Tuesday, November 22, 2016

'Pedes, Pup & Pump-can (Apocalyptic Dispatches from Parcher's Pt. 2)

Hopefully these man-sized millipedes will haunt my player's dreams...

Got in our third session of Apocalypse-World. Not quite as action-packed as the last, but I did some poking, prodding and prep for what's to come (if you're playing the drinking game, take a double for my overuse of alliteration...).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Corpse Chewer - Or a semi-improv, low prep 13th Age One shot you could run too


After the election my wife asked me to run a combat heavy one shot RPG as a distraction, I've been burnt out a little on 5e D&D lately, so I decided to run 13th Age instead.

I like 13th Age for this kind of adventure/monster fighting combat heavy game because...

  • It's basically D&D. I mean, it's not official Wizards of the Coast branded D&D(TM) but it's got a unified d20 mechanic like recent D&D, the classic classes, races and a lot of the feel.
  • It's good at what it does and focuses on that. It's not the game I'd run if I wanted to run a social intrigue game (probably, right now, V20 Vampire the Dark Ages would win) or the game I'd run if I wanted a gritty game where the PCs struggled to survive (for now, that would probably be Shadow of the Demon Lord) but for a combat heavy game where PCs will have cool stuff to do during combat and you want a high fantasy feel it's an excellent choice. 
  • 13th Age PCs are surprisingly simple(ish). For the game I just used some pre-made 4th level characters (and recommend you do too) and they all fit onto a single page without needing a magnifying glass to read the type. Even if players make their own PCs, they really only need their class write up at hand to play and won't need to flip between multiple sections of the core book the way any of the spellcasting classes in 5e D&D do (and remember that 5 of the 12 classes of 5e have spellcasting and gain or can gain spells, though that Totem Barbarian who gets two spells as rituals won't need the book as much as the wizard, but still...)
  • Icon Relationships, Backgrounds and One Unique Things encourage player investment, even for one shot characters.
    • A few memorable one unique things from when I ran this...
      • Renowned as a 'fuck-up'.
      • Attracts random cats when she sings.
      • Half of his face looks like a corpse.
So, without further ado, here is Corpse Chewer, a semi-improv, low prep 13th Age One shot. It's semi-improv because I'm providing the skeletal sketch of the plot arc and combat encounters but you can improvise the description of the dungeon and environs itself and some of the flavor bits can be tailored to the icon relationships the players pick.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Bringing a Hand Grenade to a Tire Iron Fight (Apocalyptic Dispatches from Parcher's Pt. 1)

First, a reminder, please consider supporting my 2016 Extra Life campaign. It's not often that I get to put my nerdy hobbies to the cause of good, so donations do mean a lot to me. Thanks!


So... last month I started a new Apocalypse-World Campaign, taking the second edition rules out for a test drive, and got to run a second session this last Saturday. For this particular campaign, I went in blind, not having any ideas what I'd run until the players chose playbooks and created their PCs, and so I ended up having the following to toy with (a note, Parcher is the Hardholder NPC I created once it was clear there wasn't a Hardholder PC to run the joint):

  • Pinky - The Chopper
    • A woman with a busted face, wiry body and kind eyes. Wearing combat biker wear and a grotesque prosthetic leg with lots of straps, buckles and a complicated harness.
    • Has 2 harm gang medium savage mobile 1-armor, vulnerable to breakdown. Notable gang members: Winkle, Goldy, Stinky, Gary (the new Guy), Larry, Harry and Barry. Gang can call her Half-Pint, but no one else can.
    • Left Man bleeding and did nothing.
    • Has a side-car for Thirteen to ride in.
    • Just coming back to Parcher's Hardhold on day 130.
  • Ming - The Driver
    • An older Asian woman with a fine-boned face, sad eyes and a slim and frail body. Wearing an immaculate windbreaker suit. Also has a comfortable, hand-built, prosthetic leg with a complicated harness.
    • Has a Buggy that is fast, pristine, luxe and cramped.
    • Has been with Firefly for days on the road.
    • Also just coming to Parcher's Hardhold.
  • Man - The Gunlugger
    • Concealed gender, battered old armor, a dull face, sad eyes and a stringy body.
    • Carries a silenced sniper rifle, a shotgun and a shit-ton of knives.
    • Got Ming out of some serious shit and used to ride with Pinky's gang until they abandoned him in Parcher's Hardhold. Now serves as Parcher's enforcer and sometimes bodyguard.
  • Firefly - The Battlebabe
    • A woman with a girlish face, merciless eyes and a slim body, clad in display wear with high boots.
    • Wields a long-bladed sword staff.
    • Does odd jobs for Parcher, as well as Twice, who runs a club in the hardhold.
    • Has fought shoulder to shoulder with Man. Trusts all the PCs but Pinky, who she thinks she can take in a fight.
  • Thirteen - The Child-Thing
    • A girl with a pretty face, wise eyes and a child's body, clad in scrounge wear.
    • Always hiding from the Wolves of the Maelstrom, perversions of birth, who look like beasts under their disguises but they have empty holes for eyes and they only howl when their nature is revealed.
    • She has a radio that speaks only to her, and her den is a crooked, labyrinthine set of interconnected tunnels and boltways with ways into basically everyone's spaces, even if they've taken pains to close them off.
    • She thinks Ming and Man might be Wolves of the Maelstrom.
Fair warning... plenty of foul language below the cut...

A Bang & then a Whimper - The Final Dispatch from Parcher's

When we left our rag-tag band of PCs and their 50-60 hangers on (in addition to Pinky's gang, Man also decided to take the 'hav...