One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, October 14, 2013

Seeking Tranquility

I've wanted to run an Eberron campaign ever since it was first released so many years ago. The problem was I couldn't think of a way of doing the setting justice. It was obvious that this wasn't just another D&D world like so many others. Eberron had a tone to it that wasn't typical of the pseudo medieval Europe or the swords and sorcery feel of Conan. I was excited by the fresh take on fantasy it offered but daunted by what I was supposed to do with it. Today I think I have a much better idea of how I would run a campaign set here. Perhaps if 5e proves interesting I'll run it one day with that system, if not theres the possibility of Savage Worlds. Anyway below is a possible campaign model that mashes Eberron and Firefly that gets my gaming engine in high gear.



An Eberron Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

Pulp action and adventure

Role of the Heroes
Your characters are all natives of the kingdom of Cyre. Once you fought for your nation and the man beside you during the Last War. Two years ago, on what is known as the Day of Mourning, the still mysterious event that destroyed Cyre in one horrible day signalled the end of a century of war and transformed the once proud kingdom into a dangerous nightmare land known as the Mournlands. Homeless and country less, you and your closest comrades became something more than just brothers in arms, you became family. Today you and your adopted family crew the “Tranquility”, a old Fire Sprite class of cargo airship. The Tranquility represents freedom. Freedom to choose your own path. Freedom from the horrors of the Last War. A chance to do some good. While she is constantly in need of maintenance, you and your crew mates do whatever it takes to keep flying the in the skies of Eberron.   

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Hell's Attic Campaign Model

"Yesterday, here in the middle of the City, I saw a wolf turn into a Russian ex-gymnast and hand over a business card that read YOUR OWN PERSONAL TRANSHUMAN SECURITY WHORE! STERILIZED INNARDS! ACCEPTS ALL CREDIT CARDS to a large man who wore trained attack cancers on his face and possessed seventy-five indentured Komodo Dragons instead of legs. And they had sex. Right in front of me. And six of the Komodo Dragons spat napalm on my new shoes."
-Spider Jerusalem
Summary in Brief
Apocalyptic ultraviolence and survival horror in the far future. In other words Imagine the spawn of the aborted mind fetuses of Lovecraft, Tarantino, Hunter S. Thompson, and William Gibson congealed into a chilled monkey brain dessert served by cannibal werewolf woman of the SS.
Campaign Background
Theres a place in the far future in the Tempest System called Hells Attic. You can check in but you can never check out. Unless its in a body bag, then you could check out at just about any time in this war zone. The PC's take on the role of under world scum trying to survive in a dog eat dog world. Everyone has an angle. There is no law and some times the light burns brightest in the darkest of places.
The Role of the Characters
Who you are: You are the outcasts of a society who no longer needs you. You've been trampled over by a stampede of grotesque dystopian nightmares called progress. Your the product of a of society that has systematically dined on your corpse and then spat your balls out.You are the losers, who can never get or hold down a real job and whose only prospects are having nothing left to lose. Your left with the choice to fade away or burn out in a blaze of glory. The only question thats worth answering is will the Underhive of Prospero swallow you whole, leaving no trace of your existence? Or do you have a plan? A plan to get rich or die trying?

What you do: Anything you have to. A better question would be what don’t you do. Murder for hire ? Sure. Rescue a CEO's daughters from the clutches of drug dealers turned revolutionary? All in a nights work. Hunt down a insane doctor's latest escaped human centipede project. Pfft, please, how about something a little more challenging? Survival is paramount. Everything else is gravy. A good day is the one you don't die. Your a criminal. Well you'd be a criminal if there were cops down here. Theres just the law of the jungle and the survival of the fittest. Between the booze, bullets, and blow you live. You live like tomorrow might never come.

Where you do it: The Mega City of Prospero is a massive relatively clean and pristine city. It is an architects wet dream. It is the city of the future. Skyscrapers defy gravity, clean energy powers the city and the maglev trains run on time. The body looks healthy. But deep below the pristine sheen of glass and the white gloss of synth-marble and perma-crete lies the festering cancer that is Hell's Attic. This sprawling hive city crawls with all manner of people, monsters, assholes, and other undesirable or just plain unidentifiable things. If the metaphysical Hell of religion actually existed then the Attic would be the next closest thing short of actually dying first. In fact I'm pretty sure the Biblical Hell is probably a lot nicer.

When yo do it: Whenever the fuck you want. Welcome to the 26th century mother fuckers. Party like it's 2513, because it is, in fact that year. Hey maybe your luck will pick up and next year will be better. For the time being shit is pretty well fucked.

Why you do it: For the rush. Because you want your money for nothing and your chicks for free. Because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Because sometimes We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us fuck this asshole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!
The 10 Traits of an Hells Attic campaign
  1. Everyone has an agenda. Once you figure this out you'll suffer a lot less heartbreaks.
  2. Theres some fucking weird shit in the Attic. Seriously. Fucking. Weird. Shit.
  3. Sometimes your enemies are your only friends. Poor you.
  4. Sometimes the real monsters are human. Sometime the monsters are really nice.
  5. Never trust a mutant, and defiantly never feed one after midnight. You've been warned.
  6. Tin foil hats will stop the psychics from reading your thoughts . If you believe this your really fucked.
  7. Always have a plan B and a roll of duct tape. Plan B being bullets. Theres very little bullets and duct tape cant fix.
  8. Information is power. Always check your sources, then check em again.
  9. Never join a cult. Well join a cult if you want. Just don't be surprised when you find yourself tied up and on the receiving end of a strap-on conga line.
  10. When in doubt get a really big gun that holds a lot of bullets. Preferably silver bullets.

Special thanks to Noisms at his Monsters and Manuals blog for this post that motivated me amongst others of his on CP2020 to write write this post. Thanks man, love your blog, you rock! As Happy Harry Hard On says Stay Hard everyone.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pathfinder Beginner Box: Session 2

So we had our second Pathfinder Beginner Box session today! It went a lot better than last time. This week we split the group into two. We now have an all girls group and a all boys group. It will be interesting to see how the two groups approach the game as I plan on running them through the same scenarios. Todays group was the boys, with five players and me GMing. Time was of the essence so I had to burn through the adventure, which I took out of the Game Masters Guide. We played for about an hour an a half. I would have liked to have a little more time but I'll take what I can get. All in all everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. I really enjoyed myself this time. Best of all everyone came with their own set of dice! My buddy picked up a GIANT d20 with skull inside from Montreal Comic Con. It was WAY rad, though as you can see below the picture doesn't really do it justice. I take the buying of dice as a good sign that I'm doing something right. Below you can see some photos I snapped from today. The next session will probably be in a month due to busy schedules and will be with the second group of all girls. I'll tell you one thing, gaming with kids isn't any easier on the scheduling issue that faces us adults. If anything it seems like its worse.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's a Trap Tuesday

Not much to blog about. I did manage to pick up a few PDF's recently from RPG Drive Thru during the savage september sale. My purchases included Weird War II, Thrilling Tales (savage worlds version), Shaintar, and Streets of Bedlam. Of course in honour of  It's a Trap Tuesday I found this article on the origins of the voice actor behind Admiral Ackbar on io9. Thought I'd share it to shake things up for a change.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pathfinder With Kids

It's been a while on the blog front. Truth be told theres been pretty much nil on the game table in the past many months. Looking to change that situation I decided to start a table top rpg club with my kids and some of their friends.

I agonized for some time about how to go about doing this. In the end I bought the Pathfinder Beginner Box. I have to say that this is a solid product to start beginners off with. The production values are Paizo's typical high standards, and theres enough material plus web extras to provide a solid base before moving on to the core book.

This past afternoon was the big day and while I feel like everyone had fun, I was a victim of my own success.I had two other inexperienced dads helping me out. Along with nine kids ranging from 7 to 10 years old! That was just too many people. I also once again made the mistake of starting off making characters. I should have gone the pregen route. Now that characters are made the next session in two weeks should go better.

After character creation we had a rumble in the town square of Sandpoint with a band of goblins who decided to crash the annual festival. Everyone had fun bringing the smack down on the goblins. It was during actual play that everyone started to gel with what roleplaying was all about. Or at least the possibilities of adventures to come. It's occurred to me that roleplaying is kinda like the Matrix. No one can tell you what it is, you need to experience it for yourself. As for the future of the game I've been giving some serious thought to maybe breaking the group up into two groups that alternate every week. But I guess I'll see how many kids decide to show up at the next session.

Till then Im just happy to be rolling the dice again, and introducing a new generation to our amazing hobby.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Hitch Hikers Guide to Alternity

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today - but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
                                                                                 -Isaac Asimov

I managed to get a good bit of reading done over the Easter weekend. During that time I had this strange compulsion to take a fresh look at some of the older gaming books in my library. I guess that makes me some sort of RPG antiquarian.

So as you can probably figure out already this post is about the Alternity game line. TSR's now defunct generic modern/science fiction RPG came out in 1998 about the same year I got into gaming. I remember seeing the ads for it in Dragon Magazine and thinking it was a pretty neat looking game. There was a handful of reasons I never played this game.

Primarily I think this was because despite Star*Drive and Dark*Matter settings it seemed to try and push it's generic nature as its primary asset. Personally I had never read/watched a lot of sci-fi to figure out what to do with all that freedom. For some reason that I still don’t quite understand theres just something about fantasy and D&D that is just intuitive. Modern/Sci-fi gaming seems to suffer from this inherent weakness of expectations of how to satisfactorily play shit out. This is probably the reason why fantasy rpgs have always, and will continue to always dominant over modern/science fiction ones.

Secondly the rules seemed fairly intimidating to me at the time. In fact D&D 2e was already pushing my comfort level as far as rules went. Which is to say I had very little to none. If it had not been for people who already new how to play, I never would have figured this shit out. Not to mention fantasy was the bread and butter of my gaming group at the time. Meaning that if we were ever going to play Alternity it would be incumbent upon me to learn the rules and run a game.

Then in 2000 the d20 system and D&D 3e took the world by storm and swept me along with it. Strike three your out Alternity. For a long time my interest in almost any other rpg with the exception of maybe Heavy Gear or Call of Cthulhu was next to nil. In fact it was really only the arrival of D&D 4e that snapped me out of my misguided and stubborn love for all things d20.

At roughly the same period in time that Wizards of the Coasts acquired TSR they also picked up the license for Star Wars. This was pretty much the death knell for the Alternity game system and Star*Drive. As for Dar*Matter I'm sure the d20 version of Call of Cthulhu had a hand in making sure that line got the axe as well. Essentially the philosophy was that if it didn’t help sell the core d20 books it wasn’t sold by WotC. Additionally WotC didn’t want another space opera setting competing with Star Wars sales. I mean its just good business sense.

So 15 years later I've gone back to these books. Mostly I was looking for material I might be able to steal or adapt for the mythical Digital Dark Age campaign I hope to run one day. Part of it was as I said previously this strange nostalgic urge to revisit something from my gamer past. A chance to visit fleeting memories of that time in my life when things were just a little more simple than they are now.

The end result was that I came away inspired by much of what I read. No longer did I see an overly complicated game system. Though perhaps not as streamlined or as intuitive as d20, there are some innovative and interesting mechanics none the less. A Skill based system, degrees of success, and a neat way of going about handling modifiers. I'm sort of amazed that this game hasnt had a retro clone based off of it.

The Star*Drive campaign setting was also pretty interesting to read. Where as before I saw a boring generic space opera setting I could now instantly see a the possibilities for a campaigns that could be set there. Now I find myself wishing that I had collected all the books for this campaign setting a little bit at a time while I had the opportunity and spare cash to do so. Alas, hind sight, as they say is 20/20.

My prediction is after D&D 5e is finally released, combined with the lack of attention that d20 Modern got during the 4e era and the dumping of the Star Wars rpg license we may just see a new version of Alternity down the pipeline. Or at the very least a repackaging of Star*Drive and/or Dark*Matter.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep

Written by: Phil Vecchione, blogger from 
Published by: Engine Publishing
Format: 132 Digest sized black and white pages
Verdict: Totally Fucking Awesome!

How is it in the in the history of roleplaying we only now have a book about how to go about the process of prepping to run a game? I mean we a have a shit load of books that cover important advice that you should consider as a GM, but almost nothing on how to take all that raw material and process it into something useful during a gaming session.

This is a book that should be read at least by every GM at least once. It doesn’t pretend to be pretentious and tell us how exactly to prep for a game, but offers system neutral guidelines and tools to become a better game master. Its a short read, but jam packed with useful information. It identifies the stages of prep, why their important, and how you can adapt them to your preferred gaming style.

I found myself really identifying with the author. He answered questions I've long struggled with about what I need to work on and how in order to maximize the limited prep time I have available. Really thats what this all comes down to, time management and prepping what you need in order to feel comfortable at the game table. What that is varies from person to person but this book really helps you be introspective and figure that out.

For example when I ran my Arkham Heat campaign, despite having a rules light game engine I still suffered burn out from trying to keep one session ahead of my players. I felt like a failure and that perhaps I just wasn’t cut out to GM. In retrospect I think the problem was that I was focusing my time and energy in poor and wasteful ways. In addition with so much of my time consumed by my real life responsibilities I felt like I was never going to have time to actually run a pre-written campaign, never mind prep something from scratch. But this book shows you how to go about managing your time as well.

So to wrap this up, amazing book. Insightful and utile. Defiantly something I will be incorporating and experimenting with in my future game prep endeavours. I don’t care what game system or genre you prefer “Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep” should be mandatory reading for every GM worthy of the title. If I ever meet it's author Phil Vecchione in real life one day I will totally buy him a beer. In the mean time, thanks Phil for giving me the tools and insight to become a better GM!   

Monday, March 25, 2013

If you're receiving this transmission, make no attempt to come to its point of origin...

There is only death here now...

Over the past few days I've been catching up on a bunch of movies I've wanted to see for a while. Theses days I'm not much for one going out to the theatre and since I got Netflix I don’t really rent DVD's all that often either. All this is a round about way of saying I finally watched Prometheus.

I'm not sure how I feel about this movie. On the one had the visuals were pretty amazing. It also hit a lot of the same notes as in previous instalments in the Alien/Predator franchise. But I don't know, some how it just fell flat.

Warning if you haven’t seen this film then what I'm going to talk about next will probably spoil things for you. You've been warned.

What I did find interesting was the concept of God and the creation of life. So the basic idea here is that the Engineer alien race created humans. Then for some reason they decided that us humans needed to be terminated by some kind of bio-engineered virus. Or maybe the idea was that humans were just stage one of the Engineers plan. Phase two was the introduction of the mutating alien virus. Which begs the question of why they would want to either kill us all or turn us into some kind of new mutant species.

Now were talking about something interesting. Maybe were dealing with a sort of reverse terminator scenario. Maybe the Engineer's were afraid of what humanity might one day do to them. That we had become to violent to control. Maybe Earth was the failure. Like lab rats that served their purpose it was time to put them out of their misery. Maybe there were other Earth like planets that served their purpose better than we could. Maybe we were the cain to this alternate Earths Able.

Or was it that the Engineer race was divided on what to do with us. Maybe this was a rogue group who was out to do some kind of terrorist act versus it's own species. Turn us humans into a bio-weapon to be used against a more powerful political entity in the Engineer's home world.

Or were humans being used as bio-weapons against some far greater enemy. Another alien species even more hell bent on destruction than we humans ever imagined possible.

I guess it also changed my view on what a Creator-God might really mean. Someone who creates just because they can. Some kind of artistic drive for no other purpose then it seemed like a good idea at the time. That maybe, like an abusive parent this God might not be so nurturing and benign to it's creation. If anything it makes me less inclined to believe or have any sort of loyalty to any God/Creator if one did exist.

Ultimately from a gaming perspective it really breaths new life into aliens for me. I've had this idea for some time about having a intergalactic war between a species of aliens and humanity in my Digital Dark Age campaign. The idea of an alien race who has left archaeological traces of existence for mankind to uncover, and whom mankind believes to be extinct, only to return with a vengeance is one that really appeals to me. Prometheus has if anything really sparked my imagination in terms of why and what this war with this returned alien race might mean and be about.

So in the end I guess in some way Prometheus was a success. At least from the point of view that it entertained me, and then let my my reflect on hidden deeper meanings within the film. It sparked my imagination in a way that I had never anticipated. New interesting possibilities lie ahead...           

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Escape From Innsmouth Campaign Outline

So I've been sketching out and searching for some scenarios to round out my Escape From Innsmouth campaign. These would be scenarios that reinforce the monster/investigation of the week slot I have planned. In between these I and the main scenarios from the Escape book I would fit in the more personal level scenarios that feature my individual investigators. Heres my thoughts right now. This is still all up in the air.

The Introduction Scenario
My plan as it stands now is to use the Miskatonic University as a home base. I want to introduce Dr. Armitage as the investigators patron/quest giver. I'm wondering if maybe theres a way via the Dunwich Horror or some other scenario that I could neatly intertwine their fate. The main idea is to provide the springboard that slowly introduces the investigators to the Mythos and thus draws them in to further investigations .

Coming Full Circle (Pagan Publishing)
This is a mini campaign with four non-mythos horror scenarios. It's something I've always wanted to run. It's meant to take place over a decade between 1929-1939. I'm thinking I would change this time period to 1918-1928 in order to fit everything in and wrap it up just before the Raid on Innsmouth scenario which is supposed to take place nominally in February 1928.

More Adventures in Arkham Country (Miskatonic River Press)
In my search for ideas/scenarios I found this collection of scenarios. I've heard good things about this company and their work. In particular there are two scenarios in this book which might be fun to run. The first is “The Hopeful” by Oscar Rios, and the second is “Spare the Rod” by Adam Gauntlett. “The Hopeful” in particular is reputedly a great replacement for the “Crawford Inheritance” in the Escape campaign. Perhaps I can mash the two, or take bits from one or the other.

The Outline
So if we put it all together we have a pretty epic campaign framework. I could see this lasting a good long while. Not sure if thats a good thing or not. It could be a case of me biting off more than I can chew. Or it could lead to the magnum opus that I've always dreamed of running. Heres what we get:

  1. Introduction Scenario (1918)
  2. Cold Spot”, Coming Full Circle (1918)
  3. In-term Period / “Spare the Rod” (1920-1921)
  4. Remains To Be Seen” , Coming Full Circle (1922)
  5. In-term Period / “Crawford Inheritance/The Hopeful” (1923-1924)
  6. The Whitewood Horror” , Coming Full Circle (1925)
  7. In-term Period / “Escape From Innsmouth” (1926-1927)
  8. Full Circle” , Coming Full Circle (1928)
  9. The Raid on Innsmouth” , (Feburary 1928)
  10. Campaign Conclusion   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Now With More Pac-Man

I just added a new Pac-Man widget to the bottom of the blog. I know how could I deny my readership such a valuable widget for so long ? What kind of self respecting game blog is worthy of the name with out it ! So read the blog, stay for the Pac-Man.Oh Zombiecowboy you crazy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I'm Going To Be A Writer

"As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I'm not sure that I'm going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says "you are nothing", I will be a writer."

-Hunter S. Thompson, Gonzo

Monday, March 18, 2013

Escape From Innsmouth Campaign Planning

I've begun to plan out the Escape from Innsmouth campaign. What follows is sort of a rough plan of my thought process and what I'd like to try and accomplish. I'm the kind of person who sort of needs a visual road map on paper in order to keep things organized and running smoothly. 

The Rules System
I've run a bunch of Call of Cthulhu in the past using the 5.6 edition of the rules. After running Arkham Heat I became really dissatisfied with the way combat played out. I know tons of people feel like this system is the be all and end all and that combat is not the point, but I really want to try something new. So I will be doing a conversion using the NEMESIS rules. I plan to post my conversion notes as well as talk about my feelings on it here as the campaign goes along.

The Campaign Core
The basic core from which my campaign will be built around will be the expanded and revised, second edition of Escape from Innsmouth. This book contains a in depth look at the town, as well as the following scenarios: The Crawford Inheritance, Escape from Innsmouth, of course the Raid on Innsmouth. I will try to run these with an eye towards foreshadowing Delta Green. Of course I will be rereading “The Shadow over Innsmouth” but I will also be rereading “Once more from the top” which is a Delta Green short story that takes place during the Raid.

The Setting
With the Escape book as my core I will expand out from there. I don't want to run a globe trotting campaign. I'm going to keep this thing around Lovecraft country, specifically Arkham. I ran a noir campaign called Arkham Heat a while back. That was a much darker campaign. This time I think I'll make Arkham a little closer to Lovecraft's vision of a quiet university town. If I need a grittier city element I may send the players as far as Boston.

The Home Base
One thing I've learned from running previous campaigns, be that Call of Cthulhu or D&D, it's important to have a home base for your characters. In particular I'm looking for an easy way to bring in new characters in case of death. I've decided that in order to help stimulate the horror I want to evoke in this campaign death needs to be a distinct reality. To that end I can't be afraid to kill off characters. But killing off characters can really screw the campaign if introducing new ones becomes a joke, not to mention the loss of continuity that it can bring with it. In addition, a good home base should provide a spring board for new scenarios/investigations. An idea I've long wanted to try was to centre a campaign around Miskatonic University. The basic idea here would be to have a group based around a team of paranormal investigation researchers run by Dr. Henry Armitage. I'm looking for a semi realistic/plausible team. Less Buffy/Ghostbusters, more Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston as seen in their Pendergast series of novels. This will provide me with an opportunity to slip in Brian Burnham and Dr. Najar and fully realize their NPC potential when they become important to the Escape scenarios.

The Campaign Framework
With all that figured out I sort of need a road map of the plot points I want to hit along the way. This campaign will be a hybrid of prewritten scenarios and stuff I write myself. The way I see it there are three basic types of scenarios:
  1. The main plot point scenarios. 
  2. Investigation/monster of the week scenarios. 
  3. Character story/development scenarios. 
The main plot scenarios
These cover the scenarios important to telling the main story. In this case thats the scenarios found in the Escape campaign book. Of course I may find it necessary to expand on these a little. The idea of this campaign is to run a fleshed out version of Escape. It's the core of this thing after all.

Investigation/monster of the week scenarios
These scenarios are not tied to the main story. I want to stay away from Innsmouth with them. No Deep Ones etc. If everything revolves around Innsmouth the town starts to become familiar and lose it's creepiness. These scenarios are meant as a pallet cleanser. A way of adding verisimilitude to the campaign. These should take no longer than a session to run, two at the most. I don’t plan on adding a lot of these. The basic idea here is a quick investigation into a mystery, weird event, or perhaps stop a monster/serial killer.

Character story/development scenarios
These scenarios are meant as a way of developing and telling the individual stories of the investigators themselves. These will involve how the characters start as regular people and then change as the mythos starts to wreak havoc on their normal lives. The Sarah Connor effect if you will. At minimum I'd like to run at least one of these for each of the players in my group.

So that's where my thoughts are at in terms of running Escape from Innsmouth. Much of this will stem from what kind of investigators the players ultimately decided to make. I figure if I start small with something that begins at the Miskatonic University and then weave my own ideas with that of the players and the Escape campaign I should have something pretty awesome. The ultimate trick will be to keep myself on target and not allow myself to get distracted by anything else.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do you hear them? Sunken bells... they are tolling for me.

"Abraham Sapien. Do you hear... sunken bells are tolling for thee. Out of caverns of num-yabisc, dark and terrible deep, the ocean is calling her children home."
                                                                                                                 Hellboy: Wake the Devil

My mind works in messed up ways. I chalk it up to my gamer ADD. Recently I purchased some Delta Green PDFs. Delta Green has to be some of the best game lines ever. If I have one criticism its that they take way too long for the stuff to come out. But when they do they are always well worth the wait.

Thinking about Delta Green brings two thoughts to my mind. One, what game system I want to use in running it. Two, The Escape from Innsmouth campaign and my need to run it. Escape was the first Call of Cthulhu campaign I ever played in. Hell, this was the campaign that busted my proverbial gaming cherry.

Theres just something about Escape from Innsmouth that seems like the perfect introduction to a Delta Green campaign. Part of it stems from the raid on the degenerate fishing town. Part of it has to do with that this is the pivotal event that lead to the creation of the Delta Green organization.

Now that I've discovered the NEMESIS rpg, the first question has been answered. But then I felt like I needed a way to test out these new rules. Something that has been tried and tested. Something that I have a solid idea how it should turn out. Which leads me back to Innsmouth.

Which got me thinking about how I would like to run the Escape campaign. I want this to be scary. So one goal I have is to put a real effort into making sure that I can evoke a few moments of horror. To think I can make every session scary is ridiculous. But if I do it right I think I can at least make a couple of sessions creepy.

So how am I going to make it scary ? I've been watching a lot of the Lost television series lately. This show is all about the secrets of the main characters and the island. Good secrets seem to be the lynch pin behind most awesome RPG campaigns too. In a horror/investigation campaign this would seem to be doubly important since you cant rely on that D&D formula of encounters being based more or less on a combat/treasure model. There needs to be more to it. So for this my NPCs and my players investigators are going to need secrets. Horrible secrets. Secrets that reveal themselves slowly over the course of the campaign. Something that creates a building sense of dread and revulsion in both the characters and the players. 

For sure one of the players is going to have a tainted Deep One bloodline. This should be relatively easy to do with "The Crawford Inheritance" scenario found in the book. 

Another idea I had was something inspired by PS2 game Silent Hill 2. Perhaps a loved one, a family member, wife, son, whoever, sends the PC a letter telling them their waiting for them in Innsmouth. But the catch is that person supposedly died sometime ago. Or did they ? Who or what sent the letter ?  Why ? Are they alive ? Are they human, a ghost ? Or is the PC just crazy ? Thats just the start. I dont have too much yet but it's the general direction I wanna go with while I meld the written campaign with my own ideas.

In terms of NPCs there are two that stick out in my mind right now as needing to be developed further. There are spoilers below so if you don't wanna ruin the campaign stop reading now you've been warned.

First is Brian Burnham the young manager of the First National Grocery Store in Innsmouth that disappears and kicks off the investigation of "The Escape From Innsmouth" scenario. I feel like its absolutely critical for the players to have a sympathetic connection with this guy. So I defiantly wanna play up his role. Maybe make him a family member of one of the characters.    

Dr. Ravana Najar is an East Indian parapsychologist  and avatar of Nyarlathotep. He is apart of "The Marsh Mansion Objective" in the "Raid on Innsmouth" scenario and is there to capture Esther Marsh before the investigators can. It's an interesting idea, but it comes straight out of left field. Because of that I feel like it loses the full potential that it could have. 

Lastly I would like to develop some more adventures in between "The Crawford Inheritance" and "The Escape From Innsmouth" scenarios since once "Escape" happens Innsmouth becomes a very difficult if not impossible location for the investigators to be right up until the "Raid" happens. I've read "Before the Fall" but to be honest its in my opinion pretty weak. Who knows maybe a read read is in order.

Anyway thats pretty much where I'm at at this point. More thoughts and ideas to follow.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Righteous Infliction of Links Manifested by an Appropriate Agent

You're always gonna have problems lifting a body in one piece. Apparently the best thing to do is cut up a corpse into six pieces and pile it all together. And when you got your six pieces, you gotta get rid of them, because it's no good leaving it in the deep freeze for your mum to discover, now is it ? The I hear the best thing to do is feed them to pigs. You got to starve the pigs for a few days, then the sight of a chopped-up body will look like curry to a pisshead. You gotta shave the heads of your victims, and pull the teeth out for the sake of the piggies' digestion. You could do this afterwards, of course, but you don't want to go sievin' through pig shit, now do you ? They will go through bone like butter. You need at least sixteen pigs to finish the job in one sitting, so be wary of any man who keeps a pig farm. They will go through a body that weighs 200 pounds in about eight minutes. That means that a single pig can consume two pounds of uncooked flesh every minute. Hence the expression, "as greedy as a pig".                                                   
                                                        -Brick Top (Snatch)

What a bloody brilliant movie Snatch was. Not that the former has anything to do with this post nor the mini review of the NEMESIS rpg that you can read HERE. No what this post is about is me doing you ORE game masters a favour. Below are a bunch of links I thought might prove useful for the NEMESIS system all in one handy dandy place. No thanks needed, thats just how I roll hombres. In particular the links to the character sheets will prove pretty useful since the core rules don't seem to include any. The NEMESIS in a nutshell from the totally rad Swords Against the Outer Dark blog looks like it will also come in pretty handy. If your reading this and you have any additional links let me know and I can add them to the list.

NEMESIS RPG Tools & Links

Friday, March 15, 2013

Innsmouth Porn

By Cribs from deviantART
No word of a lie. I was checking out my Blogger stats and one of the keywords for finding my blog was Innsmouth Porn. Dude. That's just messed up. So I felt obliged to rectify that particular situation. So there you go you filthy pervs. Enjoy your Innsmouth Porn.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My New Nemesis

Published in 2006, NEMESIS is a generic horror RPG that uses a hybrid of the One Roll Engine (ORE) rules from Godlike, and the Madness Meter from Unknown Armies. Created by Greg Stolze and Dennis Detwiller this 52 page PDF can be Downloaded free of charge HERE.

The rules are an interesting twist on dice rolling mechanics. The One Roll Engine utilizes solely d10s and is designed to provide all the information needed in one roll. Task resolution is done by rolling a dice pool (maximum 10 dice). Dice pools are created by taking the skill you want to use (skills are rated in dice with human average of 1-5) and adding dice from from one of six associated ability scores (the 6 scores are rated in dice with human average of 1-5). Success is determined by making matches. The height and width of your roll determines how successful you are at an action. Width equals how many matching dice you have, hight equals how high those matches are. So for example if you rolled a pool of 8 dice (for example 4 for the Body ability, 4 for Martial Arts skill) and got a 4, 7, 8, 4, 6, 9, 4, 1, your roll would be noted as 3 x 4 or a width of 3 and a height of 4.

The other interesting mechanic is the Madness Meter. This was first seen in the Unknown Armies RPG and functions as a way of tracking a characters mental health. There are four gauges that track: Violence, the Unnatural, Self, and Helplessness. Characters can become hardened to sanity blasting effects or become unstable and descend into madness. I feel like this system helps emulate real life mental trauma better than say the Call of Cthulhu sanity system.

The core mechanic is relatively simple and with additional rules adding layers of complexity. The system itself seems to lend itself to tinkering and seems like they would be able to handle most if not all genres without a problem. While technically there seems to be enough here to run a game and its available free I personally feel like the NEMESIS document is incomplete. It feels like there should be a little more meat on this things bones. A minor thing but I feel it bears mentioning. Lastly these days I find myself more and more of the mind that RPGs should be setting specific as opposed to being generic. Again just an opinion. Lastly there is a Call of Cthulhu/Godlike Conversion Document available for download that would work well as a guide for converting the massive back catalog of Chaosium material out there.

Final thoughts. This seems like a very cool system. I feel like it captures that line between the crunch and rules light system I'm looking for. I defiantly wanna tinker around with the rules a bit and see what I can do with them. In particular I think they would make a great replacement in a Call of Cthulhu campaign.    

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Lovecraftian Menstrual Cycle

I've been on a Cthulhu kick lately. This seems to happen on a regular basis. I seem to suffer from some kind of horrid Lovecraftian menstrual cycle. When it hits me I feel a crawling in my gut, a cold shrivelling of my balls as they retract inside me, and a feverish hammering in my head that threatens to tear the womb of my imagination apart, and bleed horrible half-formed mutant ideas on the floor. These ideas reek of rotten fish and non-euclidean geometrical dimensions, slick with the after birth of knowledge mankind was not meant to know...

Gross. I know. Being me is hard.

This most recent bout was brought on when I made a few RPG purchases at my favourite PDF one stop shop Drive Thru RPG. I picked up from ARC Dream Publishing:

Now my mind is on fire with ideas that I would like to share in the coming days in the form of sperated blog posts. So what can you readers expect ?

First up Delta Green. I'd like to do a review on each of the PDFs DG:Targets of Opportunity, and DG:Eyes Only. Secondly I had some thoughts and ideas on how I would go about setting up a Delta Green campaign.

Secondly I wanted to write about Call of Cthulhu and the Escape from Innsmouth campaign. Why and what does this have to do with anything aside from being Lovecraftian ? Well I'll get into that in it's own blog post. The short answer is that because Delta Green has it's origins in the Raid on Innsmouth. Whenever I think of running Delta Green my thoughts invariably come back to Escape from Innsmouth. Now I have some ideas on how I would like to run this and things I would do to make this a totally awesome and memorable campaign.

Lastly the NEMESIS rpg (A.K.A the horror version of the one roll engine game system, or Dark ORE). The system is free and I'll let you know what I think of it, and how/why I plan on using it in the future. I will also cover horror roleplaying in general, my experiences with the genre in the past and what I'd like to experiment with in the future.

The ultimate goal here is to provide other GMs with ideas that they could use to run there own games, and provide some useful information. Some of this is me trying to document some experimental ideas I want to try out. All in all I have a good 3 to 6 blog posts lined up here that should be useful to others as opposed to me talking out of my ass here for the sake of hearing my own voice.

In the mean time pass the Elder Sign strength Midol. I'm feeling another wave of cramps coming on of the Shub-Niggurath, Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young variety. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lazy Sunday - Lo Pan Style

I found this video over at Advanced Dungeons and Parenting. Being a fan of the oh so classic film Big Trouble in Little China (and really who isn't?) I just had to share it. I found it pretty funny, your milage may vary. Have a gnarly gnarlington Sunday.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Look What Came In the Mail!!!

Well look at that, I got a whole weeks worth of blog posts in. Hot damn!

In even more exciting news (for me at least) yesterday I received my order from Noble Knight Games. I've already started digging into the Player's Guide and trying to get them creative juices flowing so I can get a Deadlands: Reloaded game started ASAP.

I've written about this before but the classic Deadlands was where I got my very first start as a Game Master, and the picture of Roland, the undead gunslinger on the book cover was what inspired the Zombiecowboy moniker I still use today. In some ways this sort of feels like I've come full circle. To quote Darth Vader, "When I left you I was but a learner, now I am the Master".

Ok, that was cheesy. But I feel like a kid in a candy store right now. Anyway, hopefully I can keep the blogging momentum up. I'm sure I'm going to have some thoughts to write about on these recently acquired book. Till then, Zombiecowboy out.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Simplified Version Of D&D

Yesterday I taught and ran my french class through a simplified version of D&D. You can read all about it HERE. Today I wanted to talk about some of the things I learned and present my version of “D&D” that I showed them.

Lessons Learned
The first thing I learned was that I should have gone into this thing with a pile of pre-generated characters. Creating characters even in my simplified version of the game was a nightmare. This was due in part to the fact that it was difficult for me to articulate the process only in french and because even if I had been doing it in english I probably wasn’t explaining things as clear as I needed too.

Secondly I should have made a cheat sheet prepared to showcase what a character could do in a scene/combat and what the  steps/actions in scene/combat are. All in all things went fairly smoothly and people had fun so I would consider the game a success and I'm happy for the most part with the results.

The Game System
When I first decided to run a D&D game I really struggled with what rules set I should use. My biggest concern was with translating what ever system I was using to french. This is a french class and the goal is to practice speaking properly. After a fairly exhaustive search I settled on the french version of Epées & Sorcellerie. However after a bit of reading I decided that even this might be too complicated for my group. In the end I ended up using it more as a reference book for learning the right french translations and creating my simplified system. After reading it I really liked Épees & Sorcellerie I could see myself playing this with another group one day.

Zombiecowboy's Fantasy RPG Rules Set

Heres my simplified “D&D” rules. Read em, use em, let me know what you think of em in the comments.

Character Creation

Step 1: Think of what you want to play.

Imagine a character from a favourite book, film, or TV series.

Step 2: Choose ability scores.

Take the numbers below and put them into the 6 ability scores Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma in the order that best suits your character concept.

18 (+3), 14 (+2), 11(+1), 10 (0), 10 (0), 8 (-1)

Step 3: Choose a race from below.

  • Human: +2 racial bonus to a specific task of choice (skill, weapon, spellcasting)

  • Elf: +2 racial bonus to spellcasting rolls or attacks with bows.

  • Halfling: +2 racial bonus to ranged attacks, or 1d6 sneak attack (stacks with thief class sneak attack bonus).

  • Dwarf: +2 racial bonus to attacks with axes and verses poisons.

Step 4: Choose a class from below.

  • Fighter: Starts with 30 hit points + Constitution Modifier, +2 Bonus on all attacks.

  • Cleric: Starts with 24 hit points + Constitution Modifier, ability to cast miracles (spells).

  • Wizard: Starts with 12 hit points + Constitution Modifier, ability to cast spells.

  • Thief: Starts with 18 hit points + Constitution Modifier, 1d6 sneak attack.

Step 5: Determine Armour Class (AC).

10 + Dexterity Modifier + Armour Bonus = AC

  • No Armour: Armour bonus +0 (If a wizard casts spells while wearing any sort of armour they take the amour bonus as a penalty to spellcasting checks).

  • Leather Armour: Armour bonus +2 (Thieves can wear leather armour without penalty, wearing heavier armour causes the thief to suffer the armour bonus as a penalty to sneaking and other thievery related activities).

  • Chain Mail: Armour bonus +4 (Clerics can wear chain mail or less armour without suffering penalties to spellcasting. wearing full plate causes the cleric to suffer the armour bonus as a penalty).

  • Full Plate Armour: Armour bonus +6 (Fighters can wear any armour they choose).

Rules of the Game
The rules are simple, but do require a certain amount of adjudication on the GM's part. Basically if it seems right, fun or cool and everyone is cool with it then go for it. These rules are essentially rough guidelines and should not be followed rigorously. They have not been rigorously play tested.

  • Determining Success/Failure: In order to make an attack, cast a spell, or attempt an action (climb a wall, sneak, make a perception check etc.) you roll a d20 and add the most appropriate ability modifier and any other bonuses/penalties that might apply based on class, race, or circumstance. (strength for attacks with weapons, dexterity for initiative or tumbling, intelligence for casting a wizard spell, wisdom for cleric miracles etc.) You succeed on a task if your result is 10 or higher.

  • Damage: Damage is determined by rolling a 1d6 and adding the appropriate ability modifier (strength for melee, dexterity for ranged attacks, Intelligence/Wisdom for wizard/cleric spells. All attacks regardless of weapon type or spell deal damage the same way.

  • Magic: There is no codified spell list. It's up to each person to come up with the spells their character can cast and it's up to the GM and player to adjudicate how they work exactly. For example if a character wants to turn invisible they spend an action and turn invisible. Attack spells require an attack roll and on a success deal 1d6 damage plus intelligence for a wizard or wisdom for a cleric. Area effect spells allow for a saving throw (A successful save is a 10 or higher on a d20 roll) for all targets in the area. Some spells like paralysis allow for an opposed roll between the spell caster and target. The highest result plus modifiers wins the contest.

  • Actions in Combat: Characters can perform 1 action (attack, cast a spell, etc.) and make a move of 6 squares. Or a character can run for twelve squares and end their turn. Any other reasonable or logical actions a character could do within that basic frame work could be attempted on GM approval.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Played D&D In French Today

In February of last year I lost my job. To complicate matters at the time I was a uni-lingual anglophone (english speaker) living in Canada's french province of Quebec. My inability to speak french was becoming a major road block in becoming gainfully employed again, not to mention just down right frustrating sometimes. Let's put it this way, in a place where we have a minority separatist provincial government in power, language police and laws that dictate that french must be protected at all costs life can be very difficult if you can't or just plain refuse to speak the language.

In May of the same year I was accepted into a provincially funded program and admitted into adult education to upgrade my skill set and learn french. At the time I was skeptical. Could I really learn french in one year? Or was I going to have to uproot my family and move to somewhere else in Canada?

My french classes are intensive. I'm required to be at school 30 hours a week. Monday to Friday, 8:20 am- 3:30 pm. In my afternoon period we have a conversation class and each of us was given an assignment to teach the class about a hobby or a passion we have in our lives. Obviously RPG's is a no brainer for myself and today after 8 months of studying and practice I taught and ran a simplified version D&D for my teacher and fellow class mates. Almost entirely in french.

It was a fairly exhausting and difficult experience, yet it was also rewarding. First I'm proud of just how far my ability in the language has come since those early days. I have a lot to learn still and I wouldn’t say I'm fluent but I can now communicate with and understand others on a fairly basic level. It was also rewarding to see my fellow students and teacher flexing their imaginations and giving this bizarre hobby (and that us veterans some times take too seriously) a chance. In fact we might actually continue the game again on Monday if time allows. I'll take that as a good sign.

In a future blog post I'll write out what we did and present the simplified rules we used to play the game.              

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dennis Detwiller On Delta Green & Creepiness

On his blog Nothing Can Stop the Blog Dennis Detwiller (one of the creators of Delta Green and founder of Arc Dream Publishing)  discusses how to creep the fuck out of your player's and run a damn good Delta Green campaign.  The original article can be found Here but I'm reposting it here since I know most people (like myself) are lazy fucks. I think it hits all the right notes in terms of not only how to run a DG scenario well, but any horror or conspiracy game.

Delta Green: Creepiness, A How To Guide
By Dennis Detwiller

I have played in many (many, many) Call of Cthulhu games. All but a very few have failed — at some point — to creep me out. It’s hard to play without guessing where a scenario might be going, especially with such a long and deep history with the game and creating for it. Still, there’s always some magic.
And those few scenarios that did frighten me… wow. Those few have made all the other games more than worth it.

How do I bring the scares to my Delta Green game? Read on.

The Mundane is the Backdrop
Delta Green is rooted in the mundane. The more you cement the conspiracy among things the things the players know, trust and understand, the more striking the moments of sheer terror unlocking the horrible secrets of the universe will be.
Have Stephen Alzis meet them at a 7-11, have the Dimensional Shambler manifest in a TARGET, note the details of destruction of a MAJESTIC hit in a home by describing the tipped coffee table and blood soaked PEOPLE magazine with Justin Bieber on the cover.
Secondary to this concept is this: moments of true mythos horror should be few and far between. Think of your game as a symphony, and only at the most special moments is there a crescendo. A symphony composed only of crescendos is boring. Choose the moments when the mythos appears carefully, make them count, and make them hurt.

Nothing is Certain
If Delta Green players are confident in their associates, their relationships, their methods: you’re doing it wrong. They should live in fear of double-cross, of being hung out to dry, of being set up. Anyone could be compromised, anyone could be a puppet for a non-human intelligence, any new lead; a trap.
A good example of this is:
An agent was driving his shit Thunderbird, and I kept describing the awful brakes and the squealing noise they made. He decided to take the car in. When he was paying for the job, the mechanic handed him an odd, gray box and said:
“Oh, this was in the wheel well, I don’t know what the fuck it is”
Popping this device open, the player discovered a mud-stained GPS tracker with a heavy magnet. No identifying marks. Attempts to trace the electronics in it lead to dead ends and empty lots that were never produced by American firms.
That player became paranoid/obsessed/terrified from that point on. I never followed up on it. I didn’t have to. They player did it for me.

Mythos Horror is Lack of Understanding
With the mythos, the answers only go so far. How did the book displace the agent’s consciousness? How does a gesture in the air cut a man in half? How can a thing that appears to be composed of bubbles of energy, speak and pass through objects?
The answers to all these questions are beyond human conception and always will be. While some elements at the edges may be picked apart, there will always be a fundamental lack of understanding of the mythos. That’s why it’s the mythos. 
This is where I see a lot of problems arise in groups. Keepers allow the players to “understand” a creature, and once that creature’s actions, stats and behaviors can be guessed, the creature/threat/mythos idea is no longer frightening. The key to generating fear is uncertainly.

Death is Omnipresent

Do not protect the characters. You are the mediator of the game, but you should not step in an reprieve a doomed character. It is your job to walk them to the gallows, the dice are the guillotine. Death is not only part of Delta Green, it is the basis of it. It is a game about human frailty and death, about the struggle against the unknown despite the fact that victory is never possible.
As such, it is important to let the game dictate the outcome. Note that the rules are stacked in favor of the creatures from beyond, and that humans, unless they are exceedingly careful and clever, have almost no chance of even a limited victory.
This is not a game about winning, it is a game about surviving to fight another day. Death is the central outcome of Delta Green operations. Few, if any, survive their tour without seeing, or experiencing death, first hand.

There are Worse Things Than Dying
Even more, there are worse fates than death in the world of Delta Green. Creatures exist that can infect and subsume a character, methods exist to artificially prolong or restore life, and there are places where all such rules — life and death — are removed completely.
Characters in the know should exist in mortal fear of such outcomes, and should be on the look out for situations which can compromise the very thing they are fighting for: normal, human existence. Many agencies and groups exist to further these concepts and infections. One might even say that the minions who serve the Great Old Ones themselves are a disease that infects and destroys human thought replacing it with alien ideas and concepts.
Death is the terror that keeps DG agents on their toes, but the things beyond death, that’s what Delta Green fights, and at their moment of greatest weakness and failure, sometimes become.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Saints of Los Angeles-Theme Song

Yesterday I posted my Appendix N for the Digital Dark Age campaign setting. Today I'm posting the music video that provided the inspiration for idea that spawned the Saints of Los Angeles campaign. I imagined the song as being the opening theme song at the start of each session, like a TV series. The basic idea behind the campaign was that the PC's/heroes were the proverbial "saints" and that the "Los Angeles" was their space ship rather than the city in California. The basic premise was a cyberpunk/firefly mash up.  We played one amazing session with the Silhouette System before it crashed and burned. But it's something I'd like to return to with Savage Worlds and Interface Zero some time soon in the future.   

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Digital Dark Age: Appendix N

So heres a list of the major influences on the Digital Dark Age Campaign. None of it is presented in any particular order of importance. It's a sort of a freak show of science fiction with tones of cyberpunk, noir, pulp, and of course weird. Some are fairly self explanatory, others not so much.

  • The Hyperion Cantos (Dan Simmons)
  • Ilium/Olympos Cycle (Dan Simmons)
  • Red Harvest (Dashiell Hammett)
  • The Takeshi Kovacs Trilogy/Market Forces (Richard K. Morgan)
  • Hellboy/B.P.R.D comic series (Mike Mignola)
  • Path of Fury/ Honorverse (David Weber)
  • Neuromancer (William Gibson)
  • Snowcrash (Neal Stephenson)
  • Northwest Smith (C. L. Moore)
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth (H. P. Lovecraft)
  • Star Wars (George Lucas)
  • Total Recall (Philip K. Dick)
  • Firefly/Serenity (Joss Whedon)
  • Appleseed (Masamune Shirow)
  • Warhammer 40,000/Necromunda (Games Workshop)
  • Heavy Gear RPG (Dream Pod 9)
  • Cyberpunk RPG (R. Talsorian Games)
  • Shadowrun RPG (FASA)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal Lie...

...And with strange aeons even death may die.

 And thats sorta what this blog has become, not dead but dreaming. Waiting for the stars to align or some such esoteric Lovecraftian babel.

I've been wanting to update the blog for a while now. However with a lack of actual gaming happening, and the priorities of school and family, I've either been too busy, or too tired.

So whats been happening in the past while?

Well I finished David Weber's “Out of the Dark”. Great read except the ending. One of the first times I actually ever wanted to throw a book across the room. I wont spoil it for you, but believe me when I say Weber gets a good square kick in your nuts on this one. However to Weber's credit I finished the first book in the Honor Harrington series “On Basilisk Station” and it was frigging awesome from start to finish. Next on deck is “The Honor of the Queen”. And of course I still have the first book in Weber's “Safehold series sitting on my shelf to get to as well as John Ringo's “A Hymn Before Battle”. Too many books not enough time and all that jazz.

Currently I'm reading the first novel in Clive Cussler/Grant Blackwood's “Fargo” series called “Spartan Gold”. So for the most part it's a fun read though at near the end its starting to drag a little. Hopefully the ending will pick it up. One thing of note is how all of the novels in any of Cussler's series are packed with great ideas for RPG adventures and campaigns. Particularly if you tear the ideas straight from the books for use in a modern action/adventure setting. Characters, exotic places, interesting historical bits, and crazy plots abound.

Lastly on the RPG front. I recently purchased the “Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition”, “Deadlands: Marshal's Handbook”, “Player's Guide”, “1880 Smith & Robards Catalog” (Explorers Edition all), and “The Last Sons” plot points campaign setting books. In addition I picked up a really nice Texas Hold'em poker set from Walmart. The intention is that I' ll finally get to try out running/playing Savage Worlds and get some gaming going on again. I've wanted to get a SW game started for a while but keep getting cold feet on it as well as “Gamer ADD”, unfamiliarity of the system, laziness, time constraints, etc. Hopefully with the substantial amount of money I sunk into these purchases I will have the motivation to make it happen.

So that pretty much sums up shit around here. I have every intention of updating the blog as much as I can realistically can. I have no intention of writing updates for the sake of updating. So if I have something of note to write I will. Till then you are the resistance. Zombiecowboy out.