Monday, June 17, 2019

To-Do Lists, Making Friends and Influencing People, and Ruling the World

  One thing that I can struggle with is making sure NPCs stay dynamic. They aren't just animatronic puppets that sit in their castles, inns, and lairs waiting for the PCs to do something.

  I mean, that is a TON easier - everything remains in a stasis-like status quo until the characters get to it = no work for Rick so that is OBVIOUSLY the best, right?

Unfortunately, this makes the game(from OD&D to Champions to any other RPG) predictable and booooooorriiiiiiiiiiing. So how do I solve it?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Champions: The Atlantaverse - WASP



Classification: WASP is a Criminal Terrorist organizetion and is believed to be the largest and most powerful criminal terrorist organization in the world.

Confirmed Origins: ICICLE can confirm that as of 1981 WASP existed as a mature, global organization.

Unconfirmed Origins: The Strangers claim that WASP is an outgrowth of the fabled International Crime League founded in London in 1887. Various superheroes claim to have fought WASP as WASP as early as 1968.

Name and Meaning: WASP is no longer considered to be an acronym; various internal leaders assign local backronyms (such as 'War, Assassination, Strength, and Power', 'We Always Stand Proud', etc.). The meaning is ultimately unknown.

Estimated Members: Non-combatant: ~1 million. Combatant: ~200,000

Confirmed Structure: WASP is organized into Nests, Cities, Areas, Zones, Regions, Spheres, and the Globe.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Champions: The Atlantaverse - StarWatch

  because what kind of superhero universe doesn't have spacecops?


History of the Watch
120,000 years ago a group of civilizations near the galactic core were saved by the actions of a member of the Galaxars. Formerly rivals these three races banded together to create a group for the Milky Way similar to the Galaxars. The Galaxars themselves, always willing to assist such efforts, helped create the technology for the StarRods and train the first members of the Watch.
Within 10,000 years StarWatch had grown to cover the Milky Way.

Members of the Watch
StarRanger- The backbone of the Watch they are armed with StarRods, protected by their uniforms, and have individual bases with support staff. There are slightly more than 300,000 StarRangers at this time.
StarRangers have ranks: regular, 'sergeant', 'lieutenant', 'captain', and 'major'. Sergeants are senior Rangers and while they formally supervise no one regular rangers obey them on joint missions. Lieutenants supervise groups of 10 rangers (including themselves); Captains supervise groups of 100 (including themselves); Majors supervise groups of 1,000 (including themselves).

StarMarshal- These members of the Watch specialize in battle; they have more weapons and better defenses. Each StarRanger major commands a detachment of 10 StarMarshals.

StarScout- Specialists in stealth and speed, these members of the Watch are less heavily armed but are much faster and have sophisticated stealth capabilities. Each StarRanger major commands 10 StarScouts.

StarMedic- These members have advanced skills in care and medicine at the expense of attacks. Each StarRanger major commands 10 StarMedics.

StarWarden- Often semi-retired StarRangers, the Wardens maintain and guard the Watch's various prisons. Each major has 10 StarWardens.

StarCommander- These are the leaders of the Watch based in one of the three StarWatch Command centers. There are 30 'colonels' and 3 'generals' each split evenly between the 3 bases. Each of them has his own commands of 30 StarRangers, 3 StarMarshals, 3 StarScouts, and 3 StarMedics. Each base also has 30 StarWardens.

Others- StarWatch has a fair number of support staff that are not members of the Watch itself but still are loyal employees. Each base has a minimum of 3 staff; pilot, mechanic, communications. Some bases (in busy sectors; the base of a Captain; etc.) have up to 30 staff doing everything up to public relations and charity coordination. The three Bases each have an average of 1,000 staff members. All told the Watch has more than 1,000,000 staff members.
Staff positions, especially in remote areas, often serve as a recruiting ground for new StarRangers.

Regions- StarWatch divides the galaxy into 4 regions. The Core Region consists of the 20,000 light year diameter center of the entire galaxy. The thee bases are placed equidistantly around the perimeter of the Core and they share responsibility for the region. The rest of the galaxy is evenly divided into wedge-shaped regions, the inner edge of which is centered on the base responsible for it. These outer regions have what a human would call 'letter designators' that roughly correspond to D Region, R Region, and U Region; these are based on the names of the founding races. 1/3rd of StarWatch is assigned to each region.
[Note: the solar system is less than 100 light years spinward ['clockwise'] inside R Region from the boundary with U Region.]

Sectors- Each region is divided into 100,000 sectors. These are designated in such a way that would translate into English as 'U-9357' or 'R-84231'. While each sector averages about 1,000,000 stars each this can vary greatly – a sector on the galactic rim halfway between two arms that holds no spacefaring race may be vast in distance and have 2,000,000 stars or more while a sector close to the core on the main of an arm with a handful of spacefaring races might have 500,000 stars and be a fraction of the volume.
Earth is at the almost-center of Sector R-77975.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Champions: The Atlantaverse

I have been running a Champions campaign for about 4-5 years, now, and am making it 'more official'.
Since the campaign grew from 'dead average points heroes in Atlanta' to add 'street level in Hudson City (i.e., Jersey), 'high points in Vibora Bay' and now my 4th son is running 'mid level in San Mateo' we're calling it the Atlantaverse.

Here's some background!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Blackstone Campaign: The Cult That Waits

One of the overarching plots in my AD&D 2e S&P campaign (which is 13 years old already) is about M'Andry V'Heve've, a term in an ancient, almost forgotten language, that means She Who Waits.

Spoilers Follow: My Players Stop Here

Saturday, April 27, 2019

A Host of Swords

  I infrequently post about magic items unique to my games (see Magic Item under labels) but I rarely talk about swords, especially powerful ones.

  But I have them! Here are a few:

Seaward Weapons
A almost 40 year old AD&D 1e campaign

Mor Altach: Long sword of Wounding. +1 to hit (only). Intelligence of 12-14, Chaotic Good. Speaks a few languages. Can be used by barbarians. Doubles the chances of a barbarian that wields it to go berserk. Can emit light as a lantern (this can be varied or turned off). The following special powers are 'secret' and must be learned through use and experience.
  Once a person that wields it as their primary weapon has leveled up twice it acts as a Ring of Free Action. Once its wielder has used it to kill a Devil it is +4 to hit devils. Once its wielder has fallen 21' or more while holding it, it acts as a Ring of Feather Fall. Once a person that wields it as a primary weapon has leveled up 6 levels it becomes +4 to hit and damage (if the Devil ability is activated, it is a total of +7 to hit vs devils). Once its wielder has failed a Petrification save while holding it, it grants a +4 on all saves vs Petrification.

Rupert's Blade: +3 broad sword. Wielder can boost their strength to 18/00 once a day - this lasts 5 rounds. Wielder also has a +2 save vs poison while holding it. Anyone wielding Rupert's Blade can instantly recognize an undead on viewing by type and kind (i.e., a master vampire, a frost zombie, etc.) and are immune to characteristic loss, level drain, etc. from any undead they can see.

Lawbringer: +4 longsword. LG, Int 13, can communicate with emotions and vague imagery.  The wielder can Detect Evil as a paladin. It is a holy weapon: in the hands of a paladin it is +6 and doubles the range of the paladin's Detect Evil ability and grants all powers of a holy sword as listed in the PHB. Lawbringer cannot be Cancelled, Disjoined, or otherwise disenchanted unless the being doing so is a Lawful Good cleric of 18th or higher level.

Thresher: Two-handed sword. +3 to hit, +6 to damage. It doubles the number of attacks versus low hit dice creatures to a maximum of 30 attacks/round.

Drachenbane: +3 two-handed sword. It does double damage to all drakes, dragons, and such creatures and versus chromatic dragons it does increased die as well (i.e., versus a dragon turtle it would do 6d6, but against a red dragon it would do 6d8).

Blackstone Weapons
From my 12+ year old 2e campaign.

The Seven- seven two handers of unmatched power. The ones seen by players-

Gatekeeper: +4, +5 versus extra-planar/summoned creatures. Once a month it can automatically permanently seal any Gate by touch. Wielder has a +1 on all saves, +2 versus Summoned or extra-planar creatures.

The Paradigm: +7. It's pluses do not get reduced by planar travel, etc.

Staredge: +4 to hit only. On a natural 18 or 19 to hit it does double damage. On a natural 20 it does double damage and will sever an extremity as a Sword of Sharpness.

Swords that are not of the Seven.

Death's Sting: +7 long sword, does double damage. (Destroyed).

Magekiller: +3, +5 versus arcane spellcasters or creatures with spell-like powers that mimic arcane spells. Grants anyone holding or carrying it a +2 on all saves versus spells or magic items and reduces damage from all magical attacks by -1 h.p. per die (minimum of 1). When in-hand it gives it wielder a 50% Magic Resistance. While intelligent and strong-willed, it rarely communicates. It can Detect Magic within 10' (automatic), Detect Arcane Spellcasters (and if they are good, neutral, or evil) within 60' (automatic), and can Dispel Magic at 18th level once a day. It will pass along what it senses to its wielder telepathically.
  Magekiller was forged to slay evil arcane spellcasters. It grants an additional +2 to save/-1 h.p. per die against spells cast by arcane spellcasters.
Once per week Magekiller can act as a Rod of Cancellation; the sword will decide when this power is used.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

My Clone Book, Old School by Rick: Crusaders & Catacombs

  As some may know this year my primary AD&D 1e campaign turns 40 years old. After years of cajoling by players and family about 4 months ago I started making my own OSR/Clone rules book to incorporate all the various rules and rules sets we have been using.

  I have a full-time contract position AND run my own small business with 3 employees AND have 5 kids, so it is moving along faster than anyone could expect! But people are asking questions and after the excellent idea of 'blog about it!' here I am.