Showing posts from January, 2015

Preview of the Book of Challenges for Fate Core

I'm working on a Fate Core PDF supplement I'm calling the Book of Challenges. It includes ideas and options for running challenges in your games (like the Rituals as Challenges I've written about before). It also has a number of example challenges that you can drop into your campaign where appropriate. These examples include check boxes so you can keep track of the outcomes of each roll. Here's a preview of one of those challenges.

Space Patrol: Nomad-class Scout Vessel

Nomad-class Scout Vessel (TL11^) The Nomad-class is designed for short tours of a few weeks to a few months in uncharted space. Its winged streamlined SM+6 hull features an advanced multiscanner array and FTL comms, a tractor beam, and cabins for eight crew. Offensive systems are limited to a particle cannon and a missile launcher loaded with sensor drones. For defense, the Nomad-class relies on an adjustable light force screen.

Typical mission profiles have the Nomad-class visiting one or two star systems, mapping them in broad strokes and conducting primary investigation of any anomalies. The ship’s limited cargo space is reserved for samples, although it is not equipped to transport live biologicals.
Front Hull [1]Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 10)
[2]FTL Multiscanner Science Array (comm/sensor 8)
[3]Control Room (Complexity 8, comm/sensor 6, 2 stations)
[4-6]Habitat (3 cabins)
Central Hull [1]Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 10)
[2]Major Weapon Battery (Turret-mounted 24cm missile launcher, 10 sho…

Monster of the Week Revised Edition Now Available From Evil Hat

+Evil Hat Productions has released a revised edition of Monster of the Week, the monster-hunting RPG by +Michael Sands powered by the Apocalypse. MotW lets you play stories inspired by Buffy the Vampire SlayerSupernatural, or your favorite monster hunter fiction. The new edition is revised and expanded (nearly 120 more pages) with new playbooks, intro adventures, example monsters, and new art.

The PDF is available now for $12. Anyone who purchased the PDF of the original edition will get a coupon code for the new PDF. Monster of the Week will also be available in print soon from Evil Hat's online store or your fine local retailers.

GUMSHOE Review: Against the Unknown

Against the Unknown by Tom McGrenery is the first third-party RPG I've seen using the GUMSHOE rules. Pelgrane made a System Reference Document available under the OGL and Creative Commons license as part of the Hillfolk Kickstarter, but I haven't seen game until now.

Porcupine Publishing presents Against the Unknown as a streamlined take on GUMSHOE designed to speed up character creation and simplify task resolution. It combines investigative and general abilities into a single list, allowing any ability to gather clues or to accomplish tasks. Ratings are low, on the range of investigative abilities in other GUMSHOE games.

When making tests, you automatically add your ability rating to your die roll. In addition, you can spend points from any ability (not just the one tested) to either add to your roll or to treat the die as an automatic 6. You can even choose to spend after you've rolled the die. With the standard difficulty still at 4, this makes tests essentially imposs…

Milestone Stunts

In Fate Core, stunts primarily deal with skills and their possible uses. As I listed in Mechanical Hooks in Fate Core, though, there's a huge number of things stunts can be interested in other than skills.

One area I'm interested in playing around in is stunts that alter or expand milestones. Being the game's advancement mechanic, changing milestones affects how a character grows and changes. Giving broader control of their own advancement might be a fun way to empower players.

Here are a few rough ideas for milestone stunts. These have not been playtested and are off the top of my head.

Glimpse of Things to Come: You have a knack for predicting impending danger. When the GM creates a new issue following a significant or major milestone, she will tell you something about the issue you would not otherwise know. Whenever you roll an overcome or create an advantage action that directly relates to the issue, you treat a tie as a success.

Put Things In Motion: When the GM adds a …

Space Patrol: Diplomat

Diplomat 50 points You joined the Patrol to be a peacemaker. You dislike violence, and you seek equitable solutions to problems. You genuinely like people and believe that interstellar society can be just and fair. It's your job to see that it is.

Attributes: IQ +1 [20].
Secondary Characteristics: Will +1 [5].
Advantages: A total of 25 points chosen from Appearance [Varies], Charisma [5/level], Fashion Sense [5], Honest Face [1], Pitiable [5], Sensitive [5] or Empathy [15], Smooth Operator 1 [15], and Voice [10].
Disadvantages: A total of -10 points chosen from Chummy [-5] or Gregarious [-10], Compulsive Carousing [-5*], Pacifism (Reluctant Killer) [-5], and Xenophilia [-10*].
Skills: Diplomacy (H) IQ [4]; Savoir-Faire (Any) (E) IQ [1]. ● Five of Savoir-Faire (Any other) (E) IQ [1]; Acting, Administration, Fast-Talk, Leadership, Politics, Public Speaking, or Streetwise, all (A) IQ-1 [1]; Psychology (H) IQ-2 [1]; Carousing (E) HT [1]; and Detect Lies (H) Per-2 [1].

* Multiplied for sel…

Making a Thing to Make a Thing

I've been listening to the recent episodes of +Wil Wheaton's returning podcast, Radio Free Burrito. Just before the New Year, Wil posted an experimental episode to get himself back into making podcasts, and he's followed up each week with a new episode. Radio Free Burrito normally features Wil performing stories from his books and blog and chatting about fun things he found on the Internet.

In the experimental episode, Wil talked about falling out of the creative habit. Restarting the podcast is his way of jumpstarting his creative juices, by forcing himself to create without trying to make something perfect. His goal is to make a thing just to make a thing.

That's a place I'd really like to be. I've been failing as a creator for a while now. I've made lackluster blog posts, and I have no real way of gaging response. I've made no effort to find more freelance writing work. I've failed spectacularly at advancing my own projects.

But I want to do bett…

Preview of Ken Writes About Goetia

+Kenneth Hite gives a preview of the upcoming installment of Ken Writes About Stuff detailing the occult practice of goetia with stats for demons of varying power suitable for GUMSHOE games like Fear Itself or Night's Black Agents.

Psychedemia: A World of Adventure for Fate Core

The latest World of Adventure from the +Evil Hat Productions Patreon is now available on DriveThruRPG: Psychedemia, by some hack. Psychedemia is a science fiction setting in which teenage psychics discover a hidden mental realm and make friends with its residents while being trained by the military to fight those same aliens.

I can't give an legitimate review of the text, but I will point out the incredible art by +Manuela Soriani which brings the world to full-color life. And I'll thank the rest of the team at Evil Hat (including editor +John Adamus and developer +Brian Engard) for making the process an absolute pleasure.

In a discussion on Google+, I was asked how the psychic aptitudes from Psychedemia could be used in a more standard Fate Core game with psychic characters beside non-psychics. The answer is that it would be pretty easy.
Extra: Psychic AptitudePermission: An aspect indicating your character possesses psychic aptitude. Cost: Skill ranks, invested in one or more…

Space Patrol: Psi

Psi 50 points You possess mental abilities that set you apart from other humans. You use these powers in service to the Patrol, but there are legal restrictions. For example, mind reading is illegal without a warrant. Any form of compulsion or mind control is illegal except in moments of extreme danger to the officer or civilians.

Psionics is an emerging field of study. You may be one of the leading experts on the subject in most sectors. The fact that psi is little understood means that suspects will underestimate you. Use this to your advantage as much as you use your actual abilities.

Advantages: Unusual Background (Psi) [10]. ● Two levels of Psionic Talents from the available powers [10]. ● Choose a 25-point package from GURPS Psis in one of the available powers. ● One psionic perk from Psionic Powers in a power you have.
Skills: Expert Skill (Psionics) (H) IQ [4].
Customization Notes Like the Alien, the Psi allows for near-infinite variations. Enumerating the many types of possibl…

The Last Days of Anglekite on Kickstarter

Magpie Games is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund The Last Days of Anglekite, a "Chaos World" setting for Dungeon World.
The Last Days of Anglekite is a Dying Earth-style weird fantasy setting for Dungeon World in which you play members of the Anglekite Adventurer's Guild, the last line of defense for a dying world threatened by catastrophic powers. The Last Days of Anglekite has everything you need to play out an epic struggle to save a world at the end of its time, drawing from weird sword and sorcery tales and over-the-top fantasy by authors like Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, and Michael Moorcock. Stretch goals for the campaign fund the creation of additional Chaos World settings, starting with The Cold Ruins of Lastlife.

The Last Days of Anglekite also includes advice for running LongCons. A LongCon is an extended play experience where multiple events at a larger game convention share a storyline that progresses from one slot to the next. This convention format…

Gen Con Housing News

Gen Con has revealed their updated housing registration process in their most recent email newsletter. The gist is that rather than releasing everyone to fight over the housing block at once, they are staggering the queue with a random wait time starting at noon on January 25th. While this may lessen the immense load on the housing system, it's causing even more stress among the attendees than the free-for-all of years past. On top of everything, badge prices are rising to $80.

I've attended Gen Con every year since 2005. Starting the next year, my wife has made the journey with me. It's our only major vacation. We manage to save money by sharing transportation and hotel costs with friends, but if the new housing system means we can't get a room, that may not be an option.

I felt a lot of anxiety over the convention last year, but when the show came around, I still had a great time. I enjoy Gen Con, and there are a lot of reasons to attend both personally and professio…

Ties in Ladies' Mystery Society

In my developing GUMSHOE game, Ladies' Mystery Society, I wanted a mechanic to represent the relationships between the investigators. This serves two purposes: to encourage the players to tie their characters together from the start of the campaign, and to give those relationships a useful impact in play.

To accomplish this, I adapted the trust mechanic from Night's Black Agents Mirror campaign mode. The result is Ties, a measure of the strength of the investigators' relationships and a slight boost when using their abilities together.
Ties As members of the Ladies’ Mystery Society, you know your fellow Investigators by reputation, from online interaction, or even from previous investigations. As you work together, your relationships strengthen and grow, and you learn from your shared experiences.

You start the game with a number of Ties equal to the number of players (including yourself). You divide these Ties however you like among the other Investigators. When everyone …

Underfoot, Copper Slime Highwayman

Note: This character is designed for a Fate Core game set in Uresia: The Grave of Heaven, one of my absolute favorite fantasy settings. I have written some about running Uresia in Fate before, and I'm planning to bring some more such discussion to One Yard Hex.

Once the scourge of the Temphisian byways, the copper slime known as Underfoot waylaid the wrong Baron or Duke or some such and now has quite the price on his proverbial head. To escape, he disbanded his crew and fled to Shadow River. He is now an adventurer-for-hire hoping to secure a job in a faraway land.
AspectsDashing Highwayman
I’m a Wanted Slime
Going Legit, I Guess
My Crew Has My Back
Words are So Limited
SkillsGreat (+4) Provoke
Good (+3) Athletics, Contacts
Fair (+2) Burglary, Deceive, Fight
Average (+1) Notice, Empathy, Shoot, Stealth
StuntsMad Digger Slime: Orange Slime Burrowing lets you tunnel through earth or stone with ease. You can ignore obstacles to movement as long as you can burrow under or around them. The GM…

Space Patrol: Explorer

Explorer 50 points You came to space for the mystery. Perhaps you are a former Scout who transferred to the Patrol to reconnect after many years in deep space. Or maybe you wanted to explore more human mysteries as an investigator. Whatever your motivation, you are perceptive, self-reliant, and driven to uncover the next secret.

Secondary Characteristics: Per +1 [5].

Advantages: A total of 35 points chosen from DX +1 [20], IQ +1 [20], Will +1 or +2 [5/level], Per +1 or +2 [5/level], Absolute Direction [5] or 3D Spatial Sense [10], Acute Senses [2/level], Danger Sense [15], Eidetic Memory [5] or Photographic Memory [10], Intuition [15], Nanosymbionts [Varies], Outdoorsman [10/level], and Peripheral Vision [15].

Disadvantages: A total of -10 points chosen from Curious [-5*], Impulsiveness [-10*], or Loner [-5*].

Skills: Five of Area Knowledge (Known Space) or Camouflage, both (E) IQ+2 [4]; Cartography, Meteorology (any), or Navigation (any), all (A) IQ+1 [4]; Astronomy†, Expert Skill (Hydr…

One Roll Engine Returns to Bundle of Holding

Bundle of Holding has revived its One Roll Engine bundle from August of 2014. ORE is a pretty unique roleplaying ruleset and one of my personal favorites. The base collection includes Wild Talents 2nd Edition and Better Angels, as well as a number of ORE freebies. The bonus titles for exceeding the average price include the Reign Enchiridion, +Greg Stolze's excellent fantasy game of heroes and factions, as well as the incredible "supers in the American Civil War" setting This Favored Land by +Allan Goodall. A portion of proceeds go to support Doctors Without Borders and Action Against Hunger. Go and grab the bundle before it disappears again.

Dracula Dossier is Still Taking Pledges

The Dracula Dossier Kickstarter concluded on December 3, bringing in nearly £88,000, but Pelgrane Press is still taking pledges if you missed the campaign or would like to add on to your original pledge. Until February 1st, you can email Pelgrane with the pledge level or add-ons you would like and pay for them by PayPal. Check out this page for more details.

Rituals and Convergences on DriveThruRPG

I have compiled my series on ritual magic and Convergences (here, here, here, and here) and expanded it into a short PDF supplement. You can pick up Rituals and Convergences at DriveThruRPG as Pay What You Want right now. The PDF adds a few more stunts, plus thoughts on detonating Convergence aspects for more devastating effect.