Tuesday, December 11. 2012
You all meet in a tavern. You get in one little fight. And suddenly you're scared. The magistrate's pronouncing you guilty of high treason. He's making up the sentence and your defence lawyer is eating a baby. You're to be subjected to the cruellest torment imaginable. Such is life in glorious Abyss.
It was a pretty good town. Booze, cheap succubi and best of all no Blood War. Now you're being marched through the wasteland of the Plain of Infinite Portals. At least they gave you back your weapons. The ruin of a thousand battles is scattered about. It was a pretty good wasteland. Post-apocalyptic even. You get to say goodbye before you're hurled into the pit. Finish the codex and you'll be free they said. Go to the bottom layer of the Abyss and come back they said. They were sniggering at the time. Twisting in midair you can make out the man-sized book being hurled in behind you. Its heavy metal casing twirls until it is falling directly above you. You're about to start a new life as a landing cushion.
It's planescape in Pathfinder!
To play in this game you will need:
A level five character, use !chargen three times and pick the best line! You HP is always max on the first die, rolled after
10,000 gold of equipment
A reason for their character to be in the Abyss
A friendly attitude towards your fellow players
A desire to explore the planes!
Exotic characters are welcome! Some of the party will be demons. Non-good is preferred due to starting location. Remember that just because we start in the Abyss doesn't mean we have to stay there! Your GM is so generous he has given you a free artifact!
The Abyssal Codex
Started by the Mad Monk Bazingo the Codex was to be a comprehensive guide to all the inhabitants of the Abyssal layers. Bazingo drunkenly insisted to his friends that the inhabitants of the Abyss could be categorized. Against their desperate pleas he began a dark work to prove he could win 5 gold. Bazingo summoned 666 succubi and crafted each page from their hides He beat the metal casing from steel melted down for the Blood War. The stitchings were done with quasit-gut with a needle made from a balor's claw. Bazingo soaked it in the blood of depraved cultists from the farthest reaches of the known multiverse for 6 hours, six minutes and six seconds. Then, just when he was about to pen the foreword a bunch of portals opened over his head and he was torn apart by vengeful tanar'ri. The book was taken by one of them as a curio. It has sat in the vaults of demon lords since, biding its time until it may be unleashed upon the Cosmos and classify it according to name, species and preferred habitat.
Wednesday, July 18. 2012
This is the end. The Blood War is winding down, Celestia has closed its gates. The Lady is singing. Lifetimes of belief and it all comes down to this. What will you do as the curtain falls? Will you live out your last days in fun? Stay true to your beliefs and hope the scales balance? Or will you grab what you can and hightail it into another multiverse. Whatever happens you have a front row seat for the event of a lifetime.
You need one thing to play in this game. A character!
Planar or Prime, jaded or fresh, factioneer or indep. The field is wide open.
3.5e, splatbooks welcome
!chargen in front of the DM. Two shots, take the better line and assign as you please.
Starting Level 7. Anything over +1 ECL should be reviewed with the DM.
20,000 jinx(gold) to spend
Your character is either an employee on the Planar Trade Consortium's special delivery team, or contracted especially for the first mission of the campaign. Apart from that your starting background is your own
Planeshift and other easy get-around-the-planes spells have been disabled. Transitive plane entry spells are still functional. Planar Transport is by portal or foot.
Sunday, December 11. 2011
The Abyss. Infinite Layers, Infinite Terror. Nowhere does evil fester so openly. Nowhere does hope wither so quickly. The Abyss knows all who touch it and haunts them for eternity. Some say the plane itself is sentient, its layers new ways of tormenting those it entraps. To take one step on its tained soil is to be damned. But you did not just take one step. For your crimes the universe judged you. Now you will know that death was but the beginning of retribution. Will you drown in the horrors that await or worse, will you thrive on them?
You need two things to play in this game.
Background: You were once alive and through malevolence or misadventure were condemned to the Abyss. You must have committed acts sufficient to damn yourself to the Chaotic Evil of the Abyss. Be an innocent soul stolen by demons. Have burst forth from the very flesh of the Abyss to carry out its evil or some other background that will land you in the Spiralling Chaos on the bottom rung.
Character: You start out as a mane, the weakest, dumbest and most useless thing in the Abyss. You are chattel to the predators of the Abyss, to be devoured or destroyed at their leisure. However all is not lost. You may be the lowest of the low but you are a demon. Specifically you are a demon of one of three subtypes.
Loumara: Fragments of Dead Gods' nightmares. Loumara are weak physically but are Incorporeal making them difficult to harm. Loumara are viewed as pests by other demons and are likely to suffer for their powers
Obyrith: Ancient predecessors, the first demons. Obyrith are inscrutable beings whose mere appearance is enough to drive mortals to madness. Obyriths are viewed with extreme suspicion by other demons and must tread carefully to avoid destruction.
Tanar'ri: Masters of the Abyss, The Tanar'ri are the most numerous and most effective of the demonic types. Able to summon their brethren in an instant there is no such thing as an outnumbered Tanar'ri. Tanar'ri enjoy their ruling position and will often receive favourable treatment against their peers.
To look up the specifics of these subtypes see the Fiendish Codex I.
Continue reading "Spiralling Chaos"
Monday, February 7. 2011
A scent carried on the breeze. The scent was acrid, rank with the oil and fire of guns. It stirred the night air, awakening old memories. #23 raised its head to the sky. It knew it was #23. #23 remembered the flash of gunfire. It questioned neither of these facts, giving its voice to a howl. Slowly lifeforms tore themselves from the landscape, a chorus of screeches and growls accompanying their rise.
#23 gave them a cursory inspection. The death slumber fell away gradually and their movements blended until the innumerable beasts were one horde. #23 felt some satisfaction, wings unfolding. It took off and swooped over its fellows. Time to feed.
Continue reading "Birds of a Feather"
Thursday, February 25. 2010
Nobody listens to me when I tell them about it. This threat is killing our children. Ye be fairly warned, beyond this point only insanity and little girls await. I'm talking about Touhou
It spawns monstrousities.
is corrupting our children(the video shown in the news report can be seen in its entirity here, it's basically just art of all the characters from the series)
and tainting everything we hold dear
Still confused about Touhou? You should be. The fandom is immense on the internet. The most insane part is it's all based on some games like below. Everything else is fanmade.
I have seen the future. It isn't corporations. It's us.
Some of the music is pretty catchy though.
Monday, January 18. 2010
I've been entertaining a hobby project of creating a new alien race for Warhammer 40,000 for a while now. Their fluff is rather nice, a bunch of scheming plotters with an emphasis on genetic manipulation and scientific experimentation all done in a society that represents the worst excesses of meritocracy and capitalism. Grappling with an armylist that allows us to represent them in the game however is the real challenge. Here's why.
The aliens have a futuristic approach to warfare. What's a futuristic approach to warfare? Light sabers? Klingons? We have no idea what the future will bring only suppositions. It is fair to assume though that combat will be based on the technology available. Nobody brings rocks to a tankfight. So I started imagining exactly what kind of combat schemes alien geneticists could think up. Then I said ah screw it, let's just make modern warfare with lasers.
Turns out modern warfare isn't that simple either. The basic tactics are relatively easy to grasp, squad based formations with overwhelming air and ground support. So how does this translate into game terms? Small squads of troops who can call down orbital bombardments? Lots of frickin' helicopters? What about the cool stuff like space marines riding huge ass bikes?
So having started with good intentions I've arrived back at original insanity of 40k which makes it so beloved and hated, as pictured below.
Let's not scull about in ignorance. 40k isn't about realism. It's about awesomeness. So where do we go from here? How do we make awesome aliens? Were I a better man I'd start down the path of all sorts of bizarre genetically created monsters controlled by sinister monstrous aliens who hunger only to feast on mankind's brains. But no, I persist in my vision of sinister monstrous aliens who utilise overwhelming firepower along with designer warriors. Maybe even a little CC. We're not bloody Tau here.
If you're a little curious the link to the current document is here. It's incredibly rough right now but we'll be updating it and tidying it soon. Feel free to steal and claim its your own work. It's a big internet, could take me years to find you.
Friday, September 25. 2009
There's a certain atmosphere to wargames. It works slightly differently to other normal hobbies like say surfing down Mount everest on an ironing board.
For a start there's a lot of monetary investment to be had, which makes one rather protective to one's armies.
Wargames can be a gruelling affair. You can spend hours facing off against a single opponent, time losing all sense of meaning, the world beyond the table becoming a haze, the constantly changing faces peering down at your game a blur. I'm not ashamed to say that it takes balls of steel to play wargames, especially when someone took all the chairs and you can't sit down.
Also half the game can often be spent arguing about which rules apply in this situation and whether the sniper on the hill can successfuly pick out the escape hatch behind the sewer pipe. Oddly enough outsiders often regard rules arguments as a bad thing. They're part of the fun. This is where sportsmanship comes into play. you could liken it to a friendly barfight, sure the furniture gets wrecked but everyone goes home friends.
And then there's the dice. Roleplayers use dice, so do board games but in wargames you need lots of dice... ...unless you're using a diceless system in which case get off my site now you scum. Anyway Wargamers live or die by their dice. The fate of a game doesn't rest on a single die, it rests on a thousand of them. Your chances of wounding that demon with a hundred rifles is a vital statistic that you need to know while designing your army composition.
Does any of this appeal to you? Why not try a wargame today. Join the few, the proud, the sweaty. Demand that your opponent check line of sight from the model's eyes the lousy, cheating jerk.
Thursday, July 30. 2009
I am in the midst of painting, basing and changing my two 40k armies. This is the mess I'm working on. No I didn't set this up just for display, Somehow during the course of my work all these models have migrated to the desk. The grey piles in the first pic are spinefists I plan to spray and stick on my currently fleshborer toting termagaunts. They're peeking out to the right of the big guy in the third pic. That big guy is my Hive Tyrant complete with a 'nid style banner. The fourth pic should amply demonstrate the somewhat beleaguered situation of the guardsmen atop the desk. They're utterly surrounded. The fifth and sixth pics show reinforcements for both sides however, The upper shelf is my 47 genestealers and a bunch more termagaunts and the lower shelf showcases my... novel colour scheme for my guardsmen and my rather unlucky carnifex conversion to the left of the guardsmen. Yes, the Tardis fell on him.
And then there's the prodigious amounts of magic cards... Really, if there was room to fit the laptop on this desk it would sum up all of my nerdy hobbies, It's make a great still life. Now if you'll excuse me I've got a street cred to try and piece back together.
Tuesday, January 13. 2009
What can I say. Deep down I'm secretly an emo. I just like those dark settings. For instance when I see this:
the imagination runs wild. Perhaps its because of my delight in the macabre. Perhaps it's because I'm from a superstitious country. Perhaps it's because it rains so bloody much I can't help but be gloomy. Whatever it is I just can't help but thrill at the creepy, the gloomy, the decaying. World of Darkness, Call of Cthulhu, you know those horror settings where we're all doomed and horrible monsters lurk within every shadow. I do have a few of my own pet projects based in similarly styled settings though knowing me they'll never see the light(pun here) of day.
Except for zombie apocalypses. A more trite and destructive influence I cannot think of. I swear if I could go back in time and convince Romero how much his work would be bastardised...
Monday, January 5. 2009
Putting aside my brilliant mastery of fluff weaving for a moment let's talk about crunch. What do you mean you don't- oh right, sorry. Fluff and crunch are gamer terms. The fluff is the story and setting background of a system while the crunch are the rules and dice rolling.
When it comes to my crunch I follow three simple rules. Balance, Simplicity, Realism. In that order. Also a lot of what this guy says and some half-remembered scraps of game theory from before I gave up learning Computer Science. Let's focus on my own design theory though.
My belief that every character with the same experience levels should be able to match each other. This immediately leads to some odd situations like a mage who can make buildings explode is somehow hard pressed to beat a barbarian who's just very good at whacking people in the face. I won't try to defend that from an in-universe standpoint(though you could make an argument for it). I will simply defend with the point that if mages were clearly better than everyone else then everyone would play mages. I know I damn well would and I assume everyone is at least as cunning and underhanded as me.
The other half of Balance is the zero-sum game. Mu really does explain this well but in an effort to undercut his readership I'll give it a go. Basically a good item or power should have a cost that balances out its benefit. Heavy armour should protect you better but impede your movement, a flaming shield should leave you vulnerable to frost. Items which aren't balanced this way mean either the people who get them are too powerful or everyone gets them and you need to introduce even more powerful items to compensate.
Simplicity is good. Why have ten stats when you can have one? Why track a sliding scale differential when you can use a natural number? Simplicity is all about economy of use balanced against system flavour. The simplest system just has you and your opponent roll a die and whoever rolls higher wins but that's kinda dull.
Realism is one of my important rules but it's also lowest on the priority list for a reason. I'm a fan of realism in gaming, that doesn't mean I want phalanxes of pikemen only with no magic. It means I want internal consistency and practicality in the system. A spell that can be used for setting someone on fire should also be useful for setting doors on fire. A suit of plate armour that completely protects you should actually cover your whole body and not. expose. your. midriff.
There's trade-offs and balance to be sought here as well. A realistic system implements a reach system so spears can stab further than daggers but ranges mean a whole layer of complexity that is awfully annoying to keep track of.
Also I'm not wholly against women in revealing clothing or huge barbarians with improbable scythes doing double backflip slashing wind of thunder attacks. I just prefer to limit it so it retains its value or, alternately, play Exalted
These entries would be a lot shorter if you just agreed with me you know.
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