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Topics - RChandler

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1
News and Adverts / [Dread] Free PDF scenario: Art Imitates Death
« on: February 22, 2008, 01:25:43 pm »
Neoplastic Press is proud to announce the release of "Art Imitates Death", a free PDF scenario for Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium.

The most disturbing piece of evidence you've ever seen is a painting. Originally, it was a lawyer. When the cops found him, he was stretched across the canvas. Not pretty. The second victim was a sculpture. You have no idea what the third one will be. A flower arrangement, maybe. Who cares? You don't know much about art, but you know what you don't like. And you definitely don't like demons. Time to assemble the Cabal and get to work. Download 3.6mb PDF here: http://www.dread-rpg.com/art-death.pdf

This 20-page adventure pits the Cabal against a brutal demon with a penchant for artistic expression. The scenario also serves as a preview for the upcoming sourcebook, Pent: The First Gospel of Pandemonium.

ABOUT PENT: THE FIRST GOSPEL OF PANDEMONIUM

Pent is a sourcebook for Dread that includes five ready-to-run scenarios and a dozen one-page adventure hooks. The scenarios include thoroughly fleshed-out locations, characters, setting information, and maps. Pent will be available in March 2008.



ABOUT DREAD: THE FIRST BOOK OF PANDEMONIUM

The Last War has begun. An army of bloodthirsty demons has arrived on Earth. These tentacled grotesqueries devour the souls, minds, and bodies of their victims. You are the only thing that stands between billions of innocent people and the forces of Hell.

Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium is a tabletop role-playing game of supernatural action. Dread features over 80 nerve-wracking spells, including Hemophage, Bile, Caliban, and Wormwood. There are over 40 demons, such as the pyrokinetic Gatterag, the seductive Laradina, and the brutal Vouzire. For more information, please visit http://www.dread-rpg.com .

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

· Fast-paced, violent, darkly humorous splatterpunk action
· Players are Disciples, supernatural demon-hunters
· Bizarre magic: spit blood, summon locusts, attack with your intestines
· Horrific demons whose hunting patterns make perfect scenario hooks
· Easy-to-learn rules system, based on a d12 dice-pool mechanic
· Critically acclaimed, well-supported, with high production values
· $24.95, 280 pages, 8.5"x11", color cover, black-and-white interior art

PRAISE FOR DREAD: THE FIRST BOOK OF PANDEMONIUM

"One of the better systems that I've had the chance to learn in quite some time."
--Hayley Dawson, RPG.net review, February 2008, rating: 9/10

"If you are looking for a supernatural game that rocks out, with deadly demons and hunters just as scary, Dread is the game for you."
-- Matt M. McElroy, Flames Rising review, January 2008

"Some of the demons are so disturbing that I would actually think twice about using them in my game."
-- Thomas Ulricht, RPG.net review, December 2007, rating: 8/10

"It's the characters from Sin City in the world of Kult. It's Whispering Vault, but dirtier, and with testicles."
-- Kobayashi, CasusNO review, December 2007

"One of the best traditional RPGs I've seen. It's rock solid entertainment with rules that are easy to grasp, cool to play with, and make play fun."
-- Matthijs Holter, RPG.net review, October 2007, rating: 8/10

"If you're a fan of splatterpunk and you're looking for a game that'll deliver a lot of flavour while requiring a bare minimum of prep work, Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium is a game that might very well belong in your collection."
-- Jocelyn Robitaille, RPG.net review, September 2007, rating: 9/10

2
Media and Inspiration / Gaming Report hacked
« on: February 19, 2008, 09:48:30 pm »
Just a heads-up. I visited GamingReport.com tonight (2/19) at 9pm EST, and I clicked on 'reviews'. The screen got extremely hinky -- started strobe-flashing, and text started scrolling. It read "hacked by The Turkish Warrior". I alt-f4ed out of there in a hurry.

Norton says everything's copacetic, but you can't be too careful. Figured I'd say something. Better safe than sorry.

3
News and Adverts / Crux: The Pandemonium Scriptures
« on: February 15, 2008, 01:59:38 pm »
CRUX: THE PANDEMONIUM SCRIPTURES

Neoplastic Press is currently soliciting fan submissions for a new periodical called Crux: The Pandemonium Scriptures. The goal of this publication is to expand the universe of the Books of Pandemonium, and to provide a venue for fans to show off their considerable talents.

Crux is a magazine that features gaming materials for players and GMs, including new spells, scenarios, scenario ideas, campaign information, setting information, new demons, NPCs, new enemies, cults, new weapons, and new vehicles. Poetry and fiction will also be considered, provided that these are related to Dread (or the other Books of Pandemonium). I'm also interested in nonfiction articles (so long as the subject material is relevant). Submissions of black-and-white interior artwork, color cover illustrations, and photography are also encouraged.

Unfortunately, because Crux is a not-for-profit publication, payment will consist of a free PDF copy of the publication. Crux will be sold via Lulu, and a link will be posted on http://www.dread-rpg.com.

In order to protect the Books of Pandemonium IP, Neoplastic Press will need to own all intellectual property published in Crux. This isn't something I'm happy about, but it is my only option. While I'd never knowingly use someone else's ideas in one of my books (and rest assured, with all the projects currently underway, there's no need for me to do so), I do have to be careful from a legal perspective.

If interested, you can reach the editor at crux[at]dread-rpg[dot]com. Please send your text submissions as Notepad or Word files, and please send all images as low-resolution JPGs (if they're accepted, you'll get the FTP instructions for high-resolution image files).

Of course, all writing and art must be original, and can't use content from other games, TV shows, comics, novels, or any other source. It must come directly from your twisted mind, or from the pages of the Book of Pandemonium.

ABOUT DREAD: THE FIRST BOOK OF PANDEMONIUM

The Last War has begun. An army of demons has arrived on Earth. Hell-bent on our extermination, they devour the souls, minds, and bodies of their victims. You are our last hope. Yesterday, you were on your way down, circling the drain, sliding into oblivion. But that's over now. You're a Disciple, a supernatural warrior on the front line, and you're the only thing that stands between billions of innocent victims and the forces of Hell.

Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium is a tabletop role-playing game of brutal horror-action. It's designed for gamers who want to get in on the action and don't have time for complicated rules systems. It's gruesome, profane, and laced with black humor. Dread features over 80 nerve-wracking spells, including Hemophage, Bile, Caliban, and Wormwood. There are over 40 demons, such as the pyrokinetic Gatterag, the seductive Laradina, and the brutal Vouzire.

Originally released in 2002, this new edition of Dread has been streamlined and revised, and features new spells, demons, and scenarios. You'll need a copy of the rules, a couple dozen 12-sided dice, and a strong stomach. For more information, please visit http://www.dread-rpg.com.

"One of the best traditional RPGs I've seen." (Matthijs Holter, RPG.net review)

"It's Whispering Vault, but dirtier, and with testicles." (Kobayashi, CasusNO review)

"I like my horror unashamed and unabashed, in your face and non-politically correct. If you agree with that, you may have found a game for you." (Enrique Cachafeiro, RPG.net review)

"If you are looking for a supernatural game that rocks out, with deadly demons and hunters just as scary, Dread is the game for you." (Matt M. McElroy, Flames Rising review)

 

4
Hi, Kyle,

In your sig, you cite snacks before setting. Can you clarify? Seems to me that setting would come first. Looking back on my gaming over the years, I remember my buddies first, of course -- me and my gaming group had some great times. Second, I think of setting. We stomped all over the Forgotten Realms, shot our way through Chi-Town, and bled all over Arkham.

But what did we eat? I have no idea. Doritos? Pretzels?

So -- why snacks before setting?

If this has been discussed elsewhere, please feel free to point me to that thread.

Thanks!

5
Design, Development, and Gameplay / Getting an ISBN through Lulu
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:27:18 am »
I'm looking at the possibility of using Lulu to obtain an ISBN (and, therefore, a listing on Amazon.com, and all that this entails). It's a hundred bucks.

They have it set up two ways: "Published by you," and "Published by Lulu." (link)

Has anyone used either of these? What did you learn? Any recommendations? Is it a relatively painless process, or a three-goddammit job?

Any and all information would be appreciated!

-- Rafael

6
Other Games / Oblivion: GOTY edition
« on: January 24, 2008, 09:11:35 am »
Just picked this up. Played the hell out of Oblivion (X360). Not as much as Morrowind, mind you. Morrowind, I played for about 300 hours (over a period of three years). Oblivion, only about 175 hours.

Of course, it isn't over yet. Now I've got all this nice new content to keep me going. Knights of the Nine, the Shivering Isles... Can't wait to get started.

Any advice or suggestions? Things I should do? Sights to see? Fun things to do while I'm meandering about, enjoying the sunrise, smiting monsters and taking their belongings?

7
Media and Inspiration / Ad swap for dark/horror games
« on: January 23, 2008, 12:54:21 pm »
Couldn't decide which forum to post this in, so I figured I'd try the off-topic and see what happens.

I'm working on a game of modern horror-action called Scorn. If you've got a dark/horror game, or if you're working on one that will be released later this year, I'd like to trade advertisements with you. It doesn't need to be a horror game -- it can be dark fantasy, cyberpunk, suspense, or anything else that could be described as dark.

I'm looking for 300dpi greyscale image files. 8"x10", I leave the format up to you (PSD, PNG, and TIF all work for me, but I'm sure we can work something out if need be). I'll furnish you with same (unless your book is smaller than 8x10, in which case I'll come up with something appropriate).

If you're interested, please PM me, or write me at spaniard AT dread-rpg DOT com.

Thanks!

8
Design, Development, and Gameplay / Creating maps for an RPG
« on: January 16, 2008, 02:55:21 pm »
I'd like to include some maps in my next RPG sourcebook. Ideally, I'm thinking of some blueprints for houses, maybe a few rudimentary maps of towns and rural areas. This is for a modern setting.

Does anyone know of free software that I can use to create such illustrations? I have Photoshop, but my skill is lacking (believe me, I've tried).

Thanks!

9
Hi, everybody,

I'm new to these forums, so bear with me.

On August 23rd, I ran a game of Dread: The First Book Of Pandemonium with a bunch of total strangers. Well, except for one guy, this dude named Huey. I met him at Trinoc*coN. Turns out Huey's been playing the first edition of Dread for years. He asked me if I'd be interested in running a session with the new-edition rules. I said sure, so we all got together and I met the crew. There were seven of them. I'd never run a game of Dread with a group that big. Usually, I play with three or four people. In addition, we only had two hours to play (from 9pm to 11pm), and we spent twenty minutes on character creation. So that left me with an hour and forty minutes to get the bloodbath going.

Notes: This is a shortened version of what transpired. Also, the demons aren't really described in great deal in this write-up, because it's not as important as what the players were doing (and because I don't want to give away all the details about how the scenario ends).

ABOUT DREAD: THE FIRST BOOK OF PANDEMONIUM

Dread is a horror-action game about demon hunters called Disciples. Each Disciple was rescued from a life of failure or misery by a shadowy figured called a Mentor (whom most Disciples assume to be an angel of some kind). Disciples are taught the use of magic, and sent out to whip demon ass. The game runs on a simple d12-based system: the value of your attribute (or skill, or whatever) determines the number of d12s that you roll. You look at the highest number, and if you beat it, you're successful.

Fury is a resource that can help you during gameplay. By killing points of Fury, you can:
* Roll the dice again if you didn't like the result
* Recover from injuries immediately ("It was a flesh wound.")
* Perform crazy stunts like the Cock Punch and Middle Wayne (explained later)

THE CHARACTERS

Each character listed here has a short backstory and a Discipline (which is an area of focus: either Combat, Investigation, or Sorcery).

The characters were:
Doc, a disgraced doctor (Sorcery)
Iceman, a former special-forces soldier who suffers from PTSD (Combat)
Kuroctuk, a Klingon-obsessed Trekkie (Combat)
Phaze, a teenaged computer hacker (Investigation)
Skidmarx, an electrical engineer (Investigation)
The Great Wakini, a stage magician who accidentally killed his assistant (Sorcery)
Whisper, a professional cat burglar (Combat)

The characters were played by Matt Sayre, David Oswalt, Larry Pischke, Huey Hoague, Brian Jones, Andy Aubut, and Greg Stopka, respectively.

HOOK

The hook is the introduction to the scenario, which I read aloud to the group:

"It's hotter than hell out. Sweat beads on your skin, slides off, sizzles on the pavement. Dogs don't run, they walk. Then they collapse on the shady part of the sidewalk, ribs heaving. Everything stinks. The garbage guys are on strike, and the trash is piling up on the streets. You're starting to get used to the smell. It's hard to act civilized in weather like this. The city feels like a prison just before a bloody riot, the kind where old grudges get worked out and snitches get beaten to death in the laundry room, the kind of shitstorm where guards just start sniping from the watchtowers for the hell of it. It's hotter than hell, but somebody's getting ready to turn up the heat. Time to gear up and go to work."

TRIGGER

Word on the street was that there was a fire at a nightclub last night. Three dead. One shot to death, one dead from smoke inhalation, one trampled in the stampede. All three were burned by the fire. All three had been partially eaten. Only the 'cooked' portions of the bodies were consumed. The bite marks weren't human, and the forensic experts couldn't identify them.

INVESTIGATION

Phaze, the hacker, cracked the police database and accessed crime scene photos. Doc had a contact who worked at the morgue, so he took a few of the guys with him and they checked out the bodies. The corpses reeked of orange rind, and the burned portions of the bodies were coated with a clear fluid that smelled like oranges. It was determined to be some kind of saliva.

Skidmarx hit the crime scene with the other half of the crew. The cops didn't want to let them in, but Skidmarx posed as an insurance investigator and used his Empathy skill to convince the police to let them in. Skidmarx found that although the security camera was fried, the computer that it was attached to had escaped the worst of the fire. He yanked the hard drive and got it back to headquarters, where he used his Engineering skill to fix the damage and get it into his own computer.

Security footage showed a gunfight between two men at the nightclub. A spilled drink, some hard words, and one shot the other. The place cleared out, and a man was trampled in the panic. Immediately, waves of fire blasted through the club, knocking the shooter down and setting his legs aflame. The three men in the club -- one dead, two unconscious, burned for a few minutes, and then the flames around them died down. Two demons appeared. They knelt down and tore into the burned bodies with their gigantic teeth.

Whisper used his Crime skill to investigate the nightclub. He found a drop of blood, and carefully brought it back to the headquarters. Kuroctuk found an animal tooth a few meters from the nightclub. Doc analyzed it, and they found that the blood was not human, and that it contained traces of bovine growth hormone. Further analysis indicated that the tooth was a fragment of a cow molar.

Phaze was monitoring police email traffic, and found something interesting. Word on the wire was that the NTF (Narcotics Task Force) had been suspended on suspicion of collaboration with a known crime syndicate. There were allegations of bribery, drug trafficking, and murder.

The Cabal elected to hit the Wharrion Foods slaughterhouse at the edge of town, as this was the most likely candidate.

CONFLICT

As they group approached the slaughterhouse in their van (with Skidmarx driving), they were attacked by two cars full of Syndicate hit men. One of the cars rammed the van, so Doc opened fire with his shotgun. Kuroctuk whipped out his bat'leth (a Klingon sword) and jumped out the back of the van. He landed on the roof of a car and started stabbing. He rolled a 12, 11, 7, 2, 2, 1, 1 against the Syndicate guy's 12, 6, 3. Since they both rolled 12s, we moved on to the next dice -- and 11 against a 6. The 11 was higher, so Kuroctuk hit, and the damage was 5 (11-6). The bat'leth did an additional 2 points of damage, so the passenger was decapitated (which Larry described in gruesome detail).

Whisper climbed up through the sunroof and cast Stratus (a spell that allows you to leap great distances). He jumped about thirty feet and landed on the roof of the sedan, next to Kuroctuk, and he stabbed the driver through the windshield with his katana.

At this point, with both Syndicate guys dead, the sedan was out of control. Whisper and Kuroctuk jumped off and rolled on the highway, but the sedan was headed straight for the rest of the Cabal in the van.

Iceman flung open the side door of the van and hurled himself out, into the path of the oncoming sedan. He cast Anvil, a spell that turns your skin to metal and makes you immune to metal weapons. It was a stunt so crazy that it had to work. The sedan banged into him, then bounced back. He managed to keep the guys in the van from taking any damage in the collision.

The Great Wakini saw that the drivers of the other sedan were shooting with automatic weapons, so he jumped out the back of the van, landed on top of their car, and cast Jade. This turned his hands into glowing green blades, which he rammed through the windshield into the driver. The blades, being intangible, caused no damage, but they paralyzed the driver.

After the dust settled, the Cabal dragged the driver into the slaughterhouse and held him under the pressure-bolt. They interrogated him, but just to be safe, Wakini cast Confession on him. The hit man said that the NTF was meeting with the Syndicate in this slaughterhouse (which had been closed because of an outbreak of mad cow disease), and that they were supposed to be hammering out a plan of action to deal with the Internal Affairs investigation. Instead, however, the Syndicate had sent these two cars full of hitmen to set up an ambush and take out the NTF to tie up all loose ends.

Iceman hid all the vehicles while the rest of the Cabal set up an ambush along the slaughterhouse catwalks. Phaze and Skidmarx took up position in the control room, where they monitored the area with security cameras.

TAKEDOWN

The Cartel sedans arrived, soon followed by the NTF officers in a pair of unmarked police cruisers. They drove into the slaughterhouse through the back gate. The group leaders began to discuss their plan of action while the rest looked on, guns at the ready. After a few minutes, the Syndicate hitmen all ducked behind their cars. They looked up, confused, when nothing happened. The NTF, realizing what was going on, opened fire. A gun battle broke out, with both sides taking cover behind their cars.

In the control room, Phaze and Skidmarx suddenly smelled a sharp citrus odor, like a freshly-peeled orange. Phaze saw black flames curling out of the wall behind Skidmarx and opened fire with his pistol. Skidmarx cast Frostbite and hit the demon with a blast of ice. The demon attacked them, slashing with its claws as Kuroctuk raced towards them to give support.

On the ground below, behind the NTF officers, the second demon began to materialize. They rest of the Cabal attacked. Wakini executed a Cock Punch, which is a dirty, underhanded combat maneuver that enables you to swipe the highest die from the Director's roll and add it to your own dice pool. In this case, it was a 12.

Iceman executed a Middle Wayne, which is a brutal and sadistic maneuver. When you pull a Middle Wayne, it doesn't matter if you roll higher or lower than the Director -- the demon takes damage either way. Iceman attacked with his hatchet, hooked it behind the demon's neck, pulled the demon forward, and chopped at the demon's skull. The other Disciples attacked, and the demon was killed.

Above, Kuroctuk attacked the demon with his bat'leth, and it responded with waves of black fire. Skidmarx yanked electrical wire out of the wall, then executed a Clusterfuck and rammed the still-sparking wire into the demon's back. The demon smashed Kuroctuk and Skidmarx, inflicting serious damage to Skidmarx. Kuroctuk executed a Cock Punch, wrapping the wire around the demon's neck and leaping off the catwalk while bear-hugging the demon. On the way down, he rammed his blade into the demon's body and tore through it like a pirate with his dagger in the sail. He sustained damage, but the demon was killed.

By this time, the Syndicate hit men and the NTF cops had killed each other, so the Disciples cleared out of the area and headed back to headquarters to await their next assignment.

WHAT WENT WELL

Combat was pretty quick and dirty. The fights were loud and crazy, but didn't take too long. Which was good, with seven combatants in different locations.

The stunts were a hit. The group really took to them, and I was impressed by the (sadistic) creativity that they displayed.

WHAT DIDN'T GO SO WELL

It was tough to get everyone an opportunity to shine with so many players. Usually, I run Dread with a gaming group of three people. At cons, I run it for three or four players. Seven was a challenge, particularly with the time constraints. So, I truncated the scenario and tried to keep the action moving.

It wasn't until we started playing that I recognized the parallels to Predator 2. The players caught it pretty quickly, too. But, you know what? I liked that movie. It's one of the most quotable movies I've ever seen. And it has Gary "Teeth" Busey. Who doesn't love Busey? Anyhow, I'll make changes to the scenario the next time I run it.

-- Rafael

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