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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Spirit of '76

With all the talk last week of Chill and Pacesetter games it got me thinking again about this Chill/Cryptworld/Majus game I have been wanting to run.



It is set in the summer of 1976. July 1st to be precise.  The characters are all old acquaintances; possibly all S.A.V.E. envoys who had worked together in the past.  They have all been drawn to New York to stop something from happening.

I want to do it "24 style", that is intense adventures over a relative short space in time.  Basically four or five days.  I am not sure what it will be like yet but I do know that it has to have a few things:

- Take advantage of 70s tropes. Disco, the birth of Punk Rock, "Frampton Comes Alive" playing on every radio, drugs, NY street gangs and the like.  Plus have to do a bunch with 70s occultism.
- Have something to do with the American Bicentennial.
- Give it a 70s Hammer Horror feel. When Hammer moved away from the historical and "Hammer Hamlet" movies to more modern takes.
- Ideally I would LOVE to include a vampire.  Chill Vampires is one of my all time favorite books. Having a vampire in it would really be fun.
- Given the title there should at least be one ghost.

Now I have a Mutants & Masterminds idea I have been knocking around about Dracula in the 1970s. But I also see where using Elizabeth Bathory would be fun.

I have no end of good ideas, I just need to tie them together into a workable mini-campaign or long 5 part adventure.  If I get it all together it would make for a Gen Con game.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Chill in the air

It has just been announced that Growling Door Games has just purchased the rights to classic horror RPG Chill.



Here is their press release:
For Immediate Release: 6-13-2014

Growling Door Games Acquires License For Chill RPG

US Roleplaying Game Publisher Brings Back Classic Horror Game

 Cleveland, OH: Today, Growling Door Games, Inc. is proud to announce that they have entered into a licensing agreement with Martin Caron, the owner of the Chill RPG. The agreement gives Growling Door Games the English-language rights to publish the Chill RPG core book and supplementary materials for that game, setting the stage for a new release of a classic property that helped make horror gaming a staple of the RPG landscape.

 Matthew McFarland, President of Growling Door Games, said, “We’re thrilled to bring such a classic of horror gaming back to print. Chill has a great history of success in the market. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for the game even during its long stint out of print, and we hope both those fans and new ones will enjoy our revival of Chill.”

Growling Door Games is planning on releasing the new core book for Chill, 3rd Edition in August 2015, with a Kickstarter in late summer 2014 to launch the project. The initial release of the core book will be as a full-sized hardcover, available in both print and PDF.

Now I have been a fan of Chill for a very long time.  I even participated in Otherworlds Creations own Chill 3.0 playtests. A quickstart was produced after years of work but soon disappeared after dispute over who owned Chill came up.  Also all the Mayfair Chill products have been transferred to Martin Caron on DriveThruRPG.
I also wonder what this means for Goblinoid Games and their line of Pacesetter books, especially Cryptworld their Chill clone.

Of course I will be following this one closely.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

D&D40 Bloghop: Day 20

Day 20: First non-D&D RPG you played.

It is a toss up really.  I am not quite sure of the dates but it was either Traveller or Chill.

Of course with Chill I never played, but I managed to run a couple of sessions.
Traveller, at least how we played it, ended up being D&D in Space.

Though now that I think about it is also could have Villains & Vigilantes.   But all we did in that was use our D&D characters.

Since then I have branched off into scores of games and have a few that I regularly play.



Friday, September 13, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cryptworld: Chilling Tales!

As many of you know I am a long, long time fan of the old Chill game.
I have also enjoyed the recent set of games using the "Pacesetter" system, Rotworld and Majus.
Well it is my pleasure to introduce you to the newest member of the Goblinoid Games Pacesetter Family.

Cryptworld!


I love the Jim Holloway art and the "Chilling Adventures into the Unexplained".

I just got my pre-release copy and it is awesome.  This plus Majus, Rot World and all my other Chill books should get me back in the mood for my "Spirit of '76" game.

I will get a proper review up soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Majus is mine

I got a nice treat in my mail and email yesterday.


A nice perfect bound edition of Goblinoid Games Majus.  The PDF is also available from DriveThru.

Others have pointed out that this began as a Kickstarter. Layout was done they just need the art. So thus there were no stretch goals.  I think this worked in their favor.  The books and PDFs were promised by August 2013 and look at that.  On time and everything.


Honestly I think it makes a nice companion to all my Chill books.
It is also 100% compatible with Rotworld and the other books in Goblinoid Games Pacesetter line.

I am just dying to revive my old "Spirit of '76" game with this now.  I'll have to post some characters for it.

Of course given my odd sense of humor I think the first adventure I want to try is Castle Blood.


Also from (a different) Pacesetter.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reviews: Chill RPG

Reviews: Chill
Did some more reviews the other night.  Woefully behind schedule. So wanted to take a big chunk out of it with ones I really, really like first.

Longtime readers know of my love for Chill, my first true horror RPG.

Chill
To many role-players around my age their first introduction to Horror roleplaying was the venerable “Call of Cthulhu”, but not me. Mine was Chill. I had the Pacesetter version (1st Edition), which I remember quite fondly, even if I did not get much of a chance to play.
The Mayfair version (2nd Edition) is of course superior and it is great to see it here. Picking up a copy of the Mayfair version now I get the impression (true or not) that the makers of Kult saw it and thought, “yes this is good, but what if the world was much, much worse?”
I liked Chill also because it had Midwest sensibilities. Pacesetter was from Wisconsin; Mayfair was/is in Niles/Skokie, a suburb of Chicago than is not to far from where I live (and has one of my favorite pizza places). It was while playing Chill that learned that the best horror was horror close to home. I don’t know, or much care really, what Hollywood thinks is horror. How can a place that gets like 350 days of sunshine know what is horror? On the other hand East Coast horror (Lovecraft) has a completely different flavor. It’s almost alien. Chill may have had a global scope, but the horror is home grown. Chill remembers that there is simple horror in the haunted house, or the strange creature from the Unknown. It is not about the bigger-badder-more horror of some games, where every game has to up the ante on the last game.
Chill does look dated by today’s standards, but keep in mind that most of it was written in the early 80’s and updated in the 90’s. A lot of the rules in Chill can be found in one way or another in modern horror games. In fact one gets the feeling of seeing evolution in process when comparing similar rules in Chill and Unisystem or World of Darkness. Successes, Fear Checks, even proto-Drama point usage (of a sorts) are all here. If one is more used to modern games, the Chill versions do seem unwieldy and even a bit primitive, but looking at them the other way, the Chill rules were a landmark for the time. Indeed there are a lot of rules in existence today that we take for granted that were still cutting edge in Chill.
But that is not to say that Chill does not have something to offer the player of today.
If horror is your game, then Chill is worth your time and money.
5 out of 5 Stars.

Chill Companion
A must have if you are playing 2nd Edition/Mayfair Chill, AND a good buy for fans of any horror rpg.
Add more depth to your characters including (and most importantly to me) the use of magic and psionics. Nothing beats Chill and this was one of the best additions to the game.
5 out of 5 Stars.

Horrors of North America
What I loved most about Chill was it was American Horror. Not just New England, or even old England, but the Mid-West, the North and all over the place.
Horrors of North America is one part travel guide, one part monster manual and all parts awesome. Great even if you are not playing Chill as a guide to whats weird and supernatural out there.
5 out of 5 Stars.

Chill: Vampires
Chill Vampires is the standard to which all vampire related supplements to a horror game must be measured. Any game can produce a bunch of stats, some bad fiction and link them together, Chill: Vampires is a Master's Thesis on combating the undead. Not just notes for the would be vampire slayer (and game masters) but also detailed accounts of the most brazen of the undead. Complete with stats, history, motivations and the notes of previous investigators and SAVE agents.
This book is fantastic for any game but essential for a good Chill game. I would recommend it on the basis of the Dracula and Bathory write-ups alone, but there are more and even stranger and deadlier vampires in these pages.
All games before, and many after, dealt with vampires much the same way, little carbon copies of Hollywood Dracula. Sure, some made attempts at doing different things, but most were weak in implementation. But Chill (and to be fair a D&D article in Dragon about a year before) did something that no other game had done before, give us varieties of vampires. So it was not just pack your stake, holy water and crucifix, you had to know what species of vampire you were after. So that stake would be fine against a Common Carpathian and by luck the Macedonian Vampire, but completely useless against an Alpine Vampire. This played well into Chills other evolutionary concept, in game research.
Some of these vampires represented a type or species of vampire. The Common Carpathian, Macedonian and Oriental Vampires are of this kind. Others were most likely unique individuals with a specific vampirism curse, Elizabeth Bathory is a good example, she is most like a Common Carpathian with some things that are unique to her nature in life.
5 out of 5 Stars.

Unknown Providence: SAVE in New England
Part source guide to New England, part historical treatsie and part adventure Unknown Providence covers a lot of ground. Set firmly in the Chill/SAVE meta-plot this book was one of the first of what was to be the new direction in Chill. Sadly it was also one of the last.
The background and history of New England is awesome. Filled with all sorts of facts and ideas to use in any game as well as a cast on NPC, monsters and SAVE agents.
The adventure is less good, though perfectly fine.
4 out of 5 Stars.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dracula: Chill

In keeping with this month's theme I am also posting some stats for Dracula for the various games I have played over the years.
I have talked about my love for Chill before and in particular the wonderful Chill Vampires book.  These stats are based on the ones found in that book, but tweaked after playing other horror games.

Dracula
BASIC ABILITIES
Strength 110
Perception 100
Dexterity 65
Willpower 120
Agility 80
Luck/EWS 150
Personality 70
Stamina 150
Fear 6*
*Fear Checks. Characters need not make fear checks if Dracula appears as a normal human.

Attack **/95%
**Depends on the form Dracula takes

Movement Sprint in human form without STA loss. 75 as gas. 225 as Bat or Wolf

EDGES & DRAWBACKS (2nd Ed)
Name CIPs Notes
Psychological flaw 1 Obsessions (find a bride)

SKILLS
Name Rank Score Calc
Dagger/Knife (M) 160
Anthropology/ Archaeology (M) 130
Art Criticism (M) 165
History (M) 165
Hypnotism (M) 140
Investigation (M) 145
Language, Contemporary [English, German, all Eastern-European languages] (M) 165
Legend Lore (M) 165
Modeling (M) 135
Disguise(M) 123
Filching(M) 138
Graphology/ Forgery (M) 140
Occult Lore (M) 120

Movement: Varies according to form: in human form, can sprint without Stamina loss; can move 75' per round as mist or fog, 225' as bat or wolf.

Disciplines: Animation of the Dead, Appear Dead (Self), Change Self (to large bat, large wolf, cloud of fog), Create a Feast, Darken, Dreamsend, Evil Eye, Flight1, Gnarl, Influence, Quiet, Slam, Sleep, Steal Memory, Summon, Swarm, Wave of Fog

Dracula can use Flight at night. To fly, he assumes the form of a cloud of sparkling moonbeams that dance in the darkness, then materializes when the flight ends. He cannot be destroyed while in this moonbeam form.

IPs: 3300

Characteristics
1. As a Common Carpathian Dracula cast no shadow or reflection and cannot be photographed or video taped.
2. Human blood excites and enrages him. He must make a Willpower check.
3. Does not die when exposed to sunlight. Sunlight dos weaken him and limits his use of EWS powers.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Willow & Tara: Chill

Willow and Tara in Chill

The world the girls live in is not exactly the same as the world described in Chill. A lot of what is “Unknown” in Chill is common knowledge to our girls. Let’s be honest even Tara has seen more vampires than the average 1st Edition Chill character would see in a lifetime.

So how do we explain the differences? I see the worlds as being the same, the different rules are just different ways at looking at it. Let’s steal a page from the WitchCraft RPG core book. Chill and S.A.V.E. were most active in the 80’s and early 90’s before their Dublin HQ was destroyed. So we only have records up till then. In WitchCraft it has been documented that as we approach the Reckoning supernatural occurrences have become more and more frequent. By the time the girls start their “career” in battling the supernatural in the late 90’s early 2000’s supernatural occurrences are far more common than 10 or 20 years ago.

This is even supported by the move from 1st to 2nd Eds of Chill. 1st Ed was lighter, a little campy, but emphasis was on things that go bump in the night. It was more Ghostbusters than Ghost Story. 2nd Ed was a child of the paranoid late 80’s and 90’s. Elements of X-Files were abundant and the same zeitgeist that gave us the World of Darkness, Kult and yes WitchCraft was at work in Chill as well. To further the “world is much darker than you think” idea, 2nd Edition Chill makes the (somewhat silly, somewhat crafty) claim that the Pacesetter version was propaganda by S.A.V.E. sent out as disinformation. And let’s be honest, a lot of people played Chill as “monster of the week” adventures anyway. Maybe it was years of “Dark Shadows” and “Night Stalker” or more likely years of AD&D, but that’s how we did it in my house.
Chill 3rd Edition looked darker still, but it did not come out so I can’t say.

Relations with S.A.V.E.
Willow and Tara’s relationship with S.A.V.E. (Societas Argenti Viae Eternitata, Society of the Eternal Silver Way) begins before either girl was born. In the “Dragon and the Phoenix” canon Robert Maclay had been an envoy of S.A.V.E. working in the southern part of the United States. They had discovered an area of reported spiritual activity during the Summer of ’76 and were ordered to investigate. They came to an old plantation that later been converted to a brothel after the Civil War and was rumored to be haunted by the ghost of the former owner. Realizing that Maclay’s team would need magical aid, S.A.V.E. assigned a “craft worker” to the team. This infuriated the young Robert Maclay. He was a devout Christian and the idea of working with a witch was as unacceptable to him as working with a vampire. The young witch, Megan Rose O’Kelley, was however more than a match for Robert’s head strong attitude. The mission would have been a complete failure had it not been for Megan’s magic, though it was not with out complications. The reported “ghosts” turned out to be demonic ethereal spirits. Megan had been possessed by one of the demons in the course of the fight, she fought off the demonic thrall (with Maclay’s aid), but she suffered reoccurring ill health and nightmares. These persisted into her courtship and marriage to Robert till the end of her life in 1997. The demons were banished, and Robert and Megan left S.A.V.E. soon after.

S.A.V.E. knew that any offspring of Robert and Megan Maclay would be a formidable witch in her own right, so they watched Donald and Tara for years. It was soon obvious that while Donny lacked the ability to even do a card trick, Tara was a different story. She began to manifest her powers very early in life. They even observed her display feats of power that would have been difficult for a witch three-times her age, though she was always very careful to not show her power anytime she felt her father or older brother were watching. When Tara was murdered, the remaining members of the fractionalized S.A.V.E. prepared to close the book on what would have been a promising recruit and recorded it as a profound loss for humanity. To their shock and surprise S.A.V.E. found themselves “re-opening” that book when Tara was discovered to be alive and well due to a rare occurrence of divine magics (S.A.V.E. was later made aware of the miscast Art that substituted Tara’s death record for a previously unmentioned or unrecorded twin sister, Kara).
In late 2005 S.A.V.E. operations in Washington DC approached Willow and Tara (after observing what they refer to as the ‘Leviathan / Pan-dimensional Incident’). S.A.V.E. had learned of the supposed recent activity of Erszébet Báthory (Elizabeth Bathory) near the girls’ new Boston home and hoped to make use of the girls unique understanding of vampires and witchcraft. That it was reported that Willow had encountered Dracula was only another bonus in their favor. The details of that encounter will be dealt with at a later date. Willow and Tara are not members of S.A.V.E. at this time, but their contact is Dr. Robert Samuels, Deputy Director of S.A.V.E.’s American Operations. (Geek Note: Dr. Robert Samuels was one of the pre-generated characters from the 1st Ed. Chill rule book.)

These stats represent Willow and Tara after the Dragon and the Phoenix, during the Season of the Witch, series but sometime before the Mid-Semester's Nightmare mini-series.  So about 2005.

Willow Danielle Rosenberg

BASIC ABILITIES
Strength 30
Perception 67
Dexterity 33
Willpower 81
Agility 42
Luck 50
Personality 67
Stamina 50

Unskilled Melee 36 (1st Ed)* / 18 (2nd Ed)**
Sense Unknown 13%
Movement 34
Sprinting 92
Initiative 4

EDGES & DRAWBACKS**
Name CIPs Notes
Ambidexterity 1
Attractive 2
Curiosity -1
Improved STA Rec 1
Improved Will Rec 1
Phobia (Frogs) 1
Psychological flaw 1 Addictive personality

SKILLS
Name Rank Score Calc
Armed Melee S 51 (STR+AGL)/2 +15
Crossbow S 48 DEX +15

Anthropology T 101 (PCN+WPR+PER)/3 +30
Biology T 104 (PCN+WPR)/2 +30
Computers M 129 (PCN+WPR)/2 +55
Investigation M 121 (PCN+WPR+LUCK)/3 +55
Language, Latin T 104 (PCN+WPR)/2 +30
Legend/Lore T 104 (PCN+WPR)/2 +30
Mathematics T 104 (PCN+WPR)/2+30
Mechanics T 80 (PCN+DEX)/2 +30
Occult Lore** M 116
Ritual Magic** M 116

PERSONAL DATA
Age: 23 (in 2004)
Ht: 5’3”
Wt: 115#
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Gender: Female

Nationality: American
Profession: Software Engineer
Education: B.S. in Computer Science, 2003 University of California, Magna Cum Laude


THE ART
Name Score* Calc Base** Rank**Score
Telepathic Sending 67 (PCN+PER)/2 44 M 94
Telepathic Empathy 67 (PCN+PER)/2 44 M 94
Sphere of Protection 61 (PCN+LUCK)/2 39 T 69

* Indicates a 1st Edition Rule.
** Indicates a 2nd Edition Rule.

Tara A. Maclay

BASIC ABILITIES
Strength 38
Perception 70
Dexterity 32
Willpower 65
Agility 36
Luck 40
Personality 65
Stamina 40

Unskilled Melee 37 (1st Ed)* / 19 (2nd Ed)**
Sense Unknown 14%
Movement 32
Sprinting 86
Initiative 4

EDGES & DRAWBACKS**
Name CIPs Notes
Animal Empathy 1
Attractive 1
Destiny 1
Improved Will Rec 1
Pet (MKF) 1
Psionic Ability 1 Empathy

SKILLS
Name Rank Score Calc (1st Ed)
Armed Melee S 52 (STR+AGL)/2 +15
- Axe S 52 (STR+AGL)/2 +15 SR 2/4
- Sword S 52 (STR+AGL)/2 +15 SR 5
Crossbow S 47 DEX +15

Animal Training** T 87
Art T 98 (PCN+WPR)/2 +30
Calligraphy** T 81 (AGL+WPR)/2 +30
Horseback riding T 81 (AGL+WPR)/2 +30
Investigation M 113 (PCN+WPR+LUCK)/3 +55
Language, Japanese T 98 (PCN+WPR)/2 +30
Legend/Lore T 98 (PCN+WPR)/2 +30
Occult Lore** M 108
Painting** T 81 (AGL+WPR)/2 +30
Ritual Magic** M 108
Psychology M 123 (PCN+WPR)/2 +55

PERSONAL DATA
Age: 24 (in 2004)
Ht: 5’4”
Wt: 125#
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Gender: Female

Nationality: American
Profession: Graduate Student in Counselling Psychology, working as part time QMHP.
Education: B.A. in Art History, 2003 University of Southern California, Cum Laude,
M.A. in Psychology, Counseling emphasis, 2005 University of Southern California. Thesis: “Daughters without Mothers: Long Term Depression and Survivor’s Guilt in Adolescent Girls and Young Women” ERIC Abstracts Online

THE ART
Name Score* Calc Base** Rank**Score
Telepathic Sending 68 (PCN+PER)/2 45 M 95
Telepathic Empathy 68 (PCN+PER)/2 45 T 75
Sphere of Protection 61 (PCN+LUCK)/2 36 T 66

* Indicates a 1st Edition Rule.
** Indicates a 2nd Edition Rule.

Notes:  I advanced the characters to 2005 and have Willow and Tara graduated. Education level was a big deal in Chill; I am thinking this is because it was a big deal in Call of Cthulhu, so I detailed that here.  This is right before (game world here folks) Willow created a small company that wrote security programs for industries.  Her stock split many times and she sold off most of it and was retained as executive consultant to Red Witch Software.  This gave her a lot of freedom and a few million dollars.  That though is a detail for another time and game system.

The biggest issue with Chill and witches like Willow and Tara is one of power.  Chill simply does not handle PCs with a lot of power well.  Chill was designed as "normal people fighting the monsters" game, a role that is serves well.  Call of Cthulhu has the same issues, but again at least in Chill the PCs are expected to make a difference.  Willow and Tara are beyond what most humans can do.  Chill is great for "Supernatural" or even some episodes of "The X Files", but not the likes of "Charmed" or "Willow & Tara: The Series".

What I did do during "Season of the Witch" was have a flashbacks with Tara's parents, Robert and Megan, and they were perfect for Chill since it was the late 70's and the power levels are much less than they are today.  Like Harry Dresden said in "Storm Front" the world is getting weirder and darker all the time.  This is something I have used in my games quite a bit.

Chill was great to look back on, but it is not s substitute for a more modern game for me.  If I ever run another 70s-80s flashback game though I will pull it out.

Another note.  While the stats above reflect the girls in or around 2004, the Chill timeline above is 2005.  So there is one crucial element missing from Tara's stats.  In 2005 she gave birth to a baby girl.  That is also for another day and system.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chill: Adventures into the Unknown

Chill: Adventures into the Unknown 

To many role-players around my age their first introduction to Horror roleplaying was the venerable “Call of Cthulhu”, but not me. Mine was Chill. I had the Pacesetter version (1st Edition), which I remember quite fondly, even if I did not get much of a chance to play. The Mayfair version (2nd Edition) is of course superior, but it lacks some of the feel I associated with the game. Maybe it was the lack of the Jim Holloway art or the darker tone. Picking up a copy of the Mayfair version now I get the impression (true or not) that the makers of Kult saw it and thought, “yes this is good, but what if the world was much, much worse?”
Recently I started going through my Chill books (Chill Vampires for either version is a must buy if you are at all serious about using vampires as adversaries in any game) and started thinking about converting some of my characters over. It has been interesting because I never actually played. I ran some Chill games (I was a ChillMaster!), incorporated Chill into my AD&D games, but I never actually made any characters. It’s very odd…

I liked Chill also because it had Midwest sensibilities. Pacesetter was from Wisconsin; Mayfair was/is in Niles/Skokie, a suburb of Chicago than is not to far from where I live (and has one of my favourite pizza places). It was while playing Chill that learned that the best horror was horror close to home. I don’t know, or much care really, what Hollywood thinks is horror. How can a place that gets like 350 days of sunshine know what is horror? On the other hand East Coast horror (Lovecraft) has a completely different flavor. It’s almost alien. Chill may have had a global scope, but the horror is home grown. Chill remembers that there is simple horror in the haunted house, or the strange creature from the Unknown. It is not about the bigger-badder-more horror of some games, where every game has to up the ante on the last game.

Chill has influenced pretty much every horror game I have ever played.  Ideas in my game like "the darkness can be fought" and "the heroes matter" are from Chill, not CoC.

Converting Chill Ability Scores 
Conversions between any game is no easy task, especially between a point based game system like Unisystem and a random generation one like Chill 1st Ed. But here is a go at it.
The basic Ability conversion formula is to take the square root of the Chill Ability and then minus 4 to get the Unisystem Ability; to convert to Chill from Unisystem, take the ability, add 4 and then square.

So your basic Unisystem scores produce the following Chill scores

Chill  Unisystem
25        1
36        2
49        3
64        4
81        5
100      6

For normal humans Unisystem Abilities typically run 1 to 5 and Chill Abilities typically run 26 to 80 (10 to 90 for 2nd Ed.). Starting Unisystem characters are usually a bit tougher, but rarely does a starting character have any “6’s” before qualities. Sure there are Vampires and Ghosts and things like that in Unisystem that go beyond 6, but none of these are normal humans nor are they playable types in Chill.

The average roll you get with Chill is 53 for any of the eight scores, based on a normal curve. The average score for an Unisystem character is about 3 (based on a flat point distribution) so, they are about equal.
The biggest trouble is of course, using a normal distribution for one and a flat for the other. Squaring helps that, but it will never be perfect, at least not without some more math. This can be seen by comparing the max lift for each game at their converted Strengths. The distributions show the greatest differences at the extremes and coming close right around Unisystem Strength of 6. So characters in the 3 to 9 region will make the best conversions. This is assuming the Max Lift distributions are roughly equal, which they are not but they are close enough.

Not everything translates as well as strength. So here is a proposed Chill/Unisystem translation matrix. Use the math above to get the scores. In all cases the formula is
Chill = (Unisystem+4)2

Chill  Unisystem (qualities and/or skills) 
Strength  Strength 
Dexterity   Dexterity (missile combat; fine motor skills) 
Agility  Dexterity (melee combat; acrobatics) 
Personality  Charisma Quality* 
Perception  Perception + Notice 
Luck  Good/Bad Luck Quality* 
Willpower  Willpower 
Stamina  Constitution 

*For Qualities such as Luck and Charisma use the Unisystem Quality (-3 to +3) add 3 and use that number in your equations. So a character with a Good Luck of +1 has a Chill Luck score of 64 (1 + 3 = 4 + 4, 8 squared is 64).
In some cases in stead of adding 4 I added a skill, half the skill or the average of a group of skills. This is helpful when making a differentiation between Dexterity and Agility.

Again, with all conversions, math is only half the answer, the other half is decided what is the best way to portray the character in that particular system. This is why I use Willow and Tara (and another witch of my own), they represent a “golden mean” or a standard I can use.

2nd Edition Chill Abilities
This also works roughly for Chill 2nd Edition 10-90 point spread. Again, no conversion is perfect. The range of 10 to 90 is roughly equal to Unisystem’s 1 to 6, or in this case 0 to 6. Unisystem converted characters then will not produce Chill characters below 25 points in any attribute.

There is the added caveat that Chill has 8 abilities while Unisystem only has 6.

2nd Edition has some other minor differences, but nothing that should matter here except for maybe magic rules.

Skills run from 41 to 135 and have levels of Student, Teacher and Master. The easiest is to just convert the levels. Student = 1-2, Teacher = 3-4 and Master = 5-6. Rough, but it works well enough.

Fortunately to play Chill only requires only d10s. Something a Unisystem player should have in abundance. Course in Chill you need to roll a percentage less than your Ability. And there is the Action Table…but that is basically the same idea as Success Levels.

In Chill 2nd Edition the rules were expanded to include Edges and Drawbacks (still a somewhat new idea at the time) and the various skill levels were altered slightly. Also a big change was now Disciplines of the Art were now Schools of the Art and now could be rated at S, T and M levels.

New Unisystem Rules based on Chill
A lot of the rules in Chill can be found in one way or another in Unisystem. In fact one gets the feeling of seeing evolution in process when comparing similar rules in Chill and Unisystem. Successes, Fear Checks, even proto-Drama point usage (of a sorts) are all here. If one is more used to modern games, the Chill versions do seem unwieldy and even a bit primitive, but looking at them the other way, the Chill rules were a landmark for the time. Indeed there are a lot of rules in existence today that we take for granted that were still cutting edge in Chill.
But that is not to say that Chill does not have something to offer the Unisystem player.

Ambidexterity
1-Point Quality
You can use either hand as effectively as the other. You suffer no penalty in using your off hand in attacks or skill checks. This includes any writing, melee or other handiness skills, but not Disciplines of the Art (Magic). This quality does not increase the number of attacks you can make per turn.

Model
4-Point Quality
You have the grace, the looks and the talent. You have even hired an agent and shortened your name to a single word. Being a professional model has its perks, and a few disadvantages as well.
Anyone with the quality automatically adds 3 levels of Attractiveness. Models typically have Attractiveness of 3 or better, with the best at +4 or +5. Unless the character is a supernatural creature (or descended from one) +5 is still the best they can be, any points above and beyond that are lost. The character also gains 2 levels of resources. This can come from work the character does as a model or in form of gifts that beautiful people also get.
The model has an Obligation to her job. This can be in form of a contract, or needing to be certain places at certain times, of being seen on the arm of the aforementioned gift giver. This is a 1 point drawback. The character must also choose 2 levels of drawbacks. Typically these will be the in form of various mental or emotional problems such as covetous, fear of rejection, fear of commitment, delusions (believes they are the most beautiful person in world), extreme vanity or even cruelty. Addictions are also not uncommon, with drugs, smoking, diet pills, and even sex being rather common. The character should not have any of these in excess, otherwise they become ex-models. One level of some emotional/mental problem and one level of an addiction is the most common combination.
Authors Note: Why Models?
It seemed to me that nearly every Chill book I ever owned has some model or former model as an NPC. Of course it also fits the role a S.A.V.E. envoy needs to serve. Successful models and ex-models are young, travel the world and have the money to spare. Plus it fits well with the early 80s feel of the Chill game.


S.A.V.E. Envoy
6-Point Quality
Prerequisite: Sense the Unknown (or better quality); Resources +4 or better.
You are an official S.A.V.E. Envoy with the rights and responsibilities thereof. You have been recruited by S.A.V.E. not just because you have the time and money to spare, but because you have a desire to investigate the Unknown.
With this Quality characters gain financial support for S.A.V.E. sponsored excursions, legal and medical aid. They also gain a worldwide network of contacts and access to S.A.V.E. archives. All in all this will add +2 to the characters resources when on S.A.V.E. missions, a +1 to their Occultism and Knowledge skills, and increase their Occult library by +1, and +2 levels of Contacts.
These benefits come at a price of course. Envoys have an obligation to follow the rules of S.A.V.E. and they gain a Secret to boot. Research must be turned over including any and all magical tomes. Characters violating these rules, or caught participating in what S.A.V.E. considers Dark Magics, will be removed from the organization.
Ex-Envoys may find their future explorations into the supernatural hindered or even completely blocked.

Sense the Unknown
1-Point Quality
Some characters are sensitive to the varied psychic emanations of creatures from beyond. All natural animals have this ability, and some humans can hone it with practice or training. This acts as sort of a limited sixth sense to paranormal or supernatural activity.
You can make a normal perception check to include things that might otherwise go unnoticed in the mundane world such as the effects of magic and the presence of some supernatural creature. When such things are viewed with the trained eye (use of the Occultism/Occult Knowledge skill) then this quality gives a +1 to correctly recognize or identify these phenomena.
This Quality is not required for magic using characters (Gifted, Magicians, Witches) or any supernatural creature (Vampires, Ghosts, Bast) though it will give them a +1 when making any Perception based check for anything related to the Supernatural or the Unknown.
The range for this ability is limited, only 30 feet.

Chill Bast vs. WitchCraft RPG Bast
Often times the hardest thing about converting games is when there is a concept that is so similar in nature and yet developed in completely different ways. For example the Bast.
In both games Bast are cat people relating to ancient Egyptian Goddess of Bast. But there the similarity ends. Chill Bast are women with cat heads and always evil, or at least agents of the unknown; which makes them more akin to the old Irish cat-head demons. WitchCraft Bast are shape-shifting felines that are neither good nor evil. So what can we do to work out the differences.
What I propose is that the Bast seen and recorded by S.A.V.E. agents are in fact Tainted Bast or
Maahes.

Vampires

I single out vampires in Chill for a very good reason. All games before, and many after, dealt with vampires much the same way, little carbon copies of Hollywood Dracula. Sure, some made attempts at doing different things, but most were weak in implementation. But Chill (and to be fair a D&D article in Dragon about a year before) did something that no other game had done before, give us varieties of vampires. So it was not just pack your stake, holy water and crucifix, you had to know what species of vampire you were after. So that stake would be fine against a Common Carpathian and by luck the Macedonian Vampire, but completely useless against an Alpine Vampire. This played well into Chills other evolutionary concept, in game research.
Some of these vampires represented a type or species of vampire. The Common Carpathian, Macedonian and Oriental Vampires are of this kind. Others were most likely unique individuals with a specific vampirism curse, Elizabeth Bathory is a good example, she is most like a Common Carpathian with some things that are unique to her nature in life.

Chill Vampires in Unisystem
All of these are based on the base 15 point Vampire (or Vampyre) quality. Nearly all have some form of a Unique Kill Quality, though maybe not a full 5-points worth. So instead of one way to kill, there may be very limited ways to kill them. All Chill vampires also can assume two or more alternate forms. Wolves, bats, mist are common, but other odder forms such as cobras, snow drifts or even becoming extremely thin. In WitchCraft all of these could be duplicated with a proper invocation or supernatural quality. In addition all Chill vampires emanate the powers of the Evil Way. In game terms this means there is something just not right about them, even when they are guised as human. All vampires in Chill are soulless monsters. Soulless not that they lack a soul, but rather they are incapable of the things we hold the most dear. They live forever, but rarely learn anything from it. They can lust, but never love.
All in all, a Chill vampire type would cost anywhere from 20 to 25 Quality points. Players though should be reminded that in Chill, vampires are hunted, not played.

Common Carpathian
20-Point Vampire Quality (or 5 if purchased with Vampire/Vampyre)
The defacto Chill vampire. The Common Carpathian gets their name from the area they were first recorded, the Carpathian Mountains area of Eastern Europe. These vampires have many unique powers above and beyond that of the normal Vampire (Vampyre).
They can become wolves, bats, or even mist. They can cling to any surface like a spider.
A stake in the heart immobilizes it, but doesnt kill it; one has to also cut off their head. Garlic, holy water or a crucifix (but not a cross) will repel them, fire will kill them. They cast no shadow or reflection and cannot be captured on film or videotape.
Examples: Count Dracula, Elizabeth Bathory (with some modifications)





Final Thoughts
Chill was fun, but when I picked it up again to do these reviews/conversions I realised that the RPG world had passed it by. Percentile systems are not very much in vouge anymore and some of the concepts to seem dated.  I had high hopes for Chill 3rd Edition, but it never came to be.

Still though it was a lot of fun reading over the old books again and seeing the origins of things I still do today.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vampyres: Chill

CHILL (1st Edition)

The very first time Fran and Miriam made an appearance in one of my games was in Chill…sort of. I had planned to use them, and Mayfair’s was only a brief idea at this point, but never had the chance.

At this point Fran and Miriam had just left their home in the movie and were headed towards Barcelona. It was here that they are first spotted by S.A.V.E. agents.

In Chill, the supernatural and the mundane do not play as nice with each other as they do in other games. So Mayfair’s as a place for the PCs to find information is suddenly a much more dangerous place. Vampires in Chill are not social creatures, so it is not likely that this is a “vampire” hang out. It certainly will have a few, but almost all are one created by Fran and Miriam.

Vampires in the Chill “Vampires” book were all separated by type such as “Common Carpathian” or “Alpine”. These types typically described where they were from and what powers they had in common. Fran and Miriam could best be described as “English Vampires”.



Fran

STR 80 DEX 64 AGL 70
PER 110 WPR 122 PCN 64
STA 64 EWS 125 FEAR 5
ATT 1/75%

Movement: Can sprint without STA loss 75’ per round.

Evil Way Disciplines: Change Weather, Influence, Steal Memory, Time Stop

Skills: Acting/Drama (M) 123; Disguise (T) 102; History (M) 118; Legend Lore (M) 118; Modeling (M) 141;

IPs: 1000

Special Characteristics

1. Unlike other vampire Fran can cast a reflection and reproduces an image on film and video.

2. Fran can move around during daylight hours, but must avoid direct sunlight. She cannot use her Time Stop powers during the light of day.

3. Fran must rest eight hours to regain Stamina and Willpower. 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.

4. Fran can be held at bay by any religious symbol.

5. 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.

6. In combat Fran uses a curved knife. She can attack once per round.

7. Those who wish to destroy Fran must bury her along with Miriam with proper rights.




Miriam

STR 90 DEX 75 AGL 80
PER 110 WPR 110 PCN 81
STA 64 EWS 125 FEAR 5
ATT 1/75%

Movement: Can sprint without STA loss 75’ per round.

Evil Way Disciplines: Influence, Steal Memory, Time Stop

Skills: Acting/Drama (M) 125; Dance (M) 125; Disguise (M) 117; History (T) 110; Legend Lore (T) 110; Modeling (M) 135;

IPs: 1000

Special Characteristics

1. Unlike other vampire Miriam can cast a reflection and reproduces an image on film and video.

2. Miriam can move around during daylight hours, but must avoid direct sunlight. She cannot use her Time Stop powers during the light of day.

3. Miriam must rest eight hours to regain Stamina and Willpower. 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. Miriam is a light sleeper and can waken herself at the slightest noise.

4. Miriam can be held at bay by any religious symbol.

5. 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 often does.

6. In combat Miriam uses a curved knife. She can attack once per round.

7. Those who wish to destroy Miriam must bury her along with Fran with the proper rights.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ghosts of Albion: Child Spirits

Child Spirits

It was nestled in the crook of an old oak tree, wrapped in filthy rags that barely covered its naked flesh. Its mewling caught my attention first, as I thought it was some animal injured and taking refuge from the cold. When I saw it was child my heart broke. It was dead. Of that there was never a doubt, but yet it clutched its tattered blanket and whimpered in tiny voice. "Please" was all it said. "Please, milady. Please help me."
- From The Journal of Tamara Swift

Addendum. 
We learned that the creature was called a Navky or an Utburd by the local immigrant population. Never had I seen such sorrow in Tamara, nor have I seen such rage in her when we learned the poor babe had been left out to die. The land itself reacted in violent fits to her mood. I fear to speculate what would have happened the woman who had murdered the child had I not been there to calm Tamara. After we had laid the spirit to rest Tamara sequestered herself to her rooms for three days, weeping.
- Additional comments by William Swift

Rarely is there a tragedy as the death of a child. To have such innocence lost long before its time or to have so much potential snuffed out like a candle stands as the strongest example that the world is a cold, uncaring place. The sad truth though is that hundreds of children die in the streets of London all the time. Plague, sickness, the elements or starving to death are not uncommon, but the tragedy remains.

When a child is murdered, then no clearer of example of true evil could be found.

That is why the ghosts of children are both horrifying and pitiful creatures. If a child dies before its time there is a chance that it can come back as a ghost. In addition to the types of ghosts described in the Ghosts of Albion Core Book children can also return as a Navky or an Utburd. Both types of ghosts are more common to Eastern Europe, but as England takes its rightful place as ruler of the world, other cultures will come to England.

While it is often difficult to discern one from the other by looks alone and even people from different countries call them by different names, some assumptions can be made.

A Navky results when a child dies before they are baptized. They radiate fear and sorrow from their inability to move on. An Utburd is much worse. When a child is killed by his own mother the restless spirit can come back to exact their vengeance. Both have their own forms of Unique Kill.

Navky
When child dies without being baptized its spirit can return as a navky (NAHv-kee). This spirit is more common among the Eastern European immigrants to London who have retained their Catholic upbringing. The navky does not harm anyone, at least not intentionally, but does radiate an aura of utter despair around it. The only way to grant the spirit babe rest is to disinter the body and have a Catholic Priest (a rare find in Anglican London) perform a baptism and a last rites. This counts as a Unique Kill and any other means, including exorcisms, will only displace the spirit.

Like all ghosts the navky can only be seen by the magically sensitive.

Name: Navky
Motivation: To seek their final rest
Creature Type: Ghost
Attributes: Str (0), Dex (0), Con (0), Int 1, Per 1, Will 4
Ability Scores: Muscle (NA), Combat (NA), Brains 10

Life Points: (NA)
Drama Points: 1

Special Abilities: Attractiveness 1, Cause Sorrow (like Fear, only Nerves of Steel is not applied), Ghost, Incorporeal, Telekinesis 1, Unique Kill

Manoeuvres
Name Score Damage Notes
 Telekinesis 8 Varies


The Sorrow caused by the Navky is the same as fear (even using a fear check) but there is no sense of horror or terror, but one of deep, profound saddness. Instead of running away in fright, a character might drop to their knees crying.
The Unique Kill for Navky differs, but most often one needs a preist (or some other religous offical of the same religion as the mother) to bless the child. Once that is done the child-ghost will move on.

Utburd
Where the navky is pitiful, the utburd (OOT-bird) is reviled, but still not removed from our pity. Like the revenants of Dickens famous tale, the utburd is locked to this realm to perform a task. The task is to get revenge on the mother who killed it.

Its name comes from an old Scandinavian word meaning the child who was carried outside, meaning many were originated from children left out to die from exposure. The utburd appears as it did at the time of death, so if the child was drowned, then it appears to be bloated and water-logged. Its only goal is to get justice on their mother and murderer. So killing the mother is not their goal, but rather to have her arrested and convicted on charges of the murder. The utburd will work through human agents when it can via possession, but once they no longer have use for them they will cast them aside of get them killed in order to move to another body. An exorcism will force them out, but they will only possess another body. When so possessed the person is capable of great feats of strength (add the utburds Willpower to the Strength of the person possessed. There is no corresponding increase in Life Points though.)

Some occult scholars say that the presence of an utburd can be detected by ravens and rooks and they constantly fly around them waiting for the carnage to come. The utburd radiates an aura of fear wherever it goes.

If the mother is killed after the utburd comes back, but before she can be charged with this crime they will go on a killing rampage till the first light of dawn, then their souls are released to the realms of the dead. If the mother is arrested and charged with the crime the utburd will simply and peacefully pass on.

Like all ghosts the utburd can only be seen by the magically sensitive, but its murderer and immediate family can see it as well.

Name: Utburd
Motivation: To get revenge on their murderer
Creature Type: Ghost
Attributes: Str (0), Dex (0), Con (0), Int 2, Per 3, Will 7
Ability Scores: Muscle (NA), Combat (NA), Brains 16

Life Points: (NA)
Drama Points: 1

Special Abilities: Attractiveness 2 (when visible), Cause Fear, Ghost, Incorporeal, Telekinesis 6, Unique Kill

Manoeuvres
Name Score Damage Notes
Telekinesis 16 Varies

Stats for Savage World / Gaslight / Rippers

Navky
Attributes: Agility -, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength -, Vigor -
Skills: Intimidation d8
Charisma: +0, Pace: -; Perry: -; Toughness: -
Special Abilities:
* Aethereal: Only magical attacks can affect Navky, but only it's Unique Kill can actually kill it.
* Sorrow: Navky radiate sorrow, forcing anyone that sees it to make a Guts roll.
*Unique Kill: A Navky can only be put to rest by a priest giving it a blessing.


Utburd
Attributes: Agility -, Smarts d4, Spirit d12, Strength -, Vigor -
Skills: Intimidation d12
Charisma: +0, Pace: -; Perry: -; Toughness: -
Special Abilities:
* Aethereal: Only magical attacks can affect Utburd, but only it's Unique Kill can actually kill it.
* Fear: The Utburd radiates fear, forcing anyone that sees it to make a Guts roll.
*Unique Kill: An Utburd can only be put to rest once the parent that killed them is brought to justice.



Stats for Victoriana

Navky
Rank: 1
Physical Competence: -
Mental Competence: 3
Health: -
Signature Skills: -
Talents: Ageless; Fear (Flee); Rise Again
Combat: Telekinesis at Mental Competence.

Special: Must receive a blessing from a priest of the Aluminat Church to be killed.

Utburd
Rank: 3
Physical Competence: -
Mental Competence: 5
Health: -
Signature Skills: -
Talents: Ageless; Fear (Flee); Possession (like Demonic Possession, p. 279); Rise Again; Unstoppable
Combat: Telekinesis at Mental Competence.

Special: Must get murderer to justice to be killed.

Note: Both these creatures originally appeared in Apparitions a supplement for the 2ned Edition of the Chill RPG. These are not converted from those, but rather inspired by them (so they dont follow the rules I set out for converting between Chill and Unisystem).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory, Chill

Going back to my roots here for a bit.

Elizabeth Bathory was one of my favorite evil characters in the old Mayfair Chill game. This was the game that convinced me (long before we ever saw Ravenloft for AD&D) that vampires need to played as characters and not monsters. Of course this is the defacto way of doing things now, but back then this was a new and powerful insight. Despite the fact that in the book Bathroy looked like Susan Lucci (and still not a bad choice), my earliest opinions on what Elizabeth Bathory acts like as a vampire come from the 1971 movie Les lèvres rouges, known here in the States as "Daughters of Darkness" (not to be confused with the movie Vampyres, which also had been called Daughters of Darkness).


Delphine Seyrig really helped form the idea of vampire Bathory as a timeless aristocrat so convinced that what she was doing was right that there is no sign of psychosis at all. She was a royal and therefore all others exist to serve her. After all, she had been locked away and cheated death. Of course the memory of her imprisonment still haunted her, so she became more cautious and more selective.

And that is how she was formed for me in Chill.
These stats differ from her published ones but they fit better with the Unisystem ones from before.

Elizabeth Bathory, Chill
(these are my combined 1st and 2nd Ed version of Chill stats)

BASIC ABILITIES
Strength 90
Perception 100
Dexterity 80
Willpower 110
Agility 90
Luck/EWS 150
Personality 120
Stamina 120

Attack 2/90%
Movement 75’ (225' as Raven or Wolf)

EDGES & DRAWBACKS (2nd Ed)
Name /CIPs/ Notes
Attractive /4/
Psychological flaw /1/ Obsessions (stay young, stay beautiful)

SKILLS
Name (Rank) Score
Dagger/Knife (M) 145
Acting/Drama (M) 165
Anthropology/ Archaeology (M) 160
Antiques (M) 130
Art Criticism (M) 160
History (M) 160
Hypnotism (M) 165
Investigation (M) 142
Language, Contemporary [all European languages] (M) 160
Language, Ancient (M) 150
Legend Lore (M) 160
Modeling (M) 142
Disguise(M) 155
Filching(M) 145
Graphology/Forgery (M) 145
Occult Lore (M) 116
Ritual Magic (M) 116

Movement: Varies according to form: in human form, can sprint without Stamina loss; can move 75' per round as mist or fog, 225' as raven or wolf.

Disciplines: Animation of the Dead, Appear Dead (Self), Change Self (to large raven, large wolf, woman of any race, cloud of fog), Create a Feast, Darken, Dreamsend, Evil Eye, Flight*, Gnarl, Halt, Haywire, Influence, Purified Shell, Quiet, Slam, Sleep, Steal Memory, Summon, Swarm, Telekinesis, Teleport, Total Illusion, Wave of Fog, White Heat.

*Bathory can use Flight any time, day or night, except for one hour after sunrise and one hour after sunset. To fly, she assumes the form of a cloud of sparkling lights that dance in the air, then materializes when the flight ends. She cannot be destroyed while in this dancing light form.

IPs: 7200

Characteristics
1. Like other vampires from this region Bathory casts no reflection. Nor does her image appear on film or video tape. All paintings of Bathory have mysteriously disappeared. The quickest way to anger her is to take her photograph.

2. Daylight does not harm or affect Bathory; however, she cannot use the Evil Way for one hour immediately following sunrise, and one hour immediately following sunset. She is still not comfortable however moving about during the day.

3. Bathory can control people who are reduced to 5 or fewer Stamina points by her bite. The extent of this control equals a "C" result under the discipline Influence.

4. Bathory must rest once her Stamina or Willpower goes below 10. When she rests she appears dead. This rest need not take place inside a coffin: a crypt, the inside of a mausoleum, or any place of the dead will do. Twelve hours of uninterrupted rest restore all lost Willpower and stamina. If Bathory is disturbed before the 12 hours have passed, her Stamina and Willpower remain where they were when she began resting; she must start allover again and rest for an entire 12 hours in order to recuperate Willpower and Stamina.

5. The following items offer protection against Bathory: -A Patriarchal Cross (but no other type of cross or crucifix). This item is the holy symbol of the Greek Orthodox Church. Upon seeing this item, Bathory cowers and leaves the room or area in any manner available. Bathory cannot approach within 2-1/2' of the Patriarchal cross. A Patriarchal cross hung above the doorway to a room prevents her from entering or leaving by that doorway.

-Garlic. The odor of a bulb of garlic within 2-1/2 feet causes Bathory to leave the room or immediate area. She will use the Evil Way (particularly the discipline Influence ) or her Hypnosis skill to make a subject remove the garlic.
-Salt. Bathory cannot touch table salt nor cross directly over a line of table salt. However, as with garlic, she uses skills and Evil Way disciplines in order to make a subject remove the salt. Direct contact with table salt causes an automatic critical wound to Bathory with full damage results (including Stamina loss).
-A Wild Rose. This flower has the same effect as garlic. It also immobilizes the Countess when placed upon her. If so immobilized, she can still use the Evil Way, except for any discipline that moves the rose or her own body.
-Mountain Ash. When placed upon the Countess, this leaf has the same effect as a wild rose.

6. Bathory must drink the blood of three young (younger than 25 years old) female victims per the New Moon, or her Personality score drops by 50 points for one week. She will appear to have aged 10 years from her usual appearance (that of a beautiful 25 year old woman). For one entire week, she will appear to be a 35 year old woman. If for some reason, she cannot claim three victims from the time she appears as a 35 year old woman, she ages another 10 years and loses another 50 points from her Personality score. If she fails to claim three victims on the fourth successive week, she is destroyed forever.

The victims of Elizabeth Bathory do not become vampires when they die, but remain dead after their Stamina falls to zero. The blood of a man does not fulfill Bathory's needs, so rather than perform her vampire attack on male victims, she attacks them with her skills and Evil Way disciplines. Often, she has been known to turn one male against another.

7. When draining blood from the body of her victim, Bathory drains 1d10 points of Stamina per minute. The blood drain lasts for 1d10 minutes.

8. There are several ways to destroy Bathory .If she sustains enough wound damage from table salt, she eventually dies.
A wooden stake driven through her heart leaves her completely helpless for one minute. Then, she uses her Evil Way disciplines to change into sparkling lights and escape. Once the stake is driven through Bathory , her body should be set on fire immediately. Bathory's body is highly flammable in this state, catching fire and burning completely in 3 rounds, leaving no trace of its existence.

9. Bathory does not suffer wounds or Stamina loss from normal weapons.

I did not see "Countess Dracula" till much later on. While it is a fun little flick in it's own right, I did gain anything new gaming-wise from it. Though a back to back Bathory film-fest might work out well one Halloween eve. Or maybe the weekend of August 21, when the Countess dashed off her mortal coil.

Each of these three builds gives me something different.
The Unisystem one is best at representing the fiendish side, the bloodthirsty sadist.
The Mutants & Masterminds works better for me in terms of the power hungry vampire. And this Chill version is the best at figuring out how to convert a real life psychopath into an calm, cool, undead psychopath.

Next up. Something that all three versions have contributed to, Elizabeth Bathory, Headmistress.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chill 3.0

Long time readers of my site and/or my posts online know of my love for the classic Horror RPG Chill. To many role-players around my age their first introduction to Horror roleplaying was the venerable “Call of Cthulhu”, but not me. Mine was Chill.


I got started in the 1st Edition Pacesetter days (early 80s) and “Chill: Vampires” was and is one of my favorite books for any game. The 90’s came around and I picked up the 2nd Edition, Mayfair, version. It was slicker and had some minor rule changes, but it was a great addition to my ideas for my 2nd Ed AD&D Ravenloft game. The Mayfair version is of course superior, but it lacks some of the feel I associated with the game. Maybe it was the lack of the Jim Holloway art or the darker tone. Picking up a copy of the Mayfair version now I get the impression (true or not) that the makers of Kult saw it and thought, “yes this is good, but what if the world was much, much worse?”

I liked Chill also because it had Midwest sensibilities. Pacesetter was from Wisconsin; Mayfair was/is in Niles/Skokie, a suburb of Chicago than is not too far from where I live (and has one of my favorite pizza places). It was while playing Chill that learned that the best horror was horror close to home. I don’t know, or much care really, what Hollywood thinks is horror. How can a place that gets like 350 days of sunshine know what is horror? On the other hand East Coast horror (Lovecraft) has a completely different flavor. It’s almost alien. Chill may have had a global scope, but the horror is home grown. Chill remembers that there is simple horror in the haunted house, or the strange creature from the Unknown. It is not about the bigger-badder-more horror of some games, where every game has to up the ante on the last game.

I had lots of ideas for Chill, but never got to use them since I couldn’t find anyone that wanted to play it. No worries, most of my Chill ideas were resurrected for my WitchCraft RPG games. In fact there is nice continuity in my horror game world of supernatural occurrences increasing over the years that track nicely to the power levels of my games (Chill -> WitchCraft RPG -> Buffy/Ghosts of Albion).
So needless to say I was stoked when I heard Chill 3.0 was coming out. I joined the playtest, gave my stuff and……that was it for a very long time.

Well now Other World Productions is producing Chill 3.0, but they need the cash (and interest) to do it.

You can find all the information here:
http://www.chillrpg.com/

And their Fundable account here: http://www.fundable.com/groupactions/groupaction.2009-05-13.8365429432


Now I would love to see a new version of Chill, but I am not sure I should be getting my hopes up here.