Saturday, December 8, 2018

Campaigns I'd Love to Play or Run

Some of these I've sort of run, or started to run. Or started to play, but would like a better shot at them.
  •  Inspired by Flying Frog Games' Touch of Evil board game, a gothic horror action style game set in something like a colonial period America circa 17th to 18th Century. Possible Systems:
    • Modern AGE
    • Monster of the Week
    • City of Mist
  • Legend of the Five Rings game with a lot of investigation and intrigue. Criminals and dark cults summoning undead monstrosites and demonic horrors. Characters as Jade and Emerald Magistrates.
  • 7th Sea Eisen Campaign with a Castlevania vibe to it.
  • Hunter of Beasts campaign. Someone is killing people in a manner similar to how vampires are meant to be destroyed, but is this a sign of something deeper and darker? Possible systems.
    • Modern AGE
    • Monster of the Week
  • Idun, a liquid gift of the gods. Each race has their own type of Idun and it is folly and torture to drink the Idun of other races. Down through the centuries, the races of Might and Order have contested with each other in a never ending battle of fluctuating borders and great quests. By the will of the gods the races are kept separate...but are the gods truly what they claim to be?
    • Fantasy AGE
    • Genesys
  • Great Mysteries, the characters are part of the initial surge for a new VR game of urban legend and competing factions when they become stuck in the game through the nefarious plot of a group that claims to be terrorists.
    • Playtest Just a Game
    • Genesys
  • The Unscripted Server, the characters are players of a fantasy VR MMO. There are rumors that every so often, someone who is online gets shifted to a realm where everything seems so much more real than even the normal VR experience. People that have experienced this stranger server find their physical bodies slowly shifting into something like their characters.
    • Playtest Just a Game
    • Genesys
  • RWBY-esque adventure game, where the characters are a team of apprentice monster-hunters caught up in things bigger than they can imagine.
    • Masks
    • Genesys
    • City of Mist
  • Adeptive Engine, you were just finishing making a character and now you find yourself as that character and the tutorial you expected to play is around you and its real. What the heck is going on here?
    • Playtest Just a Game
    • Genesys 
  • Wu Xia game where there are tournaments at six mystic temples that become accessible only once in a century.
    • D&D 5e (as a Player)
    • Genesys
    • Legend of the Elements
    • Fate

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Modern AGE - Character Advancement

The system of leveling for Modern AGE is the same as for Fantasy AGE. The difference lies in what advances. There are no classes so we don't look to our individual classes for what increases. Also, the modes might modify how things advance. Here is the summary:
  • Characters get a new Talent at every level past 1st. In Fantasy AGE, the classes mostly got their first Talent at 3rd Level and Mage's would have their Talent acquisition interspersed with Magic Talents. You also get Talents even if you also get a Specialization that level.
  • Characters still get a new Ability Advancement and Focus each level, but the only limit is that you can't advance the same Ability twice in a row.
  • Characters still get the option of a Specialization at level 4 and improving them every four levels thereafter. You are still limited to two Specializations, but you don't have to complete one before starting on the second.
  • Characters get new Relationship slots every fourth level.
  • If you are using Conviction, an additional point is gained at Level 3 and every odd-numbered level after that.
  • Depending on Game Mode, Health, Defense, Toughness, and Resources advance at different rates.
    • Gritty Mode
      • Health, Defense, Toughness, and Resources never improve. Save that Resources may improve based on GM rewards for story accomplishment.
    • Pulp Mode
      • Health increases by your Con+1.
      • At 4th Level you increase Defense OR Toughness, at 8th Level you increase the other. Then you alternate every four levels afterward.
      • Replenish 1 lost Resources level every level plus possible GM granted story rewards.
    • Cinematic Mode
      • Health improves by 1d6+Con (as per Fantasy AGE)
      • Defense and Toughness both increase by 1 at every fourth level.
      • Gain +1 Resources each level after the first, plus GM granted story rewards.
I'm going to use Pulp mode due to aiming at Gothic Horror. Once again, I'm going to do 18 sessions with 4 encounters each of randomly sorted difficulty and type. Difficulty will be a little bit different than rolls I used for Fantasy AGE. I'm going to make Hard encounters a little bit more common. (2-3: Routine, 4-5: Easy, 6-9: Average, 10-12: Hard). For type (1-2 Exploration, 3-4 Social, 5-6 Combat). For some of the details I'm drawing Town Elder secrets and events from the Touch of Evil board game by Flying Frog Games. I also just decided all of the 18th session's encounters would be hard.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Modern AGE - Character Creation

Modern AGE is almost the same process as found in the Fantasy AGE game, but there are some differences. For one there's no classes and for the other there is no races. There is also suggestion of using races from Fantasy AGE to achieve a sort of urban fantasy style game. It changes the process a little bit, either replacing or adding a step, but I could also do this as a sort of epitaph sort of thing. That said, I've only done epitaphs in settings where gorgons make no narrative sense and Modern AGE is a flexible enough system that that lack of narrative justification isn't present. I think I will go ahead and use the races. The normal suggestion in this case is to have the races replace the background, but I'm going to add the race in instead because removing backgrounds feels like it removes a lot of character development. This will mean the character, and any training companions I make for her, will come out a bit stronger than the average starting character, but not too much. To further confirm, any humans I create will get the Fantasy AGE human package as well.

Another change we're going to do from the Fantasy AGE analysis is to use the point buy method which is to have 12 points to distribute between the stats. None can go over 3 with these points and none can go below 0. 

As a result of this, the steps for character creation in this case are as follows: 

  1. Concept
  2. Abilities
  3. Race - This is an additional step not normally taken for Modern AGE
  4. Background
  5. Profession
  6. Drive
  7. Resources and Equipment
  8. Health, Defense, Toughness, and Speed
  9. Goals, Ties, and Relationships
  10. Name and Description
For genre and setting, we're going to do a gothic horror thing along the lines of the Touch of Evil board game or the Sleepy Hollow movie from back when nobody knew anything horrible about certain actors. So vaguely creepy rural community on the edge of civilization. I'll be doing three companions again and doing random races:
  • 3 - Demon Blooded (using the Blooded and the Demon Soldier)
  • 4-5 - Fae (using the core Elf race)
  • 6-8 - Beastfolk (using the optional race played as sort-of werecreatures)
  • 9-11 - Human
  • 12-14 - Dhampir (created using Blooded and Master Vampire)
  • 15-17 - Goblin (created using Blooded and Goblin)
  • 18 - Angel Blooded (created using Blooded and Divine Warrior)
The results are, two humans and a dhampir. (11, 11, 12). Anyway on to the creation of the gorgon.

As normal, the character concept is a gorgon archer. I'm imagining a woman escaping the crowded lands of her homelands where people know of her kind and disappearing into a distant colony on the edge of the wilds.

For Abilities, we have 12 points. I'm going to start with giving my major targets 2 each. There are no classes so we don't have to worry about primary or secondary abilities at all, not that that had too much of an impact in Fantasy AGE, but still we're even more open here. Accuracy 2, Dexterity 2, and Perception 2, for the three majors. Then I'm going to give Constitution 1, Intelligence 1, and Willpower 1. That's a total of 9 points spent and we have 3 points left. I think I will be placing these last bits into Accuracy, Willpower, and Constitution.

Race is next, we'll use the same thing we did for the Fantasy AGE. +1 to Constitution, I will choose the Dexterity (Stealth) ability focus this time. Speed is the same, characters can speak whatever languages you want up to a max of three starting with others earned by the Linguistics talent. Then we have to roll on the Blooded chart again. And I got the exact same result as last time, a 6 and a 7. So +1 Accuracy and Weapon Group Bows again which automatically becomes a Focus in this system sense there's no Class and everybody has all the weapon groups at least somewhat. Which means this character will have +2 to stats and two focuses more than the normal Modern AGE character. The companions will be similarly up-powered. Fortunately, this system handles that very easily.

Next we get back to the normal process for Modern AGE, background. We roll 1d6 twice, first to determine social class and then specific background. And I ended up rolling what makes the most sense, Outsider class and Outcast background. I was tempted to just take that anyway. The background comes with several different benefits; as Background, Profession, and Drive basically replace and overlap the Backgrounds and Races of Fantasy AGE. Outcast comes with +1 Willpower, a choice between Communication(Deception) or Dexterity(Stealth), and a choice between two talents: Living on the Fringe or Misdirection. We're going to take Communication(Deception), because we already have Dexterity(Stealth), and Novice Living on the Fringe. We also get a roll on a chart like we would see in the Fantasy AGE races. The result of the roll is Dexterity(Forgery) which must be how she got passage to the New World.

The next step is Profession and our social class sets what profession chart we roll on. If we had a higher social class we'd have the option of choosing lower class occupations. Oddly, Military is a Lower Class background but Soldier is a Middle Class occupation, making it impossible to get that combination by rolling, which feels like a mistake. Though the option to just choose a profession exists which would presumably allow you to get a higher class profession than your background, probably representing moving up in the world. I am going to go ahead and choose one from the Outsider social class, Survivalist. This gives us a choice between Accuracy (Bows or Pistols) and Perception (Tracking). We already have the Accuracy Focus we want, so we'll go with Perception (Tracking) for now to add to that living on the wild vibe more. As a further note, the Profession provides a starting Resources score and a choice between two Talents. We already have one so we could choose to move Living on the Fringe up to Expert from level 1. The other option is Tactical Awareness. I think I will boost Living on the Fringe to Expert. Our starting Resources is 0 and the last thing this does is decide our starting Health which is 20 + Con.

From here we go to Drive. These are our character's primary motives for the way she lives. It provides a Talent and an improvement to some other trait like Resources, Reputation, or the like. I am going to roll for it, 1-3 on Column 1, 4-6 on Column 2. The option rolled is a Drive of Rebel, where she has become hostile to established authority, which makes sense both for her background and for a person living in a Colonial/American Revolution era style settlement. This provides us the option of Expertise or Improvisation for Talents so I'm going to go ahead with Improvisation to be able to adapt to a large variety of situations rather than be even more specialized. We also get a choice of improving our Reputation, Relationships, or Resources. As a woman living on the edge of society who has a reputation for being a bit harsh, I think Reputation is the way to go here. And I'm going to give her a Reputation of "Scaled Witch" as Reputations are short titles and honorifics that describe the reputation while providing bonuses in certain situations.

The next step is starting resources and equipment. We have Resources 0 and so just the basic starting gear of clothing, tools for profession and one weapon for which we have a focus. We don't have a focus for knives, but a knife would fit into the tools of a survivalist, so we'll give that to her.

Now we go to derived stats. Health is based on Profession and received no other improvement so that is 20+Con which is a total of 3. Defense is 10 + Dexterity, which is a total of 12. Toughness comes based on Constitution. Toughness reduces damage and functions differently depending on whether the game is played in Gritty, Pulpy, or Cinematic mode. That has more impact on gameplay and advancement and you can choose different aspects to be at different levels for a more varied experience if you want, so I'm not going to worry about it. Regardless of which mode this game is in the Toughness level is still 3. Speed is 10 + Dexterity yards, which comes again to 12 just like Defense. There is also an optional stat called Conviction which starts at 3 points at 1st level if your campaign uses it, so we'll note that down. Characters start with a minimum of 1 Relationship.

The next two steps are Goals, Ties, Name, and Description, so I'm going to note those down below in the collected stats after I create her traveling companions.

Phaedra Hollyoak

Gorgon Outcast Survivalist, Rebel

Accuracy 4 (Bows)
Communication 0 (Deception)
Constitution 3
Dexterity 2 (Stealth, Forgery)
Fighting 0
Intelligence 1
Perception 2 (Tracking)
Strength 0
Willpower 3

Health 23
Defense 12
Toughness 3
Speed 12
Resources 0
Conviction 3
Relationships 1 (Dame Eillen D'Garosh)
Reputation: Scaled Witch (1)

Expert Living on the Fringe
Novice Improvisation

Light Leather (Warm furs)
Quiver of 20 Arrows
Camping Gear

Dame Eillen sympathizes with Phaedra due to their shared non-human heritage.
Oskar Lintalos actually taught her some things about the origins of gorgons.
Geida Klaus has stood with her in battle.

Modern AGE Gorgon Archer's Traveling companions

Geida Klaus

Human Trade Technician, Ecstatic

Accuracy 0
Communication 1
Constitution 3
Dexterity 3 (Riding, Crafting)
Fighting 2 (Brawling)
Intelligence 1 (Evaluation, Engineering)
Perception 1
Strength 3
Willpower 1

Health 18
Defense 13
Toughness 3
Speed 13 yds
Resources 4
Conviction 3
Relationships 1 (Oskar Lintalos)
Reputation: Excellent Smith (1)

Expert Maker
Novice Party Animal 

Gorgon Archer - Fantasy AGE - Characte Advancement

Character Advancement in AGE is done through levels. There's two ways discussed to determine when levels are gained. The first is to apply levels based on when the characters do something significant. Such as when they've completed the current adventure, made some incredible discovery about the world, or otherwise done something in the narrative to warrant an increase in ability. The second is to use experience points. This occurs more like you would expect though the level of increase may be a bit unfamiliar to some. In most games that use experience and levels, the amount needed to get to each new level increases fairly swiftly, but in Fantasy AGE, levels 2 through 6 each require 2,000 XP to earn; levels 7 through 12 each require 3,000 XP; and all remaining levels require 4,000 XP. The level cap is 20, there appears to be nothing in place for post 20 advancement outside of roleplaying rewards and the like but that represents a quite long campaign. You cannot multiclass, but the use of Specializations and Talents can allow some drifting between the classes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Fantasy AGE - Character Creation

I was originally struggling to see how I could do a Fantasy AGE gorgon without homebrewing a race to fill in. They had a Medusa adversary, the picture of which you can see on this page, but it was quite a bit over-powered for a PC character. Granted, once I sat down and worked at it, I'd likely have been able to find a good PC-compatible version that fit the flavor on my own. However, I was hoping not to do that. However, I was looking for a way to do it without resorting to homebrew. I know I homebrewed in the 5e example, but I also did a version that used official rules. Fortunately, with the acquisition of the Fantasy AGE Companion there is now a good way to create a PC gorgon using official rules.

The game breaks down character creation into a nine-step process. I tend to feel that some of the steps are merged together. The steps are as follows:
  1. Create a Concept
  2. Determine Abilities
  3. Choose a race
  4. Determine Social Class and Background 
  5. Choose a class
  6. Pick Starting Equipment
  7. Calculate Defense
  8. Pick a name
  9. Choose character goals and ties 
Our concept is, as stated, a gorgon archer. There isn't much in the way of mechanics here, but I would note that there is a lot of randomness in character generation here, so it's a good idea to have a character style that could reasonably fit to any of the three classes. Fortunately, while archery is easier to do with two classes, it's not forbidden to any. So we're in a good place.

Fantasy AGE Gorgon's Traveling Companions

Ailine Stonered

Dwarf Church Officer Warrior

Accuracy 1
Communication 0 (Etiquette)
Constitution 4
Dexterity 0
Fighting 2 (Axes)
Intelligence 1 (Evaluation, Historical Lore)
Perception 2
Strength 2
Willpower 0

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Legend of Five Rings - Theoretical Character - Blind Beauty Rebuild

This is a rebuild of my overlooked Crab Clan woman using the most recent version of the setting by Fantasy Flight Games. I am only going to rebuild only one version of her, and actually going to take a mix of schools that didn't appear on the original version. Now, one of the most interesting things about this new edition is that they've integrated the Twenty Questions with the mechanics of character creation. The twenty questions have always been there, but in prior editions they've been primarily roleplaying tools.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Summoner of Animal Spirits (Variant Human Druid of the Shepherd Circle)

For this theoretical build based on this character, I am going to build a character based on this picture here. For now I'm going to use a somewhat straightforward build in the form of a Druid of the Shepherd Circle.

As for race, I am going to go with the Variant Human.

This isn't the first time I've used druid to do a mystic of vaguely Asian flavor and I'd like to note again that there's nothing really in this picture that seems to be coming out of folklore anymore than that Robin Hood movies are representative of real English history.

For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

1st Level Variant Human Druid
Str: 10
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 16
Cha: 12

HP: 10
AC: 13
Save DC: 13
Speed: 30 ft

Proficiency Bonus: +2

Friday, November 9, 2018

Let's Die in Call of Cthulhu Characters - Trail of Cthulhu Version

This is just a bunch of characters based on those played by the members of Kikoskia's roleplaying group that posts episodes on his YouTube channel. I guessing at a lot of stuff here since I don't have their character sheets and to represent the limits of 6th edition characters I'm using the low Ability point pools as suggested in Trail of Cthulhu for people that want less competent characters than usually. 

I won't go over the differences between Trail of Cthulhu and Call of Cthulhu here. I did do some discussion of GUMSHOE system when I did a one-shot using that system a couple of years back. Though I will add that the system assumes sessions of 3-4 hours in length and gives 2 Build Points for each such session at the end of each case. And sense even 1 point of an Investigative Ability is a tremendous amount of expertise, I might not add Cthulhu Mythos at places you'd expect me to.

I will note that Stability more represents the obvious degradation of a person's mental state. Sanity represents the slow divorce between the character and normal human perception. A cult leader or serial killer with an outward charming demeanor might have high Stability or low or 0 Sanity. I'm guessing at Pillars of Sanity but not Sources of Stability.

There are some weird character creation spending points. Each point of Fleeing past double your Athletics is half-cost. Occupational Abilities are half cost. You can trade General Abilities and Investigative Ability points with other players at a rate of 3 General Points to 1 Investigative point. Each Occupation has a base Credit Rating base value having low Credit Rating may actually be beneficial for interacting people at the same Credit Rating as you. I used the low-powered point buy pools meant to be closer to the doomed protagonists of most Cthulhu mythos stories.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Dreams from the Depths - Crossroads Campaign - Sessions 20-22

We have come to some interesting discoveries with the wrapping up of this first mission of ours on Opali. I was unfortunately quite busy with a number of things of late so I have been lax in updating my journal. As a result, there may be rather less detail than is normally the case. Looking to my last entry I see I stopped with the apprehension of the doppleganger we found impersonating Miss Loopmottin Daergal. We discussed matters with the police and arranged for means of keeping the thing confined, warning them against its telepathic abilities and the like. To make sure nothing was overlooked, we went back to the G.A.P. offices and Kelmar apparently noticed the presence of the real Loopmottin Daergal's ghost. 

According to her, relayed by Kelmar, she'd been trying to get people to notice the imposter for months and the only thing she'd been able to do is stir up a particular lunatic. And that gave us a link to our lovely little vigilante, the Haberdashing who turns out to be an eccentric middle-aged goblin who is the last scion of a wealthy family and operates out of a cavern that is underneath his mansion. And his name is Brewswine.

Campaigns I'd Love to Play or Run

Some of these I've sort of run, or started to run. Or started to play, but would like a better shot at them.  Inspired by Flying Frog ...

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