Month: October 2018

DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale: All of Their Strengths

The DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale is in its last days, and we’ve dug through to find some gems that might appeal to you. This post will cover another quirky but fun game:

All of Their Strengths

It was during a previous Drive Thru RPG sale that I found All of Their Strengths (AotS). With a striking cover and a title taken from a quote from one of my favorite action movies (Blade, of course!), it immediately caught my eye. I gave it a quick read and immediately put it on the calendar for my Gauntlet City Limits living campaign and ran a few fun sessions!

AotS is a high-action game where your character is a hybrid of one (or more) different supernatural creatures. The combination of those powers make your character something truly unique, and, of course, their inhuman parents are pretty much terrible. So you’re just the one to stop them from hurting regular folks, and do it with serious style!

The game knows it’s a campy romp, and that’s what makes it shine. The world is painted in neon and wrap-around shades and has no doubt about how cool it is.

If AotS piqued your interest and you’re not sure what stories to kick off with it, the Holiday Special is also on sale. This is a very inexpensive pair of story starters and some new Hybrid creatures with all new powers for different exciting PC combos.

The AotS Halloween bundle is another pair of story starters and even more Hybrids. The Halloween supplement isn’t on sale, but it’s pretty inexpensive and definitely worth checking out.

Cover Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Teenage Gerbil Uprising

You know them and love them from the Intercontinental Group of Awesome’s Masks Halcyon City campaign. Now, you can have them on your phone’s lockscreen! With permission from the great Alex Prinz, you’re free to download this…

DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale: Bloodshadows

Bloodshadows

Fantasy and horror, magic and technology, men and monsters meet and merge. Spellslingers and the ritual magic of blood cults exist parallel with smoking revolvers, cold stiffs, and dark deceptions. Adventurers have the chance to gain riches and power, provided they can survive the places where nothing is ever as it seems.

Bloodshadows, 3rd Edition

To be honest, I’d have written this post eventually, but seeing Bloodshadows in the DtRPG Halloween Sale moved “eventually” up to “right now.” I have a long, involved relationship with the Bloodshadows setting that started with the West End Games MasterBook edition when I was managing the unfortunately named game and memorabilia shop Fantasy Forum in Northern Virginia 20 years and more ago. (Why was Fantasy Forum an unfortunate name? Let’s just say that we got many calls for the types of “toys” that weren’t cheap plastic phasers that made 8-bit beeping sounds.) Noir sensibilities combined with deep and dangerous magic? Tragic and epic history about to bubble up into an increasingly fraught present? My jam right there.

The world of Marl was the focus of the age-old war between Chaos and Order centuries and centuries ago. Things with no names, some barely recognizable as things, fought alongside humans in the most recent battlefield of a conflict that moves from realm to realm, reality to reality. Eventual the war moved on to another realm, but it left Marl deeply and irrevocably changed. Remnants of the creatures of Order of Chaos roam the wastes between cities, making travel dangerous both physically and existentially. New sentient species emerged in the aftermath, as well… Four-armed Catarms, ghoulish Elkist, stone-skinned Grani… The result of crossbreeding with Demons, magical experimentation, or the stray energies of a world-breaking war, the list is long. And, well… weird.

Civilization exists only where enough people are gathered together to defend against what lies outside the walls – the unnaturals and abominations of the Wastes. In some cities magic is all-powerful, with Elementalist guilds cracking down on internal combustion and the products of science and technology. In others, the balance tilts toward technology. Your gutsy shamus might carry a gun with rune-charged bullets to deal with demons and cultists, or might have a friend with a wand and terrible powers.

Cultists? Did I say cultists? As it happens, the vanguards of the forces of Order and Chaos are returning to Marl, bringing the war with them soon, and they’re manifesting in increasingly fanatic cults that might just as easily mask themselves as a “Business Association” as a slavering band of cutthroats. Your characters can pick a side, but often the best way is to stay neutral, trying to keep your head above the ever-rising tide of conflict. At least for now.

To be honest, none of the rulesets available for Bloodshadows tickle me as much as the setting does. Precis Intermedia makes three versions available: a reprint of the original Bloodshadows MasterBook World Book, the OpenD6 Edition, and Bloodshadows 3rd Edition, which uses their genreDiversion system. I had limited success running 3rd edition recently, but much of that was my own damn fault – I let myself get too far into my head and didn’t make adjustments for the way I like to play games now

One day, I will take this rich, weird, and sometimes silly setting and run it in a “modern” system that encourages the GM and Player behaviors I love at the table. For now, I continue to go back for inspiration and the occasional head-shake.

DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale: Creepy Doll Studios

One Foot in the Grave &
Dude, Run!

The DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale is in its last days, and we’ve dug through to find some gems that might appeal to you. This post will cover two games from Creepy Doll Studios.

One Foot in the Grave

Are you looking for a bit of whimsy in your fight against the lumbering zombie fiction out there? One Foot in the Grave is a silly romp of a game where you play an elder in a retirement home that’s being invaded by the walking dead (™)!

Yes, you can have foot chases between a lumbering Romero-style shambler and a guy who just got a hip replacement. I ran a hilarious one-shot of OFitG and this game reminds me of Bubba Ho-Tep in pitch and play, and I love that about it. Bonus, you fill a BINGO card as a part of play.

Dude, Run!

Dude, Run is a storytelling game with light competitive elements where the PCs are all part of a crew investigating “haunted” places for a TV show and trying to spin completely BS reasons that the very mundane noises or sights are actually signs of the undead! The mechanics of the game allow you to amp up your “belief” in the supernatural to try and sell the haunting, but be careful! You just might freak yourself out and run for the hills.

If you like camera confessionals and playing broad characters, Dude, Run is definitely worth a shot.

(Cover Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash)

DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale: PbtA

Powered by the Apocalypse

The DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale is in its last days, and we’ve dug through to find some gems that might appeal to you. This post will cover some classic and less-well-known games powered by the Apocalypse World Engine. 

Monster of the Week

Monster of the Week is a game that will let you play through stories reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer if you’re in a high-school mood, or travel the country fighting ghosts and beasties if you’re feeling more like the Winchester Brothers from Supernatural. If Mulder and Scully are more your bag, X-Files is doable, too! This is a well-known monster-hunting game that gives reliably fun play with flexible rules for magic and extensive GM advice.

 

Monsterhearts 2

This updated version of Avery Alder’s classic game of sexy teenage monsters caught up in love triangles, high-school angst, and dangerously fraught decisions is inspired by Buffy, Twilight, Ginger Snaps, The Vampire Diaries and The Craft. It’s also simply one of the clearest and most expressive Powered by the Apocalypse texts to date.

 

 

Urban Shadows

Urban Shadows is a game of urban politics and supernatural drama that pits factions of vampires, wizards, mortals, faeries and more against each other, vying for control of the city. It draws inspiration as much from The Wire as from classic touchstones like The Dresden Files. This sale also includes the Urban Shadows supplement Dark Streets and Los Cazados, a minigame set in the world of Urban Shadows that allows players to portray werewolves hiding among the human populace in a modern city while fighting an ancient enemy.

 

Bluebeard’s Bride

In Bluebeard’s Bride, players collaborate to create a unique version of the dark fairy tale. Room by room, you discover the nightmares and horrors and truths of the place, meet Bluebeard’s servants, and eventually decide if your Bride is faithful or disloyal. This is a truly creepy game of feminine horror that will remind you of the best of American Horror Story. Also in the sale are the Book of Rooms, with rooms, resources and nightmares aplenty for the Bride; and the Book of Lore, a fiction supplement that tells one possible story of the Bride, but leaves it to the reader to make the final, fateful choice.

 

Bedlam Hall

In Bedlam Hall, you play servants of an insane upper-crust family, living in a cursed house, in the near-constant drizzle of the gothic landscape. Attempting to manage the house (which may not want to be managed), avoid the… quirks… of the family members, and all the while maintain your own sanity (and your references) is quite a challenge! The sale also includes three scenarios: A Terrible Tale of an Unsettling TraditionA Terrible Tale of Pride and Prescience, and A Terrible Tale of a Continuation of Horrible Events.

 

Blackout: A Game of Civil Defence

Blackout is a game about female Civil Defence volunteers during the London Blitz. As air wardens, rescue workers, fire guards, first aid responders, and welfare services, you venture forth from the bomb shelters to confront the horrors being unleashed from above, fighting fires, saving lives, and trying to piece back together your fair city even as the enemy tries to blow it to pieces! Designed for one-shot play, Blackout is quick to set up and get going.

 

The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth

In The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth, players take on the role of guests or staff in a theme park that barely masks a terrible horror lurking beneath. The game is a blend of satiric commentary and gut-curdling horror in a place that’s just a bit too shiny not to cast the darkest of shadows.

 

Learn More about these Games!

You will find interviews with the creators of most of these games, along with some great one-on-one actual play, on the Ennie-nominated podcast +1 Forward, co-hosted by our own Rich Rogers.