Sunday, December 29, 2013

Somehow, in my mind, the year ends around November 3rd for me, and the New Year's celebrations are just a an excuse to party in the middle of winter. But other people, creatives and expressives alike, that I know, are posting their plans; so I thought I'd do the obligatory "New Year's Eve" 2014 To Do List.

o...There's potentially a great Elvismas coming. The stars are lining up just right, when in doubt default to Indianapolis.
o... Release the post-apocalypse RPG Glow.
o... Re-release Crawlspace 13, the deluxe edition.

o... Release the re-release of Spacers.
o... Release Stay Alive's "Apocalypse In Your Hometown" scenarios.
o... Finish "Kopfy's Swamp of Doom" saga, it's more than just four episodes of resolve, set in Scott Malthouse's Peakvale setting.
o... Have a Hoot or two, maybe even discover Rhode Island.

o... Attend Salty Bay Con, Tampa's premier gaming convention.
o... Spaghetti and Powder Punk keep telling me that they want released.

o... Have about six Crawlspace scenariosup by then.
o... Have about four Wobble Scenarios up by then.
o... Have lost about 15 pounds.

September through January
o... Release a collection of Gothic scenarios for Halloween.
o... Figure out a way to attend closer gatherings and attend East Coast conventions.
o... Have lost about 100 pounds.

Besides the To-Do list there is more going on here. Throughout the year, I intend on working on my fiction writing and expanding the groups of fantasists that I work with on top of Adventure Gaming. I want to impress Mari Volmar in 2014.

  Let's see how things work out.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Gonzo Is Coming

We need more artists with axes and writers with guns in this world.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Glow That Grows Along the Horizon

Today, eight pages of basically rewriting took place. It was only after the seventh completed page that I bothered to look at the original write-up. And while I am sure that I need some seriously editing, I enjoyed the voice that settled itself into my fingertips as they skipped and stumbled over the keyboard. Once I came to end of the flowing prose and re-phrased rules-speak, I was changing the matrix from a d10 system to a variant of the d6 system that I know and love so, I decided to check out what was written before. Luckily it wasn't same.

The cadence and imagery had changed, making my hard wrought material from days of yore, at least half a year, read choppy and nervous. The rules themselves were better put, placed into sentences that were succinct and clear. That is, at least to my mind's eye, though I doubt my tortured editor will agree. Not that this experience is new to me. I grew up in the age of legal pads, typewriters, and photocopying machines. At the age of eight I was crafting works in a mixture of German and English from scores of pencils, each one named after new characters that I saw on American TV, to folded into pamphlets and read by the illuminated adults around me-- no kids allowed! Except the ones with cash in hand.  By My Hund And Other Pets That Bite was my first big hit, it sold about six dollars in one weekend. I think I bought my first issue of Kamandi with the profits. So my writing made sense sometime between Mark Twain and Julian Assange.

Minutia aside, what came next was even more heartening. When I looked at the stuff which I had already written, which had been already edited earlier, I had about 30 pages more of material that I need to add to the work that was in front of me. It occurred to me that before now, I've never had so much back material waiting to added to projects awaiting publication. And this one while being being re-fabricated has not been its own centerpiece. That means it was conceived as background for a scenario, and now is being worked on as a whole setting.

The setting is Glow, and I am finally getting my take on the post-apocalyptic world in order. How many years ago did I start this process? At least two before I started talking about it publically.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Baker's Dozen Of Pages

So far this year, for some reason I mark years from 1.November until 31.October, I have had the good fortune of being able to spit out a 12-18 page yarn every seven days or so the last six weeks or so. Now it takes me a little longer than get the pieces out for public perusal, you know like editing and illustrations. Maybe a map here and there, naw screw those GM crutches. Okay maybe one or two maps.

I am so loving life. My 'Castle of the Moth' campaign, started some 5 years ago at Carnage Convention, is coming out as scenarios for Crawlspace 13. Kopfy's Swamp of Doom for T&T is going to finishing up here. And notes for my Glow game are falling out onto the pages in front of me.

Just wait until you get to read "The Book that dripped Blood". But here's a picture of the first brain drop that was just released.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Atlantis Phenomon

As a guy who loves to write, I am not really a writer. I am the guy who pours out his in-most on paper to hear what an incredibly bad writer I am. I usually need the pressure of the deadline, or writing at work where the pressure is to get as much done before the next bit of work that needs doing pops up. And it's funny how folks want me to squander away those efforts for "play-by-posts" and collaborative development. I mention this because I have received yet another invite by someone that I don't know to participate in his Chivalry and Sorcery adaptation of something to do with Atlantis. And this isn't the first Atlantis themed waste of efforts that has crossed my path by far.

In 1999, I joined a play-by-post where the Gm and I were to explore the lost continent. After three emails of me writing paragraphs of one of the guy's duo of sentences, I let the project go.

In 2006, i was invited to brainstorm with a guy who wanted to set up steampunk, superhero setting, during the Napoleonic Wars, with Atlantis somehow tied in to it. And he wanted everyone around him to just do the creative part, and maybe a lot of the writing. What bugged me about the guy after a week of thinking this might be a fun collaborative effort, where I'd learn valuable insight into how to be more creative, is that he kept thinking Atlanteans and 19th Century Greeks spoke Latin. I pretty much went gonzo from that point before just losing interest. I've heard my Locomotive character, Hulk-Meets-Frankenstein-Meets-Pig Iron, was a big hit for months before the fellow's mother told him that he had to get a job and stop playing on the internet all day. My AustroHungarian apes though sucked I am sure.

What is it about the lost continent that people want to fill it other people's ideas?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Lot Of Movement Behind the Curtain

Well I have finally found a format with which to do my Crawlspace 13 scenarios in. Look for "Party Nights" coming soon.

I mostly wanted to post about a couple recent works by my friends Scott Malthouse and Jerry Teleha.

Perfect for Halloween and put out just in time for it, is Malthouse's "Death at Grimwood Hall." part of his very Gothic Peakvale campaign setting.

And now that Teleha has finished Stay Alive! expect to see a collection of scenarios entitled Apocalypse In Your Hometown early in 2014.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

OMG You're Psychic!

I've been noting and working out some details for Crawlspace 13. Reworking the Whacko a bit. Narrowing into a Type that will take its player into different directions.

And adding the Psychic Type. This type of character may be anyone sitting at the table with the right cards at the start of each session. That's right, if there is going to be a psychic and who is going to be it depends wholly on the cards and it changes every game.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My 2nd Wobble Game Ever

I am as giddy as mouse in a cheese factory surrounded by dog kennels.

This last weekend I was play-testing my "Corporate Raiders" scenario for the upcoming Carnage on the Mountain. The scenario is ostensibly for getting characters to Robin's Qalidar: Resistance, which it does admirably, but it is filled with denizens and subplots from the Wobble Ship notes I have working one. It also has those special idiosyncrasies, often called "character motivations," for the pre-generated characters that I am known for. To be fair, Robin made up the quirky player-characters, all of whom I am totally going to keep now. But I came up with the "inner truth" which were played out in the first scene. The mixture of the two, along with Dr. Who-style special effects, made the session awesome for me.

Everyone played a 62 person who was on their last day of work before retiring. Not everyone was as ready to quit their working life as others, as is always the case, but it was upon them. Guess what, someone wasn't ready, very much so, for the transition, which added a bit of drama that I didn't plan for but it worked out really well. And then things got strange.

I was proud at seeing my Pyramid-heads, Robin's "Pyraman" (maybe "paramen"), be the tough thugs that I always wanted them to be. Really had a good time with the players as they slipped into their characters-- things got wild.

Since I've ran "The Wobble Machine" a few years back in o8, I've watched as two of the players have incorporated bits of the work and mesh them into their work. Now it is time for me to see where my bits take me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Crawlspace Making the Nightmare Live

It's been a fairly slow weekend at work. This is kind of nice as I might be missing out of on soccer, but I've been able to go through and work on my notes for the "Whacko" campaign. I've been translating a lot of the CoC material that I have worked up since about o4 into the new Crawlspace format. The problem is that most of the rules bits are wrapped up in like 19, maybe 22, scenarios which I have ran in that length of time. I have plenty of graphics and handwritten notes, that have turned into half-pages of typed game convention, but bringing it all together is a bit of a challenge. At times, the TACK system is a bit too simple for many of the ideas that I have in this setting. Other times, It takes me a bit to wrap my head around what exactly it was that I was trying for with this or that tidbit.

The stories are warping and reworking themselves easily. Writing scenarios for Crawlspace is an especially easy format, which I mostly have to dress up to avoid being to sparse-- like LARP scenarios tend to be. A scribble from my notes gets jotted in and suddenly a ton of atmosphere like a spice thrown into a soup's simmer. The trick is not reveal the whole menu available in any one of the servings though. Keeping it decent horror role-playing, my theory is show the repeat players with a detail here and then lead them back in the shadows. I am hoping the difference from a tabletop game to that of a video games, or say movies with vampires or zombie in them, is one not falling into simple tracks.

Difficulties noted. the frame of the campaign is coming together, while system remains a little behind. Which isn't a bad thing as I know enough game designers that somebody is likely to throw in a suggestion. Even if somebody doesn't, I am sure I'll work my way through it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spacer Types reworked.

I've been working a lot on the Spacers(TM) rewrite the last week or so. The stats are going to be: Mental, Physical, Speed, Luck, Charm, and Nerve. Here's a look at the character Types I've been working on.

    Born with a certain amount of brawn and a knack for being good in a less than peaceful situation, the Brawler is the best guy to invite to the fight.

Perk: Armor- Character gets double Armor rating for armor worn.

    The person who is always searching for something, and all the more adventurous for it.

Perk: Spaced-Gets to add (10 x level) points to any SR based on LK.

Min. Req. Mental 20

    Years of schooling, and working as a researcher in various fields make this person amazingly knowledgeable. And he isn't just an academic, well most of the time, that is. 

Perk: Gizmo- Character may create a gadget that will preform specific Skills for using the creator's Mental attribute...

Min. Req. Nerve 30
    A mind is a terrible thing to waste, so this sort lives in their own.

Perk: Next Sense- This perk gives the PC three potential advantages... The last is a "Psychic Nose", which let's a the Character know when he is encountering another Psychic, though not her works.

Monday, September 9, 2013

To Clarify... sigh

TROTT is going to be a d6-driven system, and easily identifiable with the same matrix as what was used in T&T 7+ editions. Various conventions will be different enough to make it a separate game. This in case T&T Dooper ends up scrubbing all the parts that I like from the 7th and 8th (7.5) printings. This is mostly so I can write scenarios in a format that I have been doing Spacers(TM) the scenarios for Elder Tunnels magazine and New Khazan for a little over 9 years. The fantasy specific rules will be presented in a revision of my FRPG from 2oo7, RuinCrawl.

Note that I will be releasing my post apocalyptic setting, called Glow, and the 10 year revision of Spacers as officially typed up rules, before you can expect to see RuinCrawl: 7plus And Counting.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

TROTTing Back

A song of infidelities and the heat of the moment...

Just when I have two thirds of my editing bills for the TROTT system and about 45 pages of rule-intensive material with the Glow setting, I decide that I love the six-sided die too much to give up on it. No divorce will be finalized.

Yes Percentile Dice were always good for a quickie. But with even the tens and digits, for all of it's five-fingered figuring, she just isn't any sort of long term commitment for me. And when the cards came up right, mass Lovecraft copyright dissolution in the general Adventure Gaming market, coupled with me finally writing down my TACK game matrix; I was finally able to break off with my illicit affair with CoC wearing Chaosium's BRP, for risky encounters with strangers late at night. Encounters too scary for most convention goers at that.

And going a step further, I like the way that T&T works the d6. When it comes down to it, I can't quit Ken St Andre. Yes my open-minded wife has pointedly remarked that I am "gay for the man's work." And when it comes to fantasist writing, that guy fills me with a sense of wonder and makes me feel ten plus twenty years younger. Now this literary man-crush has me often angry at him, still his writing takes me places. Besides he does work out and can do one-arm push ups.

But I'll be damned if I give up on the rules conventions that has moved the Earth for me with the 7th edition. Now all those other floozies in Arizona might be writing the ramrod version "deluxe edition" of the game for role-playing swingers on any given Saturday night. While doing so, they are knocking Ken down to size, what with his dashing good ideas and fedora, that makes him look like such an adventurer. But from pillow talk in seedy blogs, the "improvements" are mostly taking things back to 5th Edition-- just with a whole lot of filler material. I am of the opinion that things are only kinky once.

For all my drunken gutter game-designer talk of something called "7th world" or "7 Plus," this is a love child that is never going to be conceived. Quite a few people have mentioned that my T&T games at the tabletop are unlike any other style of the game that they ever played in. And more than a few have come back for more. Apparently a GM who doesn't just throw out pretzels to a beer-guzzling crowd can have her way very narrative and detail-oriented bell rung once in a while. So to still be able to create scenarios in the style of my 7th heaven, I can dote on my estranged, conceived-out-of-wedlock game RuinCrawl for a bit.

Now, the neglected second game system will have to wait for her older brother Spacers, and the bouncing baby girl Glow before getting to eat her any of the new cake. So don't be calling until she is of age.

If you squint just right, that is Kopfy Magnus's grand-daughter Klodia Pulcher.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Good News About T&T

I don't know what the numbers were for attendance at GenCon this year. Nor did I see any big T&T items over at the Flying Buffalo booth the times I was there, which was mostly to say to Rick Loomis and Steve Crompton. Heck, I haven't even gotten information on our own booth's sales, with only the most outdated sniff of internet sales over the last weekend at GenCon. But what I did see was various game tables with people playing T&T with a gaggle of GMs in Indy 2013.

Ken St Andre's games were getting four people to a full table when I saw them on ... err Friday and then on Saturday I think. I didn't see Sligo's "The Swynhollow Tower" on Thursday but from more than one source I heard that it was crowded and something of a hoot and holler for its players. JerryTel's Baru-Kesh scenarios were a critical rave among their attendees. I was almost worried that I was losing my touch as my first two games, one on Thursday and Friday, had three players each. Then Saturday had a full table and three folks demanded overflow places at _my_ session or nobody else. So my The Blaze of Bronze (sword and sandals) "mini-campaign" for this year number average bumped up.

To move beyond how many people were sitting down at the tables, there is something more important going on here. T&T is getting some play at GenCon, and there as always a few new players as well as the return crowd.

I'll be a little critical of my own games, and not because I am searching for compliments. My performance is getting rote. Next year I have to get some fresh energy and a new angle or two.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Robinhoo Is Here: the Early Bus To Qalidar

I sat down last night to read Peryton's (R. Christina Lea/Robin) pre-release of Qalidar: The Resistance. I can't tell you how much fun I have reading works in their not-too-rough states. Printed pages with early formatting and illustrations included, bound together in an older folder. Even having to read it with glasses because of the ink-saver was on when it printed up doesn't diminish this enjoyment. This was even more the special treat because Pery has been keeping this work close to the chest.

I paid pretty close attention to the rules section because I appreciate how others write up pretty basic concepts when it comes to our hobby. It can be a very boring and rather daunting task, so I wanted to be able to add a comment or two showing that someone besides the hordes of rules-lawyers and munchkins in future sit-down sessions had paid attention at one point in time. It's like a dude cooking for his love interest, happens once in a while.

It was also nice to see that she kept it down to six attributes. Though I try to have a certain amount of symmetry between the main die used in the game and the PC attributes, I have to admit I like six stats in a game.  The number is like the 6-sided die in my mind, a mixture of pre-D&D familiarity and geometrically common.  She uses Strength, Constitution, Agility, Intelligence, Perception, and Power. Despite the system being D20, Pery moves away from crazy Gygaxisms that I noticed in the Peryton RPG. Power being both the willpower and the strength of personality (charm) of the character. There is an attribute for Perception, and it isn't based on a stat called Wisdom. Finding a use for that stat has been a sisyphean task for the D&D-heads for almost 50 years. The rationale used for perception rolls being based off a character's wisdom have been as long and convoluted as them trying to think of how Wisdom in the context of a role-playing game is useful in the first place. This little bit of "outside the red box" thinking was nice to see.

The following play mechanics were, as I stated above, D20 based so mostly my eyes glazed over as I pined for the time I could read about creatures and the setting itself. But I was able to follow along with the core concepts. The Robinhoo Knacks are still there as Scooby-snacks for the PeryRPG player. I liked the combat system that doesn't need miniatures. That is unless the GM and players really want them.

It is still a character-class RPG, which I like better than a classless game (Sorry Andre). Maybe it's the role-playing writer in me, but I find working from a pre-molded character type is a nice starting point for me as a role-player.  In alphabetical order there is  the Ascendant, the Fixer, the Karcist,  the Mystic, the Scrapper, and the Sharp. The Scrapper and the Sharp aren't too hard to explain, a "warrior" and a "marksman" familiar to most role-players. The Ascendant is like a cyborg or chemically-enhanced person. The Fixer is something in the order of a gum and hair-clip engineer/inventor. The Karcist is a techno-magus or maybe better put as a quantum-metaphysicist. I am not going to go into the Mystic here, because I think it has to be read to be truly appreciated-- needless to say, I think Pery did a keen job on this one's description.

These types start to get at how Pery is handling the very hard task of doing trans-dimensional settings in role-playing games. Early settings like this one were essentially weapon manuals with some rules for "psionics" and then the author pointed the potential GM towards the doorway to his own imagination. And then the every frequent RPGs based on this or that TV series or movie, which gets dated rather quickly and its merchandise quick dust-collectors awaiting that special buyer on E-Bay.

Though I like to say, loudly and in public as often as I can, where some trademark creatures of my own games have slipped into Pery's games, I am playing. When two fantasist writers get married this sort of germination happens as well as the sharing of germs. A couple of my critter ideas of mine have indeed crept into this work. She has taken the concepts, as well as the paid-for yet unused artwork, and reworked them into something that  works for her work. Ironically, only one that I came up with directly for Qalidar made its way there. And that one was more of a parody of typical Dr. Who villains in the later series than anything else. Still when you see sewer monkeys and variations of Pyramid-heads, my heart swells with pride.
One of the Pics from the original
Finally getting to the setting, I became fascinated by the new Qalidar setting. Now the gorgon sisters play a prominent role as well as the thirteen moon zodiac. These points growing from the Medusa's Path of the Spiral in the original Qalidar write up. Still working my head around the Outside and Stormport, as a GM. The addition of the Synarchy is new, and I am hoping for a few more developments if insidious in their manner and approach. Peryton even went as far to put up an introduction scenario in the back. But she left out my favorite part of the adventure, as part of the playtest group we all shared a much beloved and cherished Aunt Betty.

Well this isn't the finished product. I wonder if a Kickstarter is needed to get Aunt Betty where she belongs?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wobble: Planets of the Apes


Bipedal simians like ourselves but with apes-like features. They come from a universe where furry bipeds evolved into what humans became in our own. They seem to be very comfortable with technology of the 20th - 21st century just like us. They also speak the same languages as we do. The history and nations referenced in conversations with this species though are completely unknown to us. "Racial" tensions arise between the more distinctive forms of them (the Rillas, the Chimps, and the Tangs), but like us they are moving beyond them towards a highly functioning global community.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wobble: MY Pyramid-Heads

The Pyramid-Heads-

As close as anybody wants to get.
Genetically-engineered warriors that were up for sale as cannon fodder to the highest bidder, or bidders. It was not uncommon for pyramid-heads to wage war upon upon other pyramid-heads for the interests of others. The injustice fell short of their notice. In their make-up coding they are not all that bright. But, like all living things, the survivors did learn. So things changed.

It was this learning that enabled the luckiest and toughest of them to grow wise enough to rebel against their designers and retailers. The leaders of the rebellions seized the cloning machines and the designs for themselves. They also went about making their former makers and buyers as close to being extinct as possible. Genocide is a word so casually thrown about these days, but Pyramid-heads use it with a trans-dimensional meaning that surpasses our usage.

These rebellious leaders would split into different clans, sometimes nations. Most tend to offer their services as mercenary forces. As individuals, pyramid-heads are not noted for their empathy towards others. They have a reputation for brutality if not downright cruelty.

Pyramid-heads were designed for adaptability and working in varying physical environments so there is a long list of area-specific mutations. But as they are cloned they are from one basic design. This has not doomed them as an inter-dimensional species. They seem to be thriving. Though not designed originally for brilliance or genius, nothing but cannon fire is holding them back. Various factions of note have more than capable leaders. More than a few have become marauder pirates of various dimensions, to varying degrees of success.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stepping Up But Not On the TACK

Well the first game system for TACK is out. Crawlspace 13 was released on the first mostly for the folks planning on playing in horror events at GenCon and Carnage this year. I am trying not to think any more settings at this time for the Action Card system, because I have to get some my dice based games out before GenCon. But Wobble and Powder-Punk may very well end up with their own deck of cards, figuratively folks, one day.

Response has been awesome and I thank everyone buying a copy so far. I might be able to afford a new set of work boots for my day job before GenCon without working OT. Mind you, my uniforms wouldn't be so ratty and threadbare if I weren't paying for Crawlspace 13 all spring already.

There are various bits and pieces coming together that may just lead to a series of horror scenarios in the upcoming year. I have mostly complete notes for "The Monolith's Keeper" and "Cigarette" from the Dark Gathering last May. David Crowell's "Beer Run" should be on the stove. And of course Mike Larsen has had a couple ideas sketched out and waiting since 2010, maybe before. "The New Girl Is Such A Witch" is a Larsen title that comes to mind.

Do me a favor friends, hold me to getting out these scenarios. To speak for myself, this game system is going to be the foundation for some awesome horror tales to come. I am freed of a lot of self-imposed preconceptions of how to write for the horror genre in role-playing. I can change tone with the session, and play to group of repeat players. I am dying to see where the meta-campaign goes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Wobbling Ship

Actually it should be the Wobbleship, and it was first called the Wobble Machine. It's been more about the folks and not the vessel. It started out with the introductory scenario for WHAP!, a set of rules written mostly to make rules for adventures being written by Mike Larsen for my game, SPACERS(TM), which was not designed to used for "steam-punk high adventure" as he called it. I couldn't get WHAP down to one specific time period of technology, and I couldn't get straight steam punk because it'd require being overly specific in the rules. I just wasn't feeling that. So I went with a broad timeline of actual history, at least according to wikipedia, and play sessions would pop up from then and when they would.

I, as a player, got to go from 19th Century New York to far eastern Russia in Mike's steam punk games. I explored the Congo between the World Wars. Ken St Andre popped in with dinosaurs popping up in the middle of a dime Western. Then in 2012, Robin, would have the Wobble Machine, from "The Wobble Machine" scenario, show up and take me as a player to her Qalidar, which is beyond space and time, I think, with "Any Port In a Storm." The dimension traveling vehicle had grown from its bus-sized interior into a full barque complete with its original pyramid-headed crew, but much trippier in their own design as well.

It is from here, where Wobble comes from. "Wobble" is going to be my space and time traveling role-playing pieces. It is where my players' characters will bump into strange and alien worlds. Not in a rocket ship or walking around with a sword and shield. Well, thinking about it, even if they are in space or are carrying medieval equipment. Other folk's space and time traveling works will be bumped into as well. I want to explore the games of Qalidar: Resistance and The Time Shredders. There will also be plenty of my own pretty abundant, if prosaic, creations as well.

Parts of the backgrounds will be posted here. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Going T.A.C.K.Y.

Over at my other blog I wrote about when I lost my pre-generated characters for my midnight games of Call of Cthulhu at GenCon last summer. Well, the improvising that I did to get the players to develop characters in about 25 minutes did a couple of things for me. It helped me boil down the parts of the BRP system that I liked, and inspired me to turn more than a bit of it on it's head. It also gave me some deeper insight into how the genre of horror works for me as a GM.

It's been a Winter and Spring of renewed discovery for me. While I have been still working on T&T scenarios for my Kopfy's Swamp of Doom, and gathering others work not just for an upcoming issue of Elder Tunnels, my true efforts have been elsewhere. This has been for a few reasons. With the soon-to-be-released Deluxe T&T just around the corner, it kind of makes working hard on new 7plus scenarios seem pointless. I've liked every edition better than the last one when it comes to that system, so I am not ready to join the "retro-guard" of game writers writing for that special publishing release from yester-year just yet. At the table-top itself, I find my d6 games that aren't T&T get better responses than when I use a d10 percentile system, so this has developed into something. And thanks to some play-by-post sessions over the years, I have a pretty nifty playing-card based rule system worked out.

In case you haven't noticed, I write rule systems to help me from having to look up rules. So combining T&T and BRP concepts. I've developed TROTT. No longer "Tom's Rip-Off of T&T" (TAG) but now Tom's Really Outstanding Table-Topping. The rule are being adopted it to my Spacers game. This is being worked on as we speak and I am hoping to have it completed sometime in August. In the final phase of production is Glow, a rules set for a post-apocalyptic setting that I have running on-line over the last 18 months or so for groups here and there. This project should be out in early July.

At the end of May, the Dark Gathering took place. Our little, well largest ever actually, gaming Hoot, focuses on horror. As you all know, everyone at a Hoot is a potential GM, though once you get over a handful of attendees, not everyone gets to GM something but that's something for a different time. So I had to step up my game as a GM. The puzzle of how to get players to invest in their Characters that do carry on from one scenario to the next without becoming superheroes or good monsters, was what I set my mind to. And using humor and surreality in its writing I re-envisioned Crawlspace, into what is now Crawlspace 13.

The results on the table was some of the best horror sessions I have seen. The players who love horror scenarios liked it enough to shower praise on it and more importantly play in more sessions and run their own. I also had to avoid a lot of paperwork for the players because they are used to one-shot pre-generated characters and quick mechanic resolution over too much detail. so with that in mind, I formalized a system of using playing cards instead of numbers. This is now Tom's Action Card Kit, or T.A.C.K.. Adventures in TACK are called "Yarns," so I've gone T.A.C.K.Y.  more than once this last season. This system is days away from final release.

Part of the discovery of the last many months has been rediscovering Robin's, err Peryton's Qalidar and stumbling upon Brandon G. Osario's The Time Shredders. There is something refreshing and fun for me with time/dimension traveling role-playing. But I am a scenario writer more than a player, so I intend on writing for both of these systems. Of course, I have to come up with my own creatures and major personas so I'll be posting them here, as I won't be going out of my way to develop my own system for this genre, err sub-genre.

Well, that's the explanation for the re-purposing of the Many-Headed Troll. Now back to work for me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The War Cry

One of the more recurring discussions this last weekend in Toledo, at BASHCon 2013, between experienced T&T players and the newcomers, was the high Charisma of various monstrous Kin in the rules. While I and others, both G'noll and Jherri, kept explaining that the Charisma stat isn't really just how attractive or likeable a Character is to everyone marveling at a Living Skeleton or a Minotaur's high modifiers, an idea occurred to me as to how to illustrate it. The battle cry, or the war cry, is definitely a part of physical, sometimes non-physical conflict. So I thought of a way of using it in Our Game's combat.

In between the Missile phase and the Hand-to-Hand phase of combat, those charging at each other can raise a cry trying to demoralize their opponents. War cries do not help with Magic attacks or Missile shots. They flat out spoil Ambushes. But when it comes to up close and personal fight, it scare away a number of smallish, unimportant NPCs. When the NPCs are worked out, or even when its Character versus Character, each side must roll against the CH or the person/creature that they are fronting to not lose their Luck rating in their Combat Adds.

Just idea. But it was the combat Talent, that I ever allowed that added something to the narrative since I have been playing with them since the release of 7th edition.