Category Archives: Cryptworld

Pacesetter System Weapon Damage Options

Wherein your humble scribe presents some alternate combat rules for Pacesetter System™ games such as Cryptworld, Majus, and Rotworld. These options originally appeared in the CHILL supplement Creature Feature, so the credit for their creation goes to Mark Acres (though I have expanded things a bit to cover some of the weapons not covered in the old rules). I’m just sharing them since that supplement is long out of print. FYI, I’m not handling making these OGC or anything, so use ’em in your own games as you like, but publish them at your own peril.

One of the complaints about combat in Pacesetter System games is that all of the weapons resolve their damage the exact same way. For players who grew up before variable weapon damage became the norm, this isn’t really an issue. But for folks who really like to see a longsword do more damage than a dagger or a .45 bullet do more damage than a thrown axe this can be off-putting. So here are a couple of options to address those concerns.

Missile Combat

With this option, the defense column used to resolve the outcome of an missile attack is determined by the weapon used, not by the roll of a single d10. The defender can still spend up to 2 Luck points to modify the final column used, though. The list below shows the weapon type (or bullet caliber) followed by the defense column to use in parentheses.

  • Axe/Tomahawk (8)
  • Dagger/Knife (7)
  • Javelin (8)
  • Shuriken (6)
  • Spear (6)
  • Grenade (4)
  • Boomerang (7)
  • Blowgun (9)
  • Bola (9)
  • Sling (6)
  • Antique pistol (6)
  • Shotgun, less than 25 ft (2)
  • Shotgun, greater than 25 ft (5)
  • .22 bullet (5)
  • .357/.38/9mm bullet (4)
  • .45 bullet (3)
  • Arquebus (4)
  • Musket (5)
  • Dragoon musket (4)
  • Photon Rifle (2)
  • Crossbow (6)
  • Longbow (6)
  • Shortbow (7)
  • Laser Pistol (3)
  • Laser Rifle (3)

Putting this option into play will likely change the way in which characters spend Luck a bit, since the defense column is known in advance. Expect to see a lot of players spending Luck when facing a shotgun up close.

Automatic Fire

When using the above option, an adjustment must be made to the rules when a fully-automatic weapon is fired on full auto. When this happens, ignore the existing modifiers and rules for automatic fire as well as all modifiers for “target’s declared action” or situation. Instead, calculate the number of targets within the burst area and assign the number of hits as follows:

  • If 1there are 10 or fewer targets, divide the number of shots in the burst (default is 10) but the number of targets (dropping fractions) and the resulting number is the number of bullets that hit each target.
  • If there are more targets than the number of bullets in a burst (by default, that means 11 targets), have each target roll percentile dice. The targets who roll highest, up to the number in the burst, are each struck with a single bullet. The remaning low-rolling targets are missed by the bullets in the burst.

Each hit then resolves as normal for this option (i.e., against the column specified by caliber of bullet fired).

Melee Combat

With this option, the defense column is determined normally (i.e., based on defender’s skill unless surprised) but is then modified up or down based on the weapon being used by the attacker. Check the list below, which shows the weapon being used followed by the modification to the defense column in parentheses. If you don’t find the weapon in question in the list, go with something close to it.

  • Blackjack (+2)
  • Dagger/Knife (+0)
  • Longsword (-2)
  • Short sword (-1)
  • Rapier (-1)
  • Two-handed sword (-3)
  • Club (+0)
  • Mace (-1)
  • Hand axe (-1)
  • Battle axe (-3)
  • Spear (-2)
  • Nunchaku (-2)

A Note On Called Shots

If using either or both of the above options, a change must be made to the process of determining the results of a called shot. Check both the “new” column as determined by these options and the “original” column based on the core rules (either by rolling a d10 for missile combat or by looking at the unmodified defense column for melee combat). If a “C” appears in either of these columns, the called shot succeeds. Otherwise, resolve the effect of the attack using the “new” column.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chill/Cryptworld: L’Marais

Wherein, in honor of the upcoming release of Cryptworld, your humble narrator presents a trio of unlikely heroes (or likely victims) and the Thing that they will face. These gaming constructs were built using an old copy of Chill (and Chill Things) I happened to have handy, but they should work just fine with Cryptworld when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright…

The wind was howling on the bayou, and the window panes of Armand’s little shack rattled like dice in a cup. The lights flickered occasionally, and the foetor of the marsh hung just about the edges of the place.

“You know, dey say it nights like dis L’Marais come looking for blood…” Emil said after exhaling a long plume of smoke from his fancy little cigarette. “He come up out de swamp an’ rip a man limb from limb. Then he make they arm ‘n leg do the rest ah him dirty work for a year an’ a day.”

“Shut up, Emil. You’re just trying to spook my brother. And drop the lame-o coonass accent, too. It’s insulting,” replied Edie, fiddling with her new camera.

“Woman, do’n talk at your mari like that…”

“Seriously, Emil. Drop the accent.”

“Ok, ok. I’m just trying to have a little fun. There’s nothing to do out here!”

“We’re only here ’cause you went and killed that pawnbroker. We have to lay low, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah. He was reaching for his gun, so I had to shoot him, ok? And this bayou is the perfect place to dump a body.”

Armand shifted slightly in his armchair. He wished his sister had never married the little man. She used to be prettier, he thought. Before LaCroix had gotten his filthy hands on her.

“It’s ok, ma soeur, I had a dream last night…”

“Can it, Armand,” Emil hissed. “If I can’t tell my spook stories, then you don’t get to go on and on about your goddamned dreams. Yeah, yeah, I know you dreamt we’d win State back in high school, but that doesn’t mean you can see the future. Did you ever dream you’d get kicked out of the army? Did you ever dream you’d wind up living in a goddamned shack in the bayou? Did you ever dream…”

Armand stood up quickly at the sound of a heavy, thudding knock on the door. He knew what was on the other side. It was just like he dreamt it. And that meant the little man wouldn’t trouble his sister anymore.

“Who the hell can that be at this time of night?” Emil hissed. “If you called the cops on me, Armand, I swear to God…”

“It’s not the cops, Emil. Armand wouldn’t sell us out like that, would you, mon frère?”

“Of course not, ma soeur,” Armand answered as he walked towards the door. “But I do think it’s for you, Emil.”

The Characters

Emil LaCroix / 34 / 5′ 5″ 150 lbs
STR 56 DEX 58 AGL 48 WPR 50 PER 38 PCN 58 LUCK 54 STA 60 Unskilled Melee 52%
Lockpicking (S) 73%, Gambling (S) 71%, Filching (S) 73%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Edie LaCroix / 27 / 5′ 4″ 120 lbs
STR 52 DEX 58 AGL 54 WPR 50 PER 56 PCN 50 LUCK 62 STA 64 Unskilled Melee 55%
Modeling (S) 71%, Photography (S) 76%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Armand St. Cyr / 33 / 6′ 4″ 220 lbs
STR 66 DEX 60 AGL 58 WPR 64 PER 46 PCN 62 LUCK 32 STA 52 Unskilled Melee 63%
Boxing (S) 78%, Mechanics (M) 91%, Rifle/Shotgun (S) 75%
Art: Clairvoyant/Prescient Dream 54%, Sense Unknown 12%

The Thing

STR 75 DEX 50 AGL 50 WPR 60 PER 35 PCN 70 STA 100 EWS 120 FEAR 6 ATT 2 (3)/62%
Movement: L 180′ A N/A W 90′
Disciplines: Breath of Pestilence, Change Weather, Darken, Deadly Remains, Ghostly Lights, Swarm, Wave of Fog
IPs: 840

L’Marais (more properly, L’Homme des Marais, The Swamp Man) is a foul thing indeed. It resides in the bayous and swamps of rural Louisiana, where it waits to feed on the blood and bone of its victims. L’Marais is composed of both plant matter and human body parts – the remains of murder victims dumped in the swamp. It normally has two unarmed attacks in a round (grab & crush limbs) but if it succeeds with both against one target it gets an extra armed attack – its dreaded rend.

Though L’Marais is unquestionably evil and will gleefully pursue any human being, it is not without a sense of honor. It always strikes out against criminals and murderers first. Some say that a killer who speaks of L’Marais on the night of the new moon will draw its ire all too quickly.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Echo Chamber Newsflash: Cryptworld Cometh

CryptworldWell, well, well. It’s finally happened. Ol’ Dan Proctor from Goblinoid Games has taken that Pacesetter System he bought the rights to and put together something to replace Chill (which he couldn’t buy the rights to, because someone else has them, and isn’t doing anything useful with them).

Here’s the main part of the blog post/press release:

CRYPTWORLD is a Pacesetter System horror game in which you play an investigator of the unexplained. Any kind of horror is possible, from hunting classic monsters to fighting the secret manipulations of interdimensional aliens, and much more! Be an independent hunter of the horrors in the world, or be a member of one of the several organizations provided, each with different motivations.

CRYPTWORLD covers much of the same ground as CHILL, but CRYPTWORLD goes well beyond it and handles many more subgenres of horror. It is a more complete presentation of horror rules, game advice, and creatures from different horror subgenres so that you can play any kind of horror game you prefer. Your characters can be members of one of the several example organizations that investigate the unexplained, rather than be limited to only one organization (i.e. S.A.V.E.). This also means that there is no specific assumed game setting.

Coming late September!

So bring on late September already! That should give me plenty of time to snag Cryptworld, digest all the good new stuff, and maybe even convince some folks to give it a go for a Halloween game.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email