Prep work for Halloween

My gaming group’s normal night for adventure is Tuesday.  This year Halloween falls on a Monday night and I decided to see if my players were interested in having a special creepy gaming session and just about all of them are eager.

Earlier this week I had decided to become a dedicated Savage and start using Savage Worlds for much of my roleplaying needs.  As a result, I started looking around for a Savage Worlds one-off horror module.  The one that best fit my needs was “Last Rites of the Black Guard” which is also available for d20 system.

Unfortunately, it is not available for Fantasy Grounds and the screen shot below shows you where I am at in the conversion:

sw_last_ritesLast Rites starts with a request for help from a desperate single mother whose daughter has been touched by occult forces.  The players respond to the plea and start investigating at her home, but the trail will lead to far stranger places.

The module reads well and seems to be a good one – it started 12 to Midnight off and they eventually became an imprint under Pinnacle.  ETU (East Texas University) is an example of their work and they created the Pinebox, Texas, setting.  It isn’t on rails and provides a lot of information in a fairly open way.

If it has any flaws, it is perhaps the timeline.  The adventure starts at 7pm and none of the occult activity starts until midnight.  Five hours is a long time to hang out, so I will probably start it at 8pm and ‘steal’ 30 minutes while the woman helps her daughter to go to sleep.  Besides, getting people separated from one another is always a good ploy…

There is also a person that is going to break into a neighboring home and I don’t care for how it is handled.  There are notice rolls to see them drive by, another to see that the license plate is unusual.  Blah!  I am going to casually mention that they see a neighbor returning home and pull into the garage (they are breaking in by using a device to cause the door openers to start).  Later on, they’ll learn that the neighbor died and was rather notorious.  If they realize that the dead neighbor should not be driving, good for them, but there will be no rolling for clues.

Finally, I will take a pass on the provided quick-start characters.  There are only 4 and they seem to all link back to ETU – explaining ETU when I have 3 or 4 hours total is not going to happen.

I’ve got quite a few hours of work yet to finish the conversion – I’d better stop talking about it and get back to doing it!  The creepy part of this for me – when I run it, it will be my first time GMing Savage Worlds and hopefully my system knowledge is up to the task.



I’ve taken a few months of downtime, but I’m back and ready to keep on RPGing.

It is unfortunate and more than a little bit odd, but I just went through a lengthy run of deaths, wakes, and burials that involved grandparents, an aunt, a best friend which was entirely unexpected, and even a pet dog of 12 years.  My heart wasn’t in communications, so my updates here stopped for a bit.

On the role playing front, I am starting to look towards my next campaign as the current campaign should finish out by the end of November.  I’ve picked up Barbarians of Lemuria and Savage Worlds, both rule sets for Fantasy Grounds, and I am busy parsing the rules.  Savage Worlds is likely to get the nod since the appeal of a multi-genre spanning system is hard to resist.

As for D&D 5e, I still like it, but there are some cracks, big and small, that I’ve started to notice.  Some of these are probably true of any system.  Anyhow, I do not like how rest allows a party to load-up and smash down an encounter – then retreat back for a lovely nap to power back up.  I’ve utilized some consequences (like villains fleeing or preparing), but the problem is still there.  I am also generally unhappy with the formula approach to encounters – the average of hit points being used, the power level calculations, and the ratings of difficulty.  It all ends up a bit…bland.  Too over-thought and under-wrought, it does too much to cheat cruel fate and the spectre of death is more like the spectator of death, watching harmlessly, almost forgotten.

I can remember the first campaign I played in.  I was third level – and everyone else was first level because everyone else had died not once, but several times.  I had 9 hit points and ran like a craven coward from almost every fight because I would drop with 2 hits.  I was a thief and the group scout, leading the way deeper into the merciless dungeon – and running back to the party when I was detected.  That game seems very distant to what I am DMing now.  I understand that it is more fun not to have your character killed – but it certainly isn’t as thrilling or rewarding to level up.