Friday, December 14, 2018

Second Game Of Christmas 2018

Previous Games of Christmas: Earthdawn

Sometimes to fight great evil, one must turn to another type of evil. When heroes fall, and systems collapse, sometimes all you have left is the lesser evil. That is the idea behind today's game. Supervillains save the day. I kind of fall in love with ideas, and from the moment I encountered this one, I was infatuated with the idea of this game.

Necessary Evil

Story time. Back in 2003...or maybe 2004, not sure...I was at a gaming convention(MACE if it matters). Anyway, I was signing up for games and I saw this one listed as Savage Worlds. I had never heard of it before, but the setting was Star Wars, and I thought it sounded fun. The GM was Clint Black and he kept going on about all the cool settings and the like. And he held up his copy of Necessary Evil and said it was brand new. Ho man was it fun. I ended up getting a copy at the con and getting it signed. A lot of very important things happened for me at that convention. This game is fun to play and solidly designed. I will be using the Explorers Edition throughout this, as in most respects it is an improvement on the original edition.

Peritextual Elements
Pictured 1st Edition, much the best
The book is solidly built and holds up well. the cover is OK, though I really prefer the original cover to the new one. Inside it is all high gloss pages with lots of solid art. Funny story, at the time I first played the game I was also playing City of Heroes and there is a character in the game that is almost an exact match to my character in the game. It was part of what sold the game tome. It is a solid visual design through some of the art and layout is less than perfect. Overall though I find it fun to look through even if I am not playing.

The game uses Savage Worlds as its engine. you have a number of attributes and skills, they use die steps, much like yesterday's game. you also have levels and you gain edges as you go forward. Edges are limited by level and die step...except if you take the super edge superpower which lets you take any edge. You can start off super powerful in this game. the game is kind of unique in that it is pretty simple and yet has a lot of fiddly bits and subsystems. That seems contradictory...and it is, but somehow it manages to be both complex and simple. I like it. The game also has an interesting adventure building mechanic, where it randomizes the type of adventure while still getting a slid campaign thru line. In the first edition, it was far worse than this, explorers edition has a much better-designed adventure path system.

Second edition, which I like less
The setting is a pretty standard supers universe in its history. up until the alien invasion. Aliens invaded and the heroes fought back. It was a tough fight and they only won through the help of a friendly group of aliens. After the victory everyone celebrated, and all was great...for about ten minutes. You see the friendly aliens were secretly behind the invasion, to begin with,
and they used the victory as a way to wipe out the heroes and conquer earth once and for all. So the heroes are all dead. However, this worlds top mastermind realized a plan to gather villains and use them to defeat the aliens, both groups of aliens. Anyway, you play as the villainous members of the resistance fighting against evil fishy overlords from space. There is a lot more t the setting than that, but that is the basics and I love the concept too much to spoil it for you.

And that is all for today folks. I hope you enjoyed it.
Next time...

Dogs in the Vinyard

Thursday, December 13, 2018

First Game of Christmas 2018

Once again, dear friends, we delve into our recurring tradition of doing mini-reviews of games I have played. That's right my peeps it is time for the First game of Christmas.

This year we start with a game I played long ago. When I was first getting into games(I was fourteen or fifteen at the time) I had this odd categorization of games in my head. First, there were the games I played al the time - Palladium games, D&D, and Traveller - which I thought of as Normal. Then there came the games I was forced to play - Mostly White Wolf Games, and games that imitated that style - that I thought of as snooty games that I didn't like. though to be honest I think I disliked the people who played those games and their attitudes toward other players than the games themselves. And finally there were the games that looked interesting but I could never get into a game. Mostly these were games like Cyberpunk 2020, Battletech, and Ars Magica. Anyway, one day I was at the game shop and this girl was in there with this game I had never seen before, never even heard a whisper of it. When I asked about it she spoke of it like it was a very important and powerful thing. I knew right away I wanted to play it, I wouldn't get a chance for years(over five years). That game was...


First Edition
This game, I think, is a response to two things. First, it's a direct response dungeons and dragons. a way to build a setting and game system where delving into dungeons would make sense. Second, it was a response to the styles at the time(the game came out in 1993). Games that focused on metaplot and narrative structure. It was the same time a bunch of games of that type came out. Games where politics and NPCs were as important as fighting monsters and getting loot. FASA was really big in the meta plot-heavy games, ask any hardcore old-school Battletech players and they will tell you all about metaplot, Shadowrun was also pretty heavy into it as well. Heck, the plot f Earthdawn and Shadowrun are intrinsically linked.  However, I did not mind the metaplot as mu h in Earthdawn as I do in other games. Not sure why. Maybe it is enough in the background of the standard mode of play that I didn't notice.

Through this review, I will be using the first edition of the game(there are like four editions out now). The reason is that it is the only edition I have played, so I feel a little better discussing that edition that those which I have only read. And now without further ado, let's dig into Earthdawn.

Peritextual Elements
The book is solidly put together, I have had mine since the nineties and the biggest problem I have had some fading and curling of the cover. the font choice was a solid, simple design that is easy to read and follow along. The art is very well done, especially for the time it was written. mostly black and white, though there are some color inserts. The art is spread out evenly throughout the book and is a nice breakup. Flipping through the bk I still get excited to see what is on the next page. Always fun when you get some solid art in your book. The only issue I have with the art is that sometimes it has nothing to do with the mechanics or setting described on the page. 

The mechanics of the game are somewhat complex. For the time period it was fairly middle of the road, but seen through the lens of history it is complex. That is neither a condemnation nor a confirmation of that complexity. In the nineties, there was a glut of games with intense amounts of complexity, games like AD&D, Champions, and GURPs. compared to games of its age the Earthdawn is about the middle of the road. the game is a task-based system where you roll dice of carrying types against a target number. I think this may have been the first game to use die steps(d4, d6, d8, d10, etc), in fact, I think this game was the one that invented the term itself. 

You have a set of attributes which set ut the base die step of any given task with that attribute. Then you add in any relevant skill or Talent(magical ability) to that rating to get the final die step for your task. This game has levels, in which you gain new talents and skills, but they didn't call it that. The levels are called circles, I think this is to make them a part of the setting rather than a metanarrative conceit of the game. There are a number of things like that. Maybe that is why I liked the game so much when I was a kid. It was the first game I had encountered where the mechanics were linked to the setting explicitly. Even names had importance in the game, names of people, places and things are deeply connected to eth magic system in the game. Though I do need to be clear that I have always been a bit lost n the names, patterns, and threads. My GM really seemed to get it, but it got kind of obscure as I dug further in. This Naming thing did allow for a cool feature of magic items. Basically the more you knew about the name and history of a magic item the more powerful it became. This has always been a neat idea and I would love to use it in many other things. 

The setting of Earthdawn is what truly drew me to the game. It was aCaerns, underground chambers made of pure elemental magic material, from dragons and begin making them. Lots of politics and the like happen and the magic rises to even greater levels. Eventually, everyone that will retreat int the Caerns des so and they begin the long wait for the magic levels to drop back to safe levels.
s if they sat down and looked at the tropes common in the fantasy RPG genre and tried to come up with a setting that would make them all make sense. It is pretty spiffy. It goes like this: long ago there was a time of high magic. One day a wizard discovered that the magic levels would keep growing and growing until the walls between worlds began to break a little. When that happened, horrrs would creep into the world and destroy, torment, and devour any and all they encountered. This had lead to previous cataclisms and the shattering of history. This wizard spread the word and started a project to save civilization, he began archiving all the histories and knowledge he could trying to find a way to save the world. ver time all this knowledge and power became an empire built around this archive and project. Now that I break it down like this I see some interesting parallels to Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. So with the empire building and growing they eventually find the solution to the Horrors. They learn the secrets of building

Some folk began to reopen their Caerns and explore the world left bear by Horrors and hundreds of years. They began to rebuild and explore. For a while things were good, then the empire began to come back and use its massive magical power to try and reestablish their great empire. Now the players play members of the Naming races exploring underground Caerns, fighting horrors, and dealing with troubles with the empire. The naming races are the elves, dwarfs, orks, trolls, humans, Windlings(pixies), Tskrang(lizard people), and Obsidimen(rock people). overall the setting is very deep and well put together. I have just hinted at the basics, I would recommend digging in further, it is a fun trip.

First game of Christmas is now complete, tomorrow we will dig into...

Necessary Evil

Should be fun fun!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Probably In Space Episodes 0.5 and 0.75

Recently I got together with some friends to play some Fate Core. We were finishing up some world building and character creation. It actually took 2 sessions to get all the character creation and set up finished. It has been a while since I have run a Fate game, a long while. For the last couple of years, I have been running 13th Age and a number of OSR games. I fell in love with 13th Age the moment I first played it at a convention a few years back. If you want to know my thoughts on the game I did a brief review a while back.

Long story short, I am a bit rusty running games of Fate. and that became apparent during the first session. I forgot t describe things, I was all over the place and I just wasn't feeling it. You can probably see my frustration on my face. With some help from my players, I think I am getting better, getting back into the swing of things. I guess we will see how it goes in the next few sessions.

During the first session, we created characters for three of my players, in it, we kind of came up with a group backstory. They are all Licensed Troubleshooters, a mix of a Bounty Hunter and Private Investigator who have more freedoms and authority than your average citizen of the human planets. They have access to a number of semi-legal jobs set ut by those who can afford to hire Troubleshooters. Some work alone, others for teams and work together. The Characters we made in the first half of character Creation are as follows:

The Pilot
Name: Eddy Skipper
High Concept: Slightly unhinged mystic pilot
Trouble: Just making ends meet for the wife and kids
Aspects: It’s MY ship; I can punch through it; Action before inaction

+4: Drive (stunt: +2 to pilot the between)
+3: Empathy, Athletics
+2: Fight, Crafts, Notice
+1: Contacts, Will, Science, Shoot

Stress: 3
Fate: 3
The Mad Scientist
Name: Professor Jaime Akers
High Concept: Cheerfully Malevolent Mad Scientist
Trouble: Can’t Outrun My Experiments
Aspects: Engineered Now Is Better Than Engineered Right; Fieldwork Is For Chumps; Deceit and Treachery Beat Strength And Courage

+4: Science!
+3: Craft, Shoot
+2: Provoke, Athletics, Deceive
+1: Notice

Stress: [3] [2] [1]
Fate: 3


There’s No Kill Like Overkill:  Attacks with custom-built weaponry hit everything in the target zone on a success with style
The Space Mounty

Name: Constable Barton Tracer
High Concept: Constable of the Royal NeoCanadian Mounted Space Police
Trouble: Irritatingly Polite and Honest
Aspect: MacKenzie Got My Back; Master Wilderness Tracker; Stickler for Procedure

Great (+4): Investigate
Good (+3): Fight, Notice
Fair (+2): Athletics, Rapport, Shoot
Average (+1): Drive, Physique, Stealth, Will
Stress: 3
Fate: 3
Scent? Tracker: Gain a +2 bonus to overcome using Investigate, when trying to track someone by finding a clue and doing something disgusting such as smelling and tasting it.

Here is the first Character Creation Session, we also did a little bit of adventure at the end of the session, setting up some troubles for our heroes. These three had been working together to retrieve a Troubleshooter who had been caught by the Precursors on a different mission. The retrieval went well, and they managed to evade the Precursor ships and return to the planet. When they went in for payment, they were pushed around by the Interim Lieutenant Governor and things go poorly. You can watch/listen if you like.

The Following week we got our fourth player on board and had to make up a character and the like. I also had some issues I needed some help with and this is where I think I started t finally get back into the swing of things, as far as Fate Core is concerned. I think I am still getting the feel for the setting we made and so there may be some changes as we go forward. However here is the fourth and final character for the game:

High Concept: War Sleeve nothing to lose
Trouble: Powerful Enemies
Aspect: It'll work out... Trust me.
Aspect: The money comes first
Aspect: Are you sure this is legal?
Aspect: Broke and failing sleeve
+4: Shoot
+3: Contacts, Investigate
+2: Will, Physique, Notice
+1: Rapport, Resources, Provoke, Deceive
Stress: 3
Fate: 2

Pretty sure there are to many aspects here, not sure how that happened.

You can watch/listen to the session below. If you were ever wondering how introducing a new character to a game might work in Fate, this might be of some use to you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Probably In Space Episode 0

Last night I started a new game of Fate Core with some friends. I knew I wanted to do something within the realms of science fiction, or perhaps some sort of superheroic story(maybe set within the setting I am kind of building, Coast City). I didn't have much more than that going forward with the game, I just knew I wanted to run a game.

The session started with a bit of back and forth on what we wanted to see in the game. We finally settled on using A Spark Of Fate Core to do the world building. It works pretty well, though I think I need to play around with it a few more times to really get a sense of it. I have used it a couple of times in the past, but I think it went better this time than in the previous.

So we came up with a setting that I think is somewhat interesting. At some point in the future, humans invent the ability to transfer their mind(consciousness, soul, whatever) from one body to another, and even to clone and produce better than human bodies to inhabit. This led to the leaders and elite to begin hopping through better and better bodies maintaining control and power, growing in knowledge and power with each new body. These body-hopping elites became the defacto leaders of the human race. These Methuselahs eventually led humanity to the stars through a form of space folding faster than light travel. The space fold allowed ships to travel nearly instantly over 6 light years per jump. However, traveling through the fold allowed the Things Between to gain access to human minds and infect them with extradimensional energies. These became the first mystics, able to perceive and channel energies beyond the ken of normal minds. This awakening also would slowly drive these affected minds insane.

In fear of these effects, the Methuselahs built great Artificial Intelligences to pilot ships through the spaces between. This went poorly. The machines were thoroughly corrupted by the Things Between, they became the first Red Caps, mad machine gods with the will to destroy all life and break down the barriers between all places and times. They killed and killed, wiping out life on all planets they encountered. And so it was a return to human pilots and old technology. Anything too smart, too complex and the Things Between can get a foothold and corrupt the tech. To fight the Red Caps the Methuselahs built Warsleeves for select humans. Those chosen where the few humans who traveled through folded space in utero. They were born different, some were completely unaffected by the Things Between, and others were born with a Thing Between in their mind. Both types of human could face the torment of the Red Caps and walk away unscathed, at least in mind.

One hundred years ago the starship Icarus, an experimental long distance ship, vanished into Fold Space. 20 years ago it returned from unknown reaches of space. The first to step aboard the derelict ship died within minutes. An alien species, ancient and powerful, poured forth from the bowels of that vessel and began a systematic conquest of the system(Need a name for that...don't have one yet). There num ers grew and grew, and the war has been near constant ever since. Though no one likes to speak of it, humanity is losing. They are known as the Ulmanmandi(The horde from beyond), and they seek to stop humanities ability to travel faster than light. The lieutenant governor's unexpected death has not helped things.

A month ago he set out to lay his old body to rest and enter a newer stronger body. His new body did not rise at the appointed time. This is the first recorded instance in a thousand years of a Methuselah failing to rise again. The people are growing worried, rumors are spreading. Soon it will be the Governor's time to resleeve, and no one knows what the future will bring. It is a time of chaos and uncertainty, but also a time of opportunity.

That is how things sit for the moment. Now I need to figure out a solid pitch for my players so they can come up with characters in our next session. If you have a thought on what pitches might go with this setup please let me know. Below is a recording of our session, should you wish to watch/listen. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 7

Karen Gillan as Hammer of Heaven
Previously on Contest of Champions: The Setup, The Land-speed Competition, Strength Competition, Tournament Bracket, Round 1: Wrath v. Storm Eagle, Round 2: Geostorm v. Whirlwind
As the third fight is being set up the commentators keep going back over the second fight. A relative unknown taking down one of the city's biggest heroes. The massive screens around the stadium show repeats of the fight as well as interviews with the two heroes as well as those heroes who have been chosen as the judges for this event. Eventually, the ring is reset and the next two contestants step onto the field of battle. Both of these combatants rank fairly low in direct combat effectiveness. When not facing a magical opponent Hammer of Heaven is at a disadvantage, and outside of her vehicle Car Mage is not much of a threat. Neither of the heroes are the type to back down from a challenge so both enter with a willingness to fight.

Hammer of Heaven
Car Mage

Ji-hyun Jun as Car Mage(also playing Calamity)
As the count hits zero Hammer of Heaven begins channeling energy from her ring. Arcane symbols form a sphere of neon energy around her as her voice echoes impossible words from beyond time. The energy explodes toward Car Mage, forming a web of symbols and wrapping her tight. Car mage falls to the ground, barely able to wriggle, much less get free. Hammer of Heaven walks over and takes a grip of the net and drags her opponent out of the ring. Just like that, the fight is over, with no damage done.

Here is how the dice went:
Melee 1
Initiative:  Car Mage rolls a total of 13 and Hammer of Heaven rolls a 14. Its close but Hammer of heaven has a slight edge in the first melee.
Round 1
Hammer of Heaven can spend 35 PPE per action so she is going to try and cast Magic Net. She spends 7 PPE fires it off at her opponent. Car Mage must dodge vs a 16, she rolls a 12. She fails to dodge. She now cannot attack, dodge, or move for 14 melees. this fight is over. 
Round 2
Hammer of heaven walks over and drags Car Mage out of the ring.

Hammer of Heaven

Spells are nasty in Palladium. If you can get one off the whole fight can be over in a heartbeat. However, if you use the rules as written, spellcasting becomes a waste of time. That is why I like the Chanelling rules from the Rifter. Next up we have Nemesis versus Inquest. How will the Sister Spy fair against the Vigilante Detective?

A bit of backstory on the world: 
The origin of Coast City
In 1964 the Sidwaise Man first made his appearance. Using his godlike powers he scooped up Charleston South Carolina and the surrounding land. The local heroes of Charleston managed to defeat the Sidewise Man's plots and return the city to earth, though not to the same location. Charleston now sits as a small island fifty miles into the Atlantic. Coast city sprang up in the land surrounding the perfectly circular bay created by the scooping up of the city of Charleston. Since the first buildings were built strangeness was drawn to Coast City. It has more supers per capita than nearly any other city save for Hong Kong and Mumbai. The Sidewise Man has returned every decade to the city, causing mischief and mayhem.  

If you like my world building and would like to see more, I have designed a game for Fate. It is a different kind of game than the one I am playing around with here, but I think it is a pretty cool game none the less. A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shapeshifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 6

Previously on Contest of Champions: The Setup, The Land-speed Competition, Strength Competition, Tournament Bracket, Round 1: Wrath v. Storm Eagle

Andrew Lee Potts as Geostorm
The Second fight of the first day takes a little while to set up as there was some damage to the white stone blocks making up the ring. The audience is aware of this tendency within the games and so many get up to stretch and get snacks. Engineers and a few supers rapidly get the ring back in order while both Wrath and Storm Eagle take interviews from the various reporters down fieldside. Color commentators argue back and forth, over repeated viewings of high-speed camera film, on the tactics and strategies of the heroes in the last round and speculate on future rounds. Within twenty minutes the ring is back in order and the next two contestants step into the ring.

Finn Jones as Whirlwind
Geostorm is a tall thin man with a ready grin and the devil in his eyes. He is the hands-on favorite by oddsmakers, with powerful and versatile abilities. His only known weakness is commitment to fair play which has caused him some difficulties in the field. As a duly deputized special marshal, he is second only to Metal Marshal in fame within the city. He has a firm grasp n his popularity and he is a big hit with teen girls throughout the city. Many banners are painted with his colors(Green and Black). Whirlwind is a relatively unknown, a striking man in his late teens with only a domino mask and his signature gauntlets and rocket boots letting folks he is more than just some street kid. He stands uncertainty on his side of the ring. He entered primarily for the prize money. He plans on using it to buy a small warehouse and get it set up to protect his friends. Whirlwind seems taken aback by the cheers and pageantry of the contest. Horus steps forward to announce the start of the fight. He has the duty of referee throughout the first day and he seems to shine in the continued spotlight as he counts down to the start of the match.


On the announcement of the fights start Whirlwind starts as if he hadn't been expecting it then exploded across the ring to slam an enhanced fist into Geostorm's ribs. His attack was efficient and brutal, aimed precisely for maximum damage. Geostorm stepped back slightly from the hit and then, gesturing with his hand, caused a massive white stone hand to erupt out of the ring flood to grab Whirlwind. Whirlwind wiggled slightly, realized it was fruitless and began hammering at the stone. While this happened Geostorm knelt and plunged his hands into the stone blocks making up the ring as if the stone were water. As he stood his hands appeared coated in white rock. As did so he lunged, driving his stone fist toward his oppnent just as whirlwind managed to shatter the stone hand holding him still. Whirlwind sidestepped slightly and pushed the stone fist away while driving his fist into Geostorm's face. He followed it up with a driving punch straight to the same location on Geostorms ribs that he struck earlier. Winded and shocked at the power and ferocity of this boy, backed int a corner, Geostrm struck out at him once more. The punch was slow and clumsy. Whirlwind stepped inside its reach and struck again, and again. Then it was over. The medics checked on both contestants. The crowd was in awed silence. Whirlwind had one without taking any damage.

Here is how the dice went:
Melee 1
Initiative: Whirlwind has a massive +14 to his initiative roll, he manages a total roll of 2 meaning his total initiative is 16. That is about as bad as it can get for him. Geostorm has no bonus to initiative, so it's just a straight roll for him. He manages to get a 9, which ends up being his total. 
Round 1
Whirlwind uses his rocket boots to assist with a powerful strike before Geostorm jas a chance to react. Leaping across the distance and Punching Geostorm with his power punch gauntlets. He rolls a total of 20 to strike, which is above Geostorm's natural armor(he is touching the earth)). Geostorm tries to conserve his actions so he tries to parry rather than dodge, he rolls a total of 6. The strike lands and it does 1d4(human fist damage) +13(strength add) +4d6(Power punch gauntlets), for a total of 27 damage, this is enough to do knockback, rolling on the knockback chart Whirlwind needs a 20% or lower to get a knockdown. However, Geostorm's abilities make him absolutely surefooted when in contact with earth so no Knockback or knock down can occur.
Round 2
Geostorm uses this round to summon a massive fist out f the stone of the floor of the floor and grab Whirlwind. Geostrm manages to roll a natural twenty. This will be a critical success unless whirlwind can manage a natural twenty on defense which he does not, he rolls a natural seven. Whirlwind is grabbed.
Round 3
Whirlwind attempts to break free of the grab. He is not strong enough to push the hand's fingers away(need a strength of 30) however he can still strike at the hand. It has a natural AR of 12 so he needs to get more than that. He rolls to strike and gets a 19. He rolls damage and gets 28, about half of what he needs(it has 50 SDC) to break it.
Round 4
Geostorm seeks to use this round to buff up his attacks so he kneels down and pulls up more stone to surround his arms, granting him supernatural strength(3d6 dmg for punches and gains +1 initiative and +2 to strike) That takes his action.
Round 5
Whirlwind uses this action to try and break through once more. He rolls 22 to strike and 30 damage shattering the earth fist.
Round 6
Geostorm attacks with rock fists. He rolls a 13 to strike. Whirlwind parries the blow with a roll of 20 and simultaneously strikes back(this still uses an attack, but Whirlwind has plenty of those) with a roll of 15. As Geostorm already used his attack this round he can't do anything about that attack and it hits, doing 26 damage.
Round 7
Whirlwind presses his advantage and strikes at Geostorm. He rolls a 20 to strike and Geostorm attempts a parry with a roll of 6, not good. Whirlwind does 35 damage.
Round 8
This is Geostorm's last action in this melee. He is feeling the pressure but doesn't have enough actions left this melee to do any of his really big stuff. He is going to have to strike with his earthen fists once more. He rolls a natural 1. Not good. Whirlwind does another simultaneous strike while batting aside the attack. He rolls 21 to strike and 26 damage. 
Round 9
Whirlwind has not even reached the halfway point in his number of actions so he strikes once more and the only action available to Geostorm is the parry action. Whirlwind rolls a 12 which doesn't penetrate the natural AR of Geostorm.
Round 10
Whirlwind's turn once more once more he strikes. He rolls 27 to strike. Geostrm attempts to parry with a roll of 8. Whirlwind does 31 damage, driving Geostorm into HP damage and ending the fight.


And thus the second fight in the contest of Champions concludes. Next up we will see a fight between The Hammer of Heaven and Car Mage. Can the Wizard of Wheels defeat the Daring Demon Hunter? Only one way to find out.

If you like my world building and would like to see more, I have designed a game in Fate. It is a different kind of game than the one I am playing around with here, but I think it is a pretty cool game none the less. A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shapeshifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

Monday, February 12, 2018

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 5

Previously on Contest of Champions: The Setup, The Land-speed Competition, The Strength Competition, The Tournament Bracket

 I see Wrath as being played by Ronda Rousey,
with her hair dyed a deep red

This is the first day of the main event, and there is not an empty seat in the arena. All the competitors are down on the field even if they aren't going to fight on the first day. They don't want to miss this either and nothing beat gathering information on the person you might end up fighting in a future bout. The Judges stand outside the ring, ready to jump in should things get out of hand. The first matchup is two fan favorites. Wrath has built up quite a reputation in the hero community with her strength and determination. Through raw training she has pushed the human body further than should be possible, channeling her chi into her muscles, striking like a triphammer. She is using this opportunity to advertise her Dojo, letting everyone know they too can break all limitations. Storm Eagle is an up and comer in the hero world but her charm and poise have made her Coast City's sweetheart. There are numerous banners egging her on to victory.

Storm Eagle would be played by
Neha Sharma, in her super form
The ring is a square of white stone, fifty yards to a side. Should either opponent set any part of their body outside the ring they will lose. Wrath steps into the ring, and slowly reaches down to run her hand along its surface, studying the terrain and preparing for the fight. She stands nearly six foot tall and is well muscled. Her every action seems slightly restrained as if she had never faced an opponent upon whom she could truly unleash her strength. Storm Eagle slowly descends in a halo of lightning in the shape of an eagle. She stands a little uncertainly across from Wrath and begins gathering electric energy around her hands. The crowd grows silent as Horus steps up to the edge of the ring. His voice booms out over the expectant silence and he counts down to the start of the fight.

Storm Eagle

As soon as the fight starts Storm Eagle hovers up off the ground. Lightning courses out from her body, arcing in chains down her arms to form a spiral beam of pure electricity. Wrath is driven to one knee by the lightning bolt. She pushes back to her feet and, still smoking from the blast, and rushes her opponent. In a couple of seconds, she flies across the intervening distance and body checks Storm Eagle, driving her almost out of the ring in a single blow. Both opponents are winded and injured and take a moment to catch their breaths.

Wrath rapidly moves to grab Storm Eagle and throw her out of the ring before she has a chance to fully recover, but storm Eagle manages to push Wrath out of the way and shots up twenty feet into the air. Storm Eagle looks around wildly for a second and attempts to fire another lightning bolt. Her panic seems to have affected her aim. She cuts a furrow into the stone blocks that make up the ring, shattering them one by one in a line blasting up stone dust into a white cloud. Wrath erupts out of the cloud, well above the height of storm eagle and slams her into the ground with a powerful ax kick. Storm Eagle bounced off the ground and many in the crowd wince in sympathetic pain. She manages to roll to her feet rapidly and as Wrath falls toward her Storm Eagle lets fly with her most powerful blast of lightning, reversing Wraths descent for a moment and then dropping her to the ground smoldering and bloody. The Judges call the fight and the medics rush in. The crowd Goes wild. 

Here is how the combat went without all the details added.
Melee 1
Initiative: Wrath rolls a 2 add in her +1 bonus, her initiative for this round is 3; Storm Eagle rolls a 20 so she is going to start out. Wrath has five attacks per melee as does Storm Eagle.
Round 1
Storm Eagle Starts big, hovering slightly off the ground and launching a full force electrical ray at Wrath. She rolls a 5 to strike. Wrath uses an action to roll to dodge and manages to roll a 1. As it was a lightning bolt she gets a -4 to dodge it and gains none of her bonuses. She gets hit by the lightning and takes 30 damage.  The roll to see if she is knocked down is successful(20 % r less for this amount of damage) she is flat on her back in the first 3 seconds of the fight.
Round 2
Wrath rolls back up t her feet and moves rapidly up to Storm Eagle and attempts a power slam to drive her opponent out of the ring. She rolls a 16 to strike. Storm Eagle Attempts to dodge and uses a future action, she rolls a total of 6, no good. Wrath does 49 damage, is driven back 44 feet, loses initiative for the rest of the melee, is knocked off her feet and loses 2 actions. She is now out of actions for this round and is prone near the edge of the ring, but not outside of it. However, this attack used up all four of Wrath's other actions this round s the next Melee begins.

Melee 2
Initiative: Wrath rolls a total of 17; Storm Eagle rolls a total of 6.
Round 1
Wrath Seeks to grab Storm Eagle and throw her the remainder of the way out f the ring. She rolls a 14 to grab and throw. Storm Eagle attempts to parry the grab, she rolls a  19 and manages to push Wrath's hands away.
Round 2
Storm Eagle takes this round to fly up 20 feet off the ground and then tries another Lightning ray. She rolls a 3, its a miss.
Round 3
Wrath  Leaps up the twenty feet easily(her maximum running high jump is 44 feet) and attempts to kick storm eagle back to the ground. She rolls to strike with a total of 17. Storm Eagle only has one attack left in this melee and does not have any martial arts training so if she attempts to parry she will not get an attack. So her plan is just to take the hit and hope she has enough SDC to keep going. Wrath rolls for damage, 51 damage, which drives Storm Eagle back to the ground.
Round 4
Storm Eagle gets up and tries once more to blast a lightning ray. She rolls a 20, a critical hit! Wrath tries to dodge and rolls a 1. No good. Storm Eagle hits for 100 damage. This pushes Wrath beyond her SDC into her HP.

Storm Eagle 

Fights in Palladium's system can end up being pretty short in the number of melees, but due to the number of attacks and how many separate defenses can be used, this leads to combats feeling like a slog on occasion. The next fight in the tournament will be between Whirlwind and Geostorm. That one might take a little longer than this one as it will be a character with a boat-load of attacks per melee versus a character with a lot of natural defenses and SDC. I am not sure how that one will go, but I am excited to see how it turns out. I have a feeling Whirlwind will go far in this tournament, but we will see. I thought that Wrath was going to win this fight, but the dice were not with her on this one.

Also, +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shapeshifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

Friday, January 26, 2018

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 4

Previously on Contest of Champions: Setup, Landspeed Race, Strength Contest

This may be one of the shorter posts in this series, though I think it took the longest to prepare. I spent a large amount of time drawing up a truly terrible looking set of tournament brackets for the contest. The brackets themselves were pretty easy to randomly generate, but getting a picture to match the image I had in my mind was super difficult. I fiddled with it for days. I have three finished pictures that I hated and one that was finally adequate to the task, though I still hate how it looks. In my head it was going to be so easy, why is reality so much harder than fake, in fake everything, is easy.

I had thirty-three here, so its a bit tricky to get the heroes all matched up right and proper. This meant that there will be a single round zero, sort of, where two heroes will duke it out before moving on to the actual first round. I think the winner of that will be in the last fight of the first round...which I guess is the second round really...but the first round is only one I have confused myself.

Most Professional Tournament Bracket ever me
I also am waffling a bit on how best to portray the fights. I think I could do it round by round, but that might be boring and take a long time...though maybe not. I think Palladium fights actually take less time than people think if you don't actually have to physically roll the dice. So maybe writing it all down won't take so much. Or maybe I could short form it and just go with a summary description. Let me know what you think. I am on the fence.

The fights will work like this. There is a ring, or a square...some shape, in the center of the arena. I am liking this square ring idea, I may go with that. The ring will be fifty yards(meters roughly) across. The fights will go until one of three end conditions. If they knock their opponent out of the ring they win. If they get their opponent to submit(tap out, whatever) they win. If they drop their opposition to HP(or to half their SDC if they do not have HP) they win. I think that is a goodly set of win conditions, but if you see a problem with it, let me know. I want this to at least appear fair on the surface.

A final note, I may also be making some changes to the various heroes, as I did get some solid feedback on some of the builds. I also might be using some of the optional rules or rulings from various Rifter issues. If I make any such changes I will make sure to note that at the beginning of the post. I hope that doesn't get too confusing.

According to my "fantastic" tournament master sheet, the first fight will be between Wrath and Storm Eagle. I don't think I need to make any alterations to the heroes, but I will be digging into their character sheets before we get to the fight. It should be fun. Stay tuned.

Also, +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shapeshifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

Friday, January 19, 2018

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 3

Previously on Contest of Champions: Setup, Landspeed Race

And now...

Pictured, problems with lifting stupidly heavy Weights
Strength tests are very difficult with super beings, many of whom can lift far more than should be physically possible. In the early years of the contest, the machines used often broke down catastrophically. Often there is an asterisk next to the names of the winners of the strength competition for those early contests. Luckily, after those early years, Asgard Technologies created and donated a machine for gauging strength that would work no matter the strength. Some conspiracy theorists claim that this move by Asgard is a method for Erik Larson, the CEO and Owner of Asgard, to figure out the weaknesses of the strongest heroes on earth. Of course, those are just paranoid ramblings. The device will increase its weight in increments and when the competitor has reached their maximum weight they must hold it for as long as they can. Often this day's competition gets less coverage than other days, but for the die-hard fans, its a fun day of watching their favorite heroes try to hold up more and more weight.

Breakthrough has a normal strength of 21 he manages to lift 840 lbs for six and a half minutes. He can boost that for a short period of time. for 15 seconds he can lift 1000 lbs. He will be gaining more powers as he levels up though, so expect to see more in future contests.

could be a machine that looks a bit like this one. 
Calamity has a PS of 22, though I am not sure what type of strength that is. The book does not specify, and trying to find an official answer online has kind of been making me a little nuts. I am pretty sure that her strength is at the very least Extraordinary, though I have seen some claims that full conversion borgs should get Superhuman. I will be going with Extraordinary for this one. She can manage 4400 lbs, and as she is a full conversion borg, she can hold that for an unlimited amount of time...I guess. Not bad, considering she is a ranged combatant mostly.

Her sister, Car Mage, demands to be next. She knows she won't win but like to ham it up for the audience, and the audience loves her for it. She has a normal strength of 11 and can manage to lift a maximum of 220 lbs for a total of just shy of 3 minutes.

Cavalier Rouge has a surprisingly high number of fans in the audience. Her signature red hod and cape do tend to draw attention. She has a normal strength of 22 and can lift 880 lbs and hold it for just over four minutes.

The Crimson Commando has an Extraordinary Strength of 27. He can lift 5400 lbs for 7 minutes total. A strong showing from the world traveling soldier of fortune.

Devil Fist has a normal strength of 20, but he can drastically increase it for short periods of time with his chi. For 15 seconds he can boost his strength up to 440. So for 15 seconds, he can lift 17,600 lbs. Not bad...not bad at all.

Enki is strong, but not superhuman. She has a normal strength of 21. She can lift 840 lbs for almost 5 minutes.

Spiderman, Spiderman, lifts his weights like a spider can.
Geostorm wraps himself in a stone exoskeleton and enhances his arms with earth. This puts his strength at supernatural strength f 42. He can lift 21,000 lbs for three and half minutes.

The Hammer of Heaven has a normal strength of 19 and can lift 760 lbs for four minutes.

Henry is a sponsor of the event, but he still keeps his hat in the ring, mostly for fun. He has a supernatural strength of 62.  He can lift 31,000 lbs and can hold it up for just over an hour.

The Hunter has a normal strength of 20, he can lift 800 lbs and hold it for four minutes.

Impact starts with an impressive supernatural strength of 82. As he approaches the machine he grows to his maximum size and strength. He stands at just over 41 feet tall with a supernatural strength of 118 lbs. He can lift 59,000 lbs. He can hold that weight up for 45 minutes. 

This is followed up by Inquest, who is not on the same level as Impact. He has a normal strength of 14 and can lift 280 lbs. He can hold that up for 3 minutes.

Maximum is a robot with a superhuman strength of 30. He can lift 9000 lbs and as he is a robot he can hold that indefinitely.

Megaton is a serious competitor and as she enters the field the whole crowd goes wild. She makes a quick circuit of the field at sonic speed and then steps up to the testing machine. She has a supernatural strength of 56. She also has the ability to manipulate gravity increasing her ability to lift far greater weights. Using all of her abilities she can manage to lift 2,800,000 lbs and hold that for 47.5 minutes. That is a ridiculous amount of weight. she can easily juggle tanks, city buses, or even blue whales.

Digital Weights, far better than analog. I think we can all agree.
Metal Marshal has a superhuman strength of 40 in her suit. She can lift 12,000 lbs forever, I guess as its a robot suit. I mean I guess eventually she will die of old age and the heat death of the universe would probably inhibit one's ability to lift things.

Mr. Shade appears in a flash of fire and smoke and steps up to the machine.  Tall and thin hidden beneath a concealing cloak. He has a normal strength of 30. He can lift 1200 lbs and maintain for just over five minutes.

Ms. Miracle has a supernatural strength of 57. She can lift 28,500 lbs for 87.5 minutes. That about what some fighter jets weigh.

Nemain has to set aside her various weapons before she starts her lift attempt. It takes a while. She has a lot of weapons. She has a normal strength of 26 and can lift 1040 lbs and hold it up for five and a half minutes. She is ridiculously strong for a "normal" human.

Nemesis has a normal strength of 20 and can lift 800 lbs for around four minutes. Without her gear, she is just not as impressive as some other heroes.

The Never Ending Cheery Cheery Death Machine backflips his way into the field and up to the machine. No one invited him and all the other heroes cringe when he starts going through them all, glad-handing and back-slapping. He has an extraordinary strength of 33(I probably should have gone with Superhuman strength, it would have been the optimal choice for this character, but I just see him as not being that competent). He can lift 6,600 lbs and hold it up for 57 minutes. That is about what a forklift weighs, or an empty cargo container. And he is one of the weaker super strong characters.

The Night Sheriff has a supernatural strength of 17. He manages to lift 8500 lbs and hold it up for 35 minutes. He can lift an SUV, though it would be a tough go of it.

Perdition has a normal strength, 14. She probably doesn't arm wrestle villains when she takes them down. She can lift 280 lbs and hold that weight for 3.5 minutes.

The Physician steps forward and doesn't even place his hands on the testing machine. Using telekinesis he manages 1300 lbs for two minutes. He can lift a speedboat with his mind.

Prince Hermon really gets the crowd going. After using illusion and trickery to make the audience believe he could break the machine with his mystic might he reveals it was a trick and then using his normal strength, 19, he lifts 760 lbs and holds it for four minutes. He does it with panache and style and everyone just eats it up.

Rats begin to boil up out of storm drains and sewer grates around the field and begin to coalesce into the vaguely feminine form of the Rat Queen. Everyone steps back from her as she moves up to the machine. She has a Supernatural Strength of 30. She lifts 15,000 lbs(a little more than a school bus). She can hold the weight, well she doesn't have a PE score, s I don't know how long she can hold it. Forever? Yeah, probably forever.

The Reciprocitor steps up, she does not look fully sure of herself. Her normal confident smirk is missing, she is not sure of her strength. Inquest has been working on her physical training, but she is still a young girl and this is an ominously large machine. She has a normal strength of 11. She manages to lift 220 lbs. She can hold it for just shy of 3 minutes. At the end, she is frustrated and panting with effort.

You need super strength to make sure a giant monster
does not steal your favorite building
As Seraph flies steps onto the field, her movements echo with a thousand hidden voices speaking in high Enochian of the hope that surpasses understanding. The crowd goes silent as she steps up to the machine. She has a supernatural strength of 34. She can lift 17,000 lbs and hold it up for 57  minutes. That's just shy of a garbage truck in weight.

Shedim does not appear to be happy following that display of angelic might. His demonic form causes him to shrink back slightly from this embodiment of his eternal enemy. He has a supernatural strength of 47. He can lift 23,500 lbs and hold it for 72 minutes. He does seem a little smug that he can out lift Seraph.

The massive lights over the arena begin to shower down sparks and arcs of lightning and Storm Eagle takes form out of the energy. She has a normal strength of 20 and can lift 800 lbs and hold it for almost 3 minutes.

Le Terasque has a powerful frame hidden beneath his fabled patchwork cloak. He steps up the machine and uses his supernatural strength(65) to lift 32,500 lbs and hold it for 37 minutes. That is like a Greyhound bus in weight. Powerful.

The Wanderer has a normal strength of 19 so he can lift 760 lbs for a total of 4 minutes.

The Whirlwind looks uncomfortable among these great heroes f the world. He tugs at his hoody and jeans. He had never felt so out of place, among the spectacle of professional heroes. He has an extraordinary strength of 28. He can lift 5600 lbs and hold up for four and a half minutes. That's a heavy Rhinoceros in weight.

Wrath steps to the machine like it owes her money. She has a superhuman strength of 44 all through her own training system. She has a lot to prove about the potential of the baseline human. She can lift 13,200 lbs, that is almost as much as a T-rex. She can hold that up for about 10 minutes.

At the end of the day, the clear winner is Megaton, with Impact at a distant second followed by the third place of Le Terasque. Man, that gravity manipulation power is just ridiculous when teamed up with just about anything. I mean, Megaton has easily outclassed every other hero in both speed and strength. With the end f the day award ceremony the hype begins for the main event. It is going to be the first round of the tournament. The next post will be the breakdown of how the tournament is going to go. It should be fun.

Also, +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shapeshifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.