Saturday, August 31, 2019

Dwarven Federation Martial Style - Stones Breath

Stones Breath

Created and almost exclusively possessed by stonekeepers Stones Breath is a very cinematic and Chi based style.  It relies heavily on Ki powers (what others may call Chi) to account for stonekeepers low strength and innate abilities. It is compatible with the Elemental Martial Arts, but few bother to learn both.

Students

Beginning students focus on basic moves, exercise (mostly Running), and Meditation. They are not typically very effective fighters due to thee low strength.
4 points
Skills: Karate, Meditation, Running
Techniques: Feint (Karate).
Optional Traits: Energy Reserve (Ki); Kiai


Adepts

An Adept has learned to effectively harness their ki. Thy have Ki Investment at level 1 and of course work up from there. Some abilities require an attribute roll to succeed, this can be replaced by Kiai for HT rolls and Meditation for IQ or Will rolls if desired.
27 points
Skills: Kiai (H) HT-2 [1]; Karate (H) DX [4], Meditation (H) Will [4], Running (A) HT [2].
Required Traits: Ki Investment (Chi Sorcery, Pyramid #3/105) 15 points for level 1, +7/level. 
Ki Talent Abilities

  • Level 1: (15) Breaking Blow; Chi Sensing; Concealment; Invisibility Art; Light Walk; Lizard Climb; Mental Strength; Zen Archery.
  • Level 2 (22) Anatomic Control; Immovable Stance; Kiai; Phoenix Heart; Power Blow; Precognitive Parry; Push; Sensitivity.
  • Level 3 (29) Iron Skin; Breath of Life; Hypnotic Hands.
  • Level 4 (36) Flying Leap; Pressure Secrets.
  • Level 5 (43) Blind Fighting; Dim Mak; Throwing Art.
  • Level 6 (50)
  • Level 7 (57) Pressure Points.
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Extra Attack 2; Perfect Balance.

Masters

The Master has reached the pinnacle of Ki Investment and further refined their skills.
72 points
Skills: Kiai (H) HT [4]; Karate (H) DX [4], Meditation (H) Will [4], Running (A) HT [2].
Required Traits: Ki Investment 7 [57].
Optional Traits: 

GURPS Prime Directive

GURPS Prime Directive 4e, Revised is out!
First created for GURPS Third Edition this is a Powered by GURPS product.  That means its a complete game, and one that is fully compatible with GURPS. So GURPS players wont need to learn a new system to play in the Star Fleet Battles universe, and those not familiar with GURPS will have a complete and battle tested (Fourth Edition was published in 2004, the original system published in 1986) game system.
Currently PDF only, a hard copy is expected early next year the book is on W23 as Volume 1 Creating a Character, Volume 2 Playing the Game, and a bundled Vol 1 & 2 set.

This is not really Star Trek but its as close as your likely to get!
Based on the Star Fleet Battles wargame this adds a roleplaying option in a non canon Star Trek universe. Its a lot like the Star Trek animated TV series if your familiar with that.

Included is information on most of the Alpha Quadrant, with of course all you need to play a Star Fleet character.  Even medals and promotions are include for the up and coming officer!
Templates speed character design, a nice feature - though of course custom characters are still available.

One of the new things is a chapter on space combat which can be used or experienced GURPS players can work with the standard GURPS space combat system using the GURPS Spaceships line, adding options to build new ships with different technologies to throw a curve at your players. From Precuser tech to cross setting scenarios.
Not to fret if you dontwant to design a ship right away as included are several ships, including large freighter, Free Trader (with Deck plans!), security skiff, Federation heavy cruiser, Klingon D7 battlecruiser, Romulan War Eagle, Kzinti command cruiser, Gorn Allosaurous Battlecruiser, Tholian patrol corvette, Oriion Pirate light cruiser, and the standard administrative shuttlecraft.
An adventure "Rescue on Roon" is also included.

Dwarven Federation Martial Styles - Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and Lightning

An elite style that combines expertise with the sling and Sigil magic to create deadly rains of stones. They guard battlements, patrol, and merchant escorts, but their primary role is to support the Granite Guard. Slings are typically normal, though dart slings (GURPS Low Tech, p. 76) are often used for hunting and staff slings are unusual and mostly used above ground (if at all). Sigil magic is also used to enhance the kusari which is their main backup weapon. Some soldiers will modify a kusari for use as a sling by adding a central pouch, this lets them quickly switch weapon modes in combat.
Note: Sigil Magic is a combination of traits in this setting. It includes the basic knowledge of sigils every dwarf is raised on (Increased TL), the Imbuement advantage, and Symbol Magic.

Students

Students are expected to be able to competently fight in both ranged and melee combat so this is a mixed style.
4 points
Skills: Judo; Kusari; Sling.
Techniques: Aggressive Parry; Armed Grapple; Crack; Disarming; Entangle; Evade; Return Strike; Sweep; Triangle Choke; Trip.
Cinematic Skills: 
Cinematic Techniques:
Optional Skills: Bolas; Running.
Optional Techniques: Throw Kusari (H; Bola -4).
Perks: Eye For Distance; Weapon Bond

Adepts

Once the student learns to effectively use Sigil magic they are considered adepts. The first Imbuement skill learned is Forceful Blow which is used to break up enemy formations, slow down ravening hordes, or just help knock foes down.
34 points
Skills: Forceful Blow (VH) DX [8]; Judo (H) DX [4]; Kusari (H) DX [4]; Sling (H) DX+1 [8].
Additional Traits: Imbuement (Magic) 1 [9].
Perks:
Optional Traits: Energy Reserve (Magic) [3/level]; Imbuement 2 or 3 [18, 36]; Magery; Weapon Master (Kusari) [20].

Masters

As the practitioner becomes Master rank they are proficient in all levels of Sigil magic and effectively a mage,though a starting one. While dwarves can and do learn magic in other ways, this is by far the most common method.
65 points
Skills: Forceful Blow (VH) DX [8]; Judo (H) DX [4]; Kusari (H) DX [4]; Lexicon (Dwarven) (VH) IQ [8]; Sling (H) DX+1 [8]; Symbol Drawing (Calligraphy) (VH) IQ [8].
Additional Traits: Imbuement (Magic) 1 [9]; Magery [15].

Dwarven Federation Martial Style - Silver Guard

Silver Guard

Town defense and policing is an important, though less glamorous function of the military. This style represents the training of those charged with this duty and focuses on non-lethal weapons to capture drunkards and other miscreants. Many members of the Silver Guard have also been part of the Granite Guard.

Patrolman

Students are expected to learn the basics, but Evade and Feint are commonly practiced as well.
4 points
Skills: Axe/Mace; Kusari; Observation.
Techniques: Aggressive Parry; Armed Grapple; Crack; Disarming; Entangle; Sweep; Trip.
Cinematic Skills: 
Cinematic Techniques: 
Optional Skills: Bolas; Knot-Tying; Running; Wrestling.
Optional Techniques: Throw Kusari (H; Bola-4).
Perks: Weapon Bond

Silver Fist

Members who have earned this rank wear a badge with a silver fist when on duty and can get their gauntlets inlaid with a design of silver. Not only are they typically more skilled in combat, they have basic training in the law and observing situations. Also learning the basic glower language is required so they can understand and respond to alerts.
12 points
Skills: Axe/Mace (A) DX [2]; Gesture (Glower) (E) IQ+1 [2]; Kusari (H) DX [4]; Law (Criminal) (H) IQ-2 [1]; Observation (A) Per [2].
Additional Skills: .
Perks: .
Optional Traits:

Silvered Helm

Those distinguished with the title of Silver Helm are of course proficient with weapons but also well versed in the law so they can better uphold it. While Weapon or Trained by a Master are rare, its this rank that is reached before that becomes an option.
30 points
Skills: Area Knowledge (E) Town) IQ [1]; Axe/Mace (A) DX+2 [8]; Gesture (Glower) (E) IQ+1 [2]; Kusari (H) DX+2 [12]; Law (Criminal) (H) IQ-2 [4]; Observation (A) Per [2].
Additional Skills: 
Perks:
Optional Traits:  Extra Attack 2; Weapon Master (Kusari) [20].

Dwarven Federation Martial Styles - Granite Guard


Granite Guard

This represents the standard soldier training, including advanced levels. It focuses on effective shield use with axe/mace and spear as primary weapons. As primary front lint fighters they are expected to take a pounding, hold the line as long as possible, then get right back up and do it again.

Grunt

Grunt is used respectfully and represents the basic training of soldiers of the line which make up the bulk of the dwarven forces. Solders are expected to spend most of their time training and thus most will have more than basic skill levels.
5 points
Skills: Axe/Mace; Shield; Spear; Sumo Wrestling.
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand;
Cinematic Skills: Immovable Stance; Push.
Cinematic Techniques: 
Optional Skills: Acrobatics; Armory (Melee Weapons); First Aid; Hiking; Thrown Weapons (Axe); Thrown Weapons (Shield); Thrown Weapons (Spear);
Perks: Hold The Line; Sacrificial Block; Shield Familiarity; Shield-Wall Training; Weapon Bond.
Optional Traits: Enhanced Block; Hard to Kill; Hard to Subdue; High Pain Threshold; Rapid Healing; Recovery; Shield Mastery [15/level]; Weapon Master (Dwarven -Axe/Mace, Shield, Spear) [35]; Weapon Master (Shield) [25].
Note: Some of this material is from Shield Bearers in Pyramid #3/118. The price of Weapon Master (Dwarven Weapons) is higher than suggested in GURPS Basic but includes thrown versions and the benefits of Weapon Master (Shield).

Rooks

The rank of Rook is granted to those who demonstrate proficiency and can be counted on to anchor key parts of a shield line. This level is more common among dwarven soldiers than the Adept rank is found in typical styles. In fact one must obtain the Rook title before obtaining the first level of Rank (Military), at least as standard units.
15 points
Skills: Axe/Mace (A) DX+1 [4]; Shield (E) DX+1 [4]; Spear (A) DX [2]; Sumo Wrestling (A) DX+1 [4].
Additional Skills: Carousing; Kiai; Kusari; Leadership.
Perks:
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Extra Attack 2; Lifting ST; Perfect Balance; Very Rapid Healing [15 +10/level; see MH Power Ups p.13].

Castles

These elite soldiers are practically a line unto themselves! Weapon Master is practically standard, and they are afforded the respect of a knight in medieval Europe.
44 points
Skills:  Axe/Mace (A) DX+2 [8]; Shield (E) DX+4 [12]; Spear (A) DX+1 [4]; Sumo Wrestling (A) DX+2 [8]; Thrown Weapon (Spear) (E) DX [2].
Additional Traits: Status 2.
Optional Traits: 

Power-Ups

Action 3 Furious Fists: Disarming; Feint; Rappelling; Retain Weapon.
Dungeon Fantasy 11 Power-Ups: 
Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1: Duct-Tape Bandage [14, 21, 28]; Enhanced Critical (Shield) [1/level]; Greater Weapon Bond [5/level]; It's Just a Scratch [12, 25, 32]; Tough Guy [10/level]; Weapon Specialist [10/level].

Commonwealth Martial Style - The Watch

The Watch

This is a standardized style taught to the town watch. It focuses on effective and quick combat, typically against lightly armored foes. Skills ranks are recognized as Watchman, Watch Sergeant, and Watch Captain, though these are not the actual ranks in authority.
The watch works under the mayor,not the ruling noble and is primarily concerned with keeping the peace and maintaining order within the town. They are not responsible for town defense or its outskirts, though they can be pressed to help as needed.
Cinematic skills and abilities are rarely learned as part of the Watch. Those few who possess such unusual abilities tend to be retired adventurers or soldiers.



Watchman

Students are expected to learn the basics, but Evade and Feint are commonly practiced as well.
5 points
Skills: Broadsword; Running; Shortsword; Tonfa.
Techniques: 
Cinematic Skills: 
Cinematic Techniques: 
Optional Skills: Carousing; Intimidation; Observation; Savoir-Faire (The Watch/Police).
Optional Techniques: 
Perks: 
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Duty

Watch Sergeant

At this rank the stylist is typically in charge of a larger patrol or coordinating the patrols in a section of the city. While weapon skills are expected to be improved a lot of training time is spent on other skills.
20 points
Skills: Area Knowledge (E) IQ [1]; Broadsword (A) DX+1 [4]; Intimidation (A) Will [2]; Law (Criminal) (H) IQ [4]; Observation (A) Per [2]; Running (A) HT [2]; Savoir-Faire (The Watch/Police) (E) IQ [1]; Tonfa (A) DX+1 [4].
Additional Skills: Leadership.
Perks:
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Duty; Police Rank 1 or 2 [2/level].

Watch Captain

Typically in charge of a shift in a town or district of a city. At this point the watchman has likely served in the same city at least a year and demonstrated dedication towards protecting the city. This level is actually awarded by or with the approval of the City Spirit. The Watch Captain is granted the ability to sense and talk to nearby spirits, which is very helpful in dealing with many problems and early warning of problems.
46 points
Skills: Area Knowledge (E) IQ+1 [2]; Broadsword (A) DX+2 [8]; Intimidation (A) Will+1 [4]; Law (Criminal) (H) IQ [4]; Leadership (A) IQ [2]; Observation (A) Per+2 [8]; Running (A) HT [2]; Savoir-Faire (The Watch/Police) (E) IQ [1]; Tonfa (A) DX+1 [4].
Additional Traits: Medium [10].
Perks:
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Duty; Police Rank 2 to 4 [2/level]; Spirit Empathy; Totem (City Spirit).

Rank and Hierarchy

The Town Watch has Police Rank [2/level] but no Legal Immunity. Rank is not based on experience, quality of service, and often how well they get along with others, especially their superiors.
Villages will typically have a watch of 5 to 10 members, leader with Police Rank 1.
Towns and cities will have a watch of 1 per 100 to 1000 citizens.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Commonwealth Martial Style - Three Swords School


This is a practical hard hitting style that focuses on sword mastery. Its unusual in focusing on multiple sword skills, but stylists are well able to fight at different reaches and circumstances. Practitioners are also taught endurance and toughness in body and mind.
Students are also taught how to maintain and repair their weapons.

Student

This style gets its name because stylists are taught to use three different blades of varying length. This allows close in fighting, enhanced parrying, and balanced damage against either armored or unarmored opponents.

  • Blade 1: Is a knife with a basket hilt and tines to help catch and bind a foes weapon. Its primarily used with Main-Gauche skill in the off hand but Jitte/Sai to attack, sometimes dual wielded. Sw-3 cut; Reach C,1 or thr+1 imp; Reach C; Parry 0; 1025 lb.; $75.
  • Blade 2 is a Smallsword - Thr+1 imp; Reach 1; Parry 0F; 1.2 lbs; $400. Used with Smallsword (fencing) skill.
  • Blade 3 is a Thrusting Greatsword - sw+3 cut Reach 1,2 or thr+3 imp Reach 2; Parry 0; 7 lbs; $700. Used with Two-Handed Sword skill.
5 points.
Skills: Jitte/Sai; Main-Gauche; Smallsword; Two-Handed Sword.
Techniques: Bind Weapon (Main-Gauche); Bind Weapon (Smallsword); Feint (Jitte/Sai); Feint (Smallsword).
Cinematic Skills: Body Control.
Cinematic Techniques: Mental Strength
Optional Skills: Armory (Melee Weapons). Fast Draw (any)
Perks: Weapon Bond
Optional Traits: Enhanced Parry 3; Hard to Kill; Hard to Subdue; High Pain Threshold; Recovery.

Adept

The rank of Adept comes with demonstrated proficiency in each of the styles weapons.
12 points
Skills: Armory (Melee Weapons) (A) IQ [2]; Fast Draw (Knife) (E) DX [1]; Jitte/Sai (A) DX [2]; Main-Gauche (A) DX [2]; Smallsword (A) DX [2]; Two-Handed Sword (A) DX [2].
Additional Skills: Thrown Weapon (Knife).
Perks: Armor Familiarity; Sheer Speed (DF11).
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Extra Attack 2; Weapon Master (Three Swords School) [30].

Master

For Master rank the stylist has to demonstrate a high level of skill with all the schools weapons and forge at least one of their weapons. Masters learn special secrets resulting from the close kinship they have with their blades.
25 points
Skills: Armory (Melee Weapons) (A) IQ+1 [4]; Fast Draw (Knife) (E) DX+1 [2]; Fast Draw (smallsword) (E) DX+1 [2]; Jitte/Sai (A) DX+1 [4]; Main-Gauche (A) DX+1 [4]; Smallsword (A) DX+1 [4]; Two-Handed Sword (A) DX+1 [4].
Additional Skills: 
Perks: Armor Familiarity; Sheer Speed (DF11).
Optional Traits: Enhanced Dodge 3.

Power-Ups

Action 3 Furious Fists: Disarming; Feint; Retain Weapon; Roll With Blow.
Dungeon Fantasy 11 Power-Ups:  Heroic Reserves [3/level]
Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1: Blurred Attack [9/level]; Greater Weapon Bond [5/level]; One With Your Weapon [19/level]; Tough Guy [10/level]; Weapon Specialist [10/level]. Perks: Blade Fencer, Equilibrist, Esoteric Material Bond.

This style was inspired by the Dark Border series, author Paul Edwin Zimmer.  A great dark fantasy trilogy and another book I cant recall the name of where the female protagonist learned three different blades.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Leapers Martial Style - Flying Sticks

This flashy martial style includes more skills than most combat styles, due mostly to it being such a major part of a hunters life. A hunter will leap high into the air to gain extra range and visibility and then throw a javelin or dart at its prey. For finishing moves they typically Fast Draw a sabre on the way down and slash or thrust to deadly effect. When dueling they will leap at each other and make a quick fencing strike in mid air!
This style is occasionally taught to non leapers but is extremely difficult for most other races to master.
Note: For Leapers the Flying Leap skill is not cinematic

Students

Students are expected to learn the basics, in order to be competent hunters. Javelins are taught before darts so younger students can attack from a safer distance.
7 points
Skills: Acrobatics; Fast Draw (Javelin); Jumping; Sabre; Thrown Weapon (Spear); Tracking.
Techniques: Breakfall; Feint (Sabre).
Cinematic Skills: Flying Lunge (Sabre); Power Blow; Springing Attack (Sabre); Throwing Art.
Cinematic Techniques: Push
Optional Skills: Breath Control; Fast Draw (Dart); Fast Draw (Sabre); Flying Leap; Thrown Weapon (Dart); Parry Missile Weapons.
Optional Techniques: 
Perks: Weapon Bond

Adepts

Adepts are expected to be well rounded and competent with each of the hunting weapons and skills.
26 points
Skills: Acrobatics (H) DX [4]; Fast Draw (Dart) (E) DX+2 [4]; Fast Draw (Javelin) (E) DX+2 [4]; Fast Draw (Sabre) (E) DX [1]; Jumping (E) DX+2 [4]; Sabre (A) DX [2]; Thrown Weapon (Spear) (E) DX+2 [4]; Tracking (A) Per [2].
Additional Skills: 
Perks: Sheer Speed (DF11).
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Extra Attack 2; Heroic Thrower (Pyramid #3/89) [20]; Perfect Balance; Super Jump 3; Super Throw 2; Weapon Master (Fencing, Throwing).

Masters

At this level the stylist is typically the best hunter in the tribe and very proficient.
46 points
Skills: Acrobatics (H) DX+2 [12]; Fast Draw (Dart) (E) DX+2 [4]; Fast Draw (Javelin) (E) DX+2 [4]; Fast Draw (Sabre) (E) DX [1]; Jumping (E) DX+2 [4]; Sabre (A) DX+1 [4]; Thrown Weapon (Spear) (E) DX+4 [12]; Tracking (A) Per+1 [4].
Note: Throwing Art can replace Throwing (Spear) in the requirements.
Additional Skills: Flying Leap.
Perks: Sheer Speed (DF11).

Power-Ups

Action 3 Furious Fists: Disarming; Feint; Retain Weapon; Roll With Blow; Stamp Kick.
Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1: Greater Weapon Bond [5/level]; Weapon Specialist [10/level].

Commonwealth Martial Style - The Flynn School

The Flynn School

This is a highly acrobatic and flashy style, favored by young nobles and sailors. While not quite as popular as the Dashing Fox style it has schools in most cities. It is less individualistic and more cohesive in tradition so members fight very similar to each other. Some learn to use an off hand weapon such as the Main-Gauche but the preference is to keep the off hand free to help with acrobatic moves.

Students

Students are expected to learn the basics, but Evade and Feint are commonly practiced as well.
4 points
Skills: Acrobatics; Jumping; Sabre
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand; Bind Weapon (Sabre); Breakfall; Evade (Acrobatics); Feint (Sabre); Spinning Strike (Sabre);
Cinematic Skills: Flying Lunge (Sabre); Grand Disarm (Sabre); Rapier Wit; Springing Attack (Sabre)
Cinematic Techniques: Push
Optional Skills: Climbing; Main-Gauche; Running.
Optional Techniques: 
Perks: Naval Training; Weapon Bond

Adepts

The emphasis is on movement and agility over weapon skill resulting in a more defensive style.
13 points
Skills: Acrobatics (H) DX+1 [8]; Jumping (E) DX+1 [2]; Sabre (A) DX [2].
Additional Skills: Flying Leap.
Perks: Armor Familiarity; Sheer Speed (DF11).
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Extra Attack 2; Perfect Balance; Terrain Adaptation; Weapon Master (Sabre).


Masters

While some breadth is added, those of Master rank primarily excel at movement skills and swordsmanship. At this level a lot more training is done with the sabre.
17 points
Skills: Acrobatics (H) DX+2 [12]; Jumping (E) DX+1 [2]; Sabre (A) DX+1 [4].
Additional Skills: Flying Leap.
Perks: Armor Familiarity; Sheer Speed (DF11).
Optional Traits: Enhanced Dodge 3; Quicksilver Strike

Power-Ups

Action 3 Furious Fists: Acrobatic Stand; Balancing; Disarming; Dive n' Roll; Evade; Feint; Rappelling; Retain Weapon; Roll With Blow; Rope Up; Running Climb; Skidding; Sliding; Spinning; Toe Flip.
Dungeon Fantasy 11 Power-Ups: Backstabber [10 points +5/level]; Botte Segrete [20]; Chandelier Leap [10]; 
Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1: Duck and Cover [20/level]; Greater Weapon Bond [5/level]; Quicksilver Strike [12]; Weapon Specialist [10/level].

Ancestor Totem (Flynn)

Role: Acrobat
You can channel the founder of the school! His expertise and abilities are able to significantly enhance your own. Flynn was famous for his seemingly supernatural acrobatic skills and was also an renowned fencer. He was charming, a bit of a womanizer, and daredevil and social daring-do. He can be channeled using either Ritual Magic or Savoir-Faire (Dojo).
Emblematic Traits
Advantages: Appearance; Brachiator; Daredevil; Fearlessness; Super Climbing; Super Jump 2.
Disadvantages: Compulsive Carousing; Lecherousness.

Manifestation

Partial Manifestation: DX+3 [60]; Fearlessness 2 [4]; Perfect Balance [15]; Ridden [15]; Super Climbing 2 [6]; Super Jump 1 [10]; Code of Honor (Gentleman's) [-10]; Compulsive Carousing [-5]; Impulsiveness (9) [-15]; Lecherousness (12) [-15]. 65 points.
Note: This channeled version includes no skills as the stylist is going to already have good levels.

Commonwealth Martial Style - Dashing Fox

While most soldiers learn efficient and practical methods of combat there are people who perhaps have more ego than sense. Aristocrats and young dilettantes often favor flash and daring over more cautious approaches - relying on their social status to keep risks low.
Dashing Fox is a popular swashbuckling style that is popular because its flashy but has underlying practicality, at least in certain circumstances. There is at least one school in every city, often more than one and friendly rivalries are the norm. Members are expected to promote their school and bring positive recognition to it.  Duels are a common way to show off skills, though duels to the death are frowned upon. Helping other schools is considered polite, especially against rifraf- though good natured ribbing will fallow.

Student

4 points

This is a flamboyant swashbuckling style that is known for its apparent recklessness and the overconfidence of its members. However it is backed by solid capability and cunning and tricks foes into underestimating the fox. Stylists try to keep foes at a distance to work with the rapiers reach and effective use of the cloak. Judo is used when opponents get to close and as a backup skill.

Skills: Cloak; Judo; Rapier
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand; Armed Grapple (Cloak); Balancing; Bind Weapon (Rapier); Choke Hold (Judo); Evade (Judo); Feint (Cloak); Feint (Rapier); Judo Throw; Leg Throw; Spinning Strike (Rapier); Triangle Choke.
Cinematic Skills: 
Cinematic Techniques: Flying Lunge (Rapier); Grand Disarm (Rapier); Initial Carving (Rapier); Rapier Wit; 
Optional Skills: Acrobatics; Jumping; Running
Optional Techniques: 
Perks: Armor Familiarity; Combat Haberdashery; Sheer Speed (DF11); Weapon Bond
Optional Traits: Daredevil; Enhanced Block or Parry  up to 3; Overconfidence; Weapon Master (Cloak & Rapier)


Adepts

9 points.
Acknowledged experts are proficient with the basics but also have a signature or trademark move. Skills: Cloak (A) DX [2]; Judo (H) DX [4]; Rapier (A) DX [2].
Additional Skills: Blind Fighting; Flying Leap; Kiai; Main-Gauche; Power Blow.
Optional Traits: Claim to Hospitality; Extra Attack 2. 

Master

21+ points
To be acknowledged master rank the stylist must demonstrate extreme proficiency, preform one or more signature moves well and learn a school power-up.
Skills: Cloak (A) DX+1 [4]; Judo (H) DX+1 [8]; Rapier (A) DX+2 [8].

Power-Ups

Action 3 Furious Fists: Acrobatic Stand; Balancing; Disarming; Dive n' Roll; Dual-Weapon Attack (Cloak/Rapier); Evade; Feint; Rappelling; Retain Weapon; Roll With Blow; Rope Up; Running Climb; Sliding; Spinning; Toe Flip.
Dungeon Fantasy 11 Power-Ups: Backstabber [10 points +5/level]; Botte Segrete [20]; Chandelier Leap [10]; Coup de Jarnac [15].
Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1: Dual-Weapon Fighting (Cloak/Rapier) [6 points skill]; Dual-Weapon Mastery (Cloak/Rapier) [20*]; Duck and Cover [20/level]; Greater Weapon Bond [5/level]; Quicksilver Strike [12]; Weapon Specialist [10/level].

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Trumps Latest Attack on the US Military

I get that a lot of Republicans are racist, but just how far are you willing t go?
The latest effort by Trump in saying children board to US service members will no longer count as US citizens is absurd.  So we send a soldier overseas to fight and possibly die for the country and they and their spouses lose a natural American right?
Why are ok with this?  Is it because you think it will only affect colored people? Those of a different religion? Will you make an exception for white people?

The modern Republican party is despicable and keep attacking Americans, our rights as citizens (things like voter suppression and declaring corporations are people, and money is Free Speech), our livelihood (rolling back regulations that protect citizens to give corporations more money, for example), imposing taxes on American citizens to give to corporations such as Tariffs and allowing big companies to pay no federal income tax through loopholes, to stoking hatred and fear using tools such as racism to divide and control the middle and working class so they are easier to take advantage of.

  • Illegal Immigrants take jobs Americans dont want and pay billions in taxes for services they are not able to use. If you really think its an issue go after the companies that hire them, but since that almost never happens the real purpose is clear.
  • Trump put thousands of veterans on the street in 2017 because he delayed renewing housing benefits for them in efforts to force the Democratic party to fund his wall.
  • Trump made tens of thousands of poor children suffer and undoubtedly some died when he pulled the same tactic with CHIP.
  • Trump has stolen money from the military and the US Coast Guard to fund his wall.
  • Trump and Mitch McConnel block efforts to secure our elections from foreign meddling.
The list goes on and on and its clear, if you vote Republican in 2020 your voting against America.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Commonwealth Martial Styles -Board and Blade

The Commonwealth is a very large nation composed of several city states and smaller groupings that occasionally fight among each other. However, things are pretty stable and most conflicts are with bandits and raiding monsters. The borders do need defending but rather than invading armies they are defended from small (though often powerful) groups.
Board and Blade is thus the most prolific style and concentrates on small unit fighting with high mobility often being required. Practitioners wear little armor, leather or chain and rely on shields and agility for defense and attacks that rely on speed and precision over power. It is taught by both the military and mercenary groups.

Students

3 points

This is a practical style that focuses on Shield for defense and a Rapier or Sabre for offense. Its a common style for soldiers. The chosen shield is often a buckler, especially for those in cavalry units, though infantry often opts for a larger shield. Warriors are taught to fight as individuals or small units rather than tight formations so there is little effort spent on those techniques.

Skills: Rapier or Sabre; Shield.
Optional Skills: Hiking; Riding (Horse); Running.
Optional Techniques: 
Perks: Armor Familiarity; Brave; Naval Training; Ramming Speed; Weapon Bond
Advantages: Enhanced Block; Enhanced Parry.

Adepts

5 points
Typical sergeants and officers will be at this level

Skills: Rapier or Sabre (A) DX [2]; Shield (E) DX+1 [2]
Optional Additional Traits: Basic Move, up to +2; Extra Attack, up to 2; Lifting ST, up to +2; Peripheral Vision.
Power-Ups: Shield Familiarity (Pyramid #3/118) [1]; Shield Mastery (DF11 or Pyramid #3/118) [15].

Masters

31 points
In order to teach military units you must be certified as Master rank. Masters therefore are experts with the fundamentals more than being known for flashy moves and exotic techniques.

Skills: Rapier or Sabre (A) DX +4 [16]; Shield (E) DX+4 [12]; Teaching (A) IQ [2].
Optional Additional Traits: Extra Attack, up to 2; 
Power-Ups: Shield Mastery (DF11) [15]; 

Heroic Ability

Some have special training from a legendary teacher or just a special knack.
Traits: Weapon Master (Shields; Pyramid #3/118) [25] and/or Weapon Master (Fencing or single weapon).


Friday, August 16, 2019

Review: Citadel of Nordvorn

I have had the PDF for awhile but my softcover arrived today so I wanted to give my impressions.
My prior review is here
This softcover book is really pretty. I am extremely unlikely to buy a book based on art and its value to me is the content, I consider art to be a luxury and nice extra but not core to the value, however a lot of other people place a higher priority on art.  This is the prettiest GURPS book in a very long time. Gaming Ballistic is doing a great job at publishing high quality material.
W23 authors products
Authors Website and Store - Gaming Ballistic

Overview

For a more detailed review check my prior post based on the PDF.
This book is a welcome addition to my library, its a good setting book that describes part of a world based on viking lore. It has a great feel to it, the author knows the material and put a lot of effort into making it come alive to the reader and giving it heft.  Even the accent marks add to the flavor, though I personally find them cumbersome - they really mess with my dyslexia.
The art is on topic, colorful and has a good feeling to it that I approve of. This will look great on a store shelf which is my main reason for supporting the print level.
The book is based around a few towns and includes some interesting geography and descriptions as well as history and background detail. It has wilderness adventure seeds and a bestiary but is primarily a political and social adventure rather than a dungeon based one.

Summary

This book was well worth what I paid for it.
I dont know when it will be available for purchase on either Steve Jackson Games W23 store or his own store at Gaming Ballistic but expect it to be pretty soon now that the books are arriving. Print copies may be limited though so get them quickly!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Review of GURPS Monster Hunters: Power Ups 1

GURPS Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1 is Christopher Rice's first solo book, though he has worked with other authors, wrote numerous articles for Pyramid and is working on some adventures for The Fantasy Trip. See the list on W23
At $6 its 23 pages of crunchiness for the GURPS Monster Hunters series..
Power-ups are essentially traits that can be added to a character as they gain experience and make them more capable  These power-ups are useful for most characters but focused on the Commando, Sage, Sleuth, Techie, and Warrior templates.
Organization is different than typical where all the traits are in one chapter. That wouldnt work for this book though and its closer to what can be found in the Dungeon Fantasy line.

Chapter 1 Acquiring Power-Ups (2 pages)

Basic high level concepts on what power-ups are and how to build or get them.

Chapter 2 The Power-Ups (15 pages)

The bulk of the work is here and a lot of traits are included. Some of these are from other books or articles which may disappoint the reader with a complete library. However on the flip side its nice to have material consolidated from multiple sources. If you have the books it can save you time, but if your focused on certain lines (like say Monster Hunters) its really nice not to have to buy all those other books and magazine issues.
And there are some definite new builds here, which can be a great help to GM and player alike.

Appendix: Techie Inventions (3 pages)

This is primarily for gadgeteers and has some nice rules, tables and examples for the tech to build nifty stuff.

Summary

This is a hard book to read in one sitting, its more useful as a reference book. I felt it was good value for the money and is something players in a Monster Hunters game should pick up as well as GMs.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Who I want to be President and Why

There are a lot of candidates running for President, several hundred in fact! Yes thats right, according to the FEC as of Aug 12 2019 we have 816 candidates who have filed to run.! Naturally we have never heard of nor are likely to most of them and of course most do not expect to win.
Lets take a quick look at some of the major candidates and my personal opinions.
Senators Sanders and Warren are my top picks so I'll start off with the others in the order I think of them.

  • Marianne Williamson: Initially I thought she was kind of a nutjob but I have since listened to some of her interviews and changed my mind. She appears smart and well educated and has a good depth of knowledge on several issues, shes done her homework. Net Worth $1.5 Million, Progressive, Signature Issue is healing and uniting America. She has a lot of good plans to do that too, but I suspect some like reparations are too controversial to pass.
  • Kamella Harris: I liked her more early on but do not feel she is handling the debates and interviews very well. In my opinion shes too evasive and has flipped flopped on several issues. I feel shes too worried about what polls well and not authentic. Net Worth $6 million
  • Pete Buttigieg: Hes smart, maybe the smartest and best educated of the candidates. However he has not handled local division and races issues well as Mayor. I'd like to see him get more seasoning and prove his ideas. Also he is catered to by the big donor class far too much for my liking and I fear would work more for them than the average American.  Net Worth $100K, Socially left, otherwise more centrist and pro-establishment.
  • Joe Biden: Far too establishment for my taste, also thinks he can work with #MoscowMitch even though President Obama was usually blocked by him. The establishment and big donor class love him and I think we have had them in control for far too long. Net Worth $9 million. Establishment and a bland moderate to Conservative. Signature Issue is "I can work with Republicans" and wont rock the boat.
  • Andrew Yang: I initially dismissed him,that Universal Basic Income thing is a bit too socialist fir me. However listening to some interviews and its not as out there as I thought. Alaska does this already where every adult gets money from oil pumped out of the state. His proposal is to do the same thing for the tech industry. Considering how much they make off our personal data and the jobs they want to automate I'm ok with a tech dividend for Americans. I love that hes talking about the dangers of automation too.  No one else really hits on that but the fact is most Americans will lose their jobs to automation and sooner than most people think. Net Worth $1 million, Progressive, Signature Issues UBI and how to counter the massive unemployment thats coming.
  • Inslese: An afterthought, i dint think he expected to win. I think he jumped in to get climate change talked about and I respect that dedication to a vital issue

Senator Sanders and Senator Warren

Both are strong progressives with a long track record of working for American people over corporations. 
          Senator Warren fought for us while she was a law professor and was responsible for creating the Consumer Protection Bureau. She was nominated to head it but Republicans feared her so much they killed that, she then ran for Senate and won and been a thorn in their side ever since. "Never the less she persisted" is a fitting theme.
          Senator Sanders has been a champion of human and civil rights his entire career, probably more consistently than any other serving politician. One of his early famous moments was when he was arrested at a 1963 Chicago protest for defending black civil rights. As Mayor and later in Congress he has continued to fight for human rights for everyone.
Both have the broadest appeal across the country of voters, where the others may be more popular in certain regions. This is best seen by looking at the small dollar donations and where they come from.

Both of these people are powerful progressives with plans to move the country forward and work for the people instead of the corporations. They have similar ideas, I would say that Warren is more focused on economic protections and preventing exploitation by corporations, while Sanders is more focused on health care and other basics. Either one would be great for the country.

My Preference is Bernie For President

This is purely my opinion and some of it based on feelings more than a comparative analysis.
  • Sanders is the underdog and I like underdogs. Hes hated by corporate media, Republicans and Democrats both fear him and each are working hard to push the narrative that hes too left and extreme to win. With that many powerful organizations after you, your an underdog- and hes winning!
  • He pushed the Democratic party to the left and we know he means what he says because hes been pushing it for 40+ years. Others have come to his ideas much later as polling shifted so we have less reason to trust them.
  • Hes willing and able to fight for us, anywhere and anytime.He went on Fox TV and defended his left wing policies to a right wing audience against right wing moderators who were trying for a got'ya moment and he got a standing ovation.
  • Health care is a major economic issue for Americans and he will fight hard to give it to all of us. Media trying to kill the idea of Medicare for All happily point out that his plan will raise taxes to pay for it. Where most politicians dodge that he comes out and says the truth. I love that honesty and integrity, we need more of it! I have blogged about Health care several times so wont repeat it here, check out the blog using Healthcare as the keyword.
  • Climate Change is the other key issue for the country, even if climate deniers try to push it away. He has plans for that too and if we dont act soon and vigorously nothing else matters.
  • Campaign Finance Reform is another important issue.  We need to change things so politicians work for the citizens, not the corporations and special interests. He is another pioneer here and while many talk about he has been fighting it for years. He is an independent to avoid the "Dialing for Dollars" routine and stand aside from the corruption rather than help it. His 2016 grassroots campaign proved individual donations from voters could fund campaigns without being bought by corporate PACs. Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats were inspired and successful because of him in 2018 and likely will be more so in 2020.
I'll be perfect;y happy with Warren for President but Bernie is my first choice. Both are fighters with proven records of working for Americans rather than against them, but for me the edge goes to the stubborn goat who has been fighting the establishment the longest. I want the underdog to win and the more the mainstream media and establishment Democrats say he can't the more I want it.
All that fear and dismissive asides tells us all what we really need to know about this race.

Critical Thinking Applied to Politics

So you believe everything politicians tell you?  How about the media?
The fact is many people lie, and even more spin things so they only tell us part of the truth. Its frustrating and people lose confidence and do not know who to trust or what to do about it.  However there are things we can all do to improve things.

Pay Attention to Agendas

Everyone has one, often more than one. If you understand someones agenda or the bias they have you can more easily spot the spin or half truths they tell you.
  • Politicians want to get elected or reelected so will tell you things that he that goal. They are vey unlikely to tell you anything bad about them, many wont even own up to it when they are caught. Likewise they will tell you things to hurt their opponent, even if its not true or certain details are left out.
  • Politicians have donors and often put those donors ahead of everything else, after all donor money pays for ads and other campaign expenses to get them elected or keep them in office. Sometimes a politician gets personal favors or expects a job from the donor after they leave office.  Many politicians get very cushy jobs as lobbyists or otherwise working for industries they helped while in office.
  • News and political media have advertisers, donors, or subscribers they need to stay in business. Legitimate news organizations have legal and ethical standards so wont lie to their audience, but they will spin and slant stories certain ways.
  • Political media is subject to far fewer restrictions and sometimes outright lies to their viewers. How do you know the difference? These are the talking heads who give opinions rather than simply report facts. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and in America allowed to share it. The trouble is when they express their opinions as facts, so watch for that.
  • Mixed media is a blending of both, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc all have legitimate news and talking heads so mix it up. We need to pay close attention to who is reporting the news and who is trying to make or change the news.

Follow the Money

For media look at the advertisers, they will tend to favor stories that help their advertisers. After all if you put out stories that make your advertisers look bad they will stop advertising. They don't give the money for charity, especially to for profit companies. So look for that bias.  Also this means boycotts are powerful as the advertisers are effectively pushing the stories and do not want to be associated with bad images that may hurt them.
Also look at donors and subscribers. If the owner is a Conservative they will be more likely to hire conservatives and push a conservative agenda, similarly expect liberal owners to push liberal agenda.  However most media push an establishment agenda and that is often not talked about and overlooked. Whats an establishment bias? The idea here is that the media and advertisers are making a lot of money so want things to stay as they are and fear change to the status quo.

Whats the Bias?

  • CNN and MSNBC are primarily an establishment bias. They are making money off the current system and Fox has the Conservative side locked down so they are pro-establishment and sometimes tend liberal to differentiate themselves from the competition.
  • FOX News is heavily conservative, relying heavily on drug manufacturers and advertisers aimed at older demographics. The company was founded for the purpose of helping the Republican party recover from the Nixon debacle.
  • The Young Turks is an online Progressive company so has a left wing agenda.
  • Print and web based media are mostly donor or subscriber based. They often cater to specific audiences or demographics. Subscriber based will tell their audience what they want to hear and donor based will support the agenda the donors want.

How do I Find Out the Bias?

  • The money is key here.  Find out who is paying the bills and you find out who they are most likely really working for.
  • Politicians have to list their donors with the FEC, its a bit hard to read but you can get very detailed information here. Open Secrets gets its info from the FEC and lays it out in an easy to read manner, though it skips a lot of the details. Follow The Money does the same thing but goes into more detail. These sites are used by news media and politicians for opposition research but are also available to any voter. We can see donors based on industries, special interests, or individuals.
  • This is Important! Ideally a politician gets most of their money from voters and small donors (usually listed as under $200). If they get most of their money from companies or large donors they will work harder for them than they will voters. Often you will see groups of companies in specific industries and often based on committee assignments.
  • Media is harder but pay attention to their primary advertisers and owners can be looked up.

Polls

Polling is often used to push an agenda but works the same way. While a reputable poll wont lie, they can spin things. What questions are asked, how they are phrased, and whom they ask all can affect the answers. So Conservative organizations will phrase things to encourage answers that favor their agenda, same with liberals. Note however that most polls have an establishment or conservative bias, this is because they are run by companies. Entrepreneurs and young companies tend to be more liberal and willing to take risks, bigger established companies tend to favor deregulation (conservative) because that saves money and fewer rules favor the big guys over the little guys. As for the establishment bias obviously if they are successful the way things are they tend to want things to stay that way. Also big companies are often less nimble and able to adjust as quickly as smaller companies.
So pay attention to who made the poll.
Real Clear Politics has aggregate polls so you can filter out the bias, further since the sources are named you can see who is biased for or against a candidate or issue.

Summary

By figuring out the agenda and who is financing someone we can usually spot their agenda and more easily know when they are trying to put one over on us. It can take a lot of work but if more people did it America would be a lot better for it, regardless of your political leaning try to see the bias of those talking to you.
At the very least use Open Secrets to see the main income for your politicians,

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Chalice World Setting: The Dwarven Federation

This is a cosmopolitan nation of several races. The main race is the dwarves, but there are several member races. The Dwarven Federation includes all of the Barrier Mountains and they have steam powered trains connecting thier settlements as well as to major trade centers in other lands, They also maintain a rail network in the Commonwealth that humans use for trade and the Federation in return charges a tax that is paid primarily in agricultural products.
The Federation mainly exports high quality craft items, primarily metal and jewelry work. The primary role of the Federation however is to protect the world from things coming over or through the Barrier Mountains. These are mostly chaos spirits called Jotun, though Elder Things and such also try to break through.

Dwarves

Pretty much your typical fantasy dwarves, though built a little different than other GURPS examples. They are well adapted for underground life with Night Vision 5 and Filter Lungs (also handy for working around fires) and their advanced craftsmanship is represented by being an overall tech level higher than other races in the setting.
They live and work in extended families or clans and work towards enriching and strengthening the clan. They also engage in ancestor worship.

Glowers

This is a race of sentient crystals and are essentially a servant or pet race. They are a highly intelligent and communicate using light. Because most people cant understand them and they are unable to move under their own power they are limited in normal interaction, hence their being treated as valued pets. This is fine with the glowers who prefer to sit around and gossip most of the time. However they do have valuable roles in society, primarily as communication but also in handling information.
Another race often mistaken for an animal they appear as small bears, though they have five claws on each limb, can stand semi-upright, and are extremely good with their fore claws. They have an extraordinary sense of smell and often engage in rescue duty during cave ins. Younger ones tend to be scouts and go on patrols, adults tend to become merchants and jewelers.
One of the more exotic races in the setting, stone keepers have a third eye in their forehead. This eye possesses extraordinary visual capabilities, being able to see through objects, in complete darkness, and with amazing detail. They also have tentacles instead of hands and forearms and are able to manipulate even extremely tiny things. These abilities make them great surgeons and jewelers.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Fantasy Computer race

So with the recent release of GURPS Template Toolkits 2: Races I am going through ans rebuilding a few of the races for Chalice World. The book in particular added a few new traits but also organized things in one place and gives good ideas for building custom races.
Today I just updated the Glowers.
I wanted a crystal computer as a fantasy race but communication was hard, the old version had Lase Comm with Broadcast (Not RAW) but the new Signals, Blinker advantage does a much better job and lets them interact more with others.
I doubt a PC will be playing one but they make a great background feature to the setting. Also they can be useful Allies carried around as heavy lanterns or a PC mage or sage type, possibly even a bard variant.
Check them out!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Senator Sanders Medicare for All Plan. Will it Save YOU $$?

Senatars Sanders plan will raise an employees payroll tax by 4%. But before you decide thats good or bad you need to look at the bottom line to find out the real answer.
According to PeopleKeep https://www.peoplekeep.com/blog/what-percent-of-health-insurance-is-paid-by-employers,
Also....
https://www.patriotsoftware.com/payroll/training/blog/what-percentage-health-insurance-employers-pay-how-much/
If you work for a good company your employer pays part of your premiums.
Single coverage costs $6,435 in 2016 according to Kaiser Health.
Family coverage costs $18,142 for the same period.
If your employer pays the average of 80% and you pay the remaining 20% plus any deductibles and copays the break points are.
Single coverage workers who make more than $25k a year will pay more in his proposed payroll tax.
Family coverage workers need to make about $120k a year before they start paying more under his plan.
This assumes a couple of things.

  • If your Employer pays a different percentage, or none than the the number changes. Lets say you have no employee health insurance, either you work at a small business, are self-employeed, or just changed jobs in the last 90 days divide $6,435 (single) or $18,142 (family) by your salary to see your basic rate. If you are paid hourly double your hourly rate (assuming 40/ hour work week) to estimate your salary.
  • Remember this is your premium cost, you also have deductibles and co-pays under normal insurance,
  • You are also paying income tax on whatever your company pays in benefits.
  • Remember this is just premiums, if you actually use it your costs go up with co-pays, deductibles, caps, and things the insurance company refuses to cover. Sanders plan adds a lot of the stuff medicare recipients use supplemental plans for now such as hearing aids, eyeglasses, etc.


80% is pretty rare in my experience but it varies company to company, and small businesses dont even offer health care. Also Part time employees usually do not get benefits. The thing to remember though is what they pay also counts towards your income taxes as if it were wages so your paying taxes on that coverage. Plus the company has extra costs from HR departments dealing with it and doing the annual shopping. With Single Payer they can skip all that, they might even give some of that difference to you in higher wages to stay competitive. Look at your paycheck to see if this is better or worse. For a single member coverage average is 6.4k and $18k for family coverage, look at your paycheck. If you make $50k thats 12% for single payer plus out of pocket expenses like deductibles and copays. If you make more than that its a lower % (like most of these news anchors) and if you make less your paying a higher %. Some low income people get a tax subsidy but were already paying for that in taxes. Senators Sanders plan linked here https://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/options-to-finance-medicare-for-all?inline=file Employers pay 7.5% payroll so save huge. Employees pay 4% income tax so all but the richest save huge. Why is it so much cheaper? Lower overhead from more efficient Admin costs, no insurance lobbying (multi- Billion dollar industry), no need to advertise, no agents whose job is to prevent you getting your expenses paid, etc. Plus bigger pool better shares the costs. Also additional tax money paid by taxing capital gains and stock traders as if they were working for a living like most Americans, now they have a loophole to avoid taxes. A few other taxes on billionaires and some multi millionaires. Estate tax, Increase in their marginal rate, etc. So billionaires still get to be billionaires they just pay more in taxes. I'm ok with that.