Monday, February 16, 2009

Well, She Survived.....

Okay, yesterday was game day. I rolled into my local game shop at about 1 pm, to finish up Chapter One: Life's Bazaar from Paizo's Shackled City adventure path. It's a fun little adventure, and as a adventure path, is ALOT different from the adventures I usually design myself. That game has converted me forever to the love of D&D minis and battlemats.

I rarely used minis in my previous games, preferring to just abstract combat and occasionally make do with symbols scrawled on a dry-erase board. The group I play with- about 90% current or former military by the way, which makes it just like coming home for me- all enjoy minis, and have a huge collection. One of the players has a huge rolling box filled with every damn monster in the game, and I've had great fun borrowing his toys for the session's encounters.

At about 7 we broke for dinner, and when I came back, I played my first actual session of Shadowrun 4th edition. Things got off to a late start, because a couple of extra players from the D&D game wanted to make characters and jump in, but soon enough things were off and running. Our GM ran us through a basic, intro adventure, which amounted to little more than a live fire exercise. Good thing, since out of the six players, three of us were veterans of SR4, myself and one other guy had never played this edition of the game, and one guy had never played Shadowrun, of any kind, at all.

Basic premise was a raid on a Shiawase shipping hub, to intercept a blood sample, do some damage, and make the raid look like standard corporate espionage. Our real objective was to swap out the blood sample for a clean (?) sample, supposedly to cover up some dark secret of our Johnson's wife.

The whole raid, start to finish, in game took about 5 minutes. I learned something about my character. I had built her as a non-combat girl, and I'd assumed that having extra 'initiative passes'- or extra actions was like having a high BAB in D20, useful but not essential. Instead, not having extra actions was like being the team's semi-retarded, drooling mascot. I'll be purchasing Wired Reflexes before the next session.

Another thing I learned, is that as the team's face, my function is front loaded. I do research on our clients, negotiate the pay, and help in the planning. After that, I get to stay in the car and listen to the radio while everybody else is inside, killing the fuck outta some unprepared guards. Grrrr....

Still, my character's stock market knowledge ended up being one of the more useful skills in the session, and I'll be pumping some extra points into that. I figure my role on the team is 'clue wagon' and I want to have as many knowledge skills and funky enhanced senses as possible. Anyway, Arywn Unchained survived, much to my shock and pleasure...

Oh, and lest you think I'm not working....

I'm sending some material over to Amanda to illustrate. I'll be releasing another short race book for Otherverse America, focusing on genetically engineered human subspecies used by the military and the mega corps. That'll be a fun, quick one.

I'm also working on a sequel to this sourcebook:

Hey, what do you expect? I've been playing Shadowrun,and I've got a hankering to build some cool D20 bionics. I'm going to release Cybernetics II as a State of the Otherverse product.

After that, expect me to get to work on Otherverse America: APEX, and to put the finishing touches on some more Thinking Race sourcebooks.

Talk to you later,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Elven Porn Stars

Well, Otherverse America will be coming out soon and while I'm still working, this post isn't about releases. Instead, I'm going to say something:


I've given my Sundays over to gaming completely- I'm running a group through Paizo's Shackled City adventure path during the afternoon, and starting this Sunday, I'll be playing in Shadowrun 4th edition campaign. I've still got 2nd edition on my shelf, but never actually played that system. If I wanted to use the Shadowrun setting, i'd just cobble together something with BESM or GURPS- I've never liked the older edition's rules, and this will be my first experience with the 4th edition. So far, having finished up character creation, I can say I really, really enjoy SR-4. It's very crunchy and fiddly- where in D20 Future, I'd just buy cybernetics, in SR-4 I'm actually picking out individual components and an operating system for my girl. I love that level of detail and immersion.

This is an actual conversation I had with another player, which is a damn good example of why I like the Shadowrun setting so much.

ME: "So what are you playing?"
MY BUDDY MARTIN: "A Chinese dwarf mage who works for the Tongs."
ME: "Chinese dwarf, cool. I've got a Hispanic Elf pornostar."

Yes, I'm playing the 'face' of the group, the negotiator/blackmailer/seductress. I'm pleased to announce that my girl has some very well chosen cyber-systems that allow her to record every sensation she ever experiences- she's got a full SimSense studio in her head, an absurd amount of wealth and contacts and a nasty sociopathic, emotionless (but she can fake emotions convincingly) disosition. I'm picturing her as some kind of unholy cross between Emma Frost and Lt. Kavanaugh (from the Shield).

So I'll keep you updated on Arwyn Unchained (TM), who pays a liscensing fee to the Tolkien estate for her stage name, and let you know how long she survives.

And did I mention the guy running the campaign is a former Army MP with a shit-ton of security experience? This is going to fucking rock.