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The Monster Hunters’ Club (Preview)

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The Monster Hunters’ Club is an upcoming setting for Savage Worlds inspired by ‘80s movies such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and The Goonies and retro fare like Stranger Things. Produced by Darren G. Miller of CCS Games in cooperation with my occasional employer Fabled Environments (and edited by my internet buddy Tommy Brownell), The Monster Hunters’ Clublets players take on the roles of neighborhood kids discovering a world of supernatural horror just outside their doorsteps.

I have very little nostalgia for being a child in the 1980s. I fondly remember the toy lines and pop culture—G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Knight Rider, Transformers—but that’s an artifact of how far out of tune I was with other kids. A combination of anxiety disorder and undiagnosed food allergies meant I spent most of my childhood in a haze of confusion and embarrassing decisions, spending more time playing with toys and watching TV than hanging out. I went on one woodland hike with neighbor kids and eve…

Thoughts on Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro

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MILD SPOILERS FOR LUPIN III: THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO
Last night, Robin and I went to the Fathom Events special screening of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. It was an amazingly pleasant evening. The theater seats reclined. There were only about three other people there (two women and one man, making women the majority of the audience), and they were all quiet and enrapt; I was probably the loudest person in the theater because I was almost the only person laughing out loud. The movie was, as always, a joy.
I mentioned a couple of posts back that The Castle of Cagliostro is far from my favorite piece of Lupin III animation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a good movie. It’s obviously a great movie, and probably the best piece of the Lupin III franchise if you’re not someone, like me, who prefers the impulsive, lecherous anti-hero of Monkey Punch’s manga to Miyazaki’s noble rogue.* With that said, my opinion of the film actually went up last night.
I realized shortly into the…

My Middle Name is Larceny

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Just over a month ago, Robin and I realized we just weren’t having that much fun with our Blue Rose AGE duet campaign; despite our mutual sympathies toward the setting and themes, neither of us has actually read any romantic fantasy novels nor has the time to learn the setting that the game demands. We’d also bought a Roku and started up a Crunchyroll subscription, so we were finally watching the 2015 Lupin III series. To my great surprise, Robin suggested starting a Lupintic cat burglar campaign and My Middle Name is Larceny was born.
Some readers of the blog requested additional information about the campaign, but I’m afraid there isn’t that much information to share. I improvise our duet games to such a degree that I often don’t even make notes before a session starts; this has its drawbacks, but we’ve learned from experience that we both get bored if things are too structured. With that stated, I can at least make a bullet point list of highlights.
Our heroine, Beverly “Bev” Larceny…

Eternal NPCs

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There’s a recurring NPC in My Middle Name is Larceny (the 1970s-set caper duet campaign I’m running with Robin) called Monkey Mask. He is, bluntly, Lupin III with the serial numbers filed off and a rubber ape mask pulled over his head.
And this is probably the fourth or fifth campaign he’s appeared in.
Like Michael Moorcock with his Eternal Champion, Eternal Companion, and all the rest of his recurring, fractured, fragmented, prism-split characters, I’ve got NPCs who recur in similarly-themed campaigns, especially the 20th/21st-century intrigue settings. Monkey Mask first appeared as the modern incarnation of Journey to the West’s Monkey King in our first duet campaign, more or less set in the Old World of Darkness and using the Land of Eight Million Dreams spin-off from Changeling: The Dreaming. We actually rebooted and restarted that campaign after several months into one powered by Werewolf: The Apocalypse (turning Robin’s character from a nyan hsien into a homebrewed nekomata Baste…

Sean’s Totally Subjective, Under-informed List of His Favorite LupinIII Stuff

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Discussing Lupin III is like discussing the Godzilla or James Bond franchises: everybody has their own take on which parts of the franchise are best, and those opinions are usually formed around which version or actor a person encountered first. I tend to be an outlier in these situations, favoring more recent incarnations because of their sophistication (which, admittedly, is often because they’ve synthesized the nuances of a franchise’s long history); Daniel Craig is my favorite Bond (though Casino Royale is his only really good film) and the Millennium design is my favorite look for Godzilla. I also acknowledge that taste is subjective, so I try to always couch my opinions in the term of “favorite,” not “best.”
Last night saw the first US theatrical showing of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, the beloved feature film debut of Hayao Miyazaki. This film was Robin’s and my introduction to the world of Lupin III, rented from the local Hastings back when we were living in San Marcos,…

My Middle Name is Larceny: Carry Forward

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I’m not going to suggest this as a Setting Rule or anything like that. Heck, I’m not sure it even makes sense for any other Savage Worlds players—even if they are playing a duet game like me and Robin. It’s just a house rule I’ve come up with (obviously somewhat inspired by Powered By the Apocalypse games) that has really helped us emulate the sort of highly-competent, cinematic characters we wanted with My Middle Name is Larceny.

Carry Forward
When the player succeeds on a roll, any raises above and beyond those needed for success on the roll accumulate to the player as +1s that may be added to successive rolls in a manner similar to successes granted by other characters in a cooperative roll. The following limitations and options apply:
+1s may be spent after the dice are rolled. +1s are not limited rolls for the same Attribute or Skill. +1s may be added to any roll, regardless of whether it is a Trait roll or not. If the Critical Failures setting rule is in effect, then +1s may not…

My Middle Name is Larceny: Supporting NPCs

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I need somewhere to put NPC stats for the current duet game, a globetrotting cat burglar campaign set in the 1970s starring one Beverley "Bev" Slick. This seems like a good enough place.
Keep in mind that as Savage Worlds NPCs, I just assigned stats as desired rather than "building" these characters. Keep in mind also that Bev started the game at Legendary.
Inspector Diego Alatriste XIII Special Agent Penelope “Penny” Slick
Wild Cards
Globetrotting cat-burglar Beverly “Bev” Slick’s Enemy [Minor] is actually two people, both of whom are bound to her by ties of love as well as duty.
Inspector Diego Alatriste XIII of INTERPOL is a suave Renaissance man, equally at home catching perps and cooking a gourmet meal. Having lost his heart to Bev Slick during an earlier case, he seeks to reform her as much as capture her. His obsession with Bev manifests as much as an insistence of always giving her the benefit of the doubt as it does to insisting that he’ll be the one to brin…

Globetrotting Cat Burglar Adventure Generator

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Between being inspired by finally watching Lupin the Third Part Four (the blue jacket series set in Italy) and not feeling like ingesting all the setting lore needed to really give Blue Rose a proper shot, Robin and I decided to run a 1970s-set globetrotting cat burglar Savage Worlds duet game. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much in the way of support materials for such a game.This isn’t that surprising; the particular mood and tone we’re going for isn’t found in that many works. Outside of the Lupin the Third franchise, there’s what? The Saint? Two Pink Panther movies? Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s series? Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief?Leverage – both TV series and RPG – come close without quite hitting the mark. The basic rulebook at least doesn’t really support the mood we want, and I don’t feel like paying $25 for the Leverage Companion, Vol. 1 (which, with its firearms rules and the like, might expand the game into more Lupintic territory). I can mine my copy of the main rules fo…

Jane Austen Playing Cards Kickstarter

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Help fund the Jane Austen Playing Cards Kickstarter by JohnEric Ligon and I will finally write and publish a Savage Worlds setting book for Regency romance.


While we all know Savage Worlds is great for Fast! Furious! Fun! action-adventure, my personal experience is that it’s also great for games of dueling wits. I’ve kicked around ideas for Savaging the world of Regency romances for practically as long as I’ve been writing Wine and Savages, and now I’ve found a great reason to revive that project.
There’s a Kickstarter running for what would be the perfect Action Cards for such a setting – the Jane Austen Playing Cards by John EricLigon – but it’s only slightly over halfway to its goal with just over a week left to run. If all of y’all help get the Kickstarter funded, I will compile and rewrite my extensive Regency posts into a coherent mini-setting guide.
Included will be: An introduction to the history of the Regency and the tropes of Regency romanceNew Background and Social EdgesExten…