Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oolong, the Scarlet Hero

And so I decided to start a Scarlet Heroes campaign....
First thing, I had to roll a hero.
Applying statistics as rolled, I got: Str 8 (-1), Dex 17 (+2), Con 10 (0), Int 12 (0), Wis 13 (+1) and Cha 12 (0).
With low strength, I decided to make my hero a female. She has high dexterity, so I will make her a thief (or better to say rogue). I want her to be a little exotic, so Shou blooded she is.
I would also like to make her some kind of Lara Croft, so her specialty will be Dungeon explorer (3), with other traits set on Resist red tide (2), Scholar (1), Long distance runner (1) and Superb balance (1).
After some shopping and throwing away all unneeded things in order not to encumber her too much (with -1 strength she can carry only 40 lb) Oolong  the rogue went into adventure carrying a bow and quiver with 20 arrows, a short sword, a dagger, a leather armor, lantern with flask of oil, some rope, healing pack and some scribe tools to write down her adventures. She also packed preserved rations for couple of days, she might need them in the dungeon.

For the first adventure, I decided to test The Aladdin Technique. What I want to play now could be described as:
Oolong searches [cursed] [wilderness] for [entrance] into Red Tide infested [dungeon] looking for [a book] of interest to some [scholars].
After some Rory's Story Cubes rolling, i got:
1. Word cursed to be changed to something connected with camera - so Picturesque.
2. Entrance will be trapped (bottle of poison)
3. Twist - Magic and Temple.

Therefore, new adventure seed is:
Oolong searches picturesque wilderness for trapped entrance into Red Tide infested dungeon, looking for a book of interest to some scholars. But is there some magic involved that keeps Red Tide inside the dungeon, and beautiful and peaceful nature outside?

At first, I wanted to start with wilderness adventure from Scarlet Heroes book, but what kind of old school adventure could my hero experience in picturesque nature?
Therefore, I decided to playtest a new solo tool called Bold by Zack Best from Conjecture Games (not yet publicly available, still in playtest phase). Bold uses series of tables to create links called Waylays. 3 such Waylays connected can answer a question what happen in some period of time, for example since Oolong left her home till the moment she found the entrance into dungeon.

First waylay represents exposition. I got environmental waylay connected with Adept the Wild.
Wilderness  is beautiful and peaceful. Streams are running, birds singing... But to Oolong it seems too quiet. Where are predators to hunt, men or shou cutting woods for the winter?

Second waylay explores Impassioned Accusations overcome by Avoidance.
Deep in her hearth Oolong starts accusing herself for disturbing such beautiful nature, for getting its water dirty by drinking from streams, stealing food from wild beasts by eating fruits... But she also understands that such self accusations are not natural, they have to be work of some magic surrounding the area.
Difficult wisdom check - successful. 
Aware that nature is somehow magical and that it influences her psyche, Oolong decides to stay away from surroundings and to eat and drink only rations she brought with her.

Third Waylay is climax. It is Apparently Otherworldly overcome by Act of Nature.
Suddenly, as if by miracle, forest path opened in front of Oolong. Just as if the strange force ruling this area respected her decision of avoidance and is now guiding her towards her goal. Finally, path ended and Oolong found herself in front of the entrance to the underground. It seems that it was a natural cave once, but that it was long time ago adjusted into settlement for intelligent beings. The double doors were closing the cave, and Oolong, scholar that she is, could read that the doors are poisoned, and that they should be opened very carefully.
Intelligence test to safely open the door, hard - failed.
Save against poison +1 - constitution - failed.
Defying death - Oolong loses one hit point and is left with 3.
Although feeling week from the effects of poison in her body, Oolong entered the underground, and found herself in the darkness as the heavy doors closed behind her.

For finding the dungeon, Oolong receives 1 XP.

What happened next? Find out here!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Aladdin Technique

Inspired by Daniel from Puzzled Vikings, I just started playing Scarlet Heroes campaign.

One of the tools I am using in this campaign is The Aladdin Technique by John Fiore.
What is The Aladdin Technique?
Well, I do not want to invent hot water, so I will just share original post by John from G+ solo RPG group:

"The "Aladdin" Technique - an easy way to spontaneously spice up RPG encounter ideas, solo or otherwise

STEP 1: Write an encounter set-up in a single sentence. Bracket-off each key element, action word/phrase, and descriptor, but not any references to the PCs. (I aim for six items.)

So, in an opera-themed fantasy world, I’ve currently got two PCs on a treasure hunt in cold-hearted Princess Turandot’s exotic kingdom. I wrote the following encounter set-up:
Orsini and Guglio try to [break into] an [old] [tomb] while [being pursued by] [Turandot’s] [warriors].

STEP 2 - Al: Randomly select one element or descriptor and alter it with inspirational help from a random idea generator like Mythic or Story Cubes.

I had 6 elements and descriptors in my set-up sentence. I rolled a d6 and got a 2 for the [old] descriptor. I rolled a Story Cube and got an image of waves. So, I altered my sentence into:
Orsini and Guglio try to [break into] a [submerged] [tomb] while [being pursued by] [Turandot’s] [warriors].

STEP 3 - Add: Randomly select one element or descriptor and add a word or phrase immediately before or after it with inspirational help from a random idea generator.

I rolled a d6 again and got a 5 for the [Turandot’s] descriptor. I rolled a Story Cube and got an image of a person dancing. So, my sentence became:
Orsini and Guglio try to [break into] a [submerged] [tomb] while [being pursued by] [Turandot’s] [capoeira] [warriors].
A weirdly satisfying development!

STEP 4 - In: Create intrigue by following the encounter set-up sentence with an ambiguous question devised via inspirational help from a random idea generator.

I rolled a Story Cube and got an image of an apple. That gave me the final version of the encounter concept:

Orsini and Guglio try to break into a submerged tomb while being pursued by Turandot’s capoeira warriors. But what is the nature of the strange fruit growing out of the water surrounding the tomb?

And that’s it! In four steps, the encounter has been embellished in ways the player(s) could never have expected!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The 3 Storm troopers epizode 4, part 2 (9Qs game)

Continuation from previous post.

Q5 Betrayal/Combat (Rory story cubes: Catch a butterfly, Drying laundry)
The device for "detecting" Ogam gas suddenly starts to emit it in large quantities!
Darth Agnan tries to plug in the hole with force, while Aramis navigates his efforts with his engineering knowledge. They fail the test and Aramis is left with just one die.

(Rory story cubes: Enter, L - instructor)
Suddenly, an Ewok appears out of nowhere, presses the off button and stops the device from emitting Ogam gas. Than, Ewok starts to run away, mumbling something about incompetent fools...

Q6 Intrigue/Combat (Rory story cubes: Mountains, Snail house)
Darth Dread is next to enter the scene and start shooting at Ewok. The small creature starts running in curves and taking cover, avoiding blaster shots.
Team decide to save Ewok and attack Darth Dread, but old Sith is too powerful for them. Darth Dread easily shakes off his attackers, and runs after Ewok that is already dissapearing in the distance.
Darth Agnan and Portos lost one die each in this combat.
Since it is the end of Q6, Darth Agnan recovers one die.

Team runs after old Sith and Ewok. Following them is not easy, and in the process Athos loses 3 dice and Darth Agnan 1, but our heroes manage to gain on them.
(Rory story cubes: Question mark, Poison)
Darth Dread has cornered Ewok. Finding himself without exits, Ewok opens container with Ogam gas. Due to poisoning, all characters temporary discard one die. This renders Aramis unconscious.
Remaining 3 heroes, although already seriously beaten, try to attack Darth Dread again, and this time they fare better, and Sith is temporary down. In the process Portos lost his last remaining die, so he is unconscious too.

Q8 (Rory story cubes: Digging in, Craw)
Ewok tries to use the confusion and run away.
Darth Agnan decides to follow his example. Athos grabs Portos and starts pulling him away from danger zone. Darth Agnan grabs Aramis with one hand, and tries to catch Ewok with second. Almost impossible task, but... HE DID IT!
(I had only 5d4 to roll for this test. I set difficulty to 5 success for heroes to escape danger zone, and to 8 successes to catch Ewok in the process. I rolled 4, 4, 4 - 2 successes each, 3, 3 - one success each, to a total of 8. Finally some crazy luck to favor storm troopers!)
Carrying their fallen friends and their catch, the two remaining heroes run to space port and into their ship and then fly to planet orbit. There, Portos and Aramis are connected to medical equipment, and Ewok is locked into cargo bay until the time comes for his interogation.

Q9 (Rory story cubes: Puppeteer, Reading newspapers)
Soon, the news announced that Darth Dread managed to seize big quantity of Ogam gas dedicated for terrorist attacks on Onturo. Further information is unavailable in order not to obstruct the investigation. Unofficial information says that some gas leaked, but at limited area. There are no information about potential victims.
Our heroes are not mentioned in the news, but they will surely be mentioned in military report to Louis XIV. It is obvious that good emperor will not be satisfied with their performance. Well, at least they have Ewok, and who knows what he will spill out during investigation, maybe some hope still exists for our heroes to save their reputation....

The End?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The 3 Storm troopers - 9Qs game, episode 4

The year is 300 ABY. The good emperor Louis XIV struggles to keep remains of his empire at peace, but his efforts are constantly undermined by attacks from evil cult of Jedy Knights whose goal is to create unnatural social order called "Republic".
Good emperors last hope lies in his loyal troops, among whom special place is reserved for young Sith lord Darth Agnan, and his 3 friendly storm troopers - Athos, Portos and Aramis.

This game was played as solo RPG using 9Qs, Rory Story Cubes, Mythic custom symmetric Fate chart and my own Quick D4 RPG
This time, I decided to play all 4 characters as one hero, where each character will represent one Cliché.
So, my team is:
Darth Agnan 8D4 - your typical friendly neighborhood Sith Lord (force choking local bullies, helping
                                old ladies cross the street whether they want it or not, etc.) 
Athos 6D4 - someone who know people and can get info. Also, person with tails from the past that
                    can get team into trouble.
Portos 4D4 - goodhearted giant (breaking through doors, eating and drinking more than others can)
Aramis 2D4 - soldier turned engineer turned soldier

So, the story begins....

Q1 (Rory story cubes: Sad face, Scared face)
After suicide attack performed by a Jedy fanatic who poisoned atmosphere with Ogam gas and therefore destroyed all life on planet Oxo in the very heart of the Empire, fear could be felt among loyal subjects of Louis XIV.
Darth Agnan and his team are tasked to find and stop existing terrorist cells.
Where are they assigned? (Rory story cubes: Confused face, Cradle)
The high command sends our heroes to planet Onturo. It is recently terraformed world with small population. Sith lord and his storm troopers find themselves among desperados who try to find they place under the sun and make a new start for themselves. Everything looks like that very few people here knows and cares about the Empire struggle against Rebels and Jedy Knights.
Does Athos knows somebody on this planet?
Yes, but someone who hates him.
Who? (Rory story cubes: Push, Gift)
The governor of the planet is Boro, that used to be Mandalorian warrior. Long time ago, Athos was promoted instead of him, thanks to some gifts given at the right place. Boro was dishonored among Madalorians for not being promoted and was expelled from the cast.
Darth Agnan tries to mask himself and his team and cover all traces of their existence on the planet. He makes it, but he and Portos lose one die each in the process.
Are Boro's man looking for Athos to impose revenge? No, at least not at the moment. Maybe Boro is satisfied at his current position?

Q2 (Rory story cubes: Fingerprint, Bottle of chemicals)
Team unpacks the equipment for Ogon gas detection. The amount of the gas in the air is below average for this kind of planet.
Can they detect higher concentration somewhere? (very unlikely, but low roll, so) YES.
Where? (Rory story cubes: Speech, Judge's hammer)
A little bit higher concentration of Ogan gas than normal comes from the central court building.
Is the building opened fro visitors? NO. Is it protected at night? YES. How? (Rory story cubes: Tent, Handcuffs)
At night, court building is protected by network of force fields designed to immobilize intruders.
But such protection is week for Darth Agnan who uses his force power to neutralize protection system. That night, our heroes break into the court building.

Q3 Betrayal/Combat (Rory story cubes: Catch, Pain)
Court building is decorated with marble statues of current and former emperors. Suddenly, statues start falling threatening to hit and squash our heroes. They are obviously pushed from distance by other force user.
After lots of dancing around, and with Portos using his strength to push some falling statues away, team manages to avoid the trap by running out of the building. No one is hurt, but also no new information was gathered inside.
After Q3 Darth Agnan recovers one die.

Athos uses his eloquence and political influence to learn as much as he can about all Force users on the planet. Apart from Darth Agnan, there seem to be only two other Force users around.
Who are they?
1. (Rory story cubes: Scary , Judge) Darth Dread, military leader of the planet, licensed to kill.
2. (Rory story cubes: Cage , Pterodactyl) Lut Cloudwalker, imprisoned Republic fighter pilot and Jedy trainee.

Lut is currently held in the prison, while Darth Dread is in the hospital since he got hurt while investigating some shady buildings in planet ghetto.

Heroes decide to visit Darth Dread first. He knows about their business on the planet, so agrees on the interview.
"Do you think your accident was helped by other force user, similar to our experience in court building?"  - NO, it was just a normal accident.
"Do you know anything that can help us in our Jedy investigation?" - YES AND. (Rory story cubes: Dwarf, Crow) Ewok rouge named Klaws was seen on the planet. He is known to smuggle forbidden substances like Ogam gas.
For the AND part: Rory story cubes: Magnifying glass, Dinosaur. Darth Dread gives to our heroes additional device for Ogam gas detection. According to his words, this device can trace Ogam gas even if it was just carried through the area in closed containment.

The team then goes to prison, where Darth Agnan uses Force to interrogate Lut Cloudwalker, but it turns out that Lut is just scared kid seduced to the wrong side of the Force by promises of greatness.  Basically, he knows nothing....

To be continued.

Darth Agnan interrogating Lut Cloudwalker in prison cell

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gaming time

We made a baptizing party for our doughtier this weekend, so the godfather of both my children (who now resides in the Capitol City) visited us for a couple of days with his family.

The two of us know each other for more then 20 years. He used to be a singer in the comedy punk band we had at the university. Since, at the time, band also doubled as an RPG gaming group, he is, of course, a fellow gamer.

Therefore, whenever we meet it is gaming time.

With children around, we opted for boardgames this time, and the ones that can be set up quickly.
So we played couple of games of Tsuro, couple of games of Carcassonne, and one and a half game of Castle Panic (we had to start from beginning after the first game being destroyed when our castle was stormed by a swarm of kids).
Finally, after the kids went to bed in the evening, we tried something more serious, specifically Zombicide season 2 scenario. And of course, we were eaten by the zombies minutes before we could reach final objective.

All in all, that were a fun two days of gaming.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Oooo, shiny!

Here are two newest results of my solo board game shopping mania, and newest additions to my solo board game collection.

Board games were bought with significant discount, so I did well on my budget, but on the other hand, I am not really sure I need any of them :)
I managed to read the rules of Duel in the dark and it seems like a quick and nice game, so I am planing to take it with me on my next business trip, and maybe this game will see some play soon.

On the other hand, Fields of fire need much bigger investment level (if nothing else than to download new edition rules from official web page, etc), so it will definitely go to the shelf for a while, until some time when I will be able to offer it more dedication.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

British officers

I am slowly finishing my work on First British Division for Muskets and Shakos rules. I have only to finish painting final infantry battalion, and few more officers.

Until I can show you complete division, here are some British officers painted so far: Sir John Moor who will be commanding First infantry brigade and Sir Stapleton Cotton who will be commanding Light cavalry brigade.

Second infantry brigade will be commanded by Picton, while Division commander will be Wellington himself, but I am still to paint them.
All officers in my 6mm armies will come from Adler range.