Category: Posts

Photo Credit: Peter Pelisek 0

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

The Usual Suspects, PolyGram (1995) 3

The Next Game Part Two: The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects, PolyGram (1995)

The Usual Suspects, PolyGram (1995)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the next game I am planning to run after my current weekly game is over. If you haven’t read that post yet, go ahead. Click the link. I’ll wait.

Back so soon? That didn’t take long. I was just pouring a drink. Since you’re here, I’ll share. Never mind the glass. It’s hard as hell to clean ’em in that sorry excuse for a bathroom sink. Have a seat. Yeah, just move that stack of papers off that chair. Those cases aren’t going anywhere fast. Right on the floor there. Don’t let the stack fall over, you think I wanna work in a pigsty? Here ya go. Cheap scotch. On the plus side, it burns like hell coming’ back up too.

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The Next Game

Streets of BedlamAs most of my players know, I usually like to start prepping for my next weekly game about 6 months before we start actually sitting down to play it. This may seem like a long time, but I like to establish the tone and mood of the setting before I ever start deciding on the actual stories that will take place. To this end, I spend a lot of time with the setting, coming up with, in the case of a modern game, the types of business establishments and locations that will be included, even coming up with names and finding or creating photos of the businesses, or at least their logos. I also start building a playlist to be the soundtrack for the game, whether the players will ever hear that soundtrack or not. This all helps me get inside the world in which the game will be happening, which is important for making a lot of decisions about the game and the stories we will build there. Since my current weekly (okay, mostly weekly – there have been a lot of issues lately, as evidenced by my lack of writing here, that have pulled me away from leisurely pursuits) game will be ending in a few months, I am now in that 6 month window to begin preparing for the next game.

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Book Review: Maze Runner by James Dashner

maze runner

Image shamelessly borrowed from the interwebz

I like books. I mean who doesn’t? More importantly I like reading books. I like how a well-crafted story can transport the reader to a fantastic location, it can weave the reader into a complex mystery, scare the piss out of them, or morally and ethically challenge them. Of course we’re talking about fiction here, there’s a completely different place for non-fiction.


photo by Cheryl Lee, 2004 0

The Evolution of the Modern Student

photo by Cheryl Lee, 2004

photo by Cheryl Lee, 2004

I was spending too much time browsing social media, and not enough time doing things like coming up with something to write here, when I came saw this article on The Atlantic called “My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me” by Karl Taro Greenfield. It was sitting there in my news feed/timeline/whatever they call it now. Chuck Wendig shared it. It figures. His shares usually inspire me to get off my ass and at least reshare, usually with a short commentary of my own.

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Geekcentric Movie Review: World War Z


I went to see the World War Z movie today. While there were some great moments in the film, the overall product was not well put together. I honestly don’t care that it has very little in common with the book. I knew that going in. What bothered me were some fundamental flaws in the movie.