Monday, 20 August 2012

Danger in my Pocket!

Not quite what the title could indicate perhaps, but these are my ideas relating to Danger Patrol Pocket Edition, the Danger Patrol hack, Danger League, and several d6.

I am assuming that anyone reading this is familiar with:

Danger Patrol
Danger League
Danger Patrol Pocket Edition

All of which are excellent, and should be downloaded as a matter of urgency. As long time readers of this blog may well know I really like Danger Patrol and even thought about using it for a solo game. That didn't quite work out because of the threat mechanic.

Spool forward a few months and I am in the mood for some superhero fun, so taking a look at Danger League again I wonder what I could do. While I am at it I look at Danger Patrol Pocket Edition too. Holy cow Batman, that includes a random threat generator, what looks like a cleaner way to introduce threats and escalation and starts the synapses firing.

'I should meld these together' I think, but would could I add? (Add, why would I even think about adding anything!) Anyway, with some ideas floating around from my card game brainwave I set about amending things. The results are:

To avoid RSI I will now use DP (for the original Danger Patrol), DL (for Danger League), and DPPE (for, you guessed it, Danger Patrol Pocket Edition).

Styles and Roles
Almost a direct swap from DL, just take ANY two and create two Bonus abilities like DPPE. So a Millionaire Dark Avenger, or Dark Avenger Gunslinger, or an Alien Warrior are all possible.

I thought that a good addition would be the stereotypical archvillain, create him like any other Threat with a possible Strength and Weakness, but then also give him two Bonus abilities of his own, and of course a name and description.

Taking a leaf from Gamma Patrol (a DPPE hack!) and my card game ideas I decide to add Location and Reward, and amended the chart to look like this:

Daily life simply means something non-combative, like a fire, accident, natural disaster, even a riot or a date! Nemesis means dust off those supervillains, one of them has come calling!

Having had a fiddle around with DPPE I quickly came to the conclusion that you need quite a few d8s and d4s to represent all those Bonus hits and Threats, now like any gamer worth his salt I do in fact own a few, just not the numbers needed in a decent sized encounter. If only it just used d6! Suddenly I thought 'Why not?'

So I sat down and had a little fiddle around with Excel to generate the probabilities and came up with a d6 only variant that is actually quite simple. What you need are a number of d6 of at least four different colours (which I have, 7mm I think at £2 for 20). So now you assign each of your colours to Ability dice, Bonus dice, Danger dice and Threat dice and read them as follows:

Ability dice 2 or more Hit, 1 Danger
Bonus dice 3 or more Hit, 2 or less Nothing
Danger dice 4 or more Hit, 3 or less Danger
Threat dice 5 or more Hit, 4 or less Danger

The probabilites are roughly equal (as close I care for anyway) and the progression is fairly simple to grasp, especially if you roll them in order and split them out as you go. I've got in mind a little strip on the character sheet where a player can place their dice in the respective colour/category.

Adventure generator
Finally I thought about chucking in something like the adventure generator from Icons, at least for my own copy as that's not Creative Commons, it's OGL. Oh the interaction of licences!

Until next time Steve

Friday, 17 August 2012

Thrusts of Justice

This is a very quick review of this very funny book.

Imagine you were a fan of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, Falcon, Way of the Tiger, Choose Yor Own Adventure etc. as a child.

Now imagine you had grown up, but still enjoyed those days of turning left and falling down the previously unseen trap to your doom.

Now imagine the authors of said gamebooks knew about this experience and decided to tap it for comedic effect, and you get something akin to 'Thrusts of Justice' by Matt Youngmark.

It is a superheroic tale whereby you acquire superpowers and embark on a quest to save the Earth (although possibly/probably not). Invariably you will die one of a number of ignominious, but funny deaths, while poking fun at the superheroic genre along the way.

If I had one criticism, it is that in general the story strands are quite short (especially in relation to the other gamebooks mentioned), but they do pack in laughs. I'd certainly recommend it for an evening's entertainment now and again.

Until next time Steve

Monday, 13 August 2012

Good vs Evil

OK, so this post is about the ideas I've had for a superheroic card game, it is playable solo (because that's what I do) as well as by a group. If I was to do anything with it it would be a whole game in a box, not collectable, although who am I kidding, I'd just like somebody else to play it!

This all came about when I learned about The Game Crafter website, it's a great resource, a real shame I learned about the shipping costs to the UK, I think my eyes would water less if I stuck my dangly parts in a vice. Anyway before I learnt about the shipping costs I thought, 'hey cool, I could create my own card game!'

So I sat down and thought of a few options, some of which are very viable too, and superhero just stuck, and 'Good vs Evil' was born, mwahaha!

It is quite a simple game, possibly too simple, but I'll let others decide that as I am far too close, and the reason it is playable solo is because you take on the deck itself. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on game setup and play:

Character creation
You start by assigning 8 (or 10) six sided dice to these four abilities:

Each player then selects two Power cards, these can be weapons, items, or superheroic abilities (these can be shuffled and drawn randomly for a fun option).

Now name your new superhero, and possibly describe him and he's finished (really this is just colour but you want a strong narrative don't you?!).

So, superhero ready, who is he facing off against and what do they plot? Here is where you draw a Supervillain and Villainous Plot card, these can be for example Save the Mayor from assassination, Rescue Mary-Sue Hotts (your love interest) or Stop the Ceremony/Doomsday Device/Temporal Flux Machine. There is supposed to be an element of humour involved (some of it quite child-ish, but I guess that's just me!).

The Villainous Plot card details any prerequisites, like visit the City Monument, and how much Peril the superheroes can accumulate before they fail, as well as any added Difficulty.

The Supervillain just adds Difficulty of two types (and quite a lot in the scheme of the game). I'll describe Difficulty later, as I work through the game sequence.

So with your superheroes, villain and plot you are ready to venture out into The City, draw a location card. These cards range from a Dark Alley, to a Secret Hideout, with Downtown and the Rooftops amongst others, the idea being that they are (stereo)typical superheroic locations.

Each location adds Difficulty on the Challenge card drawn next, so a High Class Restaurant might add no Difficulty on a Personality Challenge, but a Battle there makes more difficult to avoid Peril, and head towards failure, while The Sewers may be the total opposite!

So you now know you are in a Museum for instance, but what Challenge do you face? It could be the Supervillain's minions, a misguided superhero, the vigilante Mortis Locke, a date with Mary-Sue or a number of others.

The Challenge will dictate what ability is being challenged, so a Press Conference would dictate Personality and have a Difficulty rating of say 2, while the Megacorp building would add 1 to that Personality Challenge. You roll your Ability dice, hoping for enough 4 or mores to take out the Challenge, and roll the Difficulty dice hoping for 4s or less to avoid gaining Peril, you can now also play any Power cards to aid you.

Eventually you will have hopefully satisfied the Villainous Plot requirements bringing you face to face with the Supervillain for the Final Showdown! Here you face two different Challenges depending on the villain, so a brute requires Battle and Daring Challeneges maybe, while Professor Death needs to be beaten on Investigation and Personality. If you win the Final Showdown you win, but if you gain sufficient Peril you don't!

As you can see, really very simple (if not explaiend well!), I have also thought about the design for the cards, here is a very (very!) basic example:

Really that is about it. If people want to know what cards I've come up with, I'll let you know in another post rather than carry on clogging this one, just let me know.
Until next time Steve

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Half century

I made it to the half century mark! And roughly with 2000 views too, which I am really quite pleased with.

I still haven't got to playing my GTA solo, Olympics fever here in the UK is running pretty high, along with our medal count, lots of investment in sports coaching and sports science together with publicly funded athletes (with some UK lottery money thrown in too) is how it's been done. Of course whether this investment continues beyond the Games is another matter, I think we wanted to 'peak' for our home games.

Anyway I didn't really want to spend my 50th post just on real life. Perhaps I should try and precis my current situation:

Solo RPing - I have a stack of settings waiting to be mown down, as I'm sure you well know.

Solo RPing rules - I'm still trying to tinker with these as time goes on, based on FU and playing cards. I could still throw it all in the air though and revert to Mythic, just not yet.

Good vs Evil - this is the current name for my Superhero Card Game. I have a post lined up all about this, but the half century trumped it, you'll see it soon.

Danger League Pocket d6 Edition - my thrust together Danger Patrol Pocket Edition and Danger League (superheroic Danger Patrol hack) meld, with added spice, again a post 'in the queue'.

Campaign Path - my name for an idea about system-less campaigns in the style of the much vaunted Savage Worlds Plot Point campaigns. Currently cooking on Supers regarding (fairly) recent comments on RPGnet about there being no good Supers campaigns (and being on a very rare for me Supers kick). Others bubbling away in the back of my mind/notebook.

Witch Hunter: the Card Game - another card game I'm mulling over, killing supernatural beasts with a whole host of possible cards and card types.

UFO Chain Reation - An X-COM/UFO bolt on campaign system to be used in conjunction with Two Hour Wargames Chain Reaction 3.0 ruleset. A lot's there just need some time to iron it all out and spot the gaps.

Knight Errant - my name for a Barbarian Prince style freeform map roaming solo adventure game with added extras. Again sort of reasonably advanced just needs more time.

Dungeon delving - either a modular boardgame or a card game, with the possibility of lots of additional supplements/add-ons.

Random tables - appropriate tables for generating everything you need for a solo or zero prep sandbox in many genres, system less for full versatility. Could be subsumed into the Campaign Path idea.

Inspire a Generation - OK I've nicked the Olympic tagline but in this context it means getting my kids gaming. I have now adapted the standard Danger Patrol rules to work as a rules light introduction to RPGs for my young-ish girls. I intend going the whole hog and using minis, scenery, funky dice etc. It helps that my eldest is currently on a musketeers high, I'm hoping to grab it and use it to introduce her to RPGs a bit more. As always just a couple of things to sort out, the main/only one being making character illustrations in Heromachine to make into paper minis to represent them.

Writing - I've always convinced myself that I can write a decent story, I just need to find the time to settle on one of my various ideas and actually write the damned thing (actually to flesh out all the whole-ish plotlines, and subplots, I have already written).

Anyway, so these are what are swirling around my head competing for my work drained synapses. Sometimes I think if someone finds my (quite frankly many) notebooks in the future they'll think me either a genius, mentally deranged, an English eccentric or a Devil worhshipper (possibly all four).

If any of these grab your attention, or you want to lend a hand please let me know, I am a very unfocussed sort but with a push of other's support any or all of these could see the light of day. I'm not averse to making (and sharing) money from any of them, but frankly I just want to share them (for the undoubted adulation of the gaming public?! Or something like that).

Until next time Steve