Friday, June 22, 2018

The Mineral Point Vampire Kickstarter


The Mineral Point Vampire is the second adventure in the On Ousiconsin series. This is a series of 5e adventures based on historic Wisconsin. While I know my work on Portsmaw is party of my interest in ideas like this, the DCC work of Michael Curits, namely The Chained Coffin and Secret Antiquities. I don't know much about the author or the original adventure. However for 13 dollars (including shipping) you can get the print version of The Mineral Point Vampire and the first adventure in the series.

The project isn't near funding, but it would be great if folks would jump on at the last minute. It's not that big of a commitment for some potentially really interesting stuff.

SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies! 2nd Edition

Kickstarter backers of Survive This!! Zombies 2nd edition have their pdfs. The material is similar to what was found in the 1st edition, but has been greatly expanded up and made to come more in line with the current Survive This!! titles, such as Dark Places & Demogorgons and the upcoming Vigilante City. Production wise, there's a lot that similar and a lot that's changed. To summarize, the game is a combination of White Box style D&D with some 5th edition flair, put through the lens of zombie fiction.

Much of the original artwork has been reused, but now it's in color. There are also several new illustrations by Shaman's Stock Art. I really like his stuff and this consistency really helps unify the book.

Instead of 6 classes, we're given 13 . The classes are:
  • First Responder
  • Fixer
  • Hunter
  • Inmate
  • Leader
  • Mercenary
  • Mother To Be
  • Scavenger
  • Scientist
  • Slayer
  • Tracker
  • Biker Scout*
  • Road Warrior*
The * classes are optional villain classes. Of my favorites is the Inmate. They roll a dark secret upon creation. This will always have some detriment, but may also have benefits. It also may lead to zombie sex... This class is unique in the fact that you could actually be making a secret villain that's really going to mess with the party. The Mother To Be is a fantastic addition because it's a zombie movie trope that's never been done in a game (to my knowledge). Other characters want to protect her and get bonuses to rolls when defending her (plus they're really good at ranged attacks). Finally the Scientist is worth noting just because they get a random chance to cure the plague as they level up. 

The foes and rules are the same as the 1st edition release, again with some additions and revisions. There are plenty of antagonists for pc's, both zombie, animal, and human. The book ends with a percentile chart of basic adventure hooks.

There isn't really a setting for the game, so I've been toying with some. Even though they're technically vampires, something based off of Stake Land would be amazing. Something modeled after Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead would be really sweet too. The optional villain classes would be perfect for PC's. I could even come up with a lower powered Shepherd of the Dead pc class. There are other ideas that work well two, like some of the communities from The Walking Dead (like the prison and the Governor's community), and something like the Monroeville Mall. A southern swampy setting like Left 4 Dead 2 would be great too. A theme park would be a cool setting also. Hell, I'll figure out something, I'm sure.

While I love All Flesh Must Be Eaten, I think this will be my new go-to zombie game. It's simple, it's modular (if you add other elements of Survive This!!), and its a solid familiar rule set. The game is currently only available to backers, but I'll make a post when it goes live to the public.


Hobbs & Friends of the OSR Zine #1 and 2

As I mentioned earlier in the week I met Jason Hobbs of Hobbs & Friends of the OSR at Origins last week. We both played in a DCC Lankhmar session with Michael Curtis and later in the day I played in a DCC session ran by Jason that will be in the newest issue of D.A.M.N.  While talking with him I found out he the podcast has a Zine.

The primary focus of Issue 1 is the adventure, The Excavation of the Tomb of Lornnane. The party take part in the exploration of the tomb of a dead magic-user of some power. The location is the source of raw magical energy, which has mutated the local flora and fauna. The adventure is a nice delve that introduced a variety of foes and obstacles. There are tribal warriors, mutant ants (and ant-people), undead, undead spellcasters, elementals, and puzzles. There are big risks and big rewards. Everything you could want in a delve. The last part of the zine deals with magical corruption. The section is short but presents one of my favorite aspects of DCC and focuses it puts it in more of a classic OSR light.

The focus of Issue 2 is the northern wilderness outpost of Bettlebee Ridge. The issue is almost entirely systemless, primarily detailing the settlement, its inhabitants, and the surrounding areas. The only game stats are in the 2d20 random encounter table and they are bare bones). I really like this, to be honest. It makes it even more universal. The settlement is well fleshed out and feel alive. Honestly I think it would be a good replacement for the titular keep of The Keep on the Borderlands. Next time I run it, I might use Bettlebee Ridge instead.

Both of these adventures use Jason's setting. So there are lots of references to rebellions and ethnicities and the like. When I use these, I'm just going to ignore all that and use things from my own campaign.

Grimtooth's Trapsylvania Kickstarter


Grimtooth's Trapsylvania is a new setting book Kickstarter by Goodman Games (licensed by Flying Buffalo). Let me start out by saying unlike some folks, I don't have a history with Grimtooth. I think one of my friends had one of the books, but it wasn't really used in our games. That being said I think the character is pretty interesting and this project sounds sweet. The book will primarily be a systemless setting book detailing various legendary locations mentioned in the Grimtooth books of the past. However, all NPC's and things will be given DCC stats at the end of the book.

For those of you that are Grimtooth fans this Kickstarter is also a chance for you to get a hold of the fabled 8th Grimtooth book, Grimtooth's Lair. Apparently at Origins in 1983 an independent publisher released an unauthorized bootleg adventure called Grimtooth's Lair. Today there is only a single copy known to exist and thanks to a cool collector named Bill Meinhardt, it has been scanned and will be reprinted for the Kickstarter as an add-on.

I think the humorous and deadly nature of Grimtooth's creations is a great fit for DCC and I will be making Trapsylvania a part of future DCC games.

If you want a quirky fantasy setting, love DCC, or want to get a hold of a lost relic of gaming's past, you should check this one out.

I picked up the two current Grimtooth DCC adventures at Origins.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Crit Games Condition and Combat Cards

If you play 5e D&D I can recommend Crit Games Combat and Condition Cards enough. I picked them up at Origins this year and they are super useful. They are really nice double-sided card that make it easier for a DM to keep things flowing.
 

The Condition Cards contain four of each of the following cards, Restrained, Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Frightened, Grappled, Incapacitated, Invisible, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Stunned, and Unconscious. Conditions are a big part of 5e combat and this is an easy way for your players to keep track of them.



The Combat Cards have six number initiative order cards, six Death Save Success/Failure cards, and four of each of the following card:  Dying, Concentration, Exhaustion, Mounted, Prone, Underwater, Cover, Incorporeal, Hidden, and Flanking. With these cards you you and your players have easy access to common combat rules that while common (aren't easily memorized).


These are bonus cards from the Kickstarter that funded the creation of the cards. The initiative cards work with the ones from the Combat Cards and takes it up to tweve. The are four Inspiration and four Intoxicated cards. Intoxicated is a condition that was in the D&D Next playtest but didn't make it into the final version. They are rough, but I like them. For alternate take, you can check out my 5E intoxicated rules.

I Think My Games Needs More Cock

My sponsor copy of James Edward Raggi IV's Eldritch Cock arrived this morning. While I think overall I like the spells in Vaginas are Magic! better overall, this is a fantastic book. This cock is hard(back) like last year's release, but unlike last year, this book is a shiny full color affair.

The book is a 48 (49 if you have the sponsor version like I do) full color book of metal madness (mixed with some crude humor and meta commentary about people and gaming). The front inside cover reprints the new weird magic rules presented in VAM! and the back inside cover includes playtest notes that are being considered for the next edition of the game. I love reading the author's notes for these releases and James doesn't disappoint this year. He discusses that the book is a based on a joke made last year, but that he realized he didn't want to be a men only book. I'm glad he made that decision. He also discusses how death and sexuality are important parts of who we are as humans and that he should be able to use them in his work if he wants. I agree with this.

The book contains 22 spells. Each one is inspired by a metal track (which is mentioned after the spell name). In addition each one gets a full color illustration. Like last year, these spells are unique and run the spectrum of effects. My favorites are Baptized by the Black Urine of the Deceased, Electric Grave, and Killing Yourself To Live. While these spells are fucked up and horrific (especially the first), they really useful. I want to mention two other spells too, for reasons... Graveyard of the Lightness Planets is meta as fuck. Not as in a meta-magic (like 3rd edition feats). No, this spell causes the game master to discuss what's happening in game terms, giving stats and things like that. Finally, The Thrash of Naked Limbs is the only actual penis related spell. I feel it just need to be mentioned because of the books name. The accompanying illustration is hilarious, by the way.

As I mentioned in my original post about the book, sponsors get a magic item not available in the regular release. I have to say it's the holy relic I never asked for, but it's bloody brilliant and hilarious.

This is another great addition to the Lamentations line. If you weren't able to pick this one up Free RPG Day, I'd definitely grab the pdf when it drops.

Suvive This!! Vigilante City Free Preview!!

Click here to get a taste of what the game has in store!

Bloat Games have released a few goodies today for the upcoming Survive This!! Vigilante City Kickstarter. I spoke in length with Eric at Origins and I really this this is the supers game I've been waiting for all my life. All of the artwork is done by Runehammer. I think this really gives the game the perfect feel, just like what Bruce Timm did with the original DCAU. While the focus is on gritty heroes, the game is fully compatible with other Survive This!! games. You can throw the zombie hordes or Silver Bullets at your heroes. if you'd like.

The Kickstarter launches the 28th. Spread the word.