Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quick Note - Survey Says?!

Quick survey question (okay two questions really) for everyone out there.  As I look toward the of the blog I wonder what else I can do, I've seen some people have weekly/monthly podcasts and livestreamed google hangouts that are than shared VIA youtube. I have seen some people do podcasts aobut gaming, reviews, live play, etc. This all in mind, I ask the following of you all:

1. Do you think it would be a good idea for me to do a 5-10 minute video something once a week or month.

2. If yes, what would you like that video something to be about?

Sorry for the rather lame post tonight, but it is something that has plagued my mind in th elast few weeks. Also, I broke my wrist today at work ... typing one handed is rather time consuming.

Quick Note - Game Geeks #218 The Age of Shadow

Game Geeks is one of my long time and favorite gaming related review series. The series has slowed down in recent years and is more monthly than weekly, but still Kurt Wiegel (the host) is excellent at what he does and is very informative. I highly recommend watching.



Age of Shadow can be purchased for $2.99 at Drivethrurpg: Link

Quick Note - Five things to remember in a post-apocalyptic setting.

There are many things to remember when your combing the wastelands of a future suburbia. Mind the zombies, don't anger the mutants and remember to have a melee option. However, there are actually quite a few “real” things people would need to worry about should they want to/or have a game master who likes a little realism in their world gone to hell game.

1. Don't burn the sofa. If you need to make a fire (especially for food) don't ever use worked wood. Most woods that have been used in home construction, furniture and Cabinet making and so on have been chemically treated to last longer, stained or some combination of the two. When burned this wood releases the chemicals and can cause any number of problems. Including insanity.

2. Get a bike. Gas and electric power are going to be hard to get a hold of after a little bit of time and sooner or later it will run out all together. Breeding, caring for and feeding a horse can be difficult and you cannot run them into the ground. Bikes, however, are small, little, quick and require nothing more than a set of legs to make them move. In the long run they aren't as fast as horses and will eventually break, but taking good care of one, and learning a little about the repair of a bike will be a grand help to you and your party.

3.When it rains. Screw the concept of “acid rain”, yes rain water can corrode and is no pH balanced, however, it is a lot cleaner and a lot better for you than almost any river, stream or lake will be for quite sometime after things go bad. Most waterways in the US are connected to sewer treatment plants. Once those stop working (which will be relatively fast) all the unprocessed human waste will be dumped into whatever may have been a halfway decent water source.

4. The root of salary. Salt, sugar, coffee, chocolate … if you get your hands on even a little of this you are rich. Oh yeah, people will be trying to get money, things and food … at first but after awhile these creature comforts will be in high demand, and worth a good price (just don't pay for it in bottle caps!). Remember throughout human history wars have been fought and people have died for these things.

5. Get a Nurse. Listen, nurses do 95% of the work that doctors get credit for. It is the nurse that sets and casts the broken bone, the nurse that stitches the wound and he nurse that assesses and typically tells the doctor what is wrong with the patient. Unless a member of the party needs open heart surgery or an appendix removed get a nurse (an RN is better but an LPN is just fine).

Other things to remember:

Electric power may or may not be a normally available commodity. And if someone can get it than chances are they had money, power and enough of something to keep their place of electric power running. Don't go running after these guys anytime soon.


Food from stores, supply rooms, etc will eventually run out and depending on how well previously established supply channels are working may never be restored. Also remember that once gas runs out farmers will have to return to older ways of planting and harvesting which means there will be less new supply. One last thing to remember with food: After the house pets are eaten the next slowest and easily caught meat is a human.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Quick Note - A Quick Update on nearly everything

With the "peak" time of year now here for my profession I have a nasty feeling that my ability to post a lot on the blog will be greatly reduced. Just the lose of my mornings in the last two weeks has negatively affected my ability to blog and to read the materials I would like to review (heck, I'm now back to my four re-reading of Liberation of the Demon Slayer). However, I am still trying to plug away at everything I am working on for Genius Loci Games, various fan-zines (speaking of, does anyone know when +Erik Tenkar's 'zine is being released?) and this blog. As such, her is a very short update on everything I am working on at the moment.

Helena's Gauntlet

My second entry into the Edge of Space setting is moving along swiftly with alpha map designing done and mostly hand written write-ups on the different streets and areas that are left standing for the players to explore. Despite my descriptionin the short fiction piece, Helena is a very "small" location comprising of about a ten block rnage of the city and a small fraction of its underground tub stations/network.

Lights over Innsfjord

Innsfjord is fastly becoming my "bite off more than I can chew" project but is also moving slowly forward. I took a great hit to my self-esteem when I discovered how much art would run me for the adventure but still it is pressing on. I'm currently on the final alpha piece of the adventure with the wildress, temple, town and caves all being done. A mixture of play at the convention and reviewing Venger's adventure have helped hone Innsjord a bit more than it previously was. I'm still hoping to have a completely down adventure by year's end with art and other assets pushing a release to next spring.

Generic Super Hero Roleplaying.

Honeslty I haven't done much with this since my last update. However, I have filled nearly an entire Steno book with notes, ideas and just general musings on the system.

note: Steno books are a gift to all humanity!

Quick Note - Dragonshire Paper miniture site on sale

Dragonshire Deluxe Edition by Fat Dragon Games is currently on sale over at drivethrurpg for $3.25. The regular price is about $13.00 so the savings are excellent and quite honestly if your into the 3d terrian scene and on a budget you couldn't do better than these guys.

Take a look, pick it up, wow your players or bribe your Referee/GM!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quick Note - I get Sappy!

Sometimes life can get very heavy. Things from every direction, even the unexpected directions that have no angels that a human mind can perceive strike you and weigh you down. Holidays, the shopping and money sink those Holiday’s represent, the ever-changing dynamic of family life and the collapse of a church community can all hit and hurt. Surprising I have recently found that I am afraid of my blog.
 After October’s tremendous, record breaking numbers (over 9,000 views!) I will sit down, begin an article or a review or just some random observations of the gaming life and get scared and start to wonder what exactly I am hoping to achieve. Is what I am about to commit to .doc and blog worthy of those 9000 views? Is what I am writing up to the level my readers expect from me? I don’t know. So far the result is a very bad blogging month for me as so much from my normal life combines with so much from my gaming life. Innsfjord hit a dead end when I realized I couldn’t afford the needed artwork and maps and is pretty much limping along thanks to the dedication of the one artist I so far hired (thanks to you oh artist I will not name!). Helena is going pretty good, but with so much time now being taken by work (I work in shipping this time of year is hell) I barely have time to watch Sleepy Hollow much less do adventure design.
Since I’ve started the blog things have come along way. Originally a front for my Eira development I would like to think that Genius Loci has become much more, a place of sharing ideas, creations and thoughts with the rest of the gaming community.  Which is actually why I write this post today, to give a small thanks to everyone who has visited here, everyone who has discussed my adventures, monsters and mechanic ideas with me and with each other. Genius Loci has now been around for six months and I am quite surprised it has lasted this long, quite surprised that on a “bad month” I drew 5,000 viewers and maybe, maybe have changed how some of you play your games or the creatures you have faced.
So, thanks guys! Let us hope for another great six months … and then worry about the future!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

OSR Rangers - Quick and Dirty rules for Power Rangers style gaming

Character Creation – Attributes
The first stage of character creation for a Power Rangers style OSR game is the most difficult stage as it is the most deviant from normal OSR rules. This is because of the differences between the character in their civilian form and their ranger form.
As stated in the newest incarnation of Power Rangers, access to the “Morphing Grid” changes the baseline human in many ways. This includes making them stronger, faster and gives them knowledge and muscle memory of a veteran martial artist. However, these new abilities are often limited to the “Ranger form” of the baseline human with few exceptions.
As such during the first stage of character creation the Ranger-to-be should begin with a baseline of 8 in five of his six attributes and a 10 in the sixth. After the player decides where he wants his baseline scores roll 1d6 for each attribute and add the result to the total.
Once the player has created his baseline human character’s attributes it is time for him to become a Power Ranger and create the second attribute block for his Ranger Form. To do this the player starts with his baseline human attributes and rolls an additional 1d6 for each attribute and an additional 1d4 for one of those six attributes and adds the results to his baseline human attributes.

Table 1: Attribute Scores
Attribute Score
Attribute Modifier
8
-1
9
+0
10
+0
11
+1
12
+1
13
+1
14
+1
15
+2
16
+2
17
+2
18
+3
19
+3
20
+3
21+
+4


Character Creation – Ranger Form
After the player has rolled his attributes it is time for him to pick his ranger form. In Power Rangers there exist typically five to seven rangers, each representing one color on the chromatic scale. While in this form the Ranger is typically referred to by their color and another signifier; typically a number or idea.
For this OSR style Power Rangers roleplaying game there are two ways in which the player may choose his Ranger Form. The first is by rolling a 1d8 and consulting the table below. Conversely, the Game Master may do this for the player during actual roleplay when the players receive their Ranger Forms for the first time. The other method is for the players to all discuss with one another who their favorite Rangers are, who they would like to emulate and through this to create both their Ranger Forms and basic ideas of their expanded characters.

Table 2: Ranger Forms
Dice Roll (d8)
Ranger Form
1
Red
2
Blue
3
Black
4
Special Ranger*
5
Pink
6
Yellow
7
White
8
Green


The Special Ranger is typically a Ranger who is not defined by the Chromatic Scale and sometimes is not even truly a Ranger. If a player rolls a Special Ranger allow him design and invent his own Ranger. Being a Special Ranger does not grant him any abilities different than any other Ranger but does allow for one extra ability and a special flaw (note, normal Rangers do not have a flaw).

Character Creation – Abilities
Every Ranger has a special ability granted to them due to their connection to the Morphing Grid. These abilities are the closest to thing to a “super-power” that most Rangers have while both in and out of their Ranger forms.
When using their abilities the Ranger add his ability score (see table below) to half his or her level and the result of a d20 roll. While there are a list of abilities that a player may chose from below, it is suggested and even recommended that the players and the Game Master work together to create abilities that are unique to the game’s “Ranger Theme”.

Table 3 – Ability Scores
Level
Ability Score
1
+1d4
2
+0
3
+0
4
+1
5
+0
6
+0
7
+0
8
+1
9
+0
10
+1d4
11
+0
12
+0
13
+0
14
+1
15
+0
16
+0
17
+0
18
+1
19
+0
20
+1d4
21+
+0


Sample Ranger Abilities

Elemental Manipulation – The Ranger picks one of the four classical elements (typically one that can be associated with his Ranger Color) which he can control to a limited degree.
·         Examples:
o   Fire Control: twice per day the Ranger can create a fiery burst that combines with his attack to deal his ability score in damage on top of the damage from the attack.
o   Water Control: twice per day the Ranger can summon a small tide of water to knock a number of enemies equal to his ability score to the ground.
o   Earth Control: twice per day the Ranger can create a glove or boot from rock to add his ability score to his damage result.
o   Air Control: twice a day the Ranger can summon a gust of wind that will knock a number of enemies equal to his ability score to the ground.

Super Ability – The Ranger can pick a typical “super” ability such as super-strength or speed to use at the Game Master’s discretion. Typically any feats conducted with a “super” ability would result in the Attribute modifier most likely to be associated with that “super” ability to be added to the roll result.  

Sonic Scream – The Ranger can let out a burst of sound that causes all enemies to be confused and may or may not knock them off the ground.

Hardened Skin – The Ranger can twice a day make their skin as hard as a rock or metal negate any damage from an attack.

Invisibility – The Ranger can twice a day make themselves invisible to everyone around them for up to 10 rounds. Every round they must roll against a number set by the Game Master to remain invisible.

Force Field Projection – The Ranger can twice a day create a force field that can reflect any projectile force or weapon for up to four rounds over a 10 square line in front of the Ranger.

Teleportation – The Ranger can twice a day teleport himself up to 60’ for his present location. The Ranger can only teleport to areas he can actively see and that are not occupied.


Sample Special Ranger Flaws
As stated before any Special Ranger is subjected to a flaw. This could be a flaw in the design of his Power Morpher, a flaw in his personality or something else altogether. Below are three sample flaws for the Special Ranger. However it is suggested that the Special Ranger and the Game Master discuss the character and what would work best for the story being told and create a unique flaw for that particular Special Ranger.

Evil Taint – The Ranger’s Morpher was once tainted by an evil force and now every time the Ranger uses his Morpher he risks being taken over by an evil influence. When the Ranger transformers he must roll a d20 and add his Wisdom modifier. If the Ranger fails this roll there is no immediate result, however, after ten failures he is overcome by the evil force and becomes an enemy to the other Rangers.

Power Drain – The Special Ranger’s powers are limited and either will eventually fade away or start using the Ranger’s own life-force to power his Ranger Form. If the former the Ranger can transform up to 50 times before he loses the ability to change. If the latter after 50 transformers the ranger loses 1 point of Constitution for every transformation.

Berserker – The Ranger is prone to lose himself in battle and loses sight of who is friend and foe. During any combat situation the Special Ranger must roll a d20 and add his Intelligence modifier, if he fails the roll he will start attacking anyone he sees for five rounds or until defeated.

Character Creation – Ranger Health
After a player has created his baseline human and Ranger form attribute blocks he can determine his health by rolling 1d6 per level and add in his baseline human constitution bonus. At first level all rangers receive a full health (meaning 6+ constitution bonuses).
If a player is injured while in human form, he will recover hit points equal to his Ranger form’s constitution bonus when he transforms. All damage is recovered between sessions if storyline or Monster-of-the-Day was defeated at the end of the previous session.

Combat
At the beginning of any combat situation each individual Ranger rolls a d20 and adds their dexterity modifier (if any). This is also truly of the monster-of-the-Day, if there are any Evil Minions all minions are rolled as one entity regardless of number.
During the combat all ranger’s do 1d6+Strength Modifier damage when fighting hand-to-hand or with Ranger blasters. Each individual Ranger Weapon does 1d10 but can only be used for up to three rounds of combat.  
When the Rangers combine their Individual Ranger Weapons to form a “Ranger Cannon” the damage is 2d12+combined strength modifiers. The Ranger Cannon can only be used once the Monster-of-the-Day has been brought down to 1/3rd of his original health.

Enemies
There are two primary types of enemies the Rangers will face in any given situation. The Monster-of-the-Day and the Evil Minions.
Monsters-of-the-Day have three stats, an attack, a defense and a gimmick. To determine these stats take the Rangers’ averaged level and add 1 to determine how many hit dice the Monster has. For defense take the number of Rangers and multiple by two then add 2 to the result. No Monster-of-the-Day should have a Defense below 16. Gimmicks are the desecration of the Game Master and should be dangerous, yet silly, special or limited attacks conducted by the Monster-of-the-Day. Like Gimmicks, the Monster-of-the-Day’s health is the desecration of the Game Master but always a base line d6
Evil minions are a base d6. They have d6 HP, d6 attack and d6 defense. Evil minions have no gimmicks and typically attack in squads of 4-8.

Quick Note - After the Storm

After the Storm Bundle 3 has just been released over at drivethrurpg. It features a lot of stuff, but in particular the OSR Cares bookwhich is 46 pages of monsters, maps, classes, races and adventures from the likes of +matt jackson+Matt Finch+Matthew Bannock and a slew more ... including myself with a new race class raced on Filipino mythology.

As with all the other After the Storm bundles 95% of the profits go to the relief effort. The package is a weighty $20.00 dollars but honestly look at this list:

        A Darkness Comes to Stormwall
  A Quiet Drink With Enemies
After the Storm - Doctors Without Borders 2013
  Crawl! fanzine no. 5
Crawl! fanzine no.1
  Day in the Life: Gaming the Downtime
  Dude, Run!
  E-Z DUNGEONS: Caverns of Chaos
  Fire in the Darkness
  Flame Down Below
  Fractured Kingdom
  Fractured Kingdom: Day of the Dead
  Gamescapes: Story Maps: Distant Planet 1
  Gamescapes: Story Maps
  Girls Elsewhere
  Hack! Firearms
  LOST REICH: Starter Set
  Nova Praxis
  Only the Worthy
  OSR Cares Package: Philippines Relief
  Pass to Danger
  Spellcraft & Swordplay Basic Game
  Strands of Fate
  The Coming Storm
  The Modern Path - Arcana of the Modern World
  The Modern Path - Heroes of the Modern World 2.0
  The Sea Dragon Sailing Ship
  The Witch: A sourcebook for Basic Edition fantasy games
  Theatrix Presents: The Core Rules
Ultimate Dice Tower

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quick Note - Edge of Space _ Helena's Gauntlet

So last night I put up a very short little story snippet that was very obvious set in +matt jackson's Edge of Space roleplaying game system. The same system that my previously published adventure "Horus Adrift: An Edge of Space Adventure" was set in.

That story segment is the beginning of my next Edge of Space, adventure "Helena's Gauntlet" an adventure that is more everything going wrong and less about beating up aliens with exo-skeletons. In this adventure that players will take up the roll of members of the Hellreaver Squad an utterly normal military unit that just happens to be the last people left in the city of Helena after a bug assault goes horribly right. The players will guide and attempt to make it to an Evac ship near the city's center while navigating the underground, and ruined streets of Helena, all while trying to avoid the Bugs that still patrol the city.

Currently the adventure is planned to be between 12 and 18 pages in length, feature two new bug types as well as M.A.R.S unit support (if the players can find one) and pre-made characters for anyone who doesn't want to make their own.

Maps will again be created using pyromancer.com or myself if I can figure out how to make a city map that looks like a photo from a drone flyer. As before the title will be pay-what-you-want and exist under creative commons. I am currently looking for a cheap to free cover artist as well as a piece or two of interior art to go along with the premade characters.

As far as I know "Helena's Gauntlet" will be the third 3rd party published adventure within the Edge of Space universe and the forth 3rd party product for the system/universe.

Look for Helena's Gauntlet around mid December if I can help it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quick Note - A clue to a small side project

The following is a clue and a preview and a hint at a small side project I am working on when taking a break from the ever bigger Innsfjord. no rewards or prizes if you get what it is ... and no giving it away Mr +matt jackson.

*~*

“Yaris One! Repeat, Yaris One! This is Corporal Harold of the 3rd Hellreaver squad. We need air support at grid 125,941. I repeat we need …”
Harold’s voice cut off as the burning mass that was once the CSS Yaris Battle Frigate fell from the sky surrounded by the bio-illuminant plasma of Bug shooters.

The Corporal, now the ranking enlisted man in his squad fell back, his eyes wide and unbelieving as other points of burning CSS ships fell from the sky around him. In regular time the ground pulsed and shook with the violent power of each, individual crash. A few of the buildings nearby fell, but more managed to stay standing, a bit of human defiance at the end.

“Crap,” was all that managed to escape the Marine’s mouth as he picked himself back up and surveyed his surroundings, taking in all that he wished another could. But you’re it, Harold, just you. The Sarge, the LT … everyone else that could and liked to was dead. “Crap.”

There were only a few of them left, an entire division came in to this battle, certain of Bug defeat and as far as he could tell only half a squad remained.

Behind him the chain gun started again, the wind changed and the smell of burning, super heated metals and cooking meat flooded his senses. He bent and retrieved his weapon, looked around to see others doing the same.

“Someone find that M.A.R. …” His eyes feel on the giant exo-armor, half buried in the burning remains of what had once been an opera house. “Crap.”

He moved forward, tripping over rubble and trying to keep his eyes forward. The other men and women of his squad … Not many, he thought. Turned and looked to him. Looked to him the same way they used to look to Sargent Irdis. “Crap.”

“Listen up, people!” He bellowed to be heard over the auto-guns that protected them for the moment. “Listen up! There is no help coming. There are no miracles to be had this day.” He looked around him, at the dirty faces. “The acts of God are no match for the acts of mortal men anyway! “ This was insane, crazy … they were dead anyway. “We walked into this metropolis when it was whole and shining, now I ask … no I demand that you walk out of her while she and the Bugs who killed her burn!”

He hefted his rifle, his face a grim mask. “Are you with …”

… repeat, this is Sword of Hathor to any survivors … repeat this is Sword of Hathor to any survivors … to any CCS citizens, military or just plain human beings … we are secure but under heavy fire. Repeat, secure but under heavy fire. Find us, find us and we can get ho …

Harold looked back at the comm station. “Thank you, God” he whispered to himself, than to the remains of his squad. “It appears someone wants to prove me wrong. Well I don’t mind being proven wrong! You heard the radio Marines!” He checked the safety of his rifle, a wide boyish smile playing on his feature. “Let’s hunt some Bugs and get the hell home!”