Friday, September 24, 2021

Apex Session 9: Temple Attack!

For all my preparation, I actually had no idea what I was going to do once they actually reached the temple. So session 9 I just let momentum carry the game and made up stuff as we went along. 

They went back the the secret stairwell, and using a coin opened the door and went up the stairs. Dr Tong pulled the coin back but failed both his athletic roll then the save roll. Rather than squash the academic under a few tons of stone door, his camera instead got crushed. Death was perhaps preferable to the good doctor....

A quick search in the upper floor of the temple yielded a chamber with large crystals and a stone table with a patterned notch that looked to fit the crystals. In the meantime, they started to hear the Germans yelling for Dr. Mader, who is now with the group. While most of the group searched the room for anything else, Ace (or was it Archie?) moved some stone tables to block the stairwell a bit. After clearing the room of everyone else, Isla took a crystal and placed it in the groove. Suddenly, the ceiling seemed to disappear, and fresh air flowed through the room. They recognized the constellations as being the ones over Apex Island, so they were not seeing some strange new world. The next crystal made the walls in front of Ilsa seem to go away: they could see some lights from the guards as they were searching, and voices saying that she must be in the temple. Fearful that the disappearing walls and ceiling may also make the floor go away, yet needing to know what the crystals did, she picked the next one. This made the floors transparent, and they could see Captain Heinlich (yes, there is a Heinlich in every game I run. And sometimes play...) and a coupe of soldiers preparing to blast the secret door with charges. It was going to take them a few minutes to do so, and it appeared that while our group could see and hear them, the Germans were unaware of being spied upon. 

The next crystal caused a great beam to pierce the skies: the ceiling was again gone and this 4" wide beam seemed to reach the heavens. Ilsa stuck a dagger in, and it sheared off the blade. The handle was not hot, nor was the beam emitting any heat. Tong thought to see if the blades did the same, and with great trepidation, she put the point in, edgewise. It felt like an oar in the water, but did not seem to affect the crystal blade. Taking the next step, Tong placed one of the charging or sharpening crystals on the flat edge of the blade and gingerly passed that in. It was not the player's night for rolls as he failed that one, and the blade twisted in the beam, dropping the charging crystal. No damage and no one was hurt, but they noticed the beam changed direction with the angle of the sword. They managed to slice a slot in the temple walls in short order.

After hearing the secret door get blasted, they put the floor-seeing crystal back in. Using that, Archie managed to get a good shot at the first German up the narrow stairs: killed him with a single headshot. The Captain started yelling up the stairs that there was no way out, and to surrender. The group decided otherwise, and with some good rolls they managed to fashion a sort of parabolic surface from three of the swords. Using that, they started to basically destroy the temple in their attempts to kill the soldiers down below. They did kill the first group, including Captain Heinlich much to the player who hates my Heinlics (there is a history there) great satisfaction. Killing the remaining soldiers, and having the temple start to become very unstable, they used the floor clearing one to take another look.

The zeppelin crew and remaining two soldiers were running off. Turning the beam on the zeppelin, they destroyed that but not before seeing one of the soldiers run into the tent with the radio. Collecting the crystals, the used the wall clearing one to get out of the temple. While Ilsa and Dr Mader took off after the soldiers to prevent their escape, the others tried to get the remaining crystal out. Using a rope, they tied it to the crystal, stepped outside the walls, and attempted to pull it out. As soon as it lost contact with the base, the walls became solid, and the rope was neatly cut at the walls. 

Ilsa kills the soldiers but ties up the zeppelin crew. With the sun rising to the east, and the zeppelin burning brightly behind them, a pack full of the remaining 5 crystals, we close that chapter. 

So...I do have a few ideas what to do next. They do want to get back to the town, so we have a few more sessions to manage that. Of course, there are those crevasses to get back across, an escarpment to get back down as they took an ornithopter the way in, and a weeks worth of jungle to hike through. And of course, there is a German fort just below where they left their damaged boat. Archie does have the tools to fix it now at least. And I have 3 groups of NPCs that may yet be encountered, perhaps even four. We do know that Archie wants to find the source of the apple pie scent they encountered at the tower.

On a side note, I'll probably do another Traveller post: trying to work out the travel times for D10 and D100 based on planet size and maneuver drive. Actually did it in a spreadsheet. I know there must be a chart out there somewhere that already does this but heck if I can find it. Though I am using the straight formula T = 2 √ D /A where D is the distance and A acceleration. All in meters and seconds, so it really works out to Hours = (2 √ (planet size * 1609 / man drive ) / 3600. The planet size * 1609 is the conversion of kilometers to meters. Units matter.... Anyway, I'll go into this in another post with a table. I've just been guessing on transit times as it really does not matter a whole lot in my case. But an interesting thread on COTI has a comparison of a classic free trader with 1G vs a faster ship travelling the same trade route. And if time is money, then the faster ship in a few months of travel is several days ahead simply by shaving off the transit time to the jump point.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Solo Traveller: Montca 270-1106

 Another week in jump, another interesting week. While comms are down for the week in jump space, and with no passengers I had more time than normal on my hands. We had an issue with one of the cooling processors for the jump drive [rolled on the jump encounter chart and managed to get an engineering problem requiring all crew to help replace a large component; then rolled on a combat table and it was power plant. Now, whether or not you actually need a power plant in the jump has created some interesting discussions over on COTI, from the it just opens the jump space portal and you coast to  it maintains the jump bubble and is needed throughout the jump. I lean towards it is needed in jump to maintain the jump bubble as well as power all the systems. It just does not draw nearly the same amount of power needed to open the jump space portal].  It took most of the week to get the maker to generate the parts and to shift things around. Fortunately Egg amd Lando had things well in hand and we were not powering maneuver drives. But we will need some maintenance and replenishment parts when we get to Montca. Our engineers say it is more than good enough, but the League has its own inspections apparently, and we will need to get this recertified before we can take on more passengers.

We came out of jump almost exactly at 168 hours, just over 100 diameters or 600,000 miles. We're about 4 hours from orbit as the port squawks for ID. Passing along the No Refunds transponder code. Heading out towards the jump perimeter the crew of the 400 ton frontier trader Boudicca hails us. We exchange a bit of gossip, letting them know what was happening back on Tryonas while they give us some info on Montca. Apparently, we're just in time for a planetary celebration of Council Day, when the various social councils of Montca celebrate their purpose with renewed vigor. I have no idea what that really means, but apparently it is a big thing and we'll have a good time when we get there.

A system patrol vessel meets us partway there. We give our doctor approved ladings and pratique info, and were directed to land on pad 11 of Beta Complex. Apparently they could have interesting celebrations but bland landing designations. 

Coming in, I used the external cameras to watch as we approached the planet. Its sun was a speck in the sky, and some vast mirrors in orbit reflected more light down at the planet to help heat things up a bit. Most of what little land the planet had was snowy tundra, except for a small section around the equator. Reading up on things, the majority of people lived in large undersea cities, and had vast undersea farms where they got most of their foods from. Ewo was complaining about the berthing fees being higher here on Montca. Hopefully we'll be able to sell our 5 tons of electronics for a good price. Ewo is talking about looking for a broker: we would pay a fee but a good chance of getting a better price. 

Landing on pad 11, our ship cast multiple shadows from the orbital mirrors. It was a rather odd experience looking out over the landing area. As I signed off the comms, Lynwood came through, gave a brief smile as though he was thinking about something else, and went down the stairs to the docking ports. I followed Ewo to get started on selling our cargo and offloading the freight we had picked up.

[and I've no idea about passengers...I need to follow those rules about tracking these things. I do have a spreadsheet I've been using, but need to add a column to track passengers. we'll just go with no passengers. And actually re-read the last post for this, and nope, no passengers. The Captain "has a plan" which I've yet to figure out!]

The captain, accompanied by Egg, had already left by the time I got the cargo bay situated and the unloading started. Had to wear a breather mask: it was so cold, and the air was very thin that I would have passed out pretty quickly! Fortunately for that, we did not have a full bay, so unloaded all the containers. I was not sad to see those radioactives unloaded and moved off to some warehouse farther away. Ewo found a broker, one Bobbis Elber. We met in his office in the administrative complex at the main building. The tube trains were warm at least as we travelled from our landing site to the main complex. I couldn't really tell Bobbis' gender: mascara lined their eyes and they had purple shoulder length hair. Sometimes going to strange worlds with stranger customs really threw me off. While there was no huge need for the electronics here [no DM based on the only trade code we have, high population] they did mange to get at least the going price [broker 3 so +3 for a 5% cut; I rolled a 7, so +3 = 10 so 100% sale price, Cr500,000].  We paid Bobbis his C25,000 and still made a profit at least of more than Cr100,000. Unfortunately I was pretty sure that a good chunk of that may go to the maintenance and recertification we needed from that cooler we fixed while in jump.

Okay, managed to get to Montca finally. And did bring in higher berthing fees due to the class A port. Sold off the bit of speculative cargo they did have. Did not make out as well as I was hoping: trade can be hit or miss, which is the entire point. Wondering if I should see about getting Malik some broker skills. 

However: the broker thing I think breaks the trading. The way I see brokers is more at a system level: you have broker at your level only for that system. If I wanted to get technical, I'd probably re-read the Far Trader book and calculate the trade potential for the nearby systems. Far Trader as some really cool things going for it, though it does posit the big ship universe. But the broker DM would be reduced the further away from your home system you are, based on the trade routes. Part of being a broker is keeping open communications to know what is needed. With Traveller, ships are the open communications and out of date due to a week in jump to get to another system. Could make it simpler by just -1 per each parsec away, but I do like the idea that systems that do trade would perhaps help maintain your brokerage levels.

So I think I'll work out the trade codes and stuff for the League. My original trade program did all that as well. Wonder if I can find that code - it may still be on Github. Anyway, at least I managed to get back to this a little bit. Hopefully next solo session we'll get to explore the world of Montca as Malik & Ewa go off to look for cargo! And we've added a new contact for Montca, our ambiguous broker Bobbis.

And this is really the joy of Traveller for me: so many things you can do on a solo level. Wish I had some grognards to play with: we'd spend more time messing with the rules and figuring things out like the travel time from 100 diameters and all that. Think I'll also make that chart so I have it handy. I sort of half-guessed at the time based om a 2G ship. But really, a simple chart of planet size / G drive to get to 10 and 100 diameters should be easy enough. Right?

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Traveller Costing - Berthing

 I was poking around various blog posts, and found this one at the Great Dungeon of the North about Traveller starship fees. I've always sort of glossed over the fees for a few things, but as with my other gaming, costing things is a challenge for me in fantasy games and Traveller (the only SF game I actually run or play)

Costs should vary, though in the Traveller universe, at least in the Imperium, there are rules and regulations to standardize that pricing. Mongoose has introduced a few variants in pricing that I sort of like: jump costs are not a flat Cr1000/jump for cargo (though that too is always contested). I've not looked at the T20 rules - I don't think I have those on CD (yet! as I also don't have one of the GURPS CDs, if I can find a 3rd and there is a 443 thing for 4 CDs for the price of 3, I may have to go there after all!) But a few topics in COTI have indicated that there are some really nice changes in T20. Poke through the Classic forum about what would you change in Classic for that. Some interesting discussion.

I do like that different ports will have different charges: after all, you are probably getting better and more up to date equipment at a class A port versus a class C or even a D. 

And that list also gives me warehouse fees. I do have the GURPS books and at one time I had read through the Starports book. I don't recall fees being variable in there, but I may have missed it. But there is a lot of info that can be useful even for Classic games. How GURPS describes warehousing:

Starports possess a large amount of empty space for the purposes of holding cargo until claimed and transported. In most cases, these are simply large, enclosed facilities. They may be located above or below ground at a downport, depending on needs and conditions. A transit shedis a warehouse located at a berth, for temporary storage of cargo just prior to loading or after unloading. In standard free standing berths (see p. 76), the transit shed is simply the space around the landed starship, but still inside the walled berth. Other warehouses are used for long-term storage, particularly of duty-free goods passing through the starport’s XT zone. They are normally centralized, away from the high-traffic sections of the port, some within the XT line and some outside in the local startown. Those outside the XT line will be local, usually commercial, property and not operated by the SPA. In all cases, warehouses are secured against theft by a variety of means. SPA realizes that the security of cargo awaiting transport is an important concern of merchants and corporations using their facilities. Standard SPA warehouse security measures are heavily automated, with a computer program linked to a variety of TL10+sensors providing the first line of defense, and human security personnel only summoned when a problem is detected. Port directors have the authority to customize their security measures, however. A thief with all the electronic countermeasures for standard SPA sensors might find a not-so-easily-spoofed security guard on site . . .

In looking for fees. either I can't see them or they are not there. I also looked in the GURPS Traveller core book (which I've never done as it is only in PDF and I just don't read PDFs the same way as something on paper). Anyway, I do recall that Classic had the flat Cr100/week for the first week regardless of port level. Assuming I can get back to my solo game (where does the time go?) I may do that as part of the world exploration I am doing in MTU.

In fact, I may even add yet one more straight multiplier: a rich world would be 1.5x the amount in those charts, a poor world .5x the costs. If I really wanted to get picky, you could also adjust based on the world government.

All this is part of the joy of Traveller for me. There are systems that a solo player can really get into. Traveller is a game that consists of several games, and I don't think its world building, as part of the rules, is matched by any other RPG I've seen or played. I think there are some extensive rules in Castles and Crusades for some world building, but it is all for a fantasy world. Traveller encompasses all the worlds. And the space between worlds. And the stars. And planetoid belts. Societies from stone age to incomprehensible future societies. And originally in 3 small A5 sized books!

Need to get back to my Travellers Guide posts, and perhaps add the berthing fee charts. I miss making planets for that. So now I am really hoping to get back the Malik and his adventures in the League of Planets. As I am playing instead of running the Sunday games, maybe I'll have some time!

And no wonder Traveller is often considered accountants in space :)

Finally, a picture of the still WIP of my character for the Fantasy Trip. It is the one on the left, though the mini is an Elf, my character is a regular human. The other archer is wearing chain and Prentum only wears leather. And by the way, we cleared out a vampire nest in our first session! Using a couple different shades of green, and I reversed the colors for each. Elf Green and Army Green from some Zombiecide paint sets I got.

everyone loves pictures

Friday, September 10, 2021

Apex Session 8: To the Temple!

Our intrepid adventurers waited until dark, then snuck around the German camp. Archie, followed closely by Jungle Girl, snuck over to the experimental jet and took apart enough things to make it unusable. He also found a box connected to the engines labeled Kristallbeh√§lter. Fortunately, Archie does read German, and recognizing this as a crystal bin, decided it may make for a good jet pack. (note that in Apex, gadgets are ruled by level, and jet packs are not available to a level 1 gadgeteer. But he is planning...and thank goodness for on-line translators! Of course, I am still probably screwing up the German, but close enough for game purposes).

Then, Isla and Ace sneak into Dr. Mader's tent. Ilsa wants to convince her of the evils of the SS and the longer term plan to conquer the world We did some role playing, and I really should have had the player do a charisma check. I always remember too late! Anyway, she was convinced, and they snuck into the temple. They also put a tarp over the front hallway, to prevent any light leakage. A good idea as there is a patrol circling the camp, but not really paying enough attention. After all, there is no one else out here in the volcanic cauldron. 

Once in the temple, they start exploring. 

I used blocks to cover what they could not see, but I think there is a lot of room for improvement over a Skype channel for this. And I should have done a better narrative (and I point these things out to remind me of these things, not as a self-flagellation exercise). They go through the hallways and small chambers. Dr, Tong is ecstatic over the urns in the one chamber that have matching glyphs and images from the tower they stayed at. He took a lot of pictures (and so far has not failed any of the usage rolls: he must be carrying a LOT of film!).

There was a brief battle against a large feather dinosaur. Crystal swords swinging, and unfortunately for Jungle Girl and Archie, they tended to miss (I usually roll badly and the player behind Archie does as well. Reminds me of way back in college, my D&D monk somehow got an intelligent scythe during character generation. And even then I rolled badly: that scythe kept yelling at me to get used as a weapon and not just to cut the grasses. I missed a lot back then as well). Anyway, Ace kept swinging with his wrench (which we determined does 1d6 damage, as a club does 1d6-1 and this is a heavy metal wrench) and Dr. Tong seemed admirably fit to be hitting as much as he did with his sword. Again, only Ace managed to get hurt in this scuffle. Jungle Girl, who managed to leap astride the dino in round one, got broncod off, failed her dexterity roll despite being lithe, and fell on her butt in the spreading blood. It has not been her game for fighting. But after a few rounds the dinosaur was killed.

The room with the mummies was a bit different: there was the remains of a map that shared several aspects of the odd map they had found before. There was a match to Ilsa's coin, the Fifth Pentacle of Mercury:

I picked these as I actually have the 44 coins, and would have used them at the game table (and honestly, should get 2 sets, so that I can keep a full set and actually give the players the coins rather than getting them back at the end of each session...) Plus they seem interesting.

Putting the coins on the matching symbol on the wall did nothing. However - there was an indention fitting the coins under each of the three mummies! Putting her coin in the first one, there was a rumbling as the temple shook a bit, and the glyphs on the wall glowed yellow. Ilsa went to the wall to touch the glowing symbols. but to her surprise her wand went through the wall! She caught herself but managed to glimpse on the other side a bright green meadow in the middle of the day. Dr. Tong immediately wanted to see and leaned in, taking pictures. He also noticed that there were 2 suns in the sky. 

No one else wanted to look (and yes, caution does well because perhaps it is a 1-way trip, or the portal may fail and kill the character...). The next slot had the walls glowing blue. Tong leaned in to look but fell to his feet: the gravity was actually different on the other side, about 1.5 times what is Earth-normal. It was also dark other than a mass of glowing red eyes! Backing out quickly, the others saw a large spider claw reaching through. Quickly pulling the coin from the slot, the wall stopped glowing and the spider leg dropped to the ground. With a look of glee. Jungle Girl grabbed the claw and started peeling off the flesh. It was a very pointy claw. Tong also was successful in not dropping or breaking his camera.

While she was cleaning that and wrapping the talon with a leather thong for a handle, the last slot revealed a red glow. The other side was cold, cold enough to about freeze methane (it was the first chemical that came to mind...). Tong about had frostbite from the brief moment he was peering into this freezing hell. 

With no more slots, they also decided that this temple needed to be destroyed to prevent it from falling into the Nazi's hands. These are the good guys after all! And I am also not sure if I went too far in the weird worlds idea percolating in my brain. Probably need to concentrate on Nazis and dinosaurs first.

They did a bit more exploring and found a small flock of chicken-sized dinosaurs which were easily defeated. We left the group next to the hidden passage, which they had found, that lead to the upper floor of the temple as it was, for me at least, getting late.

Despite having more time to prepare, I actually did less preparation than normal. I think part of that is after 8 sessions I do tend to start flagging a bit for running games. And I also worry about the group having a good time. Next session they will hopefully get to the second level, and I do need to think about bringing the core ideas of the game back into focus as well. Not sure what will happen next session yet: the players have skirted around a few of the things I laid out, which is to be expected. But next session they will be at the top of the temple and maybe finding the secrets of the people who left it behind. Or just go out in a blaze of glory!

Monday, September 06, 2021

Apex Session 8 Preparation

Despite a 3 day weekend, I've not managed to get a lot of stuff done (mostly took some nice naps, so I must be more tired than I thought). And I did give platelets this morning, so got to watch the 1st couple of episodes of season 2 of the Mandalorian. And then realized I never finished watching the 1st season as I dropped the subscription before I had to pay for it. And also realized that if you don't watch a lot of stuff, it is no longer particularly important or even that entertaining. But I digress...

I've got the basic battle area for the upcoming session. There may not even be a battle, but I wanted to have things sort of displayed so they all have an idea of what they are facing (or at least, what they can see).

The background on the right was what I was using as a background, but then I could not see anything else I placed on that. And it is actually a metallic tile or something, but I liked the way it looked. Close enough to a volcanic basic. 

Anyway, I also found that searching for Nazi soldiers does not return a lot of actual hits for gaming. German soldiers worked, and now I wonder if I am on some watch list somewhere (but as I am not playing Paranoia, I'll just continue on with my life).

So we have the temple. the troop carrier zeppelin, the experimental jet and our soldiers. Color coded for me so I can tell the general soldier from the captain and Dr. Mader. We last left our adventurers peering over the escarpment and seeing the scene as it is mostly displayed in the image. I again sort of managed to leave us on a cliffhanger (almost literally as they did have to climb a bit of a cliff to get there!)

Still wish we could get back to face to face playing: I have nice battle mats and stuff, and enough Lego minis that I could do this (though as I don't have many Indiana Jones sets, I only have a couple German Lego characters somewhere in that giant pile of boxes and tubs next to me or in the closet under the stairs (and no, Harry Potter is not living there: it would be noisy as that is where the heater/AC system is). So I would probably use Star Wars Stormtroopers as I have a large number of them, and they are basically the same thing just from a galaxy far away. Plus we could avoid some potential misunderstandings: having voice only we can miss out on some of the nuances of the group (I may have to publish my mea culpa post from 2 months ago, but maybe add an addendum. I know I suffer a bad case of foot in mouth: I seem to be able to say the wrong thing without even knowing. I fail all my diplomacy rolls in real life as well as gaming!)

Anyway, I've not done a whole lot more than set that up, and considering I've had two weeks to prepare...

I'll dig back into my maps for a temple map. I had one on Tong's handout (which was just a PDF even though I printed a copy on parchment paper and it looks pretty durn nice!). Need to find that one and do a bit of work. I won't publish that one here as we are playing tonight, and who knows, maybe my players DO read this blog before I send them the link for the game recap :)

And this sort of segues into a semi-random thought: way back as a player, I used to map the dungeon as we explored it. First, as you may all know, I like maps. But more importantly, it actually served a couple of in-game reasons. First, it allowed us to get back out faster if we needed to. While I use the megahexes for the Fantasy Trip games for a lot of things, I've just allowed them to know how to get back out (and of course, that last adventure was not a particularly large temple labyrinth so it would have been hard to get lost). But it can also give you a sense of missing rooms or chambers. Large blanks areas on the map may be more than simply a large blank area. Not sure if "modern" gamers still do this. The group I am now does not, but we rarely have dungeon crawls. The last one we had, Delve, we were going one way to get through the remains of the castle. We were not going back to the beach. Though I do hope we get to play there again: Featherstone has leveled up, but with my rolls it hardly matters that technically he would be a level above the others. But we'll see what that GM says when we get back around to that game. And I even bought the book and compendium!

Anyway, not having watched any of the videos of people playing RPGs (and I just don't see why people want to watch others play, but then hey, I don't watch sports games or Twitch games. If I am not playing, why would I care? Guess I am not tribal enough!) I've no idea if players still have a designated map maker. And someone with a 10' pole.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Athagio of the Cephates Herd of the Perry Fields

Missing a player so we did a session 0 / set up characters for the next game. This time around I am playing a centaur who shapeshifts into a sugar glider. And this is the reason for his journey. In the Perry Fields, the centaurs have the age of transition. This transition occurs in early puberty and reveals what they can shapeshift to. Athagio, one of the largest colts (he is basically a Clydestale Centaur) had great expectations of his new shape. Would it be a lion of the plains, a rhino, or even one of the mountain gorillas? Much to his shame, he ended up a small sugar glider. And to make matters even worse, his gender would often switch as well. While his mere told him he was special, his father took a much dimmer view and from then on, would have nothing to do with Athagio. It was only a matter of time that Athagio left the Cephates Herd to wander the world, looking for a cure to what he considered his affliction. His mother got his a fine coat of mail, to protect him from the dangers out there. He learned to cook for himself on his journeys, and ended up in the city of Talmar. He made friends with Diego, the Squirrelkin, and Cyrus Budro-Budro, a large Gatorfolk. They have yet to see him shapeshift, and if Athagio has anything to say about it, they never will. 

Je m'appelle Athagio de Champs Perry du Troupeau Cephates. Why yes, French is close to what his herd speaks. 

Athagio of the Cephates Herd of the Perry Fields

Centaur Shapeshifter, Mystic Folk
Centaur                    Sugar Glider
Strength:    14    +2      11  
Dexterity:   14    +2      17    +3
Mind:        14    +2      14    +2

Hit Points:  21
Armor Class: 12 + 5 (Chain) = 17
Initiative:  1D20 + 2Dex + 1 lvl = +3

  • Shapeshifting - can turn into a wee sugar glider. 50% chance of either gender. Character has ability to change body or body parts to an animal or other race. Costs 1 HP to transform (unless considered Mystic Beast). Bonuses or immunities may change based on new race
  • Sacrifice Protect - When an ally within 20 ft is under melee attack, character can choose to intercept damage (with additional 1d4 damage). The character moves to replace ally. Ally rolls 1d2 to see if they are knocked to ground for no damage
  • Favored Weapon - Select one specific weapon (e.g. short sword, flail, crossbow, etc.) as a favored weapon. It does a critical hit on a natural 19 or 20 (that would otherwise hit). Once per combat round if using this favored weapon and you miss, you get reroll.
  • Chef +2
  • Scout +3
  • Wandering Minstrel +2
  • Tunnel Scout +1
  • Weapon master - Choose one weapon to get +3 to hit and damage or choose to get +1 to all weapons (+1 all weapons)
  • Because I am a good chef, I have an eye for plants for a variety of usage both good and ill; a keen sense of smell to detect the ingredients of many dishes
  • Being a minstrel, I am adept at convincing people. And if sheer size does not work, perhaps a small, innocent sugar glider gaze may change an opinion?
  • Chain mail (+5 AC)
  • Horse bow (favored weapon) - 1d6 + 1 (Weapons Master) damage
  • Strong Pack
    • large tarp
    • crowbar
    • hammer
    • shovel (leave no trace and he is a horse...)
    • iron pot (scrubbed clean after each meal)
    • block and tackle (he can really haul things!)
    • craftsman tools (useful for keeping his musical instruments in tune and repaired)
  • Scroll case
  • 2 ink pens
  • bottle of ink
  • 5 parchments to write his heroic songs on
  • 10 days of rations
  • waterskin
  • flask (for the finer things in life)
  • lyre

an over-compensating Athagio

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Solo Traveller, Where Art Thou?

It has been a while since my last post for my solo game of exploration in MTU. I do want to get back to it but as I am also currently running 2 games (the Apex game and the Fantasy Trip Game) I really don't have the time to work on that game much. Add in that work is getting pretty busy for an end of the year deadline (you may think that is plenty of time but we're migrating a complex system from one platform to another, and both are very complex. And we don't want to break the existing processes, nor have people have to do double data entry. So it is complicated.)

But in reading through some other blogs, I found this post from the Role Play Rescue site (which as he does some Traveller posts that look good, I'm adding to my blog list; I got this one via alea iactanda est site which has my site linked. It is always interesting to see who visits and where from. Blogs are the new web rings in a lot of ways (and I miss the Traveller web ring and all the really interesting sites it used to have. The web was supposed to be a decentralized system but it is now mostly in the hands of a few large corporations. And all the sites look the same for the most part. But I am just being curmudgeonly...)

That post, to get back on target here, added luck points so he could override the rolls. As the last few games have have that sort of mechanism in it, I think I'll allow myself some of those points as well. I think it will make the story telling a bit more flexible. Which brings up a question: would I do something similar to other games I run that don't have that mechanism in place already?

And the answer is no: The Fantasy Trip & Traveller can be cinematic, but that was not the original intent of the games in my view. They are meant to be deadly, for the players to track their resources and not do stupid things. And for games like that, I like that approach. I still need to print up and play an even more grim game, The Blackest of Deaths. It is even more deadly. Somewhere on one of the blogs I read it was mentioned to play your characters like a rental: go fast & go wild. Or something to that effect. And for TFT & Traveller, it is pretty easy to generate characters. Integrating them into the current game can be tricky, but there are always ways. Gamers, we're very creative!

(and I just realized I have some scenery that looks just like that tree!)
the Runt in his dreams, riding the zombie werewolf

And it turns out that we're down a player for the Monday game, and the Sunday group can't make it today. So suddenly I do have some time! But sadly I will catch up on a couple of other things, such as making the battle map of the German encampment. I do have a 3 day weekend coming up, and plan on taking at least part of a day off soon as I am reaching a snark level that may get me in trouble (one of my sisters takes snark days off on occasion. I feel I am nearing my limit as well!)

A note on the Monday game: we were down a player 2 weeks ago as well but that was during a travelling session: not a whole lot was likely to happen so I felt it was okay to press on. We're now at the Nazi base near the temple, and the missing player is the German doctor. Seeing how Ilsa would probably have an outsized role here, I was not comfortable with running her character through the session. And this session would probably introduce the big bad. I think it will take 2 more sessions probably to finish this current arc.  

I did give a few things we could do:

  1. play anyway, and either I or another player take up the good Fraulein's role
  2. play anyway, but throw in a side mission / distraction so that the meeting of the Germans is postponed a week (i.e., the Nazon, which turned out to be really close to Nazi as pointed out by the players & entirely missed by me! but that does potentially lead to some other ideas. Regardless, I just pictured in my head as the group is watching the Nazis. Isla, being a Raider and never surprised, looks over to see a Nazon or two sitting back with their dinosaurs, watching the Nazis as well.)
  3. roll up characters for the next game, which has yet to be decided
  4. do a 1 shot. Either another Brass Rings adventure of sorts, or another GM steps up (and there has been volunteers)
  5. entirely skip and take an evening off.
Anyway, off to make a battle map!