150 Scum and Villainy 1: Smash and Grab [Blades in the Dark]

We start playing in the Star Wars universe as the crew of a perfectly legitimate salvage ship attempts to recover components from a wrecked Trade Federation battleship. There’s just one problem, someone lives on top of it.

GM: Aser
Players: Jonn, Landan, Megan, and Patrick
System: Blades in the Dark, Scum and Villainy Hack 

Music by Audioblocks, “Return to Naybala”(audioblocks.com)

For more information visit us at The Redacted Files. What to help us out? Check out our Patreon.


Numenera 2 Announcement from Monte Cook Games

Today at GenCon Monte Cook Games announced their next major product release, Numenera 2. Numenera 2 is composed of two new books, Discovery and Destiny. Discovery will be replacing the original corebook with some major changes to the character creation options. Destiny changes the focus of the game from exploring the past to building a better future. The books will be both backwards and forwards compatible with all existing Numenera releases, with the likely exception of the two Character Options books.

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Scary on the Choo-Choo 19: Not the Face

A flayed man gestures as the skin of face flies towards the viewer and the rest of his skin crawls forward to attack

The squad heads into the mountains where they believe the monsters are coming from.

You can hear more from Alex on Firefly Podcast!

GM: Megan
Players: Alex, Aser, Eli, and Zack
System: Call of Cthulhu 7e

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Alchemist’s Tower”(incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Stars Without Number, Revised Edition
Stars Without Number has a really amazing set of rules to help you generate a sector of space without too much effort. We’ve used it to create in the past, and it’s really amazing. This revised edition expands that system, as well as expanding character options, ship options, psionic abilities and more. It’s 100% compatible with the previously released books, which is wonderful, and you can just add all of this new goodness to a current campaign. This is an incredible system and worth having on your shelf.

“Stars Without Number: Revised Edition is an expanded, refined, full-color revision of the original edition. It adds more character options, more hardware, more ships, and more psionic options- but expanding the mechanical breadth of the game is only part of the goal. Just as importantly, Stars Without Number: Revised Edition is crammed with new GM resources, with new world tags, new adventure creation tools, and new support for sci-fi sandbox adventuring. And all the while, I’ve kept to my original goals of portability and modularity, so that GMs who want to use different systems or different settings can lift out useful pieces and use them directly in their own home games.”
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Scary on the Choo-Choo 18: Skinbags and Batmen

A terrifying muscular humanoid runs towards the camera. It has the head of a bat

We head back in time to a Roman squad investigating a plague spreading through a remote province.

GM: Megan
Players: Aser, Eli, and Zack
System: Call of Cthulhu 7e

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Alchemist’s Tower”(incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

August Release Schedule

A roman soldier holds a torch up to a mosaic showing Cthulhu reaching out to him

What are we playing this month?

Megan and Aser will be at GenCon this month! Let us know if you’ll be there as well so we can say hi!

August 6, 2017Scary on the Choo-Choo 18: Skinbags and Batmen
We head back in time to a Roman squad investigating a plague spreading through a remote province.

August 13, 2017Scary on the Choo-Choo 19: The Flayed Army
The squad heads into the mountains where they believe the monsters are coming from.

August 20, 2017Scum and Villainy 1: Smash and Grab
We start playing in the Star Wars universe as the crew of a perfectly legitimate salvage ship attempts to recover components from a wrecked Trade Federation battleship. There’s just one problem, someone lives on top of it.

August 27, 2017Scum and Villainy 2: Rocks Freefall
The crew of the Artful Dodger get a tip about a juicy piece of Imperial tech just drifting in space, ready to be picked up. It’s never really that easy though.

Scary on the Choo Choo 17: It’s Not Paranoia

Bronze statutues of a chimera with a snake for a tail, a lion head, spines down the back, and an antelope head

The investigators must stop those responsible for the ghastly abominations plaguing the countryside, but at what cost??

GM: Megan
Players: Aser, Eli, Phil, and Zack
System: Call of Cthulhu 7e

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Alchemist’s Tower”(incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

Scratch Made Pies: Rats in the Cellar a.k.a. My players demanded a history that I had to make up on the fly.

Even before I had set about creating the world, I had decided that I was going to run a variation on the old trope adventure of rats in the cellar of the local inn. And with this I introduced a new race and deities into the world.

The twist that I decided to run with was that the rats had been feeding upon the mead that was being brewed in the mead hall in Joonsvyk. Over time the rats gained sentience from the mead and began to worship the brewer and his wife as gods. This brought into existence, Brennig the Mead-Father and Merin the Ale-Mother, and the race of sentient rats, the Ratkith. And the major source of conflict for the adventure, a cult based around a fallen Devil that loved wine, Milner. Along with this I introduced Joona, the namesake for the town as a deity. So with this I had the first four gods of the setting.

The adventure started off fairly well, the party didn’t groan that loudly when the owner of the mead hall asked them to pay for their meals and would give them a discount by helping them with an issue in his cellar. When they found the “rats” were tapping the pipes and not really stealing anything other than mead from the hall, I was presented with an issue that I hadn’t been prepared for.

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Homebrew Monsters: Octopus Dragon and Mantis Dragon

While the bestiaries for Numenera, The Strange, and Cypher System have plenty of wonderful creatures for your players to encounter, sometimes you see something you know your players need to encounter during their adventures.

A dragon-like sea creature with blue rings, and spikes and 4 legs ending in claw, four ending in tentacles

Octopus Dragon (Level 7)

While it bears little relation to the intelligent octopodes that reside in the deep, the Octopus Dragon was named for it’s resemblance to them. A cunning predator, the Octopus Dragon camouflages itself to match it’s surroundings and ambushes it’s prey. An Octopus Dragon can breath air, but prefers the ocean, where it’s a more effective hunter. Octopodes despise any association with these relatively mindless predators and will pay handsomely to anyone who brings evidence of a successful kill.

Motive: Hungers for flesh
Environment: Anywhere in the Ocean, Solitary
Health: 35
Damage Inflicted: 8 points
Modifications: Stealth as Level 9, Speed Defense as Level 6 due to size
Movement: Short
Combat: The Octopus Dragon can make two attacks in a round, a bite attack, a claw attack, and/or grabbing with it’s tentacles. The bite attack is venomous and requires a Might Defense roll if the attack succeeds. On a failed roll, the victim becomes respiratory muscles begin to seize up, and breathing becomes difficult. They take an additional 2 points of Intellect Damage (then Might, then Speed) each round as oxygen struggles to make it to their brain. To stop the progress of the venom, someone must pass a level 6 heal check, assisting with false respiration.
The tentacle attack prevents the Octopus Dragon from moving, but allows it to grab onto a target, increasing the difficulty of avoiding it’s bite or claws by two levels. To avoid being grabbed, the adventurer must succeed on a Might Defense roll, level 7.
Interaction: The Octopus Dragon is not intelligent like the Octopodes it resembles. It cannot be reasoned with. Patient predators, they use their superior camouflage abilities to blend in the with terrain and attack when prey draws near.
Use: When a party is investigating something on the sea floor or in a coral reef, the Octopus Dragon might be laying in wait. They are drawn to numenera, or semi-precious jewels, and will kill to add them to their hoard.
Loot: Like most dragons, the Octopus Dragon keeps a hoard, usually in a nearby cave. While typically composed of pearls and shells, adventurers may also find several oddities, 2d20 abadis, 2-3 cyphers or even an artifact in the hoard. If time is taken, a careful explorer might be able to extract enough venom for three uses from the mouth of the Octopus Dragon.
GM Intrusion: The PC fails to realize that the Octopus Dragon has another limb that has been camouflaged, and it now uses it to attack the PC.

A dragon like creature with front arms like a preying mantis, and dragonfly like wings

Mantis Dragon (Level 6)

With a silhouette that shocks with its very wrongness, the Mantis Dragon is an enormous hybrid that is as deadly as it is frighteningly alluring . With their ability to enthrall prey, Mantis Dragons typically wait until their targets are too close to even contemplate escape before capturing them with their hypnotic hum and fluttering of wings. Many an unlucky explorer has been ripped apart by a Mantis Dragon’s powerful forelegs, dumbly smiling all the while.

Motive: Hungers for flesh
Environment: Grasslands, temperate and tropical climates, Solitary
Health: 28
Damage Inflicted: 6
Modifications: Stealth as Level 7, Perception as Level 7
Movement: Short, Long when flying
Combat: The Mantis Dragon has powerful forelegs that it uses to clasp and cut apart it’s prey. Once grasped in the strong forelegs, it’s a difficulty 8 Might Defense roll to escape. The Mantis Dragon does an additional 2 points of damage each round once it has a creature in it’s clutches.
The Mantis Dragon frequently mesmerizes it’s prays with it’s wings. As an action, the Mantis Dragon may spread it’s wings and move towards it’s prey in a slow rhythmic motion, emitting a low hum. Each creature in line of sight must make a Level 6 Intellect Defense roll or become mesmerized by the patterns in it’s wings and the sound it makes. On a failure, the targets are stunned and unable to take actions until the Mantis Dragon ceases it’s dance, or they suffer harm from an attack.
The Mantis Dragon can also bite it’s prey, though it’s preferred attack is to crush a victim in it’s forelegs.
Interaction: Mantis Dragons are predators, and cannot be reasoned with.
Use: The Mantis Dragon, blends into the surrounding environment, rather then tracking it’s prey. The party might venture into its territory and it sees a chance for a meal, or hunters in the region have reported the Mantis Dragon as a threat on their ability to hunt for food for their families.
Loot: Mantis Dragons hide their hoards well, and it will take some time to discover it’s location. The hoard typically consists of 2d20 shins, several oddities, and 2-3 cyphers, taken from previous meals.
GM Intrusion: While an adventurer is in its clasp, the Mantis Dragon takes to the air, and drops them. The adventurer has moments to try to stop their fall.


Images from Gomalemo on Tumblr

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Spire RPG
I’m really interested in Spire, an RPG where you play as part of an ongoing revolution, fighting for freedom and against your oppressors. The worldbuilding that has been done for you looks incredible and I love their redesign of character classes. The game uses a d10 system and as the game continues your character will accrue stress, which can cause them trouble when their luck as a member of the resistance turns. I really think this game will be a meaningful one, and I can’t wait to play it.

“You are a dark elf. The touch of the sun burns your grey skin, and you hide from the light in twisting corridors, crumbling temples and the lawless undercity of the metropolis known as Spire. The high elves, rulers of the city, alien and capricious, allow you to live here as an underclass forced to beg for scraps.

Your religion, your culture, and your people are being destroyed all around you. You have seen your fathers, your mothers, your grandparents subjugated by the high elves, and you have had enough. You have joined the resistance: the ministry of Our Hidden Mistress, worshippers of a forbidden goddess. You have sworn in blood that the high elves will fall, that you will destroy them through subterfuge, and insurrection, and terror.

Spire offers players a chance to take part in a fantasy revolution, and to fight back against those who oppress you. Unlike many games, the monsters aren’t out in the wilderness; they’re living above you in obscene luxury, dominating your people in the aftermath of a brutal war. Spire tasks players with changing the city, whether for good or ill, and that’s how they gain experience and new abilities.

We’ve taken the common tropes of D&D (and other fantasy mainstays) and adjusted them to mesh with our own world, so while there’s plenty that’ll seem familiar to any seasoned roleplayer, there’ll be something in there to surprise everyone, too. ”
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