Sunday, October 26, 2014

Post Apocalypse Archetypes for DCC

I'm working on  a campaign guide for my Thundarr style post apocalypse DCC game. In this post, I'm adapting the post-apocalypse archetypes  I wrote up a few months ago.  In a future post I'll be adapting the Core DCC classes to my PA setting.

The Barbarian
"Lords of Light!"
Likes: freedom, sorcerers, Moks, catch phrases
Dislikes: wizards, technology, slavery
Barbarians are the inheritors of the broken world. The old world is gone and the barbarians are forging a new one.  Wizards, monsters, sorcery, and super science aren't going to stand in their way. Barbarians distrust technology and hate wizards.

The Barbarian class from Issue #1 of D.AM.N fits perfectly with the idea of a Thundarr-style character. The Barbaric acts feature brings it to life:  Jumping from horseback, tackling groups of mooks, knocking down the ceiling, etc.  The warrior core class could also easily be used but I think the Barbarian is a better fit.

The Sorcerer/Sorceress
"Bullheaded Barbarian!"
Likes: barbarians, restoring civilization, puns, explaining things
Dislikes: wizards, slavery
Sorcerers are able to work magic much like the wizards. Unlike the wizards, Sorcerers steer clear of the corrupting influence of demons and techno-magical devices and are able to maintain their sanity. They are few in number but do what they can to assist those who fight the wizards.

Sorcerers are an unique race. They appear human but are either a new race of mutants, aliens from another planet, or dimensional travelers. Sorcerers function as the Elf class from the core rules. Sorcerers strive to keep their magic pure. As long as Sorcerera never Spell burnb, bond a patron, or use techno-magic, they never suffer from corruption.

The Mok
Likes: food, barbarians, friends, throwing things.
Dislikes: slavery, wizards, fire, water, flying
Moks are a primitive race of super strong Lion-men that have emerged since the cataclysm.  They are firmly allied with the Barbarians against the wizards.

Rather than writeup a whole new class for Moks, I use the Mutant class from CUBM #2.  Moks always get the Hybridization feline mutation and a random Physiology mutation.

The Ranger 
"One Riot. One Ranger."
Likes: the rule of law, survivor communities, guns
Dislikes: raiders, mutant monsters
Part sheriff, part scout, part sniper.  The Rangers are the descendants of a group of Army Rangers that survived the cataclysm.  The Rangers keep tabs on the raiders, wizards, and monsters of the wasteland and protect the survivor communities.  They get along well with the Barbarians and the Road Warriors. (The Ranger is one of my favorite archetypes. They show up in a lot of post-apocalypse settings. All the way back to the Desert Rangers in Wasteland.)

The Ranger class from Crawl #6 works great in a PA setting.  A PA Ranger is trained in firearms. Rather than specializing in either bow or two-weapon fighting though, the PA Ranger is either a gunslinger or a sniper.  Gunslingers employ pistols and small guns, while Snipers prefer large rifles.  Rangers use thier guns when performing mighty deeds.

The Brotherhood Scout
"I wouldn't touch that."
Likes: high tech weapons, The Brotherhood, tech caches
Dislikes: raiders, those who misuse technology
The Brotherhood are the last remnants of the old world military.  Their scouts roam the wasteland looking for caches of ancient technology.  Scouts escort Scribes acting as bodyguards and guides.  The Rangers and the Brotherhood know about each other.  Individuals of the two groups often cooperate, but the groups as a whole are at odds.  As the last remnants of the military, the Brotherhood thinks the Rangers should join them.  What the Rangers think of this idea is not very polite.

The Brotherhood scout uses the Thief class from the core rulebook. They gain training in firearms and energy weapons . The Scout can "backstab" with a gun if the target is unaware.  In the far future there aren't many scrolls, but there are technological devices.  The  "cast spell from scroll" skill becomes "use techno-magical device."  The Halfing could also be used for the Brotherhood scout with the only adaptation being that they are trained in firearms and energy weapons.  Their two-weapon fighting ability can be used with pistols.

The Brotherhood Scribe
"I'll encourage people to name their non-ugly children after you."
Likes: old books, data caches, The Brotherhood
Dislikes: book burning, apocalyptic cults
Scribes seek out old libraries and data banks in order to preserve knowledge.They are experts in old world tech and often assist survivor communities.  A scribe is normally partnered with a scout for missions.

The Technologist from CUBM #1 makes a great Brotherhood Scribe with no adaptations at all. 

The Road Warrior
"And the Road Warrior? That was the last we ever saw of him."
Likes: cars, kids, dogs
Dislikes: raider gangs
The Road Warriors roam the wasteland in souped up muscle cars dispensing wasteland justice. No one knows where the Road Warriors come from or why they do what they do.  They don't seem to communicate or even interact with one another.  One thing is for sure, no raider gang wants to see a V-8 Interceptor on the horizon.

I heard a rumor that there might be a Road Warrior class in an upcoming issue of CUBM, which would be awesome. In the meantime, Road Warriors use the Warrior class from the DCC core book.  They are trained in firearms and start the game with some kind of vehicle. (CrawlJammer #1 has rules for vehicles.) They receive all the normal bonuses from their deed die but can only perform mighty deeds with their vehicle.
The Road Warriors have a secret.  If you want to know the secret click here.

The Vault Dweller
"Do you know were I can find a water chip?"
Likes: Being safe in their vault
Dislikes: Anything outside the vault
Vault Dwellers live in giant underground complexes meant to keep the remnants of humanity safe until the world was ready for them to emerge.  The problem is the world may never be safe again. A vault dweller has either left their vault in search of something or left voluntarily seeking a life outside the vault.

A lot of different classes could be a good fit for a Vault Dweller archetype, depending on what their job was before they left the vault.  A Vault soldier would be the warrior class. A Vault scientist would be a Technologist.  An even more interesting idea though is to adapt the dwarf into a Vault Dweller.  Having lived their whole life underground the Vault Dwellers have adapted to that environment and gain all the racial abilities of the Dwarf.  Instead of detecting gold and gems, Vault Dwellers can detect hidden technology caches.  Vault Dwellers have a keen survival instinct.  They replace the Dwarf's sword and board ability with Dodge. Vault Dwellers may attempt to dodge one incoming attack per turn by rolling their deed die and adding it to their AC. All Vault Dwellers are trained in firearms.

The Morrow Project Sleeper
"This is not what I expected."
In the early 1970s, a billionaire who was either very smart or very crazy predicted the coming cataclysm. He gathered up small groups of like minded people, trained them, and froze them in cryo-stasis in underground bunkers. After the cataclysm, the sleepers would emerge assist the survivors in rebuilding. No plan survives contact with a worldwide cataclysm. Many of the stasis chambers malfunctioned and only a few Morrow Project teams survived. The world of 3094 is not what the few surviving sleepers were expecting. Morrow Project team members are highly skilled and combat trained. If their bunker survived intact them may even have access to modern era gear.  ( The Morrow Project setting is cool. I never played it but I ruthlessly plundered it's treasures for my post apocalypse games.)

Morrow Project sleepers use the Cleric class. Rather than their abilities deriving from a divine entity , all of their class abilities come from technological devices. They are able to "lay on hands by using their med-kit.  Each of their spells comes from a different piece of tech. Disapproval represents the technology breaking down or needing more supplies.  The sleeper must spend time repairing their tech or seeking out a Morrow Project cache and replace their gear. The Paladin class from Crawl #6 could be used with the same adaptations to represent a Morrow Project soldier. All Morrow Project characters are trained in firearms.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dark Heresy House Rules

A few months back I split my 6 player Dark Heresy game into two groups. Scheduling became too difficult and the Dark Heresy system was too cumbersome with that many players.  One of the groups decided to switch to Dungeon Crawl Classics, the other group stuck with Dark Heresy.  This week the Dark Heresy group finally got together to continue the campaign.  Since I needed a way to explain their separation fro the rest of the group, I stared the story "in media res."   In other words, I threw them in a pit with no gear. 

Here are the Inquisition Acolytes who are now fighting for their survival in the Grim Dark of the 41st millennium. 

Ferus Metalus -  Tech Priest from the Lathe Worlds. Slowly replacing his organic parts to become closer to the Omnissah.  (I like how he used the fake 40k latin to make a name.)

Cal  Fodder -  Void Born Adeptus Arbite. Arbites are pretty much the Judges from Judge Dredd.  

I've written before that I'm not a huge fan of the Dark Heresy rules, while I am huge fan of the (somewhat over the top) setting.  Here's my collection of house rules that I use when running Dark Heresy.   If you don't want to read them right now here's a handy link with a PDF.

Dark Heresy House Rules
The Dark Heresy combat rules are terrible.  I use my own house rules for combat in order to speed things up.  If more detailed rules are needed, I  use the rules from the "Only War" rulebook.

Roll 1d10 plus your agility bonus for initiative.  You agility bonus is the "tens" digit of your agility score.

Command is a very useful skill in combat. 
A character with the command skill can make a command skill roll on their turn to:
Swap initiative order with someone
Give someone an initiative bonus

There are a ridiculous number of modifiers for shooting in Dark Heresy, ignore all of them except these.  
If other modifiers are needed I'll ask you what your skill is and tell you if you hit or missed. 

If you are shooting a single shot you get +10 BS.
If you take a half action to aim add +10 BS
If your gun has a laser sight Add  +10 BS
If your gun is Accurate add +10 BS
This means that if you aren't a "combat" guy you should shoot single shots cause you will get somewhere from +20 to +40 to your BS.
You CAN take a full action to aim for +20 BS.  That means you can only fire every other round. It's usually better to just aim for a half action.

If you fire on Semi-Auto roll under your BS, you score an extra hit for every 20 points you make the roll by.
For example if your BS is a 45, you hit once if you roll less than a 45, twice if you roll less than a 25, and 3 times if you roll a 5 or less. Aiming, laser sights, and accurate guns don't help semi-auto. 

If you fire on Full auto roll under your BS -10.  You score an extra hit for every 10 points you make the roll by.  For example, if your BS is a 45, you score a hit if you roll 35 or less, two hits at 25 or less, three at 15 or less, and 4 at 5 or less.  Aiming, laser sights, and accurate guns don't help full-auto either. 

A full auto weapon may suppress. To suppress someone, fire a full auto burst, if you roll under your BS, they must roll under their WP.  If they fail they are pinned. If they succeed, they may act but could hit by your suppression. 

The rules for cover in Dark Heresy are also nutty. This is how cover works.  If you are in cover you may roll your dodge to avoid incoming fire.  If you are not in cover, you may roll dodge to dive for cover or go prone. If for some reason, your don't want to dive for cover or fall prone, you can't dodge. No one can dodge a bullet, let alone rocket powered boltguns and laser beams. 

I don't use hit locations. If it matters where someone is hit I will roll the hit location with my super-nifty hit location die and not their weird table. When bad guys attack you it will always hit your body unless I tell you otherwise.  You may try to shoot a specific location at -20 BS.  

Two-weapon fighting, swift attack, and lightning attack each have their own set of needlessly complicated rules.  Seriously, Two-weapon fighting is an entire page on it's own.  Just don't even bother with these unless you have the appropriate talent for each of these attacks. If you have one of these talents make sure you know how they work.

Overwatch is also needlessly complicated. On your turn you can go on overwatch.  If someone shows up before your next turn, you can shoot them.  (There how hard is that.)  

If you roll a "10" when you roll for damage, you have scored a crit. Roll a 1d5 for how bad the crit is and let me know what you rolled and what kind of weapon your are using. 

There are no modifiers for fighting in melee that you need to worry about.  If there are I'll let you know what they are at the time.  You can use pistols in melee, but you can't aim and you don't get any bonuses for being at point blank range. You can either dodge or parry a melee attack but not both.  You can dodge a pistol in melee.  If you are outside the melee, you can shoot single shots into a melee at -20 BS. You can fire semi-auto and full-auto into melee if you want but you pretty much have no idea who you will hit.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Through Blood and Ice

Through blood and ice, nine brave peons have crawled their way out of +Michael Curtis's Frozen in Time!

Twenty brave souls ventured in to the smoky tunnels.

One fell down the glacier and died before even entering a tunnel.
One was eaten by the bore worms in the tunnels.
One was killed by Robbie the Robot.
One was neatly disintegrated by an exploding blaster rifle.
Three were messily slain by the owl bear.
And the T-Rex ate the last four.

The survivors emerged, changed, no longer hapless peons, but adventurers!

Honor Geldrake - Halfling Burglar
Cedrick the Lame - Paladin
Drake Choasquake - Wizard
Milton Undermount - Dwarven Cleric
Albion Ravensbane - Dwarven Warrior

Joined by their battle hardened henchman:
Seraphim Clashdrake the Herbalist
Rage Lonetalon the Locksmith
Reginald Coloredbritches the Halfling Dyer
Curse Mistbatter the Wainwright

Awesome names provided by the Seventh Sanctum Extreme Fantasy name generator.