Monday, August 8, 2011

The Haunter of the Dark

It's well past midnight, the witching hour. And I'm wide awake, of course. I've always been a night owl, and likely always will be. Fortunately I have the day off from work tomorrow, so the consequences of staying up late will not be as dreadful as would typically be the case.

Since I'm up, what shall we talk about?

A quick update on all things gaming -

Our local Call of Cthulhu game is on a hiatus until autumn. Summertime has just been too busy for everyone to commit to the every other Thursday night. I'm hoping we can change the game to Saturday nights come the autumn, as I work an hour away from where I live, and it's hectic to get home from work through tough traffic and get the house ready for the crew for 7 p.m., then run the game. Even when I'm just a player, and we're gaming at someone else's house, doing so on a weeknight is tough when the after-work commuting is difficult. Plus I'm a bit worn-out having worked most of the week, and then there is the prospect of having to work on Friday after a late Thursday night of gaming. I'll be 41 in a few weeks and pulling late nights on weeknights...I just don't recover from that like I used to. It would be so much nicer to game on Saturday nights. Everyone can be rested, nobody is rushed. I'm going to propose as such and see what sort of response it generates. We had started Chaosium's "Day of the Beast" campaign and I'd really like to play it through.

I will be running a different game on August 19th for a few members of our large, extended tribe of gamers. The game on that evening shall be "Mystery Men," the superhero rpg by John Stater that uses a variant of old-school D&D mechanics to power the rules. Since I cut my teeth on Basic D&D and then Advanced D&D in the early 1980's, I grok these rules a lot better than other systems. I also tend to like my rules simple, so I can focus on narrative rather than stopping every 90 seconds to look up a rule. Also, being a busy guy with demands at home and at work, I don't have scads of time to read and digest a lot of rulebook material. From an initial read-through, "Mystery Men" should be just the thing.

If you would like to check out the "Mystery Men" rpg, the game is available as a free PDF download on Just go to, type in "mystery men stater" and it should pop up. There's the free PDF and an option to purchase a print copy for around seven dollars and change plus shipping. I actually bought two print copies; they were inexpensive enough, so I will use one copy at the gaming table as my "beater" copy and the other will be a sort of museum piece/back-up in case my original gets too beat-up and cola-stained from use around the gaming table. I suspect a few of the players may print out their own copies of the game from the PDF, too.

Our first adventure should be a fairly straightforward escapade so that the players can get a feel for their characters and all of us can get a sense of the mechanics in play. For the first adventure, I've planned that a psychotic antihero (actually a memorable character from a long ago Marvel FASERIP system game, played by one of the players who will be around the table on August 19th) has escaped from prison and has teamed up with another super-villain to start a new wave of terror. Our heroes must track down the escaped anti-hero then shut down the lair where he and his evil crony are planning their wicked deeds. There should be lots of goons to knock around and maybe a few robotic terrors guarding the lair of the main villains...plenty of chances to try out the game's combat system and feat system for attempting heroic and super-heroic deeds (essentially a simple, modified saving throw roll...either an opposed roll or against a target number set by the game master).

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