Thursday, October 21, 2021

Resolution via Zener Cards


Okay strange game mechanics idea. Thinking of using them for my Silent Hill style game where you have three stats. Fight, Flee and Think. They are ranked from one to five.

In front of each player is a picture of the four symbols from the Zener psychic testing cards. Whenever you have to make a stat test you place a marker on one symbol of your choosing. Then you pull a number of cards from the top of the Zener deck equal to the stats rank. If you match the symbol you marked then it's a success. If you match twice it's a critical success. If you get no matches then it's a failure.

Add in some kind of fear or stress mechanic and if it's triggered when you score a failure on a test then it becomes a major failure. Of course a super simple wound/impairment tracker in there as well. Plus some dark secret type things to help you build what kind of encounters the group will have.

The idea would be for small groups of players, Maybe like three at max. Anyways this is what I've been thinking on tonight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Dark West session two recap


Well this session the group was joined by another person they know who fled the dying the town they are all from. One player couldn't make it so their character caught a bug and stayed in their room at Mama's boarding house sick as a dog.

More strange events are afoot in the town of Shibboleth. 

In the center of town just outside of the Saloon was a street preacher going on about the evils and sin of alcohol. A hour or so later all the lanterns and candles suddenly go out while every drop of said drink goes bad, including unopened bottles. There was a near riot as the people blamed the preacher for this and are ready to string him up. But one of the players helps pull him to the safety of the sheriffs office. A day or so later he walks out in the morning and abruptly disappears. 

Out on the Black Jack Ranch they are having troubles with some of their workers vanishing while out working the cattle. One turns up on the Morrigan ranch staked out on the ground with their organs removed and laying about. This has led to some finger pointing and accusations but nothing serious has happened about it yet. The sheriff and mortician retrieve the body and take it to be buried. 

A young man who killed another in a gunfight last session is hung. His body replacing one of those rotting on the crossing outside the city limits. 

As for other things happening. One of the PC's bought some unwanted rocky and unusable property between the two ranches and started building a house there. Another has started working for the Morrigan Ranch and is using that as a way to gain information and collect rumors. One got some practice using dynamite to help bust up some rock and clear an abandoned well. An offer to be a sheriff deputy is turned down. Then somebody pissed off an old man who has lived in the town since it was started decades ago. 

I probably missed a few things, or left them out intentionally, so stay tuned for more. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Dark West Session one Recap


The first session of my Dark West game using the WaRP OGL rules is now under my belt. Had three players show up and character creation went pretty smoothly so we were able to get some gaming in as well. We have a former bartender, a former outlaw and a gunslinger. 

The basic set up is the players are leaving a boomtown that has dried up. So they all pitched in on a wagon and horses to head over to the next big bustling town called Shibboleth. This town has much more potential as the mines a few miles away have really started to produce, the other side of the town goes from hills into plains and has attracted a couple of good sized ranches. Oh and the railway line runs through there also. 

Upon approaching the town on the outskirts the characters are treated with a grisly scene. Three men crucified and rotting about thirty feet off the side of the road. There is a different sign hanging on each one, "Bank Robber", "Murderer" and "Sinner". This does not sit well with them at all.

Over the day they meet the sheriff, the owner and employees at one of the saloons (aptly named "SALOON") and find a place to rent a room and stable their horses. They check on job leads and look around at the other local businesses as well. At nightfall they witness a shootout in the street in which the 'winner' is jailed in case the other person dies from his wounds. Then later are introduced to a fortune teller who has set up shop in the town.

After a discussion with the fortune teller the characters are urged to take a second look at the bodies crucified outside of town. So in the middle of the night they ride out on horseback light up a lantern and one of them stands on the back of their best trained horse to take a look. On that rotting carcass they discover the eyes have been covered with circular pieces of glass and once a lantern is brought closer the eyes begin to move around and then stare directly at them. 

Needless to say they were spooked down to their boots. After another uncanny encounter with a crow in their room they decide to bed down for the night. The former outlaw deciding against the room and returning to the wagon to sleep there instead. 

Many thanks to KnA games for letting us use their back room to run this game. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Jaded Gamer - Rest in Peace Terry Amthor


It was announced by Iron Crown Enterprises that Terry Amthor had passed away. Now first off we are not related to each other. But our names are very much connected. First let's go with the kind words that were put up on the ICE website about Terry. After that I get to tell a story about my contact with him many years ago. 


"The cause and circumstances of his death are still under investigation, so we cannot provide any details on this and will defer to his family on what they choose to disclose in due course.

Terry was a founding member of the original ICE and a co-creator of Rolemaster and Spacemaster, writing and contributing to many of its most iconic products, and to some of the most exceptional 1st edition Middle-earth modules. Most of all, he has shaped our imaginations with his masterful Shadow World epic fantasy setting. He continued to develop Kulthea through his own Eidolon Studio company, before joining forces with Guild Companion Publications to create new sourcebooks and adventures bringing ever more of Shadow World to life, and working as our layout guru for most of our other products.

Author, designer, world builder, and friend, Terry’s genius has enriched our lives for decades. His creations will continue to inspire us all for years to come."


I would also like to add that he was responsible for the founding of Metropolis Ltd which brought the controversial game Kult to English speaking audiences. Which he told me in our brief email exchanges (I'll get to that in a bit) that he was really wanting to do but ICE didn't want to touch the property. Kult ended up being my gaming obsession for many, many years. More than any other game out there if I were to count actual hours I've put into it. I became heavily involved in the fan forums and listservs online, really falling into the community.

This is when Terry emailed me. You see he was wondering about my the name I used. Peter Amthor. Thinking Amthor isn't a common name and we may be related somehow. Which I got to tell him the story I am about to repeat here. I got my name from him, just in a different way than most do. 

Back in the early ninties I was also a Rolemaster and Spacemaster fan. The critical hit charts being one of my favorite things at the time. So I had bought up a lot of books and supplements for both games. Usually carrying around whichever books I was reading when I would go gaming. So one night we sat down and made characters for a friend homebrew horror game and I couldn't think of a name at all. Reaching into my backpack I pulled out the Spacemaster 2nd edition core rulebook and flipped it open to the credits for inspiration. And there it was. 

Right at the end of each line. So I threw that name down as my characters name and off we went. That character is still alive and ready to be pulled out and dusted off. He's completely off his rocker, very dangerous and holds Chicago from falling into hell using his soul... but that's another story. Anyways from game one I was having a blast with this character. 

Also about that same time I was getting online more and more beyond local BBS set ups. Trying to have an identity online of some sort other than my real name because it's boring as hell and because I was an early adopter of "Give the data scrapers nothing to work with" idea of thought. But I also didn't want any sort of cheap handle like 'ChromeDude007'. So I looked at my gaming bag and thought of the character I have enjoyed playing the most lately... and that was Peter Amthor. So I started using that. 

Fast forward a few years. More people know me by that name than my actual name. Which is fine, not a fan of my actual name. I'm hip deep in the Kult community, making up all sorts of my own stuff for it and sharing it with others. That's when I get the email. 

Terry Amthor emails me asking about my name as I said above. That's when I told him the story of where it came from. I was worried he was going to ask me not to use it or get angry thinking I was simply trying to raise myself up on his name. Because if he said stop, I would have done so in an instant, I respected the man that much.

He took it as a compliment. Apparently he got a kick out of the idea and gave me his blessing in continuing on with it. Only thing he asked was for me to tell others we weren't related if I was asked about it. Which I have always done. We exchanged a few more emails, mainly me asking details about Kult and his hand in the game. After a bit we just stopped. Sadly those emails were lost when go dot com decided to restructure everything and they dumped their email service. 

So that's my story of Terry Amthor. An awesome creator, writer and just a great person over all. If there is an 'other side' I'm sure he's in good company and living his best afterlife. 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

WttC - Workcrew Infobyte 002


Welcome new Work Crew member. In this Infobyte we will be telling you about the emergency communications device known as the BTMX. Since work crews often find themselves in the deeper recesses of the City far and away from our state of the art telecommunications networks there is an occasional problem with communication. This is where the mobile communication unit BTMX becomes a valuable tool for any crew out there. 

Usually kept in the drivers compartment of the work crew vehicle in a stow away box located under the co-drivers seat. Weighing only twenty pounds it has an easy grip handle to a crew can take it with them if necessary. Outside of the vehicle it has a battery life of around five hours... more or less. Taking only a handful of minutes to set up and power on. The trained crew member then uses the controls on the front to designate their approximate location then flips a switch to either the Emergency or Standard settings. Once contact is made the knobs on the right side are used to fine tune into the transmission, the forward knob is for receiving and the rear is used for transmitting. 

In the Emergency setting the communications hub will put the attempted transmission as 'first in line'. Hopefully they will be able to response near immediately. On Standard setting they are in place in line behind other requests and response will be made once the next operator at the communications hub is available. Sometimes the wait can be up to an hour... more or less. 

Please do not use the BTMX unit as a weapon, the case is not nearly as sturdy as it looks when used in this manner. Do not submerge the BTMX unit in any liquid. Do not use other communications gear while trying to use the BTMX unit. Do not threaten or verbally abuse the operators at the communications hub. You are not required to expose your private areas for access despite what some unscrupulous communications hub operators tell you. Do not get the BTMX unit near open flame or intense heat. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Jaded Gamer Diary - Coyote and Crow


Well over the last few days there has been a list of 'woke' game companies to avoid. This 'red' list written up by some dickwads who are afraid of anything different from what they are used to has gotten quite a bit of talk on social media. To show you just what a cowardly lot these folks are let me show you one of the entries. 

Now Coyote and Crow isn't even out yet, it's successfully funded on Kickstarter and is in the process of being finished up. By the description on the red list it sounds like these are some terrible folks. Well that's what the backassward pricks would like you to think. Just go take one look at the Coyote and Crow website to find out what the game is really about.

It's about a world where colonization of the Americas never happened. Where native American tribes were not slaughtered wholesale and ravaged by disease brought over from Europe. Where they were allowed to develop and grow. This is a game written by native Americans and is about the world of what could have been if there wasn't an attempted genocide done to their people. 

But that is big evil scary to the fuckwits who came up with the red list. It's not white centralized and that makes them uneasy and afraid. 

To me this sounds like an intriguing setting. Something I would actually like to read. If you think the same as I do then follow them on Twitter for more updates and watch for the games upcoming release. Then go track down that red list for some more good games to look into. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Palladium Books pdf sale recommendations

Over on DrivethruRPG Palladium Books has a lot of their books on sale at the moment. Here are my top picks on what folks may want to look at. Some of them even if they aren't a fan of the Palladium house system. 

Nightbane. One of my personal favorites of the entire Palladium line. A wonderful dark horror game where the characters are twisted creatures with no two alike. On the surface it sounds a bit like the Nightbreed movie but once you start reading the actual setting it becomes something a lot more sinister. This is the one I recommend the most. 

Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising. The Juicers have always been one of my favorite classes introduced in Rifts. A great deal of fun playing the hyped up, super energetic fighting machines. This sourcebook expands on them a great deal including new types of Juicers. So much fun. 

Palladium Fantasy 2nd Edition. This is such an overlooked classic simply because of the system. But it's so worth it. The fantasy world presented here was different from most others offered up at the time. And, as much as I hate to admit, this is where the Palladium system actually shines, it feels like it was meant for some crunchy fantasy play that stopped just before going overboard. 

PFRPG 02: The Old Ones. I huge dump of information for the setting presented in the core Palladium Fantasy book. From lore to locations and so much more. A great example of what a good sourcebook can provide for a game. 

Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition. A good, solid, just crunchy enough supers game. Lots of powers and quite a bit of fun rolling those powers up. 

After the Bomb RPG. The spiritual successor to their TMNT and Other Strangeness game. Time to roll up some mutant animals and confront the world. I will admit they still have the best system for generating those mutants.