The Sheets I used for Shifter Bots and Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells

So, I tend to play on Roll20 for easy access, as most of the sheets can automatically be calculated into rolls. However, I sometimes make character sheets when I can’t find a sheet on Roll20 that has a game I want to play.

So I used to make character sheets by taking a screenshot of a character sheet and using GIMP to write on it. I stopped this once I moved fully to Roll20, but the unfortunate thing is that you guys don’t get to see the sheets. At the request of Lino Pang, I’m going to post the sheets of my characters.

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Shane and Sinclair, Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells

SGAM 2017 had a challenge that I unfortunately didn’t undertake due to a combination of not being aware of it and not having the overall time for it. It involved using Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells’ adventure generator. This year has a variant where we use the Zero Tangent dice to randomly generate a quest, though I have done two so far.

So instead, I’m gonna just play Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. Functionally, it’s similar to the OSR-style Shifter Bots, but there’s quite a few variants. Not to mention it has a built-in adventure generator to spice up your campaign. However, I already had something in mind, so I sadly won’t be able to touch upon this, but perhaps for a later game?

And, just to further spice the game up, I’ll be taking a look at a new engine: Ursa Minor. It has a mechanic similar to CRGE’s Surge Counter or Mythic’s Chaos Factor where it increases or decreases during certain events. This is called Turmoil and it increases and decreases with set conditions. The usual “if things go without a hitch, it goes down, but if things go to pot, it goes up” schtick. However, it also changes depending on random events as well and it even changes if you critically fail or succeed on reality-bending powers like spell casting. It then plays a role in determining random events or even adding to Yes/No answers.

On paper, it seems that Turmoil is Chaos Factor and Surge Counter’s love child, hooked up on steroids. As such, I may take great pleasure in testing this. With that out of the way, we’ll begin our game with Shane Swosh and Sinclair Spears, two private eyes who have a self-employed company by the name of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. They have begun to offer half-priced quests due to their increasing debt to the Baron of Huldra. Recently, they had undertaken a quest to investigate the disappearances of two dwarves who had went to go explore the Ruins of Pelgar. Continue reading

Destrox, The World Killer

For the second week of Solo Gaming Appreciation Month, we’re to turn a board game into a driver for another RPG. This is good, because trying to wrap my head around and playing WorldKiller would be a rather tough challenge. Instead, I’ll play a sci-fi game using the setting of WorldKiller as the basis… Which one though is a huge question. One I already know the answer to: Shifter Bots.

To briefly sum up what Shifter Bots is, it’s an OSR/Black Hack-style game based off Transformers. It’s made by Thunderegg Productions. If the name’s familiar, that’s because they’re behind Kaigaku and the Exodus System. I decided to pick this game over Exodus’s Sci-Fi edition due to the fact that, while reading up on the rules and lore behind WorldKiller, I recalled the battle of Yavin IV in the climax of A New Hope and I had thought of Unicron, a planet-eating Transformer whose alternate form is a giant planet akin to the Death Star.

And so it has come to pass that I stat up my character, Destrox, along with his leading officer, Domix, as the two robots that lead an invading force over to a distant planet, all while two other robots, Outrider and V-Duster, struggle to protect it.

Let the battle begin.

Continue reading

It’s Always Sunni In The Middle East

For this year’s Remembrance Day, I figured I’d be a little more modern with my war games. Like, current year modern. The War on Terror has been a crazy saga over the past decade or so, spanning tales of revenge, ethical warfare, evolving technology, and a bunch of other stuff. And like most of the other wars, someone made a game about it. The game is called ISIS Crisis and it’s been utilized by militaries to improve on their strategies. Some say the origins of roleplaying can be tied back to people using war games to better their military might, so it makes sense for me to try my hand at this.

The situation is this: ISIS declared itself as a caliphate to every Muslim across the world and wants to control the Muslim-dominant countries, starting with Iraq, Syria, and the Levant region, the latter causing ISIS, then standing for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to become ISIL or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or even Islamic State. For the sake of this game, we’ll refer to it as IS or Islamic State, as that is what they renamed themselves as after naming Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as their Caliph, now named Amir al-Mu’minin Caliph Ibrahim.

Unfortunately for the Islamic State, the United Nations deemed them to be a terrorist organization due to the war crimes it’s been accused of causing. It didn’t help that the Islamic State themselves are violent in their conquest, prompting retaliation from Sunni Iraqis and constant attacks on civilians across the globe that they claim responsibility for. With the Islamic State declaring their intent to obtain Baghdad as their next nation to annex, the events of this Matrix Game begins.

A Matrix Game, from my knowledge, plays almost like Braunstein. You have multiple factions in a wargame setting, but you’re not necessarily fighting like a wargame, but rather playing out scenarios like a roleplaying game. The name comes from a Matrix of keywords that serve as a framework, even though it eventually dropped from later editions. Resolution is solved through basic arguments like “I hit you because I can punch and you’re too busy talking to me”. An Umpire would then judge how likely the situation is and the player rolls a d6.

There’s a lot to process for this game, so let’s just begin. I’ll be using Tiny Solitary Soldiers for this game. There are six factions, each with their own agendas. The Islamic State, for instance, wants to control the Middle East by crushing Shiites and Kurds and overthrowing Baghdad which they believe is controlled by a puppet of America. America, meanwhile, just wants to make things as politically stable as it is, weaken the Islamic State’s grip, and keep Iran separated from Iraq, all while avoiding direct interference by deploying ground troops. Each faction has their own story for why they do what they do. They also have current conflicts that affect how they play. America is hesitant to use direct military action, so anything they do will be at a -1.

Due to the title of this session, I’m going to be playing as the Sunni Opposition. They’re a faction who have allied with the Islamic State because they were denied a fair share of wealth after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Making matters worse is that their government is ruled by a corrupt, hostile, and repressive prime minister. A cool thing to note is that while they ally with the Islamic State, they consider just how dangerous they could be. Continue reading

Cal Arath, the Barbarian Prince

We have arrived onto the Solo Gaming Appreciation Month. This is the month where it’s dedicated to solo roleplaying as people do challenges for their RPG games. The challenges for this month seem simple enough for me to do, especially since most of the games I picked are of the “two birds, one stone” kind of game.

One of the challenges is to play a game you have never played before. The other is incorporating a board game into the gaming. From the conversation we had regarding what counts, I managed to pick two of the four games devoted to this month. The first of which is Barbarian Prince. This seems to be one of those “RPG in a box” kind of games, where it plays more like a board game but with RPG elements. How much? Well, that’s where we will find out. Continue reading

Spotlight: Welcome To Sand Hands

This will be a brief shout out. There’s a site called Botnik which has this really cool system where you feed it text files and it becomes a virtual keyboard where you can mix around the words to make your own story. It’s really fun and I have had a hand in it. You might have already heard of it with “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash”. That was made by feeding the system Harry Potter books.

In a way, it’s like having those three words that appear on your phone when you text someone, only this time it knows stuff like Shakespeare. Anyways, today’s focus is gonna be on their new book: Welcome to Sand Hands. If you remember Goosebumps, then you might remember the “Give Yourself Goosebumps” series, which is essentially the Choose Your Own Adventure line, but with that R. L. Stein aesthetic.

As it isn’t your ordinary gamebook, I won’t be covering it lest I put out major spoilers, as it’s essentially a book with alternating paths, but I do recommend you guys have a read. This was made with fusing all the other Give Yourself Goosebumps books and the result is a nice puree of horrors.

Halloween may be over, but fear doesn’t end.