Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Phone Home?

Scientist calls the lab (in Andrei Tarkovsky's "Stalker")

What do you do when you find an operating phone in the midst of a long-abandoned dungeon? You're on the threshold of the final room on the final level. This is the kind of dungeon that has a destination.

Do you pick the phone up when it rings? Do you phone the people back in the lab? The ones who didn't believe in you? The ones who thought you'd never make it, that you didn't know what you were talking about in the first place?

The ones who ratted you out to the authorities.

When the phone's just there ringing at the threshold, it's strange to pick it up and answer. It's probably just as weird to phone home and brag that you were right after all.

But maybe understandable.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Vengeance Of The Patient

They can be awakened. 



Once stirred their aim is true. 

They are the ultimate weapon in the slowest of wars. 

The oldest of the old call them

"The Vengeance of the Patient."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Atomic Robo Is A Go!

The entire planet probably knows this by now, but the Atomic Robo RPG Print & PDF preorder just went live on the Evil Hat webstore. About two minutes ago.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Deck Of Fridays 17: Didn't See You Coming

Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of FateRPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.

This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: Didn't See You Coming Point, a card with a +1 value. So, an element of surprise or distraction creates mildly favorable circumstances for someone who seeks to act first and/or evade detection.

Perhaps the PCs are approaching a checkpoint, roadblock, or security station. Here is a 4DF table of reasons why the person responsible for spotting your approach failed to do so!


Didn't See You Coming, the Table

Roll 4DF and consult the corresponding result below.
  • -4: I am so not high
  • -3: Sooooo sleepy
  • -2: Kinda busy flirting right now
  • -1: Distracted by communications (e.g., texting, VR, comms, phone, etc.)
  •  0: Oh, I'm just too busy noticing everything to have noticed you
  • +1: Wow, that person over there is really attractive
  • +2: You were not the person (droid, alien, etc.) I was looking for
  • +3: Busy with a real emergency
  • +4: You have a sympathizer or secret admirer*
*They really DID see you coming but they are on your side!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Llyddwdd's Grasping Hands

Llyddwdd's Grasping Hands (Evocation/Planar, Cost, Per Session, Permanent, Requires one other Planar spell): This casting is used by temporal scavengers to retrieve items from one or more Golden Ages in the past or future, times of technological marvels. It is also used to seize objets d'art or antiquities from another time, feeding present-time markets for collectibles.

The caster rolls CHA +2; success creates a window of access +/- 500 years from the caster's present time. Each additional shift increases the window by another +/- 500 years.

The caster's hands stretch out, literally spanning a temporal displacement. If the target object has unusual physical properties (i.e., is hot or slippery, has sharp edges, an electrical charge, etc.) the GM may require a DEX roll to make sure the caster has a solid grip on the target.

The caster may then pull an object from another time into the caster's present. An object taken in this way must be inanimate, and something that a single person can grab hold of and carry in one or two hands. The caster can only see across the temporal displacement if they have access to the spell Negobipfel's Temporal Lens. Without access to that spell, the caster must select the object to be acquired by tactile sense alone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Negobipfel's Temporal Lens

Forest Whitaker in "Ghost Dog"

Negobipfel's Temporal Lens (Divination/Planar, Cost, Per Session, Persistent, Requires Clairvoyance): When casting this spell, one or both of the caster's eyes begin to droop, as if the caster has a lazy eye. The caster's gaze shifts from their "present" location to the same place in distant times past or present.

The caster rolls WIS +2; if successful, the caster can gaze into the past/future for +/- 1,000 years from their present. The caster will see a montage with brief impressions of different times within this continuum. Each additional shift extends this time by another +/- 1,000 years.

If the caster achieves a Succeed with Style, they may also declare that they have targeted a very specific time, +/- 4,000 years of their present time, with great accuracy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shield Me, Please

"Faith," available as "The Great Doctor" on Netflix

I've been enjoying the Korean time travel drama "Faith", in which a general, the loyal retainer of Korean prince in the Goryeo period, travels forward in time. His task is to find a doctor who can save the prince's intended, a Yuan dynasty princess who was injured in an assassination attempt. He has to save his bride. Otherwise there will be Mongol trouble, and he will not become king.

The general passes through the time portal that connects a shrine in medieval Korea with a location in contemporary Seoul. He thinks he has arrived in sagely Heaven; he kidnaps the first doctor that he can.

Unfortunately for the general, the woman he kidnaps is an extremely whiney plastic surgeon, not some gifted physican-immortal. But he won't learn that until it's too late. The general fights the local police, grabs one of the fallen cops' plastic riot shields, and heads back through the portal with the shield and his doctor. Adventure ensues in the past. The intrigue of a jealous elder prince, bomb throwing assassins, an evil flute playing bishonen sorcerer, and much, much more lay ahead for our general and his heavenly physician.

The most important shield in Korean history

I love the detail that the general brings the riot shield into the past. It takes a beating. I'm about eight episodes into the series, and the shield is a mess of spiderweb cracks, and there's a fist-sized hole where a chunk of plastic has fallen out entirely. The shield is so Gamma World. But without the apocalypse.

That whole post-apocalyptic thing is starting to get really tired.

We need more of this kind of thing: the past, contaminated by relics of the future.