Friday, November 29, 2019

Krim's Patrol Corvette

Using Ryan Wolf's Jinda Wolf corvette as one of the Space Patrol's system defense boats, I decided to see if I could work my way through the T5 rules for the stats. So far, I'd have to go with no. I believe someone over on COTI has a spreadsheet over in the files section, so I may have to try that. But based on the existing plans and tonnage. the ship is 442 Traveller tons. Rounding up to 500 tons to keep things within the basic rules.

The QSP (Quick Ship Profile) would be PE-ES90, for Patrol Corvette, hull E (500 tons), streamlined, 9G maneuver and 0 jump. This is an in-system ship, and that actually works great with the deck plans. It is a TL14 design and one of the standards in the League of Independent Planets for the Space Patrol and system defense.

The mission is a patrol corvette: PE. It has a streamlined hull (friction / 3, stability +1) with 3 layers of hull plate (aka superdense). There is also a anti-blast layer of armor. It has a type Y drive giving it Man-9, and a power plant type Y as well to power both the drive and the plasma barbettes. It has  wide variety of sensors: communicator, visor, EM, life detector (handy when checking ships), radar, neutrino detector to check for those fusion power plants, radiation sensors. The 6 plasma guns are housed in 3 dual barbettes, the 24 missiles are housed in a triple missile turret, and the 4 fixed forward mass cannons I am translating to 1 triple slug thrower turret. For defenses there is an electronic scrambler, but primarily they rely on speed and maneuverability, as well as a strong offense.

There is a bridge as well as a dedicated CIC. There are 2 double staterooms used as double staterooms, a 3rd double stateroom for the captain and his office, and squad barracks for boarding crew. It is a military crew consisting of 14 total: Captain, 1st officer, pilot, navigator, medical officer, 3 engineers, 2 gunners and a 5 person boarding squad that overlaps duties with the rest of the crew. In general there are at least 2 crew available for every position, except engineering.

I've not worried about the cost - this is a government ship. But I will eventually work that out. I'll probably do this also for Cepheus Engine, and maybe even Classic and Mongoose. Just to see.

And in reviewing the power plant section, I may not be able to get a power plant for 9G in there: looks like at TL14 it only goes to 7...I don't think I am reading that correctly. The design sequence is via a fill-form, that then relates to the tables, than then relate to the sections. So it is not exactly a linear process until you've done it enough times. But it makes sense - it goes from the most compact to the most expanded. The sensors need to be looked at as well, but there does appear to be a good interaction for actual playability in there: the charts indicate the ranges that sensors can sense things. So the ship has both photonic and visor sensors: visor works at 1 better range band effectively: at 5000km photonic can see an ACS (adventure class ship) whereas the visor can see small craft at the same range. And the EMS can detect missiles at that range. The neutrino detector can detect missiles out to 8 light seconds away at range 8.   So then looking at the sensor task roll lets you know how well you can sense things, and it takes into account the tech level (so TL 14 is pretty good to have here!), character skills, size range vs object size. So some interesting mechanics there: a higher TL ship will definitely have a better chance of sensing things. Makes you want to upgrade your TL9 sensors at the next high tech port!

So I really need to read the books a bit more: there does seem to be a lot to look forward to in the T5.10 version.

Fantasy Trip - Big Boss

After discovering that they can die, but finding some healing potions (it was a random roll on the treasure table, and a very fortunate one!), they are pressing on. I am using the dungeon from the 2nd Delayed Blast Gamemaster, a Kickstarter for some old school fun dungeons. See - I *am* using some of the things I've purchased. In fact, one of the random things they found after defeating the giant spider was a spider-engraved chest, a bit too large to carry easily, filled with flat stones with spiders engraved on them. I've some ideas what they may be used for in a later game (imagine if they turn into giant spiders in the light of the moon...wonder who will be keeping guard that night?)

They have two more rooms to explore before the last one. One they are in when we left was a work room, with magical ingredients, books, scrolls and tablets. One of the books will be my fantasy mushroom book if I can remember to bring it in the next session. While not magical per se, it does have some notes and things that could be used in magical potions, poisons and other game artifacts.

Wish that the Bones KS delivered early - all these goblins and I only have game pieces for them. And an empty suit of armor is coming up, then our wizard of the eyes. She is a Dwarf wizard as I have a Dwarf magic user mini, and, hmm, could be a sister or cousin to Glorirnolsia Grumblestone. I may have to figure out if there is a connection or not there. How many wizardly Dwarves are living near Edge City?

And here is Vakkekara Mountainsunder, a female Dwarf wizard who lives to spy apparently.

ST: 10  DX: 12  IQ: 15

Meal, Dispel Missiles, Reveal Magic, Drop Weapon, Detect Magic, Scrying, Slippery Floor, Duplicate Writing, Spell Shield, Lightening, Unnoticeability, Staff I, II, III, IV, Create Gate.

Her ornate wand, engraved with eyes, does 1d+3 damage (she has had time to improve it over the basic 1d damage). Her one weaponized spell is the lightening, but she has a few defensive ones. She prefers to user her minions as her shield and sword.  She will attack at least one round but then slip through the door that is spelled only to let her go through, and anyone she is touching. So should one of the players be holding on to her when she steps through the gate, they will have a one way trip.

She has Create gate as she has a backup from getting trapped: the outline of a door is on the back wall. The gate is attuned to her and will take her to her tower. Not sure yet where the tower is, but I am thinking she could pop up later. She is holding a power stone that has 20 ST points to use, and her wand has 15 mana points, so she has some magic backup. She may drop the power stone if she gets hit by anything.

The floor in front of her will have the slippery floor spell on it, and she will have the unnoticeability spell running. So she may well get a few attacks, which she will make with 2 ST for 2D damage.

The ensorcelled armor will be ST 30 DX 12 IQ 2. It is carrying a 2 handed sword (3d-1) and guards the chamber next to Vakkekara's final study.

Not 100% sure we'll be running this Sunday - Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Fantasy Trip, 2nd Outing

The characters are Runt Gubbler, the intelligent Goblin Mage with a ST 6, Crut the half-Elf rogue with acrobatics who has his own theme song, Threndir the Elven Archer who seems to have a hard time hitting anything, and Cheeli the Dwarf Tank who has an even harder time hitting anything despite the +5 DX enchanted hammer he has, thanks to Runt.

Our last game took most of the session working up the characters, but they did manage to get to where the missing dogs were (along with one hunting bobcat like animal with a mohawk. Hey, I used LEGO animals for the dogs and the cat just showed up :) ).  They decided to return to Hamor with the dogs, so Threndir, who has the animal skill, managed to befriend most of the dogs. As they were semi or fully trained hunting dogs, they tended to follow the lead well enough. The large cat, not so much but they did notice it stalking them as they marched back to the village.

Once there, young Jon was enthusiastic about Old Blue returning home, and they all got paid their 2 silvers plus the meal and a night at the Badger's Lodge (yay, the Inn now has a name!). The inn keep, who also has a name but I don't have those notes handy, just had regular food: the ambrosia mushroom was finished the other day, and that party had left the previous morning. A good night's sleep and they had various breakfasts, from a plate of bacon bigger than the Dwarf's head to the bowl of porridge for the Elf. With their new-found wealth, the went to the small trading store nearby (Hamor is slowly getting larger, I'll have to make some maps!) Looking up the prices of armor it turns out the adventurer's did not get paid as much as they thought things may be worth. They did stock up on travelling food: the goblin store keep even had a loaf of Dwarven bread - he and Cheeli bartered quite a bit as Cheedi is the town's smith. Had no taste and almost broke a tooth - he was getting closer to true Dwarf bread (which can also be used as a weapon. Why yes, I do enjoy Terry Pratchart)

Threndir noticed the hunting cat hanging out in the woods, watching the township. Taking some bacon, he went to make friends with the large feline. The big cat ate the bacon, and Threndir sat down only to get his thighs kneaded with some very large and sharp claws. Returning to the group, they managed to find their way back to the guard's watch post in the clearing, despite Cheeli's most definite memory of turning the other way at that fork in the path. No one noticed the big cat following along.

Entering the 2 story and slowly collapsing building, they spread out, Cheeli searching the kitchen area, Runt hanging back at the door, and Threndir and Crut looking up the staircase. They only noticed the giant spider when it jumped and attacked Crut!

A short battle waged, Run watching as he had not recovered all the mana for his staff and so did not have much in the way of power reserves. Crut stabbed the beast several times, and Threndir managed to put a few arrows into it. Crut did get bit, but made his roll against poison. They finally kill the eight legged monster. After some discussion about figuring out how to get the poison from the spider to Threndir's arrows, they decided it may not be worth the risk of an accidental scrape from a poisoned arrow.  The did find a chest with spiders engraved on the outside. Managing to get it open they found several flat rocks with spiders engraved on them. The chest was too big to carry readily, but a bag worked for carrying the rocks (Dwarves are great at being tanks and carrying everything!)

They also found a trap door. Crut tried to check for a trapped trap door but failed, Thinking it safe, he then proceeded to open the door only to spring the large arrow trap! Fortunately with his acrobatics roll he managed to make that save, otherwise it probably would have killed him (3D6, and he only has ST 10). With a large arrow stuck in the wall, they descend the 3 hexes worth of steps to the dungeon. They did noticed that there were a lot of eyes painted everywhere.

Below, there were 2 Goblins in what appeared to be a sitting room of sorts, with Goblin size chairs and a table. One Goblin had a sling, the other a horse bow. Cheeli of course charged, letting the Goblin get a final shot in. The others spread out a bit in the small room and the fight was on. Cheeli it turns out tends to kill Goblins with a single blow, he may want to call his hammer Goblin Squasher although as Runt the Goblin Mage is the one who enchanted the weapon, perhaps not. The other Goblin slings a rock at Cheeli but it bounces off his armor. The group turns on the poor Keen, who in his fear has managed to now require a fresh pair of pants. With much threatening, they find that there is a trap in the middle of the next passageway, and that the master will not be happy. And that there are more Goblins further in. Having Keen lead, the troupe make there way to the next chamber which appears to be a Goblin barrack, with several Goblins ready to attack, and three Goblins managing to still sleep.

This next battle proved how dangerous combat can be: Runt managed to cast a lightening spell that frizzled one Goblin's hair but did not kill him. Getting hit in the head with a rock from a sling almost took poor Runt out, so he cast staff to snake and hid back in the passageway. Meanwhile, Crut also got stabbed a few times and decided that perhaps a withdrawal was a better choice. Cheeli was nigh invulnerable between his plate armor and toughness. But he also has a very difficult time actually hitting anything despite the hammer giving him a boost. And one attack, with a dagger that normally should not be able to hurt him, actually rolled a 4 for double damage, so 2 hits got through.

The staff turned snake kept biting at the remaining Goblin while Cheeli kept swinging away. After a messy battle, they regrouped, badly injured. However, a true random roll on the random treasure tables found 6 healing potions. There was discussion prior to this about going back to Hamor to rest up. I did mention that wherever the Goblins were coming from, as the place was actually pretty well furnished, there could be as many or more next time around, this time more prepared for a group of adventurers. So, while two kept guard and the magic users rested half an hour, and potions were drunk, they were somewhat restored and ready for the next round.Which will be the next session.

Some really fun points: Crut apparently has a theme song, and that acrobatic skill was very handy: the 1st trap had a 3d arrow which would likely kill him had he not dodged. Runt has been acting pretty true to character, hanging back and doing the minimal amount necessary to survive. They have managed to find a few gold pieces as well as the timely healing potions, and now realize that combat is dangerous. We also discussed experience points a bit and I don't give them out mid-session: had they left after this combat, I would have given it to them but the dungeon would be restocked with more difficult foes. But I will be giving out some extra to some of the characters as they are playing well in character. Probably enough to let them add another attribute, but they first have to survive!

And this is where all those Goblins in the Bones Kickstarter would have been handy, but I used the tokens from Tollekin's set I think and it was good enough.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Fantasy Trip, First Outing

We did managed to get the first game going this last Sunday. I met up with my friend and his 11 year old at his workshop. Cool thing is he is working towards (or already there) his journeyman's level for knife making. So the shop is full of sharp pointy things and tools to make knives with, along with the the welding and other equipment necessary for his day job. So I am thinking about how to work that shop into a game at some point...

The first part we read over their character backgrounds. We have the Elf archer who is perhaps overly proud of his prowess (yet managed to not hit the avatar a whole lot when we got into combat) who was wandering back to Edge City to see about the bar maid he once loved. There is the half Elf rogue whose mother is the bar maid, and the Elf may or may not be his father (this is metagaming at this point, so if/when we get to Edge City and they meet up with the mother/ex-girl friend, there could be interesting dynamics). The rogue has a good many knives secreted in various places. Then we have the Goblin wizard and his staff, a bit stand-offish and is looking out for himself. Finally the Dwarf smith who is our walking tank.

Getting the characters built took a fair amount of time, balancing out the skills and magic. I had training wheels on - let them pick the armor and weapons without worrying too much about the money side of things as per the Fantasy Trip rules (start with 1,000 silver I think is the general rule). I also tried to explain that the rules are a framework - it is our game to have fun with.

With the characters built, I tossed them into the village of Hamor, where the previous party was having dinner with their messy Goblin wizard. Runt, the Goblin wizard, ignored the voracious and messy Merk,and that party went upstairs to their rooms not long after that.  The party eventually all showed up, with some words between Dwarf and Elf (in TFT Elves and Dwarves do not get along well). I tried to set the scene with young Jon worried about Blue, his dog. Anyway, roll over to the next morning and more dogs are missing, and the inn-keeper of the Badger's Lodge, father to young Jon, offers a reward to the group that can track down the missing dogs. Our group gets together and heads out. Sadly none actually have the tracking ability; I allowed the Goblin mage with his large IQ stat to find some tracks that they followed to the foothills to the west of Hamor (near the mushroom caves in fact from a previous adventure). There were some huge footprints along with the dog prints.

They got to the clearing and saw the smoke rising up from what should have been a deserted guard house or watch station. The dogs were visible behind the house, barking and yipping. Unfortunately they did not succeed in sneaking up on the house: the Dwarf wearing plate mail is not a quiet Dwarf! Out of the building comes a huge, human-looking being in bronze chain mail, and he issues a "Who goes there, to disturb my abode?" A bit of conversation and a somewhat belligerent Dwarf and battle commenced While the avatar had a ST20 and a 2 handed spear that did 1d+2 damage (just slightly more than a normal spear), the Dwarf, though slow, managed to engage Urkon (still need to figure out which god he is an avatar of!). Between plate armor and having toughness 2, he managed to actually avoid any damage. However, his natural DX and armor pretty much assumed he would miss every time. Except: Runt had magically enhanced this hammer (and we now need a name!) with a +5DX giving the Dwarf only a 9- to roll, so not quite 50%. He did manage to land a few hits but more often missed, as did Urkon (which, considering he was 3x the height of the Dwarf, may have had something to do with that). The Elven archer was shooting, and did manage to hit but equally often managed to miss, making a pin-cushion of the building behind them. He did get a good alignment up to not hit any of his companions. The rogue had moved behind Urkon, invisible thanks to Runt, and while would not miss easily, the dagger rarely did damage as the armor absorbed 3 points of damage. What ended up turning the tide was the gargoyle the wizard brought up - it flew over and attacked Urkon, claws scratching and teeth biting.

Urkon was finally vanquished in a puff of smoke - the avatar may return (hey, it's a nice mini :) ).  Runt the wizard had used up all his staff's mana and a good bit of his own, so was a bit wobbly on his feet. No one else took any damage, so perhaps I was too careful with the new players.

At this point, they can rest for a bit as it is only mid-day on a nice fall afternoon. I gave out 120 XP each as they played within character and defeated the avatar. This allows them to bump up a stat, and in the case of Runt the wizard, recharge his staff (it takes XP to recharge if I read the rules, so I wanted to be a bit generous to allow them to improve a bit as well as prepare for the next part).

And the next part: explore the building, maybe find the caverns for a real dungeon crawl, and then hopefully get back up and take the dogs back to Hamor.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Planning the 1 Shot, Part 3

We're going to try again this weekend, barring illness or other interruptions. I've also asked them to generate 2 characters apiece - TFT can be a bit deadly and 2 beginning level characters may not fare so well.

So my huge friend is playing a Dwarf Smith and a Goblin wizard. His 11 year old an Elf archer and a Halfling rogue. I'll have to poke around to see if I have any minis close to those: the Dwarf I have covered, I actually half a Halfling rogue but it is a female. I don't currently have any Elves so will have to do with any archers I may have. And pretty sure not a Goblin to be found. All that will be covered with the Bones V Kickstarter, but alas, that is April of 2021.

I've also worked up the falling apart guard house a bit. I really need to take the time to learn how to use Campaign Cartographer...but I have at least a basic map of the building. I have a lot more respect for those people that can make beautiful maps. I am still fingerpainting...

Bottom floor has the kitchen area. A corner is full of guano - always look up! Upstairs are the barracks and a new alter. Still need to pick a god for the avatar thay they may end up fighting (which is why there are 2 characters apiece). There is a trap door under the staircase that the rogue will hopefully notice. This may lead to a small dungeon I need to work up.

The building is in shambles, and there is light only from the door and the single window on the 2nd floor. Except: the fireplace is still roaring. I'll have the avatar Urkon on the 2nd floor. We will have to roll for surprise - we'll see if they are trying to be sneaky or not.

There may be miscellaneous treasures to be found - I may roll on the random treasure table or bring along the Deck of Many Things for a more humorous treasure. I want this to be fun and memorable, but not set up expectations of riches from the get-go. I also need to remember to bring along some of the coins and maybe even the stamps - if they die we can stamp the sheets. Or if they live...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Traveller Solo, interlude

My solo experiment definitely took a long hiatus! A few other things kept coming up. One thing I may want to add to the Krim system is a ship inspection. Re-reading Foundations Edge and the experience the main characters have getting through customs, As we left our crew jumping from Preacep to Krim I still need to roll for anything happening during the jump transit, then what happens when they come out of jump at Krim.  I will add to any random roll a customs inspection: they are coming from Imperial space to League space. So time to beef up the Space Patrol, maybe create another ship and crew with that career book, and have an inspection. Hope I roll well on the reaction roll! Hopefully nothing like the image from the book from Stellagama and created by Ian Stead. I think I've had 1 quick overview of that book, maybe I should try and do a more comprehensive review for my 15 followers!

So the plans are to try & re-read that book a bit as it has some interesting things about how the law works on various planets and can add additional chrome. Plus next game it is a possible career choice.

And work up a ship and crew from that book to practice with its career paths. I had to combine that with the Clement rule books to get the entire thing to work, but it does create some detailed characters.

And process the in-jump events, then out of jump for the No Refunds and into League space!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Traveller Kickstarters

I finally got the Traveller 5.10 books, and it is even signed. The cards may have some use if I ever get to an actual T5 game which really seems unlikely. I still have to read over the books at some point. They do come in a really nice slipcase. I did read over part of the combat, and it does seem significantly improved in explaining it than the original and T5.09 versions. I am still a bit confused over character generation and that has always been one of my favorite parts of Traveller. The knowledges and skills I think I can get with a bit more playing around. Just seems a little too much detail perhaps. But skills and knowledges play a more critical part in some of the dice rolls. And like Shadowrun, this is a dice pool game. Not sure I really like that as much fun as it is rolling a handful of dice on the table. But then I have to count things....

It also came in with ship cards that can be used for a ships crew. So now I have the No Refunds crew sort of there, or at least the captain. They are pretty nice as well, but I can actually do better if I need to - last game the players really seemed to like the player cards I made for them.

So in the end: was it worth $150? As a completionist, I would say yes. As a gamer with an low chance of actually playing T5, probably not. I will still mine the game for various things: the combat has some interesting ideas about range and size of the target. A lot less abstract than Classic, so I may yet come to some sort of combat system I actually like in Traveller by combining bits and pieces. I may have to come up with that by early next year as we've another game I'll be refereeing. Still need to find a good starting place.

There is another Mongoose Kickstarter, a large campaign that would take at least a decade of game time. It combines elements of the Great Rift and the Elemental Cruisers. I've decided to actually forgo this one, as much as I would like it. Again - my gaming group would never finish it, I probably will not be able to find another group of people to play face to face and that's where the physical stuff comes in handy (if I back something, I back pretty high to get as much as possible! Give me PDFs and game books!)  While parts of it do look interesting, it is still a campaign which requires a certain amount of railroading despite Mongoose saying it does not (I've got a few of their adventures, and they all require some sort of railroading to get to the end. Guess I am much more a sandbox player). Looking at it from a resource viewpoint, I can see, as with Traveller 5.10, parts would be useful. But the whole of it I just won't use. Plus they want close to $60 just for some pads of paper, pencils and dice. And a patch....seems a bit high for me as much as I would like the patch (to go with the 20+ other patches from various Kickstarters that have rarely seen the outside of the envelope they are in!)

So perhaps I am learning some moderation. Or perhaps it is due to the $350 I just spent on Reaper Bones, which I won't even see until April 2021! And my guess is that I'll be adding more throughout the pledge manager. While I won't collect ALL the dragons, I will get at least 2. I mean, really nicely sculpted dragons of a good size to tower over the adventurers!

Planning the 1 Shot, Part 2

I was fairly well prepared, had my car loaded with the big box of I want It All goodness, and got the text message: the boys are sick, and not allowed to get out while feverish. So I have another week or so to prepare. I did give Nate a Fantasy Trip folder with blank character sheets (I knew there was a reason I bought those folders! TFT Office Supplies should be another Kickstarter!)

I did realize I forgot to bring any coins for the various treasures that may be found, and now I have a chance to create the interior of the tower for the end battle part. So while I was pretty well prepared, now I can be even more (over) prepared!

Longer term, if this goes well, I may introduce one or two of my gaming buddies to the game. But one step at a time - see if they like it and want to continue on with that. While I would like my own son to want to play, I can be satisfied that he at least goes to the gym with me!

I also have a fair number of paper minis. For the 1st game I don't think we need any, and I've got metal or plastic minis for the players. The Dwarf is below, and the roguish Elf I'll use one of the rogues I have.

And when you take a photo of a mini, and it gets large, it is easy to see all the places that need work! I worked pretty hard on the shading and tried to do a bit of highlighting. The beard still needs work. But when it is small it looks pretty good :)

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Planning the 1 Shot, Part 2

I've got the basic premise in place, and I did up a map for the boss fight assuming they get there, I also have a small cast of supporting characters. William was already shown in the last post, this post we'll present the big bad and a possible friend depending on how things are going.

First, the culprit behind the scenes: Urkon the Hunter. A minor deity, not quite a god but more than human. He hunts the woods across Cidri and has recently come to the forests around Hamor. He has picked up a residence in an abandoned watch tower (and somewhere along here we can start developing the history of this area: why is there a watch tower here? Why is it abandoned? But I am getting off track....) Behind the tower he has an area fenced off, full of hunting dogs, including Old Blue. A small stream crosses the path with an intact bridge. There are some foot hills to the south.

Both the below are baed on minis I do have: Urkon is from the Sin Tempore game, Aniron from the learn to paint. See - trying to actually USE those minis I am getting!

Urkon The Hunter

Urkon is an 8' tall hunter, dressed in bronze armor. Once he was an avatar of a warrior god, but he has been granted some freedom to roam. While he still wears the armor, he manages to move with some agility for such a large being. He is still a single hex creature for combat, just barely.

ST 20 DX 16 (adjDX 11) IQ 12 MA 12
Spear 1d+3, Plate Armor (-5 damage)
Spear, 3 languages (common, Dwarf, Elf), Literacy, Naturalist, Woodsman

He carries an magical spear, giving him +2 on damage, so 1d+3 damage. If he throws the spear (and now I need a name (turning to this interesting site that has all sorts of fun generators), I'll go with Attuned Impaler. An ancient weapon crafted by ancient Dwarfs, one of our protagonists, our Dwarf Smith, may recognize it on a 4d vs IQ roll. If so, he will know about the extra damage it can do.

Aniron, Wood Elf

ST 10 DX 16 (adjDX 14) IQ 12
Animal Handling, Vet, Naturalist, Woodsman, Staff II (12 manna), Detect Life, Blur, Staff to Snake, Bow, Pole Weapons

Aniron may turn up if the battle (if there is a battle) starts to go badly. Basically my ace in the hole in the event the 2 players and 1 NPC go to a fight and it goes badly. He will be coming up from the south foothills, tracking down those dogs that have been taken against their will. Basically I do not want a TPK (Total Party Kill). Unless things just go really south!

Planning a 1 Shot

There is no lack of guides for setting up a 1 shot. 1 shots are handy for introducing new players to a game or just having a quick game of something new between a longer running session.

Going by the guidelines set out by the Frank GM here, we need a simple hook, a simple goal, and simple encounters. I don't have any of the background of the players, all two of them, but I do know we'll have 1 blacksmith Dwarf, and one roguish Elf. Normally in the Fantasy Trip Elves and Dwarfs do not get along too well - they only thing they agree on is their opinion of Orcs apparently. However, I know the players both love dogs, so I can wrap a hook around that: the dogs from the village are starting to go missing. A distraught child wailing in the streets should bring the Elf's attention, and the Dwarf, why, his hunting dog Old Blue seems to have disappeared as well. The lad's father, inn keeper of the Fat Pear, one Johann Schmidt, is willing to pay into the pot: several of the villagers have put forward some coinage as a reward to see where the dogs are disappearing to.

Unless one of the two pick up some tracking skills, I may throw in a woodsman NPC to help guide them and maybe play the red shirt should something dangerous come up. And lo, I've created a base character:

William Ask, 18 year old male from the town of Hamor. Farmer, hunter, and general good guy.

ST: 10 DX 12 IQ 10
Talents are Farmer, Area Knowledge, Bow, animal handling and tracking. He actually knows one spell, detect magic, learned from his mother who was a travelling wizard. He has not seen her in years now. His father has a small farm north of Hamor where William lives. He has lost two hunting dogs in the last few weeks and is getting concerned.

They will meet at the inn, where they will see a party of Dwarfs, humans and one very messy Goblin eating (last game for those interested - somewhere on this disorganized blog are those adventures). William is looking a bit lost and this is when Festus comes in, wailing about his lost dog.

The smith, whose forge is a nearby, was trying to have a quiet drink at the end of the day, also worrying about his missing pups.

So, the hook: missing dogs and other animals. Goal: find the missing animals. Encounters: to be determined but I need to scale them to basically 2 players. William may or may not make it out...and he may be wearing a red shirt.

And while I have posted the map before, here's the area involved. This takes place at the Pear Farm, which is basically the village of Hamor. The village consists of the inn, a small smithy, several small houses and surrounding farms. The inn maintains the largest farm where pears for its signature Peary drink are harvested. There is brewery behind the inn, and farther off are various woodsman huts, where wood and timber are cut down to be sent to Edge City to the south. It is an honest little town, where folk come in every few days for a drink and conversation. There are hills and caves to the north and east, a few temples scattered about the woods here and there, mostly deserted and crumbling.

I'll have to read the various publications I've been getting - toss in some fun rumors that have no direct bearing on this story, things like that. Maybe a bit of politics as there is some unrest in the area, and I've never really thought about tiny duchies and whatnot that may have their own laws.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

The Fantasy Trip Overview

I'll be running a game for a friend and his son starting this weekend. As my games run to PG-13 at the worst, pretty sure an 11 year old will be just fine!

First, the broad definition of a role playing game: it is a game where you can take on the persona of a different person and have an adventure. Some games have very extensive rules that can detail just about everything you can do, some are very rules-light. It is at its core improv theater with some rules. And most RPGs have a rule 0: it is YOUR game, play it as you see fit.

Anyway, the Fantasy Trip is a fantasy role playing game, where you can play fantasy races or humans. Unlike a lot of RPGs, there are no classes. And the game is what is called a point buy system: you start with so many points and create the character you want to. There are two basic archetypes that can be played: fighter and magic user. The only difference is in the cost of using those points to get skills or magic. A magic user can learn spells at a cost of basically 1 point per spell; a non-magic user costs 3 times as much. On the other hand, a fighter can learn talents which take at least 1 point at the stated cost, but a magic user has to pay 2 times as much. So you can mix and match talents and spells but it will cost.

Spells are just that: throwing fireballs, creating illusions. Talents are what allow you to swing a sword well, or ride a horse, or even read. A magic user should really learn the literacy talent...

RPG characters are generally composed of stats, which I believe is short for statistics. The Fantasy Trip (TFT) has 3 basic stats: strength, dexterity, and IQ. Strength determines how much you can carry and how large a weapon you can use. Dexterity determines if you can actually hit something with that sword, as well as avoid traps or not fall off the cliff you are climbing. IQ determines your level of spells and talents you can know, and how well you can disbelieve illusions.

TFT is a 3D6 game, that is, it is based on 3 six sided dice. To hit something, you need to roll 3 dice and have a lower total than your dexterity. Dexterity can also be affected by armor: the stronger the armor, the lower your adjusted dexterity but the more protection you have. Armor is a damage soaker: it subtracts from the damage done.

Your base characteristics, ST (strength), DX (dexterity) and IQ (err, IQ), all start at 8 each for a human. You then have an additional 8 points to add however you like to your character. Starting characters start at 32 points (the 8x3 = 24 for the base + the 8 additional points). You can learn up to your IQ level in talents and spells. All characters speak the common tongue; it takes 1 point to learn a new language. Starting characters, as mentioned, can get a total number of spells and talents as their IQ. As you adventure, you gain experience points and can increase your characteristics or learn new talents or spells.

Combat is at the core of most RPGs. Combat in TFT is based on Melee, a microgame of the 70s. Facing matters, distances matter. The board is made of hexes, and friendly fire can happen. If you shoot an arrow and miss, it keeps going, If anyone is in that line, you have to roll to see if it hits that person. Spells work in the same process: roll 3 dice, if less than your DX you succeed. Spells do take fatigue ST from you, though, so early on you have to be cautious with your magic. Later, if you have the staff spell or a power stone, you can store magical energy to be used later.

Healing is a lot harder in TFT versus a lot of games. You can heal 1 point of damage every day or so. Healing potions are pretty rare by the rules although I have had games where payment was sometimes via magical healing potions.

Now, for the game we're doing the father wants to be a Dwarf Smith. Dwarfs start with ST 10, DX 6 and IQ 8 with 8 points. He is probably going to want the armourer talent, which is an IQ 10 talent. So at least 2 points will go to IQ. And he will want some fighting talents, such as knife, sword. Being a Dwarf, probably the ax/mace talent. And the shield talent. And maybe additional skills such as alertness, animal handling to help with the shoeing, maybe business sense if he is running his own forge!

The son wants to play a dark elf. Elves in TFT are your typical Elves. They start with ST 6, DX 10 and IQ 8 with 8 additional points. He is going to want leather armor probably that absorbs some damage and subtracts 1 from DX. They also have a higher movement allowance than humans. If in the roguish style, he may want to pick up the dark vision spell to be able to see in the dark, and lock.knock spell that allows him to magically unlock magical or mundane locks. A few weapon skills, and some stealth skills, and things like alertness.

We'll spend the 1st part designing characters, although I hope to loan them one of my books so they can read over it the next few days. Being an 11 year old I think it will read more than I have and tell me how to play!

I may start this one off from my last map - there are some good potential adventures there. And we can scale them for a 2 party of beginning adventurers so it won't be insta-kill.

Monday, November 04, 2019

New Links

For some reason I am on a link-adding spree. Just added Traveller Jim, which has some cool posts. And somehow they are from the future! Not sure what is going on but he has posts from 2020 and beyond! And I am going to have to find a use for the armed shuttle

Armed Shuttle

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Painting Interlude

While participating in the Reaper Bones V Kickstarter, and ending up spending more than I thought I would, with the full knowledge I will be spending even more over the next several months while the pledge manager is open, I bought one of their learn to paint sets. This was the layering set, and it comes with 3 minis and the directions on how to paint them as well as the paints.

I started with the easy one, Aniron the Wood Elf Wizard. Laying is more subtle than I expected, but easy to do when following the directions. Coming up with the colors to combine myself will only take time and practice. I am actually pretty happy with how he came out. While the washes I also use do some of the same things, actual shading and highlighting by varying the paint seems to work out better. I need to improve my wash technique some more, but that is true of all my painting techniques.

For a paint review, I cannot say that the Reaper paints are significantly better than the cheap acrylics I get for about 1/10 the cost at Wal-Mart. With the techniques I am learning and practicing we'll see if they are indeed any better. They do have really good names, and there are colors I cannot get otherwise (pretty sure the paint stores will not carry a color named Fresh Blood!) so there is a significant higher variety. After I've worked a few more painting sprees I'll probably be better able to compare paints.

I also started following back on some of the people who are following me - hello people! There are some good posts out there, and without the extra push we got from Google Plus sometimes it feels we're talking to the void. For me that's okay as most of my ramblings are just that, ramblings. I do have my game notes here as well for the games I am playing but some of my fellow players are not quite as on-line as I am.

I also feel I need to be more productive in these posts and not just ramble. You know, helpful hints to gamers and things. Except that there are already so many of those. The newest blog I added a link to is the Frank GM. More general fantasy gaming, but good advice. The other blog I added today deals with the Solomani Rim. I've never played Traveller there - pretty much the Marches or MTU. There is some interesting posts there as well. As my next game (yay!) is in the Rift area, we will be closer to the Solomani Sphere so some background may be useful.

The blue is the stick stuff I use to stick the mini to the tube I use to paint with. I even use a wet palette, which for the Reaper paints thins them out more. I had to adjust the directions a bit for when they add water as the paints are already on a fairly damp surface. The advantage is that the paint stays usable much longer. Acrylics dry out really fast.  For a wet palette, I took the advice of one of the videos I watched. Used a container, stick a paper towel in it, get it wet, drain out the excess and stick a piece of parchment paper on top. As I also bake (I have a weakness for muffins!) I actually have parchment paper. Reusing a yogurt container, so being thrifty!