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Messages - Lurkndog

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Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Forgotten RPGs
« on: October 26, 2020, 09:30:11 AM »
Wow, there was a Dallas roleplaying game. I wonder if they were trying to recapture the RPG-as-a-mainstream-party-game market? That was definitely a thing in the early 80's.

Later on it kind of came back with the "How to Host a Murder" games, which were essentially parlour mystery LARPs.

Huge d6 fan

Didn’t like the walls of text in FFG. PLUS, the system seemed to cater to gear...

These days we use Cinematic Unisystem. Perfect in handling S/J viz non force users.

Which Cinematic Unisystem rulebook are you using?

Media and Inspiration / Re: What's Up For Halloween Movies?
« on: October 24, 2020, 10:35:52 AM »
I have not seen the Creature from the Black Lagoon in ages but remember adoring it as a kid.

They do a really good job of building suspense, and they don't show too much of the monster too soon. And when the big reveal arrives, it is pretty spectacular. The creature suit looks great swimming underwater, particularly since they had a world-class swimmer doing the action.

Julie Adams is also pretty great in the role of the lady in peril.

Media and Inspiration / Re: What's Up For Halloween Movies?
« on: October 23, 2020, 12:12:00 PM »

She wasn't that kind of ex. We were very amiable with an extremely long history (we first met in '78 at a roller disco). Unfortunately she died last Thanksgiving. She was a huge Zombie/Walking Dead fan.
Sorry for your loss.

I don't really have any Halloween movie plans this year. I plan to pick up Disney+ for the new season of The Mandalorian, and so I'll probably just be watching other stuff from there.

If it wasn't for that, I'd probably try to watch one of the classic Universal monster movies. I haven't seen The Wolf Man yet. I was surprised how well Creature From the Black Lagoon held up.

The stat inflation may mirror the overall power inflation as the Star Wars movies go along.

In the original trilogy, and to some extent Rogue One, characters are regular mortals. There was probably some power inflation in the EU novels, though I don't have any good examples (I didn't read that many of the EU books, because most of them were trash).

The prequels and the sequel trilogy turned Jedi into superheroes and worse, but WEG was officially out of the picture by then. Fans have tried to add onto D6 to take it there, but IMHO the system breaks when you try to do that.

There are reasons not to re-occupy an old ruin.

The simplest is that the ruin is probably not structurally sound any more. To make it safe to live in, you would have to tear it down and rebuild it.

A second reason is that defensive architecture is a moving target, and a centuries-old ruin would be vulnerable to newer forms of attack. Indeed, those forms of attack are almost certainly how the place became a ruin in the first place. For instance, once people figure out that tower keeps are natural chimneys, you're not going to want to move back into one.

Thirdly, ancient cities were tiny, and an ancient fortress probably is tiny also.

It is quite likely, though, that the LOCATION of the ruin is every bit as strategically important as it ever was. There is ample historical precedent for building a new fortress on the site of an old one, using whatever materials from the old one that you can salvage.

Andromeda is pulpy sci fi fun for the first two seasons, then the original showrunner got kicked out and the rest is not very good.

As for the Hercules & Xena RPG, I believe there was also a Dragonball Z RPG that used the same offshoot of WEG D6. Not sure if that game had any useful goodies you could borrow, I've never actually read it.

Looks neat. A "Pulp Horror"-themed game? 5E chassis is not even a bad fit. Hope they use a simplified version for it.

Mutants and Masterminds could certainly do Hellboy.

And anything is an improvement on GURPS. The old Hellboy one-shot really highlighted GURPS' inability to keep a superhero team on the same page.

Other Games / Re: Video Games: What are you playing?
« on: October 13, 2020, 06:44:01 PM »
I just picked up Until Dawn for the PS4. It's essentially a teen horror movie in video game form, cast with digital versions of various actors including Hayden Panettiere, Brett Dalton, Rami Malek and Peter Stormare.

The gameplay is pretty basic, mostly walking around exploring and finding clues, combined with quicktime events at dramatic moments. There are choices you can make along the way that have repercussions later on, and there are multiple possible endings. The nice thing about the branching storylines is that the game makes these explicit, with a "butterfly effect" graphic that appears, and a screen in which you can review the various decision/success/failure points and the effect that they had on the current game, which should make it easy to replay for different results.

I picked it up used for $20, and for that price I am happy with it. The graphics are nice, with good likenesses of the actors, certainly better than recent wrestling games for instance. So far the storyline is decent, and the horror is a blend of creepy tension and scenery, with some action, jump scares, and gore.

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Forgotten RPGs
« on: October 13, 2020, 06:17:26 PM »
Bureau 13's setting was close to what we got with the original run of Delta Green - cell structured government anti-weird agency, lost a lot of members after one specific incident, lot of "do what you can, here's some equipment, good luck."  I thought Delta Green did it a little better, but that was mostly through presentation and subject license - the Bureau 13 art was a little on the cartoony side, Delta Green's was not and had the "this is a Call of Cthulhu product" gravitas.

Nick Pollotta wrote a set of novels based on his own version of Bureau 13, which turned the outfit into a group with access to unspeakable amounts of resources and they were not afraid to use those resources. Real gung-ho and kick ass, which is sometimes exactly what you want.

I really enjoyed those books, though I don't think I ever owned the game.

I could also see some kind of "Spice Lord" class giving the player a Sandworm Rider feat that provides pluses to attracting the sandworm and steering it.
I’m not sure if feats fit into the OSR style specified by the OP, but a fighter or ranger variant that has that as a class ability could work. Or maybe a kit, though, those are from 2e, so I’m not sure they fit into the OSR either, unless 2e is considered old-school enough (depends on the DM, I suppose). “Sandrider” might be a more appropriate name for the class/kit, though, since that’s what they’re called in the books. “Spice Lord” sounds more like a thief variant class specialized in spice smuggling, which could work too.
My thought was that the "Spice Lord" would be a premiere class that became available once your character takes the spice and gets the blue eyes, etc. As I recall, the spice also unlocks some mystical abilities for all its users, not just Paul Atreides. "Spice User" is probably more accurate, but not as amusing.

Media and Inspiration / Re: Wonder Woman 84 Trailer
« on: October 13, 2020, 04:03:09 PM »
2: I am surprised we did not see an attempt to revive drive ins.

As far as I know, the remaining drive-in theaters have stayed open and stayed in business. They are pretty rare, though, and generally way out in the boonies.

There were stories about Walmarts doing drive in movies in their parking lots, but I'm not aware of any near me doing it. Our local Walmarts are kind of shitty.

Media and Inspiration / Re: Wonder Woman 84 Trailer
« on: October 06, 2020, 11:02:16 AM »
I can't help but think this is going to kill cinema in the U.S., at least. It's been limping along ever since the dawn of VHS, and bleeding out slowly but steadily.

I don't think this will kill moviegoing, but it has certainly set it back.

The movie industry should have been pushing to get people back in theaters, even if at limited capacity with social distancing. Or, hell, do drive in in the parking lot. Instead they pulled back, and made it worse. Now the theater chains are suspending operations, and the studios are sitting on millions of dollars worth of debt from movies they aren't releasing, and they're screwing up the release schedule for 2021 already too.

They will be able to rebuild, but it will be harder now, and take longer.

Media and Inspiration / Re: Wonder Woman 84 Trailer
« on: October 05, 2020, 10:41:30 AM »
And now that Bond has been pushed back into 2021, Regal Cinemas is shutting down operations in the US.

Turns out if you don't release movies to the theaters, you pretty soon don't have theaters to release to.

I haven't noticed people hating on the concept of alternate history, though it can certainly be done poorly.
Some potential points of failure are:

1) The alternate history is poorly researched, such that players who have done even light reading reading on the subject find it to be just grossly wrong. Ideally, reading up on the subject era should pull players in deeper and inspire character concepts and adventure seeds.

2) It is unclear where the alternate history is departing from actual history. This can be because the historical period is one that players are unlikely to be familiar with, or because the author has not communicated the point of departure clearly, or because there are multiple points of departure whose effects are complicated and/or arbitrary. In all cases, the effect is that the GM frequently interrupts players with "you can't do that" or "it doesn't work that way."

3) The GM plans to use a historical event as a surprise pivotal event, and the players discover the event before it happens in game. For example, in a pirate game I ran, my players did some reading and quickly discovered that Port Royal would be hit by a massive earthquake in 1692. It wasn't a game breaker, but nobody bought a house in Port Royal. :)

4) The GM puts way too much of their own personal politics into the game, and turns it into either a screed, an indictment of the players, or a fairy tale.

5) The GM uses history, either actual or alternate, to railroad the players or push them onto the sidelines. The campaign should not end with "you all die, but at least you gave the real heroes some pluses."

In a lot of cases, just setting the rules out for the players at the start of the campaign will do a lot to avoid these problems.

For instance, when I ran my pirate game, with African-American players among the party, I knew that the issue of slavery could threaten to derail our fun on the high seas. I told the party up front that yes, historically, slavery existed, but nobody was allowed to be a slave owner, and I wasn't going to bring it up or make it a primary theme of the game. This was an acceptable compromise.

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