Gangbusters B/X Fillable Character Sheet

Sample Character

Gangbusters B/X is a fun new version of the old TSR Gangbusters game from the 80s. It uses OSR/D&D style rules to create a 1920’s Prohibition-era gangster game. There are rules for tommy guns, bootlegging, and gangsters.

I’ve created a fillable PDF version of the character sheet from the book

If you click on the Character Sketch or Symbol box, you’ll get a prompt to add an image.

BX_GB_Basic_FillableCharSheet

 

 

Deep Frontier – Kennedy-Era Dungeon Crawl

I’ve been working on a pulpy adventure campaign setting set in an underground/Hollow Earth world set in the 1960’s . It’s essentially a Kennedy-era dungeon crawl. I’ll most likely use Savage Worlds as a system, or possibly Hollow Earth Expedition.

Inspirations & Influences

Three influences – two real, one fictional

Project Mohole – A scientific project in the early 60’s to drill through the Earth’s crust to reach the mantle. They managed to drill deeper than any one had before, but didn’t reach the mantle. After a series of cost overruns, and some bad press, the project was cancelled.

American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC) – An informal group of scientists studying various branches of Earth Science.

bbte01
Battle Beneath the Earth is a 1967 British-made spy thriller about a rogue Chinese general who schemes to destroy America by constructing a network of tunnels across the Pacific,  and then detonating atomic weapons beneath several major American cities. It’s basically a Yellow Peril movie updated for the Cold War. It’s not really a very good movie, but it’s full of charming elements: Tunneling lasers, brainwashing, Marines vs. mercenaries deep beneath the earth. The trailer will give you the basic idea.

Campaign Idea

In my world, Project Mohole didn’t fail. It discovered the secret tunnels of a foreign power that was attempting to invade America.  The invaders had developed a new kind of laser boring machine that allowed them to cut tunnels quickly and quietly through the Earth’s crust.  They were attempting to place atomic bombs beneath every military installation in North America, as a prelude to invasion. The scientists of AMSOC, along with the military decided to intervene. A joint scientific/military expedition was sent into the tunnel systems. After a desperate battle, they were able to defeat the invaders.

Discovery

bbte03During the exploration of the invader’s tunnels, the explorers also discovered vast networks of natural caverns, previously unknown to science. Many of these caverns contained their own elaborate ecosystems, with strange plants and animals that were unique to that environment, or long since extinct on the surface.
Most remarkably, evidence was found of underground civilizations still in existence. Some appeared to be human (or at least related to humanity). Others were almost entirely alien. What little contact was made indicated they had varying levels of technology, ranging from Stone Age tools to artifacts exceeding current surface technology.

Founding AMSOC

bbte02Publicly, the battle with the invaders was never acknowledged, in order to prevent a panic. It was decided that Project Mohole and AMSOC would publicly be disbanded. In reality, AMSOC would become a lavishly funded secret agency, sort of a underground counterpart to NASA, dedicated to exploring the so-called “Deep Frontier”.
AMSOC has been able to recreate the invader’s laser borer, and will use them to open up new tunnels to explore.
Teams of scientists and military personnel will be dispatched to explore this new world. AMSOC’s charter gives the agency the following responsibilities:
  • Explore and map the Underground world
  • Collect scientific information about underground environment & civilizations
  • Make contact with underground civilization
  • Defend the surface world from any underground threat

Running the game

The campaign can start with the discovery of the tunnels, or can take take place later on after AMSOC has become established as an agency.
Limited Supplies: AMSOC teams would be well equipped, but wouldn’t have reliable supply lines back to the surface. Eventually they will run out of ammunition and food. They’ll need to live off of native food sources, and conserve what ammunition they have. This is intended to prevent the players from just blazing away and destroying all opposition with 20th century firepower.
bbte04Limited Use of Laser Borer: AMSOC only has a few of these multi-million dollar machines. They are usually used to open up new routes of exploration. Players will have limited ability to access or use the machines.
Who Were the Invaders?
It literally doesn’t matter. In the movie, it was a rogue Chinese general. It can be a Bond villain, Nazi remnants, or a hostile foreign power. They just need to sort of be bad guys. The campaign starts with them defeated, but they could conceivably rise again as a recurring villain.

Basic Fantasy – Spells & Magic: Table Reference – Beta Version

BF_BlankCover_DigestMy go-to system when I’m running OSR stuff is Basic Fantasy. It’s my favorite blend of old-school style and a cleaner, more modern rule set.

One thing I do prefer about other versions, however, are the digest-sized or A5 sized booklets they are often printed in. A recent example is the Necrotic Gnome’s Old-School Essentials line. I find having a few smaller books at the table is less unwieldy than one big rule book.

One of the best things about Basic Fantasy, is that all of it is open-source. It comes in both PDF files and editable OpenOffice files. This means,  if you are so inclined – you can assemble your own books. So I’ve started to make my own little Basic Fantasy table reference books.

The first one is a Spells & Magic book – It has the basic rules for spell casting along with a complete list of spells for Magic Users, Clerics, Illusionists, and Druids.

I’m still tidying it up a little ( I haven’t put in the credits or introduction), but I thought I’d post it here and see if I could get any feedback. Let me know what you think.

Basic Fantasy – Spells & Magic

Cover Image

IMG_20191026_022820534
Still a work-in-progress, but it does take up less space.

 

 

Ultima Forsan – Sardonic Grin Handouts

I’ve run a few sessions of Ultima Forsan, the Savage Worlds game set in a Renaissance Europe recovering from a zombie apocalypse. It’s currently my favorite of the Savage World settings.SardonicGrin

When a character is bitten by the dead and is wounded, they will most likely be infected, and will be doomed to die. Before they die, they get the Sardonic Grin Edge, which gives them a psychological advantage. Once they know they’re going to die, they’ve got nothing to lose.

To make this event memorable, I’ve made this PDF handout to be given to a player once they are infected. They look best if you print them out on cream or parchment-colored paper.

SavageWorld_UltimaForsan_SardonicGrin

Revised (gender neutral) Version

Sardonic Grin_Revised

Cthulhu Hack Fillable Chracter Sheet

NewCharSheet

I’ve been playing around with creating a new version of a character sheet for the Cthulhu Hack. I’m not completely certain I’ve got the design completely right yet, but here’s what I have so far –  in both fillable PDF and editable LibreOffice Draw versions:

Fillable PDF file

 

LibreOffice Draw version

I’m open to suggestions to revising these, and will most likely be updating this post in the future. Let me know what you think.

Hawkmoon Character Sheet

hawkmoonHawkmoon was a 1986 Chaosium RPG based on the Runestaff and Count Brass novels by Michael Moorcock.

It’s set in a far future science fantasy version of Earth during something called the “Tragic Millenium”. It’s a fun setting with flamingo mounts, flame lances, and the Dark Empire of Granbretan. It wasn’t a terribly popular game, but the background is great.

Here’s a cleaned up and fillable version of the original Hawkmoon character sheet:

Hawkmoon_CharSheet_Fillable