A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What I plan on doing when I play Uncharted Seas.

Is pick up a 6 pack of Landshark beer. Its sharky label and light breezy taste (sort of like a Corona only good) make for an appropriate beverage while moving wee ships on an imaginary ocean.

And you know who drinks Landshark? HE DOES.

Summer Fun Cthulhu!

He is a backup singer for Jimmy Buffett's band after all. "Wastin away again in Ryleh. Lookin for my lost cauldron of souls. Some people claim that Nyarlathotep's to blame, but I know, its all Hastur's fault."

If only I had my own Summer Fun Cthulhu. One day I will. Oh yes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Adamythryl Engine! Part 11: Talents

Its been far too long since I last updated my game system, so its time to correct that with the Talent section.

(Edited on 26 Feb with more Talents, and some placeholder names for other ones.)

You may be asking, what the heck are talents anyhow?

Well, to put it simply talents are non classed based abilities characters have. Most are based on the individual, either due to their general nature, physical upgrades ala cybernetics or biological upgrades, or just their genetic background ala a fantasy Dwarf or Elf. Most will provide positive AND negative modifiers to a character.

Most of these talents can be taken at any time, though many are STRONGLY recommended to be taken at first level. If your character takes the Elf talent at a higher level there better be a GOOD reason for it, though the rules do not strictly forbid it.

Talent Levels: Some talents have levels. Each level must be taken before the previous one and as above, in many cases there should be a valid reason to take the first level of a talent beyond character creation.

Attribute Modifiers: Attribute modifiers affect your character's minimum and maximum values. (Example: A -2 to an attribute will make its minimum 4 and its maximum 20, while a +2 would make its minimum 8 and its maximum 22.)

Racial Talents: (Strongly recommended to be taken at character creation ONLY. It is assumed the default for a character is to be a human.) You may only have ONE Racial Talent.

Elf: (Levels 1-2) Your character at level 1 has half Elven blood, (One parent was an Elf) and at level 2 is a full blooded Elf. At level 1, your Damage is reduced by 3, your diagonal movement no longer has any penalties to your total movement, your character's maximum lifespan is increased by 25%, and you have a +2 to any attribute checks involving hearing or sight. At level 2 your Damage is reduced by 5, your diagonal movement counts as above PLUS you have 1 extra movement per action, your character's maximum lifespan is increased by 100% (so if a human in your campaign has a 100 year life span, a Half Elf gets a 125 year lifespan, and a full Elf gets a 200 year life span), and you have a +4 to any attribute checks involving hearing or sight. You are now a poncy, snooty, pointy eared elf. And you have horrible orgies where you drink the blood of Dwarven children. No really. Its true. If all you ever play are Elves you are probably gay and should just admit it now and get it over with. Unless you live in the South, you will be happier in the long run.

Dwarf: Your height is reduced by 1'. Your movement is reduced by 1 per action. You gain +2 Damage and +2 to any attribute check involving low to no light vision. You are now a Dwarf. You like drinking and axes and have beards unless you are a female. Because who wants to see women with beards? Especially short ones who are big boned? Dwarven women have enough competition without having beards!

Orc: Your Mental and Social attributes are reduced by 1, but your Physical is increased by 1 and your Damage is increased by 3.
I am sure you know what an Orc is. Generally large, brutish, and known for solving problems by hitting it.

Goblin: Your Social attribute is reduced by 2, your height is reduced by 2'. You have +2 to any damage you cause against enemy targets when you attack from behind. You also have +3 to any hearing or sight related attribute checks. Goblins are sort of like Orcs only smaller, smarter, and meaner.

Drakoman: Your Social attribute is reduced by 4, you gain the ability to have gliding or limited winged flight (ignore most terrain based movement penalties), all L1 damage you take is reduced by one, and you gain +1 to your Physical attribute. You are a dragon man. You have wings and scales and stuff. Whoo.

Catroni: Your Movement is increased by 1, attribute checks involving vision or hearing are increased by 1, your Physical attribute is increased by 1, and your Ki is reduced by 2. Every game needs a Catperson and you are it. If all you ever want to play are Catpeople you might be a furry. Please seek help.

Meta Human: You have that special spark that has the potential to make you a hero. And thus Chad Kroeger will sing songs about you. If you find this special, your taste in music is HIGHLY dubious. Your character may take 1 of the following: 1 point to any attribute, 5 points of Damage, 5 Psionic Points, or 1 additional Movement point per action. Also, you may take powers from the Meta Human section in the Powers section.

Ogre: You are big, dumb, but generally well meaning. -1 Social, -2 Mental, +3 Physical, +4 Damage, +2' to your character's height.

Amphibious Mer: You are sort of like a Mer person, except you don't need to live in a pond or the sea. Generally this means you are half Mer, but it could be used for a lesser semiaquatic race. +2 to all vision related attribute checks, +1 Damage, +1 Physical, +2 to all swimming related attribute checks, may breathe underwater for 30 minutes before needing air, -1 Movement on land, must spend no more than 24 continuous hours on either land or water (choose either salt or freshwater) before needing 2 hours in the other element. (GM's choice on how this time is divided up.)

Aquatic Mer: You are a full on Mer. Smooth, shark-like skin and everything. +3 to all vision related attribute checks, +2 Damage, +1 Physical, +5 to all swimming related attribute checks, may breathe on land for 60 minutes before needing water, -1 Movement on land, must spend no more than 6 hours at a time on land before needing 2 hours in the water (choose salt or freshwater), Damage taken is reduced by 1 from L1 damage sources.

Grey: You are one of those curious big eyed alien dudes. +2 Mental, -1 Physical, -1' of your character's height, +3 Psionic Points.

Not Natural:

Bionics/Biomorph Talents: While selected as a Talent, these should generally be purchased in play when taken at later levels. Each talent is required before taking the next one. (Its easier than me writing out everything each time!) These also allow X number of purchasable items that become "built in" options.

Minor Bionics:

Lesser Bionics:

Bionics:

Greater Bionics:

Mostly Bionics:

Minor Biomorphs:

Lesser Biomorphs:

Biomorphs:

Greater Biomorphs:

Mostly Biomorphs:
Well, there is part 1 of the Talent section. This topic will be updated over the next few days and weeks. Or whenever I am inspired to add in a new one. It'll be like Christmas only every day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February Oath: Complete!

My low quality half assed paint job of the Uncharted Seas Elven Starter Fleet is done!

Uncharted Seas Elf Fleet

The biggest problem came in trying to freehand paint all the masts. Even using masking tape as a liner didn't help me make properly straight lines. However a second coat of yellow enamel cleaned up the masts on the frigates quite nicely to the point I will do all my frigates that way. (I have another 6 frigates in blister, plus I am waiting on Warstore getting in 2 more Cruisers so I can have 6 more frigates and 3 more total cruisers. They are currently sitting in their blisters.) Another yellow wash, plus some old Eldar waterslide transfers and my little fleet is done. They even got to see some action last week at Time Machine down in Manchester CT. They died to the Dwarves, but in entertainingly hilarious fashion which makes it all better. The crowd down there thought it looked cool.

Now if I can just get the game going down at Sarge's Comics in New London which is much closer.

And what's that hanging out with them? A 1/600 scale tank? And about 18 Dwarf Frigates whilst their Cruisers and Batleship are a priming?

Good thing for these oaths. I would never get much painted up before buying more stuff. Though I did do a lot of base finishing (see the AT 43 walker there), and get my Avatar somewhat done.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Adamythryl Engine Pocket: AT - 43 Tactics Edition!

UPDATED ON FEB 23 09. (Thanks to the AT 43 forums for some feedback!)

Adamythryl Engine Pocket: AT - 43 Tactics Edition!
Well, I am planning to run a Braunstein styled RPG campaign using the AT 43 Tactics book.
The problem? Its mostly just a rules ultralight patch on AT 43, and is closer to a boardgame with after mission advancement than an actual RPG. There are no noncombat skills, and ammo and damage is repaired in mission via object pick ups, like a wargames version of Doom. (And considering I have the Doom Boardgame and its expansion I do not need a game replicating this!)

So using my Adamythryl Engine, I am gonna bolt on some house rules to turn AT 43 Tactics into a more satisfying RPG experience!

CHARACTER AND PARTY CREATION. (Plus gameplay mechanics.)

In my version, all players are normally of the same squad. (Steel Troopers, RPG Soldaty, Bane Goliaths, ect.)
Depending on the faction and squad type chosen, players then select their chosen role in the squad and pick their character card as normal. It is HIGHLY recommended to use 1 or 2 star squads. For 3 Star squads, any weapons loadout or design of that class may be taken. (Aka: You could have a squad of Bane and Assault Goliaths, or a Tacarm squad with Steel, Jammer, and Death Dealer.)

Sergeant and Lieutenant, and Relay Unit cards may not be selected, though at the GM's discretion, they may be NPCs under his or her control.

Characters now have only 2 damage points (or Endurance as the AT-43 Tactics book calls them), plus 1 for every star class of unit. (So a 1 Star Star Trooper unit would have 3 damage points, and a 3 Star Bane Goliath would have 5. Sergeants get 1 more damage point, and Lieutenants get 2 more. (Thus a 1 Star Lt would have 5, while a 3 Star Sgt would have 6.)

New Attributes: Now characters have 4 Attributes they use to perform most non combat oriented tasks:

Physical, which covers any form of physical action such as breaking open a door, climbing a slippery ladder, or driving a car.

Mental, which covers any form of mental action such as computer hacking, repairing an automobile, or disarming a ticking time bomb.

Social, which covers any form of social action such as convincing a colonist's daughter you are the one who should rescue her from her virginity, getting your shellshocked academy puke Lt to get his head in the game and pull you out of this mission that just went south, or conning your corporate "observer" that it is in fact a good idea to nuke his company's multibillion credit atmosphere processor from orbit to take out some pesky xenomorphs.

Ki, which one per game session or mission (depending on GL preference) allows you to cheat death, or turn a failure into a success. (Cheating death will leave your character alive with 1 endurance point left.) You make your Ki attribute check and if it succeeds you have either cheated death or turned a failed dice roll into a success. You get ONE Ki attribute check per game session or mission, succeed or fail.

You generate these attributes by rolling 2d8 and adding 4.

To use these attributes in a game, you must roll a D20, and if you roll equal to or under your applicable attribute, you succeed in whatever task you were trying to accomplish. The GL can give your attribute penalties or bonuses based on various situations you are in. Benefits for having the right tools, roleplaying a believable line of BS to an NPC, or penalties such as being short on time, explosions happening around you, and so forth.

You also add in to your attribute your SKILL MODIFIER. Each character begins the game with 5 skills, and depending on what happens between missions, you may gain more. As your character advances you gain more skill points to improve them or learn new ones. Attempting an action without the correct skill lowers your attribute value by 5 for the check. Many actions will not require a skill. (Any idiot can put some muscle into breaking down a door, and everyone is assumed to be able to do junior high level math, or other such basic things. If your action doesn't have a skill listed, either use the closest one to it, or just your attribute and ignore the -5 unskilled check.)

If a skill has "Advanced" in it, the untrained check is -8.

No skill may go beyond a value of 5, and your 5 starting skills start at level 2.

Physical Skills:
Athletics: You know how to jump, climb, run, crawl, and slide under things, plus lift weights and all those other things most gamers never do. Like play baseball and football.

Drive X: You can drive any civillian vehicle type appropriate to your time period. Motorcycles, bicycles, automobiles, horses, construction vehicles, boats. That sort of thing. X being the kind of machine you know how to operate.

Drive Advanced X: You can drive any advanced or combat vehicle type. Mecha, tanks, combat aircraft, civillian aircraft, trains, advanced seacraft. That sort of thing. X being the kind of machine you know how to operate. In the case of using AFVs and Striders in AT 43 each skill point equals ONE dedicated AFV type, not chassis. (Thus there are currently multiple Fire Toad chassis machines. Light Prince, Fire Toad, ect.) For AT 43 AFVs a Drive Advanced roll is not needed in order to pilot the machine in most situations, it is merely a prerequisite to being able to drive it.

Weapon Specialist: For every 2 points in this skill, you may use one special weapon your unit type is allowed. Only Weapon Specialists may have this skill at first level, and must select it as one of their 5. This skill does NOT require any attribute checks and is merely a prerequisite to using the weapon. At rank 5 you may use ANY special weapon in your army book, provided you can find it in game and your GL lets you get a hold of them.

Alternate Weapons Training: For every point in this skill you may use one other non special weapon type from any faction. No attribute check is needed for this.

Sneak: The ability to hide in cover where you cannot be spotted or even noticed while within cover at all ranges, or at all with any form of cover or while not in enemy line of sight within 20 cm (Range 1).

Mental Skills:
Knowledge X:You know lots about a modestly generalized topic. History, science, the country you grew up in.

Computer Use: You can operate a computer or other form of electronics such as a cell phone.

Construction X: You can build and repair things of a simpler less technical type. Buildings and simple machinery mostly, though some more advanced things may be allowed. Only Engineers may have this skill at first level, and they must select it as one of their 5.

Construction Advanced X: Advanced mechanical and electromechanical construction and repair skills. X being Aircraft, Automobiles. Mecha, Powered Armor, Firearms, Computers, or any other sort of complicated electromechanical topics you can think of. Pick one per skill. Only Mechanics may have this skill at first level, and they must select it as one of their 5.

Medical Science: You can heal people. Level 1 is First Aid, level 5 is advanced brain surgery Doctor Frankenstein sorts of things.
Only Medic type characters may have this skill at first level, and they must select it as one of their 5.

Skullduggery: Lockpicking, computer hacking, trap laying.. your character can break into things they aren't supposed to, or set these sorts of things to stop others.

Survival: The ability to survive off the land. To hunt, find water and shelter in the wild, that sort of thing.


Social:
Bluff: Your ability to lie and misdirect someone. Popular with conservatives.

Charm: Your ability to impress or seduce someone.

Command: Your ability to get someone to do what you want them to via a means of authority. This skill MUST be taken by any character at level 3, and must be raised by at least one point at the 4th and 5th levels of experience. (Thus to reach level 4 you must have at least 2 ranks in Command, or buy it when you level up, and 3 to reach level 5. If you do not have the available skill points to do so, your character "stalls out" and may not achieve the level up.)

Interrogation: (ALL) Users of this skill can get information or actions out of an unwilling target. Threats, physical coercion, or similar such methods.

Command: (ALL) Users can get mostly willing targets to do what they want. From organizing a team to build a home, to armies going to war, command covers it. Its your ability to get someone to do what you want them to via a means of authority.

CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT: Unlike normal AT 43 Tactics rules, characters now gain Experience Points (XP). Characters start at level 1 (Corporal) as they are considered to be elite soldiers sent on special missions as opposed to the normal troopers in the main AT 43 game. (Normal AT 43 troopers are considered to be rank 0, or Private unless they are an officer type.)

Depending on the star type of your unit determines how many XP you need to gain the 4 character levels you may gain, since you start at 1.

For 1 Star units, it is 1000, 2000, 4000, and 8000.
For 2 Star units, it is 1500, 3000, 6000, and 12000.
For 3 Star units, it is 2000, 4000, 8000, and 16000.

Once you have enough XP at the end of a mission (or other period where you can rest, recuperate, and reflect upon what you have done and learned) you may level up, which in our terms means being promoted to the next rank. (See whichever army book is being used for your party for rank information.)

At each level up you gain:
1 more damage point, up to a maximum of 6.
5 more skill points.
1d3 points to an attribute (to a maximum of 20), OR:
A roll on the advancement chart.

The advancement chart is based off the one on page 7.
You roll as such, with rerolling any skill you already have and are not allowed to take any more.
D10 Roll | Result
1 Lethal Weapon
2 Tough Guy
3 Demolition Man
4 Disciplined
5 Hard Boiled
6 Heavy Carrier
7 Eagle Eye
8 Rapid Reloading
9 Dasher
10 Player's Choice

Gaining XP: XP is gained based on completing mission objectives, good roleplaying, and defeating or wounding enemies. It is recommended that XP gained for completing a mission be 1/4th that needed for the average party experience level to gain a level if they had the minimum required to be at their current level. For roleplaying it should be totally based on good roleplaying, with it being anywhere from 0-1/4th a level depending on how much and how well they did it. Refer to the Mission XP Awards chart for recommended gains.

For defeating enemies use this chart:
Enemy Star Level | XP per Wound Caused
1 50
2 100
3 200

AFVs are worth DOUBLE the XP per wound caused, or 100, 200, and 400 XP per star.

Mission XP awards:
Level 1: 250
Level 2: 500
Level 3: 1000
Level 4: 2000
Level 5: 4000 (Only affects L4 or lower characters in the party.)

Skill Learning and Improvement:
New skills may be learned at the cost of 3 points to gain a skill at level 1. To advance a skill beyond this, it costs the skill's level in skill points. Thus taking a level 2 skill to 3 would require 3 skill points. Gained skill points can be saved from level to level if a skill is too expensive to take at this level.

NEW EQUIPMENT RULES

Characters now have the following equipment free on them and they do not take any equipment space:
Sidearm Pistol and 1 Reload Clip (See below for info).
2 Reload Clips for the character's main weapon.

Medics only have 1 Reload Clip, but have a Medpack/First Aid Kit that has 5 uses plus normal medical gear as may be needed in a mission.
Engineers/Mechanics/Electronic Warfare characters have the tools for their job and only 1 clip for their main weapon as welll

Sidearm Pistol: This is a 4 shot version of the normal hand weapon the character's squad type carries. It has 2 less accuracy (to a minimum of 0), one less rate of attack (to a minimum of 1), no rerolls, the normal level of penetration, and only 1 damage point. A character may use an action to draw this weapon and holster their normal one.

Characters now also have a number of roleplaying based items they may carry at no cost: 2 days food and drink, a small book or datapad, keys or keycards, paper or electronic money, and a basic multitool.

Item Slots: Now characters have 6 open item slots instead of the 2 in normal AT 43 Tactics. Items take up space however. Small items are one slot, medium 2, large 3.

Some item size examples:
Small: Pistols, ammo packs, special headsets.
Medium: Normal firearms and weapons, medpacks.
Large: Special weapons, backpack items, demolition charges.

GLs may create more items as their campaign needs it.

NEW LP RULES:
Now each character has a per mission LP equal to their level. The squad's officer has LP equal to his normal rank LP. Squad members may use their LP only on themselves, but the squad officer may have his LP affect any member of a squad within 10cm. Remember the LP is for the ENTIRE mission which may take multiple sessions to complete.

Enemy LP: Enemy LP is not kept track of. Squad officers may use one LP drill or routine each round which will affect squad members within 10cm as in the PC squad, and each individual soldier can use one drill or routine each turn. (This means Red Blok style LP reducing skills can ONLY affect an individual grunt and not the officer, who can always use a drill or routine.)


GL STUFF:

Endurance of NPCs: Normally NPCs have 1 Endurance, plus one for every rank they have if applicable.

Creating new enemies: GL's should be open to creating aliens, robots, special characters, and other opponents for their players to fight. They should give them abilities, equipment, and skills to be an appropriate challenge to the players and depending on their lethality should give a good indicator of their star value and if they are an infantry or AFV type opponent.

Time and Doing More Stuff: Each full game turn is considered to be 10 seconds of real time. Base player actions not listed in the AT 43 Tactics book as how long it would take in real time. Operating a computer might take multiple turns to do, while starting up a car might only take a single action if its doors are unlocked. Use common sense!

-------------------------------

Party Creation Guidelines: It is recommended that a party generally be a FULL squad as in their faction's army book, plus one extra for the 2 chevron (Lieutenant) officer.

Force organization rules are to be followed outside of having a 1 and 2 rank officer in it, though special weapons bearers and specialists could be of different types. Meaning that a 9 man Dragonov Kommando squad would NOT be comprised soley of say, 8 medics and an officer, or an officer and 8 Sniper Guns. However the squad could have its 2 officers, a medic, an electronic warfare specialist, 2 AT Gauss Gunners, 1 Sniper Gunner, and then 3 normal trooper types.

Each party should figure out how they want to divvy up the characters. Roll off, draw the character card face down, ect. Players can be allowed to control up to 2 characters, though it is best to keep it to 1 character per player, and the rest be either in GL control characters, or reserve characters should the original group die.

If the GM wants to allow build mixed faction or mixed unit types it IS permitted though the maximum amount of specialists may never be beyond 2, and there may only be up to 2 special weapons bearers. For our purposes any 3 star infantry unit is to be considered a specialist, and as such, also must take the Weapon Specialist Skill at first level.

Remember the HIGHEST ranking officer in the party is considered to be the party leader, and if there are multiple characters at the same rank, the highest Social attributed character is the squad leader. If it is still tied, roll off.
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There we go! Version Alpha .2 of my AT 43 Tactics Full RPG has been created.

I was inspired to give it a second read through, and fixed and tweaked a few things.

The new game design stuff in this belongs to me, but I am happy to share my design if credit is provided. Also I am happy to add in other folk's stuff and provide credit where it is due.

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/SECTRPG/ Say hi to me on Xbox Live with the same name!