Terror Rabbit Ventures

Terror Rabbit Ventures is the umbrella under which Matt Steele orchestrates his evil schemes to take over the world…Narf!… and to expand the world of role playing games into immersive experiences. It’s also a resource for other Game Masters and Players.

Dead of Winter Horror Invitational

An invitation-only weekend of horror Role Playing Games. Held in the haunted Cary House Hotel nestled in the Sierra foothills in the heart Gold Rush country. A truly frightening immersive experience.

Matt Steele ~ Game Master at Large

A GM since 1976, Matt’s run hundreds of game sessions. He’s best known for horror games such as Call of Cthulhu, from which his long-suffering Players gave him the moniker Matthulhu.

Retroville

Welcome to Retroville – an immersive weekend of Retro-themed Role Playing Games in a retro location.

Contact


Matt Steele aka Matthulhu
Aether Mail: terrorrabbit@me.com
Wireless: 831.566.1170

Upcoming Rabbit Appearances


October 17 – 19, 2014: Big Bad Con
Oakland Airport Hilton
Big Bad Judge for the Big Bad GM competition
Torchwood L.A. using modified Doctor Who RPG rules: The Torchwood team works to end murders committed using New You statues. Cheap statues made to look just like YOU! Because there’s not enough vanity in Hollywood.
Vox: The facility: Play your character and The Voice of the player’s character next to you as you explore the unknown facility in which you awoke without your memory.

Oct 26, 2015 at Endgame Oakland.
Dead of Night: Dead Bolts: A game of survival horror. Scientists and Security personnel in a research station adrift in the asteroid belt.

Feb 13 – 16, 2015 DunDraCon
San Ramon Marriot
TBD

May 22 – 25, 2015 Kublacon
Burligame Hyatt Regency
TBD

Sept 4 – Sept 7, 2015: Celesticon
Fremont Marriott, Fremont, CA
TBD

Groovy Game Spaces


Endgame Oakland An Awesome SF Bay Game Store. In-store game space included

Infrno – Find. Connect. Play. An online community for RPG enthusiasts, providing a virtual game table along with all the tools you need to get your game on from any place, at any time

What is a Terror Rabbit?

The Terror Rabbit is dedicated to taking table-top Role Playing into new dimensions through hosting thematic, immersive gaming events. With a strong emphasis on story over mechanics, The Rabbit pushes to escalate the fine art of Game Mastering.

Immersive events put Players and GM’s in an environment (location) that emphasizes the theme of the event – and keeps them there. These limited participant events differ from traditional game conventions in several ways:

1. Terror Rabbit events are thematic. Horror, Science Fiction, Retro games, etc.

2.The events take place at a location that enhances the theme. Remote haunted hotel for horror, old style roadside motel for Retro game event, etc.

3. Events are exclusive. There are a limited number of attendees. Think of them as “boutique gaming events”. This promotes the immersive experience. It also means that it’s not a big crap shoot to get into games. At game conventions, you usually get into games via a complex lottery system. You can go to a convention for 3-4 days and only get into 1-2 games. Very frustrating to spend $500+ and only play in 2 games.

4. Because of the limited number of attendees, the caliber of GM’s and Players is higher than at conventions. At a convention, the GM may be sub-par. If you haven’t played with them, you never know. Experienced Players at conventions seek out the good GM’s. So their games tend to be filled and people will wait to see of there’s an opening. Conventions don’t pre-screen to get good GM’s. The Rabbit does.

Matt Steele – The man behind The Rabbit

For a horror guy, it’s a bummer to find out that your Chinese astrology sign is the rabbit. Not very scary. I like the seeming contradiction of the cute, fluffy bunny played against horror. I’ve owned two rabbits, and I assure you, they are brutal, vicious creatures.

Leaping from Steve Jackson’s basic games like GEV and Ogre, I started running RPG’s in 1976. Star Wars had just come out and so had Traveller. I’m a bigger fan of sci-fi than fantasy, so it was natural for me to take up Traveller. Since I was in high school, I was lucky enough to connect with some college gamers, one of whom was studying to be an astrophysicist. Try running a Traveller game for that guy! Another had just graduated, got a job and spent all of his income on new games. We tried everything that came out.

As a horror GM I’ve run games of Call of Cthulhu, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Unknown Armies, BRP, Chthonian Stars and Fear Itself. I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember them all. I also run games with a dark, humorous or sci-fi bent including Gamma World, Feng Shui, Paranoia, Traveller, Doctor Who, InSpectres, Star Trek, Cyberpunk 2020, and my infamous BRP based B-Movie series. More and more I’m gravitating toward simple systems that promote story telling above mechanics.

Testimonials

  • Matt as GM

    Thank you, Matt, for all the prep and for running such a dark and devious game. It was great fun.

    David Ackerman-Gray

  • I look forward to the next gaming fun!

    Jenna Sterling

  • Thanks again to Matt for the games on Sunday. “After the Horrorcaust” was particularly enjoyable, and it did a good job of evoking the feeling of really bad film making.

    Luke Miller

  • Dead of Winter
    It was awesome! I played in four epic games, and dropped by Endgame (www.endgameoakland.com) to buy Cthulhu (www.cthulhutech.com) Tech before I got home. I’ve already made myself a four day weekend for next year.

    Jill Stapleton

  • …a big thank you to you, sir, for working your ass off to get this thing off the ground, and continuing to keep it running while all the various…adventures were going on. Can’t wait ‘til next year, and looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Badger McInnes

  • Terror Rabbit Ventures Presents
  • Location of Terror
  • Games & Schedule
  • Registration
  • Contact Terror Rabbit
  •  

In the Dead of Winter, weary Travelers roll off the highway into a historic Gold Rush town. On the recommendation of friends, they stop at the lone hotel. The desk clerk is friendly, and asks if they are there to the ghost hunt.

The lobby is a throwback to a time when millions of dollars in gold bullion flowed through it and the ground floor was a counting house. You can almost hear the ghostly sounds of bankers, gamblers and con-men bustling about.

The Travelers shake their heads. ‘No, they don’t believe in ghosts.’ When they decide against the ancient elevator, a cold chill passes through them as they climb the stairs. Someone mentions it and is shushed with withering glances. Upstairs,  the hallways seem to stretch forever as they make their way to their rooms. As they pass Room 201 they are nearly overcome with the scent of lavender, though the flowers at the top of the stairs were clearly daisies.

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The hotel creaks restlessly. In the dead of the night the Travelers wake to the shouts of a mob in the streets.

Staggering to the windows they see the silvery moonlit outlines of three men swinging by nooses from the tree across the street. The men kick their lives to an end. Suddenly the Travelers remember, this town used to be called Hangtown, where murdering thieves were strung up following quick trials. But that was 1849 and it’s 2014 now. From the street, the crowd turns as one and looks up at the travelers, their faces ghostly pale.

Welcome to the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational – an immersive weekend of horror role-playing at the haunted Cary House Hotel in Placerville, CA which opened in 1857. December 12-14, 2014, Matt Steele will host this unnatural event in Sierra foothills. The focus of fear will be on the ground floor, near where Prospector Stan died at the feet of the woman he loved, shot by the gambler that she favored. Attendance will be limited to 35 victims.

The Hotel’s history is one of glory and horror as would-be US presidents spoke and hardened teamsters died of influenza. Spirit remains have been found in rooms on the second and third floors as well as the lobby. Will you become a silvery ghost during your visit in the Dead of Winter?

The Travelers throw on clothes and dash downstairs. As they hit the landing overlooking the lobby, they jolt to a stop. The smell of rotgut whiskey, mine dust and sweat nearly bowls them over. A shout at the front door draws there attention. Dressed for the Old West, the desk clerk who checked them in points up at them, ‘There they are.’ he says. The ghostly crowd flows in from the street. One of the Travelers spots a noose and then another.  A finely dressed man next to her, a gambler by the look of him, leads the lynch mob. He draws a pistol and fires  the muzzle flash blinds the Travelers.

When the Travelers clear their eyes, the desk clerk, dressed as he was when he checked them in asks, “Are you folks all right?”.

The always original Historic Cary House Hotel is a calm and quiet sanctuary among the Sierra foothills. Known as the “Jewel of Placerville” and complete with spectacular period pieces and antiques dating back to 1857, the experience is matched by exceptional service, dedication to detail and a friendly, comfortable environment.

Located in the heart of Gold Country, more than 90 million dollars in gold bullion passed through the doors of the Cary House. Frequent guests included Buffalo Bill, Mark Twain, Lola Montez and John Studebaker – who was a shopkeeper in town.

Horace Greeley spoke from the balcony in 1872 when he ran unsuccessfully ran for president against Ulysses S Grant. A plaque honoring his reinsman, Hank Monk adorns the dining room. Monk drove the congressman’s coach to the Cary House from Carson City Nevada in just 10 hours.

But let’s not forget that this used to be Hangtown. Main Street rooms have a view across the street where the infamous hanging tree once stood. It is likely that as many as 20  desperadoes met their end swinging from a tree in Hangtown. Strange cries, sobbing and screams have been heard from the Hangman’s Tree Bar. One person claims to have seen green light through the floorboards above the location where the tree stump remains. The bar has no basement. The apparition of a tall man with a tall hat dressed in dark 19th century clothing has frequently been seen. One psychic made contact with the spirit and learned it is the hangman’s assistant who cared for the tree and prepared the noose.  (The Hangman’s Tree building is in the process of being restored, so who knows what condition it will be in come December.)

Back at the Cary House, psychic Nancy Bradley took 50 people through the hotel and discovered spirit remnants in nearly every room of the 2nd and 3rd floors. Ghost hunter Jeff Dwyer visited the Cary House in 2008 with a team of paranormal experts. In the long dark corridor next to the meeting room the team heard a high-pitched whistling, though no one was in the hall to make the sound.   Who knows how many spirits wander the historic halls? Will you be adding to their numbers during the Dead of Winter?

Not only are the Cary House and the Hangman’s Tree haunted, but just 2 blocks away, the Cozmic Cafe, built in 1859 out of local stone is the site of multiple hauntings. Virgil and Alice are just two of the spirits. Some are trapped in the mine that extends into the hillside behind the place. Others died in the dumbwaiter, or were crushed by hydraulic mining equipment. People have heard  shouting in the mine shafts which cease when staff arrives.

The 2nd floor is haunted by a prankster sporting a handlebar mustache and straw hat who moves glasses, spills water and sends menus flying. If you want to meet Alice, go to the 2nd floor bathrooms, where she might be glimpsed cleaning.

Ghost hunters have recorded a bunch of EVP here.

Heck, even the Chamber of Commerce is haunted by a black clad and top hat wearing ghost named Darrell, who was one of the Hangtown’s  hangmen.

Is it a game if your life and sanity are at stake?

For 2015 I’m looking for a broad range of games, with a good mix of traditional fear, fun and humor in them. Got that B-movie slasher flick you’ve been dying to run – bring it. Want to offer up mind-numbing psychological horror – yes please. Every year, I’m impressed by the variety of games. Even folks who aren’t hard-core horror fans find games to suit them. If you’re not sure about a game, just ask me.

Games will be uploaded as finish the schedule.

General registration will be announced after I have have a full slate of games scheduled and there’s some time for everyone to check the games out.

Registration’s gonna work the same as last year. I figured out a way to reward GM’s for running games and it worked out well. GM’s get first chance to register and therefore the first picks of games they want to play. I’ll Email GM’s daily, in groups of 5, in order of registration. Then groups of 7 for Players.

Effective October 2,  2015 the game slots are filled and the schedule’s posted.

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Schedule

Friday, December 11, 7PM- ??? After you check into the hotel, come hang out just up the street at Powell’s Steamer Vo & Pub. While I love the Cozmic Cafe, it hasn’t worked out most years, so I’m just gonna call it now. 425 Main Street, Placerville. I’m still gonna grab dinner at the Cozmic Cafe, with its haunted mines. If you arrive before 7 (like me) you can actually dine in the mine – oh yeah.

The Cary House doesn’t have a single room big enough for us. So, 2 game tables will be in The Milton Room on the ground floor. The etched glass windows that line two walls depict the Gold Rush era.

Coffee & Tea are served in the Horace Greeley Room behind the Milton Room. There’s room for one game.

For GM’s who need to create a special ambiance or enjoy a private room, the 4th table will be in room 407 on the 4th floor – far from the others, where your screams will not be heard.

NEW ROOM ADDED – I call it The Study and it’s a private room just off of the Milton room.

Game Schedule

Breakfast can be had nearby. There’s Zia’s Cafe, coffee shop, next door and sit-down places within a block or 2. Popular among DoW gamers, Original Mel’s diner a block away.

Saturday, December 12, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
Announcements followed by Dinner Break

Saturday, December 12, 7PM – 1AM Late game session

For dinner, try Bricks or the Cozmic Cafe which sits over the entrance to an abandoned gold mine and is haunted by a plethora of ghosts. See the Location of Terror for more info.

Sunday, December 13, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
Dinner Break – When the weak depart…
Sunday, December 13, 7PM – 1AM, Late game session, for them what is hard-core

GAMES:

SATURDAY 11AM

1. Game System: Fear Itself
Scenario Title: A Thin Veneer of Happy
GM: Jim Mathews
Variations: (slightly changed sanity rules)
Power Level: Typical person off the street
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Hi there! Yes, I AM the famous Dr. Rhonda you’ve seen on TV. You won’t be able to speak just yet after that horrible, horrible accident. Heck all, you probably don’t even remember it. Now, now, stay calm because YOU’RE in the new Dr. Rhonda Wellness and Recovery Village! Oh, look at the time; I’ve got to run, but my staff here is going to take the best care of you…

2. Game System: Resolute, Adventurer, Genius
Scenario Title: North Atlantic – A Two-Fisted Tale of Terror
GM: Matt Armstrong
Variations: None
Power Level: 1930s Pulp Adventurers (above average, but essentially normal, humans)
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: On a trip to London, bringing data (and maybe something else) from a Canadian arctic research station, you run into both a storm and mechanical trouble with your plane. Luckily, there’s an island with a runway and village where you can land for repairs. Even more luckily, the village was established by a religious order known for their hospitality and assistance to travelers. Certainly, you’ll be on your way soon with pleasant memories of the kindness of the villagers.

3. Game System: Nemesis / ORE
Scenario Title: The Inn at the Crossroads
GM: Jack Young
Variations: 18th Century England, no madness meter, minor hacks
Power Level: Experienced Highwaymen
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: After being disgraced and cashiered out of the 22nd Leicester Fusiliers for dereliction during the Seven Years War, Captain James Ryder and his companions have returned home to the Dane Hills to take up the only profession left for them: highway robbery.  Now they prowl the King’s roads and dark byways, preying on unwary travelers, and standing watch for the thief-takers.  It’s a hazardous calling that usually ends on the gallows at Tyburn, but their luck has generally held. Until tonight.

4. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed. (Modern)
Scenario Title: The Cold Hard Truth
GM: Frank A. Figoni
Variations: Minor
Power Level: Elite Special Squad
Number of Players: 6
Description: “Hammerhead,” the communication center for the Joint Operations Center Guantanamo Bay Cuba, has gone dark and all other forms of communications from the base have ceased.

Fearing a terrorist attack, Delta Force and the 3rd Ranger Quick Reaction Brigade at Fort Benning were dispatched to assess the situation. However, their last communication made little sense and now the CIA has had reports that the Cuban observers on the Cuban side of the base’s fence-line have seen strange lights, heard chanting, and caught glimpses of unnatural forms moving around the base at night! Because of this, the Secretary of Defense has activated the “Specials Squad,” the elite unit, dealing specifically with “paranormal events.”  Can the unit find out what’s happening on the base before its too late???

5. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
Scenario Title
The Phantoms of Black Knife Ridge
GM:
Badger McInnes
Variations: Some house rules
Power Level: You got callouses on yer hands from workin’ the range, or a sharp eye and smooth trigger finger
Number of Players: 6
Description: It’s November, 1901 in Black Knife Ridge, Oklahoma. The west is still wild out here, but folks from the East are starting to make the pilgrimage, what with all the money comin’ in from oil stakes and the like. Normally Black Knife Ridge is on the quiet side, but on this day, a special guest is rollin’ into town; singer Daisy Nash, giving a one-night performance during her country spanning tour. The locals are all a titter about the show, the dance hall is gonna be packed, and wouldn’t you know that the sheriff is off in another county today.

Gonna be a busy night.

The Phantom of Black Knife Ridge is a Wild Weird West scenario concerning a little bit of murder, quite a bit of snake oil shenanigans, a whole lot of corruption, and a big ol’ shitstorm of danger. Slap on those smoke wagons, grab your deputy badge…oh, and ya might wanna pocket that Elder Sign, too.

SATURDAY 7PM

1. Game System: If it’s too loud, you’re too old.
Scenario Title: Cross the Breeze
GM: Anthony Brown
Variations: Sub Pop Rock City
Power Level: Full On Kevin’s Mom
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: The year is 1993. Your grunge band, The Donner Party, is about to cross some mountains in the winter. Your first single just hit, what could go wrong, right?

2. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
Scenario Title: Tier Ficken: Existentialist Clickbait
GM: Aaron Teixeira
Variations: n/a
Power Level: A-List Actors
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: You’re an A-Lister, a box office summer tent pole star. So your participation in this project isn’t an option. All of the greats are on board, including you. Some shows aspire to HBO, but Tier Ficken’s live-stream is so graphic, that it’s been banned by everything from Pornhub to Pirate Bay. Funded by an obscure German art subsidy, the show’s producers have been able to insure absolute viewer loyalty from some of the top names in the industry. Nobody knows how. Perhaps you’ll learn their secrets, from the inside.

Warning: Players will be exposed to descriptions of intense acts of violence.

3. Game System: Unknown Armies
Scenario Title: The Casino Job
GM: Duane O’Brien
Variations: Some House Rules
Power Level: Street Level
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: This is it. The big one. You’ve been planning this casino job for weeks. It’s not just a big score, it’s The big score. You’ve planned everything down to the last detail. There are contingency plans for your contingency plans. You’ve hired the best of the best. Everyone is at the top of their game. And given what’s waiting for you, you’d better hope they really are.

4. Game System: Reports from the Zone (The Veil)
Scenario Title: The Electric Psychopomp F**k Brigade vs. the Deranged Discotheque of the Damned
GM: Matthew Grau
Variations: None
Power Level: Paranormal Drug Addicts
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: In this mash-up of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Trainspotting, and Naked Lunch. Characters are drug fiends who have discovered the “Zone,” a place where they’re so altered that they see through reality. The world they’ve discovered is strange and dangerous, filled with existential threats, and they’re kind of the only ones who can do anything about it. However, they have to use a lot of drugs to do that, and that naturally makes them less… effective.

Fortunately, their crippling addictions have also given them new paranormal abilities to aid them in their fight – but these abilities also help drive deeper and deeper dependence. The Characters’ impaired judgment may easily lead them to make unsound choices – the horror is both external and internal.

5. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
Scenario Title: Alien Transmissions
GM: William Lee
Variations: Achtung Cthulhu!
Power Level: N/A
Number of Players: 6
Description: It is February, 1942. The world is at war. Nazi Germany is at the height of its power, ruling Europe from France to Ukraine. The only way for the Allies to strike back at the heart of the Nazi Empire is through Britain’s nighttime bombing campaign.

But an experimental German radar threatens Britain’s bomber offensive. Now, British paratroopers and French resistance fighters must carry out a daring mission against a new German radar installation.

Our heroes may find the Nazis are the least of their worries. Even as the transport planes cross the English Channel, a strange and alien howl comes unbidden over the radio.

SUNDAY 11AM

1. Game System: The Void
Scenario Title: The Forgotten Tomb
GM: Matthew Grau
Variations: None
Power Level: Basic Wardens (Human Investigators)
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: The Asteroid Belt beyond Mars. A mining ship went missing. So did the rescue ship that was sent after it. Martian Warden Command needs you to investigate this disappearance. Hopefully, it will be something natural. It never is.

Experience the horrific sci-fi tension of movies like Alien or Event Horizon, as you head out into the Asteroid Belt to find a secret hidden for millions of years.

2. Game System: Fear Itself
Scenario Title: The Final Episode
GM: Bry Hitchcock
Variations: Fan Mail, Dramatic Irony
Power Level: Amateur Interlopers
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Felicia Knight is the perky host of True Hauntings, a web series about North America’s spookiest places. She and her team are true believers. They’ve come to Placerville to prove the local story of a haunted hotel is the real deal, proof of the AFTERLIFE.

Kit Kameron is the most famous debunker on the internet (for people between the ages of 18-25, according to a poll on Kit’s site)! His team has come to Placerville to disprove the alleged haunting, because SCIENCE.

It’s the last episode of the season before the Twitter-net Choice Awards. Who’s going to win the heart of the interwebz?! Who’s going to prove their case? Who’s going to DIE?

The Final Episode is a sendup of internet celebrity and true believers ™ framed as a modern horror movie. Play will be heavily focused on roleplaying and investigation with a side order of movie tropes and screaming, bloody death for dessert.

3. Game System: Call of Cthulhu
Scenario Title: U-29 is Alive
GM: Gil Trevizo
Variations: Home rules
Power Level: Normal people
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: October 1918. The war is lost for Germany, but the Kaiser continues to feed the meatgrinders of the Western Front and crew after crew is lost on the bloodied seas of the Atlantic. Now the admirals have ordered one last foolhardy mission, to venture deep into enemy waters and “recover” the missing boat U-29, an experimental submarine lost over a year ago. Aboard its sister boat, U-31, the doomed crew will sail into black and forgotten depths and learn the silent secrets hiding beneath unfathomed waters for uncounted years.

4. System: Call of Cthulhu
Title: Sins of the Father
GM: Damon Gregory
Variations: If you’re a rules lawyer, you’re going to have a bad time.
Maturity Rating: Adult themes
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Details: San Francisco, 1942. You’re at a funeral for a man you’ve never met, with people you don’t know. You came because you were invited and it was the polite thing to do. Why were you invited to begin with? What is the tie that binds these people together? Discovering the answer will take you to a dark time in your own father’s life. But what does this have to do with you?

Sometimes secrets need to remain locked away.

5. Game System: GM Homebrew
Scenario Title: Kapersky Ridge
GM: Jason Frankenfield
Variations: n/a
Power Level: Modern Lumberjacks
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: It seems too good to be true, Federal timber rights along the Kapersky Ridge, untouched and uncut for 40 years. This could be the big break you’ve been looking for. All you need to do is cut out the old logging road and cash in. Nothing an experienced crew of loggers can’t handle, right?

SUNDAY 7PM

1. Game System: Apocalypse World
Scenario Title: Redemption Rail Blues
GM: Michael Garcia
Variations: Pre-generated characters in a predetermined scenario
Power Level: As Hard as they come.
Number of Players: 4
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: (A hymn sung to the tune of Folsom River Blues)

I see that flame’s a commin
Smoke’s darkening the sky
It swallowed up  the sunshine, and burns our throats and eyes
We’re stuck in Rail Redemption, and so we sing this song
There’s been no trains a rollin since the world moved on

When I was just a baby my mama told me: Son,
That Steel Road can take you to pair of dice beyond
But them savage men shot her, just to watch her die
When I see that smoke billowing, I’ll hang my head and cry.

I bet there’s a locomotive that’s rolling down our line
Westward bound to pair of  dice, arriving just in time
Well I know we all be boarding, taking both you and me
So we wait in Rail Redemption
for that train to set us free…

2. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
Scenario Title: Xmas in Kingsport (part 2 of The Cousins)
GM: Shannon Mac
Variations: Very minor house rules
Power Level: Varies
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: December 1925: Snow had falling over the seaport town, its winding streets covered with ribbons of white. Smoke rose from chimneys, the smells of chestnuts, cookies and roast goose filled the air and once again the family was gathering. The cousins found themselves together again, in the home of Great Aunt Norma. Tonight was Christmas Eve but none of you were really excited. Christmas in Kingsport meant only one thing to the six cousins and that was boredom.

As you arrived at the Old Mansion on Plum Street, on the West Side of Kingsport your smiles were forced as you greeted your ancient Great Aunt Norma. But suddenly the holiday gloom that gripped all of you suddenly melted away. With a cry of “Where are my little cousins?” the magic of Christmas fell upon you. It was Cousin Melba, throwing her arms around you and pressing firm kisses onto your cheeks. This, you knew, changed everything!

After greetings are exchanged she sneak you all off to the side. “Don’t worry, I’m busting us out of here! I can’t stand these things and I am sure you can’t either.

In this scenario you will play children of ages 11-13 who are all cousins and you can bet something is going to happen Mythos style. Part 1 was offered at DOW 2014 but it isn’t necessary to have played in it to play in this particular scenario. This was written by Oscar Rios in the CoC Monograph “Xmas in Kingsport”.

For more information you can go here (2015 DOW):

http://storytellersjem.blogspot.com/2013/09/upcoming-con-games-for-2014-2015.html

3. Game System: CASTE
Scenario Title: The Cats of the Ulthar Auditorium
GM: Arthur Stone Wallis
Variations: Cat’s Eye
Power Level: Starving
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes.
Description: Days were hot, and the dark one fed us. Nights were cold, and the dark one fed us. But always there were the cages…and always there were the tests.

We walked back and forth in our iron cubicles…we waited to be let out for Dark one to prod us or run us through mazes. Dark one would always give us a reward and an injection.

One day the dark one stopped feeding us. In fact he never came back at all. Upstairs we hear music most nights…but also screams now sometimes. One of the cages is empty now…the one with the creature with glowing eyes. Cheshire thinks he might be able to get his cage open…maybe he can get all of us out….maybe it’s time for the cats in the cellar to see if they can’t find a bite to eat!

CASTE is a diabolically simple system, which brings out the best hopes and greatest terrors of those fortunate enough to play it.

4. Game System: Nemesis
Scenario Title: Welcome to the Clown Motel
GM: Morgan Hua
Variations: Highly Modified (Simplified Nemesis)
Power Level: Silver Miners, Bikers, Military Personnel, and Old Folks.
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes

Description: The Clown Motel is located next to the Tonopah Cemetery.  Tonight is the night of the Blood Moon.  Who will survive the night at the Clown Motel? Players will have multiple characters as they uncover the history and mysteries of Tonopah from 1902 to present day.

WATCH THE VIDEO: https://plus.google.com/102965936034306571485/posts/TZNgzJ7f2Eb

5. Game System: Trail of Cthulhu
Scenario Title: The Alter Septem and the Dark Bargain
GM: Joshua Clark & John Castillo
Variations: None
Power Level: Human Investigators
Number of Players: 6 (We could accommodate 4-6, if needs be)
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: The members of Alter Septem are called to investigate the entertainment industry of 1940′s California.  It’s not all bright lights and bombshells, as the group soon discovers.  The hunger of Hollywood makes short work of the naive and trusting, and one has to wonder if there isn’t something truly evil at its heart…

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GM’s SUBMISSION SAMPLE

Game System: BRP (Basic Role-Playing)
Scenario Title:
Shady Hollow Motor Lodge
GM:
Michael Ripley
Variations:
Using sanity rules
Power Level:
Urban Professionals
Number of Players:
6 (Mandatory – Except Sunday Night)
Characters Provided:
Yes
Description:
What a freakin’ great weekend! Skiing, hot tubs, and sitting in front of a roaring fireplace drinking yourselves silly. None of you are looking forward to returning to the grind of your daily lives.
Preferred Day & Time
:
Saturday, December 12, 11AM – 5PM
Saturday, December 12, 7PM – 1AM
Sunday, December 13, 11AM – 5PM
Sunday, December 13, 7PM – 1AM
Note that the number of Players on Sunday varies based on how many die-hards remain for this session. So, games need to accommodate this factor.

The Travelers stare at the front desk clerk. Can he possibly be the same clerk that was handing them to a mob over 150 years ago? Maybe they’re not thinking clear, since it’s the middle of the night. But if it’s the midnight hour, why do they hear the sounds of horses and stagecoaches out front? Why is there a cowboy playing ragtime on the piano? The clerk smiles at puzzled faces of the Travelers – like he’s seen this before…

Just as last year, the fiscal cost for attending the 2014 Dead of Winter Horror Invitational remains: $60.00. The cost to your souls will vary.

I asked the hotel for more detailed information this year. So, room rates are a lot more specific. The rates per night vary depending on stays of 2 or 3 nights. Note that the rates below are for the full stay, not nightly.

The hotel costs are as follows: 3 Night Rates: Taxes not included.

Deluxe Queen $327 (Fri & Sat night only $258)
Deluxe King $357 (Fri & Sat night only  $278)
Queen or King Suite $387 (Fri & Sat night only $298)
2 bedroom Suites $447 (Fri & Sat night only $318) (sleeps 3/4ppl)
Master Suite $417 (Fri & Sat night only $318)

Tell them that you are attending Dead of Winter and they’ll set you up. Spirits in the room – no extra charge.

The rooms in the hotel are:
1 Double (our smallest room)
9 Queens
6 Kings
4 Queen Suites
2 King Suites
2 King Suites w/ Murphy bed
1 Queen Suite w/ Murphy bed
6 2 bedroom Suites
3 Master Suites
1 Bridal Suite
2 Pet Suites

So, register early to get the kind of room that you want.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve reserved 15 rooms, Can bump to 20 if need be. We filled 18 last year. GROUP BOOKINGS ARE CHARGED 45 DAY PRIOR TO ARRIVAL DATE, a 50% non-refundable deposit. You will be advised of this policy when they make their reservations. That’s October 28th, just before Halloween. If you reserve your room later, the 50% will be charged right away.

ALL ROOM RATES INCLUDE:
IN-ROOM COFFEE
LOCAL AND TOLL FREE TELEPHONE CALLS
WIFI
PARKING
MORNING COFFEE AND TEA SERVICE
10% DISCOUNT ON FOOD ITEMS AT OUR PARTNER RESTAURANTS
The restaurants are:

http://www.heydaycafe.com/

http://independentplacerville.com/

BUY A GLASS OF WINE GET ONE FREE AT THE WINE SMITH
ALSO LOCATED IN THE HOTEL IS A WELLNESS CENTER WITH REDUCED RATES FOR CARY HOUSE GUESTS
The Wellness Sanctuary and Spa, it’s advisable to book at least one week in advance:

https://www.facebook.com/PlacervilleSpa

A key element of the Dead of Winter is inhabiting a haunted hotel for the weekend. For the purpose of immersion, everyone attending must stay at the Cary House on Friday and Saturday nights and play through the Sunday morning session – no exceptions. This thing’s, an “all in” deal. Sunday night games and stays at the hotel are optional. Sudden blizzards preventing you from fleeing to safety are beyond the control of your host.

Attendance is limited to 35 people. This allows 5 games to run with 6 Players and 1 GM Saturday morning and night. 5 Games run Sunday morning. The number of games run Sunday night depends on the number of people who stay for that session. 4 Games ran the first 3 years and I’ll likely limit it to this number this year as well. As always, I’ll have a game prepped in case we need to add a 5th game. Selection of attendees is at the sole discretion of your host, Matt Steele. If you’re on this site, you’ve probably played in a game I’ve run or been a fellow Player in a game I’ve played. You might just have a soul so tasty that Stan, the gunned-down spirit in the lobby, ask me to invite you.

To get in on the horror, send a check payable to:

MATT STEELE
Dead of Winter Horror Invitational
101 Cooper Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

To pay by PayPal Email me at:
terrorrabbit@me.com
Love PayPal or not, it’s the fastest way to register. The event usually sells out in a couple pf days, far to quickly for mail to be effective.

I’ll need to know the following for everyone who registers. People move and have disposable phones and all, so even if you’re a regular, I’d like an update.

NAME:
ADDRESS:
PHONE:
Landline:
Cell:
EMAIL ADDRESS:
Will you be staying for the Sunday night session? Y or N

You can cancel your reservation and get a full refund until Halloween Day, October 31. After Halloween there will be no refunds.  Signing up after Halloween is OK, but no refunds if you have to cancel. This thing’s gonna sell out, so I’ll be putting folks on a Wait List, first listed, first contacted to get in.

Note: GM’s don’t get free or discounted admission. Everyone’s basically chipping in to pay for the space. You are what makes this event happen. That’s super cool. GM’s do get early choices of games.

See the CONTACT page for Cary House reservation information.

For hotel reservations or questions:

Cary House Hotel
300 Main Street
Placerville, CA 95667
PH: 530.622.4271 or 866.906.5207
WEB: www.caryhouse.com
EMAIL: info@caryhouse.com
Tell them that you are with Dead of Winter in December when registering. Be sure to tell them precisely which type of room you want.

For questions regarding the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational:

MATT STEELE
831.566.1170
EMAIL: terrorrabbit@me.com

tweet #DeadofWinter

TERROR RABBIT VENTURES PRESENTS

Duuuude! Welcome to Retroville – an immersive weekend of Retro-themed Role Playing Games in a totally retro location. Games are from the early years of the RPG movement, like Metamorphosis Alpha and Top Secret, ya know, old school ~ or ~ current games with a retro feel – Spirit of the Century: 30’s pulp, Macho Women with Guns: 50’s Sci-fi or 70’s… anything. C’mon you know you’ve been wanting to dust off those old games or run a Dukes of Hazzard adventure.

Time & Place TBD.

LOCATION

The Rabbit’s looking for a location for Retroville. Know of a cheap ’70’s Motel in the SF Bay Area? Tell me about it. Is there a totally retro location to play in, like an old railroad station, next to a Motel 6? This is the kind of place for Retroville. Send tips to flee@terrorrabbit.com or call 831.566.1170.

GAMES & SCHEDULE

Here are the kinds of games I want to run or play at Retroville:
Gamma World ~ 2nd Edition
Cyberpunk 2020
Metamorphosis Alpha
Morrow Project
D&D ~ 1st Edition ~ White Box
Traveller ~ Original Black Box Edition
Top Secret
Star Trek ~ FASA Version
Paranoia ~ West End Games ~ 1st Edition
DC Heroes
Doctor Who ~ FASA Version
Space 1889
Some early edition of Star Wars

or how about…

Hollow Earth Expeditions ~ ’30’s Pulp Adventure
Godlike ~ WWII Superheroes
Cthulhu Dark Ages
BRP ~ The Land That Time Ignored
Unhallowed Metropolis ~ Steampunk Horror
Deadlands
Conspiracy X ~ We all want to play it as The X-Files
Space 1999
All Flesh Must Be Eaten ~ ’50’s style
Trail of Cthulhu ~ Shadows Over Filmland
7th Sea ~ Pirates!
Feng Shui ~ ’80’s Kung Fu Fighting! Fast as Lightning!
Send me your ideas. I know you have ideas ~ and other thoughts.

REGISTRATION

Registration is not yet open.

CONTACT THE PAST

For questions or comments regarding Retroville:
MATT STEELE
831.566.1170
EMAIL: terrorrabbit@me.com

  • Terror Rabbit Ventures is the umbrella under which Matt Steele orchestrates his evil schemes to take over the world…Narf!… and to expand the world of role playing games into immersive experiences. It’s also a resource for other Game Masters and Players.

    Terror Rabbit Ventures

  • An invitation-only weekend of horror Role Playing Games. Held in the haunted Cary House Hotel nestled in the Sierra foothills in the heart Gold Rush country. A truly frightening immersive experience.

    Dead of Winter Horror Invitational

  • A GM since 1976, Matt’s run hundreds of game sessions. He’s best known for horror games such as Call of Cthulhu, from which his long-suffering Players gave him the moniker Matthulhu.

    Matt Steele ~ Game Master at Large

  • Welcome to Retroville – an immersive weekend of Retro-themed Role Playing Games in a retro location.

    Retroville

  • Matt Steele aka Matthulhu
    Aether Mail: terrorrabbit@me.com
    Wireless: 831.566.1170

    Contact

  • October 17 – 19, 2014: Big Bad Con
    Oakland Airport Hilton
    Big Bad Judge for the Big Bad GM competition
    Torchwood L.A. using modified Doctor Who RPG rules: The Torchwood team works to end murders committed using New You statues. Cheap statues made to look just like YOU! Because there’s not enough vanity in Hollywood.
    Vox: The facility: Play your character and The Voice of the player’s character next to you as you explore the unknown facility in which you awoke without your memory.

    Oct 26, 2015 at Endgame Oakland.
    Dead of Night: Dead Bolts: A game of survival horror. Scientists and Security personnel in a research station adrift in the asteroid belt.

    Feb 13 – 16, 2015 DunDraCon
    San Ramon Marriot
    TBD

    May 22 – 25, 2015 Kublacon
    Burligame Hyatt Regency
    TBD

    Sept 4 – Sept 7, 2015: Celesticon
    Fremont Marriott, Fremont, CA
    TBD

    Upcoming Rabbit Appearances

  • Endgame Oakland An Awesome SF Bay Game Store. In-store game space included

    Infrno – Find. Connect. Play. An online community for RPG enthusiasts, providing a virtual game table along with all the tools you need to get your game on from any place, at any time

    Groovy Game Spaces

  • Matt as GM

    Thank you, Matt, for all the prep and for running such a dark and devious game. It was great fun.

    David Ackerman-Gray

  • I look forward to the next gaming fun!

    Jenna Sterling

  • Thanks again to Matt for the games on Sunday. “After the Horrorcaust” was particularly enjoyable, and it did a good job of evoking the feeling of really bad film making.

    Luke Miller

  • In the Dead of Winter, weary Travelers roll off the highway into a historic Gold Rush town. On the recommendation of friends, they stop at the lone hotel. The desk clerk is friendly, and asks if they are there to the ghost hunt.

    The lobby is a throwback to a time when millions of dollars in gold bullion flowed through it and the ground floor was a counting house. You can almost hear the ghostly sounds of bankers, gamblers and con-men bustling about.

    The Travelers shake their heads. ‘No, they don’t believe in ghosts.’ When they decide against the ancient elevator, a cold chill passes through them as they climb the stairs. Someone mentions it and is shushed with withering glances. Upstairs,  the hallways seem to stretch forever as they make their way to their rooms. As they pass Room 201 they are nearly overcome with the scent of lavender, though the flowers at the top of the stairs were clearly daisies.

    .

    The hotel creaks restlessly. In the dead of the night the Travelers wake to the shouts of a mob in the streets.

    Staggering to the windows they see the silvery moonlit outlines of three men swinging by nooses from the tree across the street. The men kick their lives to an end. Suddenly the Travelers remember, this town used to be called Hangtown, where murdering thieves were strung up following quick trials. But that was 1849 and it’s 2014 now. From the street, the crowd turns as one and looks up at the travelers, their faces ghostly pale.

    Welcome to the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational – an immersive weekend of horror role-playing at the haunted Cary House Hotel in Placerville, CA which opened in 1857. December 12-14, 2014, Matt Steele will host this unnatural event in Sierra foothills. The focus of fear will be on the ground floor, near where Prospector Stan died at the feet of the woman he loved, shot by the gambler that she favored. Attendance will be limited to 35 victims.

    The Hotel’s history is one of glory and horror as would-be US presidents spoke and hardened teamsters died of influenza. Spirit remains have been found in rooms on the second and third floors as well as the lobby. Will you become a silvery ghost during your visit in the Dead of Winter?

    Terror Rabbit Ventures Presents

  • The Travelers throw on clothes and dash downstairs. As they hit the landing overlooking the lobby, they jolt to a stop. The smell of rotgut whiskey, mine dust and sweat nearly bowls them over. A shout at the front door draws there attention. Dressed for the Old West, the desk clerk who checked them in points up at them, ‘There they are.’ he says. The ghostly crowd flows in from the street. One of the Travelers spots a noose and then another.  A finely dressed man next to her, a gambler by the look of him, leads the lynch mob. He draws a pistol and fires  the muzzle flash blinds the Travelers.

    When the Travelers clear their eyes, the desk clerk, dressed as he was when he checked them in asks, “Are you folks all right?”.

    The always original Historic Cary House Hotel is a calm and quiet sanctuary among the Sierra foothills. Known as the “Jewel of Placerville” and complete with spectacular period pieces and antiques dating back to 1857, the experience is matched by exceptional service, dedication to detail and a friendly, comfortable environment.

    Located in the heart of Gold Country, more than 90 million dollars in gold bullion passed through the doors of the Cary House. Frequent guests included Buffalo Bill, Mark Twain, Lola Montez and John Studebaker – who was a shopkeeper in town.

    Horace Greeley spoke from the balcony in 1872 when he ran unsuccessfully ran for president against Ulysses S Grant. A plaque honoring his reinsman, Hank Monk adorns the dining room. Monk drove the congressman’s coach to the Cary House from Carson City Nevada in just 10 hours.

    But let’s not forget that this used to be Hangtown. Main Street rooms have a view across the street where the infamous hanging tree once stood. It is likely that as many as 20  desperadoes met their end swinging from a tree in Hangtown. Strange cries, sobbing and screams have been heard from the Hangman’s Tree Bar. One person claims to have seen green light through the floorboards above the location where the tree stump remains. The bar has no basement. The apparition of a tall man with a tall hat dressed in dark 19th century clothing has frequently been seen. One psychic made contact with the spirit and learned it is the hangman’s assistant who cared for the tree and prepared the noose.  (The Hangman’s Tree building is in the process of being restored, so who knows what condition it will be in come December.)

    Back at the Cary House, psychic Nancy Bradley took 50 people through the hotel and discovered spirit remnants in nearly every room of the 2nd and 3rd floors. Ghost hunter Jeff Dwyer visited the Cary House in 2008 with a team of paranormal experts. In the long dark corridor next to the meeting room the team heard a high-pitched whistling, though no one was in the hall to make the sound.   Who knows how many spirits wander the historic halls? Will you be adding to their numbers during the Dead of Winter?

    Not only are the Cary House and the Hangman’s Tree haunted, but just 2 blocks away, the Cozmic Cafe, built in 1859 out of local stone is the site of multiple hauntings. Virgil and Alice are just two of the spirits. Some are trapped in the mine that extends into the hillside behind the place. Others died in the dumbwaiter, or were crushed by hydraulic mining equipment. People have heard  shouting in the mine shafts which cease when staff arrives.

    The 2nd floor is haunted by a prankster sporting a handlebar mustache and straw hat who moves glasses, spills water and sends menus flying. If you want to meet Alice, go to the 2nd floor bathrooms, where she might be glimpsed cleaning.

    Ghost hunters have recorded a bunch of EVP here.

    Heck, even the Chamber of Commerce is haunted by a black clad and top hat wearing ghost named Darrell, who was one of the Hangtown’s  hangmen.

    Location of Terror

  • Is it a game if your life and sanity are at stake?

    For 2015 I’m looking for a broad range of games, with a good mix of traditional fear, fun and humor in them. Got that B-movie slasher flick you’ve been dying to run – bring it. Want to offer up mind-numbing psychological horror – yes please. Every year, I’m impressed by the variety of games. Even folks who aren’t hard-core horror fans find games to suit them. If you’re not sure about a game, just ask me.

    Games will be uploaded as finish the schedule.

    General registration will be announced after I have have a full slate of games scheduled and there’s some time for everyone to check the games out.

    Registration’s gonna work the same as last year. I figured out a way to reward GM’s for running games and it worked out well. GM’s get first chance to register and therefore the first picks of games they want to play. I’ll Email GM’s daily, in groups of 5, in order of registration. Then groups of 7 for Players.

    Effective October 2,  2015 the game slots are filled and the schedule’s posted.

    .

    .

    .

    .
    Schedule

    Friday, December 11, 7PM- ??? After you check into the hotel, come hang out just up the street at Powell’s Steamer Vo & Pub. While I love the Cozmic Cafe, it hasn’t worked out most years, so I’m just gonna call it now. 425 Main Street, Placerville. I’m still gonna grab dinner at the Cozmic Cafe, with its haunted mines. If you arrive before 7 (like me) you can actually dine in the mine – oh yeah.

    The Cary House doesn’t have a single room big enough for us. So, 2 game tables will be in The Milton Room on the ground floor. The etched glass windows that line two walls depict the Gold Rush era.

    Coffee & Tea are served in the Horace Greeley Room behind the Milton Room. There’s room for one game.

    For GM’s who need to create a special ambiance or enjoy a private room, the 4th table will be in room 407 on the 4th floor – far from the others, where your screams will not be heard.

    NEW ROOM ADDED – I call it The Study and it’s a private room just off of the Milton room.

    Game Schedule

    Breakfast can be had nearby. There’s Zia’s Cafe, coffee shop, next door and sit-down places within a block or 2. Popular among DoW gamers, Original Mel’s diner a block away.

    Saturday, December 12, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
    Announcements followed by Dinner Break

    Saturday, December 12, 7PM – 1AM Late game session

    For dinner, try Bricks or the Cozmic Cafe which sits over the entrance to an abandoned gold mine and is haunted by a plethora of ghosts. See the Location of Terror for more info.

    Sunday, December 13, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
    Dinner Break – When the weak depart…
    Sunday, December 13, 7PM – 1AM, Late game session, for them what is hard-core

    GAMES:

    SATURDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: Fear Itself
    Scenario Title: A Thin Veneer of Happy
    GM: Jim Mathews
    Variations: (slightly changed sanity rules)
    Power Level: Typical person off the street
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Hi there! Yes, I AM the famous Dr. Rhonda you’ve seen on TV. You won’t be able to speak just yet after that horrible, horrible accident. Heck all, you probably don’t even remember it. Now, now, stay calm because YOU’RE in the new Dr. Rhonda Wellness and Recovery Village! Oh, look at the time; I’ve got to run, but my staff here is going to take the best care of you…

    2. Game System: Resolute, Adventurer, Genius
    Scenario Title: North Atlantic – A Two-Fisted Tale of Terror
    GM: Matt Armstrong
    Variations: None
    Power Level: 1930s Pulp Adventurers (above average, but essentially normal, humans)
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: On a trip to London, bringing data (and maybe something else) from a Canadian arctic research station, you run into both a storm and mechanical trouble with your plane. Luckily, there’s an island with a runway and village where you can land for repairs. Even more luckily, the village was established by a religious order known for their hospitality and assistance to travelers. Certainly, you’ll be on your way soon with pleasant memories of the kindness of the villagers.

    3. Game System: Nemesis / ORE
    Scenario Title: The Inn at the Crossroads
    GM: Jack Young
    Variations: 18th Century England, no madness meter, minor hacks
    Power Level: Experienced Highwaymen
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: After being disgraced and cashiered out of the 22nd Leicester Fusiliers for dereliction during the Seven Years War, Captain James Ryder and his companions have returned home to the Dane Hills to take up the only profession left for them: highway robbery.  Now they prowl the King’s roads and dark byways, preying on unwary travelers, and standing watch for the thief-takers.  It’s a hazardous calling that usually ends on the gallows at Tyburn, but their luck has generally held. Until tonight.

    4. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed. (Modern)
    Scenario Title: The Cold Hard Truth
    GM: Frank A. Figoni
    Variations: Minor
    Power Level: Elite Special Squad
    Number of Players: 6
    Description: “Hammerhead,” the communication center for the Joint Operations Center Guantanamo Bay Cuba, has gone dark and all other forms of communications from the base have ceased.

    Fearing a terrorist attack, Delta Force and the 3rd Ranger Quick Reaction Brigade at Fort Benning were dispatched to assess the situation. However, their last communication made little sense and now the CIA has had reports that the Cuban observers on the Cuban side of the base’s fence-line have seen strange lights, heard chanting, and caught glimpses of unnatural forms moving around the base at night! Because of this, the Secretary of Defense has activated the “Specials Squad,” the elite unit, dealing specifically with “paranormal events.”  Can the unit find out what’s happening on the base before its too late???

    5. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
    Scenario Title
    The Phantoms of Black Knife Ridge
    GM:
    Badger McInnes
    Variations: Some house rules
    Power Level: You got callouses on yer hands from workin’ the range, or a sharp eye and smooth trigger finger
    Number of Players: 6
    Description: It’s November, 1901 in Black Knife Ridge, Oklahoma. The west is still wild out here, but folks from the East are starting to make the pilgrimage, what with all the money comin’ in from oil stakes and the like. Normally Black Knife Ridge is on the quiet side, but on this day, a special guest is rollin’ into town; singer Daisy Nash, giving a one-night performance during her country spanning tour. The locals are all a titter about the show, the dance hall is gonna be packed, and wouldn’t you know that the sheriff is off in another county today.

    Gonna be a busy night.

    The Phantom of Black Knife Ridge is a Wild Weird West scenario concerning a little bit of murder, quite a bit of snake oil shenanigans, a whole lot of corruption, and a big ol’ shitstorm of danger. Slap on those smoke wagons, grab your deputy badge…oh, and ya might wanna pocket that Elder Sign, too.

    SATURDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: If it’s too loud, you’re too old.
    Scenario Title: Cross the Breeze
    GM: Anthony Brown
    Variations: Sub Pop Rock City
    Power Level: Full On Kevin’s Mom
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The year is 1993. Your grunge band, The Donner Party, is about to cross some mountains in the winter. Your first single just hit, what could go wrong, right?

    2. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Tier Ficken: Existentialist Clickbait
    GM: Aaron Teixeira
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: A-List Actors
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: You’re an A-Lister, a box office summer tent pole star. So your participation in this project isn’t an option. All of the greats are on board, including you. Some shows aspire to HBO, but Tier Ficken’s live-stream is so graphic, that it’s been banned by everything from Pornhub to Pirate Bay. Funded by an obscure German art subsidy, the show’s producers have been able to insure absolute viewer loyalty from some of the top names in the industry. Nobody knows how. Perhaps you’ll learn their secrets, from the inside.

    Warning: Players will be exposed to descriptions of intense acts of violence.

    3. Game System: Unknown Armies
    Scenario Title: The Casino Job
    GM: Duane O’Brien
    Variations: Some House Rules
    Power Level: Street Level
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: This is it. The big one. You’ve been planning this casino job for weeks. It’s not just a big score, it’s The big score. You’ve planned everything down to the last detail. There are contingency plans for your contingency plans. You’ve hired the best of the best. Everyone is at the top of their game. And given what’s waiting for you, you’d better hope they really are.

    4. Game System: Reports from the Zone (The Veil)
    Scenario Title: The Electric Psychopomp F**k Brigade vs. the Deranged Discotheque of the Damned
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Paranormal Drug Addicts
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: In this mash-up of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Trainspotting, and Naked Lunch. Characters are drug fiends who have discovered the “Zone,” a place where they’re so altered that they see through reality. The world they’ve discovered is strange and dangerous, filled with existential threats, and they’re kind of the only ones who can do anything about it. However, they have to use a lot of drugs to do that, and that naturally makes them less… effective.

    Fortunately, their crippling addictions have also given them new paranormal abilities to aid them in their fight – but these abilities also help drive deeper and deeper dependence. The Characters’ impaired judgment may easily lead them to make unsound choices – the horror is both external and internal.

    5. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Alien Transmissions
    GM: William Lee
    Variations: Achtung Cthulhu!
    Power Level: N/A
    Number of Players: 6
    Description: It is February, 1942. The world is at war. Nazi Germany is at the height of its power, ruling Europe from France to Ukraine. The only way for the Allies to strike back at the heart of the Nazi Empire is through Britain’s nighttime bombing campaign.

    But an experimental German radar threatens Britain’s bomber offensive. Now, British paratroopers and French resistance fighters must carry out a daring mission against a new German radar installation.

    Our heroes may find the Nazis are the least of their worries. Even as the transport planes cross the English Channel, a strange and alien howl comes unbidden over the radio.

    SUNDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: The Void
    Scenario Title: The Forgotten Tomb
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Basic Wardens (Human Investigators)
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The Asteroid Belt beyond Mars. A mining ship went missing. So did the rescue ship that was sent after it. Martian Warden Command needs you to investigate this disappearance. Hopefully, it will be something natural. It never is.

    Experience the horrific sci-fi tension of movies like Alien or Event Horizon, as you head out into the Asteroid Belt to find a secret hidden for millions of years.

    2. Game System: Fear Itself
    Scenario Title: The Final Episode
    GM: Bry Hitchcock
    Variations: Fan Mail, Dramatic Irony
    Power Level: Amateur Interlopers
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Felicia Knight is the perky host of True Hauntings, a web series about North America’s spookiest places. She and her team are true believers. They’ve come to Placerville to prove the local story of a haunted hotel is the real deal, proof of the AFTERLIFE.

    Kit Kameron is the most famous debunker on the internet (for people between the ages of 18-25, according to a poll on Kit’s site)! His team has come to Placerville to disprove the alleged haunting, because SCIENCE.

    It’s the last episode of the season before the Twitter-net Choice Awards. Who’s going to win the heart of the interwebz?! Who’s going to prove their case? Who’s going to DIE?

    The Final Episode is a sendup of internet celebrity and true believers ™ framed as a modern horror movie. Play will be heavily focused on roleplaying and investigation with a side order of movie tropes and screaming, bloody death for dessert.

    3. Game System: Call of Cthulhu
    Scenario Title: U-29 is Alive
    GM: Gil Trevizo
    Variations: Home rules
    Power Level: Normal people
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: October 1918. The war is lost for Germany, but the Kaiser continues to feed the meatgrinders of the Western Front and crew after crew is lost on the bloodied seas of the Atlantic. Now the admirals have ordered one last foolhardy mission, to venture deep into enemy waters and “recover” the missing boat U-29, an experimental submarine lost over a year ago. Aboard its sister boat, U-31, the doomed crew will sail into black and forgotten depths and learn the silent secrets hiding beneath unfathomed waters for uncounted years.

    4. System: Call of Cthulhu
    Title: Sins of the Father
    GM: Damon Gregory
    Variations: If you’re a rules lawyer, you’re going to have a bad time.
    Maturity Rating: Adult themes
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Details: San Francisco, 1942. You’re at a funeral for a man you’ve never met, with people you don’t know. You came because you were invited and it was the polite thing to do. Why were you invited to begin with? What is the tie that binds these people together? Discovering the answer will take you to a dark time in your own father’s life. But what does this have to do with you?

    Sometimes secrets need to remain locked away.

    5. Game System: GM Homebrew
    Scenario Title: Kapersky Ridge
    GM: Jason Frankenfield
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Modern Lumberjacks
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: It seems too good to be true, Federal timber rights along the Kapersky Ridge, untouched and uncut for 40 years. This could be the big break you’ve been looking for. All you need to do is cut out the old logging road and cash in. Nothing an experienced crew of loggers can’t handle, right?

    SUNDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: Apocalypse World
    Scenario Title: Redemption Rail Blues
    GM: Michael Garcia
    Variations: Pre-generated characters in a predetermined scenario
    Power Level: As Hard as they come.
    Number of Players: 4
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: (A hymn sung to the tune of Folsom River Blues)

    I see that flame’s a commin
    Smoke’s darkening the sky
    It swallowed up  the sunshine, and burns our throats and eyes
    We’re stuck in Rail Redemption, and so we sing this song
    There’s been no trains a rollin since the world moved on

    When I was just a baby my mama told me: Son,
    That Steel Road can take you to pair of dice beyond
    But them savage men shot her, just to watch her die
    When I see that smoke billowing, I’ll hang my head and cry.

    I bet there’s a locomotive that’s rolling down our line
    Westward bound to pair of  dice, arriving just in time
    Well I know we all be boarding, taking both you and me
    So we wait in Rail Redemption
    for that train to set us free…

    2. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Xmas in Kingsport (part 2 of The Cousins)
    GM: Shannon Mac
    Variations: Very minor house rules
    Power Level: Varies
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: December 1925: Snow had falling over the seaport town, its winding streets covered with ribbons of white. Smoke rose from chimneys, the smells of chestnuts, cookies and roast goose filled the air and once again the family was gathering. The cousins found themselves together again, in the home of Great Aunt Norma. Tonight was Christmas Eve but none of you were really excited. Christmas in Kingsport meant only one thing to the six cousins and that was boredom.

    As you arrived at the Old Mansion on Plum Street, on the West Side of Kingsport your smiles were forced as you greeted your ancient Great Aunt Norma. But suddenly the holiday gloom that gripped all of you suddenly melted away. With a cry of “Where are my little cousins?” the magic of Christmas fell upon you. It was Cousin Melba, throwing her arms around you and pressing firm kisses onto your cheeks. This, you knew, changed everything!

    After greetings are exchanged she sneak you all off to the side. “Don’t worry, I’m busting us out of here! I can’t stand these things and I am sure you can’t either.

    In this scenario you will play children of ages 11-13 who are all cousins and you can bet something is going to happen Mythos style. Part 1 was offered at DOW 2014 but it isn’t necessary to have played in it to play in this particular scenario. This was written by Oscar Rios in the CoC Monograph “Xmas in Kingsport”.

    For more information you can go here (2015 DOW):

    http://storytellersjem.blogspot.com/2013/09/upcoming-con-games-for-2014-2015.html

    3. Game System: CASTE
    Scenario Title: The Cats of the Ulthar Auditorium
    GM: Arthur Stone Wallis
    Variations: Cat’s Eye
    Power Level: Starving
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes.
    Description: Days were hot, and the dark one fed us. Nights were cold, and the dark one fed us. But always there were the cages…and always there were the tests.

    We walked back and forth in our iron cubicles…we waited to be let out for Dark one to prod us or run us through mazes. Dark one would always give us a reward and an injection.

    One day the dark one stopped feeding us. In fact he never came back at all. Upstairs we hear music most nights…but also screams now sometimes. One of the cages is empty now…the one with the creature with glowing eyes. Cheshire thinks he might be able to get his cage open…maybe he can get all of us out….maybe it’s time for the cats in the cellar to see if they can’t find a bite to eat!

    CASTE is a diabolically simple system, which brings out the best hopes and greatest terrors of those fortunate enough to play it.

    4. Game System: Nemesis
    Scenario Title: Welcome to the Clown Motel
    GM: Morgan Hua
    Variations: Highly Modified (Simplified Nemesis)
    Power Level: Silver Miners, Bikers, Military Personnel, and Old Folks.
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes

    Description: The Clown Motel is located next to the Tonopah Cemetery.  Tonight is the night of the Blood Moon.  Who will survive the night at the Clown Motel? Players will have multiple characters as they uncover the history and mysteries of Tonopah from 1902 to present day.

    WATCH THE VIDEO: https://plus.google.com/102965936034306571485/posts/TZNgzJ7f2Eb

    5. Game System: Trail of Cthulhu
    Scenario Title: The Alter Septem and the Dark Bargain
    GM: Joshua Clark & John Castillo
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Human Investigators
    Number of Players: 6 (We could accommodate 4-6, if needs be)
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The members of Alter Septem are called to investigate the entertainment industry of 1940′s California.  It’s not all bright lights and bombshells, as the group soon discovers.  The hunger of Hollywood makes short work of the naive and trusting, and one has to wonder if there isn’t something truly evil at its heart…

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    GM’s SUBMISSION SAMPLE

    Game System: BRP (Basic Role-Playing)
    Scenario Title:
    Shady Hollow Motor Lodge
    GM:
    Michael Ripley
    Variations:
    Using sanity rules
    Power Level:
    Urban Professionals
    Number of Players:
    6 (Mandatory – Except Sunday Night)
    Characters Provided:
    Yes
    Description:
    What a freakin’ great weekend! Skiing, hot tubs, and sitting in front of a roaring fireplace drinking yourselves silly. None of you are looking forward to returning to the grind of your daily lives.
    Preferred Day & Time
    :
    Saturday, December 12, 11AM – 5PM
    Saturday, December 12, 7PM – 1AM
    Sunday, December 13, 11AM – 5PM
    Sunday, December 13, 7PM – 1AM
    Note that the number of Players on Sunday varies based on how many die-hards remain for this session. So, games need to accommodate this factor.

    Games & Schedule

  • The Travelers stare at the front desk clerk. Can he possibly be the same clerk that was handing them to a mob over 150 years ago? Maybe they’re not thinking clear, since it’s the middle of the night. But if it’s the midnight hour, why do they hear the sounds of horses and stagecoaches out front? Why is there a cowboy playing ragtime on the piano? The clerk smiles at puzzled faces of the Travelers – like he’s seen this before…

    Just as last year, the fiscal cost for attending the 2014 Dead of Winter Horror Invitational remains: $60.00. The cost to your souls will vary.

    I asked the hotel for more detailed information this year. So, room rates are a lot more specific. The rates per night vary depending on stays of 2 or 3 nights. Note that the rates below are for the full stay, not nightly.

    The hotel costs are as follows: 3 Night Rates: Taxes not included.

    Deluxe Queen $327 (Fri & Sat night only $258)
    Deluxe King $357 (Fri & Sat night only  $278)
    Queen or King Suite $387 (Fri & Sat night only $298)
    2 bedroom Suites $447 (Fri & Sat night only $318) (sleeps 3/4ppl)
    Master Suite $417 (Fri & Sat night only $318)

    Tell them that you are attending Dead of Winter and they’ll set you up. Spirits in the room – no extra charge.

    The rooms in the hotel are:
    1 Double (our smallest room)
    9 Queens
    6 Kings
    4 Queen Suites
    2 King Suites
    2 King Suites w/ Murphy bed
    1 Queen Suite w/ Murphy bed
    6 2 bedroom Suites
    3 Master Suites
    1 Bridal Suite
    2 Pet Suites

    So, register early to get the kind of room that you want.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve reserved 15 rooms, Can bump to 20 if need be. We filled 18 last year. GROUP BOOKINGS ARE CHARGED 45 DAY PRIOR TO ARRIVAL DATE, a 50% non-refundable deposit. You will be advised of this policy when they make their reservations. That’s October 28th, just before Halloween. If you reserve your room later, the 50% will be charged right away.

    ALL ROOM RATES INCLUDE:
    IN-ROOM COFFEE
    LOCAL AND TOLL FREE TELEPHONE CALLS
    WIFI
    PARKING
    MORNING COFFEE AND TEA SERVICE
    10% DISCOUNT ON FOOD ITEMS AT OUR PARTNER RESTAURANTS
    The restaurants are:

    http://www.heydaycafe.com/

    http://independentplacerville.com/

    BUY A GLASS OF WINE GET ONE FREE AT THE WINE SMITH
    ALSO LOCATED IN THE HOTEL IS A WELLNESS CENTER WITH REDUCED RATES FOR CARY HOUSE GUESTS
    The Wellness Sanctuary and Spa, it’s advisable to book at least one week in advance:

    https://www.facebook.com/PlacervilleSpa

    A key element of the Dead of Winter is inhabiting a haunted hotel for the weekend. For the purpose of immersion, everyone attending must stay at the Cary House on Friday and Saturday nights and play through the Sunday morning session – no exceptions. This thing’s, an “all in” deal. Sunday night games and stays at the hotel are optional. Sudden blizzards preventing you from fleeing to safety are beyond the control of your host.

    Attendance is limited to 35 people. This allows 5 games to run with 6 Players and 1 GM Saturday morning and night. 5 Games run Sunday morning. The number of games run Sunday night depends on the number of people who stay for that session. 4 Games ran the first 3 years and I’ll likely limit it to this number this year as well. As always, I’ll have a game prepped in case we need to add a 5th game. Selection of attendees is at the sole discretion of your host, Matt Steele. If you’re on this site, you’ve probably played in a game I’ve run or been a fellow Player in a game I’ve played. You might just have a soul so tasty that Stan, the gunned-down spirit in the lobby, ask me to invite you.

    To get in on the horror, send a check payable to:

    MATT STEELE
    Dead of Winter Horror Invitational
    101 Cooper Street
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060

    To pay by PayPal Email me at:
    terrorrabbit@me.com
    Love PayPal or not, it’s the fastest way to register. The event usually sells out in a couple pf days, far to quickly for mail to be effective.

    I’ll need to know the following for everyone who registers. People move and have disposable phones and all, so even if you’re a regular, I’d like an update.

    NAME:
    ADDRESS:
    PHONE:
    Landline:
    Cell:
    EMAIL ADDRESS:
    Will you be staying for the Sunday night session? Y or N

    You can cancel your reservation and get a full refund until Halloween Day, October 31. After Halloween there will be no refunds.  Signing up after Halloween is OK, but no refunds if you have to cancel. This thing’s gonna sell out, so I’ll be putting folks on a Wait List, first listed, first contacted to get in.

    Note: GM’s don’t get free or discounted admission. Everyone’s basically chipping in to pay for the space. You are what makes this event happen. That’s super cool. GM’s do get early choices of games.

    See the CONTACT page for Cary House reservation information.

    Registration

  • For hotel reservations or questions:

    Cary House Hotel
    300 Main Street
    Placerville, CA 95667
    PH: 530.622.4271 or 866.906.5207
    WEB: www.caryhouse.com
    EMAIL: info@caryhouse.com
    Tell them that you are with Dead of Winter in December when registering. Be sure to tell them precisely which type of room you want.

    For questions regarding the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational:

    MATT STEELE
    831.566.1170
    EMAIL: terrorrabbit@me.com

    tweet #DeadofWinter

    Contact Terror Rabbit

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  • Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter

    Video 3
    View this video on YouTube

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  • Dead of Winter 2010

  • Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

    Hello world!

  • Dead of Winter
    It was awesome! I played in four epic games, and dropped by Endgame (www.endgameoakland.com) to buy Cthulhu (www.cthulhutech.com) Tech before I got home. I’ve already made myself a four day weekend for next year.

    Jill Stapleton

  • …a big thank you to you, sir, for working your ass off to get this thing off the ground, and continuing to keep it running while all the various…adventures were going on. Can’t wait ‘til next year, and looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Badger McInnes

  • Somehow it was impossible to get a picture of Matthew Grau in focus while he ran his soon to be released game, CHTHONIAN STARS at Dead of Winter. I don’t know why that is, but I have my suspicions. {Cultist!} Chthonian Stars is due out April 2011. I’ve seen an advanced copy. OK I ran a game with it, and it looks to be my favorite game for 2011. Mr. Grau gave me the formal scoop on it.

    Chthonian Stars: The Cthulhu Saga I
    2159 AD. It is a good time to be alive. The nations of the world still exist, but they have become more civilized, and we have expanded into the rest of our solar system. But, alas, it is not to be our time. Something approaches, a thing on an orbit from far away. Seemingly a large shard of dark matter, this object is known in obscure prophecy as the Chthonian Star. It is awakening things long thought lost or dead, things that have slumbered awaiting its return.The Unified World Council sends out special teams of sanctioned Wardens, whose job it is to ascertain the new threats to human life, to learn everything they can about them, and fight them wherever they are found.

    Chthonian Stars is an original Lovecraftian horror setting for Traveller.

    This Core Setting Book:
    •    Provides a detailed exploration of our fully colonized solar system, only a few hundred years in the future.
    •    New optional character design rules, including advantages and disadvantages, as well as career half-terms.
    •    Introduces new rules for fear and madness, as well as optional rules for character survivability.
    •    Brings to life many familiar Lovecraftian horrors for Traveller, as well as a host of new and original ones.
    •    Details more than a dozen new spaceships.
    •    Includes three ready-to-run adventures, to get groups running quickly.
    •    From the award-winning team that brought you CthulhuTech.

    Chthonian Stars pass through Dead of Winter

  • Mike Muldoon graced us with his flaming Mohawk presence at Dead of Winter 2010. He and I dealt with a cursed skull in Matthew Grau’s Cthulhu Tech game.  Then we faced the challenges of living in a planetary landfill in Duane O’Brien’s bizzare HoL game. In between he gave all of the folks the lowdown on INFRNO, his project to connect table top RPG players around the world. INFRNO’s a project very close to me heart. That is to say, I wanna connect with other gamers and Muldoon and I work out of NextSpace, a coworking space in downtown Santa Cruz, CA. That means I’ve had some small influence on it along the way. Hell, I’m the first registered user. Anyone want to play games they missed at Dead of Winter? Let’s meet on INFRNO and play. Shoot me an Email so we can set it up.

    Chief Experience Officer Matthew Grau and
    CEO & Founder Mike Muldoon explore HoL at Dead of Winter.


    Here’s the official scoop:

    “Infrno is an online community for role playing enthusiasts, providing a virtual game table with video conferencing and shared whiteboard, along with all the tools you need to find players of your caliber, connect with them, and get your game on from any place, at any time.”

    INFRNO Burns at Dead of Winter


  • These people are crazy enough to go to a decrepit, haunted hotel in the Santa Cruz mountains in the Dead of Winter and tempt fate by playing horror games all weekend. Thanks to Nicole Brennan for taking the pic. “Hiding” in the woodshed and therefore not in the pic are, Wayne Coburn, Elisabeth Brewer, Duane O’Brien, Chris Ruggiero and Nik Gervae. Some of these folks have been willing to write about their experiences, post pictures and put it out on the internet. If you missed it, read all about it from:

    MATT ARMSTRONG ~ Resident Archaeologist with a great layman’s description of our hobby.

    SHANNON MAC ~ #1 Dead of Winter Cheerleader elevates DoW to his #1 event of the year.

    KAREN TWELVES ~ Woman of Mysteries puts the first two DoW’s in perspective. Awesome!

    MIKE MULDOON ~ Infernal Man of INFRNO posted pics from HoL. Even GM Duane O’Brien was nauseous.

    Sean Nittner ~ Powerhouse behind Big Bad Con takes his reviews seriously. Check out his multiple posts here, here, here, and here.

    Dead of Winter Reviews 2010

  • My life as host of the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational is a difficult one. I’ve created an event I want to attend and that makes it a blast. Trouble is there were 19 great games this year and I only got to play in 4 of them. Choosing was brutal.

    Saturday began with Matthew Grau’s Cthulhu Tech game. I played in the original last year and couldn’t resist stepping into the sequel. Grau didn’t disappoint. He did a recap for new Players and the horror of the previous game came flooding back to me. Last year my P.I. character acquired a cursed skull. This year we had to get rid of the thing.

    Not easy when soooo many bad people want it – including our employer. Why didn’t we just destroy it? Yeah, not possible. The game opened with the moral dilemma of having to defend ourselves against possessed teenagers. Ugly choices. As the story progressed the skull was making us all paranoid and creating delusions, so we passed it around to minimize the sanity loss. Sharing is caring. A stellar group of players made for good cooperative and Player vs Player action. The finale’? Let’s just say we handed Grau the possibility of another sequel.

    Saturday night was Duane O’Brien’s HoL (Human Occupied Landfill) game.
    Duane started the game by dumping an actual bag of trash on the table to simulate the environment we were in. Believe it or not, it went downhill from there. At one horrifying point one of the characters (represented by a donkey) was overrun and trampled by wastems (goo filled creatures that are also the food on HoL). Every moment got more disgusting. So much so that I decided to role-play eating coffee grounds by putting tea leaves in my mouth like chewing tobacco. Baaaaad idea. The ending was filled with all kinds of madness and my character (one-hit wonder country singer Clint Roper) nearly got himself decapitated. Gruesome. HoL is a horrible place, but the game lends itself more to over-the-top madness than horror. Still, the nasty reveal at the end brought the horror crashing down on us.

    Sunday morning brought me Jill Stapleton’s fantastic Call of Cthulhu game.
    San Francisco 1852. I played a local Sheriff’s Deputy. We had problems with Australian gangs, vigilante groups and spontaneous human combustion. A classic CoC game with a group of characters who are friends and go through tough times that test them all. They didn’t always get along as you can see as Matt DeHayes gives me the evil eye as a pants-wearing female journalist.  Jill really brought the period to life – even in a city all of the Players know quite well. Of course it was different in 1852 and she let us know just how different – and horrifying. We captured the bad guys by almost sinking their boat by filling it with water from a fire boat. A unique solution!

    I topped off the Dead of Winter in Karen Twelves’ Schizo experience.

    The most intimate and unique of the games, we sat at a small table and each Player had an MP3 player which fed us the voices in our heads. Tracks changed based on conditions of play. Karen had a chart which informed her about the track to be played and she handed us notes telling us when to change. Dice were kept in pill bottles as were jelly bean ‘pills’. As we lost more and more sanity we ate the pills. No more pills – no more sanity. The home-grown mechanics were simple and the role-playing dead on. Karen’s GM style and NPC’s were off the charts as she berated us in both roles and intentionally blurred the line of GM/NPC/Player. The voices in our heads influenced the game several times.  I hope Karen runs this for other people. It’s an experience not to be missed.

    Dead of Winter Games I Played

  • Noam Rosen, shown here with his best cheesy grin at Dead of Winter is a fellow gamer, GM and all around awesome dude. How awesome? He introduced me to Epimas. Huh? Epimas happens every December 24. Epidiah Ravanchol from The Forge runs a special deal where if you buy games for a friend, you also get the games yourself. Helluva deal! Noam went the full monty, ummm, the whole tofoose and bought me 12 games! Some rockin’ stuff including Apocalypse World, Blowback and My Life With Master. Some games I’d never heard of, but look really cool. Noam, you rock!

    Gamers Rock

  • The Wolf was in the house. That is to say that Sean Nittner talked up his new RPG/LARP convention Big Bad Con, October 7-9, 2011 in Oakland. I’ll be running a couple of games there. Sign up for the inaugural event.  Here’s what it’s all about:

    There aren’t enough good weekend long RPG conventions in the Bay Area.  My Answer: Big Bad Con!  I’ve talked to Japji Khalsa (of Kublacon), Chris Hanrahan (EndGame in Oakland), Doug Daulton (of Neoncon), Matt Steele (Dead of Winter) and tons of gamers and I’m convinced Big Bad Con is going to be awesome. I want to offer the best games to most gamers I can.  I’ve run Good Omens Con for four years as well as talked extensively with Japji as well as other gamers about what makes a con rock and my plan is to put on a con that doesn’t stop rocking till you pass out Sunday night.

    Yeah, plus he’s giving attendees a chance to participate in Gamers vs Gazebo Deathmatch and there will be the Big Bad GM competition. This thing’s gonna rock!

    Big Bad Con Blows the House Down

BIG BAD CON: October 17 – 19, 2015 at Hilton Oakland Airport
DunDraCon
: February 12 – 15, 2016
KubalCon
: May 27 – 30, 2016
CELESTICON: September 2 – 5, 2016 at Fremont Marriott, Fremont, CA

  • Terror Rabbit Ventures is the umbrella under which Matt Steele orchestrates his evil schemes to take over the world…Narf!… and to expand the world of role playing games into immersive experiences. It’s also a resource for other Game Masters and Players.

    Terror Rabbit Ventures

  • An invitation-only weekend of horror Role Playing Games. Held in the haunted Cary House Hotel nestled in the Sierra foothills in the heart Gold Rush country. A truly frightening immersive experience.

    Dead of Winter Horror Invitational

  • A GM since 1976, Matt’s run hundreds of game sessions. He’s best known for horror games such as Call of Cthulhu, from which his long-suffering Players gave him the moniker Matthulhu.

    Matt Steele ~ Game Master at Large

  • Welcome to Retroville – an immersive weekend of Retro-themed Role Playing Games in a retro location.

    Retroville

  • Matt Steele aka Matthulhu
    Aether Mail: terrorrabbit@me.com
    Wireless: 831.566.1170

    Contact

  • October 17 – 19, 2014: Big Bad Con
    Oakland Airport Hilton
    Big Bad Judge for the Big Bad GM competition
    Torchwood L.A. using modified Doctor Who RPG rules: The Torchwood team works to end murders committed using New You statues. Cheap statues made to look just like YOU! Because there’s not enough vanity in Hollywood.
    Vox: The facility: Play your character and The Voice of the player’s character next to you as you explore the unknown facility in which you awoke without your memory.

    Oct 26, 2015 at Endgame Oakland.
    Dead of Night: Dead Bolts: A game of survival horror. Scientists and Security personnel in a research station adrift in the asteroid belt.

    Feb 13 – 16, 2015 DunDraCon
    San Ramon Marriot
    TBD

    May 22 – 25, 2015 Kublacon
    Burligame Hyatt Regency
    TBD

    Sept 4 – Sept 7, 2015: Celesticon
    Fremont Marriott, Fremont, CA
    TBD

    Upcoming Rabbit Appearances

  • Endgame Oakland An Awesome SF Bay Game Store. In-store game space included

    Infrno – Find. Connect. Play. An online community for RPG enthusiasts, providing a virtual game table along with all the tools you need to get your game on from any place, at any time

    Groovy Game Spaces

  • Matt as GM

    Thank you, Matt, for all the prep and for running such a dark and devious game. It was great fun.

    David Ackerman-Gray

  • I look forward to the next gaming fun!

    Jenna Sterling

  • Thanks again to Matt for the games on Sunday. “After the Horrorcaust” was particularly enjoyable, and it did a good job of evoking the feeling of really bad film making.

    Luke Miller

  • In the Dead of Winter, weary Travelers roll off the highway into a historic Gold Rush town. On the recommendation of friends, they stop at the lone hotel. The desk clerk is friendly, and asks if they are there to the ghost hunt.

    The lobby is a throwback to a time when millions of dollars in gold bullion flowed through it and the ground floor was a counting house. You can almost hear the ghostly sounds of bankers, gamblers and con-men bustling about.

    The Travelers shake their heads. ‘No, they don’t believe in ghosts.’ When they decide against the ancient elevator, a cold chill passes through them as they climb the stairs. Someone mentions it and is shushed with withering glances. Upstairs,  the hallways seem to stretch forever as they make their way to their rooms. As they pass Room 201 they are nearly overcome with the scent of lavender, though the flowers at the top of the stairs were clearly daisies.

    .

    The hotel creaks restlessly. In the dead of the night the Travelers wake to the shouts of a mob in the streets.

    Staggering to the windows they see the silvery moonlit outlines of three men swinging by nooses from the tree across the street. The men kick their lives to an end. Suddenly the Travelers remember, this town used to be called Hangtown, where murdering thieves were strung up following quick trials. But that was 1849 and it’s 2014 now. From the street, the crowd turns as one and looks up at the travelers, their faces ghostly pale.

    Welcome to the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational – an immersive weekend of horror role-playing at the haunted Cary House Hotel in Placerville, CA which opened in 1857. December 12-14, 2014, Matt Steele will host this unnatural event in Sierra foothills. The focus of fear will be on the ground floor, near where Prospector Stan died at the feet of the woman he loved, shot by the gambler that she favored. Attendance will be limited to 35 victims.

    The Hotel’s history is one of glory and horror as would-be US presidents spoke and hardened teamsters died of influenza. Spirit remains have been found in rooms on the second and third floors as well as the lobby. Will you become a silvery ghost during your visit in the Dead of Winter?

    Terror Rabbit Ventures Presents

  • The Travelers throw on clothes and dash downstairs. As they hit the landing overlooking the lobby, they jolt to a stop. The smell of rotgut whiskey, mine dust and sweat nearly bowls them over. A shout at the front door draws there attention. Dressed for the Old West, the desk clerk who checked them in points up at them, ‘There they are.’ he says. The ghostly crowd flows in from the street. One of the Travelers spots a noose and then another.  A finely dressed man next to her, a gambler by the look of him, leads the lynch mob. He draws a pistol and fires  the muzzle flash blinds the Travelers.

    When the Travelers clear their eyes, the desk clerk, dressed as he was when he checked them in asks, “Are you folks all right?”.

    The always original Historic Cary House Hotel is a calm and quiet sanctuary among the Sierra foothills. Known as the “Jewel of Placerville” and complete with spectacular period pieces and antiques dating back to 1857, the experience is matched by exceptional service, dedication to detail and a friendly, comfortable environment.

    Located in the heart of Gold Country, more than 90 million dollars in gold bullion passed through the doors of the Cary House. Frequent guests included Buffalo Bill, Mark Twain, Lola Montez and John Studebaker – who was a shopkeeper in town.

    Horace Greeley spoke from the balcony in 1872 when he ran unsuccessfully ran for president against Ulysses S Grant. A plaque honoring his reinsman, Hank Monk adorns the dining room. Monk drove the congressman’s coach to the Cary House from Carson City Nevada in just 10 hours.

    But let’s not forget that this used to be Hangtown. Main Street rooms have a view across the street where the infamous hanging tree once stood. It is likely that as many as 20  desperadoes met their end swinging from a tree in Hangtown. Strange cries, sobbing and screams have been heard from the Hangman’s Tree Bar. One person claims to have seen green light through the floorboards above the location where the tree stump remains. The bar has no basement. The apparition of a tall man with a tall hat dressed in dark 19th century clothing has frequently been seen. One psychic made contact with the spirit and learned it is the hangman’s assistant who cared for the tree and prepared the noose.  (The Hangman’s Tree building is in the process of being restored, so who knows what condition it will be in come December.)

    Back at the Cary House, psychic Nancy Bradley took 50 people through the hotel and discovered spirit remnants in nearly every room of the 2nd and 3rd floors. Ghost hunter Jeff Dwyer visited the Cary House in 2008 with a team of paranormal experts. In the long dark corridor next to the meeting room the team heard a high-pitched whistling, though no one was in the hall to make the sound.   Who knows how many spirits wander the historic halls? Will you be adding to their numbers during the Dead of Winter?

    Not only are the Cary House and the Hangman’s Tree haunted, but just 2 blocks away, the Cozmic Cafe, built in 1859 out of local stone is the site of multiple hauntings. Virgil and Alice are just two of the spirits. Some are trapped in the mine that extends into the hillside behind the place. Others died in the dumbwaiter, or were crushed by hydraulic mining equipment. People have heard  shouting in the mine shafts which cease when staff arrives.

    The 2nd floor is haunted by a prankster sporting a handlebar mustache and straw hat who moves glasses, spills water and sends menus flying. If you want to meet Alice, go to the 2nd floor bathrooms, where she might be glimpsed cleaning.

    Ghost hunters have recorded a bunch of EVP here.

    Heck, even the Chamber of Commerce is haunted by a black clad and top hat wearing ghost named Darrell, who was one of the Hangtown’s  hangmen.

    Location of Terror

  • Is it a game if your life and sanity are at stake?

    For 2015 I’m looking for a broad range of games, with a good mix of traditional fear, fun and humor in them. Got that B-movie slasher flick you’ve been dying to run – bring it. Want to offer up mind-numbing psychological horror – yes please. Every year, I’m impressed by the variety of games. Even folks who aren’t hard-core horror fans find games to suit them. If you’re not sure about a game, just ask me.

    Games will be uploaded as finish the schedule.

    General registration will be announced after I have have a full slate of games scheduled and there’s some time for everyone to check the games out.

    Registration’s gonna work the same as last year. I figured out a way to reward GM’s for running games and it worked out well. GM’s get first chance to register and therefore the first picks of games they want to play. I’ll Email GM’s daily, in groups of 5, in order of registration. Then groups of 7 for Players.

    Effective October 2,  2015 the game slots are filled and the schedule’s posted.

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    Schedule

    Friday, December 11, 7PM- ??? After you check into the hotel, come hang out just up the street at Powell’s Steamer Vo & Pub. While I love the Cozmic Cafe, it hasn’t worked out most years, so I’m just gonna call it now. 425 Main Street, Placerville. I’m still gonna grab dinner at the Cozmic Cafe, with its haunted mines. If you arrive before 7 (like me) you can actually dine in the mine – oh yeah.

    The Cary House doesn’t have a single room big enough for us. So, 2 game tables will be in The Milton Room on the ground floor. The etched glass windows that line two walls depict the Gold Rush era.

    Coffee & Tea are served in the Horace Greeley Room behind the Milton Room. There’s room for one game.

    For GM’s who need to create a special ambiance or enjoy a private room, the 4th table will be in room 407 on the 4th floor – far from the others, where your screams will not be heard.

    NEW ROOM ADDED – I call it The Study and it’s a private room just off of the Milton room.

    Game Schedule

    Breakfast can be had nearby. There’s Zia’s Cafe, coffee shop, next door and sit-down places within a block or 2. Popular among DoW gamers, Original Mel’s diner a block away.

    Saturday, December 12, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
    Announcements followed by Dinner Break

    Saturday, December 12, 7PM – 1AM Late game session

    For dinner, try Bricks or the Cozmic Cafe which sits over the entrance to an abandoned gold mine and is haunted by a plethora of ghosts. See the Location of Terror for more info.

    Sunday, December 13, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
    Dinner Break – When the weak depart…
    Sunday, December 13, 7PM – 1AM, Late game session, for them what is hard-core

    GAMES:

    SATURDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: Fear Itself
    Scenario Title: A Thin Veneer of Happy
    GM: Jim Mathews
    Variations: (slightly changed sanity rules)
    Power Level: Typical person off the street
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Hi there! Yes, I AM the famous Dr. Rhonda you’ve seen on TV. You won’t be able to speak just yet after that horrible, horrible accident. Heck all, you probably don’t even remember it. Now, now, stay calm because YOU’RE in the new Dr. Rhonda Wellness and Recovery Village! Oh, look at the time; I’ve got to run, but my staff here is going to take the best care of you…

    2. Game System: Resolute, Adventurer, Genius
    Scenario Title: North Atlantic – A Two-Fisted Tale of Terror
    GM: Matt Armstrong
    Variations: None
    Power Level: 1930s Pulp Adventurers (above average, but essentially normal, humans)
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: On a trip to London, bringing data (and maybe something else) from a Canadian arctic research station, you run into both a storm and mechanical trouble with your plane. Luckily, there’s an island with a runway and village where you can land for repairs. Even more luckily, the village was established by a religious order known for their hospitality and assistance to travelers. Certainly, you’ll be on your way soon with pleasant memories of the kindness of the villagers.

    3. Game System: Nemesis / ORE
    Scenario Title: The Inn at the Crossroads
    GM: Jack Young
    Variations: 18th Century England, no madness meter, minor hacks
    Power Level: Experienced Highwaymen
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: After being disgraced and cashiered out of the 22nd Leicester Fusiliers for dereliction during the Seven Years War, Captain James Ryder and his companions have returned home to the Dane Hills to take up the only profession left for them: highway robbery.  Now they prowl the King’s roads and dark byways, preying on unwary travelers, and standing watch for the thief-takers.  It’s a hazardous calling that usually ends on the gallows at Tyburn, but their luck has generally held. Until tonight.

    4. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed. (Modern)
    Scenario Title: The Cold Hard Truth
    GM: Frank A. Figoni
    Variations: Minor
    Power Level: Elite Special Squad
    Number of Players: 6
    Description: “Hammerhead,” the communication center for the Joint Operations Center Guantanamo Bay Cuba, has gone dark and all other forms of communications from the base have ceased.

    Fearing a terrorist attack, Delta Force and the 3rd Ranger Quick Reaction Brigade at Fort Benning were dispatched to assess the situation. However, their last communication made little sense and now the CIA has had reports that the Cuban observers on the Cuban side of the base’s fence-line have seen strange lights, heard chanting, and caught glimpses of unnatural forms moving around the base at night! Because of this, the Secretary of Defense has activated the “Specials Squad,” the elite unit, dealing specifically with “paranormal events.”  Can the unit find out what’s happening on the base before its too late???

    5. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
    Scenario Title
    The Phantoms of Black Knife Ridge
    GM:
    Badger McInnes
    Variations: Some house rules
    Power Level: You got callouses on yer hands from workin’ the range, or a sharp eye and smooth trigger finger
    Number of Players: 6
    Description: It’s November, 1901 in Black Knife Ridge, Oklahoma. The west is still wild out here, but folks from the East are starting to make the pilgrimage, what with all the money comin’ in from oil stakes and the like. Normally Black Knife Ridge is on the quiet side, but on this day, a special guest is rollin’ into town; singer Daisy Nash, giving a one-night performance during her country spanning tour. The locals are all a titter about the show, the dance hall is gonna be packed, and wouldn’t you know that the sheriff is off in another county today.

    Gonna be a busy night.

    The Phantom of Black Knife Ridge is a Wild Weird West scenario concerning a little bit of murder, quite a bit of snake oil shenanigans, a whole lot of corruption, and a big ol’ shitstorm of danger. Slap on those smoke wagons, grab your deputy badge…oh, and ya might wanna pocket that Elder Sign, too.

    SATURDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: If it’s too loud, you’re too old.
    Scenario Title: Cross the Breeze
    GM: Anthony Brown
    Variations: Sub Pop Rock City
    Power Level: Full On Kevin’s Mom
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The year is 1993. Your grunge band, The Donner Party, is about to cross some mountains in the winter. Your first single just hit, what could go wrong, right?

    2. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Tier Ficken: Existentialist Clickbait
    GM: Aaron Teixeira
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: A-List Actors
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: You’re an A-Lister, a box office summer tent pole star. So your participation in this project isn’t an option. All of the greats are on board, including you. Some shows aspire to HBO, but Tier Ficken’s live-stream is so graphic, that it’s been banned by everything from Pornhub to Pirate Bay. Funded by an obscure German art subsidy, the show’s producers have been able to insure absolute viewer loyalty from some of the top names in the industry. Nobody knows how. Perhaps you’ll learn their secrets, from the inside.

    Warning: Players will be exposed to descriptions of intense acts of violence.

    3. Game System: Unknown Armies
    Scenario Title: The Casino Job
    GM: Duane O’Brien
    Variations: Some House Rules
    Power Level: Street Level
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: This is it. The big one. You’ve been planning this casino job for weeks. It’s not just a big score, it’s The big score. You’ve planned everything down to the last detail. There are contingency plans for your contingency plans. You’ve hired the best of the best. Everyone is at the top of their game. And given what’s waiting for you, you’d better hope they really are.

    4. Game System: Reports from the Zone (The Veil)
    Scenario Title: The Electric Psychopomp F**k Brigade vs. the Deranged Discotheque of the Damned
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Paranormal Drug Addicts
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: In this mash-up of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Trainspotting, and Naked Lunch. Characters are drug fiends who have discovered the “Zone,” a place where they’re so altered that they see through reality. The world they’ve discovered is strange and dangerous, filled with existential threats, and they’re kind of the only ones who can do anything about it. However, they have to use a lot of drugs to do that, and that naturally makes them less… effective.

    Fortunately, their crippling addictions have also given them new paranormal abilities to aid them in their fight – but these abilities also help drive deeper and deeper dependence. The Characters’ impaired judgment may easily lead them to make unsound choices – the horror is both external and internal.

    5. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Alien Transmissions
    GM: William Lee
    Variations: Achtung Cthulhu!
    Power Level: N/A
    Number of Players: 6
    Description: It is February, 1942. The world is at war. Nazi Germany is at the height of its power, ruling Europe from France to Ukraine. The only way for the Allies to strike back at the heart of the Nazi Empire is through Britain’s nighttime bombing campaign.

    But an experimental German radar threatens Britain’s bomber offensive. Now, British paratroopers and French resistance fighters must carry out a daring mission against a new German radar installation.

    Our heroes may find the Nazis are the least of their worries. Even as the transport planes cross the English Channel, a strange and alien howl comes unbidden over the radio.

    SUNDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: The Void
    Scenario Title: The Forgotten Tomb
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Basic Wardens (Human Investigators)
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The Asteroid Belt beyond Mars. A mining ship went missing. So did the rescue ship that was sent after it. Martian Warden Command needs you to investigate this disappearance. Hopefully, it will be something natural. It never is.

    Experience the horrific sci-fi tension of movies like Alien or Event Horizon, as you head out into the Asteroid Belt to find a secret hidden for millions of years.

    2. Game System: Fear Itself
    Scenario Title: The Final Episode
    GM: Bry Hitchcock
    Variations: Fan Mail, Dramatic Irony
    Power Level: Amateur Interlopers
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Felicia Knight is the perky host of True Hauntings, a web series about North America’s spookiest places. She and her team are true believers. They’ve come to Placerville to prove the local story of a haunted hotel is the real deal, proof of the AFTERLIFE.

    Kit Kameron is the most famous debunker on the internet (for people between the ages of 18-25, according to a poll on Kit’s site)! His team has come to Placerville to disprove the alleged haunting, because SCIENCE.

    It’s the last episode of the season before the Twitter-net Choice Awards. Who’s going to win the heart of the interwebz?! Who’s going to prove their case? Who’s going to DIE?

    The Final Episode is a sendup of internet celebrity and true believers ™ framed as a modern horror movie. Play will be heavily focused on roleplaying and investigation with a side order of movie tropes and screaming, bloody death for dessert.

    3. Game System: Call of Cthulhu
    Scenario Title: U-29 is Alive
    GM: Gil Trevizo
    Variations: Home rules
    Power Level: Normal people
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: October 1918. The war is lost for Germany, but the Kaiser continues to feed the meatgrinders of the Western Front and crew after crew is lost on the bloodied seas of the Atlantic. Now the admirals have ordered one last foolhardy mission, to venture deep into enemy waters and “recover” the missing boat U-29, an experimental submarine lost over a year ago. Aboard its sister boat, U-31, the doomed crew will sail into black and forgotten depths and learn the silent secrets hiding beneath unfathomed waters for uncounted years.

    4. System: Call of Cthulhu
    Title: Sins of the Father
    GM: Damon Gregory
    Variations: If you’re a rules lawyer, you’re going to have a bad time.
    Maturity Rating: Adult themes
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Details: San Francisco, 1942. You’re at a funeral for a man you’ve never met, with people you don’t know. You came because you were invited and it was the polite thing to do. Why were you invited to begin with? What is the tie that binds these people together? Discovering the answer will take you to a dark time in your own father’s life. But what does this have to do with you?

    Sometimes secrets need to remain locked away.

    5. Game System: GM Homebrew
    Scenario Title: Kapersky Ridge
    GM: Jason Frankenfield
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Modern Lumberjacks
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: It seems too good to be true, Federal timber rights along the Kapersky Ridge, untouched and uncut for 40 years. This could be the big break you’ve been looking for. All you need to do is cut out the old logging road and cash in. Nothing an experienced crew of loggers can’t handle, right?

    SUNDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: Apocalypse World
    Scenario Title: Redemption Rail Blues
    GM: Michael Garcia
    Variations: Pre-generated characters in a predetermined scenario
    Power Level: As Hard as they come.
    Number of Players: 4
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: (A hymn sung to the tune of Folsom River Blues)

    I see that flame’s a commin
    Smoke’s darkening the sky
    It swallowed up  the sunshine, and burns our throats and eyes
    We’re stuck in Rail Redemption, and so we sing this song
    There’s been no trains a rollin since the world moved on

    When I was just a baby my mama told me: Son,
    That Steel Road can take you to pair of dice beyond
    But them savage men shot her, just to watch her die
    When I see that smoke billowing, I’ll hang my head and cry.

    I bet there’s a locomotive that’s rolling down our line
    Westward bound to pair of  dice, arriving just in time
    Well I know we all be boarding, taking both you and me
    So we wait in Rail Redemption
    for that train to set us free…

    2. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 6th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Xmas in Kingsport (part 2 of The Cousins)
    GM: Shannon Mac
    Variations: Very minor house rules
    Power Level: Varies
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: December 1925: Snow had falling over the seaport town, its winding streets covered with ribbons of white. Smoke rose from chimneys, the smells of chestnuts, cookies and roast goose filled the air and once again the family was gathering. The cousins found themselves together again, in the home of Great Aunt Norma. Tonight was Christmas Eve but none of you were really excited. Christmas in Kingsport meant only one thing to the six cousins and that was boredom.

    As you arrived at the Old Mansion on Plum Street, on the West Side of Kingsport your smiles were forced as you greeted your ancient Great Aunt Norma. But suddenly the holiday gloom that gripped all of you suddenly melted away. With a cry of “Where are my little cousins?” the magic of Christmas fell upon you. It was Cousin Melba, throwing her arms around you and pressing firm kisses onto your cheeks. This, you knew, changed everything!

    After greetings are exchanged she sneak you all off to the side. “Don’t worry, I’m busting us out of here! I can’t stand these things and I am sure you can’t either.

    In this scenario you will play children of ages 11-13 who are all cousins and you can bet something is going to happen Mythos style. Part 1 was offered at DOW 2014 but it isn’t necessary to have played in it to play in this particular scenario. This was written by Oscar Rios in the CoC Monograph “Xmas in Kingsport”.

    For more information you can go here (2015 DOW):

    http://storytellersjem.blogspot.com/2013/09/upcoming-con-games-for-2014-2015.html

    3. Game System: CASTE
    Scenario Title: The Cats of the Ulthar Auditorium
    GM: Arthur Stone Wallis
    Variations: Cat’s Eye
    Power Level: Starving
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes.
    Description: Days were hot, and the dark one fed us. Nights were cold, and the dark one fed us. But always there were the cages…and always there were the tests.

    We walked back and forth in our iron cubicles…we waited to be let out for Dark one to prod us or run us through mazes. Dark one would always give us a reward and an injection.

    One day the dark one stopped feeding us. In fact he never came back at all. Upstairs we hear music most nights…but also screams now sometimes. One of the cages is empty now…the one with the creature with glowing eyes. Cheshire thinks he might be able to get his cage open…maybe he can get all of us out….maybe it’s time for the cats in the cellar to see if they can’t find a bite to eat!

    CASTE is a diabolically simple system, which brings out the best hopes and greatest terrors of those fortunate enough to play it.

    4. Game System: Nemesis
    Scenario Title: Welcome to the Clown Motel
    GM: Morgan Hua
    Variations: Highly Modified (Simplified Nemesis)
    Power Level: Silver Miners, Bikers, Military Personnel, and Old Folks.
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes

    Description: The Clown Motel is located next to the Tonopah Cemetery.  Tonight is the night of the Blood Moon.  Who will survive the night at the Clown Motel? Players will have multiple characters as they uncover the history and mysteries of Tonopah from 1902 to present day.

    WATCH THE VIDEO: https://plus.google.com/102965936034306571485/posts/TZNgzJ7f2Eb

    5. Game System: Trail of Cthulhu
    Scenario Title: The Alter Septem and the Dark Bargain
    GM: Joshua Clark & John Castillo
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Human Investigators
    Number of Players: 6 (We could accommodate 4-6, if needs be)
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The members of Alter Septem are called to investigate the entertainment industry of 1940′s California.  It’s not all bright lights and bombshells, as the group soon discovers.  The hunger of Hollywood makes short work of the naive and trusting, and one has to wonder if there isn’t something truly evil at its heart…

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    GM’s SUBMISSION SAMPLE

    Game System: BRP (Basic Role-Playing)
    Scenario Title:
    Shady Hollow Motor Lodge
    GM:
    Michael Ripley
    Variations:
    Using sanity rules
    Power Level:
    Urban Professionals
    Number of Players:
    6 (Mandatory – Except Sunday Night)
    Characters Provided:
    Yes
    Description:
    What a freakin’ great weekend! Skiing, hot tubs, and sitting in front of a roaring fireplace drinking yourselves silly. None of you are looking forward to returning to the grind of your daily lives.
    Preferred Day & Time
    :
    Saturday, December 12, 11AM – 5PM
    Saturday, December 12, 7PM – 1AM
    Sunday, December 13, 11AM – 5PM
    Sunday, December 13, 7PM – 1AM
    Note that the number of Players on Sunday varies based on how many die-hards remain for this session. So, games need to accommodate this factor.

    Games & Schedule

  • The Travelers stare at the front desk clerk. Can he possibly be the same clerk that was handing them to a mob over 150 years ago? Maybe they’re not thinking clear, since it’s the middle of the night. But if it’s the midnight hour, why do they hear the sounds of horses and stagecoaches out front? Why is there a cowboy playing ragtime on the piano? The clerk smiles at puzzled faces of the Travelers – like he’s seen this before…

    Just as last year, the fiscal cost for attending the 2014 Dead of Winter Horror Invitational remains: $60.00. The cost to your souls will vary.

    I asked the hotel for more detailed information this year. So, room rates are a lot more specific. The rates per night vary depending on stays of 2 or 3 nights. Note that the rates below are for the full stay, not nightly.

    The hotel costs are as follows: 3 Night Rates: Taxes not included.

    Deluxe Queen $327 (Fri & Sat night only $258)
    Deluxe King $357 (Fri & Sat night only  $278)
    Queen or King Suite $387 (Fri & Sat night only $298)
    2 bedroom Suites $447 (Fri & Sat night only $318) (sleeps 3/4ppl)
    Master Suite $417 (Fri & Sat night only $318)

    Tell them that you are attending Dead of Winter and they’ll set you up. Spirits in the room – no extra charge.

    The rooms in the hotel are:
    1 Double (our smallest room)
    9 Queens
    6 Kings
    4 Queen Suites
    2 King Suites
    2 King Suites w/ Murphy bed
    1 Queen Suite w/ Murphy bed
    6 2 bedroom Suites
    3 Master Suites
    1 Bridal Suite
    2 Pet Suites

    So, register early to get the kind of room that you want.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve reserved 15 rooms, Can bump to 20 if need be. We filled 18 last year. GROUP BOOKINGS ARE CHARGED 45 DAY PRIOR TO ARRIVAL DATE, a 50% non-refundable deposit. You will be advised of this policy when they make their reservations. That’s October 28th, just before Halloween. If you reserve your room later, the 50% will be charged right away.

    ALL ROOM RATES INCLUDE:
    IN-ROOM COFFEE
    LOCAL AND TOLL FREE TELEPHONE CALLS
    WIFI
    PARKING
    MORNING COFFEE AND TEA SERVICE
    10% DISCOUNT ON FOOD ITEMS AT OUR PARTNER RESTAURANTS
    The restaurants are:

    http://www.heydaycafe.com/

    http://independentplacerville.com/

    BUY A GLASS OF WINE GET ONE FREE AT THE WINE SMITH
    ALSO LOCATED IN THE HOTEL IS A WELLNESS CENTER WITH REDUCED RATES FOR CARY HOUSE GUESTS
    The Wellness Sanctuary and Spa, it’s advisable to book at least one week in advance:

    https://www.facebook.com/PlacervilleSpa

    A key element of the Dead of Winter is inhabiting a haunted hotel for the weekend. For the purpose of immersion, everyone attending must stay at the Cary House on Friday and Saturday nights and play through the Sunday morning session – no exceptions. This thing’s, an “all in” deal. Sunday night games and stays at the hotel are optional. Sudden blizzards preventing you from fleeing to safety are beyond the control of your host.

    Attendance is limited to 35 people. This allows 5 games to run with 6 Players and 1 GM Saturday morning and night. 5 Games run Sunday morning. The number of games run Sunday night depends on the number of people who stay for that session. 4 Games ran the first 3 years and I’ll likely limit it to this number this year as well. As always, I’ll have a game prepped in case we need to add a 5th game. Selection of attendees is at the sole discretion of your host, Matt Steele. If you’re on this site, you’ve probably played in a game I’ve run or been a fellow Player in a game I’ve played. You might just have a soul so tasty that Stan, the gunned-down spirit in the lobby, ask me to invite you.

    To get in on the horror, send a check payable to:

    MATT STEELE
    Dead of Winter Horror Invitational
    101 Cooper Street
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060

    To pay by PayPal Email me at:
    terrorrabbit@me.com
    Love PayPal or not, it’s the fastest way to register. The event usually sells out in a couple pf days, far to quickly for mail to be effective.

    I’ll need to know the following for everyone who registers. People move and have disposable phones and all, so even if you’re a regular, I’d like an update.

    NAME:
    ADDRESS:
    PHONE:
    Landline:
    Cell:
    EMAIL ADDRESS:
    Will you be staying for the Sunday night session? Y or N

    You can cancel your reservation and get a full refund until Halloween Day, October 31. After Halloween there will be no refunds.  Signing up after Halloween is OK, but no refunds if you have to cancel. This thing’s gonna sell out, so I’ll be putting folks on a Wait List, first listed, first contacted to get in.

    Note: GM’s don’t get free or discounted admission. Everyone’s basically chipping in to pay for the space. You are what makes this event happen. That’s super cool. GM’s do get early choices of games.

    See the CONTACT page for Cary House reservation information.

    Registration

  • For hotel reservations or questions:

    Cary House Hotel
    300 Main Street
    Placerville, CA 95667
    PH: 530.622.4271 or 866.906.5207
    WEB: www.caryhouse.com
    EMAIL: info@caryhouse.com
    Tell them that you are with Dead of Winter in December when registering. Be sure to tell them precisely which type of room you want.

    For questions regarding the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational:

    MATT STEELE
    831.566.1170
    EMAIL: terrorrabbit@me.com

    tweet #DeadofWinter

    Contact Terror Rabbit

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  • Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter

    Video 3
    View this video on YouTube

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  • Dead of Winter 2010

  • Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

    Hello world!

  • Dead of Winter
    It was awesome! I played in four epic games, and dropped by Endgame (www.endgameoakland.com) to buy Cthulhu (www.cthulhutech.com) Tech before I got home. I’ve already made myself a four day weekend for next year.

    Jill Stapleton

  • …a big thank you to you, sir, for working your ass off to get this thing off the ground, and continuing to keep it running while all the various…adventures were going on. Can’t wait ‘til next year, and looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Badger McInnes

  • Somehow it was impossible to get a picture of Matthew Grau in focus while he ran his soon to be released game, CHTHONIAN STARS at Dead of Winter. I don’t know why that is, but I have my suspicions. {Cultist!} Chthonian Stars is due out April 2011. I’ve seen an advanced copy. OK I ran a game with it, and it looks to be my favorite game for 2011. Mr. Grau gave me the formal scoop on it.

    Chthonian Stars: The Cthulhu Saga I
    2159 AD. It is a good time to be alive. The nations of the world still exist, but they have become more civilized, and we have expanded into the rest of our solar system. But, alas, it is not to be our time. Something approaches, a thing on an orbit from far away. Seemingly a large shard of dark matter, this object is known in obscure prophecy as the Chthonian Star. It is awakening things long thought lost or dead, things that have slumbered awaiting its return.The Unified World Council sends out special teams of sanctioned Wardens, whose job it is to ascertain the new threats to human life, to learn everything they can about them, and fight them wherever they are found.

    Chthonian Stars is an original Lovecraftian horror setting for Traveller.

    This Core Setting Book:
    •    Provides a detailed exploration of our fully colonized solar system, only a few hundred years in the future.
    •    New optional character design rules, including advantages and disadvantages, as well as career half-terms.
    •    Introduces new rules for fear and madness, as well as optional rules for character survivability.
    •    Brings to life many familiar Lovecraftian horrors for Traveller, as well as a host of new and original ones.
    •    Details more than a dozen new spaceships.
    •    Includes three ready-to-run adventures, to get groups running quickly.
    •    From the award-winning team that brought you CthulhuTech.

    Chthonian Stars pass through Dead of Winter

  • Mike Muldoon graced us with his flaming Mohawk presence at Dead of Winter 2010. He and I dealt with a cursed skull in Matthew Grau’s Cthulhu Tech game.  Then we faced the challenges of living in a planetary landfill in Duane O’Brien’s bizzare HoL game. In between he gave all of the folks the lowdown on INFRNO, his project to connect table top RPG players around the world. INFRNO’s a project very close to me heart. That is to say, I wanna connect with other gamers and Muldoon and I work out of NextSpace, a coworking space in downtown Santa Cruz, CA. That means I’ve had some small influence on it along the way. Hell, I’m the first registered user. Anyone want to play games they missed at Dead of Winter? Let’s meet on INFRNO and play. Shoot me an Email so we can set it up.

    Chief Experience Officer Matthew Grau and
    CEO & Founder Mike Muldoon explore HoL at Dead of Winter.


    Here’s the official scoop:

    “Infrno is an online community for role playing enthusiasts, providing a virtual game table with video conferencing and shared whiteboard, along with all the tools you need to find players of your caliber, connect with them, and get your game on from any place, at any time.”

    INFRNO Burns at Dead of Winter


  • These people are crazy enough to go to a decrepit, haunted hotel in the Santa Cruz mountains in the Dead of Winter and tempt fate by playing horror games all weekend. Thanks to Nicole Brennan for taking the pic. “Hiding” in the woodshed and therefore not in the pic are, Wayne Coburn, Elisabeth Brewer, Duane O’Brien, Chris Ruggiero and Nik Gervae. Some of these folks have been willing to write about their experiences, post pictures and put it out on the internet. If you missed it, read all about it from:

    MATT ARMSTRONG ~ Resident Archaeologist with a great layman’s description of our hobby.

    SHANNON MAC ~ #1 Dead of Winter Cheerleader elevates DoW to his #1 event of the year.

    KAREN TWELVES ~ Woman of Mysteries puts the first two DoW’s in perspective. Awesome!

    MIKE MULDOON ~ Infernal Man of INFRNO posted pics from HoL. Even GM Duane O’Brien was nauseous.

    Sean Nittner ~ Powerhouse behind Big Bad Con takes his reviews seriously. Check out his multiple posts here, here, here, and here.

    Dead of Winter Reviews 2010

  • My life as host of the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational is a difficult one. I’ve created an event I want to attend and that makes it a blast. Trouble is there were 19 great games this year and I only got to play in 4 of them. Choosing was brutal.

    Saturday began with Matthew Grau’s Cthulhu Tech game. I played in the original last year and couldn’t resist stepping into the sequel. Grau didn’t disappoint. He did a recap for new Players and the horror of the previous game came flooding back to me. Last year my P.I. character acquired a cursed skull. This year we had to get rid of the thing.

    Not easy when soooo many bad people want it – including our employer. Why didn’t we just destroy it? Yeah, not possible. The game opened with the moral dilemma of having to defend ourselves against possessed teenagers. Ugly choices. As the story progressed the skull was making us all paranoid and creating delusions, so we passed it around to minimize the sanity loss. Sharing is caring. A stellar group of players made for good cooperative and Player vs Player action. The finale’? Let’s just say we handed Grau the possibility of another sequel.

    Saturday night was Duane O’Brien’s HoL (Human Occupied Landfill) game.
    Duane started the game by dumping an actual bag of trash on the table to simulate the environment we were in. Believe it or not, it went downhill from there. At one horrifying point one of the characters (represented by a donkey) was overrun and trampled by wastems (goo filled creatures that are also the food on HoL). Every moment got more disgusting. So much so that I decided to role-play eating coffee grounds by putting tea leaves in my mouth like chewing tobacco. Baaaaad idea. The ending was filled with all kinds of madness and my character (one-hit wonder country singer Clint Roper) nearly got himself decapitated. Gruesome. HoL is a horrible place, but the game lends itself more to over-the-top madness than horror. Still, the nasty reveal at the end brought the horror crashing down on us.

    Sunday morning brought me Jill Stapleton’s fantastic Call of Cthulhu game.
    San Francisco 1852. I played a local Sheriff’s Deputy. We had problems with Australian gangs, vigilante groups and spontaneous human combustion. A classic CoC game with a group of characters who are friends and go through tough times that test them all. They didn’t always get along as you can see as Matt DeHayes gives me the evil eye as a pants-wearing female journalist.  Jill really brought the period to life – even in a city all of the Players know quite well. Of course it was different in 1852 and she let us know just how different – and horrifying. We captured the bad guys by almost sinking their boat by filling it with water from a fire boat. A unique solution!

    I topped off the Dead of Winter in Karen Twelves’ Schizo experience.

    The most intimate and unique of the games, we sat at a small table and each Player had an MP3 player which fed us the voices in our heads. Tracks changed based on conditions of play. Karen had a chart which informed her about the track to be played and she handed us notes telling us when to change. Dice were kept in pill bottles as were jelly bean ‘pills’. As we lost more and more sanity we ate the pills. No more pills – no more sanity. The home-grown mechanics were simple and the role-playing dead on. Karen’s GM style and NPC’s were off the charts as she berated us in both roles and intentionally blurred the line of GM/NPC/Player. The voices in our heads influenced the game several times.  I hope Karen runs this for other people. It’s an experience not to be missed.

    Dead of Winter Games I Played

  • Noam Rosen, shown here with his best cheesy grin at Dead of Winter is a fellow gamer, GM and all around awesome dude. How awesome? He introduced me to Epimas. Huh? Epimas happens every December 24. Epidiah Ravanchol from The Forge runs a special deal where if you buy games for a friend, you also get the games yourself. Helluva deal! Noam went the full monty, ummm, the whole tofoose and bought me 12 games! Some rockin’ stuff including Apocalypse World, Blowback and My Life With Master. Some games I’d never heard of, but look really cool. Noam, you rock!

    Gamers Rock

  • The Wolf was in the house. That is to say that Sean Nittner talked up his new RPG/LARP convention Big Bad Con, October 7-9, 2011 in Oakland. I’ll be running a couple of games there. Sign up for the inaugural event.  Here’s what it’s all about:

    There aren’t enough good weekend long RPG conventions in the Bay Area.  My Answer: Big Bad Con!  I’ve talked to Japji Khalsa (of Kublacon), Chris Hanrahan (EndGame in Oakland), Doug Daulton (of Neoncon), Matt Steele (Dead of Winter) and tons of gamers and I’m convinced Big Bad Con is going to be awesome. I want to offer the best games to most gamers I can.  I’ve run Good Omens Con for four years as well as talked extensively with Japji as well as other gamers about what makes a con rock and my plan is to put on a con that doesn’t stop rocking till you pass out Sunday night.

    Yeah, plus he’s giving attendees a chance to participate in Gamers vs Gazebo Deathmatch and there will be the Big Bad GM competition. This thing’s gonna rock!

    Big Bad Con Blows the House Down

  • 2011/01/24Big Bad Con Blows the House Down
  • 2011/01/06Gamers Rock
  • 2010/12/27Dead of Winter Games I Played
  • 2010/12/22Dead of Winter Reviews 2010
  • 2010/12/20INFRNO Burns at Dead of Winter

The Wolf was in the house. That is to say that Sean Nittner talked up his new RPG/LARP convention Big Bad Con, October 7-9, 2011 in Oakland. I’ll be running a couple of games there. Sign up for the inaugural event.  Here’s what it’s all about:

There aren’t enough good weekend long RPG conventions in the Bay Area.  My Answer: Big Bad Con!  I’ve talked to Japji Khalsa (of Kublacon), Chris Hanrahan (EndGame in Oakland), Doug Daulton (of Neoncon), Matt Steele (Dead of Winter) and tons of gamers and I’m convinced Big Bad Con is going to be awesome. I want to offer the best games to most gamers I can.  I’ve run Good Omens Con for four years as well as talked extensively with Japji as well as other gamers about what makes a con rock and my plan is to put on a con that doesn’t stop rocking till you pass out Sunday night.

Yeah, plus he’s giving attendees a chance to participate in Gamers vs Gazebo Deathmatch and there will be the Big Bad GM competition. This thing’s gonna rock!

Noam Rosen, shown here with his best cheesy grin at Dead of Winter is a fellow gamer, GM and all around awesome dude. How awesome? He introduced me to Epimas. Huh? Epimas happens every December 24. Epidiah Ravanchol from The Forge runs a special deal where if you buy games for a friend, you also get the games yourself. Helluva deal! Noam went the full monty, ummm, the whole tofoose and bought me 12 games! Some rockin’ stuff including Apocalypse World, Blowback and My Life With Master. Some games I’d never heard of, but look really cool. Noam, you rock!

My life as host of the Dead of Winter Horror Invitational is a difficult one. I’ve created an event I want to attend and that makes it a blast. Trouble is there were 19 great games this year and I only got to play in 4 of them. Choosing was brutal.

Saturday began with Matthew Grau’s Cthulhu Tech game. I played in the original last year and couldn’t resist stepping into the sequel. Grau didn’t disappoint. He did a recap for new Players and the horror of the previous game came flooding back to me. Last year my P.I. character acquired a cursed skull. This year we had to get rid of the thing.

Not easy when soooo many bad people want it – including our employer. Why didn’t we just destroy it? Yeah, not possible. The game opened with the moral dilemma of having to defend ourselves against possessed teenagers. Ugly choices. As the story progressed the skull was making us all paranoid and creating delusions, so we passed it around to minimize the sanity loss. Sharing is caring. A stellar group of players made for good cooperative and Player vs Player action. The finale’? Let’s just say we handed Grau the possibility of another sequel.

Saturday night was Duane O’Brien’s HoL (Human Occupied Landfill) game.
Duane started the game by dumping an actual bag of trash on the table to simulate the environment we were in. Believe it or not, it went downhill from there. At one horrifying point one of the characters (represented by a donkey) was overrun and trampled by wastems (goo filled creatures that are also the food on HoL). Every moment got more disgusting. So much so that I decided to role-play eating coffee grounds by putting tea leaves in my mouth like chewing tobacco. Baaaaad idea. The ending was filled with all kinds of madness and my character (one-hit wonder country singer Clint Roper) nearly got himself decapitated. Gruesome. HoL is a horrible place, but the game lends itself more to over-the-top madness than horror. Still, the nasty reveal at the end brought the horror crashing down on us.

Sunday morning brought me Jill Stapleton’s fantastic Call of Cthulhu game.
San Francisco 1852. I played a local Sheriff’s Deputy. We had problems with Australian gangs, vigilante groups and spontaneous human combustion. A classic CoC game with a group of characters who are friends and go through tough times that test them all. They didn’t always get along as you can see as Matt DeHayes gives me the evil eye as a pants-wearing female journalist.  Jill really brought the period to life – even in a city all of the Players know quite well. Of course it was different in 1852 and she let us know just how different – and horrifying. We captured the bad guys by almost sinking their boat by filling it with water from a fire boat. A unique solution!

I topped off the Dead of Winter in Karen Twelves’ Schizo experience.

The most intimate and unique of the games, we sat at a small table and each Player had an MP3 player which fed us the voices in our heads. Tracks changed based on conditions of play. Karen had a chart which informed her about the track to be played and she handed us notes telling us when to change. Dice were kept in pill bottles as were jelly bean ‘pills’. As we lost more and more sanity we ate the pills. No more pills – no more sanity. The home-grown mechanics were simple and the role-playing dead on. Karen’s GM style and NPC’s were off the charts as she berated us in both roles and intentionally blurred the line of GM/NPC/Player. The voices in our heads influenced the game several times.  I hope Karen runs this for other people. It’s an experience not to be missed.


These people are crazy enough to go to a decrepit, haunted hotel in the Santa Cruz mountains in the Dead of Winter and tempt fate by playing horror games all weekend. Thanks to Nicole Brennan for taking the pic. “Hiding” in the woodshed and therefore not in the pic are, Wayne Coburn, Elisabeth Brewer, Duane O’Brien, Chris Ruggiero and Nik Gervae. Some of these folks have been willing to write about their experiences, post pictures and put it out on the internet. If you missed it, read all about it from:

MATT ARMSTRONG ~ Resident Archaeologist with a great layman’s description of our hobby.

SHANNON MAC ~ #1 Dead of Winter Cheerleader elevates DoW to his #1 event of the year.

KAREN TWELVES ~ Woman of Mysteries puts the first two DoW’s in perspective. Awesome!

MIKE MULDOON ~ Infernal Man of INFRNO posted pics from HoL. Even GM Duane O’Brien was nauseous.

Sean Nittner ~ Powerhouse behind Big Bad Con takes his reviews seriously. Check out his multiple posts here, here, here, and here.

Mike Muldoon graced us with his flaming Mohawk presence at Dead of Winter 2010. He and I dealt with a cursed skull in Matthew Grau’s Cthulhu Tech game.  Then we faced the challenges of living in a planetary landfill in Duane O’Brien’s bizzare HoL game. In between he gave all of the folks the lowdown on INFRNO, his project to connect table top RPG players around the world. INFRNO’s a project very close to me heart. That is to say, I wanna connect with other gamers and Muldoon and I work out of NextSpace, a coworking space in downtown Santa Cruz, CA. That means I’ve had some small influence on it along the way. Hell, I’m the first registered user. Anyone want to play games they missed at Dead of Winter? Let’s meet on INFRNO and play. Shoot me an Email so we can set it up.

Chief Experience Officer Matthew Grau and
CEO & Founder Mike Muldoon explore HoL at Dead of Winter.


Here’s the official scoop:

“Infrno is an online community for role playing enthusiasts, providing a virtual game table with video conferencing and shared whiteboard, along with all the tools you need to find players of your caliber, connect with them, and get your game on from any place, at any time.”

World Domination Headquarters

If you would like to join Matt Steele in his evil schemes to take over the world, discuss roll playing games, or attend a Terror Rabbit Venture, send a signal across the aether.

Talk to the Rabbit.


All rights reserved. Terror Rabbit 2010.