Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New Melek commissions!

So my buddy https://twitter.com/MoogMigMagMoog did this lovely commission of Melek once again! He is so much fun to get commissioned. She even put a bonus 'Post stompy' picture up in there!


Anyway, hope ya all enjoy the pictures:



Monday, December 18, 2017

New Fiction, Trail of Shadows!

Whee, Finally! Trail of Shadows is up. 

This one was slow going, it was a bit longer than normal, but I think it was mostly held back by

I again do have more planned that explores other characters, too! But, sometimes we just get inspired to visit certain ones so I do that rather than force other stuff, though I do have a few WIPs.

Hope you enjoy it! As a bit of a warning this one does as I mentioned have some nastier violence at the start, though it's not like Saw movie levels or anything, but just a heads up if you're a bit squeamish. It was more to sort of paint the situation and the mindset. Language-wise is standard Shadowrun cursing.

I will probably keep doing things more short story oriented. I had dabbled with the idea of doing a Shadowrun fan-novel, but at the end of the day, I feel that I work better like this. With a couple of very sparse exceptions, I tend to be a fan of 'shorter' stuff. Like, I prefer OVAs over long series for some reason. I dunno why for certain, but I always felt like I got more out of it just enjoying 2-3 things that told a story over like 5 seasons of stuff.

I'll probably connect a bunch of the stories, like, they're in the same timeline with similar characters/NPCs and the like, and have a few plot threads, but it won't be a technical novel.

On that note, I think everyone needs to watch Cyber City Oedo 808! It's a great 3-part OVA from the early-mid '90s that is cyberpunk, with a hint of 'mystical' through a bit of psychic stuff involved. There isn't a lot of cybernetics(one dude has cybereyes and there are cyborgs being made as weapons), but to be honest this is one of my favorite cyberpunk anime; meme-ified dub or not(and it does have some amusing stuff). I liked it more than most other cyberpunk anime(I'm more of a Cyber City/Bubblegum Crisis person than I am Alita or GitS, mostly because the former are less grim and humorless; the latter ones didn't gel with me). I like dystopian futures, but not completely shitty ones with like little light in the tunnel, even when there is bad stuff to be found. I like a balance, for all of the cruddy downtrodden people I like to see some over the top stuff go on with some more hope spots and some humor.

I'd watch the UK version, since it has a very killer and actually cult favorite soundtrack, which you can find here. It's pretty harsh on the language but the violence doesn't go overboard; it has a few graphic scenes but it actually pulled it off well compared to some of the '90s lolfests which just used it for the sake of it. The characters are cool, the action is tight, the cityscapes look awesome, and it's got just enough camp to keep it from being super grimdark.

The first episode is here, and you can find the 2nd here and the 3rd here. They did a great job, IMO, of giving a solid wrap-up to the 3 main characters, while still at the same time leaving something open if they wanted to revisit it some time in the future. For a final bit, you can find the soundtrack here; it's like synthrock and ambient electronic and really well done.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the story and I will be back with more in the future! Hopefully the close future.

If I'm not back blogging before the holidays, have a happy holidays all!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Holidays, Busy, Holiday Crud, Delays in Stuff, But It's All Good!

Hoi, chummers!

I'm still around! I know it's been sparser lately when I've been a little more active in the fall, but a couple of family colds(one of them a heavier cold virus but we're getting better), holiday stuff, writing a couple of guides and other odds and ends have kept me a little away from both of my blogs(this and my fighting game blog.)

But, I'm hoping to pick back up for the holidays and into the new year!

I'm in the process of working on doing the final edits on another short story coming up; a bit of a longer one(with a bit of fighting and other odds and ends.) I figure it'll be a good short story to wrap up the year with; I even include a new character!

Moving forward, I'll keep the blog going; maybe some more opinion pieces, more mechanical stuff for sure, more character writeups, and I will definitely continue some short stories going! I'm going to try to get some with all of the characters in at one point or another, but I write what inspires me and right now it's been a certain set of them. I'm sure I'll be moving around soon!

So just giving that short update along with a happy holidays to everyone! I hope to be back shortly with the new story(I actually plan on putting it up this weekend, so unless something goes badly wrong, look for it!) and other bits!

Monday, November 20, 2017

A 'Character Sheet' Post

As I get a lot of art and stuff done, I realize that a lot of the character into-stories, etc-are scattered about. They're easy enough to find; but sometimes putting them together into one post might be cool once in awhile once I have the following:

-Sheet
-Writeup
-Some Art
-Short Stories involving said character

So this will be sporadic(as I get art bit by bit), but I'd like to collect all bits of a character into one blog post when I can! (I'm getting some art done of Downfall and Talon, and the preview looks fantastic! Their post will come when that's all up!)




So for the art finally put together, good ol' Tarin Frost(Art done by Sall)




Background

Short Story 1(Night Shift)

Short Story 2(Neon & Chrome)

Character Sheet(Mechanics)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Some Ideas for Pink Mohawks

The ol' 'Pink Mohawk' is a nebulous term, but basically what it boils down to is 'A wilder, louder, playstyle.'

The terms, as I've mentioned a couple times, are all a little nebulous, and by no means are a perfect descriptor of anything, but as it usually goes-Pink Mohawk is the former, with Black Trenchcoat being the more serious, hard-boiled games that emphasize more sneaking, subterfuge, and stealth-sure, they can have combat, but it's likely done with a silenced pistol or garrote(if fatal), or with some quick subdual combat and some shock batons/gel rounds(if not); either way, it's about doing things on the down-low.

Demolitions can happen in either game; in a Black Trenchcoat game, they'd probably go about it by having the party's ork firearms expert play the role of the classic janitor after some sneaking about, as he passes the details of the building to the team demo expert. After a set time, they plant charges in the geometrically specific areas and blow the place, and are gone with no trace.

The Pink Mohawk brigade just blows the thing up however. No, Pink Mohawk need not be a bloodbath; it's perfectly Pink Mohawk to have a vigilante group who throws rainbow-paint spewing concussion grenades at baddies, tying them up with colored streamers and leaving them in an area with a spray-painted unicorn who farts rainbows on the wall outside the latest media center. Basically, it's much more obvious.

(There is a middle-sometimes called 'Mirrorshades', other times Black Mohawk...or even Pink Trenchcoat, that just signifies you play your game sort of on an in between.)

All of that said, again, the terms are nebulous, and you don't need to adhere to any(we play lots of styles in one campaign!), but if players are interested in a more loud 'n fun style, I have here a few campaign idea suggestions that might fill the role.


Big Game Hunters. This one is a great use of perfectly legal heavy ordnance. Some of those critters are, well, fraggin' BIG, and you often need extremely loud measures to take them down...occasionally needing clever measures as well. Also doubles as a pretty lucrative campaign as some of the bounties on the big critters can get pretty big. (It's suggested you have a mage or two in this one, since some critters tend to be REALLY resilient to mundane means. Yes, mages can use assault cannons too...) Also gives Riggers a chance to use Big Ass Drones and giant autocannons and helicopters and drek. Possibly a highly dangerous campaign as well, mind you, but for Pink Mohawk Big Game Hunters is a definite good idea. There are plenty of corp installations that are in more remote areas that risk attack by things(Juggernauts exist...) that teams like this could be hired to bring on. More 'Light Gray Hat' types could find work taking out big beasties who like to


Mercenaries. The nice thing with merc campaigns is they can run the gamut of loud or quiet; but they can certainly run loud. If battling other armies is more their fare, try a merc campaign. Mercs can also be a wide variety of moral types-just because you have large weapons, you don't necessarily have to kill everything you come across. As for 'Morals'-you can play it 'gun 'em down' Commando or Expendables style if you prefer more black comedy, or the less-lethal, 'Light Gray' but still loud A-Team style where the team doesn't really kill(they just leave lots of co-lateral damage), so there is likewise something here for many depending on what you like. Teams can run about anything, of course.


Demolitionists. Another fairly obvious bit; sometimes, drek needs to be blown up-offshore oil rigs of rival corps, or perhaps testing labs, or whatever. The team gets hired to blow up said drek. You probably want explodey skills like, well, demolitions for this(though throwing explodey things also works, as do missiles launched at things.) In any case, there is always a need for stuff to blow up; this group is likely to just do it loud.


A Distraction Team. Sometimes, you need a distraction to take the heat off of Team B to do their stealth-and-subterfuge in another place. While being the Distraction Team tends to be highly dangerous(I think Big Game Hunters probably have it safer, heh), it IS a good use of teams who like to be loud. Eventually Johnsons might hear that this team is really good at blasting holes in walls and such and they hire them to take the heat off of the more quiet teams they send to the same people, in a different area, where the real job has to go down. Granted, this one the PCs aren't necessarily respected in, but it IS a job, and it'll probably pay pretty well.


Gang Members. This can run the gamut of power; from the Ancients down to a third-tier gutter gang to anything in between, but gang campaigns make perfect instances to be nice and loud. You might not have as much technical heavy ordnance(I mean, gangers can get it), but you can at least be pretty loud and Pink Mohawk. (Ancients are an example of a gang who can get some bigger stuff.) I mean some of the classic artwork portrays pretty crazy gang fights happening.


These are only five examples; but use your imagination, of course! You can also combine these('Mercenaries' plus 'Big Game Hunters' could have the team be a crack team hired to take down the rampaging, mutant Juggernaut in the center of Denver, Godzilla style one job and to demolish something the next.)


As for some more 'Pink Mohawk' tips:


-I highly suggest you just ditch Availability rules for these and let anything go. Some of the more Big Loud Fun stuff tends to be above the legal limits for the start(unless you're playing SR2, then just don't use the optional rule.) I mean our table never uses these anyway, but if yours does, for this type of campaign, I suggest waiving it or at least upping it several levels.

-Allow Hand of God to be used more than once; I'd say even three times. IMO, Pink Mohawk has lots in common with crazy action flicks where the protagonists survive odds many times over; this can be symbolized here. I wouldn't make it unlimited, of course, but three times instead of once I feel might give the campaign more of an 'Action Movie' feel.

-Definitely don't penalize co-lateral damage as much in this one. I mean the runners are being hired to blow stuff up most of the time, after all. That being said, loss of life is something that you'll have to talk over; are you going for Rambo or the Expendables, the A-Team, or something in between(where perhaps very bad people are taken out, but others aren't.)


--


This is again by no means an exhaustive list; but its something to perhaps get you started. Hope this helps out some folks who are curious to get a campaign like this going!

I should have some more fiction up soon that I'm tinkering with, as well!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

SR3 Chargen Advice: Hermetic Mages

So I decided to kick this little series off with Hermetic Mages.

I'll try to keep this somewhat simplified, but these may get a little in depth.

For starters: Priority is a given, since you either take Magic A or B, so that's settled. If you take Magic A, you're full. B you're a Conjurer, Sorcerer, or Elementalist. If you're an elementalist, you pick an element and you can cast spells and summon spirits associated with that element; Earth=Manipulation, Air=Detection, Fire=Combat, and Water=Illusion. (There is no Health Elemental. Kinda sucks.) Elementalists may NOT astrally project in 3e-in 2e they were actually able to(the more you know!) All aspected magicians may astrally perceive as normal(back in 2e, Sorcs/Conjurers could not even perceive. Also the more you know!)

Your Spell Points(used for purchasing spells, spirits, and binding foci) are tied to your Magic priority these days, and not Resources(though I'll get to that), like they used to be.


Metatype:

Any metatype can make a good magician in this. Yes, even Orks/Trolls, with their mental minuses. Neither takes a minus to Willpower, which is the major Drain stat. Troll lower Charisma might affect their conjuring somewhat(keep in mind if your GM uses Edges/Flaws, a Bonus Attribute Point to increase your Charisma max can work, and thanks to Exceptional Attribute, you can increase an attribute up to twice through Edges. It's minmaxy, but for those who really want that awesome Troll Conjurer-I can say as a GM I'd welcome something like this since you're stocking Edges to play 'against type.')

Elves make the best Conjurers(Charisma boost), and can make good combat mages too-their Charisma bonus means if you're not looking at Conjuring, you can drop that stat easier and boost everything else.

Dwarves are, IMO, pound for pound the 'best' mages from a mechanical standpoint. They have no stat minuses in 3e(they used to take a -1 Quickness in 2nd), they get a valuable Willpower bonus, and their Body/Strength bonuses gives them a bit of a sturdy build right out of the gate without having to devote a lot of points to it. All they have to do is pay a bit extra for dwarf-modded gear. Plus they're Priority D instead of the C Elves and Trolls are, if you're playing via Priority. So if you're doing absolute min-maxing, IMO, you can't go wrong with a Dwarf.

Of course, good ol' Humans don't have to give up the extra Priority, and they earn Karma pool faster, barring houserules.

At the end of the day, play what you'd like! I'd say that Metatype choice is going to affect your Priority picks a little bit, as you'll see in the next(a Troll will likely need a hefty helping of Attributes to get past the minuses, even though they don't need to devote much to Physical, even for a combat mage.)


Priorities:

IMHO-you can probably stand to go light on the Skills when it comes to Hermetic mage priority. Using the 3e Archetype of the Troll Combat Mage, he gets by with only 27 points, and he not only has two max Magic skills, but a very good Edged Weapons, some etiquette, intimidation and even a gun. He's specialized, but not one-trick.

Different combos of course might require different priorities: a face/mage will need more skills, IMO, than a combat mage(and will likely be a little more toward Conjuring if they're aspected.)

(Magical Theory is no longer an Active Skill in 3e like 2e-it's Knowledge.)

If your GM is using Point Buy or BeCKS, you can probably afford to go slightly lighter on the skill aspect. Take what you need, of course.

Attributes it depends, but I like to go higher here. With Trolls, those B attributes come in very handy. Elves too, though elves can get by with the 24 fairly well if necessary. Dwarves and Orks can get by with 24 rather easily, saving the B for Resources.

Resources for a Hermetic mage can trend higher. Their gear is more expensive than a shaman's(foci all costs the same, but Elemental Conjuring materials are 1k nuyen per level, and their libraries are Rating x Rating x 1000...and you need these for both Sorcery and Conjuring. Keep in mind you can buy extra spell points at 25k nuyen per point...so taking Resources B isn't always a bad plan. Combat Mages can rock lower resources, if you don't mind going a little lighter on the gear and getting it in game to solidify your Attributes. And yes, you can play a *very* pimped Sorcerer with max Resources.


Attributes:

Willpower is your Drain stat. Intelligence, Will and your Magic Attribute are your Spell Pool, and your Charisma affects your damage if fighting in astral space(fully projecting, that is.) Charisma is your Conjuring stat.

As always, a good Body helps. If you're, say, a Sorcerer, you can, if you want, ditch Charisma for a heftier Strength for bigger guns/a non monowhip melee weapon. 27 Attributes lets you go pretty balanced, regardless. Basically I'd focus on Will, Int, and Body/Quickness and use Str/Cha as appropriate for the character.


Skills:

Magical attributes are Sorcery, Conjuring, Enchanting, and Aura Reading. The first two are probably your big focus. You can specialize; in things like Spellcasting(for Sorcery-this isn't a bad pick since Ritual Sorcery is more a specific character thing), or spirit types for Conjuring. Enchanting offers Artificing and Alchemy(the rules in Magic in the Shadows.) Aura Reading is for Astral work.

Astral Combat is actually a specialization of some various Melee combat, too(for weapons, you need a focus for this.)

Remembering back in the first part with basic skills that are good for everyone-you'll find magicians aren't necessarily too reliant on a ton of skills. Unless you want to play SuperMage and go for ALL of the magical skills-if you want to go 'basic' with just Sorcery and Conjuring, you will likely have enough points to make a pretty well rounded character or a variety of mage types, from kung-fu mages to melee mages to face/mages to gun mages to getaway driver mages(I wouldn't install a VCR though.)

Knowledge skill wise, Magic(which is basically also these days involving Magical Theory), Spell Design, and Talismongering are all magical-based skills to look into. Crafting skills associated with things if you want to really make your own foci helps. Otherwise, as always, Knowledge skills are very open.


Gear:

Fetishes if you have fetish-limited spells, foci of sorts help as well. Power Foci are the most powerful(but also most expensive). Spell Category Foci help some more specialized mages(particularly Elementalists, since they can only cast spells from a category.) Spirit Foci are good for Conjurers.

Hermetics need libraries, as said, though you can always get these in game. Also see back in part 1 for the 'general list' which is good for any archetype.


'Ware:

Mages and 'ware go together less in 3e than in the later years. It's generally heavier on your system, and they lose magic from both cyber and bio(though the bio loss isn't 'true' magic loss-it just 'dampens' it.) If you want to go 'cybermage'-I suggest Sorcerer with high Resources so you can buy into a Power Focus to offset the loss. Having a small amount of cyber/bio isn't TOO bad, though(I'd choose one or the other)-decent picks for cyber are boosted reflexes, cybereyes(with Optical vision mag if you get it-mages need natural magnification to cast spells through it), or a humble datajack. Bioware wise, the Enhanced Articulation and/or Cerebral Booster is nice(a L1 Enhanced and L1 Booster is 1 Bio Index.)

It's tough to deal with 'ware if you have anything less than Priority B Resources, however. Make it a character-specific thing rather than a 'go-to.'


Character Building Bits(Edges/Flaws, Contacts, etc):

I'm including this for fun. This is going to be a section for people who want a little advice for some extra 'personal' oomph to the characters.

If you're using Edges and Flaws, there are some neat little ones, like Astral Impressions(you're easier to find in the Astral, you can make this up for background reasons), Focused Concentration(makes it easier to sustain spells)-you can be pretty creative here and you don't even need to take Magical edges/flaws. Phobias, allergies or whatnot work totally fine for a mage.

Also look into some of the different 'belief systems' in Magic in the Shadows; are you into Black Magic, Norse Magic, or what? Shamans might have totems but hermetics can have things they believe as well(generally they have 'Hermetic magic is like the science of magic', but they can be religious or whatnot too.)

As for Contacts, keep a Talismonger in mind for magical goodies! After that it's pretty much free game.

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So that should cover most of the basics when it comes to creating a Hermetic mage. Again, I tried to keep this somewhat compact. If folks have questions or additions feel free to ask/poke me about them!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Adramelek Art, Part 2!

So once again I got some amazeballs art done by the awesome https://twitter.com/azazaz246642https://twitter.com/azazaz246642 !Thanks yet again.

This is an awesome piece depicting him in a sort of 'victorious' stance-maybe holding his fist up to signal the gang that he did his duty. As we see he's probably crunched a few skulls wherever he was...well, he cleans up only the worst of the worst so it's okay. >:D

Nice unhinged grin, scary eyes, creepy looking blood and lovely looking accessories. Love this so much! 




As folks may have seen I've done another story, Night Shift! Hope you enjoy!

New Melek commissions!

So my buddy  https://twitter.com/MoogMigMagMoog did this lovely commission of Melek once again! He is so much fun to get commissioned. She ...