Wednesday, 17 April 2013

REALMS OF VIOLENCE 4th edition reskin

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Okay so there is this world, like one of those "wahey olde time people were wack" (which may or may not be Renaissance propaganda), like it's a massive flat bowl (to keep the sea in duh) held aloft by armies of conquered titans, their grotesque forms even more grotesque from the weight of the world pushing down on them.  They hold the world aloft from some kind of primordial sea of the dead, where all souls go to rest.

Anyway this massive bowl shaped world progressed through various wars, empires, alien invasions, usurpation of spirits, demons and angels and parasite cosmology,   never-weres, and as ever the titans ( known formerly as KAIJU) climbing up and over their fellows to the under lip of  the world to punish and destroy).

It now has progressed to the mechanized armour and sweet looking motorcycle tracking shot level of technology, the gods having recently left to go fight some alien gods as they do. The northern and southern empires have collapsed from the aftermath of the latest alien invasion and all is warlords and bandits and here be time dragons.

Anyway so classes. Due to the bizarre semi-subjective physics of this reality, an individual can become far more powerful than any army, which means the focus of military progress has been to make super units, champions, leaders, warlords , and monsters. Some staying in the service of Daiymo or King, others becoming RONIN-X
And if you haven't guessed by now, this is a re-skin for 4th edition dungeons and dragons.

The power sources: are
Martial is
 KUNG FU. Some individual's KUNG FU is strong enough to kick physics into becoming an obedient fellow.

CYBER : Most people can handle the odd implant here or there without their chi flow becoming sickened. Fortunate others can keep piling it in. These are known as Cyberborgs. New geo-nano-tech means the machine grows with its host, the enhancements coming with personal growth not mere consumer purchase (blah blah cybernetics is treated as class abilities rather than equipment that you can purchase. You can't just make an robot arm strong enough to rip a tank in half, instead one is grafted onto the host and their chi flow and it is grown to such implausible capabilities)

is now
Administrator privileges. The gods wrote down a bunch of the short cuts and back doors they use for tinkering with the place. They made it real complicated so only the worthy can not have their eyes explode by reading it. Spells are known formally as Protocol and called spells by fucking ignorant peasants.

is now
 HACKING:  Wait you are waiting for permission to rewrite reality? The truly shrewd and audacious find the backdoors on their own, and when they can't, will tear them. A particular short cut , cheat,  or spell,  is known as a Glitch.  Glitches often have more abrupt , disruptive effects as compared to Protocol which tend to more restorative, status quo orientated effects.

Cleric   is now  WARNURSE: taught the Protocol (spells) given to the nations and then cyborg parts because cyborg parts, they are healers, leaders , diplomats , templars and inquisitors. Their power source is CYBER and Administrator privileges

Fighter     is now BOOMER: These cyberborgs are the  backbone and spear head of every army. Some keep their human form,fiendish devices appearing and disappearing as necessary, others bury it in layers of exoskeleton , techno flanges and mystery pipes. Their power source is CYBER.

Paladin  is now    SOHEI: The hammer to the WARNURSES other kind of hammer. Disdain corruption of their chi with gadgets, instead relying on fierce training and supreme discipline.
 These are warriors who are armoured in life and punching righteous! While the WARNURSE is often beholden to authority and public spotlight , the SOHEI is the special forces, black ops and elite guard.

Their power source is KUNG FU and Administrator Privileges

Ranger    is now   MOREAU:  Animals are closer to the flow of things than people. So surely one can give people greater kung fu by use of grafting animal parts? In the MOREAU's case, why yes , yes you can. (in most cases however, another entry in the monster manual happens).  Some MOREAU appear human except for a couple of traits (say a tail and cat ears) others are an animal awkwardly hunched on 2 legs. MOREAU are made in both directions from animal to fellow and from fellow to animal.
Their power source is KUNG FU

Rogue is now NINJA


Their power source is (rumoured) to be KUNG FU and CYBER

Warlock is now W.I.T.C.H:  with all these demons, angels and other usurpers lying around, one would wonder "can we smoke them?".
Why yes. A huge variety of reality altering drugs can be made from them. W.I.T.C.Hs name come from the infamous girl gang (We Intend To Create Havoc) to first make a serious effort to drug themselves into super human power and Burroughian form
W.I.T.C.H'S today are still no-good punks , with the coloured hair , loitering and angular sunglasses. Each W.I.T.C.H has a particular habit (pact) whether Yokai (fey) , Usurper (Infernal), or Never-Were (Star)
Their power source is HACKING

"because I fucking said so"

Warlord is now GEOMANCER. One who studies the flow of chi and history and knows best how to direct their efforts and those of others
Their power source is KUNG FU

Sorcerer is now  BLIGHTS. Savants for tampering , backdoors , and unraveling reality on a whim.
Their power source is HACKING

Wizard  is now     PSYKER. It is some peoples nature to always find the easiest way. While BLIGHTS constantly discover, tamper and tear new paths, PSYKERS have no talent for invention, but vast ability to learn and exploit what they can learn. They hold tight any glitch they can find and wring every drop of advantage out of it, each holding to them precious their book of scams, cons and swindles. A BLIGHT has a talent for finding new glitches but lack the patience to know them as thoroughly as a PSYKER will.
Their power source is HACKING

Barbarian is now  DRAGON the truly greatest of martial artists, their name the nickname of their greatest pioneer and bad ass.
Their power source is KUNG FU

(and there's like a bunch of other classes which is not immediately obivous what to do with.
Monks for example, some how, don't fit.  Druids I was thinking about some kind of Cyberborg that can transform into other robot shapes. Like a TRANSFORMER, but like then what was I gonna do with their magic? Like have it work via near by technology instead of plants?  I guess making the Primal power source Technology or something.
 Anyway look I got all this other shit I should be doing , and I don't have a play group for this , so I'm just writing down the easy reskins.
Also when I started typing this , I was thinking there would be a lot more weird psychic, chronolord,bursters and various warhammer stuff in here, but then the 80s anime just took up all the room and yeah. But if you are gonna run with this yourself I would recommend looking to warhammer 40,000 or other weird British gonzo sci-fi when you reskin the other classes)

Now I coulda made these the various nations of REALMS OF VIOLENCE but then as much fun assigning various human cultures stat modifiers is (by "fun" I mean "wack ") how about
 class as race 
Brave New World style?
As in each social class is separate from the others not by being a dwarf or an orc or something, but by choice of language, mannerisms, minor genetic modifications, quality and type of cyber implants, dietary supplements, geo-nano-bot injects and steroids.

Half Orc: Untouchable : steroid injections, growth hormones , modifications to the adrenaline and digestion system) : soldiers , sewage workers, meat vat works, Kaiju corpse disposal crews, salvage

Human: Lumpen Proletariat:  what ever they can afford or steal: thieves, scavengers, con artists, middle men, fences, entertainers

Dwarf: Proletariat: muscle grafts, bone latticing, supplementary immune system, high gravity nurseries: mining , construction, engineering, demolitions

Halfling:Bourgeoisie: reaction time implants, economy model body size, pheromone upgrades: reporter, entertainment, sales, liaisons, human resources

Gnome:Literati: life span upgrades, improved memory storage , small build for reduced use of resources, optic implants, brain "shock absorbers" for improved ability to comprehend protocol: sciences, scholars, researchers, academic

Elf:Illuminati: best life span upgrades, all look like models including access to designer (copy write protected) genes such as the Bowie , Grace Jones or the Twiggy, extensive brain capacity upgrades:  any high status positions, which they are always more qualified to do , having downloaded the required expertise.
            (Illuminati is particular apt , ignoring boring conspiracy association boringness,
 its etymology is enlightenment , as in a spiritual sense as well as a allegorical sense , "to throw light on" , and the royal family in Japan is said to have a lineage directly to the sun goddesses her self.)

Actually wait 4th edition had all these other races like shardling and stuff but fuck it, I'm done. What? No I haven't actually read the book and yes I am doing a re-skin that I would fully intend to play had I the time and interest.

Also I was going to use Japanese names for the classes , such as Eta, but wahey, discrimination against the Burakumin (Eta being a ..less polite term) is still a thing today
Real glad I looked that up.

Monday, 15 April 2013

It's been 8 hours and you bastards haven't finished killing each other

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF The carnage cube happened.
Which was a "warlords of vornheim" game set on one of the cubes of archeon , and unlike most of these player vs player it was completely in canon because something something doomguard promoting entropy.
Anyway the point was I made a 6 sided cube (..okay , 6 sided as in sides that can walked on) out of lego and then made lego figures out of everyone's characters and then with teams of 3 they proceeded to try and kill the shit out of each other.

Player map

 It took 8 hours.

I like made 6 or 7 of these before the game.

And don't think that was because it was some drawn out siege because of that.
No it was 8 hours of brutality.
I said I would get around to taking better photos, by that I meant I would forget about it and play with glue instead

 Look here's the teams. That above is Team Knight. From left to right : Sir Manning. Currently responsible for far too much of the mess in cobalt reach. Played by Trent , who runs New Feierland, famed for being a wretched , dire setting of colonyism and dying in mud. My level 7 monk is currently dead there but since he is leaking acid from a mutation picked up in cobalt reach he is not rotting nor turning into green slime. Green slime because there is now lake of green slime because there were fish guys who were dicks and someone had a potion of green slime from the Vats of Manzarin and fuck your ecology fish guys you tried to steal our stuff (more explain here).
Anyway he has the best looking + 3 shield ever from a dungeon shaped like a phrenology map.
The eyes follow people around the room, but never both eyes on the same person at the same time

 Shit I'm tangentialing but this illustrates my point of how absurdly byzantine this shit gets.

The guy with the hair is Sir Ward, a would be paladin with collateral damage count in the 1000s , but regarding as one of the nicest flailsnails p.cs. Later that session he would drag his best friend with a fish hooked studded net face first over bear traps. He is played by Reynaldo of bum rush the titan.

Lastly The Green, a muscle wizard, currently active in Monster Johnstons Wizards Gang of New Wizard city and bringing to the table some of the most frightful unhinged magic items. Kasper the player did warn me about them before hand , but the full horror of them in action escaped at them time, and so I did not fiat down on all the possible combos. (items including the ring of 9 dragons which allows you to make exact copies of your self, yet share the same stats,  and a potion that increases your armour class each time you get hit) This was one of the lessons. Some people bring a crossbow some people bring a staff of unlimited dimetrodon summoning, and that's not important. What's important is if that player has some horrible dimetrodon based combo they plan to unleash.

Team Rogue
That's Malice Afterthough on the left. He was missing a hand and his favourite flaming sword had recently been destroyed. He is played by Zach and he frequently adventures with Sir Manning and Sir Ward. But today he would attempt to destroy them utterly over some money.

In the Middle is Blixa, played by Zak Smith of D&DWPS infamy. The two Za(ch/k)s reputations as twisted schemers and dire exploiters of lard and spike had team knight in utter conniptions in their planning session. It was hilarious. No, wait it was funnier than that. His lego figure is wearing vampire slaying pants because Blixa has it in for vampire and has killed Strahd twice. The vampires started it with the cruel death of Gleichman the war dog, who now has a commemorative zoo in his name. Blixa is paying gold if anyone has anything zoo worthy captured.

In the Santa hat is Noggin , a long toothed , promoted henchmen , played by Barry, and who immediately set to coating a fish hooked net with wyvern poison.
Because he is British and the British are horrible.

Fwump. Maps

Anyway Team Bastard had the defender role and set to bear trapping , smoke braziering, scarecrowing, and my favourite move, over packing the cannon with all the powder leaving it for the other team to capture. What happened is Sir Ward fired laser beams down the barrel and it blew up and he nearly got nailed by the cannon ball.
And Team Implausible Denibilty took to making a walking tree siege tower and stomping around the battle field.

I didn't keep a record of the blow by blow of it , and lack the stamina to try and recollected in here, but the early precedent of allowing reincarnation/cloning potions to work instantly and the not-quite-deadness of the house rules mentioned in the last post kept this meat grinder going for far too long.

The early death of Noggin , meant that the allowing an instant  reincarnationing him via a potion to keep him back in the game seemed to be good idea. Like how many reincarnation potions did people have? MORE THAN I THOUGHT.  That plus the Cloning Potions , (all from from Vats of Manziran) meant that this meat grinder would proceed to churn far far longer that anyone thought.

Any way  it was brutal and I'm impressed that fun was still had even with it going on for that long and the bizarre punishings of game balance and house rules going on.

Other high lights include having to explain how an item works as its being used on their own p.c. Oh and the fucking code. Team Sneaky had a code, here is brief extract of it

Rook, King, Queen, knight (any chess terminology at all) =Kasper
Alpha beta gamma delta =Reynaldo
Apple Bacon Cheese Sausage (any food) etc= Trent
Tinker =Drop/prepare floor with
Tailor =Hide
Butcher=Sneak up on
Baker =Do not move, Overwatch
Soldier=Move maximum speed toward/to (pref. from behind if possible)
Beggarman=Climb the wall (in the tunnel) (to ceiling if possible)
Jacques, Pierre, Francois (any french name) = Malice
Monday, tuesday wednesday (any day of the week) = Barry
January, February, June (any month) = Blixa Atomizer, Songs about Fucking, Hammer Party, Pigpile (any big black album) = Caltrops
Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Neptune, Moon (any planet/sailor scout)= Marbles
Whiskey, Gin, Jagermeister (any drink) = Lard
Mega = Rope

I think a lot of these had been worked out anyway and fuck it I'm spoiling this one because it gave me such a head ache and it's gonna be a long long time before I run another one.

This was additional challenge , having to look up what the player actions were . IF google plus hangout had a "deafen" option as well as a "mute" it would of made this unessacery. I did enjoy saying "okay so you are still undertaking "richman protocol confirmed?" a lot it has to be said.

 Stealth makes things so much more complicated, but like. so does icing (okay icing isn't complicated, for this allegory it's complicated icing) and thieves are doomed without it.

The Carnage Cube itself, was actually quite shit at letting the p.cs understand who was were. It was great for me though. Greater than just drawing up 6 grids with arrows pointing to where the sides connected? Well.. yes. Just. Except the cube immediately started falling apart because of my shoddy lego skills and the camera on the lap top not being good enough to allow a viewer to distinguish what the  fuck was where. If I had a better stockpile of lego , I woulda monochromoed each side with a different colour, for side identification  (because I kept forgetting which side was A and which was E) and to make it far easier to translate the visual noise into data.
Having a usb plug in camera that could be independently moved and a separate person responsible for moving the camera around at the request of the players is getting a little grandiose though. (but it would be awesome).

Anyway so that was fun or horrible or a mixture of the two (team knight won  though, kaspers punishingly cheesy combos gave them the endurance to out last the endless ambushes, traps, and schemes).


So I've decided to bud off the" draw pictures and sew creatures" part of this blog into to its own tumblr.
I will shout out here when I got something particular grand happening there, but in the mean time I can just do posts there that are "look at this thing, I did this" and keep the posts that are here fairly incoherently rambling meaty and useful. MEAT.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Discrete Injury table

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So the endless tinkerency of the rules to stop the voices continues.
Hitpoints. I'm liking having it being extremely easy to heal hitpoints. Like if you can catch your breath, you can restore 50% to full and less than 50% to 50%.

That "catch your breathe" thing means you need a safe environment (like if it was a stupid movie one of the characters would say "we are safe here for the moment" and everyone would talk about their feelings for ever), like hiding in a closet wouldn't do it. The characters need to feel that they can reliable drop their guard. So the rooms exits are firmly secured , or the surrounding area is known , cleared and patrolled. Basically imagine if you were your character.
Could you imagine yourself being able to have a hour long nap where they currently are? (and presuming you do not suffer from narcolepsy)  

It's hitpoints firmly in the  "luck and confidence  and minor scratches" end of the  spectrum.

It's only when your hitpoints run out that your meat starts falling apart. That's when the
"oh god man down man down, I can't stop the bleeding WHY WHYWHYA RGHHnew feierland is the worst why did I come hereARGHH" stuff starts happening

I am of the firm belief that players will always engage with the most amount trouble they think they can handle (and then push it anyway) . SO having them in full health the majority of time does not mean they will merrily go off to steam roll all the giant rats in the vicinity. It means they will go straight into the giant hatchet spiders nest and lose an arm or two.

Disclaimer this is coming out of my bias of play style  (impatient)  and a general dislike of resource management heavy ,  slow pressure build , gritty but petty dungeon crawling.

Also I hate clerics and even when I don't hate them , I hate how they have to fill up most of their spell slots with healing spells because that is the only reliable source of healing available. Especially if the heal hit points per day of rest thing is not scaled per level. Like healing 1 hit point per day when you are a fighter with 30 hit points is frustrating, when the wizard is pretty much ready to go again with a days rest.

Hitpoints being the fighters "encounter currency" like you will lose hitpoints in every fight, (unless you spend the entire game session setting up the perfect ambush or something. Which is great once in awhile but will bore me to fucking tears if it's every fucking session) so while everyone else recovers their encounter currency fairly effortlessly , if you don't have a cleric handy you will have to be CAUTIOUS and SHIT. Ugh. Man like I have to use so so much diplomacy and guile to survive in my day to day life , can't I just smash the shit out everything with the big numbers on my character sheet already?

Then there's the malarkey with "let's clear out 2 rooms and return room" (fuck that) or "let's sleep for a week in a 10 by 10 by 10 room" (again, fuck that)

IS it bad to be trying to make the perfect system for your own joneses as a player? WHO KNOWS

 ANYWAY you run out of hitpoints. You start to have negative hitpoints. IF these get lower than your constitution score or half your maximum hit point (which is ever is less), you are now dead.
Go to page 14.
IF you are not in that dread realm  you still need to make a con check modified by you hitpoint total or lose consciousness. (you will wake up after a number of rounds = how much you failed the con check by).

 As well , every time you take damage that puts you into (or further into) negative total hit points , a hit location dice gets rolled , either you have custom die for this or
1 left arm
2 right arm
3 left leg
4 right leg
5 torso
6 head

and roll a die to see how much that area is fucked up .
 d10 is rolled
10-5 it is damaged , 4 -2  is severely damaged and on a 1 it is completely destroyed.

Now here I had a thought. By doing it this way different attacks could be deadly or less deadly. I can't really see any massive advantage in getting too persnickety but rolling a d20 for bare hand attacks and a d8 / d6 for some kind of vorpal weapon or elite murderism seems cool.

I think for now, I will play around with the d10 default and d20 "non-lethal" attacks.

I still am going to try out rolling a 20 means an automatic roll on this table. It seems to be a cool idea, and the chance of instant kill is pretty dang low (about 1 in 500 I think?).

NPCS and monsters will general just die at negative hit points unless particular interesting or important. Because Feng Shui has warped my way of thinking forever.

Damaged: Fractured, deep lacerations (but not an artery) , needs stitches, splints etc. The arm cannot be used effectively, -2 to all actions, and possible off hand penalties. This will take about a month to heal. If it is not attended to at least a day after happening (cleaned, bandaged, stitched , braced etc) your con is at -4 for that month. If that puts you con at zero or less I guess you die from the resulting infection

Severely Damaged: Artery severed, tendon damaged, greenstick fractures etcs, as above but you are losing 1 hit point per round until bandaged/attended to. This will take 3 months to heal.
Even after bandaged any exertion will make the bleeding start again.
(yeah I'm kinda playing fast and loose grouping greenstick fractures and artery bleedings here. ANd tendon damage is unlikely to heal fully functionally, but like this already getting into rolemaster territory )

Destroyed: As above but that arm is not ever coming  back. The -2 penalty lasts a month after which you have more or less adjusted to the balance change.

as per arms but half movement as well
Severely damaged:
as arms but can't stand up without support, movement is a crawl at best.
Destroyed: As above but your movement is now half (with crutches) or 2/3 slower (with a pegleg and 3 months adjustment) or a hop, which is as fast as slow walk with a dex check each round or you ass over.

Damaged: Possibly cracked rib, definite heavy bruising , deep puncture (but not enough to reach an organ), -1 to all actions. Roll twice for strength or constitution checks and take the worse result.
A month to heal

Severe: as above but internal bleeding 1 per hit point per round , on a successful con check (with the roll twice take worst) it stops, but starts again if you exert yourself. This is stuff like visible intestines, sucking chest wounds, cracked ribs puncturing lungs etcs. WELL maybe those last 2 would be far more mechanically severe. 3 months to heal

Destroyed: Evisceration, massive internal hemorrhaging , punctured  heart etc. Basically, you are dead

Damaged:  blinded for one round and stunned for 1d6 rounds. For the rest of the day any wisdom, charisma or intelligence checks are rolled twice with the worst result taken.

Severely Damaged: As above but  this is stuff like detached corneas , broken jaws, ruptured ear drums etc.
If you are knocked out by this blow you are in a coma for a week , and will be in a coma until you succeed a con check (one per week) each time you fail , you lose one point of either intelligence or wisdom. Otherwise -2 to all actions and randomly determine a sense (1 sight 2 hearing 3 taste and smell 4 balance) that barely works for 3 months (automatically fail any rolls to do with that sense)
Destroyed: yeah.. throat torn upon , stabbed through the eye,  fatal aneurysm , or just plain gone. You is dead.

Magical healing as well as restoring hitpoints will restore some of the physical damage. For each level of the healing spell , that many "categorys" are healed. So a cure light wounds can restore a damaged leg to normal or severely damaged arm to just a damaged arm. In case of multiple injury sites the levels will have to assigned as the healer thinks best. So a cure critical wounds (level 4) on some one with 4 severely  damaged limbs  could restore each limb to damaged or 2 limbs to full health. Anything destroyed requires a Heal or Regenerate spell. The Heal spell restores all categories and the regenerate spell can restore any one area to full even if destroyed.

Healing via the wonder of waiting around for stuff to grow back on and the risk of infection.
NOW I was so tempted to get all stimulationlist and go "oh burns are fucking horrible for infection but slash wounds are fairly quick, while puncture wounds can get all complicated if they have introduced foreign material deep enough so it can't get bleed out".
 But I managed to resist.

So  let's just say you make a  con check for every week you are healing and if you fail you lose a point of con (which will be recovered with a further weeks rest) and if you roll a 20 it's now one stage worse (severe becomes destroyed etc) And wilderness conditions is +4 to the roll while having a healer in attendance is -4 and in between stuff is in between.
Oh and maybe +2 if there was a decent first aiding done at the time, and -1 to -4 if it was particular infectious environment (sewers, jungles) or nasty wounds (burns of all kinds, poop covered arrows)

I had this all done in note form and then was looking through the 52 pages rule book and noticed that they had something very similar. So go look here if you want something more tidy than what I just wrote
Also I'm going to do a review soon about that pdf, because I used it up in Wellington with new players  and it had a lot of merit.
Check it yo.

Also their background/skill system in this document has also more or less scooped me on something I had sketched out but not finished yet.