The Monster Hunters’ Club 0

The Monster Hunters’ Club

My new setting for the Savage Worlds role-playing game is called The Monster Hunters’ Club. It is inspired by all the wonderful films from the 1980’s, and beyond, that feature groups of kids having adventures, fighting monsters, saving their town, growing up, and bonding together. Films like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Goonies (1985), The Explorers (1985), The Monster Squad (1987), Super 8 (2011), and It (2017). Small screen inspirations include Eerie, Indiana and Stranger Things.

Please check out our setting preview on DriveThruRPG. We were also featured on the Hardboiled GMShoe #rpgnet chat on Wednesday, October 4th. A transcript of that chat is available if you want to learn even more about the setting.


Streets of Bedlam Archetypes Using HeroClix

I’ve never tried to write anything for this site from my phone, but for this quick photo post, I figured I’d give it a try.

When I started running Daring Entertainment’s War of the Dead setting for Savage Worlds more than two years ago, I decided to modify plastic miniatures for the game. The idea came from the incredibly creative Jordan Peacock, who makes some fantastic miniatures for his games this way.


That’s a Wrap!

"Biohazard Grunge" by Nicolas Raymond

Biohazard Grunge Sepia” by Nicolas Raymond

It’s over.

On June 9th, 2012, we played our first session of our “War of the Dead” (Daring Entertainment) campaign, written by Lee Szczepanik. I didn’t want my players to know that I was about to throw the zombie apocalypse at them, so I called it “Beyond the Sea,” since the campaign begins with the characters on a cruise ship at sea.

Last night was our final session of that game.


Haunted Half-Dozen: Six Unforgettable Haunted House Scenarios for Tabletop RPGs

Photo Credit: Peter Pelisek

Photo Credit: Peter Pelisek

Over the past few days, I’ve received the electronic versions of two excellent products I backed on Kickstarter. Both of these are firmly in the horror genre. The first was the East Texas University (ETU) setting by Pinnacle Entertainment for Savage Worlds, which backers were able to download on Monday, June 23rd. The second was Tales of the Crescent City: Adventures in Jazz Era New Orleans by Golden Goblin Press for Call of Cthulhu, which backers could download on Wednesday, June 25th. In honor of the release of these two nuggets of gaming goodness, I thought I’d take a few (hundred) words and run down my Six Favorite Haunted House Scenarios for Tabletop RPGs.


Savage Aspects: Using FATE Aspects In Savage Worlds

FATE Savage WorldsLast night, I read a post by Fred Bednarski over at Level 27 Geek about incorporating FATE Aspects into Savage Worlds. I’ve seen other articles and posts about this subject before, but I really like Fred’s approach. Most others that I’ve read try to change Savage Worlds as a system at a more fundamental level by doing things like removing Edges and Hindrances, changing the way Bennies work, or some other major surgery. Fred keeps things pretty much the same and appends FATE Aspects into the existing Savage Worlds system.


Another Element of Neo-Noir: Breakable Protagonists

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post on “The Elements of Neo-Noir.” Since writing that post, it has occurred to me that I missed one key element of neo-noir (though, to be fair, I probably missed a few more that haven’t yet occurred to me): the mental and physical fragility of the protagonist.


The Next Game: The Usual Suspects – Published Neo-Noir Settings for RPG’s

If you’ve read any of my previous posts on the next weekly game I’m planning to run, you likely know that it will be a neo-noir game using the Savage Worlds Deluxe rules (slightly modified). As I’ve said previously, I will be using Hero Games’ Hudson City: The Urban Abyss for the geographic setting of the game, and many of the setting rules and style from Fun-Sized Games’  Streets of Bedlam setting. However, these two products are not the only settings available for neo-noir gaming. There are actually five settings that would be a good fit for a neo-noir game, though some of them require a bit of tweaking.


The Elements of Neo-Noir

I’ve mentioned the term “neo-noir” quite a bit lately in my “Next Game” series of posts, but I’ve never given a concrete definition of what elements or characteristics constitute the genre. Also, what differentiates between “film noir” and “neo-noir” in the first place? Film noir, as a genre, is most commonly said to begin with John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon (1941) and end with Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958), though there are precursors to film noir throughout the 1930’s. Neo-noir must then begin some time after 1958, but there is much debate about which is the first American film that should be classified as such. Internationally, the first neo-noir film would have to be Jean-Luc Godard’s A bout de souffle (1960), which was remade by Jim McBride in 1983 as Breathless (which is a translation of the French title), starring Richard Gere. The reason the first neo-noir film is a French film is at the heart of one of the main reasons the two genres are divided in the first place. In 1930, the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America, later known as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted a strict code of moral censorship known as the Hays Code, which it began enforcing in 1934. With the beginning of World War II and changes to the social fabric of American life that the war brought with it, the time was ripe for the rise in popularity of film noir. Other things that facilitated the rise of film noir were the introduction of high-speed film stock and new cinematographic techniques that made shooting outside of film studios more practical, and the large number of French and German film directors who fled the war and ended up in Hollywood. This type of film remained popular throughout the post-war period and was marked by a number of characteristic elements:


The Next Game: Tone and Style

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the next weekly game I’m planning to run. The others in the series can be found here, here, and here.

rochester-sibley-building-01-atrium-elevatorsYou’re waiting for the doors to open. It’s some kind of miracle the place even has a working elevator. Most of the windows in the lobby were replaced by thin sheets of plywood. The ones that weren’t still carry the scars of the bullets that passed through. On the way in, you pass an old guy in faded blue coveralls pushing a dirty mop across the lobby floor. It isn’t clear if he’s making things better, or just spreading fresh filth.


The Next Game Part Three: A Few More SOB’s

This is the third in an ongoing series of posts about the next weekly game I’m planning to run. The first two posts can be found here and here. This post will look at the additional archetypes for Streets of Bedlam that aren’t found in the core setting book.

sobsYou still here?


Mulholland Drive, Universal (2001)

Mulholland Drive, Universal (2001)

I’m a bit in the drink, but I think I can come up with a few more SOB’s for this game. Take this one, for example. Betty Elms is an aspiring actress.

You mean waitress, right?