Sunday, October 31, 2021

Zener card resolution part 2


More on using Zener cards as a means of resolution for a Silent Hill style game. 

Each character has a list of dark secrets or terrible things they have done. This is used to generate what kind of encounters they will have and the general themes of the game. Also it can affect the outcomes of draws. When they are forced to make a draw in the face of one of these pieces of their checkered past they are considered 'Stressed'. At this point the GM puts a token on one of the symbols in front of the players. If the draw results in more pulls of the symbol that is stressed than the result is considered a cataclysmic failure. More damage, terrible results, etc are all possible outcomes. 

Damage is done in small doses, usually one point at a time. With two points being reserved for cataclysmic failures or big bad guy type encounters. Whenever a Fight draw is made that results in zero successes than the character takes a point of damage. This is recorded by placing a damage token onto one of the symbols in front of the player. The damaged symbol can no longer be chosen by the player for their pulls, however the GM can still place a 'Stressed' token there.

Weapons are a bit trickier. Most allow for the player to pull an extra card on a Fight pull. Some allow a player to chose an extra symbol for the pull. Those of incredible power may even allow both. There are a few creatures that are more susceptible to specific types of attacks. In those cases it allows the player to chose one of the two types of bonuses above and apply it to the pull. 

Those are my thoughts right now. More to come later I imagine. If you like what you see here let me know. Also you can click on the Amazon and Drivethru links on the side, or the 'support this blog' link at the top to help toss a few dollars my way as inspiration to keep working.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Cyberpunk The Sound of Music session one recap


I need to start this off by saying this Cyberpunk 2020 game I am in has gone so far different from any other one I've ever played in. Our GM's ability to change things up and just roll with it is astounding at times. Now let's get into the details.

We all rolled up Rockerboys. We decided to really go punk and actually go punk rock with it. To the point we are slumming in an abandoned building and scrounging for money. But hey we got some skills to play some music and we just got get ourselves heard. And get heard we did, for better or for worse. 

Now the juvenile humor was in pretty high swing here. But that really does fit a group of punk band members pretty well. We called ourselves the 'Ass Martians' and we don't sell out. Well but we did enter a competition for a chance to be an opening act at a special show at the dome. But the unforeseeable happened, something we did not expect, we won. Now we are actually on a pretty big list of names and we need to get the word out and promote ourselves somehow. Maybe after we get done getting wasted at the bar. 

 I figured some videos social media would be our way to break out. Of course the best time to record my other band mates is when they're drunk and highly susceptible to suggestion.  Mistake were made. People that got involved should never have been involved, innocent bystanders that were higher than a kite got involved. Accusations were made and crazy wobbly video footage of drunk people wrestling in front of a row of coffin hotels was made. 

Soon the band member known as Ceaser got a new name on social media as 'Buttfucker'. Yeah it was a twisted road that got to that point which somehow never actually involved any buttfucking. Although there was mention of it with some random guy... and maybe his sister. But we won't go there. The drummer, who kept talking about how swole he was, soon got the name 'Swollen Love Knuckle'. The both of them kept yelling at me when I was filming. Which in turned earned me the name I was called the most and dammit I became 'Cocksucker' somehow (me suggesting Kerry Eurodyne was cut had nothing to do with it... honest). 

One person caught up in one of our shenanigans was a corporate executive who was slumming it downtown to feed his drunk and debauchery habit. Which wouldn't have been bad except that he later turned up dead and we may have the last film of him alive... and high as a giraffe's asshole.  Now the Night City PD want to talk to talk to us (it doesn't help that Buttfucker and Swollen Love Knuckle were already wanted) about it in a very direct manner. Plus we're sure the corporate suits aren't going to like us either. 

The video goes viral. Buttfucker is getting recognized on the street by people now. Me and Swollen are selling t-shirts with his picture on them as merch. Oh and we got a pack of nomads hired as security at the big show we are doing. Can you say this isn't going to go well?

Now we are working on a few new songs. One dedicated to Johnny Silver hand and how he has influenced our band over the years. We are calling it "Johnny We Took Turns Banging Your Mom - a love story". 

In two weeks the adventures of the foul mouthed, asshole band known as the Ass Martians will continue. I'm just wonder how much worse it could get. But on the bright side nobody got shot in the first game and I got to swing a sledge hammer around on stage!

Until then follow this link to DrivethruRPG and buy the Cyberpunk 2020 corebook in print or pdf. Or just follow that link and buy anything so we get a little kick back. We need the money to cover the eventual court cases involving Buttfucker. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Cyberpunk Red Core Micro release


In a recent post from R. Talsorian Games they gave a list of upcoming products for Cyberpunk Red. Among them was a pin set from Penny Arcade. Now merchandise is cool and all but the card the pins would be attached to contained a set of four new pieces of canon gear for the game. This presented a few problems in my mind.

First was that they are attaching exclusive game content to expensive merch (the pins cost 30 bucks). This goes back to my issue with companies only wanting fans who can shell out lots of extra money while punishing those who are more cash strapped. Also, not everybody wants merch for their games, that stuff should be of enough quality to sell on it's own without having to attach game content.

Second is that Penny Arcade is currently only shipping inside the US. So if you don't live in the right country you can't get the merch OR the game content. 

Thankfully R.Tal has found a fix for this situation. You can now buy a pdf of the card the pins were to be attached to from DrivethruRPG for only 50 cents. Making it affordable to those who just want the game content or can't drop thirty bucks for it. Plus those outside the US can get it also. Very good call on their part in my opinion. 

So even though I haven't bought into Cyberpunk Red yet I went ahead and purchased this as a show of support for making game content available to everyone. Not just those with deep pockets for extra merchandise. 

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.