Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"'Manos' The Hands of Fate" Heroes for Savage Worlds



O Manos - thou of primal darkness! Thou who dwelleth in the depth of the universe in the black chasms of night! Thou who bestoweth the mother darkness upon thy faithful, to live eternally in her keeping. Thou dost make him most blessed forever! And thou who dost curse with eternal burning life those whom transgress against thee! Holy art thou, holy art thou, holy art thou! Manos will be done! Thy priesthood remains steadfast, thy priesthood remains constant, thy priesthood remains right-eous. Thou hast taught us, O Manos, and we hath listened. Give ear to our words, O Manos, and hear us! Hear us! Hear us! For we are faithful and thou art our God.


For the awful protagonists of "Manos:" The Hands of Fate, I decided to be honest and stat them up as real Savage Worlds Novice characters. In order to preserve their incompetency as much as possible, I had to spread around the skill points quite a bit, and not have them take a full set of Hindrances. I'd be tempted to give them a few more Hindrances from the Horror Companion, but that would ironically only make them more competent, so I didn't.

 
Now get out there and run the worst one-shot you've ever played!


Mike, I'm scared.

Margaret
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d6, Fighting d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Repair d4, Stealth d6, Taunt d6
Charisma: +4; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Yellow
Edges: Attractive, Danger Sense
Gear: a head-scarf? 

Nothing to worry about. It's only your imagination.
 
Mike
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Driving d8, Fighting d4, Intimidation d6, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Repair d6, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Taunt d4
Charisma: +0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Overconfident
Edges: Rich, Strong Willed
Gear: mid-sized car, .38 special (Damage: 2d6, Range: 10/20/40, RoF: 1, AP 1, Revolver)
 
Let's sing something from Pearl Jam!

Debbie
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Stealth d8
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Young
Edges: Cute (as Attractive, but, y'know, for kids), Beast Master
Gear: Peppy the Poodle (as dog, small)





New Beast
 
Dog, Small
There are proper dogs, and then there's those awful little barky things that shake with fear all the time and snap at everything because they're living embodiments of existential dread. If you wanted something small and lap-sized, why didn't you get a cat?
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6 (A), Spirit d6, STrength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Notice d10, Taunt d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 4; Toughness: 3
Special Abilities
  • Bite: Str+d4
  • Fleet Footed: Small dogs roll a d10 when running instead of a d6.
  • Size -2: Small dogs are really small.

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"'Manos' The Hands of Fate" Villains for Savage Worlds



If you haven't seen "Manos:" The Hands of Fate, go watch the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. I'll wait.


...


Are you caught up now? Good.


I've run a "Manos"-inspired game. That time, I deliberately juiced up the bad guys so that the Master was actually fearsome (and maybe a vampire? I forget) and Torgo was a Wilbur Whateley-style Old One spawn. These are not stats for that game. These are stats for that gloriously terrible movie you just subjected yourself to.


(I own a copy of the digitally-restored Blu-Ray version of the film with no sarcastic robots to lighten the mood.)


It's a Frank Frazetta of Frank Zappa!

The Master
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d10, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Faith d10, Fighting d6, Intimidation d10, Notice d8, Stealth d6
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Stubborn
Edges: Beast Bond, Beast Master, Charismatic, Level Headed, Miracles, Strong Willed
Gear: smock, hellbeast (use stats for dog/wolf)
Special Abilities
  • Power Points: 20
  • Powers: boost/lower trait, deflection, puppet
  

Thank you very much sir, let me just get your complimentary crazy bread...
Torgo
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8 
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d10
Charisma: -2; Pace: 4; Parry: 5 (6 with staff); Toughness:
Hindrances: Clueless, Lame, Ugly
Edges: Assassin
Gear: staff (Str+d4; Parry +1; Reach 1; 2 hands) 
 

...and now, back to We Married Manos!
Brides of the Master
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6 
Skills: Fighting d4, Notice d6, Taunt d6 
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness:
Hindrances: Stubborn (some have Mean) 
Edges: Attractive 
Gear: sheer nightgown covering unsexy underwear
 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Edge: Improvisational Defender




I just did a Google search for "Jackie Chan chair"



Robin and I are pretty shortly going to be starting a wuxia/xianxia duet campaign using Zhàndòu: City of Warriors (the martial arts setting I created for Savage Insider Vol. 2, Issue 2). My mind keeps straying toward one of the characters being a Jackie Chan-style drunken boxer, and it suddenly occurred to me that while the improvised weapon rules were great for the way so many of Chan's characters use the world around them as weapons against their enemies, there didn't seem to be a way to handle how his films also use found objects for defense.

Somebody's probably done this in some third-party supplement, but maybe not. Enjoy!


Improvisational Defender
Requirements: Seasoned, Improvisational Fighter, Fighting d8+

When wielding an improvised weapon, the hero may elect as a free action to use the weapon as a shield to absorb damage from a successful attack. Doing so renders the improvised weapon useless as either a shield or weapon regardless of whether or not the hero is Shaken or takes a Wound from the attack.

Improvised weapons add Toughness based on their size. Small improvised weapons add +1 Armor, medium improvised weapons add +2 Armor, and large improvised weapons add +3 Armor.





Follow the links to buy a copy of Savage Insider Vol. 2, Issue 2! I wrote close to half the issue and it's still some of my favorite stuff I've done.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I'm Not Going to See Shin Godzilla, and That's Fine: A Manifesto



That's just not my Godzilla -- and that's fine.

SPOILERS (I guess? Sort of?)

Shin Godzilla is my Batman v. Superman.


I have no interest in seeing Shin Godzilla because it's not the Godzilla I like. I like the fire-breathing archosaur superhero of the late '60s and early '70s Showa Era films, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Godzilla: The Series, and (arguably) much of the Heisei and Millenium films. I respect and enjoy the early Showa films and the scathing political satire of the original, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, and other entries in the franchise, but a shapeshifting, hyper-evolutionary thing that shoots lasers out of its spine fins, tail, and mouth just isn't my kind of Godzilla.

Which is fine. Not every iteration of Godzilla has to be for me. The fact that I don't want to see Shin Godzilla doesn't make it a bad movie. It doesn't make it wrong.

I consider myself a big Zorro fan, for that matter, but I've never liked the 1990 Zorro TV series with Duncan Regehr and I can't make it two minutes into an episode of the new kid-friendly CGI Zorro: The Chronicles. The New World series has a lot of fans, so I can't consider it "bad;" it's just not to my taste. Zorro: The Chronicles might actually be bad, but I'm not the target audience or age group, so it's really hard for me to judge.

I'm a bit of an Arthuriana nut. I don't like First Knight and I don't feel the need to read every King Arthur novel that comes out.

I just can't get into the original Star Trek series, but I'm a fan of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine" I haven't liked anything since DS9 concluded, but I still consider myself a Star Trek fan.

Daniel Craig is my favorite James Bond, but only because of Casino Royale. I rag on Roger Moore for basically playing Bond the same way he played The Saint, but Live and Let Die and For Your Eyes Only are some of the best films in the franchise.

Dammit, I like Batman v. Superman. In fact, the extended cut fleshes things out so well that it's undoubtedly my favorite non-animated Batman or Superman movie. Shin Godzilla is getting rave reviews, but I'd honestly rather watch the 15 minutes of good guy Godzilla in Gareth Edwards' 2014 movie than use the free movie passes sitting in my wallet to see a film I really doubt that I'll like.

That's the nature of these tales told and retold -- these living, evolving legends -- these entertainment franchises: you're not going to like every version. They're not all for you and they're never for you alone. And that's fine.

Just because you don't like an interpretation of a thing you loved, it doesn't make it invalid. 

Just because you don't like an interpretation of a thing you love, it doesn't mean it's ruined all that you loved before.

Just because you don't like an interpretation of a thing you love, it doesn't mean somebody doesn't love that interpretation you don't like.

And that's fine.
  

JUSTICE LEAGUE is the Movie the Rest of You Wanted

If I was a Warner Brothers exec right now, I’d have to conclude that the problem with Justice League is that it wasn’t dark enough. Aft...