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Showing posts from October, 2014

Time to kill the character that we just made...

Now that we have a brief, and possibly inaccurate overview of how a few of the more common rpgs can bring this character to life, let us see what happens when she runs afoul of the perpetual fantasy murder target: the orc.

Or in this case, two:

"The orcs slip out of an alleyway ~30 feet ahead of Valeria. It is the dead of night in the city, but between the full moon and the sickly illumination provided by the streetlights, both sides can see just fine, and neither side is interested in talking."

D&D 5th Edition
Round 1 

Initiative is rolled, and Valeria goes before the Orcs.

Knowing that she cannot keep range against orcs (as they can essentially move twice towards a foe), she eschews her longbow and she charges towards them in grim determination stabbing at the first orc.

Since she is a shield master, she can use a bonus action to smash one of the orcs and attempt to knock him down. This is a contested strength(athletics) check, Valeria gets a total of 21, and the orc get…

And the FATE Freeport Version...

Valeria, 13th Age Version Character Sheet

Without further (excessive) delay, Valeria, the 13th Age version

The Celestial Empire and the Green and the Gold

Easily Ishtean's largest neighbor, the 'Celestial Empire' was the alleged epitome of Elven cultural superiority. Given the large number of elves that emigrated/fled elsewhere, there is plenty of room for debate without even addressing the Drow...
Celestial Empire - The full name is 'The Eternal and Changeless Celestial Empire of Tranquility". An Elven empire that (they insist) existed since the dawn of time. Each Emperor would rule for 500 years before stepping aside. The empire valued perfection in all things, citizens would typically devote their lives to one and only one field of endeavor. Of course perfection became well documented, and so one's success is measured against the 'The Values',  a vast series of works describing in painful detail what every hour of every day of every year should look like for any given professional, the Emperor being the epitome of this. An exceptional Emperor may even add to 'The Values', but this has not happ…

Some World Building

Where we started Friday night, the players in the recently conquered town of Woburn, formerly of the Ishtean Enterprise, now under the control of the Wyrm Legion.

A quote from the Legate (overall commander) of the Wyrm Legion to get a sense of their history:

“It was just over three hundred years ago when our ancestors left the great and mighty  Ishtean Enterprise, using what meager means our people had remaining to buy whatever vessel the rapacious Ishteans would sell us. A full quarter of those remaining would die at sea as many of these overpriced deathtraps capsized  on the voyage to the refuge promised us by the Green and the Gold. This is the Blood Price of our people, we relied on the mercy of others, and they profited from our desperation. Those who seek mercy from the Legion must also pay the Price, it is the way of things....” - Vatic, Legate, First Legion

In D&D terms, the Legion is distinctly Lawful Neutral.

The Ishtean Enterprise (formerly) controlled the territory where th…

What is a campaign without a map?

    Woburn is the second largest city taken by the Wyrm Legion, and the furthest south they have journeyed so far.      Derge is the site of the original landing of the Legion, and is effectively the command center of the invasion.
    No organized military resistance has presented itself, but the Legion's maps and information are several centuries out of date, leaving them in control of a large swatch of land that they do not understand.     When the Dragonborn went on their self imposed exile over three hundred years ago, Derge was the seat of the most powerful empire in the north. When the Legion arrived, they found a city that was a shadow of its former self, home to a terrified population that put up no tangible resistance.

In the spirit of Gamer ADD, we now play D&D, instead of Covert Ops...

The Cast:
Oona:  Dwarven barbarian outsider who was raised by wolves, but plays the time honored 'Dwarven Spoons' as well.
Kras: Drow druid sage who lacks 'people skills' and reads books in bars.
Skye: Dragonborn Paladin Soldier. A semi-former standard bearer with the Wyrm Legion.
Frug: Gnome Warlock Hermit with an Infernal Pact. He also knows 'a secret'.
Crag: A vegetarian Dragonborn Legionnaire.
Shiv: An asshole Dragonborn Legionnaire.
Murk: Also know as 'Sarge' to the Legion, Murk is a 'Sergeant Major General'. and she commands the 4th Wyrm Legion which has currently taken control of Woburn.  
We start in Woburn, a city which has just recently fallen to the Wyrm Legion (newly returned from their exile 'overseas' the Dragonborn seek to impose order on the continually warring other races by rewarding settlements that comply with their occupation, and exterminating those that do not. Dragonborn aren't prone to subtle solutions.)

This being wh…

Covert Ops Session 3: "The Best Laid Plans of... GRENADE!!!!"

"Sir we don't much information at the moment"... he calmly stated into his phone.

This was an understatement. Sam had an MIA chalk element, unexpected interference from Sector, an unknown hostile third party, and an African military with delusions of competency to contend with.

"Sam, we just lost a chalk, and a soon to be Colonel with major political ties, possibly in a firefight with a supposedly friendly intelligence agency.. Get me some ****ing information!" screamed the angry voice.

"Well sir, we know we had survivors and they called in a Pinnacle-Broken Arrow before exfiltrating themselves when the local military converged on the facility." replied Sam.

C2 had captured the brief conflict as a helicopter seemingly slid off the roof, as the chalk was inbound, and flew off over the river in the dead of night evading pursuit.

Two figures ran out of the facility to a heavily modified luxury car, carrying another person. The crew of the b…

COVERT OPS, Episode 2.5:"Knock Knock... Who's there? Painful Gunshot Trauma."

Several days and several transfer later, the team finds themselves disembarking at Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey.

An older European or Eurasian gentleman is waiting for them holding a sign for 'La Familia Peso". He introduces himself as 'Hoops' and he leads the agents to their vehicles.

Chester is impressed with his new creepy white van, now with armor (which makes it almost as difficult to get in as to get out.)

En-route to the Hotel Niamey, Steve realizes that nobody actually decided to phone ahead to Spectrum Industries or make any arrangements in advance. It is decided that they will go with the 'Hi-we-just-happen-to-be-in-the-neighborhood-with-a-briefcase-of-cash-and-would-like-to-buy-stuff-from-you.' approach.

At the hotel Hoops let's slip the fact that this is the second Sector team to visit Niamey recently. For $50 he let's slip that this team was a brother and sister duo who had planned to quietly sneak into the faci…

COVERT OPS, Episode 2: "What is Nigerian For 'They threw us under a ****ing bus?"

New Dramatis Personae / Personae Non Grata

Assistant Director Mangler - Agent Mangler was a legend in the field, but too many of her operations turned into ‘wet work’ as soon as she could find an excuse to bring her knives into play. Rumor has it that the Chilean ambassador tragically repeatedly stabbing himself in the chest while sleeping may have actually been ‘The Mangler’ at work.
    AD Mangler appears to be a kindly silver haired woman in her mid-fifties. She enjoys kittens, needlepoint and anything knife related.
    Currently Mangler has been ‘promoted’ to AD to keep her behind a desk for awhile managing new recruits.

Hoops - Hoops is former KGB who now works for SECTOR and specializes in getting equipment and assets into areas where they do not have a formal presence.

Clancy - Former CIA, new to SECTOR but jumps in to give orders to the team that are promptly ignored.

Familia Peso - A fictitious chain of ‘dollar’ stores in the southwest United States that the team est…

COVERT OPS, Episode 1.5: "Oklahoma!(Seriously we are in Oklahoma...)"

Sector 6 has ordered the team, now including Chester and Edward to head to New York.
  In the van...The glamorous life of espionage on a budget.

  After driving for awhile the team sees a wonderful sight ahead!


  The team is very excited to get some food, but Steve is even more excited to call Sector HQ and demand another ride as Chester and his van with the extra security system really creep him out.

  "CONGRATULATIONS ON 30 YEARS FLO!" reads the cheap banner over the entrance.

  The place is empty,aside from the team and Flo who looks as excited about her 30 years at 'the house' as one might expect. Of course once the food arrived, so did trouble in the form of four gentleman attired as jihadists doing their best to 'blend in' and 'act casual' as they enter the restaurant.
  An awkward silence descends before all hell breaks loose:

- Chase tries to stab one of the terrorists with a fork, fails and dives behind the booth using a…

COVERT OPS, Episode 1: "A cop, a pilot and a conman walk into a plane..."

On a completely different note, my group is returning to Covert Ops, a really nice system by
DWD Studios. With that in mind, here is a recap of what has been 'accomplished' previously.

 Dramatis Personae / Personae Non GrataChad - Recent recruit to SECTOR. Former cop. Only one who can shoot straight, or act rationally.
Chase - Recent recruit to SECTOR. Hotshot pilot who specializes in breaking formerly good airplanes and getting shot by teammates.
Chester - Recent recruit to SECTOR. Salty seadog from Oklahoma. Drives a creepy white panel van with really good locks. Apparently used to hang out with Edward.
Steve - Recent recruit to SECTOR. "Faceman"/sex offender/A.A. member. As part of his job offer, Sector assigns a member of SAP (Sector Asset Protection) to guard him from angry husbands, boyfriends, fathers, etc.
Edward - Steve's assigned SAP who was vacationing in Oklahoma. Died at the Battle of the OK Waffle House.
Flo - Celebrating 30 years working at a Waffle Hou…
Valeria, the 13th Age Version  Now that we have created the D&D version, let us see what she looks like in 13th Age.

1. Choose Race: 13th Age has nine default races as well as a couple of optional races depending on GM/campaign.

Once again, we will select Human.

Humans in 13th Age receive a +2 to any one attribute, the Racial Power 'Quick to Fight' which allows her to roll twice for initiative and take the best roll (In DnD this would be equivalent to having 'advantage' on all initiative rolls) and one bonus feat at level one.

2. Choose Class: We will go with 'Fighter' once again.

All classes give a +2 to one attribute, in this case we will go with Dexterity and give the +2 Human bonus to Constitution.

The Fighter gets to choose three talents to start. Given that she is a 'Shield Maiden', I am going to choose the following:

- Skilled Intercept: Allows her to intercept an enemy that is attacking an ally.
- Counter-Attack: Once per round if the escalat…
And here is what the mostly complete 'Valeria' looks like in D&D 5E
Introducing: Valeria (aka the shameless rip-off of Lagertha...)
"Valeria is now a shield maiden without a shield wall, and a Viking without  a boat.

Part of the original warband tasked with bringing Thorryn Kai to 'justice', Valeria was impressed with his fighting prowess, as well as the prospect of Cyrin's 'Crusade' eventually bringing about the true Ragnarok, a war to end all wars, where each warrior's mettle would finally be tested.
Weighing the prospect of playing a guiding role in the last war, or being expected to hang-up her swords and begin presenting the Crusader with grandchildren, she quickly betrayed the warband and joined Thorryn."

Valeria is one of a cast of PCs whose group is devoted to bringing about the birth/rebirth of the Unborn God and bring about 'Bad Things' (TM).
Let us see how she is mechanically defined in a few, primarily d20 based ,systems.

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons
I am going to assume at least a passing familiarity…