Thursday, 29 March 2018

GURPS Blood Drive Session 4: Welding Robots and Falling Stars

Benedict Con - Humourless Repairman
Geordi Hawking - Callous Rifleman
Kaktis - Super-Strong Cactus Mutant

Having heard of the Safe Zone on the east coast, the party decided to leave the small village of Rona, on the outskirts of the ruins of LA.  They scavenged a car from the ruins, repaired it, and headed northeast...

During their first couple days on the road, Benedict and Geordi repaired their car as best they could.  In an abandoned survivalist shelter, Geordi found a large ammo cache, and an electronically locked vault that probably contained riot armour, but couldn't open it.  Kaktis found a single frag grenade, and Benedict grabbed a syringe of Nano-Boost, a type of healing nanobot.

The party drove down a raised highway until they discovered that part of it had collapsed, so they retreated and found another way to the south of a city, driving slowly around the rusted hulls of abandoned cars.  Geordi heard what sounded like welding, and warned the others just as a pair of primitive robots emerged from the wreckage.

They were made of a single trunk mounted on treads, with two welding arms hanging off the side.  There were sensors on the trunk, a large antenna on top, and many loose hydraulic lines running down the arms.  Ben tried to evade them as best he could, but in the close confines of the scrapped cars, the slow robots kept pace, and started welding their car apart, while Geordi and Kaktis unsuccessfully shot and punched them.

Monday, 19 March 2018

GURPS Blood Drive Session 3: High Noon at the Bandit Camp

JabbaJeff - Unfit, Very Fat Scavenger
Jack Jackson - Cowboy Hunter
Lan Williams - Mechanic Trader

Storm the Gates
The party piled into their car and sped down the dirt road after Scar, to stop the raiders before they fired the artillery at the town, and came to a stop once they saw the walled pre-war estate the raiders were using as a camp in the distance.  The walls were 8' high concrete, and the old wrought-iron gate had been reinforced with scrap metal, so just ramming through wouldn't be a good idea.  They could make out a mansion at the top of a slight hill, and a long driveway, but no more detail.

Realizing that surprise was not an option due to the dust cloud that their car had kicked up, Lan decided to try to talk their way inside the gate to spring an ambush.  As they got closer, they could see that there were two guards keeping watch, just their heads and upper torsos visible over the wall, and, after pulling up in their windshield-less, bullet-hole riddled car, he convinced the guards that they wanted to join the gang.  One of them ran off to go get somebody in charge while the other kept watch.

Several minutes later, a woman in a cowboy hat showed up and told them to come through, but with their weapons down. The gate was pushed open by a group of slaves in tattered clothing, and Lan drove inside, revealing another four raiders, for seven total, all with rifles ready, watching them.  His Danger Sense went off, so he ran one of them over while Jack and Jabba opened fire but missed because of the "bumpy road".  The woman drew a pair of revolvers while running to cover, while the goons opened fire with their rifles.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

GURPS Blood Drive Session 2: Kicking the Ultra-Hornet's Nest

JabbaJeff - Unfit, Very Fat Scavenger
Jack Jackson - Cowboy Hunter
Lan Williams - Mechanic Trader

On the Road Again
Lan patched up Jabba's rat wounds as best he could, while Jack repaired his gun, and Jabba lay down in the back seat of the car because his foot was still crippled. Once that was done, they drained rat blood through some tubing they'd picked up at Home Depot, and Lan started up the engine.  Lan was a capable navigator, and was able to easily find a way through the ruined city.

They had to detour around a large horde of zombies, and later shot at a gasplant in their way until it exploded, but made it back onto Highway 91 with little actual trouble.  Eventually, they arrived back at the place where they had fought the Hunters, and Lan decided against driving off-road, as he would have to take the car into a shallow ravine and he wasn't confident in his skills.  As he and Jack got out to see what they could do about the ruined cars, however, Jack took an arrow to the chest and again, a group of Hunters charged down the hill.

Jack and Lan took up positions behind their car and gunned down one of the Hunters, while Jabba tried to take aim from the backseat of the car.  A pair of Hunters, one with a length of chain, the other a 2x4 with a bunch of nails pounded through it, rushed Jack and Lan, who dropped their guns and switched to melee, only for Jabba to kill both with his sawed-off, just before taking an arrow intended for Jack.

Again, the Hunters retreated, and Lan healed the wounded, while Jack was able to move the ruined cars out of the way without too much trouble, and the party set off down the highway, and towards the safe zone.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Fixing the DF Thief

The Thief Template from Dungeon Fantasy 1 (and DFRPG) is one of the worst available options.  In a game that's largely about getting into big fights, the Thief gets only 1 point for their primary melee weapon (2 if they don't want a shield), which puts them at the same skill level as Templates like the Bard, Cleric, and Druid.  The Thief also gets one point in a ranged weapon, and that's it.  Considering that most Bards/Clerics/Druids use melee only as a last resort, this makes the Thief essentially worthless in combat.

The main issue with the Thief is, to quote DF1, that "they're broad-based experts at mundane skills".  They're the only class with nothing to do in combat, by design, which is a huge misstep.  Well, before we get started, lets take a brief look at what roles the various Templates fill:

Barbarian: Melee Combat, Nature Knowledge
Bard: Face, Utility/Support Magic
Cleric: Healing/Support Magic, Holy Knowledge
Druid: Utility/Support Magic, Nature Knowledge
Holy Warrior: Melee Combat, Holy Knowledge, Healing/Support Magic
Knight: Melee Combat
Martial Artist: Light Melee Combat, Parkour/Climbing, Chi
Scout: Ranged Combat, Nature Knowledge
Swashbuckler: Light Melee Combat, Parkour/Climbing
Thief: Parkour/Climbing, Thief Skills
Wizard: All Non-Healing Magic, Magic Knowledge

Notably, the Thief is the only Template with an emphasis on Thief Skills (mainly Stealth, Lockpicking, and Traps).  This leads to an in-game problem where, depending on the game/GM, either you need to take a Thief (eg because there are locked doors or traps), or you would never bother (eg because you can smash down locked doors and run through traps).  This can be sort of solved by giving the Scout access to Thief Skills as an alternative to their Nature Knowledge, or the Bard in exchange for some Face skills.