Wednesday, January 6, 2021

BORCHARDBRIAR: BECOMING MONSTERS

 The real risk of losing Accord is uncontrolled transformation as the Land's wild magic uses your flesh as a canvas. But maybe a little monstrosity is fine, given the stakes. When you lose points of Accord, you temporarily gain a Tinge. Draw a card for each point lost and apply the card of your choice, gaining the corresponding Tinge. At your next Advancement you can choose to keep the Tinge instead, otherwise it blows away on the wind. Be sure to conceal you Tinges, the Wyld Breakers are always on the look for Folks meddling with the Old Times.

If your Accord reaches 0 then you're lost until the next full moon as the wild magic overwhelms you. The GM takes control of your character and draws 4 cards, applying all corresponding Tinges. . Draw a card for each point lost and choose one to apply.


WARMBLOODED TINGES (Hearts and Diamonds)

A - Your sense of smell becomes incredibly sharp. You gain a +2 on all Survival and Notice rolls involving scent.

2 - Small quills grow along your arms and back. With effort you can sprout more. You gain the damage field power with 10 power points and activated with Vigor.

3 -  The night calls to you. You're at home in the darkness. You require half the sleep of normal Folk.

4 - Your jaws and teeth become as deadly as any blade. You gain a bite attack that deals Str+d8, if you already have a bite attack then increase the damage to Str+d10.

5 - Sound betrays your surroundings, revealing objects and creatures to your incredibly sensitive ears You have no penalties in low light conditions but suffer a -2 to Resist sonic based attacks.

6 - Your limbs lengthen and taper into long, graceful limbs. Gain +1 Reach & increase your Pace by 2.

7 - From your brow erupts a crown of horns & antlers. This natural weapon deals Str+d6 AP 4 damage.

8 - Your constitution becomes incredibly robust and your vital organs keep trucking regardless of damage. Called shots deal no extra damage and you're immune to poison.

9 - The dumb Beasts of forest and field acknowledge you as lord among them. Gain the Beast Bond Edge and the animal companion that comes along with it. The companion has 1 Tinge so draw a card from the Action Deck.

10 - You grow a prehensile tail or two. Gain an extra non-movement action per round at no multi-action penalty.

J - Wings sprout from your back. Feathers or leather, your choice. Gain the ability to Fly at Pace +3.

Q -  Magic rolls off you. Gain the Improved Arcane Resistance Edge, regardless of requirements, and deal +4 damage to Sorcerers and Abominations.

K - You're a conduit to the Bad Old Days, calling upon the shades of deceased Folk to aid you. Gain the summon ally power with 10 power points and activated with Spirit.


COLDBLOODED TINGES (Clubs and Spades)

A - Gills blossom along your neck. You cannot drown in water and gain a +2 to all swimming related tests.

2 - A flashy, colorful crest that draws the eye and beguiles the weak-willed. +2 to Trick with Persuasion and Intimidate.

3 - Your toes bind to even the sheerest surfaces. You gain the Wall Walker trait and can scramble up sheer and inverted surfaces at your full Pace.

4 - Your jaws grow thick with bone and muscle. You gain a bite attack that deals Str+d6, if you hit with a Raise then you deal 2d4 bonus damage. If you already have a bite attack then the damage does not increase but you still get the bonus damage on a Raise.

5 - The skin of your paws become brightly hued with warning. With a successful Touch Attack, the victim must roll Vigor or suffer a level of Fatigue.

6 - Pits open beneath your nostrils, allowing you to sense heat. You gain Infravision, halving low light penalties when attacking creatures that give off heat.

7 - You can shoot blood out of your eyes. Suffer a Fatigue level to cause all Folks and Beasts to make Fear checks within 10 ft. at a -2 penalty.

8 - Your skin/fur changes color and blends into the background. You add +2 to Stealth checks when standing stock still.

9 - Your tongue stretches and becomes adhesive. You gain the entangle power with 10 power points and activated with Agility. 

10 - Lost limbs will regenerate but your new limbs are brightly colored and moist. You will need to water them. You can make a Healing roll once per day to recover lost wounds.

J - A tortoise shell hardens around your torso. Gain Armor 2, if you already have a shell it becomes Heavy Armor.

Q - Anybeast with coldblood in their veins can be brought under your sway. You gain the beast friend power with 10 power points and activated by Survival. It even works on Folk, but at a penalty equal to half their Smarts die. You can increase it later like any skill.

K - In time, you could be King of All Monsters. Increase your Size by 2.


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

TITANOMACHY: TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON

From the storms' wake emerges the mighty Squallor, an amorphous monster embodying the anger of the planet's climate grief. What awakened this meteorological horror remain unknown, though drawn to battle the Lords of Plunder and Stellar Tyranny Remnant. Accompanied by a corona of uncharacteristic weather, the passage of Squallor breaks the worst blizzards with a summer day and smothers wildfires beneath a momentary super . Despite its alien demeanor, it pays no mind to Daikaiju Earth's other defenders and bears no malice to most of humanity.

 ATTRIBUTES
Agility d8 Smarts d4 Spirit d10 Strength d12+16 Vigor d10

SKILLS
Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Faith d10, Fighting d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d8

PACE 6 PARRY 6 TOUGHNESS 46 (30)

HINDRANCES
Dependent (Major) - Emerging above the wreckage of Manila, Squallor bonded with Pinoy environmental activist Samira Perlas.
Hesitant (Minor) - It can take Squallor a moment to sort things out.

EDGES
Arcane Background (Miracles) - Starting powers: boost/lower trait, elemental manipulation, healing

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Cannot Speak - Squallor "speaks" by rapidly shifting through the seasons and localized weather events.
Colossal Crash - 3d12+16, AP 24
Leaf On the Wind - Squallor floats through the sky with Pace 6.
Hardy - A second Shaken result in combat does not cause a Wound.
No Vital Organs - Called shots do no extra damage to Squallor.
Primal Surge - The Earth's fury runs riot. Ranged Attack with optional Medium or Cone Template using Shooting. 5d10 damage, AP 30, ROF 1.
Size 12 (Gargantuan) - Smaller than your average Daikaiju, Squallor has Heavy Armor, can suffer three additional wounds and Stomp)

Titanomachy is a collection of sample characters for Dawn of the Daikaiju from Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Possibly a little too weird for most games. Then again, you are playing giant monsters. You can find the main rulebook here.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Borchardbriar: THE ACCORD

 

THE LINE THAT HOLDS US
"The old songs say there was an order to things. Spring to summer to autumn to winter and back around again. Drawn up to check the wild magics so good Folk would have a chance to build something without the heather and ivy dragging down their hard work. Laying out the tenets of Thumb and Fist and overwriting the red laws of Tooth and Claw.

Now the cycle's broken with Reynard's arse wedged into Borchardbriar castle, stalling the others in their far flung corners 'til the wheel turns again. But the Accord still holds. Though with all these growling stomachs, I don't know how much longer."

- Cass, Raconteur of Some Renown

ACCORD - Every Wild Card starts with maximum Accord equal to 2 plus half their Spirit die type. As things unfold the GM may call for a Accord check with a modifier based on events. An Accord check is a Spirit roll, the results may modify your current Accord score.

Murder -  Killing Folk for any reason other than self defense causes an Accord check at -2. 
Backlash - A character with an Arcane Background who triggers Backlash must also make an Accord roll.
Fear - Fright and animal terror cut the noblest beast at the knees. When you fail a Fear check, lose 1 point of Accord.
Relic - Wielding a Relic is playing with fire. Each use of a Cursed Relic causes an Accord check.
Open Road - Out past the borderposts, the Land's wild magic warps Folk. Moreso when they're isolated. Each day you're on the Open Road, make an Accord check with a -2 penalty and adding +1 for each companion.
Viciousness - The Accord is built on trust. Being a bastard undercuts that. Predatory and cruel acts cause an Accord check, with a penalty (-1 or -2) at the GM's discretion.

LOSING ACCORD
The real risk of losing Accord is uncontrolled transformation as the Land's wild magic uses your flesh as a canvas, turning you into a worthy predator. But maybe a little monstrosity is fine, given the stakes. When you lose points of Accord, you temporarily gain a Tinge. Draw a card for each point lost and apply the card of your choice, gaining the corresponding Tinge. At your next Advancement you can choose to keep the Tinge instead, otherwise it blows away on the wind. Be sure to conceal you Tinges, the Wyld Breakers are always on the look for Folks meddling with the Old Times.

If your Accord reaches 0 then you're lost until the next full moon as the wild magic overwhelms you. The GM takes control of your character and draws 4 cards, applying all corresponding Tinges. 

RECOVERY
The most effective way to recover lost Accord is building trust and community. So lend a paw by helping out, doing things for others, pitching in without being asked, and taking nothing in return. Additionally, every lunar cycle, equinox, and solstice that goes by without any further Accord loss, you regain a point of Accord. You may want to promote one of the Network Contacts to a full fledged Cell Member and play them while your other character is on the mend.

Accord cannot go above the starting value, minus 1 for each Tinge. Nor can Accord go below 0.

New Edge:
DEFY FATE
REQUIREMENTS - Legendary, Spirit d10
Choose 1 Skill rated d10 or greater. When you make an opposed roll with that Skill, you may spend 1 Accord to succeed with a raise.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

TITANOMACHY: BIGGER THAN BIG. TALLER THAN TALL.

M. Asif Khan grew up in a Pakistani village surrounded by the Himalayas. As the mountains dominated his vision, they similarly dominated his life. He started mountain climbing to conquer these titans and symbolically rise above his origins. He was not prepared for how literal this would be.

While scaling a recently shifted mountainside, Asif discovered a metallic giant packed in the ice and snow, thawing out under the sun. He drew close to the enormous figure and reached out, brushing the metal skin with his fingertips. In a flash the figure disappeared into Asif. The sudden cavity in the mountainside quickly filled with a crush of tumbling ice, snow, and scree dragging him along.

Though he fell just a man, Asif emerged from the rubble as BRUM - THE MOUNTAIN AMONG MONSTERS.

In its last act the alien bestowed the Titan Factor on Asif. Now able to attain tremendous stature, Brum led a successful career combating, and sometimes cooperating with, the planet's Daikaiju. A career functionally ended when Stellar Tyrant Ophiuchus invaded from another solar system. Joining forces with the Daikaiju, they repelled the Tyrant at great cost: Ptera Khan lost a wing, Anglax was blinded, and Brum couldn't change back into Asif. Now forever a Titan.

Now a resident of the Bonin Island Refuge, Brum must negotiate a new equilibrium with his monstrous housemates.

ATTRIBUTES
Agility d8 Smarts d6 Spirit d8 Strength d12+16 Vigor d10

SKILLS
Academics d6, Athletics d10, Common Knowledge d6, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Science d6

PACE 6 PARRY 6 TOUGHNESS 54 (30)

HINDRANCES
Enemy - Major, The Stellar Tyrant Ophiuchus  believes all Titan Factors belong to him,
Heroic - Major


EDGES
Brute, Iron Jaw, Mutation (Size x2), 

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blunt Force Trauma - 3d12+16, AP 24
Dependency - Sunlight, the only thing that sustains him
Racial Enemy - Daikaiju, his unwilling "housemates" hold a grudge
Sapient - Brum is capable of complex thought and full speech
Size 18 - Larger than your average Daikaiju, Brum has Heavy Armor, can suffer three additional wounds and Stomp

Titanomachy is a collection of sample characters for Dawn of the Daikaiju from Pinnacle Entertainment Group. You can find the main rulebook here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tuesday Reviewsday: ThunderCats (2011)

 

We're drowning in fantastic animation. In the age of Avatar, Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts, Voltron: Legendary Defender, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power you're easily forgiven the sin of overlooking the excellent 2011 ThunderCats series. After all, it hasn't been on any streaming service as far as I know.

Recently added to Hulu, the 2011 series was planned for 52 episodes but tragically cut in half when the toy sales failed to meet expectations. I don't use the word "tragic" lightly considering how good the 26 episodes were I wish the studio could have finished their tale. I hold no nostalgia for the original series and this series grabbed me by the throat. The stakes are high, the animation fluid, the voice acting is top notch, and the characters draw you in. In the alternate world where the 2011 ThunderCats reached its conclusion, we might praise it as effusively as Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Both ThunderCats (1985) and ThunderCats (2011) are streaming on Hulu right now.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Borchardbriar: We All Lift Together



Cell Table

Rank

Rep

Resistance

Expertise

0

0

0

Start with 2 Network Contacts, a Hideout, and 1 Defense

1

1

1

Wild Cards joining your Cell gain d4 Repair

2

2

1

Gain a Network Contact. Current members gain an Edge.

3

3

2

Wild Cards joining your cell gain d4 Battle

4

4

2

The Cell gains a Benny any Wild card or Extra can use.

5

5

3

Wild Cards joining your cell gain the Trademark Weapon Edge

6

6

3

Gain a Network Contact.Current members gain an Edge.

7

7

4

Wild Cards joining your cell gain the No Mercy Edge

8

8

4

The Cell gains a Benny any Wild card or Extra can use.

Increasing the Cell's Rank costs a number of Food equal to the next Rank.


Rep is a measure of renown among the oppressed and heat from the oppressor. 


Resistance is a bonus to Battle rolls. Certain Hideout Edges allow you to add this bonus to other rolls as well.


The Hideout starts with 1 Defense. You can choose from: deadfall (burst), smoke wires (darkness), lockjaw traps (ensnare), or clay pots with stinging insects (summon minion). The powers are activated with a d8, or the highest Repair skill in the Cell, and 10 Power Points.

Feel free to create your own with GM approval.


Hideout Edges - A Cell's maximum number of Hideout Edges is equal to the Cell’s Rank.


BELLS & WIRES

You’ve strung thin wire across every entryway and set small bells to act as a crude alarm system. Incidentally you’ve gotten good and bypassing similar arrangements, add +1 to Stealth and Thievery checks indoors.


BOLTHOLE

The hideout has an escape tunnel running into a nearby district. The tunnel is tight and can be collapsed to block pursuit. Though this can cause problems for larger members of the Resistance.


BUNKS

Maybe your home isn’t safe since you fell into the Resistance. Or you don’t have a home. Either way the Hideout has bunks for you to sleep in. Add Resistance in opposed rolls to be tracked since you can vary your patterns.


DISTILLERY

It ain’t much but you can produce the basis for myriad elixirs and potions: snakebite. Of course you could always just drink it. You receive 1 shot of Snakebite per Wild Card at the beginning of each caper or adventure. You can take this Hideout Edge multiple times but instead you add 1 shot of Snakebite each time, to be distributed separately.


GUTTER FLEET

Down the canal there’s a skiff or two tied off to a hidden dock. Add Resistance to your first Boating check during a Dramatic Task.


INFIRMARY

With a bed for long term convalescence, bandages, and a cabinet packed with herbal remedies; you're ready when things go sideways. Add Resistance to your Recovery rolls to bounce back from the Injury Table.


IMPREGNABLE

Most Hideouts have one active Defense, but you’ve developed additional lines of Defense. Choose one: an additional Defense, increase the Power Points by 10, or increase the activation die by one step. You can take this Hideout Edge multiple times but you have to pick a different option each time.


PACTSTONE FOUNDATION

Your Hideout’s foundations were laid with stone from the Bad Old Days before Reynard ascended to the throne. You can knap pactstone shards for use in small, light weapons like knives and arrows. During the Muster Phase, add +2 to your test to procure such items.


PARTNERS IN CRIME

The Meow Street Runners are fracturing and some have abandoned their posts. Now they’re on your side with inside information. You generate an additional caper and draw an additional action card during dramatic tasks. You can choose which card to use.


PRINTING PRESS

With wondrous machinery you can now get the word out. When you Muster Forces, add a d4 to the number of Extras you rally to the cause. You can take this Edge multiple times.


SECRET SHRINE

Maybe y’all built it yourselves or maybe it was here before you moved in, but in a small alcove there’s a shrine to the 3 Forgotten Seasons. Choose one: Albina the Spring Sow, Chaunteclure the Summer Bantam, or Gilgen the Winter Elk. During the Muster phase, you may choose to pray at the shrine and make a Spirit roll. If you’re successful gain one below power with a reserve of Power Points equal to you roll for the rest of the Caper. Use Persuasion for power activation.

  • Albina, the Spring Sow - Growth

  • Chaunteclure, the Summer Bantam - Warrior’s Gift

  • Gilgen, the Winter Elk -  Slumber


SORCEROUS SANCTUM

Ritual reagents and sanctified space allow the canny sorcerer to craft Talismans of various sorts and perform rituals held in check until the right moment. Add Resistance to your first power activation or power damage roll per caper.


THE STACKS

Piles of books pile up in a hideout corner. Thumbing through them can prove useful. Add Resistance to Research and Academics checks.


VOLUND'S STONE

Getting a piece of Pactstone to sharpen blades rather than blunt them is no mean feat. All Cell members with the Trademark Weapon Edge now add Resistance to damage rolls


WAREHOUSES

Somewhere off-site you have space to hold contraband and hide people. Reduce the Crackdown by 1 when you steal material, liberate tithes, or kidnap someone.


WORK BENCH

Equipped with a cornucopia of tools, the cell is now better able to prepare the materials for their mission. Add Resistance to Repair rolls needed to create or maintain the means of mayhem.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tuesday Reviewsday: Corto Maltese


Corto Maltese is a series of European action/adventure comics by famed Italian creator, Hugo Pratt, chronicling the life of its titular character through the early decades of the 20th century. Though related to Tintin, Gil Jordan, Lupin III, and other continental adventurers, Corto carries himself more as a pulpy Sinbad the Sailor. Embarking on adventures for lost Imperial Spanish gold and thwarting Nazi spies for the sake of outrunning boredom than the allure of wealth or pursuit of truth. Along the way he crosses paths with historical figures like Rasputin, Butch Cassidy, Ernest Hemingway, and Jack London.

With striking black and white art from an artist at the height of his powers and narrative depth belying comics, Corto Maltese is well worth the time. Especially if you love pulp adventure tales staring colonialism's ugliness full-on. This series is definitely in the Old Man's Bar DNA. The stories have most recently been translated and printed by IDW and some animation was done 4-5 years ago.