Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Monsters I Love to Use

This meme is floating around the gaming community, so I thought I'd do it here.

10 Monsters I Love Using, and Why (In No Particular Order)

1. Elves: I like using regular ol' high elves a lot. They make good enemies, at least the way I run them - aloof, convinced of their superiority, and often extremely well-intentioned.
2. Dogs: I like the idea that, in a land of adventure and mystery, there are still people who train big ol' attack dogs. Dogs are a threat that the players can identify with more easily than anything else on this list.
3. Zombies: Who doesn't like zombies? They're great generic bad guys.
4. Oozes: Creepy, inhuman, hungry, tough. Oozes.
5. Mummies: Undead warrior-priests with a vulnerability to fire are a good fit in many campaigns. Very dangerous to an unprepared party, but they have a vulnerability that many players can latch on to. They also often hang out with nos. 3 and 4.
6. Cultists: Sometimes I don't feel like making a villain with emotional underpinnings and human vulnerability. That's what zealots are good for.
7. Tree-people: All kinds. Ents, shambling mounds, animated christmas trees. They're fantastic allies and powerful enemies and they represent the raw fury of nature many times.
8. Gatormen: Alligator guys are slightly scarier than the more generic "lizardmen," merely because they paint a better picture.
9. Drakes: All the power of a dragon, none of the negotiation. Excellent when paired with cultists.
10. Ghouls: They're like a Zombie +1, and they have a creepy paralyzing ability. Additionally, they retain enough mad intelligence to lay traps, lie in wait, and even capture party members to use as bait.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Necropolis 2355: Garrison Lance

Garrison Lance is lucky to have Joe on the team. Joe is a pioneer in sentrygun technology, nearly as effective as three soldiers when it comes to defending an area.

Joe, Knight Combat Engineer of the Ordo Praetorio
How am I gonna stop some mean Mother Hubbard from tearing me a structurally superfluous new behind? The answer is a gun. And if that don't work...use more gun.
Ag d6, Sm d10, Sp d6, St d6, Vg d6
Driving d8, Fighting d8, Guts d6, Knowledge (artillery) d6, Knowledge (engineering) d10, Notice d8, Repair d8, Shooting d6
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 9(4)
MacGuyver, Technically Inclined
Quirk (given to philosophical musings), Outsider (good ol' boy)
Gear: Levant field mortar, flechette MG (with tripod, hopper, and movement sensor), MG control case, flechette SMG
Special ability: Joe is adept at picking the most efficient field of fire when he sets up FMGs in sentry mode. They gain an effective die type of d10 in Shooting when Joe deploys them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Necropolis 2355: Garrison Lance

Mick, Knight Scout of the Ordo Hastae Sanctae
Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d6, Vg d6
Climbing d6, Driving d6, Fighting d4, Guts d6, Notice d6, Shooting d10, Stealth d10, Survival d6, Tracking d6
Pace 6, Parry 4, Toughness 9(4)
Marksman, Woodsman
Gear: Flechette sniper rifle, molecular sword, improved light body armor, common gear
The Onion finally asks some questions I want answered: Are video games preparing our children for the post-apocalyptic future?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Necropolis 2355: Garrison Lance

In 2355, a double strength Lance of Knights from all orders was assembled with the express purpose of defending secure points against Corporate espionage. With no Senior Knight, this Lance was to act autonomously, using resources and the Lance's unique structure to its best advantage. These nine Knights became Garrison Lance.

Mikhael, Knight Infantry Support of the Ordo Praetorio
Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe...maybe. I have yet to meet one who can outsmart bullet.
Ag d6, Sm d4, Sp d6, St d10, Vg d10
Fighting d6, Guts d8, Notice d6, Shooting d8, Taunt d6
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 14(6)
Assault, Brawny, Rock and Roll
Habit (tucks sandwiches away for consumption), Quirk (laughs maniacally in battle), Quirk (prefers to use cestus rather than sword)
Gear: Flechette MG, molecular sword, improved medium body armor, common gear, 2 sandwiches

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The perfect zombie game

There is a serious lack of really good zombie games (or as Kyle calls them, "future simulators," a moniker I prefer). Good existing games include Resident Evil 4, Dead Rising, and Left 4 Dead.

A good zombie game would have the following elements:

  1. Turn based: I'd really love this perfect game to be a turn based tactical RPG. Intelligence (and firearms) give humanity an edge over the living dead; it would be great to have a moment to make decisions.
  2. Teamwork: You should be able to recruit or rescue survivors with different attributes who bring things to the team. It would be okay if you didn't have direct control over your teammates; perhaps they would have a "loyalty" stat that affected how likely they were to follow your orders. That said, the game should be playable by a lone character.
  3. Gore: Yeah. We need jets of blood, spattering brain matter, and dismemberment. It comes with the genre.
  4. Replayability: The game should focus on small human elements, perhaps with goals created along with your character. "Find a secure shelter," "go down in a blaze of glory," "rescue survivors," "get laid," "burn 50% of the city down," "find a place to deliver my girlfriend's child" could all be goals your character might be created to achieve. Each campaign should take roughly the same amount of time to achieve, and each campaign should be randomly generated around your character.
  5. No overarcing plot: Zombies, doomsday, I think we're good. Left 4 Dead never explains the origin of its apocalypse, and I think it's doing pretty well.
  6. Online play, DLC, and achievements: Yeah, I do want to be the guy with the "killed 40,000 zombies in a nuclear explosion" badge. I want to play a skirmish with my friends, acting in concert as the US Army's First Anti-Undead Corps, AKA the Big Dead One, as we shoot our way across town. And I want new goals, new weapons, new skins, and new obstacles available for download from time to time. Possibly "bought" with achievements.
  7. Variety of tones and genres: In other words, the game should be able to accurately recreate the mood of each individual Evil Dead franchise movie throughout multiple plays. One character swims in ammo and cracks one liners. Another hallucinates after shooting his infected girlfriend. Yet another is one of a group of scared people trying to cope with a situation beyond their heads.
I think those are some good guidelines.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Are there girls there? If there's girl there I want to do them!

d7 posted this article at his blog. As someone who has run a lot of first time groups and a couple exclusively female groups, I found it interesting reading:

Saving Throw for Half Cooties

Monday, February 2, 2009

McSlaughter Industries: Reach Out and Touch Someone...With a Sword...In the Spine

McSlaughter Industries is proud to announce the return of their internship program, on hiatus for the last four years. New to the lineup, meet Ted the Financially Irresponsible!

Ted has paid the McSlaughter Brothers enormous amounts of student loan money he took from the slightly more reputable Wizard's Academy. The brothers keep him around to improve their floundering public image with evil masterminds who only see Those Two Bad Guys when they see the McSlaughter Industries logo. The Brothers are careful not to recruit a wizard who could actually challenge Vassilos' power, but it's handy to have someone around to "test-fire" traps and deal with monsters while the Brothers deal with, say, hordes of treasure.

Ted the Financially Irresponsible (WC)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge (arcana) d4, Knowledge (history) d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Shooting d4, Spellcasting d6, Stealth d4
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Bad Luck, Loyal, Poverty
Edges: Arcane Background (apprentice wizard), Hard to Kill
Gear: Staff, Crossbow, 6 torches, 6 mana potions (which he is forbidden to use), 1 healing potion for personal use, 12 healing potions for the company
Powers: Bolt, Elemental Manipulation (fire), Light