Sean's Picks of the Week (1106-1110) - Oddly Wonderful Week
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (1106-1110) - Oddly Wonderful Week


    This week, I am off to the incredibly fun and entertaining convention called Con on the Cob. I've been a Guest every year except for two, and I am proud and thrilled to be a part of that weird, wonderful family that award-winning artist and beloved weirdo Andy Hopp brings together (along with the fantastic Heather Hopp). In celebration of returning to the wilds of Northern Ohio once again, I've called this Oddly Wonderful Week and brought you some of the stranger RPG products I know about.


    LOW LIFE

    As we get ready to head off to the always-amazing Con on the Cob, I am inspired to name this Oddly Wonderful Week in honor of the convention’s owner and organizer, Andy Hopp. Naturally, we’ll open up with his bizarre world of post-apocalyptic nuttery, for which he has published a ton of extraordinarily-illustrated works. Andy’s truly stand-out art style combines with his savant-like crasp of science and strangeness to create one of the most original gaming experiences you’ll ever know.

    GAZILLIONS of years have passed since the Time of the Flush and the extinction of the vaunted Hoomanrace. Now, After the Wipe, the descendants of cockroaches, snack cakes, worms, and even lowlier things rule the Oith!

    Waggle the arcane zazz of hocus pokery, dementalism, smellcasting, holy rolling, danged wrangling, and contanimation! Battle hideous things that want to eat you, risen from the rubble of ancient civilizations. Enjoy a light lunch at the Primordial Soup Kitchen…

    Audacious times are upon us! Lost lands and forgotten civilizations await discovery. Terrible monsters and grand treasures lurk behind every rock. There are hoards to nab, foes to stab, and tales to blab. These are the days of Low adventure, where destiny is shaped not by circumstance of birth, but by strength of snazz, zazz, and jazz. It’s a bold world for bold peeps, where life is relatively inexpensive and even the lowliest werm can become a king by his own mop.

    Are you croach enough to follow your destiny? Do you have the nuggets to take your rightful place among Oith’s most valiant heroes?

    If so, strap on your esophagator hide shield, pick up your battle spork, mount your slog, whisper a prayer to Jelvis, kiss your larvae goodbye, and open the goosin’ book. The muck-riddled road to LOW ADVENTURE stands before you…



    THE TORTLE PACKAGE

    This seems to fit my Oddly Wonderful Week just fine – a tortoise-based playable race for 5e players, direct from Wizards of the Coast. Better still, all proceeds go directly to the official D&D Extra Life Team‘s efforts.

    The Snout of Omgar is a geographical region described briefly in Tomb of Annihilation.

    Not much is revealed about the location or its inhabitants in that adventure, however. The Tortle Package is written for Dungeon Masters who want to know more about the Snout of Omgar.

    This supplement also introduces a new playable character race, the tortle, and a new adventure location: Dangwaru, the Typhoon Palace. All of this is permissible for play within the D&D Adventurers League.

    All proceeds from this product are to be contributed to ExtraLife. You can head to the D&D page on Extra Life to find out more.

    About Extra Life:

    Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids. Sign up today and dedicate a day of play for kids in your community!



    BETTER ANGELS

    So, you’re playing a supervillain. You have a demon that granted your powers, and that’s the thing that drives you. A bit different, but not really all that odd, right?

    Wait.

    The demon? That’s played by the player next to you. Also, you’re playing the demon of the player over on the other side of you.

    Now that is Wonderfully Odd, doncha thing?

    A demon gave you superpowers and it demands EEEEVIL!

    In Better Angels, you play a supervillain trying to control the demon that gives you amazing powers—and you play the demon for the player next to you, pushing that player’s supervillain to greater and greater acts of supervillainy.

    Do too much evil and the demon might take control. Too little, and—well, it’s a demon. It will find ways to punish you.

    Better Angels focuses directly on characters’ moral stances. Is your villain Insightful or Devious? Cunning or Patient? Is your Courage as great as your Cruelty? Those characteristics drive your superpowers. They shape your relationship with your demon. And they are shaped by it in every scene.

    Prepare yourself. There are diabolical inventions to create. Enemies and rivals to thwart.

    AN ENTIRE WORLD TO CONQUER!

    All it will cost is your soul.



    BLUEBEARD'S BRIDE

    Today’s Oddly Wonderful Week Pick is a special kind of horror game that I remain baffled how to explain, exactly, but I know it’s something very, very special. An Apocalypse World Engine game crafted by an all-women team to present a strange, horrific mystery based on the classic macabre legend of Bluebeard’s Bride. Each player represents an aspect of the Bride, and it all leads to what is behind that fateful door…

    WILL YOU OPEN THE FINAL DOOR?

    A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. He invites her to explore the house…but one room is forbidden. Eventually, the young bride falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome display of former brides murdered…

    Explore Bluebeard’s mansion and create your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale with Bluebeard’s Bride. Experience the nightmarish memories that haunt the rooms of this broken place and discover the truth of what happened here. But it is up to you and your friends to decide whether or not you are a faithful or disloyal bride.

    In this book, you get:

    • Five playbooks, each representing a different aspect of the Brides personality
    • Detailed instructions for running the game and playing to find out what happens
    • Tools for creating your own custom servants, rooms, and horors for Bluebeard’s Bride
    • Tips and tricks for managing horror at your table, including safety mechanisms


    Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror tabletop roleplaying game that makes use of the same rules-light engine as Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, and Urban Shadows to create stories of feminine horror in the vein of Crimson Peak, American Horror Story, and The Company of Wolves.



    CITY OF MIST

    Closing out Oddly Wonderful Week with a … Superhero? Mythical? Detective Noir? Y’know, it’s kind of all of that, and kind of a lot more. I’m kind of reminded of that quirky Dark City movie, but there’s a lot more going on here. The art alone drags you into this place where nothing is at it seems and everyone… is legendary.

    THE CORE BOOK FOR THE AWARD-WINNING COMIC-BOOK NOIR RPG SET IN A CITY OF ORDINARY PEOPLE AND LEGENDARY POWERS

    Hit the rainy streets of an enigmatic metropolis as a modern-day legend in search for the truth. Investigate unsolved cases, uncover the stories of the city residents, and confront the hidden forces pulling the strings from beyond the veil of the Mist. Make hard calls about which aspect of your life to promote and which to neglect; then suffer the consequences. And when it all falls apart, stop holding back and become the unstoppable incarnation of your Mythos…

    The City of Mist Core Book contains everything you need to create and run City of Mist stories: rules for creating your own characters and crew, a comprehensive explanation of the roll+tags system, the Mythos & Logos character development rules, and a complete guide for the MC (aka Game Master) including tips on how to orchestrate the drama as well as guidelines and examples for creating cases, characters, locations, and story arcs.

    The rulebook design is a homage to super-powered noir graphic novels with six comic strips, full-spread chapter covers, and staggering character and location art back to back.

    WHAT’S IN THE BOOK?

    • Chapter 1: The Lowdown has the inside scoop on the life of a Rift (a player character) and the process of awakening, and describes some of the main City districts, locations, and local Rifts.
    • Chapter 2: Who Are You? is a guide to the Exposition Session, in which you create your series as a group. It includes the complete character creation system using themebooks (questionnaires), quick character creation with Character Tropes, a system of crew relationships reflected in Help & Hurt points, sample crew themes, and a crew themebook.
    • Chapter 3: Working the Case is a comprehensive set of player rules, detailing the rules of the conversation, defining the use of tags and statuses as well as resources such as Clues and Juice, expanding on all eight core moves, as well as on four cinematic moves: Voiceover Monologue, Flashback, Montage, and Geek Out During Credits.
    • Chapter 4: Moments of Truth describes the game’s character and crew development system, including Mystery and Identity rules, Moments of Evolution, Nemeses, expanded Avatar and Sleeper (“Denying the Beyond”) rules, and three extra theme types: Ally, Base of Operations, and Ride.
    • Chapter 5: Behind the Scenes is a detailed breakdown of the MC’s roles, a step-by-step guide on how to run sessions including a variety of tools to help make your game cinematic, and an in-depth walkthrough for creating your own cases and designing your series based on the Iceberg model.
    • Chapter 6: This is MY City! is a comprehensive guide to Avatars and their operations and includes Avatar profiles, rules for creating and handling Dangers with a Danger Profile directory containing ready-to-use Dangers, and a special section on creating and using custom moves with templates and ready-to-use moves.
    • Throughout the book: a host of colorful examples for every rule and a range of optional rules to allow you to adjust the game to your group’s needs, with a specific emphasis on controlling the challenge level of your game.


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    So, as you are reading this, I am neck-deep in crazy fun and games at the con. Naturally, I am running Freedom Squadron, and I am also on some panels and hosting our usual Savage Saturday Night Bar & Chill. Whilst there, I will hoist one (or a dozen) to absent friends while making new ones.

    Here's hoping you have a great weekend ahead!

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
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