Tag Archives: Player Character

RICK AND MORTY ONE SHOT (PART 2)

Click here for part 1.

 The Game

I wanted to keep the overall improvised feel of the TV show so I went with the system used by the Doctor Who. In this system it utilises a pretty famous improve tool ‘Yes and…’. The player rolls 2d6 plus an appropriate Attribute and Skill and then compares this to a set difficulty. The margin of success determines what outcome they get:

–          Yes and… – Oh my god you’re on fire, you succeed in what you are doing and you gain an extra boon.

–          Yes – You succeed (Good for you).

–          Yes but… – You succeed but it didn’t go as you planned.

–          No but… – You don’t  succeed but you salvage something.

–          No – Nope, just no.

–          No and… – You’ve really cocked up, not only have you filed but things escalate getting worse.

This outcome is built into the very resolution mechanics of the game. Stuck in a groundhog day loop Morty attempts climb up to the where the driver sits on a moving coach to convince the driver to push the plasticine horse pulling the coach harder. This is a Normal task requiring Morty to use his Coordination and Athletics. He rolls a 9 and gets a total of 13. Yes he manages to climb from inside the coach to where the driver sits but he loses his balance and knocks the driver off leaving him alone to drive the horse driven coach.

Story Points give the player characters the ability to control the story and allow themselves to do sweet stuff. Experienced characters like Rick already have Traits that allow them to do sweet moves and therefore have less Story Points but green adventurers like Morty get far more as they are more malleable. This may be simply bumping up your failure to a success, emulating Rick’s scientific expertise, introduce something new to the scene or saving yourself from death.

Summer has just broken herself out of a Galactic Federation interrogation room finding herself in the station’s garage filled with ships. She’s seen Rick fly one of these things before, drunk so how had can it be. She spends a Story Point and she is able to use Rick’s Attribute and Skill to fly the tiny space shuttle instead of her own.

In the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game the combat system nearly almost always lethal and when it isn’t damage comes straight out of the characters Attributes. This is elegantly handled with the systems Initiative mechanic, talkers going first in the Initiative order with runners second, doers third, and lastly attackers.

Rick finds himself face to face with Scanners Rick and Morty. Scanner Rick is sitting in a chair pointing a laser pistol (which does lethal damage) at Rick, he intends to simply shoot Rick where he stands. Luckily, Rick has got something to say so he goes first.

 The Outcome

All in all the adventure was fun and was resolved in the 3.5-4 hours of play and the players enjoyed themselves, resulting in some good bits.

Every time I use the Vortex system used in conjunction with the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game I find the resolution system satisfying. Especially in a one shot adventure players has no compunctions with spending their Story Points. But it does take some time. The player needs to roll calculate their outcome, the GM then tells them how well they failed and then waits to see if they would like to spend some Story Points to bump up their success. In a one shot I find this can bog things down a big pace-wise especially in a fast paced shoot at the hip show like Rick and Morty.

A thorn for one of the players was that he felt that one aspect of Rick and Morty  are the bits and the scenes. Expressing that a Fiasco playset or using Primetime adventures might give that feel.

Would I run Rick and Morty again? Yes.

Would I run it in the same Fashion? Probably not.

If there isn’t one already I would actually consider creating a Fiasco playset for Rick and Morty.

Otherwise I might try my own chimaera of a system to handle it. I would utilise Primetime Adventures to help build scenes and the characters and use the resolution system from Itras By. These are also inspired by improve but are simply cards that can be randomised.

Until next time Wubba Lubba Dub Dub.

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Blackout: The Playbooks

In the previous posts I covered the general premise and the background of Blackout; a Powered by the Apocalypse adventure, a cross between Buffy’s Tabula Rasa and the College of Wizardry.

In this entry I will run through the playbooks I used to run the game, most of which came from Monster of the Week with one originating from Apocalypse World. I will relate each Archetype from the Background and I will link them to the existing playbook they correspond to. For the original playbook I implore you to support Monster of the Week or Apocalypse World. The ratings and terminology used should for the most part correspond to the Monster of the Week rule book. I will continue on to describe what I did differently with these original playsets.

The Mulder: The Flake, Monster of the Week

Muggle: You are unable to cast spells, create potions or perform alchemy due to a lack of magical potential. Your weirdness is a measure of your knowledge of the secret magical world helping you use magical artefacts.

Moves and Ratings remain the same for the Mulder.

What’s in your pockets?

Badge: Detective Sergeant Wasserman

99mm [gun]: 2-harm close loud

Flashlight: 1-harm hand

Flip phone: One unread message:
If you are hearing this message it means they’ve got you again and they have erased your memory, killing a past version of us. The short story is these people are from a secret society of magic users, hiding amongst us. On the most part they seem just like us besides the fact that they can use magic. There seems to be some sort of government and law enforcement agency that aids in keeping their world secret. Their favourite tool to employ on ‘muggles’, (this is what they calls us) are memory altering charms. They change your lives with their power and then they take away our memories of these events.

All you know is that they don’t understand technology very well and their reliance on magic has left them complacent to physical attacks. Get in close remove their wand. Your partner can be trusted. Once you have listened to this message mark it as unread.’

Look:

Man, woman, transgressive, concealed.

Wild eyes, tired eyes, focused eyes, searching eyes, suspicious eyes, wide eyed.

Utilitarian clothing, unkept clothing, neat clothes, comfortable clothes, ruppled suit.

The Scully: The Mundane, Monster of the Week

Muggle: You are unable to cast spells, create potions or perform alchemy due to a lack of magical potential. Your weirdness is a measure of your knowledge of the secret magical world helping you use magical artefacts.

Moves and Ratings remain the same for the Mulder.

What’s in your pockets?

Badge: Detective Sergeant Pavlov

99mm [gun]: 2-harm close loud

Pocket knife: 1-harm hand useful small

Car keys [BMW in fairly good condition]

Look:

Man, woman, transgressive, concealed.

Friendly face, alluring face, laughed-lined face, trust-worthy face, ‘every-man’ face, serious face.

Uniformed, casual clothed, immaculately kept clothing, street clothes, slept-in suit.

The Warden: The Brainer, Apocalypse World

Cloistered: Blessed with magical potential you are able to cast spells, brew potions and perform rituals with roll +Weird. You are unfortunately cloistered from the muggle-world and receive -1 to all rolls when dealing with muggle artefacts. For fast magic you require a wand like all witchards.

The Moves remain mostly the same but are flavoured differently:

  • Casual brain receptivity = Casual leglimancy
  • Deep brain scan = Deep leglimancy
  • Direct-brain whisper projection = Forced entry
  • In-brain puppet strings = Hypnotic eyes

The Warden was also given the Moves:

  • Bottle it up: If you want, you can take up to +3 bonus when you act under pressure. For each +1 you use, the GM holds 1. That can be spent later – one for one – to give you a -1 on any move except act under pressure.
  • Healer: You have a full healer’s kit, and the training to go with it. When you do first aid, roll +Cool. On a 10+ the patient is stabilized and healed for 2 harm. On a 7-9 choose one: heal 2 harm or stabilize the injury. On a miss you cause an extra 1 harm. This move takes the place of regular first aid.

The ratings were also altered to to reflect those of the Monster of the Week format. The Warden was also given one additional Ratings line:

  • Charm =0, Cool +1, Sharp +1, Tough -1, Weird +2

What’s in your pockets?

Identification [edict of legimancy]
Warden Konstantin as part of their duty to uphold the tenants of secrecy is awarded extraordinary means to determine the truth during their investigation. This provides Warden Konstantin the authority to administer truth serums and utilise memory extraction techniques on those thought to be in breach of the tenants or protecting one in breach of the tenants, jeopardising a witcharding Conflux.

This edict is published with the authority of the Warden.

Wand: Range small

Photograph The people in this photograph are moving. It depicts two muggles within a witcharding conflux/conclave dressed in ludicrous attire, one actually appears to be wearing a bath robe.

Veritaserum: small vial potent truth serum

Look:

Man, woman, transgressive, androgynous.

Soft eyes, dead eyes, deep eyes, caring eyes, pale eyes, ruined eyes, wet eyes, scarred eye.

Ministry blue robes, tattered robes, garish robes, impractical robes, leathers.

The Scion: The Spell-slinger, Monster of the Week

Cloistered: Blessed with magical potential you are able to cast spells, brew potions and perform rituals with roll +Weird. You are unfortunately cloistered from the muggle-world and receive -1 to all rolls when dealing with muggle artefacts. For fast magic you require a wand like all witchards.

Combat Magic, Tools and Techniques are ignored for this archetype, it is assumed that the wizard is able to cast magic appropriately.

The Moves remain mostly the same but some are flavoured differently:

  • Advanced Arcane Training = Advanced ritual training
  • Arcane Reputation = Reputation through lineage

The remaining Moves remain the same. As do the Ratings.

What’s in your pockets?

Signet ring: On your finger is a signet ring looking around the room you notice a coat of arms over the mantelpiece that matches the ring. The name Van Maldergem and Quia Divina et Humana Prudential.

Wand: Range small

Pendant: Set in one panel is a small photograph, which includes yourself and someone that looks suspiciously like you. On the opposite panel are the words.
‘Never Forget Avalon’

Look:

Man, woman, transgressive, concealed.

Sly eyes, fierce eyes, weary eyes, sparkling eyes, soft eyes, ancient eyes.

Fashionable robes, ink stained robes, gothic robes, casual slacks.

The Magus: The Montrous, Monster of the Week

Hedge mage: You are an illegal magical practitioner, you did not attend any of the magical colleges and learnt the craft through trial and error. Most die before they come of age, those that do normally dabble in crime, dark magicks or both. They often bear the marks of their unsanctioned experimentation on their person. For fast magic you require a wand like all witchards.

For the Magus; Curses, Natural Attacks, Mental Dominion, Unquenchable Vitality and Incorporeal are ignored.

The Moves remain mostly the same but some are flavoured differently:

  • Immortal = Dorian Grey
  • Unnatural Appeal = Monstrous appeal
  • Unholy strength = Full metal alchemist
  • Preternatural speed = Quicksilver veins
  • Shapeshifter = Animagus

Ratings remain the same for the Magus.

What’s in your pockets:

Wand: Range small

Bag of salt useful

Stick of chalk useful

Vial of viscous crimson liquid useful

Ritual Dagger: 2-harm hand small

This dagger has a living bloodshot eye fashioned into the hilt like a gemstone which follows the holder.

Hand: animated useful

Look:

Man, woman, mysterious, transgressive.

Tattooed face, manic face, scarred face, soft face, aged face, gaunt face, monstrous face.

Archaic robes, tattered robes, singed robes, stylish robes, animal skins, white flowing robe.

Next we will delve into the manor itself.

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Blackout: Background

The HP inspired adventure first mentioned in Blackout: or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Powered by the Apocalypse. Blackout features five different player characters archetypes; the Mulder, the Scully, the Warden, the Scion and the Magus.

Some time the Mulder and the Scully as police detectives stumbled upon the witcharding world. After their first encounter with it their memories were obliviated. Fortunately, the realised something was amiss and were enraged by the fact that erasing their memories was akin to murder. They put measures in place so their memories though they were erased the Mulder was reminded that they don’t remember everything.

Along with the Scully they begin investigating these witchards eventually making it to a conflux of this magical beings. But they also discover that  kidnappings and murders made five years ago were connected to a group of fundamentalist witchards. To their shock they soon find out that not all the perpetrators were arrested, that some to this day still lived. This is when the Mulder and the Scully hatch a plan to arrest the Scion for their crimes.

Discovering the Scion addressed they address a letter and attach it to an owl setting it free. They follow the owl to the address with a sneak-a-scope (to detect hidden things) and discover the Scion’s manor out in the cold northern country side.

~~~~

The Warden is a member of the Magical Ministry and has been tasked to investigate two muggles who have continuously ‘relapsed’ from their obliviation. He has been given privileges to use leglimancy to disseminate the cause of their relapsing, and put an end to the tirade once and for all. Keeping their distance on their broom the wary Warden follows the muggles to the Scion’s manor…

~~~~

The Scion is the last of their bloodline, once they were two. Twins. But their twin took the wrap for the kidnapping and murders of those muggles. See they were members of the Iron Legion, a group of witchards that don’t see magic as dark/light but as a haze of grey. They champion that demonology, blood magic and other dark magics can be harnessed if used appropriately.

The Scion’s twin was put to death for their crimes and the Scion became obsessed with their death creating a shrine of sorts in the twin’s old room. Eventually the Scion turned to the Magus and imploring them trying to help resurrect their dead sibling.

~~~~

The Magus is an unregistered witchard who is known through the circles of the Iron Legion, mostly known as a mad diabolist. Most self-taught witchards dabbling in dark arts are either driven mad or killed but the Magus is savvy and has beaten the odds. The Magus’ illegal practices means they need to keep moving to avoid Ministry attention.

The Scion in need of the of the experimental expertise of the Magus and has agreed to harbour the Magus in their manor during the duration on their resurrection experimentation. The theory behind resurrecting the twin is to create a body or vessel that will be able to house the soul and memories of the deceased twin.

The Magus plans to contact a demon of the choir of destruction and arrange a pact that will attain the memories of the twin. Together the Scion and the Magus are gathered in a hidden room in the cellar of the manor gathered around a summoning circle that will bring the demon into our plane. They begin the ritual but are interrupted when intruders barrel through the front door of the manor and they disapparate and confront the intruders (the Mulder and the Scully, and soon the Warden).

~~~~

While upstairs gunfire and spells are fired; downstairs in the cellar the demon, Anamnesis swirls into existence, the ritual that would normally bind it is incomplete. It takes this advantage its smoke-like form to central chimney of the manor to attack everything in the manor. Devouring their memories leaving them with nothing of their past.

Unable to vacate the premises due to the sunlight outside, the demon waits for night to come.

The player characters awake in the disheveled lounge of the manor.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Wrighteous)

{FlyonWall Drone1 @ 12:43 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} CONTROL/REC

Video shows the drone navigating the air ducts into the halls of the Parahuman ward of the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The windowless ward is located underground and is arranged in a square donut, separated into wings. The west wing  sealed off from the rest of the ward, this is a secure area where nurses can be protected from dangerous parahumans, the fortified doors can be electronically locked and are made from a reinforced glass. The grainy, fisheye lens of the drone picks up the form of the armoured clad form of Eureka member Valkyrie and a lone nurse. Valkyrie is sits with halberd in hand at a row of uncomfortable-looking seats while the nurse is at her station tending to her work.
The drone continues surveillance of the ward, passing by myself, Pressure Point and Alice Dee in the south wing. The south and east wings and east and north wings are once again separated by a door but not of the same fortitude as the west wing doors. Running along outer circumference of the south, east and north wings are individual rooms for parahumans in treatment.
Buzzing past one of the rooms the fly spots girl in her late teens, sitting on the edge of the hospital bed talking with herself focusing on a certain point on the far wall.
Navigating past the east/north door the fly spotted James, the boy that had accidentally turned people into glass at the nightclub just last night. We’d finally found him and hopefully he’d give us the information we needed…

{Mosquito Drone2 @ 12:53 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} ATTACK/REC

After locating our objective, we moved onto stage two of the mission. The mosquito drone armed with an incapacitating drug to take Valkyrie out easily. The mosquito drone went in for the kill landing on the exposed flesh of Valkyrie’s neck…STATIC

{FlyonWall Drone1 @ 12:54 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} FOLLOW/REC

Wright: Shit. Mosquito down. Pressure Point blow the doors.
The doors to Pressure Point’s room blows open under the pressure for her power then with two further wumps the doors to mine and Alice D’s rooms are blown off their hinges.
Wright: Alice slow Valkyrie down. Pressure Point, let’s go get Daniel.
LSD: Too easy.
As Alice Dee moves off to the south/west door, myself and Pressure Point head to the north wing to retrieve Daniel. Moving through the west wing I stopped at the north/west door to turn around and find Pressure Point looking into the room of the girl talking to herself.
Wright: What are you doing?
PP: Hellbunni is here.
Wright: Who? That girl talking to herself?
PP: No she’s Blacklight.
Wright: More reason to get Daniel and get out of here.
She [Pressure point] saw reason and entered the north wing. I peered into the room that housed Daniel.
PP: Stand away from the door and block your ears.
I stood aside from the door as Pressure Point blew it open.
Daniel: Who are you?
PP: We’re here to help you.
Daniel: Where’s Hannah?
Wright: don’t worry we are keeping her safe.
Coalescing in the corner of the room was a glittering miasma that slowly took human form. It was Glitter Bomb and he was holding a gun.
Wright: Daniel. Come. Now.
This was when the sprinklers and fire alarms went off as flames licked up over the top of the closed north/east door.

{FlyonWall Drone1 @ 12:59 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} FOLLOW[PP]/REC

GB: Came prepared this time.

Glitter Bomb pointed the gun at Pressure Point as Daniel and I moved out of frame towards the west wind. Suddenly distracted by the flames making their way around the gaps in the door and burning regardless of the sprinklers, Pressure Point unleashed a concussive blast. Launching Glitter Bomb into the wall where he burst into glitter. The sprinklers hindered his movement as he attempted to flank her but she disbursed him again with another concussive burst. The two tussled for a bit before the door leading to west wing blew open unleashing a small fire ball…STATIC

{GoggleCam @ 13:02 [-37.799904, 144.954457]} REC

Currently without drones the feed skips to goggle cam.
The image is obscured by a crack in the goggle lens and water washing over them. The goggles swung around to capture Pressure Point and Glitter Bomb slowly moving away from a quickly spreading fire. It may be due to the poor image quality but there appears to be female faces formed in the fire itself. The goggles captured a wet and frightened nurse exclaiming the earth was shaking.
Wright: The ward is on fire get the hell out of here.
The nurse hesitantly moved from her workstation and ran towards the fire escape. Valkyrie was nowhere to be seen and neither was Alice Dee. The image bounced as I rounded the corner and poked my head through the doorway out to the south wing. Valkyrie was in the south corridor, no Alice and the fire was steadily creeping along walls, ceiling and floor.
Valkyrie: …fire. Initiate Stranger protocol. The bogeys we picked up are with Blacklight. Request…
Valkyrie was cut off as she attacked an invisible assailant. Swinging her halberd around in an arc, followed by a kick.
Valkyrie: …immediate assistance.
At that moment Alice Dee poked her head out of one of the patient rooms. I motioned for her to leg it. She dodged a swing from Valkyrie as she continued to battle with her phantom.
We arrive back in the west wing to find Pressure Point bringing the ceiling down on Glitter Bomb.
The remainder pf the footage is shaky as we exit the hospital via the fire exit with Daniel in tail.

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Melbourne Bet – A Wormverse Campaign – Reflections (Deadbeat)

“What happened to your beautiful face?” crooned the blonde, delicately running the her manicured fingers across the shiner on my cheekbone.

“Rough day at the office,” I winced playfully.

“Aww, what happened,” asked her friend a brunette with a low-cut dress.

It had been a while since I had occupied an attractive body, perfect teeth, dark, tall, irresistible. “You been heard of these Spontaneous Triggers at local clubs recently?” each nodded. “Well, me and my team were employed to look into it.  We started with the latest case down at Billboards with the kid that turned people into glass. We checked out security footage of the night the kid went on his glassing spree and shook down the bartender working the night.  It all pointed to Bla…” I paused as the bartender pointed in my direction. “Scotch and coke and two of whatever these ladies are having,” I said indicating the blonde and brunette.

“All signs pointed to Blacklight peddling some drug. So we head straight to the problem, right into Blacklight territory, to a seedy bar called the Rochester Castle,” the bar tender returned with our drinks and I motioned over to a booth. The ladies followed, I slumped into the chair and continued my story.

 “So we’re at the Rochester and me, aerophile and pressure chick break into the joint. Seems like the bartender we were squeezing for information snitched on us because they were waiting for us,” we had actually got a tip from the bartender but went anyway being one of the few leads we had. “Just as I went to pour myself a drink at the bar, they showed themselves. Space Cowboy decked out in his space helmet and silver jumpsuit and two lackeys, standing on the ceiling.”

 “So I’m there, at the bar standing with a bottle of scotch, top shelf shit right and tumbler. And Space Cowboy’s like ‘Who sent you,’ and I’m like ‘I’ll tell ya when you tell what’s going on’. Then he’s all like ‘You’re in no position to bargain’ and I say ‘That we could discuss this over a drink’ and I take a sip then hurl the tumbler of whisky right at his stupid helmet.” The two women leaned in closer to hear over the thrumming bass of the club.

“I gotta admit the guy is fast, he blasted the glass mid-air with a laser from his finger. This gave me a enough time to duck behind the bar when he started shooting in my direction. I ran the length of the counter half crouched over, as all hell broke loose. I closed the gap between Spacecowboy and me, I swung him with the bottle of whisky from the floor while he tried to shoot me with his finger lasers.”

“ I got some good hit on Space, I had him, smashed open the visor of his helmet. Then Glitterbomb attacked in his glitter form blinding and choking me. That’s when I took a couple of laser blasts. I also heard some gun fire but that ended when Pressure Point sucked one of the goons on the ceiling and Glitterbomb out the window. Nearly sucked me right out with ’em.”

“That goon right, he fell straight into the sky, funniest shit I’d ever seen,” I laughed to myself. “I spent a second watching the guy fall and Glitterbomb tussle with the shooter and turned back to see Space limping away on the ceiling back towards the pissers.”

“I leg it after him bust in the loo and he’s climbing out the bathroom window with powder all over the front of his shattered helmet. He fell with a gentle thud onto a parked car in an alley. I followed but he was waiting for me and threw some powder in my face. I felt light headed high but it wasn’t just the sensation of being high, I began falling into the sky like that other poor sap,” the parahuman groupies leaned in close.

“As my world turned upside down I grabbed onto Space taking him with me and we both fell up into the sky. As we fall I ask him “What is this shit? How longs it last.” As if answering my statement the other goon plummeted back down to earth. With fear in his eyes he says,”Not long. Pixie Dust, it gets you high, one of White Rabbits tinker drugs.””

“I shake him a little, I reckon I could smell himself shitting his bricks, so I press him further, “We’re both going to die so why not tell me what have you been handing to those kids?” Resigned he mutters, “It’s another of White Rabbits drugs, ‘spose to give temporary powers to potential parahumans. We’ve been looking….” He was cut off abruptly as the drug wore off and we both fell to the ground.”

“But how did you survive?” one of the girls asked.

“Babe, I’m bloody immortal.”

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