Showing posts from February, 2015

Justin “Hertz” Hurst

The following character is designed for a game in the Reign of Steel setting using the GURPS Action rules.
Justin “Hertz” Hurst 250 points Justin Hurst is a member of Free America and one of the most popular and influential deejays on the Voice of America. Hurst is the son of a high-ranking member of the Justice Department, but he defied his family to join the resistance. Now he launches daring broadcasts from all around his country using disposable "radio bombs" that transmit prerecorded speeches and other programming. While not the greatest fighter, Justin has even gone on a few terrorist raids to bring the people his first-hand accounts of "freedom in the making."

ST 10 [0]; DX 13 [60]; IQ 15 [100]; HT 12 [20].
Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 [0]; Will 15 [0]; Per 15 [0]; FP 12 [0]
Basic Speed 6.00 [0]; Basic Move 6 [0]; Dodge 9; Parry 10.
Social Background TL: 9 [0].
CF: Western [0].
Languages: English (Native) [0]; Spanish (Native) [6].
Advantages Attractive …

Dead Scare on Kickstarter

Exploding Rogue Studios is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for Dead Scare, "an RPG of blood-spattered white picket fences." Here's the pitch: it's 1953, and a Soviet bioweapon has kicked off the zombie apocalypse. You play the women and children left to protect each other when the men return from the office craving tasty flesh.
Dead Scare is written by +Elsa S. Henry, backed by a list of amazing women, and as stretch goals are unlocked, will include essays on America in the 1950s, including locations, social issues, and apocalyptica. The game is powered by the Apocalypse, with playbooks including The Wife, The Grandmother, The Troublemaker, The Scout, The Soviet Spy, and The Infected.
Right now, the Dead Scare Kickstarter is just over 52% completed with 13 days to go. Available pledge levels get you the PDF or the print book, but you can also have a picture of an important woman in your life turned into an illustration by artist Elizabeth Simins or even pitc…

Consequential Contests in Fate Core

The Dresden Files RPG included the idea of consequential contests, that is opposed actions between two parties that could result in a lasting consequence to the losing side. While they work differently now than in Dresden, contests made their way into Fate Core. Consequential contests, however, did not. Here, then, is one look at running them in the new paradigm. Consequential Contest In a consequential contest, the outcome has a lasting impact on the losing side in the form of a situation aspect that functions like a consequence. Run a consequential contest like any normal contest. One side wins when they reach 3 victories. The difference in victories between the two sides determines the severity of the resulting situation aspect. Difference of 3: The loser receives a situation aspect that is treated in all ways like a severe consequence, except it doesn't take up a consequence slot.Difference of 2: The loser receives a situation aspect that is treated in all ways like a moderate …

World Wide Wrestling: Journeyman's Cup, Episode 6

As I posted last week, I received my copy of World Wide Wrestling. And +Nathan Paoletta and his players have played another installment of the Journeyman's Cup series. You can view that right here!

Tactical Aspects: An Actual Play Example

In a recent playtest session, the PCs were in a conflict with an anarchist bomb maker and a dozen hired thugs, broken into three mobs of 4 thugs each. The map was divided into a few zones, with the enemies two or three zones from the PCs to start.

Several PCs rushed to close with the bomber to start. The bomber, fearing the heroes ganging up on him, ran to the next zone. The thugs' primary job was to keep the heroes off of him, so on their turn, the mobs each made a create an advantage action to place a Wall of Meat aspect on the border between the two zones with a total of three free invokes.

This aspect became a barrier to the PCs if they tried to cross into the next zone. They would have to roll an overcome action to move, and the thugs could provide active opposition. One PC tried to pass the wall, and the thugs put up considerable resistance, thanks to the ability to stack multiple free invokes (p. 70 of Fate Core). She managed to succeed through an invoke of her own and push…

Playing Lite: World Jumpers

Playing Lite is a series presenting campaign frames that can be run using only GURPS Lite, available for free from Steve Jackson Games.

In its role as a Generic and Universal system, GURPS facilitates multi-world campaigns, where the same characters may travel from a magical fantasy world one week to a gritty spacefaring setting the next. GURPS Lite lets you run this style of game by including the Jumper advantage. Characters with this ability can travel between parallel worlds without any special equipment or ritual.
Characters In a world-jumping Lite campaign, characters will do well with broad competence. They should be built on 200 points, with most of these spent on attributes and skills. In addition to these points, everyone should get the 100-point Jumper advantage for free, allowing them to jump between worlds.

Because they will be moving from one reality to another, characters will not get much use out of social advantages like Wealth and Status. On the other hand, a broad ar…

World Wide Wrestling Has Arrived!

My copy of World Wide Wrestling arrived at my door recently, and it's awesome. You can get your copy here. If you want to know what the game is like, you can watch the following actual play recordings of designer +Nathan Paoletta running a fun group through an ongoing Season.

A Quick Moment from my Young Centurions Playtest

I ran the first play session of our playtest of Young Centurions, an upcoming game of Young Adult pulp adventure from +Evil Hat Productions, written by +Amanda Valentine+Carrie Harris, and +Clark Valentine and based on Fate Accelerated Edition.

I won't go into a lot of detail right now, but I had to share a moment that tickled me. The characters are Centurions, young heroes-in-training in Kansas City in 1915. Each is the spirit of an important virtue or facet of the 20th century. In this game, we have the Spirits of Duty, Endurance, Adventure, Health, and Entertainment.

While hanging out at the park one clear winter day, the Centurions met a boy named Walt and his sister Ruth. Walt had been drawing in a sketchbook earlier, and Ruth grabbed the book from him to show to their new friends. I showed the players the boy's signature.
The player playing the Spirit of Entertainment lit up. She asked if her friendship was responsible for Disney's later rise to fame. Then the play…

Fateful Concepts

+Ryan Macklin helped create Fate Core, and he's been clarifying and expanding on it on his blog and across the internet. To date, he has released two PDFs on DriveThruRPG that are packed with ideas to make you a better Fate GM. I fully recommend them.

Fateful Concepts: Character Aspects looks at the evolution of the aspect and discusses how the number of aspects affects your game. It then covers separating aspects from the phases of character creation and focusing character creation by deciding on proscribed aspect slots or even defining lists of prepared aspects for players to choose from.

Fateful Concepts: Hacking Contests presents a number of options for running contests that have time limits, representing chases as contests instead of conflicts, folding contests into conflicts, and presenting contests that include multiple objects.

Both of these products are excellent, with tremendous ideas for improving your game. At 20-25 pages and just $2.99 each, you get a full course of Fat…

Space Patrol: Exploration Pack

An additional kit of specialist gear.
Exploration Pack When the crew needs to traverse dark and unstable terrain, from alien landscapes to collapsing urban colonies, they take this pack. A belt pouch contains a mini flashlight that attaches to an omniblaster, producing a 75-yard beam that can be tuned to infrared or ultraviolet; gripboots, granting +1 to Climbing or +2 on ice; 10 smart pitons, giving an additional +1 to Climbing; and 20 yards of 1/8” smart rope that supports 1,600 pounds and can be commanded to turn rigid or flexible by microcommunicator. $621, 3.45 lbs. B/24 hr. LC4.

Dragonmarked House Backgrounds for 5e

Wizards has released its first Unearthed Arcana article, and it's a doozy: updating the major races and some of the other setting material from the Eberron campaign setting to 5e. When I read it, I immediately thought that it was missing backgrounds, particularly for the dragonmarked houses. So here's my take on one.
Dragonmarked House Member You are a member in good standing of one of the thirteen Dragonmarked Houses that wield political and economic power across Khorvaire. You have access to the house's network of experts, and your membership opens doors for you in every nation.

Skills, Tools, and Languages: Varies by house.

Cannith: Arcana, History; any two artisan's tools of your choice.Deneith: Insight, Stealth; two languages of your choice.Ghallanda: History, Persuasion; brewer's supplies, cook's utensils.Jorasco: Medicine, Persuasion; herbalist's kit, poisoner's kit.Kundarak: Intimidation, Investigation; games set (any), mason's tools.Lyrandar:…

Exotic Investigative Ability: Lucky Breaks

Here's a thought on an exotic investigative ability for your GUMSHOE game. It's more of a metagame ability, so it probably won't be for everyone.
Lucky Breaks You are just lucky. Twists of fortune tend to work in your favor, leading you to stumble over clues everyone else missed. 
At any time, you can spend a point of Lucky Breaks to gain a core clue. The GM can and should refuse this spend if someone else has an appropriate ability and seems to be on their way to gaining the clue anyway. Lucky Breaks is not meant to step on the toes of more dedicated investigators. But if the group finds themselves stuck in a scene, feeling like they haven't gotten the important information but unclear on how to proceed, you may just need to spend a point to clear the logjam.
In addition, you may spend Lucky Breaks for other benefits, such as...
Spending a point to allow a second try following a failed Preparedness test. If this second test succeeds, you find the item serendipitously.C…