Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Possible Setting #2: Victorian Horror and Suspense

The year is 1890 and a group of exceptional men and women have converged on the city of London. Men and women with powers, abilities and knowledge that could be harnessed to bring an everlasting golden age to the British Empire, or bring the world into everlasting ruin.

Who are these heroes and villains, paragons and monsters?

What is drawing them to this city at this time?

Is it fate? Or something far darker?

Save the Queen, save the world.

Possible Setting #1 Superspies: The USHER Dossiers

4a. SuperSpies

Join the forces of the Unites States Headquarters for Emergency Response (USHER). What's a day like in USHER? You might be fighting animals from South America given human intelligence by escaped Nazi scientists decades ago, now following their own agenda.

Or attempting to stop the dreaded super-intelligent computer hackers of Medusa from stealing millions through electronic transactions.

Or tracking down rogue Shturmovik agents. Once the Soviet Union's elite guard of power-suit soldiers, these proud men and women have been reduced to mercenary status, selling their hydraulic powered expertise to the bidder.

Or maybe you'll track down a rogue cyberneticist selling bionic "enhancements" to athletes or criminals.

No matter what you do, you'll do more in one day working for USHER than most do in a lifetime! So sign up today!

Modern20 Settings

So, I've talked some about Fantasci here, and it's getting a bit of a new direction, which coincides to a new group of books on the way for Modern20, post Martial Arts20 (I'm on L now! the long dark night of K has finally ended! yay!).

We're going to do a series of settings for Modern20. Our goal is to package these with the core rules for a nice size print book, but that's only a DESIRE, not a definite, so don't send my boss emails asking "when" and get me in trouble capiche?

But I digress. The plan is for 4 settings, each showcasing the rules in a different way.

Three have been decided, with one left to go, subject of the poll to your.... right! Right there! Fire the flame gun damnit!

Ahem.

Anyway, settings 1-3 are:

1. Fantasci

Science fantasy, melding modern technology, magic and monsters in a world inspired by Japanese RPGs such as Phantasy Star, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. This will include rules for magic as well as some high technologies.

2. Hunters

An expansion of the setting currently premiering in the pages of the Modern Dispatch. The "expanded" part will bring the setting timeline forward from the Cold War to the present day. See how a world with psychic men and women has progressed from the Cold War to the War and Terror and find out what new challenges await.

3. Dark Future

In the future, humanity has begun to change. What it's changing to, into something that will save humanity or destroy it, has divided the United States. After an attempted coup by those with superhuman abilities, the Mutant Internment Act has forced mutants into isolated Containment Zones.

You live in the Atlanta Containment Zone (ACZ). The "Axe" to those who call it home. You might be a desperate prisoner seeking to escape and rejoin your normal family on the outside, a mutant gangbanger enforcing your will on those with less powerful mutations, a struggling shopkeeper who attempts to make a living while being squeezed by criminals (mutants and humans alike), or you might be a freedom fighter, working in the underground railroad, staging non-violent protests against the treatment of your kind and fighting the terrorists of the Mutant Army of Nationalism (MAN).

Those are the definites. The next possibles are all up to you. More on these in future posts.

From Aikido to Zen (J)

Jujutsu

Martial Arts Style

Jujutsu, which means “gentle art,” is anything but in practice. Originally, this style was the preferred unarmed style of the Samurai (one of the three major combat schools of the Samurai, in conjunction with Kenjitsu and Sojitsu), complimenting the swordsmanship learned through Kenjitsu (known today as Kendo) and concentrating on simple, brutal, yet effective kicks and bone-breaking locks. Classical Jujutsu is the parent style of modern Aikido, Judo, and Karate. In modern times, the philosophy of this art has changed from its violent beginnings, and it now concentrates on a measured response to an attack, applying enough force to discourage an attacker. Obviously, however, this philosophy still includes the possibility of killing a determined opponent. Jujutsu practitioners call their most accomplished warriors “Shihan.” A student who has mastered all the moves of the style, to the point that he is considered fit to teach Jujutsu to other students, is called “Kaiden.”

Prerequisite: Combat Martial Arts or Defensive Martial Arts

Style Maneuvers

Unarmed 4 ranks: Pressure Point attack: when making called shots with the Precision Strike perk, you inflict +4 points of damage on a successful hit.

Unarmed 8 ranks: Improved Trip: DC of the trip check for the free trip granted by this feat is Unarmed or Acrobatics +5

Unarmed 12 ranks: Brutal Strike: you suffer no penalties for making a called shot with the Precision Strike perk against a prone opponent.

Unarmed 16 ranks: Weapon Finesse (unarmed): your Dexterity modifier is considered +2 higher for purposes of this feat.

Unarmed 20 ranks: Agility Training +2 Dexterity

Monday, October 29, 2007

37 martial arts styles to go...

Sweet Jesus help me.

Movies that don't get talked about enough

Traffic: awesome, long and serious. Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta Jones, Don Cheadle, Julia Styles, Topher Grace, well, you get the idea.

This movie is definitely not for kids, but if you're in mood for a good story populated by all the fantastic actors noted above and more, this is a movie you should see.


Dead Again: If you want to see five of the greatest actors in the world (Derek Jacoby, Kenneth Branaugh, Emma Thompson Andy Garcia and Robin Williams) in a noir murder mystery with long black and white flashback scenes, then this is the movie for you.

Any Given Sunday: Yeah that's right, Any Given fucking Sunday. This movie is as fun and over the top and violent, with all the male full frontal nudity you want from a football movie by Oliver Stone.

Like all Oliver Stone, it's something of a mixed bag, and something you either love or hate. Stone's finest moment since Natural Born Killers.

And then there was K...

K is like, long.

From Aikido to Zen (H)

Hsing-I Kung Fu

Martial Arts Style

Along with T’ai-chi and Pa-kua, Hsing-i is one the three main forms of internal Kung Fu. While T’ai-chi concentrates on subtle yielding and slow movement to resist attack, Hsing-i, as its name suggests, emphasizes that the thought and action are one, and is characterized by lightning quick attacks. This does not mean the style is offensive in nature, however. As one master put it “your attack begins after your opponent’s, but arrives first”.

Hsing-i originated some time between 1637 and 1661. During this time, a Shanghai resident, Chi Lung-feng claims he was taught this “profound boxing” by a mysterious stranger.

Prerequisite: Defensive Martial Arts

Style Maneuvers

Unarmed 4 ranks: +2 Defense when using the Reactive Stance perk

Unarmed 8 ranks: Defensive Attack: +1.5 Defense per –1 attack penalty, rounded down (+1 Defense for –1 attack, +3 Defense for –2 attack and so forth).

Unarmed 12 ranks: If an opponent attacks and misses you while you are using the Reactive Stance perk, you may make a free unarmed melee attack against that attacker

Unarmed 16 ranks: Poise: Your Wisdom modifier is considered +2 higher for purposes of this feat.

Unarmed 20 ranks: Self-Help: +2 Wisdom

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blood and Fists vs. Martial Arts 20

I love Blood and Fists. It's the book I've straight up adapted more than any other.

I've done similar martial arts rules for True 20, d20 Fantasy, even OSRIC. Yes, OSRIC mother fu- but I digress.

One reason there's been more adaptation than sequel was not wanting to mess with the basic formula, which I thought was great.

I've finally found something I think is better.

From Aikido to Zen (G)

Gun Fu

Weapon Style

Gun Fu is a martial arts application to gun combat. This style is seen in many popular movies and comic books, and has even become the adopted name of a popular paintball strategy guide. On a strictly historical note, since firearms were introduced to Japan the Bushi have had an art for firearms known as Hojutsu. Perhaps Gun Fu isn’t entirely silly after all… That said, campaigns striving for realism including all gritty campaigns and many cinematic ones may not wish to allow this martial art. Check with your game master before selecting it.

Prerequisite: Attack Focus (pistol)

Style Maneuvers

Firearms 4 ranks: You may use the Two-Weapon Fighting Perk with pistols, gaining an extra attack at –10 when wielding a pistol in each hand. Your Firearms skill works to negate this penalty.

Firearms 8 ranks: Attack Focus (pistol): +2 to attack rolls

Firearms 12 ranks: Bullet Time: once per encounter you can make an extra attack roll with a firearm at no penalty to your attack roll.

You may use this ability additional times in an encounter by spending an Action Point.

Firearms 16 ranks: Attack Specialization (pistol): +3 to damage rolls

Firearms 20 ranks: Agility Training: +2 Dexterity

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fantasci developments

We're currently going through a development of the Star Player class into something real, discussing races, magic and all sorts of other cool stuff in Fantasci private group.

Also, friend of the blog Walt has come on board, lending his considerable artistic talents to the project (cause lord knows I don't have any).

If you'd like to get in on the ground floor and help shape the next big thing I'm going to be working (after I slog through "K" and beyond), become a contributor!

What is fantasci?

Hunters, now available!

You can now pick up the Hunters mini-campaign model at RPGObjects.com and other fine e-book retailers.

From Aikido to Zen (F)

Fencing- Italian

Weapon Style

Unlike the French school, Italian fencing relied more on power than grace. Two-weapon combat was favored with a classic coupe-de-grace of this style consisting of a grapple (often with the cloak or by dropping the primary weapon and using the right arm to grapple) to allow a vicious stab to the ribs with a secondary weapon.

Prerequisite: Attack Focus (sword)

Style Maneuvers

Weapons 4 ranks: When using the Two-Weapon Fighting perk, your attack penalty is reduced by 2.

Weapons 8 ranks: Attack Focus (sword): +2 on attack rolls

Weapons 12 ranks: +2 damage bonus when using the Aggressive Stance perk.

Weapons 16 ranks: Attack Specialization (sword): +3 on damage rolls

Weapons 20 ranks: Strength Training: +2 Strength

Accidental Survivors Year in review megashow

Just wanted to point everyone to the latest podcast by the Accidental Survivors, accidentally surviving for 13 months is hard, give them a listen and show your support.

I have to say, for an episode that I was not on, there was a lot of me in this episode, which is clearly for the better.

There's also an email by friend of the blog Rich, asking for more Modern20 coverage, that the survivors read on air.

All awesome stuff.

And then, there was J...

I got to the end of the martial arts that begin with H and what do I find waiting for me?

J.

HOOAH!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

From Aikido to Zen (E)

Eastern Wrestling

Martial Arts Style

Every culture in the world has its own styles and traditions of wrestling. In game terms almost all external non-aesthetic wrestling forms are covered by the Greco-Roman Wrestling feat, while internal, aesthetic wrestling forms, such as Ch’in-na (China) and Vajra-musti (India) are covered by this style.

Prerequisite: Defensive Martial Arts or Improved Grab

Style Maneuvers

Unarmed 4 ranks: +2 Defense when using the Reactive Stance perk

Unarmed 8 ranks: Improved Grab: DC of the grapple check for the free grapple granted by this feat is Unarmed or Acrobatics +5

Unarmed 12 ranks: Vital lore: when making called shots with the Precision Strike perk, your penalty to hit is reduced by 2.

Unarmed 16 ranks: Poise: Your Wisdom modifier is considered +2 higher for purposes of this feat.

Unarmed 20 ranks: Self-Help: +2 Wisdom

4e: This whole backstory changing thing...

So one of the comments I hear a lot about 4e is how this edition will be "different" from previous edition changes.

How? They're changing the backstory!

Monsters that have been Devils for decades are suddenly Demons, just like that! (Or is it vice versa?)

The Great Wheel is going away.

Mechanics changes are fine I'm told, so long as the underlying backstory doesn't change.

I've been trying to put my finger on why this puzzles me for a bit now, and I finally have it:

The mechanics changes of previous editions changed the backstory of everyone's game WAY more profoundly than anything going on here.

In second edition, the whole makeup of the Cleric spell list changed overnight.

Many gods no longer granted healing or protection spells to their clerics.

Let me tell you, that had a bigger impact on MY homebrew than what extradimensional team some of the players belonged to.

And Bards. They became something completely different between 1 and 2e.

I had a PC Bard, who had clawed tooth and nail to get there, and there was no WAY he was becoming some wimpy druid/illusionist with a d6 HD.

So he became, in effect, the last of his kind. Other Bards whispered about the abilities he possessed as he walked down the street. Abilities they could no longer attain.

Between 2nd and 3rd?

Two words: Human. Multiclassing.

Again, talk about backstory changes!

Either all humans encountered in the past never chose to multi-class for some mysterious reason, while the younger set LOVED to multi-class, or, they suddenly cropped up with new abilities.

And those demi-human level limits? Turns out they were really more of a guideline than a rule and the elves could advance to high levels all along.

Sure, the elf queen stayed at 7th level fighter for 1,000 YEARS, but now, she could put on her muck boots and explore dungeons to get more powerful with the young whippersnappers.

Who knew?

I could come up with some more, but in short: change happens. And every change, even the mechanical ones, change the look, feel and smell of a world profoundly.

I think some of the mechanical changed of previous editions affected the backstory of worlds much more than the Succubus switching teams, and her home being an island in and astral sea as opposed to spinning in the spoked of a Newtonian wheel.

And those worlds survived just fine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More thanks!

A big thanks to Steve!

And everyone who contributed, if you haven't gotten your invite to the discussion group yet, drop me a line and let me know.

I need your brainsssssssssssss... ideas! I totally meant ideas!

From Aikido to Zen (D)

Deer

Animal Style

You imitate the grace and alertness of the deer, avoiding conflict when possible but lashing out with vicious attacks if cornered.

Prerequisite: Combat Martial Arts or Defensive Martial Arts

Style Maneuvers

Unarmed 4 ranks: +2 Defense when moving 30 or more feet in a round.

Unarmed 8 ranks: Defensive Attack: +1.5 Defense per –1 attack penalty, rounded down (+1 Defense for –1 attack, +3 Defense for –2 attack and so forth).

Unarmed 12 ranks: Head Butt: once per encounter you may render an opponent flat-footed by striking him with your head when he least expects it. This ability renders targets with the Uncanny Dodge feat flat-footed as well.

You may use this ability additional times in an encounter by spending an Action Point.

Unarmed 16 ranks: Move-By Attack: you gain a +2 Defense bonus in a round where you use this feat.

Unarmed 20 ranks: Agility Training: +2 Dexterity

And then there was G...

Ugh. I'm up to "G" on Martial Arts20.

Sometimes my job is actually, like, work.

Thanks to...

Chris, Fraser and Dustin for joining the Fantasci effort!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fantasci discussions status

We're having some really great discussions in the Fantasci group, about the nature of FX, where there seems to be a lot of agreement on using skills and feats based FX for that Japanese fantasy feel, and classes where there seems to be some nice debate on the merits of classes as archetypes and classes as roles.

Having designed games both ways, and being a Libra, I'm waffling like nobody's business, but leaning toward archetypes.

Writing Martial Arts20

I have to say, the more of these styles I write up, the more fun it is. The framework for unarmed combat is so much more expansive in Modern20.

Go figure huh?

Clash of Arms: Infantry review

Very nice, very positive review of Clash of Arms: Infantry by my man Peter Ingham, RPGNow staff reviewer.

While you can read the full review here (and really, you should, because it's an awesome review about an awesome book), here's the summation:

Overall I liked this pdf. It's got a good balance between historical perspective and the new class, builds a strong and versatile class with good foundations, and illustrates the effectiveness of the class using historical examples. Here and there the mechanics is a bit weak, but for the most part this is a good pdf that hangs together nicely with itself and others in the series. I'm looking forward to seeing more products in the series!

From Aikido to Zen

Chi Kung

Martial Arts Style

Chi Kung is both a martial art of self-defense and a fundamental tool of Chinese Medicine. As a martial discipline it stresses use of the whole body and a powerful Ki to overcome attacks and heal the self. As tool of healing, the practitioner learns the anatomy and how to focus his Ki to aid in healing. Acupuncturists have both learned Chi Kung (as a means of better knowing what nerve centers to penetrate to promote healing and the development of their Ki) and prescribed Chi Kung (since the stimulation of internal organs can trigger the body’s natural healing process and the overall health value of the art is tremendous) for centuries.

Prerequisite: Defensive Martial Arts

Style Maneuvers

Unarmed 4 ranks: Pressure Point attack: when making called shots with the Precision Strike perk, you inflict +4 points of damage on a successful hit.

Unarmed 8 ranks: Defensive Attack: +1.5 Defense per –1 attack penalty, rounded down (+1 Defense for –1 attack, +3 Defense for –2 attack and so forth).

Unarmed 12 ranks: Vital lore: when making called shots with the Precision Strike perk, your penalty to hit is reduced by 2.

Unarmed 16 ranks: Healer: +3 hit points healed per feat

Unarmed 20 ranks: Poise: your Wisdom modifier is +2 higher for purposes of this feat.

Fantasci- Important Announcement

Hi guys, for various reasons, I decided not to use Fundable for Fantasci, going with regular old PayPal.

This means anyone who donated needs to donate again.

This sucks, and its all on me, sorry for any inconvenience.

Chuck

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hunters is done!

So, the Hunters is done, and should be out in about a week or so.

It's a Modern20 psionics conspiracy campaign model, set during the height of the Cold War, 1961. The Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy and the Hill Abduction all factor heavily into the setting and the PCs might just have a chance to influence those events.

It features a full psionics system for Modern20, a new background, a new occupation, three new character disadvantages, 5 NPCs and a timeline of the Hunters setting through 1961.

The book is 13 pages or so, but as you can see, it's a packed 13 pages.

Have you seen this man?

This subject is suspected of killing four FBI agents and is currently on the 10 Most Wanted List. He is to be treated with extreme caution and is to be considered armed and dangerous at all times.

If you think you have spotted this man, please contact the FBI or the Secret Service.

Advanced Splinter Radical Agent Combat Ops (Powerhouse 10): HD 10d10+20; HP 79; Init +1; Spd 30 ft; Defense 18, touch 18, flatfooted 17 (+1 Dex, +7 Class); BAB +10; Atk +13 melee (1d6+3, Machete), or +13 ranged (2d6+2, Telekinetic Fist); SQ Melee Master; AL Splinter Radicals; SV Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +8, Rec +7; Rep +5; Str 17, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.

Background: Radical (Firearms, Perception, Stealth)

Occupation: Psychic Agent (Crime, Influence, Perception) Perks: Precision Strike, Telekinesis

Hobby: Vehicles

Skills: Athletics 13 (+16), Firearms 13 (+14), Perception 4 (+6), Psionics 13 (+15), Stealth 4 (+5), Streetwise 4 (+6), Vehicles 4 (+5), Weapons 13 (+16)

Feats: Antithesis (PRDA), Armed Defense (26 Defense against melee attacks), Attack Focus (Telekinetic Fist), Attack Specialization (Telekinetic Fist), Enemy (PRDA), Greater Attack Focus (Telekinetic Fist), Iron Will, Power Lifter (lift 325 lbs. telekinetically), Rain of Objects, Strength Training, Telekinetic Hand, Telekinetic Fist, Wild Talent

Access/Contacts/Followers: Confidential Access

Wealth: 14

Possessions: Machete

12 and counting

The Hunters mini-campaign model is up to 12 pages.

MMmmmm... psychic 60's radicals. /Homer

Fantasci at 20%

We're still holding steady at 20% on my drive to get a Japanese-style RPG made.

If you'd like to know what the deal is, check here.

And if you'd like even MORE information, click the fantasci tag at the bottom of that post which will take you to all the fantasci posts.

And if you'd like to get involved, make a donation and you'll get to join the discussion group where folks are determining the direction of the game!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some thoughts about Fantasci magic, treasure

About magic...

The game will be high magic, but not overburdened with spells. What
I mean by this is, there will be relatively basic spells of attack,
defense and healing.

We might need to beef that up a little to keep each role interesting.
In a video game, you're running the party, not the individual
characters, but I still think simple yet robust magic could be fun.


About treasure...

Treasure will consist of items, but not money.

What will you do for money? Bounties!

With two major classes that rely on captured monsters (the Bonder and
the Monster Trainer), and combat arenas in towns, along with other
stuff monsters could be used for (like uh, meat), you'll capture
monsters rather than kill them, then return them to town and collect a
bounty!

Sleep? Bah!

This relates to a comment on the psionic feats for Hunters by that other Charles, asking if I sleep.

When I settled in to work last night, this puppy was at 6 pages, now it's at 11. I currently have the psionic feats done, and the timeline done.

So now all I need is some new backgrounds, occupations and disadvantages, and we'll be good to go.

This should be one nice little mini-setting, and playing with my new toy, Modern20, is still way, way fun. It's actually working better than I hoped (he said humbly).

Who needs sleep?!?!

As long as the pagecount is climbing, sleep can wait.

Hunters preview 3: Psionic feats

Something that has really gotten me jazzed over the past couple of days, while working out the mechanics for Psionic abilities in the Hunters, is the way that character roles still count in the way psychic feats work.

Here's an example of three Telekinesis feats to demonstrate.

Telekinetic Hand

Powerhouse

You can wield objects with your mind as effectively as you could with your hands, perhaps better.

Prerequisite: Wild Talent, Psionics 4 ranks, Telekinesis perk

Effect: You can wield a melee weapon with your mind, using your ranks in the Psionics skill in place of your Strength. This power has an effective “range increment” of 10 ft. meaning that at 10 ft. or less you may wield a melee weapon with no penalty to hit. At 11 to 20 ft. you suffer a –2 penalty to hit and so forth.

If you attack with a Telekinetic Hand in addition to your normal attacks, you suffer the usual penalties for attacking with two weapons (all attacks this round suffer a –10 penalty in addition to any penalties normally incurred from multi-attack).

Special: This use of the Psionics skill is a free action that can be performed once per round. It has a duration of 10 rounds (one minute). The normal saving throw to resist psychic damage is made once, at the end of this duration.


Telekinetic Leap

Speedfreak

You use your mind to enable you to make superhuman leaps.

Prerequisite: Wild Talent, Psionics 4 ranks, Telekinesis perk

Effect: You add +5 ft. to your running leap, or +2.5 ft. to your standing leap for each four ranks you have in the Psionics skill, rounded down.

Special: This use of the Psionics skill is a free action that can be performed once per round. A saving throw to resist psychic damage must be made each time this ability is used.


Telekinetic Shield

Tank

You create a minor telekinetic barrier.

Prerequisite: Wild Talent, Psionics 4 ranks, Telekinesis perk

Effect: Each attack that hits you is reduced by two points of damage. Use of this feat is a free action but you cannot use this feat in a round where you would be denied your Dexterity bonus for any reason.

Special: This use of the Psionics skill is a free action that can be performed once per round. It has a duration of 10 rounds (one minute). The normal saving throw to resist psychic damage is made once, at the end of this duration.

So the Powerhouse is attacking, the Speedfreak is moving and the Tank is sucking up damage.

In this case, they're just doing it telekinetically.

Late Night. Cold Coffee.

It's getting to THAT stage of the evening (can I call 4:35 am evening? apparently I just did). My mind is getting spacey, the coffee is gross and cold (though still coffee and thus it must be consumed).

Still, I'm up to 6 pages on the Hunters. It's turning into a nice campaign model and will be bigger than the average dispatch issue (actually, it already is, the dispatch usually runs 5 pages).

Fantasci discussion group launched

I've started a private discussion group for Fantasci contributors. This will be a place for folks to talk about the direction of the game with me, while we figure out where we're going.

Once I actually begin the game, I'm going to upload it to the group every few days so contributors can monitor the game and comment on its progress.

This is something totally new for me, and I think it has the possibility to be cool as hell.

I think I sent an invite out to everyone who contributed so far. If you didn't get your invite, drop me a line and let me know.

If you want to know what the hell I'm talking about, check here.

Hunters preview 3

The year is 1962. Agents of a secret faction called the Splinter Radicals, who possess psychic abilities have been thwarted in their attempt to assassinate President Eisenhower. After this failed attempt, the United States government recruits its own psychics under a secret department of the Secret Service: the Psychic Research Defense Agency. Even more troubling, visitations by psychic Grey Aliens are on the rise, with new psychics being reported in their wake. J. Edgar Hoover, ever seeking more power, is attempting to recruit his own psychics to monitor suspected radicals outside the scope of the law. And now the PRDA’s precogs have a vision of a terrible day when the Splinter Radicals will kill newly elected President John F. Kennedy and blame the assassination on the Soviets.

Welcome to the next stage in human evolution. Be the hunter, or be hunted.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The funniest game reviewer in the world? NO! This is a tribute.

Fantasci: philosophical blatherings

Someone recently asked me why I was planning on releasing Fantasci for free when it was done. He basically wanted to know what folks who contributed and helped make the book happen "got" that folks who just downloaded the free PDF didn't "get".

First, let me say that it never occurred to me not to release it.

But after being asked, I thought about whether or not it made sense, beyond just my impulse that it's the "right thing to do".

First, I think being the right thing is a great reason.

But I also happen to think, if you're someone who wants to see this game made and see it flourish, that it's the smart thing.

First, if you wanted to run a game, you're going to end up sending copies of the rules to folks anyway. So having it up for free on RPGNow means you can use their bandwidth rather than your own.

Not a "make or break" reason but it is more convenient.

But most importantly, I think having the game out there makes it much more likely to flourish. Someone you've never met might download the game and run a play-by-post that you could then play in.

Supplements and adventures for the game also become much more viable as well, since I could release an adventure and then say "want to see the rules this was written for? they're here and they're free!"

So I guess I can see the appeal of having something that only you have, like that unknown van Gogh in a vault somewhere, but I think it's better, all around, for things like this (that depend on social networks if I can go all Ryan Dancey on you) have a better chance to take root and thrive, the more exposure they get.

End philosophical blathering

Fantasci update

Thanks to a very nice contribution from Charles (the other Charles perhaps?), we're currently 18% of the way there after about 24 hours.

Awesome guys, thanks.

For example...

Time Undetermined: Alien travelers make frequent visits to Earth to study the local population and are greeted as gods by the primitive inhabitants of that world. On initial visits, these travelers have free contact with the natives, allowing them to see their landing craft and interact with the crew.

When subsequent visits begin to report a contamination of Earth culture from these visits, with inhabitants building standing stone circles, pyramids, geometric lines and other objects visible from a great height, apparently to encourage more contact, the visitors begin to use a more circumspect approach.

Some investigators who know of these visits believe the aliens altered humanity to have the capacity for psychic ability. While others maintain the ability itself is the reason for contact.

***

There is definitely ancient visitation in Prometheus, and even the Grover's Mill incident gets a mention.

Just don't interpret these things as any sort of admission that I *believe* that ancient astronaut crap. I find the woks of van Daniken to be excellent fiction though.

Continuity wonkiness

So, the more I work on the Hunters, the more I almost think it could be called "Prometheus Rising: the 21st century".

Thoughts about Fantasci

If we manage to get this puppy off the ground, I'm thinking those who contribute should get a say in how the book is developed. Maybe a private discussion group or something.

I'm not at my most expressive now, been awake too long, but you get the idea I think.

This is what comes from reading about cold war spies and UFO abductions for the Hunters.

Hey! Managed to slip yet another teaser in there.

I'm good.

Hunters timeline excerpt

The Hunters has one of my favorite modern campaign elements: the secret history. Here's a taste. As always, your thoughts are appreciated and encouraged.

January 22, 1944: A large explosion occurs during combat operations as part of Operation Shingle, more commonly referred to as the Battle of Anzio. Corporal Matt Corday is found naked in the center of a huge explosion that has fused the ground in a 200-meter radius to glass. No human remains of his comrades are ever discovered. Cpl. Corday, who remembers nothing, is transferred to a field hospital in Britain.

February 3, 1944: Cpl. Corday is found laying naked in the center of a 300-meter radius circle of fused ground in what had once been a British hospital where he was receiving treatment for battle fatigue. On the orders of Army Intelligence, Corday is sedated and transferred to a secret scientific facility in the United States for further testing.

June 4, 1944: Millie Mankin, a 19 year-old housewife living in Detroit, Michigan sees the death of her husband, William during a migraine headache. Though deeply disturbed by the graphic nature of this vision, Millie passes it off as stress and continues to work her regular shift at a factory producing ¾ ton trucks for the war effort.

June 6, 1944: William Mankin is killed during the Battle of Normandy. Based on the limited information given to her about the nature of her husband’s death, Millie realizes that the vision she had during her migraine came true, that she had witnessed her husband’s death two days before it happened.

Fantasci Class List

This is what I'm thinking of for character classes for Fantasci. As always, questions and comments welcome.


Bard (uses music to heal allies and damage enemies)

Black Magician (commands the elements)

Bonder (bonds with powerful creatures and can then summon them)

Gunner (uses firearms with deadly accuracy)

Monster Trainer (captures monsters and teaches them to work together under his command)

Star Player (master of the sport Crash Ball, turning his mastery of the sport into a deadly ranged fighting skill)

Swordsman

Thief

White Magician (master of healing magic)


Friday, October 19, 2007

Hall of Heroes

Yeah, it's cheesy, but we're talking about a Japanese RPG here!

I'd like to personally think those who have contributed to Fantasci so far:

Rich

Chris

and David!

Thanks guys.

10% of the way there in a couple hours.

That's cool as heck.

Crazy train...

Three projects going at once, at various stages of production:

The Hunters mini-campaign model, probably about half done.


Martial Arts20 is coming along, I'd say 20% done.

And then Fantasci, which is in outline form.

I'm losing my mind.

And since I'll posting updates on the books as I go, you can watch!

And then there were 3...

5%! Good to see I'm not the only fan of crazy Japanese RPGs.

First pledge!

Ok, technically second, *I* made one just to show I was committed. ;)

Special thanks to friend of the blog Rich for being the second person to sign on!

We're currently 3% of the way there.

More info can be found here. As well as the post right below this one ;)

Chuck

Fantasci

Ok, I decided to stick my toe in the water on this one, because the more I think about the idea, the more I like it.

Once we were legends. Walking side by side with creatures of myth on farflung worlds, soaring through the skies with ease and even mounting chariots that approached the realm of the Gods themselves. For his arrogance man was struck down and the Gods’ fury scorched the world. Despite this grave punishment and the warnings of the Church of the True, there are those who persist in experimenting with machines, called “infernal tech” for weaponry and transportation. Even more disturbing to the Church are those who have embraced black magic and witchcraft. For these transgressions the Black Horde walk the land. Against these hordes heroes emerge, some using the very infernal tech the Church says has caused the Gods to visit another punishment on mankind.

Fantasci is about those who stand against the Black Horde. Heroes to the people, heretics to the church, they are the Men of Legend. The Heroes of Fantasci.

Fantasci is a d20 Fantasy rules set by Charles Rice that will bring the feel of Japanese RPGs to d20.

The project will be funded by contributions from patrons, through Fundable.com

If $600 dollars is raised by the deadline (25 days), I'll begin work and the project should take about a month to complete. Estimated length is 80 pages.

A word about Fundable:

Fundable lets people contribute to something risk-free. If the total amount isn't raised in 25 days, it's refunded. Once the goal is reached, it will be distributed to me and I'll begin work.

Hunters preview 2

Psionics

Wis; Trained Only

This skill represents the powers of the mind and is only available to those who select the Wild Talent feat at 1st level.

Using psionic abilities is taxing. Each time you use an ability granted by this skill, or a feat that requires this skill, you must make a Will save with a DC of 15 plus for each time you’ve used an ability based on this skill. Failing this saving throw results in you suffering 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. This damage is physically evident and may allow your use of psionic abilities to be detected. Possible physical manifestations of psionic damage include bleeding from the nose, eyes or ears or unexplained bruises that manifest spontaneously.

Precognition (requires perk): This use of the Psionics skill allows you to use your Psionics skill in place of your Initiative modifier. You may either use this skill at the start of an encounter (when initiative rolls are normally called for), or during an encounter to re-roll your initiative.

This skill use is a free action that you can perform once per round.

Telepathy (requires perk): This use of the Psionics skill allows you to detect the general emotional state of your target. Thus you could detect nervousness, anger, fear and so forth. This ability has a range of line of sight and the target of this ability may make a Will save to resist attempts to detect her emotional state. The DC of this Will save is your ranks in the Psionics skill +10.

If you successfully read a target’s emotional state, you may use half your ranks in Psionics to make a single Influence, Leadership or Perception check when interacting with that target.

This skill use is a move action.

Telekinesis (requires perk): Once per day you can move a weight of 10 lbs. per rank in this skill, you may hold this weight aloft for up to one minute and can move the full weight five feet per round.

You cannot effectively move this weight swiftly enough to damage a person. Even moving the object above a target and dropping it, you can move objects so slowly that an aware target could avoid being caught underneath an object being moved with this ability.

This skill use is a move action.

Some`in Cookin

I also have an idea that I started mulling last night.

Not even sure what system is right for it.

Sort of a science-fantasy idea.

It's been on my drawing board for awhile, just percolating.

Hunters preview

So I've been working on the Hunters as a Modern20 mini-campaign setting for the Modern Dispatch.


It's going to be sort of a conspiracy Cold War type setting.

My goal is to make this first book fairly crunchy, possibly with adventures to follow in future issues of the dispatch.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

D&D Propaganda posters

Awesome.

The Hunters

Dale was shocked into wakefulness by a cacophony of sound. “Get the hell out of my head,” he screamed but the wall of noise drowned him out. Only when he opened his eyes did the chorus finally fade away. He felt a prickly sensation at the base of his skull. Bastard was still inside. At first he couldn’t see, his vision blinded by a row of intense spotlights, until a man, his interrogator, stepped in front.

“Miller,” Dale spat. “I should have known it was you.”

The thin, pale man just smiled. They’d never liked each other, and clearly this was a moment he intended to savor.

“Yes, I dare say you should have. Doesn’t say much for your abilities as a spy does it? Perhaps after all these years of relying on them, your instincts aren’t what they used to be.”

After a moment’s pause to see if his captive had anything to say, Miller added, “Or perhaps they were never that good to begin with.”

Dale just regarded him with cold, calculating eyes. While he may have bungled into this warehouse alone and gotten himself captured, his nerve didn’t seem to have left him. Miller looked into those and saw no fear there.

Dale spit blood on the floor, “Traitor. When the company finds out about this…”

Miller just smiled again, “Ah but they won’t, because you’ll be dead. It’s always a shame when an agent can’t handle the stress and needs a little… chemical help to get him through a long stakeout. Sometimes those agents even wander into the wrong neighborhood looking for their fix and get murdered.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Revisionist History Alert

This is like when Hiro went to the dark future where Sylar was president, only with fewer katana and cool dark future goatees.

Looking back on it, my first post about Martial Arts20 was pretty incomprehensible, I didn't even identify the style.

So I've edited the post.

From Aikido to Zen

New day, new letter of the alphabet.

Since we started with B, let's backtrack to A shall we?

Arnis

(Escrima or Kali)

Weapon Style

Arnis was developed by the settlers of the Philippine Islands, many of them from China, India, Indonesia, and Southwest Asia. When the Spanish invaded the islands, they dubbed the fierce stick-fighting style of the natives “Escrima,” which means “skirmish.” After conquering the island, the Spanish outlawed the style, and it was forced underground. The style was preserved through dances and mock battles, in which the natives played the role of Spaniards, wearing the “arnes,” or medieval armor. These plays used the same footwork as Escrima and kept the techniques alive.

Remy Amador Presas, who incorporated empty-hand techniques, such as kicks and throws, into the style to make it more rounded, and who blended more than 7,000 regional styles into one national style, is considered the founder of Modern Arnis. This updated style also has a mystical side—dubbed “The Flow” by Presas himself—which encourages each student to tailor the style to his body and natural movements rather than conform himself to the style. Arnis stylists refer to their greatest practitioners as “Grand Masters.”

Prerequisite: Attack Focus (Club)

Style Maneuvers

Weapons 4 ranks: While armed with two batons you may make two additional attacks instead of one but all your attacks this round suffer an additional penalty of –15. Your ranks in the Weapon skill can offset this normally if you possess the Two-Weapon Fighting perk.

Weapons 8 ranks: Attack Focus (Club): +2 to attack rolls

Weapons 12 ranks: Body Blow: On a successful attack to your opponent’s stomach or chest, your opponent must make a Fortitude save equal to your attack roll +10 or be flat-footed for the next 1-4 rounds. If you are using the injury rules, this is in addition to any effects from a stomach or chest hit due to injuries.

Weapons 16 ranks: Attack Specialization (Club): +3 damage

Weapons 20 ranks: Two-Weapon Defense: you gain the Defense bonus from your off-hand weapon even while using it to attack.

Clash of Arms: Infanttry preview #2

Continued from here.

Despite repeated charges by this cavalry force however, the Saxon line held firm and their resistance was so fierce that at one point a group of Norman cavalry turned and fled, which caused the Saxon spearmen to pursue on foot. This allowed the mobile Norman cavalry to surround the footmen once they had led them away from their lines (and the hail of enemy arrows) and slaughter them.

This inspired William to instruct his cavalry to feign retreat, drawing more Saxon spearmen out of their lines to weaken the shield wall further. At this point, the Norman archers began to use arched fire, raining arrows down on the Saxon defenders, who were too tired to raise their heavy shields to defend themselves. This arrow barrage grievously wounded the Saxon King Harold and William ordered his knights to make a final charge into the confused, leaderless, exhausted Saxon army, which dissolved around its dying king in defeat.

This is a preview of Clash of Arms: Infantry

Gone Copper

So Modern20 is now a "Popular Pick- Copper" at RPGNow.

For those not down with the lingo, a Copper Pick is a book that has sold 50 or more copies.

Not bad for 7 days.

Thanks everyone!

Meta

All right ya'll, it's almost Twenty Ought Eight, time to roll with the new.

I've tweaked the blog format, once again proving my AWESOME mastery of blogspot layout programs.

Cleared out some of the clutter, starting with my Gamespot badge (cause I wanted to get rid of some of the clutter and it wasn't that exciting, and I doubt anyone cares what video game I'm playing right now anyway).

Google AdSense is gone, the ads looked crappy in my opinion, which might be google's fault, and might be the fault of the AWESOME blog template I chose.

In its place is a PayPal "tip jar".

I'm a poor writer, so if you're not, and want to help out, cool, if not (or if you are also poor), also cool, no pressure.

One last bit of blog news (which may possibly be the most boring kind of news) to convey before I sign off and hit the sack at 6:25 AM EST is that the blog's traffic is on pace to more than quadruple this year.

That's pretty cool.

Maybe I should go all emo in the Twenty Ought Eight and dish personal dirt about how I need a leather jacket to keep out the loneliness carried on the wind (Hotspot reference).

THAT would really get the blog traffic up there.

Martial Arts20 first look

Here's a look at what a martial arts style will look like in MA20.

As you can see, Improved Feats, granted in Modern20 core by Occupations, are also granted by martial arts styles. You still have to take the feat, it just works better for certain MA styles.

As always, questions or comments welcome.

Boxing

Martial Arts Style

Boxing can be definitively traced to the Ancient Olympic games as far back as 688 BCE, although its origins are doubtless much older. As with wrestling, boxing appears to be an almost universal activity in the ancient world for both combat and sport. Modern competition boxing bears little resemblance to these ancient matches, in which no protective gear was worn, no time limit was imposed, no score was kept, and matches sometimes lasted over twelve hours, continuing until one combatant could no longer stand or fight. Boxing, in its modern form, dates back to the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. Some Boxers refer to themselves as “sluggers,” “dancers,” or “pugilists” and many affectionately refer to their sport as “the sweet science.”

Prerequisite: Combat Martial Arts or Defensive Martial Arts

Style Maneuvers

Unarmed 4 ranks: Lightning Jab: when using the Fast Punch perk, you can render an opponent flat-footed once per encounter. This ability renders targets with the Uncanny Dodge feat flat-footed as well.

You may use this ability additional times in an encounter by spending an Action Point.

This ability may be combined with the Crippling Strike, Critical Strike and Sneak Attack feats.

Unarmed 8 ranks: Attack Focus (unarmed): +2 to attack rolls

Unarmed 12 ranks: Power Hook: When using the Power Punch perk with unarmed attacks, your Strength modifier is doubled, rather than the usual increase of 1.5.

Unarmed 16 ranks: Attack Specialization (unarmed): +3 damage

Unarmed 20 ranks: Strength Training: +2 Strength

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Modern20 Updated and Character Sheet

Hey guys, just wanted to let everyone know that Modern20 has been updated to version 1.1 to incorporate the early feedback we've received.

Thanks to everyone who pointed out an issue, mistake or question.

You can download version 1.1 from our site or from RPGNow/DTRPG.

Second, we now have a Modern20 character sheet available here.

Thanks again for all the support and as always, continue to check in for updates and to post questions/comments about the game.

Chuck

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Future of Modern Dispatch

So, as you probably know, the Modern Dispatch is one of the accomplishments I'm the most proud of professionally.

E-zines usually don't last 115 issues. Sometimes the issue is quality or sales, a lot of times its just will. The first pay issue of the Dispatch (issue #2) was released in December 2004.

Three years is a long time to do anything, especially a pay e-zine, ESPECIALLY one that was weekly for a good part of its run.

Through that time, the magazine has gone through a lot of changes.

Other publishers started contributing regularly, including some of our most Distinguished Competition, such as Ronin Arts, Adamant, 12 to Midnight.

We've split off the Post-Apocalyptic genre into its own e-zine.

And most recently, the zine went back to being mostly us, with some outside contributions and monthly.

With Modern20 out, and selling really, really, well, that brings another set of questions and issues about the e-zine's future.

I'm sure at this point you're expect some big announcement.

If I really was Marketing Man, I wouldn't be posting this till we'd made up our minds.

But I've been making a habit since I started Modern20 of posting things sooner than I should and it's worked out so far.

So there's not big announcement, just me articulating the thoughts behind some discussions Chris and I are having internally right now, about where we go from here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Thread for Modern20 Feedback

Questions? Comments? Post them here!

Martial Arts20

Coming next...

Martial Arts20 by me (need I say more here really?)

Vehicles20 by David Jarvis and maybe David Gallant (since I don't want him to beat me up)

Magic20 by David Jarvis and David Gallant

Friday, October 12, 2007

Modern20 update coming Monday

Just wanted to drop a note to thank everyone who pointed out issues they found in Modern20.

Thankfully no big errors, but enough small ones that an update is coming Monday.

So late Monday/early Tuesday, you should be able to download a version 1.1 of Modern20 with some small fixes.

Thanks again,

Chuck

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Request for feedback: first supplements


Given that I'm about to announce that I'm working on a martial arts book for Modern20, that sign might seem horribly misplaced. Changing the way I do business you say?

Well, yes and no. Obviously, the stuff I like hasn't magically changed overnight, including martial arts fiction, movies and comics.

In fact, it's probably not a surprise to anyone that Modern20 was built with more robust martial arts in mind from the ground up.

What is changing though, is the way we do business. Literally.

What I mean that is evidenced in this blog and at the ENWorld thread, where I solicited feedback at a much early stage in a product's life than I ever had before.

And in case you thought it might be an isolated instance, here we go again.

After Martial Arts20, I'd like some feedback on what folks would like to see for the game's first setting:
  • Blood and Relics
  • Prometheus Rising
  • Urban Mayhem- an over the top cops and robbers setting with a lot of violence and modern satire.
  • Superhuman20- superheroes from four color to ashen gray
  • The Hunters- psychics in the modern world pursued by corporations and governments in a psychic cold war.
  • No setting! Give me some crunch damnit! (you might notice each of these settings was chosen to provide some crunch for generic campaigns- if you want some crunch addressed that isn't likely to be covered in a setting above, mention it here)
  • Something else! (Not something licensed)

Modern20 is live

You can now pick up Modern20 here as well as other fine PDF retailers.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New editions, grognardism and mavens

As 4e looms (ok, it's still 6 months off, but it's BIG, that looming shadow shows up early), I'm seeing a lot of folks talk about the possibility (hope?) that the market will split enough for 3rd party support for 3.5 to continue.

In other words, these folks are hoping that enough people continue to make 3.5 stuff so that they don't "have" to convert.

They would disagree with the way I just characterized their dilemma, but I don't think that makes it any less accurate.

See, as those against 4e would be quick to point out, the old game worked fine. Here's another observation that I'm sure isn't unique to me: OD&D, Basic/Expert D&D, 1e D&D, 2e D&D, 3.0 D&D also all worked just fine.

Better than fine in fact. I will attest that each was a great game.

And yet, when the new edition was released, the vast majority eventually upgraded.

Why? Why do the mavens (those early adopters who flock to and champion the new) win over the grognards (those who cling to the tried and true) with each new edition.

Well mostly because this isn't the design of an internal combustion engine we're dealing with here. We're not searching for the most efficient way to do something and sticking with that forever.

The new is part of the fun.

Tinkering with the new rules. Finding out where they're busted as hell. Seeing where they offer the best game experience you've ever found. Looking for that perfect fighter build again.

These are all fun activities in and of themselves.

Who enjoys these things? Primarily GMs and highly active players. These are the mavens. The early adopters.

They will drive their groups to convert on day 1. This is like planting a seed that can only grow. Through various social networking (local game stores, online communities, college clubs) these people will expose others to the new and shiny.

This will not only entice more passive players into trying the new rules, it will also draw back into the fold the lapsed gamers out there, those folks who left gaming altogether for whatever reason awhile back.

Why do these players tend to gravitate to the mavens and not the grognards? Because the shine of the new casts its light further away.

People will be talking about how awesome their new tricked-out fighter build is.

Others will be talking about how horrible the new rules are, what with their munchkin-y tricked-out fighter builds.

Both attract curiosity more than the guy who says "remember this game you played 10 years ago? well it's just as good now as it was then".

Why play "Risk" when you can check out "Civilization 4"?

Eventually, a tipping point will reach, and it will become harder to find a game running the older rules. In the past, this was something of a pocket universe effect, where your area might still be running OD&D while the rest of the world was running 3e.

Today however, thanks to online communities, these grognards can keep in touch and see they're not alone. E-bay allows them to find the old books they need (or online reprints in PDF form).

However, eventually the lure of the new, championed by the mavens, will draw the vast majority of players to it, as has happened in the past.

Remember, both 2e and 3.5 were derided very loudly.

They were also adopted by the vast majority.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Clash of Arms: Infantry preview

The following is a preview of one of the famous battle depictions in Clash of Arms: Infantry.

It was quite a bit of fun just choosing the battles I was going to talk about, showcasing engagements where medieval infantry were responsible for carrying the day. In the end, I chose: the Battle of Hastings, where William the Conqueror, well, conquered, a battle often thought of as the ultimate cavalry vs. infantry fight; the Battle of Arsuf, where Richard the Lionheart, on his way to the Holy Land during the crusades, meets Saladin in battle; and finally, the battle associated with the longbow the way Hastings is associated with the horse, the Battle of Agincourt.

Our preview is the first part of the description of the Battle of Hastings.

The Battle of Hastings, the decisive battle in William the Conqueror’s conquest of England, is often portrayed as a battle between the mounted Normans against the Saxon foot soldier. This impression has been reinforced by the Bayeux Tapestry, one of the most influential works of art depicting a military campaign, which leaves the Norman spearmen out, in favor of the sexy (and noble) horsemen, along with a few archers sprinkled in. In fact, both armies possessed a balanced force of spearmen, heavy infantry, archers and cavalry.

The Saxon force consisted of the Huscarls, widely viewed as the best heavy infantry in Europe at that time, who would have been equipped with chain mail armor and the dreaded two-handed Danish axe. These elite foot soldiers were supported by spearmen who used their large kite shields to form a shield wall, archers and javelin-bearing skirmishers. While the Saxon force had horses, they did not fight from horseback. When an enemy broke and fled, the Saxon elite forces (the Huscarls and nobles) would mount to pursue and conduct mop-up operations to wipe out a defeated foe and prevent him from regrouping to attack again. The Saxon force picked an easily defensible location to make their stand as well, on Senlac Hill. Their flanks were protected by forest, and the steep assent up the hill blunted any cavalry charge, depriving it of most of its momentum.

The Norman force consisted of spearmen, archers and more traditional heavy cavalry, armored knights with lances who would charge, then retire behind the protection of the spearmen, before charging again. The archers opened the battle, followed by an assault by the Norman spearmen to attempt to weaken the Saxon shield wall in preparation for a cavalry charge.

Stay tuned, since telling half a story is lame, I'll continue this in a day or so.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Gone Gold

Clash of Arms: Infantry is now available at RPGNow.

Please check it out and help keep a poor man in beer and comics.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Coming soon from Vigilance Press: Clash of Arms Infantry


Clash of Arms: Infantry is the fifth installing in Vigilance Press’ historical-fantasy line of sourcebooks. Previous books in the series have looked at the evolution of cavalry warfare, the fighting nobility of Europe, the crafty merchant guildsmen of the middle class and those who lived outside the bounds of society: the witches.


This book takes a long overdue look at the unsung heroes of every army of the Middle Ages: the common foot soldier, who was often not quite so common. These soldiers did the hard work, enduring attacks and sucking it up on the front lines while the cavalry and archery forces they protected reaped the lion’s share of the glory.

Still, any commander worth his salt understood the value of these forces and knew that, when used effectively, a force comprised of archers, spearmen and cavalry was unbeatable.

First, as with all the books in this line, we present a new, historically themed core class: the Infantryman. Like other classes in the series, this core class is designed for maximum flexibility, with numerous options for developing your character without forcing you to multi-class between a number of similar, very narrow classes.

Second, a new craft skill is presented, giving you the tools to remake the battlefield in your favor. Take away your enemy’s mobility and a small force of disciplined foot soldiers can defeat a much larger force, as witnessed by Henry V’s stunning victory at the Battle of Agincourt.

And speaking of Agincourt, we follow up the crunch with a description of three pivotal battles from history where foot soldiers proved their worth and helped carry the day: the Battle of Hastings, the Battle of Arsuf and finally the Battle of Agincourt.

New Adventure for AZ on the Way

So, Adventure Locale #1: White Star Trailer Park is coming soon! It's a location based adventure for my zombie apocalypse game, AZ: Afte...