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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

Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen

watchmen_smileyWatchmen as reviewed by the family

I debated long and hard with myself just how I was going to categorize this GitUo article.  I thought about linking back to the Super Hero introduction but Watchmen doesn’t quite fit that category.  Watchmen stands on its own and as such will be treated accordingly.

Watchmen is not a superhero story.  It is in fact a murder mystery set in a universe of costumed adventurers.  I’m not going to reveal the identity of the murderer so as not to spoil the story for those who have not read the novel or seen the movie.  This difficulty in ‘pigeon-holeing’ the story may have kept it out of the mainstream.   Honestly, I think one of the reasons for the massive drop in box office receipts is that the studio tried to market the movie as 2009’s Spider-Man.  Audiences were disappointed that what they got was not what was advertised (but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion entirely).

How would I incorporate The Watchmen into my campaign?  Let’s start with Super Heroes (Necessary Evil, Mutants & Masterminds et all), incorporate the Keene Act into your hero campaign.  Who will honor the law? and who will continue to fight the fight? 

Another option for some one shots would be to play in the actual groups of heroes as very few adventures have been recorded for The Minutemen of the 1940’s.  You could also play The Watchmen pre-Keene Act.  Want your own character? play in the new post-Watchmen Utopia.  Did Ozmandyus really create a Utopia or will he need help to keep it running.

Taking the tropes out for use in your other games, remember Watchmen is at its core a murder mystery.  Start the PCs off with the sudden revelation that one of their former comrades has been murdered and lead them on a wild chase for the clues.  Another thought is that whatever campaign type you’re are running, the PCs suddenly find themselves outlawed.  Do they continue on with the good fight like Rorschach or abide by the law like Nite Owl?  How would your PCs handle a truly horrific event like the murder of the little girl which unhinges Walter Kovacs?

I usually stat out the characters following the article.  However due to the sheer number of characters to stat, Watchmen character stats will be in part 2.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Creating Characters for a 10-Year Old

s2p10011mediumI’m starting a Necessary Evil campaign (in addition to my weekly Stargate campaign).  In addition to my children we’ve got two additional players, folks I know very well but have never gamed with before.  Before my friend Grey Wulf suffers an aneurysm over my not using Mutants & Masterminds, let me say that currently, when playing with PIT #3 it’s better to use a system with less crunch.

So Sunday we began character generation.  PIT #1 wants to be a tech-enhanced assassin.  Styx is a woman I wouldn’t want to meet in a well-lit alley, let alone a dark one.  PIT #2 comes up with a Thing-like character who also has Kitty Pryde’s powers.  The other two players are developing a martial artist assassin and a cross between Storm and Gambit.

PIT #3 is having trouble coming up with a concept.  I ask him what kind of powers he wants.  “I want him to fly, shoot fire and able to do other cool stuff.”  Well you only have 15 points to spend on powers he is reminded.  “I know Daddy, but I want him to be completely different from everything else.”  OK, as a father I want to give my son what he wants, as a GM I don’t want Superman suddenly walking around in a Novice campaign  (that I could not build Superman with only 15 points to is completely beside the point).

So we sat down and gave “Heatwave”, as he was immediately christened, flight, ranged attack, and earthquake.  All at relatively low power levels to make sure we got it all in.  After spending 8 of the 15 points, I was then prepared to go back and extend some of Heatwave’s powers.  When PIT#3 got a gleam in his eye, 7 points what other power can we give this guy?  Don’t you want to make the powers you do have a little better?

“No Daddy, look.  If we give Heatwave a device that can mimic all the other powers than he could have every power in the book.”  At this point if I had brought this idea up with a my GM he’d have told me “No! absolutely not.”  But I’m Daddy as well how can I make this work using the points we have left and not have “Superman” in the game.

The concept we cam up with is similar to Ben 10’s Omnimatrix.  Basically this device stores any 7-point power that’s left in the book.  When activated, the device over-rides the current power set and gives at random one of the stored powers.  PIT #3 is happy and now I had a backstory to justify this thing to invent.

With input from PIT #3, we developed this.  His character, Sam Lacker was a research assistant for one Dean C. Simitts.  Dean was working on a way to have super powers while remaining undetectable to the V’sorii.  Dean developed the Supero Facultas with the idea that he’d be able to walk around as a normal human being until he activated the device.  Realizing that he’d need a bodyguard for the times he was de-powered, Dean convinced his lab assistant, Sam to undergo some genetic modification.  Sam, eager to fight against the V’Sorii as well, agreed.

During the modification process, a power surge caused the laboratory to explode, killing Dean.  Sam survived the explosion as he was in the sheilded modification chamber.  Emerging from the chamber, Sam found the Supero Facultas and placed it on his forearm.  It immediately bonded with his flesh.  Sam discovered that he had the power to fly by controlling air currents.  He could shoot fire from his hands.  When standing on the ground he could cause minor earth tremors.  When he was in the water he could form small tsunamis.  Sam is still experimenting with the Supero Facultas he does not know the extent of the powers contained therein.  He does know that when activated his “real” powers are superseded by the device.

What did I learn from this exercise?  First, that it’s worth the effort to find reasons for doing what your players would like to do.  Second, that it’s worth effort to bend the rules slightly as long as game play is not affected.  Finally, a good backstory can explain away almost anything.  I’m looking forward to our first game.

April 18, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Observations of a Noob GM, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , | 1 Comment

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

RPGBN Heroes: Watchmen of the Justice Avengers – Role Call!

When the world needs saving who do you call? The Watchmen of the Justice Avengers is the RPGBN’s own Superhero Group.  This stalwart band of heroes is ready to defeat your villain, fight the injustice, protect the innocent, but more importantly spice up your hero campaign.

The WJA’s headquarters are located in Ayuhwa on the RPGBN Shared world project.  However with dimensional hopping abilities, the WJA are ready to help in your own campaign.  This project is not closed.  Leave me a link and I’ll add your hero to the roster.

Founding Membership in alphabetical order:
Ambrose – Home Base: The Nameless Kingdom
The Dungeon Master– Home Base: Vulcan Stev’s Database
Elder Lehman – Home Base: Unclebear
The Grey Wulf – Home Base: Greywulf’s Lair
Mad Brew – Home Base: Mad Brew Labs
Ravyn – Home Base: Exchange of Realities
Virii – Home Base: The Bard of Valiant

Founding Roster is now closed.  Your Hero can still be a member.  Just leave me a link.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

RPGBN Heroes: The Dungeon Master.

dugeonmasterMy good friend Dr. Checkmate issued this challenge to Uncle Bear and myself  using the Savage Worlds setting Necessary Evil, create a super powered being named The Dungeon Master.  Uncle Bear’s take on  The Dungeon Master is quite unique.  However, due to the “Heroize Yourself” thang discussed by other network bloggers.  I couldn’t help but make mine a hero.  So thanks to Dr. C and Uncle B. for the inspiration for the hero version of STEVe (just an FYI Dusty Rhodes is the DJ name I used on the air at the college radio station during the late 80’s)

Name: Dusty Rhodes/The Dungeon Master
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Healing d8, Knowledge (RPG) d10, Knowledge (Computers) d10, Notice d8, Repair d10, Spellcasting d8
Charisma: 10; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Power Negation (needs access to electricity), Weakness (water can short out power), Quirk (tends to monologue), Loyal
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Dodge
Gear: Wireless computing devices on utility belt
Super Powers: • Absorption (4)  • Ageless (1) • Matter Control (4)   • Super Sorcery (5)  • Teleport (1)

Dusty is a nerd in the classical sense.  He spent more time with his beloved computer and RPG rulebooks than he did in actual social situations.  One day while sitting at his computer statting up his teh kewl new monster he was struck by power surge.  Instead of frying, Dusty found himself charged with electricity.  Dusty then discoverd he suddenly was able to channel electricity and manipulate matter into the forms of his creations for his various RPG games.

With more experimentation, Dusty was able to bring his creations to a limited form of life.  The constructs are fairly mindless and attack whatever Dusty instructs them to attack until they are destroyed or destroy what they attack.

Dusty has what appears to be a teleportation ability when in reality he travels the electrical grid.  He carries his mobile devices on his belt to keep tabs on “trouble” spots because Dusty loves to help his fellow heroes.  How much help?  Well that’s debatable.  Dusty will give the heroes cryptic clues on how to defeat the villains and provide them with Teh Kewl Attack Assistance before leaving for the next trouble spot.  If Dusty leaves before the battle is done, the heroes have just as much chance of being attacked by Dusty’s creatures as do the villains they are fighting.

Dusty’s main weakness, due to the electrical nature of his power, is of course water.  Water attacks will disrupt the electrical cohesion of Dusty’s constructs.  Also Dusty will be unable to “transport” out if sufficiently wet.  Without access to the electrical grid Dusty’s powers are limited.  Dusty is loyal to a fault to the entire hero community.  He will leave one battle if he thinks other heroes need his help more.  Dusty also tends to monologue, “Now face the power of my Dire Bear.” (think Silver Age platitudes).

Dusty is trying to figure out ranged attacks using his electrical powers but as yet is still unsuccessful.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming Notes, Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Cloak of Canineability: a Magical Item.

cloakSunday 3-29-09 we were playing our 2e D&D game The Quest for the Genesis Staff.  We had just finished defeating Moloch the Demon and were dividing up the treasure when the player to my left excused herself momentarily.  My attention was focused on the player to my right.  I turned to look at Jazz and discovered not my friend but the DM’s dog sitting in her chair.  I immediately quipped that Rayne, our Kender (Jazz’s character), had found a Cloak of Canineability.  Bill our DM, who is fond of taking cues from the ad-libs at the table, told me to write it up and we’d give it to her.

I liked the idea so much I wrote it up systemless for dropping into your campaign.

The Cloak of Canineability:  Made from an enchanted cloth covering a fur undercloak this cloak provides the wearer with the ability to speak with all creatures in the Canidae Family; understanding and being understood by all species in the Canis genus including dogs, wolves, foxes and jackals.  The cloak allows the wearer to channel the abilities (similar to DC Comics Animal Man) of whatever canine the DM determines to be closest to the wearer.  This channeling ability extends for a radius of 1000 yards centered on the PC (ie if you’re on a boat and there’s no canines aboard the boat you’re not going to be able to channel any abilities).  Once the ability is channeled it lasts for 15 minutes.  

There is also a limited ability of transformation when wearing the cloak.  You can assume the form of one different canine/per level of magic user (4th level has four forms to choose from).  However this is limited by a duration and each form can only be used once per day.  When in the canine form you are for all intents and purposes that animal and have only those animals stats and abilities though you retain your memories and intellect before and after.

Price: 50,000 GP (or equivalent)  Weight: 4 lbs

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming Notes, Legacy D&D, Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , , , | Leave a comment