[Star Wars] Death Sticks found in Subadult School

JRADE DISTRICT, CORUSCANT – The Jrade School Board expressed shock and dismay at the finding of death sticks in a public subadult school. PSAS-5128, in northern Jrade, has instituted mandatory locker and body searches after two Level Six students were found in possession of death stick and death stick paraphernalia. “We’re determined to find out where this filth is coming from,” said Principal Havidald Guffin. “For Core’s sake, it’s our privileged children affected here.”

(originally reported in Holonet News)

T.P.K.

It stands for Total Party Kill.
I’ve never perpetrated such a thing on any of my tables.
Until Saturday.
Long story short: in a lighthouse, someone (okay, it was Rey) cast a wall of fire in a room containing six 250-gallon copper tuns full of lamp oil.
In the next room were sixty-five five gallon clay jars full of more oil.
I’d mentioned that they were passing through rooms full of buckets of sand, and that the sand was there to control fires, because of the risk involved in having all the lamp oil….
…then I mentioned the big copper casks. The fact that they were full of oil was not specifically stated, but no one at the table claimed that the clues hadn’t been there. Mostly, there was a lot of rueful head-shaking.
It was a playtest, so it didn’t ‘count’, but it was still sort of fun.
Me: “You take… as near as I can figure… you take about 500d6 fire, plus the same amount of explosion damage.”
Them: “Wow.”
Me: “Then the lighthouse falls on you.”
~Another funny bit.~
Me: So… four months later, you wake up in the nearby village…
Rey: …where we’ve just landed.

Glimpse the Future

Excerpt from an advance review of the Revised Core Rulebook
Moving into the classes section, we see some of the largest and most fundamental changes to the game thus far. No class has gone untouched, and most of the changes seem to be for the better. Some abilities simply were renamed so they made more sense and were consistent with what was elsewhere in the books, while some abilities were radically altered or even removed/replaced. In some cases, these changes are for the better. The Fringer has become a much more attractive class, thanks to the addition of some bonus feats and more frequent and earlier-attained bonus class skills. Others, however, remain to be seen; the Scoundrel has lost the Sneak Attack class feature, and some of the Defense scores have been lowered by 1-2 points (though the Soldier’s has gone up), putting every class on a very level playing field. One of the most significant and pleasing aspects of the new Force classes is that they get to choose which Force feat (Control, Sense, or Alter) they get as a bonus feat at early levels, meaning more customization for the Jedi. And, of course, the addition of the Tech Specialist class is a major change. Very skill-oriented, the class features of the Tech Specialist include the ability to make Masterwork items, bonuses when performing research, and other non-combat, technically oriented abilities.
Interesting stuff.

Techie Tricks

Dave has used MT (and mad design skillz 🙂 to come up with a great page for a character he’s running for the Ill Met in Amber PBeM. Truly Excellent.
I wish I was playing in a game, so I could do something this cool.
Oh, wait. There’s DAVE’S game. And RANDY’S game (except I sort of already have a page for that).

*wanders off to design a comic-book-style blog.*

They like me, they really like me

Putting it mildly, my review of Legend of the Five Rings Magic of Rokugan (for d20) was well-received by the staff. I’ll post up a link when they publish it to the site.
I enjoyed doing the review quite a bit (would have liked more time, but the situation demanded a quick turn around), and I hope I get a chance to do some work with that site in the future.
Update
That was fast: You can see the review here (although they stripped the formatting… c’est la vie).

Updates

Not many. I’m writing a review for an online Gamer Magazine, on a d20 sourcebook. I’ll link to that that when it’s up.
I purchased Spycraft for d20, which I hope to incorporate some ideas from into the Living Pulp endeavor. Star Wars this weekend, and I believe I owe this site an update on what’s happened in the last few sessions, so expect those soon. (Yay, something else I need to do.)

Revisions

WotC has released some new infor from the revised edition of the rulebook that coming out in a few months. I’ve ‘implemented’ a few of these changes on the Star Wars pages. Here’s the highlights:
In the House Rules section, details on how Armor is going to work — it’s damage reduction now, doesn’t interfere with Class Bonuses to Defense, and seems to work fine against criticals.
The Scoundrel has been revised, and those of you with levels in this class should update their characters to reflect this version. Of note is the change from “Sneak Attack” to “Precise Attack”, which is a nice because it ‘kicks in’ sooner. They’ve added a Gambling skill (I imagine you could use this instead of a profession check to make money), but the Defense advancement for the class has dropped A LOT (probably because Scoundrels, with their already high dex, were unrealistically unhittable).
Anyway, lots of stuff. Off you go.

Merging Technology and Geekdom

I worked out something very interesting for Randy Trimmer’s cry havoc :: amber drpg game. I’ll explain it here, and you can go see the application of it at the link above.
Randy had hit upon the idea of using a blog tool (blogger, in his original conception) as a sort of posting board for player diaries and whatnot. While I applaud the use of the technology (especially when it’s one of my less-techie friends), I’m no longer much of a friend of Blogger.
So, while we played last night, I set up a blog using Movable Type, and as it came into being, I found myself incorporating some features from some of my other blogs in such as way as to make a “one-stop campaign site”.
The trick? Categories. I use them on this page (on the left, under the dated archives), and on Cry Havoc I inserted them automatically — it makes sense to categorize all the entries that could be made — background, NPCs, logs, quotes, journals, etc.
Well, look what I suddently realized — by giving all the players and the GM appropriate access, setting up the categories correctly, and letting them type away, we’ve got a single blog page whose archives will automatically grow, via categories, into a clean, slick campaign source-site of the type I built for TiHE, complete with authorship tracking and date stamps.
Bonus: I don’t have to get email, copy/paste, htmlize, ftp, save, edit and maintain. Neither does anyone else.
Once the templates are in there, ‘maintenance’ is done and we’re ready to go. A great way to build a dynamic, group-grown campaign page.
(Of course, you have to use something like Movable Type, but that’s the price you pay. 🙂

Session Nine, part one

After a miserable night of dealing with the sudden Senatorial name-chance, I’ve come to this conclusion:
For the sake of my sanity, Bail Antilles and Bail Organa are now officially the same person in my campaign — Bail is the scion of BOTH the Organa and Antilles royal houses (Antilles is his paternal descent, Organa is his maternal) — therefore depending on which official function he’s attending, he might be announced as:
– Senator Antilles
– Senator Organa
– Prince Antilles
– Viceroy Organa
– First Chairman (of Alderaan)
I’M just going to call the bastard “Bail”.
A full discussion of this can be found here.

Update — Timeline

I’ve added atimeline to the Prince of Alderaan game data. It should help people sort out what’s happening when in the greater scheme of things.
Note to players:
Here’s how to figure out your age:
Step One: Check your current age. That’s how old you were for the Ando Prime mission.
Step Two: Add two years. That’s how old you are now. Update your sheet accordingly.
(Make a mental note that “Damsel in Distress” took place in the (half)year before Ando Prime.)

Dirty Little Secrets

  • I don’t mind how many exp I give out in the DnD game, because I won’t miss this game when it’s over, and leveling people quickly gets me to the conclusion a bit sooner. I’ve got the end of the campaign predicted, based on current exp/session rates, and I’m looking forward to it.
  • The most complete story arc I have right now is for the rarely-run Oriental Adventures game.
  • The fact that Episode 2 is jumping ahead 10 years is immobilizing my ability to work out the Star Wars game’s timeline.
  • I’m desperately trying to finish up the Campaign Start of Pulp Heros before I get bored with the whole thing. Given my normal pattern, I’ve got about 45 days before I hit a 2-month ‘down cycle’.
  • Playing Amber Diceless only motivates me to run d20 Amber.
  • I’ve got too many players, too many games, and not enough time pay full attention to any of it.

No comments required, I just feel like venting.

Game tonight

DnD, takes place at the Consortium, since Dave’s out of town and Margie can’t find a sitter. It’s fine — not as though I haven’t GM’d there any number of times before.
Between working on the Pulp Heroes page, the new updates to the Star Wars page, and figuring out how to convert the L5R modules from Living Rokugan to my intermittent Oriental Adventures game, the Price of Honor pages haven’t seen a lot of attention, and haven’t gotten a lot of prep time. Ahh well — the plots are a little thing, but they’ll be a story to tell by the time I get to the end, and everyone seems to be having a decent time.
Now, I just need to figure out what I’m doing with them tonight. 😛

Updates

I’ve done some overhauling at the Padawan’s Cave, removing the star maps that I don’t find myself using at all, and getting together a house rules page.
Quite a bit of the changes are happening in the Prince of Alderaan section, where I’ve added little snippets on some of the major NPCs and have started messing with an intro page for all of the characters. Big development! A picture of Bail Organa of Alderaan, A.K.A. “the Boss”.
Right now, the “Overview” page is also the “NPC” page, but I think I’m going to change that pretty quickly… I don’t care for the look of it very much as it is.
Star Wars Trivia: I’m almost sure they called the senator “Bail Antilles of Alderaan” in Ep 1, but now it’s Bail Organa, which makes sense, but that doesn’t explain Ep. 1. Am I remembering it wrong? Is Antilles some sort of whacked-out honorific? Are there two Senators from Alderaan, both named Bail, both important, but with different last names? Doesn’t seem likely.

Session Eight: Head Trip

We couldn’t play on Friday, due to the weather, but we did manage to get everyone together Saturday night for session eight of The Prince of Alderaan, a d20 Star Wars Campaign.
Quick Summary: Dag and Corvo are sent on a ‘routine rendezvous’ in the Inner Rim to pick up a parcel the Senator has made a deal for. Their contact is very hard to find, and apparently very popular with local bounty hunters.
Things are going wrong, so the Senator sends the rest of the group to help out. (Including planting a new recruit to the Antilles household in the camp of the enemy).
The group manages, against great odds to recover (intact!) the head of an old protocol droid that had been recovered by the Bimm tech-scavenger they were to meat. Details are sketchy, but it appears that the droid, when whole, belonged to Someone Important, was discarded accidentally, and is sought by many people.
Other interested parties seemed to include:

  • Two (possibly) unconnected paramilitary groups, at least one of which seemed to have some Republic Military Training (maybe even Senate Guard).
  • One criminal organization who seemed to think their current boss is the heir to all things belonging to the Boss’ predecessor — the droid apparently numbers among these items.
  • One unnamed droid representing his ‘master’.

Weekend plans

This Sunday, I’m coordinating my 2nd Gameday at Collectormania (which I’d provide a link to if I knew it).
The first gameday was easy — very short notice, so not too many people showed up, and all I needed was to run the same scenario twice myself and go home. Piece of cake.
People had lots of warning this time. A good thing — lots of participation.
LOTS.
3 or 4 tables for each time slot (depending on if any more people show up), which means more judges than just myself (I’m good, but not that good, people), which means organizing a “Slot 0” so the judges can play the module ahead of time and get a chance to get acquainted with it, which means finding someone to ‘eat’ the module (never get to play it)…
Much bigger deal.
Big thanks to Dave and Lori, who agreed to Slot 0 and be on call to run events. HUGE thanks to Jackie, who has never GM’d before, and not only ran the scenarios, but ran them with very little prep time, did a GREAT job, and then offered to cover any overflow at the game day.
[I think she just wants a chance to kill one of Bruce’s character’s, though — keeps muttering something about “payback” and “motherfucker”.]
So it should be a big Sunday. Friday is the Star Wars home game, which Lori is joining, and Saturday is (maybe) the beginning of Randy’s Amber game.
Another weekend full of gaming. Whee. This is why we never get laundry done.

Session Seven

Star Wars Campaign
Session seven was on Friday the 22nd, and I’m going to talk about that as well as a few notes on the prior sessions.
First, let’s summarize.
Session One was a rescue-in-space scenario where the characters (all members/servants of the Antilles household and currently stationed on Coruscant) are tasked by the Senator to recover/rescue an agent who has important information from the fringe. A ship is hastily bought (via a loan from the Senator) and the mission accomplished with no small amount of pain and blaster fire. The ship is beat up quite badly, and everyone learns the inherent usefulness of Starship Operations: Transport.
Session Two ostensibly involved a favor for one of the Twi’lek Senate officials, in which the group would recover the official’s missing son. It was actually a clever means to an end for Senator Prince Antilles: in investigating the disappearance of said Twi’lek (during trips to both Tatooine and Ando Prime), the party managed to reveal that the twi’lek official not only wasn’t related to the kid, but had strong ties to the Hutt criminal syndicate. The offical leaves Coruscant and the Twi’lek Senator (whose name currently escapes me) the official was working for is disgraced and discredited. The heros were a bit miffed that the Senator sent them into this blind.
Session Three had the party sent to recover a missing shipment of supplies that the Senator had sent to a poor low-tech settlement. What the party realizes upon being assigned an Air Car in order to search is that the low-tech settlement and missing shipment are both somewhere in the lower levels of Coruscant itself. Delving into the guts and abandoned roots of the City Planet ensues, and the party runs into several nasty force users employing Gamorreans, and some kind of “Darkside Ghoul” that had been locked in the undercity for years. They eventually retreat, having recovered most of the supplies, and leave further investigation and heroics to another day… or perferably another group.
Session Four and Five were “Welcome to the Jungle”, an inherently under-explained and incomplete module that nevertheless had a good premise that was useful to me. The Senator assigned the group bodyguard duty for a member of the diplomatic corp (old friend of the senator’s) about to have a meeting on an Ithorian Herd Ship. Blackmail at the end gets the Ithorian home-world very upset with the captain of the herd ship, and the group makes off with quite a bit of hush-money and a cordial hatred of hoojibs.
Session Six and Seven used, at least in part, “Kashyyk in Flames”, also from Star Wars gamer. A more interesting module, which I started by putting the players into a Senatorially-hosted ball at the Antilles Estate. The players are to act as escorts for various guests. In the process they impressed the Wookie Senator enough that he requested Senator Antilles aid in shipping some documentation and supplies back to Kashyyk. Wackiness ensues, and the party ends up revealing a plot that would have allowed the Trandoshan Senator on Coruscant to pass legislation to allow logging and mining operations on Kashyyk in unpeopled areas.
I’m pleased with how things are going, and I’m just about ready to start pulling in threads from previous sessions and get the main story arc really flowing. I was happy with the Alderaanian Embassy Ball — it let me introduce some good NPC’s I can use later, and bring in some of the more interesting members of the Senate for a cameo appearance.
Last session, Robert had to bow out of the game, so we’re down to five. I’m considering two possibilities: adding a sixth (probably Lori), or keeping it at five to let us focus a bit more. Then again, with this group, focus is always a problem, and would be if there were only two people. Still, can’t say we don’t have fun.
The end of session seven also led to a good cop/bad cop confrontation between the group’s jedi padawan and the grizzled spacer scout. On one hand it was a great scene, but on the other, player vs. player interaction (espeicially when one has a clear situational advantage) are always fraught with alot of high emotions (and personal stress for the GM.)
C’est la vie. It has been interesting. Hopefully it will remain so.

Finally, a really gamer geek quiz

What D&D Character Are You?
I Am A: Neutral Good Half-Elf Bard Thief

Alignment:
Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else. They will work to make the world a better place, and will do whatever is necessary to bring that about, whether it goes for or against whatever is considered ‘normal’.

Race:
Half-Elves are a cross between a human and an elf. They are smaller, like their elven ancestors, but have a much shorter lifespan. They are sometimes looked down upon as half-breeds, but this is rare. They have both the curious drive of humans and the patience of elves.

Primary Class:
Bards are the entertainers. They sing, dance, and play instruments to make other people happy, and, frequently, make money. They also tend to dabble in magic a bit.

Secondary Class:
Thieves are the most roguish of the classes. They are sneaky and nimble-fingered, and have skills with traps and locks. While not all use these skills for burglary, that is a common occupation of this class.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy ofNeppyMan (e-mail)

Thanks to Ms. Roy for this link.

Ghengis Con

Ghenghis Con was very cool for me last year, because it was my first real experience stepping back into mainstream gaming, something I hadn’t been a part of since starting the on campus gaming org in college that introduced me to most of my friends.
Last year was a new experience for a lot of people — d20 was starting to catch on seriously, and Living Greyhawk was just really getting rolling (having only really run at one or two major cons prior to that point), and I had a great time. I didn’t GM, either — I just played.
This year was better. Jackie came with, we played all the Living Greyhawk stuff together, we had a great time with a lot of our favorite people to game with, I introduced my wife to a few people I knew that she didn’t, and I didn’t have to GM this time either.
The best part was that I really didn’t think we’d be able to go this year at all, and instead we got to play almost everything I was interested in playing. Very cool.
So, heydy ho to all those folks out there I saw, and all the ones I missed, and hope to run into you again soon.

Game Tonight

Session Seven? I need to put some GM logs up for the game, but nothing today. Need to get the house cleaned up and run errands.
Robert and Dave G can’t make, so it’ll be… well, weird, not to put too fine a point on it.
Update
Actually, a couple people couldn’t make it, so Session Seven hasn’t happened yet, and we ended up running a small Oriental Adventure game that started on Saturday and sequeled into a Sunday afternoon session, so I’ve yet another intermittent game to write about.