Friday, June 21, 2024

Fuccubus Friday (With Special Guest Star Mystico)

Mystico faces a succubus and the forces of Hell in this piece by El Perex.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Fuccubus Friday - BG3 Pin-Ups

Enjoy some pin-up artwork of the heroes (and a villain) from Baldur's Gate III. R. Mendez did a fantastic job with these.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Mud Wizard

The Mud Wizard is an OSE class inspired by a real life activist. The individual (along with thousands of other protestors over many years) fought against the destruction of a village in western Germany for mining purposes. Basically a man dressed as a monk/wizard confronts riot cops in a field covered in mud. The riot cops are getting sucked in, falling, and can barely navigate, while the "mud wizard" seamlessly moves through the difficult terrain.  I've posted two videos about it below if you want to see the action yourself. The first is more educational and gives context to everything. The second is just a really entertaining Ozzy Man Reviews vid. 

Now on to the pdf. It begins with a discussion of the real life Mud Wizard and then discusses the class (both as a player option and Mud Wizard npcs). Despite being called Mud Wizards, practitioners of this magic are divine in nature, more akin to clerics and druids. They use the power of nature to turn pigs and tyrants. In game terms this translate to lawful humanoids, pigs, and other porcine creatures. Of course, they also cast spells. Their spell list contains some core OSE spells and some new ones. It's a fun, useful class, and I think a nice addition to any OSE game.
You can get the class by following this link and selectin a charitable donation of $2 or more. The specific charity isn't mentioned on the product page, but all sales profits will got to a non-religious, non-political environmental charity.

Hope and Fear

Season 4 of The Boys debuts today so I thought I’d share some more Marcelo Ventura art. If you want to add a Kryptonian to your 5e game I don’t have Superman stats, but I do have General Zod stats. If you want to add Homelander, check this one out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Dead West Review

Grab you six-shooter and saddle up for SURVIVE THIS!! The Dead West .This one takes the familiar SURVIVE THIS!! rules used in Dark Places & Demogorgons and Bloody Appalachia and slaps it right dab into a demon and undead filled American western setting. Ruleswise it has familiar attributes, thematic classes, and roll a d20 and add your modifiers core rule.  Everything is compatible with other ST content which allows for maximum awesomeness. The setting is based on the American southwest, but isn't the American southwest (and I'll discuss it more in a bit).

Character Creation

After rolling attributes, HP, and Saving Throws, characters can either select or roll for a profession. Much like 5e backgrounds, these give players their starting gear and bonus skills. Then you choose a class. The are:

  • Cowboy - embodiment of the Western lifestyle, you can be a rodeo or range expert.
  • Demon Stalker - warriors dedicated to fighting the supernatural forces of the Dead West.
  • Doc - a sawbones
  • Faithful - individuals attuned to the holy
  • Frontiersman - individuals more at home in the wilds than civilization
  • Gambler - they know when to hold them and when to fold them
  • Gunslinger - these masters of the six-shooter are expert duelists and can do trick shots
  • The Hand - This is all all-round solid jack of all trades class. They don't have any specialties, but they are solid allies
  • Knife Master - graceful warriors skilled with small blades
  • Lettered - scholars and educated types, there are four paths: academic, government, lawyer, and scientist
  • Marshal - you are the long arm of the law
  • Outlaw - these folks don't know the meaning of honest work, and take what they need
  • Pugilist - hand to hand combat experts
  • Riflemen - while gunslingers focus on six-shooters, rifleman are marksman of a different sort
  • Soldier - highly trained warriors 
  • Telesstic - special individuals born with and trained to use unique powers, paths include Life, Arcane, and Decay
The skills section looks familiar to most ST games. You roll a d20 and add the appropriate bonus (based on skill level, class features, and attributes).  New skills include Fighting: Old World Boxing and Horsemanship. We're presented with setting appropriate weapons and equipment, as well as a list of new magic items. 

Game Rules
Again most of the information presented here is standard Survive This stuff. There are new rules for Dueling and Horsemanship (which make perfect sense with the setting). After your standard description of how to play rules, we're presented with a massive 70 pages worth of bestiary. These stat blocks are quite varied. We get stats for undead, elementals, demons, regular folk, and legendary characters in the Dead West. If you play any ST game, this section is quite useful even if you aren't running The Dead West.

The Dead West
While a lot information about the setting can be gleaned from earlier section, we're then presented with 7 pages of Dead West information. The setting is quite interesting.  The town of Raimi Mission and the surrounding areas were enveloped in an impenetrable crimson barrier. The laws of nature changed those that were killed didn't stay dead (hence the name, the Dead West). Additionally powerful elementals and demons stalked the land. Twenty years have past since that fateful event. There are small bastions of civilization that still exist and most of these are connected by a railroad system. Most of these areas are given brief descriptions. 

The book ends with random encounter charts, as well as disaster chart. There's also an index (including references) and finally a bonus urban legend stat block.

Final Thoughts
The book looks gorgeous. It's the first of the standard sized hardcovers from Bloat Games. The art is fantastic.  Bloat Games regular Phil Stone did the cover and Christopher Torres did the interior art. It's got a great style and definitely a great buy for weird west fans. This a complete game and setting that is fantastic on its own. However, you can make it even wilder by using other SURVIVE THIS!! games. Take the vampire as race rules from We Die Young and make a  vampire cowboy. The beasties from the Cryptid Manual all slot into the setting perfectly. I also have to point out that if you're like me and love Deadlands but don't care for the original system of Savage Worlds, you can use the rules from The Dead West and play it.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Blobs vs. Blades Review

Fantastical Classes: Blobs vs. Blades is an Old-School Essentials supplement by Joshua Burnett. The total package,  he both wrote and illustrated it. There are six new classes presented, as well as racial options if you prefer the Advanced version of OSE. If you're a fan of old school video games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, you're going to love this one. 

The Adepts are individuals who seeks to understand and sculpt magic as a whole. They are able to tap into both the arcane and the divine. 

The titular Blob is inspired by and a tribute to the slimes of Dragon Quest. Josh even honors slime creator Akira Toriyama in his acknowledgements and thanks. Blobs grow as they the level up, dealing more damage with the pseudopods and gaining more protection from their natural armor. Blobs are one of the two classes to be presented as an Advanced Race.

Dancers are essentially a cooler version of bards. They are agile in combat and can add their CHA to their AC. They also gain some thief skills and arcane magic (which they cast through dance). We're also presented with a few new Dancer-centric weapons.

The Fury in another agile combatant that specializes in fighting with two weapons. They are mobile, can unleash furious attacks and dual wield.

Ophidians are human/Serpent Man hybrids descended from unholy breeding programs. Physically a blend of man and serpent, they've inherited sorcerous powers from their Serpent Men ancestors. They are stealthy, have fangs, can speak with serpents, are venomous, and can eventually hypnotize victims with their gaze. Like Blobs, Ophidians care also presented as an Advanced Race.

Swordmages are the final new class presented. This arcane warriors combine swordsmanship with spellcraft. They can expend prepared spells to imbue their weapons with raw magical force. We also presented with two (optional) alternate swordmages. Dream Swords can cast illusionist spells while Swordmages that call upon necromantic power are Death Blades.

The book ends with XP calculation charts for each class. These breakdowns were created using Erin D. Sample's BX Options: Class Builder. You can grab that book here.

Blobs vs Blades is an excellent addition to any classic old school swords and spells game. The blob might not be quite the norm to western audiences but it definitely has a place in the game. I love Josh's art. It has a fun spirit too it that I can't quite put my finger on. If you like your games old school and want to add some video game flair to them, you definitely need to pick this one up when it becomes available to the public.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

In A Violent Nature (2024)

I watched In A Violent Nature with a friend earlier this week and thought I'd give my thoughts. Don't worry, no real spoilers in this one. 

After picking up a locket found in woods, a group of friends are stalked by a mute killer.

In A Violent Nature is an artistic and refreshing take on the slasher subgenre. It's been described as an "ambient slasher" and I dig this description. The movie has no score and honestly almost feels like a nature documentary. The movie is slow and there are a lot of shots of the killer slowly stalking through the woods. The other most common type of shot is a static distant shot of action. The film has some insane kills, three of which I particularly enjoyed. One in particular made me as uncomfortable as something from Terrifier 2. The film also has some humor. Its not overt most of the time, but my friend and I found ourselves laughing in several spots. Ever wonder what happens when a slasher gets jump scared? It's pretty amusing. 

I don't think this one is perfect and I don't think it's for non-slasher fans. If you are a slasher fan, keep an eye out for Lauren-Marie Taylor (Vickie from Friday the 13th Part 2). I found myself thinking about the subgenre as a whole while sitting in the theater. 

In Your Game 
While the movie takes place in the province of Ontario, honestly it could have just as easily taken place in Appalachia or other wilderness. That's why I think you could definitely take some of the ideas from this and use it in Bloody Appalachia. If you want to play a one on one game based on this, using the Family Prodigy class from Beware of the Locals.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Martian Crawl Classics Review

Martian Crawl Classics is a third-party sourcebook for Mutant Crawl Classics. It was written by Tim Snider of The Savage Afterworld and contains are by Aaron Siddall. The book takes The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and turns it into the reason the Ancients society fell and Terra A.D. (the default setting of MCC) was created. Essentially the Martians invaded and the Ancients fought back with everything they had (including nukes which irrevocably changed the world), though like the original story, it was weapons that stopped the Martians, but rather Earth bacteria and viruses. However, like we adapt to things of that nature, some Martians did too. The small enclaves still lurk in Terra A.D.

A majority of the book is made up of nice crunchy bits. Several species of Martian are introduced. We are presented with the Overminds that lead the remaining Martians, the rank-in-file centurions, the smaller and more insidious infiltrators, the hounds that serve them, and finally discussion of the red weed, a horrendous plant that feeds on Terran blood and use being used to terraform the planet. The tools of the Martian war machine, such as death rays, black smoke, and the infamous tripods are all given technological artifact stats. A new NPC archaic alignment, the Triad Allies, is introduced. This deplorable group is made of up Terran collaborators. This is followed up by one of my favorite additions, a new pure-strain human class, the Scholar. As a librarian, I think this one absolutely kicks ass! 

Not sure exactly how to incorporate this new content into a campaign?  Tim has done that work for you too. The Martian Invasion Continues is a 2nd-level mini-adventure that allows you to introduce the elements of this sourcebook into any Terra A.D. game. 

This book is definitely a labor love and you can tell. Tim has cherry-picked the best elements from numerous adaptations of the story and included a nice appendix. I'd say this is a fine addition to any MCC game. Honestly even if you don't want the Martians to be a central part of the game, the are a fun addition and can be lurking in the background. Also while this book is designed for MCC, it can easily be used in other "Crawl Classics" games. The Martian tripods could drop into the Known World. I think this is also a great sourcebook to add to the recent third party supers content for DCC. Comic Crawl Classics and Evovled both seem like would be fun if peppered with the Martian menace. 

The pdf is currently only available to Kickstarter backers. It and a print-on-demand version should be coming to DriveThruRPG soon. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Music Monday - All In With The Fallout

I loved the Fallout Amazon Prime series. I've heard its cannon in the series and it was both accurate to the source material and entertaining. I've been a Fallout fan since Fallout 3 came out in 2008 and I think it's awesome to see non-gamers get into the franchise. I still need to check out the official RPG

Whether you're a long time fan or a new wanderer in the wasteland you should check out this great track from JT Music.