Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Are You Reading Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque?

Before we shuffle 2013 off into the history books, I thought I would draw your attention to a blog you may not be reading: Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque by Jack Shear.

While not for the faint of heart, Jack's blog is a wonderfully sinister resource for fans of horror gaming, especially Savage Worlds folks as of late.

Among the highlights of Jack's site are his Savage Worlds cheat sheet, which summarizes the basics of Savage Worlds, combined with the Combat Survival Guide (a document many - including myself - make sure their players have access to, given Savage Worlds' combat intricacies).

His Slithdale Hollow mini setting is a very cool and creepy (and completely free) Savage Setting featuring the players playing young kids, ala Lemony Snicket and Coraline. Grub stew, anyone?

His Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque books are a great resource for any fans of earlier D&D editions who want some horror gaming without the baggage of Ravenloft (though some of the inspiration is certainly going to be there) and his Gothic Earth guide will give you similar options but set on (you guessed it) Gothic Earth instead of a Fantasy setting.

Planet MotherF*cker is an over the top post apocalyptic setting that is system neutral, but includes advice on how you should go about reskinning certain bestiary entries to match the horrible things crawling the wastelands (my favorite being Skeletorians...you DO have stats for an undead spellcaster in your favorite RPG, right?).

Aaaaaand these are all completely free in PDF, or you can spring for print copies via Lulu.

And then the blog itself is heaped with wonderful entries, many of them monsters with Savage Worlds statblocks that are suitable for being dropped in on many games, like Solomon Kane, Rippers or even Deadlands...and, for fans of Ravenloft, his Ravenloft remixes make for some great reading, especially the advice given for some of the lesser developed domains (like adding some mind-blasting Lovecraftian life to the underdeveloped Bluetspur. Special mention also goes to his Gothic Fantasy Magic for Savage Worlds. I'm kinda jealous at his output of depraved creativity, but I'm glad I can mine it for my own purposes, since Mr. Shear is sharing it with the world.

While Mr. Shear's blog is certainly not for all audiences, it has a lot of useful and fun information and tools for folks that don't mind a little R-Rated and B(Z?)-Movie in their RPGs.

UPDATE: I intend to release Tommy's Top Six tomorrow as is tradition, though the blog's birthday giveaway will be significantly smaller than in years past, providing fewer chances to win, unfortunately. I am aiming to get a tighter schedule in the new year, with a regular schedule for reviews, and probably a bigger emphasis on board and card games as well.

Thanks to everyone who has continued reading to this point...hopefully 2014 can make up for a lackluster 2013.