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Jason Packer
Excess in pursuit of detailed role-playing simulation is not a vice
Excess in pursuit of detailed role-playing simulation is not a vice

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Why yes, those are two near-pristine and hard to find GURPS hardbacks that just arrived at my door...

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Another year of feeling like maybe I'm not really part of the greater gamer community. Oh, I recognize some names, but not one thing I actually play or have any interest in, to be frank.

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Attempting to get back into the swing of things, and we'll start with a remembrance and an exhortation about Champions and the Hero System.

Thinking about blogging again, but really remarkably tired of Blogger. Recommendations for an easy to use alternative?

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Was it a ton of fun being part of the behind-the-scenes crew for this shoot?

Yes. Very.

Hive mind, I have a question...

I'm looking for words of or pertaining to a kind of rustic, informal magic. I'd like to avoid words that have too much baggage (voodoo or hoodoo for example) but something of the sort of things that a wise woman or hedge witch might perform. A description of the individual spells if you will, like charms or jinxes, but again with a more rustic or amateur flair.

What have you got for me?

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Aw, hell, I've heard nothing but good things about this setting, too. The starter set, at $9.95, is worth it for the PDF of Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition alone if you don't already own it.

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I've never played any of the prior Cortex games, but for a $10 entry price to get the PDF of the rules, the SRD and everything digital that gets unlocked later, I'm not sure I can pass it up.

It's... not my usual bag, baby. But I'm willing to give it a try. I have a soft spot in my heart (some would say my head) for generic, universal systems.

Ever since I picked up those Aftermath! supplements that's been the system that's held my attention most during what downtime I've been able to manage lately.

It's a surprisingly robust system, from my read through the rules, with only a handful of idiosyncrasies to be dealt with by the modern gamer, and some of them purely cosmetic. The only rules issues I'm grappling with (without bringing it to the table to run some tests of course) involve special effects from impaling wounds (the mechanic in place attempts to model flesh wounds/grazes and vitals hits on the same table and I think it may need to be split out) and stopping effects from bullets and explosions (which, as written, are a little bit cartoonish, certainly more Hollywood than anything approaching realism).

I think we must have been pretty fully under the thrall of the Mad Max movies when we got into Aftermath in the early '80s, because our games were all much more like that than the sort of gonzo, over the top sci-fi extravaganzas that the rules seem to take as their "default setting" - that is, if you use all the rules presented as being equally useful to your setting. Which is funny, because we were the kind of kids who would throw every rule and option into play simply because it was written in the official rulebook.

The system definitely rewards a careful world-builder, and aides them in the creation of some very robust post-apocalyptic settings. I think stepping past the rules and into the GM advice sections on game creation are going to be both a walk down memory lane and likely to generate some new impetus for me to fire up my own creative juices.

Early reviews of those Aftermath! supplements I bought:

Magic! - the rules have a very old school feel, with the need to buy individual, fixed spells as skills, and them being leveled. The playable races and monsters and even added weapons are nice additions to any game. The intention seems to be to add fantasy to our world rather than to replicate a fantasy game entirely, as one of the pics is of a dwarf with an automatic rifle - some will see Shadowrun, but what I get out of it is more Bakshi's Wizards, so rock on.

Double-Adventure - the first, Operation Morpheus has some real idiosyncrasies. it's set in Australia, but is easily convertible to whatever location you might want to use. It works under that oldest of old school notions that you should play "yourself" after the bombs fall. And it assumes things happening in the 80's and 90's that are truly, preposterously optimistic for a setting that assumes limited nuclear war breaks out. A combination of readily available fusion power and limited AI all before the turn of the millennium. You get high durability plastic armor and warbots and lasers alongside M-16 rifles and revolvers. Which isn't exactly unexpected, given the way the core rules are presented, with everything available to you from black powder weapons to lasers and plasteel military body armor. It's almost the "assumed default setting."
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