May 262023

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories. This article uses the Bigfoot monster from the Monsters from the Crypt supplement from Onyx Path Publishing.

Bigfoot is a gentle giant who hangs out in deep forests and wild places. What people don’t understand is that Bigfoots are a manifestation of the forest itself created to protect itself. A Bigfoot steps out of the bush and does their mysterious business and then disappears back into the shadows. Sometimes they helps lost children or stop people about to start a forest fire but for the most part, they are gentle enigmas.

A year ago, Belgium Mold infected several trees and bushes located in Whitnall Park in Milwaukee. Park authorities cleared these infected plants but needed to fill in the barren stretch of land. They imported trees from a nearby state park and replanted them in Whitnall.

Unfortunately, these trees were part of a mystical forest protected by a Bigfoot. The magic in these trees attempted to manifest a Bigfoot for Whitnall park but something failed. Maybe it was the frequent trash or the presence of radio and television waves in the air that disrupted the magic. Heck, it might have been THE DEVIL HIMSELF! For whatever reason, the Bigfoot that manifested came out wrong. He’s mean, his hair falls off like he has mange, and he’s taking it out on any damn person he encounters.

Another sign of the magical disruption is the presence of blood red dandelions. These bright red weeds defy are unknown to modern science, though a Mystic may be able to identify them. They grow around the transplanted trees, which might be useful for the Heroes to discover.

The first attack will be a pair of park goers found dead on a trail. The bodies are ripped apart by someone with amazing strength. The woman will have a bunch of the red dandelions in her purse. A big ass footprint might stand out in the blood. On a tree, about seven feet up, will be a crater where the Bigfoot smashed the man’s face into the tree.

There will be a new attack everyday. The Bigfoot barely needs a reason. Urinating on a tree, leaving trash, or making out behind a bush could be a reason for the Bigfoot to attack.

If the Heroes ever gather any dandelions and remove them from the park, feel free to throw the Bigfoot at them. Bonus points if the Bigfoot inexplicably attacks them in the city at a dramatic moment. Don’t let logic restrain you. This is a corrupted creature, unbound by the laws of nature or physics. Let it manifest out of a closet if it freaks the Heroes out.

Once there is an eyewitness, the police will be on the lookout for hairy people. They may well bring in the Heroes for questioning. Any attempts to blame a Bigfoot will fail.

There are three possible solutions.

Balancing Ritual – The Heroes can perform a ritual that brings the area back with Nature. An appropriate NPC can inform the Heroes of the ritual and step them through it.

The ritual involves taking a strange mushroom while the NPC chants. Every Hero that takes a mushroom turns into a Bigfoot. They gain the full stats and abilities of a Bigfoot along with their normal minds. They must then hunt down the Evil Bigfoot and destroy it.

When the Evil Bigfoot is destroyed, the forest will try to convert the Heroes into a Bigfoot. Each Hero gets two rolls of the most appropriate type to retain their humanity. If they fail, their character becomes the new NPC protectors of the area. The red dandelions will disappear.

Killing – The Heroes can destroy the Bigfoot physically. Good luck with hunting one of the most elusive creatures on Earth. Once the Bigfoot is dead, the forest will create a new Bigfoot, one in balance with the area, almost immediately. This Bigfoot will not attack the Heroes. The red dandelions will disappear.

Destroy the Transplanted Plants – This enrages the Bigfoot and will induce an attack. Fire or poison might be your best bet, both of which are pretty serious crimes if the Heroes are caught. If the Hero succeeds in destroying the plants, no Bigfoots will manifest in the future. The closing scene should be the character most connected with nature shedding a single tear.

Nov 112022

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

Camp Sunshine was a former nudist camp now turned summer camp for children. The kids are due to appear on Monday and the camp counselors need to spend the weekend getting ready. Victor Burrow is their boss, a guy barely older than the counselors but the threat of financial failure has aged the guy. Weird things have happened at the camp, like people stripping off their clothes and not even noticing it as well as strange sightings of naked people who soon disappear. Something is not quite right.

Things are about to escalate in a hurry because there is a terrible killer about to massacre Victor and the counselors.

Back in 1956, Jimmy Nemeth was a young adult who came into some money when his creepy uncle died. The creepy uncle left him a creepier mansion with even creepier books. A lot of those books were of the occult but the ones Jimmy liked had dirty pictures in them. Jimmy brought one of them, the Malleus Hedonismus, with him.

Jimmy came to the nudist camp because he thought it was a non-stop orgy party. He wasn’t prepared for regular monogamous folks who just liked being naked. He thought if he got the nudists to preform one of the decadent rituals from his book, then maybe people would loosen up and an orgy would break out. It was easy to convince Bill Burrow of the plan as Bill was pretty orgy-obsessed as well. Bill made the ritual a camp activity and the nudists performed it one late night.

Sadly, Jimmy sucked as an occultist. He thought the ritual was to Bring Forth the Liberator of Restraint, a kind of mood-enhancing angel who made people overlook their marriage vows and experiment with three ways. What he brought forth instead was a metaphysical monstrosity that thought skin, bones, and muscles were the ultimate prison.

The ‘angel’ appeared as a white mist of blades and saws. Within seconds, the mist turned red as the angel flayed, deboned, and eviscerated the nudists. Jimmy watched it all in horror and was the last to die

No one was around to banish the angel so the angel lingered. It gathered the body parts of the people it killed and formed itself a hideous upright form of too many arms, legs and bleeding muscles. There is no skin and the monstrosity stills bleeds due to arcane reasons. The creature sank into the lake, and has remained there in a fugue state ever since.

That was until Victor Burrow showed up with a construction crew. The monster rose from the lake and took a peek at the sweaty bodies hard at work. The ghosts got involved and some of the workers went naked, but the brief flashes of exhibitionism was not enough to stir the angel to murder. It lurked in the woods, waiting to be agitated by wanton pleasures of the flesh.

Which is exactly what is going to happen when a bunch of young adult camp counselors move. The counselors are technically here to get things ready and prepare the camp but they brought their alcohol, their nubile bodies, their hormones and their rock music. The counselors are spending more time flirting than working and the flirting is starting to escalate to more physical activities. It is just a matter of time before the angel is angered enough to use its meat suit of body parts to liberate some more flesh.

The angel has spent too much time on the earthly plane and no longer possesses the ability to form a mist of edged destruction. It is limited to the ever-fresh corpse body it is animating. It will attack using its many arms to rip people apart. It is not above using local tools like machetes, axes or fishing knives to separate the flesh.

More disturbing is that the angel will happily stick new body parts onto its body. It might not even bother to skin them. Counselors are sure to be traumatized when the creature hits them with an arm that has a tattoo they recognize.

To get rid of the angel, the campers could consult the Malleus Hedonismus and perform the banishing ritual. The book is around here somewhere. It could be in the storage shed or it might even be in Victor’s house, being used to prop up an uneven chair leg. Surely one of the counselors knows Latin? The spell requires eight people but if there are not enough counselors, Ellen and other nudist ghosts will join in.

The campers could destroy the angel’s body. It is a collection of still-bleeding muscles stuck onto random bones and powered by pure malice. The angel’s power has been steadily weakening and maybe a few energetic young adults could tear it apart with some oars, tennis rackets and spare axes. Heck, even a Final Girl could do it if sufficiently clever.

Finally, although the angel is drawn by its hatred of pleasure, it also cannot exist near a concentration of pleasure. A bunch of young people dancing, making out and enjoying substances all at the same time might cancel out the angel’s grip on reality and send it back to the outer planes that it came from. It might be tricky to get in the mood with all this blood everywhere but hey, it’s worth a shot.

Ironically, that orgy Jimmy and Bill wanted might have been able to save the nudists back in 1956.

However the angel is defeated, it will have a positive effect on the ghosts. The ghosts will manifest and then ascend upwards to a bright white light. The survivors might even spot some of their fellow slain counselors among the rising ghosts. Feel free to play “Carry On, Wayward Son” as they do.

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Nov 092022

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

Camp Sunshine is not your normal summer camp. It used to be a nudist camp back in the day until something terrible happened in the summer of 1956. Now it is re-opening as a summer camp for kids, but the ghosts of the missing nudists now haunt the camp.

One way the ghosts haunt the place is their urge to be naked. They will temporarily posses a living person and undress. The now-naked person will regain control of their bodies but will be unaware of their nakedness unless someone else points it out. The ghosts do this without malice and will never take over someone who is in a dangerous situation. That is small comfort to the person who finds themselves out in public in the buff.

Bill Burrow might be the first ghost campers meet. He appears as a very fit naked man in his late forties. He is always smoking a pipe and campers may smell the smoke before they see him. Bill used to own the camp with his wife and his primary reason for owning a nudist camp was to see some tits and ass. That remains his purpose as a ghost and he can often be found leering and ogling young attractive people. He prefers watching women but death has liberated him somewhat and he finds all genders attractive now.

When spotted, Bill will smile and maybe wave. If treated in a friendly way, he will linger and watch but will make no attempt at communication. He truly doesn’t care about anyone except in a voyeuristic manner. If shouted at, or threatened, he will vanish.

Ellen Burrow is another common ghost. She appears as a naked attractive woman with a blonde rolled updo. Unlike her husband, Ellen is constantly on the move, tidying up and putting things away. If she sees someone, she will smile and continue on her way.

If addressed, she will smile pleasantly and appear to be listening but after a few moments, she will wander off to do more chores. If asked a simple question like “Where are the bathrooms?”, she will point the way but otherwise she does not speak.

However, if someone is in danger and appears upset, Ellen will take notice of the person and may even answer questions about what happened back in 1956.

The last significant ghost is James Nemeth. He appears as a naked young man with a mop of brown hair. Deathly skinny and a bit pale, people might think he was some sort of monster. He stands out as looking very glum and unhappy. Campers might find him reading their books. If they find him holding his hands over his face, then beware, someone is about to be killed.

James is always present when someone dies.

Unlike the other ghosts, Jimmy will talk if approached in a friendly manner He feels responsible for what happened here and would love to unburden himself of his guilt. If he is threatened or bullied, the campers might not see him again until it is too late.

There are other nudist ghosts but their connection here is weaker and they often vanish after a few seconds. There is the gorgeous redhead who swims in the lake. Three older men play horseshoes where one of the bunkhouses stand now. Sometimes a crowd of naked women will play volleyball by the restrooms.

The ghosts leave artifacts behind that it remarkably real. Old soda bottles, 50’s magazines and suntan lotion are common. The most curious item is a film reel. A film projector can be found in the storage shed and if the reel is played, the campers will discover it is the nudist movie, “Blondes Prefer Nature.” Ellen can be easily recognized if they have seen her ghost, as well as Bill. No other ghosts are recognizable.

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Nov 072022

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

Camp Sunshine was originally a nudist colony in the early 50’s. Owned by Bill and Ellen Burrow, the camp was founded as a place for people to shed their clothes and enjoy nature in a pure way. Ellen firmly believed that people needed a place to relax and release themselves from the pressures of society while Bill just really liked naked butts.

The camp was located on the eastern side of Lake Sunshine. There were twelve cabins meant to accommodate guests while the Burrows lived in a large two-story house in the center. There was a mess hall for when it rained, but mostly people ate at the many picnic tables and barbecue stations. Outdoor activities dot the campsite, including a volleyball net, cornhole lanes and of course, horseshoes.

Since the camp was based in Wisconsin, they really only operated during the summer. Miles away from the nearest town, nobody really cared what a bunch of naked people got up to in the woods. Lake Sunshine itself was always notorious for terrible fishing, so they have to worry about fishermen.

In 1954, a nudist movie was filmed here. Called, “Blonde Prefer Nature,” it featured attractive people doing camp activities. Ellen serves as the host and narrator while Bill is often spotted in the background.

In the summer of 1956, every person at Camp Sunshine vanished. Their cars, clothes and personal items had been left behind. Authorities were clueless as to what had happened. A newspaper speculated that drugs were involved and the nudists might have gone out in the woods to be eaten by bears. National papers ran with the idea and Camp Sunshine became another warning about drugs and sex.

The property went to Bill’s brother, Charles, who tried to sell the property to anyone that wanted it. No one did. Charles’ son, Victor, begged to take over the property and Charles reluctantly gave it to him.

Victor Burrow has reopened Camp Sunshine as a summer camp for kids. Camps are all the rage right now and he is hoping this camp will soon turn into a gold mine. Victor has sunk what was supposed to be his college fund into this project and it desperate for it to work.

He has run into a few problems. One, people keep forgetting their clothes. The workers he hired to clean the place up would sometimes strip down to nothing and then carry on doing their job, seemingly unaware of their nakedness unless someone points it out. At first Victor thought this was some sort of weird prank, but now that the camp counselors are here, some of them have had the same trouble.

Victor tore down eight of the cabins and replaced them with four large bunkhouses for kids. Weirdly, people keep spotting those demolished cabins. Same counselors have even reported old timey 50’s music coming from these cabins. Victor thinks its nonsense, but he wonders why he keeps coming across things like 50’s cigarettes and old magazines in the weirdest spots.

Lastly, two of the counselors swear there is something large and red lurking in those woods. Victor thought it was your typical Sasquatch nonsense, except the counselors say the thing has no fur and is in fact somehow skinless and bleeding all over the place. The camp cook swears the creature has more arms and legs than is natural.

Either way, Camp Sunshine opens this weekend. Victor has his counselors hired and the first busload of kids are coming on Monday. Hopefully he can get everything straightened out in the next two days.

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Oct 172022

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

Missy Swanson might be the smartest person in the entire United States. She has an innate understanding of biology and chemistry. Completely self-taught, Missy has made breakthroughs in medical procedures that defy explanations from lesser minds. Previously, she has used her brilliance to improve her father’s dairy farm but lately, Missy is starting to think about improvements that can be made on the human body. She just needs some raw materials to experiment with.

It should be noted that Missy is 10 years old.

Missy’s mother, Carol, always knew there was something strange about her only child. Instead of dolls, Missy was more interested in taking apart and reassembling the chickens. Carol tried to teach her daughter things like God, charity and cooking, but Missy was a willful child who had no time for superstitions, empathy for test subjects and domestic chores. They frequently fought with only Missy’s respect for her parents keeping her in line.

As for the father, Jim, he delighted in the improvement to the cows and was proud to have a farm that produces more milk than any other farm in the state. He takes an insane amount of pride in Missy’s accomplishments and thinks the girl can do no wrong.

Things changed when Ma passed away last year. It was a brain aneurysm, just one of those things that happens suddenly and without warning. Missy was surprised by how little she felt over her mother’s passing. If anything, she felt relieved that she no longer had to listen to speeches about “messing with God’s designs.” It was time to get some work done.

Pa was devastated by his wife’s passing and now spoils Missy even more. She is his Little Doc Missy and he will do anything to make her happy. If that means laying out some spikes on the nearby country road to blow out some tires and then lure stranded travelers to the farmhouse for Doc Missy to experiment on, well then he better get to sharpening some spikes.

Pa isn’t the only problem unwary travelers have to deal with. Missy has been making improvements to the local animals for years. A flock of attack chickens patrol the grounds and will savagely peck any strangers unaccompanied by Jim or Missy. A two-headed goat with spider legs can climb walls and keeps watch from the roof of the barn. In addition to producing four times as much milk as normal cows, these cows can also talk and will raise an alarm unless suitably bribed or offered interesting gossip.

As for the farm cat, you do NOT want to fuck with it.

So, what is Doc Missy up to? First and foremost, Missy would really like to reanimate the dead. She also wants to do a few brain transplants, maybe into one of her talking cows. Her father has been complaining about doing all the cooking now that Ma is gone, so Missy might modify someone to be a cook, perhaps with multiple arms and a superior sense of smell. Finally, Missy would never admit it but she is starting to think about boys so she might take the smartest unlucky traveler and de-age them to that of a ten year old boy so she can have someone her age to talk to.

Doc Missy’s greatest strength and weakness is her age. At ten years old, she is unrestrained by what can and can’t be done. She is utterly without remorse when it comes to getting what she wants, but also tends to having a crying fit if even slightly inconvenienced. Although brilliant, Doc Missy has been coddled by her Ma and Pa and has not had much experience with other people. She can be quite naïve and deceptions have a high chance of working on her, at least for the first time.

Treating Doc Missy like a child is a sure way to get on her bad side and questioning her intelligence will make you an enemy for life.

Like all naughty children, Doc Missy’s greatest fear is her Mother coming back to discipline her.

Oct 102022

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

The Devil’s Toybox is a name given to a group of boxes that turned up from time to time since the 1920’s. No one is sure how many of these boxes exist, or if there is just one box that keeps reappearing. It is unclear who made the boxes although current theories are either Satanists or THE DEVIL HIMSELF.

A typical box is twice the size of a shoe box. It is made of dark wood with metal hinges and is covered with arcane symbols and astrological signs. Despite the heavy look of the box, it is light enough for a child to carry. There is no visible clasp or way to open the box. The method to open the box changes, although the most common way is to press on the symbols that best represent the time of Christ’s death. It will take quite a bit of research and study to determine this, as well as which of the arcane symbols need to be pressed.

Children can open the Devil’s Toybox on their first try.

Inside the box are toys. The contents change but the last one held a glass squirt gun filled with acid, a noose made of hair, a set of jacks with their points sharpened, a toy bat covered in runes, a whistle that sounds like a woman screaming and a stuffed doll of a man with a goat’s head.

There is always a goat toy of some kind. If the box is opened by a child, the goat toy will animate and talk to the child. It will promise to tech the child fun games and magic tricks. The goat will know what buttons to push to seduce the child in the ways of mayhem, blasphemy and murder.

If the box is opened by an adult, the goat toy will do nothing. It will remain inert, although at the first chance, it will sneak away and try to burn everything down, hopefully with whomever opened the box.

Side note, the box and the goat doll are immune to fire. Often, they are the only thing left in the ruins of a burned house. The inability to open the box means most people just drop the curious thing off at the nearest goodwill store.

If the doll is destroyed, a ruby amulet can be found inside. The amulet can serve as a powerful aid to magic, though what aid is up to the Director or Writer. The amulet itself is not evil, and scholars speculate that the Goat Doll is meant to serve as a sort of prison for the magical item.

Research will tell you that this box is highly sought by occultists and Church authorities. Some have sold for auction for as much as ten thousand dollars, yet most people encounter these boxes in garage sales or in the back of creepy antique stores.

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Oct 032022

It is a common misconception that Men in Black are something that only appears after a UFO sighting. These strange not-quite humans also appear after instances of the supernatural and other strangeness. Most people believe that Men in Black are aliens in disguise or super-secret government agents. That is what THEY want you to believe.

The truth is a bit more variable. Here are seven alternative origins for the Men in Black of your world.

The Vatican: The 70’s are a busy time for the Catholic Church. Exorcisms are being requested by New England psychics, satanists are in the anti-christ baby raising business and sinister folks from Lake Geneva are publishing RPG manuals with the names of unholy demons. There is a lot of bad shit going around and the Vatican wants to keep an eye on it all. They send their agents, usually an old one and a young one, dressed in all black, to investigate. Most of the time they arrive too late but they stick around to collect any demonic artifacts or to give words of comfort to Final Girls. They rarely have any official power, but their connections to Catholic members of the local police department give them an inside track. Vatican Men in Black also function as excellent Deus Ex Machina for desperate need of a rescue.

Pleasure Demons: These Men and Women in Black Leather are mortal incarnations of terrible cosmic beings. They arrive to subtly mock the survivors of terrible events and to point the authorities in the wrong direction. They might hide evidence or supply an instrument of torture to someone agony-curious. Some are genuinely curious as to what has happened and will question survivors in such a way that their glee is apparent. Unlike other Men in Black, these creatures are always touching something or each other. They can appear in the prologue, acting as sexy Johnny Appleseeds of ecstasy and terror as they give the main villain a crucial plot device.

Hunters: If the Winchester brothers taught us anything, it is that it is remarkably easy to impersonate a government agency. These Men in Black are usually ruggedly handsome, fond of diner food and drive cars that are far cooler than you would expect FBI agents to drive. They flash badges too quick to read and ask really unusual questions about whether the suspect avoided daylight or if the survivor experienced any cold spots recently. They appear infrequently during the story and may even serve as a love interest before getting horribly murdered.

Golems of the Atlanteans: Atlanteans are too busy practicing their dark magic and debaucheries to do the grunt work. That is what the Men in Black are for. Created from ancient arts, these barely humans will go out and search for lost artifacts of Atlantis. Deeply intelligent in matters or science, magic and stalking, they lack common knowledge of how to act normal. They use slang inappropriately and might have a hat on backwards. They never sweat and often forget to blink or breath. When recharging, they will go into a closet and enter into an inactive state that resembles mannequins.

Renfeilds: You know who else is too busy to do things, especially during the day time? That’s right, Dracula. There are only so many hours in the night and it really helps if some wide-eyed, nervous men in black suits do the tedious work. These Men in Black are more proactive than your usual Men in Black as they attack heroes and follow nubile high school teens home from their schools. Most of them have already been fed on and exhibit sensitivity to sunlight which requires them to always were sunglasses.

Doctor Frankenstein: Hunchbacks and grave diggers of loose morals can only do so much. Dr. Frankenstein decided to do away with crappy mortal help and build his own. The Men in Black are his own creations and they have proven quite useful. He sends them out to dig up graves and recover body parts from summer camp massacres. To head off any of the Men in Black demanding brides or rights, he limited their ability to speak or in some cases, made them eunuchs. Since they are reanimated corpses, they smell a bit which is why they all wear way too much cologne.

Future People: Centuries from now, man’s civilization has been cast in ruins. Terrible monsters roam the earth and no one knows how to stop them. Maybe the secret lies in the ancient past of the 1970’s? It was known to be a time of vampires, near-immortal serial killers and mutated flesh and body horror. These Men in Black come from a time when humanity doesn’t like, sound or act like we know it. They have evolved or devolved to something else. They wear dark clothes to cover their mutations and sunglasses to hide their radioactive eyes. Their misuse of slang would be hilarious if they weren’t so menacing. Are they here to gather information or are they here to stop events from happening? Maybe the cataclysmic event that ends civilization starts with the wrong Final Girl surviving and living to tell the tale to the wrong people?

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for The They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

Sep 232022

Twin Moon Pictures Presents is a series of articles designed to give you things to use in horror games based in the 1970’s. Although the articles will be written for The They Came From Beyond the Grave RPG, the articles should be system neutral enough for your own 1970’s era games or stories.

It is 197-something. Something terrible is threatening your town, Senior Prom or summer camp. It is too early for alien trophy hunters and media-savvy ironic serial killers but too late for faceless blobs from outer space and tentacle monsters from racist pulp writers. You need something appropriate for the current times.

So, who or what is responsible for the current terror?

Roll a D10

1) Satanists – Oh yeah. Satan worshipers are everywhere. They are in your PTA, they are your elderly upstairs neighbors and they are DEFINITELY members of the church and clergy. You think they just want to knock up one lady with Satan’s son? There is a lot of demons out there and they all have cults trying to bring them to earth. Why, some Satanists might even be role-players!

2) Psychics- The 70’s were a bad time for psychics popping up and fucking shit up. Between the CIA’s drug programs, new additives in margarine or New Age Gurus messing with forces they don’t understand, psychics are manifesting their powers and lashing out. There might be a good psychic here or there, but for the most part, these bitter loners are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore.

3) Atlanteans – Some people say Atlantis was just a metaphor and never really existed. Those people are victims of the Atlanteans’ propaganda. Atlantis was real and it was up to no good when it sunk beneath the oceans. The survivors who escaped Atlantis tried to create new colonies and places of power in the ancient world but were (mostly) defeated by the forces of good. Some incredibly old Atlanteans live on, dreaming of bringing about a New World Order of magic, perversion and super-science. In some places, only their artifacts remain, waiting for foolish people to come across them once more and accidentally touch the wrong standing stone or mini-pyramid.

4) Cryptids – Do you have a lake nearby? What about a stretch of woods? Even an empty factory that has been abandoned? Then it probably has a Cryptid. Life always finds a way and in the pollution of the 1970’s life would often get really fucked up. If you are lucky, the local monster haunting your woods is just a Bigfoot but odds are if something weird is hanging about, it is a mutant freak that looks like a God was doing acid when he made it.

5) Masked Killer – Look, it might seem like a cliché but a cliché is just another word for “Stuff that happens a lot”. One thing we know about the 70’s is that psychopaths love masks and they have a lot of anger to get out. They might be back from the dead or they might just be a bitter jerk but either way, they really like to murder people.

6) Dracula – Dracula never dies, baby! Neither does his brides, children and sometimes casual enemies. Dracula has had a long life and if he can convert African Princes into vampires, then I am sure there are all sorts of vampires we have never heard of.

7) Ghosts – There are two kinds of ghosts. Some ghosts are friendly but strongly disagree on what temperature the thermostat is set to. The other kind of ghost is a bastard and would like you to kindly get out of its house, hopefully in pieces. Ghosts possess small children and seem to be really good at make sharp objects levitate. They don’t just haunt houses either! Sometimes they haunt objects and figuring which object needs to be doused in holy water can be the real challenge.

8) Communists – In the 60’s communists were making monsters to attack navy bases or building UFO’s to harass the Midwestern United States. In the 70’s, their methods are more subtle and sinister. Now they are replacing labor union workers with shapeshifters or mind-controlling teenagers with subliminal messages in their rock-and-roll. If something is trying to tear down society and they are using science to do it, it is probably communists.

9) Amazons – Almost as bad as Atlanteans, Amazons can have different origins. Some are descendants of the real Amazons of history, while others merely call themselves Amazons in their book club. Either way, these women are not satisfied with the unequal role of women in society and they would rather murder than protest. Some might form kill squads that massacre entire fraternities while other will turn to black magic to kill every male that wrote a nasty letter to the editor about Billie Jean King in their local town. Underestimate them at your peril.

10) Cult Leader- Different from Satanists in that they might not actually have magical powers. They could just be sadist narcissists who compel their followers to prove their loyalty with terrible acts of violence. Now a days, cult leaders run for office or demand movie studios release their cut of a flopped movie, but in the 70’s, cult leaders order mass murders and collected women to be cult leader’s brides. Cults don’t need to make sense or even have a higher purpose. They just need a bastard in charge and sycophants to follow them.

Sep 192022

I haven’t played any role-playing games in a very long time. Part of it is that the games I am interested in rarely intersect the interests of my wife and friends. I like horror and most horror games that I like are about existential dread and doom. Games that were a little less doomy tended towards being shallow and I just couldn’t get into them. There is a popular genre of games that I call Supernatural Charmed which are more geared towards recreating CW style TV shows. I like those shows but I wouldn’t want to play in those worlds.

They Came From the Beyond the Grave is an rpg that goes in a different direction. It seeks to recreate 70’s Hammer Horror films with a dash of Roger Corman. The conceit is that every game is actually a movie that the characters are in. They get bonuses for acting in genre-appropriate ways like saying Quips, acting in a hammy fashion or adhering to movie logic. The plot and monsters lean towards witches, Dracula, mad scientists and the Devil Himself. There is something to be said for a game that says, “Fuck it, fight Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster and Benjamin Franklin if you wanted.”

I think I have fallen in love with the game. Other systems have tried the meta-gaming route of recreating movies but they tend to go too far into the silliness. Since a lot of the powers come from cards, it would be very easy to toss out powers you don’t think are appropiate. This kind of flexibility allows you to handle anything from Little Shop of Horrors to Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The humor level is up to the players and it would not break this game to go full serious or full Elvira’s Haunted Hills.

Last night I played a game with my wife and it played out like an episode of Hammer House of Horror. My wife got in some great one-liners that aided her character. A piece of the set broke in a way that hampered the monster. It was thematically interesting and for us, extremely recognizable. It felt like something we could be watching on Shudder.

I do feel like the game might be a bit over-designed. The rule mechanics are straight forward, but there is a lot of extra stuff that can happen. My approach was to cut about 1/3 of the character generation for now and to make a list of which rules I wanted to worry about and which rules I will add later. This stripped down approach worked really well for us and it did not feel like we were missing anything.

On a personal note, it is a fun creative exercise to imagine what kind of horror movies a studio would make in the 1970’s. I decided that my studio was based in Wisconsin and would play on local legends and locals. Some sort of monster cow seems inevitable. I have spent too much time thinking about the history of the studio owner and what weird metaphysics he wants to make movies about. The game absolutely does not require you to do this kind of world building but the opportunity is too good to pass up. I am looking forward to what stories Twin Moon Pictures will be creating in the months to come.

If 50’s science fiction is more your thing, Onyx Publishing uses the same mechanics for a game called They Came From Beneath the Sea! If you prefer your horror to be more slasher oriented, there is a supplement for the base game of Beyond the Grave called, They Came From Camp Murder Lake. I have all three books and they are great reads, as well as being compatible with each other.