Showing posts with label Carmilla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carmilla. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

No Way For You To Fight This: Carmilla and Laura for Mighty Protectors

I continue two series today! Of course I was going to bring together to my two newest obsessions; Carmilla and Mighty Protectors.

Outfits based on this picture.
All ADHD and OCD aside, Carmilla offers me a great opportunity.  Carm herself is a 330+ year-old badass vampire who was, to quote her sister, "death incarnate". Laura is...well she is a tiny wisp of a girl who happens to have the worst crush ever and knows Krav Maga.   This gives me the chance to see how well someone on the high end of the power scale (of what I consider "new" characters) works with someone on the very low end.  In my builds I targetted Carmilla at about 250 CP and Laura at 100 CP.  Good spread really.  Let's see how it turns out.

Carmilla
Out of the gate, I need to take a page from the Buffy RPG design and figure out a Vampire Package for Carmilla.  I did not really do that here, but it became obvious right away it is something I need to do.  Carm quickly got away from me too.  She ended up at 270+ CPs.


Laura Hollis
Laura, our tiny gay journalist, is completely on the other side of the build.  Spend some points on abilities and boom, done.  That works. But also need to represent her Krav Maga.  So 20 points there. She ended up on the other side of 100 from Carm's 250.


Both look great. The power imbalance is not really an issue in my mind. They are here for different things.

Monday, October 30, 2017

No Spell to Right This: Carmilla Week Round-up

Well...it was more than a week really.

I love doing these week-long deep dives into a character or a system. It's a great way to explore a topic in my mind. Whether it is a week-long deep dive into a game system like Blue Rose or Superbabes or investigating a set of characters like I did with Miriam and Fran it is something I really look forward to planning and doing.

Doing this for Carmilla and Laura was just as much fun.

I did a lot of stats for various horror games.
Not to mention my original Ghosts of Albion stats for "book" Carmilla.

I also watched a lot of movies.
I would like to try some more systems to be honest. Chill 3.0 comes to mind.
Anyone have any requests?

I am looking forward to doing some more of these deep dives.  Maybe next time a game system.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Styria (2014)

I wanted to go back and rewatch this one after spending a lot time with Carmilla.  I remember that this one had been pretty good and I wanted to go back and see if it held up.

I am happy to admit it does.

There must have been some sort of cinematic vibe in the air because rewatching this one now reminded me a lot of The Only Lovers Left Alive.  The soundtrack is still awesome and the chemistry I saw between the two actresses, Eleanor Tomlinson (Lara) and Julia Pietrucha (Carmilla), is still there, even if it is not the same as the newer Carmilla movie.  Not sure if I can grok a blonde Carmilla though.  Stephen Rhea is fantastic as usual playing Lara's father only as he can.  He always looks like he is one bad bender away from falling apart.

As my want, I watched this as if it was a sequel to "Daughters of Darkness" and a prequel to the "Carmilla" web series.  It doesn't...but it would fit the backstory well enough with some edits.

It is a very worthy entry into the collective mytho-storytelling of Carmilla.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Carmilla Movie (2017)

Carmilla week continues.  The movie is out tonight or tomorrow (depending on where you are) and I wanted to save this one for today.

A change tonight from ancient, dusty videotapes for this challenge.  Instead, I am reviewing a movie that was only released to the public 2 hours ago.

The Carmilla Movie, based on the hit webseries was just released to backers and I just got done watching it.

Naturally, I don't want to say too much because of spoilers, but I will say this.  It lived up to the hype and the anticipation.

The basic gist is Carmilla is being summoned back to Styria to deal with all the deaths she caused.  We get ghosts, haunted houses, vampires and plenty of chills.

Natasha Negovanlis is an absolute treat as Carmilla and Elise Bauman shines as reporter Laura Hollis.  All the cast is great though.   The newcomer, Dominique Provost-Chalkley though puts on a stellar performance as Elle, Carmilla's first true love and the big bad of the story.  Elle is about as far from Waverly Earp as you can get and really made me appreciate her as an actress even more.

The movie is a solid horror flick despite Laura's own "goodbye Hammer Horror, hello Rom Com!"

You don't need to see the series to enjoy this movie, but if you did then there are plenty of rewards for you.

Very pleased.



We could live forever, and suffer: Laura and Carmilla for Monsterhearts

Carmilla week continues.  The movie is out tonight or tomorrow (depending on where you are) and I wanted to save this system for today.

+Avery Alder's Monsterhearts has been one of those games I that I have wanted to review and play some more ever since I first encountered the First Edition all the way back when I was introduced to it at Gen Con.

The system is an easy one, based on the Apocalypse World Engine, something else I have wanted to delve into further.   The base mechanic is simple; 2d6 + whatever mods (depending on the game), get higher than 10 for a success, or a 7-9 for something weird.

Monsterhearts is a game on what it like to play teenage monsters.  Monsters as metaphors for teenage life and feeling a little outside the norm.  I think it is something everyone can relate too I think.
While I'll get a proper review up soon the game is tailor-made for Carmilla really.

Even the game's lack of a combat mechanic works well with the very combat free scenes of the Carmilla web series.  In fact, nearly everything in this game is perfect for a Carmilla-like game. Just need a skin for the downloaded consciousness of JP 3.0 (though a Ghost might work well).

Laura and Carmilla for Monsterhearts
For these builds I used Monsterhearts 2.  I have a book of Monsterhearts 1 (and PDFs of both).  The system differences are minor. There some differences. Most of these are detailed here.  Both versions of the game are on sale now.

Given the rules where Mortals develop their characters last, I'll switch it up and do Carmilla first.

Carmilla Karnstein
Skin: Vampire
Look: Drop dead sexy.
Backstory: Mysterious stranger (Gain a Sting on Everyone)

Stats
Hot 2, Cold 1, Volatile -1, Dark -1

Darkest Self
People are your playthings.
No one messes with my Creampuff Laura!

Sex Move
Lost all Strings on Laura

Vampire Moves
Cold as Ice
Marked for the Hunt
Inescapable

Laura Hollis
Skin: The Mortal
Look: Tiny and mighty
Backstory:  Intrepid Journalism Student

Stats
Hot 2, Cold -1, Volatile -1, Dark 1

Darkest Self
Only I can figure this out, no one else can help and only I can defeat the monsters.
(borrowed from the Chosen)

Sex Move
You bring out the Darkest Self in Carmilla when you are not around.

Mortal Moves
True Love (Carmilla)
Down the Rabbit Hole
Mess With Me, Mess With Her

Oh this will be fun!
I gave them both one more move as an advancement.  I think that is fine.  In fact I could have given them more.  I think these should work well for Season 2.

Given all the skins I want to play a game where the cast is made up of characters from Carmilla, Buffy, and HƎX.  I can get some vamps, some witches, a chosen, a ghost, an infernal, and who knows what else.

Links

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Blood Spattered Bride (1972, 1974)

Another loose retelling of Carmilla, this time from Spain. The retelling is a bit loose and set in modern times, well, the 70s anyway.

Our victim this time is Susan.  Carmilla, of course, shows up (buried in the sand no less) and begins in on Susan and her husband.  Eventually, Carmilla, Susan, and some other girl (because fuck it right) are all killed by the husband.

The movie is not bad, but a confusing mess really.  The movie could very easily work as a sequel to the Vampire Lovers or any other Carmilla movie.

Alexandra Bastedo makes for good Carmilla, though a blonde one.  Which is odd of course, but she makes up for it.







Monday, October 23, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Vampire Lovers (1970)

For Carmilla Week I thought I go back to a the very deep well of the Vampire Lovers.  It also is one of my video tapes (along with some other movies this week) so really it works out well.

I did this one all the way back in 2012 and some observations I made then still hold true today.

Carmilla/Mircalla of The Vampire Lovers is a killer.  She is a murderess to be sure but to quote They Might Be Giants she was "the nicest of the damned".

Comparing Ingrid Pitt to Natasha Negovanlis may strike some as blasphemy, but I think it is entirely fair.  After all no one will remember Julia Pietrucha as Carmilla (Syria) or Christen Orr (The Unwanted) but these two will always be remembered.

Each is also perfect for her respective portrayal of the troubled vampire.

The movie is actually fairly close to the book.  Enough that if you read the book and see the movie you will notice more of similarities rather than the differences.

Now here there is no doubt that Carmilla is supposed to be evil.  She casually uses and tosses away Mdme. Perrodot (Kate O'Mara) and she did kill Laura (Pippa Steele) but yet to me there is something underneath all of this.  Carmilla is still a tragic figure.  She was damned, but maybe the least of the damned.  Not as much as in the novella, but it is there.  We see this more and more as the adaptations become more modern. 

Could this movie work as a prequel to the series? Sure.  In the movie just have Carmilla fall in love with Elle at the end and let the events of season 1 unfold.  OR do as I do, enjoy them separately for their own merits.

Connor didn't watch this one with me.  He is burned out on my 70s Hammer films.

Love Will Be Cruel: Carmilla for Die For You

All week I am doing RPG conversions of the Web series Carmila. Today I am going to shift my focus slightly and look at a Role-Playing Game that was directly inspired by Carmilla.

Growing Up is Weird
Die For You by Rose Bailey lists Carmilla as it's primary inspiration.  Though given the name I can't imagine that HEX was also not an inspiration.
Die For You is a slim book, only 13 pages. Character creation and rules are all, understandably really simple.  Designed for 2 to 5 people, one game master and four players, I think it could be expanded.  It also has that feel of a game that could also work with rotating GMs.

This game would classify as a "Story Game" I believe, it has that feel, but I really don't know much about its genesis.

To play you start by Picking a Setting.  Since I am going to go with Carmilla as my example (and I think it sells the game best) I'll give examples from the start of Season 1.   The setting can be random (roll a 1d6) or the group's choice.   We are going for "College" here.

Next comes Creating a Character. Again this is an easier process than most games, but one that should involve everyone playing.  First thing you need to come up with is your Concept.  The examples given are good for us, with some tweaks; “Nosey Journalism Major” or “Disaffected Vampire.”  You can decide if you are some sort of monster or a normal human.
Now define your Want. This is something your characters wants.  Let's go with "Find the Missing Girls from Silas University" as an example.  When pursuing your wants you have a better chance of succeeding, but also you open yourself up more to creating complications.  Looking for the missing girls gets the attention of the Evil Dean that wants to sacrifice them to an ancient demon.   Having conflicting Wants in the group is also a good thing.
Now determine your Traits.  You have three: Feels, Weird and Real Life.  Feels and Weird are ranked 2 to 4 and combined they must equal 6.  Real Life is the same as your lowest score.
Finally, you have Trust.  Trust is another character you trust and this can change from scene to scene if needed.

While this is going on the GM comes up with the Big Bad. This is who they need to defeat to move the story to its end.  Simpler is better. "Vampire", "Nephilim" or "Evil Dean".
Then figure where the game begins and what happens.  "At the big party, a girl disappears".   "In the middle of class, you set fire to all the paper with your mind".  And so on.

Roll the Bones
Rolls come in two types, Challenges (your character is trying to do something or opposed by an NPC) and Conflicts (opposed by another PC).   In Challenges, you roll against the Trait that the GM is most affected.  Each die that is one lower than your trait is a Success.   There are ways to get more dice. You can get help from another character, pursuing your Wants, making a sacrifice, or using your Trust.

A few minutes of set up, getting characters made and you are set to go!

Playing Carmilla
The Setting: Silas University, Freshman dorms. Laura Hollis' room.
Big Bad: The Dean (revealed later)

The Cast

Left to Right: Danny, Laura, LaFontaine, Carmilla, Perry
Carmilla
Concept: Disaffected Vampire
Want: To not do the horrible things her mother makes her do anymore. (Later) I want Laura to be safe.  (Later) I want Laura.
Traits
Feels: 2
Weird: 4
Real Life: 2
Trust: No one, Laura

Laura Hollis
Concept: Nosey Journalism Student
Want: To find the missing girls and maybe date Danny. (Later) I want Carmilla to be safe. (Later) I want Carmilla.
Traits
Feels: 4
Weird: 2
Real Life: 2
Trust: Dany, Carmilla

Danny
Concept: Really tall English Lit TA
Want: I want to go out with Laura. (Later) I want Laura to be safe.
Traits
Feels: 4
Weird: 2
Real Life: 2
Trust: Laura

LaFontaine
Concept: Would-be mad scientist; brainy
Want: To get into med school and figure out all the weirdness on campus. (Later) I want to party with the Demon of Light.
Traits
Feels: 2
Weird: 4
Real Life: 2
Trust: Perry

Perry
Concept: Dorm mom, German major and neat freak.
Want: I want everyone to be normal! Just be normal!
Traits
Feels: 4
Weird: 2
Real Life: 2
Trust: LaFontaine

There. Five characters as quickly as I could write them down.  Take them and throw them into the weirdness.  The game is a lot of fun and could be a really fun experiment to try with some exsisting characters.  Plus they would all work great on a notecard.

The game is Pay What You Want, so if you want to try it, throw the author a buck or two and if you like then toss in a couple more.
You can see more about this game at http://www.fantasyheartbreaker.com.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Die As One, Together As Lovers: Carmilla and Laura for Ubiquity

It's going to be Carmilla week here at the Other Side!  Up next is Laura and Carmilla for the Ubiquity System.

The Ubiquity system is one of my favorite systems.  For me it is a grittier, pulpier system than Unisystem.  Leagues of AdventureLeagues of Gothic Horror and the new Leagues of Cthulhu are Ubiquity powered games from Triple Ace Games.  The Hollow Earth Expedition RPG is a Ubiquity powered adventure game from Exile Game Studios.  All these games are compatible and together give us a world full of adventure and horror. 

A world that one could easily find a surly vampire and a tiny gay journalist.  The Ubiquity system compares well to the Unisystem game system.  So if the Buffy RPG versions work well enough, then these should work well too.



I am going with end of Season 1, start of Season 2 versions here.

Laura Hollis
Archetype: Reporter
Motivation: Duty

Style: 3
Health 5

Primary Attributes
Body 2, Dexterity 2, Strength 2, Charisma 4, Intelligence 4, Willpower 3

Secondary Attributes
Size 0, Move 4, Perception 8, Initiative 6, Defense 4, Stun 2

Skills
Academics: Journalism 5, Art: Writing 5, Brawl: Krav Maga 4, Con: Bluff 5, Craft 5, Diplomacy 6, Investigation: Research 6,

Talents
Attractive +2, Head Strong, Inspire

Resources
Ally 3

Flaw
Code of Conduct, Honest, Loyal

Weapon
Punch 0N

For Laura, she is slightly better than an archetype or starting character, but I think this works out fine.

Carmilla
Patron 4
Archetype: Vampire
Motivation: Vengange (sister)

Style: 5
 Health 11*

Primary Attributes
Body 5, Dexterity 6, Strength 5, Charisma 6, Intelligence 4, Willpower 6

Secondary Attributes
Size 0, Move 11, Perception 10, Initiative 10, Defense 11, Stun 5*

Skills
Academics: History 7, Religion 5, Athletics 7, Brawl 6, Con 8, Diplomacy 6, Empathy 4, Intimidation 8, Linguistics 6, Performance 6, Stealth 7

Talents
Attractive +3, Fearsome Attack, Iron Jaw (+1 Stun)*, Unarmed Parry (can block melee weapons), Well Educated

Resources
Refuge: Size 1 (smaller apartments across Eastern Europe, but owned by her mother), Status 1 (Former foreign noblewoman; +2 Social bonus)

Flaw
Thirst for Blood (+1 Style point when her unholy appetite reveals its true nature, she prefers young women)

Weapons
Bite 9L**, Punch 9N

* Carmilla is immune to lethal and nonlethal damage except fire or holy objects.
** If Carmilla scores 3+ successes on her bite attack, she has latched onto her victim’s neck. Until she ceases feeding voluntarily or is forcibly removed (as per ending a grapple), the victim takes automatic damage equal to her Strength rating each round.

Decapitation/Piercing the Heart: This requires a Called Shot against a vital area. If the damage exceeds Carmilla’s Body rating, she is instantly killed, otherwise, the attack has no effect.

Shape Change, Lesser: Carmilla can transform into a large cat. This requires two complete rounds and a Willpower roll. While in animal form, she retains her own statistics but cannot speak, use tools, or use any of her other abilities. Reversion to her true form is a reflexive action.

Using Carmilla and Laura in your Games

Depending on when you grab them Carmilla and Larua could either be a fun addition to your games, or potentially a fun plot point.

One thing that would REALLY be fun happens at the end of Season 3 but before the movie:
[Spoilers]Carmilla is a human again after battling the Goddess Innana. That will certainly bring some interest to monster hunters around the world.[/Spoilers].  I am sure that would be a lot of fun.  Plus Laura's role as journalist is an excuse to find trouble.

Just four more days till the movie!

Friday, October 20, 2017

No Sacrifice Without Blood: Carmilla and Laura for World of Darkness (nWoD)

Coming back to Carmilla

Another great system for doing anything "Vampire" is, of course, any of the Word of Darkness systems.   For these builds, I have chosen to use the World of Darkness and Vampire: The Requiem games from the early 2000s. Not the groundbreaking game that Vampire: The Masquerade game was, but a more functional and easier to use game.
Plus the World of Darkness game handles normal humans better.


So in that light, let's start with our first little Creampuff, tiny gay journalist Laura. I am setting these builds roughly in the Season 3 area.

Laura Hollis
Human

Mental
- Intelligence * * * O O
- Wits * * * O O
- Resolve * * O O O
Physical
- Strength * O O O O
- Dexterity * * * O O
- Stamina * * O O O
Social
- Presence  * * * O O
- Manipulation * * O O O
- Composure * * O O O

Skills
Mental
*Academics 2 (Research specialization)
*Computer 2 (Internest specialization)
 Crafts 1
*Investigation 3 (Crime Scene specialization)
 Medicine 1
 Occult 1
 Politics 1
 Science 1
Physical
 Athletics 1
 Larceny 2
 Stealth 1
 Survival 2
 Weaponry 1
Social
 Empathy 1
 Expression 1
 Persuasion 1
 Socialize 1

Merits
Allies (3) Silas U students (Perry, Laff, Kirsh, Dany)
Striking Looks (2)
Technophile (Video blog) (2)

Virtue: Hope
Vice: Pride

Defense: 3
Dodge: 6

Initiative: 5
Size: 5
Speed: 9
Surprise: 5

Perception: 5
Willpower: 4
Health: 7

In truth, I am really, really happy with this build.  I can see this Laura working well as a character.
Her obvious Virtue is Hope.  No one is rooting for her friends more than Laura.  Her Vice is Pride. She feels sometimes she alone can fix the problems that she alone caused. In truth, she is not alone and did not cause all these problems.
She gets the Merits of the friends at Silas, she is the one that brings everyone together.

Next is our brooding vampire hero, Carmilla, Mistress of the Snark.

Carmilla
Vampire
Clan: Daeva (Duchagne Bloodline)
Covenant: Ordo Dracul (Circle of the Crone would also work)

Mental
- Intelligence * * O O O
- Wits * * O O O
- Resolve * * O O O
Physical
- Strength * * * * O
- Dexterity * * * * O
- Stamina * * * O O
Social
- Presence  * * * O O
- Manipulation * * O O O
- Composure * * O O O

Blood Potency * O O

Skills
Mental
 Academics 1
 Investigation 1
 Occult 2
Physical
 Athletics 1
*Brawl 4 (Natural Weapons, Dirty Tricks)
 Larceny 1
 Stealth 1
 Survival 2
 Weaponry 2
Social
 Animal Ken 1
*Intimidation (Physical Threats)
 Persuasion 1
 Socialize 1

Merits
Barfly 1
Brawling Dodge 1
Fleet of Foot 1
Striking Looks (4)

Vampire Powers
Celerity 2
Majesty 1
Obfuscate 1
Protean 4 (to become a large cat)

Vitae: 10
Humanity: 5
- Derangements
 Depression (what she has done)
 Inferiority Complex (mother, sister)

Virtue: Justice
Vice: Sloth

Defense: 2
Dodge: 4

Initiative: 6
Size: 5
Speed: 14
Surprise: 4

Perception: 5
Willpower: 4

I gave her Ordo Dracul given her Victorian literary origin, though Circle of the Crone could work better given her mother and sister Mattie.
Her Virtue is Justice. She wants to stop her mother, she wants to do the right things. But her Vice (Sloth) and her Derangements (depression and feelings of inferiority to her mother and sister) keep her from doing the right things.
I also cheated here and gave her Protean 1 so she can become a large cat.

I am not sure if my numbers are right, I have not touched the game in years, but they feel right, to be honest.  They are certainly playable and if anything a touch underpowered.

They would fit in nicely with my two witches in the Word of Darkness.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Love Will Have Its Sacrifices: Carmilla and Laura for the Buffy RPG

Some pairings just work so well that it feels like the universe clicks into place.
This is one of those times.

Carmilla is a web series based on the Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu short story of the same name.  Like many (MANY) updates to Carmilla, this takes place in modern times.  We have Laura Hollis (played by super cute Elise Bauman) a 19-year-old freshman at Silas University in Styria, Austria.  Laura starts a VLog when here roommate Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Spielsdorf goes missing.  Laura, a journalism student with an over-protective father, decides to investigate and her suspicions fall squarely on her new roommate, Carmilla Karnstein (played wonderfully by Natasha Negovanlis).

Along the way, we meet Lola Perry (Annie Briggs) a German-language student, compulsive neat freak (and former below-average witch) her best friend S. LaFontaine (Kaitlyn Alexander), a non-binary cool science geek biology student, and Danny Lawrence (Sharon Belle) a 6'2" (no really, she is that freaking tall) English lit TA.

The first season, 36 episodes, covers the relationship between Laura and Carmilla as well as the mystery of all the missing girls. The next two seasons (36 episodes each) cover other issues facing the often tormented students of Silas University. Including fighting the Faerie Queen Titania, the Deep One Dagon, oh and getting in the middle of a 3 millennia-old war between Inanna and Ereshkigal.  Fun times.

The writing is witty. It is a geek-filled romp with plenty of nerdy pop cultural references. I wanted to die every time I saw Laura drink out of her TARDIS cup.  And these were not just fan-service nods these were legitimate geek moments.
The acting is great and the chemistry between the two leads is some of the best I have seen in a long, long time. They are in another series together by the same creators but as different characters.  I have to admit I am little hesitant to watch it less I ruin the good juju of them as Carmilla and Laura.

I missed the whole fandom that surrounded this show and that is my loss. The fans, the "Creampuffs", seem like a great community. The creators of the show know what the fans mean to them and it feels like a great relationship.

But that's not why YOU are here, is it?

Carmilla is pretty much in every sense of the term the spiritual successor to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  So it stands to reason then that the cast should get the Buffy RPG treatment.

I did this once before for Carmilla for the Ghosts of Albion RPG, but these stats will be based more on the characters around Season 2 or so. Plus the GoA stats are based more on the novella than this.

Yeah, I might be a little obsessed.

Carmilla

The young Mircalla Karnstein and Elle in 1872 (great for Ghosts of Albion)


Countess Mircalla Karnstein, aka "Carmilla"
Vampire

"Buckle up, creampuff."

Life Points: 63

Strength 6
Dexterity 6
Constitution 5
Intelligence 3
Perception 3
Willpower 5

Qualities
Age (3) (335 years)
Attractiveness (3)
Cloak of Beasts (Large Cat)
Fast Reaction Time (Vampire)
Hard to Kill 3 (2 from Vampire)
Natural Weapon (Vampire)
Reduced Damage 2 (Vampire)
Regeneration (6 Life Points per hour) (Vampire)
Vampire

Drawbacks
Adversary (2, mother, various vampire hunters)
Bloodlust
Love, Tragic (Elle)
Love (Laura) (2)
Emotional Problems, Emotionally Dependent (victims) (1)
Mental Problems, Covetous (Lechery) (1)
Minority (lesbian) (1)

Useful Information
Initiative +8
Actions 2/1
Observation 1d10+6
Fear +5

Height: 5'3"
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown

Skills
Acrobatics 3
Art 2
Computers 0
Crime 2
Doctor 0
Driving 1
Gun-Fu 0
Getting Medieval 3
Influence 4
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 2
Languages 6 (English, French, Latin, German, Romanian, Sumerian)
Mr. Fix-it 1
Notice 3
Occultism 1
Science 1
Sports 1
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus  Damage  Notes
Dodge / Parry     +8 - Defense Action                           
Grapple +9 - Defense Action
Bite +7 6 Slash / Stab, needed for blood drain
Punch / claw +8 12 Bash / slash


Laura Hollis
White Hat

"What would Mina Harker do? Get bitten. Mina Harker would totally try and act all alluring to the bloodsucking fiend and totally get bitten. Let's not do that."

Life Points: 26

Strength 2
Dexterity 2
Constitution 2
Intelligence 4
Perception 3
Willpower 3

Qualities
Attractiveness 1
Nerd

Drawbacks
Honorable (1)
Love (Carmilla) (2)
Minority (lesbian) (1)

Height: 5'2"
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Brown

Skills
Acrobatics 2
Art 2
Computers 3
Crime 2 (Investigative Journalism)
Doctor 1
Driving 1
Gun-Fu 0
Getting Medieval 1
Influence 2
Knowledge 3
Kung Fu 2 (Krav Maga)
Languages 2 (English, German)
Mr. Fix-it 1
Notice 2
Occultism 0
Science 1
Sports 1
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus  Damage  Notes
Dodge / Parry     +4 - Defense Action                           
Grapple +5 - Defense Action
Punch  +6 4 Bash

These stats represent our stars around Season 2.  So each one has a bit more points than expected of starting characters.

I think LaFontaine would

You can watch all three seasons on the KindaTV YouTube Channel.

Season 1



Season 2



Season 3




The movie is out next week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Carmilla (1989) & Styria (2014)

With the somewhat disappointing nature of The Unwanted, I went looking for some more Carmilla based movies.  Finding them wasn't the issue. Finding ones I have not seen was.

First up was Carmilla (1989) with Meg Tilly and Ione Skye.  This moves the tale to post-Civil War Georgia. The story is largely unchanged with Ione Skye and Laura and Meg Tilly as Carmilla.  There were some neat scenes but it was a Showtime Nightmare Classics episode, so there isn't the investment you see in a big movie production. Still though it was fun.  There isn't much chemistry between Skye and Tilly, which struck me as odd to be honest.  Plus you get the feeling in the end that Laura became a vampire after Carmilla was killed.

Styria (2014) or "Angels of Darkness" as it is known in the US, is also a retelling of the classic tale.  This time moved to 1986 and Styria, Slovenia.  This time Laura and Carmilla are played by Eleanor Tomlinson and Julia Pietrucha.  These actresses had more on-screen chemistry and the tale has a bit more terror.  Moving it to Communist-controlled Eastern Europe was an interesting twist and I liked it. Plus it gave them a good excuse to use music from Joy Division and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Unlike the 1989 version or Unwanted, Carmilla is much more of a predator here and more of a classic vampire OR Laura is insane.  Could go either way. Of the three "Carmilla" movies I have seen this challenge so far, this is the best.




2016 Movie tally
Watched: 25
New: 20


Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Unwanted (2014)

The Unwanted came up in my search for different sorts of vampire movies.  This one is a retelling of Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla".  In this one Carmilla is the daughter of Millarca and it takes place in Georgia and not Austria.

Of course given that I should have guessed the ultimate fates of both Carmilla and Millarca, but no such luck. True it is closer to the original story this way but would it kill us to make something a little different once in a while?

William Katt plays the father in this with much creepiness.
Christen Orr and Hannah Fierman are both rather good as Carmilla and Laura respectively.

I was hoping for much better to be honest.





2016 Movie tally
Watched: 20
New: 15


Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Movie Challenge: Feast of Flesh (2007)

October Movie Challenge: Feast of Flesh (2007)

In my defense I want to say up front that I thought this was going to be better.
The title is fine and my research said it was a bit like Bordello of Blood only featuring Elizabeth Bathory AND Carmilla.  I mean really. How can I say no?

I was so horribly wrong.

I think I am prepared to say that this was the WORST vampire movie I have seen this entire challenge.  Though Mama Dracula might give it a run for it's money.

The story focuses on a "high class" brothel known as Bathory House.  A couple gets a ticket to go from a poker game.  Of course they are looking for a little threesome fun and instead they get eaten (and not in the way they wanted). Anyway I guess there is a prohibition against the vampires from hunting townfolk so the local vampire hunters come in and beat the vampire-hookers up a little.
Both sides fight.  There is also a plot about a woman that is a local, but leaving town, getting brought into the brothel.  The vampires thought she was coming to town, not leaving it.  Her boyfriend wants her back...you know the drill.

I will give the movie one credit. The ending is not what I expected it to be.  Bathory is killed and the townie girl becomes the new Madame.  The boyfriend and all the hunters are killed.

The acting is terrible, including and especially Director, Writer and head Vampire Killer Sheridan, aka Mike Watt.  What was up with that accent? He was supposed to be Dutch, but it sounded like Irish that learned from a book on tape.  Anyway.  It's not good.

I toyed with the idea of a vampire brothel in my games before.  Mayfairs is a brothel in my games run by two vampire lovers, Miriam and Fran and founded by a Street Fae, Dirty Nellie.  I now have a list of things NOT to do with it.

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Tally so far:  36 Total Watched / 24 New

What do you find scary?
October Horror Movie Challenge hosted by Krell Laboratories.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

October Movie Challenge: Alucarda (1978)

Alucarda is described as being one of the bloodiest movies ever.  Well...maybe for 1978 sure.  It has its fair share of blood, nudity and screaming.

The story is kind of like Carmilla, but not. It's kinda alluding to Dracula, but doesn't. And it kinda has vampires, but doesn't.  The movie is almost a lot of things, but never quite it's own thing.

Alucarda, and their pronunciation of it makes her name sound unique and interesting, is an orphan who may be the daughter of Lucy Westerna.  She begins a fascination with another orphan Justine (certainly a nod to de Sade I am sure).  They spend their time at the Catholic run orphanage running around in the woods.  Soon they meet up with a band of unsavory gypsies and everything goes to hell.  Quite literally.
Next up is a trippy scene of nudity, blood and implied satanic marriage. Oh and a satanic orgy.

The movie had a lot of potential but it never quite lived up to it.


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Tally so far:  6 Total Watched / 5 New

What do you find scary?
October Horror Movie Challenge hosted by Krell Laboratories.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October Movie: Blood and Roses (1960)

One of my goals this October Horror Movie Challenge was to get to some of the movies I have been wanting to see for years.  Blood and Roses was one of the ones high on my list.

I have always been a fan of the Carmilla story from  Joseph Sheridan le Fanu and Vampire Lovers is one of my favorite movie remakes of his book. Naturally then I have heard about Blood and Roses.

This movie is not as faithful to the story as say Vampire Lovers, but certainly more so than Twins of Evil. The relationship between Carmilla and Georgia is less overt and less explicit than in either telling (short story or movies) but that could also be the time it was made.

As far as horror films go, there are movies with more blood and more outright horrors. But this is a beautifully crafted movie with great acting.  You could almost see it as a tamer sequel of The Vampire Lovers.




Tally: Watched 19,  New 15

What are you watching?


hosted by Krell Laboratories

Monday, August 19, 2013

Reading Appendix N

The Dungeon Master's Guide Appendix N is well know to many gamers of a certain age.  Maybe too well known really.
In case you are curious, never seen it before, or don't have your DMG handy, here is the list:
Source: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4dnd/Appendix/N

Anderson, Poul. Three Hearts and Three Lions; The High Crusade; The Broken Sword
Bellairs, John. The Face in the Frost
Brackett, Leigh.
Brown, Fredric.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, Pellucidar series; Mars series; Venus series
Carter, Lin. "World's End" series
de Camp, L. Sprague. Lest Darkness Fall; Fallible Fiend; et al.
de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" series; Carnelian Cube
Derleth, August.
Dunsany, Lord.
Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" series; et al.
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" series; "Kyrik" series; et al.
Howard, R. E. "Conan" series
Lanier, Sterling. Hiero’s Journey
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Merritt, A. Creep, Shadow, Creep; Moon Pool; Dwellers in the Mirage; et al.
Moorcock, Michael. Stormbringer; Stealer of Souls; "Hawkmoon" series (esp. the first three books)
Norton, Andre.
Offutt, Andrew J., editor. Swords Against Darkness III.
Pratt, Fletcher. Blue Star; et al.
St. Clair, Margaret. The Shadow People; Sign of the Labrys
Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit; "Ring Trilogy"
Vance, Jack. The Eyes of the Overworld; The Dying Earth; et al.
Weinbaum, Stanley.
Wellman, Manly Wade.
Williamson, Jack.
Zelazny, Roger. Jack of Shadows; "Amber" series; et al.

Certainly a worthy list to be honest.

But it isn't my list.

Yes I read Tolkien during my formative years, followed quickly by Moorcock and Lovecraft. I dabbled in Norton.  But I didn't read any Conan till almost a year ago. I had read "A Princess of Mars" before I played D&D, but nothing more till recently and none of the Pellucidar series till almost two years ago.

I have joked, half seriously, that my Appendix N is mostly Hammer Films, 70's exploitation horror, Led Zeppelin, Twilight Zone and Dark Shadows.

But semi -serious for a moment Appendix N was never supposed to be passed on as Holy Writ and there are some notable omissions.  Here are some things I would add.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan:  CARMILLA. Natch.

Lucas, George: STAR WARS.  Star Wars, the first movie, is a D&D adventure writ large.  Star Wars and D&D are so forever linked together in my mind it would be hard to tease them apart in terms of which one colors my perception of the other more.  This one though is a total cheat as a movie and as one of the "newest" item on my list.

Poe, Edgar Allen. Lots.

Robbins, Russell Hope. Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology: This book has been long out of print, and I got mine at a used book store, but it is the indespensible work on witches, the witch craze and demonology. The book takes a very pro-witch point of view as it frankly discusses the murder of women, children and even men in the name of god. Not to be missed, this book has been THE source for most of my writings. Several editions are out there, mine is the 1959 edition. I have seen them on Ebay as well.

Smith, Clark Ashton: Everything.  No seriously.  I discovered CAS after reading about his friendship to Lovecraft.  I found a copy of his unfinshed works in the basement of my university library (no joke).  I was RIVETED.  He spoke to me in ways Lovecraft never dreamed.  In particular I recommend his Averoigne series and his Zothique series.
http://www.eldritchdark.com/

Stoker, Bram: DRACULA;  Need to know what else a cleric can do in your group? Let me introduce Prof. Van Helsing.  I suggest getting the Annotated Dracula by Leonard Wolf.

There are many others.  But these are the ones I keep coming back to.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October Challenge: The Vampire Lovers (1970)

The Vampire Lovers (1970) & Lust for a Vampire (1971)

I debated on whether or not to do this one.  Obviously I have seen this movie many times given the postings I have made about it and the effects it has had on my game.  In fact it is second only to Dracula in terms of how much I have read and seen this.

I decided to sit down and watch it again, this time while listening to the audio commentary  since I had seen so many Carmilla-based movies this year.

Back in June of 2011 I mentioned how this movie is like a perfect storm for topics here at the Other Side.
Based on the original novel, it is Hammer, has Ingrid Pitt, Peter Cushing, Kata O'Mara, Pippa Steele and Madeline Smith, there is even a Faux Dracula (John Forbes-Robertson as Dracula looking exactly like he will look in Hammer's "Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires").

The movie is actually fairly close to the book.  Enough that if you read the book and see the movie you will notice more of similarities rather than the differences.

The movie should be familiar ground to any horror fan by now.  Young girl Emma makes a new friend, Carmilla, soon after another one of her friends dies.  Soon Emma begins to weaken and only do the men of the tale suspect that Carmilla may be to blame.  Vampire hunt follows.  This movie though somehow makes due with this simple story really.  I am giving it the benefit of the doubt of having been based on the work that created this kind of story; but the movie holds up rather well.  Even under repeated viewings I have not grown tired of it.

Now here there is no doubt that Carmilla is supposed to be evil.  She casually uses and tosses away Mdme. Perrodot (Kate O'Mara) and she did kill Laura (Pippa Steele) but yet to me there is something underneath all of this.  Carmilla is still a tragic figure.  She was damned, but maybe the least of the damned.  Not as much as in the novella, but it is there.

Now taken as part of the Hammer Karnstien Trilogy, this is obviously the best of the lot.  The others are good bloody fun, but there is a much better story here.  Also the characterization of Carmilla is much more nuanced here.  I also think that is due to a better story and better acting ability by Ingrid Pitt.  Again I am publicly calling for a new Carmilla movie.  I know that Styia is coming out next year, and it looks good, but I think I want a period piece again.

Also I feel I should comment on the poster.  WTF?  I am not sure what movie that poster is for but none of that happened in the movie.

I also decided to rewatch Lust for a Vampire (1971), the second movie of the Karnstien Trilogy.

It had been a long time since I had seen this one. I forgot about the overt Satanism, but it was Hammer in 71 so that is no surprise.  Mind you I don't mind that, it works for Dracula, but Carmilla?  I am not quite seeing it.  Now to be fair I DO see it for the Karnstiens as a family.  Let's be honest though, this is the least of this movies problems.

Once again we get a near-Christopher Lee as an almost-Dracula. Heck they actually used Chris' famous red eyes from Scars of Dracula.  This time he is in charge of the Satanic ritual that brings Carmilla/Mircalla back from the dead 40 years (1830, prime time for GoA) after the first movie.  Gone is the hair "color a rich very dark brown", Carmilla is now a blonde.  Maybe it was the peasant girl she ate.  BTW the Peasant Girl in this movie was the first vampire killed in TVL and one of the first "witches" burned in "ToE".

 The movie though goes downhill, story wise from here.  We get the involvement an author, Richard Lestrange (who's family will later go on to support the Dark Lord) who gets a job at a local girl's finishing school where Carmilla is now a student. It's an oldie but a goodie and I have used it myself.
The rest follows the well worn paths of Hammer lore.  People die, some people think there is a vampire, others don't. Compared with Vampire Lovers this one feels like the cast was still standing around after the last movie stopped so they decided to do another one.

With TVL and the book Carmilla, you felt that Carmilla was a victim of her circumstance as much as she was the villain. Here you don't get any of that nuance. In fact Carmilla is more interested in Lestrange than her roomate!  What is up with that?

This was not one of Hammer's better films.  What gets me the most is that there are a lot of good elements to this movie and some great ideas, just strung together rather poorly.


In a related movie I have seen, but not reviewed the related "Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter". That was an enjoyable film. (Not counting it for this Challenge)


Tally: Watched 28, New 20

Given the influence of this film, here is a links sections to other posts here.



Movies



Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (off site links)



What are you watching?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Challenge: Blood and Roses (1960)

Blood and Roses (1960)

Blood and Roses, or Et mourir de plaisir, is one of those movies I have know about for years and I have always wanted to see.  Well I found it on Amazon Instant Video and thought this was a good of time as any.

After dealing with The Twins of Evil earlier in this challenge I have to admit my hopes for this one were low.
Well this one certainly has it's moments, even if it is a touch slow.  I was thinking if it were redone today the narration would have been dropped.

This movie takes place in the modern day and plays a little like a sequel to the Vampire Lovers, with Twins of Evil as a prequel.  This one though introduces a male lover for Carmilla/Millarca which will have any long time reader to this blog scratching their head like me.

The movie though is good.  The lesbianism is as underplayed as the vampirism.  This easily could be about a girl going crazy because the man she loves is marrying someone else.  It is only at the end is their a supernatural (maybe) twist.

I now think I have seen all the film adaptations of Carmilla, but it is possible that one is still out there.



Tally: Watched 26, New 20

What are you watching?


Sunday, October 14, 2012

October Challenge: Twins of Evil (1971)

Twins of Evil (1971)

My love for Hammer films is well known and well documented.  I am also a huge fan of the Carmilla story.  So it really seems like a no-brainier that I had already seen all the movies in the Karnstien Trilogy. Except that I haven't.

This movie works a little a prequel to The Vampire Lovers. This time we have a Count Karnstein.  I like the story itself is not a bad one.  Afterall the Karnsteins were supposed to be a family of evil, this current Count helps fill in some of those gaps.  We get a guest appearance from Mircalla who turns our count into a monster.  There are other call backs to the first movie in how the vampires can still move about during the day, but their shrouds they need in death are now gone.

Let's be honest here.  There was really only one (er..two) reasons why this movie was made.  Mary and Madeleine Collinson.  The former Playmates, and the first twins to appear in Playboy, where here not for their acting ability (they were over dubbed in fact) but for their ability to appear in the movie nude. Mind you this is usually a good enough reason for me, but I did want some more.

Peter Cushing is back, but not as the same or related character, but as a witch-hunting zealot and uncle of the twins.  In fact he plays a rather unlikable character.  In truth his character kills more people than the Count does either before or after his vampiric transformation.

The plot seemed a bit confused and it isn't due to my lack of sleep here.  I think some bits were cut out of the version I saw on TV via some channel/cable service called Impact.   Pity really.  I had great hopes for this one.
This one put my wife into a deep sleep and she is just about ready to ban me from watching anymore Hammer films.  I did point out that the Woman in Black was also Hammer.

Tally: Watched 17, New 13

What are you watching?


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