Thursday, July 30, 2015

R.E.A.L. Genius

There's a guy out there who launched a protest against a recent staging of "The Producers," because he believes it uses Hitler and Nazis as sources of laughter and amusement. You can read about his efforts here.

That is not a satirical article at a satirical site. Jeffrey Imm and his group are quite real (or R.E.A.L, if you will.) and his protest against "The Producers" is just as real. Never mind that every word he writes or speaks on the subject shows that he has absolutely no idea what goes on in the storyline, nor what roll Hitler and Nazis play in it. That is obvious than in his blog post where he called for the protest, and says things like, "The folly of tolerating or dismissing Adolf Hitler’s legacy of 'racial purity' hate has led to yet more American deaths" and "We need you to urge them to end the scenes in the Olney Theatre presentation about Adolf Hitler and the twisted “comedy” of 'Springtime for Hitler.'"

"The Producers" stage musical is based on the 1968 film by Mel Brooks. Here's a sample from that original film. This is probably the number that has Imm all worked up.

Or maybe this one (which is a clip from the movie based on the musical based on The Producers). It would probably follow the above clip, if there really was a musical titled "Springtime for Hitler."

Of course, I may be giving him too much credit. He may not even have seen those clips.

Where Imm shows his ignorance most clearly is that "Springtime for Hitler" does NOT equal "The Producers." It's role in the story is to not make light of Nazi atrocities, nor to "normalize" Nazi symbols... it's role is to be the worst play ever staged. In fact, nothing in The Producers movie and "The Producers" musical tolerates or dismisses Hitler's legacy of hate, as Imm likes to pretend; if anything, it dismisses those who would respect it by showing them to be fools and lunatics.

The good news is that almost no one responded to Imm's calls for protests. Reportedly, he was a one-man outrage brigade outside the Maryland theatre putting on the play that was the target of his ire. His attempt to rally people to his cause was a complete failure... and it may even have sold some extra tickets as these things often have the opposite effect than what those organizing them hope for. Especially when they're coming from a position of ignorance like Imm.

That got us thinking here at NUELOW Games. If Imm can generate free publicity for a production of "The Producers," maybe he can do the same for us! It's understandable, given his ignorance regarding  the actual content an award-winning classic that's been around since 1968, that he wouldn't have heard of us, nor the fact that we've used Hitler in several releases.

If someone would be so kind so as to call Imm and R.E.A.L.'s attention to ROLF!: The Death of Adolf Hiter (in which a time-traveling Chuck Norris takes on Nazi super-soldiers and the Big A himself) and ROLF!: Dead Presidents (in which Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy team up to thwart Kim Jong Il and Adolf Hitler in the afterlife) Each is just as worthy of their ire as "The Producers"--perhaps even more-so, since a gamer has to assume control of Hitler during the battle scenarios.

(Oh! Hitler is also featured in Complete Golden Age Oddballs: Kismet & Penny Parker! We are terrible, TERRIBLE people here at NUELOW Games.

Featuring HITLER!
Featuring HITLER!
Featuring HITLER!

Someone also needs to call Imm and R.E.A.L.'s attention to other NUELOW Games outrages. While trying to explain why protesting "The Producers" is right and proper, Imm stated, "It would be no more funny if somebody did a comedy with a play that’s not going to work because it’s about Osama bin Laden."

Well... Imm might not find Osama bin Laden funny, but we do--or at least we find him a more-than-deserving target of mockery and contempt. We've mocked him and his fellow psychopaths in ROLF!: The Death of Osama bin Laden, ROLF!: The Breast Hope for Peace, and ROLF!: Bill Clinton and the Secret City of Women. We also probably used him in some other battle scenarios we're not remembering at the moment--evil bastards like bin Laden and his followers and admirers should be mocked frequently and without mercy or reserve as far as we're concerned.

But Jeffrey Imm and R.E.A.L. disagree. We deserve the brunt of their wrath, because we've been very VERY bad (and we hunger for free publicity!)

And while we're at it, here are ROLF! stats for Mr. Imm and one of the R.E.A.L. supporters who might come out to protest "The Producers."

Jeffrey Imm of R.E.A.L.
Brawn 18, Body 13, Brains 5
   Traits: Dour, Improv Master
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Debate Philosophy, Disarm, Dodge, Strike Pose
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Protest Sign (Armor, absorbs up to 2 points of damage).

R.E.A.L. Member (Male or Female)
Brawn 10, Body 12, Brains 3
   Traits: Dour
  Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Run Away!, Strategic Bleeding
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Protest Sign (Large Melee Weapon, deals 3 points of damage).

(Sadly, some of the causes Jeffrey Imm and R.E.A.L. have made a ruckus about are actually worth protesting over--I know this because I probably spent more time looking into Imm and R.E.A.L. than he did on "The Producers." I wonder if he recently took a blow to the head or something.)

Random Illness/Disability Generator (using a deck of cards)

While engaging in a purely mechanical and utterly boring task, the following addendum to a character creation system came to mind. This is raw, untested, and pretty much as it popped into my head. It is geared for d20 System games--such as Pathfinder, d20 Star Wars, or NUELOW Games favorite OGL d20 Modern--but it is easily applicable to any system that has analogies to the d20 System attributes and saving throw mechanics, Basically, it's a system for generating disabilities and mental illnesses for characters.

Maybe one of the NUELOW crew will think of something we can do with this. Maybe YOU can think of something we can do with this--and if you do, don't hesitate to get in touch! Meanwhile, however, this is released under the Open Game License. Copyright 2015 Steve Miller.

(using a deck of cards)

Generation System
1. Draw Three Cards. Discard any Aces or Jokers.
2. Determine the character's illness/disability by comparing the suits of the cards to the lists below. If the cards drawn are of different suits, the character suffers from all the illnesses/disabilities indicated by the cards. (See "Face Cards" for some special conditions, however.)

Face Cards
If one is a face card, your character has Multiple Personality Disorder; the sex of the card determines if the personality is male or female. If you drew one or more number cards of the same suit as the face card, the number on those cards determine how many multiple personalities you have. If multiple face cards are drawn, discard any Jacks or Queens first, then draw another card.
Otherwise, the suit of cards drawn determine the illness(es) your character suffers from.

   Odd -- Sadist... your character enjoys hurting other loving things. (+1 to attack rolls and damage, -4 to all Charisma-based skill checks and attribute rolls).
   Even -- Over-sensitive... your character is so concerned with hurting others (especially their feelings) that it's debilitating (-2 to all attack and damage rolls, +2 to all Charisma-based skill checks and attribute rolls).

   Odd -- Bleeder... your character is easily injured and heals slowly. (+1 point to any and all damage suffered. -1 point to natural recovery).
   Even -- Arthritic... your character's joints are still and it's painful to move sometimes. (-2 to all Dexterity-based skill checks and attribute rolls, -1 to Reflex saves.)

   Odd--Weak Constitution... your character has overall poor health. (-2 to all Strength- and Constitution-based skill checks and attribute rolls. -1 to Fort saves.)
   Even--Egomaniac... your character is over-confident. (+2 to all Charisma-based skill checks and attribute rolls, -4 to all Wisdom-based skill checks and attribute rolls.)

   Odd--Weak Hearing... your character suffers a penalty to all Listen skill checks, Move Silently skill checks, and checks for Surprise equal to one-half the numeric value of the card, rounded up.
   Even--Weak Eyesight... your character suffers a penalty to ranged attacks, Search skill checks and Spot skill check equal to one-half the numeric value of the card.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Join us for the last ride with Robert E. Howard

When NUELOW Games came back to full life in 2011, one of the long-term projects we formulated involved a series of anthologies throwing the spotlight on the under-appreciated and widely ignored non-fantasy writings of Robert E. Howard. Initially, it was just going to be his historical fiction and the best of his horror stories. However, as we dug deeper into his body of work, we decided to add collections of the Sailor Steve Costigan and Breckinridge Elkins stories to line-up.

The final entry in our series of anthologies was always planned to be The Last Ride, a collection of two novellas that saw print in the months after Howard's suicide in June of 1936. They, together with the El Borak stories we collected in Oriental Stories Vol 3: A Texan in Afghanistan, and the horror stories in Shadows over Texas, show readers the direction in which he was headed creatively. All signs point to Howard moving in a direction of more mainstream literature, a direction that would have seen him leave the pulps behind. If he had lived, maybe we'd be discussing Howard as one of the great Regional or Southern Gothic writers instead of "the creator of Conan." Heck, maybe we'd be talking about the Southwestern Gothic literary subgenre?

Art by Rocco Mastroserio 
Regardless of what could have been, The Last Ride represents the end for Howard, and the end of our anthology series. It brings our project to an end on a high note, with stories that Howard probably would have far preferred to be remembered for than the Conan and Solomon Kane tales. We hope that some of you reading this found some new favorite Howard stories over the past few years... and we hope you'll come with us as we reach the end of the trail.

Click here to see previews of The Last Ride, or to get your own copy.

By the way, while this may be the end of the Robert E. Howard Collection Project, it doesn't mean that NUELOW Games is completely done with Howard's writings and characters; we love them too much for that. There are numerous smaller projects (similar to, for example, The SheikThe Conquests of Wild Bill Clanton, and the Talk Like a Pirate Day Special) that we are planning to do. Our hope to call attention to the fact that Robert E. Howard's body of work is so much greater than Conan doesn't end just because the project has.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Totally Unauthorized -- ROLF!: The Dukes of Hazzard

Pre-Generated Characters based on "The Dukes of Hazzard" television series (1979 - 1985). Vehicle rules for ROLF! can be found in this free download.

BO DUKE (Male)
Brawn 23, Body 13, Brains 5
Traits: Driver, Irrepressible Optimist
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Murderous Mitts, Run Away!, Seduce,
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Wrench (Small Melee Weapon, deals 2 points of damage). Drives the General Lee.

Brawn 20, Body 9 (includes +1 Hat Bonus), Brains 6
Traits: Coldhearted, Short-tempered
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm. Double-Strike, Eat Lunch, Seduce, Walk and Chew Gum
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded. White Stetson Hat (+1 to Body when worn). White Suit (clothes). Big Cigar (One-shot Melee Weapon, deals 1 point of damage).

Brawn 21, Body 15, Brains 5
Traits: Driver, Improv Master, Irrepressible Optimist
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Strike Pose, Seduce, Yodel
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Tiny Cut-off Shorts (Clothes, barely covers nakedness). Drives the Dixie.

Brawn 25, Body 12, Brains 6
Traits: Dead Eye, Improv Master, Sense of Honor
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Knock Out, Murderous Mitts, Run Away!, Signature Move
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Compound Bow with Explosive Arrows (Large Ranged Weapon, deals 5 points of damage that ignore armor). Rides in the General Lee (with Bo Duke)

Brawn 20, Body 11, Brains 3
Traits: Cowardly, Driver
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Disarm, Run Away!
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Pistol (Medium Ranged Weapon, deals 3 points of damage that ignores armor), Drives a Police Cruiser.

Brawn 18, Body 10, Brains 5
Traits: Improv Master, Old
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Run Away!
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Coveralls (Armor, absorbs 1 point of damage). Shotgun (Ranged Weapon, deals 3 points of damage that ignore armor).

Body 19, Speed 7, Maneuverability 3. Weapon: None

THE DIXIE (Automobile)
Body 18, Speed 7, Maneuverability 5. Weapon: None

 THE GENERAL LEE (Automobile)
Body 25, Speed 7, Maneuverability 4, Weapon: None

Thursday, July 9, 2015

ROLF! Stats for THE LORD!

Jesus Christ has been a recurring pre-generated character in the ROLF! game line (appearing in Jesus vs. Santa vs. Santos, Night of the Easter Bunny, and elsewhere), but we've never provided stats for his Dad.

We fix that oversight today.

"I'd introduce myself, but that might be taking MY  name in vain."
GOD (aka Yahoo-Wahoo [Cartoon History of the Universe Reference]) 
Brawn 40, Body 20, Brains 12
   Attributes: Dour, God, Holier Than Thou, Improv Master, Inventor, Same Sex Preference
   Combat Maneuvers: Whatever He Wants, including Spellings. (He's the LORD!)
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: The Burning Bush (Armor AND weapon, absorbs up to 20 points of damage, deals 5 points of damage that ignore armor to all within melee range each round) OR Snazzy White Beard (Armor, absorbs 2 points of damage) and Fashionable Robes (Armor, absorbs 2 points of damage).
  Special: By taking no other action in a round, GOD can ask other fighters to bow down in his honor. Those who do, immediately gain the Agent of the Divine trait. Those who refuse are immediately destroyed at the beginning of the next round and removed from the battle. GOD then says, "Well... shit. I may have overreacted just a little bit there. Here. Let me show you this pretty rainbow. It's both my apology and my promise that I won't ever pitch a fit like that again. I hope. I have some anger issues, but I'm working through them. I swear to... um. ME.)
   Extra Special: GOD can change HIS sex from Male to Female by using one of HIS actions in a round. HE then becomes SHE until SHE changes sex again. HIS beard is replaced by an elaborate, gem-encrusted necklace that's so large it covers HER breasts (sort of...but it is armor that absorbs up to 2 points of damage).

With GOD appearing here on the blog, this is considered official content for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters. Feel free unleash HIM on your unsuspecting players.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NUELOW Stock Art Collection #8 is now available!

Art by Bob Forgione
If you're looking for high-quality, horror-themed artwork for your website or publishing project, you might find something to fill that need in NUELOW Stock Art Collection #8: Killers and Cultists. The set features blood-chilling illustrations from Lee Elias, Jack Sparling, Matt Baker, Steve Ditko and many other great talents!

As with most of our art packs, the included illustrations have been adapted from the covers and interiors of comics from the 1940s and 1950s that have slipped into the public domain. The license included with your purchase grants you nearly completely unfettered use of these derivative works.

Click here to see a preview of the index booklet included with the set (under quick preview) and to read the text of the license (under full preview). As always, if you use any of the artwork we provide in a project, be sure to let us know! We'll give you a plug either here on the blog or on our Facebook page.

NUELOW Stock Art Collection #8: Killers and Cultists is available at DriveThruComics, DriveThruRPG, and RPGNow.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Now Available--
'Complete Golden Age Oddballs: Major Victory & Yankee Girl'!

Leave it to us geniuses at NUELOW Games forget to mention our Fourth of July release on our very own blog!

Art by Charles Sultan & Ralph Mayo
Just in time for America's Independence Day, we published the completely patriotic Complete Golden Age Oddballs: Major Victory & Yankee Girl.

This fifth entry in the Complete Golden Age Oddballs puts the spotlight on two great characters from the production studio of comic book industry pioneer Harry "A" Chesler. It includes every one of the original stories (illustrated by great talents like Ralph Mayo, Al Plastino, Ralph Mayo, and Charles Sultan) and covers featuring the characters. It also includes all-new material for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big, Dumb Fighters and OGL d20 Modern.

Click here to see previews, or to purchase your own copy, of this totally patriotic collection of classic comics at DriveThruComics. You can also get it at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.

For additional previews of the book, click here to visit our sister blog Shades of Gray.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Random ROLF! Character

I'm not even doing a Battle Scenario for this one... but maybe she can form the heart of something down the road. (There are lots of little tidbits like this scattered all over this blog. Every so often, either L.L. Hundal or I rediscover them, and they show up in a product.)

As for backgrounds.. here are a couple:

1. Maddie the Hatter is a time- and dimension traveling assassin. No one knows how she does it, but she always find her target, no matter when or where they might be.

2. Maddie was on her way to a costume party when the Martians invaded and conquored Earth. She comes from a long line of mystics, and she has turned to using her magical powers to fight the invaders while comforting and healing her fellow freedom fighters.

Brawn 20 (includes +1 Hat bonus), Body 15, Brains 6
   Traits: Coldblooded, Improv Master, Same-Sex Preference
   Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Furious Fists, Run Away!, Spelling (Good Touch), Strike Pose
   Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Big-ass Hat (Hat, provides +1 bonus to Brawn when worn). Cute Jacket and Mini-Skirt (Clothes). Thigh-high Boots (Armor AND Leggings, absorbs up to 1 point of damage).

All the traits and combat maneuvers not included in the basic ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game rulebook used to make Maddie will be included in the forthcoming Relentlessly Gay mega-supplement.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's that time of year again!

What time of year, do you ask? Well. the Holy Month of Ramadan!

The Holy Month of Ramadan is about half gone at this point--it ends at sundown on July 17--so we're bringing back the RAMADAN COLLECTION! After all, ROLF! and ROLF! supplements are great ways to get together and spend time with friends! And the historical fiction from Robert E. Howard is a nice way to take a break from studying the Koran. That goes double for the comics starring the first-ever Muslim superhero.

The bundle includes the ROLF! basic game, two collections of Robert E. Howard novellas, the complete adventures of Kismet the Man of Fate, and four rollicking ROLF! battle scenarios. And you'll get it all at more than half off what it would cost you to buy each book separately.

Everyone at NUELOW Games (all two of us) wish all Muslims a happy, introspective, and peaceful Ramadan with their friends and family. Except those who support or say nice things about ISIS, al-Qeada, and  Al-Shabbab. We hope those people get porcupines shoved up the ass sideways and die.

But to everyone else--happy Ramadan! And please click here to get your NUELOW Games Ramadan Collection Bundle!