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seneschal last won the day on September 29 2015

seneschal had the most liked content!

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About seneschal

  • Rank
    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    Melee/Wizard, Traveller, Champions, Toon, Justice, Inc., Mazes and Minotaurs. Wrote "At Rapier's Point" Rolemaster supplement for ICE, contributed to "Pirates!" Published scenarios and game-related articles in GDW's "Challenge Magazine" and Legendary Game Studios' "Minotaur." Developed material for Torchlight Games and Gold Rush Games which remained unpublished when they went under. Wrote "Rocket Rangers!" mini-campaign for Mini Six. Contributed adventures to "The River Terror" and "Blood and Badges."
  • Current games
    Toon, Mini Six
  • Blurb
    Still trying to write
  1. Newcomer Questions regarding Monster Stats, Fights, and Supplements

    BRP-derived games are a different beast than D&D but there are some things to look for when evaluating monster toughness. Look at the creature's damage bonus; that's how much hurt it can lay on your adventurers. Its attack skill percentage (for example Bite 56 percent) gives you an idea how likely it is to deliver that hurt. Finally, the monster's hit points and armor points tell you how much damage the heroes will have to do to it to take it down. Armor subtracts from damage, so if the player-characters do 6 points of damage to a creature with 3 armor points, the monster only suffers 3 points of injury. I haven't had a chance to peruse 7th edition material but Call of Cthulhu core rule books have tended to have a generous selection of monsters. In addition, books such as the Malleus Monstorum have an extended listing of terrors. In general, investigators will most often run up against human cultists and human-sized critters. There are plenty of other threats but they are so huge and mind-blowing that characters' best option is to avoid or (rarely) outsmart them.
  2. Build a Better Monster Contest, Part II

    You're welcome. The world needs more pulpy beasts. 😉
  3. Build a Better Monster Contest, Part II

    The Monster Men Source: Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Monster Men, 1913 In 1912 noted biologist Professor Arthur Maxon suddenly resigned his teaching position at Cornell University and fled New York City for a world cruise with his nubile daughter, Virginia. Midway through the voyage, however, he changed plans and had a laboratory compound built on an unoccupied island off the coast of Borneo. Unbeknownst to his colleagues or his daughter, Maxon had been conducting arcane experiments in creating artificial living organisms. He had intended to abandon these unethical and illegal efforts but his lust for the ultimate secrets of life overcame his inhibitions. Maxon sought to create a new race of supermen and succeeded in growing 12 humanoids in his vats. While possessing enhanced strength and endurance, these beings were hideously malformed in both body and mind. The earliest specimens were savage and bestial, while the last three had enough intelligence to compare themselves unfavorably with normal humans and to resent what the professor had done to them. Betrayal by a scheming assistant and an attack by indigenous pirates resulted in the creatures escaping the compound and reaching Borneo in a stolen native canoe. They were last seen vanishing into the jungle. While they share a common origin, the monster men are as individual as the Disney version of the seven dwarves. They have no names but Maxon numbered them in the order they were created. All of them are dangerous but some of them are passive, others are particularly aggressive, and Ten, Eleven and Twelve possess an animal cunning as well as near-human intelligence. Their bodies are deformed, and the Game Master may wish to assign them specific mutations or chaos traits in addition to their APP 4. The monster men love to fight, love to eat, and yearn for female companionship. Although perfectly willing to attack adventurers who get in their way, they would prefer isolation from mankind. Twelve has become the default leader, guiding and caring for his stupider bretheren. STR 3D6+6 (17) CON 3D6+6 (17) SIZ 3D6+6 (17) INT 1D6+2 (6) POW 3D6 (11) DEX 3D6 (11) APP 1D6 (4) Move: 10 Damage Bonus: +1D6 Hits: 17 (34 CON+SIZ) Armor: 3 (too dumb to die) Attacks: Bite 40%, 1D4+1D6; Brawl 35%, 1D3+1D6 Skills: Language (English) 20%, Climb 40%, Jump 25% Notes:
  4. Still holding out for a good (and faithful) version of The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
  5. Cheap duck minis at Walmart

    For you Runequest heretics who still love your ducks, I stumbled across 97-cent prepainted metal figures at Walmart. It's the Disney Nano toy line. Found Gizmoduck (about 40mm) and Uncle Scrooge McDuck (33mm), a bit large but they are heroic characters. Was hoping for Darkwing Duck but you take what you can get.
  6. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    Looking over our list of books and movies, it looks as if the settings for psionic campaigns tend to fall into two broad categories -- contemporary/near contemporary or far future (or far past per May). Protagonists are often vulnerable (or not so vulnerable) children. Government tends to be powerful and repressive even in places where psychics are an accepted part of society (Mccaffrey, Lensmen). Does the existence of mental powers necessarily shred the Constitution and civil rights? Regardless of their abilities' origin -- medical experiment, evolution, or alien heritage -- psions tend to seek safety in rural isolation (The People, Village of the Damned, X-Men, Empire Strikes Back). Any other tropes or sub-genre "bits" you can think of for a campaign?
  7. The X-Men

    Fun write-ups. And the powers and motivations blocks indicate how this system differs from the Big Gold Book. My favorite X-man was Beast, at least the animated version. In the comics he kept changing, depending who was writing. Was he shy and lovelorn? Brainy and pedantic? Or a savage animal eager to rend and slay? Was he just mishappen or furry? Wait! Did his fur color and coat length just change?
  8. The broo is taller (and more well groomed) than I was previously led to expect. Was he on his way to take class photos when he encountered that pesky human? ("Darn! He scuffed my new bracelet."). 😜
  9. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    Add to our reading list Anne Mccafrey's "The Rowan," "Damia," and "Damia's Children." Touchy-feelie sci-fi set in the far future.
  10. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    Ephemerol would add some new plot twists for PCs. If they have to take medicine to prevent their powers from driving them crazy, they can't simply oh hide out in a basement somewhere. They either have to come out to acquire supplies or become hermits out in the wilderness. For a full suite of abilities in BRP you'd have to borrow from other power sets such as Sorcery or Super Powers. Havent seen Perry Rodan but Lensmen series is pretty over the top, too.
  11. What does AP mean in hit locations?

    "Armor Points" or how much protection that body part has. A black leather jacket might give 2 AP to a character's torso, for instance
  12. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    Good catch, Murgen. On the lighter side, there's "Nanny and the Professor" (1970-71) and "The Girl With Something Extra" (1974). The former was a sort of American Mary Poppins, with Phoebe Figalilly anticipating events and apparently reading minds without displaying any overt powers. Her abilities, or whether she actually had them, were never explained. (One of The People who moved to the big city?). In "Girl" a newlywed telepath discovers that the power to read minds isn't necessarily a marriage enhancer. Fortunately, hubby is the understanding sort.
  13. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    My original post was about mechanics but I've been doing a little research into the genre. Paranormal powers have been part of science fiction for a long time but psychic kids having to deal with government interference seems to have roots in 1950s literature. Zenna Henderson wrote a series of stories about The People between 1952 and 1966 which were compiled into collections in the 1990s. The titular People are psychic alien refugees attempting to live quietly in rural obscurity in remote sections of the United States. Inevitably a human school teacher from out of town begins to wonder what's up with her students. For the most part, People are the kinder, gentler ESPers. Instead of killing the outsider or frying her brain, they prefer to make friends who will swear to silence. Unfortunately the stories were adapted into a sole TV movie in the '70s. John Wyndam's 1957 novel "The Midwich Cuckoos" has gotten more cinematic traction, adapted into "Villiage of the Damned" in 1960 and 1995 and "Children of the Damned" in 1964. These telepathic grade schoolers -- born after all the women in an isolated town became pregnant at the same time -- are downright murderous. Where was Professor X when we needed him? (Busy training "Uncanny X-Men" 1963-1970, new international team in "Giant Size X-Men" 1975.) "Scanners" (1981) came at the tail end of the general interest in extra sensory perception and the occult of the 1970s. The original "Tomorrow People" debuted on British Tv in 1973. Stephen King published "Carrie" in '74, movie in'76. Alexander H. Key's 1968 novel "Escape to Witch Mountain" launched a Disney franchise in 1975. John Farris' 1976 book "The Fury" became a movie in'78. King came back with "Firestarter" (1980), movie four years later.
  14. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    I never saw the 1973 and 1990s Tomorrow People series, just the 2013 remake which isn't kid friendly
  15. Figuring out "Scanners" type powers

    I have frequently looked at Psi World online. The box set is $12 and you can get three adventures for about $18. But the reviews have been mixed. People either felt let down, as you did, or loved it. A common beef is that the setting is thin, but since the psychics and their foes operate in a relatively realistic near-future setting how much world building is required? Many superhero games are light on setting details for the same reason, especiyin the core product. Have tried anything in a similar mode with BRP?