Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Status Report (UPDATED)

I believe the following reflects the current situation.

SchoolMaster -Complete 
Porky - Complete
MikeD- prepare background
Phf - Advance character to 3rd level
BrettSlocum - Complete
CaptainJack - Advance character to 3rd level and prepare background
ckutalik-Advance character to 3rd level

As multiple versions of characters and backgrounds have been posted in comments on several different blog posts and others have been showing up in email, let me know if you have completed a task and I don't seem to realize that you have done so.

 Assuming all characters are completed in the next few days I expect to post the first turn on Friday 4/29. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Skills, CR, Gear, Pets, Slaves and Androids

About Skills

I apologize for the confusion with the skills system.  I hope to revise it extensively for the final book although I like certain aspects of it such as how it allows for a good bit of character diversity and  customization while restricting access to some skills and powers.

Hopefully the following examples will help clarify:

Yári Gágaryan, a 1st level Astronaut, rolls 18 on the Astronaut Skills/Powers selection Table and is allowed to choose 6 skill/powers from the first 8. Consulting the table below he chooses to skip engineer and gunner skill and takes the next six: space swordsman, energy pistol, navigator, pilot, PSY luck, and empathy. Alternately he could have taken the first six (engineer through pilot) or skipped the first skill (engineer) and taken gunner through PSY luck or taken multiple levels in one or more skills (e.g. he skips engineer and gunner takes space swordsman, energy pistol +2, navigator and pilot-six skills from the first eight with energy pistol +2 counting as three skills).


space swordsman
energy pistol
PSY luck
control of self
bio-PK I
third eye
PSY weapons

Yari reaches 2nd level and gains "1d4 (+ PSY Power Success modifier) Level 1 skills or powers with the least advanced skill, or lowest available on the list being mandatorily chosen first." The reference to Level 1 skill/powers is definitely confusing and should read Astronaut skills/Level 1 PSY powers.
We will assume he selected space swordsman, energy pistol, navigator, pilot, PSY luck, and empathy at 1st level. He rolls a 4 and may take control of self, bio-PK I, third eye, and suggestion. If he wanted he could, instead, go back and pick up engineer or engineer and gunner or add skill levels (+1, +2, etc.) to any other Astronaut skills or powers.

The rules are not clear on what happens when all Astronaut skills/Level 1 PSY powers have been taken; he could take up to +5 in each which would probably take him up to at least 20th level or so. It should be noted that the rules do not specifically state that skill levels can be added to powers but the intent was that they may be so that PSY luck +2 would add a +2 modifier on the skills/powers success table when attempting to use the power. Additionally I would allow characters to learn/create other Level 1 powers or skills not on the list.

I believe the secondary mechanics of gaining PSY powers was pretty clear, one can attempt to learn almost any power but failure is a possibility:

“Additionally at 2nd level and all subsequent levels an Astronaut may roll on the skill success table in an attempt to gain up to 1d4 (+ PSY Power Success modifier) higher level powers. The player may select which powers he or she will attempt to acquire and the level of the power is applied as a penalty to the roll (e.g. an 2nd level astronaut attempting to learn a Level 2 power would need to roll 13 or better, a 9th level astronaut attempting to learn a 6th level power would need to roll at least 9. A successful roll acquires the power. A natural 20 is always a success and a natural 1 always fails.”
It would be possible for a character to attempt to gain four or more powers, fail on each roll and gain no additional higher level powers.

Background skills or additional background skill levels are not typically available as part of the class skill system excepting those that appear on both background and class charts. At the discretion of the referee background skills or skill levels could be substituted for class skills, otherwise there are several ways (in the current rules) to gain background skills after play begins:

Learning Background Skills

Additional background skills and increased proficiency in known background skills may be attained in game. A Basic skill may also be learned in one month at a cost of CR 1,000. A Technical skill may be learned in 4 months at a cost of CR 5,000 and an Expert skill may be learned in one year at a cost of CR 10,000. The time required to learn the skill assumes full-time study or practice. Part-time learners must multiply the time by 1d4+1.
Alternately, a character that has made use of an untrained skill on multiple occasions, been involved in activities related to the skill, or used a known skill may, upon gaining sufficient experience to increase in class level, roll on the skill success table to gain the skill or additional proficiency, The character’s INT modifier applies and a successful roll acquires the skill. No more than two background skills or proficiencies may be gained per level.

In Spaceswords & Glory, as all characters are beginning above 1st level, I would allow each character to attempt to gain two background skills or proficiencies per level above first in this manner.

About Gear and Starting CR

In Spaceswords & Glory, as characters are career military officers and beginning at higher than 1st level I think it would be fair to multiply randomly generated starting CR x (character level x2). Gear and money are a bit peripheral to this campaign though. It might be interesting to determine if one’s character maintains a home, estate, etc, and come up with monthly upkeep costs and monthly naval salary. Imperial naval crews also receive bonuses or shares from captured enemy vessels or equipment.

As for standard gear, I will try to inventory the ship’s stores soon but assume any standard equipment will be available at no charge.

It would be helpful if characters standard gear for aboard ship activities and for “away missions” was noted on the sheet. Watch the encumbrance rules though…

Unusual personal items will need to be paid for though and will be dealt with case by case. Assume a pet costs (1d4 x CR 100) x hit points. Extremely dangerous pets might not be welcome aboard ship. Slaves and basic robots cost (1d2 x CR 1000) x hit points and a Yeleth or advanced robot costs (1d2 x CR 5000) x hit points. A monthly payment schedule could be arranged to finance expensive purchases.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spaceswords & Glory

The Blog

The game will hosted on this blog.All players will be added as contributors.

The Players
Porky - playing a Páchi Léi astronaut
BrettSlocum -playing a human astronaut
CaptainJack - playing a Jaguar Knight space marine perhaps, or a Pei Choi science officer/archaeologist or an irascible Ahoggya engineer?
ckutalik-playing "Lil' Chumpy" a Niniyal astronaut

The Scheme

The transactions of the game will consist of blog posts.  A Turn will last from one Referee post to another.  Simple player turns may be posted as comments to the Referee Turn post but more complicated player turns may be individual posts (please put the Turn # in the post title and labels).  The referee and players may comment on its content if they like.  

As for the sprockets and cogs of how this game will run I propose that, following character generation and the posting of all the character sheets, I will need a few days to figure out what’s going on with these characters then I will post the first turn. Players will have roughly two days to react to the turn, as I will attempt to post a new turn every other week day for each game on alternate days. 

In order to speed up some situations or combats, I may request that players submit a plan and a few dice rolls rather than dragging every such situation out for weeks. I would play out such situations and post the results. If the encounter begins to go bad or seems too far removed from the players’ posted plans I will pause it and post the situation as the next turn.

Players may request to move any encounters to chat or Skype for detailed resolution and if we have a quorum, we will do so.  Later the chat logs or similar would be posted to the blog.

Players that cannot keep to the schedule (or if an encounter goes chat or skype and can’t attend) may select another player to run their character or the character will be run as an NPC during their absence.

I’m hoping to have two volunteers for Vice-Referees as I previously posted.  Tim (Risus Monkey) has tentatively agreed to VR for this game. 

Character Generation

Players will need to work together to determine which position each will hold on the ship. Check out the brief specifications below. Some officers and/or crew will be NPCs. I will make final decisions about player positions if necessary.  Once positions are determined I will instruct each player to advance their character to a specified level. 

Next, everyone will prepare their complete character sheet and email it to me or post it on the blog. I will review and revise it as needed and repost the final sheet. 

I’d also like everyone to write a brief character description or background. Length is up to you…it can be something like David’s background for Arto that was posted at ix, a paragraph, or three wishes. I reserve the right to edit these to fit better with campaign or setting though.

Although lots of navy issue gear will be available on the ship you may buy any personal equipment that you like and if there is something you are interested in buying that's not on the lists let me know.

Deeds of Glory

You are the officers and crew of the Humanspace Imperial starship Deeds of Glory (Májikhajiyel), a 1000 ton spherical patrol xebec of the Little Death Moon class attached to the Hyades Deep Space Fleet. 


Displacement: 1000 tons
Contra-Gravitic Drive: Three-Light
Interfogulator: Mk 20
Computer: Positronic Brain AI Mk 7 (Deeds)
Ansible: Mk 5
Armaments:  6 Z-ray turrets, 4 rocket launchers (Diambrite and Sub-atomic)
Officers: 6 (Captain, Pilot, Navigator, Science Officer, Medical Officer, Engineer)
Crew: 6 + 4 robots, 1 android (Health and Joy Yeleth Mk 3)
Marines: 2 officers, 6 warbots
Vehicles: 4 life pods, 1 shuttle, 2 armored air-cars, 1 armored crawler

Deeds is the avatar of the ship's positronic brain.

If you haven't already you might want to read about the government and militaries of Humanspace in the 621st century, about your Emperor, the Veritable Autocrator, and this overview of Humanspace Society. Consider social class when writing character background. All military officers are made Citizens.

Any questions?