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, just as the hatred for the new Robocop stems more from our inherent distaste for "reboots" than any actual critique of the film itself.
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.
I've been distracted lately in working on Dynamo, which is the system I developed for NaGaDeMon. Like GENERALA before it, it's kind of taken on a life of it's own once people started playing it. Originally, the Dynamo rules document was a two-page slapdash thing that introduced character creation and the basics of game play. Unfortunately, while that was fun to put together, unless your game consists almost entirely of players telling each other stories that short of a document doesn't cover enough. There were a few topics that people who played with the brief rules wanted clarification on.
What were my thoughts on just punching someone without using a power? How many points should GM's spend on villains and minions? When do defeated characters get to rejoin the game?
Unfortunately, these are important questions for the kind of game I've written.
So I've gone back to the drawing board and, returning to the golden age inspirations I called on before, I redesigned and expanded the rules document. I've padded out the text to get away from the vague hand-waving and include some actual rulings on different behaviors. It's still a pretty lite system, but I think it's more solid and playable now.
I'll move the document over to my games page when I find the time to do the artwork up proper.
In the meantime, you can download the post-Beta Dynamo PDF here.
Be sure to drop me a note here or on G+ if you dig the system.
Being dead twice in as many hours can have an affect on a person. As I said before, nephew, the first experience had a profound impact on me, one which I wish to process further before commenting on.
My second experience, which I had as I was pulled down under the mountain, bouncing along the caves with the rushing waters, was far more prosaic. I dreamt, as a floated through the darkness, that I was being carried along by many hands. Then, for a moment, I was flying, to be caught by a beautiful mermaid. She kissed me deeply, and I could feel the fire of her kiss spreading down into my chest.
Again, one need not stretch one’s imagination too far to discern the imagery my mind placed on the events my body was undoubtedly going through. Still, it was a beautiful dream.
It’s a shame then that the first face I saw upon my return to the land of the living was that of Baleban.