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Andrew S

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Andrew S last won the day on October 27 2014

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About Andrew S

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    Junior Member


  • RPG Biography
    Gaming since '80 but relatively new to BRP
  • Current games
    Renaissance, Magic World, Labyrinth Lord, Lamentations of the Flame Princess
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  1. What I’ve learned after GM'ing Renaissance for a couple of sessions: Starting characters are effective in their chosen field. Far more so than, say, WFRP or low level D&D. In play they resemble seasoned veterans capable of able meeting mundane challenges head on. That’s not to say they’re infallible: poor dice rolls, the desire to shepherd Hero Points against future calamity and inherently lethal combat all lend the game a nice edge. The skill system is robust, flexible and covers most situations with single or opposed rolls. The Common/ Advanced divide is nice, allowing for specialism and niche development without the added complexity of feats or ‘class’ abilities. I like how quick and easy it feels. Combat is suitably gritty and clips along at a nice pace, although damage modifiers grant huge advantage to whoever has them. To mitigate this -- and make the risk of dropping one’s defence more enticing -- I’ve changed the rules for Great Attack: Anyone in melee can attempt it for +20% CC and maximum DM. If the attacker has 0 or negative DM they gain +1d4 rolled damage instead. NPC stats are really easy to manage and can be boiled down to a couple of lines in most cases. An example: Robert Bradley (Tailor/Soldier/Deserter) 55/35, AP: 1, HP: 12 (6), SP: 11 (6), Pistol (1d6+2) or Sword (1d8), Faction: Gang (fellow deserters) The top line includes a micro-history that helps with skill assignment. When rolling I consult the bottom line, which gives me primary and secondary capabilities. For anything else I assume 20%. So far it’s worked great, NPCs are fully functional and no rules need be changed. I managed to fit the staff, patrons and deserters at the Lamb & Flag onto a single side of A4 paper, making combat and group interactions really easy. That’s it for now. More lessons as I learn them.
  2. Thanks! It's great having a diverse group as it encourages me to pay closer attention to what I'm saying and how I say it. Props to yourself and our other international friend for getting stuck in and playing your characters to the hilt.
  3. Session 2: The 'C' Word Dramatis Personae: Irwin Bailey: A watchman hailing from Warwickshire. Impeccably polite; allows Hugenots first dibs when shooting and stabbing outlaws. Point man for dark cellar holes. Faction: Clubmen. Saul Goodman: A Yorkshire soldier recently returned from the wars in Europe. Player was absent so spent most of the session as Thomas’s gracious patient and meat shield. Faction: Puritan. Thomas Norton: A Paracelsan physician from Norfolk. Enjoys surgery under fire and tactical furniture arrangement with his good mate Saul. Faction: Puritan. Chevalier du Main: A Hugenot Cavalier seeking English funds for his regiment. Wickedly effective with rapier and pistol. Feared by ambulatory creatures everywhere. Faction: the Regiment. Near the village of Keswick, Norfolk; the night of December 2nd, 1645: Gunsmoke. The gurgle of a dying outlaw. Hammering at the door. The patrons of the Lamb and Flag cower in fear as our heroes pause to reload. Thomas applies physick to Saul’s scorched leg, alleviating the soldier’s incipient shock with gentle words and hearty face slapping. The trio are joined by their compatriot Chevalier du Main, who like all good Hugenots of the era is armed and spoiling for a fight. Pleasantries are exchanged and pistols cocked as young Isabelle takes the key from her trembling father’s hand. She opens the battered inner door, momentarily surprising the outlaws. The fight is over almost before it begins with Chevalier’s pistols and sword visiting bloody ruin on the hapless belligerents. Positioning offers Irwin little opportunity for carnage but his steely declarations sap the enemy’s resolve, setting the survivors to surrender and flight. Throughout the mayhem Thomas continues ministering to Saul, artfully seeking cover behind his wounded comrade’s body and a stout oak table. Once battle is done he turns to the afflicted outlaws, staunching wounds and sedating so they will feel the full weight of magisterial justice in the days to follow. Questions are asked of the remaining conscious survivor. At first his answers are the noncommittal retort of thugs the world over, without explanation or justification. Yet the tenor of the exchange rapidly changes when burn scarring is found on the bodies of his cohorts: The outlaw sneers as he speaks of Kings and parliamentarians, of divine and secular law, of common soldiers raked by musket fire to satisfy ambition. He speaks of privation and cannibalism in the debatable lands, of a man called Hoxton who led his fellows to embrace humanity's self-inflicted horror as a cold and desolate truth of the universe. Thomas’s ire is kindled and the pair exchange righteous declarations, with the Puritan shocked into silence by the finality of the man’s words: that there is no god, that there never was. Whilst ruminating on the unthinkable the quartet are addressed by distraught innkeeper George Abbott. After murdering his wife Sarah the interlopers removed her body to the cellar, where, he claims, they have been "digging.” Too distraught to claim her body he asks them to assist. Thomas searches the rooms below. Irwin and Chevalier investigate the discarded picks, shovels and mallets; and the gaping hole in the brickwork the outlaws made. Flickering lantern light reveals the desiccated remains of a catholic priest seated at a large desk, his head slumped forward, masked: Climbing through, Irwin and Chevalier find a living quarters of sorts, a priest’s hole used during the reigns of Henry and Elizabeth. A now sobbing Abbott confirms the discovery -- his family were once resolute with the old faith. Although he knew of the decades-old hole he was ignorant of the corpse and hideous mask. Fearing charges of heresy and witchcraft he pleads that Irwin and Chevalier mention this to no one. The pair agree, carefully removing the mask with rapier tip and securing it in a locked box. They take the numerous papers scattered across the desk, the topmost covered in a scratchy Latin scrawl: Super littora quoque maris irritum nubis Soles mergi geminos immania terga lacus In Carcosa umbrae Mira igitur nox est, in qua est niger astra Et mirum est luna, per templa serena Sed mirandum magis perit Carcosa Hyades carmina cantare Ita vetustis rebus indutam, diripiuntque dapes Ubi de rege Moriendum est inauditum In caligavit Carcosa Canticum meae, vocem meam, quia mortuus est Morere, Homero, sicut nec dedit ullus aquas Et mortuus est, et periit arida In praetorium Carcosa Elsewhere in the cellar Thomas’s search concludes as he finds Sarah’s body, stuffed into an empty barrel. There are gnaw marks on her limbs. More next week!
  4. Thanks. All credit to the players -- they made some good 'uns.
  5. Looking forward to it. Mud, blood and mayhem awaits!
  6. Session 1: Two Puritans and a Catholic walk into a bar… Dramatis Personae: Irwin Bailey: A watchman hailing from Warwickshire. As a fine and upstanding man of the people, Irwin is not averse to gunfire and stabbing people through the lungs when circumstances demand. Faction: Clubmen. Saul Goodman: A Yorkshire soldier recently returned from the wars in Europe. Renowned for his marksmanship. Suffered fire and plague in his youth, possibly as a result of bad dice rolls. Faction: Puritan. Thomas Norton: A Paracelsan physician from Norfolk. Enjoys beer, bad singing and dying of exposure in the countryside. Faction: Puritan. Near the village of Keswick, Norfolk; the night of December 2nd, 1645: Darkness black as pitch. Torrential, freezing rain. The road a quagmire. Our heroes are debating a short cut. After failing his local knowledge roll, Thomas -- an actual Norfolk local -- insists yon’ trackless field, tangled hedge and mud-choked ditch will realise their destination more swiftly. Sanity prevails and the band continue with the road, eventually reaching the Lamb and Flag coaching inn. Within, all is not as it seems. The landlord George Abbott and his son Tom appear nervous. Saul lets the boy lead his mount to the coach house whilst Irwin and Thomas make themselves at home. Noticeable among the somber patrons are two rough looking traveler types. One plays parliamentarian soldier ditties on a fiddle by the fireplace. The other sits behind the bar, cradling something on his lap. Irwin and Thomas exchange guarded pleasantries with the overbearing fiddler whilst Saul questions the distraught boy in the stables. He reveals the inn was commandeered by five men two nights ago. His mother Mary and a number of patrons were murdered. The outlaws are now holding them hostage, killing other travelers stopping by. Repairing to the inn, Saul immediately confronts the outlaw fiddler, who calls himself James. As they argue the second man quietly moves from behind the bar, carbine in hand. Panic erupts as shots are fired, swords drawn and punches thrown. Saul miraculously escapes a major leg wound from gunshot. To the relief of music critics the world over Thomas expertly parries James's fiddle with his face, smashing the instrument beyond repair. The innkeepers young daughter Isabelle, enraged by grief, grabs a carving knife and stabs at the gunman. By the end of the exchange he has fled and James lies dying on the common room floor, his right lung perforated by Irwin's blade. Thumping footsteps can be heard as the remaining outlaws make their way from the cellar to the ground floor, hammering at the common room door. Fortunately for our heroes it is locked, with innkeeper George securing it during the battle. More next week.
  7. Luddite, here: how do I translate the sheets into google docs?
  8. That would be brilliant! We're playing online via G+ hangouts so it'd really help if the players could post and amend their sheets between sessions.
  9. I considered something similar myself, converting OQ's battle magic into feat-like abilities for Renaissance. I gave up in the end as I felt it undermined the elegance and simplicity of the skill system. If you decide to go for it, consider how increased PC effectiveness will impact on the game. Look for unintentional synergies between the abilities you've written and the stuff that's already there. Good luck!
  10. Has anyone made such a thing for Renaissance/C&C?
  11. Hi all, I'm starting a thread to share stuff from my new campaign which starts Sunday. I don't have time for full session reports so expect periodic anecdotes regarding the dramatic/funny/insane stuff that happens -- and what I've learned as a first-time Renaissance GM running it. Clockwork & Cthulhu is our core text, with some players using Renaissance deluxe. I've heavily downplayed alchemy & clockwork (both exist, but are the province of lone practitioners who'd be summarily executed if discovered) and am emphasising the horror angle with Clockwork & Cthulhu and Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures. If all goes well it'll be weird, gory, sometimes funny and entertaining for everyone involved. That's it for now. More next week!
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