Daily Punch 12-8-14 Strong Willed quality for Shadowrun 5e

Well, I hurt my back a week ago, and the doc had me on some awesome meds.  But, they’re trying to keep me from getting addicted.  Made me thing of this quality.

 

Strong Willed

Cost: 5 karma per level (1 to 3 levels)

Others turn to ways to easy the pain, and they get too caught in the moments.  It eats them hollow.  You…you shake that off like a bad meal from McHugh’s.  For every level you have in this quality, gain an extra die on any addition tests you have to make.

 

 

Thoughts?

Blurbs from the booth- Can we enjoy something for once?

Let’s talk about three things that just came out-

Jurassic World Trailer- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFinNxS5KN4

Star Wars 7- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE

Terminator Genisys- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62E4FJTwSuc

 

So odds are you’ve all watched those trailers, and my question to you is:  Can we no longer feel joy?  The reaction I’ve seen to all three of these trailers is overwhelmingly negative.  Why?  Those trailers don’t look any different from any other trailer for an amazingly awesome movie.  What’s happened?   From debate over how a light saber looks to outright racist reactions about Stormtrooper skin color, everybody is unhappy with these movies.  We’ve got almost a year till some of these movies come out.  Now, if you don’t want an action movie, then you’re right to say I don’t want to see that movie.  But, honestly all three look great and are all aimed at our inner geeks.

If you want to get into debates about little things, let’s look at all the logic together.  Lightsabers are an amazingly stupid idea!  They would kill most people who picked them up.  Even the Jedi/Sith would most likely kill themselves than their targets.  Also, lightsabers can’t block projectiles.  Lasers weapons work fine against blocking lasers, but three drunken rednecks with shotguns can kill even the most skilled force user.  But, you know what? They look really cool.  It’s Christmas time.  And, if you’re giving gifts, when you finish with the roll of wrapping paper, guess what noise we all make while swinging the tube around?  Same goes with Jurassic World.  Looks great and will be a fun ride.  We’ve got Pratt riding shotgun with some velociraptors and some new genetically modified dino thrown in the mix.  I’ve got a PhD in biochemistry.  If I wanted to start tearing down the movie, I could.  From dino’s mostly likely being covered in feathers to the fact the half life of DNA in amber is two million years, Jurassic Park could not happen.  But, that movie hits me right in the inner 12 year old.  Sometimes, you just have to let that child out and enjoy the ride.

I see this a lot in the geek community.  DnD 4e come out and most people didn’t even want to try to play it.  Now if you played it and didn’t like it, then you get to have an honest opinion.  DnD 5e comes out, and those same people who hated DnD4e sight unseen now hate this new product.  But, if you haven’t even seen the end product, or even read a summary of the product, why are you making opinions on things?  That’s like deciding you hate a style of music without even hearing a 30 second snippet of a song.  If the movies come out and they do suck, then I don’t have a problem with honest criticism.  But, let’s criticize the thing when it’s here.  Right now, we have 88 seconds of a two hour movie.

So my question is: can we feel joy anymore?  Can geeks see something new and not just jump on the hate bandwagon?  Do we have a compulsive need to hate so much you want to be the hate hipster who’s driving the bandwagon?  I’m sorry you can’t have that joy again of being young again with life being much simpler, but try to see the joy that exists in the world.  New things don’t have to suck, and you don’t have to hope the suck either!  Can we all just try to feel some joy?

Daily Punch 12-4-14 Holy Touch Feat for DnD 5e

I’m working my way through all the classes, and now I think the paladin needs some extra.  How about a feat to help with lay on hands?

 

Holy Touch

You have been touched by your god, and that flows through you to others.  Double the total amount of hit points you can restore each day by Lay On Hands.

 

Thoughts?  Should that be triple? What do you think is appropriate for a paladin?

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Uber RPG: Steampunk

Product-Uber RPG: Steampunk

System– Uber RPG

Producer– Uber Goober Games

Price– ~$ 20 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/100784/ber-RPG–Steampunk?site=&manufacturers_id=2798

TL; DR– A dense, but good, all purpose steampunk RPG. 82%

 

Basics-Have a steampunk idea in your head, but don’t have a way to execute it?  This is the RPG for you.  Uber RPG: Steampunk is a generic system designed to allow players and GMs to build the Steampunk world they want.  Let’s dig into the individual parts.

 

Theme or Fluff- Usually I look at the mechanics of a book first, but this RPG’s theme needs a bit of an introduction First.  Uber RPG: Steampunk is designed to be completely setting agnostic.  If you want superhero Steampunk, then you can make this game superhero Steampunk.  You want fantasy Steampunk, here you go.  Magic?  Same deal.  That’s great, but you now have to bring many more of your own ideas to the party.  The book does have examples of what kind of worlds you can build, but you’re the director on this one.  This level of freedom is a double edged sword as now a GM and the players have to do much more of the heavy lifting instead of letting the RPG come prebuilt and prepackaged with its own world.  The Steampunk is strong in this one as the author spends an incredible amount of time describing steampunk and the different forms of it.  That is an excellent introduction to anyone who isn’t sure what Steampunk is.  But, the saying “good at everything, master of nothing” kind of creeps in as so many different ideas a brought forth with only a little focus on each one.   4.25/5

 

Mechanics or Crunch– The system is a d6 based system.  It’s quick and painless when you know what you’re doing.  Let’s break down the different areas of the game.

Character Generation-Characters are made via a point buy system.  As with the theme, anything goes as long as you all agree with what you want in your world.  Several different examples of prebuilt characters are in the book, so you get a great idea of how to build a character.  Look at the examples as your character build can kill you if you do it wrong!  There is that much freedom here.  If you know what you want, you can build that person from the get go.  However, if you go in blind, you can make some serious mistakes that will end you in the first fight you get into.

 

Base Mechanic-This system is a d6 based system, but does not use the standard two numbers are good/one bad mechanic.  Fives are one success, six’s are two successes, and ones represent complications. Every roll is mostly independent of any other number with successes dictating how well you succeed at a task.  Dice pools are made in the standard attribute + skill ranks method common to d6 systems.  If you roll more ones than total successes a botch happens where the GM dictates your failure somehow.  This system is meant to speed up the game as the size of your dice pool can also dictate automatic successes.  The larger the pool, the mightier the task you are assumed to instantly succeed at.  I think that’s an awesome addition to the rules of any RPG.  You reward players for building in one direction, but don’t slow the game down having to make them roll the dice.

 

Powers-This game uses powers to determine your attacks and other actions.  Since the game doesn’t have one setting, Uber RPG: Steampunk gives you the ability to build whatever power you need ranging from magic missiles to Tesla coil ray guns.  Each power builds a Mighty Dice Pool which keeps powers balanced.  It’s easy to build lots of different powers quickly, and the balance also keeps things working like clockwork (Ha, Ha, Steampunk pun!) during combat.  Powers can also be pushed which means that you roll extra dice or do extra effects, but this comes at the cost of doing damage to yourself or reducing the Mighty Dice Pool of your weapon.  This represents over exerting yourself, running out of ammo for the gun, or causing some Steampunk device to go haywire.

 

Combat-Combat is quick and deadly!  Each turn players get to announce and perform an action in descending dexterity order.  Attacks use the Mighty Dice Pool determined earlier during character creation.  Some powers reduce the effectiveness of an attack, but aside from that, there is no set number to determine if an attack hits and how hard.  Characters do not have hit points.  Instead, characters have conditions ranging from stunned (out of combat for one turn) to dead.  After your attack with a power, you determine the number of success you got on your roll and compare that on a chart to the constitution of the target.  Some powers and abilities reduce the dice pool rolled, but beyond that there is no defense roll or armor class from the target.  It quick, clean, and very deadly!

 

Summary-This is well done universal system.  You get all the toys you could ask for, but you have to build them yourself.  Again, that’s heavy lifting for the GM as well as the players.  Combats quick, but you do give up some say in what happens as aside from some powers, you don’t get to determine how attack affect you.  This system works well if you invest time into it, but you do have to invest that time.  You can also see the LARP roots in this system keeping combat quick and focusing on the narrative on the encounter rather than the numbers of the encounter.  4.5/5

 

Execution– I like the system, but the book itself has a classic case of text book problem.  The book is incredibly full of information leading to several pages of text with few pictures.  The text is small, but you can easily resize on an iPad if you read the PDF.  I do like the quick summary of the game in the first few pages, but the sheer number of pages with text explaining everything in this book makes the book drag a bit.  The content is good, but more pictures and white space would really help this one.  3.5/5

 

Summary-If you want flexibility; this is the system for you.  The rules are well done to the point that anything anybody could want to make happen can happen.  The theme is light, but that’s a direct result of the book being open to anybody who wants to make their own Steampunk game.  The mechanics really reinforce that theme of open Steampunk design by focusing on balancing all the different things people could create.  I do like the balance presented in this game.  My only real concern with this game is it gets lost in its own open design and the density of material presented.  The art is good, but there just isn’t enough of it.  And, white space is your friend!  However, if you can get past the problem of getting too much in a book, and don’t mind completely building your own world and powers, this book is a well stocked tool box for building your own Steampunk world. 82%

Daily Punch 12-2-14 Natural Motivator feat for DnD 5e

I’ve been making feats for each other class, let’s keep this going now for bards!

 

Natural Motivator

You are a natural speaker, and you can motivate your fellows well.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your song of rest by one step.  A d6 becomes a d8.  When your dice would increase past d12, you dice become 2d8.
  • Increase your bardic inspiration by one step.  Follow the above rules for increasing your dice.

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Wasabi! now Sushi!

Product– Wasabi!

Producer– Z-Man Games!

Price– ~$50 here

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes (2 to 4 players)

TL; DR– PLAY AT A SUSHI-YA!  98%

 

Basics-Irasshaimase!  In Wasabi, you play a sushi chef trying to make as many orders happen as you can.  Each player starts with a recipe book, point tokens turned over to the number of ingridiants side, and a bowl for wasabi.  To start, players go around the table selecting three pieces of sushi that are handed to the next player, so you don’t get to pick your starting sushi.  After this, each player then chooses three different types of sushi to make ranging from easy two sushi piece combinations to the extremely hard five piece sushi.  Once every player has their three sushi pieces and their three recipes, the real game starts.  On your turn you can do two things: place a sushi piece or discard as many recipes as you want and draw new ones.  When you place sushi piece, you check to see if it creates any of the recipes you want to create.  If you do, you get to turn over a point token possibly gaining extra wasabi cubes (points and tie breakers), gain a power card, and draw a new recipe.  If you don’t finish a recipe, then you just draw up to your three sushi pieces.  Power cards allow you to change tiles on the board, place on top of other tiles, remove other pieces, and even place two tiles.  You can only gain one power card per turn, and you can only use one power per turn.  Discarding and drawing new recipes is pretty simple; discard what you don’t want, and draw up to three recipes.  The game continues until someone finishes all their for point recipes tokens, or until no more legal moves can be made.  The best chef is the person with the most points and wasabi cubes.

 

Mechanics-This is a fun one that can be pretty frustrating if played poorly.  There are some strategies that will work like doing your five point recipe first, then moving to your four, and so on while keeping a few easy two piece recipes in your plans to keep getting power cards.  That kind of makes the game less fun as there are less smart ways to play than different way to play.  However, if you want a simple game that is a much smarter version of tic tac toe, this is a good one to have on hand.  4.5/5

 

Theme- The game starts you out with soy sauce bowls and recipe books that look like menus from a Japanese dinner.  That right there fills that game with some awesome theme.  The board looks like a matt, and the tiles all look great.  I have never played this game and not left hungry for sushi.  You will feel like you spent 45 minutes in a sushi restaurant staring at the menu. 5/5

 

Instructions– The instructions are done fairly well.  There are a few minor English issues, but overall they communicate the rules well and explain the game quickly. 5/5

 

Execution– I love chunky cardboard!  This game has a ton of heavy cardboard pieces with all kinds of sushi ingredients on them.  The board is nice, and the art is great. You will leave this game hungry.  Also, I flat out love the menus that serve to hide a player’s pieces and the soy sauce bowls for wasabi points. 5/5

 

Summary-This is a fun, quick game that anyone can play. Players don’t need the in depth strategy that some games require.  It’s a simple tile laying game that you learn in a minute, and master in about five.  Some of the mechanics can lead to players losing through no fault of their own, but overall it’s a blast to play.  Moreover, all the different ingredients will leave you hungry!  The theme is so awesome that you will want to go to your favorite Sushi restaurant after playing this one. 98%