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MD182562

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Everything posted by MD182562

  1. I don't think that the rules of Anima are too difficult per se, rather that they are spread out through out the rulebook too much. An appendix with the main tables used in game play would have been an excellent idea. The thing I like about Anima is that it is highly versatile and has the rules/mechanics to back it up. First edition storyteller tried to do this but really fell down on the rules backup. Having played truely incomprehensable games like Chivalry and Sorcery, Mythus and especially the wargame AIr War, Anima is not that hard. Those who have played ICE's Rolemaster will agree that there is much less table lookups in Anima. In short if you want the versatility that Anima provides you have to put up with a higher level of rules.
  2. About the relative weakness of 1st rank characters I think the rules are realistic. An unaimed snapshot should have a pretty low chance of success for an inexperienced shooter. Note the term snapshot because that is what a straight BS only attack is, the shooter has not taken the time to take a sight picture and aim. You should only take snapshots at point blank range, maybe at short if you are desperate (the Hormagaunts are about to jump you). An inexperienced shooter should always take the time to aim or fire a burst to increase his chance of getting a hit. That is just good marksmanship principles. (On second thoughts if the Hormagaunts are about to jump you it is time for autofire!)
  3. Re the discusion on whether 40K rogue trader ships are big or small in canonical books, I remember a 40k book by Barrington Bailey whose title evades me (it might be Eye of Terror) where one of the main characters was a rogue trader. His ship was small enough to land on a planet and had precisely 2 crew members: the RT and his navigator.It had a warp engine and Gellar fields. In fact one of the plot points was that he was stuck in one system looking for a new navigator because his last one went nuts from being too close to the eye of terror. The rest of the novel was good on canonical data (Dark angels hunt the fallen, Lion'El Jonson is in supended animation in a secret chamber in the Rock, Daemonettes are weird looking but sexy, the Emperor is one powerful Pysker, Don't muck about with Chaos artifacts if you want to live in the Imperium, Callidus assassins are deadly but sexy). You would think that a small ship would be better in some cases, as the less souls on board the less notice you would get from the Warp gribbleys. They would be more attracted to giant cities in space like Imperial Battleships. So I dont see any reason why you couldn't have a Han Solo type in a rust bucket, Han Solo putting the Rogue in Trader more than Captain Kirk of the Mars Class Battlecruiser Enterprise. ( The empire wouldn't like Kirk, his first officer is obviously Eldar).
  4. The best thing about Anima is it really puts control in the hands of the player on what you want your character to be able to do. The mixed Archetype classes really shine in this way. Of particular note is the way martial arts is treated. You get 10 basic styles and 10 advanced styles, but these are only the tip of the iceberg. The real innovation is the rules for martial techniques. These allow you to customise signature moves that no one else has (unless you set up a dojo in the game and train people!). Moves I have seen in games include a fast, brutal and long range wire fighting kick, one where you swing your Katana over your head leaving after images of it behind that shoot out and slash your enemies in a 30 foot radius and the 9 premade ones in the book. The key is thinking up the cool description first and then using the rules to make it come alive. It is equally true for Psychic abilites and creature creation. It's like a toolbox of powers that you put together however you want it to be. In 29 years of roleplaying it's the most versatile system I've seen that actually has the rules to back it up. The only downside is the rules are dense and spread out in the book, it's not a game you will pick up and start playing in 5 minutes. But with a bit of dedication you begin to see how they have put the system together. I found that once I had mastered one of the special power sections I was able to apply what I had learned to the others and they were much easier to understand. So pick what you like the best, master it and the whole system just falls into place.
  5. Character Creation in Anima is complex. It is complex because of the many options available to PCs in the game. As an example of a simple character I will look at one of the easiest characters to do: a human Warrior. (this is what I do for low level opposition NPCs) The character will be maximised for combat effectiveness, power gamer style. 1.Generate your characteristics. Use method 1 don't forget to dump the low roll for a 9. 2. Pick your Class now, as it determines everything you will choose in character generation. For this it is Warrior 3. Assign Characteristics. For a warrior max out Dex Str Agl and Con in that order. Mental characteristics are less important but it is always good for a Warrior to have high numbers in the Ki Stats (Str,Agl,Dex,Con,Wp &Pow). Per is also a good choice. 4. You have 600 Development Points to expend. Looking at a warrior you have limits of 60% Combat, 50% Supernatural and 50% Psychic. This works out to 360 points for combat and 240 for any thing else. Supernatural and Psychic can be ignored for the warrior as they are irrelevant. 5. 360 points for combat can be looked at in the following way. Maximum for direct combat abilities is 50% of total (300 points) so the breakdown for a balanced warrior is 150DP for Attack and 150DP for either Block or Dodge depending on your concept of character. If you go with Block for the warrior it is possible to spend 174 on attack and 126 on block and ensure you get a shield. The 1st option gets Attack 75 Block 75, the second gets Attack 92+DEX mod Block 88+DEX mod( 63 plus 20 for a shield + 5 for Warrior) These are as good as it is possible to get and remain remain within 50 attack vs block as required by the rules. This leaves 60 points for wear armor and combat modules. The most efficent is to get the Different Type module for 20DP and pick the most damaging one hand weapon possible (Bastard sword of battleaxe for slow initiative, Broadsword for medium Initiative and Sabre for fast initiative.) Take shield for second weapon. 40 in Wear Armor finishes the 360DP combat allocation. This gives a wear armor of 35 (20 for DP, 10 for STR bonus and 5 for Warrior class bonus). This Allows chainmail for a penalty of -10 or Studded leather for no penalty. 6. 240 DP for every thing else. The Warrior class has a life point threshold of 15. So you could spend 90DP and add 6 x CON score to Life point total. This leaves150DP for Secondary Abilites. Ignoring Intellectual for its high cost this gives you 75 percentiles to allocate to what ever you want. ( Remembering that you get 1 for 1 in feats of strength) 7. The last thing to consider is Creation Points. Always take your three disadvantages. this probably gives you 6 CP. Good ones for a Warrior are Danger sense for 2 DP (you won't be surprised very often), Starting Wealth 2 (5000GC get superior weapons and armor) and regeneration 2 (increase base regeneration by 4 and heal much quicker). If you pick your CP before DP allocation you may choose to take Martial mastery and try out KI powers. You will need to loose some basic attack and block points to boost KI power. This can be a good trade off as KI powers can be devastating. 8. Fill out your character sheet with what you have spent and play. Other easier characters are any of the "pure" classes, ie a class that concentrates on one aspect of the game. By archetype they are: Fighter: Warrior, Acrobatic Warrior, Weaponsmaster Prowler: Thief, Assasin Mystic: Wizard Psychic: Mentalist Personal Favorite: Warlock Personal Hate: Freelancer
  6. Anima is a fairly complex RPG, particularly when compared to D&D 3,3.5 & 4. It is broader in scope for PC generation and advancement than D&D. The game requires heavy involvement from players as well as GM as many of the abilites ( Ki powers, Psychic talents, Summons, Creature generation) have extensive power creation rules that allow for genuinely individual characters. The rules have examples of powers that can be created but it is expected that players will create their own, with the GM as final arbiter on what is allowable. As a roleplayer of 29 years I found the game to require careful reading but to ultimately be highly versatile. As an example of what can be done with a first level character, one of my players has a Thief with heavy martial arts techniques. One of his powers is a flying kick. In game terms it gives a free move, a bonus to initiative and enhanced unarmed combat damage. As the game is influenced by anime and Chinese cinema the player describes the power as a fast flying kick to full move distance (ie a full on wire fighting move). As a GM I was happy with it as it takes 3 combat turns for a 1st level character to generate enough power (Ki power in this case) to pull it off. It also has the characterful side effect of as he fills up on Ki, the power manifests in blowing wind and levitating rocks and pebbles around the PC. His first use of it basically kicked the head off of one enemy. The combat system is highly interactive during the combat round with attack rolls being opposed by defence rolls (dodges and blocks). With closely matched opponents this can result in wild flurries of blows in and out of intiative sequence. Highly entertaining for players as their crappy attack roll resulting in a counterattack from their opponent can result in a masterful parry. Compare to D&D: rolled a 3, arrgh miss, wait to next turn to do something. Magic is fully developed in comparison to the other powers with multiple paths to follow. Magic is highly powerful as most low level opponents have no defence to it. Each path has 50 spells available to it, split between general magic and path specific spells. The highest level spells have power that beggars the imagination. As you read the campaign background you realise that some of the level 100 spells have been cast in the past and are major turning points in game history. There is a system for attracting the attention of the major powers in the game giving the players heavy duty abilites. The heavy duty abilites in turn promote role play, as if you don't follow the higher power's commandments, you will quickly lose the abilites. There is a lightly developed campaign background simular in level of detail to the old Living Grayhawk gazetter from D&D 3. There is scope within the campaign background for many styles of play from dungeon crawling, intrigue, city based crime, gritty military adventures and horror. I belive there is much more detail available in the Spanish and French versions of the game that hasn't been translated to English yet. To sum up: Anima is a highly detailed game that requires careful reading and investment of time by GM and players. The time invested is rewarded by a rich and detailed game experience. I would recommend the game to those prepared to put in the time to really learn the system. If you are not looking for this level of detail the game is probably not for you.
  7. As Anima has conversion stats for D20 style games I dragged out the old Monster Manual and converted a few critters. I stuck to the architypical fantasy creatures (ie Griffon, Manticore, Minotaur, Orcs etc). The creature creation rules seemed to handle this very well. Mind you these are low Gnosis critters, Higher GN ones would be more difficult. I also picked powers that I prefered rather than stick to D20 canon as I think the aim of the two games are very different. In D20 the critters are a dime a dozen, while in Anima I think that most adversaries should be human with creatures being a real shock to the characters. I ran an adventure concerning a Black Sun attempt to turn important members of Abel society into undead spies. Most enemies were mercenaries protecting the lab with some low level Necromancers to spice up things and act as lab assistants to the boss. When the boss unleashed the failed undead experiments (zombies) on the characters it was a real shock. I think this is a good way to use creatures, particularly in an urban intrigue campaign like mine. Creatures could feature more heavily in a Tol Rauko / Inquisition campaign.
  8. Edge of Darkness I ran a short "mini-adventure" detailing how they met and then had their Inquisitor send them to find Interrogator Sand. From here the intro part of the adventure went pretty much as written. Then into the train and down into the bowels of the hive. I laid on the increasing decrepitude of the hive as they approached Coscarla pretty thick. The players decided to find a base of operations first and settled for the Hostel... Most of the players set up in adjoining rooms barricading themselves nicely as the Aribitrator picked the junkie proprietor straight away. However the Psyker decided to go have a look around the market. There was a furious discussion about how many people should go with her and eventualy they deceided that only the Scum should go as he could troll around for information. While in the market I sprang 3 Narco-Gangers on them trying to shake them down of a few thrones. The Scum ran, disapearing into the stalls, the Psyker pulled out her ancestral saber, the Narco-Gangers pulled out their stub pistols. The psyker spasmed two gangers who promptly shot each other, the third ganger missed. The Psyker waded in gutting one of the prone gangers, the Scum surfaced on the other side of the gangers and blew one away with a vicious autofire attack and the third ganger legged it. They decided not to follow him as they were feeling exposed with only two people neither of which were combat monsters. After returning with no info the Guardswoman and Assassin decided to get some food for the group heading down to the alms house. After returning with what I described as a pork flavoured protein stew (I manfully resisted smiling), they settled down to wait out the night setting shifts in each room. About 2 in the morning I staged the dreg attack. The dregs were massacred, with the Psyker going to town in Melee again. (Must be Calixian Templar material). They frightened Draylock into spilling what he knew and they decided to check out the apartment and the enforcers. The Arbitrator took judgement on Draylock and executed him. They beet feet quickly in the morning and made their way to to the apartment. They managed to not shoot Lili Arbest and questioned her after the Scum calmed her down. After hearing from two sources about the disappearing hab-proles they made their best decision in the whole adventure by choosing to hole up in one of the abandoned Hab Stacks away from anyone. They then proceded to stupidly split up again with the Arbitrator and Adept staying with Lili at base camp, the Psyker and Scum heading back to see if there was any activity at the Hostel and the Guardswoman and Assassin heading out to see if they could find out any thing about the Enforcers. I ran each group seperately. At the Hostel they sneaked up successfully to observe the Enforcers checking out their handiwork. As they started back they saw 4 Narco-Gangers also sneaking around checking out what had happened. They recognised one of them as the one who got away yesterday and just couldn't help themselves and attacked them. After more Spasming, bursts and sword play they took them all down EXCEPT the one they missed before. They had to leave because the Enforcers started coming round to check on the gunshots. This of course alerted the Enforcers to be more wary. Meanwhile the Guardswoman and the Assassin took up a position on top of a water tower near the train station. They settled down to see what they could see through the Assassin's telescopic sight. What they saw after a while was the hornet's nest the other two caused. They saw the Enforcers spread out in groups of 4 searching the area. They decided things were getting to hot and tried to sneak off but the Assassin absolutely botched his stealth test. One of the groups of 4 Enforcers spotted them and attacked. The guardswoman took up cover at the base of the water tower, the Assassin decided to take potshots from the ladder, he missed. Two of the Enforcers laid down suppresive fire while the others moved in with shock mauls. (I changed their equipment). The Assassin climbed down and got into cover. The Guardswoman kept her cool and dropped one of the shooters. The other enforcers closed to melee range and one hit the assassin shocking him senseless. At this stage I thought here goes some fate points, but the Guardswoman laid about with her combat knife and started to whittle them down while they had alot of difficulty getting past her high toughness and guard flak. The Assassin snapped out of it and popped the third Enforcer who was running up to help finish the Guardswoman. The two of them managed to finish the last two and they ran off towards their camp. After some healing (with one attack of psychic phenomena) they decided that splitting up was A BAD IDEA. So they all went down to check out the Templum and talk to Saul's drinking buddy. They were thouroughly disgusted by the coward cleric almost executing him, but they decided not to annoy the Ecclesiarchy and just took down a careful note to report him. On the way out of the Templum they ran into a large number of Narco-Gangers led by, you guessed it, the same guy who had escaped before. As they unlimbered their artillery he moved forwards saying " If you guys are the ones that took down Draylock and his dregs and them Enforcer boys then my boss Chord Luntz wants to make a buisness deal with ya." With that they met Chord Luntz and things got a whole lot clearer for them. Chord made his offer and a deal was struck. They would assault the Churgeon while Luntz's men would make a diversion with the Logicians. With Luntz's key they penetrated the back door and found out exactly what was in that pork flavoured stew. After much retching they made their way to the 2nd Floor. They encountered Sybas Moran and his men. Who they proceeded to totally underestimate. They saw they had pistols and thought they didn't need cover or tactics. Moran killed the Adept with one burst (By a strange twist she survived but with no fate points now) and heavily wounded the Arbitrator. Once his other two men fell Sybas retreated to his office. By this stage the players were seething with rage at Moran so I decided on the spot, hey presto recurring villain, gave him a jet pack and out he flew through the window making his escape in the best tradition of Ernst Stavro Bloefeld. After risking healing on the arbitrator they made their way upstairs to confront the Churgeon. They made their way past broken and discarded bodies in the remains of the hospital up to the big steel door and opened it with a keycard they found in Moran's office. They burst in and all hell broke loose. The Guardswoman and Adept failed their fear tests, the Adept badly. The homunculites and body snatchers advanced. The Scalpel detached itself and the Churgeon retreated to the lift shaft. I had decided to give the Scalpel a grav drive, remembering a floating silver ball covered in knives in some old horror movie that I have forgotten the name of. This proved to be a crucial change to the adventure. The Acolytes poured fire into the homunculites not liking the look of the chainblades. The arbiter bravely confronted the Scapel. After several rounds of combat the fight was evenly matched. The Psyker was controling how many Body snatchers could engage by constantly droping them with Spasm. The Guardswoman snapped out fear. The Scum and the Assassin killed the Homunculites. The Guardswoman laid down heavy autofire thining out the Bodysnatchers. Meanwhile the Arbiter was getting sliced up badly eventualy dropping with critical damage. The Guardswoman moved in to fight the Scalpel. The Assassin and the Psyker were reduced to hand to hand with the Bodysnatchers. Then the Scum was dropped by a Bodysnatcher and the Guardswoman got filleted by the Scalpel. Things were looking grim so the Psyker tried to Weapon Jinx the Scalpel. She rolled a 9. She rolled a 78, Perils of the Warp. Then she rolled an 87. Thats it I thought TPK. Then I looked up what it was : The Surly Bonds of Earth. The Emperor reached down and touched her hand and gravity reversed. Every thing fell upwards at 10m/s/s. Every thing except the Scalpel which drove itself with all the might of it's anti-grav engine into the concrete ceiling shattering itself. They looked for the Churgeon afte,r but she had flown off long before the warp touched every one. Luntz told them the Logicians had retreated, One was working on a strange device but he had dropped him with his hand cannon. Later Sand would tell them it contained a deadly plague and everyone in Coscarla owed their life to a Narco-Gang Lord. And that was that.
  9. I had my players run through small "adventures" individually to establish what it was that drew the attention of their Inquisitor (Astrid Skane from the rulebook). Then I had the Arbites turn up to work and recieve orders seconding him to Inquisitorial duty. Sitting in his office in manacles was the Scum, who was to be escorted to the Tricorn Palace. Introduced an enemy in the form of a corrupt senior Enforcer officer to set up adventure 2. After some hi-jinks avoiding the corrupt Enforcers they boarded a Transit Train and set out. I then proceded to introduce the rest of the Acolytes one by one as they boarded the train enroute to the same meeting. (I reasoned there would not be too many trains going to the Tricorn Palace as most people avoid the Inquisition like the plague!). So on hopped the Guardsman, Adept, Psyker and finally the Cleric. (More forshadowing with the cleric having to deal with a Redemptionist parade of "sinners" near the station. She did this by haranging them and set up adventure 3 nicely for me with no forcing the situation by GM fiat). They duly arrived and were inducted into the Inquisition. (I had got the players to give me an image of their character before hand when I did the character generation session. I used the Inquisition ID cards available at Dark Reign, pasted on the images and laminated them prior to the first adventure session. The players were quite happy to recieve their Inquisitorial Rosettes) After Inquisitor Skane went through what she expected of her acolytes and revealed something of her character, she sent them to the Templum Mori with instuction to seek out Interrogator Sand for their first mission (Edge of Darkness). On the way out I had an incident between Skane and Inquisitor Rykkhuss to set up a rivalry with a simular group of new acolytes. From here the session ran in to the start of Edge of Darkness Now this seems like a lot of time (about 2.5 hours of game play) to do what the start of Edge of Darkness does in one paragraph of GM narrative, but I always try to start a campaign with a "mini-adventure" detailing how such a strange mix of people get together. I find the players appreiciate the effort, even when you are using a published adventure. The down side is that you have to split the start of the campaign into a character generation session, then take about a week to go through their character choices to figure out what each player is aiming for and tailor your intro mini-adventure to your requirements. But I think the final effect is much better than "you meet these six guys in bar and go adventurin"
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