Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Hellfrost Character: Winterwhite

Here is my current PC for the online Hellfrost game that I'm playing:
Name: Winterwhite, Race: Taiga Elf, Gender: Female

Agility: d6, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d6, Strength: d6, Vigor: d6

Pace: 6, Parry: 6 (5), Toughness: 6 (5), Charisma: 0

Skills: Climbing d4, Druidism: d8, Fighting d6, Healing: d6, Notice: d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Survival d6, Tracking d6

Edges: Arcane Background (Druidism), Agile, Attractive, Forest-Born, Low Light Vision, Natural Realms, Winter Soul

Hindrances: All Thumbs, Enemy (Major), Heat Lethargy, Insular, Loyal, Stubborn

Powers: Bolt, Beast Friend, Heal

Short Sword, 2xDaggers, Long Spear, Leather Armor, Waterskin, Flint & Steel, Bedroll, Backpack, Soap. 61 Gold, Pendant +1 vs Swarms.

XP: 10

I'm still working up a background for Winter here. However, we've sort of decided that she is the half-sister of Winterblade, a Frostborn member of the party.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Be Aggressive...

My Wednesday late-night RPTools/Skype Hellfrost group has more or less adopted the the phrase "Be Aggressive" as its official battlecry...

(Oh, NSFW language, so don't come crying to me if the the boss catches you watching.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daring Tales of the Sprawl is OUT!

Triple Ace Games has added the cyberpunk genre to the Daring Tales series of adventures called Daring Tales of the Sprawl. You can download the main setting rules for free here and purchase the first pair of adventures, Family Affair and Extraction 101, from DriveThruRPG, and Triple Ace's online store.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daring Visions Blog is online…

Daring Entertainment, publishers of the G.E.T. Into Action and Dawn of Legends Savage Settings have launched, Daring Visions, their own company blog. Stop on by and see what Daring dares to do in the near future.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Delays, Delays! Nothing but delays!

It's getting to be about the mid-point of my semester here at prestigious Waukesha County Technical College. There are portfolio's to write, patch cables to crimp, programs to write, exams to study for, and final projects to start. In other words, I have a whole bunch of rather important stuff to do that get's in the way of this blogging silliness.

I hope to get the following reviews out of the way as soon as my schedule allows:

In the meantime, enjoy the following insulting gamer humor:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Smiling Jack’s Bar & Grill on the Air… I mean, Web!

Ron and Veronica Blessing, of The Games The Thing fame, have created a new spin-off podcast for Savage Worlds fans like you and me: Smiling Jack's Bar & Grill! In their first episode, Ron and Veronica talk to Savage Worlds brand manager Clint Black, Reality Blurs president Sean Preston, Shaintar: Immortal Legends creator Sean Patrick Fannon, and fellow Savage blogger Norm Hensley about the design philosophy of Savage worlds and why it appeal to gamers. Norm also reviews Reality Blurs' RunePunk setting and Pinnacle's long-awaited Weird War II.

I particularly enjoyed listening to the discussion portion of the podcast. They discussed how the unique nature of Savage Worlds demands a very different approach to game design. I'll take this conversation to heart as I work on my Tékumel Conversion. An excellent start for what hopes to be a fantastic podcast series as well as a resource for all Savages.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Been busy lately…

My life has been a little complex lately. I've gone back to school to learn the mystical and esoteric art of computer programming. On top of that, work has been rather hectic as every contractor and homeowner in the state of Wisconsin is calling in to get their last minute locate requests in before winter sets in. As a result of the combination of classwork and actual work, I'm dragging my rear-end home each night wanting nothing more than to rest in arms of Orpheus... NO, NOT LAURENCE FISHBURNE! Therefore, blogging has been a bit slow lately. A few Savage Worlds issues of note:

  • I think I've got a pretty good handle of how to handle my Tékumel magic system. I had a chance to peruse the Fantasy Companion and they used Hellfrost's settings magical system that parses out Powers depending on their particular faith. I'd like to pick up the FC, but money has been really tight the last month. Then I just need to time to write it up.
  • I've finally had a chance to run The Day After Ragnarok for my gaming group. I confess I wasn't very good at dreaming up a appropriate scenario. I had my PC's wandering the wilds of post-Serpentfall Wisconsin, fighting former German POW pirates lead by a serpent-worshiping SS mage. Then I had them railroaded to Milwaukee playing troubleshooter to the local dictator. Normally, I'm not really big on pre-published adventures, but it would have been nice DAR had a few so I wouldn't burn myself out trying to come up with material. I put the game on indefinite hold while my friend runs Dark Heresy. I think I prefer playing games rather than running them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Character: Sgt. Benjamin Washington

The Ideology of Madness has an interview with "The Day After Ragnarok" creator Ken Hite and is holding a contest. Post a DAR character by June 20 when Ken will pick his favorite. The winner will win a .PDF and a print copy of DAR! I decided to enter my own character that I've posted below, complete with stats:

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Throwing d6, Shooting d10+1, Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Guts d6, Stealth d8, Notice d6
Charisma ‑2, Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 6, CV 82
Hindrances: Outsider (Charisma: ‑2 among all but own people), Wanted (By the New Konfederacy), Vengeful.
Edges: Trademark Weapon: M1903 Springfield "Harriet" (Fighting or Shooting: +1 when using specific weapon, Shooting: +1), Nerves of Steel (Ignore 1 point of wound penalties), Soldier: NCO.
Gear: M1903, Colt 1911, Ammo Mk67 Pineapple Grenade (×3), Knife, Pot Helm, fatigues, backpack, bedroll, field kit.

Benjamin “Ben” Washington was always good with a rifle. Living as a impoverished “negro” living in rural West Virginia his shooting prowess was sometimes the only thing keeping his family from starvation. Benjamin was 17 when the Serpentfall occurred and while he survived by virtue of living in the Appalachians, it wasn’t long until he was picked up by Klan slavers. Ben spent eight months being relentlessly worked to death in a Mississippi labor camp, until being liberated by the Free Colored Army.

After recovering from his ordeal, Ben joined the FCA to help free other blacks from racist oppression. His superiors were quickly impressed with his marksmanship, and soon he made an NCO in the Army’s grown sniper corps. By 1948, Sergeant Washington collected 113 bloodstained Klan hoods, including those belonging to three Grand Wizards.

The Klan is currently offering a $1000 dollar bounty to the man who brings Washington in dead or alive… preferably dead. Meanwhile, he has achieved Robin-Hood-like status among Southern blacks who hopes he and his M1903 Springfield rifle, “Harriet” (after Harriet Tubman), will help end the Klan’s tyranny once and for all.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review: The Day After Ragnarok

Kenneth Hite a Chicago-based, Origins Award-winning author, co-author, and game designer, has a rare talent. He has the ability to take fragments of obscure factoids, mythology, urban legend, pseudoscience and pseudohistory, and other esoteric sources and piece them together into fabulous role-playing game settings. For years, I've poured over his Suppressed Transmission column in Steve Jackson Games' online 'zine Pyramid for campaign ideas: Aliens crashing at Roswell, New Mexico... in 1849. Superheroes in the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. Mongolian Goblins, Saracen Snakemen, and Viking werewolves invading Europe in the Revelations-fueled year 1000 CE. Alternative histories built on the Tunguska event occurring a few hours sooner when the asteroid or comet could have struck Moscow rather than the Siberian wilderness. Let's not forget his illuminations on the much-overlooked dark side of fairy lore and the machinations of the Antarctic Space Nazis.

After writing material for such systems as GURPS, Deadlands, Delta Green, Trail Of Cthulhu, and other games, Atomic Overmind Press publishes Hite's first offering for Savage Worlds: The Day After Ragnarok, a "Submachine Guns and Sorcery" setting that blends myth, post-apocalyptic horror, and 1940s pulp adventure into one of the most imaginative role-playing settings I've ever read.

The setting's premise: In 1945, the desperate Germans turn to their SS occultists to turn the tide of war to their favor by starting the end of the world! They magically summon Jörmungandr, the world-spanning Midgard Serpent of the Norse sagas, to attack the shocked Allies. In response, Truman sends a lone atom-bomb-armed B-29 on a suicide mission against the titanic, 300 mile wide, snake. The blast kills the creature, but its immense carcass falls across Europe and Africa crushing millions and sending a mega-tsunami to drown the Eastern United States while the Serpent's poisonous (and now radioactive) venom enters the environment, creating all manner of bizarre and malevolent life.

Now it's 1948 and the human race is trying to put back the pieces and face the realities of the world after the Serpentfall. The Narts, the legendary giants of Osseian folklore, awaken and serve Comrade Stalin as he expands the Soviet Union into what's left of Europe and the Middle East. The British Empire, who has relocated the throne to sunny Australia, has been exploring and experimenting with the remains of the Serpent, creating everything from super-fuels to organic pressure suits. The Western United States tries to hold itself together while the Eastern half of North America is broken into numerous city-states that war with each other and the supernatural horrors that surround them. The remnants of Nazi Germany plot and scheme in South America (yes, Antartica too) and strange cults worship the dead Serpent, preforming obscene rites in hopes of reviving it.

Players have the opportunity to play many different roles in this wild setting: Conan-esque barbarians who wander the Poisands Lands armed with a sword in one hand and a Colt 1911 in the other. British "Speleo-Herpetologists" who explore the vast interior of Jörmungandr's body to find new and terrifying discoveries. Psychics, faith healers, magicians, and weird scientists who use strange new powers to help or hinder humanity. Monster hunters fighting giant gila monsters, electrical worms, and were-serpents. Pirates plundering the coastal towns of the China Sea or Lake Michigan.

Like most Savage Settings books, The Day After Ragnarok is divided into a Players' and GM's Section. Along with a brief introduction of the world, the Players' section features new Edges and Hindrances, as well as gear and weapons appropriate to the 1940s. There is also a description of "Ophi-Tech" devices, a version of the Weird Science Arcane Background that uses devices derived from the tissues or the Serpent itself! Be careful using them, the consequences could be dire!

The GM section contains a country-by-country gazetteer of the post-Serpentfall world including information on some of the settings major NPCs; some fictional, others historical (e.g. Aviation industrialist Howard Hughes and SS Commando Otto Skorzeny). While the book doesn't include a Plot Point campaign--indeed, the world seems too big for just one. However, it does include a detailed scenario generator and descriptions of several campaigns styles to inspire ambitious GMs. Also included is a bestiary containing examples of many of the most common thugs and monsters the PCs will have to face as they fight to survive in this broken word.

Weighing in a a 128 pages with a excellent quality layout and good artwork, The Day After Ragnarok is being offered as a PDF with a print version available in July. The PDF, available from Atomic Overmind Press and Drivethru RPG sells for $12.95 The perfect bound print version will retail for $19.95.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mars Character: Kala Salar

Here is another character for Mars. My review of this new game setting is forthcoming:

Kala Salar - Priestess Of Salanna

Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Knowledge (Theology) d8, Knowledge (Politics) d6, Persuasion d8+4, Riding d4, Streetwise d6+4, Survival d6, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Notice d6, Healing d6
Charisma 4, Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 4, CV 54
Hindrances: Pacifist (Minor), Stubborn, Vow: Temple of Salanna.
Edges: Priest ,Very Attractive.
Gear: Dagger, Medical Bag, Staff of Office.

Dedicated to the care and protection of the sick of injured, Kala Salar serves the Salanna, Red Martian Goddess of Healing.

(Yes, she's supposed to be topless in true ERB fashion. Sadly , HeroMachine has Barbie (TM) doll sensibilities regarding female human anatomy.)
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Character: Talos Rayn of Mars!

With the release of Adamant Entertainment's Mars - Savage Worlds Edition, I'm posting my first character from that setting:
Talos Rayn-Swordsman of Callor

Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d8+1, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6+2, Riding d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Survival d6
Charisma +2, Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 5 (6 vs. ranged weapons)
Hindrances: Cocky, Heroic, Stubborn.
Edges: Attractive, Florentine, Fencer, First Strike.
Gear: Jewel Armor, 2x Rapiers, Dagger.

A student of the Karn Gorraina school of fencing, Talos is an aspiring young warrior seeking to make a name for himself. While a serious, focused swordsman, Talos has a nasty tendency to let his boastful nature get the better of him. However, none can doubt his courage. He has taking a particular liking to beautiful Kala Salar, Priestess of Salanna, Goddess of Healing. Counting on his charisma and dashing good looks, Talso hopes that he can show her the true quality of his metal... in more ways than one.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Savage World Of Mars!

Mars! The Red Planet.

For time immemorial our crimson neighbor has held a certain fascination with us. For as long as we have realized that it was a planet, we've wondered whether or not Mars harbored anything resembling life. Nineteenth century astronomers Camille Flammarion and Percival Lowell thought they saw "canals" on the planet's surface, obvious products of intelligent life. Science Fiction writers and Hollywood films fueled speculation that life existed on the forth planet. Even today, after numerous space probes have found that Mars is a barren ball of rock and ice, we still speculate whether microbial life may have developed in the tiny world's ancient (and warmer) past and could possibly still be there. Even the rantings of proven pseudo-scientific kooks, namely Richard Hoagland who popularized the long debunked "Face on Mars", still shows our fascination with this red, iced-capped, world.

Perhaps the most amazing vision of Mars comes from Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. Buxom, red-skinned, and naked Martian princesses; warlike, 14-foot tall, four-armed, green nomads; flying ships; guns that fire radium bullets; swashbuckling Civil War vets who mysteriously "willed" himself to Barsoom (the natives word for "Mars") and wins the heart of one of the aforementioned Martian princesses. Did I mention she was naked?

Prime real estate for Savaging. And there are two resources for gamers who want to do just that!

Adamant Entertainment is about to release Mars-Savage Worlds Edition, a pulp, "sword and planet" setting in the vein of Burroughs' Barsoom tales with a little bit of H.G. Wells (i.e. cepholopod martians who stomp about in tripod fighting machines) thrown in for good measure. While not entirely based on ERB's original stories it promises to retain much of the flavor. I pre-ordered a copy, so expect a review as soon as I have read through them.

Also, for those who want a "purer" set of rules, there is Savage Barsoom, a direct translation of ERB's Mars to Savage Worlds. Therein, you will find all the races, weapons (I do recommend that the author update the melee weapons stats to SW: Explorer's Edition), monsters, vehicles, and other material for the Savage who wants to game on a pulp Mars.

(WARNING: The above site features some "artistic nudity" here and there, so you have been warned. Don't come complaining to me if your backward "moral" sensibilities are offended or you're sacked for going to an "inappropriate" website.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm moving my Savage Tékumel talk elsewhere.

I've set up a Yahoo group dedicated to the Savaging of the Tékumel setting. If you're also an EPT fan, and interested in contributing, please stop by our group and apply.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tékumel Magic: Part 2

I think I have it figured out!

I going to have to throw out the traditional SW spell book. While I can hear the howls of indignation from the Savages, I really can't think of any other way to handle the magic in this setting. So many of the spells have no direct SW's analog that it's ultimately wiser to start from scratch.

OK, the spells have all the basics: Rank, Power Points, etc. Many spells have have various levels that can be purchased using one of the level up options provided the character reaches a particular rank and/or has the right religious affiliation. Some spells are "Temple Spells" where your PC must get permission from their Temple (not an easy thing) or receive the spell as a reward from some service. Spellcasting will have one skill. To cast Ritual Spells PCs will have to met certain requirements while Psychic Spells will just require line of sight.

Magic is going to be VERY powerful. Most of the combat spells can kill an Extra outright. Wild Cards will have a chance to save.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Tékumel Style Magic For Savage Worlds?

As I stated in my last post, I'm working on my own SW conversion for Tékumel: Empire Of The Petal Throne and I've hit a bit of a snag: the magic system. Now, I realize that I should just be able to plug in the various SW spells into but I'm not satisfied with the result, it just doesn't "feel" right for the setting.

This is how magic and magic use tends to work in the EPT setting:

  1. Magic use is tightly controlled by the various temples. Magicians are taught a few spells and they eventually specialize one the one or two spells they master.
  2. Magic comes in two separate varieties: Psychic, where the mage casts the spell with the power of their thoughts, and Ritual where special rites and incantation are necessary. Magicians can use BOTH kinds of spell.
  3. Certain spells are universally known to all temples (like Healing for instance), others are specific to particular temples, and some spells are such closely guarded by their respective temples they are only taught to those with the proper skills and the right social standing in the Temple.
  4. Magic is VERY powerful with many combat spells will kill a target outright.
  5. Magicians can't have a lot of metal on their person when casting. Anything more than 60 grams will cause a backlash that will kill the caster.
  6. Magic use expends "Pedhétl" (Mana, Magic Points, etc).

With all this in mind, does anyone have any suggestions, or am I making this more difficult than it has to be? Feel free to comment below.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Character Rough Draft: Achán hiNidrán

One setting I'd love to see thoroughly Savaged is Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne, Prof. M.A.R Barker's epic science fantasy setting. I've been working on my own conversion rules that I hope to inflict on some friends, but in the meantime I'd thought I'd create a few EPT characters to help set the mood:

Achán hiNidrán (Wild Card)

Rank: Seasoned
Description: Male, Age: 24, Eyes: Brown, Hair: Black, Skin: Dark Tan, Build: Muscular, Height: 5'8", Weight: 180
Clan: Golden Sapphire
Religion: Lord Karakán
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Persuasion d6, Notice d8, Shooting d6-1, Fighting d8-1, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (History) d6
Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 8, CV 68
Hindrances: Nightmares (-1 Benny), Quirk: Hates Lord Sárku and his worshipers., Death Wish.
Edges: High Linage, Military Rank (Officer).
Gear: Chlén Longsword: 2d8, Medium Shield: Parry +1, Crossbow: 2d6, Full Medium Chlén Armor: +3, Quarrel (×15).

Achán hiNidrán was born in in the city of Khirgár in northlands of the mighty Tsolyánu Empire. Expressing a childhood interest in soldiering and being a scion of one the highest linages of the Golden Sapphire clan, Achán was destined for to become an officer in the God Emperor's legions. As a youth, he enlisted in the regiment of his city's legion, the Legion of Gúsha the Khirgári (7th Medium Infantry) where he spent a hard boyhood learning the ways of the legionary: relaying messages, polishing armor, learning military history and tactics from the scholar priests of Lord Karakán. To this day, Achán shows a great interest and knowledge in the both topics.

When he came of age, Achán was commissioned a Heréksa (Lieutenant) and given command of a Karéng of 100 warriors. Achan served with distinction during the war with Yán Kór and the recent Tsolyáni Civil War where he achieved the rank of Kási (Captain) and placed into reserve. However, the years of battle seem to have taken their toll on the man. The Civil War has left him embittered, meloncholy, and deeply hateful toward even the most moderate worshipers of Lord Sárku , god of the undead. He has often been seen brooding alone, holding a blood-stained, scrap of blue fabric in a clenched fist. More disturbing are the nightmares that leave him sitting bolt upright on his sleeping mat calling out a woman's name: Tayaláh. For whatever reason, Achán refuses to speak about it.

Review: Savage Worlds Templates From Litko.

Wanting to have something a little more durable than printed card-stock, I contacted Litko Aerosystems to have a set of plastic templates made for my Savage World games. Initially, they quoted a price of $35 for a custom set of three: A blast template, a cone template, and a Turning template. However, they decided to put the set into their “Jim’s Product Lab” section for general sale, so the price was brought down to $20+S&H.

The final product arrived a few weeks later. The templates are made of 1/8 inch thick transparent plastic. Per Litko’s suggestions, I went with amber for the Blast and Cone templates, and green for the Turning template. The Blast template has demarcations for “Small” (2 inch), “Medium” (4 inch), and “Large” (6 inch) radii. The Turning template has a a 45-degree bend with 1-inch measurements.

All-in-all, I’m very pleased with the results. I’m going to have to find of make some kind of case to keep them from getting scratched up, because they’re going to get a lot of use. You can purchase the templates from Litko, they’ve also produced a set of Savage Worlds Token Set featuring Bennies, Wound, Fatigue, and Shaken markers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Savage Bloggers UNITE!!!

There is a general call out for those who have weblogs dedicated to the saucy little game to link to one another. Good idea! If you have a Savage Worlds-related blog, drop me a line and I'll post it to my list. Also, please return the courtesy by adding The Savage Blogger to your list.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

No, I can't draw.

So, until the Creativity Fairy comes down from on high and grants me the power to be a professional-quality science fiction and fantasy artist, I'm going to use HeroMachine 2.5 for my PC art.

Character: Bonestroo Chisum

Here's a new Deadlands Reloaded PC I cranked out while listening to one of my favorite podcasts:

"Reverned" Bonestroo Chisum (Wild Card)

Description: Male, Age: 32, Eyes: Brown, Hair: Black, Skin: Caucasian , Build: Muscular,

Appearance: Wears dirty, patched clothes and his unkempt black hair and several days of stubble. "Wild eyed." Often paces and mumbles to himself as if in a conversation with someone that isn't there.

Story: Always considered "touched in the head" Bonestroo wanders the Weird West spreading what he claims to be the "word" of God and fighting "Satan's kin." Bonstroo believes that God talks directly to him, and he will often talk right back to his Lord, openly, loudly, and usually in the most socially unacceptable situation. While he claims to be a "Reverend," he has no actually theological training at all except what he gleaned from half-remembered childhood church services. In fact, he can't even read at all--which makes his "expert" knowledge of the Bible highly suspect. (He's not actually lying since the voices in his head tell him that they are true.) When God's word fails, he quickly turns to his trusty shotgun, an 1860 Colt revolver, or his favorite weapon, a large wooden cross that he wields as a club.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d6

Skills: Faith d8, Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Persuasion d4, Guts d8+1, Intimidation d6, Notice d4, Riding d4

Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 6, Grit 1, CV 90

Hindrances: Illiterate, Delusional: Claims "God" talks directly to him., Quirk: Quotes what he says are Biblical passages. (Always wrong.).

Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Brawny.

Gear: Double Barrel Shotgun: 1-3d6, Colt Army: 2d6+1, Bowie Knife: d8+d4+1, Holster, Shotgun thong, Powder & Shot (×60), Shotgun Shells (×50), Boots, Winter Coat, Trousers, Shirt/blouse, work, Duster, Stetson, Club (Large Wooden Cross): d8+d4.