Deviant Fridays - Miguel Mercado

Deviant Fridays returns!  This week is Miguel Mercado a character illustrator from the Philippines who does work that sometimes looks like Rockwell taking a peek at the 80s.

He works as a cover artist for IDW and several other comic companies.

Quick Update

Andrei Shishkin
Good Evening everyone!  This is a quick update to say that I am working on a few small projects for Swords & Wizardry and 5e.  These projects are similar to some of the Patreon exclusive "1 Sheet" adventures I did a few years back.  The 1 Sheet adventures are similar to AAW's mini-dungeons in that they'll be available for print and set up so that they can be three-hole punched and added to a binder or organizer.

Like the ones I did for Patreon these are meant to be settingless, opening them up to work in any fantasy (or potentially paranormal/urban fantasy) setting.  The digital ones will link to the respective system's SRD for stats as well as list location in print copy ... so i.e. Goblin (MM|5e 165) for quick reference.  These adventures will typically be location-based and either using a licensed commercial map like the one's Dyson just released or from Mapforge once the commercial license goes live.

Pricing point will be about the same as the AAW stuff $1.00 for pdf and $2.00 for pdf/print.

Review - Tim Snider's Burial Plots for Cryptworld

Cover Art: Jethro Lentle
2018 Goblinoid Games
Tim Snider is one of the creators in the small-press scene I absolutely love.  He is a great guy, a wonderful editor, and his work has long been something I have been a fan of.  From his Deviant Database books (here and here aff) full of wonderful post-apocalyptic creatures for Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord to his official work for Goblinoid Games he never fails to impress me with his wit and imagine.  With that in mind, I was very surprised and happy to see an addition to the horror system that Tim helms for Goblinoid on RPGNow earlier this week.

Burial Plots (aff) is a 52-page supplement for Cryptworld (aff) using the Pacesetter system and features five adventures of the strange and macabre.  As per the listing on RPGNow:

Condition Critical
Dr. Howard Eastman has called a press conference at his remote research facility to announce a medical breakthrough that will “eradicate human illness and suffering forever.” But what if the cure proves to be worse than the disease?

Unquenchable
Three days ago, a group of hunters failed to return from their annual deer hunt near Akron, Ohio. Your team of expert trackers and investigators has been brought in to assist in the search. But there seems to be an undercurrent of unease amongst the police who whisper of a disturbing discovery they’ve made. Is there something sinister lurking in the forest?

Death in the Dust
In 1888, the silver-mining boomtown of Weaver, Arizona, was abandoned after a series of unexplained disasters, and the town was left to crumble in the desert sands. Today, the former ghost town has been revitalized as a historical attraction. Is history about to repeat itself?

Forget-Me-Not
Horrific axe murders recently committed in Oregon's Tillamook State Forest are identical to those committed by the legendary "Paul Bunyon Butcher" 40 years ago. However, the original killer – now elderly and feeble – remains behind bars. Has a copycat killer surfaced, or is this the work of something even more sinister?

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

The Christmas season is typically a time of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. But one THING has decided to make this year's Yuletide visit to relatives a horrific holiday from Hell.

My favorites are Condition Critical and Death in the Dust.  Both adventures have the feeling of the late 70s or early 80s  effects-driven horror movie.  Think the Fly or The Thing.  The suspense from my quick single-player run through of Condition Critical was palpable, and even though as both the one running and playing the adventure I knew everything the situation was still tense.

Layout and design hold with the previous Cryptworld books with a three-panel layout and nice clear fonts that to my eyes recreate phototype from an earlier time (look at those "u" 's!). The art on the cover (above) is great and really matches the previous covers while holding some 50s horror comic aesthetic to the art.  The interior art holds true to the other books with simple black and white line drawings.

All an all I was happy to spend the $4.99 on it and really wish I had the funds for the soft-cover to add to my printed Cryptworld collection.

So in the spirit of the adventures I give this 4 melt human bodies out of 5.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other books of the week:

Tales from the Loop: Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries (aff)
The Show Must Go On (aff)
Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting (aff)

Sword & Wizardry {OSR} Optional Rules - Threshold Save

The following is a Snippet from before the quiet time of the Desolation of the Pyramid.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Threshold.

Threshold is a character's ability to fight back the chilling grasp of Death and stop herself from crossing the Threshold of Life and Death.

When a character dies she rolls the Saving Throw for her class with a modifier equal to the amount of negative HP she currently has. If, however, the character's HP is - 10 or lower there is no way to stave off Death except through magical or divine decree.

A character who makes her Saving Throw is alive but too weak to do anything except basic functions for 1d6 hours and takes a 2 session hindrance from a table percentage table I never created.

Example:

Barbie the Barbarian has 6hp and is struck for 12 placing her at - 6.  As a 4th level Fighter she has a Saving Throw of 11.  Not yet ready to die, the Barbarian spits a curse to her cruel gods and fights against her death. Barbie's player rules her Save needing a 17 (St 11 + NHP 6), luckily she rolls an 18 and Barbie can live to fight another day. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Threshold was never playtested as the Desolation of the Pyramid took too much out of me (hell still recovering from that) and life itself conspired against me with college and work.

If anyone implements the Threshold roll please tell me how it works for you. 


Where are the Pets?

Humans have had animal companions since before we had written language, barely had agroculture, and still thought a good layer of dirt was a...