Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Hexmas!

Great Christmas day!

My boys got me the Dresden Files RPG!  Yeah!
My wife picked up "Hammer Glamour" for me.
This was a great gift.  While the rest of my friends growing up were lusting after women with names like Farrah and Cheryl, my first serious lusts were Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steele, Caroline Munro, and Madeline Smith.

Hope your holiday was equally as good.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What are you getting this year?

To all the good little boys and girls (and to the bad ones too!) what are you getting for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Yule/Festivus this year?

I am hoping for The Dresden Files RPG in print and maybe some fudge dice to go with it.
I'd also like one of then Kim Harrison books.
But mostly I am hoping for some time to do some gaming with my kids.  That would be best of all.

What are you all hoping for?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Krampus for Ghosts of Albion

Krampus is an old legend, but one I never heard of growing up.  He/It is a reminder that the Christmas legends of today are part a of a larger variety of Winter Solstice celebrations.  Krampus, though is interesting to me this year because he has come up time and time again, from completely unrelated sources.  So here he is.
Krampus for your Ghosts of Albion games.  I am taking a large number of liberties with this write up.  So please keep that in mind.

Krampus, The Christmas Demon
Long ago, long before children would know of the kindness of St. Nicholas there was a demon that tormented the long Alpine winter nights.  This demon, know locally as Krampus (from the word meaning Claw) would torment children and punish wrongdoers. Sometimes Krampus would even carry off a child that had been particularly wicked.
The trouble was that Krampus was more or less in a pact with the parents of the region that had used him as a means of controlling unruly children. Over the decades since their un-witting pact Krampus had grown in violence and deceit.
That is till the coming of St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas was able to confront the demon and was well on his way to dispatching the fiend (Santa was a bit more of a fighter in those days) when the issue of the pact was brought up.  The pact made with the demon was strong, and even though not one adult in area had made it an overt one, built up over the centuries with a little tale here, a story there, made it as strong as any pact sealed with a soul.  St. Nicholas then employed Krampus as a personal assistant, he could still torment bad children, but now under the eye of St. Nick himself.  Krampus also got more children as he traveled with St. Nick.  Since St. Nicholas was know as Sinterklass in some areas and Father Chritmas in  others, Krampus also received more names such as "Belsnickel" or even "Black Pete".
Sometimes it is even said that his travels with St. Nicholas has tempered his evil.  Or he is just bidding his time.

Motivation: To punish wicked children
Creature Type: Demon
Life Points: 45
Drama Points: 1

Str: 4
Dex: 3
Con: 4
Int: 3
Per: 3
Will: 5

Ability Scores
Muscle: 14 Combat: 15 Brains: 14
Qualities and Drawbacks: Acute Senses (taste, sight, smell), Adversary (St. Nicholas), Attractiveness -2, Cause Fear, Hard to Kill, Honorable (1), Innate Magic, Unique Kill

Name Score Damage Notes
Claw 15 8 tries to limit the damage he causes, dead things have no fear.
- Grab 13 - Krampus attempts to grab a child. Only a contested STR roll can let the child break free.
Deflect 17 - Magic defence action

Krampus appears as a particularly nasty looking satyr or demon.  He is covered in fur, but is sometimes wearing a coat covered in soot.  He has one cloven hoof and one animal-like paw for feet.  His legs are like that of a goat and his upper body is human.  His hands are human, but end in terrible claws. His face is a twisted snarl of evil, with goat like eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth.  His long tongue lolls out of his mouth and constantly drips saliva.  Despite this he can still speak eloquently.  He uses his tongue to lick a person, typically their face, to know if they are naughty or nice.  His head supports to long curved horns.  He smells of burnt coal. He is sometimes seen carrying an old rusted chain. It is not clear if the chain is for himself or for the children he terrorizes. He also carries a satchlel of switches that he uses to beat children with.
His overall appearance is menacing and demonic. He cowers though from any stern word from St. Nicholas.
Krampus does have a weakness.  If given a piece of fruit, typically an apple or an orange, by a child, he will sit down to eat the gift, sharing it with whomever is there and engage is polite conversation.  Krampus will then leave the area, harming no one.
Krampus may be a demon, but he is fair and impartial. "Good" children have nothing to fear from him, "Bad" children are only punished in relationship to the severity of their "naughtiness".  Of course Krampus will attempt to use any trick he can to get someone onto his naughty list. For truly evil children he carries a sack to put them in. He will either drown them or take them off to Hell.
It is suspected though that he is fact feeds on the children's fear and the tales told by the parents.

Krampus is most often seen during the first two weeks of December.  All other times he is bound to his cave somewhere in the Alps.  There is no known way to dispatch of Krampus permanently.  Like many of the supernatural creatures associated with Christmas, as long as one child believes then he will return next year.

Edited to Add:

More Krampus at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Déjà vu: Scaring the Dickens out of Your Players: Ghosts of Albion

Here is my post for the Déjà Vu Blogfest.

This post was originally posted on December 19th 2009 and was viewed by what I could tell as many as 9 people since.  I felt it deserved another look due to the timing (it is close to the Anniversary of A Christmas Carol's publication) and now Ghosts of Albion is out in stores, so it is all a good fit.

Scaring the Dickens out of Your Players: Ghosts of Albion

On this day in 1843 Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, also known more simply as A Christmas Carol.

The story of Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts is now a timeless Christmas classic retold in prose, stage, film (the 1951 version with Alistair Sim is my personal favorite), even animation and various parodies, homage and pastiches.

Such is the timelessness of this tale that it is perfect fodder for a Christmas themed episode. Even it is good enough for Doctor Who it is good enough for us right. Given that is a quintessential English tale of ghosts in the early Victorian age then it is perfect for Ghosts of Albion.

Jacob Marley
Motivation: To walk the Earth for his sin of greed, warn Scrooge of his fate.
Creature Type: Restless Spectre
Life Points: 30
Drama Points: 1

Str: (2)
Dex: (2)
Con: (2)
Int: 4
Per: 3
Will: 4

Ability Scores
Muscle: (10) Combat: (0) Brains: 16
Qualities and Drawbacks: Attractiveness -1, Cursed, Ghost, Telekinesis, Unique Kill

Name Score Damage Notes
Deflect 19 - Magic defence action
Telekinesis 17 varies Effectiveness Str 5

Jacob Marley is the former business partner of Ebenezer Scrooge. He had died seven years before on Christmas Eve and is now confined to Earth to pay for his sins of greed and not helping his fellow man. He wears the shackles of his sins in form of heavy chains attached to ledger books, money boxes and heavy keys.

Marley cannot be killed or dispatched by normal means. He is similar to a Poltergeist, but even the means to remove those troublesome spirits are not effective on him. Marley consequently will not attack, nor even reveal himself to others but Scrooge. Though anyone with Magic or Innate Magic will be able to see him and interact with him.


Zeitgeist is a German word meaning the Spirit of the Times, used to describe the general feeling or atmosphere of a particular period in time. In the Ghosts of Albion game Zeitgeist is quite literal. Each time can manifest as a spirit or ghost. This is not a ghost of someone that has passed as most spirits, but more of a collective consciousness given magical form. A Zeitgeist can have any power, quality or drawback that a ghost may have. Since they are more of reflection of a particular time a Zeitgeist also can't be destroyed, though many exist only under very specific conditions.

Ghost of Christmas Past
Creature Type: Zeitgeist
Life Points: NA
Drama Points: 5

Str: -
Dex: -
Con: -
Int: 5
Per: 6
Will: 5

Ability Scores
Muscle: NA Combat: NA Brains: 18

Qualities and Drawbacks: Archaic, Ghost, Manifest, Telekinesis, Unique Kill

The Ghost of Christmas Past appears to be both young and old at the same time. His hair is long and white, but his face is smooth. He speaks in a somewhat archaic manner.

This spirit shows their charge their memories of the past. A bitter old man like Scrooge is shown times when he was young and denied love from his abusive father and the loss of his sister. There are wonderful scenes in the 1951 movie with Scrooge and Marley that typify what this spirit does.

Ghost of Christmas Present
Quote: Come! You have never beheld the likes of me!
Creature Type: Zeitgeist
Life Points: NA
Drama Points: 5

Str: (4)
Dex: (2)
Con: (5)
Int: 5
Per: 6
Will: 5

Ability Scores
Muscle: NA Combat: NA Brains: 20

Qualities and Drawbacks: Ghost, Manifest, Telekinesis, Unique Kill

This spirit is the most living of the lot. He appears as large man wearing green robes. His image invokes comparisons to Father Christmas or even the Pagan Green Man or Winter King. Though his appearance can vary greatly from year to year. He tells Scrooge that he has over 800 brothers, implying that he will no longer exist after midnight on Christmas and next year there will be a new Ghost of Christmas.

His task is to show Scrooge what he is missing and what his own greed has wroght.

The Ghost of Christmas Present has two horrible companions with him. They represent the greatest sources of suffering in the world. A boy, Ignorance and a girl Want. The spirit warns Scrooge to beware them both but especially of the girl.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Creature Type: Zeitgeist
Life Points: NA
Drama Points: 5

Str: -
Dex: -
Con: -
Int: 4
Per: 4
Will: 7

Ability Scores
Muscle: NA Combat: NA Brains: 14

Qualities and Drawbacks: Chill of the Grave, Ghost, Manifest, Telekinesis, Unique Kill

This spectre is more horrifying than all the others. He is a grim Death-like figure shrouded in a robe and hood that never speaks but shows Scrooge visions of his future; the death of Tiny Tim, his own lonely death and callousness in which people view his passing.

Using the Ghosts in Your Story

Dickens used A Christmas Carol not only to pay some bills, but to address some serious social issues. The same set up can be used as a special Christmas episode in your on going game. The set up may seem a bit clichéd now nearly 170 years later, but they still work. The trick is not adding the Ghosts to your game, but figuring out the proper character or plot hook.

Keep in mind that as Directors you are not likely to get the same change of heart Scrooge had out of your characters, so instead focus on using the Ghosts to tell an important tale or show the characters a brief glimpse into their (possible) future.

A good example for a modern Cinematic game would be a demon hunter who is dedicated only to her mission ignoring family, friends and loved ones, in a sense becoming like the monsters she hunts. The Ghosts then in order show her what her life has been like in the past before her calling, what her friends and family are doing without her around, and then her grim and dark future. Too easy? Yeah, the future is likely to dark and grim regardless, but this where the twist comes in. Our demon hunter is still alive, but everyone she loves is either dead or lost to her. She finds that she is becoming less human (metaphorically speaking) and have more in common than the monsters she kills. Maybe she breaks into nest of vampires and they have set up a small Christmas tree and are giving each other presents. Sure the presents might be live kittens, but it is the thought that counts.

The purpose is to show our chosen demon hunter that without family, friends and even love, none of what she does matters. You can kill a 1,000 monsters, there is another 10,000 right behind him. Loved ones are often all you really have.

Merry Christmas!

Who else is doing this do over day?  See all the participants here:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ChicagoWiz's Toys for Tots fundraiser

Many of you know that our very own ChicagoWiz is a very active supporter of Toys for Tots.
Well he is selling off some of his Battletech material to raise some money.  Please check out these auctions, help out some kids and get some game stuff dirt cheap.

Here is his message:


As part of my Toys for Tots fundraising drive, I'm auctioning off a lot of Battletech sourcebooks and some neat magazines/fanzines. All of these start at $5, and some have multiple items in the lot. I hope you bid generously and enjoy the items!

The Battletech Compendium (1990, Paperback)
The Battletech Compendium (1995, Paperback, Reprint)
The Battletech Compendium (1994, Hardcover)
Battletech Mechwarrior RPG Adventure Modules lot (1672, 1676)
Battletech Clan Sourcebooks lot (1642, 1645, 1685)
Battletech Sourcebook lot (1655, 1665, 1673) (Comstar, Objective Raids, Intelligence Operations Handbook)
Battletech Sourcebook lot (1639, 1659, 1670) (20 Year Update - 1639, Solaris: The Reaches (with maps) - 1659, Mercenary's Handbook 3055 - 1670)
Battletech Kurita/Draconis Combine Sourcebook lot (1620, 1698)
Battletech Kurita/Draconis Combine Sourcebook from 1987 (1620)
Battletech Fanzines - The Mech Factory/Tech Factory lot of 10 copies

Ral Partha Miniatures 1994 Catalog (NM, with inserts, OOP) - this bad boy is an actual print Ral Partha catalog and it's like it just was printed. Very good shape and just an amazing catalog to look at.
Renegade Legion - Centurion - Blood & Steel Wargame OOP - looks like a fun "Mech-like" game!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All I want for Christmas is....

I don't know.

Last year it was easy, I wanted Doctor Who adventures in Time and Space.  This year though the must have boxed set, the D&D Starter Set, came out back in September, so I already have one.
There is nothing new for Pathfinder I want and I am not playing any other games at the moment.

I suppose the Ravenloaft Board game would be sweet to have, seeing how I didn't get it for Halloween (don't you get presents on Halloween? I do!).  Gamma World also looks fun.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
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