I just learned about the concept of Chernoff Faces, the data visualization concept in which numerical data is presented using cartoon faces rather than numbers, as it's easier for people to process faces than digits. I immediately wondered how to adapt this for RPG use. How would you design a game that used faces instead … Continue reading Chernoff Faces: a character sheet for a game that doesn’t exist
I just finished up a one-shot of Liminal Horror, a modern horror RPG from Goblin Archives. It's a simple system, heavily inspired by Yochai Gal's Cairn. Characters have three stats: Strength, Dexterity, and Control. Players roll a D20, and try to get equal to or below their stat to succeed at tasks. In combat, there … Continue reading Liminal Horror: A fillable, custom character sheet for the Horror RPG
There's an OSR adventure called The Doom That Came to Chapman Farm. It's by Mark Hess and it's specifically designed for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG. The setting is Colonial Maryland in the late 1600s. It looks like a simple, fun little horror adventure. I'm planning to run it for one of my … Continue reading The Doom That Came to Chapman Farm – Converting a OSR adventure to Traveller
When most people think of pulp heroes, they imagine a few various archetypes: a masked hero lurking in the darkness, a famous super-scientist, perhaps a muscled figure raised by the beasts of some far-off wilderness.
Imagine instead, a elderly, kindly pharmacist who rarely leaves their Lower East Side neighborhood.
Let me offer an alternate kind of pulp hero and pulp RPG campaign, based on the exploits of a very real but very forgotten character from the pulps – Doc Turner.
The Doc Turner stories, all written by Arthur Leo Zagat, appeared in 70 stories that all were published exclusively in the Spider magazine. They ran from 1934 to 1942.
Andrew Turner was a pharmacist, who owned a small shop on “Morris Street”, in a crowded New York immigrant neighborhood. Locals would come to him for help, or strange situations would appear on his doorstep. Turner would investigate, usually have…
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DoubleZero is a RPG for modern era action\adventure games by Berin Kinsman. It’s particularly suited to the Spy or Thriller genres. I’ve been playing around with it for a bit, and thought I’d post some thoughts along with a custom character sheet. The Format DoubleZero, like all of the titles published by Lightspress Media uses … Continue reading DoubleZero: Second Edition review and my custom character sheet
Over on my Pulp Gamer RPG blog, I've posted a mini-review and a custom character sheet for the Pulp Hack - an OSR based pulp adventure game. The Pulp-Hack: Mini-review and custom Character Sheet
I’ve been posting a lot about a “New OSR”, an attempt to encourage others to build a community and produce gaming material for the Cepheus Engine (open source Traveller). The idea being that the Cepheus Engine is a solid base for creating your own adventures, zines, supplements, and full games. My previous Cepheus as a … Continue reading The New OSR 5: Even More Cepheus Tools
Started updating my Pulp RPG blog again
How does a fiendish master criminal eliminate his enemies? Guns? Bombs? Too pedestrian. Here’s a list of fictional methods of assassination taken from actual pulp novels. Add any of these to your pulp villain’s arsenal.
Note: I’ve identified the source of most of these, so there may be spoilers for some books that went out-of-print well before you were born.
Two darts made of frozen snake venom, that will kill nearly instantly. Fired from a blowgun disguised as a common cigarette. Leaves two small wounds on the victim, which to the non-expert appears to be a snake bite.
from The Three Just Men (1925) by Edgar Wallace
An ordinary-looking vinyl record, with a recorded message from a criminal mastermind. The surface of the record has been treated with both a deadly poison and a protective coating. The record is harmless until it is played. When the needle of the record…
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Flowstone is a city for my own Undergloom setting (previous post here), though it could most likely be plugged in to any Underdark-style world. I use it for the occasional Black Hack game, but it should work with any OSR-style system. Flowstone lies in the center of a vast cavern that serves as a junction … Continue reading Flowstone – an underground city for the Black Hack, or any OSR game
I've been playing around with the Bone Age by Bill Edmunds. It's an interesting little science fantasy OSR setting and system. Players are stone age humans, struggling to survive on an strange world where alien races war for dominance.. The System The system itself is pretty simple. Characters have six stats - Agility, Constitution, Instinct, … Continue reading The Bone Age: Mini-Review and custom character sheet for a science fantasy OSR game