Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ZAP! BOW! BIFF! Comics Aren't Just For Kids Anymore!


Hey folks.

Just wanted to point all of you to my new blog, Marvel '84, which is where I'll be posting about comics and the MSHRPG, including information about my new campaign for the home group, Marvel '84.


I'll still be posting about D&D, SWoK, and various other games here but I decided to give the new campaign a blog home.

Oh, and in other news, I'm now a proud editor co-owner of the Hydra Collective, an old school publishing company that recently had a successful Kickstarter. When I'm not reading comics we're busily hammering away at the staggering number of stretch goals that we unlocked.

After a lot of blood, sweat, and tears the primary module, Chris Kutalik's Slumbering Ursine Dunes, is now available at DriveThru / RPGNow, along with a bevy of other products. I can't tell you how proud I am to be a part of the Hydra Collective and I'm excited about the fine work that Chris, Anthony, and our superstar lineup of artists have put together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Marvel '78: Mixtape '78

One thing that I love about New York in the late '70s and early '80s is the incredible diversity of music that emerges during this period. NY Punk, No Wave, Post-Disco, Latin Freestyle, Salsa, Electro, Rap, Garage and Dance-Punk all emerge from a fusion of cultures emerging at places like the Mudd Club, Paradise Garage and the Danceteria.

To get a taste of New York music during that era, here is a mixtape that I made for you.

Oh, and some pictures:







Monday, August 18, 2014

Marvel '78 Part 3: New Rules

New Powers


Energy Melee Weapon: The hero with this Power possesses a melee weapon that uses the Energy Column for effects and inflicts Rank damage (with a minimum of one Rank higher than the hero's Strength). The player may choose any type of melee weapon (such as axes, whips, daggers, etc) or, alternately, the player may choose a natural weapon (such as fists, kicks, horns, etc).

Enhanced Primary Ability (Fighting/Agility/Strength/etc): The hero with this Power is exceptionally gifted in one of their primary abilities. Add +2 CS to the primary ability rolled (with a minimum of Excellent).

Explosive Missile: The hero with this Power can throw missiles which explode in a radius determined by their Rank, extending in a radius equal to the Area of Effect table from the Advanced Player's Book p. 1. Damage is inflicted equal to the Power's Rank. To determine the type of damage inflicted, roll on the following table: 01-25: Throwing Edged
26-50: Throwing Blunt
51-75: Energy (ignore Bullseye results)
76-100: Force (ignore Bullseye results)

Judgement: The hero with this Power can force an evil opponent to psychically experience the harm they have done to others. Exactly how this is accomplished may be determined by the player, but they must first successfully grapple their foe before using this power. Once the villain is grappled, they must roll a Psyche FEAT versus the hero's Power Rank. If the villain fails, they are stunned for 1-10 rounds.


Lie Detector: The hero with this Power can detect falsehoods. When this power is active, it may be used against a single person in their immediate vicinity by making a Power Rank FEAT against the victim's Psyche. Note that this does not work against recordings or stories retold to the hero.

Overload: The hero with this Power may choose to focus all of their energies into one devastating strike. Once per day, the hero may choose to "Overload", inflicting up to the Power Rank damage on top of the normal damage inflicted by an attack by spending an amount of Karma equal to the additional damage inflicted. Once this strike is made, the hero must make an Endurance FEAT of an Intensity equal to that of the Overload Power; if the FEAT is successful the hero is stunned for 1 round, otherwise they are stunned 1-10 rounds.

Swinging Line: The hero with this Power can move quickly through environments filled with tall objects, such as skyscrapers or Redwood forests, by swinging rapidly from a series of "lines" (webs, ropes and grappling hooks, etc). In such an environment, the hero may move at Power Rank speed (reference the chart on p. 23 of the Advanced Player's Book).

Tracer: The hero with this Power can leave a tracking device on a person or object which can be followed up to Power Rank distance on Range A (from the Range Tables found in the Ultimate Powers Book p. 1). Additionally, the tracer is difficult to notice, requiring an Intuition FEAT of an intensity equal to the Power Rank to notice. Such a tracer must be planted, however, requiring either a Throwing or Fighting FEAT to successfully place.


Miscellaneous House Rules

Healing: A hero regains Health equal to their Endurance one minute after taking damage, again at one hour after taking damage, and thereafter every day after taking damage.

Initiative: Initiative is resolved as per normal, but actions are not declared before initiative is rolled.

Resources: Instead of Resource FEATs, Resources are points gained each week that can be spent in whatever way the hero desires (or saved for a later date). The hero earns points equal to their current Resource Rank each week and deducts the Rank cost from their total Resource points whenever making a purchase.



Melee and Thrown Weapons: A hero can effectively use a weapon with a Strength equal to twice the Material Strength of the weapon, inflicting damage as normal. However, if a hero has a Talent which makes them skilled in the weapon being used they may inflict Strength damage plus the minimum damage inflicted by the weapon.

Example: The Kung-Fu Hustler has a Strength of Excellent (16) and the Talent Martial Arts Weapons. When using a katana in combat (the equivalent of a Great Sword), he would combine the damage done from Strength (16) and that from the katana (15), inflicting a total of 31 points of damage per swing.

Karma and Advancement

Karma Awards: As normal, except that Gaming Awards are not provided.

Buying A Clue: One way for players to spend Karma is to "buy a clue", which gives them a lead into an ongoing conspiracy. By spending 100 Karma a hero is given a clue through a Contact, their Career, or some other method that the Judge devises. If a player wants to jump directly into the action, this is a great way to do so.

Vigilantes: Unlike normal heroes, Vigilantes are held to a different code of honor (one that frequently conflicts with traditional heroes). Karma awards are as normal, except:

Commit Violent Crime (Innocent People): -60
Commit Violent Crime (Criminals): 15
Commit Destructive Crime (Innocent People): -40
Commit Destructive Crime (Criminals): 10
Commit Theft (Innocent People): -20
Commit Theft (Criminals): 0
Commit/Permit Murder (Innocent People): -ALL
Commit/Permit Murder (Minor Criminals): -50
Commit/Permit Murder (Major Criminals): 20
Charities: Personal Appearance: -Neg. Pop.
Popularity (Positive): -Pop.


Karmic Loans: Players, when reaching zero Karma, can choose to borrow Karma in the following denominations: 100, 250, and 500. This Karma cannot be used for advancement and the remainder disappears at the end of the encounter. Karmic loans are often used when a hero is seriously outclassed and desperately needs a win. These debts are paid back through complications which occur during the game, with the greater the loan the harsher the payback. Such debts might include problems which threaten their Careers, their Contacts, or other nasty surprises.

Advancement

Power Stunts: As normal, except that the stunt is considered part of their bag of tricks after five successful uses of the stunt.

Ability Advancement: Raising an ability by one rank numbers costs 5 times the current rank number of that ability. When crest into the next rank, an additional 200 Karma points are spent.

Resource Advancement: Cost is 5 times the rank number, plus 100 points for Cresting.

Popularity Advancement: Only available through public acts.

Power Advancement: Cost is 10 times the rank number gained, and the cost for cresting is 250 additional points.

Power Addition: Only available through Tier Advancement, see below.

Talent Addition: Characters may learn from anyone at 500 points per Talent.

Contact Addition: Contacts may only be characters that the hero has met and dealt with during play. Contacts cost 250 points plus 5 times the Resource rank of the Contact.

Tier Advancement: Heroes which have invested 4,000 Karma into their character may opt into Tier Advancement. Tier Advancement costs 2,000 Karma and starts the hero on a major quest. This quest is extremely perilous, often placing their Careers, Contacts, and Powers at risk. If the hero succeeds at this quest, they advance to the Avenger Tier, often gaining increased Primary Abilities and Powers more in line with heroes such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor.

Hardware


The following rules completely supersede the Hardware chapter in the Advanced Player's Book.

Heroes with Excellent or greater Reason can create super-scientific items given the proper Inspirations. Inspirations are discovered through the exploration of strange and exotic locales, from the jungles of the Savage Land to other dimensions such as the Negative Zone.

Each Inspiration is based on the study of the alien flora, fauna, technologies, and environments found in such places. When a potential Inspiration is found, heroes with sufficient Reason to grasp this will be informed by the Judge. Recovery of the potential Inspiration (or a sample thereof, if sufficient) will allow further study.

Inspirations, once recovered, are assigned a Rank and can be studied in a Laboratory of equal or greater Rank (see Setting Up House in the Advanced Players' Book p. 55). Studying the Inspiration requires a Reason FEAT versus the Inspiration's Rank. The amount of time needed to understand the Inspiration is as follows:

If the hero's Reason is greater than the Inspiration's Rank, it will take 40 hours to discover. 
If the hero's Reason is equal to the Inspiration's Rank, it will take 80 hours to discover.
If the hero's Reason is less than the Inspiration's Rank, it will take 160 hours to discover per Rank greater than the hero's Reason.

Example: The Amazing Brain discovers a strange artifact in Subterranea which is a potential Inspiration. Taking the artifact back to his laboratory, the Judge informs the Amazing Brain that the Inspiration is at Amazing Rank. The Brain, having a sufficient laboratory, begins studying the artifact. Since his Reason is Remarkable, it will require 320 hours of study to unlock its secrets.

Once the Inspiration has been successfully studied, the Judge will inform the player of the Inspiration's properties. In most circumstances, this will provide the hero with the chance to produce inventions from their discovery. There is often either a commercial use (potentially increasing the hero's Resources) or a super-heroic one. Each of these will have a number of hours and Resource points required to produce the discovery.

Alternately, the hero may opt not to develop an Inspiration, instead keeping it in reserve to kitbash an invention in the future. Kitbashing allows the hero to quickly develop a one-use item which can solve a problem through their scientific genius (but which cannot be easily replicated). Kitbashing 'burns' the Inspiration and is approved by the Judge on a case-by-case basis.



Example: The Amazing Brain, after successfully studying the artifact from Subterranea, discovers that it is a communications device capable of instantaneous interstellar radio. The Judge informs the Brain's player that he has a few options: A. Interstellar Radio: The Amazing Brain can produce briefcase-sized vocal communications devices capable of reaching deep space. Each device will require a Workshop of Amazing Rank, 100 Resource Points, and 40 hours of labor.

B. Improved Cellular Communications: The Amazing Brain can devise a method to increase cellular range and reception. This will require a Workshop of Incredible Rank, 250 Resource Points, and 160 hours of labor.

C. Restore Artifact: The Brain can also opt to bring the ancient artifact back into working order and potentially communicate with the ancient alien astronauts who left it behind. This will require a Workshop of Remarkable Rank, 50 Resource Points, and 20 hours of labor.

The Amazing Brain, opting for none of these, decides to keep the Inspiration for later kitbashing. When Earth is invaded by a Kree fleet intent on exposing humanity to Terrigen Mists, the Amazing Brain decides to try and use his Inspiration to kitbash a jamming device which will prevent the fleet from coordinating its strikes. The Judge rules that this will take 50 Resource Points, a Workshop of Incredible Rank, and 20 hours of labor.

In the next Marvel '78 post, we'll look at the list of Contacts that players can choose from, including Gods, Aliens, and Interdimensional Entities.

Looking further into the future, we'll discuss how players can discover and explore the strange corners of the Marvel Universe in search of Inspirations (and, consequently, the cool toys they bring) and Interdimensional Entities for the Wizards to make pacts with.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Marvel '78: Appendix N



Black Panther
Priest, Christopher: Black Panther (1998), The Crew

Black Widow
Conway, Gerry: The Coldest War
Grayson, Devin: Black Widow (1999)
Macchio, Ralph: Bizarre Adventures, Marvel Fanfare
Morgan, Richard K: Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her

Captain America
Brubaker, Ed
Priest, Christopher: Captain America & Falcon

Daredevil
Miller, Frank: Daredevil (1964)
Nocenti, Ann: Daredevil (1964)


Deadpool
Lapham, David: Deadpool MAX

Deathlok
McDuffie, Dwayne: Deathlok (1991), Deathlok (1992)

Doctor Strange
Ditko, Steve: Strange Tales (1951)
Pak, Greg: Doctor Strange: Season One
Stern, Roger: Doctor Strange (1974), Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment
Vaughn, Brian K.: Doctor Strange: The Oath

Dracula
Wolfman, Marv: Tomb of Dracula (1972)

Elektra
Miller, Frank: Elektra: Assassin, Elektra Lives Again

Ghost Rider
Aaron, Jason: Ghost Rider: Heaven's On Fire, Vicious Cycle
Ennis, Garth: Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation
Mackie, Howard: Ghost Rider (1990)
Stern, Roger: Ghost Rider (1973)

Hellstorm
Ennis, Garth: Druid, Hellstorm: Prince of Lies

Hercules
Pak, Greg and Van Lente, Fred: Herc

Heroes for Hire
Abnett, Dan and Lanning, Andy: Heroes for Hire (2011)
Brubaker, Ed: The Immortal Iron Fist
Duffy, Mary Jo: Power Man & Iron Fist


I, Zombie
Gerber, Steve: Tales of the Zombie

Jessica Jones
Bendis, Brian Michael: Alias

Legion of Night
Gerber, Steve: Legion of Night (1991)

Man-Thing
Gerber, Steve: Adventure into Fear, Man-Thing (1974)

Marvel Boy
Morrison, Grant: Marvel Boy (2000)

Moon Knight
DeMattias, J.M.: Marc Spector: Moon Knight
Moench, Doug: Moon Knight (1980)


Mystique
Vaughn, Brian K.: Mystique

Nick Fury
Ennis, Garth: Fury, Fury MAX
Harras, Bob: Nick Fury vs SHIELD

Nomad
Nicieza, Fabien: Nomad (1990), Nomad (1992)

Punisher
Aaron, Jason: Punisher MAX
Ennis, Garth
Grant, Steven: Punisher (1986)
Rucka, Greg: Punisher (2011)


Shang-Chi
Moench, Doug: Master of Kung-Fu

Spider-Man
Conway, Gerry: Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man
Defalco, Tom: Amazing Spider-Man
Stern, Roger: Amazing Spider-Man 

Terror, Inc.
Chichester, D.G.: Terror, Inc. (1992)

Venom
Remender, Rick: Venom (2011)

War Machine
Pak, Greg: War Machine (2009)

Wolverine
Aaron, Jason: Wolverine: Weapon X
Claremont, Chris: Wolverine (1982), Kitty Pryde & Wolverine
David, Peter: Marvel Comics Presents
Hama, Larry: Wolverine (1988)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marvel '78 Part 2: Playing in an Open World



For this post to make sense, I highly suggest you go back and reread my article on campaign frames for Marvel games, found here, and of course my first post on Marvel '78 from yesterday. Go ahead, I'll wait. Back? Okay, let's get started.


Super-Hero Character Creation

The following system tweaks the assumptions of the Marvel Super-Heroes game, reigning in the wide-open character creation system (where you can end up as the Hulk or as Mockingbird) to design characters that are more in line with those found in the Marvel Knights line, i.e. Daredevil, Punisher, Shangi-Chi, Black Widow, and their ilk.It is highly advised that players refer to the Marvel Super-Heroes Advanced Players' Book and the Ultimate Powers Book, which you can find here and here

Step 1: Origin

Roll on the following table (and related subtable) to determine how the character came to possess their powers:

01-40 Martial Artist
          01-20 Learned in lost city (usually found in Tibet)
          21-40 Trained under ancient master
          41-60 Ninja
          61-100 Born badass
41-80 High Technology
          01-30 Genius
          31-50 Cyborg
          51-70 Armor
          71-100 Gear
81-90 Mystic
          01-40 Champion of the Gods
          41-80 Artifact
          81-100 Wizard
91-100 Innate Powers
          01-40 Accident
          41-80 Experiment
                    01-30 Performed by Government
                    31-60 Performed by Criminals
                    61-80 Performed by Independent Genius
                    81-90 Performed by Self
                    91-100 Performed by Corporation
          81-100 Born This Way
                    01-70 Mutant
                    71-89 Demigod



Martial Artist

Learned in a Lost City: Choose one Weapon Skill (except Guns), Fighting Skill, and Mystic / Mental Skill, character also gains one contact in their lost city. The character may also choose their Career as Dojo Master or roll as normal.
Trained under Ancient Master: Choose 3 Talents from Weapon Skills (except Guns) and Fighting Skills, character also gains their ancient master as a contact. The character may also choose their Career as Dojo Master or roll as normal.
Ninja: Character gains the following skills: Oriental Weapons, Acrobatics, Tumbling, and Stealth (+1 CS to all sneaking attempts). The character may also gain their ninja clan as a contact or, alternately, be alienated from their clan and choose one more Talent from Weapon Skills (except Guns), Fighting Skills, or Mystic / Mental Skills. The character may also choose their Career as Dojo Master or roll as normal.
Born Badass: Choose 4 Talents from Weapon Skills and Fighting Skills.


High Technology

Genius: Gain Enhanced Reason (see New Powers in the next post) as a bonus power and choose three Scientific Skills. They may choose their Career as Scientist / Tech Start-Up or roll as normal.
Cyborg: +2 CS Endurance and the character may optionally take any of the following powers: Enhanced Strength, Lie Detector, Radarsense, Body Armor, Natural Weapon, Infravision, and Computer Link. Choose one Talent except for Mystic / Mental Skills.
Armor: Character starts with the power Body Armor and rolls his Primary Abilities on Table 3 of the Advanced Players' Book and modify their Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance using Table 6 of the Advanced Players' Book (both tables are on p. 6); the modified Primary Abilities are those while wearing the armor; all powers are also included in the armor. Choose one Talent from any category except for Mystic / Mental Skills.
Gear: All powers are derived from a variety of different gadgets the player has on them; choose one Talent from any category except for Mystic / Mental Skills.




Mystic

Champion of the Gods: You have been chosen by one of the old gods to be their representative on Earth and all of your powers were granted to you by them. The character gains the god as a contact and gain +1 CS to all Primary Abilities. However, unlike normal contacts, the god does not expect socialization; they expect service and worship. The chances of reciprocity when asking the god for a favor are increased to 50% and will involve some sort of quest they are obligated to perform at the pain of losing their powers. Further, every time the character performs an act that defies the will of the god there is a cumulative +10% chance that the god will revoke their powers until penance is paid (another quest). The character may also start his career as a Priest or roll as normal. Choose two Mental / Mystic Skills.
Artifact: The player has discovered an artifact of mystical power from which they gain their powers. If they searched for such an artifact, they gain the Talent Occult Lore and can take the Career Occultist (or roll as normal); if they stumbled upon it, they choose one Talent (except for Mental / Mystic Skills). Alternately, the character can opt for the artifact to be of alien origin; if so, gain a member of that race as a Contact.
Wizard: The character is a spellcaster and all their powers emanate from their dealings with extradimensional beings. Wizards roll Primary Abilities on Table 2 of the Advanced Players' Book (p. 6) but add +1 CS to Reason and +2 CS to Psyche, they also add the Talent Occult Lore and three Contacts which are extradimensional entities that they call upon for their spells; otherwise the character has no powers. Entreating such an entity requires a green Psyche FEAT for common powers, a yellow Psyche FEAT for exceptional powers, and a red Popularity FEAT for intervention. Calling upon exceptional powers is considered a favor and requires socialization (i.e. worship) while intervention is a major favor and is handled in the same manner as a Champion of the Gods (see above); likewise, each entity has taboos similar to the aforementioned Champion. Wizards may enter into the service of additional entities, but must spend the normal Karma cost for buying a Contact, roll a red Psyche FEAT and a red Popularity FEAT, and engage in a quest of the entity's choosing before being able to access their spells. The character may choose his career as an Occultist or roll as normal.




Innate Powers

Accident: Some sort of funky accident has given you super-powers. Gain 1 additional power and choose one Talent.
Experiment Performed by Government: Gain the government agency as a Contact. The character may choose the Career Super-Spy or roll as normal. Choose one Talent.
Experiment Performed by Criminals: Gain a Criminal Contact and the Talent Crime (along with one additional Talent) but criminal organization is an Enemy; 10% chance per week that they come after you or one of your Contacts. Alternately, the character can take the Career Deep Cover.
Experiment Performed by Individual Genius: Choose one Talent. Either gain the genius as a Contact or, if the genius has died, roll for an additional Talent.
Experiment Performed by Self: Gain the power Enhanced Reason (see New Powers in the next post) as a bonus power and choose three Scientific Skills. The character may choose the Career Scientist / Tech Start-Up or roll as normal.
Experiment Performed by Corporation: Either gain the corporation as a Contact and start as an employee or gain them as an Enemy (as Experiment Performed by Criminals, above) and one additional power. Choose one Talents.
Mutant: Your powers come from some genetic quirk; gain one additional power but Popularity starts at 0. Choose one Talent.
Demigod: All Primary Abilities are +1 CS and gain divine parent as Contact, but character gains an Enemy (as Experiment Performed by Criminals, above); this is a rival of the character's divine parent. Choose one Talent.



Step 2: Career

Roll on the following table to determine what the character does for a living:


01-10: Crime Reporter / Photographer
11-20: Medic
21-30: Athlete / Performer
31-40: Private Detective / Beat Cop
41-50: State's Attorney / Social Worker
51-60: Vigilante
61-70: Super-Spy / Deep Cover
71-80: Playboy
81-90: Student
91-100: Homeless

Crime Reporter / Photographer: The character gains the Talents Journalism and Detective / Espionage. Resources are Good if they've scooped a major story in the last month or Poor otherwise.
Medic: Character gains the Talents Medicine and First Aid but the chances for a Random Encounter are increased to 30% while at work. Resources are Typical.
Athlete / Performer: If a professional athlete, the character may choose one of the following Talents: Wrestling, Tumbling, or Acrobatics and may increase on Primary Ability by +1 CS (which corresponds to their career). If a performer, the character gains the Talent Performer and may choose one of the following: Acrobatics, Tumbling, Animal Trainer, or Pilot. If the character chooses Pilot, they may choose to be a stuntman, where their powers are based out of their vehicle (motorbike, skateboard, truck, etc.) and all powers gain +1 CS. Due to the variable nature of being a performer, Resources start at Typical but are rolled on Table 6 of the Advanced Players' Book (p. 6) each month.
Private Detective / Beat Cop: Both private detectives and beat cops start with the Talents Detective / Espionage, Criminology and Law Enforcement and can buy a personal hook into a conspiracy for 1/2 the normal cost (see New Rules in Marvel '78 Part 3). Beat cops have Typical Resources, while private detectives have Good Resources if they closed a case in the last month or Poor Resources otherwise. Finally, Beat Cops have a +20% chance of a Random Encounter if at work.
State's Attorney / Social Worker: Both state's attorneys and social workers have the Law Talent, while social workers also gain the Talent Psychiatry. State's attorneys start with Good Resources while social workers start with Poor Resources.
Vigilante: Vigilantes, unlike other super-heroes, do not keep a normal job - they are super-heroes full-time, and often unhinged ones, taking the law into their own hands. Vigilantes do not earn Resources like other characters, but instead much steal from the criminals that they pursue. Because of their anti-social tendencies Vigilantes cannot start with any Contacts, but can earn them over the course of the game. Vigilantes start at -10 Popularity and are wanted by the law. Finally, vigilantes have their own unique code that they operate by, suffering from smaller Karma losses for crimes in the pursuit of "justice" (see New Rules in Marvel '78 Part 3).
Super-Spy / Deep Cover: Super-Spies work for SHIELD and start with the Talents Detective / Espionage and one Fighting Skill of their choice. They gain their handler at SHIELD as a Contact, but major favors will require a mission to pay off or they will lose their jobs. Super-spies have Good Resources. Characters in deep cover, however, are infiltrators into a criminal conspiracy, either a gang (like the Maggia or Kingpin's organization) or a terrorist organization (such as HYDRA or AIM). They gain alents in Detective / Espionage and Criminology, have Excellent Resources, Popularity starts at 0, and Contacts both in the criminal organization they serve and the agency they're spying for. While in deep cover, the character only suffers from 1/2 Karma loss when acting to preserve his cover (not including the murder of an innocent person). Both super-spies and characters in deep cover can buy into a conspiracy for 1/2 cost (see New Rules in Marvel '78 Part 3)
Playboy: A playboy is a socialite who enjoys a life of ease, gaining Remarkable Resources simply for being alive. They still must "work", representing the time spent attending dinners, gallery shows, etc.
Student: Student characters are young, being either in high school or college, and gain the Student Talent (reducing the cost of all talents gained by 1/2). Students have Feeble Resources. 
Homeless: The hero has hit the skids and is living in an alley or similar situation. Homeless characters gain one Street Contact and have Shift Zero Resources. As they must regularly supplement their meager income with petty thievery, they suffer no Karma losses for such if it is to sustain themselves. If working in a borough while another character is patrolling, there is a 25% chance that they will be currently engaged in such an act.
Dojo Master: The dojo master Career is only available to characters with martial arts Origins (except for Born Badass). Dojo masters earn Typical Resources and gain their advanced students as a Contact which they can call upon (as a Major Favor) when they need a lot of back-up muscle.
Tech Start-Up / Scientist: Available only to characters with scientist backgrounds, players who qualify can choose to be either the head of a small tech start-up or as an employee of a larger company. Characters who run a tech start-up have Typical Resources (as most of their capital is tied up in their business) but, if a successful commercial invention is discovered (see New Player Rules in the next post), they may purchase a Resource upgrade at 1/4th the normal cost. Scientists start at Excellent Resources and gain their company as a Contact.
Priest / Occultist: The priest Career is only available to those with the champion of the gods Origin, while occultists can come from character with the Origins wizard and artifact. Both earn Typical Resources and can buy into a conspiracy for 1/2 cost (see New Rules in Marvel '78 Part 3).



Step 3: Primary Abilities

Roll FASERIP (see the Advanced Players' Book p. 6) on the following table (unless directed to do otherwise by your Origin):


01-05 Pr
06-34 Ty
35-64 Gd
65-94 Ex
95-100 Rm

Step 4: Secondary Abilities

Determine Health, Karma, and Popularity as normal. Resources are determined by the character's Career.

Step 5: Powers

Roll on the following table to determine the number of powers that the character starts with: 01-20 2 Powers: add +2 CS to one Power of the player's choosing.
21-80 3 Powers
81-00 4 Powers: one power must take a Limitation with no additional benefit (see Advanced Players' Book p. 9-10).

The number of Powers cannot be increased by reducing Resources.

After rolling for the number of Powers, roll on the following tables based on your Origin to determine what powers you have:





Table A (Martial Arts Origins)

01-04 Animal Communication and Control (single animal only, Advanced Player's Book, p. 83)
05-08 Berserker (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 29)
09-12 Danger Sense (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 70)
13-18 Enhanced Agility (see New Powers in the next post)
19-23 Enhanced Endurance (see New Powers in the next post)
24-29 Enhanced Fighting (see New Powers in the next post)
30-33 Enhanced Intuition (see New Powers in the next post)
34-37 Enhanced Psyche (see New Powers in the next post)
38-41 Enhanced Senses (Advanced Player's Book, p. 71)
42-45 Enhanced Strength (see New Powers in the next post)
46-49 Imitation (Advanced Player's Book, p. 79)
50-53 Iron Will (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 72)
54-57 Lie Detector (see New Powers in the next post)
58-60 Lightning Speed (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
61-66 Martial Arts Supremacy (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 29)
67-69 Mental Invisibility (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 74)
70-74 Overload (see New Powers in the next post)
75-79 Recovery (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87)
80-82 Regeneration (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87)
83-87 Stealth (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 82)
88-91 Total Memory (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 79)
92-95 Tracking Ability (Advanced Player's Book p. 72)
96-00 Ultimate Skill (weapon skills only, Advanced Player's Book, p. 81)

Table B (Genius, Armor)

01-04 Body Armor (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87; max rank is Gd, if higher rank rolled shift additional ranks to another power (not exceeding Rm)
05-07 Computer Links (Advanced Player's Book, p. 72)
08-10 Danger Sense (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 70)
11-13 Energy Melee Weapon (see New Powers in the next post)
14-16 Enhanced Reason (see New Powers in the next post)
17-19 Enhanced Senses (Advanced Player's Book, p. 71)
20-23 Ensnaring Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 80)
24-27 Explosive Missile (see New Powers in the next post)
28-30 Extra Limbs (Advanced Player's Book, p. 86; wings grant the 'Gliding' power)
31-33 Gliding (Advanced Player's Book, p. 72)
34-36 Imitation (Advanced Player's Book, p. 79)
37-39 Infravision (Advanced Player's Book, p 71)
40-43 Kinetic Bolt (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 28; think 'repulsor rays', not telekinesis)
44-46 Lie Detector (see New Powers in the next post)
47-49 Life Support (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87)
50-52 Lightning Speed (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
53-55 Lung Adaptability (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 81)
56-58 Natural Weapon (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 30)
59-61 Overload (see New Powers in the next post)
62-64 Projectile Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 80)
65-68 Radarsense (Ultimate Powers Book, p.20)
69-72 Slashing Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 81)
73-74 Stealth (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 82)
75-79 Stunning Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 81; often a 'stun gas')
80-82 Swinging Line (see New Powers in the next post)
83-85 Telescopic Vision (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 21)
86-88 Total Memory (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 79)
89-91 Tracer (see New Powers in the next post)
92-94 Tracking Ability (Advanced Player's Book p. 72)
95-97 Wall-Crawling (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
98-00 Weapon Creation (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 30)





Table C (Cyborg, Gear)

01-03 Body Armor (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87; max rank is Gd, if higher rank rolled shift additional ranks to another power (not exceeding Rm)
04-06 Computer Links (Advanced Player's Book, p. 72)
07-09 Danger Sense (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 70)
10-12 Energy Melee Weapon (see New Powers in the next post)
13-15 Enhanced Agility (see New Powers in the next post)
16-18 Enhanced Endurance (see New Powers in the next post)
19-21 Enhanced Fighting (see New Powers in the next post)
22-24 Enhanced Intuition (see New Powers in the next post)
25-27 Enhanced Psyche (see New Powers in the next post)
28-30 Enhanced Senses (Advanced Player's Book, p. 71)
31-33 Enhanced Strength (see New Powers in the next post)
34-36 Ensnaring Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 80)
37-39 Explosive Missile (see New Powers in the next post)
40-42 Extra Limbs (Advanced Player's Book, p. 86; wings grant the 'Gliding' power)
43-45 Gliding (Advanced Player's Book, p. 72)
46-48 Imitation (Advanced Player's Book, p. 79)
49-51 Infravision (Advanced Player's Book, p 71)
52-53 Kinetic Bolt (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 28; think 'repulsor rays', not telekinesis)
54-56 Lie Detector (see New Powers in the next post)
57-58 Life Support (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87)
59-61 Lightning Speed (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
62-64 Lung Adaptability (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 81)
65-67 Natural Weapon (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 30)
68-70 Projectile Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 80)
71-73 Radarsense (Ultimate Powers Book, p.20)
74-76 Slashing Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 81)
77-79 Stealth (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 82)
80-82 Stunning Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 81; often a 'stun gas')
83-85 Swinging Line (see New Powers in the next post)
86-88 Telescopic Vision (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 21)
89-91 Tracer (see New Powers in the next post)
92-94 Tracking Ability (Advanced Player's Book p. 72)
95-97 Wall-Crawling (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
98-00 Weapon Creation (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 30)


Table E (Champion of the Gods, Artifact, Accident, all Experiments, Demigod)

01-03 Animal Transformation - Self (Advanced Player's Book, p. 79)
04-07 Alter Ego (Advanced Player's Book, p. 80)
08-10 Armor Skin (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 80)
11-13 Berserker (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 29)
14-16 Emotion Detection (Advanced Player's Book, p. 72)
17-19 Energy Generation (Advanced Player's Guide, p. 81)
20-23 Enhanced Agility (see New Powers in the next post)
24-27 Enhanced Endurance (see New Powers in the next post)
28-31 Enhanced Fighting (see New Powers in the next post)
32-34 Enhanced Intuition (see New Powers in the next post)
35-36 Enhanced Psyche (see New Powers in the next post)
37-40 Enhanced Strength see New Powers in the next post
41-43 Ensnaring Missile (Advanced Player's Book, p. 80)
44-46 Extra Limbs (Advanced Player's Book, p. 86; wings grant the 'Gliding' power)
47-49 Fire Generation (Advanced Player's Guide, p. 80)
50-52 Gliding (Advanced Player's Book, p. 72)
53-55 Imitation (Advanced Player's Book, p. 79)
56-59 Judgement (see New Powers in the next post)
60-62 Kinetic Bolt (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 28; think 'repulsor rays', not telekinesis)
63-65 Leaping (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
66-68 Lightning Speed (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)
69-71 Natural Weapon (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 30)
72-75 Probability Manipulation (Advanced Player's Book, p. 76; counts as two powers)
76-79 Precognition (Advanced Player's Guide, p. 85; Precog Option only)
80-83 Recovery (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87)
84-87 Regeneration (Advanced Player's Book, p. 87)
88-91 Self-Duplication (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 92; counts as two powers)
92-94 Stealth (Ultimate Powers Book, p. 82)
95-97 Swinging Line (see New Powers in the next post)
98-00 Wall-Crawling (Advanced Player's Book, p. 73)

To determine the Rank of each Power, roll on the table in Step 3 (Primary Abilities) above.


Step 6: Talents

If your character has less than three Talents earned from their career, roll as per the Advanced Player's Book (p. 10) for one additional Talent.

Step 7: Contacts

If you have fewer than three Contacts, roll for one more now on the table below. In an upcoming post (coming soon-ish) players will choose specific characters for their Contacts which fall into one of the following broad categories:

01-07 Medicine
08-14 Law
15-23 Law Enforcement
24-31 Science
32-36 Business
37-45 Journalism
46-54 Crime
55-59 Retired Heroes
60-64 Occult / Esoteric
65-74 Mercenaries, Martial Artists and Private Detectives
75-83 Street
84-88 Politics
89-92 Fandom
93-00 Espionage

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fantasy Games Part 1: Marvel '78


Although I've been taking a bit of a break to recharge my batteries, Krül remains the game that I'm dedicated to running. Despite that, I suffer from gamer ADD like anyone else and like to fantasize about other games that I'd like to run. In an attempt to excise this demon, I thought I'd go ahead and post about some of those ideas here.

The first game is one that I've discussed before on this blog, MSHRPG. I grew up on Marvel comics and still hold a lot of love for those stories that I read back when. Moreover, I think the system (with some tweaking) still holds up tremendously today.




Back in the '90s I was a big fan of MUSHes, MUXes, and various other text-based online rpgs. If you're not familiar with the concept, what made these places so enticing was that they shared a large decentralized playerbase and a "staff" of administrators and judges. This allowed for many plots to develop simultaneously, with tons of crossover. In short, they were a total blast, like FLAILSNAILS except keeping to a more coherent theme and the various DMs working together to run a world.

I'd love to see a game like this married to the modern convenience of G+, and especially for MSHRPG. In my fantasy game, the basic setup would be a marriage of the campaign frame I talked about previously along with a modified version of the super-villain rules I posted here. The premise of the game would be Marvel '78, set in New York during my favorite period of its history, the era of The Warriors, CBGBs, urban decay, the birth of salsa and hip-hop, Taxi Driver and Welcome to Fear City.  



The game would be set in "year one", the first year when superheroes would first hit the scene. This would be done for the convenience of both the players who aren't as familiar with Marvel comics as I am, and for the judges who wouldn't have to be restricted by comics continuity. Players would start out as street-level characters, a mix of heroes and villains unfamiliar with each other, pursuing their own ends but inevitably meeting up, developing partnerships, rivalries, and everything in-between. Alongside these players would be numerous NPC villains handled by the judges.

Logistically, Marvel '78 would be handled by having players fill out a Google form weekly which would state what they have in mind for the following week and their schedule availability. As events occurred over the course of the week, players would coordinate with judges to play these events out with one or more people involved. As players developed relationships of their own stories would emerge completely outside of the plots of the judges and could handle such encounters by themselves.





Next time I'll talk about what I think it would take to run such a game.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tim Kirk: Art Appreciation Post

One of my favorite paperback artists of the '70s is Tim Kirk, perhaps best known for his work with DAW and his brilliant Lord of the Rings paintings. After leaving the world of fandom, Kirk went on to become an Imagineer at Disney and board member of the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. Without any further introduction, here are some of my favorite images by this underappreciated artist:

From Tim Kirk's masters thesis









I know that I've bought more than one not very good paperback thanks to Tim's art. Thanks for all the inspiration, Tim!
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