There’s a legend told by the fishermen out by Cap Cana Ral. They tell the tale of a man, half ghost, wandering by the lakeside. Th’say he guards an ancient shipwreck—maybe even from the Before Times—with terrible magics, that he unleashes on anyone who approaches. Nobody knows why he hangs around, or who he was, and before anyone can figure out, they say, he unleashes ice and fire and lightning from his fingertips to send you to hell. I don’t know if that story is true, now—but if it is, I damn sure wouldn’t cross that thing.
—Jan Darowitz, Wandering Trader
The Ghost Captain of Cruiser HB-963
Appearance: Roughly 6’6”, human-shaped with two arms and legs. A skeletal frame, surround by varied chunks of muscle and flesh, is barely shrouded by tattered, form-fitting space gear which, to any character familiar with Old World history, identifies him as a member of the Space Rangers. His body exudes a faint glow of radioactivity, and a flowing cloud of noxious yellow gas flows around him, forming a makeshift cape. His eyes glow white with energy.
Environment: Can be found wandering anywhere in the greater area of Cap Cana Ral, particularly along the shallow banks of the town’s many shallow underwater caves. The Captain is said to stalk trade caravans from afar—though he never truly interacts with them, save a few unreliable reports of angel-like rescues—and to ambush the scavenging parties of the Mantis-Folk, leaving no survivors.
A successful exploration of the caves reveals pieces of Old World technology scattered throughout, and eventually, the still-running remains of a Spectre-Class Cosmic Cruiser, the staple of the Space Rangers, powered by a Jaycean-core engine, said to have a near infinite half-life. The more technology an exploring party gathers, and the deeper they reach in the caves, the more likely they are to encounter the Captain.
Backstory: (as pieced together by various black box recordings and journals scattered in the caves) Thad Blastarr was one of many idealistic Space Ranger recruits whose lives were cut down in the early days of the Great Disaster. Specifically, Blastarr, while returning home from a routine space patrol, was knocked off course by a natural disaster and buried alive in the shallow caves he now calls home. His body was consumed by the irradiated core as he labored to shut it down—a task in which he succeeded, leaving the ship to stay dormant until recently, when a tribe of Mantis-Folk found and began scavenging the ship for parts and weapons. This inadvertently reactivated the core, which reconstituted and revived the young Captain, turning him into the titular Zombie. He now prowls the area, seeking vengeance and attempting to follow through on his guardian duties as best he can, despite being such a monstrosity.
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Want to run a successful game, build and break characters, manipulate emotions, and generally orchestrate chaos?
The best way to be a great GM: watch professional wrestling.
There is no better way to understand, manage, or control week-to-week events, heroes, and villains than applying professional wrestling theory to tabletop.
Also: pro wrestling is awesome and you should watch because it’s awesome.
Kayfabe is a great RPG from 2003 which simulates the backstage politics and performance aspects of Pro Wrestling unlike any other game (video game, RPG, or otherwise) I’ve ever read.
After reading PPV, and seeing how well it translates the storytelling parts into Fate, I wanted to see if the same could be done with Kayfabe.
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We love wrestling RPGs—but the character generation phase, where you’re generally asked to make 5-10+ performers, is often more tiring than we’d like. In Monday Night Pro Graps, we present a ready-to-use wrestler for use several popular wrestling-themed RPGs.
Gimmick: Terry Lorde, International Man of Action
Height: 5’11” Weight: 175 lbs
Birthdate: 4/18/1968 (45 years old)
Hometown: Havershire, England Billed From: London, England
Backstage Bio: “Growing up, there were three things I wanted to be when I grew up—a wrestler and The Doctor *laughs*. Course, by the time I got into the industry, I knew I couldn’t rightly make my gimmick that of an alien adventurer. So I tried to take the idea of the Doctor—someone very dashing, very rebellious, very unique—and mold it into my own character. Turned out well, if I say so m’self—12 title reigns, six tag title reigns, and two consecutive EuroCups, eh? But I tell ya, looking at kids today—with their dragons and mad scientists and superheroes—I think I was born 20 years too late! I could’ve fit in right well with these folks if I was starting out today.”
Three important relations:
“My mum, of course—she worked to the bone for us, every day, and never let us see her sweat.
Slim Pritchard, my first trainer. His motto was ‘if you’re not working right this second, you’re unemployed’. I took that to heart. I try to do something every day, even if it’s just a one-time appearance.
My husband, Julian. He’s never let the stresses of dating a man in my position get to him, which makes him a damn saint.”
What’s most important to you in the ring? “I’m getting on in years—I want to go out on top of th’ world.”
Kayfabe Bio: A world-travelling, adventure-seeking ne’er-do-well, Terry Lorde is a legend among legends. Ladies love him, men envy him, and his opponents wish they’d never met. Wherever there’s a fighting style to master, a villain to defeat, or a title to win, Terry Lorde will be there!
Costume: Black briefs and boots, black vest, sunglasses. Slicked back black hair (with specks of gray).
Terry Lorde, Experienced Wrestler (Babyface)
Heat: 75 (20 + 50 Nostalgia)
Work Rate: 5
Mic Skills: 5
Assets: Mat Technician, Past Glory, The Look (Handsome)
Flaws: Old, Old, Progressive Injuries (Bad Back)
Finisher: The Around The World (Airplane Spin into a Samoan Drop)
Trademark Moves: Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker, Tiger Suplex, Camel Clutch
Terry Lorde, Legend
Gimmick: World-travelling, Adventure-Seeking Ne’er-Do-Well
Feud Aspects: Always Give ‘Em A Show; The World for a Pretty Face; King of the EuroCup Tournament; Trained in the Old Ways
Approaches: Technical +4; Savvy +3; Powerhouse +2, Roughneck +2
Because Terry is an International Escape Artist, he receives +2 to Technical defenses when escaping from holds and submission attempts.
Because Terry is Born with a Pretty Face, he receives +2 to Savvy Advantages related to flattery or flirtation.
Finishing Move: Around the World (Technical)
Wild World Wrestling/Know Your Role Stats
Terry Lorde, International Man of Mystery (Level 13)
POW -1 ATH +1 BRW +1 INS +4 FLR +2
Weight Mod: -1 (175 lbs)
Skills: Deception +4, Knowledge (Flair Maneuvers) +10, Knowledge (Roster) +5, Knowledge (Submission Match) +5, Knowledge (Technical Maneuvers) +20, Perception +5, Performance +3, Presence +4
Gimmick Enhancements: Training Background (MF: Technical, MF: Flair, Finisher (Around-the-World Bulldog), Moveset (Tiger Suplex, Camel Clutch, Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker), Heat Machine, Go All Night, Ring Sense (Instinct), Close Call, Feat of Composure, Feat of Cunning, Master Mat Technician, Master Showman, Master of Submission Matches, Mastery: Technical Maneuvers, Opportunist, Refocusing Your Concentration, Refocusing Your Panache, Ring Smart X2, Ring Strategist X2, Master of the Game, Popular Appeal, Resources +4, Stacking the Deck, Spectacular Entrance, Ring Tactician X3
Flaws: Old Injury, Injury Prone
Critical Success is a resource for new GMs and players as well as experienced role-players who want to spend time thinking about game theory.
I love One-Shot, and after hearing the host plug its sister podcast, which used examples from One-Shot to provide GMing advice, I decided to check it out.
I highly recommend you do the same. This is a great podcast! Full of useful tips for beginner GMs, but with plenty of eye-opening material for established GMs as well.
(This is my contribution to the day’s ongoing Doctor Who madness. Let me start off by saying, thank you to the cast, crew, and fans of Doctor Who. You are, and shall always be, an essential part of my fandom and my life.)
Did you know there was almost a Doctor Who cartoon in the 80s?
It would’ve been done by Nelvana studios—the people behind Droids and Care Bears—and would’ve featured an all-new Doctor (or several, judging by the Concept Art) as he, his companions, and a modified K-9 fought Dalek Tanks, Cybermen, and other galactic nasties.
I’m not entirely surprised it didn’t take off (did I mention it was by the people who did the animated bits of the Star Wars Holiday Special?), but it seems like the perfect kind of thing to use as a starting point for your Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 campaign!
CAH: S3, if you’re unfamiliar, is a fun little game (with the Tabletop Shop Talk seal of approval! Seriously, it’s awesome, go pick it up) built to emulate the specific quirks and tropes of the early 80s Saturday Morning cartoon—perfect for developing this weird, homebrewed concept. My favorite part (because I’m a sucker for group world generation) is the setting creation rules, in which the adventuring party starts out character creation by defining what Cartoon they’re in, and how the rules of that world work.
Let’s give it a try, shall we?
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You’re given a deal: you can run any game, any setting, with the perfect gaming group. But once it’s over, you can never play a tabletop RPG again.
What do you choose?
My picks: Fate Core, Lucha Libre movie or Thundarr Setting.
From the distant future of Saturday, it’s Fate Friday!
Now, let’s talk about Time Travel. Because let’s be frank; your PCs are PROBABLY going to time travel at some point.
Specifically, let’s address the big question: How do you handle changing history?
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