Posted on November 5, 2012 by mazecontroller
Protagonists cut off from the real world. Men and women forced into violence to survive. Agents of powers that skulk in shadow. Are they spies or vampires? Both types of characters share a startling amount of similarities. The two genres seem tailor made for each other. Ken Hite brings them together in his newest RPG, Night’s Black Agents. But be aware, it’s not vampire spies. It’s spies vs. vampires.While playing vampires in RPGs has been extremely popular over the past 20 years or so, this one is about putting stakes in hearts and walking away while the bloodsucker burns in the sun.
The PDF is full color and laid out in a very modern style. The game includes several sidebar callouts explaining why certain rules work certain ways as well as giving examples of what happened during playtesting.
Posted on November 2, 2012 by Flames
Night’s Black Agents brings the GUMSHOE engine to the spy thriller genre, combining the propulsive paranoia of movies like Ronin and The Bourne Identity with supernatural horror straight out of Bram Stoker. Investigation is crucial, but it never slows down the action, which explodes with expanded options for bone-crunching combat, high-tech tradecraft, and adrenaline-fueled chases.
Updating classic Gothic terrors for the postmodern age, Night’s Black Agents presents thoroughly modular monstrosity: GMs can build their own vampires, mashup their own minions, kitbash their own conspiracies to suit their personal sense of style and story. Rules options let you set the level of betrayal, grit, and action in your game. Riff from the worked examples or mix and match vampiric abilities, agendas, and assets for a completely custom sanguinary spy saga.
Posted on July 26, 2011 by Nix
Luckily, I have had the pleasure of meeting Kenneth Hite, albeit briefly and in passing, at a convention only a short time ago. He was engaging, intelligent, and knowledgeable about things most people find horrific with a particularly keen interest in Lovecraft. I could think of few other game designers and authors better suited to write a game of horror. Even though I found myself quite daunted at the thought of reviewing a Steve Jackson Games product, I was not disappointed and from the first few lines my attention was transfixed while my mind whirled with the possibilities of my own fear-filled campaigns.
GURPS Horror, which I will simply shorten to G:H, begins with a history of the game, a small dose of the authors quite note-worthy credentials, and a short piece on what exactly ‘horror’ and horror role-playing is. After a brief explanation on why players need to remain mindful of their fears, G:H jumps into character creation. Going beyond simple numbers or hastily jotted notes, Hite actually seems to endorse players giving quite a bit of thought about their characters backgrounds.
Posted on August 20, 2010 by Kenneth Hite
Kenneth Hite, author of Cthulhu 101 and other Mythos tomes of dark intent brings us a tale of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game from Chaosium.
Enjoy this contribution to Cthulhu Week, but don’t read too deep…we can’t be held responsible for what horrors are left behind…
In Call of Cthulhu, your character explicitly starts no better than any other. There is no leveling up, no percentile strength, no special class skills or feats separating your character from any other citizen of Arkham. Yes, your character may well gain magical powers and travel to exotic destinations, as in other roleplaying games. But such “improvements” come at a cost, at the cost of lowering your irreplaceable Sanity. In Call of Cthulhu, the player knows at the outset that his character, if played long enough, will go insane and die. That’s a very different proposition from hoping that your character will become the vampiric Prince of Pittsburgh or get a Helm of Command at 18th level. Of course if that was all it was, Call of Cthulhu would simply be nihilistic, an exercise in masochistic masturbation. At best, its characters would resemble the decadent aesthetes of Lovecraft’s short story “The Hound,” seeking ever more outré pleasures, or perhaps the shortsighted Tillinghast in “From Beyond,” accepting insanity as the necessary visa for interdimensional tourism. And in many of Lovecraft’s stories, this is the case — Lovecraft was, after all, a nihilist (albeit a gentlemanly nihilist) himself, who considered morality “mere Victorian fiction.” The object of terror, for Lovecraft, is terror.
Posted on April 12, 2010 by spikexan
I reviewed the Savage Worlds edition of The Day After Ragnarok a few months back. As a fan of bleak settings, Kenneth Hite’s dark little world is a contender. Atomic Overmind Press now releases Serpent Scales, which are meaty bits that focus on a specific (and I mean specific) aspect of that world. In this review, Hite takes on the British Sten Gun, which may be most deadly to its user.
I’m going to combine layout and artwork today. I mostly liked the layout with the exception of a sidebar on page two. The sidebar could have been a bit darker for readers.
Posted on December 3, 2009 by Billzilla
Have you repeatedly heard references to something called “Cthulhu” and wondered what it was all about? Are you already familiar with “the Big C,” know the signs and the secret handshakes, but are still looking for something to fill the great, gaping wound in your soul? Look no further, dear friends – Cthulhu 101 is good for what ails you!
Published by Atomic Overmind Press (www.atomicovermind.com), Cthulhu 101 is a witty overview of the Cthulhu Mythos, a world of pulp horror monsters from other dimensions and beyond the stars, created in the 1920’s and 30s by Howard Philips Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch and many others.
Posted on August 21, 2009 by spikexan
It’s a world where jetpack-toting heroes combat Fly-By-Nights (a combination of toad, bat, and gorilla). It’s a world where a 200-foot tall tidal wave decimated the North American East Coast. It’s a pulp setting full of Communists, Klansmen, Norse myth, and much more. It’s a world that comes from the twisted mind of Kenneth Hite, and it’s worth staking out. The Day After Ragnarok (DAR from here on out) is a new savage setting for Savage Worlds that takes place in a world where the line between World War II and Norse myth blur, permitting Jörmungander, the Midgard Serpent, entrance to our reality.
DAR’s layout proves Spartan. Cleanliness lends to divinity though in that the finished product looks smart. Instead of the usual two-column format, DAR primarily favors a single column. Neatly placed sidebars work to make an exception to this.
Posted on July 9, 2009 by Flames
Recently, we had the chance to sit down with industry veteran Kenneth Hite, who is a horror game designer, author and columnist. You may have read some of Ken Hite’s columns through Weird Tales or Out of the Box at Indie Press Revolution. In this interview, we talk a little bit about the Origins-award winning title Tour de Lovecraft and the recent release of The Day After Ragnarok, horror as a genre versus mood, the Windy City, his upcoming projects and much, much more!
Posted on May 6, 2009 by Billzilla
The classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak has been parodied before, but rarely as successfully as in Ken Hite’s Where the Deep Ones Are. Ostensibly a childrens’ book, Deep Ones is a story of a boy who rebels and is banished to his room in punishment, subsequently discovering a hidden world that calls to him enchantingly.
Instead of Max, we now have Bobby, a boy who loves to eat fish. He also wears a frog-like costume with several tentacles dangling from the face, and it’s mentioned more than once in the text that he has a cousin named Larry Marsh. This boy is well on his way to becoming a Deep One himself, which parallels the story of Shadow Over Innsmouth, on which the actual tale of Where the Deep Ones Are is partly based.
Posted on August 21, 2008 by Flames
He has exposed The Cainite Heresy, and dug up the Secrets of the Ruined Temple. He has broadcast the Suppressed Transmissions, and ventured through Infinite Worlds. Now, horror heresiarch Kenneth Hite, the author of GURPS Horror 3rd Edition and Nightmares of Mine, assembles the Dubious Shards of the Cthulhu Mythos!
Look for Dubious Shards at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.
Posted on May 27, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Fred Hicks just posted some very cool news on his LiveJournal: Good news! Evil Hat has inked a deal with Kenneth Hite to have him write the Occult Chicago chapter for the Dresden Files RPG, blending the locations and events of the novels together with Ken’s real-life research into Chicago, where he currently resides. I’m […]
Posted on April 21, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Chicago Workings is a World of Darkness adventure released under the Storytelling Adventure System from White Wolf Publishing. Written by Will Hindmarch (with a little help from Ken Hite and Bill Bridges) this adventure puts the player characters in the middle of an ongoing conflict between rival architects. At first that doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but what if these two designers had access to mystical writings? These writings allowed them to build geometric grids of power within the city, forever altering the flow of magic and power.