way to bring these amazing terror tales back to life, I’ve grabbed one at random and converted one of the stories as a mini-Cryptworld adventure. In this full-color 20-page zine, you first read the short comic story, then the back-half is that same tale now fleshed out and statted up for an evening’s gaming.

Presenting Issue 5 in the "Creepy Comic Conversion" series, this time featuring "The Subway Terror" from Mister Mystery Number 2 (1951):

In "The Subway Terror",  people have been vanishing from the manmade tunnels under the city for years: sewer workers, water and electrical linemen, and – more recently – subway patrons. Some theorize they’ve become lost in the maze-like depths. Others believe the legends of pets flushed long ago that grew to become giant alligators or snakes inhabiting the sewers. The truth is more disturbing…and dangerous. The players are tasked with investigating the disappearances with the assistance of the mysterious "Department G".

Issue 5 of the "Creepy Comic Conversion" series is now available in PDF at Drive Through RPG! (Full-color print copies will be available very soon there too!)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

[MCC RPG] Mutant Menagerie: Gobbler

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Gobbler: Init +2; Atk bite +3 melee (1d6) or talon +2 melee (1d4); AC 12; HD 1d8; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP blinding light; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +2.

A Gobbler is a large carnivorous bird (2-3 feet tall) that roams the red-grassed plains of Terra AD. Although often found alone, the Gobbler can sometimes be encountered in a flock of 2-5 (1d4+1).

The Gobbler appears to be a large breasted avian with a large fan-like feathered tail. Its wings are too small to hold itself aloft in extended bouts of flight, but the Gobbler can use them to reach higher locations such as roof tops or tree boughs before it tires itself out. (In game terms, the Gobbler can use its wings to reach a height/distance of 50 feet aloft before needing to land again.

Upon first glance, a Gobbler appears to have a bulbous head dangling from a skinny curved neck. In actuality, this "head" is a vestigial organ that can release a dazzlingly bright flash of light when the Gobbler chooses. A victim who fails a DC 12 Fort check will be utterly blinded for 2d4 rounds while their eyes clear. During this period, all action rolls will be at -1d.

The Gobbler's true "head" is actually part of their large chest area, which will open to reveal a toothy voracious maw lined with razor-sharp teeth. The Gobbler's appearance typically lures in prey, which will believe it's just a large flightless lumbering bird. Once its victim gets close, the Gobbler will blind its target with light before descending on its prey to feed.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

[Samson Sunday] Savage Menagerie: Liobear

Liobear: Init +1; Atk bite +6 melee (1d6+2) or claw +4 melee (1d8); AC 17; HD 3d8; MV 20’ or climb 10'; Act 2d20; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +8.

A Liobear is one of the more fearsome creatures to encounter roaming the lands of Terra AD. The mutant mammal has the powerful body of a bear and the ferocious head of a lion. (It is unknown how these two animals were combined to form such a beast, but Ancient genetic experiment is assumed. ) The creature is also much larger than either of its Ancient cousins, standing nearly 12 feet tall when on its hind legs.

A Liobear attacks twice per round, typically using both of its paws to slash and batter an opponent. If the opportunity arises, it may also bite with its powerful jaws, holding its prey fast and gaining a +1d on consecutive attacks until the victim breaks free (DC 17 STR check).

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the cover and interior tale from Issue 1 of "Mighty Samson." Stay tuned each week for Samson Sunday!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Three Personal MCC RPG Milestones Achieved This Week

It's no secret that Goodman Games' Mutant Crawl Classics is a new passion of mine. (Truth be told, ALL post-apocalyptic RPGs are a passion of mine, as the very genesis of this blog was as a personal Mutant Future repository. Scroll through the first 5 years of posts here as proof.) However, this week I achieved three personal gaming goals all revolving around MCC RPG and my place in Terra AD. And now, on with the countdown...

"Dead in the Water" breaks the Top 10 Hottest DCC RPG on Drive Through RPG
Earlier today, I discovered that my first publicly released MCC RPG adventure "Dead In The Water" now sits at the number 7 position on Drive Through RPG's hottest titles for DCC RPG.I'm very pleased that it's been so well received by the community and I thank everyone who's picked up a copy and those who've helped me playtest it over the years at numerous conventions.

And speaking of conventions...

The first public sighting of an MCC RPG adventure I've written being run at a convention...and not by me
Clayton Williams, one of the overseers of this year's Gongfarmer's Almanac, is running my contribution to this year's GFA at U-Con in Michigan this weekend. My adventure, "The Desert Gardens", has the players searching for a long-lost oasis of botanical bounty somewhere in the Sharpsand Desert. Clayton asked me a while back if he could run this at a future con, and I of course said "Sure!" But until I read through this year's U-Con program guide, I had forgotten all about it. I hope it goes well for you, Clayton!

And speaking of running games in public...

Running my 13th Road Crew game at a new event
Next weekend is Genghis Con in Cleveland. The event is a small press/independent comic publishers convention and one I've been wanting to attend for years. For the second year there, Weird Realms game store is hosting a game room where folks can try out indy RPGs, new board games, and self-published materials. I've signed on to run a playtest game of my next MCC RPG adventure, "The Desk in Room 8-10". I love introducing new players to games I love, so I'm really looking forward to this event. And, by happenstance, this will be my 13th Road Crew game, which means I'm now qualified for this:
Yup, I've reached the pinnacle of the Road Crew mountain and have earned my Judge Badge. Incredibly pleased I've reached this milestone and -- honestly -- was unaware I'd met the requirements until I went to order swag for the event. Heck of a way to round out 2019. On to 2020!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

[Review] Maquis Solo Board Game By Side Room Games

In your small French village during WWII, the Nazi occupiers walk the streets, policing the population and fighting the Resistance. But you will not stand for this oppression. You bravely fight for your country; hidden in the shadows, you strike; you are a member of the Maquis.
Maquis is a solo adventure board game by Side Room Games, makers of another fantastic solo game, Black Sonata. In Maquis, you have two weeks to complete two random missions from the Mission deck. You place your Resistance markers on the board representing your village, attempting to gather up supplies and weapons to complete your objectives. However, as you do so, the civilian police walk the streets, looking for dissidents. Sure, you can kill them, but then they are replaced by heavily-armed soldiers, increasing the challenge of the missions.

During setup, you place the morale marker next to the board. With each day, the morale of the town drops, and the military presence grows stronger, so you must complete your missions before it becomes impossible to do so. You then draw two mission cards and lay them at the top of the board, effectively adding two new "spaces" to the board. Each mission has different objectives, ranging for the simplistic "Officer's Mansion" (tag graffiti around the board to increase morale) to the difficult "Assassination" (kill all of the civilian police force). You place your pieces on the board with your objectives in mind. Need food? Stop by the Grocer's. Need a weapon? Take some money to the Fence and buy one. Need something in a hurry? Call in an airdrop at one of the Radio Towers, then race to the Field to pick it up. After each round, you must be able to move via a cleared path back to the Safe House. If your marker cannot do so, they are arrested and out of the game. (Fortunately, you can recruit more Resistance soldiers at the Cafe.)

Another interesting tactic is to use money to open new Safe Houses on the board, so if you are cut off, you can take refuge there. You can also use money to set up other resources on the board such as a Counterfeiter (print more money), Propagandist (increases morale), or Informant (provides intel). In fact, some missions require you to set up an additional resource as the mission cannot be completed with them (a Chemist's Lab is the only place you can get explosives, for example).
In the game shown here, my missions were "Officer's Mansion" (graffiti in three locations on the board, then tag the officer's mansion last) and "Aid the Spy" (bring weapons, money, and food to the hidden British operative). I tackled the graffiti first (shown by the yellow markers), but three of my operatives were arrested in the process. Fortunately I had recruited the cafe patrons to the cause and still had two to assist the spy. Sadly, while delivering the weapons, both recruits were out on the streets and were cut off from escaping back to the Safe House by two patrols that set up at the Grocers and Pont Leveque, ending the game.
This solo game is fantastically designed and incredibly replayable due to the 14 different missions you can undertake. The decisions you make each round directly affect future moves and actions, so the game never feels random or directionless. Thus far, I've played six games, but I haven't won yet, though I've come close. But that's life behind the lines as a member of the Maquis! Viva La Resistance!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

[MCC RPG] Ancient Armory: Chainsaw Nunchucks

Weapon: Chainsaw Nunchucks
Tech Level: 2
Complexity Modifier: 4

Range: 10-foot radius
Damage: 7d6
Power: Uses gasoline fuel; tanks depleted after 10 minutes of use

Chainsaw nunchucks is a weapon that combines the nimbleness and grace of a martial-arts-trained ninja with the savage brutality of a crazed lumberjack. It may not have the terror-inducing "WTF?!" effect of, say, the Rocket-Propelled Chainsaw, but if you encounter an NPC swinging a pair of these around, someone is guaranteed to lose a limb.

The design of a pair of chainsaw nunchucks is fairly simple -- a pair of standard lumber-cutting chainsaws joined together in the rear by a short length of chain. In the hands of a skilled user, the running chainsaws swirl and twist around the body of the attacker, creating a spinning vortex of limb-severing damage to all within 10 feet of the user. Contact with one of the saws will do 7d6 hit points of damage to the unlucky individual.

Using a pair of chainsaw nunchucks should only be attempted by the strongest and most dexterous of individuals. Due to the weight of the weapon (20 lbs.) and the fortitude required to keep it moving, only characters with STR and STA scores over 17 can attempt to wield it. Also, a character must have a minimum AGL score of 18 to even try to learn to use the device. Only the most nimble -- and foolhardy -- of PCs should attempt to teach themselves the art of "chainsaw nunchuckery." If they are driven to learn, the judge is encouraged to roll for full damage with each failed AGL save (DC 20). If the PC is able to train long enough -- and if they haven't lost an arm in the process -- the judge should go ahead and reward them with mastery of the weapon, making for some very interesting future combat encounters.

(This weapon was originally designed for Mutant Future)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

[DCC RPG] Savage Menagerie: Blood Imp (AKA "Hemogoblin")

This blood-thirsty goblin was originally created for Labyrinth Lord, but I felt he could be a great addition to DCC RPG, so here's my conversion...

BLOOD IMP: Init +0; Atk bite -1 melee (1d3) or as weapon -1 melee; AC 10 + armor; HD 1d6; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP infravision
30’; SV Fort -1, Ref +2, Will -1; AL L.

The Blood Imp is an offshoot of Goblin (DCC rulebook, page 417) though it stands slightly taller than its Goblin cousins (slightly less than 4 feet tall) and has a crimson tone to its flesh. Blood Imps live underground in a loose tribal fashion, though some above-ground camps have been encountered. Blood Imps do not suffer any penalties in sunlight, though their infravision is not as effective, ranging around 30' in the darkness.

The Blood Imp always appears to be caked in dried blood and grue. This is because the creature can actually heal itself using the blood of a victim. If injured, the Blood Imp can rub the spilled blood of an enemy upon its skin which will heal the Imp for 1d4 hp of damage. It takes one action for the Imp to apply this "blood salve" to its wounds, and healing is instantaneous. The blood used can be from any fallen foe. In fact, Blood Imps have been known to slaughter weaker members of their tribe solely to use their blood to heal the stronger members during active combat.

NOTE: I misspelled "hemoglobin" earlier today, and that misspelling inspired this vicious creature!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Play or DIE Mini-Gaming Con in Athens, Ohio, Nov. 16


Just discovered a small one-day mini-con in my neck of the woods next weekend. (OK, so the "neck" is a bit more than 2 hours away. It's still in the state.) Hosted by Ratha Con (love the name), Play or DIE is a one-day affair that runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Athens Community Center in Athens, Ohio. Sounds like there will be boardgames, videogames, and - yes - RPGs there for attendees to try out and play during the day. I'm still riding a bit of a "gaming high" after last week's Gamehole Con attendance, plus I want to give my next MCC RPG adventure "The Desk in Room 8-10" a bit more playtesting, so I'm planning on driving down for the day to check it out. Current plans are to run "Dead In The Water" from noon to 4 p.m., then "Desk" from 4 to 8 p.m. If you're in the area, swing by and check it out with me! Here's the link for ticket and event info.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

[NaGa DeMon] This Year's Projects: Cryptworld, Quill, and MCC RPG

As National Game Design Month gets underway, I've already got a good start on three seperate projects! Will I get them all completed? Well, no, probably not. But my goal is to get one, maybe two across the finish line before this month is up! Here's a sneak preview of my works-in-progress:

First up, I'm working on Issue 5 of my Creepy Comic Conversion series. For this series, I take a classic horror comic in the public domain from the 1940s-1950s and convert the tale into an adventure for the Cryptworld RPG. In this story from Mister Mystery magazne, the players will join "Department G" in their quest to rid the New York subway tunnels of "The Subway Terror!"

Once that's done, my next project will be to finally get my follow-up to Quill Quest written up. This adventure is "Quill Quest II: Tomb of the Raven Queen" for the Quill Letter-Writing Solo RPG. (A system I particularly like, having also written Quill Noir for the system.)

And, time willing, I plan to clean up my notes and adventure script to my next Mutant Crawl Classics adventure currently in playtesting, "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

So, how about you all out there? What do you plan to hammer out in the next 25 days?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Gamehole Con Day 3: The Threat Of Baron Von Bloodstayne And The Rarest Of The Rare Collectibles

Day Three of Gamehole Con is winding down for me, so you'll be reading this after I've turned in for the night. The weather has gotten much better (still cold, but the snow has melted and the temps have warmed up a bit), and tomorrow morning I'll be heading back home to Ohio. So let's recap what happened today, my last full day at the con...

  • Today's t-shirt is one I designed through Spoonflower and Zazzle. It's the Classic RPG Map shirt, and here's a link if you'd like one for yourself. (Makes a great Christmas gift for the gamer in your life!)
  • If you "Go Green" here at the hotel by not using the housekeeping staff, you get a $10 voucher each day. So for two days, I made my bed and hung up my towels to dry. In return, I got $20 in hotel vouchers. And this morning, I treated myself to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. It's like the they say: "Free pancakes are the best pancakes!"
  • Today, I ran three new players through a playtest round of FORSOOTH!, my upcoming comedy-fantasy RPG. The team of a ranger, thief, and druid were tasked with stopping the machinations of Baron Von Bloodstayne who was amassing an army to overrun the lands! Highlights included: the thief talking two minions out of their armor as well as convincing them of an upcoming party; the ranger nearly falling to his death, but when the druid came to help, he was left dangling where the ranger once was. (And when the ranger tried to help pull up the druid, they BOTH ended up there. Of course, the thief sighed and came to help.) The druid argued to every minion that "leather armor is murder!" Later, the ranger, fired from a trebuchet, fired arrows into a wyvern before landing on its face while in flight. (The wyvern was NOT pleased.) The druid tried to convince the wyvern to throw off its oppressor, which it did...before sending a fireball into the face of the druid. Finally, the thief launched off a keep's tower, landed on the wyvern and delivered a deathblow, before parachuting back to safety. FORSOOTH! It was quite an adventure for the ages! Thanks guys! Beware of exploding chickens!
  • Saw and picked up Cartographers. I'm a sucker for solo-play games, and I've heard this game has been getting great reviews from the boardgame community. Love stumbling across finds like this at game cons!
  • Because yesterday was quite taxing, I'm still trying to recover. Came back to my hotel and took a well-earned nap. (Hey, I'm over 50! Naps are necessary to keeping this well-tuned machine of a body operating smoothly!)
  • I swung by the Goodman Games booth and BS'ed with Brett for a bit before picking up the unsold copies of "Dead in the Water." These are going to be shipped directly to The Dark Master and will likely be on sale on the Goodman Games online storefront very soon!
  • Finally, to end the day, I attended the Gamehole auction where they auctioned off the rarest of the rare gaming collectibles, with proceeds going primarily to Extra Life. I saw items up for bids that I had never seen before up close: 1st edition very good copies of the original D&D Player's Handbook and Dungeonmaster's Guide; the first piece of Greyhawk fiction penned by Gary Gygax; incredibly rare modules, adventures, supplements; and many MANY items went for several thousand dollars. I kept my hands firmly in my pockets as I was out of my league, but it was grand seeing these museum-like items from gaming history.
  • And, with that, my attendance here at Gamehole Con comes to an end. I'll be packing up and heading back to Ohio early tomorrow morning. I had a great time at my first GHC and hope to make it back again very soon. I also hope you readers enjoyed these missives from the convention trenches, and I encourage everyone to attend a convention of your own!

And finally, the last pictures from Gamehole Con:

 "Free pancakes are the best pancakes!"

 FORSOOTH! We had a great time! Thanks again to Ethan, Patrick, and Christian for playtesting the game with me. Hope you enjoyed meeting Baron Von Bloodstayne!

The freeplay boardgame area has been busy the entire event. 

Down the hallway, the Last Hope LARP team were showing folks the fire art of boffer combat.

 The miniature paint and take was always busy. I need to do that one year. My minis suck.

 An arial view of the Dealer Hall shortly before it closed for the evening.

 And the GHC Auction is underway with many (MANY) rare collectibles. Nearly everything was wildly out of my price range.
 The auction was still going on into the evening.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Gamehole Con Day 2: Housefly Riding, Mechanical Arm Wrestling, And Healed To Death

It's day two here at Gamehole Con, and today it's MUTANT, MUTANTS, MUTANTS! I'm running three back-to-back (to back) games of Mutant Crawl Classics. My first game is a playtest of a new adventure I have in the works. The second is the adventure I recently released. And the third is something I wrote for this Gongfarmer's Almanac. Kinda proud that the next 12 hours will be solely material that I created myself.

Games start at 9 a.m. and it's 7:47 a.m. as I start this blog post. As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done throughout the day and it will go live later tonight, which is --NOW-- to you obviously. Here we go:
  • Dropped off a armload of free swag to the freebie table. Rulebooks I no longer use, extra Cryptworld adventure swag I had on hand, etc. So come and get 'em!
  • Oddly, the three games I'm running back-to-back (to back) are at different tables. So every four hours, I need to pack up, move to a table nearby, and re-setup. That was a bit annoying and likely due to computerized table assignment. Would've been nice to, you know, stay at the same table for 12 hours.
  • The first game today was "The Desk In Room 8-10". The team investigated a recently exposed Ancient structure that was emitting an orange glow. Without warning, they found themselves reduced to 1/8 inch in height! Highlights included one team member catching and training a housefly ("Steve"). Later, while trying to ride Steve, the same mutant slipped and fell one scale-mile ala Wile E. Coyote! (He SOMEHOW survived!) One mutant found a Swiss Army Knife that -- at present size -- he used as a makeshift sword. A teleporting scorpion gave them some trouble, and later the battle was joined as the team raced The Ravenous Ones on stampeding silverfish while trying to repair the A.I. responsible for their reduced size. They succeeded and found themselves restored and outside again -- with some very oversized weapons scavenged from the micro-world! (As well as a pet housefly that was now 3 feet tall.)
  • Next up, my merry band of mutants set sail in "Dead in the Water". I, of course, love this adventure as it always becomes a flurry of excitement. The players managed to turn back the slow onslaught of The Drenched, and the first deaths occurred at the teeth of hungry Great White Gulls that attacked on their sea voyage to the Island of Fire. I had two mutants yanked off a ladder by flying spiders and into the clutching hands of the water-logged zombies below. Within the underwater lab, FOR THE FIRST TIME, someone managed to get the giant manipulator arms working, and used them to great effect against the Big Bad Monster at the end, literately clubbing it to death with a giant robot arm. THAT is MCC RPG at its finest!
  • To round out the day, I had my final set of players searching for "The Desert Gardens", which was an adventure I wrote for the Gongfarmer's Almanac. The game started badly when, while crossing the Sharpsand Desert, a Silane Serpent exploded from the ground and swallowed one mutant whole. After finding the hidden entrance, another mutant died of sandfly bites and another died when they began retching upon exposure to a Corpse Flower in full bloom (they literally died throwing up). My favorite was the one who was using a Medishot to cure the others. It only had two doses so when he "stabbed" it into a third mutant, he did a point of damage, and actually killed them! The players managed to rack up a lot of seeds and plant clippings for their village, which ticked off the Sentinel guarding the facility. They made short work of it and, finding a hover car and a friendly agro-bot, they rode back to their village as heroes.
  • Over all, the three games I ran went VERY well, and I hope the players had a good time. I know I did!
And here are some nifty keen pictures of the day's activities...
Although I didn't run any Cryptworld games at GHC, I left plenty of swag for the Halloween season!

  This lucky group of mutants were the first to encounter the horrors to be found within "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

And because a Swiss Army Knife is featured prominently in the adventure, each players got their own MCC RPG Ancient Multi-tool AKA "Rover's Friend"!
 Yet another group of MCC RPG players about to take voyage to The Island of Fire in "Dead In The Water"
And everyone who played got a copy of the new adventure that was just released, and some even asked me to sign 'em!

Beware Of The NaGaDeMon! (National Game Design Month 2019)

It's November, and while others churn out their Great American Novel during NaNoWriMo, I prefer to focus my efforts during the National Game Design Month, or "NaGaDeMon." 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. In years past, I've written RPG adventures and supplements during NaGaDeMon, and this year, I plan to focus on my next MCC RPG adventure: Plague From Below. (More on that coming soon!)

NaGaDeMon is a fun exercise for many folks, as they endeavor to create a new game whole-cloth within one month. However, others use the opportunity to finally create that fantasy heartbreaker they've imagined or put the finishing touches on a newly considered adventure. Whatever you've had in mind, take the next 30 days and try to get it done and in the hands of a waiting public! For more information, check out The NaGaDeMon website or The NaGaDeMon facebook page.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Gamehole Con Day 1: Grinding Snow Plows And Horrifying Monsters

Howdy everyone and Happy Halloween! This morning, I awoke to a noise I equate with the slightly chilly fall season -- that of a snow plow scrapping the hotel parking lot. That's right, the first official day of GHC was hit with about an inch or two of snow overnight. Being from Ohio, I'm always prepared for this sudden winter squalls, and my car already holds my thick winter coat, a pair of gloves, a toboggan cap, a heavy-duty snow brush for the car, and a dog sled and team in the trunk.

But this bit of "winter preview" isn't about to dampen my excitement for today's gaming! Let me tell you about my day. As always, these notes are "train of thought" posted throughout the day to the blog, then it will go live later tonight when the day ends. In no particular order:
  • I have an Internet TV hookup in my hotel room, so I booted up Pandora while I got ready. First song of the day? John Carpenter's Halloween theme. How incredibly apropos!
  • Speaking of hotel, where I'm staying has a "green initiative," so each day you do without housekeeping services, they give you a $10 voucher for the restaurant. So, I'll make my bed each day and hang up my towel. When I leave Sunday morning, I'll have enough for a free pancake breakfast in the restaurant. (I eat pancakes EVERY SUNDAY. It's my own personal thing.)
  • When I got to the convention center, it looked like there were a lot of people who hadn't gotten there quite yet due to the weather. Unless you stayed at one of the nearby hotels, you were likely caught by the sudden snow that blanketed the area.
  • Speaking of the weather, the most popular cosplay costume was "Arctic Explorer". In fact, today would have been a good day to run a Call of Cthulhu "Mountains of Madness" game!
  • Okay enough snow and weather-related BS. The con eventually picked up, and the lines for registration began to snake around. I hit the Dealer Hall and was gratified to see my MCC RPG offering "Dead In The Water" at the Goodman Games booth. Bit of a thrill there. I also spent a LOT of money there picking up all the new DCC RPG stuff as well as filling a few holes in my collection.
  • Argh, one of the booths has a great copy of Magic Realm, a game I've wanted to add to my collection for years. But the asking price is $150, so it's a bit steep. Still trying to talk myself out of it, but I may break...
  •  Even with the snow (last mention, I swear), it was great that the food trucks were still serving up some mighty fine grub. I had a bacon and egg panini for breakfast, a slab of mac and cheese pizza for lunch, and a take-and-go burrito for dinner. The food trucks are a great idea so be sure to support them!
  • To keep my first day schedule light, I decided to run a couple of rounds of my current favorite board game, Horrified. I ran two teams through the game, which is based on the classic Universal Monsters property. The European village is being overrun by horrific creatures of legend: Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein and His Bride, The Wolfman, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The Invisible Man. The players must work as a team to thwart the threat before the monsters do enough damage to the villagers (and the players). The first group easily defeated Dracula and The Wolfman in a simple novice game, but when a third monster was added to a second game, they were swifty defeated. The next group tackled Dracula and The Wolfman as well, but they nearly lost after a series of close calls and bad dice rolls, but they came out on top as well. It's a great board game and it was a great (and appropriate) way to end Halloween gaming!
  • Forgot there was a trick-or-treat event for the local kids. The place was FILLED with trick-or-treaters in their Halloween costumes. It was cute! So, of course, I forgot to take any damn pictures...
  • Well, tomorrow is a big day, as I'm running three back-to-back Mutant Crawl Classics games -- all of them are adventures I wrote! Here's hoping they go well. (And here's hoping the aspirin I took before bed kick in. I'm sore.)
And here are a few photos to round out today's missive:
Today's t-shirt pays homage to "Tales From the Magician's Skull", a great magazine of sword and sorcery fiction. You should check it out.

The view from my room this morning. Eep.

This morning's "getting ready to game" soundtrack!

 Board game room starting to fill up.

 Folks in line for pre-registration.

 My MCC RPG adventure available in the Goodman Games booth.

 I love the fact that there's a constant scrolling list of games looking for players happening that hour. If you can't find anything to play, it's your own fault. Just stop by information, watch the screen, and run to the tables listed to get in a game right that very minute. (Great idea, GHC staff! Kudos!)

 One team of heroes tries to thwart the evil creatures stalking the streets in Horrified!

And a big ol' pile of DCC RPG goodies begins my daily purchases for the event. Oh, my wallet's gonna be feeling THAT.