Extra Life 2016 Recap

Extra Life last year went wonderfully. I’ve been juggling a lot of things lately, and didn’t say anything about it here, but I have one of my big prizes finished so it seemed like a good time to post the recap.

Highlights of the campaign:

  • I broke my personal fundraising record
  • I received a huge batch of prizes donated from Blizzard employees that were exciting to give out.
  • I worked with Play it Painted to run the Paint Day at Comic Quest.

I’m still distributing prizes, but the bulk of them have gone out now.

I once again offered both painting services and adventure writing services, and am doing one of each. The painting request was a Gray Death Legion Shadow Hawk for BattleTech. I just did a photo session with it, so here those are:

I noticed that it still had some shiny spots, but decided to take the photos anyway and then put another matte coat down. So this technically isn’t the final product, but it’s very close.

I also have a 360º video here.

NAGADEMON: Neverwhere RPG

I was hoping to have this more done before posting it, but here we are at the end of November.

My wife and I have talked about running a Neverwhere game as co-GMs for a while now, and it came up again at about the same time as I found out about NAGADEMON, so I decided to make some custom rules for it.

They’re pretty simple.

The rules are here.

The character sheet is here.

That’s it for now, folks! I hope someone finds it useful/fun/inspiring/cool/not awful!

Infinity: Attrition League Narrative

Intro:

78 hours ago, Sphere Standard Time, the PanOceanian salvage ship Ambition attempted to take in a Templar craft found adrift in the Human Edge near the gas giant HD 23523 c. The Ambition was attacked by a Combined Army ship as it was towing in the Templar craft. In the ensuing combat, all three ships were damaged and trapped in the gravity of the planet’s second moon, designated c/2173 (HD 23523).

With the HD 23523 system being too far from any circular route for timely reinforcement from the Sphere, patrols in the area were redirected to the moon to neutralize the Combined Army threat, and provide aid to any survivors.

The potential to quietly secure lost Templar technology while achieving their main objective has not been overlooked by any military command.

About  c/2173 (HD 23523):

Early colonization efforts were abandoned when what was thought to be a rich Teseum deposit was depleted not far below the surface. This left scattered collections of buildings across the otherwise gray, monotonous surface. The surface is composed primarily of shale, forming an irregular, soft landscape.

The atmosphere is breathable, but thin, and slightly acidic. The lack of maintenance following abandonment has allowed the acidity in the atmosphere to slowly wear at the structures, leaving them in varying degrees of instability.

Gravity is low, at about .75G. Considering the low gravity, soft, breakable landscape, and decaying structures, surface parties should be reminded to mind their footing. Any troops familiar with adjusting to peculiarities of terrain should have little difficulty.

Infinity: Attrition League

OR Introducing Resource Management to Infinity the Game by Corvus Belli

I asked the guys over at MayaCast for their thoughts on a Resource Management mechanic for Infinity, and it ended up generating a lot of chatter both in their listener emails and on Facebook, so I decided to put what I ended up doing out for the public to see.

I have not tried these rules yet, as I had been busy with Extra Life events, and now we’re coming up on the Holiday season and people’s schedules are crowded.

What I decided to do is a four round series of 300 point ITS missions, with bonus objectives tailored to the narrative. There is a fair amount of bookkeeping between rounds, so my intention is to do these either over 2 weekend days, or 4 week nights.

In any case, here are the rules I ended up with:

  1. Create two 450 point lists, following ITS rules for SWC, AVA, etc.
    1. Send them to the TO
  2. For each round, create a 300 point list from your total of 900 points selected earlier.
  3. At the end of each round, following medevac/cubevac rolls, remove dead units from the total units available.
    1. Roll under the Physique of each dead model. Cube grants +1, Cube 2.0 Grants +2. A successful roll revives the unit. With a failed roll the unit is lost.
    2. Send a list of what units died to the TO
  4. After 2 rounds, 150pts of Mercenaries can be hired.
    1. Send the list of which mercenaries were selected to the TO

The big question for everyone I talked to about this, or heard talking about this, was what to do with Cubes. If Cubes get an edge, Ariadna suffers comparatively. If Cube 2.0 gets the edge they have in Paradiso, ALEPH just ignores the whole point of the exercise. So I went away from both the Paradiso rules, and standard Infinity math. +2 hopefully won’t break things too much for ALEPH, but they’re a little less likely to lose their precious named characters. And presumably they’re paying for that Cube 2.0 somewhere in their point costs, even if it’s only a point or two. If this doesn’t work, I’ll revise it.

 

And for those who want to play along at home, I’ll be posting my “narrative” when I run it here. Since this is all about the new list building mechanic, the narrative is pretty light – just a little fun and an explanation of why you can’t get reinforcements easily.

Painting: Reaper Highlanders Finished

These were the prize miniatures I randomly gave out to one of my Extra Life contributors. Funny story, it was actually the third person down the list. The first to come up was someone who teaches painting workshops, and turned down the offer, as expected. The second was the one who won the sword I gave out at my actual game, and turned down the offer, as expected. So third randomly selected winner is receiving these:

f61ddgwacc9r9en1rm8mg

 

I also attempted to make a video of them rotating, it didn’t go super well:

Paradiso Countdown – Part 1

I ran the first two days of Paradiso Countdown, the quickstart adventure for the new Infinity RPG. I was using the expanded one that was made available during the Kickstarter, but we ended up only using one of the extra events before I decided it was time to transition into the main quest, lest the players find themselves not feeling any sense of accomplishment.

 

 

I’m leaving a gap here in case anybody intends to play the adventure and found themselves here without actually intending to read details in it.

 

 

 

Here’s a link to the adventure log on Obsidian Portal. It also has spoilers:

 

 

https://bureau-noir.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/paradiso-countdown

 

 

And here’s the play report:

 

 

The PCs arrived at the station, and passed through security. The Dog Warrior and the Hassassin were both able to smuggle their weapons in. The Hexas Agent decided to try to convince security to give over his weapons on the other side.

The Agents were able to watch the announcement of peace between the Tohaa and the Human Sphere before being introduced to their job functions by Corporal Yorgos, local chief of security and Bureau Noir asset.

The Hexas Agent failed to recover his weapons. The Hassassin tried to help and only made matters worse. The Hexas Agent disabled the alarm feature on his station-issued pistol.

The Hexas Agent and the Hassassin took their nanobot pills to sync to station time. The Dog Warrior did not, and was groggy when the security alarm went off in the morning.

They disarmed a small diplomatic incident which had caused the alarm, and proceeded to pursue some personal quests. The Dog Warrior bribed a staffer to deliver  an embarrassing news story about the PanOceanian Ambassador’s sister to a local news anchor. The Hexas and the Hassassin set up comlog alarms on the whereabouts of suspicious individuals.

That night they received a level 8 security alarm, and rushed to the site to find a murder had been committed. A PanOceanian diplomat had been killed with an Antipode Ceremonial Knife.

The incident was put under infoquarantine, and the players were entrusted with personally investigating the murder.

The players set to investigating nearby security footage, with the help of the station computer, Melissa. They split up to investigate their top suspects, and soon found the body of the first of them, evidently killed by a Speculo Killer three days earlier. It appeared that the Speculo had taken the form of a Yu Jing staffer in order to kill the Diplomat, took Tohaa information handed over in secret, presumably sent a copy to its handler, and had not been seen in its previous disguise since.

That is where we left off. The players said they enjoyed themselves, and are looking forward to continuing. I’ve always enjoyed games where no violence happens, I find it brings out the most interesting roleplaying. It’s easy to settle in to rolling to attack without thinking about who you’re playing. One of the players is newer to my table, and found it novel that he hadn’t created the corpses.

To be continued…

Extra Life – Play Report

Extra Life game day went really well. By the end I had blown past my third goal, and everyone said they had a great time. Like I said I’ll work on getting the adventure typed up in a clean fashion, but here’s the play report.

I opened the adventure in a little, unimportant town. The PCs had been traveling together just since the last town, since they were all headed the same way. They found the town’s only Inn and settled in for dinner, when the mayor’s wife came in saying she heard adventurers had come into town and she had an urgent task for them. They followed her back to the mayor’s manor, where the mayor told them that their not-quite-two-year-old daughter had managed to find his family’s magic mirror and crawl through. They had sent what few guard the town had available through after her, but they had not returned for thirty minutes, and the mayor suspected something had gone wrong. The PCs agreed to the job and went through the mirror.

On the other side, the Ranger, Jonnie Willowwisp, pretty quickly found and followed the child’s path, and did not lose it when the child double backed, as the tracks suggested the first group of guards did. Willowwisp led the party through the garden they arrived in up to a high-walled manor.

On the way to the aforementioned manor they were stopped by two Pale Pawns. When they saw the pair on the horizon, the Paladin stood out while the rest of the party hid. After stopping to talk to the Paladin, however, they perceived the hiding party members. After a brief and inane conversation, the pair of Pawns attempted to tax the party for pielessness. While the Paladin prepared to do combat, the Alice was able to convince the Pawns that they also lacked pies and owed taxes, and the party was able to sneak away while they argued between themselves.

They found an entrance to the interior in the wall to the north, and inside the entry hall they found the dead body of a young woman, but could identify no cause of death. They relieved the body of its gold coins and teapot.

At the end of the hall was a locked door, but the Alice was able to pick the lock. Beyond it was a small library, with no obvious sense of organization to it and a seemingly random selection of topics. The Paladin found a ladder going up from the library and found himself assaulted with thrown hedgehogs from above. He ignored the hedgehogs and climbed up, barely missing the child who had been throwing the hedgehogs at him. He pursued the child over the rooftop, and was shortly followed by the rest of the party.

The party descended a chimney in pursuit of the child, but had lost it by the time they assembled themselves back in the interior. They found themselves in a music chamber with no obvious exit. The walls had evenly spaced portraits of an old man. The party checked behind every portrait until they found one that, upon swinging it to the side, opened a secret passage in the wall.

The next room had gravity distortion affecting the items in the room, but not the players. They tied off some ropes and rappelled down the hallway.

The next room was a bed chamber. This was the first room they encountered with a mirror in it, and the Paladin stepped through the mirror. They discovered the disorienting Quiet side of the mirror and spent some time exploring how changes on one side are reflected on the other.

They proceeded into a sitting room, where there was a small bottle labeled “Drink me.” The Alice drank the bottle, and promptly shrank to the size of a mouse. The Barbarian picked him up and carried him about in her pocket.

A hallway, in which the Druid was found cowering in a niche, connected the sitting room to a kitchen, staffed by four pale pawns. The Paladin found he could not abide vampire chefs, and the party dispatched the kitchen crew. They found a cabinet of cakes labeled “Eat me.” and found that eating the cakes made them large. The Alice and Druid assumed large size.

They proceeded through the rest of the mansion unchallenged until they arrived at a room where the missing girl was attempting to climb the sideways furniture. At the center of the room was an orangutan growing increasingly enraged at having nothing but artificial fruit.

The druid kept the orangutan calm while the paladin caught the girl. The party headed back the way they came and returned the girl to her family.