Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Avenging Fists of Avitar Strike! (Only War, July 18th, 2013)

After multiple TPKs with our previous regiment, we all decided it was time to start over with a brand new one.  Thus was born our Penitent Legion, the Avenging Fists of Avitar, named after the agriworld that we originated upon.  Our team's job is to show up, break things, and make sure other people can get in and break things even better than we can.

Nothing sneaky, nothing too complicated.

I will fully admit, I'm not as familiar with the rest of the team this time out because, unfortunately, I missed the character creation session and had to make my Field Chirurgeon in a vacuum.  Now, since we're nearing the end of the time when my friend can run Only War, this new team started out with 4000 XP, so that we could take advantage of some of the options in Hammer of the Emperor before we're done again for a while.

I know we have a Heavy Weapons specialist, an Operator, a Breacher, a Sentry, a Sharpshooter, a Weapon Specialist, a Sanctioned Psyker, and my Field Chirurgeon.  I just don't know their names or personalities as well as I would have liked before we started out.

We were dropped with a Chimera to transport us to a city where we needed to blow a hole in the wall and shine a targeting laser on a structure to be blown away from above.  We weren't the only team, and our opposition was going to be orks.  Fairly straightforward.

On the way to the city we needed to breach, our Chimera got banged up pretty good by a gang of orks with a buggy and some bikes, and our Sharpshooter was affected by one of the Psyker's powers and dove out of the Chimera during the fight.  Also, the Psyker's companion needed to shoot him to calm him down, but I'm pretty good at patching people up, and thus did so.

After our Operator and the Breacher got the Chimera running again, we ran into another ork vehicle, a Battle Wagon, and we slowed down to deal with it.  There was some discussion about trying to outrun it, but our Chimera had been banged up a bit, so we stood our ground, and the Psyker eventually caused the orks to all kill each other . . . but not before the orks fired a canon right up our open hatch, sending half of our crew into critical damage.

I can't do much about the critical damage, but man an I good at giving them wounds back.  I hardly even noticed that pesky heavily wounded condition or the critical injuries, even though I can't really help with any of them.

Eventually we ran into some civilians.  I gave them a week's rations, and the Operator confiscated another week's worth from the rest of the team and handed them out, and I treated their wounds.  I even used a fate point to do so, so as not to accidentally kill or maim anyone with that 99 I rolled on my Medicae test.

We found out the orks had enslaved the humans to help build their monstrous city that we were about to go help bomb, so we waved at the civilians and headed our merry way.

As it turns out, the rest of the assault teams showed up faster having not had half of their Chimera blown off in a fight as soon as they showed up on the planet, and the siege was already underway.  We stopped there for the night, all ready and willing to blow open some holes and take on a few more orks.  Hopefully the Chimera survives.  Oh, and the other guardsmen too.

Civil War, Civil Liberties, Grand Juries, and the Photogenic Hulk (Marvel Heroic, July 15th, 2013)

As per usual, since my Civil War game is being run online, it's posted here on YouTube for anyone that wishes to see the spectacle for themselves firsthand:

The premise for the evening was pretty simple:  three "action scenes" that didn't (by default) have any violence built into them.  Just using the system to adjudicate a largely roleplaying scene.  Our scenes were the Congressional Hearing on the SHRA, Luke Cage's Grand Jury Hearing, and the reporters that would show up after the Grand Jury Hearing, one way or the other.

  • In the Congressional hearing, Doctor Doom began the testimony, discussing the dangers of super heroes while showing footage of Nick Fury's unsanctioned super hero invasion of Latveria just over a year ago.
  • Daredevil whipped out an essay on New York law regarding citizen arrests that was prepared "by a friend," and was delivered with impressive flourish.
  • Hawkeye managed to call out the representative from OK about Doom's Doombots running wild there without any intervention except from the Avengers, and then he proceeded to trash talk Doom personally.
  • Tony attempted to take over Doom's presentation with his own, and then printed out copies of his own proposal for the senators using their own equipment.
  • Ms. Marvel detailed the Avengers internal affairs initiative.
  • Wolverine was called out for his past actions as a "black ops" specialist, causing him to have regrets about his past and how they affected others.
  • The group wowed the congressmen, Doom left, and Hawkeye broke his holoprojector with an EMP arrow on the way out  (but he didn't shoot it--that would look bad).
  • The Avengers present at the Crusader/Purifier attempted bombing showed up for the Grand Jury hearing on whether to charge Luke Cage with murder.
  • The prosecutor opened up his statements by declaring that the Avengers were dangerous and incompetent.
  • Moon Knight, who was also testifying, was overwhelmed by his Khonshu personality, and agreed that the group was indeed incompetent, citing that only one of the Purifiers had been killed when they all deserved to have vengeance met out against them.  Then, the Mooncopter fired a grappling hook through the courtroom window and Moon Knight managed to escape police custody.
  • In light of Moon Knight's scathing appraisal of the Avengers, Luke Cage is not charged, and the courtroom is filled with reporters.
  • Banner turns to Hulk due to the stress of the reporters questions, and swears that he is not "incomptent."
  • Ms. Marvel ducks away from the reporters so that she can chase after Moon Knight and fulfill her duty as the Avengers internal affairs leader.
  • Tony attempts to shut down the reporters questions by buying some of their news agencies and then having them fired.
  • Wolverine scares off many of the reporters by popping his claws and trashing their equipment, but is overwhelmed with the past and his reputation catching up with him, and leaves, emotionally traumatized.
  • The remaining reporters flee from Hulk.

After all of that, the last business of the night was to let the players know that the very next morning, the Stamford incident had occurred.  The next session Ms. Marvel will be leading a team to hunt down Moon Knight, and the other heroes will be helping to find survivors and to get medical aid to the wounded at Stamford.

I had a blast with this session.  I'd like to say that I had anything to do with it, but mainly, I just got out of the way of the players and let them do what they were going to do.  Great players can make even the most mediocre of GMs look much better, and I can't claim a lot of credit for this one.

I will say that because of how the stress tracks and complication work, as long as you have people willing to describe their actions, "social combat" feels so much more satisfying in this system to me than it does in other game systems.  You aren't shifting to a whole different sub-section of the rules that work differently than the rest of the game, and the dice pool building mechanic, if you are following it for the rest of the game, already encourages you not just to say "I socially attacked him with an 11 and a d10 effect," but rather to explain how you got all of that accomplished and what aspects of your character helped you reach that point.

At any rate, I've opened up the player's troupes to a bunch of new heroes, so I'll be interested to see who else shows up for this event, as we're moving out from the Avengers and into the greater Marvel universe of characters.

When the Elf's Away, the Adventurers Will Play (DCC July 11th, 2013)

After finding their new friends and defeating some rather surly shrubbery outside of an ancient elven outpost, our band of adventurers attempted to rest.  This did not go well for them, as the evil Judge  (me) rolled a really nasty random encounter for the group.

The encounter was with a black pudding, which I modified a bit from their original form.  Instead of being just a black pudding, they resembled viscous mud puddles, so as to conceal themselves in the rainy landscape.  I also modified them so that temperature extremes hurt them, not just fire.

The pudding managed to destroy many weapons, get splint into three pieces, and almost kill several party members.  Groot, the ranger, managed to activate a trap on the elven compound's door that fired off a burst of cold, which killed on of the smaller puddings, and damaged another, but nearly killed a few members of the party as well.

The wizard took off on his horse and then circled around the wall at a separate point.  Groot climbed the wall and found out that the top of the wall had a trough of clear acidic gel in it, and nearly died, and Montarion the rogue had a rough time after climbing through the acid as well.

The wizard, seeing what happened to Groot and Montarion, climbed the wall from off the horse's back, and avoided the acid, as did Osborn the halfling.  Chad, Paladin of Gozer, pulled the wagon next to the wall and climbed over that way.  Now everyone was over the wall.  Except the professor that hired the group.

The professor looked like he was in dire straights, but Chad managed to bounce between his employer and Groot to save them both, and as it turned out, Montarion wasn't nearly as dead as he first seemed  (making his Luck check on the recover the body roll).

Inside the compound, the group found a casting circle that boosted spellcasting, but at the risk of generating feedback.  Inside the building, they found a reception hall with eyes and a crown at the far end, over a flight of stairs leading down, with a colored square on the ground and writing under the eyes.

Eventually the group figured out that they were to bow and pay homage to the elven emperor.  Osborn decided to be defiant and made a rude gesture as he walked down the stairs, and the eyes blasted him with beams of flame, nearly killing him.

In one of the rooms of the next level, the party found elven scrolls detailing the inner workings of magic  (but not actual spell scrolls), which Montarion and the professor attempted to read.  Montarion failed miserably and became corrupted, becoming extremely hungry and glowing with flames on his skin, while the professor began to become extremely thin.  Osborn tried some of the elven plants and was affected by hallucinogens, as well as taking stamina damage.

"I can see colors."

Apparently halflings are colorblind when not on hallucinogens.  Who knew?

"Time for your painfully invasive bath . . . "

In another room, the group found rows upon rows of stone slabs with naked humans on them, all in some kind of magical long term sleep.  They also found a horn, and a large piece of pottery that contained a water elemental whose job it was to violently clean any humans entering the room.  Unfortunately, the water elemental was pretty insane at this point, and didn't know when to stop.

The party destroyed the elemental, but not before Montarion was scrubbed to death.  Then the group blew the horn.  This woke the humans, who were almost uniformly insane from their treatment at the hands of the elves.  As it turns out, the humans were normally sedated by the elves before being awakened for experiments or amusement.

Slamming the door shut behind them, the party waited for the wet tearing and snapping noises to stop, and upon opening the door again, found most of the humans had turned on one another and only left one human alive to wander out  (meta-aside:  Montarion's replacement).

At this point the party decided it was time to regroup and we called the session for the evening.

I think I've done at least a fair job of reinforcing the elves of my setting as being much more Moorcock than Tolkien, which is fun.

Cable Installation

All of this comic book movie news out SDCC got me to thinking about one of the properties that apparently didn't get discussed much.  In case you missed it, Rob Liefeld let slip that an X-Force movie is in the works, and that Cable and Deadpool would be essential to this version of the team.

This got me thinking about how Cable really is an interesting character.  I know Mark Waid used him as the poster boy for everything that was wrong with the 90s by reskinning him into Magog for Kingdom Come. I love that story, but like anything else, Cable himself was just a tool that happened to get used a certain way in the 90s, like many other characters.

Rob is enthusiastic

For movie purposes, let's streamline the essence of who Cable is.  While I fully embrace comic book weirdness and endorse its transposition onto film, there is nothing wrong with identifying the high notes and running with those, since, you know, you aren't going to fit 20 years worth of stories into a two hour movie.

Rob is contemplative

So at his heart Cable is Scott's son from much further down the timeline.  Despite being the son of two powerful mutant bloodlines, his own mutant abilities are hampered by injuries  (we can skip the specifics of the techno-virus to the time being).  In this future, Cable has been fighting Apocalypse, who pretty much owns the world and has remade it in his image.  Cable may not be able to utilize all of his powers as well as his lineage would suggest, but he's trained killer badass of epic proportions, so as long as he can get his hands on a weapon, he's going to be dangerous.

There are two things that make Cable interesting that have often been muddied by creators working with him.

Rob may need fiber in his diet

One of the things that made Cable look like the poster child for 90s excess is that he was a killer soldier in a super hero world.  But that same thing actually makes him fascinating, if it weren't for the fact that every other character in the 90s started moving towards the militant killer badass model themselves.

Contrasted with normal, day to day superheroes, Cable becomes much more interesting.  Cable is a soldier, used to war, and his use of lethal force isn't about superheroes being "wrong" or "soft," but rather it comes from the fact that Cable was never a superhero.  He was always a soldier fighting a war for survival.  There may be times that Cable is upset over letting someone survive, but there are also going to be times when he appreciates that a common thug doesn't need to be dispatched with extreme sanction, and a good creative team is going to have fun showing that thought process.

Cable is also the walking, talking epitome of the "what if we killed Hitler as a child" conundrum.  Cable knows history, and while people in this time might see Sentinels as a horrible thing in the short term, Cable is going to be torn, knowing that if mutants survive this onslaught, the strongest of them might survive to take on what's next.  Again, a creative team with the discipline and imagination to use this sort of story element is going to have a field day with Cable.

Do I have faith that Fox will use Cable as well as he could be used?  Well, first, let's look at the previous X-Men movies.  Then let's look at the fact that Rob Liefeld is apparently consulting.  Fox seems to have an amazing capacity to build up a lot of hype and fail as they cross the finish lines.  In fact, I'd argue that Fox's biggest wins when it comes to the X-Men movies have always been in casting.  Storm being an exception.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Who is Crime's Favorite Tackling Dummy? (Marvel Heroic)

I'm not sure I can do justice to the origin of NFL SuperPro, just known as SuperPro these days, when guys like Stilt Man talk about beating him up off panel.  But he hasn't always been a jobber hero for third rate villains.  No sir.  This man had a book where he got to team up with Spider-Man and Captain America, fighting diabolical villains like Instant Replay.

Phillip Grayfield was a mild mannered sports reporter and former NFL benchwarmer who happened to visit a mad scientist that was also a football enthusiast.  Said mad scientist showed Phil the ultimate in multi-million dollar football powered armor, which, as designed, could only ever fit one guy, so as to make the wearer appear more special.  Like Thor's hammer, but also a huge waste of money.

I bet, if you didn't know any better, you would think that good old Phil just donned the "one owner from that point on" suit of football armor and became a hero.  Ah, if only his origin were that simple.  You see, the mad scientist also had random mutagenic fluids sitting around near his prototype football armor and sports memorabilia.  When OJ Simpson broke in to steal back his sports memorabilia, the mutagen spilled on Phil, giving him superhuman strength and speed.

Okay, I made up the part about this being part of OJ's robbery case, but just think, after Age of Ultron, it might be true!

I digress.

Apparently the criminals in question were part of some strange cult that hates sports memorabilia, or maybe they were pissed off about one too many NFL strikes, because instead of stealing the uber valuable stuff, they set it on fire.  Phil dons the armor of super hero redundancy and becomes a double super hero!

Noteworthy moments in Phil's career as SuperPro were those moments when he realized that drugs are bad, staying in school is good, and coming up with villains that having a tenuous link to football is hard.  Eventually he dropped out of the public eye, until Robert Kirkman had Stilt Man beat him up off panel.

With a resume like that, I know what you are thinking.  "When can I play him in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying?"

Well that answer is:  TODAY!



Solo       d10
Buddy    d6
Team     d8


Indistinct NFL Career
Pose for the Cameras


Super Athletic Mutagenics

Superhuman Strength d10     Superhuman Stamina  d10     Enhanced Speed  d8     Superhuman Reflexes  d10

SFX  Tackle.  Against a single opponent, double a Super Athletic Mutagenics trait and remove the highest rolling die to add three dice to your total.

Limit  Old Football Injury.  Turn a Super Athletic Mutagenics trait into a complication to gain 1 pp.  Recover by participating in a transition scene.

Multi-million Dollar Football Armor

Superhuman Durability d10     Cybernetic Senses d6

SFX  Max Protect.  Spend a plot point to take the physical stress for another character.

Limit  Down by Contact.  When taking physical stress, shut down highest rated Multi-million Dollar Football Armor power trait to gain 1 pp.  Regain during a transition scene or by activating an opportunity.


Acrobatic Expert  d8     Combat Expert d8     Menace Expert  d8



You were in the NFL . . . for a while.  You were on your way to being a well known superhero . . . for a while.

1 XP  When you tell someone your origin story or an exploit from your past, and they either accuse you of lying or being high, or both.

3 XP  When your action succeeds so well that others are surprised at your level of competence, or when you fail so miserably that you feel moved to apologize for your performance.

10 XP  When you stop a major threat in the company of other superheroes and they either decide to officially induct you onto their team, or they politely make excuses for why you should team up with other people.

A Product of His Environment

When all you have is football armor, everything looks like a tackling dummy.

1 XP  When you use a football term in a fight or stressful situation.

3 XP  When you create a strategic asset for an ally by using what you learned playing football.

10 XP  When you either decide that you are tired of being associated with football and you change your name and the theme of your gear, or you decide to take some time off from being a superhero to teach at risk youth how to play football . . . and be a superhero.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Introducing a Little Pandemonium (Marvel Heroic)

When I was a kid, I was so excited when I got in on the ground floor of a comic book series.  Sure, I'd follow already established series.  I couldn't resist the draw of Spider-Man or Batman.  But I really felt connected to a series that I started with issue #1.   I got in on the ground floor of West Coast Avengers, and it was one of the comics I subscribed to using my hard earned weekend job money.

One of the oddest enemies introduced in West Coast Avengers was Master Pandemonium.  Here was a guy that sold his soul to Mephisto, but with a twist.  His limbs had been replaced with demons that were grafted onto him, and when he wanted to summon his minions, one of his limbs would come off and turn into a demon.

I always thought of Master Pandemonium fondly, but wondered what became of him, especially when I had drifted away from reading comics for a while.  Low and behold, he's popped up again in Wolverine and the X-Men as one of the teachers at the Hellfire Academy.

In my Civil War Marvel Heroic game, I wanted to replace the scene with Titanium Man with someone that wasn't hired by Tony to make the heroes look good. I also wanted to get more supernatural villains in the event, since one of my players is running Doctor Strange, and Thor is also on the team.  Thus, I threw Master Pandemonium at Washington D.C.

Since I went to the trouble of throwing him at my players, I thought it was only fair if I unleashed the stats I used on my blog.

Master Pandemonium


Solo          d8
Buddy       d6
Team        d10


Fragmented Soul
Pawn of Mephisto
Obsessive Sorcerer

Power Sets

Hellbound Sorcery

Flight d8          Hellfire Blast d10     Sorcery d10

SFX  Area Attack.  For each additional target add a d6 to your pool and keep an additional effect die.

SFX  Multipower.  Add an additional die from this power set.  For each additional die added beyond the first, step back each die from this power set.

Limit  Hellbound.  Change a power from this power set into a complication to add a die to the Doom Pool.  Recover during a transition scene.

Demonic Minions

Horde  d8

SFX  Demonic Hordes.  Step up a Compromised Body complication to add a d8 to this power set.  Whenever this power set is used in a dice pool, the number of minions is considered enough to allow the use of the Team affiliation.

Limit  Bound to Pandemonium.  This power set can be reduced in the same manner as a mob. The Compromised Body complication steps back the same way stress does, unless Master Pandemonium is cut off from the demonic planes whence his limbs spawn from.


Cosmic Expert  d8     Mystic Expert  d8     Psyche Expert  d8     Menace Expert  d8     Business Expert  d8

Civil War, Take Three (Marvel Heroic, July 1st, 2013)

It's been about a week now since the last Marvel Heroic session, which, for those that are interested, can be found right here at my YouTube channel:

The highlights if this week's event?

  • The team had a team meeting about the pending SHRA hearings in Washington.  Tony modified the draft of the bill he received, placing less emphasis on registering anyone with powers and more on regulating anyone that uses them for crime fighting, and wants to get the Avengers on board with policing themselves before any legislation takes effect.  

  • Ms. Marvel takes the position of Avengers Internal Affairs officer as soon as Tony begins to discuss the position and what it would entail.
  • Doctor Strange is neutral on passage of the bill, as long as discussion is measured and intelligent, Spider-Man is all for training new heroes, but doubts official status will make them any more popular, Tigra and Ms. Marvel both agree with Tony's proposed modifications to the bill, Thor seems completely indifferent and doesn't not believe he has a stake in the argument, Moon Knight  (possessed early on in the meeting with his Khonshu personality) does not believe mortal authority should meddle with the affairs of heroes, while Hawkeye thinks that bill isn't needed and is just asking for someone in the government to release private information on heroes to the public.  Wolverine doesn't trust the government to regulate super humans, but wants to make sure mutants don't get the short end of the stick, and Spider-Woman also appears to agree with Tony.  Daredevil seems to be reluctant to speak on legal issues, and Banner is generally in agreement with Tony.
  • Tony assumes that most of the Avengers are either on board or willing to let him present his version of the legislation.  Captain America and Luke Cage are unable to attend the meeting.

  • The morning that the Avengers are to testify before Congress, there is an emergency at the Avengers Mansion, which is being renovated as a museum at the moment, but is still under construction.  Crusader has set a bomb there to destroy the monument to false gods, and he has apparently fallen in with the Purifiers who have dogged the X-Men for years.  Unfortunately, Doctor Strange also senses that the villain Master Pandemonium is heading for Washington, so the team splits into two groups.
  • Wolverine, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Bruce Banner, and Spider-Man head to the Avengers Mansion.  Inexplicably, Crusader has a Shi'ar manufactured bomb, and starts the timer on the weapon.  While the rest of the team tears into the Purifiers and Crusader, Iron Man flies Banner right at the bomb, which he quickly manages to diffuse.  

  • Moon Knight viciously attacks crusader and cripples him, while Banner shocks himself trying to makeshift himself a weapon from the bomb's power supply.  To everyone's surprise, he manages to stay calm and not turn into the Hulk.  Luke Cage attempts to get Moon Knight's attention by knocking him out with one of the Purifier thugs, but Moon Knight instead kills the flailing minion, assuming Cage meant to serve him up for judgement.
  • Moon Knight reverts to his Marc Specter personality, not knowing what just happened, Iron Man arrests him, and he is taken away by SHIELD after the fight.

  • In Washington, Master Pandemonium screams that he will bring judgement on the city with Hellfire, and backs it up.  Doctor Strange, Thor, Daredevil, Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, Captain America, and Tigra approach him, and Hawkeye and Tigra review what they remember about fighting him in the past.  Master Pandemonium covers Thor in goo and summons a horde of demons by allowing his limbs and body parts to transform into their physical bodies.  
  • Captain America attempts to get the crowd to move away from the fight while the rest of the team deals with the demonic hordes, but his is distressed when the tourists and onlookers are more impressed with his fame and want to get a picture of him rather than retreating to safety.

  • While the rest of the team wrangles the demonic horde, Daredevil sneaks around behind Master Pandemonium, finds a good spot to hit with his swing line, and flies in behind the floating torso of the sorcerer and kicks him in the back of the head, knocking him out and ending his threat.
  • Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, and Wolverine race to the hearings, both because they wish to participate, and because they want to warn their team members what has happened in New York before they get blindsided by the events in the hearing.

What did I learn this time around?

It took me a bit to realize that for some reason, I've fallen back into a bad habit of starting the night with a transition scene.  Sometimes that makes sense, but a lot of times it doesn't.  This is an action oriented game, set up to emulate comic books.  While people do sit around and have meetings  (I think we've now established that, popular to editorial comments to the contrary, even Batman sits), it's usually in reaction to some action that has already taken place.

So job one is to try and figure out if I really need to have a night start with a transition scene, or if I can frame the scene with action right off the bat, and then let the transition scene deal with what has happened in the scene before.  I think my habit of starting with a transition scene may stem from two things.  One is the fact that I've been running a more or less traditional RPG on Thursdays, and playing in another, and two relates to the second thing I've learned.

This time around, I'm learning that I need to relax.  I want player feedback.  I want the event to hit the sweet spot for as many players as I can manage.  But I need to relax, enjoy planning and running the game, and not get quite as caught up in the deep meta planning of how to make everything perfect.

I think GMs should listen to their players, and be responsive.  I think we should always challenge ourselves to run a better game than we have before.  However, there does come a point to where you are so concerned with doing everything right that you lose sight of the fact that something has to be fun for you as well.

I think this really hit me in this event because I know I have a lot of people that are big on roleplaying, are big on the strengths of this system, and are very interested in the philosophical ramifications of the storyline.  That can feel like a huge burden, to make sure you are serving all of those needs, but in the end, the game itself has it's own hierarchy of needs, and at its base level, everyone playing needs to be playing a game that is fun before you ascend the steps to the next level.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Galaxy Far, Far Away

I know this will come as a shock, but my gaming budget isn't infinite.  Normally balancing game purchases isn't too painful, because I may dabble in a lot of games, but only really follow releases of a few at a time, when I'm running or playing in a game of that type.

So this week I'm finding it painful that the old gaming budget was reading zero when Edge of the Empire showed up at the FLGS.  While I remember the initial comments by Fantasy Flight that the game would be out the first week of July, I also had seen some conjecture that it might fall to the second week, and at any rate, I hadn't seen any hard numbers.

Because I had really overdone the XP in our Beta playtest, and because my friend is going off to school in August, we switched to Only War for a few months.  My plan was to snag Edge of the Empire as soon as it came out, read it thoroughly, and make sure I picked up on any changes or new rules in the final version of the book.

While I'm probably going to be able to pick this up next week, it just feels like I'm off schedule by not being able to snag this and assimilate it as soon as the product drops.  I'll live, and in the long run it's not much of a difference, but I really want to wrap my brain around the game, come up with a good set of ideas for campaigns, and be ready to go when our Only War game wraps up.

"Control, control, you must learn control!"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Twist of Fate

Earlier this week I got my Fate Core rulebook from backing the Kickstarter.  The really weird this is that initially I didn't have much of an interest in Fate.  Then sometime between when the Kickstarter began, and when I pledged, I really started getting into the Dresden Files, and ended up getting the RPG.

I was a little lost, as I related in another blog post, and when I received the Fate Core rulebook, it cleared up a lot of issues, since it was just presenting the rules and not the setting and the special add ons that are idiosyncratic to the Dresden Files.

A bit reason that I was willing to take a chance on the Fate Kickstarter was that it was very clear that the rules existed, and that this game was a "thing." It wasn't just a pitch for a really neat idea that someone was pretty sure they could flesh out.

I know Kickstarter is suppose to be about giving someone a chance to fund something that might never otherwise get made, and a lot of that involves taking a chance, but on the flip side, the cash, she doesn't flow so well, so I'm not going to commit to a new game, sight unseen, without some assurances.

I've already read through the PDF of the game, because Evil Hat has been great about sending out the current version of the rules and all of the extras on a regular basis, but the book itself, in physical form is a very nice, compact book to behold.

Fate, for anyone unfamiliar, is a more narrative based RPG, and a few years back, I probably wouldn't have touched it, for whatever weird reason.  I have to say that Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, that took at least some of it's inspiration from Fate  (but not its execution, they aren't that close in practice) is what lowed the inhibitions I had about narrative based games.

Looking at Fate, I get the same feeling that I got when I first looked at Savage Worlds a few years back, that this is a game that I could throw together some pretty cool one shot games with minimal mechanical effort on short notice.  I am hoping that at some point in time I'll actually get a chance to do so, just to see how it works out.

Until then, it's still a pretty book.