Friday, May 31, 2013

Campaign seed: The goblins of Parra part 10

A few more story points for this campaign seed.  let me know if you use any of em.

Title: The goblin market
Minimum Threat: 75
The horde is pressed into holding the next goblin market in their territory.  Guirrzek has placed the team as security of sorts for the many markets.  Things are going as well as could be expected when a goblin steels an artifact of unimaginable evil.  The party mus track him down inside the sprawling area of the market.
Skill Success: The party tracks the goblin theif back to a dark area of the market where he meets a dark elf and passes the item over.  The party watches helpless as the dark elf murders the goblin and uses magic to escape.  Move directly on to "The Portal" story point
Failure: Party are unable to track the item or unwilling, though its location quickly becomes known.  A blast is heard from a pass above that is the location of an ancient dwarven dam.  The Elf seems to be using the artifact to take down the damn.  Move on to "The Dam"

Title: The Portal
Minimum Threat: 75
With the assistance of the Druid met in previous session the party are able to determine the location the portal connected to.   This should be done with the druid stepping the party through their senses and asking question of smell, sight and sound, along with his magic.  Use the party to get half way there then confirm with his magic.

The party are sent to an old dwarven holdfast.  This could have been cleared in the warriors arc, making it easy.  The party must do that story point if they have not already.  The party then moves through the caverns to the underground.
Skill Success: The party finds tracks but determines they double back.  The party is able to work their way but to see a secret meeting with Guirrzek and the elf.  Move on to The Coverup
Failure: Party will probably continue in the underground areas of the mountain.  I will be working on more story points for this later on, for now work some out yourself.

Title: The cover up
Minimum Threat: 75
The party finds they have been duped by their clan lord.  They are instructed to continue the cover up so the clan can steal the artifact without anyone knowing.   Party are told to take charges back to the underground and blow after planting further evidence  
Skill Success: The party are a awarded 1000gp of magical items from the treasury from Guirrzek. Stealth of clan is increased.
Failure: Scheme is discovered and clan is attacked by minotaur clan that owned the artifact.  Full scale battle ensues.  If battle is won clan worth is restored with additional 30 threat, if not Guirrzek is seriously wounded many goblins are killed at least 20.  Clan potentially displayed.

Title: The Damn
Minimum Threat: 75
The party investigates the blasts at the dam and find the dark elf is using the artifact to bring it down.  The elf seems determined to cover his get away with the artifact.
Battle Success: 2000gp of gold and equipment added to the treasury, leather magical light weapons.  Threat increased by 5.
Failure: The dam is not fully brought down but a torrent of water rushes through the valley causing problems.  Redraw valley map, goblins are potentially displaced.  Full clan boundaries redrawn.

Playtest 1.e

Well we actually ran a round of combat and wow big changes are needed.  I understand I set up two uneven forces but wow players executed the opposing force in a round pretty much.  I am going to have to really tone down gun successes and really think more about setting up cover.  The following are comments I got from the plays, paraphrased.
  • It felt like we were soldiers killing off civilians.
  • A shooting success is very powerful you basically always hit with it.
  • You should combine the damage successes and shooting roll into a single one
  • I don't understand how damage and wounds are connected.
  • Crescent Star you are a bad person and smell.
I am listing them so its clear what came out of the game session.  Some I agree with, some i have even called out before.  Some I agree with but  wont change and  I don't think I am a bad person.  Here are some of the problems and action items I personally noticed in play.
  1. My chart for size is reversed so its easier to hit smaller targets, that is just wrong.
  2. Gun damage was way too high. A damage s1 for a firearm is around where it needs to be.  The S4 sniper rifle I had in play was insane and should have been reserved for heavy ordinance.   
  3. Range was too long on weapons.  I think hexes are troublesome too.  I may go to inches and use a yard stick.
  4. Cover train must be used by combatants and needs to be thought out before hand by the GM not just thrown out there.
  5. The players didn't seems to think much of the idea of using damage successes for extra damage.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quotes heard from a D&D game.

I'm not into racism or sexism, I have found my hate for an individual is exquisitely  more delightful.

Not having your order ready in the drive thru is like a racial slur to us fat people.

Have them dig one less grave, that way they will think one of them can get out of it, if they tell us what we want.

Make him look it up

You can suck a rainbow of dicks my friend.  That is where you line them up by skin tone, its more orderly.

Dagon can sleep with the fishes! Dude I don't think you get Dagon.

Stop playing Dungeons and Dragons, 40K will make a man out of you

I just don't get these new Ca gun laws

With the recent news of California senate passing sweeping changes to the gun laws of this state I have seriously begun to question the future of this state. I almost see a future where guns need to be smuggled out of the state like they are escaping Nazi Germany.  Then there is this issue where we are supposed to maintain tracking on ammunition purchases, which begs the question how many times a year will folks be making a run to Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.

What I am beginning to see is a gun underground railroad combined with firearms tourism.  I see some sort of high security rental storage location in a gun supportive state holding our guns for us, should we not want to risk confiscation for owning a Ruger 10/22. They would need to function something like the old speak easy places so that makes the mob probably the best folks to run them, Vegas is local too.

I have a confession in truth I have no guns that would be effected by these laws, I'm into airsoft.  But that will still have my dad registering and putting my grandfathers Sears and Robuck 22 and my great grandfathers 1903 at risk.  These are guns that have come down through the family and are the only heirlooms we have, they have been passed down through inheritance.  Putting either of those at risk puts a bad task in my mouth.  If either was put into harms way i would get them out of state and into the hands of family members that would protect them, even if that meant breaking the law.  I understand the laws do not currently challenge those two models.  But laws change and I may not just be speaking for myself here but others in similar situations.

Generally speaking I do not even understand the current national firearms debate right now.  Whats with all this hate for magazines with over ten shot capacity.  If you look at a 1911 it holds 7, why because that was how big it was.  The Glock 21 holds 13 because that is how many fit in it as its double stacked unlike the 1911.  These are not high capacity they are just what fits in the gun.  The FN 5.7 holds 20, why small bullets so it fits more.  Limiting just seems arbitrary and desires to drive us back 100 years of mechanical innovation.

Rifle pistol grips confound me too.  I have done some fencing so here check this out, its an orthopedic grip for when your hand is messed up.  Its pretty much what Christopher Lee used in Star Wars, because your wrist goes with fencing, its like our tennis elbow.  You need something better designed for your hands natural grip, viola the pistol err orthopedic grip.  It makes holding the thing much easier.  Same for a rifle, I am old and have drawn too much over my life i need an orthopedic rifle grip or something.

If we want to have a real debate on the issue, lets.  Will limiting guns have an effect on violence in this country? No, not unless you are talking the wholesale disarmament of our nation.  If your argument is correct that guns available to the public is correct we have to assume that if any firearm are available to the public there will be a path into the hands of criminals and psychopaths. It only stands that a 90% or higher reduction in firearms will be required to cull gun violence to desirable numbers.  But should this be attempted there would be insurrection at the hands of certain gun owners.  If you are really going to push for one you are effectively calling for the other to occur.  This I don't get.

Campaign Seed: The goblins of Parra part 9

A few more story points for The Warriors story arc.  Yes this is 100% referring to the 1979 movie of the same name.  I just through it would be a fun challenge to be battling their way home through enemy lines.

Title: The Warriors (The forest oracle)
Minimum Threat: 80
The party still on the run stumbles upon a meeting of two clan leaders and a mysterious woman.  This takes place under a tree that is filled with the bodies of hung men, elves and monstrous humanoids.  The two clan champions immediately attack the party.  The woman does not.
Battle Success: 100 gold is added to the treasury.  Threat increased by 5. Thigpen the dryad offers the party advice on how to escape and who may be behind the attack.  She sees members of the Cloven Helm goblin horde being involved
Stealth Success: Thigpen the dryad offers the party advice on how to escape and who may be behind the attack.  She sees members of the Cloven Helm goblin horde being involved
Failure: One of the captains blows his horn and calls for more to come to the area.  The Dryad urges the party to run and vaguely points to a high range of hills to the east.

Title: The Warriors (The Dwarven Holdfast)
Minimum Threat: 80
Directed to run by Thigpen the party has taken an eastward turn to an area of the mountains the goblins usually avoid.  The area is the site of an old dwarven hold that is perhaps haunted.  Those who venture to close do not return.

The party will not be followed in this area but if they venture into the hold they will be attacked.  The Dwarves there are highly defensive of their hold.  Perhaps there is more here to deal with and a means of strengthening the goblins.  A path to the drow lands?  An artifact?
Battle Success: 450 worth of goods are here, crossbows, axes and armor all of high quality. Resupply consumables.
Failure: Party remains on the run and continue without resupply.  Fight off the party but don't have them too hurt on this fight. 

Title: The Warriors (King of the unbroken oath)
Minimum Threat: 80
The party still on the run are met by the Unbroken Oath clan of hobgoblins at the foot of the mountain.  This will be one of the two final battles in this arc.  This fight is meant to have a break point in it.  The fight will either end with a withdrawal on the Hobgoblins part or delayed combat until after dealing with the assassins.
Battle Success: 1000 gold is added to the treasury in jewelery and significant magic weapon .  Threat increased by 20.  Clan Battle rating increased
Diplomacy Success: Party delays combat with Unbroken Oath clan until Cloven Helms are confronted.  Clan diplomacy increase.
Failure: This arc should be played to party wipe, players are expected to leave comrades that have fallen.  This is on the the dramatic high points of the campaign so killing off players is fine.

Title: The Warriors (Clove helms come out to play_ay)
Minimum Threat: 80
The Party have delayed combat with the Unbroken Oath clan or killed them.  They are now marching on the Cloven Helms.  They have a known location and the Party joined by other horde warriors come to battle.  This should be a full clan on clan fight.  Party are able to directly confront clan leaders while others deal with the warriors of the clan.  If party wishes to participate in full scale clan war let them. 

When Cloven Helm leaders are confronted they should be a party of mixed goblinoids.  These must be wiped out for the arc to be complete.
Battle Success: Clan leaders are magically disguised humans and demi humans.  It seems to be the humans are working to sew conflict between the tribes.  5000 gold is added to the treasury.  Threat increased by 25.  Clan Battle rating increase.  Cloven helms collapse and land is lost you gain 20 further warriors and 50 noncombatant goblinoids.  The Unbroken Oath become allies and work to call of the hunt.
Failure: This arc should be played to party wipe, players are expected to leave comrades that have fallen.  This is on the the dramatic high points of the campaign so killing off players is fine.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Campaign Seed: The Goblins of Parra part 8

These series is meant to introduce a story arc involving another goblin tribe called the Night Fangs.  They live deeper in the Parra region of the mountains and have less outside contact.  They are less combat focused and have increased their magical abilities beyond that of Guirrzek's tribe.

Title: The Gypsies
Minimum Threat: 80
A group of traveling humans have set up their camp near the goblin territory.  Guirrzek sends the part out of raid them.  The camp is made up of wagons with a few defenders and is generally meant to be easy meat for the goblins.
Battle Success: 100 gold is added to the treasury.  Threat increased by 5.  Treasure is non combative in nature mainly items of comfort. Move Directly onto The Curse story point.
Failure: Gypsies maintain camp and goblin tribe is ridiculed by other monstrous humaniods.  Threat decreases 10 per season the gypsies remain.  If they remain a year unlock " The Assassin" and run that story point where Guirrzek has an attempt on his life.

Title: The Curse
Minimum Threat: 80
Someone the goblins have raided has revenge on their mind.  They are approached by a woman in rags who commands powerful magic.  She is able to walk into the camp unmolested and place a Curse on the tribe.  60 goblins must die, four per man, for the curse to be lifted. 

Guirrzek sends the party to deal with the Night Fangs to search for a way to break the curse. 
Diplomacy Success: Goblins shaman will accompany the party back to their home.  Tribe Diplomacy increased.   After success the Night fang cheif is killed and the party fingered for it.  Move on to "the Warriors" story point
Murder and Kidnap Success: Goblins fight off a few of the night fangs and make off with a shaman tied up.  Threat increased by 10.  Move onto "The Warriors" story point.
Failure: The Night Fang chief is killed and the party is fingered move onto "the Warriors"

Title: The Warriors (night fangs)
Minimum Threat: 85
After the problems dealing with the night fangs the party is on the run in foreign territory.  runners have been sent across the valley fingering the party for the murder and a price is on their heads.  Various war clans are formed to hunt down the party.  The first of the encounters is a group of night fangs tracking down the party.
Battle Success: 25gp of treasure added to the treasury.  Healing potions and invisibility potions are available for party use, consider them restocked on arrows and other goods.  Threat increased by 5.  Move onto The Warriors (The Orphans).
Failure:This arc should be played to party wipe, players are expected to leave comrades that have fallen.  This is on the the dramatic high points of the campaign so killing off players is fine.

Title: The Warriors (orphans)
Minimum Threat: 85
Still on the run the party encounter a tribe called orphans, the exiles of other tribes.  These goblins are not willing to fight at first.  The party can talk their way through but its up to the game master to decide if exiles from the parties own clan complicate the issue forcing a battle.
Diplomacy Success: Clan diplomacy increased.  Move onto The Warriors (The Bulls).
Battle Success: 75gp of treasure added to the treasury.  Healing potions are available for party use, consider them restocked on arrows and other goods.  Threat increased by 5.  Move onto The Warriors (The Bulls).
Failure:This arc should be played to party wipe, players are expected to leave comrades that have fallen.  This is on the the dramatic high points of the campaign so killing off players is fine.

Title: The Warriors (The Bulls)
Minimum Threat: 85
Still on the run the party a group of minotaurs are now looking to collect the price on the parties heads.  They are able to track and attack the party at a clearing.  Good stealth on the parties part could reverse this so the party can attack first.
Battle Success: 275gp of treasure added to the treasury.  Party acquire a great axe of considerable power from the party leader.  Healing potions are available for party use, consider them restocked on arrows and other goods.  Threat increased by 15.  Move onto The Warriors (?).
Failure:This arc should be played to party wipe, players are expected to leave comrades that have fallen.  This is on the the dramatic high points of the campaign so killing off players is fine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's you I like

I am for you my friend.  You just you!  The individual that can sit down and tell me whats wrong.  I don't understand when you become a word or a dissolve away into a bigger whole.  I don't want to be a part of a crowd that washes over us and makes us conform.  I don't! I will retreat and fade away if I am to change and rename my thoughts, I will be my own alone. Some of you have marched slow on the ideas that all must hold or they are evil.  Where has it got?  You seem more a commodity to be sold or bought.  And you deem my side is the reason, I have no side I am only me.  Some may sound the same, be we haven't talked to see if we agree, we are all alone in wanting to be genuine to ourselves.  No one wants our flawed ideas to take root and sicken your shallow little family.  But you I believe in, just you as the uncategorized chaos you can be, that I confidence in.  Be the wild chances and conviction for idea great that the self.  Well not greater than the perceiving self, but the dimmed diminished self that walks through the halls and agrees for fear of sit out obtuse and wrong.  The one in the crowd that shouts down anyone who seems wrong.  It is you I like.

Campaign Seed: The goblins of Parra part 7

A few more story points for the goblins of parra

Title: The lost Sheep
Minimum Threat: 70
Sheep are turning up all over the hill side. At first they were a tasty treat but then their were more.  So many they have begun to worry Guirrzek.  A few sheep are lost all the time are farmers planning on making this their pasture land?  Is this the precursor to greater conflicts with the humans?  Guirrzek tells the party to find a few shepherds in the area and bring them back for torture and questioning.
Battle Success: 10 gold is added to the treasury.  Sheep continue to mill around the area, trolls are drawn to the area unlocking "into the fire. Threat increased by 1
Failure: Guirzzeks fears are realized with a party of adventures operating in the area unlocking "out of the frying pan."

Title: Into the fire
Minimum Threat: 70
Sheep are attacking trolls to the area,  a band of perhaps four of the brutes is now operating in the area.  They are challenging the goblins directly trying to gain control of their assets, even their home.  The trolls must be hunted down and murdered.  When found the trolls are fighting a trio of bugbears. 
Battle Success: 350 gold is added to the treasury. Threat is increased by 30.  Map is found that points the players back to their lair. remaining bugbears join the Horde.
Failure: Trolls begin eating goblins!  Every week a goblin is lost until the threat is dealt with Guirrzek exiles the party if they don't deal with it in a month

Title: Out of the frying pan
Minimum Threat: 70
An adventuring party of leave near the groups is operating in the area.  They are killing demi humans as they encounter them.  Not always directly goblins but enough to worry Guirrzek and send the party to kill them in their sleep.
Stealth Success: 550 gold is added to the treasury in the form of minor magic weapons and armor. stealth rating for clan increases. Threat increases 5
Battle Success: 550 gold is added to the treasury in the form of minor magic weapons and armor. Battle rating for clan increases. Threat increases 10
Failure: 1-4 Goblins are killed per season as are other monstrous humanoids.  A gathering is called to deal with the external threat.  Unlock "A price on their heads"

Title: A Price on their heads
Minimum Threat: 70
Goblin party must race to kill and bring back the heads of the adventuring party.  Other monsters have their own parties hunting.  Depending how this goes the meat of the plot point is fighting over the heads.  The party can kill the adventures or someone else.  Who ever had the heads should be attacked constantly to get the bag of heads. 
Battle Success with party: 550 gold is added to the treasury in the form of minor magic weapons and armor. Battle rating for clan increases. Threat increases 10
Success returning with the heads: Clan gains a position of mouth piece for the area. Unlock the Parra valley story points.
Failure: The clan is often in a position where they are dictated to and taxed.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Campaign Seed: The Goblins of Parra part 6

Here is another round of story points for the Goblins of Parra

Title: Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires
Minimum Threat: 65
The hordes strength continues to grow having faced outside threats but now a less concrete threat is approaching the goblins home.  A forest fire seems to have sprung up out of nowhere and is threatening the entire valley and hillside. Guirrzek has plans to hold out in the creek to the south but it is a days march to a point that can contain the horde safely.

The party are to serve as a vanguard and deal with any threats ahead of the main column of goblins.  There will be at least on encounter with orcs trying to escape the fire.  This can be dealt with in combat or diplomacy.  Animals are less likely to attack but large spiders remain aggressive and will attack the party
Non Combat Success with Orcs:  No threat or treasure, orc are aware of goblin horde now but will remain away for at least four seasons. They have a 25% chance of attacking thereafter, this is increased by 5% per season.
Battle Success with Orcs: 65 gold is added to the treasury and armor and equipment. 
Battle Success with Spiders: no result
Failure with dealing with Orcs: Horde and orcs hold up in fire.  Goblins become better regarded by orc's on dealing with fire.  5 Goblins are lost through.
Failure with dealing with Spiders: Horde end up with 1 death and one incapacitated after pushing through spiders.

Title: Burnt Offerings
Minimum Threat: 65
Follows the forest fire story point.  As the clan clean up after the fire they are attacked by burnt undead in the form of woodland animals and monstrous humanoids lost in the fire.  Party is sent do deal with these and investigate the source.  Many other groups report the same attacks as those the goblins faced.  They seem to be directed.  Finally it is determined there is a necromancer working in the area as signs in the forest indicated dark magic.
Noncombat Success: Party gain 5% to the next loot award.
Battle Success with Orcs: 65 gold is added to the treasury and armor and equipment. 
Failure: Attacks continue, after a season of attacks a gathering of the tribes in held to deal with this threat.

Title: The Necromancer
Minimum Threat: 65
Either through the Burnt Offerings story point or other means party determines location of  the necromancer.  They are tasked with bringing his head back.
Battle Success with Orcs: 1,200 gold is added to the treasury and armor and equipment. Much of this magical.  Clan's magic rating is increased.  Threat increased by 15.
Failure: Attacks continue, If the necromancer flees he will find another base of operation and continue attacks from afar.  

Title: The Exiles
Minimum Threat: 75
A group of goblins have petitioned Guirrzek to allow them to set up a far watch point on the grounds of a tower that was once held by a necromancer.  Word had come that they group has taken to the dark arts.  Guirrzek does not allow this and demands them cast out, the party is sent.
Success: Goblins are driven out without significant killing.  Party gains 200gp from treasury
Failure: Guirrzek sends another party to deal with the problem in disgust demanding 50gp of treasure returned by each member of the party.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A look at the Mekton Kickstarter!

Ok even last week I thought Mike Pondsmith needs to get back in the game and needs to do something with Cyberpunk.  I guess I was on to something as here he comes walking down the street with Mekton in kickstarter form.  I think this is the best way to rebuild R. Talisoran games! I am fantastically enthusiastic to say here fucking support this one.

Go for the $25 level at the minimum.

I think this is the best way to support a gaming legend and get him back into the game space.  I want to succeed in a way that gets the company started again and rolling enough to say screw it Cyberpunk gets a new revision of the rules in fusion.

I want to see some stretch goals get forced on Uncle Mikey because this goes viral!  I don't know if its just me but there is a kickstarter for a big game going into revisions. The stretch rewards just don't seem right for a game that is well supported and up on the shelves right now.  Getting R. Talisoran back on its feet seems like a reward in itself.  This just seems more sincere an effort.

Campaign Seed: The Goblins of Parra part 5

Another post for the Goblin's of Parra campaign seed idea for you. Some of these occur after a home has been established

Title: Elven Hunting party
Minimum Threat: 30
The Clan has established a homeland and are growing.  A major outside threat has encroached on their lands with a hunting party of elves killing goblinoids in the area.  Guirrzek send the party to track and murder the party at night.

This should be a small group of perhaps two green warriors and one tracker leader.  They should be equipped with elven armor, short swords, dagger and bows.  They will have 120 arrows between them.
Stealth and Murder success: 65 gold is added to the treasury as are the armor and weapons above.  Clan is upgraded in stealth.  Threat increased but 15
Battle Success: 65 gold is added to the treasury and armor and equipment.  Threat increased by 15 and the clan is upgraded in battle.
Failure without attacking: Elves go on attacking goblinoids.  There is a 25% this will trigger the Gathering of the Tribes plot point with the elves being the major point of conversation.  There is a 10% Elves will attack the goblin home with expanded force.
Failure to murder: 20 gold  per victim is added to treasury as is a portion of armor and weapons.  The Elves flee and the area is quiet until next, non winter, season.  Elves then return with stronger force 20% chance elves attack goblin home.

Title: Goblin Hood
Minimum Threat: 1
Story: A goblin in the clan is noted for his skill with rocks and slings.  If party pass along a bow
Skill Success:  Clan archery skill is upgraded, twice if elven bow.
Failure: No change

Title: A Gathering of the tribes
Minimum Threat: 35
Story: Guirrzek and clan representatives are summoned to a gathering of local monstrous leaders.  The is a roleplaying session with heavy use of intimidation, bluffing and wits.  There is no battle option as players are meant to be part of mixed guard retinue.
Skill Success:  Clan is left alone by other humaniod groups for a year as their respect is earned.  Goblin Market opened to clan.
Failure: Clan is required to deal with an external threat without further resources.  Goblin market is opened to clan after they successfully deal with threat.

Title: The logging camp
Minimum Threat:50
Story: Bumbling loggers Marty and Sherman are captured when they try to cut down trees in the Goblin's Territory.  Guirzzek is concerned that more with come either looking for the pair or intruding on the goblins area.  The party is to take the pair back to the logging camp and barter for their return.
Skill Success:  Clan is left alone, threat is decreased by 10, and clan increases diplomatic value.
Battle Success: The mill and logging camp i s going to be a real challenge.  There will be at least ten men armed with axes to defend the camp and mill.  The camp has a cache of axes and digging equipment along with a sum of 400 gold that is added to the goblin treasury if captured.  Threat increased but 10.  Clans battle rating is increased.
Failure without attacking: A search party is sent out who will attack the goblin home.  If this is defeated increase threat by 5 and another more battle hardened party attacks the goblin home.  This continues until the logging camp is dealt with
Failure to murder: Some of the loggers flea and word gets back to the logging companies investors.  They send out a full party of adventures to deal with the area.  They will have a 25% per season of attacking goblin home.  If killed threat is increased by 20 and a second party is sent, they are of seasoned adventures.  If they are dealt with add 10 threat, but the attacks stop.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thoughts on justice

Karma isn't real, justice doesn't just happen.  Justice doesn't exist as a universal force, outside the minds of men.  Justice is enacted by a determined person whom takes up its cause or is taken up by it them self.  Justice isn't wanted, but rather hated as are it's agents. 

Faith says turn the cheek or not cast the first stone.  Society demands the impotence of the individual for some consensus that makes a mockery of the just.  Legality feels in direct opposition to justice.  And all claim the one main is a fool who speaks for the just.

In this we have made those guilty brazen with no fear of the just as we leash them like a dog.  The wide average seem to fear this man to rebuffs the comfortable deindividuation everyone seems so desperate to find.  The unpresent drunk existing inside a crowd.  Those on high had the man who does not bow down, and cuts a path that does not conform to the powerless they demand of him.

I do not understand the sickened words of who are you to judge, the wronged most of all are.  How are you so blind not to see.  Where is the rehabilitation in your justice, so often said.  Where is the retribution in yours I ask.  What evils have become now that we shy away, what a bitter bloom.  

Campaign Seed: The Goblins of Parra part 4

A few more dealing with the early stages of the Hordes growth.

Title: Horseflesh
After the establishment of a home,Guirrzek has tasked the group with gathering food for the tribe.  The party know of some wild horses in the area and head their way to gather some horse meat.  Upon arrival they encounter a group of Kobolds with similar ideas.  This is not meant as a seriously scene of conflict but more a comedic one where both group prove rather inept.  The skill checks should be difficult for the party and some wild planning required.
Skill Success:  The team gain 10 gold of treasure from the Hordes current treasure.  The Clan eats well and are Guirrzek remains in high regard.
Battle Success with acquire of Horse meat: As above but the company also gain a map of the area and location of the Kobold Lair.  Kobold attack becomes possible.
The clan goes hungry and 1 warrior is removed from the total horde strength.

Title: Goblins stole my baby
Story: After the success with the horses Guirzzek requests his favorite meat human baby!  The farm house you visited early on in the quest was heard to have a crying child and the party are directed there
Stealth Success:  The team gain 20 gold of treasure from the Hordes current treasure.  Tribe stealth increase again
Battle Success with acquire of baby: Party is awarded a 5 gold item but warned of their actions.  Threat increased by 10 , but tribe battle skill is increased
Failure: Next treasure pay out reduced by 5 gp.

Title: Cross Town Rivals
Story: Kobold lair is located and Guirrzek decides to deal with competition.   The party are tasked with rooting out the clan.  Two light combatant goblins aid the party in this goal.
Battle Success: The party deal with enough of the Kobolds to send the rest fleeing.  They are able to claim 75 gold of treasure from the Kobold's treasure that is now the goblin hordes.  This warren can be used by the clan as a well defended structure.  Threat increases by 10 in a season when word reaches other factions.
Failure: The kobold's have a 10% chance per season of being overtaken.  Since most monsters do not value the warren there are few who care to deal with them.. Dwarves would kill them outright and leave the warren for subterranean creatures to over take.  Similarly a dragon may take the kobold's on as minions and the warren would be left.  Finally exiles from the Goblin Horde could also be found here.

Title: Watchtower
Story: This can play anywhere into the story. Dwarves have taken over an old watch tower on a hillside.  They seems to be sending out parties to explore and map the area.  Guirrzek worries this is a forerunner of expansion and wants them taken out.
Battle Success: The dwarves are defeated and 500 gp of items are added to the horde.  Many are adventuring items but there are several high quality axes and a high quality crossbow.  Threat increase by 15.  This structure can be used as a home that is highly defensible.
Failure: The dwarves are probably not going anywhere, but there is a 5% chance they will be overtaken and turned into undead by a necromancer.  Defeating them undead or alive has similar rewards to the battle success

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kickstarter thoughts and a look at the Deadzone kickstarter

Roleplaying game Kickstarters we have a problem.  You guys want to much cash for your efforts and it's hurting our branch of the hobby.  I hope you folks don't take this personal, like I am coming down on you I am just commenting on a difference I have noticed.  Miniatures are succeeding in a big way on kick start and role playing games are stumbling through the finish line.

I have an idea about this.  I think the minis product lines are taking this less as a source of funding for development but rather solely for production.  If you look at the recent Robotech it had a funding goal of 70,0000 and a similar minis game called dead zone is at 50,000.   They have hit so many stretch goals its not funny.  Then you have something like Exalted that wanted 60,000 for a book that was a new edition to a product link with a mountain of support. Holdfast is struggling to hit its 20,000, I hope it does and think it will but not sure.

Then you have witch hunter which which did well with at 10,000 goal that it nearly doubled.  Fate Core though is the best example having only a 3,000 goal and breaks all barriers known to man.  I think this shows RPG projects need to be very complete before hitting the kickstarter gravy train.  It appears a completed product with a goal of covering printing and shipping of a few physical books should be a goal to start with. 

The markets are just very different but its very hard to compete with someone offering miniatures at a dollar a pop.  These products end up reinventing the packaging of miniatures games in general and changing their markets.  How are we going to offer a book or two and really seem like a compatible value.

As I mentioned i wanted to throw some love to Deadzone.  If you look at this game its going crazy and still has enough time on the books to do much more.  Even at the $40 scout edition of the game you get a starter with thirteen minis, which seems a pretty good amount per force size.  At $100 you get two of the factions scenery and extras. This is around the price point role playing game drop a printed book or two.  This has got to be kicking Games Workshop in the balls as you can see these folks are proving their pricing is bullshit.

The question I ask is what do we do to offer a product that challenges these games.  Do game kickstarters need to start covering massive full game in a book tomes?  Dice and counters included in the package like the old Torg book.   How about 3-d printed miniatures support of the product line?

Campaign Seed: The Goblin's of Parra part 3

A few more plot points for the Goblins of Parra campaign seed I am working on.

Title: Obsidian Needles
Story: This plot point is not dependent on any level of threat or story development. The party  or traveling horde stumble upon an area of rocks rich with obsidian.  They are able to upgrade their equipment but control of the obsidian is the real treasure of this plot point.

Currently the field is controlled by a band of Kobolds who will attack the horde if they linger in the area.  They will be armed with upgraded weapons tipped with obsidian themselves.  
Stealth Success:  Group makes off with several pieces of obsidian and is able to upgrade their equipment for six months before the glass begins to wear our
Battle Success: The party gain the glass as above and also gain a information about a Kobold den in the nearby area.  See The Kobold Mire
Control Success: Keeping control of the field increases the parties threat by 1 per season held.  Rivals whom use stone weapons are unable to upgrade.
Failure: The field is going nowhere and control is assumed to be fluid so no effect of failure.

Title: The Spider's Tree
Story: The Goblin horde come upon a hug tree that is infested with giant spiders.  Battle with the spiders is conducted in waves of three until the party has been challenged, then let off.  This is more of a starting point than it is an actual challenge.  The tree can be used as a warren after it has been rid of spiders
Battle Success: The Clan gain a site for their first warren.  they are able to dig out a small series of tunnels in a week.  This beings the parties control of the area.  The warren offers light defense when dug out, with greater defense value if the party has stolen digging equipment from somewhere.
Failure: This tree can become the home of another demi human group if it is not found or used for a warren.  If the story line has proceeded so that there has been a clan split or other exiles they will be found here with the warren well established.

Title: A Throne
Story: This plot point can only happen after a warren or home has been established but should occur soon afterwards.  Guirrzek requires a throne for his kingdom.  This can be retrieved at the road house inn, if they haven't burned it down or something worse.
Stealth Success: The party is able to sneak in and make off with a chair.  Entire clan are upgraded to improve their stealth.
Battle Success: Threat increased by 7.  A company of soldiers is dispatched to retake the inn and find what happened.  The could lead to an assault on the clan home if the party was not careful to cover their tracks.
Already took the Inn through battle (Mudwallow phase): The group walks right in and takes a chair or would if they did not encounter wolves dinning on corpses.  If the party has met The Dark Druid stranger the wolves can be befriended.  Battle is swift and wolves are scared off.
Failure: Guirrzek is displease with group, ignore Guirrzek's next reward.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I have a more positive look on the Robotech kickstarter

If you have been on the fence about the kick starter for robotech the minis game i think they have crossed the line where you are now getting a pretty good deal with all the add on bonuses and optional items.  I am a little broke or I would be pulling the trigger on this thing.

The thing is the bonuses start at the $140 battle Cry level.  So its clearly the level you want to buy in at.

UPDATE 1:  Looks like they just unlocked the 1,300,000 stretch goal for the next gen battloids and they will perhaps hit the next one or two goals.  Looks like this is more worth your time.

UPDATE 2:  1,3200,000 or so now so the deal is getting better.  My wife's trip to Florida  was very expensive or I would be in on this.

UPDATE 3: Looks like they unlocked the experimental battloids you didn't see in the series.  I think I had a model of these things that I never put together back as a kid.  I wasn't very handy.  If you can get another 45,000 into the pot , some extras are added into the main set to sweeten the deal.  Right now you have a solid game line.

UPDATE 4: Wow now they have the upgrade pack for the superveritech unlocked and are moving quickly.  I didn't expect to she the ghost drones added to the Battle Cry set but it looks like they will be.  Perhaps even more coming too.

Goblins of Parra part 2

A couple more seed ideas for the Goblins of Parra idea I suggested on friday.

Title: Mudwallow
Story: The goblin clan has moved past the human farming lands and found there way into the wilds.  They have found there way to a stream they hope to cross.  They have wound their way to an old bridge but it was under the control of an Ogre who calls himself Mudwallow.  The ogre is a hopeless drunk and tasks the clan with getting him some beer from an inn located on the main road.
Stealth Success at Inn: The ogre lets them on their way and even shares a drink with Guirrzek.  Mudwallow can now be hired on as muscle for the clan with the prices of a few casks.
Battle Success at Inn: The party gain a fair share of loot and enough booze to outright buy the bridge from Mudwallow.  The clan will gain 20 sp a month in tribute for control of this resource.  Threat is increased by 5
Murder Success (Mudwallow): Clan gains control of the bridge and four local goblins are attracted to the clan.  These are scout they goblins who are nominally armed but combat trained.
Failure: Clan must fine another route of passage into the wilds.  There is a 20% chance per season that Mudwallow is defeated by others.  This will complicate the hordes progress as anyone able to take out Mudwallow will be a challenge.  This opens up the story challenge "The Rivals" when threat is reached.

Title: The Stranger
Story: The growing horde have stumbled on a human traveler while traveling the wilds.  This can take place with the part encountering the stranger on their own or the horde while looking for their new home.  The identity of the stranger is variable. On a percentile roll 1-33 is "The Ranger", 34-66 is "The Noble", 67-100 is "The Dark Druid".  Each function differently

The Ranger
Diplomacy Success: Ranger goes on his way and alerts others of the Hordes location.  Increase threat by 5 and the horde is attacked by a party of rangers at 21+ threat.
Murder Success: Clan gains rangers equipment which includes a high quality bow and a magic dagger.  No threat is increased.

The Noble
Diplomacy Success: The noble goes on his way and speaks of gentile goblins in the woods, threat decreased by 1.
Murder Success: Search parties are dispatched.  Open up the story "The Search Party" and move directly to it.

The Dark Druid
Diplomacy Success: Clan finds Druid is sympathetic to Guirrzek's view of wild.  Druid is sometimes adviser to clan and aids them in taming of wolves and wargs.
Murder Success: Clan gains druids equipment which includes a high quality staff and potions of health.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Campaign Seed: The Goblins of Parra

I was thinking of doing a little fantasy setting combat for the second play test and I came up with something very simple.  Players fighting off some goblins seems like something every fantasy game needs to cover so it fit.  A bit of thinking further and it become the players as goblins attacking some farmers, which seems a fair amount more interesting to me, though many games have done monster characters to death.  Pushing the idea a little further I though hmm why not do a dark version of the Kingmaker campaign that sucked so much but with goblins?

That has merit for me, a small clan of goblins moving across the land hunting for a place of their own, like a chaotic evil Water Ship Down.  This gives a good chance to fix that campaign and implement an interesting systems around the sandbox environment.

What is suggest is a simple story of a goblin horde carving out a spot in the wilds after they have been displaced.  The players form one of perhaps three goblin raiding parties that are providing for the clan.  Missions should work to benefit the horde, hurt the horde if not completed or have a neutral effect that remains internal to the raiding party.  All quests should have a shelf life so if not completed they either spring their negative effect change the story or somehow they change.  Change would either become unavailable or perhaps changing in nature.

The mechanism for the horde should not be the building one found in Kingmaker, but rather something like threat range.  I would not use this to change the clans power but rather trigger events, Allowing the group to deal with larger challenges as their clan power raises.  Rewards could often be and increase to followers, a special character or resource or even specialized troops becoming accessible.

Story: The displaced clan feel from attackers across human farm land.  Moving buy night their progress is slow but they have been able to avoid conflict.  Days on the run have left the group of fourteen goblins hungry and week.  Horde leader Guirrzek tasks the raiding party to steal food form a near buy farm.
Stealth Success: The clan move on faster than before and make it our of human lands without challenge
Murder Success: The raiders gain 2 daggers of human quality and present Guirrzek with 10sp gaining favor.  Clan is attacked by human hunting party before making their way to the freedom of the wilds
Failure or no result in 12 hours: Clan lose a non combat member moves on slowly.  Players are again tasked  with a raid.

Story: The clan come upon a wounded hobgoblin and raiders are sent out for supplies.
Success: Clan gains Abul ben Korr as loyal guard for Guirrzek and headsman.
Failure: ben  Korr dies and Guirrzek is vulnerable to future attacks.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Play test 1.d

well laid plans go to crap in a hand basket real quick.  There is such a huge hole in my rules that its glaring.  I am going to have to come up with some fixes.  My shooting rules against a target were messed up in that if you had a success you always hit.  I have always thought of this as a game were everything worked out to an opposed roll and I set up a situation where it just didn't.  Big time fail of rules there.  I need some big time fixes.

Fix1:  Any time you set a target number and have modifiers over 21 something special happens.  You subtract 7 from the target number and that becomes a negative success versus the roll.  So a tart number of 22 becomes 15s1.  This continues to happen for higher target numbers.  A target number of 32 does not end up at 25s1 but rather any time you exceed 21 you subtract again.  Making the target number 17s2.

Fix2:  Hard cover is going to force a negative against the to hit roll.  So if someone is ducking behind a wall and peaking out and firing you are going to need to hit both smaller target and deal with cover that subtracts from the two hit roll.  This will be set as negative one success for any type of hard cover. a tree or a building all are the same.  Something like a murder hold a castle could be two but very little else.

Fix3: Firing several range increments may start create a negative success value for very long ranges.  Say shooting five or more range increments.

Fix4: The players and game master have use of success tokens these need to be more free flowing for the Game Masters.  Name enemies may need to have their own success stone pools.

Potential Fix: look at range and scale.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Never what you wanted

Lets see the fall
an end to sides
and finally realize
there is no you and i

No betrayal
no broken want,
my side
was never yours.

So take your need
a I'll be free,
and you will too
of one nothing to you

Let's see the fail
and end the lies
it's plain to open eyes
you say the broken one is i

I know betrayal.
I know my want.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Roleplay game Playtest 1.c

Well here are the characters i have worked up for the play test I have been working on.  I broke them into three jpegs, mainly because I don't know how to set something up so you can download it through blogger.  The characters are not really anything statistically.  I took ideas and tried to semi work them out into stats.  But for the most part I am using different stats to see if they work or not.

The names come from on of my favorite shows as a kid, Tour of Duty.  I used it because I am using older weapons.  If I can connect with Barry Nakazono or Lester Smith perhaps I could get Leading Edge and GDW to work on modern firearms.  Until then I am using old stuff so sort of a vietnam theater seemed to fit well.

Some of the guys do have concepts like knife guy and pistol shooting LT so please look at the stats.  I am sure I will have updates after tomorrow night. I am trying to get everything in place, I even glued some green army men to hex bases and have a roll out map. Still feel like I am last minuting this thing like everything else I do but here is for hoping.

Rocksmith DLC: continues to suck

Maroon 5 , Maroon fucking 5 are you kidding me.  You Ubisoft guys need to understand the first word in the title of your game.  Rock baby Rock!  You need to look at your fan base and say are the people who actually want to go and learn the guitar a little different  market from the folks who like music. I am going to bet the answer is yes.

All the folks in my guitar , piano, band classes through the years have had some weird music they loved the shit out of to the point of wanting to learn the instrument.  Folk or goth, maybe some metal.  hey even punk!  You need to go after these genres with more vigor than pop shit. 

You should work on classic rock songs that focus on guitar that everyone is going to want to learn.  Maybe perhaps stairway?  Some songs with good lessons in them , hurray you have house of the rising sun so we know all our major chords.  You should get some solid guitar focused country, I would be all for learning the intro to Dukes of Hazzard.  How about Andre Segovia so we can learn the foundations of classical guitar.  What i am getting at is learn the basics of an instrument and then focus on elements of a particular style of music as applied to the guitar or bass.

Then you get into the fact that your genres of music are poorly represented.  You need more metal, why metal kids actually want to learn guitar, tons of my friends in the metal scene have a guitar in their room they can't quit play.  You need punk like the Ramone's because you don't have puck other than the clash and early punk is very easy to get going with.  Give folks a books of confidence with something like Rock away beach.  Finally you need Progressive rock, Rush is a start, but where is the Yes.  Prog , Funk and Soul are going to be the high end for bass players.  All these really have lively rhythm sections and will provide the bass players a work out.

Side note, you really need to have a free exercise section like the youtube videos with pros saying I bet you can't play this.  That would allow focused training on particular elements with no cost.  Alex Skolnik of Testament does a fair amount of these as do many other shredders.  This would be great to help folks.

Play test 1.b

This will stand as a baseline for my weapon statistics for the play test.  They are semi tuned guesses a what would work for the game    

 I am making some assumptions that are more for what i think the statistics model and not so much about the actual firearm.  I am going to try it get a base line down for one or two weapons and then start developing a calculation for twilight and phoenix command stat blocks to give an easy engine for lots of weapons.  

I am not including knife states which well be pretty simple for this round of the play test.  Please us a D10+D4 plus strength attribute modifier and an additional +3.  This would be represented as str+3.

I will be working on character reference cards during the evening and turning green army men into miniatures with hex bases. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Playtest 1.a update

Hey all I am busy working on stats for the playtest.  I will also work out a flow chart for easy play, my own group play test will include a few pictures and something of a battle report.  I have my phoenix command and twilight 2000 books out and sitting by my bed for work on this project, so you know I am serious.  This first batch of rules may be far from perfect but will allow me to set up something of a base line.

I am thinking Damage per the two game systems and caliber for the Damage number and taking phoenix commands 20+ penetration number / twilights 2-3-nil value for special armor penetration.  This will allow you to only spend one success to get armor defeating.  Range will be represented in hexes and value for the effective range of the weapon, meaning you will be able to shoot beyond that but the would be better off doing so with a different firearm.

I am also thinking of going with an aim rule that simulates what is happening in phoenix command.  Maybe an aim chart per weapon type.  That will be more of an advance rule though.  For now aim will be the same across all weapons and probably follow Fibinochi.  The advanced version will have pistols quickly hitting a solid aim number then remaining there.  There is also the thought of a single chart with different types of weapons with a bonus and a max aim value. 

  • So with fibinochi at 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 a figure of  fib +3max5 would give you, a starting aim of 2 and a max aim of 5.  The +3 being the 3rd value in the sequence and 5 being the 5th.  But as I have state in the past this is meant to be when the level of detail is needed to simulate second by second firefights.
For the playtest aim give a linear bonus straight up the number line with every multiple of seven giving a success.  This will be continued through three waves of combat.  Then we change to using only the odd numbers from the number line.
  • example 1,3,5,7,9 which will double the speed of aiming.  I am trying to figure out the sweet spot that feels right here.  I feel like the odd numbers are more right.

Friday, May 10, 2013

RPG campaign seed idea Heroes by Gaslight

I once was heavily into the Heroes show.  Which is odd as I have never been a super heroes fan.  I mean being handicapped with my kidney disease I have Daredevil or Gary Coleman.  I decided to watch Different strokes and on the right track.  I even voted for him for governor, sounds crazy but rolling blackouts occurred while I was on dialysis and had to hand pump my blood back.  I thought he was the only candidate who understood my concern.

Back to Heroes I really loved the idea of them not knowing they had the powers.  Then i saw this picture of spectre the green lantern and it really got my gaming blood going.  I thought of the spectre as some sort of watchman in the gas light time keeping people safe from robbers.  That all merged into the basic ideas of a game that didn't go far enough.

The game was set in Victorian England and featured a cast of Heroes that were unsure of their powers.  They were unsure because I told them we were just playing a gas light era game and I was using D & D to take care of the rules.  They didn't know I had bought the Mutants and Masterminds books and had a who big game in mind.

The characters seemed to be a doctor from France named Fragonard who had been disgraced and now made a living selling corpses to various medical facilities.  We also had a down on his luck whaler named Gustaf Johansen.  There was a British Soldier named Arthur Batten-Poole trying to keep order on a night that was going awry.  And finally Lady Frost who was out for the evening at the symphony.

I set the campaign with the players divided, the doctor and the whaler where busy robbing a graveyard.  Poole was proving assistance to the constabulary and Lady Frost was nearby in a coach.  Quickly the grave robbers were approached by a fleeing figure dressed at the spring heeled jack and being shot at by the police.  The figure ran past and police rapidly approached the pair .  They ran!  Lady Frosts coach was attacked and the jack got control of the reigns.  Batten-Poole mad a quick foot chase,  The others were able to flee the church yard but were attacked on foot by the Jack whom they chased.  This jack joined the other on the coach while the pair hijacked a second coach.  Batten-Poole was now climbing atop Lady Frost's coach attacking the Jack.  Finally both coaches met and locked wheels in a glorious struggle.  Forcing the break and working the reigns the Jacks finally turned the coaches over a bridge into the Tames.

I resolved the night with a few checks for swimming and cold effect.  I made note to leave out the whaler for the swimming and Lady Frost for the cold.  This was the first of my revealing their powers.   And would be my last as the game seemed to never find another session.  It was intended as a game between games but never really found a ground and I am not sure if folks were interested.

This never going anywhere is why I am presenting the game to you.  I hoped someone else could have fun with it.  My scenario was to use the Spring Heeled Jack as a conspiracy of batman like foes for the heroes.  They would be run by a lord of some sort who was a werewolf.  I didn't get much beyond this point by my ideas were based on the fact that don't know of an evil version of batman and my hatred of DC villains that are masterminds but can never seem to physically defeat the hero.  The werewolf/druid idea came as a hope to have a smart villain that could also be dangerous.

The eventual powers I was planning on revealing to the players were going to come out in bits and pieces.  Lady Frost was immune to cold and could turn water into ice.   From here she was sort of a creator of objects and could turn water into anything she wanted even armor for herself.   The whaler was sort of the king of the sea, if his ankles were in water he was very strong and had knowledge of all ships and operation he could even pull in a whale himself sort of Poseidon or Popeye.  Arthur Batten-Poole could control time and create a singularity around himself or someone else.  The good doctor was actually very close to the realm of the dead seeing Death frequently and able to talk to spirits.  He could also heal by  taking damage onto himself and harm by shifting it from himself to another. 

My last "Hero" who never ended up with a play oddly enough was Johnathan Harkness esq.  I was planning this guy as a hero who becomes the big bad guy in the end.  His power was he wouldn't die and pretty much that is it. It was sort of like Heroes where the stick had to be removed from your brain or he had to be pulled out of water but he wouldn't die.  The thing was he didn't have the power to heal, he just got more and more screwed up.  He had normal human healing so things would eventually heal and he could graft on parts but that was it.  The idea was to have a very grim hero after awhile and then have him realize he could graft himself back to life.  Eventually he would realize some grafts were better than others, the hulks arms or the flashes legs for example.  He would then serve as a menace and be my new big bad guy.

Take my campaign see and do as you like gentle reader.  Let me know if you do anything extra cool though.

Play Test Rules 1

As I have stated I wanted to open up my game creation process to you folks.  What I am hoping to accomplish is a series of scenarios can be run completely with the information provided.  At first these will be simple situations that try to verify my basic rules for combat are functional.  I will be running these with my group and reporting on the results but you are also welcome to try them out.  If you would like to leave comments I would be grateful, but nothing is required.

Our first scenario is going to be an armed fire fight with modern weapons. The assumption is a team of four players will be facing waves of four man teams controlled by the game master.  The players squad will be in control of a variety of equipment and character statistics.  The enemy gm squad will be average troops equiped with a unitform arms.  In this first attempt at verifying rules ammuntion will not be tracked.  Rules will include two versions of the initiative system for testing.  Additional rules will be add through additional posts.

Let us begin with attributes.  Attributes generally speaking provide modifiers to rules but in this rules lite test we are going to include the most applicable attribute directly into the skills section for ease of use.  Attributes will be provided for direct attribute rolls.  Since we are setting out a situation that inplies combat drones only physical statistics will be provided in this initial run.  This attributes are Strength, Resistance, Manipulation, and Observation.  The rating system currently is configured to handle attributes of 1 to 7.  The assumption is there is room at the top and bottom ends for alien and fantasy creations.  Attributes are always listed as a singlue numerical value and never include automatic success or failure.

A second component of attributes is the attribute is the attribute modifier which is a value which can be applied to a skill roll. Any time you make a skill roll an attribute modifier should be applied but it is not always the same attribute that provides the modifier. In some cases your climb skill could be modified by physical strength for holding on with a load. But this skill could also be modified by physical resistance for holding onto a rope above shark infested waters. Very often it will be modified by physical manipulation should be applied too. Though you will find a particular skill and attribute are very often used together it is up to the game master.

This chart is displaying the value that modifies your skill value so -1 to +3. The next value presented is +s1 to +s2, seems odd to you I am sure. This is an optional rule that accounts for pushing the skill to the next success value. It means you can use that much of the +1 to +3 to cape a skill to the next success value. In this first play test attribute modifiers are added directly into the values and the follow chart can be ignored. Assume any skill role is already modified with the most applicable attribute.

I am going to figure you all are game players so lets not talk like we are five, you know what skills are.  Skills in this game are presented by two values.  The first part is the die roll modifier and the second is a number of additional successes that you automatically have. So a number off 3s2 means your skill roll will add 3 to it and even if you roll poorly you have 2 successes.  I will get into some extra additions and subtractions in the Skill roll / Check section next.

Skill Checks:
Our Skill checks start with a dice roll of a D10 and a D4, Why I dont know I am weird. Also I like the probabily of these two dice combined.  These dice are open ended or exploding or whatever you want to call them.  This means if you roll max on either dice, roll it again and add that number to the result.  If you max out again keep on going until you don't roll max.

The result is your actual roll which is a numeric value.  This is compared to a target number to determine success.  If you roll equal to or higher than the target number you have a success.  If you roll higher than the target number you may generate more successes.  For every seven points beyond your target you generate an additional success.

  • Example 1: A roll of 34 against a target number of 15 would generate one success for equaling 15 and additional success at 22 and 29.  For a total of 3 successes plus any automatic successes the characters skill may provide and any success stones the player throws with the roll.

The addition to this on both the player and Game Master sides is the use of success stones.  This can be added to any roll for an additional success. Players will start the scenario with three. The GM also has a pool of their own stones.  The GM's success stones count as a negative success.  Their pool starts at zero but one is added every time the players use a stone.

Target Numbers:
The target number charts are included below both a base line for the Game Master to set the difficulty of general tasks and a set of charts for combat based shooting.  These two ideas are different.  Generally speaking in combat the basic idea is size and distance for determining ranged combat target number.  With Melee combat being an opposed roll of some weapons skill vs a parry or dodge skill.  Melee combat will be covered in breif here and in depth later.

  • Trivial: This is a task nearly anyone could do, a modicum of skill or aptitude might be needed but most people can figure it out.
  • Easy: This is anything a novice can do without much effort.  
  • Average: These skill checks are something where the results become unsure.  In the below two cases the dice average almost covers the difficulty.  Here you are getting to the base line of difficulty required to make a skill check.  This might be something beyond the beginner but no problem for the semi experience.  Clearing a jammed gun perhaps.
  • Tricky: Anything beyond the norm.  This becomes is where the person of average skill busts out the book and watches a couple youtube videos before trying.
  • Hard:  This is going to be a days work and mistakes are expected.  Anything requiring technique and knowledge to accomplish is hard.  This would usually take some explanation from an expert or some hours put in to get the feel for the task.
  • Expert:  These tasks you know you should hand off to someone else.  Usually people are walked through these tasks on the first attempt or have hand very extensive schooling or training.
  • Grand Challenge:  This level has sort of two elements.  For task this is meant to be one of those tasks that hang around for years.  Fermat's last theorem being solved, or shooting an arrow through a thrown wedding ring.  Mechanically though this level has a weird effect.  Since the bonus numbers don't often go past 7 for skills and 3 for stats this becomes a difficult roll to make.  But as some characters have successes even before the roll this level often will mean success are the only thing measured. 

Contested Skill Checks:
 Any time one person is attempting a task that another is trying to prevent or avoid a contested skill check is made.  This seems like it would be rare but in the "Crescent Star Games System" (yes lame i know) it seems to happen all the time.  Any time the Game master uses a success the role is being contested.  These are a little convoluted but please bear with me.

When you have a contested roll look at the lower actual role, this becomes the target number for the higher actual roll.  Determine the number of success returned by the roll.   Add those to the automatic skill successes and the success stones.  Cancel out the successes generated by each player.  Generally this will result with one party at zero successes. but Game Master success tokens can take a play to negative.

Whats up with all these successes:

I have described a situation where players are left with a handful of successes above, I am going to guess your are saying well what do I do with them.  This is not a game of game master arbitration of success.  If you have a single success you have succeeded at the task from the Game Masters side.  The rest of the successes are yours to spend on additional effects.  

Many times what you can spend the successes on is dependent on the task performed.  There are a few general purchases that are common though. Most of the time you can use extra successes to make an element of your job harder to deal with for the guy trying to undo it.  The person trying to free himself after being tied up may need to achieve more successes or the person looking to see if a lock had been picked may have a more difficult job.  The time of a task can be halved with an additional success.

There is another concept of chaining actions that allows players to rapidly perform a series of actions.  This is meant to simulate two things.  The first of is the character being in the flow making every shot and move is complete precision.  The second is timing where a series of events must be completed quickly and accurately.  This actually is meant to simulate elements of the prince of persia game where the player must move through a series of obstacles under a time constraint.  The Game Master can work out with the character the types of role that are needed before the roll.  Every link of the chain costs one plus the number of previous actions.  So 2 successes are required to add a link to your first action, then three are required to add to your second action.  There is not limit other than the rolls.

  • Example 2a: Razgum smashes a giant spider with two extra successes and decides to use them for another attack on another arachnid.   His second attack roll comes up with three additional successes which he again uses to smash a third spider.  Razgum is in a spider smashing frenzy.
  • Example 2b: Presented with a quickly raising draw bridge Rocky asks is Game Master how can he jump up the water and get up the backside of the drawbridge before it closes.  They agree he needs to chain a jump roll, an acrobatics roll and finally a climb roll. Rocky jumps the water chaining the second action.  His acrobatics roll is successful but not enough to link.  He makes some distance running up the now vertical bridge but is unable to grab a hold and pushes off into the water.
Nuts, battle and bolts:
Ok, I have started with two systems for initiative, that sounds like a ton of work but one is throwing out the initiative system for simultaneous actions and the other is a  blatant rip off of something from the advanced rules of Phoenix Command.

Lets start with the no initiative system.  Initiative is simultaneous so all actions happen and then are resolved.  So dont even roll it, its 2 second rounds or something.  My idea is that in all the games with initiative systems you are taking turns with the bad guys and it ends up working the same anyway.  Only the round you kill someone, if you act before them, are you getting an extra turn over an enemy NPC.  That is a lot of time rolling and counting down actions for something that is meaningless. 

There is one rule I do use for organizing the round, bad guys go first.  This is actually go allow players the benefit of seeing the bad guys action and reacting to it.  There is the added benefit of the players not getting hung up on a dead enemy shooting them.  Let me explain that as it happens, everyone gets their full action for that round in simultaneous action, so they get off their last shot.  Even when they die that turn.

Chained actions are resolved within the same round but not all at once.  Everyone goes then resolution occurs.  Then the next link of the chain goes and is resolved, and so on.  You may in fact die before getting to your linked action in which case it is lost.  That sounds weird doesn't it? It sort of contradicts the paragraph above, but that is ok.  Think of the above round lasting until resolution occurs then the next link happening in a sub round they are effectively extra rounds involving only the parties with linked actions.

I will talk about the counting clock initiative system later but, it is intended for use with firefights.  The idea is to have an ever incrementing clock and a number of phases that character and npcs must wait for actions.  This would be different dependent on the combat effectiveness of the character.  Also fear effects would be factored in as delays in actions.  This is to factor in speed of combatants and coolness under fire.  Chained actions cut your delay down significantly allowing for a deadly flurry of action.

The first consideration for ranged fire is the size of the target.  Below is a chart with the target number for a particular size.  Keep in mind this is not always the full size of an object, but rather what is presented.  Hitting a prone target may be shooting at a target the size of a cat in many situations.

After you have decided on the size of the target you will then be looking at the range distance.  These will be measured in hexes on a grid for this beta phase of the rules.  After you have the distance apply and addition two points of difficulty to the shot for every range increment of distant.  Note there is a max range increment any weapon can reliably fire, sniper weapons can shoot well over 1,000 yards in the hands of an expert.  A thrown knife can not fly that far no matter what you roll.

After you have added the size value with the value for the range you will have your target number.  There are going to be modifying factors to this but they are not included in this initial phase of the play test.  This target number is what the characters ballistic skill check is made against.   As with anything you roll  D10+D4 and in the value listed on the character sheet for your roll.  That number is compared against the target number and successes are determined.   If a single success is returned move on to damage, if more are returned consult the success chart below.  Not some characters may have other options specific to themselves.

Damage and Death:
After you have successfully hit an opponent you can move on to the damage roll.  Damage values for weapons are represented as a dice roll and a number of automatic successes, which can be 0.  These values could appear as 3d4s1 or 2d10s0 for example.  Melee weapons are most often as physical strength +X value.  In these cases you would roll the dice indicated per the weapon or make a D10+D4 roll with strength modifier and the +X value.

When you do roll the number is added to the characters existing damage total.  After the new damage total is added up you are done if there is not wound check.  If a wound check is forced the characters current total wounds are used as the target number for the wound save.  Next we cancel out successes, should the character end up with any successes they have avoided taking a wound.  If they have no successes a wound is added to the character, per attacker success added to the wound save.  This acts as a longstanding disability presenting a negative success on all rolls.  Any time the character has a number of wounds equal four modified by his physical resistance attribute modifier he is dead.

UPDATE:  this is a first draft and is i complete.  I need to get movement rules settled, a list of gun stats and a dozen other things.  I am already unhappy with the way every roll seems to have its own set of purchase options.  That just seems mess and to complicated.  I think I will be creating general rules that encompass these charts as general things all skills roles can purchase.  Their will be specific options for purchase associated with each skill but these will probably be purchase and not automatic. 

for now assume 6 hexes of movement if performing other actions and 24 if only running.

Restaurant Review: Sonic Drive In

I have tried the Gilroy Sonic a couple of times and have not been impressed.  This is not going to be a rant but instead more of a lament.  Sonic per the menu and website is awesome.  Seriously it is great all the drinks, I love drinks!  They have hot dogs and tater tots, crap they have sweet potato tater tots, amazing!  And the this is a nostalgic drive in with an awesome you do it yourself  credit card machine.  I love all that this place seems made for me.  And then you get the food.

That is the thing the idea of Sonic is wonderful, the reality leaves something to be desired.  It's almost heart breaking how close it comes to perfection and how far it falls.  The food is just bad, like it sort of makes me sick bad.  And I am a human garbage can.   The tots should be crispier the hot dog a better sausage or link.  The condiments are thrown on garishly.   The flavors are just a tough to much. 

Then the food hits you like a brick, some miles down the road as you leave.  It just doesn't site well.  The dirty little secret to white food is there is a low end that is just bad.  Think Hometown buffet or Disneyland food.  Those awful seven eleven hot dogs don't even compare as you know those are going to be terrible, this stuff looks all on the up and up.  That's sort of like Sonic, looks fine tastes Ok if a little over done then you are doubled over the toilet drizzling vanilla ice cream over your bung in hopes of relief from the burning pain even Paul Atriedes couldn't handle.

If you are in the bay are go to Clark's or Kal's they both have good dogs.  So does Ben's Franks.  I have yet to try Mark's the orange shaped building back in Berryessa but I hear good things.  Hell even a stand is the way to go.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Analysis

Many folks have talked about the lamb as if it is denser than concrete laced oatmeal.  It took some work but I think I have an understand or at least my own understanding.  The general idea behind the work as stated by Gabriel is "Something like El Topo."  Which puts us on the track we should be looking, as El Topo is a Masculine spiritual tale.  I think its pretty safe to assume this is also true for The Lamb and should be our focus.  Rael being a street thug as our subject and the record being a journey of spiritual change.

My interpretation of the record is that of Death and the assimilation of  two or more aspects of  personality.  Specifically one aspect, Rael, appears to not accept death while Brother John appears to be embracing of it.  I tend to look at the first five songs relating to actual life and some event that takes Rael's life or leaves him comatose.  The Lamb being a picture of his life, with Fly being the seeing of the white light.  Broadway Melody is some sort of picture of his life or the wants in his life.  Finally Cocoon and Cage talking of the divide between the physical and spiritual.

The Grand Parade is strange but seems to be taking place in a spiritual limbo that is not life or death.  He is walking past the ready bodies of the unborn which seem to be awaiting spirits and sees that they are sometimes people he knows, as if there is a limited supply of variation.  That may also be a reference to reincarnation but I have not though long enough on that issue to come to any conclusion.  Back in New York City is Rael trying to live struggling to hang onto the life, as I see it.

Hairless Heart has seems to have two currents going through it.  The connections of his life holding him and sexuality.  The shaving part seems to refer to cutting the connections to his heart and moving on a bit.   The sexuality comes back with the next song Counting out time.  It seems to be almost a lament of death as he never got this part right in life.  This subject comes back later.

Carpet Crawlers and Chamber are hard to dig through but I feel they are talking about his confusion of spirit and not understanding.  There are aspects of life and its confusion here too, who you take advice from and how you life.  Lily white Lilith appears to be part of this spiritual second as well, she may represent some aspect of Rael as well a stunted intuition or spiritual aspect he finds that guides him to the next part. 

Anyway and Anaesthetist pretty clearly have to deal with Death.  I think this is death finally taking him from his physical death that happened in Fly.  That is why the "Sorry to keep you waiting" line seems to be there.  This meeting with Death dives him onto the next section the afterlife it appears as he starts resolving aspects of himself in the last few sections.

In Lamia and Slippermen the concept of sexuality returns.  It seems to be some sort of negative and destroying force within Rael his sexuality and youthful drives.  The Slippermen shows the negativity of it and he removes or resolves it.  You will note John is there in this part seeming to be something that is shared across both of the two aspects of Rael/John.  But later you see Rael trying to reclaim this component of himself chasing after the tube.  John is uninterested in this idea and moves on.

We finally are left with the Rapids and It.  Water is often linked with emotion in dreams, the water seems to be emotion of death and want fighting with Rael he finally catches John and the two are joined in It.  With Johns face being his own.  It finally tells of the movement of spirit between the two and the final assimilation and ascension of spirit to the greater states.  I personally would say moving on to heaven but I am unsure of Gabriele's relationship with Christianity.

One last area of debate is the narrator.  In my opinion there are three narrators, at least, who lend their voices to the story.  Those are Rael, Brother John, and a omnipresent third who I assume is God.  The Lamb Lies down and It both appear to have this third voice.