Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Name is Blarg...Blargedy Blarg

My character isn't 007, but close...

Since the last entry here at the Blarg I've gotten the itch to do a Spy thing again. This is nothing new, as I've discussed in the past. Specifically however, I really wanted to learn the old "James Bond" RPG from Victory Games. I've heard for a long time how great it was at replicating the particular flavor of the action/espionage that its titular hero represents. The only problem was, every time I picked it up it game me fits. All of its charts for task resolution and success rating were too much for the levels of depression and anxiety I've been prone to in the past.

However, I've been feeling better (most of the time), and had a lot more success with reading, rules comprehension, and so on, so I felt good about giving it another go. This time I was rewarded with an understanding of how the game works. For anyone who is interested in it, or its modern retro-clone "Classified", do not let its seeming complexity deter you. Once you grasp the underlying, unified mechanic, it really is a simple and elegant system that would be a jiff to adjudicate on the fly.

BUT...a couple of things. One, it doesn't really do anything all that different that can't be done in other games. Second, the character creation is a VERY long and complex process. (It does, however, turn out very nicely rounded and detailed characters, so if you have the time then don't let THAT deter you either). Plus there were some other facets that I just didn't feel comfortable dealing with for the type of play that I'm looking for/am often forced to engage in: very loose, open, improvisational, and seat-of-the-pants, making it up as I go. No knock on the JB RPG, just that it wasn't the exact fit at the moment.

However, while discussing the Bond RPG over at the Lone Wolf RPG Group on G+ a number of alternatives were discussed, including "Magnum Fury" suggested by regular contributor +Tam H. At first I didn't give it much thought, even though I love "Magnum Fury", as I'd come to view it as slightly tongue-in-cheek 80's Action. But the more I
thought about it, the more I thought "Why not"? It could do everything I wanted and needed to do easily enough, and in a very loose, easy, on-the-fly improvisational way. But would/could it capture the Bond-style vibe I wanted? Could I play it straight(er)? The more I went back and looked it over again, the more I believed it absolutely could.

I believe its "limitations" were really a product of my own concept of it. In all honesty, it's written to play a fairly wide spectrum of Action Movie styles, Super-Spy included, and really is written in a much more serious tone than other pastiches and parodies of the genre I've seen in the past. As a matter of fact, there's really nothing in it that requires it to be run as any kind of spoof at all. It's already a straight homage of 80's style Action as it is (which one may consider a spoof in-and-of itself, but I digress...).

So, over the past few weeks I have been slowly running a session off and on. Oddly enough, it really kinda started as a thought experiment to try some things out that went so well I just kept running with it. It's been surprisingly fun for something that started as a hypothetical, and that I had to run in tiny, bite size sessions off-and-on over the course of weeks.

I finished tonight, and felt good enough about the results to share them.

Next time, I'll get to the actual GOOD stuff: my character and the game!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

"The Vigilante Hack" Character Sheets! Part 2: Bruce Timm Style!

Remember this?
Like Bruce Timm's style of art? Need character sheets for "The Vigilante Hack" RPG? As promised in the last blarg post, here is the second set of character sheets for "The Vigilante Hack", all with blank character silhouettes in the style of Bruce Timm's "Animated Series" art. Ninety-Six poses in all, male and female! Download HERE.

"The Vigilante Hack" Character Sheets! Part 1

This is just one of over 50!

I love character silhouettes/poses for Superhero RPG's. "Champions" was my first Supers RPG (and still one of my favorites), which included a whole set of them on its character sheets (such as the one seen above). I could always draw my own characters okay, but having ready made poses is a much more convenient time saving option.

Since then I've been a bit of a horder for poses. I've done many custom sheets for "Champions" and "Marvel Super Heroes" over the years. With my recent love of "The Vigilante Hack" I decided to go ahead and make a bunch for it as well, and share them with the community-at-large.

You will find 59 PDF character sheets in a variety of poses, male and female, that I've collected from a number of sources over the years HERE. Note that there are several "Non-Vigilante Hack" themed poses included. I did this just in case anyone would like to use them for OTHER Supers games of their own.

I hope everyone enjoys drawing up their own characters! In part 2 I will be posting all of my Bruce Timm-style sheets, for those that prefer a more "Animated Series" style.

Friday, November 17, 2017

"The Vigilante Hack" Class Hack by Yours Truly Is Here!

Provided without commentary. Too bad ass for words.


For the past couple days while still on vacation I've been grinding away at at the last of the projects (for the moment), that I wanted to tackle. I had a bunch of ideas for new classes that I wanted to write up for "The Vigilante Hack". But first, I had to re-write the core classes. Not because they were bad mind you, but there were a couple of things: A) Some of the classes didn't quite fit my conception of what I wanted from them, and B) I wanted to bring them more in line with the conventions of the original Black Hack.

So with that said, I went ahead and re-wrote the core classes, and then wrote my new ones as well. Six re-written core classes, nine NEW classes, FIFTEEN classes total! PDF available HERE: "The Vigilante Hack" Class Hack.

I hope someone enjoys them and/or finds them useful. Feel free to drop by and leave a comment!

Now, have fun dispensing some vigilante justice!



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Time For My Nightly Patrol!


Oh for Pete's sake! He's right there! Behind you!
Looking over my "City of Crime" supplement, I was stricken by how some of the results aren't completely appropriate for all sub-genre's of superhero RPG'ing. While it was my intent all along to go in and tweak it at some point to offer a more "comics code friendly" option, I was still somewhat surprised at how squicky or grimdark some elements were. So I decided to go ahead and do it right now, and to  jail break it out as a separate thing.

"A Night on Patrol" focuses specifically on just the Districts of The City, the Patrol Encounter Chart, the Specific Crimes charts, and the Types of Rackets chart. It has been edited to remove crimes and situations that might be distressing or uncomfortable, and that would not typically show up in your average comic book.

So get out there now and patrol the city in a more genre appropriate way!

The Owl swoops!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Who Hacks The Hackmen?

Who indeed?
I'm back again, and as promised, here's more "Vigilante Hack" love for everyone. What follows are the alternate rules that I've compiled for TVH. For the most part, they're all drawn from the original "Black Hack", or from David Black's own Additional Things. I know I did tweak a few minor things to my liking, but here is the gist of what I've added:

  • Brought in NPC Reactions, straight from TBH
  • Did a hard reset on the Usage Die and when to check it back to the default from TBH.
  • Did a hard reset on Encumbrance back to TBH standard of each item =1.
  • Did a hard reset on Ranges back to TBH standard of "Close, Near By, Far Away, Distant."
  • Brought in Random Encounters, Morale, 'Better Armor', and Luck from "Additional Things"
  • Added my own Alternate Advancement
  • Added the Usage Die back in for Ammo as per TBH.
  • Did minor tweaking and tinkering on some of the ranged and thrown weapons. Added a few new ones in as well.
There are a few things I'd like to borrow from The Blood Hack, namely its Firearm rules, its Vehicle system, & its list of Weapons and Equipment. I'd also like to integrate the "No-Class Hack" and The Knack Hack as well. But I'll save discussion on those for another time.

If you'd like a copy of what follows, click HERE to get the PDF

ALTERNATE RULES FOR THE VIGILANTE HACK

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS
The GM should roll a d4 every time the players make a loud noise or stay in a potentially dangerous area longer than 5 Minutes (turns). Results of 1 indicate a random encounter.

NPC REACTIONS
Some Villains and NPCs will have predetermined personalities and goals that will guide a GM when choosing their actions and feelings towards the characters. Those that do not, such as those randomly encountered, make a Reaction roll on the following table:

ROLL
REACTION
1
Flee then roll again.
2
Avoid the PCs entirely.
3
Bargain with PCs.
4
Give the PCs aid
5
Mistake the PCs for friends.
6
Trick the PCs (roll again).
7
Call for Reinforcements.
8
Capture/Kill the PCs.

USAGE DIE
Any item listed in the equipment section that can normally be used up or expended and that has a Usage die is considered a consumable, limited item. When that item is used the next Minute (turn) its Usage die is rolled. If the roll is 1-2 then the usage die is downgraded to the next lower die in the following chain:

d20 > d12 > d10 > d8 > d6 > d4

When you roll a 1-2 on a d4 the item is expended and the character has no more of it left.

Any other items only check a Usage Die if there is a chance of them being broken, damaged, etc.

MORALE
If the number of opponents engaged in combat with the players drops by 50% they are 'broken' and a Reaction roll should be made to determine their new attitude.

If a character can make a successful CHA test the broken opponents will attempt to flee the combat as quickly as possible. If they have a leader fighting amongst them, the CHA test is taken with Disadvantage.

LUCK
Each character is created with one point of Luck - they can trade this in at any time and get a re-roll on any one die. Their Luck Point renews at the end of each session.

ALTERNATE ADVANCEMENT
After each session in which the character interacts, participates, or contributes in a significant way, roll 1d10. If the number is higher than the characters current level, the character advances to the next level.

ENCUMBRANCE
A character can carry a number of ITEMS equal to their STR with no issues. Carrying over this amount means they are encumbered and all attribute tests are taken with Disadvantage – you can also only ever move to somewhere Nearby. They simply cannot carry more than double their STR. As per the original “Black Hack” rules, there is no carry weight associated with each item. An item is an item.

ARMOR ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM
Armor Points (AP) reduce damage in the same way, however they don't run out - so each hit is reduced by the Armor points amount. Every piece of Armor now has a Usage Die (UD)- see the table below.

Immediately after a fight where armor has been used to reduce damage, its Usage Die must be rolled. If the roll is a 1 or 2 the Usage Die reduces as per normal, and the Armor then has the AP of the armor above it in the table. For example, failing a UD roll for Kevlar Weave Uniform would reduce it to having 1 AP (Spandex).

If the UD is a d4 and fails, it's considered destroyed and should be removed from a player’s inventory. Armor can be repaired however- roll its current Usage Die and multiply the amount by 10, this is the cost to upgrade the Usage Die to the next die up in the chain.

ARMOR
AP
UD
COST
Leather Jacket/Spandex Costume (Ultra-Light)
1
d4
50
Leather Bodysuit/Kevlar Weave Uniform/Bulletproof Vest (Light)
2
d6
100
Kevlar Vest (Medium)
3
d8
500
Ballistic Armor/Full Riot Armor/Full Tactical Combat Armor (Heavy)
4
d10
5000
Helmet
1
d4
150
Shield
1
D6
150

ALTERNATE FIREARM AND RANGED WEAPONS
AMMO
All ranged and thrown weapons have ammo, represented by the usage die. You roll your Ammo Die at the end of a combat and follow all normal Usage Die rules. Each additional Ammo Die purchased refills one weapon to its full Usage Die. Ammo Die for all weapons listed in “The Vigilante Hack” core rules as well as “A City Full of Sinners” are as follows on the chart below:
OTHER WEAPONS
DAMAGE
ROF
RANGE
AMMO
COST
Bow
1d6
2
Nearby
D10
250
Crossbow
1d6+1
1 or 2
Far Away
D8
400
Pepper Spray
Stun
1
Close
D6
20
Stun Gun
Stun
1
Close
D8
35
Shuriken
1d6-1
2
Nearby
D8
25
Taser
Stun
1
Close
D6
300
Throwing Knives
1d6-1
1
Close
D6
50
Quiver of arrows/bolts
Ammo
-
-
By type
10

FIREARMS
DAMAGE
ROF
RANGE
AMMO
COST
Revolver
1d6+1
1
Nearby
D8
500
Semi-automatic Pistol
1d6
2
Far Away
D8
600
Submachine Gun*
1d6+1
2
Nearby
D12
900
Semi-automatic Rifle
1d6+2
2
Distant
D10
800
Shotgun
1d6+3
1
Nearby
D6
500
Automatic Rifle*
1d6+2
2
Distant
D12
2,000
Sniper Rifle
2d6
1
Distant
D10
3,000
Light Machine Gun*
1d6+2
2
Distant
D20
6,000
Heavy Machine Gun*
1d6+3
2
Distant
D20
12,000
Flamethrower**
1d6/turn
1
Nearby
D8
400
Ammo
Ammo
-
-
By type
10


EXPLOSIVES
DAMAGE
ROF
RANGE
AMMO
COST
Fragmentation Grenade***
3d6
1
Nearby
D6
50
Flash-Bang**
Stun
1
Nearby
D6
25
Smoke
Smoke
1
Nearby
D6
25
Incendiary***
2d6
1
Nearby
D6
40
Plastic Explosives**
1d6/charge
1
Close
D8
200
Rocket Propelled Grenade***
4d6
1
Distant
D4
2,000
Light Antitank Weapon***
5d6
1
Distant
D4
1,500
Grenades for RPG Launcher
Ammo
-
-
D4
500
* Can fire a 5-bullet bursts as one attack, +2 to-hit, x2 damage. Check Ammo Die immediately.
** Catches targets on fire (unless a Saving Throw is made) for 1d6 damage per turn until put out.
*** Explosive damage affects all in Close range and half damage to all Nearby. Half damage with Saving Throw.


Until next time...

I have nothing funny to say here. I just have always loved this freaking costume...