So it occurred to me amidst my paranoid craziness, that there might be many out there who don't really get what CRYPTS is all about.
If you are one of those people then this post is for you. But first, some narrative to set the mood:
Gene Burgh was a quiet man, only about a foot taller than his Ma and about the same build. One thing he was not, was a fighter.
Gene's brother Josiah however, now there was a brawler. The tallest man in their town with arms as thick as his head.
Twelve weeks ago Gene's family had received a telegram from Josiah, telling them that he had found a way to solve their money worries and that no one would bother them again. But that was twelve weeks ago, and they had heard nothing since.
It was on orders from his Ma that Gene had left their town, put all his savings into hiring a stagecoach and began the long ride to New Fairbank, from where the telegram had been sent, and it was that town that as he was lost in thought exploded into view admits the dust trails and winds that buffeted the roads ahead.
Gene's time in New Fairbank was to be brief. He would speak to the locals, law enforcement, maybe even the tavern staff and would soon find out what had happened to his brother, and true to his word in no time at all he had found more than enough who we're willing to tell about a barrel chested man matching Josiah's description braving the Dark Below never to be heard of again.
Gene knew he could not return with just that news. He was a coward, but he feared his Ma's wrath more than any creature that lived in such mines and crypts. So with his last few remaining coins Gene gathered some final supplies and ventured into the same mine entrance his brother had many nights prior.
The mine itself was well lit, and it ran for what felt like hours, that was until Gene noticed, it came to an abrupt end, ahead on the ground of the dead end there lay a wooden hatch with an iron bolt holding it in place.
It took all of Gene's strength to prise open the bolt and lift the heavy wooden hatch, below he saw what appeared to be a cavern, hard rock that glistened with water as he dropped his torch to light up the below. The torch hit the ground, and as it did the ground itself moved in a tide of a thousand shiny black moving bodies.
"Bugs" though Gene to himself "I hate bugs".
Lowering himself through the hatch Gene picked up his torch and began to take note of the cavern ahead, it seemed to stretch on for about thirty feet and as his eyes strained to make out the end, he was sure he could see something running towards him.
Gene shook his head, he was clearly imagining things, but no matter how many times he blinked or wiped his eyes with scrunched fists, the image would not leave him. Ahead he saw three small creatures, each one no more than three feet high, their skin a sickly orange and their clothes tattered and dirty.
In their hands they grasped crude and rusted weapons, some used carving knives like they were daggers, while others held aloft makeshift spears.
Gene had heard of such creatures from his Ma's tales, things from the old country that were mischievous and bloodthirsty. He also remembered that they were nervous and easily startled, which is why as a boy his Ma had insisted he keep his voice down.
This memory lodged in his mind Gene raised his Pa's trusty rifle to his shoulder, braced himself and fired.
So, what is the aim of CRYPTS?
Good question, the main aim of this game is to be a dungeon crawler with elements of random encounters, so no 2 games are the same.
In this game you play an adventurer in the old west, either by yourself or in a party of other players called a Posse.
Now your posse needs to have creatures to slay and that is where the opponent comes in. Taking on the role of the Crypt Keeper, one player controls the minions of The Dark Below as they are randomly spawned through the use of an Encounter Deck.
Once the Posse has cleared out a room they then have a chance of obtaining new equipment, weapons and spells through the use of a Loot Deck and equipping these items will make you a stronger more powerful adventurer.
One of the core principles of the game is an ease of accessibility. It will not come with any miniatures or specialised terrain, instead all of this will be made available using either 'cut out and play' tokens provided, or using your own miniatures that I am sure most hobbyists already own. The same is the case with terrain. The dungeons or crypts you'll explore will either come in a very basic 'cut out and play' format or you can use your own ones from D&D, HeroQuest, WarhammerQuest of any other game you may have.
It is also being designed to be used with free internet systems like MapQuest, and modules for CRYPTS will be made available or you can create your own.
The future is pretty sound, with the introduction of Aspects for Classes, initially focussing on the Holy Trinity (Tank, Healer and DPS) but with possible additions added later; Gunslinger, Duelist, Arcanist etc followed by the Path Progession System to work as a levelling form allowing players to customise their characters in a near unlimited form.
There will also be Keeper-less encounters in the form of Raids, these will take whole posses working together to bring down, but the rewards will be worth it.
Things are still very much in early stages at the moment. We have an initial loot deck, a small encounter deck, a couple of boss characters and as of this week a re-designed character card for players to use. All of these designed to be the size of a playing card, so with a small purchase of card sleeves you can start filling in your own character details without concern.
The future is looking good for CRYPTS but there is still a long way to go and lots of opportunities to make this a great game.
So if you are interested in pitching in and giving some thoughts, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and you too could be play testing your character in the fast paced, action packed world of CRYPTS!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley