2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimoire

DCC has inspired many folks to produce their own supplements and adventures for the game. This is the place for discussion of all 3PP products for DCC RPG.

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Karaptis
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Karaptis » Sat May 19, 2012 4:55 pm

I have a friend who is an artist and gamer if you need his services, just say the word.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat May 19, 2012 5:24 pm

Raven_Crowking wrote:Is this going to be in print? Looking forward to it.
I'm planning on releasing it as a PDF and Print-On-Demand.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat May 19, 2012 5:26 pm

DCCfan wrote:Will you be at gencon? I would like to take TA for a test drive.
I'm pretty sure I won't make GenCon. But I'll let you know if anyone else will be there who could possibly run TA/TG.

When is GenCon this year?

Also, I'm based in Austin, Texas. Anyone in the area who'd like to try out TA/TG, just PM me. I'm looking into going to NTRPG this year. Not sure if that will work out or not.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat May 19, 2012 5:27 pm

Karaptis wrote:I have a friend who is an artist and gamer if you need his services, just say the word.
I'm definitely interested in talking with him, if he's interested in talking with me.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by DCCfan » Sat May 19, 2012 5:30 pm

smathis wrote:
DCCfan wrote:Will you be at gencon? I would like to take TA for a test drive.
I'm pretty sure I won't make GenCon. But I'll let you know if anyone else will be there who could possibly run TA/TG.

When is GenCon this year?

Also, I'm based in Austin, Texas. Anyone in the area who'd like to try out TA/TG, just PM me. I'm looking into going to NTRPG this year. Not sure if that will work out or not.
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat May 19, 2012 5:44 pm

DCCfan wrote:
smathis wrote:AUG. 16-19th
I'll look into it. I'll admit it isn't likely. I don't have much time off from work this year and my family has a wedding to go to around that time. But I'm pretty sure someone will be there that could run TA/TG by August. We'll see how it shakes out.

Thanks for the interest.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Wed May 23, 2012 1:05 pm

FYI to all who are following TA/TG...

A blog on the Hunter goes up tonight.

Enjoy and I look forward to hearing your feedback!

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Wed May 23, 2012 3:06 pm

Blog on the Hunter is live now.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Thu May 24, 2012 7:36 pm

So, as far as the Classes go, I've hit on the Valiant, the Exotic, the Half-Breed, the Polymath and the Hunter.

The ones that are left are the Charger, the Theorist, the Survivor and the Redeemable (no, he's not a coupon).

Which one would you all like to read about next week?

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by grald_the_hunter » Sat May 26, 2012 10:16 am

smathis, I gotta know what a Charger is! I hope it has nothing to do with a cell phone.

Also, when TA is released, will we need the DCC RPG to play it, or will it be standalone?

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sat May 26, 2012 7:35 pm

grald_the_hunter wrote:smathis, I gotta know what a Charger is! I hope it has nothing to do with a cell phone.

Also, when TA is released, will we need the DCC RPG to play it, or will it be standalone?
Charger it will be! And, no, the Charger has nothing to do with a cell phone: :lol:

TA/TG are technically supplements for DCC. So I wouldn't say it's standalone. It relies on the rules of DCC and some charts in DCC that aren't reprinted in TA/TG. Off the top of my head, it needs the Crit charts, Fumble charts, Starting Equipment chart and until TG is released it needs all the spell charts from DCC. I don't know how much TG will supplant existing spell charts for Corruption, Mercurial Magic, etc. But it may do some.

But if someone just wanted TA/TG on its own merits, I'd say it's probably playable all by itself if you had a good understanding of D&D. There would probably be some things that would need to be ignored or understood otherwise. But I don't think anything would break. Having a PDF copy of DCC would probably be sufficient to have the information and charts necessary to play TA/TG.

That's another reason I'm trying my best to keep the price as low as possible. I understand that there's an extra book to buy and that might be a barrier of entry for some. There won't be art on every page. It's going to be kind of old school in its art direction. But my goal is to keep it as affordable as possible.

Look for the Charger next week. It's exceeded expectations in play.

P.S. I should also point out that TA/TG relies on the rules of DCC. And those aren't reprinted. I mean, when it mentions Two-Weapon Fighting, TA/TG assumes that the reader knows what it's talking about -- which is in DCC's ruleset.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Liu Jen Hao » Sun May 27, 2012 11:40 pm

Dear Mr Smathis

I was quite fascinated when you mentioned that Transylvanian Adventures will incorporate elements of Asian Horror such as Japanese Horror films, Castlevania and presumably horror anime like "Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust" as well.

This was quite reassuring, as the "Asian-free" retro style of the core system brought back memories of the BAD-old-days back in the 1980's when your gaming pals accepted you if you played by PURELY western archetypes, but start mockingly squinting their eyes and and mocking you with thick accents and Mickey Rooney impressions the SECOND you try to portray a positive hero of your OWN heritage.

Thank you for NOT pandering to the euro-centric and racist conservatism of he REAL 1970s and 1980's, where it was virtually impossible for Asians to find positive symbols to look up to after Bruce Lee's murder.

Anyway.
1) Are you allowed to play humans of any ethnicity in Transylvanian adventures, or are you only allowed to be the "culturally normal" Caucasian and Black characters implied by the core rulebook?

2) As Asian horror is cited as one of your core influences, are there "variant" vampires I this game, such as the "Hopping Chinese Vampires" (Jiang Shi) of Sammo Hung films in the 1980s?

3) Is there a possibility of Chinese Taoist Vampire Hunters as a class? Other Eastern style hunters? Or is it "Van Helsing" types only?

Thank You.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Mon May 28, 2012 7:28 am

Liu Jen Hao wrote:Dear Mr Smathis

I was quite fascinated when you mentioned that Transylvanian Adventures will incorporate elements of Asian Horror such as Japanese Horror films, Castlevania and presumably horror anime like "Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust" as well.

This was quite reassuring, as the "Asian-free" retro style of the core system brought back memories of the BAD-old-days back in the 1980's when your gaming pals accepted you if you played by PURELY western archetypes, but start mockingly squinting their eyes and and mocking you with thick accents and Mickey Rooney impressions the SECOND you try to portray a positive hero of your OWN heritage.

Thank you for NOT pandering to the euro-centric and racist conservatism of he REAL 1970s and 1980's, where it was virtually impossible for Asians to find positive symbols to look up to after Bruce Lee's murder.
Thanks. I'd like to temper all this a bit by mentioning that one of the primary influences for Transylvanian Adventures are the Gothic Horror movies from Hammer Horror. There isn't, say, a Taoist Priest class or an armored Demon Hunter class. But there is also nothing restricting a player or group from presenting a Polymath as a Taoist or a Charger as a Demon Hunter.

The default non-Western class is the Exotic and, currently, my playtest group has an awesome female Filipino character who is all sorts of awesome with a short bow. But the Hunter could just as easily be Chinese or Indian if the player wanted. And the Half-Breed could be African too. The setting is highly anachronistic, much like the Hammer Horror films. And any euro-centrism is more an agreement on how a group wants to play the game. As opposed to any real restrictions in the rules or setting. I should write a sidebar or Appendix on this topic.
Liu Jen Hao wrote:1) Are you allowed to play humans of any ethnicity in Transylvanian adventures, or are you only allowed to be the "culturally normal" Caucasian and Black characters implied by the core rulebook?
Short answer is yes. It would be a lot of fun to create a party mimicking Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters using a number of Transylvanian Adventures classes. The Mighty Deeds do a great job of filling in the blanks for these characters' martial prowess and stunt abilities. There's every possibility to portray the Western Europeans as ignorant about the threat of vampires and have the party all be from a different continent. Think Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters going up against Dracula because they're the only ones who understand his threat. I think that would be awesome. And it's certainly a possibility with TA/TG.
Liu Jen Hao wrote:2) As Asian horror is cited as one of your core influences, are there "variant" vampires I this game, such as the "Hopping Chinese Vampires" (Jiang Shi) of Sammo Hung films in the 1980s?
I haven't thought much about the Jiang Shi or other creatures from East Asia, South Asia and Africa that might fit the mold of the Western notion of "vampires". That might be a great addition to TG. By default, the setting is Transylvania. So the vampires are as depicted in the Hammer films. But variant vampires would be a nice addition to the second supplement, no doubt. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

The Asian Horror influence refers, of course, to Vampire Hunter D and Castlevania. But it also refers to the existential nature of Asian Horror which relates directly to how I'm trying to treat the monsters in TA/TG. In order to make things fresh, new and scary, there's definitely an existential spin on Dracula, Frankenstein and others in order to make them far scarier than contemporary gamers might believe them to be. They're familiar. But different.

There's also a class of adversaries in the book that I'm calling "Old Things". These could best be thought of as akin to the Snake Woman of Midwich in the first Vampire Hunter D novel. These creatures are about half-Lovecraft, half-Asian Horror. They're tied into the setting and such. But they definitely form another rung of Asian Horror influence.
Liu Jen Hao wrote:3) Is there a possibility of Chinese Taoist Vampire Hunters as a class? Other Eastern style hunters? Or is it "Van Helsing" types only?
There is no restriction on what nationality a character can be beyond the limitations of a player's imagination. A Hunter can be Taoist, just as easily as he could be a follower of any other religion. It all depends on how a player wants to portray that character. What choices the player makes in upgrades to reinforce that portrayal.

Of course, this opens up even wider when we explore the possibility of allowing one class to cross-upgrade with another class. I'll be covering that in TG. At this time, it looks to be really straightforward. I'm sure it will introduce some complications. But thus far, I've only seen one or two upgrades that I simply can't allow as a cross-upgrade.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Mon May 28, 2012 8:14 am

An Eastern Grimoire might be a worthwhile addition to the game.....?
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Harley Stroh » Mon May 28, 2012 9:05 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:An Eastern Grimoire might be a worthwhile addition to the game.....?
[fanboy mode]I would purchase the heck out of that.[/fanboy mode]

//H
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Mon May 28, 2012 9:07 am

Harley Stroh wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:An Eastern Grimoire might be a worthwhile addition to the game.....?
[fanboy mode]I would purchase the heck out of that.[/fanboy mode]

//H
No kidding!

The setting I am working on has explicit elements of "east meets west"!
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Mon May 28, 2012 11:20 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Harley Stroh wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:An Eastern Grimoire might be a worthwhile addition to the game.....?
[fanboy mode]I would purchase the heck out of that.[/fanboy mode]

//H
No kidding!

The setting I am working on has explicit elements of "east meets west"!
I'm not sure an Eastern Grimoire would need much additional material. Instead of an entirely new book, I could include an Alt Settings hack chapter in TG. I was planning on doing something along those lines to show how TA could be "reskinned" into a quasi-future setting ala Vampire Hunter D. All I'd need to do to give it a Far Eastern twist is include a dozen or so classic monsters from Asian legends and describe how to twist the magic and character classes to fit that genre. Liu Jen Hao got me thinking about how I can make that happen.

Keep me posted on your setting. Not only would I like to check it out. But I could also write something up about how to use it with TA/TG.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Mon May 28, 2012 11:23 am

Either way, this is something I'm sure I'll be getting.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Liu Jen Hao » Tue May 29, 2012 6:43 am

Replied from my iPhone this afternoon, and somehow the message included "illegal softwares"

Trying again!!

I'm guessing there will be a bibliography of sorts for Dungeon Masters who need a starting point of inspirations? It seems to be the norm these days in RPGS ever since "Vampire The Masquerade"

Here's a few suggestions to include in the filmography/bibliography, for style if nothing else.

Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom (SCARY and memorable Dungeon Crawls of caves ruled by evil overlords)
Aliens (Replace "Evil Overlord" with "Ancient Snarling Horror" but excellent for claustrophobic Dungeon Crawls regardless)

John Carpenter's The Thing (Claustrophobia meets paranoia: EVERY Doppleganger should watch this to learn how to sow panic and hate between companions)

Ninja Scroll (For inspirations of super heroic yet still-horrific combat, not to mention Godlike and Epic yet still Gothic Monsters)
A Chinese Ghost Story (Same reason as above entry, except for those who want "Wuxia" horror")
Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust (Post apocalyptic Pulp Vampire/Martial Arts Action at its best)
The Blade Trilogy

Se7en (Detective work in a world of Gothic Horror, however modern)

The Blair Witch Project (THIS is what it feels like to be stalked by a cunning and invincible predator and feel completely helpless about it)
Alien (This too)

Labyrinth (No, Fairies are NOT nice. They trick you into slavery with carefully worded contracts, kidnap your children and torture them until they are drained of soul and humanity. As scary and twisted as ANY Vampire Lord, the Unseelie Fairies are)
Pan's Labyrinth (If you thought "Labyrinth" is too light-hearted and not Gothic Horror enough representation of fairies)
Alice In Wonderland (Any version is scary)
Pinocchio (Pleasure Island is a most blood-chilling example of what happens when you sign a fairy's contract and lose your humanity... Shiver)

On that note, I wholeheartedly recommend giving the Unseelie Fairies an entry in this game

What makes the evil of villains like Rumplestitskin, Maelificent (Sleeping Beauty) and the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland) so scary is:

1) Their UTTER disconnection from human morality; they don't even COMPREHEND much less CARE why forcing you to fight with other starving children for meat in dark cellars full of cockroaches is wrong; human emotion is incomprehensible at worst to them and amusing at best. Even a Vampire or Werewolf was human once; NOT the Unseelie Fairies, the stuff of nightmares themselves.

2) To fight them is to engage in a battle of WITS that NO blade can win. Woven tight enough, the convoluted and wicked contract of the Unseelie can torture your bloodline for generations. Which makes the triumphs of discovering, and hence hurling these evil Fairies back to Hell with their True Names all the more satisfying.

Hope This Helps!!

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Tue May 29, 2012 8:06 am

smathis wrote:Keep me posted on your setting. Not only would I like to check it out. But I could also write something up about how to use it with TA/TG.
Will do, although I am viewing this more as a "home campaign setting" than a product.

(Of course, no reason one can't kill two birds with one stone.... :wink: )
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Tue May 29, 2012 10:10 am

Liu Jen Hao wrote:Hope This Helps!!
It does. And thanks. I was planning on including a biblio/video-graphy to give interested parties a jumpstart into the genre. As far as Unseelie go, I'd also recommend the Darkfever/Faefever series by Karen Marie Moning. She nails it on the head. It's not typically what I'd read. But Moning did a good job with it.

Seelie/Unseelie would be a good fit for TG where they could have their own section as a bona fide Adversary in TA/TG. I'm already pretty full up with Drac, Dr. Frank and some other Adversaries (and then just the monsters) I've got planned for TA. But there's a place for the Unseelie in the setting. A couple of very specific locations on the hexmap would be amazing places to stage encounters with the Unseelie.

Moreover, one of the chief influences for the spell charts that will be released with TG is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. So, yeah, the darker faerie kingdoms would be an amazingly good fit. Thus far the spells/rituals in TG are dark and weird.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Wed May 30, 2012 9:10 am

Hi all,
Info on the Charger should be up this evening.

Here's a preview...
The Charger is a stalwart warrior seeking to sharpen himself against the whetstone of destiny. The Charger chooses not to back down from any adversary and pursues the thrill of battle for its own sake.
The Charger's a fun one to play. And has nothing to do with cell-phones. But could probably kill 3-4 Minions with one.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by grald_the_hunter » Wed May 30, 2012 4:56 pm

The Charger sounds awesome! Sounds like a class I could use for what I was thinking of using TA for (horror mixed with fantasy).

Thanks for obliging.

And yes, this game does sound like a must-buy for me as well. Any ETA on it?

Now if only I knew what a theorist was :lol:

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by randraug » Wed May 30, 2012 8:55 pm

Do you see the warrior as Inigo Montoya and the charger as Fezzik, using Princess Bride terms?

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Thu May 31, 2012 4:33 am

grald_the_hunter wrote:The Charger sounds awesome! Sounds like a class I could use for what I was thinking of using TA for (horror mixed with fantasy).

Thanks for obliging.

And yes, this game does sound like a must-buy for me as well. Any ETA on it?

Now if only I knew what a theorist was :lol:
ETA on Transylvanian Adventures is sometime this year. That could be sooner or later depending on how playtesting/art/etc. goes. I can say now that art is definitely a blocker on this thing. I've never encountered so many people so eager to avoid making money. It makes me think I'm scaring them away or something.

ETA on Transylvanian Grimoire is 3-6 months after TA is on the shelves.

I've started adding a section at the bottom of the class blogs to give people an idea of what they're kind of like in relation to traditional classes and multi-classes as well as how they might translate into a traditional fantasy or S&S campaign.

Theorist will be up next week.

Thanks for the interest.

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