Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Yes, I'm still alive

It's been a while since I've posted anything...a long while. This summer has been brutal on my free time. Between sports for both boys this year (hello to the new normal), being sick all through July (that royally sucked), and then the usual day-to-day stuff of work and home life I just haven't found the time or even the desire to write much.


So what's been going on? Even though I haven't been active on the blog, I have had some fun and have a few irons in the fire. First off, I got my Savage Rifts stuff along with just about every other Savage Worlds/Rifts fan in existence (seemingly from the levels reached in the Kickstarter). I gotta say that I'm genuinely impressed with just how well the Savage Worlds system matched the feel of Rifts while still being internally consistent. It really displayed the malleability of system in a way that really shows off what SW can do. I love the way they found a way to make even the lowly characters seem viable in a party along side characters like Glitter Boys and Juvenile Dragons. The core books have been out for a while now, and there are still a few bits left to be released from the Kickstarter, but I'm hoping that we'll here about the next releases for the line soon.


I went through a summer purge of gaming material (mostly board games). I had several games that just don't see the light of day anymore that needed a good home. I ended up applying those proceeds to Zombicide. For those that don't know, Zombicide is a scenario-based zombie destruction game from Guillotine Games and Cool Mini or Not. I first picked up the Black Plague game, which the fantasy-themed line and then got into the Classic or Modern-themed line as well. I'm a big fan of Flying Frog's Last Night on Earth game line. I have most everything for the line except for rare Promotional bits. Zombicide has dethroned LNOE as my go-to zombie game. That's not to say that Zombicide is better, it's not, it's just simpler and easier to get out for a quick pick-up game. The two games are similar in theme, but that's it. LNOE is more akin to Resident Evil. The Zombies are smarter (by virtue of a player running the zombies), harder to kill, and the goal is more survival by avoidance than by conflict. Zombicide is like Left 4 Dead where the goal is to see how many zombies you can blow-up, blow-away, or run down. The zombies can be tricked thanks to the excellent noise mechanic, they are easy to kill (for the most part), and there are different varieties of undead to destroy. Other than the set-up/play/tear-down times being far less in Zombicide, the other big kicker is that the game is totally co-op. The zombies are ran by the mechanics of the game, so everyone can be in on the undead ass-kicking! That said, I do think that LNOE is mechanically a much better experience and a much deeper game overall, but when all you've got is an hour or so to play, Zombicide will win out every single time.


I'm still kicking around ideas for my Mythic Space setting. However, I'm once again looking at hacking White Star to fit my desires. I'm thinking of going class-less and skills based. I liked the way I started off with the Alternity classes and skill system, but now I'm thinking of just shucking the classes altogether. Not sure that anything will come of this, though. Plus, I need to read through +Matthew Skail's "Tools of the Worldshapers" book to see how much I like the rules for separating race and class in White Star. 


My main RPG project of the moment is something for my boys. I'm taking Far Away Land and adding some of my own touches to make it more like Adventure Time. The rules are staying the same, but I'm tweaking the Character Creation rules to add in races from Adventure Time, Low Life (a weird and frankly awesome setting for Savage Worlds), and some D&D races that fit the silly and gonzo mode of Far Away Land and Adventure Time. Then, I'm going to add in some of the sillier D&D monsters to the system as well as a few from my early days of D&D, like the Dandy-lion, a leonine plant with lion head, but a dandelion-like mane. It'll be my boys' first foray in to tabletop rpgs, so I want it to be silly and over-the-top and just plain fun. I'm mixing both the standard Far Away Land setting with that of Adventure Time and mixing in bits that I think would be fun. Such as the backstory to the creation of the world is the remains of Bill Cypher's (from the Gravity Falls cartoon that the boys love) Weirdpocalypse. There's going to be some futuristic bits, like cyborgs and robots and the boys might even find some pieces of old tech lying about.


Here's the current race list:
Android (Sci-Fi, these will look much like C-3PO, but will be less whiny)
Blonin (Far Away Land, teleporting block people)
Bodul (Low Life, "beings of dubious lineage"; think Mongrelfolk from D&D)
Candyfolken (Adventure Time, candy-themed people of the Candy Kingdom)
Cremefillian (Low Life, sentient, crème-filled snack cakes)
Croach (Low Life, sentient cockroaches)
Dwarf (Far Away Land, standard dwarf)
Elf (Far Away Land, standard elf)
Glacerian (Far Away Land, ice people)
Gnome (D&D, standard gnomes)
Grippli (D&D, frog people)
Halfling (D&D, standard halfling)
Hizard (Half-man/Half-lizard hybrid from my very early D&D days)
Hork/Snotgoblin (Low Life, literally snotty goblin/orc-like beings)
Human (Far Away Land)
Lupin (D&D, dog people)
Oofo (Low Life, Alien Greys)
Orka (Far Away Land, cyclopean spike heads)
Pile (Low Life, sentient, animated globs of sewage and gunk)
Pinguin (The penguin-like inhabitants of the Ice Kingdom)
Poomkin (Far Away Land, sentient, pumpkin-headed scarecrows)
Rakasta (D&D, cat people)
Smelf (Low Life, goblin-like creatures with huge noses)
Tengu (D&D/Pathfinder, bird people)
Tortle (D&D, turtle people)
Tzin't (Low Life, mixes of various animal races "tizn't this and tizn't that)
Werm (Low Life, sentient worms, both earth and gut)
Zoordrooz (Far Away Land, cyclopean humanoids with "Z's" on their chests)


As you can see the silly quotient is pretty high. There are some gross-out bits as well, but they will be down-played and obviously kept G-rated. (Still, the easiest way to get a laugh out of the boys is with a good "toot" or booger joke.) There are a lot of animal races because the boys like that kind of thing and they fit into the silly milieu. It's been a fun project. I'm not really worried about trying to keep a consistent theme or anything like that. I'm just finding stuff that sounds wacky and tossing it into the mix. I even ordered a couple of Adventure Time guides ("Finn and Jake's Official Guide to the Land of Ooo" and "The Adventure Time Encyclopedia") to help with ideas in making the world feel more like cartoons.


Beyond that, I've also be toying around with the Mutants & Marvels rules that "D20-fy" the FASERIP rules in Marvel Super Heroes. I like Mutants & Marvels, but I also like the way that Mutants & Masterminds handles damage. It just feels more like how things work in the comics. Plus, I like having a larger selection of powers and such, so I'm modifying Icons' Great Power list for use with the system as well. This is another project that I'm not certain will ever see completion. 

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