Monthly Archives: July 2009

I want YOU to Inspire Me

The Stampede

The Stampede

I want YOU to Inspire Me.

So as I’ve mentioned on several previous posts, I am developing a Steampunk Savage Worlds game. I am currently getting myself more familiar with the rules and have decided that I am definitely going to create the setting in the Deadlands: Reloaded universe. I think that is fitting and will hit all the points I want to hit.

So what I’m looking for now is inspiration to breathe life, fully, into this new campaign. I’ve made a list below of things that I am pulling inspiration/ideas from.

Peruse the list, and feel free to comment on an alternate take on any of these things, add new ideas/suggestions, or whatever.
Music– Any 19th to early 20th century music suggestions?

o Star Wars
o League of Extraordinary Gentleman
o From Hell
o Tombstone
o Young Guns
o Old Sherlock Holmes Movies
o Agatha Christie Murder/Mysteries
o Wild Wild West (Terrible Movie, but has Steampunk)
o Sin City
o 300
o Watchmen
o Rocketeer
o The Spirit
o Hot Fuzz
o Shaun of the Dead
o Die Hard Series
o Lethal Weapon Series
o Monk

Tombstone- Badass Film

Tombstone- Badass Film

o Trigun
o Cowboy Bebop
o Samurai 7
o Fullmetal Alchemist
o Last Exile

o Deadlands Reloaded
o Engines
o Old Pulp Murder/Mystery Novels (Currently reading the Man who Killed Fortescue c. 1928)
o Harry Potter
o Engines d20 system
o Adventure Deck– For SW

• Games
o Final Fantasy VI and VII
o Fallout 1-3

So that’s it in a nutshell. Feel free to comment! I would love some suggestions of stuff I have never heard of or encountered!
Oooh..  Pretty

Oooh.. Pretty


Sprucing Up Combat

Oh yeah..  Dual Wield Action.

Oh yeah.. Dual Wield Action.

*Viewer feedback wanted*
I’m contsantly looking for ways to improve myself as a DM/GM. 2 ways I sometimes tend to fall short, especially if I’m really tired, or the energy in the room has died, either my fault or other source, is combat and NPC personalities.

The NPC personalities I’ve actually been able to spruce up more, but I’ll be posting tomorrow, looking for more feedback and suggestions from people on that.. Today is combat.

When I do combat I have the characters describe their actions, going off the wall and it is fun. I also use traps in the combat or challenges, like a magic missle turret that fires every 3 rounds that the rogue needs to disable, to keep combat interesting. Sometimes it lacks flavor, I feel, or I forget the nifty things an enemy can do.

What do you do, dear reader, to make combat spicey, exciting, and keep it fresh? I’m really hoping through discussion to generate some great ideas, not only for me, but for fellow readers! Thanks!

Yes this is a WoW pic, but still looks cool!

Yes this is a WoW pic, but still looks cool!

Bragging Rights!

So chattyDM sent out a call the other day and I felt a little intimidated, honestly to volunteer myself.

I thought about it for a few minutes, and figured what the hell.. Good exposure, good opportunity, and helping a fellow blogger fill in some posts! So you can see my totally rad post here.

I get to brag though since I get the honor of being the first guest poster. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.. Eh too late.. Apathy killed it.. Enjoy the post! You also get to see my beautiful visage in the post! What could be better?!

Savage Worlds and the Three Bowls of Porridge

Too hot, too cold, or just right?

Too hot, too cold, or just right?

I am really interested in other SW players feedback, but that will come at the bottom of the post.

After receiving a defective book, sending it back, and getting another one I was able to finally play test Savage Worlds. 4 of my 7 players were able to make the session, which is just as well, since it made explaining everything easier.

Character Creation
My players all seemed to respond to fairly well. EVERYONE appreciated how much easier it is to make a character in Savage Worlds as opposed to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. With all being said and only having one book, character creation was done in about 30 minutes. That is a damned record! Then I explained some of the rules, and left others to be discovered in combat and in role-playing. Everyone made characters starting at 0 XP Novice. What caught my players off guard with Savage Worlds is just HOW wet behind the ears your starting character is. One player actually said, “Umm.. Are you sure this is all the points we start out with?” I explained that this isn’t DnD where you start out better than regular NPC’s. The only thing that makes you better from Extras is the Wild Die (rolling a d6 along with any trait test).

Actual Session
I had an adventure planned out, in a fantasy setting so the players could compare it with what they know.. Dungeons and Dragons. It started with Pirates attacking the port town they resided in. As the first combat started, I went hell with it, and said we were just going to play test combat for the evening, since that was the thing that all of us were most curious about. Not because we are hack n’ slashers, but for me.. What makes or breaks a system is how good/bad combat is. The role-playing aspect can be done well even in a poor system if a strong DM/GM to handle the lack of mechanics, and players are on the ball, so I wasn’t worried about that aspect of the game. I was worried about combat. I was able to run three sessions of combat.

One of the things that attracts me about Savage Worlds is the simplicity of NPC’s both in and out of combat. Everything is broken down into two categories; Wild Cards and Extras (the PC’s fall into the Wild Card category). Certain villains also make the Wild Card cut. If you were going to put your players up against Dracula, he would definitely be a Wild Card, or your campaigns main villain who is the head of an evil corporation, etc would be a Wild Card. They get higher stats, to roll a wild die, and a benny or two as well (bennies allow a character to reroll a trait roll, soak damage, or recover from shaken instantly).

Extras are NPC’s that don’t have Wild Die, or Bennies, etc. And when they reach Wounded -1 on the Status chart, they are out of the fight. Wild Cards can go all the way to wounded -3 and keep fighting, at wounded -4 they are incapacitated and possibly dying with a failed Vigor roll.

So for all three fights I decided to do what the Explorer’s Edition of Savage Worlds suggests: blanket stats for the different villains. In all three fights it was nothing but extras vs. the PC’s. All fights consisted of 3 melee w/ a flint lock pistol for their opening attack, 3 musketeers who stayed under cover the whole fight, and one mage with a flint lock pistol.

For the first fight I decided that they would have a d6 in their traits, but a 4 in parry and toughness. I fiddled with all this because I wanted to see how the numbers work. Each fight would consist of different sets of numbers so I could gage how Savage Worlds works.

This bowl of porridge is too cold
The first fight, the PC’s all drew really high cards for initiative (initiative is settled using a standard deck of playing cards) and dispatched 3 of the 7 enemies in the first round! Having only a 4 toughness and 4 parry made the enemies, needless to say, really squishy.
In the next round I did want to prove how deadly magic could be, so with the mage I opened up with the power bolt (like Magic Missile). It costs 1 power point per bolt, and does 2d6 damage each. You can then spend an additional 1 power point per bolt to up the damage to 3d6, for a total of 6 power points.

I had only given the mage 8 power points, and figured what the hell. So he opened up a can of whoop ass and dropped a player who hadn’t been hit at all to unconscious in one hit! The player burned a benny and rolled a decent soak roll taking him from wounded -4 to wounded -1. By the end of that round though, the enemies were all dead or fleeing in terror.

This bowl of porridge is too hot
The next combat I went to the other extreme and gave the enemies a toughness and parry of 6 (no armor) and the rifleman and mage got a d8 in their respective skills. What happened was the other extreme. My players couldn’t hit anything. After 5 rounds (the last one lasted 3 rounds) and not ONE injured enemy, but two players at wound -2 we decided to scratch this combat and move to the next one.

This bowl of porridge seems just right
For the final battle everything reset and I gave the enemies a toughness and parry of 5. Again the rifleman and the mage had a d8 in their respective skills. This fight went about 4 rounds and held up to the tagline of fast, furious, and fun. This seemed to be the sweet spot. It was challenging enough that there was a chance for the players to miss, but not impossible for them to hit. The fight went off pretty smoothly.

Now for the issue that did seem to come up a bit and what I’m looking for feedback on…

My character is Shaken.. I can’t do.. what?
When a character is wounded in Savage World the first thing they become is Shaken, and wounds proceed from -1 to -3 as I stated earlier. When a player is shaken they can only move half their movement and that is it. On their turn they must make a Vigor check TN 4 to become unshaken. If they roll a 4-7 they are no longer shaken that turn, but that is all they can do. If they roll a 8+ they are no longer shaken and can action as normal. Anytime a wound is taken, the character becomes shaken again, and must again, on their turn, roll a vigor check. This seemed to be the biggest beef that my players had with SW. My girlfriend was hit just enough to become Shaken.

At the start of her next turn she rolled a Vigor check and failed. She didn’t want to use a benny, so everything continued on. The next round, she rolled again and failed. The third round she rolled a 4, but was unable to do anything else. On the next round she was hit bad enough to go to wound -3, spent a benny and soaked to -2, but was now shaken again, and couldn’t do anything. Something similar like this happened to another player during the session as well.

Now I know that they could spend Bennies to get out of this, and Bennies are handed out throughout the game session, but I’m worried that players will not utilize Bennies for anything other than soaking and/or getting out of shaken. Any other SW players have this experience or words of wisdom on how to handle this? I was pondering that if you fail two rounds in a row, you automatically can resume on the third.. But I’m not really sure since I’m still new to SW.

Thanks much!

Steampunk gone Savage

Steampunk Star Wars..  How bad ass

Steampunk Star Wars.. How bad ass

So the other day I posted about creating a Steampunk game and was looking for different pieces of information, resources, and ideas from fellow bloggers (which I still am btw, so feel free to comment here).

So after skimming through tons of material and books I’ve narrowed it down to 2 that I will definitely be purchasing in the very near future: Engines and Deadlands Reloaded. Both of these books have stuff for steampunk and Deadlands also has other things in there that I want for theme. Later on I will probably purchase Victorian Monstrosities, and possibly Imperial Age of Magick and convert them to the Savage Worlds system.

I’ve already been thinking of gadgets and improvising mechanics and etc that will keep with the SW system and keep with the motto, “Fast! Furious! Fun!” I am really excited about running a SW steampunk setting for several reasons. I’ve been doing different settings and flavors of Dungeons and Dragons for years now, and it will nice to take a kinda step (I’ll still be running a DnD 3.5 game in Philly once a month, or whenever we actually get to play) away and run something new and different.

I’m not 100% sure, but I may set the game in Deadlands, but I have to read over the campaign setting before I’m totally set on it. The themes I want in the setting are:
• Political unrest and intrigue.
• A setting that allows the development of the players characters through role-playing.
• Horror
• Sci-fi
• Fantasy

This is why it was logical for me to go with Steampunk because it can and does contain or offer many to all of these elements. The other reason that I like this setting is, currently with the NJ DnD setting I have 7 players, if 3 or less are absent, we still play. If 4 are absent. Canceled. With this Steampunk setting and how I am developing the ideas, at least in my brain, if I have 2-3 people, I’ll still really be able to run something worthwhile. I can and do this with DnD as well and have the players do side-quests or whatever, but it gets tiring after awhile of working the timetable to coincide with their adventures, etc.

As I work on this concept I’ll post ideas and hopefully I will get some feedback that will help generate better ideas full of awesomeness.

I dig this

I dig this

My Civic Duty is Done.

One person can make a difference

One person can make a difference

So I just voted for the Ennies. It was my first time.. Oh I feel all tingly, and yet a little sore.. Wait.. Bad Mikey! Seriously though, I had a great time looking through all the products, websites, and talent. I found it hard to decide on many of the options, because there were some truly excellent candidates to choose from!

So everyone rememeber to go here and vote! It is your duty as a role-player and as a RPG Blogger!

More Steampunkyness

So I wanna say thanks to Telas over at You Meet in a Tavern. For sending me some helpful links for steampunk influence. Also thanks to Satyre for providing some awesome links as well!

So I did some digging through Forums and etc and cam upon a site with quite a bit of Victorian/Steampunk works. My question is, has anyone out there used these supplements? How well do they really fit into a steampunk style world? What is their quality? The prices are pretty damned reasonable. I know that it is a d20 system, but from what I’ve heard it is pretty easy to convert d20 to SW.

Also I found a cybernetics pdf done by William Littlefield for Savage Worlds. I have turned things around for a Steampunk feel and am putting it up for others to see and comment on…

Lastly I wanted to post a link to some awesome people who make Steampunk Armor. I met them and went to their panel at Otakon. They are really awesome people, as far as I can tell, and are really talented. They are called Outland Armor. Anyways, enjoy their works!

Cybertek to Steampunk/tek Supplement

Optional Rules:
• Must take Hardwired Edge before taking any Steamtek.
o A small steam engine is surgically placed on to the back of the person or carried at their side w tubes feeding into the spine.
• Haven’t decided if there should be edge requirement for each piece of Steamtek. This may work in lieu of spending gold. The spending of the Edge works as if spending gold for procedure.
• Keep cost of Humanity.
• Keep System Failure.
• Keep Repairing Damage.

Tek pieces:
• Enhanced Sensory and Targeting Array
o This replaces one eye, looks geary when target uses it, clicking can be heard.
• Nanotech Healing Enhancement
o These could be a box of steam spiders kept on the personage. They are powered by the steam engine powering the rest of the person’s devices. The spiders are attached to the box by thin string.
• Cyber Arm
o Same as description.
• Cyber Leg
o Same as description.
• Reaction Time Neuro Enhancement
o Copper tubing fits from the steam engine right into the brain of the person, causes slight twitchy behavior.
• Neuro Rewire
o Copper tubing feeds into both of the persons elbow joints from the Steam Engine and also thing wiring goes up into the brain.
• Carbon Weave Skin
o Change to Skin toughening. Skin is coated in a thin layer of metal, copper or iron. This adds a +1 Parry/+1 Toughness. Can be purchased 2 times.
• Enhanced Camouflage/Concealment Array
o Orb of bubbling liquid that is powered by the Steam Engine. On the outside is mounted a small crystal that reflects light and when steam is released from the Orb it causes the person to become camouflaged as the cybertek description.
• Attribute Enhancement Array
o Like description. Tubing powered by Steam Engine goes to that area. Vigor- heart. Strength- biceps, etc. Player can also change this as well.
• Cyber Arm and Leg Enhancements
o Same as description just changed to Steampunk/tek feel.
• Enhanced Visual Array
o Replaces an eye with this, ability to see on infrared spectrum. Can be taken twice to gain the x-ray spectrum as well.
• Cyber-mounted weapon
o Requires Cyber Arm.
• Implanted Deflector Screen
o Requires Enhanced Camouflage/Concealment Array. Steam erupting from vents provides +3 armor. Also obscures characters (owners) vision -2 to ranged attack rolls.
• Ripper Blades
o Requires one or two cyber arms.
• Cyber Finger Options
o Same as described with Steampunk/tek feel.
• Rebreather
o Same as described by cannot be removed. Characters lower face is permanently covered by ventilator. Their voice comes out mechanical. -1 to Charisma, but they can breathe underwater.