Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thoughts and changes on the Grim Hack from the play reports.

Am I intelligent or just cunning? Dexterous or agile? I ponder such in my garden of death...

Thoughts and changes on the Grim Hack from the play reports.

New rule on skills: Knowledge, artistic, and crafting skills: When skill is first attained, it gives a 10% bonus to the attribute check when rolling for success. A big difference with other d100/BRP style games and WFRP is that WFRP characters start out much weaker. It’s common for key starting skills that a BRP-type character has at creation to be in the area of 70-80% (however, these rules also allow a character to advance skills beyond 100%).

Possible changes I’m considering: As my whole idea for the Grim Hack was a rules lite version of WFRP, there are a few things I’m considering.
·       Forsaking hit locations: Reduces some of the ‘fiddliness’ from both combat and purchasing/looting gear. Armor values would remain the same (Plate + chain=2AP, Plate or chain=1 AP, Leather 1AP vs. light damage, Shield good for 1AP). Would require a complete rewrite of crit tables, however.
·       Reducing the number of Attributes: Basically combining Agility and Dexterity, and Cunning and Intelligence. It’s only been two adventures, but I remain unconvinced on the need for two differing aspects of a particular attribute.

On a side note, Bob is thinking of running Against the Giants with my Grim Hack rules! Made me all warm and fuzzy to hear that!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Deep Space 13 map and legend.

Deep Space 13 map and legend

Here’s an example I used for one of my one-shot adventures to test my Grim Hack rules. It can be used with any ruleset, however, if anyone wants the stats, I’ll post ‘em. Brief descriptions of the opponents follows later in the post. If anyone runs this, please let me know how it went.

For the brief introduction I used (and character archetypes) see here.

Sorry about the odd numbering, but when I start writing rooms/encounters, I do it as they come to me, then add them to the map. I pretty much am just transcribing pretty much exactly what I had wrote in my notebook.

State of Station and existing Runabout: Pipes, wires, and structures of human flesh that certainly don’t belong cover the ceilings and walls, all dripping pus and gore onto the decks. See Aliens. You may describe the Borg found on this station similarly, see picture here.

Various locations have Control Panels for various systems. As these have been corrupted by the Borg Hypergeometric Virus, it takes a skill check to get anything from them. See Panel section below.

1.        Airlock: desiccated corpses in Federation uniform. No equipment. 1 Cyber-Vermin patrols gangway to Station proper.
2.        Reactor Room: Power-core dark with a massive creature, the Borgoth, covered in tentacles, pustules, and power cables wrapped around it. See picture in this post.
3.        Command Center/Bridge: Borg Commander and two Borg. Corrupted Science, Communications, Engineering, and Security Panels. These are the most corrupted on the Station. A fumble on these skill checks destroys the panel. Clue 1 can be found here in the Science Panel.
4.        Brig: 2 Cyber-Vermin. 3 Starfleet prisoners in rags, obviously tortured, in separate cells. “They tortured us, they laughed while they did it! Borg have never done that!” “There’s no one left in Starfleet. It started somewhere in the Alpha quadrant. We thought we were the last uncorrupted Station left.”
5.        Armory: One Phaser rifle, corrupted (on use, failed Willpower check causes user to surrender self to Borg when encountered).
6.        Holodeck: Recurring nightmare imagery of the Borg invasion of Earth.
7.        Mess Hall: 3 Cyber-Vermin. 1 naked, bruised, and insane Starfleet member. Don’t ask what they’ve been eating…
8.        Barracks: Various bodies in perverted poses and dismemberment. No mission-critical equipment.
9.        Officer’s Quarters: throughout the ring. One holds Clue 2. No mission-critical equipment.
10.     Observation Deck: Peaceful, uncorrupted.
11.     Science Lab: Borg Scientist reading Necronomicon on Science Panel (this is what was uploaded to the Collective to start this whole thing). A discarded datapad holds Clue 1. Body parts melded with tentacles and bio-mechanical will turn into another Borgoth if the scientist isn’t killed in the first round of combat.
12.     Med-Bay: Borg conversion center. One victim almost ready.
13.     Borgified Runabout: Power core mysteriously drained. No working panels, equipment, etc.
14.     Engineering: Borg at Engineering Panel. Datapad holds Clue 2.
15.     Security Sub-Station: Security Panel, 3 Phasers.

Science Panel: Successful skill check finds the Anti-Virus after Clue 1 is found.
Engineering Panel: Successful skill check reduces hit points of location 2 Borgoth by half.
Security Panel: Succesful skill check after power is restored, gives number and location of opponents and allows the locking down of any particular room. Critical success activates invader countermeasures, stunning all Borg and Cyber-Vermin for 1d10 minutes.
Communications Panel: Successful skill check once power is restored at location 2, Clue 2 found, and Anti-Virus found, broadcasts the Anti-Virus throughout the Alpha quadrant.

The Borg: Fairly self-explanatory other than the fact they are physically corrupted even more than they already are, just add tentacle arms and boils and such to their description. Both the Commander and the Scientist are quite a bit tougher, feel free to have the Scientist throw some Lovecraftian spells once he animates his Borgoth. The Borg prefer to use the ‘Stun’ feature on their Phasers so as to add to their collection of play-things.

The Borgoths: Bio-mechanical Shoggoths.

Cyber-Vermin: A bio-mechanical cross between dogs and spiders. They shoot to kill, but use lasers which are a tad weaker than Phasers.

Clue 1: “Jeffries Tubes becoming dangerous as Borg virus spreads…”
…am making progress on Anti-Virus. Must read more of that book!”
“Patched into Borg systems. Found complete book. Spells converted to Hypergeometric equations!?!”
“Anti-Virus almost done. As long as they don’t find me first.”
“Anti-Virus is completed, but I am deleting it. I was such a fool. Gods do, indeed, exist. Biologic life is meaningless. I am turning myself in for assimilation. Yog-Sothoth is the Gate and the Key.”

Clue 2: “If that thing would only die, I’d be able to get the Security System back up and running. Not good enough an Engineer to work on a starship my ass! I’d even have enough power to broadcast Broderick’s Anti-Virus. That’s is if Mr. Science Officer can get his crap together.”

Note: I’m not claiming any ownership of these properties. This was purely a humorous exercise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Deep Space 13 (2nd Grim Hack one-shot) play report finale.

Yog-Sothoth is the Gate and the Key, well, of the Engineering Deck anyway...

Deep Space 13 (2nd Grim Hack one-shot) play report finale.

Sorry about the lack of posts for a while, but real-life tends to intrude on our gaming excursions, so we were finally able to get together last night to complete this one-shot.

Bob-Security Officer
Dave-Medical Officer
Doug-Engineering Officer
John-Science Officer

Our intrepid team, fresh from their assault on the Bridge, now believed they needed to get more power to the Station so they could both power up the various control panels around Deep Space 13 and to spread the anti-virus through its systems. Brimming with confidence, they girded their loins for an elevator trip down to the engineering level.

Ready for anything, the team had their Phasers set on ‘char-broil’ as the elevator doors opened. What they weren’t prepared for was the quivering mass of sentient tentacles, wires, mouths, and pus-filled sacks the size of a human head that had wrapped itself around the power core. Despite having a layer of clear, nigh-impenetrable glass between them and it, both the Security Officer and the Engineering officer were shaken to their core y Fear, and refused to exit the elevator.

Discussing their options, the Science Officer and the Med Officer decided to cautiously check the surrounding rooms for anything that may help against the thing that was syphoning off all the power. John went to check the door to the left, Dave to the right. Dave got close enough for the automatic door to open where he caught a glimpse of some prisoners in cells and the edge of a couple of the bio-mechanical spider-dogs (with lasers!), when he quickly backed up to allow the door to close without alerting the vicious little enemies.

John, however, was not quite so lucky, and the Borg in the Engineering Lab became aware of him as soon the door open. After a quick exchange of weapons fire, the Borg was wounded, but the Science Officer lay on the deck, victim of a Phaser on stun.

Dave sprinted over and burst into the Engineering lab. After a second to assess the situation, he burned down the Borg. Having shaken off his fear at the sounds of Phaser fire, Bob grabbed his Phaser rifle and ran into the Brig, causing one of the Spider-Dogs to explode, damaging it’s fellow which returned fire burning a hole deep into the Security Officer’s arm.

Doug remained frozen in Fear.

Finishing off the still-moving, still-burning, Borg with a disintegrating flash, Dave sprinted over to the brig after hearing a scream for ‘Medic!’

Despite his wounds, Bob was able to finish off the last of his opponents. A short time later, he felt much better as the Medical Officer was able to tend his wounds.

Finally, both the Science Officer and the Engineering Officer shook off their various maladies, and the party went to free the prisoners. After a quick Med-scan and some first-aid, they were able to communicate with the three prisoners, one male, two female.

“They tortured us,” said one of the women. “Over and over again. Borg don’t do that. I don’t understand…”

“I didn’t think anyone was left that wasn’t assimilated in all of Starfleet,” said the male. “We were the last outpost that we knew of.”

Finding the Security Station on this level, the team armed the three freed prisoners. The Science Officer ‘critically’ delved into the Engineering Controls and figured out a way to cause a power feedback into the creature on the power core and maybe damage it. On his advice, he had the team don the white contamination coveralls just in case containment was breached.

With a stroke of Science wizardry, the lights went out and the team felt a screech and heard the words “YOG-SOTHOTH IS THE GATE AND THE KEY!” in their brains.

The thing then unwrapped its scorched and smoking tentacles from the core and started making it’s way out of the containment chamber.

The rest of the party and prisoners greeted it with a fusillade of Phaser fire. Shrugging off most of the damage, the creature attacked, leaving the male prisoner crawling on the deck, gasping to breathe. The Security Officer dropped his Phaser rifle as it malfunctioned and drew his hand Phaser. Rejoining the team, Join added his Phaser fire to it. Suddenly, the weakened monster exploded, heavily damaging the team and killing the male prisoner outright. As the Medical Officer tended their wounds, the power core began glowing brighter and brighter, and the hum of long sleeping systems rose louder and louder. Pops and sizzles soon followed as the bio-mechanical infection was slowly purged as the anti-virus spread.

Now that the Security Station’s consoles were powered up, the Security Officer was able to find and isolate the last Borg in the Science Lab on the main deck. Unfortunately, he was unable to bring up any of the more ‘drastic’ of the security options. What he was ale to find, was that the Science Lab was drawing an extreme amount of power.

Piling into the elevator, the team quickly checked their weapons, then sprinted towards the lab. As the door shwooshed open, the found a Borg frantically working on something. The la was filled with body parts, tentacles, and head-sized bags of pus, all melded together. Luckily, the team was able to put their opponent down before he could finish its nefarious work (animating another creature similar to what they just dealt with on the Engineering Deck.

After investigating Deep Space 13 thoroughly and talking with the survivors, they discovered that the station was recently infected in comparison to the rest of the Federation. Some of the records that the team found spoke of what the results of the anti-virus would likely be. The Borg virus would have merged deeply with the higher technologies first, so when the anti-virus strikes, all the wondrous technology that made the Federation would be destroyed. No more transporters, anti-gravity, faster-than-light communications, warp drives, and even computer systems would be all gone, effectively devolving civilization centuries into the past. The team had no idea how far the original virus had spread, the alpha quadrant assuredly, but what of their enemies in the deeper reaches of space? A functional starship could wreak havoc over multiple systems and worlds. But, in the end, there wasn’t really a choice.

 They broadcast the anti-virus out into what remained of the Federation.

After a couple adventures, I’ve made some changes to the Grim Hack rules that I will post shortly. Primarily related to crafting/knowledge/artistic skills. Basically, when a character learns one of these skills, not only can he use it, he gets a 10% onus on the attribute roll when using them.

Also, thinking of posting the map and the adventure for this one-shot. Let me know if anyone is interested in seeing it. It may give you an idea on how I go about making adventures.