Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Destroy the Humanoid

Thinking about ATARI. How a relatively simple device prompted in my young braincase such wonder and joy and tension and excitement.  Adventure has prompted a series of posts in here: I am fairly certain I knew it well before any contact with Moldvay Basic or the Fiend Folio.  I think I think about RPGs to satisfy some inner Player 1 more than any other reason. My imagination zone looks like the cover of Adventure plus the cover of Warlords, mixed liberally with confusion about the Swordquest game, and a million million horror comics that I cannot fully recall.

The logic escaped my 7 year old brain.
Pitfall and Pitfall 2 are another thing: On its own, the first is a somewhat lackadaisical stroll to the East.  Monotonous.  The second one gave me fits in terms of sheer maddening difficulty. Sometimes in moments of duress I can still hear the music (switching over when I ride the balloon) and feel the urge to duck under the swooping Cave Condors. Once, I got all the way to the end where you get the rat and the cat that Yoohoos you (I know full well it does not make this sound) and I accidentally jumped over the rat and it pushed me into the always-flowing underground river and my mouth hung agape and I never again played it and I may have smashed my controller and got a stern talking-to from the folks about anger and frustration.



Berserk!  A simple, easy-to-understand premise, evoking a mildly heightened heartbeat at just the thought of it.  No wonder that guy(s) died!  A mark of pride was to maneuver my man-atar to a spot where the bolts of Berzerker-hate would pass harmlessly through the empty sprite-less neck zone of me.

To return: there is much to love about the mere idea of Berzerk, and I only recently found out that it was prompted by a rich fictional history that was well-developed by the time the 2600 and arcade games came on the scene.  Sabre-hagen something or other. Anyways, the Berzerkers are the height of life-killing machines, turned even on their own creators and marching across the galaxies in a never-ending quest for Nihil and Calm. They are filled with so much contempt that they even destroy each other upon contact!

I think they must have inspired the Necrons from 40K (a relentlessly gruesome and boring army to my mind but terribly Metal and relaxing to paint)



Aside: the wiki for 40K stuff is an exercise in dreary sameness, lacking the phun of Rogue Trader

Dave Otto: Security Guard, Music Lover, Authoritarian (actual picture!)
Return: Berzerkers!  Evil Otto!  are they machines in the customary sense?  androids? Synthetic beings?  mere bipedal gun platforms?  why does Otto smile relentlessly? (the real story of this is almost as frightening as any fiction)  Why are the walls of the never-ending maze (edit: it is possible for it to end) electrified?

Why can't the actual future/now look like this?
Herein lies stats for them for the few systems I know, as well as meagre ways to tweak them for your setting.  Also, a DCC Maze-Curse, or spell, or something.

L/L-SW-CLONES

Berserker (Based on the Clay Golem - I think a standard L/L character will be summarily trounced by this monster so exercise caution)
Hit Dice: 10 (15 hit points - brutally imposing, easy to kill!)
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Attacks: 1 electrified fist/grasp/hug (3d10) or 1 lazer bolt (1d20)
Saving Throw: 5
Special: Immune to slashing and piercing weapons, immune to mind affecting spells, double damage from lazer blasters and friendly fire
Move: 6
Alignment: (Lawful) Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 14/2,600

DCC

Berserker (Skeleton/Hulker Type): Init -5; Atk sizzling grasp -4 melee (1d14) or lazer blaster -2 missile fire (range 120’, 2d8+2); AC 13; HD 4d8+10; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP faultless tracking 100’, immune to mind-altering spells, heal 2 hp per round, duoble damage from friendly fire; SV Fort +10, Ref -7, Will +10; AL N.

(Maybe I make an Evil Otto Patron Later for s'n'g's - you'd like that wouldn't ya, humanoid?)

DW

Berzerker
Tags:  Group, (Dis)organized, Dauntless, Slow, Messy (variation: sizzling), Terrifying, Construct, Mindless, Large
Blaster (d10+5 damage), Electrified Grasp (d10 damage)
6 HP, 3 Armor
Reach, Forceful
Instincts:
* DESTROY THE HUMANOID
* Move swiftly toward foes without thought of collision

Some Berserker-related moves

High Scorer
When you deftly evade a group of Berzerkers in close quarters, Roll +DEX:
On a 1 or less, SUMMON EVIL OTTO, at some distance
On a 2-7, Hesitate and the Berzerkers move into close combat range
On an 8-10, the Berzerkers stand dazed - guidance AIs must recompute
On an 11+, 1d3 Berzerkers crash into each other and are destroyed outright

That's all I got for the moment.  Cross one frozen post from March off my list!

Also: now it's posted, I think I promised more at the start than I've actually delivered, so MOAR SOON

Monday, September 15, 2014

Trident Con - Odenton, Maryland on October 11, 2014

Hey Everyone,

+Erik J has reminded me that I signed up to run some DCC for Charity on October 11th, 2014 (Columbus Day Weekend)

My part of the show, titled "The Perils of the Plague Pirates" was a thing I worked on a while back that transitioned from straight DCC to a DCC/Dungeon World hybrid, and that I worked on for a couple of weeks before throwing up my hands and concentrating on the module I'm due to have published soon

Suffice it to say, raiders/pirates/brigands on super-fast hover-skiffs raid your pitiful village and take your friends and loved ones - well NO MORE

Do you try to infiltrate their camp?  Ambush them?  Hit them when they are at leisure in the Pleasure City?  Ride to their hidden base in the mountain cliffs on your trusty winged Panthrydactyls?  Beef up the security in your mushroom village and defend yourselves to the death?

I envision it as an Ewoks vs. Stormtroopers thing, with lots of mutants and terrible sorcery/super science, and of course a hideous witch that holds the strings

See you at 5:00 October 11, 2014

Link follows:

ghoulish thoughts

Once again, Entropy and Time are quashing the evil Sun and his hateful rays, and my tastes run again to the morbid and quaintly suspicious...

Before (The Donner Party!)

Last week a party member (the hurly burly Fighter) found and took The Hideous Artefact - even in a bag of Blessed Salt, this Artefact forces the owner to crave flesh and resist the temptation to eat it... What's to come of him?

And I got to thinking - it's one thing to raid the mausoleums and mortuaries for your repast out of preference, another thing entirely to eat the flesh of the dead of necessity (for example in a lengthy siege), still another to be compelled to eat it from a curse...  Also, there are many fine gradations. What if someone feeds you Long Pork without your knowledge?  Do you still get transformed into gibbering, meeping, hairless grey things if you cannibalize against your will? 

The answer, to my mind, ought to be an emphatic 'YES' but maybe if you take pleasure and enjoyment from it, it ought to go faster

After - The Donner Pool Party

I'll take my answer off the air, thanks.

Later this week: my musings on the Pineal Gland, and whipping your mystical third eye into shape for emotional and sexual health!  and experience points!

Also: stray spirits for your wandering cleric/wizard/adventurer to bind to his will

Stay tuned

Also: the number of unfinished/unposted blog entries is rising to meet the number of posted ones. Gotta do something about this.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Enchanted Hedge-Mazes of Alfgrim

It happens that effete nobles want for entertainment and need must find ways to disport themselves - this has been true in all times and in all human and Demi-human societies. This is a chronic problem particularly in Alfgrim, where bored and wealthy persons are used to internecine warfare and plotting murder, and where time does not always pass as it does in other lands. Weeks can take months and months may take years to resolve, here, and it may be overlong until the next work holiday might justify a street fair or public flaying

So nobles in Alfgrim turn to something else that they have in abundance, namely hedges.  And mazes.  Each little town has a hedgemaze, in which industrious and bored persons may find themselves lost for a time.



In these, the strangest and most curious things may happen, varied regionally according to the whims of the proprietors and their customers.  They are often ribald and/or plainly sexually themed.  The nobles and landed gentry take their cues from ageless beautiful Elfin-kind that have aeons to develop their tastes in the fleshly pursuits.

Some are more prosaic, with simple Tea Gardens and Croquet Pitches strewn about casually, or elegant Ketsueki-style Koi Ponds.  Many are trapped.  The duplicitous nature of death in Alfgrim and the peasantry's strange willingness to be converted into un-dead or half-dead means that some foolhardy souls are inevitably trapped in wicked machines that slay them, and then turned over to necromancers and vivimancers for spare parts or rebuilding.

Wrought iron and beautifully carved wooden gates may open into extra-dimensional spaces, corridors of green holly and viburnum may seem to artfully expand into infinity, and privets and roses may suddenly animate and attack passers-by (although the appeal of these sorts of mazes is somewhat limited to the more bloodthirsty nobles)

Each calendar year, beginning on the feast day of Saint Christina the Astonishing and ending on the First Market Day of Dragonspawn, private charitable organizations send out rag-tag gangs of adventurous hobbyists to undertake to "solve" the hedgemazes of nearby rivals.  Bring back the Yellow Chalice, slay the Mechanical Wyvern, Seduce the Gynosphinx - the solutions are sundry.  The Fellowes of the Goat may find themselves clashing with the West End Brutes owing to scheduling conflicts and the permeable flow of time in these places, since the Yellow King dispenses with his endless work of repairing the chronological order within the bounds of the mazes.  It is not uncommon for luckless people to bump into themselves headed in the other direction, or even to find their own dessicated corpses (considered unlucky at best).  Sometimes parties of adventurers come out the week before they left, causing no end of trouble for His Majesty.  Thus it is common for Maze-Gangs to judge their nearness to the end of The Quest and vary their speed or diligence in overcoming obstacles, taking time to stop for tea, a few rallies of badminton, and other more flagrant delights.

the halfling haberdashers' guild keenly disputes lost points


Coincidentally, it was the task that the Yellow King set Sir Carredot upon to stymie his un-remembered rival that caused Alfgrim to blossom into the weird place it is at this time.  "The Solving of the Adventure" in QR 2600, which cracked the aether and brought the mists.  None now know where Carredot may really be - it is the official policy of the Court that he spends his numberless days making appearances at state events and private parties, but it is rumored that behind his ceremonial dragon armor there may be a string of handsome actors.

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