Ocean City Retreat Roundup

Ocean City Retreat Roundup

It’s hard to believe we started Scryptid Games only a year ago. We’ve done so much in that time that it feels like it had to be much longer! We started our company and got it off the ground, attended PAX Unplugged 2022, launched our wildly successful Kickstarter for Psychic Trash Detectives, took over design and production of Ball of the Wild, published both of those games, created a facilitator’s guide full of helpful advice for running TTRPGs, attended the Designing Games that Matter workshop with Avery Alder in Canada, threw two launch events for Psychic Trash Detectives here in Baltimore, playtested new games at Metatopia, and somehow found the time to publish a collection of games on itch.io.

Did I miss anything? We’ve done a lot and things are moving fast!

Scryptid Retreat 2: Electric Dog-a-loo, Ocean City, Maryland

Scryptid Games started in 2022 in the hills of the Catskills, gathered around a campfire at our first retreat. While we can only launch Scryptid Games once, we decided that the retreat was so lovely that we had to do it again and again. So, at least once a year, we all take a few days to get away and just play games together. Recently, we had our second retreat in Ocean City, MD.

While there, we discovered the joys of Wavelength, an enlightening and laugh-inducing fun fest; the compact and intuitive Mysterium Park; the cute tile-flipping madness of Fit to Print; and, of course, Cribbage. Tiffany loves Cribbage.

We took some walks on the beach with our dog, Fable; Brigitte accidentally offered her socks to the ocean gods and they gratefully accepted; and we made a ton of yummy food for each other. I’m still dreaming about Nat and Pat’s delicious chicken shawarma. In fact, it was so good, I just had to share the recipe with you, so you’ll find that later on here.

It was also our first opportunity to celebrate our Scorpio season birthdays (me and Nat), and we had a little extra company provided by the lovely Tonee Moll. Tonee is a local Baltimore poet and gamer and contributed work to the Psychic Trash Detectives anthology. She’s also a dear friend and, now, honorary Scryptid.

The retreat was an incredible time and I wholeheartedly suggest, if you are part of a creative or business team, especially if you are doing it with your friends, that you set aside some time to just have fun. It’s really, really important, trust me!

Dracula Microgame

On our retreat, we all organically came up with an idea for a game. It’s called Once Upon a Dracula in Hollywood, and it was inspired by a cool TTRPG zine called Oops, All Draculas by Jessica Marcrum that I brought with me on the retreat.

In our Dracula microgame, you play “industry types” pitching new ideas for movies to some bigwig or panel of executives. There’s just one catch: all the ideas are about Draculas.

Wait, don’t we mean vampires? No we do not.

We’ll probably do something with this idea in the future, dress it up nice, but here’s the rough draft, a sneak peek just for you! If you play, let us know what you think of it.

“Once Upon a Dracula in Hollywood”

Phase 1: The Pitch

Take 5 minutes to brainstorm pitches for new movies. You’ll need a title and a tagline. Write as many down as you can.

Select the pitch you like the most. Go around the room, taking turns pitching your title and tagline to the other players.

Any time you are not in the role of the one pitching, you are acting as a panel of judges.

Only two pitches can move on to phase 2. If you have more than 2 pitches you have greenlit, you have to eliminate some until you have only two.


Dracula must feature in the title somewhere.

If you say the word vampire, your pitch ideas are eliminated. No one has faith in you anymore. You don’t even know the difference between a vampire and a Dracula!

If the title is only one word, you may, instead of just calling it “Dracula,” use something that is Dracula related. If you go this route, then “Dracula” must instead be included in the tagline somewhere. For instance, Jaws wouldn’t be a good choice because then the title would just be Draculas, and that doesn’t set it apart very much, but Fangs is better, and a little funnier when combined with the tagline “Just when Dracula thought it was safe to go back in the water…”

The tagline doesn’t have to be a twist on the original tagline for the movie you’re working with. It can also be a twist on a famous line or something you just make up.


A Few Good Draculas. “Son, we live in a world that has Draculas and those Draculas need to be guarded by other Draculas with guns.” (A Few Good Men)

Dracula Dancing. “First dance. First Dracula. The time of your life.” or “Nobody puts Dracula in a corner.”

Reservoir Draculas. “Four perfect Draculas. One perfect crime.”

Phase 2: The Trailer

For each pitch, two or more players come together to act out a scene or collection of little bits from the proposed movie that would feature prominently in the trailer.

Phase 3: Awards

Fast forward in time to awards season. Let’s assume that both of these movies get made.

Choose which movie wins an Oscar for best film and which movie is this year’s blockbuster. Both can be the same movie.

If your pitch was picked for Best Film, and if you like, you can give an Oscars acceptance speech as the Director of the film.

That’s it, that’s the game!

Our games in the wild

As I wrap this up, I want to ask a favor from you. We’d love to see where our games are found in the wild, so if you see any of our games in a store, please send us a picture or post and tag us @scryptidgames. We’d be really excited about that.

And if you don’t see our games in your local game store, ask the staff why not!

For now, all the best, and cheers, my dears!

Dustin and the rest of the Scryptid Games team, Nat, Pat, Tiffany, and Brigitte

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