Two new additions to the Vampyre Hack family, bringing everything published so far together in one volume.
Tomb of the Vampyre Hack with lurid red interior and the budget 'Midnight Edition' in B&W throughout. The striking cover art is by John Blaszczyk.
I like selling on drivethrurpg but their interface for uploading books is ... unhelpful. Once I've mastered a software package like Affinity, I should be able to create softback and hardback options for drivethru, but until then it's PDF-only and you must go to Amazon for the physical editions. Amazon has a nice new budget colour option (which is why Vampyre Hack costs less than Magus Hack, until I get round to re-creating the old books with this new option). However, this option doesn't offer print-on-demand in Japan and Australia and it's still a bit pricey.
Which is why the Midnight Edition is here. It's the same as the standard Tomb of the Vampyre Hack, but it's all in Black & White which drives down the price.
What's next for the Vampyre Hack?
I'm working on a set of tables and mechanics for generating adventure outlines or running the game solo - meaning GM-and-one-player or GM-free, according to taste.
This sort of roll-your-adventure would be anathema to the designers of Vampire: the Masquerade, but it works pretty well for The Vampyre Hack, partly because it's core processes are indebted to D&D (classic 6 stats, levels, hit points) and partly because I've already outsourced some storytelling decisions to dice rolls, like the Security Die that exhausts and triggers a crisis or the vampyre demesnes (or 'Belfries') which are districts in each city with their own rules.
Inspiration for this comes from a rather lovely fantasy RPG called Scarlet Heroes by Kevin Crawford. It's a OSR game, but it's strayed a little further than most from the Original D&D template, not least in its setting, which is a South Asian archipelago blending Chinese and Japanese influences.
If OSR classics like Labyrinth Lord take their cue from D&D as it took shape in the early 1980s, then Scarlet Heroes is referencing a particularly fine AD&D sourcebook that reinterpreted the standard classes in a fantasy version of Asia: Oriental Adventures (1985) by David "Zeb" Cook.
If you're a fan of 1st edition AD&D, then OE is a must-have, particularly for the way it reinterprets the original D&D classes in a new context. Of course, here in 2023 it's all very problematic and culturally appropriated and so forth, which is why publisher Wizards now front-loads the product description with a hand-wringing disavowal - but hey, they have my respect because they're still making it available in unedited and unadulterated form. Try getting a copy of Agatha Christie or P.G. Wodehouse that's free of bien pensant tinkering by the publishers. But I digress!
Scarlet Heroes doesn't wade into those murky waters: it just presents a system for rollicking adventures in a fantasy Asian setting, with the emphasis on FANTASY. The monster bestiary is particularly vivid and unsettling, with great art and evocative names.
If there were enough days in the week and enough players to seat at my table, I'd happily run Scarlet Heroes. But here's the thing, I don't even need the players! Kevin Crawford wraps this slim book up with a fantastic set of tables for rolling up an adventure in a city, wilderness or dungeon - and then tops that by adding mechanics and tables for a solo adventure system.
It's simple and intuitive and I want to adapt it to modern cities and The Vampyre Hack. If you own VH, you'll know I've already gone a certain way down this path with tables for generating cities, campaign goals and story hooks and plots. The plan is to build that into a more complete system. Since it's a vampire RPG, there will have to be some elements besides just gathering clues, getting out of scrapes then having a big fight - there has to be a moral dilemma or an unexpected betrayal or a deep plot being revealed. But VH already has the basic mechanics for inserting these dramas.
These solo rules will go straight to drivethrurpg as pay-what-you want. Once they are done, it's time to publish a Vampyre Hack Module. Red Rain Falls is my working title for a three act scenario that should cover enough sessions to get a group of vampyre PCs up to 3rd or 4th level by the end.
30 Minute Dungeons
Essays on Forge
I'm a teacher and a writer and I love board games and RPGs. I got into D&D back in the '70s with Eric Holmes' 'Blue Book' set and I've started writing my own OSR-inspired games - as well as fantasy and supernatural fiction..