Justus Productions

White Death, a sci-fi/espionage mystery adventure

From: The Design Mechanism

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

White Death is a new Role Playing Game Adventure from The Design Mechanism.

Up front, I am not familiar with the Mythras system, but I am told it is similar to the Basic Role Playing system which is derived from the classic Call of Cthulhu system, among others.  These systems I am very familiar with.

Earlier last year, Chad handed me a copy of his latest work and asked me to review it.  The way he described it to me intrigued me – elements of Cold War espionage, mystery and sci-fi coupled with an arctic theme was very much up my alley.  I had just finished writing a con adventure similar to this, set in an alternate future timeline – A Man in the High Castle meets The Expanse type setting.  At the very least, I could convert to something I play, if I wanted to run it.

It has nice and intriguing cover art.  It looks small and simple enough that it could be a convention game.  Skimming the introduction drew me even further as it mentioned 1980s and the Cold War – something I have somewhat familiar with in that I grew up in that era.  Diving in, my mind swam with ideas on what I could do with this adventure.

From the website: “A Soviet drift station in the Arctic ocean, seemingly abandoned. The Agency wants to know what the Russians were doing there and why it was so abruptly vacated. It has assembled a team to investigate; to uncover whatever it was the Soviet Union was using the station for.”

The adventure itself is a simple mission to something called a drift station.  A drift station is an transitory Arctic station usually used for geological or meteorological monitoring, that are built on ice flows.  Sometimes these stations were secretly used to monitor (aka spy on) the enemy.  Occasionally, the ice flows these stations are built on break away, and float off into the ocean.  In this case, a particular station suspected of being a secret abandoned Russian base of some kind, has broken off and is drifting away.  However, weather is making approach tricky and the intelligence is unclear as to what might be there.

The players are agents of an Agency.  This could be the CIA, MI6 or any other agency that might see the Russian intelligence and military services as adversaries.  It also says that this adventure can be included in something called the Luther Arkwright campaign, which is a campaign setting published by The Design Mechanism based on the award winning graphic novels by writer/artist Bryan Talbot.

The detail in the adventure is excellent.  It has the feel of an espionage and military adventure from the beginning.  It also has some subtle nuances that make the adventure very intriguing and suspenseful.  The cold isolation of the adventure makes it even more exciting.  The players parachute onto the drift and investigate a very cold and dark mystery.  The more they reveal, the more interesting it gets.

From the website: “But what the agents find might not be what they were expecting. And what’s more, the Russians are coming back…”

Without giving too much away,  the adventure does follow certain tropes but also has some surprises in it.  It does have some homages to John Carpenter’s The Thing and well as Alien.  However, the adventure is far more than just an investigation of the abandoned station.  There are events and encounters throughout that challenge the characters.  The station holds some secrets as does the ice itself.

The adventure provides six full-fleshed out characters in the Mythras system, all with their own skills and short backgrounds.  It also provides some custom rules for Sanity and Tenacity, cluing you that this game will get interesting.

In conclusion,  White Death is primarily a survival horror adventure with considerable mystery and intrigue.  Depending on what characters you use, the adventure can have even more intrigue.  The story of the adventure alone is fun and intense, regardless of system.  It is well written and definitely something I would run. 

For more details on The Design Mechanism and their new Role Playing Game AdventureWhite Death” check them out at their website.

Codex Rating: 19 out of 20

Product Summary

White Death

From: The Design Mechanism

Type of Game: Role Playing Game Adventure

Written by: Chad Bowser

Contributing Authors: Pete Nash, Lawrence Whitaker

Cover Art by: Dan MacKinnon

Additional Art by: Earl Geier

Number of Pages: 32

Game Components Included: Single Adventure, no core rules 

Game Components Not Included: Core Mythras rules

Retail Price: $ 4.99 (US)

Website: Product Website

Reviewed by: Ron McClung


MACE 2018 Featured Kickstarter: unPerfect Heroes: Battle Lines

MACE 2018 is proud to welcome Aloha Bob and his new soon-to-be Kickstarted game unPerfect Heroes: Battle Lines.  He will be demoing his game most of the weekend as open demos through out those days.  He will also have an untitled RPG available based on the card game.


About unPerfect Heroes: Battle Lines

Imagine standing at the back of a line that you really need to reach the front of… urgently. The line to the buffet two minutes before closing time or the port-o-poop line at the all-day chili cookoff for instance. Welcome to unPerfect Heroes: Battle Lines, the game where you move members of the misfit Waple family against various Bad Guys who have the same goal as you.

You can play unPerfect Heroes: Battle Lines by sharing one deck of 52 cards (consisting of 20 Heroes, aka Waple family members, 20 Bad Guys and 12 Random Crap cards) or each player can have their own deck. Players start by choosing a scenario board and character pieces. The person trying to cut in line plays a Hero card against another player and rolls up to 8 dice to try to fight or bribe his way further up the line. When the odds aren’t too good, he may try to chicken out and get a bonus for his next try.

Win by getting your piece up to the finish line first and making your opponents have to wait, “just like you did”.

MACE 2018

November 09-11 2018
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC


We are excited to offer another class at MACE this year. A SCULPEY CRAFTING class with Charles Wolfe.

We did it last year and it was well attended and thoroughly enjoyable. It will start at 7pm in the Board room.

Sculpey and tools will be provided. So join us and give your sculpting abilities a try!

MACE 2018

November 09-11 2018
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

MACE 2018: Clint Black & a Special Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Preview!

Pinnacle Entertainment Group is once again blowing the doors off Kickstarter with yet another amazing campaign for their newest edition of Savage Worlds, Savage Worlds Adventure Edition.  One quarter of a million dollars in just a few days!

Clint Black, Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager, will be running a special preview of Savage Worlds Adventurers Edition.

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition

Arena of Death

Last Player Standing!

Friday Night, 8 PM until…

All the money from this event goes to charity.

Grab a Death Certificate…um, character sheet and jump into the meat grinder. The Savage Worlds Brand Manager and Black Judge himself, Clint Black, is previewing the newest edition of the game in the most Savage way possible. For four straight hours he will kill characters in the most gruesome ways imaginable (and possibly a few never imagined before). Six players enter and when one dies, a new player can jump in their place up to the last 15 minutes of the game.

Playing only requires a $1 donation…for a character with no Bennies! For a $5 donation, the character enters with one Benny or, only when first entering the game, they can start with the maximum of 5 Bennies for just $20! During the game, players can purchase up to the five maximum Bennies but each costs $5.  On top of that, spectators can “Grease the Grinder!” Every $5 donated adds +1d6 to the damage one character takes up to a maximum of +4d6 for $20.

$1Character Sheet, no bennies
$5Character Sheet, 1 bennie at start
$20Character Sheet, 5 bennie at start
$51 in-play Bennie
$5Audience adds +1d6 (up to 4d6) damage to one attack on a player

Only one character will survive, and that player wins…

  • Savage Worlds Adventure Deck Set – the base set plus EVERY Promo pack created!
  • And more… to be announced!

All others get to fill in their character’s Cause of Death and walk away with a Character Sheet/Death Certificate signed and officially validated by Clint Black. But most importantly, everyone gets to have fun and all the money goes to help a good cause!

About Clint Black

Clint Black is Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager for Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Savage Worlds is the Origins award-winning roleplaying game that is one of the most popular systems in the hobby. Clint also won a Silver ENnie at GenCon 2011 for Space 1889: Red Sands. Clint started as a freelance writer with Pinnacle over ten years ago, but his involvement grew significantly with the advent of Savage Worlds. He transitioned from a playtester on the original design team to the creator of one of the first and most popular books for the system (super villain setting Necessary Evil, now in its third printing) to one of the designers and ultimately brand manager of the core rules. Along the way, he worked on multiple Savage Worlds projects, including the Horror, Fantasy, and Super Powers Companions, Weird War 2, Space 1889, and of course the landmark Pinnacle setting, Deadlands. Additionally, Clint serves as the face of Pinnacle on their forums, acting as the Official Rules Answer Man and administrator for years. He counts this opportunity to hang out and chat with fans online as one of the perks of the job.

He is married to multiple award-winning RPG editor and PEG’s Chief Operations Officer and Managing Editor Jodi Black and is the father of two awesome gamer daughters.


MACE 2018

November 09-11 2018
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC


MACE 2018: Complete list of Publishers, writers, pros and designers

Board/Card/Tabletop Games

  • Adam Sadiq – That’s a Wrap
  • Auraplex Studios – Biggest Baddest Baddie Card Game
  • Board Game Brothas – Rap Godz board game
  • Clarion Game Studios – Hull Breach Sci-Fi card/dice game, Henchman: The Game
  • David Gregg – Rubberband-itos (unpublished), Just in Time (unpublished)
  • Dinogami Games – Gunsword
  • Empire Games – I Drank What?
  • Evan Smith – Goblin Raid Leader (unpublished)
  • Grunt Games LLC – Lewt Ninja
  • Happy Gorilla Game Studios – War for Indagar
  • Jim Dyer – Midnight Zombie Sabotage
  • King Frog Entertainment – World of Wonders, Gremlins (unpublished)
  • KnA Games – Space Movers
  • Meridae Games – Garden Dice
  • Nicholas Cottle – Olympus at War miniatures (unpublished)
  • Smart Iguana Games – Gravity Warfare, Duce (unpublished), Bridge Run (unpublished)
  • Wesley Cone – H.E.R.O Card Game (Unpublished)


  • Andrew Wallace – It Came From Somewhere Else!
  • Dan Smith – Battle for Oz (Savage Worlds)
  • Robert Hudson – Pulp Hero (Hero System)


MACE 2018 Featured Kickstarter: Chronicles: War for Indagar

MACE 2018 is proud to welcome Happy Gorilla Game Studios and their newest Kickstarted game Chronicles: War for Indagar.  They will be demoing their game Saturday and Sunday as open demos through out those days.

Chronicles: War for Indagar: A fast paced, fantasy 4x strategy game. A lightweight, fast, 4x strategy board game with beautiful miniatures set in the fantasy world of Indagar. War for Indagar is a fast-paced, 4x strategy game that includes four distinct factions for 2-4 players, along with an engaging AI. Players select powerful heroes to represent their armies, choose unique strategies to tailor their gameplay, and use spells and abilities to gain control over the battlefield and ultimately the Spirit Well at its center.

See OGRe to Sign up for a demos of this game. You must be registered for MACE 2018 to participate.ogre.logo20.sidemenu

About Chronicles, The Game

MACE 2018

November 09-11 2018
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

OGRE 101: Open Demos & Signing up for them

Key Definitions

Open Demos – Open demos are game events set up usually by publishers or game designers over a long span of time, with the intent of running as many instances of their game during that span as they can, with the constraints of space and time.  They are usually listed by publisher or game name.  They have a fixed location but not a fixed slot.  The schedule shown is the time span the host plans to be at the convention to demo the game.

Open Demos games are listed in OGRe like this – by Publisher:

or this – by Game name

If listed by Publisher, they usually have multiple games they want to demo on demand.  If listed by game, the host has one game to demo as often as he can.  In either case, the host may have multiple copies of the game that he or she can demo.

They are usually listed with a long time span because this is the schedule the host has chosen to demo his game.  The time a single demo takes will be listed in the title.  The exact time of the demo is up to the player and the host.  Signing up simply indicates the player’s interest in at least one demo of this game. We encourage you to contact the host to arrange a time for that demo.

You do not have to sign up to play these games however.  Walk-up players are welcome at all open demos games.  If they can fit you in a game, they will.  If they can’t fir you in at that moment, they will give you a time when they can.  These games are designated with the Target icon on the posters so anyone can walk up without signing up.

Scheduled Demos

Some games are denoted as scheduled demos. These are limited open demos, limited by the time slot and the number of copies the team has. However, these games can be demo’ed at anytime during the weekend. The given entry is simply a scheduled event for that particular game.  Pick up sessions of that game are possible any time, just ask the host in charge.

MACE 2018: Painting with Vee!

We are pleased to announce details of the Painting with Vee class panels.  First and foremost these classes will be sponsored by Crippled God Foundry. They will be supplying the miniatures for the class.

Crippled God Foundry is a group of friends who grew up with role-playing games, classic dungeon-crawl board games and everything related to fantasy & magic! Their vision is to bring that magical fantasy we all grew up with into your games & tables, in the form of high quality, resin, hand-crafted miniatures, terrain & accessories!  Everything they make is crafted by their own hands so they can ensure that all of their products meet your expectations!

There will be two classes

Saturday 1:30 – Base Painting Class (24 seats available)

Saturday 3:30 – Miniature Painting Class (16 seats available)

Please note that you must sign up to participate.  There are limited supplied thus limited seating.

To sign up, go to our OGRe site and go to the Panels/Non-Gaming Tab…

And Display Schedule.  The Painting Events will appear there.

Thanks to the lovely and very talented Vee for her willingness to do this.  This is a rare thing at MACE, so sign up when you have the opportunity!

MACE 2018

November 09-11 2018
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC