Wow! Two posts in one day! Will wonders never cease?
Actually, I hadn’t planned on doing another post but I just received an email from Tim Hutchings about his soon to be completed Kickstarter. Here’s what Tim had to say:
“My name is Tim Hutchings and I am the director of a quasi-academic game studies archive. We occasionally print books related to the collection and are currently Kickstarting a reprint of an obscure AD&D fanzine.
Now, without even knowing it, Tim hit on several themes that are near and dear to my heart. Hodgson, of course, but also the preservation of fanzines for future generations and study. I’ve been involved in fanzines since I was probably about 10 years old when I watched my brother, Carl, create his own comic fanzine (MINOTAUR) and run off copies on his ditto machine. Since then, I’ve published my own zines and contributed to numerous other ones and have devoured hundreds. But these fanzines were created with fans in mind and not generally meant to last. So it makes me happy that someone is doing such preservation work in the gaming fanzine field.
But what does this have to do with Hodgson? Well, the project is reprinting a legendary AD&D fanzine from the 1980s called ORACLE which never got to a promised sixth issue. Tim and his crew have compiled a tribute by creating that long-lost, never-realized sixth issue with new articles, campaigns and, more important to the Hodgson fan, an article by Sandy Petersen that creates rules for CALL OF CTHULHU scenarios in Hodgson’s Night Land!
If you’ve ever played the CALL OF CTHULHU rpg, then you know who Sandy is and how important he is not only to that game but gaming as a whole. Having him write this article is about as authoritative as it can get. It’s been many years since I’ve adventured in a CoC campaign but I’m seriously tempted to do so once more!
Courtesy of Tim, here’s a snippet from Sandy’s upcoming article:
In the novel, the nameless hero carries the mighty Diskos weapon – which seems to be a kind of circular saw on an extension – sort of a cross between a chainsaw and an axe. It might be the only weapon able to fight off the dreadful creatures he faces.
This device is a hand-to-hand bladed weapon. Enemies that are resistant to impaling weapons or bullets have no immunity to it. However, foes which are straight-up resistant or immune to physical weaponsdo receive their normal benefits. The Diskos is electrically powered, and shoots off sparks when overcharged.
The Diskos contains an internal battery which holds 30 power. It recharges this power over time, at a rate varying with its distance from the Earthpower, but generally around 1 point per hour. Normal blade use does not spend power.
When the Diskos is used in combat, it does a straight 10 damage, plus the wielder’s damage bonus. If the user wants to overcharge the blade, he can add 1d6 to his damage, which also expends an equal amount of Power to the roll. Normal combat use does not expend power – only overcharging. In desperate circumstances, the user can spend multiple d6s to boost his total.
The overcharge can be spent after the user hits his target! In addition, the overcharge is energetic, and includes electrical and plasmatic damage – it will even hurt enemies immune to normal physical weapons (though the Diskos’s base 10 damage & your damage bonus, if any, don’t count).
Example: our hero faces off an especially terrifying monster. He has a damage bonus of 1d6, because he is large and manly. He decides to add another 3d6 to his total via overcharge, and rolls a 9. He spends 9 out of his 30 store din the battery, and he will inflict 10+9+1d6 damage (10 for the blade, 9 for the 3d6 roll, and 1d6 for his damage bonus).
That is just all kinds of awesome and makes my fannish little heart very happy.
The Kickstarter in entering its final days and has already surpassed 100% funding so it is going to happen. If you’re into gaming at all, I suggest you click over and check out the campaign. It looks pretty damn good to me!
The Kickstarter page is at: