02 October 2013

Classic Traveller redux

We haven't had a game in a few weeks and this weekend someone couldn't make it (2 players out of a possible 4 is too few).  We tried rolling up Classic Traveller characters using all of the books and supplements.  So far we have a rogue, a doctor and a scout.  The player who was out sick rolled up an army colonel the last time we tried it (with just the first three books) so this time I guess he'll be doing up the shooty-guy again.

18 July 2013

DG/Nemesis Game Prep

We've got four players committed for a DG game using the Nemesis rules with some of the modifications I've been tinkering with.

Character sketches (text) are short, I requested that they be "a couple of sentences, the sort of thing you'd learn about the person from the contents of their wallet/purse."

Sketches to follow.  After sketches are done we'll fill in their attributes, skills and traits.

27 March 2013

Delta Green / Nemesis

I've been gathering material to run a Delta Green campaign using the Nemesis rules.  The One Roll Engine rules look like they'll make for a pretty deadly game and the Madness Meters offer a different kind of insanity experience from BRP CoC's Sanity system.

I've found the Sanity system in CoC leads to a death spiral that rapidly leads to an unplayable character; not a great design for a campaign game.  The Madness Meters used in Nemesis offer a gradual hardening of the psyche that leads to various forms of sociopathy, along with the gradual onset of various other mental disorders.  See?  Much more entertaining!  It's a little more complicated than that, but it does seem to allow for a little more variety and playability in the gradual slide toward psychological entropy. 

The combat system offers limited hit points, non-lethal and lethal damage, hit locations and a variety of light tactical options for players.  It's interesting, but lethal.

Nemesis has a somewhat unfinished feel and it was never released as a for-profit publication, but it does have the essentials that you can use to build your own horror game.

So far I've gathered material from a series of posts converting various Cthulhu-mythos spells to Nemesis and I've begun assembling conspiracy material for cults and organizations working behind the scenes (much of it from The Fairfield Project and The Yellow Site).

There are a few good Delta Green scenarios floating around out there, Night Floors is definitely weird and creepy, you can use source material from Insylum to get the background for the Carcosa stuff.

You can find the spell conversions here.

Mythos creature conversions (WIP).

House rules for Nemesis/Delta Green (WIP).

09 February 2013

James Maliszewski update and a bit about being human

James Maliszewski, a well-known blogger and designer of material of OSR gaming, has been conspicuously absent from his usually daily blog posting.  His Kickstarter project for Dwimmermount megadungeon project hasn't been updated and people are in a tizzy.

Many people, chiefly people who have backed the Dwimmermount project, were bitching and complaining about not getting their updates and so on, which was understandable given that they'd paid money to back the project.

He has posted recently that he going through a difficult, existential even, crisis and has simply said that everything else will have to wait until he has gotten through this.  I wish him well.

Now that James has made a lengthy, deeply personal, announcement about what is going on with him and asked for patience, people are still bitching.  Not only is it uncharitable, it's downright heartless.  He's not a corporation, he's not even a big company, he's a guy who writes and the gaming side of his life is something that he does out of love.

To the folks who are pissing and moaning and calling him irresponsible and other nonsense: have a little shame. It's not all about you, hounding or denigrating him is not going to get you what you want.  Have patience with people when life deals them a shitty hand, and hope that when the day comes that you need patience and understanding, someone will cut you some slack.

Health and luck to James, I hope he weathers this shock well and comes back to us soon.

17 January 2013

Barbarians of Lemuria

Finally broke out Barbarians of Lemuria over the Christmas holidays and ran a session for four of my old gaming buddies. We played a scenario called Crimson Shoals set in Howard's Hyborian Age.

 The scenario was written by Garnett Elliott, who has written a number of BoL scenarios set in Lieber/Lovecraft/CASmith/Howard style settings.

Crimson Shoals is short, but about the right length for a one-shot game or part of a campaign. The pregenerated characters are authentic Howard Hyborian Age anti-heroes and each of them has interesting details in their brief back-story blurbs.

We had a blast playing the scenario. BoL is a great little system with a lot of flexibility and I hope to get more experience with it this year.

EDIT:  I should add that Crimson Shoals, and a bunch of other stuff for BoL, is available on the Strange Stones blog (see blogroll at right).

22 December 2012

Codifying "Player Agency" is bad.

Random Wizard's post about simplifying calculations got me thinking about the d20 mechanic.

Using the same mechanic for everything (the d20-roll-high) is one of a few things that I took away from the d20 system as a good idea.

 I still think that they let the whole feat and skill thing get out of hand, though, with 3.0/5. They tried to make everything a skill or feat instead of keeping it fast and loose. Codifying too many things can actually rob the players of "agency".

Fair and flexible adjudication of the game is a better plan. And it makes the person running the game feel less like a robot and more like a participant in something fun, a shared experience.

18 October 2012

My Secret Shame (well, one of many)

Your results:
You are Will Riker
Will Riker
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Geordi LaForge
Deanna Troi
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Mr. Scott
Jean-Luc Picard
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Sulu
Beverly Crusher
At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test