Showing posts with label Taryn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taryn. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Witches of Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

Yesterday I spent some LONG overdue time with Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition. It is a ridiculously fun game that is really easy to learn and play. I want to give it some more trials, but one of the first things I always do with a game is to see how well it emulates one or two of about a half-dozen or so characters I am always throwing at a game. 

I choose these characters because I know how I want to play from the start, the question is can I make the game do what I want.  Today, with the Fall Equinox knocking on our door and my 100 days of Halloween still on my mind, I am going to do witches.  Shocking. I know.

The Witches of Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

BUT there is a good reason for this. I always want to check out the "magic" power of any supers game since that is the place you can really break the system. Also, I want to use characters familiar to readers here. This way you can compare and contrast between the various systems. They all do very similar things, but they all also do something different and it is in these differences I make my decisions. 

So, let's get back to some old favorites of mine!

Click on the sheets for larger.

Taryn Nichols, AKA "Teen Witch"

Taryn is my young, "Teen Titans"-esque superhero character. She needs to be on the low end of the supers scale. Her purpose is to see what I can do with the fewest amount of points.  In P&P I started her off at "Low" which is 100 hero points.

Taryn character sheetTaryn mini

Larina Nichols, AKA "Witch Queen"

Larina is always my "rules as written" witch.  To get her the way I wanted I had to jump a level to "High" at 150 hero points. I wanted to do 125 but she kinda got away from me.  Plus I would like to see the interplay of mother and daughter here in a supers game. 

She gains the extra Super Senses (Magic) power from her cursed left eye.

Larina character sheetLarina mini


Tara Maclay

Anyone who has been here for a while knows of my undying love for Willow and especially Tara.  They are largely retired now but would still be magical powerhouses in any game. I set Tara at "Legendary" with 175 hero points. She puts some points into her ability to heal by touch.

Tara character sheetTara mini


Willow Rosenberg

Willow sits at the highest end of my experiments. She is at "Iconic" level with 200 hero points. Like Tara she no longer has Burnout or Concentration con modifiers to her powers the Nichols girls do.  They have to focus, magic to Willow and Tara is like breathing at this point. 

Wilow character sheetWillow mini

I like how they turned out.  As with any game you might do things a little differently and that is fine. These builds work for me and give me a good idea of what the Omni-power can do for Magic.

I used the character sheets instead of typing them all up because I wanted that visceral feel of pencil on paper. Also so you all could an idea of what the sheets look like. 

You can see my other write-ups too for Zatanna, The Refrigerator, and Justice.

ZatannaThe RefrigeratorJustice


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Review: Vigilante City #3 Superhero Team-Up!

Vigilante City #3 Superhero Team-Up!
We continue our tour of Vigilante city with the next book in the series and the first expansion. If this one makes you think of the Teen Titans, then I think that might be the point.

Vigilante City #3 Superhero Team-Up!

PDF and softcover book. 176 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.  For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up from Bloat Games' own store.

Classes

This book presents some new classes for us to try out.  They are the Alchemist, Getaway Driver, Mutant Hunter, Occultist, Revenant Hero, Sewer Guardian, Tunnel Shadow, and the Weapon Master.

So bits of TMNT poking through again, but that is perfectly fine really.  The classes are good and few I really like. The Occultist was the obvious choice and yes I am a fan, but also the Alchemist and the Revenant Hero for running a game like The Crow. 

We get some new skills too. The nice thing about VC is the skill system is very flexible. You could even run it without skills if you like.  I try not to get too bogged down in the skills myself, but the system here makes it rather easy to use. 

Teams

This section is where I am getting the Teen Titan vibe, though it can cover all sorts of teams.  The first is team combo actions which give you some ideas on how teams can work together.  There is some detail on your base of operations as well. Covers everything from living in the sewers to a giant tower shaped like a T if that is your fancy.

Gear

Alchemists and Occultists can make potions so there is new gear associated with that. There are new items of equipment and vehicles. If you ever needed to know how much it would cost to build your own superhero lair then this book has you covered.

Dr. Azmournus and More

We get into a section of rogues next. Up first is the evil Dr. Azmournus and his crew. This guy does tests on mutants and Anthropomorphs to create even more mutated creatures. He is not a pleasant guy. We also get his mutated crew.

There is a vigilante group that doesn't quite operate within the law, the "Wretch Slayers," and a group of sewer-dwelling crime fighters that face off against Dr. Azmournus and his crew ("Insecto's Sewer Guard").

There are more, but you get the idea. Use them all or none, but they add a bit more color to the streets, and under the streets, of Victory City.

Adventures

What might be the best part of a book full of great parts are the adventures. Included here are "Backup"  by David Okum and homage to the "Buddy Cop" movies of the 70s and 80s.  "The SynGen Situation" by Melanie R. Meadors, an open-end, even "sandbox" style adventure to get players and characters acquainted with Victory City.  You get to meet other heroes and even have a run-in with a noisy reporter! There is even a tavern where you can meet up.  Michele Lee gives us "The Demonic Cabal" here you get to meet a mentor in the form of Roadkill an ex-cop and former vigilante.  Of course, Roadkill soon lives up to his name and is dead. It is up to the player characters to find out how and why. Friend of the Other Side James M. Spahn is up with "Quiver of Serpents" which is more of an introduction to the criminal organization, the titular Quiver of Serpents as the PC's version of the Legion of Doom.  

All in all the book works really well and is a worthy addition to the Vigilante City line.

Taryn Nix aka "Teen Witch"

Taryn is, as long-time readers might know, the daughter of my iconic witch Larina. She began not as a D&D character but as a Mutants & Masterminds one (back in the M&M 2.0 days) and a BESM 3.0 character.  Naturally, I would use her as my go-to character for trying out magic systems in superhero games.

She and Larina have, well, issues. No need to get into them here, but suffice to say that if Larina is a "witch" archetype then Taryn is my "warlock" archetype. Taryn is also my "embrace the stereotype" character. So she will wear a large witch hat and all the rest. I swear it is like she tries to piss her mother off.  She is a hero, or maybe a reluctant hero, because she likes to hang out west of town where she can watch the VC Yakuza's hanger's-on race their highly modified and not exactly street legal motorcycles. If she were in the Teen Titans she would 100% be into Robin. 

In this game, I would say she gets into some trouble because some potions she has made are being sold as drugs and now she has all the wrong people interested in her. 

Taryn Nix aka "Teen Witch"


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Character Creation Challenge: Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition

We now come to what be the most popular version of D&D ever published in terms of units sold and public discussion.  While the debate can be held on the relative popularity of 1st ed vs. 5th ed one thing is certain that 5e has outsold all other versions of D&D and has introduced a new generation to the game that has been unprecedented. 

The Game: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

I have described D&D5 as being something akin to the "Greatest Hits" of D&D.  I see bits of 1st ed here, 2nd Ed there, lots of 3e, and even bits of 4e.

Released in August of 2014 we (my family and I) were not originally going to pick it up.  I still had a ton of 4e material and my sons were looking seriously at 1st Ed to give it a try, but we starting hearing more so I grabbed the "D&D Next" playtest materials and thought, ok, let's give it a try.  When August 8, 2014, rolled around the boys and I went out at midnight to get our copies (and tacos).

5e quickly became the home system here.  My oldest ran games for his friends from high school and then college, he even ran games with his gaming group that has been together since they all met in pre-school.  My oldest played and eventually started the Table Top Club at the local high school. Between the two of them, they must have gotten somewhere around 40-50 new players to the game.  Of course many had heard about it via Critical Role first but remained players to this day. 

The Characters: The Coven

right away I was asked if I was going to do a witch for D&D 5.  Certainly, there are a lot of good reasons for me to do one, but in truth I was pretty happy with a lot of the options that D&D 5 already gives me. Plus I wrote my Old-School witch only after years of playing, writing and playtesting. Even when I published my first OSR witch book in 2012 I had over 30 years' worth of playing under my belt and a few published books.  I didn't want to just knock together something and slap a 5e label on it.

Plus with the advent of the DMsGuild (and 5e adopting the OGL) there were and are plenty of witch options from others for 5e. I spent all of October detailing them

So instead of making a witch class, I worked on characters that were RAW but I could make witchier.

I worked out some ideas and called them "The Coven."  The idea here was to take a very basic old-school idea.  Take a class and play it how I like.  In each case, I took a by-the-book spellcasting class and took the options to make them feel more like a witch.  The idea behind this group of witches is they all met in The Library, each searching for a particular tome.  All six managed to end up at the same place at the same time and each one wanted the same book, the infamous Liber Mysterium.  As it turned out the author of the Liber Mysterium, my iconic witch Larina, was present. She took all six under her tutelage.  Each class is a magic-using, spell-casting class, and each one has some connection to learning or deeper mysteries.  They all adventure and make appearances in my games as information brokers. 

Since I am doing six characters today I am going to link out to their sheets on D&DBeyond.

Tayrn Nix
Half-elf Warlock (Fey Pact)

Taryn was the first "witch-like" character I tried.  She is Larina's half-elf daughter.  She is a warlock, fey pact, and is my "embrace the stereotype" witch character.

Celeste Holmes
Human Wizard (Sage)

Celeste was a character I was planning on creating when I was going to go back to 1st ed before 5th ed came out.  She would have been a Magic-user but playing as a witch.  She was the first character I imagined going to The Library.  Felica Day is my model for this character.

Cassandra Killian
Human Sorcerer (Divne Soul)

With a backdrop of The Library, Cassandra became a no-brainer.  She is very obviously modeled after Cassandra Cillian from the Librarians played by the lovely Lindy Booth. She is also a nod to another character in my shared world. When my High School DM went off to college he created more of his world and a character named Killian.  Killian was major figure in his world and he created many adventures to go with it; Killian's Tower, Killian's Maze, Killians Dungeon, and so on. True old-school Gonzo affairs. 

For my Cassandra, I wanted someone whose magic felt like second nature to her. She didn't learn it so much as live it. So the Sorcerer seemed like the best route. Know of the great wizard Killian she took his name as her own.  She was the second character to enter the Library.

Jasic Winterhaven 
Gnome Bard (College of Lore)

Jasic is a character I have used off and on since my 3e days. I will admit he was created as a response to so many people I have gamed with saying how much they hate gnomes.  Jasic is a great guy.  He is a bard but I play him like a Benandanti witch.  He is also best friends with Taryn.

Sasha
Cleric (Knowledge Domain)

Sasha is an interesting one. She is a tiefling and claims to be the daughter of Glasya and is Taryn's Half-sister (same father, different mothers). She is a cleric, but again I play her like a witch priestess. I would suppose that the closest analogy would be if Sabrina (from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) was Rowena's (from Supernatural) daughter instead of Lucifer's.  She is wanted by all the key players in Hell's Hierarchy but she herself has no power or pull beyond what she gets from her Goddess Cardea/Hecate (clerical).  Cardea led her to the Library.

Áedán Aamadu
Human Druid (Circle of the Land)

Áedán is a druid pagan who is the son of my two druids from OSE, Asabalom and Maryah. They were great friends with Larina (that is they were all part of my OSE playtests and games in summer of 2019).  Áedán is a circle of the land druid that I play as a pagan. Yes his name is Irish, but he looks like Will Smith.  I am pretty sure that he and Taryn are going to have a thing. 


Each one brings something different to the table for me.  I can't wait to convert them back to Basic/OSE for my War of the Witch Queens!

Character Creation Challenge

Tardis Captain is the originator of this idea and he is keeping a list of places participating.  When posting to Social Media don't forget the #CharacterCreationChallenge hashtag. 

RPG Blog Carnival

This month's RPG Blog Carnival is being hosted by Plastic Polyhedra. They are doing Characters, Stories, and Worlds, so that fits right in with everything we are posting this month.

Check out all the posts going on this month at both of these sources.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Character Creation Challenge: Dark Places & Demogorgons

Next to NIGHT SHIFT, Dark Places & Demogorgons is one of my favorite Old-school inspired, modern horror games.  It is similar and yet very different from NIGHT SHIFT and I really enjoy it.

The Game: Dark Places & Demogorgons

I have talked a lot about this game on these pages. Basically, it is the "Stranger Things" the game using the very same 80s inspired D&D that the show used.

The Character: Taryn Nix

Taryn is the daughter of my iconic witch Larina. She is my "Teen Witch" archetype, so a perfect follow-up to my Sabrina post AND a great choice for the teen-centric Dark Places and Demogorgons.

If Larina is my go-to witch for fantasy games then Taryn is my go-to for teen games. 

I imagine her as a little rebellious and an expert flyer/broom-rider.

For this build, I am using the White Witch options from the DP&D Player Options & GM Guide.

While I always thought of Taryn as a Millenial/GenZ girl, she is named after "Taryn" from the Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Which I might admit is my favorite.

Taryn "Nix" Nichols

Class: White Witch  Level: 1
Alignment: Good
Languages: English, Latin
Age: 13

Attributes
STR: 9 +0
INT: 14 +1
WIS: 15 +1
DEX: 13 +1
CON: 17 +2
CHA: 18 +3
SUR: 16 +2

AC: 10     HP:  10   Attack Bonus +0

Courage: 8
Critical: 5
Death: 5
Mental: 6
Poison: 3

Background
Mother is a Witch, her father is some sort of supernatural creature. 

Class Abilities
+1 to all saves against magic, +3 to Courage saves, Likable aura (+1 Charisma & +1 to Death saves), Healing Touch x5 a day (1 HP healing to living, 1 HP damage to undead, devils, or demons), heal at double rate, Toughness: Evil +2

Familiar
Black cat, "Mojo".

Skills
Art +4, Math +3, Science +3, Knowledge (Magic) +5, Paranormal +5, Botany +3

Possessions
Bike, Broom of Flying

Money: $45

Spells
Minor (1): Glammerd Appearance

Perfect really.