Friday, September 2, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: GURPS

I don't talk much about GURPS here. It's a fine system and there is a ton you can do with it, I guess I just like their supplements better than the actual game.

But this might change my mind.

Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, Powered by GURPS


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/847271320/dungeon-fantasy-roleplaying-game-powered-by-gurps

While there is nothing 100% new here (from what I can tell) it is put together in a new way to appeal to the D&D crowd.  And appealing it is!

There is certainly a lot to like with this.  If you are a big fan of D&D and never played GURPS before then I suggest you look into this.  If you are GURPS fan then this is also a no-brainer.

But what if you are like me? I played GURPS 2nd and 3rd Editions and would consider myself more of a lapsed GURPS player?  Well, I still think it is good.

I wonder if we could see GURPS Pathfinder in the future?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review: Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #2 and #3

+Mark Taormino is like some sort of mad genius.  I love his Maximum Mayhem Dungeons and each one "delivers the goods" in terms of hitting that nostalgia feel.  I reviewed his first offering, The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen, a while back.   Today I want to look at the other two.

The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn
Let's play a game of what if.  What if the Expedition to the Barrier Peaks had been written in the 80s instead of the 70s?  What if there were influences of Star Wars, Buck Rogers, 50s sci-fi movies and just a little dash of 70s Blaxplotation?  You might get something like The Secret Machines of the Star Spawn, but it would not be as good as the module Mark Taormino wrote.
The module follows a similar flow of the other Maximum Mayhem Dungeons; something weird is happening, there are rumors, a long history of strangeness and a thin excuse to go adventuring.
What they PCs will uncover is...well I don't want to spoil it.  It's no shock that this adventure will feature a downed starship and some lasers.  But it doesn't end there.
In truth there is a lot to really, really like about this adventure.  In a different setting the monsters would be scary ass deadly and really, really awesome.  Also there is so many references to pop culture, especially sci-fi and 80s pop culture, that it would be pointless to address them all. The rock band KILL was one of my favorites.
Designed for OSRIC, I played bits and pieces of this using D&D5. Though it would work just as well with AD&D1, Castles & Crusades or any other OGL based clone game.
The one issue I have with it (and very minor)  is that players that didn't grow up in the 70s and 80s would not get all the jokes.   I ran Hanging Coffins for my kids and they loved it, but some of the jokes fell flat on them here. No surprise they have no context for them.  I thought they were hilarious to be honest.  Loved the Pinball Wizard!
If I were to run this again I would either merge it with a little bit of Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and run a huge Star Spawn mega-adventure.  Or I'd run it as is with some disposable characters and guys the grew up in the 80s too.

Villains of the Undercity
Here is another what-if game.  What if the Keep on the Borderlands was destroyed and then humans came in and built a new keep on top of the ruins.  Let's also say the caves of Chaos have been cleared, but not all the monsters were killed.  Where did they go? What did they do?  Now invite the Slave Lords from the A series over.  You would get Villains of the Undercity!
This adventure is an ode and homage to the great dungeon crawls of the day.
While this adventure fits the gonzo style of the other Maximum Mayhem Dungeons this one can also be played straight.  Well...sorta.  There is a crazy Halfling Illusionist Assassin, but that is for the players to figure out.
With this one anyone that has ever been inside a classic dungeon will find something to love.  There are lots of deadly traps, monsters and puzzles to figure out. Of course plenty of treasure too.
This adventure is also the one that I can see fitting into a larger campaign, even with adventures from other publishers.  I was mentally placing it in Greyhawk or even Dolmvay.
Just really a lot of fun.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

RPGaDAY2016: Day 31

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given for your game of choice?

I am not sure who told me this, but I remember is was early into high school.
At the time I was learning to game it was more important for us to have fun than it was was to play by the rules.  Then I went through a period where I only played by the letter of the rules. I used weapon speeds and every little encumbrance rule I knew of.   If it was not in the books, or our specially sanctioned set of house rules, then we didn't do it.

I was talking with a friend (or maybe it was the older brother of another friend) and I was told this.

Don't memorize rules. You can't memorize them all anyway.  Focus on the basics and having fun. Everything else can be looked up.

Turned out to be good advice. It's also the same advice I give.

I tend to make the rules an abstraction.  Like in most newer editions of D&D it's "roll a d20 vs. a specified number. If the number is not specified use 10, 15 or 20."  In Unisystem it's "roll a d10, add skills and abilities and see how much higher than 9 it is."  Everything else will flow from that.

We are here to have fun, not defend a dissertation that someone else wrote.

http://www.brigadecon.org/rpgaday2016/


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

RPGaDAY2016: Day 30

Describe the ideal game room if your budget were unlimited.

I am not sure about *The* ideal game room, but for *my* ideal game room I am already pretty damn close.

Here are a few posts about it.
http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2016/08/pop-culture-league-challenge-shelfie.html
http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2013/02/game-room-walls-meme.html
http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2015/08/rpg-day-2015-day-22.html
http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2013/08/where-do-you-create.html

I need plenty of light, easy access to my books, a good table with chairs and lots and lots of pencils.

Right now I could get a better table. Nothing wrong with the one I have, I think a "gamer table" would be nice.  I just have not found one yet that I like enough to buy.



http://www.brigadecon.org/rpgaday2016/


Monday, August 29, 2016

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Villains & Vigilantes

We have two great comic-related Kickstarters going on right now, one just getting going and the other about to end.
We have the update to the classic super-hero RPG Villains & Vigilantes from +Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, The Mighty Protectors RPG. It is doing great and still a few more weeks.
Also, we have issue #100 of Jim Balent's and +HOlly Golightly's comic Tarot Witch of the Black Rose.

So to celebrate both I thought some V&V stats for Tarot might be in order.  I have not played V&V in years, so I am a little rusty on character creation.

Notice:  Neither of these Kickstarters or their respective properties have anything to do with each other or their respective creators. Except of course that I am a fan and wish them all the best of luck!

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose
Identity: Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose
Name: Rowan

Side: Good
Sex: Female
Age: Late 20s/Early 30s
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 135 lbs 

Training: Coven Witch, Swordmaiden

Level: 13
Experience: 100,000 xp

Strength: 13
Endurance: 15
Agility: 35
Intelligence: 18
Charisma: 30

React. Mod.: 5
Basic Hits: 3
Agility Mod: 0

Hit Mod. (1.2) (1.8) (3.4) (1.3)=9.5472

Hit Points: 29
Power: 81

Healing Rate: 1.2
Accuracy Modfier: +6
Damage Modifier: +5
Detect Hidden: 14%
Detect Danger: 18%
Reaction from Good: +5
Reaction from Evil: -5

Movement rate: 63

Powers:
Skills: Swordsmanship, Witchcraft

Power: Precognition
- Tarot Reading/Tarot Magic - Can use tarot cards as divination devices.

Power: Magick (Spell casting)
- Dazzle
- Eye bite (Blast, does not require hands)
- Flight
- Magickal Senses
- Teleport
- Telekinesis

Magic Items
- Magic Armor (resistance to magical attacks,  enhanced agility)
- Magic Sword, Sword of the Black Rose (heightened attack, magical attack)

Legal status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record.
Security clearance: 0

Other Tarot Character Builds
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Group Affiliation: The Black Rose Coven
Base of Operation: Witches' Hollow, Salem, MA

Notes: I have posted about Tarot before.  She has some magic, some skills and combat ability.  She has a winged cat familiar named Pooka as well as a two lovers, Skeleton Man (Jon Webb) and Boo Cat (a werecat).  She does some really cool comic things, but then ends up loosing her clothes while sledding due to some faeries (ok to be fair the whole vacationing lot, Jon, Mother and Raven, did too).

All in all not a bad fit.  I like her at 13th level which lines up nicely with her other builds.  Tarot really amounts to what is a Witch Guardian in my games.  A little magic, some combat ability, and a desire to protect others.  Everything else aside that is what Tarot (the character) is all about; protecting others.
Kinda makes her perfect for a game called "Mighty Protectors".
Other Characters for Villains & Vigilantes

RPGaDAY2016: Day 29

If you could host a game anywhere on Earth, where would that be?

Hmm. I think I answered this one, a little bit, on Day 27 with "a haunted* house".

But I suppose a "haunted*" castle would be more fun. Or even just a real castle we could explore first and then game.  It would have to be a weekend thing. Or a week.

I think that would be a blast.


*"haunted" because I don't actually believe in ghosts.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

RPGaDAY2016: Day 28

What film or novel would you be most surprised that a friend had not seen or read?

I have to admit I am always very surprised when someone in RPG circles tells me they have never read J.R.R. Tolkien.

To me it is so integral to what I consider my own RPG experience.

Now I am not surprised when I hear people have not read H.P. Lovecraft.  I find that more people talk about his works than have actually read them.

For movies.  I am in shock when I hear that someone has never seen Star Wars.  That is also so central to my own RPG upbringing.

http://www.brigadecon.org/rpgaday2016/


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