Major Update Including No More Prerequisites for Abilities, Spells, and Skills

The biggest change to this version of the rules is the elimination of attribute requirements (aka prerequisites) based on the feedback of one of my play testing groups. I was a bit hesitant when it was first suggested to me, but the idea really grew on me over time, and I think this will really free up players to have more fun in character creation. Additionally, this should greatly simplify the character creation process, which was one of the more complicated/time consuming aspects of the game. This also has a small benefit in reducing the page count by a bit, which doesn’t mean much for an electronic document, but it still makes me happy.

Attribute requirements for weapons and armor are still in effect as for now, as I’m still considering whether to keep them or not.

There may be some residual text in the document referring to attribute requirements that will be removed in the final version of the text. Basically, I need to re-read the whole thing, and I’d rather hold off on that until most/all mechanical changes have been implemented.

I haven’t applied the changes from my February 24 post regarding critical rolls and dodge mechanics, but that his how I’ve been running the game in play testing, and those rules will be added to the text with the next major update. Additionally, that update might include changes to the initiative system to either incorporate a speed or dexterity check, or to simply leave it to the players to decide combat order.

Changelog

  • Removed attribute requirements/prerequisites for spells, abilities, and skills. Experience point cost of some spell and abilities raised.
  • Underlined spell book titles to differentiate from actual spells (you’re welcome Leah.)
  • Minor changes to text for clarification/correction purposes.
  • Clarified text for karate skill to emphasize combat bonuses only apply while the combatant is unarmed.
  • Experience point cost of raising attributes increased after the 10 point mark.
  • Character creation point total increased.

The Young and the Brave [beta v0.8]

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Actual Play Episode 006

With this successful recording this time around, our heroes get some new goodies (finally some loot), meet the Buck, have a new boss to contend with, and meet up with an old friend. Also, for the record, I mistook MacGyver actor Richard Dean Anderson with Tom Selleck… for some reason.

This weeks music is a song from Mr. and Mrs. Smith called Records on a Dirty Shelf and can be found in the creative commons section of Sound Cloud.

Actual Play Episode 006

Not Actual Play Episode 005

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and I guess it fell to the sooner. I screwed up the recording of last week’s game (I have no idea what I’m doing with audio recordings) and only recorded my end of the conversation. So instead of forcing my players to reenact the whole episode, I wrote down their day’s adventure in a short form and will be posting it below. Sorry I couldn’t provide you all with the audio, but hopefully this will teach me to be more attentive in future recordings. What follows is a (sort of) brief description of the events of our last session.

After learning that the citizens of the supernatural district are less than appreciative of seeing human children in their neighborhood (since it was human children who destroyed the place), the party decides to move their base of operations to the outskirts of town, where an old, abandoned farm house serves as a makeshift meeting area. They send out a text to all the kids in the area, asking them to meet there and discuss future plans. As the crowds gather in front of the old building, Reginald addresses them, filling them all in on the destruction of the old base, and encouraging them to stick together in groups as both the Supers and Technos guilds are still fighting in the streets. They also keep their hostages from the Initiated base attack tied up in one of the rooms of the house.

As he’s winding down the speech, they are approached by Violet, the Blades assassin who killed the Technos leader, and whom they later rescued from the Technos base. She offers them a deal. She reveals the location of Jack (the leprechaun working with the Supers who betrayed them) and the rest of the Supers in town, and in exchange, they give her the crystal that negates the influence of magic which they captured from the Technos earlier in the campaign.

After a bit of negotiating they agree to her terms, and she leads them to 3D’s World – an old, second rate arcade with an animatronic animal show (basically a Chucky Cheese like place… I’d just watched some let’s plays of 5 Nights at Freddy’s) that went out of business about five years prior. The group sneaks into the building expecting a fight with the Supers, only to find that something has caused the animatronics to come alive and attack the Supers’ hiding within (again, 5 Nights at Freddy’s… you get the idea). They allow the few remaining Supers to escape while confronting Jack, who rather than face the party tries to make a run for it, only to be killed by one of the robotic monsters. They are able to learn that Jack was not in charge however, and that he was getting his orders from some unknown mastermind.

The party considers taking the creatures on themselves, but then decide running away is a more enticing approach to the situation. Before making their escape however, they discover a USB stick in the room where they found Jack.

They take the USB stick to Salix’ home where they discover it has all of Jack’s instructions about setting up the Initiated, pitting them against the Technos, and eventually forcing them to defend the supernatural district from the Technos attack, while their base is destroyed by the Supers. It becomes apparent that even the Supers were used by whoever was giving the orders to Jack, and the whole thing was meant to weaken all three groups in town. All that’s missing now is the identity of the mastermind behind the whole setup.

Violet tells them she knows who is behind all of this, as she herself was hired by this mysterious person for assassinating the Technos leader, and though initially she tries to get them to offer something in return for the information, they eventually get her to agree to sharing what she knows as part of the deal for the magic nullifying crystal.

She tells them that the whole thing was orchestrated by a boy named Sammy… the very same Sammy most of the party battled at Camp Candlewood earlier in the summer over the ancient remains of the fountain of youth. Though Sammy was defeated at the camp, he managed to get away with the last remaining bit of magical water, something that could keep a child young for decades, thus allowing them continued access to magic (since, after all, they lose their powers as they get older). Violet gets her crystal in return for the information, and stores it in a special case that prevents the crystal from nullifying the magic in its immediate area. She also decides to stick around and see where this all leads, and hangs around the new base.

Rachael (basically their driver) tells them she found James’ (their now dead local leader) emergency journal which contains contact information for high ranking, out of town Imitated. They send off an email to the closest contact, explaining what has happened thus far in their neighborhood, and requesting help. The email they get in response promises aid, but suggests that it was their fault that things have gotten so bad in their town.

The next morning, they head over to the Supernatural district to speak with Waters and let him know that his brother Jack is dead, and was behind the destruction of their neighborhood. Waters promises to aid them with their hunt for Sammy and says he’ll have something for them in a couple of days.

With nothing left to do but wait for Waters’ promised aid and the arrival of more Initiated, they decide to scout the outskirts of the old wood, where Violet believes Sammy has made his base. The old wood is dark and foreboding, and rather than entering unprepared, Reginald consults a broken see and say toy which essentially works as an Oracle in providing advice/clues. The toy tells them:

Wander the wood with bread crumbs in hand,

a chicken legged hut is where you will land.

And that is where we left off on their adventure.

Lots of Changes and Balancing!

The changes made today are a result of a lot of play testing. You think you got a pretty good idea of how to balance these things when you’re first writing the rules, but throw enough players at it, and problems will bubble up to the surface all over the place. These changes should make the game a little more accessible to player’s characters, allowing for more freedom in some aspects of character creation, and more balanced characters all around. Considering a mild increase to ranged weapon attack damage as a future change, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Lots of balancing changes overall in today’s update. Spells in general are a little cheaper and a little beefier now. A number of abilities have been improved/adjusted as well. The HP for all listed monsters/intelligent races has been fixed. Previously they were all 10 points short. Finally, most weapon and armor prerequisites have been lowered to make them more accessible to characters.

  • All monster and intelligent races’ HP corrected (they were all previously 10 points short)
  • Reduced cost for Animator spell book.
  • Added imagination check for supernaturals crossing over Chalker’s Banish symbol.
  • Doors Chalker spell cost increased.
  • Increased Leach HP from 3 to 5.
  • Sanctuary cost reduced to 2.
  • Line Pull’s enemy attack penalty increased to -3.
  • Sand Storm now does 1d6+3 damage per turn.
  • Solid Form duration changed to imagination base instead of flat 2 turn value.
  • Stone Hammer strength requirement reduced from 10 to 8.
  • Blast of Air spell cost reduced from 3 to 1.
  • Slight damage increase to Ball of Ice (+1)
  • Clear Day cost reduced from 5 to 3.
  • Outlet Draw’s cooldown has been changed from once per day to imagination based.
  • Flame Wall now does 1d6+2 damage.
  • Frozen Step now prevents the target of the spell from getting attacks of opportunity against opponents for the duration of the spell.
  • Hula Hoop Kid cost reduced from 10 to 8.
  • Paper Fortune Teller cost reduced from 5 to 3.
  • Poker damage now included melee bonus.
  • Hard Rock cost reduced from 8 exp to 6.
  • Rock-a-bye edited to clarify wind blasts in single direction.
  • Little Piggy cost reduced by 1.
  • Shaper’s golem health values corrected. They were all 10 HP too low previously.
  • Spirit Companion health values corrected. They were all 10 HP too low previously.
  • Big Feet cost reduced from 3 exp to 2.
  • Butt Ugly cost reduced from 3 exp to 2.
  • Poo Brains cost reduced from 3 exp to 2.
  • Rubber and Glue cost reduced from 5 exp to 4.
  • Blood Run now costs 1 HP per 1 extra space moved, rather than 2 HP.
  • Expulsion now does 2d6+3 damage instead of just 2d6.
  • Speed now costs the caster 5 HP per turn instead of 7.
  • Speed spell in Carver spell book is now called Bloody Speed.
  • Sunburst text clarified to indicate that caster is not affected by light’s blinding effect.
  • Shadow Sword now includes melee damage bonus.
  • Burst of Speed ability changed. It now works immediately for one movement action, and costs 2 exp to purchase instead of 3.
  • Careful Blow and Aim text changed to indicate it is an immediate effect.
  • Back Stab now costs 4 exp instead of 5.
  • Hit the Hand now costs 2 exp instead of 3.
  • Clarification to Jaunty Whistle’s description text.
  • Knock Down now does 1d6 damage.
  • Magic Shot no longer needs to reduce the first target’s HP to 0 in order the bounce to a second target.
  • Piercing Blow now works as part of an attack action.
  • Long Shot now works as part of an attack action.
  • Ready now does an additional 1d6 damage.
  • Many weapons’ attribute requirements reduced, making them accessible to more characters.
  • Most armor attribute requirements reduced, making them accessible to more characters.

The Young and the Brave [beta v0.797][linked][ToC]

Corrections and a New Skill for Spell Casters

Handful of changes/corrections plus a new spell for spell casters who want to get more involved in melee combat.

Change Log:

  • Stringer Spell book cool down changed from once per combat to imagination base.
  • Changed wording on abilities for clarification purposes. Abilities that were previously listed as having a range of “touch” now say “adjacent target” instead to avoid confusion with touch based spells. Abilities that affect the caster no longer use “self” for range.
  • Dirt Clod now does 2d6+1 damage instead of 2d6.
  • Added Magical Melee as a skill allowing characters to use their imagination attribute instead of strength when determining base melee damage.
  • Fixed discrepancy for starting attribute points. Previously, some parts of character creation stated you get 75+3d6, but should have said 70+3d6. This has been corrected.

The Young and the Brave [beta v0.796][linked][ToC]

Actual Play Episode 004

It took a month to get everyone together again, but we finally did it. In this episode, the party is almost immediately faced with a tough decision, the results of which are likely to have long term consequences. The rest of the session is mostly dominated with combat, and ends with a few revelations.

The tree house battle just before everything went to hell.
The tree house battle just before everything went to hell.

The music on this week’s episode is by Lukas Berger and the song is called “Chromatisch Praktisch Gut.” You can find this in the creative commons section of sound cloud. No new episode next week, but hopefully we’ll have the next episode on the following weekend.

I may also soon start posting audio from a second campaign with a (mostly) different set of players in a somewhat darker version of the game setting. I’ll figure that out soon.

Actual Play Episode 004

Actual Play Episode 003

In this week’s session, the party needs to infiltrate the Technos’ base in their town to remove a Blades assassin whom they believe to have valuable intelligence on the Technos operations. The music for this session is by Cyber SDF with the song Trump Up. The song can be found in the creative commons section of Sound Cloud. Gregg’s mic is a bit loud on this one, so sorry about that.

The small truck described in the episode looks something like this.
The small truck described in the episode looks something like this.

Actual Play Episode 003