Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Abstract Combat in Book 4 Mercenary

I bought the Mercenary book back in the mid eighties, and have built lots and lots of PCs with the expanded book 4 rules. I've even a few times tried building a mercenary unit by following the system laid out in the book. But until now the Abstract Battle system didn't make much sense to me. I figured out what I was doing wrong: I tried doing it totally in the abstract. 

The Abstract battle rules work the best when they are integrated into a story, so that both sides have specific objectives, which are determined by their particular missions. Let me explain.

This evening, my boys and a friend were finishing up the adventure of rescuing a princess, who was kidnapped by a General in her world's army. He was trying to usurp the throne and marrying the princess was part of the plot. 

As I have mentioned before, this was my re-imagining of the Amber Zone adventure Coup D'Etat, which I reviewed a few years ago. The setting is Pampati, in Holtzmann's Corridor, and the princess is Princess Aurelia. 

Well, the guys rescued her from the General's army base where she was held hostage, then retreated to the Summer Palace where the King was trying to keep his government together by radio and telephone. 
It may be cold outside, but the princess is Hot!
I provided the PCs with a small force of household guards, and a few hours to prepare defenses before General Kang's troops rolled in. The guards needed officers to direct them, so the King commissioned the PCs to lead the troops. They blocked the entrance road with trucks, hid in the woods and dug in on the front lawn. 

Kang's forces were attempting to capture the palace (and therefore the Princess & the King) and the PCs were there to prevent that from happening.

Here's where the abstract system came in. I drew a map of the area on hex paper. Each of the defending squads had a die-cut counter, and the attackers had a number of counters as well. As rebel and defending counters were moved adjacent to each other, I resolved each of the encounters as a battle round under the abstract system.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Free Character Sheet for These Stars are Ours!

Available now from Stellagama Publishing at DriveThruRPG:

Character sheet for the These Stars Are Ours! (TSAO) setting; compatible with the Cepheus Engine and other OGL 2D6 Sci-Fi games.

Available in three formats: Standard PDF, Fillable Form PDF, High-Resolution PNG.

All for the low low cost of no money whatsoever. Get it here!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Traveller Game Session Report December 2017

After the McGee Tragedy, the gang needed to find work. I used my Random Missions table and came up with "repair vehicle". Hmm. It will have to be a big vehicle to need seven repairmen. So that would be . . . an airship!
"Can we mount guns on this?" - an actual player question.

Location: Stavanger

The patron is Stephanos "Steffi" Trendheim, son of one of the ruling Barons of Stavanger. He's competing in a 100-hour endurance race across the wilderness of Stavanger, to Oasis and back. The race must use only TL-6 equipment, so no contra-gravity or rocket propulsion.

The gang's first task was to assemble the airship, a semi-rigid airframe with Helium envelopes for lift. They set to work with limited time, but got the ship air-worthy, passed the time trials and entered the race. 

During the build phase, everyone received a Rumor on a 3x5 card. Some pointed to possible future endeavors, but may were signs of trouble ahead: bribery offers and a death threat to lose the race; a bribe to take out a competing racer, and even to take out the patron!

In the air, they got off to a good position in the field of eight racers, each representing one of the Baronies: Arendal, Hokksen, Levanger, Namsos, Plancourt, Sandvika, Trendheim, and Ulstenvok.