Monday, August 15, 2011

Savage Worlds at RockCon

I"m going to be attending Rock-Con in Rockford, IL November 4th-6th and there are Savage things afoot. I'm going to be running a game of Space 1889: Red Sands Saturday morning in the 9 am to 1 pm slot. Pre-generated characters and miniatures (well, cardboard miniatures) will be provided. Other Savages are planning events of their own. 

Also, if you like classic RPGs and/or Tékumel, I'm also going to be running an introductory game of the original Empire of the Petal Throne, Friday night. My partner in all things OSR, Victor Raymond, is also promising to take daring gamers on a trip into the empire of Tsolyánu where adventure, wealth, and very available priestesses of Lady Dlamélish await!

More details as they come.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monkeying around with the design.

I'm going to be adjusting the design of the site. Bear with me, please.

On "My" MARS...

One of my favorite Savage Settings is Adamant Entertainment's MARS. While it is not mean to be a translation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom tales (although you can find that setting Savaged here), Gareth's setting still has a enough sword and planet action to spark the imagination. Of course, like many gamer's I've decided to tweek it slightly to match my own vision of the Red Planet.

In my MARS, most of the Gareth's setting is still intact: Mars is still a world of deserts, jungles, and ruined cities. Red men still fight fight the green savages of the wates as well as war with the White Apes. The Gray Men still plot and scheme in their dark, dank chasms and the Synthe-Men still tend their ancient machines. Callor, Baltan, Lonaria and the rest are still major centers of action and intrigue.

One of the notable differences between the Gareth's Mars and my Mars is the climate. Rather than being a cold and dry world, I've cranked the thermostat up to max and have the Red Planet bathed in nearly constant heat from an unforgiving, swollen, red sun.

Yes, you read that correctly. A red sun. Rather than setting it in the 19th Century or early 20th century, my Mars exists millions of years in our future. By this time our sun is entering the Red Giant stage of its life cycle and slowly swelling, engulfing the worlds of the inner solar system as it expands. Mercury is no more and Venus will be next in a few millions years.  Earth is no longer habitable by anything we'd recognize as life, but the humans of the far future migrated to and terraformed Mars many eons earlier. For a time, Mars was a garden world and a haven for humanity until civilization fell into barbarism. Humanity's descendants, modified by the processes of natural selection and ancient genetic engineering, became the various intelligent races of Mars. (With the notable exception of the Grays, they aren't from around here.) If there are any "Earthmen" on Mars, they are part of the original Homo sapiens colonists who first came to Mars many millennia ago who have been somehow "preserved" (e.g. suspended animation tube), or they have been plucked from space and time by the Grays.

I'm also working on fleshing out the religions of Mars. Gareth made mention of one deity Faina the Provider, in the "Slavers of Mars" adventure. I plan on expanding the pantheon of deities a bit more, as well as work out the details of their particular rituals and practices.

Now that I've told you about my Mars, I want to hear about your Mars. Do you play the setting "straight up" or do you modify it like I did? If so how?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Sad Savage. Saaaad."

Excuse me, I need to rant a little bit.

The last year hasn't been very good to me. I lost my job last summer and despite my education and experience I can't seem to get hired, much less interviewed, for even the most menial of jobs. I'm beginning to worry that returning to school--and consequently running up thousands in student loan debt--to peruse a career in computer programming was a wise choice. I've got bill collectors hanging on the bell and my piddly unemployment checks aren't helping cover my bills. I keep waiting for the next shoe to drop; cancer, heart disease, or some other massively expensive medical condition that would send even the most well-insured individual into a lifetime of debt or bankruptcy.

As a result, I haven't done as much gaming as I'd like to as I wallow in depression. anger, and a fruitless search for a new job. I haven't been able to afford to go to any of the major conventions and it looks like that's not going to change anytime soon, if ever. I was looking forward to going Origins and "Savage Saturday Night" again this year, but that dream was shattered each time I received a letter from a respective employer telling me that I don't even warrant an interview. Even an evening at the friendly local game store is getting prohibitively expensive; gasoline, food, incidentals, etc..

And all of my ideas for campaigns lay fallow as well; a Realms of Cthulhu campaign where the PCs play mobsters as well as my Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy setting, my attempts to create playable (and possibly marketable) Savage Worlds rules for Tekumel, playtesting Totems of the Dead, running Space 1889: Red Sands, etc.. All of these cost time, money, effort, and enthusiasm that I no longer have access to. It's hard to get excited for anything when you're constantly worried whether or not you're going to end up living in a cardboard box by the end of the month.

I don't know that the Hell I'm going to do and I shudder when I think of what lies ahead. I don't want to hear maudlin reassurances about how things are "going to get better." because they're not. If anything, things are going to get a lot worse. So, "good bye" civilization and "hello" long, slow, slide into extinction. It was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New PC: Lálei Kardáma

Lately I've been on an "Old School Renaissance" gaming kick and one of the most interesting projects I've run across is Humanspace Empires by The Drune; a science fantasy game that is set in the pulpy space opera "pre-history" of my favorite fantasy setting. I've had a chance to help playtesting this game and I really enjoy it. Even though there is still a few bugs to work out, Drune has done a fantastic job blending the best elements of the "Classic Fantasy Role Playing Game" with the original Empire of the Petal Throne to create a very playable dark scifi game.

That said, and with all due respect with Drune, the Savage within me will not rest until I have plugged Humanspace into the Savage Worlds engine! Therefore, here is my current PC in a playtest campaign that I'm currently embroiled, parsed into Savage Worlds using Powers and Edges from Slipstream:

Lálei Kardáma (WC)
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Rank: Veteran

Agility: d8, Smarts: d8, Spirit: d6, Strength: d4, Vigor: d6
Charisma: +2, Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 9(4)

Edges: Attractive, Arcane Background (Psionics), Rich, Command, New Power (Object Reading), Femme Fatale

Hindrances: Loyal, Vow-Major (Imperial Navy), Vow-Minor (Order of the Verdant Sphere)

Skills: Fighting: d6, Knowledge (Space Battle): d6, Notice: d6, Persuasion: d6, Piloting: d6, Psionics: d6, Shooting: d6, Stealth: d4

Powers: Empathy, Telepathy, Mind Reading, Object Reading

Power Points: 10

Gear: Z-Ray Pistol (12/24/48, 2d6+1), Psi-Sword (Str+ d6+8, AP 12, requires AB: Psionics to use), Skin Suit, Mark II Shield Belt, Communicator, Translator Orb.

Background: Lálei Kardáma was born on Epsilon Eridani 4 to retired Imperial Fleet Admiral Dör Varákka and Sóra Kardáma, his favorite concubine. Sóra , a member of the Order of the Verdant Sphere--an exclusive cult of wealthy and powerful sybarists who seek spiritual enlightenment through sexual ecstasy, initially raised her daughter to become a poised and educated courtesan-priestess of the Order. However, Lálei had other plans than a life of just parties and orgies, and using her father's influence (as well some of the physical and psionic arts her mother taught her) was accepted into the Imperial Naval Academy at 16.

In the academy, Cadet Lálei was schooled in starship mastery and command. Eventually, her psychic abilities came to her instructor's attention and entered into the prestigious School of Special Intelligence were she honed her talents. Upon graduation, Lálei quickly rose through the ranks of the male-dominated Navy through a skillful application of merit and seduction (she had the unofficially-coveted role of "Captain's Woman" on two of her deployments). The Deeds of Glory is her first independent command and she is excited at the prospect for further adventure and advancement.
Lálei is a quiet but ambitious woman who uses her intelligence and sexuality as both a tool and a weapon. She is a fair leader, but is merciless when crossed. Physically, she is small but shapely frame with a dark complication, deep-brown slanted eyes, and long black hair she keeps tied back while on duty. As a legacy member of the Order of the Verdant Sphere, she has the sect's symbol tattooed just above her vulva and will often request the presence of a comely crew member in her quarters to assist her with her "mediations" where she uses her climax as a springboard to reach new states of consciousness where she briefly communes with... something joyous.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Still kicking...

Hey Savages:

Yes, I'm still around. I've been dealing with school and lot of real life crap, as well as some new gaming obsessions. But things are going to be quieting down soon and the Savage Blogger will be back and better than ever.