Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rifts House Rules - My Combat Cheatsheet Part 3 - 2015 Edition

Most of this page is taken up with the two critical hit tables - one for humanoid, one for vehicles. I spent a lot of time working these out and tried to come up with some concrete effects that could be fun in the game and give players a chance to decide when enough was enough and it was time to retreat. It also gave a parallel path for driving off NPC bad guys beyond just mowing through hundreds of MDC and many minutes of playing time. If you can blow out the power plant or kill the fire control or the main weapon systems, then the fight may well be over. It also gives a chance for some characters to shine by getting damaged systems back online - "Scotty I need warp power in 3 mniutes or we're all dead" just made the fight that much more interesting than yet another session of shaving down 500 MDC on that Northern Gun Explorer Bot.

The E-clip section is there because I don't like the pricing structure in the main book. I also wanted options for bad things to happen in combat and some specificity in charging up e-clips in the field.

The Armor Goop is my own creation from back in my first campaign in the early 90's. In a mega-damage world, your body armor effectively becomes your hit points, as no normal character can withstand even a single point of MD. Considering that a typical rifle does 4d6 MD per attack and a fairly standard set of MD Body armor has 50 points, with 80 being a "heavy" suit, it only takes one firefight to shred your armor. The armor repair rules in the book are limited and ridiculous and make no sense as far as field repairs so I decided we needed a "healing potion" for body armor, ala D&D. Thus, armor goop: It comes in a 1-meter tube (like a toothpaste tube)  about 6 inches in diameter and there's a spreading tool attached to the cap. After opening the cap the user can squeeze out the goop and spread it around with the tool. It takes about an hour to fix one suit of armor and the goop sets in about 4 hours. It fixes all but 1d6 of the damage to the armor, so the 50-point suit will have from 44-49 points after being "gooped" If it's gooped again before being repaired in a shop, it loses another d6.

The whole point of this is to allow players to have more than one combat before heading back to town to buy new armor, or having to haul around multiple sets of it. It does still put a clock on the players in that it's not a 100% fix, so they will eventually have to get some work done, but it prevents the momentum-killing post-combat regroup and retreat - instead the party just patches up overnight then continues.

Anyway that's the end of the Rifts bit for now. If anyone is interested I can put them up on a file site if they need a better copy. As you might guess I really do like a lot of the ideas in Rifts I just don't like the mechanical execution and expression of some of those ideas. Even when I'm not running or playing it, the ideas never stop for long. I've recently been re-reading the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG (FASERIP) thinking about using it as the introductory supers game for the apprentices, and it struck me that it might  be worth a shot at converting RIFTS to FASERIP. I'll let you know how that goes.

PDF link is here.

2015 Notes

I was pretty proud of "armor goop" when I thought of it. It solved a lot of problems.

The critical hit system is one more element aimed at making combat more than just an auction of people shouting numbers and throwing dice. It gives crits a meaning beyond "hey I did double damage" or something similar. Plus it can make a situation that looks like foregone conclusion a lot more interesting when the enemy's fire control is blown out due to a lucky shot. It can require some interpretation in some cases, but that's part of the fun, right? I would probably have refined it more given more time but it was a solid starting point.  

I also might have tried a fate point/force point/bennie like system that (among other things) would let players invoke a crit automatically - or fix one if they needed to. It would take some tinkering to get it right but it would help offset the worst  parts of the random side of the game. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rifts House Rules - My Combat Cheet Sheet Part 2 - 2015 Edition

Page 2 of the Cheatsheet covers the ranged attack modifiers, size modifiers (something else Rifts really needed), then the Defense and Damage process and tables.  So someone shooting will mainly look at page 1 while someone being shot will mainly look at page 2 - the goal was to not have to flip back and forth a whole lot.

A lot of this is purely my own addition to the game, and it can look like a lot but it's really not bad once a player has been through the sequence one time. Plus it's a lot more organized compared to the by-the-book system. Additionally my players like to know where they hit that giant robot - cockpit, gun, arm, leg. I have also found that hit location sometimes helps a fairly lethal game - it's better to lose an arm than the whole character most of the time, and in a world of magic and super-tech replacing it isn't all that hard. 

I will say that looking at it now that the DR/armor piercing thing might be a little more detail than I would want if I started a new campaign tomorrow. It is cool, but it is one more step in resolving combat that might be better left out. I wanted vehicles and robots to have more to them than a big gun and a 500 MDC main body, so detail was what I was looking for at the time - it might not be everyone's cup of tea. 

There's also the system damage section it makes more sense with page 3 which has the crit charts. More on that tomorrow.

PDF link is here.

2015 Notes

By section:

  • Ranged Modifiers - these are from the d20 SRD
  • Size Modifiers - also from d20
  • Defenses - mostly from Rifts with some details added in
  • Damage - Rifts + an Armor Penetration system. These used to be a fairly common mod for Rifts but I don't see them as much anymore.  
  • Hit Locations - mostly Battletech
  • System Damage - mostly homebrew with elements of multiple space combat games as inspiration

The AP system does add a level of complication to the game but I wanted to give certain weapons a reason for being "better" than a comparable weapon that did the same or more damage. Now there is a reason why railguns and plasma cannons are so widely referred to as "heavy weapons" in the game. Also, it makes magic and psi  that much better than the standard game and in my experience they needed some help. 

The System Damage ... system came about in an effort to make combat more interesting than just blowing off chunks of MDC. That makes for a boring fight. it is more to keep track of and it can get hairy for the DM if he has multiple vehicles and bots in play but that's what tracking sheets are for! This lets opponents knock out weapons and sensors and propulsion systems the way things happen in modern sci-fi shows and movies where people need to "get things back online" in the middle of a fight. It makes all those system, engineering, and repair skills useful in combat. It forces interesting decisions - if the robot's big gun is knocked out do you a) stay back and concentrate on fixing it, b) retreat, or c) stop worrying about it and charge in with giant robot fists? That's much more fun than "there's another 75 MDC". 

Main sources here: d20 SRD, Battletech, various Traveller space combat systems, and Rifts Ultimate Edition.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mid-November Superhero TV Update

  • I finally have had a chance to start catching up on Agents of Shield Season 1 and I can report that everyone else was right - it does get quite a bit better! Episode 13 is where it took off for me and started feeling both as smart as it should have from the start and like it was trying to get somewhere - like it had a point. I'm looking forward to finishing it and moving on to Season 2 now.
  • The Flash is continuing to be good - really good - and before watching tonight's episode, or any future episodes I am going to predict that Zoom will turn out to be Barry's dad or mirror-dad. Not sure why, and I've never read much Flash, but that's my shot in the dark speculation.
  • Supergirl - Like it so far, hope it continues to arc upwards. The main actress is growing on me and now seems to really fit the part. It has a lot of promise, but a crossover with Flash would blow the whole thing wide open and make the show a thousand times better. Fingers crossed. 
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead - What can I say? this is a show that looks like a game I would run! Maybe some games that I _have_ run! I have no criticisms so far. It's Ash! The Boomstick! Deadites! On movie-cable TV! Just the fact that it exists makes me happy.

Rifts House Rules - My Combat Cheat Sheet - 2015 Edition

Having settled the ability score issue, I decided that initiative was getting to be a problem as it's not unusual for characters to start with 4 to 6 attacks and for creatures and NPC's to have just as many. If you just cycle through them one after another then having multiples doesn't really make a difference. If each character gets all of their attacks at once they can explode for horrendous amounts of damage before some characters get a chance to act. Plus either approach can get fairly chaotic with an 8-player group which was what I was running for at the time.  This was unsatisfactory and demanded a better solution.

I looked through my numerous books and decided that the minion of splugorth had the most attacks of any creature they were likely to run into at 15 - that's 15 attacks per 15-second melee round. I dusted off the Hero system Speed Chart, extended it from 12 segments to 15 and there I was. For my Rifts, # of attacks was now = to Hero's Speed stat and I had a nifty chart to go along with it. Since I was going to have to hand it out to my players anyway I decided to go ahead and make it a full-blown combat cheatsheet, which is what you see here.

By section:
  • Initiative is just explanatory
  • Movement is 100% Rifts, I just added the formula for figuring MPH vs. in-game speed
  • Attacks is a checklist to make sure no modifier is left behind
  • Other Actions is to remind players there are things to try besides pulling a trigger
  • Attack Actions spells out the process for Melee, Single Shots, Bursts, Missiles, and called shots, because sometimes it's nice to have a clear list of these kinds of things and people tend to forgo them if they aren't sure how they work. 
PDF link is here.

There is more to the cheatsheet - more on that tomorrow.

2015 Update: There's not much here I would change if I was still going to use the original system. Like any set of house rules this is seasoned to my personal taste and I'm sure additional playing time would have generated some additional changes. That said it puts just enough sanity, or enough "system" in place over the base Rifts system that it was comfortable for me and my players to use. 

I had considered going even further into the Hero system adjustments and incorporating specific combat maneuvers with set modifiers  (Block, Move Through, Haymaker, etc) but I decided not to at that point. For anyone interested in adding more "system" to the game, that might be a direction to consider. 

Main sources here: d20 SRD, any Hero rulebook, and Rifts Ultimate Edition.

One note from experience - you can use a grid to show relative positions in combat but much like a superhero game the speed and ranges involved in a typical Rifts combat mean that heavy/tight usage of the grid is pointless. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rifts House Rules - Ability Scores - 2015 update!

2015 note: Ok this part really hasn't changed but it's important for understanding the posts that will follow so i wanted to put it up first.

Rifts and house rules are inevitable in my mind. It feels a lot like the old days for D&D when systems were much more malleable than 4th or even 3rd edition. There are several areas where I feel  some changes make for a better game. One of the changes I have made is to ability scores.

Rifts has always been confusing as far as stats, bonuses, and when they apply, plus the method for rolling is odd. Humans roll 3d6 for each stat but if they score a 16,17, or 18 then they get to add an additional d6. I scrapped this for 4d6 drop the lowest. Rifts actually has some skills (Physical Skills) that can be selected to add to certain attributes, so if you want a Physical Strength of 20 it's easily accomplished by rolling a decent score and then choosing weightlifting, boxing, etc.during skill selection. One problem solved.

Nonhuman races roll differing amounts of dice  - Ogres might roll 4 or 5 dice for strength, Orcs might have 4d6 for Physical Endurance, Pixies might only roll 2d6 for strength - I'm fine with that approach and leave it as-is.

Now that stats are a little more "regular" let's get some decent modifiers for them. I pretty much adapted the d20 ability score modifiers wholesale. My players and I were familiar with them and they do make the full range of scores count for something. So PS of 10-11 = +0, 12-13 = +1, 14-15=+2, etc. A Physical Strength of 40 now has a +15 modifier - but to what?

Rifts has a somewhat arbitrary division when it comes to combat, the infamous "Mega-Damage".  The ideas is that some super-high-tech weapons and powerful magic just operate on a while different scale than conventional weapons like guns and swords. It's an important part of the setting as characters cause superhero levels of damage without technically having superpowers.

For some reason though it was decided that mega-damage guns don't work the same way as regular ones so the Physical Prowess bonus doesn't count when using MD weapons. This makes little sense to me and additionally it makes character abilities like a high Prowess  less important than equipment bonuses like a +1 for a laser sight. The game also forbids adding character strength bonuses to MD melee damage, instead referring to a chart for punching damage based on strength number and type - yes there is "regular" strength, "augmented" strength, and "supernatural" strength - which all kind of matrixes together to tell you whether you do 1d6 or 2d4 or some other slightly different amount of damage.

I scrapped all of that.

  • PS (Physical Strength) adds its modifier to all HTH combat damage. 
  • PP (Physical Prowess) adds its modifier to all to-hit rolls and dodge and parry rolls. 
  • IQ (Rifts version of Int) and PP both affect initiative rolls.
  • IQ adds to the base percentages for skills
  • Mental Endurance (ME) adds to saves vs. fear and magic
  • Physical Endurance (PE) adds to saves vs poison etc.
  • Mental Affinity (MA) [Charisma] adds to reaction adjustments

Pretty much what you would expect them to do based on D&D style modifiers.

One reason for adding the strength bonus to all damage is that a mega-damage sword does about the same damage as a D&D sword but the MD armor you have to cut through starts at about 50 points for almost anything and rapidly scales up from there. Rolling 1d8 to beat down 50 points takes a long time. Considering that many PC's will be in the 20+ strength bracket, adding a +5 or +10 to that really helps keep the game from dragging and actually promotes the more frequent use of HTH combat that the game background seems to suggest. It's also one less fiddly rule to worry about.

Adding the PP bonus to all to hit rolls also ensures that hitting isn't much of a problem when you have the 30 PP Juicer going against the 10 PP mercenary. Rifts uses opposed d20 rolls in HTH as the attacker rolls to hit and the defender rolls to parry, high score wins. Classes, skills, equipment, and race can all add various bonuses to attack and to parry so adding in one more bonus from PP doesn't really upset things.

In the end it was more natural to my (then) 3rd edition D&D crew to use these modifiers and it kept combat flowing a little more smoothly. I still wasn't satisfied though as combat  still confused some people as all PCs end up with multiple attacks and hit locations were still causing trouble. More on that tomorrow.

Rifts Update Week

I've received a fair number of requests for a better version of my cheat sheets for Rifts and though I do not have the original files any more I have finally re-scanned them at a much higher resolution and turned them into PDFs. To get them back to the front of the blog this week I am re-posting and annotating my original entries from five years ago. It should be fun, and hopefully will make them more useful for anyone who is interested in a usable copy of them.

Friday, November 13, 2015

40K Friday - Eldar Allies

So what do you do when you end up with a nicely painted tank that doesn't really fit in with the rest of your force? Build up an Ally force!

So I had a nicely painted Falcon I picked up as part of a deal. It's done in Iyanden colors and I decided some time back not to paint my Eldar as Iyanden. So ... orphaned Falcon - what to do?

Well I also have some very yellow Fire Dragons...

Fire Dragons are the perfect unit to transport in a Falcon and the colors line up nicely. That gives me a heavy support slot and an elite slot. I need an HQ and a troop choice to make this work. HQ is easy enough...

I had a spare Farseer and I though about painting him up in Iyanden colors but I decided to continue the tradition and pick out a painted one instead. Now I need troops.

Minimizing point cost and effort-to-field I picked up a painted Ranger squad. That's enough to make it strictly an ally only force as you only need 1 HQ & 1 Troop unit to achieve that. In the interest of flexibility though I decided to add a second unit, a nicely painted squad of Dire Avengers. Now I could potentially field the group as a normal CAD.

The original theory here is that this is a nice little self-contained anti-tank force and a psyker/sniper team. It could really be used with any army as it doesn't need to interact with anyone. The Falcon zips across the board, drops the Dragons, and both units then annihilate whichever target is deemed worthy. The Ranger squad hangs out in some ruins or woods, likely on an objective, and pops targets as needed. The Farseer could go with the Dragons or stay with the Rangers depending on the needs of the fight.

Then I went and added a pair of Wraithlords. Now we're starting to make the turn towards becoming a "real" army.

Here's how it shapes up right now:

1 Farseer (HQ) @ 120 Pts
     (character); Ancient Doom; Battle Focus; Fleet; Independent Character; Runes of the Farseer; Psyker (Mastery Level 3); #Ghosthelm; The Spirit Stone of Anath'lan; Rune Armour; Shuriken Pistol; Singing Spear; Warlord

5 Dire Avengers (Troops) @ 65 Pts
     Infantry; Ancient Doom; Battle Focus; Fleet; Defence Tactics; Aspect Armour; Avenger Shuriken Catapult; Plasma Grenades

5 Rangers (Troops) @ 60 Pts
     Commander: None; Infantry; Ancient Doom; Battle Focus; Fleet; Infiltrate; Move Through Cover; Shrouded; Mesh Armour; Shuriken Pistol; Ranger Long Rifle

5 Fire Dragons (Elites) @ 110 Pts
     Infantry; Ancient Doom; Battle Focus; Fleet; Assured Destruction; Heavy Aspect Armour; Fusion Gun; Melta Bombs

1 Falcon (Heavy Support) @ 125 Pts
     Commander: None; Vehicle (Fast, Skimmer, Tank); Capacity: 6; TL Shuriken Catapults; Scatter Laser; Pulse Laser

1 Wraithlord (Heavy Support) @ 160 Pts
     Commander: None; Monstrous Creature (Character); Ancient Doom; Fearless; Flamer (x2); Starcannon (x2)

1 Wraithlord (Heavy Support) @ 180 Pts
     Commander: None; Monstrous Creature (Character); Ancient Doom; Fearless; Flamer (x2); Eldar Missile Launcher (x2)

Models in Army: 20

Total Army Cost: 820

At 820 points it is fairly "heavy" for a small army. With a bunch of anti-tank and a sniper unit it should be fine against tank armies and monstrous creatures. I think horde armies would give it a lot of trouble but then again at 800 points how much horde could you be facing? That's one of the reasons for taking the dual missile launchers on one of the Wraithlords - flexibility and to try and help  vs. armor, hordes, and air units.

As an ally force it could be as cheap as 400 points for Farseer + Rangers + Falcon + Fire Dragons. That adds a significant amount of anti-tank to any other army, plus a nice psyker. My orks might appreciate that kind of help.

For the future I don't feel a tremendously pressing need to expand this army but I do have some ideas:

  • A Spiritseer would be a slightly less expensive HQ for this force, flavorful,  and probably still very effective. 
  • A second Ranger squad would be an even cheaper troop unit to allow it to incorporate more heavy or elite units - if only they weren't so terrible under the current rules.
  • A Crimson Hunter would be a nice tool to have in the toolbox as an ally force and as a full army.
  • Wraithguard would up it's power quite a bit and are the obvious thing missing to make this even more of an Iyanden themed army.
  • Wave Serpents are pretty much required if you're going to field Wraithguard so they are definitely on the list. They would make the Avengers more mobile too.
  • A Wraithknight - well, maybe some day. It's another thematically appropriate unit and a very effective one too. 
I am not terribly interested in adding Guardians, Jetbikes, Artillery, or even most of the Aspect Warriors as this is supposed to be a simple side force while I paint my main Eldar army. Vehicles and wraith units will be the priority if an opportunity arises. I don't need to turn it into one of the other formations from the codex - a traditional CAD is fine.

In order to not split my focus I decided a while back to only add painted units to this army. So to some degree, this army's growth depends on what I find and when I find it. That keeps my army ADD under control and it also avoids adding any more to my already impressive backlog. I do need to unify the basing and that may happen as soon as this weekend. Right now I'm leaning towards snow but I won't really decide until I sit down and start digging in.

That's the update for this week - next time we will talk Iron Warriors!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rifts Flashback - Stat Sheets

In 1990-91 Rifts was only the main book + the Sourcebook + Vampire Kingdoms, at least for a time. We were having a lot of fun with it but even then I was trying to find a way to manage the numbers in combat and help players keep track of their vehicle stats. Now I didn't have a PC but I did have my aging Commodore 64 and an alternate operating system that had gotten popular a few years before - GEOS.

GEOS turned the C64 into a very Mac-like device (well, 1980's Mac) with WYSIWYG word processing and some paint type programs that were pretty cool for the time. Availability met opportunity and I started making reference sheets:

There's a lot of stuff to keep track of but I managed to fit it all on to one sheet. Ranges, sizes, damage capacities, weapon details - whew! This was for one of my player groups.

This one was mainly for me. Sheet protectors and overhead markers made them reusable.

Another one for one of my players occasionally used for opposition as well. I was clearly having fun with  different font styles and sizes.

The skelebot sheet got used a lot as I thought they made great opponents plus I had visions of the future war scenes in Terminator 2 which was a big deal at the time. Admittedly at 5 attacks per round they could get pretty nasty but I only had to have one mostly-dead party to figure that out. Not running a full squad of 8 made a big difference.

With the sheet protector approach these sheets were still clean and used through most of the 90's.Heck, they're still clean now! They're just printed on that really thin fan-fold paper we used to use back then so they've yellowed and faded a bit. I've cleaned them up just a little in the scans here, but not too much. The C64 itself was lost in a fire a few years later but the sheets live on!

Anyway, this is what cutting-edge game aids looked like about 1991!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mutants and Masterminds - Freedom City Year One: Battle on the Bridge!

The infamous Doctor Zero returns!

(actually it's his first appearance in my campaign - but he's been written into history!)

I recently ran a two-session episode in my very occasional Freedom City campaign using Mutants and Masterminds (second edition). I am hoping this leads into more frequent dips into this pool but only time will tell.

The setting: Freedom City, early 21st century. I am not setting a specific date on these as a) it's a comic book campaign and b) I figure I will retcon them into some kind of coherent timeline later

The heroes:

  • U.S. Patriot - a scientist who becomes a star-spangled super-man when needed
    (In M&M terms, a Paragon (Superman) type. Played by Paladin Steve)
  • Emerald Blue Defender - an alien guardian who crashed literally minutes before the attack on the bridge. The crash seems to have disrupted his identity a bit as he gives several different names during the action
    (In M&M terms, a Ringbearer (Green Lantern). Played by Apprentice Blaster)
  • Crimson Avenger - the mystic myrmidon dedicated to defending the earth
    (In M&M terms, a Mystic Battlesuit (Iron-Mannish). Played by Apprentice Who)
As our heroes go about their usual business - Patriot is at work, Avenger is at school, and Defender is spiraling out of control through the atmosphere - a report comes in about some kind of trouble on the Centery Bridge. A traffic copter report provides audio and video of the scene as strange insect-like mechanical forms swarm over the bridge and the vehicles crossing it. Overseeing it all, a huge tripod vehicle stalks across the structure and rants on about how Doctor Zero will finally have his revenge! Seeing this, the heroes swing into action!

As they arrive on the scene, Defender and the Crimson Avenger land on the bridge and begin slicing up, TK-tossing, and blasting the car-sized insectoid robots. Patriot, sensing the root of the problem, swooops down and lifts the walker into the air. Over the next few minutes Defender saves some encircled cops and rescues an injured driver while Avenger saves a minivan full of kids. In between, both of them smash multiple bug bots but are barely making a dent in the overall situation. Patriot takes the full force of Doctor Zero's wrath as he is blasted by various beams and rays emanating from the control pod of the walker. 

While this is going on all three heroes realize the bots are not just randomly tearing up the bridge but they are breaking down the vehicles and even parts of the bridge itself and constructing more bots! This problem could quickly scale out of control and threaten the entire city if it's not contained!

After managing to slow down Patriot with one of his many beams, Zero ejects the pod from the rest of the tripod and rocket-boosts down towards the bay, hoping to escape. The mighty chemist shakes it off and re-engages, grabbing the spherical pod tight enough to leave handprints in its shell. Then with a grunt he steers the pod up and over and slams it down onto the bridge. The material is too tough to smash outright but the Doctor is going nowhere now.

The heroes realize that tackling the bugs directly is a losing proposition. They team up to crack open the shell of the walker control pod but as Patriot peels back the canopy Zero lets loose with a maniacal laugh as he presses a button on his wristband. The bugs stop moving and begin emitting strange noises that mere into a slowly building tone ... almost like an alarm. 

“Now you will see the price of opposing me! That self-destruct signal will cause the power cores in my Bugbots to overload until they explode! In moments, this bridge will burn as a fiery monument to my genius, a pyre to light the very heavens! And there’s nothing you can do to stop it! The world will remember the name Dr Zero! Farewell ‘heroes!’”

Now concerned for far more than medium-scale property damage the heroes come up with a plan. Crimson Avenger uses his magical powers of thought-movement to sweep the bots into a pile as defender assists and then encloses them in a giant blue energy sphere. Patriot hoists the whole thing up over his head and lifts off. Avenger assists him, arms extended and trembling with power as Defender flies alongside to maintain containment. Their best guess is that they need to be 3 miles up (to prevent blast damage to the civilians, the bridge, and the city) and over the bay (to prevent damage from falling debris) and they only have seconds to do it. 

Three forms streak into the morning sky beneath a huge, glowing sphere, then are eclipsed as a massive explosion. A last-second "heave" by all three heroes tosses the bubble far enough that no one is harmed by the blast, not even themselves. Some bot-parts do rain down into the bay but boat traffic is light and no bystanders are harmed. In the confusion, Doctor Zero has disappeared. 

The three heroes return to the bridge to help the police get traffic moving again and to see to any damaged cars or injured civilians. Defender and Patriot find that they work well with the police but Avenger is less friendly and not sure that he wants to get too close to the authorities.

Today is a good day though. The city is saved, people are grateful, and their work here is done. As they depart, all three agree to meet again and set up some form of communication in case they need to act as a team once more.

DM notes: I used "Battle on the Bay Bridge" from Lame Mage Productions for this as I think it's a great introductory adventure. DTRPG link is here, though I don't see this adventure in the mix or on his site. There's probably not a ton of demand for M&M 2E adventures these days but I have been waiting years to run it and I am very happy that  I finally had a chance to do so. 

First question: "How much does a bug bot weigh?" This of course is not included in the stats, despite this being a nicely written and noted little gem. I know how much cars weigh, and the bots are car-sized, so I went with a number that made sense to me. Second question: "How much does the walker weight." Sigh - this is totally not car-sized so I actually had to look up size and weight rules for M&M and after that it all worked out. Note to self: Super-strength guys and Telekinesis guys are always going to want to pick stuff up and fling it about so remember to note down weight in advance where possible.

I was pretty proud of them for coming up with a solid solution to the problem so quickly. Playing videogames or even the same RPG or boardgame all the time can channel one's thinking. A good superhero session encourages wide-open thinking about how to solve problems.

Everyone had a pretty good time and some of the characters have been used in prior M&M one-offs so we are developing a little bit of a history here. Ideally this will be the gradual coming-together of a team of superheroes who will take over protecting Freedom City from the current Freedom League as they move into dealing with more global threats.  

I also finally managed to figure out how to run vehicles and minions in Hero Lab too which made the numbers much easier to keep track of in play. 

Overall it was a big win and we're hoping to work in more sessions in the future. Time is clearly the ultimate arch-nemesis of most of us grown-up gamers.

Friday, November 6, 2015

40K Friday - Even More Marines

I haven't played 40K in months, so updates here have been sparse. I tried out the "new" Orks against Apprentice Blaster's Eldar and took the worst beating I've had in years - not sure I'm going to put that one up online. That was in August and we've done zero 40K since then. I have added units to some of the armies but even that has been down - not playing = not as anxious to build & paint.

I'll have more on the new acquisitions in a future post but I have seen one new 40K item that's coming out and that's the new Horus Heresy boxed set.

Details on the contents can be found here and I think it looks pretty interesting.

  •  First up, it's a big boxed set of a bunch of older style 40K marine figures, so it's a nice thing to bolster an existing marine army. Considering I have about 5 of those I'm eyeballing it for an efficient means of mixing in some older marks of armor to my forces.
  • Second, it is from the time of the Heresy, so all of these models will also work for a Chaos army. I have a pair of those as well so that could be fun too.
  • Third, it is not a 40K starter set - it is a boardgame similar to Space Hulk which is set in the 40K universe and uses 40K style minis. That makes for a nice taste of 40K without as much setup and rules fiddling and army building. I doubt that it's going to be comparable to a lot of modern 1 hour or less boardgames but it's likely to be quicker than a 2000 point 40K battle.
So while I don't exactly need "more marines" these are more interesting than basic tacticals. Mix in an older mark of terminator armor and a plastic Contemptor Dreadnought and this a very interesting set. I'll also be curious to see some reviews of the actual game.

More next week!