Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Thought About Vampires

Over at Daddy Grognard's, he is somewhat "vampired out" and is looking for new takes on this overused horror and fantasy staple. Here is what I left in a comment there (appropriately enough, comment #13!)

Vampires want to be human. They were cursed, infected, duped, whatever, but they now find their existence horrible and unbearable.

The only way a vampire can become human is by drinking human blood. After a feeding, their withered, pallid, rock-hard flesh becomes plump and pink and warm. They can feel, smell, and enjoy being human again, for about a week; then they slide back into their tortured but vicious nightmare forms.

In their inhuman forms, they are all but invulnerable and savagely deadly. Only in their human form are they easy to kill, as easy as killing any other human, but it is while they are in these forms that they most desire to continue to live. Only during the week of their blood-filled euphoria do they experience heavenly respite from their hellish eternal existence.

My idea here was to take the overused idea that vampires were smug and superior to humans (faster, stronger, longer lived, etc.) and turn that around so that all they want to be is just like us. We have what they lack, and they will do anything to get it, even though it is just a temporary fix to stave off their eternal unrest.

What do you think?

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Bit of Weather

It seems that whenever I am running an adventure, I tend to forget a lot of the details which help bring a scene alive, and often some that might make a definite difference in the party's actions. One of the most common things I forget is weather and season. I can't tell you how many outdoor adventures I've run that take place on an apparently warm, sunny, spring/summer day since I gave no details otherwise.

Well, recently I thought up some simple tables to help myself remember to include details like the season, air temperature, and weather. First is, of course, a simple d12 roll to see what the current month is, unless I have already decided beforehand what time of year the adventure begins in.

Next I have a seasonal table to give approximate air temperatures. I use a subjective scale that loosely ties to actual temperatures.

Degrees Description
------- -----------
110+ Roasting
100-109 Very Hot
90-99 Hot
80-89 Very Warm
70-79 Warm
60-69 Cool
50-59 Very Cool
40-49 Cold
30-39 Very Cold
20-29 Freezing
10-19 Below Freezing
0-9 Zero
less Below Zero

This way you don't have to give them exact degrees, just a loose description: "It is a warm summer evening..."

Then I set up a daily temperature by month scale like so:

JAN Very Cold
FEB Cold
MAR Very Cool
APR Cool
MAY Warm
JUN Very Warm
AUG Very Warm
SEP Warm
OCT Cool
NOV Very Cool
DEC Cold

These temperatures represent the basic "high" of the day. Morning and evening temps are one step cooler, night temps are two steps cooler.

Now we come to the actual weather table itself. It doesn't have very unusual weather, that will come into play when I intend to have it, but it is good to give a reasonably realistic variation from day to day with a simple roll of 2d6:

2-3 Stormy (blizzard, tornadoes, etc)
4-5 Rainy (or snowing; also one step colder)
6 Colder than normal (two steps colder)
7 Sunny and fair
8 Hotter than normal (two steps hotter)
9-10 Windy
11-12 Same as Yesterday

And that's it. I haven't put it into practice yet, but I hope to if I can ever get a local game going...


Why aren't my tables lining up right? I'm using the "code" html tag, but the spaces aren't being counted. Can anyone help with that? Please?

No Luck So Far...

So I've had a flyer up for almost two months now trying to get players for a Barbarians of the Aftermath game going. I put it up at Titan Games, the only (AFAIK) game shop in town. So far, no responses.

Now that My youngest daughter is going to college, I'm having her post the flyer on campus to try to get some more people interested. If that doesn't work...I don't know what else to try.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back From The Dead

It's been almost a year since I began this role-playing blog, and I've added nothing to it beyond the original two posts. The reason for this is that my interests tend to shift back and forth from role-playing games to theology/philosophy in long cycles. I began this blog at the end of one cycle, but now I'm back to talk about some games.

My three favorite games right now are old-school D&D (and it's clones Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord), Savage Worlds, and Barbarians of Lemuria (including the fantastic post-apocalyptic version, Barbarians of the Aftermath). Unfortunately, I haven't played anything in about a year (and even then it was very short lived), but I'm trying to get a new group together to play some Barbarians of the Aftermath.

Strangely enough I'm also working on a retro-clone of Fantasy Wargaming by Bruce Galloway. Why? Because that book grabbed my imagination when I first bought it in the 80s, and it still makes me want to do something with it.

Finally, I'd just like to say that blogger elf23 over at The City of Iron has some excellent D&D-by-way-of-Savage-Worlds stuff that you should check out. Two great tastes that taste great together...