The Voyager Goes On A Fantasy Trip

So, going into a journaling kick, I’m gonna play the Fantasy Trip solo engine. Now, I looked at the gaming system based off this engine and sufficed to say, I’m kinda interested. Now, I’m using the “In the Labyrinth” rule set, which expands a lot on the Fantasy Trip game.

Creating a character for this seems pretty straight forward. I have three stats, Strength, Dexterity, and IQ, to which I can spend eight points to increase. Going with a human Jack of All Trades with a 10 Strength, 10 Dexterity, and 11 IQ.

Each stat has different purposes, but if you’re familiar with OSR-style games, they’re pretty easy to understand. Strength (ST) is your health, spell slot, encumberment, and fortitude. Dexterity (DX) is your initiative, attack bonus, and reflex. IQ is your perception and willpower. However, IQ has something different, which is why I gave the remaining point to IQ. Effectively, they determine the feats and spells you acquire.

It’s a long story, but the point is that I have 11 IQ points to spend on any talent that isn’t higher than 11 IQ. Now, if seeing the ST, DX, and IQ acronyms make you think of GURPS, don’t worry. It’s not a coincidence. This system was made by Steve Jackson Games, who would later go on to make GURPS. One can even consider this the prototype of GURPS or even GURPS liter than lite.

This gives me some confidence in playing this game, as a gripe I had with some OSR games is that you don’t have any sort of choice in creating your character.

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A Long War! Let’s Try Out Plot Armor!!

So, this is me trying out plot Armor, a journaling game based on mecha anime. As a fan of Power Rangers, it naturally bleeds into me being a marginal fan of mecha, especially mecha RPGs like Bliss Stage. I also like “episodic RPGs”, roleplaying games that break themselves up into episodes. An example of this is Primetime Adventures. It’s a huge reason why my solo system for campaigns plays them out like a TV show.

So, naturally, this hit my interests. Though, I decided to browse around for some context behind the game. This was made in a Game Jam where the theme was lite emotional mecha. If this game interests you in any way, I highly recommend you guys check out the rest of the games sent to the Jam, as some of them are also solo games or can be modded to be solo games.

As such, I understand some of the mechanics of the game, such as its one-page format. Now, I played some one-page RPGs before, like Six Hours to Midnight, and got a lot of mileage out of it, so perhaps this game, despite its small size, will grant me that same sort of play.

The premise is that it’s a journaling game about a protagonist of a mecha anime who has plot armor, meaning they cannot die by any means because of plot. In spite of this, the protagonist will die by the end of the show’s 32 episode run.

We can pick any setting we want, provided it involves Mechas known as Armor and involves mecha fighting. Whether this means mechas fighting monsters or other mechas, we don’t know. Also, difficult situations and an optional hot springs episode.

So, for this idea, and to tribute the fact that a certain fan favorite show is set to end this month, I decided to turn Westeros into a mecha anime setting where our protagonist not only has to fight against ice-themed monsters and dragons, but also against other mechas who care more about who gets to sit on the Iron Throne.

Our protagonist is Taro Yuki, bastard son of Ryubi Shokan. He has a foolish prospective into being the pilot for the Knight’s Watch. Without further to do, let’s begin Episode 1, which details how the story begins:

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That Time I DM’d My Own Game and Got Everyone Killed

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I’m a horrible DM to myself. And that definitely shows in my first ever attempt to play a D&D 3.5 game. I think this is the game out of all the games I’ll recall that required the most thinking. This was before I picked up Mythic and as such, before I picked up any Drivers, so I had to think of plots.

Hell, I barely used any sort of randomly generated dungeon. It was made by myself. Though, it was less a dungeon and more of a straight, narrow line, slowly introducing stuff like traps and secret rooms along the way. I think I had some inspiration from a quick-start rulebook, but other than that, everything was 100% my creating.

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Let’s Test Out Yurei World!

So, I ended up creating a Powered by the Apocalypse game that wasn’t Jurassic World. The long story short of it is that, after playing After School Curse Club, I took a look at the mechanics of the game and realized how similar to Powered by the Apocalypse it was.

Eventually, the idea struck me to more or less take the base premise of the game and remake it into a full-fledged RPG. The end result is Yurei World. After expanding the base game into a standard PtbA game (as well as add a system to just make generic moves), I ended up deciding to add Playbooks. Originally, I didn’t consider it and just had it be the standard “pick one stat that gets +2, then pick another that gets +1”, but I soon felt as though I could give the game a bit of personality and customization by adding the Playbooks.

I only completed three, though I feel as though three is just what I need to test this out.

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We’re Playing FATEL.

Screw it. I can’t play FATAL. The rules are so broken and crazy that I have no idea why I even thought this was a good idea.

Which is why I’m instead going to be doing FATEL: “Far Away Tales of Epic Legends”. It, obviously, uses the Fate Engine. Now, obviously this means I’ll use Fate Solo, right? Nope! Instead, I’m going to merge that with CRGE-Kai Ni. Not only that, but I’m also fusing a bunch of other Engines like Tiny Universal, Tiny Solitary Soldiers, Oculus, and a plethora of other systems to create the CRGE-Kai Ultrazord. As for Drivers? ALL OF THEM!

We begin our game with having to change our Anakim character into the heroic Orc fighter Mercedes Benzon and the Elf Thief Michael Jord Ang.

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Crafting a Creature for my next LotFP session

So, I decided to use Creature Crafter to create my very own Slüg to take place in the sacred Halls of the Slügs. Originally, I’d be comparing this to Species and Societies, but the difference seems to be night and day. Where as Species & Societies is built around making an entirely new race of beings, the Creature Crafter is build around creating monsters.

So, we shall begin by assuming a baseline for the King Slüg to take. Luckily, we have a baseline defined for us in the introduction to Slügs. Next, we determine its potency.

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Crafting The Next Session For LotFP

So, I’ve decided to create an entire campaign out of the antics of Wiki Dot Pod and his band of merry men, of which he will get two new recruits soon enough. How will I flesh this out? Well, with something called the Adventure Crafter. It was bound to be used sooner or later at this rate and I’ve been itching to try this puppy out.

Especially considering that the Free RPG Day Modules that I thought were Modules were in fact splat books. Welp, can’t win them all, so I guess it’s time to crank out my own adventures.

So, cracking open the book and grabbing the sheet (along with teaching myself on how its used), I write down the name and date of this adventure. Next, I determine the themes. Already, I can think of the order. Tension, since Lamentations of the Flame Princess is pretty unnerving, Action, because it’s an OSR game, Mystery, keeping in tune to the mysteries such as the Crystal-Headed Children, and lastly Social & Personal, since they’ve gone insane to the point where they can’t hold normal conversation.

After that, I’ve pretty much finished what I needed to set up. I chose two plotlines already in progress: Wiki Dot Pod’s conquest and curing the insanity from the cast. For characters, I added Andrews.

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Let’s Enter The Doom-Cave Of The Crystal Headed Children

In the last post, I mentioned how I was gonna tinker with CRGE-Kai for playing Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This is to be a permanent upgrade for CRGE-Kai, though also an experiment. Previously, I played a game with the Ursa Minor engine, to which I fell in love with its mechanics. I decided, like with Mythic, to borrow those mechanics and implement them into CRGE-Kai. And thus, CRGE-Kai Ni is born. For book-keeping purposes, it’ll be referred to as CRGE-Kai, but from here on out, I’ll be calling it CRGE-Kai Ni. So, what did I add to CRGE-Kai? Well, the Turmoil system.

To recap, Ursa Minor has its own Chaos system, but it changes depending on how the characters interact with the game world instead of if the scene ended well for the players. An example would be asking townspeople around about Andrew. Although in Mythic, this would be smooth sailing, Ursa Minor would add a point of Turmoil due to how the characters effectively brought up old scars in the villagers and thus cause them to act wearier.

It also has its own random event system and a system where you can roll out entire sequences of scenes in just one roll, such as perception checks or travelling. There’s a lot to take in, so I recommend you read my Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells game to understand these mechanics. For their own Incident Rolls, they’ll replaced the Altered Scene results and Ambiguous Events.

As for how I’ll go about the module, I looked up the Lone Crusader’s proposed idea, but ultimately decided against using it. The reason is that it involves stripping the module down to base elements. I played around with a module before without needing to do this, so I figure I can manage. Alright, let’s begin this experiment.

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Stat It: The Doom-Cave of the Crystal Headed Children

I never got the idea of “Races as classes” in OSR games. In other games, your character is often a race plus a class. Because what’s stopping an Elf from being a barbarian or a warlock as opposed to being the classical ranger or wizard? With some OSR games, your character is just… an Elf. That’s it.

One thing that is less weird (but still weird) is the level tables for some OSR games. One class has about 20 levels, like a basic class, but then suddenly another class has only 13 or 17. Granted, the system I’m using allows for going beyond these levels with small additions and they don’t have a ton to offer for each level anyways, but I just had to stop and think for a minute about this.

Oh, right, I should explain what I’m doing. Well, as you may have noticed, I put the brakes on the 2018 SGAM climax due to time constraints. Don’t worry, it’ll come soon. In the meantime, I might as well get my feet wet with the game I’ll be using for said climax: Lamentations of the Flame Princess. The name itself is what interested me the most out of it, as well as it being an OSR-style game, but it wasn’t the sole reason.

I remembered attending my first Free RPG Day game session at a Friendly Local Game Store that were offering people to play the one-shot adventures they had. Among the ones they offered, I was interested in one in particular: The Doom-Cave of the Crystal Headed Children. I’m not making that title up. We never actually played it, but the idea of playing such an interesting looking game with an out-there premise lingered, even as I look at the cover in my bag of assorted goodies I obtained that day.

Originally, I was intending to play Better Than Any Man, but that game ended up being a full-blown campaign setting, with the foreword pretty much saying that it wasn’t an ordinary Free RPG Day adventure that introduces you to the game.

This Stat It is going to be different from the others. Usually, I’d create the characters, then the story, but because I’m using a preestablished story, I need to introduce you to the story then the characters I’ll play. Be warned that there will be spoilers. So be advised and maybe pick up a copy to read along.

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The Markdown Mechanic

I never tend to get uncomfortable in roleplaying games and part of that is usually because I tend to challenge my comfort zone time and time again. So, when I was introduced to the X Card safety mechanic, while I wanted really badly to test it out (as I do with any new game mechanic), I couldn’t find a good moment to properly use it until the very end of the session, where I used it on myself because I got a little too intense with my character. Long story short, I was playing Dread with some friends for a Halloween event and my character went through a harrowing experience.

However, there are times where my comfort zone will be challenged and I feel odd for going past it. Case in point, I played a session of Night Witches that ended up becoming so uncomfortable that I deleted the scene. During that session, I used the Mark mechanic, which is used as a consequence of certain moves or actions, as a cudgel against me making jokes about Downfall (a movie detailing the, well, downfall of Adolf Hitler, which ended up having tons of gag subtitles) and Soviet Russia being Big Brother.

As I’m going to be tackling FATAL, a rather infamous game for its uncomfortable everything and a module for Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is said to be 18+, I decided to try and recreate that, but as a central mechanic. Namely, the intent is to be used as a cudgel against me going for either uncomfortable moments or discourage me from doing things I’d normally do.

The tentative name for it is the Markdown Mechanic, and while I would base it off Night Witches’s own mechanic of Marking, it’s a unique beast that only works with Night Witches. I need something that I can use across all RPGs.

The idea? A table of 20 items that you must roll on once you do something that triggers it. For instance, let’s say I’m playing a game that is kid-friendly and encourages players to resolve conflicts without violence. I don’t want myself to resort to violence in tune to the game, so I want something for me to use when I do decide to go with violence.

You may ask why I don’t just don’t do it… And, well, it’s mostly because I end up getting too into the game and suddenly I have members of the Soviet Union dragging two soldiers who were harassing one of the characters and unpersoning them. Ergo this punishment mechanic.

Also because I’m a glutton for random events and this gives me a chance to tinker with something that allows that to happen.

So, I’m gonna use the infamous Deck of Many Things as my go-to template for the list. Except the deck is a bunch of X-Cards with almost nasty effects written on the back. I should also mention that every time you roll a result, you cross it out and reroll when that number comes up again in the future, so as to discourage the same things from happening. The list gets refreshed when all the events are used. Also, the list applies mostly for traditional RPGs that use levels and die rolls, so tweaking may be required for games like Genesys or Cortex.

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