Tag Archives: REWIRED

The ChaosGrenade Fall 15 Update

img-thingThis dispatch of the goings-on of R.E. Davis comes to you from behind a pile of college homework and real-world obligations. Fun.

Now that the summer heat is subsiding to a modest heat in Texas (with the occasional bouts of “feels nice”), I figured it was time to post a seasonal update regarding current projects that The ChaosGrenade is waiting to pull the pins on:

    • Sigil & Shadow: It’s still happening, I promise! There’s a lot going on with DwD these days, including the wrapping-up of the second edition of Covert Ops. S&S is next in line, but, it needs to wait its turn. And believe me, I’m as impatient to get it as you folks are. I’ve played the crap out of this game, and I believe in it. I can’t give an ETA because it needs to go through some edits, layout, and have art commissioned. All of which equals time and money. And with my college degree at full attention right now, I don’t really have the time, money or resources I’d like to devote to pushing it out by myself. I’m purposefully keeping the hype-train restrained on this until I have a better timeline to tell the awesome folks who’ve been hounding me about it. It sucks, but that’s just how it is.


    • Website Overhaul: I’ve worked on the site a bit and re-organized things. Pretty much, everything is either a personal gaming blog post or a news update related to my projects (such as this!). I know my posting is infrequent these days, so the focus of the site now is a repository for our games first, a hobbyist gaming blog second. I appreciate everyone who continues to drop by, and I’ll continue to post about my home games. But I think my time as a frequent and relevant blogger has long passed — I don’t have the steam I used to have during the 4e D&D days. I’m happy to be gaming once or twice a month now. It sucks, but that’s just how it is.


    • WASTED! as a Stand Alone Game: This is happening at a snail’s pace, but, I’m collaborating with a friend to create a full rulebook version for playing post-apoc, Madmax style games using the REWIRED rules.  We’re treating this as a separate (albeit compatible) game — it’ll have its own twist of mechanics and flavor. I think this will be appealing to a lot of newcomers and be easier for GM’s to run a game like this than having to walk through a hack-guide.


    • I’m playing a lot more games at least. I have a group I’m running Cypher System with. I have a weekly D&D 5e group I play with at a local game shop, that I’ve been attending somewhat regularly (regular enough to hit level 5 on my Warlock.) One of my buds hosts weekly board game nights, so I’ve been getting to experience a broader range of things outside my own collections. My personal creativity and production may be completely focused on schoolwork, but, it’s nice playing stuff without having to have my “playtest and feedback analysis” hat on. You know, playing for fun again.


Please feel free to follow The ChaosGrenade page on Google Plus. I post more often there anyway.
You can also stalk me via Twitter @TheChaosGrenade.
Until next time —

Roll 1d6

  1. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t eat.
  2. Make sure you turn the lights off when you leave.
  3. Keep Calm — Napalm.
  4. Have yourself a nice cold beer, and drink yourself away.
  5. Straighten your necktie.
  6. Free Parking
  7. You’re a rebel, I like that.

WASTED: Post-Apocalyptic REWIRED

Yes, I wrote this because I’ve been gushing fanboy for Mad Max: Fury Road.  Honestly though I’ve been kicking these thoughts around any time I fire up Fallout or Borderlands. Regardless, I present to you a 3-page hack for REWIRED describing how I would run post-apoc wasteland using the rules. Honestly, going from cybernetic urban sprawl to post-collapse anarchy isn’t that far of a stretch. Even my base campaign setting was practically on the edge — this just allows us to kick that bastard over and watch it fall face first.

The largest change isn’t mechanical, just in attitude: it’s no longer about acquiring new drugs, new tech, more bullets and more connections on the neon-lit rainy streets. It’s about acquiring the right supplies in the hopes of getting to live another day in the radioactive fallout. To reflect this, I replaced the Wealth skill with Resources, which is broken up into three tracks: Scrap, Food and Fuel. “Cred” don’t mean shit in this type of setting — coin metal is melted down, paper money is good to wipe your ass with.

I also tossed in a couple new equipment Tags and a few Perks. For those wanting mutations, I pretty much put in a perk that reskins bionetic augmentations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of bonkers/gonzo, weird-as-fuck super mutant settings. But there are far better games out there for that kind of thing. REWIRED works as a quick, gritty, low-powered action game.

The zip file includes the three page document and an altered character sheet.

REWIRED Wednesday: Music to Gun By

This week’s REWIRED Wednesday caught me off guard, so my next supplemental article won’t hit the datasphere until next week.
In the mean time — how about some mood music? Spotify listeners can enjoy my REWIRED playlist:

If you’re needing more atmospheric, less intense background music for your games — I recommend this Cyberpunk playlist by James Wong. Over 38 hours of tracks have been collected (and he continues to add more!)

What artists do you listen for your cyberpunk role-playing? Feel free to recommend some noise in the comments!

(REWIRED WEDNESDAY) Recalibrating Perks

Perks in REWIRED were intended to help players flesh out their characters in more detail. Sure, there’s a bunch of cool combat-assisting augmentations and psychic powers, but there’s also plenty of perks that focus on specialized roles or giving a character an edge in their surroundings. In this RECALIBRATED article, I break down the basic guidelines for Perk design, provide some new perks as examples, and hopefully give you some ideas on how to custom build or tweak your own. Remember this, though: these are just guidelines, and even in the core game you can see examples of how I strayed off the path a bit.

image by Mark Hoekstra. Licensed under CC-BY-SA-NC
image by Mark Hoekstra.
Licensed under CC-BY-SA-NC

Most perks in REWIRED were intended to be single ranked, giving one of the following:

    • +4 to a Skill roll under a particular circumstance
      Intimidation: Receive a +4 to Influence rolls when attempting to intimidate, bully or interrogate another character.
    • Give a bonus to a derivative stat (+2 on Defensive stats, +4 or +1 per Ranked)
      White Hat: The hacker’s knack for cybersecurity grants them +2 to their Firewall rating
    • Allow a character to change a die roll to “6” on a particular action once per scene.
      Windfall: Once per scene, you may change one of your die results on a Wealth roll to a “6.”
    • Grant a “free” maneuver or action, either per session or scene.
      Fortune’s Favorite: Once per session, the character may ignore a successful attack against them without spending Edge.
    • Granting some kind of advantage within context of the setting (like Garage, Off the Grid, etc.)
      Fake Identity: The opposite of Off the Grid, the character has a full-fledged alter-ego, with legal papers and everything. May be taken multiple times for multiple identities.


Augments behave in much the same way, usually putting in some sort of limitation to use but with a bonus that could be stackable with a natural perk (for example: Enhanced Audio with Alert can grant a +6 bonus to listening based awareness checks.) One thing that should stand out is how Augments may also grant bonuses to attribute-based skill rolls. Muscle Augments, for instance, can add their rating to any Chrome based skill checks – it doesn’t add to the attribute itself, it just modifies the performance of related actions.  Augments also allow characters to interface or do things that naturally no human can do (Interface Jacks for plugging into electronics, cybereyes recording video feeds or seeing in infrared, etc.) A last benefit of augments, of course, is that (if the GM allows the rules at the end of the Equipment booklet) they can be bought. The cost is usually hefty, of course – either being a strain on a character’s Funds or a pain in the ass to find a trust-worthy surgeon who isn’t going to botch the job or give you third-rate parts.

Ranked perks, whether augmentations or otherwise, are intended to give a gradual boost for the sake of game balance. Stuff like boosting the initiative rating, or enhancing melee attacks (which leads to increased damage) felt like things I needed to rein in – the system is deadly enough, I wanted to ensure some survivability! Ever since WYRED, I’ve seen even the littlest weapons like a simple knife in the hands of a slightly augmented opponent practically disembowel a PC.

Free Form Perks

Using the guidelines above, a player (with GM approval) may scheme up their own narrative flavor to define a perk bonus. Optionally, a GM may ditch the core Perks entirely for this approach. It can be particularly handy for expanding the game on the fly, or even re-skinning for a different genre in a jiffy.  For instance: Let’s say we wanted to play in a bit more high-tech setting. Timmy wants to be a “fully converted cyborg cop” concept. He may jot down perks like these:

  • Hardened Alloy Frame: +2 to Toughness (he wanted +4, but the GM gave him a fat OH HELL NO.)
  • Enhanced Articulation: +2 to Wires based skills.
  • Motion Sensors: +4 to Awareness checks when detecting movement.

Another option is to tie in character background detail in defining a free form perk:
Grown up in the enclaves, programmed by authorities — +4 to Corporate Policies knowledge rolls to cite exact regulations when enforcing authority. 



Enjoy the article? You can download the PDF for yourself here:

Friday Free-For-All: 6/6/14

In an effort to try to get more regular posting on the Chaos Grenade, I’m devoting Fridays to weekly ramble updates. These are essentially posts with collected, random stuff that I’ve been wanting to share but couldn’t justify writing a whole article over.

REWIRED: REVIEWED!remington_typewriter
Rob Lang over at The Free RPG Blog has posted an amazing review of REWIRED. Seriously flattering, and upon reading it you’ll be craving stew. Not joking. Even the stuff he found as faulty, I am 100% okay with because I wasn’t setting out to do anything new other than having a set of rules I’m comfortable running. What he calls the Achilles heel of the system, I consider it a personal strength, but I get where he’s coming from. Regardless, he gave it high marks, and in my book his is the approval any and all Free RPG writers should aspire to impress.

On top of that, thanks to his review REWIRED has been downloaded 1200 times this week! If you’ve discovered REWIRED through him and you’re reading this, please take time to comment and say hello! PS — In addition to Free-for-All Fridays, expect REWIRED Wednesdays for carried support!

Sigil & Shadow Progress
The initial draft is starting to wrap up — essentially all of the rules I want are present, I just need to fill in the good setting bits and inspirational fluff. This weekend marks the first official full playtest! My guinea pigs test players will be my monthly GURPS/d20 group, who just happen to be the players with the least input or knowledge of this project. Which is awesome, to me, because that means what I get from them will be completely raw reactions and feedback. Once I have a real, solid session under my belt, I plan on touching up the rough draft a bit and then proceeding with contacting people for further game testing.

Tavern Keeper
I’m in the process of setting up a REWIRED play-by-post using Tavern Keeper, a new community for rpg campaign management. Still in its early stages, I’m already charmed by what it has to offer. It has thinks you’d expect: A wiki, a discussion area, a place to keep track of characters and journals, etc. Some of these features feel barebones compared to other sites, like Obsidian Portal, but what won me over is their role-play support: you can set up scenes, with cool little dialogue bubbles between characters, that also include a built in dice roller! Plus, the GM is able to create NPC’s and toggle which character they are acting as in a role-play scene. It’s really motivated me to get back into running play-by-posts, and I’m excited to see where our campaign goes.

A Personal Update
My lease ends in July. For the past few years, I’ve been living with a rotation of friends in an apartment complex. It’s been a great time, helping me get my life back in line and helping me dust off the cobwebs of my creativity. There’s been a lot of parties, a lot of adventures, and a lot of gaming.  But now, I’m pretty much waiting for the all-clear to move into my next home. I’m excited because as much fun as I’ve had here, I’m looking forward to living in a house again, especially where my only room mates are my girlfriend and cats. Plus, I’m getting my own gamer cave / office again. We’re stupid excited to be moving into a place where we have our shared space, but also our hideaway spots. I also feel this will bring back my youtube videos and other side hobbies like it, as I’ll have more space and privacy to not be self-conscious about.


That wraps up this week’s Free-For-All. If you have any reviews of REWIRED, a cool self-published game, or anything else you want me to rant about feel free to leave me a comment or stalk me on Google Plus.