No, this isn’t a post about playing a session of d&d where all the characters are religious crusaders. It’s actually a post I’ve been working on for quite some time, so please bear with me.
Now it’s no secret that I run a meetup group for roleplaying gamers. There are actually several tabletop gaming groups in the area where I live dedicated to the hobby that I investigated when I first moved here over 5 years ago. Some groups focus on particular genres or systems, while other groups focus on specific neighborhoods and communities in the area. I’ve been to several events with these groups and rolled some dice and had a good time at most of them. Some groups I liked better than others, but I never really “clicked” with any of them…
So after a year of going to different one-shot and mixer events, I was still feeling pretty down because I hadn’t found a group of nerds I really connected with or a long-term campaign I really wanted to join. Then one day while perusing meetup I saw a new group named “Christian Dungeons & Dragons.”
… If you are a Christian, it’s not just that we don’t have to be hesitant or afraid to share our faith; in fact, that’s the opposite of what Christ expects. The Great Commission says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:16-20). Know that there are others of us out there, that we’re there for support and encouragement, and that you should never let the temporary slings and arrows of a transitory world stop you from living the life you’re meant to live. Share and live your salvation in this hobby, and be a light unto others. Don’t be meek, or afraid, or worried you’ll rock the boat. If salvation is truly as important to you as it should be, then wouldn’t you do what you could to share it with the folks, fans, and creators we all respect and admire so much? And if a few people don’t buy our books or unfollow us, what are those losses versus what is at stake? As the Apostle Paul said, “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8 ESV).
Languages Spoken: Beshaari,Lemurian, Sorceric: Written::Beshaari, Lemurian, Sorceric
Boons: Carouser Flaws:
Background U’lik doesn’t know much about his origins. He spent much of his early life among the nomadic tribes of the Beshaar Desert. F’alhlhalan the Poet raised him. He only spoke of U’lik’s parents once, saying that they were heroes from beyond the Empty Lands. From his adopted father, he learned the ways of poetry and song.
At the age of 14, U’lik left his tribe and sought to travel the lands of Lemuria. He worked as the sword boy for a mercenary company for a time. It was on an assignment with his company that he was lost in the Kasht Swamp. He was discovered by the crone, Dagda. Admiring the boys quick tongue and sharp mind, the witch saved him and taught him the basics of sorcery. He spent a few years with the witch before his wanderlust overtook him he left.
U’lik tends to projecs a devil may care attitude. He is just as quick to cut someone down with a sharp retort as his his with his trusted razor.However, despite his adventurous and outgoing demeanor has a strong sense of right and wrong (which tends to get him in trouble).
You ever hear voices, late a night? Strange ones, ancient tongues, doom prophecies, all that jazz? Yeah. Me too. That’s why I got into parapsychology. Figured if I could know all there was about the weird stuff, figuring out my own brain would come easy. It didn’t. So, I started lifting. That helps.
Attributes Strength 1 Agility 0 Mind 4 Appeal 0 Life Blood: 11 Hero Points: 5
Boons Parapsychologist: When attempting to psychoanalyze a patient, or resist the effects of fear caused by the paranormal, Cassandra rolls 3d6 and takes the highest possible result.
Flaws Phony Degree: When attempting to navigate government bureaucracy, Cassandra rolls 3d6 and takes the lowest possible result.
Major Thom Pritchard, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 12 years. Flew into an unexplained vortex during experimental flight testing, 1972. Awoke in New York City, 2014. Seemingly a ghost, or other ectoplasmic life form. Hypothesis: my body is still out there, or I’d be dead. Objective: retrieve and identify situation leading to vortex. Awaiting orders.
Attributes Strength 1 Agility 4 Mind 1 Appeal -1 Life Blood: 11 Hero Points: 3
Boons Ghost Jet: The Starman can pilot the remains of his test shuttle remotely, even when he’s not onboard. Additionally, when performing aerial stunts with his jet, he rolls 3d6 and takes the highest result.
Ghost Phasing: At any time The Starman may make a Freaky Power + Mind check to pass through objects. Doing so by himself is an Easy action; each additional person he brings along ups the difficulty by one. (His jet, in this case, counts as a person.)
Flaws G-G-G-G-GHOST: when attempting to make friends and use diplomacy, The Starman rolls 3d6 and takes the worst possible result.
Freaks and Geeks is a hack of Barbarians of Lemuria. My goal has been to leave the system largely intact without massive overt changes or clunky additional rules. I created this hack because I thought the BoL system was extremely rules-light (which is fucking awesome), robust, and able to handle cinematic style play, such as Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, or whatever.
The great thing about the BoL system is that there are no complications when hacking it to another genre or style. Just understand how the simple mechanics work and that this game is about being awesome and a dialogue between players and the GM in the hopes of achieving their goals, having fun, and you’re solid.
The other goal I had was to strip away lists and powers presented in BoL and the need to consult anything at all. A few examples of Boons and Flaws are given, but largely the players should come up with their own kickassery powers! That’s it.. Now go play!
AHA! A-HA! This is why I downloaded Barbarians of Lemuria! I knew there was a reason. I’m a big fan of both WrathOfZombie’s stuff and Hellboy/Doctor Who/Indiana Jones/Et Al, so it’d make sense I’d pick it up.
“People in this town saw only what they all agreed to see, they believed what was on the tube or in the morning papers half of them read while they were driving to work on the freeway, and it was all their dream about being wised up, about the truth setting them free. What good would Lemuria do them? Especially when it turned out to be a place they’d been exiled from too long ago to remember.”—
- Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
(Welcome to the tagline for my Weird California RPG.)
I realize looking back on my Twitter feed from the past few months and despite (perhaps because of?) weird Brain Stuff, I have been markedly creative. Good feeling. At first I think I need somewhere for all my game ideas to rest now that I don’t have LJ. But then I realize I have my gaming tumblr, and I need to post more to it.
So here’s a summary of the things I need to write about on here, soon.
Weird California prep after my re-reads of The Crying of Lot 49, Vineland, and Inherent Vice
Madness Dossier Actual Play
Delta Green Actual Play once the game is out and the de facto NDA is over
Campaign pitch for Bookhounds of London set in Thatcher’s Britain based on Iain Sinclair’s White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings
Changeling: Vienna final write-up and post-game review
Harry Potter as Auror George Smiley
Demon: Gilded Age prep
Demon set amongst the devout in late medieval England
Mage: Praga Mystica endgame
Geist: Pan Ephemeron museum creation, campaign frame shift, and eventual endgame
Storify the discussion we had on Twitter about the old Dragon Magazine adventure where your D&D characters went to “modern” (1980s) London
MOON DUST MEN follow-up game based on The October Scenario
And the Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary game set at Harvard in the 1990s. *whew*
Looks pretty interesting. As a matter of fact it makes me want to see the twitter feed - what is your twitter name?.
Just got back from a Victorian Horror RP made with GURPS. I played a member of the idle rich named Chester Honeysworth. He had enough disposable income to buy anything that was needed and fund the party without regard for the cost, but he was also a colossal prick: a greedy, lazy, selfish coward who believed that money equals power and is the only thing in the world that matters, and looked down upon anyone poorer than him (namely, everyone) with disdain.
After consistently backing into a corner and hiding behind his valet during every combat, Chester finally used his sword cane for the first and only time to stab a local peasant (who dared to suggest that there were things in life more important than money) and pissed off the whole village in the process. When he saw that things were going to shit (everyone around them now wanted them dead or arrested and they were being pursued by endlessly respawning demons), he promptly jumped into his carriage and fled, promising to take the party’s children (the demons’ primary targets) to safety so that the others would let him go.
However, as an unintended consequence of his cowardice, Chester himself was not being pursued by the demons as he had never personally attacked them. As soon as he was out of sight, he dumped the children (including his own disfigured, wheelchair-bound son - who he had always been ashamed of) by the roadside and scarpered, leaving them along with the rest of the party (including his hired floozy) and his loyal valet to their fate.
I’m looking forward to using him again in a sequel.
I’ve got a couple of weird ones. It’s hard to say exactly which one is the weirdest.
I’ve mentioned Talislanta before. It’s a very non-traditional setting, frequently promoting itself with the tagline “No Elves.”
GURPS Fantasy II: The Mad Lands is another one that throws off much of traditional fantasy in favor of weirdness. But in this case, it’s a pretty scary weirdness rather than the exotic weirdness of Talislanta. Including Elder Gods based off of Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
Both Rifts and Gamma World scratch any “post apocalyptic gonzo” itch I might have. I’ve got one of the books from the Second Edition Gamma World, the rulebook for Fourth Edition, as well as the Fifth Edition (Alternity) rulebook. I even have the Omega World issue of Polyhedron.
And then there are the game concepts that are totally out of left field. Like Pandemonium: Adventures in Tabloid World. You play tabloid reporters in a world where you are the only ones willing to tell the truth. The random scenario generator is probably the best bit of the whole thing.
Castle Falkenstein has a number of interesting features, aside from being one of the first Steampunk RPGs. The setting is presented largely via lovingly illustrated game fiction about Tom Olam, a man from the real world who got pulled into a world of magic and pageantry. It’s even suggested that the game itself was designed by Olam and played in the setting. Cards are used instead of dice because dice are for gambling, and therefore inappropriate in the setting’s high society.
GURPS Illuminati University is a comedy setting featuring a university where anything goes. Sort of a slightly more mature Teenagers From Outer Space. But only slightly. All of GURPS setting and genre books are encouraged for mashing together in truly comedic fashion. There are setting in-jokes for everyone, from Tolkien geeks to Doctor Who fans.
The Ghost Dog Roleplaying Game and Resource Book is probably the oddest thing I’ve ever come across. Published by Guardians of Order, it naturally uses their Tri-Stat system. Amusingly enough, this is the same system used by all of their anime sourcebooks, like their Sailor Moon RPG (which is also on my shelf).
I’ve seen the movie that this game is based on, and enjoyed it, but it didn’t scream RPG to me. There are no dangling plot threads, or deep, rich setting. The film is heavy on symbolism and metaphor, which are very difficult things to implement in an RPG. And with most of the characters dead at the end of the film, it felt like there were very few places to go with it.
It’s not deliberately funny or weird. Just a real odd duck.
I picked up Ghost Dog RPG, second hand, at my local game store simply out of curiousity. However I will say that it is useful as a source book for underworld activities and scams.
This one’s a toughie. As I’ve mentioned, I do most of my game shopping at conventions these days.
I could talk about the joys of discovering old GURPS sourcebooks, like the licensed GURPS Conan and GURPS The Prisoner.
Or the times I was able to pick up some bit of new hotness, like Spirit of the Century, Diaspora, or Monsterhearts.
Or the random and vintage, like the original Castle Falkenstein. I’ve had the GURPS adaptation for years (by the end of this month, you’ll probably be sick and tired of me talking about GURPS), but the original rulebook with its card-based rules, and a couple of supplements, were finds in the Buyer’s Bazaar.
Along with most of my vintage Talislanta collection. My wife insisted on buying the Fourth edition when it was new (she lovingly calls it “The Big Blue Brick”), but it wasn’t until we started shopping at DunDraCon that we found books for the older editions. We even bought the only Tal4 supplement, Midnight Realm, at DDC.