Friday, April 8, 2016

Shadow of the demon Lord (impressions)

(Disclaimer-ish) This is not a review, it's me getting to know the game and writting my thoughts down. As I'm still taking it all in I may sound like the blabbering fan boy that I am.

I'm really late to the party on this game. Not just did I miss the kickstarter I missed the retail release as well. I had seen it, even folks raving about it. I didn't think I needed another fantasy game. Come to find out, Shadow of the demon Lord is not just another fantasy system.

Of all the things I find appealing about Shadow of the demon lord, The things I feel most fitting to my taste is the quick playing core rules mixed with the huge amount of character opinions.

Shadow of the demon Lord is definitely geared tword fast play, one might even call it 'casual play'. Seems like a game you can just sit down, roll up a character, and play. The system has enough depth to not seem boring or limited, but not so much to it as to overwhelm new players.

On the subject of character options I'm still stunned at the number of options available to players. Players start as 0 level and earn (through survival) the ability to choose one of 4 novice classes at level 1. If they live long enough they will be able to pick one of 16 expert classes. Then again later one of 64 master classes. I'm not sure how many possible combinations that is......I know it's a lot though.

The ancestries (races) are very interesting. Human, Changeling, Clockwork, Dwarf, Goblin and Orc. Each ancestry has 5-7 charts to roll on to make totally unique example. Not even getting into random profession tables. Again, players have a lot to work with here. All without even mentioning (even though I'm going to) 30 tradions of magic....

Some games go their whole lives (edition cycle) without having this many options spread out over many splat books. So for Shadow to feel 'easy to run' or even rules lite is a real feat.

The setting of the game is grim, with rules for both sanity and corruption. With a lot of wiggle room as to how dark, grim, and grindhouse you want to run your game. Even the exact nature of the 'demon Lord' seems to be left purposeful vague to GMs to fill in the blank.

I've got so many ideas floating between my ears right now I'm filling up a notebook  already. My players are in for a bumpy (and probably gruesome) ride.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed. Rpg

When I first read that a 7th edition was coming, and that there would be some changes I really didn't think much of it. I've run a little Call of Cthulhu, but I've run quite a bit of Basic roleplay system so I'm very familiar with the core system. I had the idea that I really didn't need a new system, I liked the BRP system as it is.

I decided to pick up the quick start, and give it a look over. I was a bit surprised. The level of success system is really nice, no more opposed roll chart. And a built in critical success system for combat.

Bonus and penalty die was a surprise, rolling extra dice and keep either the low or the higher 10s die.

The ability to press a failure into a success is an interesting concept as well.

I was impressed enough that I picked up the investigators handbook. I will be picking up the physical copies once they are available. This looks to be a great system for Cthulhu, I see myself using it for other games as well.

Players choosing their own fate (PbtA)

The combat style in Uncharted world has really got me thinking. The idea that combat move are not single attacks but instead a combat scene. Something about that feels so right to me.

I tried a little experiment with two of my players. I started them out with two premade characters, neither all that remarkable other than good stats. The characters had no special moves, only basic moves.

The scene was right out of daredevil season two, the hallway. One player was Daredevil, other was Electra. The set up was three hallways, two staircases and about 20 goons.

First few feet the players encountered two goons, each player rolled and succeeded. Each described a solid blow taking out the two goons.

Next the door to the stairwell flew open and four goons came running into the hall. As the goons approached I had each player roll.

Electra made her roll so she got free reign with her description, she spinning back punched one leading into a spin kick to a second. The roll was well enough she got one effect, she elected to knoch the one she kicked on his ass.

Daredevil on the other hand was not so lucky with a partial success. So I gave him two good hits and a bad effect, he had to describe both. He elected to punch one in the face while kneeling the second one. His bad effect was the one he punched got his arm around his Daredevils neck.

This is how the fights went with players describing both good and bad. Choosing a few time to disarm goons and being disarmed themselves. Choosing to deal damage, even choosing to take damage in some very brutal ways. Electra getting ribs cracked with a pipe and Daredevil getting cut and stabbed in the back once.
The players were more brutal to themselves than I usually am as the GM.
Very cinematic and very fun.

Battle mages gauntlet. (Basic fantasy)

These gauntlets are always made from fine materials and elegantly designed. No two will ever look the same.

During the second age the magi of the east made war against each other. Each great house raised armies and pushed their boarders in all direction.

The gauntlet stores 5 spells. 4 of those spells are magic missile. The fifth is shield spell. All cast as level 1.

Once all the spells are exhausted for the day the gauntlet is inert. All spells are regained at midnight ready to be cast again the next day.