Wednesday 26 February 2020

Ghostlike Crime #1

Ghostlike Crime no.1 is a "RPG zine of magical realism, the paranormal, and cryptid terrors in a modern day dystopia" written by Kane Cathain. Art is by Carly Onofrio (including cover), Peet Sketches, and Michael Bukowski. The publisher is Abiology Games.

Disclosure: I backed the Kickstarter.

Let's look inside and see what's there.

What is Ghostlike Crime?: Ghostlike Crime is an alternate setting for Dungeon Crawl Classics, where "Terrible things creep in the shadows and cryptid terrors stalk humanity. The Cabals of the Corporatocracy have hoarded the magic of the world for themselves to inflate their power and control."

Rather than being "Scooby Doo meets DCC", this is a dystopian version of our current world with a splash of supernatural chaos thrown into it. The materials herein could (un)easily be combined with Bronx Beasts, True Vigilante, Nowhere City Nights, or Terror of the Stratosfiend to whatever degree you like to create an even stranger campaign setting.

It should also be noted that, if you are running a more classic DCC campaign, products like this are extremely useful should your PCs gain access to the planar step spell or similar magics.

Creating A Character: A summary of character creation.

Occupations: As an alternate modern setting, the base DCC occupation table isn't going to work here. This table uses 1d66 (1d10 + 1d6 used for the 10's and the 1's place, respectively), for 60 possibilities. There is a separate 1d20 table to determine your 0-level weapon, from a kitchen knife to a slingshot.

Lucky Trinkets: Instead of a birth augur, you have some kind of object that makes you lucky (or unlucky) when making some kind of roll. These are nearly impossible to get rid of, even if you want to.

Classes: The warrior, thief, and halfling port over to Ghostlike Crime. The halfling becomes the "Half-Pint" - basically a kid who goes along on adventures. Imagine Short Round, Newt, or the kids from Stranger Things. Rather than dying, half-pints just run away. The party can Quest For It to convince them to go on adventures again.

Ghostlike Crime also includes two interesting new classes, to wit:

The Scrapper: This guy goes dumpster-diving to find "Scrap Artifacts" that can allow them to cast spells. I am reminded of Philip José Farmer's The Alley Man (in a good way). Not only are scrap artifacts basically junk, but they are pieces of junk with personalities. A judge who didn't mind mixing their peanut butter with their chocolate could throw a scrap artifact into a Mutant Crawl Classics game! Is it magic? Is it technology? Is there a difference?

The Paratechnologist: Use weird science to create techno-magical items like Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters. Thirteen weird science devices are included. This character would be at home, I think, in a Crawljammer or an Umerica game as well as its native setting.

Team Concepts: What sort of game are you running? This is similar to games that suggest that you define a series premise.

Equipment: Adventuring in the modern era requires new weapons and armor. The aspiring judge may also wish to invest in Crawl #8 for additional firearms rules.

Adventure: A hellish Commute: The first of three adventures in the zine, this is a 0-level funnel where the PCs have to get out of a subway tunnel after an unfortunate incident with the train.

Adventure: Cathode Casualty: This is a level 1 adventure about recovering a scrap artifact.

Adventure: unstoppable killing Machine: "This adventure is in a non-traditional format to better serve the monster hunting side of Ghostlike Crime. It’s not bound by scripted events or maps that need following. Instead it’s based around a particular monster and a chain of events the characters will come in contact with."

Monsters, Anomalies, & Ill-Advised Creations: Finally, the author includes several creatures to use in your adventures. Most (if not all) of these can be easily used in other settings, some right out of the book and some with a little adjustment. They are the Alicanto, Atmospheric Jellyfish, Bunyip, Chupacabra, Jersey Devil, and the Lone Pine Mountain Devil.

Watch Out for the Bean-Nighe: No game stats, but this Gaelic washerwoman can now be found in laundromats. Could it inspire an in-game encounter? Yes it could!

Terrible things creep in the shadows and cryptid terrors stalk humanity. The Cabals of the Corporatocracy have hoarded the magic of the world for themselves. They inflate their power and secure control over the masses. Magic cannot be trusted and its manipulation has repercussions. Where the wealthy and powerful are kept protected from these consequences, the rest of the population is exposed to the dangerous things crossing over into our world. There are those that will fight these incursions, adventurers who will face the unknown, revolutionaries that will challenge the powers that be - join them now!

This parallel reality is a dystopia where magic exists, but open practitioners are unheard of. Wealth hoards power and these usurpers who cannot wield it enslave those who do. Ghostlike Crime is set up to be as grim or gonzo as you like.

Get It Here!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.