A lot of awesome pictures were taken at Gen Con 2014 first day! I have compiled a few of what caught my eye!
Oh and if you forgot head over to www.geeknative.com and learn about Anti Gen Con. It is pretty awesome idea allowing those of us stuck at home to connect to other gamers on Gen Con weekend. You can also win great prizes in the GenCant2014 contest!
Wizards of the Coast will release it second Core Rule book the Monster Manual on September 30th 20014. Which monsters did they decided to give us a peek at… well only one of the most iconic monsters of all time (sorry Flumphs) the Tarrasque and one of the most sacred the Sphinx!
I never met a more formidable and terrifying creature in my role-playing career and from what I can see in the picture and stats this has not changed.
If this is what they are starting us off with I am way excited to see what they are keeping to themselves.
Below is a quick overview of creating a character in the new Monte Cook Games RPG The Strange.
Each players starts out as a human on Earth and have three stats that represent who you are. These are Might, Speed, and Intellect. Might is your strength and durability, Speed is your endurance and coordination, and you Intellect is how smart and charismatic you are.
Each stat has these three components Pool, Edge, and Effort. Pool is your base measurement of each stat, Edge is used to reduce cost of what you are trying to do, and lastly Effort which is what you spend when you really want to accomplish your task. What Type you choose (see below) dictates the values of your starting stat pools. In addition to the base values you have 6 points to distribute as you see fit.
Now to the coolest part of character creation. Creating a statement that describes yourself “I am a adjectivenoun who verb.” My first character statement was “I am a stealthyspinner who solves mysteries!”.
The adjective is your Descriptor and 13 are included in the base rules. This is what adds flavor and depending on what you choose enhances your character in different ways (Not all are positive).
The noun is your Type (class) of which there are three. The Vectors characters are the soldier hunter types. The Paradox characters are the scientists sorcerer types. The Spinner characters are the entertainer political types. Each of these Types have a different starting pool, Vectors receive more Might, Paradox more Speed, and Spinners more Intellect. As you level (there are 6 tiers) you gain specialized skills and abilities of your chosen Type.
The final piece is the verb which is your Focus. When you choose your Focus (each player character must be unique) you receive a special connection to one or more of your fellow player characters. Like the Type choice (see above) when you level you unlock different and improved abilities. One other thing to mention about your Focus is that it may or may not translate when you travel to a Recursion. When it does not you will need to choose a different Focus.
So there you have it a very quick overview of the character creation for The Strange RPG.
The Strange is due to be release this month so make sure you keep checking MCG website if you are interested in learning more!
If you missed my first post about The Strange check it out!
Who is Monte Cook you ask? Really… Well if you do not know who I am speaking about you need to come out of the cave you have been hiding in and look him up. He has worked for several RPG companies the most notables are TSR, Wizards of the Coast, and Paizo.
I had the privilege meeting Mr. Cook and I am sure he remembers me from Gen Con (Right Mr. Cook? ::Chuckles::) I mean you only met thousands of fanbois during that 4 days!
Most will know him for his contributions to 3rd Edition Dungeon & Dragons… well until recently that is. In September 2012 Monte Cook Games turned to Kickstarter to crowd-fund a new RPG that was set a billion years in the future in a science fantasy post-apocalyptic setting called Numenera. The rules (Cypher System) were streamlined to focus on the story and action of the players characters. The Kickstarter raised over $500k which was over 25 times the funding amount needed and with that extra funding was able to add supplemental books and accessory for the setting. The list can be found on the kickstarter page.
Bruce Cordell (You know who he is right, please tell me you do!) came up with a concept for another setting that used the base mechanics of Numenera (Cypher System). Just over a year later in October of 2013 MCG launched their 2nd kickstarter called The Stangelooking to raise $60k. In November 2013 they successfully funded The Strange pulling in over $400k which allowed them to add supplemental and accessory for the setting. The list can be found on the kickstarter page.
What caught my attention The Strange kickstarter was one paragraph.
“The Strange is a game that crosses multiple worlds, called recursions, which player characters can explore and defend. In The Strange, your characters change with each world they travel to, taking on new aspects suited to help them function in that recursion’s unique laws and structures. But dangers found in these recursions threaten not only characters, but also our very own Earth. If characters persevere, however, they can not only save themselves and Earth, they may even gain the ability to create a recursion of their own!”
I love the idea that characters change depending on the recursion they are in. How can you ever get bored of a character that changes to fit into the world they enter? Two of the recursions that have been revealed are Ardeyn and Ruk and these are just the tip of the iceberg. I was however very intrigued with one recursion that I saw on a map posted by MCG and the name is Oz. Yes that is right recursions can be brought into existence by the fact millions of people are aware of a fictional place and it’s occupants. This is explained in detail in the core book but one line says it all.
“Many recursions were seeded into the network by the creative resonance of pure imagination (so-called “fictional leakage”), and over time these recursions have matured into places that are quite real.”
This opens up so many worlds that you and your friends can explore, the list is practically endless. You can bet I will be creating a recursion of Middle-Earth, the Walking Dead, and who knows I might even create a Harry Potter / Zombie mash-up!
If you think this sounds cool and intresting just head on over to www.montecookgames.com and read more about it on their blog or better yet get the free preview here!
Stay tuned Nerds next up “Creating a Character” in the Strange!
If you have not seen it yet here is a preview of Wild Magic. Oh and on the page what do we see… none other the the Dragon Born! Nice rendition I have to say! OK… sorry back to Wild Magic The 50 different possible effects are diverse. For instance if you roll a 33-44 then your next damaging spell you cast does max damage or if you roll a 91-92 if you die you come back to life immediately and my favorite if you roll a 49-50 you cannot talk and pink bubbles come out of your mouth.
We have also been given a peak a couple more feats. Namely Dungeon Delver, Durable, and Elemental Adept. I have to say all three of these are pretty cool!
I have to say growing up being gay in the 80’s was pretty tough. I mean I did it in Kentucky for God sake. Now do not get me wrong I had a few supportive friends and my sister to get me though some of the tough times. But… there was no LGBTQ friendly anything or many highly visible out people at the time. So there was no real support in society, actually there was nothing but damnation if I am to be brutally honest. At least that is how it felt.
I used, as many of you do, Role-playing games to escape real life. No I did not play female characters I had no inclination to do so. But what I did do was play characters that were the farthest from gay. I am not sure if it was self loathing or just the fact I felt that I needed to be “normal”. As the years passed (many years) and being a person in the LGBTQ community became more “normal” I actually started embracing who I was and started to play characters that were more like me. One of my favorite characters was in a Exalted game where I was a bad ass warrior who happened to be in love with another man. Who was murdered by a evil Storyteller (you know who you are Mike) that used him to taunt me…. ummm sorry… I digress.
In 2007 when I was reading through the first book in Paizo’s adventure path Rise of the Rune Lords I noticed what appeared to be a same sex couple. I thought it was just my own projection and reread it. No there it was in print a Cyrdak Drokkus (CN male human bard 6) & Sir Jasper Korvaski (LG male human paladin 3/expert 1) and in Jaspers description it stated “Despite his best efforts, his romance with Cyrdak Drokkus has become one of Sandpoint’s worst-kept secrets.” so I was not projecting at all! I can tell you that this inclusion of a same sex romance endeared me to Pathfinder.
Paizo did this without even a mention that it was choosing to be LGBTQ inclusive. So when I read Wesley Schneider’s blog this morning he gave a little insight on why they did not make a big deal of it.
As most of you know by now Wizards of the Coast D&D 5th Edition is out and one thing that is getting some notice is they are now following suit with being LGBTQ inclusive. In the Basic Rules download it states things like “Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior.” and “You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.”.
In closing… It is important to feel included and accepted so I am pleased to see that some of the leading RPG companies have taken action to do just that. To those companies I raise my goblet of elvish wine and thank you!