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. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Jaded Gamer Diary - Working for free

 


Okay once again we are seeing this topic come up again, rearing it's ugly head and screaming. What am I talking about? Companies wanting you to work for free on their projects that are made to turn a profit. Y'know those kind of folks that want to pay you in exposure bucks for your labor. 


Let me break down the ONLY times that you should ever even consider doing work for free. 


1 - Fan Projects. This where you and a few like minded friends or associates work together to create something together that nobody is going to profit off of. Usually done for a specific game that everyone involved is really into. Example: Once upon a time I worked to help build a fan site for the Kult RPG called 'The Abyss'. This was back when the game was no longer in production and there was very little hope of seeing it ever come back again. We worked together to build a website, put together sourcebooks and even a sort of ezine for the game. It was all free. We made no money off of this. It was fans working together on something they love. Doing stuff like this for free is fine.


2 - Charity. Some projects are established to raise money for a charitable cause or organization. If you feel strongly about that charity and your desire to help them raise money is deep then this is a good idea as well. Make sure it is a legit fund raising operation though, talk to some people, get some proof. Helping others is something that many of don't do enough of. 


3 - Your own personal projects. Of course this is a no brainer. Especially considering many personal projects eventually turn into something that has the potential to make money in the future. Just don't expect others to work for free on these projects. 


That's about all I can think of. So when some fucking asshat offers you 'exposure' for your art, your writing, your editing, your whatever, tell them to hit the damn bricks and start walking. They aren't concerned about actually helping or promoting you, they are only concerned with putting money into their pockets. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

WttC - Work Crew Infobyte 001

 


Welcome new Work Crew member. In this first Infobyte we will be telling you about the access hatches to our cities vast and expansive underground and sewer systems. In a city as large as our the need to safely move large amounts of human waste, vent air from lower sections and run other utilities out of harms way is great. To accomplish this we have built up large tunnels and access ways under ground and between levels. All of these various tunnels share one thing in common, the worker access hatch that allows you entry into them. 


These specially designed hatchways are made to keep out those who wish to use our underground system for nefarious deeds. Please note the idea of them being made to contain various so called "threats" are completely unfounded. To open these you simply follow these instructions. 

1 - Retrieve the hatch opening device from your service crew truck (the CRP001 located in the back passenger side compartment), unplug it from the charging cord and make sure it is fully charged. 

2 - Place it onto the center socket of the hatch, set it to "open" and pull the trigger. This will spin the socket clockwise and open up the hatch one section at a time. This can take up to thirty seconds to accomplish.

3 - Return the CRP001 to the crew truck and place it on the charger. Then take the CRP002 (the large wrench located in the same compartment) with you as you return to the access hatch. 

You have now successfully completed the hatch opening process.

To close the hatch follow the simple process. Please note, you cannot close the hatch from the inside using the CRP001.

 1 - Retrieve the hatch opening device from your service crew truck (the CRP001 located in the back passenger side compartment), unplug it from the charging cord and make sure it is fully charged. 

2 - Place it onto the center socket of the hatch, set it to "close" and pull the trigger. This will spin the socket counter clockwise and close the hatch one section at a time. This can take up to thirty seconds to accomplish. Please watch your fingers and toes during this part of the operation.

3 - Return the CRP001 to the crew truck and place it on the charger. Then replace the CRP002 back into the compartment as well.

Now as for the CRP002 and it's uses. This is the mobile opening and closing device that is made to be used for anyone from the inside of the hatch. You is made so you can manually open, or close, a hatch in case of an emergency or if you find yourself unable to locate the hatch you entered from. 

Up near the top of the steps you can find the bottom of the socket that is normally visible on the surface. Simply attach the wrench and turn it counter clockwise to open the sections one at a time, or go clockwise to close them. This operation can take from five to ten minutes to accomplish and is not recommended unless absolutely necessary. 


This concludes today's Work Crew Infobyte 



Sunday, August 8, 2021

Review: The Dungeon! boardgame

 



You can pick up this game over on Amazon or at your local game shop. 


Dungeon! is a classic game released by TSR back in the day. The copy we played is the newest version to be released by WotC/Hasbro. 


I've seen the ads for this boardgame for years but never picked on up. Mainly because I was more of a roleplaying game guy than a boardgame guy. There was always something that I had wanted more. But finally my brother picked up a copy. So the two of us and our wives sat down and gave it a go.


First off it takes a bit getting used to. The fold out rules sheet makes it looks a bit complicated at first but once you start going through the steps it gets really easy. Basically you play one of four different classes roaming through a dungeon trying to reach a specific amount of gold in order to win. You have a rogue, fighter, cleric and magic user. 


It's pretty basic. Each monster you encounter has a different number you have to roll to kill it, which is determined by your class or spell. If you miss the monster has a chance to attack you and has a table for them as well. Monsters in specific areas drop a treasure based on their level. 


There is no interaction between players except for maybe picking up a treasure they dropped because they got hit by a monster. You have secret doors, some magic items, traps instead of monsters and a few other bits tacked on. But it's pretty straight foward.


Now this is by no means a high end elegantly designed boardgame like Catan or Ticket to Ride. But it does fit nicely as a bridge for people who want to work their way up to the more complicated and intricate games out there. Especially for younger players who want something more challenging than Monopoly and Battleship. 


My big problem is the board seems small for the amount of stuff that is on there including the dungeon map. The monster, treasure and spell cards along with all the various markers are all rather small. Not to mention treasure and monsters being split up into six different stacks each. But we did have a good time


But in the end we did have a good time. My brother won with his rogue after sliding through secret doors and grabbing up treasure quickly. This was while both my wife and I had gathered up our required amount of treasure and were making a run for the staring point/end point as well. We'll try it again soon and I'm sure we'll approach it with different tactics now that we know how it plays. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Soda Reviews part two

 A few years back when Rural King first opened a store here they had a large variety of bottled soda's to chose from. My wife and I took this as an opportunity for some fun and wrote up several reviews for them Doing three to four different types each time. Originally posted quite some time ago on a local Facebook page I decided to just post them up here. Some of these brands may not be available anymore. Anyways on with the quick taste test reviews. 




Cherry Ski. Well this was a let down. I really enjoy a good cherry flavored soda however the 'good' part just wasn't there as much. Katie thought it tasted like liquid pixie stix but not in the good way while I thought it was a bit like an unfroze freezer pop. The cherry flavor didn't pop much and while I know that most soda uses artificial flavors for cherry this one tasted really artificial. The little kid version of us may have liked it but the grown up version not so much. It's sort of a 'meh' soda, won't be picking it up again.



Kickapoo Joy Juice. A classic soda that claims to use the original recipe. I could taste the citrus in there without being a full kick like Mtn Dew or Mello Yello. However it also felt really thick as well, Katie thought it had some honey flavor which didn't mesh well with the citrus. I thought it had another flavor in there I couldn't put my finger on that didn't sit well with me. While we said it was okay and we would drink another if somebody offered it we won't be tossing it into our shopping cart on our own. Unless my eleven year old son wants some as he loves it.



Frostie Root Beer. A good straight forward root beer plain and simple. The flavor pops really well and we both think it would be perfect for a soda float root beer right up there with A&W on that. But it's doesn't have that one thing to set it apart from most other mainstream varieties in my humble opinion. But it was good and we may pick it up with some ice cream again.



Cheerwine. I included a picture of the bottle this time. It is hands down my favorite soda on the market. Less of a cherry cola and more of a cherry soda. I, and a few others, gave it much praise when I mentioned it in the last review. Evidently that had an affect because they were running really low on it at Rural King this weekend. So please, leave a bottle or two on the shelf for me.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Soda Reviews part one

 A few years back when Rural King first opened a store here they had a large variety of bottled soda's to chose from. My wife and I took this as an opportunity for some fun and wrote up several reviews for them Doing three to four different types each time. Originally posted quite some time ago on a local Facebook page I decided to just post them up here. Some of these brands may not be available anymore. Anyways on with the quick taste test reviews. 





Druthers Black Cow Vanilla Creme Rootbeer. This was a good solid root beer. We could both taste just a hint of the vanilla to set it off from most others but still plenty of that classic root beer flavor. Two thumbs up.


Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Coco Fizz Chocolate Soda. Okay we could taste some chocolate here, but is was buried under some really bad taste that I couldn't identify along with an even worse after taste. We ended up pouring it down the drain after only a few sips. Two thumbs down all the way down.


Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer. I can tell you one thing you can taste the butterscotch. So much that you really can't taste the root beer at all. While good it creates an overly sweet taste that can be a bit much. May want to balance it out with something salty like chips. One thumb up and one down. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Sponsorship - Tube

 

This is a collection of two companies that sponsor runners, musicians, and other popular figures in a dark future. Games with heavy corporate control or constant television presence work the best. Using sponsors allows the GM to toss a little extra cash to the PC's in their games without creating an overwhelming flow of cash.


All prices included are listed in 'credits'. To transfer over to other settings, you can figure one credit to be worth the amount of a decent coffee purchased at a gas station


One assumption of this resource is that there are numerous AI programs scanning the endless television channels and social media networks all day long. If it is caught on television in any fashion, good or bad, the amount of time is recorded. On social media the amount of likes or views a person receives is recorded. The data is then sent back to the companies so they can determine who gets paid out.



Tube


Sometimes all you need are the basics to keep you going. Our bodies only require a specific amount of nutrition to keep going, with that amount increasing if we are more active. So why would anyone want to digest more than they have to? Why streamline your own body to near perfection if you aren't doing the same thing for your insides? With Tube that's what you do. Giving your body exactly what it needs, no more, no less.


Sold, as their name would lead you to believe, by the tube. Each Basic tube containing enough to replace a normal meal. Other tubes are smaller and for specific activities named Heavy Work, Work Out – Cardio, Work Out – Muscle Building, Extended Activity, and Healing. Also listed on each type of tube is the recommended amount of water that one should drink while consuming the product.


This product started as a more upper class product aimed at physical fitness junkies. Now the popularity has spread out to many other demographics and thus throughout the city. You can find Tube in most markets and convenience stores. Along with several kiosks located throughout the city, usually with a bottle water kiosk built into it. A Basic tube sells for 8 credits while most of the supplemental tubes sell for 5 credits each.


What is inside of the tube is a gray paste that is rather gritty. The taste is usually compared to that of Styrofoam or unflavored jello. The container itself resembles a large toothpaste tube with a wider nozzle at the end.


The franchise tends to sponsor those with athletic and healthy living backgrounds. They are also branching out into backing operators, bounty hunters, and other folks who tend to get air time and have to stay fit in order to do their jobs. They don't sponsor those just starting out and instead go for those who have built themselves up a little already.


Basic Sponsorship package


They are required to wear a high grade plastic wrap shaped to fit their lower leg. Held in place with Velcro straps, colored a light gray with a black logo and a unique serial code underneath. The design is very prominent and can be picked up by the media scanning AI's very easily.


They receive a bonus of 3 credits for each time they appear on television with the logo visible. With an additional 2 credits for every minute they are on. For social media networks they receive 1 credit per 40k 'likes' or similar. There is a maximum of 40 credits payed out per month.


If they hit the monthly maximum, or have done something special to garner notice, they are sent a bonus. A six pack of Tube with one of each of the supplements.


Advanced Sponsorship package


This is achieved once they have collected 200 credit in payout.


They now offer to have the logo and bar code placed on a persons boots or onto a large surface of their armor.


They also receive the same payout based on television appearances/viewers, but the maximum per month is raised to 80 credits.


A special package of six basic Tubes and a eighteen supplemental tubes of their choice are now delivered to the sponsored individual.


Levels beyond this are all privately negotiated


John “The Original” Doe, the first fully successful self aware clone produced by the now defunct genetics company 'Duality' is one of the biggest faces for Tube. Claiming that it's precise nutritional dose is exactly what he needs to keep in top shape for his dark op activities. Appearing on infomercials and leading the front on the 'Tube Lifestyle' that fitness fanatics are raving about. Even the side of their kiosks have his picture down their sides. He is provided all the Basic and supplemental tubes he needs.



“Everything you need, it's in the Tube”


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Sponsorship - Sumthin Beer

 


This is a collection of two companies that sponsor runners, musicians, and other popular figures in a dark future. Games with heavy corporate control or constant television presence work the best. Using sponsors allows the GM to toss a little extra cash to the PC's in their games without creating an overwhelming flow of cash.


All prices included are listed in 'credits'. To transfer over to other settings, you can figure one credit to be worth the amount of a decent coffee purchased at a gas station.


One assumption of this resource is that there are numerous AI programs scanning the endless television channels and social media networks all day long. If it is caught on television in any fashion, good or bad, the amount of time is recorded. On social media the amount of likes or views a person receives is recorded. The data is then sent back to the companies so they can determine who gets paid out.



Remember if you enjoy this article and want to see more like hit the 'support this blog' tab at the top and see how you can encourage more work like it. 



Sumthin Beer


When it's been a long day and you need a cold one to help wash away the pain of the day, but you don't have a lot of cash. Well then what you are looking for is Sumthin Beer. Low in price, high in alcohol, as for the taste... well let's just say that after a couple you won't notice it anymore. It's cheap and can get you drunk quick, that's the entire selling point of this product.


Sold almost entirely in the lower class sections of a city. Although some high class individuals like to be seen with a bottle so they can appear as 'slumming it' on their social networks. You can pick it up in nearly every convenience store, bar, night club and they even have street vendors with refrigerated carts selling at, or near, popular events. Comes in three sizes: Regular (4 credits), Big Bottle (6 credits), and the smaller A Little (2 credits). Also there is now Sumthin Different which changes to a random color when opened for only a one extra credit per bottle.


The franchise offers sponsorship opportunities to those who have even the smallest chance of being noticed by the public eye. They particularly like sponsoring those who are known to frequent parties and bars.


Basic Sponsorship package


They are required to wear a plastic wrap shaped to fit on their upper back. Held in place with elastic straps, colored a light brown with the logo in dark colors and a unique serial code underneath. The design is very prominent and can be picked up by the media scanning AI's very easily.


They receive a bonus of 1 credit for each time they appear on television with the logo visible. With an additional 1 credit for every minute they are on. For social media networks they receive 1 credit per 30k 'likes' or similar. There is a maximum of 20 credits payed out per month.


They also receive a coupon that can be cashed in at any place selling Sumthin for a free Regular bottle. This coupon is sent to them once every two weeks. If they hit their maximum credits payout for the month, then five free coupons are immediately sent out. A few folks have been known to save up their coupons and use them for trade and barter in the shadier parts of the city.


Advanced Sponsorship package


This is achieved once they have collected 100 credits in payout.


The logo upper back wrap is upgraded to a higher more durable grade of plastic and is held in place with Velcro straps.


They also receive the same payout based on television appearances/viewers, but the maximum per month is raised to 40 credits.


Their coupons are increased to one a week. Plus, if they make a good appearance on television with the logo very clear, a few more may be mailed out to them as a 'bonus'.


Levels beyond this are all privately negotiated


While Sumthin Beer isn't a company that many stay with on a long term there are exceptions. The once highly popular bounty hunter 'Teeth' Thomson has been with them for years and he is a common feature on many of their television commercials. Even after his retirement from his job, they use him quite often especially during their roll out of Sumthin Different. He is often given stacks of coupons to use or simply give out whenever he feels like. Some people even have him sign them and never cash it in.


“When you need A Little Sumthin.”


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Jaded Gamer - Game Shop Auctions

 



Saw this post over on rpgnet and I really wish the local shops in my area would do this. 


Yeah, there's a store here locally that (prior to COVID) held two auctions a year. I'd pack up half a dozen or a dozen crates full of RPG books I didn't want anymore (I've been doing this a long time) and give them a list of the books and the minimum prices for each (aka the amount so low that I'd rather keep the book than the money--I have filled out $0 before for books that had water damage and if literally anyone wanted them they could just have them, but if people wanted to bid up from zero that was fine, too).

Then they do the auction and whatever the games sell for, they keep. I get store credit for the same amount. Since they're buying stock from distributors but my store credit is used to purchase things at retail prices, they're making money on that transaction, but there's no upper limit to my store credit. They're still making whatever the % difference is on wholesale vs. retail. If they gave out cash, they wouldn't make money off the deal and might not make money at all since I could take my cash and use it for groceries or something instead of more games.


But instead we have a shop that will let you sell your used games on their shelf but you only get half of that after it sells and only in store credit. Another one gives you the full amount in store credit but only for purchases of games that are in stock so no special orders... and they don't have much in stock. Another doesn't do anything at all.


I wish they would think a little bit out of the box and do stuff like this. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Clandestine Societies Issue One

 




Collecting five articles from my blog, giving them a little touch up and presenting them in an ezine style format. This is a resource for modern, or near modern, day supernatural, horror and occult settings. Presented system agnostic for you to adapt to whatever system you please. 

Articles include:

Sanctuary 

Asbestos Lurker

Player Responsibility

Cursed Candles

The Talking Wall 

All for the low price of a only a dollar. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Needing some help

Well after my recent fight with Covid that included a month long hospital stay and time spend on a ventilator my family is having some financial issues. Having trouble with my short term disability since I went from one claim for my back and right into Covid with no return to work. Trying to fill the gaps there but it may take some time. 


Meanwhile there are bills to pay and groceries that need to be bought. My wife is on disability as well so we are on a super limited budget that is not going to pay everything. 


So I'm asking for help financially to anyone who is kind enough to help out. Any amount is appreciated.


My paypal is: dekaranger1@gmail.com

My wife's Venmo is: @katie-nixon-22

I have pdfs up for sale on both DrivethruRPG and Itch if you wish to purchase those.

Also the links to Amazon and DrivethruRPG on my blog here give me a little kickback on any purchases made through clicking on them.

If you don't wish to use any electronic form to help out and wish to send something through the mail just email me at: peteramthor AT gmail dot com and I will provide you with my address. 

Thanks ahead of time.


Normally I don't ask for help but right now I'm not seeing much choice in order to make ends meet and have a roof over our heads here. Hopefully I can get some things straightened out soon with my short term disability and get some income rolling in. Then hoping I recover physically enough to return to work within a couple months.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Question of Faith: Dark Dogs

 


Dark Dogs

A demonic servant for Question of Faith

Image is stock art available here


These servants of the Demonic forces are something to be reckoned with. They are used almost exclusively to hunt down specific targets and slaughter them... and usually anyone else who is nearby or gets in the way. Although used as a last resort as their presence is hard to miss once they are on the attack and it becomes obvious there is Demonic involvement.

Appearance

These hulking skull faced beasts stand four feet at their shoulders. Their skin is dark and red with no hair. The bones show through as does every fold of muscle in their bodies. They breath deeply as if constantly gasping for breath. With eyes that dart back forth always watching everything around them.

These creatures have to be summoned by a demon of great power. Requiring the sacrifice of two normal untainted humans as well. The creatures are only granted one at a time and their target must be given to them when they arrive. Usually by giving the creatures something with their scent on it or of extreme value to that individual. They will then begin the hunt making their way to the victim. Once the person is dead they will normally return to the other side. However there have been instances where they have stayed and wreaked havoc for months until they are put down.

Cursed Traits

Inhuman Power. They are stronger than anything of their size and have no mercy when using that strength. Forcing their way through guards like they were nothing, ramming through barricades using their horned skull heads as battering rams. Whatever it takes.

The Scent. Once assigned a target they can feel them no matter where they are in the world and will head off in that direction. While not always in a straight line they will eventually make their way to them unless they are killed first.

Combat

They have massive claws on their feet which are sharp enough to slice through muscle and bone like it is simply butter. They use these as their main form of attack. But they have been known to ram people with their heads causing massive blunt trauma and sending the bodies flying like rag dolls. Finally they have a bite with a mouthful of jagged sharp teeth. Which they are known to stop and eat people on their way to the target from time to time.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Question of Faith: Salt Crows


Salt Crows

A demonic servant for Question of Faith.


These are one of the many servants of the Demonic forces that are at the beck and call of their masters. Fortunately they are usually only a handful in numbers at a time and used sparingly. Used for when they need to create an apparent blight to either weaken a town or to temporarily throw it's residents into a panic. Although they have also been employed as spies for those who can see through them.

Appearance

Emaciated large birds gray in color and caked in salt. Their eyes are empty sockets with many of their feathers matted or gone completely. Their call a jagged crackle that can be heard over a great distance.

These creatures are summoned through a ritual by a demon of at least average human intelligence. It involves the sacrifice of five regular healthy birds in the process. This will grant the demon between one to four Salt Crows that will obey their commands and will serve them for two weeks before vanishing back to the other side.

Cursed Traits:

The Blight. These creatures will peck at the fruit of crops with their sharp beaks. Causing it to decay almost immediately. Within a couple of hours the entire plant will blacken and die. They will usually go from one crop to the next taking out entire rows within the span of an hour. Two or three Salt Crows can wipe out an entire field over night.

The Sight. The summoner can concentrate and see from the crows point of view. Directing them to fly to specific locations and hearing what they can is also part of this trait.

Combat:

Talons and their beak are the only forms of attack they possess. Going after their targets eyes or other exposed areas. They are, however, a bit more frail than normal birds and are easier to take down with a single hit or two.

 

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Friday, February 26, 2021

The Face Melting Trap

 


The Face Melting Trap.


This is a nasty little trap with a bit of set up. A very attractive, and much sought after, young lady in a town has been taken by a vindictive sorcerer who she 'insulted' by turned his advances down. He then tells her family that she has been deposited in an abandoned keep a few miles out in the wilderness. Where she will sleep for eternity until the breath of a hero awakens her.

This he has done, she is at the keep, sealed in a room. Her body is kept in a magical stasis so she doesn't awaken, starve or age. Of course the keep is infested with the usual mess of nasty creatures so any adventurers will have to fight their way to her. 

Thing is he doesn't intend for her to be saved at all. Not only that he also hopes to take out one of those 'adventurer types' that she seemed to be attracted to at the same time. Her body and the bed she is on is wrapped in several different spells so any detection will be set off no matter what. Which shouldn't be a surprise. 

Of course, by what the sorcerer said, the breath of a hero implies a kiss. Here is where the full trap kicks in. When a character leans down near enough the stasis spell will end and the girl will wake up just in time for another spell to active. One that turns flesh to liquid with the faces of both her, and her would be rescuer, within it's radius of effect causing an extreme level of pain at the same time. As their face melt into each other and their screams fill the room they will both likely die of shock and trauma in very short order.

Not to mention the rest of the party having to watch them die in this horrible way. But also now shouldered with the responsibility of carrying their fallen mate and the girl out of the dungeon and informing her family what has happened. While presenting them with the slimy skull faced remains.



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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Question of Faith: The Gallows



This is a short story a long time coming. I began writing it as part of the 'Question of Faith' game I was writing several years ago. It was a game of dark fantasy where the characters are all cleric, priest and paladin types fighting demons and saving the souls of the people. The setting wasn't nice, it wasn't apologetic, and was going to be gritty. This particular story I was working on was about those found guilty in a trial being hung at a gallows where they have just one more chance at salvation. 

I stopped writing this when a friend of mine took his own life by hanging himself. Hindsight, like always, was 20/20. Shortly before it happened I had been talking with him online, he was frustrated, having trouble finding work, in debt and getting self destructive. But I didn't notice the severity until I looked back once it was to late. Needless to say writing about people being hung at a gallows was suddenly the very last thing I wanted to write about. 

Now looking back on unfinished work and projects I decided to finish the story. Maybe even try to finish the game as well. Just remember to keep an eye on those close to you, and even those who aren't. Never be afraid to reach out and offer help. 


-------


The Gallows


“The next group is ready Brother. Shall we begin?” Joseph sighed as he heard the recruit behind him. Closing the holy book and locking its clasp in place he rose from his knees. Groaning slightly as the wounds on his back ached, pausing once he was upright to let the dull pain subside. Without a word he walked past the recruit and out of the tent.

Sister Mary was waiting for him outside. Her right eye bruised and swollen slightly, robe still stained with the blood of those they vanquished earlier in the week. There was no smile on her anymore, today's dealings were grim and weighed on even the most devout souls. Raising his hand he made a slow fist over his heart as a sigh of strength, she followed suit with the same gesture and then took up her walk behind him to the gallows.

Constructed as he had ordered, four places for those sentenced to be hanged, the ropes dyed black. They were built low as well with no weights for the feet of the condemned so there was a chance of a slow death by strangulation instead of the neck breaking. All so those who had gathered before it could watch.... and hopefully remember well. The townspeople were clustered around its front, well over a hundred, some cheering on today’s deeds like fools, others begging for the lives of their loved ones like those who had lost hope and some praying for redemption, the ones who were secure in their faith.

Pausing for a moment he stared at the two carts for the dead, between them there were fifteen bodies there waiting for the flame. Some family members knelt beside them crying, praying and cursing. He glanced back to Mary at his back, “How many more after this group.”

“Only one thankfully.” her voice somewhat distant as she answered, “I pray more of these seek redemption and gain it. This day is pressing heavy on the townspeople.”

Nodding in agreement the march continued as they made their way. The executioner, clothed in gray and masked, climbs the steps first and takes his position behind the first person in line. They all stood there, nooses around their necks and arms bound tightly behind them. Making their way up Joseph and Mary stand in front and face the crowd. She holds her hand open and Joseph places the coin in her palm which she then holds up before the crowd and speaks.

“These four have been tried and found guilty of crimes against the Church. They are sentenced to be hung before the people they betrayed. However the Lord is merciful to even these who have turned their backs on Him. They will be given one chance for salvation and tested to insure faith is truly in their hearts.”

Turning to the first in line, an overweight man in once fine clothes, one of the town leaders. He looks at her as if he has been slapped. Holding up the coin before him he takes a deep breath before opening his mouth. After it is placed on the tongue he begins to recite the Lords Prayer for his allegiance. Half way through he begins to gag and wince and the coin falls from his mouth. Jacob moves forward and grabs his face forcing the mouth open, seeing the burn mark he motions to the executioner. With a pull of the lever the man drops suddenly stopping with a cracking noise as his weight snaps the neck.

The crowd roars. Jacob wonders just how disliked the man must have been. Mary retrieves the coin, cleanses it with a wave of her hand then moves to the next person and the crowd goes suddenly silent. The old woman stared straight forward unflinching. “My faith wavered I have honestly and opening admitted. I am ready for my test Sister.”

Mary smiled as if she already knew the outcome. Placing the coin in the woman's mouth she watched as she recited the prayer without error or hesitation. A good portion of the crowd roared in approval as the coin was taken from her mouth. The executioner cut the ropes freeing her hands and she immediately placed them on the arms of Joseph and Mary. “Thank you for the chance of salvation, I shall never stray from the light again.”

“Go old mother, we see you facing the light once again, be strong and He will guide you.” Mary says as the woman is helped down the steps by a recruit.

Third in line is a young lanky boy, not even of age to be married. He stood absolutely terrified and visibly shaking with tears running down his cheeks. Mary holds up the coin before him and he opens his mouth and tries to keep from sobbing. Behind them in the crowd is somebody telling the boy to be strong. Once in his mouth he begins the Lords Prayer. Stammering and stuttering his way though out of sheer panic. But he completes the task and stands shaking as Mary holds out her hand for him to open his mouth and removes the coin.

The crowd applauds softly mixed with the sobbing of joy from his family. Once his ties are cut Joseph steps forward and holds him tightly. “You were led astray by those you trusted, by those whom you were taught to obey. It's not your fault son.”.

Nodding in understanding he wipes away his tears before heading for the platform steps. Turning before walking down to speak, “Thank you Chevaliers, thank you for showing me back to the path.”

Then came the fourth waiting in line. She just stood there, a young woman in the robes of a kitchen girl for the keep. Her brown hair unkempt since the trial and blowing slightly in the wind. Mary walked before her and held up the coin. The girl smiled slightly and tilted her head a bit. “Funny little piece of metal that you all trust. Put some pictures on it and say some words. But you all are drowning in your own righteousness.”

“Please,” came a voice from the crowd, a woman who also worked in the kitchen, “We told you, she's touched in the head. She's been like this ever since we found her many years ago.”

“Open you mouth and recite the Lords Prayer.” Joseph with a sternness in his voice stepped forward a bit. But the young lady didn't even look at him just smiled.

“Oh I'm sorry but I don't want that dirty thing on my tongue. So please go ahead and pull that lever and make me dangle for your amusements. I mean that's all you really want. To see me dead like the rest.”

Mary frowned and returned the coin to its pouch. Then looked over at the executioner and gave him a nod. The lever is pulled, the bottom dropped, people screamed and the young woman dangled. Then she opened her eyes and smiled, completely unaffected by the rope around her neck.

“Well I hope you got your enjoyment from that.” She said flatly and then began to laugh in a high pitched voice. The crowd drew away, some ran and a few dropped to their knees in prayer. Joseph stepped back and pulled his sword while Mary waved for recruits to come up onto the platform.

Then the dangling woman burst into fire, completely turning her to ash in moments, setting the gallows platform and black rope on fire at the same time. Retreating back to the ground nothing could be done but watch it burn to the ground complete with the body of big man still hanging.

“Well that's not a good sign at all is it?” Mary asked of Joseph as she stood by his side.

“Sister Mary, I've never seen anything like that so I am not entirely sure.”


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Six Pack: Modern Day Mage Spells

 


Six spells for Modern Day Urban Mages. Living in the big city doesn't mean a mage can't thrive. Here are six spells specifically tailored for those who live in the concrete jungle. 


  1. Musical Accompaniment. This is a memorized song that is played whenever the spell is cast. It sounds like it is coming from a source a few feet above you. The better of a mage you are the more songs you may have memorized into your 'song list' to change up what you can play when you want.

  2. City Vision. This spell grants the caster to see various invisible or unseen things common in most cities. Things like security beams, infrared lasers, electrical currents, even the pipes and wiring running through a wall or the sewers below a street.

  3. Camera Sight. When cast the mage can see through the lenses of nearby security and closed circuit television cameras. They also can 'flip' from one camera to another trying to get the view they want.

  4. Money on the street. The caster will find or acquire a sum of money by sheer luck within a few seconds after casting. The amount can vary depending on system requirements withing your game system, more magic points spent/level of the caster/etc equals more money. Examples: Find a wallet on the street with no identification but a few bills still folded inside, cause a ball at the roulette table hit the number that you are betting on.

  5. Electrical discharge. Much like the common lightening bolt except it draws power from nearby electrical sources. Such as streetlights, local buildings, even car batteries. This is also very flashy due as large sources will arc the electricity to you and most lights will burst and so will several other objects when drawn from. Of course, the more sources to draw from within the immediate vicinity the more powerful it will be.

  6. Start Up. This triggers things like car ignitions, machine on buttons and anything else that has an electrical operation system. It can also be used to flip electrical car and door locks.   


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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Six Pack: Six Magical Bells

 


It's been over a month since I've posted anything on my blog so I figure why not do another Six Pack of magic items. This time I've wrote up six different magical bells that mostly fit into fantasy games, although some may work in other genres as well. Hope you enjoy. 


  1. The Terror Bell. This is a large four foot tall wide based bell covered in ruins. Made by a death cult over a hundred years ago it is now hauled around on a wagon by those who possess it now. Striking the bell creates a thunderous sound that causes pain so intense that they can't do anything but drop their weapons and cover their ears. Unless they have drawn the ruins from the bell onto their chest in their own blood.

  2. Mind Splinter. This is a small silver bell held on a six foot long rod. The knocker is hooked by a small chain hanging from the inside of the bell. Whenever it is struck any magic user within hearing range gets a sudden headache and they forget all the spells they have memorized at the moment.

  3. Bandaging Bell. An old metal bell about a foot tall with a worn dark wooden frame holding it up. When struck anyone within hearing distance who is severely wounded will suddenly stop feeling pain and fall into a sleep that lasts for eight hours. Their wounds will clot and stop bleeding and they will begin healing at an alarmingly fast rate.

  4. Cleansing Chime. A silver hand held bell that has a red tint going through it and a wooden handle that has gone black. This bell is used on a person who has been possessed by a demon. The user walks around the individual (usually a good idea if they are tied down) and rings the bell as twice as they go in that circle. It creates intense pain both for the demon possessing the person and the victim. The stronger the demon the longer it takes before they leave. Afterwards it may take the victim weeks to recover, sometimes it can even result in death.

  5. The Pipers Call. This appears to be a standard sized church bell designed to go into a steeple. The only difference is the engraving of rats running around its base. When it is rung, and it rings loud and far, any vermin such as rodents are driven from the area. They will not return for at least twenty four hours afterwards.

  6. Torturers Tool. A rather small bell that is very ornate in craftsmanship. The entire thing looks like it is made from overlaid runes and occult symbols. When it is held over a restrained persons body and rang gently it causes that persons old wounds to reopen and start to bleed again. This process can take up to an hour before it is done. If it is rang a second time over that persons head it stops the process but the wounds stay and must heal up normally.


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