Wednesday, January 22, 2020

TinyD6: Storm Giant

Storm Giant for TinyD6

HP: 11 (Heroic)
Description: Violent humanoid giants who bring massive storms where they appear, storm giants are unpredictable and deadly, and often disappear in the blink of an eye.
• Berserker
• Fleet of Foot
• Lightning-wreathed: See Fire-wreathed under Fire Giant in Tiny Dungeons 2E
• Vigilant

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Nostalgia: Champions

Champions 4th Edition or the "Big Blue Book" was the first Role Playing Game I ever played Game Mastered. I remember seeing it for the first time at our local Walden Books, the fact that it had a George Perez cover is what drew me to it.

I won't lie, it was quite a complex system for a new player, but I had no idea how complex. It was like learning a new language. Some members of our group had been playing for a while so they were better prepared to understand it and did their best to help me understand it.

For years after, it was hard to transition from Champions/HERO where you could literally build anything to games that were often more about what you could not do and focused on empowering the Game Master to make rulings, not rules.

The person that taught me Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition was a very strict Dungeon Master. I didn't really understand most of the essential parts of ADnD until I discovered the OSR because of his style of DMing.

I remember dreaming up character concepts and villains for hours and hours on end (it's hard to believe I had the time to do that).

When HERO 5th Edition released we went all-in on it and my best friend and I had a pretty satisfying campaign that spanned a year or two.

I looked at HERO 6th Edition, but it wasn't for me.

I'm curious how Champions Now will turn out.

While I have moved toward simpler game systems, part of me has been daydreaming about Champions. I have some players in my current group that I think would enjoy it's customizations and would probably end up understanding it better than I do.

While I look back on the (mis)adventures of Captain Midnight, Killroy, The Fall Guy, Scythe, Shadow Hunter, and Bearcat -- the Regulators fondly, I don't know if I have that kind of time these days. Our sessions are 2-3 hours and some of our combats lasted that long. For the uninitiated, when you deal damage in Champions/HERO you have to read the d6s you roll in two different ways: sum the dice for damage in Stun, take the number of d6s you rolled and subtract one for 1 and add one for each 2, that is how much Body you do, then you take that number and roll 2d6 which is then subtracted and determines how far your opponent is Knocked Back.

Truthfully, we probably argued about rules as much as we played. I remember that one of the characters, Killroy who was based on DC Comic's Lobo, senselessly murdered two innocents and we spent longer debating how to handle his actions than we played that night and we didn't even reach a consensus! I was 19 or 20 then and we would start playing at 5 or 6pm on a Friday or Saturday night and go into the wee hours of the morning.
You couldn't pay me to have a session last that long these days.

To this day, I don't know that any other Super Hero RPG is as complete a toolkit as the HERO system is.

Who knows? Maybe I'll take Champions out for a spin later this year, show these new guys the system I cut my teeth on.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Monstrous Monday: Sathar for White Star

SATHAR for White Star

Armor Class: 6 [13]
HDE: 2/30
Total Hit Bonus: +2
Movement: 15
Special: Hypnosis
Attack: By weapon
Hit Dice: 2
Saving Throw: 16

Sathar are long, worm-like creatures. Their bodies are divided into segments, like an earthworm's. They do not have a skeleton. Instead, they support their bodies hydrostatically, by pumping liquid into the segments so they become hard. A shiny, clear slime coats their skin. Scientists believe they are warm-blooded, but no live specimen has ever been studied.

A Sathar's head tapers toward its mouth, which is circular and ringed with teeth. Each of their two eyes has two pupils. Four tentacles, two on each side of the body, are arranged about 1 meter below the head. The first pair is slender and weak-looking, and about 1 meter long. These end in four smaller finger-like tentacles. The second pair of tentacles is stronger and about 1.2 meters long. Both of these tentacles end in a paddle-like pad. This second pair is used for heavy lifting, while the smaller tentacles are used for fine work and for holding small weapons.

A Sathar moves by slithering across the ground with the first meter of its body raised. They also can coil like a snake, raising 1.5 meters of their bodies from the ground.

The color of Sathar skin varies from yellow to brown. The tentacles are the same as the body, but with a slight greenish tint. The underbelly is pale pink. A pattern of dots, speckles and stripes decorates the back of the head. These patterns are natural on some Sathar, but are tattoos on others.

Some survivors of Sathar attacks have reported that Sathars are not effected by electrical shocks (immunity to electricity) or doze (+2 to Saving Throws vs Sleep) grenades, but these reports have never been confirmed.

A Sathar can hypnotize a character by talking to him in a non-combat situation (creature must make a Saving Throw, on a failure the creature trusts the Sathar)."

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Ruins of Arduin

In a thread on the excellent, I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters Facebook Group (thanks Tim Knight for creating it) I came across an awesome blog called Ruins of Arduin.

I missed out on Dave Hargrave's original books and only know of the setting through information on the internet.

I'm often late to the party on stuff and for all I know you guys have known about it for years. Not only did I discover the site, but it hosts a Swords and Wizardry powered PDF also called Ruins of Arduin and it's designed to look like one of ODnD's little brown books. The PDF is very, very I mean it's cool.

You can check the website out here and the PDF here.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Rifts Under Siege: Castles & Crusades' SIEGE Engine and Rifts

Since the day I discovered the Palladium Megaverse I've been looking to fix it's system.

I don't when or if I will run a game anytime soon, but I'm usually thinking of some campaign concept or tinkering with some game systems. Actually, I'm glad I'm back doing those things, I'd moved away from them for a while and I have missed them.

I've been reading through my Castles and Crusades books published by Troll Lord Games and Jason Vey has written some great books for the company including Amazing Adventures using the SIEGE Engine (the system behind CnC). 

I've been thinking of using the SIEGE Engine for Rifts, in my opinion, you could easily stick with what works and replace the Skill system and the Combat system with the SIEGE Engine. You'd have to connect what Hand to Hand Combat Style corresponds to Base Attack Bonus, but that shouldn't be that difficult. Additionally, I think I'd ditch Skill bonuses and just let a character add their level if the check is appropriate. Finally, I don't know if I'd use C&C's six Abilities or keep Rifts' Abilities, but if I kept them then I would look at three Primes for each character.

I've got a few posts lined up that I want to test out, but I think I'll work up a character or two to see how it flows.

If you get a chance let me know what you think of this idea and post any input you might have.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Counter Culture: Wizards of the Coast Can't Seem To Do Anything Right

In running my stores, Wizards of the Coast is a very important partner for me, however I don't mean one iota to them and I get it. I really do.

However, Magic: the Gathering is still our top selling Trading Card Game and Dungeons and Dragons is our top selling Role Playing Game.

Both brands have veteran leads in place, neither is new this year, let alone this decade.

But for some reason each brand keeps having problems in things that should be simple.

Look at DnD, this past thursday, January 9th, WotC was going to reveal the new supplement dropping in late March. But apparently someone realized Nintendo was going to make an announcement on the same day and they decided to move it to Monday the 13th. Except know one counted on Amazon and Barnes and Noble spoiling it.

It's not a killer issue but WotC keeps having troubles like this. They don't seem to quite have their social media presence 100%. Why not just move it to Friday the 10th? This should be old hat to this company by now.

For me, this is a compounded problem because the Magic: the Gathering development team has been having some quality control issues. In the Throne of Eldrane set thye printed a card that broke nearly every format in October. How does that still happen, how are their playtest efforts this lax? The new set dropping next week, Theros Beyond Death, has two cards with infinite combos in certain formats. Further, the Buy It By The Box Promos the've been printing for years are not Foil as they are supposed to be and hopefully we should get replacements about two weeks later than the launch.

For a company this large, these issues shouldn't happen in every set and somehow, their quality control is proving very lax.

Somebody isn't doing their job and that has to stope.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

GameStorming: Hacking the D6 Star Wars System

The past week has been a tough one when looking at the U.S. and our role in the world. It got me thinking about a lot about politics...but instead of sharing my opinion on all of that, I'm going to make some stuff for a game of make believe with rules!

And thank you for stopping by :)

I've been working on a Star Wars one-shot and I've been looking at the D6 Star Wars system from West End Games, I think Nocturnal Games owns it now.

However, I have two problems with the system as it exists now.

One, I hate Wound systems, give my Hit Points any day. Thankfully, D6 Space has Body Points so that is fixed. I figure when you are below 1/2 Body Points you will take -2 to dice pools. I'm basically ripping off DnD 4th Edition's Bloodied Condition.

Second, I hate that in D6 Star Wars you roll to hit, then you roll damage, and then your target rolls to soak. 

Here is my solution, You roll to hit as normal, but note any 6s your roll. You look at the damage for your weapon, let's say it's 2d6+1.
You roll 1d6 multiply it by 2 and add 1 to the total, so if I roll a 4 I'd do 8+1 = 9 damage. However, each 6 rolled adds an additional dice to roll and you then choose which you want to choose. 

So let's assume I use my Melee skill of 5d6 to attack my target. I roll a 1, 6, 6, 4, 3 for a total of 20. I hit the target and I note the two 6s.  My melee weapon does Strength of 3d6 + 1d6 for 4d6 damage, so I'm going to roll 1d6 x 4, however with the two 6s from the attack roll, I roll 3d6 and get a 1, 3, and 4, my melee weapon does 4 x 4 for a total of 16 damage to my target.

I like the idea and hope I get to playtest it.

TinyD6: Storm Giant

Storm Giant for  TinyD6 HP:  11 (Heroic) Description:   Violent humanoid giants who bring massive storms where they app...