Monday, September 3, 2012

When you can't run... walk (30ft unencumbered).

It's been a chaotic time since my last post regarding WarMaHordes.

My very sincere sounding promises have been met with dubious resolve, and so far, this is the progress I can boast.

  •  Primed, monochrome shaded, and did skin for 10 Pyg Burrowers
  • Painted 6 strong squad of Trollkin Scouts and one Skinner (One scout fully painted, the rest have skintone and pants painted. Pants Matter!)
  • -A lot of cleaning and reassembling and priming and basecoating that amounted to models being net-gain-zero as far as being completely painted.

All the while I was slugging along with a Grim Angus force list that never seemed to crest the ever-so-high hill of actually defeating Steve's Asphyxious list. If this seems like a bunch of jargle to you, lemme sum up.

"No matter what I painted, or how sharp I made my tactics, some skeletal doink with a polearm wrecked my plan."

 Following our last pair of games on Thursday night, I asked my esteemed opponent "Do you even feel challenged?" to which he graciously replied "Uh, well, I stuck my caster right out in the middle, and you couldn't kill him...".

There was a pause.
"So... No, then." I asked.
"Better switch to Khador" was the reply.

So, I painted up a secondhand "Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince"  as seen here:

 Nothing too far from the over the counter recommended color scheme, but classy enough to be playable.

But, just as it seemed I was going to be able to throw a load of time into my Khador force... I had a podcast to record. The gory details can be heard for the low low cost of a pint and 30 minutes of your wasted time, but suffice it to say that in a week's time, you'll be treated to an action hero throw-down over at that will tickle your aural senses explosively.

And then there's the role playing games. You know...the ones I'm not actually playing. After returning from a small con in Binghamton N.Y. and having allies return from GenCon 2012, we're all hopped up to roll dice and tell tall tales.This results in a lot of "Well I"m GONNA...." and then what follows is an unstoppable torrent of how great it will be when the speaker comes up with his magical plotline and all the awesome NPCs and the world that was built by extrapolating the universe from a single bit of fairy cake.

In short, it's the Department of Transportation breaking ground on that new highway to hell. Your good intentions at work..

So, once again I find myself trying to put together a game with limited time which will be competing with podcast research, painting, and all the very real responsibilities that nobody wants to hear me whine about. What's an aspiring GameMaster to do?

A little each day. That's what.

In the effort to reacquaint myself with the game system, I'll be building some NPC's and posting them up here. I plan to use the d20 modern OGL based Exodus system by Glutton Creeper Games. I had an entertaining game of this going on for a while with most of the story taking place in a handwavy area of Southern Oregon. Seeing as they've just recently released their pdf-only Wasteland Guide: Texas, I want to make up characters that would make sense in a 200 mile radius of Clovis, Texas.

Go ahead, look it up... Or don't. I'll wait.

You see, the way I figure it, that gives me the following locations to play around in.
-Lubbock, Amarillo, and Dumas TX
-Roswell, Albaquerque, and Las Vegas NM
-The Oklahoma Panhandle OK (OK?!)
- The Commanche Grasslands

Before any of you fancy cartographers start shouting about how Las Vegas is in Nevada, and I'm a dope, keep in mind that there can be more than ~one~ Las Vegas, and in this case, there is, and it's in New Mexico.

So, as I was promising... Something each day for Exodus D20. It may be and NPC done up in the D20 modern ruleset. It may be cranked out by hand out of the books. It may be some hacked over mess from a previous game that I think will fit into this campaign. If I manage to get 2 dozen NPCs that I actually use out of this, I'll be pleased as punch. If anyone else in the world gets any use out of it, they can please punch someone else. It may be as simple as resource or inspirational material I can use for a plot point in the game.

The following article was pointed out to me by a friend, and I'm hard pressed to deny its greatness. Albeit a sad state of affairs for the brave primates who gave all to put man into space, it is the kind of stranger-than-fiction element that just screams "Put me into your post apocalyptic landscape, crazyman!"

~Time Machine Noise Of Your Choice~

And I'm back.
In an effort to reacquaint myself with filling in a character sheet, I've harkened to page 77 of the Exodus Wasteland Bestiary, and looked up "Monkey".

Seeing as our original pal "Albert" was a Rhesus Monkey, I've tried to transpose his vital statistics onto a character sheet, with results as follows.

You may notice that this character sheet seems small. That's because I filled out a full on player character sheet with all the pertinent info, and it was far too unwieldy to use in-game. I instead used the lovely "Initiative Cards v2.0 (Fantasy) by JD Wiker" which are available from "The Game Mechanics Inc". 

How can you get them? Simply click on this convenient link which will take you to and get yourself a copy. 

Are they designed for d20 Modern?
-No, but Albert-X is a monkey, and as such he's very similar to fantasy monkeys, future monkeys, and present monkeys. 

"But, you just copied stats onto a card! That's hardly interesting"

Au contraire, mis petit singe!

You see, in looking at the entry on page 77 of the Wasteland Bestiary, I noticed a few things

1) This monkey is TINY.
As in, categorized as tiny.That means he is:
Pretty God Awful in a grapple at -8 for his size and -2 for his strength
Pretty Good at avoiding being hit, and hitting larger targets, gaining a +2 size bonus for being tiny
Up Close And Personal. He has to be standing in the same square as his opponents to actually attack them.

2) Sometimes things go wrong.
Most of the stats on page 77 seem to be calculated as if this little simian had a Dex score of 14 (+2), when it's clearly listed at 18 (+4). I refitted the stats for Defense and Initiative to reflect the deft agility of the little beast, as well as tuning up his "hide" score to take advantage of the dexterity bonus.

3) His challenge rating is -1... that's Negative One.
So, how the heck does that work? Well, there's this notion called "Advancement" or "Evolution" where you can increase hit dice on the monster, give it a class, and/or boost its defense. It can change sizes, saving throws, and who knows what the hell else. I've chased this stat to page 299 of the d20 modern core rulebook, and I'm still pondering what this does to Challenge Rating... Does a man sized Rhesus monkey remain a Challenge Rating -1  if his strength leaps to 19/+4, his bites start doing 1d3+4 damage with a to-hit bonus of +2? He's even rock on up to 1d8+1 hit points. That's good because he'd be worse at hiding.

I guess I'll have to look into challenge rating a little more seriously tomorrow, because as much as the threat level in a game is a "needs more salt" kind of thing most of the time, I would like to start awarding proper XP in this game instead of "Meh, everyone's bored and out of Karma Points, let's level up".


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