Aug 4, 2015

Wasteland 2110 - Session 1 Summary

(Summary by Pedro)

The game starts with three figures emerging from the wastes: the thrill seeking motor-head Dean McQueen, the quick-handed scout August, and a mysterious drifter who goes by Murdock.

Seeking to find a contact in the slums of Atlanta, the trio make a quick stop to grab supplies. They come across a duo, fresh from the wastes: the seasoned Chuck, equipped with an exo-suit, who originated from a distant Arc City, and an odd 'shaman' named Patton Murphy who calls upon the names of his Ancestors.The trio comes upon an argument between the two newcomers and the merchant at a bullet stand. Patton eventually turns his attention to other stalls; trading his services to repair a merchant's robotic prosthetic arm for a cutting torch. The others browse around. 

With Patton gone, the old lady begins to barter with Murdock. After much deliberation, he decides to make her an offer she cant refuse: a quick trigger pull from his firearm. She drops with a shattered shoulder, and everyone hears the merchant's cry. The group slips easily into a bandit mindset. August and Murdock get to work swiping her wares while Dean and Patton lay down fire on any threats. Lacking a weapon, Chuck uses his Exo-frame to defend the merchant stall. As soon as the raid is done, the group flees deep into the old ruins of the city, only stopping when safety is certain.

The gang decides to lay low in a ruined office building. August utilizes Dean's flammable urine to start a fire and Murdock comes across what can only be described as a 'big-ass rattlesnake.' After killing it, the gang shares stories over roasted reptile.

Chuck reveals that he used to be an official in an Arc City to the North-West, exiled when his citizens deemed him an incompetent leader. Inside the exo-frame Chuck is a dwarf.

Dean and August explain that they used to run with gang called the Scorpions. The two became fast friends as a raiding team-- Dean as driver and August shooting. When their leader began to launch fewer and fewer raids, the duo hatched a plan to steal a motorcycle and run off with some supplies, to make a living for themselves. During their escape, the motorcycle was destroyed when Dean attempted to thread the needle through a gap between two pursuit vehicles.

Patton hails from a settlement at Fort Benning, where the people are descendents of soldiers from before the bombs fell. Fixated on keeping the history of their country alive, the base has gradually devolved into ancestor worship. Patton's family were renowned battle-medics, now referred to as 'shamans'.

Murdock refuses to reveal personal information, stating that all that matters is 'the here and now.' He addresses their curiosity by saying he was born in the wastes and has learned from it all he needs to survive.

Later, August takes the group to his contact: his twin sister, June. Although her garage remains, he doesn't find her there. He questions an old man, and is told that his sister has gone into hiding and that if he's truly her brother, he'll know where to find her. The scout decides to head over to his uncle's bar.

His reunion with June is cut short. Upon finding her he is given a steel case, car keys, and curt instructions to leave the city. She explains that there is a tracking device on the case, which will allow her to find him as soon as she can. Further inquiry nets only that she cant say anymore. August relays this information to the rest of the group.

June's car, they realize, is stored in a warehouse not far from the market they raided previously. As such, the gang takes precautions in escaping the city. While Dean and August make their way to the vehicle, Patton lends them sniper cover. Chuck and Murdock wait outside the market.

Though Dean and August make it to the modded Dodge pickup unscathed, trouble worms its way once more into the marketplace. Patton spies suspicious individuals prowling the area, one of whom attempts to mount his building for his own sniper's nest. He easily ambushes the man with a knife and deems his comrades threats. Once they brandish weapons, he begins to pick them off.

Hearing gunshots, Dean and August quickly move into action. Dean takes the wheel and August cocks his gun. The marketplace is taken by surprise by the sound of engines roaring to life, and Dean blares the horn as he pulls out. Patton drops another raider with a well-placed shot and as the merchants turn their weapons on the vehicle several swiftly meet their end under the truck's wheels. Others fall as August guns them down. August names their blood-soaked and flesh-striped ride the "Blud-Bucket" and Dean remarks that he's never driven a more beautiful car.

They're able to rendezvous with the others and hit the road.

That is, until they find themselves pursued by a Scorpion's truck outfitted with a trebuchet. Dean is able to weave out of the projectile's path while Patton ends the fight quickly with a bullet through the driver's head, although the remaining gang member still manages crash safely.

The group reaps the spoils on their conquest; taking firearms, siphoning gasoline, grafting a pivot mount onto their truck and sabotaging the raider's rig before speeding away.

Patton points out that the team should find shelter. August and Dean reply that anywhere near Macon would be a safe bet considering the settlement doesn't get many visitors. They come across an abandoned farmstead along the way and decide to make camp there.

Giant crows populate the farmstead, but Patton proves himself a competent hunter, providing a fresh meal for the group. Not much is found, but August manages to scavenge a deck of cards and supplies to repair the parts of the group's short wave radio previously removed to fix a merchant's robotic arm.

Between giant crows, ghouls, and card games the group finds themselves fairly occupied. Patton continues to proseletize to Chuck, while Dean and August act as scouts on the roof of the barn. Murdock keeps to himself.

One night, Dean catches movement on the road and moves to wake the others. They decide to park the Blud-Bucket behind the farmstead and send August out to keep an eye on the road. He has the case in hand, expecting June.

And although he spies the feminine form of his sister, it's the taller, bulkier form behind her that surprises him.

June: "August?"

August: "June!"

A man walks up and rests his rifle in the sand, a broad machete at his side and a bandanna over his mouth. Pulling it down, he reveals a scorpion brand on his neck and a scowl on his lips.


Jul 23, 2014

Juggler Class and some Thoughts on Trade

I'm working on an adventure for a group of jugglers and drew this up this morning.

Juggler (Draft 2)
HD 1d4
Light Armor
Light Melee Weapons

Juggle: The juggler can simultaneously hold (juggle) items of size value equal to 3 + Dex mod, where Small = 1; Medium = 2; Large = 3
Juggled items can be thrown. Items can be caught into the juggling pattern so long as this is within the maximum total size value of the juggler.
Juggling requires both hands.
If the juggler takes damage, he must make a Dex check to continue juggling.
Throw: The juggler can use items or melee weapons as projectiles, as though making a normal ranged attack. Melee weapons do their normal damage.
The juggler can also throw an item to an ally. If the ally is not occupied, she catches the item. If the ally is occupied, catching requires a Dex check.
Catch: Jugglers always catch thrown items.

Weapon Notes:
A thrown torch has 25% chance of igniting the enemy, who then burns for 1d4 damage per round until the flame is extinguished.
A metal juggling ball (like a small cannon ball) can be thrown for 1d4 damage, and is a small item.
Standard club is small item, 1d4 damage. Heavy club is medium, 1d6 damage.

Just a few notes for my own purposes, preliminary to the development of some more complex tables for commerce in cities.
- Termine Bay: Inexpensive standard goods, obscure church items can be bought from the temple if you have connections, many more exotic items in transit but you have to buy them off merchants who are already shipping them
- Riverstadt: Lots of blackmarket trade. This is the place to get illegal items, but it will cost you.
- Marsheville: Has everything, but proximity to the emperor means taxes are collected more strictly, which drives prices up. Moderate blackmarket trade
- Halfhill: Has tech. Too bad it is almost impossible to get into the city, and most of the good stuff is proprietary of Count Ferdinand. Still, there are smugglers...
- Mesa: It's hard to get much of anything out here, but they have a healthy market for textiles and other such dry handicrafts.
- Sudenport: All sorts of great stuff. They sell things on the street that are illegal in the empire. A weak sense of law leaves scams common and quality control nonexistent.

Jul 17, 2014

On the Uniform of the Battle Mages

Those in Hommund who are convicted of magic use in Hommund are faced with a choice: execution or enlistment. It is no wonder their ranks swelled so quickly.The Battle Mage Corps is the only force authorized in the use of magic within the range of Rohan's empire. Where they walk the streets in blue coats and shining helms, the townsfolk usher their children inside and watch the passing breathlessly.

Some wonder why the Mages are not more heavily armored. Surely they could be better protected, they could be even more untouchable.
There are two answers to this question.

The first is the reason of practicality. In the interest of breeding an army overnight, it was not practical in the early days of the empire to commission fitted suits of armor for thousands of men. Magic-users, too, are accustomed to long hours of study. While the Mages are trained in competent swordsmanship, both for self-defense and fitness, many more hours are spent studying tomes and memorizing spells. With a light uniform, the fit Mages are free to march for hours and still have a calm, even pulse and a clear head to recall every word of incantation.
To suit up in plate is to acknowledge a change in environment between the tower and the streets. This is going to war. But magic is above all a mind game, and it is important that the Battle Mages be untouched by any stress of a battleground environment, where the mind dulls and slows and becomes subject to urgent gut responses. No, the Battle Mages study in their uniform, in something manageable for constant wear, and they learn to associate it with the comfort of the school, and they will have it like a blanket of safety out on the street.
Likewise with the pervasive use of the uniform. Every Battle Mage must wear it, and so breed the feeling of brotherhood that comes with the identical appearance and close association. So you can see that the Mage's uniform is designed to encourage a feeling of calm, safety, and brotherhood in the face of danger, so that it does not in fact appear to the Mage as danger, and his mind is left unfettered to manage his spells with removed efficiency.
Just as the garb inculcates a feeling of unity between the Mages, the heavy beaked helm forms a separation between the Mage and his surroundings. Inside the helm, outside sounds are dulled, everything is clearly outside the self, and one's identity is definitively anonymous. Those familiar with the psychological effects of masks will see where this is headed. A Mage who cannot be identified by others cannot be held accountable for his cruelty, and uniformity of the Corps encourages the mentality of us-and-them, as does the training of the Mages. They have a power all but their brothers lack, they are superior, they study and are smarter, they are above the peasants and commoners, they are special. They are told this day after day until the townsfolk seem but insects. The thick helm blocks out distracting sounds and the pleas of commoners, anything that might distract from the magical cants that resound in the metal case.

The second answer is more terrifying, and is all that the city-goers know: the Battle Mages do not wear armor because they do not need it. They are nightmares, they are wizards with charms and curses in their defense. There is no use in striking them, there is no use in fighting back.
The best one can do is to stay out of their way.

Oct 25, 2013

RPG Person Profile

I'm currently running (at home):
An old-school DnD format of my own invention.

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (at home) include:
ODnD dungeons in a FLAILSNAILS-esue fashion with a group of friends.

I'm currently running (online):
The "Hommund 99" campaign in Old School DnD
via Skype and

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (online) include:
Just the game I'm running.

I would especially like to play/run:
Old School DnD
Cyberpunk 2020

...but would also try:
Call of Cthulu
Anything that isn't very plainly idiotic or published by WotC

I live in:
Florida, USA

2 or 3 well-known RPG products other people made that I like:
Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantast Rollplaying
The D&D Rules Cyclopedia

2 or 3 novels I like:
Frank Herbert's Dune (the whole series, really. Especially Dune Messiah)
Zak Smith's We Did Porn
Craig Thompson's Blankets

2 or 3 movies I like:
God Bless America
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World 

Best place to find me on-line:

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it's:

I really do not want to hear about:
Products published by WotC,
Problems that should not be problems because people should have common sense.

I think dead orc babies are ( circle one: funny / problematic / ....well, ok, it's complicated because....)
Something that appears in my games for the purpose of realism. Some players care and some don't, but it's worth it for those players who get another level to think about from it, and it doesn't bother the rest.

Game I'm in are like (link to something)
Then this:
Which leads to this:
Or sometimes this:
There's also some of this:
Though I'm not sure what that is...

Oct 22, 2013

Game Summary - Session 6

Having received a letter from a friend in the Adventurers' Guild, the players decided to take up a mission in Termin Bay. They journeyed back down the river and asked around. In the tavern, they met a barman who refused to believe the stories, and a suspiciously helpful fellow named Blake.
Blake volunteered to aid the search, and after a surreptitious Detect Danger spell, they agreed to allow his company.
Journeying into the forest at night, they were unable to find the rumored lair of the hag (or ghost, or who-knows-what), and set up camp, keeping watch on the forest and on their new companion.
In the morning, Blake awakens early to "get breakfast". Roderick follows him only to find that the traveler has truly gone out merely for eggs and firewood.
After breakfast, the group returns to town to meet up with newly arrived companions, and again embarks on the search. After some time, they arrive upon a dilapidated hovel. Investigation yields naught but maggots and stagnant water, but the shed behind the shack is more interesting. There, a large hole underneath sinks into the ground. As adventurers, they obviously descend.
Inside, the path is blocked. Clause swiftly kicks down the barricade, triggering a rain of jagged rocks rigged to fall. Unconscious, Clause is left with Blake by the entrance of the dungeon.
The group presses on through dug-out tunnels, soon finding another pit. Again, they descend.
The dirt gives way to stone, and torches burn in hewn halls. They find stalactites dripping a viscous fluid green and vile. A room nearly filled with it causes them to turn back, and they come upon a great atrium filled with tents, lit by torches. The laughter of children and patter of small feet echoes, and soon the source approaches:
Dozens of small children.
The kids flee at the sight of the adventurers, shouting.
The party examines the tents and adjacent camping rooms for a few minutes, before the children return with a band of teenagers.
"What are you doing here?"
There is much shouting and argument. The adventurers try to ask questions as the teens insist that the group leaves. There are threats: the children claim to be protected by some strange power, but will not name it.
In the end, the adventurers decide to leave. They recover Clause and inform Blake. Back in Termin Bay, the party informs the local guards of the children and their lair. Staying the night in the inn, the group sets out for Riverstadt in the morning. Blake agrees to join the team until the end of the season, when he must return to Lockewood.

In Riverstadt, the party pays a visit to the local Adventurers' Guild. Their next job: An expedition into the mountains of the Northwest to aid in the establishment of a new base.

The day is the 51st of Winter, Year 99 after the War