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.

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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:

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

Extra Life – Reporting Staggering Success Already!

Thanks to an extraordinarily generous anonymous donor I have already met my initial Extra Life fundraising goal of $100. That made me decide to embrace the concept of stretch goals.

I have raised my fundraising goal to $200, and picked some things I’ll do.

For the initial $100 I will stream my gaming on Game Day.

If I reach my new goal of $200 I will publish my Game Day adventure as ran along with a play report here. I will also come up with something new to do if I reach $300. I have some ideas that may be of interest to someone out there.

After Extra Life comes normal life. I am now a father and the truth of all the expectations is being revealed. So far some hobbying is still happening, given I am on leave so there are more opportunities if not actually more time. I have entered the current painting contest over on Data Sphere. I have my entry for Maya Cast sitting on the craft table right now, base coats are done. I’m looking forward to Game Day because I haven’t been able to get my RPG on since the Infinity RPG beta test. I’m also itching to play the Infinity miniatures game, it’s been a while for that too. I’m sure I’ll get one in some time soonish.

A Little Housekeeping

Dealing With Attrition was the last thing I posted? I’ve been a terrible blogger.

Today’s post is housekeeping and life updates, I suppose.

You may know as I was DMing at the local shop, I was live streaming via Meerkat and posting the final videos on YouTube. There are more of those videos that I never finished finalizing and then I forgot my iPad a couple times and couldn’t get online to stream a couple times and sort of quit keeping up with it. We’ll call it an extended performance art piece about my last post. I’ll probably get those last few videos public and in some sort of playlist eventually. They’re really nothing fancy, I was just trying to one-up Dave at http://blog.danddencounters.com/

You probably don’t know that I am not DMing this season for Adventurer’s League. No shocking revelations of the sordid inner workings of AL, it’s just not a scheduling priority anymore. Any day now I’ll be a father for the first time, so that’s all I’m prioritizing.

But I do have some hobbying going on. I was recently told after the baby comes I’ll have free time, but it will be in 20 minute bursts. Since I’ve dropped some of my long time block commitments and my wife is in the stage of pregnancy that involves frequent naps, that has already come true, so I’ve been painting. I recently entered the MayaCast Q3 2015 painting contest. The whole album of all entries is on Facebook here.

And to merge the themes of roleplaying and my Infinity involvement, I have backed the Infinity RPG Kickstarter.

This is my first Kickstarter and it’s pretty exciting to watch those stretch goals be met, especially having gone for a pledge level that means each new goal is another PDF I’ll be receiving at the end.

It is my hope that I can get an Infinity RPG campaign off the ground. I was in the beta and may start using that before the core book shows up, depending on how things go after the baby is here. If baby is really good at naps I may do some YouTube stuff for it. I follow a lot of people who talk about fantasy RPGs on YouTube, but it seems like there’s not as much out there for SciFi.

Other gaming things I hope to have coming up include a session for Extra Life during which I plan to use A Red and Pleasant Land. I finally finished my initial read through of it and I think I’ll be sticking to the tables and general suggestions to do a lower level, lighter feeling excursion into the Place of Unreason using D&D 5e and pregens. My intention is to take a page from the Infinite Life Infinity Tournament and Re-Roll Weekend and charge admission, and allow players to pay for re-rolls. All proceeds, of course, going to Extra Life.

That’s my current focus, and after that is when I intend to switch my focus to the Infinity RPG. My wife wants to keep fantasy gaming as well, so something will happen there as well. Unsure what it will be currently.

Sidebar: Cleric Spells in D&D

It’s been a while since my last post. I haven’t had much bandwidth and I’ve been letting myself use the excuse of waiting for a play report from the last Malazan session, because I wasn’t there. I’m going to be running the next (third) session tomorrow, so there should be a report for that shortly thereafter.

I read a comment today lamenting that Cleric spells in 5e are “unevocative.” I do not know yet if the individual meant that as a general statement, or in relation to previous editions, but I remembered people having the same complaint about 3rd edition. I was never very familiar with 4th and I know it handled magic very differently (I was excited about that, but in my limited exposure to the system disappointed with the execution. I’ve never liked Vancian magic.) so that could well have never been a complaint by heavy 4e players, I just don’t know. But I remember the complaints about “having to play the cleric” when I played 3e a lot. Now, I have more of an affinity toward playing support roles than a lot of people I’ve gamed with, so maybe it’s that, but when I finally ended up playing the cleric I really enjoyed it. I found their spells made me get creative with how to use magic because there weren’t as many clear cut do this much damage, or add this bonus, etc spells as there are with Wizards and Sorcerers. To me, that made it more interesting. 3.0 was better at that than 3.5 (can’t cast create water inside a living creature? bah!)  and I haven’t spent a lot of time with the cleric spell list for 5e yet, so it seemed like a good exercise. I’m going to go through the spell list right now, probably up until the point that my wife wakes up, and share my thoughts on them.

0) Cantrips

The cantrips haven’t changed a whole lot from 3e. In general the spell lists look a lot like 3e. Sacred Flame is the Cleric’s damage cantrip, all the primary casters have one. It’s just a thematic swap on the same mechanic. Spare the Dying is tactically interesting, but, I’ll admit, not that exciting.

1) 1st level

Again, not much new. Some of these are interesting, though.

Command – I think it’s pretty interesting. It’s again tactically interesting with respect to combat, but also pretty cool with respect to roleplaying. I like to imagine the character using a booming, otherworldly voice. The one word bit makes it less exciting, but I think if the essence of the command is one word there’s no reason not to use more to get the same point across. It reminds me of Gandalf and the Balrog.

Create or Destroy Water – I had to know. It specifies “open container,” but doesn’t actually specify anymore that it can’t be inside a living creature. Now we just have to debate if lungs are a container. Containing is certainly one of their functions…

Healing Word – Ranged healing. Something we’ve all been asking for for a while, but not actually exciting. I mean healing is just what clerics do.

Sanctuary – Sanctuary can be pretty cool if you use it dramatically.

2) 2nd Level

Augury – Augury has the potential to be cool, but isn’t. Who has time to sit down and do a reading for what they might do for the next 30 minutes? Assuming the universe i.e. the DM doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans which s/he certainly will.

Prayer of Healing – Ranged, mass healing. Again things we want, but not actually exciting.

Warding Bond – this is pretty neat. I like the aspect of needing to stay in a certain range of the caster. I think it’s interesting tactically and roleplaying wise.

Zone of Truth – Zone of Truth can be cool. Especially if things are tense around some important story mystery.

And I’m going to stop there because life beckons. So far I’m tending to agree that cleric spells are rather dull. I’ll have to pay attention to that in my DMing. If this is interesting I can continue this exercise as I have time. Let me know!

D&D Starter Set and more on Tarot Roleplaying

Two brief things.

First, I just picked up the new D&D Starter Set. I haven’t even opened it yet, but once I try it out I’ll do a play report. I haven’t been that enamored with WotC since Hasbro bought them, and I never picked up any of the 4e materials, but 5e is looking better, in my opinion, and I’m a fan of Zak S, who is a consultant for the new rules, so I’m interested in giving them a try. I expect that to be soon.

Second, a short update on the Tarot Roleplaying thing. All of my players have characters now. The process involved some massaging card interpretations, which is to be expected. I ended up being very open ended, since this is supposed to be an exercise in improving their reading skills, and encouraged them to interpret the cards in such a way that it answers the question of who is this character. I have a very rough outline for the first adventure, and may be posting a sort of profile of some features of the world I’m developing for this. Again, play report as soon as that happens.