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Topics - Mcrow

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Media and Inspiration / Your favorite Histories
« on: March 16, 2009, 12:10:01 PM »
Which histories do you like the best? Any era.

So far, I've started to read Hart's "history of the second world war" and it seems great so far. Looking at the ToC/Index it's not as comprehensive as say the Churchill history collection but I like Hart's take to this point.

I also found Foote's Civil War histories to be great.

I'm just hobby historian so take that into account, I'm not formally educated on history much less any particular era.

Media and Inspiration / Vampire Porn
« on: December 08, 2008, 02:14:57 PM »
I'm sick of "paranormal Rommance" novels overruning the best sellers lists for horror,fantasy, and Sci-fi. When I look the bestsellers lists, I'll looking for a good read for sci-fi, horror, or fantasy not some fiction intended for a your average sexaully bored mid 40s woman. :mad:

They should be listed under "rommance" or just have their own entirely seperate category.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

awwwww........I feel better now.

Media and Inspiration / Just in case anyone was worried...
« on: December 04, 2008, 06:44:09 PM »
I'm not dead. :)

I just have a second job now, as a writer and it takes up a lot of my free time. Not much time to post here or game for that matter. However, my first big assignment is done so I have a little more time on my hands.

Other Games / FFG acquires Battlelore
« on: August 22, 2008, 11:35:38 AM »
Press release

A good move. FFG will do well with this game, Borg remains onboard.

Days of Wonder has announced an agreement to sell the BattleLore Game System to Fantasy Flight Games. You can read the announcement on our Press Releases Page.

Why did Days of Wonder do this deal?
We progressively came to realize that we did not have the proper resources to support and develop this game system in a way that would simultaneously please the fans, deliver on the vision we had initially outlined and meet our own internal financial goals; With fuel, labor and plastic costs out of China rising continuously, we decided to face reality, bite the bullet and do the right thing by finding a partner with the resources and a deep love of the genre and product. We are firmly convinced we could not have found a better home for BattleLore than with Fantasy Flight.

What does this agreement mean?

At the end of August, DOW will transfer to FFG all of its inventory of and rights to the BattleLore game system. FFG will then take on the development, marketing and sales support of the game. Future announcements will be made directly by FFG.

What does this mean for Memoir '44?
Memoir '44 is in no way impacted by this deal. If anything, it means that we (DOW) will have even more time to devote to the development of expansions for this game. We understand that some of you may be skeptical, but believe that in the coming months and years you will see a steady stream of expansions (not all just Battle Maps ) coming your way. We will be making some announcements shortly, in September, once the BattleLore transition is under way. We will also publish a full schedule of the expansion and base game reprint shortly.

Media and Inspiration / Oldies of The RPG Site
« on: August 14, 2008, 03:21:07 PM »
It's interesting that these forums have been around in some form since 2001. It's also interesting to see who is still here.

Nicephorus, seems to be the oldest memeber still active (2-28-2006).

Kryyst is next







Flying Mice


Round out the ten oldest members by join date.

of course all of these poeple registered in 2006, which was where I think The RPG Site started.

Help Desk / Need some help
« on: July 16, 2008, 02:29:48 PM »
could one of the mods please change my rating for the Roma Imperious review to an 8?



Reviews / Roma Imperious-True 20
« on: July 16, 2008, 02:23:08 PM »

Roma Imperious is (obviously) Roman themed fantasy RPG. Roma has strong fantasy elements , so if your are looking for a strictly historical Roman RPG this game is not for you.  Also for full disclosure: I’m listed as a play tester in both the Iridium and True 20 version of the Roma Imperious but in fact I only play tested the Iridium version and this review will focus mostly on the True 20 parts.

Roma Imperious True 20  takes the original game and adapts it to the True 20 system. Instead of being a complete game as it is in the Iridium version, the True 20 version is made into a setting book. I think it was great idea moving to a setting book because while I liked the Iridium system most people liked the setting and were hit and miss on the system. So, Hinterwelt brings Roma’s excellent setting to a more widely accepted system.

The basic premise is that instead of the Roman Empire falling Constantine learned magic from Druids who had aided him in an earlier campaign. With the discovery of magic schools(schola magi) were established and new magi were trained. Magic has become essential to the Empires existence. Magic has improved farming, communications, transporting goods & people (the legions), and everyday life in the Empire. While magic has improved most every aspect of Roman life, it has also spawned it's own share of monsters, beasts, and tyrants. Some rogue magi summon demons, beasts, and monsters. When left alone monsters to do what they do, they multiply! In some areas of he empire wandering bands of cannibal dwarves, Cyclops and giants roam and if you are to close the Alkatian border maybe even some Terragena.

Roma Imperious True 20 is a 289 page book, the first 100 pages is all setting info. New to the setting info is a section on Britannia that is covered in about two and half pages. Britannia is know for it’s druids, dragons, and dragon hunters. I’m not sure what Hinterwelt has planned for this game line but I know at one time there was an entire supplement planned for Britannia, but the section in this book should give you a place to start. I’m not an expert on Roman history and this game was not meant to be a historical text but it seems to me that all of the Roman “controlled” lands are represented in the setting section and provide nice adventure seeds for each. There are also larger sections on Alkasas (the land of the evil magi and magical beasts),  Scandia (Norsemen who are magic weary), and the Jade Empire.

The new True 20 elements seem to mesh well with the Iridium system’s basic themes. Heroic Paths are near mirror images of the Iridium system classes: You start with certain skills and abilities(feats). So, those that are familiar with the Iridium system classes should be comfortable with “heroic paths”.  The Paths included are Artificer, Medicus, Druid, Magus, Priest, Shaman, Assassin, Augur, Bandit, Blacksmith, Courtesan, Mercator, Praetorian Guard, Sage, Scout, Thief, Monk, Gladiator, Hunter, Imperial Guard, Knight, Legionary, Shih Warrior, Specialist and Tribal Warrior. As you can see there are a lot of options. Most Paths get  around 4 skills and  4 feats (give or take) to start with.

The Paths make character creation fast and easy but Hinterwelt went one step further and included several regenerated 1st level characters that are ready to play and ideal for con games or new players.

Skills are largely the same as the True 20 version with some updates for Roma’s setting. Examples are you can use bluff to seduce and Diplomacy to grovel. I have not read all of the True 20 material, just the core book but it seems like there are several new feats. Some interesting ones are: “Fortune Favors the Brave” which gives characters a bonus when outnumbered or facing higher level opponents, “ Seize the Day” allows you a great benefit when in front of an audience, and  “ Reputation of Excellence” which gives your character a bonus to his reputation based on how skilled he is at a given task. The problem with “ Reputation of Excellence” is that it references “a bonus to reputation” and reputation does not appear to be described anywhere in the book and does not reference to any other True 20 book. It appears to have been simply left out or this feat was included by mistake after the reputation mechanics were edited out. (Update, ther rules for reputation are on pg. 26 of the true 20 core rules).

Magic is handled similarly in the True 20 version as it was handled in the Iridium system version. There are three main magic systems: Cleric (free form), Spell, and Chi (a mix of the first two).

Free Magic  form allows the players to make up effects on the fly, the GM assigns a difficulty, and the player makes a power check using their wisdom score. A character can use this ability as many times as they want but will suffer a -3 penalty each time past the first. In addition if a natural 1 is rolled on the power check the character is hit with backlash can range from a minor buzz to the brain to totally destroying the psyche. The free form system’s advantage is that it allows for ultimate creativity for players but also requires the GM to be good at making stuff up on the fly and is open to abuse by players if the GM allows it. Still, in groups I’ve played in this has not been an issue.

The spell system has set spells and characters may spend spell point to cast spells and in most cases it does not require a die roll to determine success.

The Chi system is a hybrid. Characters get either a single power or a group of powers that they can use by spending Chi points. The list of Chi abilities  in the book seems to be much smaller or limited than I remember from the Iridium system.

Combat used the base system from the True 20 core rules (you will need a copy of the True 20 rules) so the weapons and equipment section is essentially a reference section specific to the setting. The good thing is that there are a lot of weapons and equipment (magical and mundane) listed in the section. There also is a rather large bestiary (about 50 pages) that provides plenty of interesting foes for the players. In the back of the book is a nice little adventure called “Murder in Roma” which is a good 1st level adventure outline. I’ve had the opportunity to play “Murder in Roma” and I is good enough to be sold on it’s own.

The look and layout of Roma Imperious True 20 is very well done and in similar fashion as the Iridium version was. The art ranges from good to very good with Kui Devil and cannibal dwarf being my two favorites. The only gripe I have with the physical parts of the book  is the chapter order, I would have liked the pregens in the appendix section and equipment between  skills & feats and magic but that’s just a matter of personal taste. I’m still not a huge fan of the cover either, it seems a little too cartoonish. I would have liked a more life like version.

Roma Imperious is a great addition to the True 20 market. If you like historical flavor in your fantasy settings, you should take a serious look at Roma Imperious True 20 for your next campaign setting. I don’t think many people would be disappointed by this setting.

Reviews / Basic Roleplaying
« on: July 16, 2008, 09:18:08 AM »"/>

If you are familiar with BRP you can skip the next four paragraphs as it covers the basic history and basic system description.

The Basic Roleplaying system (BRP) has been around for quite a while (RuneQuest 1978) and is one of the most well known roleplaying systems still in print today. Unlike many RPGs, BRP has stayed true to its core mechanics over the years. Sure each new game that used the system had its tweaks and add-ons but the core percentile system stayed pretty much the same throughout. Several games that were popular during their times have used the BRP system including RuneQuest, Worlds of Wonder Boxed Set(Super World ,Future World & Magic World), ElfQuest , Stormbringer, Ringworld, Hawkmoon and multiple European RPGs. In recent years BRP has been most notable for its use in the Call of Cthulhu 6th edition.

My experience with BRP is almost solely with Call of Cthulhu where most of the subsystems included in this book are not used. That said, from what I’ve read on BRP it includes nearly all of the optional rules from all of the Chaosium versions of the BRP system.

For those that have not played BRP it is a percentile skilled based system: to succeed at a task you simply roll under your skill percentage. The characters characteristics (STR,CON,SIZ,INT,POW,DEX,APP, and EDU) , somewhat strangely, are not expressed in a percentage but instead are based on a 3d6 roll and give a range of 3-18. These characteristics in turn are converted into their derivative stats: Damage bonus, Hit Points, Major Wounds, Power Points, Experience Bonus, and Move. All challenges that do not fall under a skill or any of the subsystems are resolved with characteristic rolls. A Characteristic roll is done using the appropriate characteristic’s value, multiply it by five and the result is the percent chance of success. As normal, you need to roll under to succeed. For example strength of 15 would give you a base chance of 75%. However, some more difficult tasks may only have a multiplier of two or less as determined by the GM.

Basic combat involves three phases: Statements, Actions, and Resolution. In the statement phase players, in order from highest dex to lowest dex, state their intent for the round of combat. Next players carryout the intent that they stated in the statements phase. Possible actions are move, attack, take a non-combat action, disengage, parry, dodge, fight defensively or speak. Once actions are taken then resolution occurs. Combat is pretty simple; roll against your skill with the given weapon if you succeed you may have hit the opponent. Once your attack succeeds the target gets the chance to parry (using his weapons skill) or dodge the attack. If the attack is not parried or dodged then damage equal to the weapon’s damage value plus the character’s damage bonus is subtracted from the target’s HP.

While the core rules of BRP have not changed much over the years, there have been several add-on rules and systems. The subsystems included are: Magic, Super Powers, Mutations, and Psychic Abilities. The Magic system works similar to the skill system, each spell has its own skill and a roll against the spell’s skill determines success. The difference between the skill system and magic system is that spells also use Power Points. Spells in the magic system must be memorized. Mutations, mechanically, are just special abilities that a character gains as a result of some sort of exposure or genetic tampering. Some act like skills and some are static abilities. The Psychic Ability system is also skill based; each ability is its own skill. Like the Magic system Psychic Abilities use power points but the Psychic system also pits either your POW or current power points against the target’s POW or power points. Sorcery uses spells that work automatically without any skill roll except in cases where the spell allows the target a resistance roll. Also Sorcery gives the character more flexibility by allowing them to change their memorized spells day to day. The Super Powers system works by giving the player many, many choices for powers and then giving them the ability to buy levels in them. So while there are many powers to choose from there are also many levels of each and it provides a lot of variation. Players buy powers using their character point budget (based on the character’s highest stat) and also by taking on character failings. Most of the major comic book super powers are represented; some use power points others don’t.

The book, in total, offers over 35 different optional rules that the GM can cherry pick to customize the system to their game.  Several of the optional rules allow you to change the character creation process which is why I didn't cover that section, there just a ton of options. Other notable options are: Skill category bonuses that give character bonuses for high characteristics, Hit locations, Minis & Maps, Allegiance and personality traits. With so many options most GMs should be able to tailor a version of BRP that would suit their game.

Other nice features are a very helpful GM section, mostly stuff an experienced GM would already know but it would be a good resource for new or inexperienced GMs.  The creature section gives GMs a pretty good amount of beasties for all sorts of genres. The setting section gives general advice on applying the BRP system to most genres, however, each genre is only given a short section.

My overall impression of the book is that it brings BRP up to the level of GURPS & Fudge for adaptability and utility. While being generic and adaptable is an asset to this game it brings with it the usual problems like being able to do all genres but may only do one genre very well. I think this version BRP probably would be better for gritty fantasy or horror games or cross-genre mixes including either. The sanity system is great and could be included to make a nice dark fantasy game.  Combat seems like it may be slow and a bit cumbersome with all the parrying and dodging going on and armor absorbing damage. However, in settings without armor, the system could be pretty deadly like it is in CoC.

I like the magic subsystem and the way spells are skills and I like the way pretty well every one of the subsystems are scalable. That’s the name of the game here; make it what you want it to be. The book is a huge mass of optional crunchy goodness and a DIY GM’s toolbox. BRP does not show it's age, it seems as good today as it was when I first played it and that is uncommon for the older RPG systems. If you like to play several genres but want to stick with a single system that can do them all, BRP is a good choice that should suit your needs.

Media and Inspiration / Recommend to me....a book
« on: July 15, 2008, 10:37:02 AM »
about what was going on out west during the civil war........

are their any that cover this area. I know nothing on the subject.

Media and Inspiration / Interesing facts about your city
« on: July 14, 2008, 04:18:42 PM »
Minneapolis: There are more than 20 lakes within the city limits.

Design, Development, and Gameplay / My Zombie Game
« on: July 10, 2008, 01:42:06 PM »
I'm working on a zombie RPG. Have been for a while now, slowly.

Here's a quick overview of the setting:

The basic premis of the game will be that North Korea developes a new bioweapon that in their testing kills people within a few hours of infection. They send a typhoid mary into the US and the infection begins to spread.

The part the Koreans didn't account for is that the US would have time to combat the spread. In the course of the spread anti-virals were used in hopes that it would slow or stop the infection. Instead, the anti-virals caused the virus to mutate into an even more invasive form that congregate on the brainstem. Aftert the host dies the virus reactivates eletrical impulses in the brainstem, which is just enough to reanimate the corpse.

Large portions of the country are in chaos due tot he walking dead. The east & west coasts were hit the worst with people who had the means and opportunities flee to islands and the midwest. There seem to be small pockets of survivors on both coasts but the majority of the surviving people are the midwest.

Small "forts" dot the midwest ranging from no more than a defensable mall, prison, or school to a full featured castle.

The Koreans plans were to allow the virus to due its work and then come in an cleanse the coutry and begin it's take over. With this plan in mind, they begin to land planes in across the midwest to establish bases of operations. They are not, however, prepeared for the walking dead that meet them.

So, players try to survive the zombie plague, the invading Koreans, all the while trying to avoid conflict with other forts, roving bands of raiders, and internal conflict.

Here's a link to the begining of a short story set in the above setting: "School's Out: Zombies in Suburbia". It should give you an idea of what the zombies are like.

The system is based on VS Monsters and I'm just in the begining stages of modifing it for my purposes. I'm looking to beef up the VS monster engine a bit.

I've shopped at the Source  for several years and generally their staff have excellent knowledge of the games they carry. Some of the staff are more specialized,say in minis or RPGs or whatever.

So yesterday I called and asked if they had a copy of the BRP rules in stock yet.

source dude: "What? 3.5 or 4E?"
Me: " no, not D&D, BRP. Basic Role Playing by Chaosium. Ya Know, the guys who publish CoC."
Source dude: "Huh, never heard of BRP"
Me: "Well it's the system they've used in pretty much everyone of their games"
Source dude: "Basic Role Playing? By White Wolf?"
Me: "No, that would be the World of Darkness or Storytelling system."
Source Dude: "huh, So you want a copy of CoC?"
Me: " No......just forget it!"

For the love of Gygax! Next time I see Burl I'm going to have to ask him what sort of morons he's hiring.  :blink:

Media and Inspiration / We got some bad news
« on: July 01, 2008, 02:46:54 PM »
My daughter has to have major surgery, cranial reconstruction due to a birth defect.

It kills me that she's only 7 months old and has to deal with this sort of thing.

Surgery is scheduled for August 6th, she'll be in teh hospital for 5 days or so.

I have a feeling this is going to much worse on Me and the Wife than Izzy.:(

In this thread I will post updates as I read through the 4E books. I'm going to try to write down as many of the thoughts as i can as they go through my head while reading the books.

First, for reference, is this thread by Spinachcat.

So, I orded my books originally from Amazon and was due to recieve them today but they somehow fucked up my order and now they are not due until 7/23. No good, I cancelled my order and called up The Source Comics and games yesterday and they reserved a copy of the gift set. That'll teach me to not buy from my FLGS. :D

The Source was having a midnight release event and I had the night free so I dropped by at midnight to pick up the set. Upon arrival there was already about 75 people in the store waiting for books. The store seemed to have orderded a ton of books, my quick estimates:

Gift Sets: ~75
PHB: ~250
MM: ~200

I talke to the manager and he said they had more in the back and another order they were hoping to get next week. He said because they were one of the largest retailers the distribtors had "set aside" a rather large second order for them. He also mentioned that he extected 4e to become scarce for the next month or so because 4e is now soldout worldwide (i.e. Wizard has shipped everything they have and the distributors are nearly out).

This is good news considering that the print run for 4E was supposed be 50% larger than 3e and WotC has sent off a second printing already.

The mood of the crowd waiting was jovial, people really seemed to be excited. I heard people talking about going home and starting up a session, one guy who said he had to read the books quick so he could DM his buddies game at his bachelor's party. There was a suprising number of female gamers there as well, not just simpley wives/GF of gamers, that was nice to see.

I waited and chatted with a few people in line. Some of them were talking about not having the money to buy the books bu just had enough credit left to by the gift set. Another guy was picking up a gift set and 6 copies of the PHB for his group.

As we stood waiting another 50 or so people filed in.  When 1200 came along the lines started moving and people were practically running out of the store to get home and read the books. Funny enough, those people I talked to earlier who didn't really have the money to buy the books had their card declined and were holding up the lines arguing about it. Serves them right spending $100 on a game when they can't aford it. :haw: (I'm not making fun of those that can't aford to spend $100, just poking fun at them making a game that I high of a priority)

Finally I made up there and they handed me the gift box. Wow, very nice looking set of books! I had been up since 5am so I was very tired so I bounced out the door and drove over to my mom's house (It is way closer than my house) ariving there at about 1230am. I cracked the PHB and began reading.

First I have to mention that these have to be the best looking RPG books i've ever seen. The cover are, interior art, layout and overall design are vastly superior to anything I've ever seen. Now, for me, art isn't the primary factor in if I buy anthing and in fact is nromally one of the last things on my list but these books are just enjoyable to look at if you place any value at all in the way books look.

I started reading the intro section and is was just your ussual what is an RPG and that sort of thing. Nothing real exciting there.

Read through the basics of the mechanics at the very begining of the book, mostly unchanged there. Did a quick skim of the rest of the PHB, but go too tired to read any further.

I'll be posting much more on the actual books tonight!:pundit:

Media and Inspiration / What are you reading?
« on: May 14, 2008, 09:23:04 AM »
It's been while since I have seen a thread of this type.

I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read any Hornblower stuff so, I picked up Mr. Midshipman. Good stuff so far, wish I would have read it earlier. :D

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