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Monday, October 10, 2011

Legend Adventurer Sheet

Mongoose Publishing has kindly released a PDF of the official character sheet for their Legend game.

Because I can't help myself and I prefer landscape styled sheets, I put together a one sided landscape version based off theirs.   I extracted the skills list from the one they provided (mostly because I ALWAYS miss something when I'm transcribing a list like that :D [and I'm lazy]) and tried to use the same information that they had on theirs, with a few exceptions of stuff that could easily be incorporated under the heading of 'notes'

A PNG preview and a PDF are both available

PNG:

PDF:  PDF of Legend Adventurer Sheet

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Doodling

Last night I got into a 'doodling' mood and sketched up the attached while my wife and I watched television.

I really need to work on my sketching more.  (A Lot more :D)






Monday, July 25, 2011

Pulpish / Modern Fantasy Classes for your favorite d20ish rules

I was thinking about my 1930's Alt History/Alt Reality pulpish setting today, and I was thinking about what if I did it in a d20ish style?

The Castles & Crusades basic rules I think would work well here for me.   The primary differences would be Defense would replace Armor Class and would start off being equal to Dex.  Also I'd do the Hit Points off a d6 base, and they would represent cuts and bruises, with actual wounds being a reduction in Con.


The Classes
Tough (STR) - Close Combat Specialist
Daredevil (DEX) - Risk Taker, Athlete extraordinaire
Marksman (DEX) - Ranged Combat Specialist
Totemist (CON) - Mystic who gains power from an animal totem
Magician (INT) - Seeker of the Arcane Mysteries
Faithful (WIS) - Strong Belief allows him to fight evil
Glib (CHA) - Fast talker, salesman, diplomat, actor

Each class has certain special abilities that only apply to members of that class.  ‘Class-Rated’ individuals are special, not everyone in the world has a class, most are ‘normal’ people.

=========================================================


Tough
Primary Attribute: Strength
Hit Dice: 1d6+3 per level

Class Abilities
Deadly Effect:  The Tough is better with close combat than other people.  As such, he gains a +2 damage bonus at first level to any close combat attacks he makes.  This increases by an additional +1 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20.  This only applies to close combat attacks, armed or unarmed.

Up Close and Personal:  Although the Tough is perfectly fine using a gun, he is much better when the fighting is in tight.  He gets a +2 attack bonus to all close combat attacks

If I can pick it up, it’s a weapon:  The Tough has no penalties for wielding improvised weaponry in close combat.

Resilience:  The Tough gains a +2 save bonus versus pain, unconsciousness, toxins and disease effects.

Signature Attack:  Although he can hit with anything, sometimes the Tough prefers to use a certain type of weapon or attack.  With this Signature Attack, the Tough gains an additional 1d4 to his attack roll.

=================================================================

Daredevil
Prime Requisite: Dexterity Hit Dice: 1d6+1 per level

Class Abilities
Master of Defense:  As long as a daredevil is not more than lightly encumbered and is not wearing armor, he is able to use his gains a base +2 to his Defense, that increases automatically by 1 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20.

Second Chance:  Any time a Daredevil fails any physical based attribute check (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), he may immediately re-roll, but must take the second roll, even if it is worse.

Scale Formidable Surfaces:  His experience in traversing difficult terrain allows the Daredevil to climb almost sheer surfaces, or even cross a ceiling with nominal hand-holds at normal movement pace.  Truly sheer surfaces, or adverse conditions will require the Daredevil to make an Attribute check.

Stunts:  Anytime the d20 comes up on a result divisible by 5 (5, 10, 15 or 20), the player may describe a special effect to what he was attempting (even if he fails, describe what you were trying to accomplish and what may have happened).  Be Creative.

Seat of the Pants:  The Daredevil is the master of mounts and vehicles.  The Daredevil receives an additional +2 bonus when riding or when operating a vehicle.  He never has a penalty for operating an unfamiliar vehicle.

==================================================================

Marksman
Prime Attribute: Dexterity
Hit Dice: 1d6+1

Class Abilities:
Deadeye:  Whenever using Ranged attacks (throwing, bows, shooting, etc.) the Marksman gains an additional +2 bonus to his attack.

Deadly Accuracy: The skilled eye of the Marksman gives him an additional +2 damage bonus to all ranged attacks at level one, increasing by an additional +1 at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20.

Signature Attack:  The marksman has a particular ranged attack that he prefers.  When using this type of attack, he gains an additional 1d4 to his attack roll.

Quick Draw:  The marksman can draw and fire his weapon in the same action, without incurring a penalty.  He also is able to reload the weapon twice as fast as most people.


====================================================
Totemist
Prime Attribute: Constitution
Hit Dice: 1d6+1

Class Abilities
Favored Environ - This is the environment in which a Totemist is most comfortable.  He gains a bonus to all checks equal to 1/2 his level (rounded up) when operating within his Favored Environ.

Totem Animal - The Totemist should choose a Totem Animal appropriate to their native Environ.

Animal Tongue - Totemists may communicate basic ideas to any animal, and may converse with their Totem species, within the limits of it’s intellectual capability.

Lore - Totemists are storehouses of lore.  A successful Int check will allow them to recall bits of information at the GM’s discretion.

Nature Lore - Within their Favored Environ, Totemists automatically recognize native flora and fauna and know of any beneficial or detrimental properties they may possess.

Helpful Remedies:  Using his vast store of knowledge regarding his favored Environ, the totemist can put together a poison remedy in 1d6 minutes using items gathered from the nearby area.   A successful Wis check will delay the effects of the poison for 1d6+1 hours, while a result of 25 or higher will completely neutralize the poisons effects.  Outside of their Favored Environ, it will take 3d6 minutes to assemble a remedy.

Totem Shape:  Beginning at level 2, The Totemist can take the shape of his Totem Animal with a successful Wis check.  Any clothing or possessions on his body will change shape with him.  While in this form, he has the physical attributes of a normal member of the species.   The Totemist must make another successful Wis check to shift back to his normal form.   Both changes take 1d6 rounds to complete.

Environmental Travel:  Within his favored Environ, the Totemist moves without leaving a trace if he so desires, and is unhindered by obstacles native to his Environ.

===========================================================

Magician
Prime Attribute: Intelligence Hit Dice: 1d6

Class Abilities
Magical Aptitude:  The Magician learns how to recognize the aura of magic, and how to translate magical runes to know their purpose.  A magician can automatically recognize another adept unless they are somehow masking their magical aura.    The Magician gains a +2 to all spellcasting checks at level one, and this increases by +1 at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20.

Spellcasting:  The Magician gains the ability to cast magical spells.  The Magician begins with knowledge of 1d3+2 first level spells of his choice, and may gain additional spells through adventuring.  Magicians may cast spells of any level, but the higher level the spell, the more difficult and dangerous they become. 

Magical Defense:  Magicians are taught to resist the energies they manipulate and gain a +2 bonus to all Saves versus magical effects.

Arcane Blast:  The Magician can gather pure arcane energy and channel it into an attack.  This blast of energy does 1d4 points of damage and ignores any non-magical armor.  The damage increases by +1 for every 4 levels or less that the Magician has (levels 1-4: +1, 5-8: +2, etc.)  Using this ability requires a successful attack roll, using the Magician’s choice of Dexterity or Intelligence for the roll.  The player must describe a ‘trapping’ for how the manifestation of this ability appears when they create their character.  This is an attack against the target’s physical defense and does not get a saving throw to avoid or lessen damage.

See the Grimoire section for an explanation of how magic works and commonly available low level spells.

===================================================================

Faithful
Prime Attribute:  Wisdom Hit Dice: 1d6+1

Class Abilities:
Heal the Injured:  The Faithful has the ability to heal the wounds of those he finds worthy by force of Faith.  The Faithful can restore 1d3+(1/2 Level) Constitution to a target with a successful Wisdom Check.  This is quite taxing on the Faithful however and his own Constitution is reduced by 1 every time he attempts to use this ability.  The Faithful can recover the Constitution he loses in this manner by meditating for 4 hours.  He cannot use this ability upon himself.  This ability can only be used one time per day per person.

Smite the Infidel:  one time per combat encounter, the Faithful can choose to bring the strength of his beliefs into play on an attack against an opponent of opposed beliefs or a supernatural being.  The power of his Faith gives him a one time bonus to attack of 1/2 Level and a damage bonus of +4.  Should he misuse this ability, the consequences could be as severe as losing his Abilities for a time or having the blow rebound upon him.  This power should not be used frivolously.

Bane of the Supernatural:  The faithful gain a +2 bonus to attack against supernatural beings (undead, fae, demons, etc.)

Armor of Faith:  Armored in the knowledge of his Righteousness, the Faithful gains a +2 defense bonus when being attacked by supernatural beings.

Begone, Servant of Evil!:  Calling forth the full force of his belief, the Faithful may attempt to banish supernatural servants of evil (undead, demons, etc.).  Evil Faithful may gain control of such beings using this ability.  This will affect 1d6+Cha modifier HD of opponents per 2 levels of Faithful and requires a successful Wisdom check.  Free-willed creatures may attempt a Wisdom save to avoid the effects.  Mindless Creatures of less than one third the level of the Faithful will be destroyed by the power of Faith.
If facing creatures of multiple levels, the ability will target the lowest level opponents first unless the Faithful directs the full force of his Will and Faith at a particular opponent.

===============================================================

Glib
Prime Attribute:  Charisma Hit Dice: 1d6 per level

Class Abilities
Favor: You can use this ability to acquire minor aid from anyone you meets. By succeeding a Charisma check, the Glib can gain important information without going through the time and trouble of doing a lot of research.  This can only be used one time per NPC per adventure, and is subject to GM interpretation.

Captivate: The Glib has the ability to temporarily beguile a target through the use of words and bearing. The target must be able to see, hear, and understand the hero.  This is opposed by a Wisdom Save.  If the saving throw fails, the Glib becomes the target’s sole focus. The target pays no attention to anyone else for 1 round. This focusing of the target’s attention allows other characters to take actions of which the captivated target is unaware. The effect ends immediately if the target is attacked or threatened.  This effect may be maintained over multiple rounds if the Glib continues talking.

Heckle:  The Glib can temporarily rattle a target by insulting and goading him.  The target must be intelligent and able to understand the Glib.   This is resisted by a Wisdom Save, and if the save fails, the 
Heckled target is at a -2 penalty for all checks for a number of rounds equal to the Charisma bonus +1 of the Glib character.

A Gift of Tongues:  The Glib starts play with an additional number of languages equal to his Charisma bonus + 1.   He may learn a new language at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20

==========================================================

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bond, James Bond

I got the newly released James Bond Novel,
Carte Blanche, written by Jeffery Deaver and stayed up waay too late last night and lingered over breakfast this morning reading it.

I have to say, that so far, I'm quite impressed.

I'll not put any spoilers here, but I will say that this is a rebooted, modernized updated Bond.

In the first few chapters there are mentions of modern technology such as iphones and blogging.

So, if you are expecting a continuation of 1960's and 70's style Bond, you may want to put away the expectations, but if you are a Bond fan, give this one a shot, I think it's going to be well worth the read, and personally, I'd love to see the movie.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SWN Alternate Psychic


Psychic - Description as per SWN
Prime Attribute:  Willpower

Class Abilities:
Psionic Activation:  Psychics are able to control their psionic powers.  They roll the additional Psi Activation die when using their powers.  Psychics gain a +1 to their Willpower score

Psionic Powers:  At level 1, 4, 8 and 12, the Psychic  gains access to one psionic specialty list.  They have access to all the powers on this list when they gain it, but the power level of the particular psionic power affects their success roll.

Combat Bonuses:  At levels 5 and 10, the Psychic gains a +1 to combat rolls

SWN Alternate Expert

Expert

Description per SWN


Prime Attribute:  Reflexes or Perception

Class Abilities:
Expertise:  Choose an area of Expertise.  This should be a broad category, such as Science, Engineering, Larceny, or whatever the player decides upon.   When performing within their area of expertise, the Expert rolls the Expertise die in addition to their d20

Attack Bonus:  At levels 3, 6, and 9, the Expert receives a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Like a Charm:  Once per session, the Expert may choose to automatically succeed on a skill attempt related to their Expertise.

(Expertise Die:  Goodman Games upcoming Dungeon Crawl Classics is going to use an extra die for Warrior attacks that increases as the Warrior levels.  I'm considering using this idea for all three classes, attacks for warrior, expertise for expert, and Psionic activation for Psionics.)

Back to a game-related topic

If you have read my posts, you've probably figured that I am one of the individuals with Gamer ADHD; or as I call it, too damned many ideas bouncing around in my skull.

I'm still trying to decide upon a setting/system combination for my next campaign I run.

I keep coming back to star-faring science fiction, probably using the base setting as implied in Stars Without Number, but that's a post for a different day.

I like the SWN system for combat, however, I think (and I've posted on this before, I believe), that I would/will come up with a unified mechanic for 'skill checks'. . . .just because.  

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately is character classes using a target 20 style system.

Firstly, I want to rename the Attributes (some of these you'll recognize from the Target 9 stuff I've posted)

Brawn  /   Reflexes   /  Vigor  /  Willpower  /  Perception

Yep, five attributes.  I've been reading the debates going on around the blogs about whether intellect and interpersonal abilities should be modeled, and I began thinking, "why not give it a shot and see?"

I've gotten to the point that I really don't see a need for actual attribute scores, AND modifiers, so we'll just be doing scores on a -1 to +3 range for starting characters, with 0 being human average.

I like character classes with some special abilities, but I don't like the planning and crunch involved with feats, advantages, disadvantages, what have you, so I'm looking at a system with special abilities per class (and I'm looking first at SF, so I'm thinking Warrior / Expert (or Specialist) / Psionic (or Mystic) - like SWN, maybe changing class names, maybe not), and then allow the players to define a benefit and a complication (basically one advantage, one disadvantage) that they make up, with a short list of examples, that gives them a bonus or penalty of some type in situations that fall under it's purview.

The first class I've knocked together is the easy one, Warrior.   here's my take, for what it's worth (I'm also thinking that these basically will be usable regardless of genre, Psionic/Mystic can easily become Magic User for fantasy, but that too is for a later post)


Warrior
The master of weapons and combat, the Warrior is skilled in both close and long ranged attack, although they tend to specialize in one or the other.  Knowledgeable in the use of weaponry, even unfamiliar weapons are not beyond their reach for long.   An experienced warrior is capable of wading through hordes of foes, spreading death and destruction in his wake with relative ease.


Prime Attribute:  Brawn or Perception
Stamina Dice: 1d6+1 per level from level 2 to level 10; +3 Stamina per subsequent level.

Class Abilities:

Combat Focus:  Each warrior must choose whether his focus will be in ranged (perception) or close (brawn) combat.   The warrior gains a +1 to the appropriate Attribute.

Deadly Focus:  When wielding weapons within their combat focus, a Warrior does an additional +2 damage on a successful attack.

Veteran's Luck:  Just like in SWN - go get the free pdf, or better, buy  it, it's a great book and very useful.

Haven't decided on experience progression tables, but that's a minor thing, the abilities are the main focus here at the moment.

Anywho, just thought I'd share this.

Smallville's Series Finale

I've been a fairly steady fan of Smallville for the biggest part of the past eight years or so.

I don't watch a lot of television, and stumbled across Smallville sometime in between the second and third season.  The network that summer was running all of the old episodes and I managed to catch most of them, albeit not in the order they were released.

It didn't matter.  This looked interesting.  There were a few times I became frustrated with the show, personally, I got tired of the 'freak of the week' after a short while, and was happy when they moved away from that formula.  I didn't miss when they took Lana Lang out of the picture either.

I found the show to be an interesting take on the Journey to Hero myth. 

Last night, they culminated this Journey.   I won't issue any major spoilers here, I'm just going to say, that to me, last night's two hour finale was one of the most enjoyable 'Superman Origin' stories I've seen, and I've seen all of the movies, I grew up watching George Reeves as Superman, I watched Lois and Clark when it was on, and I was happy with the way they ended this show.


I'll miss the show, I'll be able to ignore the Television for a while now on Friday evenings, until something else catches my eye.

To the Cast, Writers and Crew of CW's Smallville. . . Well Done and Thank You.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Devastation

Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with gaming, but it is something I needed to write down.

First a bit of background. . .

I live in North Georgia, just about 15 miles south of where the Tornadoes hit so hard a couple of weeks ago, and about 30 miles south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I had to make a trip to the doctor yesterday (my Doctor is in Chattanooga) and it's the first time I've been up that way in about three weeks.

The night of the Tornadoes, our house got a bit of heavy wind, some lightning in the area, basically nothing more than a stout thunderstorm.  I knew things were getting hairy nearby because the wife had the news station playing all evening and I could see the constant radar updates.

The next day, actually the next several days, We heard a great deal about what happened, and even saw the aftermath on the news.  It was a terrible thing to see, but at the same time, even though it happened nearby, and people I know were affected by it, I still was not AWARE of how bad things were.

My mother-in-law's house was untouched, while half of her neighbor's house was gone, but I heard of this second hand.  A friend of mine who lives in Birmingham Alabama had to go stay with friends in the Atlanta, Georgia area while power was restored, but he and his family were physically fine, although there was some concern since the last word on Facebook from him was that he, his wife and daughter and their pets were hunkered down in the hallway by the stairs while the storms raged.


Close to home, but still, unseen.



Then, I saw the aftermath first hand. . .

Yesterday afternoon, after visiting the doctor, and a local used book store to sell off some excess, unused gaming books, we decided to take the back way home through Apison, which is not far from Ringgold.

I could see some damage from the Interstate on the way up when we passed Ringgold, but not closely, and it was passing at 70 miles an hour, so it was only a few seconds glimpse.

Apison, on the other hand. . .

Looked like a war zone.   There were trees, large trees, splintered and twisted, the debris scattered everywhere.  This was a sparsely populated section we were going through, but it WAS populated.

The first house I saw had walls, and portions of the roof missing, the house behind it untouched.  Across the road a bit farther on, there was the debris that at one time was someone's home.

At that moment, I truly understood the word devastation.  I was looking at it, seeing it's aftermath, and this was 2 full weeks after clean up and recovery had begun.  I know many people died during this event, and up until that moment, it had seemed quite unreal.   There were houses that looked like they had exploded, debris scattered everywhere.    Along a small stretch with a large curve, there was debris that had obviously been a home strewn by the wayside, in an area where I know no house had been.

I've driven this route innumerable times over the years.  I've lived in this area all of my life, and this is the route I usually take to go to Chattanooga.   Even after it's cleaned up and people return home, I don't think this route will ever look the same to me.

For the first time in fifty years, I know the true meaning of sorrow, horror and sadness.

I hope I never have to see this type of devastation again, and I hope none of you out there do either, although I know that such a hope is in vain.

On a more positive note, I must say publicly how proud I am of my daughters.  My youngest is studying nursing and the day after the tornadoes, she and her sister went up to Ringgold to see if they could volunteer to help.  They were turned away there, as things were still trying to be organized, but they went to my Mother-in-Laws and helped her as they could that day.

Kudos to all those who are helping in all the areas hit by these storms and other disasters.

And to those who have lost so much and will in the future suffer these losses, I offer my heartfelt prayers.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Smallville

I've mostly enjoyed Smallville over the past few years.  There were moments that I went "Urgh, Wha?" but for the most part it has been fun to watch.  And that's my primary goal, is to enjoy the hour.

Now then, this past season on the other hand. . . has been getting progressively better.  They are leading up to the end of Smallville and hinting that he'll be shown in the classic suit and cape in the final episdoe.

We've had the Justice Society, including an awesome (in my opinion) Hawkman and Dr. Fate (who the mask had turned into a gibbering loon, I loved it!), we've got the beginnings of the Justice League, with Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman, Impulse/Flash, Cyborg has been on there and the Martian Manhunter as a mentor type.   There have been over the years a number (often LARGE numbers) of whiney teen angst moments, which at my looming closer to half century mark, I often find mildly annoying, albeit appropriate for a show based on teenage and early 20s heroes coming into their own.

Tonight was arguably the best show of the season.  Booster Gold and the Jaimie Blue Beetle.

I enjoyed it and as strange as it may sound to say, I'm really looking forward to the show ending.

I hope they use some of what they have developed for spin off shows.

Anywho, just my 2 cents worth.  :D

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Game of Thrones - My opinions

I Watched HBO's Game of Thrones.  It was . .. interesting.  I haven't read the novels in quite some time, and then only the first two or three at most, so my memories of the series are over a decade old.   However, having said that, the first episode definitely stirred my memory cells a bit, and I THINK this episode was fairly true to what I had read. 

The acting was, by my estimation, not bad.  Scenery, sets and costumes were quite nice, I thought.  An ending that will make you either want to come back for more or never watch again, depending upon the way you think.

Myself. .. I'll probably watch it from time to time.   It's on  a bit past my normal Sunday night Bedtime (I get up at 4:30-5:00 am ) for work.

The, for me, true test. . .. Did I feel like I wasted my time watching it?   Absolutely not
                                       Did i feel insulted by the content (Not easy to do)   Absolutely Not
                   and the big one:  Was I entertained:   Yep

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mashing up some of the ideas

Combining the basics of my Shattered Moon setting with the Agents of Aegis idea, mostly moving the Shattered Moon idea to the 1950's

This one has promise.   I could take as the campaign developed and add bits of Stargate type stuff to it as well.

The world is Earth, not our Earth but one of the myriad Earths that exist in the Multiverse.
On this Earth, the current year is 1952 and the world is recovering from a great disaster. In 1945, Anton Drexler, the leader of Nazi Germany's Society of Thule and his followers, attempting to summon forth the power of ancient and alien gods, at the same time the Atom Bomb was being dropped on Hiroshima, the bomb created a wave of energy that interfered with Drexler's ritual and the entity that came forth from the depths of a dimensional portal siezed the moon in it's tentacles and it was shattered into several thousand ‘moonlets’, wreaking havoc upon the Earth, causing a millions of deaths from the resultant earthquakes, freakish weather and tsunamis that followed.  It's rage vented and the compulsion of the summoning ritual broken, the creature disappeared back into the depths of the portal, which closed behind it.
One of the things that came about from the Shattering is that magic has taken a stronger hold upon the Earth than it has held since the Dark Ages. Dark things from legend once again walk the lands and the dark spaces away from civilization, as well as some of the dark and forgotten places within the ‘civilized’ cities are filled with malevolent evil and there are rumors of portals that lead to fantastic worlds and vast,underground lairs, filled with the creatures of legend and the glittering treasures of ancient times.

You are an agent of the United States Government.  A member of a joint task force filled by members from the FBI, CIA, NIS, CID and Some State and Regional Law Enforcement agencies.  Rounding this off with specialists from the Military, Scientific and Fringe elements to cover various specialties, your group was passed onto the newly formed National Security Agency, and classified by some bean counter who thought he was funny as Department 13.  The name stuck, and your missions are classified with an X, leading to them being referred to internally as 'X Files'
Department 13 Agents work in teams, with a supervisor who typically remains at the office and remains in touch by encrypted wireless transmission.  However, teams tend to have a great deal of autonomy in dealing with cases, and are encouraged to follow up on 'unofficial' leads if they are not in the middle of an open case.

You've all been assigned to the newly formed Chattanooga, Tennessee field office, with Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Reginald Borland as your boss.  Borland and the other office personnel will be detailed in the Characters section.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

TPK

As I was coming out of a local restaurant today at lunch, I noticed a large, covered pickup with a sign on the side with the company name TPK.  I honestly didn't look any more closely than that, because I had a sudden image in my head of the truck being driven by an Orc Assassin, with a group of specialist humanoids in the extended cab back seat and probably a beholder or two floating in the covered back.


As my wife often says. . . there is something wrong with my brain :D

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Semi-Victorian Look for a Cortex Character Sheet

Last night there was nothing on the idiot box that I really wanted to watch, so while reruns of NCIS played (still enjoyable even in reruns), I noticed my copy of the Cortex rules on the shelf beside my recliner and decided to put together a (sort-of) Victorian looking character sheet.

It doesn't go with any current projects, it's just one of those, "Oooh, Squirrel!" moments that I have from time to time.  :D

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Employers are very cool. . .

For ages, I've been buying a new spiral bound notebook whenever I start a new project, and I've wound up with large numbers of these things around the house, usually with notes that could relate to whatever new project my GM ADHD has led me to, but they've not been organized, and half the time I forget to even write on the outside of them what is inside.

Now, bearing in mind that I work as a graphic designer for a printing company, I feel a bit stupid for just having come to the conclusion yesterday that what I need are some specialized binders, marked to where I can easily locate them (because I also have lots of 3 ring binders that aren't labeled either :P)

I put together three covers for 2 inch binders for the three most common genres that I work on (I named the Sci Fi one Stars Without Number rather than generically calling it SciFi, because I like both the name and the game) and asked our plant manager to have the bindery guys put me together a set of binders.

The artwork I used is hijacked from various PDF books that I own, or from innumerable places on the internets and none of it is my original artwork, I don't have permission to use it and I'm not challenging anyone's copyrights.  I chose the art to use these for my own personal use and because I liked the images.  Consider it a compliment and a tribute if your artwork is here.  (there, that's my feeble attempt at a legal CYA statement)

Below are the results.

Stars Without Number Worlds Phang-Shu and Zulu

I'm slowly creating some worlds for Stars Without Number, using the random generation tables found in the book.  I really like these tables.  As I roll results, I start thinking of things that will work with them.

I'm working today, but it's mostly babysitting our plotters while I run out a figurative ton of display covers for a client, so I've got a bit of free time as I work.   I did the following two worlds.  I've not done an extensive history or background for either one yet.  I'll just be posting the basics that I've gotten from the tables and after I've detailed a sector, I'll go back and work on histories and relationships between worlds in the sector.




Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ubiquity NPCs for the Shattered Moon Game

I ran my Ubiquity powered version of the Shattered Moon setting this past Sunday in the conference room at my office.  I had four of our normal usual players :P.  The characters played were Delman Stevens, Dutch Maroni, Jack Wagner and Professor Malloy.

I started them off on board a Tramp Steamer sailing up the coast of Africa from Cape Town to Casablanca.   Somewhere southish of Liberia, a sudden and eerie storm blew up.

All of the players had their characters head for safety down below, so I was unable to have anyone washed overboard, however, when the ship struck the inevitable rocks and began to sank, the player of Delman Stevens managed to roll NO Successes on a Dexterity check and slammed his head into the bulkhead, getting tangled up in his hammock as a bonus.

Everyone managed to get off the ship, Delman getting hoisted out of a hatch (and sliding down the tilting deck into shark-infested waters where he regained consciousness).   The players for the Professor and Dutch were late arriving, so I had the others make their necessary rolls for them.  The Professor fell off the ship and was washed ashore, being found shortly before the player arrived.   Dutch, being difficult to stun, managed to follow Jack Wagner and they both jumped into the waters and swam for the dimly seen shore as the ship slipped farther down into the waters.

The trio recovered a few random items from the debris on shore (I had printed up a whole stack of cards and reached into them at random every time they found something.  They got lucky, most of the stuff they found was quite useful).

After seeing purple lightning hit the same spot half a dozen times in the distance, and seeing (or not seeing as they insisted) large tentacles come up out of the water around the sinking ship, Jack, Dutch and Delman stumbled into some nearby trees and built a rough lean-to, gathered some coconuts and settled in to sleep.

While Delman stood watch, he managed to make friends with a small tribe of monkeys, one of whom threw a can of pork and beans at him.     He had Dutch take over the watch after a few hours, who, since he had no player present to guide him, fell asleep on watch.  The group awoke in the morning sunshine, with monkeys curled up next to them.

After a breakfast of Pork and Beans and coconut, the group managed to scare off a wild boar, find a few more useful items (including another half dozen cans of pork and beans), and find the Professor.

Traveling further into the island, they encounter a huge hole leading into the depths of the earth, a cliff face with a huge skull carved from it, lava running from one eyehole and into the hole in the ground.

Climbing up onto the plateau, they avoid some of the local wildlife and hear jungle drums and automatic gunfire.

To shorten the story a bit (I know, too late), they find Cannibal Natives, Thugs of the Thule Society, a rival Archaeologist, and the Mentor of Professor Malloy (who is being forced to help while the thugs threaten his lovely daughter).

Convincing the Cannibals to help them against the Nazis Thulians, they rescue the girl, head into the nearby caves where the professor is leading them to the Atlantean Weather Control machine that the Nazis Thulians want to control themselves.

The players stumble upon a shortcut through the complex, bypassing the traps the other group is having to navigate and crossing over a river of lava to reach the back door to the Weather Control machine just as the bad guys are arriving at the front door.

A brief but very pulpish fight leaves our heroes victorious.  They set the Maguffin to self-destruct and make haste for the Thulian boat, leaving as the island explodes and sinks in Bondian fashion.

I wrapped it up with them arriving ashore in a small trading post on the Liberian coast as their boat finally sinks from the beating it took when the island exploded.

Below are images of the character handouts I gave the players, plus the ones for the two unchosen characters.

oh, and the 'Attitude Track' and Resolve score are a mechanic for social conflict that I lifted from Rogue Games Shadow, Sword & Spell Game


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Running a game set in my Shattered Moon Setting

Both of our M&M GMs are unavailable this Sunday, so I asked our crew what they thought about my running a one off set in the Shattered Moon setting.  They were up for it and asked for me to do it using Ubiquity, as my last campaign they all played in was powered by Ubiquity.

I gave everyone the option of creating a character background or using pregens.   I received one background by the deadline I set and the following are the backgrounds of the pregens I'll be making available to them. . .

You are Roger Ballew, but you introduce yourself as Rango.  You have achieved some fame back home
in Tennessee as a horse trainer, and have spent a small amount of time in Arizona training horses for
a wealthy rancher.  Mr. Purvis was the one who asked you if you’d be interested in visiting South Africa and training some horses for his friend Mr. Haedaeker, on his ranch outside Cape Town.
You have spent the last few months there and decided it was time to leave and see what else you could
see before you had to head home.   You managed to get a ride on this old steamer and have spent the past few days hanging over the rail, watching the coast of Africa slide by.



==============================
========

You are Professor Carl Malloy, formerly of Harvard University.  You had been on the teaching
staff for a year when you made the mistake of sharing your theories about Atlantis with a
colleague, Professor Thelma Moore.  She not only was rude enough to laugh at your theories and
dismiss them outright, but then she began a campaign against you with the board of Regeants.

You were ‘encouraged’ to take an extended sabbatical and do some field research to either prove
your theories or to (and you felt this was the consensus of the board) come to your senses and
remember that you are a man of science, not some yellow journalist.

You’ve been following the trail of information where it took you, and most recently spent some time
studying some old ruins outside of Cape Town, South Africa.  They yielded some interesting inscriptions and you are headed towards Casablanca and then possibly into the Atlas Mountains, if you can get enough funds to outfit a small expedition.



======================================

You are Mongo the Magnificent, acrobat extraordinaire and world traveler.  The circus you were
most recently touring with was performing in Cape Town, South Africa when several of the clowns
got caught picking pockets among the rubes while in town.  You barely managed to escape the
police as they raided the circus yard, and you gave every last cent you had on you to the captain
of this smelly Trawler that is heading north up the coast of Africa.  You heard someone say that
the boat was making landfall in Casablanca.  Perhaps you can pick up some kind of work there,
or at least perform in the streets and caf├ęs to make enough coin to buy passage somewhere better.


=========================================

You are Raymond “Dutch” Maroni, you coulda been a contender.  Instead, you are working as
a grease monkey on some smelly tramp steamer sailing up the coast of Africa.  You had a promising
future as a boxer, you were making a name for yourself in New York and then you accepted that
fight in Boston.  Your opponent was a Mick who called himself “Boom Boom” O’Malley.  Turned out
Boom Boom had something loose in his head and when you hit him with your uppercut and he
went down, he didn’t get back up.   The boxing commission and the cops cleared you, but you will
never forget the look of horror on Stella’s face or on the face of O’Malley’s family.   You left the
country, hiring out your strong back and your mechanic skills while you seek some form of
redemption for what you did.  Maybe something will turn up for you in Casablanca.

===============================================

You are Detective Delman Stevens, of the Boston Police Department.  You’ve been a Detective for
three years, having worked your way up from walking a beat.  You take pride in the fact that you are
an honest cop and a good cop, in a city where both are a bit hard to find.   Your boss, Chief O’Hara,
assigned you to deliver a fugitive to South Africa, which you did a few days back.  You sailed over on a
Steamer that was delivering Cotton from Georgia to Cape Town, but the Chief gave you a ticket
voucher for the Cunard lines for a Steerage passage from Cadiz, Spain back to New York City.
The Cape Town police chief got you passage on this Tramp Steamer that is heading to Casablanca,
and told you it shouldn’t be difficult for you to get to Cadiz from there.
You’ve been enjoying the sea air as you travel up the coast of Africa. 
 ============================
=============================

The following is the background for the fellow that submitted one.  it's going to give us two 'cops' but they have a very different feel, so I'm leaving Detective Stevens in the pick choices.

Jack Wagner was a cop. But not just any cop. Jack was the cop in his precinct. He breezed through the Academy due to his past military experience and hit the ground running. At only two years in the force he had more commendations and medals than most officers with 3x as much tenure. At 3 years he made detective. 4 years ... he was the go-to-detective for all the hard cases that came across the police chiefs desk. For 6 years Jack grew into the consummate lawman. He knew procedure, he knew investigating, and he knew how to catch the hard criminals. It was at his 10 year mark, where he had just won the city's annual firearms competition for the tenth straight year, when a case came across his desk that no other detective in his precinct, or the city for that matter, could catch. They called him 'The Clown Killer'. His victims were usually all young girls. The deaths were brutal, bloody, and heinous. At every scene there was a small clown doll sewn into the victims skin and a note taunting the police. Jack took the case with every intention of catching this maniac by weeks end. He had friends and family with young children and it hit close to home. It would end up being the case that changed his life ... for the worse.

The case ended up consuming him for the next 2 years. Over the course of that time there were 10 more victims attributed to The Clown Killer. Each one hit Jack harder and harder. His inability to capture this brutal killer weighed more and more heavily after each body was found. It began to affect his work ethic and he began to drink. It was only through meeting a woman named Sarah Monroe and falling in love that Jack got a bit of his old swagger back and began to really zero in on the killer. Unfortunately ... Jack had long ago gotten the attention of the Clown Killer. Jack had gotten far closer to capturing the psycho than anyone had ever gotten before. Now ... it seemed he was closer than ever. The Clown couldn't have that. In retaliation ... The Clown broke his own trend of going after young girls and zeroed in on Sarah. Jack's love interest. In a showdown of epic proportions The Clown brutally, and publicly, killed Sarah Monroe before Jack could rescue her. Her death devastated Jack and he immediately resigned from the force. He then began a long stint of drifting ... just moving from place to place ... taking odd jobs here and there ... trying to escape his past ... escape his pain. Through the bottle or through the miles. Either way he didn't care.

It's here that he finds himself on a tramp steamer heading to Morocco, Casablanca. He almost couldn't remember why the hell he was on the ship. The only thing was that he knew there was a job waiting there for him. He needed cash and his unique skills were highly valued in international circles. Protection/bodyguard details, black ops work, tracker, investigator  ... whatever you needed Jack would do for the right price. Whatever kept him in the booze and constantly moving. It was the only way to dull the pain.
I'll post images of the completed character records after Sunday's game, and a brief overview of what happened.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stars without Numbers and my House Rules

I downloaded SWN back when it was first announced around the blogosphere and was very pleased with what I was reading, so a week or so ago, I took the plunge and ordered the Hardback copy from Drive Thru RPG as my first POD experience from them.

Firstly, about the POD. . . I work as a graphic designer for a large printing company (we don't do book-binding, unfortunately), just wanted to mention that as I talk about the book quality.

I'm quite impressed with the quality of the book, it's well made, sturdy and I would be proud to have that come out of my company if I worked for the printer.  The only thing that I would have done differently, and this is the type of thing that probably wouldn't be noticed by most folks, is that the spine, in my opinion, should have been about an eighth of an inch wider.  The front cover of the book doesn't quite lay flat if the book is out by itself.   Since I don't know what type of parameters are in place for POD, I will not call this a mistake by any means, and it is the ONLY thing of a negative nature I noticed regarding the construction of the book.

SWN, as has been mentioned by a great many people, is terrific.  Simple concepts, that almost any gamer should be familiar with, easy to work with.

I COULD run this as written, except I don't know that I'm physically capable of doing that with any game :D

I have a few ideas on old-school type classes that I've been kicking around for some time, and I'll most likely use them with SWN. . . .I present you the first part of them below.

The Target 20 paradigm, I like, but I want to use it for everything except hit points and damage rolls.
So, reverse the numbers on the saves (i.e., if the Save is 12, change it to an 8 and add it to the roll, get a 20, you make the save).

Armor . . . I have a thing about liking armor that absorbs damage, rather than making you more difficult to hit (I know, it's really a matter of perception), especially since I will likely use these rules for settings that don't necessarily have lots of armor.   I'll have to work up my numbers and post them later, but they will probably be similar to armor in RQ/BRP for the ratings.

Armor Class. . . Rather than everyone being stuck at a 9 (or 7 if you have an 18 Dex), I propose that all first level characters begin with an AC of 9, and as they progress, it begins to decrease, based on class.  I'll post those numbers later as well.  I have to take my wife to work shortly and my notebook is in my briefcase.

Skills:  I plan to not use specific Skills, but base the bonuses on their backgrounds, training and the like.

Special Abilities:
Let's see if I remember what I was tinkering with here.

I love the special abilities as presented in SWN, but I want a couple of extras and I'm going to tweak a couple of the existing ones a tad (I know that by now that takes you by complete surprise)

Warrior:
Veteran's Luck . . . As Written

Combat Focus:  Warrior's choose to focus their training on either Ranged or Close Combat.  They can still use any weapons, but this focus affects the other special abilities

Deadly Accuracy:  With the focus weapon type, Warrior's receive a +1 to attack and +2 to damage.  (I'm iffy about the +1 to attack, since they already wind up with better attack scores)


Expert:
Expertise:  The expert should choose an area of expertise.  This may be something totally unrelated to their background and/or training.  When working in this area of expertise, the Expert will receive a bonus of 1 plus one third of his current experience level (rounded down, minimum 1), so a 9th level Expert gets a +4 when making checks in his area of Expertise.

Like a Charm: One time per session, the Expert can succeed at any non-combat skill check, regardless of what was rolled.

I think I had one more, but I'll have to check that later.

Psychic (or Mystic as I think I'll call the class)
This one will require a post by itself, so we'll talk about this one later.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Call of Cthulhu Modern - Commander Randall Carlson (USN, Retired)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a friend of mine is planning to run a modern era CoC game when our current Sunday Mutants & Masterminds game finishes.  

Below is the character that I've decided to play.

The photo is of a real US Naval Officer I found while fishing the 'net for images to use in game sessions.  I've photoshopped it slightly, and I have no idea who he really is, so my apologies to him, wherever he may be, for attaching his photo here.

Randall Samuel Carlson is a retired US Navy Commander, former JAG officer who holds a Masters in Law and a Doctorate in Psychology.  

He was happily married for 16 years of his Naval Career, then learned that his wife had been having affairs with random men and then killing them.  That's right, he was married to a serial killer, and was part of the NCIS team tasked with finding the killer and making the case against her.   

That was eight years ago.  Four years ago, his twenty year old Daughter, Marisa, left home to attend Columbia University to begin her own training in Psychology and Chemistry.   

Three months ago, Commander Carlson finished his 30 years of naval career.   He has spent the past three months knocking around, reviewing his ex-wife's case (she is up for Parole Review in six months and he thinks it's a bad idea for her to be released), and has uncovered some 'unusual' items in her personal journal and in the places she had visited during the time of her 'hobby'.

Character Info:
Randall S. Carlson   - Naval Lawyer/Psychologist, NCIS specialist - Retired Commander
Age 49   Hgt: 6’2”  Wgt: 190 pounds

Str: 15  Con 13   Siz: 18   Dex: 10   App: 13   Int: 17   Pow  14   Edu: 22
San: 70     Idea: 85%  Luck: 60%  Know: 110%      Damage Bonus: +1d6
Hit Points: 16     

Skills of Note:
Professional Skills
Computer Use: 36       Credit Rating 65      Medicine 55%    Persuade  80%
Psychoanalysis  56%     Psychology  99%   Handgun: 55%   Law: 95%

Personal Skills:
Biology: 31%     Chemistry: 31%     Dodge: 40%     History: 30%    Library Use: 45%
Martial Arts: 10%    Language (english) 110%   Language (arabic) 30%
Fist: 40%

Wealth Roll: $300k

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Planetary Record Sheet for Stars Without Number

I took a few minutes today to make a landscape oriented, summary sheet for planetary information for Stars Without Number.

I also created a set of brushes to emulate what is shown on the Planetary Mapping Sheet in the book.

Both of these can be downloaded from links in the right hand column.


And here's a sample of what it looks like, after I filled it in and did a little bit of photoshop world coloring.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Character Sheet for Stars Without Number

I recently got the PDF of Stars Without Number and am quite impressed.  I think this will be my system of choice when I get the chance to throw some SF at my players.

Because I tend to like landscape orientation for character sheets, I did one up for SWN.

When I get the time, I'll most likely do a similar style sheet for Starships and a multi-page character journal as well.  When I do, I'll post them here.

For now, the Landscape Character Sheet for your use.  Hope you find it useful.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pulp Era Dragon Age Character

Rolled the following fellow up using the stuff I've worked up so far, and used the Specialist Class from the Dragon Age Forums with a few minor modifications.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dragon Age Pulp NPCs

I did up a couple of NPCs for my Beneath a Shattered Moon setting.    I'll try to do up a few sample characters in the next day or two and post them as well.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Dragon Age Firearms

For my 1936 Alt History setting, I'll be needing firearms.

The attached pic and linked pdf are my initial thoughts on 'generic' firearms.

I tend to lean towards simplicity in dealing with firearms.  These rules are not meant to reflect any reality, they are based off my personal thoughts as GM, as modified by looking at the weapons table in the Dragon Age book.

They have NOT been playtested yet, so they may or may not work well.  If you give them a try, please give me some feedback about how well (or poorly) they may have worked for you, and don't hesitate to make suggestions for improvements.





(a smaller, forum sized image is behind the break)

The last (for now) of the Dragon Age Backgrounds

Magician
You have spent your time studying and practicing magic.

Playing a Magician
If you choose to play a Magician, modify your character as follows:
•  Add 1 to your Magic Ability.  
•  You gain one of the following:
   Cunning (Arcane Lore) or Cunning (Historical Lore)
•  You can speak and read your native language and any three others
•  You also speak and read one of the following languages:
   Atlantean, Sumerian, Aramaic, or Ancient Lemurian
•  Choose the Mystic Class


Magician
2d6 Roll    Benefit
2               +1 Willpower
3-4            Focus: Willpower (Self Discipline)
5               Focus: Cunning (any one lore)
6               Focus: Communication (Performance)
7-8            +1 Cunning
9               Focus: Constitution (Stamina)
10-11        Focus: Cunning (Religious Lore)
12            +1 Communication

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Escape Artist
You entertain the crowds with your daring escapes.

Playing a Escape Artist
If you choose to play a Escape Artist, modify your character as follows:
•  Add 1 to your Dexterity  
•  You gain the focus Dexterity (Lockpicking)
•  You can speak and read your native language and any three others
•  Choose the Mystic, Warrior or Expert class
•  You begin play with a set of small lockpicks


Escape Artist
2d6 Roll    Benefit
2               +1 Constitution
3-4            Focus: Dexterity (Acrobatics)
5               +1 Cunning
6               Focus: Dexterity (Legerdemain)
7-8            +1 Perception
9                Focus: Willpower (Self Discipline)
10-11         +1 Willpower
12              Focus: Constitution (Stamina)

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PDF Links