Showing posts from February, 2012

Sean's Piratical Appendix N

Black Vulmea, over at Really Bad Eggs, smartly encouraged the use of a campaign-specific Appendix N to inform the players about the intended tone of a campaign.  Therefore, I present my Appendix N for my "Pirates of the Spanish Main" campaign:

"Brotherhood of the Wolf"
"Captain Blood"
"Le Chevalier D'Eon" (available on Netflix!)
"Pirates of the Caribbean" film series (especially "Curse of the Black Pearl" and "On Stranger Tides")
"Solomon Kane"

Black Vulmea's Vengeance by Robert E. Howard (1976 Berkley paperback containing REH's pirate tales)
Captain Blood: His Odyssey by Raphael Sabatini
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane by Robert E. Howard

Lots of monsters, not a little magic, tons of swordplay, and plenty of piracy.

Strange Times

I'm watching "The Mark of Zorro" (1940) and no other film adaptation of Zorro has so captured the fact that Zorro's adventures are contemporary with the reign of Napoleon and Pride and Prejudice.  Which, of course, means Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel are also contemporaries.  Has anybody done a team-up between the two of them?

The early 1800s were a weird time.  They were so modern in some ways, so medieval in others.  It's an age ripe for role-playing.

Savage Solo: Why We Savage

Alright!  Here's a perfect chance for one of those "one blogger starts a topic and other bloggers continue it on their own blogs" things the OSR does so well and we Savages don't really do at all.

Tommy Brownell, over at The Most Unread Blog on the Internet Ever, extrapolated a model from Bioware computer RPGs that could be applied to solo gaming and asked what experience others have had running solo games.  I, as previouslyposted, have a ton of such experience.

My experience is a bit different from Tommy's in that my solo player is my wife.  I'm sure I'm not the only person who has realized gaming with a life partner/lover/spouse is a bit different from gaming with a casual friend.  First of all, by virtue of the fact that you have to live with this person, a spouse's characters automatically have plot armor.  Some might decry taking the risk out of gaming, but Robin is a very, very immersive player and no matter how many times I assure her that her c…

Savage Solo: Love and Savagery

Robin and I left our (for all intents and purposes) hometown of San Antonio eleven years ago so Robin could go to graduate school.  We only moved an hour up the highway to a small college town called San Marcos -- a town so small I had to get a job in Austin (another hour north) -- but it made a huge impact on our lives.  We're both pretty shy, and neither of us has ever been good at making friends, so we were very much on our own.  We got lonely very quickly.

I had given up RPGs a few years earlier because I had poorly-realized ambitions of being a writer and I knew full well that the creativity and hard work that I should put into writing stories went instead into world-building as a GM.  Unfortunately, becoming a professional writer means getting things finished and I never, ever had the dedication needed to seclude myself for hours every day to write, write, write.  Especially not when my soul-mate needed me.

Reluctantly, I agreed to run an RPG just for her.  It seemed weird …

Why I Wine

Everything Robin said about my grandmother and the rest is true, but there's more to my side of the story just as there's more she hasn't shared yet (heck, she hasn't shared any of her RPG thoughts yet and she's been gaming longer than me). 

A big part of my embracing the cult of the grape has to do with the very simple, stark fact that I have celiac disease and therefore just can't drink beer.  Like most Irish-Americans, I enjoyed a good pint or two (or three or four) of Guinness, but I began to notice a few years ago that -- in addition to suffering from a horrible, mucus-filled cough anytime I ate anything wheat-based -- I was really ill the morning after a beer-based bender and it wasn't because of hangovers.  I could have stopped drinking, but what would be the fun in that?   

Another reason for becoming a wino is because I finally discovered something in Texas that I could be proud of again.  I'm not a native Texan, but I've lived here for tw…

Setting Rule: Too Many Cooks

Ever wonder why the hordes of foes who battle Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee always attack one at a time?  Maybe they know an ancient Chinese secret --

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth

With this Savage Setting Rule, everything you thought you knew about the Gang Up Bonus is wrong.  Multiple foes attacking a single target hinder each other; the bonus usually gained from ganging up is applied as a penalty instead.  Two Jedi battling a Sith suffer a -1 penalty to their rolls; a swarm of Norman knights cornering Errol Flynn find themselves suffering a -4 penalty to their rolls.

Recommended for solo hero games and settings that emphasize honorable duels and individual heroism -- chanbara, pulp action (or why would every Savage Worlds pulp setting include an Edge that negates the Gang Up Bonus?), wuxia, etc.

Savage Swordsmen: Zorro (Part Three)

What do Zorro and Bruce Campbell have in common?

Jack of All Trades.

It's what I want out of a solo hero, isn't it?  I want a solo hero to be able to know a little bit about anything, and the Wild Die means a Wild Card with Jack of All Trades effectively has a d6 in any skills used through that Edge, so why not simply give it to Zorro?  I already gave him a d10 in Smarts, didn't I?

Obviously, Jack of All Trades is not a Combat Edge, and I can't swap it out for Noble without doing violence to the character concept, but I could easily give it to him as his first Advance.  This allows me to redistribute some of those skill points from earlier -- and put them all into Fighting.  The heck with it; let's go ahead and raise him to Seasoned.

His second Advance is obviously Beast Bond, so now Tornado won't be so vulnerable.  His third Novice Advance is Connections, to reflect his alliance with the missionaries (a recurring theme of the first novel).  His first Advance a…

Savage Swordsmen: Zorro (Part Two)

When we last left Zorro, he was basically no different from previous attempts to build him in Savage Worlds. He differentiated merely by being a fledgling superhero (a member of the Wold Newton family, perhaps?) who had yet to discover his latent talents.


I'd given him a d6 in all of his attributes, the following skills -- Climbing (Str) - d4, Fighting (Ag) - d6, Notice (Sm) - d6, Riding (Ag) - d6, Taunt (Sm) - d6, Streetwise (Sm) - d6, (Sm) Stealth (Ag) - d6, and Persuasion (Sp) - d6 -- and the Edges Arcane Background (Super Powers) [Super Powers Companion version] and Power Points. This gives him 15 Power Points to spend between Super Attribute, Super Edge, and Super Skill. Super Attribute grants one die in an attribute per point spent, Super Edge grants one Combat Edge (and only Combat Edges) per two points spent, and Super Skill grants two skills point per one power point spent.

I could spend all those power points on skills and give him an another thirty skill point…

Woo-hoo! Tablet!

Hooray!  We've got a tablet!  Hopefully that means posting here will increase.  At the very least, it means I'll be better able to make use of all my gaming PDFs.

Savage Backslapping - Edited

You know what the OD&D OSR has on us Savages?  A vibrant, communal blogosphere.

I know that Savage Worlds has a passionate fanbase and that the Pinnacle forums are super-busy, but there's something about the authorial voice of a blog that stirs my interest far more than forums do.  Maybe it's just that I've always been kind of a lone wolf, but whatever it is, I like blogs way more than forums.

Because of that, I'm making it my mission to support my fellow Savage Bloggers.  You've all been kind enough to give our clumsy, stunted blog over 300 pageviews in the few weeks since Robin and I started it, so I'm going to make sure I leave comments on every blog post that comes in over the Savage Bloggers Network.  I won't always manage it on the same day they're posted, but I'll try.

(Also, I'll get the SB Network and the component blogs added to my blogroll, I swear.)


EDITED TO ADD: Crap.  Don't mix blogging and absinthe.  By "vibran…