Thursday, October 12, 2017

Awesome Games That Are Kickstarting + A Character, Part Deux

Yeah, I'm gonna do mine now.

So, as I know I've mentioned, Undead is Kickstarting now. It's a sourcebook for Chill 3rd Ed, and I considered writing it myself, like I did Monsters. I really had a lot of fun writing Monsters - I got to research a bunch of new and interesting stuff, write in the voice of Ruby Garrett (with notes from Mafuz El-Hasham), and delve into some of the spaces in Chill that 2nd Ed never explicitly touched.

But for Undead, I decided that I needed a more diverse group of voices, precisely because of this: the undead are people (most of them). They're like ghosts with bodies, they're people with understandable motivations and needs and fears and hates and loves and rotting corpses and evil magic. So I needed some people who could write like not-me to convey that diversity.

You can check out the writers here (just look for the folks with Undead after their names), and do note that of the 12 people writing the book, 2 of them are white/straight/cis/male (I'm not straight, in case you didn't know, but sure, count me in there if you like, because that's still 2/3 of the writing crew that ain't the "default" for the hobby). I wanted women, I wanted POC, I wanted (other) queer voices, I wanted non-cis voices, because this book, like Chill as a whole, is about people.

I don't need cookies for this; if I need cookies I'll bake 'em. I just wanted to point out that for a project like this, diversity was critical, so diversity is what we got (I say "we" because I had help from my brother Jonathan and my SIL Morgan, both of who are writing parts of Undead, in assembling this crew).

Anyway, we're less than $6000 from goal, so please back us, or forward the project on to someone who might like it.


The Game: War of the Dead
The Publisher: Daring Entertainment
Degree of Familiarity: None with this game in particular, but I'm very familiar with the system and the genre.
Books Required: The War of the Dead book and the Savage Worlds core.

War of the Dead is a zombie apocalypse RPG, starting with the Rise and then...I'm not sure, actually. The book states that players should make characters and then not read any further. But I do what I waaaaaaant, of course, and I see that the initial chapter starts on a cruise ship. Groovy. I just need my character to have a reason to be on that ship.

OK, I note that there's a new Edge in the book called Scavenger that gives me a bonus to forage in urban environments. I believe I shall play a character with that Edge. His name is Charlie Finn.

Charlie was living in Miami, working in a warehouse loading boxes, when he got sick. It wasn't anything serious...well, it was, but it wasn't like a flesh-eating bacteria or like a zombie virus or anything. No, Charlie got good old fashioned influenza, spent 10 days unable to walk very well, lost his job, spent his money on food and staying alive, missed a couple of car payments, lost his car, couldn't get work, lost his apartment, and wound up homeless. Just like that. Took four months, tops. He doesn't have family in the area and they don't get along anyway, so he wasn't going to move back to Ohio. He just figured he could get back on his feet.

Cut to a year later, and he was living under a bridge, doing whatever odd jobs he could muster, drinking a little too much (though he managed to stay off anything harder). And then a buddy of his told him that if he could get on a cruise ship, he would get put to work. It was shit work, and it paid shit, but they'd feed and house you for a few weeks. Charlie figured "fuck it," stowed aboard the Pinnacle, and wound up washing dishes.

There's been the occasional second thought.

OK, this being your standard SW game, I start with Attributes. I need Spirit d6 or better. I think I'll go d6 across the board for right now; I don't have a feeling Charlie is any better or worse in any particular area.

Skills, then! I need Tracking d6 and Survival d6 for the Edge, so that's 4 points right there. I'll put a d4 in Driving, a d6 in Fighting, a d4 in Guts, a d6 in Notice, a d6 in Stealth, a d6 in Streetwise, and a d4 in Swimming.

Neat, now Edges & Hindrances. Well, I know I want Scavenger. Poverty would make sense, but it feels like the money-related Edges and Hindrances should be disallowed since society is about to crumble? Eh, let's assume they're not. I'll take Poverty (which is Minor, for some reason), Anemic (which is also nasty; Charlie is necessarily literally anemic, he's just kind of immocompromised), and Clueless (he's been homeless for a while and he wasn't exactly keyed into the world before that).

Oh, I get one more Edge, don't I. Um. I'll take Alertness; seems like Notice might an important thing in a zombie game.

Four points, then. I'll bump Agility to d8, and I'll pick up Throwing at d6. That'll do it.

My derived traits are all basic; Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry and Toughness 5.

Charlie's skinny, wiry, blond hair, patchy beard, wearing dirty jeans, boots (he bought them before he lost everything; they were expensive but they've held up), carries a Bowie knife.

And that's me done, I think! Charlie either cleans up and learns to be a zombie killin' badass or he gets bitten and turned in the first chapter, I'm not sure.