The town’s carnival. It’s creepy. And other things.

“The Carnival of the Damned” by David Baity continues as the Road Crew 2018 event for both Better World Books, Goshen, IN for The Thursday Knights every Thursday evening at 6pm. And for The SeDoTu Crusaders at Secret Door Games, Elkhart, IN in The Tutu Parlor, who meet every Saturday at 6:30pm. Image result for carnival of the damned

Villagers are searching for their children who have vanished in the night. The players have anywhere from two Level 1 PCs to four 0-level PCs. The pink tingling sweet mist lures them from attraction to attraction. With deaths of villagers in some of the attractions, so far, those PCs exiting the attractions meat up with other villagers from there town who are also searching for their children. So, there are always more 0-level PCs for players to play as the children are searched for and hopefully returned to their town.

Related image As I run an open Road Crew DCC RPG table at both Better World Books and Secret Door Games, players are “here and there”.  Last Thursday, three players came for the carnival. Two who had not yet played DCC RPG and a regular. My hope is that the new players will come for some more fun.

This evening, the group will again be attending the carnival. Hoping to maybe ride the “Tunnel of Love” or maybe “The Bone Roller Coaster”. Or maybe play some of the carnival games to win some prizes. Ah, prizes.

From “The Carnival of the Damned” the plan is for the group to wander the Shudder Mountains deeper in “The Chained Coffin” boxed set by Michael Curtis. I am looking forward to getting back into reading and preparing the adventures from this boxed set. Image result for chained coffin boxed set

Our other judge, Marlene runs games on Saturdays where I am not able to be the judge. She and the group are having a blast traversing the “Perils on the Purple Planet” boxed set.Image result for perils of the purple planet I have played as a Cleric in a few of these sessions. My cleric’s name is Ollie Flagon once a Wainwright in his peasant days. He had with him a cart for the dead. This was turned to kindle in the last session. If able, Ollie might be able to craft another wagon during some time in the mountains.

My library of DCC RPG resources has a multiplication spell cast upon it. Wow, I started looking for a module and realized that I have a few piles to organize. I have to say that it all started with friends who gifted me DCC RPG modules for my birthday last September. I think they were the ones who put the multiplication spell on my library. Then with .pdf modules in three-ring binders, I am trying to get organized. Well, if there is a trick to organize and ever-growing DCC RPG library, I could you some insight. Have you put your library in an Excel file or Sheets file? What is your favorite way of categorizing your DCC RPG resources?

I am also trying to put a list together of what to read. With the desire to read Appendix N books, I have got a lot to do. I also listen to DCC RPG podcasts. Sanctum Secorum, Spellburn, and Appendix N. Another podcast getting my time is Glowburn as it talks about MCC RPG (Mutant Crawl Classics).

Another big thing for me is that I submitted an article to be included in the Gong Farmer’s Almanac 2018 to be available at GenCon 51 in August. My article is a Keystone Cops level 1 adventure. Image result for 1900 police box black and white“The Heist of the Royal Jewels” takes place in Anglend where it is reported in “The News” that the royal jewels are to be moved to the Crown Bank of Hertlepoole. The royal constables are the guards and caretakers of the royal jewels as they are taken from Lundin.  The bobbies of Hertlpoole are to be assisting the safe arrival of the royal jewels to the bank. This is where the adventure begins. Players may play as the bobbies or as townsfolk. Several locations have been suggested with a few NPCs thrown in. You, as the judge may add slimy creepy creatures in the sewers below or traps to locations to possibly through off the PCs from the trail of the royal jewels. How you get to the ending is up to you.




Writing and submitting for an RPG fanzine

So, I put myself out there with an actual article submission to an RPG fanzine. When I read that The Gong Farmer’s Almanac wanted article submissions for the 2018 edition, I thought how fun it would be to write something for it. 

The Gong Farmer’s Almanac is a free fanzine for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and it is published with monetary donations from the DCC RPG community. The year after Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG was published, The Gong Farmer’s Almanac fanzine was created. In the link above you get a glimpse at the first volume and issue in a blog by Daniel Bishop. Mr. Bishop writes prolifically about DCC RPG and is an author of several adventures for DCC RPG.

Image result for nanowrimoAs for me, I’ve been interested in writing since the mid-80’s but have not really done anything except in 2011 when I took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which occurs in November. I was able to write 50,000 words in 25 days. I wrote, “by the seat of my pants”. And I was delighted to see that I could come up with a story for what I have discovered has become a genre called “cozy mysteries”. Attempts at editing the novelette gave gone by the wayside.

Yesterday was the deadline for article submission to The Gong Farmer’s Almanac. My submission was, again, something written: “by the seat of my pants”. A Keystone Cop Image result for keystone copsthemed jewel heist. I wrote stats for the NPCs and gave some locations to be explored. Police boxes. A clock tower. A bank vault. A police paddy wagon. And a few weapons used by the illustrious bobbies and constables.

For the record, it is my first time offering up something for publication. Am glad that it will be in a free fanzine. And I can see some slimy creatures and gonzo stuff happening in this Level 1 adventure. The Gong Farmer’s Almanac is printed and distributed at GenCon. So for those of you interested in what kind of writer I am, you will just need to wait until August. *wink* *wink*

Road Crew with the SeDoTu Crusaders

Secret Door Games in Elkhart, IN is where our Saturday Road Crew DCC RPG game happens. Due to the overwhelming popularity causing more players at the DCC table, we play in the Tutu Parlor. In previous posts, you can see the pink and lavender walls and the tutus on the walls. We don’t mind as it is a place where we do not have to compete with other games and the noise that they bring. img_20180416_1910568989750868335197511.jpg

Last Saturday, April 21, “Carnival of the Damned” by David Baity came to the town of our peasant adventurers. While back in their village in the Shudder Mountains from their latest adventure to “Gnole House” by Michael Curtis, the carnival comes to town. Happiness by day, their children enjoy cotton candy, games, rides, and prizes. By night, the villagers discover that the carnival has taken all their children. The villagers are woken by the screaming and horror of all the children nowhere in sight. They discover a trail of wax paper candy wrappers leading to the carnival.

Our SeDuTu Crusaders adventured to the entrance where they were engulfed in a pink mist sickly sweet swirling around them and leading them into the night’s carnival of events. This module is set up as a tournament or a 0-level funnel. I am running this module as a combined 0-level and level 1 adventure. It is running well at both Better World Books in Goshen, IN and here at Secret Door Games.

Five players came to the table at Secret Door Games. I enjoy that new players are coming to the table.  With five players, we had 14 0-level PCs and six level 1 PCs. One player lost all of his 0-level PCs. No problem, the “Tilt-A-Whirl” provided him with a couple more villagers to join the adventuring group looking for the children.

img_20180418_1135085162150957882237585.jpgCreepy? Yes. This module is creepy. There are lots of ways to encounter clowns and creatures who do not want the PCs to find the children. And there are ways the PCs can find prizes and clues to find the children. The creepy pink mist, sickly sweet, swirls the PCs to the next attraction. Unlike the Thursday Knights at Better World Books, the SeDoTu Crusaders had better saving rolls for some attractions, but not better dice rolls when it came to creature attacks.

If you are having fun, you are doing it right. And I wish I could remember who said that to me.

Road Crew – The Thursday Knights

Last evening at Better World Books, Goshen, IN three players came to the table to play “Carnival of the Damned” by David Baity. One player was brand new to RPGs. Brand new players to RPGs who come to play at my table receive some special swag!

This time of year with the temps changing some of my players are under the weather.

So, I’m wishing them better soon as they missed a fun start to the carnival that came to town in Thevesburgh of the Shudder Mountains.

By day the carnival is alive with happiness. Children playing and filling themselves with goodies of all kinds. Prizes are won by all. By night the carnival changes and the villagers wake to discover that their children are gone. All that is left are the tiny footprints of the children and they lead in the direction of the carnival.

Now the adventure begins. The villagers (PCs) must save their children. They must enter the carnival at night.

As the PCs approach the entrance to the carnival, they hear the carnival music playing but it’s not the happy music played during the day. This music is eerie. The PCs approach the entrance and as they enter, they immediately encounter a 15′ statue of a jester standing in what looks like a pool. From the skulls, the jester holds in its hands, runs black fluid. The black fluid flows down into the pool. Floating in the pool are severed heads. Some fresh and some quite old.

How much farther would you be willing to go now? Brave are you? Want to find out? You can…

This coming Saturday, April 21 at Secret Door Games in Elkhart, IN the SeDoTu Crusaders will get their chance to look for the children. Muahahaha!

My tables are always “Open Tables”. Anyone wanting to play Dungeon Crawl Classics is welcome to join. Fair warning: You come at the risk of being sucked into the warm and fuzzy gelatinous cube of DCC RPG.

The many reads to be read.

Since GenCon 50 last August 2017, my collection of Dungeon Crawl Classics modules and fanzines have built to a stack that requires its own bookshelf.

Unfortunately, still, my collection is scattered about my house. Organization? Not so. With needing to prepare weekly games for two FLGSs and learning a new job, the organization of my precious collection remains scattered in several locations.

Just to pick one and get started on reading is a decision difficult in itself. Where do I start?

And then the podcasts – Spellburn, Sanctum Secorum, and Appendix N. The blog posts by individuals of the DCC RPG community are all out there to be read.

And to follow the questions, discussions, and contributions posted to DCC RPG ROCKS! on Facebook. Really? Just how am I to keep up and where do I start?

It’s not that I have not begun the reading. I have. It is in looking ahead and feeling like I am behind by at least four years.

Gary Gygax’s Appendix N list is by no means exhaustive. It only scratches the surface of fantasy and sci-fi reading. At this time what I have read, I have enjoyed. I know that movies made from these books don’t always do justice to the books, but can be a simple way of getting ahead in the reading and saving time. This person, I need those crunches in time. Being in my fifties, I know I lost time for this reading in my twenties and thirties.

I have also somewhat committed to writing for the Gongfarmer’s Almanac 2018. I have started a one-shot Level 1 Keystone cop adventure. And then, I have, waiting in the wings, a module for all female PCs. It has been play-tested once and more details are being organized and written for a full module to come. The players in my groups that are cheering this endeavor on the most are the guys. The males in my DCC groups ask me every game time if I’ve worked on Pearl Jean and when we will be playing again. As I do not have any conventions coming up until GenCon 51 in August, I may have time to get it written, played, and edited for running at GenCon 51 for more play-testing.

For the Gongfarmer’s Almanac, I have a May 1 deadline, so my focus is on Keystone Cops and the Crown Jewels.

Road Crew – The Thursday Knights and the SeDoTu Crusaders

It took some time, but the two DCC RPG groups at the two FLGSs where I run Dungeon Crawl Classics Road Crew have taken on names. The Thursday Knights play at Better World Books, Goshen, IN on Thursdays at 6:00 pm.


The SeDoTu Crusaders play at Secret Door Games in the Tutu Parlor on Saturdays at 6:30 pm. As you can easily figure out, SeDoTu is taken from Secret Door and Tutu.


It also lends itself well to a developing world in our DCC RPG game setting. And I am thinking that the Thursday Knights will have their world to build in BeWoBo. But that is to be discovered in further episodes.


As for what has been happening over the past months. Let us say the end of February and March, in helping me from not going too crazy over preparations, I run the same modules at both locations. With Gary Con and with Who’s Yer Con, I have needed to seek out someone from the group willing to take on being the judge. I am happy to introduce another female to The Order of Shana. Marlene Witmer has stepped up to fill Road Crew events in order to keep our weekly commitments with the two FLGSs. In this photo, Marlene is leading the group at Secret Door Games, Elkhart, IN onto “The Purple Planet”.received_1230303137105793.jpg


Our setting for both groups is based in the “Shudder Mountains”. This setting, as I have shared before is Michael Curtis’s creation in his boxed set “The Chained Coffin“. Along with being in the Shudder Mountains, Marlene is mixing in some “Perils on the Purple Planet” by Harley Stroh. Both are available in .pdf also.

Even though each box set does not have modules taking you from 0 level to upper levels fluently. Each boxed set provides enough information to stir your imagination to create some homebrew that is out of this world.

I will say that being a newbie judge, the people who have come to play DCC RPG with me have helped me grow immensely. I have been pushed to read, inquire, watch, and just listen to different types of genre in literature, shows, and movies that I would have told you a year ago, “Sorry, no. You won’t get me interested in that.” And I also have to plug the podcasts: Spellburn, Sanctum Secorum and Appendix N. (I have links to them in the previous blog.)


My geek and nerd-ness are just getting peaked. Over these past months, I have felt like I missed out on so much during my teenage, college and young adult life in not having encountered RPG play. Now that I am in my mid-fifties, I am “eating” up as much of this geek and nerd stuff as I can and I have to say that sharing it with a group of geeks and nerds just makes my life all the better.

So, in getting back to the two DCC RPG groups that have developed, we just recently visited the “Gnole House” in the Goodman Games Free RPG Day Quick Start Guide. Michael Curtis once again writes some clever stuff and in the vein of the original Gary Gygax style, Michael brings us to a rescuing of a peddler who disappears and the sparkling of green gems.


This past Saturday, three new players came to the table. I truly enjoy new players at my table. I have had some die-hard D&D players try DCC and have not returned, but again some games have their fans and you just are not able to bring them over from the… other-side. Oh, wait. I play D&D too. Forgive me.


Plans for upcoming games? Well, I am thinking that the Shudder Mountains will be having a carnival. Wondering if there will be clowns? YES! Lots of creepy clowns and jesters…and …

Enjoy your gaming!

The Mighty tale of DCC RPG!

Well, hello again! Yes, on the same day as a much-delayed report of Gary Con 10.

Now I bring you a report of “Who’s Yer Con” held last weekend, Mar 30-Apr 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, IN. My pleasure in going was to run 3 events of Dungeon Crawl Classics. “Who’s Yer Con” is a free event held for a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This was the 10th year for this free gaming convention. It comprises of many board games and the ever popular RPGs. I was honored to be asked to run several events of Dungeon Crawl Classics at this convention in my home state. Image may contain: table and indoor


There is always the setup. And the nerves that go with it.




Here are a couple photos from my time at Who’s Yer Con 10.

Image may contain: 7 people, including Jane Swick, people smiling, people standing

Here we had played “The Woeful Tale of Sour Spring Hollow” in The Chained Coffin boxed set by Micheal Curtis. Yes, you see the multiple red “Dead” stamps on the character sheets. It was a TPK (total party kill). The fun of the 0-level funnel is the challenge of figuring out the puzzles and how to prevent deadly encounters. Run! Run away! Run as fast as you can when you have only one PC left. LOL

The other event, “Portal Under the Stars” which is included in the Dungeon Crawl Classics core book, there were three PCs that made it out alive.  We had 21 PCs enter the Portal with a very little survival rate.

Again, I avoided the Con Crud, but could not avoid the letdown feeling that another con was over.  I enjoy the excitement and am learning what decompression I need to do upon arrival and set up, keeping up energy throughout, but the ending and the coming home…not so much. If you have any suggestions for the “Oh my word, is the con over with already? No….!” feeling, please pass this one to me.

And happy gaming.