Short Introduction To Oracles

idea3

Hi Folks,

I’ve already talked about the difference between Solo RPGs and Solo Engines here, this time we will briefly review the most important tools for Solo RPGs:

The ORACLES

The word ‘Oracle’ in this contest defines those random systems that allow us to obtain useful generic information for the conduct of the adventure that we do not want to decide by ourselves to avoid writing a simple story instead of facing the unknown. In fact these tools play a fundamental  role for the game: adding to the gaming experience the unpredictability that in a group rpg is due to the presence of a GM and other players.

I think that ‘oracle’ has sometimes been used in the wrong way, although all the random tables give a result that can serve to add unpredictability to an adventure the real oracles for solo rpgs can be divided into two categories:

idea

ANSWERERS:

This type of oracle returns a positive or negative random answer to a question asked by the player.

To get enough information to define a situation, it may be necessary to ask many Yes-No questions to the oracle, although it is advisable not to ask more than two questions on the same topic to avoid getting contradictory answers.

There are Oracle of this category with two answers (Bivius: Quick Question, Libre: Yes-No Question, Ironsworn), four answers (Mythic GME: Fate Chart, Scarlet Heroes General Oracle), eight (CRGE: Loom of Fate) or even twenty answers (Zathrum: Answer Table) but the most famous Oracle of this type is probably the FU table with six answers:

fu table

idea2

INSPIRERS:

This second type of oracles provides generic ideas for developing a situation, it does not give answers but inspiration.

An Inspirer can randomly generate images or words, other forms of inspiration such as sounds or smells would perhaps be possible but not yet implemented.

Here is a short list of different types of Inspirers:

  • Images: Rory’s Story Cubes, Zero Dice, any online image randomizer.
  • Words: Event Meaning (Mythic GME), Oracular Adjectives & Motivations (Scarlet Heroes), Theme Table (Zathrum), any online word randomizer.
  • Concepts: Tarots, Runes and other traditional divination methods can be used to generate ideas that helps to set a scene.

To get more detailed suggestions it is often advised or required to combine two or more results, such as in the case of Mytich GME (Action + Subject) and Ironsworn (Action + Theme)

Note: Other random tables such those describing critical events, complications of a scene, encounters, locations etc. should not be included among the Inspirer Oracles because they are already present in many Tabletop RPGs and because they are not as generic as a proper Inspirer.

Although many complete solo systems have both types of Oracles (Answerer and Inspirer), it is still possible to play with only one of them (Answerer or Inspirer) but, excluding some games with a very rigid game mode, it seems to be almost impossible to play solo without at least one of them. It is fascinating to think how much potential these simple random generators hold!

Many of the mentioned games can be downloaded here


Disclaimer: All games mentioned in this post are copyright to their respective owners. All images are public domain from https://www.pexels.com/
Posted in Miscellanea, Rules, Solo RPG | 2 Comments

Solo RPG Tips

rpg_dice

Hi Folks!

If you too have had difficulty starting or completing a solo rpg adventure, here are some tips based on my experience:

WELL KNOWN SETTING

Use a setting that you know well or based on a simple and accessible source such as a movie or a book, so it will be much easier to visualize the scenes and improvise something when necessary.

RAPID EXECUTION

Once you have decided which setting to use, start the game as soon as possible, if instead you waste time trying to develop details, new rules, reading more manuals, etc. when you finish, the initial enthusiasm and curiosity will disappear (overthinking kills the creativity). If you, like me, change the setting and the genre often it may take longer to collect the necessary material, I suggest you at most 3 days from the initial idea and the beginning of the game

WELL DEVELOPED PLAYER CHARACTER

The Playing Character (or Characters) you will use in the adventure should be unique and detailed, it must be a character that you really want to play at that moment, not a placeholder just to start playing.

REGULAR PLAYER CHARACTER

Once you’ve created your character always use that one until you change the setting or, unfortunately, he/she dies or retires. In this way the character will evolve and you will be more and more involved in his/her successes and misadventures.

ENGAGING MISSIONS

Usually the plot is randomly created by combining rules and oracles but remember to start with something compelling and intense so as to feed the interest in continuing the adventure. What means ‘compelling’and ‘interesting’ depends on your tastes obviously, some are more intrigued by puzzles and secrets, others by dangers and battles.

FOCUS ON THE ADVENTURE

If you decide to spend a part of your free time playing a solo adventure then avoid distractions from other pastimes, if there is a comic book, novel, game, TV series you want to see it’s better to finish the adventure first and think about them later.

NEAT PLAYING EQUIPMENT

Whatever game system you use, the game tools should be well kept and carefully stored.
If you use only software and pdf they should have their own folder, if you use old school material then the dice, character sheets, maps, cards etc. should be well kept and pleasant to see and use. This may seem like a negligible detail but it helps to keep you involved, the game sessions seem more ‘real’.


That’s all for this time

Remember that playing should never be a job to do, play only when and if you feel like doing it.

Posted in Miscellanea, Solo RPG | 1 Comment

Josh Fear, Skin Doll Hunter

blade.runner_2019

Hi folks!

I created a character for a Blade Runner solo adventure because we are in November 2019, the period in which the 1982 movie is set.

I think I will play an investigative adventure using this NSAABH scenario with Bivius.
I’m going to create the character in a way similar to what you can find in T&D, I define a series of options to submit to the B.R.O.:

in this case the 5 Stats are:

Class:     A) Tough Hero       B) Smart Hero

Career (blocked option) :      Skin-Doll Hunter

Background:  A) Boxer  B) I-Ching expert

Talent:  A) High Perception  B) High Intelligence

Advantage:  A) Good Tool  B) Luck

I use as my B.R.O. a couple of d10 of different colors, they let me have two answers with one roll: A, B, B, B

My Character receives these Stats: Tough Hero, Skin-Doll Hunter, I-Ching expert, High Intelligence and Luck.

Now I need to add some data about my character using the same method:

Gender: A) Male  B) Female

Age (blocked Data): Adult

Personality: A) Direct   B) Ironic

Goal: A) Duty  B) Career

Quirk: A) Drinks Tsingtao beer  B) Divorced

Artificial Pet: A) Goose  B) Goat

Disadvantage: A) Bad Reputation  B) Dependent NPC

B.R.O. says that my main character is Male, Ironic, his goal is Career, Divorced, a Goose as pet,  Dependent NPC (I decided it’s his 13 years old daughter Alice)

I could use the mirror character, that is a character created using all the options discarded by B.R.O., as a sidekick but I decide that it is more suitable for the genre techno-noir to act alone, maybe I will use the mirror character during the adventure as NPC.

Now it’s time to name the character and ask a few questions to learn more about him before starting to play.

To get his name I will use this excellent random name generator  (https://www.behindthename.com/) : Josh Fear

Quick Question:”Is Josh on good terms with his ex-wife?”

B.R.O. =NO

“Why?” A)Josh cheated his wife B)They broke up after the death of their younger son

B.R.O. = B

QQ: “Does Josh often meet his daughter?”

B.R.O. = NO

“What kind of relationship?” A) The daughter idolizes her father B) the daughter is angry with him

B.R.O. = A

“why does he use the I Ching divination system?”  A)he finds it relaxing and helps him to rearrange ideas  B)he firmly believes in its effectiveness and considers it a useful tool for his investigations even if the department will never accept it

B.R.O. = B

and finally I ask what Josh thinks of the fugitive clones he hunts for

A) they are dangerous artificial beings that must be stopped before they endanger civilians

B) he only does his job but he thinks they should stop creating such realistic skin dolls because it becomes increasingly difficult not to have remorse after having eliminated them

B.R.O. = A

I usually ask which actor looks like the character:

A) De Niro in Midnight Run  B) Denzel Washington in The Equalizer

B.R.O. = B


Since the character will act alone he gets three high level Stats, I choose Tough Hero, Skin-Doll Hunter and High Intelligence.

I give him what I consider to be the standard equipment for a character like this (I have lists for this but you can improvise and in case of doubt ask quick questions to the B.R.O.)

To write all this, it took me at least four times the time it took to actually create the character, LMAO. Here is my character ready to face a difficult investigation among the rainy streets of a techno-noir metropolis.


denzel.washington_02

Name: JOSH FEAR

Stats:

  • Class: Tough Hero (+)
  • Career: Skin-Doll Hunter (+)
  • Background: I-Ching expert
  • Talent: High Intelligence (+)
  • Advantage: Luck

Data:

  • Gender: male
  • Age: adult (44 y.o.)
  • Personality: ironic
  • Goal: career
  • Quirk: divorced
  • Artificial Pet: Howard, a male goose
  • Disadvantage: Dependent NPC (his daughter Alice, 13 y.o.)

Equipment:

A clone detection device in a suitcase (Ladd-Scott Device 3.9), a PKD .45 revolver, a police flying car, electronic picklock, police badge, ID card, a spare autopistol Hampton .38. a personal (not flying) car: a… Yutani black sedan.

He lives in an apartment in a almost uninhabited condo somewhere in the city, address 883 Mendell Strasse

Notes:

Josh is not in good terms with his ex-wife, They broke up after the death of their younger son Danny,  their daughter Alice idolizes her father. Josh firmly believes in the effectiveness of I Ching and considers it a useful tool for his investigations even if the department will never accept it. He works hard to become a lieutenant someday and thinks that fugitive skin-dolls are dangerous artificial beings that must be stopped before they endanger civilians.


Okay I think he’s ready.

I added some in-jokes to the character’s description, how many can you find?

 

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

I’m back

monkey

Hi folks!

In the last few months I had little time to play solo rpgs, but I enjoyed playing solo wargames with my homebrewed system and I had a lot of fun. In the meantime I have created a lot of settings for Bivius rpg, I confess that I like to develop them so much that I have to restrain myself to play them before starting a new one. For now I have created Bivius settings for LOTR, Skyrim, Conan, T&T, Cyberpunk, Star Trek TOS, Pulp, Cyberpunk 2020 and many others.

future_eye_robot_eye

Lately I have enjoyed creating a chatbot able to talk about solo rpgs and that can serve as a random generator even if limited, it can throw various types of dice, serve as B.R.O. for Bivius,  it draws tarot cards, it can also be used as an oracle for Zathrum solo engine, if you like, you can chat with him here

Posted in Bivius, Miscellanea, news, Zathrum | 2 Comments

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
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 her 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 lists 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