Monday, May 1, 2017

Mecha Monday: Player Three has entered the battle

A company called Greatmetal has created its own giant robot to join the fray, adding a third nation to a robo-punchup.

I for one welcome our new G-Gundam Future, where nations compete via giant stupid robots for some reason. Fuck it, I don't care if it's inefficient or unusual, I want it to be a thing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Savage Worlds: Ascended Miniatures Tactics

As I've delved into Savage Worlds and the benefits and issues therein, while simultaneously reading more on Warhammer 40k rules, it has solidified an inkling I had.

Savage Worlds developed in part as a miniatures tactics ruleset almost exactly like WH40k.

Where GURPS began as an exceptionally in-depth combat system that grew into an incredibly comprehensive, simulationist tabletop RPG, Savage Worlds seems to have gone the other direction, starting as a Fast Dice system with minimal bookkeeping to track character's vital details and adding options for elevating a simple tactics character to Roleplaying Character status. While I know the system evolved in part from previous games made by Pinnacle that work similarly, the incredible lack of alteration required to use Savage Worlds as a minis combat system is unlikely to be accidental.

In both WH40k and SW, typical characters (Extras in SW parlance) have 1 wound before being removed.

Most Named Characters (Wildcards in SW) have 3 wounds.

Both systems mitigate low "hit points" with a roll to wound based on the unit's toughness.

Both systems use a flat "to hit" roll based on skill for ranged attacks vs a fixed target modified by cover. Both systems utilize a simple comparison of melee skill to determine who can hit what in melee. Both systems effectively lock you into melee until one side retreats, AND consider pistols as a melee weapon in close combat. (WH40k locks you in combat, and a side failing the Leadership test to continue fighting is hunted and destroyed as they try to flee. SW grants the party not retreating a free bonus attack on retreating enemies).

Both follow the roll to hit, then to wound. Savage Worlds differs by adding a sub-wound level of Shaken that stuns a character if the to wound roll is only barely successful. WH40k has an extra roll for armor save, this is rolled into the To Wound in SW

Both systems permit a 6" move action and a single action on a turn. That run action is handled via a d6 roll for extra distance in both, barring special rules to increase die size. In WH40k, there's an alternative option to charge into melee which usually grants first-round bonuses for the fight, while SW permits you to run but incurs a -2 multi-action penalty to any further actions.

Both have morale/leadership rules to resist the urge to abandon the fight upon taking set numbers of casualties.

Both systems assign ranged weapon's reach based on kinematics (modified by accuracy or effective range, if relevant), rather than actual projectile reach. In WH40k, pistols and shotguns get 12" reach, rifles get 24", stuff like LMGs get 36". In SW, pistols and shotguns (non sawn off) get 12", rifles get 24", and LMGs get 30". In WH40k that's all the range you get, in SW you get two additional range bands (doubling each time) with a -2 and -4 range penalty.

Both systems modify odds similarly. WH40k uses differing success numbers on a d6 (2+, 3+, 4+, etc. 1 always fails), savage worlds instead keeps the target number (mostly) the same and uses progressively larger die type (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12).

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tech Tuesday: VR Accessories

Something came across my Facebook feed that reminded me of all the VR accessories that came and went way ahead of their time (Lookin' at you, Novint, with your sweet haptic feedback sleeves) and are now becoming Actually Relevant.

The Hardlight VR suit. In GURPS UltraTech, this is a Basic VR suit. The current gloves/controllers and mask setup that's popular is Glove VR. Adds torso tracking, and a bit of vibratory haptic feedback to let you know what's happening beyond things that touch your hands. and of course the inevitable kickstarter.

Combined with the Virtuix Omni 360 treadmill (It's actually a person-sized touchpad with slippy shoes, essentially, rather than an actual treadmill), you're pretty well set for VR adventures.

That set me searching.
The Axon VR suit. Full VR, it provides haptic feedback and even resistance to motion if there's a virtual object in the way.

Meanwhile, the future continues to arrive with the Multimedia Wall. Sorry, the LG OLED Wallpaper TV. For providing the external view without being large enough to be in the way and get smacked while you're off in a digital world.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Music Monday: 2fer

Have two songs that link together with a sweet video from The Offspring. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

LEGO for Gaming: Near Official Support

So, Lego has a thing where you can propose sets. If you can garner support for your idea, it may become an official set.

Someone proposed a Dungeon Master pack, with all the stuff for a D&D style fantasy dungeon crawl. Skeletons, goblins, witches, and wights, with a few valiant heroes to face them, it's a set designed to give all the props and pieces you'd want for high fantasy.

It already has a fair amount of support. Like most LEGO set lines, if it does well it will likely expand. This is one of the few predominantly scenery sets that isn't a castle or a city, and therefore appeals to me super hard for the possibilities

I hope that it gets support, and they do expansions and variations, such as a cyberpunk business sprawl, navigable spaceship interiors, Victorian streets, or prohibition speakeasy.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Crisis of faith

I've got a bunch of stuff to say on The Trumpening, Hillary's loss, assorted protests, and a great many other things. I just need to feel the desire to pound the keyboard into something resembling a post.

This, however is not that post.

This post is about GURPS (4e?), and Savage Worlds.

Specifically, I'm a big fan of generic systems. I'm also a fan of both systems that are fast and fun while offering depth, and systems that have the near infinite gritty crunch. This is GURPS appeal, in some ways it's actually a pretty simple system (when in doubt, roll 3d6 unless damage says otherwise), but it's got layers and layers of complexity to use or ignore as desired.

But it's still horrifyingly complex to the average player, and has a few things that could be tightened up, as I outlined a few of here.

Savage worlds fixes some of them, and maintains others at about the same level of broken. The weapon tables are balanced weird and a couple environmental hazards are wonky, but I've tried to run a game using Ultra-Tech, so...

Plus, the possibility of themed decks and dice and things, plus the freeform tabletop tactics nature of the system (similar to things like WH40k, made particularly apparent by how easily the system converts into a Miniatures Tactics game!) all have a certain allure.

I'm being tempted away from GURPS.

I'll still use it, probably. But GURPS 4e has been my go-to Favorite System for a while. And now it has competition. Some of it can be houseruled to bring up to ways I like doing things more. Some things require a pretty substantial mechanics change.

I can explain Savage Worlds to a potential player in 10ish minutes, start to stop. I can do similar with GURPS 4e. Except Savage Worlds doesn't cause them to run screaming away when they look at the actual rules.

If they ever make a GURPS 5e, I've no doubt it will bring me crawling back. But for now, it looks like I'm multiclassing with my systems.