Category Archives: Other Systems

Adventurers! Event Zero

I have been given a copies of Adventurers! the game and Adventurers! Event Zero, the Supers setting for Adventurers!

I think this is a great game and setting combo. The feel I have from the setting booklet is like the Heroes TV series. We have an event that has created these heroes but the whole thing is shrouded in conspiracy.

So what do you get?

Adventurers!

Adventurers! Revised Edition is a mini RPG. It claims to be an RPG in two pages but the reality is that the players guide is two pages, the GMs guide is 2 pages and there there is a bit more for the bestiary and stuff like list of gear that characters can buy or use. Toss in some character sheets and top and tail it with a cover and you have 12 pages of rules.

Adventurers! feels like a framework and not a bolted down game. As such you can do a lot with it. The simpler the framework and the less rules there are then the less chance that a rule will stop you doing something. The core Adventurers! booklet hints as settings and styles of play but it is basically generic.

Characters have 3 main attributes and some secondary attributes that are either derived from the core ones or based upon other skills or equipment. The core attributes are on a -1 to 6 scale and for PCs you get 6 points to spend over the three attributes. You get a couple of skills, one at a basic level and the second at a more advanced level. The skills list is not vast in this core book.  You finally have a character concept made up of two words definition and an archetype, or to quote the rules…

The Concept identifies what a hero is and what he does. It is made up of two parts, a Definition (e.g. Unlucky) and an Archetype (e.g. Detective), such as Dashing Swordsman, Mysterious Mage, or Cop Who Protects Innocents. You have Advantage on knowledge rolls linked to your Archetype. The GM rewards you with Her points when you role-play your Definition (e.g. if you are a Courageous
Swordsman and you behave in a courageous way).

The main mechanic is roll 2d6 and add your stat and or skill. A roll of 7+ succeeds. Opposed rolls are you roll yours, they roll theirs and the winner succeeds. Roll double 1 and you critically fail, roll double 6 and you critically succeed.

You should get an idea for how simple this game it.

The complexity, if you can call it that comes from the other half of the equation, the setting book.

Event Zero

Event Zero is a supers setting for Adventurers. So in addition to the core rules EZ adds a really cool campaign setting. I have read a few Gramel mini settings and this is by far the best to date. After the setting you get NPC character and organisation descriptions, plot hooks and setting specific gear lists. Gear includes actual items but also customisations so you can make stuff bullet proof or resistant, all the stuff you would expect from a super heroes costume. You also get add on rules for super powers, heroes working as teams, super hero bases.

It is easy to pack a lot on when every game mechanic is small so in this 44 page book you are getting the added rules for supers, the campaign setting, adventure hooks but the setting specific ‘monsters’ and foes from Super Animals to SWAT teams and Super Villains.

To counter the super villains you get 6 super heroes with fully worked up character sheets which are ready to play.

The final part of this booklet is the Adventure. Each Gramel mini setting as a full adventure. This one runs to 8 pages and is described in a series of set scenes. These can appear somewhat linear, some more than others. The antidote to that is to include a lot of conditional options. The characters do not have to do everything in the right way and at the right time to make it through. The conditional options give them enough leeway to do their own thing. This is less of a problem with the EZ adventure as there is a villain with a plan and that plan will progress if the characters do not step in so it would reach its natural conclusion anyway. As such I think the linear format actually works well here, if anything it feels quite cinematic.

Conclusions

I am quite curious about the Adventurers! game and would like to try it. I haven’t yet so I cannot tell you how it plays in practice.

The game itself was a successful Kickstarter raising over €5000. The production values are very high and it contains some of the best art I have seen in such a rules light game. I think that is a vote in the games favour.

The setting books I love. I am running a game this weekend and I am planning on using one of their settings and adventures for my weekend’s entertainment.

The settings books cost about $6 each and they are well worth it. The two page edition of the rules is free and the kickstarter revised edition, the one I reviewed here is only $4.99. If you ever find yourself in need of a quick setting or an adventure then I would seriously recommend you take a look at one of Gramel’s books.

Raising Azazel Fudge Character Creation

Character Creation Basics

I will confess that creating this NagaDemon game has meant I have read the Fudge 1995 rules in detail for the first time. Up until now I have been working off of other peoples derived games and their customisations and interpretations.

So I am now writing up my character creation rules and I am having three primary attributes. These are Mind, Body and Spirit. I was looking at that list for ages and I could not work out what was odd about it until I realised that RPGs seem to prioritise Strength over everything else. I can remember D&D being Str, Int, Wis. Rolemaster has stats in two groups of 5. The first are the development point stats and they start with Con and the second group starts with Str.

I think that Mind, Body, Spirit feels more natural when you say it than Body, Mind, Spirit.

I am giving players 11 points to spend on the three attributes assuming they all start at -3[Terrible]. So a character should end up with one Fair and two Good attributes if they spend their points broadly.

A fourth attribute I am stealing from Ghost Ops and that is Boosts, basically Fudge Points. I think Boosts sounds more dynamic and less fuzzy than Fudge Points. Everyone will get 4 Boost Points at the start of play.

For the skill selection I have stripped out the supernormal skills such as spell casting as I don’t want the starting PCs to have access to magic. This left me with 19 categories and about 150 specific skills.

I am happy with that scope and I am giving players 30 points to spend. The default skill level will be -1[Poor]. No skill can be above Superb.

I am also going to use skill specialisations. So Combat would be a skill category, Swords would be a skill, Rapier would be a specialisation. Each character will get 10 points to be spent on specialisations with no more than 2 points spent on any specialisation.

At the moment I have not included gifts and faults. As I don’t have long to get the game up and running, leaving these out make for a simpler system.

For the GM

I have detailed nine broad character concepts with the character’s reason for becoming involved in the conspiracy. This information is for the GM only. They[the GM] should work this into the character’s back story. These concepts are things like The Journalist, The Law Enforcer, The Cult Survivor, The Hacker, The Curate, The Scientist, The Conspirator, The Investigator and The Mystic.

What I am aiming for is a sort of hidden agenda where without giving the main conspiracy away immediately, it is intrinsically linked to the character.

Artworks

I do have a habit of procrastinating. I think of it as giving myself time to mull over ideas. One nice way to procrastinate is playing with the art to decorate this game. I am thinking along the lines of building it up like a graphic novel. Here is the first panel.

So so far this is all pretty run of the mill except maybe for the GM only element of character creation and the GM having a hidden agenda to weave the conspiracy into the characters’ back stories.

If you want to follow the creation process then I am trying to post more frequent updates to twitter, if you are into that.

Demonic Fudge anyone?

I will not be posting a NagaDemon post every day, this is not an RPGaDay sort of thing but as this is the first official day I thought I would kick it off with a post. I will continue to post updates on twitter using the @PPMGamer account.

So we know the rules are going to be FUDGE. It is also going to be objective FUDGE as I don’t like the subjective labels and scale. I like numbers for attributes and numbers for Target Numbers.

I also know some of that I want included in the game. I was swords, magic and monsters (for that read Demonic horrors).

I also want it to be modern day.

So how to get people to go through the hassle of carrying a sword in modern day London or New Orleans (another potential location for the cultists)?

So demons can only be harmed by iron weapons, which thankfully includes steel. That means that bullets are not going to cut it and you can leave your taser at home too.

So this gives the first hints at the setting and mystical backdrop. Iron has often featured in folklore. I grabbed this from Wikipedia…

“Cold iron” is historically believed to repel, contain, or harm ghostsfairieswitches, and other malevolent supernatural creatures. This belief continued into later superstitions in a number of forms:

I can include all of that in the culture of the game world.

I rather fancied have magic based around rituals and ceremonies rather than whizz bang fireballs and magic missile spells. I was bumbling around wikipedia looking up magical ceremonies and I came across a name, Authur Edward Waite who was into some rather dark stuff back in the 1890s. As it happens there are two of his books on Project Gutenberg. I did a quick Find on the html text for words that I would probably want to see in my magical rituals like ‘circle’, ‘demon’,  ‘Masonic’ and ‘evocation’ and they are all there aplenty. His book is hundreds of pages long so I am not going to read it but it is out of copyright so I will probably lift from it to add flavour and background. I don’t want to go and publish stuff that is potentially offensive so I will take the text into Word and then do a Find/Replaced to insert some made up words in place of anything that I do not feel that comfortable with.

One idea in Waite’s work is that Masons are completely innocent and not into anything dark at all, but within the Masonic hierarchy there is an inner church. I like that. It means that Murder Hobo PCs cannot just walk into a Masonic meeting and feel justified in slaughtering everyone.

So I think I have my rules and I think I have my setting.

I think I really should read the Fudge rules in a bit more detail before bending them but I now have enough to start with. If I go quiet for a few days then it is because I am reading rulebooks!

Oh, yes, the image at the top of this post is from Waite’s treatise on Alchemy which just goes to show that there are some odd people about!