The New Centurions, Issue #7: Into the Void

Last Friday was the latest episode of Clint’s New Centurions game. We picked up pretty much exactly where we had left off last time – about to take a bug-bus into another dimension to face the invaders on their own turf.

Our expedition was delayed slightly, as we met up with a few of the emerging heroes in our world, such as Captain Vitality ((Here’s an interesting little bit of GM trickery for when you can’t come up with a good name: come up with a bad name, and make it obvious that it’s a bad name. Case in point: Captain Vitality was somewhat abashed about his name, as it had been given to him by a fourteen-year-old. I did a similar thing in a D&D game when I created a magic sword studded with blue gems that I then named Vermillion. Viridian was the word I had actually been looking for, but I messed up, so I made the sword touchy about the fact it had been named by a colour-blind enchanter.)) and Kid Dynamo ((Not, apparently, named after the song by The Buggles.)), and also to rescue some civilians being mind-controlled by the invaders’ parasite-firing guns. But eventually we managed to head off to the portal to the alien realm, leaving our new allies and a warrior made of rock to guard our way home.

Along the way, in the chaos of the invasion and the dozens ((Perhaps hundreds.)) of attacks on civilians, S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. ((Y’know, I thought the acronym thing was a neat idea when I made it up, but it’s really annoying to type t properly. And I’m enough of a curmudgeon that I refuse to drop the capitalization and periods. A cautionary tale for creating names.)) became aware that his mentor and tech specialist was no longer online. This rattled him enough that he made several less-than-heroic suggestions along the way, garnering a set-back die for the GM to use.

Once through the dimensional portal, we found ourselves in empty space. Queen Celeste was able to lead us to the voidship that our bug-bus came from, and we attempted to sneak in with the bug-bus’s recognition codes. We made it all the way to the docking orifice, but then got locked out. When there was no instant destructo-beam deployed against us, and we saw the invaders walking around on the surface of the voidship with no breathing apparatus, we decided to jump out on the surface of the ship and try to make our way inside to break stuff and generally make the bad guys stop with the invading.

The voidship proved to be the same kind of organic tech as the bug-bus, but much larger, of course. As we made our way through the cysts, polyps, and giant hairs on the surface, we woke up a large, nasty worm creature that apparently lives in the flesh of the voidship. It swallowed Paladin, but Widowmaker teleported up onto its head and used her gravity smash to pummel it while Falkata and Queen Celeste cut into the thing’s belly, meeting Paladin cutting his way out. S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. managed to use his advanced predictive algorithms to get the thing to impale itself on one of the tree-sized, spear-like hairs ((Using a hero die to do a power stunt.)), and then the others finished it off.

We crawled into the thing’s burrow, and made our way inside the ship, and that’s where we left things for the night.

I have to say, after a rocky start, the campaign is really starting to click. The major difficulty was the whole switching-systems thing, but we players are starting to get the hang of how to do things in the game, and how to make exciting, heroic choices. Clint’s mixing comic book sensibility with Cthulhoid flavouring in the current scenario to create an interesting, exciting adventure, and the larger questions in the background are keeping the mystery and interest levels high.

It’s a fun game, and I’m looking forward to the next issue.

The New Centurions, Issue #6: Earthblood

Last Monday night ((I love the Christmas break. We get to game on weekday nights)) was the latest session of the New Centurions campaign. We had wrapped up the previous storyline, about a missing pay-off to a mob boss, the session before, so this session, we were getting back to the ongoing problem of mysterious sinkholes appearing in the streets of Manhattan.

The first part of the session was spent thinking about how to deal with the fact that the mob boss now knew where our secret base was, and seemed to think we owed him something. This was mainly just brainstorming how to increase security, and decide if we were going to go visit the mob boss at his house to show him how intrusive that was, or just wait to see if he pushed it any farther.

We decided to wait, because of not wanting to go to war right this second.

So, then we turned our attention to the sinkhole problem. We had discovered a few sessions ago that there was a strange, black, oily substance flowing under the city streets in some areas. A sample sent to an occultist contact told us that it was essentially dimensional blood: a fluid that was produced by the friction between our world and one in another dimension. A similar sample sent to a geologist told us that it seemed to be a molecule containing a great deal of energy, sort of like a hydrocarbon, but that the elements that made it up didn’t exist on the periodic table.

The geologist, who specialized in eastern seaboard seismology, was also able to help us narrow down where the next sinkhole was likely to manifest. We went to investigate, and found that, deep below the streets, the ground was pulverized to loose soil and gravel, below which was this earthblood we had found elsewhere. Queen Celeste drained off some of the mystic potential of the stuff to forestall the forthcoming sinkhole, and the rest of us went topside to help evacuate everyone ((S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. had to put his position with the police department on the line to get authorization for this one.)).

We checked in with the geologist again, who was baffled as to what could have alleviated the build-up of seismic forces without disastrous release ((We figured telling her we had done it by magic would have been a little cruel.)), and she pointed us to the next build-up, which was happening sort-of NOW. This was in a more prosperous part of the city, and it was a much tougher sell to get people to evacuate. At least, it was tough right up to the moment when the giant bug the size of a bus jumped up out of the sinkhole and released a squad of monsters.

Clint used the basic idea of D&D’s mind flayers for the villains, mapping them onto the Marvel Comics idea of Skrulls – alien, inimical beings from another dimension that were bent on humanity’s destruction/enslavement. The bulk of the creatures – five of them, as I recall – were minion grunts, fighting with knives, while one wizard-type stood back blasting at everyone’s brain from behind his forcefield.

We dispatched the grunts, freed the mentally enslaved bug-bus ((Thanks to Falkata making mental contact with it while locked inside.)), and restrained the brainblaster. Except the brainblaster didn’t give up, and mind-controlled Paladin’s brain, forcing him to attack S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. ((Who, as an android, was both immune to and unaware of these mental shenanigans.)) Before Paladin could attack, though, Queen Celeste zapped the brainblaster with her magic, killing him outright, and freeing Paladin from its mental control.

This prompted a bit of a heated exchange between S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. and the others, as S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. was unaware of the mental attacks, and was quite upset about a prisoner in his custody (as he saw it) being executed.

And then the bug-bus agreed to take us to the other dimension to battle the evil monsters to stop the attacks on our reality and incidentally free its people. Which is where we left things.

All in all, a fun game. The investigation section worked significantly better than previously with the solid goal in sight, and there was a real sense of progress and achievement in stopping this squad of invaders and knowing where to go next. I’m looking forward to the next session.

The New Centurions, Issue #5: Street Festival Fracas

Last Saturday was scheduled to be our re-start of my friend Clint’s awesome Shadowlands D&D campaign, which has been on hiatus for a few months. However, because both GM and players found the last session of New Centurions to be somewhat frustrating, Clint wanted to run one more session, so that we wouldn’t end on a low note ((Which would probably mean we would never come back to the game, which would be a shame.)).

One of the things he did to address the issues of the previous session was to have us all discuss and come to a consensus as to what type of superhero game we were playing. After a little bit, we decided that it was essentially Bronze Age, with some drift into Silver and Iron ((Discussion of the ages can be found here, though wikipedia uses the term Modern Age instead of Iron Age.)) at either end of the spectrum. Basically, what we decided was that the world is somewhat dark, but the worst excesses are off-stage, and the heroes are noble examples of what people can be. Honour and justice are important, and heroes don’t kill.

That discussion alone was a huge help in getting everyone on the same page.

The rest of the session was a long, wild combat, trying to stop the heist of a truck full of (stolen) electronics during a street festival. The mob, which had originally stolen the electronics, was using the street festival as cover to move the truck, and our nemesis, Lady Crimson, was going to take it away from them.

Clint set things up in a very interesting manner. Lady Crimson used some hired help ((Mostly patterned after the villains in Big Trouble in Little China.)) to distract us while her main muscle stole the truck. It almost worked, keeping us tied up dealing with the flying Chinese sorcerer, his conjured giant foo-dogs, grenades thrown into the crowd, and the weird orangutan monster, while the Five Dragons snatched the truck.

We managed to keep the truck from being stolen ((And S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. had it impounded for suspicion of trafficking in stolen goods, completely negating any gratitude the mob might have had for us.)), and we also captured Lady Crimson. She eventually told us where the stolen briefcase we needed to find was, in return for turning her over to a military official of her acquaintance ((Who ran a Suicide Squad type of black ops team, it seems.)) with a promise that she leave the city. We got the money back to La Familia, who delivered it to the Gambinos, who in turn promised to keep the lights on in La Familia territory.

And then the Gambinos sent someone to our secret base to let us know they had appreciated our help, and hoped they could count on our co-operation in future ((S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. is not pleased.)).

Over all, the session was a great success. Clint made sure we had clear objectives and could find a path to achieve them. The objectives conflicted at times, but that’s completely fine – it’s great, in fact, because it means we had to make some interesting choices. The key was that we were able to pull together to decide what to do, and then do it. It was pretty much all combat, except for a little wrap-up at the end, but that was good, too, in light of the previous session being pretty much action-free. It made a good balance to the previous session, and left us on a high note. We all had fun, and are looking forward to playing some more New Centurions.

But we’re also looking forward to getting back to Shadowlands in a couple of weeks.

New Centurions, Issue #4: Now What?

Last Friday was the latest session of our BASH superheroes game, run by Clint. I have to say that I think everyone – players and GM alike – found it a little frustrating.

For a change, though, it wasn’t the system. In fact, I think that the system ran pretty smoothly, and generally got out of the way of the adventure, when it wasn’t making the adventure possible. It also wasn’t the adventure itself that caused the problems, nor anything that Clint did.

No, what I think we’ve run into now is the fact that, after four sessions, we’re finally able to start sorting out what our characters are and can do – something that generally happens in the first couple of sessions of a game. What with the system change and the tweaks and the growing cast of players, we’ve been resetting our experience with the game pretty much every session. Now that we’re somewhere fairly stable, we’ve gotta start figuring out who we are and how to make our characters work.

What was so frustrating about this game? Well, we couldn’t seem to advance the plot, is what it comes down to. As players, we couldn’t find a clear path forward, because we kept flailing around in different directions. We uncovered some clues to things, but many of them pointed us to the problem of the sinkholes that started the game. While useful, and the two things may be linked in some manner, we couldn’t find any connection between those events and our main mission – to retrieve the suitcase of cash before the time limit expired ((Speaking as someone who GMs a lot, I know how frustrating it is as a GM to see the players floundering. Judging the clues is a tough call, because the GM sees them in context, but the players don’t. What may seem like a complete giveaway to the GM can still be completely opaque to the players. Kudos to Clint for keeping things moving at all.)).

So, the session was spent interrogating criminals, exploring old theatres, trekking through sewers following trails of black blood, negotiating with mob bosses, and hitting up contacts. All these things were interesting and valid aspects of the adventure, but they felt like what they were – five characters pulling in different directions, flailing around to find a loose thread to pull on in order to unravel the mystery. In fact, near the end of the session, we realized that we had no hope of solving things within the time limit, so we wound up going to a mob boss and negotiating an extension, and that, to me, felt like a failure.

Again, I want to stress that this is not anything anyone has done in the game; it’s not anyone’s fault, and it was still a nice evening out with friends. But I really think we need to get a handle on what our characters are, and what the game is, to make sure we get the enjoyment out of playing that we expect. And that’s something we’re all going to have to work at.

I also want to point out that there was a lot of neat roleplaying in the session, and some great character development. Despite our frustrations, I think we all had fun. The only thing really missing was a sense of accomplishment. I think if we can get a grip on the characters, and get focused on what we want to accomplish in the story, the game will take off in a big way. It’s the fact that we’re four sessions in, and every session feels like we – the players and GM – are fighting an uphill battle to find the fun, that leads to the frustration.

And, at the end of the session, we still didn’t have a solid line on where the stolen briefcase was. Just a lead to someone who might be able to get us to someone who might be willing to tell us where the person who snatched it is. But first, we have to talk to the gang who has us looking for the briefcase to let them know we got them an extension on their payoff, at the low, low price of an extra 50k. I’m sure they’ll understand.

This session didn’t go all that well. Next session will be better, because we’ll figure things out.

New Centurions, Issue #3: Gang War

After the last session of our ICONS New Centurions game, I wrote a post where I enumerated several problems we had with the system, but went on to say that I still liked the system.

Upon reflection, I’ve changed my mind.

And talking to the other players, and to the GM, I’m not alone. The system just was not working for us, for all of the reasons listed in the previous post.

But we still wanted the game to continue, so Clint, who is running the game, went looking for a different simple superhero rules set. He looked at a few of them, but decided to go with BASH ((As Clint has asked at least once, what’s with all the capitals?)).

So, I spent Saturday afternoon converting S.P.E.C.-T.E.R. ((See what I mean about the capitals?)) into a BASH character and learning the system. I gotta say, I like it a fair bit after one session. It moves quickly, seems a little more flexible in play, and uses a neat mechanic ((To be fair, I’m not sure everyone will think the mechanic is a smooth and easy as I do. I spent many years working a till in a bookstore, so multiplying numbers in my head is very much second nature. For those without that advantage, the the game includes a simple chart to do the math for you.)) to handle all the action. It has open-ended rolls, and a mechanic to improve your rolls that I think works a fair bit better than the Determination points in ICONS, allowing more flexibility and improvisation.

Clint added one house rule: he converted the attribute scale to make it more fine-grained, running from 0 to 10 instead of 0 to 5, basically inserting a separate level between each of the previous ranks. Now, I didn’t have any problem with the original scale, and I thought the system he found and incorporated in the game lacked a certain aesthetic quality to the design that was present in the original, but seeing as I had taken all even-number attributes in the new system, it didn’t affect me really at all, so my opinion is not all that relevant.

We did find that, in play, even though it looked like it should run just as easy and intuitively as the base system, the new scale did not. It caused confusion when integrating with the powers, and necessitated an extra layer of math in calculating outcomes. Somehow, the little change wound up generating headaches in play, and not offering enough extra functionality, causing Clint to decide to go with a different optional scale ((The new scale is basically the same as the one we played with, but doesn’t double the attribute numbers, instead inserting a + or a .5 to indicate a level between the two original levels. Doesn’t seem like much, but I think it’s going to address the main difficulties we were having.)).


This session, we were adding two new players to the game, bring the ranks of the New Centurions up to five in total ((Welcome, Tom and Vickie!)). We muddled around a bit at the beginning until we got the point that we were at a dead end with the investigations into the Century Club, Dr. Methuselah, and the sinkholes, and finally got into the story that Clint was using to introduce the new characters. This involved a speeding SUV, armed gang members, and a suitcase of money, the Five Dragons of a Chinese gang, a crimson ninja, hints about the Mafia, and our little group of heroes promising to retrieve the aforementioned suitcase of money from the Chinese gang and return it to the Latino gang so they could give it to the Mafia and head off a burgeoning gang war ((Clint likes making characters choose between the lesser of two evils. Sometimes, you need to measure them very, very carefully.)).

We found that the system ran very smoothly and intuitively, although we intentionally avoided some of the more complex combat options for our first outing. I ran into a couple of weird things with my character that were the result of not really understanding how the system works in play – specifically, I had overlooked a power that would actually make my Clairvoyance power (which is the BASH equivalent of Precognition) have a chance of working, and I had spent power slots on Armour, even though my Defense roll is high enough that it makes the Armour pretty much redundant. Clint has graciously allowed me to rejigger the numbers a bit for the next game.

I’m glad we made the switch to BASH. It’s just a better fit for the group and the style of game we’re playing. And I’m especially glad that we were able to convert the characters pretty seamlessly – but with what I feel are overall improvements -  to the new system.

I’m looking forward to the next game.

ICONS – The New Centurions #2

Saturday night we had our second ICONS game. More and more, we’re finding that the game is a good starting point, but has some issues that need to be addressed for it to do what we need it to do.

We added another character*, and once again found some difficulty with the random character generation. Beyond the disparity of potential starting characters, and the challenge of coming up with a reasonable framework to explain truly strange groups of powers, it takes far longer than I think it should. The implication I get from reading the character creation section is that it should be fast, to get you playing quickly. I find that it takes about the same amount of time to do up a random character as it does to build one using point-buy, which really undermines any advantage the random method produces.

Now, to be fair, a lot of the time is spent just looking up the powers – again, the book really needs an index, or a reference sheet of some sort – but the extra time one would spend making choices in point-buy is offset by the time you spend in random generation trying to figure out how to fit, say, teleportation, paralyze, and wall-crawling together*.

Another issue that arises in this game that needs careful attention on the part of the GM is the lock-key style of powers. That is, each power* seems to have a very specific application and at least one counter. This means that the GM can easily* build foes that render one or more characters simply ineffective. Now, there are other things that characters can do besides just beat up the villains, but the four-colour style of the game, and the shallowness of the system, really puts the onus for that on the players and GM to come up with pretty much everything except the combats. Which means that making a character ineffective at combat renders a character ineffective at most of what the game tries to do. More support for other things would have been good.

And we’re all pretty fragile characters. Even my robot has no armour or resistance to damage – rolling such a thing on the random table is somewhat difficult. This makes dodging and evading terribly important in combat, because one high-power hit can take out pretty much any of us. Given the prevalence of damage mitigation in the source material, it strikes me as a little odd, not to mention challenging for the characters who didn’t roll high on physical abilities.

One other thing we’re having problems with is the similarity of the game to the FATE system. It’s enough like FATE that we think we understand how it works, but there are a couple of places where it differs enough to really trip us up. For example, using Determination works very differently from using Fate Points, and the flatter probability curve on d6-d6 vs 4dF means that your scores aren’t as reliable in ICONS as they are in FATE*.

That’s an awful lot of complaining, isn’t it? It sounds like I really dislike this game, and that’s not the case at all. I quite like it. But I think it’s important to be reasonable about the strengths and weaknesses of the game.

Anyway, this session had us meet the new character in the sunken ruins of the Century Club NYC headquarters, with six of the Centurions seemingly held in stasis by Dr. Methuselah and his weird math. While investigating the scene and trying to figure out what was going on, we got blindsided by someone else (very shadowy, got the drop on Queen Celeste), who forced us to leave the room for a minute or so. When we came back, he and Dr. Methuselah were both gone, though the Centurions were still stuck there.

Investigating the building, we discovered the archives of the Century Club, talking about their heroics and accomplishments. These archives ended abruptly on September 6, 1933, and since that time, there have been no public superheroes in the world. September 6, 1933, was also the last recorded appearance of Dr. Methuselah.

My (rather naive) robot character then convinced the other two characters that we needed to become the New Centurions, to bring back a sense of hope and empowerment to the embattled citizens of NYC. We agreed, and then went to work reclaiming the Century Club to use as our headquarters.

While we were in the middle of that, another sinkhole appeared along another ley line, and we dashed off to deal with that. Another fight with the stone creatures*, this time with squishy civilians around*. Once we had them on the ropes, a bigger, Kali-esque stone creature rose from the fissure, and asked us why we were invading her realm. She, the Queen of Below, gave us a chance to explain that we had thought she was the one doing the invading, and then she gave us leave to investigate in her realms.

We left it there for the evening, but we’re looking forward to getting together to give it another try. Potentially with another player joining in*!

*And player! Welcome, Fera! Back

*Our solution: gravity manipulation. Back

*With its concurrent sub-system, but that’s another story. Back

*And accidentally! Back

*When you combine these two differences, you can really wind up hosing yourself when using Determined Effort, not achieving the result you wanted and using up all your Determination in the attempt, rather than being able to cut your losses. Back

*And we still didn’t have anyone with the right kinds or strengths of powers to easily deal with them. Back

*One of them had a camera phone, so Queen Celeste’s secret ID may be in jeopardy now. Back

*You in, Tom? Back

ICONS #1 – Spectacular Origins Issue!

I was planning to try the Battlestar Galactica boardgame this past Saturday evening, complete with the Pegasus expansion. Unfortunately, I left the invites too late, and only two people were free to take me up on the offer. Three players is sub-optimal for BSG, so instead Clint offered to run a game of ICONS so that we could check out the system.

He and I had both read ICONS in .pdf format, and both had sought the hard copy version out at GenCon because we liked it so much. This was easier for me than for him, because it was just on the other side of the black drape divider between Pagan Publishing (where I was) and Cubicle 7 (where it was). So, we had picked it up, and read it, and were both very intrigued by the random character creation, the pared-down FATE-style rules, and the four-colour superhero defaults.

He, Penny, and I got together to roll up characters – Clint made one along with us, even though he was running the game – and for Clint to run us through a short adventure.

We spent the better part of two hours working out characters, which seemed like a long time for the quick-start, random style of the game. But it was the random style that threw a couple of problems at us. Here are a couple of issues that arose:

  • As with all random character generation methods, there is a significant chance that one character is going to wind up being just plain better at stuff than the others. Or worse. Yeah, you can play with a character that has fewer powers, or lower powers, or lower stats, but we wound up with a situation where one character had less everything than the others. By about 25%. Now, there’s a point-buy method you can use to avoid this problem, and we came up with a simple house rule to avoid the boned-character syndrome (basically, allow the character to buy up extra levels in skills/abilities to meet the minimum point-buy value), but it’s still something you need to be aware of. And then there’s the flipside: what do you do with someone who rolled significantly better on everything than everyone else? Scale the character back? Doesn’t seem really fair. While I don’t worry too much about character balance in games, I do worry about whether the characters have equal chance to be cool in game.
  • The random power distribution can cause some strain in coming up with a good theme for your character. This is offset at least a little by the idea of bonus powers, but it can be easy to forget about those. Gotta remember them. On the other hand, I wound up with a character concept I would never have come up with on my own, and am pretty happy with my character.
  • The book needs an index, or at least a more complete table of contents. Or at least an alphabetical list of the powers, with the page they appear on. You spend a lot of time in character creation and in play looking up your powers, and they’re not arranged in a very useful manner. Well, they sort-of are, but it’s not the best choice. The powers show up in the table where you roll for your powers subdivided by power type. In the Powers chapter, they are again subdivided by power type, then listed alphabetically within that type. So, you need to remember that Precognition, say, is a Sensory power, and not a Psychic power. A reference list or index would have made looking stuff up soooooo much easier.
  • The section on calculating Determination says that each ability above 6 counts as a power for purposes of calculating starting Determination, while the example says each power above 7 counts as a power. It would have been good to have this clarified.

Those issues aside, I really enjoyed the character creation phase. It reminded me strongly of the old Marvel Super Heroes game from TSR, with the random rolls and interesting surprises along the way. As I mentioned I wound up with a character that I wouldn’t have come up with on my own, one that I quite like and am finding interesting to play – a prototype emergency rescue robot with advanced probability predictive algorithms to help him get to emergency scenes prior to the emergency actually taking place. Think RoboCop with precognition, but licensed to fire and ambulance services, and no weapons beyond his strength.

After character creation, Clint led us through a quick setting creation phase. He gave us a short paragraph about an alternate NYC, where repeated terror attacks, the declining economy, and a couple natural disasters had turned it into an urban war zone. We added some ideas about the widened gap between the corrupt, wealthy haves in their fortified townhouses and the desperate, despairing have-nots, resorting to a feudal gang allegiance to stay safe and alive. The New York Restoration Authority, consisting of some remaining civil government along with a few police and emergency workers, bolstered by the US Army, were trying to reclaim the city and bring it back from the brink, but feudalism and anarchy had taken root in the neighbourhoods, and the corruption among the wealthy residents made the outlook bleak.

This gave us a place filled with potential adventures, but with a slightly darker, grittier outlook than standard 70s-style four-colour comics. Think Batman with a slightly-more-friendly version of the No Man’s Land storyline.

The adventure threw together my robot and the voodoo queen of Manhattan (Penny’s character) to figure out what was causing a series of sinkholes to show up along the ley lines of the city, apparently excavated by earth spirits inhabiting bodies of rock and concrete. We chased them down to an underground site where we found a group of people in outmoded clothing trapped in some sort of stasis – the members of the Century Club from our Spirit of the Century games. And that’s where we left it for this session.

With our familiarity with FATE, the system was pretty easy to pick up, though the way you can spend Determination works quite differently from Fate Points, and Aspects are also used somewhat differently. And you’ve got stats! The wider numerical spread using d6-d6 rather than 4dF also threw us for a bit of a loop, and we had trouble coming to grips with what the change in the probability curve meant for our stats and powers.

The combat worked pretty quickly and easily, though it’s easier to take someone out in combat – unless they’re pretty buff – than we expected. Because neither of our characters was a real brick, we had some real problems with the earth spirits in the concrete bodies, especially as they could sandblast us when we hit them. It took some quick thinking and Determination spending by Penny to save our collective butts.

The biggest thing that was different was that all the tests were rolled by the players. The GM didn’t roll to hit; the player had to roll to avoid being hit. As someone who GMs a fair bit, I really like this idea, though I’m not sure if it’s easily exportable to other games where so many things are handled by opposed rolls.

We all had a great time with the game, though, and I think it’s going to wind up an ongoing, if irregular, feature of our group.

Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s the character I came up with:


Strategic Probability Evaluation Computer – Tactical Emergency Response

Prowess: 7               Intellect: 4
Coordination: 6     Awareness: 6
Strength: 7              Willpower: 6

Life Support 3 (Breathing, Heat, Radiation)
Precognition 4
Danger Sense 7

“I am here to help.”
Wired Into the Emergency Network
Official Emergency Vehicle

Public Servant On Call
Inexperienced With Emotions
Shannon Murphy, Maintenance Technician
Archenemy: Infrastructure Network Control Intelligence