Thursday, March 8, 2018

"I want a HORROR chainsaw!"

My wife is currently a member of the Aurora 88s Roller Derby team. Every year, they have a "FunD Skate" in which they do raffles, a silent auction, and other activities in order to generate some funds for the coming year. The silent auction is usually a series of themed gift baskets. This year the auction included a "Horror Basket". She hands me a plastic chainsaw Christmas ornament she picked up sometime during the holidays and says, "Could you paint this like a horror chainsaw?"

This is what she handed me:
As I'm writing this, you can still get them on eBay from this seller.

"Sure! I'll knock that out in no time."

I scraped off the silver glitter, masked it off leaving just the blade, hit it with a couple of passes of silver Krylon spray paint, and painted some blood effects on it with some red ink mixed with gloss medium. Done! Easy-peasy!

Done! Easy-peasy!
I hand it back to her, and she says, "That's nice... but I was hoping for more guts hanging off the blade and stuff. I want a horror chainsaw."

"Sure, I can use some glue to build it up some..."

"I know what you're capable of! I want a HORROR chainsaw!"

I don't watch a lot of horror flicks, so I'm missing something. "Um..."

"Like the chainsaw from 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'..."

Those were the magic words I needed to hear. A quick Google search produces THIS IMAGE.

Now I know what I'm aiming for!

I head back to my cave and get back to work:
  • Scraped off the remaining glitter. (This should have been a clue...)
  • Found an old can of gunmetal colored spray paint and painted the whole thing, wiping off some of the fresh paint to reveal the orange plastic below.
  • Painted the handles with flat black enamel paint.
  • Tore thin strips of duct tape and wrapped parts of the handles.
  • Weathered the whole thing with diluted black enamel and acrylic paints.
  • Made the gore texture with 5-minute epoxy, very thin strips of plastic bag from a dry cleaner (for translucent stringy stuff), and a tiny bit of Secret Weapon Rust Red pigment.
That got me to here:

A couple more rounds of "gore mix" and a couple of passes of the red ink and gloss medium, and voila!

This made her much happier!

And we'd like to think the winning bidder is happy with the result as well!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cyberpunk Random Loot Cards

What's In Their Pocketses...?

Recently, I picked up Paul D Gallagher's Augmented Reality (Blog, PDF,  Dead Tree). It's a fantastic resource for a generating a living city in your cyberpunk campaign.

Inspired by Paul's "What's on the Corpse?" table and thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, I decided to resurrect my Random Loot page, circa 2001.

What you'll see below is a slightly edited version; updated for clarity, more contemporary cyberpunk genres, and to be more system agnostic.

In case you can't obtain the cards I reference below, I've found 30mil blank white PVC CR80 ID cards on Amazon (they also make phenomenal Aspect cards for Fate games!). You can also get 30mil ID cards in various colors!

Random Loot

If you've ever had a problem with coming up with personal items and things your characters find on victims' bodies, what follows is an interesting and fun solution.

See, when we get a new player in the game, I just throw the character into New Tokyo and have them fend for themselves. Unfortunately, more often than not, the character ends up killing random street thugs and looting the bodies to come up with some creds. I got tired of having to come up with personal items every time they asked, "so, what do I find on the body?"

I also have a problem with spending money at a particular adult video arcade/bar & grill.

So I came up with something that solves both of those problems. This "barcade" tries to soothe you as you walk through the door by handing you a complimentary game card (worth approximately 1.7 games...) Last time I was there with one of my players, we burned up the complimentary card in about 2 seconds flat. Jason bent his card in half to keep them from recycling it. He asked me what I was going to do with mine. I told him I'd find a use for it in Cyberpunk or something. He looked at me with this big grin and exclaimed, "CredSticks!" Next thing I know, he's bopping around the place looking for used cards left on tables. Eventually, he asked one of the managers what they do with the cards. The manager told him they just pitched 'em. So Jason asked if we could collect them (GOOD IDEA - ask before collecting). As an added bonus, every time the manager passed our table, he dropped off a handful of the used cards he found. By the time we left, we had over 40 cards in different colors.

So what's this got to do with anything? Well, I made up a list of, "things in your pocket for 500cr., Alex", including some useless items, printed them out on stickers, and stuck them on the cards. The more expensive, uncommon, or "elite" items I put on the green and blue cards, since I only had six of them. As an added bonus, the cards look cool with the caution stripes.

My favorite card - just because it looks funny.
So..... next time one of the characters pickpockets, mugs, or loots somebody, I have them randomly pick a few red cards. Usually 1d6 cards. If the poor victim is "well-to-do", I shuffle in the blue and green cards (shuffling the cards aint easy!).

Here's the list I came up with:
(Credits values are low because the player can pick more than one card.)

  • 2 Credits
  • 3 Credits
  • 4 Credits
  • 5 Credits
  • 6 Credits
  • 7 Credits
  • 8 credits
  • 9 Credits
  • 10 credits
  • 2 Drug Capsules (Random street drug)
  • 2 Maglev Tokens
  • 2 12 ga. Shotgun Shells
  • 3 Bus Tokens
  • 3 Subway Tokens
  • 5 Empty 9mm Casings
  • Aspertabs (1d20 in the bottle)
  • 5.7mm Backup Pistol
  • Cheap Plastic Vending Machine Pistol
  • Baseball Cap (With "All Saints Auto Repair" or other auto shop printed on it)
  • Bit of Wire
  • Music Chip (Some band one of PCs hates)
  • Burner Phone (Currently locked)
  • Cheap Digital Watch
  • Cheap Gold Chain or Earrings
  • CredStick (Locked)
  • Data Chip
  • Digital Cab Hailer
  • Disposable Lighter (d100% full)
  • Disposable Pocket Flashlight (d100% battery life)
  • Squeeze Tube of Nutritional Paste (1 meal)
  • Generic Pack of Smokes (1d20 cigarettes remaining)
  • Green Glowstick (25% chance of being spent)
  • Leather Belt
  • Loose Key
  • MirrorShades
  • Nice Pen
  • Nice Watch
  • Old Screamsheet
  • Pack of Caffeine Gum (1d8 sticks remaining)
  • Pack of Gum (1d8 sticks remaining)
  • Pager
  • Pendant
  • Phone Number scrawled on a scrap of paper.
  • Pocket Lint
  • Pocket Tool (Knife, Wrench, Screwdriver, etc.)
  • Cheap Tablet (Map of New Tokyo is loaded)
  • SkillSoft (Level 1 - Roll one randomly from skillchip table)
  • Small Flick-Knife (7.5 cm. (3") long)
  • Small Polished Stone
  • Ticket Stub
  • Emergency Evacuation Contract Card (10% chance accidentally broken while retrieving it)
  • Used Breathing Mask
  • Used Syringe (10% chance of getting poked while retrieving it)