Monday, April 27, 2020

Ideas at Three in the Morning

1. Convert Nightbanespawn to Savage Worlds, given that Savage Worlds handles Palladium concepts much better than Palladium does. (See: Savage RIFTS) This probably involves the Savage Worlds Superpowers Companion and the Horror Companion, though I'm not sure how easy that will be to use with SWADE. Probably pretty easy, bro.

2. Convert Witchcraft to be Powered by the Apocalypse, and no I have no fucking idea how I would do that.

3. Convert GURPS Magic (3rd edition) spells to Heroes & Other Worlds.

4. Hurl myself from the roof, although this would likely just give me a painful and expensive trip to the ER rather than the sweet release of death.*

*I'm not really going to do this. I have to be here to take care of my kitty.

Friday, April 24, 2020

A Strangely Topical Twitter Exchange

...well, topical to me, at least.

Tweeter 1: Cricket is the GURPS of sports.

Tweeter 2: Counterpoint- I've met someone who likes cricket.

Fuckin' savage, mate*.

*I'm not British.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Troikin' On

I ran Troika again tonight. I find that I often employ Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd edition to fill in some of the blanks. (Other blanks I just fill in myself, because let's face it- this system is absolute bare bones.) Sometimes I need a more traditional monster, or I need a cost for some item not found in Troika. The dungeons all come out of the One Page Dungeon Contest's 2019 collection, and so far I have found a dungeon for every occasion.

I put a lot of love and work into my NPC voices, especially since two players are legally blind and we're all playing over Discord due to the pandemic. Tonight I got some post-game praise for my "totally fed up yet very polite middle aged Irish lady innkeeper" voice. (What a title!)

I marvel in this group's ability to unknowingly and blithely wander past almost every single scrap of treasure in this game- a shit situation balanced by their propensity for dodging the worst bullets their circumstances have to offer. Tonight, one player managed to get one of two benign encounters on an encounter table that is almost entirely cockatrices.

We did broker the idea of switching from alternating weeks to every week. The game I was alternating with Troika died off (and probably not even because of the pandemic, let's be real) and we all find ourselves with a dearth of free time on our hands. I might also start up a second game just for variety. I suppose I could do both...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

In Which I Gander at GURPS Again

Anybody who knows me well at all knows that I'm a bit of a masochist. Sometimes this takes the form of mental self-flagellation by way of revisiting game/rules systems that I don't like, especially if I had an acrimonious split with said system. In these recent times of madness, that took the form of me dusting off GURPS. Specifically, I decided to take a gander at GURPS 4th edition.

I broke up with GURPS 3rd edition sometime in undergrad, when I lived in the dorms... so that had to be circa 2001 or 2002. I put it so far out of my mind that I sort of still perceive GURPS 4th edition as "new" GURPS, even though it's old enough to drive, older than my freshman students, and I think possibly old enough to have been out longer than GURPS 3rd was. 

Man. I didn't even make it twenty pages in. Far less, I think.

GURPS 3rd edition has the energy of a college professor you thought was alright: methodical, detailed, a little bit plodding, very prone to sidebars, but you felt like you learned something. GURPS 4th edition has the energy of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. (Hate that show, by the way.) It starts off shouting at me about what Tech Level my character is relative to the campaign tech level and how that impacts the character. It nags me about just how fluent my character is in the languages they speak. It's very important to know if they have just a slight accent or a very thick accent. Oh, and have I given any consideration to the effects of non-standard gravity worlds on my character's effective ST score? Well no, I haven't. I kind of figured we could get into character creation first and then if I'm playing a game where that kind of thing is germai- nope, here's the formula for ST in non-standard gravity. Oh, hey, remember Dai Blackthorn? Yeah, the character from 3rd, the thief- WELL now Dai is an agent for a pan-dimensional police force and he can teleport and jump between worlds-

I put it away, my brain somehow reeling from reading a goddamn gaming book.

Not to be completely bested, I downloaded a free copy of GURPS Lite from Warehouse 23. It felt... incomplete. I remember paging through GURPS Lite back in the 3rd edition days and feeling like it was more playable. Luckily, W23 has GURPS Lite 3rd still available, so I grabbed it. It was definitely more complete. It had a shell of a magic system for one, whereas GL4 had no magic at all. Perhaps GURPS Lite 3rd was what I was looking for all along.

Then, just paging through it, the guns at TL 9 are unable, on average, to penetrate the armor at TL 9.
Le sigh.

I have Hereos & Other Worlds. While it is a retro clone of The Fantasy Trip and not GURPS, there's just enough proto-GURPS in there to perhaps fulfill that itch without all the detritus that would eventually pile on to metastasize into a game system that tries to get me to calculate the surface area of a humanoid automaton.

I suppose, with the right skill list and maybe some pilfered (if adjusted) weapons tables, H&OW could also be browbeaten into doing genres besides fantasy. (I'm really kind of hung up on the other worlds part of the title.) In the meantime, GURPS will have to go back into the dusty shelves, both physical and digital.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

KantCon Optimism

KantCon, my beloved convention and the only thing remotely resembling a vacation in my life, is scheduled for July. Will we be out of quarantines and lockdowns and such by July? Honestly, I don't think we will.. but I submitted my games anyway. At this point, I need something to look forward to. If nothing else, I'll run them as one shots.

What I signed up for:

Starships & Spacemen, 2nd edition. Every year since I think 2013*, I've run a game of S&S using the same crew and ship. (Very often many of the same players, too.) This year's session is called "Imposter Syndrome" and involves rooting out a sinister element on a space station.... are they dopplegangers? Are they infested with alien mind control parasites? Are they robots? Space-Communists? Videni spies? Is it all just paranoia?

Zweihander- I used to run a weird/grimdark fantasy game every Friday, but as of last year I changed my game of choice to Zweihander from another game that I no longer play or support. In this year's game, an infamous pirate is supposedly lost at sea. When his ship is rumored to have run aground, treasure hunters scramble for the ultimate payoff... but the countryside is presently plagued by undead and the almost-as-dangerous inquisitors tasked with rooting out the source of the scourge.

Cartoon Action Hour- It went over so well last year, I'm going to try it again. I'm running three mini-sessions of Eagle Force (discount GI Joe), Converters (discount Transformers), and Genetically Altered Xiaolin Toads (if you can't figure this one out, hang your head in shame.) I plan on serving surgery cereal at the table again.

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition- I still want to kick the tires on my SWADE book, and this is the chance. I'm reheating a one-shot of my twice-defunct Royal Society Files game, which is basically steampunk ghostbusters.

On Sunday, I will host board games like I usually do. This year I'm doing Strange Synergy and Hero Quest.

I know very well there might not be a tournament. I just need to think about something right now that isn't plague-related.

*Except 2017, which is perhaps the most garbage year of my entire life, and missing KantCon that year was just one of many reasons.