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Star Wars Descent

Here is the Star Wars Descent mashup I promised you. This was a one day project, a quick thing I threw together just because I could.

Rules
* I changed the Magic trait to Special. It is used for Force powers and grenades.
* Everybody have fixed starting skills and gear (usually 1 Silver and 2 Copper treasures)
* No swapping of gear between heroes.
* There are no treasures on the maps, but there are Checkpoints (Glyphs of transport). Checkpoints give Conquest as normal, but they cannot be used to travel to town.
* When a heroes is knocked down to 0 Wounds he falls unconscious in the square he is in. Another character can restore him by moving adjacent to the fallen hero and use the First Aid ready action.
* First Aid ready action. You move adjacent to a fallen hero and declare that you are using First Aid on the character. If you are not interrupted by an enemy attack, at the start of the next hero turn, pay the heroes Conquest Value and restore him to full Wounds and Fatigue.
* The heroes lose if there are no alive heroes on the board.

 

Characters
I began my work on the heroes by thinking up some Star Wars archetypes: a force user, a powerful soldier, an infamous bounty hunter, stuff like that. I decided that each character would start with good gear and suitable skills, and that they cannot swap or gain any more during a mission. I am note sure about the balance between character or how many potions each character should have, that’s something that needs some actual testing.

Jedi Guardian
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Melee, 1 Special
Ability: Enemy figures within 3 spaces of you suffer –1 range and –1 damage.
Equipment: Lightsaber, jedi robes, force strike
Skills: Knight, Acrobat, Counterattack

Jedi Consular
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 1 Melee, 2 Special
Ability: Each time a glyph is activated, you may restore up to 3 wounds, split however you like, between yourself and any other heroes within 3 spaces of you.
Equipment: lightsaber, jedi robes, force lightning, force strike, Greater Healing
Skills: Telekinesis, Deflect Arrows, ???

Scoundrel
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 5 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Ranged, 1 Special
Ability: Once per attack, you may spend 1 fatigue to re-roll one attack die showing a miss result, but you must keep the second result.
Equipment: light armor, heavy blaster pistol, grenade, elven boots
Skills: Lucky, Marksman, ???

Technician
Stats: 8 Wounds, 5 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 2
Traits: 1 Ranged, 2 Special
Ability: At the start of your turn, all other heroes within 3 spaces of you gain 1 fatigue.
Equipment: light armor, blaster pistol, emp grenade, thermal detonator
Skills: Droid (familiar), Cautious, ???

Commander
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Ranged, 1 Special
Ability: You have Command 1.
Equipment: medium armor, blaster pistol, EMP grenade
Skills: Evasion, Blessing, Leadership

Trooper
Stats: 16 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 3 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 3 Ranged
Ability: You have one extra die in your Ranged trait.
Equipment: Heavy Armor, Heavy Blaster Rifle
Skills: Rapid Fire, Precision, ???

Bounty Hunter
Stats: 12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 5 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Traits: 2 Ranged, 1 Special
Ability: You receive 1 extra surge on each of your attack rolls.
Equipment: 2 Blaster Pistols, Medium Armor, thermal detonator
Skills: Fly, Rapid Fire, Pickpocket

When I had finished with the basic stats, abilities and gear for most of the heroes, I got the idea of maybe splitting up the hero sheet into two parts; race cards for the basic stats and class cards for traits, abilities and gear. I ultimately scrapped that idea, the game already have a ton of stuff for you to keep track of, but I’ll include my notes on it anyway.

Human, 12 Wounds, 4 fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Wookie, 16 Wounds, 4 fatigue, 0 Armor, 4 Speed, Conquest Value 3
Jawa, 8 Wounds, 5 fatigue, 0 Armor, 5 Speed, Conquest Value 2
Rodian, 12 Wounds, 5 fatigue, 1 Armor, 3 Speed, Conquest Value 3

 

Equipment
Most of the gear used is simple existing stuff with another name. I don’t have much experience with creating entirely new gear, so I don’t know what dice to give the grenades or the Force powers.

Force Strike – Breath, Knockback,
Force Lightning – Breath,
Healing - Spend 1 movement point and 1 fatigue to heal 2 wounds to yourself or an adjacent figure. You may use this ability multiple times, paying its cost each time.
EMP grenade - Blast, Stun, low damage
Grenade – Blast, high damage
Thermal Detonator – Blast, Burn, medium damage
Lightsaber - Red Green Green, When making Melee attacks with this weapon, you gain 1 free surge, S: +1 damage, S: Pierce 2
Jedi Robes – +1 Armor, When you suffer 1 or more wounds, roll 1 power die for each wound suffered. Cancel 1 wound for each blank you roll.
Light Armor – +2 Armor
Medium Armor – +2 Armor, You recover 1 fatigue at the start of your turn.
Heavy Armor – +3 Armor, Your base speed is reduced to 3
Blaster Pistol – Blue Green, S: +1 range, SS: +1 damage, Off-hand: +1 damage
Heavy Blaster Pistol – Blue Green, Sorcery 1, S: +1 range, SS: +1 damage
Heavy Blaster Rifle – Blue Green Green, Sorcery 2, S: +1 range, S: +1 damage

 

Monsters
All master versions have Command 1
B1 battle droid – 3 Wounds, 0 Armor, Speed 4, Blue Green, +1 Range, occupies 1 square
B2 super battle droid – 5 Wounds, 2 Armor, Speed 4, White Yellow, Sorcery 3, occupies 1 square
Droideka – 8 Wounds, 5 Armor, Speed 6, Blue Green Yellow, Quick Shot, occupies 2*2 squares

 

There are a lot of pieces missing, but this was a one day project and this was what I got. Will I go back and finish this someday? That’s not really likely, unless people specifically ask me for it. I will now move on to something else

Final Fantasy IX Decent

Here is the infodump for the FF9/Decent crossover I made. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Rules
* All heroes share inventory and money.
* No free re-equips. Re-equipping a piece of gear costs 2 movement points.
* Dead heroes does not automatically resurrect in town. They stay dead in the square they died until another hero resurrects them using the new Use On Other ready action. The Overlord does not collect Threat for dead heroes. The heroes lose if they run out of Conquest tokens and there are no living heroes.
* New ready action: Use On Other. You may use declare that you’re resurrecting or using a potion on another hero. The effect will happen at the start of the heroes next turn.
* The Overlord may spawn melee monsters as if the event Gust of Wind is in effect.
* Healing Potions cost 25 gold
* There is no town. Any shopping will be done at a moogle placed somewhere in the first half of the level.
* You may buy an additional trait die at any time.
* Heroes have specific starting equipment.

 

Characters
Zidane
12 Wounds, 5 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 5 Speed, 2 Conquest
Melee 3, Ranged 0, Magic 0
Fighting 2, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 0
Traps cost 1 extra threat to play in response to your actions. When rolling dice to avoid or reduce the effects of trap cards, you roll one extra die.
Gear: Sword, Dagger, Leather Armor, 100 gold

Vivi
12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 3 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 0, Ranged 0, Magic 3
Fighting 0, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 3
You have two extra Magic trait dice.
Gear: Tunic, Sunburst, 25 gold

Steiner
16 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 3 Speed, 4 Conquest
Melee 2, Ranged 1, Magic 0
Fighting 3, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 0
When an adjacent friendly figure is attacked, before the dice are rolled, spend 1 fatigue to swap places with that figure. The attack targets you instead.
Gear: Axe, Chainmail, 50 gold

Dagger
12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 4 Speed, 2 Conquest
Melee 0, Ranged 1, Magic 2
Fighting 0, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 2
At the start of your turn, all other heroes within 3 spaces of you gain 1 fatigue.
Gear: Wizard’s Robe, Mage Staff, 25 gold

Amaranth
12 Wounds, 3 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 5 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 2, Ranged 1, Magic 0
Fighting 2, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 0
You receive 1 extra surge on each of your attack rolls.
Gear: 2*Sword, Leather Armor, 50 gold

Eiko
8 Wounds, 3 Fatigue, 0 Armor, 3 Speed, 2 Conquest
Melee 0, Ranged 0, Magic 3
Fighting 0, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 3
Each time a glyph is activated, you may restore up to 5 wounds, split however you like, between yourself and any other heroes within 3 spaces of you.
Gear: Wizard’s Robe, Blinding Light, 25 gold

Quinna
12 Wounds, 5 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 1, Ranged 0, Magic 2
Fighting 1, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 1
Enemy figures within 3 spaces of you suffer –1 range and –1 damage.
Gear: Hammer, Ghost Armor, 0 gold

Freya
12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 1 Armor, 4 Speed, 3 Conquest
Melee 2, Ranged 1, Magic 0
Fighting 2, Subterfuge 1, Wizardry 0
You have Command 1.
Gear: Walking Stick, Chainmail, 75 gold

Beatrix
12 Wounds, 4 Fatigue, 2 Armor, 4 Speed, 4 Conquest
Melee 3, Ranged 0, Magic 0
Fighting 1, Subterfuge 0, Wizardry 2
You have +2 armor. You may not equip runes or armor. You are immune to Aura, Bleed, Pierce, Poison, and Sorcery. In addition, all damage dealt to you by Blast, Bolt, or Breath attacks is reduced to 0.
Gear: Axe, 150 gold

 

Monsters
I also made some custom monsters for my Ice Cave scenario
Black Waltz 1: 5 Speed 5, 8 Wounds, 4 Armor
Black Waltz 2: 5 Speed 5, 10 Wounds, 5 Armor
Black Waltz 3: 5 Speed 5, 14 Wounds, 7 Armor
Undying, Sorcery 4, Fly
Heal, may only be used on another monster, Red
Breath of Fire, Burn, breath, Blue Yellow Black
Ice Blast, Stun, White Yellow Black

Sealion: 4 Speed, 20 Wounds, 8 Armor
Body Blow, Knockback Sweep, Red Green Green Black
Water Wall, Breath, White Green Green Yellow Black
Rage, If Black Waltz 3 dies then Seallion gains Aura, Sorcery 3 and loses 3 Armor

 

Treasures
1st Copper: 100 gold, 2 Conquest, 1 Curse
2nd Copper: 1 Copper, 1 Curse
1st Silver: 100 gold, 2 Conquest, 1 Curse
2nd Silver: 1 Silver, 1 Curse
1st Gold: a free skill

 

None of this have been playtested in any way, so I’m not sure about the balance of things. Some of the gear is taken from various expansions. More information about Descent gear, skills and monsters can be found at Descent in the Dark.

Long time, no blogging. Some medical stuff happened, but now I’m back again!

So, let have a look at what’s been on my workbench lately:

* My Final Fantasy 9 version of Descent is, maybe not dead, but frozen solid. I wanted to do a playtest of this before I made a post about it, but that all fell through. I’ll try to make a larger post about it tomorrow.

* I had some ideas for a furry RPG, but only one person showed any real interest in the idea (furry supernatural high school mystery drama) so that project is also shelved.

* I recently got back in creating maps for Warcraft 3. I’ve been looking at my old (6+ years) stuff and I’ve been thinking about maybe finish some of my old levels.

* A friend of mine recently mentioned that he wanted to run a Star Wars campaign, but he dislikes the systems in the existing SW RPGs. He does however like the new World of Darkness rules a lot, so I’m helping him to modify those into something suitable for fun and exciting action in a galaxy far, far away.

* This morning I got the idea of making a Star Wars version of Descent. I decided to make this a One Day project, to force myself to get things done quickly. It’s a simple thing to do, will have stuff on the blog later this week.

Siratsia and powerful heroes

Returning to an old game after many years away from it can be both a blessing and a curse. It can bring back many happy memories of joy and excitement, but also the stark realization of how utterly bad the game was. I might be about to go on such a journey.

Siratsias vita formelbok (The white spellbook of Siratsia) is a more than 20 years old adventure for the Swedish roleplaying game Drakar och Demoner (Dragons and Demons). It is centred around the very powerful, but confused, wizard Siratsia and her plot to take control over the northern kingdom of Barbia. I have played parts of it two times before, but I only remember small fragments off it. I’m hoping that the third times the charm and that I will actually be able to play through it all this time. I’m not sure when (or if) we’ll actually get to play it, we’re still all in that early “I wanna run this sometime, anybody want in?” phase. Still, I can’t help but get excited about it and I already have a handful of interesting character concepts.

The book mentions that the adventure is suited for four to six powerful heroes, and that they should be well equipped with at least one magic item each. This made me think. Enchanted items have become a commonly accessible thing in a majority of modern fantasy games. Everybody and their grandmother has some kind of imbued gear, be it healing potions, sorcerous runes or some kind of enchanted weapon. Back in the mid 90s when we played Drakar och Demoner every weekend we were lucky if we ever got more then one magic item on any of our heroes. Times have indeed changed.

This in turn got me thinking about power levels. When we sit down to make our characters for this adventure, should we aim for balanced or highly specialized characters? Should each character be build to stand alone or should we create them together as a group? It’s possible to break the game by having one player play an artificer and create some extremely powerful magical items to hand out to the other characters. Why would the barbarian pay 40 points to max out his strength when he could just pay 1 point to have really low natural strength and let the artificer create a magical item that raises it to his racial maximum for him? If you can create amulets that grant the same level of protection as the finest armour around then why wouldn’t you make sure that everybody in your group had one? What fun is there to overcoming challenges with god mode enabled?

I don’t know if we’ll ever get this going, but if we do then I will return with an update.

Winter is finally here and with it the return of my gaming nonsense! I have a lot of things to talk about so let’s get going. These are some of the things that has happened in my gaming life since my last blog entry.

* The IRC Exalted game I was looking forward to kinda imploded, so no Exalted for me. That game has been on my list of roleplaying games to try for many years, but something always comes up and it all ends up being nothing…

* I was invited to an underwater Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 campaign, but had to turn it down because of the difference in time zones. It did however inspire me to sit down to create a swashbuckling octohuman. Being able to use five fencing blades at once is cool.

* The game File 13 was mentioned a couple of weeks ago by my buddy Mike on his podcast Nerd Pride Radio. File 13 was a little game that came with an issue of the Dragon magazine back in 80s. The idea is something I’ve toyed around with before, it’s a game about creating games.

* A couple of days ago I got wind of a rules-light fantasy rpg called Warrior, Rogue and Mage. After having read through the 4-page version I found out there was a pulp version called Resolute, Adventurer & Genius so I had to look at that too. Then inspiration hit me and I began to twist the rules engine into a superhero game. The working title for it is Paragons, Gadgeteers & Mystics.

* I listened to a book review while out walking a couple of weeks ago and was reminded of Era, an old rpg a friend and I made back in the mid 90s. I was able to find my old character sheets, some info on how to write spells (if was very much like programming in BASIC) and what dice to roll to generate stats for the different races, but most of the rules are still missing. I’ve been thinking about recreating the missing information, or perhaps redoing the entire game from scratch, but that will depend on if I can get people interesting in it or not. I did remember that the campaign we played was heavily influenced by the Artifacts of Power series by Maggie Furey, so I’ve been trying read my way through that.

* I have once again fallen into the time-devouring abyss that is the Final Fantasy game series. I am once again replaying Final Fantasy IX, all thanks to a Swedish retrogaming podcast that I listen to.

* I have finally gotten a chance to play Descent: Journeys in the Dark. The game has been described as a tabletop version of Diablo or a WoW instance, and that I can agree with. The Hero players run around in a dungeon with the goal of slaying monsters and grabbing treasure while the Overlord player tries to kill the heroes with monsters, traps and other nasty things. The biggest downside to the game is that it takes a long time to play even a simple quest.

* I am currently working on a FF9 version of Descent for an upcoming weekend thing at my local gaming club. Creating custom characters and monsters for Descent is relatively simple, but I’m not sure how much I dare to change the rules regarding revivification and the handling of money and items.

Ninjas, Hexagons and Wikis

My friend Trämmer approached me the other week about a game idea he had recently started working on. It was a combat focused ninja game with miniatures on a hexagonal grid and mostly based on the famous Naruto manga and anime series. We spent pretty much all of last Sunday discussing mechanics and design ideas and we feel now that we have a good base for this project.

It could be a while until our next in-the-flesh playtest together since he’s back in Budapest for his studies, but thanks to the miracle of the Internet we can still work together on this project. We will set up a wiki for the game shortly as a way for us to organize everything. We will also use things like Facebook, MSN and Skype to talk about our different ideas and suggestions, so if we want to test some rules changes then all we’ll need are a hex grid with coordinates, some minis or tokens, some dice and some spare time. I don’t think I have to point out that that last thing might be our biggest problem.

This project has a number of interesting challenges. I have never played combat on a hexagonal grid, so I some things to learn about using it tactically. I have to explore the realm of varying between using D30s, D60s and D100s for the different skill levels. There is a deck-building mechanic with your combat manoeuvres that will let you customize your fighting style against your opponent.

The way of the shinobi looks bright.

For the past couple of months I’ve been working on a game setting where reincarnation is a proven truth. I have been trying to write a blog post about it for weeks now, and none of my seven previous drafts have been any good. I’m about to give in to desperation and just post whatever comes to mind just to get this over and done with.

Mythological explanation
The universe is conscious, and it wants to understand itself. To do this, it has split off parts of itself as observers. By examining itself from different points of view it can gain a greater knowledge of itself. Each person has one of these parts inside oneself, the soul. During the lifetime of its body, the soul gathers many memories. On death of the body, the soul caries these memories back to the universal soul. A soul still has a connection to all memories it has gathered. Through these connections you can remember the past lives of the soul. There are certain things you can do to help bring forth these memories, to strengthen the connection. People want to remember good things and forget bad things.

Remembering the past
Normal people can remember things about their previous lives, but only tiny fragments, like parts of half-remembered dreams. It can be very vague and fuzzy, but there is almost always a strong emotion carrying it, serving as the connection to the memory.

Diversification
Something I felt was important to have in this setting was the cultural value of diversification. Just as the universe is trying to experience all of reality, so should you do in your lives. You might have been a swordsman or a carpenter in your previous lives, and now you might try to make a living as a fisherman or a sheep herder.

Technological stagnation
I want the technological level of this setting to be lower than in your typical fantasy setting. After doing some light research (mostly reading Wikipedia and the game manual for Age of Empires) I have decided to set this somewhere around late bronze age and early iron age (Ancient and Classical Greece would be good examples).

Karma
I also want karma as an important thing in this setting, though I’m not sure how to implement it.

The start of the campaign
During history there have been a group of legendary heroes that have been reincarnated in times of troubles. They created a secret order whose only purpose is to travel the world and test young children (under the age of ten) in order to find the heroes whenever they reincarnate. Our heroes would be teens bearing the mark of the legendary heroes (purple eyes, an unusual birthmark, something the group of players would agree on), found as children and raised in secret hideaways far from civilization. When they all have grown up enough (become young adults), they will all be taken to the main fortress of the order for the grand memory reawakening ritual (a secret and very expensive thing). They will then reacquire all the memories from all of their past lives and proceed to journey out into the world to fight the current threats to the world. But this time something goes wrong. The temple is attacked during the ritual by agents of the great darkness threatening the lands and our heroes flee to avoid getting slaughtered. They would be out on their own in the world, and the people who recognise them would expect great things of them. During many adventures they would learn new skills, find their inner strength and reclaim ancient artefacts and become the ones who could defend the peoples from whatever might threaten them.

The goal of the campaign
One unfortunate thing is that I will not see this campaign play out in the way I intended it to. My health doesn’t allow me to be the one to run this campaign, so a lot of things will be done differently. For me, the big question in the campaign isn’t IF the teens will grow up, collect a bunch of legendary artefacts and, in typical fantasy hero fashion, stop the evil power that threatens the lands. For me that’s a given. The big question for me is HOW the group will accomplish this. It is not the goal that matters, it is the journey.

I hope at least some of this made any sense to you readers…

Yet another batch of short updates on my myriad of projects.

I have been trying to get back into Naruto and Bleach in order to get some more inspiration for my anime miniatures combat game, but it has been really hard. I will probably abandon those series and find some new ones.

The fantasy roleplaying campaign I had been working on for the past weeks that was supposed to fill the void on Tuesdays since Game of Thrones has ended have fallen apart due to lack of player engagement. A longer post with more details may or may not appear here in the future.

Project Black Valkyrie quietly stirs in its slumber. May Wōden watch over it.

The one-shot scenario for WASPcon, The Twelve Apostles, is finished with 2 weeks to spare, but due to recent events I’m no longer sure if I will be attending WASPcon or not.

I’m making slow progress with my wrestling card game. I have some rough core mechanics and some ideas for certain special manoeuvres.

My different Doctor Who board games are still drifting in time and space. None of the layouts are good enough right now.

Alien Abductions – Who wouldn’t like a board game in which you pilot mysterious crafts, abduct humans and mutilate cattle?

Doctor Who – Board games based on Doctow Who have been done before, but mostly just for kids. I want to make a serious game for grown up gamers.

Final Fantasy RPG – My collaborators finally have time over to work on this now.

unnamed project – Modern media and mythology merges.


As you might have noticed, I’ve haven’t really been updating this blog very much. I have unfortunately been keeping busy with other things. Here’s a quick update:

I have made zero progress on my Final Fantasy board game. I have pretty much put it on ice for now. I have no ideas on how to develop the gaming board and making it an interesting part of the game and nobody is showing any interest in the project.

I have become sidetracked by two TV-series: the HBO show Game of Thrones and the anime Fairy Tail. I’ve been in a fantasy mood for a while and now I get to indulge in it.

Earlier tonight I voiced the idea of creating a custom expansion for Dominion to some people at my local gaming club, and I got a lot of positive response. I personally don’t like the game any more, I have played it too much, but it is a favourite as the gaming club.

There has been talk about getting together a group for some Call of Cthulhu. The campaign idea that have been tossed around is a kind of mix between Men in Black and Warehouse 13.

My gaming recently has consisted mostly of older games like Diablo II, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and old NES games like the Mega Man series.

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