Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kickback - a very short satirical solo

It's been a long name but then, when you have nothing to say...

A passing whim made me start this (just paragraph 1) yesterday on Trollhalla. I thought I would continue it but it is not yet finished and I shall only finish it if a jury of my peers returns a guilty verdict. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead-ish is entirely haphazard and you must remember that I am English and as a general rule we are unable to express affection and so mask it by matey digs, understanding full well that everyone else knows we only poke at the ones we love...


You sit at your desk, pouring over the text which long ago began swimming before your weary eyes. Much of it is familiar but there are twists and tweaks, some odd, some perhaps perverse. You know many are counting on you and have backed you with gold. You grit your teeth and battle on. Suddenly, your nose twitches and you sneeze violently. Make a L1 SR on CON. If you make, it is just a very nasty cold - go to bed for 3 months with a hot water bottle (go to 10); if you fail, you put your back out and cannot move a muscle for 6 months... (go to 20)

You lie there helplessly, watched by your cats who come and go through their catflap as they please, while you can only dream of movement, freedom, health and artistic endeavour. After what seems to many as decades rather than days, you rally from your stupor and hear the sound of the doorbell ringing. Make a L1 SR on STR to rise up from you sick bed and greet whoever may be calling. If you make it, you see the smiling face of the Game Designer Fellow, clutching a hastily picked bunch of nestertiums from your neighbour’s window box (go to 19); if you fail, you are unable to summon the inner forces to admit the visitor and so miss out on critical new rule tweaks based on actual gameplay, albeit not universally popular with the guinea pig players – you are feeling well enough to pick up pen again though and begin amending rules which bugged you way back in the day and adding ones which seem to work well in other, more lucrative, games (go to 2).

You begin to receive a large number of anxious emails, both from friends and strangers. Friends are solicitous about your health while the emails from people you don’t know are more concerned with the release date for the magnus opus dependent on your editorial care and your artistic genius. Make a L1 SR on INT. If you make it, you phone a Fellow, the one who is good with graphics and could easily have worked for the United Nations (go to 15); if you fail, you respond to all the emails saying that you are sure you will be better tomorrow and, despite the day job, you reckon things will be back on track by the fall (go to 5).

You tell the PR Fellow that you need more time and he is quick to weigh up the situation, deciding that an aggressive defensive spin is necessary. He floods the website which fans frequent with news of emails that all the Fellows have sent out, beers they have drunk together planning their masterpice and sends little pieces cut from newspaper that can be rearranged to form the word ‘TROLL’ so that the fan base has something new to play with in the meantime. Make a L1 SR on LK. If you make it, this strategy works with most loyal fans but not quite all of them (go to 7); if you fail, the tactic gains no sympathy and rebounds badly, drawing the attention of the ‘Other World Out There’ to the shortfall in delivery against expectations – go to 18.

Your computer beeps at you aggressively – it is stacked to the gunnels with unanswered emails but you can’t get up to type. Your cell phone is full with messages too but you lost your voice yesterday and can only listen – all your Fellows are urging you to have skeleton replacement surgery for the sake of the project. Make a L2 SR on CON. If you make it, you steel yourself against the pain and manage to send an email to the PR Fellow (go to 15); if you fail, the effort reduces you to little more than raspberry jello and you collapse into a catatonic coma (go to 3).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beta Rules

I pitched in my dislike of the do over saving rolls for humans. I understand the reasoning but think there is no problem to fix, it is not about balancing out and it just goes against the grain.

As for the 'loss' of negative adds... No big deal, it didn't feature much but here's a hypothetical fight:

Weebo and Norm get into an argument at the county donkey fair and start shoving each other. There is a big pile of donkey droppings and soon this is the aim of each of the shovers - to deposit their adversary on the pile.

They both have adds of 10 for everything - except that Weebo has a STR of only four.

In the Beta Universe, he has a 50/50 chance of winning, That does not seem right! He couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag.

In the other Universes (5.5. and 7.5), Weebo would be a pushover, needing to roll a 6 to get any go forward while even with a roll of 1 for bare hands Norm would match his puny fellow donkey lover.

So are these other Universes boring no doubt places? No - because Weebo knows his weakness and goes for stunt attacks, like jamming his thumbs into Norm's eye sockets, and the possibilities are endless.

As they are in Beta-verse... just like to call a spade a spade or a wimp a wimp.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Latest Game and 'Missing' Projects

The latest game we have embarked on deals with what happens at Wizards' School. We have a group of 10 students starting out on their training, hoping to qualify as L1 wizards. So far, they have learnt 'Sparkle' and "Call Flame'. The basis premise is that they do the classroom work in the morning and then try to cast the spell under pressure in the afternoon. I am trying not to Hogwarts-ise it too much...

We play a rule that if a wizard fails the INT SR to cast a spell with a critical fumble, a random spell of that level is cast instead. With only one or two spells known, Professors Faunus (a centaur) and Indus (a satyr) are getting sick of seeing sparkly balls. One student died when Indus made him re-cast Hocus Focus - this called for a Master of the Metabolic Arts to hasten to the classroom to cast Nefarious Necromancy and a Mistress of the Cosmic Arts to hurry to cast Born Again before the N N spell ran out.

Elsewhere in my mental landscape, I am wondering about the well being of Trollzine #8 and the 'Apocolypse In Your Home Town' project, both of which I contributed to last year.

I had a query from the purchaser of a printed 'Arena of Khaboom' (go to Lulu) - what is the difference between being a Champion and a Challenger? Apart from champions getting their CON restored after every contest, the former have to commit to 10 fights, the latter just 3. Must get round to doing the pdf for DriveThru soon...

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Arena of Khaboom at Lulu

House Elf and Souza Fortescue

Longtime advisors to the Mayor of Khaboom, these are the two heading up the death-raid on Vasarax's sanctuary:

House Elf – Human wizard - Level 12 wizard, possessor of a flying carpet and a hat with an eye at the back.

STR: 30, CON: 53 DEX: 87, SPD: 53, INT: 120 WIZ: 120, LK: 71, CHR: 53.

Souza Fortescue–  Dwarf wizard - L12 wizard, possessor of a notoriously bad temper, inventor and scholar.        STR: 54, CON: 57 DEX: 41, SPD: 19, INT: 127 WIZ: 87, LK: 51, CHR: 40.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Getting Down Deep

With a judicious use of Hell Bomb Bursts, the crypt of the Vampire Lord of L5 (an addition of mine) was taken out by a team of 2 L10 wizards and a four-armed mad miner called Mr Jenkins, answerable to the demon-lord Zorgoth and replete with his 'A' team, the six fire demons (MR 70 each) Scorch, Burny, Fiery, Furnace, Lava and Volcano..

Now the Liche Lord awaits, returning to his mortal remains from the Nether Realms. The suicide going down are charged with making sure the portal to the Nether Realms is closed and the liche occupied enough to stop him escaping before the Big Guns come in (tghe logic being that their presence any earlier would bring him back to his bones before the trap has been set). Suicide squad? The are all equipped with Born Again medallions so they can afford to really get in his face. The fire demons have set their sights on orificial attacks...

We shall soon see if old Lichey has any tricks up his raggedy sleeves...

Next: a picture of Souza Fortescue, once of Goblin Crag, the curmudgeonly, canankterous and overweight dwarven wizard who is leading the squad.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

d20 T&T

Had a "ToG" to (G)DM yesterday. Almost like real T&T but with a d20 and no magic from the players.

It was fun to steer with no script and no rulebook.

Odd though, playing a game where only I get to use magic...

I suppose if it weren't for T&T, this game might actually catch on!