Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

TEOTWAWKI*

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Modern, RPG
Tags: , , ,

And I feel fine!

It was sixty years since the “big stop” happened, the day that everything ceased moving, the skies grew quiet.  In the interim life has gone on, changed but still continuing.  The Mad Max world envisioned by Hollywood never came to pass, there were no wild packs of roving gangs with guns, no turbocharged death machines filling the roads.  It was more of a return to a simpler time, with horses supplanting cars again, roads slowly losing their pavement, and man losing his place as the master of nature.

*The end of the world as we know it!

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Killer Mythic tools (part 1)

Posted: October 15, 2009 in RPG, Tools
Tags: , ,

I was inspired to put this here after E started up her game and was looking for some sources, so here are some darned useful links for Mythic games (and other games as well, but especially so with the random nature of Mythic).

Generators
http://watchout4snakes.com/creativitytools/RandomWord/RandomWordPlus.aspx – random part of speech including frequency

http://www.ypass.net/misc/dictionary/ – good for verb/noun combinations

http://toolserver.org/~hippietrail/randompage.fcgi?langname=English – random wiktionary

http://www.bartleby.com/81/ – Brewer’s Phrase and Fable

Names and such
http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/gen-male-us-us.php

http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-bein.php

Tropes!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/randomitem.php?p=

The online mythic play page
http://www.evilgenius.org.nz/blackmagic.html

I’ve been anxious to get my copy of Lacuna Part 1 (Second Attempt) The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City  from Memento Mori. I’d read some play examples and reviews that all said there was very little there to hold onto in terms of character, that players would often clutch at anything they got hold of simply because there was so little there. So this, of course, raised my antenna and got me curious about what that really meant.

Mystery Agent with Lacuna Device

Mystery Agent with Lacuna Device

 

Well it showed up today and and they’re right. Despite all the “experimental” nature of it, and the “unfinished setting”, as settings go, it’s extremely narrow. There is very little room for the GM to interject their own twists on the setting writ large. The Company is the Company. Mystery Agents are Mystery Agents. Heck you can’t even go Deep Blue until you get some depth of experience with a goodly number of games in. There’s lots of room to play inside those boundaries, but it’d be tough to jiggle with the framework and still say you’re playing Lacuna.

In terms of character, there’s three stats which expand to nine, maybe a talent or two, a heart rate, a rolled name and age and that’s about it. No extensive skill lists, no weapons lists at all, no modifiers, nothing. So how, I found myself wondering, do you put hooks on that? How do you make a real character out of that? Then I realized, the same way you do with any character: by who they are, not what they know.

Defining a character by skills and a sheet isn’t making a character, and gives no hooks at all to the GM to work with. In Lacuna in particular, they try and do it with their mentors and the hints of things that are wrong with them and the company, but that’s too large for me. That’s X-Files conspiracy large.  And it’s pretty much the same impact on every character in the game.  I like my characters to have something closer to home, something that defines and drives the character. So I came up with some “personal” hooks.

I started with “what if the character is related to one of the mentors, unbeknown to the Company”? Then I went a step further with it. What if the character is related to another Agent, but they don’t know who? This mystery agent was able to track his missing sister to the Company. He knows she joined, but has no idea who she is, since you take a generic ‘agent name’ and must by Company rules use only that name. His goal, now that he’s an agent, is to find his sister for some reason. Something family related maybe. Will he run into her in one of the unisex bathrooms? Meet her on a mission? Maybe she’s made it to the Black levels already. Will she end up being a Hostile Personality he’ll need to Lacuna on a mission sometime? It’s now up to the GM (Control) to weave that aspect into this and any future games with this agent.  Drop hints, give clues, and it’d be a great way to start generating static!  And I had all this within an hour of opening the envelope the game came in. I’m looking forward to getting a bit more time to think on it even further.

So I start the Lacuna character creation process. I start by rolling a name. I get “Tiller”. Then I need to assign his abilities. I decide that he’ll be a fairly even character, not exceptional in any one area except where his talent lies, so it’s threes across the board. For his talent I’ll take “Investigation”, since this is all driven by his desire to find his younger sister, and obviously if he was able to track her this far so he knows what he’s doing. I roll for his mentor, and get Agent Baxter, the former Deep Blue agent who got caught in scandal. From her he gets Meditation and access to the Cover tree.

Then we roll for age, select sex based on the player, and that gives us his heartrates. And that’s it, as far as the sheet’s concerned, we’re done.  Here’s the character sheet:

Agent Tiller
Security: Blue Clearance

Force 3d
Instinct 3d – talent for investigation
Access 3d

Techniques
Meditation 

Medical Data
Sex: Male
Age: 28
Resting BPM: 70
Target BPM: 98-146
Max BPM: 192

But really, that’s only a part of the character.  Now I write up a separate sheet with all the character details I’ve come up with, and that really fills in the character.

Agent Tiller is really Robert Jackson, a country boy who left reluctantly to go find his little sister Laura after a family tragedy necessitated it. Laura had left years earlier under a cloud, barely out of her teens and the family lost all track of her.  Jackson was able to track her to the Nasrudin Institute (“the Company”) where the trail went cold. Eventually he learned that she’d become a Mystery Agent, the pseudo-official operatives of the Company who use their talents in the dreamlands of Blue City. Intregued and determined more than ever to find her, Jackson joined the institude as well, and has graduated to be a Mystery Agent himself. There’s still no sign of his sister, and he’s cautious about asking too many questions, for fear of being dumped before he even begins. In Blue City, however, many more things are possible…

The Nouns of RPGing

Posted: October 2, 2009 in RPG
Tags: , , ,

People, places and things.

If schoolhouse rock taught me anything, it’s that this is the definition of a noun.  But when you think about it, really, that the foundations for any and every roleplaying game too.  People (characters, and NPCs), places (from the deepest dungeon to crawl to the fastest space transport in the stars) and things (is that a +8 sword of singing and decapitation or are you just glad to see me?)

For pretty much as long as I’ve been playing, I’ve loved this part of the game.  <old man voice> I started playing back in the winter of ’78 and I ain’t stopped yet </old man voice> and I remember even then filling notebooks with environments, character ideas, magic treasures that characters could find.  And when I wasn’t playing, I was having very vivid games in my head, living out the lives of my own characters and their interactions with NPCs and then then NPC’s lives.  I know, pathetic isn’t it?

It’s continued through high school, university and well into my adult life (well, my driver’s license tells me I’m an adult anyway, and my sons call me dad so that’s gotta count for something I guess, but I digress).  Even now, though I’m actually without a regular role playing group I still continue to purchase rulesets and then produce campaign settings for them, even though the chances are presently quite slim that I’ll ever actually play them!  I’m a bit of a rules junkie and whenever my imagination gets captured by a rule concept or I see a particularly irrisistable deal, I have to pick them up.  And then when I get through them, I start tinkering and developing and letting my mind run wild.

And now I have a place to deposit it all.  I may not be able to play with them but I’m hoping you might.  That’s why I’ve started this blog: to share my thoughts and feelings on games and gaming, and also to put the stuff I’ve worked on out for others to see.  No I don’t think I’m some genius who should be listened to, but I know how much I enjoy reading stuff others have created, and how I can use that to fuel my own imagination and creations.  I’m hoping that I can do the same, and give a spark, an idea, a concept or even just another viewpoint, to take and do with whatever they see fit.

I’ll try and post fairly regularly.  No guarantees what it’ll be though, other than the nouns of RPGs: people, places and things, and occasionally thoughts on games in general.