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Atomic Robo RPG is now available for preorder!

Yesterday Evil Hat Productions finally made the Atomic Robo Roleplaying Game available for preorder! The preorder deal contains the printed book as well as the PDF. And the best is that while you have to wait for the book a bit longer, they’ll send you the PDF immediately!

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Luckily this preorder deal is not exclusive to the Evil Hat store, but Bits & Mortar stores can offer it as well. I just got my preorder from my favorite German online shop: Sphärenmeisters Spiele.

I have already leafed through the PDF and it’s as great as I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to give it a try!

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Fate Accelerated Idea: Ultima

When I was younger I was a huge fan of the Ultima CRPG series. Ultima VI was my first Ultima and I played it for months. Up to this day it’s probably my favorite title in the series, while Ultima VII is a close second. Over the years I made several attempts to run an Ultima game as a pen & paper roleplaying game, I even wrote a complete RPG from scratch back then. But for several reasons these projects never reached the early development stages.

While I was thinking about what games one could run using Evil Hat’s Fate Accelerated, my old Ultima projects came to mind. And then I had an interesting idea. Could you replace FAE’s Approaches with Ultima’s Eight Virtues?

In Ultima VI the player character becomes the Avatar, who is the embodiment of the virtues of honesty, compassion, valor, justice, sacrifice, honor, spirtuality and humility. These virtues where also tied to certain character classes in the older Ultima games. Mages were dedicated to honesty, Paladins to honor, Tinkers to sacrifice, and so on.

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The idea of using the virtues directly as approaches/skills has a certain charm, but alas it’s not without its own share of problems. I can easily see a character using valor when valiantly confronting a foe with sword in hand, but when do you actually use the sacrifice approach? Or how do you use honesty?

In the end it might actually be easier to keep the standard Approaches. Perhaps the virtues could play a greater role during character creation. One Aspect could actually be a favored virtue. A mage character might rely more on honesty than a bard for example.

At this moment I have no concrete plans for a Ultima game, but I love to throw ideas around. Thinking what you could do with the games you have at your disposal is half the fun. Overall I think Fate Core (or Fate Accelerated) would make a perfect fit for an Ultima game. For me the focus (of the later games) was more on the characters, their stories, and the philosophy surrounding the Eight Virtues and what they meant for the people, than killing monsters and taking their stuff. And that’s a kind of gameplay that’s perfectly supported by Fate.

What do you think of my idea? Would you play a game based on the Ultima series using Fate Accelerated. Do you believe the Virtues as Approaches concept might work? Please share your thoughs below!

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On being on the other side of the GM screen

For years I’ve been almost exclusively been in the GM seat, but recently I’ve actually had the chance to play in other people’s games. And I have to admit, I really enjoy being able to play just one character.

I guess I’ve been talking about the SF game I planned to run for ages now. But alas my preparations never reached the point that it would be finally playable. Luckily one of my players offered to run Deathwatch again, so instead of struggling to get the new game ready, I could lay back and just enjoy the show. :)

Storm WardenIn Deathwatch I play Morgan, a Tactical Marine from the Storm Wardens, who recently joined the Deathwatch. My girlfriend takes the role of Skold, a Space Wolves Devastator Marine, who loves to put his Heavy Bolter to action. Last but not least we are accompanied by a Dark Angels Librarian called Xaphan, who is as mysterious as dangerous.

The three of us already freed a planet from a nasty Tyranid infestation, destroyed a Hive Ship almost on our own, and had some quarrels with a Tau army. This time we are sent to help with the reintegration of a lost colony into the Imperium of Man. On the way to this world we also stumbled upon the strange doings of a Tech Adept on board of a Rogue Trader ship. Not even travel to our mission objectives is ever boring and uneventful.

Deathwatch is definitely a bit more crunchy than the games I usually play, but it’s fun nevertheless. But I really hope that the coming adventure will be a bit more about investigations and diplomacy than just killing hordes of monsters. Don’t get me wrong, combat in Deathwatch is a lot of fun, but I want more out of my roleplaying games than just killing monsters and taking their stuff. And as Space Marines we don’t even loot.

Far TraderI also play in a bi-monthly online game. We started with a Realms of Cthulhu adventure, but since one of the players couldn’t join us the last two times, we switched to the Traveller campaign which has been in the planning phase for far too long already. In this game I play Arlen Coronaar, a Solomonai ex-scout who just recently was recruited as engineer for the Far Trader Penthesilea. Last Tuesday the first two player characters where finally introduced to each other, and as soon as possible we’ll start with the “real” campaign.  By the way, we actually use Basic Roleplaying instead of the actual Traveller rules. We even talked about using Savage Worlds. This might seem a bit weird for some Traveller fans but for my GM and me the most interesting aspect of the Traveller game has always been the setting and not the rules.

I have to admit not being in the GM position is a welcome change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy being a GM, but it definitely puts more pressure on me than just being one of the players. And not having to run a game myself I have more free time to think about future campaigns. At the moment I am looking forward to converting my Fallout Fudged game to Fate Accelerated Edition. So don’t worry, I haven’t hung up the GM mantle yet. ;)

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