Friday, December 28, 2007

Shut-ins and Hermits.

I'm always searching for that rpg system or supplement that will just run itself. I don't want writers block to get in the way of me getting together with a bunch of chums, talking in funny voices, making jokes, and killing critters.

Wilderlands of high fantasy seems to be just that setting, sandbox J. Rients has been calling it. Twilight 2000 and Traveller both seem to have a plays itself quality as well. Very structured on what will happen in a day, on the road or in town. Both of those could actually be played solo. Boring as all hell, but possible. Thats a pretty structured game world that doesn't really require a gm.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

D12 of Christmas

I'm currently running Paizo's Shackled City adventure path, and it's been awesome so far. We are only a little over half the way through it after almost a year, so I really have a no-nonsense, as little messing around as possible approach.

Which pretty much leaves no time for a Christmas special adventure. If I had a good one on hand, I might run it any way, but both scripting one up and interrupting the campaign with a one shot is too much to ask. I don't think I've ever seen a module or adventure about Christmas published. That's a shame. I should make a holiday special campaign, start it with a themed Halloween one, put in a Thanksgiving filler, top it off with a Christmas/new years combo.

Hrrrm, could even go further with Valentines day (Charm Arrows), Easter (were-rabbit), and April fools (pink dragons and blink mammoths).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Savage Worlds

I just picked up a copy of savage worlds yesterday, and man was that a good buy. Biggest problem I have had with generic systems, is that they are pretty flavorless. Take GURPS as an example. Absolutely no flavor, as evidenced by this illustration on the left.

Water flavor, just add flavor packet and sugar for yummy drink.

On the right, is a similar illustration from Savage Worlds, but this one says "All flavors! Tastes you have not even thought of!" Kinda like a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Plus the rules system seems to rock, that helps.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stalking the Night Fantastic

Bureau 13. From the looks of the cover, and the general tone of the book, it would seem that this is a comedy horror game. From my experience, both comedy and horror rpg's have pretty light and loose rule sets.

Not this one, no way bub.

No table of contents, and the suggested number of players is a gm, plus 1-20 players. Nothing screams old school like a suggestion that you have up to twenty players. I don't know about everyone else, but when I get more than five people sitting at the table, it becomes more about building dice castles and doodling than about playing.

I'm not even gonna try character creation, because what I want to do is try out this unbelievable combat system. So I'm just going to pick one of the pre-gens. Escaped maniac, yup, if I ran this, no doubt someone would pick escaped maniac. How could they not, this puppy has a skill of six in act normal.

So I rolled on the Monstrous Encounter table, to see just what our intrepid maniac would be trying his knife wielding skill against. I think I'll name him Stabby McGoo.

A Harpy, and cross referencing the accompanying data key to read the information code that pertains to this encounter, Harpies live in Canada. They are also reclusive, insane, self-centered, evil, and violent. With their temper score of two, they are 98% to attack if provoked, 96% if reasoned with.

A fight it is then.

Round one, Stabby misses with his rambo knife, the Harpy claws him in the jaw, its talons scraping against his mandible. For real. Not just being descriptive. The hit location tables detail just how much flesh you have to get through to hit bone.

Round two, Harpy scrapes Stabby's neck with her talons. Stabby punches his knife right through the harpies femur. Didn't sever an artery though.

Round three, the Harpy whiffs, while Stabby punches his knife through her colon, severing an artery.

Round four, Stabby misses, while the Harpy, sick of getting the short end, picks up a giant tree branch. She bashes Stabby with it, breaking his rib, crushing his liver and causing him some internal bleeding.

Round five, the Harpy gets stabbed through the femur. Tried to find out whether or not this would sever her foot, couldn't find the rule for that. Besides, no mater how evil and violent she is, I doubt she would just hang out there and let this guy stab her a couple more times.

I don't get a chance to be a player very often, mostly do the GMing, but I'm thinking getting your liver split open in the back woods of Canada might piss me off. Especially with no ready walking hospital clerics hanging around. With this system you gotta trudge your way back into town, and spend a realistic amount of time in the hospital. If you make it that far, what with the internal bleeding and whatnot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lordy lordy, Jordy!

Giving diseases to players, sounds like so much fun until you do it. Tons of fun rules seem to go that way, rules designed to maul injure or disfigure some ones character. I've found crippling handicaps being handed out, not really a game enhancer. GURPS Goblins, the whole supplement is built around forcing your players into making characters who are physically and emotionally crippled. Drunks too, every character is a raging alcoholic. Sure, you get to talk in a cockney accent, rob, steal and maul indiscriminately, but most normal things will send you running due to all of your phobias. "It's dark out? Nope, can't go out today, got a fear of that. Plus, we have to cross the Thames, can't do that, afraid of water. Guess I'll just sit here and get drunk, roll on the inebriation table a few times." To top that off, every month on the date of your birthday, you have to roll for a new disease. Super fun, ran it twice.