A while ago Stock & Bull was featured in this article about tabletop and board game designers. The writer, Kyle of 21stcenturycardboard, was looking to interview people who developed their own original systems. We happily agreed and our own Sam Carter interviewed with Kyle to discuss Project: Powerpunk and why we created our game. The reason I bring up this old news is because we realized we were doing something not a lot of game developers apparently do; Instead of making a homebrew system based on a currently established one, like Dungeons and Dragons’ D20 System or White Wolf’s Storytelling System, we here at Stock & Bull set out to make our own original system for Project: Powerpunk. We made the B+ System. Why “B+”? Well, because it’s a passing grade.
The B+ System has been—and continues to be—meticulously designed to be modular so that players can play however they like at any level. There are some games that are simple from start to end, where you simply quest, loot, and move on and the difficulty only ramps up based on the stats of the NPCs and monsters that are faced. Other games offer a multitude of features that end up becoming ignored once players find “the right way to play” and stock up certain stats that guarantee victory in almost all situations. B+ aims to keep things engaging at any stage of play with versatility and scalability.
So what are the features of the B+ System? Well superpowers are certainly a major part of the system, especially Project: Powerpunk, but there is so much more. We wanted just about anything to be possible in our game so we put in the groundwork for and developed a number of different features and aspects to achieve that goal. We’ve worked on ways to create your own fighting style, made the professions you choose affect your character’s capabilities, built a fluid social combat system (which has been touched on here), and are trying to make sure players have the ability to craft almost anything. We want to do all these things and more so that players will always be able to look back at our game and find something new to enjoy. So keep tuning back here to learn more about B+ and please feel free to comment with any thoughts you have. We always want to know what the public is thinking because Project: Powerpunk is meant to be shared with everyone. Otherwise we’d have just kept it as our own private homebrew!
High Eldritch Scribe | 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.
In the time that we have been working on this game; we have learned to brace for trouble and problems, we have learned that Murphy's Law is absolute. When things go wrong you can only hope that you prepared well enough to break the fall with a roll and take off running. This attitude has gotten us through many smaller issues and even ones that seemed like they would really change the way the game is played (or made). It fails us from time to time and the other day was one of those times.
We were preparing for a developer's slug-fest over lunch
when a homeless guy decided to sit at the table we were at. He tells us in a thick, drunken accent parts of his life story. How he was a Jawa in the original Star Wars, how his family went into debt after the movie, then he asked for a meal.
The momentum for the meeting shifted and then he started making weird jokes with one of our lady friends. It went from mild inconvenience, to uncomfortable, to upsetting. We learned that, a thing like this can REALLY throw the mindset off.
How great would it be if we were big enough to have a real office so we wouldn't have random homeless guy hitting on my girlfriend?
We have not been on top of the blog (again). First, we had a poll here and the results of that poll went to the void because...we don't know why yet. It seems like it is such a common occurrence on this hosting server that they told us to get an app specifically for polls and we were really trying to figure that out. Second, we put more effort into the demo (to be released by months end so woo) and the post (while only weekly) started getting in the way of meetings and writing so it had to sit in the corner for a moment and take a number.
We are really trying to be better at this and until we can get there, we can only hope that you can excuse us and forgive us because we are indeed sorry for slipping like this. Third, and I will be the first to admit this is a curve ball of a segue but, what the hell did Netflix do to Reboot?!
It is like someone made a wish on a Monkey's Paw for more Reboot and while the wish DID come true, it came at a price, too high a price. The trailer was awful and the whole thing seems like a "lowest common denominator" cash in that takes a property from the 90's and early 2000's that a couple of us here really, REALLY, liked and just...smooshes it into trash. Someone decided to take an original idea, mix it with a generic sentai format (team made of: strong guy, girl, smarty and leader) clear away the charm from the old idea (programs being the characters and civilians so far removed from humanity that many thought that humans/users did not even exist!) and voila!
Odysseus, Anansi, Coyote and Alan Schaefer. One of these guys are not like the others. The first three are known for their wit, tricks, greed, cunning, fame, infamy and heroism. All three are in their own way social assassins and tricksters. Alan Scaefer, a.k.a Dutch, is the human who killed a Predator in the jungle in the 80's. While it is a heroic feat, physically taking down a Monster is the standard heroic feat. Orcs, goblins, kobolds, Ogres and even eventually Dragons will fall to the blade or spells in classic fantasy rpgs. But what about a broken heart? What about being blinded by a newfound hatred of something that once profoundly shaped who you grew up to be?
There are more ways to break a person than just a fist or some blunt tools. The Joker is quoted as saying "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day". When Wolverine killed his son by drowning him in a muddy puddle, Saber-tooth comes along clapping. He says, "All the cuts I've given you over the years--here's the deepest." While these villains are known for physical violence and mayhem, their worst moments are when they speak the truth. These were the inspirations we used in making a social combat system.
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!
Hey everyone, my name is Chris and I am one of the developers of Stock & Bull working to create Project: Powerpunk. This is my first time formally posting on this site but, as S&B’s editor, I’ve proofread and greenlit a number of the posts already up. I figured I’d make this post to remove a bit of the veil surrounding us to give readers a better sense as to who we are. So, I’d like to start with how I personally got into role-playing games.
I was first introduced to tabletop RPGs sometime after I had finished high school. One of my new friends invited me to his home to hang out with the rest of our group. Hanging out there soon became a regular thing and I would always be fascinated by these stories they told about the campaigns they ran: cyborgs fighting werewolves on the moon, a billionaire villain who insultingly tossed cash in his enemies’ faces, a mage who missed every fight because he was too busy trying to cast complex spells. I was trying to figure out where I could find and play these games they were talking about.
That’s because I thought they were talking about video games.
I found out that they weren’t talking about video games.
I learned that tabletop RPGs allowed for the type of creativity and imagination that I had always wanted in a game. I’m a huge fan of open-choice games and at the time, I believed the epitome of open-choice gaming was Fable; good, evil, or neutral with a few different paths to get to any of those outcomes. My mind was blown by the possibilities story-telling games offered. In a matter of days, I was filling out a character sheet for the Exalted campaign they were running. Next thing I knew, I was running my own long-term campaign for everyone. Now, years later, I’m working with that same group of friends to create our very own storytelling system.
I want to share our game not only with veteran players who love story-telling games as much as I have come to love them myself, but also with new, inexperienced players who want to find a great new way to unwind with friends. All of us here at S&B feel this way. That’s why we’ve been working to make Project: Powerpunk accessible and flexible for anyone to enjoy.
I’m glad to have you all here checking this blog for updates on our progress and I’m looking forward to all the feedback and suggestions you’ll have for us after we release our game. We want Powerpunk to keep growing and we have big plans for the direction we want to take it. So, thank you for sticking around and watching us grow. Trust me when I say that the payoff is going to be worth it.
High Eldritch Scribe |Stock & Bull Entertainment