Friday, September 16, 2016

For 24 Hours, Cryptworld On Sale And The Sketchbook of Grotesqueries Is Back!

Cryptworld is Drive Through RPG's Deal of the Day! For the next 24 hours, the PDF of Cryptworld is only $4.77! If you've been trying to decide whether to check it out, now's the time to do it!

And, to entice new players (and reward current fans), I'm making The Sketchbook of Grotesqueries available again for 24 hours! I have compiled 17 Cryptworld things that have appeared here at The Savage AfterWorld into a handy booklet for use at your gaming table! The Sketchbook of Grotesqueries contains these 17 unique monsters for your Cryptworld campaigns:

Bloody Bones
Bloody Mary
Carnivorous Swarm
Screaming Skull
Slender Man
Smiley Face
The Tooth Fairy
White Noise

UPDATE: The 24 hours are up! Sorry you missed out. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

[Cryptworld] Cursed Item: Gacy's Clown Nose

A Cursed Item for Cryptworld

The object in question is simplicity itself -- a red foam ball, about 2 inches in diameter, with a slot cut into one side. The clown nose is designed to slip over the nose of the person wearing it, giving their nose a big, bulbous appearance.

This particular costume appliance was at one time owned by John Wayne Gacy, a notorious U.S. serial killer who murdered 33 young men in the 1970s. Gacy became known as The Killer Clown, due to his hobby of entertaining at fundraisers and children's parties as "Pogo the Clown." Although there's no evidence that he ever killed while in costume, his personal effects may have somehow been psychically imbued with his murderous intent. After his arrest, conviction, and eventual execution, some of the evidence from his trial vanished from the police holdings (whether taken by souvenir hunters or lost over time is unknown). One of those missing items is this simple clown nose.

"You know... clowns can get away with murder."
--John Wayne Gacy
Wearing the nose, even if for a few moments, fills the wearer with seething hatred as a wide rictus grin crosses their face. The skin starts to bleach and the hair becomes stringy and changed to a bright primary color. Within moments, the person will have transformed into a Cut-Up , a deranged Psycho Killer with a theatrical flair of murderous mayhem. The transformation lasts until the Cut-Up has claimed a victim, at which time the cursed victim will change back into their normal facade. Their bloodlust sated, they'll remove the nose and cover up any evidence of their involvement. They'll be able to keep their murderous urges at bay for a month or so until the craving for mayhem returns and they find themselves reapplying the nose for another evening of "slaying their audience."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Non-Gaming Things That Remind You Of Gaming

Earlier today, I was at the local grocery store picking up a few necessities. As I walked through the laundry detergent aisle, I saw something that reminded me very strongly of my first roadtrip to Gen Con. What was that item that has such a strong connection to a gaming memory? This bottle right here...
I'll explain in a moment, but it's funny how memory works. A piece of music, a specific smell, anything can trigger a memory, even if that trigger is only loosely connected to the event. For example, I think most of us recognize this:

But how many of you are wondering, "What the hell is that bottle of booze doing in that dice bag?" That's what we're discussing today: non-gaming items that, to you, are absolutely connected to your world of gaming experiences. Here are mine:

1. A disc-firing plastic gun
When I first began playing D&D with my friends, we often played in Roger's basement rec room. There were always toys, games, gadgets, and gizmos scattered about as Rog was a bit of a collector. During one game, he had one of these guns on the table, playfully firing it here and there. I picked up one of the discs and began chewing on it absent-mindedly as I considered an action -- kinda the way you might gnaw on a toothpick. Anyway, I picked up that as a habit and, during future D&D games, I had a handful of those stupid discs nearby whenever I considered any character action.

2. Toto's "Africa"

One of my favorite D&D books is the Fiend Folio. I absolutely love that monster book, as it's filled with the most gonzo and bizarre fantasy creatures I had encountered in my early gaming history. I bought my copy at Waldenbooks (remember them?) and raced home to pour through it. As I plunked down in my bedroom to read my new treasure, I turned on the stereo. This song was just starting as I began to read. During the 4-minute runtime of this song, I flipped through the book, looking at the pictures and glancing at the names of the monsters: The Bonesnapper, The Sons of Kyuss, The Crypt Thing, The FLAILSNAIL. Ever since that day, this song reminds me of Githyanki and Xvarts.

3. The smell of Gain laundry detergent

Told you we'd get back to this. In 2011, I went to my first Gen Con. It had been a dream 20+ years in the making to get there, so I was super-pumped as I packed my stuff and prepped my car for the roadtrip. One of my little travelling quirks is that I have to scrub my car inside and out before any long trips. I dunno -- a clean car runs better, feels more "comfortable", and just makes the trip a bit better. Early that morning, as I climbed behind the wheel for the trip, I placed one last item in place -- a car air freshener I had picked up. I thought I had grabbed a pine-tree scented freshener as it was green. Wrong, I had picked up an air freshener that was scented with -- you guessed it -- Gain laundry detergent. I didn't even know Gain was an official "scent"! So, for 4+ hours as I drove to Indiana, my car and my sinuses were filled with the smell of Gain. My clothes smelled like Gain. The gaming materials in my car smelled like Gain. When I got to Gen Con, I forgot about the smell of Gain...until it was time to come home. My car still reeked of Gain so, for another 4 hours, all I smelled was Gain. That was 5 years ago. And, since then, the smell of Gain is absolutely connected to one of my favorite con experiences.

So let's hear from you. What non-gaming thing is forever connected to gaming in your expereinces?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

AVL Scarefest--A Halloween Weekend Of HORROR Gaming--Invites Gaming Ghouls To North Carolina!

The full moon parts the clouds on a chilly fall evening. Tucked someplace in the North Carolina mountains is a secluded camp retreat. A rustic cabin sits empty...dark....unsettlingly quiet. It's the Halloween season -- the time when the monsters come out. You steel up your nerve, enter the cabin...and enjoy three solid days of horror gaming mayhem!

Asheville Scarefest runs from October 21 through 23 at the Montreat Conference Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The organizers embrace this time of year by hosting and encouraging a schedule of horror-themed roleplaying. Call of Cthulhu? Check. Dread? Check. Deadlands? Check and check. (Even Ghostbusters is making an appearance!) This genius idea of a game convention originally started off as a Pathfinder Society-specific yearly gathering focusing on horror-themed fantasy adventures. Last year, the organizers opened it to any and all game systems with a focus on keeping the horror "alive". Horror adventures for D&D. Horror adventures for DCC RPG. Horror adventures for Pathfinder. And horror adventures for horror RPGs. Click here and take a look at what's available thus far for three days of terror-fueled gaming. (And the GM cutoff doesn't happen for another month!)

The location of Scarefest only adds to the atmosphere of the weekend. The Montreat Conference Center is a secluded mountain resort, and attendees will be staying in a "rustic" lodge. Let me set the stage...
Why do I get an "Overlook Hotel" vibe from this photo?

Oh-so-inviting residential lodging.
The event is nicely priced. $20 gets you a weekend pass for everything. Lodging is very reasonable (though rooms are going fast), and -- due to the isolation and difficulty running out for a bite -- a weekend meal plan for $70 will make sure you're fed throughout the convention.

The con is a smaller regional one (last year's attendance was under 200), but it's getting bigger and they've got at least one out-of-towner interested enough to make the trip -- yours truly.

Oh, and I shall be running some games too at this terror-filled weekend. And what better way to celebrate the season than by running several Cryptworld adventures during the weekend?

Maybe a few horror-themed boardgames would be fun during the downtimes. I may bring Betrayal at House on the Hill and Are You a Werewolf, in fact. And who might be up for a midnight game of Nightmare?

As always, I'll be live-blogging from the event, so stop by The Savage AfterWorld during Scarefest to catch up on what's going on. Or, better yet, join us for three days of horrifically fun gaming!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cthulhu Insanity Dice Now On Kickstarter! Simplify Those Fear & Insanity Checks!

Ben Burns of Dark Cult Games just launched his Kickstarter for Cthulhu Insanity Dice. This set of two 10-sided dice are perfect for horror RPGs when the players fail a fear check or lose that last bit of remaining sanity. One dice has 10 different fear reactions: babbling incoherently, explosive rage, flee in panic, faint dead away, etc. The other dice has 10 phobias that could surface when the player takes enough mental damage. These dice are going to be an invaluable addition for any horror RPG player. And it's only $13 for a set! Check them out!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Organize Your Convention Travel Data With Your Own Personal PC Record Sheet

When attending a game convention, there's a ton of information you need to have on-hand -- your flight number, your hotel reservation number, a checklist of everything you need to take, your planned purchases, your game schedule, etc. When I go to a con, I have all of this info printed out and tucked into folder I take with me. Convenient, yes, but very cumbersome. 

Brandon Kruse of D&D Doodles felt the same about his various checklists and schedules, so he created the "Unofficial GenCon Character Sheet." Styled like a typical PC character sheet, the form has a place for all of your travel info as well as your schedules, checklists, and other important information all on one sheet. Incredibly useful, and the design of the form is a masterstroke. Although tagged with GenCon's logo, this sheet will come in handy for *any* game con you plan to attend. I've already downloaded it and I plan to print a few for my upcoming con attendance this year. Great work, Brandon!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Savage AfterWorld's Post 1,000 Giveaway Winners!

Hey gang! The results are in for The Savage AfterWorld's Post 1,000 Giveaway! We had 50 folks vying for for some of My Favorite Gaming Things, and here's the winner's list:

Old School Gamer Patch goes to Trey Causey! 
Two d20 keychains each go to Jarad Cornett and Roberto Navarro!
The Cthulhu die keychain goes to Wayne Snyder!

Chill's Evenings of Terror is awarded to Steve Smith!

The Anomalous Subsurface Environment adventure series will be heading to Matthew Schmeer!

Three World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebooks for Mutant Future are heading to Jonathan Nichol, Luke Gissara, and Corey Shields!

It Came From the Late, Late, Late Show was won by Ton Bolenbaugh!

Two copies of Stuper Powers have been won by Will Arnold and Ed May!

Cartoon Action Hour has been won by Rus Ketcham!

The Mutant Future RPG Package that consists of the Mutant Future rules (soft cover); Deviant Database (both 1.0 and 2.0); One Year In The Savage AfterWorld; and The Metamorphica has been won by Tony Tucker!

And the entire Cryptworld game line consisting of the Cryptworld rules (soft cover); Monsters Macabre (soft cover); and Creepy Comic Conversion Issue 1: The Case of the Painted Beast is going to Philippe Tromeur!

My thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to those who won stuff! Emails will be going out tonight asking for your mailing info.