Friday, December 26, 2014

Nuts & Bolts Special - Quattro con Carnage - Basic Fantasy RPG (a look at gaming across systems)

This blog references the Quattro con Carnage experiment being run by +James Walls and specifically the first and second sessions of the Basic Fantasy RPG segment. 

Earlier this week we completed the second of two sessions of Basic Fantasy RPG.  It was my first experience with BFRPG and my first exposure to "OSR" rules. The closest I ever got previously was some AD&D 2nd ed back in the early 90's, but I'm not certain that even counts (is that old school enough?) and 20 years have gone by since then.

The relative weakness of our character's was certainly eye opening. Every hit was worrying, and every spell was fairly jealously guarded. The fighter felt a little vanilla and with no undead in the story my cleric felt like a slightly less capable fighter who also had some healing.  Having pre-prepped spells meant I also was predefined in what I could do, as was the "magic user".

I commented after the session that I feel like when we get to Numenera (the fourth system in this experiment), and possibly Savage Worlds (system #3), I was expecting that my character was "going to feel like an ultra powerful superstar, in comparison" to BFRPG. I said this knowing that with Numenera I would have the ability to use my character's healing more frequently, and that I would be able to fight a little better as well.  In Numenera my cleric, Lomm├ín, will have the focus "works miracles" which will cover his healing abilities nicely. I could play him as either a jack or a glaive type, but given that I envision him as a crusading cleric (almost paladin-like) I am leaning toward a glaive of some kind.  This will make him pop more in combat, though depending on what our fighter takes for a focus I don't expect to suddenly be a superstar.

I had more fun than I expected to, but I don't think I can say that these sessions have made me a fan of BFRPG or "OSR" just yet.  I don't think I'd ever prefer or choose to use Basic Fantasy RPG for anything but beer and pretzel one-off games personally. I prefer a little more heroics, and a little more option in my game tone and characters, respectively.

As far as OSR goes I'm going to with withhold judgement until the QcC experiment is complete. I fully expect to see different variations on the theme, and so I may find that the OSR principles aren't outside of my comfort zone, even if the most OSR inspired rules are.  Either way I am looking forward to seeing how the character's (mine and the other players') change with each system, as I believe that the tone of gameplay is as much about the mechanics as it is about the GM, group, themes, and setting.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Break

I'm off for the remainder of the week to celebrate Christmas. Thanks for a great year everybody, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, whatever your beliefs!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Interlude #2 - Gingerbread Ninjas

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Turns out that not all gingerbread life is friendly or festive. The gingerbread ninjas are mortal enemies of Santa. Too long they and their families lived in fear of being devoured during the holidays! And so they took up candy sword canes, peppermint nunchucks, and marzipan shuriken and learned the deadly arts of confectionary ninjutsu.

Name: Gingerbread Ninja

Level: 3 (TN 9) [

Health: 10 • Armor: 1

Damage: 3

Movement: Immediate

Modifications: Level 4 speed defense due to confectionary ninjutsu. Level 4 for stealth tasks for all senses but smell.

Combat: In combat the gingerbread ninjas deal 3 damage from unarmed and weapon attacks.  Alternately they can grapple with a target and hold them (giving the target an inability in speed defense). Targets can break free with an action and a successful might based roll to escape.

Interaction:  Gingerbread ninjas cannot speak (they don't have mouths drawn on), but they can occasionally be reasoned with. They communicate with each other via strange hand gestures which are nigh impossible to learn (level 6 linguistics task).

Use: Gingerbread ninjas are constantly harrying Santa during his yearly voyage, the PCs may find Jolly Ol' St. Nick in dire need of some defense from their sweet assassination attempts.

Notes: Gingerbread ninjas are extremely afraid of large quantities of milk, and will flee to avoid being dunked.

Loot: Slain gingerbread ninjas will leave behind only crumbs. Bah, Humbug!

GM Intrusion: The gingerbread ninja drops a flour-based smoke bomb and when the smoke clears it has escaped, or it has been joined by as many as 3 additional ninjas.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Interlude #1 - Gingerbread Dragon

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Since this will be a short week due to the holidays I am tossing out the usual format and doing some holiday inspired madness.  Today I found this great image on Deviant Art and shared it to G+ but after some thought I got inspired so ... here's a holiday monster for your Cypher System needs.

Name: Gingerbread Dragon

Level: 5 (TN 15)

Health: 30 • Armor: 1

Damage: 6

Movement: Immediate on ground / long while flying

Modifications: Level 4 speed defense due to size. Fire based attacks do +1 damage. Social interactions at level 6 when grumpy or in a humbug mood, but level 4 when jolly and festive.

Combat: In combat the gingerbread dragon can bite for 6 damage.  Alternately it can claw one creature and attack another in the same action for 4 damage to each.  The gingerbread dragon can also breathe icing as an attack within short range.  The icing causes 4 damage and requires an additional speed defence roll to avoid immobilization. Immobile targets lose any speed defense training while immobile and can break free as an action on a future turn.

Interaction:  Gingerbread dragons are generally festive and friendly if interacted with within the spirit of the holidays but are confrontational with those who are humbugs or combative.

Use: Gingerbread dragons act as guardians of the holidays and holiday related sites. The North Pole has at least 3 dragons while the home of Father Time is guarded by a single level 8 ancient gingerbread dragon for example.

Notes: Gingerbread dragons are especially fond of gifts and if presented with a holiday gift all pleasant social interactions will gain an asset for that scene.

Loot: Slain gingerbread dragons will leave behind a single holiday appropriate cypher (healing/recovery cyphers, flight, and the like).  The lairs of gingerbread dragons can be looted for an additional 1d6 holiday themed cyphers.

GM Intrusion: The gingerbread dragon sprays an especially powerful attack of thick frosting in a cone within short range.  The frosting attack does 6 damage and requires a speed defense roll against its level +1 to the targets lose 1 speed edge for the remainder of the encounter due to the sticky frosting.