Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Halloween Music Playlist

Halloween is near! I know these words will sound terribly dated in a year or two, if they don’t already, but I like to burn1 a playlist of my favorite Halloween music onto a CD2 so I can listen to then when I’m driving3.
(Translation key:
1: record onto physical media
2: a piece of plastic used to store digital music in the physical world
3: people in my time didn’t have self-driving cars)
I’m due to put together a new playlist, but here’s the one I’ve been listening to for the last few years.

  1. Monster - Fred Schneider. This monster is in his pants!
  2. Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo. My favorite Halloween-related song.
  3. Fright Night - J. Geils Band. From the original movie. Very 80s.
  4. This Is Halloween - Danny Elfman. From The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  5. The Blue Wrath - I Monster. Used at the beginning of Shaun of the Dead.
  6. Partytime (Zombie Version) - 45 Grave. From Return of the Living Dead.
  7. Halloween (She Get So Mean) - Rob Zombie, from his Halloween Hootenanny album.
  8. Zombi - Zombie Nation. Also from Shaun Of The Dead.
  9. Addams Family Jazzy Theme - Czech Quartet. A jazzy cover.
  10. Gravewalk - Satan's Pilgrims. Also from Halloween Hootenanny.
  11. The Time Warp - Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell & Cast. From The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  12. The Munsters - The Ventures. Another unusual cover.
  13. Ribcage Mambo - Frenchy. Also from Halloween Hootenanny.
  14. Puttin' On The Ritz - John Morris, Gene Wilder, Danny Boyle. From Young Frankenstein.
  15. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
  16. The Gonk (Remix) - Kid Koala / The Noveltones. From Shaun of the Dead (and, before that, Dawn of the Dead).
  17. Devil Woman - Cliff Richard. (I really need to complete the trilogy by adding Evil Woman and Witchy Woman.)
  18. Back From The Dead - Spinal Tap.
  19. Moonlight Feels Right - Starbuck. (Admittedly a weak connection to Halloween, but I love the song so there.)
  20. Theme From 'Young Frankenstein’ - Rhythm Heritage. From Young Frankenstein.
  21. The Raven - Read by Christopher Walken, from Closed on Account of Rabies.

I’d love it if you shared some of YOUR favorite Halloween songs with me here! What do you like to listen to when it’s the haunting season?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Ran TimeWatch on International Pelgrane Day

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Gumshoe system, Pelgrane Press declared last Friday, October 21, as International Pelgrane Day, and encouraged their fans to play their favorite Pelgrane games. And since all I need is an excuse, I did!

I really like the Gumshoe system. I've played two Gumshoe games, Night's Black Agents (on Free RPG Day 2016) and TimeWatch (at Gen Con 2016), and I've read a third, Trail of Cthulhu. But choosing which one to run was easy: the one my wife and I couldn't get enough of at Gen Con: TimeWatch!

The adventure I ran was “Recruiting Call," from the TimeWatch rulebook. I ran it for my group at home, using the pregenerated characters Pelgrane provided on their website.

I also got to use my action tracker cards and my Rippers
bennies (as Halloween-themed "stitches").

Now my wife has played two of the pregens, Altani and Vid, and made the most of each role. I'm sure it would seem like obvious pandering if I declared her the MVP of the game, so I won't do that. (She totally was.)

I don't want to spoil any details of the adventure, but I can mention it involved time-traveling Nazis and a famous historical figure. At one point, the players have to prevent a Nazi from keeping the historical figure's parents from meeting and marrying. My friend Jerrod (playing Skegg) came up with the most entertaining plan I heard all night: he would use Skegg's disguise ability to impersonate the mother of the historical figure and get the Nazi to fall in love with--and marry--Skegg. (Things didn't exactly go that way, but I wish they had.)

Some other highlights from our game:

  • Skegg disguising herself as a Nazi general, Hitler, and Elvis.
  • The players researching history on their phones, saving us all from listening to me drone on about everything.
  • The team going back in time to arrange a "hunting accident."
  • The players cleverly using Preparedness to seed the area with horses and C4, “Bill and Ted” style.
  • The PCs realizing that they had to avoid killing an enemy that they already saw die later in life.

This was a good example of an improvisational adventure. It had a linear structure, in that scene one led to scene two which led to scene three, but within each scene the players had plenty of leeway in how they tackled the situations. That’s a little outside my comfort zone, and I’m glad I got to practice running a game in this style. I want more.

I dressed up for the occasion.

How about you? Are you a Pelgrane fan? Did you do anything fun on International Pelgrane Day (whether related to their games or not)?

Check this out, too...Pelgrane posted a round-up of Pelgrane Day events on their website, including some videos of game sessions.

Friday, October 14, 2016

2016 Ghostbusters Costumes

My son dragged me to a local party store recently (to look for masks--which he wears year-round), and I got to browse the Halloween stuff. I was happy to see some new Ghostbusters costumes:

Best of all: no "sexy Ghostbuster" costumes! Not that I have a problem with sexy costumes, but it's refreshing to see a focus instead on "brainy Ghostbusters."

Having said that, you could easily repurpose this one as a "sexy Ghostbuster" costume:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"Roxanne" Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago, I posted about "Roxanne," my fictional game that is Invisible Sun For Cheapskates. While I was writing that, I asked my friends Jenny and Jason if they'd provide me with photos of themselves looking confused--to use at the end of the post, showing a typical gamer's response to the wonder that is Roxanne. I don't even think I told them all the details of *why* I needed it, but "look confused" was all they needed.

The photo I used was only one of many that Jenny and Jason provided for me. I found the rest so entertaining that I had to share them here.

Thanks, Jenny and Jason!