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My Top 5 RPGs

Zachery over at RPG Blog II is compiling a list of the top 25 RPGs of all time.  Thought I’d share my list with you and give the reasons behind those choices.

s2p100101. Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition
The rules are simple and easy to learn.  This is the rule set that brought me back to the RPG hobby after a nearly 25 year hiatus.  It’s also given me something I share with all of my children.  It gets the top spot because it’s so easy (didn’t I say that already) and we (my kids and I) ‘Savage’ other games (Stargate, Serenity) to play using these rules

cwcover-lg2. Car Wars
My very first RPG.  Yes, I know that when it first appeared it wasn’t technically an RPG.  However, over the years it evolved into much more than a simple vehicular combat game.  I introduced PITs #2&3 to this game after shelling out big bucks on ebay to replace my flood destroyed collection.  My boys and I spend the off season of NASCAR playing Car Wars.  My proudest moment was when my 10-year old (PIT#3) built his own car and proceeded to (literally) smoke his old man in an arena.

3. Savage Worlds Pirates of the Spanish Mainpotsmcover
What started as buying fleets of tiny little boats for our in house pirate (PIT #3), morphed into a purchase of the RPG rules.  All three children took to it like ducks to water.  This got PIT #1 interested in other RPGs.  She joined a Sunday afternoon D&D group.  Three months ago I was invited to join this same group.  For all the good times I’ve had playing  this game with my kids, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

dadphb24. D&D 2e
This is the version of the game that PIT#1 started playing.  Because it’s the version I play with my children without my DMing it gets a high place in my list.  I fail to understand the lack of love for this game amongst the D&D community.  But then I’ve never played 3.5 and it’s been nearly 25 years before this that I played D&D

5. Stargatesg-1cover
I’m a science fiction fan.  If it’s SF, I’ll read it, watch it, play it.  My daughter, (PIT#1) and I are Trekkers.  She has watched every incarnation of Trek with Daddy all the way back to first run episodes of TNG.  My youngest, (PIT#3) prefers Star Wars and he will sit and watch the movies with me.  PIT#2 will watch NASCAR with Dad (he’s 14 and too big to say Daddy anymore) till the cows come home.  Stargate is ONE show we all agree on.  When I found the rulebook online and told the kids it was coming home, they all three camped out by the mailbox waiting for it to arrive.  This is the game I ran on Friday evenings at the Youth Center.  Granted I am running a “Savaged” version of the game but it’s still Stargate.

If you noticed the recurring theme of my reasons behind the whys for my top five, you saw that each involves my family.  My family is an importatnt part of my life.  Anything I do with my family is going to rank pretty high on any list.  The other thing is that I’m doing my part to make sure that RPG as a hobby is passed on to the next generation.

The remainder of my list as submitted to RPG Blog II
6. Mutants & Masterminds
7. D&D 4e
8. James Bond
9. Risus
10. Gurps
11. Champions
12. Necessary Evil
13. Serenity
14. Being Berin Kinsman

Why only 14 and not 25?  Honestly the top 13 are the only games I’ve ever played.  Number fourteen is on the list because I owe a lot to Berin Kinsman.  He’s the one who encouraged me to start writing my own blog.  Soon as I’ve got the extra money Being Berin Kinsman is joining my collection.

April 16, 2009 Posted by | News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gaming in the Universe of: Eagle Eye

VS Database review for Eagle Eye

ariaThis is your standard Hollywood action flick with one notable exception.  The ‘villan’ is a self-aware computer intent on remolding the United States government into one that it believes will be more in line with its programming.

The notion is a scary thought and one that has been explored in movies such as a Wargames and the Terminator.  Unlike Wargames in which Joshua is only playing a game initiated by Broderick’s hacker character or Terminator in which the computer is struggling for its own survival, Aria is doing what she thinks is ‘right’ for the preservation of her country.

This plot point can be dropped into any game with a technological base.  Your PCs get activated by the computer and are run through the hoops much the same way Shia LaBeouf’s character chases across the country.  An added twist is that the PCs never find out that their sponsor is in fact a computer.  It might be a fun campaign to see how long the PCs go before they start to question what it is that they’re doing.

To add this plot-point to a fantasy (read I don’t want some lawyer from WotC issuing  me a cease and desist) setting replace the computer with some enchanted object put in place by he wizard protector of the community .  The wizard’s spell takes on a life of it’s own.  It’s up to the PCs to find a way to break the spell.  The enchanted object really should to be something normally inanimate to play as then it becomes part of the challenge to find out where this thing is really vulnerable.

To use this plot point in a non-fantasy low tech setting, the DM should do some research to see if there is some sort of mythology that could be substituted.  For example if I was trying to fit this into a Pirates scenario, I might play Aria off as Kraken or or some other sea-beastie that the locals have trained to protect them.  However the Kraken has reverted to its true nature and has turned on its captors threatening the lives of all those close by.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., RPG | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

RPG Blog Carnival – Maps and Monsters

For the rpgblogcarnivallogocopyMaps and Monsters ( RPG Blog Carnival being hosted by The Core Mechanic this month.

Being a novice GM I haven’t done much of my own monster creation.  Neither have I made many er… any custom maps of my own.  Recently my family and I sat down to watch Pirates of the Caribbean again for a review here at the Database.  That inspired me to make some custom monsters based off that fine movie franchise.  Please note that all stats are for Savage Worlds in general, specifically Pirates of the Spanish Main.

You may notice that these stats are very similar to the base stats that Savage worlds published for the monster in question.  My buddy, Berin Kinsman extolled the values of shemping out pregen characters for games that he runs.  I took his advice to heart, rather than re-create a monster if a template for one existed I took the basic monster and added some flair to make it specific to the setting.

Following each monster I will note reactions from my players about the monster.

Damon, Wild Card Novice Trained Undead Monkey
for Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8(A), Spirit d4, Strength d4, Vigor d6undeadmonkey
Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Notice d8, Stealth d10, Intimidation d6, Lockpicking d8 (covers only pick-pocketing skill)
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 3

Special Abilities:Bite 2d4, Size -2, Small: Attackers suffer a -2 because of size, Undead: +2 to recovery for being shaken. Called shots do no extra damage. Arrows, bullets and other piercing attacks do half damage. Fear -2: Causes all Guts checks at -2 when moon is out because of undead nature.

Damon appears in a skeletal form when the moonlight touches him.

Damon was actually created at the request of a fellow regular at the Dire cafe in honor of the Dire King.  I have only used Damon once in a campaign.  My youngest PIT (age 9) at the time immediately recognized him and corrected me that the monkey should’ve been named Jack.

Undead Piratepirates2
for Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6 – Human Form
Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6 – Skeleton form
Skills: Boating d6, Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Intimidation d6 (d10 in skeleton form), Stealth d6 
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 3

Undead: +2 to recovery for being shaken. Called shots do no extra damage. Arrows, bullets and other piercing attacks do half damage. Fear -2: Causes all Guts checks at -2 when moon is out because of undead nature.

Pirates appear in a skeletal form when touched by moonlight.

Hindrances: Garrulous, Greedy, Mean

Edges: Dirty Fighter

Even after Damon showed up in the adventure.  My players were still a little surprised when the undead pirates made an appearance.  PIT #2 actually managed to stay in character even though he figured it out early.

Kraken, pet of Davy Jonespotcjackkraken
for Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8(A), Spirit d12, Strength d12+10, Vigor d12+4
Skills: Fighting d12, Guts d12, Notice d6, Stealth d8, Intimidation d12
Pace NA, Parry 8, Toughness 24 (4)

Special Abilities: Aquatic: Pace 12  Gargantuan: Heavy Armor Ranged attacks are made at a +4 against the Kraken.  The beast can not bring its full weight to bear in a tentacle attack damage done in a tentacle attack is D12+15 and is considered a heavy weapon.  Size: +10  Tentacle Attack: Tentacles are capable of lifting individuals off the boat and the suckers will suck the face off an individual.  Whirlpool: When the Kraken submerges a whirlpool is formed.

The Kraken comes only when called by Jones and his crew using a device on board the Flying Dutchman

Lord Cutler Becket states in PotC 3 that he ordered Davy Jones to kill off the Kraken.  Everyone speaks as if there is only one Kraken in that setting.  When I tried to use a Kraken (actually the stats for a basic Kraken are on p231 of the PotSM  rulebook) PIT #3 pointed out my inconsistency.  I countered by telling him that Davy Jones did not kill his pet just to spit Cutler Beckett.  Who raised my son to be so smart-alecky?

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Blog Carnival, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Gaming Notes, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment