Tag Archives: covert ops

SHADOW OPS: Street Shaman

Last couple characters were pretty combat heavy, let’s roll up some support shall we?

Today’s pre-made is a Snake Shaman. I went total utility belt with this guy, and he’d be a welcome addition to any runner team. I’m also using him to showcase a couple things about making characters in my SHADOW OPS hack:

For starters, all Magicians use the same skill. Hermetics and Shamans are two sides of the same coin. I also didn’t bother writing up all of the totems/mentor spirits because, frankly, I’m lazy. Instead, characters who want to incorporate their ties to a mentor spirit into the games should just use them in a descriptor. For instance: this chummer is a Snake shaman. Snake was a healer, detector and deceiver of sorts. Snake also wasn’t keen on combat. At the basic level, the descriptor of being a snake shaman would imply similar personality characteristics in the character: he’s cautious, tends to his wounded comrades, and is hesitant about being caught up in combat. Although not written in the current draft, I feel a GM who wants more mechanics to totems/mentor spirits could get away just declaring +10 bonuses / -10 penalties for spells and actions that fall in line with the mentor’s personality.

Those used to SR magician characters will probably feel underwhelmed by the number of spells they can start off with here. The key thing is that A) There’s only 16 or so spells in BareBones Fantasy, and B) Those spells offer a range of effects compared to other systems.  Take Cleanse, for example. This single spell can be used to remove poisons, diseases, toxins, conditions such as blindness, etc. At level 3, it can be used to “cleanse” death from a freshly fallen comrade. Another factor here is this character in particular also took levels in Enchanter. Enchanters under the BBF rules can practically cast any of the 16 spells. The catch is: you’re doing so either in enchanting items (foci), brewing potions (or making fetishes), or at the speediest: casting runes on a person or item (which still takes a few turns to pull off.)

Lastly, for those who’ve never played Covert Ops, I’m listing the contents of the equipment packs bought. It’s so much easier at character creation to just allow packs to be acquired. I keep listing “Runner Packs” as a replacement for the Operative Pack every character starts with, although if I was running a contracted merc unit or corporate security squad, I’d probably stick to the original.

Race: Human

Street Shaman from 1st ed. Shadowrun
Street Shaman from 1st ed. Shadowrun

Origin: Shamanic Lodge Member (Perks: Shaman, In-Tuned Domain)
Archetype: Street Shaman
Descriptors:
Mentored by Snake
The rain doesn’t phase me.
Distrusts people in business suits.


STR: 50                  DEX: 55
LOG: 65                 WIL: 60

BP: 25    DR: 5      INIT: 2   MOV: 8
Bones: 2

Skills:
Magician Level 1 (Primary): 63%
Scout Level 1 (Secondary): 53%
Enchanter Level 1: 43%
Medic Level 1: 43%
Spells:
Heal, Cleanse
Gear & Resources:
Runner’s Pack: PDA, encrypted credstick, commlink, etc
Medic Pack: canteen, flares, surgical instruments and tools, bandages, hypodermic needles, several doses of common pharmaceuticals, defibrillator, appropriate professional credentials, etc.
Survivalist Pack: backpack, boot knife, machete, 10 days of military-style rations, compass,
collapsible tent, compact sleeping bag, GPS system, mess kit, flares, etc.

Bullet Proof Vest, Pistol (w/ Laser Sights, 4 clips of ammo), Talismonger (Basic Contact).
570 ¥

SHADOW OPS: Street Samurai

Oh man, the Street Samurai.

Years before I would know who Molly Millions was, I was a dorky 9 year old kid who laughed when my dad referred to my older brother’s weekend pastime as “Dungeons & Dumbass.” But then one Saturday morning, my brother had left out a book he borrowed from a friend. A book with a hot elf chick on the cover in cut off jeans, a book filled with gritty sci-fi urban landscapes, tribal shamans, and fantasy characters with electrodes plugged into their skull. And as I flipped through the full-color archetypes, the I saw turned the page to see this menacing commando with chrome eyes and wolverine claws. And at that moment I thought to myself: “WOW! I WANT TO PLAY THIS!”

And go figure… any time I showed my pre-pubescent friends the book, they all wanted to be that guy. And then I showed them trolls and they wanted to be a Troll version of that guy. (Except for the one friend who wanted to play a Dwarf Mage. That guy is a famous musician now.) Anyways, my rambling point is: When you say Shadowrun, the first thing that pops into my head is this artwork of the street samurai. Sure, he’s not an SR universe exclusive. But the Sixth World was my introduction to both role-playing games and the cyberpunk genre (which would lead me to other awesome sci-fi settings and concepts.) I didn’t even know cyberpunk was a thing, until I saw Cyberpunk 2020 and was like “What? That’s just Shadowrun without magic!” And my brother corrected me, and my fragile little mind was blown.

Street_Samurai
Original Street Samurai artwork that appeared in the first two editions of Shadowrun.

So today, you don’t get a cool character name or a back story. You just see the fruits of me sitting down and going: I want to recreate THAT GUY!

(And by That Guy, I mean the photo and not the original pre-made character.)

Race: Human
Origin: Military Veteran (Perk: Trained Soldier)
Archetype: Street Samurai
Descriptors*:
Can be really nasty when backed into a corner.
Impulsive; hates to sit around planning.
Likes to drink, hates to be drunk.

STR: 65                  DEX: 60 (70)
LOG: 55                 WIL: 50

BP: 33    DR: 10   INIT: 2   MOV: 10    Essence Toll: 56%
Bones: 2

Skills:
Soldier Level 1 (Primary): 65%
Martial Artist Level 1 (Secondary): 53%
Thief Level 1: 45%
Implants:
Subdermal Armor (Moderate)
Targeting System (Moderate)
Reflex Implant
Claws (2D+1 Damage)
Light Amplification Eyes
Maneuvers:
Move-by (allows a free sprint action with a martial attack.)
Point-Blank Shot (+10 to shoot a target 2 spaces away)
9mm Master Key

Gear & Resources:
Runner Pack, Assault Rifle (Heavier Caliber, 5 clips of ammo), Muscle Car, Infiltration Pack, Fake SIN (Complex Cover Identity), Pistol (Heavier Caliber, w/ Concealed Spring Holster, 4 clips of ammo) DocWagon Contract (treated as “Commandos” Backup purchase, except all medics.) Low-rent apartment (Traveller’s Lifestyle), four fragmentation grenades, Underworld Connections (Basic Contact Group), 4140¥ remaining.
Notes:
+2 STR Damage
+3 DEX Damage
Moderate Targeting System grants +10 to firearms checks, may ricochet bullets off nearby environment. -10 per bounce, -2 damage per bounce.

 

Quick Thoughts after creating That Guy:

  • Neumann Protocol implants versus SR Cyberware has a distinct difference in feel, but I kinda dig it. Eye implants are pretty invasive versus SR’s cybereyes, and the Targeting System is brutal on the cost compared to Smartgun Links. But there’s also a bit of “oomph” to these implants — the ricochet feature from Neumann Protocol is kickass imo (I always play cinematic rule of cool, even in dark gritty settings.)
  • Subdermal Armor made me realize I needed to make a house calling on stacking armor. In SR, dermal plating added to the stat that was used to roll to resist physical damage, whereas in CO subdermal armor straight up adds to how much damage gets soaked. It’s a difference in mechanic, but it made me realize that it opens the floodgates for someone to take subdermal armor, but on full Body Armor, and in doing so easily have a DR of 20-30.So, I’m contemplating a house rule that a character is only allowed to stack one piece of “natural” armor (Troll’s natural Dermal Plating) and one piece of “unnatural” armor (subdermal armor implants, armor jackets etc.)
  • Wanted to recognize I was stumped for descriptors, so I took advantage of the 100 Descriptors for Covert Ops off the DwD site.

SHADOW OPS

Shadow Ops: Covert Ops in the Sixth World  is a fan tribute to the Shadowrun franchise, using a mash-up of Covert Ops and BareBones Fantasy by DwD Studios. Inspired by the streamlined mechanics and tactical play of the PC games in particular, it only seemed fitting to mix one of the biggest and best settings in the RPG industry with the fast-playing d00Lite system.

Continue reading SHADOW OPS

SHADOW OPS: Elven Adept

So, after playing Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown a bunch this week with Tim Kirk (of Silverlion Studios), I was inspired to whip-up SHADOW OPS: Covert Ops in the Sixth World. It’s a fan tribute to the Shadowrun franchise, inspired by the gameplay of the recent PC games using a mash-up of COVERT OPS and BareBones Fantasy from DwD Studios. I’m pretty happy with what I threw together between studying for finals, and the initial reactions from the BBF Community on G+ have been stellar. You can download the fan supplement from its page on this site. 

Instead of rambling to you about how I did things (you can download it and read it yourself, chummer) I’ve decided to instead devote time over the next several days to bring you some pre-made characters. This is taking the d00lite system and cranking it up to 11, using a plethora of different options all at once. May be meaty compared to a normal BBF or Covert Ops character, but it sure as hell still feels elegant compared to a typical Shadowrun character sheet. (I say that with love.)

So to start things off, I’m bringing an Elven Adept by the name of Hideaki. He’s a former member of the Scarlet Strike gang, lucky to be alive after failing to take out their leader, Katsuo,  in a bold power play. With ambitions to someday run Katsuo off their turf, Hideaki turned to a life in the shadows with ambitions of restoring his reputation, making powerful connections, and turning Katsuo’s own allies against him.

Hideaki is cold, ambitious, and domineering. He excels at hand-to-hand combat, but can also be quite crafty with a sidearm. A noteable talent is his uncanny talent for fighting in the dark, making him a deadly stalker in the shadows. He’s also quite influential, as has managed to keep some connections with former Scarlet Strikers and various dealers back on his home turf.

Shadowrun Elf by Felix Ortiz. Used without permission.
Shadowrun Elf by Felix Ortiz. Used without permission.

Race: Elf
Origin: Ganger (Perk: Alpha)
Archetype: Adept
Descriptors:
+ Those who’ve heard of me, respect me.
– Some Scarlet Strikers still have it out for me.

STR: 55                  DEX: 65
LOG: 50                WIL: 75

BP: 28    DR:5       INIT: 2   MOV: 9
Bones: 2

Skills:
Adept Level 1 (Primary): 68%
Soldier Level 1 (Secondary): 53%
Leader Level 1: 48%

Adept Powers:
Aid
Killing Hands (1D+1D damage)

Maneuvers:
Riposte, Blind Fighting, Shot in the Dark

Gear & Resources:
Runner’s Pack, Sub-Machine Gun (with Laser Sight / 4 clips of ammo), Bullet-Proof Vest, Motorcycle, 4 Frag Grenades, Traveler’s Lifestyle (paid up at a coffin hotel), Former Gang Affiliation (Basic Contact Group: Street), Fake SIN (Simple Cover Identity)
1050¥

Notes:
Combat Mind: Unarmed Focus
Low-Light Vision
Elven Resistance (+10 versus Charm Spells)

Sigil & Shadow Update

A while back I announced a new project:  Sigil & Shadow – a Barebones Game of Modern Horror & Urban Fantasy.

I wanted to post today just to ensure interested parties that this is still a thing, and hasn’t fallen to the back-burner. That last few months have mostly been about brainstorming — how should we approach character creation? What new mechanics are we bringing in? What old ones are we bringing back, and leaving out? The challenge of this product, for me, is to maintain the best aspects of the DwD “d00lite” design philosophy while also breaking some new ground, and shaping up a game that I would want to run at the table (and hopefully, you guys will, too.)

The college semester is winding down for this non-trad, so I’m looking forward to putting the hammer down on the forge this week. Already the initial draft is around roughly 80 pages — and I still have a bit to go. The first important thing about this project is going to be size — Covert Ops really pushed the edges of “lite” gaming design at around 100 pages. So there may very well be some drastic changes coming up, before we even start sending play test copies out!

SigilBut here’s a bit of the design philosophies I have in place that I’m pretty sure are going to stay:

    • Style and Genre: At its default, the game swings more in line with modern horror fantasy style settings: World of Darkness, Unknown Armies, Buffy & Angel, and even Dresden Files have inspired the style and themes of the game. That said, those wanting more horror-investigation style games in the vain of Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green, Chill, and Beyond the Supernatural should also find something to love here.

 

    • Bones and Origins: Before I even raised my hand to work on this for DwD, I was already working with a friend on developing a supernatural themed campaign for Covert Ops. I love the character creation system built around the Bones — do you let the fate of the dice determine your character? Or do you cherry pick everything at the cost of being able to manipulate your destiny? I felt this ties over to a modern horror setting equally well, if not more. Not only do you get to spend Bones to determine your origins, if you’re playing a Creeper (our term for supernatural characters) you can spend them to acquire new abilities or learn occult arts.

 

    • Play Off Existing Mechanics: While I am adding some new systems for powers and magic to the game, I didn’t just want to add new stuff for new stuff’s sake. I wanted everything to feel organic to the existing d00Lite system, and play off rules that have already been established and show them in a new light. For instance, instead of just tacking a “sanity system” like in other games, I wanted to try something new. What I’m fiddling with right now is a Terror system that ties into the Descriptor and Moral Code mechanics, giving them a bit more play than what is normally used in BBF or CO. Imagine your character confronting a horrible, blasphemous entity for the first time — and the traumatic event causes them to take Suffers Frequent, Hellish Nightmares as a negative Descriptor — or having their Moral Code shift from Very Brave to Very Cowardly, and you get an idea of where I’m going with this.

 

    • Generalized Skills: One thing I do want to state that is being changed is a departure from professions as skills, which I know is a hallmark of d00Lite. Character concepts operate less on “party role” and more on individual development. Because of this, you’ll see broader names like Marksmanship, Investigation, and Subterfuge. But I assure you, they’re still modeled off traditional d00Lite skills, and mechanically operate no different (although certain traits of these skills may be adjusted for genre sake.)

 

    • A Supernatural Toolbox: We all have different styles of campaigns we want to run. Zombie apocalypse, vampire dramas, haunted houses — running “horror” is about as diverse as running “science fiction.” So instead of pinning everything down into details, I’m creating a quick system for GameMasters and Players both to design the kind of monsters they want to play with.  Are your werewolves part of a curse? A bloodline? Demonic spirits possessing people? Are your vampires allergic to holy symbols, or are they quite fond of them? Are your mummies shambling corpses or beautiful immortal entities? Mythology is wide and varied, and modern literature and cinema continues to broaden those boundaries.
    • Alternate “Magic” Systems: There’s three different systems in the game, completely compatible side-by-side but also designed to be stripped out if need be. The base level is “Manifestations,” which mechanically functions similar to spells in BareBones Fantasy. The skill itself is sort of a hodge-podge of Cleric and Enchanter, allowing “mediums” to tap into extensions of the human will to perform miraculous abilities, read auras, create small charms or scribe sigils of power. Thaumaturgy, on the other hand, is a more free-form, dynamic magic system. Academics who specialize in the occult can align themselves with beings and forces to control the different elements and fates. Lastly, Rituals are special thaumaturgic blue prints for any mortals to potentially cast spells — at a cost of time, energy and components. Game masters who feel Thaumaturgy is a bit too fantastic for their campaigns can easily trim that system out, but still use it as a guide for designing rituals for their players to uncover.

Expect more information to come in the very near future, as this is starting to finally take shape from the ether. Feel free to leave comments or questions here, or, join the BareBones Fantasy Community on Google+ (I’m admittedly more active there than I am on the DwD Forums. Shame on me, I know.)