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Topics - jgants

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1
*** Campaign Introduction - Quick Background ***

This thread will be for my latest campaign, a Palladium Fantasy campaign I'm calling "Warlords of the Wastelands".

After my last campaign (Boot Hill) fizzled out, I was a bit discouraged and decided to take a short break. I've also had a lot going on personally and professionally lately. But, I dislike not gaming for too long and had some thoughts on a fantasy campaign for a while.

Our gaming group decided to make a couple of changes. First, we're not inviting one of the players back. As mentioned in the Boot Hill thread, we like the player on a personal level well enough, but his gaming style is just too disruptive for our group because it was too different and always seemed to break any momentum we had going in the games. We were never quite sure what his motive for playing was - half the time he'd avoid danger, the other half he'd be reckless. He seemed to want to play every RPG as a dungeon crawl (which made for rather annoying disruptions for our heavily character/story-driven Boot Hill and Cthulhubusters campaigns), but in the D&D Al-Qadim campaign he went out of his way to avoid going into any dungeons to avoid danger. Mostly, he seemed to thrive on being the group contrarian - never wanting to lead the group but always complaining about whatever direction the group tried to go and generally making an effort to always be doing something different than the rest of the group while avoiding obvious hooks to reconnect him with the group (but then oddly clumsily inserting himself back in when he wanted). He always seemed bored - he never engaged with any story (we aren't even sure he realized there were plots/stories going on in the games), he never seemed to enjoy combat or adventure, and always seemed to be searching for treasure (he'd try to loot bodies in non-fantasy games as if they were D&D goblins or whatever) but other times talked about how pointless the fake money in the games was. I fully admit - I didn't get it at all, but neither did anyone else in the group; we had several side conversations trying to figure out why he seemed to enjoy coming to the games despite not seeming to like anything we did (and then there was the whole "dragging his daughter along" thing, where he claimed she insisted on coming but then she'd sit around bored and spend the whole time on her iPhone or whatever). Anyhow, we all feel a little bad about dropping him by not inviting him back for the new game, but it's probably for the best and I think he suspects anyway.

The other decision was not to invite our Skype player back right away. We really like the guy and he adds a lot of humor to the sessions. At the same time, he's not the best at paying attention to what is going on and needs a little extra effort to keep included (partly because he's gaming over Skype via his phone, and partly because his attention wanders even when playing in person). We'll have him back, but we want to get the new campaign up and running a little first so the other players are comfortable with everything and we have the pacing good first.

The idea for "Warlords of the Wastelands" had been forming for a bit. It had a few different inspirations - it was part Necromunda (from the Warhammer 40K universe), part Dark Sun (from AD&D 2nd edition), part Warhammer Fantasy Battles (1st edition), and part Baalgor Wastelands (from Palladium Fantasy 2nd edition). I wanted a campaign where the PCs start off as low-level heroes or anti-heroes in a city ruled by evil oppression. Knowing my group, I was fairly sure they'd go the anti-hero route.

I gave them three options for a ruleset - we could either use my personal version of D&D (my preferred mix of original D&D, basic D&D, and AD&D rules and setting elements), Magic World (the basic-roleplaying fantasy rules; they were big fans of basic role-playing rules in Cthulhubusters), or Palladium Fantasy. In the end, they went with Palladium Fantasy to try something different - none of them have every played any Palladium rules before (the other two members of the group mentioned above were in my Rifts campaign but the current three were not); Magic World was a close second choice. Ironically, D&D was the rules I originally planned on using and had spent a lot of time prepping for that (which I am still converting).

2
This will be the thread for my new Boot Hill campaign I'm calling Dark Frontier.

I went with Boot Hill because it was the simplest and most straight-forward of the various Western rulesets but still provided enough of a RPG feel. Others I considered were:
* GURPS Old West: The main problem here is I don't care for GURPS. I find having only 4 stats too limiting while the skills are too narrow. And with the 4th edition, I feel the GM has to do way too much work to identify what is and isn't appropriate for his game (4th GURPS to me feels like a toolkit to build your own game, not really a game itself per se).
* Dust Devils: A little too rules-lite for my tastes.
* Dogs in the Vineyard: Too story-game and meta for my players.
* Aces & Eights: Too fiddly and rules heavy for my tastes.
* Coyote Trail: It came the closest to consideration, but I find Boot Hill more straight-forward.

Rules-wise, I'm using most of the out of the box Boot Hill 3rd edition rules with a couple of minor changes.
* I'm automatically giving everyone the literacy skill - in the past, I've always found it too challenging to remember who is literate and who is not and it seemed to detract rather than add to anything in a game.
* I added some more work skills for things I thought were missing.
* I added an advantage / disadvantage component to the game, where PCs get the option of selecting an advantage but then have to take a disadvantage. While the concept is present in all the other games, I stuck with more thematic options and less Feat-like (add +X when Y) type options. The disadvantages in particular are heavily based on the devils from Dust Devils.
* I'm using some elements of Aces & Eights to flesh out underdeveloped areas of combat, but nowhere near as detailed as those rules.

3
This will be the thread for my upcoming Cthulhubusters campaign, Cthulhubusters: Crescent City.

As before, the game will be a mix of TSR's Gangbusters and Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu.

Crescent City refers to the new location - my game world version of New Orleans (much in the way the last campaign took place in Lakefront City, the stand-in for Chicago).

It will take place about 9 months or so after that campaign ended (the last campaign took place in Oct-Nov of 1924, this one starts in July 1925).

4
*** Campaign Background and Rules Discussion ***

This is the thread for my new D&D campaign - Caliphate of Darkness. After my somewhat of a mess of attempting a Traveller campaign (I just can't run sci-fi well), I'm going back to basics with a D&D campaign.

The rules we're using are more or less AD&D 2e mixed with some pieces of D&D 5e (I liked the streamlined approaches of parts of 5e - proficiencies and backgrounds in particular - but hate both bounded accuracy and the whole "everybody has lots o' powers" aspects). For the record, I did try playing 5e before I decided it wasn't for me.

This will be the third time I'm written my own version of D&D rules to use so I'm pretty used to it, though it always takes longer to type up the rule book than I think. Previously, I used a heavily modified version of B/X D&D for my D&D Bronze Age campaign as well as using a mix of OD&D with B/X D&D for some one shots (which I referred to as D&D Classic).

For this campaign, I wanted to use the Al-Qadim setting so I started with the AD&D 2e rules and the appropriate changes from the setting itself.

That said, I wanted something that was more flavored and less open than the standard setting (D&D settings all too often feel like a simple reskin).

I'm using the standard ability scores with 4d6 drop 1 for generating. I do use the whole proficiency bonus concept from 5, except for combat rolls (which use a BAB concept by class).

Available races are human, elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, goblin, or orc. Each race must choose one of the four cultures (Al-Hadar, Al-Badia, Barbarian, or Outlander) - in Al-Qadim, individual races have no culture themselves.

I include both backgrounds (most very similar to 5e) and classes, but classes are restricted to the main four (which I've renamed Warrior, Sorcerer, Priest, and Rogue). I use 5e style skill proficiencies.

My warriors use 1e style combat dominance along with 2e weapon specialization and fighting style proficiencies. Rogues are close to AD&D, but with 5e proficiency mastery. Sorcerers are Al-Qadim style (pick two elemental provinces) and use a selection of AD&D 2e spells. Priests work similar to AD&D (also using a selection of 2e spells), but I've made the setting monotheistic with the three sects (moralist, ethicist, and pragmatist) being different views of the faith of the same god. Priests get one bonus power by sect (kind of like 5e).

As with D&D Bronze Age, I dropped the concept of alignment (I really hate D&D alignment). I replaced it with a focus on religion / ethos.

Weapons and armor are closer to B/X in breadth, and further restricted for a more historical accuracy to the time of the initial crusades (no two-handed swords or longbows, for example). Crossbows and arming swords are exotic weapons only used by outlanders (the faithful stick with short bows and scimitars). Armor ends at chain mail, which is essentially impractical in the setting.


Setting-wise, I'm more or less using Al-Qadim out of the box with the rather large change of religion. The faith of the people of Al-Qadim is a mix of fantasy and actual religions and not intended to portray any particular religion; but, I did want to use a monotheistic society to play up the concept of the different sects (I really don't think the pantheistic religions in the TSR setting make sense with the rest of the setting).

The outlanders (from the 1e version of the Forgotten Realms) are still pantheistic. This was another contrast I wanted to paint.

5
This will be the thread I'll use for my latest campaign, Traveller 2300 AD - Rise of the Sathar.

A brief background on the game - the rules I'm using are about 80% Classic Traveller / 10% Mongoose Traveller / 10% Houserules. The setting is a mix of the 2300 AD setting with the setting for Star Frontiers.

Some Specifics on Character Creation Rules
* I'm using straight 2d6 rolls for stats, but allowing to assign rather than in order.
* For background, I am using the 2300 AD nationalities (more or less) and giving characters their starting languages based on nationality. Depending on intelligence, they can start with one, two, or even three native languages.
* I am using the 2300 AD background skills idea (core vs. frontier) but I've heavily modified the skill table.
* I like to use a random starting age of 15 + 1d6
* Careers use the lists from Classic Traveller. I've adjusted the tables a bit to be a little more straight-forward / consistent and lowered the numbers to allow for easier enlistment / promotion (though the initial PCs were created before I adjusted that; hence a lot of enlistment fails and low ranks).
* I do allow for changing careers ala Mongoose Traveller rather than a one and done approach.
* I use a mishap table that does allow for character death or less deadly results when they fail a survival roll.
* I use the Mongoose method of ranks for officers and non-officers, so characters can always make a promotion roll.
* The rank tables are expanded a bit to allow for ranks 0-9 (both enlisted and officer). For the naval career, I also have a set of ranks for Warrant Officers.
* For skills, I'm using the PD / Service Skills / Specialty Skills / Advanced Education sort of approach. Military careers have different specialty tables based on MOS. Scouts differ by scout mission type.
* I use a completely customized list of skills. I don't like either the defaults for CT or MGT, so I mixed together the two (along with their supplements) to come up with my list of skills.
* I use the aging rules from MGT.
* I mostly use the mustering out benefits from CT, but the other benefits tables are more MGT.
* I use the team skills concept from MGT to allow the team to make sure they have level 1 in each of ten different skills.
* I also give a starting money amount for each character (outside of mustering out) equal to 6 months worth of monthly expenses (based on their Soc rank).

6
One of the things that bugs me about the plethora of RPGs out there is how D&D-ish they all are and how they don't really resemble the worlds of fantasy fiction to me.

I started trying to put together my own houserules for an idea I had about having a Sword & Sorcery style Fantasy RPG. The more I thought about it, the more I honed in on my specific complaint - almost every fantasy RPG out there insists on having a ton of humanoid races (both good and evil). The strange thing is, outside of Tolkien (or books based on D&D), I don't see a lot of this in fantasy fiction.

In the books I've read, movies I've seen, video games I've played, etc., the protagonists are almost always human. And usually there isn't more than one or two non-human humanoid races, which are almost always portrayed as alien outsiders (and usually supernaturally evil).

I'm perfectly willing to accept that maybe my tastes just avoided stuff with more non-humans in it; but I'd still argue that it is at least a large part of the market so I'd expect to see that reflected in more of the games.

So my question is, why did non-humans become such a major requirement for fantasy RPGs to the point where nearly every group ends up resembling the LotR fellowship (and often fighting more "bad" races than you can find in a Tatooine cantina)? How did that preference (by either producers and/or consumers) become so strong?

This isn't meant as a rant, I'm fine with modifying existing games to meet my needs for less humanoids. I'm just curious why the idea of a humans-only fantasy rpg seems so odd to people.

7
This will be the thread for my new Cthulhubusters campaign (as in Call of Cthulhu + Gangbusters, not Call of Cthulhu + Ghost Busters; apologies in advance to anyone who thought that idea was cooler and is now disappointed).

The campaign has not started yet, but I am busy prepping and we should begin getting some characters designed next week, maybe starting the campaign a couple weeks after that.

So far, I have only three players ready to play, but talk of a possible 4th player (or 4th and 5th players) is going on along with active recruitment attempts. For those who have followed my earlier AP threads, two of the players are people I've played with before (one briefly played in my D&D 4e campaign and the other in both the D&D 4e and BD&D campaigns; neither in my award-winning Rifts campaign), the others are not (as I've decided to split off from my previous gaming group).

Rules
The game is more or less using the 5th edition rules of CoC (since that's the book I own). There are some changes, though, and I typed up my own "Player's Guide" set of rules for my players to use (sorry, due to copyright issues I can't distribute). Some of the changes were to make the game more Gangbustersy, others just to clean things up a bit.

Stats are all the same as standard CoC. I did change up the occupations to include Gangbuster-relevent occupations (mostly taken from the CoC Investigator's Companion) and set investigator income based on the social class for the occupation selected.

One thing I did add a whole page on is ethnicity - the Gangbusters world is very ethnicity focused (ethnic gangs, anti-immigration fervor, etc.). Picking a character's ethnicity is a big deal in my campaign.

I completely revamped the skills list (sorry, CoC/BRP purists). I use the same default percentages model and skill resolution rules, but the skills themselves have been changed. They come very close to resembling most of the skills from Trail of Cthulhu (Firearms is a single skill, various scientific skills are split out, no own language skill, dodging just uses a general athletics skill, etc.) I also used the Trail of Cthulhu style of explaining what each skill could be used for. Although I do not prefer ToC overall, I feel they did a lot better with their skill writeups than regular CoC does (they also have more inclusion of police and criminal skills, which are essential for the Gangbusters aspect of my campaign).

Combat rules has some changes added. I included some rules from Deluxe BRP (aiming, concentration, some attack modifiers) as well as some others adapted from GURPS (diving for cover, changing posture), Top Secret/SI (using the tens digit for hit location - if needed, reloading rules), and Gangbusters (a lot of different modifiers to hit with firearms).

Firearms probably had the biggest overhaul in rules. I replaced CoC/BRP style burst rules with ones that approximate Palladium's firearms rules. I also added recoil rules for firing more than one shot per round (with recoil based on the weapon; higher calibers having more recoil).

The vehicle rules were changed quite a bit as well. I started with the Deluxe BRP "car chase" rules, but expanded them out quite a bit based on the Gangbusters rules for handling vehicle hits, crashes, and special manuevers.

As an appendix, I added a rather large weapons list (again, part of the campaign flavor) with pictures of each weapon type and who was likely to use it. I standardized the weapons stats a bit so that weapons of the same type always had the same number of shots per round, similar calibers of the same weapon type had similar recoil and damage values, etc.

8
I bought the Mongoose Legend pdf for $1 and thought it was decent.  I went back and bought the Monster book too.

But as I'm looking through it, I see that yet again there is an alternate fantasy game that I probably won't play because it really lacks in some areas.

For me, there are several really common problems I see that prevent me from wanting to play non-D&D fantasy games (I'm not including clones here):

* Spells: I find the spell lists for most other fantasy games are pretty weak and limited.  For example, in Legend, I instantly notice that the Sorcery spells killed my enthusiasm for playing the game.

* Monsters: Here's another issue where most other games come off as really limited compared to D&D for me.  I always end up missing the breadth of different monsters, or the depth of monster types/special abilities/background/etc.  Regardless of edition, D&D monsters always seem to me to offer a better variety with more interesting aspects than what I see in other games.  Again, Legend's monster book underwhelmed me completely.

* Magic Items: Here's something that D&D does OK with (but could be made more interesting) that I would expect other games to really improve on, but they rarely do.  Usually they end up just as dull for me as generic D&D magic items, but with less of a variety.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not stuck on D&D.  I find that non-D&D fantasy games usually have something better to offer with regard to character creation in general, skills, combat, races, etc.  I just don't get why these particular areas always seem to get neglected.

Anyone have anything they think D&D seems to always do better at, or that prevents their interest in non-D&D games?

9
One of the posts in another thread mentioned how M&M was over-rated because it didn't work very well for supers.  That reminded me that M&M 3e came out some time this year and I realized I hadn't heard anything about it.

I can find a lot of posts talking about M&M 3e before it came out on various forums, but I don't really see much after it came out.  There's not even a review of it on TBP as far as I can tell.

Was it that bad / bland?  Did 3 editions in such a small timeframe just turn people off?

I found 2e to be an overcomplicated mess (especially once Ultimate Power came out), but was curious if 3e actually fixed anything or if it kept making the same mistakes.

10
Design, Development, and Gameplay / [Actual Play] D&D Bronze Age
« on: September 17, 2011, 10:04:49 AM »
This will be the actual play thread for my D&D Bronze Age game.
 
It is set in a bronze age style D&D world that somewhat resembles the Mediterranean area circa 500 BC. I'm going for a Greek Mythology style world, so I've removed some of the more medieval aspects and replaced them with things that give a more classical mythology type of feel.
 
Rules-wise, the game is primarily based on Moldvay era Basic D&D but there are changes. I got rid of alignment because I dislike it. I switched attributes to use point-buy, using a system similar to how D&D 4e works (though with a system that will give much lower scores on average). I also switched to using BAB and ascending AC, similar to the style of D&D 3e (though the math is still based on Basic D&D). These are all just my personal preferences and what works better for my players. I also added some spells from AD&D, particularly 1st level magic-user ones.
 
I also have a set of changes to give the game a different "feel". Some of it is just terminology changes, such as calling high level magic-users "sorcerers" instead of "wizards", or coming up with a new name for zombies (my terrible pseudo-Greek butchered term is Ptomanathos). Others are more substantial - instead of dwarves, elves, and halflings, I have centuars, nymphs, and satyrs (though they are very similar rules-wise). I also added a couple of new human classes - the barbarian (based on the AD&D one) and the hunter (based on the AD&D ranger). The weapon and equipment list is pared down as well to be more historically accurate to the time I am modeling.
 
Unlike my other campaigns, this one won't have any world-saving plots. It is simply an epic tale of adventuring.

11
My 4e campaign is winding down with the big climax coming up.  The timing worked out that everyone will end up paragon level right around the time they take down the big bad threatening to destroy the world so it just made sense to end it.


For my next campaign, I'm going old school.  Not because I think the games are superior, but because it is a better fit for what I have in mind (plus I want something a bit simpler for a while).  I'm going Bronze Age - a campaign based on a Titan Quest / Age of Mythology / Odyssey / Clash of the Titans kind of feel.

My core rules will be the Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert sets, but I wanted to add in some AD&D-isms as well as changing some of the flavor to a more Classical Antiquity feel.

* Instead of elves, dwarves, and halflings I'll have nymphs, centaurs, and satyrs.
* I'm adding weapon specialization for fighters, because basic D&D fighters kind of pale compared to the other classes IMO.
* A cleric gets "Banish Chthonics" instead of "Turn Undead"
* Thieves get the thieves cant language and the read languages ability. And pick pockets is now "cut purse" (with no pockets in tunics and all).
* Magic-users become "sorcerers" instead of "wizards" and I'm explaining the whole magic thing as being the "secrets of lost atlantis".
* I'm adding new classes in for barbarian, hunter, and orator (simplified versions of the AD&D barbarian, ranger, and bard - 2e version - classes)
* I'm extending the spell lists a little to add in some of the Metzner spells and a few from AD&D.
* The weapons listed is pared back to remove all the medieval stuff.

And then there's a couple rules I'm just changing because either I or the players don't care for the classical ones:
* AC will be ascending
* I'm getting rid of alignment
* Ability scores will be purchased (similar to 4e)
* Hit points will be static per level (similar to 4e)


My campaign world is basically a fantasy version of 500 BC.  I was thinking of starting off with an adventure where the PCs are heading with troops into battle against the rival "Xersian Empire" when their trireme hits a storm and they crash into a remote island.  Then, they'll have to go explore the old caves where the navigator disappeared to, which will have ancient Minoan-esque ruins, monsters, etc.


Anybody have any thoughts / suggestions?

12
This week, Borders finally realized it was dead (after a couple years of being a zombie) and will be closed down; that leaves all of one major brick and mortar bookstore left (at least, in the USA), and it has major problems of its own plus is heavily focused on marketing e-books, which are slowly increasing in market share.

Along similar lines, computer tablet sales are skyrocketing, and the industry expects over a 130% increase in sales next year.


So why is everyone in the RPG industry still talking about physical books?  Why are the producers of The One Ring, Legend, Runequest 6, etc throwing money into a sinking ship?

Why aren't there new RPGs being developed solely for an ebook or tablet app world?  And with a mindset of creating a game that utilizes the technology (for example, you can have a much more complex system for combat, etc, if the game is not designed for people to figure out calculations by hand).

Why isn't anyone in the industry even attempting to leverage the popularity of these newly emerging markets and the capabilities of the new technologies?

The best we've done so far is some mediocre pdfs and WotC's half-hearted attempts at add-ons.  It's not nearly enough.

13
Groan.  So, I've been trying to get my group to wind down the current D&D 4e campaign and move to something different.

My personal preference was to run a Traveller 40K type game to mix things up a bit.

So, I decided to do a survey to everyone just to see what kinds of things they like.  After spending 3 weeks hassling them about it (lord knows getting feedback of any kind is like pulling teeth), I get back the results.  And now I'm depressed...

Apparently, the only two prevailing opinions are "I'm fine with whatever" and "I only like high fantasy, or maybe a sci-fi fantasy with lots of magic".  Which pretty much limits me to:
A) Continuing the current high fantasy campaign on to paragon level adventures
B) Creating a new high fantasy campaign
C) Maybe running Rifts again

I'm leaning towards A, despite my dislike of high-level campaigns.

Am I the only one that ever gets sick to death of playing nothing but high fantasy games filled with elves and wizards???

14
OK, this is a bit of a rant, but I am actually curious what other people think.  

After being sick for half the week, I managed to pull myself out of bed to run my biweekly D&D game (mostly because trying to cancel it at the last minute would have involved more effort than just going).  It was supposed to be an investigative / problem-solving type session after the last several combat-heavy sessions.  What it ended up being was a pain in the ass.

Here's the basic setup - many sessions back, a notorious assassin (Rufus the Red) murdered one of the high lords of the city.  After getting sidelined by the kobold army / dragon forces for the last few sessions, the PCs were finally getting back around to following up on a lead they had earlier.

A few sessions back, they started to follow up on a lead from their usual NPC informant that pointed them to a petty criminal named Vargas.  They start out by locating Vargas.  One of the PCs makes contact and gets Vargas to introduce him to his boss (known as Schlomo).  At first I thought they had a good plan going.  Then, for no reason whatsoever, instead of waiting to the next night to make the introduction, they decide to jump the guy coming out of the bar then smack him around and threaten to kill him if he doesn't get them to see Schlomo (who Vargas says might know somebody who knows somebody who knows Rufus).  Tomorrow.  Like he already planned to do anyhow.

Now, at this point I'm already highly skeptical.  I have to openly remind the players that half their characters are good or lawful good and grabbing random guys off the street and assaulting them isn't really "good" behavior.

Anyhow, they let the dude go then get sidetracked by something else so they miss the meet the next night.  They later find out the guy filed a complaint against them with local law enforcement for assault.  Which was my way of saying, "hey, your plan sucked - try to be smarter".

So, this session they start off by having the newest PC, a rogue, infiltrate the organization.  My hopes are raised again.  He starts off by assisting Vargas with some jobs and eventually is sent off on his own crime jobs.  Which he commits.  While the lawful good people watch.

After awhile, I start to realize that the players have no fucking clue what their plan is.  I thought they were doing some kind of sting type operation, or waiting for an opportunity to do something, or something...anything, really.  Instead, they are completely clueless.  I think they were just waiting for me to say somebody mentions Rufus' name or something.

In the meantime, they also try a couple of other rather uninspired methods of investigation.  

The first is to go to the temple where they occaisionally get raised from the dead and ask the high priestess if she knows anything.  This manuever seems even more bone-headed when you consider that the temple has only ever been neutral to moderately hostile towards the group.  So, naturally, I have the high priestess essentially ask them why the fuck they are asking her about an assassin.  They have no answer.  Because there was no plan there either, apparently.  Maybe I'm missing something, but to me this ranks right up there with a local patrolman asking to see the CEO of Walmart to ask if he knows where the head of the local gang lives.

Next, they head over to their contact who is associated with the goddess of death.  The only reason they do that is because I basically said it would have made more sense when the other priestess was explaining how she knows nothing about assassins.  Of course, this contact is the same guy who set them on Vargas so he doesn't really have more info.

Finally, there was the old standby, "sit in the bar all night and see if anyone happens to mention Rufus".  Now, if they had been smart and actually tried to actively do anything, like ask about Rufus, look for an assassin, etc - that might have worked.  But no, they pretty much just say "we go sit in the bar" and expect the info to fall in their laps.

So, now the players are starting to get frustrated because "all their plans have failed".  And by all their plans, apparently they mean the half-assed attempts to do nothing and hope someone just hands over the clues.  They simply can't think of anything else to try.  One of them, who always gets tempermental, even gets pissy at me when I suggest there must be at least a half dozen different plans that could work.

To keep things moving, I hint around to the rogue player to think about what criminals don't want.  He gets the hint, "attention from the authorities".  Now I get some hope again - they will either bring in the authorities or just threaten to in order to get the guy to talk.

To my shock and dismay, they do neither.  Instead, they do some half-assed plan that involves trying to bluff thier way that they work for Rufus and tell the criminals he wants a bigger cut.  I guess the plan was to wait and follow the head criminal guy to see if he made contact with Rufus.  Which would have been a half-decent plan if Rufus had anything to do with the robbery ring (he didn't - which should have been obvious) or even if Schlomo knew him directly (he didn't - which they had been told expicitly in the beginning).

So, after getting laughed at by the criminals, the dwarf decides to just head in the next day and make a deal with Schlomo to get a lead on Rufus in exchange for his group leaving him alone.  I figure by that point Schlomo would be happy to get these idiots off his back, so he agrees.


So, did I really make it too hard for them?  Or are they just fucking idiots who couldn't solve a scooby doo episode?

I told them repeatedly there was no right answer, that any number of plans could have worked.  I  am quite disappointed.  I don't see how seven people couldn't come up with even one halfway decent plan.  Hell, even a lame plan that at least fit in with what they knew would have been nice.

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Design, Development, and Gameplay / Guns of the 20s and 30s
« on: April 19, 2009, 11:30:17 AM »
So, I'm working on designing a little game that takes place in the US during the 20s and 30s and I was wondering what people thought about which type of firearms to include, and how to rank them.

Actually, model isn't the right terminology.  I don't want to use specific gun models, just generic archetypes based on caliber.  And because of the setting, I'll only focus on US type weapons (e.g., no 9mm because it wasn't popular in the US then).

Let's start with revolvers.  The most common of the day would have been the .38 Special, as it was used by pretty much every law enforcement agency.  But what other revolvers make sense to add?  The .44 special would have been around, so I probably want it.  The older .38 Long Colt and .32 Long revolvers were the old military and police revolvers, respectively.  They'd be old, but could still be found.  Does it make sense to include them?  And what about the .45 Long, the quintessential cowboy gun?  I'm also not sure whether its worth the bother to include the .22 revolver.  Finally, there's the .357 to consider - it would barely make the timeline, and its really a next-generation weapon in terms of performance.

Pistols seem a little more straight-forward.  There's the little .25, the slightly bigger .32, the medium .380, and the military .45.  Does it make sense to have both the .32 and the .380, though?  And what about the .38 Super?  It's never been an overly popular weapon.

So, if we tried to rank handguns from weakest to most powerful (damage-wise, but taking into account "accuracy" of the gun as a component of damage), would it look like something like this?:

.22 revolver / .25 pistol
.32 long revolver / .32 pistol
.38 long revolver / .380 pistol
.38 special revolver
.44 special revolver / .45 long revolver / .38 Super pistol
.45 pistol
.357 Magnum revolver

I suppose I should include a Derringer weapon as well.  Perhaps rank it with the .22 revolver/.25 pistol?


Now, for shotguns I was pretty much thinking of sticking to the 12 gauge (with options for auto, pump, or double-barrel).  I suppose maybe I could add a 10 gauge, but is there really that much difference in power?  I've never been very comfortable with where they fit in damage-wise.  A lot of games make shotguns really powerful, but I'm not sure that makes sense.  Particularly when the weaker ones - like a 20 gauge or a .410, sound about as effective as a .32 or a .25 pistol, respectively.  Anyone have thoughts on that?

There's really only one submachine gun of the period, the .45 thompson.

Finally, there are rifles.  Out of the many, many, many different calibers, I was thinking of having just the .30-06 as a military rifle (both the bolt action and the BAR versions) and the .30-30 lever action as a deer rifle.  Other options could be a .44-40 for an older style rifle (not sure if it would be better, worse, or equivalent to the .30-30, though) and the traditional .22 as a light rifle.  I also considered adding the .450 elephant gun, but then that would go against my "no European weapons" philosophy.

Thoughts?

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