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 (maybe thousands) 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


July 23rd, 2017: Endgame 3d6 Con
Endgame game store
921 Washington St
Numenera: The Skein of the Blackbone Bride

October 13 – 15, 2017: Big Bad Con
Walnut Creek Marriot
2355 North Main Street, Walnut Creek

Numenera & The Strange (Halloween Edition)

Feb 16-19, 2018 DunDraCon
San Ramon Marriot
Games TBD

May 25-28, 2018 Kublacon
Burligame Hyatt Regency
TBD

Groovy Game Spaces


Endgame Oakland An Awesome SF Bay Game Store. In-store game space included + the Endgame Cafe – their attached coffee shop – open late!

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, The Void, Fear Itself, and Nemesis. 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.

.

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 11-13, 2016, 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?

It’s 2018 and this year we have gone hard core, with a hint of pulp thrown in to mix things up. We’ve got a great mix of game systems and settings and the Dead of Winter premier of D&D.

10/5/18 I’ve put up all of the games for everyone to check out. I’ll ping the mailing list and then sometime real soon (on a weekend that’s not a holiday weekend) I’ll announce general registration. Once I’ve got everyone registered I’ll open up game requests.

As before, GM’s get first chance to register (as their reward for running) and therefore the first shot at games they want to play. I’ll Email GM’s daily, in groups of 5, in order of registration. Then Players in groups of 6.

Schedule

Friday, December 7, 7PM- ??? After you check into the hotel, come hang out in the Milton Room just off of the lobby.  I’m gonna grab dinner at Powell’s Steamer Co & Pub just up the street at 425 Main Street, Placerville. If ya wanna join me around 5PM, that would be awesome.

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

FYI – We still have The Study, the private room just off of the Milton room, & I added an additional suite this year..

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 8, 11AM – 5PM Early game session

Announcements right after the 1st session in the Milton Room, followed by a Dinner Break
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.

Saturday, December 8, 7PM – 1AM Late game session

Sunday, December 9, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
Group Photo after this session in the Milton Room.

Dinner Break – When them which gotta go…go.

Sunday, December 9, 7PM – 1AM, Late game session, for them what is hard-core

GAMES:

SATURDAY 11AM

1. Game System: Delta Green
Scenario Title:El Alisal
GM: Marty Caplan
Variations: Playing cards: 2 Suits, Ace to 10. Insanity Cards. Everyone Wears a Black Hat.
Power Level: Cussed Hard-Cases, Pinkertons, and Outlaws
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: 1853, The California Gold Rush is in high gear. El Alisal is the outlaw shadow of San Francisco to the east. The omnipresent sycamore trees of this small town that is swollen with gold dust hides the dark deeds of Joaquin Murietta and his lieutenants (the PCs) as they recuperate. Only, nobody’s seen the “Robin Hood of El Dorado” for a few days… He headed out to the Diablo Range with a new lady he met, dark haired and strange. Some whores overheard them talking crazy, un-Christian talk about eternal life, raising the dead, and most of all bloody revenge on the white miners who raped Murietta’s wife when he got his first big gold claim jumped back in ’49! Maybe we should go check on the boss? The gold’s running out after a few days of R&R and it’s time for the next job to keep us all in liquor and women!

TRIGGER WARNING: EXTREME GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, NUDITY, TORTURE, RACISM, SEXISM, BLASPHEMY. The game will use the X-card system.

Tone: Hardcore 50/50 Horror with good ol’ western themes & other elements. Bad people doing whatever needs to be done, no matter who suffers.

2. Game System: VOX
Scenario Title: Our Yesterdays
GM: Alexis George
Variations: n/a
Power Level: Tabula Rasa Tourists
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Hungover or drugged, you’re not sure. You’ve woken up on a dark floor, made of stone and caked in what seems like either mud or blood. This is either the morning after the best or worst night of your life; it remains to be seen. You’re pretty sure you have something important to do, but whatever it was is lost to you. Better get up and start piecing it back together.

Tone: A solid 50/50 mix of Gothic horror & violence along with other elements.

3. Game System: Player Agency
Scenario Title: Uno
GM: Anthony Brown
Variations: No Dice
Power Level: 8 Year Olds
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: It’s the solstice, or so your parents have told you. Don’t know why that means you need to drive all the way up to Mr. Arbin’s house in the mountains to sit in the rec room with a bunch of kids you don’t know. Mom says you can bring your “treasured item” with you, so at least you’ll have that. And last year you got all that candy and ice cream. Maybe this time you will even win at Uno.

Tone: Ramps up from child’s play to 70%+ hardcore horror.

4. Game System: NEMESIS/One Roll Engine
Scenario Title: Hawk’s Road Terminal
GM: Jack Young
Variations: 1920′s
Power Level: Railway Engineers
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: In its heyday, the Boston & Maine Railroad oversaw thousands of miles of track along the eastern seaboard. But due to a downturn preceding The Great War, branch lines to any number of once prosperous coastal villages have been abandoned in the wake of their economic decline. Good work for you though.  Your engineering crew is being sent to repair and retrieve a locomotive left at one of these long neglected terminal stations.  Should be routine.

Tone: This one cranks up to 65% horror.

5. Game System: Resolute, Genius, Adventurer
Scenario Title: The Dunlap Horror
GM: Matt Armstrong
Power Level: Heroic, but normal, humans
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: 1935 The town of Dunlap is a quiet place, the sort of town where you didn’t even lock your door at night. But some new arrivals have the locals nervous, and when detectives arrive to look into the matter, tensions rise.

Tone: Part Dashiell Hammet Hard-Boiled Crime story, part brutal horror that tipps into the 80% range.

6. Game System: Something Wicked
Scenario Title: Butterfly Unit
GM: Jill Stapleton
Variations: Nope
Power Level: Experienced Investigators
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: The FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime takes in violent crime statistics from all over the world. Its stated goal is to provide international law enforcement officials with behavioral, investigative, and forensic insights into repetitive or unusually violent crimes. Somewhere in a back corner of its offices in Quantico is an experimental group that is using big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to get ahead of the curve. It’s just pinged on a series of eight murders, five foreign (San Jose del Cabo, Mexico), three domestic (New Orleans). They have a high probability of being connected. You are part of an experimental multi-disciplinary team and will be working the case on a parallel path to the traditional FBI investigation. Mexican authorities are cooperating, and you’ll be authorized to investigate both the foreign and domestic murders.

Tone: Dark and Gritty full on investigative & psychological horror.

SATURDAY 7PM

1. Game System: Call of Cthulhu, 1890′s
Scenario Title: Wight Man’s Burden, Gunga Din.
GM: Arthur Stone Wallis
Variations: No “luck” rules
Power Level: Baritone, Tenor, Soprano, Bass
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Jolly ripping fun being a Redcoat in India. And a great privilege representing the officer corps in both the Pony Polo League, and the Royal Hussar’s Imperial Choir (RHIC). Ah, but what a boobie you’ll look like to old dad. Three years into a cavalry commission, and not a bit of blood and thunder to show. These are the sweeter years, where even a junior lieutenant of the Empire might live like a sheik on a shilling a day…if a bit scorched by the equatorial sun. It’s a bit of alright.

All that’s about over with I’m afraid. You chaps are being tapped by high command for a secret mission. It seems that a certain colonel in Punjab is issuing orders which are disturbing the Queen’s peace in the provinces. Crucifying natives, shooting sacred cows, real King-Herod-by-leave-of-Caesar nonsense. Normally this would be a simple “sack the old fellow” to-do, except that the colonel in question, vibrant and temperamental as he is, seems to be a bit…well…dead.

Rather a sort of “Count Dracula” in her-own-army.

Strange stuff I don’t mind telling you. Real caterpillar in the buttermilk, what? Not exactly cricket. But, a job’s a job, eh? “England expects every man” etcetera. There’s a good gentleman.

*Brandy provided. But not the Praetorian stock. NOT while the war’s on!*

Tone: 25% Patriotic Zeal / 10% Gilbert & Sullivan / 65% Horror

2. Game System: D&D 4th Edition
Scenario Title: Mantlebreach
GM: Aaron Teixeira
Variations: Pretty vanilla, some elements from Dwarves Handbook 2nd ed and Veins of the Earth by Patrick Stuart.
Power Level: 1
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Dwarven Clans Copperpick & Mithrilvein sent Mining Expedition “Mantlebreach” into unknown depths to discover rare deposits. They disappeared without a trace beyond the Verge, it was the greatest calamity the stronghold’s faced in three generations. It’s been ten years and the Thane’s ordered another deep mining expedition including “outsiders” in hopes they can discover the fate of the missing expedition. Our faithful heroes are sure to save the day.

Tone: New Wave Taphophobia – You’ll have to play this one to fins out how/if D&D can be a horror game.

3. Game System: Black Planet (Avatar)
Scenario Title: Acheron
GM: Matthew Grau
Variations: n/a
Power Level: Nanotech-Enhanced Post-Humans and an Alien or two
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: In a galaxy on the other side of the universe, sometime in the near future…

Your civilization, which endured for 20,000 years, has ended. The young races have no idea what you have unleashed, or how to fight it if they did. Creation is not an easy thing and this is the consequence of your hubris.

Following in the footsteps of the ancient seeders, your people aspired to create life that could flourish in the universe. Instead, they created something horrifying – a sentient parasite that could take control of those it infested. The Unseen bred, infesting more and more people of authority until they could seize control of governments and enslave all those under them. One day, they may take over the galaxy.

You will return to your ravaged home when the last Unseen is eradicated. Until then, you hunt. Exiles of the Black Planet, your duty beckons.

Few go to Acheron for pleasure. It’s a wet, misty, wild world that is home to a handful of domed cities. Tenacious residents labor to draw resources from the massive rainforests by day, for going out at night is considered suicide. Terrible beasts roam those wilds, particularly when the sun goes down.

It is here you will go, chasing the wretched Unseen from inside Arkari space. They have already cleared the Jump Gate and the Guild, destination Acheron. You hope the infestation is not yet too great, and that you will not have to call on the Worldender.

Tone: Serious Sc-Fi horror with a flavor similar to Outlander or The Hidden that leans heavily into the horror elements.

4. Game System: Cthulhu Dark
Scenario Title: Dark and Lonely Ice
GM: Jim Mathews
Variations Physical die and sanity die variant
Power Level: Intelligent and Skilled
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: The highest winds in Antarctica reach over 300 mph. The coldest temperatures drop bellow –100 F. The Sun will not rise again for six months and the closest humans are a thousand miles across difficult terrain. You are the winter crew of AmScott Station. Do your job, run your experiments, and try to keep Antarctica from killing everyone. Oh, and don’t ask anyone why they’re here. You all have your reasons.

Tone: Tense psychological horror in a deadly and isolated environment

5. Game System: Ten Candles
Scenario Title: All My Dead Friends.
GM: Laurel Halbany
Variations: Additional character-building used
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: No; some additional background provided
Description: There were six of you, old friends who drifted apart as the strains of adult life fractured your close-knit group. Until Lailah died. You were all together, once again, for her funeral – and then the world went dark. And then They came. The radio transmissions have gone to static, the screams of Their victims faded to silence, the lights of the cities winking out as They stalked humanity.

The five of you huddle in the light, the only thing that can keep Them at bay, perhaps the last ones left in a dark and empty world. What will you do to survived? And what if these are the last few hours of your life?

Tone: Tragic, fatalistic, intense emotional horror. In Ten Candles everyone dies at the end. Knowing that pushes the horror pretty close to 100%.

6. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed: Harlem Unbound
Scenario Title: The Contender: A Love Story
GM: Badger McInnes
Variations: n/a
Power Level: n/a
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: From Darker Hue Studios’ award-winning Call of Cthulhu sourcebook Harlem Unbound comes – The Contender: A Love Story. In March of 1923, Prohibition is in full swing, bootlegging is high, and the Great Migration is causing increased tension in the city, as African Americans flee the oppressive South for greener pastures. Gangs of all backgrounds gun for control of Harlem, while the cops, at best, abandon the streets. At worst, they’re happy to turn a blind eye as their KKK brethren hunt you down and use you for target practice.

But other sinister machinations are at work in Harlem. You are hired by Jack Johnson, former heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Jack has a number of boxers in his stable that he trains; one Jimmy Harris is about to fight Stefano Rossi, who outright killed the last idiot who decided to block Rossi’s fists with his face. It doesn’t make sense; Rossi was a washed-up has-been known more for throwing fights in the past few years. Jack has hired you and your fellow Harlemites to find out the score with Rossi, and what’s giving him his edge in the ring.

Tone: Serious and dark. Expect a heavy emphasis on roleplaying. The racism of this era will be present and realistic. Violence will be brutal and bloody. If you cannot handle these topics in a mature manner, don’t sign up.

SUNDAY 11AM

1. Game System: Xas Irkalla
Scenario Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the World Maggot
GM: Colin Fahrion
Variations: n/a
Power Level: Metalheads
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Gwar!!!! You’ve been aching to see Gwar for ages and now they finally came to your shit-hole of a town! You’ve got tickets and you have one goal — to get on stage and be swallowed whole by the World Maggot! …”Maggot! Maggot!” “Balsac the Jaws of Death will sacrifice you to the World Maggot!” … Dude that rocked! …wait what the hell? Where the fuck am I? Why is there snow falling from the sky? No wait fuck that’s ash falling! And why is there a spooky lamppost in the middle of this dark evil looking forest? This must be some serious backstage CGI projection shit!? Right?

Tone: Dark hellscape survival horror and oh so very metal! 60% horror / 40% camp

2. Game System: Equanimity (Avatar)
Scenario Title: Disruption
GM: Matthew Grau
Variations: n/a
Power Level: Psionic Vat-born Humans
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description:Is this our world? We don’t really know. It’s so far in the future and things have changed so much, the world we know would be part of the ancient past.

It is a utopia. There is no competition, no greed, and everyone is equal in respect and standing. There is no discrimination or prejudice or judgment. There is no aggression and people are peaceful and united. It’s a place where social justice rules and crime is virtually non-existent. Everyone is equal in all ways, even if they are mostly the same.

Making people the same is different than making them equal. People are androgynous, hairless, and racially ambiguous with brown eyes. They’re grown in vats, as sexual reproduction has become redundant and the drive to do so doesn’t exist. While people may be different on the inside, there’s not much difference on the outside.

This solution has caused human evolution to stagnate. There are those born with the innate sense that something is wrong and many manifest psionic abilities – the powers of the mind. They’re labeled disruptors and become the hunted of society. Caught, they are reprogrammed and who they were is wiped away.

Now you have to hide in a society that fears you and labels you a terrorist. Though you may not know it, your actions are helping to open the floodgates of evolution again and bring down the society that tried to cage it. Evolution is messy and nothing evolves in the homogenous, stagnant world created by humans.

Disruptors, your time has arrived. The future of the human race is in your hands.

Tone: Serious dystopian sci-fi future, with shades of THX-1138, Push, the Tomorrow People, and Equilibrium. Hearty balance that leans a little more horror than sci-fi.

3. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
Scenario Title: The Search for Brian Boru (Searcher Series #4)
GM: Shannon Mac
Variations: None
Power Level: Medieval Meatbags
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: You are the descendants of the great Brian Boru, a High King of Ireland who brought the people together against the Danes. But that was long ago and he has since passed on after a great battle. All of you have come to accept the dark times coming until a trusted druid friend tells you he has the means to bring Boru back from the dead which entails finding the Sidhe and striking a bargain. More about Brian Boru

Tone: With a focus is on helplessness and devotion, this scenario won the Cult of Chaos competition for 2019: Cult of Chaos Scenario Writing Contest Winners for 2018!

4. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th ed.
Scenario Title: Reaping the Seeds of Greed
GM: Jason Frankenfield
Variations: Minor tweaks to Luck
Power Level: Educated members of a certain class…
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Pokhara, Nepal, 1919:  An after dinner salon at the King Edward Hotel turns suddenly, and threatens to upset the balance of the English custodians among the Nepalese.

Tone:  A significant amount of ominous horror, with a bit of “The Golden Child” thrown in.

5. Game System: Bluebeard’s Bride
Scenario Title:Bluebeard’s Bride
GM: Kirsten Hageleit
Variations: n/a
Power Level: n/a
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Developed at the table
Description: Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror game, written and designed by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson, and based on the Bluebeard fairy tale.

In this game you and your friends explore Bluebeard’s home as various psychological aspects of the Bride, creating your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale. Investigate rooms, discover the truth of what happened, experience the nightmarish phantasmagoria of this broken place, and decide whether or not the Bride is loyal, or faithless. Either way, there is no happy ending.

Bluebeard’s Bride is based on the Powered by the Apocalypse system. Since this is a horror game, we have modified it so that the majority of moves use no dice; this harkens back to telling ghost stories around the fire.

Bluebeard’s Bride produces adult feminine horror fiction – not gore, or dark humor, but psychological horror on themes particular to women’s experiences in the world. Men and non-binary folk are welcome to play, however…

Tone: Psychological horror with themes specific to women’s experiences

6. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
Scenario Title: Home for the Holidays
GM: Michael Ripley
Variations: Non-Mythos tale of holiday horror
Power Level: Various Citizens of Granite Falls
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Description: Snow is on the ground and the town’s become a winter wonderland. Festive decorations are appearing on Main Street and the magic of the holidays is almost here. Time for the citizens of Granite Falls to put the finishing touches on their 100th annual Christmas Festival. How is it that no one has noticed the extra chill in the air or the unusually deep shadows once the sun sets? Why doesn’t anyone remember the stories of the first Christmas Festival and the dying curse of Old Man Talbot?

Tone: A tale of mounting terror and violence with a deceptively cheery backdrop of the Holiday Season.

SUNDAY 7PM

1. Game System: Boneslingers
Scenario Title: The Return
GM: Duane O’Brien & Will Robot
Variations: Lots Of Human Rules
Power Level: Well below what you’ll need to survive
Number of Players: 6-8
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Five years ago, your village was in the grasp of Amo. You can still remember the terrors wrought by him and his men. You bear the scars. The screams still echo in the canyons. You don’t sleep well.

But you do sleep. Because five years ago, a group of Boneslingers rode into town. Some called them “The Putrescent Seven.” They drove of Amo and his men. They liberated your village. They helped you bury your dead. And they’ve kept a close eye on you ever since, swinging by regularly to check in on your village.

But they should have been back by now. And the longer they’re gone, the more agitated the village becomes. You’re hearing whispers, and the fear of Amo’s return grows every day.

Tone: Grimdark with 40% Horror, 30% Western, 30% Survival or somewhere thereabouts

2. Game System: Cthulhu Dark Ages, 7th Ed.
Scenario Title: My Final Abode
GM: Frank A. Figoni
Variations: Home brew Japanese variant
Power Level: Heh, you have none
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: It’s November 1586 and medieval Japan is in the midst of civil war, which the honorable Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi is determined to win and unify all Japan.  It’s at this time he puts out a curious summons to all loyal Daimyo to send their best warriors or scholars to Heian-kyō.  Some loyal Daimyo procrastinate, explaining their best are currently fighting for the honor of the Emperor, but most send their best and brightest.  What will the Shogun require?  Some warriors whisper they will become hostages, while others claim they will gain much glory.  Monks and sages claim they will find wisdom.  The Christian priests point out, “In the end, only God knows…”

Tone:  Get your honor on!  Much like Seven samurai, Shogun, or Ran this will test most players devotion to ones honor.

3. Game System: Fear Itself
Scenario Title: Seasons in the Abyss
GM: Bryanna Hitchcock
Variations: Condensed Rules
Power Level: Novice investigators
Number of Players: 5
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Spring of 1958 was a golden age for some Americans.

For the members of Harvard’s informal Romantic Literature Society, it is a season of fear. Their leader, visionary poet Zachary Holland, has disappeared. None of the faculty will even acknowledge he is missing. Federal agents have been seen on campus asking questions about Holland’s associates. Sooner or later, the agents will dig up their secrets; secrets that could land them in prison or worse.

Players will take the role of a talented LGBTQ academic risking everything to rescue a beloved friend and mentor with a tight-knit group.

Tone: Serious, Dark, Emotional with inspirations from AHS Asylum, The Imitation Game, & Sense 8

4. Game System: Fate Accelerated
Scenario Name:These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends
GM: Gil Trevizo
Variations: TBD
Power Level: Variable
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: Enjoy life without limits through a meticulously crafted and artfully designed experience where you have the freedom to become who you’ve always wanted to be – or who you never knew you were. Exist free of rules, laws, or judgment in a world where no impulse is taboo. Savage braves, willing maidens, tragically ill-fated sidekicks, vivisections, self-cannibalism, horror, romance – it all awaits those who dare to select this, the most premiere narrative within our Western park. We proudly present to you – THE DINNER PARTY.

TERMS OF USE: This module is restricted to FRONTIER45//WIN73. Entrance parameters require deassimilation, full immersion, and mono-identification. The physical and psychological well-being of any and all guest identities is not guaranteed.

Tone: Gritty horror that becomes decidedly grittier.

5. Game System: Fear Itself 2nd Ed.
Scenario Title: The Apples of Their Mothers’ Eyes
GM: William Lee
Variations: n/a
Power Level: Crime Noir Investigators
Number of Players: 6
Characters Provided: Yes
Description: 10 years ago, you helped put a stop to a series of horrific murders and child abductions…or so you thought. That case made your careers, and you thought the horror to be long buried, just like the killer.

But the terror is back. Children again disappear, and their mothers are found murdered. Their mutilated bodies found alongside the empty highway, swathed in immaculate white dresses and grotesquely posed so their vacant bloody eye sockets stare into the horizon. Their mouths left open in a rictus scream, wailing for their missing children.

The Llorona Killer is back.

As the community is plunged back into the nightmare, your careers and lives unravel. All the while, the killer taunts you with all-too-familiar bloody notes, written in the victims’ blood, with the same words and in the same handwriting as the old murders:

“Little children are the apples of their mothers’ eyes…”

Tone: 50% horror, 30% police procedural, 20% noir drama with a modern crime noir feel, like True Detective or Seven.

.

.

.

.

.

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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 $477 (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, though for the past coupe of years, nearly everyone’s stayed for the final session and 5 games were run. As always, I’ll have a game prepped – just in case. 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, asked me to invite you.

To get in on the horror, pay by PayPal me at:

terrorrabbit@me.com

Or send a check payable to:

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

Note that reg is 1st come, 1st in, so snail mail isn’t recommended.

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
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b: Dead of Winter, Terror Rabbit

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 (maybe thousands) 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

  • July 23rd, 2017: Endgame 3d6 Con
    Endgame game store
    921 Washington St
    Numenera: The Skein of the Blackbone Bride

    October 13 – 15, 2017: Big Bad Con
    Walnut Creek Marriot
    2355 North Main Street, Walnut Creek

    Numenera & The Strange (Halloween Edition)

    Feb 16-19, 2018 DunDraCon
    San Ramon Marriot
    Games TBD

    May 25-28, 2018 Kublacon
    Burligame Hyatt Regency
    TBD

    Upcoming Rabbit Appearances

  • Endgame Oakland An Awesome SF Bay Game Store. In-store game space included + the Endgame Cafe – their attached coffee shop – open late!

    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 11-13, 2016, 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?

    It’s 2018 and this year we have gone hard core, with a hint of pulp thrown in to mix things up. We’ve got a great mix of game systems and settings and the Dead of Winter premier of D&D.

    10/5/18 I’ve put up all of the games for everyone to check out. I’ll ping the mailing list and then sometime real soon (on a weekend that’s not a holiday weekend) I’ll announce general registration. Once I’ve got everyone registered I’ll open up game requests.

    As before, GM’s get first chance to register (as their reward for running) and therefore the first shot at games they want to play. I’ll Email GM’s daily, in groups of 5, in order of registration. Then Players in groups of 6.

    Schedule

    Friday, December 7, 7PM- ??? After you check into the hotel, come hang out in the Milton Room just off of the lobby.  I’m gonna grab dinner at Powell’s Steamer Co & Pub just up the street at 425 Main Street, Placerville. If ya wanna join me around 5PM, that would be awesome.

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

    FYI – We still have The Study, the private room just off of the Milton room, & I added an additional suite this year..

    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 8, 11AM – 5PM Early game session

    Announcements right after the 1st session in the Milton Room, followed by a Dinner Break
    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.

    Saturday, December 8, 7PM – 1AM Late game session

    Sunday, December 9, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
    Group Photo after this session in the Milton Room.

    Dinner Break – When them which gotta go…go.

    Sunday, December 9, 7PM – 1AM, Late game session, for them what is hard-core

    GAMES:

    SATURDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: Delta Green
    Scenario Title:El Alisal
    GM: Marty Caplan
    Variations: Playing cards: 2 Suits, Ace to 10. Insanity Cards. Everyone Wears a Black Hat.
    Power Level: Cussed Hard-Cases, Pinkertons, and Outlaws
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: 1853, The California Gold Rush is in high gear. El Alisal is the outlaw shadow of San Francisco to the east. The omnipresent sycamore trees of this small town that is swollen with gold dust hides the dark deeds of Joaquin Murietta and his lieutenants (the PCs) as they recuperate. Only, nobody’s seen the “Robin Hood of El Dorado” for a few days… He headed out to the Diablo Range with a new lady he met, dark haired and strange. Some whores overheard them talking crazy, un-Christian talk about eternal life, raising the dead, and most of all bloody revenge on the white miners who raped Murietta’s wife when he got his first big gold claim jumped back in ’49! Maybe we should go check on the boss? The gold’s running out after a few days of R&R and it’s time for the next job to keep us all in liquor and women!

    TRIGGER WARNING: EXTREME GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, NUDITY, TORTURE, RACISM, SEXISM, BLASPHEMY. The game will use the X-card system.

    Tone: Hardcore 50/50 Horror with good ol’ western themes & other elements. Bad people doing whatever needs to be done, no matter who suffers.

    2. Game System: VOX
    Scenario Title: Our Yesterdays
    GM: Alexis George
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Tabula Rasa Tourists
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Hungover or drugged, you’re not sure. You’ve woken up on a dark floor, made of stone and caked in what seems like either mud or blood. This is either the morning after the best or worst night of your life; it remains to be seen. You’re pretty sure you have something important to do, but whatever it was is lost to you. Better get up and start piecing it back together.

    Tone: A solid 50/50 mix of Gothic horror & violence along with other elements.

    3. Game System: Player Agency
    Scenario Title: Uno
    GM: Anthony Brown
    Variations: No Dice
    Power Level: 8 Year Olds
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: It’s the solstice, or so your parents have told you. Don’t know why that means you need to drive all the way up to Mr. Arbin’s house in the mountains to sit in the rec room with a bunch of kids you don’t know. Mom says you can bring your “treasured item” with you, so at least you’ll have that. And last year you got all that candy and ice cream. Maybe this time you will even win at Uno.

    Tone: Ramps up from child’s play to 70%+ hardcore horror.

    4. Game System: NEMESIS/One Roll Engine
    Scenario Title: Hawk’s Road Terminal
    GM: Jack Young
    Variations: 1920′s
    Power Level: Railway Engineers
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: In its heyday, the Boston & Maine Railroad oversaw thousands of miles of track along the eastern seaboard. But due to a downturn preceding The Great War, branch lines to any number of once prosperous coastal villages have been abandoned in the wake of their economic decline. Good work for you though.  Your engineering crew is being sent to repair and retrieve a locomotive left at one of these long neglected terminal stations.  Should be routine.

    Tone: This one cranks up to 65% horror.

    5. Game System: Resolute, Genius, Adventurer
    Scenario Title: The Dunlap Horror
    GM: Matt Armstrong
    Power Level: Heroic, but normal, humans
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: 1935 The town of Dunlap is a quiet place, the sort of town where you didn’t even lock your door at night. But some new arrivals have the locals nervous, and when detectives arrive to look into the matter, tensions rise.

    Tone: Part Dashiell Hammet Hard-Boiled Crime story, part brutal horror that tipps into the 80% range.

    6. Game System: Something Wicked
    Scenario Title: Butterfly Unit
    GM: Jill Stapleton
    Variations: Nope
    Power Level: Experienced Investigators
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime takes in violent crime statistics from all over the world. Its stated goal is to provide international law enforcement officials with behavioral, investigative, and forensic insights into repetitive or unusually violent crimes. Somewhere in a back corner of its offices in Quantico is an experimental group that is using big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to get ahead of the curve. It’s just pinged on a series of eight murders, five foreign (San Jose del Cabo, Mexico), three domestic (New Orleans). They have a high probability of being connected. You are part of an experimental multi-disciplinary team and will be working the case on a parallel path to the traditional FBI investigation. Mexican authorities are cooperating, and you’ll be authorized to investigate both the foreign and domestic murders.

    Tone: Dark and Gritty full on investigative & psychological horror.

    SATURDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: Call of Cthulhu, 1890′s
    Scenario Title: Wight Man’s Burden, Gunga Din.
    GM: Arthur Stone Wallis
    Variations: No “luck” rules
    Power Level: Baritone, Tenor, Soprano, Bass
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Jolly ripping fun being a Redcoat in India. And a great privilege representing the officer corps in both the Pony Polo League, and the Royal Hussar’s Imperial Choir (RHIC). Ah, but what a boobie you’ll look like to old dad. Three years into a cavalry commission, and not a bit of blood and thunder to show. These are the sweeter years, where even a junior lieutenant of the Empire might live like a sheik on a shilling a day…if a bit scorched by the equatorial sun. It’s a bit of alright.

    All that’s about over with I’m afraid. You chaps are being tapped by high command for a secret mission. It seems that a certain colonel in Punjab is issuing orders which are disturbing the Queen’s peace in the provinces. Crucifying natives, shooting sacred cows, real King-Herod-by-leave-of-Caesar nonsense. Normally this would be a simple “sack the old fellow” to-do, except that the colonel in question, vibrant and temperamental as he is, seems to be a bit…well…dead.

    Rather a sort of “Count Dracula” in her-own-army.

    Strange stuff I don’t mind telling you. Real caterpillar in the buttermilk, what? Not exactly cricket. But, a job’s a job, eh? “England expects every man” etcetera. There’s a good gentleman.

    *Brandy provided. But not the Praetorian stock. NOT while the war’s on!*

    Tone: 25% Patriotic Zeal / 10% Gilbert & Sullivan / 65% Horror

    2. Game System: D&D 4th Edition
    Scenario Title: Mantlebreach
    GM: Aaron Teixeira
    Variations: Pretty vanilla, some elements from Dwarves Handbook 2nd ed and Veins of the Earth by Patrick Stuart.
    Power Level: 1
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Dwarven Clans Copperpick & Mithrilvein sent Mining Expedition “Mantlebreach” into unknown depths to discover rare deposits. They disappeared without a trace beyond the Verge, it was the greatest calamity the stronghold’s faced in three generations. It’s been ten years and the Thane’s ordered another deep mining expedition including “outsiders” in hopes they can discover the fate of the missing expedition. Our faithful heroes are sure to save the day.

    Tone: New Wave Taphophobia – You’ll have to play this one to fins out how/if D&D can be a horror game.

    3. Game System: Black Planet (Avatar)
    Scenario Title: Acheron
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Nanotech-Enhanced Post-Humans and an Alien or two
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: In a galaxy on the other side of the universe, sometime in the near future…

    Your civilization, which endured for 20,000 years, has ended. The young races have no idea what you have unleashed, or how to fight it if they did. Creation is not an easy thing and this is the consequence of your hubris.

    Following in the footsteps of the ancient seeders, your people aspired to create life that could flourish in the universe. Instead, they created something horrifying – a sentient parasite that could take control of those it infested. The Unseen bred, infesting more and more people of authority until they could seize control of governments and enslave all those under them. One day, they may take over the galaxy.

    You will return to your ravaged home when the last Unseen is eradicated. Until then, you hunt. Exiles of the Black Planet, your duty beckons.

    Few go to Acheron for pleasure. It’s a wet, misty, wild world that is home to a handful of domed cities. Tenacious residents labor to draw resources from the massive rainforests by day, for going out at night is considered suicide. Terrible beasts roam those wilds, particularly when the sun goes down.

    It is here you will go, chasing the wretched Unseen from inside Arkari space. They have already cleared the Jump Gate and the Guild, destination Acheron. You hope the infestation is not yet too great, and that you will not have to call on the Worldender.

    Tone: Serious Sc-Fi horror with a flavor similar to Outlander or The Hidden that leans heavily into the horror elements.

    4. Game System: Cthulhu Dark
    Scenario Title: Dark and Lonely Ice
    GM: Jim Mathews
    Variations Physical die and sanity die variant
    Power Level: Intelligent and Skilled
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The highest winds in Antarctica reach over 300 mph. The coldest temperatures drop bellow –100 F. The Sun will not rise again for six months and the closest humans are a thousand miles across difficult terrain. You are the winter crew of AmScott Station. Do your job, run your experiments, and try to keep Antarctica from killing everyone. Oh, and don’t ask anyone why they’re here. You all have your reasons.

    Tone: Tense psychological horror in a deadly and isolated environment

    5. Game System: Ten Candles
    Scenario Title: All My Dead Friends.
    GM: Laurel Halbany
    Variations: Additional character-building used
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: No; some additional background provided
    Description: There were six of you, old friends who drifted apart as the strains of adult life fractured your close-knit group. Until Lailah died. You were all together, once again, for her funeral – and then the world went dark. And then They came. The radio transmissions have gone to static, the screams of Their victims faded to silence, the lights of the cities winking out as They stalked humanity.

    The five of you huddle in the light, the only thing that can keep Them at bay, perhaps the last ones left in a dark and empty world. What will you do to survived? And what if these are the last few hours of your life?

    Tone: Tragic, fatalistic, intense emotional horror. In Ten Candles everyone dies at the end. Knowing that pushes the horror pretty close to 100%.

    6. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed: Harlem Unbound
    Scenario Title: The Contender: A Love Story
    GM: Badger McInnes
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: n/a
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: From Darker Hue Studios’ award-winning Call of Cthulhu sourcebook Harlem Unbound comes – The Contender: A Love Story. In March of 1923, Prohibition is in full swing, bootlegging is high, and the Great Migration is causing increased tension in the city, as African Americans flee the oppressive South for greener pastures. Gangs of all backgrounds gun for control of Harlem, while the cops, at best, abandon the streets. At worst, they’re happy to turn a blind eye as their KKK brethren hunt you down and use you for target practice.

    But other sinister machinations are at work in Harlem. You are hired by Jack Johnson, former heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Jack has a number of boxers in his stable that he trains; one Jimmy Harris is about to fight Stefano Rossi, who outright killed the last idiot who decided to block Rossi’s fists with his face. It doesn’t make sense; Rossi was a washed-up has-been known more for throwing fights in the past few years. Jack has hired you and your fellow Harlemites to find out the score with Rossi, and what’s giving him his edge in the ring.

    Tone: Serious and dark. Expect a heavy emphasis on roleplaying. The racism of this era will be present and realistic. Violence will be brutal and bloody. If you cannot handle these topics in a mature manner, don’t sign up.

    SUNDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: Xas Irkalla
    Scenario Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the World Maggot
    GM: Colin Fahrion
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Metalheads
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Gwar!!!! You’ve been aching to see Gwar for ages and now they finally came to your shit-hole of a town! You’ve got tickets and you have one goal — to get on stage and be swallowed whole by the World Maggot! …”Maggot! Maggot!” “Balsac the Jaws of Death will sacrifice you to the World Maggot!” … Dude that rocked! …wait what the hell? Where the fuck am I? Why is there snow falling from the sky? No wait fuck that’s ash falling! And why is there a spooky lamppost in the middle of this dark evil looking forest? This must be some serious backstage CGI projection shit!? Right?

    Tone: Dark hellscape survival horror and oh so very metal! 60% horror / 40% camp

    2. Game System: Equanimity (Avatar)
    Scenario Title: Disruption
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Psionic Vat-born Humans
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description:Is this our world? We don’t really know. It’s so far in the future and things have changed so much, the world we know would be part of the ancient past.

    It is a utopia. There is no competition, no greed, and everyone is equal in respect and standing. There is no discrimination or prejudice or judgment. There is no aggression and people are peaceful and united. It’s a place where social justice rules and crime is virtually non-existent. Everyone is equal in all ways, even if they are mostly the same.

    Making people the same is different than making them equal. People are androgynous, hairless, and racially ambiguous with brown eyes. They’re grown in vats, as sexual reproduction has become redundant and the drive to do so doesn’t exist. While people may be different on the inside, there’s not much difference on the outside.

    This solution has caused human evolution to stagnate. There are those born with the innate sense that something is wrong and many manifest psionic abilities – the powers of the mind. They’re labeled disruptors and become the hunted of society. Caught, they are reprogrammed and who they were is wiped away.

    Now you have to hide in a society that fears you and labels you a terrorist. Though you may not know it, your actions are helping to open the floodgates of evolution again and bring down the society that tried to cage it. Evolution is messy and nothing evolves in the homogenous, stagnant world created by humans.

    Disruptors, your time has arrived. The future of the human race is in your hands.

    Tone: Serious dystopian sci-fi future, with shades of THX-1138, Push, the Tomorrow People, and Equilibrium. Hearty balance that leans a little more horror than sci-fi.

    3. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: The Search for Brian Boru (Searcher Series #4)
    GM: Shannon Mac
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Medieval Meatbags
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: You are the descendants of the great Brian Boru, a High King of Ireland who brought the people together against the Danes. But that was long ago and he has since passed on after a great battle. All of you have come to accept the dark times coming until a trusted druid friend tells you he has the means to bring Boru back from the dead which entails finding the Sidhe and striking a bargain. More about Brian Boru

    Tone: With a focus is on helplessness and devotion, this scenario won the Cult of Chaos competition for 2019: Cult of Chaos Scenario Writing Contest Winners for 2018!

    4. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th ed.
    Scenario Title: Reaping the Seeds of Greed
    GM: Jason Frankenfield
    Variations: Minor tweaks to Luck
    Power Level: Educated members of a certain class…
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Pokhara, Nepal, 1919:  An after dinner salon at the King Edward Hotel turns suddenly, and threatens to upset the balance of the English custodians among the Nepalese.

    Tone:  A significant amount of ominous horror, with a bit of “The Golden Child” thrown in.

    5. Game System: Bluebeard’s Bride
    Scenario Title:Bluebeard’s Bride
    GM: Kirsten Hageleit
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: n/a
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Developed at the table
    Description: Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror game, written and designed by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson, and based on the Bluebeard fairy tale.

    In this game you and your friends explore Bluebeard’s home as various psychological aspects of the Bride, creating your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale. Investigate rooms, discover the truth of what happened, experience the nightmarish phantasmagoria of this broken place, and decide whether or not the Bride is loyal, or faithless. Either way, there is no happy ending.

    Bluebeard’s Bride is based on the Powered by the Apocalypse system. Since this is a horror game, we have modified it so that the majority of moves use no dice; this harkens back to telling ghost stories around the fire.

    Bluebeard’s Bride produces adult feminine horror fiction – not gore, or dark humor, but psychological horror on themes particular to women’s experiences in the world. Men and non-binary folk are welcome to play, however…

    Tone: Psychological horror with themes specific to women’s experiences

    6. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Home for the Holidays
    GM: Michael Ripley
    Variations: Non-Mythos tale of holiday horror
    Power Level: Various Citizens of Granite Falls
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Description: Snow is on the ground and the town’s become a winter wonderland. Festive decorations are appearing on Main Street and the magic of the holidays is almost here. Time for the citizens of Granite Falls to put the finishing touches on their 100th annual Christmas Festival. How is it that no one has noticed the extra chill in the air or the unusually deep shadows once the sun sets? Why doesn’t anyone remember the stories of the first Christmas Festival and the dying curse of Old Man Talbot?

    Tone: A tale of mounting terror and violence with a deceptively cheery backdrop of the Holiday Season.

    SUNDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: Boneslingers
    Scenario Title: The Return
    GM: Duane O’Brien & Will Robot
    Variations: Lots Of Human Rules
    Power Level: Well below what you’ll need to survive
    Number of Players: 6-8
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Five years ago, your village was in the grasp of Amo. You can still remember the terrors wrought by him and his men. You bear the scars. The screams still echo in the canyons. You don’t sleep well.

    But you do sleep. Because five years ago, a group of Boneslingers rode into town. Some called them “The Putrescent Seven.” They drove of Amo and his men. They liberated your village. They helped you bury your dead. And they’ve kept a close eye on you ever since, swinging by regularly to check in on your village.

    But they should have been back by now. And the longer they’re gone, the more agitated the village becomes. You’re hearing whispers, and the fear of Amo’s return grows every day.

    Tone: Grimdark with 40% Horror, 30% Western, 30% Survival or somewhere thereabouts

    2. Game System: Cthulhu Dark Ages, 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: My Final Abode
    GM: Frank A. Figoni
    Variations: Home brew Japanese variant
    Power Level: Heh, you have none
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: It’s November 1586 and medieval Japan is in the midst of civil war, which the honorable Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi is determined to win and unify all Japan.  It’s at this time he puts out a curious summons to all loyal Daimyo to send their best warriors or scholars to Heian-kyō.  Some loyal Daimyo procrastinate, explaining their best are currently fighting for the honor of the Emperor, but most send their best and brightest.  What will the Shogun require?  Some warriors whisper they will become hostages, while others claim they will gain much glory.  Monks and sages claim they will find wisdom.  The Christian priests point out, “In the end, only God knows…”

    Tone:  Get your honor on!  Much like Seven samurai, Shogun, or Ran this will test most players devotion to ones honor.

    3. Game System: Fear Itself
    Scenario Title: Seasons in the Abyss
    GM: Bryanna Hitchcock
    Variations: Condensed Rules
    Power Level: Novice investigators
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Spring of 1958 was a golden age for some Americans.

    For the members of Harvard’s informal Romantic Literature Society, it is a season of fear. Their leader, visionary poet Zachary Holland, has disappeared. None of the faculty will even acknowledge he is missing. Federal agents have been seen on campus asking questions about Holland’s associates. Sooner or later, the agents will dig up their secrets; secrets that could land them in prison or worse.

    Players will take the role of a talented LGBTQ academic risking everything to rescue a beloved friend and mentor with a tight-knit group.

    Tone: Serious, Dark, Emotional with inspirations from AHS Asylum, The Imitation Game, & Sense 8

    4. Game System: Fate Accelerated
    Scenario Name:These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends
    GM: Gil Trevizo
    Variations: TBD
    Power Level: Variable
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Enjoy life without limits through a meticulously crafted and artfully designed experience where you have the freedom to become who you’ve always wanted to be – or who you never knew you were. Exist free of rules, laws, or judgment in a world where no impulse is taboo. Savage braves, willing maidens, tragically ill-fated sidekicks, vivisections, self-cannibalism, horror, romance – it all awaits those who dare to select this, the most premiere narrative within our Western park. We proudly present to you – THE DINNER PARTY.

    TERMS OF USE: This module is restricted to FRONTIER45//WIN73. Entrance parameters require deassimilation, full immersion, and mono-identification. The physical and psychological well-being of any and all guest identities is not guaranteed.

    Tone: Gritty horror that becomes decidedly grittier.

    5. Game System: Fear Itself 2nd Ed.
    Scenario Title: The Apples of Their Mothers’ Eyes
    GM: William Lee
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Crime Noir Investigators
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: 10 years ago, you helped put a stop to a series of horrific murders and child abductions…or so you thought. That case made your careers, and you thought the horror to be long buried, just like the killer.

    But the terror is back. Children again disappear, and their mothers are found murdered. Their mutilated bodies found alongside the empty highway, swathed in immaculate white dresses and grotesquely posed so their vacant bloody eye sockets stare into the horizon. Their mouths left open in a rictus scream, wailing for their missing children.

    The Llorona Killer is back.

    As the community is plunged back into the nightmare, your careers and lives unravel. All the while, the killer taunts you with all-too-familiar bloody notes, written in the victims’ blood, with the same words and in the same handwriting as the old murders:

    “Little children are the apples of their mothers’ eyes…”

    Tone: 50% horror, 30% police procedural, 20% noir drama with a modern crime noir feel, like True Detective or Seven.

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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 $477 (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, though for the past coupe of years, nearly everyone’s stayed for the final session and 5 games were run. As always, I’ll have a game prepped – just in case. 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, asked me to invite you.

    To get in on the horror, pay by PayPal me at:

    terrorrabbit@me.com

    Or send a check payable to:

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

    Note that reg is 1st come, 1st in, so snail mail isn’t recommended.

    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
    f
    b: Dead of Winter, Terror Rabbit

    Contact Terror Rabbit

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  • Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter Winter

    Video 3
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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 14-16, 2016 at Walnut Creek Marriot
DunDraCon
: February 17-20, 2017 at San Ramon Marriot
KubalCon
: May 26-29, 2017 at Burlingame Hyatt Regency

  • 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 (maybe thousands) 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

  • July 23rd, 2017: Endgame 3d6 Con
    Endgame game store
    921 Washington St
    Numenera: The Skein of the Blackbone Bride

    October 13 – 15, 2017: Big Bad Con
    Walnut Creek Marriot
    2355 North Main Street, Walnut Creek

    Numenera & The Strange (Halloween Edition)

    Feb 16-19, 2018 DunDraCon
    San Ramon Marriot
    Games TBD

    May 25-28, 2018 Kublacon
    Burligame Hyatt Regency
    TBD

    Upcoming Rabbit Appearances

  • Endgame Oakland An Awesome SF Bay Game Store. In-store game space included + the Endgame Cafe – their attached coffee shop – open late!

    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 11-13, 2016, 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?

    It’s 2018 and this year we have gone hard core, with a hint of pulp thrown in to mix things up. We’ve got a great mix of game systems and settings and the Dead of Winter premier of D&D.

    10/5/18 I’ve put up all of the games for everyone to check out. I’ll ping the mailing list and then sometime real soon (on a weekend that’s not a holiday weekend) I’ll announce general registration. Once I’ve got everyone registered I’ll open up game requests.

    As before, GM’s get first chance to register (as their reward for running) and therefore the first shot at games they want to play. I’ll Email GM’s daily, in groups of 5, in order of registration. Then Players in groups of 6.

    Schedule

    Friday, December 7, 7PM- ??? After you check into the hotel, come hang out in the Milton Room just off of the lobby.  I’m gonna grab dinner at Powell’s Steamer Co & Pub just up the street at 425 Main Street, Placerville. If ya wanna join me around 5PM, that would be awesome.

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

    FYI – We still have The Study, the private room just off of the Milton room, & I added an additional suite this year..

    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 8, 11AM – 5PM Early game session

    Announcements right after the 1st session in the Milton Room, followed by a Dinner Break
    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.

    Saturday, December 8, 7PM – 1AM Late game session

    Sunday, December 9, 11AM – 5PM Early game session
    Group Photo after this session in the Milton Room.

    Dinner Break – When them which gotta go…go.

    Sunday, December 9, 7PM – 1AM, Late game session, for them what is hard-core

    GAMES:

    SATURDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: Delta Green
    Scenario Title:El Alisal
    GM: Marty Caplan
    Variations: Playing cards: 2 Suits, Ace to 10. Insanity Cards. Everyone Wears a Black Hat.
    Power Level: Cussed Hard-Cases, Pinkertons, and Outlaws
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: 1853, The California Gold Rush is in high gear. El Alisal is the outlaw shadow of San Francisco to the east. The omnipresent sycamore trees of this small town that is swollen with gold dust hides the dark deeds of Joaquin Murietta and his lieutenants (the PCs) as they recuperate. Only, nobody’s seen the “Robin Hood of El Dorado” for a few days… He headed out to the Diablo Range with a new lady he met, dark haired and strange. Some whores overheard them talking crazy, un-Christian talk about eternal life, raising the dead, and most of all bloody revenge on the white miners who raped Murietta’s wife when he got his first big gold claim jumped back in ’49! Maybe we should go check on the boss? The gold’s running out after a few days of R&R and it’s time for the next job to keep us all in liquor and women!

    TRIGGER WARNING: EXTREME GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, NUDITY, TORTURE, RACISM, SEXISM, BLASPHEMY. The game will use the X-card system.

    Tone: Hardcore 50/50 Horror with good ol’ western themes & other elements. Bad people doing whatever needs to be done, no matter who suffers.

    2. Game System: VOX
    Scenario Title: Our Yesterdays
    GM: Alexis George
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Tabula Rasa Tourists
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Hungover or drugged, you’re not sure. You’ve woken up on a dark floor, made of stone and caked in what seems like either mud or blood. This is either the morning after the best or worst night of your life; it remains to be seen. You’re pretty sure you have something important to do, but whatever it was is lost to you. Better get up and start piecing it back together.

    Tone: A solid 50/50 mix of Gothic horror & violence along with other elements.

    3. Game System: Player Agency
    Scenario Title: Uno
    GM: Anthony Brown
    Variations: No Dice
    Power Level: 8 Year Olds
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: It’s the solstice, or so your parents have told you. Don’t know why that means you need to drive all the way up to Mr. Arbin’s house in the mountains to sit in the rec room with a bunch of kids you don’t know. Mom says you can bring your “treasured item” with you, so at least you’ll have that. And last year you got all that candy and ice cream. Maybe this time you will even win at Uno.

    Tone: Ramps up from child’s play to 70%+ hardcore horror.

    4. Game System: NEMESIS/One Roll Engine
    Scenario Title: Hawk’s Road Terminal
    GM: Jack Young
    Variations: 1920′s
    Power Level: Railway Engineers
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: In its heyday, the Boston & Maine Railroad oversaw thousands of miles of track along the eastern seaboard. But due to a downturn preceding The Great War, branch lines to any number of once prosperous coastal villages have been abandoned in the wake of their economic decline. Good work for you though.  Your engineering crew is being sent to repair and retrieve a locomotive left at one of these long neglected terminal stations.  Should be routine.

    Tone: This one cranks up to 65% horror.

    5. Game System: Resolute, Genius, Adventurer
    Scenario Title: The Dunlap Horror
    GM: Matt Armstrong
    Power Level: Heroic, but normal, humans
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: 1935 The town of Dunlap is a quiet place, the sort of town where you didn’t even lock your door at night. But some new arrivals have the locals nervous, and when detectives arrive to look into the matter, tensions rise.

    Tone: Part Dashiell Hammet Hard-Boiled Crime story, part brutal horror that tipps into the 80% range.

    6. Game System: Something Wicked
    Scenario Title: Butterfly Unit
    GM: Jill Stapleton
    Variations: Nope
    Power Level: Experienced Investigators
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime takes in violent crime statistics from all over the world. Its stated goal is to provide international law enforcement officials with behavioral, investigative, and forensic insights into repetitive or unusually violent crimes. Somewhere in a back corner of its offices in Quantico is an experimental group that is using big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to get ahead of the curve. It’s just pinged on a series of eight murders, five foreign (San Jose del Cabo, Mexico), three domestic (New Orleans). They have a high probability of being connected. You are part of an experimental multi-disciplinary team and will be working the case on a parallel path to the traditional FBI investigation. Mexican authorities are cooperating, and you’ll be authorized to investigate both the foreign and domestic murders.

    Tone: Dark and Gritty full on investigative & psychological horror.

    SATURDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: Call of Cthulhu, 1890′s
    Scenario Title: Wight Man’s Burden, Gunga Din.
    GM: Arthur Stone Wallis
    Variations: No “luck” rules
    Power Level: Baritone, Tenor, Soprano, Bass
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Jolly ripping fun being a Redcoat in India. And a great privilege representing the officer corps in both the Pony Polo League, and the Royal Hussar’s Imperial Choir (RHIC). Ah, but what a boobie you’ll look like to old dad. Three years into a cavalry commission, and not a bit of blood and thunder to show. These are the sweeter years, where even a junior lieutenant of the Empire might live like a sheik on a shilling a day…if a bit scorched by the equatorial sun. It’s a bit of alright.

    All that’s about over with I’m afraid. You chaps are being tapped by high command for a secret mission. It seems that a certain colonel in Punjab is issuing orders which are disturbing the Queen’s peace in the provinces. Crucifying natives, shooting sacred cows, real King-Herod-by-leave-of-Caesar nonsense. Normally this would be a simple “sack the old fellow” to-do, except that the colonel in question, vibrant and temperamental as he is, seems to be a bit…well…dead.

    Rather a sort of “Count Dracula” in her-own-army.

    Strange stuff I don’t mind telling you. Real caterpillar in the buttermilk, what? Not exactly cricket. But, a job’s a job, eh? “England expects every man” etcetera. There’s a good gentleman.

    *Brandy provided. But not the Praetorian stock. NOT while the war’s on!*

    Tone: 25% Patriotic Zeal / 10% Gilbert & Sullivan / 65% Horror

    2. Game System: D&D 4th Edition
    Scenario Title: Mantlebreach
    GM: Aaron Teixeira
    Variations: Pretty vanilla, some elements from Dwarves Handbook 2nd ed and Veins of the Earth by Patrick Stuart.
    Power Level: 1
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Dwarven Clans Copperpick & Mithrilvein sent Mining Expedition “Mantlebreach” into unknown depths to discover rare deposits. They disappeared without a trace beyond the Verge, it was the greatest calamity the stronghold’s faced in three generations. It’s been ten years and the Thane’s ordered another deep mining expedition including “outsiders” in hopes they can discover the fate of the missing expedition. Our faithful heroes are sure to save the day.

    Tone: New Wave Taphophobia – You’ll have to play this one to fins out how/if D&D can be a horror game.

    3. Game System: Black Planet (Avatar)
    Scenario Title: Acheron
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Nanotech-Enhanced Post-Humans and an Alien or two
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: In a galaxy on the other side of the universe, sometime in the near future…

    Your civilization, which endured for 20,000 years, has ended. The young races have no idea what you have unleashed, or how to fight it if they did. Creation is not an easy thing and this is the consequence of your hubris.

    Following in the footsteps of the ancient seeders, your people aspired to create life that could flourish in the universe. Instead, they created something horrifying – a sentient parasite that could take control of those it infested. The Unseen bred, infesting more and more people of authority until they could seize control of governments and enslave all those under them. One day, they may take over the galaxy.

    You will return to your ravaged home when the last Unseen is eradicated. Until then, you hunt. Exiles of the Black Planet, your duty beckons.

    Few go to Acheron for pleasure. It’s a wet, misty, wild world that is home to a handful of domed cities. Tenacious residents labor to draw resources from the massive rainforests by day, for going out at night is considered suicide. Terrible beasts roam those wilds, particularly when the sun goes down.

    It is here you will go, chasing the wretched Unseen from inside Arkari space. They have already cleared the Jump Gate and the Guild, destination Acheron. You hope the infestation is not yet too great, and that you will not have to call on the Worldender.

    Tone: Serious Sc-Fi horror with a flavor similar to Outlander or The Hidden that leans heavily into the horror elements.

    4. Game System: Cthulhu Dark
    Scenario Title: Dark and Lonely Ice
    GM: Jim Mathews
    Variations Physical die and sanity die variant
    Power Level: Intelligent and Skilled
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: The highest winds in Antarctica reach over 300 mph. The coldest temperatures drop bellow –100 F. The Sun will not rise again for six months and the closest humans are a thousand miles across difficult terrain. You are the winter crew of AmScott Station. Do your job, run your experiments, and try to keep Antarctica from killing everyone. Oh, and don’t ask anyone why they’re here. You all have your reasons.

    Tone: Tense psychological horror in a deadly and isolated environment

    5. Game System: Ten Candles
    Scenario Title: All My Dead Friends.
    GM: Laurel Halbany
    Variations: Additional character-building used
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: No; some additional background provided
    Description: There were six of you, old friends who drifted apart as the strains of adult life fractured your close-knit group. Until Lailah died. You were all together, once again, for her funeral – and then the world went dark. And then They came. The radio transmissions have gone to static, the screams of Their victims faded to silence, the lights of the cities winking out as They stalked humanity.

    The five of you huddle in the light, the only thing that can keep Them at bay, perhaps the last ones left in a dark and empty world. What will you do to survived? And what if these are the last few hours of your life?

    Tone: Tragic, fatalistic, intense emotional horror. In Ten Candles everyone dies at the end. Knowing that pushes the horror pretty close to 100%.

    6. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed: Harlem Unbound
    Scenario Title: The Contender: A Love Story
    GM: Badger McInnes
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: n/a
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: From Darker Hue Studios’ award-winning Call of Cthulhu sourcebook Harlem Unbound comes – The Contender: A Love Story. In March of 1923, Prohibition is in full swing, bootlegging is high, and the Great Migration is causing increased tension in the city, as African Americans flee the oppressive South for greener pastures. Gangs of all backgrounds gun for control of Harlem, while the cops, at best, abandon the streets. At worst, they’re happy to turn a blind eye as their KKK brethren hunt you down and use you for target practice.

    But other sinister machinations are at work in Harlem. You are hired by Jack Johnson, former heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Jack has a number of boxers in his stable that he trains; one Jimmy Harris is about to fight Stefano Rossi, who outright killed the last idiot who decided to block Rossi’s fists with his face. It doesn’t make sense; Rossi was a washed-up has-been known more for throwing fights in the past few years. Jack has hired you and your fellow Harlemites to find out the score with Rossi, and what’s giving him his edge in the ring.

    Tone: Serious and dark. Expect a heavy emphasis on roleplaying. The racism of this era will be present and realistic. Violence will be brutal and bloody. If you cannot handle these topics in a mature manner, don’t sign up.

    SUNDAY 11AM

    1. Game System: Xas Irkalla
    Scenario Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the World Maggot
    GM: Colin Fahrion
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Metalheads
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Gwar!!!! You’ve been aching to see Gwar for ages and now they finally came to your shit-hole of a town! You’ve got tickets and you have one goal — to get on stage and be swallowed whole by the World Maggot! …”Maggot! Maggot!” “Balsac the Jaws of Death will sacrifice you to the World Maggot!” … Dude that rocked! …wait what the hell? Where the fuck am I? Why is there snow falling from the sky? No wait fuck that’s ash falling! And why is there a spooky lamppost in the middle of this dark evil looking forest? This must be some serious backstage CGI projection shit!? Right?

    Tone: Dark hellscape survival horror and oh so very metal! 60% horror / 40% camp

    2. Game System: Equanimity (Avatar)
    Scenario Title: Disruption
    GM: Matthew Grau
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Psionic Vat-born Humans
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description:Is this our world? We don’t really know. It’s so far in the future and things have changed so much, the world we know would be part of the ancient past.

    It is a utopia. There is no competition, no greed, and everyone is equal in respect and standing. There is no discrimination or prejudice or judgment. There is no aggression and people are peaceful and united. It’s a place where social justice rules and crime is virtually non-existent. Everyone is equal in all ways, even if they are mostly the same.

    Making people the same is different than making them equal. People are androgynous, hairless, and racially ambiguous with brown eyes. They’re grown in vats, as sexual reproduction has become redundant and the drive to do so doesn’t exist. While people may be different on the inside, there’s not much difference on the outside.

    This solution has caused human evolution to stagnate. There are those born with the innate sense that something is wrong and many manifest psionic abilities – the powers of the mind. They’re labeled disruptors and become the hunted of society. Caught, they are reprogrammed and who they were is wiped away.

    Now you have to hide in a society that fears you and labels you a terrorist. Though you may not know it, your actions are helping to open the floodgates of evolution again and bring down the society that tried to cage it. Evolution is messy and nothing evolves in the homogenous, stagnant world created by humans.

    Disruptors, your time has arrived. The future of the human race is in your hands.

    Tone: Serious dystopian sci-fi future, with shades of THX-1138, Push, the Tomorrow People, and Equilibrium. Hearty balance that leans a little more horror than sci-fi.

    3. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: The Search for Brian Boru (Searcher Series #4)
    GM: Shannon Mac
    Variations: None
    Power Level: Medieval Meatbags
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: You are the descendants of the great Brian Boru, a High King of Ireland who brought the people together against the Danes. But that was long ago and he has since passed on after a great battle. All of you have come to accept the dark times coming until a trusted druid friend tells you he has the means to bring Boru back from the dead which entails finding the Sidhe and striking a bargain. More about Brian Boru

    Tone: With a focus is on helplessness and devotion, this scenario won the Cult of Chaos competition for 2019: Cult of Chaos Scenario Writing Contest Winners for 2018!

    4. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th ed.
    Scenario Title: Reaping the Seeds of Greed
    GM: Jason Frankenfield
    Variations: Minor tweaks to Luck
    Power Level: Educated members of a certain class…
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Pokhara, Nepal, 1919:  An after dinner salon at the King Edward Hotel turns suddenly, and threatens to upset the balance of the English custodians among the Nepalese.

    Tone:  A significant amount of ominous horror, with a bit of “The Golden Child” thrown in.

    5. Game System: Bluebeard’s Bride
    Scenario Title:Bluebeard’s Bride
    GM: Kirsten Hageleit
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: n/a
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Developed at the table
    Description: Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror game, written and designed by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson, and based on the Bluebeard fairy tale.

    In this game you and your friends explore Bluebeard’s home as various psychological aspects of the Bride, creating your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale. Investigate rooms, discover the truth of what happened, experience the nightmarish phantasmagoria of this broken place, and decide whether or not the Bride is loyal, or faithless. Either way, there is no happy ending.

    Bluebeard’s Bride is based on the Powered by the Apocalypse system. Since this is a horror game, we have modified it so that the majority of moves use no dice; this harkens back to telling ghost stories around the fire.

    Bluebeard’s Bride produces adult feminine horror fiction – not gore, or dark humor, but psychological horror on themes particular to women’s experiences in the world. Men and non-binary folk are welcome to play, however…

    Tone: Psychological horror with themes specific to women’s experiences

    6. Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: Home for the Holidays
    GM: Michael Ripley
    Variations: Non-Mythos tale of holiday horror
    Power Level: Various Citizens of Granite Falls
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Description: Snow is on the ground and the town’s become a winter wonderland. Festive decorations are appearing on Main Street and the magic of the holidays is almost here. Time for the citizens of Granite Falls to put the finishing touches on their 100th annual Christmas Festival. How is it that no one has noticed the extra chill in the air or the unusually deep shadows once the sun sets? Why doesn’t anyone remember the stories of the first Christmas Festival and the dying curse of Old Man Talbot?

    Tone: A tale of mounting terror and violence with a deceptively cheery backdrop of the Holiday Season.

    SUNDAY 7PM

    1. Game System: Boneslingers
    Scenario Title: The Return
    GM: Duane O’Brien & Will Robot
    Variations: Lots Of Human Rules
    Power Level: Well below what you’ll need to survive
    Number of Players: 6-8
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Five years ago, your village was in the grasp of Amo. You can still remember the terrors wrought by him and his men. You bear the scars. The screams still echo in the canyons. You don’t sleep well.

    But you do sleep. Because five years ago, a group of Boneslingers rode into town. Some called them “The Putrescent Seven.” They drove of Amo and his men. They liberated your village. They helped you bury your dead. And they’ve kept a close eye on you ever since, swinging by regularly to check in on your village.

    But they should have been back by now. And the longer they’re gone, the more agitated the village becomes. You’re hearing whispers, and the fear of Amo’s return grows every day.

    Tone: Grimdark with 40% Horror, 30% Western, 30% Survival or somewhere thereabouts

    2. Game System: Cthulhu Dark Ages, 7th Ed.
    Scenario Title: My Final Abode
    GM: Frank A. Figoni
    Variations: Home brew Japanese variant
    Power Level: Heh, you have none
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: It’s November 1586 and medieval Japan is in the midst of civil war, which the honorable Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi is determined to win and unify all Japan.  It’s at this time he puts out a curious summons to all loyal Daimyo to send their best warriors or scholars to Heian-kyō.  Some loyal Daimyo procrastinate, explaining their best are currently fighting for the honor of the Emperor, but most send their best and brightest.  What will the Shogun require?  Some warriors whisper they will become hostages, while others claim they will gain much glory.  Monks and sages claim they will find wisdom.  The Christian priests point out, “In the end, only God knows…”

    Tone:  Get your honor on!  Much like Seven samurai, Shogun, or Ran this will test most players devotion to ones honor.

    3. Game System: Fear Itself
    Scenario Title: Seasons in the Abyss
    GM: Bryanna Hitchcock
    Variations: Condensed Rules
    Power Level: Novice investigators
    Number of Players: 5
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Spring of 1958 was a golden age for some Americans.

    For the members of Harvard’s informal Romantic Literature Society, it is a season of fear. Their leader, visionary poet Zachary Holland, has disappeared. None of the faculty will even acknowledge he is missing. Federal agents have been seen on campus asking questions about Holland’s associates. Sooner or later, the agents will dig up their secrets; secrets that could land them in prison or worse.

    Players will take the role of a talented LGBTQ academic risking everything to rescue a beloved friend and mentor with a tight-knit group.

    Tone: Serious, Dark, Emotional with inspirations from AHS Asylum, The Imitation Game, & Sense 8

    4. Game System: Fate Accelerated
    Scenario Name:These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends
    GM: Gil Trevizo
    Variations: TBD
    Power Level: Variable
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: Enjoy life without limits through a meticulously crafted and artfully designed experience where you have the freedom to become who you’ve always wanted to be – or who you never knew you were. Exist free of rules, laws, or judgment in a world where no impulse is taboo. Savage braves, willing maidens, tragically ill-fated sidekicks, vivisections, self-cannibalism, horror, romance – it all awaits those who dare to select this, the most premiere narrative within our Western park. We proudly present to you – THE DINNER PARTY.

    TERMS OF USE: This module is restricted to FRONTIER45//WIN73. Entrance parameters require deassimilation, full immersion, and mono-identification. The physical and psychological well-being of any and all guest identities is not guaranteed.

    Tone: Gritty horror that becomes decidedly grittier.

    5. Game System: Fear Itself 2nd Ed.
    Scenario Title: The Apples of Their Mothers’ Eyes
    GM: William Lee
    Variations: n/a
    Power Level: Crime Noir Investigators
    Number of Players: 6
    Characters Provided: Yes
    Description: 10 years ago, you helped put a stop to a series of horrific murders and child abductions…or so you thought. That case made your careers, and you thought the horror to be long buried, just like the killer.

    But the terror is back. Children again disappear, and their mothers are found murdered. Their mutilated bodies found alongside the empty highway, swathed in immaculate white dresses and grotesquely posed so their vacant bloody eye sockets stare into the horizon. Their mouths left open in a rictus scream, wailing for their missing children.

    The Llorona Killer is back.

    As the community is plunged back into the nightmare, your careers and lives unravel. All the while, the killer taunts you with all-too-familiar bloody notes, written in the victims’ blood, with the same words and in the same handwriting as the old murders:

    “Little children are the apples of their mothers’ eyes…”

    Tone: 50% horror, 30% police procedural, 20% noir drama with a modern crime noir feel, like True Detective or Seven.

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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 $477 (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, though for the past coupe of years, nearly everyone’s stayed for the final session and 5 games were run. As always, I’ll have a game prepped – just in case. 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, asked me to invite you.

    To get in on the horror, pay by PayPal me at:

    terrorrabbit@me.com

    Or send a check payable to:

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

    Note that reg is 1st come, 1st in, so snail mail isn’t recommended.

    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
    f
    b: Dead of Winter, Terror Rabbit

    Contact Terror Rabbit

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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.

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