Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Gaming in the Universe of… Mythbusters

mythbustersThe Mythbusters are a team that tackle modern myths of all sorts.  They do what they can to either prove or disprove the myth.  Everything from whether jumping off the floor of a crashing elevator will save your life to whether or not Archimedes actually could have built a death ray.

They are the people your PCs need to go see for building an esoteric Rube Goldberg device.  These are the crazy scientists operating in an abandoned warehouse in a Steampunk setting.  Adam and Jamie are frustrated wizards trying desperately to make new magical items in your high fantasy setting.  Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail.

Name: Jamie Hyneman Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Investigation d10, Knowledge (Physics) d10, Knowledge (genre specific science skill) d10, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Repair d10, Streetwise d8, Survival d10,Throwing d6, Weird Science d8
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Doubting Thomas, Cautious, Quirk (never goes anywhere without his beret)
Edges: Gadgeteer, Mr. Fix-It

Name: Adam Savage Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Investigation d10, Knowledge (Physics) d10, Knowledge (genre specific science skill) d10, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Repair d10, Streetwise d8, Survival d10,Throwing d6, Weird Science d8
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Doubting Thomas, Cautious, Delusional (believes HIS perception of reality is correct)
Edges: Gadgeteer, Mr. Fix-It

May 8, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , | 2 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of… Ghost Hunters

ghosthuntersThe Ghost Hunters are a team of paranormal investigators, plumbers by day and investigators by by night.  They are different from the standard paranormal investigators, in that they approach cases from the basis of disproving the paranormal.  When they are left with something they cannot disprove then they know they possibly have evidence of the paranormal.  The members of this team make the perfect NPCs to Shemp into your game.

In any technological/modern setting game the GH team can be dropped in as is.  They’re the perfect intro for a paranormal story.  They could even be the folks your team calls upon for some assistance.  On the flip side, can you imagine playing the GH team in a Call of Cuthulu game?

In your high fantasy setting where the paranormal is commonplace, the GH team are the village blacksmiths who moonlight into investigations of magic, not to disprove but to determine origin.  Wizards and other magic users each leave a unique trace when they access the ethereal planes.  The GH team has the capability to determine who might possible have cast certain spells. 

Name: Jason Hawes Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d6, Fighting d4, Guts d8, Investigation d8, Knowledge (Plumbing) d10, Knowledge (Supernatural) d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Repair d8, Streetwise d8, Survival d10,Throwing d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Curious, Doubting Thomas
Edges: Arcane Resistance, Strong Willed

Name: Grant Wilson Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d4, Guts d8, Investigation d8, Knowledge (Plumbing) d10, Knowledge (Supernatural) d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Repair d8, Streetwise d8, Survival d10,Throwing d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Curious, Doubting Thomas
Edges: Arcane Resistance, Strong Willed

Name: Steve Gonsalves Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d6, Fighting d4, Guts d8, Investigation d8, Knowledge (Technology) d10, Knowledge (Supernatural) d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Repair d8, Streetwise d8, Survival d10,Throwing d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Curious, Phobia (spiders), Phobia (heights)
Edges: Arcane Resistance, Gadgeteer

May 7, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , | 1 Comment

NPCs and plot hooks from your favorite TV show.

cartoon_tv_lampI’m fascinated about the creativity and productivity shown by fellow bloggers that I read on a regular basis.  My own creative spark works best when I’m riffing on someone else’s bright idea.  So, when Uncle Bear recently posted about being inspired by one of my favorite shows, Ghost Hunters that got my brain working.  This team of average people (the lead guys are plumbers for Roto Rooter) investigate the paranormal by looking to disprove the evidence.  Uncle Bear did a bang up job of deconstructing this show for mining as NPCs.

This got me thinking, what other shows could be mined for NPCs or plot hooks?

Drama shows are easy, especially if you’re playing a game around the setting of the drama or wanting to incorporate that setting into your current game.  Need a doctor? stat out House or Private Practice.  Need a lawyer? stat out Boston Legal.  Need a cop/law enforcement? stat out The Shield or any one of the CSI shows.

Comedies are good fodder as well.  If you’re in need of a bumbling repairman who thinks he’s better than everyone else at fixing things, stat out Tim “the Toolman” Taylor from Home Improvement.

Reality shows can provide good plot hooks.  Dancing with the Stars; your PCs have crashed the ball in search of clues for their quest and unless they can dance better than the society regulars there, they’ll be found out.  Survivor; an evil wizard has spirited the PCs off to an island along with the direct counter-parts to your PCs group.  Only by working together can the PCs escape but can they convince the other team to help or will your PCs sabotage their efforts.  Wife Swap; your PCs suddenly find their (insert class here) is suddenly switched out with a completely different character, how will they react?

Upcoming articles for Gaming in the Universe of…
Ghost Hunters
Mythbusters

Savage World stats for Mike Rowe and Tim “The Toolman” Taylor

mike-rowe-dirty-jobsName: Mike Rowe Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Knowledge (Filthy Working Conditions) d10, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Repair d8, Streetwise d8, Survival d10, Throwing d6
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Code of Honor, Heroic, Overconfident
Edges: Jack-of-All-Trades, Charismatic, McGyver

tim-taylorName: Tim “The Toolman” Taylor Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Knowledge (Tools) d10, Knowledge (Classic Automobiles) d10, Notice d6, Repair d4, Streetwise d8, Survival d10
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  All Thumbs, Bad Luck, Clueless
Edges: Charismatic, McGyver

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, Plot Hooks from..., RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen Part 7: Rorshach

watchmencharactersThe Watchmen as reviewed by the family

Part one: Tropes from the movie
Part two: Doctor Manhattan
Part three: The Comedian
Part four: Nite Owl
Part five: Silk Spectre
Part six: Ozmandyus

The Watchmen are not super heroes (with the exception of Doctor Manhattan).  The characters in this series of articles were built using standard Savage World rules and as such can be dropped into any campaign without much difficulty.

Walter Kovacs had a very traumatic childhood.  The son of the village whore, he was picked on by the other children.  Walter developed his fighting abilities from an early age to defend himself against his childhood tormentors.  Due to his upbringing, Walter sees the world in black and white.  There is right and wrong, and he is serving the right.

The defining moment in his career came when Walter was attempting to rescue a kidnapped little girl.  Failing in his attempt to rescue the child and instead discovering only her remains and her killer, Rorshach killed the perpetrator.  Rorshach continues his fight from behind his enchanted mask.  The encounter with the rapist/murderer unhinged Walter Kovacs.  He now believes Rorshach to be the true indentity and Kovacs to be the mask.

watchmen-rorschachIf you bring Rorshach into your game, you’ll want to describe Kovacs as a non-descript background NPC and make sure he’s there whenever possible.  If and when he’s ever unmasked, your PCs can have an *a-ha* moment.

Name:Walter Kovacs/Rorshach
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Investigation d8, Notice d6, Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Survival d6, Taunt d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Heartless, Delusional, Ugly
Edges: Investigator
Gear: Enchanted Mask, Grappling Gun

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen Part 6: Ozmandyus

watchmencharactersThe Watchmen as reviewed by the family

Part one: Tropes from the movie
Part two: Doctor Manhattan
Part three: The Comedian
Part four: Nite Owl
Part five: Silk Spectre

 Ozmandyus is an easy person and a hard one all at the same time to integrate into your game.  He’s royalty in your high fantasy setting.  Or better yet, the true power behind the throne making everything work.  He is THE richest man in whatever universe you are playing.  Esy to add, harder for your characters to meet, unless they are HEROES, the type of character that royalty demands to see and be seen with.

In the back however, it’s a different story.  Adrian is the string puller.  He has access to the highest technology your world has available.  In a high fantasy setting he may even have some magical abilities.  He believes, no scratch that, he KNOWS that what he is doing is the best possible course of action for saving his world.

If your players decide to help him out they might be cast away as mere pawns in his over-arching plans.  If your players elect to oppose him, Adrian will not only have factored in their betrayal but may have figured that their “betrayal” is the best way to keep them out of his hair.

His only true friend is Bubastis, his magical a/o genetically modified lynx. 

watchmen-ozymandiasName: Adrian Veidt/Ozmandyus
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d12, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d10, Guts d6, Healing d4, Investigation d8, Notice d10, Persuasion d6, Streetwise d8, Survival d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: 7; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Filthy Rich, Invent, Investigator
Edges: Arrogant, Code of Honor

bubastisName: Bubastis
Race: Lynx (Genetic Modification or Magical depending on setting)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6 (A), Spirit d10, Strength d12, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d10, Notice d8
Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 8;
Special Abilities:
  Bite or Claw: Str + d6
  Improved Frenzy: May make two fighting attacks each action at no penalty
  Pounce: Bubastis can pounce on its prey to best bring its mass and claws to bear.  It can leap 1d6″ and gains a +4 to its attack and damage.  However its parry is reduce -2 until the next action when using this maneuver
  Size: +2, Bubastis is the size of an adult male lion

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The P.I.T.s Can’t Agree on the Next Movie.

Regular readers of this blog know that the family will watch a movie for review and then I will pull tropes from the movie for use in your games.  Recently reviewed movies with GitUo (Gaming in the Universe of…) articles in the works are:

Tron
Big Trouble in Little China
Buckaroo Banzai
Race to Witch Mountain.

The PITs (Paladins In Training) have not been agreeing over which Movie to watch/review next.  I’m turning it over to you.  Leave me a list of the top ten movies you’d like to see reviewed.  The top vote getters (if they are in the VS film collection) will be watched/reviewed/mined.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Movie Reviews, News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , | 7 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen: Part 5 Silk Specter II

watchmencharactersThe Watchmen as reviewed by the family

Part one: Tropes from the movie
Part two: Doctor Manhattan
Part three: The Comedian
Part four: Nite Owl

The Watchmen are not super heroes (with the exception of Doctor Manhattan). The characters in this series of articles were built using standard Savage World rules and as such can be dropped into any campaign without much difficulty.

Laurie Jupiter is a second generation hero who is primarily involved in the heroing life to please her mother.  She captured the attention of Doctor Manhattan when his first love began to age.  When the Keene Act was passed, Laurie happily packed up her costume and moved with Doctor Manhattan to his government laboratory.  She later leaves Doc when he begins to grow distant from her.  Laurie re-enters the sporting life to be with her new love, Dan Drieberg.

In your game Laurie is the reluctant woman behind the power.  She’s the person who keeps the wizard focused.  She is the woman who convinces the hero to go on one more adventure.  She’s the woman who is on the adventure to please her parents.

watchmen-silk-spectreName:Laurie Jupiter/Silk Spectre II/Sandra Hollis
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Guts d6, Healing d4, Persuasion d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: 3; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Curious, Quirk (does not like the hero life, gets involved over the men in her life), Wanted
Edges: Attractive

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of…. The Watchmen Part 4: Nite Owl II

watchmencharactersThe Watchmen as reviewed by the family

Part one: Tropes from the movie
Part two: Doctor Manhattan
Part three: The Comedian

The Watchmen are not super heroes (with the exception of Doctor Manhattan).  The characters in this series of articles were built using standard Savage World rules and as such can be dropped into any campaign without much difficulty.

The Nite Owl is a middle-aged tech-geek.   He only feels like a man when he’s out adventuring.  He is going to have access to the most advanced technology your campaign has available.  In a steam-punk setting, Dan is the mad tinkerer.  In your high fantasy setting, Dan is going to be the town blacksmith always pushing the envelope of technology.  This is only his day job, at night He dons cape and cowl and fights injustice as the Nite Owl.

Dan is enthralled with mythology and birds.  Dan is a law-abiding citizen and when the Keane Act went into effect he hung up the cape and cowl.  However, his sense of loyalty and justice are his prime motivations and were the impetous for donning his costume once again.  Your characters are  more likely to encounter Dan Drieberg than they are likely to encounter the Nite Owl.

watchmen-nite-owlName:Dan Drieberg/Nite Owl II/Sam Hollis
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge (Engineering) d8, Knowledge (Physics) d8, Knowledge (Weird Science) d8, Piloting d8, Repair d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Heroic, Loyal, Wanted
Edges: Arcane Background (Weird Science), Gadgeteer
Gear: Archimedes, his tricked out airship.

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen Pt. 3: The Comedian

watchmencharactersThe Watchmen as reviewed by the family

Part one: Tropes from the movie
Part two: Doctor Manhattan

The Watchmen for the most part are not super heroes.  The characters in this series of articles were built using standard Savage World rules and as such can be dropped into any campaign without much difficulty.

Using the Comedian in your campaign is very simple.  The Comedian is a sociopath who is only considered a hero because he is employed by the government.  He is a war weary vet who has no compunctions about firing on innocents to get the job done.  The Comedian would be a the perfect mercenary NPC for your characters to meet, an amoral lout who would just as soon shoot them as work with them.  It would all depend on if your players had something he wanted or needed as to whether he’d help them or not.

comedian_watchmenName: Edward Blake/The Comedian
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Guts d8, Intimidation d8, Shooting d8, Survival d6, Taunt d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: 1; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Heartless
Edges: Deadshot

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen Pt2: Doctor Manhattan

watchmencharactersThe Watchmen as reviewed by the family

Part one: Tropes from the movie

The Watchmen are not super heroes (with the exception of Doctor Manhattan). The characters in this series of articles were built using standard Savage World rules (with the exception of Doctor Manhattan) and as such can be dropped into any campaign without much difficulty.

Doctor Manhattan is a very powerful being, one who can manipulate the reality of whatever world he is placed in.  In a technological setting the character can be used as is.  In a high fantasy setting, Doc Manhattan can be a magical being or someone who has blessed/cursed by the gods.

Doctor Manhattan does not see time the way human beings do.  He needs the companionship of a female to maintain any link at all with humanity.  If this link is severed for any reason, Doctor Manhattan will in all likelihood leave the community.  Even with the companionship of a young beautiful female, Doctor Manhattan is aloof and often forgets everyday courtesies.  Wearing clothes is something he only does when reminded.

manhattanpiconName:Jon Osterman/Doctor Manhattan
Race: Energy Based Human Analog
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strength d10, Vigor d12
Skills: Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Time) d12, Knowledge (Atomic Particle Physics) d12, Knowledge (Scientific Method) d12, Knowledge (Watchmaking) d10, Notice d6, Repair d8
Charisma: 30; Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 8;
Hindrances: Distinctive Appearance, Heartless, Clueless (as in an aloofness)
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Inventor
Super Powers: • Absorption + Transfer + Reflection (12) • Awareness (3) • Ageless (1) • Altered Form + Fall Proof + Replenish (7) • Danger Sense (5) • Duplication + Extra (8) • Energy Control (2) • Extra Actions (3) • Fearless (2) • Flight (2) • Force Control (2) • Gifted (1) • Growth (2) • Matter Control (4) • Malfunction (3) • Regeneration (5) • Telekinesis (2) • Teleport + Rapid + Taxi + Other (13)

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , | 12 Comments