Archive for October, 2017

Jump Scares

I have more exciting ebay news:

1. Chivalry and Sorcery: The second edition of Fantasy Games Unlimited’s Chivalry and Sorcery in its original box. The box has seen its better days, but it is more than 20 years old. Wear on top and bottom. Two corners are split, but there is no tape. Top cover bent in a bit near the top, probably from having something stacked on top of it during a move when I was in the Army. All three books are in pretty good shape. Covers are a bit smudged and yellowed. Binding is still pretty solid. Few to no pencil marks on the interiors. No ink marks or highlighting at all.

2. GURPS Imperial Rome: This copy of GURPS Imperial Rome, published 1992 by Steve Jackson Games, is autographed by by Steve Jackson, Jeff Koke (editor), and Ruth Thompson (illustrator). Some what used. Noticeable scratch on cover. Some wear on corners. Some yellowing of pages. No interior marks.

And, now, more for October. Ooh. Spooky.

Jump Scares

Let’s face it. It can be hard to run a horror-based game that is evocative enough with players who are immersed enough in the experience that the adventure unfolding really approaches anything close to the level of scary. So, with that in mind, do what schlock horror movie writers have done for ages. That’s right. Use jump scares. Get a large six-sided die. Display it prominently. Then, when something that’s supposed to be scary is about to happen, scream and roll the die. Before the players recover from your ear-piercing shriek, consult Table: Jump Scares and apply the results accordingly.

On a 1-2, the characters are somewhat more likely than normal to be surprised by the loud noise or by whatever suddenly appears. Of course, the something in this case isn’t dangerous, so there’s not likely any immediate effect, although that loud noise might alert nearby monsters, guards, et cetera.

On a 3, the characters are not only somewhat more likely to be surprised, but since the something is also dangerous, they are greater risk of harm.

The chance to be surprised increases on a 4 or 5 since a loud noise accompanies the sudden appearance of the something. Worst of all, on a 6, so many sudden things happen more or less at once that surprise is very hard to avoid.

October 13th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Masks of Nyarlathotep

First, an update. If you’re one of those few people who obsessively keeps track of the progress of Spes Magna projects, the reason nothing has been completed and released lately is due almost entirely to my real job. In short, I’m teaching about a dozen classes across five grade levels in a seven-period-a-day schedule. My committment to my students takes priority over Spes Magna Games, which, to be honest, is more of a hobby than a real business venture.

In other news, and before we get to some October horror, please note that I have a couple of items for sale via ebay:

1. The first edition of Cyberpunk from R. Talsorian Games, complete in its original box. The box is good shape considering it’s nearly 30 years old. Some corner wear. Some yellowing. No split edges or tape. Includes all the original books: Friday Night Firefight, View from the Edge: The Cyberpunk Handbook, Welcome to the Night City: A Sourcebook for 2013, and the player reference sheets. These materials are almost new as this game has only ever been gently used.

2. Path of Legend for Fantasy Flight’s Dawnforge campaign setting. I wrote this adventure shortly after contributing a chapter to the campaign setting itself. Path of Legend introduces players and their new heroes to the Dawnforge world with an epic quest that combines location and event-based encounters that include roleplaying, puzzle-solving, and, of course, combat. The book is most gently used. It is one of the complimentary copies I received for writing the adventure. It’s never been used for play, and it’s almost like new.

And now, let’s meet the Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Hit Dice: 2-5
Nota Bene: The Masks of Nyarlathotep, insane cultists who serve the Crawling Chaos, are kept in asylums under the care of loyal servants. When enemies of the cult require correction, the keepers of the Masks release their charges with necessary instructions, monies, equipment, et cetera. Masks vary in skill and deadliness, but even the weakest are a cut above the norm. In combat, they fight with mundane weapons, preferring razor-sharp blades so that they can better see the looks of terror in their victims’ eyes. A Mask wears a grotesque configuration of straps that affixes a leather strap across his or her mouth. Painted on this strap are a pair of smiling lips. While not monstrous enough to threaten Sanity, this accessory holds dark power. A Wisdom Save is necessary to see the accessory as anything other than a normal part of a trustworthy face. All Masks can cast a number of random spells equal to half his or her Hit Dice.

October 9th, 2017  in RPG, Spes Magna News No Comments »