Jul 30, 2015

New eBay Auctions - Rules Cyclopedia!

I listed some old gaming items on eBay. Including a copy of the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia! It's in pretty good condition, but its time for it to go to a new home.

Also the A Game of Thrones roleplaying game. This is the d20 game put out by White Wolf (under their Sword & Sorcery label) quite a while back. If you love Game of Thrones and D&D you should appreciate this book. It's hefty and full of great info on Westeros.

Last, but not least, I'm selling some old Endless Quest books. I hope someone can enjoy reading them as much as I did as a kid.

You can check out the auctions here: http://www.ebay.com/sch/tldenmark/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

Jul 23, 2015

Guardians Preview - Power Wielder

Power Wielders are individuals focused on development of their super powers rather than on fighting. As Power Wielders gain experience, they hone their prowess and increase their energy points more quickly than do other classes. Power Wielders are often the best class for characters whose powers work at a distance rather than requiring close combat, or which have non-combat focused powers.

A Power Wielder with Constitution 13 or higher receives a bonus of +5% to all experience earned.

Power Wielders roll 1d8 for each Hit Die (to a maximum of 12 HD). They start with 3 HD at first level.

Power Wielders gets a new Power roll every other level, with a new Gift at 5th level and at 9th level.

Power Wielders do not use weapons or armor, save for powers built into gadgets they possess. Otherwise they always stick to fighting with their hands, feet, and any powers.

Jul 17, 2015

Ranged Weapons in Melee?

During playtesting of Guardians some issues came up regarding using ranged attacks in melee. If you can use them with no penalty, then there is no advantage in taking a melee attack ability.

The co-designer, David Pulver put it this way:
Do you think there should be any penalty for characters who try to use ranged attacks in melee? Like maybe a -2 or something? Just to further distinguish the brawlers from the shooters and give the former a little advantage when the fight gets close?
I guess this would come up in the other OSR games too, but while some refs will rule a longbow can't be used in melee, with guns or super powers obviously they can.
I admit to being of two minds here; maybe it would make a good "optional house rule" or something.

This is how it is currently written up in the Guardians rulebook:

There is a +0 “to-hit” bonus for ranged weapons utilized at short range (x1), a -1 “to-hit” penalty at medium range (x2), and a -2 penalty for long range (x3) attacks. Aiming for one interrupted round adds +1.

Ranged weapons have a -2 “to-hit” penalty at point blank or melee range.

Aiming, with sights for one interrupted round, adds +2.

Jul 13, 2015

Guardians Preview - Powers!!

This post might reveal the most details yet of the Guardians game system. References to Damage Resistance and things like "Charisma Saving Throws" tell you a lot about some of the modifications to ODnD that had to be made in order to make an exceptional super heroes RPG.

Depending on your character's origins you will be able to roll a number of times on the Power Table to determine what super powers your character has. In some ways this is reminiscent of the Gamma World mutations tables and how that endowed characters with unique abilities. Though we've worked hard to make the system much more balanced so the party will all have value to contribute to the adventures without 1 or 2 characters dominating every session because they are so much more powerful than the other characters.

While the the die roll determines theme, some flexibility is provided to the players for defining their character by allowing the player to choose a specific power within that theme. Game Masters may allow players to just choose their powers instead of randomly rolling, depending on their campaign.

Here is a section of the Power Table:

Here is a small section of the descriptions for powers (note the acronyms for power types were described in a previous post):

Acid Blast (RA1)
Using a ranged attack, the super can project a stream of corrosive liquid with a 50 ft. range. A hit inflicts 4d6 acid damage.

Animal Control (Avian, Land, or Marine) (C/A1)
The super can control up to 5 HD of normal animals within 50 ft. Animals that are loyal to a master or fierce resist with a Charisma saving throw; others are automatically affected. Specify either land animals, avians, or marine creatures. Types that fall into two categories (amphibians, etc.) can be controlled by either.
Animal Control (Specific) (C1) (minor power)
Animal control is a minor power if limited to under 5 species. 

Analytic Taste (C1)
This is the ability to taste an organic substance and instantly perform the equivalent of a full laboratory scientific or genetic analysis on it. The super can also compare two samples, e.g., taste a person’s blood and then determine if a bloodstain is the same person (or a close relative).

Apportation (PA2)
The super may teleport an object into his or her presence. This causes it to vanish and then instantly reappear within 5 ft., or in the super’s grasp if small enough. The object must be perceived or at a known location within 100 ft. no more than 30 lbs. weight, and not part of something else. The super could (for instance) teleport a pistol or other small gadget out of someone’s hand, but not teleport the heart out of someone’s chest.

Armor (P)
The super has very tough skin or actual armor. It gives AC 3 [17] or improves another better AC by 2. It gives DR 8 damage reduction (added to other DR).

Armor Up (S2)
The super can create ultra-strong armor for a brief period, often by forming ice or stone around his or her body, turning the entire body metallic, or reinforcing it with energy. It gives AC 2 [18] or improves another better AC by 2 and gives DR 10 damage reduction (cumulative with other DR).

Astral Travel (C1)
By going into a trance the super’s spirit will leave his or her body. The spirit acts as if it had simultaneously activated Intangibility, Invisibility, and Flight powers but only paying the energy points for a single such power. However, the super’s body is left behind (paralyzed) while his or her spirit is traveling. Astral characters can affect each other normally and while astral can take with them gadgets and costumes, but not other gear.

Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, or Sonic Aura (S1)
The super’s body drips with acid, radiates cold, burns with fire, crackles with electricity, or buzzes with sound. Anything touching the super while unarmed takes 2d6 cold, fire, electrical, or sonic damage as applicable. If the super touches a foe this can be added to normal unarmed combat damage. In addition the super has an additional DR 4 resistance against that damage type while the power is sustained. In addition any damage attacks of the specified type do +1 damage per die when the super attacks with them.

Bad Luck (PA1)

The super can curse someone with bad luck. Range is 50 ft. If they fail a Charisma saving roll they will be at -2 on all attack and saving throws, and are +2 to be hit. The effect lasts 1d6 turns. The Referee can also have ill fortune happen to them.

Jul 9, 2015

Guardians Preview - Powers!

In Guardians super powers fall into various categories depending on how they are used, how long they are in effect, and what action is required to bring the power into effect.

Energy Points (EP) are the primary resource to activate powers. (I should probably discuss these in detail in a later post).

Permanent (P) powers work all the time.

Sustained (S) powers can be activated or deactivated when it is a character’s time to act in a round.

Sustained/Round (SR) powers are as above but energy must be spent each round.

Concentration (C) powers require continuous concentration to use.

Extended Effort (EE) powers are touch attacks that require at least four hours of focused effort to maintain.

Action (A) powers replace the user’s attack for the round.

Ranged Attack (RA) powers are a bolt or projectile like a laser, energy bolt, arrow, or gunshot.

Area Attack (AA) powers cover a cone or circular blast radius.

Touch Attack (TA) powers requires the user to touch the target. Touch attacks often allow the target a charisma or constitution saving throw to resist.

Psychic Attack (PA) powers require the user to simply gaze at or concentrate on the target and pay the required energy points: this is typical of psychic or mystic powers and other exotic attacks. This hits automatically.

Jul 6, 2015

Guardians Preview - Gifts

If a character’s origin indicates he or she has any Gifts roll d100 the number of times their Origin indicates from the Gift Table. Gadgeteers and those with Super-Alien, Robot, or Supernatural origin may ALWAYS opt to take 1 gadget point per Gift instead of a rolling, representing possession of artifacts, inventions, or magic items. Would-be gadgeteers are encouraged to focus on gadget points.

D100 Gift
01-02 Detective
03-04 Diplomatic Immunity*
05-06 Entrepreneur
07-08 Hacker
09-10 Headquarters (or Lair)*
11-12 Leader*
13-14 Medical Background
15-16 Police Powers
17-18 Occultist
19-20 Rich*
21-22 Spy/Military Contacts
23-24 Sidekick*
25-26 Super Pet*
27-28 Super Star
29-30 Super Vehicle**
31-32 Vehicle Ace (pick Air, Ground, Space, or Water)**
33-40 Paragon (+1 to every ability score)
41-00 1 gadget point
* Unavailable when creating sidekicks or henchmen; instead treat as +1 gadget points.
** If this is rolled and the character has any Gifts left, may opt to select Vehicle Ace or Super Vehicle (whichever they don’t have) as the next gift.

If the same gift is rolled again, re-roll, with the exception of gadget points which accumulate multiple times or vehicle ace (can be rolled up to four times for each type of ace).

Jul 5, 2015

Princess of Mars - the movie that could have been

A few years back I attended a workshop by one of the artists who worked on an incarnation of the John Carter movie prior to the Disney version. I got to see a pitch reel of what Kerry Conran (director of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) had planned for his adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough‘s classic science fiction story Princess of Mars for Paramount.

That version was never made, and what we ended up with was Disney’s John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch which became a box office disaster and generated an inordinate amount of hate for what was an alright, if a bit mediocre movie.

Harry Knowles (of Aintitcool.com) was set to produce Conran's adaptation, and he has recently released a high-res version of the pitch reel, it is filled with some fantastic concept art and some interesting CG tests. A low-res version of this video has been around the internet for a while, however this version is sharp and gives a good idea of what Conran's vision for the movie was.

It doesn't tell much in the way of story, and you might get a little lost unless you've read Princess of Mars, and some of the other Barsoom books. What it does give is a great feel for the world and characters, which in my opinion is much more important. It's a pretty great dive into the world of John Carter, enjoy: