Daemon! The Unfolding Text – Episode 666

https://thezombienomicon.com/eas/read.php?episode=666

Daemon!

The Unfolding Text – Episode 666

In a forest clearing, you are accosted by a large blood-red daemon. Two extremely large pointy and sharp horns stick out of its forehead. Its eyes are pupilless glowing yellow orbs. Its teeth – pure nightmare fuel.

“What doth thou seek in this wode, mortal?”

Lucharan! running a campaign where all the superheroes are mexican-style wrestlers

Lucharan! Seems to be a Z-List sort of hit, with good sales across different digital platforms. I will print some hard copies soon too to complete the circle of life for a little-regarded RPG.

The challenge a couple people have asked me directly about is how in hell to run more than a fun but shambolic one-off session where everyone’s superhero is basically a character from scooby doo meets batman or josie and the pussycats.

Well that’s just it- as recent years of Archie comics have demonstrated, it is best to just play it straight.

Other than the necessary existence of super powers and their focus being wrestling and wrestling masks, everything else can be as serious, comicbook, fantastical, cinematic or any other flavor that you care to create for the game. If you are running it for kids as some seem to be, then just continue to copy the wrestling series or comicbook or whatever that kicked it off.

I know some family based games are running MSHRPG adventures straight only with Luchador superheroes- that is seemingly working really well. I guess because having wrestler superheroes is no sillier in principle than having a guy dressed as a bat or a spider or an American flag. And the strict code against killing makes Lucharan! more silver age or old school than many modern comicbooks and in that way more suitable for family gaming, it seems.

One aspect of Lucharan! That I really do recommend strict adherence to though is that if the game session is long enough to permit it, and in all cases in campaigns, make sure there are regular competition matches for the wrestler characters. Even if they are not fully roleplayed or wargamed out, make sure they are in there, just like all those ludicrous ball games the Harlem Globetrotters played in ther cartoon or all those concerts Josie and the girls sort of performed in their cartoon.

Keep some distinctive anchoring storyline against which all the random supervillainy and general comicbook insanity plays out.

Also, a Luchador flavor game really should include genetic mutants, Aztec supernatural evil and at least one oppressive big business plutocrat gangster.

Other than that, I think the game is too young for anything else I suggest to not reek of pretention.

Enjoy!

 

Jeffrey Lash

As you’ve likely heard, a strange mystery unfolded over the summer of 2015. It seemed to begin with the discovery of a corpse in a vehicle in mid-July. However, after investigation it was determined the deceased had been in the vehicle since July 4. As of 9/23/15 no cause of death has been issued.

While these occurrences are odd enough on their own, these strange events do not even begin to unravel the tangled and strange mystery that surrounded the enigma Jeffrey Lash and his Highlands condo in Pacific Palisades.

I will be posting as much factual and verifiable information as possible to the site. There are a good number of us who are not satisfied with the current conclusions of law enforcement among others.

I’m adding a news feed that should post any updates on the case, a separate page for each of the individuals involved and a message board so we can collaborate and maybe we can come up with a more reasonable explanation for this situation.

As it stands right now, Three or four women were dating Jeffrey Lash whom he had told he worked for a secret government agency. Upon finding his body, police raided the condo he shared with his fiancee, Catherine Nebron, in which they found a massive collection of between 1200-1500 firearms. The police also found and exorbitant amount of ammunition, explosives that had to be rendered inert by the bomb squad and $230,000 in cash. It’s rumored that Lash had 14 vehicles stored in multiple locations in Southern California which also contained firearms.

All of this happened next door to one of Los Angeles’ Assistant District Attorney. This is merely a brief intro and I hope to have more information soon. 
 

LUCHARAN! Mexican Wrestling RPG

Lucharan Drivethru RPG front coverThere is a link in the left hand sidebar – click on that to download a PDF of this rulebook. This book includes age bracket origin rules – roll once for each age bracket your character has achieved ie once for kid, once for teen, once for adult, once for mature, etc.

Over 100 individual types of Mask, over 100 powers, variations and so on mean it is virtually impossible to generate remotely similar Luchadors. There are complete rules for wrestling matches including types, effects of victory and defeat such as having to shave your head or lose you Mask, collecting other people’s Masks and so on.

But what most people think of when they think Luchador is of them as a type of superhero outside the ring. LUCHARAN! provides 4C adapted rules for generating adventures, Monsters, Robots, Villains, Undead and other threats as well as giving Foresee Alpha type rules with some changes for all the other sorts of things you might need on your adventure.

Enjoy.

 

#Foresee Alpha: “I want to play Spider-Man”.

Several families are starting to run Foresee Alpha for the kids, either as a weekend thing or some week nights using miniatures (toys not wargaming) to help play.

It’s come up several times and the ‘veteran’ parents running a game handle it no problems- a Spider-Man (or Wolverine or Iron Man) type character is easily do-able in Foresee as it is in the original game that inspired it.

However one new-to-GMing parent ran into difficulties by getting hung up on the SETTING rather than the character.

Use the Saturday Morning Cartoon test: contemporaneous with the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon was a Spider-Man cartoon. Neither of them were setting dependent since the situations are classic slapstick, nonlethal combat and mysteries, nothing whatsoever to do with what the villains say in the shows, which is all over the top and murderous. Playground level violence.

So in that context, it doesn’t matter that a Spider-Man type character isn’t in New York and that his Entanglement and Wall-Crawling will be used against a dragon or a horde of orcs. What matters is letting a child use his or her imagination, which these days includes teaching them how to, considering most schools are now marxist conformity factories.

Model the character – give it the appropriate powers – Wall-Crawling, Combat Awareness, Entanglement (webbing). Give it some extra Brawn and Coordination (but not too much, always leave room for improvement).

Help the child see that being bitten by a “magical” spider is equivalent to the pseudo-scientific origin from the original Marvel comics.

Include the character directly in play quickly- don’t get hung up on background. Children love telling their own stories anyway and there will undoubtedly be some kind of fan movie running in the child’s head already!

Get to a simple combat situation quickly. Make sure the enemy is tough enough to go a few rounds with ALL the characters being played so everyone gets a chance to think about what they want to do.

And Spider-Man is stalking a fantasy roleplaying world! (again).

If a scientist does it in a comic, rest assured there’s a wizard out there who can and would do the same. Likewise inheriting magical armor, a magical indestructible shield (whether you’re a cavalier or the living symbol of Liberty), and so on.

With such a small change, a lot of existing superheroes and villains work extremely well in a fantasy setting.

I am not urging people to rip off existing characters, but it is a fact that a lot of children will begin wanting to play a known character that they love. So let them. 🙂

 

#Foresee Alpha: University

wom046In Foresee Alpha as in its “parent” rules Character Advancement allows the acquisition of skills, powers and in this case even a class. It says that the addition must be logical and involve appropriate training etc.

But there the matter ends, and silence reigns.

Below is the solution to this offered in my upcoming campaign book BROWNSTONE. Brownstone is a campaign setting centred on a village in a germanic federation which is roughly a cross between Hammer Horror films and the classic german Romantic genre of beer drinking, love affairs and lots and lots of singing. It is also a tribute to Braunstein and Dave Arneson and Major Wesley, the real fathers of roleplaying.

The University of Xaggenstadt
This troublesome place nestles high on a peak overlooking Brownstone in the Northern mountain range known as the Bloodhammers. Across these peaks lies the Principality of Suchima, a place riven with dynastic battles over who will eventually take the place of the dead Elector of that region. Brownstone is the northernmost part of the Principality of Uarduc, and nothing to do with Suchima. The Elector of Uarduc has not even visited Brownstone in generations.

The University is split into Suchimanian and Uarducian factions, into Peasant Revolt supporters and Noble Cause followers, into those studying Books of Magic and those who follow the High Church of the Fifty Principalities, better known as the Iron Church, and further splits are between the members of each of the Drinking Lodges that students belong to. These Drinking Lodges each have a Fencing Instructor, from a School different to all others at the University, as well as a preferred time to drink at Sutter’s Inn (see Sutter’s Inn chapter of this book on page xxx).

Xaggenstadt itself is a tiny place the size of Brownstone but for many generations has been entirely given over to the University, to the point where expanding walls, battlements and buildings from the University have subsumed the place. All those still living in Xaggenstadt but not at the University are functionaries of it. There is no choice, there being no other work.

The Students of Xaggenstadt are lusty, boisterous and potentially extremely violent. They are one of the major sources of discord in Brownstone when disputes erupt and some of these professional Students are also behind the two major factions of revolting Peasants in the region.

The Peasant Revolt is a generational struggle against the Nobles and Knights who demand fealty and agricultural produce from the regions they own. The Peasants in Uarduc are uniquely placed within the Fifty Principalities since the many incursions of the Fogwall have split the Principality up into tiny pockets of land between which tendrils of the fog make travel difficult. Because of this the Peasants of Uarduc, including Brownstone, provide for themselves and their local settlements and remit nothing to any Noble or Knight unless a force is sent to collect it from them. Likewise taxes and military levies.

The two factions of the Peasant Revolt are the Aufgeheners and the Zerstöreren. Aufgeheners or Aufies are traditional Peasant freedom fighters who want life to continue along traditional lines, only with no higher authority than the local headman of a village or the mayor of a town. On the other hand the Zerstöreren or Zergies are led by devour worshippers of Demogorgon, a Named God of primal Chaos and the Spirit of Revolution. They don’t want any kind of structure and are working towards rapine, slaughter and destruction of everything, as per their God’s teachings. Aufies outnumber Zergies several times over fortunately but each side infiltrates the other as well as spying on other factions of course.

All of the leadership of the Zergies are professional Students. Several of the brains behind the Afies are also Students, leading the powerful Leveller faction at the University. Because of this involvement by Students common people who might be sympathetic to some of the aims of the Peasant Revolt normally steer clear of it.

Students are frequent visitors to Brownstone, firstly because it is somewhat bigger than Xaggenstadt but secondly their notoriety doesn’t always precede them to the settlement in the valley. They try and form trysts with local girls, drink at the local wine shop and tavern and try and obtain credit at the stores usually with little success on any count.

The Chancellor of the University holds his position according to ancient custom and the Imperial Law of the King-Emperor. Such places as a University or a Free City such as Schwartzturc are independent of any Principality under their own specific Imperial Charter, and so the Nobles or Knights or other rulers of such places are extremely powerful. The Chancellor rules until death or incapacity. Beneath the Chancellor is the Council of Deans. Each Dean rules a College, and each College teaches one or more Courses. These Courses are comprehensive and provide the entire body of knowledge of almost all known skills. Courses are described by what Skill or Power they provide or what Class they produce.

This concept of a University opens the door to a lot of new characters, because someone can easily seek to join a University and learn a skill, power or class.

Learning a Skill takes whatever time the GM sets and costs 50 Fortune or equivalent Fame points.

Learning a Power takes whatever time the GM sets and costs 1000 Fortune or equivalent Fame points.

Adding a new Class takes no less than a year of study game time or more and costs 5000 Fortune or equivalent Fame points.

The cost of education is NOT cheap. Anyone spending more than 100 Fortune (or Fame) on education at a University also takes a Lifestyle hit; permanently lower the character’s Lifestyle one rank and randomise the new specific score based on that new rank.

OPTION: Spending Fortune on Education does NOT attract Wild Magic. Or if it does, it is so well controlled and envigilated by the centre of learning that no Wild Magic effect occurs (as far as anyone is aware).

Chancellor Therag Tendap (Sage)
Primary Traits:
Melee: 7
Coordination: 8
Brawn: 7
Fort: 18*
Intellect: 35*
Awareness: 9
Willpower: 11

Secondary Traits:
Damage: 40
Fortune: 55
Lifestyle: 24
Repute: 9 +6 with Nobles, +4 with Students, -8 with Peasants

Powers: Improved Skills

Skills*: Speaks: Elven, Old Dragon, Dwarven, Halfling, Ancient Imperial Human, Teaching +2RS, Administration +2RS, Investment Banking

* = improved or added through earned Fortune spent on Character Advancement
Drinking Lodges
The Lodges are where Students who can’t afford their own rooms or “digs” in Xaggenstadt or Brownstone live, in residential dorms, as well as eat, drink and study. Each Lodge usually has a Hireling or two, a Peasant to do the cooking and the richer and snootier ones almost inevitably have a Butler or Maid. Additionally, either an alumni of the Lodge or a hired sellsword acts as their live-in Fencing Master, instructing all Students in the Lodge’s chosen Fencing School.

[snip]
Courses at Xaggenstadt:

College of Law (Dean: Sunger Xolis, Human Sage specialising in Law)
Courses: Skills: Law, Ecclesiastical Law, Local Laws and Customs, Imperial Law, Rights of Succession, Wills and Testaments, Legal Theory, Chaos Lore, Order Lore, Riding (Horse), Psychology, Witchcraft Laws; Powers: NIL; Classes: Sea Captain, Noble, Knight, STUDENT

College of Divinity (Dean: Bishop Alexandra Neufang of the Iron Church, Human Priestess)

Courses: Skills: Religion (Iron Church), Comparative Religion, God Lore, Family Trees of the Gods, Exorcism Ritual, Witchcraft Lore, Social Rituals (Births, Naming, Marriage, Funeral), Public Speaking, Debate, Psychology, Riding (Horse); Powers: Healing; Classes: Priest(ess), Inquisitor, Knight, STUDENT

College of Engineering (Dean: Grond Kulsmyth, Dwarf Engineer)

Courses: Skills: Sketching, Invention, Siege Engines, Irrigation, Smithing, Metallurgy, Carving, Sculpture, Construct Component Creation, Painting, Repair Metal Objects, Drawing; Powers: Quicken Unliving, Bricklayer, Rebuilders, Weapon, One-of-a-Kind Item, One-of-a-Kind Item, Toolkit, Vehicles, Steed (Constructs only); Classes: Engineer, Tinker, Sage, Hireling, Henchman, STUDENT

College of Medicine (Dean: Wolfram Vorner, Human Sage specialising in Medicine)

Courses: Skills: First Aid, Medicine, Bonesetting, Anatomy, Dissection, Surgery, Bloodletting, Physiotherapy, Circulation Lore, Humours of the Body, Phrenology, Occupational Health and Safety, Zoology, Botany, Cold Reading, Food Preservation, Personal Hygiene, Alchemy, Sport, Healthy Foods, Veterinary Medicine, Natural Cures, Herbalism, Code Writing (Unreadable Handwriting), Midwife; Powers: Potions, Healing, Rainbow Power, Toolkit, Regeneration; Classes: Herbalist, Athlete, STUDENT

College of Natural Philosophy (Dean: Baronet Viktor von Lutzenstein, Human Sage)

Courses: Skills: Construct creation, Fire Lore, Water Lore, Air Lore, Earth Lore, Physics, Alchemy, Zoology, Botany, Mythical Animals Lore, Mythology, Treasure Lore, Folklore, Ancient History; Powers: Plant Control, Animal Brother, Animal Command, Regeneration, Pet, Steed; Classes: Druid, Hedge Wizard, Tinker, STUDENT

College of Wizardry (Dean: Vordor, Human High Sorceror)

Courses: Skills: Identify Witch, Write Scroll, Create Staff of Blasting, Create Rod of Blasting, Alchemy, Slapstick Fighting, Read Ancient Language, Speak Ancient Language, Dragon Lore, Identify Spell; Powers: Magic (choose type); Classes: Witch / Warlock (natural Black Magician); Druid; High Sorceror

College of Agricultural Attainments [snip]

Courses: Skills: Occupational Health and Safety, First Aid, Warehouse Ops, Secure Storage, Geography, Local Laws and Customs, Folklore, Riding, Drive Cart, Rickshaw, Feudal Law, Local Traditions; Powers: Contaminant Resistance, Chameleon in forests and fields, Heavy Lifting, Beast of Burden, Regeneration; Classes: Henchman, Hireling, Sailor, Peasant, Athlete, Town Guard

#Foresee Alpha : random versus chosen

Foresee Alpha provides many random charts, in keeping with the 4C original rules and the rules from which they took their inspiration. Also most of the old school fantasy games were filled to overflowing with such charts.

A criticism has been raised as to why on Earth someone would RANDOMISE a character in a superhero game in the first place?

But… The Foresee rules keep saying choose or roll, choose or roll. No one HAS TO randomise. But it isn’t just for the players. The charts let a GM randomise characters, items and so on in the course of play. My own experience is that no matter how experienced one is as a GM it’s impossible to really make an entire game session up on the fly. Everyone does it, and sometimes they are great, but even without charts a GM is rolling some kind of dice early on to get some flow and variation. It can’t all be the last film you watched and player questions.

As for players, if you roll randomly and stick with it, you may well end up with a character origin you would NEVER have played. For example the Peasant and the Hireling, and other apparent dirtkicker lowlies have their advantages. It’s also appealing to quite a few of the storyteller type players and quite a few of the “bored played 100 game systems” players to play something so off the wall. Sure, people will want to play a medieval fantasy version of Iron Man or the Hulk or will want to play Aragorn or Legolas. Most GMs will let them. But where a game session or a campaign really takes off is when you have Iron Man, Aragorn… and a Nodwick type character.

Hence, randomised characters> You DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE RANDOM CHARTS. But if you do, they are balanced for a world. Half-Elves: not very common at all. Humanoid Animals with Class: less than 1% of the population. Shouldn’t they be?

In some of the campaign idea books I am writing up at the moment there are variations of the original Foresee charts, and I am seeing very clearly that the random charts, especially because they’re quick to use, can let both a GM and a player engage with a setting fast. Particularly when Foresee uses the “describe what you want to be good at and that’s the Skill” approach rather than the rules-ing people to death approach. The former definitely encourages roleplaying, and in a game with so many superheroic powers it’s important to do that.