Category Archives: Roleplaying

Scion 2nd ed?!

Over the weekend came the announcement that Onyx Path is a new RP company that has licensed White Wolf products and that they have purchased Scion and will be doing a new edition.

Yes thats right a NEW EDITION of SCION.

You have no idea how much this excites me and I’ve been trying to work out whether I’m more excited about 3rd ed Exalted or 2nd ed Scion.

On the one hand I LOVE Exalted and from what hints the writers have been giving on the forums I’m really interested in seeing what they’re going to do with it. Plus hubby has been telling me that a lot of the setting information given in 2nd ed is just not that good compared to 1st ed. There’s no real mystery as everything is codified and structured and 3rd ed should have a bit more mystery. Also it sounds like they’re going to make quite a lot of changes to some of the rules to simplify/make somethings easier.

On the other hand there’s Scion, a game which is set in the present day and you play the children of gods (Norse, Greek, Japanese, Aztec etc). Seriously how cool is that as a setting?! In theory its a sort of simplified version of Exalted. Except they took all the stuff that didn’t work in Exalted and combined it together to make a game. I remember the very first game we played, we stumbled upon a Toad Demon which tried to eat us. We quite quickly discovered that we were too dexterous for it to ever be able to hit us, and while we could hit it with no problem we would never be able to damage it because it was so tough. It was a stalemate. Eventually one of the other players let himself be eaten so that he could kill it from the inside. It was a boring and very annoying fight and resulted in hubby re-writing an awful lot of the rules to get us something that would actually work. These rules worked for the low levels of Scion and then fell apart as we hit the higher tiers.

So there is the big potential for a playable version of Scion, a game line that was only ever supposed to be a one off. A game line that is a big favourite with a lot of people. I am very excited! 😀

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Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition…?

A friend made me aware of this the other day:

http://www.baldursgate.com/news/language/en/

An Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate? I am intrigued.

Baldur’s Gate 2 was the first RPG that I ever played. We’d had an Amega game system at home and I’d played a few computer games when I was younger, but this is the first one that got me hooked on both computer RPGs and table top RPGs.  The big epic story line and the fun of playing is the reason I adore many of the Black Isle/Interplay/Bioware games and the use of AD&D 2nd was interesting enough to make me want to try table tope roleplaying for the first time. And while I have never played table top AD&D and now don’t care for D&D (prefer White Wolf Games like Exalted) it was the starting point.

So an Enhanced Edition?

What are they going to do with the graphics? Are they simply going to update them in the same why that I believe they have done with Halo Anniversary Edition and Beyond Good and Evil? Or change the engine entirely? Hubby reckons they’ll do something to link 1 and 2 better. (Like what Tutu did) which makes sense.

I wonder whether they’ll do things like finish off the Hear’Dalis romance? Please can us girls get more than just Anomen?! I mean in a way he wasn’t so bad *flees from all who loath him* but we need some choice! Perhaps this is what they mean by additional content.

Hubby also wonders if they’ll stick with AD&D 2nd ed for the system, as he says it doesn’t make any sense to use it seeing as its been a long time since it was used. He thinks they might use BG to showcase 5th edition. And in a way I’m not that bothered by what they use as it shouldn’t really have an impact on the actual story. He suggested that they might do something to say add races like Dragon Born in, and then we both pulled a face as we both felt that might be too much of a change from the story. I have nothing against Dragon Born but they didn’t exist in that variant of Forgotten Realms it would seem very odd to try and fit them in. Hopefully they will stick with the existing script and quests perhaps add some more quests/romance options and then leave it at that.

This is why for the moment I am simply intrigued, I don’t know whether I should be excited yet or not. Seeing as the website has gone off then I suspect they have possibly been working on a few things in secret for a while now but I guess we’ll see.

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Conception 2012 (RPG convention)

So this time last year it was freezing cold and we were staying in a caravan. Yes that’s right a caravan in January! Well this year we (me, hubby and some friends – Hubby came on Friday due to work commitments.) are being much more civilised. We are staying in a lodge, this time on site. So no having to drive anywhere, nor having to smuggle sandwiches in either. Can roll out of bed later and just walk over to the con.

Also got to appreciate the usefulness of the Google Star Map App. It was pretty clear some of the nights so not only got to see Venus, Jupiter and Mars but could also work out what constellations were about!  I’d fogotten that I’d actually downloaded it until someone mentioned they had it on their iPad. There’s not much point using it in London, too much light pollution.

So onto the games!

Cut for lengh

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RPG books – a thing of beauty

 

So me and hubby tidied some of our shelves up finally. Bottom shelf on the left are my knitting/sewing books then a few cooking books and then comics. Most of those are hubby’s Deadpool ones. 🙂

And then there’s the shelf above. Our roleplaying books.  We have come to the decision that we pretty much now own every game we need, as we have something for every genre we care about. There are a few books we still need to get as add on for core games, but a fair few of those (mostly for nWoD) are PDFs. So here’s the list, quite a few of these appear multiple times, as they are designed to cover a few genre’s depending on how the game is played:

  • Cyberpunk
    • Shadowrun
  • Fantasy
    • Exalted (Mythic Fantasy)
    • Fantasy Craft (High Fantasy)
    • Victorian (With potential Steampunk elements)
  • Genreless
    • GURPS
    • World of Darkness: Mirrors
  • Gothic Horror
    • World of Darkness
    • Vampire
  • Horror
    • Little Fears
    • Promethean
  • Licensed Games
    • Buffy
    • Doctor Who
    • Dying Earth
    • Game of Thrones
  • Sci-Fi
    • Traveller
  • Space Fantasy
    • Black Crusade (Dark Space Fantasy)
    • Dark Heresy (Investigatory Dark Space Fantasy)
    • Deathwatch (Military Space Fantasy)
    • Empire of Dust (Military Space Fantasy)
    • Fading Suns
    • Rogue Trader (Dark Space Fantasy)
  • Superhero
    • Icons
  • Sword&Sworcery
    • Legend
    • Elric
    • Exalted (When playing as Mortals)
  • Urban Fantasy
    • Shadowrun
    • World of Darkness
  • Wuxia
    • Qin

(We are missing a pulp game, but a friend of ours already owns Savage Worlds so we’re covered for this, and can always pick it up one day.) (This list also doesn’t include a few we have as PDFs like Supernatural.)

So yes, looking at that list we do seem to have an awful lot of Space Fantasy, but er quite a few of those are actually in the same setting (Black Crusade, Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, Rogue Trader) they just cover different things! In one your disposable agents trying to protect humanity by any means necessary. Another you are the East India Company crossed with original series Star Trek (no prime directive for you!). Then there’s the super-soldiers and finally there’s the one in which you can play any of the others but you’re evvvviiiiiilllll!

You might note that over a third of that shelf is comprised of Exalted books, that is because a) Exalted is awesome and b) we’ve been in a campaign of it for over two years.  I do love some Exalted and there are a lot of different way to play it.

There are some books that aren’t in that above list, that is because I’ve had to put them elsewhere as they don’t fit on the shelf. They’re also ones we don’t really need as they’re older editions or books that don’t work. (Stargate I’m looking at you, a great game to run, but my goodness that book is laid out badly! If I ever run it again I will be using World of Darkness.) Still there’s a few that we don’t really need and I have to figure out what to do with, like 1st Ed Lunars (an Exalted Core book) it’s not that good. 3rd ed D&D, 3.5 was better and anyway I’m not really a fan of D&D, or d20 Fading Suns, I much preferred FS 2nd Ed.

 

 

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Woman in Deathwatch

or rather the lack of.

Let me first make this clear, this is not some kind of rant about Space Marines and how its sexist that they’re all male in the 40k Universe. (At least I really hope it doesn’t come across that way.)  Its not something I get my knickers in a twist about, because I enjoy the  Warhammer 40k setting. This is more a post about about an oddity in the Deathwatch rule book.

The tagline for the setting is: “In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.”

Its a terribly over blow satirical setting, a black comedy based on heavy metal album covers (to quote my husband.)  Its very silly, and whenever we have played Dark Heresy (where you play Inquisitorial acolytes) we tend to ham it up quite a bit, rolling around with shotguns, flame-throwers and as many grenades as you can carry. You shot first and ask questions later, everyone’s a hieratic. (Its a nasty setting, your essentially playing catholic space nazi’s, it’s not pleasant, you have to be over the top with it.)

So getting back to the point at hand, Deathwatch, the RPG in which you play Space Marines. They are all male, there never has been there never will be a female Space Marine.

In the setting this is explained thus: The Emperor, when he walked the Earth, before he ascended the golden throne, was male. He ‘functionally’ cloned himself making Primarchs. Who because they have his DNA are also male. Space Marines are based of Primarch DNA, whis is male DNA. Which is why they are all male. This may be a bit of a silly explanation, its does make it somewhat sexist, but Space Marines are based of Medieval Monastic and Knightly Orders, which funnily enough they were male and this is the feel the 40k universe is going for.  Here are some pictures:

Black Templar/Knight Templar – note the Maltese cross

  

(Black Templare from here, Knight Templar from here)

Dark Angels/A Monk (Cadfael – which is an awesome series) -look at those robes.

 

(Dark Angel from here)

Yes ok the Dark Angel is looking a little more aggressive…

There is however a female equivalent.  Sister’s of Battle. While they are human, as opposed to genetically engineered super soldiers, they are the pinnicle of what a human can be.  The stomp around in power armour (like a Space Marine) and wield bolt guns (like a space marine) and flame throws (like certain chapters of Space Marines, in fact they use them even more, its all about the purging!!) So they don’t live as long a Space Marine, they aren’t as physically strong, they don’t heal as fast, nor do they spit acid, eat peoples brains to get their memories, hibernate (Space Marines aren’t quite human). However they have the same level of equipment, they have the same security clearance, the same rank. Oh and they get the incredibly powerful faith powers, they are literally shielded from everything by their faith. Powerful Battle Sisters can banish demons.  They are in fact based on Nuns (surprise, surprise – can you feel the medieval vibe going on here).

Sister of Battle/A Nun

 

Saint Scholastica, who lived from 480 to 547 A.D., is the patron saint of nuns. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Look thats metal armour coated in leather,so that it can be embroidered, is that not way cooler than a Space Marines? Ok so those two pictures don’t compare quite as well (like the Dark Angel and Cadfael) Nun’s didn’t walk around in heavy armour. But Sisters of Battle kick some serious ass.

Anyway finally onto the point of this blog post. (I just needed to explain some of the background stuff first.)

Hubby has been reading through Deathwatch (he’s good like reading the RPG books, I just buy them and look at them), and he noticed something a bit strange.

Deathwatch, in the 40k setting, is a Space Marine Chapter that was set up primarily to protect the Imperium from the Alien menace. Deathwatch the RPG is therefore based on this chapter, and so your expected to play a Space Marine because its a Space Marine game.

However, I personally prefer to play female characters, as I’m sure a lot of women tend to do. This therefore presents something of a problem. If you have a female player in your group and they want to play a female character in the game, how do you handle it in Deathwatch?  There are several suggestions for how to do this, for example you could play an Assassin, an Inquisitor, a Sister of Battle or some kind of Chapter Lieutenant (because there aren’t that many Space Marines, so you’d probably be a pilot or a heavy weapons specialist – however you have the potential to be more powerful and operating at the same level with the other three, as you can perform functions that Space Marines can’t – you really think a man in power armour can stealth?).

What is odd however, is that this is not mentioned in the book. It is implied occasionally,that you could a play a non-Space Marine. The game is about the Brotherhood between the Space Marines, and it does mention that playing a non-Space Marine will mean you’re not part of this brotherhood. But it never really brings up the fact that anyone who wants to play a female character could play a non-Space Marine.

Now you could argue that maybe in this day and age they didn’t feel the need to mention it. That maybe everyone can be all ‘grown up’ about this sort of thing. However it is something that could have been placed as a sidebar in the GM section, just noting that if someone would like a non-male character there are options, as opposed to kind of hinting at that. (For example most of the example inquisitors given in the NPC section are female.)

Perhaps we’re (me and hubby) are too used to White Wolf games, which do their best to be inclusive, for all genders, sexuality and races, they are filled with sidebars. And I know Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch aren’t the same kind of game as say Shadowrun, which uses different fantasy races (orks, elves etc) to represent human races and thus deal with social issues, like racism in game. Which is fine, as I don’t expect that from the 40k ‘verse. I expect horrible situations where generally the only solution is lots of grenades, and flame throwers.

However this kind of thing, is generally what a side bar is for. To point something out that doesn’t fit with the main body of text, to make people aware of something they might wish to consider.

Which is not done here.  Was this forgotten? Did they think they didn’t need to address it because it was ‘obvious’ to those that were writing it and so it should be ‘obvious’ to everyone else? (Sure some people will consider this as an option, but there are people out there, who if something if something isn’t explicitly stated, will never consider it as an option.) Or did they simply neglect to even think about it?

I don’t know. I’d like to think that they simply thought it wasn’t necessary because we live in progressive times, but who can say.

So, moving on from that little oddity, what are the options to run Deathwatch if someone wants to play a female character?

  • Ignore the canon and allow female Space Marines, they’re functionally the same just female – careful about mentioning this online, people will jump down your throat about breaking the canon.
  • Be a dick and say ‘Deathwatch is a Space Marine game, they are male, and I don’t like people playing characters who are a different sex, so no female players.’
  • Think outside the box and allow the player to play a female Assassin/Inquisitor/Sister of Battle as mentioned above.
  • Or one idea my husband has had is to run the game where everyone is a Sister of Battle. But they’re just ‘fanatical nuns with flame-throwers’ I hear you cry. That’s because they haven’t had as much written about them as Space Marines and so don’t have have as much characterisation.

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Dice!!!!!

So we went to Dragonmeet today, a one day RP convention, it was ok. There are two gaming sessions, one morning one afternoon, seminars and retailers selling gaming merchandise.  We played one game in the morning and then wondered around for a bit of the afternoon before going home.  The game we played wasn’t particularly impressive, the rules didn’t seem that good. Hubby say’s it’s probably one of the worst games he’s played in beside two we had at Conception (A Judge Dredd game and a 2nd ed Warhammer game).

We wondered around the trading hall, bought a few RP books that we wanted. (We reckon we’re pretty much set for gaming books, we’ve got something that covers pretty much every genre, all we need to keep getting now are the extra books that are produced for things like Exalted.)

Hubby also bought a JUGs worth of dice, for what was quite a reasonable price:

Dice

If you’re interested heres the numbers:

  • 69 d20s
  • 38 d12s
  • 107 d10s
  • 32 d8s
  • 83 d6s
  • 51 d4s – These will probably just get used as caltrops if the need ever arises they are pretty useless otherwise, the d12 that are d4s are much better.

We’ll never need to buy dice again!!!

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