Monday, October 26, 2009

Play Ivy For Me

I have been reading the Rachel Morgan series of books, AKA the Hollows series, by bestselling author Kim Harrison. The books are set in an alt-history Earth where magic is real and there are witches, vampires (living and undead), faeries, ghosts, gargoyles and werewolves. This is not what separates it all from the pack of some many other "Urban Fantasy" books out there. In this series all the supernaturals were "outted" when a genetically re-engineered virus from a tomato whipped out a quarter (or at least a lot) of the humans. To keep society going and to also explain why they had not died off, the supernaturals (or Inderlanders) stopped hiding. That was 40 years ago and the world has kept on moving forward. The books are fun because of this alt history (but that is not the only reason I like them), and it is interesting to hear how Ms. Harrison has woven this event (called "the Turn") into the mythology of the books. There are new oaths people swear too ("Damn it to back the Turn!") or even the silly; for example humans are now terrified of tomatoes. On Halloween then Inderlander homes will put out pumpkins and tomatoes and give out candy to human kids and candy and tomatoes to inderlander kids.

Plus I enjoy that all the books are plays on Clint Eastwood film titles.

No. what has to be my favorite part of the books are the characters. Rachel Morgan is a witch and a "runner" (think Shadow Run, but she is more of a bounty hunter really). She used to work for the IS, Inderland Security, who deals with the crimes committed by or to Inderlanders. Now she works every so often for the FIB (Federal Inderland Bureau), the human run police. Rachel is great, she is very much the leap before you look type. Has all sorts of magic, and still can't figure out why she terrible luck with guys, has demons following her and manages to piss off nearly everyone in town, including a master vampire, an elf crime lord and what may be the oldest demon left alive. IT's never dull for Rachel. Helping her out is her friend Jenks, who is a pixie, and might very well be the coolest pixie on the planet. He has over 50 kids, knows how to break into nearly everything, swears all the time, gets drunk on honey and manages to do all of this while being just about 4 inches tall. Then there is Ivy.

Ivy has issues.

She is a living vampire, her mother gave her the vampire virus when she was in the womb. She has the bloodlust (and man does she have it), some of the strength, the fangs, but not all the powers nor the sensitivity to sunlight. She is from a long line of very well to do living vamps, the Tamwoods, so her place in vampire society is assured. Once she dies and becomes an undead vamp she will rule Cincinnati. Trouble is she doesn't want any of that. Ivy really only wants one thing. Rachel. Ivy is in love with Rachel and has been for a while. She left the IS when Rachel did, and they live in a church (as roommates) and run their independent runner service from there. Living with Ivy though is like living with a panther. She is sleek, beautiful, and can kill you in an instant. Rachel loves Ivy too, but is not ready to go the next step with her. Plus Ivy is a mess since her undead vampire master had spent years mixing sex, love and bloodletting with savagery that Ivy has a difficult time separating them all.

So these character have really grabbed me. I like them. I want to know about what happens to them and their future. And I can't but help think about how great they'd be in a game. I am going to try to knock together some stats for these characters here is a bit. Until then, here are some links. Rachel and Jenks, site link here:

So keep an eye here. Certainly I'll get these three stated up for Ghosts of Albion, but I'd also like to try working them out for Witch Girls Adventures and Cortex.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shadow Girls, Charon McKay

Charon McKay is the mother of Becka. Charon (pronounces "Share-on") has had it rough. She was raised by her grandmother when her mother and father died when she was 4, then Charon herself went missing for a few months at age 15. She returned home, incoherent, very pregnant and no idea who the father was (the age Becka is now). She gave birth to Becka and settled into a mostly normal life of a teenage mother. Of course her one true love, Jack, had moved on to Chrissy, her one true enemy, then her grandmother died leaving her and her daughter on her own..and this was all before she discovered that whole destiny thing.

Charon is a very interesting character. She is a bit of a drunk, not above swearing, getting her hands dirty or sleeping around, but her soul is pure. You can see it in the way she treats and loves Becka. Charon is not dumb, she knows what sort of life she leads, but she often thinks the best solution to a problem is violence. This is amplified in her Shadow Child form which is pure aggression. Something like the Incredible Hulk, only shadowy and a wearing a set of brass knuckles with the word "BITCH" printed in reverse on them.

Now what is really cool is we have seen a few different versions of Charon as Shadow Girls evolved from some the early ideas Dave had to it's present (and canonical) form. Sure those other Charons are different, but certainly you get the idea of what makes this character tick. For example, Charon wears a cross. We have not been privy yet to what religion she practices, but we do know that she is religious to a degree. So much so that it comes out even in her Shadow Child (and Shadow Girl) forms.

Here is Charon in all her violent, drinking, sleeping around, foul mouthed, but loving, protective motherly ways. For the Witch Girls Adventures game.

Charon McKay (Shadowform after /)

Body: d6 / d12+5

Mind: d6 / d4

Senses: d6 / d8

Will: d6 / d4

Social: d4+1 / d4+1

Magic: d6 / d10

Life Points: 12/34

Reflex: 9/20

Resistance: 9/13

Zap Points: 12 / 20


Acrobatics 4, Basics 2, Fighting 6/12, Fix Mechanical 6, Pop culture 4, Scare 2/10, Streetwise 4

Traits: Beautiful, Tinkerer

Heritage: Shadowchild (Nodens)

Magic (all magic is shadow based)*

Morph 6 (Shadowchild, Merged Shadowforms only)


Move 2

Zap 4

Screamer 4

Shield 3

* Like Becca, Charon can only use magic in one of her Shadow forms, including morphing into the Shadowchild or merging into the full Shadowchild with Charon. In any case all magic will be shadow-based.

Up next. The Shadow child herself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Little Fears

A while back I posted about my excitement that a new version of Little Fears would be coming out.

Well it is out today in PDF form.

I am downloading it now and will let you all know what I think of it.

Every October I purchase a Horror-themed RPG product. I thought I was going to talk about D&D 4's "Open Grave", but it looks like it might be this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

D&D4: Bringing out my dead (characters)

So I was playing around with D&D Insider the other night and I wanted to work up an Assassin and I came accross the Revenant. Nothing new there really, Iknew about it, but never considered it.

But then it dawned on me. I reworked an older 1st Edition Assassin character as new Revenant Assassin. A little fluff, a few hundred years and bingo. I have a character that I thought was dead and is now back for more.

Granted this might not work for every character, but it certainly has been an interesting solution. Except I have to figure out exactly how he died.

But it does bring up an interesting issue. Converting between 1st and 2nd Ed AD&D was easy. Converting over to 3rd Ed was fine, with some minor issues (feats, multiclass). But 4th Ed is an entirely different beast. Conceptually, I can convert things; but indivduals, are more difficult.
And I *still* have not completely figured out how to do witches they way I like and how I did them in previous editions, though Warlocks are really close.

All in all, still enjoying this new edition, I hope I get a chance to play my new, back from the dead, assassin.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shadow Girls, Lindsey Jun Yeoh.

Shadow Girls, Lindsey Jun Yeoh.

Lindsey Jun Yeoh, aka Lin Lin, is Becka’s best friend. She has no powers, no status, nothing that would allow her to help out her friend to fight the darkness, and she is still there. Whether beating a bad guy with a folding chair, or stealing a gun, Lindsey will always be there for Becka to make up for the one time she wasn’t. Charon and Becka’s motivations are fairly clear to understand. Lindsey is much more complex. She still bears the scars of her battles (a credit to the artist!) and they only meaning they have to her is that she must still fight to help Becka no matter what. Becka has moments of fear, Lindsey is her rock. She doesn’t know anything more than her friend does, but because she is there. If there was a scene ala the Oscars where we could see the scene from Lindsey that clinche’s her nomination then it will be these two pages:

We see for the first time that all those battle’s Lindsey fought while helping Becka will leave her scarred, but no where near as much as the scars Lindsey feels is on her karma/soul. It should be no surprise that Lindsey is the most popular character in the series.

Lindsey Jun Yeoh

Body: d6
Mind: d6
Senses: d6
Will: d10
Social: d8
Magic: d4

Life Points: 12
Reflex: 9
Resistance: 7
Zap Points: 8

Traits: Brave, Unshakable
Heritage: Mundane

Skills: Acrobatics +3, Acting +2, Basics +1, Computers +2, Fighting +3, Plucky +3, Pop Culture +2

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shadowgirls + Witch Girls

So I mentioned yesterday of my fondness of the webcomic Shadowgirls and the RPG Witch Girls Adventures. So here is my first attempt of "two great tastes that taste great together". So in that spirit I present Rebecca McKay.

You can read all about Rebecca on the Shadowgirls website, including a Mutants & Masterminds version.

Reading through these posts obviously point to Becka being a great character to play. Witch Girls Adventures is a great game with a lot of great powers that would allow a Director to run a great Shadow Girls-like game. Maybe something high school focused (which of course I have a cool idea).

But in the meantime, here is Becka and her Shadow Girl form

Becka McKay (Shadowform after /)

Body: d4 / d12
Mind: d8 / d8
Senses: d6 / d8
Will: d8 / d8
Social: d6 / d8
Magic: d8 / d10

Life Points: 8 / 24
Reflex: 7 / 15
Resistance: 11 / 13 +2
Zap Points: 16 / 20

Traits: Brave, Eidetic Memory*
Heritage: Shadowchild (Nodens)

Magic (all magic is shadow based)**


Morph 6 (Shadowchild, Merged Shadowforms only)

Move 1
Zap 2
Screamer 4
Shield 2

*Eidetic Memory: same as the M&M feat of the same name.

** Becca can use magic only in one of her Shadow forms, including morphing into the Shadowchild or merging into the full Shadowchild with Charon. In any case all magic will be shadow-based.

Coming up, Lindsey and Charon!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shadow Girls

I have been a long time fan of the webcomic Shadow Girls.

Well they have a few things going on that I'd like to let everyone know about.

First, it is a cool comic. Described as "H.P. Lovecraft meets the Gilmore Girls", which as far as mashups go has to be one of the coolest ideas ever, but the comic goes far beyond that.

Second they have a figure they are getting made that looks really awesome.

And they are being nominated for WebComicPlanet's awards. They are very much deserving of all of these awards.

Shadow Girls would make a great RPG (but the creators aldeady know that and are working on it), so until the official one is out I might try stating up the characters for Cinematic Unisystem or Witch Girls Adventures.

So go to the website, read the comic, vote, nominate and if you like, buy.

OH, and of note: the current running comic is a guest comic, please go to the first page to get the full experience.