March Fourth for GM’s Day!

Postmortem Studios is participating in the GM’s Day sale, so make sure you get your grubby mitts on everything we’ve got that’s going cheap. Besides games there’s plenty of our material that’s good for GMs, especially the adventure seeds books. Knock yourself out!

Sale ends on the 8th!

Call of Chavthulu Developer’s Notes – Ian Warner

 

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Hello again Shadow World fans. Since I presented my notes for Bloodsucker: The Batshit I thought it only fair to give you a look behind the scenes of Call of Chavthullu as well. So here’s a little preview along with some insight into the inspiration behind it.

Introduction

Much like all my other Introductions this sets out what’s to come and provides a glossary of new terminology.

Chapter 1: New Credoz

Unlike their Bloodsucker equivalents these new Credoz are not a separate scene just rarer breeds. You are free to include them or ignore them as you like.

The new Credoz are

  • Beastz: Feral animalistic Chavs with an appreciation for what little animal life there is in a city. These were the first new Credo I came up with. Essentially I thought why not give the Chavs a transforming nature lover archetype?
  • Gopnikz: Eastern European Chav aristocracy. These were a late addition to the rules when I dumped a poorly thought out Credo. Someone on the White Wolf forums gave me the Russian for Chav and I used it to create these monstrosities.
  • Menacez: A cult within the Chav scene that worships the ‘Prophet Dennis.’ Like Jimmy Saville Dennis the Menace is a proto Chav so it seemed only fair to give him his own Credo especially one that worships him as a kind of messiah figure.
  • Lard Arsez: Embodiments of excessive Sloth the Lard Arsez are great hulking lumps of gristle that refuse to be moved in anything other than a dire emergency. There are obvious similarities to the Mafioso Fatsos. Both were inspired by the obesity epidemic. Mafioso Fatsos however have none of the slothfulness of these critters.
  • Rapperz: Music is a key component of the Chav scene and these lyrical chaps are its bards. Possessing amazing powers of rhyme these skilled musicians wield a great deal of power amongst Chav society. This Credo just had to be made sometime!
  • Skinheadz: Oh dear Lord what have I done! Although the Chav scene is considerably more multicultural than many others they are thug types so it seemed right to add in a group of racist outcasts. Naturally these guys won’t get on well with almost all of the other Credoz but they are a perfect antagonist.
  • Taggerz: Finally we come to the Taggerz. Like the music the artwork is a key component of the Chav scene. It seems only fair to create a Credo dedicated to it and here they are. They even have a secret language in their art that facilitates secret communication and through it intrigue and double dealing.

New Life Templates

This chapter is a rewrite of all the Templates presented so far for use by Chavs. Community Support officer is obviously left out as no Chav would work for the Police but all the other life templates presented in Bloodsucker: The Juice and Bloodsucker: The Batshit. I have included the Batshit ones as I have no plans for a second Chav supplement. Without an antagonist faction there is no need for one after this.

 

New Talentz

Presented herein are several new Talentz for use and abuse by your Chavs.

  • Bash: Enhances your Chav’s fighting ability with blunt weapons. Don’t know why I left this out of the Core but its here now.
  • Beatz: The Talent associated with the Rapperz for wielding the power of music.
  • Corpulence: The Talent the Lard Arsez use to take advantage of their humongous nature.
  • Cossack Kick: The Talent Gopnikz use to kick hard and fast.
  • Cuss: A Talent for using bad language to inflict pain. Most commonly used by the Skinheadz.
  • Morph: The Beastz’ Talent for shape shifting into animals.
  • Tag: The Taggerz’ Talent for animating and merging with their creations.

I was quite happy with all of these after a bit of tweaking. I’m sure you will all enjoy using and abusing them.

New Bells and Whistles

I struggled with this section. I was unsure what advanced systems to add to the game as the Core seemed quite comprehensive.

The first thing that came to mind was a systematic representation of Chavs’ cowardliness and reliance on being in groups. This manifested itself in the ganging up bonus. Now you gain Bile for outnumbering your enemy.

Secondly I was inspired by Geist and Promethean to include a method of mystically bonding the Crews. This further emphasises the importance of the Crew in the game and provides a mechanical bonus beyond merely being chummy.

Finally and following on from the bonding system I created the Tacticz system. This allows the Boss of a Crew to enhance his orders supernaturally with Bile and allows his Crew to act in various ways outside of the normal initiative order.

 

New Fluff and Advice

This section gives you advice on constructing characters in Chav Society, advice on high powered games and some more polite terms for the Credoz.

New Opposition

As well as a reprinting of Cults and Constructs this chapter presents the ever present threat of Bouncers.

Other Goodies

More God awful fiction is included in the style of that Certain Other Roleplaying Game.

Conclusion

The Call of Chavthullu expands the world of Chav in much the same way as Juice and Batshit expanded the Bloodsucker world. You could play Chav with the core book alone but the goodies displayed in this expansion should tempt you to give it a shot.

Review by Ian Warner – Blood Bowl (Computer Game)

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Introduction
Blood Bowl is a computer game adaptation of the classic Games Workshop miniatures board game. Its stated aim is to capture the spirit of its tabletop equivalent and translate it into a violent sports game like no other. This it excels at. Blood Bowl isn’t a regular sports title by any means. In fact I would be rather worried if another sports game involved kicking people while they are down, bribing the referee, doping and hiring wizards to cast fireballs from the stands upon your opponent! It does have its flaws though. The AI doesn’t go easy on you and starting players maybe overwhelmed by the complexity of the tactics employed. Furthermore although the turn based setting is a brilliant adaptation of the board game the real time setting is a complete mess. These flaws aside though it is a thoroughly enjoyable game that really taps into the comedic spirit of the world of Blood Bowl.

Story
The story behind Blood Bowl is simple. In a parallel world to that of Warhammer a worldwide truce, of the sort that is impossible in Warhammer, has been declared. War has died away: Mighty armies have been replaced by teams of a few players participating in the extremely violent sport known as Blood Bowl. Blood Bowl is clearly inspired by American football only with more violence and underhandedness. There isn’t really a plot as such. The Campaign simply follows whatever team you pick through their exploits on the pitch. One welcome addition to the background is the inclusion of Jim and Bob the definitive Blood Bowl commentators but I shall discuss them later in Atmosphere.

Game Play
Each time you begin a game, regardless of what sort, you are given a choice between two general modes Blitz and Classic. Classic is a basic play mode that sets all the defaults up for you. I’d recommend playing your first few games in Classic mode just to get used to the game.

Once you’re orientated you can try out Blitz mode. This unlocks a variety of options including playing in Real Time.

I don’t recommend playing in real time. It’s like playing an RTS with a ball. Only the AI controlling your players has even less initiative than a regular RTS AI. I didn’t think that was physically possible but there you go.

Turn based is the way to go as it faithfully recreates the board game whilst adding brutally hilarious animation and sound effects that obviously you can’t get on the table top.

In both Classic and Blitz there are several ways to play. For single players there is a fully realised campaign where you build a team and take them through a league all the way to the top, an option for creating your own competition and one off matches. There’s plenty of choice here but it is slightly let down: The AI is tough as nails. Even on easy mode it plays Blood Bowl like a seasoned professional that makes the game difficult for complete novices, like me, to get into.

Multiplayer more than makes up for this difficulty. Rather than facing Robot Rick Priestly you are playing a real person who, unless you happen to be playing the real Rick Priestly, happens to fuck up on occasions. You can play with other peeps via LAN or teh internets or, if you can find someone in the vicinity of your computer interested, with two players playing on the same computer. This “Hot Seat” option is worth the game’s retail price on its own. If you’re a sad bugger like me you can also play yourself on this option. In fact I’d recommend it at least once in order to get a feel of the game.

There is a problem with one offs and Hot Seats though. You cannot create your own teams for some reason and have to pick from a list of pre generated set ups. This is however a minor flaw in an otherwise brilliant system. 

Atmosphere
Again the board game is very faithfully adapted. All the violence and grim darkness of the world of Warhammer with the comedic twist that it is a rather silly ball game that does the talking rather than massive armies. As mentioned before the commentators Jim and Bob burst from the pages of the Blood Bowl rulebook into animated discussion of various aspects of the game. This further highlights the not so serious nature of the game and can stop you in the middle of a turn with laugh out loud wit.

Graphics
With the subject matter you’d expect the graphics to be cartoony and bright. Strangely they’re not. Most painted Blood Bowl teams I’ve seen look far cartoonier than their counterparts in this game. I suppose the new Games Workshop ‘realistic’ painting ethos has penetrated into their computer games as well. I’m not sure this is a good thing. It’s a lot harder to laugh at a Goblin falling on his own chainsaw when he spurts blood everywhere. The pitches themselves however are astounding even if there is a somewhat limited selection outside of the Campaign.

Conclusion
Overall Blood Bowl is a very faithful adaptation of its tabletop cousin. A lot of options are presented and they all have their merits but the Hot Seat setting alone would have made a pretty good game. The AI maybe a master that even regular Blood Bowl players have trouble with but you don’t have to face it unless you like getting clobbered. Real time was a disappointment. Perhaps if it took the FIFA series for inspiration rather than Warcraft III it would be more playable but as it is it’s a mess. There are, as you can, see very few gripes I have with this game. It is extremely faithful to its source material in spirit and letter and its lots of fun. What more could you ask for?

Score
Style 4
Substance 4
Overall 4