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
Last week Friday, the gang came together and we tried to run a play test! It went as well as expected from a room full of people who haven't gamed in two and a half years.
First day of the week, time to get things done! Ended up playing Overwatch all day, crap.
Doing laundry, clothing, detergent foam, grayish water; Augmented Reality restaurant menus should be animated, steam coming off of hot food, utensils cutting, lifting and interacting with the food. Drinks infinitely pouring for free refills, cup already full for non free refills. Color tabs on the edge of menu, highlighted tabs for specials.
Are the rules really done, do we have enough things in place for people to do what they want? Is it still fun with all these bells and whistles? Conglomerate backed crypto-currency; offering to pay employees more in that currency than normal cash. They offer local businesses discounts and contracts to incentivize them into using their crypto-currency. Then threaten them with "action" if they refuse.
Season of the scavenger
If I'm not working on the game I feel like a beach. Waves of time crash into me, eroding away while I wait for a new idea to surface. It would be so much more fun if I could do this with my friends as a job; instead of having to pop in and out of creating things for the game and living a second life as a bored minimum wage worker. Government workers trying their best to keep their offices, agencies, organizations funded. The government is consolidating agencies in order to save money and cut red tape. The Agency of After-school Activities is trying to keep open all the rec centers. Their Agents have been given the okay to do anything they can to show that Recreational centers work.
Trying to write a blog post for the website, to get more views, to get more people interested in the game, to get more coke; AR baby daycare because Screw drone dog walkers! Little padded visor helmets showing different things teaching them young while they interact with not air but jungle gym surfaces. ...Nope we've built too many things in AR already, instead make it a AI teddy bear companion.
Mountain top mining, standing on top of a mountain and tearing it apart for materials. Ghost guns are guns built without serial numbers. 3D printed ghost guns might be a thing in our world. 3D printed pharmaceuticals on the black market, heart pills, asthma and other usually expensive medication. The answer to big pharma. Micro-chipping trafficked humans. Ex-vets turned vigilantes, Unionized prostitution, destabilizing the diamond industry with made to order customized artificial diamonds, Ride through the storm, see the knights fighting evil and crime.
A modern day team of heroes in medieval times.
Arthur and the Knights of Justice, putting evil down.
Ride through the storm with the knights of the table ’round Come on, come on!! (Guitar Solo!!!~)
King Arthur ride!!!!!!
First jumbo shrimp buffet day!
I think that by this point the writing style of each developer is becoming easier to identify. While we all write under the combined alias of "Stock and Bull" as a team, each one of us speaks with a particular voice. In general when it is my turn I actually have some difficulty figuring out what to say. Do I talk about myself, do I talk about my life? Do I talk about the product, the creation process, how far along we are or how far we landed from our original ideas? I usually land on the side of caution and talk more about the company and the game then I do myself. This is for two reasons:
One: We are a team and talking about me as the individual feels selfish.
Two: The talking Heads. (The band)
Obviously this begs explaining. While I am writing or looking over rules or devising NPC's or whatever Jack of All Trades Cap I am wearing for the day, I tend to work in silence for a while but inevitably that drives me batty and I turn on some music. And so it was that I was listening to a playlist today as I was trying to write up what was initially a very different post about ghosts, horror and pre-marital sex...yeah...I went off on a tangent and looked at the ramblings of the mad-man that started back at me. While I may go back to that one day, this time I heard the "Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime".
The part that best describes me is really "there is water at the bottom of the ocean"...nah that's bull. It's actually "same as it ever was" and that part is repeated over and over. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. That's what it feels like mostly. I will start winding this down as it is in danger of becoming more about me the person and less about me the game developer. While this seems more on the side of complaints, this is more akin to cautious ambivalence.
In the past few weeks (not months and certainly not years) I have been watching with renewed vigor and cautious optimism as what once seemed like a distant dream has become an actual possibility but even now there remain many smaller tasks that require attention and detailing that still feels like there remains a gulf to be overcome before the dream becomes reality. On a more optimistic note, I can see more than just a horizon now and over that gulf seems to be within reach.
I'm afraid. Very afraid. I'm gonna have to do something that I dread. I'm gonna have to do another test-drive of our system.
There's a couple things we do that bite us in the ass:
When we get ready to start showing our game to other people, we do an initial look-over to try and sense out some pain points that could need attention. Sensing out pain points means pushing them. I'm the person that tends to twist the system's arms and make it do things that it doesn't want to do.
I find a combination of new rules that are scary and old rules we forgot about. The old rules aren't terrible by themselves, but when they overlap with new things that took their place, we get stupid results. Like a lion jumping into a helicopter a hundred feet in the air to rescue its cub. Don't ask.
Actually, yes. Do ask. That's our process for breaking the game. We try and come up with the most uncomfortable scenarios we can think of and see if the fun of breaking things is outweighed by how fucked up the results are. Basically, the game's not broken unless one person has way more fun than everyone else. As long as people are having fun, we're okay with ridicuous results. In fact, we love them. There's a lot of abilities in this game that make us personally uncomfortable, but they're just so much more fun than they are uncomfortable.