Daily Archives: June 27, 2012

Freaks and Geeks Updated- A Barbarians of Lemuria Hack

A few weeks ago I put up a quick hack I created for BoL that could be used to play in settings like Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, etc.  After slapping it up on the blog I took a step back from it and didn’t look at it again until yesterday.

With the break from it I was able to tackle it again with fresh eyes and after rereading it, I decided to make a few changes and a couple additions.

First- Here it is as a PDF: Freaks and Geeks- A Barbarians of Lemuria Hack

Changes

  • I got rid of having Freaky Power as a combat skill and instead made it a career.
  • Restructured amount of starting points Norms and Freaks get.
  • Added notes on Sorcery and to just use BoL rules.
  • Added rule (from book) for using two weapons.
  • Added rule (mine) for full auto weapons.
  • Added suggestion about ammo.
  • Created a table for quick job generation inspired by Monsters and Manuals table.
  • Created a list of ideas/inspiration for when shit gets weird.

Lastly found an awesome GM screen (or cheat sheet) for BoL that can also work for Freaks and Geeks.  I wanted to share the love.

Here it is as non PDF-

Freaks and Geeks

Introduction

 

Freaks and Geeks is a hack of Barbarians of Lemuria.  My goal has been to leave the system largely intact without massive changes or clunky additional rules.  I created this hack because I thought the BoL was an extremely rules-lite (which is fucking awesome) and robust system that would be able to handle the cinematic style play for games such as Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, or whatever.

The great thing about the BoL system is that there are no complications when hacking it to another genre or style.  Just understand how the simple mechanics work and that this game is about being awesome and a dialogue between players and the GM in the hopes of achieving their goals, having fun, and you’re solid.

The other goal I had was to strip away the lists of boons, flaws, and careers presented in BoL and the need to consult anything at all.  A few examples of Boons and Flaws are given, but largely the players should come up with their own powers of kickassery!  That’s it..  Now go play!

Attributes

Strength-
Agility-
Mind-
Appeal-

Freaks start out with 5 points in Attributes while Norms start out with 4.  Max of 3 in any one ability for Norms and 4 for Freaks.  One ability score can be taken from 0 to -1 and allocated to a different ability score.

 

Combat Abilities
Brawl-

Melee-
Ranged-
Defense-

Freaks and norms start out with 4 points in Combat Abilities.  Max of 3 in any one ability for Norms and 4 for Freaks.  One ability score can be taken from 0 to -1 and allocated to a different ability score.

Life Blood
All characters start with 10 plus their Strength score in LB.

Optional: Instead of having LB linked to Strength, which people will dump points into JUST to have a higher Life Blood, have players start with 10 + 1d3 LB.

Careers
Both Freaks and Norms choose four careers that show their areas of study and events in their lives up till the present.  Freaks and Norms have 4 points to spend in careers, but cannot put more than 3 points in a given career.  Freaks must take “Freak” as one of their careers, this represents their powers.

Career Examples
Don’t like something here, make something the fuck up.

Freak

Alchemist
Assassin
Beggar
Stripper
Mercenary
Doctor
Priest
Academic- Specify

Labor Industry- Specify
Soldier
Thief

Politician

Police Officer/Private Investigator

Accountant

Awkward High School Student

Dabbler in the Occult

Sorcerer

Athlete

Aristocrat

Criminal

Farmer

Hunter

News Reporter

Pilot

Seaman

Scientist

Boons, Flaws, and Freaky Powers

Boons generally allow a player to roll 3d6 and keep the higher of the two while Flaws allow a character to roll 3d6 and keep the lower of the two.  Boons can also be a static bonus or effect, like immunity to poison while a flaw could be weakness to poison.

If there is a boon of flaw you want to create that doesn’t follow that mechanic discuss it with your GM.

 

Freaks

Freaks start off with two boons and one flaw.  For Freaks, boons are also their strange and awesome powers that make them unique and special little butterflies.  When using this (most of the time) it should go off the Freaky Power and the appropriate Attribute (but some powers, like Hellboy’s Hand of Doom would be Brawling and Strength) that makes sense.  Some powers may have a drawback as well as benefits.  Discuss it with your GM and if they approve you are good to go!

Making your type of freak is rather simple; want to play a Vampire?  That is easy!  Just choose appropriate Boons and Flaws.  It honestly doesn’t matter if it is 100% accurate.  This is about having some fun and playing in a game that is about pulpy action and heroics!

 

Freak Examples

Hellboy- Hand of Doom- The Hand of Doom is indestructible and hurts like hell when he hits with it.  Roll 2d6 and take the higher of the two as damage.

Liz’s power of fire manipulation would go off of Mind and Freaky Power.  The modifiers to the TN would change based on what the Liz’s player is trying to do (see below)

Example

Summon flame in hand to see: Easy +1 to roll.
Cause burst of flame to hurt target 1d3 damage (moderate 0).
Burst of flame to one target 1d6 damage (tricky -1).
Flame damage to one target for 2d6 damage, or a burst of flame in a five foot radius that does 1d6 damage (hard -2).
Etc.

Norms

Norms start with three Boons (they have to be snowflakes in some way too, right?) and one Flaw.  Norms Boons and Flaws should be cool and unique, but they should still reflect that your character is a squishy, easily bruised, and fleshy normal dude.

Extra Boons
Freaks and Norms can sacrifice Luck Points to gain an extra boon at character creation.  They can lose two Luck Points to gain an additional boon.  A freak can do this twice.  Norms can do this once.

 

Boon and Flaw Examples

Boon– Buffy is a Slayer and strong.  Permanently raise Strength Attribute by 1.

Boon– Hellboy is immune to any fire damage.

Flaw– Liz has trouble controlling her powers. When she uses her freak skill to generate and control fire she rolls 3d6 and takes the lesser of the two.

Flaw– Zander is awkward and tends to babble and make an ass of himself in front of people.  When making an appeal roll, roll an extra die and take lower of the two.

Mechanics:
Roll 2d6 aiming for a target number of 9.  If it is a combat ability add the attribute that most likely fits the situation and combat ability being used.  If it is non-combat then use the attribute and career.

In combat that target number is still 9, but the targets defense number becomes a modifier to your roll.

Optional Fall Forward Story Mechanic:

If a player rolls a 7-8 the GM will present them with the option to miss or they can still succeed at the task they are performing, be it a freak power, attack, or a non-combat action.  However if they choose to still succeed then some complication arises from their actions.  This could be a free attack by the enemy, or maybe them getting tossed to the ground.  Their weapon may break.  They may unlock the door, but the alarm still goes off, or guards show up, etc.

This is an optional rule to add a bit more of the pulpy dynamic feel like that of the adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Doctor Who, etc into the game.  If the GM and the players do not want to utilize this rule, they don’t have to.

 

Target Numbers Modifiers

Easy: +1, Moderate: 0, Tricky: -1, Hard: -2, Tough: -4, Demanding: -6

 

 

 

Hero Points

Players start with 5 Hero points each saga (session) unless they have lost Hero Points due to taking more starting Boons.  Hero points can be used in the following ways:

Twist of Fate– Change something in the narrative with GM approval.
Defy Death– You don’t die… good for you.
Reroll the Dice– You fucked up, but no one was looking, try again (save for snake eyes- you gotta keep that fuck up).
Might Success– When you succeed roll 1d6 for number of rabble killed.  Villains are max weapon damage + 1d6.
Legendary Success– When you roll a 12 spend point to turn into LS.  Roll 2d6 for number of rabble killed.  Damage to villain is max weapon damage + 6 + 1d6.
Shake off Wounds– Only a flesh wound- roll 1d6+1 and gain that back in HP.
Be creative– do your sales pitch, but don’t be sad when the GM laughs at you.

Friends Care! (Norms only)– Norms often give support their friends in ways that Freaks are not aware of.  Norms can share Hero Points with another player.

Advancement

Each adventure players should get 2-3 Advancement Points.  They can spend them or save them to use later.  Remember that adventures may take several sessions to complete.

Raising Attributes costs a number of points equal to the current amount plus the new amount.  Norms can have a max of 5 in any Attribute while Freaks have a 6.

Raising Combat abilities costs the new amount +1.  Norms can have a max of 5 in any Combat Ability while Freaks have a 6.

Raising Careers costs equal to the new amount.

Purchasing a new career costs 1 point.

Buying a new Boon costs 3 AP while buying off a Flaw costs 2 AP.

 

Gear and Shit

Weapons

These are things that do damage and hurt people and beasties, making them scream and bleed.  See Barbarians of Lemuria to make up damage that fits..  All damage is derived from a d6.

Rule of Thumb– Light weapons like knives will do d3 or d6-2 damage.  Regular weapons are 1d6-1 to 1d6+1.  Heavy Weapons are 1d6+2 or +3.  Guns operate the same way.  Snub pistol could do 1d6-1.  Standard handguns could do d6+1.  Machine Guns and the like could do d6+2 or +3, or 2d6 keep highest of the two.

Optional Rule: Full Auto

Machine guns can spit out quite a bit of lead.  If a player wants to open up a can of whoop as with a machine gun on full auto they make an attack at -4.  If successful they roll 3d6 and keep the highest of the two as damage.

 

Fighting With Two Weapons

A character can fight with a weapon in each hand with a -2 to each roll.

Ammo

Counting ammo is boring and for lesser mortals, surely not for the likes of heroes such as yourselves.  Instead of counting individual ammo just state that each character has “x” number of ammo packs.  When a player rolls snake eyes on an attack roll this means that an ammo packet has been consumed and they must reload.

Body Armor

Armor provides a layer of damage absorption that makes it so the hurt doesn’t hurt as bad.  There are two types of armor for people light and heavy.  Light absorbs 1d3 damage and heavy absorbs 1d6 damage (-1 to agility).

Gear

Give the characters what they want and need to play their characters.  If it is key to the session, such as an amulet to ward off a demon or a potion to cure a disease, that is an adventure right there!  There is no need to complicate a cinematic game with money or shopping lists for mundane every day items.  Buffy and Hellboy never needed to go shopping for weapons.  They had them or used what was available in the heat of combat.  If they lost their arsenal then one of their buddies had back ups.  Beefy superduper weapons are a rare exception and tend to get broken and fucked up during the adventure or “disappear” at the end.

 

Further Examples of Boons

Liar Liar Pants on Fire– You can lie your ass off and not bat an eye.  Roll an extra die.

I’ve got Friends– You’ve got people who will come to your aid when called.  They may want something in return, but hey what are friends for?

Groupie– You’ve got a low level NPC that follows you around showering you with uncomfortable looks of adoration.  Stat this poor sod as a standard NPC.

Steel Will– You’re Willpower is awe inspiring.  Roll an extra die when these types of situations arise.

Further Examples of Flaws

Shifty Eyes– You suck at lying.  Roll an extra die.

Fuck I have an Enemy– Someone hates your guts and goes out of their way to make your life a misery.  They always seem to show up at the most inopportune time!  This is a fully stated Villain and wants to make you suffer as long as possible before plunging the knife into your heart.

Addiction– You’re character is addicted to something.  When it is around you must make a test.  Roll an extra die.  Each day you go without this addiction you suffer -1 an appropriate attribute.

Lecherous– You’re character just can’t help stop; you will go out of your way to hit on, grope, and talk to a person you are attracted to.

Sorcery

The Sorcery rules in BoL fit perfectly for both Hellboy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Spells in both settings were complex, involved, often took more than one person, powerful, and dangerous.  If a Freak or a Norm wants to get involved in sorcery, just follow the BoL rules.

Same with Alchemy and Priest (but it’s the GM’s call to allow those).

Freaks and Geeks Adventure Generator

This table can be used to generate a quick plot hook (or a few).  Simply roll 3d6 for each column and you have a quick plot to go on.  If you have time generate 2 or 3 plots and see if you can interweave them to create a rich story arc for your players.

Strange Shit Going On

This is a quick list of 20 ideas/inspirations to be used to describe the strange shit that is going on around the players if you’re stumped.


Freaks and Geeks Adventure Generator

3d6

Noun

Desire

Action

Noun

3

Ghost

Want(s) to

Kill

Lamia

4

Demon

Want(s) to

Possess

Giant Serpent

5

Vampire

Need(s) to

Corrupt

Ghost

6

Fairy

Need(s) to

Summon

Djinn

7

Prophet

Must

Protect

Demon

8

Government Agent

Must

Trap

Government Agent

9

Teenager

Plan(s) to

Delay

Priest

10

Scientist

Plan(s) to

Maim

Vampire

11

Priest

Is actively (ing)

Enslave

Ancient Horror

12

Hunter

Is actively (ing)

Gather information on

Sorcerer

13

Witch

Is being coerced to

Torture

Hunter

14

Sorcerer

Is being coerced to

Experiment on

Sorcerer

15

Strange Old Man

Is fighting against

Escape from

Fairy

16

Fallen Angel

Is fighting against

Make disappear

School

17

Satyr

Want(s) to

Rescue

Witch

18

Coven

Need(s) to

Cast spell on

Hospital

Strange Shit Going On

1-       People start puking pea green soup.

2-       People start babbling and talking nonsense.

3-       Undead talk to a character, but seems dead to everyone else.

4-       Shared dreams or visions.

5-       Monster in human skin.

6-       Strange fainting spells.

7-       Whispers in the dark.

8-       People start speaking in a foreign/forgotten language.

9-       Wild, rash, and often violent mood swings.

10-    Animals act skittish and random.

11-    Animals talk to characters.

12-    Insects being acting weird or dying in large droves.

13-    Strange and instant change in the weather.

14-    Objects break or move on their own accord.

15-    People switching bodies or gain access to memories not their own.

16-    People go missing and turn up later with no memory or dead and mutilated.

17-    Milk sours, food spoils, water evaporates.

18-    People turning into monsters.

19-    Some spell effect that alters perception, attitude, or appearance.

20-    End up somewhere without recollection of how character arrived.

Good Site for Monster inspirationhttp://www.mythicalcreatureslist.com/