Category Archives: Other Systems

Realms of Terrinoth: Play Report

239561On Friday I finally had the chance to play in a Genesys game. My friend Sebastian ran an adventure set into the Realms of Terrinoth for us. Since it was meant as an introduction to both the mechanics and the setting, we decided to pick our characters from a list of well-known characters from the settings. Since I already played him several times in Descent, I picked Leoric of the Book, a somewhat arrogant mage who is on a forced sabbatical from the university of Greyhaven.

In the game our group of adventurers were on their way to Greyhaven, when we stumbled upon a group of bandits pillaging a farmhouse. After a very short exchange of unpleasantries and the casting of a very effective attack spell, the bandits surrendered and we got to explore the farmhouse. It turned out the inhabitants were killed. One victim had its neck broken, while the others had their blood drained. The only visible wounds were two small holes on their necks. Since we all failed our Lore roles miserably we made up the theory that someone must have used some kind of barbecue fork to skewer the victims. We then found tracks caused by a two-horsed carriage, which we followed until we came to a landslide which blocked the road. A guard told us about a detour we could take and also remembered a carriage going the same way, carrying at least one driver, a guard, and a female noble.

BarghestWe followed the trail until we reached a roadside inn. We quickly realized that a) the stablehand has been missing since the carriage arrived and b) that the carriage was about to leave again, which was surprising because people usually don’t travel at night. We then found out that the noble riding that carriage was from the house of Farrow from Nerrekhall, a town with a history of demon worship. Some patrons also heard strange noises and noticed a weird green light coming from the noble’s quarters. Immediately after the carriage left we searched the rooms and found – to no one’s surprise – the dead stablehand, killed in the same manner as the farmers.

A chase ensued and eventually we had to fight not only the noble which was quite proficient at magic, but also a couple of barghests. We barely survived but the horse-drawn carriage was able to escape. But we’ll get her next time!

genesys_roleplaying_dice_pack_2_

All of the players were already familiar with the mechanics since most of us have about thirty sessions of Edge of the Empire under our belts. The differences between the Genesys system and the mechanics used in FFG’s Star Wars line are pretty small. Reading the dice and interpreting results has pretty much become second nature to most of us.

I particularly enjoyed the magic system. It’s extremely versatile but still easy to use. Each type of magic (Arcana, Primal, Divine, etc.) has a number of basic spells (like Attack, Barrier, Heal, etc.) which can then be modified to one’s heart’s content. You can add various elemental effects, increase the range, affect additional targets, et cetera. Modifying spells usually adds to the difficulty of the casting roll, but there are magic items and talents who alleviate that issue. We mostly used the spells created for the characters, but the great potential of the system was obvious.

Overall our first session in Terrinoth went exceptionally well. The GM did a solid job even though he hasn’t worn the GM’s mantle that often before. Because of the usual scheduling issue we probably won’t get to play before next year, but I am already quite excited to continue our adventures!

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.