Friday, May 31, 2019

Bad Day at Geonosis Rock

Edge of the Empire: Mayhem, Inc.
*Last Updated 5/6/2019*
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Episode IX

Betrayed by the corrupt Lt. Levdu and ordered to capture or eliminate him by the Hutt Cartel, the Cripple Crab makes a surprise flyby attack on Knossa Spaceport to distract as Modo and Rokka seek to infiltrate the Imperial installation from street level.

Meanwhile, pursued by Imperial TIE fighters, X and B3-T5Y take the ship into the desert and attempt to lay low while their allies deal with Levdu.

- GameDoc

B3-T5Y and X fly the ship into the canyons near Knossa, and find a cozy place to sit and hide as the TIEs cluelessly spin overhead.  As everything dies down, the team checks in with one another to make sure no other emergencies need to be dealt with.  B3-T5Y and X begin much-needed repairs on the ship once everything is quiet.

Modo and Rokka begin to take stock of the action.  It seems Levdu may have survived, so the two duck into a cantina to avoid stormtrooper patrols as they hatch a plan.  It doesn't take long for them to be caught in the dragnet, but one of the troopers turns out to be Rokka Reer's biggest fan.  Before long, Rokka has booked a show at the Imperial facility they just attacked.

Modo, posing as Rokka's roadie, gets into position and finally identifies Levdu.  He survived the attack intact, and this is vexing to the group.  As Rokka wows the audience with song, Modo attempts to get into a spot to assassinate the double-crossing Imperial officer.

After taking out a stormtrooper while "looking at the lights" on the upper deck, Modo avails himself of the trooper's armor and makes his way into the living quarters.  After finding Levdu's bunk, Modo hides in the closet and waits.

Rokka finishes signing autographs and meeting his adoring fans, and not long after that Levdu returns to his quarters.  The struggle is brief, as Modo was feeling particularly murderous.  After leaving the lieutenant dead in his quarters, Modo jinks the security teams and joins up with Rokka and exfiltrates toward the waiting ship.

B3-T5Y and X have everything ready and repaired, and hit the rendezvous with Modo and Rokka without even touching down.  The ship peels away from the Geonosis atmosphere by putting the planet between them and the Imperial fleet.  The ship hits hyperspace, and the crew is satisfied with their work.  They only hope Jabba will be as impressed as they are.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Ninjas & Superspies: Introduction to Occupational Character Classes

Palladium Megaverse?!  What's that, by golly?

Well, it's an oft-benighted game system published by Palladium Books, and the basic gist is that all their games are interchangeable, compatible and set in the same universe - the aforementioned Palladium Megaverse.  For a long time I've wanted to run some Palladium, but it was a hard sell at the miniatures club.  Rules are wonky and it doesn't have ... well, miniatures.  Today is a different story, and I find myself in a spot where Palladium isn't just suitable, but might be preferable.

It's all very old-school, you might say.  Lots of guidelines, rather than hard and fast rules.  Yadda yadda.  I will still try to be as close to RAW as possible, depending on which volume of rules we'll be using at the time.  With all the different versions and small differences between each ruleset, there will be some changes from session to session if we move to a ruleset that has a different take on certain things.  I'm being very oblique about all this, but I don't want to give too much away.

So, Palladium uses something called Occupational Character Classes, or O.C.C.'s.  They are basically character classes, but specifically their occupation rather than race.  In Palladium, if a class is a race, it's called an R.C.C., or Racial Character Class.  It's kinda loose with this, and sometimes you can actually gain both an R.C.C. and an O.C.C. ...but really you should only think of that as an accidental by-product of play rather than any kind of advancement scheme you can map out.  There are uncountable character classes in the multiverse, so we'll do like we usually do and bite chunks off the giant beast.

Today, we're going to be jamming some Ninjas & Superspies!

The Sigma Psáximo Agency
Welcome to the Meta-Concern Authority.
Below are listed the O.C.C.'s and their general bents.  It might seem a little abbreviated and non-specific, but most of these classes are mostly equal, otherwise.  Not a lot of that matters before we dig into the weeds, because you can't really min/max a Palladium game.  You can try for high numbers, but that's about it (and you won't get many anyway).
  • Martial Artist
    • Kung-Fu / Ninja, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat / Bruce Lee types.
      • Dedicated Martial Artist: Has the most Kung-Fu's.
      • Worldly Martial Artist: Has less Kung-Fu's than Dedicated Martial Artists (but still more than other classes) but has a few other skills to make up for it.
  • Espionage Agent
    • High-dollar spy types from all tropospheres.  James Bond / Jack Ryan / Lorraine Broughton types.
      • Wired Agent - Lots of skills and cybernetics also.
      • Gadgeteer Agent - Has Gidgets and gadgets for all your spy network needs.
      • Operative Agent - Has the most skills.
  • Free Agent
    • For those with attachment issues.  Carmen San Diego / Mike Hammer / Hudson Hawk types.
      • Wandering Free Agent - Has lots of freedom.
      • Professional Free Agent - Has slightly less freedom, but more resources.
      • Thief - Is free to be thief-y.
  • Mercenary
    • Gun-toting Chuck Rambo / Van Damage-types.
      • Veteran Grunt - Has the most guns.
      • Cyborg Soldier: Has lots of guns, but also robot-parts for pitying fools.
      • Academy Officer: Has guns, but mostly skills.
  • Gizmoteer
    • For those who like to build stuff.  Q / MacGyver / MacGruber / A-Team in a Shed types.
      • Tinker Gizmoteer - Is the most build-y of all.
      • Dreamer Gizmoteer - Builder with more diverse skills.
      • Gizoid Gizmoteer - Can build lots of stuff, but loves cybernetics very much.
It's really kind of hard to go into further specifics without just bringing out all the information in the book.  Honestly, the entire book is filled with the options these characters have.  Without players actually perusing the book in their own time, Palladium character creation sessions take ... well, entire sessions.  Just pick one that looks the coolest to you and we'll muddle through the creation process, exploring your options as we go.

Friday, May 3, 2019

What's Canon Got to Do With It?

Slap a better world.
Inspirobot always gives the best advice.

I've talked at length about CANON before on other blogs, but I feel I need to reiterate this concept for our Iron Seer era.  You know, CANON in all-caps, because it dictates the settings of our games.  It's something we all share, and can agree on...and that helps us share these worlds in ways that wouldn't be possible without a CANON.

For us, canon forms the basis upon which our stories are told, but doesn't necessarily form the basis of our stories.  That is, our campaigns and stories form a new canon for our club.  The most satisfying way this is accomplished is by diverging totally (where possible) from the main story and setting.

For instance, Star Wars games probably won't (but might!) involve folks named Skywalker.  Lord of the Rings games probably won't involve anyone doing anything they didn't do in the books.  We get a lot more leeway with other games but those are the big two.  Yet even D&D settings have their canon, and the trick is finding a spot within the setting where we can carve out our own stories.

Most of the stuff that comes up on RAW RPG will be derivatives of these illustrious works.  This isn't because we lack creativity to make our own settings, but because these are the games we share and play on the regular.  The games we play are the very pulse of Iron Seer, and I personally have seen that we enjoy ongoing, connective narratives for our games.  It makes it all just a little bit "bigger" when it has ramifications for the NEXT game, or another campaign entirely.

Even where names from the canon show up in our games, it will probably be in a 'downtime' area of the main story, and we work very hard to make sure it fits directly in with the main story.  This is easy in a lot of settings, especially where the setting is continental or galactic in scale.  Fleshing out those areas of the canon where we can slip our campaigns into is something we enjoy, and as a group project can be quite interesting as different concepts and ideas slip into the narrative.

In other words, just because there's a meta-narrative doesn't mean you'll be shin-deep in meta-slop in Iron Seer games.