Monday, July 15, 2019

DM Report: Seaward - The South Ford of the White River and Pirate Port

  In anticipation of the 40th anniversary of my 1e campaign next month we started a cycle again.

  The South Ford of the White River: The evil Lord Whitehill, formerly a noble warrior of the grand Duchy of High Morath, has completed his fortress in the Bandit Lands south of the capitol city. Only the foul magics of his consort, Lady Jacinth, allowed him to do so over the winter.
  The king has hastily erected a line of towers and rushed reinforcements to Longnor Fell, the walled town that protects the norther ford over the White River. he also sent out the word - all noblemen and knights of the realm must prepare for war. The nobles of Ekull must guard the Briars, Eagle Valley, and the Stone Hills;  Timberlake the North and the border with Eastford; and this frees royal forces to muster against Whitehill.
  The paladins of the Shining Keep also are mustering to the king and, for the first time, the monks of the Order of the Way are sending members to war under the banner of Seaward.
  Also summoned? The Company of the Dark Moon.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Atlantaverse: Psychotronic World Building

  When I am doing worldbuilding for fantasy games I may spend too much time on verisimilitude - making the world at least internally consistent. Seaward, Blackstone, the Patchwork Lands - I work to make them sensible, consistent and familiar without being boring. But there are always little things, like the steam-powered war moose construct.

  Now that I am making a Champions setting I am in full-on Psychotronics mode!

  Psychotronic is a slang term used in parts of the movie buff community to describe a certain sort of movie. I've never found a good universal definition of what 'Psychotronic' means that covers all the bases, but here I go with my own idiosyncratic one;

Psychotronic: 1) the blending of genres, typically with low budgets
                       2) Low-budget exploitation films
                       3) Films with very non-traditional manner of storytelling

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

ICICLE CLASSIFICATION: RESTRICTED
ONLY SANCTIONED, CLEARED, OR ACCOMPANIED PERSONNEL MAY VIEW

WASP OVERVIEW

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?

StarWatch

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.

Organization
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