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Showing posts from December, 2014

Delta Green on Bundle of Holding

Bundle of Holding is currently reviving a bundle from April featuring Delta Green, the modern day campaign for Call of Cthulhu. In Delta Green, you play federal agents inducted into a secret (and illegal) conspiracy that battles against the forces of the Mythos, as well as the better funded Majestic 12, sorcerous skinheads, occult criminals, and more. Truly, these books are some of the best Mythos gaming material you can find.

Why am I mentioning this on Mystery Monday? Because Delta Green is almost a perfect fit for GUMSHOE, by way of Night's Black Agents and the Dunwich Sanction campaign frame therein. Dunwich Sanction gives you guidelines for mixing in the Sanity mechanics of Trail of Cthulhu, and that game provides all the monsters, gods, and spells of the Mythos.

So, check out the Delta Green bundle and pick up an amazing collection of gaming (and fiction), and consider taking it for a spin in either classic Call of Cthulhu or cutting-edge GUMSHOE.

Convergences: Invoking for Effect

In previous posts, I've talked about creating Convergences, moments in time (scenes) imbued with magical power through rituals. Convergences then provide aspects and even stunts the ritualists can use in that scene.

The Fate System Toolkit expands on the idea of invoking an aspect for effect, rather than a bonus to a roll. This is a perfect mechanic to reinforce the idea that magic can break the rules and let characters do things they couldn't otherwise try.

When rolling for a Convergence ritual, each action can produce an aspect (or possibly a stunt). If the player creating an aspect can think up an appropriate effect, jot it down. If nothing comes to mind at the time, don't worry about. Later, during the Convergence scene, something may happen that suggests a good effect.

Invoking for effect requires a free invoke or a fate point, just like invoking an aspect for a bonus. Since Convergence aspects are available only to those specified during the ritual, only those charac…

Space Patrol: Warrior

Warrior 50 points You may be a commander, a doctor, or an engineering, but at heart you are a soldier. Whatever the situation, you look for tactical advantage, know where your exits are, and size up the opposition. You never shy away from confrontation, and you must be reminded that the Patrol is a peacekeeping organization.

Attributes: HT +1 [10].

Advantages: A total of 40 points chosen from DX +1 [20], HT +1 [10], FP +1 to +3 [3/level], HP +1 to +3 [2/level], Basic Speed +0.25 to +1.00 [5/level], Basic Move +1 [5], Ambidexterity [5], Combat Reflexes [15], Cybernetics [Varies], Enhanced Defenses [Varies], Fit [5] or Very Fit [15], Gunslinger (Beam Weapons Only, -20%) [20], Hard to Kill [2/level], Hard to Subdue [2/level], High Pain Threshold [10], Rapid Healing [5], and Reputation [Varies].

Disadvantages: A total of -10 points chosen from Bad Temper [-10*], Callous [-5], Code of Honor (Soldier) [-10], Cybernetics [Varies], Honesty [-10*], Impulsiveness [-10*], Loner [-5*], Overconfiden…

Finger on the Button: A TimeWatch Adventure Seed

Hook: Nuclear war breaks out in the 1960s between a bloated British Empire and the fascist Empire of Japan.

Divergence Point: Button Gwinnett survives his 1777 duel and goes on to undermine the American war effort through paranoia and incompetence. Britain reclaims the colonies by 1779.
Core Clues & Scenes(1960s) The Revolution failed. Britain controls North America, India, Australia, many African territories.(1960s) The British succeeded in retaking the southern colonies in 1778, starting with Georgia.(1960s) Button Gwinnett survived the fatal duel with Lachlan McIntosh on May 16, 1777. He continued his political purge, gutting the military leadership in the South.(1960s) The agents are attacked by British commandos while researching Gwinnett and the Rebellion in Savannah. The head commando is actually an ezeru imposter.(1960s) Gwinnett's papers reveal his secret fears that his political rivals aren't human, indicating a major ezeru presence in 1770s Georgia.(1778) Gwinnet…

Romance in the Air: A World of Adventure for Fate Core

The latest World of Adventure produced through +Evil Hat Productions' Patreon is now available on DriveThruRPG: Romance in the Air, by +Bill White. Romance in the Air presents a steampunk alternate history in the first decade of the 20th century described as "The Last Exile meets Downton Abbey with a dollop of Dr. Zhivago." Europe is split among the three Great Powers of Britannia, Muscovy, and the Baghdad Caliphate. As these empires play their grand game of diplomacy, espionage, and war, aristocrats float about the continent in salon airships, pursuing wealth, influence, and each other.

Player characters are the passengers (or even crew) of one of these airships, the Pension Bellevue. They set out from Paris amidst the intrigue of the Great Powers in search of romance and adventure. Everyone has a desire that can only be fulfilled by another character, and that person always has a reason to refuse. Over the course of the journey, characters dance around each other, push…

Space Patrol: The Doctor

Doctor150 points A doctor is responsible for all medical matters encountered in the course of a Patrol ship’s duties. This includes investigating mysterious deaths or illnesses as well as patching up the crew or prisoners after (or even during) combat. Most Patrol ships are small, and the Doctor is often the only medical practitioner available while the crew travels between systems.

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 12 [20].

Secondary Characteristics: Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 [0]; Per 13 [5]; Will 12 [0]; FP 12 [0]; Basic Speed 5.50 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0].

Advantages: Healer 2 [20]; Legal Enforcement Powers [10]; Luck [15]; Patrol Rank 0 [0]. ● A further 20 points chosen from IQ +1 [20], HT +1 or +2 [10 or 20], Acute Senses [2/level], Fearlessness [2/level], Healer 3-4 [10/level], Intuition [15], Patrol Rank 1-4 [5/level], Resistant to Disease (+3) [3], Sensitive [5] or Empathy [15], Single-Minded [5], and permanent nanosymbionts from the approved list (p. 00).

Dis…

Dungeon World on Bundle of Holding

Now through December 19, Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of PDFs for Dungeon World that includes an array of material that blows up the possibilities of this already expansive game. In addition to the Dungeon World rulebook, the bundle includes modules, monsters, and even a variant campaign that takes your game to the stars. You can pick up the bundle for as little as $6.95 — a $78 value.

One Shot Podcast

I've been listening to a great gaming actual play podcast lately: One Shot. This weekly show features Chicago-area entertainers and guests playing a series of single-session adventures in an assortment of indie and more traditional systems. In addition to entertaining characters (even funny voices), episodes include appropriate background music and clever introductions at the beginning of each show.

I especially recommend the following episodes:

Feng Shui 2. A sequel to an earlier game using the original edition, this session is the stronger of the two. Part one. Love the music in this one.Dracula Dossier. The group plays the upcoming campaign for Night's Black Agents, run by the game's designer, +Kenneth Hite. Part one. Dark. The upcoming game of stealth and infiltration is run by designer +Will Hindmarch in a single 4-hour episode.

Changing the Set Dressing

While having a point in an investigative ability earns you clues, having a few points to spend can produce a number of benefits. An idea for an investigative spend benefit that may not fit in every campaign or with every GM is the ability to define facts about the scene rather than just discover them.

If your GM allows, you can spend points from an appropriate investigative ability to declare a fact about the scene. The broader or more significant the edit, the more points you have to spend. If the fact contradicts an established feature of the scene, the adventure, or the campaign, the GM is free to veto your spend, in which case you get the ability point back.
This lets players take a little more control over the world and may take some pressure off the GM to flesh out scenes. By leaving details light, they offer players opportunities to fill the void.
This option works well with aspects. The fact you declare should match both the investigative ability you spend as well as an aspect…

Progression of Power

The martial artist focuses her chi through a series of disciplined combat forms. The mecha pilot brings weapon systems online one at a time. In the process, both become more powerful.

In Fate, you can model this with a series of create advantage actions that generate free invokes. While they give the normal benefits of invoking an aspect, free invokes are only good for one use. After that, invoking the aspect costs a fate point as normal. Some players dislike the idea that an advantage is only beneficial when you can pay for it.

Instead, consider the following stunt skeleton:
You get +1 to [skill] [in a situation appropriate to a normal stunt]. You can spend a free invoke of an appropriate aspect to increase this bonus by +1 for the rest of the scene. This bonus cannot exceed the campaign's skill cap. If you take the time to create appropriate advantages, you can power up way beyond the bonus of a normal stunt. You still get a small benefit even without powering up. This is just a…

Space Patrol: Jordan-class Patrol Ship

The player characters in a Space Patrol game are the crew of a small Jordan-class Patrol ship designed to respond quickly and equipped to handle anything from transporting prisoners to chasing off minor pirate activity.
Jordan-class Patrol Ship (TL11^) The Jordan-class is the standard first responder craft of the Space Patrol. It carries a small crew, all trained in investigative techniques. The ship has a streamlined winged SM+7 hull, allowing it to land on and take off from nearly any world. The Jordan-class is equipped to hold up to 8 prisoners for transport to a capital ship or outpost.
Front Hull [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 15)
[2] FTL Multipurpose Multiscanner Array (comm/sensor 9)
[3] Control Room (3 control stations, complexity 8, comm/sensor 7)
[4!] Weapon Battery, Secondary (6 fixed-mounted 10MJ improved particle beams, 6 tons cargo)
[5-6] Habitat (1 cabin, 2-bed sickbay)
Central Hull [1] Armor, Diamondoid (dDR 15)
[2-5] Habitat (3 cabins, 2 cells)
[6!] Weapon Battery, Medium…

Wraith 20th Anniversary Edition on Kickstarter

Wraith: The Oblivion was the fourth game in the original World of Darkness. Instead of playing immortal politicos, furry ecoterrorists, or even reality-bending philosophers, in Wraith you play people. Everyone dies, so anyone can become one of the Restless Dead. Not just a horror game, the underworld of Wraith is one of the best Dark Fantasy settings in gaming.

Wraith broke a lot of rules of the World of Darkness, and a few of roleplaying games themselves. Your character doesn't necessarily belong to any faction, inborn or adopted. She is defined not so much by her abilities or even her supernatural powers but by the emotions and memories that tie her to the mortal world. Wraith mechanized feelings years before the indie game movement made it the thing to do.

Perhaps the most groundbreaking feature of the game is the shadowguide. In a Wraith chronicle, you play a character made of the mostly positive side of a ghost, called the Psyche. The player next to you plays that ghost's…

Triangulation: Lost Voices Open for Submissions

Parsec Ink, the publishing arm of Pittsburgh sci-fi/fantasy group Parsec, produces a yearly short fiction anthology called Triangulation. This year, Triangulation is edited by my wife, +Jamie Stefko. She is currently accepting submissions for short science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories on the theme, "Lost Voices." The anthology pays $0.02/word for stories up to 6,000 words. You can find guidelines at their site, and submissions are open until February 28, 2015.

Checking it Twice: A Holiday GUMSHOE Campaign Frame

In Checking it Twice, players are the North Pole's crack investigators, the elves tasked with clearing Santa's list of Naughty and Nice children. Sometimes a child's name will move from Nice to Naughty after Santa has compiled the list and checked it himself. When this happens, your Elves get to work. You must determine if the child in question deserves their new place on the list or if there is some way they can make their way back to Nice.
Characters Elves start with 1 point in The List. You can spend a number of points on Investigative abilities based on the number of players.
# of PlayersInvestigative Ability Points2837465+5 You can spend 35 points on General abilities. For 5 General ability points, you can purchase a Gift in one General ability. If you have a Gift, once per session, you can automatically succeed at a single roll with that ability, even if the task would be impossible. Your elf magic lets you do things that no one could do. Two characters cannot have a …