Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Now that I've got a rough idea on my setting, Cresthaven, I need to get some more details in place for it.   First, I've been thinking a bit more about Mardok's Rangers. The "mercenary takeover" idea is a decent one, but their sheer size and power is a bit alarming. What if they're not a merc force, but instead the military forces of a more established power. Perhaps their a forward force of Free Quebec, or the dreaded Splugorth Slavers (servants of the Lovecraftian entity that rules Atlantis), or a band from the Federation of Magic or something else?

Are they a Mercenary Band?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

But, they have a secret of some sort, something else going on with them. I make a note of this, but decide not to explore it further--something to discover in game.

Now, let's look at the questions I had from last time:
* Who was the Protector?
* What are the "dangers" around Cresthaven, and why is Mardok so unconcerned about them?
* What do the people believe?
* What is the relationship of the magic wielders and the Rangers?
* Who are the primary families in town, and how have they responded to the presence of the Rangers?

Starting with the first, let's see Who was the Protector? Let's see what a "complex description" can give me:
Hopelessly / Delicate

Well...that's unexpected. Not some power-armored badass, but something more subtle. Perhaps a wizard or a psychic or a some sort of fey spirit? Maybe even a deity of some sort. I decide whoever it was, was a "she." Was she a deity?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

Wooden statue of the Lady
Rifts does have states for a godling/demigod type characters, and I decide that she was one of these, probably with the Magic special powers. She was the "Lady in the Woods," and worshiped by the community. I figure the few remaining magical practitioners are what remains of her immediate followers. I'm sure that there was something else going on with her being here rather than merely protecting Cresthaven, but that's another mystery to discover in play.

What happened to her?

The "hopelessly delicate" gives me some guidance. Maybe she grew sick and weary over time? At least it seemed that way to her followers, who probably blamed the attach on some other supernatural force. I'm going to say that they believe she merely sleeps, and that is is there duty to find and defeat this force. Each has their own pet theory as to what exactly it was that struck her, and what needs to be done to revive her.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Setting First Game Design

I feel like I haven't been gaming as much as I would like lately. Part of this is just the time of year, as life and work tend to become quite hectic around now. But, it's also a matter of focus. I've been doing a few games here and there, but each has ended with the rather unceremonious death of the PC.

Well, I want to get going again, but this time I want to approach things a little bit different than I normally do. In most of my Solo games, I've started with the PC first, and then tried to build the story and the world around them. Or, I've started with a module or something like that. For this game, I want to try building up a setting first, give it some degree of detail and conflict, and then create a character to part of this world. If they die, perhaps the setting will outlive them, and the initial PC's death will simply become part of the background. Of course, not everything will be "known" right from the start. What details I create are intended to be "common knowledge" in the setting. Perhaps everyone "knows" that the local merchant is acting as a front for criminals. Maybe this is true, maybe not. Perhaps he's being forced into it due the gang threatening his family. Maybe he's actually their boss. Maybe the merchant and the thieves are both members of an insidious cult. I won't know when I start--and it's answering the "maybes" that will hopefully form at least part of the game.

Now, the first question is "what game/setting do I want to play?" As I had little idea of what I wanted to use, I immediately discarded any generic system. While I'm actually a fan of a couple of these, they really only work when you have a very clear idea of what kind of game you want to run. I then used a couple of tools and resources I was recommended, but none of them felt right for me. Not that the ideas generated were bad, per se, but none of them excited me or got me interested. It did clarify that there were some ideas I didn't want though, and that was helpful as well. Finally, I just wrote down a list of the games I already own, and came up with reasons to discard them. I'm playing in a traditional D&D game, so that was out. I've done a lot of Vampire and am planning on doing a game for that once Chicago by Night is released, so that was out. Went through the lists, and finally realized that the game that had what I wanted (ie: just kind of everything), that I knew pretty well, and that I was actually kind of excited about exploring was Rifts.

Monday, June 17, 2019

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 22

Fislet dropped the Men off within an alcove on the Western side of the peninsula and continued on her way. This area is entirely made up of a quarry, for the most part inactive. It's pock-marked with caves and alcoves wherein hides the less fortunate of society. Deirik, Eirik, Ygvard, Boldulf, Kiro, and Sergei use this to their advantage and attempt to blend in.

They make their way to the South, where the quarry meets the open plains and Sergei, the horse-sized wolf, is encouraged to run off and hide in the area nearby. Boldulf, speaking in the wolf tongue, reassures Sergei that they will come retrieve him whenever they leave the city. Sergei huffs, then turns and lopes away. They also find a place nearby to hide their weapons and armor since they're about to walk into the city, and holding such would surely get them arrested or worse.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Penthouse Blitz

Owls Go Hollywood
Penthouse Blitz

The Owlmandos have entered the air duct from the roof, ready to wreck SoloChem’s nefarious plans.

The narrow, twisting air ducts empty into a cramped, two foot high crawlspace that stretches out on all sides for as far as you can see in the dim light. The crawlspace floor is made of flimsy tiles suspended from the ceiling with metal struts. The area is filled with electrical wiring, plumbing, sprinkler system machinery, and ventilation shafts.
You hear murmuring voices directly below you, and thin streams of light shine up from cracks in the flimsy tiles below your feet.
You suddenly realize that you are in the drop ceiling above the labs. The crawlspace “floor” is made of lightweight ceiling tiles suspended below the roof of the building. The two foot gap between the real ceiling and the drop ceiling is just enough room…to travel freely.

Tristan gently lifts one of the tiles and the owls crowd together to peer inside. They see a number of technicians bustling about, administering strange injections into freighted rats, lizards, and other creatures.  Gawain grips his sword and readies himself to charge in, but is stopped by Percival, who shakes his head, desiring caution. Gawain ruffles his feathers, but gives into his brothers. For now, at least.

Carefully picking their steps, they make their way around the crawlspace.

Monday, March 4, 2019

On Silent Wings

Owls Go Hollywood
On Silent Wings

Over the towering skyscrapers of New York, three silent figures glide overhead. Slowly, they approach the waterfront, wings gently flapping, as they cross the roofs of crumbling old word buildings. Then, a towering, high tech fortress looms over the water like a sullen giant.

The Owlmandos are approaching the headquarters of SoloChem, a violent crime cartel. Over the past few weeks, an instantly addictive designer drug called “Blue Ice” has been hitting the streets. Det. “Bulldog” Payne, their liaison with the New York Police, has traced its manufacture to the top floors of this very respectable-looking, though heavily fortified, building. Mass shipments are due to leave tomorrow for destinations around the country, where they will be given away as “free samples,” creating hordes of instant addicts.  Bribes from SoloChem boss Fred Porcelain have kept the cops away, but the Owlmandos have no such restrictions. They have been charged with destroying the lab and the shipments, but to retrieve any documentation and samples, for later prosecution. 

The building is too well-fortified for a direct assault, which is why the Owlmando’s were sent on this mission. The roof is the weakest point, and the silently swoop around the building to gather information.

The roof is empty except for a few small chimneys, a helicopter, a two-foot wide air duct, and a bored goon yawning as he patrols around the rooftop door. A walkie-talkie hangs on his hip, and he is listening to it through a pair of headphones.

Gawain glances at his brother Tristan, who responds with a curt nod of approval. Gawain breaks formation and swoops high into the air, then folds his wings and dives quickly at the bored guard. 

Friday, March 1, 2019


Created by the eccentric and brilliant billionaire Doctor Thurston Rheinhart, these avian heroes were raised to protect and cherish humanity. Working with Detective Jack “Bulldog” Payne and his elite Special Investigation Squad, they take to the night to battle those threats too strange, too bizarre, and too dangerous for the NYPD. Threats only the Owlmando’s can handle!
Or, at least, that’s what they were raised to believe. In truth, Jack Payne is a disgraced EX cop, drummed out for corruption. He and Doctor Rheinhart are employees of The Syndicate, a ruthless criminal organization bent on running the streets. Their arch-foes are the Shadow, a criminal Ninja clan. Unable to defeat these feared master assassins on their own terms, the Syndicate created the Owlmando’s as their very own “heroes.”

Since their debut a few months ago, the Owlmando’s have become a popular “urban legend” around New York, and have successfully thwarted The Shadow numerous times. Now they are focused on cleaning up the streets.

They are:

Created with Hero Machine
Real Name: Tristan Strix
Attributes: IQ 11 ME 12 MA 19 (60% Trust/Intimidate) PS 25 PP 28 PE 18 PB 21 (65% Charm/Impress) SPD 14
Age:  16  Sex: Male
Alignment: Principled
Weight:  61lbs Height: 2’6”
Hit Points:  24  SDC: 67
Disposition: Brave, caring, and considerate. Just wants to do what’s right.
Human Features:
·        Hands: Full
·        Stance: Full
·        Speech: Full
·        Looks: None
Psionic: None
Level of Experience: 1st
Education: Special training with abilities
Scholastic Bonus: +15%
Weapon Proficiencies: WP Sword WP Staff Paired Weapons WP Sub-Machinegun WP Automatic Pistol
Physical Skills/Training: Gymnastics, (Sense of Balance 75%, Climb Rope 89%, Climbing 47%, Back Flip 99%) Boxing, Wrestling, Athletics (General), Body Building, Prowl 87%,
Other Skills: Espionage 55%, Detect Concealment 45%, Interrogation 55%, Land Navigation 55%, Pick Locks 50%, Tracking 45%, Wilderness Survival 55%, Language: Japanese 55%, Photography 50%
Combat Skills: Martial Arts. Number of attacks: 5. +9 to Roll w/ Punch, +13 to Parry/Dodge, Knockout on Natural 20, Damage +10 +7 to Strike, Pin on 18-20, Crush/Squeeze 1d4, Tackle 1d4
Personality: He was raised to be a hero, and being a hero is all he wants to be. Tristan truly tries to make the best of any situation, and will do his best to save and protect as many as he can. He loves his brothers, and his family, but he still often feels alone. More than anything, he would like to be able to get out and meet normal people and be part of the wider world, but he knows his responsibilities prevent such a thing.
Preferred Weapon: Sword.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Solo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness

I’m starting up a new series of Solo play, for “Solo A Module Month.” In this event, Solo gamers take a crack at playing a traditional party-based module and playing it Solo. My attempt last year fizzled out for me, but I’m eager to give it another go.

After quite a bit of sifting, I’ve decided to go with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness (TMNT) by Palladium Books. This game is currently Out of Print, unfortunately, but I still have my copy sitting on a shelf, and I haven’t had a chance to play it in years. The basic system is the Palladium (or ”Megaversal”) system. Combat is essentially d20 based, while its Skills are Percentile. Nothing too radical, and its clearly an “Old School” system.

Given that it is a somewhat quirky system, I’ll be including quite a bit of the mechanics of the game as they come up. I’ve done a previous series using the Palladium system, the Metal Angel series was based off of the Heroes Unlimited game, which is, in many ways, a companion to TMNT.

New Year, New Character Day 22: Pendragon

  New Year, New Character   Day 22    Pendragon  Pendragon is a game where players take on the roles of knights in Arthurian Britain. That&#...