Friday, November 20, 2015

Campaign Update

I haven't done a campaign update in a while. Here's what's going on in my games.

In my (somewhat) weekly Swords and Wizardry game, the players made their way through the wilderness area around the Lost City of Barakus, the lost city itself, and then braved the Ghost Tower of Inverness. I dropped a few hints about White Plume Mountain and the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. After completing the Ghost Tower the group decided to put the campaign on hold.

 We picked up our Star Wars Edge of the Empire game, that we had put on hold about a year ago. To kickoff the restarted campaign, I gave them the choice of three jobs: find a lost treasure ship, blow up an Imperial base, or chase rumors of a light saber crystal. They chose the money. 

In the monthly DCC game the reavers pushed their way through +Paul Wolfe 's excellent God Seed Awakens. They figured out NOT to open the prison cells and managed to defeat most of the god seed's guardians. Surprisingly, they also befriended the baby dragonling and a sentient ball of goo. When they defeated the god seed, a void in space opened up and the characters found themselves falling......toward a massive purple planet. Sadly, the dragonling was kept back from the final battle so he was not transported along with them. The goo was though. 

The Swords and Wizardry monthly game is going strong as well.  The characters have reached level four. They making their way through the first dungeon level of the Temple of Elemental Evil.  I think we've spent at least 4 sessions there so far. There's a lot left to go. They dispatched the "yucky frog men" but have yet to meet the nasty beast men that I made using the Monster Alphabet.

The characters in my Dark Heresy game are progressing through their last adventure. After we wrap it up, this game will become my Kill Team campaign. I should really finish that before they finish the adventure.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Legacy of Oros for White Star

+Paul Wolfe over at Mystic Bull games has been putting out some great stuff for White Star lately.  I recently picked up "Legacy of Oros", the first full length adventure set in Paul's Galaxy War 1939 setting.

Galaxy War 1939 is a retro sci-fi setting for the White Star RPG. Set in the WWII era, Galaxy War supposes that the war has spread into space using Flash Gordon 50's style future tech. The setting places the characters in the role of Space Operations Executive (SOE) agents fighting a shadow war against the Nazis (in space!)

The setting pushes all the right buttons for me. I love retro-sci. One of my favorite graphic novels is Ignition City by Warren Ellis and I love the old Dan Dare comics. British and Nazi rocket-ships dog-fighting over Mars really fires up the imagination.

In the adventure the PCs travel to a former British colony world now under control of the Reich. There they must rescue a scientist trapped on the planet. The adventure is cool, for though all the great source material in the book is the real treasure. There are stats for tons of new alien creatures, Nazi spacecraft and tanks, and a spaceship for the players to use.  There's even details on some new psychic abilities.

The art in this book is fantastic. The images of the  Nazi stormtroopers or Raketekommandos  and the WW II era spacecraft capture the retro sci-fi feel perfectly. There's even a short multi-panel comic that I'm dying to read the rest of.  If you like retro sci-fi, I highly recommend this adventure.

Make sure to checkout some of the other products for Galaxy War as well.

One Page Adventures  - Bug Hunt and Last Transmission.
Free Zine! - RadioTapes Intercept

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

40k Kill Team Campaign Conversion overview

This is part II of my home brew 40k Kill Team campaign. In this entry I'm going to give a general overview of how I'm converting the system from the Fantasy Flight 40k games to a BRP/Call of Cthulhu/Runequest style system. See my first entry in this series for more info.

Rule System
The overall rule system is a combination of Runequest 6th Edition and Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition.  I like how character creation works in Runequest 6. The Endurance/Willpower/Evade skills fit well with how I want to run a 40k game. For everything else, I use the rules for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. (I have the PDFs and hopefully it will be published very soon.) Runequest 6 combat resolution is great for a fantasy style game but I want the faster, lighter system of Call of Cthulhu.  The new Luck stat in 7th Edition also works well.  I'm unsure about the new D100 based stats that 7th Edition CoC uses but it makes conversion from the 40k games easier.

Character Creation and Careers
Characters are created similar to RQ6. Players pick a background and a career and this determines their starting skills. Some of background are different races and generate their stats differently and  limit what careers can be chosen. Here's  my starting list of backgrounds and careers. I'll probably add or remove some as I starting detailing them.

Human Backgrounds: Death World, Void Born, Forge World, Hive World, Imperial World, Independent World, Vortex World

Special Backgrounds: Space Marine, Ork, Dark Eldar, Kroot.

Human Careers: Warrant-less Rogue Trader, Pirate, Unsanctioned Psyker, Heretek, Mercenary, Fallen Astropath, Rogue Navigator, Chaos Cultist, Recidivist, Bounty Hunter, Rebel

Space Marine Careers: Renegade, Forsaken
A space marine Renegade is one who has deserted their chapter but not turned to Chaos. A Forsaken is a traitor legionnaire who has given up the worship of the dark gods and left their warband.

Ork Careers - Freebooter, Mekboy, Komanndo

 Kroot - Kroot are always mercenaries.

Dark Eldar- Kabal Warrior, Wyche.
There is an entire expansion about the Dakr Eldar for Rouge Trader. There are a number of other Dark Eldar careers(flesh shaper, sky terror) that I may write up only if someone wants to play one.

The FF 40k games use the stats as a base score and the skills modify them. When converting to BRP many of the stats simply become skills. A later entry will cover converting NPCs in detail.

Weapon Skill - replaced by individual weapon skills
Ballistic Skill - same
Strength - Strength
Toughness - replaced both by Constitution and the Endurance skill. The damage resistance quality of toughness is dropped, in my experience all it does is extended combats.
Agility - Dexterity
Intelligence - Intelligence
Perception - replaced by the various perception skills
Willpower - Power and the Willpower skill
Fellowship - Charisma

The Education stat from Call of Cthulhu is not used.

Skills and Talents

I will be creating my own skill list based on the skill lists from the FF games, CoC and RQ6. Skills function per the BRP games. Talents will be used as written in the FF rulebooks with some modifications. For example, all the dual wielding talents aren't needed as that would be covered by a weapon skill. The Advancement schemes in the rulebooks are not used. Characters are awarded XP which can be used to raise skills or buy talents.

Weapons, Armor, and Gear

Almost all of the gear can be used as written, armor and damage basically function the same way in both games. The damages for some weapon might be high but I'll have adjust that after play testing.

Psy Powers

I'm unsure how to adapt Pay Powers right now. Both RQ and CoC have extensive magic systems but that would require me to rework the Psy powers from the ground up. I'm tempted to just use the Dark Heresy 2nd edition rules as written with a little adaptation to make them skill based.

Starships and Navigation
Starships in this 40k universe are smaller, require less crew, and are more easily attainable.  Not quite as ubiquitous as they are in Star Wars but more common that they are in the normal 40k universe. A ship does not a require a navigator to make a warp jump. A ship without a navigator can jump yo nearby star systems. A navigator can guide a ship much further. I've already written my own set of house rules for Starship combat in Rogue Trader that I'll adapt for this game.  In general, the ships  require about 1/1000 the crew of what is listed in the book. A ship that lists it's crew of as 20,000 would only require a crew of 20. The PCs are assumed to be the command crew and the rest are NPC pirate or mercenary crew members that work for them.  The ships are also smaller. I'd have to do a lot of math to figure out how much smaller, so I' hand waving it. Assume, they are sized appropriately for their number of crew.  The ship stats can be used as written otherwise.

Fate Points and Luck
I'll be using both the fate points from the FF games and the luck stat from CoC 7th edition. I think that will balance out the deadlier combat of this adaptation. This will require some play testing.

Profit Factor
The profit factor rules from Rogue Trader are used to track the groups wealth and reputation. Some modification is needed as star ships aren't quite so rare and players don't need to hire thousands of crew, but in my experience the profit facot rules need modification even in a normal Rogue Trader game.