#RPG #TTRPG #WeirdHookMonth – Forever Young

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The Hook

Ironic that the Fountain of Youth should be in Florida, so close to the old. There is a hidden grove, filled with things that cannot die. Plants from every era, part-devoured deer, somehow still clinging to life, unkillable dinosaurs – and worse. Do you want to live forever?

Suggested System

Blood! Hollow Earth Expedition.

Art by Jesse Pruitt

#RPG #TTRPG #WeirdHookMonth – Red Meat

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The Hook

Vampires aren’t as glamorous as you hoped. Rather than blood, it’s a matter of gulping down raw human meat. Freshly turned you’re inducted into ‘the family’ who run a crematorium where the bodies never reach the fire. Some relatives are getting suspicious and you need a plan ‘B’.

Suggested Systems

Blood, Nightlife, World of Darkness.

Art by Tony Skeor

#RPG #TTRPG #WeirdHookMonth – Hygiene

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The Hook

When the sun sets it’s time to clean The Tube. Not only do you have to clean fast food wrappers from the third rail, but there’s the giant roaches, armed tube mice, vampires, Victorian cannibals, ghost trains and ‘The Gap’. All this for minimum wage and the pick of lost property.

Suggested Systems

Blood!, All Flesh Must be Eaten, Chill, The Laundry Files

Art by Haruki Design

#RPG #TTRPG #WeirdHookMonth – Underwater

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The Hook

A tsunami strikes without warning, battering the shore and hurling ships deep inland. As it draws back, bodies and debris are sucked out into the bring depths but something else is left behind. Dozens of strange, deformed creatures and eggs, which slowly stir to violent life.

Suggested Systems

Blood! The Laundry Files.

Art by Beat Reichenbach

#MayRPGQ2018 What games have you worked on informally, formally or semi-formally?

Paga

Too many to mention. I have a bibliography somewhere, but I don’t really keep it that up to date. There’s everything I’ve published myself, and then there’s the various other games that I have worked on material for. I’ve had stuff published for Call of Cthulhu, D&D 3rd Edition, D&D 4th Edition (official, not just OGL, but that too) and various other odds and sods over the years.

Tell you what, I’ll take this opportunity to talk about three of my favourite of my own games that I’ve written and since that counts as shilling, I won’t paywall the rest of this article.

Blood!

Blood was a fairly obscure British horror game, very much slapped into the genre of Splatterpunk, the likes of Sean Hutson, the grimier end of Clive Barker, Graham Masterton and so forth. Film wise it very much lurks in B-movie slasher territory, though its gritty nature makes it perfect for survival horror. We played Blood to death throughout the nineties, a grislier counterpart to our high-falutin’ World of Darkness games. It especially led to some really gripping zombie horror games in the Romero tradition. We were the hipsters of zombie horror gaming, we liked it before it was cool. Blood also turned out to be perfect for short, one-shot convention games where nobody had ambitions to survive a full scenario. On the off chance I contacted the original writer and artist and they gave me permission to take the game on for a cut. Since then I’ve continued to publish a second edition of Blood and fully intend to make a more streamlined game for a third edition. There’s just something magical about the way the game plays and the attitude it engenders in Games Masters and players that makes me love it.

Agents of SWING

I love all those old 1960s and 70s adventure shows. The Champions, Gerry Anderson’s various shows, The Saint, The Avengers and so on. The straight-faced campness, the 60s style, all of it blends together nicely so that you could easily imagine many of these shows sharing the same world (many of them were produced by the same companies). This was a good fit for FATE which could allow all sorts of weirdness to exist side by side while still being able to compete with each other. I wove ‘mockbuster’ equivalents to all these wonderful characters into a single organisation (SWING), a private spy agency not dissimilar to – but written before – Kingsman. Turns out pregenerating all those characters was a great idea as it allowed people to jump right into the game and have a great deal of fun. We had a memorable convention game where almost every player was playing Roger Moore, just as different characters (Bond, The Saint, The Persuaders). A lot of fun.

Tales of Gor

Licensing games is fraught with difficulty and this goes double when they’re derived from controversial material. John Norman’s ‘Gorean Chronicles’ are notorious, more so than they perhaps deserve. Where in other pulp-style novels the sexual side is much more implicit (the nudity on Barsoom, the rape and plunder in Conan) in Gor it’s much more explicit, without necessarily going into ‘blow-by-blow’ detail. Gor is a planetary romance style series of books, but with sex and BDSM written right into it. Because of this many have considered it cheap and tawdry or even pornographic – though I don’t gor_slavegirl_alphathink we can call it that with a straight face today. In fact the world-building is extremely good and – through fantasy – it challenges ideas about gender relations, humans in a ‘state of nature’ and many other things. It’s more than just slave girls and chains. I’ve loved it ever since I was gifted the first twenty or so novels and long wanted to create a game around it. Tracking down who to talk to was tough, bracing myself for the inevitable backlash was tough, and bracing myself for the Gorean purist’s complaints was also tough, as was working through a period of particularly bleak depression. At the end of it though I produced a game that I am very proud of, illustrated by renowned fetish artist Michael Manning and which hasn’t elicited quite the backlash I was expecting. I’m very proud of it.

 

#RPG #TTRPG #WeirdHookMonth – Bourgeois

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The Hook

The revolution succeeded! The workers are liberated! As student activists you fought well and have been rewarded with a farm but the peasants fled. There are things in the snow that you don’t have the folklore to ward off and Commisars are due next harvest. They expect a crop.

Suggested Systems

Blood! or Hot War

Art by Andrey Tkachenko

#AprilTTRPGmaker Favourite game you’ve worked on?

dd-35-eberron-city-of-stormreach-1-638.pngIt’s hard to pick just one and it’s also hard to decide upon what criteria I should judge which is my favourite. Some systems are a joy, some a chore. Some backgrounds, likewise. It can be fun to create something new and it can be fun to work on something with a lot of reach. It can be great to turn a property from its form as a book, film or comic into a game. Each game has its own microcosm of different factors and can be a favourite in a different way.

I’ve worked on Dungeons and Dragons and that’s quite a feather in your cap (at least when you’ve worked directly for Wizards) but the various incarnations of D&D, even 5th Edition, just really aren’t my cup of tea and while I enjoy Dark Sun and Planescape, the more vanilla fantasy settings and ideals typical of D&D are frustratingly hackneyed and cliche (not that that’s bad, it’s just hard and not that enjoyable to write for).

Breathing new life into BLOOD! was fun, an old, relatively obscure horror game that we always loved, but it wasn’t really ‘mine’.

Agents of SWING was a passion project, and I enjoy writing for FATE (though less so the current edition). Working together all the threads of the action/adventure series of the 60s and 70s was a fun challenge.

imageWorking on SLA Industries was great and I and Dave Allsop had good synergy and mutual understanding in the work I did for SLA. Unfortunately that joy has been lessened by falling out with one of the other people involved and the semi-butchering of the main book I did for them. A similar thing – editorial interference I didn’t like – happened in work I did for Call of Cthulhu.

Creating the semi-official Neverwhere RPG, adding to the lore and ideas, creating an innovative system and then giving the whole shebang away for free (terms of the agreement) was a huge amount of fun and that game – in its third edition – may be my most favourite, if least profitable, thing I’ve ever done.

But then, there’s still the tentacle porn…