Sunday, December 3, 2017

Heroes Unlimited Age of Astonishment and Me, MIA

I took one day off from working on these characters that I started after seeing what +Jacob Possin had started with World's Strongest. He's been at it full steam ahead and my one day off has turned into several. Let me try to explain why.

1. I have been fighting off a cold all week and each day it gets worse rather than better.
2. Jake and I had a long talk about writing and writing goals the other night. So, what very little energy I have had, I have put toward failing to meet my writing goals.

So, in either case, folks, it really just comes down to human frailty and bad timing.

Not one of my characters has that, well maybe Ms. Miracle, but she got better.

I'm coming back to this, but it may or may not be today.

You know, for all the years I played Palladium, I'm still finding out new things and I STILL can't get character creation under 2 hours. It's like I say, there's a mini-game of character creation before the game starts.

I hope to have some new characters up soon, even though I have to rename my next one due to Jacob's release of Seraph. That's not a whine, but a "rat's foiled again" by someone who is kind enough to allow me to enter his circle although his capabilities are certainly beyond mind. Remember: being the smartest person in the room is boring. Instead, surround yourself with people smarter and more skilled than you are in hopes it'll rub off.

Now, to deal a bit more with the man cold and I'll be back after these messages....

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Heroes Unlimited: Age of Astonishment The Crimson Commando

First, we had the Hardware Weapons Master Elf, Hunter
Then, there was an Empowered Acrobatic Heroine, Ms. Miracle
Then, I introduced the villainous Iron King and Asgard Technologies

Now, I'll put this out there--a super soldier from the Heroes Unlimited Powers Unlimited 2.

You know, a lot of things have popped out at me over time. I knew these books were never all that well put together/edited. Look in the complete list of powers in Powers Unlimited 3--pretty sure some are missing there and one of the lines is the selection choice for powers rather than an actual power. In N&SS there are instructions for converting the Ancient Master to use those martial arts. Then, in the 2nd Ed. main book, those instructions are completely contradicted. Mind you, in N&SS, in the same Ancient Master conversion section, it gives you +2 bonus melee attacks, later goes on to say you only get the attacks per melee from your form with NOTHING else, but you'll get more as you level.

I even read some Errata/FAQ last night. I learned a few things there. I may have built a few characters wrong according to those clarifications, but I don't care, I would've overruled them anyhow.

This character presented it's own problems. Choose one of these special super soldier augmentations, but ignore everything above. How far above? Uh, lazy. And, while I erred on the side of caution there, I took advantage of a loophole that had me give up 3 physical skills and got a martial art--a martial art unlike any other in the book that gave me 4 physical skills!

I can be pretty sure Kevin and his team will never go back and correct all this stuff. I think their answer to the same skills listed under different categories with different base percentages and added percentages was that you had to keep an eye on where you were taking them from. Did you take your 4th level character's Prowl from Physical or Rogue? Hope you wrote it down, although some basic math might help, if you remembered where it came from during the 2 hour character creation session.

Point is: I love this game. I just want it to be better. Is that so wrong? Meanwhile Rifts Savage Worlds is out there, but that's a different game. I love what +Sean Patrick Fannon has done with it and I enjoy it. But, for people like +Jacob Possin and myself, just because we enjoy the new stuff doesn't mean we can't relive and re-enjoy the old stuff.

And, I'm not trying to take anything from the team over at Palladium. It's how many years later, an even with its imperfections, I still love it.

Also, about the images here, I was also a big fan of G.I. Joe--the comics, toys, cartoons, etc. These Marauder figures are pretty damned awesome.

Meet Jerry Brock. He grew up in an abusive home on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as he turned 18, he was shipping off for the Army. His anger found a home and he excelled at his job. He moved through Basic Training without issue and quickly followed up with jungle survival, jump school, and other advanced training. He had a new family and he would lay down his life for any one of them. Indeed, he put his life on the line numerous times.

Whenever there was a chance, Burke was front and center, always ready for the next big adventure. That is what led him to the Echelon Project, a secret super soldier enhancement program. There he went through dangerous experimentation, although many thought the training was more dangerous. It is thought his uncanny memory is what made him an ideal candidate, latent psychic talent perhaps. Whatever it was, he was one of the few who survived and even thrived.

Still, what they were hoping would happen didn't. He would fulfill his contract before any abilities surfaced. He and the military parted on good terms. It would be almost a full year later when he noticed he had actually changed. He had powers beyond any of his peers. He didn't call the Army back. That was his old life. It was time for him to embark on his own tour of duty.

Now, he travels to hotspots here at home and delivers swift and unquestioning justice.

Now, he is...

The Crimson Commando

Real Name: Jerry Burke
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Age: 30
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Level of Education: Military Specialist (used Rifter 25 new skill programs)
O.C.C. Super Soldier B.I.A.
Level: 1

I.Q. 14
M.E. 15
M.A. 8
P.S. 27 (extraordinary) (+12 melee damage)
P.P. 26 (+6 parry, dodge, and strike)
P.E. 28 (26% save vs. coma/death; +7 save vs. poison/magic)
P.B. 8
Spd. 38

H.P. 54
S.D.C. 224
I.S.P. 36

Scholastic Skills:

Climbing ( 90% )
Rappelling ( 55% )
Military Etiquette ( 55% )
Radio: Basic ( 70% )
NBC Warfare ( 45% )
Camouflage ( 35% )
First Aid ( 50% )
Swimming ( 80% )
Swimming (S.C.U.B.A.) ( 65% )
Prowl ( 50% )
Parachuting ( 60% )
Trap Construction ( 30% )
Demolitions ( 70% )
Demolitions Disposal ( 65% )
Underwater Demolitions ( 65% )
Detect Ambush ( 45% )
Intelligence ( 47% )
Wilderness Survival ( 55% )
Interrogation ( 55% )
Tracking ( 50% )
Chinese ( 55% )
Gardening ( 50% )
Cooking ( 35% )
Fasting ( 54% )
Taoism ( 70% )
Mathematics: Basic ( 60% )
Pilot: Automobile ( 45% )
Speak, Read, Write English ( 98% )
Gymnastics ( Sense of Balance 60%, Work Parallel Bars & Rings 70%, Climb Rope 70%, Backflip 80% )

Secondary Skills:
Streetwise ( 20% )
Computer Operations ( 40% )
Land Navigation ( 36% )
Speak, Read, Write Arabic ( 55% )
Speak, Read, Write Spanish ( 55%)

Total Recall
Telekinetic Leap
Telekinetic Punch

Weapon Proficiencies:
W.P. Thrown
W.P. Claws*
W.P. Knife* +1
W.P. Bolt-Action Rifle
W.P. Machinegun
W.P. Sub-Machinegun
W.P. Automatic Pistol

*weapon kata

Defensive Immunity
Defensive Will
Healing Factor

Combat & Other Bonuses:
HtH: Fu Chiao Pai Tiger Claw Kung Fu
4 attacks per melee
+5 roll
+7 strike
+1 leap
+6 parry
+6 dodge
+2 strike with aimed shot
+2 pull punch
Enhanced Vision, Sense of Smell, Sense of Touch
+2 vs. psionics
+4 save vs. mind control
+4 save vs. Horror Factor
+30% save vs. coma/death
+2 damage on all hand strikes
Critical strike from behind
Karumi-Jutsu (Weightlessness) Zenjorike
Can last 10x longer before exhaustion sets in
Can go 72 hours full throttle before needing rest
Leap 26 feet across and 21 feet high with a short run; half as far without the short run
+2 initiative

Note: Don't forget about the bonuses from Defensive Will when active

Monday, November 27, 2017

Heroes Unlimited: Ages of Astonishment and The Iron King of Asgard

Previously, in the Age of  Astonishment . . .

Hunter, a elven weapons master
Ms. Miracle, a empowered gymnast

Today's entry is going to be a little different. While I enjoy making heroes based on the Palladium rules, what good are heroes without a good challenge? This post is going to talk about one of the the BBGs of my Palladium world of super heroes. It's also going to introduce you all to an organization I've had in mind for quite some time. I'm also going to get into all that background information before the stats.

He worked his way from the mines up to Midrealm. It wasn't easy, or even allowed back then, but what would become our legends were dying around him. His world was ending, but he was not ready to go quiet into that dark night. Instead, he came into ours. His existence was lonely at first, but how long would that last? That answer would shock him as much as if the people around him today were to discover who--what--he really was.

The days and nights turned into months. The months into years. The years into decades. Decades into centuries. Then centuries into millennia.

Lar's son, could not die.

Maybe some of the magical energy of his homeworld had escaped with him. Maybe it was a curse for not staying and dying with his kind. Even over all these years, all the studying he has done, he can't figure it out. He has figured out a lot of things, though.

The dwarf would become Eric Larson over the ages. He would found Larson Technologies and then he would change the name to something....more marketable. Asgard Technologies had a certain ring to it. It also enabled him to gather the resources he would need to revive his dead world. Now, The Iron King lays plans for a new tomorrow to usher in an ancient world.

Asgard Technologies itself has become a mega-conglomerate. It has arms in virtually every industry and all over the world. The headquarters is a city-sized island of metal and resin floating above the Atlantic.

The Iron King
Real Name: Eric Larson
Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Age: 4,000-ish
Height: 3'9"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hair: White
Eyes: Blue
Level of Education: Doctorate
O.C.C. Immortal Godling
Level: 10

I.Q. 27 (+13% to all skills)
M.E. 17 (+1 save vs. psionic attack; +1 save vs. insanity)
M.A. 14
P.S. 41 (Supernatural) (+26 melee damage)
P.P. 10
P.E. 42 (+42% save vs. coma/death; +8 save vs. magic/poison)
P.B. 19 (45% to charm/impress)
Spd. 17 (240 yards/minute, 85 yards/round)

H.P. 294
S.D.C. 1,053
P.P.E. 253

Scholastic Skills:

Speak/Read/Write Dwarven ( 98% )
Radio: Satellite ( 98% )
Basic Electronics ( 98% )
Computer Repair ( 98% )
Electrical Engineer ( 98% )
Robot Electronics ( 98% )
Detect Ambush ( 98% )
Intelligence ( 98% )
Interrogation ( 98% )
Tracking ( 98% )
Wilderness Survival ( 98% )
Basic Mechanics ( 98% )
Locksmith ( 98% )
Mechanical Engineer ( 98% )
Criminal Science & Forensics ( 98% )
First Aid ( 98% )
Holistic Medicine ( 98% )
Paramedic ( 98% )
Medical Doctor ( 98% / 98% )
Pathology ( 98% )
Find Contraband & Illegal Weapons ( 98% )
Prowl ( 98% )
Pilot Automobile ( 98% )
Horsemanship ( 98% )
Pilot Jet Aircraft ( 98% )
Pilot Truck ( 98% )
Pilot Helicopter ( 98% )
Navigation ( 98% )
Read Sensory Equipment ( 98% )
Weapon Systems ( 98% )
Computer Hacking ( 98% )
Pick Locks ( 98% )
Archaeology ( 98% )
Astronomy ( 83% )
Biology ( 98% )
Chemistry ( 98% )
Chemistry - Analytical ( 98% )
Basic Mathematics ( 98% )
Advanced Mathematics ( 98% )
Business & Finance ( 98% )
Computer Operation ( 98% )
Computer Programming ( 98% )
Law - General ( 98% )
Research ( 98% )
Speak, Read, Write Dragonese/Elven ( 98% )

Secondary Skills:

Radio: Basic ( 98% )
TV/Video ( 93% )
Cook ( 93% )
Automotive Mechanics ( 98% )
Recognize Weapon Quality ( 88% )
Body Building & Weight Lifting
Cardsharp ( 68% )
Carpentry ( 88% )
Writing ( 83% )
Pick Pockets ( 83% )
Seduction ( 51% )
Swimming ( 83% )
Concealment ( 49% )
Palming ( 43% )

Weapon Proficiencies:

W.P. Axe +3 strike, +3 parry, +2 throw)
W.P. Sword (+3 strike & parry)
W.P. Automatic Pistol (+5 aimed, +3 burst. +2 wild)
W.P. Shield (+3 strike, +2 parry)
W.P. Blunt (+3 strike & parry)
W.P. Machinegun (+3 aimed, +1 burst)

Extra Ordinary Physical Endurance
Alter Physical Structure: Metal

Blinding Flash
Energy Bolt
Eyes of Thoth
Armor of Ithan
Circle of Flame
Call Lightning
Life Drain

Combat Stats:

HTH: Martial Arts
+6 attacks per melee
+4 roll with punch/fall/impact
+4 initiative
+8 pull punch
+4 parry
+4 dodge
Karate Kick + 4 more of choice
All Jump Kicks
Critical on 18 or better
Paired Weapons
+2 disarm
Leap Attack
Body flip/throw
Heal 5 x faster
Senses work 1.5 times range
+4 save vs. magic
+8 save vs. possession
+9 save vs. Horror Factor
Resistant to fire and cold


Stonecutter: +1 strike and parry; returns when thrown, Ice Blasts up to 200 feet do 4d6 damage

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Heroes Unlimited: Age of Astonishment & Ms. Miracle

Yesterday, I followed in the footsteps of +Jacob Possin an dove headfirst into rekindling my love of Palladium RPGs, particularly Heroes Unlimited. I wrote up one of my favorite characters from that old game, Hunter, an elven weapons master. I dove right back in this morning before getting called away by real life obligations. But, now I am back and can't stop coming up with ideas and wanting to hurry up and get them down.

Jake went ahead and have his Heroes Unlimited setting a name, World's Strongest. I figured--as usually--he's right and I should probably do the same. So, now we have Heroes Unlimited: Age of Astonishment.

He's considering my characters and ideas canon--his main setting in Coast City and mine in Gatestone. I'll be doing the same.

Next, I'm going to create a character I had an idea for a long time ago. In fact, when I started this project yesterday, the character came to mind. But, I never had the Powers Unlimited books back when I used to play. The reason that matters is that I didn't think creating this character was possible in a RAW sort of way. Powers Unlimited 2, however, definitely made it possible. I still did a bit of tweaking to the rules to get things just how I wanted them, though.

For the most part, I used the Empowered Power Category. I combined it with the Imbued Power Category, though. There is a reason for this.

I came up with the idea when I was spending a lot of the time in the children's wing of a hospital. The character is, in short, someone who is partially paralyzed due to a debilitating disease, but an experimental medicine worked a lot better than was expected. The alterations I made should make sense once it's all put together.

Now, let me introduce you to. . .

Ms. Miracle

Real Name: Shelia Rhoades
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Age: 23
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 105 lbs. (170 lbs. in Ms. Miracle form)
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Green (Gold in Ms. Miracle form)
Education Level:
O.C.C.: Empowered Hero
Level: 1

I.Q. 17 (+3% to skills)
M.E. 24 (+5 save vs. psionic attack; +7 save vs. insanity)
M.A. 18 (21) (+65% trust/intimidation)
P.S. 2 (57 - Supernatural) (+42 melee damage)
P.P. 4 (27) (+6 strike, parry, dodge)
P.E. 4 (35) (+8 save vs. magic/poison; +35% save vs. coma/death)
P.B. 19 (31) (+94% charm/impress)
Spd. 10 (56) (run 1,120 yards/min.; 280 yards per combat round)

H.P. 69
P.P.E. 21

Scholastic Skills:

Pilot Automobile ( 63% )
Mathematics: Basic ( 78% )
Speak, Read, Write English ( 98% )
Speak, Read, Write Spanish ( 73% )
Speak, Read, Write German ( 73% )
Speak, Read, Write Farsi ( 73% )
Speak, Read, Write Russian ( 73% )
Computer Operation ( 73% )
Research ( 83% )
Photography ( 58% )
Writing - Journalistic Style ( 48% )
Business & Finance ( 58% )
Law - General (48% )

  • Sense of Balance ( 82% )
  • Work Parallel Bars & Rings ( 92% )
  • Climb Rope ( 92% )
  • Backflip ( 98% )


  • Sense of Balance ( 93% )
  • Walk Tight Rope/High Wire ( 93% )
  • Climb Rope ( 98% )
  • Backflip ( 83% )

Dance ( 63% )
Swimming ( 73% )

Secondary Skills:

First Aid ( 48% )
HTH: Martial Arts
Climbing / Rappelling ( 73% / 63% )
Prowl ( 48% )
Art ( 38% )
Writing - Poetry ( 28% )
Cook ( 38% )


All powers are only in Ms. Miracle form
Natural A.R. 10
Extraordinary Physical Prowess
Extraordinary Physical Strength (Carry 100 x P.S., Lift 200 x P.S.)
Physical Perfection
Extraordinary Physical Endurance (+1d4 H.P per level)
Enhanced Leaping Leap 15 feet x P.S horizontal, half as much vertically, if able to land on feet able to fall twice as far as horizontal leap distance without damage

HTH: Martial Arts
+6 attacks per melee
+2 intiative
+3 strike
+4 parry
+3 dodge
+2 disarm
+7 pull punch
+8 roll with punch/fall/impact
+2 save vs Horror Factor
+2 save vs. mind control
+2 save vs. possession
+1d6 kick attack damage
+3 automatic dodge
+5% save vs. coma/death

Gear, Weapons, & Equipment:
Read the description that follows. he's rich. But, for her crime fighting, she doesn't need anything more than her medicine and her costume. She could admittedly do it without the costume, but this is a family friendly program.


Sheila Rhoades was an up and coming star in the gymnastics circuit. She always had a natural athletic  ability and even made it to the Olympics when she was younger. She won a silver and travelled the world pursuing her passion. She also went to school on a full scholarship for her gymnastics, not that she needed the scholarship. Sheila comes from a rich and powerful family (note: private backers of Project Longshot).

She kept with her athletic studies while in school, but also studied international business in hopes of having a career in the family business--a worldwide financial firm known as Veritas, Inc. During one competition--one that was, by all accounts, going to be easy for her--Sheila fell. She couldn't move. At first, they feared the worst, that she had fallen and hurt her spine. The reality was actually much worse. Her spine is what caused her to fall. A rare degenerative disease was attacking her body.

She became wheelchair bound, all hopes of her furthering her gymnastics career squashed. Her family spent a lot of money looking for a cure. Nothing was working. There was no cure. The paralysis would only continue to grow until it caused her early death. That was all there was to it.

Then, one day, her father ushered her off to a lab somewhere in the mountains. They injected her with a experimental serum. Nothing happened. What little hope was left was lost. Driving home in the back of the limo with her father, though, something did happen. Sheila began to spasm uncontrollably. Her father rushed to her side, trying to help her. In a flash, she changed.

Her arms and legs struck out, but she had no control of them. They busted bulletproof windows and sent glass shattering toward the driver who lost control of the vehicle. The car plunged off a bridge into the icy waters below. Instinctively, Sheila's body twisted and contorted and leapt to safety.

The official story would be that her father had pushed her out the door saving his life just before he and the driver lost their own. Her brother took over the company, but she was able to find her father's information and contact the lab that had made the serum. She got more from Dr. Baki Damji. Their secret would be their own and she would take on criminals throughout Gatestone City under the guise of Ms. Miracle.

Note: The drug has killed anyone else it has been given to. It lasts for approximately 8 hours. Sheila has not developed any chemical dependency/addiction...yet.

Palladium RPG: Hunter, an Elf in Modern Times

My pal, +Jacob Possin started something over on his blog where he's designing characters and doing a bit of worldbuilding (because, he can't stop himself from telling a good story). He's creating characters for Palladium.

I just noticed it today and found it quite interesting, because I've been thinking a lot about Palladium Games myself recently. Like Jake, my first game was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness. Then, I kept playing those games they put out, even though Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, Champions, FASERIP, and others followed.

So, I'm not here to steal my buddy's thunder, but I thought--gee, I've been thinking about this a lot recently. Maybe I should follow suit. I hope he doesn't mind. After all, what's that saying about imitation being the greatest form of flattery.

Now, Jake has a number of rules/limitations he's making for his characters. There's nothing wrong with that. I, however, won't be doing the same.

I'm creating my characters normally--as normal as it can be in the parameters defined by Palladium anyhow. I'll be rolling the stats normally. I'm using any book I see fit. I am adding in the skill percentages. Everything is free game. I'm going to try and keep to the rules as they were written/published/intended. If I decide to stray from the path, I'll try my best to point it out.

I do know one houserule I use is with duplicate skills. If characters get the same skill more than once, I'll add 10% if there is no associated bonus. If it's gained a second or third time as a secondary skill, it'll only be +5%. Weapon Proficiencies will actually add a level to the skill.

Without further ado, here's my first entry. This is a character I made and played long ago. There might be some slight differences, but I tried to make him as close to what he originally was. Here is, The Hunter.

The Hunter

Name: Jack Davis (Kelth du Onan)
Race: Elf
Gender: Male
Age: 36
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 210 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eyes: Grey
Education Level: Masters Degree
O.C.C.: Hardware - Weapons Expert
Level: 1

I.Q. 23 (+9% to skills)
M.E. 12
M.A. 9
P.S. 20 (+ 5 melee damage)
P.P. 24 (+5 parry/dodge/strike)
P.E. 16 (+4% save vs. coma/death, +1 save vs. magic/poison)
P.B. 22 (60% charm/impress)
Spd. 18 (90 yards/round)

H.P. 20
S.D.C. 93
P.P.E. 19

Scholastic Skills:

Read & Write Elvish ( 98% )
Mathematics: Basic ( 74% )
Mathematics: Advanced ( 74% )
Mechanical Engineer ( 64% )
Basic Electronics ( 59% )
Locksmith ( 69% )
Computer Operations ( 69% )
Chemistry ( 59% )
Analytical Chemistry ( 54%)
Anthropology ( 49% )
Biology ( 59 %)
Sense of Balance ( 89% )
Walk Tightrope/Highwire ( 89% )
Climb Rope ( 98% )
Backflip ( 79% )
Prowl ( 66% )
Climbing ( 89% )
Rappelling ( 79% )
Sense of Balance ( 79% )
Work Parallel Bars / Rings ( 89% )
Climb Rope ( 89% )
Backflip ( 98% )
Demolitions ( 93% )
Demolitions Disposal ( 93% )
Find Contraband ( 55% )
Basic Mechanics ( 69% )
Make & Modify Weapons ( 93% )
Recognize Weapon Quality ( 34% by Sight; 59% by Personal Examination)
Pilot Automobile ( 69% )
Language English ( 79% )
Language Mandarin ( 59% )
Philosophy - Taoism ( 79 % )

Secondary Skills:

Identify Plants & Fruits ( 36% )
Wilderness Survival ( 44% )
Pilot Motorcycle ( 69% )
Athletics (General)
Research ( 59% )

Weapon Proficiencies:

Chain* +1
Large Sword*
Short Sword*
Small Thrown Weapons*
Paired Axe*
Paired Blunt*
Paired Knife*
Paired Chain*
Bow* +1
Automatic Pistol
Automatic Rifle
Bolt-Action Rifle
Energy Rifle
Paired Revolved & Pistol
Heavy Weapons
With revolvers, pistols, bolt-action rifles, semi-automatic rifles, energy pistols, energy rifles:
+1 attack per melee
Can fire 2 hander 1 handed without penalty
Shoot over shoulder with mirror without penalty
½ bonuses when firing from animal or moving vehicle
No penalty to shoot while upsidedown/standing on head
Dodge, roll, or somersault and come up shooting--no penalty or bonuses

*kata weapons

Combat Abilities:

Horror Factor (as elf) 10
Horror Factor (as weapon master) 8

3 attacks per round
+1 attack per round w/Bow (Elf ability)
+6 roll with punch/fall/impact
+8 parry and dodge
+5 strike
+1 save vs. horror factor
+1 attack per melee with any type of gun
+3 to disarm on called shot with gun
+4 initiative with guns (quickdraw)

HTH: 18 Weapons Kung Fu
+1 on initiative
+9 to strike
+9 to parry and dodge
+2 to roll with punch/fall/impact
Weapon Tap (Special): The attack does no damage, but makes a loud snap or bang by knocking the weapon against some part of the opponent's body or equipment. Getting a bang off a belt buckle, the skull, or a weapon is considered the most challenging. It adds +10% to any roll to impress or intimidate.

Combat Skills:
Attacks per Melee: 4 (5 with bow)
Escape Moves: Roll with punch/fall/impact and maintain balance.
Basic Defensive Moves: Dodge, parry, automatic parry.
Advanced Defenses: Multiple Dodge and Circular Parry.
Open Hand Attacks: Strike (Punch), Knife-Hand, and Palm Strike.
Basic Foot Attacks: Kick Attack and Snap Kick. Jumping Foot

Equipment, Weapons, & Gear:

Kliq Weapons: A series of small rods/batons that can be fit on a belt/bandolier or his specialized forearm holster. When activated, mechanisms fall into place to collapse or extend into:

Kliq Longbow: 2d6
Kliq Staff: 2d6
Kliq Escrima: 1d8

Fighting Chain (x2) 1d8
Kusuri Kama (x2) 2d6

Dual Quiver (full quicker to right and left)
Grappling Arrows x4
Explosive Arrowheads x8 5d6
Smoke Arrowheads x4
Sleeping Gas Arrowheads x4
Barbed Arrowheads x10 2d6
Throwing Knives x8 2d4
7.62 Sniper Rifle 4d6
Desert Eagles x2 6d6 damage
Modified Modern Plate Armor on key areas AR 12 SDC 75
Medium Cycle
Fully Set Up Shop
Other tools of the trade

Kelth du Onan is an elf. Sound ridiculous? Most would agree. In fact, his current cover identity, Jack Davis, would agree. It’s better for everyone to know that his people are merely the stuff of children’s stories and myth. The reality is, they do exist. In fact, so do many of the tales we have all come to accept and falsehoods.

They exist just beyond the shadows, hidden away from the world. Kelth was a young scout for an Elvish force known as the Huntsmen--their mission to help guard the veil that separates us. On his first mission, however, he fell through to our reality completely. He hit his head after literally falling into a river. He got caught up in the tide, pushed into an underwater cave and spat out on the floor of the same cave. His team couldn’t find him and left him for dead.

He would awaken later and begin to wander, his young self unable to pierce the veil. He came upon a small town, his long hair luckily covering his ears--the sure tell sign of his heritage. He had learned rudimentary English as part of his earlier training and quickly adopted his new identity, Jack Davis.

He adapted quickly and even managed to attend a local school on scholarship, working nights in a factory that manufactured weapons. He showed a real talent for more mechanical aspects of the job and continued his schooling. He earned a Master's degree in mechanical engineering with a focus in weapon design. As part of his schooling and work, he trained with weapons he designed and modified, also showing natural talent.

When he moved to the city, he was aghast at the injustice that permeated the concrete jungle. He began working on his own projects in his own time, soon developing yet a third persona--that of The Hunter. Now, he continues to work in a design lab during the day, but stays awake at night, meteing out his own personal brand of justice amid the streets of Gatestone City.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

On Last Night's Zounds Character Creation Session

Over oh his blog, +Mark Knights  offers an excellent mini-review of Zounds, the fantasy RPG by +Joshua Macy . I will be running the game Mark is involved with and would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the game a little bit as well.
As Mark mentioned, we did only do character creation last night. And, I’m okay with that. We were introducing new people to the game and familiarizing them with new concepts. Which reminds me, here’s a special call out to Mark and the rest of my players, +Keith Bailey+Robert Hanz+Lloyd Gyan+Jennifer Corniuk+Jonathan Henry, and potentially +peewee rota and others. If you’re looking back over your character, and you want to make a change, that is perfectly legit to do between game sessions. That isn’t just a house rule, but something right in the rules set. So, as Mark mention I gave him a little bit of grief over the generic, “back stab” power his character has, it’s perfectly fitting, but one of the other ideas he mentioned in his blog he might find more useful.

One thing that I really like about this game is the level of customization without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of points, doing math with some sort of archaic abacus to complete your character. It is also neat that you can make up a character in about five minutes or you can spend all week putting different tweaks and moving things around and the two characters may be very different, but still the same level. Thinking and putting more work into your character, if that’s what you like to do, allows you to draw some distinctions, but mechanically, they are no better off. And, that’s one thing that was cool to get my wife, Jennifer involved. She always comes up with these cool character concepts and ends up being disappointed. One of the following things inevitably happens in other systems:
  • She’s told “you can’t do that.”
  • “Yeah, we can do that we just need to figure it out” at which point she loses some amount of control and player agency in the character creation.
  • She is told that she must make choices—opportunity cost based decisions, if you will—where you can do this or that, but not both. Or, if she can do both, she’s not going to be great at either.

Zounds, and the whole SFX line encourages her creativity. The cool thing is, it wasn’t a matter of “how could we do this,” but rather “which way do you think works best for YOUR character?” It was a lot of fun and it’s the first game in awhile she hasn’t come back to me later and said kind of rubbed her he long way or quickly lost her interest. And, that’s just based on character creation. That’s a winner for me and, if you sit back and hear Joshua’s tale some day of how the SFX system came into being, you’ll see why it handles something like that so well.

As a note, I will be running this Sunday game and a Monday game regularly—two very different settings, but both still fantasy. More players are welcome, especially as I do expect people to come and go with it being an online game. So, if you’d like to get in on one of those games, create a character before or next session, or just learn more about the game, feel free to hit me up on Google+.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fate Core Venture City Stories Review

Venture City Stories is a supplement for the new Fate Core game by Evil Hat Productions. It is a 34 page book written by Brian Engard and edited by Joshua Yearsley. Tazio Bettin handled both the cover and interior artwork while art direction and layout was helmed by none other than Fred Hicks himself.
The book opens right up with describing Venture City, a Fate campaign setting designed mostly for street and city level heroes. Well, superheroes really, but not necessarily of the Justice League or Avengers caliber. The city itself is one of contradictions with vile villains and shining heroes. All of that amidst varying shades of grey.

I should point out that Venture City Stories calls itself an adventure toolkit rather than a campaign book. This is because it is filled with gaming goodness and ideas that you can pick and choose. Choose to play it wholecloth and you will find, once players have been introduced and decisions have been made, the world takes on a life of its own. And, that is part of the beauty of Fate.

Within the book, several example issues—otherwise, plot ideas or hooks are introduced. There are also a number of factions and descriptions of important places and people you’re likely to run into one way or the other in the fictional city. The issues are handled in Venture City Adventures just as they are within Fate Core, with the suggestion to select two immediate issues, two impending issues, or one of each. Some of the sample issues presented include: Not safe after dark, Are supers still human?, Gangland powderkeg, and Citywide blackout. There really isn’t any explanation for these issues and that’s okay. They are pretty self-explanatory and they are meant to get the creative juices flowing. So, if you’re looking for someone to plan out your entire adventure or even the beginnings of one for you, this isn’t where it is going to happen. There is one example where they take one impending issue and one immediate issue and show how the two work in conjunction to lay the groundwork for an interesting and exciting game.

Factions, places, and people are all part of the same section, although separated out. And, with so few pages, it makes sense. The Fate Fractal is toyed with here a little bit. Factions are defined not only by their descriptions, but by new aspects including the slogan and secret aspects. Factions also have up to six skills: Bureaucracy, Security, and Violence being three of them. Each of the Factions also include a location which includes a new issue. They also include people which could be villainous NPCs or supporting cast members. There isn’t a hard and fast rule on how the Factions should have their skills figured as far as how many points should be spent on them. That might have been nice to have, but figuring it is all relative, your group’s game might have various Factions with widely different skill spreads to show different levels of helpfulness or threat yet be completely different from someone else’s game’s Factions.

The book continues with the example setup used earlier to show how issues can be used, now adding in factions, places, and people. One thing I noticed is that Faction skills are represented numerically with +3, +6, etc. However, the people are rated by the adjective associated with their level of competency: Superb, Great, Good, Fair, and Average. I know this might look neat to a lot of people—something besides boring old numbers, but it is one thing I always disliked. Put the numbers in parentheses next to the adjectives if needs be, but give me the numbers to make it faster and easier, especially when I am someone who doesn’t play Fate all the time.

While the section on Factions, People, and Places is excellent background fodder, providing things to slide into your game and giving you some neat ideas, my main course is served up on page 23 of the PDF. Here, the team goes into talking about character creation and super powers. I don’t want to give away too much, but it is very well done. Powers are based on stunts from Fate Core, but they are also something much more. They go into detail on adding special effects, drawbacks, etc. This is topped up with yet more sample characters—all neat and original.

While this book is PWYW (Pay What You Want), I’d definitely say it’s worth more than the $0 many will surely put into the box. It is a great read and it is put together very well. It goes quickly, but I think, if you’re into this sort of thing or even just hacking Fate Core, you will find yourself turning back to this resource more than a few times in the future.