Archive for Call of Cthulhu

Modern Game Props

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2011 by boccobsblog

Props for games based in modern times have a serious advantage over those in fantasy or sci-fi games; they don’t have to be anachronistic or pass a believability test. Not to mention, modern props are so much easier to come by.

I don’t think a prop should just by a 3d representation in a game, I think it should be a puzzle you hand the players and allow them to follow the clues and leads it creates. When I was younger, I played a game by Infocom, called “The Witness” (1983), a text-based murder mystery that included several props: a matchbook, a real newspaper, letters, etc. I remember how those props added such depth and realism to the game.

You could get an entire campaign’s worth of adventures with a purse or wallet filled with props and leads, and for me that is the largely untapped potential of using props.

So here is a list of possible modern game prop ideas:

  • Flash drive/disk- You could fill this with clue, red herrings, photos, e-mails, links, documents, etc.
  • Toy gun/knife- beware, shoot your gm with an air soft gun and…
  • E-mail- Set up a fake e-mail account for your NPC and send the players cryptic notes
  • Website- Set up a fake MySpace or Facebook page, blog, Livejournal, etc. Fill the site with fake photos, and clues, and misleading information
  • Matchbook- You could take one for an existing business, or make one out of cardstock
  • Business card- You can buy business card paper for your printer
  • Cell phone- Take an old cell phone and put in a fake address book, take photos, set up  phony calls sent and received to act as clues to further leads
  • Newspaper- You could make a fake paper using programs like Publisher, or take a paper from the city your game is set in and add clues (circle dates, numbers, cut out articles, etc)
  • Video- Depends on how involved you want your props to be, you could make some amazing prop videos, fake home movies, etc.
  • Camera- digital, disposable, .35mm, filled with pictures to point to clues and adventure possibilities
  • Laptop- much like the above mentioned items, a laptop prop could be filled with enough clues, hints, and misleading information to sustain an entire campaign
  • Drug label- using sticker paper, make fake prescription labels
  • Diary- it would take some time, but you could create an entire fake journal for an npc that drops clues and hints about major plot points in the campaign

Larpers get to take the modern prop to the next level:

  • Address book- Is the killer listed? List addresses on npcs, businesses, and contacts. This could turn into an amazing cross town adventure tracking down leads
  • Bus station key- You could place clues in a bus station locker, and drop the key as a prop. The number of surprising things you could leave in there are unlimited.
  • Hotel key- A pricey version of the bus station locker key
  • GPS coordinates- use a Garmin or similar gps device to lead the pc’s to a remote location
  • Map- a low-tech version of the GPS, circle a location or make notes on a road map

Gaming on the High Seas

Posted in Gaming News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2010 by boccobsblog

How would you like to play your favorite role-playing game while surrounded by miles of pristine Caribbean ocean? The people at Gamer Adventures can make that dream a reality.

Gamer Adventures combines your love of gaming with your family vacation. What’s really great about it, is that if your spouse isn’t a gamer there are still countless activities for them to do while you enjoy guilt-free game time.

GA currently offers three cruise packages: Alaskan, Caribbean, and Mexican Rivera. Also, they have a trip that travels to Essen, Germany for the world’s largest gaming convention, Spiel. Each trip has scheduled and open gaming events that take place in a private gaming hall on board the ship.

It’s a pretty cool idea, check it out.

Gameradventures.com

Are you being cheated out of your critical hits?

Posted in D&D 3.5 e Content, D&D 4e Content, Gaming News, Product Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2010 by boccobsblog

That’s what the people at Game Science claim. Their founder, Louis Zocchi, says that because modern dice companies roll their dice in rock tumblers and use sub-standard plastics to make their dice, that they are not as statistically accurate as his dice are.

If you would like to hear his entire story (warning, it is a bit of a rant that goes on for 20 minutes) you can view Zocchi’s videos here.

I tested several of the dice I purchased this year at Gen Con and I have to admit, Zocchi’s claims appear to be true (as “proved” by my very non-scientific test). I tested dice in groups of three to reduce the amount of time I spent rolling dice.

Results: Out of 150 rolls (tested 3 times), the Game Science dice rolled 15 20’s, while his competitors (three other large dice companies) only yielded 8 20’s.

I have conducted other similar tests for the unbelieving  gamers in my groups and come up with similar results.  Granted that a much larger data set would be needed to come to any firm decision, but the dice seem to yield more 20′s.

Has anyone else out there done any testing of their own? If so tell us about it.

-Andy

Highlights of Gen Con Indy 2010

Posted in D&D 3.5 e Content, D&D 4e Content, Gaming News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by boccobsblog

Well, Gen Con Indy is over. As always, it was an amazing experience. Where else in the world can you see 28,000 gamers in one place? Where else can you have a deep conversation about kobold battle tactics with a 45-year-old man in a homemade Pikachu costume and have no one judge you? The rest of the world could learn a lot about diversity and tolerance at Gen Con. 

Here are some of the highlights: 

  

  

Costumes 

The attendants of this year’s Gen Con did not disappoint. There were some amazing costumes and everyone I saw was very patient, allowing themselves to be photographed again and again. 

Free Demos 

There were more games at GC than you could ever hope to try in four days. We tried some great new games and we will be sure to give each of them a full review in the weeks to come. 

The Vendors 

You have to admire people who are willing to spend four days dressed as a luchador, or a pirate, or wear a chicken on their head in hopes of moving their product. 

Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton 

This was the only part of the con that was a bit sour for me. I had hoped to meet the cast of The Guild, but the line was very long, so I walked up to the rope and took a few pictures. Shortly after I started snapping shots, security approached me and asked that I, “please put my pants back on and step away from the crew”. Well as you can imagine I was outraged, so I pulled my boffer sword and started to kick ass all the while screaming that Wil Wheaton had stolen my prized Degu. Any who…things got a bit intense and I was tazed several times and asked to leave. I didn’t let it ruin my day.

 Wizards of the Coast Displays

WotC had some amazing displays outside the Sagamon Ballroom, where they unveiled both the 4th edition incarnation of Darksun and the Castle Ravenloft Board game. There was a huge 3D red dragon representation of the Essential D&D Starter set that drop on September 7th. Also, there was a life-sized (can there be a life-sized version of a make-believe creature?) Beholder. It stood well over 12 feet tall. It was awesome. 

 The World of Darkness Lounge 

White Wolf had an excellent longue set up in the center of the con. The lounge, fully staffed by vampires, offered a bar, live music and an opulent seating area decorated with gothic-style furniture. 

All in all it was a great con. There is much more to say and I could go on forever posting pictures, but then I’d wouldn’t get any gaming done. If you attended the con I hope you had as good a time as I did, and if you didn’t get a chance to go, I hope to see you there next year. Enjoy these pictures. 

-Andy 

This beholder was life-sized and ate four of my group

 

 

Wil Wheaton

 

His breath smelled like dead gnomes and broken dreams

 

"I wish I had taken that civil service test..."

 

Felicia Day.

Buy my game or I'll body slam you!

Amazing resource for Call of Cthulhu players

Posted in The Crafty DM with tags , , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by boccobsblog

Propnomicon is an amazing resource for Call of Cthulhu players, and any gamer that likes to use props in their game. Along with several articles related to CoC gaming, Propnomicon has an impressive list of Mythos-related websites displayed on its main page. CoC gamers, LARPers, or any gamers that use props to enhance their role-playing experience will find something useful on this site.

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