#RPG – 2020 in 2020 – Character Creation

Dylan Kowalski

Statistics:

9d10, re-roll rolls of 2 or less and assign as desired. Minimum total 70 pts. Reroll lowest score and add on until you get over 75.

EG: Dana is rolling up what she hopes will be a Cyberninja.

She rolls: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 8, 9

Immediately, she needs two re-rolls, which score 9 and 6.

That gives her an array of: 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9.

That’s still only a total score of 58, she needs to gain another 15 total points.

Re-rolling the lowest score each time until it hits 70 continues until the array is: 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, which is bang on 70.

DOFRESH .

Lifepath:

Roll as per normal, but potentially try to tie it to the background timeline.

Clint Cearley

Skills:

Ignore the normal rules and treat everything as pickup skills. So you get 40+Int+Ref (before modifications and cybernetics) to spend where you like. Your Role skill cannot be higher than +5 and no other skill higher than +8 (so you have room to grow).

Netrunning will mostly be more like ‘real’ hacking, to do with prep and programs so it doesn’t drag down on the spot play, though on the spot hacking using field effects will also be an option.

Oleg Danylenko

Roles & Special Skills:

  • Alt Media (Replaces Media): Credibility: Allows you to expose stories and use your reputation to convince people. Also adds half its score to your Persuasion and Interview skills, rounding down.
  • Cop: Authority (Half round down adds to Intimidate and Interrogate, can be rolled by itself to exercise authority as an official agent of law/security).
  • Corporate: Resources, this allows you to either draw on the parent company’s resources, or your own investments and holdings during a game. Government administrators are created using the Corporate model, but handle governmental resources.
  • Covert Operative: Combat Sneak adds half its level to Stealth, Hide/Evade, Awareness and Initiative.
  • Fixer: Streetdeal grants you free reputation equal to your skill level, as a wheeler and dealer, and adds as a bonus to your Streetwise rolls. You know people, everywhere, and can get just about anything.
  • Grinder: Your Transhuman skill reduces the Humanity loss of installing Cyberware by its value, for each item.
  • Influencer (Replaces Rockerboy): Influence allows you to reach a large audience via your social media presence and to directly influence smaller numbers of people to action. See Influencer table below.
  • Investigator: The Research special ability grants half its level, rounding down, to Library Search and Shadow/Track.
  • Medical Tech: Medtech allows you to perform highly trained feats of medicine, such as surgery. You can also add half of your Medtech skill (rounding down) to a single area of medical expertise such as Pediatrics, ENT, Oncology etc.
  • Neotribe (Replaces Nomad): Neotribes are looser, transnational associations of people built on interests and common experiences. Communities, with stronger bonds. You can roll your ‘Family’ to gain aid or make local contacts from members of your ‘tribe’. Street gang members can be simulated with this role.
  • Netrunner: Interface represents your intuitive grasp and specialist knowledge of modern computing. You add half your Interface skill, rounding down, when engaged in Programming, Electronic Security and System Knowledge rolls.
  • Runner: Parkour is adds half its bonus to Athletics and Hide/Evade rolls.
  • Scavenger: With a Scrounge check you can figure out where to find junked, lost, but otherwise usable and valuable materials. You will still have to go get them, however. Unlike Streetwise or Streetdeal, what you turn up is free for the taking – at least monetarily.
  • Solo: Combat Sense (adds to Initiative).
  • Solo: Combat Sense, bonus to Awareness and Initiative.
  • Spy: Chameleon grants you one foolproof cover identity at level 1, another at level 5 and another at level 10. It also adds half its level as a bonus to Disguise and Persuasion/Fast talk rolls.
  • Techie: As well as the ability to jury rig apparatus (for 1d6 turns of operation) you can also add your Jury Rig skill as a bonus to one area of technical expertise of your choice (engineering, science etc).
  • THOT: Your Vamp skill allows you to encourage an audience to part with their money by using your sexuality, or their fetishes. Rolling this skill lets you tap people for money, make them take risks, send gifts to you and otherwise be led around by their libido.
  • Transient: These are more akin to the traditional Nomads and are members of biker gangs, displaced peoples, Roma caravans, traveller convoys etc. Basic Transients can use family, to represent their connections and contacts. Sub-classes calculate their Kith score according to Neotribes P38. Subclasses include Warriors (Warpath adds half round-down to Melee, Initiative and Awareness), Outriders (Recon adds half its level to Awarneess and Hide/Evade) and Shaman (Counsel, Works as a half-strength version of Credibility and Charismatic Leadership).
  • Transporter: Vehicle Zen is added as a bonus to vehicular skills.

Influence Level/Followers/Direct Influence
1/5k/200
2/10k/800
3/50k/1,800
4/100k/3,200
5/500k/5,000
6/1m/7,200
7/5m/9,800
8/10m/12,800
9/100m/16,200
10/1b/20,000

Starting Cash

You start with a base of €6,000 derived from your Special Ability (Limited to a starting value of 5).

Choose a second skill upon which you have earned your more legitimate income on top (other skills are capped at 8).

Skill Level/Starting Cash Bonus
1-5/€6,000
6/€9,000
7/€15,000
8/€21,000

Big Ticket Items

If you have an essential, big-ticket item integral to your character concept, you can have a single item, vehicle or other asset with a value of no more than €50,000, but it technically, really, is on loan from a criminal, intelligence, corporate or other group who demand favours etc in exchange until you pay it off.

Grzegorz Przybyś

Note on Cyberpsychosis and Therapy

Cybertherapists are expensive specialists and a weekly one-hour session will set you back at least €200. In a month of sessions (€800) you can regain one point of Humanity, but NOT Empathy. Empathy can only be recovered by a combination of removing cybernetics and therapy.

EG: Tony’s Empathy drops from 6 to 5, following the installation of a new cyberarm. His current Humanity is 52. After seven months of therapy his Humanity is back up to 59, but he can gain no further benefit from Therapy, nor regain his lost point of Empathy.

Characters reduced to 2 Empathy manifest mental illness and tics – you can decide what, you know your character’s mental fracture points. At Empathy 1 that illness becomes full blown. At 0 it becomes a full blown and permanent derangement. This is separate to any other mental illnesses your character might suffer from. Losing additional points of Empathy stacks on more insanity until you decide to retire the character.

Wounds, Damage and Armour

We’ll start out by trying the Wounds/Threshold system from the Red jumpstart kit, which is kind of like 4e’s Health/Bloodied/Down system. It’s not really any less abstract than wound levels, and a bit easier on the bookkeeping.

It does also mean that armour SP is ‘compressed’ however. Armour SPs convert roughly like so…

Original SP/New SP
1-5/1-5
6-7/5
8-9/6
10/7
11/8
12/9
13/10
14-16/11
17/12
18/13
19/14
20/15
25/20

#RPG – Five 200 Word RPGs to Help my Cat, Charlie

GET THE PDF HERE

NB: We’re covered at the moment, but if you already helped me out please download this for free. Otherwise, any money raised that exceeds what we need will go to charity, likely either the Zelart Scholarship fund or a no-kill cat shelter.

Games in this booklet:

  • Kredya Sociyani – Can you game the social credit system and come out on top?
  • One Downmanship – A race to the bottom to take control of the agenda.
  • The Great Debate – How extreme are you willing to go to get votes?
  • Elder, Could you tell me? – Create a religion, one annoying child’s question at a time.
  • Everything is Kung Fu – Solve every problem in the world, with your fists.

I don’t really enter the 200-Word RPG Challenge but I do meet the challenge. I treat it as an exercise, on and off. This year, as once previously, I’m offering up that work for sale, but for a special reason.

My cat, Charlie, has been with me about as long as I’ve been writing games full time. He’s been my companion and my muse, he’s added structure to my day, comfort when I’ve been down, amusing antics and much-needed distractions.

He also saved my life, literally rather than figuratively. At the point of one of my suicide attempts, he interrupted me, practically tearing down the door and making sounds I’ve never heard from a cat before or since. He stopped me, and I owe him.

Before the weekend a neighbour’s dog got out and chased him up a tree. In getting down again he scratched his eye and broke his left rear leg, right behind the knee.

This has meant many vet visits already, with more to come. Medication, X-rays, and may lead to an expensive operation to repair or remove the leg. I want to give him the best possible chance to keep the leg and to survive. I owe him my life.

As such I’m raising money to help cover his vet bills and to keep the options as open as possible. He’s an old boy and likely doesn’t have too many years left, but I love him and want him as fit and comfortable as possible.

This collection of games is Pay-What-You-Want. I’m sick of begging when things like this go wrong, and I do save money as a contingency, but it has been one thing after another this year and it just isn’t doable without help.

Updates can be found on my YouTube channel, ‘PostmortemVideo’.

Thanks,

Grim

x

#RPG – Game Design Interview with Richard Pullman

#RPG – Game Design w/ Richard Pullman EPISODE 040

Grim (Actual F*cking Monsters RPG)

It was great to have a chance to nerd out over game design with Richard, and to pimp out my new subscriber-first video series on game design. Join my Patreon or Subscribestar for early access to that.

If you’d like me to come onto a ‘cast, to discuss anything or even to argue with me about my various, supposed ‘horrible’ positions on things, I’m always willing, or willing to host you on my Youtube livestream channel. This is a separate channel to my main one, so please subscribe there too!

In this fantastic episode Richard Pullman and James Desborough — also known as “Grim” — walk through a crazy career, an aimless industry, and the need for bravery in creativity.

Grim has more experience than anyone I know working for big companies, but also a raft of original games and content that push the limits of what you can explore in tabletop RPGs.

Had a lot of fun with this #podcast episode! Managed to get to so many different topics.

Thank you to @Grimachu and let’s all look forward to his #ttrpg #design series and projects. https://anchor.fm/game-design/episodes/Episode-040—Grim-Actual-Fcking-Monsters-RPG-e5ltlv

Listen on:
Spotify
Apple Podcasts
Breaker
Castbox
Google Podcasts
Overcast
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic
Stitcher

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters: Breaking the Limits, the AFM Companion RELEASED!

IMPORTANT!

This product is too spicy for DrivethruRPG, which means I cannot use their promotional tools etc, and I can’t link to it off their site. I would greatly appreciate it, therefore, if you could spam the ever-loving shit out of this link everywhere, so that people can be aware of it and buy it direct.

Vielen danke, kiitos, merci, arigatōgozaimashita.

This companion volume to badly named but well-executed horror RPG Actual Fucking Monsters is bigger than the original! 120 pages of content for your Actual Fucking Monsters games, too spicy for Drivethrurpg.

  • We’ve got random character generation if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • We’ve got a whole wedge of new Monster Powers so you can dissolve your foes with vomit or get in touch with their feelings.
  • Want to play a dark, evil magician? Got you covered.
  • Want to introduce boring stuff to worry about, like, ‘humanity’. I don’t think you should, but we’ve got you covered anyway.
  • Want to fight against the Monsters as a Hunter? You can do that now, with more details on the Hunter organisations from the main book, and new ones! Along with revised Hunter ‘Powers’.
  • Want to run your games safely without some absolute head-end crying to mummy that they didn’t know a game called Actual Fucking Monsters was about Actual Fucking Monsters? Details for the M-Card game insurance policy are included.
  • Need victims for your Monsters to do horrible things to? We’ve got a random victim generator and 100 pre-generated victims!
  • Player advice on how to have fun in an Actual Fucking Monsters game? You bet your sweet arse.
  • Some ideas for artefacts, and some examples.
  • A (very scant) idea of a sort of setting beyond the implicit. Learn where Monsters fit into the world.
  • And lastly, a long-ass example of play, to help you grok with fullness.

This is a Post-Mort.com and Lulu.com exclusive, so please, inform everyone you can that this is up for sale!

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters: Breaking the Limits – Schachr Mequbbãl

Loosely, and probably incorrectly, that translates to ‘Black Kabbalist’. They’re one of the Hunter groups detailed in the back of Actual Fucking Monsters. The main book doesn’t go into a tremendous amount of detail, but the idea is that this order of Kabbalists and their supporters came about during WWII to deal with supernatural threats to the Jewish people that existed alongside the very human monsters we’re all familiar with.

Some inspiration was taken from 2000ADs ‘Fiends of the Eastern Front’, particularly ‘Stalingrad’, the more modern story illustrated by the brilliant Colin MacNeil.

In the modern age the Schachr Mequbbãl are a black-operations group buried deep within MOSSAD, hunting down Nazi Monsters (many of which were immortal) and new supernatural threats that abound both within and without Israel.

The practice of Kabbalah is forbidden, and said to curse one in the eyes of god, but these select few are willing to make that personal sacrifice for the sake of their people.

I’m not one for ‘sensitivity reading’, this is fiction, but it does occur to me that I know quite a few Israelis and Jews who will be far more familiar with Jewish folklore than I am. Everyone knows about the golem, but I’d like to include some other things. Anyone got anything cool to add as a ‘kickassery reader’?

#RPG – The Lost Biker Culture of Gaming

We ain’t havin’ no Chaos MCs on our turf!

NB: Biker culture is quite different in the UK than in the US. If you are wearing the patches of a ‘rival’ club in the USA, you will more than likely get a right shoeing. In the UK… eh, not so much. Still, while you can view my ‘cut’ as a parody, I see it as a homage and as a show of respect to MCs around the world. Even so, I tried looking for a local club to get permission from, and there aren’t any, other than a little band of recreational weekend warriors. Be careful about wearing cuts or patches wherever you are, and keep the local culture in mind.

Take my name out of your mouth, it’s not my cock.

One of the things I miss about the RPG subculture is the no-fucks-given, middle-finger-extended way in which it used to embrace the childish ‘satanic’ accusations. This was done through the embracing of heavy metal and other subcultures, including that of biker clubs (MCs).

It’s not necessarily the music that I miss. Bolt-Thrower were never really any good, but going into a Games Workshop to find yourself surrounded by metalheads and bikers made you feel at home. Contrary to appearance, they were also, always, the sweetest most welcoming guys in the world. Of course, the corporate culture changes at Citadel/Games Workshop around 1990 and they stopped selling RPGs and gave the metalheads the heave-ho to project a more family-friendly appearance. More’s the pity.

I’m the only one in the GC, so I’m president by default – for life 😛

Gaming, like headbanging and like joining an MC, used to have a bit of an air of danger to it even though it was nerdy as fuck. Without that culture, I’d never have found my style. I’d never have found my tribe. I’d never have seen Slayer live (and that’s a kill-or-cure life experience let me tell you). I would not have continued into goth, industrial and many of the other significant influences in my life.

I wanted to pay my respects to the lost tribe of gamers. I wanted to ground my current identity in my past. Not for nostalgia, but out of respect and as a constant personal reminder.

Obviously alluding to percentile dice, but also to the 1% outlaws. Seemed appropriate, given the notoriety 😉

I first hit on the idea of making a ‘Gaming Club’ cut way back in the day, when I was a mere sprog and when AD&D was in its dying gasps. I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have the Internet back then, though I did have a heavily patched blue denim jacket – as many metal fans did.

I was reminded of that idea when I finally deigned to catch up on ‘Sons of Anarchy’, which would have been around 2015, or so I guess. Still, I didn’t have the spare cash or the time to put into the project. Short of a few web-searches for custom patches, it didn’t amount to anything (plus I was preoccupied with Gamergate and related issues).

My group of friends have gone by this since forever. I’m no longer entirely sure why. Flash Gordon? ‘Ming’ being slang for weed? Both? Probably.

Most recently, two crucial things made my idle idea come to fruition. Firstly I played (and enjoyed) Days Gone and even in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse the biker culture, brotherhood and the symbolism of the ‘cut’ were a big deal in that game. Again, it reminded me of the old idea. I also had started buying cheap stuff from wish.com to add production value to my videos and my gaming. Suddenly, I could get an affordable black denim vest. I had the motivation, and it was easy to do. A quick search around Etsy and I found a place that did custom patches for a reasonable price.

Then it all came together.

It does put a smile on my face to don my ‘GC’ cut. Hopefully, it also conveys to others the sense of pride and place I have in the gaming community and its history.

The original ‘Rollin’ 20s, Lake Geneva Originals’ shirt was too complicated to turn into patches, but you can get it HERE.

#RPG – Top Table Comix – What the heck is a role-playing game? RELEASED!

A comic book that seeks to answer the eternal question, ‘What is a role-playing game?’ This format should make it less intimidating and more approachable whether you’re a long-time gamer trying toexplain your hobby, or someone wondering if they should get into it.

HARDCOPY

PDF