Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Classic Traveller -- More Solo Campaigning, part 2

This is the second in a series. The first is here.

For my solo campaign, I decided that I wanted to try out a bunch of Gamelords' Traveller books. So first I took The Pilot's Guide to the Drexilthar Subsector (Gamelords, 1984). This presents a subsector in the Reaver's Deep sector between the Imperium and Aslan space. The rest of their products have hooks into this subsector, but are generic enough to use in any universe. 

First of all, I ignored the Communication Lines on the map and rolled for Trade Routes, since I'm using CT77 for that. (I'm house ruling from TC81 with pieces of TC77.)

Next I randomly rolled a home planet for each character:
  • Captain Nakmurr is from Lajanjigal, a mining operation that uses enslaved sophonts of the planet, and he left to join the Drexilthar mercenary army.
  • Coten is from Coventry, a political and criminal exile colony of the Confederacy of Dunsinae. His criminal family was destroyed, so he stowed away on a patrol ship to escape to Cassandra.
  • Jentran comes from Drexilthar, which started as a Reaver base, and he joined the Navy.
  • Captain Badwen comes from Ildrissar, a breakaway colony from the Carrillian Assembly.
  • Chentyul is from Lindritar, one of the Carrillian Assembly. He left because of a severe allergy to a component of the Lindritaran atmosphere. He wasn't happy with the recent changes in the leadership of the Assembly and the draconian direction of the government as well.
The piece that was missing was where would they all meet. I thought Yarhfahl was the right place. Between a rock and a hard place in the Carrillian-Ildrissar War, but also part of a large trading area, connected by the new Trade Routes, that stretches from Cassandra to Drenslaar.

So the first thing I had our merry band do was buy equipment in the startown around the star port. It's generally more cost-effective to take cash on mustering out than material benefits, unless you're going for a ship. And I specifically wanted five characters and no ship.

Everyone bought guns and some sundries at Gargantuan Gun Mart, Blades by Compez, The General Store (names that I made up). Using Startown Liberty (Gamelords, 1984), I rolled for a day encounter in star town, but came up with nothing. (The characters on the first page have been updated with equipment and new cash amounts.)

More in come.

Enjoy.



Thursday, November 30, 2017

Classic Traveller -- Characters for a Solo Run

I want to run some solo characters through an adventure to learn and test out the procedures, since I haven't refereed for a long time. I'm using CT81 mostly.

I should probably mention my character generation house rules.
  1. I am using the Optional Rule from p. 10 of Characters and Combat:

    Optional Rule: If the referee or player so indicates prior to character generation,
    then a failure of the survival roll can be converted to injury. The character is
    not dead, but instead is injured, and leaves the service (after recovery) having served
    only two years of the four year term.

  2. When rolling for career skills or mustering out benefits, make a die roll and then pick the table. Choices are still limited, but the player has some choices.
  3. If you leave a career in your first or second term, you can take a new career in either Merchant or Other. The other military careers do not take older recruits. I think some Citizens of the Imperium careers might do this too, but I haven't looked into it yet.
  4. Use the Traveller Logbook for Personal Characteristics, Personal Habits, and Reason for Adventuring. These are just to spur the player's imagination.
  5. Write one sentence about the character. (I often write these like an employer's recommendation.)
These characters were the first five characters I've rolled in several years.

(Edited: I changed the names from the rather American ones generated by one of the online character generators.)



Captain Philor Badwen
Army 3 terms, Rank-2
Age: 30
Cr 37,630

UPC 988688

Gambling-2, Rifle-1, SMG-1, Tactics-2, Vehicle (grav)-1

Excellent sense of smell
Poor sense of hearing
Gregarious
Reason: he can't stay home for  medical reasons.

Captain Badwen is a capable leader and soldier who has a helluva poker face.

Equipment (purchased on Yarhfahl): auto-rifle and ammo, SMG and ammo, auto-pistol and ammo, blade, silencer, mesh armor, SR comms, compass, handcuffs, binoculars, flashlight.





Davur Jentran
Navy 1-term
Merchants 3-term, Rank-1
Age: 34
Cr 49430

UPC 2557B3

Bribery-1, Computer-2, Engineering-1, Gunnery-1, Medical-1, Streetwise-1

Perfect Pitch
Excellent Hearing
Gambler/Risk taker
Adventuring: Primary sibling, must prove self to head of family.

Mr. Jentran has excellent technical skills, and spent much time operating in star towns around the subsector.

Equipment (purchased on Yarhfahl): shotgun and ammo, mesh, SR comms, hand computer, binocs, flashlight, medical kit.



Drago Coten
3 term Other
Age: 30
Cr 24,895

UPC 47A383

Brawling-1, Bribery-1, Electronics-1, Auto Pistol-1, Medical-1, Streetwise-1

Excellent Eyesight
Staid
Reason: family destroyed

During Mr. Coten's time at Consolidated Enterprises, he performed a number of jobs quite well, and we are quite happy with his conduct.

Equipment: (purchased on Yarhfahl): auto pistol and ammo, blade, mesh, SR comms, binocs, flashlight, hand computer, LI goggles, medical kit, lockpicks, electronics tool kit.



Captain Olivia Nakmurr  
1 term Army, Rank-2
2 term Merchant, Rank-1
Age: 30
Cr 25,985

UPC 777985

Bribery-1, Leader-2, Navigation-1, Rifle-2, SMG-1, Tactics-1, Vehicle (wheeled)-1

Poor Eyesight
Poor Memory
Reserved
Spruce
Reason: Personal curiosity and wanderlust

Captain Nakmurr has what it takes to get the job done, leading her teams to success time and time again.

Equipment (bought on Yarhfahl): auto rifle and ammo, SMG and ammo, auto pistol and ammo, cutlass, mesh, SR comms, binocs, flashlight.



Nom Chentyul
Scout-3 term
Age: 30
Cr 85,925

UPC 74BB66

Jack-of-All-Trades-1, Mechanical-2, Pilot-3, Vehicle (grav)-2

Excellent Hearing
Abstainer
Reason: Rejected by family

Mr. Chentyul is a bit of a loner, which was an asset during his career in the Scout Service, and he can fly a ship between a rock and a hard place if necessary.

Equipment (bought on Yarhfahl): shotgun and ammo, sword, cloth, vacc suit, combination mask, swim equipment, cold weather clothing, SR comms, compass, inertial locator, hand computer, mechanical tool kit, watch (200 cr), binocs, LI goggles, flashlight.



Enjoy these. They might make decent NPCs or pregens.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Random Tribe Generator

The Petal Hack includes these tables for generating tribes for Fresh Off the Boat-style scenarios. Enjoy!

Random Tribe Generator

Start by rolling a d4, d6, d8, d10, and a d12.



d8
Homeland Terrain
1
Swamp
2
Desert
3
Jungle
4
Forest
5
Plains
6
Mountains
7
Islands
8
Roll twice

d4
Main Food Source
1
Hunting-gathering
2
Herding
3
Farming
4
Fishing

d6
Gender Power
1-3
Patriarchal
4-5
Matriarchal
6
Egalitarian

d10
Marriage Structure
1-4
Monogamy
5-8
Plural marriage
If Patriarchal, polygynous (multiple wives).
If Matriarchal, polyandrous (multiple husbands).
If Egalitarian, group marriage (multiple wives and husbands).
9-10
No marriage structure



d12
Why did the tribe leave?
1
Fire
2
Earthquake
3
Invasion
4
Famine
5
Disease
6
Demons
7
Floods
8
Volcano
9
Landslide
10
Tsunami
11
Insects
12
Drought

FAMILY CREATION

Parents in Family Unit
Monogamy: 2
Polygynous/Polyandrous: 1+d4
Group marriage: 2d4
No marriage: 2

Siblings
2d6-2
If 4 parents or more, add +2.

d8
Spouses (optional)
1-4
Not married
5-6
1
7
2 (+1 on Child roll)
8
3 (+2 on Child roll)

-2 if person is 20 or less
+1 if person is 31 or more.
Maximum of 1 spouse, if tribe is monogamous.

Children: d6-3
-2 if person is 20 or less
+2 if person is 31 or more

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Con of the North Tekumel Track post

The weekend of February 10-12 was the third year that I organized a Tekumel Track at Con of the North, and this was by far the most biggest with 60 hours of games scheduled. Every time slot had two or three games. The con gave us a big room with eight tables, which was much different than last year's small room with two tables. I was very excited when I first walked in. Overwhelmed in fact. Now they were all round tables,  and we had asked for a 6x10 foot square table for the two miniatures events. (Jeff Berry got three of the four tables moved, and then got the last table from the con staff to get it changed out. He was helpful with logistics all weekend.)

We had many first-time Tekumel players, and only three events didn't run due to lack of players or scheduling snafus. We had several out-of-state attendees to the Track, including Krista Donnelly who ran two games, Bill Acheson who ran two miniatures events, Victor Raymond who had three games, Stephen Vossler who ran a city-building tile game, and Alva Hardison who ran a game.

Thanks to the contributions to making things run smoothly. Stephen Vossler brought his archive of Tekumel art, which he plastered on one wall of the room. Jeff Berry made signs using Lady Vrisa's arrest warrant to place around the con (shown above), as well as the previously-mentioned furniture moving. Don Kaiser printed a schedule.

Next year, we are thinking of having more miniature events, better signage, and yet more games.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Alternate Divine Spellcasting for the OSR

I've been working on one of my Holy Grails: a Noun/Verb improvised magic system for the OSR, Chivalry and Sorcery's elemental magic and Ars Magica. I co-wrote a similar system for GURPS with Steffan O'Sullivan. This system also takes some inspiration from Whitehack and Freebooters of the Frontier (DW/PbtA), two great freeform magic systems.

Using hit points to power spells come from Whitehack. I decided to concentrate on something simpler than all of magic: Clerical Magic. It has a narrower focus on certain types of spells, making the end result simpler.

So here is my first cut at Holy Words.

HOLY WORDS

Clerics have access to the Holy Words, words imbued with great power. They come from the ancient language of the Gods. By combining Holy Words, the Cleric can create miracles to aid their comrades. Miracles have a cost in hit points (HP). Which Words are accessible to Clerics depends on the deity they worship. Below are the Holy Words for the generic Cleric from the Original Game.

CLERIC HOLY WORDS

Words of Action
BANISH
INVOKE
DETECT
BLESS
SPEAK
PROTECT

Words of Being
WOUNDS
DARKNESS
DEITY
EVIL
PERSON
SPIRIT
ANIMAL
DEATH
DISEASE

Words of Action are verbs; Words of Being are nouns. If you combine an Action Word with a Being Word, then you are making a Holy Sentence, which then turns into an effect in the world, under the control of the cleric. So, BANISH WOUNDS will heal someone, SPEAK ANIMAL allows communication with animals, etc. Not all combinations will make sense (e.g. SPEAK DISEASE).

To create a miracle, the cleric chooses the Words to use, states what effect they want to create within the scope of the Holy Sentence, negotiates with the GM to nail down specifics and the cost in HP, and then pays the cost to create the miracle.

Verb/Noun Combinations to emulate specific spells:

Cure Wounds = BANISH WOUNDS
Light = BANISH DARKNESS
Dispel Evil = BANISH EVIL
Turn Undead = BANISH DEATH
Raise the Dead = BANISH DEATH or INVOKE SPIRIT
Cure Disease = BANISH DISEASE
Commune = INVOKE DEITY
Detect Evil = DETECT EVIL

I would let 1st level Clerics know two random Words of Action and two random Words of Being.

-----

That's it. I made these fueled off HP, but you could easily give Clerics miracle slots or a Divine Favor usage die (what I'm going to use for The Black Hack) or some other scheme.

-----

Edited:

After some discussion on G+, I'm adding a list of suggested costs for various types of effects. This are modified from Freebooters of the Frontier, which also has an interesting freeform magic system.

SPELL ASPECTS

EFFECT

COST
Minor
+1/1d6
½ HP
Moderate
+2/2d6
1 HP
Major
+3/3d6
2 HP
Spectacular
+4/4d6
3 HP
Historic
+5/5d6
5 HP

DURATION
COST
Instantaneous
0 HP
d6 usage die (rounds)
½ HP
d6 usage die (turns)
1 HP
d8 usage die (hours)
3 HP
Permanent
5 HP

RANGE
COST
Touch
0 HP
Close
½ HP
Nearby
1 HP
Far Away
2 HP
Distant
3 HP


AREA OF EFFECT
COST
Self
0 HP
One target
½ HP
Close zone
1 HP
Nearby area
2 HP