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Ultimate Spider-Man #1-3 Review

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 21:10
When the Ultimate Universe was announced to be relaunched I was initially excited about a new Marvel universe free from the overwhelming number of series the major heroes have these…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

NerdStop #40 – The Marvelous Return to Form – Ranking Every MCU Movie

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 20:07
In this weeks (extremely late) episode, Seamus and Lucas revisit the Marvel Tier list to give they’re updated rankings and reviews! Join our Discord channel to chat with the hosts…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WADE WILSON GOES GUNS BLAZING AGAINST A NEW ENEMY THE DEADPOOL #1 COMIC BOOK TRAILER!

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 19:38
Cody Ziglar and Rogê Antônio’s new DEADPOOL #1 is on sale now! New York, NY— April 3, 2024 — Just ahead of the character’s highly anticipated return to the big…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

EXPLORE THE DARK SIDE IN “STAR WARS: VADER’S CASTLE–THE DELUXE LIBRARY COLLECTION”

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 19:31
  Revisit the scariest place in the galaxy with this comprehensive collection from Dark Horse Books! MILWAUKIE, Ore., (April 3, 2024)— Horror comes to a galaxy far, far away in Star…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Is AD&D missing part of the charge rule?

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 19:24

This is what I care about. The cavalry charge. I imagine countless people playing D&D for decades and never running a real charge. This creates a black pit within my soul.

Charging gets a great deal of attention within the fatigue rules. Positioning your troops properly and then determining whether to wait or not is suddenly a nontrivial decision. D&D rules universally lack this bit of modeling.

When I played this before, the charge rule resulted in the cavalry unit being out of play once it was committed. My question now is… was this rule intended to create a situation where cavalry repeatedly melees fatigued infantry within a single turn? I have to know!

And lo, the rules are explicit. If the morale difference is 0-19, the charge ends AND melee continues. If it’s 20-99, there is a good chance that there will be more melee as the cavalry completes its charge. Yeah, this is really cool.

AD&D ought to adjudicate charges in a similar manner. With that rule set, check morale. If the target falls back, and additional charge movement remains, allow a follow-melee round with the now panicked figures.

But note that AD&D is complicated by the presence of the rules for overbearing.

The exact order of events in an AD&D charge would probably be something like this:

  1. Weapon length will determine first attack. This will probably be the charging cavalry’s lances.
  2. Figures are removed for the kills resulting in #1. The remaining defenders may attempt to fend off the overbear attack of the cavalry.
  3. The cavalry that were not fended off now make their overbear attacks.
  4. The defenders now make their spear (or whatever) attacks.
  5. Morale is checked here… and if the defenders fall back and also the cavalry has sufficient charge movement remaining, then an additional set of attacks is made.
  6. If the defenders made their morale check, then the two groups remain in contact for the following combat round with the horses making kick and bite attacks then.

Other scenarios are possible and this is just to illustrate the general idea.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Torchwood: Disco – Coming Soon from Big Finish

Blogtor Who - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 19:00
Torchwood’s Ianto trilogy concludes with Disco as Ianto steps back in time, Kylie style, to uncover family secrets

Ever since Ianto Jones first mentioned his troubled relationship with his father in the Torchwood TV series, fans have wondered what exactly went on between the two. Those questions will finally be answered in Disco, May’s instalment of Big Finish’s monthly range of Torchwood audio plays.

It stars Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto, alongside Rhys ap Trefor as “Disco” Jones, his father. It’s the third instalment in a trilogy of Torchwood releases written by David-Lloyd, all of which explore important points in Ianto’s life before he joined Torchwood Three in Cardiff.

Producer James Goss said:Disco is a remarkable play. Gareth David-Lloyd tells the story that Torchwood fans have always wanted to know – what’s up with Ianto’s dad? The answer is joyous and sad. Torchwood at its best takes a classic idea and does something unexpected with it. This is a time travel story about two blokes building a literal fence. It’s an epic about the web of time but there’s also dancing, darts, and a trip down the dole.

“Honestly, Disco is magnificent, and Gareth deserves to win all the awards for it.”

 

Torchwood: Disco. Cover by Sean Longmore (c) Big Finish Torchwood: Disco

It’s 1987 and “Disco” Jones is still dancing. Life and soul, bab, life and soul. Wednesdays is darts at The Merry Miller, Thursdays – shove ha’penny at The Boilermakers, Fridays played by ear, and Saturdays it’s the Disco at Cinderella’s.    

So who is Tom and why does he want to build a fence with him? 

Big Finish listeners can pre-order Disco as part of a six-release Torchwood – Monthly Range bundle, for just £60 (collector’s edition CD + download) or £50 (download only). A 12-release bundle is also available for just £110 (collector’s edition CD + download) or £96 (download only).

The post Torchwood: Disco – Coming Soon from Big Finish appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

The World of Warcraft Marketplace: A Guide to In-Game Purchases

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 17:45
World of Warcraft (WoW) has been a titan in the gaming industry for over a decade, and a significant part of its success lies in the vibrant in-game marketplace. Whether…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

A RADIOACTIVE REVEAL – FRANCISCO FRANCAVILLA’S CORROSIVE COVER FOR TOXIC SUMMER #1– ON SALE MAY 1st!

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 17:39
PLUS: A GLANCE INSIDE DEREK CHARM’S TOXIC SUMMER #1! VARIANT COVER (1:20) by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA PORTLAND, OR (April 3rd, 2024)– Oni Press, the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publisher of…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

JIM VISCARDI JOINS IMAGE COMICS AS VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 17:36
PORTLAND, Ore. 04/03/2024 — Image Comics welcomes a new head of Business Development, Jim Viscardi. Jim Viscardi is now VP of Business Development at Image Comics, effective immediately. He will oversee…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

JUAN DÍAZ CANALES AND JUANJO GUARNIDO’S AWARD-WINNING SERIES CONTINUES IN BLACKSAD: THEY ALL FALL DOWN • PART TWO

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 17:34
  Blacksad is back in action! MILWAUKIE, Ore., (April 3, 2024)—  Following Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s Eisner- and Harvey Award-winning Blacksad: They All Fall Down • Part One, published…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

GHOST MACHINE AND COMICS ON COFFEE SIGN LICENSING DEAL

First Comics News - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 15:09
Celebrate “Ghost Machine Day” with a tasty cup of “Ghost Roast” while reading an all-new ongoing GEIGER series as well as first issues of REDCOAT and ROOK: EXODUS LOS ANGELES,…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Caron Crochet Hair Bandana: Free Pattern and Tutorial

Moogly - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 15:00

The Caron Crochet Hair Bandana pattern is quick, fun, and fashionable - a great one skein project for all skill levels! Watch and learn how to make your own easy crochet hair accessory with the links and video below! Disclaimer: Materials and video provided by Yarnspirations; this post includes affiliate links. Get The Free Pattern...

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Categories: Crochet Life

O is for Organization

The Splintered Realm - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 12:41

Okay, I’ve set up my purpose… let’s talk about organization. I know that it’s a long-form graphic novel, so that’s kind of done. But, on the micro level, we’ve got the page. 

Aye, there’s the rub.


I’ve got two sorts of extreme opposites in my head. At one extreme is the manga ideal - the page has 2-3 panels on it, and you keep turning pages. At the other far end is the Prince Valiant model - a page is this meticulous, densely-packed wonderland of rich detail. A third force playing upon my mind, and which is sort of hard-wired in there now, is the Barks model of top and bottom tiers, with a default of six panels per tier. You end up with these huge pages with lots of moving parts, and stories that have a breathiness to them, but also this incredible pace.


The Barks model is the most restrictive - part of the creative challenge is how you tell stories and find variety within this framework. It’s sort of the same creative challenge as creating a four-panel comic strip; you always have these four panels to work in. It’s part of what made Calvin and Hobbes so wondrous - he forced himself to work within the approved formats (which are quite restrictive), and Watterson still did these incredible flights of fancy and departures from what’s come before, even though he never messed with the basic structure of the thing.


All have positives. Going back to my purpose: I want to spend time in the story and let readers linger in it. The idea of only a few panels per page is out - goodbye Anime-inspiration. 


But the default assumption - that I at least want the opportunity for this thing to grow and evolve and become something huge - means that I am best suited to leaving the structure fairly open-ended at this point in regards to comic pages. In short, I’m going to go with the standard comic book page format - it’s a blank 2x3 area that I fill with the story as it best fits. This might be splash pages, or it might mean fifteen tiny panels. 


The macro then (in terms of organization) becomes the length of the thing. I have frequently, and much to my chagrin, obsessed over page counts. I have spent far too much time and energy trying to determine the ‘ideal’ page count for a chapter, story, novel… I start thinking in numbers, which is never great. I suddenly think about organizing in 10 chapters of 16 pages each, every three chapters serving as a story arc, the first chapter as a prelude, and the entire text fitting neatly into 160 pages (which would be perfect as a physical book - let’s go on Lulu and start designing the book right now).


Oh, that cart should be BEHIND the horse. Silly me.


Back to Dave Sim. I had SUCH deep admiration for his ability to say around issue 50 that he’s going to go for 300 issues, and that each is going to be exactly 20 pages, and then to actually DO that. Just remarkable.


I cannot do that. I’d love to. Not me.


I was in Barnes and Noble the other night, and was flipping through the collected Jeff Smith’s Bone. I mean, that’s basically what I intend to do (or thereabouts). Full disclosure: I’ve never read much Bone (I think I have read maybe 10 issues). It would be worth grabbing a copy and reading it to see what he is up to, and at least make sure I don’t outright plagiarize without meaning to.


However, I could see his technique in ways I could not when I was looking at his books 20 years ago (wow… it’s been a while). It was much looser and simpler than I remembered - I could see how his process probably worked - and he was ripping through pages. I would be willing to bet he rarely did more than a rough cut of backgrounds, and then went right to town with his pen. He relies very heavily on silhouettes and bold lines… it’s a very stark black and white, while my art has evolved into this grayscale hybrid thing that I’m not sure what it looks like anymore. I also see how getting the most out of simple tools (a stylus on my beat up old Surface Pro and Microsoft Paint that keeps getting worse instead of better with each update - seriously, just go back two updates and leave it that way forever).


So I tried that - if I spent about an hour on a page, would I be able to come up with something I was satisfied with? Here’s what I ended up with (showing my process of blocking in the basic shapes and then going right to fills and gray washes). This isn’t done - I still have some dialogue to add and might spend a few more minutes throwing in some noodly work, but it’s pretty far along.









Sinless in print

Hack & Slash - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 12:30

 So, Sinless is in print



That's not all. 

You get assets, and you can use them to do things. Like Morgana.


You're smart. You have seen an action movie. Someone knows an explosive guy, and then Jean Reno walks on, and the pyrotechnics guy has some explosion go off at 1/200th the actual speed—This is that.

Each asset provides an ability for both the sector phase (downtime) and operations (the adventures). You don't actually have to pay them; you just have to own the relevant infrastructure in a sector to support them. There's not really any upkeep that isn't gameplay. 

An Example Sector.
You could use this exact sheet.

You get 1 or 2 at character creation, and every Sector phase, you get 3 random new ones that are available for hire. 

And like, Holy shit guys. They are actual people that exist within the framework of play. It's great! 

Be friends with one, and reduce their upkeep. Shoot one you don't like in the head! (I mean, or not. That's *astoundingly* violent.)


Oh, and the tools. 

We're making a mission generator. And character creator. 

The open sandbox nature of the campaigns means that it has to be easy for Agonarch (Gamemaster, you get the idea) to make a 'volume' of these for a living world. It answers all the questions characters will ask, simplifying, prepping, and running games. 

Don't get the wrong idea. "Volume," in this case, is probably 4 to start, and a new one every week or two. But a pushbutton tool that organizes your sectors for you? This sounds complicated, but, uh, the reality is it's mechanized random tables, along with a simple interface to store the information. 

We're not inventing the wheel here—we all know too many "Eye in the, is it sky? Pie?" Like, clearly before refined sugar was pumped into every food, the pie must have been a more significant cultural touchstone. 

The point is, at dinner, my eyes are the right size. 

It's working now. We're making it work better. So this is a real thing that's happening.


Now that the book is in print and people are starting campaigns, we are playtesting the starter adventure "Billionaire Bounty." It is about an extradimensional invasion that causes a city in the Midwest, near a great lake, to become sealed off from the outside world. You have to hunt, help, rob, or bully a dozen billionaires who would rather be somewhere else. 

. . .

It is, of course, structured like B1, in search of the unknown. In the sense that not only is it a great campaign starter, it's also a tool to explain how to manage the particulars of setup and play in Sinless. We'll be kickstarting that in a few weeks, closer to the completion of the asset cards.

Oh, I can show you pictures of it in people's happy hands!

This is not my hand.

I would write longer, but this is as long as people will read! More soon. It's not like there's an actual paywall if you're interested. The whole book is on preview.

You can ask questions, get errata, or chat on the official forum:  https://forum.sinlessrpg.com/index.php

Get your own copy:  https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/product/472142/Sinless

Hack & Slash 

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Slave-drones of the Fantas-ti-Plex

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 11:11
By Steve Bean Shield of Faith Studios DCC/Unamerican - and a major reskin at that Level 0

WELCOME TO THE FANTAS-TI-PLEX! A lovely underground dystopian complex ruled by the ever beneficent Autocrat. Here all drones live in peace and prosperity, because the Autocrat says so. I mean, why would any of the drones doubt him, EVER. It is a perfect place to barely live and no one would EVER want to leave, right?

As I work through my wishlist you gotta take the bad lumps to get to the things you were hoping for …

This forty page adventure attempts to marry Paranoia to … Logans Run? Or MCC/DCC? Bureaucracy, a surveillance state, that Paranoia vibe, combined with some post-apoc vibes. It’s also VERY loosy goosy with what’s going on, to the extent that one might argue that there is NOT an adventure here, but rather a few ideas that the DM could use to string together to make an adventure. And that’s on purpose.

Logan’s Run! That’s my fav of all time! “There is no sanctuary!” is a mantra for all time! And Paranoia! That was a great game! And post-apoc! I love post apoc! And DCC is great! I’m gonna love this! Well … there’s not much, if any, Logan’s Run. I guess you’re inside and there are clones. But, that kind of describes Paranoia. And this is absolutely a reskinned Paranoia, with mutants, secret societies, and that Brazilesque bureaucracy. It’s an overseer now, instead of Friend Computer. But the chants, tone, and demeanor are all Paranoia. The system is DCC< with the clones taking the place instead of multiple level 0 funnel characters. And, once you break out of the complex that is definitely not Alpha, you get to a post-apoc world, all THX-1138 style, and thus you’re now in the Unamerican setting. I’m not going to cover much of the tone or the reskin. It’s the same tone as the early Paranoia adventures, or just a tad more to the Zany side of things.

The start is full of mountains of read-aloud in italics. A mighty disgorgement of information. That no sane player is going to sit through or pay attention to. But, that’s not the worst of things.

There are five locations here. Which means there are five scenes, of sorts  … including the traditional briefing room scene. But, more than that, those five scenes, which are actually locations, take place on about six pages of text. The rest of the forty pages is taken up with the Paranoia setting reskin, mutations, secret societies, etc. Those locations present a short scene. A set up/environment, if you will, for other things to take place. You are characters in a game show at one point. These little scenes … I hesitate to call them scenes. They are more Places Where Things Can Happen, serve as a backdrop. A few pages of the adventure contain Things That Can Happen, or, perhaps more accurately, Zany Robot and Friend Computer Things That Can Happen. They are some rough guidelines for how to use the various robot types, and such, to cause problems for the characters. Thus if you are in the SToreroom location then the DM can theme the Filebot to that location, and if you are in the Game SHow location then you can theme it to that location. Not much guidance on the theming aspect, by the way. This is how we get to, say, fifteen pages of “Adventure” in a forty page booklet that allows for about six pages of Location. 

So, you are almost exclusively doing improv. And, yes, there’s a bit of improv in every adventure. But as the main treat? With, of course, lots of advice to drop things in when there is a lull or stop when things get tiresome. This is an activity, not a game. And, as such, I deem thee Not An RPG Adventure. 

I will note that, in the first real location, you get some clones bound up with duct tape to chairs in front of monitors. One has a live grenade wedged in him. One is an annoying shit. One is competent, and one is an imposter robot. Cure little setup, and one of the most solid of the bunch.

I understand that I am working on razor thin definitions of Game, but, I leave unanswered the elephant: Can Paranoia be a game, and, thusly, do I judge harshly on criteria unbecoming? Nay, nay! I say! For even in an activity we can ground our scenes more and make them more use friendly. 

This is $4 at DriveThru. No preview. SUCK!

https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/product/256922/slave-drones-of-the-fantas-ti-plex-dcc?1892600

Yo, I also picked up “Outlying Farms”, a supplement about farms you might encounter. Two pages. Twelve farms/families. They come in a very terse outline, which is exactly how they should come. I wouldn’t buy it; there’s just no content here that I would find useful.

Lerana Scissorfinger
(she, felter, 40 yrs old)
AC: 9, HP: 3, Dmg: 1d4
Possessions: scissors, felt, 2d5 hats, pouch, 36 cp
Traits: sassy, fashionable, disorganized, tired
Motivations: sell hats, “they are a sign of station!”
Backstory: never married, always wanted to move
to Illis but it seemed impossible, will pay for escort
Family: Grigin (dog 6) & Nord (dog 3)

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: Fourth World Omnibus vol 2

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 11:00


Recently DC released The Fourth World Omnibus vol 2. This 1336 page, backbreaking tome is the companion to the equally voluminous volume 1. That volume covered most of Kirby's work on the Fourth World mythos. This volume picks up with the continuation of the characters in concepts by other hands: Gerber's Mister Miracle, Conway's New Gods revival, the Great Darkness Saga in Legion of Super-Heroes, and Kirby's return with Super Powers, and a lot of other stuff. A lot of it is, well, not that great but some things (like the Great Darkness Saga and the Justice League two-parter on Apokolips) are, and others are at least interesting.

Here's the full contents:  Mister Miracle #19-25; The New Gods #12-19; Adventure Comics #459-460; The Brave and the Bold #112, #128, and #138; DC Comics Presents #12; First Issue Special #13; Justice League of America #183-185; Legion of Super-Heroes #290-294; Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #3; Secret Society of Super-Villains #1-5; Super Powers #1-5; Super Powers (vol. 2) #1-6; Super Powers (vol. 3) #1-4; Super Powers Collection #13-23; Super-Team Family #15; and stories from DC Special Series #10 and Legion of Super-Heroes #287.

I'm not a thick omnibus reader myself, but I do like to see these handsome volumes sitting on my shelf while I read digital.

Bundle of Holding - KoDT TROUBLE 6 (KoDT BUNDLES OF TROUBLE #51-60)

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 04/03/2024 - 01:11

I really love my Knights of the Dinner Table. I still have the first 10 issues of KotDT, nearly as dog-eared as my original copies of Shadis Magazine. Damn! Those were the days ;)

I've learned to love digital comics, as they fit easily on my iPad, read really well, and I don't need a warehouse for storing boxes upon boxes of comics and graphic novels.

Reader, take note! This all-new KoDT Trouble 6 Bundle is one of two offers in progress featuring Jolly R. Blackburn's long-running comic about tabletop roleplaying, Knights of the Dinner Table from Kenzer & Company. If you're new to the Knights, start with our revived May 2018 Knights of the Dinner Bundle in progress. Then return here for this new "bundle of Bundles" with KoDT Bundle of Trouble compilations #51-60, collecting KoDT issues #179-218 (2011-2015). These Trouble-some collections make it easy to pull up a chair and enjoy the longest-running and most successful comic strip in RPG history.

For just US$19.95 you get all Ten Bundles of Trouble (retail value $130) as DRM-free comics, including Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble Vol. 51, V52, V53, V54, V55, V56, V57, V58, V59, and V60.

Remember to check this new offer's revived companion from May 2018, Knights of the Dinner Table, with the early issues and miniseries.


 

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. The Tavern DOES NOT do "Paid For" Articles and discloses personal connections to products and creators written about when applicable.

DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game... What Have We Here?

Graphite Prime - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 19:11

Strange how things happen...

A couple of weeks ago I dreamed of a comic shop. This one was tucked away, hidden like an adult video store, in the back of gas station, doorway complete with hanging beads, located in a more run down, but not necessarily seedy part of town. I don't often dream of comic shops, haven't in years, but when I do, they are always somewhat hidden. Two days later, another comic shop dream, another vaguely odd place, though I don't recall exactly where...

Why am I dreaming of comics?

These are hidden treasure dreams. Occasionally, in my youth, I would dream of amazing toy stores -- toy stores you could only dream about. Stores that had everything and then some -- awesome toys that didn't exist.

Then I stumbled across the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game, written by Matt Forbeck, published by Marvel. I had actually heard about it some time ago (months, a year?) and scanned a preview of how it works then promptly dismissed it. Marvel is long overdue for a good role-playing system, because over the years there have been nothing but duds. 

I can't remember what recently brought this game back to my attention (dreams aside) but I bought it on Amazon for about $30, which is approximately 45% off. So why not? Because, apparently, super-heroes are on my brain.

I've eternally searched for the perfect super-hero system. My two favorites, and I've stated this plenty of times, are the Marvel Super Heroes game (FASERIP system) from the 80's and Palladium's Heroes Unlimited, two utterly and completely different games.

Anyhow...

Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game is 320 pages, has a high quality binding, and is jammed full of quality, Marvel Comics art (of course I would've preferred art from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but, that ain't gonna happen.) The layout is good, but the pages have this subtle background hex-mesh (kind of like the stuff hero uniforms are made of in the movies) that threatens to annoy your eyes. A plain white background would've been better, then again, this might not bother younger eyes. Overall, it's a very nice book.

There is branding all over this thing. You have six abilities that spell MARVEL...

  • Melee -- hand-to-hand combat, including throwing
  • Agility -- acrobatics and most ranged attacks
  • Resilience -- your health
  • Vigilance -- your focus and initiative
  • Ego -- magic, leadership, psychic powers
  • Logic -- reasoning and telepathic powers

Notice that there is some blurring between melee and agility, and between ego and logic. Are telepathic powers not psychic powers? This will certainly lead to arguments. Each power states what ability to use and some powers don't require a roll.
Also notice, there is no strength stat. In this game strength is a super power, or rather, a set of super powers (they could have added strength at the bottom and had the stats spell MARVELS.) Stats are ranked from -3 to 9. Average citizens have all 0s. Nowhere is this book are there metrics given for how much your character can lift in actual lbs./tons. I've never seen this before in a super-hero game. Super strength here is kept vague. 
Characters are ranked in power level from 1-6; average citizens, Hand Ninjas*, and Hydra Agents* are rank 1, Hela and Magneto are rank 6. Spiderman(Peter Parker) and Captain America are both rank 4. If you're a fan, Miles Morales is rank 3. Daredevil and Elektra are both rank 2. 
*Hydra Agents are actually tougher (more health) than Hand Ninjas (same health as Aunt May!) -- something I find unbelievably bizarre. I'm sure the author is trying to set up scenes of Daredevil or Wolverine plowing through ninja-hordes, but in my mind, one Hand Ninja would slaughter several Hydra Agents... easily. Debates on the accuracy of character stats can be found on various forums -- this is inevitable for such a game. (Since when does Sam Wilson have super-strength?)

You have two hit point scores, Health and Focus, obviously physical and mental, which equal 30 times your Resilience and Vigilance, respectively (though Focus functions as a combo of physical and mental endurance.) A Resilience of 3 gives you 90 Health and a Vigilance of 5 gives you 150 Focus. Using some powers requires you to spend Focus. 0 Health equals unconscious while negative Health equals dead (thankfully they didn't shy away from death in this game, but then again, comic book death...) 0 Focus equals demoralized which means you can't use certain powers and you have the equivalent of disadvantage (here it is called trouble) on all rolls. Negative Focus equals shattered, meaning your will is completely broken, so not dead, but definitely taking a hiatus (perhaps your title got cancelled...)

Characters are built with a sort-of point buy system (yuck). Decide what rank your game will be and build heroes accordingly. Rank mainly decides how many powers/traits/ability-points you have and how much damage you do. Gaining ranks is handled vaguely, basically you rank-up whenever the Narrator (FASERIP's Judge was a better GM title, Narrator sends the wrong message to my ears) feels is reasonable, perhaps every 4-6 sessions (a graphic novel) but this would be far too fast. How do you explain a rank 1 rookie becoming a cosmic power in a matter of months? This isn't D&D. To the game's credit, it states that the official Marvel characters can't go any higher than they are and does sort-of warn against advancing your own too quickly. I would probably come up with some sort of system reminiscent of FASERIPs karma advancement. It would be very slow with plenty of limitations. Comic characters take years to change just a little bit. It is a curious genre that way. Almost all others RPG genres expect a fairly regular pace of improvement. Fighting crime is truly for the love of the game.

Your hero will be made up of the above mentioned stats plus an origin, occupation, tags, traits, and a multitude of powers. And by multitude, I mean multitude. Powers are built like feat trees, meaning certain powers have prerequisites, and those prerequisites have prerequisites. For example, in the super-speed category of powers, you can't take catch bullets until you take speed run 2 and your hero must be at least rank 3. Captain America's ability to punch someone with his shield is a power called shield-bash, so if you want to build a shield-bearer (this is a power set) you might want to start with shield-bash!

Power trees.

(Of note: Specific powers like penance stare exist in the game, but Daredevil's radar sense does not. Instead, his powers are summed up under the moniker of heightened senses. Nowhere on Daredevil's character sheet is radar sense even mentioned. Likewise, Psylocke's famous psi-blade is not mentioned either (not even in parenthesis.) This power uses the generic term of mental punch, a melee attack that damages Focus instead of Health and stuns on a fantastic success. I've never seen her psi-blade not stun someone, of course, I only recall ever seeing her stab targets through their skull, perhaps a psi-blade to the arm merely hurts.)

Origins nicely cover the usual tropes: Various Aliens, High Techs, Mutants, Monsters, etc. These give you certain tags, traits, and even powers (with some limitations) these are powers you must take before choosing any others, and sometimes, as with vampires and werewolves, these are the only powers you get.

Occupations offer more tags and traits, e.g., lawyer, entertainer, journalist, outsider, spy.

Tags are mere fluff descriptors like: mysterious, streetwise, rich, secret I.D., young, etc. These offer no mechanical benefits. 

  • But, they could... What if the hounded, hunted, and enemy tags meant that if you roll a fantastic failure (see below) or a new dice combo like triple 1s (1M1) members of an enemy organization or an arch-nemesis shows up to complicate your current situation? Or if you had the dependent tag, in the middle of the fight you find out a loved one is in danger somewhere else? Tags could have positive effects too if you roll a 6M6, such as allies arriving to help turn the tide (there is a backup tag.) This is what I would absolutely do.

Traits are like the old FASERIP talents which offer a slight edge to this or that roll. They sound just like tags though: iron will, loner, pundit, small, sneaky, etc.

Sample characters and sheets...



This is what Spiderman would look like if you created him yourself (on the right.) There would be a back page with the rest of his powers listed. See what I mean by a multitude of powers? BTW, there is a power-group of spider powers for people who love the spider-verse and wish to create their own spiderman (spider-verse book due out around the end of the year.)
Also, I would add an Action section to this character sheet. Everyone gets 1 standard action, 1 movement action, and 1 reaction. The trait combat reflexes gives you 1 additional reaction. It would be nice to see this at a glance. All powers fit into one of these action categories.
Most likely I'll be designing my own sheet.

Game Mechanics... Make or brake time. The stat block below is really the core of your character:

Of your 6 standard abilities, you can attack and do damage with 4 of them --melee, agility, ego, and logic. As already stated, resilience and vigilance set your health and focus. All 6 are important. All 6 also have a defense score, an armor class if you will, your score +10 + power bonuses. In melee combat, you roll against your targets melee defense. When shooting, you roll vs. their agility. Now, I love opposed rolls, but this is certainly the next best thing. For non combat rolls, you simply add your score (which may have a power bonus) to the 3D6 roll. And there in lies the mechanic... 3D6.

3D6

One die needs to be a different color from the other two. This die is called the MARVEL die. Official dice are sold in packs of 12, so 4 sets, for $16 -- not bad. The MARVEL die reads MARVEL in place of the 1.

The basic mechanic is: Roll 3D6 (referred to as D616, more branding, the Marvel earth is earth 616.) Anyway, if you're trying to punch someone, roll 3D6 + your melee score and meet or beat your target's melee defense. That's it, those are the basics. The same applies to agility, ego, and logic.

If you hit, the MARVEL die represents damage. Take that number and multiply it by your damage multiplier (limited by your Rank, e.g., rank 4 = x4 damage multiplier, some powers expand this) then add your melee score on top of that. 

If the MARVEL die comes up, MARVEL, it's called a fantastic success and you do double damage. 6MARVEL6 (6M6) is an ultimate fantastic success for triple damage. Powers and weapons will trigger other effects too, like stunning and knockback.

You can have a fantastic failure as well -- you fail but something strange happens that benefits you, sort of like failing forward. That's OK, but a missed opportunity for classic tropes like spiderman running out of web-fluid (if using a web power.) 

Some powers, traits, situations, give you edge or trouble, meaning you reroll the best or worst die. You can have double edge and double trouble too.

There is also Karma (a nice throwback to FASERIP.) You get a number of karma equal to your rank and can spend it to give yourself an edge or an opponent trouble, and to recover some health. BTW, edge and trouble are mentioned throughout the book without being in italics or bold print, I find this odd as they are terms that should always stand out.

The mechanics are simple and elegant. I actually like them. Lucky rolls can quickly knock people out of combat and also allow you to survive against powerful foes. There is however, one philosophical flaw in this game: Setting target numbers for non-combat challenges...



Target numbers are set based on your hero's rank. So, jumping from one roof-top to another (if set at challenging) will be TN:12 if you're rank 2, but for a rank 4 hero it's TN:14. What if they were jumping at the same time? Shouldn't it be easier for the rank 4 hero? This is an all-things-equal storytelling mechanic... not a fan. I think this assumes all heroes playing are the same rank, something else I'm not a fan of. I would set one TN regardless of who's attempting the feat. Easy fix, not a game-breaker.
Another thing, your damage multiplier is based on your rank. So rank 1 has a x1 multiplier and rank 6 has a x6 multiplier (remember this multiplier is applied to the results of the MARVEL die.) This applies to all 4 attack types, melee, agility, ego, and logic. Jean Grey is rank 6 so her melee damage multiplier is x6. Her melee score is 1, so not a great fighter, but if she did hit you she would do more damage than Daredevil and maybe even Captain America or Wolverine! Her mental powers do more damage than her fists, so she shouldn't bother trying to punch you, but if she did... This is a weird byproduct of this system. Obviously you could just say there was a little telekinesis in that punch (even though she has a separate telekinetic punch power, which is a logic vs. melee roll, just so you know.)
All in all, as it stands right now, I call this is a good game. So I'll say: Well done MARVEL (not a company I've praised in a long time -- the movies are terrible and it looks like they'll continue to be.) Time will tell though, as this RPG is still very new. The more people that play it, the more optimum power-builds will be revealed and then every created hero will look the same. Every one is going to take the equivalent of "super-strength" in their preferred damage mode and they will also take damage reduction in both Health and Focus -- you'd be dumb not to. And you'll have one attack that targets Health and one that targets Focus enabling you to zero in on a foe's weak spot. Also, EVERYONE will take the trait combat reflexes. Everyone will have flight. And these will only be half of your powers. This is why random character creation will always be superior to builds
Two books are out, the core rules and the Cataclysm of Kang Adventure which stats out a bunch more heroes/villains (the adventure part, I could care less about -- published super-hero adventures are always rail-roads of the highest degree.) An X-Men book is due out in August and a Spider-Verse book after that. These books are slated to have tons of hero stats and new powers and new rules. Eventually, I imagine, there will and should be, a Powers book. They should call it Ultimate Power (FASERIP had the Ultimate Powers Book.)

What I would love to see, and will most likely end up doing myself, is a random character generation system, not concerned with or limited by balance and rank. The actual X-Men aren't balanced nor are the Avengers and nor should your game be, well, my game anyway.
Now go clobber something!


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Outlaw Hunt - Cities Without Number, Stars Without Number, & Trey Causey's Strange Stars Rpg - Session Report- Mirrors By Joseph Mohr

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 04/02/2024 - 18:54
 "While in star port, between missions, the travelers hear the news about a spectacular crime that too place recently in the Sonora sector. Daring thieves robbed a hover train and got away with more than MCR 3 worth of gold bullion. The thieves were masked and got away according the news reports.""While in port the travelers are contacted by Major Bartholomew Rodríguez of the Sonoran Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
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