I knew the Falcon 9 was 70 meters tall, but this photo really shows the scale
She is perhaps best known for her work at Marvel Comics, beginning after EC’s reduction to the black-and-white “Mad Magazine” back when Marvel was still called Atlas.
She was Marvel’s head colorist until 1972 (she was succeeded by George Roussos), when she turned her attention to drawing. She contributed to titles from “Not Brand Ecch” to “The Cat” to “Conan the Barbarian”.
Severin was inducted into the Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame in 2001.
At Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/s/severin_marie.htm
At Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Severin
In the GCD — http://ow.ly/8qVh303qRpV
As I mentioned early, I'm a fan of Mayfair's Chill. When I was a much younger lad, I ran my first session of Chill for a bunch of high school friends who were the kind of friends you hung out with at the cemetery after curfew. It was a late night session that had the players dashing from my basement to the safety of their cars when it was over. It was a feeling I wanted to design toward in Dread.
It was also the 90s. And Chill had a lot of 90s gaming tech in it. That was definitely something I wanted to design away from in Dread. The setting material, however, was top-notch. So many of those books are worth reading cover to cover for that alone. Vampires, Lycanthropes, Apparations, and The Horrors of North America, are all books I pull out from time to time and still pour through. And the Chill Companion had this concise, pre-wikipedia, rundown of a bunch of broad sub-genres in horror and how to incorporate them into your game that I just devoured.
So I love Chill and have a deep, abiding nostalgia for it. That's a double-edge sword in our hobby, because nostalgia can get tangled up with mechanics that just don't work for you (anymore). The current edition of Chill hits kind of a sweet spot for me here. It holds tightly to enough of the older mechanics to feed my nostalgia, but dips into some newer tech that, at least at first read, aims the game right at my older gaming sensibilities. Here are a few of those things.
You need some Othello-style tokens to play the game, where one side is light and the other dark, or somehow otherwise distinguish from each other. You start the game with a number of tokens equal to all the players (including the Chill Master) plus one. Two of the tokens start on the dark side, the rest on the light side. The tokens sit in the middle of the table visible to all.
To save their asses, make things easier, or to power some psychic powers, the envoy players can flip light tokens to their dark side. They also have to do this when they roll a botch.
Conversely, the Chill Master can flip dark tokens to the light side to make things easier for the menace, more complicated for the envoys, or to activate their evil powers. This last part was my number one concern about the new Chill. In Mayfair's edition, the powers of the evil creatures of the night had to be paid for by extensive, hidden bookkeeping, and it was one of the biggest hassle of running the game. It's hard to concentrate on presenting a horrific atmosphere while making strategic choices about dwindling resources the envoy players shouldn't know about.
But the part I love most about the tokens is that it's all out there on the table. The more the envoys do to make things go right for them, the more tokens get flipped to the dark side and the more dangerous things become. It's almost like there's a Jenga tower in the middle of the table and the players are pulling from it while dreading the moment when it all comes tumbling down. Or something like that.
Plus, check this out! When the main menace of the story first becomes aware of the envoys and prepares to act against them, the Chill Master adds a single, additional dark-side token to the pool. The menace doesn't have to be present. It's just the Chill Master reaching out and plopping one more dark-side token on the table. Shit just got serious.
A neat character addition is the takeaway. They are lessons or memories from your past encounter with the Unknown that stick with you. Like "Witnessed a lycanthropic transformation" or "Read a forbidden tome," that sort of thing. The first one you make up at character creation based on your backstory. Then, after each case, you have the option to come up with another. After about 3, I think, if you want a new one, you have to replace an old one or buy an advancement that allows for me.
Mechanically, they are kind of like those tokens mentioned above. Once per case, you can trigger them to get a little boost in the right direction and once per case the Chill Master can trigger them to get a little boost in the wrong direction. There's a bit more to them--for instance they are categorized as either Personal or Arcane and this categorization limits what sort of boost can be drawn from them--but they are simple and a delightful way to catalog your encounters with the unseen horrors of the world.
Envoys are the heroes of a horror story, and that's no comfortable place to be. You're going to end up on the shit end of a fight for your life and you're going to get hurt. Really hurt. This version of Chill has a lot of ways to get hurt. And by that I don't mean lots of things that deal damage (though there are plenty of those) but lots of ways to register that damage. A lot of ways to suffer. Loss of resources in hit point sort of sense. Wounds and trauma that inflict penalties on rolls because of the broken bones and shattered sense of being. Events made a permanent part of who you are through scars, memories, and debilitating injury.
It's dangerous out there in the night. I've not quite pieced together all its interlocking parts, but I can clearly see a nasty death spiral in there. This isn't so bad, considering you're not supposed to go toe-to-toe with the big baddy without first doing your research and getting your exit strategy in order. But there are a few nifty releases from this spiral, such as the shock mechanic.
Taking physical injuries results in penalties to your broadly physical traits, which are precisely the traits you'd need to remove yourself from a bad situation. Once per scene, instead of taking an injury as normal, a player can send their envoy into shock, pumping them full of adrenaline which moves the penalty over to precision and fine motor traits for the rest of the scene, freeing up all those good running and fleeing traits to get your ass out of there.
And I might add them in the comments, but I just wanted to barf this stuff out now. That's where I'm at with this game. Barfing words of excitement.
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