Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Weird Worm-Ways of Saturn

     Picked this up at this past Con on the Cob. Weird Worm-Ways is the first of a two part adventure from Moon Dice Games. A planetary crawl for characters of fifth level.

     This is set in the Crawljammer DCC zine setting, centered on Saturn. In an early issue of Crawljammer (#1, I think) creator Tim Callahan gave a quick tease about what is special about each planet in the solar system, and Saturn seemed a tough sell for an adventure. The idea of an ape-men civilization and a worm god were pretty awesome sounding, but wrapping your head around the severe magnetic fluctuations of Saturn is a tough sell. Any metal will be irrevocably drawn to the surface with no chance of return. What Daniel Bishop has done is give players a good reason to visit the planet, and if they want to chance bringing metal, then maybe they can get away with it. Apparently, once every thousand years, the magnetic forces wane and a certain technomancer would like something retrieved from the Vault of Zin the Meticulous.

     The first half gives the hook for the characters, then goes on to give brief detail about the surface of Saturn. There are random encounter tables for the different terrain types you will run into, and a good selection of creatures indigenous to the planet. The second half fleshes out the hex crawl the group must travel through in order to reach the vault. In the back are rules for creating Saturnian ape-men characters.
     Stellar writing by Daniel Bishop, amazing cover art by Matt Hildebrand, fantastic interior illustrations by Fred Dailey. All using Tim Callahan's Crawljammer setting to full effect, this is a must have for DCC fans. I am reminded that Clark Ashton-Smith wrote about Saturn and Tsathoggua. Guess I'd better catch up on my reading, then. The second issue (half?) may arrive early 2016, so fingers crossed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Legend of Hell House

     So, finally Netflix has Legend of Hell House streaming, just in time for...Thanksgiving? Eh, I better than not at all. I remember watching this on vhs in the 80's, so I am sitting down to see if it matches up to my memories. Give me a moment while I watch it, be right back.

     Sweet Jumpin Bajeemers! Roddy McDowall is one of my favorites from that era, and he does well here as the sole survivor of a previous investigation of the infamous Belasco "Hell" house. The typical millionaire wanting proof of life after death pays a group (physical medium, mental medium, and a physicist with his wife) to enter the house and come out with evidence of the afterlife. Roddy (playing the physical medium) barely made it out of the house alive the last time he entered and this time he is playing it safe.

     The effects are great, and the vocal effects are fantastic. Bonus surprise, Delia Derbyshire worked on the music/electronic score! A lot here that can be used in Call of Cthulhu, Cryptworld or any number of rpg's. Simply a fantastic haunted house movie. Give a look!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

NaGa DeMon update03

     Here we are, another weekend over and some more stuff for Alucar. First, lets get a dinosaur out of the way.
Deinonychus (what the velociraptor in Jurassic Park really was)
STR:5(75)     WPR:4(65)
DEX:5(75)     PER:0
AGI:6(85)     PCN:5(75)
STA:4(55)     POW:0
ATT:80%     WND:13
Notes: Relatively man sized, they are sleek bipeds with sickle shaped talons on their hind feet. Capable of using limited tactics, they typically hunt in small packs.

Clockwork Guardsman
STR:6(85)     WPR:0
DEX:5(75)     PER:0
AGI:5(65)     PCN:4(55)
STA:5(75)     POW:0
ATT:75%     WND:15
Notes: Resembling a typical policeman, with a porcelain mask and wearing white gloves. It's interior is a mass of gears and mechanisms. If needed, a small wooden club slides out of it's sleeve to be used to attack or defend. They are designed to follow simple instructions, and are typically found guarding the Steam Works (Prof. Atlas' labs) and the city hall.

     As usual, let me know what you think, more to come this next Wednesday. Take care, folks!

Zines and other things, update 11/15/2015

     So things are moving along here. I am getting together people for a panel regarding rpg zines at next year's Con on the Cob. I have two people committed and a few maybes, though if anyone would like to volunteer I would love that. In addition, any artists out there who would like to show their art would be welcome. There will be at least one new artist showing her work next year. Exciting things are happening and I can't wait! 

     All of my looking at various zines and their creators had me wanting to pick up some new zines to check out. Vacant Ritual Assembly by Red Moon Medicine Show is what I picked up this weekend, issues 1 and 2. Clint Krause runs a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game and these are what he has developed for it. They contain new creatures, adventures, places to inhabit, random tables and more. Issue one has an interview with Chris McDowall (Into the Odd) and issue two has one with Greg Gorgonmilk regarding his Dolmenwood project. Exciting stuff that, although written with Lamentations in mind, can be used with any game. Definitely worth checking out. Go on, have a taste! Issue one is pay what you want, so go for it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NaGa DeMon update 2

     An enormous system of caverns adjacent to Alucar recently opened. Inside explorers discover a lost world of wonders. One Tyrannosaurus Rex stalks the area, while packs of deinonychus and procompsognathus roam unchecked.
     Now, I have previously statted out the T-Rex here. He wanders the caverns relatively unchecked, his size being the only reason he has not besieged Alucar already. Next down the line are the Deinonychus (what they called velociraptors in Jurassic Park) and they travel in small packs, using basic tactics to take down prey. Flanking, ambushing, that sort of thing. The final saurian predator in these time lost caverns are the Procompsognathus. They travel or hunt in large packs, almost like a swarm, rushing their objective to overwhelm with speed and numbers.

     In addition to these carnivores, there should be some herbivores as well. Expect to see the reliable old Triceratops, Stegasaurus, and maybe an Ankylosaurus. The meat eaters need something to devour, right? I plan to stat these guys out, as well as the gas bag, an post them here this weekend. Fingers crossed. Also I hope to have that pic above inked sometime this month. My hope is that this set of caverns will be good for the adventuresome, explorer type characters. Hopefully there can be something for everyone when  I am done here. Take care guys!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Doctor Who and Quatermass

     Having never experienced any Quatermass before, only reading about the connections in books long gone from my current library, I was excited to find Quatermass and the Pit (1967) at my local second hand shop. Quatermass is a British institution older even, than Doctor Who. It began in the 50's as a television serial that some feel was a spiritual precursor to Doctor Who. Professor Quatermass is a British scientist whom is the head of the British Experimental Rocket Group. Created by Nigel Kneale, whom I believe was involved with all iterations of Quatermass in television, movies, and even radio.The good Professor is something of a proto Doctor and Colonel Breen seems like a predecessor to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

     The overall plot resembles what would later become The City of Death. The spelling Hobs End being changed because hob is a nickname for the Devil sounds like would later become The Daemons, especially with the spaceship being found and the symbol on it being a symbol for magic from ancient times. Also the Horned One turning out to be a name early humans gave to alien beings. The bit about reading the skulls using electronic equipment echoes the work of Dr. Fendalman in the 70's Who story Image of the Fendahl. So much wonderful 60's sci-fi goodness, I hope to see more of Quatermass in the future. Let me know what you think and take care!

NaGa DeMon 2014? Plus Monsters Macabre

     I was mistaken, I thought last year I was working on Alucar but after looking through my blog I discovered it was an adventure for Cryptworld. The Gates of Hell is a scenario where the players are brought together for the reading of a will. A distant relation has passed and his estate calls for all the living relatives. What happens next could mean the end of the world!  
       My main issue is how should I present it! I did not put it on my blog last year because I had wanted to run it some more and polish it up. Then there is the desire to surprise people with it when I run it. This is all new territory for me, so if any of you have some ideas then let me know.

     Monsters Macabre was one of several purchases I made at Con on the Cob and it is well worth it. Besides 71 all new "things" to throw at your players, it adds rules for creating your own creatures and allowing your players  to create "monster" characters. Also there is a section on variable weapon damage and one on creating random organizations. Art by Mark Allen and Brian Thomas is amazing and it is topped off by a scenario by Tim "Sniderman" Snider. It is an invaluable resource and I hope they continue to support Cryptworld as well as their other Pacesetter products. Totally worth your time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NaGa DeMon 2015, Update 01

     This was my original idea for Alucar; What if at the start of the 20th century, a city was built to be a technological marvel. People flock to this city and are amazed by the wonders contained their in. There is a monorail and clockwork "guards" at city hall. The main creator of these things has his laboratory, known as the Steam Works, at the heart of this place.  
     Then tragedy strikes, as a massive sinkhole opens and swallows everything. Not everyone survives, but those who do learn to adapt to their new surroundings. It takes a year for city to pull itself together, and now it is up to the players how to proceed. Stay in town and deal with local issues, or strike out and explore the various caverns branching off from Alucar? Go crazy and do both, maybe figure out what caused the catastrophe in the first place?

     Now I am thinking what if it is discovered by some spelunkers in the seventies and how that would play out? It would be creepier, that's for sure. Maybe do both, as a setting you could play a session where the city is discovered and then shift back to after Alucar fell into the earth. Just something to think about.
     So here is a quick sketch of what the gas bags look like. The upper tentacles the end in leaf like fronds are used to gently drift them through the air. The lower appendages are used to grasp and can sting.

     That is all I have for now, looking forward to coming up worth more stuff for you all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Updates, 11/03/2015

     Still looking for zine folks to attend next year's Con on the Cob. Currently Gennifer Bone wants to give it a shot, and while not involved in zines, she is an up and coming artist for the the OSR (Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Lusus Naturae) We hung out for a bit, just talking and drawing. It was a lot of fun, just rambling and sketching.
     This is a return to my days doing watercolors for a local gallery. I may have to break out my paints. Currently looking for more people to convince they should attend the con. Dreaming big here.

     Also working on NaGa DeMon, figuring out how to do this. Each week, either Wednesday or Thursday, I will have an update for what I am developing for it. Currently getting stats and notes for the gas bags. Also planning what art I should get ready for next year's con. That's all for now, take care!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

NaGa DeMon, November 2015

     Let's try this again. Last year I gave it a go, but it kind of died out. This time I am continuing with that work, developing and expanding it. Should be fun. The main thrust will be Alucar, using the Pacesetter action table rules.

      Lets have a quick idea to start, gasbags.

      Well, it gets dark underground, how do you expect people to see after the ground has swallowed their city. Initially, I thought there could be phosphorescent fungus but now I am thinking there should be floating man o war looking creatures that glow in the "night". More to come, stay tuned.