Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Icons Assemble!

So, I bought a hard copy of Icons: Assembled Edition.

I'm about halfway through the book, and I like what I've read so far.

Yes, it has qualities a la Fate, but they are only part of the system. There are stats everyone has, pretty standard RPG combat (rolls to hit, defense, Stamina points, etc) and even a default assumption that you will be generating a character via random roll. All of these are far more to my tastes than the hashtag orgy that is Fate. In fact, the text gives me ideas on how to to take the one or two bits from Fate that I like and tie them into a simple Fudge game or the like.

The only bit I'm not super clear on the concept of pyramid tests. It seems to be an unnecessarily jargon-y version of extended rolls/tests in other games. I'll just reread that part.

What I really like is that the random heroes and random plots sections can help me whip out an on-the-fly supers game, which could be handy at cons or the like.

A solid purchase. I'm glad I gave in.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Cryptworld + Majus + Creature Feature = ???

I think I may have finally found the World of Darkness replacement I've been searching for.
I downloaded Cryptworld, a clone of 1st edition Chill, because it was on sale.
I picked up Creature Feature (the book that lets you play the monsters) at a Half-Price Books in Overland Park when I attended KantCon last summer.
I downloaded Majus today after waffling on it for awhile.

So... Cryptworld provides the framework, Majus the rules for, you know, mages, and Creature Feature lets you play vampires, werewolves, mummies, and ghosts.

Bam.

I think I may have finally replaced WoD. Granted, it kind of invalidates all the work I did on my Fudge Darkness game, but... mission accomplished?

We shall see...


Incidentally, I have 2nd edition Mayfair Chill and some supplements for it, but I don't know how compatible Mayfair and Pacesetter are off the top of my dome.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Icons... A Near-Impulse Almost-Purchase

So, I don't like Fate.
Not Core.
Not Accelerated.

I've already blogged about this and shan't waste time repeating the hows or whys.

That being said...

I was wandering through my Fate last night when I chanced upon "Icons: Assembled Edition" and found myself paging through it.

Despite being based on Fate, this feels like a game I could roll with. It has ability scores (using an adjective scale quite similar to Fudge, the venerable ancestor of Fate) It uses a 1d6 + whatever roll. It seems to have relatively normal/traditional mechanics for damage rather than all this stakey/consequency stuff. (Though there is some of that.)


 Interestingly, it seems that the creator of Icons is the guy who created Mutants & Masterminds, which I once briefly flirted with and quickly abandoned. It seems he wanted to get away from the crunch and clunk a little bit. I'm intrigued.

Not sure if I'm $35 intrigued, but still.... intrigued nonetheless.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Six Shooters Vs. Gatlings and Other Tales of Woe

Deadlands rolls on.

We had two players rejoin us who hadn't been able to play for a couple of months.
Tragically, both of their PCs died.
The party engaged an automaton head on. Three lessons could be learned from this encounter:

1. Sometimes you should talk before you shoot,
2. Simply trading shots with an opponent who (literally) outguns you is just askin' for it, and
3. Sometimes it's better to just stay down when you're down.

The automaton actually had a bit of a story behind it, but the players done blowed it up, so I'm going to shrug my shoulders and move on.

Admittedly, my Deadlands game is really more like Wild Wild West + Ron Edward's Sorcerer + The Sopranos + one of those "Tycoon" simulator games. I have these rules for resources and wealth points and research points, players have different buildings they can use to produce things, etc. I think I'm going to keep it running like this until the PCs have managed to secure the entire town of Creede, after which we can look at changing things up or carrying on as-is.

The PCs have a stable of hired NPCs now (an occultist and some hired guns), an occult library, a demon summoning circle, a necromancy lab, and a silver mine to pay for it all.

While markedly different from my other DL games of days past, I'm enjoying it immensely.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Closing Thoughts on Running Rifts

So my Rifts game has gone into cryo-stasis so that Steven can continue Thursday night Beyond the Supernatural 2nd edition. The game actually ran quite a bit longer than was originally intended; my initial plan was to run it two or three times while Steven recovered from a minor medical procedure. 

Rifts is a huge game. I mean, it's got 34 world books, fourteen (I think) dimension books, and plenty of weird "other" books (the Coalition war series, etc.) It has hundreds, literally hundreds, of character classes. It has a dozen or more types of magic. It has more guns than a NRA convention.

I think that part of the key to running a Rifts game that doesn't fall apart or leave the GM a gibbering, broken mess is to run a Rifts game with focus. Find a corner in the huge, sprawling mess that is the Rifts universe (megaverse, technically) and explore that corner. You don't have to use 34 world books, or even five, if you don't want to. A lot of the people I've games Rifts with seem to feel a weird pressure to allow any-and-eveything in their Rifts games. I get that the whole Palladium thing is that all this bid'ness is uber-compatible, but the reality of it is that these books were written by numerous authors and have been written over the course of 25 years. The power level, scope, and mood of the books vary widely (which is a good thing, by my reckoning.) Not all of that stuff plays well together, thematically or mechanically.

Rifts is a big ol' kitchen sink. I find that it works best when you pick something you want to do specifically. My Madhaven game was basically a sci-fi fantasy dungeon/hexcrawl. Steven's Dinosaur Swamp game was Jurassic Park with rocket launchers. You could run a low power urban game in Chi-Town that resembled Shadowrun. You could do trippy-ass post-apoc science fantasy with Rifts England. You could do the Coalition War.


So, this post was quite belated, and JB if you're reading this, I apologize. 

My Rifts game will be back next time Steven needs a break, be it in a month or be it in the summer. (Homie doesn't like running horror games in the summer, which is fine by me.)



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Less Multi Means More Tasking

Work + Grad School + Running three games = Doing five things at less than full potential.
So!

1. Going to be transitioning the Thursday game back to the austere guidance of Steven. I know that in about two-three weeks he intends to resume Beyond the Supernatural, and I am totally down. Hopefully I can pound out a few more tower levels and let my PCs kill or join a Necromancer before I hand the reigns back.

2. The Sunday Ravenloft game is going to move to every other week.

I figure running 1.5 games (Friday night Deadlands and every-other-Sunday Ravenloft) will result in much, much better games.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Central Casting Dungeons, or, How to Spend Way Too Much Time Making a Boring Ass Dungeon

When I first moved to this town, I played in a campaign that used Central Casting to generate characters. We ended up with a guy who had a horse tail and a pair of twins, though one was born in an alley and one in a cave. Everyone was so poor they started with no equipment. One character owned another.

It fucking sucked, and we hated our ridiculous characters from the get go.

When I saw Central Casting Dungeons at the used book store, I should've known better, but it was like five bucks and appeared to be a big book of generating dungeons.

Really. Bland. Dungeons.

Far too much of the book, and far too much of the dungeon room generation entries treat us as if we have no idea how to draw a square or rectangular room on a piece of graph paper.

There's a table to tell you what metal a dungeon's smith specialized in.

The alchemist's room? Yeah, nothing except rolling to see what the dimensions of the room are.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by shit like the One Page Dungeon context and the early Raggi stuff and all you crazy bloggers and The Dungeon Alphabet... CCD (ha!) is just a big book that generates elaborately dull dungeons.

I suppose I should be thankful that I merely find this book bland, as opposed to the bile that usually rises in my throat from previous experiences with Central Casting books.