Monday, January 21, 2013

XENO HUNT - CHARACTER RULES

One year ago I posted the sketch of what would be the rules for a xenomorph-hunting boardgame (if you wish, click here to re-read them).
I was never too fond of the way to handle the different possible player characters. The special qualities of the officer and medic were balanced with a worse weapon, but it seemed a bit forced, honestly. And I always feared that people would think that having up to three identical characters, the grunts, was just lazy.
So I'm changing that part. First, I'm adding more different archetypes, so to speak; and the grunts too will get some special rules.That means the officer and medic won't need to be restricted in their weapon selection. This is how it all works...

Before the game starts, the players must select a role for their characters. All of those are limited to one per game; except for the "grunt", which may be chosen multiple times (in fact, players may play exclusively with grunts, if that's what they want).
Then, two skills will be selected at random for every character, from the list associated to their role.

Officer, the guy in charge, with a tactical mind and the balls to lead his men in lethal missions.
 · You don't spend an action to select an order. You can give that order to one of your men.
 · When shooting, you and comrades adjacent to you gain 1 extra space for range and add 1 extra point of damage.
 · The xeno player can't use any of his cards during your turn.
 · Up to three times per game, you may cancel any card the xeno player is trying to use.

Medic, the one that stitches his comrades back together and is never thanked enough.
 · You can use two actions (one full turn) to cure 1 Hit Point, to yourself or any comrade.
 · You start with 2 extra HPs.
 · A medikit cures 2 HPs instead of 1 when used by you (on yourself or a comrade).
 · You start the mission carrying two medikits.

Sniper, the one that prefer to take his time and kill from a safe distance.
 · You don't suffer penalty when firing at long range.
 · You can shoot through other minis (both comrades or xenos) and obstacles.
 · When shooting, you can choose to trace line of sight from any adjacent square.
 · If you roll a 6 when shooting at long range, you kill automatically (headshot!).

Heavy, the big guy that carries the big weapons and packs a punch in close combat.
 · In close combat, you can knockback enemies, and cannot be knocked back.
 · You begin game with 1 extra Armour Point.
 · When going for full attack (two attacks in one turn), you can make 3 attacks.
 · In close combat, you always make 1 extra point of damage (and will always make 1 damage point at least).

Scout, the lithe guy that scuttles unseen and hackes security systems.
 · You have extra movement (MOV stat of 6 instead of the usual 5).
 · You have the ability to move through airducts.
 · You can hack security doors and open them with any security key.
 · When moving, you can move through xenos and obstacles (but must end movement in empty space).

Lucky, the bastard with more lives than a cat and his own irish-leprechaun-grade lucky charm.
 · When a xeno is hurted next to you, you miracously dodge all of its acid blood spills.
 · When opening a weapons crate, if you already have the weapon there, you may choose another you still don't have.
 · When you find ammo, if it's useless for you, you may choose any other kind of ammo instead.
 · When shooting, if you roll a 6 on the die, you add 1 extra point of damage (and will always make 1 damage point at least).

Grunt, the standard trooper able to accomodate for any situation, a jack of all trades.
 · Once per game, you may cancel any card the xeno player is trying to use.
 · A medikit cures 2 HPs instead of 1 when you use it on yourself.
 · You can shoot through obstacles without penalties.
 · In close combat, you cannot be knocked back.
 · When moving, you can move through obstacles without penalties (but must end movement in empty space).
 · When a xeno is hurted next to you, you may dodge all its acid blood spills if you roll 4+ on a die.
 · You are immune to the watchful ability. In addition, xenos cannot be spawn within 4 spaces of you.
 · You can never run out of ammo for the pulse rifle.
 · When you have readied a dodge order, you gain the watchful ability.
 · Once per turn, when you kill a xeno you may immediately move up to 4 spaces and make 1 extra attack.
 · When going for full attack (two attacks in one turn), you can still move up to 2 spaces before each attack.
 · When you enter a new sector, the xeno player must turn the blips, revealing how many xenos there are.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

REVISITING THE AJSALIUM BESTIARY

Hello again. To start with, let me welcome the latest followers that have joined this blog. Let's see if I can honour you all by updating this more frequently.
Also, if you check the links at the right you'll see there are two new additions (a couple forums I now take part in), and the disappearance of the Eolith site, since the company no longer exists.
Obviously, the blog template is new, too. Finally I wasn't able to fix whatever was wrong with my own made template, so I've had to use one of the pre-made ones offered by Blogger. I've chosed a black and blue scheme for a little continuity.
And now, onto the content of this post.

For a change of path and pace, I want to go back to the origin of this blog: the homemade fantasy world of Ajsalium. More specifically, its bestiary; the sneak peek of which I presented now three years ago. This bestiary is something I have wanted to go back to since Reaper Miniatures launched a Kickstarter campaign to found the production of many of their miniatures in plastic. The importance of this is that I have always dreamed of having a big collection of minis to represent all monsters that heroes may encounter in rpg games; but that was economically non-viable. But now it seems feasible. I'll need and use not only the Reaper plastic minis, but also those that come with some boardgames we own at my gaming club (Descent, World of Warcraft, Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon and Legend of Drizzt), and a good bunch of metal minis that I've bought over the years.
The backside to this is that I felt that I had to revisit the bestiary. With a slight OCD, I can't stand the idea of having minis for some monsters, but not for others. Since I was at it, I have also pondered on how well some creatures fitted in the background fluff of Ajsalium; and the balance of different types of monsters.
As a result of this there have been a number of entries that didn't make the cut, so to speak. Some I marked in yellow colour: those were the ones that will remain in the world of Ajsalium but only as part of the fluff, without a proper bestiary entry. And others I marked in red: the ones that will definitely disappear, as if they have never existed. Those two groups, encompassing 23 monsters the first and 31 the second, are the ones I began calling "the Lost and the Damned", inspired but the much fabled Warhammer Fantasy Battles supplement. Before we wave them goodbye, let's have some words about all of them. They deserve an explanation on their reject, don't they?

THE LOST
Arcane Tree: I like the idea of the existence of splinters of the cosmological ├╝bergod Kronait in Ajsalium giving birth to sylvan creatures and nature spirits, but I never really thought of having them as creatures in a combat situation. They'll be there, but in the section about religion, not in the bestiary.
Demon, Armageddon Beast: Demons hail from Thanatos, one of the three infernal planes. Since it's Inferno the plane that poses the biggest menace to Ajsalium, by far, I emphasize that reducing the number of demons presented in the bestiary to a mere little sample. That doesn't mean they don't exist, though.
Demon, Imp: As above.
Demon, Impregnator: As above.
Devil, Kyton: Similar case to those of the three demons above; Avernus exists and is inhabited by a multitude of fiendish races; but I don't want them to steal the show from the infernals that roam Ajsalium.
Devil, Mandrakes: As above.
Devil, Pit Devil: As above.
Genie: I'll keep them as a possible plot; but otherwise it's not advisable to have a monster that have access to the ultrapowerful "wish" spell. For the other possibility, an elemental spirit... well, we already have the elementals for that.
Hippocampus: Sure, they exist and are a mount of choice for aquatic races. But what are the chances of doing an aquatic adventure? Honestly? Almost negligible. Because of that I am reducing the entries related to sea races.
Infernal, Doom Fiend, Aquatic: For the time being, I don't imagine crafting adventures under sea or in the sky, so there's no need for specific entries for this variation. It will be mentioned that they exist, and that's all.
Infernal, Doom Fiend, Flyer: As above.
Kraken: The problem with the kraken is twofold. First, it's one aquatic monster (and see what I've just said about aquatic adventures). But second and most important, by definition it's a colossal monster. And I can't have a miniature so damned big. But the kraken is too famous to completely forget about it.
Locathah: I like the idea of this neutral sea-dwelling race. But in games terms they'd be too similar to merfolk, so I don't see the point of creating a specific entry for the locathath.
Magical Mount: Simply put, I'm retiring this creature because I have no idea how to handle the rules for its shapechanging powers. That said, still it's worth mentioning their existence somewhere and keep the players dreaming of getting one.
Nymph, Driad: This is a case where a main creature, the nymph, has three extra variations that are related to the specific terrain in which they live. Since their entries would be almost copies, with perhaps just one different power, I don't truly find the necessity for them, and so will get relegated to mentions in the background fluff of the nymph.
Nymph, Nereid: As above.
Nymph, Sylph: As above.
Roc: This is a similar situation to the kraken, in that the roc is a monster whose main point is its colossal size. That again poses a problem trying to find and use a mini to represent it. But since I kind of like the idea, I'll talk about the legendary birds that could be seen in the ancient skies.
Salamander, Frost: Yet again, variant version of the same monster (in this case, the "common" salamander), based on a different climate. Now I think that's not worth a separate entry in the bestiary.
Salamander, Sands: As above.
Satyr, Hipposatyr: Pretty much the same. It would have more or less the same stats and powers, so there's no real need for a differentiated entry; just a mention of its existence.
Tchekrick, Bug: Actually, all tchekricks were about to disappear, for lack of minis to represent them. But I wanted to keep them, because I like their imagined aesthetics and their place in the world that I have reserved them. As a compromise of sorts, I'll ditch the "bugs" for now and concentrate on the true tchekricks.
Titan: Titans are a fundamental race in the religious background of Ajsalium. It would be absurd rewriting all that history. But they wouldn't work well as a monster because they are immortal almost god-like beings; and anyway they live retreated and apart from any other race.

THE DAMNED
Avernal Boar: Actually, this began as a joke amongst my gaming group (one than involved a very loud and disgusting belch). So nothing really serious in the world of Ajsalium. And stripped down to its basics, an avernal boar is a quadruped animal, tainted by infernal energies, with a breath weapon. Guess what, we already have the charismatic hellhound for that role.
Chupacabra: I included this monster only because Reaper Miniatures released a model that I liked. But it doesn' really belong to the world of Ajsalium; it has too present-day-myth notes that would detract from the suspension of disbelief.
Cockatrice: Ajsalium saw life initially as a possible D&D setting back in the dawn of its third edition. Because of that I had to include all basic D&D material into it. Later, when it took a life of its own, I still left some of the more classic monsters as a homage. But lately I prefer downsizing the project; and since the cockatrice was never a proper part of Ajsalium, and it's anyway another variation of the petrificator beast (as the basilisk), I have decided against its continued existence.
Couatl: Another creature that was included only for being a D&D classic. Also, it's a benign creature, and I prefer not having many of those in the bestiary, because we should focus on the opposition to the heroes.
Displacer Beast: More of the same D&D homages that now seem inadequate. Add to it that I have absolutely hated every encounter against these things; combats last forever, which gets frustrating.
Doppelganger: One more D&D homage that gets relegated to oblivion. The fact that I have absolutely no idea on how to handle the shapeshifting powers have had something to do with the rejection, truth be told.
Dragon, Aquatic: This was my own invention (even if not original, I know). But on second thoughts it's too similar to the sea serpent, a monster that I prefer as I find it more "charismatic", so to speak. And this one didn't really fit well with the rest of the dragons.
Dragon, Spine: Another idea of mine that wasn't so cool after all. Specifically, I no longer like the idea of a devolved dragon; they are a magical race, and thus should remain always powerful. And after all, the spine dragon was little else than a wyvern on steroids.
Fallen Angel: The idea of a fallen angel is too typical, and I want a little bit of originality in my setting. Angels are inherently good; they can turn sad, sour, grave, or even fanatical... but never evil. It's against the laws of morals that govern these kind of immortal creatures. (Conversely, don't expect any fiend to ever redeem).
Fundamental, Air: Fundamentals were going to be lesser versions of elementals. But there's no true need for that since the elemental entries in the final bestiary are going to offer three versions of varying power. Apart from that, fundamentals were supposed to be truly neutral; but on second thoughts, I prefer the idea that there's always a malicious destructive instinct imbued in any elemental.
Fundamental, Earth: As above.
Fundamental, Fire: As above.
Fundamental, Water: As above.
Giant, Fomorian: I no longer remember why I included the fomorians in the bestiary in the first place. I don't need evil another evil giant, as there's the frost and fire ones for that. Deformed? Well, what for? The cyclops pretty much fills the role of a deformed giant, doesn't it?
Gnoll: A classic D&D humanoid. That had made its way onto Ajsalium solely because of that. But I have never had any idea involving them and the history of this setting, and I won't bother trying to come up with one. They wouldn't add anything to the setting, and don't even mix well. Bye bye.
Gnome: Poor guys. They were always on the edge: are they a player race, or a monster race? Well, in Ajsalium... none. My setting is supposed to be dark and grim (were did I hear that?), and I don't want to have too many good spirited nature feys that detract from that. The sprites are more than enough to fill that niche.
Helmed Horror: Too similar to the iron golem, anyway, so there's no reason to keep both. Simple.
Infernal, Varrangoin: These are obliterated because of two reasons. First, infernal hordes need no flying mounts since some doom imps already fly, as do the drahukpions warlords. And second, I am including a monster, the razorwing (lifted off the Descent boardgame), that is just too similar.
Kaorti: These twisted guys originated from a D&D supplement; were they were related to the Far Realm, WotC's take on the lovecraftian mythos (as is my Other Side). But as I want to emphasize that the main peril of Ajsalium is the infernal menace, I've saved in lovecraftian nightmares. Amongst the ones I had, these have the problem of being humanoids that had returned from the Other Side, an idea I no longer fancy: the Other Side is too outside the cosmos to be able to get there, let alone return from.
Lycanthrope, Wereboar: We already have three lycanthropes, so we have that cliche covered. And wereboars, truth be told, are very disgusting beings that I wouldn't share my lembas bread with. Nah, I want them in my world.
Owlbear: The owlbear per se is yet another D&D classic I didn't really like. Since I have some "wildkins" miniatures from the World of Warcraft boardgame, that look pretty similar to owlbears, but slightly better, these will replace them.
Plaguer: A plague spreading humanoid. First problem: what's a plague in game terms? Second problem: I want all Ajsalium humanoids to have a proper civilization, but these plaguers were just uncivilized monsters. Because of that, I'm parting ways with them.
Rakshasa: In the ongoing AD&D campaign I play with my friends, rakshasas kidnapped and killed the parents of my character. How I loathe them for that! But they have always been present in D&D bestiaries, so I included them in Ajsalium, too. Yet, now that I don't feel obliged to pay tribute to D&D, I take my revenge: down the gutter never to be seen again. Take that!
Shoggti: I chosed this weird monster because I wanted an aberration from the Other Side that had no psionic or magical abilities, and were little more than a beast bent on feeding. Even though I still like the idea of presenting the "transdimensional" equivalent of a predatory beast, the shoggti doesn't quite make it in the aesthetics department.
Slug, Giant: This is a classic monster from the D&D tradition. And as all of them that you're seeing here, that's not enough to justify their inclusion in the final compilation of the Ajsalium bestiary. More, this too have the problem of being a colossal monster, so difficult to proper represent on a tabletop.
Tarrasque: One of the more iconics D&D monsters. Too iconic, I'm afraid. It's supposed to be the ultimate menace; but in Ajsalium the ultimate menace is the infernal dragon. My setting is not big enough for those two doomsday monsters, and obviously the "foreigner" is on the losing side.
Troll, Two-headed: I have always thought of the two-headed troll as an elite troll. That makes sense. But what I don't like is that it follows the same patron as the ettin, that is, evil two-headed giant creature. That coincidence has buggered me so much that I have finally decided to reject the two-headed troll.
Uvuudaum: Much as I love the idea of a nightmarish centaur made of giant wooden fingers, there's no mini capable to represent them, even approximately. And neither can I think of a possible conversion. So I'm ditching this idea. I won't even mention them in the fluff, because these were a creature from the Other Side, but I feel the less said about that chaotic dimension the better for a sense of mystery.
Vegetal Being: These originated in a horror story drawn by Berni Wrightson. Translating them into common fantasy language, you can think of it as a pro-active warden treant. But we already have treants, and Nature warden duties are taken by the wildkin, so there's no space left for the vegetal being.
Will-o-wisp: I don't even know why I included this one. I've never liked this creature. I suppose it was just another homage to D&D classic monsters. But it doesn't make the cut.
Zaratan: The zaratan was included because it reminded me of one level of the Golden Axe videogame, that took place on the back of a giant flying turtle (!). But really thinking about it, this creature is too high fantasy, unlike the more realistic and down to earth tone I want for Ajsalium. And there's the fact that's impossible to represent it on the tabletop with a mini or otherwise.

Friday, April 6, 2012

SUPERSOLDIERS OF EUROFORCE

Hello again. Even though I still don't know for certain what direction I'll take with the Supers! project, I have started to collect a few minis. At the very least I want to represent the team I presented some time ago (in this post), and many of the necessary minis are already in my collection. There's also the fact that I've written quite a lot of fluff for that setting, so now I'm going to present you some info on the supersoldiers that make up the bulk of Euroforce.

Euroforce is the best known result and the core of the E.S.H.D.I. (European Super Hero Defense Initiative), which was promptly created when U.S.-centric S.H.I.E.L.D. manifested its intention to lead the superhero defense in Europe through its British brand S.T.R.I.K.E.
Basically, Euroforce is composed of two main groups: six superheroes, and twenty-one supersoldiers. The six superheroes are Fusion, Nightslip, S. T. Roid, Zenith, Griffon and Afterburn. When people talk about Euroforce, it's usually about this team they think of.
But, as said, they are supported by other twenty-one soldiers (so that every European state has one member in it). These are deemed "supersoldiers", and rightly so, for they receive a treatment not too dissimilar to the one that Captain America went through, that has taken all of them to the maximum human limits. Because of that, popular belief is that they are almost clones; but that is wrong. The art of war has many facets, and all of them must be catered for.
Twelve of them are "standard" supersoldiers, designed to maximize their efficiency in all kind of situations, as Captain America was. The best equilibrium of strength, resistance, stamina, agility, reflexes, speed and mental capabilities guarantee their supremacy against all non-augmented humans. They are equipped with state-of-the-art next generation armour and weaponry: the armour is a skin-tight fabric made mostly of woven cordura with kevlar, with extra protective plates in key areas; and their weapon of choice is a high velocity rifle, or a plasma cannon as alternative heavy weapon. I will be using old Void Syntha prosthene marines to represent them: click for pic.
Six of them (the ones that were policemen previous to the Euroforce program) form the "protectors". Their augmentation were designed with two clear purposes on mind: to protect the innocent bystanders in superheroics operations, and to repress superpowered crime. Because of that, the stress was put in their strength and resistance, including healing capacities, in lieu of speed and agility. They are granted a rigid heavy armour, including a helmet inlaid with adamantium (so as to avoid mental manipulation), and a riot shield with an adamantium mesh core too. They wield a multipurpose subrifle capable of firing standard ammunition, as well as anti-riot hard foam bullets, and even act as a potent sonic disruptor. These will be represented with Void Viridian (plastic) marines: click for pic.
Two of them were selected to be developed and trained into being a strike team; that is to say, quick support for when things go wrong. They've had their reflexes and coordination maximized, and constantly train both with Griffon and Nightslip. The reason is that they are equipped with wing-shaped jetpacks (so they can quickly get in and out of the action), and Griffon is the master in true three-dimensional combat; and armed with two pistols, an area in which Nightslip's gun-fu reigns supreme. Since they always dive deep into danger a full armour was a must; but it's not so clunky as the one worn by the protectors, so as to no hinder their movements. The Void Vasa shuriken guard are my choice this time: click for pic.
Finally there's the comm technician, who also excels as hacker. This girl was specifically selected for that role since during her service at the army had shown an incredible affinity with any and all computer languages. As a supersoldier her augmentation veered in the direction of enhancing her mental capacities for performing such tasks, including the implantation of cybernetics directly linked to her nervous system. She's not supposed to enter combat, but just in case she wears a slight variation of the common supersoldier garment, and is armed with a simple sidearm. The mini for her is the Void Vasa knight of spirit. Here you can see her as painted by Astorderire on CMoN. The paintjob he used is the one I'll use too: dark blue fabrics, and black armour plates.

That's all for now. Who knows what will the next post be about? And when will it be posted?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

XENO HUNT - SKETCH RULES

First of all, let me wish you all a happy new year. Last one wasn't exactly good, in any aspect; so we'd better keep our fingers crossed for this 2012.

Second, welcome to my last follower. I hope you find something to ignite your own imagination here.

Third, I have absolutely no idea why the display is broken. I haven't touched anything; simply, one day it was OK and the following everything was screwed up. It must have been either Blogger or Picassa, I don't know; and I don't know how to fix it... but I'll try to, anyway.

And so, without further ado, because honestly this update was due months ago, I'm presenting to you the sketch rules of "Xeno Hunt", the boardgame inspired by the Aliens movies franchise that takes place in my Galaxtar setting. Bear in mind that this game will be closely based on the "Doom boardgame" created by Fantasy Flight Games, so you may want to read its rules to have a better understandment of what I'm trying to achieve here. Let's start:
· It's a game of one player controlling the xenomorphs and "directing" the game against 3-5 players controlling the light infantry marines.
· It's played on a modular board composed of rooms and corridors, laid according to the map of the scenario created by the xeno player.
· The board is gridded. So movement and range is done counting squares.
· Said scenario determines not only the map, but also the goals for the marines, and everything that may be encountered, be it xenos, weapons, or ammo.
· The goal of the xeno player is to kill all of the marines. Anyway, "killed" marines won't be removed from play, but respawn (it is assumed they have "just" been impregnated).
· When playing with three marines, one is the sergeant, other the medic, and the last a grunt. If more marines are used, they are grunts, too.
· Xeno forces are drones, warriors, and the queen.
· Marine weapons are: contact taser for melee fighting, pulse SMG (for sergeant and medic) and pulse rifle (for grunts, it has a small grenade launcher), shotgun, smartgun, and flamer.
· Weapons have a maximum range at which they can be used. And that is divided (by two) in short range and long range. When shooting a target in the long range the attacker has a -1 penalty.
· Shotgun has the shortest range, 6 squares. But at short range it inflicts 1 extra damage whenever it hits.
· Smartgun has the longest range, 12 squares. And because of its auto-aiming system, all range is considered to be short range.
· Pulse SMG and rifle have a range of 10 squares. The rifle grunts use also has a small grenade launcher, with same range.
· Whenever a new section of the map is revealed, the xeno player will place "blip counters" to represent xenomorphs. The marines know there are enemies, but not how many of them. Once they come into line of sight, the blip is turned to see whether it was one, two or three xenos.
· Marines will find weapon crates and ammo crates, but the exact content will only be revealed when they get to it.
· Every turn two actions may be performed. Actions are: moving (up to the movement rating), attacking, or "interacting" (i.e. opening crates, activating machinery, registering corpses...).
· The sergeant can "give orders": he loses one or two of his actions but another marine gains that or those action(s).
· Marines will find first aid kits that allow to restore one point of health, or two if used by a medic.
· The xeno player gains "reinforcements" too, in the form of a deck that allows him to spawn more xenos, or have different effects. He begins game drawing as many cards as players (him included) plus two, and then must discard until he has only as many cards as players. Every turn he draws two cards, and again maximum size of hand is number of players.
· Xenos are sneaky buggers, so they can be deployed in line of sight of marines, and even in hand to hand combat.
· Xenos have acid blood. So when they are hit with a fireweapon they spill acid in all adjacent squares, causing one direct wound to any non-xeno miniature there.
· I want to include a homage to Doom, so there will be red, yellow and blue doors that can't be opened without the corresponding coloured key.
· There will be other keys, too, needed to open some lockers and crates. Unlike with the previous keys, these will never be needed to complete an scenario (but can be extremely useful).
· Combat is resolved by the attacker choosing the appropriate rating, MAR (Melee Attack Rating) or RAR (Ranged Attack Rating), rolling a standard d6, and adding both numbers. If the result is equal or greater than the defender's DR (Defense Rating), defender is hit. Attacker rolls di(c)e for damage according to weapon, and substracts defender's AR (Armour Rating) from result. That is the number of wounds inflicted.

Those are the bare bones of the system. Adapted they'll be the bones of the other two boardgames. If you have any auggestion just comment.
See you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

CURRENT PROJECTS

To start with, I'd like to welcome my latest four followers. That panel on the right is starting to become serious; let's see if I can live up to the expectation.

Something I haven't been able to lately, I'm afraid. The frequency of my posts are horrendous at best. Actually, I've been thinking a lot about that these last weeks. I've wondered why I just can't keep a steady output for the blog. Clearly there are many reasons, but one I'd like to address now is that I have too many ongoing projects, and a distinct lack of focus on one.

So which are my current projects and their status?
To start with, the three rpgs (Ajsalium, Necronomicon, and Galaxtar) that prompted me to start this blog. Because this was started as a place to post the background fluff for those settings, ideas for possible adventures, and to help me develop the rules with possible incomes from other people. Truth be told, this is all very stagnated. Well, not completely, as in August I invented a group of infernata for Ajsalium and began writing their little bios (I must finish writing that, damnit!). And I have been thinking, again, to play the Necronomicon adventure "Have you seen the Yellow Sign?" in a purely conversational way, that is, without any rules. A risky bet, I know, but I have faith in that that style of playing may fit well the Necronomicon setting.
There's the fourth rpg I brought up, Supers. Well, after some thought, I've given up on that, sorry. I don't think I'd be able to properly translate the superpowers with the ruleset I had in mind. But still, since I really like the superheroes thing, I want to write the background fluff of the setting, and more specifically, bios for superguys, in the manner of the Official Handbooks from Marvel comics. You can expect more of that... somewhen.
Also, all three original rpgs were going to be accompanied by their own boardgames. Did I give the names? If not, they are Dragonquest, Mythos Horror, and Xeno Hunt. Cheeky names, I know, but I wanted them to be cheeky. These have seen many different incarnations (in my mind), until I have reached a conclusion about how I want them to be: one player (director) against the others, on modular boards, and ultra-simple rules with only standard d6 dice. The main difference, apart from the setting, would be the nature of the modular board; Xeno Hunt will be played on narrow corridors and small rooms, for a claustrophobic effect; Dragonquest will be played on a modular cave, for that exploring effect; and Mythos Horror will be played on the whole Arkham city, because, you know, that city is doomed (and the world with it). These last two weeks I've been working on Xeno Hunt, thinking now specifically about the rules, and in my head they are very advanced. So that project at least has had some progress.
And finally, there's the neverending quest of finding and collecting the minis I can't live without, too.

And there's also my job with its odd shifts.
And moving house, and having to find the money to pay the mortgage, buy furniture, and all that.
And my other hobby, bodybuilding, that happens to be very demanding and tiresome (who would have thought, eh?).

Well, that's all for now. If I can keep focused enough on that Xeno Hunt boardgame, next post may be an overview of its rules. At least I have started to write them... and that's an improvement!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

It's been more than one year since my last post. What has been going on?
Well, a bunch of things, some good, some bad. I won't go into much (or any) detail, but suffice to say that I haven't got either time or enthusiasm to maintain steady posting here. Yet, three important things have happened lately that have prompted me back here.
First one is that I've gotten rid of a big burden. I bought a flat last year, and I've been completely reforming it. Nine months later, I'm still busy, looking for furniture and the like, but that's not as stressfull. So I have a little more time and spare energy.
Second, I've seen two people join my small group of followers. Welcome here! You must be brave, joining a blog that had had no updates in more than a year, lol. And to mend my previous lack of education, here's a welcome to my previous followers too.
And third, but not last, the sad news. One of the followers, 'Grekwood', won't be here any more. He was a young lad, in his twenty-something, welsh, and as full of enthusiasm as he was ill (CGD, a immune system disorder). With his death, without his light, the world is a darker place. To keep his legacy, it is our duty to make that extra effort to add a little joy to the world, as he did despite his unfavourable circumstances. That's why, tired as I may now be, I'm writing this.

Well, let's see you soon. What's to expect? A huge box is at my side, with an equally huge dragon, by Heresy Miniatures, inside. It can do with some 'unboxing review', don't you think? ;-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

EUROFORCE

Continuing with the superhero trend from the last post, I'm going to present the main group of superheroes that may make an appearance in a possible Supers RPG: Euroforce.
The setting will be roughly based in that presented in the first volume of the Ultimates, by Marvel Comics. There, the USA government create a team of superheroes to counteract terrorism by supervillains (i.e. Magneto). Later in volume two it's shown that the European Union is creating its own superteam; but instead of the boring "Captains " I prefer to create a team with more unique supers.
The given name is Euroforce, based on the term "international task force". Doing a bit of wiki-fu I've discovered that there was a short-lived team named "Euroforce", in Marvel Italy; so think of this as an ultimate reboot. This group is part of the European Super Heroic Defense Initiative, or E.S.H.D.I. for short.
What follows is a brief introduction of the main members of the group:

· FUSION
Real name: James Bertrand.
Nationality: French.
The leader of an international scientific research group into cold fusion, that got caught in an accident that made him the wearer of ultimate nuclear power.
His powers include super-strength, invulnerability, the ability to fly, and project beams of pure nuclear or calorific energy.

· S. T. ROID
Real name: Stephan T. Roissburg.
Nationality: German.
He's the abominable result of the abuse of hormones and steroids genetically engineered by a former R.D.A. scientist.
His main power is his top super-strength, as well as enhanced resistance and stamina.

· NIGHTSLIP
Real name: Dionne Backingsdale.
Nationality: British.
The last in a long tradition of London vigilantes that dates back to the XIX century, and the second one to don the "Nightslip" warname.
She has no true super powers, but she's been trained to become the pinnacle of human performance and she's an excellent shooter.

· AFTERBURN
Real name: Tuomo Heikkinen.
Nationality: Finnish.
This is a case of a cybernetic suit of armour using the pilot's nervous system as a C.P.U. to bypass the need of an ultra-advanced A.I.
His powers are: super-strength, super-resistance, flight, repulsion beams and a lesser wireless hacking ability.

· ZENITH
Real name: Antonio Ferrari.
Nationality: Italian.
A former athlete banned from competition accused of doping abuse, due to his constant breach of records, who's actually a mutant that became a superhero to clean his name.
Super-speed and super-agility are his super powers, along with ultra fast recovery from damage and injuries.

· GRIFFON
Real name: Ferenc Balogh.
Nationality: Hungarian.
He's a monstrous amalgamation of human, lion and eagle. A new incarnation of the mythological creature, he's actually a very late product of alien DNA mixing.
He can fly with his wings, has super-sight, and he also possess great strength and dexterity for close combat.

Also, alongside these supers, all the other countries from Europe demand to have a member in the group. In order to satisfy those demands ESHDI has developed a super-soldier program akin to that of the USA, and so there's always a reserve of enhanced humans for minor missions or support to the front team.

Finally, there are two superheroes waiting to enter the group; both of them with powers of mystical origin. Rasputina hasn't been able to enter yet because of diplomatic problems with Russia (her country of birth); and the morals of Diablo are the subject of much debate (he likes walking the thin line between superhero and supervillain).

· RASPUTINA
Real name: Anastasia Morzova.
Nationality: Latvian (Russian).
Anastasia has been trained since childhood to master the magical forces of Nature; she escaped Russia, though, to have more freedom in the use of her wizardry.
She's an accomplished mage, and that means she has telepathy, telekinesis, and conjuration abilities, among others.

· DIABLO
Real name: Eduardo Arregui.
Nationality: Spanish.
He's got a devilish look and hellish powers; thought by many to be a mere mutant, he claims to be a mystical embodiment of evil who plays the good side because it's more fun.
He's got superhuman strength and resistance, but his main power is the control of hellfire, with which he fights or hurls at enemies, and his capacity to induce fear.

Monday, April 26, 2010

SUPERS !

Well, finally I've stopped resisting the urge to buy some superheroes minis. As far as I remember, I've always been a fan of superheroes' comics (I traditionally belonged to the Marvel "sect", although more recently I've become fond of DC goodness too). And lately there are two companies that are releasing some amazing sculpts of superhero minis: Pulp City, and Reaper Minis in its Chronoscope range.
The Pulp City minis have a coherent look to them, that can be easily compared with the modern and realistic designs of the Ultimate line from Marvel comics. The superheroes from Chronoscope are more diverse (as is always the case with Reaper minis), and lean more towards the old style of four-colour heroes. From these manufacturers I've selected some 15-20 minis that will be added to my collection. To these I'll add a conversion for a superhero player character I envisioned some years ago (a Devil's Child alter-ego).

Here are just some for your viewing pleasure (original studio paintjobs):

Nuclear Jones
Stoner Hawk
Kitty Chesire

What will I do with these? Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I have limited myself to keep minis only for their use to represent PCs in roleplaying games. So in theory I should create a Supers RPG just to justify the minis! But I'm not sure if the common ruleset I'll be using (remember, that which adapts the Dragon Age RPG with my previous Arcade rules) is able to cope with the special powers that superheroes have. The most sensible course of action seems to be equating super powers to the special powers the PCs in the Ajsalium setting have. After all, their powers are not all that different to magic. Alternatively to the rpg, a Heroclix-like skirmish wargame would be a possibility, too. What is for certain is that those minis will look gorgeous in my display cabinet!

Friday, April 16, 2010

GALAXTAR ADVENTURE: IN THE WORKS

After watching "2001: Space Odyssey" and having a look at the science fiction works by Arthur C. Clarke, I had the somewhat weird idea of an adventure based solely on the difficulties of life in space, instead of action and conflict. It's going to take place on the system of Stoicheyon, in the volcanic planet of Pyros. The surface of this planet is inhospitable, but that has been solved building a huge ring (a torus actually) around and above the equator, that receives just enough heat from the planet and light from the sun. But due to budget cuts and poor quality of materials a whole area has collapsed; logically, the contract with the building company is cancelled and a new one takes over the work. The PCs will be a group of engineers from said company, and they'll have to study the structure to guarantee its soundness before resuming the works; all the while trying to prove false the accusations of sabotage from the original company. To top that, a comet impacting on a nearby moon will shutter it, causing a cloud of asteroids to slowly drive towards Pyros attracted by its gravity, posing a serious danger to the ring. It's up to the PCs to devise a plan to avert that, if it is at all possible. No action, no shootings, no chases, no aliens... I know this adventure is a serious risk, but I hope to be able to make it interesting if I focus on the high stress of political, economical and technical problems each interfering and aggravating the rest. We'll see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

PAPER MODELS

Lately, I've been up to paper models. I was randomly browsing the web when I came across the site of Topo Solitario (worth having a look, just click). Among other things, I found a very nice looking paper model of a dropship, named UD-12 Chickenhawk. I decided to build one for fun and also as a test to my own manual dexterity. Here you can see the result (minis shown for size reference):


It doesn't look bad from a distance, but once you get a closer look... ouch! Nonetheless I'm satisfied with it as it was printed on standard thin paper, instead of the heavyweight paper recommended for these models (not only does it make the model stronger, it also allows for an easier assembly).

As I like the model, I plan to use it as a prop in the Galaxtar adventure "Collateral Damage"; I'll personalize the model giving it the same colour scheme as the protagonists wear (khaki camo) and some logos of the company involved (Union Aerospace Corporation). Customization is easy because Topo offers the model as a UCM download, a little (and free) program that makes changing colour schemes a matter of a few clicks.
And a bigger plan is developing my own paper model based on this, the UD-13 Ironhawk, a little intrastellar ship (or perhaps an overpriced shuttle?). The idea is making it 50% bigger just by printing it in Din A3 paper instead of the usual Din A4, and probably giving it two extra engines, ans a dome for the black hole generator that would convert it into a interstellar ship. That ship, with a neutral grey colour, will be named "Winged Horse" and I'll use it as the prop for the spaceship of the group of scifi smugglers and criminals (Reaper's Sascha Dubois & Rosie and Heresy's Vincent B. Ruddock & Painless Joe).

And why this sudden urge for paper models? Well, their utility in rpg's is similar to that of minis (which I talked about here). Of course, they won't ever have the same level of detail; but they have the advantage that they don't need to be painted. In my opinion there are a couple (or three) of good uses for them:
· Counters / paper minis for combat encounters, as they are a very cheap alternative for minis, that can be printed on demand, thus saving storage space too.
· Props, for some elements of an adventure you want to give some extra importance to (as is the case with the dropship model I've shown you above).
· Also, for people with no storage problems, or very laborious, as scenery. Paper scenery is becoming very popular nowadays, and there are quite a bunch of companies selling very good looking packs. I can recommend World Works Games, which offers medieval, modern and futuristic buildings, sceneries and models.

So, to get you started, apart from the two sites linked above, here you have four more (thanks go to McFonz at the Forum of Doom for pointing me towards the first three):
Jay's Box of Sci-Fi CardToys
Fantasy Cutouts
Paper Model Directory
Ebbles Miniatures