Thought Games: Captain America

I went to go see Winter Soldier yesterday, and while watching I was thinking of what sort of character Captain America was.  Given my hobbies and proclivities, this of course went down the lines of “how would I build Cap as a tabletop character?”

Captain America is basically made of two parts: a physically perfect, highly-trained human being coupled with the amazing power of a Vibranium shield.  While Cap by himself is fairly impressive, what puts him over the top and raises him to the same level as great heroes like Iron Man and Thor is the shield.  Without the shield, Cap is a hero, but he’s not a super hero; thus, the shield is an inherent part of his character.

The best system I’ve encountered for building a wide variety of super-heroic characters who nevertheless share some sense of balance among themselves is Green Ronin Publishing’s Mutants and Masterminds, which is loosely based off the d20 system developed by Wizards of the Coast.  If you’re not familiar with that system, the rest of this post will probably be a bunch of meaningless numbers.

I shall attempt to build Cap as a PL 10 character.

Continue reading

A message for Justin’s brain

Hey you.  Yeah, you – the brain.  That one right there.  The one telling Justin he’s worthless.

Stop lying.

You’re a lying liar who tells lies, and you need to stop it.  Lies aren’t good.  Lies are bad.  We don’t like lies, and we don’t like it when you lie.

What’s that?  Who am I?  Who do I think I am, telling you what to do?  Well, I’ll tell you.

I’m krellen, buddy.  I’m a smart guy and I know stuff.

And one of the things I know is that Justin is a cool guy who deserves happiness and success.

So you just lay off your lying lies, Mr. Brain.  I’m watching you.

Tamir: the Sacrifice

As written by Kamal, Loremaster of Forest Keep:

In the early mists of history, the Goddess Velera secreted her children, the race of Humans, away from the conflict that raged in the heavens, seeking to protect them from the predations of the Dragon Gods; Khistarn, as she does with everything, always sought to devour Velera’s children, while Lysardis, Bright God of the Dragons, fought to preserve the right of the new-come people to life.  But the power of dragons is beyond the ken of mortals, and that of the Dragon Gods even more so; the Bright God’s defence proved as fatal as Khistarn’s assault.

So Velera proposed the Challenge.

Knowing Zhamokh to be the master of creation, the Mother presented him a quandry: could he create something greater than the Gods, a home for their children where Humans could dwell separate of the ever-raging struggle between brother and sister that shook the heavens?  The Forge’s pride was nearly as great as his creativity, and so he sought to prove his might to his consort.  In a realm without time, he toiled long to craft the world for his children, and only after ageless eons was his work completed.  From his workshop emerged the world of Tamir, formed from the very stuff of the chaotic Void into a single, unified whole.

With but a kiss on his cheek as reward, Velera carried her children to the surface of the new world, hiding them amid its trees and mountains and winds and waves to keep them safe from the might of the Dragon Gods.  For a time, they dwelt there in peace, safe from the conflict that raged in the heavens and oblivious to the might of the Gods that roiled around them, never touching the world, veiled by Velera’s gown.

No secret can truly hide from the Void, however, and in time Khistarn grew aware of the new presence in the cosmos.  A skirmish between the dragonkin in her service and the service of her brother clashed, and came to land in conflict upon the surface of Tamir, where they found Humans, long thought extinct among the heavenly powers.

As soon as she became aware that she had not, in fact, achieved destroying the Humans, but rather they had been hidden away from her, Khistarn gathered the whole of her essence in rage and set upon the world, seeking to destroy it and all who dwell there in a single instant.  As her foot alighted upon the surface, the Bright God appeared, setting forth a plea to the very Weave of Existence.  Her age and might surpassed his, and never could Lysardis seek directly to block his sister in the fullness of her might, and so instead he offered a sacrifice: the Sacrifice, the most selfless act imaginable.

In exchange for his own divinity, the very spark that made him God, the world of Tamir would be spared his sister’s wrath, and forever be placed beyond her reach, or that of any divine figure.  In the instant her foot touched the surface, the Weave twisted in response to the Sacrifice, wrenching the surface away from the terrible presence of Khistarn, set apart from both Void and Celestial, inviolate and immutable, untouchable by the hand of God, Dragon or no.  Even the Judge, who had power to divide night from day and light from dark, could not change what the Fickle Hand of the Weave had wrought.

As her children were torn from her, left bereft and alone, Velera wept.  And the fate of Tamir was freed from the whims of the Gods.  And so did the Bright God become Lost, soon to be replaced in the heavens and in history, for few now remember even his name, let alone his power.

In time, the prayers and supplications of those left upon the surface allowed trickles of godly power to enter, by invitation only.  Through faith, the Gods could empower the faithful, granting some small measure of their divine might to their followers on Tamir.  Thus was the divine power of clerics the first known magic in the world*.

(*It should be noted that the forgotten dragonkin, stranded upon the world by the Lost God’s Sacrifice, always kept their own mysterious powers, though it would be long before any not of that bloodline would learn any inkling of their secrets. – K)

Skype Tabletop: Technocracy

So, I think there’s enough interest to run another group, on Saturdays.  Two players already expressed interest in playing as the Technocracy, and I’ve already got a Traditions game going, so the second game will be as the Technocracy, crusading to protect the masses from the dangers of myth and superstition.  To get a basic feel for what the game will be like, you can compare it to such shows as Fringe, Men In Black, or Agents of SHIELD.

If you want in, post a comment, including what time on Saturday (including your time zone) is best for you.  Sessions will probably be 2-3 hours – longer if everyone wants that.  US afternoon (before evening) is probably best, as I know there’s a couple Europeans interested as well.

Read on for campaign information.

Continue reading

Skype Tabletop: Scheduling and Sessions

So I found out a couple more people were interested, but wanted to play Technocracy side, and we’ve got a pretty large group already, so I’m wondering if anyone (one or two) would be willing to drop out of the Traditions campaign and join a Technocracy game on Saturdays instead?  No pressure, but smaller groups would be easier for me to handle.

In case it matters, I have a Technocracy campaign ready-made, so there’s no need for me to delay to come up with a story.  We can just make a team (and the Technocrats will be a team, working under the aegis of a cover corporation) and get started.

For those I’ve talked to about the other campaign, yes, this is your notice that I’m currently planning to try to run it on Saturdays. Let me know if that’s an issue.  As a note, Saturday games my occasionally be called of because Saturdays also tend to be my board game group’s day, but we only get together every other month or so (note that this coming Saturday is likely to be one of those days).

Anyway, for the Traditions game, reminder to all that we agreed to get started three hours earlier – that’s 1400 PST, 1700 EST, and 2300 CET.  We should be able to start this coming Sunday (12/29) if everyone’s good with that.