Friday, March 20, 2020

GameStorming: HELL WOOD

I take a vacation and we have a pandemic.

I hope all of you are well. Thankfully, at the moment the only thing I have to worry about is finding toilet paper. I kid. There is none. Ha!

First, let me share how disappointed I am with myself. I've spent 47 years consuming Apocalyptic comic books, movies, and literature and I am not prepared for it. If it goes to Hell, I'm like one of the straights you see in the stories. If I make it through this, I promise I'll do better.

Second, let's contemplate Apocalyptic stories for a moment. I know that California just got locked down an that is what gave me the idea for this setting.

Imagine Hollywood, with its super-wealthy and their various personal security. Now, let's step into things and assume, just for fun, that they are all highly motivated to be in charge of the only place that matters to them, Hollywood. It isn't organized crime or gangs the people of L.A. have to worry about its Celebrities, Politicians, Athletes, Tech Barons, and Captains of Industry and their competing visions of running their world, the only one that matters to them. We're talking Villains with crazy wardrobes, millions of Followers, and crazier plastic surgery. We're talking more money than sense with lots of drugs, guns, and explosives. We're talking fortress mansions, behavior modification via social media, and egos the size of...well California. We're talking Hell wood. They Live meets Pulp Fiction meets Heat

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Theros for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition or F&%$@ Y*% WotC

Sometime in the last two months Wizards of the Coast announced the release of the Wildemont setting book for DnD by Matt Mercer. The internet, being the internet, exploded with people bitching because they weren't getting Greyhawk or Spelljamer or Mystara and Matt, being apparently the niced guy in the world, APOLOGIZED that WotC was printing his setting. Let me go on record and say that if WotC did not publish Wildemont then their CEO should be fired by the Board of Hasbro and it's shareholders. Critical Role is, in my opinion, at least 40% of the success of DnD 5E.

I don't even watch Critical Role and I feel this way (I can barely eek out two hours a week to watch TV, let alone 4 hours of other people role playing when I'm not).

However, WotC, being WotC, just announced Theros, a setting for Magic: the Gathering, to be released this Summer.

And you know what? FUCK. THAT.

When Theros releases we will have had three setting books in fairly quick succession and four total. Magic: the Gathering, I'm sorry, Magic: the FUCKING Gathering will account for 50% of those settings. The M:tG group spent nearly two decades not wanting to "dilute" it's brand by having a crossover with DnD and now their planes are 1/2 of DnD 5E's settings?!?!

I know enough about M:tG to know that Ravnica was a very popular plane and a cool urban setting for DnD. Theros isn't Ravnica, it's just not.

It's time to sell us a classic setting. Even if you have to PAY Critical Role to run a campaign in it WotC, give us something from the history of DnD instead of the history of M:tG.

You've been warned.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Valor Knights The Electrocube War from Bloat Games: More Than Meets The Eye

As soon as I saw that Eric Bloat was Kickstarting a 'Zine RPG inspired by Transformers, I backed it ASAP. First, because Eric makes GREAT games and second, because Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Ravage, Shockwave, Blue Streak, Jetfire, Starscream, Blaster, Laserbeak, Rumble, and Metroplex.

I grew up loving Transformers and there was no way I was going to miss out on it.

Here is the coolest part, the KS finished like last week and I've already got the PDF. I'm hoping it will be on sale pretty soon so that I can direct you where to buy it.

Valor Nights the Electrocube War uses the same system as the excellent Blackest of Deaths and I just love it. I've read through it once and it nails Transformers pretty darn well. You can't buy it yet, but when you can you should do so IMMEDIATELY.

Until then, Valor Knights, roll out.

Monstrous Monday: Traeger for TinyD6

Traeger for TinyD6

HP: 6 (High)
Description: Silent, highly intelligent, and solitary hunters that prowl the night. Doctor Killian G'har has theorized that the Traeger is millions of years old and was either engineered or altered by the First Ones to caul the rebellious members of the Intifada.
• Bite (Melee Attack): Test with Advantage against an
   enemy within five feet of you. 
• Darkfighter
• Opportunist

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Tiny Frontier, Stars Without Number, and Traveller

After the most recent session of my Star Wars Storm Trooper Mini-Campaign a few weeks ago, I felt that maybe Tiny Frontier wasn't robust enough for what I was looking for and I've spent the last couple of weeks reading Stars Without Number, Mongoose's Traveller 2E and Cepheus Light.

I really enjoyed converting the characters to SWN and I think they are very flavorful. I'm not sure if I will use them when we get to the next chapter, but I really enjoyed the conversion process.

Discovering that SWN's skill system was based on Traveller, I decided to finally give those games a look (when I was coming up Traveller: The New Era was the big thing, GURPS Traveller never grabbed me, and Mark Miller's Traveller 4 just wasn't what I was looking for). 

I think my favourite out of the bunch is Cepheus Light (though Cepheus Quantum is pretty cool too), but I found an amazing Star Wars Fan Supplement for MGT2 that is very well done.  However, when I started making characters I was unimpressed. Character Creation was a bit of chore and the characters are underwhelming and fairly indistinct. I'm sure to some degree it's because I'm running a Storm Trooper game, but it just left me cold.

What drew me to TinyD6 for these one-shots in the first place was that Traits were a straight-forward way to easily and quickly distinguishing the Troopers from one another.

One thing my group and I talked about after our latest session was that I rarely had them roll standard (2d6) checks. I was always granting Disadvantage or focusing on a Trait's Advantage. So that is something I plan to work on in the future.

I think at this point I might just stick with Tiny Frontiers and give the system more time to breathe and for me to master it a bit more.

My Gaming ADD is pretty high right now and I'm trying to reinforce to myself that it's not the system, but the group that makes things fun. TinyD6 is a pretty awesome system with great support.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...