The Game Players of Titan

with apologies to PKD


12 Comments

Episode 3 – The Riot at the Wall

image

With Aldonatto on the wall (3, 6, 2 to get over), and the rest of you on the ground, the crowd begins to chant “One more song! One more song!”, which worries the two guards.  One runs back through the gate and quickly arrives back with 5 more guards (2, 4, 4, 6, 1, 2, 3).  The guards are carrying spears and have armor, so they are strong against strength attacks (-1 to your roll) and weak against agility attacks.  NOTE: You don’t have to attack, or otherwise deal with the guards, as long as you are making it clear you are trying to help calm the crowd.  If they feel you are a danger, they will target you.

The crowd sees the guards arrive and begins to panic.  Some start throwing debris at the guards, while others start running.  The crowd is in a full scale riot.  If they see a cat, you can be sure they will try to tear it limb from limb.

The crowd (1, 6, 3, 2, 2, 1, 3, 4, 6, 2).

Raku and the rabbit find themselves caught up in the middle of the crowd as it grows to a dangerous swell.  It’s clear there are provacures in the crowd who are using this as an excuse to attack the wall between Vic’s and the Dear Leader’s regions.

Below is a map of Bellonia, as you know it right now.

belloniaep2

 


16 Comments

Episode 2: The Journey to Zed’s Place

You walk past the ruined guard tower and into Bellonia Proper.  You see a few people in the street you are walking through.  Most of the buildings are in rubble, but there are the occasional still standing.  You can see shadowy figures in the windows of those buildings.

There is a man with a cart (4) that might have information (5) or goods for trade (2) walking down the street towards you.

The roads are mostly covered in trash and are difficult to maneuver around.

You’ll need to beat 6, 3, 2, 2, 6 to end up at Zed’s Place.  This will include asking for directions, avoiding too much attention from strangers, finding recognizable landmarks.

If you want to do anything else, beat 2 ; 6 ; 5 ; 5 ; 4 ; 2.  


19 Comments

Episode One: The Bridge

The sun seemed to rise later than you expected, casting brilliant shadows across the bridge that led into the city.  You had camped together with some others who were also keen to get into Bellonia.  The bridge stood over a deep ravine, the fog of morning keeping the bottom obscured.

After gathering your gear, your small band begins to make their way to the bridge.  The bridges surface is black, with the heat of the day already beginning to radiate off it.  Before you cross the bridge, a small band stands across from you, on the other side of the bridge.

“What of you?” Shouts the leader, her hand resting on his sword.  They look bedraggled, with few possessions among them.  They eye you warily.

The leader (1) wears light armor and is carrying a sword.

The man (4) next to her is carrying a staff and wearing a cloak.

The man (2) to the left of the leader looks like he has a claw instead of a right hand.

The woman behind them (4) has an arrow notched in her bow, pointed at the ground currently.

The environment has the following rolls.  4, 2, 5.

meta:  

Environment rolls: Use these rolls if you want to use the environment to describe your characters action.  For example, if you want to chop down a tree to block an NPCs path, you might use these rolls.  Or if you wanted to jump off the bridge and swim across, you might use these rolls.  You must use the first roll first, and then the second and so on.  If we need more, I’ll roll them as needed.  

NPC numbers: Next to the NPCs in a scene will be a number.  For example Leader (5).  The 5 indicates the number that you must beat.  That does not mean you must strike the NPC.  You can use any other skill.  Think about what you want from the NPC.  If you want information, talk to the character.  You might use strength if you are intimidating the NPC or spirit if you are trying to win him over.  

Your Rolls: Post your rolls for your abilities, bonus die, traits and item below in your first post.  Use this format: Strength (3): 6, 4, 1. 

 


1 Comment

Welcome to Bellona, The Autumnal City

Bellona is a strange place.  It was once a great city, the cradle of civilization, but that time has long since passed.  In fact, many have forgotten this city even exists.  The city, though, holds secrets and many splendors of an ancient age.  Small pockets of gangs, wanderers, families, scavengers and fortune seekers.  A rudimentary social system functions in Bellona, with the 20 or so major groups keeping each other in check.

  • It is claimed that the city holds within the secret to eternal life.
  • The depths of the ruined library is reported to hold the formula for changing lead into gold.
  • The god that was worshiped at the sacrificial altar is rumored to still walk the city streets.
  • The gap between the living and the dead is threadbare in the city.  It is said there is a way to travel to the gates of Hades in the city.

Your character has just heard of Bellona from someone they know, and is travelling there.  In the comments below, give a one-two sentence descriptor of a person in Bellona your character knows.  I’ll flesh them out as it fits with the story. 

Post your character here.  We will be using Abstract Dungeon for our ruleset for this play by post.  I will be posting a new encounter or event each week on Sunday.  We’ll roleplay through the encounter and then you guys will make a decision on what to do next.


Leave a comment

Abstract Dungeon: Wound Table

Below is a table for random wounds.  Wounds can be as minor as a temporary loss of dice, to permanent loss of dice to major injury to death.  If you don’t want to take a specific random wound, roll again twice.  You cannot get the same wound twice, so roll again if you roll the same wound. This only counts if it’s the same roll, not the same result, i.e, if your result is death from different rolls, you have to take the new death result.

The GM might tell you to roll on a specific table based on the specific type of damage the character took.

Directions. Roll 2d6.  The first d6 will tell you which subtable to reference.  The second d6 will tell you the result.

Subtable 1: Strength Wound

  1. Death. Your character has died from a massive blow to their body.
  2. Major Injury (permanently lose one strength die).  Your character has taken a major wound to a part of their body.  One arm now dangles from their body, much less useful, or they walk with a limp, for example.
  3. Major Injury (lose one strength die until you rest for a week). Your character has taken a major wound, that will take a week to fully recover from the wound.
  4. Minor Injury (Lose one strength die until you rest). Your character has taken a minor wound, and likely is limping a little until they rest.
  5. Minor Injury (Change one strength die to a 1). Your character has taken a minor wound.  They might be limping, but can fight through the pain to still try a feat of strength.
  6. Minor Injury (Change one strength die to half, rounded down, it’s current value). Your character has taken a bit of a knock.

Subtable 2: Agility Wound

  1. Death. Your character has died from a massive blow to their body.
  2. Major Injury (permanently lose one agility die).  Your character has taken a major wound to a part of their body.  One arm now dangles from their body, much less useful, or they walk with a limp, for example.
  3. Major Injury (lose one agility die until you rest for a week). Your character has taken a major wound, that will take a week to fully recover from the wound.
  4. Minor Injury (Lose one agility die until you rest). Your character has taken a minor wound, and likely is limping a little until they rest.
  5. Minor Injury (Change one agility die to a 1). Your character has taken a minor wound.  They might be limping, but can fight through the pain to still try a feat of strength.
  6. Minor Injury (Change one agility die to half, rounded down, it’s current value). Your character has taken a bit of a knock.

Subtable 3: Spirit Wound

  1. Death. Your character has died from a massive shock to their soul.
  2. Major Injury (permanently lose one spirit die).  Your character has taken a major wound to their soul.  They have less faith than they once did.
  3. Major Injury (lose one spirit die until you rest for a week). Your character has taken a major wound, that will take a week to fully recover from the wound.
  4. Minor Injury (Lose one spirit die until you rest). Your character has taken a minor wound, and has seen their faith shaken.
  5. Minor Injury (Change one spirit die to a 1). Your character has taken a minor wound.  They might be limping, but can fight through the pain to still try a feat of spirit.
  6. Minor Injury (Change one spirit die to half, rounded down, it’s current value). Your character has taken a bit of a knock in their spirit.

Subtable 4: Intellect Wound

  1. Death. Your character has died from losing their mind.
  2. Major Injury (permanently lose one intellect die).  Your character’s mind has seen things it shouldn’t and has become unhinged.
  3. Major Injury (lose one intellect die until you rest for a week). Your character has lost something from their mind.  It will take a week of quiet reflection til they are back to normal.
  4. Minor Injury (Lose one intellect die until you rest). Your character is concussed and it will take a rest before they are back to normal.
  5. Minor Injury (Change one intellect die to a 1). Your character is likely concussed.
  6. Minor Injury (Change one intellect die to half, rounded down, it’s current value). Your character has taken a bit of a knock to their senses.

 

Subtable 5: Trait Damage. The player chooses the trait they want affected.  Temporary losses must affect a trait that currently has a die in it.  If there is no traits with a die in it, it is automatically a permanent loss.

  1. Permanent Loss of a trait.  One trait no longer accurately describes you, or no longer gives you an advantage.
  2. Temporary loss of trait (take one week of rest before trait is back).
  3. Temporary loss of trait (take two days before trait is back).
  4. Temporary loss of trait (take one day before trait is back).
  5. Temporary loss of trait (change one trait die from it’s current value to 1).
  6. Temporary loss of trait (change one trait die to half it’s current value).

Subtable 6.  Item damage.  The player chooses the item they want affected.  If there are no items with dice on it, only a 1-4 can be rolled.  Reroll a 5 or 6.

  1. Destroyed.  The item is completely destroyed.
  2. Ir-repairable.  The item, while still recognizable as the item, cannot be repaired.
  3. Long repairs.  It will take a week or two to repair the item, but the character thinks they can get it back in order.
  4. Short repairs.  It will take two days to repair the item.
  5. Minor damages (change one item die from it’s current value to 1).  It’ll still work, just not well.
  6. Minor damages (change one item die to half it’s current value).  The item is just a bit dented.


11 Comments

Bellonia Characters

Post your character sheets below.  Use the following format.  I would recommend copying this to a word document or wordpad first so you can save it on your own computer.

You can download the rules for Abstract Dungeon at the sneak attack press website.

Just copy and past this into a comment.  When you want to add something to the character sheet, just reply to your comment.

Special Rules:

Character Sentence. I’m using a form of Monte Cook’s Numenara idea of a character sentence.  That should tell other players a lot about what the character is like.  For example, you might write, “A strong human who kills his enemies with a sword.”  Immediately, there is an idea about what your character does.

Family Heirloom.  Each character starts with one item that is important to that character.  It should be something that ties into the backstory that you have in mind for your character.

XP.  At any time a player can spend 1 XP to gain an additional bonus die.  If you gain 5 XP, you can turn it into a new trait.

Wounds. If a player is unable to defeat an enemy, they take a wound.  If they take 3 wounds, they roll on the random wound table.

Actions. Each player can take one action.  They cannot take an action until a day in real time has passed or all other players have taken an action.

Character Sheet

Character Name: XXXXXX

Character Sentence: An (adjective) (noun) who (verb)

XP: 

Wounds: [ ] [ ] [ ]

Toughness: # of dice

Agility: # of dice

Spirit: # of dice

Intellect: # of dice

Traits:

Additional Description:


Leave a comment

Nine and Half Foot Pole #2: Fictional Titles that would be Great Games

Or, get on this cool, indie designers!

We all have read a book or comic book and thought to ourselves “now that would make an amazing game.”  Of course, there are a variety of reasons why a game might not be made and in most cases, it ends up being just too much of a niche product to actually work.  Still, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming though!

Batman: No Man’s Land

The Story: Those of you who are comic book fans might already know this storyline, but this is a classic of the recent Batman storylines.  After an earthquake destroys most of Gotham, the US government has declared it off limits and asks all the residents to leave.  However, some people stay and the city gets carved up by most of the major Batman villains.  Batman, along with some friends, takes the city back block by block.

The Game: I see this game being played out in two parts.  The first would be a risk-style game, with various factions trying to take over the neighborhoods.  It might almost play out as an old school “Napoleonic wars” miniatures battle game that Gary Gygax used to play.  I’d also love to play out individual fights between super heros, with their power and force determined by the results of risk-style battles.  A friend of mine has suggested a modified Heroclix, which could work really well to represent these

DMZ

The Story: Another comic book, this comic book written by Brian Wood, tells of a near-future where a civil war has split the US in two.  NYC becomes ground zero (literally, at one point) for the battle between the US government and the revolutionary forces.  Matty, a young journalist, is the only journalist embedded in the DMZ that NYC has become.

The Game: I could see this fitting really well as a modification of Apocalypse World, a game designed to play post apocalyptic games.  Each player chooses a playset (Apocalypse World fo character class) that gives them certain benefits.  This would be a good way to introduce the different roles the characters play in the comic book.  The playsets also do a good job of balancing characters who have a whole gang behind them and characters who are more loners, which is an important part in DMZ.   Trust is a big part of DMZ as well, with the various characters never sure of other’s allegiances and Apocalypse World has a really interesting mechanic that could be adapted to work.

Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

The Story: Humans have a chance for rejuvenation, so long as they join the Colonial Defense Forces, and go out into space and fight the many many different aliens that threaten humanity.  Similar to The Forever War and Starship Troopers, the main characters find themselves jumping between world to world fighting where ever they are needed.

The Game: I could see the players playing as a squad of “super-soldiers”, where each week you land on another planet and .  I think a really strong randomizing mechanic could add the humor that underlies most of the book, possibly through a deck of cards.  Also, there needs to be intense, and somewhat random, death. Perhaps at the end of each characters action, they draw a card that explains what the enemies do in response to the character, scarring or otherwise affecting the character.  Each player should definitely come prepared to replace their character with other squad members, similar to the start of DCC RPG. It might end up playing a bit like Paranoia, with lots of laughs and death around the table.

What fictional worlds do you wish you could adventure in?

Person, Place or Thing

Each week I’ll include my post with a quick person, place or thing, in the spirit of “old school” gazetteers.  It will be system neutral, it’s meant to inspire your gaming, whatever game you might be playing.

The Black Cube.  Thing.

The black cube is a simple cube hewed out of black meteorite.  Of course, how it was cut is unclear, as nothing man made can seem to cut it.  It doesn’t seem to do anything to anyone not in possession of it.  Those in possession of it who figure out the key word realize that it takes the user to a parallel world.  This parallel world is virtually the same, except for a very small difference in the immediate vicinity.  Only the holder of the black cube is aware of this difference.  Maybe a compatriot is left handed instead of right handed, maybe a character’s sword hilt is broken or maybe all the copper pieces in the players’ possession has turned into gold.  Some feel the parallel world is random, others feel there is a malevolent, or other, power at work with the black cube.

Do you think the black cube would be ultimately helpful or harmful for the characters?

Blowing up on the Blog-o-sphere

Another regular feature here each week will be a highlight of a recent blog post or conversation that I found particularly interesting.

This week, it’s David Guyll over at Points of Light, who has been reviewing each D&D Next playtest packet.  I’ve enjoyed every one of his analyses, and this last one doesn’t disappoint.  I haven’t had time yet to really delve into Next yet, but by reading his comments, I feel like I have a good sense of the direction of the next iteration of D&D. Thanks David!