Sunday, August 26, 2012

ACKS Modern & Zombies

The description of the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System begins:  
In a world of fallen empires, some relics of the past are good only for a beastman's bludgeon; others make ruin delvers rich.
It captures the old-school dynamic of adventurers of purse and fortune battling baddies, getting rich, getting powerful and becoming lords themselves. Of course this implies that there is a world of riches, power, and glory sitting out there, just waiting to be won - hence the "world of fallen empires" bit.

I've been watching The Walking Dead recently and have had conversations about the political underpinnings of the story. Like much zombie fiction, the drama is derived from the tension of people struggling to survive in a world that has fallen apart and suddenly turned hostile.Yet there isn't much in the zombie genre that focuses on what happens next. What is life like twenty, thirty, or fifty years after the zombie apocalypse? Assuming mankind has rebuilt to a degree and begun to reestablish semblances of order, this would also be a "world of fallen empires."

The scenario is begging for a system that, like ACKS, puts the players on a path to glory. A post-zombie apocalypse world offers countless ruins filled with ancient secrets, horrors, and opportunities for greatness. The emerging political order is bound to be rife with warlords to battle and isolated communities in need of heroes and leaders. In true Hobbesian fashion (which makes for great role-playing drama, of course) an inevitable Leviathan would emerge. Is this a tyrant waiting to be deposed, or is it the PCs? It could be a bit like Mad Max, but perhaps not so resource poor. After all, it's hard to get rich enough to build an empire if you're killing every highway robber for his tank of gas.

So that's what a couple hours of country driving produced yesterday: a Mad Max-Zombie Apocalypse-ACKS combo. This could be hella fun.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Knights of the Astral Sea #27

One of the players in our group writes up each Knights of the Astral Sea session in the form of a letter from his character. The latest installment can be found here at the Eleven Day Empire and here at Risus Money.

The highlight from my character's perspective: Imagine this little girl and a cat walking into a room of captured sailors/privateers to interrogate them. Not surprisingly, the had nothing to say until the officer's "exquisite mustache" was set aflame, a scrawny pirate was electrocuted, and the big fellow's brain was possessed, forcing him to beg for mercy. Only the cat spoke Spanish, by the way - the little girl was just there for effect. It was fun!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

D6 Homebrew Character Sheets

Check it out. I modified the old D6 Fantasy character sheets.

If I'm going to run a homebrew D6 campaign that splices in some narrative aspects that I like about FATE, then the conventional D6 Fantasy character sheets just ain't gonna cut it. So I dropped the Advantages / Disadvantages section in favor of a place to write in Aspects.

 I made a few other changes, too. Some of the basic Skills that were listed on the old sheets would prove less useful in my campaign, so I got rid of them, and added some other skills that I think will be useful.

Also, there were a couple of little things I didn't quite like in the old sheets. One was that the skills you need most often for combat are scattered all across the paper. So, I consolidated them into one box - sure it's a bit redundant, but I think it'll make things easier on the player. It also annoyed me just a little bit that the lines for writing in your weapons alternated between melee and missile weapons. I just sorted it so your weapon types are all together. There are a couple other little changes too.

I have these in .pdf, too, but I can't be bothered right now to set up somewhere for a download. If anyone's actually interested, just let me know and I'll send you copies.

Update: I had the idea that I could probably just link it to a copy in Google Docs. So I did that instead of the crappy .jpg. Enjoy!