Friday, 29 August 2014

AP: Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children

Finally got a game in! noisms was visiting, Patrick was around and so was David W, so finally after many long months we sat down and played something.

The guys all knew that they were playing DCCHC, but hadn't read it. They rolled up new characters, two each (ending with a party of six, two fighters, two MUs, a cleric and a specialist) and then found themselves a little way out of the town of Rookwood (there was a steakhouse out of the window of the cafe we were playing in with the same name, and it sounded good). A series of women of all ages approached and *SPOILERS* (if you've not read or played DCCHC and don't want to spoil anything, then don't click through; I will try to refer to things as sensitively as possible to avoid spoiling, but cannot promise I won't miss something).

Click through!

Friday, 22 August 2014

In The Attic...

(Blame Patrick's past tables and the guy who came to do our plasterwork)

Apparently it helps the new plasterwork to dry out if we keep the attic hatch open. We didn't know it was open until we came home, and have to leave it until there are no more signs of drying on the walls. How long will that be? I have no idea.

Last night I looked up at it as I was going up to bed, and of course, even though I'm 33 years old, the thought that came to mind was "What if there's something up there?"

No insomnia from worry, but this morning it got me thinking...

What's in the attic?
1. Goblins
2. Ragamuffins
3. Zombies
4. Former owners of the house
5. Ratlings with strange rune-shaped teeth
6. Almost-invisible things, but you can see a big smile

1. ...they talk like your parents...
2. ...they all wear a filthy rag with your name on...
3. ...they have no eyes...
4. ...they float above the ground...
5. ...they move slowly, silently and in a jerky stop-motion fashion...
6. ...they say that you're their "Mummy"...

1. ...they're constantly looking around as you try to talk to them.
2. ...they seem quite docile, but lick their lips constantly.
3. ...they're fiddling with something in their pockets.
4. ...they stare at you while saying "Mmhmm, yeah, yeah, mmhmm," to everything you say.
5. ...whenever you look away there is one more of them when you look back.
6.'re sure there was one more of them a few minutes ago when you started talking.

They ask you...
1. ...what the time is, and where you keep it...
2. ...if you have a cup of sugar they can borrow...
3. long you were planning on staying...
4. ...if they can just talk to you for two minutes about the coming end of days...
5. ...where you keep your delicious younglings...
6. ...for those years back that you've so far wasted...

...but really what they want...
1. ...are as many teeth as they can carry.
2. ...are spouses.
3. a nice big piece of bloody meat.
4. your life, and they're studying you ready to take turns being you.
5. ...are friends. Will you be their friend?
6. your heart.

They're not actively violent though, whatever they may seem. They tell you...
1.'s time for them to leave, this has been nice, you should do it again...
2. ...we can't go yet, we need one more, we need one more...
3. ...there is no escape...
4. ...they know your true name, and smile...
5.'ll never know love, even if you think you already do...
6. ...not to worry, there was nothing you could have done differently...

1. ...that's when they tear their masks off, and they all look like you (but dead).
2. ...they go, but you realise ten minutes later your wallet is gone. And so is the attic hatch.
3. ...everyone else who was in the house is gone, along with the things from the attic.
4. ...they go, but everyone else who was in the house looks at you oddly, head cocked, for the rest of your life.
5. ...they leave the way that they came, but when you go downstairs everyone is a stranger to you.
6. realise that you're one of them, you always have been, and you follow them up into the attic.

OK, now I have worries.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Spell: Pause

Found this in my Google Keep folder and thought it might be worth sharing; there is half a thought somewhere in my head that I have seen this already in an LotFP book - if I have, will someone put me out of my misery and let me know please?

On the one hand, this looks a little bit like a blanket way of halting magical effects. It did get me thinking though, that if a group with a few MUs spent a few rounds casting targeted spells at some great monster or something while a couple of Fighters/meat-shields held things back, there could be some tactical value - as well as a magical protection/deflection spell.

Of course, time has to catch up at some point...

Fourth Level Spell
A sphere of radius up to 30'/caster level (can be made smaller at MU discretion)
Duration: Caster's level in rounds
While this spell is in effect every spell subsequently cast by any Magic User or Cleric, and even any charge used in a rod, wand or other item, will be suspended. The caster must roll a d20 for each spell to determine the order that they resolve in after the Pause ends.
Spells in effect before Pause is cast are not effected (e.g., an invisible person is still invisible) and magic that is bound to a particular item or location still works (e.g., a flaming sword) so long as the power of that item was active before Pause was cast. Any power that must be activated is paused as well, unless the boundary of the spell is crossed, the power activated, and the boundary recrossed.
A spell "fired" from outside the boundary into the area may have unexpected effects (GM's discretion).

Monday, 11 August 2014

Game Idea: A Year Of Festivals and Special Dates

A few days ago I spotted a small hardcover address book (the kind with A to Z running down the edge of pages and little bits cut out etc) for 68p in the supermarket. I guess it was reduced to that price because no-one has these anymore, all your numbers are in your phone and people don't send letters - at least, that's what the news says.

But anyway, I picked it up because I thought "Hmm, for things like my various LotFP games I could come up with a book of NPCs..." The idea being that I wouldn't just default to random tables as I typically do, but I would have a book of people. Maybe I would take one randomly, maybe if a player says "Do we know any journalists?" I could think Ah-ha! and look up Reg Cutter, the sleazy journo for the Wetham Herald... It might be fun.

Today I spotted a marked down diary. I didn't buy it because it was a pretty poor looking little thing, but afterwards it got me thinking: there are always events and festivals and special days in cities. When you add in religions and organisations then there are feast days and observances and so on and so forth. There is always something happening in the background.

So: how about a book with 365 days of festivals listed? Some religious, some street things, some business, some cultural. Potentially adding nothing more than a little flavour ("On 9th December, watch out as children run through the streets with strings and ribbons to try and create a trap for Santa!") or maybe having mechanical effects ("17th July is the god Honarius summer feast day; Honarius is the god of winter and daggers, and those who make an offering before sunrise in his name will find that their short blades strike cold and true until sunset (+1 to hit for daggers, on a 3 or 4 re-roll as the blade freezes the wound)").

Perhaps this is something else to add to my Big List O' RPG Projects... At the minute it is just a little idea.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Ersatz Recollection

A few nights ago, unbidden, a situation from the first game that I played - a game of Apocalypse World that Patrick ran and noisms played too - came to mind, but I was pretty tired so the strangeness of the memory didn't hit me until the morning. I realised that the memory I had was that of my character, Chaplain the Gunlugger - it wasn't my memory.

noisms' Hocus character, Trout, wanted to try and use his affinity for the Weird to control some strange machine that was probably channelling the dead and zombies and all kinds of crazy insane stuff in the game. (trust me, this made sense at the table) This was a tremendously bad idea, as we were already freaked out, in a weird space in a ruined hospital - where someone had hacked an MRI machine into a ghost controller or something. Trout thought that he could get the ghosts or spirits in his control.

My/Chaplain's reaction was to roll +Hard, grab Trout and slam him against the wall "Are you crazy, you can't do that!" Trout tried to kick me in the balls and escape but I wouldn't let him have it. I think we had to back down in the end, because things were just spiralling out of control - it was possible that Chaplain was a hair's breadth from knocking Trout out or killing him.

But as you see from how I just described it, I used the description of Chaplain: I don't remember the table, I remember the game. I remember the end of the exchange, because we had to step back from the game to resolve it (our understanding of the mechanics at the time meant that neither of us were backing down). I remembered being the character, remembered slamming someone against a wall - could see the wall, could see the ruined hospital - and it was only with effort that I remembered the conversation around the table.

Thinking about this made me realise that more and more I remember the fiction/game rather than the table environment. Is this normal? I have no idea. What I find strange is that it's only just dawned on me in the last few days that this is how I (mostly) remember games.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Getting There

Habit forming is hard! But once they're in place - "good" habits I mean, productive ones - they do most of the heavy lifting of the work that you're trying to do.

A little over three weeks ago I started writing on here again, following the idea that I could use the interruptions to my sleep (provided by now 10.5 month old daughter) to see what ideas were lurking that could then be connected with the hobby. In the space of those three weeks this has lead to 16 other posts, more than the rest of this year so far combined. I think this is important.

"I have no time!"

And I still don't. I have no more time. I've been on holiday, away from my computer and any notes, I've had to work, I've had to take on more childcare things while my wife steps up her Masters work, and we're doing work on the house.

A simple provocation. That's all it took. It hasn't, strictly speaking, taken yet: I miss days, I dawdle too much on ideas (the zoo-inspired post where I try to make a connection between captivity of zoo animals being like life before G+ and the wild being G+ looks like it has festered rather than flowered, but let's remain hopeful) and I've not played anything in ages.


But maybe that can be tweaked a little more. Let's see what August has in store.

Quick idea for sped-up Oort Cloud chargen: choice of weapons and gear a la Apocalypse World's chargen choices. So, e.g., Killer's pick one of brutal close-up weapon and peashooter gun; two less deadly close-ups and a reasonable ranged weapon; a short sword, a handgun and a rifle; a rusty spoon and a BFG.