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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smathis
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:49 pm

marshal kt wrote:Everythign sounds interesting. My only problem is when I say fantasy game, players from both of my groups think Tolkein. Those that have played some form of RPG; especially D&D think Ravenloft when you mention vampires.

I'll keep my eye on this thread to see how it progresses. Maybe I can convince one group that Vampires can be hunted by 'normal' humans.
TATG has been played by everyone from people who've never heard of roleplaying games to grognards who wince at the thought of level drain when a vampire is mentioned.

Characters in TATG are "normal" onlysomuch as Sherlock Holmes or Captain Kronos are normal. The classes are based on fictional archetypes but that doesn't make them weaksauce. This is very much not Call of Cthulhu. Since I've been running and playing, here are just a few highlights...
  • One player punched a shark in the face. And killed it.
  • Another player mowed through waves of zombies three or four at a time (lol, Reaver) before taking down two animated dire wolf skeletons in one round.
  • One group cast a ritual (in classic Castle Ravenloft) that protected Strahd's love interest to such a degree that the entire adventure was derailed. Not only could Strahd not get within a football field of her. But he could no longer sense her presence on his plane of existence.
  • Repeated groups of 0-Levels have faced off against Dr. Frankenstein's monstrosities. Sure, they may have felt a little trepidation at first. But the attrition rate is no greater than a regular 0-Level funnel.
Just because the classes are based off of fictional archetypes, doesn't mean they're "normal people". If you've seen Brotherhood of the Wolf, Peter Cushing as Van Helsing in the early Hammer films, or read any Tomb of Dracula, that's about the type of character players could expect to play in TATG.

So, if you consider Blade a mook...

Maybe those who've played it can chime in on the topic with more details. There are spells, guns, kung-fu, and a list of bad-a abilities. Most people have responded positively.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:54 pm

As an addenda, TATG is not a fantasy game.

It's Gothic ...uh... Adventure Horror. I say something else in the book.

But it's best summed up by that moment in the Call of Cthulhu game where the party sacks up and grabs some shotguns.

TATG dispenses with the formalities.

The players work on a mystery, investigate, and then go John Woo.

Only with tri-corner hats.

No Elves. No Dwarves. No Sparkly Vampires.

No Clerics either.

Clerics are for the weak.

And Sanity Checks are what NPCs do.

And NPCs always fail Sanity Checks.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Raven_Crowking » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Big Trouble in Little China as a Gothic Era Hammer Horror Film just about sums it up, in my mind.
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 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:36 pm

Raven_Crowking wrote:Big Trouble in Little China as a Gothic Era Hammer Horror Film just about sums it up, in my mind.
:lol:

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:47 pm

Fantasy might have been a poor choice of words, but...
it's not modern horror, not super heroes/villians, not war or weird war, not steampunk, not sci-fi, not post holocaust.

Dresden Files is modern fantasy. Supernatural & Grimm [both tv shows] are modern horror/fantasy.

I played the Elric game back in the 80's and it was fantasy that was low on magic. Magic was all ritual and just a couple dice rolls, usually pregame. No one could cast spells, or had magic weapons, usually.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:03 pm

marshal kt wrote:Fantasy might have been a poor choice of words, but...
it's not modern horror, not super heroes/villians, not war or weird war, not steampunk, not sci-fi, not post holocaust.

Dresden Files is modern fantasy. Supernatural & Grimm [both tv shows] are modern horror/fantasy.

I played the Elric game back in the 80's and it was fantasy that was low on magic. Magic was all ritual and just a couple dice rolls, usually pregame. No one could cast spells, or had magic weapons, usually.
Actually, there are steampunk elements to it. It probably has more in common with Supernatural than the other things listed. But when most people apply "fantasy" to RPGs they think, as mentioned before, of Tolkien.

Give it a spin. The intro adventure is only $4.

See if it suits you. It's not a game for everyone. But it's usually a fun time.

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:45 pm

smathis wrote:
marshal kt wrote:Fantasy might have been a poor choice of words, but...
it's not modern horror, not super heroes/villians, not war or weird war, not steampunk, not sci-fi, not post holocaust.

Dresden Files is modern fantasy. Supernatural & Grimm [both tv shows] are modern horror/fantasy.

I played the Elric game back in the 80's and it was fantasy that was low on magic. Magic was all ritual and just a couple dice rolls, usually pregame. No one could cast spells, or had magic weapons, usually.
Actually, there are steampunk elements to it. It probably has more in common with Supernatural than the other things listed. But when most people apply "fantasy" to RPGs they think, as mentioned before, of Tolkien.

Give it a spin. The intro adventure is only $4.

See if it suits you. It's not a game for everyone. But it's usually a fun time.

I have, and had over 100 of RPG's of the past 30+ years. All I've played or at least read through, at least once. Having others interested was/is the hard part. Some had great concepts but crappy rules. [Living Steel, sci-fi.] Other had just too many rules. [Traveller]. Some were too nichey. [Behind Enemy Lines, WW2] Some based on books and with good rules, just didn't have players wanting to play; even though they've read the books and new the 'worlds'. [Vampire Earth, post-apoc, supernatural, guerilla war. Based on the Way of the wolf, Way of the Cat, Way of the Bear, et c. novel] Heck, I had 2 different versions of Runequest. First ed. by SPI was 'too silly' according to the group.[ducks instead of halflings]. Seceond ed. rules by Avalon Hill, were to unreadable. [you had to read both books at the same time, referring back and forth between them. The sections were broken down like a wargame. IE Section 1.0.1a et c.]

I'm currently running a 1920's Noir game. I've lost 3 players out of 6. 1 moved away. 1 didn't like the ruleset. [he has to have hit points] The other 'gets bored when there's no fighting' and now is going to night school.

My other group is trying DCC and usually can only play fantasy. Any other genre they get lost in, even when it plays like fantasy.

I'll check your's out and hope I can find players. The FLGS can't keep any form of permanent RPG group. The Pathfinder Society is currently trying, again to get a twice a month game going. Trying is the operative word. Pathfinder is the store's best selling RPG, but no one plays there.

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:09 pm

Just downloaded it. 1st glance, it looks clean. 60 pages, about 40 of adventure, rest are characters and the 1 map. Kudos on the map being so clean. [as opposed to the other DCC maps that have art among the map.Starless Sea has top down and side mixed together.]

More than I expected for $4.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:27 pm

marshal kt wrote:I have, and had over 100 of RPG's of the past 30+ years. All I've played or at least read through, at least once. Having others interested was/is the hard part. Some had great concepts but crappy rules. [Living Steel, sci-fi.] Other had just too many rules. [Traveller]. Some were too nichey. [Behind Enemy Lines, WW2] Some based on books and with good rules, just didn't have players wanting to play; even though they've read the books and new the 'worlds'. [Vampire Earth, post-apoc, supernatural, guerilla war. Based on the Way of the wolf, Way of the Cat, Way of the Bear, et c. novel] Heck, I had 2 different versions of Runequest. First ed. by SPI was 'too silly' according to the group.[ducks instead of halflings]. Seceond ed. rules by Avalon Hill, were to unreadable. [you had to read both books at the same time, referring back and forth between them. The sections were broken down like a wargame. IE Section 1.0.1a et c.]

I'm currently running a 1920's Noir game. I've lost 3 players out of 6. 1 moved away. 1 didn't like the ruleset. [he has to have hit points] The other 'gets bored when there's no fighting' and now is going to night school.

My other group is trying DCC and usually can only play fantasy. Any other genre they get lost in, even when it plays like fantasy.

I'll check your's out and hope I can find players. The FLGS can't keep any form of permanent RPG group. The Pathfinder Society is currently trying, again to get a twice a month game going. Trying is the operative word. Pathfinder is the store's best selling RPG, but no one plays there.
This sounds very familiar. Luckily, since I've been in Austin, I've found a fairly regular group. We've played all sorts of games. And most of us have been playing since at least the '80s. I'm one of the more seasoned of the group, having started with Basic D&D in 1981. But we have one guy who cut his teeth on OD&D several years before that.

I've played fairly continuously for... a long while. I've played a LOT of games. Owned my fair share as well. It's been challenging finding group-members willing to play on a regular schedule. It doesn't seem like that gets any easier either.

TATG is a whole mess of different things. I should probably write a blog post about it some time. Initially, it's a reaction to Ravenloft. I always loathed Ravenloft. Loved the adventure. But was annoyed by the setting. Annoyed a great deal, in fact. So in the spirit of how Joseph wanted DCC to stay truer to the Appendix N literature, TATG wants to stay "truer" to the Gothic novels, short stories, and Hammer Horror films that inspired Ravenloft and pretty much every other Victorian or Steampunk game with a vampire somewhere in there.

You'll see that in Winter Home with the Bloodnymphs. THAT'S how vampires are done.

TATG also answers, fairly simply, the age old question of "what if no one wants to play the Cleric"? As well as ditching the skill-monkey thief and reviving (in many forms) the old Fighting Man.

It also greatly simplifies the idea of multi-classing.

Lots of riddles solved.

But the biggest one was "what do we do next?" Playtests and campaigning revealed that a weakness of the genre is a lack of arc. In a traditional fantasy game, there's the Conan arc. Peasant to thief to adventurer to conquerer to king. There's nothing of the sort in the Gothic genre. In fact, you'd have to completely soil the source material to shoehorn something like that in (*cough*Ravenloft*cough*).

So I took a different path. There's a huge chapter of tables that answer this question. You can generate an entire campaign by just rolling up what happens during investigations and between adventures. See, that's what I wound up concluding. The reason this genre isn't, well, all it CAN be is because (a) it hasn't been well-represented in gameplay and (b) there's no arc to inform us what's next. Hopefully, what I've put in TATG isn't too far off the mark in those regards.

It also goes up to 11.

DCC goes up to 10th Level. TATG goes up to 11. But that shouldn't be too freaky. An 11th level TATG character is about equivalent to an 8th level DCC character. But the TATG character would be more useful. In the same way a Thief or mid-level Wizard might be.

It's still very much an OSR experience. But it's one that's informed by a half-decade on the Forge, as well as playing and play-testing all these capital-N story games. It's a bit off the beaten path in that regards. You don't know how easy and tempting it would've been to just shoehorn a Gothic Horror-themed campaign setting onto DCC.

But I'm pleased with how it plays. Like that kaleidoscopic boat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm also pleased with how it auto-generates stories and character arcs. Just the other night the group ended a haunting by a pretty nasty entity, only to discover that the bishop who had asked them to take on the mission died in his sleep that very night. That wasn't planned. It was rolled. But now we get the insanely fun task of figuring out, as a group, why?!

And we haven't even taken on the In-Between Adventures chapter, post-adventure. Those usually generate at least one sub-plot, if not a full adventure, all by themselves.

Book two will make it even better with a completely revamped take on OSR monsters. Adversaries. Factions. And a full-scale hexmap.

Book three... the spellcasting class. Spells. Potions. Rituals. Steampunkery. Constructs. Grafts. And campaign hacks. So you can play games inspired by Scooby-Doo or Vampire Hunter D or Prometheus.

I'm a bit excited about it. But I guess if I wasn't, I'd have no business expecting anyone else to be.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:37 pm

marshal kt wrote:Just downloaded it. 1st glance, it looks clean. 60 pages, about 40 of adventure, rest are characters and the 1 map. Kudos on the map being so clean. [as opposed to the other DCC maps that have art among the map.Starless Sea has top down and side mixed together.]

More than I expected for $4.
Thanks. I hope I continue in that.

The rules in the intro adventure are in a similar spirit to their full-grown selves in TATG. But they are greatly simplified. The full rules aren't much more complex. Just more robust.

I think the big book is worth it for the classes, Ruin, Adversary Die, copious variety of tables, and furious banishment of both the Thief and Cleric.

You could completely ignore Transylvania and play DCC sword and sorcery without missing a beat. Or a Deadlands-style Wild West game with zero rules hacks. It's got guns. And the archetype-inspired character classes translate across many genres fairly well.

It won't do supers, though. And isn't a good fit for hard sci-fi. It might be alright for Space Opera but that would take some work...

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:04 am

smathis wrote:
marshal kt wrote:Just downloaded it. 1st glance, it looks clean. 60 pages, about 40 of adventure, rest are characters and the 1 map. Kudos on the map being so clean. [as opposed to the other DCC maps that have art among the map.Starless Sea has top down and side mixed together.]

More than I expected for $4.
Thanks. I hope I continue in that.

The rules in the intro adventure are in a similar spirit to their full-grown selves in TATG. But they are greatly simplified. The full rules aren't much more complex. Just more robust.

I think the big book is worth it for the classes, Ruin, Adversary Die, copious variety of tables, and furious banishment of both the Thief and Cleric.

You could completely ignore Transylvania and play DCC sword and sorcery without missing a beat. Or a Deadlands-style Wild West game with zero rules hacks. It's got guns. And the archetype-inspired character classes translate across many genres fairly well.

It won't do supers, though. And isn't a good fit for hard sci-fi. It might be alright for Space Opera but that would take some work...
Deadlands? :-)
I have all of the original rules & books and most of the new Savage Worlds: Reloaded books. Savage Worlds is actually my preferred system. I don't like name dropping on other games forums.

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:26 pm

So far, and I've only read through the Mistress Spider, I like what I read. Good humor. Well written. Although I do have 1 question. Early on you have a sidebar that discusses self-inflicted wounds and you say to roll 2d20. Does that mean 2-40 for 1 result or 1d20 twice; yielding 2 results?

Thanks.

Oh, BTW, since I have't gotten through all 19 pages of this thread; do you have an approximate release date for the TG? PDF? Printed?

Thanks.

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:27 pm

Finished reading the entire adventure. I like it. I want to run it on Wednesday night. This group hasn't played DCC yet.

I do have a couple questions.

1: What time period is it? I see black powder, so anywhere up through the 1850's.

2: Have you written for anyone or anything else; gamng related? Your sytle reminds of other gaming I've read. {in a good way.]

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:02 pm

marshal kt wrote:So far, and I've only read through the Mistress Spider, I like what I read. Good humor. Well written. Although I do have 1 question. Early on you have a sidebar that discusses self-inflicted wounds and you say to roll 2d20. Does that mean 2-40 for 1 result or 1d20 twice; yielding 2 results?

Thanks.

Oh, BTW, since I have't gotten through all 19 pages of this thread; do you have an approximate release date for the TG? PDF? Printed?

Thanks.
That's 2d20 and referencing the result on Crit Table III of DCC. So the total of 2d20 added together as the result on the Crit Table.

Approximate release date is soon-ish. The book has been entered into the approval process.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:07 pm

marshal kt wrote:Finished reading the entire adventure. I like it. I want to run it on Wednesday night. This group hasn't played DCC yet.

I do have a couple questions.

1: What time period is it? I see black powder, so anywhere up through the 1850's.
Transylvania is a bit of a backwater in the genre. Many people still use flintlocks and black powder weapons. But the time period is late 1890s. There are revolvers and rifles too. Just no one had them in the intro adventure.
marshal kt wrote:2: Have you written for anyone or anything else; gamng related? Your sytle reminds of other gaming I've read. {in a good way.]
As far as for-sale writing, I wrote a portion of Otherworlds (which began as HeroQuest 2). I submitted a much larger chunk of writing but as the project developed it was edited down more and more.

I've written a number of freebie things, some of which made the rounds. I wrote a Midnight-HeroQuest hack. That's probably the most significant of the items.

Thanks for the kind words.

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:21 pm

smathis wrote:
marshal kt wrote:So far, and I've only read through the Mistress Spider, I like what I read. Good humor. Well written. Although I do have 1 question. Early on you have a sidebar that discusses self-inflicted wounds and you say to roll 2d20. Does that mean 2-40 for 1 result or 1d20 twice; yielding 2 results?

Thanks.

Oh, BTW, since I have't gotten through all 19 pages of this thread; do you have an approximate release date for the TG? PDF? Printed?

Thanks.
That's 2d20 and referencing the result on Crit Table III of DCC. So the total of 2d20 added together as the result on the Crit Table.

Approximate release date is soon-ish. The book has been entered into the approval process.

Kool.
What format are you planning on releasing it: PDF or printed or both?

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:29 pm

marshal kt wrote:
smathis wrote:
marshal kt wrote:So far, and I've only read through the Mistress Spider, I like what I read. Good humor. Well written. Although I do have 1 question. Early on you have a sidebar that discusses self-inflicted wounds and you say to roll 2d20. Does that mean 2-40 for 1 result or 1d20 twice; yielding 2 results?

Thanks.

Oh, BTW, since I have't gotten through all 19 pages of this thread; do you have an approximate release date for the TG? PDF? Printed?

Thanks.
That's 2d20 and referencing the result on Crit Table III of DCC. So the total of 2d20 added together as the result on the Crit Table.

Approximate release date is soon-ish. The book has been entered into the approval process.

Kool.
What format are you planning on releasing it: PDF or printed or both?
It will be released first as a PDF download. Then as Print On Demand. Just a few more hoops to jump through on POD.

marshal kt

Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by marshal kt » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:35 pm

I guess I'll just get the PDF. It seems everytime I get a POD, either the quality of paper/cover is poor and falls apart, or they just shove it in a manilla envelope and it get beat up going through the sorting machines.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Karaptis » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:21 pm

PDF + ipad = happy Karaptis as a gamer!

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by MrHemlocks » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:36 pm

Print book for me. I refuse to read rules nor play a rpg from a screen.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Ragingsystem » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:50 pm

I'm getting antsy for this game to come out!
I've already sold my group on it, and it will be the next thing I run after our DCC campaign!
:mrgreen:
Definitely running something based on the old game Nightmare Creatures.

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by smathis » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:19 pm

And we're live.

Transylvanian Adventures is available in PDF at RPGNow.

Thanks to everyone for their support and patience.

Now, GO STAKE SOME VAMPIRES!!!

:twisted:

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by reverenddak » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:05 pm

YES!

All my releases have strapped me for cash until next month... alas, I want it in print anyway!!!
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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by GnomeBoy » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:18 pm

<ENORMOUS> :D </ENORMOUS>
...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com - The Home of Inner Ham

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Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo

Post by Ragingsystem » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:37 pm

I can't wait till I have the money to pick it up :)

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