Thursday, September 21, 2017

(Kickstarter) Battlelords of the 23rd Century 7th Edition

Another die-hard bunch of fans of the crunchy sci-fi RPG, Battlelords of the 23rd Century have joined forces to launch a Kickstarter for the 7th Edition of the rules.

Adding more races to core character options, and the eternal mission to edit and clean up a lovingly crunchy system seem to be priorities.
The pdf is available for $25 and the monster of a main book is $50 with S&H tacked on via the backerkit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Terraforming Mars: The RPG

While we're just getting our traditional Sunday RPG session converted to online play, the Monday night 5e game on Roll20 is going swell.  My elf barbarian, Falgor, has reached 2nd level, and is ready to cleave into a new character this past Monday night, after we wasted the last session in PvP mode.

But that session never materialized.  Jeff, our GM, gave us notice that he was bailing a little more than an hour before start, so Nate, Steve, and myself completed the second half of my Terraforming Mars RPG, using Risus.

Setting:  Mars 2048
Early Colonizers have only partial successes in terraforming Mars.  With fertilizer, soil has produced bumper yields, water has been extracted from beneath the surface, but protective greenhouse tenting is still required to protect the plants from radiation and the sudden high winds.

Excavation of a new agriculture plot has netted a strange discovery: a piece of curved steel with what appears to be hundreds of tiny rivets.  A team of geologists are dispatched to clear that corner of the site while your team continues the mission.


Over four hours of online play, botantist Beth Bowers, techs Newman Ramirez and "Burps" Ramirez (no relation), and "Project Liaison" Rick Vogel investigated the strange site, drove the colony manager insane, and infiltrated a plot about "Red Power."   In the end, a mysterious source of oxygen was rapidly filling the atmosphere, and only Liaison Vogel was saved to tell the tale.

Not a bad playtest of a scenario given that a) Steve and Nate can undermine the best ideas (including attempting to seduce a hostile in the middle of combat) and b) the scenario idea started with the phrase "Nazi-infused Martian DNA."   Probably a random statement from Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff that caught my interest, but time has buried that memory.

Still, with some touch-ups, I have a decent convention event.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #24 (Talislanta) Rescue from Kroxour


3rd of Ardan, 151 N.A. Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
After speaking to Kannex again Rolf and Norm found they needed to get yet another item, and with the rest of the party not schedule to return yet, the duo was all they had.

Both Norm and the very disgruntled Rolf  took equs to a shrine two days out in search of some glowing ball.

5th of Ardan, 151 N.A.  The Tomb, Cymril
Once they found an access point to the tomb, they went inside to find a simple square room with two large sarcophagi of obvious royalty in the center, and each wall lined with the armor of ancient knights.  One wall had an dusty treasure chest, opened to reveal gems and gold, while the opposite side was a glowing orb.

Norm:  "I told Rolf not to touch it, but for the first time ever he seemed greedy and picked it up. When he did so, the armor all came back to life.  We tried to fight them but it didn't work.  Rolf put back the treasure and a voice echoed in the tomb.  For the first time, I have heard Dwarven in this strange room.  It said "leave the treasure" so I said "OK!" grabbed the orb and ran out.  We escaped no problem and got back to the brothel. "


12th of Ardan, 151 N.A. The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Seven days later and there was still no sign of the Ashe and the others.  Norm was spending his nights on the roof staring into the stars as if he was waiting for someone.  Rolf had become sullen and withdrawn, even forgetting to train with thoughts on his mind.  Sometime on the twelfth, he left the brothel and didn't appear to be coming back.

19th of Ardan, 151 N.A.  Office of Abn Qua, Moneychanger, City of Cymril
With still no sign of his friends, Norm became inpatient, grabbed Darius, who had just returned from a drunken bender after finding out he was the father of Babette's child, and rode into the city of Cymril to hunt down Abn Qua, the Kasmirin patron of the party's expedition. Grilling Qua on the fate of the party, the dwarf demanded a skyship of some sort, stabled his pony, Mytomek, and bought supplies.

20th of Ardan, 151 N.A.  City of Cymril
Abn Qua came through with a small windskiff, which Norm quickly boarded, pulled down his goggles, and cast off, Darius needing to jump aboard to follow the dwarf.

25th of Ardan, 151 N.A. The Citadel of Kroxour
Norm sailed around the stronghold numerous times.  He eventually found the windship that transported the party on the jagged rocks below, smashed from a great height.  He scaled down from the skiff and searched the wreckage, finding nothing.

Finally, Darius was able to spy a group of people huddling around a tiny fire.  Upon closer examination, they found the missing party, or at least what was left of them.  They had acquired some treasure, shoved up against the corner of the gully they were in, but they were changed.  Ashe's hair was stark white and he was mumbling.  Babette was still pregnant, but gnawing on a strangely human looking leg bone.  Kane was further down the gully, digging into the ground with something that looked like parts of his plate mail.  He stood up, dropped the shoulder piece he was using, and with a heavy sigh said, "Norm, Thank the Gods.  Where's Rolf."

Norm: "Where's Rolf???  Where's Alexi?"

Glancing over to Babette chewing the bone, Kane could only sigh again, "Alexi is dead."

Darius keeled over and vomited.

Norm and Darius got the entire party and the treasure onto a very overburdened wind skiff and headed home.

32nd of Jhang, 151 N.A. The Pleasure House of Duane Alberhold, Cymril
Two months after rescuing his compatriots, Norm still focused all his energy on taking care of his friends.  Ashe and Kane were finally acting normal, and Babette was given bed rest and hearty diet (without bones).  No one spoke of Alexi at all... and as the days passed Darius, the father of Babette's child, began appearing less regularly, until one day, he just disappeared entirely.

A huge, hulking man with a bald head and elaborate tattoos running down from his forehead to left arm stepped up on the porch of the brothel.

Rolf had finally returned home.

DM Notes:  Another quick (and extremely easy) mission for the party, then a little exposition on what happened to our heroes.  As I mentioned in previous episodes, we don't have any documentation as to Kroxour's Citadel outside of a few vague memories.  

In the later days of the party's stay in Talislanta, Rolf travelled back to the Kingdom of Taz to live and study with the Thralls.  I've retconned that trip to occur a little earlier, which allows Norm to yearn for the stars, and rescue his friends from their encounter with cross-dimensional elder gods. As none of the Kroxour party would appear in latter sessions, their bouts of madness and abandonment could be treated better than the "Oh, you completed the mission and just sat around until you were able to get home."

There are no notes about Darius after the party left for Kroxour.   Your pregnant beloved gnawing on the bones of Alexi might be enough to make the Sarista gypsy become scarce.  

Sorry, Alexi, zero notes mentioning you after Kroxour.  It was time for more closure.  Rest in Peace.

Next - #25 - The RAVANT!

Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017



Sunday, September 17, 2017

OGRE Goes to University

The Daily Illuminator over at Steve Jackson Games was nearly giddy as a school girl to announce OGREs invading the Indiana University campus.

No, it wasn't a to-scale invasion, over even using the new plastic proofs from OGRE Minis, Set 1.
Most only notice chit-covered tables at a college after a long weekend.
Apparently, a game design class at IU was using the "Bad Timing" scenario that was available in issue #210 of Game Trade Magazine.  

I can't find any electronic link to the scenario on GTM, and if you can't hunt down a physical copy, the scenario is available over at Warehouse 23.

As a random sidenote, I'm not on the Steve Jackson site as much as I was in the days of yore (circa 1998), and was disappointed to not find a Daily Message from the Illuminati.   Here, the Illuminati has gone high-tech (They do control Apple after all) and have set up the Fnorder app for the iPhone. And it's free (mwhwhaha!)

Dr Who Fluxx Coming Soon!

Social media and the Looney Labs e-mail newsletter pleasantly surprised me this week with the announcement of Dr Who Fluxx!

An ever changing, wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey set of rules like Fluxx is perfect for Doctor Who.

Sorry, the new 13th Doctor is not part of the set, although a set of promo cards might be fitting later on.

Scheduled release date is November 23rd. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

(Kickstarter) Conspiracy Theory by Steve Jackson Games

Love conspiracy theories?  Tired of the Panda jokes in Cards Against Hummanity?  Love explaining that "Hiroshima 1945"  is the appropriate card for "Fluffy" in a game of Apples to Apples due to the influence of the Trilateral Commission and Bette Davis?

Then there's a spot on your shelf waiting for Conspiracy Theory, now on Kickstarter by Steve Jackson Games.