Monday, 26 August 2013

Shadowrun Returns "Cameo"

I rarely post about video games, but I'd just like to give a quick shout out to one of the old buddies whom I used to live with and play tabletop RPGs named Taloswind who crafted a mod for the video game Shadowrun Returns called Jacked-Up. With permission, he based some of the mods' characters off of our personae, and had an artist touch up the avatars to reflect our real life image. Try to guess which one is mine:

This is pretty frigging awesome I have to say; probably being the closest my likeness is going to be in a actual video game. When I next play Shadowrun, I've got character concepts ready with a kickass portraits to boot!

You can check out Jacked-Up on Steam here. This mod has been very well received by the community, and was even featured in a Let's Play video by the founders of Harebrained Schemes, the developer of Shadowrun Returns.

Kudos again to Taloswind, keep up the good work!

Jacking Out! ;{١

Saturday, 24 August 2013

News from the Ninth Gamma X-Wing Age of Rebellion

Hallo! How's everyone? I am quite well.

The Day of Gaming last Sunday went splendid! My session went quite well I believe; turns out the day before I had discovered I had left the Proficiency dice for EotE narrative dice set at my buddy Ryan's house when I played the prior Monday, but he was cool enough to meetup with me Sunday morning at the event and co-GM the session with me. And although I missed my chance to sign up in time to make my friends' Marvel Heroic Roleplaying LTP afterwards, I did participate in the Netrunner tournament and had some fun there. Although the Jinteki 'shell game' deck I had built got me a couple wins and a few narrow losses, I ended up 2nd to last place because I didn't put any effort into constructing a decent Runner deck and just went with the pre-gen Rielle "Kit" Peddler deck from the Creation and Control expansion; which in my amateur opinion based off of several plays is a very poor build; I think I could've come up with something much, much better. Oh well, I got what really wanted which was a chance to play with local Netrunners.

I'm still slowly making my way through Numenera, and so far it's been awesome and looks to stay that way. It uses a simple and streamlined d20-based system as it's primary mechanic with three character types/classes, which is great because it leaves more freedom in the book and in the game to touch upon the incredibly rich science-fantasy world that Monte Cook and his crew have created.

I'm also very itching to get my hands on a copy of the Age of Rebellion Beta, as I've had this X-Wing/Wraith Squadron inspired campaign idea in the back of my head since EotE. Since I missed my chance beta testing EotE, I'm planning that once I get a copy I'm going to pull together a group and playtest the heck out of it. Also the GSA has released two articles that reveal a bit deeper into what we're going to expect in this Beta: a First Look and a Review. General speculation is that retailers should have them in near the end of August.

Speaking of X-Wing, I'm sure those in the know will no doubtfully have heard the news from Gen Con; for those who haven't, FFG has surprised I'd believe the majority of us X-Wing fans by announcing their intention to release capital-scale starships into the miniatures game. I was surprised by this news and although part of me is for it, the other part of me is/was hoping they'd spend more time introducing Expanded Universe ships into the game than produce larger ones from the original trilogy. It still feels kinda soon IMHO. Time will tell though.

Lastly, before my excellent GM session of Dresden Files yesterday, I swung by my FLGS's clearance store and picked up 4E D&D's Gamma World core set, the expansion Famine In Far-Go, and a couple 8-card booster packs at a nice discount. Although I've never been a fan of 4E, Gamma World always seemed appealing to me as a beer-and-pretzels style RPG, where both the premise and the game are not to be taken too seriously; perfect for rainy day one-shots or a few sessions. Also unlike 4E which is going to be made redundant and obsolete (if it hasn't been already) by the pending arrival of D&D Next (not to mention Pathfinder), Gamma World, despite being based off of 4E, is self-contained, mechanically solid, and unlikely to face replacement by a new edition in the near future, making it I believe a decent investment so to speak.

Despite my recent purchase of Numenera, and my pending investment of the AoR Beta, I decided the clearance sale was a good time to pick up Gamma World and add it to the expanding collection of RPGs I own and would like to play someday. The website Critical Hits has an excellent page for tools, resources, advice, reviews, and adventures for those interested in this latest edition of Gamma World [Here].

Cheers! ;{١

Friday, 16 August 2013

Edge of the Ninth World

Ahh Friday, the end of my work week. This weekend promises much fun indeed!

Last Monday I finally got to play EotE as a player for once! I was invited to join in my friends game, and I rolled up a Droid Colonist/Doctor based off of the FX-6 series of medical assistant droids. It's obviously brilliant and superb at it's primary function, but heavily lacks in bedside manner and common sense. Think if the Robot from Lost in Space was a general practitioner. I had lots fun of playing his clinical personality in the classic robotic monotone. Can't wait till next Monday's game! 

As of Tuesday, the Missus' brother and his wife have moved back from Taiwan and I staying at our place in the midterm until their accommodations are sorted out. They are a super awesome pair and we've been happy to have them and their cat Zorro.

As you may know, this Sunday is the Day of Gaming at UVic, and I'm pretty much all ready to attend and run the EotE adventure Escape from Mos Shuuta; just gotta plan my route via bus and decide if I want to bother attending the Netrunner tournament (as I still haven't really constructed any decent decks; perhaps I'll just play with the pre-builds from Creation and Control) or trying out the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Learn-to-Play a fellow gamer is GM'ing.

So if you're a local and need something to do this Sunday, join us up in UVic! It's only $5 and there's tons of stuff to do! Plus door prizes!

This weekend also hosts the West Rock Tattoo Convention at Pearks Arena. An interesting event to check out if you're into that sort of thing; I'm mostly interested in the chance to see my favourite Canadian metal band 3 Inches of Blood! We'll see if I can convince somebody to accompany me as I dislike attending shows alone.

Last of all, after work today I swung by my LFGS and this was sitting on the shelf:

Apparently both this and the Player's Guide for Numenera hit retailers two days ago. Now, I haven't been actively following Numenera's development or kickstarter aside from the small amount of general industry news. Conceived by the legendary RPG designer and writer Monte Cook, Numenera is from what I've heard a sort of spiritual successor to the Planescape campaign setting from D&D, set on earth approximately a billion years in the future where "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" bespokes a science fantasy world akin to Elric, a Dying Earth, and Sword and Planet works.

I plan to write my First Impressions once I've had to time to digest it. Even though I didn't support the kickstarter, nor followed it's development really at all, the had game always sounded very interesting to me; so when I saw that copy available today I knew I had to grab it whilst I had the chance. It was either that or the copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics. So far it I'm happy with my choice; it looks awesome. I can't wait to dig deep into it.

Cheers! ;{١

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Emon Azzameen - X-Wing Custom Pilot

Ever since I picked up the Firespray-31 for the X-Wing Miniatures Game, I've considered the lesser known pilots of the iconic craft. On top of that I've thought about playing the Firespray in the Rebel faction. Enter Emon Azzameen and his ship the Andrasta from the computer game Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance!

Utilizing the magic of Mr. Jason Fuller's X-Wing card generator I put together this custom pilot this morning. Here's my thought process on developing it:

First off, Emon is one of the few Firespray pilots who's sympathetic to the Rebellion, being one of the siblings of the main protagonist from the video game. I placed his pilot skill and cost right between Kath Scarlet and Krassis Trelix, and gave him the standard Firespray upgrades along with the Elite Pilot icon.

I designed his pilot ability to reflect more of a support role, (much along the lines of two of the ships being released next wave) as the Imperial Firesprays focus mainly on offensive abilities. Given that he's a supporting character in X-Wing Alliance, and his hot-headed yet protective personality, I gave him the ability to acquire stress or red target locks from friendly ships. This quote describes his ability perfectly:
"Trouble clings to Emon like iron filings to a magnet, and he wouldn't want it any other way." - Aeron Azzameen
I've yet to test Emon out, so I don't know how useful his ability is in practice, nor how balanced adding a Firespray to a Rebel squad is. Can't wait to find out though!

On a related note with all this talk of Rebel starships and whatnot, BOOM FFG announces the Beta for Age of Rebellion! Goddamn it FFG, we haven't even had a chance to dig deep into Edge of the Empire and you tease us this Beta!

Stay On Target! ;{١

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Day of Gaming Approaches

So over a week from today is going to be the Day of Gaming event on the 18th here in Victoria, and I have volunteered to run an RPG in a four hour time slot. And sort of like before GottaCon, I'm still undecided as to what I'm going to run; I've already made my choice that it's going to be Edge of the Empire, but I haven't decided on which adventure. The session is geared as a Learn to Play game, so I'm leaning towards these two choices: The Beginner Game adventure Escape from Mos Shuuta (which I ran to great success at GottaCon), or the Free RPG Day adventure Shadows of a Black Sun. The date's quickly approaching and the organizer is requesting the scenario details, so I have to make up my mind based upon these factors:

Given that the session to an LTP and is expected to have mostly new players, I'm leaning towards Escape from Mos Shuuta; though the story is linear, it's best suited for gradually introducing the mechanics to new/novice players. Plus I know it like that back of my hand, I have everything I need for it, and is playable in a four hour time slot.

I've already run that before though and feel kinda cheap doing the same thing again, particularly because when I ran it back in February the Beginner Box was still relatively new and not many local gamers had gotten the chance to pick it up or play. Half a year later is a lot of time for that to change, and means the players who are now familiar with EotE that show up and to join my game for something different might be disappointed; a point in favour of Shadows of a Black Sun, an adventure I feel not many have gotten a chance to play given it's limited distribution and the fact that as to date no PDF has been released yet. (Some peoples are saying possibly after Gen Con..?)

The story in Shadows is much less linear than Escape, the pre-gens are much closer to what you'd see in the full game, and rules/mechanics like Obligation and Critical Injuries are more in-depth; all things that a GM experienced with EotE (which I'd like to consider myself one) can easily teach new players. (Plus I already went and made any adjustments to it that I might need, and really want to try out the Sabacc rules!) The major aversion I have to running it is well... the fact I haven't run it! (And probably won't get a chance to before the event.) I normally wouldn't consider this a huge concern if I wasn't so unsure if I can fit this adventure into the four hour timeslot.

Then I again, this is geared to teaching new players and now that the Core Rulebook has been released, if I have to run the Beginner Game adventure to get gamers interested in the system, then that's what I'll do! Escape from Mos Shuuta it is! Perhaps I'll run Shadows at future event.

During the second half of the Day of Gaming, I'm planning on participating in the Netrunner tournament, where I'm sure I'll be getting my ass handed to me on a cybernetic platter. I'm mostly joining for fun and practice as I don't get to play that often. I did pick up the recently released Creation and Control deluxe expansion, and need to get my decks built and ready.

Last thing to mention: I've been playing X-Wing lately (and having terrible luck), but at least I feel as competent than Wil Wheaton on the latest episode of tabletop ;p

Cheers! ;{١

Saturday, 3 August 2013

From the Archives of Jerreth Esq.

In perhaps a desperate move to keep content relatively-fresh for this blog, I've decided to begin a new segment called From the Archives, wherein I dig through the vast collection of outdated RPG material I've created/collected, dust it off, perhaps clean it up a little, and present it to the poor souls out there desperate enough for my sub-par ideas.

My hope is not only that this should motivate me into organizing and cataloguing my old RPG material, but perhaps we'll find a few gems amongst the chaff. Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle!

Here are a few things we may see in the future:
  • Remnants of a Dungeons & Dragons Boardgame: Diablo II Edition!
  • Centerra, my personal Fantasy campaign world. Complete with graph-paper maps!
  • Winterhearth, one of the more detailed regions of Centerra!
  • An untitled Asian-themed Fantasy realm!
  • Star Wars RPG notes!
  • A future dystopian Victoria!
  • An isle of an undead society!
  • And tons of other ideas and concepts for stories, encounters, objects, locales, etc.!

Cheers! ;{١