Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Antediluvian Rumors

Due to the varies canon changes throughout the editions (in addition to there being lot of rumors and very few hard facts in the meta plot) it can be hard to keep track of what happened to what Antediluvian, who are the clan founders in Vampire the Masquerade. I have taken the time and tried to track down where and what the Antediluvians are doing in the modern nights. 

I have used the Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition timeline changes, information from Beckett's Jyhad Diary, and the information presented in Vampire 5th Edition

 

What They are Doing or Where They Are

§

  • Banu Haqim: The last anyone saw of Haqim was in 121 CE at the British Isles where he was engaged in philosophical conversations with Mithras. Since then, attempts to find him has failed. It is rumored that he is in torpor in the Azerbaijan/Iran/Turkmenistan though some believe he is awake but remains hidden.
  • Cappadocian: Cappadocius was diablierized by Augustus Giovanni in 1444 CE.
  • Brujah: Brujah was diablierized by Troile in the second city.
  • Ministry: After a brief awakening in 33 AD, Sutekh disappeared from view and has not been seen since (but left vague prophecies about his return). Despite this, a Ventrue named Nasch came upon a cult known as the Coil of Lion allegedly harbored Sutekh’s body in the 14th century. Nasch then drank from Sutekh’s body which sent Nasch into torpor for a century.
  • Gangrel: Ennoia has drifted in and out of torpor since the fall of Enoch. It is unknown whether she is awake or not in the modern nights.
  • Giovanni: Augustus Giovanni is believed to be a casualty of the Second Inquisition.
  • Lasombra: Physically slain and allegedly diablierized by Gratiano de Veronese at the start of the Anarch revolt.
  • Malkavian: Malkav is thought to be in torpor somewhere in Jerusalem where it is thought that his madness has caused the constant state of chaos in that area. It has also been theorized that all Malkavians may or may not have drunk him causing their “cobweb” mental connection with all other members.
  • Nosferatu: Absimillard was last recorded to have retreated to the far ends of the Earth after his scarring and creation of the Nicktuku. Absimillard was disappointed in his children for creating embracing others and created the Nicktuku to hunt them. Modern Nosferatu's stem from one of his original childes.
  • Ravnos: Zapathasura awoke insane with the pain from the death of his children at the hands of the Kuei-jin. This event caused the Week of Nightmares and ended with Zapathasura being destroyed by concentrated sunlight (from satellites) after surviving spiritual nukes and destroying three Bodhisattvas.
  • Saulot: Tricked Tremere into diablierizing him in which he took over Tremere’s body in 1133 CE. Last rumors place him at Hunedoara Castle pretending to be a servant.
  • Toreador: Arikel is currently thought to be awake and residing in Greece.
  • Tremere: The soul of Tremere resides in the body of his childe Goratrix (while Goratrix soul is confined in a mirror) since 1133 CE. Goratrix is trying to lead those Tremere that followed him to rebuild the pyramid after the destruction of the Chantry in Vienna by the hands of the Second Inquisition.
  • Troile: Troile descended into the Earth in the arms of Moloch to hide from the Romans where they salted the earth and performed a ritual to trap them there. Though, in recent nights, there is evidence that they have been moved and reside under the
  • Tzimisce: Was allegedly diablierized by Lugoj at the start of the Anarch Revolt but it was discovered that the Eldest faked his own diablerie and eventually when into torpor. In the modern nights, the Eldest body was brought to New York where he awakened, shed his giant flesh crafted body, and is now on the search for his siblings to find answers.
  • Ventrue: The clan Ventrue claim that their founder Veddartha was ambushed and killed by Brujah on the outskirts of the Second City.

Interesting Rumors of the Night

  • Arula: There is four beings who lay in torpor in Enoch, who may or may not be members of the Third Generation. Their names are Al-Mahri, Loz, Nergal, and Ninmug.  

Friday, April 2, 2021

Review: Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise


This is the big follow up release of Cha'alt and just like the original, production values are very high and there were only 1,000 released of  the deluxe physical copies. Cha'alt Malaise continues with the themes of the gonzo fantasy/science fiction/Heavy Metal/Gamma World with a dash of Cthulhu on a Dune world but goes a step further and advances the timeline from the original events of Cha'alt by eighteen months. This is going to be a review with a different structure as Cha'alt Fuchsia Malaise is a beast of its own.

For a disclaimer, I was given a pdf/physical copy of this book for review purposes. 

Presentation: Between the hardback slip covered book you get 230 pages of full color printed on paper stock that reminds me of one of those coffee table art books. All of the art and maps that is included takes up an entire page or two page spread with purple-ish alien language and symbols and generously placed in the book to keep the theme going. It is type set in two columns with some tables taking up a full page. This is all typeset against a parchment style background which does not make it hard to read. Though, it would be hell on your printers. 

Essentials: This section deals with the basics. It includes information on the races of Cha'alt and gives you all kinds of useful tables. The tables lean towards referee utility but this is some great tables for players and all of the tables have plenty of inspiration. There is the usual fair such as morale, alignment, NPCs, Loyalty, Hirelings, and reaction but others such as disguise, enamored, social hierarchy, death is not the end, Cha'alt names, dehydration, how to use this NPC, backgrounds, and many others. These tables are set up on d6s, d8s, d12s, d20s, and even a d100. These tables do not always follow traditional thinking and some of them are setting specific. I think one of my favorite aspects in this book is one that is a list of suggestions.

This list is Murder-Hobo regrets. It is basically used when a player does something murder hobo like, etc. The list has basically repentance on in the ranges from saying a prayer for the fallen, notifying their next of kin, killing one of their enemies, etc. 

City of A'agrybah: The next sections details the Golden City. It goes into detail about its history, politics, a day in the life,  noble houses, places of interest, a d100 table for unlikely events, plot seeds to go to the city/be inside the city, and a few other pieces of information. The section provides enough information to help the GM build the city but it is not overwhelming.

Encounters: In this section, there is a few encounter tables, Fuchsia Putrescence, traveling at night, the meteorite, clown worms, sub ways, galactic tyrants, and some sorcery. 

Scenarios: This section offers three different scenarios/adventures. The first one is Fuchsia Flesh Pit, which is an experiment of a wizard that is recently deceased. The girl that beckons the party came to this flesh pit looking for the other half of the glove she stole from the wizard, but she had to realize that it's dangerous to go alone: there are tentacles, mutant clams, evil cultists, a whispering elder monstrosity, and other gonzo stuff within the organic pit. She tries to persuade the party into coming down and helping her out, after which she would try to betray them and leave with the treasure. 

Tower of Vromka-ad, is the home of the dead wizard that created the flesh pit. Since Vromka'ad's death the servants have taken over, and are now busy bickering among themselves. There are twelve color coded rooms which could be reached by touching the corresponding orb in the entrance. Each room as its one focus point but there is not much else of note in the rooms. There are not a lot of servants and most of them are not worth messing with. There also is not a lot of treasure except for the room with the three warriors and some magic items. This easily ties into the Flesh Pits as a second location. 

Tomb of Va'an, Zayne: Va'an Zayne was a sorcerer and writer, whose tomb is mentioned a lot in the rumors tables. This tomb offers a good deal of interactivity combined with a bunch of unique NPCs. There is a writers circle right at the entrance, energy beings taunting cultists, a statue that can summon demon, etc. Another cool aspect is that the tomb is tied to Cha'alt's metaplot in a couple of ways. These type of details are always nice and some of my favorite. The place was raided by Tha'anos recently and there are revelations about the true nature of the Old Ones and the planet's future.

Elysium:  This describes a floating station in the sky that was built by aliens. It starts off talking about the different aliens, factions, security systems, personnel, and politics. Then the section opens up into a room by room description and there are 56 of them. There is a lot going in this station and a lot of NPCs have their own agendas. There are also connections that that party can discover about the over arching meta plot which are Easter eggs on crack. Elysium is a pretty opened ended location set up as a very large dungeon and the party can pick up various plot points, blow up the whole thing, set up shop, and so on.

S'kbah Pilgrimage: This is an event on Cha'alt due to a series of unfortunate events. This effects the setting of Cha'alt and the players can interaction with it or not but interacting with it is the only sure way to affect the course of events. This provides numerous locations with moving parts.

Appendixes: This section includes the complete rules of Crimson Dragon Slayer D20 Revised, Cha'Alt Ascended, and Old School Renaissance like a Fucking Boss. The very pieces of crunch that exist around Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise are designed to sue with Crimson Dragon Slayer Revised. 

Final Thoughts: I think the art and layout is great on top of Fuchsia Malaise offering a ton of setting information to Cha'alt. It really expands on the world and advances the world (various plot points) by eighteen months. It does this advancement well and it does not feel heavy handed.

I was really hoping that the City of A'agrybah (this section was the part I was looking forward to the most) was going to get the same treatment as the Black Pyramid did in the original Cha'alt release but it did not. I really wanted to see a city location within Cha'alt to get the mega dungeon treatment with locations, NPCs, adventure hooks, countless reasons to keep returning to the city, and enough intrigue where the campaign would never need to leave that location. Having a city set up this way with all of the weirdness, gonzoness, and flavor that Cha'alt has to offer would have really sent this release over the top. Regardless of this, we do still get a solid foundation with various locations, some tables, notable NPCs, notable royal houses, and a few other story aspects. I just think it fell short of its potential. 

The S'kbah Pilgrimage is an interesting event that spans a good chunk of Cha'alt with plenty of story seeds and ways the party could interact with it. It also gives a good amount of setting information. This could be set up where the players could interact with it at various points of its progression which I think is a very clever idea. Though, the chain of events feels rushed and I think this could have been expanded upon as it is part of the meta plot.

I feel like the author set up Elysium to be the apex of this release for its "mega dungeon". At 56 rooms it does accomplish this in size and scope but I am glad it does not have the mega dungeon feel. Elysium feels more like a neutral location that has its own plot points and moving parts. It almost feels like the party is takes a trip to Alpha Blue but it is has nothing to do with Alpha Blue - I am just talking about the open ended feel of the location. This whole section is written with hints of the sense of humor found in the works of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I personally appreciate this but your mileage may very.

This release adds a lot of the original Cha'alt release and it was a lot of fun to read cover to the cover.

You can find it here;


 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Detroit Suck City: Episode 16

 

The crew recovers from the battle as dark starts to fall in the burn. The crew decides to check out one of the industry buildings to camp for the night. As they search the building, they find a bunch of burnt up equipment, engines, a communicator box, and some kind of wheeled chair. In one of the main doorways, the crew comes across an old man that looks like he was beat up pretty bad and after a paranoid standoff it was determined that the old man was not a threat. After  some continued conversation the old man asks for help and waves toward the shadows and out come some women, children, and a few other older adults. The leader of this new group explains how the Star People destroyed their village and they are all of the survivors. The crew decides that they should share the space and Wilhelm takes the first watch by jumping on his Po Dog and conducting an area check. 

Early the next morning the crew decides to continue their trek towards the river and 9s attached his hover bike to the busted hover van in an effort to conserve proof. As the day wears in the crew comes to an area that appears to be a sea of junk. The Po Dog growls and refuses to move forward. As the crew dismounts to investigate what is aggravating the Po Dog, large pseudo pods erupt from the sea of junk and start to swing wildly around before the main mass rises out of the ground which appears to be a gelatinous mound with a face that  looked like someone took a blowtorch to Spongebob. Wilhelm reacts first to this threat and throws one of the mysterious grenades that he has picked up. The grenade hits center mass and sinks into the bulk of the creatures body as it continues to swing its pseudo pods around to grab some of the crew members. Luckily for the nimble crew no one gets snatched up and as they prepare for another barrage they hear a muffled explosion and the gelatinous creature expands like a balloon before collapsing in on itself (and the newly created crater) which sends junk and chunks of go flying. Wilhelm quickly realized that the grenade he through was a Tor grenade which basically designated the creatures lower 2/3s. 


As Wilhelm is congratulating the Po Dog the crew hears engines in the distance and decides to set up an ambush. They barely have enough time to place their beat up van in the middle of the road to act as a block and find hiding places before it sounds like the engines are right on them. The crew witnesses a procession of motorcycles, some cars, a few trucks, and a tanker that all had the red death symbol painted on them. With a few quick glances from their respective ambush positions, the crew decides to lay low and them pass. 

The crew continues on without much incident until they come over a large rise and in the distance they see a tower with a blinking red light. As Wilhelm confirms this with his binoculars, the crew decides to mark its location for later investigation. They were hired for a job and need to see it through. The crew decides to camp in the brush of the ridge as it offers a good vantage point. 

The next day the crew continues the journey towards the river and decide to zig zag between the buildings for cover. As they are rounding one of these corners they run into some very large lizard like people riding six legged horsed that are pulling a cart. Both parties look surprised but Wilhelm raises his hand in an hello fashion and 9s explains that they do not look immediately hostile and we should just pass them slowly. As the two traveling parties gets closer, Wilhelm waves at them and asks, "How goes it"? The lizard people respond in a language that does not sound overly friendly as they grip their weapons but do not draw them. 9s whispers steady to the rest of the crew. Both sides keep an eye on each other until they are both are out of sight.

As few miles down the road the crew is able to see the river and they spot a boat in it as well. The crew halts and sends Wilhelm to scout ahead. After sometime Wilhelm returns and explains to the rest of the crew that just over the next hill there is a dock with a man that runs a ferry which appears to be a lucrative business as there is a small line of farmers and people trying to peddle their wares down there. Wilhelm goes on to explain that people have been vanishing and there is a factory where people go in but never come out.  The crew makes their way to the ferry and on their crossing they end up buying a goat from one of the farmers. By the time they trek up the bank it is getting dark and they decide to seek shelter in one of the partially collapsed buildings that line the river. As dark falls, the crew enjoys some fire roasted goat courtesy of 9s and does their best to relax.

Just another day in Detroit Suck City...


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I have worked on many projects throughout my time as a gamer. Most of them have been various home brew projects but over the last ten years I have been listed as a play tester in numerous publications, been mentioned as a special consultant in others, I have done a decent amount of freelance work, and even published games under my own gaming company. Each project I have worked on I have been passionate about. 

Though, about six months ago I was working on another project but inspiration hit me from reading an old forum post. This project, Have Axe, Will Travel is probably the most excited I have been about a gaming project I have ever been.

Have Axe, Will Travel is a rules light fantasy game that has an implied setting through the art, magic, and various writings. It uses a 2d6 system for its core resolution because there is something about the primal simplicity of a couple of d6s. 

It will include the following:

  • Free Form Character Creation
  • Advantage/Disadvantage 
  • Elemental Magic
  • Inventory System
  • Equipment Lists
  • Bestiary
  • Discourses on Gaming Theory 
  • 9+ Art Pieces
 There are more updates and sneak peaks to come. Stay tuned!

 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Motley Crew: Session 1


The party has been recently hired into the famous mercenary band of the Flaming Fists that help the city guard of Baldur's Gate with the day to day operation of the city. They were placed in the same squad and have been working together for a couple of weeks. Though, recently the city is plagued by refuges from the outside that are fleeing a destroyed town and panic on the inside as people talk about how Baldur's Gate could be next. 

The party is standing with the rest of their comrades as they try to keep the peace because people in Baldur's Gate want out of the city and the refugees want in the city.  The party witnesses Capt. Zogg and a good number of Flaming Fists wade into the crowd to disperse it as it was starting to get agitated. Theren decides to stand back and watch the events unfold as Garrick and Tonic wades into the crowd throwing pushing, shoving, and cracks whips to get the populace to disperse. Merrick stands on an overturned cart and gives a moving speech on how people need to return to their homes and let the professionals work on the situation.

As the crows starts to disperse, one of the Flaming Fists knocks down a peasant and picks up his coin purse and mutters some obscenities mixed in with a thank you. Garrick sees this and summons a whip made out of water to ensnare the hand with the coin purse which causes the mercenary to drop it. Garrick tells the peasant to take his money and go home as Garrick starts giving a lecture on duty. As this is happening Uthar steps forward, Tonic drops his hood to reveal is Drow nature, and before the situation could escalate any further Capt. Zogg moves towards the situation and orders Garrick to release his the mercenary and Garrick complies begrudgingly. The party explains their side and Capt. Zogg yells back at there are bigger things to worry about and before the argument could get out of hand  Merrick explains that they were sent by some people in government to Capt. Zogg for a special assignment. 


Capt. Zogg shakes his head and takes a deep breath. He then goes on to explain that the Cult of the Dead Three have taken root in the city and that he has a person that is an undercover informant by the name of Tarina that could point is in the right direction.

Tonic explains to his fellow companions that he knows the place well and it is no place for the faint of heart. The party soon finds themselves in the smokey room of the Elfsong Tavern where all the furniture is bolted down and this is mean looking female half ogre and a suit of armor standing at opposite ends if the room (the main bouncers). Tonic blows the half ogre a kiss and slaps on the patrons on the shoulder and asks, "How is the arm healing?"

After sometime the part finds Tarina upstairs playing some dice and Tonic eagerly joins the game. After a few games Uthar leans close to Tarina and whispers that Capt. Zogg sent them. Tarina and Zogg remove themselves from the circle of the dice players as Tonic continues to throw a few more rounds and the rest of the party spreads out to keep an eye on as much as the bar as possible. After some time Uthar returns from his meeting and passes the word around that Tarina will not give us the information we need until this evening. We are free to wait at the tavern or come back as long as we are back before sunset. The party grumbles and Tonic tells Merrick that he has some pending business he needs to take care of and will return before sunset. 

The rest of the part decides to wait at the tavern and enjoy some food and drink and take up various positions around the tavern to avoid any surprises as Garrick finds a place where he can look out one of the few windows (they tend to get broken). Late in the afternoon the pale figure of the ghost elf appears (where the tavern gets its namesake) and starts singing a dirge. After the ghost sings a few more songs she vanishes and the party listens to the political, conspiracy theory, and obscene stories from the patrons. 

Shortly after the sun starts to set eight people walk into the bar that are obviously pirates. The leader as an eye patch and offers a flagon of ale and some coin to anyone who can direct them to Tarina. Theren takes his flagon of ale and walks up the stairs without saying a word. One of the pirates with a peg leg slaps one of the patrons on the back to try to get information about Tarina and as the patron is about to speak Merrick takes a few steps forward and asks, "Isn't it a little early for the rats to be off their barges?". The pirates do not take kindly to this and send of their men with weapons drawn towards Merrick and Garrick responds by taking a few steps back and throwing an ice knife at one of the approaching pirates which explode on contact and shows some of the pirates with ice shrapnel. Merrick takes advantage of the distraction and trips one of the pirates that got to close to him with his halberd. The pirate with the eye patch yells, "so you want to do this the hard way?" and motions more of his men  to charge forward. Theren from the top floor drops one of the pirates with a Firebolt, Merrick catches one of the pirates with his halberd, Garrick exchanges blows with another one, and Uthar charges another pirate with his great sword and ends up cutting him in half. The pirate yells over the chaos, "I am Deadeye!" and charges into the fray swing his scimitar which bites deeply into Merrick, Garrick continues to tangle with his foe, and Merrick is able to break skin on Dead Eye to try to create some space between the two. Theren who still has the high ground, throws down some Magic Missile that makes some of the pirates yelp in pain. Dead Eye, continues his onslaught and drops Merrick and Garrick. 

Tonic kicks in the tavern door and fires some arrows into the pirate that was engaged with Uthar and says to his fellow friends, "How rude, starting a party without me!". Uthar cuts down another pirate before he is dropped by Dead Eye and Theren throws an ice knife which ends another pirates life. Tonic keeps up his barrage of arrows as Dead Eye quickly realizes that it is just him and one of his men left. The remaining pirate also realizes this and makes a run for it as Theren stands up on the balcony and starts waving his hands in the air and saying magic words. Dead Eye takes cover behind an upturned table and says, "I will pay you more then you can imagine for Tarina, bring her to me at the docks, I think you are the only one with any intelligence here". Dead Eye then sprints for the door and takes a partying shot from Tonic which the arrow bites deep into his hip and it does not slow Dead Eye down. 

Tonic decides to take chase of Dead Eye as the rest of the party tries to assess the situation that just unfolded. 

After sometime, Tonic returns dragging Dead Eyes body with him and places a handful of jewelry in Merricks hands. In the aftermath, the party realizes that Garrick did not survive his encounter with Dead Eye and the party pays for use of one of the private rooms to try to talk as the bar staff moves quickly to clean up the mess. Tonic passes some coin to the bartender and says he is sorry for the mess as he enters the room the rest of the party went in to. Merrick holding his head, quickly corners Tonic and an heated argument enures about his whereabouts and if he was around then Garrick might still be alive - Tonic during the lecture shrugs his shoulders and mouths "Scoundrel". During this argument, Theren notices a note slipped under the door and starts to read it. The note is signed by Tarina and explains that suspected members of the cult are seen going in and out of a certain bath house at night but it operates normally during the day. 

The party takes a few days to recover and one of those days, a bright eye recruit with papers from Capt. Zogg shows up at the Elfsong tavern and singles out Merrick who was eating breakfast. The young recruits name is Gabriel and in Zogg's letter, he offers his condolences at their loss but understands that they will need all the help the can get. After Gabriel is introduced to everyone over some ale and breakfast they decide to head to the spa in the morning and see what they can find. They have badges and writs of authority to act under Flaming Fist business even though they were advised to leave their uniforms behind. 

The party makes their way to the bathhouse and inspects the outside for any type of secret entrance as mentioned in Tarina's note. As they enter the bath house they see some people enjoying the baths and are approached by one of the workers asking if the need help. Uthar flashes his badge and explains they are on Flaming Fist business and are looking for someone that is wanted. The party continues their investigation and ends up corning two masseuses in the back rooms as Tonic gets a hint that one of his not being honest with their questions about the foot traffic they have seen. Tonic pulls out a rope and explains that we can do this the hard way or the easy way. Merrick sees this interaction and jumps to explain that the employees look sick and need to take the day off and offers them all some gold if they close early. During this interaction Theren finds a hidden door in one of the back rooms and announces that to the party. The guilty masseuse quickly says that all she knows is people at night come and go and their only task is to keep business running as normal. 

The party makes sure the everyone exits the building (who has not already) and locks up the place. After a quick conversation they decide to head down in the tunnels with Tonic taking a lead position to scout ahead. The party walks through the dark tunnels for awhile before coming to three doors, each of the doors depicts one of the Dead Three on them. Tonic opens the door to the left and finds that the path quickly descends into ankle deep muck and the path on the right does the same. Tonic with the rest of the party close behind him at this point opens the middle door to find three people in black robes laying on the ground in a triangle with a torch in the middle. Tonic does not hesitate and stabs two of them before anyone else can react. Merrick and some of the other party members are distracted by their shock as the third cultist in a black robe stands up and starts to cast a spell as the one of them on the ground tries to take a swing at Tonic from the ground with a spiked skull flail. The cultists fall quickly to Merricks and Tonics blades as Merrick turns to Tonic and yells, "What if they were disguised prisoners or something?". Tonic once again shrugs his shoulders and mouths "Scoundrel" before he explains out loud that he prefers to live to enjoy life.

___________________________________________________________________________________

PLAYERS THOUGHTS: There was a lot of good interaction in this session and it was great how the different players approached different problems. The bar fight was really interesting as I did not think my character would be gone that long on my unfinished business (which ended up being a assassination mission by a chance of the die that the DM rolled). The mission was successful with a few complications. What also made the bar fight interesting is that a few people forgot about certain class and racial abilities as well as the DMs dice were hot! I think our DM must have rolled about 5-7 criticals. 

The shrugging my shoulders and scoundrel joke came into play as one of the players joked out of character about how Jack would look at his fellows whenever he did something underhanded and he would shrug and say "pirate". The joke stuck and my character adopted that stand but replaced the word pirate with scoundrel. 

I was really impressed with the player that played Garrick in his RP and how he took his character's death on the chin even when the DM gave him out to survive. The player decided to keep the death and roll up a new character. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Review: Mausritter

 

Mausritter is a game that popped up on the various Into the Odd fan groups/social media that I was interested in because I have been a long time fan of Redwall and Mouse Guard. Though, the timing was bad and it passed me by in the early stages. It started as a hack for Into the Odd but moved over to itch and quickly went from a handful of pages to having its own soul. I actually lost track of the game for awhile until someone brought it up and I found the community surrounding Mausritter. The community alone sold me on looking into the game. 

Disclaimer: A physical copy was provided to me for review/demo purposes. 

Presentation: Mausritter clocks in at a 43 page hardback book with mostly a two column layout. There are some areas (such as equipment, etc.) where the formatting becomes three columns. There is a generous amount of black and white pencil art, equipment drawings, and three pages of full page art. I think one of the more unique things about the this book is that the cover has a cutout into the interior page where you see an adventuring mouse. When you open the cover, you get a full black and white two page art spread. Another thing the formatting of Mausritter does is that the interior back cover has useful tables on it that actually starts on page 42. This trend (putting GM screen style information on the inside of the covers) is something I really appreciate and like. 

Character Creation: Character Creation follows these stews;

  1. Roll 3d6 (keeping the highest two dice) in order for Strength, Dexterity, and Willpower
  2. Roll d6 for your Hit Protection (HP)
  3. Roll d6 for your Starting Pips (Currency)
  4. Cross reference your starting HP with your starting Pips on the background table. This is what your mouse was before becoming an adventurer. This table provides 36 different options.
  5. Record Starting Equipment: Start with Torches, Rations, Two Items from the background, and a Weapon of your choice. 
  6. Roll or Choose birthsign, coat, and physical detail. 

Resolution: The core resolution system is a d20 roll under your attribute. If an action requires a roll or something your character is doing could result in something interesting happening, then roll a d20 and if it is equal to or under your attribute it is considered a success. During contested rolls, the lowest successful roll is the winner. 

Combat is resolved in the following steps:

  1. If you are not attacking unsuspecting foes then make a Dex save to act before your opponents. This sets the the initiative order.
  2. Attacks always hit
  3. Calculate damage by amount rolled minus any damage reduction from armor. Damage is dealt first to HP and then dealt to the Str attribute after there is no more HP
  4. Once Str damage is taken, the character must make an Str Attribute check with their current score (after damage). If this check fails, the character takes critical damage. This means that the character takes the injured condition and are incapacitated until tended to by an ally and take a short rest. If left unattended the character will die in 6 exploration turns. 
If an attack is hindered, then it does d4 damage (like firing through cover) and if an attack is enhanced (I have the high ground) it does d10 damage.


 Crunch: The core resolution mechanic covers most things but there are a few subsystems:

  • Advantage/Disadvantage: When a character has advantage they roll 2d20 and choose which one they want. When they have disadvantage, they roll 2d20 and the GM chooses which result.
  • Inventory: Each character has a right/left paw slots, two body slots, and what amounts to six backpack slots. Items fill in the various slots and some items require a certain slot to be used. Every items usually has three usage levels and when those three levels are marked off then the item is either broken or all used up. Some items such as ammo, weapons, and armor have a usage die to be rolled on a d6 after a combat or similar situation. On a 4+ mark a usage. Other items such as rations you automatically mark a use after every meal and torches/lanterns you mark a use after every 6 turns. 
  • Spells: Runes are carved into clay tablets that house a spirit, these take an inventory slot.  TO cast a spell, the character holds the tablet and says the magic words. Then the player can choose how many dice to invest (up to the maximum amount of usage) for each dice that comes up a 4+, mark a usage. The effect of the spell is depends on the number of [Dice] invested and the [Sum] of the results. When a clay tablets last usage is marked, it becomes inert and must be recharged. Each spell has its own way that it needs to be recharged. Whenever one or more 6s are rolled, the caster takes d6 Wil for each 6 result - this is considered a miscast.
  • Time: Time is broken up into three different segments. A round is used for combat and it is less then a minute. Turn is a timescale used for an adventuring site and is about 10 minutes. Each turn is enough time to explore a room or perform an action or two.Watch is a time scale used for wilderness travel. Each watch is 6 hours and there four watches in a day. It usually takes a sing watch to travel a single hex (or about a mile). 
  • Conditions: There are various conditions that a mouse can gain. Conditions take up a slot in inventory and if your inventory is full then an item gets replaced with the condition. Each different condition has their own requirements for removal. 
  • Rest and Healing: There a three ways to heal and recover. A short rest takes a turn and with a swig of water you can regain 1d6+1 HP. A Long rest takes a watch and with some sleep and a meal will restore all HP. If HP is full, heal d6 to an attribute. A Full rest takes a weak back in safety and will heal all attributes, HP, and remove long term conditions. 
  • Pips: Are the currency of the realms. A mouse can carry 250 pips in their pockets etc. before they need a Pip Purse which takes up an inventory slot and allows an additional 250 pips to be carried. In most settlements, their are banks that can store pips (for a fee at withdrawal) and a lot of settlements are more then happy to barter.

Final Thoughts:  Mausritter is a fun game that really took the Into the Odd core mechanic/character creation and turned it into something unique. I am also a big fan of the theme of this game. Unlike other games the deal with woodland creatures, Mausritter is about mouse sized mice vs. the world and the world is a very big and dangerous place. This really adds a sense of wonder to the setting and the game play. 

I am also a very big fan of the inventory system. I think it is genius and really plays into the OSR idea of resource management. It is simple, intuitive, and is almost its own mini game inside the game. The PDF comes with item sheets that can cut out and used to save writing and the sheet itself. There are also blank tiles for people to make up their own items. 

I also enjoy how the magic works, it adds to the setting and helps keep the magic feeling well magical. 

Mausritter also has a very strong GM section with some great tools and advice. In the back there is a tables to generate hexes and you end up with a great adventuring area with plot hooks that could be easily expanded or you could have multiple of these sites over a large area. 

Now, for those that do not have any experience with Into the Odd or Electric Bastionland, the line about how attacks auto hit. Do not let this discourage you, it is a feature not a bug. Mausritter and other games that use this core mechanic really want you to think of more creative ways to solve problems or overcome obstacles then just trying to solve everything with a sword. Plus it makes drawing said sword serious business. It has really changed how I view HP. 

I think this game is good and fun for all ages. Though, with that being said it can be deadly and for younger children I would suggest after character creation adding some additional HP. 

One of the best things about this game is the community, they are all very supportive and there is a ton of fan content and 3rd party releases out there that the inspiration is limitless. I would highly recommend getting involved with community. 

The game can be found here:

The box set (which includes the core book, item sheets, Honey in the Rafters Adventure, character sheet pad, and the GM screen is currently sold out. There is rumors of more box sets being produced but it will not be for sometime.  

Community Links:

These two Kickstarters funded recently but I highly suggest following them as I believe both are going to offer pre-order options through backerkit. 


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Motley Crew: Session 0

 

After a series of unfortunate events (the quarantine, jobs, life, etc) stopped my local group from gaming outside of a few one shots ran by various members, we were able to get a Dungeons and Dragons 5e Campaign off of the ground.

After some discussion, the GM decided to run Descent into Avernus. So, this is everyone's one and only SPOILER WARNING! If anyone reading this plans to play in this campaign or is playing in it, there will be spoilers in the play reports. 


Without further ado, I will introduce our adventurers!

Garrett (H): Garrett is a Human Druid. Garrett is a folk hero who gives aid to those who can not help themselves. Originally from the deep north, Garrett escaped just ahead of a hunting party; he promised to return and free his people. Garret has a good heard and will not stand for any wrong done in his presence.
 

CAUSE OF DEATH: The sword of the Pirate Dead Eye in Elfsong Tavern during Session 1...

Merrick (B): Merrick Hawklin is a Human Paladin, of the Corymr Hawklins. Rough edged, but humble and down to earth despite his noble upbringing. Merrick acted as a local constable for a many years before succumbing to the need to fighter the bigger good fight which led him to putting in for an replacement. He hopes to earn the right to join the Purple Dragoons of Cormyr.


Theren (M): Theren Silverstar is a young Elf Wizard who just turned 100. His clan was slaughtered by orcs. He gathers experience and fame to fortify civilization’s edge, as a base of operations to take the fight back to the orcs. Theren is a practical and prudent man, using his skills and peoples ignorance to the best of his abilities. 



Tonic (T): Many years ago, a Drow trading post was raided under false pretense and just about all were killed. One of the Knights found a Drow baby and could not bring himself to kill it. So, he took it home and the Knight and his Wife raised the Drow child. During this time, the child was educated, trained in combat by his adopted father, and was basically the village secret as the drow child became known by the nickname of Tonic and was well liked by most. During Tonic's young adult years, the local lord found out about a village harboring a Drow and made a lot of threats and offered a lot of rewards to find who and where this Drow was. Tonic, to save his family and the village any trouble, left on his own to find his way in the world. 

Due to his lineage, Tonic ended up in a lot of fights and has plenty of scars to prove it. Tonic soon realized that people of a certain character and related jobs care a lot less what you look like as long as you do your job. This led Tonic down the road of being an enforcer for local guilds but eventually his dad's voice about honor crept back and he slightly altered his professional focus - he still thrives in the underground but works as a bounty hunter for whoever will pay. Regardless of this, Tonic is a logical man who has flexible morals but is loyal down to his last breath to his friends.

Bond/Flaw (Unknown to the rest of the Party): Before he found himself in Baldur's Gate, he once fell for a lady who didn't care about how he looked. Well, she fell victim to a mugging gone wrong and when Tonic returned to her city after a job to discover this fact, he tracked down the people that did it, killed them, and framed someone else for the crime.

 

Uthar (P): Uthar is a fighting Goliath that left his tribe as a young adult after a caravan stopped to trade for carouse for a week. Uthar saw all the glitter and glory that the wider world could offer. Uthar then spent a good amount of time working as a caravan guard and doing various mercenary work which lead him to Baldur's Gate. Uthar tends to get attention being 8 ft. tall and covered in tribal tattoos and scars from countless battles.
 


Gabriel: Gabriel made his living as a tracker, hunter, and teaching rich overfed nobles how to rough it in the woods. After a particular pompous noble decided to make Gabriel's life a living hell after a suffering a stupidity induced injury, Gabriel decided to get out of that business and started to travel from village to village and hunting for them. This eventually led Gabriel to Baldur's Gate where mercenary work become his only option for income. Gabriel was sent by Capt. Zogg to reinforce a particularly Motley Crew....
 


These people found themselves at Baldur's Gate for different reasons and each one have been within the Baldur's walls for various amounts of time. They well recruited into the Flaming Fists and were put together into a squad. They have been working together for weeks...


Friday, February 12, 2021

My First Dice Tower

 

For years I have heard about dice towers and how amazing they are. A lot of the praise comes from how they supposedly make dice rolls more random. If they do, then I doubt it is by much. If they don't, then they are great just to have.

So, after searching around for awhile I found this one, which is depicted above. It is high quality but smaller then I thought.


As chance would have it, I would get to test it out right away as I had an upcoming Dungeons and Dragons 5e game to play in. After about five hours of play using it here and my thoughts on dice towers in general:

  • It can mix up the dice rolling aspect
  • Is a good way to control the dice so they do not go flying all over the table. I think this is especially important when the group is at a small stable or it is a large group. Plus, I do not like people touching my dice
  • It is satisfying to hear the click clack
  • Rolling multiple dice at once can cause them to bounce off of each other in the "settling" area. This can be good if it was a bad roll or bad if it was a good roll. It knocked me out of a few good rolls

All in all, I really enjoyed using it and I am glad I finally got it. The dice tower will make an appearance in a lot of games I am sure. Though, to be honest, towards the end of the night I missed the act of rolling so I started to roll by hand. 


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Detroit Suck City: Episdoe 15

 

 

The crew starts out heading into the burn after deciding to veer south and skirt the edges instead of driving though the heart of the burn. Hours later the crew comes to a fork in the road and Kamanje turns to the right which would take the crew right the the middle of the burn unbeknownst to the crew. 

The crew comes across a massacre in the middle of the road. A large section of the road was covered with bodies, the twisted metal of ruined vehicles, shell cases, scorch marks, and a few small burning fires. The crew slows down to investigate and to move some of the debris out of the road so they could pass. As they are making slow progress the roar of engines are heard in the distance moments before a motorcycle with a side car housing mutant octopus and a thin boy with a shotgun and a ATV speed around the bend. Before the crew can even react, a rocket is fired from the ATV wish narrowly misses 9s on his hover bike but the blast send him careening out of control, and off the side of the cliff. 

Wilhelm riding his Po Dog charge the ATV but Wilhelm gets hit with weapon fire and ducks into a long warehouse like building as the ATV jumps over some rubble to follow him. The ATV circles around and slams into the Po Dog which sends Wilhelm flying off into the sand. As the ATV driver continues to try to injuries the Po Dog, the driver meets the business end of Wilhelms sniper rifle and takes off. The second shot from the rifle goes wide as the ATV vanishes into the distance. 


During the same time, shots are exchanged between the crews hover van and the motorcycle with the side car. During these exchanges Kamanje notices that the hover van is really bogging down because they are now 2, then 3, and now 5! Hughies popping up. It is quickly surmised by Parrot that the radiation blast Hughie took form the Obb in the Killbox somehow caused him to mutate with temporal fatigue. Hughie keeps multiplying until they are 8 total and these Hughies start rolling out of the hover van. Before the rest of the crew could even get their bearings, two more motorcycles speed around the bend and head towards the hover van.  

Kamanje not missing a beat, speeds up and crashes into the two incoming motorcycles sending destroying the motorcycles with the sounds of screeching metal as one of the drivers fly through the window of the hover van. Parrot and Kamanje dodge the flying dead body but it lands on top of Hughie. 

As Kamanje tries to control their steerless hover van Parrot notices an armored tow truck bearing down on them with a two headed duck gesturing wildly at them with a shotgun, a mohawk burn wench driving, and a giant bare chested human hanging on the back of thee tow truck swinging around a tow hook. 

Kamanje, Parrot, and the OG Hughie all bail out of the hover van and quickly take up deference positions as Parrot fires his AK at the motorcycle with the side car - taking out the dirver and sending it crashing into a rock formation with a fiery explosion . Tthe tow truck continues to speed towards the hover van with obvious intent, two of the Hughies teleport inside of the truck - one of them fighting with the passenger and the other one grabbing the steering wheel and wrenching it to avoid a bone crushing collision. The antics are successful even though Kamanje had to leap to safety to avoid becoming road kill. The other 5 Hughies fire their crossbows with some of the bolts finding their mark as one of the Hughies in the tow truck pull the pin on a stun grenade and it explodes knocking everyone unconscious except the driver who takes a hard right into the burn to escape. 

Within in minutes of the remaining opponents escaping, they crew kills two of the unconscious Hughies which cause the other 5 to vanish in puffs of acrid smoke. The real Hughie falls unconscious as 9s finally makes his way back up over the cliff walking a dented an dbut still functioning hover bike. 9s looks at whats left of the hover van and the fresh carnage and asks, "What did I miss?". As they quickly scrounge for additional supplies they notice that their ambushers vehicles all had this symbol painted on them...

 
 
The crew does not find anything useful that survived the carnage and heads out once again. They take shelter in a decrepit warehouse just before night fall as Hughie wakes up with a double New Years Eve hangover. 

Just another Day in Detroit Suck City...
 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Alpha Blue: Character Sheets

 

The release of Alpha Blue Quickie we got an amazing deluxe character sheet designed by James V. West.

Though, they were provided in high resolution images and thanks to the help of The Great Mr. Gone of World of Darkness fame, I was able to place them into a PDF format. 

 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Review: Open Legend

 

This is one of those role playing games that when the Kickstarter  came out I was really excited about the premise as I have always been on the search for an open ended, do whatever you want, play in any setting, and within any genre game for sometime. I could not participate in the KS at the time and I followed it for a little while but the game ended up falling off my radar. It caught my attention again about a month ago when it was mentioned off handed in a forum post with the explanation of what it does. This sparked my interest again and I dove into learning about it and reading the game. 

I know there was some issues with the Kickstarter stretch goals not being finished after the Core Book and the Campaign setting were released, but the original author did the right thing and sold the company to Jonathan "Great Moustache" Potter. Great Moustache and friends has really done a great job at finishing the core books and pushing out the rest of the Kickstarter rewards. The Great Moustache and company have really worked hard on this endeavor to do right by the fans and have created a supportive and responsive community. To date, two of the five stretch goals have been completed and sent out. I have been told that there are future plans for content after all the Stretch Goals are completed. 

Disclaimer: I acquired the physical/pdf combos at a discounted price for review purposes.

Presentation: The core book clocks in at a 140 pages of full color on heavy glossy paper encased in a hardback. The book itself is a joy to flip through and look at. In addition, the layout is a very clean two column style with appropriate headers and all of that. It reads like a game book and it is easy to read from cover to cover. This book has the same high quality construction and layout as many other books from bigger companies that are double the cost. You get a lot of bang for your buck with the physical copy. 

Character Creation: Creation of Characters follow these steps;

  1. Describe Your Character: Choose a heroic name, a race (if applicable), two exceptional physical traits, two defining social traits, and a secret. All these options are fluff to help your background.
  2. Select Attributes: There are three physical, four mental, three social, and eight extraordinary attributes. Scores in these are bought with a point buy system of 40 points and each rank has its own cost. Though, three different spreads are given for quicker character creation, Specialized (5, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2), Well-Rounded (4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1), and Jack of All Trades (3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1). The extraordinary attributes cover magical, supernatural, mystical, etc. abilities and powers. 
  3. Record Defenses, Hit Points, and Speed: Toughness (10 + Fortitude + Will) protects you from attacks that test your endurance, bodily health, sturdiness, and survivability. For example, foes attempting to poison you, drain your life force, or stun you will target your toughness. Guard (10 + Agility + Might + Armor) protects you from attacks that can either be dodged, deflected, or directly withstood via raw physical power. Your enemies would need to overcome your guard in order to hit you with a grenade, shoot you with an arrow, or smash you with a maul. Resolve (10 + Presence + Will) represents your character’s ability to resist mental domination and stand brave in the face of danger. Enemies who wish to charm you, deceive you with illusions, or frighten you must target your resolve. Hit Points (2 X [Fortitude + Presence + Will] + 10) (or HP) are an abstract measure of how well you can ignore pain, avoid deadly blows, and maintain a presence on the battlefield in spite of wounds or exhaustion. If they reach zero, you fall unconscious and are at risk of death. Speed indicates how far your character can move using a single move action (see Chapter 7: Combat). Your base speed is 30 feet. Other effects, such as banes, boons, and feats may cause your speed to increase or decrease.
  4. Purchase Feats: At 1st level, you have 6 feat points to spend. Any leftover feat points may be saved for the future.
  5. Choose Starting Equipment: In a typical game of Open Legend, your character will start with the gear they need for the basic adventuring life. The GM, however, may decide that the campaign starts under special circumstances (such as the entire party caged in a slave convoy) that might dictate otherwise.
  6. Choose Perks and Flaws: Can choose up to two Perks and Two Flaws. Each Perk must have a Flaw chosen.  

There is a 7th step that is tell your story and have fun. Though, here is some advice in this step that I think is well placed that I am going to quote;

"Relax. Open Legend gives you a chance to step out of everyday life for a few hours and into a fantastical world where you can perform heroic deeds. Pour the Mountain Dew or grab a beer, order some takeout or pop open the pretzels—but whatever you do, shake the dice like your character’s life depends on it and have fun. If you’re playing a dwarf, maybe pull out your best Scottish accent. If your character’s a witch, squint your eyes and speak in riddles. If you’re no expert thespian, think of other ways to add to the fun: play adventurous music on your phone, illustrate the party’s escapades, and so on."

"Respect the GM. If you’ve never GM’d before, you might not realize all the work that goes into it. More likely than not, your GM worked for hours to put their campaign together and prep for this session. Go with their storyline, overlook any accidental inconsistencies, and don’t cause a ruckus just for the sake of causing a ruckus. If there’s a dispute over the rules, accept the GM’s final ruling and agree to look it up later for the sake of keeping the game going."

"Respect the other Players. Different people play roleplaying games for different reasons. Some enjoy the tactical, chess-like combat encounters. Others just want to tell an epic story. Still others are born actors, reveling in every conversation with every character. Whatever it is that you enjoy about playing Open Legend, just remember that not everyone else at the table may enjoy the same aspects. The GM is there to help every character shine, but you can help by not hogging the spotlight and by encouraging the other players to have fun, whatever that means for them." 

Resolution: The core mechanic is handled by the Action roll, which is 1d20 + Attribute Dice (the attribute rating gives you dice to roll with the d20) vs. Target Number (10/15/20/25/30). It is also important to note that all dice explode! Yep, even that d20. 

Another foundational idea that is baked into the core mechanic is absolute failure is not an option. This is to make sure that the story continues and does not come to a screeching halt when no one can find the clue or pass whatever check is needed. Outside of the character succeeding by meeting or exceeding the Challenge Rating, the characters can either succeed with a twist (there are examples and advice for this in Chapter 2) or the character fails but the story still moves on (there are examples and advice for this in Chapter 2). 

When violent combat breaks out, it follows these steps:

  1. Determine Surprise: This is handled by the fiction. 
  2. Roll for Initiative: Make an Agility Roll and place individuals in order. If there is a tie, whoever has the higher agility. If there is still a tie, determine randomly. 
  3. Taking Your Turn: Everyone has one major action (make a damaging attack, make a Bane attack, invoke a Boon, Assist an Ally, take an extra move action), and one move action. Or, they can take one focused action which grants Advantage 1 on the roll. Everyone can make an unlimited number of minor actions (such as make an opportunity attack, sustain a Boon, draw or sheath a weapon, retrieve an item stored on your person, make a perception roll, make a learning roll to recall important information, open a door/chest/drawer/etc.)
  4. Determine Defense [Targeted]: Guard protects against attacks that can be dodged, deflected, or avoided by taking cover, such as a ball of flame, magical wall of blades, or a laser beam. Toughness is used to defend against attacks that require bodily endurance, health, or sturdiness, such as poison and necrotic energy. Resolve guards against mental assaults and deceptions, such as attacks from a phantasmal beast or damage caused by an illusory pit.
  5. Calculate Damage: Any attack that inflicts damage is calculated by subtracting the targets defense by the total attack roll. 

In combat, the core mechanic works a little differently in determining keeping the action moving. Though, nothing is stopping the GM from saying a miss is a miss, etc. 

If the Action Roll equals or succeeds then the player succeeds. If the action roll is less then the challenge rating then the GM and the PC can both choose one of these options: Deal 3 damage, inflict 1 Bane of power less then less than or equal to 3, or Move 10' without attacks of opportunity. With these modified rules, a player’s failed attack roll means that the player may not get what they were aiming for, but they get something. And it comes at a cost because the GM also gets to choose an effect. Remember, also, that the rules for interpreting a failed roll only apply to PCs. For the GM, a success is a success and a failure is a failure (See chapter 2 for more details).

There are also advice with using Success with a Twist in Combat but some options are;

  • Put a character in danger
  • Expend a resource
  • Make an enemy or lose a friend
  • Overlook an important detail
  • Waste time
  • Attract attention
  • Find something you weren’t looking for

 Crunch: I will address some additional crunch below:

  • Open Ended Attributes: Basically, players (and the GM) make the attributes fit the fiction. There are usually no hard rules for this attribute for that or this. It is whatever makes sense and fits the fiction. Only ways to inflict damage have more rigid rules but still, 9 out of 18 can inflict damage.  
  • Banes: These are various status effects, falling prone, or ongoing damage that is inflicted on others. Bane Attacks are defended by the usual defenses. 
  • Boons: Boons are supernatural like affects that can affect others or the casting character. These are accomplished by a Task Roll vs. a difficulty determined by the Boons power level. 
  • Feats: You get feat points at character creation and when you level up. Characters start with 6 feat points and gain 3 per level. Some feats can be taken multiple times and range in cost from 1 to 3 points per level. All the feats add to the characters abilities and only one is a tactical feat that has to do with movement. 
  • Perks/Flaws: These help flesh out the character and characters can have a maximum of two perks and two flaws. Each perk must be followed with a flaw. 
  • Resist Bane: Costs a move action, roll a single unmodified d20 and on a 10+ the character ends the banes effects. After three failed Resist Banes attempts, the Bane automatically ends. 
  • Wealth: Instead of having a currency that requires constant addition and subtraction there is a wealth level system. All gear, equipment, cost of living, etc. has a corresponding wealth level. If the characters wealth level exceeds or matches the items wealth level, they are able to acquire it without a problem. If the item is higher then their wealth level, then they can still acquire the item or service but their personal wealth level is reduced by the difference. During play, characters wealth level can fluctuate by spending (liquidating assets) or acquiring wealth. 
  • Extraordinary Items: These are magical or very advance items that can be acquired in more complicated ways through the story besides just shopping or they can be made by a character with the appropriate feat. These items have an higher then usual Wealth level as well. 
  • Lethal Damage: From special sources, lethal damage reduces max HP and heals a slower rate. 
  • Death: When characters are reduced to zero or below hit points they are unconscious/out of the fight/etc. They can only be killed by a purposeful final blow. 

Final Thoughts: Reading through character creation and realizing that it is very open ended to a point where even decided how attributes can interact with the world are really up to the fiction was a lot of fun and I spent a lot of time trying out different character concepts and seeing if I could find a roadblock somewhere. So far, I have not been able to find one during character creation. 

I found it also refreshing that the core mechanic is really simple and has built in verbiage so the game does not come to a screeching halt because of a failed roll. The expanded combat rules also make combat a lot more interesting outside of hit/miss/hit/miss. Now there is no one saying that you cannot run combat that way. 

There are two things that take getting used to. One of them is the open ended of the use of attributes and skills. What you can do with them is really defined by the fiction and what the GM will allow. The second thing is that because all dice explode, it is possible for a character to get taken out in one what it (though this is also very possible for the opponents as well). This is by design and there are various ruled baked in to help support this (like the final blow, special rules for a boss fight, healing happens quickly, etc.). 

Now, there are a few things I would have like to have seen or done differently. 

  1. Due to the open endedness of the attribute and skills, I would like to have seen a lot more examples of uses in the core book as there are sometimes interactions that are not clear. 
  2. This is really an issue of semantics but the use of the word feat, use of feet for measurement, and some calculations at character creation really makes the game seem more tactical then it is. Once you get passed character creation you realize the game is very story driven and they is a very small tactical element to it (unless the GM wants to play this angle up). I think the use of different language and more abstraction for movement and distance would have gone a long way of eliminating this impression. 
  3. I am not a fan of the calculation for HP, this calculation more so then all of the others really had me making sure I was putting skills in various places to boost my total HP. HP only increases by stat increase so this furthers the MAD feel. I would have rather seen a flat HP total (around 25-30 covers the upper ends). 
  4. I really wish there would have been more direction involving when to roll and what type of situations require a roll. If a new player reads through the book without seeing some live plays or interacting with the wider community it gives the the idea that the player must roll for every activation of a boon, etc. Even in a non stressful situation or on a willing target. This is wrong as rolls are only required for dramatic effect and in stressful situations where failure or success at a cost would be interesting. 
  5. Depending on the situation, there could be a high stack of Advantages or disadvantages. Though, diminishing returns happen after three on both ends so it stops really being an issue of adding dice after three. In my experience and in a lot of live plays I have seen, most people stop at Advantage or Disadvantage 3. Though, due to this it is important the players know what advantages they have from their abilities and other sources and it is important that the GM use bonus advantage/disadvantage in consistent ways. If not, it can really bog down a round or the game (and pull from immersion) adding up advantages and subtracting disadvantages.

This is one of the truest classless, open ended, multi-genre, creative problem solving games I have ever seen. It does not even require thirty different setting books for various genres. One of the best things about this game is the community is amazing and very welcoming. This includes the man, "The Great Moustache" himself. Plus, Open Legend also has some great community designed resources and future plans once the original KS stuff is finished. 

Here are some ongoing live games;