Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scorn The First Book of Pandemonium

On October 29th, I lost power as Sandy (the storm, not the squirrel) passed over Pennsylvania. The power remained off until around 11PM on Halloween night. After checking out a few other things I finally logged onto my PC, and at just about Midnight, I discovered this on my Google+ feed.

This is Scorn-Pandemonium. Scorn-Pandemonium is an RPG. It is a dark and twisted RPG, or as the author  says, "Scorn is a game about meat." In other words, it is the perfect gift to find in the pumpkin patch as the witching hour strikes on All Hallow's Eve

This is not a game for the faint of heart. If you have ever watched a horror flick and laughed, then this game might be for you. Or, you might just need counseling. Could be both. And while the rules say you could play a G rated game, the rules themselves are definitely R rated.

I've been gaming for for over 20 years. I have more dice than normal folk will ever understand, but not enough by most gamers' standards, and I think I might have used my 12 sided dice maybe a dozen times. Well, to actually make a meaningful roll anyway. They are pretty cool to stack during a game.

That is about to change. Scorn uses die 12, as many as 18 of them. 18?  Finally my d12 is going to get some love. Fortunately, you don't have to add them together. Just look for the biggest number and compare that to the difficulty of your action. There are some bonus, like for rolling the same number multiple times or for being descriptive in stating how your character acts, but overall the system seems pretty straight forward.

If you succeed, the player sitting on one side of you describes what happens and if you fail, the player on the other side provides the description. All the GM, Story Teller, whatever you want to call them needs to do is assign the difficulty of the action. (Yeah, there is more than just that, but you probably have the idea)

When I first started reading the rules, I laughed a number of times. Then as I continued, the number of "Holy Craps!" far outweighed the chuckles.  There is some dark stuff in there.

The first half of the book is for everyone, Players and Directors (Game Masters), the second half is for the Director. I haven't read the second half yet.

A couple of things stuck with me. First, the players are the story teller far more than the GM is. It seems like it would be easier to get a game going and to keep the players interested with this approach. Second, there is going to be lots of blood and characters are going to die. Horribly. And third, no matter how messed up the characters seem to be, they are still the good guys, well at least in comparison to the bad guys.

I think this would be a great game to play. The rules system seem easy to learn and you could drag a few friends into the pits of hell pretty quickly if you wanted to throw together a game on short notice.

Rafael Chandler has made the rules available on Google Drive for free download. Scorn-Pandemonium.pdf at Google Dive  It is now available at DriveThruRPG and it is still free.

All he asks that if you like his game, you consider buying his novel, Hexcommuincated. A summary of it is available at his web site

Even if you aren't interested in the game, take a look at the book.

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