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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


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)

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


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.