Thursday, 26 December 2013

CVL -Game play examples - Shifting Defenses

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

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Annual Star Army/Star Navy Football Game - CVL Playtest

With NHC PI in the front I finally found some time to do some Competitive Violence League play testing. Here's an introduction to the upcoming 7 man 5150 Sci Fi game.
The CVL was a natural progression from the archaic “Earth Football” played long ago. Not the watered down liability driven game of the 21st Century but the original games of the 20th Century. The introduction of the game via the CVL served many purposes. It was good for Citizen morale (and kept them from “thinking too much”), was good for the economies of the 5150 universe and promoted acceptance of alien races, which was also good for the economies. But after many generations a part of the population craved more. They wanted more violence.
They wanted the XVL – Xtreme Violence League.

The XVL started on the frontier worlds and slowly worked their way back to the heart of Gaea Prime. But the emergence of the XVL was in direct conflict with the CVL and resulted in legal and in some cases, physical confrontations between the leagues resulting in significant blood-letting and eventual direct Gaea Prime intervention.

The initial result of this intervention was to make the XVL illegal, prosecute athletes and attendees as well. But…

The XVL owners, powerful Black Op Corporations and Criminal Cartels found ways to “legally” continue operations. Local Pay-Per-View was used (off world transmissions are illegal but local are not), the appropriate people were paid (some say this includes the CVL as well) and the league flourished. A bit too well as within ten years the XVL was absorbed by the CVL and all traces of it disappeared.

Except for the game it inspired and  how it is played today...
"Welcome everyone throughout the Gaea Prime Universe to our broadcast of the annual Star Army and Star Navy Competitive Violence game. We're coming to you live from War Memorial Stadium from Gaea Prime itself.  We have a sellout crowd of 150,000 lucky Soldiers and Sailors here to cheer on their team. 

We're minutes away from kickoff but first our Loyalty Pledge and a wonderful rendition of Gaea. Our Mother by the Children's Universal Choir.

The game consisted of 55 total plays with the Army running 25 and the Navy 30. I've attached some pictures and a brief commentary on how the game played out.

Army took the opening kickoff and moved down to the Navy 15 yard line where they tried a field goal but Navy blocked it with the ball being returned 40 yards to the Army 25. Navy couldn't move the ball and had to settle for a field goal and a 1 - 0 lead.

The playing field is 80 yards long. Field goals are worth 1 point, safeties 2 points, and touchdowns 3. First one to 10 or whomever has the the most points when time runs out (80 Ticks on the clock) is the winner.


Army took the resulting short kickoff back to their own 35. After a run to the outside the Army QB connected on a 30 yard pass completion to his receiver. Another outside run and another pass completion resulted in an Army touchdown and a 3 - 1 lead.

Navy went three and out (you have to move the ball 4 spaces on the field for a first down) and punted. The Army return man broke off a long return of 45 yards, back to the Navy 30. The first play was a run but loss of 5 yards (1 space). But the next play was a Navy disaster as Army's receiver caught a long pass in stride and scored.  With two Ticks on the clock Navy got the ball, and after recovering a fumble on  a sack, ran the clock out.

End of the Half Army 6 Navy 1.


Both teams were played as Non-Players with the game generating each offensive play based on the current score and time remaining as well as a programmed way to set the defense. This feature works very well and you can run a league solo. There are 8 teams of 8 Races included in the game. This allows me to play one team against all the others as well as playing two Non-Player controlled teams against each other.

There are two 40 Tick halves with each run, completed pass and returned kick or interception taking 2 clicks. First downs, touchdowns, incomplete passes and when running the "hurry up offense" takes 1 Tick.


Navy received the second half kickoff and started on its own 20. On the first play Army blitzed and the Navy QB was sacked for a loss of 10 and fumbled away the ball, Army recovering on the Navy 10! 

Being ahead by 4 or more, Army went to their running game. This meant instead of two receivers and one running back they came out with one receiver and two running backs. One would be the ball carrier and the other the blocking back to lead the way. But the Navy defense stiffened and after three straight running plays netted zero yards, Army kicked a Field Goal.

With 30 Ticks left Army led 7 - 1. Another touchdown by Army would end the game.

Each team has seven players on the field at one time. Injuries can cause a team to play short-handed. On offense you pick who will run the ball and into which of three zones. There's four passing zones and you have the option of playing 2 receivers and 1 running back or 2 running backs and 1 receiver.  

On defense you have 3 linemen and 4 backs to cover passes, blitz, double team, and more.The game is interactive with both players rolling dice at the same time and comparing their results on the same table.
Back to the game.

Navy went three and out again and punted but a hard tackle caused the Army player to lose the ball and Navy returned the fumble to the Army 10. Two plays later Navy scored its first touchdown on a short pass to the left corner of the end zone - 7 - 4 Army but still 18 Ticks on the clock. Plenty of time for Navy.

Army took the kick off and went nowhere, three and out, a punt and it was Navy's ball at their own 20 with 11 Ticks to go. First play the Navy receiver beat double coverage and caught a pass for 25 yards being hauled down at the Army 35. Two more plays and another first down. Navy's ball at the Army 15 yard line with 7 Ticks left!

"O'Neal drops back to pass and fires one to Bengston who slips a tackle and is grabbed by Chartikoff with a TD saving tackle."

Navy tries a run outside to cross up Army and gets down to the 5. Another run but to the left this time results in a loss of 5. 

4 Ticks, 4th Down and Navy needs to pick up 10 yards (2 spaces) for a game tying touchdown.

"O'Neal drops back and avoids the first rusher but is hit as he throws the pass (giving the defender 1 +1d6 bonus). Incomplete!

2 Ticks left and as Navy calls it's last time out Army runs out the clock. Final score Army 7 - Navy 4. Army retains the bragging rights for another year folks!

This was an excellent play test in that numerous situations came up that caused me to tweak the rules to better reflect real life strategy. The Non-Player offense and defense calling works very well and made for another entertaining game. Up next is a player versus Non-Player game to see if I can "bust" the Non-Player mechanics. 

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.