Friday, April 27, 2012

Return to the Cold

There hasn’t been a great deal of activity here in recent weeks.  Mostly this is because I’m in the middle of trying to revise EPOCH, my horror roleplaying game, and add some adventures.  Posted below is a teaser extract of the blurb and cover:
"EPOCH is the game of character-driven horror.  At its heart is the goal of delivering a genuinely scary experience in a single game session.  EPOCH delivers this by identifying, and cutting through, conventional barriers to achieving strong player engagement, placing the focus squarely on character and supporting this with a simple, yet evocative, system.
There will be blood…  EPOCH is a game of survival horror, and much like the movies, not all of the characters can expect to survive until the final scene.  Unlike many other games, EPOCH players have complete control over the fate of their characters.  They may know the rules of the horror genre, but who becomes a victim, and how, is different every time.

There will be drama…  EPOCH rewards interesting character play with increased chances of character survival.  Players are not just the protagonists, but also act as the audience who hold the fate of all the characters in their hands.  Using a simple, flexible, character creation method, complications and flashbacks, players shape their back story to reveal interesting new facts and surprising twists.

There will be a reckoning… EPOCH assumes a high level of character competence, streamlining skills and abilities, and placing the focus back on the characters’ story and the personal impact of the horror.  But victory is never assured, evil may prevail, and the true cost of the horror is never fully revealed until the final credits roll."

Thanks to Doug for an amazing job with the cover art.

In other game news, I finished running Lure of the Expanse with a suitably epic ending.  As with the rest of Lure, the ending has grand ambition and scope, but is not backed up with a lot of detail.  I think the campaign could easily have been 2-3 times longer and really done a great job of each of the really ambitious and fascinating elements. As it is, it feels like the outline of a truly great campaign, but ultimately fails to deliver on its promise..

This week I hope to run a one-off game of Flying Coffins for my Cthulhu group this week - I've long throught WWI aviators would make a great cthulhu adventure, and even wrote a plot outline of an adventure myself, but have yet to write it up:

Next, in time for the return of winter, it’s a journey Beyond the Mountains of Madness.  I’m using a toned down version of my pulp house rules, which allow the players a finite number of skill re-rolls.  I’ve also drawn on the Pillars of Sanity concept from Trail of Cthulhu to have the players crate several anchors for each character – unfulfilled ambitions or links to the world, which can restore a limited amount of sanity during the campaign with appropriate play.