Friday, October 8, 2010

Fourth Edition

Have I ever mentioned how much I don't like it?

Well, I don't like it. I'd quit the game now if it wasn't already three hours into character creation and adventure selection. And we opted to use the random generator from the back of the DM guide anyways.

Last time. Really. M20 or some other system that doesn't suck from now on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Clocktower Sniper

January 3rd, 2015
The Concord Star

Police deny allegations of vigilante involvement

An attempted mugging was cut short last night by what police are calling a 'freak accident'. Details are being withheld, but an anonymous source says the mugger's attempt was cut short by an arrow. Police are looking for a man in his late 50's, with grey hair and a moustache. The victim of the attempted mugging has been placed in protective custody pending the end of the investigation.

February 15th, 2015
The Portland Gazette

Witnesses claim local kingpin was struck down by an arrow

Alejandro "Big Al" Gabravetti, a local figure long pursued by the police in connection with drug running, human trafficking, and weapons procurement investigations, was killed in broad daylight yesterday on the outskirts of Portland. While coming out of a local Catholic church, surrounded by bodyguards, witnesses say that he was struck somewhere in the upper torso or head. No gunshot was heard, and one man who was able to get close enough to see the body said there was a short arrow embedded in the crime boss' throat. Police are not naming any suspects, but one eyewitness says she saw a man in dark clothing coming down from a clocktower down the street shortly after the incident.

March 9th, 2015
The Montpelier Daily News

Police warn against possible panic, citizens divided

A woman who was the victim of an attempted rape is being questioned by police as to the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of her attacker, a local hood who was already wanted in connection with three convenience store robberies. The woman claims that as the man cornered her in the alley, a short arrow ricocheted off the alley wall and killed her assailant. Shortly afterwards, a man in a leather jacket and motorcycle helmet appeared cradling a crossbow, but he disappeared before police arrived on the scene. Local opinion is divided on the man who, since January, has become known for his brutal, efficient killings, often carried out from local high points, such as clocktowers or steeples. All his known victims have been criminals, leading some to believe him to be a disgruntled ex-police officer. No description for the sniper is available.

April 17th
The Portland Gazette

Police call for 'Clocktower' to come forward

A serial killer calling himself The Butcher attacked a local motel yesterday, where he apparently stumbled upon the 'Clocktower Sniper'. A short fight ensued, and although no one saw anyone matching any known description for the sniper leaving the scene, no second body has yet been found. No bolt was left at the scene either, but preliminary reports of the autopsy confirm the nature of the death wound.

May 14th, 2015

The man who had become known as the Clocktower Sniper was heading west, helmet down. The imaging devices in his helmet were powered off, as were the police trackers and radio interception equipment. His crossbow was broken down and stowed in the saddlebags of his motorcycle. He was becoming too well known in the northeast. Clocktower Sniper? It fit, at least. Wasn't the first name he had picked up.

Adam Walker, Alex Wolfe, Adrian Wright (All aliases)

Clocktower Sniper (5), Ex-Military Recon Officer (3), Master of Disguise and Infiltration (3), Lucky Shots [] [] []

Tale: Adam Walker (the name he most commonly uses) served in the Third Gulf War in Kuwait as a Recon Officer. His experience at intrusion and tracking became ingrained, and on the demilitarization of the nation, he found himself facing civilian life, and finding it somewhat lacking. He worked for a short time as a wilderness guide, where he became extremely proficient with a crossbow. He began hunting criminals in 2014, although the papers didn't catch wind of it until 2015.

Hook: For all intents and purposes, Clocktower is a street vigilante. He has tracking devices in his helmet, and is an expert marksman, but anything magical, supernatural, or ultra-tech is going to pose a serious problem.

Friday, September 17, 2010



Freaking kython.

I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.

Why don't elves in the Beuttleria setting retreat to the forest? They know what comes out at night.
Why don't dwarves in the Beuttleria setting live underground? They know what lives there.

The underdemons from the dark heart of the world. Black scrabbling chitinous serpents. Sleeping now, but once woken, they will purge the world.

Ok, so I'm taking the basic framework and stats of kythons, but making some modifications. I'm including some of the traits of Crabs from Spots the Space Marine, reducing their sentience, dropping the Infernal/Abyssal as languages (they aren't actually demons, that's just something the dwarves call them.) I'll probably remove the complete immunity to heat and cold, maybe make it 50%. Of course, with no magic in the system, PC's will likely just be responding with blades rather than fireballs, so leaving the immunities isn't a big deal.

I'm not calling them kython in the game, I'll just be using cultural names for them from the races already there. I haven't decided what period of history I want to introduce them in, whether I want the colonization itself to awaken them, or perhaps a Beisili or Beuttlerian mining operation.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Game Chef? Wish I knew about this earlier...

Halfway through the week I find out about the 2010 Game Chef Competition.

If I had known earlier, I'd have already been working on it. I might yet, I'm going to take some time tonight to decide.

This is my concept right now.

Taking the three themes "City", "Edge", and "Desert".
I need to think of a resource. Or three. Anyways, there's this desert. With cities all around it. You'd think they'd just leave well enough alone, but no, there's things in the desert they need. Badly.

So they fight over it. not with armies, no army could cross the desert. They send proxies into the desert to claim and retrieve these necessary resources. The good ones are called Wastewalkers. The ones in training are called Journeymen. They are the rough men in the saloon you don't want to cross. I haven't decided yet if they're wearing long dusters and revolvers, or boiled leather and longswords. The period hasn't been ironed out yet.

The party would probably be a group of Journeymen. They can work for any number of cities. They just want to be sure their clients don't start finding out they they're working both sides. They make their coin by bringing back what's needed, and any extra salvage they manage to find. An encumbrance system is going to be vital, to keep the setting feeling nice and gritty.

For inspiration, think Fallout, Book of Eli, The Road. Only based around a central, resource-laden desert that serves as the central point of conflict.

If I start this project, I'll need to rewrite my GRIT mechanic, incorporate an encumbrance system, decide what resources the desert holds, why the surrounding cities fight over it, make some form of map (I'm garbage at digital art), and have a decent beastiary. The beastiary is going to partially depend on the setting - a medieval desert wandering game will have a different assortment than a post-apocalyptic desert wandering game.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One way I might do things...

Classes are Knight, Fighter, Ranger, Noble, Rogue, and each nation also gains a Specialist.

Beuttleria has Knights that are better with their shields, and educated in medicine, but prone to fight dismounted; Fighters who tend towards using larger weapons with great speed and control; Rangers that are stealthier than usual and very good at ranged combat; Nobles who are quick to enter the fray alongside their entourage; Rogues who are especially deadly at backstabbing; and Tacticians who use intelligence to lead others in war.

Bongiorno has Knights that are more educated in medicine than their Beuttlerian brethren; Fighters who are more skilled than most, but not as powerful in combat; Rangers who are very good with animals, and use herbal cures; Nobles with better social skills, Rogues who are superior at escaping detection, and Bards who inspire their fellows to great deeds.

Beisili has the most amiable Knights you can find; Fighters who concentrate more on using two weapons; Rangers used to a more desert environment; Cunning Nobles, versed in clandestine operations; and Priests, the diplomats and learned ones of the realm.

The Iron Papacy puts their subtle Knights to work searching out heresy; their Fighters are more experienced in the use of armor than others; their Rangers are better than most at tracking, and often work with the Knights in their pursuits; their Nobles are able to draw upon a much larger collection of followers; their Rogues are quick with the tongue as well; and their Inquisitors, well, their title basically explains what they do.

All classes are six levels long, and most (if not all) will contain 'spell-like effects' triggered by paying HP. Due to the scarcity of healing in this setting, and the fact that HP are being treated as stamina/luck/advantage rather than actual health, HP used to pay for abilities -can- be healed situationally, depending on the ability. Some abilities only apply the cost during a particular encounter, making it a short-term gamble.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Adventure Hooks for the Amendolan Period

1. As a member of the armed forces of the Iron Papacy, you have been tasked with the suppression of a local tribe of elves who have been harassing colonists. Failure will not be tolerated by your superiors...

2. You have heard rumors that a former Captain, David of Amendol, has started gathering dis-satisfied men to him for a journey north. This sounds like just the opportunity you've been looking for...

3. Bongiorno is a fertile land, to be sure, but not without its hazards. The displaced elves harry your borders, and the local predators have no fear of man. Someone needs to help keep the settlers of this fledgling nation alive...

4. David of Amendol has been asking for volunteers to scout the mountain pass into what will someday become Beuttleria. Who are you to stand by when The Amendolan has need of you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Setting of Beuttleria

So, I've been collaborating with some friends on the world in which Beuttleria exists. Here's a brief overview.

A long time ago, elves lived along the south coast and dwarves lived in the northern mountains, competing with giants for territory. The southern coasts are quite rich in farmlands and forests, the west coast is well-covered in mines for coal, iron, copper, and tin, while the northern mountains are mostly iron and coal producing, and heavily forested besides. The east coast has the best farmland available, but for all its fertility it was left largely underdeveloped by the elves and dwarves, preferring to keep a solid buffer of territory between themselves. The dwarves were satisfied with their iron and coal, and the elves were satisfied with their coastal woodlands and farms.

Then the Iron Papacy arrived, the vanguard of a vast human empire that had, for religious reasons, felt the need to establish holdings on a new landmass. They arrived on the rich southern coasts, pushing the elves northward into the barren steppes at the center until they were up against the southern foothills of the Dwarven mountains. The Iron Papacy had no knowledge of or use for Dwarves, and so they were left undisturbed in their wars against the giants.

As the Papacy cemented their control of their new colonial lands, one man who had served in their army, called David of Amendol, raised himself a small army and marched north to start his own colony north of the mountains. The men who went with him were independently-minded, theologically disillusioned with the Papacy, and ready to carve themselves a new home. Many brought families with them, and a few women even took up arms to protect the traveling band.

David of Amendol and his army took the eastern coast north, to avoid the roving bands of displaced elves that occupied the steppes at the center of the continent. Some of the less adventurous men, with larger families, were content to settle in the rich farmland of the east coast, forming small communities on the vast alluvial plains formed by rivers flowing out of the mountains. These communities became the foundation for what later became the rich urban centers of Bongiorno.

The Amendolans continued north, less the Bongiornan settlers, and eventually came to a pass in the mountains that allowed access to the cold, forested lands forming the northern border of the continent. They began to find old buildings of worked stone, obviously recently destroyed, but it wasn't until their first clash with the giants that the dwarves came out from their fortress walls to see the new settlers.

(To be Continued, with the Origin of Beuttleria)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Magic Item Index Cards

I know I've heard of people doing this, but I can't seem to find any related posts through google...

Anyone have any idea where I can find examples of people making index cards for magic items in D&D?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Need a Mech System

So, I've been watching Visions of Escaflowne and reading Chgowiz's Mechwarrior archives, which leads to me really wanting to write and run a Mech adventure.

To do that, I need a system. I can settle for Risus, but I like my mechs to crunch a bit more than Risus realistically allows.

Any suggestions?

On another note, my college gaming group is currently running The Hobbit as a campaign, with each of the players being a different dwarf from the adventuring group.
So far, we've made it partway through the Misty Mountains and killed the Goblin King. Once we're done with The Hobbit, we plan on having our next campaign be based on Inglorious Basterds, but if I can get the Mech game running, that will probably take precedence.

A brief word on my preferences regarding mechs... I prefer Mechwarrior and Armored Core style mechs to Gundam style mechs, since I prefer to have my mechs look like military hardware rather than fashion suits. In other words...


Rather than this...

Gundam just doesn't scream 'military hardware' to me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Final Fantasy Tactics A2

For a game with such simple graphics, it's done a very good job of keeping me interested.

This latest mission was in the bag once I got my sniper up on the roof of the local tavern. The fact that I wasn't allowed to harm any humans made things interesting, but I managed.

Why aren't there more games like this? A series of tactical engagements that allow you to train, customize, and improve a 'stable' of characters... Mech Commander, Pokemon, Final Fantasy Tactics, these are all games that are fun for the whole 'stable' aspect of play, where you can specialize some characters, promote them, improve their abilities, and your motivations for any of these things can range from what is the most mechanically viable, to setting a vague role for each character and training them to fulfill it (my usual method) or even getting into some roleplaying, trying to give each character some kind of motivation for learning the methods that they use.

One of the things I like about FFTA2 is the MVP system. After each battle, troops who have fought especially well are given an MVP award. The more of these they have, the more able they are to lead Dispatch missions. I like to see the little stack of MVP awards as a sort of command eligibility scale. The ability to sort troops in your barracks according to their MVP rank allow me to view my 'trusted lieutenants'. For reasons I've been unable to determine (and I like it that way) most of my MVPs are ranged attackers. Hunters, snipers, archers, fusiliers. And that suits me just fine.

Another selling point of the game is the uniqueness of most (not all) of the classes. As listed above, I have as some of my best men an assortment of hunters, archers, snipers, and fusiliers (working on getting flintlocks as well, but haven't done anything with them yet.) Each of them has a special role in my combat operations. Archers (actually a prerequisite class for sniper and hunter both, and my sniper and hunter both have supplementary archer skills) have a mixed bag of tricks, most of them focusing around debuffing the enemy from range. They have a ranged Sanctify ability, which keeps undead from coming back, and a Focus ability that increases the damage of the next ranged attack, which works very well with sniper and hunter abilities. Hunters are excellent against monsters, with abilities that improve the critical attacks of their comrades, attacks that deal extra damage to monsters, and special abilities that can confuse and remove monsters from the field. The sniper is excellent against other characters, with the ability to Focus, Vanish, and sneak up behind the enemy for a Doubleshot to the back of the head ( a favorite tactic of mine. I usually just call it the doubletap.) as well as destroying their weapons, stealing their money, and poisoning them.

If more money went into gameplay instead of graphics, the gaming industry might be a bit better off. And I know I'm not the only one who thinks so.