Monday, February 9, 2015

Skulldred Solo Test Drive


Long time no post! I do most of my sharing nowadays with Facebook or G+. I just don't seem to have that much to say. But when I want to share gaming stories or interesting creations, this is my favorite place for them. I know it'll last and that someday somebody might find it and think it's interesting or useful.

Today I played a solo game of a fantasy miniature skirmish game called Skulldred. The game is in beta, and has been for quite a while. I've been interested in it for some time, but never took the steps to get into the beta. I'm kicking myself now, cause I don't know when or if a new beta is coming out. What I played today are the freely available 2.05 rules, but the creator is talking about 3.3 on her website. I've got my fingers crossed, cause this game seems like it'll be worth the wait.

I failed to take pictures cause I can't find my camera. It was not anything big, just a little Orcs vs Dwarves skirmish by a ruined cabin in the woods. Both forces used the same stats, since that's what it suggests in the book and I decided to try it this time. (In the past, I've gone crazy making multiple forces and one wipes the other out. Then I wonder why the game is so unbalanced. I'm trying to correct myself, here.)

Forces are as follows:

Leader (Dwarven Shieldmaiden vs Orc Taskmaster)
Hero (Dwarf w/ Longpick vs Armored Orc Knight)
3 Veteran Warriors (Dwarves w/ Axes vs Orcs w/ Hammers)
3 Archers (Dwarven Musketeers vs Goblin Archers)
Big Thing (Steam Brawler vs Bugbear Warrior)

Each figure has a number of dice they roll in combat (attacking or defending, combat is simultaneous) and a target number for success. Ranged attacks use the targets size as the TN to hit, rather than anything on the shooter's card. Most things that modify your result in other games add a dice to one players hand or the other, meaning your real hurdle is the target number. Each d6 you roll only counts as a hit if you roll the target number or lower. The side with more successes knocks the opponent back or down. Or, if you hit hard enough, you can take them out instantly.

Heroes and Leaders were both 4 Combat Dice 4 Combat Level (a little difficult to process the meanings of those numbers from the names, but once you understand it makes sense). Veteran Warriors were 3/3, and the Big Things were 5/2 (Roll 5 dice, only succeed on 2 or lower). This made the leader and Hero the heavy hitters, and the rest of the group were mostly to help provide gang-up bonuses.

On to the battle!

The forces started out really close to each other. The Leader starts out 9" (crap, I made the stick 8" long...) from the edge (Called a Long Span, as opposed to a Span which is 3 inches.). Then the rest of their army starts out within one Long of them. So you can have a guy 19" deep into the table during deployment! I had a 19" x 39" section of table for this small battle, and there were attacks on turn 2. The two forces started on opposite sides of the ruined cabin and came around politely to beat each other up in the middle.

The Dwarves lost a key figure, the Hero, pretty early on. He attacked the Orc Hero and rolled really bad. When you get beaten in combat by more than 1, you're down. You have to pay a Dreadskull (kind of like extra lives, but you decide who gets them). to revive the figure, or sacrifice the figure to keep the Dreadskull. You can leave them down and perform either action later at any time, which adds another interesting decision to the process. Anyway, the Orc Hero beat him by his To Kill value (another stat that, if you're ever beaten by, instantly kills you without the chance to spend a Dreadskull to revive yourself.

The Dwarves tried, but they just couldn't come back from that initial setback. Small melees were joined and broke up and wandered around the battlefield. The rules say they like to promote a swashbuckling feel and I think they succeed. When you get a chance to push someone back and then either follow them up or not, I think it make for interesting gameplay. You don't just lock in your opponents and swing until they're dead - you have lots of chances for getting out of their reach and it can be rewarding to do so.

The Dwarves lost their Leader, Hero, Steam Brawler, and all three Dreadskulls while the Orcs still had all three of those and 1 Dreadskull left to boot. I imagine the Dwarves left behind, eager to avenge their compatriots, will get to safety and then raise a small army to defeat this orc warband.

I'm really psyched about this game - it addresses most of the issues I've had with Song of Blades and Heroes. I'm going to play a bigger practice game soon, then start trying to run demos of it in town to prepare for Gamestorm. Alright, sleepy medicine's kicking in. Time for beds.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Titans intro

Long ago, the goodly races of the world lived among monsters. Dragons swept down from ancient mountaintops, Giants raided villages, and hordes of Orcs laid siege to the Kingdoms of Elves, Dwarves, and Men. It seemed a losing battle - who could triumph against such powerful beings? But triumph we did. Using Magic, Faith, and cold Steel, we drove the monsters back to their holes and destroyed them. Many a hero made their name - or lost their life - driving back the darkness. And when it was done, the Dragons slain and the Dungeons emptied, a new golden age emerged.

Magic that had long been reserved strictly for survival became frivolous. Warriors bred for battle served as soldiers in pointless squabbles. With nothing to fear, the Gods were all but abandoned. One by one, the people forgot the struggle to survive against a harsh world. And for a time, they were comfortable.

But we live again in an Age of Monsters. Immense black portals into the twisting aether belch forth giant indescribable Horrors. Standing taller than any Giant, more powerful than any Dragon, the Horrors are killing machines made of bone and flame and darkness. A wave of destruction was unleashed upon our world. Forests burned and oceans boiled. The last remnants of civilization huddled together in fear of the next attack. The Horrors' slow but catastrophic march could not be halted by any magic, sword, or prayer.

In our desperation, we combined the three. Wizards and Priests of the highest caliber combined their mystical energies into gargantuan frames of stone and iron known as Titans. Large enough to face the oncoming Horrors, Titans were controlled from inside by seasoned warriors. The Titans became our only hope against the unspeakable wave of terror. Our doom is no longer inevitable. Our fate is in the Hands of Titans.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I'm a big fan of the New Warriors, and my favorite is the masked marvel, Speedball! He's got a lot going on inside that noggin, despite what his teammates might think. I really hated his transformation into Penance, but I've only read half of vol 1, so there might be a transition that I missed. Anyway, here's an early Speedball, from vol. 1 of New Warriors!

Robbie Baldwin
Solo d6 - Buddy d10 - Team d8

Kinetic Wonder, Lighthearted Spaz, Responsibility Deficient

Kinetic Blast d8
Bouncing d10
Godlike Durability d12
SFX: Kinetic Absorption - On a successful reaction against a physical attack, convert your opponent's effect die into a Kinetic Field stunt or step up a Kinetic Field power by +1 for your next action. Spend 1 PP to use this stunt if your opponent's action succeeds.
SFX: Versatile - Split a Kinetic Field power into two dice at -1 step or three dice at -2 steps.
SFX: Collateral Damage - Instead of spending 1 PP, add d6 to the doom pool to create a Kinetic Field stunt.
SFX: Can't Touch Me - Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma, or complications from physical attacks as well as gas, vacuum, and pressure.
LIMIT: Uncontrollable - Change any Kinetic Field power into a complication and gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power.

SPECIALTIES: Crime Expert d8


The Masked Marvel

1 xp when you switch into or out of your secret identity.
3 xp when your personal life interferes with being a super hero, or someone close to you is harmed by your dangerous lifestyle.
10 xp when you reveal your identity to the world or when you give up being a superhero and live full-time in your more mundane life.

New Warrior

1 xp when you give support to another hero.
3 xp when you're given an official place on a team, or confront a team member about your place on the team.
10 xp when you either sacrifice something you hold dear for the benefit of your team or walk away from your team to avoid that sacrifice.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Avengers #2

Avengers #2
Other Worlds

Kevin - Mister Fantastic
Mike - Wolverine
Cameron - The Sentry
Siobhan - Iron Man
Thomas - The Thing

Last session, an unlikely group of heroes just happened to be in the right place to stop a breakout of one SHIELD's four maximum-maximum security supervillain prisons, the Raft. They did their best, but in the confusion, 42 of the villains escaped the island and made their way into the city of New York.

This session starts in Stark Tower, with Maria Hill begrudgingly acknowledging Tony's help. She reluctantly tells him that maybe the world needs the Avengers, and that she can offer SHIELD support if he wants to start the team up again. He shrugs and says okay. Hill then leaves the Avengers' first 'assignment,' files on all forty two escapees, and leaves. A few minutes later, a small explosion happens in the city, and a line of smoke appears in the skyline. Tony suits up and heads out.

At the scene of the explosion, a run down neighborhood in the Bronx, a four-story tenement is on fire. Most of the people have escaped, but there are more on the top floors. Some people are climbing down the Fire Escape, dodging Burning Wreckage. On the street, two supervillains are fighting. It's Armadillo (BR34) and Tiger Shark (BR46), chained together by a nigh-unbreakable Adamantium Chain d12. The two are shoving and swinging each other around, and each of their turns they damage the scene further (unless a hero steps in to try and stop them). There are two scene complications, People Trapped in the Fire d10 and Imminent Collapse d10.

 Iron man swoops in and saves the people in the building, zipping through and nabbing every last one in one sweep due to his cybernetic senses. Just then, Logan comes stomping out of a bar across the street, finishing a glass of beer and throwing it behind him. He nearly severs the chain linking the two villains, try and get them to stop. They turn on him and attack, though Armadillo apologizes profusely.

We see that Robert Reynolds, the Sentry, was also in that bar with Logan. He uses his light powers along with mister Fantastic to help prop the building up. Iron Man, fresh from rescue detail, helps to push the building back into the empty lot behind so that the collapse doesn't harm any civilians.

Meanwhile, the Thing is taking an afternoon stroll through the rougher parts of town when he happens upon this scene. He trades slugs with Armadillo for a while, then he and Wolverine pummel the two C-List villains to a pulp. The finishing blow is dealt by the Sentry, who drops from the air like a cannonball onto Armadillo, who's trying to tunnel himself away.

Maria Hill shows up in a white Commercial plumbing Services van and takes the two unconscious supervillains away. She tips the Avengers off to a sighting of Tombstone made by the FBI's organized crime division in the warehouse division and drives off, promising to lock these two up in the Vault.

Upon arriving at the warehouse address, the team spots a gigantic black limousine. It looks big enough for the Thing to ride in! The heroes know something's going down in the warehouse, so Wolverine hops into a nearby boom crane's controls and slams a giant shipping container into the side of the warehouse. A mod of thugs come to the door, and start shooting at our heroes. The Sentry, not wanting to risk bringing about the Void and knowing his fellow heroes will be fine against the thugs, breaks into the limo and sits in the driver's seat, hoping to catch it's occupant by surprise.

The Thing takes the cargo container that wolverine smashed into the wall and throws it at the mob, knocking them all out in one sweep. They then go inside to deal with Tombstone.

Inside, they see Tombstone arguing with Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Fisk ordered the leak to the FBI that led the Avengers here, in an effort to rid himself of Tombstone. Kingpin's assistant, who's really Ms. Marvel in disguise, is embarrassed by Tony's flirtations. Kingpin knew of Ms. Marvel's undercover status and has been using her to funnel information back top the FBI and SHIELD. He intends to keep her on as an assistant, even though everythign's out in the open. In the meantime, the Thing grabs Tombstone and prepares to haul him off to jail. But instead of putting up a fight, Tombstone just looks Ben Grimm in the eye and says "Of course they send their pet monster to take me. You're not good enough for anything else, are ya?" As Ben stings from the comment that cuts too close to home, several shadows ominously appear from the back of the warehouse.

To Be Continued...

BR 1.5 - Armadillo and Tiger Shark

After the at least one hero has been contacted and asked to form a new Avengers team, an explosion happens in the Bronx that draws each of the heroes. When they arrive, they find a run-down tenement building, four stories tall, on fire and in danger of collapse. Outside the building are two super-villains, Armadillo and Tiger Shark, duking it out. They're attached at the wrist by a nigh-unbreakable Adamantium Chain d12. The pairs brawl has knocked out a support beam from the building and sparks have ignited the oil tank from the heating system.

Scene Complications:

Trapped Families d8
Imminent Collapse d8

Scene Distinctions

Burning Wreckage
Fire Escape
Fire Truck

Tiger Shark swam to freedom after the Breakout, barely dragging the heavy Armadillo behind. Though they now have their freedom, Armadillo wants to give himself up. He's been on the wrong side of the Avengers before, and doesn't to get into another superhero battle. Tiger Shark thinks Armadillo's a coward, and the two have been inefficiently attempting to knock each other out. During their turns, they will throw each other back or knock each other into support beams or other buildings, stepping up the scene complications or creating new ones. If the chain is broken, Tiger Shark will start a fight with the Avengers and rope Armadillo into it. Armadillo fights reluctantly, only fighting invulnerable heavies like himself and apologizing for every successful attack.

If the two feuding super-villains are questioned, they reveal that it was Electro that broke in to the raft, and that he took someone on the sixth level. Armadillo swears that he never intended for all this to happen and that he was actually trying to bring Tiger Shark back in to SHIELD.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

BR 1.5 Action Scene - Tombstone

Tombstone (BR47) is leading a gang of escapees from the Raft, including Razor-Fist (BR45), Jigsaw (BR41), Constrictor (BR36), and Hydro-Man (BR41). Hydro-Man was able to get the group to shore, where Tombstone offered them safety and work as enforcers. They've each accepted for their own reasons, most of which involve money and power over others.
Maria Hill calls the Avengers during a transition scene. The local FBI office got an anonymous tip that Tombstone and several other escapees were meeting in a warehouse along the docks in NYC. If necessary, she also provides the heroes with a SHIELD-class transport helicopter and an agent to fly it.
When the heroes get to the warehouse, the see a Large Black Limo out front. The warehouse itself is huge, and the walls are made of sheet metal. Nearby a gigantic Boom Crane lifts assorted Freight Containers onto nearby Cargo Ships.
Inside the warehouse, there are stacks of Wooden Crates. The building is lit by a Wide Skylight and fluorescent lights that hang from the Metal Scaffolding along the ceiling.
If they sneak about or listen in, they see Tombstone dealing heatedly with the Kingpin! Tombstone wants to split off a portion of NYC for himself, a tactic that's worked well for the two before. Tombstone and Kingpin are rivals for rulership of the new york underworld, but together they can achieve so much! Especially with the extra muscle that Tombstone brought with him from the Raft.
Kingpin refuses, after letting Tombstone explain his plan and introduce his associates. Tombstone threatens him but Kingpin still keeps his cool.
"I'll kill you right here, Fisk."
"You'll do no such thing."
"Oh, yeah? Who's gonna stop me?"
"Why, the Avengers, of course. I imagine they've had enough time to get into position. Are you ready to return to your island resort, Lincoln?"
If the heroes bust in without listening, they come in on Tombstone threatening Kingpin, with his cronies behind him.
Kingpin is alone, except for his personal assistant and driver, Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel, BR82). Carol is working undercover to take him down, but being played since the Kingpin knows about it. Kingpin called the anonymous tip in to the FBI, knowing that it would get escalated to SHIELD and the Avengers. He played Tombstone for a fool in order to remove him from the underworld game. Long ago, the two had compatible motives, but Tombstone is still a thug. Wilson Fisk aspires to greatness, and controlling crime is merely one method. Tombstones return could ruin Kingpins legitimate businessman front.
After the heroes defeat Tombstone and his minions, the Kingpin thanks them and then gets in his limo and drives away.

Kingpin datafile by Spatula on the MWP boards, found on the Lost Files of Marvel post on Exploring Infinity.

Friday, June 22, 2012

BR 1.5 - the Buildup

It's the day after the breakout. It's been a rough night for superheroes and SHIELD agents alike. Headcounts are taken, and 43 prisoners have escaped the Raft. Maria Hill, currently in charge of SHIELD while Nick Fury is missing, confronts some of the heroes who helped contain the breakout. She doesn't know or care what broke up the Avengers last time, but it seems they're needed again. Hill offers to help form a new Avengers team, with SHIELD backing but not control. Whether the answer is yes or no (though she should approach a character who'd most likely answer yes!) Hill leaves a tablet PC with all the data SHIELD has on the escapees. If her approach does not drive that character into action, she orders any SHIELD-affiliated heroes to track down and capture the escapees.

The tablet PC includes data that leads PCs to the different scenes in Act 1.5, though they don't have to go in any particular order. The scenes are: Tombstone in Brooklyn, Graviton in the Natural History Museum, Armadillo and Tiger Shark in the Bronx, Electro in Paris, and the Wrecking Crew in (wherever the Thor scene happens)