Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Triple Threat - Wendigo




Wendigo
Wendigo are terrifying shapeshifters who were once human, but through accident or choice ate human flesh. Over time the more they ate the more they craved until eventually, they became inhuman creatures who only look like human beings – but only on the outside. Wendigo tend to travel alone or in pairs ­– more rarely they’ll travel in packs, but only if a Windwalker is leading them (a avatar of the northern spirit by the same name which curses them for eating human flesh even as it embraces them). Windwalkers can turn normal folk who have never tasted human flesh by merely biting them at which point they will suffer from Wendigo Sickness.

Any Campaign Setting…
Beast-Form
ST: 25             HP: 25             Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 11
IQ: 10             Per: 16            Weight: 180 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 16             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 7 (Tough Skin)

Bite (14): 2d+3 cutting. Reach C.
Claws (14): 2d+4 impaling. Reach C.
Improvised Weapon (7): Based on Damage 2d+2/5d-1.

Traits: As human form, plus Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Smell; Bestial; Super Jump 2; Supernatural Features (Gaunt, Glowing Eyes; Long Tongue; Malformed Feet); Temperature Tolerance 8 (Cold); Terrain Adaptation (Snow); Terror (Sound; -3 to Fright Checks); and Social Stigma (Monster).
Skills: As human form, but increase Survival (Arctic) and Tracking to 20.
Notes: As human form.

Human-Form
ST: 20             HP: 20             Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 11
IQ: 10             Per: 14            Weight: 180 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 16             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 7 (Tough Skin)

Punch (14): 2d+1 crushing. Reach C.
Improvised Weapon (7): Based on Damage 2d-1/3d+2.

Traits: Alternate Form (Beastly Form; Active Change; Reduced Time 1); Combat Reflexes; Callous; Dependency (Human Flesh; Daily; Aging; Substitution, Animal Flesh); Dark Vision; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense); Fearlessnesses 5; Gluttony (12); Hard to Kill 2; Hard to Subdue 2; High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Mimicry; Odious Racial Habit (Eats Human Beings); Overconfidence (12); Penetrating Voice; Regeneration (Regular or Fast*); Regrowth; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Silence 2 (Dynamic); Smells faintly of raw meat; Supernatural Durability (Fire; Not immune to pain); Uncontrollable Appetite (12) (Human Flesh);  Vulnerability (Cutting Attacks to the Neck x2); Vulnerability (Fire x2).
Skills: Brawling-14; Stealth-18†; Survival (Arctic)-14; Tracking-18‡; other skills as the GM deems appropriate.
Notes: Taboo Trait: Fat, Overweight, or Very Fat. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check from GURPS Horror (p. 139), wendigo have a modifier of -4 in beast-form and 0 in their human form (but only if they reveal they aren’t human).
* This assumes that the wendigo must eat at least 10 pounds of meat per day. They can live off of animal flesh; make a HT roll, success means you can eat that particular type of meat; failure means you lose one point of HT; critical failure results in retching (p. B429). If he eats twice this amount, his Regeneration temporarily kicks into overdrive. This is priced as a alternate ability of Regeneration (Regular) and is essentially: Regeneration (Fast; Trigger, excess human flesh, -30%) [7]. This does not apply to wendigo who eat only animal flesh.
† Includes +4 bonus from Silence.

‡ Includes +4 bonus from Discriminatory Smell.


For Dungeon Fantasy…
Beast-Form
ST: 25             HP: 25             Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 11
IQ: 10             Per: 16            Weight: 180 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 16             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 7 (Tough Skin)

Bite (14): 2d+3 cutting. Reach C.
Claws (14): 2d+4 impaling. Reach C.
Improvised Weapon (7): Based on Damage 2d+2/5d-1.

Traits: As human form, plus Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Smell; Bestial; Super Jump 2; Supernatural Features (Gaunt, Glowing Eyes; Long Tongue; Malformed Feet); Temperature Tolerance 8 (Cold); Terrain Adaptation (Snow); Terror (Sound; -3 to Fright Checks); and Social Stigma (Monster).
Skills: As human form, but increase Survival (Arctic) and Tracking to 20.
Notes: As human form.

Human-Form
ST: 20             HP: 20             Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 11
IQ: 10             Per: 14            Weight: 180 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 16             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 7 (Tough Skin)

Punch (14): 2d+1 crushing. Reach C.
Improvised Weapon (7): Based on Damage 2d-1/3d+2.

Traits: Alternate Form (Beastly Form; Active Change; Reduced Time 1); Combat Reflexes; Callous; Dependency (Human Flesh; Daily; Aging; Substitution, Animal Flesh); Dark Vision; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense); Fearlessnesses 5; Gluttony (12); Hard to Kill 2; Hard to Subdue 2; High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Mimicry; Odious Racial Habit (Eats Human Beings); Overconfidence (12); Penetrating Voice; Regeneration (Regular or Fast*); Regrowth; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Silence 2 (Dynamic); Smells faintly of raw meat; Supernatural Durability (Fire; Not immune to pain); Uncontrollable Appetite (12) (Human Flesh);  Vulnerability (Cutting Attacks to the Neck x2); Vulnerability (Fire x2).
Skills: Brawling-14; Stealth-18†; Survival (Arctic)-14; Tracking-18‡; other skills as the GM deems appropriate.
Classification: Mundane.
Notes: Taboo Trait: Fat, Overweight, or Very Fat.
* This assumes that the wendigo must eat at least 10 pounds of meat per day. They can live off of animal flesh; make a HT roll, success means you can eat that particular type of meat; failure means you lose one point of HT; critical failure results in retching (p. B429). If he eats twice this amount, his Regeneration temporarily kicks into overdrive. This is priced as a alternate ability of Regeneration (Regular) and is essentially: Regeneration (Fast; Trigger, excess human flesh, -30%) [7]. This does not apply to wendigo who eat only animal flesh.
† Includes +4 bonus from Silence.
‡ Includes +4 bonus from Discriminatory Smell.


For Monster Hunters…
Beast-Form
ST: 25             HP: 25             Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 11
IQ: 10             Per: 16            Weight: 180 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 16             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 7 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: -4

Bite (14): 2d+3 cutting. Reach C.
Claws (14): 2d+4 impaling. Reach C.
Improvised Weapon (7): Based on Damage 2d+2/5d-1.

Traits: As human form, plus Appearance (Monstrous); Bad Smell; Bestial; Super Jump 2; Supernatural Features (Gaunt, Glowing Eyes; Long Tongue; Malformed Feet); Temperature Tolerance 8 (Cold); Terrain Adaptation (Snow); Terror (Sound; -3 to Fright Checks); and Social Stigma (Monster).
Skills: As human form, but increase Survival (Arctic) and Tracking to 20.
Notes: As human form.

Human-Form
ST: 20             HP: 20             Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 10           Move: 11
IQ: 10             Per: 14            Weight: 180 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 16             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 7 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: 0

Punch (14): 2d+1 crushing. Reach C.
Improvised Weapon (7): Based on Damage 2d-1/3d+2.

Traits: Alternate Form (Beastly Form; Active Change; Reduced Time 1); Combat Reflexes; Callous; Dependency (Human Flesh; Daily; Aging; Substitution, Animal Flesh); Dark Vision; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense); Fearlessnesses 5; Gluttony (12); Hard to Kill 2; Hard to Subdue 2; High Pain Threshold; Increased Consumption 1; Mimicry; Odious Racial Habit (Eats Human Beings); Overconfidence (12); Penetrating Voice; Regeneration (Regular or Fast*); Regrowth; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+8); Silence 2 (Dynamic); Smells faintly of raw meat; Supernatural Durability (Fire; Not immune to pain); Uncontrollable Appetite (12) (Human Flesh);  Vulnerability (Cutting Attacks to the Neck x2); Vulnerability (Fire x2).
Skills: Brawling-14; Stealth-18†; Survival (Arctic)-14; Tracking-18‡; other skills as the GM deems appropriate.
Notes: Taboo Trait: Fat, Overweight, or Very Fat. Use the skills listed under Lycanthropes in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). One wendigo is a fair fight for one champion with access to burning attacks – otherwise two to three champions is without them..
* This assumes that the wendigo must eat at least 10 pounds of meat per day. They can live off of animal flesh; make a HT roll, success means you can eat that particular type of meat; failure means you lose one point of HT; critical failure results in retching (p. B429). If he eats twice this amount, his Regeneration temporarily kicks into overdrive. This is priced as a alternate ability of Regeneration (Regular) and is essentially: Regeneration (Fast; Trigger, excess human flesh, -30%) [7]. This does not apply to wendigo who eat only animal flesh.
† Includes +4 bonus from Silence.
‡ Includes +4 bonus from Discriminatory Smell.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Chronicles of Ceteri - Silent as the Dead - Part II - Game Session 3

Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
The Shadowed Heights
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 4:00 pm
7 Cathaoir Road, Murphy Island, Boston, MA 02171

After letting their “guest” stew for a bit, Annie and Frankie go to the detention cell to see the ogre and what information they can glean from him. He proves a difficult customer and after he tells Annie he’s going to “Skull fuck” her she breaks every bone in his right hand, then switches to the left. After nearly thirty minutes she finds out that Jan sent them after her and her allies because Reinhardt thought that they knew where the musician was. After breaking the other hand for spite she manacles the creature fully and goes to share the information with both Ronan and Al who had been making more of his “Works” bullets upstairs. Surprisingly, they make a good team and do in a hour what takes Ronan around four to finish. After a quick powwow in the kitchen they decide to go see the first victim’s home – Marley Hopewell and see what his shade can tell them.


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
Marley Hopewell’s Wake
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 5:00 pm
54 Burroughs St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Once at the Hopewell residence Annie and Ronan (who is incorporeal) go inside. Annie pretends to be one of Marley’s friends from school. Meanwhile, Al and Frankie wait outside in the Duisenberg. Annie introduces herself to the grieving parents and in a moment of compassion composes a eulogy on the spot and then asks them to pray with her. Her simple prayer is so powerful that her angelic patron, Sariel the Archangel of Death hears her. Moments later “Father Sarafino” of the Boston archdiocese comes to give his condolences (again) to the family. Annie asks to go see Marley’s room one more time and the parents, in tears, agree. Father Sarafino follows her up the stairs and as they climb he expresses his sadness over the boy’s death and warns Annie that she cannot allow Jan Reinhardt to die or the future will “become more difficult.” He also tells her that “if I were to advise you on this matter – and I’m not – I’d say look for the glass slipper by midnight.” She nods and he turns around conjuring a hymnal in his hands as he turns the corner. Upstairs Ronan and the boy speak softly on the bed. When Annie enters, the new shade is in tears and asks her if he is “really dead.” She nods sadly and explains that he didn’t deserve what he got – but people rarely do. She promises to set things right and begs him to move on. He agrees, but before he goes, he asks her to take care of his parents and to tell them to go back to the Cabin in Maine where they planted the ash tree the day he was born. He also asks her to return his best friend Jo-Jo’s Dungeons and Dragons books to him and then disappears as a shaft of purest light envelops him and he ascends to Heaven. Grabbing the books, she goes and tells his parents that she remembered him talking about going back to the cabin, gives them a hug, and tells them goodbye. On her way out the door she sees a flyer for DJ Boom Kitty’s Spectacular Seaside Spectacle.
            Outside both Frankie and Al notice someone watching them from the shadow of a nearby house and when they confront it, it bursts into a murder of crows and flies away. Al believes it to be a sluagh spying on them and offers to barter with it. Surprisingly it flies back to him and lands on the hood of the car. The monstrous crow opens its beak and speaks (most disturbingly) in a raspy human voice. After a bit of back and forth and a slightly nervous Frankie the crow shifts into a human form – that of a beautiful grey-eyed, black-haired maiden. Realizing his mistake, Al bows to the woman as he realizes she is Scáthach the Warrior Maid and trainer of Cúchulainn. In good faith he bargains with her offering her the secrets of qeres, going so far as to offer her a sample so she knows he’s capable of making it. Being a contemporary of Airmid and no slouch in herbal concoctions, she agrees to tell him what he wishes to know (where the mysterious musician is and his or her name). Scáthach informs Al-Shams that this is not a equal gift and instead bargains to train him and give him a single favor owed (in the form of a crow feather). Afterward she drags him off to the house whose shadow she was hiding in to “seal the bargain,” but leaves him on his back covered in scratches and bruises before he can reach his own pleasure. Annie nearly bangs the door down telling them they have to leave to go to a strip joint called “The Glass Slipper.” A crow lands at Al’s feet with a piece of parchment with a picture of DJ Boom Kitty – a young girl no older than 16 named Erin Tally. Obviously half-fae, the girls features look extremely familiar…after staring a few minutes Annie realizes the girl looks a lot like Nial, which leads her to why Reinhardt wants her so badly.


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
The Glass Slipper
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 6:00 pm
22 Lagrange St., Boston, MA 02116

Once inside both Annie and Al-Shams get propositioned by the owner to come dance for him. The places is packed despite the crime scene tape leading to the back room. Declining she instead offers one of her business cards and asks him if anything unusual had happened recently. He tells them only four days ago two of his girls danced themselves to death along with five others in the backroom and offers to let her investigate if she wants. Accepting they move into the backroom and Annie asks Ronan to perform a bit of magic. Using the bone dust of a blind man, spit, and fresh rainwater he conjures the shadows of the past and makes them live temporarily again. After a few moments they see that the dancers had used a CD as well. The magic so powerful that it radiates through the spell as a multi-hued synesthetic aurora pulsates from the shadow of the music player. Having seen enough they stop by a nearby Hot Topic and Annie dressed up in “rave finery” so they can get close enough to Erin without alarming her.


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
DJ Boom Kitty’s Spectacular Seaside Spectacle
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 7:00 pm
290 ES Warren Street, Roxbury, MA 02119

Once at the huge gathering (over 500 souls) Annie goes one way and Ronan shrouds1 himself, Frankie, and Al as they mingle among the crowd looking for danger. It’s not long before they spot several other shrouded fae, including several ogres, a few sidhe, and even a massive Fir Bolg2. Annie tries to get Erin off the stage, but before she can a ogre bashes her in the back and sends her flying. Getting to her feet quickly, two sidhe grab Erin and try to make off with her. Annie commands Ronan to kill them and he blows their heads apart with his “Iron Works” rounds. Frankie sneaks up behind the Fir Bolg and blows the back of its spine/head apart killing it with a single blast from the Interpreter3. Al cuts down a ogre, but before they can get the girl a wave of magic hits the whole party and paralyzes everyone. When the spell ends for them Erin is gone – but not before Annie grabbed a scrap of cloth and some of Erin’s skin/blood from scoring her with a fingernail. She puts together a hounding spell4 and they stop by the Heights long enough to grab some serious firepower as Annie is “fed up with this shit. We’re going to go start a war.” Eventually, they are led to Reinhardt’s mortal persona’s offices – Raines Musical Production.


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
Raines Musical Production
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 7:00 pm
22 Great Woods Road, Lynn, MA 01904

Having grabbed some mil-spec black-market hardware they prepare the shapeshifting tulpa (Nimbus) to become something “a bit more…entry friendly.” But before that happens they contact a very powerful forbidding5. Annie walks forward and speaks a single word in the tongue of God Himself6 “Open,” shattering the powerful magic impeding their way and also opening every window, door, filing cabinet, locker – even files on a computer! – in the process. But it does more than thatOnce at the doorway several redcaps greet them before Ronan pulls a minigun from the car and mows them down. He moves in to take out the rest of the welcoming party, but once inside the building the gun jams thanks to firearms impeding-ritual. Dropping the massive weapon he draws his cavalry saber and goes into hand to hand. The fighting is intense, but brief and a explosion rocks the entire building as Frankie throws a Claymore Mine at another Fir Bolg and tricking it to hold it long enough (and the wrong way) for him to detonate it via remote. Inside, Reinhardt has forced the lost teenager (Jo-Jo) to take Erin hostage while he tries to negotiate his way out. Failing he speaks a logos himself (Obey) and tries to ensnare Annie. She quickly shakes it off and since she knows a Word of her own she attempts (and succeeds) to make it her own. Turning it on the half-blood she commands him to kneel and he does. Freeing the kids, she calls in McAllister and the Conclave and asks them to put Reinhardt in the Donjon as he’s violated the Pax Trimountaine. McAllister agrees and offers to clean up the mess they’ve made, while Annie takes Erin to her new guardian.


Arc Epilogue

The rage and loss of growing up a orphan eventually gives way to tears and Nial takes the child he never knew in. He asks Annie to train her like a Murphy (who receive extensive combat training, and both mental and physical conditioning) to better prepare her for life at court. She agrees and in turn asks for a few lessons from Nial since her bladework is “a bit rusty.” Nial enrolls Erin in East Boston High School despite her having a GED as he wants her to get a diploma. Annie invites the Rejects back to her home and Jo-Jo runs a DnD game for everyone as they say their own goodbyes to Marley. Weeks later, Scáthach begins training Al-Shams, but is angry he hasn’t brought the “rest of his fianna to receive [her] wisdom” and accuses him of a unbalanced trade (not a good thing in the world of the fae). Eventually he asks the other members of his “fianna” to join them in practice in the woods and Scáthach trains them. Annie does return to school even taking summer school courses so that she can catch up. Al-Shams signs his contract with East Boston High for a six-month span and agrees to teach both History and Woodshop. He even starts up a “Slayers Club” for role-players and begins to teach them the basics of supernatural lore disguised as a game in his efforts to spread his knowledge. Annie and Al give Det. Riviera a good plausible excuse for the deaths and whips up a new drug that appears to allow a user to ignore fatigue (it’s good enough to pass a chemical test, but not actually do what it looks like). Riviera plants it in the evidence room from the various crime scenes and the case is shut. Unfortunately, he attracted the attention of Internal Affairs officer Bradley Bradshaw who puts him under investigation so heavy is he forced to go on leave. Bradshaw then turns his ire onto EHI and shuts down the whole business having its license suspended and assets frozen as he investigates Annie. He never officially accuses them, but he “leaks” that he thinks she killed her uncle and took over his business so she had an “in” into the police force and conjures a scheme that involves her tricking Riviera to steal money in evidence. Despite it sounding ridiculous, they do have Riviera on camera being in the evidence room unauthorized. The case drags on for months despite both Frankie and Al-Shams offering their personal time to get things back up and running. Not letting a little thing like lack of a license stop them, Annie and her “fianna” continue helping people in need in the good city of Boston.


1 Shrouding is the ability to “pull” yourself closer to Between (the Astral Plane) and modulate the vallum just enough so that you partially phase out of reality. The world becomes muted (sights are grey, scents faint, and sounds white noise), but while shrouded you can move around effectively invisible to all those without Othersight.
2 Fir Bolg are a extremely tall and broad form of giant (over 21’ and several tons) that are closely related to fae enough that they effectively are (a Inlander variety). They’re nasty, always hungry, and like to flatten foes beneath their feet.
3 Frankie’s old teammates called Frankie’s shotgun “the Interpreter” after he stopped a small band of Kurds from ambushing his team. When he told them to step back they refused at first until he racked a round at which point they moved back and Frankie quipped “You rack [a shotgun] round and suddenly every motherfucker speaks English.” When he retired from the military they took his weapon, prettied it up, and put a engraved plate with its name on it.
4 Hounding spells (a closely related class of magic) are spells that seek people, places, or objects. Those who employ them often (a thriving business) are sometimes called “hounds” or “dogs.”
5 Forbiddings are a complex form of magic that are almost like old TV show force fields, but combined with semi-intelligent wards that can selectively screen out those who are not wanted. Sufficiently powerful forbiddings can take missile strikes without any damage to those inside.

6 Logos (sometimes called “power words” or just “Words”) are a extremely potent form of magic. They represent the words God spoke to create the universe and are jealously guarded by those who know them. The only way to learn a Word is to have someone teach or if you already know at least one you can attempt to learn one when used against you. This is however dangerous and causes several auric dissonance resulting in damage to the body. Actually speaking the word aloud is fatiguing depending on what you try and make it do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Review: GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills

Gurps_power_ups_7_wildcard_skills_1000

You ever want something and didn't realize you wanted it till you saw it? That's what GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills  was for me. I use wildcard skills in my campaigns all the time - my players love them and I love them because it cuts down on skill bloat. GURPs Monster Hunters 1: Champions changed the playing field even more by offering hyper-competency and suddenly wildcard skills were even more attractive. This book does it again, making wildcard skills scalable with the campaign. It even offers new methods to create them based on templates or dramatic rolls (e.g., Big Damn Hero! or Academic!). It's mostly a book for a GM or rules-tinkering players, but with a fairly exhaustive list in the back of every wildcard skill printed to date (though, alas, no new ones). It's even got one of mine (Fist! from Pyramid #3/31: Monster Hunters). It also has a idea I'm very sure I spoke to PK about for my own campaigns (Psionic Wildcard Skills) that he might have told Kromm about or maybe Kromm came up with it on his own - either way it's cool to see it imprint. The rules for making new wildcard skills are just outright amazing and make a GMs job super easy. Overall, it gets 5 out of 5 pennies despite its lack of new wildcard skills - it is that good.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Carpe Blogiem: Adventures Wanted?



So, I'm thinking about putting out adventures for ‪#‎GURPS‬ on my Patreon page. I'd probably use specific lines like Dungeon Fantasy, Monster Hunters, or Action; but I'd do general ones too. Say, a new adventure once every three or four months for Patrons at a specific pay level. Would folks be interested in that? I hear often that GURPS doesn't have enough adventures (and that's true), but I could take this avenue and give folks something they seem to want. The material would be entirely unofficial...but it'd be written by a experienced GURPS author.

I'd really appreciate some feedback on this. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Chronicles of Ceteri - Silent as the Dead - Part I - Game Session 2

Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
The Shadowed Heights
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 12:00 pm
7 Cathaoir Road, Murphy Island, Boston, MA 02171

After a few quick checks of their gear, the PCs head off. Since they’re all riding motorcycles of some variety they can only take so much with them, so they grab the bare essentials and go. Using the divining map that Al created they track down one of the CDs


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
East Boston High School
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 12:00 pm
86 White St East Boston, MA 02128

The first blip on the map is at (of all places) a high school. Annie poses as a would-be student and audits several classes as she follows the map, which eventually leads her to one of the students at East Boston, Regina Bolte. Meanwhile, Al and Frankie are being lead around the school on a tour by the principle who assures them that they do not discriminate against any “race, creed, religion, or…ahh…sexual orientation.” (Note: at this point in the game there was so much laughter as one of my players played this to the hilt that nothing got done for almost a hour) Frankie, noticing the janitor acting odd follows him as he meanders about and they both end up in one of the girl’s bathroom. Inside is a pregnant student smoking, when the janitor’s “mask” slips Frankie hears a ticking sound (like a clock) and knows what he’s facing: an aswang. Clearing his throat he stares at the janitor who looks backward and forward form him to the girl and then rushes out of the school. Frankie watches as he leaves to make sure. Meanwhile, Al stops at a room where a teacher is lecturing about the Roman centurion and grows quietly enraged as the teacher glosses over the real history for something more “preachy.” Entering the classroom he proceeds to give a lecture (with the historical replicas on one of the “show cars”) that inspires, awes, and nurtures the curiosity of all involved. The principal asks Al if he’s available as a substitute and brings him back to the office and offers him a contract as a substitute with the option to become a member of their staff if he can get a teaching degree. In the meantime, Annie has “made friends” with Regina and has managed to snatch the CD from her walk-man before she could play it asking a bunch of questions in the meantime. Regina reveals that it’s from a hot new DJ who calls herself “DJ KaBoomKitty.” Regina, though she considers herself a social pariah enjoys a good party and saw her last show the night before and bought the CD there. Annie returns the disc when she makes sure that it has no magic. Annie opts to stay at the school and continue her “audit” with Regina (to gather more information) and Al and Frankie get the map back from Annie and track down two more CDs (one has no magic like Regina’s and the other has “trace”).


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
Building Construction Site
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 2:00 pm
234 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02114

While tracking down the second CD at a local construction site (a concrete pourer went to DJ KaBoomKitty’s show the previous night) Al, Ronan, and Frankie are attacked by a small group of five ogres. Both Frankie and Al are knocked half way cross the unfinished floor and Ronan’s head is squished as a ogre slings a piece of concrete connected to another piece by a rebar like a club. Ronan, being a spirit creature dissipates and reforms at his skull (back at East Boston High School) leaving Al and Frankie to take on the ogres. Both men kip up and Al draws his revolver putting three bullets in one ogre dropping it thanks to “the Works1” round that Ronan outfitted everyone with. Frankie does the same but puts a bullet in the leg of two different ogres and kills them thanks to the iron. With only two ogres remaining, the two men keep their distance and finish them off with rebar and slamming their heads together. One dies with a chunk of steal in its head and the other lay unconscious. By the time Ronan reforms almost fifteen seconds later he’s on the phone to someone (they don’t know who) and is cleaning the scene. The sound of police sirens can already be heard in the background. He tells Al and Frankie to meet him back at the heights as he opens a gate and drops the unconscious ogre into it. Frankie and Al then live, heading back to the Heights where Annie meets them having been picked up by Ronan after her day at school.


Al-Shams “Al” MacLannageal, Annalise “Annie” Murphy, & Dr. Francesco “Frankie” Novella
The Shadowed Heights
Friday, April 28th, 2000, 4:00 pm
7 Cathaoir Road, Murphy Island, Boston, MA 02171



1 Ronan’s been killing monsters for over a hundred years, since his weapon of choice is a firearm he developed “the works” bullet decades ago. It’s essentially a hollow-point silver bullet with a small iron plug at the tip, a microscopic amount of holy water, essence of garlic, and asafetida oil in between it. On the outside are hand-carved holy symbols from every major religion on the planet and each bullet is hand-matched to its individual firearm.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

GURPS101: Weird Ritual Path Magic



It's no secret that I like Ritual Path magic, I've talked about it before so I won't go into it again. If you are even remotely familiar with my blog (and I'll assume you are) you know that this is a subject near and dear to my heart - like most magic systems. So what do I mean weird Ritual Path magic? I mean...getting weird.


Adversarial Energy Accumulation
What if gathering energy were not a uncontested task? What if some force or being out there didn't like you stealing energy to do whatever ritual you want to do? (Note: this was inspired by a less-complete system proposed by fellow forumite Anders in a email.


Energy Accumulation as an Invention
Suppose that energy for rituals could only be gathered by special collectors or machines? Or perhaps one-off processes that took into account specific conditions. Maybe gathering energy can only be done during special events like eclipses, celestial alignments, etc. This would make magical energy a extremely precious resource and might be similar to Larry Niven's "The Magic Goes Away."


Energy Accumulation Based on Other Attributes
GURPS Thaumatology has a great section on this (it starts on page 29); but let's see how it applies to Ritual Path magic..


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Carpe Blogiem: The Laptop the Internet Gave Me



As promised - an unboxing video - also a few pictures, but before that I'd like to jaw a bit. First, I didn't put down any names for those of you who helped me get this magnificent machine that I'm typing on right now. It was brought to my attention that some of you folks might not WANT it to be known for what you did. I'll respect that - however, anyone who does want their name out there for that did, I'll edit this post later and toss it up there. Just so you know though, I've decorated my new laptop with the names of every person who did donate as a reminder to myself and anyone else of the good turn I was done. 
          Second, I got a crazy awesome machine thanks to Cyber Monday sale plus -10% off coupon for customized laptop plus -$70 coupon for Toshiba laptops. I ended up saving something like $600 off $1,400 machine and a ton of free hardware I didn't order. Apparently, it was a mistake from the factory, and they've refused to charge me. Yay! A few pictures:





Some specs below for those who want to know:


Toshiba Satellite S70-BBT2N23 Laptop (Customized)

Software
Windows 8.1 (After getting Start8 from Stardock...well, I rather like Windows 8 - something I thought I'd never say)
1 month trial for new Office 365 customers (I ditched this for my copy of Office 2007, but I was given a copy of Profession Office 2013 by one of you guys)
Norton Internet Security™ 2013 (30-day trial subscription) (I just ditched this - I hate Norton)

Hardware
4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4710HQ Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.50GHz)with)Intel®ITurbo Boost Technologyn2.0gy 2.0
Intel HD Integrated Graphics 4600 2 GB onboard memory
8GB DDR3L 1600MHz (4GB + 4GB)
1TB (5400rpm, Serial ATA)
17.3" HD+ TruBrite® LED Backlit display (1600x900) with touchscreen
DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive (I actually got a blu-ray drive, for some reason - looks like they gave it to me free - it was not on my order sheet!)
Premium Raised Tile Keyboard LED Backlit with 10-key (black)
Wi-Fi® Wireless networking (802.11b/g/n) + Bluetooth 4.0

Warranty
1 Year Standard Limited Warranty (1 Year on Battery)

Third, as I said I would, I got some peripherals (stuff I needed): a new gel mouse pad, a new set of headphones, and a teensy-weensy app purchase (Start8). Leftover funds paid some of my bills this month.
          After I got everything mostly set up, I'm still organizing things - it'll probably be a few more days until I'm fully ready to go - I was able to dish out around 3k words in under an hour. Finally, I can type at my full speed and not slow down for the buffer! It was amazing. The touchscreen interface is pretty mandatory for Windows 8, but I fiddled with a few things and bent it to work the way I needed it to. Having a full terabyte hard drive is so weird because I can fit just about all of my often-used media on a single drive. As a side bonus, the media buttons are very easily accessible, and I can see their placement increasing my speed when I'm transcribing videos for Doug (and any other bloggers who want to make use of my services). The speakers are also damn nice and the laptop itself has an audio bar running along the top. The camera/internal mike is pretty decent too and after a bit of tweaking, it works great. Also, USB 3.0...I have tasted the power of the gods, and USB 2.0 seems so puny now. 
          Not to mention I can get FOUR working screens now (laptop, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, and 1 iDisplay) - I'll never need to shutter windows again. When doing things like transcription or working on technical pieces (which GURPS qualifies for) with multiple windows, they're a godsend. One thing that was pretty awesome was how quickly the laptop found, installed, and started up my docking station (I just have an old Kensington - but it still works). With other computers, it took hours to get it working right. Some stuff I don't like so much (not that I'm complaining!): a) to upgrade the laptop later on requires taking the entire thing apart to get to the ram and the hard drive. I watched a video, and it was very involved. Still, that's many years down the line (I like to plan ahead when I can). b) the sheer edges of Win8 boxes throw me off. I was used to the bevals of Windows 7, and it is taking some getting used to. c) The screen is BRIGHT. That's taking a bit of getting used to. The lines are nice, crisp, and clean. This is probably something that will go away when I get new glasses. And that's it. This thing is awesome, something to be with me for quite a while. Again, thank you all. You've given this poor boy a wonderful gift. Now, to the unboxing video!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Triple Threat - Water Leaper




Water Leaper
The welsh llamhigyn y dwr is a strange beasty that looks like a frog the size of a wolf, but has no bat wings instead of forelegs and no hind legs. It also has a long lizard-like tail with a stinger on the end. Despite its lack of legs, it can jump incredibly long distances by using its muscular wings or hobble across the ground slowly. The number after the slash in its Move score indicates the amount of hexes it can clear with a single leap, though this is tiring.

Any Campaign Setting...
ST: 14             HP: 14            Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 1/8 (Water Move 5)
IQ: 4               Per: 14            Weight: 150 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 4 (Tough Skin)

Stinger (12): 2d-1 impaling or crushing. Reach C-1. If the damage is impaling and penetrated DR, the subject must roll HT-5 or take 2d+2 toxic damage. This repeats every 10 seconds for one minute or until the subject successfully resists. If the subject takes more than 1/2 HP from this damage he reduces his Basic Speed and DX by 2 and his Basic Move by 4 as his muscles stiffen up. If he takes more than 1/3 he reduces his DX by another 2 points. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.

Traits:  Amphibious; Cold Blooded (50°F); Combat Reflexes; Doesn’t Breathe (Gills); Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged; Air Move 12); Nictitating Membrane 4; No Legs (Semi-Aquatic); Super Jump 4 (Costs Fatigue, 1 FP); Vibration Sense (Water); Wild Animal.
Skills:  Brawling-12; Jumping-14; Swimming-16; Survival (Swamp)-14.
Notes: Vision rolls at an extra -6 in full daylight. If the GM is using Intrinsic Fright Check from GURPS Horror (p. 139), water leapers have a modifier of -2.


Dungeon Fantasy...
ST: 14             HP: 14            Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 1/8 (Water Move 5)
IQ: 4               Per: 14            Weight: 150 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 2 (Tough Skin)

Stinger (12): 2d-1 impaling or crushing. Reach C-1. If the damage is impaling and penetrated DR, the subject must roll HT-5 or take 2d+2 toxic damage. This repeats every 10 seconds for one minute or until the subject successfully resists. If the subject takes more than 1/2 HP from this damage he reduces his Basic Speed and DX by 2 and his Basic Move by 4 as his muscles stiffen up. If he takes more than 1/3 he reduces his DX by another 2 points. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part.

Traits:  Amphibious; Cold Blooded (50°F); Combat Reflexes; Doesn’t Breathe (Gills); Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged; Air Move 12); Nictitating Membrane 4; No Legs (Semi-Aquatic); Super Jump 4 (Costs Fatigue, 1 FP); Vibration Sense (Water); Wild Animal.
Skills:  Brawling-12; Jumping-14; Swimming-16; Survival (Swamp)-14.
Classification: Dire Animal.
Notes: Vision rolls at an extra -6 in full daylight.


Monster Hunters...
ST: 14             HP: 14            Speed: 7.00
DX: 12            Will: 12           Move: 1/8 (Water Move 5)
IQ: 4               Per: 14            Weight: 150 lbs.
HT: 12            FP: 12             SM: 0
Dodge: 11       Parry: 10        DR: 6 (Tough Skin)

Fright Check: -2

Stinger (12): 2d+3 impaling or crushing. Reach C-1. If the damage is impaling and penetrated DR, the subject must roll HT-5 or take 3d toxic damage. This repeats every 10 seconds for one minute or until the subject successfully resists. If the subject takes more than 1/2 HP from this damage he reduces his Basic Speed and DX by 2 and his Basic Move by 4 as his muscles stiffen up. If he takes more than 1/3 he reduces his DX by another 2 points. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-2 to defend against)

Traits:  Amphibious; Cold Blooded (50°F); Combat Reflexes; Doesn’t Breathe (Gills); Extra Attack 1; Flight (Winged; Air Move 16); Nictitating Membrane 4; No Legs (Semi-Aquatic); Super Jump 4 (Costs Fatigue, 1 FP); Vibration Sense (Water); Wild Animal.
Skills:  Brawling-16; Jumping-16; Swimming-16; Survival (Swamp)-14.
Notes: Vision rolls at an extra -6 in full daylight. Use the skills listed under Cryptids in the Know Thy Enemy box in Monster Hunters 1 (p. 16). Two water leapers are a fair fight for one champion.