Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho (2021)
 Still down with Covid. So, I only have about one movie left in me. Tonight's topic is "All Hallow's Eve" and there were a bunch of movies I wanted to watch. But in the end I landed on another one I had wanted to see for a bit. Thankfully it also takes place on Halloween.

Last Night in Soho

Matt Smith, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Thomasin McKenzie as the stars? Dianna Rigg and Terrance Stamp as special guest stars? Yeah, you can see why I wanted to see it.

Thomasin McKenzie plays Eloise "Ellie" Turner. A nice girl who wants to be a fashion designer. She lives with her grandmother, loves music and fashion from the 1960s, oh, and she sees the ghost of her dead mother ever so often.  Ellie gets accepted to the London College of Fashion in London and it is obvious that this little Cornish girl is not as sophisticated as her peers.  Uncomfortable with all the partying and her roommate bringing home guys she seeks out an apartment for rent from old Ms. Collins (Dianna Rigg).  

Soon Ellie starts having visions. Very, very detailed visions of the life of a girl her age in the 1960s, Sandie played by the always amazing Anya Taylor-Joy. Ellie meets Jack, played with fantastic creepiness by Matt Smith, who wants to help her achieve her dreams of singing on stage. 

Ellie wakes up and begins having trouble determining what is real and what isn't. She also starts seeing an older man (Terrance Stamp) everywhere who seems to know a lot about her. 

Soon Ellie's visions are getting more and more violent. Jack is not Sandie's manager but her pimp. Each vision is getting worse to the point where she she sees Sandie and Jack fighting in the same room she is now staying in. Ellie is convinced that Jack killed Sandie and goes looking in the archives for her. But she all she finds are more and more ghosts of her former Johns.  She tries to tell the police, but they think she is crazy.

She confronts the old man, who seems to have known Sandie and Ellie thinks is Jack. But after he is hit by a car we learn he had been a Vice Cop back in the 1960s. Ellie soon realizes that she had seen him, through Sandie's eyes.

Deciding she has had enough Ellie wants out of the apartment, she goes back and asks her friend John (Michael Ajao, as maybe one of the few decent people here) to wait for her while she gets her things.  Ms Collins is waiting for her and offers her a cup of tea. We learn that Ms Collins is in fact Sandie. She was killed, she was the one doing the killings and she hid all the bodies in the floorboards of her home.  The ghosts have been coming to Ellie to ask for help.

In the end we see Ellie has completed her designs and has a fashion show where her grandmother and John come. Sandie is doing better, but she is still seeing the ghost of her mother and now of Sandie as well.

Among other things this was a great little thriller and mystery.  It was Diana Rigg's last role.

The soundtrack is quite amazing.  A great spooky ghost story.


October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 35
First Time Views: 23

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Hüter, Lord of the Dead

 I didn't get as many of these done as I wanted, but that is okay, it can extend into November.  Today is Halloween so I thought the Lord of the Dead might be a good choice for today.

The Romans and the Germanic people had different views on their Lords of the Dead. The Roman Pluto was not exactly the same as the Greek Hades. In truth, the Greek Hades was not even the same over time. Pluto is more of a blending of Hades and the god of riches Ploûtos. Conflating things further in the Eleusinian Mysteries, Pluto, or Ploutōn, became the God in charge of the Earth that helped the seeds to grow.

Greeks, and to a degree Romans, would never say the name of Hades/Pluto. Fearing doing so would attract his attention. Contrast this with the Norse and Germanic myths. While there was Hel, the protector of the dead was Odin or Wotan. Odin was held in very high regard and his name (all of them) was used many times.  Somewhere Hüter, my Lord of the Dead, needs to strike this balance.  Balance here seems to be the key.

Hüter, Lord of the dead


Hüter is the dispassionate Lord of the Dead. He is neither good nor is he evil. His role is to make sure the dead stay dead. Therefore undead are blasphemous to him. He controls the underground realm and thus all riches that come from the ground are his.

The Lord Underground does not cause death or control the dead but he does keep the souls of the dead under his care and protection. Prayers to Hüter are made in silence, not in fear of his name but in respect of his silent realm of Hölle. Here in this realm, he rules silently over a silent horde of the dead.  

HÜTER (God of the Dead and Riches)

Greater God

MOVE: 24"
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Aura of Silence 60'

SIZE: M (5' 10")
PLANE: Hölle

CLERIC/DRUID: 20th level Cleric
FIGHTER: 15th level Fighter
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 10th level Illusionist
THIEF/ASSASSIN: 15th level in each
MONK/BARD: 15th level Bard
S: 20 I: 23 W: 24 D: 18 C: 20 CH: 16

Hüter is the Lord of the Dead and Riches. He rules from his dark throne in the center of Hölle. Here he is surrounded by the dead and the riches of the land. He is the protector and guardian of the dead. The dead enter his realm never to leave. He is not their jailer, but their custodian and protector. He allows none to enter who do not belong and none may leave.

He has many names. The Silent One, The Rich One, the Lord of this World, the Last Confessor, the Whispered One, the Dread Lord, the Gray Lord, and many more. It is said that even the Gods themselves fear him. 

The Lord of the Dead prefers not to attack. Anyone who gets into his realm has already passed through Helga (who many believe is his daughter) and Heuler. If they have gotten this far it has been with his permission. If he does he has a sword of black steel that does 4-48 (4d12) hp per hit. He can command one creature per round to die.  Death in Hüter's realm is permanent and once dead they cannot be raised. On his command, he can also impose Silence 60' radius around him.

When communicating with his cleric the Dread Lord speaks in signs and portents that they must translate. Often these are in the form of his chosen animal the Raven. 

Animal: Ravens
Rainment: (Head) crown made of horns (Body) Rich garments of black. Robes of black
Color(s): Black
Holy Days: None
Sacrifices: All the dead are sacrifices to him
Place of Worship: Places of death.


RPG Blog Carnival


That is the final entry for this month for my RPG Blog Carnival.  I have more gods and monsters for these myths and that will continue.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 31

 This tomb ends in large ornate iron doors.

The doors are locked (open locks roll or Knock spell), and a combined strength of 35 is needed to open these doors.

Room 31

Once open the party sees a long set of stairs descending into the dark.

There are 300 steps down.  Every 100 steps, there is a set of spring traps that fire gouts of flame for 6d6 hp points of damage.  Save for half. The traps can be disabled with successful find and disable traps roll.

There are a set of similar doors at the bottom of the stairs to Level 11.

Monday, October 30, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Destroy All Monsters (1968) & Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

 Tonight's movie choice is Remake Better than the Original. Well, I am sick and so is everyone else here I thought a comfort movie was in order. For that, my oldest and I hit the Godzilla channel on Pluto and caught Destroy All Monsters (1968) and followed it up with the "remake" Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) on DVD.  The remake is better than the original.

Destroy All Monsters (1968)Godzilla Final Wars (2004)

I have seen both movies dozens of times.  Interestingly enough both movies take place right around the same time. 1999 for DAM and 2004 for GFW.

Both movies cover similar ground. All the monsters are located in the same place and mostly under control until a group of aliens (Kilaaks and Xiliens) control all the monsters and get them to attack all the cities in the world. 

Only one monster can stop them and that is Godzillia. In DAM all monsters are under the control of the aliens but break free. King Ghidorah is then used to fight the remaining monsters.

In GFW all the monsters are under control of the Xiliens, including the "American" Godzilla from the horrible 1998 Godzilla movie which is a lot of fun and always makes my son and I laugh.

Of course Godzilla: Final Wars is just so over the top. American Don Frye as Captain Douglas Gordon is just pure cheese. "There's two things you don't know about the Earth kid." he says to the Xilien leader "There's me. And there's Godzillia."  Yeah, He put himself in the same breath as a radio active monster.

Speaking of which, the Xilien Leader, played by Kazuki Kitamura just chews up every scene he is in with such glee. You don't even need to speak Japanese or read the subtitles to know what he is all about. 

Both movies end mostly the same way. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Godzilla's son is even in both.

Are they horror? Well...the franchise began that way, but by the time we hit these movies they are more sci-fi professional wrestling with special effects, and I am ok with that.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 34
First Time Views: 22

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Draugr

I am surprised I have not tried to stat these guys up before this. But this seems the perfect time to do it.  


Draugr are powerful undead creatures of former warriors under a powerful curse. Typically, they are cursed to guard a large treasure or powerful tomb of a lord or king. However, it is said that the curse would not take hold if there was not already some evil in their hearts. 

The process of creating a draugr involves dark necromancy and the ritual sacrifice of warriors of at least 7th level of experience. 

They are sacrificed and their corpses are dumped into whatever burial pit or hole they are set to guard.

MOVE: 24" 
HIT DICE: 8+16 (52 hp)
% IN LAIR: 100%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2 weapons or touch
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d8+3, 1d8+3
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Constitution Drain
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +2 or better weapon to hit
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: M (6' at shoulder)

Draugr are undead warriors of exceptional ability and strength placed under a curse. They are set to guard some larger treasure of a powerful lord or chieftain.  Typically 1 to 3 draugr are found per tomb along with the treasures of their lord.  Disturbing the tomb will cause the draugr to attack. 

The creatures attack with a sword twice per round. They add +3 to each attack due to high strength. They can as an option, touch an opponent and drain one (1) point of Constitution per successful touch attack. Victims drained to 0 Constitution become wights under the control of the draugr that drained them. Lost Constitution points can be restored at the rate of 1 point per week of bed rest or via any magic that can restore lost levels. 

Draugr can only be hit by magic, +2 weapons, or better weapons. They turn as Vampires. They are harmed by holy water and cannot enter sanctified or holy ground save for where they were buried. They are not harmed 

If the draugr's treasure is taken and the draugr is not completely destroyed it will hunt down every piece of it down to the last copper piece. The only way to completely destroy a draugr is to burn its remains to ash.  


RPG Blog Carnival

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 30

 Past the mummies this tomb continues on. There is a double door ahead made of iron. A thief can unlock it but will require three separate open locks rolls. The locks can also be opened with a knock spell on each one.

If a thief does open all three locks there is a spring trap. If it is not discovered it will trip and cause a 1d4+2 hp of damage. No poison though, that it not the danger of this trap.

Beyond the doors lie in wait the Vampire Queen's honor guard.

Room 30

There are five total vampires but the number ready to attack will depend on the amount of hp lost by the trap. One vampire will awaken for each point of hp lost. So a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5.  Any not awake the first round will awaken the second round.

These vampires have been in slumber since the Vampire Queen constructed this tomb from the former dwarven kingdom. They are fiercely loyal and ravenously hungry.

Two have 7 HD, two have 8 HD, and their leader has 9 HD.  All have plate mail +2 and carry long swords +2. They have standard vampire abilities. Due to their hunger, they attack at an additional +1, and their AC has a penalty of -1 to AC. Total mods are +3 bonus to hit and +1 bonus to AC. 

They are not spellcasters and even if they were they are far too hungry here to use spells.

These vampires will not talk to the characters but they will communicate with each other in their own language (not a "vampire" language, but what they spoke before turned).

The vampires have twice the normal amount of treasure. 

The leader has a large iron key for a door at the end of this tomb.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder (2015)

Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder (2015)
 I always do some sort of documentary every October Challenge. This year, I picked one that has been on my list for bit.  This one is not only covers my documentary criteria but also today's theme of Man is the Worst Monster.

Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder (2015)

Part 1 covers the start of the Witch craze (1600) in the British Isles with King James VI and Bailiff David Seaton. 

The torture of Gillis Duncan, Seaton's maid, which set off the witch hunting in Scottland was bad enough but it was a domino effect that killed 100s of innocents. This includes Agnes Sampson who is often considered to be the "witch" that convinced King James VI of Scotland (Later King James I of England) that witches were a threat.

There is some good coverage of the Malleus Maleficarum, but mostly it focuses on the more "local" Demonologie by King James.

Presented by Suzannah Lipscomb a professor emerita of history.  Reading over her CV I am pretty impressed to be honest. 

This one also spends some time on the Pendle Hill witches, a particularly dark time of the English witch trials.  

Part 2 large focuses on Mathew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General. We are now in the reign of King Charles I and the British Civil War. The conditions were right to bring about the likes of Hopkins. There is a level of cruelty here that I can scarcely believe. Scratch that. I can believe it. I have been reading this stuff for years. Humans suck.

A direct line is drawn between King James to Hopkins to as far away as the Salem Witch Trails.

By my count this accounts for few hundred murdered. 

Far worse horrors than any horror movie I watched so far.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 32
First Time Views: 22

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 29

 Moving out into the cavern, it becomes obvious right away that is not just a cave, but an open tomb.

Room 29

Inside this tomb are five dwarven mummies. Their bodies have been corrupted by the necrotic energies here and their former lives are forgotten. They now only are here to protect the sentences to the Vampire Queen's tomb.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 28

 Moving across this expanse the party finds another large cave mouth. But before they can get to it there is a guardian in the way.

Room 28

Standing guard at the cave mouth is an undead dragon. It does not speak, or cast spells but still has all the other abilities of a blue dragon.

This was the personal steed of the Vampire Queen. He was killed during the third war of the Dwarves and the Vampire Queen so she left him here to guard her tomb. These details can be discovered on a plinth erected in his honor. This is where his treasure horde is as well and used to keep him here even after death. He has twice the normal amount.

October Horror Movie Challenge: Fear Street (2021)

Fear Street Part One: 1994
Man. Covid-19 sucks. I lack the brain power to properly review these, but I am going to try.

Fear Street is a trilogy of movies released to much hype on Netflix back in 2021. All three are set in the twin towns of Sunnyvale and Shadyside, and the curse of Sarah Fier the local witch, back in 1666. 

The three movies take place in three different times: 1994, 1978, and 1966.  All focus on serial killers attacking and killing Shadysiders every few years, giving it the nickname the Murder Capital of USA. While Shadysiders go crazy and kill each every few years, Sunnyvale has remained crime-free since it's inception.

Fear Street Part One: 1994

We get some background on the Sunnyvale/Shadyside history in the opener and go right into the first murder/killing.  Sadly it is Heather Watkins, played by Maya Hawke. I was looking forward to seeing more of her in this. We shift focus to Shadysider Denna (Kiana Madeira), who is in the midst of a break-up with "Sam." We don't know who Sam is yet, but Deena has some strong feelings, and her friends don't want to run interference for her anymore. There is a memorial for Heather, a Shadysider, and when learn (largely from Deena's brother Josh (Benjamin "Lil' P-Nut" Flores Jr.) that it is only Shadysiders that get killed.  The Shadysiders are there (high school mascot The Witches) and only the Sunnyvale (high school mascot The Devils), but a fight breaks out.  We also learn that Sam is short for Samantha. Sam has stayed in the closet (a much bigger deal in 1994) and moved to Sunnyvale.

While driving back in their bus the Shadysiders are harassed by some Sunnyvalers, with Peter, Sam's new boyfriend, driving. Deena decides to throw out the ice from their cooler, but a spontaneous bloody nose (that she and Sam both get) causes her to drop the cooler and Peter wrecks his car. Sam gets hurt and falls out and bleeds into Sarah's hidden grave.

Now Sarah's curse is in full force and former, previously dead, killers begin to hunt down Denna and her friends, but in truth just Sam. 

While trying to fight the monsters after them they discover more about Sarah Fier and how there was one survivor who saw the witch, C. Berman, from the Camp Nightwing Massacre, in 1978. However, they discover she survived because she had technically died and the killings stopped.  So all they have to do is kill Sam, stop the witch, and bring her back.  They manage to do that and the sheriff, Nick Goode, decides to put the blame on Deena's friends Simon and Kate, since they were known drug dealers. It is obvious Nick knows a lot more than he lets on. 

Later Deena and Sam, reconciled, are back at Deena's but Sam is possessed by Sarah Fier. They subdue her when they get a phone call from C. Berman. 

Fear Street Part Two: 1978
Fear Street Part Two: 1978

This one starts where Part One left off. We now meet C. Christine Berman. She was the only survivor of the Camp Nightwing killing in 1978. 

In 1978, Christine, then called "Ziggy" (and played by Sadie Sink) is a Shadysider fighting with her sister Cindy (played by Emily Rudd) and has a mild crush on Sunnyvaller Nick Goode. That is until Cindy's boyfriend, Tommy, starts killing everyone. 

At first, the camp nurse tries to kill Tommy saying that one way or another he will die. Ziggy finds a book the nurse had kept detailing locations of where Sarah Fier had been buried with notes on what these places are in 1978. Also notes from when her own daughter had been the Shadyside killer years ago.

Using the nurse's map, Cindy discovers an ancient ritual area they believe to have belonged to Sarah Fier, and she even discovers Sarah's hand. They come up with the plan to reunite Sarah's hand with her body and hope that stops the supernatural killings. Ziggy and Cindy, racing against all the killers run to the hanging tree where Sarah was hung and then buried (but we know she isn't there) they bury the hand and then...nothing. They are both killed by the killers who then disappear. Nick Goode runs up and manages to save Ziggy and bring her back. 

Back in 1994, with this new news, Deena and Josh go to the mall (where the hanging tree is) dig up the hand, and rush it out to where the car cashed in the first movie. Deena touches the body of Sarah Fier and suddenly is transported to 1666.

Fear Street Part Three: 1666
Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Back in 1666 and Sarah Fier is living in the town of Union. We are seeing her as if she were Deena, but her reflection is still Sarah's. The townsfolk of Union (the township before it split into Sunnyvale and Shadyside) are a mix of actors from the previous two movies.  Sarah and the other girls in town know of "the old widow" and think she is a witch. They investigate her home hoping to find some herbs for their late-night party. Here Sarah discovers a book of black magic. The witch catches them, and sends them running.

At the party that night we learn that Sarah is also in love with Hannah Miller, the pastor's daughter. While at the party they sneak off to make-out. If this was a social problem in 1994, in 1666 it was enough to get them accused of evil practices...which is exactly what happens here.

The next day Pastor Miller locks all the children in the church, when Solomon Goode breaks in he discovers that Miller has killed all of the children, plucked out all their eyes including his own and left them in a pile on the floor. The townspeople discover it and think that Sarah and Hannah have placed a curse on them as "witches."

They capture Hannah and plan to hang her in the morning. Sarah decides if they are going to hang her as a witch she might as well be a witch, so she goes out to the widow's hoping to get her book on black magic only to find her murdered and the book gone.  She discovers that Solomon Goode has it and had used it to summon devils to do his bidding. 

Sarah, now captured by Solomon, is accused of witchcraft. She will be hung. She promises Solomon that she will haunt him and his offspring until her innocence is proven. She exonerates Hannah so she won't hang, but is hung herself.  After she is dead, her friends come and dig her up and rebury her elsewhere in secret. 

Fear Street Part One: 1994, Part 2

The last part of this movie takes us back to 1994. Deena, now back to herself, knows everything. It was never Sarah Fier that had cursed the twin towns of Sunnyvale and Shadyside but the Goode family's deal with the Devils to be prosperous with the sacrifice of Shadysiders. They learn that they need to kill Sherif Goode.  Break the line and break the curse. The trouble is Goode has figured out they know.

They lure Goode and the resurrected killers out to the mall with more of Sam's blood. 

Not spoil more than I have; Deena gets to the Satanic altar and is caught by Sherrif Goode. They fight, and Goode falls into the pile of collected (and still living) organs. He begins to hallucinate about all the killers. While distracted, Deena kills him. With the Sherrif dead, the curse is broken. Sam is freed and suddenly crime begins happening in Suunyvale.

Sam comes out to her mother, and Josh finally meets the girl he had talking to online and everyone lives happily ever after.  That is until someone steals the satanic tome.

So this trilogy has pretty much everything this month's Challenge is looking for. First Time Watch, Summer Camp, Slasher, New Movie, We Are Weirdos, Teen Angst, Horror Comedy, Best Soundtrack (seriously 1994 and 1978 were both great), and Man is the Real Monster. So yeah. 

Plus they were all really good flicks, a lot of fun and each one captured their time periods and their genre's perfectly. 

The actors were all great, and I kinda hope we get to see Fear Street, Part 4 and more (there are like 100 of the Fear Street books by R. L. Stein).

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 31
First Time Views: 21

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Friday, October 27, 2023


 Hey all. Gotta hit pause here.  I am down with Covid-19 and feel like shit.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 27

 Going back to the other hidden entrance this one leads to a corridor that leads out of the mausoleum.

Room 27

This leads out into a larger cavern.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 26

 Returning to the Room #9 entrance, two other entrances are only visible when coming from this direction. The first is on the right.

Room 26

The dwarven rune above the entryway proclaims this is the "Libary of the Dead."

There are several rune tablets here detailing the history of the clan and their wars with the Vampire Queen.  Only the first two wars are discussed here; they lost the third war.

There is 50,000 xp worth of knowledge here if the party had several days to read it all. They can't move the tablets out due to their weight. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Review: The Last Sabbath RPG

The Last Sabbath RPG
 It's Halloween, and of course, I am always looking to add more spooky games to my collection. If they are witch-themed, then all the better.  Today, I am reviewing the Last Sabbath RPG.  I featured the Kickstarter last year and received my books this past summer.  It is a gorgeous piece of work, but is it a good RPG? Let's find out.

Last Sabbath RPG

Design by Atropo Kelevra and Valentino Sergi. Art and illustrations by Loputyn (Jessica Cioffi). The game was based on Loputyn's artistic vision. Paperback, saddle stitched book. Black & white (with red foil covers). 48 pages.

This is the English translation of the original Italian RPG. 

Last Sabbath is a Masterless, Journalling RPG for 1 to 7 players. Masterless in that no one player is the game master and journalling since the players will write down what their characters (all witches) will do in each scene.

Now, I am not overly familiar with playing Journalling RPGs, but I know what they are in concept. 

In this game, the players all play new witches who have gathered together in a Coven. Why? Well, that is what everyone will find out together. I say up yo seven people since that seems to work well with the structure of the game, but 4 might be more wieldy. It can also be done as a solo RPG experience.

The game offers many aids to move the players (and the characters) along. If this is the Coven's first time playing or this is a solo effort, then the authors suggest using the Scene Prompts instead of the divination techniques. That is a good idea, but the divination techniques add a bit of randomness to the game that I quite like.  So, at this point, what is required of the players are these rules, notebooks to journal in, a d6, and maybe some divination tools. More on those later. While a fancy journal would be a nice touch here, a regular notebook is also good. Since you will be sacrificing memories here as part of game play it is somewhat cathartic to write them down and then tear out the page.

The game setting is whatever you want it to be. That and the nature of the witches involved are entirely up to the players. 

Safety tools are recommended because this game encourages you to push the boundaries. It is all part of the idea that magic is both a gift and a curse. Bad things are going to happen to your character. 

Last Sabbath RPG

Game Play

The game is divided into Seven Scenes. The Call, Initiation, Danger, Investigation, Revelation, Threat, and Epilogue.  Each scene is then divided into 3, 5, or 7 turns (players' choice). When all players have done their Turn, you move on to the next one.

At the end of every scene, one of the Records (what the player wrote down) becomes a Memory. Memories can be sacrificed for Power to fuel their magic. But removing the wrong memory can cause a witch to forget why she is part of the coven. 

Turns are covered with some examples of a 3-round game plane for a Scene. 

Guidelines for play follow. Witches can ask one question of a fellow witch once per turn or answer a question on their turn. If a Power is used, then the affected witch must respond to that power on their turn. 


Without magic, the characters are just people sitting in a circle. And while that would be a fine game, not one I would review here. Power is what makes witches witches.  Power comes in the forms of a Charm, Spell, or an Incantation, each with great effects and greater costs. Some incantations, for example, can cost the witch her life. So yeah, power comes at a cost. Some examples of powers are given, including origin and types. But the details are left to the players to figure out. 


This just gives us a brief idea on how they are to be used. Details are given later with the various types of divination tools.

The Scenes

Half-way through the book we reach the Scenes, or how the game progresses. Anything can happen in a scene including the death of a witch. Players should not worry about that since they can introduce a new witch in the next scene.   Each scene is given some guidelines in the form of leading questions and some prompts. For example, for Scene 1: The Call, one of the prompts is "A call for help is heard in your mind" (paraphrasing). Witches can choose or they can roll a d6. 

All the scenes are handled in similar fashions, with Scene 7: Epilogue as the adventure conclusion. 

Divination Tools

This section covers various divination tools which are broken down by tool with examples for each scene. These include Tarot, Rune stones, Mikado, and Tea Leaves.

Tarot is likely going to be the goto, but there is a certain charm to the Tea Leaves, especially if you have plenty of tea on hand while playing.

Last Sabbath - Grimoire

by Atropo Kelevra and Valentino Sergi. Black & white art with red. 36 pages.

This is a Kickstarter add on for the Last Sabbath RPG. It has additional thematic prompts for the LAst Sabbath RPG. At first I was curious why it was not added to main RPG. But reading through I see why, the prompts are great but should be used sparingly since they could force the game into a direction not set by the players. They are perfect when the players might want some advice on what to do nest, or even for a second play through.

The art of this book is not from Loputyn, though it is good in its own right.

Last Sabbath RPG

Thoughts on this Game

My experience with games like this are a little limited. But this looks like fun and would work great in the hands of the right group. I see this as a good way to spend a rainy afternoon with some like mind friends over pots of hot tea. Save the Dr. Pepper and Doritos for D&D night. This is for orange zest scones and black tea. 

If you are the type that wants really crunchy rules, then I would say this not the game for you. But I recommend you at least check out something like it. 

Thoughts on the Art

The art is striking, evocative and perfect for the feel of this game. This is expected since the game grew out of the artistic vision of Loputyn (Jessica Cioffi). The art might be considered risqué to American audiences, but for European ones, I am sure this is just slightly above comic book fare. 

Art of Last Sabbath

Use as a Session 0

Back when I first talked about this game, I mentioned it as a possible Session 0 for my War of the Witch Queens. I am more convinced about that than ever. 

In fact, I can see this game being interspersed with War of the Witch Queens adventures. Since the overall arc of that campaign is to discover who murdered the High Queen of Witches. 

Tea with the Witch Queens by Brian Brinlee
Tea with the Witch Queens by Brian Brinlee

I have some major NPCs (all posted with stats) that enter into the tale/campaign. For my play test of this I took them and put them all through a couple of scenes of this game to figure out what their motivations will be. It was quite fun, to be honest.

I can also see it working as a Session 0 for a NIGHT SHIFT game consisting mostly of witches. 

While I have the Smith-Waite Tarot deck pictured above, the perfect deck for this will be released next month: the Loputyn Oracle. It is published by Llewellyn Publications, pretty much THE publisher for all things mystical and witchy. Though it only has 32 cards, it should be fine for this game to be sure.

There is a lot of things I can use this game for, and I am looking forward to trying them all.  Now. time to put the kettle on.


Where to buy

Creative Team

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 25

 A hidden door in this tomb leads to a less ornate tomb with seven sarcophagi. 

Room 25

These tombs belong to the other members of the Dwarven Coven. Per tradition, there are Eight Xothia per coven, and they are interred separately from the rest of the clan. 

If these tombs are disturbed they will cause the witches inside to rise and attack. There are seven (7) Zombie witches.  Unlike their high-priestess these witches died when the Vampire Queen attacked, thus the make-shift appearance of this tomb.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Wrath of Becky (2023)

Tonight is Slasher movies. I used to enjoy these more as a kid than I do now. Dumb people in horror movies making dumb mistakes. BUT I did find one to fit the bill and I had been looking forward to seeing it anyway.  Yup tonight is Wrath of Becky.

Wrath of Becky (2023)

Look. If you hurt or take someone's dog, make sure their name isn't John Wick or Becky. Because they will fuck you up.

Becky (Lulu Wilson, who was SO good in this) is back. She has bounced around foster homes and has been in and out of the system for three years now.  When not running away or hitchhiking, she is in the woods training. Running, exercising, throwing knives, and sometimes falling into her own pit traps. She is living with Elena Cahn (Denise Burse), who treats her with respect, doesn't ask her about her past, and does laugh when Becky falls into her pit traps.

While working as a waitress, Becky overhears a bunch of misogynistic incel types going on about women. Becky, who has progressively more violent fantasies, spills a hot coffee on one of them.

The trouble is they follow her home and attack her. Becky is about to fight them when she gets her dog, Diego, to attack. But one of them knocks Diego out. Elena shows up with a shotgun, but lead douchebag Anthony kills her instead. They knock out Becky and take her dog. 

When Becky wakes up, Elena is dead, and Diego is gone. She buries Elena and goes hunting for the douchebags. She had heard them talking about how they were meeting up with the leader of the "Noble Men" (think Proud Boys here) and she has a name, Darryl. After a false start she finds them and overhears Darryl talking about a flash drive with all members of the Noble Men on it.  They are planning to start an insurrection and kill a local Congresswoman.  

She rings the bell and leaves a phone. Darryl, learning what happened, sends Anothny out to deal with her.  Becky manages to subdue him and shove a grenade into his mouth. When Darryl opens the door it blows Anothny's head off.  She shoots another with a crossbow and in frustration, Darryl shoots and kills one of the guys that took her dog while the other escapes.

There is some back-and-forth with Darryl and Becky exchanging quips and violence. Eventually we learn that the first Darryl she found was this Darryl's mother AND the founder of the Noble Men.

Becky manages to kill son Darryl in a series of bear traps, and Darryl mother by throwing a knife and embedding it in her brain.  She is brutal.

As an epilog we see Becky in an office. Long story short she is going to be the youngest recruit of the CIA because she single-handedly brought down the largest growing domestic terrorist organization in the country.

This was a very satisfying sequel to Becky. If they do another one then might I suggest "Beck: The Search for Diego."

Lulu Wilson is great. She pulls of the sweet teen when she needs to, angry sullen teen, and bat-shit crazy blood-lust monster.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 28
First Time Views: 18

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

D&DGII The Black Forest Mythos: Helga, Goddess of Witches, Ghosts and Magic

Helga is likely one of the Goddesses I have thought about the most. She is the goddess of witches, ghosts, and magic. She is the syncretized goddess of Hecate of the Greek/Roman myths and the Norse Hel and Heiðr, and the Germanic Frau Holt/Holda. This also ties her closely to Mother Goose and Grimm fairy tales.  

Additionally, I have been using her as a character in my Wasted Lands games. This has allowed me to build her up from the ground up; Hecate and Hel are just her "backstory."  So, part of this write-up will be based on the myths and legends and all the rules I have for them AND some in-game ideas I have had.


Helga is interesting one for me since her genesis really predates this project during a time I was working on creating new gods and goddesses for my home campaign. Some of that creation continues on in this project. In particular they formed my ideas on Großvater & Großmutter (originally Ouranus and Gaia in my home campaign). Helga though remains largely intact from that time since she was always a mix of Hecate, Hel, and a bit of Ereshkigal. She was a dark Goddess of Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts. I have even kept her name intact.

As this project grew I pulled in more details from previous work I had done, namely writings about Frau Holle and other, older myths that fit under the umbrella of "The Crone" archetype.  Helga is very much the Crone, but she can appear at any age.

HELGA (Goddess of Magic, Ghosts, and Witches )
Intermediate Goddess

MOVE: 18" / 24"
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Aura of Darkness

SIZE: M (5' 6")
ALIGNMENT: Neutral (Evil)
WORSHIPER'S ALIGN: Any (those who use magic, witches, undead)
SYMBOL: Image of the Goddess' face
PLANE: Hölle

CLERIC/DRUID: 20th level in each
MAGIC-USER/ILLUSIONIST: 20th level in each
WITCH/WARLOCK: 20th level Witch
S: 10 I: 22 W: 24 D: 18 C: 18 CH: 20

Helga is the Witch Goddess, the Ghost Queen, and the Crone of the Trinity.  She knows all secrets since they are whispered to her by the dead.  Thus she knows all the secrets of magic. She is the guardian of the crossroads and the gates of Hölle, where the dead reside. 

Helga will often appear as an older woman wearing simple robes of black. Her face is often hidden in shadow so that only part of it can be seen; her mouth or eyes. During the winter months, she will be seen wearing a crown of dried branches and leaves. 

As the goddess of magic and witches, she knows every spell since they are whispered to her by the dead. She can cast two spells per round as she chooses. She casts as a 20th-level spellcaster. She can also command undead to do her bidding as if she were a 20th-level cleric. She can speak to the dead at will.

Helga is the mistress of magic, therefore she is immune to the effects of any spell of third-level or lower. This includes any area of effect spells.  For spells of fourth-level and greater, she has a saving-throwing bonus of +3.  She is also surrounded by an aura of darkness that obscures her features and provides protection. When active, she gains a +4 to saving throws and a +4 bonus to AC. This is in addition to her normal saves. 

Animal: Hounds
Rainment: (Head) circlet of dead leaves and branches (Body) Simple garments of black. Robes of black
Color(s): Black
Holy Days: Samhain, Winter Equinox, Beltane
Sacrifices: Animal sacrifice at the Equinoxes. Animals are burned to ash. Milk left out each night.
Place of Worship: Graveyards and Crossroads.

Her faithful hound is Heuler, the Guardian of the Gates of the Dead.


Heuler ("Howler") is the syncretized guardian of the Underworld ("Hölle"). He combines elements of Cerebus, Hell Hounds, and the various wolves of the Norse/Germanic mythology, in particular Garm.

MOVE: 24" 
HIT DICE: 22+88 (187 hp)
% IN LAIR: 100%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 bite, 2 claws
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 4d10 + Poison/Disease, 1d8+4, 1d8+4
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +3 or better weapon to hit
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: L (18' at shoulder)

Heuler is a monstrous wolf-hound hybrid monster that stands 18' tall. His fur is soot black, his eyes burn with hellfire, and his jaws drip with poison. He is tasked with making sure none enter Hölle that do not belong, and none leave once they are inside.

He attacks with his massive jaws biting with 4-40 hp worth of damage. Each bite carries a rotting disease similar to mummy rot. Victims must save vs. Poison or contract this rotting disease. It is treated the same as Mummy Rot. He can also attack with his massive claws for 5-12 hp worth of damage each.

Three times per day, Heuler may howl to summon the dead to aid him. After he howls he will be joined by 3d12 wights who will fight whoever the beast is fighting. These wights will fight till destroyed.

If Heuler is killed then one of his pups will be elevated to the position of the new Guardian of the Gate. 

A Reminder Note About Translations

I have had a few comments from people saying my translations are "off."  While that is true, it is also on purpose. I am not looking for a perfect translation into modern German here. I am looking for something that common folk might have called these (See Rule #2) AND something I would have written in 1985-6 when my only resource was my High School German textbook and dictionaries (See Rule #3). So yeah, there are proper ways to translate these, but that is not what I want to do here.


RPG Blog Carnival

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 24

 There is a secret door near the tomb of Ferner Morgenstjernen.  This leads down a flight of stairs. 

Room 24

This is another Morgenstjernen tomb. This tomb belongs to Hilde Morgenstjernen, the Xothia or Dwarven Witch of the clan.

Her Book of Shadows is carved into the walls of her tomb. A magic-user can spend time here copying the text. There are: 

  • 1d8+3 first-level spells 
  • 1d8+1 second-level spells
  • 1d8 third-level spells
  • 1d6+1 fourth-level spells
  • 1d6 fifth-level spells
  • 1d4+1 sixth-level spells
  • 1d4 seventh-level spells
  • 1d4 eight-level spells.

 These are worth 100 xp each per level.

There are no other treasures here.

Monday, October 23, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Lost Boys (1987)

I talked about this one a bit back when I reviewed Near Dark.  I have to admit that this is the movie I first thought of when I saw that Best Soundtrack was a category.

Lost Boys (1987)

Ok. So I did do this one back in 2014. A lot, if not all, of what I said then still hold true. The movie holds well. Yeah there is some fast and loose play with the rules of vampirism here, but honestly it is still a great film.

Let's talk about that soundtrack.

There are so many great hits here. Many are covers, but for some reason it works fine. 

We have Roger Daltrey of the Who singing Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," and for the longest time, I preferred this version. I was on a big Who kick then.

INXS practically made this one of their unofficial albums and I think added to their success of Kick, also out in 1987. Their song  "Good Times" was a cover of a 1960s song. 

The big covers were Echo and the Bunnymen's cover of The Door's "People are Strange," which gave the Doors some newfound fans in my generation (yes, we knew about them before). And the big one, Tim Capello's cover of The Call's "I Still Beleive."  Tim Capello is still out there touring, too, and I guess he is like one of the chillest guys ever. 

The original songs include the "title song" "Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys)" by Lou Gramm, and the real title song, "Cry Little Sister (Theme from The Lost Boys)" by Gerard McMann.  

I have a lot of really fond memories of this album that coincide with my freshman year in college.  It is the soundtrack I'd put to write vampire material. Kinda wish I still had some of that stuff. It might not have been (it wasn't, I am sure), but for nostalgia value.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 27
First Time Views: 17

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Hautveränderer

The Romans, Norse, and ancient Germanic peoples all had many monsters that haunted their fears and tales. But they all at least one monster in common, and that was the werewolf.

The first recorded werewolves in a recognizable form in myth and legend go back to the Greeks and Romans. One could argue that the go back even further, but Greek and roman are fine for this project. Indeed we get the word "Lycanthrope" from the Romans. In particular from Ovid in his Metamorphoses and his tale of King Lycaon.  The Norse and Germanic people gave us the berserker, or berserkr, meaning "Bear Shirt." These were a class of warriors that could turn into bears or had the ferocity of bears in battle.

Tales of humans turning into animals are as old as humans and animals. Many shamanistic practices are based on this. For today's monster then I am looking for less of a syncretism and more of a synthesis.

In Norse and Germanic myths, the Werewolf is known as the "werwolf" not much difference there. But in Roman myth such creatures were known as "skin changers" or "skin turners."  Translate that back to German and we have today's monster, the Hautveränderer.

MOVE: 24" 
HIT DICE: 7+1 (32 hp)
% IN LAIR: 10%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2 Claws, 1 bite
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4/1d4/1d6
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Bloodlust, Rend (2d8)
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +1 or better weapon to hit
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: M (6')

Hautveränderer are human fighters, most often Berserkers (qv Monster Manual, p.67), who can assume the form of a large wolf or bear. They do this by using a special skin of the animal they wish to transform into. The hautveränderer's skin must be of an animal they killed and then prepared by a shaman. They don the skin, which must be touching their flesh to transform. 

They attack with two claws and a bite. Any natural 20 roll on their claw attacks will result in a rending attack, 2d8 instead of 1d4. If successful, they can make two rend attacks per round. 

Hautveränderer live for battle and are subject to bloodlust once they have made a successful attack. They must make a saving throw vs. Paralysis, if they succeed, then they continue as before. If they fail, then they succumb to the blood lust and attack everything, friend or foe, until none are alive. They are allowed a new save at the start of their next attack. Success means their lust has ended. While in blood lust, they attack at +2 to hit.

Their magical hide also offers some magical protection, so only +1 or better weapons can pierce it.

If killed, there is a 10% chance that their hide survived the attack enough to be reused. Any character seeking to reuse the hide must seek out a shaman to bind it to its new owner. While killing a hautveränderer is typically a good enough reason to have this skin, some shamans might not look favorably on the one who did the killing if they were from the same clan.

They are not true lycanthropes, so they cannot pass on their curse, nor are they affected by the moon's phases.



RPG Blog Carnival

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 23

 This tomb belongs to Siln Morgenstjernen. 

Room 23

This tomb belongs to Siln, who according to her marker was the chief alchemist of the clan. This tomb appears to have been broken into at some point in the past. There is a secret alcove under the sarcophagus but it is empty.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Viking Wolf (2022)

Viking Wolf (2022)
 It's werewolf night! It's always a fun time and tonight's flick was a joint choice with my wife. She loves Viking shows and movies from Norway and Sweden, and we both like werewolves.

Viking Wolf (2022)

Originally called "Vikingulven." This one starts out great with a Viking raid on a monastery in Normandy in 1050 AD. The Vikings kill all the priests, and they rescue a wolf pup.

Fast forward to today, where we meet Thale, a 17 year-old girl who just moved to Nybo, Norway with her mom from Sweden. Thale (Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne) is a moody teen; no shock. She doesn't like this town, she doesn't like her mom (the new deputy Liv played by Liv Mjönes), and she really doesn't like her stepdad.

She sneaks out to a party and witnesses two other students get attacked by something. A girl is killed and the boy she is with is mauled. 

Liv, with the help of a local animal expert, identifies the claw and bite marks as a wolf, a really large wolf.  The wolf attacks continue, and while Liv is focused on the killer she completely misses the fact that her oldest daughter is changing. 

They manage to kill the first wolf after it kills many people. Everyone thinks it is over until Thale begins to wolf out. 

 The movie is a touch slow and a bit predictable. I won't spoil the ending, but it was fun. More importantly, it gave me some fun ideas. 

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 26
First Time Views: 17

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge