Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tis the Season for Ghouls, Goblins...Zombies and Weird ASL Scenarios!

One of the greatest things about September is that it's next to one of the greatest months of the year...October!! And of course October means Fall...possibly the greatest of all the Seasons. Growing up in the mountains of NE Tennessee and Southwest Virginia...Fall was quite simply a magical time. These past 12 years living in Oklahoma remind me just how much I miss an Appalachian Fall. 

For those readers who may know...the next memory is for you.One of my all time favorite Fall memories occurred during a hike in 2003 along the Virginia Creeper Trail. I was in the tiny hamlet of Taylors Valley...by the stream when a wind kicked up and sent thousands of bright orange leaves dancing in a bright blue October sky. So as you can see my love for Autumn runs deep. 

Growing up in NE Tennessee also meant walking to the 7-11 with my friends. Back in those days a quarter would buy the latest Sgt. Rock, GI Combat or Weird War Tales comic book. And it was Weird War that combined World War II and horror for the first time. I remember being just a little creeped out by the Weird War covers...

Spooky stuff to be sure, but I was also intrigued by the creative story telling. And I've always striven to bring that same creative spark to my own Halloween Scenarios.

Now in the past several years, I have had the chance to create some different ASL Scenarios centered on horror themes. Sadly, there are some aspects of World War II which lend themselves to more terror and horror than would be appropriate for an ASL Scenario. There are some things which simply shouldn't be gamed...if for no other reason out of respect for the suffering of so many other human beings.

That said, Zombies are always a great option for an ASL Scenario. The East Side Gamers have a very famous and well done Zombie Pack. I imagine it's just the thing for a cool Hallow's Eve with cider, pretzels and some hot dice!!  As I began delving into creating some Halloween themed scenarios, I focused my efforts on the Third Reich. It just naturally lends itself to scary, horror-filled stories. I of course stayed away from anything regarding the Holocaust, for the reasons discussed above. Instead I looked for those stories that would fit the Zombie Genre. So my previous three Halloween Scenarios are based on Germans facing terrors on the Eastern Front. I did note that a few folks expressed some exhaustion with  Zombies. And yeah...I sort get that. There has to be some other ways to bring horror to the ASL world without Zombies.

Many years ago, TSR's Dragon Magazine had a terrific article about a German half-track and squad that passed through a mysterious mist and found themselves in a fantasy world. Attacked by trolls, they were only saved by a lucky Panzerfaust Shot. Can you imagine Gary Gygax and John Hill sitting down together to create a game....oh...the game they would have come up with!!!!

So, here we are with another October just around the corner. I have been hard at work on this year's offering...DAS GOLEM, which is based on the mythical Golem of Prague that protected the Jewish Ghetto. Once again, the Germans find themselves facing other worldly terrors in Eastern Europe. Next year...I'll have to do something in the Pacific...or perhaps a wintry adventure with some scary Finnish mythical monsters...

So now in an effort to get excited for October, I'm re-posting the previous three Grumble Jones Halloween Scenarios on this blog. As always these "basement" quality scenarios that I put out there are for fun only and hopefully help you recapture your own Fall and Halloween Memories!!

Remember to open pictures in a new window in order to maximize the size. And as always, these scenarios can be downloaded from The ASL Scenario Archive (just search on Grumble Jones).

Happy Fall and Happy Halloween!


  1. Oh my heart, the autumn in Bristol. (I Lived there many years, now in Colorado.)

  2. Bristol VA-TN is where my heart is for sure. I'll be going back one of these days!