Game plan for 2017 continued…


Black Queen | Yaroslav Gerzhedovich

A while back I wrote down some thoughts on games I wanted to run during 2017 and provided a short list of those I thought we could realistically be able to play this year.

We are now playing Masks of Nyarlahotep (Call of Cthulhu 6th edition), which is a mega-length campaign that would realistically take a year or more to complete. In our youth, this wouldn’t be a problem since we played several times a week and the “recruitment process” was like:

“-Do you guys want to play D&D this afternoon?”

These days it’s an online mail/Google Docs/Texting affair to (i) set the next play date, (ii) get people to say yes or no and (iii) decide the location. Basically, you have decided about a month in advance. So much for spontaneity…

These ALC™ (adult life complications) is why I try to think of my more recent games as TV-show seasons, thus being able to break the story at a convenient point in order to be able to play something else without scrapping the previous game entirely and we can always come back to Season 2 of the game when we feel like it.

Games that I’d very much like to run like tomorrow include:

  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e/Zweihänder (The Thousand Thrones – dark fantasy)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (Ravenloft – Gothic Fantasy)
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (Greyhawk – vanilla fantasy but with my own darker touch)
  • Castles & Crusades (Aihrde/Haunted Highlands – vanilla fantasy but with my own darker touch and with a nod to old AD&D)
  • River of Heaven (basically OpenQuest in space – Hard SF in the vein of The Expanse TV-show)
  • Call of Cthulhu 7th edition (to try the new system – maybe run a short adventure to get a feel of the rules)
  • Delta Green (the new edition, but also the old CoC 6th edition)
  • Achtung!Cthulhu (CoC 6th edition WW2 coolness)
  • Dark Streets (Renaissance d100 variant set in 1800s London – Victorian Horror galore)

When we wrap up Season 1 of Masks of Nyarlahotep (probably after the New York chapter that has now swelled out infinitely – I mean, I’ve got side treks and ideas that have come up due to the PCs actions, that would fill a year of play if we wanted – I will run any one of the games in italics above. It will probably be “Curse of Strahd” for 5th ed D&D, but Warhammer is a strong contender as is both Delta Green and River of Heaven (although, for those I have to write completely new adventures, so it’s easier at this point to run a published adventure, mainly due to my exponentially increasing workload).

Life was definitely easier when I was a teenager…


GM tip | 5e D&D notes using OneNote


The Digital DM’s awesome 5e D&D notebook!

The Digital DM has made a very cool OneNote version of the free D&D rules. Even cooler, he has made the notebook public so that you can import it into your own OneNote for offline use and of course you can rearrange things and add your own stuff – new monsters, new spells, the geography of Greyhawk, the religions of ancient Sapain – whatever you like! In this new version of the notebook he has also added 5e style background graphics and a 5e style layout. Very pretty and professional.

If you are a 5e GM and like OneNote, this is a very useful tool and I suggest that you check out The Digital DMs blog right away.

As a note, I had problems with the DropBox download link, but the DOCS link worked like a charm after logging in with my Microsoft credentials.

Thanks a lot for your efforts, Digital DM 🙂

Game plan 2017


2016 was an abysmal year for me game-wise.

New leading position at the university, with loads of administration and putting out fires all the time diminished my free time as well as my energy to use the little free time I have for creative RPG projects, i.e. writing and publishing game stuff.

Instead, I’ve allocated that precious time to preparation and planning for my own game group, and I’ve had to reduce prep time as well, running things more “on the fly”.

I will keep my work position this year as well, but since I’m no beginner this time I suspect that things will be a tad easier this time around and hopefully I will manage to write at least some short things for publication.

On the game side of things I have some visions of what I’d like to accomplish.

We play Call of Cthulhu now (Masks of Nyarlahotep) and as that is a very long campaign I want to break it up into “seasons”in order to be able to run other games, also in seasons. That way we can get to play multiple games/settings but only one at a time.

Those other games I’d like to kick into gear this year is:

  • Curse of Strahd (5e Ravenloft)
  • The Thousand Thrones (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e)

Judging my player’s preferences I’d say we’ll go with Ravenloft first. Planning that classic I thought it would be cool to start in a standard fantasy world and have the PCs drawn into the Mists classic style. Which led to thoughts on what setting to use. I’ve now decided to combine an old campaign that I started on long ago with Curse of Strahd.

That campaign was set in Greyhawk, so Greyhawk it is for my 5e games. I was never a big fan of Forgotten Realms and to be honest, the new 5e FR has done nothing to convince me otherwise. So, the “base world” will be my version of Greyhawk, but I also want this to be a multiverse kinda over the top game over time, so I plan to incorporate elements from Planescape as well.

It will be a weird, crazy and pretty cool ride I think. Greyhawk Dawn is afoot again!

Greyhawk Dawn kopia

Now, back to the drawing table…

On Krampus, the Yule Ram and feeling silly…


Krampus comes for the wicked…

About a year ago I wrote a blog post about some new OSR monsters centered around the Yule-demon – called Sandy Claws in some parts of my game world and based on the old Swedish Yule Ram (Link to old post).

Fast forward to yesterday – me and my wife spent Christmas Eve by ourselves, since the kids are with their mother this Christmas. We wanted to see something christmas-y, so we watched Krampus. Rather crappy movie. But it had some elements that were very similar to my Yule Demon ideas.

Which made me feel stupid. Here I came up with some fresh ideas that turned out to be centuries old…:)

Anyway, I did some research here and it turns out that Krampus is a creature stemming from an area in central Europe, including Bavaria, Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary and nothern Italy. Funny thing is that I’m half Croatian and my mother has never ever mentioned this figure despite being from a small town situated not one hour from the Austrian border and the city of Saltzburg. This part of Croatia was very much a part of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy and as a culture has very much in common with Austrian culture. When I go to my mother and sister later today I’ll ask about Krampus – I’m sure she knows the myths.


Krampus christmas card

Basically, Krampus is anathema to Saint Nicholaus – where Santa brings gifts to nice children, Krampus punishes the naughty ones.


Yule Ram by John Bauer

The Swedish Yule Ram which today is only remembered as a small wicker decoration that you keep beside the christmas tree (or a giant one that is torched by vandals every year) is thought to initially have come from the Aesir faith and Thor’s twin rams, which then in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were mixed with the Krampus myths from German tradition. This figure was a benign being, holding the same role as Santa does today – i.e. he comes bearing gifts. These days however, it’s all Santa, but the Yule Ram tradition still lives in some parts of Finland apparently.

Well. You learn as long as you live I suppose.

And Merry Christmas 🙂




Casual update: What’s going on with this blog?


Some of you might have noticed that activity on this blog has crept to a halt since summer.

That’s because I’m now fully in Call of Cthulhu land, GM:ing the wonderful Masks of Nyarlahotep campaign using the CoC 6th ed. rules.

And as time is limited I tend to blog about the games I currently play or run.

For those interested in Call of Cthulhu and d100/BRP gaming I keep a blog here:

And all game session recaps from our group (any game system) can be found here:

And finally the game session recaps from our current Call of Cthulhu game:

And don’t worry – activity here will increase when we’re back playing D&D-ish games again 🙂


/anders aka dawnrazor