Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book of Beasts 1 Now Available at RPGNow

Including over 60 creatures for your Resolute games, the Book of Beasts I gives you a wide range of foes, including such classic beasts as werewolves, vampires, dragons and giants, while also describing a variety of unique creatures to the lands of Arvandoria, each with notes about its role in the realm.

Organized by creature type and level, this handy guide will prove indispensable for referees. Each section also includes setting-specific beast backgrounds: want to know about the rulers of the Unseelie Court? Curious about why dragons hoard treasure? Ever wonder about the best use for gorgon’s eyes? The monster sidebars will tell you.

Also included is a brief guide to improvising monsters, allowing referees to quickly generate new foes on the fly.

As with all Resolute resources, this book is only $1, but is jam-packed with goodness to keep your Resolute game going strong! Your purchase includes not only the fully-illustrated landscape version for your laptop, but also includes a printer-friendly portrait edition.

This sourcebook is designed for use with Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria, but is also fully-compatible with Resolute: The Superhero RPG 2E, allowing you to challenge your superheroes with mythological monsters with no modifications needed.

Towers of Arvandoria

An updated version of Resolute: Towers of Arvandoria is now posted to RPGNow. It includes:

- An updated rule set to align with Resolute: Supers 2E; this includes integrating the speed/ combat sequence rules and clarified terminology.
- Revised shield rules.
- Streamlined magic spell rules.
- More options for using fate points, and added a reward system for redeeming unused fate points at the end of the issue.
- Tightening up of the rules for trading wounds to make this easier to do, requiring fewer rolls.
- Simplified rules for awarding hero points and determining the difficulty of encounters
- Cleaned up monster abilities like breath weapons.

Thanks for supporting Resolute!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Echo City Sourcebook

The Echo City Sourcebook is now up on RPGNow. This booklet for Resolute the Superhero RPG 2E gives you a background setting, a full-length adventure and a roster of heroes and villains for street-level play.

Have at it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Judah Marakev

I created Judah Marakev as an NPC for a D+D Red Box basic game I ran in tenth and eleventh grade. I really liked the story I came up with for him… he wielded two swords (Arkham and Mindmasker), had been a prisoner of the dragon highlord Darkside, and had returned to the realm (escaping prison) to assist good creatures and fight the good fight.

I didn’t create much beyond that, and the character has remained with me in a number of incarnations over the years. He ‘narrated’ the descriptive texts in various Mythweaver products, serving as my ‘in-game’ character for a long time.

A few years ago, I changed some of the names to make them… well… less copyright infringy, if you see what I mean. The first sword became Arkhymn (I just liked the sound of it) and the dragon became Darksihde (pronounced “Darkseed”). However, I still didn’t know a lot of things… why or how he got the swords… why or how he got caught and put in prison… why or how he escaped… why or how any of it was connected to anything.

This week, I started thinking about Judah, jotting a few notes about his backstory to see if I could fit any of it into Arvandoria anywhere. All of a sudden, one piece of the puzzle fell into place, tying together two big parts of the game world that I didn’t even know were connected. Then, suddenly, I saw his place in a novel I wrote a full first draft of last year but never completed. It was missing something, and suddenly I realized what it was- Judah!

In a matter of hours, everything that I’ve created for my game worlds and game systems over the last 20 years fell into sharp focus, all tied together by this one character and his adventures. Dozens of little loose ends all started tying together, and things I’d created when I was 16 suddenly showed me why they’ve been in a big red binder for the last 22 years. I suddenly see why Arkhymn and Mindmasker are the absolutely perfect names for the swords... and I know why Darksihde is the absolutely prefect name for the master villain... and I know why a hundred other little things are exactly the way they are.

It rather blew my mind. I’ve been feverishly jotting notes about him (while working on Resolute Supers stuff- hey, it’s summer!). I’ve got a chunk of stuff for a novel going, but I’ve also done some play testing with ‘young Judah’, posting to the splinteredrealm forum and also to the actual play index on Swing by to catch up with his adventures.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Messari

One of the things that was going to make it into the core rules for Resolute Supers 2E, and then into the Referee’s Sourcebook (but never did), is the whole concept behind the messari. Sure, they’re your standard tentacled aliens who want to devour your brain juices. Pretty standard. However, what motivates them is what may make them a bit different…

The messari are ruled by a godlike creature called the Devourer. The more literal translation of his name is ‘the consumer of all things’. He literally (a la Galactus) eats planets. However, the really juicy part is the wonderful brains of the inhabitants of the planet. Sure, he can eat rocks and trees and all that stuff, but the brains of living creatures are where it’s at. The Devourer has had a good run, making his millions of messari servants find worlds, prep them for him, and then set the stage for him to come in and gobble up all the goodness. Earth was their next target. Until…

The Devourer learned that humans are especially tasty, and that just their psychic residue is more fulfilling than 2/3 of the world’s he’s gorged his appetite upon. In fact, if he could find a way to amp up the psychic resonance and find a safe place to siphon it from… he could live like a king forever! Additionally, he kind of likes humans; they are the only beings he’s encountered that are as wanton in their consumption as he is. He set up camp on a nearby planet, and settled in for a nice, long snack.

The messari are, therefore, the ultimate terrorists. Their true objective is to drive humanity to the brink of absolute desperation- and then leave it there. At this point, they can hang back and let things ride. As long as mankind is chaotic, fearful, and anxious, the Devourer is pleased. If mankind begins to feel comfortable or confident, it’s time for the messari to launch another attack. The psychic bug that destroyed the Citadel of Tomorrow and set thousands of powerful, insane creatures free to wreck havoc upon mankind was better than a dozen invasions. These are the big-ticket things the massari look for in planning their actions; they want the fear to linger for a long time.

Below is a ‘world ranking’ for how resolute humanity is (and there’s the inspiration for the game’s title by the way), knowing that when things hit 10+ on the happy meter, the messari are likely to strike. They’ve still got a few tricks in their back pocket, by the way… and I’ll get to those eventually.

Humanity’s Resolve

Rating - Descriptor - Chance Messari Act - Repercussions
1-2 - Terrified - No Chance - Anarchy in many places
3-5 - Fearful - Low - Pockets of rioting and unrest
6-8 - Tentative - Moderate - General peace and order
9-11 - Secure - High - Conscientious citizenship
12+ - Resolute - Guaranteed - Sweeping progress for mankind

How to use this in your game?

Ironically, the more successful the supers are (and on a larger scale they find success), the more likely they are to spawn a renewed messari assault. For every earth-shaking success the supers enjoy, the more humanity settles into its groove and feels protected. This moves the whole world up on the meter, and the Devourer starts getting itchy.

If you want to attach a mechanic to this, roll 2D at the end of every issue wherein the supers accomplish something exceptional in the defense of humanity (this has to be pretty much worldwide, affecting the emotional state of billions of people- stopping a local gang or defeating a regional threat will not make a blip on the worldwide radar). If you roll the current rating or higher, the overall resolve increases +1. A messari invasion is pretty much guaranteed to knock the scale back down to the 1-2 range, and the supers have to start all over again.