NECROMUNDA!!!!

We are getting real close people to release day for the new Necromunda. I picked up the November White Dwarf (and it’s a heavy fuckin mag) and I’m pretty pumped about the game. There’s a long interview with the developers about how they started out using 40K 8th (a good ruleset mind you) but it just didn’t quite fit so they made changes, the largest one being model to model turns rather than IGOYO that 40K and WFB have.

Now, I think that the 40K 2nd edition rules that power Necromunda1 and Gorkamorka are some of the best skirmish rules there are, and many have tried their hand at making something better with mixed results (Mordheim: no, LotR SBG: in some ways yes), so I have some hesitation about changing from 2E 40K… but I will certainly pick up the box set and go from there.

Needless to say, the models this time around are superlative. While the old models from 1995 were OK in most cases, some of the gangs looked pretty stupid in retrospect (the Van Saar). Yes, the Eschers (by Jes Goodwin) were excellent and I have a bunch of them. Getting a good look at the new ones I am quite impressed. The meatbag Goliaths are a massive improvement over the old models.

Where do I have some trepidation? First, this is going to be an expensive buy in to start with the core set and gang war– probably close to 200$ all told. Second, I haven’t been painting all that much in the last few years. My eyes (as predicted by my eye doctor) have gone to SHIT. While I have glasses to handle the mid and long distances, my close range is not too good. Yet, 10-15 models won’t be all that bad.  Lastly, the 3d terrain is going to be pricy, however, if you’ve seen my other posts on necromunda, I’ve got the old sets and the HULK (plus some AT-43 terrain) that should work just fine.

Yeahhhhh

Dungeon Degenerates!

I was one of the proud backers of this game TOTALLY ON THE ART ALONE and did so with no regrets.  However,  we have here an  interesting game on our hands in addition to being a beautiful one!  The art is basically gamer porn if you love Aly Morrison and John Blanche stuff from GW of old.  Chaos Marauders feels like a strong influence for the art style, both ooze theme, but this shit goes to 11 in metal.

If I was to compare this game to anything I would say it’s like a coop version of Tom Wham’s Search for the Emperor’s Treasure with a much darker backdrop and a bit more complexity in a few areas.   If you’ve never played SFtET that’s OK, it should become obvious what type of game this is with a brief description.

You are a group of escaped prisoners from the city dungeon of Brutellburg in the province of Wurstriech.  Wurstreich is getting worse and more dangerous all the time. The party can choose to fulfill various missions (or not) as you run away from the law and various monsters.  These missions lead to other missions and then you have a long story arc for your party through the game. You level up(sort of) and buy new gear as well.

Glorious!

 

The rulebook is a bit daunting. I read through it as a PDF a while back but didn’t have the game in front of me so very little STUCK up inside the brain. I have given it a go solo and here are a few things to look for in your first play.

  1. Paths can be used, but you cannot fast travel (force march) on them until they are explored
  2. It’s very important to understand the threat / town level system for the game as it determines encounters (the meat of the game). Which spaces have their distinct threat level and which share with their territory is critical to note.
  3.  Roads and paths are ‘spaces’ so you draw a danger card every time you move on to one. (I know this seems obvious but…)
  4. Combat – note that most combats you are rolling 5 dice. 2 are defense, 2 are offense and one power die. It’s a straight forward system similar to Search for the Emperor’s Treasure.  There are LOTS of conditions and effects to track as well as ‘approach’ effects such as ambushing.
  5. The Danger cards are worth reading and re-reading about as they have some things that will seem odd at first.  the TAGGING of the main threat number is critical as that’s the deck you draw from.   At it’s most complex, it is an encounter (card) draw, plus an Epic monster, plus normal monsters that are NOT of the area you are in. You need to know how to match the threat level on the card to the threat level on the space or area you are in. This is the most complex thing in the game, so study it closely for faster play.
  6. You SPEND your XP when you rest and you SPEND your gold when you rest in a town area for loot.  Your XP does not accumulate to level you up, you level up by buying skills.
  7. Read and re read the hand of doom rules.

Tuesday night will be the first play through with people (though my kids may force my hand earlier) and I’ll post feelings then on more than just the presentation.

Last I want to say this.  I got Massive Darkness and this within a few weeks of each other.  Both are Co-op Explore/Kill/Loot/Mission games.  Dungeon Degenerates I actually set up and played immediately and will do so again asap.  Massive Darkness — I doubt it will get busted out even with the kids until Xmas or something.

Chicken Dinner

I won a round of PUBG.  Wow.  Adrenaline pumping still.

How:

  1. hiding a lot
  2. not dropping in to known fucked areas (KFA’s)
  3. moving from cover to cover at the end
  4. luck.  I was in the first circle so didn’t have to take it on the arches or go find a vehicle.  Later, a guy one tree over from me ran to loot a guy he shot nearby and I hit him with a frag and then didn’t loot. Don’t loot at the end of the game.
  5. Final 1v1 shooting*.  I hit the guy partially hiding at a nearby tree with the shotgun and kept firing.  He couldn’t figure out where the shots were coming from and moved to the side of the tree that I was shooting at. He was standing up to try to see where I was shooting from (I have done this many times) and I was able to hit him 3-4 more times.

*I am a terrible shot with all weapons.

My final equipment (read it and weep!): Shotgun, Micro Uzi, dirty tank top, bike helmet, painkillers. I had lots of ammo though as I went through two houses that had already been looted and they left tons of shells and 9mm.  I never fired the micro uzi.

Pictures.

Feel the joys of bush.

Don’t be nervous

There’s quite a bit I should write about PUBG, but really it’s just a simple game that does what it tries to do very well.   If you’ve played a lot of battlefield games, you will really like it– it feels less pointless though you really won’t get the weapons you want when you need them.  A major studio (like DICE) could have knocked out in a few months and are probably kicking themselves that something like this got so big so quick– an idea that everyone has had, but they just didn’t go for it.  These guys did and it’s paid off for them and of course, for us.

Thursday articles of interest

Here’s some stuff.

Merciful death of the fad controller

That’s the wonderful thing about the game industry. Almost everyone burns out of it by the time they’re 35, so whatever institutional memory they developed disappeared and a new generation of worker bees is brought in to make all the same mistakes again.

80’s warhammer pictures that will give you a huge boner

FZD term 3 projects

Immersion is fake and a menace.

Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.

HOB!

Hob is out as of yesterday. I put an hour in tonight and it reminds me of… Mario 64.  Remember that?  It was awesome.  If you like that type of game, you will love it.

The game is a total departure from Torchlight 2, the only things similar are some of the aesthetics and the scale of the game.  That said, there are some item management aspects as you can power up your sword and your arm.

WFRP using Mythras

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a great game with some pretty glaring burrs on the system in actual play (yep, in all three editions).  For First and Second edition, the combat system is very whiffy, far too whiffy for low fantasy in my opinion and despite the funny critical hit tables in first edition (the 2nd edition ones were not as fun), pretty damn boring.

However, I have a soft spot for it and it’s milieu, despite what it’s become since with GW and Fantasy Flight’s strange 3rd Edition.  Third is… very odd and to me unplayable with my group, impossible to play online as well.  It’s great it has died and hopefully Cubicle 7 will do something great with the license (there are some EXCELLENT adventures written for third edition though that beg conversion to a better system).  With the Humble Bundle giving access to all the 2nd edition material recently, I wanted to post this thing I worked on for a bit about a year ago: creating characters in Mythras using a WFRP style career system.  This assumes that you know a bit about WFRP (or just got the books) and you know Mythras or Runequest 6.

Mythras core is all system and can work for all sorts of genres, especially low fantasy. It’s got an explicit Sword and Sandal feel to the main book but it’s not really pushing any type of world on the players. It’s a massive toolkit game with an amazing combat system, and easy levelling /XP system and while difficult to grok in some cases (Animism), a very rich magic system.

What it doesn’t have is easy character creation. It takes a bit of time to build characters, and I’ve built about 10-15 of them so far myself and for my players and con games. Players have a lot of choices in skills and the points buy system gets a bit tedious when you spend a set of 100 points 3 times during character creation to build up your skills, and man that is tiresome when you want to grease up and get playing! I first got this idea while running Thulian Echoes (from Lamentations of the Flame Princess) with Mythras.  I had to make pre-gens for the … diary characters in Thulian Echoes, and while that was OK for me in prep, actual Character generation took a bit of time and my players are impatient, especially when they know most (non 13th Age) adventures I run have a 20-90% death toll (per session). They didn’t know for the first 2 sessions, Thulian has no possible death toll to the original characters…

What I wanted to build on top of Mythras is a career system like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for starting characters only. The XP system in Mythras is perfect so once the initial career is set, the rest of the WFRP career stuff is not useful, however quaint, and you don’t have to look back or be bound by your career (which you don’t do anyway since you are a murderhobo now).

The reason to run WFRP with Mythras is obvious: it’s a better system, but why do this to Mythras? It will be easier to make characters. It will be faster. It will still define the character (more in some ways) than the base careers/culture in Mythras without having to roll on all the family and background charts.

let’s get some Russ Nicholson up in here.

What you lose: the age of the character won’t give bonus points like in normal Mythras, you just roll your career and all selection is taken care of except for a couple skills. You also lose the WFRP signature ‘skills’ in the game, like Strike Mighty blow, Dodge, Flee!, etc.  If you play Mythras you will realize that these are no big loss at all since they are handled by the skill and combat systems more elegantly than WFRP 1,2 or 3.  Also lost are the advanced careers. If you use the Mythras XP and guild system, this won’t be missed.  Yes, I know some people loved jumping around from Pirate to Pirate Captain, from Rat Catcher to Bodyguard to Student (?!), trying to become a wizard after hundreds and hundreds of spent XP, but that all can be handled via the normal Mythras XP system and Guilds/Affiliations.

Here is how it works:

1) Create a character up to the step where you start picking skills (roll or points buy as normal), you will need to pick a RACE at this point (dwarf, wood elf, human, halfling) and create that according to the rules in Mythras
2) Pick a Class – warrior, rogue, academic, ranger which defines the set of careers you were BEFORE starting on the murderhobo career of an adventurer
3) Roll on that Classes Starting Career table see below for the list (or pick if you must, you wuss)
4) Add the bonuses listed in the Career description for all skills listed to your base skill.
5) Add the bonus and any listed professional skills
6) Add the bonus points listed to the combat skill (or skills)
7) Take the spells listed for that career if applicable
8) Take the trappings for that career listed
9) Name the character
10) Passions (if you use them) -work these with your GM.
11) Go play!

Example Career

Ratcatcher from 2nd edition WFRP was the basis for this conversion example.

Rat Catcher (of course!)
Skills:

Professional
Mechanisms +15
Track +30

STANDARD Skills
Willpower +15
Stealth +15
Perception +15
Native Tongue + 40
Locale +25
Endurance +15
Conceal +10
Lore (RATS) +30
Craft (Dog Training) +15
Rat Catcher combat (dagger, short sword, sling) +15

Add an additional professional skill from the following:

Folk Magic, Lore (home city), Lore (gang politics), Brawn, Evade, Unarmed

Bonus:
Add 15 points to the skill selected above.

Trappings:
Weapons: Dagger, Short Sword, Sling

Trappings:
Sling, Dagger, Short Sword
Pole
4 Animal Traps
Small but Vicious dog!

So the next steps would be to do this for all the Careers that you would want.  Here is the first edition list.

Warrior Class (d16)

Bodyguard, Laborer, Marine, Mercenary, Militiaman, Noble, Outlaw, Pit Fighter, Protagonist, Seaman, Servant, Soldier, Squire, Troll Slayer, Tunnel Fighter, Watchman.

Ranger Class (d17)

Boatman, Bounty Hunter, Coachman, Fisherman, Gamekeeper, Herdsman, Hunter, Muleskinner, Outrider, Pilot, Prospector, Rat Catcher, Roadwarden, Runner, Toll-keeper, Trapper, Woodsman,

Rogue Class (d15)

Agitator, bawd, beggar, entertainer, footpad, gambler, grave robber, jailer, minstrel, pedlar, raconteur, rustler, smuggler, thief, tomb robber

Academic Class (d15)

Alchemist’s Apprentice, Artisan’s apprentice, druid, engineer, exiseman, herbalist, hypnotist (!?), initiate, pharmacist, physician’s student, scribe, seer, student, trader and the oft-sought after but never-rolled Wizard’s Apprentice.

I also have the excellent WFRP 2nd edition career compendium from Fantasy Flight with hordes of careers that are crying out for some sort of use, that would be a LOT of work to convert all those careers.

There’s the base system for character creation, now someone has to bust out the remaining 62 career templates in their spare time.  I’ll throw up a magic user type next week as an example with some ways I was thinking of doing battle magic spells. Really it’s just the same as creating a ‘cult’ in Mythras that gives magical knowledge/power to it’s members. Some of the WFRP hedge and battle magic spells are iconic however.