Saturday, November 23, 2019

Everytime At a Table: the Scrap Pile Prequel Begins

There are a couple of good things about doing superhero RPG every now and then. Well pulling my head out of Christmas, between the publishing thing's projects and my work partner's insistence on Christmas music, I forget that there's Turkey Day coming up. The writing and constructing the yarn is easy. The acts only requires like a paragraph to explain as to which villains show up somewhere and why are they there. I get fancy and add cut away scenes, after learning the trick from Robin (Peryton), to imply the tone of the scenario/campaign getting the PCs in the mood for the session. All that said, last night's "What Price Buffalo?" was hard starting.

Granting myself a late start time, which does work better, I was still having trouble getting my head into the GM thing as Charlie (Wylie Coyote), Curtis, and Peryton kept things amusing. Mostly talking about comic book TV, while Pery would start with her computer audio problems to not be annoying at all. I would force myself into the game mode by reading through the setting that the PCs should know. It is November 1999, the drug Mut-8, which has been around since WWI, is creating super-villains because of easing  federal pharmaceutical policies since the mid-80s. Costumed heroes have been on the rise over the last decade. They are still vigilantes and not working as Law Enforcement Officers yet, but the Special Abilities Act is before the Senate.  Then I list various known villains, and the most famous hero to date, Liberty Commando.  I'd do the Y2K escape from the FBI as they raided his software company finding out that he was a hacker to close out the verbal montage.

It being the 90s, Pery and Curtis, decided to do the 90s thing of creating baffling characters with vague and amorphous potential. Emudan is a being not of this dimension, but his 3rd dimension form is residing on the Earth for the time being, He might be an angel, might be a demon, might be sliced ham, who knows? And Wisp that instead of fixing a flat tire, she stared at a gibbous moon and her inner powers of supersonic flight and illusion awoke within her. Oh yeah, did I mention that that they are both immortal and don't need air or food or heat or... . It's like Rob Liefeld wrote Lobo teaming up with Azreal, but hey. But I could work with Wylie's Free Star, a one-time sidekick of Liberty Commando, easily enough.


Not Bucky

No goth here
By the end of my world reading and getting to know the players' PCs, because no one can post details to me beforehand anymore, I had burnt off the first hour. The most time-consuming pot of coffee ever was finally ready. So using a random rogues gallery that I set-up to make the scenarios of this campaign fresher to me, mixing up NPCs really does help especially in superhero settings we waded, into the first act of the drama. I decided that the tone of the session would be the Characters first meeting each other. Peryton couldn't get that through her head for another forty minutes or so, but the humor in that was helping me get the kinks out of my head.

So a "military grade" armored vehicle was making its way past the coffee-shop where Emudan's human form was getting a coffee. Right next door above the 1/3 priced bookstore in her loft, Wisp was uploading her updates to her the Cure webpage on a Gateway computer. Overlooking the area from the top of Buffalo Bank and Trust towers, Free Star was on patrol. She spotted the flannel-hoodie clad, Hoodlum (evil Green Arrow) taking aim at the truck and swooped into action, using her amazingly ranged grapple gun. Taking the Robin Hood rip-off by surprise, she'd kick him clean off the building. He'd catch himself on the two-step balcony of Wisp's apartment. The startled woman would form the illusion that the iron work of her balcony had become shackles around Hood's wrists. Emudan (Emu-Man?) would step out of his place in line to come outside and see what all the ruckus was. He'd pull out his wings go help apprehend the man hanging from the balcony next door.

At the same time Hanoi Jane (evil Wonder Woman) would step out from a side alley in front of the truck, and stopping it with her super strength. Free Star would be taken unawares as the Crow (evil Black Canary), Hoodlum's g/f, would use her sonic powers to knock her off the roof with lyrics from Hole songs. Wisp seeing the super-strong woman in a one-piece bathing suit tearing out the bulletproof windshield of the truck and grabbing the driver, that was actively shooting her to minimal effect, pulled a stunt with her quality of (mumble, mumble, computer audio glitch) to provide a mass illusion of blue-helmeted body armor-wearing SWAT troops rappelling from black helicopters attacking her and her fellow bad guys.

Not that the Crow had time to notice. She and Free Star were in a kung-fu fight in the middle of the street, interspersed with weaponized Courtney Love lyrics echoing above the din. Meanwhile Hoodlum and Emudan, the cryptic, were in a wrestling match floating at roof-level above the fray below. The angel(?) would warn the hooded villain once to stop resisting, then the hoodie pulled back to reveal Steven Baldwin with blond dreadlocks, and that was too much. Purifying unholy(?) fire would bathe the two for just a touch too long. Somebody would start shooting shotgun-propelled beanbags at Wisp from a nearby rooftop, increasing her difficulty in maintaining the "freedom platoon"  keeping Hanoi Jane from wiping our heroes noses with their lunch bags.

Done with broiling Hoodlum, Emudan, noticed that the man's struggling had ceased, so he released his hold. Sending an injured man, in a hoodie and carrying a bow and quiver, to the street about 30-55 feet below. The landing stopped the burn victim's screaming at least. The Crow seeing her man now a smoldering pile of flannel shirt and burnt hair, on cold asphalt turned her back Free Star, to wail forlornly and run towards him. Wrong move, the combat boot to the back of her head knocked her out cold.  Emudan would see Hanoi Jane, a challenge worthy of his(?) physical form. The villainous juggernaut would still be fighting the illusion of an army platoon, see the pile of Hoodlum and his squeeze, and the approaching flaming winged man coming at her and decide to hop out of there. Literally, leaping like the Hulk away from the fray.

Wisp was still ducking for cover as the shotgun kept shooting some mean beanbags at her. She would see where the shooting was coming from. Here next illusion would be a fantastic light show of lightning and electricity all over the building she suspected where the sniper was. The shooter would focus on Free Star for a couple of shots, giving the chance for our super-illusionist to make her move.

Hanoi Jane and Emudan would have a race. Her Leap at 5 versus his Flight at 3 ( I think), she was able to shake him long enough to disappear into the wooded areas of a park area. Wisp would discover that her sniper was an automated device using the latest technologies of 1999 and remote control. Almost as if it was a distraction, she look up and see Wise Owl (evil Nightwing becoming Batman) getting into his "owl mobile" after closing the truck and driving away flipping her off.

The truck had been broken into and the guard inside incapacitated with sleep gas during all the action going on at the front of the truck.  Radiation warning signs were on the back of the swinging cargo doors of the vehicle. And there was a dead man and a woman with head trauma in the middle of the street along with three incapacitated armed guards. In true 90s fashion, Wisp and Freedom Star would take this moment to start a mutual-admiration society and pat themselves on the back for a job well done (Jim Lee couldn't have done it better). I had to tell them three times that police sirens were quickly approaching.

Emudan would return to scene just as the police would be responding in force. He'd come face-to-face with FBI agent Alice Hicks, and realize that she was not all that thankful for his efforts at maintaining order on her world's behalf. "I am done here." He'd intone. "Judgement has been fulfilled." He'd fly away despite calls from the beings behind him.

I'd end the session with a cut away to the Doomsday Brigade's Dome of Doom, somewhere on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Here Wise Owl would present Ringer (evil Green Lantern) with one of three containers. Ringer would complain of his growing hunger.
Wise Owl would chastise the other saying he needed the other two for "the project." Hanoi Jane would enter the room slightly bruised and definitely weary from the battle earlier. Y2K would speak up, appearing from the shadows, saying "I have a plan to feed you my friend and start clearing the way for our New World Order of Things."

The End of Session 1.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sneak Peak... for Christmas this year

Peryton Publishing's first wargame, ever. Being written by Jay Murphy as I type.

Rifts: The Brexit Sourcebook

Suddenly the skies opened and all the ministers of the European Union transformed in slug-headed minions of demons. Anybody from Poland transformed in carrion-feeding goblins. All the French turned into frog-headed humanoids. Germans found their heads suddenly becoming more square-shaped. Spain transformed into a Spaghetti-western take on a Mexican vampire movie. Italy and Greece reforms into 1960s Hercules movie sets but with power armored hoplites. The rest of eastern Europe would alternate between Dracula movies and coal-powered steampunk armor suits. Russia found themselves besieged by DBs and demons, but would be saved by were-bears and armor-suited heroes. All the Scandinavian countries become seafaring barbarians wearing horned helmets and chainmail speedos and maybe a cape every now and then, but Odin and Thor appeared wearing power-armor suits. Ireland became a high level Blade Runneresque urban scape in the north and the south became homeland of the transdimensional fairy courts, with evil dwarves in power armor bristling to invade the U.K.

This setting would be better than Rifts European works to date. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Everytime at a table: Space-borne Communism

I have been allowed by my Spacers (TM) players to share with you all a secret from on-going campaigns (only one really, but it is trans-generation in PC terms) about communism. Francis, Fritz, Jack, and She-Ra players since 1997 made me spill the bean. As a respite, they'll let me share this part of our 22 year-old game sessions. Since my imaginary dissolution of the Middle East into a quadrant of sci-fi in 1996, I have been both chat-rooming and Troll-hooting with these guys.  No one cares but on top of it all, The Bergers are communists.

Now my War Star campaign is the fourth setting of my Spacers stuff  that has spawned a timeline of campaigns. The first was "Rocketmen Versus the Saucers" where I was forgiven by Disney back in '02 via official mail for using the term "Rocketmen" and the "Saucers" together. The reply said something about "use of language should not be overly guarded" or some such. Then there was the "Star Push" campaign. Unless you're into water recycling, I recommend this campaign during convention sessions. This Berger species shows up in my "War Star" series of scenarios. the War stuff is a universe where the mechanics of faster-than-light travel have been fully worked out, and somehow black holes help.

As a gift for the conclusion, I get to brag about it. Thanks guys and gal.

In a realm that looks like this:

So like take Babylon Five and Star Trek and mash in a whole lot more understanding of solar systems, genetics, marine biology, and the shape of universe in general. Wallah the "K-Quadrant".

The "Terra" part of this map is where humans landed two, maybe three millennia ago. They take racial politics to the "Nth" Degree by their leaders being distinct skin hues, yet being different from any that we'd recognize. The longest lasting dynastic clan has been "The Greens", no literally. And they have the space navies and planet-invading armies to back things up.

Spinward, that means the left side of things, are the major players. "Kale" is actually Kodea, meaning "the Home Shores" for the amphibious reptile people known as the Kodoa. Yes. I created them before I ever submitted anything to T&T publishers. And my Cardasian rip-offs rock. The New Human Commonwealth is like Britain in space, but everyone is purple-skinned. "Humanity III" is a bunch of interplanetary mines and slave colonies that has fought for their independence from Kale and Terra.

Meanwhile, the Triangle is a collection of Glorp Bort (A chatroom joke-inspired species and my favorite sci-fi species)-- imagine sleestaks with varying amount of eyes, fingers, and horns-- is one of the nations. This collection of interstellar principalities sort of sits there, just waning then waxing in power and influence. Their star ships might be highly individualistic, but they can can be the most well equipped ever.

From Coreward, that is to the right side of the page, comes the Berger. The Berger are sapient burrowing rodents that want transform every planet they come across into a suitable world where they can make a private carrot garden for their off-spring. Their Sub-berger Species #17, call them rats, are not idiots nor are their DNA-enslaved Bugg species blind in the Berger scheme of things. Still the Berger Worlds are so far away. They are adopting less than hostile means of establishing themselves.

So as the peace of New Pilo falls across the space ways, it's clear; the Bergers are Communists.

And my "Black Hole" rules proved to some fun. The 90s gaming group has moved on. Long live the 90s gaming spirit.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Wobble: Ultimate Fascism

Now in the Omega Verse there is the faction known as the Uber-Worlds. Okay while they and their minions are bunch of nazis, they aren't exactly Nazis. They're actually quite the opposite. Now I don't mean that they aren't a bunch of anti-liberal, genocidal assholes, that just like uniformity and a good pair of boots (regardless of species). They are still a bunch of genocidal, anti-liberal assholes that love a good pair of boots (regardless of species), they just aren't efficient. Nor can they be.

In the start of this iteration of recorded history in Wobbling, a few millions of years ago, authoritarians from various species from various Verses and many worlds within them, came together in the Omega Verse. Wingnut dicks from humans, poids, mankee,  ether-bunnies, and more than a few others, decided to stop the liberal slant of reality among realities within any given universe and their continuum and make everyone else pay for their boots (regardless of species). By "stop" I don't mean deal with or surpass, I mean they decided that stifling others through suppression of ideas and violence was easier than proving the worthiness of their own ideologies. The Omega Verse though had other Wobblers from other established mindsets setttling in there as well.

They had to deal with the hippies that were forming the Oracles. Varied Wobblers, hardly noticing the species and their physical, social, and philosophical variations, coming together to enhance the liberal slant to any reality that they were coming across. These self-appointed judges of everyone else would pop up everywhere

 Then there was the structure-driven Capitalists of the Apex Corporate Hegemony. Any "associate" of this ilk was needing cards and up-to-date due payment on membership fees at that, to be considered invested in by the powers that be. Those resources that can be tapped into come from Verses and Universes, meaning incalculably worlds of resources, given the approved cause.

These later mentioned blocs of power in the Omega Verse, are the Uber-Worlds' biggest obstacle towards achieving "Victory Over All" throughout almost any Verse known in the Wobbler's mind. Thay usually are too busy fighting among themselves as to exactly they should hate. Just as the French Soralists weren't keen anti-Semites, their Nazi overlords were, which would bring provincial concerns for whatever right-wing authoritarian ideas that the two shared. In short, the Keygort of the Poid, just don't get along with the Pure Karots of the Ether-Bunnies, and the human fascists just don't trust either of those two species.

This is why the hippies and money-grubbers have the advantage in the Wobble game setting.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A World a Week: Powderpunk Left to Right-1

Oops forgot Crimea was a peninsula. Still not bad from memory.
So apparently this is what I was working on Sunday AM (Saturday Night really) from 2 until about 6am. Lotsa typed notes about  Portugal, the Spanish heartlands (the Crown of Castile) of the 16th century, and the semi-autonomous kingdoms of Navarre and Ireland. Whoa. So this is going to take some crashing and mashing to even begin to roll things into an RPG campaign setting for sure.

Okay so Ireland is not a bunch of counties, but as of 1542, it is the Kingdom of Ireland where the autonomous nature of the "Lordship of Ireland" is dissolved and the nation is coming more under the personal governance of Henry the 8th of England. Kildare's rebellion under Silken Thomas twelve years earlier is a distant memory with the establishment of the Royal Irish Army.

In my 15550 time frame in mind, Navarre-Bearn is able to maintain its uneasy independence from the Crown of Castile (Spain). Under the leadership of Queen Joan the 3rd known for popping out the "Good Henry" (Henry the Fourth of France) with her boy toy of Anthony (Hotty Pants Tony), the south of the region could still be considered not under the tutelage of the Hapsburg lords or ladies of Castile and Aragon.

The union of the Castile and the Aragon lines, Spain is becoming even more the major powerhouse Europe. From the low countries in the northwest, to in the Mediterranean, as well as the Iberian peninsula. Phillip the Second is about to start rocking it. Aragon is taking in the Jews and Moors being expelled from Castile and revitalizing its waning vitality while their westward kin are starting to reap the booty of the slave economy now starting in the New World.
Speaking of the New World the Spanish are consolidating their power over the central American isthmus region and the Yucatan peninsula and campaigning into Peru. finally starting to make some money. The new silver mines in central Mexico and the Andes allow all the racists colonialists to breath a sigh of relief in their search for something to be enslaving people for.

The Kingdom of Portugal and the Algraves isn't down and out despite its wars with Spain. Despite being a bit aged John the third is bringing home the groceries, that means pricey spices, from Brazil and the far east, as in Asia. Spanish-born Joanna is about to return to Spain and babysit the throne there while Phil 2 (Spain) is chasing chicks in England for a couple years. Catherine of Austria doesn't trust her son, Joãs Manuel, to take the throne so she's going to babysit the heir Sebastian and the Kingdom.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Roleplaying Punk

Punk in my roleplaying, like a badly written Rian Johnson Star Wars film, it's not what you think. I have been taking a break today from writing up the Christmas scenario Yule of the Yetis and doing the post-production of the Spacers(TM), to scribble around in what can only be called "historical roleplaying." While being a history major, I know better than to try to accurately portray chronological events as recorded and make interesting table-topping. Nobody except maybe the most basement-dwelling Spawn of Fashan enthusiast wants to see the man-crush that Joseph Stalin had on Adolph Hitler with dice and character sheets. SO punking things up like playing loose with the facts helps.

Ah my "powder punk" setting, I've just given up. And by giving up, it's not what you think. I mean trying to play with accuracy. I want swashbucklers, buccaneers, and musketeers to be able to wander around some high renaissance period somewhere between say 1502 until 1617-- I mean who doesn't mark the period of Peter Henlein's mechanical clock and the forced retirement of Marie De Medici already?-- sheesh. Bumping into Martynas Mažvydas (a big fan of Martin Luther) as well as Ivan the Terrible (a big fan of himself) while doing a secret job for the Bohemian Crown, the characters can enjoy all the highlights that Catholic/Protestant wars have to offer. Now let's throw in a 20 y/o Elizabeth, the First, as the monarch of England, a 30 something Götz of the Iron Hand, and a teenage Cardinal Richelieu. Ooo. What fun. Pity a few billion peasants are dying horribly every Tuesday in the machinations. I shouldn't highlight that last part too much, but is a part of milieu for the personages and the capers being pulled by the heroes and villains of the time.

This world is still a fantasy world. The Europe 1550, where the Dutch-speaking states are still striving against Spain landlords but definitely making the listing, is a good place to start a map. Can't post the map yet as my image-transfer specialist, Peryton, is out of town right now. I might as well work in my New India Seas for some pirate action, but I don't want to get wrapped around the axle there.  Then I stumble across my scenario from a decade ago The Wrong Side of the Fuse and want to rewrite it with my streamlined format. But the Red Bat system is just a little too generic. I suppose it's time for "Red Bat: Swashbuckler". It'll be no more than 13 pages dammit.

I already have illustrations for this. I could make this work... we'll see.