Saturday, July 25, 2015

Judge Dredd, session report (It Aint Christmas)

On Friday night I ran my second one-shot Judge Dredd session using FATE as the rules system. The scenario was called "It Aint Christmas" and featured an investigation into a murder and a series of related human mutilations.

It always amazes me how players deviate from what I expect them to do. I plan a scenario, a particular scene, and I even work out how they might resolve the issue, and then when play starts, off they go in a different direction!

I started the game by throwing the players into some action. A militia tank driver had gone nuts and started killing people. His tank was in a secure position just in front of a bunker with ferrocrete and fire barriers to either side of it. When the PCs arrived the tank had already blown up another tank and mown down a swath of people on the street. It had also started firing its main gun into the blocks opposite.

When I had thought-up this scene I fully expected the judges to make use of the cannons or lasers on their bikes, but no! They had a much cooler approach. :) One brave judge deliberately rode his bike across in front of the tank drawing its attention while another sneaked up and lobbed a riot-foam grenade at the tank. This immobilized the turret and allowed the judges to move in.

One Judge raced to the main gun and slipped a grenade down its barrel just as another blew the doors off the back. The barrel blew apart as it fired and a Judge dragged out the perp. Nothing whatever like I had imagined. :D

The heroes were then called to a body in a park on the 30th floor of a block. I had this investigative part of the session planned, laying out the investigation step by logical step...but they didn't go the way I expected, of course. They split the party and managed to leap a couple of steps to start questioning one of the guilty parties almost immediately, clever sneaky players!

This lead them down to the sub basements of the block and to the bad guys, a large group of Troggies that had tunneled into the basement. The basement was poorly lit, troggies nipping in between and over the stacks of crates that stretched off into the dimness and the players soon found themselves surrounded. However they were amongst the stacks of war supplies kept by every block. So out came the hardware. RPGs and machines guns. Bullets were sent shooting through the dark while explosives were piled into the tunnel the troggies were using to enter the block. As the Judges blew the explosives and ran for the exit.

There were so many cool moments created by the PCs, the craziness of the yodeling being played over the P.A. in the dim basement was great. The moment of switching to I.R. vision was very Aliens-like. Setting off the fire suppressing gas to suffocate the troggies was an expression of genius.

The final scene had the three Judges standing outside the block discussing what the perp should be charged with. When the explosion they'd set off in the basement had the whole block collapsing behind them. They watched the collapse, adding charges based on what the collapsing building destroyed as it fell. Comic genius.

Players like these make my day.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

It Aint Christmas - a scenario for Judge Dredd

This is a scenario for any Judge Dredd RPG. I played it with FATE and had a very successful session
(its a one-shot). It was played through with 3 Judges but the difficulty can easily be ramped up or down. It features two main combats, one at either end of the session, and a fairly simple investigation.

It's called "It Aint Christmas" because the new craze introduced is "Block Sledding" where citizens use wheeled sleds to race down the outside of blocks.

Basic stats are included for FATE (but the scenario is generic).

Download the scenario

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Skylanders as a boardgame

My son has been collecting the Skylanders figures for quite some time, and I love the look of these
things, I've wanted to come up with a board game for them for the longest time. Well I finally pulled
Sample card
my finger out and started what promises to be a long term project.

The card image on the right is my first stab at creating a character card for the game. What follows are my first thoughts about the game rules. These are not finalised, not even play tested, just the results of a brain-dump.

The playing surface needs to be a 6cm grid to fit the figure bases, perhaps with stand up terrain in some squares to block line of sight and add interest.

  • The "Allies" in the top right corner might say anything and indicates some kind of affiliation.
  • The 1 in the orange circle is the cost to "buy" the figure into your army, a process done before game play starts, players take alternate turns buying figures up to an agreed amount.
  • The text at the bottom is usually flavour text, but may describe a special in-game ability.
  • The stats in the blue box are, Melee Attack dice, Defence dice, Range of attacks, Health.
  • Melee attack into adjacent boxes, roll 1 D6 for each Melee Attack point, all 5s and 6s count as hits.
  • Defence, used when attacked, roll 1 D6 for each Defence point, all 5s and 6s block one incoming attack point.
  • Range, this indicates the range over which you may make attacks, Ranged attack are different to Melee. They can not be made into adjacent squares (that would be melee). The Ranged value indicates the number of dice you attack with, but reduces with each square of range between attacker and target.
  • The Health number, indicate how many points of damage you can take before the character is killed (removed from the game).
  • All figures may move 2 squares.
  • Blood tokens will be placed on a characters card to indicate hits.
  • The board will be sprinkled with 3D "crates". Moving into a square allows the character to pick up the crate. Each crate may be burned (discarded) when the players wants, to do one of the following things. Heal one point, move two additional spaces, add two to Range, Melee, or Defence score for one turn.
  • There may be terrain effects, such as height or cover.
Well that's all my thoughts from a first session of brain storming. There are a lot of possible additions to such a simple system but to be honest, I want it kept simple.

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Rise of the Shoggoths

I had an idea last night for another game. I have too many ideas, and don't have enough time to make all of them into reality. The idea was to base a game around the uprising and rebellion of the Shoggoths against their "Elder Things" masters.  This theme is Lovecraftian and if you google those terms you'll get some interesting images to show you what they look like.

My first thoughts were that this would be an excellent solitaire deck builder, but I'm wise enough to know that the reason I think that, is that I'm working on a solitaire deck builder right now. Thus there may be a better implementation for the theme. If it's to be a two player game it can be asymmetrical powers, with the Elder Things having technology and bio-engineering, and the Shoggoths being sneaky and having brute force.

This theme seems really good to me, strong, with an appeal to Lovecraft fans. I have a bunch of ideas for sub themes and various mechanisms but... At this point I suspect I'll never be able to progress the game because I don't have a ready supply of the required art. :(

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.