Friday, March 31, 2017

Unknown Armies, Dark Shadows Edition

Back in the winter, I introduced Nicole to classic Dark Shadows.  We only watched a couple of plotlines — some day, when we have more time, we'll watch the whole thing, but that's probably a year's undertaking — but we hit a lot of the classic plots.  (Ultimately, we focused on the plots that ended up being revisited in House of Dark Shadows and the 1991 revival.)  If you're unfamiliar, it's a very melodramatic soap opera from the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The basic structure was to rip off Gothic novels — the starting plots are pretty unabashedly taken from Jane Eyre and The Count of Monte Cristo — but after a few episodes and flagging ratings, they pretty quickly added supernatural elements.  Josette's ghost is the first weird thing to appear, but they pretty soon include phoenixes, vampires, werewolves, patchwork men, sorcerers, time travel (lots of time travel), and Lovecraftian horrors.

At any rate, coupled with Unknown Armies, third edition, being in my headspace, I drafted a character creation chart for the first 200-ish episodes.  The four Collins family members and their governess — Carolyn Stoddard, David Collins, Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard, Roger Collins, and Victoria Winters — are meant to be the player characters, although no stats are provided.  (At some point, I should probably fix that.)  Their starting relationships are included, however, although their relationships to the "cabal" have been left blank.  Their various other contacts, as well as some artifacts and the manor house itself, are included.

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

State of the Madicon 2017

The state of the Madicon is strong.

Nicole and I made the annual pilgrimage to Harrisonburg, VA for Madicon 26. (Interested parties can read about Madicon 22, Madicon 24, and Madicon 25.)

This year's foray into the dealer's room resulted in the Tome of Beasts, a rather weighty monster manual from Kobold Press for fifth edition.  We also grabbed dice, miniature yard flamingos, and two old Mage: the Ascension posters.

Friday evening saw my first game of Frostgrave, which I've been wanting to play for a while.  Rushputin ran pregenerated warbands.  I forget which one I was playing the first game — I probably lost in terms of the one shot, but if it were campaign play, any treasure hunt you can walk away from is a success, I think — but the second game I started playing the Witchfinder General.

Click to see the original over at Warpstone Pile
At some point I need to stat out a warband for campaign play.

Saturday saw the return of the Anhak game.  (Interested parties can read about last session's antics here.)  The party made liberal use of Jeff Rients' carousing rules, essentially partying their way up the coast back to the city of Vor Taluum.  They also managed to shrug off the effects of most of their drunken shenanigans, leaving everybody with a pretty good impression of these rich adventurers.  They suffered no problems back in Vor Taluum — the merchants that apparently want them dead sent such an elite assassin they assume the job was finished — although the elf did inadvertently double-cross one of his contacts while trying to grab a wizard's tome.

I guess we'll see how that all turns out.

Otherwise, this year's Madicon was fairly quiet, although quite fulfilling.

Monday, March 6, 2017

I Want a New Duck

There was a conversation over at the Unknown Armies Fan Club, and somebody posted these poor Swedish translations over pictures of birds.  One thing led to another, and the Tomb Duck was born.

The tomb duck is a duck that has felt the touch of ultimate evil, rather like an anatine version of a bodak.  Like regular ducks, they tend to hang out by the water, although their aversion to sunlight means they are typically only found underground, or at night.

Tomb Duck (Lamentations of the Flame Princess/OSR)
AC 14 (AC 8 in AD&D), HD 1d4, Move 60', Fly 270', Morale 12
Attacks: Death Gaze (victims within 30' that meet the tomb duck's gaze make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or die)
Tomb ducks are immune to charm, hold, sleep, slow, and poison.  They have infravision to 180 feet.  Tomb ducks take 1 point of damage per round from direct sunlight and are turned as undead.

Tomb Duck (Dungeon Crawl Classics)
Tomb Duck: Init +0; Atk special (see below); AC 12; HD 1d4; MV 15’, Fly 90'; Act 1d20; SP immune to charmholdsleepslow, and poison, infravision 180'; SV Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +2; AL C.
A tomb duck attacks with its vicious death gaze.  Anyone within 30 feet meeting the tomb duck's gaze must make a DC 10 Fort saving throw or else be instantly slain.  Tomb ducks take 1 point of damage per round from direct sunlight and can be turned.

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