Battle Report: Warzone Resurrection CSS League, Season 1, Round 2 – Brotherhood vs Dark Legion

Another day, another battle report… Not for one of my games this time though. Initially it seemed like I wasn’t going to get a Round 2 match for the Conquest of the Solar System League, since we’ve had odd player numbers here in Canberra. Thankfully we found a 4th player at the last-minute, so I managed to get a game in after all. So the battle report for that will be incoming, but first, a report I wrote for the game played between two of our other players, Raxxis (Brotherhood) and Evs (Dark Legion).

I’ve added a bit more detail around the match this time around, including army lists and explanations of the scenario, to make up for the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to do a full narrative for this one. I’m also messing around with the format for the report itself, placing the photos for each turn in a slide show at the end of the activation breakdown, so that the post doesn’t end up stupidly long. Enjoy!

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Battle Report: Warzone Resurrection CSS League, Season 1, Round 1 – Bauhaus vs Dark Legion

So it’s been a stupidly long time since I’ve posted anything on here. Well over twelve months. There’s been a lot of ups and downs in that time, but one of the consistent things has been that I’ve struggled to write absolutely anything, even for my RPG groups… well, group, because by the middle of last year I only had one left, and even that had to be put on hold. The one thing that helped keep me sane during this time is miniature wargaming. I threw myself pretty hard into play-testing the second edition of Relic Knights, an anime themed skirmish game, where I play the Cerci Speed Circuit, a faction of gangsters, racers, mechanics and security forces from a planet devoted entirely to racing.

More recently, I picked up Warzone Resurrection, a new edition of the old Warzone game that was a spin-off of the Mutant Chronicles RPG. Thanks to my friend Evan knowing some people clearing out their collections, I managed to pick up a pretty good selection of second hand minis for the Bauhaus faction, one of the five Megacorporations that, in this setting, are more like sovereign states. Bauhaus are heavily based on Europe, particularly Prussia, with their basic troops, the Hussars, going so far as to wear Pickelhauben. This is a pretty common theme in Warzone, with three of the other Megacorps being similarly based on Earth cultures. Mishima are a mix of Asian cultures, though primarily Japan, with a lot of anime style mecha tropes worked in; Capitol are the USA via Doom and Fallout; and Imperial is split into two factions, with the Ministry of War representing the WWI and later British military forces, and the Wolfbane Clans having a theme that mixes Celtic warriors and mysticism with techno-punk. The other corporation is Cybertronic, the cyberpunk faction. To round out the game, there’s also the Brotherhood, a militant church group that act as the uniting force of humanity against the final faction, the Dark Legion, a group of inter-dimensional demons and monsters led by a group of five demigods known as the Dark Apostles.

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A Fistful of Roses, Part II: Fire and Blood (WIP)

Hey guys, welcome back to my campaign journal for A Fistful of Roses, the Savage Worlds cyberpunk campaign I’m playing in using the Interface Zero 2.0 setting. For anyone who hasn’t seen part one, you can check it out here: A Fistful of Roses, Part I: My Name Is Roxy

Alright. Posting part two of this, but as you might have noticed from the title, this is very much still a work in progress. Honestly it’s been a struggle to write this part, I haven’t been able to get it to a point I’m happy with. But it’s been a few weeks longer than I’d planned between posts, and I need to move on to other stuff. I’ll be coming back when I’ve had a chance to get some feedback so I can try to fix it up, but if I let myself dwell on it now I’ll never let it go.

A quick note. As is almost always the case, we’ve changed a few things about the setting, and made our own assumptions when something may not be perfectly clear in the book (or we’ve just missed it somehow). So we’ve assumed that the Tendril Access Processors (TAPs) that people have implanted in their heads act as general comms devices as well as providing augmented reality feeds and data access. We also changed the JUMP bikes a bit, neither the GM or I were a huge fan of the Formula One looking cars shown in the sourcebook for them, both of us had been picturing motorcycles that hover instead of having wheels, kind of halfway between a high end sports bike and an ATV. Actually I’m not even sure if they’re meant to hover or not, or are just able to leap into the air when needed. Either way, that’s how they look in our game.

All of that said, hope you enjoy it, and as always, feedback is very much appreciated.

NOTE: Profanity is a little more prevalent in this one than the first entry. I’m still working out Roxy’s character, and I’m leaning towards making her relatively foul mouthed and prone to bursts of anger.

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A Fistful of Roses, Part II: Fire and Blood

0015 Hours – The Strange Island, Korea Town

Shit. It’s after midnight, and I’m still sitting here, nursing another beer, waiting for Felix’s damn bartender to show up so we can get down to business. At least the night hasn’t been a total write-off. Turns out that hybrid couple those Bloody Hand gangers were hassling run the local hardware store. Said they’d have something for me in a few days, a thank you for running off the goons. I’ll have to try to keep ’em sweet, it’s always handy to be on friendly terms with gunrunners. Still, it doesn’t look like things are going to calm down here any time soon, and I’ve got other places to be. Felix and I’ll just have to have our chat another time.

I savour the last of my beer. It’s heavy and rich, bitter-sweet with undertones of chocolate and coffee. I push the glass away, the taste of  toasted hops and malted barley lingering on my tongue. Hell, forget about finding a fixer, I’d come back just for another glass. I stand, stretching, the leather of my impact suit hugging my body, a familiar, comfortable feeling. No point trying to say goodbye to Felix, he’s busy serving the crowd. A hand darts out from behind the bar, grabs my wrist as I turn to leave. Clawed and lightly furred … I follow the arm back to see Felix looking over my shoulder. He’s worried, I can see it. Slitted pupils wide, tufted ears laid flat against his skull. Something’s got him spooked good and proper.

“Trouble coming,” he hisses, leaning in close. “Your friends are back, and they’ve brought company. I figure this ain’t good for either of us, so what’s say we back each other up here. I turn to follow his gaze out to the street. The gangers from before are on approach to the bar, along with a group of their friends. Four of the others look like carbon copies of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, same shitty tatts and grubby gang colours. The last one though … looks like they went crying to their boss-man. Same sort of thug, just trussed up in a badly fitted suit instead of the leathers and muscle tops the street crew favour.

“Deal. But the drinks are on you after this,” I shoot back at him, a grin on my face. “And I’ll be expecting some extra consideration when we’re negotiating my cut for any jobs we might work together in the future.” I’m whistling in the dark, trying to hide the rising panic. Three, even four of these guys between us, easy. Seven … Well, I hope Felix has some heavy ordinance back there with him, ’cause all I’ve got is my revolver and a pair of stun-gloves. They’re just street trash, but a near four to one advantage is going to count for a lot. I pull the gloves out of my pocket and slip them on. There’s a faint buzzing in my palms as they hum to life, and I slide a hand behind my back, drawing my revolver and flicking off the safety, concealing it between my leg and the bar

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A Fistful of Roses, Part I: My Name is Roxy

Well, this is a few days later than I’d wanted, thanks to a weekend spent with my parents and some longer than anticipated days at work.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve joined a new cyberpunk game run by my friend Chris. We’re using Interface Zero 2.0,  for Savage Worlds. Great cyberpunk setting, has a few elements that veer more into transhumanism than cyberpunk (the human/animal hybrids and so on), but in the main it’s a very genre faithful setting. Lots of hacking, virtual reality, mechanical augmentations, people wired for augmented reality, and a lot of shiny chrome and bright neon contrasted with the filthy streets and gritty nature of day-to-day survival in the urban sprawl. Being Savage Worlds, it mostly conforms to the core rules, but adds some more complex rules for things like hacking (the Science Fiction companion for Savage Worlds actually recommends using these rules for any other games that need hacking rules), cybernetic augmentation and so on, as well as adding, removing or modifying Edges and Hindrances as appropriate for the genre. One of the bigger changes is the addition of occupations, where each character has to pick an occupation based on their concept. There’s a pretty extensive list, with everything from bartenders and pizza delivery guys right up the chain to the corporate executives and mob bosses. Your occupation provides certain benefits fitting the concept, as well as a regular source of extra income every time you received an Advance (every 5 experience points). The default setting for the game is North America, but there are supplements coming out for other locations, like the Japan: Empire of the Setting Sun sourcebook.

Given how much I enjoyed the character concept I came up with, especially after seeing how she ran in the first session of the game, I figured I may as well keep an in character campaign journal for her and chronicle the events of the game. Then I decided to make things difficult for myself and write it in first person perspective and present tense, because apparently I’m a masochist. So I asked Chris what the campaign was called, and was duly confused and curious when I was informed it has been named “A Fistful of Roses”. No, I don’t know why. But I can’t wait to find out.

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Reign of Winter: The Bard and the Dragon

So I felt this needed to be posted while it’s still relatively fresh in my mind. As some of you might remember, the only game I’m playing in instead of running right now (well, until the Numenera game starts up again) is a Pathfinder campaign, Reign of Winter, run by my sometimes co-blogger Professor Jimbles. It’s a campaign that explores a number of themes, with the earliest one introduced being Russian folklore, including Baba Yaga, her dancing hut and her three riders; household spirits like the Domovoi; Winter Witches; cruel fae and never-ending magical winters. The folklore theme looks to be continuing through the whole campaign, but I know that later on additional elements of plane hopping and so on will be added (book 5 is called Rasputin Must Die! and features a WWII scene on the front cover… looking forward to that).

Anyway, when it came time to roll up a character for this game, I went with something I haven’t done in a very long time, and went Bard. Initially I made a Soundstriker archetype Bard, but after a rather heated discussion thread started on the Paizo messageboards between players and the developers regarding changes to the class, and there was no confirmation about the ruling for a long time (in fact, there still hasn’t been official errata released), I spoke to Jimbles and asked if I could re-roll as a Thundercaller, as it had a similar flavour to what I wanted from my Soundstriker anyway. Now, for those of you not familiar the various classes of D&D 3.5/Pathfinder, I’ll explain.

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Hollowpoint Playtest – Setting the Scene

NOTE: There’s been a bit of a change of plan on how this is going to work. This update is going to cover the basic rules and the setup of the session. That’s just so I can get something posted. The following update will involve a detailed report on the actual game, written as a report to the Board of Directors of the Firm (the organisation the player characters work for). My housemate suggested taking this different approach to it as a way to potentially work around my writer’s block. We’ll see how it goes. It’s a public holiday here tomorrow, so I’ll get up early, have some eggs benedict for breakfast and try to get cracking on it. Fingers crossed. .

Hey guys, thought it was time I get something posted. It’s been longer than I intended again, as recovery from my accident and sorting out insurance took far longer than I expected. At this stage I’m still going to be without my scooter for at least a couple of weeks, and it’s making life awkward as hell in the meantime. I do have a loaner, but it’s a tiny little 150cc, and has trouble cracking 80km/h, so I only really use it to get to and from work.

Anyway, I’m still working on the campaign journal and starting to realise it may be a long time coming, but it’ll get there eventually. In the mean time, I thought I’d share some details on a playtest we ran a couple of weeks ago for a game I picked up a month or so ago, Hollowpoint. It’s an indie RPG produced by VSCA, the same guys who made the hard science fiction FATE setting Diaspora. Rather than using the FATE or FATE Core system though, Hollowpoint uses its own system, based on building matching sets of d6s from a dice pool. It’s a fast paced, cinematic, brutal little system, and is specifically designed to emulate high violence movies, television series and comics. In fact, the book calls out some of my favourite films and graphic novels as inspiration, including Reservoir Dogs and 100 Bullets.

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Reign of Winter – GM Perspective.

So, I fucked it.

Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but certainly, running a Pathfinder game was far more work than I expected, and it makes me appreciate the sheer amount of extra effort Keegan puts in above what the adventure path gives him.

Firstly, I haven’t run a rules heavy system since I was 14, where I mangled d20 Modern to represent school. It trainwrecked horribly, but it at least made some people laugh for a session. After that, I entered my WoD phase, being one of those oft-cursed eternal players demanding to be entertained. After some time I began writing Bard: The Crescendo (a WoD template, like Vampire, Geist and Changeling) with some friends. Eventually it fell to me to test the system. It went okay.

When Keegan wanted a turn playing Pathfinder, he thought I could do a decent job (uhh?) of running an adventure path, and gently pressured me into taking the job. What can I say, I can be an entitled jerk. He set me up with the core, our copy of Hero Lab and The Snows of Summer to bone up on.

Much like a Puritan high school, there was less boning up than would be healthy for everyone involved.

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