Friday, August 29, 2014

Big Trouble in Little Narnia

On my way home from work and idea struck me. It hit me so fast and so hard that I had mental whiplash for a bit. I realized right away what I needed to do with this idea. I needed to share it. So here it is. What would a mashup of The Chronicles of Narnia, Big Trouble in Little China, and Doctor Who look like? I know, right?! I will give you a moment to collect yourself after I just asploded your brain meats. You better? Good. Lets break this down.

Uncle Chu: China is here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, they've been fighting for centuries.
Jack Burton: What the hell does that mean? huh? China is here, I don't even know what the hell that means, all I know is this "Lo Pan" character comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds, and he just stands there waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him, with light coming out of his mouth!
~Big Trouble in Little China

“Why, if we can get back to our own world by jumping into this pool, mightn’t we get somewhere else by jumping into one of the others? Supposing there was a world at the bottom of every pool.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Magician"s Nephew
There is the basic idea. The idea is this, whoever built the world of the pools still exists(these would be our Galfreyan Time Lords...sort of). They have since moved beyond using something so primitive as the pools, directly. Instead they harness the power of the pools to control the reality flux. Their civilization is powered by the eternal creation and destruction of worlds at the other end of the pools. Then comes the Exile with his Dimensional Bathysphere. He travels the pools with his dimensional companions, often humans from the Earth Ream. 

The People of Charn, desperate to prolong their dying world have begun to bleed the pools together. The Charn will be like the Daleks a bit. Also this is where the Big Trouble in Little China stuff comes in. The Charn begin their conquest of a new dimension through the subtle stuff, bring entropy and chaos to a world and then gradually the dimensions meld. When Jack Burton enters the scene, the invasion had been held off a thousand years ago by the first sovereign emperor, and no Lo Pan, the Charn conqueror is seeking to restart the invasion. All that stands in his way is a green eyed girl, a tour bus driver, a resteraunt owner, and Jack Burton.

So that is the idea I had. I would love to play more in this head space. I think that I would like to use Timeworks, or something like it to represent the dimensional travel. Though I am a bit at a loss how to do it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Unleash Your True Power!

Perhaps you do not know this, but I am a fan of Dragon Ball Z. I just love how over the top it gets and how ridiculous everything is. I have tried a few times to do something like it in an RPG, however I could not figure out how to do it right. I even bought the Fuzion System game and its supplements, it...was not the best for what I wanted. Basically my issues with doing a Dragon Ball Z-esque game come down to a desire for unique special attacks, an ability to handle power ups, and a need for an all or nothing strike. I think I can do most of those with Fate Core, but my issue came down to how to do it. I can model most of that with Jadepunk's asset creation system, but it is so smooth that I find it difficult to get the results in the way I want.

In this post I will be talking about power attacks and how I would like to use them in Fate. Specifically I would love to have a system that allows for dangerous and powerful last ditch efforts. Enter +Ryan Macklin and his recent post about power attacks. If you do not wish to read through the entirety of the post(though it is short), here is the relevant part:
Sometimes an attack will be so overwhelming that stress boxes shouldn’t come into account, nor stuff like armor ratings or other things that tweak stress. These attacks are known as power attacks, and work slightly differently from normal attacks. You still roll dice and apply your skill and any relevant stunts, just as you would for any action. Then…
  • If you succeed, you inflict a moderate consequence.
  • If you succeed with style, you inclift a severe consequence.
  • If you tie, you inflict a minor consequence
  • If you fail, nothing happens — though if the defender succeeds with style, they still get the normal benefit
Naturally, if the type of consequence is already filled, a higher one must be used.
It was like serendipity. Basically he is planning on using these rules for guns, to showcase what a game changer guns are. Upon reading this post, though, I saw the beginnings of what I am looking for in a power attack. It was just lacking a trigger. Or more specifically, lacking the kind of trigger I was looking for. So here is my idea, In order to use a power attack, you must have first filled up all your stress boxes. To me this feels a lot like the action we see in the show. The heroes spend much of the fight(the real fight, not the build up fights prior to it) taking hits and barely keeping up, and then, when all looks lost they start hitting hard and often. I also think that it might be interesting if failure was a little worse when using a power attack, though I have not really worked that through yet. Perhaps failure grants a boost and failure, where the defender succeeds with style, grants a full aspect...I will consider it.

So this is the first step toward my dream of a DBZ rpg that works the way I want it to. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shadow Legion: Farspace, Pirates, and Heresy

After watching Guardians of the Galaxy(seriously go see it, its phenomenal, I will wait) I really wanted to capture that feel. Then I realized I had already done something quite similar a year ago, when I ran the Shadow Legion Campaign for some friends. It was awesome and hit all my favorite parts of Space Opera. In reminiscing I realized I still had more to explore in the fictional universe of the Shadow Legion. And so I began to build on the edges of the world, just for my own fun. However, these ideas and concepts were scattered and unfocused. I often find that when I am brainstorming it is quite fun, but I need to actually attempt to write the ideas for other people in order to find the clarity I seek. As I like the movie, I was more interested in the fringe societies and dangerous threats of the galaxy. Luckily way back when I made my first post about the Shadow Legion(though that name had yet to be invented for the setting) I mentioned that Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my influences.

I also had mentioned briefly the idea of Farspace and the Non-Aligned Worlds. So I will be working in those area a bit more now. I like the idea of places on the edge of Charter space, where the law exists only in theory and justice comes at the edge of a sword or the barrel of a gun. Here be dragons, as the old spacers claim. In this post I will be digging into the fringes of the main species of the galaxy, and also I will be looking at the history of the future.

Shadow Legion Long Patrol
We are the line between darkness and light. Driving back the shadows to bring the light of peace.
~The motto of the shadow legion
After the finally defeating the mighty Sukar threat five years ago, the Shadow Legion was sorely depleted. They were forced to pull back from the frontier. As a stopgap to deal with the problems, the Long Patrol was established. New recruits were paired with former Shadow Legion members, brought out of retirement, to travel in larger than normal Cadres throughout the edges of space. Bringing justice and granting the experience of their elders to the new recruits.

Tesh Biology, Culture Basics, Mother-lines and other Heresies
Tesh retain memories through their father's genetic material. These lines of descent are known as father-lines and are the basis of much Tesh culture. They gain skill and knowledge through the males, though female Tesh retain power because they can control their fertility and through the rareness of females. There are 40 males for every female. So while Males have the advantage of memory immortality(should come up with a term for this that sounds neat)

Tesh myths
...the myth of the mother line claims that their exists a mutant genetic line among the Tesh. This line gains knowledge from the mother rather than the father. When asked where this line exists, it is always somewhere far away and remote, usually deep in Farspace.

...the myth of the Lamfa, master of all, a Father-line that contains(or will contain) all skill and knowledge in the universe, creating a perfect Father-line of Tesh who will be the universes true masters. There are a great many differing views on the Lamfa. Every few years a Lamfa cult will appear around one particularly skilled Tesh, though they never last long. On the other end of the spectrum is the yearly games named after the Lamfa, the tournament of all skills. It is mostly played for entertainment and for laughs.

First Post that includes Tesh
Second Mention of Tesh
Tesh Humor

Taurai Exiles
Being an exiled Taurai is bad, very bad. Taurai are an ancient people, powerful and intelligent, yet paranoid and Isolationist. Every member of their species has Esp, and as they get older their power grows. Those with a clan become, upon their physical death, individuals within the unconscious undermind of their clan. This is why being exiled is bad. You lose the closest thing to immortality that anyone outside of the Tesh can understand. You lose anyone who could ever truly understand you. To exile even one Taurai is a serious thing, exile is a death sentence. Forever death, forever lonely. Not just that but a the exile is destined to die alone and unloved. Being an exile is bad.

Pirate Clan Worlds
Five years ago, the Shadow Legion made a deal with the Pirate Clans of Antares. For their agreement to help fight the Sukar, the Pirates were promised legitimacy and the rule of three star systems. After the end of the war the politicians held back as much as they could. The Pirate Clans were left with only one system after they had sacrificed so much. Relations are cold between the Charter and the Clans. The worlds of the Antares system are lawless havens of vice and commerce. The only law is Pirate Law. The only enforcement is what you can bring with you. Currently there are seven pirate clans that rule over the system.

History of the Primacy of Man
Four hundred years ago, after humanity had colonized the sol system, but before the discovery of Hyperspace Gates, war raged throughout human spheres of influence. Among the worst and most dangerous were the Titans, humans who had altered themselves using genetics and nanotechnology to near "perfection." These Titans believed themselves to be gods of science. They crafted clone armies and cults of personality. Their missionaries would promise immortality and temporal power, and thousands would flock to the banner of these petty godlings. Eventually they were driven back and driven off, disappearing into the dark of space. One hundred years ago, the Charter encountered the Primacy of Man. This was a group of worlds inhabited by humans united in their genetic engineering and their belief in godlike beings called the Titans. Since the fall of the Sukar, the Primacy has been making more aggressive moves throughout the Non-aligned Worlds.

First Mention of the Primacy of Man