The WEGS Fray

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GameWick News

GenCon 2018-GameWick Events

From aliens to zombies (and now even some Lovecraft), we have a full-throttle SHUFFLING HORROR event schedule for our friends and fans at Gen Con 2018 (Aug 2-5)! Lots…

Shuffling Horrors!

Independence Day 1951

On this date in 1951, four years after the infamous “Roswell Incident”, the Roswellian Star reported all sorts of wacky things going on around town. Did…

Innsmouth 32: Gary Con X Playtest

April 14th, 2018

It was 10 p.m. on Saturday night at Gary Con X… My final event of the con was nigh - Shuffling Horror: Pittsburgh 68. Eight players took their seats for what was an unexpectedly fast-paced and extremely brutal game – all were dead or zombified within an hour. One player, entirely new to Shuffling Horror, asked if the game always played this fast and deadly. I explained it was a very unusual session in both aspects – especially given the number of players. He immediately asked if we could play again.

“We could. or if folks want, we can playtest the next Shuffling Horror game I’m working on…”

BLOG-SHN-I32-0414“Anyone up for some Lovecraft?”

All players stuck around to see what horrors awaited in this next Shuffling Horror release. Inspired by Shadow Over Innsmouth, one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most famous tales, this game pits gangsters, scholars, and students against cultists and Deep Ones. Before we began, I explained two new game mechanics: Mythos points and Insanity points (wouldn’t be very HPL without a healthy heaping of both). These rules are pretty straightforward. Since all players were already familiar with the base rules of the system, the movie deck was shuffled and the first reel began.

This game session played fast, but its ending was the complete opposite of our prior game – almost everyone survived! As Director, I never had enough monsters to pose a huge threat. Despite this being a “low show” monster movie, the Innsmouth vibe crept in on so many different levels. From the archetypal characters, the weird artifacts they unearthed, and the plot devices triggered along the way, all elements did their job evoking the horror of that infamous, creeped-out, fishing village. It was a game heavy on character, memorable moments, and not a few B-movie laughs.

Some of the movie’s highlights were…

The immediate appearance of a terrifying Shoggoth; knowing the harm this creature could inflict, the Aged Scholar went after it with powerful Mythos points. It was a high price to his strength, but the group was safe from its horror for now…

The Bookworm, armed with a Flashlight, explored the Old Schooner for clues and lore…

The Necronomicon appeared twice. First in the possession of the town’s Shop Clerk, who read its dark pages to gain mythos at the expense of his sanity. The book was later taken by the Aged Scholar to reinforce his own mythos power…

A gang of vile villagers tried to put an end to the town’s Shop Keep (who betrayed them). He escaped their clutches several times. Due to his uncanny ability to avoid harm (and the Bob Denver placeholder card art), this character was named “Gilligan”…

As the Deep Ones emerged, the Gangster with the Tommy Gun riddled the wharf with bullets…

The Goon grabbed the Harpoon and put some big time hurt on cultists and Deep Ones. Later in the movie, the Goon was knocked-out and taken away by the cultists. The Professor of Languages (who had fallen in love with the Goon) led the search party’s efforts through town to find him before it was too late. It was decided her name was “Adrian”, as we could all hear the Goon crying out that name (a la Rocky Balboa) when the two were reunited …

The Old Captain, the Doctor, and the Store Clerk tried to flee town but got “Lost In The Marsh”. They luckily found their way out before the Deep Ones came a-creeping…

The Socialite revealed she packed a Pocket Pistol (as she drew that item card from the screen). She later volunteered to be the bait and lure the monsters into a deadly trap via a plot device card called “Take The Bait”.

In the last minutes of the movie, the High Priest of the Esoteric Order appeared. His wrath was heaped upon poor Gilligan – whose luck finally ran out. A fitting end, as he was the only townie sympathetic to the survivors’ plight.

After the game, we had a jam session on what the players liked and what needed tweaking. For me, I was thoroughly pleased the game evoked the spirit of Lovecraft’s weird tale (even though the players were never truly in danger of being wiped out). Now, this game did NOT deliver on the insanity front, but this had to do with the lack of certain cards appearing and some very lucky die rolls. Innsmouth 32 will certainly bring on the insanity “when the cards are right”.

A perfect end to my Gary Con X experience.

More playtesting to do on I32!

Join the GameWick Games facebook page for updates on the upcoming Kickstarter and release plans.

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