Monthly Archives: June 2014

OMEGAZONE Part II: A Scorpion, a Sasquatch, and a Robot…


…  walk into almost anywhere.

Hilarity ensues!

I had three players for my OMEGAZONE game at Endgame today.  We generated characters randomly and got…

BROOK

A Cuddly Monster/Brain-in-a-jar with Psychic Trickery

KLAR-7

A Mundane Atomic Construct with Radioactive Vampirism

SCORPIO

An Igneous Arthropod Chimera with Psychic Teleportation

(I had players draw their characters, but I only seem to have wound up with Brook’s portrait, so I won’t single him out.  But the portraits were very cool)

One thing that people should note – it is totally possible to get approaches over +3 with the character creation system in OMEGAZONE.  This is fine, since it simulates that sort of Gonzo post-apocalyptic mutation universe popular with Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha, but GMs should make note of it when preparing games – mooks may need to be toughened slightly in order to provide a decent fight against +4s.  Another thing (and this I didn’t notice until after the game) – the order of approaches listed in OMEGAZONE is not the same as the order of approaches listed on the FAE character sheet.  Not sure why that it.  It might be worthwhile for Brooklyn Indie Games to put out an online character sheet, or at least make extra copies of the card-based character sheets from the deck available for purchase.  In the event we just put the stats down in the order listed on the FAE character sheet and it didn’t seem to make much difference.

I generated three pieces of equipment for the party.  I treated these like one-use boosts and they were available to everyone, though the party member with possession of the item got veto power for using it  Brook got the psi scanner, KLAR-7 got the proximity alarm, and Scorpio got the Omegaforce codebook

After a brief overview of the Omegazone, we went right into combat.  The party was hanging around El Barrio when their neighborhood was attacked by MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS! (Ominous organ music).  These were mysterious creatures that appeared to be brains made out of riveted metal with old camcorders for eyes.  After a flashy, but not particularly challenging battle the neighborhood was saved, the MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS!! (Ominous organ music) were defeated, and the party discovered that they were, in fact, nothing more than piles of riveted metal with old camcorders for eyes and no obvious power source, internal wiring, electronics, or anything else.

I intended the MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS!!! (Ominous organ music) to be just another weird mystery of the OMEGAZONE but my players, bless their hearts, were so willing to grab hold of any potential plot hook that they almost took off before I could get them to the scenario!  The Guardians of the Reach, who showed up to help fight off other MALEVOLENT BRAIN CONSTRUCTS!!!! (ominou….  OK, OK – the joke’s over already) took the protagonists back to Reach HQ for a debriefing, commended them for their bravery and offered them a job that had nothing actually to do with the …  those things they had fought.  A member of the Guardians had recently lost a neutron blaster pistol after crashing in the Omegazone, and it was believed that Baron Junkpile had gotten his greedy mitts on it.  The Guardians wanted to quietly get it back, and wanted to hire the protagonists to do it rather than go themselves.  There was a bit of haggling back and forth about payment, which Scorpio eventually ended by offering to throw in the Omegaforce codebook if the Guardians would fix one of their items up front.  So the psi scanner stopped being a boost and became an aspect that could be called on.

The protagonists headed off to the Heap, one of the vast junkyards that Baron Junkheap rules, and found the goblinoids there all in a tizzy.  After some persuasion, some negotiation, and a far bit of threatening, it came out that Baron Junkpile was missing!  He had last been seen at the Rocket Garden, having a meeting with Big Tony the gorilla.  After a bit more persuasion, some additional threatening, and a whole lot of flattery towards one goblin in particular*, the party managed to cadge an old Chevy Pinto and headed off for the Rocket Garden**.

At the Rocket Garden (I confused the Rocket Garden with the Ollywood Bowl – thus blowing totally my knowledge of the OMEGAZONE and ruining my chances of this game becoming canon) the party met with the Maitre’d (one of those brain on a drinks trolley sorts), and in good PC fashion intimidated, threatened, and harassed him until Big Tony showed up with a half-dozen gorilla thugs.  This intimidated them into thinking about negotiating for a few minutes, until Big Tony started playing hardball with them, whereupon they decided that it was easier to throw a tablecloth over his head, threaten to stab a screwdriver into his brain, and set the restaurant on fire instead.  There was, in fact, a great scene in which KLAR-7 grabbed Big Tony and took him hostage – only to look around and discover that at the first sign of trouble Scorpio had teleported away and Brook had sprinted out the front door.  “OK guys, I have Big Tony hostage and…  guys?   GUYS???!?”

(This was a potential TPK situation here – Big Tony is not someone to be messed around with.  But it was a one-shot and everyone was having fun, so I let them get away with it, only scaring them a little.  But they aren’t welcome in Vinland now).

Eventually, Big Tony negotiated for his life and admitted that he had kidnapped Baron Junkpile and sold him…  TO THE KREEN!  (Dum dum duuuuuuum!)  Big Tony was interested in moving in on the Heap’s operations and wanted Baron Junkpile out of the way.  But in exchange for promises of payment from the Guardians – and assurances not to get a screwdriver shoved in his ear – he agreed not to make more trouble….  for now.

And so we got to the big battle at the crashed Kreen flagship.  Disintegrator beams flared, Brook shot down Kreen warriors with arrows, KLAR-7  pummeled Kreen with his piledriver atomic fists, and Scorpio faced off against the insidious Lieutenant Nert***.  Eventually the party broke into the room where the Baron was held captive and Scorpio retrieved him and the neutron blaster pistol.  But Lieutenant Nert had taken a fearful toll on him – beaten, nerve-disrupted, and partially disintegrated, Scorpio conceded on the condition that the others could escape with Junkpile and the blaster.  It was an awesome climax to the fight, so I just had to say “yes!”

In the aftermath, Baron Junkpile was freed, the remaining protagonists got paid what they were owed by both the goblinoids and the Defenders of the Reach, and Scorpio returned as a brain-on-a-drinks-trolley, with no memory of how he escaped from the Kreen

And they got to keep the Pinto.

So, what do I think of OMEGAZONE?

The game was a lot of fun.  I had good players – they were imaginative and wacky in correct measure, and willing to try stuff and push the plot along at any cost, even if it meant throwing a tablecloth over a gorilla mobster and setting things on fire.  So kudos to all three for a game well played.

The card-based character generation is good.  It makes for nice, quick character generation which means that for conventions and other one-off events you can actually do character generation and still get in a game within a four-hour time slot.  Like most players, I prefer to generate characters rather than play pregens, so this is great as far as I am concerned.  The card art is evocative, the stunts seem good, and the gear makes for a nice extra addition that creative players can use for a boost or a story point.  I give the product high marks, and intend to use it again in the future.  The only critique I have of it (besides the odd ordering of approaches on the cards) is that I would really like more – more character cards, more mutations, more equipment, more subplot cards, more of everything!  More, more, more!  Don’t make me send Big Tony after you guys – seriously.  More.

___

*  Note to self:  new location for Omegazone.  The front office of the Heap nearest to the Black Pits is now run by a lieutenant of Baron Junkpile named Lieutenant King King (formerly King Lieutenant King).  He dresses like a mismatched monarch and orders other goblinoids around imperiously.  They generally don’t listen, but they don’t whack him in the head with a wrench either, so he appears to have some sort of authority.

** Note to any artists out there who want to make me happy:  an illustration of a scorpioid  driving a beat up Pinto with a fake raccoon tail tied to the antenna through the streets of OMEGAZONE Los Angeles, with a robot in the passenger seat and a sasquach sticking out the rear hatch would make me extremely happy.

***”Lieutenant Nert” and all associated representations, merchandise, concessions, food products, costumes, apparel. and makeup items (including but not limited to lipstick, cologne, bath salts, and chitin wax) not already subsumed under the OMEGAZONE copyright are copyright Edmund Metheny.  All rights except those I don’t actually have reserved.  No challenge to existing copyright intended except those specifically established in the Kreen justice system.  “Lieutenant Nert and the Heroes of the Kreen” expansion pack, coming soon to Kickstarer!  Watch for “Servant of the Sub-Emperor”, volume 1 of the exciting new “Lieutenant Nert” series, coming in 2015 from Kreen Imperial Press.

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OMEGAZONE Part 1


 

Tomorrow I will be running Fate Accelerated at Square 1 Roleplaying, a monthly event at Endgame in Oakland.  Typically (for me) I decided to run something a bit off the beaten path.  In this case, I decided to run OMEGAZONE.

OMEGAZONE is an card-based instant setting for Fate Accelerated, produced by Brooklyn Indie Games.  Using the 56-card deck you randomly generate some traits and stunts for your character, the GM randomly generates a scenario outline, and off you go!  This seemed to me to be a good alternative to pregenerated characters when running games as one-offs, and I am anxious to see it in practice.

Here’s how it works – each player draws twice from among the Character Definition cards and once from the Mutation cards.  Each of these cards gives you a stunt and adds to some of your approaches.  Character Definition cards also give you ideas for your High Concept (and possibly Trouble).

Example:  I’m creating my first Omegazone character.  I draw the following cards:

Character Definition

Felinid – this gives me +1 to Quick and Flashy, and +2 to Sneaky, along with the stunt “Once per session felinids may spend a Fate Point to invoke a Boost without removing it from the table.”

Gelly Blob – I get +1 to my Forceful and Sneaky, and +2 to my Careful, along with the stunt “Gelly blobs get +2 to carefully create an advantage when their lack of well-defined anatomy comes into play.”

Mutation

Explosive Spores – gives me +1 to Flashy and the stunt “Gain +2 to Sneakily Attack when you emit portions of your body at your enemy.”

My Approaches come out

Forceful  +1

Careful  0

Quick  +2

Clever  0

Flashy  +2

Sneaky  +3

So I come out with a character that is essentially Choo-Choo Bear* from Something Positive.

Now all I need to do is come up with a High Concept (which could be as simple as “Felinid Gelly Blob” or something more detailed), and Trouble (“Spore leakage” comes to mind).  Additional aspects can be added by the player as the game progresses.

Coming up with a scenario outline is a matter of rolling four Fate dice, tallying up the number of “+”‘s and “-“‘s, and generating a story plot line based on each from an included chart.

Example:

I roll four Fate dice and come up with two “+” results and one “-” result.  Looking on the GM Adventure Hooks chart this results in the following two Adventure Hooks –

-Someone/thing wants a MacGuffin that the party has/finds

-The Party loses something important

There are also gear and faction cards to help you flesh out your scenario if you want.  You can also distribute them and use them as boosts for the party (most of the gear is old “Before Time” stuff, so if you can get it to work once you are doing pretty well).

Following up on my example above, I draw once from the “Gear” cards and get a “Neutron Particle Blaster” as the MacGuffin.  I decide that just to make things complicated, there are two factions involved – one that wants the MacGuffin from the party, and one that actually stole it.  I get the Guardians of the Reach as one faction, and the Goblinoids as the other.  Obviously the Guardians are out to retrieve this piece of old technology, but the Goblinoids have stolen it.  Game on!

In addition to the card deck, Tim Rodriguez also put out a handy setting guide for OMEGAZONE, which gives additional background on the setting (surprise!), the factions, and additional uses for the card deck.  I highly recommend this to go with the card deck, since the description of factions and settings on the cards is rather thin by itself.  Of course, if you want to use the cards for a different published setting such as Gamma World, its easy enough to do that instead.

I am looking forward to trying out OMEGAZONE tomorrow, and will let everyone know how it goes.

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*Choo Choo Bear is copyright R.K Milholland and no challenge to that copyright is intended or implied.  Please do not send Fluffmodeus.

 

 

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