May 31, 2016

Aeon Campaign S2E8 - Countdown to freedom

Dramatis Personae
  • The Commander (Doug) - telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • Arc Light (Christian) - battlsuited gadgeteer with electrical powers
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) - brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) - smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Zephyr (Merlin) - Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
Singleton Separated

We've got three different layers between us and Leslie Singleton. A coffee house, a secure basement, and a trap door down to the sewers where Zephyr and The Rat Queen hollowed out the bunker to hide Leslie. It was faraday caged, isolated, and secure in several different ways.

While we were at it, we made two more of them, because we wanted defense in depth. And since The Rat Queen critically succeeded her roll with a 3 for building them, they're ridiculously well hidden, well built, and well appointed, for a hole in a dank sewer.

So it's all good, at least for the moment. We have about 30 hours to kill, and we decide that the best place to direct Singleton is where he can't go - his home. Arc Light is going to whip up a "wife simulator" that will produce realistic phone traffic, and since The Rat Queen's subcomponents have a Basic Lift of 5 lbs, she can get the actual cell phone into the house.

So we also make plans that implicate the board members of Blue Skies, some of the ones he's tussled with before, and then as a second backup, we point him in the direction of The Pusher. Enough truth to be plausible, far enough away from the actual plan to ensure he's not anywhere near her.

May 29, 2016

Sensible Master Plans redux

A long while back I got to attend a training seminar by the McChrystal Group. It inspired me to write a bit about using that business framework in RPGs, and in S2E7 of the Aeon game, it came up again.

How? We were trying to work out ways to use a recent treasure trove of information to split up our quarry, the selfish and violent Rep Singleton, from his major resource base.

As we were spinning plans, something was bothering me. Without rehashing it all, I felt that many of the plans were a bit convoluted, and also didn't ring true to something that would not cause both our quarry and the mercenary army he used to lead to sit up and take notice of us rather than at each other.

We resolved this by reverting back to my six questions that all prospective evil overlords need to answer (or really, the GM must answer for them) in order for plans to make sense.

Without further ado, here they are again.

May 28, 2016

Heretical Campaign 1 - The Ogre of Northpoint

Again we play the Heretical DnD, and again it works.

This was the beginning of a real campaign, though, not just a playtest. So we did get to take the rules for a spin, but there was a lot of free-wheeling "make stuff up" as well.

Dramatis Personae

Sunshine ( +Peter V. Dell'Orto ) - 1st level human monk (hatchets and martial arts)
Adaemis the Servitor - 1st level cleric to the god of light (mace, shield, and chain mail)
Jack Redwald - 1st level alternate Ranger (longbow, rapier, and leather armor)
Yuri the Soulscarred - 1st level warlock, pact to an archfey
Graves Battleborne - 1st level fighter, chain, warhammer, light crossbow, and glaive
Tom Rakewell - 1st level rogue, leather, rapier, dagger(s), and shortbow

Game Summary

We started out in one of the northernmost cities in the kingdom (call it Duluth) that the adventures launch from, with six mostly down-on-their-luck adventurers deciding that the seediest of the three inns I provided them with descriptions of (thanks, donjon!) was their kind of place.

May 26, 2016

That was too easy (stories are conflict)

Last Aeon game, +Christopher R. Rice asked me, as The Commander, to show up ready with a plan. And to share that plan with him in advance, so as GM he could plan for the plan.

I did that, and detailed what that would look like in my prior post. The long and the short of it was that we needed to separate a wife-abuser's spouse from him. He is highly trained, highly vindictive, and in S2E6 we'd built up, through the method of crashing a party he was at, a notion of his psychological profile. We knew we needed to get her into Witness Protection, and that she'd need to disappear without his ever knowing it until it was too late. But with his resources, we'd need to be very, very clever. My job was to provide the clever.

To explain . . . no, that would take too long. To sum up:

I planned on us doing a bunch of prep work before, and the key bits of the plan were to give the bad guy a reason to first see his spouse, then send her away. Then provide enough distraction to make him not think about someone who he loves to treat as forgettable. Simultaneously, we needed to try and separate him from his resource base somehow, and blackmail seemed the best concept. Not a great concept, but the best I could think of at the time. From there, the wheels of justice could turn, and he could be brought up on domestic assault charges, which is what Eamon had promised his friend (and been bound to magically by the Pusher, who at best is Chaotic Neutral, if you hold with such things).

So, that was the plan.

GURPS Day Summary May 20 - May 26, 2016

Thursday is GURPSDay, while it's been a light week for me (which is a shame, because the last Aeon game gave me a lot to think and talk about), others have been on the case, with 42 articles on the rolls thus far, as of 8:30pm CST.

May is GURPSDay recruiting month, I'm still hoping to attract more new blogs to the rolls. We've gotten a few new ones, such as Gentleman Gamer as of early this morning, but I know there are more out there. If you blog about GURPS with any regularity, adding your blog to the script is easy, free, and can only help your traffic.

Not really a GURPS blog, but if you missed +Rev. Pee Kitty 's live chat about After the End and other GURPS stuff, you can still check it out as a recording. It's about an hour, and he and Hunter had a good time answering questions. The discussion even led to a short post about the core AtE skills you shouldn't do without, so bonus content.

As always, if you're interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line.



May 23, 2016

Aeon Campaign S2E7 - The Best Laid Plans . . .

Dramatis Personae
  • The Commander (Doug) - telekinetic super-soldier with a really angry dog (Yukio). The dog is a powerful ally (250-300 points) and very intelligent and very, very aggressive.
  • Arc Light (Christian) - battlsuited gadgeteer with electrical powers
  • The Rat Queen (Emily) - brick with super-perception; made of actual rats
  • Eamon Finnegan (Kyle) - smooth talking gravity-master; Ultimate Fighting Lawyer, to borrow a phrase.
  • Zephyr (Merlin) - Real name Murui; Shaolin Kung Fu expert and super-speedster.
What was intended

Christopher has warned us in the past that our lack of planning was going to cost us badly if we kept up our aggressive inattention to consequences. This can be seen on both a meta and an in-game level, as the required "montage" sequence that allows some of our special abilities to charge up or be activated is not present, and also we tend to just Leeroy Johnson our way though things, and when we're tap-dancing around dudes with access to a 500-person army of metahumans trained like SFOD-D and 5,000 more normals, also trained that way . . . well, you can see how things could get ugly.


So this time, I came up with a plan ahead of time, and emailed it to the GM, who on my request had given me a map. At first glance, it wasn't that helpful. Is all it really was was a picture of the Bank of America Tower.

But then I stared some more. This is what I came up with, and of course the first thing I thought of was that some way, somehow, the plan needed to involve zip-lining from one building to another for a truly dynamic entry.

Because awesome. 

But that being predetermined as a condition, here's the plan:

May 19, 2016

GURPS Day Summary May 13 - May 19, 2016

Thursday is GURPSDay, and we're back into the swing of things

We have a few new blogs on the rolls, and since May is GURPSDay recruiting month, I'm hoping to more than double the number of blogs we pull from over the next 6 weeks (faster would be better!). I've already received two new blogs, though only one is reflected below because I need a few more details from the second blog's author. But . . . if you blog about GURPS with any regularity, adding your blog to the script is easy, free, and can only help your traffic.

As always, if you're interested in having your blog consolidated here, navigate over to The Instructions Page and drop me a line.



May 18, 2016

Seeking Cartographer for Heretical D&D Project

I think I'll be looking for a fantasy cartographer or cartographers to help me make the world, continent, nation, and perhaps a few cities.

I'm in the sketching-out phase right now, so there's tremendous room for influencing the style and even the contents of the world.

 I think that a decent sketch-map, with a more polished version to appear in the actual book, would very much help me and my playtesting team (and everyone that works on the project is invited to join that team as well to contribute to whatever extent they wish) visualize the history and present of the sandbox that we'll be gaming in.

While publication is some nebulous time in the future, the initial work on the map(s) would start immediately.

Interested parties should comment on the blog with links to prior work, and we can exchange private notes over Google+, leading to email so we can discuss compensation expectations. Or just email me at gamingballisticllc at gmail dot com.

Edit: I've also posted a request over at the Cartographer's Guild. That's another communications avenue.


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