Dhampir

The man stands over the hulking, spiny monster – charred black in the sunlight and half buried beneath the fallen side of the building. “Damn fool, Feral” the man states to his companion, a young boy, “looks like whoever he tried to bite last nite bit back with a rocket launcher. Brought down the wall, and buried this sucker.” “Where’d their victim go?” The boy asks. “Hard to say,” the man shrugs, “tracks all confused with the rubble. Could be they high-tailed it. Could be they’re buried underneath.” “There’s a town, about a mile down the road,” a hooded newcomer offers, standing in the shadows of the ruined structure. “Come out where I can see you,” the man warns. “Okay, okay,” the hooded man nods, walking slowly – hands raised – towards the man and the boy. As the new comer steps out into the sunlight, the man pulls a pistol and charges forward. Stepping behind the newcomer, the man yanks down the hood. The new comer stands in the sun, squinting. “He’s pale,” the boy comments. “Anaemic,” the man confesses. “He didn’t burn,” the man offers, “that might be good enough. Though I heard tell of Vampires that can withstand the sun.” The newcomer simply grins, shakes his head and pulls a long blade from the back of his jacket.

 

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Dhampir

Raptor

The creature came at the bird-garbed Raptor, humanoid in shape but of a body wholly riddled with fungus – great, clammy hands outstretched. The vigilante, rather than darting away, dashed towards the monster’s grip – ducking and sliding feet-first along the shallow, muddy swamp between the beast’s legs. Whatever head the monster had before simply dissolved into its body and, as Raptor rose to his feet, appeared once again to face him – emerging wholly out of the monster’s former back. Plucking out an array of his boomerangs, Raptor hurled the instruments at the creature in a broad, open armed swing. Spinning, wildly, through the air at the creature, several imbedded themselves into whatever blasphemy passed for its flesh. Others cleaved off chunks from the shape of its shoulders and forearms. If the creature noticed it gave no sign, lumbering forward in advance even as its flesh regrew – enveloping the imbedded boomerangs. “Where’s my sidekick?” Raptor demanded, frustration welling up inside the normally stoic vigilante. In response the creature stopped its pace, vomiting out a emerald-masked skull from its stomach area. Stooping in shock to pluck up the skull, Raptor failed to notice the creature reaching for him once more. Abruptly, however, his concentration was broken by the sound of ferocious wings swooping for him. The winged figure bowls into Raptor abruptly, scuttling him from the monster’s grip. As the two pick themselves up, the winged new comer turns to Raptor, plucking out an array of boomerangs from his belt as he speaks; “We don’t have time to be sentinel, not yet, Raptor.” “Right, Eagle,” Raptor nodded in reply.

Raptor

Corrupting the Multiverse

For some time now, I’ve been working on a Superhero role-playing game called Verge the Multiverse. Verge takes inspiration from stories like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars and throws in a huge, healthy dose of Lovecraft-inspired horror. The premise of Verge is that the Multiverse is being devoured by the Irresolute Idols. To combat this threat, heroes of the same Archetype (that is, character) come together from across the Multiverse. While this game utilises the same system as Frankenstein Atomic Frontier and Artificial Exotics, it makes some interesting additions:

 

Corruption

Often, Iterations that encounter the Irresolute Idols suffer some degree of corruption, a side effect of dealing with monsters from outside reality itself forced to be three-dimensional flesh and blood entities. At the end of any game session in which am Iteration has encountered one of the Irresolute Idols, their cults and servants, a relic associated with the Idols or other thing associated with Idols the Overseer should Draw a number of cards based on the table below. When determining cards in a Corruption Draw, the Overseer should use the highest quantity possible. For instance, if the Team encounter a cursed book (relic) and a Tri-Fold Hunter (monster), then the Overseer should Draw six cards. If this Draw is a success, the Iterations gain a single point of Corruption. The Overseer should Draw single card, the corresponding Suit of which is corrupted (i.e. if the Overseer Draws a Heart, the corrupted Suit is a Heart).

Encounter                                                                                           Cards
Relic, item, or totem of the Idols.                                              2
Cult or other servants of the Idols.                                           4
Creature, monster or other being born of the Idols.           6
Corrupted Iteration                                                                        6
An Irresolute Idol.                                                                           8

Inflict two points of Corruption if one or more Aces are Drawn, three for one or both Jokers.

Corruption manifests itself as a constant murmur and temptation: an offer constantly whispered in the Iteration’s ear, an outstretched hand in the corner of their eye. As a result, each point of Corruption grants a one card bonus on any Draws with the corresponding Suit. That is to say, three points of Corruption in the Spades Suit see an Iteration gaining three additional cards on all Spades Draws. The bonus is optional and does not need to be taken unless the Iteration wishes to do so. If taken, the Corruption bonus must be used in total. Should the Iteration choose to employ their Corruption bonus and manage to Draw an Ace during the course of the Draw, they gain an additional point of Corruption in the corresponding Suit. Should the Iteration have Drawn a Joker, they gain two additional points of Corruption.

An Iteration may have six points of Corruption in any one Suit and still be functional. An Iteration whose Corruption in any Suit exceeds six (seven or higher) has lost their mind, body and soul to the Irresolute Idols and is forever more their slave. At this point, the Iteration gains the Idol Corrupted Iteration Template and is removed by the Overseer as a non-player Extra and Villain.

Iterations may also attempt to rationalize or work through their experience of their encounters with the Idols. To do so, the Iteration should make a Clubs Draw at the end of the game session. If successful, the Iteration loses a point of corruption. If the Iteration has multiple corrupted Suits, remove Corruption from those least affected first so long as the Corruption bonus of the Suit has not been employed that game session. If the Iteration has employed the Corrupted Suit, it no Corruption can be removed. Additionally, creature, Cultist, Slave or other creature dedicated to the Idols is immune to the negative consequences of Corruption – having been Corrupted already.

Corrupting the Multiverse

Confidence

“Have we become so overconfident?” Hans asks Yuri, pointing towards the great hulking creature bloodily chopping on the neck of a cocktail-dressed middled aged man in the middle of the street. Yuri turned his gaze to the creature as well, observing its tough, leathered grey skin and elongated, bat-like ears. Hans elaborated, “as a species, I mean?” “Did you just paraphrase Del Toro’s The Strain to me?” Yuri asked, leaning on the nearby wall. Hans nodded in reply, but the question only perplexed Hans more with the confirmation, “you know he was writing about humans?” “Oh yes I do,” Hans confirmed, licking his lips and showing off his twin, pointed canines, “but given the current spectacle and state of things, I believe the question applies to us now.” “Oh?” Yuri questions, raising an eyebrow as he does so. “Well, take that fellow there,” Hans continued, “I remember when we merely stalked the shadows, lived incognito. Now here we are, revelling in it all like some vulgar revolutionary.” “You must remember, Hans,” Yuri counters, “that us True Bloods hid in plain sight. Others, like that brutish fellow there, never had the opportunity.”

Confidence

Blood Stains

Last month I was chatting to photographers and Legless Ballerina and from that conversation, two joint projects came about. Both projects will be new role-playing games, with settings jointly designed by Owlman and Legless Ballerina. While game design will be undertaken by Owlman, interior art will be the wonderful horror-fantasy photography of Legless Ballerina.  And it is the first of these projects I am pleased to announce today: Blood Stains.

Blood Stains is a Labyrinth Lord campaign setting with a twist. As many of you know, some time ago Owlman published a World War One-themed series of rules for Labyrinth Lord as part of our Over The Top setting. With Blood Stains, we are going one step further, and producing a series of modern rules for Labyrinth Lord and Vampire classes. Thus with Blood Stains, we are leaving fantasy behind all together and engaging in modern disaster horror – with the players as the monsters!

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Blood Stains

Halloween Freebies for Big Damn Dryden

As an Australian, I’ve never really celebrated Halloween. But with a bucket load of support from Dryden House, the Manhattan playtest crew, MoatCon, Boom Comics and whole mess of other folks in the United States of America, I’ve decided to try and get into the spirit of the holiday and do a special Halloween cross over with Dryden Nightmares.  Nightmares is probably (though I’m sure Joel Strottlemire will be able to correct me) the other big and growing franchise for Dryden House and it has some really nice buzz going on around as its getting up and running. Check it out HERE, especially if you’re a horror writer looking for an outlet!

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Big Damn Dryden Nigtmare

Maurice Morris took the Saucy Carp in slowly, glancing tensely at Guy Chabot de Hanzo next to him. Tensely, Guy slowly sharpened his blade as the Carp, a Lin-manufactured Gnome model cargo ship, approached the research station. The mission had come down from the board of directors itself at Lin Corp, but the details had been sketchy. Neither Maurice nor Guy knew what Synapse Bio-Technology had been working on, nor why they had abandoned the space station. Somewhere in the back, Jane Hancock – otherwise known as the hacker, Scumbag037 – probed the space-station for life-signs, with little result. The Saucy Carp docked with a clunk. Moments later Guy was taking point, with Sally MacLaine covering him with her keen eyes and ready rifle. Maurice and Scumbag037 following. Somewhere between the docking bay and mess hall they saw her from behind, milling about the doorway. “I thought you said there were no life signs,” Guy hissed back down the line. “There weren’t,” Scumbag037 stammered, the cybernetic scanner in place of an eye sweeping the woman, “there still aren’t. I don’t understand…” “I ever tell you about my favorite movie,” Sally interrupted, “its call “shut the hell up”. It’s a love story. Now settle, we can all tell something’s wrong. Question is what?” As if in answer to Sally’s question, the woman turned slowly – revealing that she was missing most of her face. “Back…” hissed guy, tacking a step backwards. Maurice turned, stepped and paused, and huffed: “not an option, Guy”. Glancing briefly over his shoulder, Guy swore under his breath as he spied several dozen other bodies with varying degrees of injury standing and watching…

New Extra: Zombie (Grunt)

Zombies in the Dryden Universe are not canon. And they probably won’t be brought up in another Big Damn Dryden supplement again. But if you do want to add Zombies to your Big Damn Dryden games, then the walking dead is probably a product of genetic and cybernetic experimentation by Synapse Bio-technology. Naturally, the experiment wasn’t intended to produce Zombies, rather a new combat drug for front-line soldiers to make them more resistant to pain and less vulnerable to mental trauma from battlefield experience. In that sense, it was a success. When the first test subjects degenerated, however, the experiment was meant to be terminated but following the first escape and subsequent spread of the virus, something has gone horribly wrong.

Path Skin: Infectious.

Context Skin: Warrior.

Arcana 5, Intuition 1, Shatter 6, Vitality 6

Barrier 3, Defense 1, Wounds 1

Armory: None, weapons and hand-held items are generally dropped after the transformation. Armour, Cybernetics and other items that are worn or implanted are retained and may confer a benefit at the Game Master’s discretion.

Zombie-Only Path Skin: Infectious

When engaged in melee combat against a target character, if a Zombie gains a Gravy Roll they have successfully bitten their opponent. Even if the attack doesn’t do any damage, the bite breaks the skin. The Game Master should then make a Vitality roll in secret for the Cubie at a penalty equal to the amount of Wounds inflicted during the bite. If the roll is failed, the Cubie transforms into a Zombie 1D6 game sessions. In the event of a Catastrophic Outcome, the transformation is instantaneous.

These rules are officially unofficial. That is to say, they’ve be made by myself – the Game Designer of Big Damn Dryden – but they’re not part of an official release through Dryden House.

Halloween Freebies for Big Damn Dryden