Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

Warhammer... ah Warhammer. I don't know where to begin. Some of my best games I've played in were played in this setting. I was really excited to try out this new system. The dice mechanic looked fun. I enjoy the setting. That said, after last night's game I have to say that I'm underwhelmed. I don't hate the game by any means, but after playing a session I will say that this game is a hot mess. It sits firmly in the place that DnD 4e sits with me in that it's over designed. I enjoyed this much more than 4e, but damn... this game is just too busy. With cards for this, tokens for that, stances, different dice... it's not exactly GM friendly. To be fair, I was not entirely boned up on the mechanics. I had to refer to the book a lot and I can honestly say that because we focused so much on the mechanics, it made for some uninspiring play. Set up and clean up is a pain in the ass as well. The funny thing is I ran for 2 players and it went at a snail's pace. I was planning to run for 4! Luckily 2 players had to bail. It would've been a disaster. My players aren't giving up on it yet and neither will I. I ran the demo A Day Late and a Shilling Short (which I think is a pretty poor introduction to the system btw) so again I was unhappy with the scenario as written. Next time we play I'll be running something I cook up which should prove to run much smoother.

After the game I got some great feedback from Munchanka and Lawnrocket. I went home and reread the books and I can say that I'm much much more prepared to run another session. Still I will say that Fantasy Flight Games went a little ape shit making this game. I could have done without the cards and the tokens and stuff. Or at least simplified things. Two or 3 stacks of cards (ALL THE SAME SIZE PLZ!), a few universal token. Something that's easier to manage. I'm really finding that I enjoy simpler more elegant systems. Dragon Age was much more fun in comparison. The system just sort of melts into the background allowing you to get into the story. With Warhammer, the system surrounds you, bulleys you, and extorts you for money.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dragon Age!

So we played our first game of the Dragon Age RPG this past saturday. Meanmunkee did a great job for his first time in the GM's chair. I daresay that with some practice, his skills could very well rival my own one day. ;) I played Weyon Faydrick, a city elf from Denerim wanted for attacking a powerful noble. I was travelling with Siknaz's character also a City Elf named Dresden who is a  friend/rival of mine, and Munchanka's character Aryn the noble's apostate son.
Character creation was quick and easy, and although I found a lot of complaints on the forums about the random character gen, I really liked it.
I wasn't sure about the rules, but after playing them I have to say I dig them. We did have to refer to the stunt list a lot which slowed down play some, but by the end of the game, we were already getting some. It was cool because we started developing individual tactics as players. There were definitely some stunts we each favored more than others. It made the characters stand out a bit more which was nice. I also have to say that I enjoyed playing in a smaller group. I'll have to do more of that. The 8 player Deadlands group is a bit like trying to herd sheep.
All in all, I really really enjoyed it and I'm excited to play again. We'll have to see how it holds up to Warhammer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fantasy Overload!

It's been awhile since I've posted and I've been BUSY! Not only working on my comic, but working on being a new dad and crunching like crazy at work. But I've still managed to find time to game. And game I have! The Lunch hour supers game has, for the most part, fizzled out. Whether due to lack of interest or scheduling, I'm not entirely sure. I'm sure at some point we'll be circling back around to it, but for now, it's on the back burner.
I started up a Deadlands game on Monday nights and that's been a blast. We're actually really close to wrapping it up, but that's not the big news. Fantasy has been slowly creeping back into the mix in a big way. 2 new games have been released and we're looking to play both. The culprits; The Dragon Age rpg based on the computer game of the same name, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Both take place in a grim setting, they're pretty much polar opposites gameplay wise. Dragon Age is a rules lite game aimed at rpg newbies, and Warhammer is a prop heavy game with tons of dice, cards, paper minis and other such fiddly bits.
I'm running a Warhammer session, and my buddy Meanmunkee is taking a stab at Dragon Age. I'm really excited about both because each hasan  interesting set of mechanics that I'm looking forward to trying out. Dragon Age should be especially good seeing as Munkee has never run a game before. Never really PLAYED either! @_@. I'll post about the experience of both. I think at least one of these may become the big campaign for next year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crap ending

So I ran the finale to my Deadlands game, Coffin Rock. I have to say that it ended on a pretty sour note. TPK. Total Party Kill. It was mostly my fault. I realized I put a few too many bad guys in the game. On top of that, the presentation of one of the final scenes was boring and one dimensional. I felt really bad about it. I read through the adventure and that particular scene I didn't like I planned to change.
After the game the Dandies (our group) gave me a really good critique. I came away with a lot of notes and good strategies for future games. That said, I'm thinking that this is probably one of the last times I'm going to run a pregen or if I do I'm going to heavily alter it to my tastes (which is what I should've done anyway). Much of the praise I recieved was from material that I added to the game. And indeed when I run scenarios that I plan myself they run smoother and a much more fun for everybody.
So my plan to run The Flood after Coffin Rock has been abandoned. I've passed the torch onto my sister Gunghogirl. I'll join the posse as a PC, something I haven't done in awhile. I'm sure I'll get fidgety at some point and I'll bust out a game.

UPDATE: So I've decided to rerun the ending rewritten and reconfigured. I'm pretty excited about it actually and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. On top of altering the scenario, I'm actually fiddling with the system. I'm going to be using a Savage Worlds homebrew that alters a bunch of the mechanics but I think may play a bit better and makes a bit more sense. Of course it could also be broken as hell. All will out after the holidays.If it works out, I may post the House rules here for people.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Issue 1

After all that set up the group was primed and ready for action. Here's an account of what when down the first session.

Barrier and Apogee arrive at the Ikarus launch command center with Valkyrie and enter the facility amid a hail of photo flashes. Apogee poses grandly for pictures as the press' attention is drawn towards the familiar airborn sight of Star City's premiere superhero Champion arriving fashionably late to meet them. The heroes exchange greetings and then head inside to prepare for the launch. Dr. Elena Mitchum greets them and briefly goes over the flight plan. She then subjects them to a battery of tests before their all cleared for the journey. The Heroes are all then lead to the portal room where they are teleported to the Ikarus. This is Barrier's and Apogee's first portal experience and it doesn't go very well for them. After a quick clean up the flight crew prepares the warp drives for a jump.
Elsewhere, Mungo Man, Voltz and The Temporalist wait in one of Dr. Omega's conference rooms to start the mission. They wait for another of Omega's hirelings, a Rogue named Oni, to take control of the Ikarus' portal room so they can beam aboard. Dr. Omega hands the Rogues each a device.
"It's a shunt. An emergency portal device. Keep it on you at all times if you want to make it back to base safely."
The Temporalist, never being a trusting man, decides to open the device and get a look. Being a man of science himself he easily opens the casing and checks it out. Not all looks in order, and in his expert assessment, the item doesn't do exactly what Omega claims. But before the Temporalist can figure it out the device explodes. He's thrown to the ground but his pride is hurt more than anything else. Dr. Omega's Omega-men surround the Rogue and call Omega to the room. The Temporalist takes it in stride telling the others he doesn't trust the device and refuses to use it. Dr. Omega tells them that there is a safety built into the device in case one of them decides to try and turn on them.
"You can refuse to use it if you like. If so, you're going to have to try and get back to earth on your own."
The Temporalist still refuses, but Mungoman and Voltz reluctantly keep their devices. Dr. Omega gives Mungoman one more device, a small disc and tells him he must attach it to the ship's navigational controls and leads them to his portal room. Oni makes contact, she's in position.
The Rogues appear in the Ikarus' portal room with a blast of portal energy. As they try and recover from the disorientation, the see Oni for the first time standing at the portal controls. 2 technicians lie at either side of her and one guard lies next to a severed rifle all unconscious.

"Portal room, we've registered an unscheduled teleportation. Is everything alright?"

The Rogues spring into action without a word between them. On the bridge. "Something's wrong." Valkyrie reports. Barrier springs into action. Valkyrie joins him ordering Champion and Apogee to protect the bridge.

The door to the portal room swishes open as 2 Prescient Industries security guards burst into the room guns leveled. Mungoman, Voltz and the Temporalist make quick work of them as Dr. Omega appears on the portal platform. Barrier makes his way onto the scene with Valkyrie. Mungo Man lashes out with a vicious attack on Barrier only to find it turned back on himself. Oni takes a step back and unceremoniously disappears. The Temporalist lets off a barrage of bullets at the hero only to find them turned back on him as well.
"Fascinating." Dr. Omega blasts the hero with his Omega Ray and Barrier turns away from the attack in pain. Barrier decides to take on Dr. Omega himself but can find little purchase against the powerful rogue.
Mungo Man breaks from the fight and moves into the hallway to join Voltz against Valkyrie. Oni makes short work of the PI Security guards helping the heroes as they find their rifles suddenly sliced in half by an unseen force.
Voltz has managed to throw Valkyrie off her game. She barrages the armored hero with electrically charged fists. "You're not so tough."Voltz gloats over Valkyrie right before a blast of crimson energy smashes her against a near by wall. Champion has joined the fight.
"Get to the bridge!" Omega commands Mungo Man. He complies with a nasty glare for the mastermind. Omega turns towards Barrier and clicks a control on his belt disappearing with a discharge of particle energy. Mungo Man races to the Bridge and runs into Apogee. Before the hero can do anything Mungo Man wraps himself around him tightly. Apogee easily uses his telekinesis to pop the villain off of him. Suddenly the Temporalist appears next to Mungo and takes the navigation device as well as the villains emergency shunt. He heads towards ship controls and a surprised Dr. Mitchum.
Dr. Omega appears on the bridge with a flash of light. He quickly grabs the young Doctor and lifts her off the ground, his gauntleted hand wrapped around her neck just as Champion and the other heroes get enter the bridge. "Ah, ah, ah. One more step and I snap poor Dr. Mitchum's neck."
The heroes quickly surrender. Omega has the rogues gather all of the scientists and heroes together as the Temporalist attaches the navigation device to the ship's computers.
Suddenly a field appears around everyone clustered on the bridge. The field seems to arch from Dr. Omega's henchmen, to all the Rogues wearing shunt devices creating an energy web that traps anyone nearby. Only Dr. Omega and Dr. Mitchum are unaffected. On the bridge monitor a countdown starts for a jump.
"I've been waiting a long time for this Champion." Omega begins his monologue. He tells them how this has all been an elaborate ruse to trap Champion on board and launch him into deep space. He's set the ship for Saturn, a trip that would expend the jump engine's power source leaving them stranded far from earth. The trip back would take decades and they'd all be dead long before that happens. The hero and rogues watch in horror as the countdown gets towards one. But before Omega can finish his gloating and leave, Dr. Mitchum manages to kick the statis field control in the villain's hand. The stasis field drops and Champion launches a vicious attack at Omega. Champion gets 2 quick hits on the villain before anyone can launch their own attacks. And then BOOM! They both disappear in a burst of energy.
Everyone looks towards each other and then the countdown clock. 3-2-1.... JUMP!

Monday, June 15, 2009


With the back story all set, I sent out emails to both sides to set the stage for our first epic game.

The Heroes set up:

Alpha Force's Star City HQ wasn't exactly what you were expecting. You were thinking something along the lines of it's New York counter part, a glass and metal spiraling affair that defiantly challenges the city's skyline. (Well... technically it's not really glass. It's a high density alien polymer that's a 10 times more resistant than construction steel. Another gift from the Altaari.) Star City's branch is a rather mundane affair. A corporate office building centrally located in the heart of Downtown, simple enough to miss if you were walking by. But this is a rather new installation, and new lot construction on the island is hard to come by.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I decided not to drop my players into the NE meta-plot right away. I wanted to create some tension in the group, and I wanted them to experience a pre-invasion earth. I sent out a few emails to the players to set the stage.
This is the first email I sent out the the Hero characters:

15 Bannerman Ave
Downtown, Star City
May 18, 2004
Alpha Force applicant,
After careful review of your civilian policing record, and a week of probationary membership, Alpha Force has agreed to induct you as a formal member of our team. Following Alpha Force tradition, you will find a formal certificate enclosed with a copy of your Federal Policing license number. Please accept our personal congratulations for your outstanding achievements.

As a new recruit, you will be serving as ancillary Supers-support in conjunction with State and Federal law enforcement in Star City. As you know, Alpha Force is nearly a global policing entity, but with the growing number of Supers in the world it has become necessary to expand our once static numbers. Nowhere is that more apparent than Star City. Please report to AF Central HQ, Downtown within the next 7 days to begin basic training and orientation. We look forward working with you.

Upwards and beyond,

Red Cross
Blue Shield
The Comet

The Villains setup was a bit different. I had already run one game with them so they had a bit of history. Dr. Omega had hired them to steal and sabotage a new facial recognition algorithm. After they completed the job, he contacts them again to setup another mission:

--TRANSMISSIONESTABLISHED--<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>AUTHOR:DR.OMEGA<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Greetings recruits. I congratulate you on the success of your last mission. I have received the data and the prototype and you have all been compensated in the agreed upon fashion. After such a successful display of your capabilities, I'm encouraged to invite you into a much larger roll within my organization. I'm looking
to do a high profile caper and I need reliable assets of your caliber to assist me. Whatever payment you received from the Omnitech job will pale in comparsion to what you stand to gain from this job. If you're interested in taking an active role in my organization (and you would be foolish if you did not). Meet me at the agreed upon location on the last job for details. In our line of work alliance is not a perk, it's a necessity.


Next I sent out a mock newspaper article to foreshadow the upcoming heist:

Project Ikarus to test prototype "jump engine"

May 15th 2004- Project Ikarus, the Global Space Exploration initiative, is set to test it's prototype space shuttle later this week. The Shuttle, Ikarus, has been outfitted with a state of the art "jump engine". What used to be the stuff of science fiction, the engine would allow the shuttle to make a trip that would take hundreds of years, takes mere weeks. According to Prescient Industries, the company spearheading the program, this is a titanic leap forward in the space exploration race. CEO, and lead researcher Elena Mitchum known for her development of the Tempest powered armor system (the armor powering the legendary Valkyrie's super suit), stated "In light of the past 2 thwarted alien invasion attempts, it has become extremely important for Earth to makes it's presence know in the the galaxy. The Ikarus is a huge step in that direction."
The researcher has made it clear that the engine is an early prototype. The scheduled trip is a "jump" to Mars and back, a round trip that should take under 72 hours. Ikarus, while still in early development, has many of it's systems on line and fully functioning. The engine itself has been reverse engineered from remnants Altari technology. The Ikarus' scheduled jump is next Thursday, May 23rd at 9 am.

Finally! SUPERS!

So now I am officially full swing into a Supers game with my lunch game crew. We've had 2 sessions so far (We've been calling them issues) and it seems like everyone is loving it (I know I am!). I've been wanting to run a Supers game for a long time, but outside from a few M&M games and a Champion game or two back in the day I haven't been able to.
I picked up Savage Worlds' Necessary Evil about two years ago and tried to talk a bunch of people into playing. Well I've finally succeeded and it's ON! The basic premise behind Necessary Evil is you take on the role of villains who must band together to save the world. I love the idea, but I wanted more conflict so I convinced half the team to play heroes and the other half to play villains. The line up consists of the Temporalist, a time slowing foe played by Dovi, Mungo Man a diabolical stretching aborigine hunter played by Austin. The Heroes consist of Barrier, former astronaut with kinetic reflecting abilities played by the incomparable Mandrews, and Apogee, Master of Telekinesis played by Paul.

We've also got a couple of NPC Supers to round the group out. Voltz, electro punk with an attitude, was created by Emma who's been busy working on a film. Hopefully she may join us later. And Valkyrie, a senior member of Alpha Force. (She's basically a female Iron Man... wouldn't that make her an Iron Maiden?)

The first couple games were great and the player tension is perfect. I can't wait until next game.

Next up: THE SETUP!

Update: Almost forgot one more of Dr. Omega's hirelings. Oni, the disappearing super-ninja.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Started a Supers game!

I started a supers game recently. We're 2 games in (2 issues if you will) and it's going great so far. I'll be posting more pics and more info later.

art by Austin Madison

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bergamont kicks ass

Man I was so inspired by Emma's ass whupping session that I had to crank out a pic of her character. Nastiness personified.

First game

Just finished our first lunchtime session of Shadowrun and it was AWESOME! The Shadowrunlite rules ran wonderfully and every body really got their characters. Our own Emma Coats was even able to beat her dice curse and kick some major ass!
It started off as all good games do in a bar. As the players were taking some time to get in a little R&R at the local faux divebar, the Nosedive, a prominent local Fixer named Warlock decides to pay a visit. Warlock has a rep for being a solid Fixer with great connections who actually looks out for his runners. Chase, who's running the 'dive, tell Bergamont to make sure no one disturbs the Fixer. But before the Adept can make that happen, the bar is overrun by Gangers in leathers and fezes. The Braineaters, a tech fetish gang rushes the door and make a bee line for Warlock's table. Bergamont, Cole and Turk make short work of the gang and Chase manages to get things under control. Warlock, impressed thanks the group and leaves his card. Looks like they just might have a future in the Shadows.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I love Shadowrun

It really gets the creative juices flowing. The character sketches have begun. My interpretation of Turk.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Runners

I've been fiddling with the Shadowrun system a lot lately. I think 4th ed is a step in the right direction, but personally I feel it needs to be pared down and some of the classic elements could be folded back in. While trolling a few gaming forums, I came across the Microlite d20 system which is basically D&D boiled down to it's essence. Well I loved it. I also came across a Storyteller version as well (Vampire the Masquerade, Mage, etc.) So I immediately thought, "Wait. I can do a Microlite version of Shadowrun!" Well I whipped it up and these characters reflect what I came up with. It's still in playtest right now, but I'm liking it a lot already. I let you know how it all goes.

For now, check out the crew!

Human Face

INI 7+1d6
ESS: 5
EDG 4 (human)

Communication 5
Combat 2
Perception 2
Vehicles 2
Subterfuge 1

Cybereyes with Thermal vision, smartlink (+2 shooting) and image link

Light Pistol (smartlinked)
50 regular rounds
Armor Jacket
Pocket Assistant
Yahmaha Rapier


Chase is the defacto leader of the group. A former Corporate demo tech for Ares Macrotechnologies he was burned by a rival and is now forced to make his bread and butter in the Shadows.

Human Physical Adept

BOD 3 (4)
REA: 7
INI: 7+ 2d6
ESS: 6
EDG: 4 (Human)

Athletics 3
Combat 3 (4)
Subterfuge 2
Perception 1
Vehicles 2

+1 Phy
+1 Combat
Increase Reflexes +1D6 initiative

Telescoping baton
Machine Pistol (laser sight)
50 APDS rounds
Armor Vest 6/4

A former Feral, Bergamont was taken from the streets and trained to be a "pit dog". He showed much more potential and was trained to be a "guard dog". While on duty his "master" was kidnapped and Bergamont was unable to stop it. He now searches for the people responsible.

Troll Merc

INI 7 + 2D6

Combat 4
Perception 2
Subterfuge 1
Vehicles 2
Athletics 3

Smartlink (+2 die shooting)
Wired 1 (+1D6 INI)

Heavy Pistol (smartlinked)
50 regular rounds
Assault Rifle (smartlinked)
100 APDS round
Armor Vest 6/4

Light Machine Gun (smartlink, recoil comp 3)
100 explosive rounds
Full Body Armor (10/8)
2 frag grenades
2 flash bang grenades

Turk is the awakened Mickey Rourke. A burned out old soldier who has just about given up on the world. But something has changed recently in his life that leads him back into the Shadows for work.

Elf Shaman (dog totem)

REA: 6
INI: 6 +1d6

Sorcery 5
Combat 1
Knowledge 2
Subterfuge 1
Perception 2
Communication 1

Inc. Reflexes

Light Pistol (laser sight)
50 regular rounds
Armor Jacket
Combat Spell fetish

Dog approached Cole when he was very young and lead him onto the path of magic. Cole is very active politically in his neighborhood and is involved with several local programs. He secretly runs to fund many of these programs.

That's all of them for now. Depending on how the playtest goes I'll may be running Shadowrun lite from now on!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Simple Shadowhack sheets

So I decided to put together a simpler sheet for my team of newbies. It's got all the same slots at the last sheet, except without all the skills listed. It works. Here, take it.

Next post. The Runners.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gaming micro sessions

So time is definitely an issue now that I'm a new dad (loving it!). So as a way of getting my gaming fix in, I'm going to run a one hour weekly lunchtime game. It's going to be Shadowrun. It's going to be a small group. And it's going to be a blast.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

SHADOWHACK! Character sheets

I put this sheet together in anticipation for the Shadowrun game. Obviously I favor the 3rd edition character sheets.

Look for characters to be posted soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Sorry but I had to take SRlite down. I changed providers and I haven't gotten around to reposting the work. I'll also say that after taking a look at the work I did, there are a good number of holes in it. So rather than frustrate anyone, or leave bad work up I'd rather revisit the rules when I get more of a chance.

So this is what I do. I'm always on the prowl for the perfect system. It has to be a blend of speed, intuitiveness, and believability (screw reality). Right now Savage Worlds wears the crown. It's my default go to game because I can get it to run whatever I need it to. If I wanted to, I could convert every single gaming module I own into a SW version (and I have a lot of modules!)
But I digress, I have put together a set of house rules for my upcoming Shadowrun game. It's a 3rd edition/4th edition mashup with a bit of D6 thrown in for some flair. I haven't playtested it yet, but it looks good 'on paper'. I'll probably be adding more house rules as we start to play. If so I'll update the site. I'll let you know how all that goes. In the meantime, feel free to use it for your Shadowgame. You need the 4th edition ruleset to make any sense out of it.

Back to what got me started

I've been gaming for over half of my life. I started a bit in high school, but it was never anything serious. I didn't really get into gaming until I moved back to Denver from Florida and I was living with my sister trying to get into college. I started playing a game called Shadowrun published then by FASA. It was the start of something wonderful. It is to this day, one of the games I'm most familiar with and it holds a special place in my geek lovin' heart.
Well I'm planning on taking a trip back to this one. I'm looking to start a new Shadowrun game with my new crew. They have very little to no experience with the game world and I'm actually anxious to introduce them to it. I'm using the new 4th edition rules, which I had, up until this point, been avoiding. Of course I'm putting my own unique spin on the rules. There are definitely some things done in the new edition that I'm not crazy about. We'll see how all that goes. I'm looking forward to this!