Thursday 26 December 2013

Sudden Death Part 10 -

Billy, Byden the Hishen and Sooze roll into Little Hisha and make their way to Tatiana's house.

Next day Thursday, Billy follows up at the office of the Trophy Wife. She's married to a local Government Assistant and big on charities As she's always looking for good publicity Billy swings by and picks up Ashlynn Cooper. Using Ashlynn's clout (A favor on the Challenge test) the TW is great at cooperating and another Clue is solved, that's 4. Four more to go and only a few more days.

On the way back Billy contacts a Zhuh-Zhuh Teammate of Syd's whose been doing charity work as well. He co-operates and that's 5 clues. But only so much time as you can only solve one Clue per Day Part. Still have two more Day Parts and all day Friday and Saturday if Billy's lucky.

Part 11

Friday 20 December 2013

There was a question over on the forum about Aliens in the 5150 Universe. So that got me to thinking about putting some info online that was free and easy to access. So here you are. Enjoy!

5150 Alien Info - Free PDF

Monday 16 December 2013

Name the Alien, Win a PDF of Choice

I have artwork for two new Aliens for 5150 but no name. So what are they? Wining entries receive a PDF of choice and credit for "discovering" them.

Alien #1

Alien #2

Thursday 12 December 2013

Carmen's Custom Cars

One of a kind 1/64th scale cars only available on the upcoming Machinas Kickstarter. Cars will be available in lots of four, first come, first sets and only six pledges offered.

Sudden Death - Part 9 - When in Little Hisha...Bring a Hishen

Billy and Sooze leave the Pub & Rec and head towards Tatiana's house in Little Hisha. Billy pulls out Noel's contact info and starts to dial.

"You could at least wait until you're alone, Billy," Sooze says, half-kdding.

"C'mon Sooze, you know me better than that," he replies. Placing his finger to his lips "Shhh!, It's ringing."


"I'm looking to hire someone and Noel comes highly recommended." After a minute or so Noel picks up the phone. 

"Talk to me."

"Hey Noel, this is Billy. I met you earlier tonight," Bill says.

Noel laughs. "So that's why you said you wanted to hire me. Don't worry about the guy that answered...he's just a friend. Want my address?"

"Send it to me. But actually I need your help..."

I decided Billy would follow up and go pay Tatiana a visit. But I figured maybe I could double dip. Rolling on the Advance the Investigation Table I scored Find an Object. I rolled for the location based on Syd, the Victim, and got the Middleton Area of NHC. Rolling for a building came up Bank. NHC PI helps you build scenarios based on rolling on the tables but it isn't a specific adventure. Instead it helps you create them. This means you have to fill in the info to make the story work. 

So I figured Bank, bank records, it's Late and breaking into a bank is crazy. Then I remembered Noel the Net Runner Billy met last adventure so I had him give her a call. Rolling told me she wasn't alone and was with one other person, a male. Chance had him answer the phone so I decided to have Billy Interact with him to see if he'd give her the message. I didn't have to but I like my stories as detailed as possible and the Interaction Table is fun to use. Each Circle of People interacts differently with each Circle so there's lots of story lines there

Rolling Interaction was easy as she counted as Recruited (+2d6) from the previous Intgeraction in the Pub & Rec Area so it made sense she could hack into the bank computers and get the info. Passing on the Find an Object Table solved the Clue (that's 2).
I figured it was a large payment to Syd so rolled to see who it came from. Rolling on Syd's Circle of Friends led to the Shaker Circle to a Trophy Housewife. And who was she married to? A local Government Assistant.
"Thanks babe, I owe you one," Billy said." Send me your PayPal info and I'll send the too, take care."

Billy hung up and drove on, Sooze just stewed.

Part 10

Machinas: Birth of the Infernals

The Light

A Wastelander offers praise to a statue
of The Oppenheimer.
In the time before history, the world was dark and desolate. The Oppenheimer, who lived high on the summit of Mount Losalamos gathered many metals from the plains below, and with them he created the first people.

The Oppenheimer also created other things to benefit his people, such as houses and animals and automobiles and grocery stores. But the people could not see in the darkness and stumbled around like blind ants and feared all of The Oppenheimer's other creations. So The Oppenheimer clapped his hands once, and there was light!

And the houses and grocery stores were destroyed, and the dusty land became the new home. And automobiles were made scarce so that people would not travel from the view of Mount Losalamos. And animals were transformed into fantastic new shapes so that they would not scare anyone. And The Oppenheimer said, "I am become Life, creator of worlds!"

The priests and the Tomes of Man

The Church and its priests run everything. War priests deal with war, Gene priests with science, and the Oak Street priest with culture (the Tomes of Man having been discovered in a buried temple in Seven Hills City known only as 7602 Oak Street.)

The Tomes of Man includes, among about a hundred other titles, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," a few issues of "Popular Mechanics," "Manage Your Office for Better Production," and "Roughing It" (by Mark Twain.) Everything is poorly translated. For example, the priests think it's actually titled "The Rise and Rebirth of the Roman Empire." But the Oak Street priests, through their (mis)interpretations of these and the other books, have managed to rebuild the Known Wasteland into a functioning and somewhat prosperous society.

The most glorious relic: The Infernal

The Church specializes in collecting and studying relics (such as the Tomes) and assumes every relic is a gift from their only god, The Oppenheimer. Among these was discovered a large metal cart with curvaceous lines, four wheels, doors, and seats made of metal springs. The cart was marked by a single name: Buick. Not knowing who Buick was, the priests of the Oak Street Church did what they always do; they said this "machinas" (Latin for "machine") was a gift from the Oppenheimer, blessed it and left it alone for the time being. The name Buick was canonized and his first gift named The Conception of Saint Buick.

The Conception of Saint Buick
Soon, more of these carts were being found around the Wasteland and were brought to the Church. Inside one of these carts was a small collection of books labeled Chilton’s. A few scholarly minds went to work and in 20 years, they had built a fully-functioning automobile out of the original machinas, The Conception of Saint Buick. Noting the fire required to operate the engine, the priests dubbed the new vehicles as the Infernals. In the years to come, scores of other Infernals were found and brought back to life by the Vestal Mechanics under the guidance of the Artifex Rex.

The fuel to run them was scarce, but the Church was able to decipher a time-consuming method to make its own. Since the Church possesses the only sources of fuel, it also has control over all the Infernals throughout the Wasteland. Crew chiefs, merchants, loners and others are allowed to have their own functioning Infernals, but they still must be registered with Oak Street. And it’s the Church that decides who gets an annual allowance of fuel and which Infernals may continue to run.

The Circus Acceleratus and Brother Pilot

The Church quickly found a new use for its metal relics: Testing the piety of its priests through Infernal Combat. And to do this, the Church created the Circus Acceleratus, a ½-mile gravel and dirt track with sweeping, banked turns in the heart of Seven Hills City. The Infernals were fitted with any and every weapon the priests could find or create – guns, cannon, mortars, rockets, flame throwers, spiked rams, wheel spikes and more. Fatalities were constant, but it was all in devotion to The Oppeneheimer.

Brother Pilot of Saint Chevy's Impala
Though the 100,000-seat Circus plays host to parades, markets and other events, its main purpose is to host the races of the Oak Street priests during the Festival of Saint Machinas. In later years, any driver or team who could drive an Infernal was invited to race in the festival. There are only a couple hundred known working Infernals throughout the Wasteland, and not all of them attend the Machinas. (Many teams must spend years searching for replacement parts to repair damage between races.) But the few that do attend provide a glorious experience for all involved.

Being sacred relics, not just anyone was allowed to drive the Infernals. Only ordained priests were allowed to operate the vehicles. Furthermore, the priests were required to give up their name and assume the simple moniker, "Brother Pilot." Many non-racers in the outer wastes did not need to meet the requirement, though many still sacrificed their name (mostly to improve their chances of earning precious rations of fuel from the Church.) Only those who have won the final race at the Festival of Saint Machinas are allowed to add to their Brother Pilot title. But they are only allowed to add the name of their vehicle. For example, one of the winners is Brother Pilot of Saint Plymouth's Fury.

And though the winner of the Machinas also earns a lifetime allowance of fuel from the Church and glory in the Known Wasteland, all Brother Pilots who have endured dirt, exhaust, and gunfire in the Circus Acceleratus are seen just as glorious.

Sudden Death Part 8 - Busy Night in Pub & Rec

Part 7

Wednesday 11 December 2013

14 shots later Plan. Sudden Death continues Part 7B

All I can say is. Holy crap! Here's what happened and how the story was generated.
After Elliot ran into a stone wall on Tuesday night he had to question a Delivery Man in the City Hall Area. On his way there he had a Confrontation with a guy and a fist fight later he was rifling through the guys pockets and found a Clue. Unfortunately it wasn't to the Murder but actually info on him written in his ex-wife's hand writing. Anyway, Elliot questioned the Delivery Man and solved his first Clue.

This led back to the Advance the Investigation Table and a Find an Object result. I rolled for it's location and it ended up being in Little Hisha, where Syd lived. On the way to Syd's house I was figuring out what Challenge to use to break into the house when the first PEF Elliot met was three Gangers. Elliot rolled zero successes (even a People Skill of 5 can blow it once in awhile) and they pulled guns and wanted to rob him.

Well like the story says, 14 bullets later and a heck of lot of Star Power rolling found Elliot with two Bleeder wounds. Lucky for him all those witnesses showed up. Rolling after the battle recovery put Elliot in a bad spot. He would need two months to fully recover. Now what?

Well, I remembered that literally years ago Elliot and Billy Pink did a couple of jobs together, so....

I've decided to keep the one Clue (Delivery Man) that Elliot solved and pick it up with Billy. As the rules are now almost complete and the cover almost finished I will continue on going step by step, including the Travel Encounters and all the "bells and whistles".

Speaking of that, an Eye Witness stepped forward and ratted out Elliot's involvement with the fist fight. The Cops were scheduled to arrest him in three days according to the game mechanics. Guess it'll be easy to find him as they were at the hospital questioning him about what happened earlier in little Hisha.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

No News is Bad News - Sudden Death Part 7

Part One

Last Episode

This AAR is a short one.

A PI’s job can be tedious at times; long hours and no payoff.

It’s Tuesday, the day after the meeting with Mr. Gakspar. Amber went to the Morgue but struck out. No retinal images could be recovered but at least that meant the killers weren’t amateurs.
First go on the Advance the Investigation Table said “Get info from a Person of Interest”. This is done by rolling on the Victim’s Circle of friends and some other rolling but bottom line was the Person of Interest was the Xeog CVL receiver that scored the winning TD over Syd.

Elliot and Amber found her somewhere in the Pub & Rec Area. They entered in section 8 and the restaurant, Piranhas was at the other end of the table. 

PEFs are set and the duo head over there. On the way they ran into three Attorneys out on the town and a Professor with some friends. One of them actually turned out to be Steve Spindly. 

The Professor and Elliot exchanged pleasantries as they went by. But because Steve knew Amber they had a brief Interaction didn't work out well as Steve scored a “Thinks you’re a bit of a dick” result to Amber and was not amused about the whole phone number thing.

Anyway the 3rd PEF was an Alien who owns a Clothing Store and told Elliot to come on for a measurement.

When they got to Piranhas they found the Xeog. She was there with three other teammates, a Razor, Hishen and female Basic. 

After spending 5 Items to buy the whole table a round of drinks the Xeog agreed to talk to Elliot. She had a “tip” about another Xeog, this one a Ganger that she knew. She gave Elliot her name. (The “tip” meant Elliot had to go back to the Advance the Investigation Table for the next Clue and if he solved it, it would count as two).

Elliot got real lucky as they found the Xeog Ganger all alone in the same Area.  Questioning her resulted in another “tip”. This meant the next Clue would be worth three Clues if he solved it. The downside is if you don’t solve the next Clue you gain nothing.

After questioning you return to the Advance the Investigation Table. This time is was Fund an Object. As it was the first time Find an Object occurred, they had to go back to the Crime Scene. Maybe because it was late or whatever, Elliot failed on the Find an Object Table and didn’t solve the Clue. Elliot forfeited the chance to solve three Clues off of the “tips”.

Bottom line was Elliot spent the whole day investigating the Crime and accomplished nothing. Tomorrow is Wednesday and that meant only four more days before the owners meeting.

So far three Encounters and no action. I'm sure it will happen when I least expect it.

Sudden Death AAR Part 6 - I said Retinal Probe!

After the meeting with Gakspar the owner of the Rampage Elliot Bay (Rep 5 Star – Fit 4 People 5 Savvy 3 Science 0 – Private Investigator) now knows the following:

1 - Late last night, Syd Kattan a CVL back for the NHC Rampage (B League) was murdered in the Low Income Area of Little Hisha and found inside his house. 

2 - The Difficulty Factor of the Murder was randomly rolled to be 4 meaning that 8 Clues must be solved. 

3 - Elliot will be paid 20 Items if the case is successfully solved. 

Now on with story.

Here's what just happened. 

Amber Gold (Rep 3 Fit 2 People 3 Savvy 0 Science 1) is a Crime Scene Investigator for the NHC PD that free lances for Elliot Bay (they have history) and wants to do a retinal probe on the Hishen but will need access to the body. I decide to do a People Challenge as used in New Beginnings to see if there’s access. I roll up the People Skill (3) for the Med Assistant in charge of the body and take the Challenge. Amber tells him that “We really ought to go out sometime” so counts a +1 Party Favor bonus. Dice are rolled and Amber scores a Minor Success.

I interpret this as she can access the body and can take the Science Challenge to run the retinal probe but has to hurry (this will change it from an Easy to Tough Challenge – Difficulty Factor 2). I decide its because the body is scheduled for cremation in a few minutes. Dice are rolled and she scores a Minor Failure – No luck. No images can be recovered but Amber knows that the killer or someone working with him had enough knowledge and skill to remove the retinal secondary tracts eliminating the ability for a probe. Amber did not solve the Clue.

Why did I bother setting up the scene. Because I've generated a NPC Lab Tech at the Morgue who can be used in future games. If I run into another Lab Tech in the future I roll 1d6. Score a 1 and it's Steven Spindly. I put his stats in my Usual Suspects folder and am building my NHC population.

Sunday 8 December 2013

Machinas: Customizing your cars

There are a number of playable vehicle classes in Machinas. They include Motorcycles, ATVs, Sports cars, Sedans, Pickup trucks, SUVs, RVs, Buses and Bug rigs. Their biggest difference is their weight limits.

What's a weight limit? That's how much weight your vehicle can carry without affecting performance. Yeah, sure, we'd all love to drop a quad .50 mount on the back of a '59 Corvette, but the gunner won't be able to see anything through the shower of sparks from the car's dragging tail. Every weapon, most defensive measures and some car features will add weight to your vehicle, so you'll need to choose your modifications wisely. Larger weapons are great on the offense, but are usually heavier and don't leave much space for decent defensive measures. Or maybe you want to put the Big Slab on the back of your car. Now you have good defense but will only be able to take a moderate weapon at best. And don't forget, there are other mods such as roll cages, armored seats and big block engines to consider.

You can go over your car's weight limit, but each point over the limit decreases your speed. You need speed to win, but sometimes, a little extra firepower is worth the sacrifice in speed. When you start, run a couple races with a vanilla car and learn your racing style. Do you prefer to pass a lot? Do you prefer to shoot or ram your opponents? Do you want to finish fast or finish intact? Which do you prefer having more survivability -- the driver or the car? Maybe you don't want any guns and prefer the big ram and some spiked wheels?

Sure, now you've built a nice car that's fantastic for one-off races, but how well will it do in a campaign? Does your style change from one-offs to campaigns? And what kind of race will you be running -- oval, road, highway, mountain path? There are numerous possibilities to consider when you customize a vehicle, but there's nothing like finding that perfect combo that not only suits your style, but is dynamite on a variety of tracks and against a variety of opponents.

By the way, if you want those quad .50s, you'll need at least a pickup truck.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Sudden Death - Behind the Scenes

I'm using a comic style for Sudden Death so I will be popping in with a brief behind the scenes look at how the story is being generated. It all starts with New Hope City PI.  

New Hope City PI is a supplement for 5150 New Beginnings, our Sci-Fi RPG centered on New Hope City. NHC is a bustling city with lots of opportunity for adventure. 5150 New Beginnings has over fifty Professions and a variety of Aliens to populate NHC and each has its own story.

In NHC PI we allow you to take these stories and turn them into adventures on the fly. By clever use of dice and tables you can now generate an unlimited number of Encounters with no two ever being the same. Here's how we've used it.

The first part of Sudden Death was inspired by a particularly bad play by a Hishen Defensive Back in a CVL playtest where he was burned for the winning score by a Xeog receiver on the last play of the game. Anyway, when I was testing NHC PI the crime I rolled up was Murder. Well it just seemed like a natural

Now I had my Crime, my Victim from a CVL game, and next was the Employer. I rolled to see who was paying - the Employer. So the team owner was paying for the investigation. I rolled for where the crime took place and scored Lower Income Little Hisha. Go figure.

In NHC PI you need to solve Clues to solve the case. My first roll took me to the Crime Scene.  I rolled for the result and solved the first Clue. I decided that would be the removal of his eyes. One solved and 7 more to go. The number was twice the Difficulty Factor of the case.

When Elliot and Amber left the Crime Scene I rolled for a Travel Encounter and none occurred. I figured I needed to meet the employer so I used lunch in Little Hisha  to have the Employer contact Elliot. This led to another Travel Encounter roll (nothing) and the meeting with the owner of the CVL Rampage.

Some of the info I added from other games, like the dropping of a team from a CVL league to a lower league. Did you notice the girl to the right of Mr. Gakspar changing constantly? You'll find out why in a later installment.

Sudden Death Part 4 - One Big Happy Family

Part Three

An AAR using New Hope City PI - the upcoming supplement for 5150 New Beginnings.