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Jeff's Gameblog
Thursday, 11 March 2004

So, if I'm gonna be playing in a regular Savage Worlds campaign (and it sure looks like I am), then I guess I should probably pick up a copy of the rules. I'm thinking I'll buy a copy from the RPG.net store. I have yet to use them and part of each sale is donated to keep RPG.net up and running. Besides, they have the old fashioned d20's that I could use for Star Fleet Battle Manual.

I'm continuing to read the Starmada Compendium. Good stuff. Very few rules have been altered (notably banked weapons have been simplified) from the version 5.41 rules I had been using. There's lots of neat new stuff though. I thought a change had been made to the fighter rules when I read that only lasers may attack fighters. I went back and checked and sure enough that had been in the earlier rules. I don't think I've actually used any fighters yet, so this revelation doesn't affect previous games.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the employ cards in gaming situations. Maybe seeing Dave Hoover's official Savage Worlds card deck tripped this circuit for me again. I've long thought that D&D could be spiced up with a deck of combat maneuver cards. The Dork20 deck apparently gets this done for the d20 crowd, and I may have to get a copy. Mayfair put out a less humorous and more complicate product for AD&D called Blood & Steel. Frankly, the cards look to darn complicated to me. The fellow who makes the miniatures rules called Piquet has some interesting things to say about card usage in his theory of Piquet page. The old toy-based Warhammery game BattleMasters got good mileage out of an initiative deck. In addition to spicing up D&D basic/expert combats, I think cards could be used to great effect in BattleTech games where you want to capture the rickety-old-mech-held-together-by-chickenwire feel of the older versions of the game.

I think I will have to get a couple of Glotz decks at some point.

Posted by jrients at 5:00 PM CST
Behold... Rondoo!
Here's my first Savage Worlds character, for Dave's campaign:

Rondoo the Learner
itinerant scholar-monk, hedge wizard, devotee of the god of knowledge

Agility d6
Smarts d8
Spirit d8
Strength d4
Vigor d4

Guts d4 Healing d6
Intimidation d4 Investigation d6
Knowledge (history) d8 Knowledge (the gods) d8
Notice d4 Repair d4
Stealth d4

Hindrances: Clueless, Loyal

Edges: Arcane Background, Scholar

Posted by jrients at 3:53 PM CST
Other BattleTech stuff I've been thinking about
I have in mind a couple of no-Mech scenarios. First off would be a scenario set against the Capellan-Supremacy War, a conflict in BattleTech "pre-history" (before the invention of the battlemech). The second one would be a battle based upon the old TSR minigame Revolt on Antares. The troop types in Revolt (laser tank, hover craft, jump troops, power armor) match up wll with BattleTech coneventional forces. To do that one I'd need a more recent rulset, since my BattleTech Manual does not contain any power armor rules.

In my Starmada posts I already mentioned my Aeromada project, converting the original Aerotech over to Starmada rules to do some dogfighting.

As with most every other BT fan out there, I want to webpublish some mech designs. Unlike most BT fans, all my designs are meant to be historical derivatives of existing mechs. For example, I want to stat out the prototype Blackjack that moved 5/8/0 and had flamers instead of ACs.

Posted by jrients at 11:41 AM CST
A grab-bag of BattleTech scenario ideas
Reservoir Raid pt 2: Winners from scenario 1 relieve the rest of their company. This could be a tricky one to balance.

Star League Cache: A CityTech fight over control of a recently discovered Star league era site.

The Last Resistance: General Kerensky's command lance puts down the last Amaris mechs between him and the Usurper.

Fall of Redjak: This one would be 2 lances on 2 lances. A hypothetical Steiner/Kurita punitive expedition to Butte Hold. Includes at least one or two vehicles on the Redjak Ryan side.

Triple Whammy: A three-way skirmish (see the TRO 3025 entry for the BattleMaster for a historical backdrop)

End of an Era: Documenting the destruction of the last of the old Exterminators.

Against the Wolf: Basically an excuse for one side to use mechs exclusive to Wolf's Dragoons.

The Recon Hustle: Two half-lances of recon mechs meet in a forest clearing. Using special simultaneous move rules.

Posted by jrients at 10:59 AM CST

Well, after all the fuss, only a couple of people are commenting on my BattleTech scenario. I find it interesting that more people got into it over at RPG.net. Maybe RPG.net has a lot more users.

Posted by jrients at 10:38 AM CST

Last night was the first get-together of Dave Hoover's new campaign. The players are my good buddy Pat, his cow-orker Loren, a fella named Joe, and me. The system is Shane Henley's Savage Worlds. Dave pitched two different campaign summaries to us. The first was a near future cyberpunkesque game that I thought looked very compelling, especially since I hadn't really done near future sci-fi before. The second was yet another fantasy game. Guess which one the group chose? To be fair, this particular fantasy game has neither orcs nor elves, but come on people, I signed on for Hoover's game because I wanted something different. Still, I want to see what Dave can do as a GM, so I've decided to do my best to make a positive contribution to the game.

So we hashed out some campaign world details and then made characters. The build system for Savage Worlds was very nearly transparent, with only a couple 2:1 buy ratios. My character is Rondoo the Learner, a monastery-educated young man out in the real world for the first time. I'll post more on him later.

Pat found that old Space Gamer I've been wanting to borrow, the issue with Aaron Allston's review of BattleDroids (known in later editions as BattleTech) and George MacDonald's variant rules for the same. He also passed on his near-pristine copy of the old Rogue's Gallery for use on the Otus Shrine and he lent me his copy of the DDG for a cover scan (my DDG has a much more worn cover).

Early this morning I had an bit of an idea for a Sorcerer game, set in the Star Trek universe. The key idea is that Humanity represents one's ability to ignore Star Fleet regulations/political expediency and do what is right. The premise would be something like "Which is more important, upholding the high ideals of the Federation or furthering your own career?" Demons could be space vessels (all captains are sorcerers under this theory), alien sidekicks (the demon Spock bound to the sorcerer Kirk), or kickass powers (Spock as sorcerer, his vulcan powers being demons or Kirk as sorcerer, his Kirk fu and general mojo as demons).

Posted by jrients at 5:45 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 11 March 2004 9:11 AM CST
Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Two new articles have been posted to the Forge since my last visit: Narritivism: Story Now, the third in Ron Edwards' GNS series and Ritual Discourse in Role-Playing Games, a serious academic look at RPGs as rituals. Both are heady stuff. I'll definitely need to reread both of them before I can draw any useful conclusions. Well, it looks like the link to my BattleTech scenario will be going back up on ClassicBattleTech.com shortly. Although I was initially upset by the modding decision, I'm glad everything got worked out.

Posted by jrients at 4:04 PM CST

So I chatted with my bod Pat a bit. He said Dave Hoover's new game is up in the air right now, but that Savage Worlds and Aberrant were contenders. Savage Worlds I was expecting, Dave mentioned at Winter War that it was his new system du jour. But Aberrant? Totally out of left field. Pretty much my only encounter with Aberrant has been Johnny Nexus' article The Second Worst Scenario Ever Written in the hilarious webzine Critical Miss.

Posted by jrients at 12:24 PM CST
So last night I posted a link to my BattleTech scenario over on the message boards at ClassicBattleTech.com and an overzealous mod pulled it, citing the "no unseen images" rule. Nevermind the fact that the rule provides that links to other cites are excluded from this provision. I sent him a PM pointing this out. Hopefully he will put the post back up. I'd really like to see some feedback from the CBT community.

Posted by jrients at 8:43 AM CST
Tuesday, 9 March 2004

Been home long enough to check out my recent eBay acquisitions. BattleTech Reinforcements 2 is in pretty darn good shape. The majority of the mech standups are unpunched. I did okay taking my chances with the 3050/2750 set. Plenty of mechs from the 3025 era are represented, enough that I don't think I'll need to get the original Reinforcements anytime soon. I would have liked there to have been more 2750 vehicles, but gaming in that era never really caught on. Still, I think I'll be able to get at least one decent scenario done with the material at hand. I'm kinda thinking I could do the last firefight before Kerensky kicked in the door on ol' Stephan Amaris.

I'm still going over the Starmada Compendium, but so far I'm really happy with it. The race rules are nifty for campaign play. Basically when using these rules each race/faction/whatever has a limit to the variety of technology at its disposal, buying new technologies with a pool of points. The tech sections are expanded too. New weapons and other tech toys are always fun to play with. I'm even warming up a bit to the official Starmada universe.

Posted by jrients at 9:35 PM CST

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