måndag 31 december 2012

Irrfärder: 2012


Ett år till har gått sen Irrfärder utan slut lanserades. I vanlig god ordning tänkte jag kolla igenom årets höjdpunkter – mest besökta inlägg, mest kommenterade och vad som möjligen förvånade mig.

Då jag inte förrän idag haft koll på att installera Google Analytics, har jag ingen koll på om det är mer eller mindre trafik här i år än tidigare år, men lite bättre har det kanske blivit av bilden att döma.

Året började bra kan man säga – för min del kändes det som rollspelsbloggarna var på G efter nyår, jag läste en massa och det lästes en massa av andra. Mycket handlade då om rollspels uppbyggnad och äventyr i de rätt välbesökta inläggen, Metaplotten – det allra vikitgaste, Kampanjernas största fel, Strid – det är viktigt och Trad, indie och OSG – synkretism?. Det är nog det jag är met nöjd med det här året - jag funderade i alla fall på rollspel då.

Annars handlade våren mycket om Technoir – vars inlägg tog en stund att skriva: Technoir – Transmissions gone wild, Mutant Rymd - kunde ha blivit så bra och floppen Spindelnät i Fontra Cilor – som visserligen kom ut innan Svavelvinterrollspelet men ändå borde/kunde ha varit mer läst. Vi (Fria Ligan: jag och Nisse) arbetade på ett "spindelnät" till Tramenze som åkte ut pga tidspress och platsbrist, men, men...

Årets stor händelse, eller två stora händelser egentligen, var ju släppet av Svavelvinterrollspelet och Prometheus - där det senare genererade en massa funderingar hos nördarna runt om i landet (Svavelvinter också så klart, men mest för rollspelarna då). Irrfärder kunde ju inte vara sämre, men mest läst blev Ett alien(s) rollspel då? som en del trodde på, kanske. Cold and Dark borde ju kunna fylla den genren tror jag.

Två stora besöksmagneter var så klart det andra stora rollspelsläppet 2012 – Fantasy! en nystart för något gammalt och det väldiskuterade Mörkret vid stigens slut – en början som ledde till en del rabalder i rollspelsdammen – dock inte på Irrfärder.

Höstens höjdpunkter var min utdragna genomgång av det nya Star Wars rollspelet från Fantasy Flight Games, där jag inriktade mig på en utländsk publik och skrev på kackig engelska (inget direkt flow i de texterna, inte). Där toppade Wall of text Wars (rätt nöjd med den titeln) och Star Wars – CharGen (apropå dålig titel).

Om man tittar på de mest lästa inläggen hittar vi årets skräll på andra plats, Äntligen Lego – som bara var en bild - dööh.

Årets bästa brädspel var ju så klart Catacombs – Drakar och Couronne, med en lysande videosnutt.

Annars bestod top fem av Star Wars, Mörkret vis stigens slut och Mutant Rymd (länkar ovan).

Mest välkommenterade var Aliens-inlägget (där någon anonym verkligen ville göra ett rollspel), Metaplotten, och Dust Tactics + The Regiment = Sant, där det sista knappt var besökt (relativt sett).

Så med andra ord, det blev ett helt okej rollspelsår – även om jag inte han skriva om Cold and Dark, diverse GeekDad-inlägg, In Flames och mina bortglömda kortregler till Eclipse Phase.

Vad tyckte ni var bäst? Sista chansen i år att skriva något.

Sist vill jag tacka alla läsare – kul att ni tittar förbi!

onsdag 19 december 2012

The two last chapters of the Star Wars-athlon

I seem to have come to the end of the Star Wars-athlon I begun as soon as I got my hands on the Beta. It's taken too long time - and I have to rethink that strategy for the future. Thats why I condensed the to last chapters; The Game Master and Adversaries to one post – and decided to skip the introductory adventure Crates of Krayts.

About the Game Master part – it's a short chapter (7 pages) where you get suggestions about how to run the game, how to use Fear – which feels sort of unlinked to the rest of the setting and rules (except the pure mechanics of it), how to award xp (the Force is XP-ensive*),  and how to use the Obligation, Motivation and Destiny points. It's an okay chapter, some useful stuff, for sure, but some also hidden in walls of text.

The good part of the rules for Adversaries are that they are divided into minions, henchmen, and nemeses and they behave different visavi strain, crit's and the ability to merge or use skills. The lista of adversaries are comprehensive – just what you'd like when you start a new RPG.

So – I'll move on to the Beginners Game, which seems interesting with it's learn-the-rules-as-you-play approach and some new cool FATE Core stuff (support them and get the new FATE rules).

*It would take you a bit short of ten sessions to get a Force rating of 2, and that's if you put all your xp in that basket.

tisdag 18 december 2012

The Force

Yeah, finally you might think – the Force, in Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG (Beta). this has got to be good. And it is, but maybe not as much as some people would like to.

You all know about the Force, penetrating everything, everywhere – but not that many characters in the Outer Rim, or at least not as much. After reading this chapter it's evident that you don't get to be a jedi in the Edge of Empire – but who expected that?

About the rules then. The Force introduces another type of die - the Force die (duh), and a new talent tree – Force-sensitive exile talent tree. anybody can by this tree from start and starts with a Force rating of 1 (jedi initiate) and by spending approximately 100 experience points (xp) over time you can get a Force rating of 2 (padawan). It doesn't seem to be possible to get a higher Force rating in Edge of the Empire. Just so you know, the maximum Force rating is 7 and that's basically Darth Vader and Yoda level.

There are three ways to use the Force, Sense, Influence and Move and you can all guess what you can do with them. to get better you have to spend additional xp on the three different Force Power trees (see grainy pic).

The Force rules seem appropriate and easy to learn if you just read through them a few times. I like them. The fact that you can use the dark side, the penalty being that you have to flip an destiny point from the light to the dark side or suffer strain. There are also suggestions that the players should let his character behave or let the dark side emotions: anger, fear and hatred present themselves.

All in all it seems prohibitively xp-ensive to be a Force user in Edge of the Empire but stuff you can do are very cinematic (meaning: stuff out of the movies).

måndag 17 december 2012

Nördjul!

Snart är julen här och avsett vad man tror på, känner för och liknande så har säkert tanken slagit fler att man borde få eller se till att få lite nördiga julklappar!

Vad önskar ni er för nördigheter? Och då vill jag nog veta spel - inte mer tid att spela rollspel på, det önskar vi alla ;)

För min egen del har jag sett till att få Star Wars Beginners RPG (om det nu kommer i tid), fudgetärningar och en drös grejer till Dust Tactics/Warfare. Är det något rollspeligt jag missat, som jag borde kolla in?

onsdag 5 december 2012

Starships en masse

Well, I'm back. Finally – after a tedious, slow and kind of boring November. I've just read the Starship chapter in Edge of the Empire, and I like it.

The chapter is somewhat similar to the conflict and weapons chapters, meaning: you can see how the rules overlap – which is good.

It starts of by describing ship and vehicle characteristics; handling, speed, silhouette, hull integrity, system strain, hard points, defense and armor. I specifically like how silhouette helps you handle different sizes of ships and determine how difficult it is to hit smaller ships (as one would like it to be in the Star Wars universe).

Hard point is also a good thought – it limits how much you can customise your ship.

After this descriptions you have listings of different ship to ship weapons, ranging from blaster cannons to proton torpedoes. Nothing out of the ordinary but there are som useful parts about handling linked weapons and limited ammo on starships.

Starship and vehicle combat resembles normal combat but you have different maneuvers – such as accelerate/decelerate, evasive maneuvers, punch it, angle deflector shields etc. The starship actions are what you would expect; damage control, gain the advantage, combat check etc.

The obligatory dice pool assembling is as before rather tedious to read, as it is interspersed with small symbols for triumphs, advantages, despair, threat and dice squares. Two tables describe how you can use the different symbols – e.g. three advantages or a triumph could be used to:

  • Reduce target enemy's defense by half
  • Ignore penalizing stellar effects such as dust clouds etc
  • Perform one free pilot only maneuver
  • Force the target vehicle to veer of and loose Aim or Stay on target actions.
As in the combat chapter the list is not an absolute but more like guidelines and suggestions to the players and GM, which is good.

A few pages are dedicated to damage, critical hits and the like for ships and vehicles – where the crit hit list follows the same recipe as in normal combat.

The chapter ends with list of different planetary vehicles/ships and how to customise them. You have everything from airspeeders, speeder bikes, AT-PT, AT-EST to TIE/LN fighters, Y-wings, freighters (such as the Millenium Falcon and Slave I – which I don't have a clue what their trading names are), and corvettes etc. No X-wing though – how lame is that?

All in all a very good chapter - I  look forward to testing out the starship combat. 

Coming up next: the Force.








måndag 3 december 2012

November har varit tyst


Det har varit en tyst och lång novembermånad – en månad där jag hade en massa bloggposter planerade, men allt försvann i mörker, sjukdom och Netflix. Mycket feber bland barnen och segdragen hosta hos sambon – gjorde att jag själv knappt orkade läsa bloggar ens. Passerat en milsten på Coriolisarbetet som kändes som ett berg – men är nu bestiget och nedgjort till morän. Orsakerna är många, men jag hoppas att juletid ska ordna till en del.

Under tiden har nördsverige rullat på – kan dock inte komma på några större nyheter, kan ni (om man undantar rabaldret på rollspel.nu, som jag hört om)? Uti världen har det mest handlat om att ha koll på nästa batch av Dust Tacticsmodeller som är på ingående.

Utöver några Dust Warfarepartier så har det mest spelats The One Ring och Coriolis mk. II för min del. I det första fallet handlar det om Wilderlandäventyren som vår SL sålde in med att en del var så dåliga att de inte var värda att spela och andra så rälsade att detsamma nästan gällde. Well – nu spelar vi i alla fall kampanjen och den är helt ok, men inte mer än så hittills. Lite mysigt liksom men inte mer.

Slutet på november bjöd i alla fall på lite nördhäng på Lekbergs och en ny blogg med Monstertisdagar, och att Neotech (NX/ripperdoc's clinic) verkar vara på G (igen?). Boningensstadsgenomgång har inte heller skadat, även om jag längtar efter en modernare stadsprodukt.

Nu blir det andra bullar! På återseende inom kort.

PS. En sista bonus är att Gränsrymden och Djachroum fick en fin recension i Fenix. DS

tisdag 9 oktober 2012

Cinematic combat in Star Wars RPG

This might be the most important chapter to many people – and combat is certainly pretty important to me in an RPG – although not as fun as spaceships and such, as we will se in the next chapter of the rule book.

The Conflict and Combat chapter describes combat, and just that. Are you into social conflict - look into the skills chapter, since you wont find any info here. The chapter starts out with a promise that these rules are made to "capture the pure cinematic thrill in the Star Wars universe".

Okay som how cinematic is it? First of all – as usual - initiative which can be determined by either Cool or Vigilance. somewhat unnecessary in my opinion, having two ways of doing it – at least it can't  speed up combat. A whole sidebar is devoted to the question when to use Cool or Vigilance – I rest my case. As in Warhammer the different groups (PC's or enemies) assign who is going to use each "initiative slot".

During your turn in a round (an unspecified amount of time - which I the way I want it) you can  make Maneuvers (1 or 2) and one Action. Maneuvers are stuff like aim, assist, manage gear, move etc. By taking an extra strain you can get an extra maneuver, but no more than two.

Actions are what you would expect them to be, skill checks, activating abilities, combat checks etc.A combat check is essentially a skill check with combat skills and more structured way how you can use advantages, triumphs, threats and despair - which are four of those funky symbols you find on the dice. A whole spread and a few tables describe how you do use the funky symbols - not an easy text to read, I can tell you.

There are defense ratings - three different kinds – again somewhat unnecessary in my opinion. The defense rating let's you ade setback dice to the roll. Then you have soak, dependent on your Brawn and armor.

Just like Warhammer you hav abstract ranges, or range bands. We couldn't get a hang of them in Warhammer and it doesn't seem easier here. Everything is relative and a sidebar instructs the GM to tell each player where he is relative to the opponents – it is then up to the player to track his range relative to everybody. I can see the use of hand drawn maps here – something these rules ar supposed to make unnecessary.

Four pages are devoted to conditional, situational and environmental modifiers by different amounts of setback or boost dice. Okay - this will definitely not speed up  the combat.

Handling wounds, strain and critical injuries seem easier than in Warhammer although i suspect its basically the same mechanic.  The critical injury table is kind of fun to read, at least the higher part with stuff like maimed, horrific injury, the end is nigh and of course death. To die you need to suffer a lot of critical injuries, or if you are unlucky with rolling d100's only five of em.

The final part of the combat chapter relates to recovery and healing with bacta tanks, rest stim packs etc.

Over all – combat seems to be okay, if you read the whole chapter and really remember it. But some stuff might actually not help you in making it very cinematic. The only way to know for sure, is of course to play.

[Previous chapter]


fredag 5 oktober 2012

Weapons and gear in Star Wars


I finally got to reading the gear and equipment chapter (read previous posts about the game, mechanics, char gen, skills and talents), which was interesting. Gear is important – to me – especially in a science fiction setting such as Star Wars. The first thing I wrote on this blog was actually a diatribe (in Swedish, here and here) about the lack of gear or rather tech in my favorite sci-fi RPG, Coriolis. In space opera such as Star wars it might be less important than in a cyberpunk setting, but still.

The gear chapter starts with some introduction to trade, rarity, the black market – which sort of resembles the Warhammer rules.  Then you have the elaborate rules about encumbrance – how bloody boring is that. Why not learn from computer games – give each character ten slots and let them fill them up with gear. No, instead you have encumbrance values based on Brawl + something etc. This part of the game doesn’t need this level of realism, just some internal logic which you could get with a slot based system.

Next you have all the weapons, describing types, qualities, maintenance and armor. I like the fact that every piece of gear seems to have associated hardpoints – telling you how much you can modify it, by adding stuff like optic sights etc. among the qualities you also have stuff like limited ammo, cumbersome etc., which gives me an aspect touch to the whole thing, with somewhat elaborate explanations for some qualities like how guided ammo/missiles work.

The weapons are generic, i.e. there are blasters and slugthrowers but no brand names or more specific types – something that works in SW, but would be boring in a cyberpunk setting.
The gear part includes everything from comlinks and fusion lanterns to bacta tanks and jet packs and most are just descriptions without any rules (there is a general rule regarding gear, that instructs you to add a boost dice if appropriate). The black market items include different drugs such as spice and lesai, as well as illegal gear, but not that many different items.

The most interesting part of the chapter is the customization and modification part – where you can modify your weapon (depending on number of hardpoints) with stuff such as, re-cocker (for bowcasters), Merr-Sonn’s Marksman Barrel,  spread barrels, bipods, tripods, under-barrel flamethrowers, sights – you name it.
So, all in all, this is a good chapter where you get what you expect and some more. I like the fact that guns have qualities, which resemble aspects in some FATE games such as Strands of Fate and that you have plenty of stuff to choose from.

Next up – Conflict and combat.

tisdag 25 september 2012

Talents in Star Wars, makes you ”kinda” special


Talents, sounds cool – I mean, one would expect something like talents in a RPG to make you more than special – actually it could be the thing that defines your character most of all. In some games – like different FATE variants, aspects define you and also give you significant power (compared to skills) when you use them. In a Swedish RPG – Svavelvinter – the abilities/skills really define you and in FATE stunts really give you an edge – or at least you can’t fail to get the effect of a stunt.

In SW:E talents are something in between all this, in my opinion often weaker, more resembling specializations to skills. In the beginning of the chapter the player actually gets informed that talents often are narrow and as such skills might be better if you want to be good at doing stuff – related to the skill in hand.

Talents are bought in talent trees, of which you can have a total of three. If you get a fourth talent tree you loose all talents from another one. Some talents are permanent – approximately 50% of the talents in each tree – and follow even if you change tree.

When you’re buying a talent you have to have all the previous talents in the path to the selected talent (and I suspect that the cost more as you move down the tiers – numbers in the margin?).


It’s really hard to assess if the talent are really good or not as I’m not already really familiar with weapon damages, soak values etc., but I can say this: if you select a talent with at blue or black die (boost and setback dice), in one third of cases it won’t matter as both types have two blank faces. This is actually something I dislike – if you pay for a talent – the least you can get is a bonus that is a bonus, not just a bonus in two thirds of cases. I minor thing, since some trees don’t have very many talents with dice associated to them.

So, to summarize talent – I get the same feeling as I got in WH3, not very useful if not a very special circumstance and probably (in some cases) not worth spending xp on. It, will be interesting to read about the Force as there are some Force talents (but also Force powers it seems).

Whats done better with talents, compared to WH3, is that ther aren’t any cards and you don’t seem to have to activate and tap them – but I might be wrong –  and maybe the Combat chapter will resolve this.

söndag 23 september 2012

Star Wars – Skills – enough or too many?


The way roleplaying games use skills and the amount of skills – tells you something about them. 

I remember – from the Golden Age of my roleplaying (the 90’s) – how the amount of skills increased as new splat books were added, and soon we had a “Light a fire” skill, which many a characters excelled in.

So when reading the skills chapter in Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (hence SW:E) I asked myself a number of questions. Number of skills?  Weighting between social and combat skills? One or many knowledge skills? And finally the description of skills – e.g. did they have explanations for how to interpret extra symbols in a roll.

For a start – these are the actual skills in the core book: astrogation, athletics, brawl, charm, coerce, computers, cool, coordination, core worlds, deceit, disciples, education, gunnery, leadership, lore, mechanics, medicine, melee, negotiate, outer rim, perception, pilot (planetary), pilot (space), ranged (heavy), ranged (light), resilience, skullduggery, stealth, streetwise, surveillance, survival, underworld, vigilance and xenology.

Quite a few in other words, but on the other hand quite a few skills involved in social conflicts, and also a box and table describing how the different social skills (coerce, deceit, leadership, charm and negotiation) interact with two opposing skills (discipline and cool).

Six knowledge skills, and the possibility of adding more – might not be my cup of tea, but doable. The risk being that some of them wont be used even if players have them.

Regarding the combat skills – there is nothing out of the ordinary. Other things I noticed include the possible overlap between Cool and Discipline (could have been one skill), the use of Surveillance to  use ship sensors and that it seems you use different skills to oppose in social conflicts (rather than using the same skill or at least having that option).

Each skill has a description of the use of symbols (e.g. success, triumph, threat) or referral to the combat or space travel chapter. But once again all this data is hidden in plain text, instead of using small tables or boxes. I sincerely hope they will change this.

So, all in all, the skill chapter didn’t hold any real surprises and I think its okay although I would have preferred fewer skills.

fredag 21 september 2012

Star Wars - CharGen


Well, well - after a slow start, Star Wars Beta picks up speed in the second chapter – Creating a Character. Here we get acquainted to the concept of Obligation, different species to play as well as the six different careers: bounty hunter, colonist, explorer, hired gun, smuggler and technician.

I must say, I really like the Obilgation – actually I would like to incorporate this into any future games I’ll help produce (realistically, just Coriolis, at the moment). Obligation is as the name implies a debt, unpaid favor, family duty, addiction or whatever you think would be interesting for your character. Or just roll on a table if you can’t come up with it by yourself. The obligation is a value ranging from 5 to 25 at the start of the game for each character but it´s added together when used in the game. Technically at every session the game master rolls a D100 and if it’s below the total obligation, the corresponding characters Obligation comes into play this session. The character reduces his strain threshold (used in “mental” conflicts) by 2 and all other characters by 1 – and this doubles if you roll was a double (eg. 11, 22, 33). As the strain threshold normally is 12 (for a normal human) you can sort of figure out the possible effect.

You can also use the Obligation to get stuff, favors etc but if it rises above 100 the whole party won’t be able to relax (and spend xp) until they have resolved their Obligation(s).

Moving on to species – I suppose here you get what you expect ­– in my case you can play wookiees, humans, droids and twi´leks among others, and each species description is short and inspiring – the opposite of how the first chapter felt like.

The six different careers with 3 specializations each (bounty hunter: assassin, colonist: politico etc) are what makes me want to play SW! Each specialization ahs its own talent tree, describing which talents you can choose from as well as how they are interconnected (see below). Talents resemble their namesake in WH3, by having different effect that are sometimes due to added boost or setback dice or adding bonuses to abilities, attributes etc.


After you bought your talents, career skills etc you choose (or roll) Motivation, which resembles an aspect in FATE but doesn’t seem to be compelled in the same way. And finally you get to choose a ship – among three different types – whose names don´t elicit any recognition for my part – but I have come to understand that one is the “Millenum Falcon” and one “Slave-I”.

After reading this chapter – I have regained my Motivation to play the game ­– it can actually be very good, we´ll see.

onsdag 19 september 2012

Wall of text Wars


I recently acquired the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta. It's taken me a while to read it (and actually read any part of it). Anyway.

My first impression of the new Star Wars Beta RPG was it's marvelous smell, fresh of the printers. The next impression was the massive amount of text - Wall of text, as a fellow nerd, succinctly put it.

I know that it is a beta version but my first impression didn't alter after I read the first chapter, with the game mechanics. My friend's prediction is that I won't get thru the whole book - which isn't a bad bet. I'll try - and we will see what happens.

The first chapter describes the game mechanics and is rather tedious to read. The mechanics are similar to Warhammer FRPG 3.rd edition, with custom dice, that you add together depending on abilities, skills, the difficulty (two different kinds), and the situation (positive and negative). There are of course also Force dice and two 10-sided dice.

The basic dice pool consists of two to four different kinds, and you read the in a similar way as in WHFR3. 

Other key elements are the Talents, Destiny points (read: Fate points) and Obligations, and this is the more interesting part. The amount of Destiny points wary from session to session depending on the roll of the Force dice, which I like and Obligation ads motivations and also mechanical features to the game when it comes in effect.

I feel that the whole first chapter needs a lot of graphic descriptions of dice pools and less text, because it's actually too boring to read. And I suspect that somebody native to English might explain it with less words - but i don't know for sure. The newly announced Beginner box might help - I'll probably get it, for this reason alone.

The next chapter - Character generation - looks more interesting. If you can't wait, read ahead on Fire broadside. 


måndag 3 september 2012

Star Wars RPG Beta has arrived!

Okay, so I'll try in this in English, since there might be some folks abroad interested in this. Big day today – my Star Wars: Edge of the Empire beta arrives from the US, and i could finally have a look at it. Smelled nice, fresh from the printers and I must say – it's crammed with stuff, just paging through it is absolutely marvelous! Have a look yourselves and please excuse the lame commentary...




torsdag 30 augusti 2012

Lite sjyssta bloggar

När man sitter och klurar på spel, regler och äventyrsstruktur - som jag gör just nu då får man chansen att upptäcka nya saker på nätet. Jag tänkte dela med mig av de senaste tre upptäckterna, som en del av er kanske känner till - men som i alla fall kan vara roliga för aspirerande rollspelskapare och -utvecklare, något det verkar finnas gott om.

System sans Setting - är en bra blogg för den som vill ha en bra genomgång av olika regelsystem. Under fliken System Review går skaparen, Stephen, igenom olika regelsystem på ett strukturerat sätt. Väldigt bra och överskådligt.

FATE SF - högaktuellt för en som gillar sci-fi och FATE. Spel som Diaspora, Bulldogs, Starblazer Adventures och Strands of Fate avhandlas av John Till. Nyligen gjordes en Barsoom-variant till FATE. Så gå dit och förnöjs. Här hittade jag också till Jeremy Kostiews FATE tutorials (se nedan).

The Alexandrian - där bland annat scenariostruktur avhandlas, exempelvis Node-bases scenario design. Här finns för övrigt saker som Legends and Labyrinths, som konstruerats av bloggaren själv, Justin Alexander.

Inte en blogg, utan en tråd på G+, men ändå väl värt ett besök är FATE tutorials, för den som vill fatta FATE - kanske folk som vill spela Coriolis i framtiden.

Hoppas ni hittar något nytt och kul att läsa!