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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Synth sleeves (common) Genesys Rpg

I'm putting together notes for a game I would like to run centered around a lot of transhumanism themes. I'm trying them out for the Genesys rpg.

I'm toying around with work-ups for synthetic sleeves. My first step is making "core sleeves" that can be upgraded.

TK-131 "tic tok" Alpha
This model is a basic synthetic sleeve made by Takihashi Korp. It's cheap and available on the open market. Has a limited number of legal structural upgrades available from TK. The number of cosmetic upgrades is almost limitless. Alphas are the least likely of any model to pass for meat.
Brawn (2) Agility (2)
Wound Threshold (18)
Power threshold -Strain- (14)
Two levels of skill chip set space available.
Upgrades:
Upgraded synth musculature, +1 brawn.
Upgraded stabilization cortex, +1 Agility.
Level 1 reinforced frame, +5 wound.
Level 2 reinforced frame, + 1 soak.
Power cell upgrade, power threshold +5.
One of 8 optical upgrades.

TK-231 " Brute" Beta
Created as a labor sleeve. Standing at 6' 6" these sleeves are built tough and durable. They come with all the same upgrade options of the alpha but zero cosmetic options off the showroom floor. Plenty of mod shops have packages available. Brutes almost never pass for meat.
Brawn (4) Agility (2)
Wound Threshold (30)
Power threshold -Strain- (18)
Vital system shielding Defense 1
Upgrades:
Upgraded synth musculature, +1 brawn.
Upgraded stabilization cortex, +1 Agility.
Level 1 reinforced frame, +5 wound.
Level 2 reinforced frame, + 1 soak.
Power cell upgrade, power threshold +5.
One of 8 optical upgrades.

TK-500 "Exod" XO-XDT
This is the premier synthetic. Cosmetic options are almost limitless and can pass for meat very easily. Standard with top of the line synth flesh that looks and feels like flesh in every way. Comes equiped with improved nerve clusters that can be dialed up or down to enhance or diminish the users sense of pleasure or pain.
Comes as a bare bones model to be upgraded and modified to the customers desires.
Brawn (2) Agility (2)
Wound Threshold (20)
Power threshold -Strain- (20)
4 levels of skill chip set space available.
Vital system shielding, Defense 1.
Upgrades:
Upgraded synth musculature,+1-3 brawn.
Upgraded stabilization cortex,+1-3 Agility.
Level 1 reinforced frame, +5 wound.
Level 2 reinforced frame, + 1 soak.
Level 3 reinforced frame +2 soak.
Wired reflexes, +1 Defense.
Power cell upgrade, power threshold +10.
Biogen auto repair system.
Quick up link data core interface.
One of 8 optical upgrades.

Combat maneuvers for Basic fantasy

I'm working on some optional combat maneuvers for Basic fantasy. Instead of making making generic ones I feel it would be more fun to make them more class specific. I reference stepping up or down damage dice. The step scale is d2,d4,d6,d8,d10,d12.

Cleric Maneuvers.
Inspiring strike: after rolling a successful attack a cleric can rebuke his target, stepping down his own damage die to give all other party members a +1 to hit until the start of his next turn.

Smite: after making a successful attack clerics can sacrifice a casting of a spell to step up the his damage die a number of steps equal to the level of the spell sacrificed to a maximum of d12. If the step would take the step above d12 then roll 2d12 and keep the higher of the two.

Fighter Maneuvers.
Defensive stance: a fighter can choose to step down his damage die on an attack to gain a +1 AC for himself and one ally standing very close by until the start of his next turn.

Unbalancing strike: fighters can down step his own damage die to give a +2 attack to the next attack against the same target.

magic-user Maneuvers:
Ward of protection: magic users can place a ward to protect on himself and all allies within close range. All effected allies get +2 to all saving throws against spells until the start of his next turn.

Counter spell: magic users can sacrifice a casting of a spell and save the magical energy to counter a spell. When a spell is cast against an ally/allies within close range the magic user can expend the energy allowing all effected allies of the spell to use his own spell save modified by the level of the spell saved and his own intelligence.

Thief Maneuvers:
Trickery: a Thief can down step his own damage die in an attack to step up the next attack die by an ally to attack the same target.

Vital Strike: when making a sneak attack the thief can forgo his +4 attack bonus to instead step up his damage die 1 step.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Fantasy AGE Bestiary quick review.

I recently purchased the bestiary and have finally had time to really look it over. It's 139 page book of monster goodness for the fantasy AGE game using the AGE rpg system by Green Ronin publishing.

Pages 4-124 is the bulk of the book, with just shy of 60 monsters. Each monster taking up two to three pages. Each entry has a very full description, A well layed out set of game stats, and a beautiful full color picture. The absolute best part in my opinion is the Adventure hooks. Two to three Adventure hooks per monster.

Pages 127-132 is beasts and animals. Entries from beasts of the land, sea, and air. Very well layed out.

What makes this book really shine is the focus on customization of monsters to fit the GMs needs. Pages 133-138 is all about how to do that. All about how to add qualities to customize your monsters. Page 3 has an entry for beefing up adversaries, how to make elite, heroic, and epic versions of each monster.

I really like that the Fantasy AGE bestiary has such a strong focus on Adventure hooks and customization. Great monster book, and a great GM resource.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tattoo magic, Fantasy AGE.

Tattoo magic is fairly new in the middle lands. An art that traces it's origin to the eastern islands.

When a spell is transcribed to flesh the caster no longer needs an arcane device (which in the setting I'm running is required for most attack spells *) to cast that spell, as their flesh becomes the implement. The tattoo has to be exposed and glows with arcane power, the tattoo is used to focus or direct magic attacks making them no more or less stealthy to cast from.

Also spells cast from flesh benefit from +2 spellpower. But tattoo magic is not without its costs and limitations.

Mages must sacrifice 2 permanent magic points per tattoo. This is permanentl invested magic into the processes of getting the tattoo.

The number of spell tattoos a mage can have is equal to half their level rounded up. Any tattoos beyond that limit costs a sacrifice of 4 magic points permanently. These can never be recovered by leveling past the limit, it is cost at the time of getting the tattoo.

Spell tattoos can be costly. The time and material cost are big factors. Novice spells are often relatively simple, and journeyman spells are larger and more detailed. Master level spells are very large and can take up an entire limb, and are works of intricate art.

* In the setting I'm running Arane devices are required for any attack spell that says "from hand or arcane device" instead of being optional. In previous games arcane devices were optional but granted a +1 spell casting and +1 damage when used. These we're entirety setting rules.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Demon, Soldier Brute. Fantasy AGE RPG

Lumbering brutes who stand head and shoulders above the average demon soldiers. Often sent in small groups to soften up a defensive line or fortifications.

2 Accuracy (Brawling)
0 Communication 
7 Constitution (Stamina)
0 Dexterity 
4 Fighting (Bludgeon)
2 Intelligence
0 Perception
8 Strength (Intimidation, Might)
1 Will power (Courage)

Speed 10
Health 60
Defense 10
Armor Rating 6

Punch +4.       1d6+8
2h Maul +6.    2d6+11

Armor hide: abnormally thick hide. Magically infused, projects against attack that normally bypass armor.

Fist and Stomp: brutes are known for their superhuman strength. When not using a huge two handed maul they smash everything in their path with their fists.

Darkvision: Brute demons can see perfectly in total darkness.

Favored stunt: Mighty blow.

Bringing more narrative to your combat.

I see GMs and players complain about the "I hit it with my axe" limited view of combat. People often feel that if the rules don't facilitate a more narrative approach than it's not "part of the game".

I personally don't feel this is the games responsibility, the rules are the structure and dice are the hand of rate. Story should be facilitated by the storytellers, Both the GM/DM and players. I feel many GMs miss golden opportunities to help player to help themselves. Narrative combat makes the game more exciting, and narrative driven combat makes the GM's job easier.

The two biggest opportunities for this is during the players action, both before and after the die is rolled. These might seem like a no brainer to some, but stay with me.

Two very simple phrases GMs can use to help players get into combat as narration is "what do you do? Describe it", and "what does/did it look like?"

"What do you do? Describe it".
Before the player rolls the dice, ask the player to describe their attack. Ask for quick details about weapon swings or how the character is moving. To further facilitate narrative combat do the same with monsters and NPCs. Describe the grimace on the orcs face, the assassin's fast blade slashes, and the sneer on the city guards face as he sets his spear.

"what does/did it look like?"
Take the narrative and apply it after the roll as well. After the player rolls ask the player to describe the effects of the dice roll. Use the player's description to guide the reactions of other combatants. After the player describes jumping from the cart, while sinking his dagger into the guard smirking, describe how the other guards react. Give the characters description impact, nothing would be less rewarding and more discouraging to a player than to give an amazing description, just to be met with a none narrative reaction.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Unusual rolling and combat options.

We are all familiar with standard ways we chuck dice. Players rolling their initiative, attacks, damage, saves, and skill rolls. GM do the same for monsters and NPCs.

Some GM's tell players the target number for attacks and how many hit points monsters have, many don't. But the players usually always know their characters own health and bonuses.

I've seen a few discussions lately advocating hidden hit points, descriptive combat, and alternative initiative systems. I thought it might be fun to go over a few of these ideas, and see how I would, or have used these options in a games using the Basic fantasy system.

Clockwise D10, initiative.
This is one I use, especially for larger groups. Rather than each player rolling a d20 once for the entire combat and acting in order of high roll to lowest roll, a d10 is rolled by every player, adding their Dex bonus at the beginning of every round. But rather than acting in descending order, only the highest roll is important. The highest roll acts first, then play moves clockwise around the party. One major advantage is it's fast, another is that players act in a different order every round not having to wait for everyone to take a turn before getting to take their own turn again.

by action, Initiative.
This option can be used with the standard d20 roll or the D10 clockwise option above. Players announce their action before rolling, then roll initiative with modifiers based on their action they chose.
+3 ranged attack or spell without moving.
+2 melee attack without moving.
+0 melee, ranged, or spell and moving.

GM rolls all the dice, rolling technique.
I've only seen this option used, GMs use a control sheet with every players AC, hit points, and vital information. Players roll no dice, instead the GM rolls all the dice for the players. Players describe their actions and the GM describes the effects of dice rolls as story elements. Generally with this option players still track their own hit points, but numbers only follow after a narrative description. I feel like this option could be fun with the right group, but I know most players enjoy rolling dice.

Hidden hit points, rolling technique.
This option can be used with standard rolling style, or optional add on to GM rolls all the dice. The big difference here is players don't track their hit points, instead the GM tracks damage no matter who rolls the damage. The focus is entirely on narrative, all the players have to judge their mortality is the description the GM gives.

Players roll all the dice, rolling technique.
This option take more time in prep, but makes things easier for the GM during play. The GM can focus on narrative and storytelling. For this option players no longer have an armor class, instead they have a defense roll. Defense roll is figured by taking AC from armor -10, plus Dex modifier. AC 15 with a Dex mod of +1 becomes a Defense roll of +6. Monsters get an Attack stat, 11+ their normal attack bonuses. To defend against an attack a characters Defense roll is made against a creatures Attack stat. Monsters can either do average damage, or roll a list of damage rolls and use in order as needed. Which should be noted ahead of time.

For saving throws I often make 3-4 rolls ahead of time and write them in my notes next to a monsters stats, then later in game I use them in order. For a mob of goblins or other groups I might roll up 4-6 and if I need more I just start back at the time and run through them again. Monster initiative can be rolled as a pre set number based on 10 plus their normal bonuses.

Hero points in Fantasy AGE.

Adding Hero points is a way to add an even more heroic feel to your fantasy age game. Also allows players to bank stunt points at a 2 to 1 trade off.

Players start with 3 Hero points. Game masters can award more hero points as they see fit, most common being good roleplaying or teamwork. All heroes also gain a new stunt:
4: Fate smiles: gain a hero point.

Hero points can be used in a few different ways.

1: At any time a character can spend a hero point after have made a roll, they instantly get a reroll but must keep the second roll.

2: Characters can can spend a hero point to reduce a single source of damage they are about to take by half.

3: On a successful roll that gains the character stunt points a hero point can be spent to add +2 to stunt points, maximum 6 stunt points.

Arcane Adept, Fantasy AGE.

Arcane Adept
Classes: Rogue, warrior.
Requirement: Willpower 2. Unusual background.

You know how to use some magic, either from a small amount of training or heritage.

Novice:You have a small pool of magic points equal to 5+willpower+1d6. Choose an Arcana, you gain the novice level spells of that arcana. You do not have access to spell stunts.
Journeyman: your insight into magic increases. Gain Willpower+1d6 magic points and gain access to Powerful casting, Skillful casting, and Mighty casting spell stunts.
Master: your ability in magic increases. Gain Willpower in magic points. Gain the Journeyman level spells in the arcana you chose already.

Capt. Adrian (Hawk) Martel, Cortex Prime

Capt. Hawk is the leader of the newly formed spear's edge, Eco squad. After promoting his way up the elite and prestigious first company he was hand picked by General Sans to lead this newly formed spearhead unit.

Physical D6
Social D10
Mental D8

Keeping it frosty
Pack leader
"Don't believe everything you read kid".
"I'm not here to be your buddy"
D4(+1pp) or D8 

Aim D10
Athletics D6
Dodge D6
Pilot D8
Fighting D10
Notice D12
Bluff D6
Command D6
Cool D10
Knowledge D6

Twin Paladin auto pistols D8
* SFX Two for the price of one, keep a second  effects die, the second die is applies to a second nearby target.
* SFX In my crosshairs, step up an Aim die.
* Flaw pistols ran out of ammo, 1 turn to reload.
* Flaw pistol jams, this power can't be used til the gun is repaired, step up the next use of fighting skill.

Listen up knuckleheads D8
* SFX give command, after using Notice skill in an action, step up one skill die of a soldier under his command used in the same round.
* flaw Make the wrong call, 1pp to another player who agrees, step down any one die in their next roll. They choose and describe it's effect.

Lobo x-1 body armor d10
* SFX sealed system environmental reaction system, step up for environmental resist rolls. Lasts until danger is over.
* SFX Sensor sweep, step up notice die.
* Flaw the armor takes damage gain 1pp to step back armor die until repaired. (Can be reduced more than once).



Saturday, January 27, 2018

Basic Fantasy RPG Review

Basic fantasy is a 164page old school style RPG written by Chris Gonnerman.
The page layouts and black and white art is reminiscent of old school role-playing games. With four races Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, and Humans. Classes include Cleric, Fighter, Magic-user, and Thief.

I've seen time and time again fans of the game try to compare it to a particular version of older editions of D&D. Since I didn't play those older editions I really can't attest to how close it is, but I have played enough retro clones and OSR games to get a sence of its old school vibe.

Basic fantasy is an OGL based game using the same core (although very scaled back) system as the 3rd edition of dungeons and dragons. Basic fantasy uses the core six ability scores, scaling combat bonuses, and abilities like it's roots. While keeping a simple feel and style that very much exemplifies older editions of the game.

This to me is the best of both worlds. Basic fantasy is simple and elegant while taking advantage of modern innovation and design like ascending armor class. I always give the example of a classic car. The classic styling and sleek lines, but under the hood is a modern motor, powerful while being fuel efficient.

Beyond being old school and mechanically elegant it's also a simple framework for hacking. With all the material out for OSR games and 3.x D&D it's easy to find resources for building the game you want to play. Build your game from the ground up.

While it's easy to use or convert other material to Basic fantasy, there is also a lot of material made for it, available for free on it's website at Basicfantasy.org.

One of the most amazing things about Basic fantasy is that it is a complete game. While there is a lot of resources (I'll cover that later) all you really need is the core rules to run it. To give you an idea how complete it is I'll give a quick page breakdown.

Quick page breakdown:
1-2 is introduction.
3-14 is character creation and gear.
15-35 is spells.
36-42 is rules for adventuring.
43-53 is rules for running encounters.
54-128 is monsters (2-4 per page)
129-143 is treasure and magical items.
144-163 Guide to game mastering.
164 is a very well done Index.

Another amazing thing about Basic fantasy, it's free on Basicfantasy.org
As a PDF. Print copies can also be purchased on Amazon in paperback for $5 as of this review, as well as a field guide full of monsters and adventure most under $4 as of the posting of this review. Hard bound versions of the core book can be purchased on Lulu.com.

The fact that I spent $25ish dollars and got the core books and a stack of supplements is pretty amazing value. Not even taking into account all the material available for free.

My own house rules and custom material can be found here.
And my Basic fantasy repository is here.

Fantasy AGE Rpg Overview/Review



I've been running games with the AGE (Adventure Game Engine) system since the first Dragon Age box set came out. While I was not all that happy with how those were released, I really liked the AGE game system that powered it. If you're familiar with the Dragon Age RPG or the Blue Rose 2nd edition RPG, then you're familiar with system that powers Fantasy AGE. For those not familiar I'll try to go over enough information to get a feel for the system. Fantasy age is a generic fantasy game system. There is a few things that make Fantasy AGE stand out, I'll try to cover them all. 

First of all the dice. In Fantasy age most rolls are made with 3D6 with one of those die a different color. The odd color die is the stunt die. If on a successful roll any two dice roll a matching pair the character gains stunt points. The amount of stunt points gained is equal to the number rolled on the odd colored die. Stunt points can be spent to add stunts and effects to the action they were rolling on. For example a combat stunt can push back to an enemy, do extra damage, or make the attack penetrate armor.

Stunts on a spell casting roll can lower the cost of spells, and add effects as well. Stunt points to me is the biggest reason to play Fantasy AGE...it's what separates it from the crowd. Although there is plenty more to like about this game. I'm personally a big fan of rolling 3D6 rather than a D20, it's less swingy. The 3D6 Bell curve keeps high and low rolls possible while mostly rolling to the average making abilities more meaningful.

Combat in Fantasy AGE works in a familiar way with attack rolls being made against an opponent's defense. Attacks that roll greater than the defense means the attacker gets to roll damage dice against the target. But that's where similarities end. In Fantasy AGE Defense is a set value plus dexterity and shield bonuses. Armor doesn't add to Defense. Instead armor subtracts from the damage roll, heavily armored targets are not harder to hit, but rather harder to wound. I really like how this works, it's once again one of the reasons to pick Fantasy AGE over other fantasy games.

Fantasy AGE uses nine ability scores. Ability scores range from -2 to 4 to start but can go as far as 8. In most rolls a player rolls 3D6 and adds the appropriate ability score as a modifier to the roll. Rolls are either against an opponent's defense, an opposed, or against a static difficulty.

Each ability score has multiple focuses, these focuses are deeper skill and training. Having a focus grants a +2 to ability score rolls they apply to. For example a character with a Dexterity of 2 tries to pick a lock, she also has a focus on lock picking. When making a Dexterity roll to pick the lock she adds 4 to the roll. I really like how simple and intuitive this is. As players level they gain more ability points and focuses. Like most fantasy RPGs there is a power creep in leveling, but I find that Fantasy AGE does it fairly intuitive and without a truck load of numbers to track. 

Characters are also made up of Race, Background, and Class. Races are your standard fantasy examples of Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, Human, and Orc. Each race gets some set bonuses as well as one thing rolled randomly on a chart. Backgrounds are based around social class. Rolled randomly or chosen if the GM allows, adds a focus and some strong role-playing flavor. 

Fantasy AGE has only 3 classes Mage, Rogue, and Warrior. While this really seems limited, there is a lot of layers of customization, allowing two players of the same class to play totally differently.

The most profound way to customize your character is with talents. Some talents are class specific they cover things like fighting styles and special training. Talents cover things like learning Alchemy, Lore, weapon styles, and Scouting. Talents often have requirements to take beyond class specific. For example to take Mounted combat you must first have a focus in Riding.

Talents come in 3 steps novice, journeyman, and Master. When gaining new talents you often have the ability to gain a new talent, or step up one you already have. I find talents to be great, especially with the limited number of classes in the game. This is the one area of the book I wish there was more of. They cover all the bases but that is about it. I would assume any settings or companions to come will add more.

The next level of of customization is class specialization. At level 4 characters can specialze in an aspect of their class. Mechanically these work like talents with three steps, but are only open to a single class. For example miracle worker is a mage specialization that makes them better healers.

Magic in Fantasy AGE is learning and casting of set spells. Characters spend magic points to pay the cost of the spell and make a spell roll. Spell rolls can generate stunt points giving the caster the ability to add effects. There are 12 schools of magic with 4 spells in each school. I like how magic works, especially how stunt points and the magic system works together. 

Fantasy AGE has about 20 pages of GM advice. This section is full of advice on how to flavor the game, how to emulate different styles of play. About what you would expect in a generic fantasy RPG. The advice seems like it would be very helpful to new GMs, better than most RPG GM sections. There is 10 pages of monsters, it's a small section but they pack in a lot, most your basics are covered from goblins to dragons. There is another 7 pages on rewards, how to handle giving experience points and sample magic items. A small section on campaign settings and even a sample Adventure in the back.

All in all I think Fantasy AGE is a really good game. The mechanics are solid and don't get unweildy. Most my run time with the AGE system was with a Dragon Age campaign I ran. But I've run Fantasy AGE enough to see it's really solid.

If I have any criticism I would say I wish there was more. More races, more talents, more specializations, more spells, and more monsters. Strangely enough I think the three classes in the book are just fine. Fantasy AGE has enough layers to branch into that having only three classes as roots works fine. As far as more of all the other character aspects, I assume we'll get those in the companion and or setting books.

The Pierson Monster, Savage Worlds

D6 Agility
D6 Smarts
D6 Strength
D8 Spirit
D10 Vigor

-2/+2 Charisma (depends on who you ask)
6" Pace
6 Parry (based on argument, internet house rule)
4 Toughness (based on immersion, house rule)

Skills:
D10 Knowledge: Reading chicken bones.
D4 Knowledge: immersion
D8 Knowledge: Argument
D10 taunt
D4 persuasion

Edges:
No mercy
Arcane background: Arcane banter
Allies: Nerds-international

Hinderances:
Addiction: games with funky dice
Enemy: Dragonspawn (one who attacks from behind).

Powers:
Vapor of confusion (Confusion)
Banter til you die (Entangle)
Argue in a circle (Drain power points)

Dwarven Honor Guard for Fantasy AGE RPG

I'm going to work on a few racial Talents.
"Even if the whole world was to take arms against my house, I will stand against the world".

Dwarven Honor Guard
This talent can be exchanged for a level one starting talent. You once served or currently serve in the guard detail of one of the great Dwarven houses.

Requirement: Dwarf, fighting 2, weapon group Bludgeon.

Novice: You are specially trained to react to danger, gain the Focus Dexterity (initiative).
Journeyman: Honor guard are specialzed  fighters with hammers. You inflict +2 damage with hammers.
Master: Reacting to danger becomes second nature to veteran honor guard. Seize initiative stunt costs 2 rather than 4.

Friday, January 26, 2018

AGE system freeform magic system, Fantasy AGE RPG

I've been toying with the idea of freeform magic for Green Ronin's Fantasy AGE system. Using both Ubiquity and D6 system as inspiration I created some basic guidelines. I'll refine them as I go.


To cast a magical effect the player describes the effect they wish to cast. The player calculates any bonuses or penalties based on Range, area effect, familiarity, and time. 

The GM looks over the spell effects and decided the appropriate base cost. Take the base difficulty and add bonuses and penalties plus ten. This final number is the cast difficulty.

Casting difficulty:
TN of spell effects is 10+ spell effect, then add bonuses or penalties for Range, Area of effect, familiarity, and time. Casting rolls are made on Intelligence with focuses being the four spell type catagories.

Range:
Touch -1
Close   0 (within 10 yards)
Medium +1 (within 30 yards)
Long +2 (within 50 yards)
Extreme +3 (within 100 yards)

Area of Effect:
Single target 0
Circle, small 6yard, +1
Circle, large 10yard, +2
Cone or beam +1 

Familiarity:
Held, touched, true name -1
Seen up close, conversed 0
Seen from a distance,  +1
Can't see but know it's presence, +2

Time:
End of turn/Instant. 0
End of round. +1
End of end of scene/combat. +2
End in an hour. +3

Spell effects:

Control (push/pull)
1 really small object, under 5 pound
2 Small object, up to 20 pounds
3 medium object, up to 100 pounds
4 large object, up to 200 pounds
5 extreme object, up to 600 pounds

Alter/Enchant
1 change appearance, superficial.
2 limited physical change, property. +1
3 strong but uncomplicated, nature. +2
4 Significant and invasive, +3
5 powerful and complicated. +4

Create/Conjure
1 simple raw material
2 small simple items
3 summon mindless,tool, weapon,
4 summon larger, complex, attack animal,
5 summon intelligent attack, large.

Damage/Heal
Chosen 1-6 for difficulty.
Damaging or Healing effect equals 1d6 plus a bonus equal to the difficulty.
Apply an element or source for damage add +2 difficulty. Damage is penetrating x 2 difficulty.

For example the mage character wants to knock down a bolder from above a goblin camp. The bolder is about 200 lbs and it's 30 feel away. Looking at Control the GM sets the difficulty to 15. (4 for weight, +1 for range, +10). The bolder comes rolling down causing the goblin guards to go investigate.


My original idea was for a system without magic points. But if using magic point cost to cast would be equal to final spell effect. Final cost equal to spell difficulty -10. Using the example above the Mana cost would have been 5 MP.

Another option is drain, rather than having magic points characters could have a backlash or drain for failed rolls. The idea here is that Characters can play it safe with easy difficulties, or push their luck and risk more. My first idea for this is on a failed roll the character takes damage to their health equal to the difference in their roll. If the spell effect TN is 15 and the player rolls a 10 he would take 5 damage.

Another option is that for every 5 the player rolls below the TN the character takes 1d6 penetrating damage.

Warlock specialization for Fantasy AGE

Some mages draw on magic from forbidden knowledge. Often obsessed with the obtaining dark lore and forbidden tomes. As such they find ways to bypass many of the weaknesses of other mages.
The common folk fear warlocks, they are known as "soul eaters". Warlock perfered Arcana are Fire and Shadow. Many also favor the Power arcana.

Warlock specialization
Class: Mage
Requirements: Intelligence 4 or higher and Intelligence (Arcane Lore) Focus.

Novice: the warlocks arcane blast becomes 1d6 penetrating damage (but no longer benefits from willpower).
Journeyman: warlocks can ignore 1 point of strain from wearing non-metal armor.
Master: Arcane blast now does 2d6 penetrating damage. Once damage is rolled the warlock gains drain equal to half the damage done rounded down. Warlocks can gain health and/or magic points for every point of drain, divided any way they choose.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Forest Guardian for Fantasy AGE RPG

At the heart of all great old Forests sits a guardian. Enchanted beings, so ancient not even the gods remember how they came to be. Some say the first order of druids summoned them, other say they brought the first order of druids to the deep woods. 

What is known is the deep woods are protected by the guardians. Protected from incursion from Man, Orc, and Demons alike. Even the Elves who show the forest and guardians reverence rarely travel too deeply into the ancient forests. Only the Orders of Druids and Rangers enter the deepest of forsts, communing with the ancient guardians as fellow defenders.

Guardians of the forest can call on all manner of allies in the forests. Ents, wild animals, Rangers, Druids, and Wild elf tribes.

Guardians have access to a wide range of Arcana.

Guardians can take two forms. The guardian form is that of a 15' tall horned humanoid. The second is that of a great white stag. 

4 Accuracy (Arcane blast)
2 Communication 
3 Constitution (Stamina)
2 Dexterity 
3 Fighting (Brawl)
4 Intelligence (Arcane lore +4, Nature lore +8)
4 Perception (sight, hearing, smell)
3 Strength 
6 Will power (Courage, self discipline)


Speed 10
Health 80
Defense 14
Armor Rating 8
Magic points: 30

Arcane Blast   +6   1d6+Will
Claws.              +4    1d6+3
Horned attack +5   2d6+2

While in Great Stag form perception and Dexterity becomes 6. Speed is 16, Defense 18, and Armor rating of 4.

Inquisitor's spear for Fantasy AGE.

these two handed spears are specially forged for the Inquisitors of the church of light. These master worked spears were forged by the Dwarven master of the great forge before it's destruction. Attack and damage rolls against corrupted or undead are both made with a +2 bonus.

Defensive stance and Treaten both cost one less stunt point while weilding an Inquisitors spear.

Feline race for Fantasy AGE

Native to the southern jungles Felines are becoming more common in the central and middle lands. Feline traders and adventurers can now be found in most of the known world.

Common female names:
Abrah
Adhara
Adila
Adira
Akilah
Alia
Altaira
Amani
Amna
Bahiga
Bashiga
Dalia
Galila
Hawa
Ieasha
Jaydra
Kamille
Karida
Karima
Lela
Lina
Maha
Malaika
Maram
Maysa
Myesha

Common male names:
Adil
Afif
Akil
Alva
Baha
Eisa
Fihr
Hamza
Harb
Harun
Hikmat
Hisham
Kadin
Kedar
Khanh
Khayri
Mahir
Makeen
Matin
Miraj
Mubin
Myrna
Nail
Nizar
Rida

Common family names:
Felines don't use family names but rather use the city or town they come from. This can get confusing to outsiders as not everyone calls every city by the same name. As Kaiden of Karabal, and Kaiden of twin spires are both from the city of Karabal, a city known for the two great spires in it's skyline.

If you play a Feline, modify your character as follows:

* Add 1 to your Dexterity ability.

* Pick one of the following ability focuses: Dexterity (Acrobatics), Accuracy (claws), or Communication (Bargaining).

* You have dark sight, which allows you to see up to 30 yards in darkness without a light source.

* Your speed is equal to 12 + Dexterity (minus armor penalty).

*You can speak Feline and the common tongue.

* Roll (2d6) twice on the Feline benefits table. Reroll any duplicates.

Feline Benefits:
2: +1 Perception
3-4: Focus: Perception (hearing)
5: Focus: Intelligence (Historical lore)
6: weapon Group Brawling
7-8: +1 Accuracy
9: Focus: Intelligence (Evaluate)
10-11: Focus: Perception (Smell)
12: +1 Dexterity

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kravunn of the Black Reach, Demon Lord.



Kravunn is lord of the Black Reach keep and surrounding mountains. Which he took by slaying Morosh the dragon king in single combat. 

Kravunn commands a legion of Demon soldiers. Two of Morosh's chideren, enslaved and corrupted stand guard at the Black Reach keep. The region is filled with followers of Kravunn, followers are known for taking slaves in raids along the coast of the dark mountains. The threat of followers infiltrating neighboring settlements has many on guard, making all the neighboring lands weary of strangers.

2 Accuracy (Bale fire)
2 Communication 
6 Constitution (Stamina)
2 Dexterity 
6 Fighting (Claws, chain whip, long spear)
2 Intelligence
3 Perception (dark sense)
6 Strength (Intimidation, Might)
4 Will power (Courage, self discipline)

Speed 10
Health 120
Defense 12
Armor Rating 8

Bale fire          +4   2D6  penetrating damage
Infernal whip  +8  2d6+6 
Claws.             +8  3d6+6 

Favored stunts
Bale fire: knock prone & Mighty blow
Infernal whip: Skirmish & Disarm
Claws: lightning attack

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Death Arcana

Death Arcana
Your magic comes from the underworld.
Novice: you learn the spells Wither and Corps speak.
Journeyman: you learn the spell Spectral walk. You also gain the focus Intelligence (Death Arcana).
Master: you learn the spell Feed on your soul. You can choose one spell stunt to perform at -1 cost when casting Death Arcana spells.

Wither
Requirements: Death Arcana (novice).
Spell type: Attack.
Mp Cost: 4.
Casting Time: Major Action.
Target Number: 12
Test: Con (Stamina) vs Spellpower.

A target within 10 yards you can see begins to glow with a faint sickly green aura. The target takes 1d6+will power penetrating damage and their movement is slowed to 1/2 of normal until the end of their next turn. If the target makes a successful Constitution (Stamina) vs spell power test they instead take 1d6 damage penetrating damage and are not slowed.

Corps speak
Requirements: Death Arcana (novice).
Spell type: Utility
Mp Cost: 2.
Casting Time: Major Action.
Target Number: 10
Test: None.
You whisper to the dead, engaging in conversation with a corpse. Most corpses can answer only a few quick questions.
You may spend 2 stunt points to see a quick glimpse through the corpse eyes at the moment of death, often clouded and blurred the quick vision might only give minimal details and is often very traumatic to you.

Spectral walk
Requirements: Death Arcana (journeyman).
Spell type: Utility
Mp Cost: 6.
Casting Time: Major Action.
Target Number: 14.
Test: None.
Your physical form passes into the a aether, taking of a ghostly form. Until the end of your next turn you can move passing through small objects (human sized and smaller) and even living beings. Those you pass through get a chill that runs up their spine. You cannot pass solid walls, beings connected to the aether, or holy relics (undead, bale fire). Casting this spell on holy ground you take 1d6 penetrating damage.

Feed on your Soul
Requirements: Death Arcana (Master).
Spell type: Attack.
Mp Cost: 7.
Casting Time: Major Action.
Target Number: 12
Test: Willpower (Toughness) vs Spellpower.
You open your mouth wide calling out a piece of the soul from a target you can see within 10 yards. The soul leaves the target's body in a stream of sickly green light, into your open mouth to be devoured. The target takes 2d6+willpower penetrating in damage. On a successful Willpower Toughness vs Spellpower the target takes 1d6+willpower penetrating damage. You regain Health points equal to 1/2 the amount of damage done by Feed on your soul +2.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Genesys RPG impressions. Part 2: Characters.

Characters in Genesys are pretty straight forward. Characters seem to have enough depth mechanically without being overloaded with complexity. While the story elements the system tries to add with motivations feels really flimsy. But I would imagine it'll make more sense in the setting books. A setting specific motivation will make more sense than a generic one.

Characters have Six characteristics and four derived or secondary characteristics. The characteristics are your pool of dice that are rolled to attempt actions, while the secondary characteristics are mostly combat based akin to hit points, endurance, armor, and defense. Nothing really special here or customizable here. Abilities are mostly set based on a few choices.

Next is a list of skills separated into 6 catagories, with room to add more. Skills are where Genesys is different from most dice pool systems. Skills don't always add to the number of dice rolled but instead upgrade the dice rolled where they overlap with characteristics. Each upgrades one die per rank. So two in a Characteristic and three skill is rolling 3 die with two of them upgraded. Same the other way, two in a skill with a Characteristic of three is also rolling 3 dice with two upgraded. This to me is the biggest departure from most dice pool systems. This an aspect I have mixed feelings about. I think it's great that it keeps dice pools down. But really seems to throw things in the players favor making challenging them harder. As rolling many proficiency dice is pretty common, but they are most commonly opposed by difficulty dice alone. While the  proficiency dices counter part, the challenge die is only situational. Meaning at least for my reading rolling a triumph should be way easier than despair. Not to mention more advantage and success rolls per player roll.

Another level of character customization is talents. Talents are tiered from one through 5. Starting talents are assigned by those few choices at start, additional talents are purchased with experience, cost ascending with each Tier. To purchase each higher tier you must have more of the lower tier. So for example you can't but a tier 2 talent until you have at least 2 tier 1 talents. Some talents can be ranked by paying experience, so they expand taking up the next tier as well for more effect.

Talents seem pretty well balanced, but as with any game with edges/feats some will seem more useful than others. More than anything other aspect of Genesys characters I like talents. It's one of the few really customizable parts of Genesys. Many aspects of characters like Characteristics can only be raised with talents.

The next two aspects of Genesys characters is gear and magic. I plan to make separate post for those.

Genesys RPG impressions. Part 1: The Dice.

I've had some time to look over the Genesys RPG PDF. At some point I'll do a proper review, probably after I get the physical book. For now this is just my thoughts on a quick read. Also this is my impressions, it's my opinion of the game from my perspective.

This first installment I'll cover the dice. Genesys uses special dice made by the publisher. Genesys uses a dice pool rolling method mixed with "read the chicken bones" elements. I'm a fan of dice pool games, I'm not sure yet how I feel about negative/difficulty dice being added to the players side of the roll.
The rolling method is good and bad symbols cancel each other, and the net result is the outcome. It does it rather well, the only part of this I don't like is some of the dice sides having multiple symbols on a single side. This can slow players down from quickly seperating cancelled out sets to get the net result. Not badly, but it's less intuitive for a newcomer to the system. Also in dice pool systems I much prefer set difficulties, but I think I like players rolling difficulty more than opposed rolls.
Genesys dice separate degree of advantage and disadvantage from pass and fail. The idea is that good and bad can happen whether the player rolls a pass or fail. I still feel a bit mixed on this. I've never felt I needed the dice to tell me what part of the story I need to make more interesting. Any GM worth their salt could use degree of fail/success to do that if they really needed it.

The one difference I feel here between other pass/partial/fail games and Genesys is that Genesys is built around the dice. In other degree of success games the dice pivot the narrative. But could be replaced with any other pass/partial/fail mechanic because the narrative is hinged on the roll but not driven by it. Genesys on the other hand is reliant on more than just outcome, but also the number of different symbols on the dice, making the system inseparable from the narrative and mechanics. While the dice interpret elements of story they also don't get out of the way for the story like other fail forward style of games. Not good or bad, but it is a story game with crunch because of the dice.

Another element of the dice is the spending of rolled symbols. Players can on a success spend 'good things happen' symbols to trigger critical hits, special abilities, and effects. This is the element of the dice I like more than the "read the chicken bones" elements. This is the element of using Genesys dice that really seems fun to me, both as a GM who like to tinker, and as a GM who likes to see his players play around with meta gaming currency to pull off stunts and general badassery.

My final verdict on the dice in as follows:
Dice pool system: positive.
-Players rolling difficulties: mixed.
Reading the chicken bones: Not a fan.
Pass/partial/fail: mostly positive.
Rolled elements as meta-resources: love it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cortex Prime impressions of the SRD pt3

Another area of the SRD I find interesting is the options for Life points (hit points), and stress. Again Classic cortex has been included in the mix giving the option of hit points if a stress track just isn't your thing.

Once again I don't see why I should have to pick one. I could see playing with both. Life points for combat using cortex classic weapon damage codes or reading the effect die. While at the same time using effect die and stress for social and mental conflict.

I could see stress tracks being good for all kinds of tasks actually. Everything from picking a lock to fast talking a guard could be assigned a die code that is the amount of stress needed to complete a task. Each go at it adds stress towards completing the task.

Life points could be used the same way really, assign a difficulty total to tasks (between 8 and 24 for example). Subtract the number on the effect die (or effect die type if you perfer) from the Total. When the task points reach 0 you complete the task.

These options make weapons and health as abstract or as close to hard numbers as fits the setting or the groups taste. Again I find this level of customization really refreshing and fun.

Cortex Prime impressions of the SRD pt2

I'm reading heavenly into all the options in the Cortex SRD. My impressions part 1 is here. One of the things that jumps out at me is the ability to mix and match options. Prime looks to be very modular game allows for cherry picking of mechanics.

For example something I think would be great for lower level heroic games, like street level supers is mix heroic dice with doom pool. Allow the players to bank dice specifically to do things better (add to the total of rolls). While the GM gets dice to  make the bad guys a bigger threat, both without specifically raising the power level of the game. More or less normal people (although possibly highly skilled) pulling off heroic feats when they need them.

Characters turning a great success in one area into greater success in another, which I love. It feels to me like story momentum.

I came up with a variant as well, allow player to bank spoilers as hero dice, each banked spoiler becomes a banked d6 hero dice. GMs can set a limit to the number of hero dice that can be banked from a single roll if they fear the players would gain hero dice too fast.

I like the idea that it doesn't cost plot points when banking hero dice, it gives the player a way to take advantage of spoilers even when they are out of plot points. Then gives them (another) motivation to play their flaws and negative distinctions to come up with plot points to use the hero dice.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Cortex Prime impressions of the SRD pt1

Reading through the most up-to-date SRD (01-01-18) for Cortex Prime I'm really impressed. +Cam Banks​ has done an amazing job creating a core tool box that can accommodate a lot of styles of play.

I was someone who played the original sovereign stone and loved classic cortex. When Heroic came out in Marvel I didn't get it. I didn't get the abstract nature. It took me a while to 'get' the system. Once I did I really liked it. Some incarnations of Plus took me a while to warm up to.

This tool box approach allows for a mix and match of different options from all the past application of Cortex, as well as some new levers to push and pull to get new effects and styles of play. I love the idea that the system can bend and stretch to be what best facilitates the fiction and action. I'm really looking forward to the finished product.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Reaping blade


The Reaping blades are relics of the past. Legends tell of 13 Clerics, members of a long forgotten cult who traveled the lands along the border of the gloomwoods, long before the litch Lord's push into the middle lands. Known for their ability to root out corruption and undead, laying undead to final rest.

Legends tell of day they banded together and road against the litch lords....never to be seen again.

A few of the blades have resurfaced over the years, but always seem to fade again into legend.

A reaping blade has all the attributes of a normal sword. With the exception of being priceless and Exotic.
When within 100' of an undead being or a corrupted soul the blade vibrates softly, often only noticeable to the carrier of reaping blade.

The reaping blades are seen as mysterious artifacts, weilders often theorize why the blade chooses when to erupt, but the reaping blades do not give up their mysteries.

Special : Any attack against undead adds a bonus of +2 stunt points then stunt points are generated.
Special: spending 2 stunt points and the Reaping blade erupts into flames. The flames do not harm living flesh. Undead take an extra +1d6 damage from attacks for the rest of a conflict or until extinguished by the wielder.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Specialist Cason (Kano) Kowalski, Cortex Prime


Specialist Kowalski requested to join Eco squad. His motivations for doing so are his own and isn't something he wants to talk about. A former member of the federal special intelligence unit, Specialist Kowalski joined military intelligence as part of its lone wolf program where he was paired with his phase tech armor. Very little is known about Specialist Kowalski's past, what is known is that he has a higher security clearance than anyone else in Eco squad, his official record has only one line not classified, "asset redirected".

Physical D6
Social D10
Mental D10

Trained by all the right people you've never heard of.
"You don't have high enough clearance for that information".
Cut like a surgeon, move like a shadow.
"Dont tell me the odds"
D4(+1pp) or D8 

Aim D6
Athletics D10
Dodge D8
Pilot D8
Fighting D10
Notice D8
Bluff D8
Command D6
Cool D12
Knowledge D10

Avenger vibro knife D8
* SFX like a surgeon, keep a second  effects die.
* SFX pinpoint, keep an extra resolution die for this attack.
* SFX can opener, step up two resolution die when attacking scenery.
* Flaw The vibro blades power cell runs out, 1 turn to reload. 1pp
* Flaw lost in a scuffle, Vibro blade is dropped, can only be used after a failed attack. 1pp must be recovered.

Background & Connections  D10
* SFX pull up data, pull up standard and classified data on a person when making a knowledge roll. Keep 1 additional resolution die.
* SFX I know a guy, gain a contact in the local area. For a second pp they owe you one.
* SFX Remember that time in Cairo?, add a second effect die when making a bluff roll.
* Flaw asset burned, you have not contacts in this area, cannot use I know a guy until you change locations. 1pp
* Flaw Cover blown, step back on all bluff rolls until you change locations. 1pp
* Flaw my enemies enemy, when you use I know a guy, his enemies in the area become your enemies. 1pp

Phase Tech  body armor d8
* SFX Stealth mode, step up Athletics die when using armor with Athletics to sneak.
* SFX phasing Camo, forgo movement and add a second effect die to any hide action.
* Flaw the armor takes damage gain 1pp to step back armor die until repaired. (Can be reduced more than once).

Friday, January 5, 2018

Specialist Samantha (eyes) longmire, Cortex Prime



Specialist Longmire, "eyes" to her unit is a recon specialist. Longmire is also a decorated marksman. After her tour with Alpha company where she served with the then Lt. Hawk, she did a few jobs in the private sector. Capt. Hawk called her back to active duty, his first pick when forming his Eco squad. Capt. Hawk is responsible for the nickname eyes, after her forward scout report was questioned for "inaccuracies", at the battle of Baltimore, the then Lt. Hawk stated he trusted Longmire more than he trusted his own eyes.

Physical D6
Social D8
Mental D10

Elite recon specialist
Olympics level marksman right out of school.
"I don't do it for the money".
"The service didn't make me a crack shot, it just made me better at choosing my targets".
D4(+1pp) or D8 

Aim D12
Athletics D8
Dodge D8
Pilot D4
Fighting D6
Notice D12
Bluff D6
Command D6
Cool D6
Knowledge D6

Sanctiforum sniper rifle D8
* SFX Reach out and touch someone, keep 2 effect die instead of one, choose a disability (called shot, story element) to the target.
* SFX adjust my scope, step up the Aim die on its next use (+1 forward to next roll).
*  Rifle jams, this power can't be used til the gun is cleared, spend one action to clear. 1pp

Relay intel D10
* SFX collect and upload data, creates a D6 ongoing asset on a target. Acessable to entire team.
* SFX get eyes on it, step up all notice rolls of the unit. Last until Longmires next turn.
* Flaw Target obstructed, Longmire can't use sniper rifle or Relay Intel until next turn. 2pp: one pp for her, one for another effected team member.

Communication array. D8
* SFX Request support. #
* SFX Request supply drop, all out of ammo or until repair flaws are refreshed. #
* SFX Request hop or extraction. #
* Flaw Communication relays are down. Communication array can't be used til repaired.
# Time to support, drop, extract, is equal to 8 subtract effect die number of rounds minimum 1.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sgt. Sonny (shin) Shinwell, Cortex Prime

Sgt. Shinwell was part of the original Eco squad, before the spear's edge initiative. Shinwell was the lone survivor of the overrun of Chicago during operation Onyx wall. Sarcastically Nicked named "sunshine" by his men, because of his always serious demeanor. Nicknamed Shin when he is within earshot.

Physical D10
Social D6
Mental D8

Not on my watch
"If it's not a double tap, it's a love tap"
"Try not to die, I hate paperwork"
Would sacrifice himself to save his men
D4(+1pp) or D8 

Aim D8
Athletics D8
Dodge D8
Pilot D4
Fighting D10
Notice D8
Bluff D6
Command D8
Cool D12
Knowledge D10

Divine right combat shotgun D10
* SFX full spread, split effect die with a step down to up to two targets close together. Split effect die 3 times with two step downs to up to three targets close together. 
* SFX silver laced slug,  add a second effect die (usable on demons only).
* Flaw Completely out of ammo, must refresh ammo stock to use again. Step up the next use of Dodge skill and gain 1pp.
* Flaw gain malfunctions, this power can't be used til an action is used to repair. 1pp

Inspiration D8
* SFX give pep talk, after using command skill in an action, target character gains 1pp.
* SFX pull yourself together, target gets a step up on cool die to fear resistance roll for the rest of the scene.
* flaw Over confidence, 1pp to another player who agrees, target gets no assets or bonuses for cover and can't make a dodge skill roll on their next turn. 

Access to Intel d8
* SFX know your enemy, make a knowledge roll to create an ongoing D6 weakness asset to attacks against the same target.
* SFX Access maps and area information available to the mainframe.
* Flaw 1pp Bad Intel, gain 1pp, the mainframe was wrong. Maps or area knowledge is wrong, player describes how.

Synth sleeves (common) Genesys Rpg

I'm putting together notes for a game I would like to run centered around a lot of transhumanism themes. I'm trying them out for the...