Good news everyone! We tested the demo, it proved everything we knew and everything we didn't know! Let's thank Chad from NYC Tabletop RPGs for letting us crash his wework gamer space. His crew runs tabletop games over in Brooklyn, New York and all are welcomed. If interests are peaked check them out on meetup, drop in on their comfy discord chat or if you're feeling frisky throw some coins at their Patreon.
In spite of me leaving some important docs at home, forgetting everything I was going to do with the premade adventure; It went better than I thought it would. The system handled everything the players wanted to do. We were able to see physical combat and a number of powers "in action". Among the boys in the lab, there were worries, concerns one could say; if people would be confused by the wording, how fast people would pick up on the internal logic and the system, the concept of your powers being used through your normal stats in order to make them feel more like an extension of the character and of course the powers themselves. Now we know which were “shadows” and which were actual problems. I will now share with you all the shadows that loomed in the darkness, the terrors in the night, that this demo has dragged into the light.
The first “shadow”, the learning speed and comprehension. What I mean is how long it takes to understand the system and how long until players start actively exploring out from the normal bounds of basic tabletop gaming. You can learn something but until you’re comfortable with it you won't venture deeper into it and we needed to know how long till they got comfortable. Answer, not long whatsoever. Once they knew their stats and they got a few tastes of how much they could actually do the floodgates opened. The taste came in the form of an out of combat medicine check that revealed a bullet wound was made by a large screw, not a bullet. The use of telepathy to skim the minds of the enemies, transforming into a tiger for stealth attacks, high density body blocks and face destroying super speed punches. Somewhere in between these points each player came to understand just what they could pull off and began to dive deeper. Fears dispelled, the”shadow” was just a jacket on the chair.
Second “Shadow”, Basic combat and out of combat. Ease, Balance, and Versatility are the cornerstones of combat in any game. Now when I say combat I really should be saying conflict because any time you want something to go one way but circumstances say otherwise, there's conflict. Wanting to beat a villain, pick a lock, break into a place, pass by unseen, win a race, keep someone alive; all these things would have some form of opposition ... conflict. That's what we tested as well, normal strikes, weapon strikes, power strikes, out of combat tasks and challenges as well as power assisted tasks out of combat. Other than one problem-child among the powers(We'll probably talk about that in a different post) it all went awesome sauce. Basic combat works which means we can implement more advanced combat options in the form of “COMBAT STYLES” (also a future post). Combat styles will add a crunchy layer to combat that lets you flavor how your character throws down. Out of combat actions worked too which now allows us to bring in PRACTICES, all the things you know and know how to do outside of combat (Ha! Not a future post, we already touched on it in a previous post but since changes are being planned, well, we will get back on it. In a future post). Fears dispelled, this “shadow” was jus- CRAP WATER BUG! Could have been worse.
Finally, the last “shadow” were things we knew before going in; Social Combat and the Demo. Full Disclosure, we actually started retooling Social Combat just after finishing the demo but the retool would take us a while to finish so we just went with the version that we knew wasn't going into the final version. You might ask "Et tu, Brutus!?!"; hear us out, since inflicting emotions is a large part of social combat in both versions and we wanted to see what people thought about the base idea we continued. The demo's layout was, to put it kindly, a little on the messy side, it was our first time making one but I don't think we did that bad. In the adventure we have easy, medium and hard options of running the encounters but they're right on top of each other which does add replayability but makes it difficult to read and the NPC list at the end of the adventure leaves much to be desired. It helped us learn though so we can say with confidence the next demo will be better. It'll have more focus on the setting, not just test the basic system and it will test some of the more advanced system options and who knows; maybe it'll even look good. Fear dispelled, it was the monster from the closet just hiding under the bed. Wait, what?
Once again we cannot thank NYC Tabletop RPG and the people that helped us test this out enough. From right to left; D,M,K and J(Thumbs Up).
Ethereal Deep Diver "Sam" | Stock & Bull Entertainment
"...you can go sideways, and slantways, and longways, and backways..."
-Willy Wonka, describing the effects of Gravity Control
This sketch and the previous rough brought to you by Alvaro Estrada.
Turning people into unwitting pawns is the purview of the power Mind Control!
This sketch and the previous rough brought to you by Alvaro Estrada.
Vera Bleacher A.K.A. Breacher: If Ares picked favorites then the bleacher family was it; they've fought in every war this country involved it's self in. Vera Bleacher, fourth youngest grew up in a house run like a platoon. Emotional availability and self expression were tossed onto the pyres of duty and efficiency. Tasks were doled out based on skills and abilities, hers was protecting the siblings. The girl could take a beating like nobody's business. Her near indomitable resolve made her tougher than most grown men. Shielding people from danger was her calling and when Uncle Sam called collect, she accepted the charges.
Desert storm two, the Russo-American flex fest in the sands (America's world trade center and Russia's Red Square were attacked by terrorists, mirroring the events of 1812). A war that to this day is shrouded in myth, mysteries and misunderstanding. She was there and the events that transpired aren't care to her either. What Vera and other Vets can agree on is that soldiers, enemy combatants, and rumors of special abilities vanish in the mists of the Contractors. Distant, dangerous, overpaid, maniacs that bled "need to know" and when word of Vera's toughness reached them they began moving in. Vera isn't sure when her powers surfaced; maybe after the third IED, the twelfth building breach, the chili diarrhea incident or hell she might have always had them but never noticed. But after the murder LLCs moved their chow table next to her scout's she knew it was time to go home.
Vera got her 50th documented kills, some IED fragments in her chest, a few medals and a medical honorable discharge. When she returned home she found her family in pieces. Most dead due to health issues sprung from; poisoned air and water from hazardous industrial runoff, dangerous work environments, drug addiction fostered by predatory pharmaceutical companies, growing criminal influence, and a government slashing funding to anything not connected to bullets and business. Home had become as bad as the lands she fought in and it's all the fault of a small few, a powerful few but now she has power too.
Image: Neck length Blonde hair, glasses, stacked and has a full back tattoo. The tattoo is dedicated to her time in the marines, as lead breach and the fifty confirmed kills she gained in service.
Quote: *Drunken burp* I Killed Fitty Men!~ ("In 1812 both Washington and Moscow burned, 2001 The world trade center and Red square are attacked, coincidence?!")
Absorption: Absorb energy to enhance your character instead of taking damage
Native Element Control Kinetic: Control elements to attack, defend and build
Weaver's Note: In Vera's mind she believes that there is no safe place, no shelter. The Front line is everywhere. She does her best to give off the air of a retired Vet but; inside she is paranoid and terrified that she is now trapped in a never ending war. Feeding into her paranoia or promising the next mission will ensure a better protection from outside forces usually works to convince her to "soldier on".
Vera was inspired by the song "B.Y.O.B." I have included it here for your listening pleasure.
Here's a rough sketch of one of the Demo pictures!
Are we excited? Yes, yes we are.
Are you excited? We hope so!
Malic Duo A.K.A Apex: Young Malic's aunt Mabel told him he was going to be something great, told him he came from good stock. She told him to walk tall like his proud mother and to share her pride, speak with authority like his law defending father and to share his authority. Above all else, he should always be proud of where he came from. Like most things from Mabel though this was just brightly colored spackle covering a bigger problem.
Aunt Mabel was really just an abused wife who never had a child of her own due to the ferocity and frequency of the beatings she endured from her alcoholic husband. She needed someone to believe the lies that she'd lost the heart to believe in. In truth, Malic's mother died of a Overdose a few weeks after giving birth to him and his father is a lifer, lost in the prison system; bouncing from jailhouse to jailhouse.
Once the truth came out, Malic left Mabel and made a beeline for the City. He got a job off the books, paid in cash at nights end. Turns out there's all sorts of unsightly work for people running from their name. He used that money to buy a new identity; new name, new face, new family, new him, the whole nine yards. He shed the lies of Mabel and carved himself a new lie all his own. It was all going well, his sculpted physique and rehearsed charismatic personality brought him admiration, accolades and envy. An unscrupulous man’s woman took a liking to Malic, while the unscrupulous man took a liking to the idea of post-mortem Malic. At the woman’s penthouse the couple planned to strike down Malic, but in the heat of the moment his powers surfaced. Call it a spirit animal or the physical manifestation of his desire to change but Malic became a beast of claws, fangs and fury.
While the blood and viscera coagulated on his claws and the taupe accented walls; he took a new name for his new form. Apex. To forever commemorate where he was reborn and what his place in this world is. The Top. Where he stands unopposed, with no equal. Now he is brash, blunt, he wholeheartedly believes that might equals right, and he is out to enlighten the world beneath him that he is always right.
Image: Malic stands tall with his just under bulky frame, ocean blue eyes and short black slicked back hair. Sharp is his preferred style of dress, If he isn’t walking under the light of the day star he prefers to walk in the skin of his apex chimera.
Quote: "An appetite for destruction , quick to violence, strifeful, impatient? You say this as if it were a bad thing."
Animal Transformation: Change into beasts or even Chimeric monsters of your own design!
Body Adaptation: Alter the body to survive harsh environments!
Weaver's Note: For all the bravado and flexing he is a boy running from a legacy of victims. Giving him the opportunity to show off or victimize peoples or groups is his catnip. Rebuke him with his short comings or compare him to his failed family members when necessary.
Malic was inspired by the song "Big Cat." I have included it here for your listening pleasure.
We're making a demo for the game! How does one make a demo for a tabletop RPG?! Start with a Dash of adventure, Stir in pre-made characters and bake with only the rules necessary to run that adventure. Set on the internet for one month and read the feedback.
A quick breakdown; It's for 2 to 6 players including a narrator. Each player chooses one character. Each character comes with a quick backstory to get a feel for them, their own unique powers, with a few tricks to get you thinking. The Adventure involves intrigue, action, twists, turns and rewards out of the box thinking.
Stay tuned to the blog to keep abreast of our progress with the demo, sneak peeks of the characters, sketches of some of the art (some might just be crude concept sketches) and more about the world you'll be stepping into.