Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Horror, Role Playing Games

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 22: Werewolf The Apocalypse

So I really debated about using this next game in my 2022 Character Creation Challenge. Werewolf The Apocalypse was published by White Wolf Games in 1991 and was part of the World of Darkness series. I recall playing the table top version of Vampire The Masquerade with my regular gaming group. I even found the character sheet from that game in my book of characters that I had somehow kept all these years. I don’t know if the system never appealed to me after playing VtM or if I’ve just never found werewolves interesting. That last part may come from the original Universal Pictures werewolf films. Every time Larry Talbot whined about being a werewolf, I wanted to turn it into a drinking game. When the World of Darkness LARP was popular in the 90’s, I recall a roommate that really liked the werewolf side. This book was one of the many gifts I received last year so having the physical book in my hands made it more of a candidate for the challenge. I always figured that if I still wasn’t impressed after creating a character, I could put the book in the trade pile.

I don’t recall anything about the game system from the Vampire campaign. So I’ll be going back into this set of rules without any preconceived notions. The universe background sounds interesting. Werewolves are trying to keep a balance to prevent the planet from being destroyed in an apocalypse (hence the reason why the name is in the title of the game).

So this character, what breed is he out of three choices? This guy is going to be Homid (human raised). While he seemed a little wild while young, he never knew that he was a werewolf until his body started changing. Next is your Auspice, or what phase of the moon you were born under. There are five choices. I still don’t know what these mean in the form of character creation. I selected Ahroun because I can at least understand what fighters are. Next is to select one of the 13 tribes (no, not the 13 tribes in Battlestar Galactica). There was a little bit more descriptions for this selection, so I chose Get of Fenris.

Ah, finally, we are onto the Attributes. They are Physical (Strength, Dexterity and Stamina), Social (Charisma, Manipulation and Appearance) and Mental (Perception, Intelligence and Wits). Each Attribute gets one free dot, then you select a primary attribute, a secondary attribute and a tertiary attribute. These get 7, 5 or 3 dots that you get to spend in each category. Since my guy is going to be tough, Physical will be the primary followed by Mental then Social. I fill like I’m taking a test by filling in all of these little circles.

Now we have abilities, which are basically talents, skills and knowledge that your character has. You choose which one of the three categories are primary (earns 13 dots), secondary (earns 9 dots) and tertiary (earns 5 dots). At this phase, I can only place 3 dots max in any item. I filled in my test… er… ability scores.

In the Advantages, there are also three categories, but they look different than the Attributes and Abilities. Some of the Advantages have scores (Renown), then there are backgrounds and gifts. The “checklist” didn’t go into a lot of detail where the other items had something. There were a lot of “see pg XX” items listed. Ugh. I tried to fill in what I could from what was found.

Finally there are 15 bonus points that you can spend everywhere, but certain items cost more than others (raising an attribute cost more than raising a background). I filled these in. Oh, and I guess I should come up with a name. Hans Brulker was born and raised in Germany. While his parents were killed when he was young, he didn’t know his true nature until an “Uncle” found him just after he noticed that changes were happening to him. Changes that were not explained in school. This “Uncle” told him about his true nature and brought him into the pack.

Afterthoughts:

I do want to give the writers some kudos for quoting a song lyric from bands like Sisters of Mercy, Killing Joke, Black Sabbath, The Cure and others. I’ve seen a few publications where they have used quotes from popular culture. It helps me understand the context they are trying to get across.

Having the chapter before character creation with a quick look into the system is also a really big help for new players. Even in the 90’s there were lots of games that didn’t explain the core system very well.

I can see where there were a few editing mistakes “See traits pg. XX” that should have been caught before printing.

While I’ve got a little better appreciation for the game after going through the character creation process. I don’t think that I’ll be playing this game or homebrewing for it. I’m not aware of anyone who still plays the White Wolf table top roleplaying games.

Additional Notes:

I had a chance to talk about the Character Creation Challenge at a local gaming store today. Several of the people thought it was a good idea. I’m still amazed at the number of posts on the RPG.net forums and using the #CharacterCreationChallenge hashtag.

Coming Up Next:

Merc

Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Horror, Role Playing Games

More power of gaming

I love the feel and weight of a RPG book in my hands.

I’ve been a participant on the RPG.net forums for quite some time now. It is a very good place where you can go and talk about almost any role playing game (alive or dead) or any other geeky subjects. Last year I participated in a Secret Satan (a play on words for Secret Santa) where I received a copy of Mutant Crawl Classics and several general books about RPG playing.

This year I signed up to participate again and my Secret Satan gift arrived. It was Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. I flipped through it briefly before sitting down to write this post and I’m already starting to get ideas for a homebrewed campaign. I’ve never had a chance to play in a Ravenloft campaign yet, but I know a group of friends who have been playing for quite some time.

My contribution to the gift exchange has been sent and the elves at Amazon have reported that it was delivered. I haven’t received any confirmation from my victim that they have received it. In this day an age of porch pirates (!@#$%^&) I hope it was picked up by it’s intended recipient.

I love how this online community has been a great place for gamers. I’m looking forward to participating in this program again next season. Thank you for my copy of Van Ricnten’s Guide to Ravenloft.

Update: A second book arrived the next day from the Secret Satan. The Curse of Strahd is what I found in the box. I’ve attached the photo below. Thank you again Secret Satan.

Good evening…
Posted in: Horror, Role Playing Games

Character sheets from past games: Vampire The Masquerade

With it being October, I thought I’d post a character sheet from my Book of Characters that is appropriate to Halloween and horror. The same group at Comics Utah that I played DC Superheroes, Doctor Who and Cyberpunk with also delved into a campaign for Vampire The Masquerade. For this game I created a human investigative reporter, Arthur Squire.

Arthur Squire was a reporter following up on strange stories he had heard about regarding an underground society. This society ended up being a clan of vampires. The equipment hand written on the back included camera, a special sleeping bag (I don’t recall why it was special), a camcorder, a cassette recorder and ear phones. If I recall correctly Squire had the habit of dropping listening bugs. Squire had planted one on a vampire that had hired him to track down someone.

This character never became a vampire. I don’t recall wanting him to become a vampire. I know that some of the other players wanted to be embraced. A few years later I participated in a few LARP games with a local Camarilla fan club. But I found paper and dice RPGs more enjoyable.

I’ll be getting more character sheets scanned and posted soon.

Posted in: Horror, Horror Hosts, Movies, Science Fiction, TV Review

Creature Features 50th Anniversary

I was very happy to complete the Character Creation Challenge last month. It was an actual challenge that I didn’t know if I could complete. And there were a few days I was wondering if I would make the deadline. It took up quite a bit of time just to make sure I didn’t miss a day. One of the things that ended up getting pushed off to the side was the other blog entries that were not related to the challenge, but I wanted to post. I was able to sneak in a review of Wonder Woman 1984, but there were several other subjects that I wanted to cover. Here is one of my catch up posts that would have been posted last month.

Creature Features 1970's
Creature Features then…
Creature Features 2020's
…and Creature Features now.

I enjoy watching classic and cheesy horror films. From the Universal Classics such as Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy to the British studio that released the Hammer Horrors. Some of these horror films can also be quite cheesy and funny such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space (boy that’s a lively one). I’m not big into the mega-slashers or the buckets of blood films. If you have to rely on too much splatter-gore special effects to make up for bad writing, it tends to turn me off. But even the smallest film with a shoe-string budget can be enjoyable if done the right way.

There are several shows that help me find some of these classics and clunker horror/science-fiction films. The one I wanted to talk about today is Creature Features from the San Fransisco bay area which just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of it’s first showing. I had discovered this show sometime in 2018 on the show’s YouTube channel and quickly added it to my Saturday night TV lineup.

This is a “horror host” show that was popular in the 70’s and continues today. Television stations would receive batches of films that they could air that were real clunkers. What certain stations in different cities did to attract an audience is to have an employee of the station dress up in a costume come up with a punny name and be the host for some of these z-grade movies. Even if the movie was a bomb, audiences would tune in to check out the host. Sometimes skits and parody songs would be performed while others hosts had interviews and trivia. Everyone had their own spin on the idea which helped made them unique. I head learned about these “horror hosts” from a wonderful documentary called American Scary. Creature Features has had three runs. The first by host Bob Wilkins, the second by host John Stanley and the current run that started in 2016 with Vincent Van Dahl, Mr. Livingston and Tangella.

On January 9, 2021, Creature Features aired a 50th Anniversary Special of the original Creature Features hosted by Bob Wilkins. A special tribute to Wilkins was shown along with the first film from that night “The Horror of Party Beach”. Van Dahl interviewed John Stanley and director Tom Wyrsch. There were several old interviews shown from Bob Shaw who was one of the producers of the original show. They even had the outro from Bob Wilkins to wrap things up. As for The Horror of Party Beach, let’s just say that it was bad enough that I kept expecting the heckling robots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 to show up to make fun of the film. The creatures that menaced the teenagers looked like they had hot dogs hanging out of their mouths. Yea it was gloriously bad. And probably not one I’d watch again.

If you get a chance, check out the Creature Features YouTube channel. I watch it on the YouTube app on my television. They air the show live online every Saturday and they have past shows available as well. Besides showing the classics (that they can afford to show) they have also shown some recent fan films (somehow they got a foreign Star Trek fan film) and small budget studio releases that they were able to get their hands on. The variety has been very interesting. I also like the interview format that they have. 99% of the guests have been very entertaining to listen to ranging from actors, special effects artists, cosplayers and more.

Congratulations to Creature Features for reaching a 50th Anniversary. I hope you guys can continue to bring us many cheesy horror and science-fiction films for many years to come.

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