Saturday, April 3, 2010

Man I have been blessed with a great bounty

Sometimes it is good to be a geek. This is one of those times. So I totally volunteered to run Mutants and Masterminds, which is, if you haven't managed to guess a super hero roleplaying game. Actually that really isn't very obvious unless you know what "run" means. I vaugly apologise. Anyway, so I got my copy of the book and I've read a good 75% of it. Now its time to start going through charecter generation. The nice thing about this phase of learning a new game is that nothing I make goes to waste unless I loose it. Everyone I roll up becomes a potential villian or NPC or just something I could throw around. The trick is getting everything I need onto a large index card. It shouldn't be to bad unless I go crazy with powers. I also need to do a little bit of world building so that I can create villian groups and what not. A nice rich world goes a long way after all. I'm thinking that the game itself will be centered in America. I want there to of been an alien invasion that happened 10 years ago, and while the invasion proper was repulsed half of Africa is still under Alien control. I want a floating island somewhere over Japan ruled by an insane dicator. Like the guy from the Authority, actually specifically like him. The place will be called Shangri La and there will be lots of advanced technology and doodads. I also want an ancient civilization to just show back up again and start causing problems. The Egyptians would work out really well but I am thinking the Aztecs have some really cool possibilities mostly because the Aztecs are really cool and I am a Grant Morrison super slut. Oh and there will be Nazi gorillas on the moon, because clearly that is where Nazi Gorillas belong. There will be an epic Zeppelin fight and it is going to be amazing!

I am really excited about getting to run this game. The thing I am most excited about is that fact that it is the version of the d20 system I would of made if I felt like making a version of the D20 system that I would be willing to gm. To me the big problem with the D20 system is that it came with a set of statistical assumptions that just didn''t really match certain charecter concepts. Like strong= good at fighting, which is alright until you wanted to play a nimble little finess fighter. In order to do that you would have to earn dozens of levels and take several feats. The other thing that bugged me about it were the feats in general. See in combat a play had many many choices like tripping, over run, bull rushing, grappling, charging, and a few others. But if you did any of them you would take a -4 modifyer and provoke an attack of oppertunity. So in order to be able to do all the neat little combat options you have to take a feat so that you earn basic competence. When feats were first announced people got really excited because it would be a way to add unique flairs to their charecters, kinda like the Perks from Fallout 1&2. Instead it they bcame something that you should of been aloud to do right out of char gen. I also hated prestige classes, and the fact that they got rid of kits and all sorts of other things. However, M&M manages to fix, or at least midigate my complaints. Now all those cool combat options are open to everyone and feats make you awesome at them. For example the improved grapple feat lets you grapple somone with one are and preform actions with the other, like shooting. I might throw a modifyer around but that is to cool for school. Also the way it handles the situationally sliding effectivness of heroes. All in all it is pretty awesome and I think it is worth the amount of time I am about to spend on it. Once I am done with this I plan on going through charecter generation, which will be painful at first but once I do it three or four times I should be able to do it much faster and I'll be able to drag my players through it with ease.

I like generating charecters and I don't mind point buy systems but holy fuck the wealth of options before me are immense you don't even know. Still once I go through it I'll get it down I just need to do it. I might also pressure my players in ponying up a clump of points for a secret base. That would be pretty bad ass and they are fairly cheap point wise. I dunno.

Alright so that's not all the good things that have happened. I've also picked up a game called Malifaux. It is a minature game that combines aspects of the wild west, steam punk, and victorian aesthetic. Aesthetics aside the game itself is pretty god damn cool. It uses cards instead of dice which is something I am always a fan of. The nice thing about the game is that you get both a hand and a random draw. So when you attack you draw a card and add its value to your stat, like a normal dice rolling system. The thing is that if you don't like the card you just flipped over you can play one from your hand to offset things. You get a limited number of cards a turn and at the end of your turn you draw your hand up to full. It sounds really neat and I like the idea of good cards being a valuable resource. Getting a ten in your hand is really importantas you can use it to severely damage a model, cast certain spells without outside resources, and other handy 'tastic things. The buy in for the game is remarkably cheap, to get a 35 point force, which is the standard game size, it would cost me around 60 bucks and I would have extra figgures left over for sunmoning purposes.

The summoning thing is important for my army. Another thing I like about the game is that while there are only5 factions the variety of lists you can take are pretty impressive, especially when you aren't really taking more than a dozen figgures at any one time. There are lots of people bitching about game balance but the sky is blue and that's just one of those things that people do.

The charecter I plan on using is Seamus the Mad Hatter. I'm really not an Alice in Wonderland fan. In fact I think that story has been so rediculously played out that I can't even be bothered to become interested in it anymore. However, Seamus has more in common with Jack the Ripper or the Marquis de Sade than the fictional wonderland resident. His army consists of the reanimated corpses of a brothel that he recently visited which is AWESOME. Being able to kill my oponent with zombie hookers is one of the most worthwhile things known to man.

Unfortunatly the hookers themselves don't do a whole hell of a lot of damage. They do have two abilities though that make them highly useful to have around. One is Undress which gives target model -2 to defense until the end of the turn. This is CRITICAL because when I attack the damage I do is based partly on how badly I beat the opponent's defense score and how high the card I flipped over is. So a Defense of 5 is pretty average and all the sudden having a defense of three is pretty awesome. That will free up some of my higher cards for damage rather than just trying to hit the son of a bitch. The other handy thing they do is lure. Lure forces a model to move its base speed. This means I can move things both into and out of combat, into the line of sight of my units, or my units out of line of site for shooty units. Being able to move units around is potentially huge, best of all they can cast lure on a 4+. Now granted if you want to move around an enemy a higher card would be better because they get to resist you but if you just want to move one of your friendly modles out of a shooty charecter's line of sight except no substitutions. The benifits of my hookers don't end there though. See the game has a weird system for doing things. First you choose a model to go, then the opponent chooses a model and the two of you go back and forth until you are both out of modles. Then the turn ends. Hookers have an ability where they can activate RIGHT after either Seamus or Sybelle the madame turned zombie. So Seamus can run out of cover smack people with the most powerful ranged weapon in the game and then have a zombie hooker lure him back to safety. Sure sure it takes some setting up, but its called a stragedy game for a reason. If I wanted to just mindlessly push figgures across a table I'd play warhammer 40k. The hookers can also lure ranged fighters into hand to hand combat which can proove invaluable if you want your figgures to not be shot at. For my extra figgures I am going to grab Mortimer the grave digger, mostly because he is a sold, versatile unit who doesn't really excel in anything and yet he has no obvious weaknesses. Lastly I'll grab some Zombie punks for damage output and manuverablity. I was considering getting some necro punks for the whole ability to base whatever it is they want to 7" away but they are really fragile and ultimatly I just don't really think they are worth it. The same goes for zombie dogs. Zombie dogs are neat and all but they are really more for a summoners list than for Seamus. I might give them a try though. Much later.

Oh and for the first time in years there is a whole new dwarf fortress release. They vastly expand the medical side of dwarf fortress and there are now 4 new medical jobs for dwarves to undertake. I'm excited as fuck. Unfortunatly the graphics are bugged as of current so I gotta wait a bit before I'll be able to play it. I am pretty good but ASCII graphics on that scale just doens't work with my brain. I can play nethack alright but there is just to much going on in DF.

Alright I am going to go home and play with my new toys instead of just writting about them.

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