Sunday, July 21, 2013

Further Meditations On The 'Free' Download Of Spine Chillers And Silent Killers From Thistle Games For Your Old School Space Operas

I've spent the weekend watching a lot of 70's And 80's Science Fiction and Fantasy movies and television shows . I got the chance to design a failed colony/western style space adventure. I was also able to unleash it on my players. The results were something out of Space 1999 mixed with a Battle Star Galactica vibe. Yet the experience was gritty to say the least.
You can download the book and its massive from  DrivethruRpg right over
The Desription From DriveThrurpg:
Spinechillers and Silent Killers is a system free add-on for tabletop RPGs. It’s full of 500+ highly configurable traps, spinechillers, omens and other hazards or surprises. The content can be put to a number of uses:
  1. Scattering unexpected and unusual events through an adventure or across a campaign.
  2. Designing high intensity gameplay using clusters of high impact encounters.
  3. Adding layers of mystery, suspense and mayhem to adventures and campaigns.
  4. Remixing existing adventures or campaigns by parachuting in hazardous and/ or menacing encounters.
  5. Raising the emotional content of the gameplay by reinstating the sense of the unknown and the unexpected so often reported as part of new players’ gameplay.
  6. Building gritty and grimy gameplay.

The book actually lives up to its name and like many of the tool kits from yesteryear this book hearkens back to a time when rpg books were meant to allow DM's to create adventures from whole cloth from a few tables. The results were very interesting to say the least. With little time I was able to not only construct a colony world but have a villain with several dark secrets, omens for shadowing things to come straight out some weird Space 1999 episode. But I had the players reaching for their dice quite nervously,
The runaway wagon table started things off with a bang and it was a great game.
 The book is rounded off with some of the following:
Spinechillers ~ Traps ~ Omens ~ Dark Secrets ~ Jailbreaks ~ Runaway Wagons ~ Unpleasant Places ~ Local Delicacies ~ Mishaps and Misfortunes ~ Extreme Sports ~ Ridiculous Laws ~ Serious Complications ~ Money Pits ~ Debt Collectors
The spine chillers add a Lovecraftian element to the game that made the players very wary. Several of the traps were good enough to construct a couple of mini encounters around.  They proved to be quite the challenge. 
 The PC's were supposed to collect a few artifacts lost in the sewers of this world by an outlaw and a bounty hunter. The PC's were able to grab a few of their own artifacts and everything seemed to be going well. A handy roll on the Debt collector chart and they were down some credits.  
The local delicacies table gave me the opportunity to inject some local color into the bazaar/market place and Extreme sports gave the PC's a break from the usual 70's 'Rollerball' issue that crops up in science fiction games. 
 Bewared this is a massive book and quite lethal if used as simply a roll on some random tables book. This book is actually a complete tool kit for both fantasy, horror, and science fiction if used correctly. Throw the author some coin because this is a massive book and hearkens back to a time when supplements were more then mere books. They were tool kits that allowed the products of your imagination to have some solid and lethal adventures.
 I almost forgot to mention that this book is generic and can be used with all major retroclones currently on the market. The book can also be used with all of the science fiction and fantasy retro clones as well. It will prove hours and hours of fun.  Needless to say it will also work with all classic incarnations of original Dungeons And Dragons and first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
Happy gaming! 

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