Monday, 30 August 2010

[Lady Blackbird] For Noobs

I ran Lady Blackbird at my college tonight, on a whim. The players were four absolute newcomers to role-playing, none of whom I knew particularly well nor had played anything like it.

It went
brilliantly. I've run and played Lady Blackbird half a dozen times before, but never with an entire group of complete newbies... and they took to it like ducks to water. Steph, who played the titular Lady Blackbird, particularly got into her character. The only issue was that some of the players were not native speakers of English, and thus description did not flow quickly or naturally for them... but they still enjoyed the game thoroughly. Music was vital.

They brutally slaughtered the brig guards bypassed the ship's corridors by simply blowing a hole in the deck straight through to the Owl's hangar, and quickly escaped off into the wild blue yonder in under an hour. Along the way, there was a flashback to Lady Blackbird's meeting with a young Captain Cyrus Vance, where we established a long-standing attraction between the two, and Kale got
herself into some pretty severe strife. In fact, she ended the session with the "Dead?" condition tagged after some failed ministration from Naomi.

John Harper, you are an amazing man.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Apocalypse Dungeon Style Moves (part II)

Fly (1d20+Knowledge+Dex - Stone carried):
Roll if you want to do anything other than cruise around at more than half speed and/or turn gently.

Miss (14-): lose control and drop 1d4x10 ft.
Hit (15+): pick 1
Good hit (20+): pick 3

  • Move less than half speed
  • Hover (need to be moving less than half speed)
  • Tight turn
  • Fly Straight up
  • Regain control (after you lose control, you'll need to do this before you try anything else)

Leap (1d20+Physical+Str or Dex - Stone carried):
Roll when actively leaping across a chasm or down from a ledge.

Miss (14-): pick 1, take 1d6 damage
Hit (15+): pick 2
Good Hit (20+): pick 3

  • Reduce damage by 1 dice
  • Move 5 ft. laterally (counts as 2 picks if you didn’t have a run-up)
  • Move 10ft. laterally and take 1d6 damage (counts as 2 picks if you didn’t have a run-up). You may only take this option once.

Carouse (1d20+Physical+Str)
Get 1d6 xp, spend 100 times that in gp. Double in a major city.

Miss (14-): GM picks Mishap.
Hit (15+): Player picks Mishap.
Good Hit (20+): No Mishap.

(optionally, the player can decide that any result under 20 will result in a random mishap)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Ultimate Game

Mormon cowboys granted unquestionable power by the Unconquered Sun enter a twisted netherworld of dreams resembling Soviet-occupied Miami in the mid-to-late '80s.

Monday, 9 August 2010

[transExalted] Ways to Actually Play Exalted

  • Radiant by Shreyas Sampat; a very lite implementation of Exalted with a focus on glory in a world of faded ruins.
  • Unconquered by Jonathon Walton. Very very Narrativist Exalted ruleset. Will strain some people's understanding of roleplaying games. Was also known as Anathema.
  • Wuxalted Redux, by various. A crunchier, settingful hack of Wushu that preserves the basic mechanic of Wushu but adds quite a bit more Exalted crust. Unfortunately, also shares the same flaws of Wushu (detail overload / description fatigue).
  • Exalted Quickstart. The original ruleset released by White Wolf as a preview of their upcoming game back in 2001. Light and fast for a trad game, and very Exalted in flavour.
  • Make up your own rules.

[Exalted] Municipal Charms

A range of Charms for the discerning Alchemical city-being, some collected from around the internet and some created by myself.

Avatar-Launching Silo
Contained within great steel and brass tubes, the Avatar-Launching Silos prepare and spin out facsimiles of the metropolis' ancient human-scale body. The avatars hold much of the power of the metropolis, but they are not drone-like creations nor mere limbs of the great metropolis. Each avatar has its own personality, its own identity, forged from a shard of the metropolis' expansive consciousness.

Champion Heart Efficiency Matrix: These submodules refine and expand the starmetal essence reservoirs within each avatar.
Titan Shard Reservoir: This submodule adds an enormous jade sarcophagus, stored in the depths of the Avatar-Launching Silo. Within this immense submodule rests a colossus-sized avatar of the metropolis.
Rapid Drone Operations System: Each avatar's sacrophagi is retrofitted with a jade-alloy casing, filled with safety webbing and Essence-injecting conduits. The silo itself is retrofitted with steam catapults and moonsilver rails that allow the launching of sarcophagi at distant locales at short notice. On impact, the sarcophagi shatters open to reveal the avatar within, showering all those surrounding with jade shrapnel.
Apogee-Shattering Hammer Deployment: This submodule replicates the effect of Rapid Drone Operations System for the Titan Shard Reservoir, allowing the immense colossi to be launched through the air and impact onto hostile positions.

Integrated Observation Network
With this charm, the patropolis is outfitted with sensor-posts linked by a network of glistening silver cables, extending throughout the city. At a moment's notice, any sensor-post can be reflexively activated by the patropolis' governing Alchemical, extending their awareness and allowing them to perceive all that transpires in the area. The system does not grant the patropolis omniscience, as the number of sensor-posts that can be activated is strictly limited by the Alchemical's ability to focus, and individual nodes are still vulnerable to attack and destruction.

Motile Surveillance Platforms: With this submodule installed, the individual sensor-posts become flittering mobile platforms the size of a small bird. They still cannot move beyond the city limits.
Visual Remembrance Matrix: Crystalline memory devices are installed into each sensor-post, allowing the visual memory of any post in the city to be downloaded into the Alchemical's memory. Auditory records cannot be stored within the crystals, and thus sound is absent from these recordings.
Discreet Vigilance Design: The sensor-posts are integrated into the patropolis' architecture in a way that makes them invisible to the casual observer, even while in use.
Sapient Scrutiny Spirit: A simple artificial spirit is downloaded into the observation network. It can be pre-programmed to alert the Alchemical guiding mind of any particular suspicious activity, bringing their awareness to that particular node.

Oneirological Monitoring System
Prerequisites: Integrated Observation Network
Unique moonsilver pentagrams are installed in the sleeping quarters of the city. Shadowy shards of the patropolis' consciousness are dispatched into the dreamscapes of the populat allowing them to monitor for dissent and other unhealthy impulses.

Cloud-of-Dreams Cortex
On installing this Charm, the metropolis extends sensitive starmetal antennae throughout her body. When activated, it draws on the unused processing power of the unconscious citizenry, improving the Alchemical's ability to conduct calculations and projections.

Catatonic Calculus Cognitor: When this submodule is installed, themettropolis gains the ability to directly seize control of the conscious minds of the city, temporarily turning them into catatonic outgrowths of her cognition systems. This act vastly increases the computational power of the patropolis, but at a terrible cost.

Shadow Government Dream
Prerequisites: Oneirological Monitoring System, Cloud-of-Dreams Cortex
Using complex metaphysical symbology and oneirological protocols, the central core and governing body of the patropolis are removed bodily from the realm of existence. Instead, it lives in a dream world held within the minds of populace, issuing orders and planning operations from a position of unparalleled security. This charm does not guarantee the compliance of the Populat, but it provides immunity for the government and the patropolis' core from most forms of physical and societal attack.

Subconscious Punishment Methodology: This submodule allows for punishments to be directed at members of the populat during their sleep, inflicting terrible tortures and nightmares on the maladjusted and the criminal.
Nocturnal Propaganda Inception: This submodule allows the patropolis to adjust the dreams of the populat, showing visions of industrial heroism and tales of nationalistic pride. It subtly adjusts mindsets, creating a populat more devoted to the patropolis and more vigorous in their labours.
Dreams-Within-Dreams Architecture: For the truly paranoid patropolis, this submodule constructs a secondary dreamscape within the first to house the Shadow Government Dream, placing it at even further remove from the physical world. This prevents foes with oneirological manipulation powers from easily penetrating the apparatus of the patropolis.

[Microlite20] The Alucard School of Serious Swordplay

Most fencing academies on the Coin focus on pure swordplay - that is, dueling against opponents armed themselves with swords. The École d'Alucard in Languille, in contrast, is a far less traditional school. Recognising the more complex dangers of the modern world, the École d'Alucard arms its students with the techniques and talents necessary to brandish their blades in battle against a wide range of opponents - axe-wielding orkish barbarians, duergar musketeers or even in the more advanced classes, tentacled monstrosities of death.

Fencing Feats for Fighters

Fencer's Fancy Footwork
Prerequisite: Nimble Sworsdman
When wielding a one-handed blade, you may move one square whenever an enemy misses an melee attack against you. (immediate action)

Unconventional Parrying Technique
Prerequisite: Fencer's Footwork
Once per turn, you may choose to parry any melee attack against you. Roll an attack roll. On a 15+, you parry the attack but may not make any attacks in the next turn. On a 21+, you parry the attack and can attack in the next turn.

Alucard's Anti-Archery Adaptation
Prerequisite: Unconventional Parrying Technique
You can use Unconventional Parry Technique against ranged non-magical attacks.

Tentacle Slashing Slayer
Prerequisite: Unconventional Parrying Technique
You can try to remove a creature's arms and tentacles as a standard attack. Roll an attack roll. On a 15+, you only slightly wound the creature, forcing it to recoil somewhat. It cannot use its limb next round. On a 21+, you severe the relevant limb and deal damage as normal.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Stealing from Apocalypse D&D

Apocalypse D&D, by Tony Dowler, is awesome. While I'm not planning on using it myself, there are certain aspects that I full intend to use in my own D&D campaign. Below, mostly for my own use, are two Moves, almost direct quotes from Apocalypse D&D, with a little jiggery-pokery to make it use a MicroLite20 stats and system.

Spout Lore (Knowledge)
Spouting lore means taking some time to examine or observe the thing and demonstrate your great intelligence. To spout lore regarding a device or magical artifact requires that you handle the thing experimentally, like tasting a potion, or pointing a wand.

Roll (1d20+knowledge+Mind)
1-14: you have no clue.
15-19: ask one question.
20+: ask three questions.

Questions about anything:
  • Is it dangerous to me?
  • What’s its name and history?
Questions about a thing:
  • Who is its previous or current owner?
  • How does it work?
  • What does it do?
  • What’s it worth?
  • Is it magical?
Questions about a monster:
  • What type of monster is it?
  • How could I prevent it from attacking me?
  • How effective is (particular plan or method of attack) likely to be?

Hold a Parlay
To Hold a Parley you need to be in a position to spend some time talking and making your wishes known. Do this when you have an opportunity to interact with potentially hostile parties, monsters, or individuals.

Roll (1d20+communication+Mind)
1-14: you don't get much out of it
15-19: Hold 1, spend to ask.
20+: Hold 3, spend to ask.
  • What’s your real name and identity?
  • Is your character telling the truth?
  • What’s your character really thinking?
  • What does your character intend to do?
  • What does your character wish to do?
  • How could I get your character to do __________?