Saturday, March 22, 2014

Patrons for WHFRP

Patrons, those social anchors and quest givers for the wandeeing murder-hobos we call player characters.

From nudging players into action via quests, or rewarding success, to providing the social context for why killing that bad guy doesn't get the town guard after you but shaking down the bigger kid does, patrons should be a big part of fantasy game. A society even remotely based on a medieval world view wouldn't allow for most of the shenanigans that PCs get into without a powerful patron to give political sanction to those random bouts of physical violence and the liberal misappropriation of monies players are prone to.

So what does that mean in a game? Well first off the Patron should color the group, be it political views or fantasy religious habits.
This is a big deal because its a way to guide the party template. If you don't know what the party template is you really owe it to yourself to check out Fear the Boot. Go listen here

In a nut shell its the logic behind why a group of player characters would risk their lives with other nutcases while going out and risking their collective necks. So rather than pretending there's a floating invisible mark over the heads of just some people which means they're somehow trustworthy,  you instead create an artifact that explains why people are together.

This is where the patron comes in. In WHFRP game I'm planning the characters will be defined by which patron they all decide to serve. This will also decide what plots I focus on developing further.

For example, picking a patron that is a member of the religious hierarchy of a major faith, like the cult of Sigmar in WHFRP,  would give a party a fairly significant inroad with the faithful, access to at least some level of political shielding,  access to some significant finances and hopefully some access to magical healing beyond the norm. However on the other hand they'll be expected to act to further the plans of the church, be it cleaning up awkward messes or recovering relics from dangerous locations. The focus needs to be on opening up new venues for the players, rather than limiting options

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Combat in WFRP

To quote Wikipedia
"Combat in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay descends from the system used for large-scale miniature combat, making it substantially more deadly than the combat featured in many other systems. Most human-level creatures and characters can absorb only one or two hits without receiving a serious injury, a "Critical Hit" that may instantly kill, cripple, or permanently maim a character. There are no regeneration or resurrection powers in WFRP and limited healing options. "Fate Points", which represent a character's fate or destiny, provide a limited number of opportunities to avoid crippling or killing results."

"It's like Terry Pratchett writing the 30 Years War, only darker.
Hmm. It's the game where you start out thinking you're playing D&D, only to discover you are in fact playing Call of Cthulhu." - Professor Phobos

Looking over the Core Rules this will be a very interesting (in the Chinese sense) game to run. Its going to be like Call of Cthulhu in some senses and unforgiving to those who mistake it for D&D. My initial idea of running a campaign about the invasion of Lustria may have to wait, as I have not been able to find enough material to create profiles for Lizardmen, as I just dont know the system that well to make this amount of material up.

This leads me back to an old world located game. This may actually make it easier on me as I have quite a bit of material to draw on so stats are not an issue. Rooting out horrors and dangers in the creaking hulk of the empire, fun times.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ph'tagn!! The rebirth of the blog.

The essential salts were the proper sort it seems, as I've managed to reconstitute the blog after a year plus long hiatus.

After the debacle of the experiment in running a planned module in SWN and a long break as just a player to recover I'm back DMing.

So the preparation to run Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd edition starts.

More posts coming soon

Monday, February 11, 2013

Zak is doing it again

Zak over at Playing DnD with Porn Stars is at it again. Barbarians!! This is another of the cool alternative classes for older DnD that are less rigid than original format. I really need to create an ODnD game to run with these alternate classes and my City-State of the Invincible Overlord or Bridgeport.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

[SWN] Wanderers in Darkness - the Journal of Julianne Moore

Excerpts from the Journal of Julianne Moore (dates from PCs landing on Abihijit)

- 100 days before landing
Damn they decided to transfer out the one intelligent cute guy on this damned rock. The doctor is being replaced by some guy named Grewill Stersell and I cant find anything out about him, and thats just odd, not even where he got his degree.

-90 days before landing
Grewill Stersell is here and damn theres something just creepy about him. Hes got a plastic smile and I dont like the way he looks at the other girls let alone how my skin crawls when he looks at me. Its like hes measuring me up for something, not even undressing me. Odd.

-85 days before landing
Wow, a whole transport of 23 miners disappeared. When I went to complain the boss of security I found at that he was on it. Something happened to that hard ass, former marine? Thats just scary. Something is wrong with this.

-80 days before landing
Our transmitter is acting up. All communications with the outposts are on the fritz. I thought the last upgrade was supposed to fix that. And that creep Stersell has been haunting the supply building. And come to think of it I havent seen the supply guy at all for the last couple days.

-75 days before landing
Oh shit! The complete communications system has died. We cant raise anyone or any of the satellites. Whats going on?

-65 days before landing
Oh god, I dont know what happened but people are missing. Even the intercom isnt working. Dony, in IT is trying to build a separate transmitter, at least we can try and get a signal to orbit.

-63 days before landing
Help!! He's coming for us. I hope anyone who finds this will search but we are so far out from the shipping lines. Oh please, if you find this please look for us! Please.

[SWN] Wanderers in Darkness - Monsters and Sundry

In Wanderers in Darkness the PCs on Abihijit which is a predominately jungle world that was/is being mined for the rare minerals that its highly reactive and electrically charged atmosphere seems to make it rich in. One of the catches to this plan is the local fauna, large lizard analogues. I say analogues as they arent quite Terran lizards but visually close enough that humans being humans they are called lizards, or dinosaurs. And if not-dinos weren't bad enough, with the "special" batches Grewill Stersell has created it will make things just that much worse for the PCs.

The bonesnapper is the miners name for a small but vicious lizard with large membranous frills around its neck. This is more of a nuisance than a true threat. Lacking eyes bonesnappers use echolocation to identify prey, using the frill as a receiver.
HD     AC    AB    Dam    Move   Morale
1/2       7       +1    1d4       20'         8

The Shadowed Death
The shadowed death is a vicious beast that can easily tackle many of the vehicles the miners use to travel as it is far smarter than just a plain creature. Its 3 pairs of eyes seem to gleam with malice when it attacks. The manner that they blink pairs out of sync with each other is considered very disturbing.
HD     AC    AB         Dam       Mv     Morale
3          6    +3/+3    1d6/1d6    30'     9

Warped Death
Not a true name so much as a description of what has been done to various Shadowed Death by Stersell using the "leftover" components from the males he has modified. The torso grafted onto its chest allows it to operate human equipment it can reach and the malice of the unaltered base creature is blended with the pained insanity of the human tortured beyond mental endurance.
HD     AC    AB         Dam       Mv     Morale   + Human weapons
4          4    +4/+4    1d8/1d8    30'    11             +2 AB    2d4 damage energy

Bloaters are an odd creation of Stersell, human bodies modified with strange subcutaneous oxygen buildups that create the weird bloated look. Always male, due to Stersells tastes, they attack like regular humans except when attacked with energy weapons. When struck with energy weapons the oxygen flares up in an impressive burn (1d6 damage to all within 10 feet)
HD     AC    AB    Dam   Mv     Morale
1          7    +1       1d6     30'       12

HP    AC    AB    Weapon/ Armor                        Saves
5        4      +3      Combat Rifle(1d12)/Woven   PE 12/ME 15/Ev 14/Tech 16/Luck 13

Grewill Stersell
Evil, moral-less medical monster (lvl4 expert) inspired by Dr. H. H. Holmes
HP    AC    AB    Weapon/ Armor                        Saves
 16     5       +1      Laser Pistol (1d6)/Woven       PE 16/ME 15/Ev 12/Tech 11/Luck 14
Science-2. Tech/Medical-1, Persuade-1, Tech/Maltech-0, Perception-0, Combat/Projectile-0, Combat/Energy-0

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[Swn] Oman


 Oman is the somewhat dystopian world that the overall arc of the Wanderers in Darkness campaign. With an oppressive police force willing to open fire on citizens at the least provocation, Oman is a bad place to be on the wrong side of people in power.

Star Data
TypeM4 V Red Dwarf
Radius2.92 x 105 km   (0.42 x sol)
Mass6.90 x 1029 kg   (0.35 x sol)
Temperature2800 K
Luminosity1.47 x 1025 W   (0.04 x sol)

TypeTerrestrial World
Orbital Radius2.59 x 107 km   (0.17 AU)
Period1.07 x 103 hours   (0.12 earth years)
PhysicsLarge iron/silicate
Gravity11.44 m/s2   (1.17 x earth)
Hydrosphere29 % water, 10 % ice
AtmosphereDense breathable
BiosphereProkaryotic microbes
SpecialHeavily developed city hives

TypeRock Planet
Orbital Radius5.62 x 107 km   (0.38 AU)
Period3.41 x 103 hours   (0.39 earth years)
Gravity2.43 m/s2   (0.25 x earth)   

TypeRock Planet
Orbital Radius7.88 x 107 km   (0.53 AU)
Period5.67 x 103 hours   (0.65 earth years)
Gravity5.22 m/s2   (0.53 x earth)

TypeAsteroid Belt
Orbital Radius1.37 x 108 km   (0.92 AU)
Period1.31 x 104 hours   (1.49 earth years)

TypeIce Planet
Orbital Radius2.42 x 108 km   (1.62 AU)
Period3.05 x 104 hours   (3.49 earth years)
Gravity4.73 m/s2   (0.48 x earth)
SpecialPlanetary rings

TypeIce Planet
Orbital Radius4.58 x 108 km   (3.06 AU)
Period7.95 x 104 hours   (9.09 earth years)
Gravity9.42 m/s2   (0.96 x earth)          

Monday, February 4, 2013

Updates and a random link of goodness

[SWN] Wanderers in Darkness will hit the next (hopefully last) session in this story arc Saturday. With this in mind I need to create several handouts for clue giving, and an experiment in programed posting. I also have to thank the fellow gamers that contributed ideas that have warped the Wanderers in Darkness in weird and depraved ways.

Thanks to Zak over at PlayingDnDwithPornstars for this wonderful link because every one needs a random table of blasphemous rituals to perform in weird fantasy gaming

Thursday, January 3, 2013

[SWN] Custom starting packages

One of the fascinating aspects of SWN is the blend of Traveller-esque skills with d20-esque simple combat system. To fit the fact I'm not running the default setting I'm going to craft some custom background packages and skill packages.

Expert training package
"Problem Solver"
Problem solvers as they're known are agents-at-large for the sector government and serve as the earliest intervention in planetary issues. Their first choice is to maintain the peace, though they are not incompetent in a fight, usually when guns come out their mission has failed and all thats left is cleaning up the mess.
Bureacracy, Combat (projectile or primitive), Leadership, Perception, Persuade, Sercurity, Stealth, Vehicle (grav)

Warriors training package
"Galactic Rangers"
The Galactic Rangers are the wandering lawmen of the Galactic Systems. Focusing on conflict resolution by any means necessary,  Rangers can be shining knights or grim arbitrators of justice. One of their signature items is the Peacemaker Energy pistol, a biometrically synced short ranged pistol (I'm imagining Deckard's monster pistol from Bladerunner but energy)
Bureaucracy, Combat/Energy, Culture/Traveller, Leadership, Persuasion,  Tactics

More as i think of them, or people come up with ideas

Monday, December 31, 2012

Psuedo-Quasi-Intellectual review of Alternity

Psuedo-Quasi-Intellectual review of Alternity Science Fiction Roleplaying System

Alternity. The final roleplaying system to emerge from TSR (much of the supplementary material was printed under the TSR, a division of WOTC trademark) was crafted from the start to be a classless, skill based science fiction set from the modern era to the far future. With the addition of material in Dragon Magazine the system could actually be pushed back to the 1800s, potentially even as far as the Renaissance era if you tried, and out into horror and b-movie genres. There was even material to convert D&D Characters, monsters and gear to and from the system.

Published Settings
  • Darkmatter - Take X-Files, make the heroes work for a non-profit with no governmental sanction and youre looking at the basis of DarkMatter.
  • StarDrive - Space Opera in the 26th century, on the newly reopened frontier. This was actually the most supported of all the official settings.
  • Gamma World - Poor Gamma World, yet again the red-headed stepchild of the family, the game only ever had the core setting book printed and one Dragon article that I know of printed.
One of the coolest features of the ruleset was the degrees of success. Instead of merely a binary result you had the possibility of; critical failure, failure, ordinary success, good success and amazing success. This allowed for one of my favourite systems for handling firearms Ive encountered. Striking a bargain between heroic action like D20 where gun shot wounds can be laughed off and the realism of Gurps where bullets flying gets people dead real fast, Alternity allows for dangerous but not automatically deadly combat. Wounds degrade your ability to act successfully, without the binary status of up and acting or down and bleeding out that HP systems are notorious for.

Tying into the levels of success was an innovative die mechanic that took in account difficult of task without changing the target number. Instead of moving the target number around to show different difficulty, a control die was changed. With the goal to roll low and the player always rolling a D20, adding or subtracting dice to the roll was a straightforward idea, supported by a great diagram.