Monday, April 24, 2017

Scoreboard Update and More

1--Scoreboard Update:


As predicted, the Disciples of the Bound Devil passed the 50 damage mark and I rolled on the chart.   They have become Demoralized and have a -1 to all Spirit Checks from now until they next have to roll.


2--Action Shot 1
 The Disciples approach from one side, while the Ghost Dragon ninjas on the other, the Wound Raven Gangsters are in Real Trouble


3--Action Shot 2:



Suds O'Brien and his top men return to their cars after robbing the Silver Moon, but wait, is that the Rhombus Mobile they hear in the distance?  They might be in for trouble.

Action Shot 3:


Here is the artist's rendering of the horror that Dr. Rhombus saw emerge from the Grimsby Building. What could this dread monster be?



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Schedule, Take 2

Okay,  Tim had made a mistake about his schedule.   


He can make it April 30,  May 14, May 28.


I can't do May 14.


Should we try:


April 23 and 30


May 21 and 28?


So, 2 weeks in a row, then 3 weeks off and then 2 weeks in a row?


Is that too much?  That would get Tim in here at least twice.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Upcoming Schedule

The next game is Sunday, April 23, fixed.


It looks like Tim can make it on May 7 and May 21st,  are those good for everyone?


The bad news is that Tim will be moving to Pittsburgh in July.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Henchmen Update

I rolled for our 3 surviving soldiers:  Phil (Harmonica), Joe (Filthy) and Jack(Mumbles).  I rolled for Phil twice, since we didn't do it the time before, and he survived that one too.

Phil got an advance, so I gave him  "Rock and Roll", so he might be able to use a machinegun or thompson effectively.

Joe got an advance too, so I increased his Drive and Notice to d6 each. (We often need a driver and a guard)

No luck for mumbles

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Plot

When we GM, we are in charge of a few really important things regarding the story at hand. First, we need to provide antagonists. Next, we need to have some sort of a plan that these bad guys carry out. But pacing is also important, particularly with our group with revolving game masters and a "serial" vibe which I simply love. I want to address this in this post.

In the past few sessions for "To a Bloody Pulp", I've been the game master for half of the adventures. I always want to make sure that we end the adventure with a big, satisfying finish at the end. If you were paying attention, I even time it. I try to make sure the opening action happens by 4:30, we get pizza in the "investigation rounds" at 6:45, and I even try to set a timer to let me know at 8:00 that I need to set up the final confrontation. This is because I know that we aren't all in our twenties anymore (except maybe Tim?) so we all need to end our game well before ten o'clock because we can't stay conscious that long.

I love that as a group our conceit is that adventures are self-contained and that there is always a "beginning" and an "end." This way, each game is appropriate for the story told for whomever shows up. If a player can't make an adventure, or if we want to exchange PCs we can do that. It isn't weird, and PCs don't just "disappear" in the narrative. However, this limits the scope of each particular adventure, and I'm realizing that as a GM I've got to manage our use of time as well.

For example, last game you guys had already found who had Rufus directly (helps to have a mind reader in the group) so the bit about Elizabeth and Lamont was no longer relevant. I kind of had to keep it anyway or else parts wouldn't have made sense. Once the PCs circled back, I kind of wanted to hand wave that part away since it was no longer needed to drive the story.

To that end, I would like to propose a "plot device" rule. Once a game, if the players are taking too much time dwelling on details that don't necessarily drive the plot the GM can call "plot device" and put an end to it, perhaps narrating what happens rather than letting the players flounder. Then, if the GM narrates some sort of coincidence or tells the PCs that they notice something about an element that wasn't looked at before (like "Why would you guys like to check all the abandoned buildings around this fish canning plant?" would have helped in Jason's game) to get the plot train back on track the GM may take a benny.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Coda

Following Sunday's adventure, there were a few "loose ends" that we didn't have time to tidy up. If all the players could decide if you have any decisions about any of these points I'll let you act on them. Otherwise I'll assume that you just let sleeping dogs lie.

There remains a few loose ends to this adventure that weren’t covered in play, including:
  • What was Sanitation Commissioner Stan Fullerton’s role in all this?
  • What happens to Gwendolyne Cobblepot and Lamont Merriweather, Rufus' younger brother?
  • What should be done about Snow’s hidden rooms in St. George's Episcopal Cathedral?
  • Where is Nathan Snow now?
  • Thursday, April 6, 2017

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    Character Death

    With Maria Cobblepot dead, I'm in the market for a new character. I've gone through some research on making one, and on page 43 of the rulebook, I came up with this quote:

    Replacement Characters: When a character dies, his new hero begins play with one less Advance than his last.

    Maria died with 32XP, so I'm going to create a new character with 25XP, and add the 2XP for the adventure that Maria died in. Does that sound reasonable to everyone, or should I forfeit the 2XP?

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    or perhaps, Meet Team C






    Wilson Jenkins


    Human, male, seasoned XP 20

    Code Name: The Ramrod

    There’s nothing that moves faster than 2 feet that Ramrod can’t handle like a guy handles some easily-handled thing.  Eat his dust, losers.

    Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6                           Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Sanity d6, Toughness: 5

    Skills: Boating d6, Driving d10, Fighting d6, Riding d4, Notice d4, Pilot d10, Shooting d10, Stealth d4,

    Edges: Ace, Steady Hands, Rock and Roll

    Hindrances:  Bad Luck (major), Cautious (minor), Quirk (won’t start a car without a cigar in his mouth).

    Special Item:  Race Car with internal mounted Lewis Gun

    Background/Motivation:  when the Freeman gang burnt out his garage, this former soldier and auto-racer knew that it was go time, it wouldn’t be the gangsters who would cross the finish line in this race.


    Meet Team C

    Stefan Malju - AKA Evil Eye

    By day, an executive from Trintopec, the new petroleum company in Trinidad. By night, he is the invisible avenger the "Evil Eye." He was given the mystical power of invisibility by the ghost of the leader of a slave revolt named Sandy, and directed to take his talents to Gotham to prevent “the enslavement of the entire human race.” He uses his powers and considerable skills to right the wrongs perpetrated by the powers that be in Gotham.

    Human Male
    Rank: Seasoned (20XP)
    Attributes: Agility: d10, Smarts: d4, Spirit: d4, Strength: d6, Vigor: d8
    Skills: Boating: d4, Drive: d4, Fighting: d6, Knowledge: Business d4, Notice: d4, Shooting: d10, Stealth: d10, Streetwise: d4, Penumbral Step: d10
    Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6
    Edges: Arcane Background - Superpower (Invisibility), Combat Reflexes, Two-Fisted, Extraction, Dodge
    Hindrances: Bad Luck (major), Cautious (minor), Quirk - He loves to take trick shots (minor)
    Powers: Penumbral Step (Invisibility, Darkness)

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Helmets

    I was thinking that perhaps we need a rule for helmets.  Right now they just give a fifty percent chance of providing armor protection against head shots.  However, only really good shots do head shots.  It hardly seems worth the the weight.

    However, during this period time, a steel helmet was the only armor that soldiers wore.  The did it because it prevented lots of deaths from artillery shell bursts.

    Maybe we should say that a helmet gives protection against Area of Effect attacks.  That might make them worth considering.

    Monday, March 13, 2017

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    Balancing the Team



    My player character has an advance coming next game, and I'm debating where to spend it. I'm considering dropping it on making Maria a crack driver, but it occurs to me that we rely on Maria mostly for her questioning and persuasion skills which could use a boost. What are you guys planning on taking?

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Hospital Stays

    After Rusty Keys' hospital debacle, I believe we need some rules centered around getting professional care. According to the rules on page 78 of the rulebook, the healing skill may only be used in the "golden hour". Additionally, only one roll per character may attempt to heal. After the golden hour only supernatural healing or natural healing will help. Unfortunately, natural healing takes a game-week for the first roll. That could make a game pretty suck-tastic if a player character takes one hard early in a game and is forced to limp through the remainder of the session. With that in mind, I would like to suggest the following supplementary house rulings for discussion:

  • PCs and NPCs who present themselves at a hospital during the "golden hour" may roll a healing check for care. The check is done as if by a wild card with a D6 healing skill. In case of a failure (or god-forbid a 1 on the healing die), PCs may choose to spend a "bennie" to roll again at +2 (as if the hospital ALSO had the "healer" edge).
  • Players who deem their characters too "beat up" to continue may choose to switch PCs mid-game and play an alternate PC. This could either be a the player's own alternate (such as Bob's Two-Chains / Friday Jones) or one of the henchman from HQ - Eugene, Pierre, Gorak. In case of a switch, the player chooses which characters win the experience at the end of the adventure.
  • Sunday, February 26, 2017

    Ice of Night


    What is the purpose of these dark pylons? Find out tonight, in Ice of Night!

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    Pay Out Revised--Corrected


    Getting rid of the duplicate row, we are left with this.  It makes the kill jar results much less predictable and harder to "game the system".  But, I'm a little wary.   It might be better to add an extra row in each tier, to make a bad set of rolls less devastating.   I don't quite know how to proceed.  I guess the answer is to not kill people who don't need killing.


    SECTION 3:  THE PAY-OUT--REVISED
    • When the GM designs the adventure, he should have set up 3 possible results:  Extraordinary Success, Success or Failure.    An Extraordinary Success will be counted as a Level 8 result;  A Success  will count as a level 6 result, and a Failure will count as a Level 4 result.
    • For each chip in the Kill Jar at the end of the session, the GM rolls 1d6.   If the result is a 6, then the Level of the Pay-Out is reduced by 1.
     
    Level
    XP
    Gear Cards
    Blue Cards
    Henchmen
    8
    3
    3 per PC
    3
    +2
    7
    3
    2 per PC
    2
    +1
    6
    2
    2 per PC
    2
    +1
    5
    2
    1 per PC
    1
    0
    4
    1
    1 Per PC
    1
    0
    3
    1
    0
    0
    -1
    2
    0
    0
    0
    -1
    1
    0
    0
    0
    -2
     
     
    Henchmen draws:  +1 represents choice of either 1 specialist or 2 soldiers.  +2 represents either 2 specialists or 4 soldiers, 0 represents no change, -1 or -2 indicates either 1 or 2 random henchmen quit/desert/disappear.

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Revised Pay Out Draft







    Here's a draft of a revision of how to handle the Pay Out.   I would remove the permanent henchmen from the Blue Deck and replace it with draws from the 2 henchmen decks we're working on.   The news story results/city goes wild never meant much so they'd be gone.   The Kill Jar effects become less predicable.




    SECTION 3:  THE PAY-OUT--REVISED


    • When the GM designs the adventure, he should have set up 3 possible results:  Extraordinary Success, Success or Failure.    An Extraordinary Success will be counted as a Level 9 result;  A Success  will count as a level 6 result, and a Failure will count as a Level 4 result.
    • For each chip in the Kill Jar at the end of the session, the GM rolls 1d6.   If the result is a 6, then the Level of the Pay-Out is reduced by 1.




    Level
    XP
    Gear Cards
    Blue Cards
    Henchmen
    9
    3
    3 per PC
    3
    +2
    8
    3
    2 per PC
    2
    +1
    7
    2
    2 per PC
    2
    +1
    6
    2
    2 per PC
    2
    +1
    5
    2
    1 per PC
    1
    0
    4
    1
    1 Per PC
    1
    0
    3
    1
    0
    0
    -1
    2
    0
    0
    0
    -1
    1
    0
    0
    0
    -2




    Henchmen draws:  +1 represents choice of either 1 specialist or 2 soldiers.  +2 represents either 2 specialists or 4 soldiers, 0 represents no change, -1 or -2 indicates either 1 or 2 random henchmen quit/desert/disappear.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Followers

    Dave and I are tinkering with a new rewards system that brings loyal player-controlled followers to Team C. If anyone has any suggestions for NPCs that Mr. Cheavers might bring our way, please make suggestions below. Examples might be:
  • Someone who knows explosives
  • An expert pilot
  • An accountant to research financial records
  • A receptionist
  • A librarian
  • Someone to hold your guns
  • etc.
  • Monday, February 13, 2017

    Revising the Rewards

    Just looking for some general thoughts on the reward system


    XP and Blue Cards seem to be just fine.


    I think it's time to slow down the regular gear deliveries, we seem to have a good base of gear.  Do we need the second delivery round?


    There are some squads of troops in the Blue Deck, but we never seem to hit them.   Should we remove them and have the troop and henchmen recruiting happen as a direct result of rewards?


    Kill jar, levels too lenient?  Too strict?--I'm actually happy with them as they are, but am wondering.

    Gotham City, New Jersey

    Here's the map I saw that based my consideration that our Gotham City was in the South East corner of New Jersey.



    Whereas, as Dave had surmised in the 1970's (before the street map we use in the campaign came out) the "World's Finest Comics" put it on the other side of the Delaware River from Metropolis.



    Bottom line? I don't know that it matters a bit. I liked the East Coast better because it puts us more in the orbit of Atlantic City, but in the end Gotham is the home we make it!

    Sunday, February 12, 2017

    Explosion at Cobblepot Towers!!!

    The ground shakes all across Gotham City!   A massive explosion has knocked down the north tower of Cobblepot Towers, where our heroes had defeated Chinese terrorists only a week before.   They rush to the sedan and barrel across the city.  Yet, they can't approach because of police roadblocks!



    To the keen eye, something strange appears,  one block beyond the police are arrayed a band of Mexican gunmen!

    Yet, beyond lies the wreckage where the good citizens from Gotham struggle to survive


    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Prisoners





    We end up taking a whole lot more prisoners than I ever foresaw, although it does make sense, since we need information.  


    As a rule of thumb, I guess we could say something like this:   if we hand them over to the local cops, roll 1d6 and if we roll a "6" they miraculously get sentenced to prison and they count as damage to the gang, otherwise, they are released.


    If we hand them over to the Federal Marshals, then the roll is reversed, roll a d6 and if they get a "6" they are released, otherwise they are imprisoned and count as gang damage.  However, they can only be handed over to the feds if they've been caught at specific crimes under federal jurisdiction:
    • Counterfeiting
    • Kidnapping for Ransom
    • Smuggling
    • Robbing a federally chartered bank
    • Stealing from the army or other branch of the federal government
    • Espionage or mayhem directed by a foreign government.

    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Game Soundtrack

    I really enjoyed playing some tunes at the table to support particular parts of the narrative. I wanted to list the ones that I'm going to use regularly at the table, and get your input about others we should add. Dave, I particularly wanted info about the audio that you played last night.

    • FumbleStealth - Smash Open
    • Superfriends Instrumental - Flashback
    • Sanford - New Equipment
    • Puma Man Theme Song
    • Venture Close - End of the session

    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Fate of The Beast

    Since The Beast is totally wrecked, we need to see if it can be repaired before the next game.  Here's the rule, from the Gear and Rewards document:




    Repairing Gear:


                Damage items can be repaired by using Repair skill.   Allow each character with the skill to attempt to fix one item between each session.  If the damage is moderate, make a simple roll, if it is serious or major, require a raise.   If it was truly catastrophic, you may disallow any repair attempt.   Some Blue Special Rewards Cards allow for repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed items.


     


    I would think that the damage to the Beast counts as serious or major.   So, it would require a Raise.  Neither Sister Maria, Captain Freemont, Pumaman, nor Two Chains have repair skill.  I don't know about Friday Jones or Rusty Keys. 


    Eugene has repair d4,  Pierre has repair d8.   So, each could make one roll, needed a Raise to repair the Beast.  (No bennie use between sessions, however, and they don't get bennies anyway). 


    I reckon that since Andrew is GM next, it's up to him to make the rolls.



    Friday, January 27, 2017

    Adjusting the Schedule





    It looks like Tim's work schedule has him working on the weekends we play, so we need to adjust the schedule to accommodate.


    Current Schedule:
    Game:  Feb 5
    Game Feb 19
    Game March 5


    Proposal 1: (we meet two weeks in a row: as I'm all jazzed and prepared, I like this one)
    Game Feb 5 (sorry, Tim)
    Game Feb 12
    Game Feb 26
    Game March 12


    Proposal 2: (we have a 3 week gap,  boo)
    Game:  Feb 5 (sorry Tim)
    Game:  Feb 26
    Game March 12


    Leave your opinion, and whichever works best we'll do.

    Playing with my Toys at School: Living the Dream

    Two years ago I had made a historical miniatures battle-game for the Battle of Dorylaeum in the First Crusade.  It was in connection with the Latin 4 and 5 class reading the Gesta Francorum, an early Latin source for the Crusade's history.   Since this year I'm back to the Gesta Francorum again, I broke it out and 9 of my students stayed after school for 2 hours and played it Thursday night.   Much better attendance than 2 years ago, and it was a really good time.   The Crusaders beat the Turks, 7 points to 6.  Deus Vult.  The miniatures were all 1/72 scale soft plastic (inexpensive and very easy to transport), the paint jobs held up perfectly.  Soft plastic is notorious for having paint flake off, but with the Krylon Fusion primer, made for plastic, it holds on nicely.


    The Battle Begins:


    The Battle Rages:



    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    Happy D&D Day

    On this day, 1974, D&D was first published.    Happy D&D day


    OMG, I just realized the founding of D&D is closer in time to our 1934 campaign, than it is to the present day.  Lawn, get off of, or something.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017

    Action Shots: from Fashionably Dead (Jan 22, 2017 or Jan 19, 1934)

    First, a shot of Myrtle May's!! Fashion House
    Next, the riot in progress
    Two Chains and his victims (Sister Maria in the background, behind car)
    Puma Man, collapsed on the ground, after diverting the truck, which barrels toward the police car
    The Gang fight inside the Grand Haberdasharium
    Puma Man, standing by the wreckage of The Beast, at the Shoe Factory



    The battle with the Red Bomber at the Shoe Factory
    Shemp