Monthly Archives: June 2009

3 Fallout 3 Achievements Made Easy!

So, Fallout 3 has an Achievement for hitting level 30 with Good, Evil, or Neutral Karma.  Which is potentially 30 long levels of playing, assuming you already have level 20s at each of those.  So sure, you’ll probably get those achievements eventually, but I’d rather get them now and then level at my own pace.  Here’s how!

1:  Be on the cusp of level 29.  Save your game.

2.  Hit level 29.  Take the Here and Now perk, instantly gaining a level.

3.  Hit level 30.  Take the Escalator to Heaven perk to set your karma to good, the Devil’s Highway to set it to evil, or the Karmic Rebalance to set it to neutral.  Bag the achievement for hitting level 30 with that alignment.

4.  Reload and do it again twice more.

5.  Reload and play as you normally would with your level 29 character.

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Increasingly Bizarre

Tim being a long time Vampire GM, and me being a smart alec, I like to ask Tim increasingly bizarre Vampire “rules” questions.

(Tim’s note: These are all weird, GM discretion answers.  Which of course, is why I asked these questions.)

Me: “So, infants don’t have teeth.  If you Embrace one, does it grow fangs?”

Tim: “Yes.  Why are you asking me this?”

Me:  “How about a really old guy, and all his teeth have fallen out.”

Tim:  “Yes.  He’d grow fangs.”

Me:  “How about a guy who the lower half of his face was blown off in The War?”

Tim:  “The War?”

Me:  “Yeah, in The War.”

Tim:  “I guess not in that case.  Or if he was a Nosferatu, he might grow a skull jawbone.”

Me: “Cool.”

Tim: “…”

Me: “Can you ghoul invertabrates?  Like spiders and stuff?”

Tim: “Yeah, I guess.”

Me:  “How about mosquitos?”

Tim: “NO!”

Me:  “I mean, they probably wouldn’t want to feed on vampires, vampires not smelling like food and all.  But if they did for some reason, they’d be ghouled, right?”

Tim:  “I suppose.”

Me: “Could they spread that Ghouling?”

Tim: “Mosquitos don’t spread blood, and there wouldn’t be enough Vitae anyway.”

Me:  “Man, it would hurt getting fed on by a Ghoul mosquito.  It would have a level of Potence and everything!  Full health level of damage, BAM!”

Tim:  “…proportionate to mosquito strength.  So not really.”

Me: “Who would win in a fight….”

Tim: “This is stupid.”

Me: “Dracula…. or Superman?”

Tim: “Sigh.”

Cyberpunk 4E

D&D 4th edition gets in your brain and infects everything else you look at.  Shadowrun is cool, but wouldn’t it be cooler if it were D&D 4th edition… in the future?  Shadowrun already essentiallty being D&D (go into the dungeon… Imean skyscraper, get the MacGuffin, get out), it makes sense.  And cyberpunk is cool.

I realize I’m not the only person to have pondered this, and I’m unlikely to actually write such a thing, unless my muse makes me, but here’s how I would do it if I did.

Martial Power Source:  Dudes that buff themselves up through training, cyberware, and kill things with skill and guns.  Powers are called Exploits.

The Samurai: Defender.  For good or ill, the Street Sam is a SR archetype.  Street Sams can get in close with close combat weapons for marking, or use automatic fire and mark their enemies with supression fire.

The Razerboi/Razergrrl: Striker.  Get in close, whack them with your funky cyberware.

The Assassin:  Striker.  Shoot ’em in the head.  Or maybe the class is Gunbunny, and Assassin is one of the builds.  Maybe this and the Razerboi are actually the same class.

The Commander:  Leader.  Like the Warlord, but with more guns.

‘Net Power Source:  Dudes that have lots of tech, and rely on attacking enemies with their tech, or attacking the enemies tech, and hacking stuff.  Powers are called Hacks.

The Rigger:  Striker.  You get lots of robots and send them out to do your bidding!

The Overwatch:  Leader.  Buff your enemies… through the internet.

The Crasher:  Controller.  Hack your enemies, and damage them with the internet.

Arcane Power Source.  Dudes that have magic spells and stuff.  Powers are called Spells.

The Mystic Warrior: Defender.  Empowers himself with magic to be badass.  More like the Warden than the Swordmage.  Also guns.  Not really that controllery.

The Enchanter:  Leader.  Buffs, spells, and good effects for your allies.

The Conjurer:  Controller.  Focus on summoning spells, area of effect conjurations and zones.

Two Game Ideas

Game Idea #1:

So, this comes by way of Mist Robed Gate’s wirework rules, PTA’s fan mail, Dust Devil’s conflict resolution, and a little bit of (gasp) Universalis and Fan Mail.

Anyway, you’ve got characters.  The players have ten poker chips each, of different colors.  (I.e. one color per player).  When somebody does something cool, give them a chip.  When people get into conflict, they should describe the cool moves they’re doing, and people should give them chips.  Once you know what people want (stakes) and what they’re doing to get it (cool moves), everyone blindly bids.  Take some of the chips people gave you, and hold them out.  Everyone reveals at once.

Whoever bid the most chips gets what they want.  However, whoever had the most chips of their color bid gets to narrate.  So if Tim, Brendan and I are in a conflict, and Tim bids 3 chips (2 of mine, 1 of B’s), Brendan bids 5 (3 of mine, 2 of Tim’s) and I bid 4 (2 of Brendan’s 2 of Tim’s), Brendan wins the conflict, but I had the most chips of my color bid, so I get to narrate and say how things go down- and in big massive conflicts, I get the say-so on what happens for other people’s stakes.  Then all the bidded chips go back to their owners, to be passed out again for other people doing cool stuff.

Game Idea #2

This one is a boardgame based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which I’m reading right now.  Basically you’ve got different kingdoms vying for power.  You conquer territories to get influence and resources, which you bid in an auction for the loyalty of different generals and tacticans.  Then you deploy these generals on the field, maneuver them around, to conquer territories, to get more resources, to keep the loyalty of your generals and sway away others.

I’m thinking there’s three decks of cards- a loot deck, gained by winning battles and holding key locations, a strategy deck, with special cards, and a kingdom deck, with both kinds of cards and unique towards the different kingdoms.  Yuan Shao’s kingdom for example, has lots of generals but they aren’t very loyal, and his indecisiveness probably comes out in him not getting as many actions as other characters.

Bribe your opponent’s generals away with grain, armies, special weapons, legendary horses, and wives!

Review: Sacred 2

I recently picked up Sacred 2: Fallen Angel for the xBox 360, and well, I’ve been favoring playing that instead of things like updating my blog.  Or sleeping.

The formula of the game should be familiar to anyone who’s played Diablo or just about any MMORPG.  Make your character, fight monsters, level up, get cooler gear, repeat.  I quite enjoy the tactical elements of such games, but disliked the Massive Multiplayer elements- playing with my friends was fun, needing to find groups of random strangers, not so much.  You can play Sacred 2 by yourself, or with up to three friends or folks from the matchmaking server, so just about everyone should be happy with that.  There’s also PvP servers if that’s your thing (it’s not really mine.)

The gameplay is pretty fun, and the controls are wonderful.  Each class (there’s six of them, ranging from the elven mystic and dryad archer to the flavorful angelic seraphim and the temple guardian, which is a cyborg Anubis statue that shoots laser energy) has fifteen different skills, which you can map to different button or button combinations.  There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get into it, there’s a lot of hard decisions to be made in optimizing your character, choosing what skills to deploy, and planning your gear.  The combats themselves are fast paced.

In any game like this, grind can be an issue.  I found myself gaining levels fairly fast, and didn’t feel like I had to level up just to continue with the game.  Lots of interesting loot droped for me.  If you’re the type of person who has to max out every character and find the perfect items, you may be in for quite the grind-fest, but for the casual hack & slasher, you’ll find new items and gain power at a very satisfying rate.

The game isn’t without it’s blemishes.  My TV isn’t anything fancy, and at times the text and (more importantly) numbers were difficult to read.  Some of the quest plotlines are spurious at best- my angelic Seraphim has been tricked into doing acts of dubious morality so many times, she must be the most gullible warrior of light ever- and the main storyline is mostly “go here, fight a monster, go somewhere else, repeat.”  But really, that’s not why we play these games, now is it?

The verdict:  Sacred 2 brings the MMORPG experience to the console, cutting out the negatives and preserving the best aspects- ass kicking, finding cool magic items, and getting to play with your friends.