Firing hundreds of bullets and laser beams agains out enemies is part of the fun of modern and futuristic RPGs, and in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells you can do it too, and in a simple and effective way!
Some weapons allow it’s user to fire more than once in a single round. However, doing so means sacrificing precision for more chances of damaging opponents. In game terms, the Overlord may authorize some combatants to fire more than once per round depending on the firearms used, but each additional shot increases the overall Difficulty of all the Agility tests by 2. An opponent making additional attacks receives a -2 penalty on all d20 rolls per extra attack.
One of Kaylia’s companions see her struggling against the bounty hunter and opens fire on him. Deciding for a less subtle approach, he firer two shots against him, making each Agility test with the Difficulty increased by 2 beyond the normal Difficulty. So if the standard Difficulty would be 3, now it would be 5.
I promise I will start sharing more setting information as soon as I am done with the combat section. Then I will post more about ships, vehicle combat and stuff! But hey, I think there are some pretty neat rules here too! Combat can get pretty creative too!
Combat can be quite exciting with the right group. A well thought strategy, a crazy idea one of the players come up with in the middle of a desperate moment. Not to mention that providential critical hit right when you need it. Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells has it all!
Critical Hits and Fumbles
Hitting the target in the bullseye, striking a vital organ of the beast, these are examples of Critical Hits. When a character roll their exact Attribute score when making an attack, and succeed at hitting the target, they have obtained a Critical Hit. The player, then, must choose between inflicting the full weapon damage plus the normal damage roll for that weapon (if the weapon inflicts 1d6+1 points of damage normally, the Critical Hit would inflict 7 plus 1d6+1); benefiting from a Positive Die on actions against the target for 1d6rounds, or imposing a Negative Die for all actions that opponent attempts for 1d6 rounds, while still inflicting normal damage. Opponents achieve a Critical H…
I don't know if I am boring you guys with all this rule stuff, but I thought I should finish what I've started. The setting / referee chapter is being written now and I am really enjoying it! I hope you will too when I share it here!
So let's go to some more rules regarding hitting stuff in the head!
Continuing with the procedures of combat on Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells! Part I can be found here!
3. Combatants Act in Order of Initiative Each Round
In order of Initiative, each combatant can make a Movement and perform an Action. Note that some rules and Special Abilities allow characters and opponents to move or act more than once per round.
Taking advantage of her sudden influx of adrenaline, Kaylia moves to a nearby counter to take advantage from the cover and fires her heavy pistol against the assassin that had just tries to kill her. 4. At the end of Every Round, the Overlord Assess the Situation
After everyone has acted in the round, the Overlord will assess the situation. If combatants are still alive and want to keep fighting, another round begins, using the same Initiative order. Just repeat steps 3 and 4 until something changes.
However, if one side of the combatants have been defeated, want to surrender, flee or has been captured, the combat may have ended. Other acti…
Combat is obviously a big part of any game that involves adventuring. Not because it's the part where it's focused on, as many make the mistake to assume, but because it's the part we cannot resolve without rules. You can't roleplay combat. Not to mention, it's the part the stakes are usually very high and the potential for impact is great (what's impact? Check out this great post by +Arnold K.).
So, what follows is part of the combat rules for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. It's similar to how SS&SS handles it, but with some tinkering.
It's not only through the accumulation of experience that characters can get better at Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. They can learn new things if they put an effort in the game.
If they work with the Overlord to create opportunities to learn new amazing abilities, they will be able to embark on adventures to acquire them through the game itself, instead of relying on artificial acquisition through the expenditure of points.
As it's common in most RPGs, characters get better over time in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, but instead of tying XP to an specific task, like the acquisition of treasure or the killing of monsters, I decided to leave it open and determined to the number of adventures survived. That way, the group can tailor their game to their tastes.
During their exploits throughout the stars, the adventurers will learn a lot of things. They will get better at what they do. They will become more resilient and capable of greater deeds.
To represent this in the game, characters have Levels of advancement assigned to them. Everyone starts at first Level, and as they gain more experience through a number of adventures, they get to advance to the next Level. As characters become more experienced, leveling up takes more time.
I really like games that are more fluid, cinematic and kind of abstract instead of the more tactical ones. I prefer to leave combat to the imagination of players, instead of constraining it to a battle grid (I will talk about this in a future post, I promise).
Thus, in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, I decided to handle distance and time in a more loose and abstract way, giving the Overlord more freedom to frame scenes and how the time passes as the necessity of the game play dictates.
During a fast and action packed adventure of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, the last thing you would want to do is counting squares, feets, meters or whatever measuring unit you are accustomed to use. That’s why this game opts for an abstract way of handling distances.
One of the most common questions people ask me about Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is how to handle NPCs actions, either when they are acting against PCs, against themselves or alone.
So in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, I decided to provide some guidelines for this.
NPCs in Action
Most of the tests in this game are focused on the player character's capabilities, as they are the main characters of the story being created during the game. It’s also much easier for the Overlord to rely on the character’s statistic than to create detailed statistics for every NPC and opponent the players might run into.
What I am sharing today is not really ground braking but makes some parts of the game clearer. Since I received some questions about these aspects, I wrote a bit about it.
Language and Communication
In a vast the Universe of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, a large number of languages are used, and even machines have their own code of communication. Although this could prove a tough challenge for the adventurers, in the stories that inspired this game, this was never really a barrier, or at leasts, not for long. As such, there exists a universal tongue that most sentient beings in the galaxy can speak (inhabitants of isolated planets are probably an exception, as are xenophobic cultures who refuse to learn the language of others), or at least understand, a language originated in the glorious days of the Old Empire. But how do we know if a character speaks a specific language?
One of my fevorite principles that govern Old School play is "challenge the player, not his character sheet". I wanted it to be part of the mindset and, why not, rule set of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. Not everything should or need to be resolved using dice.
So I wrote these 2 segments in the draft text of the Rules of the Game chapter. I hope you enjoy the read!
When to Roll Dice
Player characters are competent adventurers that often get into problems much bigger than themselves. This means that most of the time they will be trying to accomplish feats that are not easing done, and that the consequences of success and failure are both interesting. But that may not always be the case.
I really like making my own character sheets for the games I play. For some reason, the standard character sheets games usually have don't speak to me. They seem too, standardized, too regular, too "normal". I don't know.
So, loving DCC RPG the way I love it, I made my own character sheet for it. Completely hand drawn, the sheet allows the use of any class, even those created by 3rd parties (aren't those fun?).
So just click on the image above and get this character sheet. I plan on making some character class exclusive sheets someday for DCC RPG, but it may take a while.
Okay! The core rules have been covered in previous posts. Now it's time we dig in the complementary rules. Things that let you do some cool things in the game that kinda modify the way we use the core rules.
Today we take a look at the way we will use the character's Concept, which let's you define who the character is in more detail besides his Archetype.
Using the Character’s Concept
Characters are just like real people. The are more than just a single thing and have many layers of details on their lives. That’s what the character’s Concept does in this game. It established details and characteristics of said character, and this has an impact on how the game is played.
Every characteristic in a character Concept can possibly affect actions during the game and both the players and the Overlord may announce their effects in the game or propose a setback as described below.
Ok, this is the last part of the Core Rules section of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells book. There are other details explained in the book, such as the use of the character's Concept, how to use Complications and other rules, but those are complementary rules.
Today we take a look at Criticals and Fumbles, the Durability Roll (for pretty much any resource that can be depleted) and the Luck Roll!
Critical Success and Fumble
Sometimes, things go extremely well. On others, all hell break lose. When making an Attribute Test, there are special results called Critical Successes and Fumbles.
A Critical Success occurs when a player rolls the exact score of the Attribute tested on the d20, or when NPCs and opponents roll a natural “20”. This means the task attempted is accomplished extremely well, and further benefits might be gained, according to the Overlord judgment.
Shall we continue to revise the core rules of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells? If you missed part I of this section, go here.
Some enemies are tougher, more agile, more resilient or simply more savage than others. In game terms, enemies with higher HD are tougher to defeat than those with lower HD. Actions against opponents and NPCs have a Difficulty equal to the difference between the enemy’s HD and the Level of the character attempting the action. Similarly, if an opponent is making a test against the character, he adds that difference to his d20 roll (see NPCs in Action below).
Running through the corridors of the Galactic Overlord’s fortress, Kaylia was almost getting to her starship when a single Void Sentinel steps in front of her. He orders then to stand down, but she doesn’t even flinch and draws her heavy pistol to shoot him. Since he has 3 HD and Kaylia is still a 1st level character, the Agility test to hit him will have a Difficulty of 2. This is going t…
Solar Blades & Cosmics Spells is a science fantasy RPG based on Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, but it is also a revision of said game (which will probably be revised sometime in the future). Since I decided Solar Blades would have more examples and would be more "begginer friendly", I took the time to make the game as clear as I can, so I ended up modifying some rules that I hope will make the game more intuitive to run.
What follows is part of the Core Rules section of the draft text. The next parts will deal with more details regarding other aspects of the game.
Every time a situation arises in which the efforts of the character have a say in how well it goes, we make an Attribute Test. This consists of rolling a d20 against the appropriate Attribute. Success is when the result is equal to or lower than the Attribute score, but higher than the Difficulty. NPCs and Opponents have to roll higher than the appropriate player character Attribute, and use…
I don't really remember when or where I read this, but I once saw a list of 10 commandments of good game mastering that was all about telling a story in a way that the GM had all the power to ignore rules, results and even what the player's managed to choose to tell "his story". I immediately wanted to write my own commandments. I thought that was a complete disaster, but I know some people enjoy that style of play (I have to freaking idea why though).
So I made one, I published in my Brazilian RPG blog and I thought I could share it too. I sometimes reread them to remember what I truly think it's important for my games. As it's implied in the post title, these are MY 10 COMMANDMENTS OF GOOD REFEREEING, and it's completely natural and understandable that other people might see it differently. But I thought this could be useful to somebody as a reminder or for simple food for thought. Any way, here are my 10 commandments for refereeing.
Yeah, yeah... I know. Encumbrance is boring. But it can be really important sometimes, and can add dramatic weight to the game if used correctly. Imagine being pursued by a big bad monsters and having to decide between dropping all your cool loot and escape, or keeping it and possible being devoured!
So yeah... Here are the draft rules for Encumbrance for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells.
As covered in previous posts, advanced technological items are not readily available for player characters to obtain. They will need to find it on their adventurers across the stars, possibly taking them from the cold dead hands of their rivals and enemies.
So, even though they are pretty rare, there exists laser weapons in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, and today's post is about them.
Yeah, I like OSR games. I like the simple mechanics, the randomness, the lethality it implies, the possibility to use classic material in my games, the “challenge the players, not the characters” mentality, and all the jazz we know and care for. The illustrations are a plus, of course, as I really prefer the more personal stylo of art that is prevalent in OSR publications. But you know what really made me fall in love with the OSR movement?
It showed me that I don’t need a company telling me what I should be playing. For some foolish reason, before the OSR, I had the impression that once a new edition of a game was released, it was obvious that I needed to move to that edition. If the older one was abandoned and a new one released, the new one has to be better. Staying with the older one was stupid, since nothing new would come out of it. I sold all by 2nd edition AD&D books to buy 3rd edition stuff. What a fool I was.