Testing oneKnave

Okay, this is gonna be an impromptu Actual Play of Knave using the app by Todd Cumings.

Continue reading
Advertisements

That Time I Got In A Food Fight And Threw Feathers At A Misogynist

There was a second adventure in the Sailor Moon RPG that I solo’d. This one is a little more freeform from the previous one, as it allowed you to make your own characters. This was called the Children of Mercury and as it says, it’s about the children of Amy taking on an old threat.

Said old threat is Jadeite, the first general Serena had to fight. He was put into an “eternal sleep” by Queen Beryl and as a result, was the only surviving member of the Negaverse. After the Wiseman, a villain from a later season, was defeated, it caused an energy surge that revived Jadeite, who spent the next thousand years building up both an army and his own strength. Basically, the plot to Dragon Ball’s Resurrection F movie.

Meanwhile, Neo-Queen Serenity, who we used to know as Serena/Sailor Moon, has devised plans for what is essentially a Galactic Federation, to which the children of the Scouts would be assigned new planets. To that end, she created a space-time chamber that will allow instant teleportation to other worlds. However, Jadeite has figured this out ahead of time and decided to concoct his plans…

So, Amy and her husband Greg had gotten busy and can have a maximum of eight children. Surprised I didn’t go ahead with that and name the game “Eight Kids and Counting”. In fact, I feel as though I never did this game any sort of narrative justice.

Continue the Story

That Time I Went To A Resort And Threw Roses At People

The first time I ever tried playing a solo RPG with the intent to write a story about it was playing with Capes. It was a very early version of the Surging Shark and Magnetron duo where Magnetron was a villain named Magster. However, I never added the mechanics to it, so in the end it never felt like a true proto-SRV actual play. I can, at a later point if you guys want, post the story I wrote up for that, on top of another story where I utilized a Japanese card game and tried to translate it into an RPG, but for now, let us talk about the wonderful world of licenced RPGs.

Personally, a licenced RPG is a good way to introduce people to RPGs. Much like how the Pokemon card game was a gateway game to Magic the Gathering, an RPG based off a show could attract people to try Dungeons and Dragons. Now, granted, you can just tweak a system and make it based off anything. That’s how Titan World was made. But there’s something cool about a company trying their hand at a licence and creating a game out of it.

And sure, you do have cases where a licenced RPG (say… Buck Rogers) be the doom of a well-established company, much like what ET was to Atari and the second gaming generation as a whole, but then you have the Fantasy Flight version of Star Wars, which has a unique story telling die system that fits the theme of the sci-fi franchise.

Licenced games are also a way to introduce RPG fans to the source material, much like how the D&D movie introduced me to the franchise or even how the Star Wars D6 games fleshed out a huge chunk of the classical Star Wars lore. In this case, I was introduced to a game based off the famous magical girl series: Sailor Moon.

Continue the story

My First RPGs

The first time I ever played an RPG, it was solo. It was basically me playing around with some random rules for D&D that I found on the internet (little did I know that it was the SRD) and fiddled around with a story. It wasn’t major, but rather a simple story about an elf archer defending the woods.

How I got into D&D, however, is a completely different story in of itself. There were at least three major moments that I can clearly remember being core to me discovering D&D and thus creating an interest for RPGs.

Continue the story below

Road to FATAL #2: Who?

We figured why I wanted to play FATAL, and while you’ll get more of that here, this post will be about who I will play as in FATAL. Yes, this will be a Stat It for FATAL. If anyone has heard of this game, you will know the horror stories of how hard character creation is. However, I’m going to try this step by step and see if I can even survive character creation.

The first thing we need to do, for obvious reasons, is to delete any adult content. Some may view this as bowdlerizing, but most of the stats might not be necessary. Like, do you really need to know the measurements of every aspect of my character? The only reason why sex is even there in the first place is because the game needed to be as realistic as possible.

Going with the old GNS system, this places this game on a heavy Simulationist end. Those who read my blogs know I lean more towards Narrativist games, though I have dipped my feet into Simulationist games. That said, I feel like not a lot will be lost if we simply take out this part of the game and replaced it with a fade to black, if it ever comes down to that.

Remember, I played The Beast after taking out every card referring to sex. Continue reading

Road To FATAL #1: Why?

A while ago, I said how my 100th session for Solo RPG Voyages is going to be FATAL, easily one of the worst RPGs in the world due to a variety of problems that so many other people have explained better. So, you may ask, if this is one of the worst RPGs in the world… why are you playing it?

Well, that’s going to be the topic for the first part of a four-part series called the Road to FATAL, where I prepare myself and my character for the game.  So, why FATAL? Do I have some sort of death wish? Do I just want to milk the fact that it’s bad for the cheap laughs? Well, no… somewhat.

Every 25 games, I do something called a Quarter Quell where I randomly determine my game, engine, and two Drivers to play with. This is basically a means to challenge myself and to mark milestones. However, for the big 100, I knew I had to do something very special. So, instead of randomly determining my toolbox for the session, I’ll instead pick the game, engine and drivers. I knew for #100, it had to be something momentous.

Enter FATAL, easily the most hated upon RPG in the world. People have made novels out of how bad this game is… Well, not novels, but the lengths of their reviews could rival some novellas. In a way, it’s badness is what drew my interest. Some years back, I took a look at the book and noticed how huge it is. Roughly 1000 pages of rules, charts, and math equations, all of which made to service one purpose: to make a realistic RPG.

On paper, this sounds great. However, there are thousands of problems with it, ranging from its needlessly complex system to content that is equal parts racist, ableist, sexist, and anything else ending in -ist. Again, other reviewers have pointed these flaws out. This game is to RPGs what Holy Terror is to comics. So, the entire reason for me trying to solo FATAL is one question:

Can this game be bearable without all that crap? And can this game be played solo?

Continue reading

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.

image host image host image host image host

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