The third act of Andy Slack's gaming blog

Archive for February, 2018

Review: Genesys

Here’s the first of my planned purchases for 2018 and the first that counts against my self-imposed limit of four items this year: The core rulebook for Genesys. I only picked this up because I know the WFRP3 group I play in is planning to use it for their next campaign, but it’s actually rather good.

TL:DR

The third iteration of Fantasy Flight Games’ house system, following on from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying 3rd Edition and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire. 258 page PDF, but you also need at least one set of custom dice. Unlike the previous two iterations, this is not tied to a specific licensed property, and is deliberately setting-agnostic. It’s well thought out, well laid out, and the first FFG RPG that I would consider running.

Tell Me More…

I’m not going to go through this one chapter by chapter, because it makes more sense to look at it in Parts. (The artwork is in a peculiar semi-coloured style with some of the construction lines left in, and it looks strange, but I like it.)

Introduction

What a roleplaying game is, what the GM does, what players do, what do you need besides the book.

Part 1: Core Mechanics (130 pages)

These are very similar to Star Wars: Edge of the Empire; point-buy character creation based on an archetype or species, along with the now-standard elements of an RPG character; characteristics, skills, and talents (edges, advantages, whatever you want to call them). The core mechanic uses a pool of custom dice, which are multicoloured 6, 8 or 12-siders marked with special symbols. Many of these symbols cancel each other out, but as long as you end up with at least one success symbol, you succeed.

Grudgingly, I have to admit that I see the value of the ‘narrative dice’, although I don’t like having to buy a new set each time the game gets updated. The ability to have a PC succeed but at a cost, or fail but in a lucky way, is good for storytelling at the table, introducing another dimension to the usual spectrum of critical failure – failure – success – critical success. To my mind, it lends itself to a more improvisational play style.

The main change I noticed from the previous edition (EotE) is that the complex talent trees of that game have been replaced with a simple rule: Whatever talent you take, you must have more lower-ranked talents, so that they form a pyramid; to buy (say) a tier 3 talent, you must first have two at tier 2 and three at tier 1.

Genesys is aimed at the GM who is creating or converting a setting, and this first shows in the equipment chapter; this offers only half-a-dozen items to help explain how gear is rated, with the bulk of the items being saved for Part 2, Settings. A similar approach shows up later for stock NPCs/enemies. Because of this aim, much of the text aimed at the GM explains the rationale and assumptions behind the mechanical effects – “We made it work like this because otherwise this undesirable effect would happen.” I found those asides both interesting and useful in understanding the game.

Part 2: Settings (53 pages)

This gives six worked examples of how to create a setting, each with its own gear, monsters, races, and notes for the GM on appropriate tropes and setting fluff. Most of the examples are other FFG games – I have often thought a Twilight Imperium RPG might be a good idea, and here’s how to do that in Genesys. The genres covered are fantasy, steampunk, weird war, modern day, hard-ish science fiction, and space opera.

Part 3: GM’s Toolkit (62 pages)

This section looks at alternative rules, customising the game, how to build an adventure, and various tones the game could adopt – e.g. horror, intrigue or pulp. There are also an index and some character sheets. Customisation includes guidelines for creating your own weapons and armour, and what they should cost. Of particular note, magic, vehicles and vehicle combat are treated as alternative rules, since some settings don’t have them; tagging magic as an option avoided the impression most generic systems give me of being designed for high fantasy, with everything else an afterthought.

My main criticism is that I find orange text on cream (level 3 headings) difficult to read.

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Arion, Episode 8: Handover

Daanarni, 056-3401

As you’ll see below, I can already tell what the encounter has to be this week; another scoutship arriving from Hasara to relieve Arion. I roll for in game reactions (Solo p. 19-20) and an onboard event (Solo p.56); respectively, these turn out to be another argument between Arion and Isabella, and a malfunctioning airlock. I also need an NPC as the pilot of the other ship; with a 50-50 chance of either gender, the dice tell me he is male, the personality table on Savage Worlds p. 93 tells me he is cowardly, and a quick check here tells me his name is Gurcan Yasar of the GAS Bodrum – I’m picking ship names from the list of contemporary Turkish Navy ships.

Even with the workload of running a small starship essentially single-handed, and a library of 700-year-old movies, there comes a time when Isabella and Arion are just hanging out in the crew lounge, chilling.

“You said you knew the Archive schedule,” Isabella prompts, for conversation’s sake more than anything.

“Yes. There’s always an Archive ship at Daanarni, there are two ships based at Hasara that take it in turns. Here, let me show you…” He draws a quick sketch of the schedule on his comm and flicks it onto the wall. “There. We’re here in my duty rota, so I expect my relief this week sometime.”

“What are you doing out here anyway?” Isabella wants to know.

“Novawatch… Daanarni will go nova at some point; maybe in twenty minutes, maybe in twenty thousand years. The astronomy department tells me I’d see it coming a few hours or maybe days in advance, then I’m supposed to jump out and spread the word, to give us time to react.”

“Would that help?”

“I don’t know, it’s never actually happened. In principle, we’d give Hasara a couple of years’ warning, and Mizah ten to twelve. Hasara’s easy, only about a thousand people, we just evacuate them all.”

“What about Ria? We’re only two parsecs away, don’t we matter? We just get written off?”

“I… don’t have a good answer for that.” Arion realises for the first time that the Archive’s policy is aimed primarily at protecting itself; the nova would collapse the jump routes to Ria, Simsek and Godoro, so there would be no way to warn them without maintaining a flotilla of at least four ships at Daanarni, permanently.

“So the Archive really doesn’t care about us at all, does it? Maybe Captain Anderson is right, maybe you are behind this.”

“What do you want from me? I saved your life, remember?”

“Lately I’m wondering why – stupid little Isabella, the Archive’s puppet, all you need to do is kill her parents and get her offworld for brainwashing…”

The Dolphin interrupts before things get really nasty. “I’m picking up a ship stepping out of jumpspace, data matches what you’ve told me about Archive surveyors.”

“Hail it,” orders Arion, “Identify us as… umm… who do we want to be?”

“There’s no good answer to that, either,” opines the Dolphin. Arion thinks for a moment.

“Patch me in to the external channel. Archive vessel, that you Gurcan? This is Arion. The Bozacaada was destroyed by pirates and this ship picked me up, you can call her the Dolphin. Listen, this is a functioning Rule of Man scoutship, the Archive will definitely want to see her, but she doesn’t have enough fuel to jump out. I say we transfer the fuel from your ship, mark her as lagan, and then you jump back with us right away.”

“Lagan?” asks Isabella, while the message races across a number of light-seconds to the GAS Bodrum and the pilot thinks about his response.

“Stuff abandoned in deep space for now but meant to be recovered later, legally it has to be returned to the rightful owner. If we don’t mark it, anyone can claim it as salvage.”

That sounds like a plan, solid and safe, so I roll on Solo p. 23 and give a +1 for a great asset – the Dolphin, because the Archive really will want to see it. 2d6 = 7, +1 = 8, so the plan works. 2d6 for consequences = 10, so a good consequence; 2d6 = 7, +2 for success = 9, “find a useful or valuable piece of kit”. Well, that’s the Dolphin herself, I’d say.

Gurcan is not the sort of person who will argue with an armed RoM ship, or stay behind when she jumps out, so the group transfer his fuel to the Dolphin, mark the GAS Bodrum as lagan, fix the jammed airlock, and prepare to jump out.

GM Notes

Playing solitaire games in a setting lets you work things out in slow time, so you can just rattle them off when the players ask in group sessions. In this case, I knew why the Great Archive always had a ship on station at Daanarni, and I had assumed it needs a tanker to refuel that ship; but now that Mongoose Traveller has given scout ships a 12 week endurance, all you need is a pair of scouts based one jump-1 away at Hasara, and operating on a 15 week duty cycle.

Starting from the ship jumping to Daanarni (week 1), it spends a week taking a handover from its sister ship (week 2), then 7 weeks on station alone at Daanarni (weeks 3-9), then the sister ship returns for its handover in week 10, and then the ship that has been on station jumps back to Hasara (week 11, with one week’s fuel in reserve). It spends a week at Hasara (week 12), then jumps to Tangga (week 13), jumps back (week 14), a final week at Hasara (week 15), then jumps back to Daanarni (week 16, or week 1 of a new cycle). This has implications for the Archive scout base at Hasara as well, but we’ll leave those for another time, this post is quite big enough already.

We can infer Arion was alone when attacked, as he has never mentioned another ship, and he is not expecting another ship in episode 7; so he must have been attacked in week 3 of his rota, which means his relief is jumping back during episode 7, and will be there at the beginning of this episode expecting a handover. That fits quite nicely, and avoids more uneventful weeks on station at Daanarni while the Archive staff at Hasara try to figure out what has happened.

There must be a third ship covering the Mizah to Tangga run, and possibly other worlds too, but we’ll worry about that later. For the moment, we note that Archive scouts need to be comfortable spending long periods of time alone, as in the 15 week cycle, Arion is completely alone for 10 weeks and only on a planet for three.

Old Musky Episode 3: Suspicion

Landing party: Captain, XO, Harkness, Moon Moon, Pancake, Tarkov, Wivel

Irbev, 042-3401

After a heated and frustrating debate with the Station Head and the CEO of the Chartered Irbev Corporation, Old Musky‘s crew retire to the ship, empty-handed. An attempt to draw Zachary into the open by the Captain fails. The players therefore claim to have received a tip-off that Zachary has left the station, and depart.

Jumpspace, 049-3401

The trip to Salan is uneventful, and the crew spend it training (week 6 of 8).

Salan, 056-3401

On arrival at Salan, they find themselves welcomed with open arms by the mining colony, with the colonists throwing a tapas party for them. Naturally, they suspect a trap. Only the XO throws herself into the spirit of things. The party-goers include a number of locals who are taking DNA swabs from the humans (but not the vargr or ithklur), explaining that the colony is small and they need to ensure their genetic diversity. Nobody agrees to do this, but there are no immediate repercussions. Dr Moon Moon warns the others in private that she suspects a eugenics cult – “They always start by asking you to do something small,” she says. Over the XO’s objections, the shore party retreats to the ship’s boat, and thence to the Old Musky, waiting in orbit. Pausing only to refuel at the nearest gas giant, they move on.

Jumpspace, 063-3401

The trip to Bulan is also uneventful (week 7 of 8 for training).

Bulan, 070-3401

Dr Moon Moon spent twelve years on Bulan as the colony doctor, and is able to fill them in on local customs and politics. She concludes by mentioning that the Sea Tigers, a local pirate gang, harassed her for several years. The crew decide they’re not taking any crap from dieselpunk pirates (Bulan is TL 5 outside the Confed outpost), so they break out the G-Carrier, load it up, and set off pirate-hunting.

To be continued…

GM Notes

As often happens in Traveller, the party is surging ahead, getting through about a month of game time per session on average. That means they’ll be at the end of 3401 in late April real time, so I should turn my attention to the Aslan Border Wars, at least as far as finding out when war actually breaks out.

Review: Zombie Squad

More of last year’s Kickstarter binge coming home to roost… like many Savage Worlds settings, I think this is a rework of an earlier game which I haven’t read. Gone are the days when a man could hope to be familiar with every tabletop RPG. But I digress…

TL:DR

Savage Worlds sci-fi setting where the player characters are condemned ex-military criminals who have chosen service in black ops units over execution. You’re deniable, expendable, and (officially) already dead. In some cases, you may be undead – dying on the job is just not a good enough excuse.

I like this setting. It’s painted in very broad brush strokes indeed, but that’s an approach that suits Savage Worlds well. I could see myself running this someday.

Tell Me More…

In my case, a 99-page PDF with two-column black text on white, colour illos every so often, would be 7″ x 10″ if printed.

Introduction (10 pages): What this is, Kickstarter backers, and the obligatory introductory fiction, although for this product largely in the form of a colour comic. I approve of that, easier to read and conveys setting visuals more effectively. Note to RPG creators in general: I love reading SF and fantasy, I really do, but I don’t buy your work for the scene-setting fiction. And if that’s all I get in your preview, I’m not buying it at all, because it tells me nothing about how your game works in play.

I feel better now. To continue:

Character Creation (14 pages): This largely follows Savage Worlds core rules, but each character follows a sort of lifepath in that the player needs to decide what kind of place the character grew up in and what his parents did for a living, then there is a period of compulsory military service, then a post-military career. All of these grant the character skills and Edges. At this point, the character is accused of some heinous crime and sentenced to death – the player gets to decide what the crime was and whether the character is guilty – but chooses to join the Zombie Squad instead. If I understand correctly, the character gets 5-6 Edges, up to 4 skills at d4, and maybe some bonuses on particular skill rolls, before they spend the standard 5 attribute points and 15 skill points. In effect, they start at Veteran Rank.

There are only a few new Hindrances and Edges, but I like them, especially the Hindrances – Dinosaur Squad for cryogenically preserved characters from 50-100 years ago, and Sir! Yes, Sir! which compels you to obey any order given by someone with the Leadership Edge. Promotion during play is treated as an Edge which can be taken multiple times, each time giving a more senior rank and another advance, usually a Leadership Edge.

PCs are expected to be human, although future products are promised which will allow alien characters.

Equipment (14 pages): At least I read the gear chapter this time (because it had intriguing pictures, what can I say, I’m shallow like that). It’s based off the Science Fiction Companion so that will be helpful to get full use of the supplement. A number of ships and drones in particular. I like the drones.

Setting Rules (2 pages): There are a half-dozen setting rules, which act to give characters more advances (optional), more damage, and more ammo. My favourite is the Rezo Squads option – the characters have been sent on suicide missions that actually killed them, but that’s no excuse; they have been resuscitated and are now effectively undead. By this point I am starting to wonder just how suicidal these missions are…

Giga-Voodoo (1 page): This is the only arcane background in the setting; it’s basically psionics using electrical trappings, but granted by a cybernetic implant.

Map of Known Space (1 page): It’s a map. It appears to show a galactic spiral arm divided between eight major powers. That’s a lot of territory.

Gamma Celia System ( 8 pages): This is your home system – the premise is that a human penal asteroid fell into a wormhole gate and wound up here. Fast forward a couple of centuries, and here we are. The system has eight planets with Sci-Fi companion stats and short writeups, and there is an illustration showing the solar system as a whole.

Alien Races (8 pages): Half-a-dozen races compatible with the Savage Worlds race creation rules from the Deluxe core book.

Gamemastering (4 pages): Guidance on the sorts of missions Zombie Squads are given, how to make Zombie Squads do what they’re told, and a sampling of NPCs.

Adventures (5 pages): A ship, and three starting adventures.

Characters (4 pages): A sample squad of five pregenerated PCs if you just want to dive in and play.

Flora and Fauna (8 pages): A dozen alien beasties to shoot and/or be devoured by.

Then we go to the traditional index, character sheet, and adverts for other products. Roll credits.

Arion, Episode 7: Becalmed

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship, upon a painted ocean.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Daanarani, 049-3401

This should be fairly uneventful, but we still need a few rolls. I skip the starport encounters table as Arion and Isabella are not going via the starport, so first, ship encounters (Solo p. 40-42). Leaving Ria we encounter a small craft – I decide this must be the ship’s boat from the Dromedary, so they are still insystem, and I override the ship reactions table because I have a better idea for tying it into the plotline. There’s no encounter at Daanarni, which means we can’t refuel yet. We can have an onboard event though (Solo p. 56); 56 = crew entertainment evening. We can also roll for in-game reactions (Solo p. 19-20); 6, so someone had a bad reaction. That ought to be Isabella really, given recent events, so I don’t bother rolling for it. A further roll of 5 on p. 20 shows we’re in for a blazing row.

Aboard the Dromedary

“Captain! Scoutship detected, leaving Ria at 2G! Looks like they’re headed for the 100D limit.”

“Dammit, it’s the Archive! They’ve been here all along! I knew they were behind this!”

“Orders, sir?”

“Record everything. I don’t want to start shooting at the Archive, they still have that deep meson gun site on Mizah and we still have to dock there. They’ll get their side of the story in first, that can’t be helped, but we’ll get the truth out in the end. And then they’ll be sorry they ever messed with the Combine.”

Aboard the Dolphin, One Week Later…

“This was your plan, was it? Jump into a planetless system and hope we get picked up before we run out of air?”

“Pretty much, yeah.”

“You stupid, ignorant peasant! What were you thinking?”

“That I knew the schedule for the Archive scoutships.”

“Well, they’re not here, are they? Idiot!”

She storms off to her stateroom. Arion decides this is not really aimed at him, she’s just had a rough couple of weeks. And she has a point; his relief isn’t here, nor is any other Archive or Combine vessel. He shrugs mentally; he wasn’t expecting a ship yet.

Dolphin,” he says, “Run her favourite movie on the stateroom wall, and rustle up some popcorn, would you? Let’s see if we can’t cheer her up.”

GM Notes

Running multiple campaigns in parallel is more fun, and more useful, than I remembered. In this case, I was wondering whether the Archive or the Combine were behind the coup on Ria, but events in the Old Musky campaign recently made it clear that it’s actually someone else entirely, as we will see later. Meanwhile, the deep meson gun site is actually the PDF unit that the Aslan Border Wars setup placed on Mizah.

Arion’s plan is a lot less risky under Mongoose Traveller than under the 1977 edition, as a scoutship has 12-14 weeks of power plant fuel now. So I’m not worried yet, even if Isabella is; but I’ve always thought the Type S should have low berths for precisely this situation, and in this edition of the rules there is room for them. Maybe I’ll add some later.

For this week’s musings, I thought I’d take a look at Arion under Mongoose Traveller, converting him from Savage Worlds. That’s just a thought experiment, I’m quite happy with the rules I’m using.

SW Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
SW Skills: Fighting d4, Knowledge (Astrogation) d4, Notice d8, Piloting d10, Repair d6, Shooting d6.
Edges: Ace, Alertness.

I’ve tried half a dozen different conversion algorithms over the years, but the easiest one is to use the Savage Words characteristic die type plus one as the Traveller characteristic, and treat skill d4 as skill level 0, increasing by one level per additional die type. Matching skill descriptions in both rules sets as closely as I can, I get this:

Arion Metaxas. 797777. Scout Explorer 3 terms.
Astrogation-0, Gun Combat (Slug)-1, Mechanic-1, Melee (Blade)-0, Pilot (Spacecraft)-3, Recon-2, Survival-0, Vacc Suit-1.

Scout Explorer with enough time to reach Senior Scout rank looks like the route that would get Arion to that statblock in the shortest time. As there are no other players, I’ll ignore connections and skills packages. Arion’s Vacc Suit-1 is from scout rank 1, and Survival-0 is from basic training. Events 4 and 6 are the most probable, potentially boosting skills without doing anything else – had I started from here, I would have engineered the events to give him allies in the shape of Coriander and Dmitri, who you will meet in due course. With a little thought, I’m sure I could use SW Interludes to give the same effect as Traveller events; I shall muse on that further. As to mustering out benefits, he hasn’t mustered out yet, but clearly has a ship.

Old Musky, Episode 2: Gunboat Diplomacy

Kamat, 028-3401

On the trip back from Kamat’s Oort Cloud, it occurs to Wivel (who is a trained lawyer amongst other things) that the Lab Ship counts as salvage, and he prepares a legal case to present to the Admiralty Prize Court. This takes two weeks, one to jump back and one to present the case. Reluctantly, the Prize Court accepts the submission in principle, but retires to consider the size of the award. Meanwhile, the Navy reminds the crew politely but firmly that they are supposed to be on patrol, so off they go.

Jumpspace, 035-3401

The jump to Irbev is uneventful, and the crew spend their time training (week 4 of 8).

Irbev, 042-3401

The first thing anyone notices about Irbev is the strong smell of rotten eggs from the sulphur processing plants. Irbev itself is much like Venus, but with more sulphuric acid and less carbon dioxide, so the locals quite sensibly live on orbital stations and support themselves by belt mining and scoop-mining sulphuric acid from the clouds below – it is one of the most widely-used chemical feedstocks in the subsector.

Leaving the Captain and XO to take care of the docking, refuelling and bureaucracy, Harkness, Tarkov and Wivel repair to the starport bar and pass their time drinking and training (week 5 of 8). They witness a demonstration by the Peoples’ Democratic Party, and by talking to demonstrators and library research, learn that Irbev is in a political turmoil; the owning corporation is pitted against its own Station Head, the PDP, and the Belters, all of whom think they could do a better job of running the place. They decide not to get involved in this, despite several of them assuming that terrorists must be involved.

Towards the end of the week, a belter named Zachary approaches them and offers a deal; he has access to a regular supply of anagathics, which he knows command a good price on Maadin. Could the crew of the Old Musky offer him something equally valuable in exchange? He suggests cash, spare parts, or knowledge of their patrol route – he has friends who would benefit from knowing which systems are safe at a given time. The crew ask for time to consider this, and as soon as he has left, Wivel (who wants to eliminate the middleman and go straight to Zachary’s source) persuades the others that Zachary is a psionic terrorist.

They determine that prompt and aggressive action is required, and turn out the marines, fully kitted out in combat armour. Three go with Harkness to the docking bay, where they quickly identify Zachary’s ship’s boat; Harkness commandeers a docking crane and uses this to render the boat’s drives useless by beating them into wreckage with the crane jib.

The remaining five marines go with Tarkov and Wivel to Zachary’s rented apartment – Tarkov having previously cloned Zachary’s commlink – and blow in the door with a breaching charge, before fanning out behind marines who have been given orders to “shoot first and shoot to kill”. The ithklur among the marines are rapidly coming to the conclusion that Wivel is much more fun than their usual chain of command. Sadly for everyone, the apartment is empty.

Alarms go off, and station security appear at both sites. However, given that there are ithklur marines in combat armour with ACRs and grenades charging around, security limits itself to peaceful protest. Tarkov partially hacks the station broadcast system to silence the debate on the news channel just before a news crew arrives at the apartment.

Wivel explains to the news crew that he and the other Confed personnel have a warrant for Zachary’s arrest on charges of psionic treason and terrorism – this is true, as he quickly knocked up one that is sufficiently baffling the local lawyers can’t easily figure out it’s a fake – and urges citzens to stay indoors, the one thing that he and the Station Head currently agree on. Our Heroes have recently discovered that Zachary is the head of the Belters’ political faction, and argue that he can only have reached this exalted position by misuse of his psionic powers.

Wivel and Harkness agree that Zachary must have somehow detected their approach and teleported away, and that the next step is to search the station for him. Tarkov, who grew up on an orbital station much like this one, except better-smelling, points out that there are, in total, 18 people on Old Musky, and the station is a complex and dangerous chemical processing plant that is home to ten thousand people. In his opinion, the chances of success are low.

Meanwhile, back at Old Musky’s docking bay, the Station Security Chief is at the ship’s airlock, and would like a word with the Captain…

Review: Apocalypse Prevention, Inc

A friend lent me this to read, so we’re not breaking our new years’ resolutions yet, oh dear me no.

TL:DR

188-page setting for Savage Worlds; contemporary action horror with a twist of humour. Written by Eloy Lasanta, published by Third Eye Games. Essentially, a port of the API game (which I’m not familiar with) to Savage Worlds.

I’m not really sure what this is trying to be; it’s a smoothie produced by throwing cyberpunk, urban fantasy, UFO conspiracy theories and more normal myths and legends into a blender. Think of it as Hellboy meets Men In Black, but with a global corporation as the patron instead of the US government. Not my cup of tea, but YMMV.

Tell Me More…

Roughly A5 in size. Two-column black text on white, greyscale illos every few pages. Colour cover. Easy to read.

Even before the contents page, there’s a three page introductory section explaining the setting and its mood in a nutshell.

Character Creation (42 pages): This follows normal Savage Worlds rules; the reason this section is so big is that it contains a number of new playable races, including demons, changelings, fish-beings, vampires, werewolves and whatnot. Possession, Float and a couple of other supernatural powers are treated as skills, which interests me because it suggests some beings, even of the same type, can do those things and others cannot.

There are a few new skills and hindrances, and a conversion guide for those moving from the earlier game to this version. Loads of edges, mostly relating to unarmed combat fighting styles, and a number of cybernetic implants.

The World of Magic (57 pages): Magic in API doesn’t use Arcane Backgrounds; particular Edges unlock your access to a range of spells, which are learned and used like skills. You must also choose one or more Paths, which further limit the spells available to you. Casting a spell doesn’t require power points, but it does require a sacrifice, which may be a simple material component or something more disturbing. This chapter also speaks to six magical orders, each of which could be an ally or an enemy to the PCs, explaining how they operate and what they want. However, the bulk of it is a list of new powers/spells. This is the most interesting chapter for me.

API Organisation (26 pages): API is the PC’s patron organisation, which defends the Earth against offworld, other-dimensional, and demonic threats. Employees are demons and beings of folklore as well as humans, because Earth is their home, too. This chapter explains in some detail API’s history, modes of operation, and global locations. I’m not entirely sure why it’s a corporation rather than a quasi-religious or government agency, but why not?

Demonology (30 pages): This chapter returns to the playable races in the Character Creation chapter, going into their origins, history and home world/dimension/whatever in much more detail.

Telling Stories for API (15 pages): This has some advice for the GM, a handful of generic adventure seeds, and a short bestiary. It would be improved by adding an example adventure.

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