Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Char-Gen in Silent Titans


Part One



1hp
2 hp
3 hp
9
or Less
Max (Maximum) Goblins
Rail Gun (d10), Polycarbonate Sports Jacket (Armour 2). An idiot from the future who thinks this is a simulation.
 Arkady Mesmer
Kalashnikov (d8 area), Land Mine (3d10 area, single use), Medical Doctor – can heal damage to STR. Cold-War Russian Patriot & full-on commie.
Bebghul Beltoon
Jezzail (d8, long range), psychic link to his impressive Hawk, no man can kill him. Fated Afghan Mercenary and Anglophobe.
10
Victoria Vanderbilt
Rifle (d8), Bayonet (d6), ‘Abdu’ Swahili Lighter Boy with Lamp. Unmarried debutante with famously ‘fine figure’. Climbs like an ape.
Skeleton Eight
M16 (d8, area or long range, slaved to his grip), Armour 2, Dark-Vision Eye. Cybernetic Veteran of a near-future war. Has breakdowns & fears gunfire.
Alan Bleasdale
Musket (d8), Fancy Suit.
Kleptomaniac. Can Pick Pockets without a roll but can never too the truth to someone who’s pocket he has picked.
11
Captain Sam Starr
Rifle (d8), Modern Armour, ‘Bertilak’ – a Loyal Attack-Woodwose (S16,D15,W7(d6)).
Ex-con and experienced ‘Agent of Mystery’
‘Pixie’ Realism
Taser (d6), Pistol (d6), Bolt-cutters, language-cracking phone-app,
‘Batman’-style grapple-gun.
Near-future thief, incursion specialist and anonymous commenter
Ricky Stubbs
Rifle (d8), Mallet, marbles, Fancy Hat, d6 Tear-Gas Grenades. Teenage Stowaway, Music-Hall fanatic and chronic ‘gabber’.
12
India Flips
Club (d6), Throwing Knives (d6). Expert Gymnast and Contortionist. Charming, seems harmless. 13 years old.
Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Teetzman
Musket (d8), Friendly Mule.
Extremely Beautiful Pre-Raphaelites model, ex slum-dweller and severe melancholic. Animals and fools are instantly charmed.
Sister Mary Philomena
Policeman’s Baton (d6), Manacles, sewing bag with 2d4 Molotov Cocktails (d6 & Sets Alight). Former Nun and current Pyromaniac,
13
Jack ‘Iceberg’ Berg
Pistol (d6), Lead-Cored Walking Stick (d6). Experienced Pugilist
Fist attacks do d6 damage. Can ‘read’ Hit Points. 65 years old.
Nikita Eeek
Sword (d6), Pistol (d6), Painting Set, Amphetamines – hp immediately restored & all tests with advantage for 1 hour, then at disadvantage till a long rest. Radical Artist, Exceptional Hair.
Zephaniah Williams
Pick-Axe (d6), Pistol (d6), Smoke-Bomb, ‘Newport Rising’ - loyal hound. A coal-miner, rabble-rouser and a Damned Chartist.
14
Godbold Stag-Star
Glass Sword (d6) Grappling Hook A fey-touched mesmerist and a Stag. Can make women hallucinate.
Porphyria Zome
Pistol (d6), Ball-bearings, steel wire, Smoke-Bomb, lard, grapple, bag of flour, lots of rope. An extremely silly young girl.
Goneril Pig-Maiden
Long Axe (d8), Throwing Axes, juggling batons, Fire Oil. A failed juggler, competent card sharp, and a pig.ide
15
Fanny Peel
Pistol Brace (d8), Ether.
Pug ‘Lord Wellington’ (STR 3, Bite (d2). Dowager obsessed with her small and useless dog.
Ahumm the Phoenician
Xiphos (d8), Fire Oil, Hannibal the Trained Ferret.. Mercantile, crafty and faithful to Baal.
Chastity Glean
Blackjack (d6), Derringer (d4, close), Ether, Crowbar, Fiddle. A Plain Housemaid with Sapphic Drives.
16
Thomas Thursday
Musket (d8), Pocket Watch, Bomb. Educated Laudanum addict, suspected (actual) Kropotkinist.
Mary Planks
Staff (d8), Tongs, Glue, Small Ale  barrel. Over-sociable Ale-Wife with a sharp tongue and iron constitution.
Guy Grebe
Hatchet (d6), Net, Fire Oil, Respirator. Shocked survivor of a submarine disaster. Severe claustrophobe.
17
Ruth Shuddering
British Cavalry Sabre (d6), Musket (d8). Escaped Prisoner & experienced cross-dresser.
Belinda Hive
Cleaver (d6), Jar of Ether. Spinster, former Bedlamite. Sees Things.
Gislebert Le Clerc
Longsword (d8), Shield (Armour 1), Writing Set. Norman Knight, Proud of his ability to read and write.
18
Augustus Ephraim Brown
Shotgun (d8). Victorian Gentleman in frock coat and top hat. Faints Under Stress.
Issy Ganger
Stolen sword (d6)  Stolen Silver Chalice (1g). Hysterical Serving Girl who weeps too much.
Hyrelgas Moon-Wolf
Longbow (d8), Spyglass, Pipe.
A rogue with a taste for wine and bitches, and a Wolf.


Part Two


4 hp
5hp
6 hp

Philemon Phix
Colt 45 (d6), Badge. Cuffs. Telepathy if target fails WIL save. They feel its use. Psychic cop on the edge from a cyberpunk future..
Izreldis Cornovii
Were-Wolf  d10 each to STR & DEX, d8 claws, silver to harm, WIL test to return. Lover of the Horned God and hater of the Roman Invaders..
Lady Jane Grey
An escaped Historical Theme-Park Robot. You do not need to eat, drink or breathe and know absolutely you are Human.
9 or Less
Alice Bramble
Claymore (d8), Pistol (d6), 2 Acid Flasks, Family-Sized Bottle of Rohypnol. Delusional sailors daughter brilliantly faking nobility.
Nazia Near
Pistol Brace (d8), Steel Wire, Grappling Hook, 3 Haywire Grenades, (shut down machinery). Time-Travelling Robot Hunter and secret Human-Supremacist
Wilma Wheatley
303 Lee-Enfield Rifle (d8), Cleaver (d6), Samwise – a Highly Intelligent Pig. Butchers Wife and Born Survivor.
10
Amity Silence
Bayonet (d6), Pistol (d6)
Wolf-Mask which bestows illusion of being a wild wolf. Puritan refugee of the English Civil War.
Margi Clarke
Machete (d6), Pistol Brace (d8), ‘King James’ the Talking Parrot, Never Sleeps. Pirate, Catholic ex-slave and ardent Royalist.
Ignogin Deer-Queen
Club (d6), Longbow (d8), 3 Grenades, Military Night-Vision headset. A law-and-decency obsessed night-stalker and vigilante. Also a Deer.
11
Bramwell Salvation
Pistol (d6), Rocket, Soap.
“Soup, Soap and Salvation”. Enthusiastic Methodist and teetotaller. Fearless if singing. Affects group if they join in.
Emily Gondal
Harpoon Gun (d8), Baton (d6)
Mordant Georgian Governess. Mildly Telekinetic - can lift up to an apples mass with her neocortex & cook sausages with her brain.
Nameless Pale
Branch-Club (d6), Organic Tooth-Pistol (d6), Heavy-duty Bin-Bags. A pale and hairless clone, with no memory or identity.
12
Cordelia Von Holtzendorf
Lantern, Climbing, Camping and Mapping Equipment. Webley revolver (d6). Seems Grave and intelligent, actually a Daft Floozy and Outrageous Flirt.
Renwein Goat-Saint
Bolt-Cutters, Blunderbuss (d8, area), Fiddle. Obsessively independent, anti-authoritarian, intellectually and literally omnivorous, and a Goat.
Fred Daggs
Lee-Enfield Rifle (d8), 3 Grenades (d6, area). 17 year-old Home Guard Member, fearful of ‘The Hun’. Has sandwiches.
13
John Frost
Brace of Pistols (d8), Cloak, Manacles, Mask, Vicars clothes. Deft & darkly handsome Highwayman with a High Voice.
Peredur Sun-Sheep
Pistol (d6), Grease, Hand Drill, Drum. A skilled worker, strange ally, suspect friend, fierce foe and literally and figurately a black sheep.
Charley Growling
Musket (d8), Bayonet (d6),
Knapsack. British Redcoat of the Napoleonic Wars. Compulsive Gambler.
14
Galobroc
Bow (d6), Short Sword (d6), Shield (1). Romano-British Cynicht, Arthurian Loyalist & anti-Saxon obsessive. Sounds Welsh.
Oidwald Cow-King
Woodsman’s Axe (d8), Saw, Animal Trap. A bipolar would-be diabolist, nature-hater, and a Cow.

Kaeso Clovius Cato
Gladius (d6), Pilum (d6), Lorca Segmentum & Shield (2). A rational Roman Legionnaire.
15
Dardan Boar-Woe
Whip (d6), Longbow (d8), Pack of Marked Cards. A needlessly inappropriate Boar.
Cathleen Core
Pistol (d6), Whiskey. Insurrectionist Irish Washerwoman with a Hook Hand. Fenian sympathies.
Ragnar Bluetooth
Sword (d6), Bow (d6) Shield (Armour1). Riddle-Addict. Sometimes goes Berserk.
16
Stale Haggai
Musket (d8), Dog (STR 6, Bite (d3). Old, with a Wooden Leg and a shameful dog.
Odbrict Bull-Joy
Flintlock Pistol (d6), Net Trumpet, Fishing Pole. Talks of ‘Looking after Number One’ Never actually does this. A Bull with a heart of gold.
Wulfred Half-Woodwose
Hawthorn Club (d6). Roll a d6 three times on the ‘Curse of the Woodwose” table. Ignore any doubles.
17
Edwin Fool-Bear
 Halberd (d8).  An extremely serious Christian with a good baritone, also a Bear.
Seskia Groob
One Long Pin (d6, close). A Hideous Tobacco-Chewing Crone.
Sir Colgrin Cador the Pure
A Knight magically transformed into an Orangutan. He cannot speak, but his heart is true.
18

Monday, 24 July 2017

Best Cold Open?

What adventures have the best Cold opens or in medias res openings in which the PC's are already engaged in something active, or something complex and interesting is happening around them or to them and they need to make decisions NOW?

TSR's 'Eye of the Serpent' had this;

This isn't exactly what I'm talking about as the PC's have no
choice as to whether they end up in the birds talons.
But I fucking love re-blogging this picture.
And its pretty ballsy anyway.

What other adventures had active or interesting openings?

You can comment or go to the G+ thread here.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Held Kinetic Energy in Old School Combat Arenas

So you're running an old-school game and you want a set-piece fight. The rule-set doesn't like that.

The complexity is dumped into set design, chunky monster actions (like picking people up and throwing them, putting them in strange altered states) and whatever parts of the meta-text might show up in the fight (one monster is special friends with another and gets upset when they die, there are factions within the fight who want slightly seperate things).

A lot of the 'set design' of set-piece Old School fights come down to the stored kinetic energy hidden in elements of the environment.

A PC has to be able to do something to the environment that will unleash stored kinetic energy and hopefully act upon a seperate part of the battle space in a predictable yet unexpected way

Two fictional examples here;

The first is John McTiernan movies, especially the attack on the rebel base in Predator;

If you look at that long scene you'll notice that many of the times when a member of the main cast performs an action to alter the environment, it has an effect which is witnessed, usually by another main character, in a different part of the environment, and which often directly affects it. So the space of the scene is stitched together by this river of movement and action, the characters are connected to each other by kinetic effects which escape their frame of origin.

Die Hard has a bit of this as well, The Hunt for Red October. Not sure about the rest.


And the second is all Pirate Movies;

Thinking about it, its astonishing how much effect the kinetic qualities of a large sailing ship have on the general aspect of Pirate Movies.

(I am looking at the pseudo-kinesis of a heightened fictional pirate movie rather than age-of-sail movies. In real life rope costs money and you want to avoid it being cut, and there are limits to what physics can do.)

A ship as a whole is an environment under complex kinetic pressures, it is an engine designed to harness movement-energy from the sky. It has almost everything we would want from an old-school set-piece battle.

Multi Dimensionality - you can be up in the sails, on the deck, down in the ship itself, or in the sea. All completely different environments, all connected to each other in intuitively obvious ways.

Kinesis - all the ropes are under strain and there is always rope, you can climb up or down, cut ropes and have them pull you up, drop sails or ride them down, swing pretty much anywhere and, most important, almost always tie things to other things.

Meta Elements - a ships crew already has a hierarchy, there are specialist rules, you can see who is in charge, a decapitation strike on the captain or a last-minute negotiation is always a possibility. You are a complex, visible and intuitively graspable social system which the DM doesn't have to spend a lot of time having to explain.

The Pirate Ship even has a built-in 'not-dead-but-largely-out-of-the-fight' status with someone being knocked off the ship.

And the environment as a whole is doing something as you fight on and in it. Several things. The first of which is that it is floating, and if it stops doing that then you are in fucking trouble.

SO

There must be some kind of i

If we were to work backwards, stating that we want kinetically complex and interconnected environments, could we create a kind of ideal concept generator for OSR set-piece fight scenes? What would we get?

Windmills and Watermills - they have the blades or wheel and they have an inside with lots of stuff moving about that could be interrupted and messed about with. They have a big grinding thing you can chuck someone in and ruin the corn. The watermill has a river nearby.

Forges or anything based around fire. Large scale metalworking has those big contained crucibles that can be tipped, possibly channels of molten metal that can be diverted. The annoying ending to the last Hobbit movie had a lot of that.

Actually the 'We're just smelting a giant statue here and its nearly, _right this moment_, finished so don't have a fight here' scene is a good idea. Especially if the giant statue is eeeevil.

Dams or anything holding back a large pressure. Complex lock gates could work as well, though they are rather slow. This is non-optimal as it seems to reduce everything to one disastrous action, but that could be interesting in its own way.

Anything with a living process at its core that has its own logic and could get out of control, or where control of it could be manipulated. Maybe a chemical process like a brewery?

The shipyard with the ship about to launch. You've got the whole business with the rigging, the ship escaping into the water and whatever happens after.

The building site, especially if they are building something tall and *heavy*, things to fall, drop, cut, release, swing on and cause to interact with each other.

Mass transport scenes, especially with = big round barrels that can tip and roll, teams of horses that are straining on things, ropes holding things that can be cut, cranes hoisting things. usually this will happen at a margin between two environments or/and two social patterns, so the nomads of the sand ocean can be shouting at the river-thanes while the giant tortoise gets lose and the glue barrels roll from its back. Giant Animals are a kind of sub-ship only available in high fantasy. Now instead of worrying about the wind or whatever you are thinking about how this big animal is going to react to whatever is going on around it.

A traffic jam in an urban environment might be an interesting space for a big fight.

Of course I've nearly forgotten the parade, which shows up in so many action movies. A huge, moving para-reality acting adjacent to the main one, with its own costumes, roles and its own giant complex objects that it is moving about.

I don't think I've ever seen a D&D scene or fantasy action sequence in a giant protest, with crowds of protesters and law enforcement and all the crap they throw about, even though we have those all the time.

PORTALS! Like every Derping Age (early-21stC) action movie. Someone has opened a portal, and possibly there is more than one, so now we can hop about between the portals and things can fall in and out of them with ridiculous physics affects. Up on one portal side is down or across on another so leaping across _into_ one leads to you falling down out of another

Magic of course lets you replace ropes and tackle with almost any kind of element. Maybe the poetic chanting of the verse monks is keeping this kinetically complex temple/object up in its position and if you interrupt or _change_ the chants then its configuration will shift. Maybe the virgin sacrifice you are here to stop is whats keeping the silver tower spinning in place, but you can only stop it from inside the silver tower.

And I nearly forgot the classic Rope Bridge.

Any more...?

(I throw this one open to the floor.)

Oh, and all this crap is still going on; (FREE BLATHER AT THE BOTTOM IF YOU READ ALL THE WAY DOWN, AGAIN)




Judges



Rob Monroe
Sean McCoy
Reece Carter

and

A. Miles Davis (Anson Davis)


Are all up for Judges in 2017


Best Adventure

Kiel is up with 'Blood in the Chocolate'

You can see my review of that here.







Best Cartography

Jez is up for 'The Cursed Chateau'







Best Electronic Book

Paul Baldowski was nice to me at a Con so vote for;

The Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark





Best Free Product

'Santa is Dead' by In Search Of Games, is up.

This has a lot of OSR collaborators and fellow-travellers in it.





And Veins of the Earth by Scrap and I is up for;

Best Monster/Adversary




Best Rules




Best Writing




and..

Product of the Year








BUT..

NOT..

BEST..


ART?



(Scrap gives no fucks about this but I do.)





Here's the big voting button, click it to go vote;


Monday, 17 July 2017

I Need A Simpler Mouse Control Subsystem

You wake up.

"Was it good? That must have been a good reward."

"Did you fugue? You know if you fugue you have to report it."

You are wearing a white coat and a mask. Before you is a gigantic glass mouse-maze, so wide you can't see the other side. There must be a million mice inside, but they can't find each other. Off to either side are rows of workers in white coats and mirror-masks. The person speaking to you is one of these. 

In Front

 An old-style TV monitor on an expanding metal arm.
·        Embossed on the monitor; "THIS IS YOUR MOUSE".
·        Flickering on the screen is a closeup of a white mouse, somewhere in the maze.
·        The mouse has a chip in its head.

A ribbed, clear plastic tube which ends in a pill container.

A set of brass controls.
·        Embossed on them is; "ACTIVATE YOUR CONTROLS IN PAIRS".
·        The Controls are;
o   CHEESE SMELL
o   SPATIAL MEMORY ALTERATION
o   FEAR (DIFFUSE)
o   FEAR (DIRECTIONAL)

Behind


·        Liquid Mirror-Men patrol.
·        Alternating rows of doorways.
·        One type marked; ‘REPORTS’
·        The other labelled; ‘MOUSE CONVERSION’




Controlling Your Mouse


·        Each round the PC must choose to activate two controls.
·        Each activation gives two positions on the chart.
·        Draw a line between those positions.
·        Play until the line crosses itself or forms a loop.
·        If the line forms a loop, they are given a Reward Pill.
·        If the line crosses itself an ALARM sounds and RED LIGHTS flash. The Mirror-Men take them to a ‘MOUSE CONVERSION’ reactor


CHEESE SMELL
SPATIAL MEMORY ALTERATION
FEAR (DIFFUSE)
FEAR (SDIRECTIONAL)
CHEESE SMELL




SPATIAL MEMORY ALTERATION




FEAR (DIFFUSE)




FEAR (DIRECTIONAL)










Exits


Reward Pill

Taking the Reward Pill causes you to black out. Move to ‘Reality Gallery’.

Making a Report

The room is dark. The door closes and locks behind you. You feel a sense of falling. Move to ‘Wolf Multitude’

Anything Else


Failing to Control your Mouse, Causing Disruption or any other activity means the Mirror Men drag you to a ‘Mouse Conversion’ reactor. You  feel yourself shrinking and transforming. A vacuum tube opens in the centre of the reactor and sucks you down. You wake up in ‘Diagnosis’.