GENERALA has been available on my games site
for a while now. Recently I updated the system with poisons and bard skills, and a new dungeon is in the works. All of the documents, from character sheet to covers, got updates.
I got more downloads since the update than the previous version got in its entire existence. But that was still less than 100 individual user downloads. If I was going to grow this game, I realized, I need to add new ways for people to get the game. But how to rope in players who don't want to download the game and all the materials for the game for free?
By making it pay!
That's right, if you were unsure about grabbing the game before because it was a free game placed on a website you aren't familiar with, now you have the option of paying for the game on DriveThruRPG!
Check it out, write reviews.
The characters are professional adventure entertainers. A beholder follows each character, magically broadcasting their exploits around the kingdom. It doesn't take long for the other competitors to start banding together in groups to survive, so the player characters join forces with each other. They gear up by getting sponsors through heroic deeds. The competition is part The Great Race, part Indiana Jones, and a healthy chunk of dungeon crawl. At the end of each session, each player gets a minute or two to do an interview segment with their own beholder offering up their opinion of the other characters and the events of the day.
If you've been thinking to yourself, "Man, I'd really like to play GENERALA, but what that game is really missing is an obnoxious support character class" then have we got some big news for you!
GENERALA Bard Skills are here!
Honestly, I can think of nothing more appropriate to the ridiculous, over-the-top play of GENERALA than bards, and, frankly, I'm sheepishly surprised I forgot to include them in the original rules.
Speak of the original rules, currently, the new bard songs (linked right) are only available in a supplemental PDF file. They'll be getting some good playtesting shaking down before they go into the full rule book so only you reading this post even know they even exist.
In the meantime, you can still download the original rules document, minus the bard skills at generala.playaarg.com.
The local religioustry of Generic Fantasy City #7 has put out a general call for reps from the various social organizations in town. Many of the factions will not view this as a great honor and will likely send unskilled and/or untrustworthy but immensely replaceable members - ie. the player characters. Turns out, the mystics have a really important reason for asking for this meeting - God is about to come back to the world. S/He does this every 1000 years or so. The religious order has compiled a likely set of families, all about to produce offspring around the same time that all meet the criteria for also siring God's new avatar. It's been a decade since that work began, now it's time to go out and find out which kid is God. The representatives who show up are all ordered, on pain of death by imperial decree, to travel the countryside looking for the 10 year old God. They're given a list of towns and family names, handed a copy of an ancient scroll with God tests on it, and told to go fetch any likely candidates. It won't take long for the party to learn that dragging a bunch of 10 year-olds who all think they might be God across the countryside is not only a pain in the ass, but a potential danger as the various communities attempt to woo and/or threaten them into declaring their particular child the winner (possibly even going so far as to wipe out any competition the party may be dragging along with them).
The party are freelance hazard mercenaries. They get hired to fly around the galaxy and drop into dangerous areas to perform rescues and recoveries. Natural disasters wrecking your planet and you need to get your family off? Call the Smokejumpers. Zombie disease outbreak and you need to recover some databanks? Smokejumpers. Space bus full of nuns crashed on a prison planet? Smokejumpers.
The party are part of a secret US government agency tasked with studying / protecting a cache of alien weapons and technology discovered in a cave in the New Mexico badlands. Thanks to a rosetta stone of sorts found in the Roswell crash, some of the text accompanying the find is translated. Phrases such as "extinction" and "the infestation" and "designed to exterminate the horrible creatures" and "protect the colonies" lead the group the belief that the alien weapons were designed to fight off some sort of invading horde.
They'll have to fight off other black ops agencies from other countries, and even some in the US government, that have also made similar discoveries and either want to be the only ones controlling the weapons or to force public disclosure. Eventually, they're authorized to use the weapons against other enemy agencies, to viciously deadly effect.
And then a hologram is unlocked. Even without understanding the aliens' spoken language, the images displayed are enough to explain that the infestation ... is man.
I've updated my games download page
to include Dynamo. I haven't updated the artwork yet, but the game is playable, and I'm proud of it, so there you go.
One thing - in updating the site today, I added games.steveospage.com as a sub domain, and then added games.suburbanrobot.net. I'll be using SuburbanRobot as my game name since I already have the business license and I'll eventually convert the main page to reflect that.
Anyway, I noticed that GCI was super fast in updating the games.suburbanrobot.net domain, but as of this writing (several hours after creating the domain) it still hasn't updated games.steveospage.com, although that was made first.
So if you're on GCI, use games.suburbanrobot.net.
So I've been on a sort of radio silence lately here on the blog for a few reasons -
1. My regular gaming group broke up. I won't go into details, but "I'm an asshole, that's just how I am" doesn't make it OK that you're an asshole.
2. My regular gaming group got back together - minus the asshole. And we're moving forward with the American Auror campaign.
3. Because American Auror is actually going to get played this century, I needed to finish the AARG magic rules ...
And I did!
The AARG Pre-Flight Edition is here
What's the difference between Pre-Flight and the "real" edition? Functionally, nothing. My plan is to have everything AARG be free. However, free doesn't pay hosting fees, so AARG will be split into Pre-Flight and Universal editions. The rules content will be the same in both versions, but the Universal Edition will have skill indexes to quickly find skills based on name, cost, and related stat, will include an expanded Narrator's guide with advice on running AARG games written with new GM's in mind, and will be designed with an eye for printing the books instead of the digital-only expectation for the Pre-Flight edition.
Anyway, you can now download the Pre-Flight edition which is a completely playable version of the rules.
Read any of the critical reviews of the new Robocop movie, and the complains will mostly boil down to one of three angles -
1. This is not how I would have done it.
2. It's not how I wanted them to do it.
3. All sequels suck.
All three are valid reasons for not liking a film. However, none of them is a reflection on the quality of the film. The new Robocop film is not an attempt to tell a new version of the same story, it's actually a pretty different story from the original. But it does understand its cinematic DNA, and, unlike other remakes, actually makes an attempt to honor that ancestry while still trying to be something different.
In short, the new Robocop is just as much a popcorn action flick as the original and equally worth your time.
A few light spoilers ahead, but nothing you couldn't get from the trailers.
One of the hardest things I've had to deal with so far in plotting out American Auror
is in keeping the individual adventures intriguing. I've got plenty of story ideas at the campaign level, but I realized quickly that my normal adventure style of starting a bad event in motion and then letting the party investigate and deal with the event as they see fit wouldn't work here. I have to keep the pace moving, keep things tense, and most importantly make the party feel like they were constantly behind the bad guys. I have to provide a constant stream of villains and plots operating outside of the "normal" world's view - to quote Tommy Lee Jones in MIB - "There's always an Aquillian battle cruiser. Or a Corillian death ray. Or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet. And the only way these people can got on with their happy lives is that they. do not. know about it." In short, if I want to keep the party from charging in guns blazing and confronting problems in public, head on the way they normally do, then I need to ramp up the intrigue and make each adventure a guessing game.