The King is Dead

Monday, August 14, 2017

Globetrotting Cat Burglar Adventure Generator

Between being inspired by finally watching Lupin the Third Part Four (the blue jacket series set in Italy) and not feeling like ingesting all the setting lore needed to really give Blue Rose a proper shot, Robin and I decided to run a 1970s-set globetrotting cat burglar Savage Worlds duet game. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much in the way of support materials for such a game.

This isn’t that surprising; the particular mood and tone we’re going for isn’t found in that many works. Outside of the Lupin the Third franchise, there’s what? The Saint? Two Pink Panther movies? Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s series? Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief?

Leverage – both TV series and RPG – come close without quite hitting the mark. The basic rulebook at least doesn’t really support the mood we want, and I don’t feel like paying $25 for the Leverage Companion, Vol. 1 (which, with its firearms rules and the like, might expand the game into more Lupintic territory). I can mine my copy of the main rules for some ideas, but the adventure generator is linked to the premise of the franchise (heroic con artists scam nasty bigwigs) that it falls short of what I need.

Here then is a generator for more – shall we say – “self-directed” larceny on a global stage. Enjoy!


  1. Europe (France, Greece, San Marino, Spain, Portugal, Ruritania, Russia, United Kingdom, etc.)

  2. Asia (China, India, Korea, Japan, Lugash, Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, etc.)

  3. Africa (Algeria, Bangalla, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, etc.)

  4. Central and North America (The Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Saint Honoré, United States, etc.)

  5. South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Sierra Gordo, Venezuela, etc.)

  6. Australia/Oceania (Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Republic of the Marivelles, Samoa, etc.)

City Characteristics (roll twice)

  1. Commerce/politics 

  2. Bohemian/art scene

  3. Historical/heritage

  4. Resort/sports 

  5. Military/national security

  6. High crime 

Examples: “Bohemian/art scene” and “resort/sports” suggests Aspen, Colorado in North America, Lucerne, Switzerland, in Europe, and Rio de Janeiro in South America. “Commerce/politics” and “historical/heritage” might suggest Kyoto, Japan in Asia, London, England in Europe, and Mexico City, Mexico in North America.


  1. Art (paintings, statues, first-edition comic books, etc.)

  2. Cash (bearer bonds, bills, bullion, gold coins and pirate booty, etc.)

  3. Gem(s) (crown jewels, gigantic single stones, necklaces created for famous actresses, etc.)

  4. Artifact (non-art antiquities, supposed alchemical secrets, near-mythical sword, etc.)

  5. Technology (new artificial diamond technology, prototype super-safe, military hardware, etc.)

  6. Intelligence (roll again for subject of intelligence; intelligence about intelligence might be a dossier on the burglar herself or criminal allies)

Target Location

  1. Estate or townhome

  2. Armed compound or facility

  3. High-rise office building or penthouse

  4. Museum or government building

  5. Casino or entertainment venue

  6. Other (ancient ruin, country club, haunted house, private plane, ski lodge, yacht, etc.)

Security Details (roll twice or more, ignoring contradictory or implausible details)

  1. Laser grid

  2. Armed guards

  3. Attack dogs or other animals

  4. Access badge or card reader

  5. Combination lock

  6. Magnetic or electronic lock

  7. Security cameras

  8. Deathtrap

  9. Cage

  10. Motion sensors

  11. Pressure plates

  12. Weird (curse, poison darts, floor is made of lava, etc.)

Mark Characteristics (roll once or twice)

  1. Brutish

  2. Callous

  3. Decadent

  4. Sleazy

  5. Slick

  6. Aloof

  7. Paranoid

  8. Aboveboard (roll twice; two results of aboveboard mean mark actually is honest, any other second result mark is hiding their true nature)

Mark Profession

  1. Crime (assassin, crime lord, rival thief, high-ranking intelligence or police agency official, etc.)

  2. Politics (dictator, executive official, governor, legislator, mayor, royalty, etc.)

  3. Entertainment (producer, promoter, artiste, athlete, men’s lifestyle magazine publisher, etc.)

  4. Business (real estate developer, military-industrial contractor, technological futurist, etc.)


  1. Mark has a scheme of their own in the works (trying to take over the world, etc.)

  2. Burglar’s employer/fence/informant has a scheme of their own (roll on Mark tables for employer/fence/informant type)

  3. Law enforcement has set a trap

  4. Rival criminals on the job

  5. Friend/lover works for mark

  6. No twist

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Jane Austen Playing Cards Kickstarter

Help fund the Jane Austen Playing Cards Kickstarter by JohnEric Ligon and I will finally write and publish a Savage Worlds setting book for Regency romance.

While we all know Savage Worlds is great for Fast! Furious! Fun! action-adventure, my personal experience is that it’s also great for games of dueling wits. I’ve kicked around ideas for Savaging the world of Regency romances for practically as long as I’ve been writing Wine and Savages, and now I’ve found a great reason to revive that project.

There’s a Kickstarter running for what would be the perfect Action Cards for such a setting – the Jane Austen Playing Cards by John EricLigon – but it’s only slightly over halfway to its goal with just over a week left to run. If all of y’all help get the Kickstarter funded, I will compile and rewrite my extensive Regency posts into a coherent mini-setting guide.

Included will be:
  •         An introduction to the history of the Regency and the tropes of Regency romance
  •         New Background and Social Edges
  •         Extended social conflict rules
  •         Regency romance adventure generators
  •         A full adventure for multiple players
  •         Two mini-plot point adventures for duet play – one for a hero and one for a heroine
  •         Advice on combining Regency romance with fantasy, horror, science fiction, and super powers
  •         Stats for allies and adversaries from history and the works of Jane Austen
  •         Pre-generated characters
  •         Figure flats

This supplement will be free to anyone who can provide proof that they’re a backer of the Kickstarter, but I’ll also be putting it on sale. Right now I’m projecting about 40 pages of content and a price point of about $4.50.

Two caveats, though.

First, I am in no way affiliated with the Jane AustenPlaying Cards Kickstarter and it’s the creators first project; I can in no way be held responsible for any failure on the part of John Eric Ligon in fulfilling the Kickstarter. With that said, I’m a backer too, so if it doesn’t pan out then I’m also up a creek – but Mr. Ligon is an associate dean at the University of North Texas and most of the project is designed and ready to go the printers, so I doubt there will be any problems.

Second, I will aim to complete the book by the end of October, hopefully coinciding close to the release of the cards, but IF SOME MAJOR NEW PROJECT COMES UP (which could possibly happen), then I will be obliged to prioritize that project. If that happens, then the Regency book will be ready by Christmas. Right now, I’ve got adventures sitting with the editors for Adamant Entertainment, Buccaneer: Through Hell & High Water, and Savage Worlds Explorer. Robin and I are also working on an adventure for Rifts® for Savage Worlds for the Explorer (which we’ll probably finish in the next week or so) and we may be required to edit or rewrite our contributions to the Rifts® books in progress. With that said, we’ve been kicking around the idea for a series of mini-setting books for a year or so, and the Regency book is a great place to start.

I’ve pledged at the $26 level for two decks of cards (perfect for Savage Worlds), but I’ll give away the book to anyone who pledges just $1 or more. Keep in mind, though, that no one gets the book unless the Kickstarter succeeds – and we’ve only got until 6:15PM CDT on Wednesday, August 16th to get it funded!