Showing posts from December, 2012

5000 Pageviews!

First I hit 100 posts just earlier this week, and now I'm at 5000 pageviews, so it is a week of benchmarks for Graph Paper Games.  I started this blog as an off-shoot of my wargaming blog The Army Collector , but lately I've been finding my interest being more on roleplaying games than wargaming.  Not surprising, since wargaming itself was an off-shoot of roleplaying games. Right now, I'm in a curious play in terms of roleplaying games.  I've got a game, and I've got a great group, and we meet regularly.  But I'm discontented.  I've been running this game (D&D 4E) off-and-on for almost two years, and I'm a little bored.  I'm trying to ascertain if I'm bored with the fantasy genre as a whole, or if I'm bored with the "three fights fill an evening" game mechanic that seems to have evolved over time with the group.  I know the group (some of whom read this blog) have a great time hanging out with each other and playing the gam

Only War(?)

Side note: I know I owe about three more supervillains, but I haven't had time to stat any new ones out.  In the meantime, I had some thoughts about another game... I picked up the Free RPG Day mini-adventure for Only War, the latest RPG offering out of Fantasy Flight's licensed Warhammer 40K RPG's.   Only War  focuses on the Imperial Guard, the lowly grunts who make up most of the Empire's military apparatus.  Now the main rulebook is out, and while I really liked the little mini-adventure, I've had mixed thoughts about picking up the game. FFG's earlier Warhammer 40K games had players playing members of the Inquisition, the crack teams who root out sedition, corruption, and covert alien invaders.  The game was supplemented by rules for playing Rogue Traders (semi-independent freebooters), and the iconic Space Marines (superhuman defenders of humanity). But in the 40K universe, the Imperial Guard are usually the faceless masses of humanity thrown into the

The Last Two Years (My Gaming History, Part 5)

After eight years of living in a very small town, first gaming with friends I could coerce into gaming with me and then later shifting to gaming at gaming stores, I moved again for work. This time, thankfully I was in a larger community and a college town.  I went from having a gaming store be a half-hour drive away to having one three blocks from my house. Moreover, I also knew how to find other gamers, either by trawling gaming stores, the internet, or just my community of friends. I also knew I didn't want to spend two years waiting for gamers to fall out of the sky like I had previously.  I immediately arranged to run a game at the local gaming store and put up a notice on Meetup, which is a great tool for finding other gamers in your area.  That was my short-term goal. Long term, I knew I'd be making other friends that I could try to game with me.  I had gotten over my aversion to letting the public know what I did as a hobby years before.  I think in this world wh

Gaming with Non-Gamers (My Gaming History, Part 4)

So in my last installment of this gaming autobiography, I ended having left a city of two million to take a new job in a city of twenty thousand.  Also, this wasn't a suburb of a larger city, this was a small failed rustbelt town where the closest gaming store was easily more than twenty miles away. Complicating matters, I had one small child and closely thereafter another.  My wife and I were both working, so there was lots of things going on.  While things like the internet were helping me find people to do wargames with, I was less willing to try to find other gamers, having had some back experiences with gaming with strangers.  You can play Warhammer against a stranger in a gaming store, leave and never see him again if you don't want.  It's harder (and a little more intrusive) getting out of doing a roleplaying game with someone who has been in your house. After over two years of no gaming whatsoever, I got so hungry to do some gaming that I realized the answer was

The Rough Years and Back (My Gamer History, Part 3)

When I left college, I returned to my home town, or rather my new home town since my parents had moved while I was in college.  That meant I didn't know anyone, didn't have much of a job, and was kind of at loose ends.  I thankfully found a reasonable-paying job (it was a different era back then), located the stores that sold gaming material, and began to look for a new group. It didn't work out well.  I was back out in the MidWest and the pickings were surprisingly slim.  In the end I risked something I will probably never do again: I put up a sign at a gaming store saying I was running a Star Wars game and was looking for players. I got Brooding Guy, Quiet Guy, Jackass Guy, and Socially Inept Teenager.  I also recruiting my new girlfriend, who had some experience gaming although it wasn't really her thing.  (Later, she'd become Irene, my roller derby-playing, zombie-fighting partner over at Hard Boiled Zombies )  I liked most of them well enough, even Jackass Gu

The Halcyon Years (My History in Gaming, Part 2)

Previously, I wrote about my start in gaming; fumbling around but generally gaming a lot less than you might think.  All that changed when I went to college in New England, where both I think both the population density and cosmopolitan nature of the place lent itself better.  The college I attended actually had a school-sponsored club dedicated to playing roleplaying games as a way of encouraging non-fraternity activities.  What's more, when I got there I discovered that they played a game I thought I knew, but wasn't aware had advanced three editions. I ended up playing, and then later running, Champions 4th Ed. for over three years, often more than once a week.  It's a slow game, combat-wise, especially when you've got six or so players, but this was the gaming mainstay the entire time.  And I loved it.  There was the Knights of New York, FUNHOUSE, Vanguard and its spin-off team Vanguard Europe. We were a pretty mercurial group when it came to games, thoug

21st Villain of Christmas: Winter Wraith

Winter Wraith (Erin Heath) Affiliations Solo d8 Buddy d6 Team d4 Distinctions Tragic figure Cold hearted Beyond the Grave Power Sets GHOSTLY PHANTASM Flight d6 Invisibility d8 Insubstantial d8 SFX: Immunity.  Spend one die from the doom pool to avoid stress, trauma, or complications caused by aging, disease, poison, radiation, or vacuum. WINTER POWERS Cold Control d10 Icy Blast d8 SFX: Multiattack, as MHR History and Powers Erin Heath was driving out in the country during a terrible blizzard when her car went off the road.  Desperate to find help and no visible landmarks in sight, Erin foolishly abandoned the car and wandered out into the cold.  Within an hour, she was suffering from severe hypothermia and close to death.  As she lay in the snow, unable to move, she heard footsteps approach and a voice said, "Do you want to live?" Finding herself able to speak, she said, "yes, I'd do anything to not die.&quo

The Early Years (My History in Gaming, Part 1)

Barking Alien once posted his "life of gaming," and it was such a good read I thought I would do the same myself. Plus it is my 100th Post!  Woo Hoo! My first experience of roleplaying games came when my uncle gave me a gift certificate to Sears.  Now back in the day, the Sears-Roebuck catalog was a big honking deal at Christmastime because you could look at all these toys you couldn't find anywhere else.  But even more bizarre that year was that the Sears store was selling a box set of Basic Dungeons & Dragons.  I was a huge fan of knights as a kid, not to mention Narnia and the Lord of the Rings books (admittedly I had only seen the animated movies), so I managed to talk my parents into letting me buy the box set. Despite the assertions that this game was huge, I found it very difficult to find people to game with me.  My sister was only marginally interested in hanging out with me, since we were getting into full-blown sibling rivalry (plus we shared

The 7 RPG Meme

I don't know who started it, but there's been a lot of RPG-themed bloggers talking about their top seven RPG's played and/or run.  So here's my lists. RPG's played Robotech .  Some time I'll write a lengthy post about how the Robotech: the Sentinels campaign I played in college was one of the best of all time.  I know Palladium Games gets a lot of grief about their rules, but this campaign is for me the gold standard. Champions 4E .  This was really the big game of my college career.  There were lots of fits and starts, but we were all superhero fans and this was the go-to game when it came time to roleplay. Dungeons & Dragons 4E .  My feelings about the game mechanics and general theme of play are pretty well documented here, but this game just gets points on longevity.  I've been alternatively playing and running this game for over the last two years in a single campaign, and that's a record unto itself. Stars Wars (WEG).  When we were

20th Villain of Christmas: Blitzkrieg

Blitzkrieg (Klaus Metzger) I drew this one Affiliations: Solo d10 Buddy d6 Team d8 Distinctions: Nazi Secret Weapon From Another Era Power Sets: ROBOT BODY Superhuman Strength d10 Superhuman Durability d10 Superhuman Endurance d8 Enhanced Senses d8 SFX: Immunity to disease and poison SFX: Invulnerable. Spend d6 from the doom pool to ignore physical stress or trauma unless caused by magnetic attacks. ELECTRICAL DYNAMO Electrical Blast d10 Electrical Mastery d10 Flight d8 SFX: Multiattack SFX: Multipower.  Use two or more powers from the  ELECTRICAL DYNAMO  power set at -1 step. Specialties Combat Expert Menace Expert History Klaus Metzger was one of many soldiers recruited in Nazi Germany for a project to create a "superman" to oppose the rising number of superhumans battling for the Allies.  While many of these projects ended in failure, Metzger's process turned out to be an enormous success.  Metzger's brain was implanted into a powerful robot bod

19th Villain of Christmas: The Queen of Darkness

To help me get caught up with my "25 Villains of Christmas," my daughter Macy offered to come up with one.  She developed the concept, and I created the datafile. The Queen of Darkness  (unknown) Affiliations Solo d10 Buddy d6 Team d8 Distinctions Really Scary Really Evil Creature from Nightmares Power Sets DARKFORCE POWERS Darkforce Mastery d10 Darkforce Blast d10 Emotion Control (fear) d10 Superhuman Durability d10 Teleportation d10 Flight d6 SFX: Multipower, as MHR SFX: Bring the night.  When creating a COMPLETELY DARK complication, add a d6 and step up the effect die by +1 SFX: Darkforce Constructs.  Add a d6 and step up the die +1 when using DARKFORCE POWERS to create assets. SHADOW CREATURES Flight d6 Claws d8 SFX: Multiattack, as MHR Limit: Needs shadows.  If a BRIGHTLY LIT complication is in play on The Queen of the Night, shut down SHADOW CREATURES.  Take a doom from the die pool to restore. Specialties Combat Expert Cosmic Exper

18th Villain of Christmas: Hive Tyrant

It's my list, I can rip off the IP of GW if I want to.  Especially if I'm a day late Hive Tyrant (none) Affiliations Solo d10 Buddy d8 Team d6 Distintions Insectoid Superiority Complex Submit to My Will, Mammal Power Sets INSECTOID BODY Enhanced Strength d8 Enhanced Durability d8 Enhanced Stamina d8 Enhanced Reflexes d8 Enhanced Senses SFX: Claws, as MHR SUPERIOR ALIEN MIND Telepathy d10 Mind Control d10 Psychic Resistance d10 Psychic Blast d10 SFX: Multipower, as MHR SFX: Multiattack, as MHR Specialties Cosmic Expert Pysch Master History and Powers The being calling itself Hive Tyrant came to Earth several years ago, reputedly fleeing his own people after a failed attempt at a political coup.  Once on Earth he began several plots to conquer the Earth, including one particularly ambitious plan to seize control of Russia's nuclear arsenal. Hive Tyrant shuns alliances with other beings, feeling that they are beneath him.  If he uses

17th Villain of Christmas: EyeStrike

My cavalcade of home-grown supervillains for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying rolls on, but the end is in sight. Eye Strike (Glen Arnold) Affiliations Solo d4 Buddy d6 Team d8 Distinctions Stubborn Eager Out of His Depth Power Sets OCULAR BEAMS Energy Blast d10 SFX: Multiattack, as MHR SFX: Deflect.  Take a die from the Doom Pool and allow Eye Strike to use OCULAR BEAMS to resist a ranged physical attack. Specialties Combat Expert History and Powers Glen Arnold was a low-level technician at a lab when a reactor leak bombarded his eyes with intense radiation.  Instead of suffering typical ailments from the accident, Arnold's eyes gained the ability to project intense beams of energy.  Arnold capitalized on his new powers by launching a career as "Eye Strike." Eye Strike has not, however, been the most successful villain ever.  He has battled and been defeated by Raven, Bankshot, the American Express, and practically every other super hero on the East

16th Villain of Christmas: Brawl

Brawl (Matt Maishock) Affiliations Solo d6 Buddy d4 Team d8 Distinctions Arrogant Misogynistic Juiced Up Mercenary Power Sets ENHANCED BODY Superhuman Strength d8 Superhuman Reflexes d8 Superhuman Stamina d8 ARSENAL Weapon d6 SFX: Deadly.  Step back the highest die in Brawl's attack action pool to add a d6 and step up physical stress inflicted. Limit: Gear, as MHR. Specialties Acrobatics Expert Combat Master Covert Expert Menace Expert History and Powers Matt Maishock was one of several assassins given superpowers by Empyrean on behalf of the Syndicate of Crime.  His natural abilities were all enhanced to superhuman levels, but Maishock, now calling himself Brawl, supplements those abilities with a collection of knives, guns, and other weapons while in the field. Brawl is course and over-confident, and has a particular interest in fighting and defeating female opponents.  He has developed a particular fascination with the martial arts heroine Rav

15th Villain of Christmas: Lady Moloch

Lady Moloch (Erika Rawlins) Affiliations Solo d10 Buddy d6 Team d8 Distinctions Grieving Widow Ruthless Don't Call Me a Bitch Power Sets REPERTOIRE OF MAGICAL ITEMS Enhanced Durability d8 Mystic Resistance d10 Mystic Blast d10 Master Sorcery d10 Telepathy d8 Flight d6 Mystic Senses d10 Teleport d10 SFX: Area Attack, as MHR SFX: Mystic Household.  When creating a Mystic or Cosmic related resource of stunt, give out a PP to step up the stunt or resource. Limit: Gear, as MHR Specialties Business Master Cosmic Expert Menance Expert Mystic Expert History and Powers Erika Rawlins was the owner of a multi-billion dollar corporation when she caught the eye of the mystic archvillain Lord Moloch.  Moloch was taken by Rawlin's beauty, power, and endless ambition, and he began courting her to be his wife and consort.  Eventually they were secretly married, and Rawlin's massive business holdings began to supplement Lord Moloch's dreams of world

14th Villain of Christmas: Metalurge

Back on track with the mysterious Metalurge.  If you might see this character as a PC, don't read his secret origin after the break. Otherwise, feel free. Metalurge (unknown) Affiliations Solo d10 Buddy d8 Team d6 Distinctions Villain Liberator One Man Army Mystery Agenda Power Sets SECOND GENERATION GENESIS KNIGHT ARMOR Superhuman Strength d10 Superhuman Durability d10 Supersonic Flight d10 Cybernetic Senses d6 Weapon d10 SFX: Area Attack, as MHR SFX: Multipower, as MHR SFX: Power allocation.  Step up one SECOND GENERATION GENESIS KNIGHT ARMOR power for one action, then shut down another power.  Restore the shut down power by using one die from the Doom Pool. Specialties Combat Expert Covert Expert Crime Expert Tech Expert History and Powers Little is known about the armored figure calling himself Metalurge, but his actions are consistent: Metalurge breaks supervillains out.  At various times his has attacked police transports, courtrooms, and

13th Villain of Christmas: Throgmorton

A little late on this one.  Work was pretty demanding yesterday--the curse of the number 13?  Well, in honor of unlucky 13 we present another favorite of mine just for the name alone: Throgmorton! Throgmorton (Jonas Throckmorton III) Affiliations Solo d8 Buddy d4 Team d6 Distinctions Professorial Cursed Really Unhappy Power Sets FOMORIAN LYCANTHROPY Superhuman Strength d10 Superhuman Durability d10 Superhuman Stamina d10 Growth d6 Leaping d6 SFX: Multiattack, as MHR Limit: Vulnerable to Magic.  If Throgmorton is hit my any magical attack, step up the effect die. Limit: Uncontrolled Change.  Jonas Throckmorton will transform into Throgmorton in the presence of strong magic. Limit: Berzerk, as MHR Specialties Combat Expert (in Throgmorton form only) Menace Expert (in Throgmorton form only) Mystic Expert History and Powers Jonas Throckmorton was a professor of European Mythology and Folklore at a small university in the Northeast.  While researching Nor

12th Villain of Christmas: Mandelbrot

Mandelbrot (Jason Kulas) Affiliations Solo d8 Buddy d6 Team d4 Distinctions Anarchist Locus of Chaos Barely Contained Power Power Sets ENTROPIC WAVE GENERATOR Elemental Chaos Control d8 Enhanced Durability d8 Chaos Blast d8 SFX: Multipower, as MHR SFX: Area Attack, as MHR SFX: Machines break more easily than people.  If an ENTROPIC WAVE GENERATOR power is used against an inanimate object or is used to resist an attack that is based on an inanimate object (versus a fist or an energy bolt, for example), step up the die for the ENTROPIC WAVE GENERATOR power. Limit: Can't keep it together.  Create a ENTROPIC WAVE GENERATOR complication and add that die to the Doom Pool or step up an existing Doom Pool die by one step. Specialties Combat Expert d8 History and Powers Mandelbrot has claimed, at various times, to have discovered a "mathematical key to the universe" which has both blessed and cursed him to be able to generate waves of entropy from hi

11th Villain of Christmas: Bola

Almost halfway there and not a single comment.  I've been wondering if Marvel Heroic Roleplaying just doesn't have that big a following or if homegrown campaigns just aren't the way people are going with this game.  In any case, here's one of my favorites so far. Bola (Chris Manzo) Affiliations  Solo d8 Buddy d4 Team d6 Distinctions Weapon Specialist Mobbed Up Ambitious Power Sets TRICKED OUT BOLAS Weapon d8 Swingline d8 SFX: Exploding Bolas.  Against a single target, step up or double a WEAPONS die.  Remove the highest rolling die and use three dice for the result. SFX: Gas Bolas.  When using a WEAPONS die to create an OBSCURING complication on a target, add a d6 and step up the WEAPONS die. SFX: What Bolas Usually Do.  When using a WEAPONS die to create an ENTANGLED complication on a target, add a d6 and step up the WEAPONS die. Limit: Gear, as MHR Specialties Acrobatics Expert Combat Expert Crime Expert

10th Villain(s) of Christmas: Crimson, Cobalt, and Viridian

Crimson, Cobalt, and Viridian (none) Note: the datafile for each is exactly the same Affiliations Solo d4 Buddy d6 Team d8 Distinctions Statuesque Naive In Love with Empyrean Power Sets GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CLONES Superhuman Strength d10 Superhuman Durability d10 Enhanced Stamina d8 Subsonic Flight d8 SFX: Invulnerable, as MHR SFX: Take the Hit.  Spend one die from the Doom Pool to take physical stress intended for nearby ally or friend. Limit: Weak willed.  Increase the reaction die of any mental attack against them by one step. Specialties Combat Expert History and Powers Crimson, Cobalt, and Viridian are three identical female clones created by Empyrean (see separate entry) to serve as his personal bodyguards.  All three are superhumanly strong, invulnerable to damage, and can fly.  They have been especially conditioned to be loyal to Empyrean, but are fairly child-like in their emotional maturity. All three wear skimpy uniforms with gold arm and

9th Villain of Christmas: Empyrean

Empyrean (unknown) Affiliations Solo d6 Buddy d8 Team d10 Distinctions Shaper of Flesh Arrogant Smarter than You Power Sets GENETICALLY ALTERED BODY Enhanced Strength d8 Enhanced Reflexes d8 Enhanced Stamina d8 Enhanced Senses d8 Mimic d10 SFX: Focus.  If your pool includes a GENETICALLY ALTERED BODY power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one stepped-up die Limit: Mutations.  Select the power duplicated by the Mimic power before the scene begins.  The power can only be changed during a transition scene. SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT Weapon d8 SFX: Mutagenic Gas.  When creating a Temporary Mutation complication, add a d6 to the pool and step up the effect die. Limit: Gear, as MHR Specialties Combat Expert Psych Expert Science Master Tech Expert History and Powers Nothing is known about the background of Empyrean except that at some point in his life he modified his own body's genetic structure to grant him "human perfection" in ter

8th Villain of Christmas: Argent

Getting this one in a little late, but here it is! Argent (Marc Rosen) Affliations Solo d8 Buddy d4 Team d6 Distinctions Bitter Ex-Hero Hates the Media Power Sets REFLECTIVE COATING Enhanced Strength d8 Enhanced Speed d8 Godlike Durability d12 SFX: Reflective Skin.  On a successful reaction against an energy-based attack action, either convert opponent's effect die into a REFLECTIVE COATING stunt of step back effect die by -1 and inflect as physical stress.  Spend a die from the doom pool if the action succeeded. Limit: Conscious Activation, as MHR Speciailties Business Expert Combat Expert Science Expert Tech Expert History and Powers Marc Rosen was a scientist specializing in the uses of nanotechnology.  He had devloped a method by which a exterior coating of nanobots could be spread over a person's body, creating a highly reflective suit of armor.  The nanobots would also enhance a perosn's strength, and create a frictionless surface upo

7th Villain of Christmas: Codex

Codex (Unknown) Affiliations Solo d6 Buddy d8 Team d10 Distinctions I Kill Monsters Plenty of Time Master Strategist Power Sets HYPER-FAST PHYSIOLOGY Superhuman Speed d10 Superhuman Reflexes d10 SFX: Pushing the Limits.  Increase one HYPER-FAST PHYSIOLOGY power by one step, then shut down HYPER-FAST PHYSIOLOGY.  Use a die from the Doom Pool to restore HYPER-FAST PHYSIOLOGY. SFX: I've had time to think this out.  Replace any HYPER-FAST PHYSIOLOGY power with two die one step lower. DEADLY ARSENAL Weapon d8 SFX: I've found your weakness.  Step down any DEADLY ARSENAL die, add a d6 to the pool, then step up the effect die by one. Specialties Combat Expert Covert Master Crime Expert Psych Expert Tech Expert History and Powers Nothing is known about Codex except that at some point he was living a normal life until a battle between an unknown supervillain and an unknown superhero or heroes claimed the life of his family.  From that time on, Codex de

6th Villain of Christmas: Hysteria

Hysteria (Callie Swanlen) Affiliations Solo d4 Buddy d8 Team d6 Distinctions Terrified Lashing Out The Heart of a Mob Power Sets HYSTERIA-INDUCING AURA Emotion Contol d10 SFX: Area Effect, as MHR SFX: Invisible powers.  Until a hero defeats the Doom Pool, supplemented by Enhanced or Mystic Senses, and/or Mystic or Psych specialties, Hysteria can not be targeted by an attack. ANGRY MOB Group d6/d6/d6/d6/d6 SFX: Look out!  Hysteria can use an ANGRY MOB die as part of her reaction die.  If the reaction is successful, the die is lost.  If not, it can be used again. SFX: Mob Mentality.  Any complications created by Hysteria using HYSTERIA-INDUCING AURA can replenish the ANGRY MOB pool. Specialties Mystic Expert Psych Expert History and Powers Callie Swanlen was seized by the state as a newborn infant and spent her childhood being bounced around from group home to foster family.  While many foster families are wonderful, loving environments, Callie was

5th Villain of Christmas: the Multipower Gang

Not exactly "Five Golden Rings" but today I thought I'd put forward a group, rather than an individual. The Multipower Gang Affiliations: Solo d4 Buddy d6 Team d8 Gang d8/d8/d8/d8/d8 Can be targeted individually or as a group with a Multi - Area Attack Power Sets POWER SWAPPING COSTUMES 1. Superhuman Strength d10 2. Superhuman Speed d10 3. Force Blast d10 4. Supersonic Flight d10 5. Superhuman Durability d10      SFX: Force Fields.  Take a die from the Doom Pool and be able to use Superhuman Durability on another person as part of their reaction. Superhuman Durability d8 Teleportation d10      Limit: Recall.  Teleportation can only be used at the end of a scene to remove the Multipower Gang from being captured. Limit: One power at a time.  Each member of the gang can only utilize a single power in a given action from those numbered 1-5, and no one can duplicate another's power in that action. Limit: Gear, as MHR Specialties Combat Exp

4th Villain of Christmas: Krag

Krag (Eric Kiefer) Affliations Solo d6 Buddy d4 Team d8 Distinctions Bad Decision Maker Walking Avalanche Incredibly Bitter Power Sets MINERAL FORM Superhuman Strength d10 Superhuman Durability d10 Tunneling d6 Limit: Weighted down.  Turn Superhuman Durability into a complication, then increase one die in the Doom Pool.  Remove a die in the Doom Pool to eliminate the complication. Limit: Sensitive about appearance.  If Krag suffers an emotional attack based on his appearance, step up the effect die. Specialties Combat Expert Menace Expert History and Powers Eric Kiefer a member of the US Army on his way to military prison as a result of his resistance to authority and his violent temper.  He was given an option to avoid imprisonment if he would participate in a top-secret experiment.  An alien spacecraft has crashed to earth, but had been almost completely destroyed.  A small sample of alien DNA had been collected, and a particularly reckless scientist ha