Friday, December 14, 2012

Let's talk about mechanics.

No, not game mechanics, robot mechanics in Encounter Critical or the weird science/fantasy game of your choice. I think every adventure that I have designed for E.C. has had a robot combatant in it. If all the robots in an rpg were exactly alike it would become predictable and boring so I came up with some quirks for my latest robot design.

Imagine, your players unwittingly stumble into a robot workshop. A super, fighter 'bot is being repaired here but it still has a programing issue or two. The helpless human technicians need the broken 'bot too defend them against the player characters. Will their attempt at mechanized self defense work?

Roll d100 once per round to determine movement  of any robot in ill repair:

01 – 25  The 'bot is malfunctioning and moving slowly; no attack.

26 – 50  'Bot is able to manage one clumsy attack this round.

51 – 75  'Bot musters two erratic but very fast attacks this round.

76 -- 00  Programming works fluidly for two consecutive rounds producing fluid attacks.

I have some other ideas but I believe this enough information for now.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Maliszewski Meme and Martin

And you guys thought you were late to the party...
Mr. Maliszewski started the meme of photos of our current RPG reference material. So, here's what I use the most; Labyrinth Lord and Encounter Critical. I keep telling myself that I'm going to use the AD&D DMG but it doesn't get referenced very often. My use of the Encounter Critical rulebook hasn't been up to par this year. Dang real life getting in the way of Role Playing Games!

I did leave one book out of the photo, the Holmes Basic rulebook which I look at more often then the DMG. Of course, Labyrinth Lord is the Basic D&D retroclone which prevents frequent references to the Holmes book.

Who's Martin you ask, George R. R. Martin of course. I've read 700 pages of A Storm of Swords and would like to think Mr. Martin is having some influence on my game and plot design but I can't be certain. Martin's approach to literary plot would seem a bit nontraditional, his use of the protagonist is disposable, literally. His writing is beautiful and flawless but don't become attached to any of the characters or factions in the Song of Fire and Ice series. I still have 300 pages to read in this novel and I am starting to wonder what characters will survive as material for the subsequent books in this series.

Now, back to the ol' drawing board. I promise to provide some gaming material in the next post since I have posted photos of books for the past two days.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What passes for quality reading around here...

Here are two of the latest acquisitions for my library. I discovered 100 Fantasy Short Short Stories through Paperback Swap. Yeah, these are some short, short stories and I question if, at least one of them, qualifies as a story at all. Barry N. Malzberg's The Second Shortest Short Fantasy Ever Ever Published is less than a page long and the last paragraph is:

"The bullet bullet lodged deep deep in his brain he pulled pulled the trigger the bullet lodged lodged deep in his brain brain he he pulled pulled the trigger trigger the bullet"

So this story ends, with no punctuation. That's not what passes as quality reading around here but it was a challenge to type. However, I'm sure I will get lots of enjoyment when I settle down with the rest of the short, short stories.

At the suggestion of I purchased Patrick Wetmore's Anomalous Subsurface Environment or ASE-1. I looked through the first twenty pages and I love this book! I shared it with the Adventure Capitalist last night and the all seemed to appreciate it too. I told the A.C. guys, "This guy wrote it just like I would and I'm sure I missed some of his inside jokes." If  you like swords & laser guns or mutants & magic you should definitely get a copy of Anomalous Subsurface Environment Vol. 1. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Krull-bots, an new kind of stormtrooper.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I reviewed the 1983 Science/Fantasy film Krull this past Sunday. I remember that movie from my youth, I am sure I watched it with my brothers on the good ol' VHS player. At the time, we probably thought that Krull would make a great plot for our D&D games. A plot which we never pursued as I recall.

Thirty years later, I found the movie nearly unwatchable. (I think I was typing something at the time.) There were a few elements which I can see putting into an rpg, be it D&D, Mutant Future or Encounter Critical. Today I'll create some Encounter Critical stats for what I call the Krull-bots.

Krull-bots or KR'83

Robodroid Warriors - Armor: 49% - Damage: by Laser Rifle 1 - 8 - Hit Points: 1 - 12

The KR'83 model 'droid warriors are the standard econo-line pawns of Evil Overlords throughout the Medieval Rim and the known, and unknown galactic systems. Gold can't buy these robot protectors but a days labor of the smallest copper mine can purchase a legion or mindless, electric servo protection  (500 units per legion.) This model is affective against unarmed peasants but is of little use against more experienced warriors or adventurers as one well placed hit renders the KR'83 into a heap of whining servos and frayed electronic circuits. No upgrades are available for this model at this time.