Thursday, April 28, 2016

90s-Era Sci-Fi Horror Monster Stats From Ken Hite

The other day I was browsing Facebook and the most interesting thing popped up via the Timeline of the Alien and Predator Universe page, and cited as being from the July 1998 issue of InQuest Gamer magazine, specifically the article titled "Terminators: Five Movie Monsters to Torment Your PCs" by none other than Kenneth Hite. What three of these terminators may have been was not specified (though the cover of the magazine suggests, well, Terminators), but the two that were are, of course, a Xenomorph and a Yautja:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Interlude: Fantastic Heroes & Witchery - "Weird Tales" Style

Before we go on to the magical next section of the Great Multi-Year Retro-Clone Read-Through, I'd like to take a minute to revisit one of the things I glossed over when talking about Fantastic Heroes & Witchery, namely the "Weird Tales" character creation mode.

This intersects nicely with the recent completion of  Hugo Award-nominated blogger Jeffro Johnson's survey of First Edition Dungeons & Dragons' famous Appendix N, which I highly recommend as containing lots of meaty analysis of both the individual Appendix N works and the overall relevance of the list to fantasy gaming, both then and now. Right now, in fact, it's easy to see how FH&W's Weird Tales options (nonhuman races include Primates, Reptilians, and Winged Folk, while classes include Psychics, Riflemen, (Technological) Savants, Sky Lords and Wild-brutes - and that's not even taking the supplemental material into account) line up with the more gonzo, less categorized style Jeffro describes. One important innovation is the implementation of "Earthlings" as a sort of human sub-race - many of the Appendix N entries rely on this "modern-day human gets transported to the Weirder setting" setup.

But for this exercise, I'm going to be aiming for something a little, well, Weirder, and so using the 4d6-drop-lowest attribute-rolling method. My results are:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fate Core 2: Electric Boogaloo

Following up on their amazingly successful Fate Core Kickstarter from a couple years back, on Monday the folks at Evil Hat debuted Fate More Part One: From Bits to Books. But don't let the title scare you - while the focus is indeed on printing paper editions of material already available digitally, like last time there's a $10 all-digital buy-in - and it's already worth it, as in less than two days not only has the original goal funded, but the first stretch goal as well:

Yep, a Majestic-12 sourcebook for the Atomic Robo RPG, based on the now-webcomic of the same name. Now, while MJ-12 are, in the comic, presented as the enemies of our favorite wise-cracking robot, this book sounds like it will present them from their own perspective, which should be pretty interesting, and useful. For example, I bet you could easily match it with the fluff from the Monster Hunter International game to do Fate of the Monster Control Bureau.

This revelation also goes to show that there'll be new material available through this Kickstarter in addition to the new printings, and indications are that, like the previous outing, the final results of this are going to be incredible. And of course, if you're new to the system the Fate Core book, as well as a bunch of others (including Spirit of the Century now, I see), are all PWYW on DriveThru.

BREAKING: As I typed this up, the next stretch goal for the Kickstarter was announced - a hardback version of Young Centurions, the nearly-released YA prequel to Spirit of the Century.

What did I tell you? Incredible.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Retro-clone Read-through: Character Creation Part IIb

Hey, it's been a bit since we had one of these - continued from Part IIa. Overall, I think the tweaks that each rule-set gives to the characters it generates - some have more choices for equipment, some have more combat options - reflects my impression of the overall game thus far. Only time will tell if this continues to be the case, however . . .

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Good News, Bad News

Bad news first: the Savage Mushroom Kingdom netbook I mentioned a couple years ago has gone dark. The good news is the reason for this, namely that the author - Jeremy Puckett of Blackwing Productions - has secured the necessary permissions to make his Land of Terra an official Savage Setting. There is, I understand, a Kickstarter planned for later this year, but in the meanwhile the rough draft of the Heroes of Terra Player's Guide - very similar to the old netbook - is now on DriveThru. It's even the Deal of the Day for the next few hours, but I'd say it's worth buying even at full price (a mere $5).

Also available are two short adventures, The Plumber's Dilemma and Down the Tubes, both priced as PWYW. They're well worth a look to see how the occasionally goofy Mushroom Kingdom setting elements - the second one alludes to Karting! - get translated. With all the elements thus presented, the full setting book is shaping up to be quite good indeed.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Detroit Delving

So, a group of explorers are plying their trade in an old building in a ruined city, and find a treasure big enough to retire on. The general plan of many a Dungeon Fantasy game, but not something that could ever happen in real life.

. . . right?

The ultimate swap shop! Urban explorers find $1MILLION-worth of collectable sports cards inside an abandoned factory in Detroit

No word on whether they had to fight a dragon or horde of zombies for them, but this is otherwise remarkably reminiscent of a successful dungeon crawl. The article even mentions one Urban Explorer who supports himself with repeated visits to the site, which is obviously kept somewhat secret (or was, until recently).

It sort of makes me wonder about the viability of an urban-exploration role-playing campaign. All the basic tools already exist, I think - dungeon maps, post-apocalyptic "found stuff" tables, that sort of thing. It could be quite interesting to tackle such a traditional RPG activity in a non-traditional - i.e., real-world - setting, if only for a session or two.

I have just one question - guys, what happens when you hit domain level? 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

An Interesting Observation

As most everyone in the hobby has probably heard by now, the Bones III Kickstarter from Reaper Miniatures is going strong, with just under a week left to finish and lots of interesting-looking stretch goals to fill.

Poking around some of the miniatures that were produced in the last go-around, I came across this guy, and it got me thinking:

(Possible Razor Coast spoilers beyond the jump.)