Showing posts with label Chill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chill. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Mail Call: Chilling Worlds of Darkness

Part of my goal this year now is to expand my game-playing a bit more beyond the realms of D&D and the clones.  But I am not venturing too far afield.  In fact, of late, I have been turning back to some old friends.

Worlds of Darkness and Chilling Monsters

I have gotten these all in the mail over the last couple of days. 

Up first is an old favorite, Mage, in a new (to me) setting. Victorian Age Mage is based on the M20, Mage 20th Anniversary Edition, system/setting. I love Mage. I love the Victorian Age. So this one was a no-brainer for me when I saw it on DriveThruRPG's newest releases.

Victorian Verbena

The book looks great, and maybe for the first time ever in Mage, I'll consider playing a character from the Technocracy!

I am also getting back into a really old favorite of mine, Chill 1st Edition via Cryptworld.

I picked up the two latest adventures from Yeti Spaghetti and Friends designed for Chill 1.0 and Cryptworld. Horror in Hopkinsville is good old-fashioned 50s UFO paranoid fun (or is it...) and The Blood Countess features a new take on the Other Side favorite Elizabeth Bathory. These do not have print options yet, I picked these up from Yeti Spaghetti directly.

The Fright Night Classics adventures are fun and would make for great NIGHT SHIFT or Dark Places & Demogorgons adventures too. 

Yeti Spaghetti and Friends

Going through them reminded me how much I do love Chill. So I went back to look up some monsters. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I didn't have a copy in print of Monsters Macabre!

Monster Macbre

This one is from Goblinoid Games. Figure I'd toss them some coin while they work out what the next Labyrinth Lord will look like. 

So expect some more Chill/Cryptworld goodness from me soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Day 9 - What is the 2nd RPG you bought?

Ok. This one is up for some debate.

D&D and its variants of the time were all my "First" RPG.  I played them like they were all one game.  

My Second RPG?

That one was a bit fuzzier.  I know where I bought it though. It was from the Mail Order Hobby shop.  I know this because I am sure I bought them both at the same time because they were not available at my local book store.

It was either Chill or Traveller.  

Which one was Second?

For my "street cred" I will say Chill, but in my gut, I think it was Traveller. I do know that I did not get a chance to play either of them until much later in life. 

I still rather enjoy both games.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Character Creation Challenge: Chill 3rd Edition

Chill RPG, 3rd Edition
Jumping WAY ahead to the future today; at least in terms of the Dark Ages, to the magic time of the 1970s!  All my campaigns share a link in one way or another.  Adventures like "All Souls Night" may start with D&D or other FRPG, they eventually make their way to "Blight" (Ghosts of Albion) and "The Dark Druid" (Buffy).  Spirit of '76 is another good example.  It begins, oddly enough, in 1976 and with Chill.

The Game: Chill 3rd Edition

Spend any time here and you know I am very fond of Chill.  The first edition from Pacesetter came out of Minnesota. Second Edition from Mayfair was right here in the Chicago burbs.  Chill is Midwestern horror.  Not East Coast horror with it's ancient houses and older bloodlines. Not West Coast horror with new-wave vampires. Nor is it Southern Gothic, while very enjoyable, is not the same. 

No Chill is backwoods horror. Old decrepit house horror. Horror found on darkened roads between small towns. The horror I grew up with.  

My campaign for Chill was/is my Spirit of '76 game.  It was designed as a Chill mini-campaign over 4 days.  It was built up while I was playing a lot of WitchCraft and Buffy.  The idea was that supernatural occurrences, once rare, were picking up in intensity and frequency the closer we got to the new Millennium. This would later change to 2012 and then 2018 as real-time overtook these "future" events.  You can see some of that in my "Generation HEX" Nightworld in NIGHT SHIFT.   Originally this was going to be for Chill 2nd Edition, but even that time got away from me so now it is for 3rd Edition.  Thankfully the narrative in the new game follows the one I was creating.

Chill RPG all three editions

The Character: Megan O'Kelly

"Megan" began as "Stephanie" in an older game back when "Spirit of '76" was "Summer of Love" and taking place in 1968.  I wanted to keep Stephanie where she was but I wanted to do the Summer of 1976 instead, so Megan was "born."   She is a young grad student at UC-Berkeley. I imagined her with long straight hair and wearing bell-bottoms.  Something of a post-hippie 70s girl.  She called herself a "Craft worker" or a "cleanser" but never a "witch."  Her inspirations come from the Eric Clapton song "Bellbottom Blues" and Eliza Roberts from Animal House.  I changed the character because I wanted to bring in an older Stephanie at some point but I never did.

Megan is assigned to SAVE in 1976 to help a small band of operatives investigating the rise of supernatural occurrences in the South West to the Deep South.

Megan O'Kelly 
SAVE Operative

Attributes (80 pt build)
Agility AGL 50
Strength STR 40
Stamina STA 45

Focus FOC 60
Personality PSY 50
Willpower WRP 55

Dexterity DEX 40
Perception PCN 70
Reflexes REF 55

Sensing the Unknown STU 14

Skills (Specializations)
Movement (T) 50, Long Distance (E)
Prowess (T) 40
Close Quarters Combat 23

Research (T) 60, Academic (E), Occult (B)
Communication (T) 50
Interview 28

Fieldcraft 20
Investigation 35
Ranged Weapons 28

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive (2), Highly Attuned (1), Naïve (-2)

The Art
Protective School
Sphere of Protection (E), Mental Shield (B)

Sensing School
Clairvoyant (E)

To Know the Truth

So Megan is a recent UC Berkeley grad.  She is a clairvoyant and specializes in seeing ghosts and putting spirits to rest.  Her background is psych grad student so her academics are already at Expert (but not yet Master) and she ran track in High School, so she has some athletics, but not a lot. She is still a bit naïve about the world around her but she is not stupid. 

Third Edition Chill is really better at PCs learning "The Art" (magic) than previous editions, so I think this version really works out much better than previous incarnations of Megan/Stephanie.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Plays Well With Others: Night Shift and Modern Supernatural Games

I am a firm believer that a rising tide lifts all ships, and that other Game Designers are not my competition, but my colleagues.  I buy their games, they buy mine. We all benefit and we all enjoy.

Naturally, I also feel that a good gaming experience can be had by looking to see what others are doing and seeing what I can bring into my games when I am running them.

When we were working on NIGHT SHIFT we had a fairly strict "no looking at other games" policy.  We really wanted our game to have it's own unique feel and direction.  But that was last year, and now NIGHT SHIFT is out and I am pulling out all my other games to see what each one has that can help NIGHT SHIFT and what Night Shift has that can help them.

Old School Roots

Jason and I have worked on a lot of games. Both together and separately for dozens of publishers. But the one thing we both enjoy are old-school games. This doesn't mean we don't like new ones, quite the opposite in fact. But it is the old-school design aesthetic that keeps us coming back and saying "what else can we do with this?"  NIGHT SHIFT covers both halves of our RPG hearts.

The mechanics in NIGHT SHIFT (what we call O.G.R.E.S. or Oldschool Generic Roleplaying Engine System) are firmly rooted in the Old School mechanics of the world's first popular RPG system.  What does this mean? Well if you have been playing RPGs for any length of time since 1974 then chances are good you can pick up the rules for NIGHT SHIFT very, very quickly. 

Also, it means that out of the box, NIGHT SHIFT is roughly compatible with thousands of RPG titles. 

Appendix A of the NIGHT SHIFT book covers conversions between NS and the Oldest RPG, it also covers conversions between the O.G.R.E.S. of NIGHT SHIFT and the O.R.C.S of other Elf Lair Games products; namely Spellcraft & Swordplay and Eldritch Witchery.

It also covers 0e, B/X and BECMI style conversions. Converting then between NIGHT SHIFT and anything based on Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord for example is easy.

There are guidelines on how to convert classes, but since the classes have the same DNA as the ones in many of these clone games I am going to take the extra step and say, just play them as is.

So yeah, run a Sage in Labyrinth Lord.  Put a Chosen One in Swords & Wizardry.  In fact, I'd love to hear how this works for you.  This also gives you a good way to add a new supernatural species to your game.  What to play an Angel cleric? With NIGHT SHIFTS rules on supernaturals, you can. IT also makes a nice way to create something my Basic Games have needed, a Vampire Witch.  In NIGHT SHIFT this is easy.

Need more monsters? Grab any monster manual and you can be set to go. Monstrosities and Tome of Horrors Complete are only two examples but they give hundreds of monsters. More than you will ever need.

NIGHT SHIFT is not the only Modern Supernatural RPG out there based on old school roots.  So many in fact that my next one and others would have to constitute another full post to them justice.  But I will mention a couple.

DP&D is such a delight. It really is. I am very fond of this game and I still enjoy playing it.  On the surface it looks like DP&D and NIGHT SHIFT could be used to tell the same sorts of stories, and that is true to a degree, but that really underplays what makes both games special.  

NIGHT SHIFT covers adults (for the most part, I'll talk Generation HEX specifically) in a very dangerous supernatural modern world.
Dark Places & Demogorgons covers kids in a very dangerous supernatural world of the 1980s.

Both games are built on the same chassis and have similar cores.  One day I want to run a game where the Adults (NS) flashback to when they were Kids (DP&D).  Sort of like Stephen King's "It."
Or one could start out as a kid in DP&D progress a bit and then become an adult to continue on in Night Shift.

There is not a good One to One class correspondence between the games and nor would I want there to be.  A Jock (DP&D) might end up as a Veteran (NS) or even as a Chosen One (NS).  In truth, I would give any DP&D kid character some "free" levels in Survivor but allow them to keep some of the perks of their original DP&D class.  So Goths still see ghosts, Karate Kids still kick ass, and so on.  
Frankly, I think it would be a blast with the right group.   Maybe I should write a two-part adventure that covers both. A little like "It" but something very different.  Something "Strange" happened in the 1980s and now a group of characters have gotten back together in their old home town to stop it once again.  

I singled out Generation HEX since that one already covers kids.  I can see a game though were kids from AMPA (Academy of Magic and Paranormal Arts) have to work with the "normies" of DP&D to solve some great mystery.   Likely one that is affecting adults only.

I have also used monsters from the DP&D Cryptid Manual for NIGHT SHIFT many times.

Modern Supernatural

It is no great secret that I LOVE games like WitchCraft and Chill.  I have talked many times about my love of both games. Chill was my first Horror RPG and WitchCraft might be my favorite game of all time.  Jason and I met while working as freelancers for Eden Studios, the company that made WitchCraft.  We worked together on Buffy, Angel, and Army of Darkness.  I helped him with his All Flesh Must Be Eaten books and he helped me on Ghosts of Albion.  A lot of what is in NIGHT SHIFT came out of our conversations of things we wanted to do in those games.

I guess then it is not a shock or surprise that I see NIGHT SHIFT and the spiritual successor, at least on my shelves and table, to games like Buffy and WitchCraft.

Buffy and WitchCraft defined horror monster hunting for the 90s and into the 2000s.  NIGHT SHIFT takes this to 2020 and beyond.  With NIGHT SHIFT I want to be able to play anything those other games offered me.  Sure the playstyle will be different.  WitchCraft is more about the machinations of the Supernatural World.  The Gifted (WC) for example are all covered by the Witch Class in NIGHT SHIFT.  In WitchCraft though there is a HUGE difference between the Wicce and the Rosicrucians. In NIGHT SHIFT those differences would have to be played out by the players in role-playing.  NIGHT SHIFT also is more Normies and Weirdos vs. Dangerous Supernatural types. More like Buffy or Ghosts of Albion in that sense. 

All Souls Night

There is an adventure that I have been dying to finish, "All Souls Night."  It is part of a trilogy across time and distance that includes Ghosts of Albion's "Blight", Buffy's "The Dark Druid" and what I have been thinking of as D&D's All Souls Night.  Translating them all into NIGHT SHIFT makes this so much easier to run. 

Supernatural and Chill
Not the new version of "Netflix and Chill" but adapting the best monster hunter games. 

Chill has such a long history I could not do it justice here.  I love the game but one place it has always felt a little lacking for me is the ability to play a spell-caster.  The Supernatural RPG is the same way.  In truth, Supernatural RPG is the cinematic version of Chill.   I mean sure. If I wanted to play a spellcaster, or a witch, I still have Buffy, WitchCraft, Ghosts of Albion, and about 100 other games to do that.  Both Chill and Supernatural are solid "let's go hunt some monsters" games.  So is NIGHT SHIFT.

Adapting the style of either game is easy.  Having these games also gives your NIGHT SHIFT game a slightly edgier feel.

I have already shown that Supernatural characters like The Wayward Sisters and Charlie Bradbury can have new life in NIGHT SHIFT.  

Some games, like say Call of Cthulhu, fit their niche so perfectly that I would not want to run a "Mythos" game with NIGHT SHIFT, but I certainly could borrow ideas from CoC for my NIGHT SHIFT games.  

In many ways doing a Plays Well With Others and NIGHT SHIFT is a cheat.  One of my own design principles for the game was to make it as flexible as I could so it could cover a wide variety of game and play styles.  I am happy in my belief that we succeeded in that.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

#RPGaDAY2019: Evolve

Today's topic is Evolve.

I think most gamers would agree that their play style will evolve over the years.  How have their games evolved?

I have had the pleasure and the privilege to have run many games over many years. Decades really.

The way I played in the late 70s and early 80s is very different than what I was doing in the late 90s and early 2000s and those are both very different than today.

I think if I had to describe my growth or change (who knows if a change is better until you test it) it is not Evolution but rather Assimilation

Even in the very beginning, I was taking ideas from other games and making them part of my own game.

I have talked at length about my love of the RPG Chill.  I have also talked at great length of my love for story and character of Dracula.   I always wanted a vampire like Dracula in my games. But more than just the stats in the Monster Manual or the D&D Expert book.  A real, un-breathing, un-living character to go after the characters. Or, more to the point, the character to go after.

Enter Chill Vampires.

This book and the Vampyre mini-game from TSR gave me something D&D was not. A playable Dracula (and Elizabeth Bathory and Jackson Dela Croix and more) with Dracula's castle.  I worked it in and came up with a 13 HD version of Dracula and a brief adventure stolen from the pages of Marvel Comics version of Dracula.
Then in 1983 the Hickmans did it all several orders of magnitude better with Ravenloft.  So yeah I grabbed that and all vampires in my games became named NPCs.  There was no such thing as a random vampire, lich or spectre in my games after that.

I suppose then it is no surprise I ended up working on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG.

In a way, Ghosts of Albion is that assimilation in reverse. Starting with my then pinnacle of achievements (the Buffy line) and adding in elements from my past (Chill, D&D, and WitchCraft).

Even today I grab what I want from other games and mix as I need.  It is one of the reasons I have a Plays Well With Others feature here.  I have a new one coming up too that is a subset of that.  Can't wait to debut it.

This is also the reason I don't understand the attitude of "One True Wayism"  even if I didn't take material from other games in my playing I would still change over the years, so I know there is no one true way.  I have also worked on too many different games to believe that.

When I hear someone say "I only play D&D." or "I will never try game X." my first thought is "wow, how sad for you."  There are so many great games out there and even if I never play them all (and I couldn't possibly) that does not diminish their worth. Who knows, maybe the next love of my life is out there now sitting on someone's computer waiting to be published.  I might get to play it, but I will certainly adapt it for games.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Plays Well With Others: DP&D Cryptid Manual

There is just over a week to go for the Dark Places & Demogorgons Cryptid Manual and I have been enjoying the hell out of my preview copy.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s I devoured books about cryptids, monsters, and UFOs.  Honestly, when I wasn't reading books about the occult or witches, I was reading this stuff.
I guess that is one of the reasons why this book (and this game) hit such a nerve with me.

Plus I love monster books. Always have.

So naturally, I want to use this book everywhere I can.

First and foremost, the Cryptid Manual is 90% compatible with Swords & Wizardry White Box. There is not a lot of overlap in monsters, so this makes the CM a perfect monster book for S&WWB players.  Also, there are a lot of "new" monsters in S&W for the DP&D player/GM.  Who's to say that an alien life form could resemble an orc or a wyvern.

In fact, this is true for nearly every clone. The clone game provides monsters for DP&P and the Cryptid Manual provides new monsters for your clone of choice.  You just need to justify why they are there.

The tone of The Hero's Journey is different than the other Clones, but with a tiny bit of tinkering the adventure-centric tone of THJ can work with the dark conspiracy tone of DP&D.  I mean really, isn't a Bigfoot just another kind of forest spirit?  I bit like a wilder, but less evil, ogre or troll.

B/X Essentials is an interesting game and one I will delve into more on future posts.  There is essentially a B/X Essentials Monster Manual.  Either or both can be used with both or either game and all fit well.  I think the only overlapping monster is the Medusa, and they are close enough to each other as to be the same creature with local variations.
Both games have a monster Morale score.  I have not done the math to see if these morale scores are 100% compatible, but they feel that way and are based on the same Basic mechanic.
If you like either game then consider picking up the other monster book for even more monsters.

I think the claim that the Cryptid Manual is a good book for any OSR game is a solid one.
I have been wanting to add a Hodag to my games for YEARS.

Now adding this book to an OSR/Clone book is easy. The hard part is figuring out why or how Chupacabras are out running around with the likes of elves and dragons.

Something that might help is looking at other games that cover many of the same creatures and ideas.

Dark Places & Demogorgons holds the same place that is/was occupied by Chill.  I can pretty much take any Chill adventure I developed and re-run under DP&D.  The Chill Monsters book covers a lot of the same ground as the Cryptid Manual.  The advantage of picking up the Monsters book has more information on each creature and a few new ones.  The Cryptid Manual also has a few new creatures for Chill players as well.  For conversions, I would find similar creatures in the books and use that as a template.

Chill's focus is more international and more adult.  BUT a great idea I had was to play a Chill game with some investigators and do a "flashback" adventure of when they were kids using DP&D.  Players of both games should check out the other books for lots of ideas.

The same is true of Eden's Conspiracy X 2.0.

The focus is even more X-Files than Chill is.  There is also a greater focus on Extraterrestrials than in Chill.  Like Chill, there is a feeling that Con X might be the "sequel" of the DP&P game.  Again a fun idea would be to run a Con X game, but pull out DP&D for a "flashback" adventure to when the characters were all children. 

Think about it in terms of the X-Files.  You are playing Fox Mulder as an FBI Agent working on the X-Files (Con X), but the GM wants to go back and try playing Fox as a kid when his sister gets taken by Aliens (DP&D).  It could be a flashback, an alien device that makes him relive it or he is in therapy and his doctor tries memory regression.  There is a ton of different things you can do. 

The systems are not compatible, but I am pretty fluent in both systems and did some of the work already for my Sunny Valley, OH Buffy game.

So, yes the Cryptid Manual is a remarkablly useful and flexible book that I can already use for a dozen or so games, and I plan on doing so.  Hodags! Hodags in every game!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wayward Sisters for the Chill RPG

Yesterday I posted the stats the Wayward Sisters for the Supernatural RPG and I had a blast.   I always have a lot of fun doing these deep dives into characters.  So I figure what the hell.

The next logical choice, of course, is Chill.   Even in 1980 Chill was the monster hunter game.  Today's 3rd Edition Chill is if anything even more suited for a Supernatural-style game.  The changed point of view on magic, The Art, is a good fit to how Supernatural deals with magic.

In truth, I would love to see how something like SAVE would work in the Supernatural universe.  I am a huge of fan of Chill and I have been wanting to do a Supernatural / Chill crossover forever.  This is really is perfect.

Links lead to their pages on the Supernatural Wiki.

Jody Mills

AGL 60  Movement 30
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 55  Close Quarters Combat 28

FOC 50  Research 25
PSY 50  Communication 50
WPR 50  Interview 50

DEX 50  Fieldcraft 25
PCN 60  Investigation 60
REF 55  Ranged Weapons 55

STU 12

Skill Specializations
Stealth E 60
Lore E 55
Leadership E 80
Interrogation E 80
Drive E 55
Crime Scene E 90
Pistols E 85

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 1
Courageous 2
Decisive 1
Information Source 2
Natural Leader 1

Drive: To make sure no other families are destroyed by the monsters.

Donna Hanscum

AGL 50  Movement 25
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 50  Close Quarters Combat 50

FOC 60  Research 30
PSY 60  Communication 50
WPR 60  Interview 30

DEX 50  Fieldcraft 25
PCN 60  Investigation 60
REF 55  Ranged Weapons 55

STU 12

Skill Specializations
Stealth B 40
Knife Fighting B 65
Lore E 60
Interrogation E 80
Drive E 55
Crime Scene E 90
Pistols E 85

Edges and Drawbacks
Courageous 2
Hopeful 1
Information Source 2
Peace of Mind 2
Tough as Nails 2

Awkward 3

Drive: To protect the innocent.

Alex/Anne Jones

AGL 60  Movement 60
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 55  Close Quarters Combat 55

FOC 50  Research 25
PSY 60  Communication 50
WPR 55  Interview 28

DEX 55  Fieldcraft 28
PCN 65  Investigation 33
REF 60  Ranged Weapons 30

STU 13

Skill Specializations
Knife B 70
Lore E 55
Persuasion B 75
Drive B 43

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 2
Background 2 (Vampires lore and behavior)
Emergency Medic 2
Strong Stomach 1

Burned Out 3

Drive: Prevent anyone else from suffering like I did.

Clare Novak

AGL 60  Movement 30
STR 50  Prowess 25
STA 55  Close Quarters Combat 55

FOC 50  Research 25
PSY 70  Communication 70
WPR 60  Interview 30

DEX 60  Fieldcraft 30
PCN 60  Investigation 30
REF 60  Ranged Weapons 60

STU 12

Skill Specializations
Stealth B 45
Knife fighting E 85
Lore E 55
Deception B 85
Drive B 45
Larceny B 45
Crossbow E 90

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 1
Courageous 1
Inured 1
Tough as Nails 2

Drive: Destroy all the monsters that have harmed me.

Patience Turner

AGL 60  Movement 30
STR 60  Prowess 30
STA 60  Close Quarters Combat 60

FOC 70  Research 35
PSY 70  Communication 70
WPR 70  Interview 35

DEX 60  Fieldcraft 30
PCN 70  Investigation 35
REF 65  Ranged Weapons 33

STU 35

Skill Specializations
Stealth B 45
Thrown Weapon B 45
Melee Weapon E 90
Lore B 50
Empathy E 100
Drive B 45

Edges and Drawbacks
Attractive 2
Hopeful 1

Naïve 2

The Art
Sensing (PCN)
Premonition B 85
Prescient Dream B 85

Drive: Discover what the new world is about, how to use my powers and live through it.

Ok. Now, these are builds I can enjoy and get behind.  These would be some kick-ass characters to play.  Everything from Patience discovering what her own powers mean and what she can do, to Clare's unresolved anger issues and the new mother/daughter relationship to Jody (who is basically Clare in few more years).  Even Anne trying to put the horror of her life behind her to do something normal.

It would make for a great game and a great TV show.

Don't forget that Petition!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Old-School Style!

Have some great Old-School influenced Kickstarters today so get to it!

First up is +Stacy Dellorfano's Swords & Wizardry 3rd Printing

Now. I have been on record before about not liking this cover.  I have over the last two weeks had a change of heart.  But the bottom line is I am NOT the target audience for this.
Besides I love the idea of this book, I really want it to succeed.  The team that Stacy is rock solid and I am just dying to see what +Elizabeth Chaipraditkul will be doing for this. She is great.
So yeah, they might not need my support at this point, but they have it.

In more old-new-Old School news we are also are getting a new edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

I really, really love this game.  Just such an awesome vibe about it.  +Jeff Talanian did a fantastic job with the first edition boxed set and this new 2nd Ed hardcover is something I have been wanting for years.

I mentioned this one earlier in the week, but it can be repeated.

Chill 3rd Edition Monsters.  This should also be a great book.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reviews: The Children of Chill

For years now Goblinoid games has been rolling out Pacesetter branded products thanks to their acquisition of the Pacesetter rights.  In fact, they have been publishing Time Master longer than Pacesetter did.  Time Master was fun, but the Pacesetter game that I enjoyed the most was Chill.  But you all knew that.

Goblinoid Games has faithfully recreated the horror feel of Chill in three different and compatible games.  I am actually going to talk about these with the newest one, Cryptworld first.

Ethics in reviews statement: I purchased the PDFs and softcover versions of these books myself.  Though I was given special thanks in Cryptworld for some advice I gave on some early drafts of the game.  All links are affiliate links which allows me to buy more games.

90 pages, black & white interior, color cover.
Authors: Daniel Proctor (+Dan P) and +Tim Snider.
Cryptworld is the spiritual and brand successor to the first edition Chill game.  In many ways it represents what Chill could have become if it had not gone down the path of 2nd Edition and Mayfair games.  The Jim Holloway cover is very much in line with the original Chill boxed set.  In truth it is less "iconic" but I like it better.
The rules for the game are distilled down to their very essence.  This is for all purposes a "retro-clone" of Chill.  But it is more than that too.  Where Chill 2 was about fighting all sorts of creatures organized into the Unknown and Chill 3 is a modern monster hunting tale of SAVE; Cryptworld takes it back to basics of humankind versus the monsters.  This Kolchak the Night Stalker, Tales from the Crypt, Friday the 13th (TV Series), and all the wonderful tales of monsters and horror from the 80s.
Character creation is faster than I recall it being in Chill 1 or 2.  There are still plenty of options to create anytime of character you might want.  Like all versions of Chill you are not going to make Harry Dresden style characters (that's for Majus), but making the Winchesters is easy.
Goblinoid Games did not get the rights to SAVE, but that is fine really.  There is a section in the book covering other organizations that characters can belong too and all are worthy replacements for SAVE.  In particular, I want to run a game where all the characters are reporters for the Weekly Inquisitor.  That would be a blast really.
There are plenty of monsters, especially all the old favorites. There is also not a lot of duplication of monsters from other products so that is a nice value add.
There is also a great section on running games for the "Crypt Master" or CM. One of my favorite names for a Game Master ever.
Crypt Master is not just a spiritual successor to Chill, it is a worthy one.  If you have any materials from 1st or 2nd edition of Chill you will find them largely compatible with this game.

Monsters Macabre
64 pages, black & white interior, color cover.
This is a monster book. For use with Cryptworld, but also compatible with Majus, Rotworld and yes even Timemaster and 1st ed Chill.
There are so many good and new monsters here that it is worth it just for this alone. Really, there are such great things as the Mongolian Death Worm, the Batsquatch and plenty of old favorites.
The book is more than just monsters. There are plenty of great ideas on how to play and use these monsters in your game.  These sections are great for nearly any modern horror or urban fantasy game.
I rank it right up there with "Chill Things" in terms of utility for my games.

100 pages, black & white interior, color cover.
Author: Michael Curtis
Majus came out before Cryptworld and after Rotworld.  It uses the same Pacesetter system that all three games share with Time Master and 1st Edition Chill.  Majus though takes a different path and gives us a world of mages, magicians and high magic.  So in sense, everything I have always wanted in my own Chill games.  Like Cryptworld and Rotworld, the Pacesetter system is revised here to be quite easy to use.
What seperates Majus from the Cryptworld is not just the magic the characaters can now wield, but also the tone.  This is described as "Magic Noir" so think hardboilded detective stories mixed with a global magic conspiracy.  Whether you want to use this or not is upto the individual CM (in this case "Cabal Master") but I think you would be missing out on a really great feature of the game.
This game can also provide new background, magic and ideas for your Cryptworld games as well.
The monsters in this game are largely a different sort that what is found in Cryptworld, so buying both games will give you extra monsters and features.  There is some overlap, but that is mostly system related material.

64 pages, black & white interior, color cover.
Author: Daniel Proctor
Rotworld is one of the first of the modern horror games using the Pacesetter system from Goblinoid Games.  It is very much of the vien of humans vs. zombies found in All Flesh Must Be Eaten and shows like the Walking Dead.
Rotworld uses the old Time Master system that Proctor bought from Pacesetter. He did not however buy Chill, so he can't say it is compatible with Chill 1st Edition. But with some work it is and that is why I picked it up. I love Chill and plan to see what sort of goodness Rotworld could add to a Chill game. OR the other way around. Either way this small game (65 pages) packs a punch and shows that "Old School Gaming" is more than just making the next retro-clone of Holmes Basic or AD&D 1st ed.
There are not a lot of monsters in this book, outside of zombies, but there is plenty of text on character creation, combat and skills. There is a good Game Master section (Corpse Master, CM again) about how to setup and run a game. Rotworld is a fine game. It won't unseat AFMBE as the premiere Zombie survival game out there, but it is a lot of fun and great for an evening's distraction or even gathering up a bunch of friends with fond memories of gaming in the early 80s. For the price it really can't be beat. Actually it would still be a steal at twice the price.

I have the softcovers of these books but I am thinking of printing out the PDFs to put into a binder so I have everything I need in one place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Vampyres: Chill 3rd Edition

Back in the earliest days of this blog I did a week-long deep dive into the characters of Fran and Miriam from the 1974 version of Vampyres.  I worked them for a number of games, including Chill 1st Edition.

Well 2015 gave us not only a new edition of Chill but a new version of the Vampyres.  I thought it might be fun to update them.

For starters, we see some more "classic" vampire abilities from both women.  No fangs, but they can't be photographed. Fran also shows that she is very strong, stronger than humans, and can jump or fall from very high distances.  Both women are also really fast.  We see them avoiding sunlight and mirrors, but not sure if these cause them harm or not.
These vampires also do not seem to have a supernatural form, but one could argue that they can shift into a black mist.  Also, there is a sequence at the end where Miriam's eyes glow and Fran looks like she has wings, but this could also be part of a dream that Harriet has.


EWS: 105 (Deadly)
REF: 70
STA: 80
Injury: Superficial, Minor –10, Serious –20, Major –30, Critical –50, Lethal
Disciplines: Change Form (fog), Confuse, Dreamsend, Influence, Time Stop (Unique - Chill Core)
Aspects: Bane (mirrors), Parasitic, Special Weakness (sunlight, wood), Supernatural Speed, Sustenance, Unkillable, Unliving

Fran must rest eight hours to regain Stamina. Fran prefers to be underground when resting. She appears to be dead when resting; she does not breathe, has not heartbeat and her body is cold.

Fran needs to feed on least 2 quarts of fresh blood a week. She does not have to kill to get this blood, but she often does.

In combat, Fran uses a straight knife. She can attack once per round.


EWS: 100 (Deadly)
REF: 75
STA: 80
Injury: Superficial, Minor –10, Serious –20, Major –30, Critical –50, Lethal
Disciplines: Change Form (fog), Confuse, Influence, Time Stop (Unique - Chill Core)
Aspects: Bane (mirrors), Parasitic, Special Weakness (sunlight, wood), Supernatural Speed, Sustenance, Unkillable, Unliving

Miriam must rest eight hours to regain Stamina. Like Fran, she prefers to be underground when resting. She appears to be dead when resting; she does not breathe, has not heartbeat and her body is cold. Miriam is a light sleeper and can wake herself at the slightest noise.

Miriam needs to feed on least 2 quarts of fresh blood a week. She does not have to kill to get this blood, but she prefers to do so.

In combat, Miriam uses a straight knife. She can attack once per round.

Figuring out their stats is difficult since they don't do much to separate themselves into proper characters.  As the nominal "leader" I gave Fran the Dreamsend EWD since she is more often the lure for their victims. Both get the unique (uhh...ok) power of Time Stop, but I am going to rule that they can only use it together.

They avoid sunlight and sleep in a wine cellar, but I am unsure if sunlight harms them. I will say they can not use any of their of EWD while in sunlight.  They are still fast and strong, but can't use any other disciplines.

Given the upped level of violence in the new film I am not sure if my "Mayfairs" concept would work for them.  BTW a lot of people online are saying the newer movie has "upped the eroticism" over the 1974 version. I disagree. I think those people have only seen the edited version of the 1974 film.  

In the 1974 version, Fran and Miriam are more than just two women with a shared goal, they very much were partners.  In the 2015 version, I am not getting that vibe at all.

I am certain we will get more Evil Way Disciplines in the upcoming Chill Monster book.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Chill 3rd Edition

Readers here will know of my love for Chill.  It was one of the first non-D&D games I ever played  and to this day I have a soft spot in my art for it.  So it was with great pleasure that I purchased the 3rd edition of Chill last year.
Chill may not be the grand-daddy of horror games (that really is Call of Cthulhu) but it is certainly early in the parentage of all horror games.  Chill was doing things with monsters in the 80s that White Wolf would later get so much credit for in the 90s. Unlike CoC, the characters of  Chill had reasons to believe that they could defeat the monster.  There was more hope in Chill.

So what can we say about this new edition?

Let's start with the basics. I am reviewing both the PDF and the Hardcover book.
The books are 288 pages with full-color covers and full-color interior art.  The art is great mixing in photographs with art for full creepy effect. This is the "real-world" only beset by monsters. The art has always been a central feature of Chill and this edition really has some great art.  Even my wife, who is not really a gamer, was looking at and said it looked cool.
The hardcover is a nice hefty tome that would also look good on the coffee table, but the real fun is when it is on the game table.
(Note: This is another book where I would have liked a cheaper "spiral-bound" copy to lay flat on table)
The PDF is fully bookmarked and comes with a printer-friendly character sheet.  Though I prefer the heavy art sheet because they look so good.

The Forward details a little history of Chill. Nothing new to longtime readers of my blog. This is followed by a comic.  This gives an example of the Chill world. It's not bad, but I usually skip over these sorts of things.  Besides, Chill and I are old friends.

Introduction is the obligatory "this is a roleplaying game" bit, but it also gives you a brief overview of the game system.

If you are familiar at all with Chill then the system here is very familiar.  Percentage dice roll, roll under a target number. This number is usually a function of attributes, skills, and edges or drawbacks. Rolling doubles "33" or "55" is a really good or a really bad thing, depending on whether or not it was under the score you needed. The more you roll under the better.  This gives the game a different feel than most. There feels like there is more randomness (even though there isn't) and more drama (and there is).  This is a crunchy "cinematic" game. IF there can be such a thing.
There are simple, pass/fail tests, and tests that have levels of success.
There are also Tokens that can be used that represent tempory states. These are used in a similar fashion to other games "drama points" but have a more game-mechanical focus here.

I like that this information is right upfront and read first. It sets the tone for the game to come.

Chapter 1 deals with Character Creation. This is important because Chill is a character focused game.  In some games you fight monsters because they have the treasure and XP.  In Chill you fight the monsters because ever since you were a child you saw ghosts. You thought they were harmless till one of them killed your older brother...
There three character creation options. First pick a pre-made character, many are provided. Secondly you could pick a template such as "Anthropologist", "Detective" or "Thief" and modify them.  I expect to see more templates in future books.  Third, is of course, roll up your own character.  Roll up your attributes, skills and pick any Edges or Drawbacks you want.
Note to players of the 1st and 2nd editions. There are some changes here.  Among other things the Luck attribute is gone.

There is a discipline known as "the Art" that gives some characters a magical edge, but don't expect to play someone of Harry Dresden's ability here.  This is more Sam & Dean Winchester levels.  Which is perfect in my mind.

Chapter 2 covers SAVE.  SAVE or the Societas Albae Viae Eternitata, or The Eternal Society of
the White Way, named for their dedication to the good “white” force and opposition to the evil “dark” force.  SAVE is a central focus of Chill and all characters are considered to belong to it.  There is a lot of history here, both in the game world and in the real world.  There are even subtle nods to the history of the game itself here. "1990: Going Dark" is as much about SAVE as it is the Chill game itself.  "1998: The Renaissance of the Art" reflects also the growing popularity again of modern paranormal fiction in books, TV and movies.  For me I'd also add in some failed attempts at getting SAVE up an running again to parallel the failed attempt of Chill 3.0.  I love how the communications SAVE sends out adapt to the times. Hand written letters give way to typewriters to early emails to modern texting and chat software.  While the system maybe the heart of Chill, this is the soul.

Chapter 3 is dedicated to The Art, or is simple language Magic.  Given here are the different schools of the art and their disciplines.  While Chill 3rd Ed has more Player Character magic than the previous versions, the characters are still not going to be at the levels of say "Mage" or "WitchCraft" RPGs.  But this is fine really. These are supposed to be normal humans for the most part.  Also unlike CoC the Art here is mostly harmless. Note I say mostly, there are still dangers and magic always has a price.

Chapter 4 covers the Game System.  This details the material from the Introduction.  If you have played Chill before you will find a lot here that is familiar and somethings that are completely new.  There are plenty of good working examples.  This is the clearest version of the Chill rules to date.

Chapter 5 is for the Chill Master. This covers how to run the game, setting the mood and tone of the games.  If you have played any horror game before there is a lot here that is familiar, but there is also plenty that is new.  My own 2 cents here: Don't run Chill like you would run D&D or even Call of Cthulhu.  This game has it's own feel to it. Yes the stories you tell and the adventures you run can be done under a variety of systems and ways. To get the most out of Chill, play it like Chill.

Chapter 6 is a favorite of mine, Creatures of the Unknown. I will admit that when I picked up my copy at Gen Con last year I turned right to this chapter first to see if all my old favorites made the cut for the new edition.  Not all of them did, but there are plenty of old faves and new monsters here to keep any CM busy. The "Mean Old Neighbor Lady" is now properly a Hag, but most of the Vampires made it over including the "North American Vampire" and it's representative Jackson Jammer.
This chapter also includes the monster version of the Art, the Evil Way.

Finally, we end with Kickstarter backers.

Chill 3rd Edition is a great game and an improvement in pretty much every way over it's predecessors.  The book is great to look at, great to read and easier to play.  While parts of Chill still feel like they are stuck in the 80s or 90s in terms of tone and game design, there is enough new material here and enough refinements to bring this game into the 21st century.   Will it repalce Chill 1st Ed and 2nd ed in my heart?  No, I don't think it will.  Will it replace Chill 1st Ed and 2nd Ed on my game table?  Absolutely!  I'll use these rules from now on and supplement older material until Growling Door gets around to replacing them.  Though I have my doubts they will replace Chill Vampires in my heart!

Time I think to dust off my "Spirit of '76" game.

Full disclosure:  All links are affiliate links. I bought both the PDF and Hardcopies of this game.  No free copies were given and no reviews were solicited.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kick Start Your WEEK: Monstrous Monday Edition

Today let's Kickstart Your Week and have out Monstrous Monday all in one.

Up on Kickstarter is Monsters - A Sourcebook for Chill Third Edition Horror RPG.

Spend any time here and you know there are two things I REALLY love.  The Chill RPG and Monster books.
This gives me both in one great book.

The new Chill is a joy to read and it is visually stunning.  I am expecting no less from this book.  A quick look at the art also assures me this will be the case.

Chill Vampires remains one of my most favorite sourcebooks to this day.  If this book is half as good as that, then it is well worth the price.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: Chill Quickstart - Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Chill Quickstart: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

I am woefully behind on all my reviews.  None am I more late on than reviewing what should have been something I jumped on right away, Chill 3rd Edition.

I was very disapointed when I saw that Chill was not up for a ENnie for Best Game this year.  The consolation though is that the rather excellent Quickstart for Chill is up for Best Free Product.

This is good since you can experience Chill for the price of a couple of clicks.

Now my love for Chill is WELL documented here on this blog. When everyone else was playing Call of Cthulhu (and watching their characters go mad or die) I was playing Chill (and watching my characters die).  Or more to the point I was creating elaborate scenarios involving SAVE.   I loved Pacesetter Chill and even drove out to the old Mayfair Games warehouse to score a brandnew hardcover a few years back.  I own pretty much everything for Chill and even Rotworld/Cryptworld/Majus.

On to the product as hand.
Chill: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a 46 page "Quickstart".  It has everything you need to play the game now except for people, dice and some tokens.  Don't have 10-sided dice?  Fine, get a deck of cards, remove the royals, put all the black suits in one deck and all the red in another.  Shuffle them.  When you need to roll choose a black card and a red card.  Count tens as "0" and aces as "1".   Save the face cards, the royals, for your tokens.

With this Quickstart author +Matthew McFarland has distilled Chill down to it's essence. It's a game about fighting the Unknown.  There are a couple of pages devoted to the mechanics of the game; find a target number, roll that or under. Avoid botches (doubles over) but hope for a Colossal Success (roll doubles and under).  Tokens are also covered.

An overview of the character sheet comes next breaking down the Attributes, Skills, Edges, Drawbacks and where you record damage.  There is also a spot for The Art, or some magical/psychic abilities.  This edition seems to focus a bit more on this than the previous, normal-human-centric point of view of the previous, but that will wait for a full reveiw.

This makes up the first half-dozen or so pages.  The next dozen covers Combat and The Art. Combat is just another type of test/roll and The Art are "fancy" skills.  The nice thing is when one system is learned the rest are easily picked up.

The rest of the book is the adventure.  I don't want to give out any spoilers for potential players, but the adventure is a classic one for Chill.  What kind of adventures are good for Chill? Well anything you might see on "Supernatural", "Grimm", "Kolchak" or "The X-Files" would make for a great Chill game, but also the stories you told as kids about the haunted house, or the mean old neighbor lady or the monster in the sewers.

The quickstart includes some characters to get you up and running fast. There are maps, artifacts and investigation sheet to make this feel like a real investigation into the paranormal, or what Chill calls The Unknown.  Enough background is given on SAVE to make it interesting and to make you want to know more.

For the price you can't beat it. If you ever told a scary story to others with a flashlight under your chin, dared a friend to go into a "haunted house" or watched a Hammer Horror film then this is a great game for you.   An ENnie win for it would let others know that too.

I am up for an ENnie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Monday, January 19, 2015


Have had a few colds or upper respiratory tract infections running through the house the last few days.  Not a big deal, but my efforts have been more focused on taking care of others rather than gaming.  But I did manage to get something fun in.
My wife, my youngest son and I have all been binge watching Grimm.  We burned through Season 1 and are not 3/4 ths of the way through Season 2.

It's great fun and my youngest (much like me at that age) loves all sorts of spooky, mystical stuff.

I was, as I typically do, working on some projects while watching.  I was also spending more time with my D&D 5 DMG.  It got me thinking about what sort of system would be the best for Grimm.

Typically if it is mystical or is modern monster hunting, then I first look to Unisystem; and Cinematic Unisystem at that.  After all, it is TV and I quickly figured out several Qualities and Drawbacks that the star Nick Burkhardt could have as a Grimm (Enhanced Senses, Honor, Increased Strength, Hard to Kill...and so on). It's not a difficult exercise.  But CineUnisystem, as much as I love it, is not really a perfect fit.
Despite some potions and some odd powers, there really is nothing along the lines (well yet) as magic as I defined it Ghosts of Albion or as was defined in Buffy/Angel.  Sure, Army Darkness might work but still not just right.

So I was thinking Chill and it's more modern cousins, Majus and Cryptworld.  I even know already there is a zombie episode coming up, so Rotworld is also in.
Why these games vs. the Unisystem line?  Well I believe that system strikes a tone with how you play.  Which is also why I ruled out Call of Cthulhu (despite how much I enjoy it).  People in the Grimm world are, well, regular people.   There are some monsters, some Wessen. But Cryptworld can deal with that. If I would opt to have Wessen as PCs then I can use some cues from Majus.

I thought about looking into the Fantasy Flight Games RPG "Grimm",  and it looks like it could work a little too.  But I don't own it and only know it through reputation.  Other than that there does not seem to be a Grimm tie in RPG.    I did a search and seems like most people would use Buffy/Angel/Ghosts of Albion, which does give me a bit of professional pride, even if I am not agreeing with them.

Does anyone watch the show? NO Spoilers please!  If so, what system would you use? What do you think about Chill vs. Unisystem.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Kickstart Your Weekend: CHILL style!


I want draw your attention once again to the Chill 3.0 Kickstarter.

With just a few hours left to go this promises to be one really fun game.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Kickstart Your Weekend! Chill Edition

Once again we are being teased with a new version of Chill.

Chill 3rd Edition: A Horror Roleplaying Game

My love of Chill is long, deep and well documented.  This new version looks really great.
The previous Chill 3.0 was good, but never made it out of playtest.

You can read more about the new Chill here:

I have to say I am curious by what I see here!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

#RPGaDAY Day 6, Favourite RPG Never get to play

#RPGaDAY Day 6, Favourite RPG Never get to play

Good question.

I am going to have to go with Chill and by extension all the Pacesetter games.
I used to have a lot of fun with Chill but despite all the talk I do about it here I rarely get to play.

I have plenty of ideas of things I want to do with the game and I know it would be fun, its just getting around to do it I guess.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jackson De La Croix for WitchCraft

I wrote this up for a WitchCraft game I was running a few years ago.  Jackson never made an appearance, but I will certainly want to use him for my Spirit of '76 game. Cerri and Brigh were two Wicce characters I had created as NPCs.  Similar to the layout in Chill Vampires the dossier is a collection of reports, news clippings (in this case printouts) and written reports.

Jackson De La Croix, or Jackson Jammer, was one of my favorite vampires from the Chill Vampires book. Here is my attempt to bring him into Unisystem and the 21st century. I am going with 2nd Edition Chill here even though it states that Van Helsing began to tour in 1979 (left over from 1st Ed to be sure). If you want to use 1st Edition Chill, subtract 10 years.  For my game I am going to have Van Helsing start around 74-75.

SAVE Report compiled 01-15-2006 by Cerriweden nic Brigandu, Special Envoy
Note: Cerriweden "Cerri" nic Brigandu is a member of the Daughters of the Flame coven. Born in Boston to Irish immigrants, Cerriweden has served not only as a valued and trusted Special Envoy to SAVE, she is also a top notch rock critic. She has been following the career and exploits of Jackson "Jammer" De La Croix since the death of Pablo "Bubba" Rodriguez in 1992.  She first encountered the vampire in Boston while visiting the Daughters of the Flame sanctuary there.
(incl: Include photo of Cerri and Brigh with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from the 1994-5 Page/Plant tour).
News item: May 17th, 1996. Raleigh, NC. Jammer Jackson, Dead at 27.
Legendary guitarist Jammer Jackson (news:sear) was found dead this morning in his hotel room in Raleigh, NC. His band Van Helsing had been performing last night (see related story in Arts, page 1D) in Raleigh. Cause of death was not immediately known, but corners office has not ruled out death due to drugs.
Van Helsing had been in the news quite a bit recently due to the often public arguments of its lead singer, Anton Van Helsing (news:sear), and Jackson. Van Helsing's last album failed to chart a Top 100 hit leaving many critics to wonder if the band was a relic of the late 80's
May 18th, 1996. New Orleans, LA. Jackson Death Ruled Natural Causes.
A representative of the Raleigh County NC corners office has ruled that Jammer Jackson's death was due to natural causes. A family spokesman has released a statement that due to religious observances Jackson's body was claimed by his family before an invasive autopsy could be performed. Toxicology results revealed no presence of drugs.
May 19th, 1996. New Orleans, LA. Fans Bid Farewell to Jammer
A simple wooden coffin baring the ashes of Jammer Jackson was laid to rest today. Several celebrities and members of the music business joined with fans, friends and family to say goodbye to what many considered to be a modern legend. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix in style and looks, though Jackson himself likened his style more to blue legend Robert Johnson. Jammer had recently become friends with another gone before his time musician, Kurt Cobain. The inevitable comparisons between all these great musicians cannot be understated.
June 13th, 1996. Los Angeles. Van Helsing, Dead at 31.
Anton Van Helsing the once flamboyant front man of the eponymous band Van Helsing was found dead in his hotel room today. Police are still questioning his long time girlfriend, Astra, in connection to drug paraphernalia found in the hotel. Van Helsing's death comes less than a month after the death of his bands lead guitarist Jammer Jackson.
Website: The Johnson-Hendrix-Jackson link, circa 2001
I know this sounds crazy but Johnson and Jackson shared more than dying young, listen to the cover of Crossroads (the Eric Clapton song for you born after 69, the Robert Johnson song for the rest of us) on Van Helsings 6th album. If you slow it down to 1/16th speed you can hearI mean why did we never see his body! I am telling you that just like Elvis and Morrison, Jammer Jackson is still alive.
November 7th, 2004 Fresh Faces, New Orleans, LA.
You have to living under a rock for the last Summer not to have heard the infectious grooves of the New Orleans hottest club band De La Croix. A spicy Cajun blend of hip-hop, rap, and good old fashioned blues driven rock, De La Croix is ready to take on the world. Whether you are a fan of vocalist Joaquin Esperanza's politically charged lyrics or the rap styling of co-frontman DLC, the one thing everyone agrees on is the shear talent of the band's 20 year old guitarist J.J. It has even lead some to speculate that J.J. is none other than the son of Jammer Jackson, last seen as a 10 year-old, standing by his fathers coffin so many years ago.

Jackson De La Croix Today, Cerriweden nic Brigandu
Jackson did fake his death, but the tiff with Van Helsing's leader was real. Anton wanted to hit the big time, Jackson wanted to remain small and anonymous. Anton used drugs, while Jackson didn't. So Jackson decided to die. He allowed a doctor to examine him to sign the papers, but he hired a single mother to portray the grieving widow. In a rare occurrence of generosity, Jackson gave away almost all his earthly possessions and a fair sum of money to this woman and her son in return for their silence. Attempts to locate the woman have failed and no record of her exists after 1997.

Jackson did in fact kill Anton Van Helsing, but that was a mere technicality. Anton had been slowly dying of drug addiction. Jackson also later killed Anton's longtime girlfriend Astra, though no newspaper reported her death.

Jackson's whereabouts between 1996 and 2004 are unknown, but all reliable sources point to a long period of inactivity. It has been long speculated (see page 212 of the Rodriguez dossier) that Jackson has a hiding place in the ruins of the Belle Marche Plantation.

It is certain that the guitarist for De La Croix, J.J., is in fact Jackson De La Croix. What is curious is that in the hundred or so shows observed by SAVE, no deaths that meet Jackson's former MO have been noticed. In fact no deaths at all have been recorded outside of random stabbing in the same bar after the show.

Physical Appearance: As usual he appears to be a medium-complexion African American man in his early 20s. The same penetrating stare is there and it gives you the impression that he does not blink enough.  He looks much like he did when he was the lead guitarist of Van Helsing.

Jackson De La Croix, WitchCraft RPG Stats

Strength: 5 Intelligence: 4
Dexterity: 8 Perception: 7
Constitution: 4 Willpower: 6

Life Points: 55 Endurance: N/A
Essence Pool: 97 Speed: 24

Skills: Play Instrument (guitar +9, all other stringed instruments +8 ) , Hand gun 3, Streetwise 6, Occult Knowledge 2
Qualities and Powers: Vampyre, Artistic Talent (guitars), Bard, Become Mist/Fog, Charisma 1, Contacts (Music industry), Hard to Kill, Increased Essence 6, Resources 4, Status 2, Semblance of Life, Time Stop
Drawbacks and Vulnerabilities: Aversions (Mint, Religious Symbols, Salt), Bloodthirst, Minority

Punch Damage: D4(2) x Strength
Kick Damage: D4(2) x (Strength+1)
Large Knife Damage: D4(2) x Strength. Damage Type: Slashing/Stabbing
Handgun, .22 caliber Damage: D4 x 2(4). Range: 3/10/20/60/120. Capacity: 8-10

Become Mist/Fog: One of Jackson more amazing powers is the ability to become mist or fog. Anytime he drops below 0 Life Points or below 5 Essence Points (or when he feels threatened) he can become a thick low-lying mist that moves at twice his normal speed. Jackson will then attempt to escape to a safe location. He has several plain wooden coffins stored away in safe houses in New Orleans, Nashville and Savannah, as well as one or two in smaller locales. He has a coffin in his standard gear, but knows that is the first place anyone will look. He disguises it as a crate to carry gear.

Note: Where did this Power Come From?
Not much is known about origin of this power. We do know from Rodriguez's research that Jackson's mother was a powerful Mambo and we do know there are reported, but undocumented, elemental powers among the Legbans. Was this a power Jackson had before becoming a vampyre or was something he developed later? Could this be an evolution of the Greater Shifting power? Further, careful, investigation is needed.

Religious Symbols: Jackson does not cower or flee from religious symbols like other vampyres, but he cannot come within 2.5 (1 meter) from them. He has the same reaction to Mint leaves (but not artificial mints) and Garlic. None of these have attracted any attention in a world where rock musicians will trash a room based on whether or not they got enough green M&Ms in their rooms.

Holy Burial: To permanently destroy Jackson one must perform a variation of the Holy Burial ritual described in the Mystery Codex. A wooden stake needs to be driven through Jackson's heart. His body must be placed in a plain wooden coffin (no other material will suffice) and taken to a crossroads by pallbearers. At the crossroads the coffin must be spun around at least three times. If one piece of the ritual is not done properly or is missing, Jackson will remain dead until the stake rots and he will then rise again to continue his façade of humanity. If every part of the ritual is followed to the letter then Jackson's spirit will pass to the Death Realms, never to return.

Essence Vampirism and Bloodthrist: Jackson De La Croix regains most of his essence during his concerts (has the Bard quality). Over the years he has perfected his performances to cause his audience to release almost imperceptible amounts of Essence (usually only one or two points per), but given that he plays to hundreds, even thousands, at a time, he can absorb a full two weeks worth of Essence per show. Of course Jackson will turn around and use Essence to power-up his performance, attract young ladies (usually several) to his dressing room, or typically enjoy the high that holding on to Essence gives. While in his Jammer days, De La Croix would go for the limelight and shun the backstage antics, as J.J. he provides a solid performance but remains an unknown element on the stage. His backstage antics are often sorid tabloid fodder. It is of course a ruse. De La Croix plays up this persona to distance himself from his previous ones. It also allows him to hide in plain sight as it were, no one thinks twice of some rock musician sleeping all day if he is rumored to be engaging in amorous activity with young groupies all night.

His Time Stop power is actually a Supernatural Quality/Power that causes a localized distortion of time perception, similar in many ways to the Mirage power. It costs 15 Quality/Power Points and 5 Essence Points for the first subjective minute and 2 Essence Points per subjective minute after that. So the drain someone in 5 minutes, Jackson spends 13 Essence Points.
Of course one might ask why he goes through the effort of using this power when he has better ways of getting Essence. Simply put Jackson enjoys the hunt. He has a taste for blood, particularly that of young females, and he enjoys the thrill of picking one girl out of the crowd to drain and doing it in front of everyone. Plus if Jackson does not feed at least once every two weeks he begins to loose Essence.
Like Mirage, this power ineffective against other supernatural creatures and those that can see Essence patterns.