Wednesday, June 7, 2017

USR: Archetypes: Modern-Day Heroes

Last time we looked at the classic fantasy races and classes. Now let’s move into modern-day action and adventure settings. Everyone’s human (usually), but the range of skills heroes need to succeed is bigger. These archetypes cover a lot of ground; a sneak, for example, can represent a James Bond-style spy, a Jason Bourne-style secret agent, or even a Jake Gittes-style private eye.

Or these dudes. (image: YouTube)


Diplomat
Primary Stat: Ego
Suggested Specialisms: Charm, Negotiate, Language, Leadership, Etiquette
Suggested Equipment: none

Entertainer
Primary Stat: Ego
Suggested Specialisms: Art (music, oratory, writing, etc.), Charisma, Athletics, Hundreds (Possibly Millions) Of Fans, Target Of Paparazzi
Suggested Equipment: Musical instrument

Gadgeteer
Primary Stat: Wits
Suggested Specialisms: Repair, Invent, Hacking, Works Best Alone, Focused On The Task At Hand
Suggested Equipment: Miscellaneous Gadgets, Tools

Pilot
Primary Stat: Action
Suggested Specialisms: Driving, Flying, Repair, Adrenaline Junkie, Team Player
Suggested Equipment: Vehicle (if there’s more than one character with a vehicle in the party, maybe they have one big vehicle, like a space cruiser)

Researcher
Primary Stat: Wits
Suggested Specialisms: Knowledge (in one topic), Dedication, Bravery, Support Of A University or a Military Organization
Suggested Equipment: Computer, Library Of Books

Sneak
Primary Stat: Action
Suggested Specialisms: Move Silently, Sleight Of Hand, Hacking, Disguise, Hide, Spot Clues
Suggested Equipment: Lock Pick (possibly an electronic one)

Soldier
Primary Stat: Action
Suggested Specialisms: Endurance, Intimidate, Leadership, Toughness, Military Tactics
Suggested Equipment: Guns, Knives


Which archetypes are best for the modern world?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

USR: Archetypes - Meet the Big Four

In USR, concepts like class and race are found in the form of archetypes, suggestions for ways to simulate character types long-time roleplayers are familiar with. In Halberd, the predecessor to Tequindria, a lot of the classic fantasy archetypes made an appearance. 

Archetypes aren’t a requirement, just a tool to help you visualize your character better. Every USR setting will probably have its own archetypes (Tequindra does). They’re a good way to get a feel for the kind of characters that would appear in that setting, even if your character stands out as someone different. 

Archetypes for elves, wizards and fighters can be found below.
Source: Wizards of the Coast originally, I think.


Since I’m using my Domino Writing-style version of USR, I’m going to make a few changes to better fit my version of the game. Here’s how they break down:

Primary Stat: This is the stat (Action, Wits, Ego) that should be assigned the d10, or d12 if using superhero rules. It’s not a requirement, but emphasizing that stat is the quickest way to simulate most familiar character types. That said, a really buff wizard (with a d10 in Action) would be a unique take on the spellcaster! Some archetypes have a primary stat of “Any” — the archetype doesn’t call for any specific stat to be favored. Just take your pick, like in the normal rules.

Suggested Specialisms: Several common skills, abilities or powers characters of the archetype usually have. You don’t have to take all three, or even any, of your specialisms from this list, but it’s a good starting point. In Domino Writing-style USR, a character’s combat skills are represented with their gear, so combat specialisms won’t be common. For example, an archer will have a Bow weapon rather than a Ranged Attack or Archery specialism. Also, Domino Writing-style USR doesn’t assign Specialisms to stats; you’ll have to do that yourself. I just represented supernatural powers as a Specialism, since USR has several different magic systems, which are worth looking at in another blog post.

Suggested Equipment: This includes weapons and armor, though you’ll have to decide on their value (Light/Medium/Heavy), depending on how you picture your character, and how many Combat Gear points you have available. It also includes signature tools of the trade, such as a spellbook or thief’s tools. It doesn’t include money; assume your character has enough “pocket change” or credit for any ordinary purchase, unless the GM says something different, of course. It also doesn’t include everything a character would be carrying (ordinary clothes, a bedroll, etc.), just the stuff that makes the character a hero.


Here’s a few examples, the classic “Big 4” races and classes, with a lot borrowed from Halberd.

Dwarf
Primary Stat: Action
Suggested Specialisms: Mining, Brewing, Tough, Leadership, Appraise Valuables, Forge Weapons and Armor
Suggested Equipment: Battle Axe or War Hammer, Armor, Repair Tools, Mug of Ale

Elf
Primary Stat: Wits
Suggested Specialisms: Woods Lore, Magic Knowledge, Aloof, Move Silently, Alluring
Suggested Equipment: Long Bow, Cloak of Invisibility

Human
Primary Stat: Any
Suggested Specialisms: Blacksmithing, Inventing, Leadership, Persuasion, Trying New Things, Sailing, Riding, Driving
Suggested Equipment: none

Halfling
Primary Stat: Ego
Suggested Specialisms: Sneak, Hide, Charm, Bargain, Singing
Suggested Equipment: Short Sword, Food

Cleric
Primary Stat: Wits
Suggested Specialisms: Healing, Religion, Nature, Charisma, Inspiration
Suggested Equipment: Holy Symbol, Mace, Armor

Fighter
Primary Stat: Action
Suggested Specialisms: Athletics, Strong, Military Tactics, Leadership, Intimidation, Riding
Suggested Equipment: Sword, Shield, Armor, Dagger, Crossbow

Rogue
Primary Stat: Action
Suggested Specialisms: Sneak, Climb, Escape, Disarm Trap, Pick Lock, Disguise, Charming
Suggested Equipment: Dagger, Thief’s Tools, Poison Vial

Wizard
Primary Stat: Wits
Suggested Specialisms: Spell-casting, Identify Magic Item, Monster Lore, History, Create Magical Item, Research
Suggested Equipment: Staff, Spellbook, Dagger

This is a starting point; there will be more archetypes to come, as we build up the range of settings available for USR.


Which archetypes have you created?

Friday, May 26, 2017

New Games

As promised, I've updated a few of my older games, albeit with not a lot of playtesting. So, if you play them, let me know how they work. They're on my website.

Monsters Menace Monopoly: This takes the traditional game and adds giant monsters and hordes. Send your giant lizard and your ninja clan to conquer St. James Place and the Water Works. I'll update the abilities of player tokens as Hasbro updates the pieces that Monopoly comes with. The goal was to create a game using a minimum of outside material that was a lot more fun than actual Monopoly. Paper money is a pain to keep track of, and all those little plastic houses and hotels just demand that someone wander through and crush them.

Plastic Attack: I walk past the action figure sections in the toy store and FLGS; what's the point, any figure you buy just sits there. Miniatures can at least be used in gaming. I do have rules for different sizes of figure in my Very Simple Generic Miniatures Game document. But Plastic Attack is quicker, more of a convention game. Plus, the figures don't even have to be the same scale — it really is about as all-encompassing as a game can be.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I Am In A Book!

Now I have my second published RPG credit. The first was years ago, in what Seraphim Games called Super Agents (and what I called Agents and Assassins) for the FASERIP revision 4C, where I adapted the superhero rules for secret agent-types. There was some of that in Marvel Super Heroes, the game that FASERIP is based on (pre-Watcher Nick Fury, SHIELD in general), but I tried to be more broad and cover everyone from Buffy to Bond, and to fix a few of the rules in 4C that didn't work.

Like this, but I didn't have vehicle rules.


This time, I'm the winner of the create-a-character contest for Spectrum Games' Cartoon Action Hour Season 3. Specifically for Warriors Of The Cosmos, the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe homage setting book. I created Bubblor, a gum-themed hero, as in, "the action figure would have had a scratch-n-sniff patch on its chest that smells like baseball card bubble gum." It's a classic piece of 1980s childhood nostalgia (I had plenty of those pink planks) and a gimmick that isn't otherwise in the Cartoon Action Hour game.

They were almost always broken. And they tasted awful.
Of course, there are plenty of my games on my website, and that's where I'll be putting out more content in the future. But it's fun to see a few things out in "the wild." If you're playing 4C, or Cartoon Action Hour, or Microlite 20, or USR, or any of my other games, let me know what you think! I'm always interested in feedback.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Playtesting

As I get back to working on my blog more often, it's prompting me to take another look at my games. The role playing games will get special attention, since I have a lot of ideas for Microlite 20 and USR. They're not dead games, especially since the latter just got a new book from its creator and the former is part of the d20 system, designed to never die (just look at Pathfinder).

So I'm going to look more at the other games I've put together, like Monsters Menace Monopoly, Plastic Attack and Mutant Hunter. Are those the best rules sets they could be? I "eyeball" my rules a lot, and don't actually get people together to test them all that often. Solo playing games designed for multiple, competitive players, doesn't always work. This is an ongoing project, but I can at least provide a more up-to-date version of the rules for people to enjoy.

Plus, I have hundreds of miniatures and dozens of maps, let's make use of them somehow.