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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: May 23, 2015, 11:25:19 AM
I discovered something while watching Fury Road yesterday: Mad Max is Conan with cars.

An important concept to keep in mind when watching any of the Mad Max films is that each one is essentially a reboot. They're not in any meaningful sense sequels to one another any more than successive Conan stories were in any meaningful sense sequels to one another.

Howard wrote his tales "out of order", and I got the same sense from Fury Road that I get from Conan stories: this is "a tale of Max" rather than "the next in the saga". In fact, I find in general that Mad Max and Conan operate on many of the same premises, and both hold a subtle power, partly in the way they build their world. Howard never really stops to provide long expositions regarding which people come from where and how their societies operate. Neither does Miller. You get it from dialogue cues and fill the details in as you go. The Fast and Furious movies clearly want to ape the action of Mad Max, but they don't create the world that Mad Max does. That keeps F&F pretty solidly in the soulless spectacle camp for me. They're just not swinging the mythic themes and world of Mad Max.

And the cars aren't nearly as cool.

And I found the movie a hyperkinetic thrill ride that pasted me to the back wall of the theater and held me there for two straight hours or sensory-awesome. If you pay attention, you can even see where Tom Hardy does some looks and glances and moves that are clearly drawn from Mel Gibson's style, and while it would have been neat to see Gibson come back for one last ride here, I can dig Hardy's Max.

For Car Wars purposes, I can now reasonably state that my personal vision of the game is bookended by Miller's Fury Road on one side and the Wachowskis' Speed Racer on the other. Smiley
2  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Combat Section First Draft Turned In on: May 13, 2015, 08:13:32 PM
plus brand new actions like Standoffs which people have been asking for for 13 years Smiley

No lie.   Tongue
3  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Ralph McQuarrie and James Bond on: April 28, 2015, 05:46:25 PM
I recall the Miami Vice stunt show from forever ago at Universal Studios LA. It was awesome covered in awesome, with some awesome sprinkles and a side of awesomesauce. Stunt shows rule.
4  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Ralph McQuarrie and James Bond on: April 26, 2015, 03:00:30 PM
Your next adventure hook starts here.  Smiley
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Reaperwatch 2015 on: April 07, 2015, 07:09:59 PM
Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane has hung up his CB for good.
6  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: How Spy Craft differs from Fantasy Craft? on: March 29, 2015, 03:32:31 AM
Having playtested the SC3 initiative system in the wild now, I freaking love it, and find it (at least so far) to be the best initiative system I've seen to date in any RPG, let alone Crafty's offerings.
7  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: What miniatures do you use for Spycraft? on: March 19, 2015, 05:25:20 PM

Buy a sack of 1" wood discs, print pictures to removable 1" or 3/4" round stickers. Combine.

This is what I do. I create tokens using rptools' tokentool (which produces 1" tokens from any screen capture), punch them out with a circle punch from El Craft Store-o, and glue stick them to 1" wood rounds (from said store). You can make a gillion of them for next to nothing, tailor them to the adventure you're running, and they're super-portable.
8  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: March 15, 2015, 03:24:34 PM
Main takeaways for me:

The new Awesome Die system is a thing of beauty, and added a great dimension to play.
The AD system synergizes nicely with the new Initiative system, which is itself pretty rad.
The changes to the combat system (especially what happens when you hit 0 wounds) blew the players away with awesome.
The Strengths and Weaknesses rules were noted by the players as being particularly cool, and they used them incessantly.

Play is streamlined, action moves fast, and the players can visually see when the pressure rises and the plot has been advanced. This is good stuff.
9  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: March 15, 2015, 02:32:54 PM
Having now field-tested the beta SC3 ruleset, I freaking love it. That is all.
10  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: March 11, 2015, 05:12:47 PM
I run the games on Saturday, ludomastro. Three slots: 9am, 2pm, and 7pm. Say it with me: "It's just a day trip. It's just a day trip."
11  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: March 10, 2015, 08:45:49 PM
This might be a new first. I have everything printed, prepped, and packed for Spycraft this Saturday. And it's only Tuesday. Good thing I started in January.   Roll Eyes
12  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: March 09, 2015, 08:36:32 PM
Is there any SC3 stuff you'll be trying for The First Time Ever at TwisterCon?
Any areas where you're particularly looking forward to getting feedback?

I should answer these directly, I suppose.  Smiley 

I want to see how the new Awesome Die system works in the field. That's the biggest "new" thing, to my eye, and I want to see if it goes down smooth.

Oh, and the combat initiative system is all new, in a way that theoretically promotes very non-OGL tactical thinking (in brief, you basically have the option to concede initiative to force the other side to act first). I'm very interested to see how that plays. 
13  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: March 09, 2015, 06:25:55 PM
Excellent. I was just coming by the forum to bump this post. Way to set it up for me.  Smiley

I don't know how much I can really say about the beta ruleset without saying too much. For some of this stuff, I feel like if I get started I'll get a huge ton of questions that A) I shouldn't be the one answering, and B) will probably turn into a distracting fire that Pat and/or Alex will need to put out. So I'm going to tease some highlights as I see them, with the hope that you guys will understand that you really need to *play* these rules to get the specifics, and asking me "how does X interact with Y" questions are probably counterproductive at this stage:

First, this is unmistakably not a d20 OGL game anymore. The Big Six stats are gone, replaced with a different set (that have NOT been previewed here on the forums), and those stats encompass a lot of the derived values that the OGL Big Six generated. SC3 cuts out the middleman and moves in the direction of making those values the stats themselves. You don't derive Endurance from your Constitution stat. You just have an Endurance stat.

Action dice are way more awesome than before. They're Awesome Dice now, which I admit is a name I wasn't sold on until I read through the rules surrounding them. Awesome Dice and their accumulation and expenditure is almost a minigame now, running in parallel to the main action of the mission. At certain breakpoints, Awesome Dice can significantly impact the "global" story in addition to an individual roll, and they refresh by scene in addition to being more intuitive to award; this is a compelling argument in favor of the name change, in my view: Whenever someone at the table says "that was awesome" the GC should adopt a pavlovian response of considering awarding an Awesome Die. Agents are quite incentivized to use their AD, and Control has several excellent guiding principles and incentives regarding how to give them to the players (some of which provide some fantastic two-edged-sword choices to the players).

Corollary to that, it *looks* like the math has been dialed down. You still roll a d20 and add a bonus to beat a target number, but skill bonuses are universally lower, as are DCs. The roll of the dice is a bigger deal here, which in turn offers an incentive to use 'dem Awesome Dice.

I have no information on Class/Level stuff. Some (but not all) of the pregens have abilities marked "core", and the abilities I'm seeing are all things that those familiar with Spycraft will recognize. As a 30-year RPG player, I feel like I can draw some inferences about the mechanics and character generation trade-offs that make the characters look the way they do, but any attempt to explain my ideas would immediately head into the weeds and I don't want to even attempt to speak for the design team. The ruleset gives the impression that the FC Priest Path system is getting expanded to encompass a lot of feat-chain-style bonuses, but I can't speak to that in any detail except to opine that dropping "feats" is probably part and parcel to the "non-OGL" direction the rules are going. This is one of those places where further questions feel unwise at this stage. Smiley

Overall, SC3 as I'm reading it is clearly and recognizably Spycraft, with the action de-burred and the mag well polished and the slide properly oiled. A playgroup that really gets into the spirit the game is trying to promote will be able to tell some epic stories with this. I just hope I can capture it properly in playtest. 

And I've got a great poster-size print of the new logo I'll be displaying as bait to draw players in. A day pass to TwisterCon is 10 bucks, there's no anime, cosplay, or CCG foolishness, and the hotel restaurant makes a superb club sandwich. As I've mentioned, the playtest mission is Black Tie Formal, so if you're a longtime player you may have seen this scenario before, but I wouldn't mind an observer for notetaking and feedback purposes. The beta test packet asks over and over to be sure and get as much feedback as possible from everyone involved, and a quiet observer taking a bunch of notes would be welcome.
14  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Spycraft 3e demos in Oklahoma on: January 30, 2015, 09:55:43 PM
I'm running three slots of Spycraft 3e for demo/beta feedback purposes at TwisterCon in March in Oklahoma City. If you're in the region and have the time (and happened to not ever play Black Tie Formal), come join me for new-edition zany mayhem! Even if you've played the module, I wouldn't mind an observer for note-taking and discussion in the hotel restaurant after the Saturday slots.
15  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: [DEVELOPMENT] What do you look for first/most about skill checks? on: January 30, 2015, 09:50:53 PM
Yeah, give me DC first (or a statement of how to get the DC, e.g. "opposed by target's Athletics" or if there are tiered power-level DCs "Tricky" and I'll check my crib sheet to see what DC correlates to "tricky" for the APL of my team).

As a style note, I'd also like to see Skill names capitalized in a proper noun sort of way in the text for easier spotting.
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