Showing posts with label amazon ads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amazon ads. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Quick Switch Sci-Fi - Invasion of Theed

Last week, I posted a bit about Star Frontiers. I've got a strong urge to play a Sci-Fi themed game. Star Smuggler is all played out. I'm still waiting on some friends to play Traveller, but our county just shut down due to the pandemic scatter all of us to the winds. I was going to introduce my Star Smuggler characters to the Star Frontiers worlds, but the rules are too far apart to port anything except name and general talents. 

Then I saw Invasion of Theed from 2000 sitting on my shelf. I got it for Christmas one year, poured over it for a bit and forgot about it.

Now, it's actually exactly what I am looking for. I had thought it was a super boxed set module, but it isn't. The set is basically a starter set. It's everything you need to play WotC's d20 Star Wars. They billed it as an adventure game, but it's more than that. 

In the box is two booklets, a start sheet, counters and tokens, a folio of character sheets and maps. I don't know if dice were originally included, but requires the standard D&D dice. Apparently, it also came with a Chewbacca figure, but that is long gone. 

I have a thing for maps and artwork, but this set's clear winning component is the character sheets. They are full color, two-side 11x17" sheets with all of the statistics you need plus gameplay hints. I had no idea they were this good. 

I now have the urge to buy a large format printer/scanner combo. 

I'll point you back to my review of the d20 Star Wars Core Book. I didn't set out to write a review, but this set is easily a five star product. Maybe even a five gold star product like Nate Treme's Moldy Unicorn. I don't give those out easily, maybe one every year or two. I'm pretty surprised at that, because I didn't think much of it when I received it back in 00 or 2001. 

As an abridged rule set, not much is missing. Since your using pre-genned characters, you don't need to roll anything to start. Oddly, the characters stats don't appear on the front of the sheet. And that's not bad. The front page mentions all of your combat abilities so it doesn't matter what the stats are. 

Another oddity of the rules are the lack of armor class and such. All actions are determined by "a roll". No "attack roll", no "saving", no "fortitude" stuff, just a target number and the word "roll". 

The DM facing material is the same way. Which makes this more of a complex board game or linear programed adventure. It seems very suitable for solo play, which is what I aim to do. As near as I can tell, every simplified rule conforms with the Core Rules, which is nice. 

May the force be with you...
... And so with you. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Never do I ever... Roll for Random Encounters at Night

There you have it. Page 47 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, Encounters. My copy is stained with the blood of a thousand characters. But hardly any of the blood came from a nighttime encounter. And certainly not a random nighttime encounter.

Back in the day... and when I say "day", I mean from time immemorial to present day... people hunker down at night. Night is not fun unless you are up to something that can only happen at night. Typically, to have a good time at night, you need a plan, not "random". A dinner party, a star watching party, New Year's Eve and so on. Many people would be hard pressed to name a "random nighttime event" that went well for them. 

The same goes for RPG's. Don't waste time on a nighttime encounter roll. It makes the players nervous and edgy, which is sometimes fun. But not once a day, every day. Night time IS fearful, but the playing field is level when everyone fears. Not much moves at night. (Vampires are a story for another time).  

Many epic things happen in the light of the moon. You can't trust your dice to tell you what that is. You make it so. And make it good. 

One of my favorite stories about night adventures isn't even mine. It's the story of the Seventh Galbiana. This was a legion that declared for Otho against Vitellius for the Purple. Otho was coming north to head off Vitellius who was racing south for Rome. Both armies turned to meet, Vitellius' forces facing west and Otho's to the east. They met at dusk at Bedriacum and the Second Battle of Bedriacum was on. It was one of the rare cases where the Romans fought through the night. The Seventh's eagle fell to the enemy in the dead of night, but was saved by one centurion who sacrificed himself for honor. The fighting was chaotic, ferocious and exhausting. 

As the Sun rose, there was a collision of happenstance. The Seventh was on the left hand of the field, facing to the west. They were under command of Antonius, who served in the Legio III Gallica in Syria. When dawn broke, the men of the Seventh Galbiana followed Antonius' lead turned their backs to the enemy and gave a mighty cheer to something in the east. The Vitellian forces, the whole army, not just the ones facing the Seventh collapsed and retreated believing that Otho's reinforcements were taking the field. 

Nothing could be further from the true. All the Seventh was doing was emulating Antonius' Syria habit of saluting the Sun.  

Such thing are random, but not the sort of random that dice generate. If you want your players to enjoy their game, give them something to think about, not something the dice tell you.

If you like such stories, you can read more about this the book 69 A.D. by Gwyn Morgan.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Research for Pio

Pio is a novel set in Italy before Mussolini's rise to power. It has sat on the back burner for a while and there it will remain until I do some more research.

To that end, I am reading How Fascism Ruled Women. While it is set at some point after this novel's timeline, the effects of fascism were already becoming a powerful force on society. Reading the end point is kind of backwards, but helpful.

I order a physical copy from Amazon, which was a little pricey but worth it.

What I have found is that I need to back up in time to really capture what and why things were happening in Italy between the World Wars.

I love research!