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Desert Kris

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About Desert Kris

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  • Birthday 02/01/1978
  1. I wrote out about 3 and 1/4 pages worth of translations, which amounts to a rundown of selected character type/templates and the skill that come with them. So, for example: for Smugglers I have written out the skills Coordination, Deception, Knowledge (Underworld), Perception, Piloting (space), Skullduggery, Streetwise, Vigilance. Under Smugglers I wrote out each of the "subtypes": Pilot, Scoundrel and Thief. And then the added list of skills that go with each Subtype, for example: Scoundrel has the included skill of Charm, Cool, Deception, Ranged (light). I put the Skills organized by Attributes in list form for ease of reference, and copied out a list of "Common Low Level Adversaries". I read up on text in the EotE rulebook, and I would still need to reference it for specific skill descriptions. I already have on hand a selection of old WEG sourcebooks that correspond with the broad strokes of the Edge of Empire concept, a small portion of my larger collection of WEG sourcebooks in general. If I went to actual game play, I would use my notes to construct the specific templates that any players would want to play, and leave the rest. A quick write up for those Low level adversaries and maybe one or two more powerful antagonists and I would leave it at that. That's pretty much it. The surface level color of EotE, relying on the WEG D6 engine to drive the rest, along with winging it. I absolutely refuse to try and make one mechanic emulate another, and I'm not going to fiddle with the Feats/Advantages craziness. I know that sounds laughably simple, but that's what I like about D6: so laughably simple in the way that I'm laughing my head off at the prospect of wasting time with any other game system that is more complicated. I need my gaming system to be simple, I don't have the head for number crunching craziness or boring attempts at realism (which have killed the fun of a game for me). I might look in on Obligations stuff, if it helps to drive a narrative; but hopefully I'll be able to just write up adventures that match with the way players see their characters as naturally motivated to respond to. It is still a very nice looking book to flip through, is EotE.
  2. Hello there everybody, it's been a while! Material on this site led me to investigate the details of WEG's other games, and Shatterzone caught hold of my curiosity, although admittedly it's for Star Wars-centric reasons. I came across reference to the notion that Shatterzone was an arena for ideas and concepts that were proposed for the old SW RPG back when WEG had it, and they were able to use Shatterzone as a setting where they could make sure that those concepts and ideas would still have a home, after being vetoed by LFL or whoever for not fitting with what they wanted SW to be. I guess this is tied in with my enthusiasm and curiosity for all sorts of detritus and apocryphal material that might once have had a home in SW: earlier drafts, proposed action figure lines that didn't get past the proposal stage, ect. Can anyone shed more light on Shatterzone's kinship to SW? Is it obvious which concepts and story ideas might have once been proposed for earlier iterations of the SW universe before it was decided by Lucasfilms to go in a different direction? Does Shatterzone manage to use these concepts and ideas as springboard for eventually managing to take on an identity of it's own (similar to how Dennis L. McKiernan's Mithgar started out conceptually as a sequel to Lord of the Rings, was adapted try and be more original, and then reportedly managed to eventually grow beyond mimickery into a more original setting with it's own life). My final question is, can you make recommendations for which books give a feel for the overall campaign setting, that gives a good look into material that was cast away as SW material? Should I go with the setting guide, does the player handbook need to accompany it for the benefit of understanding both books, or is the re-print that combines them a better resource...or should I look in on the newer edition? Are there "Galaxy Guide"-type sourcebooks and suppliments that have a focus on areas that might be tied in to the SW connection? Keeping in mind I'm looking to survey Shatterzone as a receptacle for material that might have ended up in the SW RPG, yet ended up vetoed.
  3. Second Session My player took the time to ponder possible tactics and strategies for combat with the Battlepods; I also wanted to open up a little with their capabilities. Turns out this meant that we were both wanting to make combat more 3rd dimensional. So, for the follow up combat action with the Battlepods flooding out the Zendtraedi ship crashed in the middle of downtown Phoenix's tallest building, my player took his Gladiator-mode figher into a hover at a higher altitude. I was already thinking along those lines anyway, so I had one of the Battlepods leap up and fire. A brief exchange of fire followed, and my player missed on one of his combat rolls, which I interpreted as him not tracking the Battlepod after it hit the peak of it's jump arc and fell back down. While he was airborn, I had the Battlepods overrun the defenders position and move out into the city, trying to escape. The remainder of the session I was going to have him try and herd Battlepods away from more populated areas, or streets with a high volume of civilians evacuating; and maybe troubleshoot some of the problems that might arise from property damage (and ambulance gets boxed in by traffic and debris, needing a lift out so it can continue on it's way, stopping a bus from tumbling over the edge of a blasted gap in the freeway, ect.) but my player ended up running low on hit points, so I just let him deal with stopping a final trio of Battlepods from blowing out the crowded freeway and then had the Zendtraedi survivors surrender. I got myself confused over how to work the Zendtraedi attack on a freeway overpass, and spent time trying to figure out what kind of damage resistance a freeway is going to have. Now that I'm writing it down here, I'm thinking that maybe I could have just skipped trying to figure out the numbers and simple said that the Zendtraedi hit the freeway, and chaos ensued...and then let my player troubleshoot solving the crises mentioned above. Missed opportunity, but hopefully something I'll remember for the near future. As my player's Veritech fighter got so low on hit points, I took the opportunity to make use of combat option rules for the significant vehicle damage. I didn't have any of the D6 rulebooks, as I've been mainly relying on the the notebook/scrapbook that contains all my extensive cross-genre notes for D6 rules and options. I also had the old Palladium Robotech RPG book, for reference to the non-crunchy capabilities of Veritechs and other RT vehicles, because I wanted to the keep the character write-up simplified; the Robotech book is also a very thin paperback making for light weight access. The Robotech book had vehicle damage options, on a percentage-roll chart; but since there were 10 options for additional damage options spread almost evenly anyway, I just went ahead and had him roll the D10. The roll indicated that the hit his Veritch received knocked out his video monitors, leaving him to rely on visuals only; so I ruled that this would effect his combat attack rolls by losing the +2 pip bonus, simulating the loss of the fighter's targeting aids. A side note regarding the extra dice: as much as I love D6 and even it's philosophy of just relying on easy to acquire 6-sided dice, I've played a fair amount of other games and I think maybe it's just in the nature of gamers to accumulate all those other funky dice in the course of all the other games they play. I must say that it is still nice to have the opportunity to make use of dice that I've had. My player has got into the spirit of things by digging out some of his own dice rather than relying on dice I've loaned him; it's subtle things like this that encourage me with non-verbalized feedback that he's coming ready to play. As I said, these playing sessions have been very short, so with the end of combat, my player took the Zendtraedi into military custody, and received orders to escort them to a holding area several miles south of the city. I had some fun with describing briefly how he meets up with other Robotech pilots escorting their own Zendtraedi prisoners and seeing the kind of battle damage they've been taking from sustain combat operations. My next playing session will pick up directly from that, with a much needed pit stop back at the base for a hasty patch-up of the damage and a weapons reload. This will be good, since he used up all his missles. I thought I would have fun with the idea that a quick patch up is not going to bring his fighters damage capacity back to full, as a source of suspense for what might happen next, even though I'm planning for the next session to be less combat heavy and more of a troubleshooting set of circumstances. That's all I've got off the top of my head for the write-up of this week's session. Next session will be Friday or Saturday night.
  4. Hey there, thanks for looking in on my thread here! I definitely agree, after just a short session of combat, I felt like the D6 mechanic (helped along by the MDC hit points from the old Palladiium because I was lazy and couldn't figure out the what the hull codes for the various mecha would be, particularly in relationship to each other) simulated rather nicely what I've seen in the TV series and read in the novels. I like and am fascinated by the Palladium Robotech books, and always find myself bemused by their production model. They are useful for visual reference, their broadstrokes adventure suggestions appeals to my type of mind for filling in a lot (a lot!) of the blanks, and it's interesting to get a look at alternative ways of viewing the Robotech saga (variations in the timeline, switching Tirol/Tyrol and Fantoma around, ect. As far as the Robotech Shadow Chronicles RPG goes, I can't speak towards it's ineffectiveness insofar as how it's mechanic works (or doesn't work! ), but good things can still come out of an object of disappointment, and I have had some positives come out of my manga-sized edition of RT: SC RPG. It doesn't seem as cut and paste as previous Rules and Sourcebooks, so I like seeing that Palladium's doing something new, even if it ends up not working. As with the other RT books, I keep it for visual reference, so I don't have to cue up my DVD of the Shadow Chronicles to get a look at how the Mospeada fleet-uniforms are innovated upon for the Shadow Chronicles sequence. Another good thing with The Shadow Chronicles RPG book was the text that dealt with the Haydonites, and a vastly different version of The Sentinels saga (I'm mainly familiar with the novels' version of The Sentinels Campaign). In order to process the alternative version of The Sentinels Campaign, I ended up writing out two extensive outlines, one of which was a totally what-if? timeline for exploring what might have happened if the Macross/REF crew multi-tasked with their fleet: chasing down the Robotech Masters while assisting in the defense of Earth, rather than going all in with the diplomatic mission to the RT Masters. Processing these alternative timelines helped to dislodge my brain from rigid concepts of how the Robotech saga as a whole "should" unfold, structurally. I don't have a definitive timeline down for the version of Robotech history happening in my game, but I do have some particulars that would clash with the official version of events. I'm going for a certain effect. The Army of the Southern Cross emerges in the gap between Macross and the Second Generation; with Anatole Leonard in charge, and the books and other supplimental material have emphasized that Field Marshall Leonard is a rabid Xenophobe. I thought that would tie in well with my sudden impulse to put the Robotech conflicts in the streets of my home city: in the wake of 9-11, there emerged a strong concern about illegal immigrants in my state, with a local county Sheriff carrying out raids throughout the city for illegal immigration. My own opinions aside, I could see the parallels as an opportunity to maybe look in on why or in what way Leonard was Xenophobic, was he simply a clever opportunist? Or did he believe idealogically that the Zendtraedi were a security threat to the safety of Earth and Humanity? Or was there a personal reason (tragedy?) for his extreme ways? I felt like I would put my Robotech game close to our contemporary time, or the very near immediate future; with some of our "real world" experience. This would allow the exploration of the parallels; Zendtraedi and illegal immigrants, FM Leonard and the local sheriff, 9-11 and Dolza's reign of Death before the SDF-1 knocked his fleet out of the sky. So, 9-11 happened, sometime prior to the coming of the SDF-1. I always liked the idea of the Global Civil War that was set aside with the coming of Zor's ship, so I made a nod to it by implying that long term events stemming from 9-11 lead to the near breakout of a Global War before the SDF-1 drew energy away from it. I deliberately did not nail down a timeframe for the rebuilding and reverse engineering of the Robotech ship, in an effort to not let the timeline get too far ahead of our real world time. And finally, rather than definitely establish the SDF-1 versus Zendtraedi conflict to 2 or more years, I worded my introduction to my player in a way that leaves the timing of the conflict ambiguous; so he could interpret it in his own head as a year or two, or a couple of months of fighting. Anecdotally, I didn't want to neglect the development of RT mecha that emerge for the Southern Cross era, and given how my own family has worked for years in helicopter production for the Apache, I thought it would be fun to use my knowledge of that company's production history and delve into it's production future for Robotechnology. And there was the AJACS Helicopter mecha from the Army of the Southern Cross, winking innocently at me from the book. I'm disregarding any source material about who is supposed to be making it; in my game, if I make it that far, it will be made here. I should tell you, when I was doing research to try and figure out the particulars of what mechanic I would use, and what my available options were, I did consult the RobotechX Forum site, which I have visited numerous times and will enjoy paying continued visits to it now and in the future. BTW, though, just to give you some feedback, I'm not having much luck with those links, with the exception of the one that leads to the RobotechX Forum site. I would definitely love to look at that stuff; though I don't know what feedback I could give specific to those items, I'm a terribly novice GM and roleplayer in general. Thanks again for looking in and commenting on my game concept. A general comment as well, the next gaming session opportunity won't be until at least Friday night, with no guarantee that I'll be able to post right away, I will be dead tired the day after. Happy roleplaying to everyone!
  5. So last night my player and I were able to run the game for at least 40 minutes (all sessions with this player will be short out of necessity). I had most of the character prepped for him, asking him to come up with a pilot callsign. I was surprise and amused that he picked, of all things, "Ace" which I chewed him out on, good humoredly, on the grounds that I couldn't imagine a more cliche callsign. This seemed to work out well, as he got online and googled callsigns to get ideas while I brainstormed out loud for him; he eventually settled with "Timezone" which I got the impression both of us were happier to go with. I also threw out a collection of names I came up with for the figher squadron he's filying with, we both settled on Wild Hunt as our favored option. And then we got into it for a mainly combat oriented playing session. The original series has the human-rebuilt ship successfully knock an armada of hostiles aliens out of the sky, and then the series cuts ahead a few years to show the reconstruction of Earth with the alien Zendtraedi as a dispossessed alien race learning to integrate with humans. I thought I would go back to the moment where that aliens all crash land, and show that although the battle ended for the SDF-1, all the local areas where the alien ships crashed around the globe had to be dealt with by military forces that didn't know what went on and so are defending any nearby populations from the Zendtraedi as they emerge, disorientated from their ships. For our game, had that ship crashed in the middle of downtown Phoenix, in the middle of the only really respectable collection of skyscrapers existed. As I played through the combat attacks I devised, I unconsciously came to a decision to not let repetition bog down combat. So, I knew that the character's squadron would be fired on, but I decided on the fly to set a limit of two attack that he would have to evade before getting his craft on the ground, north of the skyscrapers. Then, as the approached down the avenues between the skyscrapers, I again restricted myself to two attack to dodge, before he reached a good position where he could fire back on the ship and any enemy troops emerging from it; from the cover of the street running between skyscrapers. And that "rule of two" became my rule of thumb for making sure that the combat situation continued to change. I had in my notes something generic about needing to take out multiple anti-aircraft gun emplacements before the Zendtraedi emerged from their ship, but after dealing with two, I realized consciously what I had already been doing, and continued to the next phase of what the enemy units would do in combat; it felt right doing it that way. I did want to play up the fact that the Zendtraedi ship's crash landing had already knocked over some of the skyscrapers, so the immediate area was blanketed in a powderized debris fog, like what we saw footage of the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks (and the recent Man of Steel movie reminded me about). I included these conditions, to give the situation of these giant robots fighting each other a certain amount of real-world heft, gravitas and pathos, but not meaning for it to be overly grim. In the debriefing for the squadron, I included a mention that civilians had already been evacuated from the area, to avoid going too dark. I did have his commanding officer mention offhand rumors that music and human culture had disorientated the aliens, to give the player a chance to follow up on this option if he so chose. He didn't, but that's okay, because the combat went very well in the sense that it kept moving and the situation kept changing. I did initially think to use rules for smoke cover to simulate the cloud of debris hanging over the combat engagements, but I kept forgetting. At most, though, I just wanted that imagery in my player's mind for the surrounding environment; he didn't really seem notice and maybe just chocked it up to his and the enemy's Mecha having enhanced senses, such as heat sensors and target displays. It worked more smoothly for the first time use of the combat rules I used. There was one point early on during combat, my player was held up briefly trying to find where his Dodge skill was located. When I was doing the prep work for the game, I debated internally over the issue of having Dodge be a skill, with the RISUS approach of minimizing skills if they can be resonably assumed to be a component of a skill that contains it. When it came to actual gaming, having not made a determination, again I went with an on-the-fly that he should just roll his Combat skill, assuming that any skill at Dodge would have come hand-in-hand with whatever combat training the military had prepared him with. The combination of the D6 mechanic for rolling skill and combat actions while using the hit points from the original Robotech RPG worked exactly the way I wanted, I'm pleased to say. It really seemed to be along the lines of what the original TV showed: the human Veritechs tend to take out quite a lot of the enemy Mecha before the audience sees any one of the Veritech's bite the dust. Within the game, this plays out as the tension of seeing how the enemy units are whittling away at the player's own fighter-Mecha, without knowing how much longer he's going to have to sustain the engagement. I did hold back a little with the rolls I was getting; for some fluke-reason the dice I was using kept coming up with amazing to hit rolls...I was left wondering why they didn't work for me that well more than a year ago when I was using them as a player in someone else's game. I defied the dice, because it was getting distinctly out of the ordinary, I was angry with them for not giving me as good a set of rolls when I was playing as a player, and I didn't want to put off my own player because of a disproportional wave of bad luck while playing his first RPG in a while. Weird stuff. Ultimately, it seemed to go well. I had fun with it, though I was very nervous. I was happy that it seemed my player really got into it, was kept engaged.
  6. Great minds think alike! I had a brainstorm about that the other day. I promised myself that if I ever had a chance to play with GMing a Robotech game, I would involve the Flower of Life for their enigmatic, semi-mystical properties; inspired by The Sentinels novels (though perhaps making the Flowers more vague in what kind of effects they have on people and equipment). I had an image in my head of Khyron ingesting petals, as the novels suggest that he did; and with the Native American angle drifting around in my head at the same time, the two ideas floated towards each other to say hi. The Flowers of Life seemed to be wanting to be a catalyst for visions and dreams, and vision quests (I know it's cliched, so I will do further research into the cultures before I gravitate towards something that obvious). Another fun thing I came across while researching the particulars of the Reservations was a geographical feature call Shiprock and some intriguing Navajo legends that synchronized with story elements of Robotech further on in the timeline. Shiprock was a nesting place for giant Bird Monsters (like pterodactyls?), of which the adults were slain by a character called Monster Slayer because they ate humans and fed them to their young chicks. Monster Slayer then turned the adolescent Bird Monsters into an Owl and an Eagle, IIRC. This is a great set-up for when the Invid arrive, they could establish one of their regressive-evolutionary Genesis Pit experiments, and the legend would come alive again in the machinations of the Invids' alien transmutation science. "Number" Crunching. Regarding the broad strokes of writing up stats for characters and adversaries, I'm drawing some guidance from the RISUS system. The RISUS system has a useful philosophy that the basic stats of most people are going to be average (2D) with a handful of skills that they have quality training, and maybe one or two skills that they have at Professional Level. RISUS almost seems like a branch of D6; using the 2D for Average. I figure the human Robotech warriors will have combat and Mecha operation skills of at least trained, at most maybe a little above Professional level (a range between 3D and 4D+2). The Zendtraedi with have higher rating for their combat skills because they are lifelong warriors; that will be their advantage over the Human defenders (a range between 4D and a little above 5D). No need to go overboard with these numbers. Using the Palladium numbers for the "Hit Points" of the various Mecha, which is in keeping with what I had in mind anyway, the Zendtraedi Battlepods are sort of throwaway in terms of durability, compared to the humans Veritechs. The challenge that I will invite the player to take the initiative on (without stating it outright) is to provide him with opportunities to try and minimize mass slaughter of Zendtraedi just because it's easy when you get a hit on them. So, I'll give him a clue in a military briefing that if he plays music over his Mecha's loudspeakers, the Zendtraedi will become weak kneed, and easier to subdue without further violence. Should be interesting to see if he picks up on it and takes the initiative where the all the NPC's are skeptical and don't bother to take initiative (and maybe even give his character some "Are you crazy?" looks. Another challenge is that the Zendtraedi will initially be coming in large numbers, so he can't nail them all, and they can be instigating several emergency situations at once that need responding to, so we can see if my player will try to multi-task it, or see what problems he will prioritize and taking care of first. So right now, I'm still stick with the damage numbers for Palladium, and the roll-to-hit numbers from D6 Open and SW2ndR.
  7. An opportunity came up recently, when I met a willing potential player, to cobble together something of a Robotech game, using D6. I'm drawing some inspiration from the very generalized outline of the post-Apocalyptic setting that greets the SDF-1 when returning to Earth, with the Zendtraedi armada crashing down in the wake of their defeat in the face of Human Culture. I've been fascinated for years by the old RPG's broad strokes description of Earth's Reconstruction/Zendtraedi Malcontent uprising as a Texas Rangers or Wild West kind of thing. I also wanted to keep the gaming simple, because I've always had trouble as a GM, so focus on combat, less stressing about story emphasis to start with. Given the desire to throw my player into combat early, I found myself looking to the day the SDF-1 knocked the Zendtraedi out of the sky, and zoom in on one location that could reflect what was happening in parallel throughout the rest of the world. Naturally, to make it more "real" an impacting, I thought I would bring Robotech to where we live, Phoenix, Arizona (and even have fun with the political landscape that I've not been keen on). Since the SDF-1 has blown them out of the sky, it's up to the military bases already on the ground to deal with the Zendtraedi who are crash landing all over the place, and I thought I would have a Zendtraedi land in the middle of the city, and have those Veritechs and Battlepods tear into each other in the cityscape that I know so well. Of course, I could resist devising my home city's place in the unfolding narrative of where the Zendtraedi end up. There was mention in another Robotech sourcebook of how the old boundaries of Nation-States were gone, or changed. Coupling that with something my dad once said to me that I never understood about Native American Reservations, that these are in effect sovereign nations within the United States itself; which lead me to look up maps of these Reservations. With the idea of Native Americans taking advantage of the breakdown of the federal government by first providing asylum to refugee Zendtraedi, who later re-capture their weapons, equipment and Mecha, thus putting them in a position as a standing Army for those Reservations, and giving them more political standing. All of this is just meant to be in good fun, to examine what Robotech would look like when it's concepts are set in the American Southwest, with that Old West feel in some sense recaptured (of course, there will be some of that post-911 kind of realism mixed in, such as what I saw in the recent Man of Steel movie). I'm not casting the Native Americans as political adversaries or bad guys, mind, they will be sympathetic and empowered; with the Zendtraedi taking all of the military heat from the Robetech Defense Forces and even the fledgling Army of Southern Cross. The ASC is often associated with extreme Xenophobia, that would be great potential story material if I ever had my player having to deal with their treatment of the Zendtraedi, down the road. Putting the ASC in Arizona also provides an opportunity to play with the parallels of my State's role in modern politics with regard to the controversies of illegal immigration; now the Zendtraedi are the focus of that kind of energy. As for the more number crunching game details, again I want to keep things simple. I'm using the D6 mechanic to resolve combat hits, and I'm just going to use Palladium's Hit Points and Weapon Damage to figure out how much damage my RDF player and the Zendtraedi he fights will cause each other. I'm hoping to have done some gaming inside of the next week or two, just thought I would share. D6 is not dead by any stretch of the imagination, for me.
  8. I know that some templates would have to be patterned off shipboard positions, and I figured a little bit of mysticism would be fun to play with. I was trying to think broadly outside the box, and I thought that the game's boundaries would establish themselves by regarding which templates are extreme beyond the intended scope of what is conceptualized for it. For what it's worth, I do think the airship angle would be more advanced that what is being looked for, and I do also think the Sea Devils and Mer-Folk are farther in the fantasy department that what are being looked for. Throwing them out there helps to define the boundaries of the game; I'm not strongly attached to the ideas. If I were running a game of it, I would use the ideas very sparingly at first, the way Indiana Jones holds back on it's fantastical elements except for brief glimpses a key points in a story line. Depending on how well it works would determine how much more or less I would use those elements as the game unfolds. Another example it makes me think of are the background elements of a show called Alias, which kept elements related to Rambaldi's (a historical figure who is basically some kind of Uber-Da Vinci) in the background to it's superspy conventions; the Rambaldi artifacts add a level of intrigue for the audience and kicks off whatever mission the characters are on, but the show is still basically about the superspy missions rather than those extraordinary artifacts. Regarding which variation of D6 to use, let me just say that periodically I've tried to find the rules for mini-D6, and it's all been a chase through dead-end links. I don't have any investment in a game that's going to be based on a rules set that is not properly linked and available on the internet. Go Adventure D6 with the appropriate system modifications (renamed stats and so forth) or else, someone please show how to access it without dead-end links. It's doesn't matter how good a system is; I frankly don't care about mini-D6 if it's going to remain so elusive, and it's not readily available to find without needing a 15D skill rating in Google Search. Lame.
  9. Depending on what what specific type of Star Trek, I see D6 is perfectly legitimate. Especially if it's patterned off the 2009 movie, which many fans have noted for how it's action, energy, and story beats echo Star Wars, while still managing to be Star Trek. I have the Coda system version of ST, which I read with an eye out for the simplest aspects of game mechanics that parallel D6's most functional components (meaning I looked for difficulty or challenge ratings, and qualifiers for character stat numbers). It seemed to cover quite a lot of ground in the sense of being able to be used to play in TOS and everything in TNG's time period. It also had helpful template details for character construction, with Starfleet career paths (and ideas for characters outside Starfleet). Off the top of my head, it might be fun to cannibalize the surface structure (stats, skill names, career skill organization) and graft D6 numbers onto it. I bet that would be a fairly easy hack. Simple answer to the original question though, yeah, D6 would work very well, I imagine. It's simplicity, flexibility and modularity makes it a winner every time over any other system. Bring on ST D6!
  10. Sure! The Sea Devils are of a race of sentient reptiles who were the civilization before Humans. They're a bit like a humanoid Sea Turtle, without a shell. Within the context of Doctor Who they were an adversarial alien race with a twist: they weren't aliens, they were Earthlings, just like us; so they were just as entitled to claim the planet Earth as theirs as we do. The Sea Devils were the ocean dwelling branch of these Earth Reptiles, the whole race when into a controlled sleep or hibernation for millenia when the Earth was threatened with a cataclysm (either the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, which they existed alongside; or they thought the moon was going to crash with the Earth rather than settle into orbit around it). But their alarm clock never woke the species up after all was clear; sometimes their individual bunkers are disturbed and a tribe will be awakened individually. Some branches of the Earth Reptiles have a Third Eye, and the telekinetic powers they display are remembered by humans through race conscious memories, manifesting in human legends and mythologies. The bit about worshipping Dagon isn't in the TV series, but it's an embellishment from DW novels that played with blending elements of H.P. Lovecraft's fiction into the DW setting. The details above can easily be played with to make them more individualized for the specific setting cooked up here. They reminded me of a race of snake-men from Conan/Kull short stories, which I believe also crossed over with Lovecraft's stories (or could be perceived to cross over), a primordial race of beings whose empires and civilizations pre-date Humanity's history and civilization. I threw in the Sea Devils and the Mer-Folk, and even Aqua-Men types as way to give the High Seas adventure scenario the option of working 3 dimensionally; so not only can adventures take place on the sea and dry land, they can also take place on the ocean's floor. It occurred to me just now that this leaves room for speculating about adventures in the sky as well (unless that's too far from initial concept), especially if someone likes the idea of playing a Parrot as the ship's mascot. Maybe Da Vinci's flying machines work, or were adapted so that they eventually did work.
  11. Thanks! Yeah, I think witch doctor was more what I was going for, that sounds much better. The shaman/witch doctor and priestess are for GM's who want to have it be low fantasy, the Fallen Star idea (I was trying to really think outside the box as much as I could here) for kicking it up into high fantasy. The underwater dwellers would be great for a twist on that trope of finding exploring a Lost City, which has ended up at the bottom of the sea (where it once was above land; or maybe always was an underwater city). Having slept on it for a few hours, the one character type I can think of is a Prize Fighter type, based on Robert E. Howard's Sailor/Boxer character, Steve Costigan I think, who always gets roped into some kind of boxing match while he's in port, sometimes in the ring, sometimes just on the street; he tends not to fight with a sword, but he's so formidable with just his two fists! I also thought of a Dock Worker type, a land dweller who has extensive interaction with sea faring types (and if necessary can also have a back story that has run him off dry land, but would still have lots of street level contacts and be quite strong because of loading work). One note, some of these character templates feel like they're wanting or needing psychological issues (not to complicate play, per se, even though it will, but to add flavor). I often get the sense that characters in these types of stories are out of their ever-loving minds, and that seems like something fun to play with from a roleplaying standpoint
  12. What kind of template concepts would work well for this? There are a lot of generic versions of sailor/adventurers, starting with your basic, generic Sailor (some specialized variations may be Cabin Boy or Boarder). Explorer, such as Sir Walter Raleigh (this template would be more scholarly, a cartographer; also with experience navigating the politics of a king or queen's court). Disgraced Naval Officer. Mercenary (who knows how to fight, but not necessarily how to sail very well). A rescued Castaway (after being marooned alone on a small island, he's an excellent survivalist, but with some psychological damage). An Impoverish or Disposessed Lord (chasing after the other half of the treasure that helped establish his family; legend tells that the other half was lost, or something). An Outlawed Colonist (the colony was supposed to be a fresh start, but that persistent tendency for rough play blew it, there's no where else to go in civilized society). It might be an interesting challenge to see if worthy templates can be created to entice a Player into wanting to play The Parrot or Dog or Ship's Mascot as a PC. Tribal Warrior (who now journeys alongside the rest of the crew, having left in tribe. On the mystical side of things, a Tribal Shaman or a Priestess (or a Voodoo Priestess, don't know if that's historically accurate or appropriate? Forgive me my ignorance.), or maybe a Fallen Star (like from Stardust or Voyage of the Dawn Treader), depending on how far you want to push the fantasy elements. Depending on how wildly a GM wants to diverge from a Humans Only type of game, have a template for something like the Sea Devils from Doctor Who. Their able to survive on land and underwater, and worship some powerful great Old One like Dagon as their god. An option to include or exclude, depending on GM preference. Admittedly, my impression of this setting is Humans Only. Or some type of Mer-person. Alternatively, there's a character from the old Star Wars Marvel comics that is an underwater dweller who is humanoid, who wears diver-type equipment (it looks that way visually) when he's on dry land, the opposite of us.
  13. Oh, I'm flattered to have my post spin off into it's own thread, thanks barrataria (I'm probably getting unduly excited, it's never happened before). I confess, I hadn't given much thought to issues of keeping track of damage, even for the regular player characters (early generic monster encounters speak for themselves as a simplistic game play house rule). I bounce back and forth, D&D's hit points, or SW wound levels. I like the notion of hit points in keeping with D&D (because the work I've done with conversions is specifically meant to be thought of as D&D, just using the D6 engine), yet the wound points would be easier to keep consistent with the overall system of D6 (most specifically SW D6, I haven't delved into alternative rules offered in that wonderfully modular D6 Core book). Totally at random, after posting on the issue of armor in the other topic, I scrounged around for the ol' D&D Player Handbook and flipped around, armed with my D6 Gaming composition notebook (devoted exclusively to collecting D6 conversion notes for all sorts of games for D6), and investigated the nature of duplicating the illusion of D&D's level-up system, puzzling through the possible options of how experience points are built up, how skills are ramped up, and where the level-advancement component could be added on. I have the bare bones thoughts, and it was fun to play with that. I would say that I wing it, and pray that it works. I have a side-by-side comparison of how the difficulty levels are qualified in D20 and D6 for on-the-fly comparison, with a note below (probably from the first printing of SW D20 suggesting add 5 to a D20 number to get a roughly approximate D6 equivalent. The D20 chart only had a single number, such as 10 is an average-level challenge; whereas D6 provides a range of numbers, so 11-15 is "Moderate" (and moderate sounds sort of like average). The only innovation I did is add a third column providing a range of numbers from the D20 codes, so an Average challenge ranges 10-14, and I can see in the neighboring column that 15 is where the challenge codes have made the jump to a "Tough" challenge. I'm a little embarrassed and proud of my kludge, all at once (I also like using the word kludge, and using it to describe what I've created; it's more "romantic" than calling it a Frankenstein game, I worry about aesthetic distinctions like this! ). I've drawn on a lot of surface details for making it resemble D&D, even to the point of keeping the old classic line-up of stats (STR, DEX, WIS, CHA, ect) but occasionally, some things have to change. When I looked through the skill set, and observed that Awareness/Perception type skills are dispersed and attached to attributes that I was absolutely baffled by, I came to the conclusion that I was definitely going to add to the classic Attributes a new one called Perception or Awareness, under which sensory and observational skill would be swept into. If nothing else, for the sake of my sanity! This is one of the delights I came across when I registered what the general D6 core book had to offer, when it showed me how modular and easy it is to play with and modify certain things, the systems potential unfolded its exponential possibilities in a beautifully vast kind of way; this was a magic, transcendent moment for me. And I realized it when the D6 core book talked about creating a personalized line-up of Attributes, not hindered by any game, as they were needed by me and the game I was constructing. And then I realized that any skill that I needed could be added or subtracted. And I had numbers for how good a character was at anything, and numbers for how difficult a task was, and guidelines for different scales of interaction (human to Death Star) which suggested to me that I could work out G.I. Joe, Transformers, Robotech, Masters of the Universe...and D&D. It was like being a kid and building a War-campaign for The Ancient Art of War, only so much more comprehensive; the game offering itself to me, to make my own. Transcendent, awe-inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to read about my insanity. I'll come back to the critters and the hit point/wound points, hopefully soon.
  14. I tinkered a little with trying to adapt a rough translation of 3rd edition D20 Dungeons and Dragons to D6, so that I could play D&D using the D6 system (Eberron in particular). It's a serious kludge though, an eclectic compilation of notes with some translations that I did using the Star Wars D20 translation suggestions, coupled with hastily copied notes from the Fantasy D6 corebook. I only realized how weird it was when I did a comparison of D6 Fantasy's Orc with my own homemade translation; the D6 Fantasy Orc seemed comparatively dangerous. I've never tried to play it, because I never have anyone to run the game for anyway. If I had to do any adaptations on the fly, I can use the standby that seemed like a consistent rule of thumb: a number from D20 can be translated by dividing it by 3, the resulting number is the Die code with the remainder as the pips. This is a long winded preamble, sorry for the ramble. I do have a side-by-side of the D20 Armor Bonus's and the D6 Armor Values (which I'm pretty sure are from D6 Fantasy) and the eyeballing the translation says that some of the numbers are kind of close, and here and there they get weird. To be honest, the serious number crunching is hard for me to engage with. If I got into actual game play, I would start out by throwing some generic Orc encounters at the players and playtest my way through the game play. My rule of thumb for early combat encounters would be something Star Wars-like; the Orcs are like Stormtroopers, you hit them with your weapon and they'll go down; if the players get hit, then I'll see if the Armor Ratings are going to work okay and how much damage gets through. Sorry if that's a bit of a non-answer, I know the nature of my approach to adapting the system to Fantasy is haphazard. I just wanted to keep things as simple as I could; it's why I like the D6 system so much.
  15. I picked up this new Marvel Superheroes RPG for a number of reasons. For one thing, my life feels saturated by enthusiasm for all things Marvel. The cable channels are running all of the movies based on individuals superheroes that feed into the Avengers movie. I joined my dad watching the second half of Iron Man (which I've seen a couple of times and like very much); and my whole family caught the Captain America movie which we all liked as a period piece for WWII action. I've already seen the Avengers, and Captain America helped to fill in a gap I was missing. And the bookstore I frequent put the new Marvel RPG out. So naturally, in a Marvel mood, I picked it up out of curiosity. I picked it up, flipped through it, and couldn't get my head around it. The only recognizable thing I could pick out was the dice pool, but all the details involved in a simple roll scared the hell out of me! I set it back on the shelf. This pattern of visiting the bookstore, picking the RPG up, and setting it back, persisted in repeating itself a couple of times; while the Marvel fever built up and took hold. I caved in and bought it after I spent one occasion flipping back and forth throughout the book for an hour or more. I guess part of the desire for it is the challenge to understand the system, which is wildly imaginative compared to what I like best about my old (and continued) favorite, the D6 system, which is nicely concrete and straightforward. Bouncing around the pages trying to find D6 basic equivalents thrilled and infuriated my ADHD brain, but I didn't find the two core charts I had hoped for: one that describes what the numbers for character attributes mean for power/competence level, and the other that codifies the difficulty numbers. These two things are the first things I hunt for in any new RPG system I try to understand, and it comes from Star Wars D6. Another part of the reason I ended up getting the Marvel RPG was something that happened when I was looking through the character write-ups, and rather than thinking about Marvel superheroes, my mind thought that the organization of the characers and the nature of the powers and skills could make for an interesting translation of Masters of the Universe, one of the many homemade game projects I want to jury rig an existing RPG system for. My default is still D6, but the Marvel game suggests some wild possibilities. For a day or so now, I've been taking my time bouncing around the pages of the manual, absorbing bits of the organizational structure by osmosis a little bit at a time. Today I bit the bullet and ran painstakingly through the description of the mechanics of the dice pool. I had to go slow, and digest each step meticulously. Then I went a little further, reading through how plot points work. I had to stop for the day, for fear of overloading my brain and loosing the details of the actual dice pool rolling. It's frustrating seeing so many fiddly quirks, and three things that look similar in that section: Add Basic D6 Push, Add a Stunt Die, Add an Extra Die to Your Total. I can feel my brain hurting...ouch, ouch, ouch. When I learn it, I'll bet it will be fun. But how painful will it be to process the ins and outs of the system. It is so wildly non-concrete, at least in my point of view. A few random curiosities I've not seen anyone mention when talking about the book: so far, I have no idea how to write up the details of vehicles; and I'm shocked by the lack of major iconic villains. There's a whole slew of villainous characters provided that are Marvel "flavored" just none of the iconic ones. If I want Magneto or Green Goblin or Doctor Doom I have to make them myself. If I want Venom, I would have to reverse-engineer Carnage. It might be easy, it looks like it could very well be very easy, yet it's still so odd.
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