Sunday, 28 August 2016

Survey and Explore. Futuristic hex-crawling for Starport Scum

I am pleased to announce that "Survey and Explore" is now available for "Starport Scum".

Land on any uncharted world, explore the wilderness and see what you come up with.

This expansion uses random tables for scenery, sights to see and encounters to be had and can be used to fill in a travel-session in any campaign or as a mini-game in its own right.

Well suited for use with pretty much any scifi rules.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A bit of promotion: Hail of Fire

Wanted to give a shoutout to a neat little WW2 game you can pick up at the Vault right now as a Pay What You Want: Hail of Fire

In addition to sounding like a good metal band name, it's a pretty clever little game aimed at using the same basing and figure scale as Flames of War for easy access.

The system reminds me a little bit of FUBAR but more detailed, particularly in the armour department and with some clever additions like a "hero point" pool you can use to influence things and a delayed casualty resolution that I like an awful lot.

Go check it out, swing the guy 2 dollars (he deserves it) and tell him I sent you :-)

FiveCore Retro Collection available!

FiveCore has come a long way (and will continue to do so).

As such, it is time to do some drastic I feel.

The original Five Men in Normandy, the ww2 skirmish campaign game that started the whole thing, and FiveCore 1st edition, the generic skirmish version, along with a collection of all the old supplements and expansion packs are now available in a single bundle pack.

This contains the following expansion packs:

The Tactical Primer.
Chaos and Circumstance.
Actions and Tasks.
The Skill Companion.
Heroes and Horrors.
Wolves in the Night.
Irregular Encounters.
Heavy Metal.
Riflemans Guide.

Along with both of the two core games.

Best of all? The entire thing is available as a “Pay What You Want” bundle.

Did I mention its a total of 199 pages of gaming goodness?

Nuts right?

I am confident that reading and playing these old versions will get you fired up to dive into the current versions of the rules (FiveCore 3rd edition, Company Command, Brigade Commander and Five Men at Kursk).

Do note these pdf’s are all provided in their original versions:
As such, some of the early ones look a little rough layout-wise and they are generally sparsely illustrated. On the upside, that makes them very print-friendly.

Available here

Monday, 22 August 2016

Dungeon Scum. More info.

This won't touch on the combat mechanics, those are tweaked from Starport Scum but not substantially changed (that would defeat the point of using the same engine).

What sort of content do you get?

Character creation
You will be able to roll up random characters or just scribble some keywords and use that.

There are no character classes but your rolls will suggest a "role" for the character to fill.

I opted against classes to allow people to make their own heroes more readily.

An example of a hero I just rolled is:
Grew up in a nomadic tribe, where they stumbled upon a dark secret that thrust them into the world.
They found their true calling as a ranger and their defining passion is Justice.

I could roll on the trait tables in the book, but I decide to give them "ARCHER (+1D to missiles), TRACKING and STEALTH.

They also have a Personality Trait, which will be HONEST.

Voila, ready to play.

There's a total of 6 different types of magic, each with 10 spells.
The magic schools all work in different ways and have different requirements to use.

For example, sorcerers must concentrate, severely limiting movement and their spells are generally one-use per encounter.

Miracle workers on the other hand can call on 3 miracles per encounter and
can do so while running around and even when injured.

There's also "Quest" spells which are used in roleplay scenarios to do things like send messages, travel overland or summon a riding steed.

The Delve
If you want to use the random tables to set up a game, rather than run it as a conventional RPG, you use the Delve mechanics.

Set a number of encounters, typically 3. ROll that many times on the encounter table, which can result in battles, puzzles or traps.
These are designed to be solvable by pure dice rolls or item usage, but a Game master could substitute that for a puzzle the players will have to figure out.

When you've endured the required number, you will face off against the final encounter which concludes the Delve.

We do NOT roll up every single corridor as you map the dungeon, instead just focusing on the key moments of the delve, though again, you could roleplay it step by step if you liked.

Magic items
A lot of magic items are included as loot.
These are generally geared towards tabletop battles rather than roleplay scenarios, but there's a lot of clever bits (I think).

Fancy a sword that gets bonus dice against enemies that injured you?
A suit of armour that explodes when you die, taking them with you?
A cloak that prevents enemies from targeting you unless you are the closest one?

And a lot more.

PDF as usual, expecting about a hundred pages, but may be a bit more or a bit less.
The initial version won't have any artwork internal, for ease of printing, though I may revisit that down the road.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

DungeonScum - The Delve

So for Dungeon Scum, rather than doing the "room by room" dungeon exploration (though you certainly could), we're focusing on key moments.

When you venture into a dungeon (what the rules call a "Delve") you'll have typically 3 key moments and then the final encounter.
Basically, we skip the wandering through empty corridors and safe rooms.

You could cook these up yourself or roll on the handy-dandy table in the book: Each encounter might be a battle with a group of minions (interchangeable grunt level baddies: Goblins, bandits, cave rats, whatever), a monster or a challenge which must be bypassed in some way.

They're set up so if you just wnat to roll dice and move on, you can or a GM could replace them with a full roleplaying encounter.

f.x. if you roll a Puzzle, you can just make a dice roll to pass it or the GM might actually invent a puzzle to solve, RPG style.

If a battle breaks out, we go to the miniatures and play it out.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Starport Scum correction

Fixed a holdover rule in the PDF today, stating that Pinned characters can't fire.

The intent is that they CAN but with one die less.

Though I could see a good argument for letting them move (with the penalty) but not fire, so play it that way if it makes more sense.
Another option is to limit goons and bruisers from firing but letting aces and heroes do it with the penalty. Give that a shot.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Storyteller's Guide to Starport Scum

The Storyteller's Guide to Starport Scum is the first big expansion for the game, offering a host of new toys to play with.

Starport Scum rests on the middle ground between a wargame and a roleplaying game. 
This first supplement expands the latter part, adding new story-telling and story-generating mechanics to the game engine. 

Included are the following rules:
*The Information System, allowing players to ask questions and get (occasionally unpredictable) responses about the game world.

*Connections, allowing missions to be tied to past events.

*Revelations, a simple mechanic to add an unexpected plot twist.

*Social combat, if you want your arguments and verbal confrontations to be more dramatic.

*Fate dice, for more heroic games.

*The Story die, allowing players to make small alterations to an established scene.

*Compels, incentivizing players to have traits with mixed benefits or even flaws.

*Danger and Doom, a new table to handle getting into trouble. Great for traps.

*Factions, a character-driven system allowing corporations, cults and power mongers to mix it up with each other.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Warsaw is burning! Five Men at Kursk goes to Poland!

Warsaw is burning! is the first supplement for Five Men at Kursk.

Offering a new way of doing wargame campaigns, rather than giving you a few prepackaged scenarios, Kurskrelies on random tables to generate a potentially infinite amount of scenarios.

The expansion provides the tables to roll up Polish, German and Soviet squads along with their respective support tables, custom-tailored to September 1939.

Tank profiles include vehicles like the 7TP and 20mm armed tankettes.

Included are also special rules to add additional flavour, new terrain and mission objective tables suitable for a campaign game and notes for continuing your campaign into WW2.

* * * * *
Intended for use with Five Men at Kursk, the expansion can also be adapted to most any skirmish wargame, including FiveCore Skirmish, Five Men in Normandy and great titles from other publishers. 

Five Parsecs. Update.

So the initial response has overwhelmingly been to keep it as a FiveCore system, just neaten it up a little and integrate it properly.

I will keep it open for comments over the next week or so, though this does make life easier as a lot of that work I have already done, meaning the production time can be far far less.
I didn't want to skew the results by mentioning that.

If this is the path (as it looks now), it won't necesarily be a straight 100% "copy" of the FiveCore skirmish rules, there are some tweaks and adjustments as part of the process, in particular, its likely that a Five Men at Kursk style activation roll will be used.

The content from "Every star an opportunity" will be reviewed for inclusion as well, either way.

Wargameaday: Best gaming session?

For the 2nd of "WargameaDay" the question is:

Best game session since August 2015:

For this, I am going to cheat slightly and use a board game, in this case Advanced Squad Leader.

We were playing one of the East Front scenarios from the starter kit and it looked like the Germans had it in the bag. They sat on all the objectives but at the very end, one last Soviet platoon finally showed up at the edge of the board.

To win, they'd have to get into the objective buildings but the only path would lead through a wall of defensive fire and on top, since all accessible hexes were occupied, they would need to survive at least one round of hand to hand fighting.

THe platoon begins their charge. Hails of MG34 fire rip them to shreds as one squad after another breaks.
The platoon leader falls wounded and one last squad presses on, reduced to a half-squad but stubbornly passing every morale test it is required to take.

It reaches the building, survives yet another volley of defensive fire, this time at point blank range, advances into close combat and the Germans blow their roll to hit him.

German victory snatched away at the last moment, on the last die roll by the luckiest communists on the planet.

Five Parsecs closer to Home

So feedback has overwhelmingly been to update Five Parsecs From Home as a nice new edition, and make it a complete stand-alone package.

This will happen over the next few months but it raises another question.

Since fan feedback on the last inquiry was pretty unanimous, I thought I’d rely on the fans to make the decision on this part as well.

Essentially, there’s two options that I see for a new “Five Parsecs” standalone game.

A: Keep it as a FiveCore game.
The core engine would not have to have a carbon copy of the current FiveCore skirmish rules.
One of the benefits would be to be able to incorporate innovations from other sources and tweak the rules to fit the setting specifically.

B: Adopt a more conventional system.
A few people have expressed that FiveCore can be a “busy” game to keep track of in campaigns where each figure is potentially a unique individual.
A different option would be to adopt a more conventional system (likely based off a modified version of the Blast Pistol engine, using straight-forward D10 rolls to hit).

Option A has the benefit of being familiar and showcase the unique nature of the FiveCore system in what it does best: Quirky, character-driven campaigns.

Option B has the benefit of being able to remove a lot of special rules and cases due to having a stat-line to work with.
This would allow a move to a slightly more Necromunda-styled campaign experience.

Both are good options and I am stuck trying to decide between them.
So I turn to you. 
You can reach me at my address as always with your thoughts. 

Monday, 1 August 2016


Borrowed shamelessly from this

I thought I'd borrow it for wargaming purposes, since it'd be fun to talk about and honestly, the RPG guys tend to be better organized than we are.

I'd love to see more of you guys do the same thing.

So day 1: Dice!

Personally, dice are an absolutely physical thing for me.
If I am testing something at the computer, I have a text-console app (rolldice for linux) that can roll anything you plug in (in case you  need to roll 3D17), but I always keep a few dice at the computer desk.

For actual gameplay, its real dice all the time.
Back when we played a lot of Crossfire, I even had allied and axis dice, speckled D6 in green and grey respectively.