Mecha Adventure (2/2)

Hi Folks! This is the second part of the Mecha Adventure for # SGAM2018 using the Giant Exploding Robots RPG and Zathrum Solo Engine.

The first part of the adventure is here.


Mission:

  • Target: Three Fuel Depots
  • Enemy: The target is defended by the 45th Fed Mechanized Infantry Battalion and a SPIDER class heavy Mech
  • Terrain: The target is located in a recently bombed suburban area.
  • Troops Available: Two medium mechs of the Randall’s Rogue Raiders company, pilots code names “Trapper” and “Curly”
  • Time: It is a night operation and will start at 0400Z and must be completed by 0600Z

Scene 1:

Zathrum Theme: NEWS

The night sky in Northern California is star-free, an INVICTUS and an AVALACHE mechs of the Randall’s Rogue Raiders mercenary company cautiously advance through the rubble of the southern suburbs of San Francisco.

mecha_p1Trapper: “Two hours to reach the goal is not enough in this area full of traps and hiding places, the leutenant laughed at me when I told him.”

mecha_p2Curly: “We have to go back before our attack of the dawn, it can be done”

mecha_p1Trapper: “Our?? The Confederates are the ones who pay me beer. That’s all”

mecha_p2Curly: “Better than nothing, Trapper”

The two mechs continue the march towards the objective.

Are there any enemies? Yes (in order to)

A) Sentry robots vs Trapper B) AntiTank infantry vs Curly = (A 70%) -> 18 (B)

Suddenly, a bazooka shot from a half-destroyed building hits the AVALACHE class mech.
Curly quickly reacts by shooting at it as he tries to disturb the bazooka pointing systems

Curly counterattacks the AT infantry outpost:
Awareness + module (Sensor Spoofer)= 4d6 : 4,5,5,1 = Partial Success
Enemy destroyed but module (Energy Shield Array) is damaged

mecha_p1Trapper: “Are you OK?”

mecha_p2Curly: “Nothing serious. Wait… incoming message from HQ”

HQ informs them that:
a) A satellite has identified the presence of more enemy mechs in the area
b) A platoon of their company suffers heavy losses in a nearby operation.
(A 60%) -> 7 (A)

Scene 2:

Zathrum Theme: RESCUE

HQ informs them of an emergency call, they are ordered a deviation for the rescue  of an allied pilot.

a) a recon-hoverer pilot shot down b) a wounded pilot of a damaged mecha
(A 40%) -> 3 (A)

mecha_p1Trapper:”Damn, there’s no time for babysitting if we want to destroy our target!”

Trapper and Curly must:
a) Defend the area until the rescue hoverer arrives
b) Recover the pilot and host him in the cockpit of one of their mechs
(A 70%) -> 5 (A)

antenna2Lizard(HQ):”Go to the coordinates we sent you and defend the area until Rainbow-Five recovers the package.”

mecha_p1Trapper:”Lizard, why don’t you send someone else? Our mission is a priority”

antenna2Lizard(HQ):”Trapper, these are the orders that….(another voice)…Vander, this is Leutenant McRoy! Shut up and move your ass or it’s better if you get killed by the Feds because if you dumbheads don’t follow my orders I’ll ….”

mecha_p2Curly: “Copy that, Lizard. We are going, Sir”

What happens:
a) No problem for the rescue but it takes a long time so they’ll have to proceed quickly
b) 3 enemy assault hoverers attack them
(A 30%) -> 1 (A)

The two mechs reach the wreck area, the hoverer is completely destroyed but fortunately it is not burning, the pilot is ok, he waves to the mechs then returns behind cover. For the next 20 minutes Trapper and Curly scrutinely monitor the screens to detect enemies but nothing happens until the squat rescue-hoverer arrives with surprising speed and flying low. In a couple of minutes the pilot is on board the aircraft and the two mechs can return to their own business.

Scene 3:

Zathrum Theme: ENVIRONMENT

a) thunderstorm,  b) smoke traps
(A 20%) -> 3 (A)

The two mechs increase the pace despite the lightning that temporarily blind their night visors. Can they catch up? Yes (unless) there are other drawbacks

Are they still far from the target area? No (on the contrary) the depots area is already in sight, lit by lightning

Enemy activity? No (surprisingly) a scan shows no enemy forces in the depot area, only a standard alarm system is active around the fence.

Trapper sends the drone for a more precise recon:
Awareness + module (Linked Observation Drone): 2d6 =  5,5: Partial Success

a) The SPIDER mecha is far but on approach, has not yet identified us
b) There are many transport vehicles that load or unload material
(A 70%) -> 17 (B)

Is the SPIDER in sight? NO (on the contrary) the sensors do not detect it
Does HQ send us intel? NO (and) there is radio silence due to an enemy signal interference field

The two mercenaries attack their target:
Trapper attacks the depot # 1: Focus + Fusion Rockets : 4d6 = 6,2,5,6: Flawless Success
Curly at the same time attacks the vehicles:  Focus + Advanced Ballistic Computer: 3d6 = 4,4.4:  Failure. A sniper cannon responds to fire from a sensors proof location!

Curly reacts and asks Trapper for support: Focus + Smoke-screen Array: 3d6 = 1,3,5: Partial Success, sniper cannon damaged but it keeps shooting
Trapper comes to help: Focus + Mortar Cannon: 4d6 = 4,1,3,5: Partial Success,

Sniper cannon destroyed but some enemy vehicles manage to escape.

Scene 4:

Zathrum Theme: ENIGMA

Analyzing the destroyed vehicles what were they transporting?
a) explosives to destroy the depots
b) parts of SPIDER mecha
(A 70%): 13 (A)

Trapper and Curly destroy the remaining two depots completing their mission.

mecha_p2Curly: “Everything was too easy”
a) the base was not defended enough
b) the depots contain no fuel but water
(A 30%): 15 (B)

Are there traces of mechs in the base? Yes (and) they are recent
Are they of the missing SPIDER? Yes (if)

mecha_p1Trapper: “Do you think that this is a decoy target?”

mecha_p2Curly:”Maybe”

 

Scene 5:

Zathrum Theme: 3rd PARTY ACTION

The two mercenaries start the re-entry route following the coast this time

have they been back in touch with HQ? No (but) will soon come out of the area covered by enemy inteference

a) They sight the SPIDER which is fighting against unknown mechs
b) They are attacked by unknown mechs
(A 65%): 7 (A)

Have we been sighted? No (while) we stand still
Can we communicate with HQ? Yes (in order to)

They report the situation, does HQ know anything about it? No (on the contrary) HQ asks for visual confirmation
Are the enemy mechs of known models? Yes (but) they are SAMURAI class but heavily modified
Do they have any identifiers? No (and) they are completely devoid of identifiers

Is the SPIDER destroyed? Yes (in order to) be immediately covered with a layer of camouflage foam

mecha_p1Trapper: “Let’s get out of here!”

mecha_p2Curly:”No, we must learn more!”

 

Scene 6:

Zathrum Theme: EQUIPMENT FAILURE

a) Curly’s mech starts to smoke and they are spotted by the SAMURAI mechs
b) Trapper’s mech has a failure in the left leg, they must proceed slowly
(A 70%): 19 (B)

a) not being able to escape they advance trying to communicate with the SAMURAI mechs
b) they move away slowly but they are reached by the SAMURAI mechs and attacked
(A 60%) 18 (B)

do the two SAMURAI mechs have modules damaged by their combat with the SPIDER? No (surprisingly)

According to the rules I randomly create the modules of the enemy mechs:

mecha_samurai

SAMURAI modified class:

1)deployable parachutes 2)linked observation drone 3)ceramic steel armor
4)chameleon cloak 5)long range signals array 6)armored cape

I assign the values to the statistics of the enemy pilots:

Enemy #1: Awareness:1 Focus:2 Determination:3
Enemy #2: Awareness:3 Focus:2 Determination:1

Before attacking the mysterious enemies communicate something via radio? Yes (and) one of them explains who they are in a classic villain monologue

They are:
a) Confederate black ops agents!
b) Mercenaries who have become looters on both fronts
(A 65%) 16 (B)

enemy # 1: personality trait: (scholar) scholarly way of speaking

b_deadenemy # 1: “I regret but you have not been invited to our party, gentlemen. Our diligent collaborators had warned us that a couple of Confederates had disturbed them in their activities of … unauthorized fuel withdrawal from the Federal depots. You see, our affairs are extremely profitable but unfortunately for you they do not admit either opponents or even witnesses”

mecha_p1Trapper:”Looters”

b_deadenemy # 1: “It’s a crude way of defining ourselves but not entirely wrong. The supplies and the components of the mecha are becoming more and more precious on the black market and our business enterprise has become remarkably profitable…”

The other enemy pilot does not speak, his SAMURAI mech decloaks behind Curly’s mech and attacks

Combat:

A Failure=Module Destroyed, a Partial Success=Module Damaged.

There are no rules on the initiative, but I had already established that the enemies attack  first

turn 1:
enemy # 1 attacks Trapper (Focus+Armored Cape): 3d6 = 2,2,4: Failure
enemy # 2 attacks Curly (Focus+Chameleon Cloak): 3d6 = 3,5,5: Partial Success
Trapper attacks enemy # 1 (Focus+Fusion Rockets): 4d6 = 4,3,5,3: Partial Success
Curly attacks enemy # 2 (Focus+Comm.Jammer): 3d6 = 4,1,5: Partial Success

turn 2:
Enemy initiative? Yes
enemy # 1 attacks Trapper (Focus+Chameleon Cloak): 3d6 = 6,5,6: Flawless Success
enemy # 2 attacks Curly (Focus+Armored Cape): 3d6 = 5,2,2: Partial Success
Trapper attacks enemy # 1 (Focus+Hardened Superstructure): 4d6 = 5,4,2,4: Partial Success
Curly attacks enemy # 2 (Focus+Sensor-Spoofer): 3d6 = 2,1,2: Failure

turn 3:
Enemy initiative? No
Trapper attacks enemy # 1 (Determination+Armor-piercing Pike): 3d6 = 3,6,2: Flawless Success
Curly attacks enemy # 2 (Focus+Smoke-screen Array): 3d6 = 2,4,2: Failure
enemy # 1 attacks Trapper (Focus+CeramicSteel-Armor): 3d6 = 4,1,5: Partial Success
enemy # 2 attacks Curly (Focus+CeramicSteel-Armor): 3d6 = 4,6,6: Flawless Success

turn 4:
Enemy initiative? No
Our two heroes are in a bad situation, the rules allow a pilot to overcome a desperate situation by exploding his own robot, with his death the pilot automatically overcome the threat and provides an Echo (a +1d6 bonus) to fellow survivors.
I think it’s time to use this option, Trapper’s INVICTUS has 4 damaged modules but the most damaged is Curly’s AVALACHE (3 destroyed modules and 2 damaged) so…

mecha_p2Curly:”Trapper, bring all the information on this story to the base, it’s important! I will not let these bastards take our mechs. I hate to say it but… today is a good day to die !!!”

mecha_p1Trapper:”Curly, No!!”

The AVALANCHE pushes into the water Trapper’s INVICTUS and runs against the enemies then Curly activates self-destruction, the AVALANCHE and the enemy mechs are destroyed in the explosion.

explosion

Does Trapper manage to get back to HQ without other inconveniences?

Yes (if) he continues to go underwater with his mech’s subaquatic propulsion.

THE END

In Memoriam of Peter “Curly” Dubois,
Mech Pilot, Randall’s Rogue Rangers

The creation of the characters and the mechs is fast and effective. Zathrum allowed me to proceed in the mission with interesting twists. Playing was fun even though at the beginning I had some difficulty using Explosive Giant Robots combat rules.


mecha images from https://mbtskoudsalg.com, other images from other open licence sources
Advertisements
Posted in Actual Play, Solo RPG, Zathrum | Leave a comment

Mecha Adventure (1/2)

November is the Solo Gaming Appreciation Month #SGAM2018, This year’s challenge is to use a system or genre that you never played before. I had something else in mind but the challenge was interesting and therefore: change of program!

Genre: in many decades of playing I tried almost all the genres that could intrigue me, therefore the choice had to fall not on a new genre but on a specific setting that I had never tried … but then I came to mind a genre that I’ve never played: Mecha.
OK, I’m gonna play a Mecha adventure.

System: My collection includes two vintage mecha RPGs: Mechwarrior 1st ed. by FASA and Robotech RPG by Palladium but I wanted something simpler with game mechanics that I had never used.

I found an interesting pwyw RPG and I decided to try it.

RPG: Giant Exploding Robots by Tanner Clausen

Solo Engine: Zathrum

Tools: rules PDFs, 1d20, a handful of d6s, writing material


Character Creation

I assign the values 1,2,3 to the three Stats, I randomly determine the name of the robots and their six Modules using the tables included in the rpg, for the pilots personality traits I use as inspiration the NPC table of Zathrum.

Pilot 1:

mecha_p1

Name:    Larry  “Trapper” Vander

Personality Trait: (outcast) Irreverent

Awareness: 1        Focus: 3     Determination: 2

Giant Robot 1:

Name:  INVICTUS

Modules:

  1. Subaquatic Propulsion
  2. Fusion Rockets
  3. Hardened Superstructure
  4. Armor-piercing Pike
  5. Mortar Cannon
  6. Linked Observation Drone

Appearance:

free_mecha-robot-mech-png-2


Pilot 2:

mecha_p2

Name:   Peter  “Curly” Dubois

Personality Trait: (student) Willing

Awareness: 3        Focus: 2     Determination: 1

Giant Robot 2:

Name:   AVALANCHE

Modules:

  1. Sensor Spoofer
  2. Energy Shield Array
  3. Armor-piercing Pike
  4. Smoke-screen Array
  5. Communication Jammer
  6. Advanced Ballistic Computer

Appearance:

free-mecha-robot-mech-png-4


Situation:

I want to play in a Mechwarrior / Gundam style setting where mechs are standard combat vehicles in a planetary or interplanetary war, I ask some questions to the Zathrum Options Table to get more details, I leave the 50/50 odds. I will highlight the options chosen by the oracle in bold:

Scenario: A) interplanetary war B) planetary war = B

Type of unit: A) regular unit B) mercenary unit = B
Affiliation: A) Global Confederation B) World Federation = A
War zone: A) Madagascar B) San Francisco Area = B
Operation: A) offensive B) defensive = A
Mission: A) assault a convoy B) destroy supply depots = B
We have been chosen because: A) we are expendable B) we are specialized = B

war_apocalypse-2806679_960_720.jpg

“The earth of the 22nd century is overwhelmed by three years of war between two great powers that are competing for control of the world, the Global Confederation and the World Federation.

In the autumn of 2118 the CG high command ordered a large-scale offensive from its fortified bases in Chicago and Atlanta against the west coast of North America, one of the main war fronts of the northern hemisphere.
In the early stages of the offensive, in preparation for the siege of Seattle, several Confederate units of mechs were sent to the wastelands of San Francisco to break through enemy lines after  suborbital bombardments. One of the mech units participating to the operation is the Randall’s Rogue Rangers mercenary company…”

 


mecha images from https://mbtskoudsalg.com
Posted in Actual Play, Solo RPG, Zathrum | Leave a comment

Slasher Funnel

Hi Folks! Halloween is coming and I thought about adapting the Funnel Adventure rules from Tunnels & Dragons to make slasher-movie adventures (80s style).

Tools: 1d6, Bivius Tunnels & Dragons PDF, writing meterials, John Carpenter’s music

The following tables allow you to create the monster Slasher:

pumpkin

SLASHER CREATION

Mask (1d6):
1 halloween pumpkin
2 red skull
3 green gasmask
4 gory teddybear
5 beekeeping hood
6 welding mask

Outfit (1d6):
1 zombie
2 hunter
3 butcher
4 mechanic overall
5 farmer overall
6 black robe

Weapon (1d6):
1 machete
2 pitchfork
3 knife
4 axe
5 chainsaw
6 hook

Special Power (1d6):
1 teleport
2 stealth
3 strength
4 panic
5 regeneration
6 telekinesis

Hunting Territory (1d6):
1 high school
2 carnival
3 campsite
4 abandoned asylum
5 cemetery
6 drive in

Example : I roll dices and this is the resulting Slasher:

mask: halloween pumpkin
outfit: hunter
weapon: machete
power: telekinesis
hunting territory: abandoned asylum

asylum.jpg

VICTIMS CREATION

The 6 “peasants” are called “victims” and they have only two Stats:

Stereotype and Advantage.

Both Stats are Low Level.

Every victim has also the possibility to have a useful tool.
Use the following tables to determine Stats and tools for each of the 6 victims:

Stereotype (1d6):
1 nerd
2 jock
3 cheerleader
4 babysitter
5 redneck
6 deputy sheriff

Advantage (1d6):
1 dexterity
2 intuition
3 reflexes
4 luck
5 precognition
6 willpower

Tool (1d6):
1 torchlight
2 car key
3 baseball bat
4 nothing
5 nothing
6 nothing

Example: I roll my dice and this is the resulting victims:

#1 name: ALISON Archetype: babysitter Advantage: dexterity Tool: torchlight
#2 name: BEN Archetype: jock Advantage: precognition Tool: nothing
#3 name: CHARLIE Archetype: redneck Advantage: intuition Tool: nothing
#4 name: DILLON Archetype: deputy sheriff Advantage: dexterity Tool: torchlight
#5 name: ERIN Archetype: cheerleader Advantage: reflexes Tool: nothing
#6 name: FRANK Archetype: jock Advantage: willpower Tool: baseball bat

Other Data:

Choose the gender of each characters, their age is usually teen or young except for deputy sheriff (young or adult).

 

SCENE PROCEDURE:

Edit: It’s a slightly modified  Funnel Adventure Procedure but you will have to create locations suitable for the Hunting Territory of your Slasher  by improvising them or creating a specific Bivius list.

Slasher Funnel Scene Procedure:
1) A)<location> B)<location>
2) A)<victim> B)<victim>
3) A)High Level Threat B)Low Level Threat
4) A)Pursuit by the Slasher B)Ambush by the Slasher
5) Describe the scene and let the chosen victim face the threat
6) A)survived victim recover 1 lost level B)nothing

 

final girl.jpg

Optional Rule: THE FINAL GIRL

in this kind of film almost always happens that the victim who manages to escape the monster is a girl (generally called the final girl), so if in the last scene a female victim is selected then the threat to be faced will automatically be low level.

For the rest follow the Funnel Adventure rules that you find in paragraph 8.5 of Bivius Tunnels & Dragons

Happy Haloween 🙂

 

Posted in Bivius, Bivius Pulp, Solo RPG, Dragons & Tunnels, Rules, Solo RPG, Tunnels & Dragons | Leave a comment

Cyberpunk: Theft of Evidence (part 3)

cyberpunk_09.jpg

Hi folks!

This this the last part of my solo rpg actual play, here you can read part 1 and part 2 .

I played this adventure to test the missions in cyberspace. In this actual play report I have clearly separated the part of the game mechanics from the narrative part.

Tools: 1d20, Bivius rpg, Cyberpunk 2020 ruleset, notes with some Bivius list and procedures, notebook, pencil

Resume: After the partial failure of the first raid into the Seattle Police Dept. RedAlert-Joe and Rash had to get busy in the city to re-equip, but now the netrunner is ready to try again.

SCENE 7:

1) A) Data Wall      B) Memory Unit    = A
2) A) High Threat   B)Low Threat       = B
3) A) Speedtrap      B)Bloodhound      = A
4) test : Imp(+), NO, OK

“Friday, NightCity: Three days before Christmas.

In my rented room, Rash fiddles with her Sternmeyer autopistol, she is here as always to protect me while I work, she smiles at me wearing a ridiculous Santa paper hat, her Nikon green eyes are beautiful, but I do not have time to contemplate them. I put the plug in my interface jock and connect with the cyberdeck. A subdued and reassuring buzz informs me that the new Zetatech works well.
The real world vanishes and I’m already in cyberspace running in the flow of data,
my fake account is still in the system, great. I enter the Data Gate with no effort and my icon in the shape of Elvis flies quickly inside a Memory Unit.
A Speedtrap ICE is hidden there ready to strike, I launch the Imp and it disables the Speedtrap in time, there’s a database of family allowances for the Seattle cops, I copy it, maybe I could sell it back. ”

SCENE 8:

1) A) Data Wall      B) Memory Unit      = A
2) A) High Threat  B) Low Threat         = B
3) A) Invisibility    B)Bloodhound         = A

4) test: Demon(+): OK

“I bang against a Datawall but I can not see exactly where it is, it seems like an invisible maze!
I activate the Demon that dismantles everything with efficiency, I also see a bunch of corrupt, useless files not yet cancelled”

There is a  Complication

SCENE 9:

1) A) Mission Change  B) Slowdown            = B
2) A) Data Wall             B) CPU                        = A
3) A) High Threat         B) Low Threat          = A
4) A) Watchdog             B) Pitbull                  =  B
5) test 1: Demon (+) NO, NO,    Demon(-)
6) test 2: Cowboy (+) OK, NO, OK

“I look around, I get lost in the data walls for I do not know how much time,
I have to find a suitable access, an ICE Pitbull locates and approaches me,
my Demon attacks the Pitbull but without success, it takes all my ability to eliminate the ICE, the data walls around me sway, disturbed by my new Estonian subroutines ”

SCENE 10 (Final):

1) A)Memory Unit     B)Virtual Reality                            = A
2) A)High Threat <Killer I> B)High Threat <Sysop>    = A
3) test 1: Imp(+) OK, NO, OK

4) Mission Complete 🙂

“Here we are, I found the right MU, I scroll through the register of ongoing investigations and I find the file I was looking for: ‘Evidence 45lp6M‘.

I had not noticed the Killer installed here, fortunately my Imp automatically snaps into my defense and eventually manages to destroy that dangeous ICE.
I delete every reference to Ritter in the evidence file and, just to be sure,
I put Ritter’s hardware in the list of material to be incinerated the next morning,
I also delete the fake account and exit the system.”

cyberpunk_05

“I disconnect, tired but satisfied, only 4 minutes have passed in the real world.
Rash gives me a cup of hot instant coffee, I needed it with this cold.
I phone Ritter, the decibels of the techie’s relief laugh almost break
my eardrums while I look with satisfaction at my Zurich bank account
which increases by 9000 eurodollars.

Rash and I go to the Dead Sunset bar to get drunk. You can find us there.
At least for tonight, Night City belongs to RedAlert-Joe, the future cyberspace legend. ”


Cyberpunk 2020 is a rpg by R. Talsorian Games inc., Nightcity and Netrunner are trademarks of R. Talsorian Games inc.
Posted in Actual Play, Bivius, Bivius Pulp, Solo RPG, Solo RPG | Leave a comment

Cyberpunk: Theft of Evidence (part 2)

cyberpunk_03

Hi folks!

This this part 2 of my solo rpg actual play, you can find part 1 here.

Tools: 1d20, Bivius rpg, Cyberpunk 2020 ruleset, notes with some Bivius list and procedures, notebook, pencil

Resume: My PC is the netrunner RedAlert-Joe. He was hired by a friend, the techie Ritter, to steal an incriminating evidence held in the Seattle Police Dept. During the raid on the system RedAlert-Joe was spotted and chased by a Watchdog ICE program and he is trying to disconnect for not being tracked.

cyberpunk_01

SCENE 3:

1) A) Data Wall B) CPU                               = B
2) A) High Threat B) Low Threat             = B
3) A) Bloodhound B) Manticore               = A
4) test: Cowboy (-) OK, NO, OK

“I move fast into one of the system’s CPUs, the Watchdog lost me but warned a Bloodhound which is lurking here, fortunately it’s an old version,
I daze it and I have time to create a fake account that will serve me
the next time to enter the system more easily. ”

SCENE 4:

1) A) Data Wall       B) Data Gate          = B
2) A) High Threat    B) Low Threat     = B
3) A)Bloodhound  B) Manticore          = A

4) Test: Netrunner(+) : OK

“Suddenly the ravenous Bloodhound wakes up and chases me but I get it off after bouncing the signal from Seattle to Sidney and then to Sao Paulo: my famous ‘triple S’ maneuver.
Unfortunately the Watchdog damaged my deck and my cowboy software library,
but all is not lost yet.
I report to Ritter that there are complications and that it will take a little longer than expected, then I smoke a chinese cigarette to recover. I will have to work hard to re-equip myself before the next attempt.”

[STATUS: the Low Stat “Deck” is zeroed, The High Stat “Cowboy” is reduced to Low, RedAlert-Joe managed to escape therefore he has the chance to recover some or all of the lost levels]

SCENE 5:

1) A) BASE             B) Warehouse                           = B
2) A) tech Ritter    B)  hologram                             = A
3) Is there a threat?                                                  = Yes
4) A) sidequest      B) ambush                                 = A

“Wednesday, Night City:

Ritter, still a bit pissed off, is waiting for me in a warehouse full of second-hand sim-stims, he says I can get a new cyberdeck if I do a job for one of his friends. I accept”

Sidequest:
1)  A) Netrunner                    B) Cowboy                           = A
2)  A) Corporation Office      B) University                    = A
3)  A)Beijing LDL                    B) Hostile Netrunner       = A
4)  A) Stealth                            B) Bloodhound                  =  B

5) Test: Netrunner(+), 1 success to win: OK (+100 xp)
Low Stat ‘Deck’ recovered

“It’s a minor thing: to copy a list of addresses from a guy’s account
at the University of Dublin. I have no idea what they’re for and I do not care.

As I leave the system I am attacked by a ICE Bloodhound that follows me to the Beijing Long Distance Link, but I shake it off easily.
I send the addresses to Ritter’s friend in an encrypted channel.
The same evening I receive a box with inside my new deck, a Zetatech Paraline 5750,
the smell of new plastic makes me happy ”

SCENE 6:

1)  A) Combat Zone  B) BASE                                  = A
2)  A) Nomad             B) Dawn                                  = A
3)  Is there a threat?                                                 = Yes
4)  A) Chromes Street Gang   B) Firefight            = B

5)  I use my sidekick Stat Solo(+): OK
6) A) Cracking Software    B) nothing                   = A

Stat ‘Cowboy'(+) Recovered

” Thursday, Night City:

Rash and I drive to the combat zone, my fixer Mama X told me
that a nomad named Rubledo has a freshly arrived ICE breaker from Estonia.
We are negotiating the price when some Scavengers attack us.

Rubledo and Rash shoot madly, Rubledo is hit before getting on his motorcycle, Rash goes to recover the ICEbreaker from the dying nomad’s bloody hands, she runs incredibly fast thanks to her muscular implants and stamina booster.
I’m already at the wheel of my Neko Speedster 66 sport car, Rash gets on the car but keeps shooting the Scavs with zen concentration.
They do not chase us, they already have a prey to dissect.
Rash, without turning around, shows me the small rectangle of gray plastic stained with  blood, now we have the software to re-equip my cowboy cracking library and for free.

At full speed on the Freeway 126 heading home, we listen to one of my favorite songs by the rocker Mashalore”

cyberpunk_04.jpeg


RedAlert-Joe and his sidekick Sabine Rashenkova return home to attempt a new raid on the target system. Will they succeed?


Cyberpunk 2020 is a rpg by R. Talsorian Games inc., Nightcity and Netrunner are trademarks of R. Talsorian Games inc.
Posted in Actual Play, Bivius, Bivius Pulp, Solo RPG, Solo RPG | Leave a comment

Cyberpunk: Theft of Evidence (part 1)

cyberpunk_07

Hi, folks!

Since the trailer and then the demo walkthrough of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 appeared this summer, I had the desire to play the rpg Cyberpunk 2020 again. But I have not played it for years, so I started to read the rules again, it’s a nice system but it would take me too long to learn again how to use it properly.

Cyberpunk 2077 trailer

So I thought I would use Bivius rpg and in the meantime I read Gibson’s “Neuromancer” novel again, lists and procedures were born quickly and then I created various characters. This is the adventure I played first using the following two characters . For this adventure I used the setting of Cyberpunk 2020, in some cases using directly the CY2020 tables as if they were Bivius lists and it worked very well.

Main PC:

NAME: RedAlert-Joe

STATS: Netrunner(+), Cowboy(+), Intelligence, Student, Good-vehicle(“Neko Speedster 66” car)

DATA: male, young, tense, north-american, amnesia(brainwashed), punk style, mohawk hair, nose piercing.

CYBERWARE: cyberdeck coprocessor, interface jock

EQUIPMENT: The Outift bag, light pistol, light armor, car

CYBERDECK: Deck, Imp(+), Demon(+)

ICON: Elvis with a zebra print suit

BACKSTORY: you want to become a legendary netrunner, of your past there is only a small green plastic dinosaur toy left, your idol is the rocker Mashalore.

BASE: “Dead Sunset” bar

CONTACTS: 1)Mama X (fixer, F, adult) 2)Ritter (techie, m, young), 3)Tashimono (m, techmed, mature)


SIDEKICK:

NAME: Sabine ‘Rash’ Rashenkova

STATS: Solo(+), Bodyguard, Reflexes, Bouncer, Technical

DATA: female, young, outgoing, north american, bad reputation (killed one of his clients), latex style, groomed long purple hair, studded gloves.

CYBERWARE: 1)adrenaline booster, 2) transplanted muscles, 3)cyberoptics: timesquare(HUD), 4)cyberoptics: teleoptics

EQUIPMENT: The Outift bag, heavy pistol, medium armor


THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

Tools: 1d20, Bivius rpg, Cyberpunk 2020 ruleset, notes with some Bivius list and procedures, notebook, pencil

SCENE 0:

1) A) hotel B) BASE  = A
2) A) corporate B) holographic sign = B
3) A) request for help (Ritter) B) job offer by a Fixer =A
4) A) helps B) blackmail = A
5) A) cop B) Ritter = B

Region: Pacifica, City-Node: Seattle
8) A) High Threat <police dept> B) Low Threat <small business> = A
9) A) Nightwatch scan B) Christmas period = B

“Tuesday: the South Night City coast.
At Falton Palace, an art-deco hotel with a beautiful holographic sign of a
chromed angel in flight, I have an appointment with my friend Ritter,
he insisted on meeting us far from our area, he pays all expenses,
he’s afraid because a hardware component he sold was found by the police
in the place of the murder of the executive vice president of Yakashi Hardware and seized as evidence, if the evidence will not be stolen, the police will arrest him soon.
Ritter asks me to help him, he constantly wipes his sweaty forehead:

“There will be 9000 eurodollars for you, you’re the best netrunner I know, will you help me, chombatta, will you? ”

I am sensitive to flattery and he knows it. I’m in.
After an hour I’m home, I surf the cyberspace looking for the system,
the evidence is kept in the Seattle Police Dept.
It will not be easy to break into the system and erase Ritter’s data,
moreover, the input-output channels are overloaded for the Christmas period”

SCENE 1:

1) A) data wall B) data gate = B
2) A) high threat B) low threat = B
3) A) watchdog B) pitbull = B
4) I use Cyberdeck Stat Imp (+), OK

“I dive into the Seattle Police Dep. icon, I find an access but an ICE Pittbul
is ready to take action against unauthorized visitors, my Imp program paralyzes it effortlessly, I look around and find a log file of an internal chat, my reader bot tells me that there is nothing interesting. ”

SCENE 2:

1) A) data wall B) remote: printers = A
2) A) high threat B) low threat = B
3) A) watchdog B) bloodhound = A
4) test 1: Deck, No, No, Deck = yellow code
5) test 2: Cowboy (+), No, No, Cowboy (-)

“A data wall blocks my way to the area of the system that interests me,
I have to pass it without activating the ICE Watchdog, I use my stealth
subroutine but it fails and crashes, then I use a countermeasure program from my cowboy library to loop the Watchdog, it doesn’t work.
I’m in trouble, I have to log out! ”


 

RedAlert Joe is in trouble and pursued by an ICE program within the system, his brain will be burned? what will Rash do? The answer in the next episode.


Cyberpunk 2020 is a rpg by R. Talsorian Games inc., Nightcity and Netrunner are trademarks of R. Talsorian Games inc.
Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming videogame by CD Projekt.
Posted in Actual Play, Bivius, Bivius Pulp, Solo RPG, Solo RPG | Leave a comment

T&D: Funnel Adventure

dungeon-drawing-1

Hi folks!
Today I want to show you an actual play that I played some time ago, this is a funnel adventure using Tunnel & Dragons.

Tools: 1d20, notebook, pencil, T&D pdf, epic soundtracks

crowd

THE PEASANTS

I create 6 “peasants” that is my pre-characters with which I will play this adventure-ordeal. They are from the village of Castow.
I use the system provided by T & D (Paragraph 8.5)  and this is the result, you can see that for convenience I have assigned the names of the peasants in alphabetical order.

1) peasant #1
nome: AMIRA
Low Stats: Human, Thief
data: female, young
peasant weaponry: rock
relation: Berdann’s cousin

2) peasant #2
nome: BERDANN
Low Stats: Human, Servant
data: male, teen
peasant weaponry: torch
relation: Amira’s cousin

3) peasant #3
nome: CYRUS
Low Stats: Human, Tomb-robber
data: male, young
peasant weaponry: club
relation: Darius’ aquaitance

4) peasant #4
nome: DARIUS
Low Stats: Human, Squire
data: male, teen
peasant weaponry: rock
relation: Cirus’ aquaitance

5) peasant #5
nome: EDMAR
Low Stats: Human, Farmer
data: male, young
peasant weaponry: rusted knife
relation: Fianna’s brother

6) peasant #6
nome: FIANNA
Low Stats: Human, Brawler
data: female, teen
peasant weaponry: torch
relation: Edmar’s sister


The premise of the adventure is inspired by the solo adventure Naked Doom for Tunnel & Troll by Ken StAndre.

Note: To facilitate reading I will not transcribe all the questions I have made to the oracle.

naked-doom

Funnel Scenario: Escape From a Dungeon
Surface: Palace
Quest: Find another exit

The Sorcerous City of Nalukkhol, harvest season:

The peasants have been convicted by the court of the Empress Joonden XV for various crimes, it does not matter if they are really guilty or not, the sentence is going to be executed.

The condemned are disarmed and stripped, then they are conducted in the basement of the city palace of justice, where there is the entrance of the Dungeon of the Blind Fate, built centuries ago by a magician to eliminate the numerous death row prisoners who filled the imperial prisons. Most of those unfortunates who enter the dungeon never emerged from the caves but for the few who manage to reach the exit is granted amnesty and freedom.

The condemned are a dozen, including our six peasants, with their feet immersed in the mud of a large underground hall they are forced to listen to a scribe who reads the sentence aloud from a balcony, then he points to a small pile of rags, debris and waste lying near a corner, “In his immense mercy, Her Majesty The Empress grants you to take one object to carry on your journey of penance”,  the unfortunate prisoners scramble to rummage but they find few useful things (the peasant weaponry) then they are pushed towards a long tunnel in front of them.

A platoon of archers with dark armor is positioned behind them, the scribe turns to the prisoners with contempt: “If you do not want to die as you deserve, run!”

 

SCENE 1:

  • Location:
    • A)Right Turn + dimly lit
    • B) Large Rectangle Room+ corpses = A
  • Peasant: A) #1 (Amira)    B) #2 (Berdann)  = A

The group of desperate people begins to run while the archers calmly extract their poisoned arrows, then the fugitives hear the arrows hissing very close and the thud of bodies fallen to the ground of those who have been hit. Among those who have escaped there are Amira and her cousin Berdann, they realize they were left alone after the tunnel turned right, Berdann was able to keep the torch that he found in the pile, in the distance the tunnel is partially illuminated by the fading mold on the walls…

  • Threat: A) High    B) Low = A
  • Obstacle: A)War Dogs     B) Javelin Traps = B

[Amira uses her Stat Thief, she needs two successes to survive, 1 failure and she dies]

The two move cautiously, Amira leads her cousin, she has a bit of experience as a thief,

[Test: 1) No ]

No enemies on sight, Amira looks at the floor and the walls to spot possible traps, everything seems fine and she smiles at Berdann, they go on with more confidence for a few yards then a slight click and some javelins are hurled by well hidden traps killing Amira. Berdann manages to reach the end of the tunnel before other javelins are recharged by the mechanisms of the traps.

[peasant #1 dead]

b_status_1

 

 

 

 

SCENE 2:

  • Location:
    • A)Short Tunnel + partially flooded
    • B)Large Circular Room + cave = B
  • Peasant: A) #3 (Cyrus)  B) #4 (Darius) = B

After crossing several tunnels, a group of prisoners including the wily Cyrus and the young squire Darius are in a large, almost circular cave.

  • Threat: A) High   B) Low  = A
  • Obstacle: A) Giant Centipede B) Magic Trap = A

Some of the others scream: “Monsters!”, a dozen giant centipedes emerge from the dim light, it must be their nest. The prisoners fight as best they can but they are naked and almost disarmed, those who hold a torch or a club can defend themselves but for the others there is almost no hope.

[Darius uses his Stat Squire, 2 successes to survive, 1 failure to die ]

1)Yes: Darius seeks an escape route for the group while avoiding being eaten by centipedes

2)No: he does not find any suitable opening, the centipedes have come down from holes to some yard of height from the ground, one of the monsters grabs Darius a foot and makes him fall to the ground. The squire tries to free himself from the grip of the monstrous creature, he slams the rock that he uses as a weapon on the carapace of the centipede wounding it but other centipedes assail him, tearing him to pieces in a few moments

[peasant #4 dead]

b_status_2

 

 

 

SCENE 3:

  • Location:
    • A)T-Cross + high temperature
    • B) Large Poligonal Room + cave = B
  • Peasant: A) #5 (Edmar) B) #6 (Fianna) = A

Those who have escaped from the centipedes reach another large, apparently empty cave, the most thirsty lick the moisture from the walls, some just slump to the ground to rest. Only two of them continue to explore the cave in search of something useful, they are Edmar the farmer and his younger sister Fianna who observes carefully everything that her torch illuminates.

  • Threat: A) High   B) Low  = B
  • Obstacle: A)Fungus Man B) Magic Pool = A

From one of the two tunnels that depart from the cave she sees strange shapes that sneak up, a couple of fungus men have awakened from their lethargy and attack the two siblings.

[Edmar uses his Stat Human, 2 successes to survive, 2 failures to be wounded]

1)Yes: Edmar dodges the attack of the nearest monster and repeatedly hits him with his rusted knife, a yellowish liquid splashes from the fungoid’s wound.

2)Yes: Edmar kills the fungusman while Fianna easily eliminates the other monster

[peasant #5 survived]

b_status_3

 

 

 

SCENE 4:

  • Location:
    • A)Medium Tunnel + inscriptions on the walls
    • B) Large Square Room + nuisance(bats) = B
  • Peasant: A) #2 (Berdann)  B) #3 (Cyrus) = B

The survivors wander through the tunnels, they know they must find the exit before they die of hardship, they arrive in another large square cavern and immediately they are attacked by a multitude of membranous wings, they are only harmless bats frightened by intruders…

  • Threat: A) High   B) Low  = B
  • Obstacle: A)Skeleton B) Boulder Trap = A

In the cave Cyrus looks for some better weapon than his worn-out club, he sees a pit dug a long time ago, he hopes to find some weapon or armor in that tomb, maybe a beautiful sword, the skeleton lying in the grave has only useless tattered clothes but it suddenly comes alive and attacks the peasant.

[Cyrus uses again his Stat Tomb-Robber: 2 successes to survive, 2 failures to be wounded]

1)No: The skeleton grabs both arms of the peasant and prevents him from using the club

2)No: the other prisoners hear the cries of Cyrus and rush to help him but too late, they manage to break down the skeleton. The tomb-robber is wounded but can still walk.

[peasant #3 wounded, Stat Tomb-Robber is reduced to zero]

b_status_4

 

 

 

SCENE 5:

  • Location:
    • A)Stairs Down + footprints
    • B) Large Square Room + bad smell = A
  • Peasant: A) #3 (Cyrus, because he is wounded)  B) #2 (Berdann) = A

Nobody knows how long they’ve been wandering in the dungeon, now they descend a long stairway following the human footprints of some previous group of prisoners…

 

  • Threat: A) High   B) Low  = A
  • Obstacle: A)Goblins B)Spore Traps = B

Cyrus is struggling to get down the steps because of the wounds and at some point he leans on the wall to catch his breath, the stone wall is covered with strange greenish stains.

[Cyrus uses his Stat Human: 2 successes to survive, 1 failure to die]

1)Yes: Cyrus is careful not to touch the stains that seem to move imperceptibly

2)Yes: looking better he notices that on the steps near him there are, just visible, traces of the shapes of some humanoid beings (victims!), while the air fills with a cloud of spores, Cyrus understands that he is in danger and he rolls down the stairs, he’s a little bruised but he avoided the trap

  • A) Resource (healing mushrooms) B) nothing = A

The Tomb-Robber arrives at the bottom of the stairs where he finds the others who are drinking from an underground spring, he quenches his thirst and then also finds a pair of mushrooms on the bank, he is so hungry that he devours them without thinking, he is lucky, his wounds begin to heal quickly. Everyone starts looking for other specimens of those healing mushrooms but without success.

[peasant # 3 survived and healed]

b_status_5

 

 

 

SCENE 6:

  • Location:
    • A)T-Junction + slippery ground
    • B) Large Oval Room + cave = B
  • Peasant: A) #6 (Fianna) B) #2 (Berdann)  = B

There were differences of opinion among the survivors, some separated from the group, Berdann, left alone, discovers an immense cave of vaguely oval form.

  • Threat: A) High   B) Low  = B
  • Obstacle: A)Blood Bats   B)Bottomless Pit = A

[Berdann uses his Stat Human: , 2 successes to survive, 2 failures to be wounded]

1)Yes: His torch has worn out, a little light comes from the phosphorescent mold that abounds in those caverns, he can perceive a myriad of small eyes staring at him from above, bats! again!

2)No: A swarm of blood bats assaults him on all sides, he uses the consumed torch to drive them away but they are too many and they bite him all over his body

3)No:  The blood-sucking bats chase him in the tunnel from which he entered but he dives into an underground river that drags him away from their reach, he finds himself on a pebble beach somewhere lower, wounded but still alive.

[peasant #2 wounded, Stat Human drops to zero]

b_status_6

 

 

 

SCENE 7:

  • Location:
    • A)Stairs Up + excavated tunnel
    • B) Large Rectangular Room + armory = B
  • Peasant: A) #6 (Fianna) B) #2 (Berdann, wounded)  = A

Fianna and Edmar arrive in a large hall, along the two longer sides there are many racks full of weapons and armor, similar to those of the imperial guards.

  • Threat: A) High   B) Low  = A
  • Obstacle: A)Stone Golem*  B)Gas Trap = A

The two wonder if that is really the armory of the imperial palace, maybe they did it. Edmar touches one of the armor and nothing happens, he grins happily and wears a black chain mail, a plumed helmet, and grabs a two-headed ax.

Fianna equipped herself but then she sees a beautiful sword strung up to the hilt in a carved boulder shaped like a bearded head…

[Fianna uses his Stat Human: , 2 successes to survive, 1 failure to die]

1)No: Fianna does not resist and draws the sword, the stone face comes alive and the gigantic golem emerges from the floor in all its power, Fianna has only time to warn Edmar “Go!”, The two siblings flee away from the stone giant that devastates the armory with his fists, they are about to reach the exit but the golem grabs Fianna who still held the precious sword, when the weapon falls to the ground with a clang, the girl has already been crushed, then the golem collapses the vault, everything vanishes and Berdan finds himself outdoors on a beach … he is free.

[peasant # 6 dead]

[ Note(*): a Stone Golem is an impossible enemy, see paragraph 7.3 T&D) ]

b_status_7

 

 

 

Survivors:

peasant #2 (Berdann, wounded), peasant #3(Cyrus), peasant #5(Edmar)

Edmar was taken away by the other two survivors Berdann and Cyrus, they had found him unconscious and with a broken arm after the armory collapse. The armor had protected him somehow. They were the only ones who found the exit at the end of a tunnel near the armory. They were happy to be alive but they had all lost relatives and friends

dungeon-drawing-64

THE OUTCOME

After a few years the three peasants have become adventurers but they still remember what they lived together and sometimes they return to visit their village.

Each survivor peasant earns 1000 xp, confirms rank 1 and is promoted to standard characters, I use the usual procedure to complete their profile, all of them increase one level of age.

note: (+) is a High Level Stat, the other Stats are Low Level.

peasant_3

Name:  EDMAR LIDWON (Main PC)
Stats:
Kinship: Human (+)
Class:  Warrior (+)
Career: Skirmisher
Background: Farmer
Advantage: Amulet
Data:
Gender: male , Age: adult, Personality: rude, Objective: wealth, Disadvantage: dependence(alcohol)

Equipment: knife, longsword, franzizka(throwing hatchet), heavy leather armor and metal helm, medium shield, adventure kit

Commitment: to give his surplus treasure to the inhabitants of their village Castow


peasant_1

Name: BERDANN The Furtive (Sidekick)
Stats:
Kinship: Human
Class: Rogue(+)
Career: Scout(+)
Background: Servant
Advantage: High Dexterity
Data:
Gender: male, Age: young, Personality: gloomy, Objective: to find his parents, Disadvantage: phobia(bats)

Equipment: dagger, sap, adventure kit


peasant_2

Name: CYRUS OF CASTOW (Alt)
Stats:
Kinship: Human
Class: Commoner
Career: Alchemist (+)
Background: Tomb-Robber(+)
Advantage: Willpower
Data:
Gender: male, Age: adult , Personality: cynical, Objective: wealth, Disadvantage: Bad Luck (the skeleton that attacked him was cursed)

Equipment: knife, alchemist’s bag(tools, potions, ingredients), adventure kit


I hope you enjoyed this, see you next time. Ciao!

Edit: Scene 7 text fixed (I confused the names Berdann & Edmar during the translation)


Some of the names are randomly  generated with https://donjon.bin.sh
Google Translate helped me 🙂
Posted in Actual Play, Bivius, Bivius Pulp, Solo RPG, Dragons & Tunnels, Solo RPG, Tunnels & Dragons | 4 Comments

Impromptu Pirate Adventure (Final)

pirate2

Hi Folks!

I conclude this adventure that I played using the solo RPG Bivius and Bivius Companion , without any preparation, improvising everything in full freedom (yeah).
Find the rest of the adventure here: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Tools: 1d20, sheets of paper, pen, my watch.

Resume: My character, the pirate captain Barnaby Blackscales, has decided to take revenge once and for all of his rival Hector El Carnicero to protect his beloved gypsy girl Rosalva, for this he has set up a trap between two small uninhabited islands, The Plana Cays.

Barnaby has harshly provoked El Carnicero on the island of Tortuga and has also done so to leave clues about where he would be headed: the island of Samana Cays north of the Plana Cays.
Barnaby’s ship, The Lady Death, landed on the eastern Plana Cays and everyone immediately went to work.
The plan is this: place a pair of cannons and hide them on the western island pointed towards the strait, lure the enemy ship into the channel where the cannons will shoot down the sails with chained cannonballs, at the same time my underwater pirates (they are humanoid manatees) will tie the rudders of the enemy ship with chains to anchor it to the bottom and block it completely at the mercy of my galleon…Arrrrrr!

pirate_map_01

PART 4

SCENE 1:

A) just one day after our arrival, the enemy ship appears south of the islands
B) after a week the enemy ship is sighted to the north of the islands
= B
While on the south beach of the western island I supervise the collection of the few coconuts present on these flat shores, one of my lookouts, Pete Uglyface, comes running to warn me: “Ship in sight to the north, Captain! It’s the ‘Double Trouble ‘, sir ”

I say: “They must have gone to Samana and then they looked for us, following the course backward, I knew that their Captain would have taken the bait like a sardine!”

I go back aboard my ship and I consult with my first officer, Bilbao Jack.
We must lure the enemy ship, a galleon-catamaran called Double Trouble, in the strait to have a good chance of winning.

Does Jack agree with me on the battle plan? Yes

Is Jack still hurt? No (his Human Stat level is High again)

Are there any complications? No

I order :” Ready to sail, let us be spotted by them!”

double-galleon

the ‘Double Trouble’

I decide it’s time to do a strategy test to see if the trap works as expected.
it will be a contest of skills so the threat level also corresponds to the piracy-leadership of El Carnicero. 

Threat Level: Low

Barnaby uses his stat Pirate which is high level, he needs only one success to win

1)No, a failure: I watch with my spyglass the approaching enemy ship, it  slows down as if it were suspicious

2)No, a failure: (oh no!) the double hull of the enemy ship changes course and moves away from the strait, El Carniciero must have sighted the cannons hidden on the western island!

I apply the rule #9 of the Bivius Companion, so Barnaby’s Pirate Stat goes down to Low Level. Those sailors will pay for their incapacity!

pirate_table

SCENE 2:

A) The Double Trouble runs along the western island B) it runs along the eastern island = B

It will circumvent the island to reach me from the east, the battle has begun in one way or another. I order that Rosalva be brought to the safest place of the ship, the deposit of the sails, in the part aft of the hold. She will be a bit uncomfortable but certainly safer.

I want to play a naval battle and for this I decide to use the rule # 11 of the Bivius Companion, assigning to the ships the following Stats: 1 High Level Stat ( a main advantage), 1 Low Level Stat (a secondary advantage), 1 Hit Points Stat and finally a Disadvantage to justify some failures.
The stats of the enemy ship will be used as threat levels in the tests.

Lady Death:
High Stat: veteran crew
Low Stat: agile ship
HP: low
Disadvantage: old and slow keel

Double Trouble:
High Stat: reinforced hull
Low Stat: heavy cannons
HP: high
Disadvantage: the double hull makes it difficult to handle

Each failed test reduces the Stat used by the loser by 1 level. If the Stat is reduced to zero then the HP stat of the ship is also reduced by 1 level, if it drops to zero it means that the ship is destroyed.

Even if El Carnicero has seen our cannons on the island he still knows nothing of the pirate manatees, I send to call their leader Rudd and explain the situation to him. If the enemy ship enters the strait the three manatees will perform their mission as intended but if I have a second pirate flag hoisted then they will have to swim underneath the enemy ship and tie its rudders so that it goes round in circles without control.

Phase 1:

B.R.O. determines the Threat Level in this first fight: High (reinforced hull), I use the High Level Stat of my ship (veteran crew). I need two successes to win.

1)Yes: My crew puts the Lady Death in an advantageous position, able to shoot an effective cannon shot before the enemy could react. Good guys!

2)Yes: The huge double hull of the Double Trouble can not correct the course to shoot in time, before the lady death can sweep the bridge of the port side with a volley of canister shots killing many enemies.

Huzzah!!! Enemy High Stat (reinforced hull) drops to Low Level.

galleon

Phase 2:

The Threat Level can no longer be high because the Double Trouble only has Low Level Stats now. This does not mean that the battle is over. I decide not to take risks and still use my High Stat (veteran crew), in fact if any of my Low Level Stats drops to zero, the HP stats does the same and the Lady Death will be destroyed by the greater power of the enemy ship.

Threat Level: Low (heavy cannons)

I use the High Level Stat of my ship (veteran crew). I need one success to win.

1)Yes: the heavy guns of the Double Trouble vomit flames and cannonballs but the crew of the Lady Death veered promptly avoiding most of the shots and positioning our ship safely towards the double stern of the catamaran. Our cannons destroy part of the starboard hull.

Enemy High Stat (heavy cannons) drops to Zero. Enemy HP drops to Low level.

Phase 3:

Is the sea bottom shallow enough to recover a sunken ship here? Yes

I could continue the naval combat with these rules to sink the enemy ship and then recover all the cargo in the hold, but I want to kill my rival with my hands, this means a boarding but the enemy ship is bigger and with a crew much larger.
Given the losses suffered by the enemy crew, is a boarding feasible? No

I then try to lure the enemy ship into the strait. It is a test on Barnaby’s Pirate Stat (low) against a Low Level Threat (El Carnicero’s piracy-leadership). I need two successes to win.

1)Yes: After several maneuvers, I order to head north-east towards the strait and the Double Trouble chases us at the maximum speed of which it is still capable

2)Yes: In the strait, the enemy ship is sailing away from the western island where a couple of my cannons are waiting to hit it, but I raise a second flag and then I see the silhouettes of my manatee pirates swimming under water at great speed, in a few minutes the Double Trouble begins to sail in circles and then we can approach to shoot canister shots again, decimating the enemies on the upper decks.

Is it possible to board the ship now? Yes
Does Barnaby recover the lost level of his Pirate Stat? No

pirate-flag2

SCENE 3:

A) The boarding the enemy ship begins, there is smoke because in the hold of the farthest hull a fire flares up
B) The boarding the enemy ship begins, but the farthest hull detaches from the other one by special explosive charges, El Carnicero commands the fleeing hull
= A

I Jump on board the enemy ship with the first wave of assailants while the sound of gunfire and the screams of the wounded echo in the thick smoke coming out of the hatches.
Can I find El Carnicero? Yes
Threat level: High

At this moment the only high level Stat of Barnaby is Animaloid (pangolin), so I leave the stats Pirate, Rogue and Good Weapon in reserve and fight in close combat with claws.

1)No: Full of rage I kill some enemy pirates as I head to the Double Trouble command bridge, up there in the smoke, I see the evil Hector El Carnicero, but four of his pirates try to stop me, their cutlass cause me some wounds

2)Yes: I disarm one of the henchmen and quickly kill the others with my claws, I continue towards Hector

3)Yes: I must look scary with my dark armor of scales covered with the blood of the enemies, Hector is not waiting for me to reach him, he draws his flintlock pistol but I roll under his legs and I drop him on the ground, his throat between my claws, his ugly face a short distance from mine.

I defeated him (!) but it seems too easy…. 
A) Hector surrenders, B) Hector commits suicide  = A

Whaaat?

Seeing their captain captured, do the enemies surrender? Yes

Complications? Yes

el-carnicero2

Hector El Carnicero

SCENE 4:

A) Rosalva is in trouble B) There is a fleet in sight = B

Does Barnaby recover the lost level of his Pirate Stat? Yes

Does El Carnicero seem happy with this news? No

Is the unknown fleet approaching? No

Can I see which nation the fleet belongs to? Yes

A)English   B)Spanish = A

I do not think it is possible that the fleet does not notice the smoke of the battle and our ships standing in the strait. I have little time available before the British come to snoop in our affairs. Here we are all pirates and if the British fleet takes us, they will hang us one after the other.

While I was playing this, a new rule came to my mind that I could try:


The Countdown:

As the player, I have the chance to ask three quick questions to the oracle (B.R.O.) then I will have to come up with a plan of action in a very short frame of real time (from 30 secs to 3 minutes), which I will have to stop with my watch.

If I fail then the consequences will be more serious for my PC.


 

The maneuvers between sailing ships were very slow and so I set a 3-minute countdown from the moment I get the third answer from B.R.O.

1)Is the fleet made up of war vessels? No, it must be a convoy of cargo ships escorted by some warships

2)Is the enemy first officer alive? No

3)Is the Double Trouble still able to fight? Yes

A fleet is too strong to beat it with two ships damaged by a fight, seeing the seconds that passed inexorably was really stressful and gave me the feeling of having to make a decision quickly. In 2 minutes and 52 seconds I had managed to draft a plan:

1) Bilbao Jack and the crew tie most of the prisoners and board them on the Double Trouble boats, pulling them against the coral reef of the eastern island (they will have to swim to get on the island, if they can)
2) Bilbao Jack and the crew transfer to the Lady Death the most valuable cargo taken from the hold of the Double Trouble

3) I order to place a long-lasting fuse in the ammunition deposit of the Double Trouble
4) El Carnicero is chained to one of the two masts of his ship
5) The manatee pirates release the rudders of the Double Trouble
6) Barnaby, with a few experienced sailors, remains on board the Double Trouble to direct it towards the approaching English convoy, with the pirate flag clearly visible!
7) As soon as possible Barnaby and his men drop the ship’s launch and sail in the direction of the Lady Death while the pirate catamaran is cannonaded by the British
8) The Lady Death flees in the opposite direction taking advantage of the confusion while the double trouble (and El Carnicero with it) explodes

I divide the plan into two parts, each part will be checked with a test:

 

Test 1 (steps 1-5):

Threat Level: Low

I use Bilbao Jack’s Warrior (High Level), I need 1 success to win

1)Yes: the plan starts well, good job, Jack!

Can we load a lot of booty in the 15 minutes available? Yes
This is A) gold and jewelry B) silver and magical items: A

 

Test 2 (steps 6-8):

Threat Level: Low

I use Barnaby’s Pirate (High Level), I need 1 success to win

1)Yes: Mission accomplished, HUZZAY!!!

Does the English fleet pursue the lady death? NO

Barnaby Blackscales ends his first adventure and earns 1 Brownie Point.

One last curiosity: does Rudd, the manatee leader, survive the battle? No

This is sad, RIP


a_ship

The adventure is over with a complete success (you can never know with Bivius!), the Lady Death sails towards La Tortuga with a fair amount of booty (gold and jewelry) in the hold, Barnaby has shown to know how to command his crew and maybe he’ll make other adventures with his beloved Rosalva and the help of the loyal Bilbao Jack.

I could do other adventures with these characters.
I must say that I enjoyed a lot this adventure even if I had to speed up some parts to publish it on the blog.

It’s all for now, Ciao!

Posted in Actual Play, Bivius, Bivius Pulp, Solo RPG, Solo RPG | Leave a comment

Review: Master Solo Engines

books_review

Hi folks!

When I can, I read one of the PDFs in my collection and this time my attention fell on this text, dedicated to solo roleplaying:

MASTER SOLO ENGINES
author: Kenny Norris
year: 2015
format: PDF, 18 pages
size: 13.42 MB
cost: FREE

The author has been an active member of the G+ community Lone Wolf Roleplaying and he is fun to read.
The text, after a brief introduction, begins to describe in short the differences between group rpgs and solo rpgs, then it deepens some techniques used in solitary RPGs.

Content:

  • intro
  • GM and PC Turns
  • Solo Engines
  • Advanced Creative Techniques
  • Putting the Lesson into Practice

I particularly appreciated the part concerning the different types of questions to ask the Oracle, the distinction between deep and shallow questions and some advice on how to formulate questions, some of them were new to me while others were a pleasant confirmation of classical techniques. This section deserves to be read and reread several times because the tips it contains are precious for any solo engine or solo rpg you are using.
Kenny has made other books about RPG Solo and I think I’ll read them soon.

The book in pdf format is available for free here

Pros: Fluent reading. It shows useful tips on how to use the solo engines.
provides clarification for novices and a valid reminder for the more experienced players.

Cons: Some references are a bit dated, it cites only 4 solo engines. Minimalist graphics.

Posted in Miscellanea, Review, Solo RPG | Leave a comment

Engle’s Matrix Games & Solo RPGs

Dice Las Vegas Transparent Casino Games Red Cube

Today I want to talk about a game, or rather a family of games, the Matrix Game, created by Chris Engle to play wargame campaigns in a totally different way from the one used until then, he believed that the normal wargames they used too complicated rules but failed to simulate the dynamics of a strategic and diplomatic campaign in a satisfactory way. His solution was drastic, a very simple system of abstract rules that allowed to reach the goal. Over the years the system changed slightly, many scenarios were created and the system is still used around the world by enthusiasts. Matrix games scenarios were used for diplomatic simulations in university courses and even by the Canadian army to train their military personnel in the war against ISIS (source).

The history of Matrix games

I am a fan of wargames and rpgs so it is weird that I came to know about this system only a few years ago. This is because, as far as I know, the Matrix Game is very much played today but only by a circle of connoisseurs while the general public is not aware of it. In my case it was a revelation to discover that a game published in ’92 (and conceived in 1988) allows you to play with super simple rules high-quality strategic-diplomatic wargame campaigns but at the same time it can be used to play narrative rpg adventures (most likely before that this term was meant for RPGs).

This is a resume of how a Matrix Game works

Although it is mostly used for wargames, the Matrix game has also been used in group RPGs because its system is incredibly simple and universal.
In practice the player proposes the action of his character and declares the reasons why this action should happen, the GM establishes the chances that the action takes place, applies the modifiers to the roll of 1d6, if successful the action takes place as declared.

The author himself, Chris Engle, explains how to use it in an rpg:


While in the wargame version I believe that the interaction between the different players and also their knowledge of the scenario is very important for the outcome of the game, in the RPG this is not essential, with the same mechanism you can easily make an adventure between the GM and a single player.
Is it possible to use the Matrix Game as a solo RPG? I say definitely yes because, unlike  wargames, in the RPG the fundamental dynamic is not the interaction between the different players but the one between the player and the GM.
What do you normally do in a solo RPG?

A scene is defined using idea generators and questions are asked to the virtual GM, possibly also setting up modifiers to increase / decrease the probability of a favorable response.
The Matrix did it already, in its first versions of the rules it even used a set of words related to the scenario, a matrix of cue words (hence the name of the game). For reasons that I ignore this matrix has been eliminated in later versions but I think it is very useful for solo rpg: it works differently but it is like a word generator with the advantage of being perfectly suited to the adventure that you are playing.

In theory you can easily play a solo rpg with Matrix Game proposing the PC actions and verifying if they happen, the same thing can then be repeated for the NPCs, adding details thanks to the use of the matrix of cue words.

It is amazing that this simple, adaptable and innovative game was born so long ago.

You can also download many Matrix wargame scenarios

More good stuff here

Posted in Miscellanea, Solo RPG, Solo Wargame, wargame | 1 Comment