Resistance: EARTH

Resistance: EARTH is now available at itch and Drive Thru RPG.

Ten years ago, the world ended. Today you’ve been chosen to bring it back.

A resistance to the alien overlords who govern the Earth is forming. Small, ill-equipped, and de-centralized, it had been in hiding, staying out of the regime’s gaze. It needs capable leaders, people who have the skills and audacity to take the fight to the regime.

That’s why they’ve tipped their hand, revealing themselves to the regime.

That’s why they busted you out of prison.

On the run, out of options, and marked for death, your characters are part of the resistance seeking to topple the proxies of the aliens who now rule the planet. You have nothing but your wits and out-dated weaponry. You face a technologically advanced force that vastly outnumbers you.

The only way you will survive is if you adapt, resist, and finally overcome.

Welcome to Resistance: EARTH.

Resistance: EARTH is an adaptation of Modern and Fifth Edition, blending the robust customization and granular options of OGL and Fifth Edition with the character-centric, narrative-focused style of story games.

Not The Time for THAT Kind of Direct Action

This being released concurrently with a post at my Patreon.

TL,DR: I support the protest of police violence against the Black community and demand police reform. Due to current circumstances, I am unwilling to release a game of military action, and will re-purpose it as a SF-action game of resistance against alien overlords in a near future Earth. 

If you disagree that systemic racism is an issue in the US, Canada, and pretty much around the globe, and that we—as the privileged—need to support the Black community, please don’t support me. You don’t want to give me your money as it will be going to support the Black community and police reform.

Okay, the details:

I hope everyone is well and safe. These are truly trying times, and while Canadian streets are not seeing the same kind of protest as many US streets are, we are not insensate to what is happening. Change must occur in Canada as much as the US—I honestly don’t know a country in which racial equality is not a problem.

And if you disagree with that, you would probably be happier not following me and not supporting my work, because I feel very strongly about this. I have been supporting food banks the last couple of months, but I will be supporting causes that have come to the fore in this crisis, causes that are supported by the Black community and especially Black creators and members of the tabletop RPG community.

Having said all that, the militarization revealed in the police force, the use of National Guard troops, and the threat of using US service personnel to police US streets has made me feel very queasy about working on and publishing a game about the military right now. Much like WARMONGER changed because of the COVID-19 virus, I feel Direct Action must change due to current circumstances.

The game will remain the same, I’ve been running two concurrent alpha playtests and the rules are getting close to a viable form. There are much less changes than initially planned, mostly because d20 and 5E were pretty solid platforms to begin with.

So, instead of Direct Action, I’ll be releasing Resistance: EARTH. Themes resonant with the current crisis is appreciated but unplanned. I had playtesters who were not at all interested in playtesting modern SOF, so Resistance: EARTH became a setting we could playtest the rules in.

Resistance: EARTH is kind of a post-apocalyptic action-adventure RPG. You play part of a resistance against alien overlords 10 years after an invasion. A primer is available at my Patreon which provides some insight into what I am proposing.

Thank you as always for your support. Please feel free to cancel that support. You won’t be missed.

Skull Shot: A Sword’s Edge Adventure

They tried to kill your handler, someone you kind of thought of as maybe a friend. That wasn’t nice.

Then they tried to kill you. That was a mistake.

Now you are going to find them, you are going to mess them up, then you are going to figure out how to profit from it. Sometimes, just sometimes, profit doesn’t come first.

A science-fiction action adventure for Sword’s Edge, Skull Shot is the sequel to Face ‘Splosion.

Skull Shot is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

Riggers: Meta-Humans in a Shattered World

It has been 70 years since the event. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis ravaged the globe. Continents heaved and buckled for three decades, re-shaping the world. Civilization shattered. There is very little left of what had come before. But people survived. People rebuilt.

And people changed.

They are the Riggers. More than human, but treated as less than people. You have come into this world in Elisus, a growing metropolis and a place of hope. Maybe you don’t belong here. Maybe nobody does. All you know is that you are a Rigger and you are being hunted.

Riggers is a meta-human RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world. This is a story-focused game with simple mechanics and characters based on descriptive qualities. The game will include a basic setting, explaining the Shattered World, how it came to be, and what adventures might be found in it.

Riggers is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

Face ‘Splosion on a Sword’s Edge

The last posts included campaign scenarios with Swords Edge in an alternative history and then a straight fantasy setting. This time, let’s look at something closer to science fiction.

This is being cross-posted as an update to the Sword’s Edge Kickstarter, running until 20 April 2017.

Ive been sharing some of the genres in which Ive used Swords Edge, and these are generally outside, or at least different, from those provided in the text. This time, its kind of sci-fi, but really its a computer game adaptation.

One of the adventures Ive written for Swords Edge is a science fiction actioner. Ive been a fan of Borderlands for quite some time, as you may have noticed if you’ve read this blog for any length of time. I had developed a simple system to replicate the shoot em up style of play, but it didnt really work as I wanted. Swords Edge is one way of doing it, so here are some of the narrative characters I created to mess up PCs in Face Splosion.

Assault Bots (Average minion) 12
Concept: Killer-Bot, +2

The Assault Bots are the cannon-fodder, sent in to get blown up real good by the PCs. Theyre minions, so one shot is one kill, but at Average, they arent complete push-overs.

At another point, the PCs will need to crack a secure program, and instead of just having intrusion countermeasures electronic, the system has an actual AI providing the security.

AI (Good regular) 17
Concept: Digital Ninja, +2
Phy -2; Cha 0; Cun +2

At one point, the PCs face up to the underboss, a kind of boss fight but not the big boss. This is Helmut, the brain of the big bads bodyguard put into a robots body. Hes definitely tuned up to ruin someones day.

Helmut (Good Hero) 17
Concept: Cyborg Warbot, +4
Phy +4; Cha +2; Cun +0
Heavy Armour (Phy) +4, Rocket Launchers (Phy) +2

So those are three of the characters that the PCs on Anesidora will run into in my own little version of Borderlands.

You can find the Sword’s Edge Kickstarter here.

You can find out more about Sword’s Edge here.

You can read about my obsession with Borderlands here.

My attempts are Borderlands RPGs are referenced here.

Cutter’s Headspace

Inspired by our character creation sensation for Todd’s Headspace game, here’s a little Headspace fiction. The names are changed, as is the precise situation:

In my head canon, Cutter is played by Ha Ji-Won

She sat there, staring at the drink, knowing it wouldn’t help but lacking any other alternative. She had died. No, not her, Stocker. The boss. He had died. But she had been in his head, she had witnessed it. More, she had endured it. She had shared his mind as Stocker died. That was after Whistler disappeared into the grid. Mills might have still been alive, she didn’t know. If not dead, Mills had lost her implant, had lost her link.

Dead by any other name.

In there, in the head that held remnants of her teammates, still dwelt the ones who lived. Their doubts added to her own. Their grief piled on top of hers. Even when she slept, their nightmares intruded.

She had plenty of her own.

Was their some change in the pressure in the room, some palpable tension that rippled along its surface? As much as she tried to turn it off, she had become attuned to emotions, maybe even to thoughts. It was as if someone had opened a sepulchre and the stench of the dead wafted out.

“Hello Cutter”

Her hand almost went to her pistol. He kept it still and on the bar. She turned her head to meet Ashton’s eyes. She didn’t know if he had a uniform of charcoal suit, white shirt, and red tie, but she had never seen him in anything else. The two brutes flanking him, just a step behind, should have had a corporate brand on their forehead.

She offered him the most insincere smile she could muster. “What’s Hayashi-Senko doing sending it’s best and brightest into this dive?”

Todd runs Broken Ruler Games.

Headspace is published by Green Hat Designs.

You can find Headspace at Drive Thru RPG.

Designated Marksman for Starship Commandos

Starship Commandos should be out soon. It is in the final stages of layout right now. It’s going to be 6X9 or digest size. Right now, we’re looking at 47 pages, which means it may be possible to put out a very thin book. I have to look at the cost per copy to see what the price might be, but the PDF will be out first.

image by algol

To give you an idea, here’s the character that’s presented in the book. It’s different than what has been presented before because the game uses the mechanics from Riggers. The way Riggers runs is pretty much perfect for Starship Commandos.

So here is Sgt. Sara Cooper, the designated marksman for the 121 Marine Special Armour and Tactics squad.

Sgt. Cara Cooper, Designated Marksman

Concept
Scout d8

Traits
Physical d10; Mental d12; Social d20

Training
Stealth d8, Awareness d10, Marksmanship d10, Athletics d12, Survival d12, Tracking d12

Harness
J25S Long-Range Reconnaissance
Stealth d6; Long-Range Sensors d8; Indirect Fire Support d10

Flaws
Disconnected, Unconventional

Pivot
Never the Innocent (Cooper will not target non-combatants, Ever)

Heinlein Meets Cameron

Right now, a second proof copy is winging . . . rolling? . . . posting its way to me and I’m in a holding phase until all is settled. I don’t feel it’s wise to move forward on other projects publically until I have fully delivered Nefertiti Overdrive. For those who don’t know, I technically delivered Nefertiti Overdrive‘s PDF on time, but things are not looking good for the print copies. And I can’t market Nefertiti Overdrive to the wider world until the backers have their chance to get their product, so probably November.

Until then, I am in a holding pattern, but I can tell you what is coming next.

Starship Commandos.

Armor by Odobenus

This game has been around for a year and a half, maybe longer, but while I was working on getting Nefertiti Overdrive out, I didn’t have a chance to do anything with it. Right now, I’m cleaning it up and preparing it, hoping that it will get the chance to get out into the wild.

Starship Commandos is about the MARSAT – Marines Special Armour and Tactics – a special purpose squad within the Colonial Marine’s MEU – Marine Expeditionary Unit. The conceit is that human colonization has identified life on other planets, just not sentient life.

Until now.

The idea would be to publish an 8,000 to 10,000 word rulebook and then the introductory adventure which sets up the opposition in the game I ran.

How is this coming out? I don’t know yet. Do I want to try to Kickstart a 20 page PDF? I might be able to get some real art, but then again, the Kickstarter itself is a whole separate project from the creation of the work, and sometimes takes more effort – since it hits on talents I don’t have.

I’ve mentioned before about Patreon, and that is something I am strongly considering.

Or do I just say “fuck it” and release it with some stock art, a very basic cover, and see how many I can sell for $2.99 USD?

We shall see. But likely not until November.

You can find out more about Starship Commandos here.

RPGaDAY2015 Day 18: Favourite SF RPG

#RPGaDAY2015 is the brainchild of game designer Dave Chapman. Basically, each day in August there is a question about RPGs. This is day 18.

Favourite SF RPG: Is almost impossible for me. I have very rarely played SF RPGs. I guess the most recent one was an SG-1 game when I was living in Halifax back in 2004. Supers is its own category, so I am really and truly stuck.

Can I say Fate Accelerated because we had a great Firefly game using those rules?

Can I say Old School Hack because Kirin Robinson – its creator – ran a kind of Star Frontiers hack using that at Gen Con in 2013?

Can I say the unnamed game I cooked up in university for our long running space opera campaign?

You’re going to have to accept one of those. I don’t have that much experience.