How the Sausage is Made – Creating the Second Edition of Ghastly Affair

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The Dark Bible of the Second Edition, a work in progress. Picture by Wendy R.

Over the weekend I met again with Ghastly Affair’s contributing editor Wendy Rosalsky, and her husband Stan (who played the the first Libertine PC). After assuring ourselves that certain unnamable abominations remained imprisoned in the dark vaults under Chateau Rosalsky, we started really hammering out the shape of the proposed Second Edition of Ghastly Affair. Here are some things we discussed.

The most significant change to the game we are considering is in character creation. Rather than just having character Classes, we might make the default method of character creation involve choosing any five Special Abilities, and two Weaknesses. The current character Classes would still exist, but as suggested packages of Special Abilities and Weaknesses. Everyone PC would gain Levels using the same basic Advancement Table – but certain Special Abilities (such as “Use Incantation”) might increase the XP cost to attain 2nd Level (and/or have Basic Ability requirements). In other words, Player Characters would be built using the same method of mixing and matching Special Abilities and Weaknesses that the game already uses to create NPC Adversaries. You would still be able to play a classic Libertine or True Innocent if you want (and the rules will encourage it), but you can also play an equally flavorful character of your own design. This system needs to be thoroughly play-tested of course, and may prove to be too unbalanced. But I think the possibilities are good.

Our plan is to reorganize the game so that “Ghastly Affair Second Edition, Volume I” will be the complete basic system in one book. It will be focused, like the current edition, on the historical period between 1765 and 1820. “Ghastly Affair Second Edition, Volume II” should follow shortly thereafter, and expand the game into other historical eras (The “Gothic Age” of 13th century, the Edwardian Era, the Groovy 60s & 70s, etc.).

The base measure of distance in the revised game will probably be the 5-foot (or 1.5 meter) Pace, which is the distance an average person walks in 1 second. Therefore, the base Speed of a character would be raised from the current 9 to 10, corresponding to a rate of 50 feet in one ten-second Round. (This dovetails perfectly with modern games where the movement rate is 30 feet in a six-second Round.) Other units of distance employed for combat and magic would be “Hand-to-Hand” (25 feet / 7.5 meters), “Nearby” (50 feet/ 15.25 meters), “Musket Range” (300 feet / 100 yards / 91.5 meters), and “Visual Range” (self-explanatory).

In line with raising the base Speed to 10, the average Basic Ability rating of PCs would also be raised to 10. Therefore, each PC Ability would be determined by either taking 10, or rolling 3d6 and taking the result. The basic resolution system of Ghastly Affair is going to remain “roll under modified Ability on a d20”. However, I think we might also formally institute the concept of “success at cost”. Roll exactly your modified Ability, and you can chose to either fail, or succeed in a way that means you cannot do whatever you were doing again that day. You dance well and catch the eye of the Duke, but sprain your ankle in the process. You make the shot, but your trigger finger gets hurt. Etc.

We want to fully integrate LARP (Live Action Role Playing) and miniatures rules into the base game. LARPing is a natural fit for Ghastly Affair as a game of Gothic Romance set in an era (in)famous for its sumptuous fashion. I was previously opposed to including miniatures in Ghastly Affair, as I felt the “gods-eye view” creates a calm detachment that works against the immersion necessary for credible horror. I still feel that combat, especially in a horror game, is more thrilling with the slight disorientation created by “theater of the mind”. However, miniatures or tokens have great utility when running dances, balls, and salons in large rooms – keeping track of who can see each other and credibly interact can be difficult otherwise.

So, that’s the “State of the Sausage” this week. More updates to come!

Drive-in Theaters of the Uncanny Highway

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Decker Drive-In, Baytown, Texas LCCN2017708202

In the 1950s, the Drive-ins of America were not just places for teenagers to make-out, but destinations for the entire family. By the 1970s, however, they had generally become the suburban equivalents of the urban Grindhouses, specializing in low-budget and exploitation movies not shown in “normal” theaters. And on the Uncanny Highway, the line between reality and cinematic fantasy can become frighteningly blurry.

Note that unlike modern Drive-ins that microbroadcast the soundtrack to your car stereo, in the 1960s and 70s the sound came through speakers wired to short poles in the parking lot. You brought the speaker into your car – and hopefully remembered to put it back on the pole before driving away!

 

Tonight’s Showings

d6

Tonight’s show is a…

1 – 2

single movie, with two consecutive showings.

3 – 4

double feature.

5 – 6

triple feature.

 

Drive-in (and Grindhouse) Movie Titles

Roll a d10 to determine which number Title Table to use. Then, roll the dice indicated in parenthesis to construct a new title.

Title Table 1 (d12, twice)

1

The Prehistoric

Spider.

2

The Atomic

Woman.

3

The Terrible

Child.

4

The Devil(’s)

Killer.

5

The Bloody

Outlaw.

6

The Flying

Creature.

7

The Forbidden

Hand.

8

The Abominable

Visage.

9

The Revolting

Torso.

10

The Grisly

Horror.

11

The Shocking

Brain.

12

The Deadly

Spawn.

 

Title Table 2 (d20, twice)

1

Robot Titan versus

the U.F.O.s.

2

Wolfman versus

the K.G.B.

3

Battling Beauties versus

the Slime Monster.

4

Killer Cop versus

the King of Pimps.

5

Tyrannosaurus versus

the Giant Eagle.

6

Gill Man versus

Satan.

7

Green Berets versus

the Invisible Monster.

8

Ten Desperados versus

the Giant Lizard.

9

Wonder Man versus

the Mob.

10

Teenage Frankenstein versus

Dracula.

11

Electro-Man versus

the Abductors.

12

Sherlock Holmes versus

the Klan.

13

Machine-Gun P.T.A versus

the Mummy

14

Bad Momma versus

the She-Beast.

15

Far-Out Daddy versus

the Monster from Dimension Five.

16

Groovy Cats versus

Jack the Ripper.

17

Kung Fu Fighters versus

Doctor Frankenstein.

18

Foxy Mahogany versus

the Beast Men.

19

Outlaw Bikers versus

the Dope Fiends.

20

Commando Priest versus

Psycho Bikers.

 

Title Table 4 (d8, three times)

1

Attack of the

Radioactive

Men!

2

Shock of the

Sex-Crazed

Women!

3

Horror of the

Unknown

Alligator!

4

Beware the

Deadly

Priest!

5

Escape from the

Giant

Snake!

6

Terror of the

Mutant

Teenagers!

7

Captured by the

Hypnotic

Beatniks!

8

Exorcism of the

Satanic

Cultists!

 

Title Table 4 (d10, three times)

1

I Was

(a) Martian(s)

for the F.B.I!

2

I am

(a) G-Man/G-Men

for the Mob!

3

I Know

(a) Werewolf(s)

for the K.G.B!

4

I Married

(a) Hooker(s)

in Vegas!

5

I Kissed

(a) Trucker(s)

in Dixie!

6

I Escaped

(a) Killer(s)

in Malibu!

7

We Were

Trouble

in New York!

8

Sexy

(a) Vampire(s)

on the Run!

9

Deadly

(an) Assassin(s)

Looking for Love!

10

Wild

(an) Outlaw(s)

for Hire!

 

Title Table 5 (d12, twice)

1

Have You Seen

Marylin?

2

Do You Know

my Sweet?

3

Where is /are

the Babysitter?

4

What Happened to

Mother?

5

Can you Help

my Sister?

6

Who Murdered

Me?

7

Who will Love

the Bishop?

8

Who can Resist

Teacher?

9

Where is

Sister Agnes?

10

Who Took

the Night Nurse?

11

Who Bought

Her?

12

Who Cursed

Him?

 

Title Table 6 (d12, twice)

1

Beast(s)

from the Bronx.

2

Whore(s)

from Mississippi.

3

Horror

on the Subway.

4

Madman

of the Dead.

5

Pimp(s)

in the Heartland.

6

Runaway(s)

on the Road.

7

Bad Girl(s)

in Hell.

8

Coed(s)

in the White House.

9

Innocent(s)

on 42nd Street.

10

Nurse(s)

in Hollywood.

11

Detective

of the Night.

12

Killer(s)

in Candyland.

 

Title Table 7 (d12, twice)

1

Roadhouse

of Blood.

2

Castle

of Murder.

3

Hospital

of Fear.

4

Motel

of Screams.

5

School

of Violence.

6

Prison

of the Dead.

7

Carnival

of Sins.

8

Church

of a Thousand Terrors.

9

House

of Evil.

10

Shop

of Hell

11

Resort

of Fallen Angels.

12

Street

Without a Name.

 

Title Table 8 (d12, twice)

1

Blood

Car.

2

Terror

Train.

3

Murder

Dogs.

4

Horror

House.

5

Shock

City.

6

Murder

Mile.

7

Hell

Girls.

8

Night

Station.

9

Terror

Highway.

10

Doom

Street.

11

Space

Plane.

12

Star

Trip.

 

Title Table 9 (Giallo & Eurosleeze Movies) (d10, three times)

1

Five

Cats

in Leather.

2

Bloody

Nuns

of Milan.

3

Naked

Models

on Silk Sheets.

4

Delirious

Photos

of the Baroness.

5

Sinister

Secrets

with Murderous Intent.

6

Deadly

Girls

for Satan.

7

Sinful

Rats

in Bondage.

8

Blue

Vices

Without Pity.

9

Lovely

Eyes

of New York.

10

Wanton

Lips

by the Cemetery.

 

Title Table 10 (King Fu Movies) (d12 three times)

1

Shaolin

Monks

Versus the Lama.

2

Three

Brothers

of Iron.

3

Flying

Wife / Wives

Versus Hopping Vampire.

4

Drunken

Master(s)

Strike(s) Again!

5

Crippled

Fists

Versus Wu Tang.

6

Mad

Monkey(s)

Versus Deadly Tiger.

7

Vengeful

Dragon(s)

Fight(s) All!

8

Wild

Crane(s)

Against Evil.

9

Little

Warriors

of Shanghai.

10

Outlaw

Lady / Ladies

from Canton.

11

Eightfold

Avengers

and the Princess.

12

Magnificent

Abbot(s)

and the Poison Lotus.

 

Drive-in Capacity

d12

The capacity of the lot is…

1

50 cars

2

100 cars

3

150 cars

4

200 cars

5

250 cars

6

300 cars

7

350 cars

8

400 cars

9

450 cars

10

500 cars

11

550 cars

12

600 cars

 

Concessions

d20, 1d8 times

Besides buttered popcorn, the concession stand sells:

1

cheese-flavored popcorn.

2

caramel corn.

3

peanuts.

4

candy.

5

chocolates.

6

cotton candy.

7

potato chips.

8

ice cream and ices.

9

donuts.

10

sandwiches.

11

hamburgers.

12

hot dogs.

13

corn dogs.

14

fried fish.

15

barbecue.

16

chili.

17

soda.

18

chocolate milk.

19

corn bread.

20

cookies

Multiples of the same result indicate an unusually large variety of the indicated item(s).

 

Daytime Use

d8

During the day today, the lot is being used for…

1 – 3

nothing.

4

a Swap Meet.

5

religious services.

6

a carnival. See Amusement Parks of the Uncanny Highway.

7

a custom car and “hot rod” show.

8

a farm stand.

 

Movie Quality

d20, twice

The movie…

1

stars (1d4) well-known actors / actresses.

2

was made by a well-known director.

3

was directed by someone using an obvious alias.

4

is surprisingly well written.

5

has the worst dialogue you’ve ever heard.

6

is surprisingly well acted.

7

features outrageously bad performances from the actors.

8

has surprisingly good special effects.

9

has laughably bad special effects.

10

has a plot completely different from what you’d expect form the title.

11

was actually filmed in another language and dubbed. If a Giallo, Eurosleeze, or King Fu movie, then it was actually filmed in English!

12

features an exceptional amount of gratuitous nudity.

13

features an exceptional amount of bloody violence.

14

is surprisingly family-friendly!

15

has such poor sound you can barely understand anything being said.

16

looks like it was filmed in a dark tunnel!

17

seems to be highly allegorical.

18

is obsessed with a seemingly random subject.

19

is so bad overall that it’s actually enjoyably funny!

20

has a plot that seems to parallel the PC’s adventures on the road so far.

Re-roll repeated results.

 

Drive-In Events.

d20

Suddenly…

1

the film stops and the picture melts.

2

the car nearest to you begins rocking!

3

the nearest car suddenly pulls out and leaves, right in the middle of a movie.

4

the dialogue and soundtrack seem to have gone out of synch with the visuals.

5

the audio cuts out.

6

you hear gunshots in the distance.

7

somebody knocks on the window. (They want to: 1 = share the good news of Jesus Christ. 2 = find their missing spouse. 3 = find their missing child. 4 = accuse someone in the car of being their spouse’s lover. 5 = get your help with their car. 6 = murder the driver, or a passenger.)

8

somebody starts honking their car’s horn.

9

there is an inexplicably horrible smell in the air.

10

1d4 cop cars show up. The movie is suddenly stops, and the owner of the theater is arrested for obscenity.

11

a couple steps out of their car and starts arguing.

12

a child runs out of a nearby car.

13

a woman runs out of a car screaming!

14

a U.F.O. is seen overhead!

15

a small aircraft crashes into the screen!

16

a biker gang pulls into the lot.

17

cops are chasing a suspect through the lot!

18

a car explodes!

19

a car careens into the lot, crashing into 1d4 other cars before stopping.

20

a sinkhole opens up under the lot.

The Bogeymen of Panzoasia, Part III – Goblins

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The Goblins of the Ultimate West

The Goblins of Panzoasia’s Ultimate West are feared for their compulsive vandalism. Mobs of Goblins crawl from their caves by night to poison fields, pull up gardens, and befoul wells. They smash statues, cut paintings, and slash the lovely faces of Elves in their beds. The Goblins draw crude and obscene figures on walls, urinate on food stored for the winter, and kill beloved pets. They hate anything anybody else loves, and resent anything anybody else owns. Goblins are often used as disposable soldiers by their larger kin, the Hobgoblins.

Appearance and Costume

Goblins stand from three to three and a half feet tall, and suggest an abominable mixture of denuded simian and bat. They have enormous, bat-like ears with pointed tips, and wrinkled, leaf-like noses that seem to be either constantly stuffed up or running. Males are generally bald, but females can have human-like head of hair (albeit always stringy and greasy). Goblin eyes are red, and glow faintly. Their skin is usually a sickly yellowish-green, but like that of Elves, can actually be any shade of of any hue. Like all Goblinoids (including Hobgoblins and Bugbears), their arms are disproportionately long for their bodies, their hands are elongated, and their fingers are slightly webbed. Goblins prefer to steal their clothing and weapons, but are not nearly so clever as Kobolds at re-purposing items. The one item that all Goblins carry, however, is a well-used handkerchief – which is never washed.

Goblin Culture and Society

Goblins love to eat anything other races find disgusting – and if others see them doing it, so much the better. Worms slurped like noodles are a Goblin delight. Above all, they love to make bizarre alcoholic brews which include ingredients like dung beetles, mushrooms, fresh blood, old socks, and rotten Human heads. Hobgoblins often send all their organic waste to the Goblin warrens for disposal, and much of it goes into the brew pot. In fact, much of the disordered thinking characteristic of Goblins may be put down to the fact that they are usually intoxicated.

The stench of a Goblin’s (distressingly frequent) farts is indescribably awful. In fact, Goblins will stage contests with each other to see who can produce the most vile flatulence. If not for the competing stink of the horrible brews also being made there, Goblin lairs would smell entirely of farts.

Besides farting competitions, the favorite sport of Goblins is Snot Shooting. Goblins compete for distance and accuracy while clearing their noses. If possible, they prefer to paint the target on the forehead of a bound Elf, Human, Dwarf, Gnome, or Halfling (in that order or preference). When Goblins aren’t clearing their noses, they are frequently picking them – either flinging the extracted mucus at another, or eating it.

Goblins have no sense of privacy, shame, or even pride – but they live in a constant state of resentment. In fact, any Goblin who accomplishes anything noteworthy will be quickly torn down by their fellows. Goblin Tyrants are infamous for their stupidity and short-sightedness, but Goblins consider this desirable in a leader. Oddly, Goblins have no problem with following clever Hobgoblins – they simply believe no Goblin should ever act like they are smarter than another.

It is not uncommon for a horde of Goblins to be led by one of the half-human, half Hobgoblin hybrids known as High Goblins.

Goblins at War

Goblins take no more care of their weapons and armor than they do anything else. The bits and pieces of armor they wear are usually mismatched, ill-fitting, and crudely repaired. Like Hobgoblins, they can only wear helmets that are open at the side, because of their large ears. Goblin soldiers serving directly under Hobgoblin command, however, are sometimes issued fine armor and weapons of Hobgoblin steel.

The favorite weapons of Hobgoblins are saw-toothed short swords, spiked clubs, and short bows (firing barbed arrows) Those Goblins who ride Dire Wolves also wield short spears that they they can use use like lances in melee, or throw as javelins.

Goblins also throw excrement as a weapon of war. One particularity nasty way is to roll it into balls, infest the balls with with Rot Grubs, and cover them with with mud. Once dried and safe to (gently) handle with gloves, the dried balls are flung at enemies – while the Goblins slink away to snicker.

A curious fact about raiding Goblins is that they are just as likely to steal toys and novelties as gold . In fact, the treasure vaults of a Goblin Tyrant are likely to hold as many old dolls and hobby horses as gems. Of course, any pretty toy the Goblins can’t steal they will break – preferably in front of a crying child.

Animals and Allies of the Goblins

Wolves, bats, rats, and weasels naturally get along with Goblins, as do the giant and monstrous versions of those same animals. Dire Wolves and Giant Bats in particular often serve as Goblin mounts. All other mammals, however, instinctively hate Goblins, and will refuse to eat or drink if captured and held by them. Likewise, any crops Goblins attempt to intentionally grow, other than mushrooms and fungi, will always wither and die. Thus, the Goblins cannot engage in any appreciable agriculture (beyond raising snakes, lizards, maggots, and worms), and must constantly hunt and raid (unless they live off the garbage of another species).

The Goblin Language

The Goblin language is harsh and guttural, but also filled with syllables that resemble retching, throat clearing, and nose-blowing. The names of Goblins always translate to something unpleasant, such as “Vomit-soup” or “Pus-drop”. When Goblin is written, is uses a system of pictograms that look startlingly like crude versions of those used for Western Elven – a fact that Elves put down to some kind of tasteless Goblin joke.

Alignment and Religion

Clerics of the Antichurch of Darkness greatly resent being assigned to the smelly, filthy, and unrelentingly noisy Goblin warrens. Goblins demand to be constantly entertained in their worship, and the Depradator Priests and Priestesses must often resort to adding cheap legerdemain and stage trickery when celebrating the Black Mass for Goblins.

The Gnomish sages claim that once, most Goblins were simply Chaotic rather than Evil. They were skilled artisans who took great pride in their work, but also had a love of practical jokes and mischief. Unfortunately, when the Hobgoblins invented steel they made the Goblins feel inferior. Afterward, the Goblins gave up attempting to make beautiful things, and turned instead towards stealing and destroying them.

Amusement Parks of the Uncanny Highway

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The Amusement Parks of the Uncanny Highway promise thrills and enjoyment – but often deliver horror and pain. But where else can you and your demon lover go to get a chili dog, and ride the Ferris Wheel?

These tables generate the kind of non-corporate, family-owned Amusement Parks that were once ubiquitous in the United States. They can also be used to generate the attractions at traveling Carnivals, County Fairs, and seaside Amusement Piers.

Table 1. Highway Sign

d6

The first sign for the Amusement Park appear…

1

20 miles away.

2

15 miles away.

3

10 miles away.

4

5 miles away.

5

1 mile away.

6

only when the place is upon you.

See Billboards of the Uncanny Highway to generate the billboard sign for the Amusement Park.

Table 2. Amusement Park Theme

d20

The overall theme of the place appears to be…

1 – 6

nothing in particular.

7

an Old-Time Circus. There will be Clowns wandering about at all times.

8

Western (Cowboys and “Indians”).

9

Storybook / Fairy-tale.

10

Medieval.

11

Arabian-Nights fantasy.

12

Chinese, Japanese, or undifferentiated “Oriental”.

13

Pirates.

14

Nautical (other than Pirates).

15

Jungle.

16

Rustic. Buildings will be log cabins, etc.

17

Biblical.

18

Classic Monsters. (Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, etc.) A park with this theme will always have a Haunted House attraction.

19

Colonial America.

20

Outer Space.

The overall theme will be reflected on the sign, in the architecture of structures, in the design of the rides, and the outfits of the employees.

Table 3. Amusement Park Size

d6

In overall size the park is…

1

parking-lot sized (less than 1 acre). 2d4 Attractions. 25% chance of a Gift Shop. Typical for a church carnival or small town fair.

2

very small (1d6 acres). 1 + 2d6 Attractions. 50% chance of a Gift Shop. Typical for a seaside Amusement Pier.

3

small (4d6 acres). 5 + 1d12 Attractions. 75% chance of a Gift Shop.

4

moderate (10 + 2d20 acres). 10 + 1d12 Attractions. 1 Gift Shop. Typical for a minor County Fair.

5

large (40 + 3d20 acres). 20 + 1d12 Attractions. 1 or 2 Gift Shop(s). Typical for a well-known County Fair, or a small State Fair.

6

very large (100 + 2d100 acres). 30 + 1d12 Attractions. 1d4 Gift Shops. Typical for a large State Fair.

Table 4. Amusement Park Enclosure

d6

The park is enclosed by…

1

no barrier at all…

2

a clean chain-link fence. (25% chance to be topped with barbed wire.)

3

a dirty and corroded chain-link fence… (25% chance to be topped with barbed wire.)

4

a well-maintained picket fence…

5

a broken and poorly-maintained picket fence…

6

an old-fashioned iron fence… (75% chance to be topped with spikes.)

d4

…and when you enter you pay…

1

no fee, but must buy tickets to go on the rides.

2

a small fee, and must also buy tickets for the rides,

3

a high fee, and must also buy relatively cheap tickets for the rides.

4

a single fee, which includes every ride.

Table 5. Park Condition

d4

The overall condition of the park is…

1

Good, and the attractions seem well maintained.

2

Poor, and the attractions look decrepit.

3

Dirty, but the attractions seem safe enough.

4

Clean, but the attractions look like they were built cheaply.

Table 6. The Staff

d12

A notable characteristic of the staff is..

1 – 2

they are all teenagers.

3

they are all wearing costumes.

4

they are all men.

5

they are all women.

6

they all seem elderly.

7

they are all a single ethnicity.

8

they are all hostile and unfriendly.

9

they are unnervingly cheerful.

10

they all speak in an emotionless, monotone voice.

11

they seem to watch you everywhere you go.

12

they seem to take obvious delight when attendees get hurt.

Table 7a. Attractions

d100

The Attractions include…

1 – 3

a Ferris wheel.

4 – 6

a roller-coaster.

7 – 9

a carousel. Roll on Table 7b, Carousel Mounts.

10 – 12

bumper cars.

13 – 15

a miniature golf course.

16 – 18

a petting zoo. 5% chance one of the animals is rabid.

19 – 20

a small zoo of 2d4 animals.

21 – 23

a Freak Show. Roll on Tale 7c, Freak Show Features.

24 – 26

a haunted house. Roll on Table 7d, Haunted House Features.

27 – 29

a Funhouse or (“Walkthrough”) Roll on Table 7e, Funhouse / Walkthrough) Features.

30 – 32

a Devil’s Wheel ride.

33 – 35

flying scooters.

36 – 38

a slide.

39 – 40

a Hurricane ride.

41 – 43

a log flume. Roll again if Park is not permanent.

44 – 46

a “tunnel of love” or “old mill” ride. Roll on Table 7f, Tunnel of Love / Old Mill Ride Features.

47 – 49

haunted train ride. Moderate or larger parks only.

50 – 52

narrow-gauge train. Moderate or larger parks only.

53 – 55

a swinging pirate ship ride.

56 – 58

a Rock-o-plane ride.

59 – 60

a Tilt-a-Whirl / waltzer ride.

61 – 63

a swimming pool. On the back of a truck if Park is not permanent.

64 – 66

a water slide.

67 – 69

a spray pool.

70 – 72

a wave pool. Roll again if Park is not permanent, or located on a pier.

73 – 75

an artificial river with a slow current. Roll again if Park is not permanent, or located on a pier.

76 – 78

a wooded picnic area. Roll again if Park is not permanent, or located on a pier.

79 – 80

a drive-through safari. Large or Very Large parks only.

81 – 83

a roller-rink.

84 – 86

a faux village or town.

87 – 88

a booth with an artist that does fast caricatures.

89 – 90

vending machines.

91 – 95

“midway” games and attractions. Roll on Table 7g, Midway Games and Attractions.

96 – 100

an arcade. Roll on table 7h, Arcade Games and Attractions.

A repeated result indicates multiple example of an attraction, or that the feature is especially large. An Amusement Park might be nothing but roller-coasters, for example.

Table 7b. Carousel Mounts

d100, 8+d20 times.

The mounts include a…

1 – 10

white horse.

11 – 20

black horse.

21 – 30

brown horse.

31 – 40

chariot car.

41 – 46

unicorn.

45 – 50

dragon.

51 – 52

stag.

53 – 54

pegasus.

55 – 56

eagle.

57 – 58

hound.

59 – 60

bull.

61 – 62

buffalo.

63 – 64

pig.

65 – 66

camel

67 – 68

dolphin.

69 – 70

seal.

71 – 72

shark.

73 – 74

sea-horse.

75 – 76

giraffe.

77 – 78

rabbit.

79 – 80

zebra.

81 – 82

ostrich.

83 – 84

fish.

85 – 86

wolf.

87 – 88

ape.

89 – 90

rooster.

91 – 92

lion.

93 – 94

tiger.

95 – 96

leopard.

97 – 98

goat.

99 – 100

griffon.

1 in 8 chance for a rider to have opportunity to grab the Brass Ring. Grabbing the ring requires a Dexterity Check, made with a -2 Penalty.

Roll on Table 8 to determine prize for catching the Brass Ring.

Table 7c. Freak Show Features

d100, 1d8 times

You’ll be shocked and amazed by…

1 – 3

“The Lobster Boy/Girl”.

4 – 6

“The Toad Man/Woman”.

7 – 9

“The Siamese Twins”.

10 – 12

“The Bearded Lady”.

13 – 15

“The Snake-Man/Woman”.

16 – 18

“The Two-headed Man/Woman”.

19 – 21

“The Human Skeleton”.

22 – 24

“The Dog-faced Boy/Girl”.

25 – 27

“The Alligator Man/Woman”.

28 – 30

“The Strong-Man/Strong-Woman”.

31 – 33

“The India Rubber Man/Woman”. (Contortionist)

34 – 36

“The Pin-Head”.

37 – 39

“The Dwarf Man/Woman”.

40 – 42

“The Giant Man/Woman”.

43 – 45

“The Three-Legged Man/Woman”.

46 – 48

“The Tattooed Man /Woman”. (Person with full-body tattoos – extremely rare in the 1960s and 70s, and practically unknown for women.)

49 – 51

“The Human Pincushion”. (Person with body piercings, who also puts needles, skewers and blades through their skin and tongue.)

55 – 57

“The Sword Swallower”.

58 – 60

“The Legless Acrobat”.

61 – 63

“The Armless Artist”.

64 – 66

“The Fire Swallower”.

67 – 69

“The Incredible Regurgitator”.

70 – 72

“The Stone Swallower”.

73 – 75

“The Wild Man from Borneo”.

76 – 78

“The Geek”. (Person who bites the heads off of chickens, and other small animals.)

79 – 84

a collection of deformed human fetuses in jars.

85 – 87

a collection of deformed animal fetuses in jars.

88 – 90

pictures of historical “freaks”.

91 – 93

a collection of objects made of human skin, hair, and bones.

94 – 96

a stuffed, two-headed animal.

97 – 100

an actual Egyptian Mummy.

Table 7d. Haunted House Features

d100, 3d6 times

You’ll be delightfully terrified by the…

1 – 5

spooky music.

6 – 10

screams and moans.

11 – 12

actors in monster masks.

13 – 14

cobwebs.

15 – 16

skeletons.

17 – 18

spider webs.

19 – 20

growling sounds.

21 – 22

giggling sounds.

23 – 24

animatronic figures.

25 – 26

coffins.

27 – 28

glowing eyes.

29 – 30

black-lit area(s).

31 – 32

area(s) lite with colored lights.

33 – 34

area(s) lit with strobe lights.

35 – 36

rubber bats.

37 – 38

rubber rats.

39 – 40

giant paper mache spiders

41 – 42

stuffed black cat(s).

43 – 44

stuffed crow(s).

45 – 46

spooky painting(s)

47 – 48

gauze ghost(s)

49 – 50

air blast(s).

51 – 52

spinning tunnel.

53 – 54

floor(s) shrouded in fog or mist.

55 – 56

grabbing hands.

57 – 58

rubber bugs.

59 – 60

pitch-black room.

61 – 62

maze.

63 – 64

vampire’s lair.

65 – 66

werewolf’s den.

67 – 68

ghoul’s lair.

69 – 70

mummy’s tomb.

71 – 73

gill-man tank.

74 – 75

Mad Scientist’s laboratory.

76 – 77

witch’s room.

78 – 79

Black Mass room.

80 – 81

bug-eyed space aliens.

82 – 83

medieval torture chamber.

84 – 85

electric chair.

86 – 87

gallows.

88 – 89

“voodoo” room.

90 – 91

rusty knives.

92 – 93

suit(s) of armor.

94 – 95

gargoyle(s).

96 – 97

“Pepper’s Ghost” illusion.

98 – 99

trapdoor.

100

electric shocks.

Repeated results means the feature occurs in more than one place.

Note: evil clowns weren’t really a “thing” in the 60s and 70s, before the arrest of John Wayne Gacy in 1978.

Table 7e. Funhouse / Walkthrough Features

d20. 2d6 times

You’ll be surprised and astounded by the…

1

spinning barrel.

2

slide.

3

spinning wheel room.

4

air jets.

5

distorting mirrors.

6

ball pit.

7

trapdoor.

8

mirror maze.

9

completely dark corridor.

10

undulating floors.

11

rocking floor.

12

maze of doors.

13

crooked room,

14

blacked out corridor.

15

optical illusion walls.

16

strobe lights.

17

sudden trumpet blasts.

18

animatronic figures.

19

taunting clowns.

20

trick staircases.

Repeated results means the feature occurs in more than one place.

Table 7f. Tunnel of Love / Old Mill Ride Features

d6

Strapped into the….

1

chair on a track…

2

heart-shaped chair on a track…

3

rocket-ship shaped car…

4

small boat….

5

small boast shaped like a swan…

6

small boat shaped like a fish…

d100, 2d6 times

…you move through the dark tunnel and see …

1 – 3

a section lit with many small lights.

4 – 6

a partially lit section with leering faces painted on the wall.

7 – 9

a lit section where the walls are painted in an optical illusion.

10 – 12

a scene of fairies in a forest.

13 – 15

the Three Little Pigs.

16 – 18

mermaids.

19 – 21

a scene of Romeo and Juliet

22 – 24

a scene of familiar cartoon characters.

25 – 27

an undersea grotto.

28 – 30

a storybook castle.

31 – 33

a dragon.

34 – 36

a forest of giant toadstools.

37 – 39

a shootout in the Old West.

40 – 42

a Polynesian village scene.

43 – 45

a Chinese pagoda in a landscape.

46 – 48

a scene of stereotypical “Indians” (Native Americans) in tee-pees.

49 – 51

a scene of colonial America.

55 – 57

skeletons.

58 – 60

a vampire’s lair.

61 – 63

a gallows.

64 – 66

a scene of Hell and Satan.

67 – 69

a giant ape.

70 – 72

a scene of witches around a cauldron.

73 – 75

werewolves.

76 – 78

pirates.

79 – 84

a graveyard.

85 – 87

an ancient Egyptian tomb.

88 – 90

a torture chamber.

91 – 93

a scene of witches being burnt.

94 – 96

a scene of cannibals in the jungle.

97 – 100

a haunted Victorian mansion.

Repeated results means the feature or scene occurs in more than one place along the ride.

Table 7g. Midway Games and Attractions

d20, 2d6 times

Enjoy yourself at the completely fair, honest, and definitely not fixed…

1

Strength Tester (Mallet and Bell) .

2

Dunk Tank.

3

Wheel of Fortune.

4

Pin-Pong Ball and Fishbowl game(Prize is the goldfish in the bowl).

5

Ball and Basket game.

6

Milk Bottle Game.

7

Dime Pitch.

8

Electric Shooting Gallery.

9

Watergun Shooting Gallery.

10

Bottle Stand game.

11

Dartboard game.

12

Raffle.

13

Bingo game.

14

Horseshoe pitch.

15

Pachinko game.

16

Ring Toss.

17

Weight Guesser.

18

Cover the Spot game.

19

Duck Pond game.

20

Kissing Booth. Not a game. You pay, someone kisses you. You won’t get any prizes here – except maybe a case of mononucleosis!

For each Midway game, roll a d8 to determine the “Fix” (Penalty to Strength or Dexterity Checks to beat the games).

Repeated results means there is more than one example of the same game or attraction.

Roll on Table 8 to determine the prize for a winner.

Table 7h. Arcade Games and Attractions

d20,

3d6 times

Amuse yourself with the…

1

sports-themed pinball machine.

2

monster-themed pinball machine.

3

fantasy-themed pinball machine.

4

superhero-themed pinball machine.

5

space-themed pinball machine.

6

western-themed pinball machine.

7

Jukebox.

8

electro-mechanical racing game.

9

electro-mechanical sports game.

10

electro-mechanical shooting game.

11

electro-mechanical combat game.

12

Fascination table.

13

slot machine.

14

foosball table.

15

skee-ball.

16

love tester.

17

fortune teller machine. 10% chance machine is an actual oracle.

18

old-fashioned mutoscope. 50% chance motion picture is of a scantily clad woman from 1930 or before.

19

photo booth.

20

air hockey table. Roll again if before 1969.

Repeated results means there is more than one example of the same game or attraction.

Table 8. Game and Carousel Prizes

d20

Congratulations, you’ve won a(n)…

1

ashtray

2

rubber duckie

3

set of wind-up chattering teeth

4

plate.

5

candy dish.

6

hula-hoop.

7

baseball cap.

8

stuffed teddy bear.

9

stuffed unicorn.

10

band t-shirt (90% likely to be unlicensed.)

11

baseball hat.

12

football.

13

wall plaque.

14

black velvet poster.

15

rock band poster (90% likely to be unlicensed.)

16

baseball.

17

free ticket for one on the rides /attractions, or free admission to the park.

18

ticket for free food at the Concession Stand.

19

keychain

20

piece of cheap jewelry.

Table 9. Bathrooms

d8

The Bathrooms are…

1

nowhere to be found.

2

50 cents to use!

3

oddly well-maintained.

4

just portable booths.

5

basic, but serviceable.

6

covered in graffiti

7

disgustingly filthy.

8

used for drug dealing.

Table 10. Concession Stand Food

d20, 1d12 times

The food served at the Concession Stand includes…

1 – 2

hamburgers.

3

hot dogs.

4

corn dogs.

5

fried chicken.

6

steak on a stick. Or at least, something like steak!

7

fried fish.

8

barbeque sandwiches.

9

soft pretzels.

10

funnel cakes.

11

corn bread.

12

french fries.

13

turkey legs.

14

chili and/or tacos.

15

pizza.

16

ice cream cones.

17

ice cream sundaes.

18

moon pies.

19

cookies.

20

pie slices.

d6

…and its overall quality is best described as…

1

vile.

2

edible if washed down with a drink.

3 – 4

mediocre.

5

acceptable for what it is.

6

surprisingly tasty.

Table 11. Gift Shop Merchandise

d20. 2d6 times

The Gift Shop sells…

1

post cards.

2

t-shirts.

3

key-chains.

4

wallets.

5

jewelry.

6

souvenir spoons.

7

stamped pennies.

8

stuffed animals.

9

wall plaques.

10

tea-pots.

11

beach towels.

12

iron-on patches.

13

candles.

14

paperweights.

15

snow-globes.

16

masks.

17

rubber weapons and/or cap guns.

18

Christmas ornaments.

19

novelty hats. (tricorns, knight’s helmets, faux Native American warbonnets, etc.)

20

ashtrays.

Table 12. Amusement Park Events

d20

Right now…

1

a state inspector is trying to insert an awl into the welds of a ride – to see if they are actually spray-painted bubble-gum.

2

an attraction collapses, or catches on fire (1d6-1 people will be hurt, 1d4-1 people will be killed.)

3

a group is attempting to ride or enter illegally. (Without purchasing a ticket, wearing neither shirts nor shoes, etc.)

4

a child is lost.

5

a child is having their birthday party.

6

a ride has broken down.

7

someone has gotten injured on a ride.

8

a couple is having a fight.

9

someone is loudly looking for the manager.

10

a musical concert has started.

11

several patrons are experiencing food poisoning.

12

a clown is wandering about, unintentionally scaring children.

13

someone has set off firecrackers.

14

someone has set off a stink bomb.

15

a murdered body has been discovered.

16

a naked “streaker” is running by.

17

helicopters are overhead, apparently looking for somebody (or something).

18

a dog (or other animal) runs by.

19

a bird has defecated on a patron, who starts cursing loudly.

20

a ride or attraction is being repaired or maintained.

Determine a new event around every ride or attractions the PCs visit.

Table 13. Amusement Park Secrets

d20

The dark secret of this Amusement Park is…

1

the owner is actually a Mad Scientist.

2

the owner is actually a Magician.

3

the owner is actually an extraterrestrial, and alien technology is used on the rides.

4

the employees are all actually androids.

5

the monsters in the Haunted House (or “Tunnel of Love”) are real.

6

the Haunted House (or “Tunnel of Love”) contains actual portals to other times and places.

7

a phantom rider is often seen on one of the rides.

8

it is often patronized by supernatural creatures, or extraterrestrials.

9

it is the hunting ground of a child abduction ring.

10

it exists to trap and collect souls for the Devil.

11

it is one big C.I.A. (or K.G.B.) mind control experiment.

12

it is used by locals as a place for illicit trysts.

13

the staff selects one patron to murder every month. Their death always looks like an accident.

14

after hours the staff engages in orgies.

15

it is built atop an old cemetery or “Indian” burial ground.

16

there is an extensive network of tunnels underneath, inhabited by ghouls.

17

it is the prison for an ancient power of Evil.

18

it is actually run by the Fairy Folk.

19

it is actually the cover for a smuggling ring.

20

It is owned by an organized crime syndicate, and sometimes used to dispose of dead bodies. Don’t eat the barbeque!

A Second Edition of Ghastly Affair

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After talking with Wendy Rosalsky (GA’s contributing editor, and the reason the game’s math works), I’ve decided to explore a Second Edition of Ghastly Affair.

Supporting Multiple Historical Periods

Rather than focus exclusively on the late Georgian and Napoleonic period like Ghastly Affair does now, I think I might present six suggested starting years across different eras. Originally, I was just going to work on an expansion covering 1965 to 1976, to be called GROOVY Ghastly Affair. That’s still happening in a way, but now the late Sixties/early Seventies will be just one of the additional eras supported. Also, giving multiple historical eras makes “Dark Shadows”-style time travel a supported possibility. And what are ghosts, but reminders of the inescapable past, and inevitable future?

The starting years I am leaning towards are:

1209 – The Gothic Age. Beginning of the Albigensian Crusade, and the year of the Massacre of the Cathars at Beziers. The Troubadours are at their height. The first Gothic novel “The Castle of Otranto”, is set in this era.

1795 – The Ghastly Age. Directory-era France, and the first true Youth Culture coalesces in Paris. Girls wearing short hair, nearly see-through dresses, and guillotine earrings can be seen running around the Palais-Royal. Much of the remaining royalty of Europe is insane. This is the beginning of the British Regency period, broadly defined.

1913 – Ghastly Mysteries. This year was the debut of Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring”, and the New York City Armory Show that brought Modern Art to America. This era would particularly support murder mysteries and occult detective stories. Think the “Carnacki” stories, Agatha Christie with werewolves, or “Downtown Abbey” with ghosts. Also, any number of Edward Gorey books.

1969 – Groovy Ghastly Affair. This is the year of the Manson murders, Woodstock, and Apollo 11. The Vietnam War rages. Lots of great music for soundtracks here. Think “Dark Shadows” and “Rosemary’s Baby”.

1983 – Neon Ghastly Affair. This is arguably the best single year for music in the 80s. Punk, Goth, New Wave, and Heavy Metal are all vital styles. The club scene is deliciously decadent and indulgent. The Glam Metal scene in L.A is fully formed, but hasn’t yet broken out. Think “The Hunger” and “Cat People”.

2213 – Ghastly Stars. This will be a Gothic future of dark techno-magic. The dead inhabit Outer Space, and spaceships are haunted by ancient ghosts. Human souls reincarnate into android bodies, remembering their past lives in the flesh. Star Knights battle tyrannical robot sorcerers. Time is no longer a barrier to True Love.

I’m deliberately leaving out the Victorian era and 1920s. There are many, many Victorian era games, and Call of Cthulhu has 1920s Horror well-covered.

Reducing the Wordiness

I want the description of almost every Class to occupy exactly a two page spread of the final book. I will probably add some classes, such as “Psychic” and “Parapsychologist”, appropriate to different time periods. And since I will need to address a broader range of possible actions, across multiple eras, greater concision overall will be a necessity.

Reconsidering The “Gypsy” Class

My original intention for the “Gypsy” Class in Ghastly Affair was to explore the literary concept of Abjection. One important aspect of Abjection is the horror of “the other”, which is largely embodied in Gothic literature by the constant presence of “Gypsies”. Thus, I felt needed to have a “Gypsy” class, to reflect that strong motif, and as a way of exploring “otherness” in society. I was comfortable with the word “Gypsy”, because in American English it is not inherently pejorative. Most Americans simply don’t use it as a term of abuse. However, I realize that the word (and its equivalents) is almost always meant as a derogatory epithet in Europe. Since Ghastly Affair is available internationally, I am reconsidering the name of the Class. Probably, it will be renamed as “Itinerant” (or something similar), with a note in the “Social Prejudice” Weakness stating that the character may be erroneously called by demeaning epithets such as “Gypsy”.

Putting Even More Emphasis on Historical Diversity

One of the things I’ve tried to demonstrate especially in the Ghastly Affair supplements is the historical presence of non-white and Queer people in Georgian and Napoleonic Europe – when same-sex affairs were commonplace among upper class women, the most famous duelist in Europe was transgender, Napoleon’s Archchancellor was openly gay, and Black commanders served in the French army. Nonetheless, there’s some possibly regressive language in the rules (such as the above mentioned “Gypsy” class) which was meant to reflect broader 18th century attitudes, but could easily be misconstrued. I’d like to correct that.

Using Metric and Natural Measurements

Ghastly Affair already employs the natural concept of “Nearby” as a range for Preternatural Effects. The game is otherwise currently written using “feet” and “inches” as units of measure – which are coincidentally eighteenth century, but also possibly confusing for many outside the United Sates. Thus, I’m leaning towards including support for metric measurements in the base rules. I’m also considering making increased use of other natural measurements such as “paces”, which would sidestep the whole “feet or meters” issue.

Keeping it Romantic

Ghastly Affair’s genre is Gothic, rather than ordinary Horror – the Romance is as important as the Terror. There are already plenty of games that attempt straight Horror. I want Ghastly Affair, in whatever historical epoch it is set, to always be about the dark places of the human heart. In any period, it is never just about facing monsters – but also our own attraction to the monstrous. So, I won’t be turning it into a Cthulhu Mythos games, or making it about non-romantic Horror.

So, if you managed to bear with me through all that, what do you think? Is anyone interested in a Second Edition? What would you like to see?

Motels of the Uncanny Highway

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For many lost on the Uncanny Highway of U.S. Route 28, the motel is as close as they may ever come to a home again. They stay for a night – or maybe just an hour. Most believe they are going somewhere else. Others know that once the road claims you as its own, it never lets you go.

Motel Architecture

d20

The architectural style of the motel is…

1

faux Aztec or Native American.

2

faux “Tudor”.

3

faux medieval castle.

4 – 5

Space-Age Googie.

6

Southwestern / Adobe

7

faux Polynesian (“Tiki”).

8

log cabin.

9 – 12

nondescript brick.

13 – 16

nondescript concrete & stucco.

17 – 20

nondescript clapboard.

Motel Layout

d20

The basic layout of the motel is…

1 – 3

a long rectangle on a single level. The parking lot in in front.

4 – 6

a long rectangle on two levels. The parking lot in in front.

7

a long rectangle on three levels. The parking lot in in front.

8

an “L” surrounding the parking lot, on a single level.

9

an “L” surrounding the parking lot, on two levels.

10

an “L” surrounding the parking lot, on three levels.

11

an “L” surrounding the rear courtyard, on a single level. The parking lot in in front.

12

an “L” surrounding the rear courtyard, on two levels. The parking lot in in front.

13

an “L” surrounding the rear courtyard, on three levels. The parking lot in in front.

14

A “U” surrounding the parking lot, on a single level.

15

A “U” surrounding the parking lot, on two levels.

16

A “U” surrounding the parking lot, on three levels.

17

A “U” surrounding the rear courtyard, on a single level. The parking lot is in front.

18

A “U” surrounding the rear courtyard, on two levels. The parking lot is in front.

19

A “U” surrounding the rear courtyard, on three levels. The parking lot is in front.

20

several single units separated from each other. The office is a stand-alone building.

Motel Size

d10

The size of the motel is…

1 – 2

5 rooms per level.

3 – 5

10 rooms per level

6 – 7

15 rooms per level

8

20 rooms per level

9

25 rooms per level

10

30 rooms per level.

Motel Vacancy

d20

The rooms are…

1

Completely vacant.

2

10% occupied

2 – 4

20% occupied

5 – 6

30% occupied

7 – 8

40% occupied

9 – 17

50% occupied

18

60% occupied

17

70% occupied

18

80% occupied

19

90% occupied

20

100% occupied – no vacancy.

Front Desk Clerk

d6

The front desk clerk is…

1

a young woman… (50% likely to be the daughter of the owner.)

2

a young man… (50% likely to be the son of the owner.)

3

a mature woman… (50% likely to be the owner.)

4

a mature man… (50% likely to be the owner.)

5

an older woman… (75% likely to be the owner.)

6

an older man… (75% likely to be the owner.)

d20

who is notably

1

nosy.

2

bored.

3

distracted.

4

flirty.

5

dim-witted.

6

hot-tempered.

7

cheerful.

8

unhelpful.

9

buxom / muscular.

10

pretty / handsome.

11

sleezy.

12

fidgety / twitchy.

13

of a foreign ethnicity.

14

thin.

15

corpulent.

16

ill.

17

bigoted.

18

tolerant and agreeable.

19

dirty and unkempt.

20

clean and neat.

Motel Room Cost

d12.

The price of a room is…

1

incredibly cheap. (How are they making any money?)

2

incredibly cheap. Plus, there are both hourly and half-hourly rates.

3

very reasonable.

4

very reasonable, and there are hourly rates.

5 – 6

average.

7 – 8

average, and there are hourly rates.

9

a little above average.

10

a little above average, but there are hourly rates.

11

expensive.

12

expensive, but there are hourly rates.

Motel Amenities

d12, 1d6 times

The amenities include…

1

a pool

2

an ice Machine or chest

3

a guest lounge

4

free coffee & tea

5

free donuts

6

1d4 vending machines

7

free newspapers

8

a rack of magazines for sale

9

local travel brochures

10

laundry facilities

11

gas pumps.

12

“efficiency” rooms with kitchen facilities.

Motel Room Decor

d20, twice

Beyond the bed, your room has…

1

a coin-operated “magic fingers” machine. (Insert a quarter into the timing device bedside the bed, and the bed will vibrate for 15 minutes.)

2

a desk.

3 – 4

a chair.

5

a closet.

6

an ironing board.

7

a television.

8 – 10

a radio.

11 – 12

a telephone.

13

1d4 kitschy paintings. (Overly-vibrant landscapes, sad-eyed clowns, Western scenes, Elvis, Jesus, etc. Some or all of them might be on black velvet.)

14

1d4 sculptures

15 – 18

it’s own bathroom, with a tub.

19

a shower.

20

a small selection of books (besides the Bible).

Notable Feature of a Motel Room

d20

The most notable thing about the room is…

1

it looks as though it is seldom cleaned.

2

it is so clean it looks as though it is never used.

3

the groovy shag carpeting.

4

the stucco walls, with many sharp points.

5

the pine veneer paneling.

6

it is decorated in an exotic style completely incongruous to the exterior of the building.

7

the potted plants on the windowsill.

8

the psychedelic wallpaper.

9

the sliding glass door to the outside.

10

the mirror above the bed.

11

the smell – caused by a dead hooker inside the hollowed-out mattress.

12

the colored light bulbs

13

the odd color of the walls

14

the incongruous style of the furniture.

15

the obvious signs of vermin.

16

the odd humming sound that comes from no obvious source.

17

the constant sound of whispering.

18

a single article of clothing left on a chair, in a drawer, or in in a closet. If the clothing is moved or discarded, it will reappear in its original position the next morning.

19

the mold.

20

the walls seem so thing you can hear everything happening in the next room.

Motel Room Bible

d12

The Bible in this room is…

1 – 3

unremarkable.

4

actually another book, disguised as a Bible.

5

filled with dollar bills.

6

bloodstained.

7

annotated, with many comments and underlined passages.

8

bound in a strange, unidentifiable leather.

9

oddly expensive looking.

10

cheaply printed on newsprint paper.

11

filled with photographs of unknown people.

12

bookmarked with playing cards.

Motel Vending Machines

d20, 3d4 times

The vending machines dispense…

1

cola.

2

ginger-ale.

3

iced-tea.

4

coffee.

5

hot tea.

6

potato chips.

7

pretzels.

8

peanuts.

9

chocolate bars

10

candies (other than chocolate).

11

deodorant

12

toothpaste

13

soap.

14

aspirin.

15

antihistamines.

16

adhesive bandages.

17

shaving razors.

18

feminine hygiene products.

19

knives.

20

shoelaces.

Multiples of the same result indicate multiple brands or varieties are available.

Motel Guests

d100

Current guests include…

1 – 5

an average American family (Husband, Wife, +1d4 children).

6 – 9

a single mother with 1d4 children.

10 – 13

a single man, traveling to a new job.

14 – 16

a single woman, traveling to a new job.

17 – 20

a trucker.

21 – 24

a trucker couple.

25 – 27

a biker.

28 – 30

a biker couple.

31 – 32

prostitute with a client.

33 – 35

traveling salesman.

36 – 38

housewife who has left her husband.

39 – 41

husband thrown out of his house by his wife.

42 – 44

a road worker.

45 – 47

a lineworker (person who maintains phone and electrical lines).

48 – 50

a family of migrant workers.

51 -53

a runaway girl.

54 – 56

a runaway boy.

57 – 59

a pimp.

60 – 62

a drug addict/alcoholic on a binge.

63 – 65

an undercover cop.

66 – 68

a carnival worker.

69 – 71

a preacher, priest, or other clergyperson.

72 – 74

a photographer seeking to document America.

75 – 76

a journalist on assignment.

77 – 78

a scientist (d6. 1=archeologist, 2=geologist, 3=biologist, 4=botanist, 5=astronomer, 6=meteorologist,)

79 – 80

a film crew making pornographic movies.

81 – 82

a drug dealer.

83 – 84

a gay or lesbian couple, trying not to be recognized.

85 – 86

a “transvestite” (cross-dresser).

87 – 88

police performing surveillance.

89 – 90

a federal agent on assignment.

91 – 92

an escapee from prison.

93 – 94

a thief on the run.

95 – 96

a couple on a crime spree.

97 – 98

a serial killer.

99

1d4 clown(s). In makeup.

100

an extraterrestrial or supernatural being.

TV Stations

d12

This station is playing…

1

a horror movie.

2

a movie about World War II.

3

a romance movie.

4

a mystery movie.

5

a historical movie (other than World War II).

6

a sitcom.

7

a dramatic series.

8

a game show.

9

a variety show.

10

a concert special.

11

a regular news show.

12

a breaking news bulletin (roll again to determine the interrupted show)

There will be 1d4+1 stations available.

American TV stations have 4-letter designations. Those west of the Mississippi River have the initial letter “K”, while those east of it begin with a “W”

Motel Events

d20

During the course of your stay…

1

the police raid one of the rooms.

2

a woman runs out of a room (50% each to be Naked, Screaming, Bloody, Insane, and/or Violent.)

3

a room explodes from the inside.

4

a strange colored vapor begins emanating from a room.

5

animalistic howls and growls can be heard coming from a room.

6

the windows of a room shatter for no apparent reason.

7

someone drowns in the pool, falls from a balcony, or is run down by a car in the parking lot.

8

a sinkhole opens up under the pool (if present) or parking lot. (d6. Underneath is…[1] a secret Government facility, [2] forgotten catacombs, [3] a forgotten section of storm sewer, [4] a UFO base, [5] a sleeping monster, [6] a subterranean city.)

9

a pack of wild dogs enters the motel grounds.

10

a biker gang enters the motel grounds and goes on a rampage.

11

a shootout starts in the motel parking lot.

12

dead birds start falling from the sky.

13

a man begins knocking on every door frantically, claiming that his wife has disappeared.

14

you are awakened by a supernatural entity in your room. (d6. 1=Ghost, 2=Incubus/Succubus, 3=Vampyre, 4=Fairy, 5=Angel, 6=Extraterrestrial(s))

15

a UFO appears overhead.

16

you receive a phone call from a dead relative.

17

the walls of your room begin bleeding.

18

an inexplicable banging sound is heard throughout the motel.

19

a private detective knocks on the door, looking for information about a missing person.

20

there is a knock on the door, but there is nobody on the other side.

Motel Secrets

d20

The most unsettling fact about this motel is…

1

it is the center of the local drug trade.

2

it is the center of the local prostitution trade.

3

the owner has installed peep-holes in every room.

4

it its just a money-laundering operation for the local mob.

5

it is the hunting ground of a serial killer.

6

guests are secretly filmed, an the movies sold as pornography.

7

guests become the subject of a CIA mind-control experiment.

8

illegal bare-knuckle fights occur there.

9

some guest are killed, and ground up as meat.

10

it was built directly atop an “Indian” (Native American) burial ground.

11

the local Vampyre uses it as their primary feeding ground.

12

a kidnapped person is being held for ransom in one of the rooms. (d6. Person is… [1] a mature man. [2] a mature man. [3] a teenage boy. [4] a teenage girl. [5] a young boy. [6] a young girl.)

13

the owner is an extraterrestrial.

14

the previous owner murdered his entire family with an axe.

15

one or more of the rooms is actually used to grow marijuana hydroponically.

16

one of the rooms is actually a fully appointed Satanic temple.

17

local people often check in to commit suicide here.

18

there is one room that is never rented, and the clerk refuses to say why.

19

it was once the site of a mass-murder. (75% likely the victims’ ghosts still haunt the motel)

20

every other curent guest besides the PCs is actually a supernatural entity of some kind.

The Bogeymen of Panzoasia, Part II – Kobolds

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The Kobolds of Panzoasia

Panzoasian Kobolds are (in)famous for their bizarre machines, which are typically made of re-purposed items stolen from other species, and constructed to function in as improbable and indirect a manner as possible. They particularity love chain-reaction type contraptions. Kobolds never do anything themselves if they can build a machine to do instead – however inefficiently. In Kobold eyes, however, the highest use of a machine is the infliction of pain and suffering on larger humanoids. Naturally, they excel in the construction of incomprehensibly elaborate deathtraps, baroque torture devices, and outlandish war-engines. As often as not, however, the machines strewn throughout Kobold tunnels don’t seem to serve any actual purposes.

Appearance and Costume

A typical Kobold stands just under 3 feet tall, and has a whiskered canine face, reptilian brow, rodent-like teeth, lizard-like eyes, and reddish-brown skin that is both scaly, and sparsely studded with long bristles. Atop a Kobold’s head is a pair of segmented growths. On Kobolds that live close to the surface, these growths look exactly like small, sharp horns – but on deeper dwelling Kobolds the growths are actual, ant-like antennae. A Panzoasian Kobold’s forearms have several spines running along the ulnar edge, and their nimble hands are clawed. Their legs are canine, but hairless. Their two-toed feet resemble those of giant ants. A Kobold’s long tail resembles that of a rat. Kobolds have no external genitalia or secondary sexual characteristics (mating like birds by means of a cloaca), and it is impossible for non-Kobolds to distinguish males from females.

Kobolds do not always wear clothing. When they do they actually prefer donning mismatched and re-purposed items in clashing colors. Matching, symmetrical outfits of the kind a Human would consider beautiful actually look outlandish and ugly to Kobold eyes. Kobolds don’t re-purpose objects because they are unable to make things for themselves, but rather to show how clever and resourceful they are.

Kobold Culture and Society

Of all the Bogeyman races, Kobolds have the most obvious senses of humor. Unfortunately, most of their humor ultimately involves the infliction of pain or distress on some other intelligent species. One could easily be amused by the apparently madcap antics of Kobolds – right up the point where a swarm of them starts stabbing, slashing, and biting. If one wasn’t locked into a Kobold skinning machine, one might be amazed at its whimsical design.

Kobolds lay eggs, and only certain Kobolds, selected from birth, are ever allowed to reproduce. These “Breeders” actually do nothing else but mate. The bodies of recently hatched Kobolds resemble bloated, scaly maggots, their limbs lengthening every year until they reach full maturity at the the age of ten. The maturing young are raised communally – if somewhat haphazardly. In fact, Kobolds have no regard for their offspring at all, and those who have raided Kobold tunnels report whelps actually being used as projectile weapons. Sometimes, Kobolds even eat their young.

The largest Breeder in a Kobold community is its Queen, a bloated creature who almost never leaves her guarded chamber.

Kobolds always consume their own dead. Besides humanoid flesh, Kobolds primarily eat insects, fungi and cave slime (which they love to lick directly from the rocks). Gnome noses are considered a delicacy. The widely feared Green Slime is a harmless snack for Kobolds – so their lairs are often filled with it. Sugar is an intoxicant for Kobolds, and they will go to fantastic lengths to obtain honey and candy. The most prized possession of a Kobold Queen is often her enormous store of surface-made sweets.

Kobolds are the best miners of any species – superior even to Dwarves and Gnomes. Unlike Dwarves and Gnomes, however, they have no interest in symmetrical, even structures – preferring winding tunnels that may look haphazardly excavated, but have actually been deliberately constructed for stability and defensibility.

Kobolds at War

Kobolds love to make helmets out of leather boots captured in raids on Human settlements, and will often wear pieces of giant insects as armor. A typical Kobold Shield is made from a giant beetle carapace – or the lid of a stolen cooking pot. Likewise, their weapons are often made of re-purposed items. Like Gnomes, Kobolds often employ the repeating crossbow, often tipping their bolts with various poisons.

Animals and Allies of the Kobolds

Kobolds have domesticated rats of every size and variety – using them as food, mounts, beasts of burden, and to power various machines. The Kobolds’ pheromones allow them to to communicate with giant ants, and the two species often dwell symbiotically.

Among the other Bogeymen, Kobolds are simultaneously disliked for their strange senses of humor, and sought out for their engineering skills. It is common for the traps in lairs of Orcs, Hobgoblins, and other Bogeymen to be of Kobold design. For reasons known only to themselves, the Kobolds will often deliberately build such traps in such a way that they can be disarmed by sufficiently clever adventures who can solve a nearby riddle or puzzle.

Dragons despise Kobolds. In return, Kobolds are known to spread the insulting joke that their species arose on account of Dragons secretively mating with dogs.

The Kobold Language

Kobolds communicate by a combination of spoken language and emitted pheromones. To Human ears, their language sounds like a mixture of small dogs barking, rats chittering, and mocking laughter of children. Their various pheromones result in the strange “Kobold smell” that vaguely resembles rotten eggs, musk, and spoiled coconut. Because of its olfactory component, it is impossible for most other races to communicate well in the Kobold “language” without magical aid – the best that can be achieved is a kind of crude pidgin. The actual “name” that Kobolds use for their own species, for example, is a squeaky sound that is most closely rendered as “Yamakaba”, accompanied by a scent similar to overripe fruit. Oddly, Kobold is written with the same letters used to write Western Gnomish (albeit with the addition of pheromones smeared on the inscription). How such a strange fact came to be is a source of constant debate among Gnomish sages.

Alignment and Religion

Being sent on a mission to the Kobolds is considered among the worst assignments in the Antichurch of Darkness. Kobold tunnels are completely inhospitable even to the most depraved Humans, and the impious little monsters barely pay attention during Black Masses – when they bother to attend. Kobolds do their required service at the Bogey Mounds, but only for the chance to play cruel tricks on adventurers – and other Bogeymen.

Before they turned to Evil, most Kobolds were apparently Neutral in Alignment. Deep in the Wasteland there are said to be ancient, abandoned Kobold tunnels filled with wonders, testimony to the greatness of which Kobolds were once capable.


Elements of a Kobold Machine

d100, 2d4 times

This Kobold machine incorporates…

1 – 8

a normal rat in a wheel.

9 – 15

a giant rat in a wheel.

16 – 21

absurdly complicated gearwork.

22 – 27

springs (one of which pops out of the machine).

28 – 29

scissors and string.

30 – 31

2d12 coins falling onto a plate.

32 – 33

in intricate series of ropes and pulleys.

34 – 35

a heavy weight falling onto a raised lever.

36 – 37

a glass tube being filled with water.

38 – 39

a hammer striking a target.

40 – 41

small balls moving downhill through a labyrinthine track.

42 – 43

a vent that emits a puff of smoke.

44 – 45

a crossbow.

46 – 47

a candle.

48 – 49

an inflatable bladder.

50 – 51

a bellows.

52 – 53

a wheel of shoes.

54 – 55

a seesaw.

56 – 57

a scales.

58 – 59

a helmet.

60 – 61

a bat in a cage.

62 – 63

pipes.

64 – 65

a small ball traveling along a track.

66 – 67

a pendulum.

68 – 69

weights on chains.

70 – 71

a roller bed.

72 – 73

the broken hand of a statue.

74 – 75

an actual gemstone. (value d6 x d100 gp).

76 – 77

a dinner plate.

78 – 79

a fork.

80 – 81

a spoon.

82 – 83

a ladle.

84 – 85

metal pipes.

86 – 87

leaky metal pipes.

88 – 89

leather hoses.

90 – 91

hoses made from intestines.

92 – 93

a skull.

94 – 95

bones.

96 – 95

small marbles falling onto a pan.

97 – 98

an hourglass.

99 – 100

an old boot filled with sand.

A Gnomish Tinkerer can make an Intelligence Check to discern the intended function (if any) of a Kobold Machine.

Adventurers of Panzoasia 4: Halfling Rover – Available Now

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Adventurers of Panzoasia 4: Halfling Rover is the fourth in a series of modular supplements presenting re-imagined Character Classes, variant rules, and setting information for Classic-style fantasy adventure games.

Includes everything you need to play a Halfling Rover character:

  • A redesigned 14 Level “Halfling” Class, presented in a concise tabular format that fits on the back of a character sheet.
  • A large-scale map of the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, and a single-page overview of this accessible, yet surprising, campaign setting – where Orcs are colonizing industrialists, the Monsters are invasive species, and adventurers reclaim stolen lands and treasures.
  • Easy-to-reference modified rules for the Classic B/X and BECMI systems, including a rethought “five-point” Alignment model, and a simple system for advancing PCs by hours played.
  • A page of facts about the long-suffering but resourceful “Humblekin”, or Halflings of Panzoaia.
  • A table of popular names for Panzoasian Halflings, and a flavorful list of suggested starting equipment.
  • Setting-integrated Destinies for 9th and 14th Level Halfling Rover PCs. Characters can accept the fate decided for them by the Starry Archons – or resist it in the cause of Free Will!
  • Class variants, including Dwarven, Elven, and Human Rovers.
  • Descriptions of wondrous minerals familiar to the Halflings, including Meteoritic Steel than can strike creatures normally immune to non-magical weapons.
  • Wondrous flora familiar to Halflings, such as Sword Lacquer Tree – with sap that dries as hard as bronze.
  • Cross-compatible creature stats for the bipedal (and seasonally dangerous) Fool Hares of Panzoasia – and the giant Perdurable Snails they sometimes ride.

Also available:

Adventurers of Panzoasia 1: Dwarven Dungeoneer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 2: Elven Warrior-Wizard

Adventurers of Panzoasia 3: Gnomish Tinkerer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 3: Gnomish Tinkerer – Now Available

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Available now on DriveThruRPG, the third in a series of modular supplements presenting re-imagined Character Classes, variant rules, and setting information for Classic-style fantasy adventure games.

Includes everything you need to play a Gnomish Tinkerer character:

  • A new 14 Level Class, presented in a concise tabular format that fits on the back of a character sheet.
  • A large-scale map of the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, and a single-page overview of this accessible, yet surprising, campaign setting – where Orcs are colonizing industrialists, the Monsters are invasive species, and adventurers reclaim stolen lands and treasures.
  • Easy-to-reference modified rules for the Classic B/X and BECMI systems, including a rethought “five-point” Alignment model, and a simple system for advancing PCs by hours played.
  • A page of facts about the Gnomes of Panzoasia – as (in)famous for their bizarre hats as their strange contraptions.
  • A table of popular names for Panzoasian Gnomes, and a flavorful list of suggested starting equipment.
  • 58 Gnomish Contraptions, in an easy-to-reference concise tabular format.
  • Setting-integrated Destinies for 9th and 14th Level Gnomish Tinkerer PCs. Characters can accept the fate decided for them by the Starry Archons – or resist it in the cause of Free Will!
  • Class variants, including Dwarven Tinkerers, and Elven Toy Makers.
  • Descriptions of the wondrous minerals known to the Gnomes, including the poison-neutralizing Toad Stone, and fire-producing Terrabolam stones.
  • Wondrous flora known to the Gnomes – such as the beloved Glistenwood, whose lumber glitters in the light,
  • Cross-compatible creature stats for the Serpentine Dragon, and the fabled Saganic Gnomes – elemental people of Earth who who inhabit Buried Cities deep underground.
  • Bullet-pointed facts about the lands of Ultimate West, and the adjacent realms.

Also available:

Adventurers of Panzoasia 1: Dwarven Dungeoneer

Adventurers of Panzoasia 2: Elven Warrior-Wizard