M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Interlude 3)

(The following events take place after Episode 7)

It was an early morning. The events of the night before were exhausting to everyone. They group had gotten word from Hank that the girl, Melody, was safe. Ellen, the mother was relieved, and with everything that happened, she felt safe under protection of Nightfall.

Flint was tasked with driving her home. The Lewis's were definitely very well off. Their home, or estate, showed that. But as Flint drove her through the gate and leading up to the house, there was a definite emptiness about it all. Her demeanor wasn't indicative of one one coming home from a long day. She reflected the same emptiness and loneliness.

As Flint let her out of the car, she asked him if he could accompany her inside, she had something to give Nightfall for all their trouble. Flint was lead inside and down into what could only be described as a very large multi-room wine cellar. She explained on their way that a few months ago her husband had taken an obsessive interest in the occult. It consumed his time and a decent chunk of his money.

She led Flint into a room that was different from the rest of the wine cellar. It was a library. Not a gaudy and well decorated library, but a room with shelves and shelves of books. Also a work desk and bench covered in chemistry equipment. Her husband scoured everywhere he could to find as much literature as possible on the supernatural and paranormal. This was his collection, and she was giving it to them. She figured it may help them in solving their mystery.

Flint was fascinated at first, but upon closer inspection many of the books are cheap generic titles you would find in any new age section at a library or bookstore. Then Flint arrived at a group of books together. They were all bound and together similarly, but each with a different title and language type. Chinese, Cyrillic, Nordic, and others. It seemed as though they all belonged to the same set. Then there was the one that appeared to have the most wear. The binding was nearly gone and much was rubbed off around it, exposing the wood interior of the covers. At first the title appeared gibberish, but the letter made sense quickly as Flint focused in on it. It said: "The Codex".

Ellen was still in the room with him, so in suspicion he asked her if she could read the title. She said she couldn't, but it was as clear as day to Flint. A fascinating book. He opened it. Filled with different notes, handwriting from different people in different inks, pasted in pages. Then it opened to a bright red silky book mark. Initial touch didn't feel like anything Flint knew of. As he lifted the bookmark out, he heard a voice;

"Hey man! Put me back!"

He glanced around the room to see if anyone else heard it. Ellen appeared to not notice. Sheepishly Flint replaced the bookmark. He turned his back to her, hoping she wouldn't notice him whispering into a book.

"Who, who are you?"

"I'm the bookmark. Don't take me out of here, this is the greatest book I've ever read! This is THE codex. I have everything I could ever want to read in here!"

Snapping the book close, Flint thanked Ellen for her time. He told her he would like to study the library more. She offered to have it all moved to the guest house and he would be given a key so he could visit it whenever he liked.

After some other pleasantries, he anxiously tried to leave. She was worried still about her daughter, but what mother wouldn't be. However she definitely felt she could trust the group. They appeared capable in her eyes, and some distance between the two of them may be necessary at the time. He gave her his contact information should she ever need anything.

Flint got back to his car and carefully laid the book on the passenger seat. He car speakers came through with the voice.

"Thanks for keeping me in here. I'm telling you, you would love what I'm reading."

"What are you reading?"

"The codex! This is the index for all magical tomes and writings ever written. I have it all, all I could ever want to know about any spell, enchantment, magical effect, anomaly, everything. You are gonna love this, man!"

"That's great to hear! How are you getting all this?"

"I'm a bookmark. I can read anything I'm placed inside. I can help you! I'm taking you for a wizard-type. Someone who is studying the arts. I can help you! Need to know anything? Just ask."

Flint could hardly believe what was happening, but again, a lot of unbelievable stuff had happened over the last several months "I really could use something like you."

"That's great, man. Hey, you need my name. That will allow you to call on me when I'm near for help and questions."

"Sure, what is your name?"

"My name is Timothy Jarald. But you can call me Tim, the Enchanter."

This was invaluable. Such a tool would be extremely important and helpful for the group. This bookmark was sentient, but not creative. It was like a magical smart phone with Google. It couldn't create or cast anything on its own, but it had a perfect knowledge of anything it could read. This would become Flint's, and the rest of Nightfall's, for that matter, knowledge repository.

"Tim, you and I are going to become good friends."

"Great to hear! So what would you like to know about first?"

"Tell me about.... flesh to stone."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 7, Part 3)

There was a little banter in the party, but the decision to find the two women in case they were in danger won out. The team rushed in their vehicle heading toward where the hospital or chapel was.On the way Kent called the hospital to see if 2 women, a mother and daughter were checked in early in the morning. It was confirmed that the mother was in ICU and her girl was with her. Having the information they needed, the group knew where to go.

When they arrived they did a quick scan for the gargoyle. They couldn't pinpoint any specific magical creature because the entire building was magical. It was literally soaked in magical residue and enchantments that it drowned out any attempts to narrow something down.

The whole group got to the ICU. They saw the room with the mother on a hospital bed being monitored, while the girl was asleep on a chair. Kent and Kody tried to enter the room but were stopped at the doorway. Like some invisible barrier would not allow them to go further. It was definitely a magic barrier.

Flint and Hank were able to go inside, though. The mother was unconscious on the bed. Hank went in and woke the girl up. He and Kent wanted to question her about what happened. So they took her out of ICU and into the chapel down the hall. Kody stood guard outside of ICU while Flint started to inspect the room. He noticed the mother was definitely enchanted with something, but he wasn't sure what. He inspected the enchantment on the room. From it he gleaned a lot about permanent enchantments and got an idea how they are made. This one appeared to be as old as the hospital itself, and made to keep magical creatures out. Scarred like Hank and Flint were able to enter inside because technically they are just human.

In the chapel, Hank and Kent began to question the girl about what happened, but through the questioning strange things began to happen. The room resonated with a power and light. The girl began to levitate inside the room and spoke with an otherworldly voice that was not her own:

Many have spoken
The end of the world is nigh
The Old One seeks his release
For it the young one must die

As she finished, things began to calm, but they wouldn't remain so for long.

Back in the ICU, as Flint was analyzing the room, the hairs on his skin began to stand up. He felt something dark began to enter in the room. At first he couldn't see from where, and the enchantment should have prevented anything. Then he realized, some of the equipment and furnishings were not as old as the building. Like the mirrors. Mirrors work as windows in many aspects, this one was working as a window to whatever was trying to get inside. Black smoke was seeping through the reflection. Thinking fast, Flint quickly grabbed a stool and slammed it into the mirror. It shattered, and naturally startled the staff outside. Kody quickly realized what was happening, and tried to prevent anyone else from entering.

The smoke or shadow that did enter morphed into small vile goblin-like creatures. They dodged Flint's attacks and started trying to smash the window in the room that lead to the outside. Flint gathered the energies he could sense in the room, and using some Force magic, lightning tore from the walls and hit the shadow creatures. It appeared to take care of some of them, but he was too late. The window was smashed. Flint feared this may have broken the room's enchantment, and provided a bigger window.

A massive arm reached into the room. It was an arm of decay, of smoke, and of shadow. Light was negated by its form. Flint knew what it was after, so he gathered the hospital bed with the mother and tried to make it out of the room.

Kody was assaulted by more of the small goblins. Using his own weapons of shadow and power he fought them off. Their puny forms were no match for the sheer strength he exuded both physically and mystically. The giant decaying shadow creature had made it inside and was fighting Kody. Against this foe, however, Kody seemed outclassed. It summoned thick smoke that paralyzed people unlucky enough to get a good lungfull. Luckily Kody and Flint were able to avoid most of it.

By now Kent and Hank heard the commotion. Hank adopted a protective stance to keep the girl safe. Kent rushed to join the fight. Weapons seemed to have little effect on it, even some of Kent's more unorthodox bullets. The large creature of death was obviously after the girl. Hank wanted to grab the girl and teleport outside the building, but something was preventing that. In an instant is teleporation spell seemed normal, but instead of outside the building, he found himself in the morgue. The creature may be altering his spells. He found himself in one of the empty body drawers.

Meanwhile the creature still fought, but since the girl wasn't there anymore, it teleported away. Kody was bruised and nearly broken from his fight with the creature and the 2goblins. Hank went to heal him and found that the ambient magic in the hospital helped him tremendously.

Flint was making his way around panicked normals to an elevator. He wanted to get the mother to safety. The elevator doors began to open, but instead of the elevator cart, it was the hulking mass of one of the giants from much earlier. "YOU BROKE MY CROSSBOW!" It yelled as it's massive fist reached in and grabbed the mother right off the bed. Out of a desperation, Flint cried out: "Wait! I will make you a new croosbow! A better one." The creature only paused for a second. "The shadowmaster wants the women."

Flint felt helpless in the whole situation. Luckily Kent had already come looking for him and let out enough rounds to drop the giant. Again. They recovered the woman and Kody and made their way to the bottom floor.

Feeling safe for a minute, Hank inspected the girl he held. She was unconscious. He felt the eerie cold from earlier, and the drawer was pulled out of the wall. The giant shadow creature laughed and reached for her. Hank had to strain hard enough, but he teleported away again, this time to the roof of the building. There just had to be a way out. A way to get outside the barrier of the hospital's enchantment and go somewhere far and safe with the girl.

There was a helicopter. Luckily Hank had some experience flying one. He got in an started the engines. Shadows gathered on the roof and the creature emerged. Hank feared there wouldn't be enough time to take off. Suddenly the cloaked gargoyle, the theologian, leaped onto the roof, and assaulted the creature. They were fiercely battling. Each time the creature landed a blow, a glowing magical rune on the gargoyle disappeared. He was handling the fight well, but it didn't look like it would happen indefinitely. The chopper began to lift off.

As the vehicle lifted off the roof, it lurched backwards. The creature had grabbed onto it and was preventing it from flying away. It reached up with its black arm and tore off the rear rotor. The chopper began to spin wildly. The gargoyle attached himself to the creature, holding it's attacks. The gargoyle looked into Hanks eyes for a brief moment, and he could be heard yelling "Save the girl!" It threw an attack which caused the creature to let go, and they both fell.

The chopper was spinning faster. Alarms blared in the cockpit. It descended quickly. Hank was barely able to get to the girl and hug her when he felt the veil lift. The barrier which was restricting his teleportation was now gone. As they fell, they left it behind. With only a split second, and the feel of the paradox painfully wash through him, he pushed for a final grand teleport. The helicopter crashed to the ground in an exploding ball of flame.

In pain, but elated with relief, the view of Hank's home came to focus. The girl was going to be alright. The rest of the group took the mother somewhere safe as well.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 7, Part 2)

Upon returning to the scene, this time at night, they met the three investigators. It was a tense meeting at first because one of the investigators was a larger hairy man who they had already met, under bad circumstances. He was the pack leader of the biker gang. His name was Cyrus Blackmoor. He protested Nightfall's arrival, but another investigator held him back.

She was Cynthia Towne. Her features looked feminine, and was shrouded completely by a cloak the entire time. Again, she looked and spoke as an adult woman, but with the voice of a child. She was the leader of this little group. Another accompanies them, Elisa Anne Shadows. A beutiful brunette, but a fierce gaze, had a shotgun slung under her arm.

These were investigators sent by the Fraternal Order of Hermes. A coalition of magical houses. Luckily diplomacy got the better of both groups, as they all realized that they may have a common enemy. Albeit an unknown one. They grilled Nightfall on what they knew of the case, which unfortunately wasn't much.

Hank had the confidence to try a spell of postcognition. One in which he could see the events of the past in this room. One of the investigators, Elisa, girl with the shotgun, offered to help him. Luckily Hank was adept enough to gather a detailed vision of the murder, and all that happened. It was surprising.

The vision was still garbled, unclear in certain parts. Like looking at cheap surveillance video at a convenience store. It showed John working in his office during late hours, which was normal for his practice. Elaine and Melody Lewis showed up for an appointment. John seemed anxious for this because this would be Nightfall's first unsolved mystery he would be getting back to. They had seeked him out because of Melody's visions. She spoke with John:

Mentions of her father missing.
Mentions of The Apocalypse.
Mentions of 'the tower', known to mundanes as Willis, or previously Sears Tower.
Mentions of 'the old one'
Mentions of Nightfall.

Hank couln't make sense of most of it because of how garbled it was. The girl knew her father was captured and alive, but feared his death soon.

Just as the vision started to clear up, it got grim. Two giants and a woman who looked like Kate entered the room. They wanted the girl, Melody, but John got in the way. Shots were fired, having no effect, and they picked him up and slammed him into the wall.

A strange figure broke through the outside window, a creature. Resembling a gargoyle in a black cowl and cape. It rushed in and grabbed Melody and her mother. One of the giants tried to grab the creature, but it adeptly dodged. It looked at John in the eyes, and there was a brief eye-to-eye communication. The giant with it's mighty fist slammed into the creature, but just in time it held its hand up, a protection spell glowing and inscribed in the palm. The spell protected it and the girls from damage, but the force still threw them through the window and outside. They disappeared into the night.

Back in the office, a helpless John was still pinned to the wall. The girl asked him what house he belonged to. He said none. She debated with the giant holding John. She considered recruiting him because he was not yet a Tremere puppet, he could be useful.

"Well, he is still a hollow, he cannot be trusted." the giant said.

She agreed and approached John. Coldly and effortlessly, she proceeded to kill a hollow the best way she knew. The giant slammed John against the wall, while she dug her fingers into his chest. He cried out in pain as she tore the rib cage open in a gory scene of violence. John's expression was to haunt Hank. The woman then gripped the exposed heart, and yanked it out as tendons and veins snapped free. In an instant John was lifeless, his corpse slumped to the floor.

With the heart still in hand, the three assailants left the room.

Hank awoke, head reeling with what he had seen. Elisa saw it all too.

They recounted it to the others. From Nightfalls proceeding conversations with the three investigators, many questions were answered. The powerful mage they had all met at warehouse 77 was the leader of house Tremere, and master of Cynthia towne. Once she had found out that it was they who attacked him that night, she advised the group to keep their distance from Tremere a while, and left the room. The rest of the group continued a conversation getting some more details of the various houses. Apparently Nightfall has been on the radar of the houses for a while now. Their actions have not been going unnoticed.

Meanwhile outside, Kody was still hanging out by the van. The shrouded lady visited with him. She told him that the creature that took the girls, Theo, the theologian, was not to be trusted, and he should be hunted down. She advised Kody to honor the memory of John, and find and protect the girls.

The rest of the group met up with Kody. They had one decision to make, two choices:

Find the girls and this theologian. They got a lead from the investigators that he roosts at a catholic building. But there were 2 buildings with the name that was given: an old hospital, and a cathedral.

The other choice was to find and hunt the two giants and the homunculus Kate-look-a-like as soon as possible. They had found that assassinations of this type were happening allover. All victim were hollow. When they caught up with the killer homunculus, they were too late, it would always reboot and forget its past. They had little time.

The group debated on which action to take. Much rested on this decision.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Good news, and bad news.

The Good News
My 3D printer arrived! After a very long anxious wait, I received this package today.
I can now finally begin my grand experiment to see what personal affordable home 3D printers can do for the hobby. I have a ton of personal projects and other things, this is expected to be very busy.

The Bad News
Well this sucks. The printer I ordered was supposed to have a heated build platform. It's a part that keeps the platform hot so when you print with ABS plastic they don't warp. This unit does not have such a part. I emailed customer service about it.

No printing yet. What a cruel fate. I finally have my cake, but I can't eat it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 7, Part 1)

Kody doesn't often get sick. The man (or astral really) has the constitution of a bear. But this night, he woke up with a searing pain in his chest. One so excruciating that he leaped from his bed and straight to the toilet, wherein he vomited all meals from the day before. Something was wrong, very wrong. There was nothing celestial out of the ordinary. The moon wasn't a trouble phase for him. So what was it? He looked up into the mirror and saw one of his eyes had changed. One of them was off-color. John's eyes were 2 different colors. Kody passed out.

Meanwhile Kent was woken up by the phone. Upon answering it he heard Johns voice, a little disturbed: "Kent, I need you to come by my office as soon as you can in the morning. I have some new information about the Lewis family case." (NOTE: The Lewis' are the family that they rescued in episode 1) The message was abrupt yet disturbing.

The morning came and Kent went to John's office. John was a man of psycho-empathic abilities that gave him a knack at getting to issues with people, which made him an excellent therapist. His night job when not working for Nightfall was running a small clinic. It was at this clinic that Kent found covered in police vehicles from both the local and federal government. Kent showed his badge and talked to an officer. There was a homicide. His heart sank. He asked to go inside and see. He was lead into John's office, and even with a homunculi's constitution, he had to pause from the gruesome sight. There was obvious sign of struggle and shooting, and there against the wall was the body of John Smith, with his chest torn completely open, and his heart missing, like it was ripped out of its cavity. Kent knew what this would mean to Kody.

Kody had found through divinations from certain individuals, that his current calling in life was to protect John. After a few call attempts, Kody finally awoke to answer. In no time he rushed to the scene. Barely showing etiquette for the rest of the law enforcement, who nearly treated him like a hostile, but Kent was able to talk them down. He stormed into the office. Kody stared silently at the body. He demanded everyone leave the room. The FBI was reluctant to go, but Kent was able to talk them out. When the coast was clear, Kody shifted into his wolf form.

The great beast nuzzled up to John, slight whimpers escaped his muzzle. He was looking for scents. Kody smelled John, of course, a few other individuals he did not recognize, but also a couple he did. That of Elaine and Melody Lewis, the mother and daughter from episode 1. He shifted out and relayed his findings to Kent. They let everyone back in. Special FBI agent Reznik asked to speak with Kent about it.

He was suspicious of the whole situation, especially after seeing Kody having such a strong response to it. He suspected they knew eachother, but when he confronted Kent about it, he bluffed his way out of it. Special Agent Reznik is part of the FBI's special crimes division, tasked with taking care of cases with "unusual circumstances". Things didn't add up, but he seemed to trust Kent, for now. Through talks Kent found they had called in another outside group to look at it later that night. They were like Nightfall, in that they looked for supernatural elements in scenes for more clues.

Kent thanked him for his help, and took an extremely angered Kody to Nightfall, where they called an emergency meeting.

Flint and Hank arrived and noticed Kody barely able to contain his anger. Luckily Kent was still in charge. He relayed the news to the others which came as a shock. A very sad development. John was well loved and an extremely valuable asset to the group. The group unanimously decided to try going back to the scene at night and find out what they could from this other supernatural group that was to be there.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Star*Drive Extra Material

A reader of this blog emailed me and told me he had joined a d20 game where the GM was using the Star*Drive campaign setting. It was one of those "thought you'd like to know" things. It appeared to be a Concord centered campaign, as players were encouraged to be either Concord military or t'sa. Pretty cool.

He also informed me of a neat little note about the t'sa race that he invented for his character. I thought it sounded cool, so consider the following a little extra material tied to my entry on the t'sa:
T'sa Head Fins
While not quite like antlers or fingernails, the fin's sensitivity could best be described as having the sensitivity of a human's callous.  It looks as if the original purpose of the fin is to get rid of heat.  It also looks as if the fin might have provided natural camouflage from predators.  A t'sa would squat down, pull in arms and legs, leaving only head and fin visible and exposed to attacks from above.

Fin styling is a thriving business within T'sa space. Styles would vary by planet, clan, haut-society, political faction, and cliques.  T'sa entering military service would have to have the fin trimmed down to a minimum crest (like hair).
Things like this, along with weren hairstyling, could be ways players make their characters a little more personal.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Once again, for the 31st time, I am celebrating my own birthday alongside the nation. I look forward to it and hope you all get together as well and light off some fireworks.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wartech Campaign: Experimental Rules (Part 5)

Dynamic Gear System

This is something that Jarom and I have been brainstorming for a while, and something we want to implement in our own game. It's a dynamic gear creation system. Where making the gear for your character is as involved as making your character. We wont be providing a huge list of weapons and armor in a core book and countless sourcebooks, rather a system where you can make your own gear. It allows you to customize it however you need, and keep you updated on pricing, which is the balancing factor. You could potentially create something very devastating, but when it's price starts to get higher than your credits you are given, you begin to think twice about buying it over a decent set of armor or rations and supplies. Our justification in this system is there are countless arms and weapons manufacturing companies and nations in the galaxy, at least one of them is bound to make the thing you are thinking of.

Jarom even ingeniously developed a way that price will go up or down depending on where you get the item from (to show rarity) or what your nation of origin is (to show racism in unfair business practices). For example: My brother, James, who played Gra', the cardoon, was once a shocktrooper for the Hezakian Combine. The Combine garners a lot of discrimination and racism toward the cardoon, but they also make the type of gear he likes and has grown accustomed to. So when James was creating his awesome weapons, he found them to be extremely expensive, because in order to get the features he wanted, they were only available if the weapon was declared to be of Combine make. It even amounted to something like each grenade costing some amount of 1/4th of his monthly salary. However, they were ideal for his character, and on more than one occasion the weapons showed their potency and worth with his fighting style.  It will definitely be one thing some players will have to deal with.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BIG NEWS: 3D Printer Update

That's right. An update on my long awaited 3D printer projects. I got the money needed and was able to put in an order for one. This is really exciting for me because I will finally be able to get started on all my projects I have been planning. A few things:

My printer wont be here for about 2-4 weeks. They have to assemble it before they can send it.
It won't be a Makerbot. The Makerbot, while a very good machine, has been getting increasingly expensive. As new editions came out, the price kept going up significantly. The cheapest version of their latest model is $2,200. So I am opting for a Solidoodle 3. It is capable of the same printing resolution and is only $800.

My little thermometer image to the right of this page has been removed. I may put something there again related to printing, like an image that links to what I am currently printing.

Once it gets here you can be assured that I will keep you all updated on the process for getting it setup and running my first print. I have no shortage of things I want to try printing, so you can expect this thing to be in use a lot.

This picture is a screenshot of only a portion of the things I want to print. Most all of them are links from Thingiverse.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wartech Campaign: Experimental Rules (Part 4)

Broad Psionic Skills

One of the things I wanted about psionics in our Wartech setting, was that they did not have definite powers. They worked more like skills. You do your best to describe what all that psionic skill type encompasses and then you let the player use it however they interpret it. There are 3 categories of psionics: mind psionics, body psionics, and spirit psionics: and within each category there are 5 skills. These are meant to broadly cover any sort of power that is available in this setting.

Unfortunately we didn't get to try the new psionics rules as much as we would have liked. It just didn't come up that often. My brother, James, rolled and extra character which was purely psionic so we could get a taste of them. We really liked what we were able to try. It just felt right keeping the skills broad and the GM created TN's based on the difficulty of our actions.


MIND Psionic Skills
  • Mind Attack = Mental assault on a target, causing damage. Bursting through defenses on a targets mind to make them more vulnerable to other mind psionics. Example uses:
    • Mind Blast: Assault a mind with thought. Strain determines damage. The damage is unmitigated by armor. Tn7=L(stun), tn9=L, tn11=M, tn13=V
    • Weaken Mind: Distract or weaken the mind’s defenses. Strain determines bonus to Mind class psionics used against target. Tn7=+1 bonus, tn9=+2 bonus, tn11-+3 bonus, tn13=+4 bonus. Lasts for 2 rounds.
    • Weaken Resolve: Demoralize or depress the target. Strain determines penalty target takes whenever it attempts a resolve check. Tn7=-1 penalty, tn9=-2 penalty, tn11=-3 penalty, tn13=-4 penalty. Lasts for 2 rounds.
  • Mind Drain = Draws energy from the target, causing fatigue, or remove ideas, thoughts, and even memories; like a mind wipe. Example uses:
    • Cause Fatigue: Get the brain to think it is tired and fatigued. Strain determines stun damage inflicted on target. The damage is unmitigated by armor. Tn7=L(stun), tn9=M(stun), tn11=V(stun), tn13=X(stun)
    • Memory Wipe: Remove targeted memories. Strain determines detail of information you erase from target’s memory. Example: tn7=character doesn’t remember meeting you in passing. Tn13=character has no memory at all of any of your parties actions over the past month.
  • Mind Projection = Sending or suggesting messages, pictures, thoughts or emotions. Also can be used for establishing a simple message link with a non-psionic character. Example uses:
    • Suggestion: Put thoughts into a mind, making it think they are its own. Strain determines the difficulty of the idea suggested to a character. Example: tn7=suggest an action that the character would normally do, like go to the bathroom while he is working. Tn13=suggest an action that goes against everything the character believes in, like placing the gun to his temple and pulling the trigger.  Lasts until you use another psionic power or lose concentration.
    • Illusion: Fool the target’s mind into thinking it is seeing or hearing something. Strain is determined by the complexity and believability of the illusion. Example: tn7=fools the guard into thinking you are wearing a company uniform. Tn13=fools the person into thinking that the room is full of ghosts. Lasts until you attempt another psionic power or you lose concentration.
    • Message Link: Allow you to trade messages with a non-psionic character. Strain determines difficulty and complexity of the message. Example: tn7=2 or 3 word messages to another within the same building. Tn13=Discuss your attack plan to another on the other side of the planet. Trading messages with another psionic character is easier, so the strain difficulty is reduced 1 step. Lasts until you attempt another psionic power or you lose concentration.
  • Mind Reading = Sensing or reading thoughts, pictures, or emotions. Also can be used for establishing a simple message link with a non-psionic character. Example uses:
    • Probe: Used on someone unaware of your probing or resistant to you. Strain determines complexity or details of your search. Example: tn7=basic mood or emotion of the subject. Tn13=his entire plan including times and names.
    • Share Sense: Allows you to see things through the target’s own eyes, or hear through their own ears remotely. Strain is determined by the familiarity with the target and distance away. Example: tn7=a fellow teammate in the next room. Tn13=someone you don’t know in the next building over. Lasts until you attempt another psionic power or you lose concentration.
    • Message Link: Allow you to trade messages with a non-psionic character. Strain determines difficulty and complexity of the message. Example: tn7=2 or 3 word messages to another within the same building. Tn13=Discuss your attack plan to another on the other side of the planet. Trading messages with another psionic character is easier, so the strain difficulty is reduced 1 step. Lasts until you attempt another psionic power or you lose concentration.
  • Mind Shield = Protect against mind attacks or increasing resolve against situations. Example uses:
    • Mind Armor: Creates a mental barrier which shields your mind against attacks and intrusions. Strain determines the armor rating it has against Mind Blasts and Cause Fatigue, and the penalties they suffer when using other Mind class psionics against you. Tn7=L armor/-1 penalty, tn9=M armor/-2 penalty, tn11=V armor/-3 penalty, tn13=X armor/-4 penalty. Lasts until you attempt another psionic power or you lose concentration.
    • Strengthen Resolve: Reinforce your mental faculties and strengthen them. Strain determines bonus granted to resolve checks. Tn7=+1 bonus, tn9=+2 bonus, tn11=+3 bonus, tn13=+4 bonus. Lasts until you attempt another psionic power or you lose concentration.
BODY Psionic Skills
  • Psi-alteration = The psionic can alter its physical features so as to disguise itself or accomplish something it wouldn’t be able to do in its normal form. Example uses:
    • Squeeze: Change your shape to be thinner or just on your limbs to squeeze through tight spaces or small areas. How much you are needing to squeeze determines the strain. Example: tn7=shift your arms to slip out of arm-cuffs. Tn13=flatten your whole body to squeeze through prison bars. Lasts until you use another psionic power or lose concentration.
    • Stretch: Extend limbs or fingers to increase your reach. Length extending and which extremity determines the strain. Example: tn7=use your whole body to reach higher to get the item from the top shelf. Tn13=stretch your finger longer to reach around inside a lock and pick it manually. Lasts until you use another psionic power or lose concentration.
    • Disguise: Alter your own facial and body features enough to hide your identity. This cannot change skin or hair color, or alter hair lengths. How drastic of a change you wish to accomplish determines the strain. Example: tn7=droop your body and features to make you appear much older. Tn13=alter facial features slightly to copy another person’s so you appear to be like them in passing. Lasts until you use another psionic power or lose concentration.
  • Psi-metabolism = Allows the psionic to alter his/her metabolism to survive with little sustenance and in extreme environmental conditions. Example uses:
    • Adapt: Regulate your metabolic processes to survive in hostile environments. Severity of the conditions determines the strain. Example: tn7=function after 3 days with no food or water. Tn13=function in a toxic atmosphere with little oxygen.
    • Feign Death: Slows your metabolic rate to a degree that makes it appear you are dead to scans and inspection. Strain determines the duration of the effect before you awake, and damage you take upon awaking. The damage is unmitigated. Tn7=a few hours, L(stun) damage. Tn9=half a day, M(stun) damage. Tn11=a full day, L damage. Tn13=2-3 days, M damage.
  • Psi-emission = Transfer of biokinetic energy from within the body. Used a lot with devices to make things like psychic shields or blades. Example uses:
    • Empower Psi-device: The device used will determine the strains and damage/armor they provide. Using the device lasts until you use another psionic power or lose concentration.
    • Energy Transfer: You can use some of your stun points to heal another character, through touch, of stun damage. The strain is determined by the amount of stun damage you heal on the target. Tn7=1 stun healed, you take no stun damage. Tn9=2 stun healed, you take 1 stun damage. Tn11=3 stun healed, you take 2 stun damage. Tn13=4 stun healed, you take 3 stun damage. You still take the stun damage whether or not you succeed in your roll. You cannot attempt a heal if you do not have enough remaining stun points. If this uses up your remaining stun, the action is resolved as normal, then you pass out upon completion. You can attempt this at short range, but it increases the difficulty of the strain 1 step.
  • Psi-enhancement = Boosting your characters’ own abilities. Such as concentration, speed, and strength. Example uses:
    • Boost Strength: Increases your strength temporarily, granting you a +2 bonus to athletics and acrobatics checks and a +1 to melee damage. Strain determines how many rounds the effect lasts. Tn7=1 round, tn9=2 rounds, tn11=3 rounds, tn13=4 rounds
    • Boost Speed:  Increases your movement speed and initiative by +2 temporarily. Strain determines how many rounds the effect lasts. Tn7=1 round, tn9=2 rounds, tn11=3 rounds, tn13=4 rounds
    • Boost Concentration: Temporarily grants a bonus to all non-attack rolls. Strain determines how many rounds the effect lasts. Tn7=1 round, tn9=2 rounds, tn11=3 rounds, tn13=4 rounds
  • Psi-rejuvination = Heal yourself of wounds, even others through touch. Example uses:
    • Heal Self: Strain determines the amount of hit points or stun points you heal yourself. Tn7=L stun points, tn9=M stun points, tn11=L hit points, tn13=M hit points
    • Heal Other: Strain determines the amount of hit points you heal another through touch. Tn7=1 hit point, tn9=2 hit points, tn11=3 hit points, tn13=4 hit points
SPIRIT Psionic Skills
  • Cryokinesis = Slowing down molecules to reach freezing temperatures. Example uses:
    • Freezing Touch: Causes something you touch to begin to freeze or cool. Size of the object and intensity of the cold determines the strain. Example: tn7=cool an overheating gun. Tn13=completely freeze a body.
    • Cold Blast: Creates a blast of chilling air by dropping the temperature suddenly at a space surrounding a targeted point in medium range. Tn7=L(en) damage, tn9=M(en) damage, tn11=V(en) damage, tn13=X(en) damage.
  • Electrokinesis = Control of electricity. Different from Psi-emission. Can power equipment, charge batteries, even make limited range energy attacks. Example uses:
    • Electric Charge: Creates a stable and steady flow of power that can be used to power or charge devices. Must be able to touch the power or charging elements to charge the device properly. Size of the machine and familiarity with its electronics determines the strain. Example: Tn7=light a small lamp. Tn13=power an electric car on the move.
    • Electric Shock: Emits a violent bolt of electricity that can arc distances or short out electronics. The shock can be delivered through touch, or arc at Short range. To make it arc at a Medium range, the difficulty of the strain is increased 1 step. Tn7=M(en)(stun) damage, tn9=L(en) damage, tn11=M(en) damage, tn13=V(en) damage.
  • Pyrokinesis = Speeding up molecules to reach burning temperatures. Example uses:
    • Heating Touch: Something you touch begins to heat up. Size of the object and intensity of heat determines the strain. Example: tn7=warm up someone’s cold drink. Tn13=bring a large vat of water to boiling.
    • Ignite: Causes something that is flammable to ignite on fire. Severity of the fire determines the strain. Tn7=minor fire, deals L(en) damage. Tn9=moderate fire, deals M(en) damage. Tn11=stable fire, deals V(en) damage. Tn13=severe fire, deals X(en) damage. You can attempt to ignite the air in a specific area within medium range. This creates an effect similar to a flash fire and works like an incendiary grenade. This can only be attempted on a Tn11 and deals V(en) damage, or a Tn13 and deals X(en) damage.
    • Illuminate: Excites the molecules in something solid that is normally inflammable. This makes it provide illumination through touch, enough to emit a moderate amount of light for a room. The strain determines the amount of rounds it will last. Tn7=1 round, tn9=2 rounds, tn11=3 rounds, tn13=4 rounds
  • Technokinesis = Control machines and interfacing with them without cybertech. Example uses:
    • Control Device: Control the actions of a computer or electronic device. Once linked, you control it with skill checks like normal. Familiarity, complexity, and distance determines the strain. Example: tn7=a computer you are touching. Tn13=An AI across the room.
    • Scramble Device: Can send static or jumbled information to a machine that scrambles it and confuses it, often necessitating a reboot or power down. Distance away and familiarity with the device determines strain. Example: tn7=a computer you are touching. Tn13=An AI across the room.
    • Datalink: Establishes a wireless link with a computer or electronic device. Once linked, you receive information with skills checks like normal. Familiarity, complexity, and distance determines the strain. Example: tn7=a computer you are touching. Tn13=An AI across the room.
  • Telekinesis = Moving objects. Self levitation. Example uses:
    • Move Object: Can lift, push, or pull an object remotely. Distance away of the object and weight determines the strain. Example: tn7=move a tablet across the room. Tn13=slam an enemy into a wall.
    • Levitate: Causes yourself to float in the air. Height, distance, and how burdened you are determines the strain. Example: tn7=float silently across the floor unburdened. Tn13=soar quickly a few flights carrying something heavy.
While the sample applications listed don’t cover all possible uses of the skills, it samples the most common and works as guidelines for making your own. If a player thinks of a use for a power that is not described, determine if it’s believable with that power or another, and come up with your own strain outcomes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 6, Part 2)

It was nightfall as the group arrived at the place of John's vision. They counted the warehouses which were clearly labeled: Warehouse 5, Warehouse 6, Warehouse 77, Warehouse 8. It was odd. There wasn't enough buildings to count up to 77, but there it lay. When they arrived on location, vehicles were already there.

Kody, with his military training, recognized it as armed men piling out of unmarked vehicles. They had armor and automatic weapons, and worked in unison as though well trained. But there was no indications as to which government body they were from. Several piled into the warehouse, leaving a few on watch outside.

A plan to sneak up to the building and find a way in was quickly made. As the group tried their hand at stealth, unfortunately some were not as adept at it. Flint tripped and made enough noise to alarm the guards. "Witches! In the brush!" Arms fire erupted, from both sides. Kody was able to summon enough shadow cover to get everyone. They were able to take out and explode a few of the vehicles to help.

Once to the side of the warehouse building, Flint used some matter magic to open a hole big enough for others to peek through. Kent provided cover, so John looked inside. He saw a man laughing uproariously and with a wand, flinging magic missiles at the armed men all hiding in cover. The bullets seemed to have no effect on him. He also held with him some sort of glowing orb.

It was apparent that there were 2 sides to this fight, and the group needed to decide which side they were on. Hank had finally arrived from his investigation, then they snuck around to the other side of the warehouse and were able to capture one of the guards and question him, with the help of Kody's intimidating threats. The guard revealed they were a religious organization, The Fists of God. They had intel that within the warehouse were vampires trading slaves.

Kody does not like slavery. He thought that was reason enough for picking sides, but he needed the other story. The group took the guy hostage and went into where the battle was going on, ordering the fists of god to stop the fighting and lower their weapons. Kody confronted the hollow that was invulnerable to guns, and asked if it was true that there were slaves in the crates. "There are no humans here."

The fists of god opened a crate and it revealed a woman standing straight, completely still in a cage, one that looks strikingly similar to Kate. The one that Flint had met last. Kody enraged and turned into a bear. The fight erupted again. The hollow leaped away from the bear's onslought, and 2 other hollow joined in. With a wave of his wand, the cage broke open, and the woman awoke. She walked with no emotion up to Kody and threw him across the room, all 1,200 pounds of him, with little effort.

Hank had teleported up to the hollow, attempting to get a surprise attack, but he was being protected with some sort of field that slowed incoming objects, which kept all bullets from being lethal. Kody was able to get a heavy attack back on the woman, which threw her into the warehouse wall. Kent's gunfire had no effect on the other hollow in the room. They seemed to get shot, then get back up again. Flint went to rescue the woman who seemed momentarily unconscious.

Hank saw the hollow's power with his wand. So he teleported again, grabbed the wand, and teleported away, with the wand in hand. The fight was not looking good. They had to flee this one. Flint had to leave the woman behind. Something about her drew him to her, and he wasn't sure what.

They left the building with haste, and Hank didn't want to keep the wand or it would have become a serious liability to the group. Using some magic, he threw it into the middle of Lake Michigan.

They had left the conflict alive, but it seemed to be just the beginning of something greater. There was a war that was about to go down, and just as was warned to Flint, they needed to pick their side carefully.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My wife's first game of D&D (Part 4)

The campaign continues. The party copied down the crude map found in the structure, then ventured outside. Hogel, the orc tracker, noticed a lightly worn trail that lead toward the shores. There was enough foot traffic that suggested more than one trip was made on it by a group of people.

Following the trail they noticed an islander fishing village, still active. They were met with no hostility, only looks of suspicion, and sometimes derision. Attempts at communication were met with shuns and gibberish none recognized. Luckily they noticed a ship off shore, with a small rowboat. The ship was definitely more of the civilized sort, and so was the owner. A gaudily dressed seafaring man named Ferrus. He spoke common, and the native Bu'atu langage as well. He was a trader, and this village was one of many on his route he comes for fish and other island delicacies. He agreed to translate for the party in exchange for something. Luckily Galazbryn, the dwarf warrior, picked up an unknown trinket in the structure, it looked interesting enough to Ferrus that he agreed to help. They were lead to the village's leader, a larger tent and guarded by able bodied tribal men. Inside they were met with a welcome, and after some coaxing, they got the village elder to tell the story of this place, and the structure.

About a year ago, a giant ball of fire fell from the sky, and landed. After the fires cooled, all that remained was the strange structure. Inside were the strange mutated creatures. They were bothersome to the village, but only a nuisance. Thievery mostly. Then came a tribe of warrior woman from far away, they came seeking signs which they believed were the structure. The women emerged from it with a great orb of power. Then the warriors turned on the Bu'atu village and stole supplies and some men, and left to the caves to the north, there they remained. The elder was able to notice the features of Maevik and believed she was of them.

The group wished to go to the marauders and perhaps free the men slaves, and retrieve the golden orb. The elder was kind enough to impart one man who would guide them.

The next day began a 2 day long journey north through the thick jungles. Avoiding dangers along the way thanks to their guide. Once they arrived at the ravine which housed the caves, they noticed the activity. It was definitely inhabited. Their Bu'atu guide refused to go further. The group waited for nightfall before proceeding. Hogel of course scouted it out, gathering intelligence. There were tents outside the cave entrance, and they seemed to be mostly empty. The group decided it would be the best time to attack, so they assaulted the warriors. Maevik recognized some, but there was something off about them. They were paler of skin, slightly rotted flesh similar to the creatures in the structure, and a strange look behind their eyes, almost as if they were mad. The survivors refused to talk. Having silenced them, they cautiously approached the cave entrance, hearing the chanting and pyres inside. Nobody seemed to be alerted to what just happened.

As they got in deeper, they found themselves snuck up on by an entire hunting party that came back, a dozen arrows trained in on them. They dropped there weapons and were lead deep into the caves, into the source of the chanting. Verital, the tiefling warlock, could feel a power emanating from within, one he has only felt since starting this quest, but stronger now than ever. Then in the room there were many more women chanting around a pedestal which carried the golden orb, the one they seeked, and Khyos.

Khyos laughed at the sight of Maevik. Gloating to her younger sister of the new power their tribe achieved. Soon after Maevik was banished, and took the widowmaker, the sign of the right to rule, Khyos had a vision of a new source of power, a new heirloom. Following signs and portents, they were lead here to this place, and this orb. They have been worshiping it and it has granted them power.

Seeing her friends under the spears of the tribeswomen, Maevik saw and opportunity. She challenged her sister for combat over the right to rule. If this new power was true, it would further testify why she was queen. Khyos could not ignore such a challenge, and the 2 were given a rink.

A brave fight ensued. Verital thought of a way to incite fear on the side of Maevik. He subtly ignited her sword in flames. It garnered gasps from the audience, but Maevik was still struggling in her fight. Khyos indeed had a new power. Sometimes her strikes would generate a shock, at times it seemed to be arcing from her. Luckily her cloak given to her by Hogel helped in protection.

Fearing the loss of Maevik, the rest of the group decided to fight against their captors while they were distracted by the melee. The tribeswomen too were gifted with this electric power.

Maevik was still holding out against Khyos, but barely. She tried to speak to her tribeswoman that the sword was still the rightful symbol of power, not the evil corrupting energies of the orb. The women seemed to contemplate it a little, but Khyos reminded them again why she ruled, and her sister ran.

In the fight Maevik was knocked down and hurt terribly. Khyos gloated. But in a last ditch hit, which was sapping the life from Maevik, she delivered a fatal blow. The sword still aflame and brighter than ever shone throughout the room like a beacon. Maevik continued to plead with her tribe that this wasn't the way. Taking unknown and little understood power only worked to damage the pure ways of the amazon warriors. That they needed to return to their homeland, and leave the slaves. The tribeswoman were beginning to see reason as soon as Verital took the orb and covered it up. Like a cloud has been lifted from their minds. They began chanting for Maevik, their queen.

This was where the group parted. Maevik had found her calling with her tribe, to lead them back to their traditional ways, and the path to healing. She said her goodbyes to Galazbryn, who was undoubtedly brave throughout the entire adventure. To Hogel who time and time again proved his skills, and that full-blooded orcs were more than mindless brutes. And to Verital, the extremely handsome, and powerful adept, who had saved them on many occasions.

Having the orb now, they waved goodbye, and activated their homing rings given to them by Sydrick, and found themselves back in the room they once left.

But this was different. All furniture, tapestries, and books were gone. It was empty. In the center was merely a pedestal and a pillow on top, and Sydrick standing beside it. He asked them if they now had the orb, greedily. Verital asked for proof of the reward. With the wave of his hand a chest appeared in the corner, full of gold and shiny trinkets. Sydrick seemed anxious, and impatient, asking abruptly to place the orb on the pedestal. Verital could sense that something was off. Hogel didn't smell Sydrick either, it seemed like there was nothing there.

Verital cautiously set it down, ready for anything. Sydrick laughed, a raucous cackle. Then he disappeared. It was an illusion. The chest of gold was an illusion as well. The group may never know what they had just done, or what may transpire because of it, but things would be set in motion that may change the land of Adyan forever.

The End

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Adventures of a C.P.A. (Episode 6, Part 1)

There was a lot of questions about the history of our companion, John, the hollow. He was of a magical species that only ages during the day, and feeds off of psychic energies. Many of these hollows roam the night and terrorize man. Some find a way of controlling their urges, like John. All that is known of his life is that at one point he did something with his power, something big, and in front of enough normals to cause a paradoxical backlash that nearly brought him to oblivion. He lost his identity and all records, even lost his name. No normal would ever know him for the rest of his life.

That very incident is what brought Kent to the police department evidence locker this day. He was searching for answers, and being the only one with actual police clearance, he could go to the right places. Kent was looking into the fateful night, the last John remembered after his paradoxical backlash. There were records detailing a giant mob war, but a suspicious one. This russian mafia had been a close family, but mysteriously they all killed each other, brutally, thus ending the entire family. The cops could only explain it as a power struggle, but it ended too horribly. There was no record of John there, even though he remembered waking up among the carnage. There wouldn't be, not with the paradox keeping him out of notice. But there was a woman who was shot. The only person shot in the incident, besides John. Everyone else was killed with knives. Kent asked to see the records and studied them. The bullet from the decease woman was what stood out. Kent asked to see it. The very unusual thing about it, was it was made of iron. Nobody carries iron bullets, nobody uses iron bullets. This would be weird, except to the perspective of Kent, who has a few himself, along with silver bullets. What do you use cold iron against? Fey. Fairies and other magical creatures weak to it's properties. Something about it being a manmade material, or unnatural to the natural.

Kent knew he needed the bullet to take back to John, to use some psychometry and find who shot it, or loaded it into the gun. With a little slight of hand, he was able to smuggle it out of evidence.

Back at Nightfall, John was interested in the bullet indeed. By working some of his mind magic, he was immediately entrapped in a vision. He saw a warehouse. Warehouse 77. As his mind-self approached it, he was soon surrounded by corpsified, or skeletal creatures. Ones who captured him, and set him on fire. He woke up screaming like he was on fire. He had to only say Warehouse 77.

The rest of the group decided to go investigate the place. Get some answers. Hank had a different idea. He wanted to do some detective work on his own: the place of the mass killing of the Russian mob family.

While everyone else, John, Flint, Kent, and Kody, piled into the suburban to investigate warehouse 77, Hank took a drive to his.

The building was now condemned. Old police tape still cordoned off the area, and found it locked. It appeared to be a restaurant, or hotel. It was unclear since everything was boarded off. Hank found a small hole in a window he could peak through. He shined his flashlight and lit a clear area in the floor. This would help him teleport inside. He gathered his wits, and concentrated on the power. He felt the familiar flash of him zipping through space, but found his nose smashed against the outside wall. He could only assume some magical barrier prevented teleportation. He looked at the lock and chain barring the door. It too had a magical aura around it, something more powerful than he could manage. He couldn't even break it open physically with his cane.

If he were to get inside, it would need a great deal of effort, but someone didn't want any meddling. Someone didn't want secrets to be found. Hank decided to head over to meet up with the others at warehouse 77.

Friday, June 7, 2013

My wife's first game of D&D (Part 3)

So we gathered around the table, and their adventure began... in a tavern. (Hey, I did say I wanted my wife to experience D&D.)

The party finds themselves in a tavern looking for work. Verital, the tiefling warlock, goes about asking the barkeep for any leads. He points them to a skittish gnome drinking alone. Maevik, the amazoness, immediately put to work some of her seductive appeal, but the gnome was all too willing to talk about a job by his great and powerful and illustrious master, Sydrick the wizard. Galazbryn, the dwarf warrior maiden, had heard the name before, but couldn't put her finger on what exactly. Something bothered her about it.

Having no other lead for work, they followed the excited gnome to a wizard's tower, where they were lead into the lobby and met with Sydrick the wizard. He looked all the part. He explained to them that he needed a powerful artifact recovered for him. It was lost in the jungles in the tropical regions of the continent. A golden orb. Sydrick had use of it as any wizard would have of any such trinket. He promised ample rewards to the heroes. There wasn't much more convincing needed.

He gave them each magic rings that would teleport them back to the tower, but warned them to only ever use them once they had possession of the orb. As he left the room, a circle in the floor lit up and they found themselves amidst a teleportation ritual. It was meant to bring them close to where the orb should be.

In a brilliant flash, the party suddenly found themselves surrounded by humidity, heat, and jungle noises. Hogel, the orc tracker, immediately began to take stock of his surroundings. Silently he disappeared into the woods. It didn't take him long to find the obvious out of place. A large structure was planted in the forest. It had left a long deep groove in the dirt, as if it had moved. The whole thing seemed eschewed with strange markings painted on the sides. No other entrance seemed apparent but the glass dome that was shattered and half buried. By the look of the vegetation growing up the side of it, it appears to have been here for only about a year.

The party explored the structure. Strange indeed. No craftsmanship or materials were recognizable. Verital the warlock could sense some energies, but no strange magics. Within they explored and found many unsettling things. Half rotten, and half eaten corpses laid about. All wearing strange gray clothing. Crude daemonic shrines and strange shaped artifacts laid about. Once they found a giant electrical shocker lizard nesting in what could closest be described as an alchemist's lab. Maevik made quick work of the beast with her tribal sword. Hogel had skinned the corpse and made small cloaks for him and Maevik. Assuming it's electric properties may prove useful later.

It was a standard dungeon crawl, encountering mutated ugly 'humans' who were mad beyond interrogation. Hogel continued to keep trophies of his kills in the manner of scalping their rotted heads. Verital came in use finding some manner of fire traps which he was able to control with his mysterious tome, the Fire Lord's Edict, and in dispatching the final mutant lord of the place.

Alas they believe they had found it, or at least the pedestal. Verital could sense the residual power that had once existed there, and there was no doubt that this once held the golden orb. Painted among the walls it chronicled the arrival of a people who raided the place, and took the orb, and left to a cave not far off, as illustrated on a map. But Maevik was enraged. She recognized the style of drawings. And the lead figure who had claimed the orb as it's own was wearing the signature headdress of queen of her tribe, the amazons: Khyos, her sister. The one who defeated Maevik, and the one she had stolen the sword from. This had suddenly become very personal for her.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wartech Campaign: Experimental Rules (Part 3)

Last post I expounded upon a couple rules that didn't work very well. This week is a couple that we thought fit nicely with the game.

Different Archetypes
In our system we are designing for Wartech, we liked the idea of a few broad character classes. I condensed the list down to moderator, combatant, technician, and operative.
  • Combatant (COM): Career fighter or combat specialist. Characters start with 1d6+6 HP, and +1 Fighting.
  • Moderator (MOD): Leaders or commanders. Characters start with 1d6+3 HP, and +1 Empathy.
  • Operative (OPS): Special agent or freelancer. Characters start with 1d6+4 HP, and +1 Acquiring.
  • Technician (TEK): Technology specialist or science officer. Characters start with 1d6+2 HP, and +1 Scientific or +1 Repairing.
Combatant was essentially a fighter and technicians stayed the same. But we chose to split up the rogue into moderator and operative. We felt there needed to be distinction.

New Character Sheet
Having a unique character sheet helps to get into the feel of a new game, even if it's just an experimental one. The following sheet is a little more detail oriented and I built it to cover more rules for Rogue Space. Like the [+Initiative] and [+Movement] boxes next to the [Hit Points] box. These were to include special rules that gave you a modifier to your initiative and movement for calculating those from your current hit points.

The boxes below the FASER stats are meant for filling in your purchased skills for easy reference during play.

I really enjoy making character sheets. Getting all the pieces to fit.

More to come next week.

Friday, May 24, 2013

My wife's first game of D&D (Part 2)

Last week I touched on the first RPG I ran for my wife. So the first big step was creating her character. Naturally I didn't want to bore her with different feats, the nuances of character creation, or all the different classes, so I wanted to keep it simple. I asked her what type of character she would like to play. Thinking of all the books you've read, the movies you've seen, what type of heroin would you like to be?

After bouncing some ideas back and forth, she fixated on a strong female warrior type reminiscent of some of the girls in Frank Frazetta's artwork. An artist we are both fans of. She also had the idea of an amazoness type warrior woman. So I figured the best character archetype would be a barbarian.

Now, True20 doesn't have character classes, which is what I like about it. Basically you can choose either the Expert, Adept, or Warrior character types. Warrior was the obvious one, but the choice of gear, skills, and feats are what separates her from a soldier. Giving her the quintessential 'Rage' feat, which would temporarily boost her stats seemed appropriate.

There was another key thing about RPG's that I wanted to drive home with my wife, and that was the RP part of RPG. I wanted her to create a backstory for her character that helped define her actions and decisions. One that gave her character a goal and demeanor instead of a sheet full of numbers you roll on. After some more lively brainstorming, we settled on the following:
Maevik was the daughter of the tribal queen of the Amazon forest tribe. This matriarchal society believes in strength and prowess of their leader. The tribal queen is required to have several daughters to determine who will be the next queen. There was Khyos, the first daughter, and then there was Maevik, the second. Khyos and Maevik never quite got along, mainly because they both knew that they would have to fight one day for the crowning headress. It didn't matter who was born first, it only mattered who would win in mortal combat.

Then came the fight for succession, and Maevik was beaten by her older sister. Unwilling to accept defeat, but having no choice, she ran away from her tribe, and absconded with the queen's sword, the Widowmaker, which was the symbol of the queen's power and authority. She also took one of the tribe's young dire wolves with her.

Maevik has been an outcast and hunted by her tribe for a year. She took work where she could get it, and has been living as an adventurer since. For a few months she has been traveling with the others of the party: the orc, Hogel Leftshooter, the dwarf Galazbryn, and the leader of the group, the tiefling named Verital.
You could imagine my pride when we came up with an actual interesting female character, one with flaws, strengths, and an interesting past that may provide an issue in her future. Beth seemed excited about the concept of Maevik, and her animal companion, the young dire wolf named Fang.

Soon we gathered around the table to start her first adventure. More on that next week.