Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall" Now Available -- New Quill RPG Scenario Supplement

A year ago, I wrote a review for Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player. In my positive review for this enjoyable game, I mentioned that I had some ideas for some new mechanics for this fun creative writing RPG. I also said that I thought a Quill scenario placed within a fantasy setting would make for a fascinating game. In fact, my exact words were "I can see myself cobbling together a few scenarios of my own to share with the Quill-playing public in the future!" And so, after a year of noodling with the rules and designing the setting and scenarios, I have released my very own Quill supplement!


Your homelands are in turmoil.

Ten long years ago, Gorkill the Ruthless and his armies invaded The Empire of Edhen. The kingdom was unprepared for such swift brutality, and the crown was overthrown within days. Princess Elyn, the remaining heir to the throne, barely escaped the carnage thanks to the quick thinking of Sir Erik the Bold, the palace’s last-surviving champion.

For 5 years, Sir Erik has been formulating a plan to take back the kingdom, and it’s finally time for action. For his gambit to work, he requires the services of four persons with very specialized talents: a warrior stout of heart, a rogue deft in slight-of-hand, an expert underworld explorer, and a sorcerer of immense arcane powers. You are Sir Erik’s scribe, gifted with a flair for language; Sir Erik has passed the responsibly for recruiting his team onto you.

Your research has revealed four individuals who would be perfect for Sir Erik’s quest. You now need to convince each of them to join your master’s crusade to reclaim the lands of Edhen from the grips of Gorkill. And so you now sit down to write four very important dispatches to four very powerful adventurers…

In Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall, you’re responsible for writing four letters in an attempt to recruit four adventurers to Sir Erik’s cause: Britha the Warrior, Kamron the Rogue, Roinan the Dwarf, and Bartholomew the Wizard. After receiving your letters, will they join your quest? Have your words motivated them to offer additional benefits to the team? Or have your words insulted and enraged them so much that they are driven to sabotage any future letters you’ve written? 

Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall is now available in PDF at Drive Through RPG. (A copy of Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player is required to play.) Both Quill and Quill Quest are available as Pay What You Want releases, so try before you buy, if you prefer. Also, Quill and Quill Quest have both been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Friday, June 30, 2017

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Gutpile

An "Organic" Monster for Cryptworld

GUTPILE
STR: 6 (90)--- WPR: 3 (45)
DEX: 2 (30) --- PER: 1 (15)
AGL: 2 (30) --- PCN: 1 (15)
STA: 5 (75) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 2/60% --- WND: 15
MV:  L 100

Experience: 600

When a large number of animals are slaughtered and gutted, hunters and butchers alike usually dispose of the internal organs into a charnel pit of some kind. Sometimes these cast-off tissues will fuse together and, when exposed to arcane rituals and/or toxic chemicals, a humanoid nightmare will arise from the castoff remains.

A Gutpile is a human-shaped creature composed of various internal organs that have fused together: stomachs, brains, hearts, lungs, intestines, and various other cast-offs from meat-processing. A Gutpile varies in size, depending on the amount of tissues that were in the pit at the time of its resurrection, but they stand on average about 6 feet high. The Gutpile's surface is constantly oozing and dripping with various fluids, blood, and ichors. The creature doesn't speak or make any noise, except for the wet "sloshing" of its body as it lunges along. The Gutpile also reeks of decay and decomposition; its odor usually is detected long before the creature arrives.

The Gutpile is constantly in a state of agonizing pain as its nerve endings are on fire. (Imagine having all of your skin removed, your organs exposed, and being unable to scream.) Due to this, what little intelligence it may have is blinded by agony, and it lashes out in a constant insane fury at any it encounters. The Gutpile attacks with its two bulbous "fists" for two crushing attacks per round. Also, due to the rot and decay that permeates the diseased THING, there is a chance that a victim will contract the Flesh-Eating Bacteria disease (CW rules, pg. 42). Upon a successful strike, a victim must make a specific check versus a potency 8 illness to avoid contracting the disease, which will slowly begin eroding parts of the body.

When a Gutpile is encountered, the most humane thing to do is to put it out of its misery as quickly as possible. While it "lives," it will rampage wildly, killing and infecting all in its path. Once destroyed, the charnel pit that spawned it should be set ablaze lest the same event occur again.

NOTE: This "living charnel pit" originally appeared here as a Mutant Future creature. But the idea of a writhing, walking mass of organs was horrific enough to convert the concept to a Cryptworld THING!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Do-It-Yourself Lovecraft/Cthulhu Picture Dice

In my last blog post, I lamented that there wasn't yet a Lovecraft-themed set of Rory's Story Cubes. After all, they have many different sets available, as well as licensed sets like Batman, Doctor Who, Scooby Doo, and Adventure Time (later this year). So why not some Story Cubes based on the brain-melting horrors of The Great Old Ones?

So, as I usually do when I want something that doesn't exist, I made it myself.


My Lovecraft picture dice is a mini-set of three cubes with 18 iconic images of a Cthulhu-esque nature. I went online with a list of icons I wanted to find and, sticking to simple black-and-white line art, found some suitable artwork to use. I created a template of 20 1-inch squares, and fit each of the 18 images within. I had a set of spare white 6-siders that were 1/2 inch across, so I shrank my template by 50% (so the squares were now 1/2 inch across), then printed it out on a sheet of label paper. I cut out the squares, adhered them randomly to my spare dice, and now I have my own set of Lovecraftian picture dice to use with my Story Cubes. (I also plan to use them with Untold: Adventures Await upon Kickstarter fulfillment.)

Here's the image I created. I'll leave the descriptions of what each represents up to your imagination:


Oh, and if you wish to create your own set of Lovecraft picture dice, you can either grab the image above of download the original PNG file from my Google Drive at this link. Print it off, cut it out, and glue the 18 images to three spare dice. Then roll up some Lovecraftian nightmares of your own!

Untold: Adventures Await -- The Rory's Story Cube Adventure Game Now Kickstarting!

Hey gang, long time no see!

I've mentioned my love of Rory's Story Cubes in a previous blog post. These nifty little iconic dice are a fantastic imagination jogger, giving you a million ideas and inspirations all from a toss of these picturesque cubes. I've often thought that these would make a great basis for a simple RPG-like game system. Well, the folks at The Creativity Hub have been working on such a project for a while now and Untold: Adventures Await is the result. The game is now Kickstarting, in fact.

The customizable storytelling game is structured into "acts" or "scenes", with each act revealing more of the story as the game progresses. Each tale starts with a Danger that is established (the reason your character is involved in the story), followed by Intrigue (the plot twist), Confrontation (the PC swing into action), Revelation (the true motivations of the NPCs come to light), and Showdown (the final epic ending). The system may seem a bit structured, but that's to emulate the same structures found in television episodes and/or radio plays. Although the players get to choose the genre or "type" of story they wish to participate in, the adventure grows organically through the random tossing of the story cubes as well as the flowchart-like story board of Untold as the game is played.

I'm being a bit vague as to how the game works as I don't want to give away all of the secrets in this blog post. (Plus I have another story cube-related post coming after this one!) The Kickstarter page has a How To Play video posted that shows you how the game works, and a live playthrough was just held this evening. (A video should be posted in the next day or so.) Still not sure? How about if you download Untold's Print and Play set and give it a try? (Story Cubes not included so you gotta use your own.)

You can use any set of nine Story Cubes you want, and you can even mix them up from various sets to create even more variations of tales. I plan to use the Fright Set along with the Clues Set to play some investigative horror games later! It's just a shame that there isn't a set of Lovecraft/Cthulhu Story Cubes!

(Or is there? Stay tuned for my follow-up blog post!)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Sneak Peak Into My "Gaming Projects" Notebook


Many of you who know me or have hung out with me have no doubt seen me toting around my little black notebook (pictured here). I have carried this notebook -- or one like it -- for years. I have it with me at work, at events, in my car, and resting on the table next to me as I hammer out this post. Inside my "Gaming Projects" notebook is a collection of notes, scripts, ideas, and works-in-progress for a variety of games and systems.

Today, I went through my notebook and did a bit of organizing. I thought it'd be a fun "glimpse" for you if I were to make a quick listing of things and projects currently in the works.

(Don't ask me to expound on anything here, nor ask me what my timeline is for any of these. I work on them as the mood hits, and release them when they're done. But here's some stuff you can look forward to one day in the future.)

(CW = Cryptworld; TM = Timemaster; MF = Mutant Future; DCC = Dungeon Crawl Classics; HOPE = Our Last Best Hope; Fiasco = Fiasco; Anything is "quotes" is the working title of a scenario/adventure in the works)

CW - "Speed Demon" - Driverless vehicle terrorizes small town
CW - "Final Voyage of the Golden Dawn" - Abandoned ship found floating off shore.
CW - "Last Call/Wasted" - Zombies attack a remote tavern. Players are barflies.
CW - "The CW Atlas" - Worldwide locations of supernatural interest.
CW - "Expiration Date" - PCs cheat Death. He's not happy about it.
CW - "The Coldcreek Conspiracy" - Based on a Cryptworld adventure-writing exercise.
CW - "Kid Stuff" - Adults in a neighborhood disappear. Creepy kids terrorize the area.
CW - "Maul Be Home for Christmas" - A department store Santa is found murdered after hours in a locked-down mall.
CW - "Lost Vegas" - Unexplained murders in a Vegas casino.
CW - "Untitled Solo CW Adventure" - A one-person solo adventure to learn the system.
CW - "The Century of the Dead" - A village of the undead reappears for 24 hours every 100 years (Brigadoon-inspired).
CW - "Deadfall" - Collyer Brothers-inspired trap-laden house -- and something lurks within.
CW - Helltown, Ohio
CW/ROT - "Knights of the Living Dead"
CW - THINGS to stat uup: Drauger; Computer Virus; Worm That Walks; Succubus/Incubus; Tsukumogami; Bog Mummy/Salt Mummy/Ice Mummy; Pollo Maligro; Zombeak
TM - Jenny Everywhere
TM - "An Apple A Day" -- Millions of deaths due to the lack of a single piece of fruit.
TM - "Postage Due/The Day The Sky Fell" - Compilation of TM adventures I've written.
MF - "Dead In The Water" - Written; just needs to be assembled and distributed.
MF - "World of Korgoth of Barbaria supplement"
CAH - "Transylmania"
CAH - "SPY U"
DCC - "The Scourge From Beyond Infinity"
DCC - "Escape From Vulture Gully"
HOPE - "Virus"
FIASCO - "Small Town Ink"

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Savage AfterWorld Retrospective: Looking Back On 2016

And another year in The Savage AfterWorld comes to a close...

Every year since starting this blog, I like to close out the year by looking back at what gaming accomplishments and contributions I've made. I encourage you to do the same, as there's nothing like a bit of year-end introspection to make you appreciate what you've done and where you've been, as well as to energize you for the next year's gaming goodness. So let's take a look back and see what The Savage AfterWorld brought to the gaming community in 2016, shall we?

** Last  year with I lamented that my posts here at TSAW was a bit light -- only 117 posts for the year. This year beat that record with a paltry 47 posts. What is the cause of my fall-off of regluar posts? I guess I could chalk it up to the typical personal real-life distractions or perhaps that my Google Plus activity supplanted it. Or perhaps I just got lazy. I'll make a concerted effort to get more material placed here for your perusal in the coming year.

** In spite of the lack of posts, The Savage AfterWorld reached Post 1000 in 2016! So even though this year was a bit "shallow", there were enough posts made this year for this little piece of the blogosphere to reach a momentous milestone! Thanks to all of you who have stuck around over the years to see this blog hit that number of posts!

** The long-awaited Apes Victorious RPG was released by Goblinoid Games. I contributed a few things for this fantastic game of "astronauts stranded on a world of intelligent apes", and I'm very pleased to see how well-received this new game has been! I have a few ideas for adventures that I'd like to put together, so perhaps we'll see something in 2017.

** I've been trying to get some reviews up on the blog. I really do enjoy pointing out and discussing some games -- both new and classic -- that I've come to enjoy. Some of the stuff I've reviewed over the past year include Evenings of Terror for Chill 1e (with Elvira!); Quill: The Letter-Writing RPG;  Wayward: Adventure Board GameThe Fungus Forest; and The Advanced Mutant Companion for Mutant Future. I've got some new reviews already on the docket for 2017 including The Cthulhu Hack, Four Against Darkness, Riders: A Game About Cheating Doomsday; and Salvation Road and Last Friday board games. Look for these -- and others -- in the coming year!

** I offered up several new Cryptworld THINGs for use in your home horror games, including the Mirror Dweller, the Murdermatronic, and the Diabolic Structure. Some of these new creatures found their way into The Sketchbook of Grotesqueries -- a free-to-download compendium of new Cryptworld monsters! I used to offer this on an irregular basis, but now it's always available! Go grab it if you haven't yet!

** I entered the 200 Word RPG Challenge. My entry for Rule 1-2-3 was selected as a semi-finalist by one of the judges! I didn't make the cut to the final round, but it was a fun experiment and rewarding that my entry was chosen. Think YOU can write an RPG in 200 words? Try your hand at it next year!

** I'm still getting out to as many gaming events as I can attend over the year, and 2016 saw me get to two conventions. In June, I was able to return to North Texas RPG Con where the classic gaming folks meet to game and drink and game! This year, I decided to run only gonzo funny games, so I ran Ghostbusters and TOON for two crowded tables. Then, in October, the pendulum swung to the horrific end of the spectrum as I drove out to North Carolina for AVL Scarefest -- a convention that focuses on horror-related gaming! I introduced those folks to Cryptworld, which was VERY well received. Enjoyed it so much, I have plans to return in 2017!

** I've had some success with my Classic RPG Map cloth pattern I've had for sale on Spoonflower for a while. (Folks typically use this for dice bags and such.) Late this year, I decided to use this pattern (of my own design) to create a coffee mug for myself through Zazzle. Turned out so nice, I offered it up for sale on a new storefront. Then I created a tie using that pattern. And a T-shirt. And a notebook binder for gaming materials. And some wrapping paper for those OSR RPG gaming gifts you're givin'. And color me stunned, but these all seem to be a big hit! So thanks to everyone who's picked up one of these items!

So that's a wrap for 2016. As we head into 2017, I wish all of you the best in the coming year! See you at the gaming tables!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Diabolic Structure

A possessed property for Cryptworld

DIABOLIC STRUCTURE

STR: NA --- WPR: 5 (75)
DEX: NA --- PER: NA
AGL: NA --- PCN: 6 (90)
STA: NA --- PWR: 140
ATT: 1/* --- WND: Special
MV:  NA

Experience: 1,000

Once of the largest -- and deadliest -- supernatural threats ever encountered, a Diabolic Structure is often mistaken for a typical abandoned haunted house. But the truth is that the structure isn't haunted; rather it is a living, breathing, shape-shifting creature that preys and feeds upon those unlucky enough to find themselves within its walls.

A Diabolic Structure does not spontaneously "appear". Rather, a pre-existing structure is possessed by demonic forces and animated as the demon's new host body (see Demon, CRYPTWORLD rulebook, pg. 57). For a demon to create a Diabolical Structure, some great evil act must occur on the premises (typically several murders). Once the property has the demon's attention, the process of possessing of the house takes several decades to accomplish. Any residents are driven away via unexplained noises, unsettling visions, and weird "accidents" that befall those who live there. Once the house is abandoned, the demon can truly take over the building, creating the Diabolic Structure. The Diabolic Structure has near-complete mastery over its entire "body" as it can see and hear nearly anything that happens within its walls.  Once transformed, the demon has a new purpose -- to feed on the willpower of unsuspecting victims.


The Diabolic Structure feeds on the willpower of its victims by creating horrific visions that saps the very lifeforce of those trapped within. The demon uses its reconstruction power to manifest situations that will trigger Fear Checks in the victims. Any Willpower lost via failed fear checks are absorbed by the Diabolic Structure where it is converted into the thing's Power. (EX: If 13 WIL points are lost, 13 points are added to the creature's PWR score up to its maximum of 200 points.) As long as the Structure remains demonically possessed, this Willpower loss is PERMANENT. If the demon inhabiting the Diabolic Structure is driven away, any lost WIL will be restored to the victim at their usual recovery rate. The Diabolic Structure will toy with the victims as long as possible before outright killing them as its the fear that feeds it -- not their death. It's been said that some victims have been kept alive for years by a Diabolic Structure, letting them rest and heal within their "prison" before starting the horrific process again.

The only way known to defeat a Diabolic Structure is to banish the demon within the house by speaking its "true" name. As part of the demonic ritual of creating a Diabolic Structure, the demon must place its true name someplace visible within the house. It can be as subtle as an artist's signature in a painting or a title on a book's spine in the library. If a victim recognizes the name for what it is and identifies the demon by saying that name aloud, the demon will be driven from the home permanently.

Diabolic Structure Powers
Reconstruction: The demon possessing the Diabolic Structure can reform any surface (wall, floor, or ceiling) to suit its demonic purposes. It will use this ability to scare and frighten its victims. (The CM should determine the Fear Check level for each new fright -- typically on column 3 or 4 for mild frights and column 5 or 6 for horrific visions.) And WIL lost will be absorbed into the thing's PWR score, replenishing any spent PWR. Each use of its reconstruction power costs 10 points of PWR

The Diabolic Structure can form new doorways or remove existing ones. New pieces of furniture or objects can be formed. Foul nightmare creatures can be created and animated. Stairs can become a slide. Floors may open up, dropping victims into the basement. Mouths may appear on the walls, taunting the victim, or a large eye leers at them from the ceiling. However, because any new constructs must be formed from part of the Diabolic Structure's "body," the creature cannot create any "free-standing" illusions; in other words, there must be contact made with a surface of the Diabolic Structure. So a giant spider crawling along the walls is possible, but a bat flying through the halls is not. If anyone tries to pick up or lift an object within the Diabolic Structure, they will find the item "struck" in pace. (In actuality, the item is part of the Structure itself.) The Diabolic Structure will endeavor to hide its nature, as its the uncertainty that causes fear in its victims.