Saturday, December 30, 2017

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 2

Previous Contest of Champions: Set Up

The track for the race is a quarter mile loop, constructed to handle both vehicles and foot traffic. Those beings who can fly must remain within ten feet of the ground to compete. The crowds come early and the stands remain full the whole day. Concessions are provided by several local Catering Companies, including Henry's. Specialties include various meats n sticks, as well as the local delicacies of Cast City. It is a big day for the local economy.

The first day f the contest is a race. A 1 mile race: I will break it down to number of actions and the time required. 1 round is 15 seconds, each action is a variable amount of seconds. Speed rating times 20 is the number of yards you may run in a given round, you then divide by the number of actions you have per round to find out how many yards you may run in an action. You also divide 15 by the number of actions to find out how long each action takes. Bear in mind there are 1760 yards in a mile, or 5280 feet in a mile(and 3 feet in a yard...I guess I can break it down more if I need to, but I sure hope I don't need to).

Impact has a speed rating of 72(which increases to 144 when he is over 20 ft tall). He also has 5 actions per melee, so that is 3 seconds per action. As he is seeking to run his fastest he will definitely increase his size to at least 20 ft tall for the whole race. This means he is moving at 720 yards per melee round, or 144 yards per action. this means that he can run a mile in 12 actions. He can run a mile in 36 seconds. HOLY CRAP! That is almost a hundred miles an hour, and honestly that is not a super hard number to beat within the system, I have had loads of characters with higher speed ratings.

Calamity has a speed rating of 77 and 4 actions per melee round. This means she may move 385 yards per melee, or 96.25 yards per action(each action is 3.75 seconds long). She can run  mile in 68.75 seconds.

Megaton is probably going to win the race. She is kind broken when it comes to speed. She can run at 700 mph, and can triple that per gravity manipulation. So she can hit 2100 mph, which is 1026.6 yards per second. She has 6 actions per melee, each action is 2.5 seconds long, 2566.5 yards per action. She manages to hit the mile mark in 1.7 seconds. A mile per two seconds is going t pretty hard to beat.

The Whirlwind has a speed of 129 and 12 actions per round. This means he can run 654 yards per 15 seconds. The actions take 1.25 seconds, and he may run 54.5 yards per 1.25 seconds. He can do a mile in 40.37 seconds.

Car Mage is allowed to use her car to do the race. The 'Cuda can travel at 600 mph, and she has 4 actions per round. so she is able to drive a 293.3 yards per second. She hits the mile mark at 6 seconds.

The Night Sheriff is going to have a problem, as he only has a speed rating of 24(out of 18), s he is only able to run at 120 yards per melee. He has 5 actions per melee, so each action is 3 seconds long. He can run 24 yards per action. He makes it to the mile mark at 220 seconds. A 3.6 minute mile is slow. so very slow.

Hammer of Heaven has exactly the same speed as The Night Sheriff, so she hits the finish line at the same time.

The Wanderer also has the same speed rating, but he can cast Fly as an Eagle and move at 50 mph, or use Metamorphosis: Animal t become a cheetah and do 90 mph. As a cheetah he is able to travel a 44 yards per second(132 yd per action, he has five actions per melee round). He can do a mile in 40 seconds. A decent showing.

Storm Eagle can fly at 160 mph, though she can travel much faster for short periods. She can turn into electricity and travel at 300 mph for short bursts of one melee in length. so she is going to be a bit of a different than the others. when travelling electrically she moves at 146.7 yards per second for the first melee round. If she has not hit the mile at that she reduces her speed to a mere 78.2 yards per second. She manages to do a mile in less than a melee round so she does not need to worry about dropping out of the pure electricity form. She manages a mile in just under 12 seconds(11.997 seconds).

Breakthrough can run at triple his normal rate through the use of Alter Metabolism, this would get him up to 405 yards per melee round, however he can also fly at 200 mph, which lets him hit 1466.6 yards per melee round. Break through can hit the mile in just under 18 seconds(17.999 seconds).

Mr. Shade has a speed rating of 34, meaning he can move 170 yards per melee round. He manages a mile in 155.29 seconds, just over two and a half minutes.

Wrath has a speed of 27, meaning she hits the mile at 195.5 seconds. 3 minutes and change.

The Physician does not do well. With a speed rating of 11 he can manage 55 yards per melee round, or 3.6 yards per second. He manages to run a mile in 480 seconds, almost eight minutes.

Maximum has a speed rating of 1100, so he can hit 5500 yards per melee, or 366.667 yards per second. he manages to hit a mile in 4.8 seconds.

Metal Marshal is not really designed for speed, she is more of a heavy hitter. Her speed, in the suit, is 70, meaning she can do 350 yards per melee, 23.3 yards per second. She can hit the mile in 75.4 seconds.

Devil Fist doesn't have a super high speed, however he can use chi to enhance his speed for one melee round. By spending 80 chi Devil Fist enhances his speed to 424. This means he can run for 2120 yards per melee round for one melee round. He manages to hit the mile mark at 12.45 seconds.

Perdition has a speed of 29 and manages a mile in 182 seconds, just over 3 minutes.

Nemesis, her sister, has a few more options for rapid movement. The Charger can travel at 280 mph, or 136.889 yards per second. She manages the mile in 12.85 seconds.

Prince Herman has a speed of 24, and can do the mile in 220 seconds.

Inquest has the same speed as Prince Herman, and so he also hits the 220 second mark.

Seraph can hit 700 mph while in her super form. She can do 342.222 yards per second. Her speed for the mile is 5.14 seconds.

Le Tarasque can run at 220 mph, or 107.556 yards per second. He can run a mile in 16.36 seconds.

Rat Queen has a speed of 81, meaning she can cover 405 yards per melee round. She can cover a mile in 65.18 seconds. I kind of picture it like thousands of rats sprinting and then forming up int her terrifying rat queen form.

The Never Ending Cheery Death Machine may not be the fastest, or the most popular, but he can run all day. He would probably keep yelling that they should make the race an endurance race instead. No one listens. He has a speed rating of 26. He manages to run the mile in 203 seconds. He was laughing like a maniac the whole way.

Henry entered the competition, though he is not really a hero r a villain. However his bar is one of the sponsors for the event, and so he enters every time, just for the fun of it. He has a speed rating of 35, meaning he can move 175 yards per melee. He manages a mile in 150 seconds. two and a half minutes. Pretty good time.

Reciprocitor has just an average speed(11), and she runs a mile in 480 seconds. Just about eight minutes.

Enki has a speed rating of 24, she can do a mile in 220 seconds.

Geostorm has an enhanced speed when he creates an Earthen exoskeleton, giving him a rating of 36. He can do a mile in 146.66 seconds in this form. Just over two minutes. Not to shabby.

Nemain has a speed of 16. She can do a mile in 330 seconds. Five and a half minutes.

Cavalier Rouge has a speed of 27, she manage a respectable 195.5 second mile. just over 3 minutes.

Shedim can fly at 60 mph due to his fiery form. He manages a solid mile time, 60 seconds. A one minute mile. 

The Hunter has a speed of 18, and manages a mile in  293.3 seconds, 4.8 minutes. 

Ms. Miracle has a speed rating of 56. She can run the mile in 94.28 seconds. 

The Crimson Commando has a speed of 38 and manages a mile time of 138.9 seconds. 

By the end of the day we have our top three competitors in the race. Megaton takes the gold with a phenomenal time of 1.7 seconds. Maximum gets the silver with a time of 4.8 seconds. Seraph gets the bronze with her time of 5.14 seconds. as the day comes to a close folks still talk excitedly about all the amazing competition. They look forward to the next day and the lifting completion. Its always a bit of a people pleaser. 

Also +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shape shifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

World's Strongest: Contest of Champions 1

Heroes of Coast City: Impact, The Alien Renegade; Calamity, The Cybernetic Sniper; Megaton, Friendly Neighborhood Nuclear Warhead; The Whirlwind, a Fusillade of Fisticuffs; Car Mage, The Wizard of Wheels; Night Sheriff, The Sheriff of Shadows; Hammer of Heaven, The Daring Demon Hunter; The Wanderer, Precocious Practitioner of the Arcane Arts; Storm Eagle, Queen of the Skies; Breakthrough, Multi-powered Mutant Powerhouse; Mr. Shade, The Ninja Vigilante; Wrath, Mistress of Mayhem; The Physician, Psychic Surgeon; Maximum, The Machine Man; Metal Marshal, The People's Powerhouse; Devil Fist, the Fist of the Morning Star; Perdition, Implacable Justice; Nemesis, Sister Spy; Prince Herman, Magician Mischief Maker; Inquest, The Vigilante Detective; Seraph, Paragon of Protection; Le Tarasque, King of Undertown; The Rat Queen, Dark Goddess of Undertown; The Never Ending Cheery Death Machine; Henry, Immortal Barkeep; Reciprocitor, The Karmic Kid; Enki, Queen of Mischief; Geostorm, King of Quakes; Nemain, Goddess Of War; Cavalier Rouge, the Red Rider
Supers from Gatestone City: Hunter, the Elven Weapon Master ; Ms. Miracle; The Iron King of Asgard; The Crimson Commando
On the edge of Coast City, along a small inlet, sits the Coast City Grand Arena. Most years it is home to the three major sports teams of the city, every five years it is also home to the Contest of Champions, where heroes from across the city, across the nation, and even from around the world. The Contest began back in 1984 when the heroes who defeated the Sidewise Man. While they disliked the godlike being and it's obsession with seeing heroes fight to the death,  they did find the competition enjoyable. When Might Man suggested a competition for charity many of the other heroes signed up. To this day his Foundation For A Better Tomorrow has sponsored and benefited from the Contest of Champions.

Nearly a hundred thousand people come to the event every year, though maximum seating is fifty thousand. There are loads of protesters who come to the event as well as fans and various agents for the super heroic firms and scouts for the big government teams. It begins on the first day of February and each round of competition takes place on a different day. This year is a big deal. There have been more applicants to compete this year, and more new heroes than in any previous year. The judges have been pulled from well known heroes, and this year we have Five sterling heroes to judge the competition.

Razor is one of New York's oldest legends. Some say his name gets passed from father to son, while others claim he is some sort of vampire or immortal being. He is known for his powers over light and shadow as well as his signature goggles and maddening laugh. He was Mighty Man's oldest ally in the war on Crime and he continues the fight to this day.

Mystic Study
Level 10
Focus on Gun Fighting(has some gimick bullets for his specially designed pistols)
Has all spells related to controlling shadows and messing with people's minds and perception or crafting illusions.

Happy Happy is the last champion of the Contest, a Master of Martial Arts and the most famous hero in LA. He has several movies about his exploits(Fictionalized), as well as comic books and a series of highly successful video games. He is known for his smiling face mask and his cheerful demeanor.

Happy Happy
Physical Training
Level 12
Focus on Agility and Speed
Defensive and Fast Combat
Has an ally that makes him custom weapons and gear for protection and transport

Vargr is a hero who parlayed his fame into becoming an actor. He is attractive and charming in a surface kind of way. He is currently promoting his hit show, Part Time Werewolf. It is the story of a clerk at a mini mart who is also a werewolf and all the fun that come with that.

Mystically Bestowed
Level 2
Extraordinary MA
Night Stalking

Pierre is the world's foremost designer of superhero costumes, as well as being a leading fashion designer. He works with cutting edge materials and techniques to create costumes of great beauty and durability. He is als known to add features to costumes and even work on exsuits for various agencies and individuals. Everyone loves Pierre.

Hardware(Analytical Genius)
Level 7
Has all kinds of crazy gadgets and such

Horus is the son of Isis, leader of the world's largest Supers oriented religion. While his other believes herself to be a deity, Horus holds that to be nonsense, and has become a massive pop star. He has spent much of his life trying to get out from his mother's shadow. He has been trying to make some inroads into working as a superhero, but doesn't quite know what that entails. He has good intentions, but was raised by a goddess and was kind of spoiled.

Unknown Type
Level 5
Divine Aura
Sonic Power
Extraordinary PB

Horus has also changed the tenor of the protests outside the Arena. Normally the protests are a mishmash of many different anarchist, Anti Authoritarian, Anti Powers, and Anti Government groups. This year the majority of the protesters are members of The Blind, a group that dislikes supers, but only specific supers. They dislike any super that can alter how people think, feel, or that can take away the will or autonomy of normal folk. They are known for protesting in Blindfolds to cover their eyes, the window to the soul. They are organized into cells and they are surprisingly god at protesting anyone who they suspect as a compulsionist(their term for a mind bender).

The first completion of the Contest will be the speed competition, equipment is allowed. Stay tuned. It should be fun.

Also +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shape shifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

In The Shadow Of Giants: The Hidden World

Influences: Jackie Chan Adventures, Xiaolin Showdown, TMNT, Biker Mice From Mars, Ben 10, GI Joe, Hellboy, Battle Toads, Bucky O'Hare, Power Rangers, Godzilla, The Creature From 50,000 Fathoms

The world is not as it appears to be. Beneath the surface lies a world of hidden adventure. A world of Magic and Mad Science, Demons and Aliens, Martial artists and Super spies, Mutants and Strangeness. This is the Shadow World.

It all started in 1953. That is when the world changed. An atomic bomb test above the Arctic Circle awoke a frozen giant, the Rhedosaurus. 33 feet tall and 98 feet long it first came to the attention of the general public when it rampaged through New York City. The Beast was finally brought down with a prototype weapon constructed by a lone scientist. If this had been the end of it, it would have been forgotten as just one of those things that happen. However bigger things were on the horizon. Much bigger.

The following year a creature of immense proportion attacked the recovering island nation of Japan. It appeared to be a lizard or a dinosaur standing 167 feet tall. Tearing through through Japan right after a nuclear reactor accident, thus starting the rumor that it was nuclear powered. It was thought destroyed when an experimental oxygen destroyer weapon was used against it. It has returned numerous times over the years, however. Sometimes it protects the island nation, sometimes it attacks it. No one is sure why.  This creature would continue to grow in size and power as the years wore on, in modern times it stands over 330 feet tall.
As various nations began to scramble to develop weapons and defenses to deal with this new potential threat aliens made contact with earth. One group sought to control the giant monsters of the earth to destroy all life, and one group sought to protect the planet. The first group managed to control a giant flying creature and wreak some havoc before Godzilla stepped in to destroy it and the alien menace. The other group gathered together a small group of humans with great potential and formed the first Enhanced Combat Ranger Squad. Using combing mecha  and martial arts these heroes defended the earth for years, as the monsters increased and the alien threats grew, so too did the training and mecha of the Ranger forces.

The Kaiju seemed to have an impact on the Mana reserves of the planet, sorcery began to return, monsters and talismans awoke from thousand year slumbers. These artifacts began to have odd effects on the surrounding world. Heroes began t rise to deal with these threats, Martial Arts began to be more than simply fighting. Through them a practitioner could awaken their Ki and ancient masters began to be able to do all the feats legend attributed to masters long ago. The secret societies and ancient orders began to once more ply their mystic trade.

Also during this time came the genetic revolution. Using alien and Kaiju DNA scientists were able modify the genome to increase human ability and even awaken psychic abilities. Due to the nature of the spliced DNA, these psychics had some sort of attachment to the Kaiju, some have even formed friendships with giant monsters or some control over the monster. As much of this mess as possible was kept secret. The knowledge of the Kaiju couldn't be contained, but beyond that aliens, super soldiers, aliens, and the rest were kept from the general public.

Mutram: Masters of genetics and social engineering they are highly intelligent pacifists. They have been steadily enhancing their species intelligence, longevity, and learning ability. A small scout craft crashed in Japan during the Nara period and the Mutram scouts have been subtly influencing earthling technology growth with the goal of eventually repairing their ship and getting home.
Raton Republic: Long ago they were uplifted to sentience by the Mutrom, the Ratons eventually tried to conquer their Mutrom gods, and the Mutrom retreated across the galaxy. The Raton's have formed a Oligarchy that they refer to as a republic. They have conquered a great deal of the area of galaxy surrounding Earth. They have set their sights on Earth. They are using certain Kaiju to soften up the earth's defenses.
Arl-Gyarl: Conquerors from beyond the stars, they are descended from pack hunters and they seek to conquer earth and strip it of its biodiversity. They are masters of teleportation technology. They build gateways and send their troops directly to invade. They are currently working on building a gateway beneath a major Earth City(Probably Rio de Janeiro)
Aora: Warrior Scientists who followed the god of science until the last days of their race when the cult of the World Ender took root and began to spread throughout the populace. This led to the end of their home planet, and their civilization. Now they are a dying race, their are maybe a couple thousand in the whole galaxy, most work as mercenaries or the like for small civilizations of the galaxy. In a one on one fight, few can stand against their might.
The Makers: A species that controls the energy field that drives the Giant Mecha used by the Rangers. They travel the universe looking for good men and women to become that planets defenders-Rangers.

A lot of this can be handled by Very Large Monsters. The Big Monster rules won't come up all that often in regular play. You should probably save the Kaiju for a once a season big showpiece. The characters should probably belong to some sort Organization, so those rules should be pretty handy for that. Psychic powers will be handled through the psychic powers add on, I think it would feel about right in play. Brainstorming would also be central to dealing with the mad science, wild sorcery, and various oddities that populate this strange world.  Mega Stunts would be how you would handle any Magic abilities, Ki Powers, Genetic Enhancements, and the like. Within this world, you have mystics, martial artists, super spies, and mutants all fighting monsters, magic, and aliens. You may use mecha rules from Camelot Trigger to deal with Kaiju, just remember only Rangers may use Combiner Mecha. Having a personal Mecha requires spending two refresh. If you are loaned a Mecha you may spend a fate point to use it for a scene.

And that is the basics of my secret world of cool magic, super science, and magic. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

Also +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shape shifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Very Merry Magic Mecha Space Christmas

Merry Christmas!  I thought it would be fun to put out the basics f an idea I had a while back. I hope you like it.

Inspired by a conversation started by +Cole Rape, I will merge the setting from Aether Sea, with bits from Sails full of Stars, Camelot Trigger, and some stuff pulled from the System Toolkit. I will also be adding in some world building, because I cannot help myself so there will be some new stuff going here. Lets see what happens, yeah?! This is probably going to get a bit complicated.

To play this hack you are going to need access to Fate Core,  Aether Sea, Sails Full of Stars(at least the Alchemy Rules), Worlds in Shadow, and the Fate System Toolkit.

My core idea for this is to start with the setting, races, and magic of Aether Sea, but use the skill pyramid from Fate Core rather than the approaches of FAE. This will alter the magic rules a bit so we will have to work out how best to do that. I would also like to bring in Alchemy from Sails Full of Stars and add in mecha from Camelot Trigger. Then of course add in some touches of my own. This is going to be a bit of a doozy, so strap in folks.

In the impossible future of a forgotten yesterday mankind went to the stars,  not with the cold hand of technology but the passionate power of magic and the wisdom of alchemy. The encountered many peoples in that undiscovered horizon, and all were like men in some way. After the initial squabbles and discord came the celestial concordance and the great peace. Exploration, either of outer space or the inner self, became the focus of all civilized life. Sure there were those who sought to dominate or destroy, but the magics and good will of the Concordance always won them over. Until now.

Four years ago an exploration craft disappeared in the Dark Nebula. Shortly thereafter came the shadows. They had technologies and magics beyond anything yet encountered. They did not negotiate, they did not demand, they simply came in their silent black ships and massive Armored Suits and took what they wanted. Where they walked all intelligent life vanished. Finally one was captured, though it looked like an Elf, it was a twisted and sinister creature called a Drow. In its own language the name means Herald. The Drow were merely the beginning, for this captured Drow told of the Unspeaking One's who ruled over all the lesser people. Now we finally face the horror spoken of that day. Today we marshal our forces against the implacable might of the Mind Flayers.

The Folk
In order to get the Folk of Aether Sea to work in normal Fate I think I will need to use one of the methods mentioned in the Fate System Toolkit. I think I will use the Racial Skills from the Toolkit. Come up with an aspect related to being one of the Races of Aether Sea.

Human: They are very social and honest. You may use Human for anything regarding getting others to like you, making or using contacts wherever you are, or dealing with politics.
Goblin: Scavengers and survivors, they are manipulative and cunning. You may use Goblin to manipulate others, hide, distract others, or scrounge for materials or deals.
Orc: Strong and honorable, with a reputation for violence. You may use Orc to provoke an angry or fearful response from others, moving swiftly on foot, and enduring fatigue or pain.
Dwarf: They are a short, tough, and tradition bound people. Use Dwarf to resist attempts to change your mind, Working with stone or machinery, and properly interpreting prophecy.
Elf: They are arrogant, long lived, masters of plants and biology. Use Elf to recognize useful flora and fauna, know your way through the woods, or aid in controlling biomagic and biotech.
Troll: They are big, strong, and deep thinkers. Use Troll for feats of strength, singing traditional songs and stories, and learning and remembering new stories and songs.

You still need to have an aspect relating to your training in the magical skills, if you want t be more than a dabbler in magic. The magic system works the same as normal, but rather than choosing an approach you must choose a relevant skill for the effect you are seeking to accomplish.

The mecha are new to the setting, we will be using the rules from Camelot Trigger. It was the Drow that first used Mecha in open conflict. Though the peoples of known space defeated the Drow Invasion, they learned a costly lesson, and mecha have become the central tactical concern of the way war is waged. Each of the Folk build different kind of Mecha, I will go over the styles here.

Elven magitech is organic in nature and it is considered weird and alien to most. It uses living plant material, and is focused around speed and long distance damage.

Dwarven magitech is tough, durable, riveted steel and cold iron. They focus around endurance and using the terrain for defense and as a force multiplier. A small squad of Dwarven mecha can hold off a much larger force with the proper terrain.

Orcish Magitech is very basic and brutal. It has what it needs and nothing more. It is the most durable tech. It is tough and focused entirely around doing the maximum damage per strike. Their is very little to differentiate one mecha from anther. This is mostly due to the tactical advantage of one's opponent never knowing what weapon system they will be facing.

Goblinoid Magitech is cobbled together and unique in form and function. You can never tell what you will be facing with e a Goblin Mecha. They work a lot like the Wreck Armor from Camelot Trigger.

Humanish Magitech is focused around communication and intelligence gathering. The mechs focus on leadership and electronic countermeasures. There is a simplicity of design and elegance of structure with their mecha.

Trollan Magitech is focused around endurance, toughness, and strength. Their mecha are large and baroque structures. They make them from mystically treated stone carved with the deeds and stories of their family clans and filigreed in gold and silver.

Drow Mecha are constructed from the bones of giant beasts enchanted with necrotic energy, they are slight and wickedly fast, and focus on stealth and close in combat.

Mind Flayer mecha are combiner armor, as seen in Camelot Trigger. They use their psychic abilities to work together with their giant combined mecha. This is only one of the many dangers they bring to the table. Their mecha focus on draining the energy from their opponents.

And their is the basics f a combined setting that I think it would be fun to play around with.

Happy Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Twelfth Game Of Christmas 2017

Previous Games of Christmas: Traveller, Heavy Gear, Exalted, Mutants & Masterminds, Rifts, Hunters of Alexandria, Stars Without Number, Monster of the Week, Rules Cyclopedia, Lady Blackbird, The Black Hack

Today's game is one of my all time favorite games...of all time. I bought the boxed set when it first came out and I have never regretted that choice. It was a game changer fr me, a game the focused on the kinds of stories I was reading all the time. I was a really big comic fan in the nineties, mostly the X-men and their associated books. I was very much a marvel fan and I rarely read much DC. Look back at the cartoons of the day, you had the X-men, which was awesome, Spider man, which was also awesome, and a whole bunch of others...that were less awesome. Sure none of them were Batman the Animated Series, but nothing else is. Often I think I went fr quantity f quality, so long as the quality of quantity wasn't too bad. So lets dig into the...

Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game

There have been a lot of different Marvel RPGs over the years. First was the game that became known as FASERIP, Marvel Super Heroes. That game was a game changer that had a lot of really spiffy mechanics. I won't be going through that game this year, but don't be surprised if it shows up in future 12 Games Of Christmas I bet I do it in the future. Then came the game I will be reviewing in this post, Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game. Then in the 2000s Marvel decided to build their own game system in house and they came up with the truly unique Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game, Which I have always wanted t play, but have yet to get a chance to do so. Finally(At least the furthest so far), we have Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, which will probably also be a review in the future. I like the game but it has some issues...I think. Anyway for this game of Christmas we will be looking at the second Marvel game and my personal favorite of the manifold games of the Marvel Universe. 

Peritextual Elements
The game is the first boxed set we have ever done in this series. The bx was high quality cardboard and it uses marvel's comic art throughout. The two books are smaller than the traditional RPG size. It uses a comic book font throughout, which would normally be a little annoying, but due to the nature of the game I find it less of a problem than in other game. Rather than dice, this game uses a deck of 96 cards separated out into five suits(Strength, Agility, Intellect, Willpower, and Doom). Each card has an image of a character from the marvel universe the corresponds in some way t the suit of the card. It works pretty well visually, it is adequate. 

You have four abilities(based on four of the suits of cards, Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Willpower) for each character. Those abilities are rated from 1 to 30(10 is human maximum, 20 is super human max, and beyond that is for things like Galactus). You also have a hand size and an edge rating. Your hand size represents you health and you ability to effect the outcome of a given task. You may play a card and add its value to your ability rating to get the total effect of the attempt. If you play a card of the same suit as the ability you are using you get to flip the top card of the deck and add it to the total, if that flipped card is of the same suit you flip another and so on. You also may choose to not take the trump, this is called pulling punches. You may also play any number of cards f your edge score or lower, this is how guys like Captain America can take out villains with much higher ability scores. He's gt Edge for days. If you play a Doom suit card it doesn't go back into the deck like normal, instead the GM gets to take that card and use it against you in the future. When you take a hit in the game it reduces your hand size, when you are out of cards you are unconscious.  This is a simple system, that manages a fair degree of mechanical depth. There are also over a hundred powers you can choose from that will alter how the mechanics are applied. Regeneration can kind of break the game as it lets you get back any card you lose in conflict. It can be an issue, so bear that in mind.  The game does have character creation rules, but most of the game is focused around playing existing characters of the Marvel Universe. The whole second book in the boxed set is just a big listing of characters you may play. This is pretty common in all Marvel Games, the focus on playing members of the existing Cannon rather than making your own additions to it. For some folks that is a turn off, bear that in mind. 

The setting is the Marvel Universe. You know it, you love it. The basics are the universe as it stood in the mid nineties. It was a pretty wild time in the universe at the time. I guess I don't quite know what to say about the universe that hasn't been done far better elsewhere. Grab your favorite Marvel movies or comics and have a fun time. 

And there you go, The Twelve Games f Christmas. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. I hope you have a very merry Christmas. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful day. 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Eleventh Game Of Christmas 2017

Previous Games of Christmas: Traveller, Heavy Gear, Exalted, Mutants & Masterminds, Rifts, Hunters of Alexandria, Stars Without Number, Monster of the Week, Rules Cyclopedia, Lady Blackbird

Many of the games of Christmas have been games I have played for years, or at least rules sets I have played for years. Today's game is a little different. I encountered it for the first time this year. I thought it was just a stripped down version of another system, but it wasn't. It is a fantastic distillation of the core concepts of the dungeon crawl experience. It does its job well and in a very brief amount of space. Lets dig into...

The Black Hack

This game is a fine example of its craft. It does its job with almost no superfluous mechanics or cruft of any sort. It is minimalist and yet it works for me. I read through this as a primer on how to minimize space used while still retaining explanatory power.

Peritextual Elements
The cover makes me think of the movie, This Is Spinal Tap. Its like, "How much more black could it be, " and I'm like, " could be none more black." There is no real art within the book. The layout is simple and utilitarian, with just enough style to make the game feel like itself without calling back to other games. The character sheet is well designed and focused around the play experience. It has a drawing of your characters backpack with a grid for figuring out how everything fits back there.

The mechanics are super simple. Your character has six attributes(Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha). To accomplish a task or make a save you must roll a d20 and get a number lower than the appropriate attribute rating. Sometimes you will have a situation where you have an edge or where you have disadvantage. If you have advantage you roll 2d20 and take the lower of the two rolls. If you have disadvantage you do the same but take the higher of the two rolls. There are specific rules for combat and the like, but that is the basics. Really solid. The classes each take one page, they have a special ability, areas they gain advantage in, and how they advance in level. There are one page spell lists for the cleric and the conjurer classes and a solid bestiary. All of this is in less than 20 pages. Solid design, solid mechanics.

The setting is not explicit. However there are certain setting assumptions built into the mechanics of the game. The bestiary covers the standard monsters you would expect from a fantasy dungeon crawl. The setting has magic and monsters and you fight monster to gain treasure of a sort. But by and large there is not much of a setting. There are also a bunch of hacks of the black hack, some of them official some are made by others. They cover a lot of ground, you can find what you are looking for within the mechanical paradigm of the game. Check it out, its fun and interesting.

Now we are through the penultimate game of Christmas. Tomorrow the final game of Christmas...

Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game

Friday, December 22, 2017

Tenth Game of Christmas 2017

Previous Games of Christmas: Traveller, Heavy Gear, Exalted, Mutants & Masterminds, Rifts, Hunters of Alexandria, Stars Without Number, Monster of the Week, Rules Cyclopedia

Today's game is the smallest game I have done in the series so far. It is only 16 pages long. However it is a fun and unique experience. If you like Steampunk, Firefly, a solid campaign, Magic, or loads of fun adventure this game might be for you. Lets dig into...

Lady Blackbird

I ran into this game a number of years ago. For a while it was all the rage online. It was short, but boy howdy is it evocative. It was interesting as you didn't play classes or make a character, instead you chose from a number of premade characters and played out a very specific scenario, yet somehow it was often very unique. You could play through the game in a few hours or extend it out  to take up a massive campaign that takes months. The best part is it is free.

Peritextual Elements
This is a striking book(er...booklet?), excellent formatting and even a couple of solid bits of art. There is a nice rendered image of the character's ship as well as silhouettes letting you see how big it is in comparison to the enemies ship, or a sky squid(yes its exactly as terrifying as that sounds). There is also a really spiffy map of the game world. The art and layout is pretty simple, but its simplicity is one of elegance rather than a lack of ability. The fonts are clear and easy to read and the rules are placed at the bottom of each play sheet, which is handy. It has solidly designed character sheets as well.

The mechanics of the game are very fluid and kind of fun to play around with. Your character is defined by Traits and tags. Each trait defines an area of competence and each trait has a bunch of tags listed within it. When you wish to accomplish some dramatic action you build a dice pool of D6s. You roll one die automatically and can add another die if you have an appropriate trait and another die if you have an appropriate tag. You also have a pool of free dice you may use to enhance any roll you want, it starts at seven dice. Any die that comes up as a 4 or better is a hit, and success is measured by number of hits(2 easy, 3 difficult, 4 challenging, 5 extreme). If you fail the roll you mark off a condition, which is a negative repercussion that the GM will use against you in the game.  Your character also has keys and secrets. Secrets add special abilities and areas f expertise. Basically they are small little rules exceptions that apply only to your character. Keys are just fantastic I originally ran into them in The Shadow of Yesterday, and ever since I knew they were one of the most interesting and innovative pieces f game design in decades. I might be exaggerating...a little. Keys are a method for creating drama and putting experience rewards in the players hands rather than in the GMs. Each key give you a specific circumstance that triggers the key, if you do what the key wants you gain an experience point or gain an additional die to your free pool, double that if doing what the key wants leads to danger. when you have gained 5 XP you gain an advance, which allows you to add new traits, tags, keys, or secrets. Each key also has a buyoff which, if the situation hits and you go with the buy off you lose the key and gain two advances. This makes the game very much about facing your true desires and fears and choosing whether to follow them or go against them. Its super fun.  The game mechanics are super simple, but pretty fun, and they have a lot of room for advancement.

The setting is spread throughout the whole book, each character is tied to it and defines it in some way. And due to the loose definitions of everything, you can have vastly different settings with different groups. The basics take up only half a page. The world is called the Wild Blue, a vast expanse of breathable void with island and the like floating in it. The lower depths are filled with corrosive gasses and dangerous creatures. You play crew members, or passengers, of the Sky Ship, the Owl. You are on the run from Imperial Forces, as the Lady Blackbird has run away t join up with her lover the pirate king...who she only met, like once. There is magic and guns, and all sorts of other cool steampunk stuff. I like the setting, but I think I like it most because I get to define a lot of it in play.  Check it out, give it a read, give it a try. Worst case scenario you will wast no money and a little time.

Now that we got those Lords a Leaping out of the way, we can call this game of Christmas complete. Tomorrow...

The Black Hack