Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fractured Sol: Lunatics Unleashed

Last Sunday I ran a game of the Atomic Robo RPG for +Frank Falkenberg +Ron Frazier and +Mark Miller. I think it went rather well.

Our heroes(and I use the term a little more loosely than normal) arrive on the moon and begin their search for December's sister and the secret Martian files she stole. After a fair bit of investigation they discover that she is in jail after breaking into a Lunar Casino. In the course of their investigation they realize that she had not broken in to steal something, but to leave something. POL noticed through his nano-tech sensor network that they were being followed. A bit of a fight begins with a local gang, the Moon Ogres. While the heroes win the fight, but the local constabulary shows up and they get arrested. What follows was a standard escape and flight from justice while holding a conversation with August about the nature of what she is doing. As they made their way out of the lunar plains they find out that what she stole is dangerous beyond all imagining.

We ran our first brainstorm this session, and I think it went rather well. If you would like here is a recording of the game.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Fractured Sol: Characters and Addenda

Yesterday I wrote about the world we created during our game of Atomic Robo. Today I would like to share the characters that my players made. They are awesome, characters and players alike.

Player: +Ron Frazier 
Name: P0-7A-1423 (Pol)
Concept: Modular Ship Intelligence
Good Mode Aspect: More Than Just a Talking Machine*
Fair Mode Aspect: Natural Space Navigator
Average Mode Aspect: Backups, Checks, and Protocols
Omega Aspect: A Serious Personal Jackpot

Good(+3) Mode: Aperatoid
Fair(+2) Mode: Pilot
Average(+1) Mode: Science

Skills
+5 Athletics, Notice, Physique
+4 Combat, Vehicles
+3 Computers, Engineering, Astronomy
+2 Contacts, Will
+1 All Sciences

Stunts and Mega Stunts
APERATOID STRENGTH (2): Absolutely stronger than any human (Physique), but at a cost; +2 to overcome with Athletics when jumping.
METALJAK (5): Bulletproof, but at a cost; Armor: 2; Weapon: 2 when fighting hand-to-hand; +2 to Vehicles to CA when airborne; +2 to Combat to attack when airborne.
SIGNATURE ASPECT: More Than Just A Talking Machine.
ASTEROID DODGER: +2 CA Vehicles when pulling off a fancy maneuver.ROUTINE MAINTENANCE: Use Physique to remove your own physical consequences, but without the usual +2 increase in difficulty.

Player: +Frank Falkenberg 
Name: Captain Ernest H. Serious (from the good old Earth)
Concept: A Crew of One
Good Mode Aspect: Sometimes violence is hilarious
Fair Mode Aspect: Honestly, would I ever lie to you?
Average Mode Aspect: Scum of the blasted Earth
Omega Aspect: August’s, December’s sister, Ex.

Good(+3) Mode: Action
Fair(+2) Mode: Banter
Average(+1) Mode: Mutant

Skills
+5 Athletics, Combat
+4 Provoke, Deceive
+3 Notice, Physique, Vehicles, Will, Empathy, Contacts
+2 Rapport
+1

Stunts and Mega Stunts
Duplication (2) - Proof against physical damage, but not vs. energy weapons; any hit, that would have caused physical stress produces the number of shifts in duplicates. (Dupes are mooks without stress boxes.)
Lend me a hand - Create Advantage by using Combat produces 1 duplicate for a success, 2 Dupes on a success with style.
Friends in low places - +2 to Overcome with Contacts in the seedier side of society

Player: +Mark Miller 
Name: December
Concept: Cold As Ice Former Operative
Good Mode Aspect: Friends? Enemies? Who can tell anymore?
Fair Mode Aspect:
Average Mode Aspect: So many secrets.
Omega Aspect:

Good(+3) Mode: Secret Agent
Fair(+2) Mode: Cryokinetic
Average(+1) Mode: Intrigue!

Skills & Stunts have yet to be fully finalized

Fractured Sol: Beginings

The other night +Ron Frazier+Frank Falkenberg, +Mark Miller, and I all got together via hangouts to play a game of Fate. +David Lee could not make it to the game, though we hope he will be able to play in our future games. We had discussed prior some basic campaign premises and what we were aiming for, we eventually landed on this pitch: Science Fiction Supers set in the future Solar System. We also decided to use Atomic Robo for the system. This will be my first time running this particular iteration of Fate. I hope it goes well.

We dove right into world building, defining the setting as a little over one hundred years in the future and set in our solar system. Ron wasn't quite feeling it at this point, so we went back and forth for a bit on whether to use Earth and Sol or to base it in another system altogether. Eventually we got it nailed down, and here is the setting we devised.

Fractured Sol
In the early 2020s humans began the great space renaissance. technology and desire finally reached a point where space travel was a practical and and profitable endeavor. The terraforming and colonization of Mars began in earnest in the 2030s. By 2050 Mars had a breathable atmosphere and nearly one billion citizens. Work had begun on Venus and scientific stations had been established throughout the system. In 2055 the scientists on Europa made a startling discovery, life existed under the ice. It not only existed but flourished. The following years led to another great discovery, intelligent life existed there as well. The Europeans( a joke name that stuck) had little in the way of technology, but had deep understandings of logic, mathematics, and theory. They managed to trade these skills for access to technology and the outside world. For the next decade humanity and teh Europeans became very close and their societies mingled in interesting and strange ways. During this time humans also made many great breakthroughs in the area of robotics and synthetic intelligence. They could create sentient intellects, though these were not sapient. Robotic assistants and workers boom throughout human space. These became known as the Aparatoi.

Also during this time many great unrests rose up among the workers and the under classes. The leaderships of the various nations began to militarize, aiming at each other and at keeping their populous in line. By 2078 the nations of earth still held all the power in the system. Then came the planet Hellion. Many light years away a solar system was dying. It sun was on the verge of transitioning to a red giant. Though philosophically disparate, the people of the one inhabited planet banded together to save their planet. Utilizing dangerous technologies the developed a method for transporting their planet faster than light to a system that could support them, Sol. By using up all of their dying star's energy they made the trip. Many died, more were injured, but they had made it. The planet Hellion's arrival in the system had many strange effects. First it destroyed a great deal of the Earth's technology and infrastructure, stranding the people there until they could rebuild. The secondary effect Hellion's transportation had was far more subtle and far reaching. The Apparatoi began to develop sapience. Not all of them, and not all at once, but enough. The Hellions, Humans, and Europeans began to develop super powers. Again, not all of them developed powers, but a small number have. No one really understands why or how.

Mars, now cut off from the earth was forced to take a leadership role in human space. Luckily they had been self sufficient for over twenty years at that point. Seeing the arrival of Hellion as a direct attack, the Martians formed a massive fleet to counter this incursion. The First Contact War had begun. It raged for ten years, neither side one though an uneasy peace was arrived at five years ago in 2088. Now the year is 2093 and the Martians and Hellions are the two largest powers in the system. Each stands ready to fight, and each controls large swaths of the inner system and are always pushing further out.

Threat
Hellion Xenophobes Are Bad News

Coming threat
Terra Rising

Themes
Not All Change is Good
The Struggle For Identity

Places



Dead Rock: Hollowed out asteroid in the belt taht serves as the home base(indipendant and nuetral) for miners, mercenaries and pirates of all races.
Dirty Dianas Bar and Grill: Its the best you can get
Red Dawn: nice hotel, where Martian Ex-patriots hang out
Mars: seat of Human power)
Europa
Asteroid Field: pirates, prospectors, and opportunity
Venus
Luna: The Lunatics (space hillbillly anrachists) crazy accents and space motorcycle gangs, used to be a popular place to live until the destruction of Earth.
Hellion: Seat of Hellion power
Decimated Earth: Seek to regain all that they have lost and more.

Faces
Red: The Lord of The Docks, Nothing Lordly about him, ex soldier from the war, has a bunch o friends from the war, they took the docks and it is easy money
Decker: Martian Ex pat who still keeps a hand in(discretionary funds and such, he hires the heroes every now and again)
August: Pyrokinetic super spy and sister of December(one of the player characters), recently gone missing with some very important files.

If you would like to watch, here is the recording of our session:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Big Trouble in Little Narnia

On my way home from work and idea struck me. It hit me so fast and so hard that I had mental whiplash for a bit. I realized right away what I needed to do with this idea. I needed to share it. So here it is. What would a mashup of The Chronicles of Narnia, Big Trouble in Little China, and Doctor Who look like? I know, right?! I will give you a moment to collect yourself after I just asploded your brain meats. You better? Good. Lets break this down.

Uncle Chu: China is here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, they've been fighting for centuries.
Jack Burton: What the hell does that mean? huh? China is here, I don't even know what the hell that means, all I know is this "Lo Pan" character comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds, and he just stands there waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him, with light coming out of his mouth!
~Big Trouble in Little China

“Why, if we can get back to our own world by jumping into this pool, mightn’t we get somewhere else by jumping into one of the others? Supposing there was a world at the bottom of every pool.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Magician"s Nephew
There is the basic idea. The idea is this, whoever built the world of the pools still exists(these would be our Galfreyan Time Lords...sort of). They have since moved beyond using something so primitive as the pools, directly. Instead they harness the power of the pools to control the reality flux. Their civilization is powered by the eternal creation and destruction of worlds at the other end of the pools. Then comes the Exile with his Dimensional Bathysphere. He travels the pools with his dimensional companions, often humans from the Earth Ream. 

The People of Charn, desperate to prolong their dying world have begun to bleed the pools together. The Charn will be like the Daleks a bit. Also this is where the Big Trouble in Little China stuff comes in. The Charn begin their conquest of a new dimension through the subtle stuff, bring entropy and chaos to a world and then gradually the dimensions meld. When Jack Burton enters the scene, the invasion had been held off a thousand years ago by the first sovereign emperor, and no Lo Pan, the Charn conqueror is seeking to restart the invasion. All that stands in his way is a green eyed girl, a tour bus driver, a resteraunt owner, and Jack Burton.

So that is the idea I had. I would love to play more in this head space. I think that I would like to use Timeworks, or something like it to represent the dimensional travel. Though I am a bit at a loss how to do it.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Unleash Your True Power!

Perhaps you do not know this, but I am a fan of Dragon Ball Z. I just love how over the top it gets and how ridiculous everything is. I have tried a few times to do something like it in an RPG, however I could not figure out how to do it right. I even bought the Fuzion System game and its supplements, it...was not the best for what I wanted. Basically my issues with doing a Dragon Ball Z-esque game come down to a desire for unique special attacks, an ability to handle power ups, and a need for an all or nothing strike. I think I can do most of those with Fate Core, but my issue came down to how to do it. I can model most of that with Jadepunk's asset creation system, but it is so smooth that I find it difficult to get the results in the way I want.

In this post I will be talking about power attacks and how I would like to use them in Fate. Specifically I would love to have a system that allows for dangerous and powerful last ditch efforts. Enter +Ryan Macklin and his recent post about power attacks. If you do not wish to read through the entirety of the post(though it is short), here is the relevant part:
Sometimes an attack will be so overwhelming that stress boxes shouldn’t come into account, nor stuff like armor ratings or other things that tweak stress. These attacks are known as power attacks, and work slightly differently from normal attacks. You still roll dice and apply your skill and any relevant stunts, just as you would for any action. Then…
  • If you succeed, you inflict a moderate consequence.
  • If you succeed with style, you inclift a severe consequence.
  • If you tie, you inflict a minor consequence
  • If you fail, nothing happens — though if the defender succeeds with style, they still get the normal benefit
Naturally, if the type of consequence is already filled, a higher one must be used.
It was like serendipity. Basically he is planning on using these rules for guns, to showcase what a game changer guns are. Upon reading this post, though, I saw the beginnings of what I am looking for in a power attack. It was just lacking a trigger. Or more specifically, lacking the kind of trigger I was looking for. So here is my idea, In order to use a power attack, you must have first filled up all your stress boxes. To me this feels a lot like the action we see in the show. The heroes spend much of the fight(the real fight, not the build up fights prior to it) taking hits and barely keeping up, and then, when all looks lost they start hitting hard and often. I also think that it might be interesting if failure was a little worse when using a power attack, though I have not really worked that through yet. Perhaps failure grants a boost and failure, where the defender succeeds with style, grants a full aspect...I will consider it.

So this is the first step toward my dream of a DBZ rpg that works the way I want it to. Let me know what you think.






Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shadow Legion: Farspace, Pirates, and Heresy

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy(seriously go see it, its phenomenal, I will wait) I really wanted to capture that feel. Then I realized I had already done something quite similar a year ago, when I ran the Shadow Legion Campaign for some friends. It was awesome and hit all my favorite parts of Space Opera. In reminiscing I realized I still had more to explore in the fictional universe of the Shadow Legion. And so I began to build on the edges of the world, just for my own fun. However, these ideas and concepts were scattered and unfocused. I often find that when I am brainstorming it is quite fun, but I need to actually attempt to write the ideas for other people in order to find the clarity I seek. As I like the movie, I was more interested in the fringe societies and dangerous threats of the galaxy. Luckily way back when I made my first post about the Shadow Legion(though that name had yet to be invented for the setting) I mentioned that Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my influences.

I also had mentioned briefly the idea of Farspace and the Non-Aligned Worlds. So I will be working in those area a bit more now. I like the idea of places on the edge of Charter space, where the law exists only in theory and justice comes at the edge of a sword or the barrel of a gun. Here be dragons, as the old spacers claim. In this post I will be digging into the fringes of the main species of the galaxy, and also I will be looking at the history of the future.

Shadow Legion Long Patrol
We are the line between darkness and light. Driving back the shadows to bring the light of peace.
~The motto of the shadow legion
After the finally defeating the mighty Sukar threat five years ago, the Shadow Legion was sorely depleted. They were forced to pull back from the frontier. As a stopgap to deal with the problems, the Long Patrol was established. New recruits were paired with former Shadow Legion members, brought out of retirement, to travel in larger than normal Cadres throughout the edges of space. Bringing justice and granting the experience of their elders to the new recruits.

Tesh Biology, Culture Basics, Mother-lines and other Heresies
Tesh retain memories through their father's genetic material. These lines of descent are known as father-lines and are the basis of much Tesh culture. They gain skill and knowledge through the males, though female Tesh retain power because they can control their fertility and through the rareness of females. There are 40 males for every female. So while Males have the advantage of memory immortality(should come up with a term for this that sounds neat)

Tesh myths
...the myth of the mother line claims that their exists a mutant genetic line among the Tesh. This line gains knowledge from the mother rather than the father. When asked where this line exists, it is always somewhere far away and remote, usually deep in Farspace.

...the myth of the Lamfa, master of all, a Father-line that contains(or will contain) all skill and knowledge in the universe, creating a perfect Father-line of Tesh who will be the universes true masters. There are a great many differing views on the Lamfa. Every few years a Lamfa cult will appear around one particularly skilled Tesh, though they never last long. On the other end of the spectrum is the yearly games named after the Lamfa, the tournament of all skills. It is mostly played for entertainment and for laughs.

First Post that includes Tesh
Second Mention of Tesh
Tesh Humor

Taurai Exiles
Being an exiled Taurai is bad, very bad. Taurai are an ancient people, powerful and intelligent, yet paranoid and Isolationist. Every member of their species has Esp, and as they get older their power grows. Those with a clan become, upon their physical death, individuals within the unconscious undermind of their clan. This is why being exiled is bad. You lose the closest thing to immortality that anyone outside of the Tesh can understand. You lose anyone who could ever truly understand you. To exile even one Taurai is a serious thing, exile is a death sentence. Forever death, forever lonely. Not just that but a the exile is destined to die alone and unloved. Being an exile is bad.

Pirate Clan Worlds
Five years ago, the Shadow Legion made a deal with the Pirate Clans of Antares. For their agreement to help fight the Sukar, the Pirates were promised legitimacy and the rule of three star systems. After the end of the war the politicians held back as much as they could. The Pirate Clans were left with only one system after they had sacrificed so much. Relations are cold between the Charter and the Clans. The worlds of the Antares system are lawless havens of vice and commerce. The only law is Pirate Law. The only enforcement is what you can bring with you. Currently there are seven pirate clans that rule over the system.

History of the Primacy of Man
Four hundred years ago, after humanity had colonized the sol system, but before the discovery of Hyperspace Gates, war raged throughout human spheres of influence. Among the worst and most dangerous were the Titans, humans who had altered themselves using genetics and nanotechnology to near "perfection." These Titans believed themselves to be gods of science. They crafted clone armies and cults of personality. Their missionaries would promise immortality and temporal power, and thousands would flock to the banner of these petty godlings. Eventually they were driven back and driven off, disappearing into the dark of space. One hundred years ago, the Charter encountered the Primacy of Man. This was a group of worlds inhabited by humans united in their genetic engineering and their belief in godlike beings called the Titans. Since the fall of the Sukar, the Primacy has been making more aggressive moves throughout the Non-aligned Worlds.

First Mention of the Primacy of Man

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Omnis Mundi: Big Times in the City

Last Saturday I got together with +Timothy Shiflet and +Paul Carroll  to make characters. +Loyd Digg Johnson was sick and unable to make it, and +Ron Frazier still couldn't make it. I was going to do character creation and then do a bit of a starting scenario. As we were missing a few players we did what we could. We worked through character creation and did a bit of joint world building. Over all we had a lot of fun, and I think we set up a pretty good basis for adventuring.

So here are the character that my players made:

Player: +Timothy Shiflet
Character Name: Talathriel
High Concept: Conflicted Agent for the Unseelie Court
Trouble: Cannot Tell a direct lie
Aspect: Damn The Man
Aspect: I know the Perfect Place
Aspect: ?

Skills
+4 Deceive
+3 Athletics, Stealth
+2 Fight, Burglary, Notice
+1 Investigate, Physique, Shoot, Will

Stunts & Extras
Elf Extra: To play an elf you must have elf in your high concept and you must reduce your refresh by one. The elf aspect means that you are immune to age. You do not get sick. Provided you do not die from your wound immediately you will eventually heal from any damage. You can see perfectly in even the dimmest of light. You can invoke your elf aspect to be better than others at any skill the requires fine motor skills. You can be compelled to be viewed as aloof. People feel like elves look down at them.
Mind Games
Dazing Counter
Glamour: Lets you cast visual and auditory illusions with deceive. Increase difficulty by one per zone.
Hack and Slash: Lets you use burglary in place of technology for hacking computer systems.

Gear
Computer with hacking programs, Massive Damage Fae Crafted Blade(black blade), Gossamir armor(massive damage)

Personal item of great importance: Manacle(represents his ties to his overlord)
Refresh: 1

Player: +Paul Carroll
Character NameAaron “Razor” Dobbs
High Concept: Psychic Street Warrior
Trouble: Hunted By the Shadow Suns
Aspect: I can be more
Aspect: Ebb and Flow of the streets
Aspect: ?

Skills
+4 Burglary
+3 Fighting, Stealth
+2 Athletics, Physique, Will
+1 Contacts, Technology, Pilot, Rapport

Stunts & Extras
Mind Knives Extra: You need to have psychic in your high concept. It can be invoked to make you a mystic warrior par excellence. You now have access to energy knives made from your mental energy. It appears to be made from a glowing energy. You can use fighting as though you had a weapon even if you have no weapon. You can gain access to a bunch of stunts to improve your mind knives or mystically enhance your fighting ability.

Massive Damage Knives: Your Mind Knives is far more dangerous than normal. Your knives now counts as  Massive Damage Weapons.
Aggressive Defense: When you are defending in hand to hand combat and succeed with style. Rather than gaining a boost you can immediately do two stress to the attacker(three if you have a Massive Damage Weapon and your opponent does not have massive damage armor you deal an extra stress).
Mystic Will: You gain a +2 bonus to will defense actions when dealing with supernatural mind effects.

Gear
Street bike, Electronic lock picks, Tricorder

Personal item of importance: Gang Clothes
Refresh: 2

So there are the characters. We left the last aspect blank so as to link up with the other players. We also did some world building and added in some more depth the the City.

The Shadow Suns
A gang of psychic youths who have trained their minds as weapons. Led by Aaron's brother Drask "The Blood Axe." They are thugs, though small in number, they do a lot of mischief. They are hunting Aaron for leaving the gang. Drask is a blunt instrument of a man, a self aggrandizing bully

The Unsellie Court in the City
The court is always in flux, Fae vying for prestige and rank. Each gain in power leads to an even more dangerous game. The Unseelie do not deal in material possessions, but in Oaths and debts. The more debt one collects, the more power one has.

Sade, Spirit of Slaughter, is Talathriel's contact in the City. It was once a major Unseelie Lord, but a recent failure has led to a lessening of its influence. Sade now seeks to gain back what it lost, but it cares little for what Talathriel does, so long as the reports keep coming in.

And that is what we came up with for our game. Here is the recording of the session, should you wish to watch it all:


Here is the rest of the setting documents should you be interested.
1. Introduction to the Setting
2. Character Creation
3. Solutuhz, The Unbound City
4. Tasmania by +Tom Tyson
5. City of Book
6. City of Book, addendum7. Lord Gene and the Animal Men
8: The City

Let me know what you think.