Thursday, September 21, 2017

[CRYPTWORLD] "Burial Plots" Origins Of Horror Part 1: "Forget-Me-Not"
As the Kickstarter for Goblinoid Games' CRYPTWORLD adventure compilation "Burial Plots" is underway, I thought it'd be fun to explain where each of these horrific scenarios came from. (I'll endeavor to stay as "spoiler-free" as I can, but read with caution.) The first adventure, "Forget-Me-Not," began -- appropriately enough -- with a nightmare…

I had the dream back in 2012. It was startling enough to make me sit bolt-upright in bed when I woke. I didn't remember much about the situation or setting upon awakening, but one image was burned into my subconscious: a phantom with long blades for hands. The spirit approached me, a scowl on its face.

"Who am I?" it asked.

I could tell the question was not one of identity. The ghost knew who it had been in life. No, rather the spirit wanted to find out if *I* knew who it was. I had never seen its face before.

"I'm sorry, but I don't know you," I answered. The spirit grimaced and sneered. One of its bladed hands pointed accusingly at me.

"You did this to me," it hissed. "You should know who you've killed. again, WHO AM I?" It swung the blade at my head. I was in a panic.

"I don't know! I don't know who you are!" I pleaded. The spirit looked sad -- disappointed, really. Then with a shriek, it swung at my neck...

And I woke up.


Later that year, as I prepped to attend my first Gary Con, I wanted to run a series of old-school RPGs for the Dead Games Society. I scheduled games of Ghostbusters and Timemaster, but I also wanted to run a horror scenario. One of my favorite old-school RPGs was Pacesetter's "Chill" horror RPG. I remembered the image of angry wraith, and the adventure "Arbor Day" -- to later become renamed as "Forget-Me-Not" -- spilled forth. At the convention, the players encountered a scene literally from my nightmares, and I saw both horror and excitement in their eyes as the scenario unfolded.

And I knew more horrific adventures would follow...

[Cryptworld] "Burial Plots" Adventure Compilation Now On Kickstarter!
The Kickstarter for the new CRYPTWORLD adventure supplement "Burial Plots" is now underway! CRYPTWORLD is Pacesetter's game of horror investigation and survival, and "Burial Plots" places your players face-to-face with monstrous THINGS in five full-length scenarios:

Condition Critical
Dr. Howard Eastman has called a press conference at his remote research facility to announce a medical breakthrough that will “eradicate human illness and suffering forever.” But what if the cure proves to be worse than the disease?

Three days ago, a group of hunters failed to return from their annual deer hunt near Akron, Ohio. Your team of expert trackers and investigators has been brought in to assist in the search. But there seems to be an undercurrent of unease amongst the police who whisper of a disturbing discovery they’ve made. Is there something sinister lurking in the forest?

Death in the Dust
In 1888, the silver-mining boomtown of Weaver, Arizona, was abandoned after a series of unexplained disasters, and the town was left to crumble in the desert sands. Today, the former ghost town has been revitalized as a historical attraction. Is history about to repeat itself?

Horrific axe murders recently committed in Oregon's Tillamook State Forest are identical to those committed by the legendary "Paul Bunyon Butcher" 40 years ago. However, the original killer – now elderly and feeble – remains behind bars. Has a copycat killer surfaced, or is this the work of something even more sinister?

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
The Christmas season is typically a time of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. But one THING has decided to make this year's Yuletide visit to relatives a horrific holiday from Hell.

"Burial Plots" has a modest goal of $1500 to fund, but if $4000 is reached, a new CRYPTWORLD Crypt Master's screen will be designed and released! And those folks who have not yet picked up CRYPTWORLD, the core rules are available as an add-on, as well as the entire Pacesetter RPG line including TIMEMASTER, ROTWORLD, and MAJUS. (And if you want CRYPTWORLD'S first supplement, "Monsters Macabre," that's available too!)

During the funding period, I may revisit each of these five scenarios and give you a bit of background on how these horrors came to life. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

[Cryptworld] "Creepy Comic Conversion" Issue 2 Now Available IN PRINT

Issue 2 of the "Creepy Comic Conversion" series featuring "The Fleshless Ones" from Worlds of Fear Number 10 (1953) is now available in print from Magcloud! This 24-page mini-comic book takes a horrific tale from a classic horror comic and converts that story into a thrilling adventure for CRYPTWORLD!

In "The Fleshless Ones", Rookie patrolman Perry Mahoney was recently found dead in his apartment from unknown causes. Earlier in the week, he was acting strange, claiming he was being pursued by horrific living skeletons! Was Mahoney’s death caused by paranoia run rampant, or had he stumbled upon a grisly hidden conspiracy to subvert and control mankind?

Issue 2 of the "Creepy Comic Conversion" series is now available in PDF at Drive Through RPG, and in a print-on-demand format at MagCloud. I'll also have copies available at AVL Scarefest and Acadecon this fall, so be sure to look for them. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

[Cryptworld] "Creepy Comic Conversion" Issue 2 Now Available

After nearly 2 years, it's the return of the Creepy Comic Conversion series for Cryptworld!

I love horror comix, especially the long-forgotten ones that have entered the public domain. As a way to bring these amazing terror tales back to life, I’ve grabbed one at random and converted one of the stories as a mini-Cryptworld adventure. In this full-color 24-page zine, you first read the short comic story, then the back-half is that same tale now fleshed out and statted up for an evening’s gaming.

So here is Issue 2 of the "Creepy Comic Conversion" series featuring "The Fleshless Ones" from Worlds of Fear Number 10 (1953). (Cover from Adventures Into Darkness Number 10 (1953)):

In "The Fleshless Ones", Rookie patrolman Perry Mahoney was recently found dead in his apartment from unknown causes. Earlier in the week, he was acting strange, claiming he was being pursued by horrific living skeletons! Was Mahoney’s death caused by paranoia run rampant, or had he stumbled upon a grisly hidden conspiracy to subvert and control mankind?

Issue 2 of the "Creepy Comic Conversion" series is now available in PDF at Drive Through RPG. I'll also have print copies available at AVL Scarefest this fall, so be sure to look for them.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sketchbook Of Grotesqueries Updated -- Now With 21 THINGS For Cryptworld

(Today's my birthday, but YOU get a present!)

I have updated The Sketchbook of Grotesqueries yet again, and it now contains 21 unique monsters for your Cryptworld campaigns! Bones
Bloody Mary
Carnivorous Swarm
 Diabolic Structure
Mirror Dweller
Screaming Skull
Slender Man
Smiley Face
The Tooth Fairy
White Noise

Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall" Now Available -- New Quill RPG Scenario Supplement

A year ago, I wrote a review for Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player. In my positive review for this enjoyable game, I mentioned that I had some ideas for some new mechanics for this fun creative writing RPG. I also said that I thought a Quill scenario placed within a fantasy setting would make for a fascinating game. In fact, my exact words were "I can see myself cobbling together a few scenarios of my own to share with the Quill-playing public in the future!" And so, after a year of noodling with the rules and designing the setting and scenarios, I have released my very own Quill supplement!

Your homelands are in turmoil.

Ten long years ago, Gorkill the Ruthless and his armies invaded The Empire of Edhen. The kingdom was unprepared for such swift brutality, and the crown was overthrown within days. Princess Elyn, the remaining heir to the throne, barely escaped the carnage thanks to the quick thinking of Sir Erik the Bold, the palace’s last-surviving champion.

For 5 years, Sir Erik has been formulating a plan to take back the kingdom, and it’s finally time for action. For his gambit to work, he requires the services of four persons with very specialized talents: a warrior stout of heart, a rogue deft in slight-of-hand, an expert underworld explorer, and a sorcerer of immense arcane powers. You are Sir Erik’s scribe, gifted with a flair for language; Sir Erik has passed the responsibly for recruiting his team onto you.

Your research has revealed four individuals who would be perfect for Sir Erik’s quest. You now need to convince each of them to join your master’s crusade to reclaim the lands of Edhen from the grips of Gorkill. And so you now sit down to write four very important dispatches to four very powerful adventurers…

In Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall, you’re responsible for writing four letters in an attempt to recruit four adventurers to Sir Erik’s cause: Britha the Warrior, Kamron the Rogue, Roinan the Dwarf, and Bartholomew the Wizard. After receiving your letters, will they join your quest? Have your words motivated them to offer additional benefits to the team? Or have your words insulted and enraged them so much that they are driven to sabotage any future letters you’ve written? 

Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall is now available in PDF at Drive Through RPG. (A copy of Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player is required to play.) Both Quill and Quill Quest are available as Pay What You Want releases, so try before you buy, if you prefer. Also, Quill and Quill Quest have both been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Friday, June 30, 2017

[Cryptworld] New Thing: Gutpile

An "Organic" Monster for Cryptworld

STR: 6 (90)--- WPR: 3 (45)
DEX: 2 (30) --- PER: 1 (15)
AGL: 2 (30) --- PCN: 1 (15)
STA: 5 (75) --- PWR: NA
ATT: 2/60% --- WND: 15
MV:  L 100

Experience: 600

When a large number of animals are slaughtered and gutted, hunters and butchers alike usually dispose of the internal organs into a charnel pit of some kind. Sometimes these cast-off tissues will fuse together and, when exposed to arcane rituals and/or toxic chemicals, a humanoid nightmare will arise from the castoff remains.

A Gutpile is a human-shaped creature composed of various internal organs that have fused together: stomachs, brains, hearts, lungs, intestines, and various other cast-offs from meat-processing. A Gutpile varies in size, depending on the amount of tissues that were in the pit at the time of its resurrection, but they stand on average about 6 feet high. The Gutpile's surface is constantly oozing and dripping with various fluids, blood, and ichors. The creature doesn't speak or make any noise, except for the wet "sloshing" of its body as it lunges along. The Gutpile also reeks of decay and decomposition; its odor usually is detected long before the creature arrives.

The Gutpile is constantly in a state of agonizing pain as its nerve endings are on fire. (Imagine having all of your skin removed, your organs exposed, and being unable to scream.) Due to this, what little intelligence it may have is blinded by agony, and it lashes out in a constant insane fury at any it encounters. The Gutpile attacks with its two bulbous "fists" for two crushing attacks per round. Also, due to the rot and decay that permeates the diseased THING, there is a chance that a victim will contract the Flesh-Eating Bacteria disease (CW rules, pg. 42). Upon a successful strike, a victim must make a specific check versus a potency 8 illness to avoid contracting the disease, which will slowly begin eroding parts of the body.

When a Gutpile is encountered, the most humane thing to do is to put it out of its misery as quickly as possible. While it "lives," it will rampage wildly, killing and infecting all in its path. Once destroyed, the charnel pit that spawned it should be set ablaze lest the same event occur again.

NOTE: This "living charnel pit" originally appeared here as a Mutant Future creature. But the idea of a writhing, walking mass of organs was horrific enough to convert the concept to a Cryptworld THING!