Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cryptogram: Splugorth High Lord for the Cypher System


Motive: Serve their splugorith masters
Environment: Anywhere
Health: 18
Damage Inflicted: 6
Armor: 3
Movement: Short
Modifications: Numenera 8, Perception 7
Combat: High lords are masters of various esoteries.

Techno-Wizard: They have 4 random cyphers.
Bio-Wizard: They have 1 random artifact.
Techno-Wizard: They have 4 random cyphers.
Stone Master: They have +2 armor.
Shifter: They may summon a level 4 minion every other round.
Rune Master: They wield a rune staff that inflicts 2 penetrating damage to all targets in immediate range.
Use: A high lord is overseeing the invasion of a valley the characters call home.  For them to finish the invasion, they must defeat her as the final task.
Loot: A dead high lord has 1 artifact and 1d6 cyphers.

On Being A Game Master: The Cypher System

My history with the Cypher System has been filled with ups and downs.  But last night, while running a one shot, the ups reached pretty high.

Two of my players in my DnD 5E game couldn't make it, so I suggested to the other three players that
we do a one shot of Numenera using the phenomenal Weird Discoveries.

I made pre-gens and handed them out, with only two people there we proceeded to play and gave them an overview of the system.  We were about to begin when my third player showed up.  I gave a quick rundown and then printed out The Alexandrian's excellent Numenera System Cheat Sheet.

My third player, we'll call him Kurt has been playing DnD with us for close to a year.  He faces some significant challenges dealing with speech, focus, and mood and is in his early twenties.  In his time playing DnD with us, he's very enthusiastic, a bit goofy, but still finds much of the D20 system's moving parts a bit of a mystery.

However, last night, within a few minutes of my brief overview and looking over the Cheat Sheet, he was off and running.  Filled with ideas, questions, and vivid actions.

I was astonished.

You see, this would be my fourth time running Numenera and the first two times were...unexpectedly rough.  Sadly, I went into those games with some biases from my experience in running games and mades some changes, like increasing Effort and starting at Tier 3, that combined with my inability to articulate the system, that left me cold on the game.

However, after having some great discussion with two kind and generous Cypher GM's, I came away convinced to run the game as written and trust my players to handle it.  And boy has that worked out.

Kurt is a very kind and well meaning person and he picked up this game in a matter of heartbeats and before my very eyes became an enthusiastic and active keystone in the game.  He went from offering an occasional one-liner to driving force in the game.  And it had nothing to do with me.

Thank you Monte Cook Games.  Thank you for these tools.

RPG-A-DAY 2015 DAY 4: Most Surprised by...Cypberpunk 2020


Cyberpunk 2020.  I didn't go in expecting much.  The Gamemaster had, to me, peculiar tastes in games and my buddy and I had gone through character generation with him for several games I never wanted to play.

But Cyberpunk 2020 was different.  Character gen was interesting and the mechanics made sense.  Elegant sense.  And then the game mechanics were a joy.  While I loved Champions, the mechanics were heavy.  And at the time, while I loathed ADnD, it was because the mechanics were bolted on over a decade and a half.

Cyberpunk 2020 was sleek.  It purred to me that it wanted me to play.  It wanted me to enjoy.

Sadly, I played just a handful of sessions.  But I still look at Interlock, the system behind Cyberpunk 2020 with awe.  When Fuzion was born, I really wished it had more of Interlock's DNA than the Hero Systems.

Cryptogram: Sharknado for the Cypher System or Oh Hell No!


Motive: Destroy
Environment: Coastal regions
Health: 21
Damage Inflicted: 7
Armor: 1
Movement: Long
Modifications: Chainsaws are an asset that reduce the difficulty by 2 against Sharknados and everyone is Specialized with Chainsaws (inflict 6 damage) when a sharknado strikes.
Combat: Its a tornado filled with sharks...

Use: A good laugh?  A chance to kill  celebrities? Make your kids squeal?
Loot: A dead sharknado is its own reward.

*My kids love these movies.  This one's for M and E.

Monday, August 3, 2015

RPG-A-DAY DAY 3: Favorite New Game...


This was tough too.  I really, really love DnD 5the Edition.  But.  But, I love Green Ronin's Fantasy AGE at least as much and I've had it less than a week.  Its a sweet, sweet game.  Its the type of game engine I've been thinking about for several decades, but wasn't smart enough to work it out or talented enough to make the Stunt system.  Thank goodness Chris Pramas was both of those things and more.

I'm torn wether Fantasy AGE might be a better intro game than the DnD Starter Box, and that latter project is a near masterpiece.  But then Fantasy AGE just keeps on going all the way to Level 20 in one book.

I can't recommend it enough.

Oh, and honorable mention to the Cypher System Rulebook.  Don't miss that one either.

RPG-A-DAY 2015 DAY 2: Glad I Kickstarted...


Numenera by Monte Cook Games.  I got to playtest it and got a ton of product in PDF for my sheckles.  

I even had a bit of problem and MCG's excellent customer service team was on top of it and had if fixed in no time at all.  The whole company is a class act and their products are filled with wonderfully gameable content.

And I've grown to love the Cypher System and look forward to running it for a long, long time.

RPG-A-DAY 2015 Day 1: Looking forward to...TORG

This was tough, because I'm a huge Rifts fan and the Savage Worlds Powered version sound delicious.  But...TORG.  

"The Storm Has a Name..."

I loved this game.  It had so MANY great ideas.  And the d20.  That red and blue d20.

I like many of the Cosms, but Dr Mobius' Nile Empire was my favorite.  Even with the strange mechanic that made you pay for your powers every adventure.  We had one player who no matter how much we explained one of the Axioms was that you were Good or Evil, tried every session to insist he was neutral.  

Yeah, TORG was sweet.  I'm looking forward to the new edition.

And gospog.  I really look forward to planting some gospog.